Richard Coer de Lyon


1 220 lines are missing here from C due to absent leaves. The following lines (229–448) are based on W.

2 Lines 375–76: In spite of armor, in spite of padded garment / In spite of mail shirt, in spite of the quilted jacket

3 In the third attire (equipment) he placed (put on) himself

4 I know not what, the devil, he had against me

5 And afterward they betook themselves on the se

6 For fame rises from musical entertainment (the song of minstrels)

7 I believe you are plotting for me some treason

8 Lines 791–92: And if I should slump (bend) forward or move away, / Prevent me from ever bearing a shield

9 You shall cause to come into my hand (possession)

10 At London to convene (summon) an assembly

11 Agree (Set out) and grant the pope his request

12 He ordered a very strong tower to be made

13 Lines 1411–12: Then Christian men, [upon pain] of life and limb / See to it that you do not take away goods from them

14 Said Richard, “I desire nothing but that which is fitting

15 Lines 1679–80: To King Tancred he sent a letter (document) / That afterward limited his reasoning

16 And what he thinks (plans) he will acknowledge

17 Quickly your English military strength diminishes

18 Men shall thrust (shove) vigorously up your rump

19 It shall be called the mate-gryphon (kill-Greek)

20 Had himself an axe made for the occasion (see note)

21 Of silk, sendal, and silk fabric woven with gold

22 Siege engines miraculous [that hurled missiles] he had

23 A mill he made from special skill (of great strength)

24 Who believes in Muhammad and Termagaunt (fictitious deity)

25 Through hunger, our folk it [the weather] slew

26 And make an assault all in a short space of time

27 There is reason to fear that he will defeat us

28 For which reason, they might not hold out

29 According to rank, they came following their custom

30 In ynde [fabric dyed with indigo], armed in the best manner

31 Onwards, lords, all to arms at once!

32 For that, may God may give him a wholly wretched end

33 I command him [the Marquis] to come out of his army

34 Before they might have peace or law and order

35 At noon, “to the washbasin” the guards blew [a trumpet]

36 There were none of them who cared to eat

37 Who would not have preferred to have been at home

38 The time [goal estimated] allowed was too long

39 Thereupon each one of us wiped (dried) his eyes

40 He cares not at all though you carry off

41 Of all of India as far as [the lands of] Prester John (central Asia)

42 Appraised him and his [people] at such little value

43 And begin to pull in their horns (reduce their ardor)

44 Who was encamped with many a mother’s son (man)

45 Covered so as to conceal [it] (tightly), joined together ingeniously

46 Lines 4221–23: By wearing woolen clothing next to my skin, / And by walking on my bare feet in snow and sleet / To atone for my sins

47 Disobedience (shame) it were, and villainy (wickedness)

48 Consisting of his own hereditary coat of arms

49 Soon played there balls [heads] lost from coifs [head coverings]

50 Lines: 4588–89: And when they had regained their heart (courage) / Refreshed themselves, and recovered their health

51 To slay men was to me never acceptable (pleasing)

52 In all [ways] that they were able and knew

53 Because they disparaged him to such an extent

54 Thus they arranged themselves in front of

55 Then on Arabian horses they were placed (made ready)

56 That knocked to the ground his unvisored helmet

57 He knew not whether it was most advantageous

58 For a great price did they barter their lives

59 Are useless in time of peril compared to what he is

60 Would be able to constrain him against his will

61 With a chain they fastened the saddle girth upon him (the horse) securely

62 And afterward the devil’s power overwhelmed

63 And set up in formation and awaited battle

64 He pierced him all the way through under the shield

65 Despite all he could do, he was compelled to fall

66 In spite of all who ever stood in front of him

67 The nobility (pre-eminence) of the Muslim lands is finished

68 And caused their Muhammad’s [idols] to be smashed

69 They threw across the distance many barrels full of wild fire

70 To allow the Saracens to ransom [themselves] (pledge surety)

71 Does John count (appraise) me of no more worth

72 I will avenge myself to such an extent on him

73 Sire, you will release me from my obligation here

74 Unless he [Richard] the sooner would come home

75 From his body, [you] cut the tail (cut off the source of support)

76 And more, I believe, as God may guide me

77 How it turned out there, let no man ask

78 Lines 6761–62: A lookout came to an opening in a battlement (protective wall) / And piped a blast (note) on a flageolet (wind instrument)

79 Lines 6801–02: To guarantee (provide surety) what I have to do / Wassail [a toast] I shall drink to you (I shall kill you).

80 They spread (went) upon him as thick as flies

81 So that to them came neither help nor remedy

82 He thought he might have cooled himself off


ABBREVIATIONS: A: MS London, College of Arms HDN 58 (formerly: Arundel); a: part of the manuscript tradition (see pp. 3–10 of the introduction); B: MS London, BL Additional – 31042 (formerly: London Thornton); b: part of the manuscript tradition (see pp. 3–10 of the introduction); C: MS Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College — 175/96 (base text); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; D: MS Oxford, Bodleian – 21802 (formerly: Douce 228); DMA: Dictionary of the Middle Ages (ed. Strayer); E: MS London, BL Egerton — 2862; H: MS London, BL — Harley 4690; L: MS Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Advocates’ 19.2.1 (the Auchinleck manuscript); ME: Middle English; MED: Middle English Dictionary; OE: Old English; OF: Old French; RCL: Richard Coer de Lyon. W: Wynkyn de Worde’s 1509 printed edition (Kynge Rycharde cuer du lyon, Oxford, Bodleian Crynes 734; and Manchester, John Ryland’s Library Deansgate 15843); W2: de Worde’s 1528 printed edition (Kynge Rycharde cuer du lyon, Oxford, Bodleian S. Seld. D. 45 (1); and London, BL C.40.c.51); Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases.

Incipit Hic incipit vita Ricardi Regis primi. For a discussion of RCL’s application of the terms vita (life), “story” (line 4886), and “hystorye” (from the beginning of de Worde's two printings), see Mills, “Generic T itles,” pp. 126–29; see also his discussion of Sir Gowther and Roberte the Deuyll, romances whose heroes, like Richard, have demonic pedigrees.

1-35 Lord Jhesu . . . . herkenes before. Patterned after the formal openings in OF texts, prologues to ME romances may include conventional elements: an invocation (lines 1–4); an exhortation to listen (line 35); a statement of the subject (lines 29–32); praise of the hero (lines 31–32); and a blessing or prayer (lines 33–34), (Havelok, ed. Smithers, p. 83n). RCL’s prologue stresses the poem's “historical nature and establishes a tone that is both secular and nationalistic” (Turville-Petre, England the Nation, p. 122).

As with other members of the a group of manuscripts, the prologue is comprised of four-stress couplets. Loomis argues that this prologue is the addition of a Kentish translator of the original Anglo-Norman text, (Review, p. 463). In contrast, L opens with two tail-rhyme stanzas followed by five couplets:







Lord Ih[es]u, kyng of glorie,
Swiche auentour & swiche victorie
Þou sentest king richard,
Miri it is to heren his stori
& of him to han in memorie
Þat neuer no was coward.
Bokes men makeþ of Latyn,
Clerkes witen what is þ[er]in,
Boþe almaundes & pikard;
Romau[n]ce make folk of frau[n]ce
Of kni3tes þat wer[e] in destaunce,
Þat dyed þurth dint of sward:

Of Rouland & of Oliuer
& of þe oþer dusse per,
Of alisander & charlimeyn,
& ector þe gret werrer,
& of danys le fiz Oger,
Of Arthour & of Gaweyn.
As þis romau[n]ce of freyns wrou3t,
Þat mani lewed no knowe nou3t.
In gest as so we seyn,
Þis lewed no can freyns non:
Among an hundred vnneþe on,
In lede is nou3t to leyn.

Noþeles wiþ gode chere,
Fele of hem wald yhere
Noble gestes, ich vnderstond
Of dou3ti kniõtes of inglond.
þerfore now ichil 3ou red[e],
Of a king dou3ti of dede,
King Richard þe werrour best
þat men fineþ in ani gest.
Nou al þat listen þis ginni[n]g,
Ih[es]u hem grau[n]t god[e] ending.
Compare Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 81n–82n; and see also his discussion of the prosody of L’s prologue and related analogues at pp. 25–26. Prologues from the other members of the b group — A, D, E, and H — do not survive. As evidence for the intervention of an editor designing the Auchinleck Manuscript, Turville-Petre cites L’s unique prologue together with revisions to other texts, (England the Nation, p. 114).

5 jeste. Compare Latin res gestae, exploits. In contrast to narratives of argument, a jeste (geste) could refer “to any written account of actions — historical or fictitious, secular or divine” (Strohm, “Storie, Spelle, Geste,” pp. 348, 354). Accordingly, “jeste” carries a wide range of meanings: “a poem or song about heroic deeds, a chivalric romance . . . a prose chronicle or history, a prose romance or tale . . . a noteworthy deed . . . a military enterprise; entertainment . . . an amusement,” (MED, s. v. geste(e (n. 1)). See also Mills, “Generic Titles,” p. 130.

7 romaunces. Derived from “romanz,” originally a linguistic term that referred to vernacular, romance languages, especially French, romaunce was later applied to a range of texts; see Strohm, “Storie, Spelle, Geste,” pp. 354–56.

11–19 Of Rowelond . . . . of Achylles. Arguing that the b version of the romance was “a work of the vigorously heroic type,” Finlayson suggests the heroes listed derive from epics and chansons de geste, sources that emphasize historical, not romance figures, (“' Richard, Coer de Lyon,'” p. 161; the Introduction discusses the two versions of RCL, a and b). Jordan Fantosme in his Chronique gives similar praise to Henry II, illustrating the conventionality of such descriptions within an historical context (Chronique, p. 212, lines 112–117); for translation and discussion, see Fleischman, “On the Representation,” p. 286. Compare Trotter’s discussion of the Old French Crusade Cycle, whose references to heroes and incidents in chansons de geste established an epic frame of reference and suggested a continuity between the crusades and previous exploits (Medieval French Literature, pp. 110–15). ME versions of texts associated with these heroes were found, for example, in L, the Auchinleck MS, which contains a fragmentary version of RCL and includes Of Arthour and Merlin, Of Roland and Vernagu, and Kyng Alisaunder, (Weber, Metrical Romances, 3.347–48). For discussions of this list and the list at lines 6713–22, see Liu, “Prototype Genre” (pp. 340–48); Mehl, Middle English Romances, pp. 243–44; Mills, “Generic Titles,” pp. 128 and 136n35; Fewster, Traditionality and Genre, p. 4; and Blurton, Cannibalism, pp. 122–23. Because the distinction between history and literature was less than clear, a medieval audience likely conceived of this list of heroes as both historical and legendary: for example, a chronicle account of Richard’s exploits in defense of Jaffa compares the king to many of these same heroes (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.23, pp. 366–67).

11 Of Rowelond and of Olyver. Preeminent chanson heroes. In La Chanson de Roland, these two peers of Charlemagne died fighting Muslims at the Battle of Roncevaux. While historical references to Oliver are lacking, Einhard states in his Vita Karoli Magni that Roland, lord of the Breton March, died in the Pyrenees in an ambush by the Basques. See Dutton, Charlemagne’s Courtier, pp. 21–22.

12 doseper. OF douze pairs. A reference to the twelve peers or principal warriors of Charlemagne who appear in various iterations in La Chanson de Roland, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, where they attend Arthur’s coronation feast at Caerleon (p. 228), and The Sultan of Babylon, among other texts. See Lupack, Charlemagne Romances, p. 97n241.

13 Alisaundre and Charlemayn. Two of the nine worthies, Alexander the Great, and Charlemagne, King of the Franks and the first Holy Roman Emperor, served as the heroes of such ME texts as Kyng Alisaunder, The Wars of Alexander, The Sultan of Babylon, and The Siege of Milan. The nine are often cited for their exemplary exploits, in conjuction with Fortune’s Wheel. E.g., Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 3408–37), The Parlement of the Thre Ages, Chaucer and Langland. Three are ancient (Alexander, Hector, Julius Caesar); three are Hebrew (Judas Maccabee, Joshua, David) and three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne, Godefrey of Bouillon).

14 Of Kyng Arthour and of Gawayn. Among the numerous medieval accounts of this legendary British king and his nephew, none are as influential as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain. Scholarship on these figures is vast. Hahn discusses the representation of Gawain in ME romance (Sir Gawain, pp. 1–35); for Gawain in Old French romance, see Busby, Gauvain.

16 Turpyn and Oger Daneys. The son of Geoffrey, and king of Denmark, Ogier the Dane first appears in The Song of Roland leading part of Charlemagne’s army against the Saracens. In this same poem Archbishop Turpin, one of the Twelve Peers, dies at the battle of Ronceveaux fighting infidels and exemplifying “the twin goals of the active chivalric life, fame in this world and salvation in the next,” (Keen, Chivalry, p. 54). Ogier and Turpin were primarily chanson heroes; see also the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle, a popular but forged twelfth century presentation of Charlemagne’s legendary conquest of Spain, and The Siege of Milan. This last text, a ME romance in which Turpin plays a central role, survives in B (the London Thornton MS) which also contains a text of RCL. See Lupack, Charlemagne Romances.

19 Of Ector and of Achylles. Hector, Trojan prince, elder brother of Paris, and one of the worthies, is a prominent hero in the various versions of the Troy story. Achilles, the greatest warrior in the Trojan war, secures victory for the Greeks in part by killing Hector. Medieval versions, including Benoit’s OF Roman de Troie, and Guido delle Colonne’s Latin translation of that work, Historia destructionis Troiae, attest to the period’s fascination with the story: to overestimate the importance of the Troy story to medieval culture would be difficult. From the ruins of Troy came the Roman empire, and later, Trojan ancestors for nearly every Western European kingdom. For the story’s influence upon Britain, see Ingledew, “Book of Troy.”

21 In Frenssche bookys this rym is wrought. The first of several references to an original French text of the romance; see also lines 5098 and 7008; and, less clearly, lines 3439 and 5667. For a discussion of this narrative’s French origins, see the Introduction (pp. 3–4, p. 10n50).

22 Lewede men ne knowe it nought. Expressing populist and nationalistic concerns, the narrator describes an unlettered English audience to justify translating a “Frenssche book” (line 21) about “doughty knyghtes of Yngleonde” (line 28) (see Heng, Empire, p. 105 and “Romance of England,” p. 155; Turville-Petre, England the Nation, p. 122). For references to discussions of ME romances, even those derived from French originals, as comprising a textual community with nationalist impulses, see Heng, “Romance of England,” pp. 155 and 169n46.

35–250 Lordynges, herkenes . . . . and conqueroure. While members of the b group of manuscripts identify Eleanor of Aquitaine as Richard’s mother — see the note to line 2040 — she becomes Cassodorien in the a group’s demon-mother episode, which has a number of legendary and folk-tale analogues. Most notable is the story of Black Fulk of Anjou, Richard’s ancestor, who married a lady of unearthly beauty. Like Cassodorien, she could not witness the consecration of the host. Compelled to stay in the church by Fulk’s men, she escaped with two children by flying through a window of the church. Chapman classifies Cassiodorien as “a demon or fairy mistress of the widespread ‘Swan-Maiden’ type” and examines similar legends attached to Eleanor, Richard’s mother. See Walter Map's account of Henno-with-the-Teeth, for example, in De Nugis Curialium, 4.9, pp. 345–49; Chapman, “Demon Queen,” pp. 393, 395; and Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 11–12, 78–82.

Recent scholarship gives prominence to this episode and to Richard’s demonic origins. McDonald, for example, argues that “Richard, like Sir Gowther, is . . . a narrative of exorcism: an account of how Richard . . . purges himself of his devilish inheritance. Significantly, Richard’s anthropophagy, far from being a sign of that inheritance, not only marks, but produces, his return to the Christian community. Cassodorien’s alterity is a function . . . of her inability to sit through the mass” (“Eating People,” p. 140). See also Heng, Empire, pp. 97, 343n29, 351n58; and Akbari, “Hunger,” pp. 200–01.

35 Lordynges, herkenes before. The narrator’s exhortation to listen, a common feature of ME romance, reflects the genre’s association with oral tradition; see, e.g., the openings of Havelok and Athelston.

37 Kyng Henry. Richard’s father, Henry II, king of England from 1154 to 1189.

40 Seynt Thomas. Thomas Becket (1118–1170) became chancellor to King Henry II in 1155, whom he served with distinction; but when Henry designated Thomas archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, their close relationship ended. An amiable and able chancellor, this noble, genial, and worldly man became stubborn and austere as archbishop. Disputes arose over Henry’s ecclesiastical policies. Henry II’s annoyance at Thomas’s refusal to compromise over the crown’s jurisdictional claims was well known. As a result, Henry was believed to be complicit in Thomas’s murder before his altar in 1170. Thomas was canonized in 1173. See Alexander, “Becket, Thomas” (DMA 2.151–53).

45–52 He wolde . . . . to wyf. The motif of a lord who refuses to marry, yields to his subjects’ advice to wed, and then searches for a bride frequently recurs in medieval romance; see, e.g., the Tristan story; Chrétien’s Cligés, p. 128; Roberte the Deuyll, pp. 219–20; and Chaucer’s Clerk’s Tale. See Broughton, Legends of Richard I, p. 83 and Loomis, Review, p. 465.

60–72 Another schip . . . it was. Texts with parallels to this fabulous ship include Marie de France’s Lay of Guigamar, and Partenope of Blois. See Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 83–85.

62 ruel bon. This reference to whale bone, a common simile in ME romance, likely referred to walrus or narwhal tusks. See MED, s. v., rouel (n.1) and Weber, Metrical Romances, 3.350; Sir Degrevant, line 1445: “All of ruelbon”; Sir Thopas (CT VII[B2]878): “his sadel was of ruel bone.” The implication is “white,” but also radiant or bright. See MED's quotation 8a from St. Greg (Auch) 169/994: “An Angel can fram heven adown, Bri3ter þan þe rowwel bon.” See lines 75–76 below.

66 samyte. A rich silk cloth, embroidered or interwoven with gold or silver. See MED, samit(e; and medieval Latin examitum.

67 Tuely sylk. Among its definitions of tuli, the MED defines tueli silke as fabric of a deep red color, but the context will not allow such a reading. Compare Bevis of Hampton, line 1158 “The broider is of Tuli selk,” where its accompanying gloss reads “silk from Toulouse.”

69 al with oute. In all aspects of its outward appearance. See MED, withouten, (adv.), sense 3.

71 loof. “A spar holding out and down the windward tack of a square sail while going into the wind” (MED, s. v., lof (n. 4)).

89 charbocle ston. See The Peterborough Lapidary: “Carbuncculus is a precious stone [that] schineþ as feyre whose schynyng is not overcom by ny3t. It schineþ in derk places, & it semeþ as it were a feyr.” It has “a maner my3t as it wer about sperkynge of fyre þat beclyppeth him [The wearer] withowte [i.e., all about]. Compare the ship in RCL, line 69. (p. 82). See also Chaucer’s translation of The Romaunt of the Rose, where Rychesse wears “a fyn charboncle” so bright that it illuminates even at night a mile or two on both sides and illuminates her faces and all about her wonderously (lines 1120–28). It has such power that no venom can effect its possesser and it can cure palsy and tooth ache (lines 1085–1107). See also Chaucer’s House of Fame (line 1363), where a carbuncle perpetually adds radiance to the “femynyne creature” (line 1365) who is the “noble quene” and “lady schene” of the House of Fame (lines 1535–36).

118 vysyoun. In this context, visioun likely denotes a supernatural revelation or a prophetic dream. As attested in its literature, the medieval period manifested a profound interest in dreams, visions, and related revelations; see Loftin, “Visions” (DMA 12.475–78).

133 the Tour. Built by William the Conqueror in the southwest corner of London c. 1080, the Tower of London served as a fortress and stronghold, as well as a palace and a prison for men and women of exalted status

148 menstralles. The minstrels represented here are likely professional musicians of high status. See Olson, “Minstrels”.

153 Westemenstre. Westminster is the principal residence of English kings even before the conquest and the site of the Abbey Church where English kings were invested with the crown. It became the home of various governmental institutions including Parliament, law courts, and the exchequer. See Lyon, Legal History, p. 424. So, the connection between the English monarchy and Westminster is profound.

163 Corbaryng. This name may derive from “Corborans,” the Saracen leader in the Chanson d’Antioche, which is evidently a corruption of the historical “Kerbogha,” the atabeg of Mosul who is reported to have converted to Christianity in the thirteenth-century Chrétienté Corboran. See Akbari, “Hunger,” p. 201, and Heng, Empire, p. 343n29.

164 Antyoche. Ancient, eastern, and exotic, Antioch is a site rich in associations. Situated on an important trade route in present-day Turkey, especially holy to Christians — St. Peter founded his first bishopric there — Antioch under Byzantine rule became a chief trading center for Greek and Moslem commerce: its fortress was the most formidable on the Syrian frontier. See Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:93, 213. Conquered in 1098 after a long siege whose rigors may have included crusader cannibalism (see Heng, Empire, pp. 23–24 for a discussion of sources), it served as the capital of the Latin principality of Antioch. After 1187, all Crusader colonies besides Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch had fallen to Saladin. Akbari argues that Richard’s success in conquering eastern lands derives from his mother through whom he “lays claim to both supernatural powers and legitimate descent from the former Saracen rulers of Antioch and its region” (“Hunger,” p. 201).

172 wyght. Here, Henry uses wight to denote a living creature, but, in this context, the word’s other meanings bear mentioning: “an unnatural or monstrous being; a supernatural creature, [a] demon” (MED,  wight (n.), sense 1c).

173 Cassodorien. The a group of manuscripts provides Richard with a “demon mother” instead of Eleanor of Aquitane, his historical mother; hence, the narrative trades a dominant French mother for an exotic Oriental, thus making Richard, an historical figure accused of sodomy, more masculine (Heng, Empire, p. 97). Noting John of Salisbury implied that Eleanor had incestuous relations with Raymond of Antioch and that a minstrel accused her of having “an affair with Saladin himself,” Akbari argues that the “replacement of Eleanor with Cassodorien, Aquitaine with Antioch, produces a Richard whose alien nature is not French, but Oriental” (“Hunger,” pp. 204–05).

189–94 Beforn the elevacyoun . . . no sacrement. For references to medieval discussions of the power of sacred objects like the Eucharist over demons, see note to line 222 below.

199–201 Twoo knaves and a mayde. At this point, the poet indicates the demonic mother by not following the birth order and number of children born to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine actually had eight children in the following order: William, who died in infancy, Henry, Matilda, Richard, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan, and John.

202 romaunce. See notes at lines 7 and 6711–13.

206 To the fyftenthe yere. The age at which childhood ended, fifteen, became in late antique and medieval Europe “the vital age for both combat and majority” (James, “Majority,” p. 24). Thus, Richard would be of age when he ascends to the throne at line 243. In fact, Richard was 32 when he ascended to the throne on 8 September, 1189 (Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 232).

222 The preest scholde make the sakeryng. The “sakerying” is the point at which the elevated host is transformed into the blood and body of Christ; see McDonald’s discussion (“Eating People,” p. 140–41). Hagiographic literature abounds in representations of demoniacs being healed through the use of such sacred objects as the consecrated host. See, e.g., Arnold of Bonneval, Vita primi Bernardi, 2.11–14; Patrologia Latina 185: cols. 275–77, which Newman discusses (“Possessed,” pp. 738–40).

241 Crowned after Kynge Harry. Compare the more detailed account from L:

In heruest, after þe natiuite,
King Richard fenge his dignete
[Boþe] þe kinges 3erd and the croun,
At Winchester in þe gode toun.
Paris suggests that “Winchester” is a scribal error (“Le Roman,” p. 356). English monarchs, both before and after the Conquest, were crowned at the Abbey Church at Westminster (Lyon, Legal History, p. 425).

252–426 At Salysbury . . . . hym drowe. The Three Days’ Tournament together with the use of disguise is a fixture of medieval romance. (See, e.g., Weston, Three Days’ Tournament; Loomis, Review, p. 465). But there is an historical component there as well. A celebrated tourneyer, Richard I in his licensing edict of 1194 designated five official tourneying sites, one being between
Salisbury and Wilton (Barker, Tournament, p. 11). In “Tournament,” Nickel provides a good discussion of the medieval tournament, an institution central to chivalry and its arts, which included heraldry, coats of arms, specialized tournament equipment, elaborate armor and gear for knight and horse, and codes of conduct, for example, knightly service to ladies. In setting forth three functions for the tournament, including associating Richard with such romance heroes as Cliges, Ipomedon, and Lancelot, Finlayson argues that the tournament, a redaction from the b version, “reflects the intermingling of ‘history’ and romance motifs which is typical of ‘chronicle’ and ‘ancestral’ romances” (“Legendary Ancestors,” p. 303; see also Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 90–92). In the a group, Fouk Doly, and Thomas of Multon acquit themselves so well that Richard chooses them to accompany him on his pilgrimage; but in some witnesses to the b group (A, D, and H), Richard defeats all knights equally. Since no link exists between tournament and pilgrimage in manuscripts from the b group, Brunner argues that a stands closer to the original text than does b (Löwenherz, p. 21), a conclusion Loomis supports (Review, pp. 461–62). L omits this episode.

273 All togyder cole blacke. The king mysteriously appears in three different disguises — first black, then red (line 333), then white (line 387) — the same successive colors of disguise worn by another devil’s son, Sir Gowther, as he battles a sultan (Sir Gowther, lines 403–633). Discussing the Christian and alchemic symbolism of these colors in general and within the ritual of knighting, Marchalonis argues that the order — first black (humility), then red (passion, blood), and finally white (purity) — reflects the process of Gowther’s spiritual development. She observes that in RCL’s tournament, as in Sir Gowther, these colors are associated with chivalric testing (“Sir Gowther: The Process,” pp. 20–24). For a general treatment of the use of successive, colored disguises in medieval romance, see Weston, The Three Days’ Tournament, especially pp. 9–11 and 23–38.

275 Upon his creste a raven stode. A crest was an heraldic device affixed to the helmet; see line 523. Knights came to attach symbols and devices to their helmets for purposes of identification. One of the earliest heraldic birds, the raven had been in use by the Normans from the Conquest onwards, (Fox-Davies, Heraldry, p. 186), perhaps as a sign of the feast the knight plans for the scavengers after he kills his opponents. Also noteworthy is the hunter’s practice of leaving the corben bone for the raven — “at the death he will be” — as a talisman of self defense. See Peck, “Careful Hunter,” pp. 336–37.

280 In travayll for to be. For the raven, the travail is obvious. Travayll may signify “spiritual or physical labor as a religious obligation” (MED, s. v. travail (n.), sense 1b). This accords with the crusades references in lines 281–84. Compare Hugh of Fouilloy’s account: “On the Sacred Page the raven is perceived in various ways, so that by the raven is understood sometimes a preacher, sometimes a sinner, sometimes the Devil” (Clark, Aviarium, p. 175).

297 gorgere. Plate armor for the chin and neck.

321 pusen. “A piece of metal or mail attached to the helmet and extending over the neck and upper breast” (MED, s. v. pisan(e, sense a).

323 gorgere. Synonymous with gorgette; see note at line 297 above.

337–42 Upon his creste . . . the grounde. The note to line 275 above discusses crests as heraldic devices. While the Talbot, an English hunting dog, served as a common heraldic symbol (Fox-Davies, Heraldry, p. 154), a number of details in this description emphasize the peculiarity of both knight and crest: the dog’s color, the position of its tail, the stated significance of the crest, and Multoun’s comment in lines 522–23 that that the red knight seemed to be a devil (qued). One of several representations that link Richard to the devil (see note at 500 below), this portrayal entwines a complex set of associations: the king’s demonic pedigree; the perception by Saracens and others that he is a devil; and the king’s and his people’s status as taylardes, tailed-ones (see line 1776 and note, and the Introduction, p. 14).

341 Them to slee for Goddes love. For a discussion of the relation between chivalry, the church, and the crusades, see Keen, Chivalry, pp. 44–63. For an expression of a militant chivalric perspective, see Gautier’s sixth commandment of chivalry: “Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation and without mercy” (Chivalry, p. 26). For the peculiarities of knightly piety, see Richard Kaeuper, Holy Warriors.

375 acketton. “A quilted or padded jacket worn under the armor for comfort and protection” (MED, s. v. aketoun (n.), sense a). The term derives from Moorish-Spanish, al coton, cotton (Nickel, “Tournament,” p. 218).

387–89 All his atyre . . . crosse rede. A likely allusion to the Templars, a military and religious order founded c. 1119 to guard the site of the Temple of Solomon and to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land. The Templars wore white to symbolize their rejection of women. Later, each Templar added a red cross to his coat of arms (Broughton, Dictionary, p. 445).

388 croper. “A cover for the hindquarters of a horse, or a crupper” (MED, s. v. crouper (n.), sense a).

392 To wynne the Crosse. One goal of the Third Crusade was to regain the True Cross lost to Saladin at the Battle of Hattin in 1197 (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 2:455–60).

393 Upon his heed a dove whyte. See note on crests at line 275. Doves with olive branches in their beaks are common heraldic devices. See Fox-Davies, Heraldry, p. 183. Among other sources, medieval bestiaries associated the dove with Christ and the Holy Ghost. Compare line 5711.

399 Fouke Doly. Of undoubted historicity, Fulk D’Oilly and Thomas Moulton (line 433) were Lincolnshire knights connected by marriage in the thirteenth century. As they do not appear in chronicles of the Third Crusade, Finalyson suggests that the large role these knights play in RCL’s a version represents an early redactor’s efforts “to glorify his or a patron’s family,” since the names do not occur in L, the fragment that Finlayson believes to contain the story’s basic form (“‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p. 166; and “Legendary Ancestors”).

403 bassenet. “Bacinet” refers to a variety of head coverings from the “hemispherical helmet, without a visor, worn under the fighting helmet” to “a pointed helmet with a visor” (MED, s.v. bacinet (n.)).

428 Herodes. A herald. “An officer of a tournament who makes announcements, introduces knights, and reports their actions, awards prizes, etc.” (MED, s. v. heraud (n.), sense 1a).

433 To Syr Thomas of Multon. See note to line 399 above.

453 paramours. The convention of knights gaining their ladies’ affections through prowess at tournaments appears as early as c. 1135 in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History (pp. 229–30). See Nickel, “Tournament,” p. 236. But RCL’s virulent crusading propoganda overwhelms this quaint, chivalric convention.

500 This is a devyl and no man. Variations of this statement recur throughout the text and thus emphasize Richard’s demonic pedigree: Hym semyd weel to ben a qued (line 522); Sayden he was a devyl of helle (line 2580); and The Englysshe devyl icome is (line 6818). See also lines 568, 2679, 3166, 3664, 4354, and 6935; though less direct, see also line 1776. These references likely reflect contemporary accounts linking Richard to the devil: for references, see Prestwich, who notes that Richard himself “was fond of mentioning the legendary descent of the Angevin dynasty from the devil,” and who quotes contemporary chronicles, both Muslim and Christian, that link the king to the devil (see “Rex Bellicosus,” pp. 2–3). The recurring association of Richard with demons and devils distinguishes RCL from other ME crusading texts that demonize Saracens: compare, e.g., The Sultan of Babylon, lines 356–57. Other ME romances with demonic heroes include Sir Gowther and Roberte the Deuyll.

521–22 Hys hors . . . a qued. See notes to lines 337–42 and to line 500 above. Compare Borgström, Proverbs of Alfred, number 37, p. 25: “The rede mon he is a quet [qued] / for he wole thee thin iwil red.”

528 renge. “An area designated for a tournament or sport” (MED, s. v. ring (n.), sense 4a). See also renge (n. 2), sense b.

568 pouke. See the note to line 500.

595 Al in palmeres gyse. Identity and disguise are central themes of romance, ancient and medieval. For a discussion of the motif of kings in disguise, see Walsh, “King in Disguise.” Hibbard notes chronicle and romance accounts of the use of pilgrim garb as disguise during the Crusade period (Mediæval Romance, p. 93 and 93n9); see note at lin e613 below. The note to line 273 discusses Richard’s three disguises at the Salisbury tournament, the Three Days’ Tourney, and romance analogues.

605–08 On the book . . . to bee. Swearing an oath upon the bible, as here, reflects the religious nature of oaths, which are invocations of the divine name in witness to the truth. From the oath of fealty to those that knights took after dubbing, oaths “secured the bonds of medieval society” (Lynch, “Oath,” DMA 9.207). The person swearing often pledged his or her faith, that is, future salvation, that he or she would perform a certain task. See Pollock and Maitland, English Law, 2.189–92.

607 And kyste hem thenne alle three. Kissing often formed part of medieval rituals. As part of the ceremony of homage, for example, “the lord then kissed the vassal on the mouth and said that he took him as his man” (Major, “‘Bastard Feudalism,’” p. 510). See also the note to line 1588.

613 With pyke and with sclavyn. The staff and cloak of a pilgrim is a disguise frequently adopted by the heroes of medieval romance. For example, when Orfeo puts aside his kingship to search for Herodis, he puts on a sclavyn as he makes his pilgrimage into the wilderness (Sir Orfeo, line 228). Likewise, Horn trades his clothes for a palmer’s sclavyn (King Horn, line 1064). In Richard’s historical return to Europe from the Third Crusade, Roger of Howden reports that “Richard and his followers were disguised as pilgrims” (Chronica 3:185–86, cited in Gillingham, Richard I, p. 232).

615–50 Now they dyghten . . . . here myght. Richard’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This episode appears in a and in all texts of b save L and E, the latter being defective at its beginning.

619 Into Flaundrys. Flanders, loosely the “land of the Flemings,” occupied parts of present day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.

623 Braundys. Brindisi, a port in southern Italy on the Adriatic, became part of the Norman kingdom of Naples in 1070.

630 Famagos. Famagusta, a seaport on the east coast of Cyprus.

634 Acres. Located on a peninsula on the northern part of Haifa bay, first taken by crusaders in 1104 (Boas, Archaeology, p. 222), Acre was the main port for the kingdom of Jerusalem and its largest city when it fell to Saladin in 1187 (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 155). In part, RCL recounts the crusaders’ retaking of Acre in 1191 after a lengthy siege. The city served as the administrative capital of the kingdom of Jerusalem and the main headquarters for all of the military orders until its fall in May of 1291 (Boas, Archaeology, p. 222) at which time the crusaders, most notably the military orders, lost their last citadel in the Holy Land (Nicholson, Templars, pp. 1, 125).

635 Massedoyne. Macedonia, ruled by Byzantines from 298 CE.

637 Cesare. Caesarea. Situated between Haifa and Arsuf and held by crusaders from 1101–87 and from 1191–1265, this fortified coastal city served as an important port for the kingdom of Jerusalem which relied heavily upon its maritime connections to western Europe. See La Monte, Latin Kingdom, pp. 226–27; and Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 43. After its capture by Baldwin I in 1101, the crusaders brutally massacred most of its inhabitants (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 2:73–74). See also line 4931.

638 Nynyve. See note to line 5189.

641 Sudan Turry. A likely reference to Sidon and Tyre. See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 472. These two cities are grouped together, for example, in the note to line 1307 below which describes Conrad of Montferrat’s purported offer to Saladin to attack Acre in exchange for Sidon and Tyre.

642 Ebedy. A city in the Holy Land, perhaps Ebron. See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 465.

643 Castel Orglyous. Perhaps named after the Saracen commander Orgayl in line 4151, this castle’s name evokes romance castles: e.g., the adventure at “Castell Orgulus” in Malory, Works, 2:463.

644 Aperyous. Perhaps Piraeus, a port on the Greek coast. See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 462.

645 Safrane. A town in the Holy Land, possibly the “Safoire” mentioned in the Estoire, which may correspond to Sephoria in Galilee. See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 472. Loomis suggests this reference is to a hamlet near Acre (Review, p. 456).

646 To Taboret and Archane. Taboret is likely a reference to Tiberias, a city on the Sea of Galilee. After the fall of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, it became the capitol of Tancred’s Principality of Galilee. In 1197 at the Battle of Hattin, Saladin defeated crusaders who were coming to relieve the Muslim siege of Tiberias. See Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:304–07; 2.452–58. Loomis suggests that Archane is a corrupt form of Archas, a fortified town near Tripoli (Review, p. 456).

651 the Grykys se. Frequently encountered in ME romance, the “greckes see,” (“Greeks' sea”) denotes the eastern Mediterranean, the boundary between the Christian and the Muslim world. See Hudson, Four Middle English Romances, p. 32, and compare Sir Isumbras (line 359); Octavian (line 407); Sir Eglamour (line 894), and The Man of Law’s Tale (CT II[B1]464).

657–1242 A goos . . . schal bene. This episode of Richard’s captivity in Germany appears in a and in all non-defective texts of b save L: e.g., E, missing initial leaves, begins on line 1857.

676 mynstrale. While minstrali may denote musical entertainment, it may also be an aberrant form of minstralsi(e, which may signify “the art of performing music or story-telling” (MED, s. v. minstralsi(e (n.), sense 1d). This is a concise statement of an important motivation for the patronage of minstrels or jongleurs, some of whom are associated with texts, the Oxford Roland, for example. See Taylor, “Minstrel Manuscript,” p. 44; but also see line 3780.

694 And chose thy selfe a ryche towne. This bequest would endow the minstrel with noble status, not an unusual effect of patronage.

722 treason. Felony (felonia) constituted a breach of fealty to one’s lord; it was a crime “involving some breach of the feudal bond between lord and man.” See Barron, “Penalties for Treason,” p. 188. Treason involved a crime against the crown (Pollack and Maitland, English Law, 2.501–08). Before its expansion in late thirteenth-century England, treasonous acts included “compassing or imagining the king’s death, sedition . . . by the vassal or by others at his instigation, and affording aid to the king's enemies” (Kaeuper, “Treason,” 12.165).

739 pryme. The Catholic Church divided the day into seven canonical hours. Prime occurred approximately at daybreak and lasted roughly from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.

740–98 The kynges . . . . ony stone. The exchange of blows episode recounted here represents the game of “pluck buffet,” a form of dueling by alternate blows. Representations of this game in folktales, romances, and chronicles are numerous and include, most famously, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Broughton discusses analogues in Legends of Richard I, pp. 120–23. In his use of wax, and in the lethality of his rage, Richard's response lies well outside the norms of heroic, not to mention chivalrous, behavior.

763 And sware his othe by Saynt Martyn. Like holy books, saints were invoked in the swearing of oaths because they (and their relics) had power. One of the most popular saints, Martin of Tours (c. 316–397) was born in Hungary, enrolled among the catechumens at an early age, and later was imprisoned for refusing to carry out his duties as a Roman soldier. After establishing the first monastery in Gaul, he became bishop of Tours in 372. A “pioneer of Western monasticism,” he established monasteries, destroyed heathen temples and sacred trees, and is reported to have healed lepers, among other miracles. Adding to his stature, Sulpicius Severus’s life of Martin became an important model for hagiographers. See Farmer, Saints, pp. 333–34.

791–92 And yf . . . bere shelde. The king’s son imposes the loss of his knightly status in the event he should move away or flinch.

801–880 That Rychard . . . . they gete. For a discussion of this passage in relation to other medieval “laments for the dead,” see Richmond, Laments for the Dead, pp. 103–04.

913 In the atyr of a squyer. Holding the first degree of knighthood, squires were novices in arms. One class of squires, Squires of the Body, “rendered personal service to the knight and his lady.” See Broughton, Dictionary, p. 298.

915 Seynt Symoun. One of the twelve apostles. To distinguish him from Simon Peter, he is often referred to as the Canaanite or the Zealot. See Farmer, Saints, p. 449.

929 tretour. Traitor. “One guilty of high treason against [the] king,” a crime which included violating “the king’s wife or daughter” (MED, s. v. traitour (n.), senses 1 and 1c). See also Barron, “Penalties for Treason,” p. 187.

931 Sere, be my Crystyndam. In this oath, the knight explicity swears by his Christian faith. In general terms the pledge of one’s faith, one’s most valuable possession, came to secure medieval oaths. See Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, 2.186–92.

958 Men schal no kyng to deth doo. Perhaps a corollary to the phrase, “The king can do no wrong,” which means that no one may sue or prosecute the king, even if he does wrong. See Pollock and Maitland, English Law, 1.518–20. Perhaps this is a reference to the annointed status of monarchs, whose consecration rendered them sacred and, like the clergy, immune from secular law. For references to the history of regal sanctity, see Zaller, “Desacrilization,” pp. 757–58.

1000 A kyng to hange and to drawe. See note to line 958.

1002 youre lyoun. That a Northern European king might own a lion may seem implausible: e.g., Curtius argues that lions and other exotic animals appearing in medieval literature constitute literary, not actual imports; see Curtius (Latin Middle Ages, pp.183–84). But at his hunting lodge at Woodstock, Henry I (1100–35) maintained a zoo “complete with leopards, lions, camels, lynxes, and a porcupine.” See Hollister, “Courtly Culture,” p. 3.

1011 The mayde aspyyd that resoun. Brunner observes that in b, the princess has no way of knowing of the plan to have a lion slay Richard (Löwenherz, p. 21).

1029–30 Away to wende . . . so greve. Given that Richard has grieved the king plenty, he is surely equivocating here. See line 1053.

1036 Fourty, whyte as ony mylk. Diverging from the a group, b [ (A, fol. 254v) includes the following couplet after this line: “And a sharpe Irissh knyf / As thow wolde saf my lyf.” In addition to other details (see note to line 1052 below), Brunner considers the knife a rationalization and therefore a revision of the original text (Löwenherz, pp. 20, 22).

1057–1428 Sertes, henne . . . . hys mede. For a variant passage in A, see the corresponding Textual Note. In these lines from b, the king’s daughter reveals her relation with Richard by admitting to her father that Richard promised her the lion’s heart. Considering such a revelation unlikely, Brunner regards the daughter’s statement as evidence that b is more distant from the original text than is a (Löwenherz, p. 22).

1103 sat on des. The dais was a raised platform on which was set the table reserved for the king and guests of honor. Compare line 3451 where, during Richard’s second act of cannibalism, the Saracen ambassadors are seated at a side table while Richard sits “on des.”

1109 Wythouten bred the herte he eet. A joke in itself, Richard’s eating the heart without bread may imply a lack of courtesy or proper etiquette: bread was often used as a trencher or platter upon which to eat. Compare lines 3447–48 and its corresponding note. Akbari argues that Richard gains the lion’s strength by consuming its heart, a result that mirrors the effect of the Eucharist (“Hunger,” p. 208). See also McDonald’s arguments referenced in the note to line 1118 below.

1112 This is a devyl, and no man. See note to line 500.

1118 Stronge Rychard, Coer de Lyoun. Romances often provide heroes with nicknames and calling brave men “lions” is a practice of long standing. McDonald lists early instances of Richard’s epithet in her argument that RCL transforms the metaphoric — a lion’s heart that stands for bravery — into a “mimetically coherent” narrative that renders the lion's heart both literal and edible: “That Richard’s identity is contingent on an act of ingestion accords with the narrative’s alimentary logic” (“Eating People,” pp. 138–39).

1132 traytour. See note on tretour at line 929.

1136 Raunsum for hys body take. For a discussion on the historical Richard’s capture and ransom, see Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 222–53.

1137 For my doughtyr that he has schent. In an aristocratic culture based on nobility of blood, a maiden’s virginity was prized and heavily controlled; its loss was considered a disaster. For a discussion of the Church’s not entirely successful prohibition upon sex outside of marriage, see, e.g., Brundage, Law, Sex and Christian Society, p. 459.

1175 chaunceler. The king’s chief administrative officer, the chancellor, “served as an itinerant justice, supervised the work of the exchequer, carried on various judicial services, administered all vacant holdings in the king’s hand, handled diplomatic contacts and received important visitors, and dispensed royal patronage,” (Alexander, “Becket,” p. 151). In addition, the chancellor held special assignments like governing England during the king’s absence.

1186 Bothe myn erchebysschopys tway. The archbishop of Canterbury and the archbishop of York. During Richard’s reign (1189–1199), the archbishops of Canterbury were Baldwin (1184–1193) and Hubert Walter (1193–1207), both of whom saw action in the Crusades. Having travelled to the Holy Land with Richard on the Third Crusade, Walter brought the army back to England and also raised Richard’s ransom of 100,000 marks. Geoffrey Plantagenet, illegitimate son of Henry II, served as archbishop of York from 1191 to 1212.

1191 seel. Attached to documents, the Great Seal of the Realm signaled the king's official approval.

1223 Of every kyrke, lesse and more. The lesser and greater churches, cathedrals as opposed to parish churches.

1258–68 The kyng . . . . to undyrstande. As with the summons to a parliament at Lincoln in Havelok, the king’s broad summons here emphasizes a national framework (Turville-Petre, England the Nation, p. 147). Ruling through parliament and caring for one’s people were ideal traits for an English king: compare Turville-Petre’s discussion of the Short Metrical Chronicle (England the Nation, p. 109). The summons, by including both high and low classes, formulates an assembly of “an especially broad range of constituents,” thus expressing both populist and nationalist impulses (Heng, “Romance of England,” p. 158).

1267 Serjauntes and every freholdande. Seriaunt or sergeaunt is a broad term that included a rank of troops in both cavalry and infantry (Broughton, Dictionary, p. 415). Here, the term likely signifies a “tenant by military service under the rank of knight” (MED, s. v. sergeaunt (n.), sense 2a). Freholdande, a participle used as a noun, denotes a freeholder (MED, s. v. freholding (n.)). A freeholder is a tenant whose land is a freehold, that is, land held in fee simple in consideration for explicit services or payments (MED, s. v. frehold (n.)).

1270 Grykkyssche see. See note to line 651.

1273 And the croys that Cryst was on ded. See note to line 1287 below.

1287 Duke Myloun. The defeat of the Christians under Duke Myloun motivates the crusade in RCL; he corresponds to Guy of Lusignan, who was king of Jerusalem from 1186–1192 through his marriage to King Baldwin’s widow, Sibylla, a cousin of Richard’s and a member of the house of Anjou (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 122). Guy’s defeat by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and his loss of the True Cross prompted the Third Crusade, the effort to restore the kingdom of Jerusalem. Though a brave soldier, he was considered “a most incompetent general and an ineffective king” (Painter, “Third Crusade,” p. 51). See also note to line 1307; Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 51, 469; and Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 196. “Myloun” or “Milon” is perhaps a copyist’s mistake for “Guion” (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 362n6).

1291 Erl Renaud. A likely reference to Reynald of Châtillon, Prince of Antioch, whom the chronicles report was beheaded by Saladin himself after the battle of Hattin (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 1.5, p. 34; Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 196; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 471).

1295 Of Sarezynys that mysbelevyd. For a discussion of the medieval West’s use of the term “Saracen” as a Muslim Oriental, “a racial and religious marker,” see Heng, Empire, p. 334n2. The growing scholarship on the medieval West’s misperceptions of Islam includes Tolan, Saracens, and Frasetto and Blanks, Western Views.

1296 Sawdon. The title, “sultan” (as well as “emir”), historically referred to Muslim governors who gave allegiance to a caliph; more generally, sawdon may denote the ruler of a Muslim state.

1298 Eerl Roys. Brunner equates Earl Roys with Reginald of Kerak, one of many crusaders massacred by Saladin at Hattin. As Roys’s betrayal of the Christians results in the loss of the True Cross and Acre, Brunner suggests he may also represent Raymond II of Tripoli (Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 52, 471). Many believed Raymond guilty of treachery because he was one of the few to escape massacre at the Battle of Hattin, perhaps an unfair conclusion; see Ambroise, Estoire, 2:68n195. Ambroise states that Raymond and Saladin’s notorious alliance led to the loss of the Holy Cross and to Christian suffering, in short, Saladin’s victory at Hattin (Estoire, 1:39, lines 2443–47). He was also accused of betraying the Christians at the Battle of Tiberias (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 363n1).

1307 Markes Feraunt. A northern Italian nobleman, Conrad, was the marquis of Montferrat from 1191 and, shortly before his death in 1192, the king of Jerusalem by marriage to Isabella of Jerusalem. A controversial figure in the Third Crusade, he arrived in Tyre after its residents agreed to terms with Saladin folowing the fall of Jerusalem in 1187; but under Conrad’s able leadership, the city rallied and withstood a Muslim siege (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 2:471–72). After Saladin released Guy of Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, Conrad denied him entry into Tyre, ostensibly over the latter's failures at Hattin. In Guy and Conrad’s feud over the kingship of Jerusalem, Richard had originally sided with Guy, which did not help the relationship between Richard and Conrad. Their difficult relationship led many Franks to believe Richard played a role in Conrad’s assassination in 1192.

Conrad’s dubious diplomatic activities rendered him suspect: among other acts, he had offered to attack Acre if Saladin, in return, ceded Sidon and Tyre. (In 1192, galleys under Conrad’s command, in fact, attacked Acre in an attempt to wrest control from Guy.) In like manner, Richard’s open dealings with leading Muslims earned the distrust of other crusaders and helped justify his capture and imprisonment by the German emperor, Henry VI (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 23, 147–150, 183, 193, 195).

1310 Crystyndom he forsook. Conrad’s dealings with Saladin no doubt inform this characterization; see note at line 1307 above. Analogues of Christians betraying their fellow warriors to Muslims — though without forsaking Christianity — are numerous and include Ganelon from the Song of Roland.

1311–12 Thus thorwgh . . . Holy Croys. RCL revises history by diminishing Saladin’s role and implying Christian control of Syria; but the battle of Hattin in 1187 enabled Saladin to consolidate his already substantial control of the territory. These lines equate Roys with Raymond II of Tripoli; see notes to lines 1298 and 1318.

1318 Kyng Bawdewynys sone. Duke Myloun corresponds historically to Guy of Lusignan, who was not King Baldwin IV’s son, but the spouse of Baldwin’s sister, Sibylla. Through this marriage Guy became King of Jerusalem; in 1187, he lost the kingdom at the Battle of Hattin as well as the True Cross. See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 54, and Runciman’s discussion of Guy (History of the Crusades 2:424–60).

1323 Urban. Pope Gregory VIII, not Urban, led the Third Crusade (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 54). Urban II, though, attained fame in part from his advocating a crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095; compare Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 363n4. For a discussions of Urban’s role and sources of his speech, see, e.g., Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:106–118.

1325 And asoylyd hem of here synne. Promoting crusade at his famous speech at the Council of Clermont, Urban II is reported by Guibert de Nogent, among others, to have absolved all those who vowed to go on crusade (Peters, First Crusade, p. 37; Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:108).

1331 The duke of Bloys, the duke of Burgoyne. Theobald V, count of Blois (1130–91), and a crusade participant, died during the siege of Acre (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 463). Hugo III, duke of Burgundy (1143–92), accompanied the king of France on crusade but remained in the Holy Land as leader after Philip Augustus’s departure (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 463).

1332 The duke of Ostrych, and duke of Cessoyne. Leopold V, duke of Austria (1167–94), participated in the siege of Acre (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 463). He quarrelled with Richard after Richard removed his banners and returned to Austria soon thereafter. See the note to lines 5997–98 below. No count of Soissons is known to have participated in the Third Crusade. Nor did Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, participate in this crusade (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 464).

1335 The eerl of Flaunders, the eerl of Coloyne. Philip of Alsace died on 1 June, 1191, during the siege of Acre (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 466). The Earl of Colyne is a fictitious person (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 464).

1336 The eerl of Artays, the eerl of Boloyne. At the time of the Third Crusade, Louis, the eldest son of Philip II Augustus of France, was the count of Artois. He inherited the county at the age of three when his mother, Isabelle, died in 1190. Renaud de Demmartin (Reginald of Boulogne) was count of Boulogne from 1190 until his death in 1227. He is not known to have participated in the Third Crusade.

1343 At Westemynstyr heeld a ryal feste. See the notes to line 153 and line 241 above.

1348–75 My leve frendes . . . . ye or nay. Though the passage is simplified and condensed, RCL presents typical crusading propaganda. Such propaganda is widely studied, especially with regard to the First Crusade; see, e.g., Cowdrey, “Pope Urban II’s Preaching” and its substantial references.

1351 lewyd and lerde. Proverbial: The Ormulum, line 19930; Chaucer’s Physician’s Tale (CT VI(C)]283). Compare Whiting L157.

1354 Hys bulle. Granting privileges or issuing instructions, papal bulls were a form of charter or diploma whose name reflects the bulla, a bubble-like circular plate, source of the pope’s authenticating seal: the name of the seal came to stand for the document.

1363 Crystene men, children, wyf, and grome. Altering history to demonize Muslims, RCL reports the savage slaying of women and children by Muslims; but Saladin was humane in his conquest of Jerusalem in 1187: not a single person was injured nor a building looted (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 2:466). In contrast, the crusaders who took Jerusalem in 1099 massacred so many Muslims that they waded in blood: “[M]addened by so great a victory after such suffering, [they] had rushed through the streets and into the houses and mosques [of Jerusalem] killing all that they had met, men, women and children alike” (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:286).

1387 Mekyl folk that the croys have nomen. The defining ritual of crusading, “taking the Cross,” was also the earliest ceremony that distinguished holy war as a religious activity: copies of the ceremony were widely dispersed (Tyerman, God’s War, pp. 480, 892). Urban II’s role in founding this ritual is clear in Guibert de Nogent’s report of his speech at the Council of Clermont: “He instituted a sign well suited to so honorable a profession by making the figure of the Cross, the stigma of the Lord’s Passion, the emblem of the soldiery, or rather, of what was to be the soldiery of God. This, made of a kind of cloth, he ordered to be sewed upon the shirts, cloaks and byrra of those who were about to go” (Peters, First Crusade, p. 37). See also line 2143.

1392–93 Thrittene schyppys . . . Of bees. Heng argues that these bees with their hives and honey express economic and symbolic values that constitute “[i]n a single image, an ideological assertion of the [English] nation’s character and unity, and an indelibly memorable romance weapon” (Empire, pp. 101–02). See lines 2902 (and its corresponding note) and 2910.

1394 He leet make a tour ful strong. An important element in siege warfare, towers protected attackers and their ladders as they stormed a fortress wall.

1398 With an engine hyghte robynet. As lines 2921–24 indicate, this engine is likely a trebuchet, a lever and sling designed to hurl large stones hundreds of feet.

1399 mangenel. A mangonel is a machine used to hurl stones and other heavy objects during sieges and defences of cities and castles. See also line 2904.

1407 maystyr Aleyn Trenchemere. Appropriately named, Alan Trenchemer (“Cut the sea”) was a celebrated twelfth century mariner who commanded the ship that brought the king from Germany to England after his captivity (Roger of Howden, Chronica 3:206, 3:235; Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 222; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 58). The historical commanders of the departing fleet were “Gerard, Archbishop of Aix, Bernhard, Bishop of Bayonne, Robert de Sabloil, Richard de Camville, and Willaim de Fortz of Oleron” (Nicholas, Royal Navy, p. 87). See also note to line 2479.

1415 Catayl, dromoun, and galeye. Catail designates the principal ship (MED); a dromoun(d) was a fast and large seagoing vessel (MED); and galei(e) referred to a seagoing ship with both sails and oars (MED, sense 1a).

1417 Marchylé. Marseille. Richard’s sending his fleet ahead with orders to wait for him in Marseille is historically accurate (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 52).

1423 Modard, the kyng. Heng observes that the name of this king who serves as Richard’s chief Christian foe recalls “Mordred,” who betrayed Arthur in Geoffrey’s Historia, and thus serves as one instance of RCL’s “repeated invocation of Arthur as Richard’s forbear in cultural mythology” (Empire, pp. 66, 336n8). See also Jones, “Richard the Lionheart in German Literature,” p. 71n3, and Blurton, Cannibalism, p. 124.

1430 Goddys owne palmere. As the crusades were conceived as both military expedition and pilgrimage, crusaders were both soldiers and pilgrims; see the Introduction (p. 2 and p. 2n7).

1432 The erchebysschop, Sere Bawdewynys. While the text indicates that Baldwin, the Archbishop of Canterbury, departed in advance directly from England, Baldwin and others sailed from Marseille to Outremer, arriving in Tyre on 16 September, 1190 (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 129; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 54).

1437–1666 Three hoostes . . . Holy Londe. Richard’s journey of revenge to Germany is not included in the b version. Brunner does not consider this episode to have been part of the lost Anglo-Norman original, in part due to the present participle in -and(e) in lines 1522 and 1525 (Löwenherz, p. 19). In contrast, witnesses of b take Richard to Marseille (A, fol. 255v).

To Marcelly he wente ful right
With Barons and many a knyght,
W[ith] shipp[es] galies grete and smale,
Ne couthe no man but god that tale.

See Brunner (Löwenherz, p. 157n).

1450 Traytours lookes ye honge and drawe. Punishments for treason included hanging, drawing, quartering, emasculation, disemboweling, and beheading. Some traitors were even flayed alive: see Barron’s discussion of these severe punishments, (“Penalties for Treason,” pp. 189–200) and the note to line 722.

1452 The bysschop of York, my chauncelere. Richard’s chancellor was actually William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 121–22). See the note at line 1175 for a discussion of the chancellor’s duties.

1481 styward . A steward is the “principal officer in charge of the domestic affairs of a royal or imperial household, a seneschal” (MED, s. v. stuard (n.), sense 1b).

1512 servyse. “Service” here refers to the sequence of dishes.

1549 Marburette. Perhaps Marbourg (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 358n1).

1565 Carpentras. Located in southeastern France, Carpentras, never part of Germany, was part of the Holy Roman Empire (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 358n3).

1588 Ye schole be kyssyd. A common practice, the exchange of kisses between men formed part of such rituals as the ceremony of homage where the lord “kissed his [new] vassal on the mouth” (Major, “‘Bastard Feudalism,’” pp. 509–10). Overtly representing reconciliation, kisses between males are frequent in RCL; see lines 607, 1613, 1673, 1749, and 2687.

1639 Twoo ryche rynges of gold. A folklore motif, rings that bestow invulnerability occur in a number of ME romances; see, e.g., Sir Eglamour of Artois, lines 607–12; and Sir Perceval of Galles, lines 1839–64.

1649 Serjauntes of armes. A sergeant of arms is an officer in the service of the king or other person of rank who is usually armed (MED, s. v., sergeaunt (n.) 2b).

1657 Roberd of Leycester. The historical Robert de Beaumont, fourth Earl of Leicester, accompanied Richard I on the Third Crusade. As he does with Fulk D’Oilly and Thomas Moulton, Finlayson suggests that Robert’s extensive role in Richard’s crusading exploits in the a version of RCL may serve to glorify the redactor’s patron or family (“‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p.166).

1659 Robert Tourneham. Mentioned in lines 2102, 2120, 4051, 4900, 6133, and 7151, Robert de Turnham (of Thornham) (d. 1211) was a soldier and administrator closely associated with Richard I during the Third Crusade and afterward. Having commanded half the naval force during the conquest of Cyprus, Turnham and Richard de Camville served as joint administrators of Cyprus after the crusaders departed. As Richard’s familiaris, he carried the king’s equipment from the Holy Land to Europe. He also served Richard as seneschal of Anjou (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 150–52, 329).

1661 Al redy they founde there here flete. Historically, Richard did not find his fleet in Marseille but waited there for days before giving up and proceeding to the Holy Land in hired ships (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 55; and Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 129–30).

1669–2040 Before the gates . . . . he wente. For a discussion of the turbulant relations between Richard, Philip, Tancred, and other historical points of tension that characterized Richard’s adventures in Sicily, see Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:38–43; and Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 132–39. By reproducing only Philip’s aggression, not Tancred’s, RCL clearly displays its anti-French bias.

1669 Gryffouns. Crusaders and others insulted Byzantine Greeks by calling them gryphons, the name of a fabulous animal with the front of an eagle and the rear of a lion. Sicily formed part of the Byzantine empire until the late eleventh century, but the insult applied to Muslims as well. See Nicholson, Itinerarium, p. 155n45. As the West believed Greeks to be thieves, the insult may stress the gryphon’s rapacious nature (Livingston, “Grifon,” p. 48).

1677 tresoun. See the note on treason at line 722 above.

1679 a wryt. Philip sent not a writ — a legal document that compels action — but a letter to Tancred of Lecce, the illegitimate cousin of the late William II of Sicily, maligning Richard as a traitor. Tancred delivered the letter to Richard who declared his innocence immediately. See Roger of Howden, Chronica, 3:98 (trans. Archer, Crusade, pp. 49–50); cited by Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 55. See note to line 1726 below.

1700–1701 Kyng Richard . . . Holy Lande. These lines refer to Richard’s protected status as both pilgrim and crusader. Having taken the cross — croysyd — he has taken crusade vows that both impose obligations and afford protections; see Brundage, Medieval Canon Law, pp. 30–65.

1712 Rys. Reggio di Calabria, the capital of Tancred’s kingdom of Sicily (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 471).

1726 mysdede thee. Historically, Richard held legitimate grievances against Tancred. After William II, king of Sicily, died in 1189, Tancred became king. Not trusting William’s widow, Joanna (Richard’s sister), he held her in confinement and would not release her dower. Tancred also withheld from Richard a large legacy that William II had left to Richard’s father, Henry II (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:38).

1762 Quarters. A quarter is “a unit of dry measure of approximately eight bushels” (MED, quarter(e (n.), sense 3e).

1768 Under the house of the Hospytall. The Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. Originally a group of men attached to an Amalfi hospital that cared for pilgrims to the Holy Land, the Hospitallers became a military order after the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099. They were the earliest order of crusading knights, a chivalric order that combined Christian asceticism with chivalric ideals. Organized to protect the pilgrims’ hospital in Jerusalem, they took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They became powerful through donations and built castles and hospitals in the Holy Land and in Europe. Hospitaller influence in Sicily can be dated to the time of Roger II, king of Sicily (1130–54) but increased during the reign of Frederick II, king of Sicily and Jerusalem. From their headquarters in the Holy Land, the Krak de Chevaliers, “one of the largest castels ever built,” the Hospitallers played a vital, well-documented role in the crusades, as did the Templars (Nickel, “Chivalry,” 3.303–04). The Knights of St. John exist today as the Knights of Malta. See also line 3152.

1771–72 The Frensshe . . . Englyssche knyghtes. Chronicle accounts report that conflict with the local citizens prompted Richard’s conquest of Messina. See, e. g., Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.11–22, pp. 154–70; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 52.

1776 Of the Englysshe taylardes. In RCL, the French and Greeks repeatedly abuse the English by calling them “tailed ones;” see lines 1878, 1886, 1960, 2006, 2124–25, and 2158. As beasts and devils have tails, the insult “makes the English over into devilish unbelievers and bestial animals,” the very heathen hounds they considered their enemies — Muslims, Jews, heretics — to be while mocking English sexual practices, especially those of Richard I (Heng, Empire, pp. 94–95). The only instances of this term of abuse noted by the MED occur in RCL: s.v. tailarde (sense a). The epithet caudatus Anglicus or “tailed English,” likely derives from a legend that has pagan Englishmen growing tails after the devil urged them to abuse St. Augustine of Canterbury: for a discussion of sources and scholarship, see Broughton (Legends of Richard I, pp. 93–97).

1807–09 The table . . . in haste. Compare The King of Tars, lines 101–05:

He shuld venge him wiþ his swerd,
         He swore bi seyn Mahoun.
Þe table so heteliche he smot
It fel into þe fire fot-hot,
           loked as a lyoun.
1810 He wolde not wende for Crystes faste. The conflict in Messina actually broke out on 4 October and lasted not days but hours (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.16, p. 159; for additional sources, see Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 55).

1814–16 The erle . . . Longe Spaye. William Longespée, the third Earl of Salisbury, an illegitimate son of Henry II and Countess Ida de Tosny, took no part in the Third Crusade. See Loomis, Review, p. 456; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 468. He should not be confused with William Longespee II, an English hero of the Battle of Mansura during the Seventh Crusade. (Lloyd, “William Longespee II,” p. 41).

1842 mayster maryners. Wardens of the ports.

1849–50 I have . . . tembre of Englonde. Present in the earliest manuscript witness, L (the Auchinleck MS), c. 1330, this line, a “charming nationalist fiction,” is set within RCL’s representation of an historical event — Richard’s subjugation of Sicily — and may reflect English nationalist sentiment “on the eve of Edward III’s long-lasting war with France” (Finlayson, “‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p. 171).

1856 mate-gryffon. Frequently used — see lines 2898, 2943, 6090, and 6109 — the mate-gryphon was a portable siege engine whose name means “harm (evil) of the Greeks.” Historically, Richard’s mate-griffon was a wooden castle erected on a hill overlooking Messina. See Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.20, p. 167; Gillingham, Richard I, p. 136; and Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 55–56.

1858 And holde up your manshyppes. “Holde up your manshyppes” may be paraphrased as “maintain or raise your spirits” (MED, s. v. manship(e (n.), sense 1c). Heng includes this phrase in her discussion of RCL’s phallic imagery, bestial puns, and sodomy (Empire, p. 95).

1878 The tayled dogges. See note at line 1776.

1902 wylde fyre. Also known as Greek fire, this incendiary, which the Byzantines developed, burned on water and enabled them to break the Arab siege of Constantinople in the late seventh century. Arab use of the weapon during the Crusades produced superstitious awe among the Christians. Frequent mention of Greek fire in chronicles, chansons de geste, and recipe books indicates a cultural preoccupation with the weapon that RCL, no doubt, reflects; see lines 2477, 2589, 2645–46, 2650, 2761, 4398, 5269, 5432, 5439, 6101, and 6161. Wildfire became an integral part of crusading warfare. Defenders poured or shot the incendiary onto besiegers through a variety of means. See Partington’s Greek Fire for a sustained treatment of the weapon.

1909 londe gate. As its name implies, a fortified entrance on land as opposed to a water gate; compare Bevis of Hampton, lines 4491–92: “And afterward, ase ye mai hure, / Londegate thai sette a fure.”

1919 a gate one. Chronicles describe Richard’s forces entering Messina through an unguarded back gate. See Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.16, p. 162; Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 59.

1931 His baner upon the wall he pulte. Chronicles report King Philip’s anger at seeing Richard’s banners above Messina. The people of Messina must have deemed Philip’s presence a guarantee of their safety, so Richard’s victory humiliated him: “He [Philip] demanded that the banners should be taken down and his own hoisted up in their place. To plant a banner in a captured town was to stake a claim to a share in its government and its plunder” (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 135).

1939 Porcules. A portcullis is a “heavy wooden or metal grating . . . housed in a castle room immediately above the entrance passage and dropped vertically in grooves in the wall to block a passageway” (Broughton, Dictionary, p. 376).

1967 vyage. OF voiage came to convey both “pilgrimage” and “crusade”; see Trotter, Medieval French Literature, pp. 38–39.

1975 so sayth the boke. A reference to the French source; see note at line 21.

1984–85 And bad Rycharde . . . agayne than. This demonstration of Philip’s avaricious hypocrisy is another example of RCL’s anti-French bias

2003 Margaryte. This comical French justice’s name may derive from Tancred’s admiral, Margaritus (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:39).

2016 And Rycharde was soone at his tayle. See Heng’s discussion of the varied resonances in RCL’s use of “tail” (Empire, p. 95). See also the note to line 1776.

2019 Ternes and quernes. When used non-figuratively, these terms refer to casts in which both dice yield either three or four respectively. See MED, terne (n.2).

2040 And than on his waye he wente. After this line, E, D, A, and H — each manuscript of the b group (except L) — contains a passage that refers to Richard’s historical mother, Eleanor of Aquitane, and his future wife, Berengaria of Navarre:



His moder sent hym a fair[e] p[re]sent:
Elianor[e] brought hym Beringer,
The kynges dought[er] of Nauern[er].
King Ric[hard], the p[re]cou[n]s,
Beringer he shulde spouse,
And he sayde, “Nay, not in þ[at] sesouns.”
He nolde her spouse amonge þ[e] G[ri]ffouns.
Aft[er] Est[er], yf he hadde lyf,
He wolde her spouse to his wyf.
Alianore her leue toke
And wente home, so seþ þe boke. (A, fol. 258r)
2046 With moche store of sylver and golde. Lacking in the a group, after this line in b appears the following passage that mentions both Berengaria and Joan, Richard’s sister:

Joh[a]n and Beringer, his wyf,
Dude him byfor[e] to arif.
K[ing] R[ichard] come after, so seith þe boke,
All his grete nawes for to loke,
Ffor the tempeste and for the wawes,
And eke for the maistres outlawes. (A, fol. 258r)
2049–2457 Charged with tresour . . . . helde afterwarde. RCL’s account of the storm, the three wrecked ships, their plundering by Cypriots, and Richard’s conquest of Cyprus reflect historical events; see, e.g., Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 144–53; and Edbury, Conquest of Jerusalem, pp. 175–82. Though not religiously significant like Jerusalem, Cyprus was of great strategic value: it offered “a rich and secure supply and naval base close to the coast of Palestine”; and its emperor, in alliance with Saladin, had been denying supplies to the starving crusaders at Acre (Prestwich, “Rex Bellicosus,” pp. 8–9). While Acre, the last possession of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, fell in 1291, Cyprus did not fall to the Turks until 1571 (Prestwich, “Rex Bellicosus,” pp. 8–9, p. 16). For Richard, taking Cyprus was “the most far-sighted and the most enduring of all of his achievements on the Crusade” (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:46). See the textual note to line 2040, which mentions an additional or fourth ship whose passengers included Richard’s historical mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, his sister, Joan, and his betrothed, Berengaria of Navarre.

2051 A grete tempest arose sodaynly. While such tempests are frequent plot devices in the romance genre, a storm in fact made travel difficult for Richard’s fleet (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 144).

2069 Grete slaughter of our Englysshe maked. An exaggeration. The English “who reached dry land were imprisoned and their money taken” (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 144).

2102 Roberte of Turnam. See note to line 1659.

2107 Saynt Denys. St. Denys, bishop of Paris, martyr and patron of France. The abbey built over his and his fellow martyrs’ tomb became the burial place for French kings. Richard’s swearing by the patron saint of France may reflect the French source that the narrator repeatedly invokes; see lines 21 and 3012 and related notes. Of course, the exigencies of rhyme may have influenced the choice: Ailes and Barber note a similar instance involving a Welshman in Ambroise (Estoire, 2:84 and 2:84n265). That a cult of St. Denys existed in England with “no fewer than forty-one ancient churches in his name” lessens the oddity of an English king swearing an oath on the name of France’s patron saint (Farmer, Saints, p. 135). See also line 3278.

2135 stewarde. “Steward” refers to the official in charge of the domestic affairs of a house or estate, a seneschal. The position, “high stewarde,” refers to a position in charge of the domestic affairs of a great or royal house, in this case, that of the emperor of Cyprus. See lines 2345 and 2435.

2143 For he is crossed and pylgrym. See note to line 1387.

2147–62 The eyen . . . . tourne agayne! Paris suggests a story as a source for this event from the songs of the First Crusade, that of Estatin l’esnasé (Tatinus the noseless). In Pierre Langtoft’s chronicle account of Richard’s conquest of Cyprus, the emperor mistreats a seneshal named Statin (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 389). Jentsch notes Roger of Howdon’s account of the Emperor of Cyprus removing a baron’s nose upon receiving unwelcome advice (“Quellen,” p. 223). Ambroise reports that the emperor cut off the hands, feet, and noses of captured crusaders and of Cypriots who had surrendered to Richard (Estoire, 1:31–32, lines 1944–55). See also Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 64–65, 64n5.

2185–86 The erle . . . he layed. In the medieval West, chess was viewed more as a noble game than as a frivolous or harmful pastime. Peter Damien’s imposing a penance in 1061 to a bishop for playing chess and St. Louis’s ban of chess in France in 1254 were isolated events. Even though chess was viewed as “ennobling men’s minds instead of corrupting their souls” (Nickel, “Games,” p. 351), playing chess for money likely tarnished the nobility of the pursuit: for example, the author of the pseudo-Ovidian De vetula praises the game’s honorable, noble status but rebukes those who play chess for money (Adams, Power Play, pp. 167–68n19). Here, RCL’s populist tendencies emphasize not nobility and honor but gambling and aggressive, virile competition. Compare, for example, the opening of the Middle Dutch Roman van Walewein in which a chess board magically floats through a window and bedazzles Arthur’s court before disappearing. In this courtly romance, Arthur’s quest to find the magic chess board expresses a connection between the game and political order, between playing “chess and improving one’s ability to govern one’s kingdom (and, implicitly . . . one’s self).” This connection is made explicit in such thirteenth-century treatises as Jacobus de Cessolis’s De ludo scachorum (Adams, Power Play, p. 4). As a popular romance, RCL presents the virile hero’s victorious wagering, not the privileged status of chess or its ties to the political order. See Adams, Power Play, pp. 3–4.

2194 In dede lyon, in thought, lybarde. A formulation that stresses the bravery of the lion and the craftiness or cunning of the leopard.

2202 the hayle stone. For a discussion of the collective singular, see Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 43.

2209–11 Kynge Rycharde . . . the nones. Intended for Saracens and deployed by the English king, this ax symbolizes the nationalism that characterizes the poem's crusading ideal (Turville-Petre, England the Nation, p. 123). Favored by Anglo-Saxon warriors, used by Normans at the battle of Hastings and by Anglo-Normans afterwards, the battle-ax, as used by Richard “unites two opposing military and political lineages, signaling their combination in the now-English king” (Heng, Empire, p. 101; see also Akbari, “Hunger,” p. 203). One chronicle reports that Richard, upon arriving to relieve the siege of Jaffa, “armed himself with his hauberk, hung his shield at his neck and took a Danish axe in his hand” and “jumped into the sea followed by his men” (Edbury, Conquest of Jerusalem, p. 117). An illustration in L (fol. 326), which depicts in the bow of a galley, “a bearded knight, on whose red surcoat white leopards are distinguishable, grasping a large ax in his hands,” likely refers to this chronicle report. See Loomis’s description of the illustration (“Pas Saladin,” pp. 522–23). See also the note to line 4594.

2251 The emperours doughter. The emperor’s daughter, a child, was captured after the siege of Kyrenia. Richard entrusted her into the care of his queen (Ambroise, Estoire, 1:18, lines 1076–83; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.41, p. 195).

2334 That one hyght Favell and that other Lyarde. According to Ambroise, Richard seized several horses in Cyprus, including the emperor’s own “Fauvel,” who became his war-horse (Estoire, 1:30, lines 1840–42; 1:31, line 1927; 1:107, lines 6597–98; 1:115, line 7104; and 1:125, line 7735). The second name, “Lyarde,” need not be historical as both names indicate color: fauvel designates a dun, fallow, or fawn-colored horse, and liard, the color gray (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 59). Broughton argues that “Favel” means “favor” and cites its occurrence in the chanson de geste, Otinel (Legends of Richard I, p. 100).

2345 hygh stewarde. See note to line 2135.

2353–54 Homage by . . . hym helde. Expressing feudal vassalage, the emperor submits to Richard in the ritual of homage that makes Richard his lord. The emperor’s submission and other details correspond to historical accounts; see, e.g., Ambroise, Estoire, 1:32–33, lines 2006–61 (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 52).

2383–85 He fell on . . . good entent. The emperor fulfills Richard’s two demands from lines 2372–73: “And crye me mercy with sorowe, / And homage to me yelde or bere.” In the traditional ceremony of commendation, “the man doing homage clasped his hands together, placed them between the hands of his superior, and briefly acknowledged himself to be his ‘man’” (Reedy, “Commendation,” p. 490).

2387 Fewté he dyde hym, and homage. A reference to the oath of fealty that normally accompanied the ritual of homage discussed above in the note to lines 2383–85. By this oath, the vassal swore — that is, invoked the divine name in witness to the truth — to be faithful to his master.

2443 treuth. See note at line 2387 above.

2455 He made hym stewarde of that londe. Richard left the governance of Cyprus, not to Robert of Leicester but to Richard of Camville and Robert of Turnham (Roger of Howdon, Chronica, 3:111; Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 56).

2472–2606 They sawgh . . . Seynt Edmound. RCL’s depiction of the capture and sinking of the Saracen ship reflects chronicle accounts of a similar incident, for example, the Saracens’ claim of being French (line 2489), and the richness of the ship’s stores of weapons and food (lines 2588–98). See, e.g., Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 157–58. The passage, though, omits one weapon found in the chronicles: 200 deadly snakes (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.42, pp. 195–99; and Ambroise, Estoire, 1:35–36, lines 2141–99). Since this portion follows historical accounts, Brunner argues that it formed part of the original French poem (Löwenherz, p. 52).

2477 wylde fyre. Wild fire. See note at line 1902.

2479 Aleyn Trenchemer. Compare Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.42, p. 196, which names Peter des Barres as the sailor Richard commands to approach the vessel.

2495 Seynt Thomas of Ynde. The Saracen swears by St. Thomas, the apostle who doubted Christ’s Resurrection. By one tradition, Thomas evangelized the Syrian Christians in Malabar and was killed and buried at Mylapre, near Madras (Farmer, Saints, pp. 470–71).

2541 The galey rente with the bronde. Compare Nicholson, Itinerarium, 2.42, p. 198. The bronde was an ornamental timber on the bow.

2580 Sayden he was a devyl of helle. See note to line 500 above.

2589 Many barel ful of fyr Gregeys. See note at line 1902 above.

2590 And many a thousand bowe Turkeys. Though requiring greater strength than other bows, the shorter Turkish or Turco-Mongol form of composite bow was well suited for use on horseback. For a discussion, see Tarassuk and Blair, Arms and Weapons, pp. 98–99.

2600–04 For hadde . . . ben iwunne! An accurate assessment: “How great a loss this was to the Muslims is clear from Baha al-Din’s claim that Saladin took the news ‘with perfect resignation to God’s will.’ For Imad al-Din, it was a critical turning point” (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 158; citations omitted).

2606 Seynt Edmound. This reference to Edmund, king of East Anglia (841–69 CE), links Richard’s crusading exploits to an early English warrior-saint. After his defeat and capture by the Vikings, Edmund would neither deny his Christian faith nor rule as a Viking vassal; thus, he became a martyr and hero and “fulfilled the ideals of Old English heroism, provincial independence, and Christian sanctity” (Farmer, Saints, pp. 151–52).

2635–36 And whan . . . it atwayne. For a chronicle reference to a chain drawn across the entrance to the Acre’s harbor, see Ambroise, Estoire, 1:63–64, lines 3940–54.

2641 clarré. Clary, a wine sweetened with honey and then clarified by straining.

2651 Gunnes he hadde on wondyr wise. For b’s shorter description of Richard’s arrival in Acre, see Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 225n.

2656 melle. Heng argues that the “English king’s supernatural windmill,” which appears to grind not grain but bones, “is a hyperbolic expression of English, and Western, technological superiority. . .” (Empire, p. 102).

2679 And sayd he was the devyll of hell. For RCL’s frequent association of Richard with the devil, see the note to line 500.

2693–94 The archebysschop . . . his servyse. The historical record indicates that the Pisans swore allegiance to Richard upon his arrival, and that the archbishop of Pisa, Ubaldo Laufranchi, was their leader. For references, see Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 52n; and Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 378.

2699–2884. Kynge Richard . . . to felle. The archbishop's account of the siege of Acre. One chronicle reports that the siege of Acre began in August of 1189 and lasted four years, not seven (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 1.26, p. 70). See also Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 52–53. For an historical discussion of the siege, see Rogers, Latin Siege Warfare, pp. 212–36.

2710 Saladyn the Sawdon. Saladin (Salah ed-Din Yusuf, 1138–1193), a Kurdish soldier and brilliant military commander who became Sultan of Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo, and who founded the Ayyubid dynasty. Militarily, he is noted for defeating the crusaders at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and for retaking Jerusalem and regaining control of Syria from the crusaders; only Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch remained under Frankish control. Saladin’s reputation for chivalry and for charity is equally impressive. See the Introduction, pp. 15–17.

2713–20 And with hym . . . . hys name! Though his behavior was considered treasonous by some, Conrad of Montferrat never converted to Islam. In fact, after the conquest of Acre, his personal standard accompanied those of Richard and Philip as they were borne into Acre (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:51). Both he and Richard held negotiations with Saladin that damaged their reputations with contemporaries (Ambroise, Estoire, 141–44, lines 2574–2737; Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 157–58, 162, 183–84). See note at line 1307, and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 56.

2714 Mahoun and Termagaunt. Typical of the medieval West’s inaccurate conception of Islam, Richard portrays Muslims as polytheists who worship Termagaunt, a fictitious deity, and Muhammad, not the prophet but a god. References to other Muslim gods include Jupiter (Jubiterre) at line 4451, Apollo (Appolyn) at line 3744, and Pluto (Plotoun) at line 6476. For a broad discussion of this misrepresentation of Islam, see Tolan’s Saracens and his Sons of Ishmael.

2732–46 Befel that . . . withouten pyté! Ambroise recounts a similar story of a German horse that led to many crusader deaths (Ambroise, Estoire, 1:47–49, lines 2952–3071). See Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 56. For a list of Christian nobles who fell before Richard and Philip’s arrival in Acre, including William of Ferrers, Earl of Derby (at line 2741), see Ambroise, Estoire, 2:6.

2743 And the Emperour of Alemayne. As he and his army approached Antioch from Armenia, the Emperor of Germany, Frederick I, in fact drowned in a river on 10 June, 1190 (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:15; Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 56).

2744 Janyn, the Eerl of Playn Spayne. This earl, as yet unidentified, may be fictitious. Compare Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 467.

2749–52 He leet . . . to quelle. Ambroise reports that “Saladin had all the bodies of the dead taken and returned to us by throwing them into the river of Acre” (Estoire, 2:76, lines 3072–93). In 1192 at a later point in the crusade, Saladin reacted to Richard’s victory against a caravan by destroying cisterns and filling in wells (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 208). Heng suggests that Saladin’s acts recall the libel of well-poisoning made against medieval Jews and so conflates the two groups (Empire, p. 79; “Romance of England,” p. 143).

2775 On Seynt Jamys even. The eve of St. James, 25 July. See the note on St. James at line 4817.

2822 Sente us sone socouryng. Compare Nicholson, Itinerarium, 1.41–42, pp. 97–99, noted by Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 53.

2823 The doughty eerl of Champayne. Actually, Henry II, the Count of Champagne (1181–1197), one of the most powerful barons of France. He was the nephew of both Richard I and Philip II; his mother, Mary, was the daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and king Louis VII of France, a marriage later annulled. After the death of Conrad of Montferrat, he married Isabel, Conrad’s widow, and so became King of Jerusalem. Undeservedly maligned in RCL’s biased picture of the French, he played an important role in the Third Crusade and remained loyal to Richard; see, e.g., Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:28–29, 55, 64–67, and 72–73; Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 165n49, 192n1, 201–03, and 219–20; and Heng, Empire, p. 109.

2825 Randulf, the Glamvyles. Ranulf de Glanville, chief justiciar for Henry II, resigned upon Richard’s accession in 1189 and then took the Cross: compare Nicholson, Itinerarium, 1.42, p. 99 and 99n210; Loomis, Review, p. 456.

2826 Jhon the Neel. A reference to Jean de Nesle, a hero of the Fourth Crusade (Loomis, Review, p. 456).

2831 Huberd Gawter of Yngelande. Bishop of Salisbury, Hubert Gautier or Hubert Walter became in 1193 the Archbishop of Canterbury. His deeds feature prominently in chronicles of the crusades; see, e.g., Nicholson, Itinerarium, 1.78, pp. 135–36, and 6.34, pp. 377–79.

2837–65 At Myghhylmasse . . . for woo. The crusaders’ periodic shortages of food — during the winter of 1190, for example — are well attested (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:27), but the manner in which the shortages are recounted — the listing of prices — follow a typological pattern also found in chronicles of the First Crusade: “The most common strategy of the Gesta [Francorum] for illustrating the severity of the famine was to list the prices of food; the same strategy is used in 4 Kings 6” (Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 549n100). For the significance of typological patterns in RCL, especially those related to cannibalism, see the Introduction, pp. 6–9 and 17–20.

2853 A quarter of whete. This measurement may refer to a unit of dry measure roughly equivalent to eight bushels (MED, s. v. “quarter(e” (n.) 3e).

2855 For fourty pound. A “pound” is “an English monetary unit based on a Tower pound of silver; a pound sterling” (MED, s.v. pound(e (n.1), sense 2a).

2857 A swyn for an hondryd floryn. The “floryn” may refer to a “gold coin minted at Florence and stamped with the figure of a lily,” but the term may refer to any foreign gold including “an English gold coin worth 6s. 8d [6 shillings, 8 pence]” (MED, s. v. floren (n.), sense a). The Muslim and Jewish prohibition on swine would have made them rare in the Middle East.

2858 A goos for half mark. A “mark” is a “monetary unit equal to 160 pennies or 2/3 of a pound sterling” (MED, s.v. mark(e (n.2), sense 2a).

2860 of penyes, fyftene schillinges. A penye or penny was an “English silver coin, weighing approximately 22 grains, decreasing in weight and value from about 1300 A.D., equal to 1/12 of a shilling or 1/240 of a pound” (MED, s.v. peni (n.), sense 1a). After the Norman Conquest, the English monetary unit known as the shilling, was “worth twelve pence or one twentieth of a pound” (MED, s.v. shilling (n.), sense 1a).

2876 whyt tourneys. “A denier of Tours worth four fifths that of Paris; also, a debased coin imitative of the French silver tournois” (MED, s. v. tourneis (n. 2)).

sterlyng. This refers to the English silver penny (MED s.v. sterling, sense a).

2898 And arerede hys mate-gryffoun. See note at line 1856 above.

2902 shyppes full of been. Arguably part of a symbolic vocabulary for imagining the English nation, bees and their hive were a “figure for the polity since the time of Bede.” And since the West imported sugar from the East but exported honey to the East, RCL’s use of bees as weapons may serve as “a defiant statement of economic and ideological superiority” (Heng, Empire, pp. 101–02). See also note to lines 1392–93.

2904 magnel. See note to line 1399.

2926 mynour. One who undermines fortifications.

2983 With thre gryffouns depayntyd weel. A fabulous animal often represented in Western heraldry, the gryphon “is formed by the body, hind-legs and tail of a lion conjoined to the head and claws [and wings] of an eagle, the latter acting as its forepaws” (Fox-Davies, Heraldry, pp. 222–24; insertion mine). This representation of the knightly culture of the East using herladic symbols common in the West evinces the transnational nature of chivalry. “Gryphon” was also a term of abuse for Greeks; see note at line 1669.

2989–90 And on everylkon . . . a lyoun. The dragon serves as an appropriate heraldic symbol for Saracens: likening the animal to the devil, bestiaries described the dragon as the worst serpent. As no other figure “plays such an important or such an extensive part in armory as the lion” (Fox-Davies, Heraldry, p. 133), this lion opposing a dragon conjures not only Richard but stands as a chivalric symbol of the West.

2998 Myrayn-Momelyn. The name given to the nephew of Saladin is likely a corruption of Amir al-Mu’minin, which means “Leader of the Faithful,” another title of the Caliph. For this reference, the editor thanks Ishan Cakrabarti, a graduate student at the University of Texas. In a related mistake, the Itinerarium states that Saladin “was from the nation of Mirmuraenus” (Nicholson, 1.3, p. 26).

3000 With thre Sarezynes hedes of sable. The depiction of Saladin’s banner — three heads of sable [black] upon a white background — provides an heraldic prelude to the racial use of color that occurs later in the poem.

3005–08 The footmen . . . in myghte. A conventional stratagem in crusading romances: compare, e.g., The Sultan of Babylon, lines 282–93.

3012 Susé Seynours, has armes tost! One of several passages entirely in French, the angel’s exhortation to arms partly supports the text’s citing of a French source (Hibbard, Mediæval Romance, p. 147). W and B include English; see related Textual Note.

3027–3124 Kyng Richard . . . his maladye. This passage marks the first of a series of scenes that increasingly emphasize, even celebrate, the king’s cannibalism: Richard later asks for the head of the swine that he had eaten and is presented with that of the Saracen (lines 3194–3226); his performance of cannibalism before the Saracen messengers (lines 3409–3562); and the messengers’ report of Richard’s cannibalism to Saladin (lines 3563–3655). This notorious episode from a is absent from the b group of manuscripts. Though E depicts Richard’s second act of cannibalism at lines 3409–3562, the defective state of this manuscript obscures whether E does, in fact, present the first incidence of cannibalism. B is partially defective, missing lines at this interval. For a table listing these and other lacunae, see Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 15–17. See the Introduction (pp. 3–4, 6–8, 13, and 17–20) for a discussion of the complex manuscript situation and the varied interpretations of Richard’s cannibalism.

3027 Kyng Richard was syke thoo. Accounts of the siege report that both Richard and Philip fell ill with “Arnaldia or Léonardia, a fever [likely scurvy or trench mouth] which caused their hair and nails to fall out” (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 160 and 160n25. Compare Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 53).

3052 to loken hys uryn. A first diagnostic step in matters of internal medicine, picked up frequently in literature to indicate a doctor’s wise involvement, it is usualy the only detail in a diagnosis. Compare the Ellesmere drawing of Chaucer’s Physician holding a urine flask on high even as he rides his horse while the Host (in the Introduction to the Pardoner’s Tale) mocks his gestures, saying, “God so save thy gentil course, / And eek thyne urynals and thy jurdones” (CT VI(C304–05). Or note the Gesta Romanorum’s “Tale of the Ring, the Brooch, and the Cloth,” where Jonathas poses as a physician and “whenne he hadde i-seyne hir vryne,” diagnoses Falicite’s moral illness (p. 191). See also The Croxton Play of the Sacrament, where another Jonathas is called “the most famous phesysyan / That ever sawe uryne” (lines 535–36); and Machaut’s Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre (in The Debate Series), where it is said, “Premiers, s’orine resgarderent” (line 1903) [“First they examined her urine.”]

3071 But aftyr pork he was alongyd. Later in his campaign, chronicles report that Richard had longed for pears and peaches while ill (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 217). Cited by Loomis (Review, p. 466) and others as a source for Richard’s feats of anthopophagy is the Tarfurs’ cannibalism in La Chanson d’Antioche, 2:219, lines 4073–75: “The pilgrims ate with pleasure, without bread and without salt, saying as they did, ‘This is most tasty, better than any pork or even cured ham. Cursed be anyone who would die now where is such abundance!’” (trans. Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 549 and 549n113). The ban against pork considered an unclean and forbidden food, distinguishes Muslims and Jews from Christians in medieval culture. The substitution of Muslim for pork thus makes the enemy bestial, subhuman (Heng, Empire, pp. 37, 63–64). In another analogue, Bevis’s mother lures her aged husband into a trap by feigning a fever that she reports can be cured by eating boar: “Ye,” she seide, “of a wilde bor / I wene, me mineth, boute for / Al of the fevre!” (Bevis of Hampton, lines 184–86, cited by Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 238).

3077 An old knyght. Heng reads this old knight as “a residual figure from the First Crusade” (Empire, p. 334n2).

3088–93 Takes a Sarezyn . . . good colour. McDonald argues that this passage largely mimics the language and grammar of conventional medieval recipes: Sarazyn was a “term current in medieval cookery books to denote exotic foods of Eastern origin” (“Eating People,” pp. 134–35). Thus, the recipe in RCL transforms “a young Muslim into a plate of pork (the meat that is the ubiquitous mark of a Christian diet) . . . by subjecting the unfamiliar flesh to the normal rules of English cooking” (“Eating People,” p. 147n28).

3092–93 With powdyr . . . good colour. The spices would mask the taste, and the “good colour” of the saffron would alter the “bad” color of the Saracen’s head. Due to a variety of influences including the Arab civilization in Spain and crusader experiences in Antioch, Arabic culinary emphasis upon color, notably a range of saffron-induced colors, penetrated the West, and “saffron became one of the most popular ingredients in England” (Adamson, Food, p. 100). “Saffron” was not only used as a spice in medieval recipes but also as a dyestuff (MED, s. v. saf(f)roun (n.), sense 1c).

3113–14 And whenne . . . and lowgh. See note to lines 3210–15 for a reference to Heng’s analysis of Richard’s two acts of cannibalism as a joke that conjures a collective identity — the English — by means of dietary habits as well as through a racializing discourse that relies upon biological and religious difference.

3123–24 And thankyd . . . his maladye. Together with lines 3061–64 — the English folk’s prayers for his cure — these lines present Richard’s recovery through the cannibalism of Saracen flesh as being divinely sanctioned (Heng, Empire, p. 64). Noting Richard’s eastern origins, Akbari argues that the king’s consumption of Saracen flesh heals him because the roast Saracen is “food from home” (“Hunger,” p. 209–10).

3125–50 With the exception of E, which is defective, the b group of manuscripts depicts Richard’s healing, not by means of Saracen flesh, but as found in the passage from A (f. 264 r.) below:



The Saracennis p[ro]ued nyght & day
To wynne the diche, if they may.
The barbycan they broken a doune,
And hadden almost jn jcome
And al most jnne jcome.
But god that made mone and sonne
Heled kyng Ric[hard] of his sekenesse
In that nede and that destresse,
And whenne Ric[hard] that bataylle und[er]stod,
Ffor wrath hit brent negh his blode,
And dude him arme wel tho
As a knyght myght do.
His arblasters byfore him cast
That many a Sarasyne deyde in hast.
Compare Löwenherz, p. 252n. Brunner argues that Richard’s healing from Saracen flesh formed part of the original text and that the passage above represents a revision (Löwenherz, p. 22).

3134 houndes. In ME romances, Christians frequently abuse Saracens by referring to them as hounds (see lines 4054, 5113, 5231, 6136, 6786, 7120) or as heathen hounds (line 6480; see, e.g., The King of Tars, lines 93 and 1097). Shores observes that the epithet hethen hounde is a “popular romance insult for the pagans” (King of Tars, p. 202n93). While the Saracens describe the Christians with the same slur in line 6070 — Crystene houndes — the portrayal of the enemy as a hound, and, in particular, a tailed hound, achieves particular resonance in Richard. This begins with a description of the English as taylardes (tailed ones) at line 337, and continues emphatically with the description of the English as taylardes (tailed ones) at line 1776, and as dogs with tails at line 1830: “Go home, dogges, with your tayle.” As noted in the Introduction p. 14 the romance celebrates these insults — and Richard’s demonic pedigree — as markers of English identity.

3140 ax. See note to lines 2209–11 for a discussion of the historic and symbolic uses of Richard’s ax.

3151–52 Before wente . . . his Ospytalers. The origins of the Templars — the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple — can be traced to 1118 when two knights, Hugh of Payns and Godfrey of Saint-Omer, gave their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the Patriarch of Jerusalem. King Baldwin II gave them as their base the south side of his palace, the Temple of the Lord, the name the Franks gave the Dome of the Rock. The main role and distinctive duty of this fraternity — later, a military order — was to ensure the safety of the roads travelled by pilgrims (Barber, New Knighthood, pp. 6–7); even after the victories of the First Crusade, pilgrims and other travellers faced great peril even in regions under Frankish control (p. 3). Through recruitment, donations, and well-placed friends, the Templars became a powerful, wealthy order. Though suppressed in 1312, the Templars in the preceding century may have had as many as 7000 knights and 870 castles, preceptories, and subsidiary houses throughout Western Europe and the Holy Land (p. 1). See note at line 1768 for a discussion of Hospitallers.

3165–66 Whenne the Sawdon . . . hem among. See the note to line 500.

3170 Gage. Perhaps Gaza (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 466).

3177–93 Thus al . . . ten myle. In this interval, A (fol. 264v) includes the following passage:


They hem assailled with arblast & bowe
And many a Saraseyne they slewe.
So last the strong fyght,
Twey dayes & twoo nyght;
And ev[er]e in eyther half, saunz faille,
Was jlliche strong bataylle.
In contrast to C and W, A lengthens the fighting: Twey dayes and twoo nyght. Brunner argues that b’s lengthening of the fighting, an absurd exaggeration, indicates that a’s account of the battle for Acre stands closer to the original (Löwenherz, p. 22)

3210–15 Loo, here . . . were wood. Arguing that RCL presents Richard’s cannibalism as an aggressive, communal joke that unites nationalist and colonialist ambitions, Heng points to these lines that instantly define Muslim identity through biological, ethnic, and religious markers (“Romance of England,” pp. 140–42). These lines stage “the horror of the head, its color difference, and its inhuman devilish nature” as a joke in a popular romance about an historical king that, amazing to say, embellishes rather than condemns his legend (Empire, pp. 64–65, 76).

3231 And cryeden trewes and parlement. Trewes here refers to pledges for a temporary cessation of hostilities to allow the Saracens to decide whether their position is viable; see MED, s.v. treu(e (n.1), sense 1a. Parlement signifies parley or discussion.

3244 besauntes. A reference to gold coins of Byzantium or to “any of several similar coins minted in Western Europe” (MED, s.v. besaunt (n.), sense 1a).

3254–55 Markes is . . . Saladynys hand. In a text that consistently represents Conrad of Montferrat as base — see the notes to lines 1307 and 1310 — Richard accuses Conrad of treason, of betraying his realm to the enemy, and of bribing Saladin: his “whitening” with silver of Saladin's presumably black hand forms part of the poem’s pervasive black/white color imagery. Compare a similar use of this racial imagery in The King of Tars.

3264–68 He robbyd . . . to governy. Richard’s accusations conflate Conrad with the historical misdeeds of Tancred of Lecce (Tanker in RCL). The previous ruler of Sicily, William II, was married to Richard’s sister, Joan. When William died, Tancred confined Joan and withheld her dower. William had also bequeathed to Richard’s father, Henry II, a large legacy intended to finance Henry’s crusade. Tancred also witheld this legacy from Richard despite his status as Henry’s crusading heir (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 132–33).

3274 With wylde hors he schal be drawe. Being drawn by horses is a punishment historically associated with treason in medieval England. Reflecting the horror aroused by a crime of betrayal, punishments for treason included a series of lethal acts: hanging, disemboweling, beheading, and quartering (Barron, “Penalties for Treason,” p. 189).

3278 Seynt Denys. See note to line 2107.

3283 I am hys borwgh: Loo, here the glove. In becoming surety for the behavior of the Marquis of Montferaunt, Philip invokes not the French term, plege, but its OE and ME equivalent, borh or borwgh. The king’s glove serves as evidence of his obligation, a pledge. See Pollock and Maitland, English Law, 2:85, 185. Compare, Havelok, lines 1666–67: “Bi the fey that I owe to thee, / Ther of shal I me self borw be.”

3287–88 Ne hadde . . . hys tresoun. Part of RCL’s inaccurate, anti-French revision of history. For discussions of Conrad, see notes to line 1307, to lines 2713–20, and to lines 3254–55; for a brief discussion of treason, see the notes to lines 722 and 3274.

3289–90 Yif he . . . gret honour. This reference to Henry’s treasure is to the large legacy that William II of Sicily bequeathed to Richard’s father, Henry II, to finance Henry’s crusade; see note to lines 3264–68 above. For the dispute over Jerusalem, see the note to line 1307 and Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 148–49.

3306 croys. See note to line 392 and to lines 3330–3755.

3326 In myn half, I graunte thee forward. Not found in the a group, here begins a passage in the b group in which Richard demands guarantors at the conclusion of the treaty of Acre (A, f. 265 r.):


Sey thugh me, myscreaunt,
Who shal be borgh oth[er] waraunt
Of the tres[ou]r th[o]gh byhotest vs
Yf we leteth yogh passe thus?
“Sire.” He seyde, “we haveth herjnne
Sarasyne of ryche kunne
That ye mogh take to ostage,
Fort ye have yo[ur] payage.
Hit shal be payed att Halwe-Masse,
Ev[er]y ferthyng more & lasse.”
Compare Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 260n–64n. For arguments that place this passage in the original, though lost, Anglo-Norman text, see Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 20.

3330–3755 They token hem . . . wan Acres. This episode pairs two brutal acts, one historical (Richard’s slaying of the prisoners at Acre), and one fabulous (the second act of cannibalism). At the fall of Acre, the Muslim defenders agreed to peace terms in exchange for their lives. They were to make money payments, liberate 1500 Christian prisoners, and return the True Cross (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 3.17, p. 219; and Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:50). Difficulties ensued which gave Richard an excuse for not honoring the agreement. On his orders, 2700 Muslim prisoners and their wives and children were brutally slaughtered. For contemporary and modern reactions to this event, see Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 167–71. The Introduction (pp. 17–20) discusses the potential sources, critical reception, and interpretations of Richard’s repeated cannibalism. Unique among witnesses of the b group, E depicts portions of this second cannibalism. See the notes to lines 3027–3124 and to lines 3409–3655.

3346 And took hem into hys partyes. Diverging from the a group at this point, manuscripts from b depict Philip returning to France after the surrender of Acre, an historically accurate sequence that Brunner deems likely to have been represented in the original, lost Anglo-Norman text (Löwenherz, p. 20). For the variant reading from A, a b group witness, see the corresponding Textual Note.

3391 doande. Brunner argues the presence of a participle with the ending —ande indicates that this section of the romance —the serving of the heads of the Saracen envoys — could not have been part of the lost, Anglo-Norman original (Löwenherz, p. 19).

3409–3655 They grauntyd . . . playn werk! Richard’s second act of cannibalism, his serving the heads of Saracen princes to Saladin’s emissaries, and the emissaries’ report to Saladin. Unique among witnesses of b, E depicts this second act of cannibalism.

3410 marchal. A marshal was a court official who maintained discipline at court and who, in times of war, performed a variety of functions (Broughton, Dictionary, p. 326). Fifteenth-Century Courtesy Book, eds. Chambers and Seton, makes clear that a marshal’s duties included maintaining the meal hall (p. 11).

3420 And bere the hedes to the kechyn. The presentation of enemy heads as trophies is an historical practice attributed to both Christians and Muslims alike. During the siege of Antioch during the First Crusade, the Gesta Francorum (p. 42) reports that crusaders outside the city walls exhumed bodies from graves to accurately count the dead, after which they sent “severed heads as gifts to legates of the emir of Egypt” (Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 542n85). At the final siege of Acre in 1291, “the Prince of Hamah, after defeating a body of Franks, cut off the heads of the dead, slung them round their horses’ necks, and sent horses and heads as a present to the Sultan of Egypt” (Archer, Crusade, pp. 382–83).

3423–24 And loke . . . of lyppe. Heng reads the removal of the beards from the corpses of these Saracen princes as a process of emasculation (Empire, pp. 38, 74). See McDonald’s discussion of Richard’s preparation of the Saracens’ heads as “a conventional [entremet],” an argument that likens Richard’s efforts to other successful entremets that articulates "with inescapable clarity, the nature and extent of the host’s authority” (“Eating People,” p. 137).

3428 Lay every hed on a platere. As Heng observes, “If Richard’s demand for a head on a platter seems uncannily to resemble typological revenge for the biblical decapitation of the forerunner and cousin of Christ, we recall that the killing of Jews was an integral part of crusade history, as well as the history of Richard’s ascension to the throne of England” (Empire, p. 78).

3446 They were set a syde-table. By placing himself on a raised platform and the Saracen ambassadors on a lower “syde-table,” Richard begins the embassy with an insult (Heng, Empire, p. 73).

3447–48 Salt was set . . .whyt ne red. By not offering his guests wine, Richard may distance his cannibalistic feast from the Eucharist. Compare La Chanson d’Antioche, II:220, lines 4102–06, when Duke Godfrey learns of the Tarfurs’ cannibalism; he “responds not with anger or shame, but with a [Eucharistic] joke, offering the King of the Tafurs wine with which to wash down his Saracen meat” (Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 549). Not offering bread and drink may constitute an insult as well. Fifteenth-Century Courtesy Book, eds. Chambers and Seton, details the proper presentation of food in part as follows: “And anone forthewyth þe amener shall bryng in þe almesse dyshe with a loofe [of bread] þer Inne and set it bynethe þe lordes salt or elles vppon þe copborde yf no Rome by yppon þe borde” (p. 12). Bread was often used as a trencher or platter upon which to eat. Compare Richard’s consumption of the lion’s heart with salt but no bread at lines 1105–09; see also the note to line 1109.

3458–60 A Sarezynys hed . . . hys forheved. While both W and E read cleved, C’s reading, leued — see Textual Notes to line 3459 — is contextually compelling and grimly humorous. The labels attached to the princes’ heads, Heng suggests, mirror the identity badges that the Statute of Jewry of 1275 required the Jews in England to wear (“Romance of England,” p. 148).

3484 develys brothir. See the note to line 500.

3547–52 Kyng Richard . . . a Saryzyne. Richard’s declaration not only defines an Englishman’s identity through his delight in eating his non-Christian enemies (Heng, Empire, p. 74.), but, as McDonald argues, it presents edible Saracen flesh as conforming to “established linguistic and culinary codes of English cuisine” (“Eating People,” p. 136). This “theatrical” cannibalism, no doubt, constitutes a form of psychological warfare (Ambrisco, “Cannibalism,” pp. 503–05). In an historical parallel from the First Crusade, Bohemond, according to William of Tyre, staged crusader cannibalism (Chronicon, 4.23.267, cited by Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 541n82). See lines 3088–93 and the related note.

3581–82 No bred . . . othir lycour. The reiteration of this detail — salt but no bread — emphasizes Richard’s lack of proper courtesy. See note to line 1109 and to lines 3447–48).

3610 As a wood lyoun he farde. Proverbial. See Whiting L327, who cites thirteen passages, though not RCL. Compare Malory, Works, 1:15 (p. 30): “he fared woode as a lyon.”

3641 saf coundyte. Safe conduct is “the officially granted privilege of passing through an overlord's domain undisturbed or under escort; safe-conduct” (MED, s.v. sauf (adj.), sense 6a).

3656–57 His clothis . . . for yre. Saladin rends his garments in a traditional Jewish gesture of mourning. This representation of the Muslim leader as a Jew accords with Heng’s arguments that RCL conflates Muslims and Jews (Empire, pp. 78–91). For the historiographical significance of this representation and for references to the rending of garments in the Old Testament, see the Introduction (pp. 16–17 and 17n86). Compare the Soudan’s angry response to the King of Tars’s refusal of his marriage proposal: “His robe he rent adoun” (The King of Tars, line 99).

3664 It is a devyl, withouten fayle. See the note to line 500.

3668–69 To wynne . . . and us! In this expression of Richard’s plan, “English Christians will swallow up lineages and sweep away succession, consuming the future itself, in world domination” (Heng, Empire, p. 75).

3670–98 Lord Saladyn . . . lyves ende. In similar fashion, the emir suggests to Charlemange that he become the emir’s vassal. Compare The Song of Roland, lines 3593–94.

3688 Conferme it hym and hys ospryng. Legal language granting an hereditary fief. Among other meanings for confermen, the MED includes: “to ratify or confirm a grant of (property, privilege, or office); bestow (to sb.) by charter or by virtue of authority” ((v.), sense 2).

3703–3714 And yif . . . Preter Jhon. Compare Baligant’s offer that Charlemagne become his vassal, and Charlemagne’s response that Baligant accept Christianity (The Song of Roland, lines 3589–99); Blancandrin’s advice that King Marsile make large gifts to Charlemagne and pretend to convert to Christianity in order to retain Saragossa (The Song of Roland, lines 24–46); and Genyonn’s (Ganelon) advice to Charlemagne that he become the vassal of a Saracen (The Siege of Milan, lines 589–600).

3707 Darras. This reference may refer to Dara, a fortress on the Persian front that Runciman mentions as one of the few areas in which the Christians provided organized opposition to the Arabs during their conquest of Syria in the seventh century (History of the Crusades, 1:17). Perhaps the reference is to Damascus and resulted from a scribal misreading of Damas, an early name for this Syrian city.

Babyloyne. A geographic reference to Cairo and a place-name from the Bible that chroniclers associated with the birth and rearing of the Antichrist (Tolan, Saracens, p. 112 and 112n35).

3708 Cessoyne. A possible reference to Cesson or Kesoun, a bishropic east of Edessa located in present-day eastern Turkey. The previous reference to Cessoyne (Soissons) at line 1330 is unrelated.

3709 Bogye. As yet unidentified, perhaps a reference to the Buqaia, or to the Beqaa Valley. Buqaia, a district in central Lebanon, was the site of the Battle of al-Buqaia in 1163, one of the rare crusader victories over Nur ad-Din Zangi. The Buqaia is near the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon as indicated by Runciman’s statement: when “Saladin was besieging Aleppo, Raymond of Tripoli invaded Beqa’a from the Buqaia” (History of the Crusades, 2:410).

3714 Preter Jhon. Prester John. In perhaps the first reference, Otto of Freising describes Prester John — Presbyter Johannes — as a Christian monarch and priest who ruled a Far Eastern empire, a Nestorian descended from the magi, who campaigned against Persians and Medes and who attempted to help the Christians of Jerusalem. Not being able to cross the Tigris, he and his army returned East (Beckingham and Hamilton, Prester John, p. 2). Because this mysterious Christian ruler was viewed as a potential ally against the Muslims, legends about him flourished during the crusades.

3732 They nyste where the croys was become. Though chronicle accounts report that both sides had difficulties in fulfilling the agreement, English envoys were actually shown the Cross (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 166–67).

3739 And taken Sarezynes syxty thousandes. A typical romance or chanson exaggeration: Richard slaughtered 2600–3000 Muslim prisoners and their wives and children (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:53).

3744 Appolyn. Apollo. The misrepresentation of Muslims worshipping such pagan gods as Apollo typified the medieval West’s misconception of Islam.

3748–54 There they herden an aungelle of hevene, / . . . / And casten into a foul dyke. Except for the exaggerated number and the angelic intervention, RCL’s presentation of the slaughter of the hostages reflects the historical record. Runciman indicates that Richard, in breaking the agreement, used Saladin’s refusal to free specifically named Christian prisoners of rank as a pretext to slaughter the Saracen prisoners at Acre (Crusades, 3.53). In a letter to the abbot of Clairvaux, Richard himself states that the time limit in which to complete the agreement had expired and was therefore void (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 168–69, citing Howden’s Chronica, 3:131). For contemporary responses to the slaughter, including Saladin’s as well as modern assessments, see Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 170–71.

Divine aid against God’s enemies is a convention of chansons de geste — compare, Song of Roland, lines 3609–13. Certainly, divine interventions recur throughout RCL: for example, the appearance of St. George at line 4887, and the angelic warning of the enchanted horse at lines 5548–75. But this passage’s use of the Christian supernatural to sanction an historical atrocity may distinguish RCL from other ME crusade romances (Hamel, “Siege of Jerusalem,” pp. 184–85; Finlayson, “Marvellous,” p. 376). Common to heroic and religious literature, instances of angelic intervention may exemplify RCL’s generic affiliation by enhancing “Richard’s status as a divinely guided Christian warrior” (Finlayson, “‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” pp. 166–67). The massacre may follow a typological pattern: Rubenstein cites Bartolph of Nangis (Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium, 35.515) who “appeals to Old Testament precedent (3 Kings 15) to explain the [First Crusade’s] massacre in Jerusalem. The Franks, he says, did not wish to be like Saul, who had spared Agag against God’s orders to destroy all of the Amalekites” (“Cannibals and Crusaders,” p. 546 and 546n100). See the Introduction’s discussion (pp. 17 and 19–20) of RCL’s representation of the English as God’s chosen people, as well as that of Cordery (“Cannibal Diplomacy,” pp. 154, 166).

3759–71 Merye is . . . strokes hard! The placement of this lyrical passage or “seasonal headpiece” immediately following the beheading of 60,000 Saracen prisoners is jarring. See White, “Saracens and Crusaders,” p. 190 and 190n1. Citing Statius, Smithers suggests the form reflects an epic tradition that rarely occurs in ME texts outside the Kyng Alisaunder tradition (Kyng Alisaunder, 2.35–39); but see The Sultan of Babylon, lines 41–48. Kölbing cites this passage as evidence that RCL, Arthour and Merlin, and Kyng Alisaunder were written by the same hand (Arthour and Merlin, pp, lxii–lxiii); instead of evidence of authorship, the uniqueness of the passage within an often brutal narrative leads Hibbard to argue that the passage was produced by a redactor familiar with the Kentish romances, not the original translator (Mediæval Romance, p. 147). See also Pearsall, “Development,” p. 101. In McDonald’s interpretation of RCL’s alimentary logic, this abrupt and contextually inappropriate passage “confirms the formal rupture that the anthropophagy effects”; in short, Richard exorcizes his demonic origins through the consumption of Saracen flesh, thus gaining an assured Christian identity (“Eating People,” p. 141).

3780–81 Thorwgh here . . . and free. Compare line 676 and note.

3788 serjaunt of mace. An officer who bears the mace as a symbol of authority.

3823–28 In Goddes name . . . take Crystyndome! Muslim conversion to Christianity was a rare occurrence. Having few historical analogues, the forced, mass conversions in RCL represent a cultural fantasy (Heng, Empire, pp. 81–84). Not only was Muslim conversion rare; but the historical record includes measures taken by the Templars and by Richard to prevent Muslim conversion (Heng, “Romance of England,” pp. 146, 165n18). See also Kedar, Crusade and Mission, p. 82.

3834–4780 He gan . . . . ayther cyté. These lines, which depict a series of conquests by Philip, Richard, Fouk Doyly and Thomas of Moulton, are not related in b; nor do they occur in W. Brunner suggests these passages, as well as the conquest of Babylon (lines 5381–5890), did not form part of the lost, Anglo-Norman original (Löwenherz, p. 21).

3860 mystere. The likely gloss is “a time of peril or distress.” See MED, s.v. mister (n. 6), sense 6. The word may also denote “an occupation” (sense 2a), or “a guild of craftsmen” (sense 2b). Heng argues that the application of a term that denotes a craft or trade practiced by merchants, to warfare — an aristocratic occupation — demonstrates RCL’s appeal to a broad audience (Empire, pp. 110–11; “Romance of England,” p. 158). Another potential gloss is “display or outward show.” See MED, s.v. moustre (n.), sense 1a. Brunner offers “necessity” (from OF mestier) (Löwenherz, p. 461).

3865 Slake a bore of here boost. “?May a boar retreat (in the face of their boasting)” (MED s.v. slaken (v.1), sense 5). The ferocity of boars may render the comment ironic. Though the editor disagrees with Brunner’s observation that C reads bere (bear) rather than “boar,” given a bear’s reluctance to face loud noises, a reading of “bear” may increase the irony (Löwenherz, p. 287n2865).

3868 Taburette. Brunner suggests that this city may refer to Mount Tabor (Löwenherz, p. 472).

3910 With flour delys of gold and asour. Adopted by King Louis VII in the twelfth century, the fleur-de-lis (“flower of lily"), a stylized iris flower, became the royal badge of France, the armorial emblem of French kings (Gough and Parker, Glossary, p. 266).

3938 And hys eme, Henry of Chaumpayn. See the note to line 2823.

3939 And hys maystyr, Robert of Leycetere. Robert de Beaumont, fourth Earl of Leicester (d. 1204), accompanied Richard I on crusade.

3946 Bertram. A likely reference to Bretram III de Verdun, a nobleman influential in the courts of Henry II and Richard I. The historical Bertram III went on the Third Crusade with Richard, was put in charge of Acre, and died at the battle of Jaffa, as our romance correctly indicates (at lines 6749 and 7078). See Haggar, Fortunes of a Norman Family, pp. 34–57. The romance associates Bertram to Brindisi and to Lumbardy (lines 4899 and 7078), perhaps mistakenly.

3948 And Templeres, and hys Hospytaleres. See the notes to lines 1768 and 3151–52.

3972 Sudan Turry. Perhaps a reference to Sidon and/or Tyre, both coastal cities (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 472). See note to line 641.

3974 Orgylous. The name of this unidentified and likely fictitious location recalls the names of castles in various romances. See the note to line 643.

3991 Grandary. Perhaps a combination of grand and ME are, which denotes honor, grace, mercy: see MED, ore (n.2), senses 1a and 4a.

3998 arweblast of vys. An arbalest is a medieval device that operated like a crossbow but hurled large objects such as stones and quarrels or bolts: “a crossbow drawn by a screw mechanism” (MED, s.v. arblast (n.), sense 2c).

4077 That hadde ben Crystene in hys youthe. See Heng’s discussion of this renegade’s reconversion (Empire, pp. 86–87).

4221 For wollewarde on my bare feet. The apostate describes two penitential acts: walking barefoot and doing so wolleward, while wearing woolen clothing next to the skin (MED, s.v. wol-ward (adj.)).

4354 He is no man: he is a pouke. Like Richard, Fouke is now described as a devil or demon; see the note to line 500. The recurring association of English leaders with demons and devils distinguishes RCL from other ME crusading texts which portray Saracen leaders as devils: compare The Sultan of Babylon, lines 356–57.

4368 brymme. Brunner argues for a reading of brymm (OE bank) instead of brymm (OE surf, sea) (Löwenherz, "nachtrag" or addendum).

4393 A sory beverage there was browen. Proverbial: breuen a bitter (sory) beverage, denotes “inflict great harm” (MED, s.v. breuen (v.), sense 3a). Compare Whiting B529.

4450–52 And made . . . here werre. These lines typify RCL’s and the West’s inaccurate portrayal of Muslims as polytheistic pagan idolaters.

4461–67 The fyrste . . . . the ferthe. Likely fictitious, the names of these five Saracen knights — Sir Arcade, Sir Cudary, Sir Orphias, Sir Materbe, and Sir Gargoyle — reflect the West’s conflation of Greek culture and mythology with Islam as well as the geographic sweep of Islam and the Crusades. “Arcade” closely resembles the Greek Arcadia, a central region of the Pelopennese as well as the Greek town, Arcadia, which became part of the Frankish states in Greece after falling in 1204 to Geoffrey of Villehardouin and William of Champlitte (Longon, “Frankish States,” p. 237). “Cordary” may be a name of Indian origin and thus reflects Richard’s repeated references to “Ynde” as part of Saladin’s empire and the origin of part of his army. “Orphias” is the name of the mythical singer who was the son of Apollo and a Muse; see also Sir Orfeo, a ME romance that blends Greek and Celtic mythology. As gargoyles were most often in the shape of grotesque figures and animals, the name “Sir Gargoyle” is an obvious slur. Associations from the name “Sir Materbe” remain unclear.

4531 fawchoun. The weapon conventionally wielded by Saracens, a falchion is “a large, broad sword with a curved blade” (MED, s.v. fauchoun (n.)).

4539 Sir John Doyly, Sir Foukes nevew. Though the historicity of John Doyly’s uncle — Fulk D’Oilly, a Lincolnshire knight — has been confirmed, he does not appear in chronicles of the Third Crusade. Finlayson argues that an early redactor of Richard may have placed Fulk in the romance in order to glorify a patron (“‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p. 166; see also Loomis, Review, p. 460). The same rationale may apply to the nephew whose historicity and crusade participation remains unconfirmed.

4594 wessayl. Heng argues that the Anglo-Saxon toast, wessayl, and Richard’s ax — see, e.g., lines 2211, 4848, 4865 — form “nostalgic echoes” that aid RCL’s populist representations (Empire, p. 104).

4603–20 Of sylvyr . . . here ovyrlord. This sharing of Muslim wealth and lands depicts two strands in RCL’s discourse of nation: a leveling discourse that represents the fantasy of Anglo-Norman leaders directly accountable to their people; and the militant, colonialist discourse that “anticipates . . . Victorian and modern imperial England” (Heng, Empire, pp. 104–05).

4812–13 Cogges, drowmoundes . . . . crayeres fele. A cog was a medium sized ship used for military expeditions (MED, s.v. cogge (n.1), sense 1a); a dromond was “a large, fast, sea going vessel” (MED, s.v. dromoun(d (n.)); a galley was a “sea going vessel having both sail and oars or a large row boat” (MED, s.v. galei(e (n.), sense 1a); a shout was a “flat-bottomed boat, barge” (MED, s.v. shout(e (n.2), sense a); a crair was a type of small ship (MED, s.v. craier (n.)).

4817 Seynt James tyde. The anniversary or feast day of Saint James is 25 July. St. James, the patron saint of Spain, was an apostle and martyr whose relics were translated to Compostela, Spain, the third most-revered pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome. Through numerous miracles, James came to be viewed as a powerful defender of Christians against the Moors, a military aspect that flourished during the crusading movement. Artistic images of James often depict him on horseback, trampling a Moor (Farmer, Saints, p. 256).

4855 Thorwgh a carte that was Hubertes Gawtyr. For an historical analogue to this incident, complete with the loss of one crusader's arm, who nevertheless continues to fight, see Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.10, p. 238. See also Jentsch, “Quellen,” pp. 208–9; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 57.

4886 story. For references to the term, story, see the note on incipit at the beginning of these notes.

4887 He seygh come Seynt George, the knyght. Martyr, warrior saint, and patron of England, George was a Roman soldier in Palestine whom Diocletian executed in 303 for refusing to renounce Christianity. His body was returned to Lydda where he was revered as a martyr. George’s cult became widespread even before the Golden Legend circulated the story of his slaying of a dragon. In the First Crusade, a vision of St. George, St. Mercurius, and St. Demetrius aided the Christians during the siege of Antioch, hence his association to the crusades (Farmer, Saints, pp. 202–03). Representations of such combatant saints on the battle field, a conventional type of divine intervention, helped to create an “atmosphere of pious violence” that supported the crusading propaganda of chronicles and crusading poems (Cook, “Crusade Propaganda,” pp. 161–62). For a discussion of historical cults of St. George, his roles in chansons de geste, in romance, and in RCL, see Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 104–07. Finlayson suggests the appearance of this warrior-saint and other instances of divine intervention reflect RCL’s affiliation, not to romance, but to heroic and religious literature (“‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p. 166).

4916 To the cyté of Palestyn. Perhaps a reference to Caesarea Palaestinae, which lay between Acre and Jaffa (Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 186).

4925–46 To bete . . . no recette. In RCL, Saladin destroys a group of castles and cities in Palestine before the battle at Arsur. Historically, Saladin ordered fortifications and cities near Gaza and Jerusalem destroyed after the battle; see, e.g., Ambroise, Estoire, 1:110–11, lines 6826–6860; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.23, pp. 261–62. For a brief discussion of these fortifications, see Ambroise, Estoire, 2:124n442 and the notes below. Strategically, the crusaders needed these strongholds to protect the inland supply lines needed to take and to defend Jerusalem; so Richard had to rebuild them (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 181).

4928 Myrabele. Located inland, east of Arsur, Mirabel (Arabic Majdal Yaba) formed part of the lordship of Ibelin (Kennedy, Crusader Castles, p. 38). It was one of the few castles destroyed by Saladin that did not belong to the military orders (Ambroise, Estoire, 2:124n 442; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.23, p. 261).

4929 castel Calaphyne. Unidentified.

4931 Sessarye. Perhaps a reference to Caesarea; see the note to line 637 and Brunner (Löwenherz, p. 472).

4932 And the tour of Arsour al. Arsur (Arabic Arsuf), a coastal city between Jaffa and Caesarea, was taken by Baldwin I in 1101 but fell to Saladin in 1187. Recaptured by the Franks following the Battle of Arsuf in 1191, it was taken by Babyars in 1265 (Boas, Archaeology, p. 225; Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 20). It was not listed by Ambroise among castles and cities Saladin ordered destroyed, (Estoire, I:110–111, lines 6826–56).

4934 castel Touroun. Toron des Chevaliers (Castle of the Knights) (Arabic al-Atrun, corrupted French Latrun), an extensive Templar castle located on a hill above the road from Jerusalem to Jaffa (Ambroise, Estoire, 2:124n442; Pringle, Secular Buildings, pp. 64–65). Though Saladin had destroyed Toron, Richard I and the crusading army camped at its ruins in December of 1191 during their first attempt to reach Jerusalem (Boas, Archaeology, p. 255).

4935 Castel Pylgrym. Pilgrims’ Castle (Arabic ‘Atlit, French Chastel Pelerin), a Templar castle built on the coast between Caesarea and Acre (Kennedy, Crusader Castles, p. 124). As its construction began in 1218 to replace the inadequate Le Destroit, Pilgrims’ Castle is not found among chronicle lists of castles that Saladin destroyed.

4936 castel La Fere. Chronicles report that as Richard travelled from Darum to Ascalon, he raided the Castle of Figs (French Le Fier, Latin Castrum Ficuum, Arabic Qal’at al-Burj) located 28 miles southwest of Hebron, but he found it abandoned (Nicholson, Itinerarium 5.41, pp. 320, 320n89; Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 37). RCL associates similar events with Lefruyde at line 6298.

4937 The castel of Seynt George Dereyn. A reference to Saint Jorge Labane (de la Baene) (Arabic al-Ba ‘ina), an independent lordship located inland east of Acre (Pringle, Secular Buildings, pp. 24–25). Paris suggests this line results from a mistake, either from a name of the castle — Saint George of Rames — or from a line from Ambroise in which Saladin directs the destruction of the castle Saint George and the fortified inland city Ramla: “Abatez moi Seint Jorge, Rames” (Estoire, 1:111, line 6846; “Le Roman,” p. 382 and 382n4). See also Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.23, p. 261, which reads as follows: “St. George [Lydda] and Ramla.”

4939 The walles they felde of Jerusalem. Paris suggests this historically inaccurate detail resulted from a mistranslation of Ambroise's Estoire, 1:111, lines 6855–56: “Que tut ne seit agraventé, / Fors le Crac e Jerusalem” (“[T]hat nothing will be left standing except for Kerak and Jerusalem,” trans. Ailes and Barber) (“Le Roman,” p. 382). Compare Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.23, p. 261: “Destroy everything, throw everything down, except for Crac and Jerusalem.”

4940 Bedlem. Historically inaccurate, the destruction of the walls of Bethlehem in RCL may be motivated by rhyme (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 382n4).

4941 Maydenes castel. Loomis suggests this reference is to Castrum Puellarum near Dana in the Principality of Antioch (Review, p. 456).

4942 Aukes land. This unidentified place name may signify “Perverse Land:” auk(e is an adjective that can denote “perverse” (MED, (adj.), sense b).

4963 On Seynt Marye even, the natyvyté. 8 September is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

4965–72 Many was . . . . another empire. Saladin’s army is composed of men from a list of lands that closely resembles the lands listed in lines 3703–14, lands that Saladin was prepared to hand over to Richard should he convert to Islam. This parallel suggests a feudal relation between the lands Saldin holds and his army, a likely misconception.

4969 Of Aufryk and of Bogye. “Aufryk” is likely a reference to some region of North Africa. For “Bogye,” see the note to line 3709.

4999 pensel of sykelatoun. A pencel in this context is “a small pennon, usually attached to a lance, often used to identify a lord and his men-at-arms; a small company standard” (MED, s.v. pencel (n.1), sense a); sykelatoun is a fabric of silk woven with gold (MED, s. v. siclatoun (n.1), sense a).

5006 With bowe Turkeys and arweblaste. For the Turkish bow, see the note to line 2590. For areweblast, see note to line 3998.

5021 Jakes Deneys and Jhon de Neles. Chronicle accounts of the conduct and death of Jacobus [James] of Avesnes at the Battle of Arsuf correspond to RCL’s account (Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 211). Compare, e.g., Nicholson, Itinerarium, 4.17–20, pp. 246–59. During the early part of the siege of Acre, James served as one of the leaders of the crusading army (Nicholson, Itinerarium, p. 258n56). Loomis suggests that Jhon de Neles is Jean de Nesle, a hero of the Fourth Crusade (Review, p. 456).

5098 The Frenssche says he slowgh an hundrid. One of several references to an original French text of the romance. See note at line 21.

5113–14 And manye . . . the groundes. Compare Genesis 3:14: “And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth. Upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”

5159–62 Manye were . . . kyng Richard. While descriptions of a visual work of art, the shield of Achilles, for example, can become thematically significant digressions, in RCL, the description portrays the art as a commodity, as exotic plunder.

5173 Sere Gawter. A likely reference to Garnier de Nablus, master of the Hospitallers and an Englishman (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 380). See the note on the Hospitallers at line 1768.

5187–5380 At morwen . . . . hym noughte. This passage recounts the conquest of Nineveh, an unhistorical episode that does not appear in b or in W.

5189 Nynyvé. Nineveh was located on the banks of the Tigris River on an important trade route between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean opposite present day Mosul, Iraq. Though unhistorical, Richard’s assault upon this city may allude to the emperor Heraclias’s campaign against the Persians. During the Persian War against the empire, Jerusalem fell to King Chosroes II in 614. His queen, a Nestorian, later received the Holy Cross and other sacred relics. In a campaign memorialized by William of Tyre and translated into French in the Livre d’Eracles, Heraclias defeated the Persians at Nineveh in 627. In 629, he received back the Holy Cross, which he returned to Jerusalem in 629. To later generations, Heraclias thus “figured as the first of the Crusaders” (Runciman, History of the Crusades, 1:10–11).

5194 Babyloyne. For a discussion of the military significance of Babylon (Egypt) in its relation to Jerusalem, and for Richard’s intended Egyptian campaign, which he announced by letter dated 11 October, 1191, see Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 182–83.

5267 With trepeiettes. The trepeget or trebuchet was a siege weapon that used a counterweighted arm to swing or hurl heavy objects against ramparts and other defenses (Broughton, Dictionary, p. 458).

5314 For Kyng Richard was his preeste. Presided at his death. A parodic reference to the administration of last rites.

5325 spawdeler. “A piece of armor protecting the shoulder” (MED, s.v. spaudeler (n.)).

5359–62 On knees . . . body froo. The beheading of a prisoner who pleads for mercy may appear unchivalric, but see Gautier’s sixth commandment of chivalry: “Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation and without mercy” (Chivalry, p. 26).

5367–76 Yif he . . . crystynyd wore. Compare lines 3823–28 and see Heng’s discussion of RCL’s fantasy of the forced conversion of entire Saracen populations (Empire, pp. 81–84).

5381–5891 The chef . . . fourtene nyght. The conquest of Babylon appears in all witnesses of the a version: C, B, and W; in the b version, this episode appears only in E. Brunner argues that this episode did not form part of the original, Anglo-Norman version (Löwenherz, p. 20).

5381 The chef Sawdon of Hethenysse. I.e., Saladin. See Loomis, Review, pp. 456–57.

5399 Was, as we in booke fynde. A reference to the original, French version; see the Introduction (pp. 3–4, p. 10n50) and the note to line 21.

5444 trewes. See MED, treu(e) (n.1), sense 1a, indicating a pledge for a temporary cessation of hostilities (MED).

5479–5794 The nexte . . . the rygges. Richard’s duel with Saladin. Often perceived as an historical event, the unhorsing of the sultan is one of the king’s most famous exploits. Recounted in the chronicles of Pierre Langtoft and Walter de Hemingburgh and represented in numerous medieval images, this victory held particular significance for medieval audiences; see Loomis, “Pas Saladin,” especially pp. 512–19. Noted for his generosity, humanity, tolerance, and prodigious military skill, Saladin was more often praised than demonized by the West; texts from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries often depict him as the pinnacle of chivalry (Tolan, Sons of Ishmael, pp. 79–100). In contrast, the details surrounding this duel, in particular, Saladin’s unchivalric use of enchanted horses to gain an advantage, depict the sultan as a “chanson villain who little recalls the noble emir of history” (Heng, Empire, p. 80). See the Introduction (pp. 15–17) for a fuller discussion.

5489 Slees hys men and eetes among. Among the meanings of the adverb, the MED (s.v. among(es) lists “besides, in addition, also” (sense 6).

5499–5500 Whether is . . . or Jubyter? A conventional and propagandistic formulation in crusading poems; see, e.g., The Sultan of Babylon, lines 196–99.

5502 Yif thou wylt have an hors of his? The narrative of the enchanted horse which follows may reflect several influences. Three derive from chronicles. Ambroise reports that after Richard’s heroic defense of Jaffa (5 August, 1192), Saladin’s brother, Safadin, was so impressed that he sent the king two steeds (Estoire, 1:186–87, lines 11, 544–64), cited by Gillingham (Richard I, p. 216; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.22, p. 364). Other chronicles report that Saladin generously sent Richard a magnificent mount after learning that Richard’s had been killed from under him (Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 100–02). According to another chronicle, after Richard’s magnificent defense of Jaffa, Saif al-Din maliciously sent a dangerously restive horse to Richard in an effort to capture him (Edbury, Conquest of Jerusalem, pp. 117–18). Yet another version derives from the devilish steeds frequently encountered in chansons de geste; Finlayson argues that the incident serves as evidence that RCL stands generically closer to chansons de geste than to romance (“‘Richard, Coer de Lyon,’” p. 166).

5510 Seynt Mychel. The archangel, one of the chief princes of heaven (Daniel 10:13). He and his angels prevail in their battle against the dragon and his angels in Apocalypse 12:2–9.

5530–33 A maystyr . . . the eyr. A reference to the medieval belief that demons made bodies of animals out of the air and then assumed their form (MacCulloch, Medieval Faith, pp. 75–88). For a discussion of a medieval necromantic handbook’s directions on how to conjure demonic, illusory horses — a popular spell, apparently — see Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, pp. 42–47. Ambrisco argues that Richard’s use of a demon horse “associates him with hell’s minions, and in doing so, caps off a long series of references that identify Richard as subhuman and demonic” (“Cannibalism,” p. 501).

5545 And knele adoun and souke hys dame. The basis of the ruse, the dependence of a militant male upon his mother, articulates in romance fashion Richard’s relation to Eleanor of Aquitaine (Heng, Empire pp. 97–98).

5548–75 Al thus . . . is wente. One of several instances of divine intervention; see lines 3010–11, 3748–54, 4887 and 6943–62. For discussions, see the Introduction (pp. 1, 16, 19) and the notes to lines 3748–54, 4887, and 6943–62.

5557 Purveye a tree. Heng argues that this tree’s use as a weapon against Saracens vengefully recalls the True Cross won by Saladin at Hattin (Empire, p. 350n54).

5587–99 And sayde . . . me at wylle. An expression of a commonplace of demon lore: “[A]nd if a fiend commissioned for an evil purpose was commanded in the name of the Trinity by the person whom he was sent to afflict, to become his servant, and turn his powers against his sender, he was compelled to obey” (“On Good and Bad Fairies,” p. 17). Necromantic manuals advise magicians against making the sign of the cross when flying upon an illusory horse, because doing so could cause the horse to flee from the magician (Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, p. 47).

5591 And sufryd grymly woundes fyve. Christ suffered five wounds: one on each hand and foot, and one in his side. These wounds appear frequently in medieval devotional writing. A notable reference in ME romance occurs in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 642–43.

5595–96 And aftyr . . . names sevene. God in His redemptive relation to man bears seven names in ancient Hebrew tradition: El, Elohim, Elyon, Shadday, Olam, Adonay, Seba’ot (Jeffrey, Dictionary of Biblical Tradition, p. 535). In all likelihood, rhyme controls the number of God’s names in the couplet. For a similar couplet, see Lay le Freine, lines 79–80 and its corresponding Explanatory Note, which lists these seven names from the Hebrew tradition. For a brief discussion, see Marshall, “‘Sacral Parody,’” pp. 728–29 and 728n44.

5667 jeste. See the note to line 5.

5696 Bothe in gerthes and in peytrel. A gerth denotes “a belt or strap passing under a horse’s belly to secure a saddle, harness, load, etc.,” (MED, sense a). A peytrel is “a protective breastplate or pectoral armor for a horse” (MED, s.v. peitrel (n.1), sense a).

5697 queyntyse. Queyntyse may refer to ornamental battle trappings for horse or man, or, in this context, it may denote “a surcoat or mantle worn over armor and bearing a heraldic device” (MED, s.v. queintise (n.), sense 3d).

5710 ventayle. A ventaile is a “piece of chain mail protecting the lower face, neck, and part of the upper chest, later extending around the upper back” (MED, sense a).

5711–12 On his . . . Holy Speryte. See the note to line 393.

5719–20 Upon his . . . was grave. Demon lore has it that “[n]o evil sprite could endure to be touched with any thing on which the holy name of God was written” (“On Good and Bad Fairies,” p. 17).

5737 Thertoo, my glove, as I am knyght. See the note to line 3283.

5744 Aftyr here feet sprong the fure. Sparks shooting from the hooves of a horse often appear in scenes involving the supernatural. Compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the Green Knight leaves Arthur’s court: “þe fyr of þe flynt fla3e fro fole houes” (line 459).

5750 mere. Muslims perferred to ride mares into battle (Gillmor, “Horses,” 1:274). The heavily armored crusaders rode stallions, who could handle the weight, but this weight was often a disadvantage given the heat of the Holy Land.

5768 Was ipayntyd a serpent. In the crusading context of RCL, Saladin’s heraldic emblem is — appropriately enough — the instrument of man’s Fall, the serpent; but serpents were not uncommon symbols in heraldry; see Gough and Parker, Glossary, pp. 529–31.

5769–79 With the . . . the grene. See the note to lines 5479–5794.

5864 Wurschepyd hym and hys names sevene. See the note to lines 5595–96.

5879–82 Sarezynes before . . . fourty thousynde. One of several depictions of mass conversions of Saracens; see also lines 5367–76 and the note.

5884 And here Mawmettes leet doun drawe. An instance of the medieval West’s confused notion that Muslims worshipped idols.

5889–90 Erl, baroun . . . wolde have. Among foreign themes in RCL that may reflect domestic issues in England, the romance, Heng argues, conflates Saracens and Jews. The profit in these lines may recall how violence against Jews in England during Richard’s ascension benefited Christians, some of them crusaders (“Romance of England,” p. 147–48).

5895–5928 Kyng Richard . . . were wrothe. Unlike the b version, a’s representation of Philip and Richard’s conflict and Philip’s departure is chronologically inaccurate (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 22–23). See note to line 3346. Chroniclers blamed strife among the Third Crusade’s leaders for the venture’s failure to realize its main goal: retaking Jerusalem. See Tolan, Sons of Ishmael, pp. 85–91; and Heng, Empire, p. 351n57.

5906 I wyl come the cyté no nere! A justification for Richard’s not taking Jerusalem, a primary goal of the Third Crusade; see the Introduction’s brief discussion (p. 13 and 13n64).

5907 arweblast of vys. See note at line 3998.

5918 Alhalewe-messe. The festival of All Saints, or All Saints’ Day, 1 November in the Western Church.

5930 To Jaffe. Jaffa served as the main port for Jerusalem (Ambroise, Estoire, 2:124n442).

5937 Sarezyneys. See MED, s.v. Sarasinesse (n.), sense a, that is, Saracen territory, or lands under Saracen control.

5949–50 Fro thennes . . . al torente. Chaloyn or Ascalon, from OF, Eschaloine (Paris, “Le Roman,” p. 366n6). Located on the southern coast of Palestine and replenished by sea from Egypt, Ascalon remained in Muslim hands until 1153. From Ascalon, Muslims raided the southern parts of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. After falling to Baldwin III of Jerusalem in 1153, the fortified city was organized as a fief and became the double county of Jaffa and Ascalon, thus securing the southern borders of the kingdom (La Monte, Latin Kingdom, p. 19). Richard I is associated with construction at Ascalon in 1192 (Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 21). See also Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 211. In negotiating a truce — see note to lines 7177–84 — one term that Saladin demanded and obtained was the destruction of this strategic castle: for a chronicle account of this treaty, see Nicholson, Itinerarium 6.27, p. 371.

5959–64 Kyng Richard . . . myght, everylkon. While these lines may exaggerate cooperation between classes, chronicles do report that Richard personally labored in the rebuilding of Ascalon; they also describe how Richard and his nobles themselves carried stonethrowers from the shore in preparation for the siege of Darum (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.39, p. 316; Ambroise, Estoire, 1:148–49, lines 9170–237, and Prestwich, “Rex Bellicosus,” p. 14). After four months of construction, Richard’s forces made Ascalon the strongest fortress on Palestine’s coast, thus threatening the road between Syria and Egypt (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 192). Despite these historical parallels, these lines may well exemplify a utopian fantasy; as Heng argues, “a nascent impetus toward horizontal leveling under conditions of cooperative labor in the service of a religious war” articulates an emerging nationalism (Empire, p. 103; and “Romance of England,” pp. 159–60).

5974–76 My fadyr . . . to make! This statement angers Richard to such an extent that he flings the Duke’s banner into the river (lines 5977–97); this exchange thus presents “the fiction of class solidarity through combined physical labor,” a bold formulation indeed for a feudal culture, and one that demonstrates RCL’s popular appeal (Heng, “Romance of England,” pp. 159–60).

5982 It was evyl don, be Seynt Mathewe. A likely reference to Richard’s imprisonment and ransom by Leopold or Henry VI, even though the romance inaccurately depicts the imprisonment and ransom as occurring before rather than after the crusade. See the note to line 6007 below.

5993 glotoun. Compare MED glotoun (n.), sense b for the unusual definition of this term: “villain, wretch; worthless fellow, parasite.”

5997–98 I schal . . . the revere. These events correspond to the Duke of Austria’s humiliation at Acre. Wishing to take part in the plunder of this city, Duke Leopold entered Acre with his banner carried before him to signify his claim, “but it was thrown down and insulted — if not on Richard’s direct orders, at least with his consent” (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 224). This humiliation motivated in part Leopold’s later capture of Richard.

6007 He heeld hym al to weel foreward. A likely reference to the historical capture of Richard by Duke Leopold and his imprisonment by the German emperor, Henry VI, which occurred as Richard was returning from the Holy Land. Among numerous discussions, see Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 222–53. Considering the abrupt close of C, this reference to the Duke of Austria’s revenge leads Paris to argue that the English translation of RCL derived from an incomplete manuscript of an Anglo-Norman original to which the English reviser inserted the narrative of Richard’s captivity and ransom in an historically inaccurate position: before, rather than after the crusade (“Le Roman,” pp. 357–58); but Brunner argues that both W and A provide a justification for this reference to revenge — the Duke of Austria’s presence at castelle Gaylarde where King Richard is mortally wounded — that does not depend upon Richard’s captivity (Löwenherz, pp. 18–19). For the variant endings from C, A, and B, see the Textual Note to lines 7185–7240.

6042 Famelye. Famelye. Perhaps a reference to Famiya (Arabic Qalaat al-Madiq), also known as Famiyyah and Afamiyya, a town and medieval fortress in northwestern Syria situated on the eastern bank of the Orontes River.

6055–6212 Of castel . . . hys bensoun! For chronicle accounts of the siege of Darum Castle, see Ambroise, Estoire, 1:148–51, lines 9127–9369; and Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.39, pp. 316–19.

6055 castel Daroun. In 1150, King Baldwin III fortified Gaza on the Egyptian side of Ascalon with this four-tower castle (Kennedy, Crusader Castles, p. 31). A stronghold for the military orders located in Gaza, Deir al-Balah (Darum) became a staging area for attacks against Ascalon. Saladin captured Darum Castle in 1187, Richard I retook it in 1191, and it was razed in 1192 (Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 47).

6062 Seynt James day. 25 July. See note on St. James at line 4817.

6089 By water they were ibrought anon. Chronicles report that Richard transported his catapults by ships from Ascalon to Darum (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.39, p. 316; Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 189).

6118 myddylerd. The terrestrial earth that exists between the underworld and heaven.

6205 And he that payde a thousand pound. Chronicles report that Richard would not negotiate with the defenders of Darum Castle but made slaves of the survivors (Ambroise, Estoire, 1:149–50, lines 9238–309; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.39, p. 317–18). Nicholson argues that Richard, “according to the custom of war,” would have let the defenders depart in peace had they surrendered upon his arrival (Itinerarium, p. 317n79).

6215 To Gatrys. This city in the Holy Land has been variously identified as Gasdres or Guadres of the Estoire, as Gaza, and Gazara of Celesyria, which crusaders called Montgizard (Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 466).

6280 He was an aungyl and no man. Aungyl can mean both celestial being and devil (MED, s.v. aungel, (n.), senses 1a and 4). See note to line 500.

6296 Castel Pylgrym. The Castle Pylgrym previously was taken by Saladin; see line 4935 and note.

6298 Lefruyde. Unidentified. In an analogous historical event, Richard, who was preparing to besiege the Castle of Figs, instead found it deserted (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.41, p. 320).

6309 Gybelyn. Arabic Bait Jibrin (French Bethgibelin, Latin Ybelin Hospitalariorum, Greek Eleutheropolis). Built in 1136 by King Fulk and located to the north of Hebron and east of Ascalon. Initiating the military orders’ holding of castles, the Knights Hospitallers were given the castle (Kennedy, Crusader Castles, p. 31). For parallels, see Nicholson, Itinerarium, 5.44, p. 322; Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 190; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 466.

6313 Whenne Bawdewyn was slayn with bronde. Though Brunner notes that Baldwin IV died from leprosy, he suggests the reference is nonetheless to Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (Löwenherz, p. 463).

6315 In that cyté was Seynt Anne ibore. The site traditionally associated with Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, is Jerusalem, where a church purportedly commemorates the site of her birth.

6316 That Oure Lady was of core. Core is a variant of the past participle of chesen: “Of Jesus: to choose (the Virgin for his mother)” (MED (v.), sense 6b).

6324 That was the fendes flesshe and bon. Given their common mother, the demon queen — see lines 43–238 — this description applies to both John and Richard.

6326 The chaunceler they hadde inome. Not seized, the Chancellor William Longchamp fled the country. Breaking an oath to remain outside of England for three years, Geoffrey (archbishop of York and half-brother of Richard and
John) returned only to be seized violently from St. Martin’s priory by the Chancellor’s men. Reminiscent of the death of Thomas Becket, this act made William Longchamp so unpopular that he fled England (Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 227–28).

6346 Seynt Rychere. The Tale of Gamelyn twice refers to “Seint Richere” (lines 137 and 614), who is identified as Richard of Chichester (1197–1253): Knight and Ohlgren note Skeat’s suggestion that this saint represents “a pattern for brotherly love” in Gamelyn, p. 221. As a youth, Richard of Chichester had helped his older brother by plowing fields. See also A Gest of Robyn Hood, line 362. If the exigencies of rhyme may be disregarded, a reference at this point in RCL to a figure noted for brotherly love may well be ironic. Also, St. Richard was noted for preaching the Crusade at the end of his life (Farmer, Saints, p. 427).

6350 Bethanye. Located near Jerusalem on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives at the current site of Al-Ezareyya, Bethany contained a defensive tower built by Queen Melisende in 1144 to protect its nuns (Pringle, Secular Buildings, p. 33).

6369–6520 And as . . . . he was. The capture of the caravan. This episode has an historical basis. After being informed by a spy of a rich and valuable caravan, Richard did in fact win great treasure; see, e.g., Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.4, pp. 339–42; and Runciman, History of the Crusades, 3:68–69.

6475–76 But to Termagaunt . . . to Plotoun. For a discussion of the West’s mischaracterization of Saracens as polytheistic pagans who worshipped Roman gods, see Tolan, Saracens, pp. 3–20, 105–34.

6513 Bethany. See note at line 6350 above.

6523–24 The Bysschop . . . Seynt Albon. The Itinerarium, 5:19 reports that the prior of Hereford, not the bishop of Chester, served as one of the ambassadors from England who urged Richard's return (see also Gillingham, Richard I, p. 195). Brunner argues that since the bishop of Chester supported John, he is unlikely to have served as a messenger in this instance (Löwenherz, p. 57).

6525 lettres speciele. Letters issued under extraordinary circumstances.

6531–32 For the kyng . . . in Normandye. The Introduction (p. 14–15) discusses the poem’s portrayal of King Philip II Augustus. The historical record documents well Richard and Philip’s turbulent relations, one point of contention being Philip’s numerous invasions of Normandy; see, e. g., Gillingham (Richard I, pp. 81, 229, 235n51, 240–42, and 249–50).

6552 That hys tresore robbyd was. See note to lines 6369–6520 above.

6574 Fro his body kyttes the tayle. Compare lines 1776 and the related note.

6587 Kyng Richard with hys grete tayle. See note to line 1776 above.

6592 Capados and of Barbarye. “Capados” is likely a reference to Cappadocia, a region in central Anatolia (Asia Minor) now located in Turkey. See the reference to “Capadocye” at line 6898. “Barbarye” of Barbary, the land of the Berbers, refers to “the Saracen north coast of Africa” (MED, s.v. barbarie (n.), sense 3).

6598 the Grekyssche see. See note at line 651 above.

6663 Henry of Champayn. See note at line 2823 above.

6684 He fledde ayen, be Jhesu Cryste. Not an accurate portrayal of Henry of Champagne. See note at line 2823.

6711–13 Now herkenes . . . romaunce non. For a similar rejection of romance in favor of history, see Kyng Alysaunder, lines 668–70; and Mills, “Generic Titles,” p. 128 and 128n14. RCL’s use of generic labels, though, can be inconsistent: “Rychard hyghte the fyrste, iwis, / Of whom this romaunce imakyd is (lines 201–02).

6714–22 Of Partinope . . . ne of Achylles. Despite overlap between this list and that found in lines 11–19, differences bear mentioning: the initial list includes heroes from the Charlemagne romances; this tendentious list “draws most heavily upon the romances of Troy, of Arthur, and of native English heroes” (Mills, “Generic Titles,” pp. 128n13 and 136n35). See also the note to lines 11–19.

6718 Sere Vrrake. Loomis suggests that this name appoximates that of “Urake,” the name of a lady in Partonope of Blois, and, as such, does not belong in a list of romance heroes but was inserted for the sake of rhyme by a writer without adequate knowledge (Review, p. 457).

6761 wayte. “A military or civic functionary responsible for signaling the hour, sounding an alarm, etc. by blowing a trumpet, ringing a bell, or the like; also, a palace retainer assigned to blow a trumpet at designated times, a herald” (MED, s. v. wait(e (n.), sense 1d).

6800 With my pollaxe I am come. A poleaxe was “a staff weapon whose head had a Danish–type ax offset by either a thick fluke, straight or curved, or a flat ridged hammer; at the top of the haft was a sturdy spike. The term, ‘poleax,’ . . . came into use in the early 15th century” (Tarassuk and Blair, Arms and Weapons p. 382).

6802 Wesseyl I schal drynke yow too. Like Richard’s ax, this toast in a popular romance may nostalgically recall an Anglo-Saxon past; see Heng, Empire, pp. 104, 106–07.

6815–16 Malcan staran . . . . me moru. These lines appear to be gibberish — a mock Arabic flourish.

6818 The Englyssche devyl icome is. See note to line 500.

6893 Egyens. An unidentified people.

6894 Moryens. Possibly a reference to the Moorish people from Mauretania, a part of North Africa in what is now Morocco.

6895 Basyles, and Embosyens. Unidentified peoples in Saladin’s army (Brunner, Löwenherz, pp. 463, 365).

6898 Capadocye. Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey.

6899 Of Medes, and of Asclamoyne. The Medes, an ancient Iranian people who lived in Media. Brunner suggests that “Asclamoyne” refers to Slavic lands (Löwenherz, p. 462).

6930 The curse have he of swete Jhesus. See Matthew 21:18–19: “And in the morning, returning into the city, he [Jesus] was hungry. And seeing a certain fig tree by the way side, he came to it and found nothing on it. And he saith to it: May no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And immediately the fig tree withered away.” See also Mark 11:13-14. Richard’s curse of Saladin invokes the parable of the barren fig tree, used by medieval theologians who repeatedly compared the Jews to this barren tree (Whitman, “The Body and The Struggle,” p. 53). As Richard replaces the Jews with Saladin, his curse serves as further evidence of Heng’s assertion that Richard depicts Muslims as virtual Jews (Empire, p. 79).

6932 And told the Sowdane worde and ende. For a discussion of the phrase, “worde and ende,” see Onions, “Middle English ‘Ord and Ende.’” See also MED, ende (n.1), senses 24(2–3).

6934–35 And sayde . . . a saynt. See note to line 500.

6943–62 Thorugh Goddes grace . . more nede! One of several angelic interventions, a convention of chansons de geste and crusading poems; see the Introduction, pp. 1, 16, 19. See also lines 3011, 3748–54 and related note, 5548–75 and, though less clearly, lines 3123–24.

6953–57 Take trues . . . after then. These lines express the notion that crusade combined holy war with the concept of pilgrimage, and, in particular, the lines refer to that part of the crusading vow that imposed on crusaders the obligation to worship at the Holy Sepulchre; see Merrilees; “Crusade,” p. 16.

7003–04 And thoo . . . Richardis cuppe. Akbari argues that these lines parody the poem’s repeated presentation of ritual feasting to demonstrate the reconciliation of former enemies (“Hunger,” pp. 205–06).

7008 As it is in Frensch ifounde. One of several references to an original French text; see the Introduction (pp. 3–4, p. 10n50) and the note at line 21.

7017 Hys eme, Sere Henry of Champayn. In the Itinerarium’s description of the battle of Joppa, Richard saves not Henry of Champagne but the earl of Leicester, “who had been thrown from his horse” (Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.22, p. 363). Thus, this substitution serves as another example of RCL’s revision of history to humilate the French (Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 194).

7075 patryark. The patriarch, a bishop of one of the “chief sees of Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, or Jerusalem” (MED, s.v. patriark(e (n.), sense c). The reference is likely to the Bishop of Jerusalem.

7076 Jhon the Neel. A reference to Jean de Nesle, a hero of the Fourth Crusade. See also line 2826 and Loomis, Review, p. 456.

7077 William Arsour, and Sere Gerard. Both of these knights remain unidentified. Though the name “Arsour” may refer to Arsur — also known as Arsuf (a coastal city between Jaffa and Caesarea) — William was not one of the lords of Arsuf.

7078 Bertram Braundys, thy goode Lumbard. For information on Bertram III de Verdun, see the note to line 3946.

7087 They slowen Fauvel undyr hym. Ambroise reports that after Richard’s heroic defense of Jaffa (5 August, 1192), Saladin’s brother, Safadin, was so impressed that he sent the king two steeds (Estoire, 1:186–87, lines 11,544–64; cited by Gillingham, Richard I, p. 216; Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.22, p. 364). Other chronicles report that Saladin generously sent Richard a magnificent mount after learning that Richard’s had been killed from under him (Broughton, Legends of Richard I, pp. 100–02). See the discussion of Saladin in the Introduction and the note to line 5502.

7149–52 At morwen . . . . Jhon Seynt Jhan. Of this list of emissaries that Richard sends to Saladin, only “Gawter” (Hubert Walter), can be confirmed as an actual participant (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 217): Walter, who figures prominently in chronicles of the Third Crusade, is described more fully by the note at line 2831. “Robert Sabuyle” likely refers to Robert de Sabloel. A commander of Richard’s fleet and a treasurer of the crusade, Robert served as one of the messengers to Tancred and later became master of the Temple from 1191 to 1193 (Nicholson, Itinerarium, p. 165 and n72). Though “Huberd Tourneham” remains unidentified, Robert Tourneham was a soldier and administrator closely associated with Richard I. His career is described at the note to line 1659. “Wyllyam Watevyle” and “Gyffard” have not been unidentified, nor has “Jhon Seynt Jhan,” though the latter’s name may intimate some relation to the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

7162 Says three yer, three monethis, and thre dawes. Similar durations are reported in the chronicles of William of Newburgh and Walter of Heminburgh (Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 226; and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 54).

7166 And tolde the Sawdon wurd and ende. See note at line 6932 above.

7177–84 Thoo aftyrward . . . or damage. For a chonicle’s record of the terms of the three-year truce, which include the destruction of Ascalon, see Nicholson, Itinerarium, 6.27, p. 371.

7181 Olyvete. Mount Olivet of the Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge east of Jerusalem. Among other associations, it is the site of Jesus’s prophecy of the Last Judgment (Matthew 24:2–3) and of his ascension into heaven (Acts 1:1–12). As a result, the Mount of Olives became an important pilgrimage destination.

7182 Mayden Castell. See the note to line 4941.

7190 At Castell Gaylarde there he was. Richard did not fall outside Castle Gaillard (Chateau-Gâillard), an impressive fortification and palace on an isle in the Seine that was the favorite residence of Richard during his last two years (Gillingham, Richard I, p. 302). Rather, he fell outside the less impressive Chaluz; see Brunner’s discussion of Walter of Hemmingburgh’s similar mistake (Löwenherz, p. 58n), and Jentsch, “Quellen,” p. 227.

7228 at the Font Everarde. A likely corruption of the place of Richard’s burial, at Fontevraud, an abbey near Chinon in Anjou. As described by Gillingham: “His brain and entrails were buried on the Poitou-Limousin border at Charroux — an abbey which claimed none other than Charlemagne as its founder. His heart went to Rouen, where it was buried next to his elder brother. . . . The rest of him, together with the crown and regalia he had worn at Winchester, reported the Winchester annalist, was buried at Fontevraud, at his father’s feet on Palm Sunday, 11 April (Richard I, pp. 324–50. See also Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 465). For an ambitious study of such aristocratic burial practices, see Westerhof’s Death and the Noble Body.


ABBREVIATIONS: A: MS London, College of Arms HDN 58 (formerly: Arundel); a: part of the manuscript tradition (see pp. 3–10 of the introduction); B: MS London, BL Additional 31042 (formerly: London Thornton); b: part of the manuscript tradition (see pp. 3–10 of the introduction); D: MS Oxford, Bodleian 21802 (formerly: Douce 228); Br: Der Mittelenglische Versroman über Richard Löwenherz, ed. Brunner. E: MS London, BL Egerton 2862; H: MS London, BL Harley 4690; L: MS Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Advocates’ 19.2.1; MS: MS Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College 175/96 (C; base text); RCL: Richard Coer de Lyon; W: Wynkyn de Worde’s 1509 printed edition; W2: de Worde’s 1528 printed edition.

1–35 For L’s unusual prologe, the only prologue from the b group to survive, see the corresponding Explanatory Note.

24 MS: Below this line appears a crossed-out couplet corresponding to lines 25–26.

27 jestes. So W. MS: 3yiftys. B: geste. L: gestes.

49 sondes. So Br. MS is illegible. W: sonde. B: sandys.

50 londes. So Br. MS is illegible. W: londe. B: landis.

52 hym to wyf. Illegible in MS. W: hym to wyve. B: hyme to weyffe.

181 she. So W. MS: they. B: they. Brunner argues that MS and B form a group within the a version of manuscripts because their joint mistake — they for sche — is not encountered in W (Löwenherz, p. 13). See note to line 522.

183 hym. So W, B. MS: here.

228–448 And Johan . . . . to me. Due to missing leaves, these lines are lacking in MS and are supplied by W.

237 he. So B. W: she.

241 Crowned after Kynge Harry. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for an additional passage from L.

269 He came out of a valaye. Defective at its beginning, D begins here.

279 kynde. So B, D. W: oynge.

290–318 Full egerly . . . he bare. For the passage from D corresponding to these lines, see Löwenherz, p. 93n.

297 gorgere. So B. W: forgette.

324 he came. So B. W: be came.

343 thore. Br: þore. W: yore. B: thare.

357 peres. So B. W: speres.

397–426 To the . . . hym drowe. For D’s version of these lines, see Löwenherz, pp. 98–101n.

405 foundred. So B. W: swouned. W2: sounded.

435 Doly. So B. W: Dely.

439 messengere. So B. W: messengers.

455–58 And whiche . . . the loos. Absent in MS, these lines derive from W. A variation of these lines is found in B.

495–96 The aventurous . . . knyght betydde. Absent in MS, these lines derive from W.

498 off his stede. So Br. MS: off stede. W, B: of his stede.

506 shelde. So W. MS: schuldre. B: schelde.

522 Hym semyd. So MS, B. W: He semed. Though less convincingly than in line 181, Brunner argues that a joint error in MS and B — Hym semyd — indicates that MS and B form a subset within the a group distinct from W (Löwenherz, p.13). The form, him semed, though, is not rare; see, e.g., MED, s.v. semen (v.2), sense 1f: “him semeth (them semed), etc., he seems (they seemed, etc.) to be.”

558 culvere. So MS. W: dove. B: dofe.

568 pouke. So MS. B: puk. W: symple man.

582 stonyd. So Br. MS: stornyd. B: stonayde. Omitted in W.

608 The b version includes at this point an 18-line passage that offers a concise reiteration of the knights’ summary of the tournament at Salisbury:




      Whan her couen[a]nt was jmade
The kyng spake w[ith] hert glade
“My leue ffrendes, w[ith] gode entent
How ferde ye atte t[or]nament?
Cam any strong knyght to yo[ur] play
“Ye,” they seiden, “p[ar]mafay,
Auentures knight ther cam ryde
In dyu[er]s atyre, w[ith] muche p[ri]de
He felde both hors and man
Hym ne myght non w[ith]stond þan.”
“Ye,” q[uo]the þe kyng, “my frend[es] be ye
Of that knyght j shall yow say
Jch was thuder jgon for certe.”
Tho wer[e] they glad and blithe in herte
That he loued her felawred.
Ffor he wax dowty man of dede,
And also queynte in many case;
Therfor they maden gret solas.

The text of this passage is taken from A (fol. 252r).

667 bad that he scholde goo. So Br. MS: bad that sche scholde goo. W: bad hym thens go. B: we will ryse & goo. A, D: and seyde nay. H: & seid nay. Omitted in L.

674 mynstrall. So MS. W: glee men. B: glewe men. Omitted in b.

677 He. So B, Br. MS: Sche. W: They. Omitted in b.

679–796 Forthe he wente . . . . a swoughe. These lines are absent in MS and are supplied by W.

679 Forthe. So Br. B: And forthe. W: For.

721 put. So B. W: uot.

741 Wardrewe. So Br. W: Mardrewe. B: Sir Andryne. H: Ardoure. See note to line 851.

763 Saynt Martyn. B: Saynt Martyne. D: Seynt Elyne. A: Gemelyne.

790 As thow art a stalworth knyght. So A. W: Thou hast Jfared well this nyght. B: Euene als þou arte a stalworth knyght. H: As þu arte a stalleworth knyghte. D: As þou art a trowe knyth.

795 droughe. So B. W: tare. A: drowe. D: drew. H: drowghe.

796 swoughe. So B. W: care. A: swowe. D: swone. H: sowghe.

803 worde. So W, B, A, D. MS: noyse.

805 He. So B, W. Omitted in MS. Absent in b.

827 Her kerchers she drewe and heer also. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Hir kerchefes sche drewe hir hare also. A: Her kerchefs she to drowe. D: Here kerchys sche drow here here also. H: Here kerchews sche alle to drowghe.

828 Alas she sayd, what shall I do? So W. Omitted in MS. B: Allas sche seide what schall I doo. A: Alas she seide me is woo. D: Alas, sche seyde, me ys woo. H: Alas sche seide me is woo ynoughe.

829 qahchyd. So MS. W: cratched. B: skrattede.

830 was in a rage. So W. MS: wolde be rage. B: was alle in a rage. Omitted in A, H, D.

841 The knyght. So MS. W: The knyghtes. B: the knyghte. A: The kyng. D: The knyth. H: The kyng. From common errors found in this line — king for knyght — Brunner argues that in the b version, A and H form a group distinct from L, E, and D (Löwenherz, p. 13). E, being defective, begins with line 1857, and L does not include the exchange of blows episode.

842 he scholde. So B. MS: the he scholde. W: he sholde.

849 I fette. So W. MS: fette. B: j fetchede. A: ich hem fette. D: j hem fettys (hem inserted above fettys). H: y ham fette.

851 Wardrewe. So W. MS: Ardru. B: Ardrene. See note to line 741.

857 Wardrewe. So W. MS: Ardu.

871 wylle. So MS. A, H: mode. This “error” that destroys the rhyme in A and H forms part of a cluster of shared features within the b group that distinguish A and H from L, E, and D: see note at line 841 above and Löwenherz, pp. 13–14.

873 And fetters upon theyr fete feste. So W. MS: And feteres hem for þe best. B: And grete ffettirs one hym loke þou do feste.

875 he. MS: This word is inserted above the line.

886 soone. MS: sone with o inserted above the line.

927–1018 The kyng . . . . to ded. Instead of these lines, b (A, fol. 254v) reads as follows:





Thanne was the kyng sor[e] amayde,
“Alas,” he seide, “ich am betrayed.
That traito[ur] hath my sone aslayne,
And my fayr[e] dought[er] forlayne.”
Smertly the kyng, w[ith]oute faille,
Let ofsend all his counseill,
And of hem he axed rede
How he myght do Ric[hard] to dede.
He tolde hem all hough he he had done.
The barons radde him also sone,
He hadde a lyon in a cage,
A wilde best and a savage.

Men seide if they wer[e] togeder steke,
On him wolde þis best awreke
All they seiden hit shulde be so.
Thanne was the kyng[e] dought[er] wo.
Whenne eu[er]ych man slepte in the castel,
The mayde wente to the gayler[e].
Her bedde she hadde therin jdight[e],
Bi Ric[hard] She lay all the nyghte,
And altogeders she tolde hy[m] tho,
How they hadde dampned hy[m] to slo

Compare Löwenherz, p. 128n–130n.

933 The kyng in herte sykyd sore. So MS. Brunner argues that b’s account of the decision to battle the lion, which begins here, abbreviates the original version (Löwenherz, p. 21).

939 messangers. So B. MS: messangrys. W: messengers.

945 welcome. So W, B. MS: welcomes.

975–76 And stryvenn faste . . . egere mode. Absent in MS, these lines derive from W. B: And stryvenn faste als they were wode / With grete erroure and egere mode.

1017 ordeynyd thee. In MS, þe is inserted above the line. W: ordeyned. B: ordaynede.

1057–1428 Sertes, henne . . . . hys mede. Instead of these lines b (A, fols. 254v–55v) reads as follows:
























Ric[hard] seide, “lady free,
Ich the p[ra]y wynde hennes fro me,
Or els þ[ou] wilte g[re]ve me sor[e]
Go hennes lemman, for goddes or[e]!”
The mayde aros and wente her way;
Ric[hard] slepte fort hit was day.
Ric[hard] the kerchyues toke on honde,
And aboute his arme wonde,
Vnder his slyve harde icaste.
In hert was he noughte agaste.
Ric[hard] thought in that wyle
To sle the lyon w[ith] his gyle.
The sharpe knyf foryate he noght,
Of grounde style hit was iwrought.
And semeliche in his kertyll stod,
Abode the lyon fers and wode.
With that come the Gayler,
And the knyghtes all ifeer,
And lad the lyon hem amonge
W[ith] pawys bothe sharpe & strong.
The chambr[e] dore they hadde vndo,
And the lyon they ladde him too.
Whan the lyon sey him skete,
He ramped on with his fete.
He yoned wyde and ganne to Rage,
As wilde best that was sauage;
And kyng Ric[hard] also sket[e],
Jn the lyones throte his arme he shete.
All in kerchefs his arme was wonde:
The lyon he strangeled in that sto[n]de.
With his pawys his kyrtell he roff;
W[ith] þat þ[e] lyon to the erthe he droff.
Ric[hard] w[ith] that knyf so smert,
He smote the lyon to þe hert.
Oute of his kerchefs his honde he drogh,
And at that game Ric[hard] lough,
And the kercheffes stille he lette;
Thus the lyon his make mette.
He opened him atte brest bone,
And toke his hert oute anone,
And thonked God om[n]ipotent
Of the grace he hadde hem sent,
And of his dede of grete renoune
Cleped he was quer[e] lyon.
Now wente thes knyghtes all fyve,
And tolde kyng alle blyve
That Ric[hard] and the lyon
Togeders wer[e] in prisone.
Than seide he, “By heuen kyng,
Jch am glad of that tything.
By this tyme, Ich wote full well,
The lyon hath of him his dell!”
Vp aros the dought[er] yong,
And seide thus to her fader the ky[n]g:
“Nay,” she saide, “So god me rede,
J ne leve that he be dede.
He by hete atte sop[er] tyme
The lyons hert today by p[ri]me!”
The kyng comaunded his knyght[es] anon
To the p[ri]son for to gone;
And loke hasteliche and blythe,
If that the devyll wer[e] alyue,
And the knyghtes al sone
The prison dor[e] have vndone,
And in they yede all sone.
Ric[hard] seide, “Ye beth wellcome!”
They sey the lyon lye dede thar[e].
They orne and tolde the kyng for[e]
That Ric[hard] was all hole and sounde,
And the lyon ded vpon the grounde.
The kyng seyde to the q[ue]ne so,
“Yf he dwelle her, he wole vs sloo.
Do we him raunson tho[ur]gh our[e] honde,
And swythe flen oute of þis londe,
And also his felawes twey
His wikked hefd hit shall away.”
Of lyme and stone he had an house;
The kyng than swor[e] by Jh[esu]s,
The house kyng Ric[hard] fullyng shuld,
Fful of seluer and of golde,
And ell in prisou[n] ligge ev[er]mor[e].
Th[us] haþ the kyng his oth iswor[e].
Anon kyng Ric[hard] v[er]ement
L[ett]res into Engelonde he sente
To the kynges chaunceller.
The l[ettr]e speke as ye mowe her[e]:
“Kyng Ric[hard] lithe in p[ri]sou[n],
And most haue grete raunsou[n]:
Treso[ur] with an house to fille,
Other elles in p[ris]on he shall spille.”
That was ther maked, J understonde,
A taxion in Engelonde;
In abbeys and in cherches bo,
Ther ner chalis but to,
That on they toke w[ith]oute lesyng;
Thus raunsomed Engelond for our[e] ky[n]g.
Whenne the t[re]sour[e] com ther hit shold be,
They hadde brouten swiche three
Also they had nede for[e],
But all togeder hit leued ther.
Kyng Ric[hard] swor by Seynt John,
He wolde haue to for[e] on.
Thane the kyng, Jch vnderstond,
Toke his dought[er] by the honde,
And bade hur w[ith] Ric[hard] goo
Oute of his londe for ev[er] mo.
He swor as he was kyng or page,
Thare she sholde haue none heritage.
Thus come Ric[hard] oute of p[ri]son,
God yeve vs all his benesou[n].
Jnto Engelond wente they thoo,
And alle bothe ffrendes com to.
With ham they mande muche glady[n]g,
And many a feyr[e] justyng,
Ffor joy that her lorde was com to lond[e];
Þ[er]of þey thonket Goddes sonde.
Hom þey wente to her contres all,
And lefte the kyng w[ith] his mayne all.

1058 I shall take the grace that god wyll sende. So W. MS: Here J wole take myn ende. B: I will take here þe grace þat god will sende.

1077 thay hafe undo. So B. Absent in MS. W: they undone. A: hadde undo. D: dede undo.

1078 lyoun lete hym to. So B. Absent in MS. W: lyon to hym is gone. A: lyon they ladde him too. D: lyoun gon hym to.

1125 hys. In MS, hys appears as a correction above the line.

1140 Messe is sayd. MS: Messe in sayd. Br: Messe in saye. W: And matyns synge. B: Matyns sayes. Omitted in b.

1147 And my doughter for her outrage. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And my doghetir for hir owtrage.

1148 Shall forgoo her herytage. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Shall forgo hir herytage.

1164 me too. So W. MS: me is inserted as a correction.

1178 travayle. MS: turvayle.

1205 rede. So W. MS: redy. B: red.

1254 travayle. MS: turvayle.

1287–1312 Of Surry . . . Holy Croys. See Paris’s discussion of this passage in relation to the much shorter account — four lines — in L; (“Le Roman,” pp. 354–56).

1290 it. In MS, it appears as a correction above the line.

1317 Surry lande. So B. MS: þat lande. W: Surrey londe.

1343 Westemynstyr. So MS. L: Winchester. See the Explanatory Note at line 241 above.

1387 have nomen. So W. MS: wolde have nomen (wolde appears as a correction above the line). B: has nome.

1410 other londe. So W. MS: Crystene londe. B: other landes.

1437–1666 Three hoostes . . . . Holy Londe. For a variant passage in A, see the corresponding Explanatory Note.

1477 mayre. So W. MS: men. B: mayere.

1487 he. So W, B. MS: ye.

1507 for to wende. So W, B. MS: swythe sende.

1521 They waschede as it was lawe of land. Omitted in MS. B: Þey waschede þane als was lawe of lande. W: They wysshe as it is lawe in lande.

1522 rydand. Brunner argues that the use of the present participle in -ande here and in line 1525 (ryngangde) and in 3430 (grennand) serves as evidence that the episode — either the journey of revenge through Germany or the second act of cannibalism — did not form part of the original, Anglo-Norman text (Löwenherz, p. 19).

1535 made at ease. So MS, W. In MS, at ease appears as a correction above ryght merye. B: welcomed full fayre.

1536 semblaunt. So W. MS: herte. B: semblande.

1566 in. In MS, in appears as a correction above the line.

1602 skylle. So Br. MS is defective here. B: skille. W: skyll.

1629 to beker in fyght. So W. MS: and bykyr and ffyght. B: to bekir in fighte.

1645 it. In MS, it appears as a correction above the line.

1660 Gret Ynglys peple. So B. MS: Gret peple. W: Moche englysshe people.

1712 Rys. So A. MS: rys. B: pys. W: thys. L: Riis. D: Pys. H: Ryse.

1737–2468 And I . . . . and styll. Due to missing leaves in MS, these lines derive from W.

1739 men. So W, B, D, Br. Omitted in L, H, A.

1744 Lo, here the letter forsothe, iwys. So D, Br. W: Lo here are the letter forsothe Jwys. B: Loo here þe lettre there of Jwysse. A: Lo here the lettre Jwys. H: Lo here the letter wreten ys.

1761 Whete and benys twenty thowsande. So B. Omitted in W. A: And of whete & benen quarters xx mt. L: Wiþ . . . seuen to þousinde. D: Of wete & benys tuenty þousand. H: Of wete quarters twenty þowsende.

1762 Quarters he boughte als that I fynde. So B. Omitted in W. A: he bought as we fynde. D: Qwarters he bowte also J fond. H: he bowghte as iche ffynde. L: He bou3t also y finde.

1764 account. W: acccount.

1769 into the chepynge. So B. W: to shyppynge. A: into þe chepyng. L: into the chepeinge. H: to chepyng.

1773 Kynge. So Br. W: Kynke.

1775 helde. So B, A, H, Br. W: had. D, L: held.

1784 feste. So B, A, D, H, Br. W: faste. L: fest.

1785 erles. So B, Br. W: clerkes. D: erl. L: erle & clerke. Omitted in A, H.

1818 Full. So Br. W: fulll. B: ffull.

1830 Go home, dogges, with your tayle. W: Awaye dogges with your tayle. B: And seid gose home dogges with 3our taylles. A: Go hom dogges with your taill. D: Go home doggys with 3oure vitayle. H: Go home dogges wyth youre tayle. L: Goþ home dogges wiþ 3our tayl. Br: “Go hom, dogges, with your tayle!”

1832 Men shall threste in your cuyle. So W. B: Righte sall mene garre 3ow habide. A: Me shall thrust in youre cull. D: Men schal þrestyn in 3oure koyl. L: Man schal þrest in 3our coyl. H: menne schall threste yn yowre cule.

1838 pavylyons. B: pauylyons. Br: pauylyouns. W: pavylyous.

1851 With syxe stages full of tourelles. So W. B: With sere stages full of torells. D: With sex stages & tureles. L: Wiþ sex stages ful of turels. A: With vi. stages jmade of stirells. H: wyth sexe stages ymade of styrelles. On the basis of stirelles and other “errors” shared by A and H, Brunner argues these manuscripts form a group within b that is distinct from L, E, and D (Löwenherz, pp. 13–14).

1855 surnownne. So B. W: sory nom. L: sornoun. A: surnum. D: sirename. H: surname.

1857 Maryners, arme your shyppes. E, missing a few initial leaves, begins here, but only the last two words are legible: shippes blyve.

1858 And holde up well your manshippes. So A. Br: And holde up your manshyppes. W: And do up your manshyppes. B: And haldis up wele oure manchippys. L: & holdeþ vp our manschippes. H: And holde uppe 3our manneschippes. Omitted in D and in E.

1861 For joye come never to me. So Br. A: ffor Joy come neuer to me. W: For come ye neuer to me. B: ffor certis joye commys never vnto me. D: Joye comyth never non to me. H: ffor y ioy cometh never unto me. L: Joie ne comeþ þer neuer to me.

1867 With ore, sprete, and sayle. B: With are and sprete and saile. W: Syth ore spredde and sayle. A: With bowsprete and saille blyve. L: Wiþ ore & seyl & spere. D: With ore and sayle spret. H: With bowsprete and sayle blyve.

1871 kynge of Fraunce. So B. W: kynge fraunce.

1873 Englysshe cowardes. So W. B: Inglys cowardes. A: Englissh taylardes. D: englische taylardes. L: Inglische cowardes. H: englysche taylardes.

1874 mosardes. So A. Br, L: mossardes. W: losardes. B: moserde. D, H: cowardes. L: mossardes.

1875 But reyse up. So W. B: Do drisses now. A: Dighteth he seide. D: Ordeyne now. L: Drisses now. H: dyghte he seyde.

1881 Targes and hurdis. So L, Br. W: Terges and hardes. B: Targis and hurdas. D: Torches bordes. A, H: Targes and dores.

1885 mosardes. So A, D, H, W: losardes. B: moserde. L: musardes.

1888 in hast. So B. W: on fast. A: unto. D: on hast. L: anon. H: uppe.

1895 hade so. So B. W: harde. A: So harde. D: hadde ny. L: hadde so. H: So Harde.

1898 Felde. W: Helde. B: felle. A: ful. D: feldyn. L: fel. H: fylle.

1905 wele. So B, Br. W: welee. A: well. D: wel. Omitted in H.

1915 Kynge Rycharde come. So B. W: Kynge Rychard and. A: When he come to him. L: King Richard com. D: Kyng Richard came.

1928 After hym prycked upon. W: After prycked upon. B: Aftire hym prekede appone. L: After him priked on.

1930 felawrede. So B, A. W: ferhede. D: felarede. H: felawrade.

1942 tholed schame. So B. W: gave bane. D: casche here bane. A: her schame. H: to take schame.

1943 hous. So A, D. B: howsses. H: howse. W, A: horse. Using W’s horse seems out of context given that line 1944 describes the barring of windows and doors; B provides an exemplar from a to corroborate the emendation.

1945 Oure Englissh with grete levours. So A. W: And ever men bare them up with levours. B: Bot the Ynglismen rane to with levours. H: Englysche menne with lewwres. D: The Englische have brostyn with levauns.

1946 Breke hem up with grete vigours. So A. W: And slew them with grete vygours. B: And brake thame up with grete vigours. A: Breke hem up with grete vigours. D: And slowin hem with gret vemauns.

1949 tresoure. So B, A, D. W: treasours.

1950 covertoure. So B, D. W: countours. A: couerters. H: couerture.

1969 one hande. So B. W: have honde. A: an hande. D: one honde.

1974 knee. So B, H. W: kene.

1978 towne. So A, Br. W: twone. B: townne. D: town.

1982 itelde. So D, Br. W: itelbe. B: telled. A: itolde.

1989 thy. So A, H. W: theyr. B: thi. D: þat.

2004 Syr Hewe Impetyte. So W. B: Hewe of Pympotit. A: Sir Penpetite. D: Hewe Pimperise.

2006 Cleped hym taylarde and hym myssayde. W: Cleped taylarde and myssayde. B: And called hym vile foule tayliarde. A: They cleped him tailarde & hym mysade. D: Clepid hym taylarde & hym myssayde. H: And fulle foule hym myssayde. E is illegible.

2025 Of Kynge Richarde he asked mercy. So Br. B: Of Kyng Richerd he asked mercy. W: Of kynge Rycharde he had his grace. A: And for goddess loue he cried mercy. H: And for goddes loue he cryed mercy. D: Tto kyng Richard he seyde mercy.

2026 That he wolde ther sesy. So D, Br. W: That he would leue his stryfe in that place. B: Ffor Jhesu lufe & for þe lufe of myld Mary. A: That he shulde secy. H: that he schulde sessey.

2029 graunted hym. So H. B: granted hym. W: graunted. D: hym graunted. A: graunted hem.

2040 And than on his waye he wente. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for an additional passage from the b group of manuscripts.

2046 With moche store of sylver and golde. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for an additional passage from the b group of manuscripts.

2051 sodaynly. So Br. B: sodeynly. W: sondaynly.

2055 bowe spret. So B. W: bothe sprett.

2063 The ferde schippe behynde duellede. So B. W: That shyppe lefte in the shelde. A: The ferthe ship byhynde dwellyd. D: The fferd chipe behynd dwellyd.

2064 Unnethes the maryners it helde. So B, Br. W: The maryners vnneth it with helde. A: Vnneþ the mareners hit ahelde. D: Vnethe þe mariners had yt welmyd.

2065 And that schippe lefte righte in the depe. So B. Omitted in W. A: The ship lasted in the depe. D: þus yt befel jn depe. H: The schype lanched in the depe.

2066 That the folkes one the lande myghte wepe. So B. Omitted in W. A: ffolke on þe londe myght wel wepe. H: ffolke of the londe myght wel wepe. D: The folke on londe myth wepe.

2067 Gryffons. So Br. W: Pryffons.

2071 of lyve. So B, D, H. W: on lyve. A: of lyf.

2083 borne. So B, D, A, H. W: lorne.

2096 dyshonoure. So B. W: byshonoure.

2108 double. So B. W: bouble.

2111 hastely. So B, W2. W: hasteyl.

2141 Thou hast thy selfe tresoure enoghe. So Br. W: Thou hast the selfe tresour grete plente. B: Thou hase thi selfe tresoure enoghe. A: Thow hauest thi self tresor jnoghe. H: For þou haste tresoure ynowghe. D: Þou hast þiselfe tresoure jnow.

2142 Yelde hym his tresour or thou getis grete woghe. So B. A: yelde him his tresour thow hauest þe wogh. W: Yf thou it withhelde it were grete pyte. H: yelde hym his tresour þou hast þe wowghe. Note that the order of lines 2141–42 is reversed in A and H. D: 3elde hym his þou hast done wow.

2152 And seid he wolde tellene hym a consaile. So B. W: And sayd he wolde hym accounsayle. A: And seide he wolde telle him a consaill. D: And seyde he wolde spekyn Jn counsaill. H: For to herkenne a cownceylle.

2176 bryght. So H. W: bryghe. B: brighte. A: bright. D: bryth.

2180 done us. So B. W: done vo.

2204 flenne. W: fleune. B: to fly. A: to flen. D: to fle thenne. Omitted in H.

2216 he toke. So B, D, L. W: toke.

2219 cleved. So Br. B: clevede. W: claved. A: sleed.

2220 therby leved. So W, A. B: þer he relevede. D: ther he levyd.

2231 jewells. So B. W: meles. A: jewels. D: juelys. L: iuwels.

2232 He sesyde als his owne catells. B: He sesyde als his awenne catells. W: He toke to his owne deles. D: He nam & all here chateles. A: Right for his owne cattels. H: Right for ys owne catelles. Br: He toke to his owne cateles.

2247 He. So B, D. W: She. Omitted in A, H.

2253 The keyes also I betake thee here. W: The keyes also in batayll here. B: And alswa alle þe keyes J betake þe here. D: The keyis also J take þe here.

2276 Stowte in armes and stronge in fighte. So Br. B: Stowte in armours & stronge in fighte. W: Well armed in armure bryght. A: Stout in Armes & strong in fighte. L: Stout in armes & strong in fi3tes. D: Steffe jn Armys & bold jn fyth.

2279 pavylyoune. So B. W: pauylywne. L: pauilons. A: pauilion. D: pauylouns. H: paueloune. Br: pauylyowne.

2280 trompis. So B, D. W: turmppettes. A: trompes. L: trumppes.

sowne. So B. W: swone. D: souns. L: sounes.

2295 As armes lordynges, all and some. So B, A, L. W: Horse and harneys lordes all and some. H: To armes lordes alle and somme. D: Lordis as armys all & some.

2296 We bene betrayed and inome. B: We bene bytrapped and bynommene. W: We betrayed and Jnome. A: We buth bytrayed and jnome. D: We bene jtrayde & jnome. L: We beþ bitreyd & ynome. H: For whe ben trayed and ynome.

2303 felled downe. So B. W: fell downe.

2317 He fande his clothis and his tresoure. So B. Omitted in W. D: He ffond his clodes & his tresoure. L: he fond his cloþes & his tresour.

2318 Bot he was fled, that vile traytoure. So B. Omitted in W. D: And flowin was þat fowle tratour. L: Ac he was flowen þat vile traytour.

2334 hyght. E: hy3t. W: hygh. B: highte. D: heyte. L: hete. Omitted in A, H.

2356 let me be. So E. W: leve me. B: late me bee. A: to bee. H: in pees be. L: lete me.

2361 Goth and seithe. So H. W: Go and sayd. B: Gase and says. A: Goth and siggeth. E: To sau3tle. L: Goþ and siggeþ.

2367 And also saye. W: And all that. B: and alswa saye. A: And also sey. D: & seye þus. L: & siggeþ also.

2376 out of. So E, L. B, A: oute of. D: owte of. W: but of. Omitted in H.

2391 In grete solace. So B. W: Grete solace. D: In solas. E: In solace. A: In grete delyte. H: With grete delyte.

2401 Bonevent. So B. W: Boffenent. H: Bonnevente. A: Bonnent. E: Bowent.

2430 dy. So B. A: die. D: dye. H: dyghe. W: abye.

2440 Pyse. So B, A, D, H. W: pryse.

2442 not loke. So D. W: no love. B: noghte loke. A: Wolde loke. H: Wolde lowke.

2449 by Hym. So B, D, A, H. W: by Jhesu.

2453 Erle. W: elre.

2456 To kepe his realme to his honde. After this line, b (A, fol. 260v) includes the following verses:


Ther[e] Kyng Ric[hard] spoused berenger,
The kyng[es] doughter of Nau[er],
And made ther Richest spousyng
That ev[er] maked any kyng,
And corouned himself Emp[er]o[ur]
And her Emp[er]ice w[ith] honour[e];
And thus Kyng R[ichard] wonne Cipres.
God g[ra]unte his soule heuene blys!

2545 on borde. So A, D, H. MS: to borde. W: aborde. B: one borde.

2580 a devyl. So MS, D. W, B: the devyll. A: a fende. H: a ffende. E: . . . com fro helle (line partially illegible).

2631 The galey yede as swyfte. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Þat the galy went alswa swyfte. D: The galey 3ede also wyth.

2632 As ony foule by the lyfte. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Als any foule by the lifte. D: so any ffowle þat flyith in fflyth.

2635 to the chayne. So W. MS: the cheyne too. B: unto the cheyne. A: þe cheyne. D: þe chayne.

2636 atwayne. So W. MS: on twoo. B: in twayne. A: atweyne. D: mayne.

2651 Gunnes he hadde on wondyr wise. A (fols. 261v–62r) provides the b group’s shorter account of Richard’s arrival in Acre:



The saracen[es] that wer[e] in acres toune
To þe walles ronne abondoune.
Of þe far[e] þey hadde wonder:
The see brent aboue & vnder;
And alle c[ri]sten kyng[es] & pages
Erles barons and bondages
To þe see wente afterward
To see the comyng of Kyng Ric[hard],
ffor to see the galies saile,
His mynstrallsye & his app[ar]aille.
ffor they ne sey neu[er] suche a comyng
Jnto Acres of no C[ri]sten kyng,
And whenne jdo was þis m[er]vaill[e],
Kyng Ric[hard] wente to londe saunz faill[e].

2675 For it was within the nyght. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Ffor þat it was appone þe myrke nyghte.

2676 They were agrysed of that syght. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Þerfore þay were all awondrede of þat sighte.

2679 And sayd he was the devyll of hell. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And saide þan it was þe fende of helle.

2680 That was come them to quell. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Þat was comen þam alle to quelle.

2695 ledden hym. So B. MS: ledde. W: syth ledde hym.

2722 deedly. So W. MS: manly. B: dedy. A: dethliche. D: dedlyche. H: dethelyche.

2755 and that brethe. So W. MS: wiþouten drede. B: & þat stynke. A: of þat brethe. E: of þe breeth. D: & þat brethv.

2756 toke theyr dethe. So W. MS: þeroff were dede. B: als I thynke. A: toke her deth. D: tok here deth. E: token her deeth.

2765 And so they. MS: So þey. W: And so we. B: And soo þay. D: & so þay.

2770 bore. So B, A, D. MS: ibere. Omitted in W. L: ybore.

2775 On Seynt Jamys even, verrayment. H ends here.

2780 And alle it. So B. MS: And it. Omitted in W. A: And all hit. L: & alle it. D: And al yt.

2804 With there swerdes doun thay hewe. Omitted in MS. B: With there suerdys doun þay hewe. W: Were with swerdes all to hewe. L: Wiþ her swerdes adoun þai hewe. D: & here swerdis al to hewe. E: With her swerdes al to hew.

2827 Bawdewyne. So W, B. MS: Bawdekyn. A: baudewyne. L: Baudewines. D: blandewyne.

2880 But blessyd be the Holy Goost. So W. MS: ffadyr & sone be þankyd & holy gost. B: There louyde now be the holy goste. D: blyssyd be þe holy gost. A: But jhered be that holi gost. L: & herd be þat holy gost.

2892 And pryckyd out of that felawred. W: And prycked out that felowrede. MS: And preykyd forþ wiþ his felawred. B: And prikked owte of that forehede. D: Richard tok leue of þat ffered. Note that the order of lines 2891–92 is reversed in D. L: & rode him out of þat ferred. A: And priked oute of that felawerede.

2896 Seynt John. So A, D. MS: Seynt Thomas. W: saynt Johan. B: seyne John. L: seyn Jon.

2899 That was a tree castell ful fyne. W: That was a tree castelle full fyne. MS: It was off tree castel fful ffyn. B: Þat was a tre castelle full fyne. L: Þat was a tre castel ful fine. D: That was a tre castel ful ffyne. A: That was a castell gode and fyne.

2902 shyppes full of been. MS: schyp fful been. W: shyppes full of bene. B: schyppes ful of bees. A: shippes full of been. D: schippis of ben. L: schippes of hiuen of ben.

2934 ben and stones. L: ben & stones. MS: bond and stones. W: bente and stones. B: grete stanys and bees. A: stones. D: stonys.

2945 Sarazenes. So B. MS: archers. W: the Sarazynes. D: Sarazynys. L: þai. Omitted in A.

flowen. So MS. B: fflowe. W: drewe. D: flew. L: flowe. Omitted in A.

2954 In ynde armyd to all ryghtes. At this point, the fragmentary L breaks off.

2994 In ynde armyd to all ryghtes. Absent in MS, A includes the following couplet after this line: Her baner was peynted, so seith þe Latyn, / Wiþ iij bores hefdes of golde fyne. See Löwenherz, p. 245n.

3010 But. So W, A, D, E. MS: And. B: Warne.

3012 Susé seynours, has armes tost. So MS. W: Soyes seygnyours for the holy goost. B: And knyghttis hase þaire armours takyne. A: Sus seignours as Armes tost. D: Sus seygnunzs As Armes tost. E: Suse seignours as armes toste.

3023 And many a knyghte loste his armys. W: Many a knyght lost his harnes. MS: Manye knygtes þere loste here armes. B: And many a knyghte lese his armys. A: And many a knyght þere los his armes. D: And many A man þere les his armys.

3024 And many a stede drewe theyr tharmes. W: And many a stede drewe theyr tharnes. A: And many a stede drough his tharmes. D: & many a stede þere drow his tharmys. MS: And manye stedes drow3 to harmes. B: And many a stede drewe after þam þaire tharmes. E: And mony a stede þere drewe his . . . (line partially illegible).

3025 manye a. W, B, D: many a. MS: manye. E: mony.

3035 But holde them all within. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Bot halde þame alle it with inne. A: But holde hem all stille þerinne. D: Therfor þer holdyn hem withinne.

3036 That the Sarasynes sholde them not wyn. So W. Omitted in MS. B: That the Sarazenes ne scholde thame wynne. A: That no Saracens sholde in wynne. D: That þe sarazynys schulde hem not wynne.

3040 For them yede no raunsoun. So W. MS: Ther yede no. B: Ffor þame that noþer go rawnsone.

3058 laye in grete. So W. B: laye in so grete. MS: was in swylk.

3062 To the Fadyr. So W. MS: Ffadyr. B: To god þe ffadir.

3066 her. So W. MS: hys. B: for hir.

3083 And ye. So W, B. MS: Ye may.

3099 broweys. So MS. W, B: brothe.

3108–3613 Thorwgh grace . . . . to sterve. Missing leaves, B is defective for this interval.

3114 Hys folk hem turnyd away and lowgh. So MS. Omitted in W. B is defective.

3119 Kyng. MS: Kyn.

3125–50 The Sarezynes . . . . so fele. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for a variant passage from the b group of manuscripts.

3128 entred an in icome. So W. MS: entryd in þe comoun. A: almost in icome. D: made entre comoun.

3151 Before wente his Templers. So W. Omitted in MS. A: Byfor him wente his templers. D: Beforn went his templers.

3152 His Gascoynes and his Ospytalers. So W. Omitted in MS. A: His gascons & his hospitalers. D: his gascons & his ospitalers.

3177–93 Thus al . . . . ten myle. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for a variant passage from A.

3212 hys whyte teeth. So MS. W: tethe whyte as snawe.

3234 without dystaunse. MS: with off here dystaunse. W: without dystaunce. A: withoute distaunce. D: for here dystance.

3237 Heris. MS: Here is. W: here. D: Herkenyth. A: lusteth.

3296 To underfonge of. So W, A. MS: To styrte undyr off.

3298 That kynge myght not be Syr Markys. So W. MS: Þat þe kyng louyd nou3t þe markys. A: That kynge ne moste noght be marcus. D: That malkows schulde not be marchis.

3304 Without dente and without harme. So W. MS: Þat non off hem have ony harme. A: Withoute dunt, withoute harme. D: Withowtyn dynt withowtyn harm.

3312 ye may fynde. MS: I may 3ow ffynde. W: ye may fynde also. A: ye may fynd. D: 3 e schul ffynde.

3320 defensable. So W, A. MS, D: fensable.

3326 In myn half, I graunte thee forward. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for an additional passage from A.

3331 put them thore. So W. MS: token hem 3are. Omitted in A. D, E: put hem þore.

3346 To venge God of hys enemyes. See below for the reading from A, fols. 265r–v:











Sone theraft[er] bitidde a chaunce
Bytwene Richard & the kyng of ffraunce
Als they pleiden atte ches.
Thanne seyde kyng phelip in a res:
“Kyng Richard, they thugh wynne
Al this lond thurgh thy gynne
J am lord, siker thugh be,
And j wille have the dignyte.”
“The dignite?” quath kyng Richard.
“Thugh lixt, by seynt Leonard!
I the swere, by seynt marie,
Of my p[ur]chas ne getest thugh w[u]rth a flye!
Yf thugh w[u]lt haue dignite,
Go wyn hyt with thy meyne!
& fonde if thugh hauest g[ra]ce
Of the Soudan to gete p[ur]chace.
I swere by Seynt Thomas of Inde,
Of my p[ur]chas thugh art byhynde.”
Ffor wratth worth sike the kyng of ff[ra]unce,
His lechis seyde without distaunce
That he ne sholde neu[er] hol be
Bute he to ffraunce to[ur]ne aye.
The kyng of ffraunce tho vnd[er]stode
That hur[e] consail was trywe & goode.
His shypes he dighte, more & lasse.
& wente hom atte halwe masse.
Kyng Richard on hym gan to crie,
And seyde he dude vileynye;
That he wolde for any maladie
Wende of the lond of Surrye
Er he hadde do godes s[er]uyse
For lif or deth in any wise.
The kyng of ffraunce wolde hy[m] nogh here,
But wente forth on this manere.
For they departede thus, forsoth,
Ev[er]e aft[er] were they wroth.
On the morwe Kyng Richarde
Dyghte hym to Jafes ward
& ladde with hym a gret oste
In the name of the holy goste.
Saladyn that heigh Soudan,
Lay logged with many a man,
With many a tente & pauyloun
To kepe Nazares toun.
The wey was narwe saunz doute,
Ther fore kyng Richard rod aboute.
Byside fflum Jordan he gan hym reste,
To sle the Sarasyne he was preste
For to fighte vppon the pleyn
That nolde the Soudan Saladyn,
For he hadde in memorye,
That he ne sholde wynne the vittorye.

For variations among the b group, see Löwenherz, pp. 262n–64n.

3383 Our Sawdon. So W, E. MS: Þe sawdon.

3384 ever more. So W, E. MS: ffor evere more.

3408 bode. So MS. W: worde. E: word.

3411 alone. So W. MS: anon. E: alloone.

3413 Pryvely. So W, E. MS: Stylly.

3431 they be nought rowe. So MS. W: they be no thynge rawe. E: they be nothing rowe.

3436 Faste therof ete I shall. So W. MS: Ete þeroff ry3t faste I schal. E: Faste þerof ete y shalle.

3459 He broughte oure kyng — was it nought leued. So MS. W: He brought to kynge Rycharde not cleuede. E: He bare to Richard it was not cleued.

3464 Therof they had all grame. So W. MS: Theroff thoughte hem but lytyl game. E: Þereof þey hadden al grame.

3512 a Sarezynys hede al hoot. MS: sarezynys hedes abouten al hoot. W: a Sarasynes heed all hote. E: a Saryzyns hed al whoot.

3516 In saf condyt. MS: In saff cundyt. W: safe to wende. E: In saf condit.

3519 so vylayne. So W. MS: so euyl. E: velayn.

3520 For to. So W, E. MS: Þat I wolde.

3530 and tell thy Sowdan. So W. MS: to 3oure sawdan. E: and biddeth 3oure Soudan.

3531 he. So W, E. MS: 3e.

3539 Brede, wyne, flesshe, fysshe and kunger. So W. MS: Bred & wyn ffysch fflesch samoun & cungir. E: fflessh and fyssh samon and kungour.

3541 Whyle that. So W. MS: Whyle we. E: While þat.

3547 Kyng Richard sayd: “I you waraunt.” W: Kyng Rychard sayd J you wraunt. MS: . . . ng Richard j schal waraunt (line partially illegible). E: King Richard seide y 3ow waraunt.

3548 Ther is no flesch so norysshaunt. W: There is no flesshe so nouryssaunt. MS: . . . no fflesch so norysschaunt (line partially illegible). E: Þer is no flesshe so noresshaunt.

3549 Unto an Ynglyssche Crysten man. Br: Vnto an Ynglyssche Cristen-man. MS: . . . an ynglyssche man (line partially illegible). W: To none englylshe crysten man. E: To myn Jnglyssh cristen men.

3552 As is the flessh of a Saryzyne. So E. MS: As þe hed off a sarezyn. W: Than is the flesshe of a sarasyne.

3556 Lyvande. So MS. W: Alyue. E: Lyuyng.

3563 tournyd. MS: tourn. . . (partially illegible). E: tornyd. W: dyde tourne.

3564 mournyd. MS: mour. . . (partially illegible). E: mornyd. W: dyde mourne.

3566 Kyng. MS: Kyn. W: That kynge. E: King.

3571 Of thy gold wolde he non. MS: Off þy gold wolde he take non. W: Of our golde wolde he none. E: Of þy golde wolle he noon.

3579 Rychardes table. MS: þe k. . . . (partially illegible). W: stode Rychardes table. E: stood Richard is table.

3580 But non of us before hym segh. W: But none of vs before hym sygh. MS: But non off v . . . re hym segh (line partially illegible). E: What þeron com wel we sy3e.

3591 feres. So Br. MS: seres. W: felawe. E: men.

3596 For sorwe we wende for to deye. Below are two couplets that follow this line in E (fol. 15v), but not in MS or in W:

When we dede rede þe letter ry3t,
Whos sone he was and what he hight,
The teers ron doun[e] by oure berde
To be þere slayn[e] we were aferde.

3598 Nynyve. MS: nynyue. W: rube. E: Nauerne.

3609 With teeth he gnew the flesch ful harde. MS: Wiþ teeþ . . . fflesch ful harde (line partially illegible). W: With his tethe he grynded flesshe harde. E: With teeth he gnew þe flessh herde.

3612 He. So W, E. MS: And.

3613 For drede we wende for to sterve. W omits lines 3613–40.

3617 that he be. So B, E. MS: to ben.

3618 soure. So Br. MS: oure. B: so soure. E: sory.

3631 Be servyd ferst, I and myn hynys. E omits lines 3631–38.

3636 Ne drank of wyn. MS: drank off whyt. B: Ne drynke no wyne.

3656 His clothis of gold unto his scherk. MS: Off þy cloþis off gold vnto þy scherk. W: His clothes of golde and his sarke. B: His clothes of golde vnto his serke.

3660 here bodies. MS: here blood. B: their bodies. E: oure boody. Omitted in W.

3664 It is a devyl, withouten fayle. After this line in B (fol. 144r), the following passage occurs, which is not found in other manuscripts:





And for serwe þay fallen[e] doun[e] in swoune,
Dukes & Erles & Barouns bathe vp & doun.
Many a lady and many a quene
Ffor þare childre þ[at] slayne thus bene,
Ffelle full flatte doun[e] appon[e] þe flynte,
And for þ[e] sorowe fulle nere þaire lyfes tynte.
Owte of þaire swounyng when þay myghte ryse,
þane þayre god Mawhoun[e] þay disspyse,
þay spittede one hym and seyden[e] “Fy!”
And one all þaire oþ[ere] goddes bothe by & by.
“Allas, Mawhoun[e] þat þ[ou] suffre wilte
Oure childre thus for thi laye to be spilte!
Of thi myghte whatte es worthe to 3elpe
Whene þ[ou] ne will thy s[er]vandes nothynge helpe.
We prey to the bothe lowde and softe,
And dose to the full grete wirchipes & ofte,
And hono[ur]es full heghely thyn[e] holy name,
Why soffre þ[ou] þam[e] thus to done vs this schame?
We prey the with full mylde bysekynge,
Of 3one kynge Richerd to take wrekynge!
Confou[n]de hy[m], Lerde, throrow thyn[e] holy vertue,
And also alle those þ[at] leves appon[e] þat Jh[es]u.

3667 he may go forth. So Br. MS: he may forth. W: he go forth. B: may he goo forthe. E: he may for sooth.

3669 oure chyldren and us. So W. MS: boþe oure chldren & us. B: oure childre & us. E: oure children and us.

3673 yif. MS: 3yff. This word appears either as yyff or 3yff throughout the text, and has been emended to yif at lines 3703, 3723, 3791, 3805, 3806, 3807, 3821, 3965, 3968, 4101, 4192, 4358, and 5523.

3683 that he his travayle lese. MS: hys trauayle þat he lese. W: that he his trauayll lese. B: þat he his travelle lesse. E: þat he his trauaile lese.

3690 thee to. MS: & go. W, B: the to. E: þe to.

3691 folk. So E, Br. MS: land. W: folke. B: folkes.

3692 thy maltalent. So Br. MS: al maltalent. W: thy malatent. B: þat gilte. E: þy male talent.

3696 wynne. So W, E. MS: bere. B: wyne.

3697 And so shall ye leve and be frendes. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Lyffe togedire & be gud ffrendys. E: Loueþ togeder and beth frendes.

3698 With joye to your lyves endes. So W. Omitted in MS. B: With vnto 3our lyffes endes. E: Euer to 3oure lyues endes.

3701 besoughte. So Br. MS: beþou3te. W: besought. B: bysoughte. E: bysou3t.

3704 Mahowne. So W. MS: appolyn. B: Sir mahownne. E: mahon. A: mahunde. D: mahond.

3726 So God do my soule boote. After this line, the following 10-line passage appears in b (A, fols. 265v–66r):



The messagere gonne forth wende
& tolde the Soudan word & ende;
Than was he in gret dolo[ur],
A morwe he sende hym more t[re]so[ur],
An hundred thousende pounde of gold,
So much for Acres pay he wold.
The messager that t[re]s[our] broughte
And for the ostage hym bysoughte.
Than askede Kyng R[ichard] the roude anone,
That god was on to dethe don[e].

Compare D, fols. 28r–v and Brunner, Löwenherz, p. 281n.

3727 I wolde nought lese my lordes love. So A. Omitted in MS. W: J wyll not leue my lordes lawe. B: J ne wolde noghte lese my lordes lufe. D: Ffor lesyn J nold myn lordes loue. E: Ffor lese y ne wold my lordes loue.

3728 For al the londes under heven above. Omitted in MS. W: Of all the londes vnder heuen ahawe. B: Ffor alle þe londis vndir heuen abofe. A: For all the gold vnder heuene aboue. D: Ffor al þe landis vnder heuene above. E: Ffor al þe londe vnder heuyn aboue.

3731 They answered at the frome. W: They answered at the forme. MS: Þenne answeryd off hem some. B: Bot þay ansuerde alle þerto full sone on none. E: . . . y him . . . wered at þe froome (line partially illegible). A: And they answerden atte frome. D: They hym answerd at frome.

3735 nought so slye. So W, D. MS: nought slye. B: slee. E: so sly3e. A: so sley.

3737 sone anon. So A. MS: euerlkon. W, D: anone. B: sone on nane. E: anoon.

3748 an aungell. So E, A. MS: aungeles. W: aungell. B: ane angelle. D: an angel.

3749 That seyde, “Seygnyours, tues, tues.” So W. MS: Þey seyde seynyours tuez tuese. B: Þat cried sayntours tues tues. E: Þat cryed seignours touz touz. D: Þat cryid sargnures tues tues. A: & seyde seynours twyes twyes.

3759–71 Merye is . . . . strokes hard! The descriptive passage or seasonal headpiece runs to line 3771 and does not appear in W, which omits lines 3759–4816. Compare Löwenherz, p. 16. See the related discussion in the Explanatory Notes.

3779 his los. MS: here los. B: his lose.

3780 his renoun. MS: here renoun. B: his renownne.

3942 was here wone. MS: was his wone. B: werene acostome & wonne.

3944 here. MS: his.

4110 Coverde. So B. MS: Corue.

4124 Where it is no man may seen. For an 8-line passage that occurs after this line in B (fol. 147r), see below:


Thom[a]s askede the Sarazene thare,
“Es slikke trappes any ma there?
Vs to bytraye or to grefe?”
“Nay, S[ir], for sothe, þ[ou] may me lefe!
With any lyes gif þ[ou] me fynde,
Bynd myn[e] handes me byhynde
And gare me be hangede & alswa drawenn[e]
And of thies tydandes Thom[a]s was fayne.

4127 has horsmen. MS: horsemen. B: hase horsemen.

4221 For wollewarde. So B. MS: Barefoot.

4285 ying. MS: 3yng.

4408 weel hem. So Br. MS: hem weel hem. B: þame ful harde.

4435 we. So B, Br. MS: he.

4507 Sarazynes comen with gret wylle. So Br. MS: Sarazynes comen wiþ gret wy . . . (line partially illegible). B: Þe Sarazenes come þane with full grete will.

4508 When the Crystene myghte drawe hem tylle. MS: When þe crytene my3te draw . . . (line partially illegible). B: Bot whene þat þe Cristyne myghte come þame till. Br: When þe Crystene my3t drawe hem tylle.

4509 dresse. So Br. MS is illegible. B: drisses.

4510 And the archeres to hem gesse. After this line, B (fol. 149v) includes three couplets not found in MS (See Löwenherz, p. 312n):

þay smate þan[e] at everilke schote,
Thurghe sydis and thurgh throte,
And staffe slyngers w[ith] grete stanes,
Slewe many of þam[e] for þ[e] nanes.
Off the vawarde a thowsande score
þ[e] Crystyn[e] men wexe þ[e] baldere þ[er]fore.

4536 For. For bost he prekyd a gret pas. So Br. MS: . . . bost he prekyd a gret pas (line partially illegible). B: Ffor boste prikkande a full grete pase.

4537 A gret fawchoun in hand he bar. MS: . . . houn in hand he bar (line partially illegible). B: A grete schafte in his hande he bare. Br: A gret ffawchoun in hand he bar.

4538 “Come fyght with me now hoo that dar!” MS: . . . with me now hoo þat dar (line partially illegible). B: Come feghte with me he bade what sa dare. Br: “Come ffy3 wiþ me now hoo þat dar!”

4539 Sir John Doyly, Sir Foukes nevew. MS: . . . ffoukes nevew (line partially illegible). B: Sir Johne Doly Sir ffukes kyne. Br: Jhon Doyly, Sere Ffoukes nevewe.

4540 A yonge knyghte of gret vertew. MS: . . . off gret vertew (line partially illegible). B: A 3onge knyghte full of joye within. Br: A 3ong kny3t off gret vertew.

4541 In hande he took. MS: . . . took (line partially illegible). B: Jn hande he toke.

4546 And sayde, “Dogge, there thou ly.” So Br. MS: . . . dogge þere þou ly (line partially illegible). B: And sayd heythyne doge ly þere þou ly.

4549 mete. MS: meten. B: mett.

4579 sene. So B, Br. MS is illegible.

4582 werk. So Br. MS is illegible. B: werke.

4750 syne. So B, Br. MS: ffyn.

4817 Seynt James. MS: Seynt Jamys. W: Saynt James. B: Sayne James. A: Saynt Johnes. D: Seynts Johnnys. E: Seynt Joones. W, A, D, and E resume here.

4819 Kynge Richard turnde his ost to pas. So A. Omitted in MS. D: The kynge dede his men turne here pas. E: The kinge dede turne his pas. W: Kynge Rychard wente forthe a pace. B: þe oste remowed to Cayphas.

4837 In this world at grete nede. So E. Omitted in MS, W, A. B: Ffor in alle þe worlde at nanekyns nede. D: In is werde at gret nede.

4838 Was nevere founde a better stede. So E. Omitted in MS, W, A. B: Was þer nane þat hade a bettir stede. D: Was never ifoundyd a betire stede.

4846 fall doun. MS: doun. W: fall downe. B: falle downne. A: adoun. D: ago doun. E: go doun.

4849 He them tohewed and tocarfe. So W. MS: He gan to hewe ffaste and to kerue. B: He theym hewed and in sondre schare. A: he to heogh & to carf. E: He hem to hew and to kerue. D: he hem hew and al to carfe.

4851 Never was man in erthe ryght. So E. Omitted in MS, W, A. B: Never was mane in erthe righte. D: Never was man on erthe ryth.

4852 That better with hem gon fyght. So E. Omitted in MS, W, A. B: Þat better agaynes the Sarazenes gane fighte. D: That better cowthe with hem ffyth.

4857 For Saladynes sones theder came. W: For Salandynes sones theder came. Omitted in MS. B: Sir Saladynes sones ther come jwys. A: Saladines two sones come. E: Saladyne sone þere com. D: Saladynys sone þer came.

4858 And the harneys them bename. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And toke þe carte with alle þe harnasse. A: And the armes hem bynome. E: And her harneyse hem bynome. D: & here hernyse he bename.

4864 Yet almoost he came. So W. MS: Almost hadde he come. B: And 3itt almoste he come. A: But almost he come. D: & almost he came.

4865 In honde he helde his axe good. So W. MS: He layde on wiþ hys ax good. B: And in his hande he helde his axe gud. A: Jn his hand he huld a trenchon good. E: Jn his honde an axe ful good. D: Jn his hond his ax ful good.

4875 hete. So W, B, A, D. MS: wynd.

4882 pouder. So W, E. MS: smoke. B: powdir. D: pouodur.

4892 he felde. So W. MS: wenten. B: alle wente. A: he drof. D: fell. E: he fel.

4931 Sessarye. So B. MS: serarye. W: sezary. A: Cesarie. D: Sesarye. E: Sesary.

4936 La Fere. So MS. W: laffere. B: Jasare. A: Offere. D, E: lazare.

4971 grete Grece. So W, A, E. MS: grece. Omitted in B. D: gret Grece.

4972 another empire. MS: empyre & kyndom moo. Omitted in B. W: an other ryche empyre. A: another heigh empire. D: anodir empire. E: anothe empire.

4984 There was many a doughty man. So W, D, E. MS: Þere were dou3ty men off mayn. B is defective. A: He hadde with hym many a doghty man.

4987 that. So W. MS: there. B is defective. Omitted in A. D, E: þat.

5035 his. So W, E, D, A. MS: þe.

5040 no thynge. So W. MS: non helpe. B is defective. A: nought that. D, E: no thyng.

5043 by Jhesu Cryste. So W. MS: theroff, be Cryste. D: be Jhesu Crist. E: by Jhesu Crist. Absent in A.

5059 had non. So D. MS: non. W, E: had no. B is defective. A: hadde non.

5061 Nevertheles doughtely he faught. So W. Omitted in MS. B is defective. A: But natheles wel he faught. E: Neuerþeles dou3ly he fau3t. D: But netheles doutylyc he fawt.

5062 The Sarazynes yet felde hym naught. So W. Omitted in MS. B is defective. A: That the Sarasyns slogh hym naught. E: And slowe al þat he ouercau3t. D: 3et þe Saraxynys slowin him nowt.

5081 honde. So W, E. MS: arme. B: . . . ande. A, D: hond.

5093 And of som he pared so the croune. So Br. Omitted in MS, A. W: And some he pared the crowne. B: . . . e parede so the crownne (line partially illegible). D: & summe he paryd of þe croune. E: And of four he pared so þe croune.

5094 That helme and hed fel adoun. So E, Br. W: That they ne helped mahowne. Omitted in C, A. B: . . . and hede helme felde þer ryght doune. D: That helm & heuyd fel adoun.

5107 And that Rycharde with theyr folke fares. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And also kyng Richerd with þere mene faris. A: & that with hure folk fare. D: And þat þer wiþ sarazynnys faryne. E: And þat Richard dide with hem fare.

5108 As hende grehoundes do with hares. So W. Omitted in MS. Br: As grehoundes do with hares. B: Als grewhoundes dose with hares. A: As gryhund doth with the hare. D: Os grehondis done with þe haryne. E: As þe Grehound doth with þe hare.

5119 empty. So A, D, E, Br. MS: voyde. W: emty. B: tome.

5120 in the cradyl. So W, B, A. MS: in cradyl. Omitted in D, E.

5126 of here god Mahoun. So D. MS: here mahoun. W: of theyr god mahowne. Omitted in B. A: of mahun. E: of her god mahoun.

5133 for the drede. So W, B, A, MS: ffor drede. D: & for þe dynt. E: for dout of.

5134 fell. So W. MS: fflowen. A: fulle. E: felle. D: fellyn.

5136 to lyve than. So Br. MS: to lyue off hem. W: to lyue ayan. B: lufed aftir þane. A: to gode of ham. D: lyue þan. E: to lyf þan.

5139 lefte. So W, A, E. MS, B: lofte. D: les.

5141 fleande. So W, D. MS: prykande. B: flyande. A: flyngynge. E: flyngande.

5158 sylvyr were the. So B. MS: and syluyr þe. W: syluer were theyr. A: & seluer &. D, E: gold were þe.

5159 noble geste. So B, A. MS: ffayre geste. W: noble Jeste. E: noble gest.

5160 of wylde beste. So W. MS: & wylde beste. A, B: wilde beste. D: & wyld beste. E: wylde best.

5169 rested hym there. So W. MS: restyd þere. B: ristede hym there. A: restid him there. D: festyd hym þer. E: rested him þere.

5170 And thanked Jhesu ful of myght. So E, Br. MS: On morwe whene it was day ly3t. W: And thanke Jhesu cystes myght. B: And gaffe louynge to god full of myghte. A: & thankede god full of myght. D: & þankyd Jhesu ful of myth.

5171 On the morowe. So W. MS: Kyng richard. B: And at þe morne. A: Erly a morwe. D: On morwe qwane. E: A morwe when. Kynge Rycharde arose. So W. C: fful erely ros. B: þe kyng of his bedde rasse. A: kynge Richard aros. D: þe kyng ros. E: þe kyng aroos.

5337 Galabre. So Br. MS: Salabre. B: Galabere.

5408 On batayll. So W. MS: And batayllyd. B: And bekeride. E: And to bataile.

5428 wolde be. So B, E. MS: was al. W: was full.

5448 latemere. So W. MS: Sarezynes. B: latymere. E: messengers.

5456 Sowdan. So W. MS: þenne were þey. B: Sawdane. E: þan had Richard.

5496 To deraye. MS: Deraye. W: To detreyue. B: To dresse. E: Þy selue.

5552 That thee. MS: Þe. W: That the. B, E: Þat þe.

5554 To betraye. So W, E. MS, B: Betraye.

5573 perce be thou. So Br. MS: perce it. W: percysshed be thou. B: perche be þou. E: persh be þow.

5616 a coost. So W, Br. MS: acoost. B: of that coste. E: of the cost.

5619 To Kynge Phelyp. So W. MS: To Phelyp. B: To the noble kyng Richerde. E: To King Philip.

5634 gradde. So W, Br. MS: badde. B: sayde. E: gred.

5637 we. So W, B, E. MS: 3e.

5692 And good rynges that wolde duren. So W. MS: þat wondyr weel wolde laste & duren. B: And with gud rynges and with fyne. Omitted in E.

5695 they. So W. MS: þoo. B: þay. Omitted in E.

5742 stedes. So W, E. MS: stede. B: stedis.

5777 His. So W, B, E. MS: Þe.

5780 smote. So W. MS: prekyd. B: strykes. E: smot.

5795 wysten. MS: wyste. W: wyst & his men. B: wystyne. E: wisten.

5796 Crysten. So W. MS: cryste. B: cristyn. E: cristen.

5857 Astray they yeden with grete pride. MS: Astray þay 3eden wiþ þe brydyl. E: Aboute þey 3ede with grete pride. W: All astraye aboute they yede. B: Gud stedis rane with grete pryde.

5858 The man that wolde myght ryde. So E. MS: To ryden on hem men were nou3t ydyl. W: What man wolde myght ryde. B: Ilke mane þat walde myghte þane ryde.

5861 that they myghte. So W. MS: þey my3t. B: þat þay myghte. E: þat þey my3t.

5900 noghte half. MS: halff. W: not halfe. B: noghte halfe. E: nou3t oo.

5916 And sayd it was trewe and good. So W. MS: And þou3te it was boþe trewe & good. B: þat his conselle was ryghte gude. E: And seide it was trew and good.

5931 fair and fyne. So B. MS: affyn. W: good and fyne. D: fayr & fyne. E: feire and fyne. A: afyn.

5932 He leete tylde. So Br. MS: Þe leete tylde. W: They gan dyght. B: Was pighte. A: Was teld. D: He dede yt teldyn. E: There he tilde.

5938 So strong wrought and of gret ryhcheys. After this line in b (D, fol. 33v) is found the following passage

þ[er]ynne he dede ber[e]nger
His quen[e] þ[at] was his lef & der[e]
And Jhone his sust[er] þ[at] was a quene
Ffor þ[ey] schulde at ese bene.
Compare A, (fol. 268v), and Löwenherz (p. 380n).

5941 Theder myght come by the see. So W. MS: Þedyr my3te men come be þe see. A: Ther myghte come by the sea. E: Þeder my3t men come by the see. D: To hem came goods from þe se. Omitted in B.

5946 withouten. MS: wiþouten wiþouten.

5948 Tyl that Jaffe was maad al sure. After this line, the following passage occurs in A (fol. 268v):






To turrien they dude hem by drem
Ffour myle fro Jerusalem.
Tho made oure c[ri]sten ost gret blisse,
For they wente wel to wisse
Haue wonne Jer[usa]lem cite all,
So they hadde do withoute faill.
Sire Gauter of Naples hospitiler,
Ther was he no good consailer.
“Kyng Richard,” he seide, “& thugh winne
Jerusalem with thy gynne,
Alle the folk shal seche the stede anon
That was god was on to dethe don
High and lowe sweyn & grom,
Smartly than wille wende hom;
Ac t[ur]ne ayen to Chaloyne,
The wey lith toward Babiloyne,
& drawe the vp to the paynym,
And thugh shalt wel bisette thy tym.
Saladyn, the heygh Soudan,
Thugh shalt hym sle or al quyke tan.”
Kyng Ric[hard] to his consail luste,
They hit nere with the beste.
Many Eorles & barons bothe,
For that consail were wrothe,
& wente hom to hure contre,
And left Kyng Richard stille be.
Compare D (fols. 33v–34r), E (fols. 28v–29r), and Brunner, Löwenherz (pp. 381n–382n). Needler provides this passage as found in D (Richard, pp. 41–42).

5977 Kyng Richard pykkyd gret errour. MS: Kyng Richard pokyd gret errour. W: Kynge Rycharde was in grete erroure. B: Kyng Richerd thoghte he spake grete erroure. E: Tho king Richard pykked errour. A: Kynge Richard thanne peckyd errour. D: Kyng Richard pickyd gret errour.

5987 By the sydes of swete Jhesus. MS: Ffor be mary þat bar ihesus. W: By the sydes of cryste Jhesus. B: Be the sydes of swete Jhesu. E: By the sydes of Jesus. A: for by marie that bar Jhesus. D: Be þe sydys of swete Jhesus.

6018 Scholde have holden undyr hym. MS: Scholde holden vndyr hym. W: Solde all holde of hym. B: Solde hafe bene holden hally of hym. E: Shulde haue be hoolden of hym. D: They haddyn holdyn all of hym. A: Shold haue holde vndyr hym.

6037–43 Than Kynge . . . . arme wele. So W. Absent in MS, this 7-line passage appears in both the a version (W and B) and in b (E and A). D omits lines 6037–6218. Found in four of six manuscripts, this passage forms part of a lengthy section that Brunner considers part of the original text of RCL (Löwenherz, p. 19).

6045 he. So W, A, E. MS: þey. B: þay.

6089 By. So W, B, A, E. MS: To.

6099 playne. So W, B. MS: plener. A, E: playn.

6128 gave. So W. MS: goue. B: gaffe. A: smete. E: 3eue.

6130 was clevede. So B. MS: wiþ þe heuyd. W: all to cleved. E: was cleuyd. Omitted in A.

6141 he. So W, B, E. MS, A: þey.

6143 plenteuous. So W, B. MS: plenté. A: large.

6153 brethe. So W, E, A. MS: brekyng. B: Sauoire.

6155 Alle that. So A. MS: Off þoo. B: Alle thase that. W: All that. E: Al þat.

6156 None amendes must they make. So W. MS: My3te he non amendes make. B: Ffor none amendis ne myghte þay make. A: non other amendis he wolde make. E: Noon amendes most þey make.

6157 He. So W, E. MS: þey. B: The kyng. Omitted in A.

6180 leve. So A. MS: wurþy. W: good. B: lefe. E: lyue.

6195 To honge or drawe, brenne or sle. So W. Omitted in MS. B: To hange or bryne or ells to slee. A: brenne vs lord hange other sle. E: To honge vs to burne to drawe or to sle.

6196 Our fredome, lorde, is in thee. So W. Omitted in MS. B: Oure lyfe and dede nowe alle ligges in the. A: al oure fredom is in the. E: At þy wille lord al it be.

6202 Kynge Rycharde let them faste bynde. So W. MS: þe kynge hem comaundyd faste to bynde. B: Kyng Richerde garte þame faste bynde. A: Kyng Richard hem leit faste bynde. E: King Richarde let hem fast bynde.

6218 And ye shall here. So W. MS: And may here. B: And heris now. A: Ye mogh hure. D: 3e schul heryn. E: Ye shul here.

6238 There assaute he began bydene. So W. MS: At þat cyte he þou3te be sene. B: Swythe layde assawte vnto þe toune. A: his saut he gan all bydene. E: Bygan þe assaut al bydene. D: Began asawt al bedene.

6253 Kynge Rycharde stode, so sayth the boke. So W, B, E. Omitted in MS. A: Kynge Richard as we fyndeth in boke. D: Richard stood so seyth þe bok.

6254 And on the ymage he gan for to loke. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And one the ymage gane he loke. E: And on þe ymage fast gan looke. A: on that ymage gan to loke. D: And on þat ymage faste he lok.

6255 How hewge he was wrought and sterne. So W. Omitted in MS. B: How hogge he was wroghte thowe steryne. A: hogh huge he was wroght & seurne. E: How houge he is and how sterne. D: Wou houge he es as wiþout & how stern.

6256 And sayd to them all yerne. So W. Omitted in MS. B: And seyd to them thane alle 3erne. E: And to þe men he seide 3erne. A: to hem he saide also yerne. D: & to þe men he seyde 3erne.

6277 That the hede flowe fro the body insundyr. B: That the hede flowe fra the Body in sondire. MS: Þe hed & þe body ffel in sundyr. W: The heed tho flowe the body asonder. A: The hed fleigh fro the body onsoynder. D: That þe hed fley from þe body onsonder. E: That þe hed fley fro þe body asounder. Br: Þe hed flowe from þe body insundyr.

6293 They pyght pavylyons fayre and well. So W. MS: On morwen he leet arme alle wel. B: Þay pighte thare pavelyounis faire & welle. E: And py3t his pauyloun faire and welle. A: There Kyng Richard armed hym well. D: He put his pauylounes ffayr & wel.

6301 Theyr hertes were full of wo. So W. Omitted in MS, A. B: Þaire herttis weren all ille bystedde. E: In hert þey were ful sore adredde. D: Here hertes were ful of care & wo.

6302 All by nyght awaye they flo. So W. Omitted in MS, A. B: And alle by nyghte awaye they fledde. E: And al ny3t awey þey fledde. D: And all be nyth þei gonne to go.

6324 the fendes. So W, D, E. MS: a cursyd off. B: alle þe fendys prey. A: the deuelus.

6369–6658 To fulfylle . . . . hys way. B omits these lines.

6388 So as thou bylevest on Termagaunt. So W. Omitted in MS. A: As thugh leuest on Termagaunt. D: I wot þu leuyth on termegant. E: As þou leuyst in Termegane.

6456 nyne or ten. So W, E. MS: ffyue & ten. Omitted in B. A: nyne & ten. D: sexti & ten.

6513 Into the cyté off Bethany the noble. So MS. W: Jnto betanye that cyte noble. Omitted in B. A: into Constantyn the noble. E: And to Bytany þe nobel Citee.

6525 brought. So W, E. MS: bou3te. A: broghte. Omitted in B.

6546 Frome Yngelond, as he had tyghte. MS: Ffor to yngelond he has ty3te. W: Frome englonde god it dyght. Omitted in B. A: Fro Engelond as he hadde tighte. E: Ffrom Jnglonde as he had ty3t.

6567 he hath stored. So W, E. MS: was astoryd. A, D: he hath storid. Omitted in B.

6595 grete Grece. So W, E, A. MS, D: grece.

6613 hadde ben fro. MS, A: hadde ffro. W: had ben from. D: hade ben from. E: hadde be. Omitted in B.

6623 the cyté nome. So W, A. MS: haue þe cyte take. D: þe cete nome. E: þe citee noome.

6624 To theyr will and to theyr dome. So W. MS: Þe crystene men þey þou3te to awake. A: to hure wille and hure dome. D: To her will & to her dome. E: To her wille and her doome.

6643 The Sarezynes, for no nede. Here ends D.

6649 That he scholde to hem come. MS: Þat he scholde come to hem þan. W: That he sholde to helpe come. Omitted in B. A: That he sholde to hem come. E: That he shulde to hem come.

6650 were al inome. So W, A, E. MS: scholde ben alle itan.

6659 I nele for hym to hem wende. Gap in B resumes here.

6660 But soone I wyll hem socour sende. W: But soone J wyll them socour sende. MS: But sum socour J schal hem sende. B: Bot sone J sall theym socoure sende. A: but good socour J wol hem sende. E: But sone y wyl hem socoure sende.

6675 Gascoynes, Spaynardes and Lumbarde. So W. MS: Spaynulff gavscoyn & lumbard. B: Gascoyns Spayneelfes ffrance men & lumbardes. A: Both ffrenssh & lumbarde. E: Gascoynes spaynardes and lumbardes.

6682 Swythe towarde them. So W. MS: Agayn hem also soone. A: Smartly ayenst hem. E: Swith to hem ward. Omitted in B.

6697 beth. So W, A, E. MS: bee. B: ware.

6698 They may wyte thee of theyr deth. So W. MS: 3iff þe be slayn I wyte it þee. B: May wele whitte þe alle þayr care. A: Mowe wite the hure deth. E: Mow wite þe her deethe.

6712 none oth. MS: an oþ. W: none othe. B: nane othe. E: noon othe. A: non oth.

6717 de Lake. So W, B. MS: þe lake. A: du lake.

6719 Ne of Ury, ne of Octavyan. So W. MS is illegible. B: Nor of Uly nor 3itt of Sir Octouyane. A: of Oliuer ne of Otuan. E: Ne of Ely ne of Octauyan.

6720 Ne of Hector, the stronge man. So W. MS is illegible. B: Nor 3itt of Sir Ecter the strange mane. A: Ne of Ector the strongeman. E: Ne of Ettor þe stronge man.

6721 Ne of Jason, ne of Hercules. W: Ne of Jason neyther of Hercules. MS: Off Jason . . . (line partially illegible). B: Of Jasone ne 3itt of Ercules. A: Of Jason ne of Ercules. E: Ne of Jasyne ne of Ercules.

6728 At Jaffe. So W. MS: At þe cyte off Jaffe. B: Att Jaffe. A: At Jafes. E: At Jaffes.

6731 heyghe myd night. MS: As a correction, hey3e is inserted above myd.

6753 They ben slayne and all totore. So W. MS: Þey ben sla . . . (line partially defective). B: Was slayne 3isterdaye at morwe. A: beth nogh slawe & al to tore. E: They be slawe and toterye.

6771 herde. So W, MS: wyste. B: herden. Omitted in A. E: herd.

6783 ne have lyfe. So W. MS: have he seyde lyff. B: ne hafe lyfe. E: ne haue ly3f. Omitted in A.

6784 we it dere. So W, B, E. MS: we it. Omitted in A.

6789 Take me myn axe in myn honde. So W, E. Omitted in MS. B: Take me myn axe in myn hande. A: Taketh me myn axe an honde.

6790 That was made in Ingelonde. So E. Omitted in MS. W: Jt was made in englonde. B: Þat was wroghte in mery ynglande. A: that was mad in Engelonde.

6791 armure no more I ne doute. So MS. B: Ffor þair harnys no mare j no dowte. A: no more hure armure J doute. E: No more her armes y ne dout.

6799 inome. So W. MS: itake. B: strete. A, E: nome.

6800 With my pollaxe I am come. So W, E. MS: Vnwynnely j schal 3ow wake. B: With myne axe j schall þame mete. A: With myn axe J am come.

6834 mette. So W, B, A. E: met. MS: fond.

6842 Fared ryght lyke wood lyouns. So W. MS: And hospytalers egre as lyouns. B: Ffaughte als þay hade bene wode lyouns. A: Gunne to fighte as wode lyons. E: Ffau3t as egre lyouns.

6846 awaye. So W, B. MS: agayn. A: Ayen. E: awey.

6850–6972 The Sowdan . . . . hoost ordayne. Due to missing leaves, MS omits these lines.

6850 The Sowdan loste that same daye. So W. B: Of Sarazenes kene was slayne þat daye. E: Þe Sawdan lost þat ylke day. Omitted in A.

6870 ever. So A, E. W: never. B: ever 3itt.

6875 with good wyne. So A, E. W: ale and wyne. B: with gud wine.

6876 Saladyn. So B, E. W: Salandyn. A: Saladin.

6883 Saladyn. So E. W: Salandyn. B: Saladyne. A: Soudan.

6910 Tourne agayne to thyn owne londe. After this line, the following couplet appears in B: And thus thou may fra the dede flee / Hame to thi contree by the see. A: So thugh myght thi deth fle / Hom to Engelond by the see. This couplet is absent in W and in E.

6914 fyne. So A. W: pyne. B: to tyme. E: fynes.

6915 Saladyn. So E. W: Salandyn. B: Sarazyne. A: Sarasyn.

6926 pollaxe. So Br. B: polaxe. W: bollaxe. A: Axe. E: pollax.

6927 defye. So E. W: desyre. B: this. A: abie.

6932 And told the Sowdane worde and ende. So B. W: And all the begynnynge tolde hym. E: And tolde þe begynnynge and þe fyn. A: to do hure lordes comaundement.

6933 Saladyn. So B, E. W: Salandyn. A: Saladin.

6948 shalte it fynde. So Br. W: shalte fynde. B: þou salle fynd þe passage. A: shalt hit fynde. E: shalt it fynde.

6951 bataile do by myne hees. So E. W: batayll without leas. B: Batelle þou do thyne ese. A: bataille do by my hes.

6954 pilgrimage. So A, E. W: vyage. B: pilgremage.

6967 “As armes,” he cryed thare. So E. W: On armes he let crye thare. B: he blewe he cryede as armres whatt. A: he blew and cried as armes wate.

6969 Saladyn. So E. W: Salandyn. B: Sir Saladyne. A: Soudan.

6973 But prekyd forth upon Favel. MS resumes here.

6979 cors. So W, A E. MS: vpon here hors. C appears to modify the initial letter of cors to produce hors; and hors is written above line. B: corses.

6980 hors. So W, A. MS: cors. B: horses. E: fors.

6989 Upon the Sarasynes faste they donge. So W. Omitted in MS. A: Upon the Sarasynes they flonge. B: And appon þe Sarazenes full faste dange þay. E: Uppon þe Saryzyns faste they donge.

6990 swerdes and with sperys. W: swerdes and with launces. Omitted in MS. B: swerdis lange & sperys. A: swerdes & with sper. E: axes and with swerdes.

7014 One man so many to grounde quelle. W: One man so many to grounde fell. MS: Halff so manye Sarezynys ffelle (quelle appears in the margin). B: Þat with his awnne handis so many heythyn gunne quelle. A: on man so many men to quelle. E: That oo man so mony gan quelle.

7031 hym with myghte and mayne. So B. MS: crystene with al here mayn. W: with mayne. A: with myghte & mayn. E: him with mayn.

7059 With that came a messenger reke. So W. MS: A messanger come swyþe rydyng. B: Bot a messangere came there swythe one a reke. A: Than a messager ther reke. E: With þat come a messenger reke.

7060 With kynge Rycharde for to speke. So W, A, E. MS: To speke wiþ Richard oure kyng. B: And sayde þat with Kynge Richerd wolde he speke.

7079 All these ben slayne and many mo. So W. MS: Þey are slayn & 3it moo. B: Alle thes are slayne and many mare. A: Thes beth slaw and wel mo. E: Þese ben slaw and wel moo.

7100 That hem come. MS: Þat hym come. W: That came there. B: Þat to þam ne come. E: Come þer neuer. A: That hem ne come.

7132 Rycharde wanne to Jaffe gate. So W. MS: Þey wunne unto jaffes 3ate. B: Kyng Richerde wanne to Jaffe 3ate. A: Kynge Ricard wan Jafes gate. E: Richard wanne to Jaffys gate.

7141 in playn and den. So E, Br. MS, A: in playn den. W: in playne and den. B: in playne & den.

7142 Ten. So W, B, A, E. MS: Two.

7175 Thorugh all the londe. So W. MS: Þree 3er & more. B: Ffor thre 3ere thane went þay. A: Thurgh all the lond. E: Þat þrou3 þe lond.

7182 To Jaffe and to Mayden Castell. So W. MS: And to Emaus castel. A: To Jafes & to Maide Castell. E: To Jaffys and to Maiden Castel. E ends here. Omitted in B.

7185–7240 Thus Kynge . . . for charyté. Taken from W, this conclusion, similar to that from A, provides a more satisfactory ending to RCL than does the brief, even abrupt, 10-line conclusion of C (fol. 97v) that appears below:


Kyng R[ichard], dou3ty off hand,
Turnyd homward to yngeland.
Kyng R[ichard] reynyd here
No more but ten 3ere.
Siþþen he was schot, allas,
In castel gaylard, þ[er] he was.
Þus endyd Rychard oure kyng,
God geve vs alle good endyng,
And hys soule rest & roo,
And oure soules when[n]e we come þ[er]to.            

Amen. Explicit. (Glosses mine)

After that

repose (peace)

Even more concise, B (fol. 163v) follows C but omits the next to last couplet to end as follows: And god grante vs alle gude Endynge. Amen.

It is to be noted that the text of A, which is inserted into The Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester. At times, A shifts at times between verse and prose, as happens in its conclusion (fol. 275v–76r), which appears below:








  Thus kyng[e] Rich[ard] the doghty man,
Made pes betwyne hym & the Soudon,
And sithe he cam, I understonde,
The wey towarde Engalonde;
And hamward was shoten, allas,
At Castel Gailard ther he was.
The Duk[e] of Ostrich in the castel
With his ost was dight ful wel.
The wedur was hot in som[mer]es tide.
Kyng Richard thoghte ther to abide
At Gailard vnd[er] the castel.
He wende he myghte haue kelid hy[m] wel;

And bysegid the Castel Gailard byside Lemones, & strongly
assailed hit, So that the vij k[a]l[e]n[des] of Aprill, as the kyng went
the castell to avise hit, vnarmed, a knyght cleped Peris Besile
sodenly bende his arblast vppon the walles & haply with a gayn
smot the kynge in the lifte shuldr[e] and made dedely wounde.

Kyng Richard tho let his men calle,
And bad hem dighten alle;
& swor by see and su[n]ne,
Tyl that castel weren wonne,
Sholde mete ne drinke
Never in his body sinke.
He sett up Robynet in that tide,
On that on castel side,
& on that oth[er] half of the toun[e],
He let arere the Maudegriffoun[e];
And to the castel hij threw stones,
& broke the walles, for the nones,
And withinne a litel tide,
Into the castel he gan ryde.
& slogh bifore & byhinde
That he myghte tofore hym fynde;
And ev[er]e by leved the quarell,
Stikyng faste in his sheldere.

And when the kyng sey that he was in peril of deth he let ofsende iij
abbotes of Cristeaux ordr[e], that is of grey londes of the kyng of
Engelonde. . . .

ever present remained

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Richard Coer de Lyon

by: Peter Larkin (Editor)
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Hic incipit vita Ricardi Regis primi

Lord Jhesu, kyng of glorye,
Whyche grace and vyctorye
Thou sente to Kyng Rychard,
That nevere was founde coward!
It is ful good to here in jeste
Of his prowess and hys conqueste.
Fele romaunces men maken newe,
Of goode knyghtes, stronge and trewe.
Of here dedys men rede romaunce,
Both in Engeland and in Franse:
Of Rowelond and of Olyver,
And of every doseper;
Of Alisaundre and Charlemayn,
Of Kyng Arthour and of Gawayn,
How they were knyghtes goode and curteys;
Of Turpyn and Oger Daneys.
Of Troy men rede in ryme,
What werre ther was in olde tyme;
Of Ector and of Achylles,
What folk they slowe in that pres.
In Frenssche bookys this rym is wrought,
Lewede men ne knowe it nought.
Lewede men cune Frensch non,
Among an hondryd unnethis on;
And nevertheless, with glad chere,
Fele of hem that wolde here
Noble jestes, I undyrstande,
Of doughty knyghtes of Yngelonde.
Therfore now I wole yow rede
Of a kyng doughty in dede.
Kyng Rychard, the werryour beste
That men fynde in ony jeste.
Now alle that here this talkyng,
God geve hem alle good endyng!
    Lordynges, herkenes before
How Kyng Rychard was gete and bore.
Hys fadyr hyghte Kyng Henry.
In hys tyme, sykyrly,
Als I fynde in my sawe,
Seynt Thomas was islawe
At Cauntyrbury at the awter stone.
There manye myraclys are idon.
    When he was twenty wyntyr olde,
He was a kyng swythe bolde.
He wolde no wyf, I understonde,
With gret tresore though he here fonde.
Nevyrtheles hys barouns hym redde
That he grauntyd a wyf to wedde.
Hastely, he sente hys sondes
Into manye diverse londes:
The feyreste wymman that wore on lyf,
Men schold brynge hym to wyf.
Messangeres were redy dyght,
To schippe they wente that ylke nyght.
Anon the sayl up thay drowgh;
The wynd hem servyd wel inowgh.
Whenne they come on mydde the see,
No wynd onethe hadden hee.
Therfore hem was swythe woo.
Another schip they countryd thoo,
Swylk on ne seygh they nevere non.
Al it was whyt of ruel bon,
And every nayl with gold begrave.
Of pure gold was the stave.
Here mast was yvory.
Of samyte the sayl, wytterly,
Here ropes were of Tuely sylk,
Al so whyte as ony mylk,
That noble schyp al with oute,
With clothis of gold spred aboute,
And here loof and here wyndas,
Of asure, forsothe it was!
    In that schyp ther were idyght,
Knyghtes and laydyys of mekyl myght;
And a lady therinne was,
Bryght as the sunne thorwgh the glas.
Here men aborde gunne to stande,
And sesyd that other to here hande,
And prayde hem for to dwelle,
And here counsayl for to telle.
And they grauntyd with alle skylle,
For to telle al at here wylle.
“Swoo wyde landes we have went,
For Kyng Henry us has sent
For to seke hym a qwene,
The fayreste that myghte founde bene.”
Up ros a kyng off a chayere,
With that word they spoke there.
The chayer was charbocle ston:
Swylk on ne sawgh they nevere non;
And two dukes hym besyde,
Noble men and mekyl of pryde,
And welcomed the messangers ylkone.
Into that schyp they gunne gone,
Thrytty knyghtes, withouten lye,
For sothe, was in that cumpanye!
Into that ryche schyp they went,
As messangeres that weren isent.
Knyghtes and ladyes come hem aghen,
Sevene score and moo, I wene,
Welcomyd hem alle at on wurd.
They sette tresteles and layde a bord.
Cloth of sylk theron was sprad,
And the kyng hym selven bad requested
That hys doughtyr were forth fette,
And in a chayer before hym sette.
Trumpes begonne for to blowe,
Sche was fet forth in a throwe,
With twenty knyghtes here aboute,
And moo of ladyes that were stoute,
Alle they gunne knele here twoo,
And aske here what she wolde han doo.
They eeten and drank and maden hem glade,
As the kyng hym self hem bade.
Whenne they hadde nygh ieete,
Aventures to speke they nought forgete.
The kyng hem tolde in hys resoun,
It com hym thorwgh a vysyoun:
In hys land that he cam froo,
Into Yngelond for to goo,
And hys doughtyr that was so dere,
For to wende bothe in fere.
“In this manere we have us dyght,
Into that lond to wende ryght.”
Thenne answeryd a messanger,
Hys name was callyd Bernager:
“Forthere wole we seke nought,
To my lord sche schal be brought.
When he with eyen schal sen,
Fol wel payed wole he ben.”
    The wynd aros out of the northeste,
And servede hem right with the beste.
At the Tour they gunne arryve,
To londe the knyghtes wente belyve.
The messangeres the kyng have told
Of that lady, fayre and bold,
Ther he lay in the Tour,
Of that lady whyt so flour.
Kyng Henry gan hym sone dyght,
With erl, baroun, and manye a knyght,
Agayn the lady for to wende,
For he was curteys and hende.
The damysele on londe was led,
And clothis of gold before here spred,
And here fadyr here beforn before her
With a coroun of gold icorn.
The messangers by ylke a syde,
And menstralles with mekyl pryde.
Kyng Henry lyghte in hyyng,
And grette fayre that uncouth kyng.
And that fayre lady alsoo:
“Welcome be ye me alle too.”
To Westemenstre they wente in fere,
Lordyges and ladyys that ther were.
Trumpes begonne for to blowe,
To mete they wente in a throwe.
Knyghtes served there good spede,
Of what to telle it is no nede.
And aftyr mete, in hyyng
Spak Kyng Henry, oure kyng,
To the kyng that sat in same:
“Leve sere, what is thy name?”
“My name,” he sayde, “is Corbaryng.
Of Antyoche I am kyng.”
And tolde hym in hys resoun,
He cam thedyr thorwgh a vysyoun.
“Forsothe, sere, I telle thee,
I hadde elles brought more meyné
Manye moo, withouten fayle,
And moo schyppys with vytayle.”
Thenne askyd he that lady bryght,
“What hyghtest you, my swete wyght?”
“Cassodorien, withouten lesyng.”
Thus answeryd sche the kyng.
“Damysele,” he seyde, “bryght and schene,
Wylt thou dwelle and be my qwene?”
Sche answeryd with wordys stylle,
“Sere, I am at my faderys wylle.”
Here fadyr grauntyd thenne ful sone,
Al hys wyl scholde be done,
Hastely that she were wedde
As qwene unto kynges bedde.
And prayed hym for hys curtesy,
It moste be don prevyly.

   The spousyng was idon that nyght;
Theratte daunsyd many a knyght.
Mekyl joye was hem among.
A preest on morwe the messe song;
Beforn the elevacyoun,
The qwene fel in swowne adon.
The folk wondryd and were adrad.
Into a chambyr sche was lad,
Sche seyde, “For I am thus ishent:
I dar nevere see no sacrement.”
Here fadyr on morwe took hys leve;
No lengere wolde he there beleve.
   The kyng dwellyd with hys qwene;
Chyldren they hadden hem bytwene,
Twoo knaves and a mayde,
Forsothe, as the book us sayde.
Rychard hyghte the fyrste, iwis,
Of whom this romaunce imakyd is.
Jhon that other forsothe was.
The thrydde, hys sustyr, Topyas.
Thus they dwellyd in fere
To the fyftenthe yere.
   On a day before the Rode,
The kyng at hys masse stode.
There com an erl of gret pousté power
“Sere,” he sayde, “hou may this be
That my lady, youre wyf, the qwene,
The sacrement ne dar nought sene?
Geve us leve to don here dwelle,
Fro that begynnes the gospelle
Tyl the messe be sungge and sayd,
And you schalt se a queynte brayd.”
The kyng grauntyd with good wylle,
To holden here with strengthe stylle.
“Neyther for wele, neyther for woo,
Let here nought out fro kyrke goo.”
And whene the belle began to ryng,
The preest scholde make the sakeryng
Out of the kyrke sche wolde away.
The erl, “For Gode,” sayde “nay.
Lady, you schalt here abyde
For ony thyng that may betyde.”
Sche took here doughtyr in here hond,
And Johan her sone she wolde not wonde,1
Out of the rofe she gan her dyght,
Openly, before all theyr syght.
Johan fell frome her in that stonde,
And brake his thygh on the grounde;
And with her doughter she fled her waye,
That never after she was isey.
    The kynge wondred of that thynge,
That she made suche an endynge.
For love that he was served so, rewarded;
Wolde he never after come there ne go.
He let ordeyne after his endynge,
His sone, Rycharde, to be kynge.
Crowned after Kynge Harry,
Thus was Rycharde, sykerly,
That was in his fifteenth yere.
He was a man of grete powere.
Dedes of armes he gave hym to,
As falleth for kynges and knyghtes to do.
He waxed so stronge and so wyght,
Ayenst hym had no man no myght.
In every stede he toke honoure,
As a noble kynge and conqueroure.

   The fyrst yere that he was kynge,
At Salysbury he made a justynge,
And commaunded every man to be there,
Bothe with shelde and with spere.
Erles and barons, everychone,
At home ne dwelled never one,
On forfeyture on lyfe and londe:
For nothynge that they ne wonde.
This was cryed, I understond,
Thorughout all Englonde.
All was for to loke and se,
The knyghtes that best myght be.
There they came all at his wyll,
His commaundement to fulfyll.
The partyes were sonder set,
Togyder they ran without let.
Kynge Rycharde gan hym dysguyse
In a full stronge queyntyse.
He came out of a valaye
For to se of theyr playe,
As a knyght aventurous.
His atyre was orgulous;
All togyder cole blacke
Was hys horse, without lacke.
Upon his creste a raven stode
That yaned as he were wode,
And aboute his necke a bell,
Wherfore the reason I shall you tell.
The kynde of the raven is
In travayll for to be, iwis.
Sygnyfyaunce of the bell,
With holy chyrche to dwell,
And them to noy and to greve
That be not in the ryght byleve.
He bare a shafte that was grete and stronge.
It was fourtene fote longe,
And it was grete and stoute:
One and twenty inches aboute.
The fyrst knyght that he there mette,
Full egerly he hym grette
With a dente amyd the shelde.
His horse he bare downe in the felde,
And the knyght fell to grounde,
Full nye deed in that stounde.
The next that he mette thare,
A grete stroke he hym bare.
His gorgere with his cornell tho,
His necke he brake there a two.
His horse and he fell to grounde,
And dyed bothe in that stounde.
Kynge Rycharde harde gan hove and abyde,
Yf ony mo wolde to hym ryde.
Trumpettes began for to blowe,
Knyghtes justed in that rowe,
Another knyght, hardy and good,
Sate on a stede rede as blode.
He dyde hym arme and well dyght,
In all that longed to suche a knyght.
A shafte he toke, grete and longe,
That was so hevy and stronge,
And sayd he wolde to hym ryde,
Yf he durste hym abyde.
Trumpettes began to blowe than;
Therby wyste many a man knew
That they sholde juste mere,
The noble knyghtes that there were.
Kynge Rycharde of hym was ware,
And a spere to hym he bare,
And encountred hym in the felde;
He bare awaye halfe his shelde,
His pusen therwith gan gone,
And also his brandellet bone,
His vyser and his gorgere.
Hym repented that he came there!
Kynge Rycharde hoved and behelde,
And thought to rest hym in the felde,
Yf there were other knyght or swayne
That wolde more ryde hym agayne.
He sawe there wolde come none;
On his waye he gan forth gone
Into a wode out of theyr syght,
And in another tyre he hym dyght.
Upon a stede rede as blode,
With all the tyre that on hym stode,
Horse and shelde, armure and man,
That no man sholde knowe hym than.
Upon his creste a rede hounde:
The tayle henge to the grounde.
That was sygnyfycacyon
The hethen folke to brynge downe,
Them to slee for Goddes love,
And Crysten men to brynge above.
Styll he hoved and bode thore;
To them he thought to ryde more.
He rode the thronge all aboute,
He helde within and withoute.
A baron he sawe hym besyde;
Towarde hym he gan ryde.
To a squyer he toke his spere:
To hym he wolde it not bere
Forth he toke a mansell,
A stroke he thought to be set well
On his helme that was so stronge.
Of that dente the fyre out spronge.
The baron tourned hym asyde,
And sayd, “Felowe, forth thou ryde,
With thy peres go and playe!
Come no more here, I thee praye,
And sykerly, yf thou do,
Thou shalte have a knocke or two.”
Kynge Rycharde wondred in his thought
That he set his stroke at nought,
And came agayne by another waye,
And thought to make a better paye.
In his styrope up he stode,
And smote to hym with irefull mode.
He set his stroke on his yron hat,
But that other in his sadell sat.
Hastely, without wordes mo,
His mase he toke in his honde tho
That was made of yotyn bras.
He wondred who that it was,
Such a stroke he hym lente,
That Rycharde feet out of his steropes wente.
For plate, ne for acketton,2
For hawberke, ne for campeson,
Suche a stroke he never had none ore
That dyde him halfe so moche sore.
Full swythe awaye he gan ryde,
Out of the prees there besyde.
To hym selfe he sayd tho:
“Of suche strokes kepe I no mo!”
He wente adowne to a well,
And with his helme dranke his fell,
And he watred his stede also.
   In the thyrde atyre he let hym do,3
All his atyre whyte as mylke.
His croper was of sylke.
Upon his shulder a crosse rede,
That betokeneth Goddes dede death
With his enemyes for to fyght,
To wynne the Crosse, if that he myght.
Upon his heed a dove whyte,
Sygnyfycacyon of the Holy Spyryte,
To be bolde to wynne the pryse,
And dystroye Goddes enemyes.
   To the Kynge Rycharde gan hym dyght Against;
Than another noble knyght.
Fouke Doly was his name.
The kynge hym loved for his fame.
To hym a stroke he dyght,
Well to paye with all his myght.
He smote hym on his bassenet,
A grete dente without let.
It foundred to his cheke bone.
Syr Fouke bad hym forth gone,
That he no lenger abyde,
In aventure yf ony stroke betyde.
The kynge sawe he felte no sore,
And thought to gyve hym more,
And another stroke he hym brayde.
His mase upon his heed he layde;
With good wyll that stroke he set.
The baron thought he wolde hym let,
And with his hevy mase of stele,
There he gave the kynge his dele
That his helme all torove,
And he over his sadell drove,
And his steropes he forbare.
Such a stroke had he never are.
He was so astonyed of that dente,
That nye he had his lyfe lente,
And for that stroke that hym was gyven,
He ne wyst whether it was daye or even.
Tho he recovered of his swowe,
To his palays he hym drowe.
   Than he commaunded hastely
Herodes for to make crye,
And every man for to wende
Home to his owne frende.
The kynge anone a messengere
Full prevely he sente there
To Syr Thomas of Multon
That was a noble baron,
And to Syr Fouke Doly,
That they come to hym on hye:
“Let them not dwell in no manere.
Bydde them come bothe in fere.”
The messengere therwith wente,
And sayd the kynge after them sente,
Swythe for to come hym to,
Without delaye that it be do.
The knyghtes hyed and were blythe.
To the kynge they wente swythe,
And hendly they hym grette,
And he them toke and by hym sette,
And sayd to them wordes free:
“Welcome be ye now to me!”
In eythyr hond he took on,
In to a chaumbyr he bad hem gon.
Quod Rychard, “Leve frendes twey,
Tel me the sothe, I yow prey,
Of these joustes, paramours,
What knyght was he that rod best cours?
And whiche coulde best his crafte,
For to demene well his shafte,
With dentes for to fell his foos?
Whiche of them wan the loos,
And who the styfeste tymbyr brak?”
Quod Multoun, “On in atyr blak
Com preckande ovyr the falewe feld;
Alle that was there tho hym beheeld,
Hou he rod as he were wood.
Aroume he hovyd and withstood.
On hys crest sat a raven swart,
And he ne heeld with neyther part.
A schafte he bar, styff and strong,
Of fourtene foote it was long,
On and tweynty ynches aboute.
He askyd at al the route,
Yf ony durste come and prove
A cours, for hys lemannes love,
With a knyght aunterous now here.
A yonge knyght, a strong bachelere,
He hente a schaft and stede bystrod,
And to the knyght aunterous he rod.
The aunterous with hym mette,
Swylke a strok on his scheld he sette
That hors and man overthrewe;
But there was no man that hym knewe.
Trumpys blewe, herowdes gred,
And alle othere of hym dred
To jouste with hym eft with launse.
Enauntyr hym tydde swylk a chaunce.
An hardy knyght, stout and savage,
Hente a schaft with gret rage.
‘Now he has on of oure felde!
Wurthe we nevre for men telde,
Sith he hath don us this despyte,
Yif he agayn passe quyte,
That he ne have fyrste a knok!’
He prykyd forth out of the flok,
With a long schaft, stout and quarrey.
In myd the cours thenne mette they;
The aventurous smote his shelde amyddde,
A wonders case our knyght betydde.
The aunterous felde hym with yre,
Doun off his stede and brak hys swyre.
The thrydde knyght to speke bygan:
“This is a devyl and no man
That our folke felles and sleth!
Tyde me lyf, or tyde me deth,
I shal mete hym yf I may!”
The aunterous with gret deray,
So harde to oure knyght he droff,
Hys shelde in twoo peses roff.
Hys schuldre with hys schafte he brak,
And bar hym over hys hors bak,
That he fel doun and brak hys arme.
He ne dede hym no more harme!
The aunterous tho turnyd agayn,
And hovyd stylle for to seyn
Who durste jouste with hym more.
Of hym they were adred ful sore,
That non durste jouste with hym eft,
Lest he hadde hem here lyf bereft;
And whenne he seygh ther com no moo,
He rod agayn ther he com froo.

   Aftyr the blak, another come;
Alle the folk good kep nome.
Hys hors and al hys atyr was red;
Hym semyd weel to ben a qued.
A red hound on hys helme above.
He comme to seke and to prove
Yif ony jouste with hym dar.
Whenne non wolde he was war
With schaft to hym make chalenge,
He rod doun ryght be the renge.
The devyl hym honge where he be!
I not what, devyl, him eylid at me!4
Hys schaft a squyer he betook,
And behelde me with grymly look,
And smot me soo with hys mase,
Ne hadde be Jhesu Crystys grace,
My swyre hadde gon in twey.
I bad hym ryden forth hys wey,
Dele with fooles as hymself was.
Agayn he com be anothir pas,
And gaf me a wel werse than that,
But stylle in my sadyl I sat.
Tho seyde many a modyr sone,
‘Allas, Ser Thomas of Multone!
That he is smete with unskyl!’
My mase I hente with good wyl,
I smot hym that alle folk it seyn.
Doun off hys hors almost he fleygh,
Whenne I hym hadde a stroke iset,
And wolde have blyssyd hym bet,
No moo strokes wolde he abyde;
Awey swythe thenne gan he ryde.”
   Whenne Multoun hadde hys tale told,
Fouk Doyly, a baroun bold,
Seyde to the Kyng Rychard:
“The thrydde ther come aftyrward
In atyr whyt as snowgh.
Ther byheeld hym heyghe and lowgh.
In hys scheeld a croys red as blod;
A whyte culvere on hys helme stod,
He hovyd and beheeld us yerne,
Yif ther was ony knyght so sterne,
So hardy man and strong of bones,
That durste jouste with hym ones.
Ther was non so stoute ne gryme,
That durste jouste thoo with hym.
Doun by the renge he yede doun faste,
To me he com ryght at the laste.
Iwis, Sere kyng,” quod Sere Fouke,
“I wene that knyght was a pouke.
With hys mase on my basynet,
With hys ryght hand a dynt he set,
With wraththe strong and egre mayn,
That nygh al stonyd was my brayn.
I spak to hym at wurdes fewe:
‘Ryde now forth, you wode schrewe,
And pleye with hem that is thy pere.
Yif you come eft in this manere,
For to be wys I schal thee teche.’
Eft he gan more cunteke seche,
A werre strok he gaf me yette,
And with my mase I hym grette.
Bothe hys styropes he forles;
And stonyd he rod out of the pres,
And agayn undyr wode bowgh.”
Kyng Rychard sat fol stylle and lowgh,
And sayde, “Frendys, sykyrly,
Takes noght to greef, for it was I,
Whenne ye were gaderyd alle in fere,
Aunterous I com in this manere,
Who so was strengest yow to asaye,
And who cowde best strokes paye.
Lordyngs,” he sayde, “wete ye nought
What I have ordeynyd in thought?
The Holy Lond to wende too,
We three withoute knyghtes moo,
Al in palmeres gyse,
The Holy Lond for to devyse.
To me, I wole that ye be swore,
No man to wete that now is bore,
Neyther for wele, ne for woo,
Tyl that we comen and goo.”
They grauntyd hym hys askyng
Wythouten more a gaynsayyng,
With hym to lyve and to dye,
And lette nought for love ne eye.
On the book they layde here hand,
To that forwarde for to stand;
And kyste hem thenne alle three,
Trewe sworn for to bee.
   Trumpes blewe and gan to cry,
To mete wente they hastyly, meal
And on the twentythe day at ende,
They were redy for to wende
With pyke and with sclavyn,
As palmers weren in paynym.

   Now they dyghten hem ful yare,
These three knyghtes for to fare.
They setten up sayl, the wynd was good:
They saylyd over the salte flood
Into Flaundrys, I you saye,
Rychard and hys feres twaye.
Forth they wente with glad chere,
Thorwgh manye landes, fer and nere,
Tyl they come to Braundys,
That is a coost of mekyl prys.
A noble schyp they founde thare,
Into Cyprys redy to fare.
The seyl was reysyd, the schyp was strong,
And in the see they were long,
And at the laste, I undyrstande,
At Famagos they come to lande.
There they dwellyd fourty dawes,
For to lerne landes lawes;
And sethen deden hem on the see5
Toward Acres, that ceté,
And so forth to Massedoyne,
And to the ceté of Babyloyne,
And fro thennes to Cesare;
Of Nynyve they were ware,
And to the cyté of Jerusalem,
And to the cyté of Bedlem,
And to the cyté of Sudan Turry,
And eke alsoo to Ebedy,
And to the Castel Orglyous,
And to the cyté, Aperyous,
To Jaffe and to Safrane,
To Taboret and Archane.
Thus, they vysytyd the Holy Land,
How they myghten wynne it to here hand;
And seththen homward they hem dyght,
To Yngelond with al here myght.
   Whenne they hadde passyd the Grykys se,
In Alemayne the palmeres thre,
Letten or they myghten goo,
That turnyd hem to mekyl woo!
I schal yow telle that be here,
Herkenes alle in what manere!

A goos they dyghte to her dynere,
In a taverne there they were.
Kyng Rychard the fyr bet,
Thomas to the spyte hym set,
Fouk Doyly tempryd the woos,
Dere aboughte they that goos!
Whenne thay hadde drunken wel afyn,
A mynstralle com there in,
And sayde, “Goode men, wyttyrly
Wole ye have ony mynstryalsy?”
Rychard bad that he scholde goo,
That turnyd hym to mekyl woo!
The mynstralle took in mynde,
And sayde, “Ye are men unkynde,
And yif I may, ye schall forthynk,
Ye gaf me neyther mete ne drynk!
For gentylmen scholden bede
To mynstrall that abouten yede
Of here mete, wyn, and ale:
For los ryses of mynstrale.”6
He was Ynglysch and well hem knewe,
Be speche and syghte, hyde and hewe.
Forthe he wente in that tyde
To a castell there besyde,
And tolde the kynge all and some,
That thre men were to the cyté come,
Strong men, bolde and fere;
In the worlde is not theyr pere.
Kynge Rycharde of Englonde was the one man,
Fouke Doly was that other than,
The thyrde, Thomas of Multon,
Noble knyghtes of renowne.
In palmers wede they be dyght
That no man sholde knowe them ryght.
To hym sayd the kynge, “Iwys,
That thou haste tolde, yf it sothe is,
Thou shalte have thy warysowne,
And chose thy selfe a ryche towne.”
The kynge commaunded hys knyghtes
To arme them in all myghtes:
“And go and take them all thre,
And swythe brynge them to me!”
Forth wente the knyghtes in fere,
And toke the palmers at theyr dynere.
They were brought before the kynge,
And he asked them in hyenge:
“Palmers,” he sayd, “Whens be ye?”
“Of Englonde,” they sayd, “we be.”
“What hyght thou, falowe?” sayd the kynge.
“Rycharde,” he sayd, without lesynge.
“What hyght thou?” he said to the elder man.
“Fouke Doly,” he answered than.
“And what thou,” he sayd, “gray here?”
“Thomas of Multon,” he sayd there.
The kynge asked them all thre,
What they dyde in his countré:
“I saye you, without lyes,
Ye seme well to be spyes!
Ye have sene my londe up and downe,
I trowe ye thynke me some treasowne.7
For as moche as thou, Syr kynge,
And thy barons, without lesynge,
Seme not to be thus dyght,
Therfore, ye shall with law and ryght,
Ben put in a stonge pryson,
For ye thynke to do me treason.”
Kynge Rycharde sayd, “So mote I thee,
Thou dooth unryght, thynketh me,
Palmers that gone by the waye,
Them to pryson, nyght or daye.
Syr kynge, for thy courtesy,
Do us palmers no vylony!
For His love that we have sought,
Let us go and greve us nought,
For aventures that may betyde
In straunge londes where thou ryde.
The kynge commaunded anone,
Into pryson them to done.
The porter, I understonde,
Toke Rycharde by the honde,
And his felawes with hym tyte.
Lenger had they no respyte,
Tyll that other daye at pryme,
The kynges sone came in evyll tyme.
Wardrewe was his name:
He was a knyght of grete fame.
He was grete, stronge, and fere;
In that londe was not his pere.
“Porter,” he sayd, “I praye thee,
Thy prysoners lette me see!”
The porter sayd, “All at your wyll,
Erly or late, loude or styll.”
He brought them forth, all thre,
Rycharde formest tho came he,
Wardrewe spake to hym than:
“Arte thou Rycharde, the stronge man,
As men saye in eche londe?
Darste thou stonde a buffet of my honde?
And to morowe I gyve thee leve
Suche another me to gyve?”
Anone, Kynge Rycharde
Graunted to that forwarde.
The kynges sone, fyers and proute,
Gave Rycharde an eere cloute:
The fyre out of his eyen spronge.
Rycharde thought he dyde hym wronge
And sware his othe by Saynt Martyn:
“Tomorowe, I shall paye myn!”
Thy kynges sone with good wyll,
Badde they sholde have theyr fyll,
Bothe of drynke and eke of mete,
The best that they wolde ete,
That he myght not awyte
For feblenes his dente to smyte;
And in to bedde be brought to reste,
To quyte his that he be preste.
The kynges sone was curtese,
That nyght he made hym well at ease.
On the morowe whan it was daye,
Rycharde rose, as I you saye.
Waxe he toke, clere and bryght,
And sone a fyre he hym dyght,
And wexed his hondes by the fyre,
Overthwarde and endlonge, be you sure,
A strawes brede thycke and more,
For he thought to smyte sore
With his honde he hath tyght,
To make the payne that he hath hyght.
The kynges sone came in than
To holde forwarde as a trewe man,
And before Rycharde he stode,
And spake to hym with irefull mode:
“Smyte,” he sayd, “with thy myght,
As thow art a stalworth knyght,
And yf I stope or felde,8
Kepe me never to bere shelde.”
Under his cheke Richarde his honde layde,
He that it sawe the sothe sayd,
Flesshe and skynne awaye he droughe,
That he fell downe in a swoughe.
In twoo he brak hys cheke bon:
He fel doun ded as ony ston.
   A knyght sterte to the kyng,
And tolde hym this tydyng,
That Rychard has hys sone islon.
“Allas!” he sayde, “now have I non!”
With that worde, he fyl to grounde
As man that was in woo ibounde.
He swownyd for sorwe at here feet,
Knyghtes took hym up ful skeet,
And sayde, “Sere, let be that thought,
Now it is don, it helpes nought.”
The kyng spak thenne an hy
To the knyght that stood hym by:
“Tel me swythe of this caas,
In what manere he ded was.”
Stylle thay stood, everylkon,
For sorwe ther myghte hym telle non.
With that noyse ther come the qwene.
“Allas!” sche sayde, “Hou may this bene?
Why is this sorwe and this fare?
Who has brought yow alle in care?”
“Dame,” he sayde, “wost thou nought
Thy fayre sone to dethe is brought!
Syththen that I was born to man,
Swylke sorwe hadde I nevere nan!
Alle my joye is turnyd to woo,
For sorwe I wole myselven sloo!”
   Whenne the qwene undyrstood,
For sorwe, sertys, sche wax nygh wood.
Her kerchers she drewe and heer also,
“Alas,” she sayd, “what shall I do?”
Sche qahchyd here self in the vysage,
As a wymman that was in a rage.
The fase fomyd al on blood,
Sche rente the robe that sche in stood,
Wrong here handes that sche was born:
“In what manere is my sone ilorn?”
The kyng sayde, “I telle thee,
The knyght here standes, he tolde it me.
Now tel thee sothe,” quod the kyng than,
“In what manere this dede began;
And but thou the sothe seye,
An evele deth schalt thou deye.”
The knyght callyd the jayler,
And bad he scholde stonde ner
To bere wytnesse of that sawe,
In what maner that he was slawe.
The jayler sayde, “Yystyrday at pryme,
Youre sone com in evyl tyme
To the presoun dore to me.
The palmeres he wolde see,
And I fette hem forth, anon.
The formeste Rychard gan gon.
Wardrewe askeyd withouten let
Yif he durste stonde hym a buffet,
And he wolde hym another stande,
As he was trewe knyght in lande,
And Rychard sayde, 'Be this lyght,
Smyt on, sere, and doo thy myght!'
Wardrewe so Rychard smette,
That wel nygh he ovyrsette:
'Rychard,' he sayde, 'now bydde I thee,
To morwe another now geve thou me.'
They departyd in this wyse.
At morwen Rychard gan aryse,
And youre sone, anon he come,
And Rychard agayn hym the way nome,
As comenaunt was betwen hem tway.
Rychard hym smot, forsothe to say,
Evene in twoo hys cheke bon.
He fyl doun ded as ony ston.
As I am sworn unto yow here,
Thus it was, and in this manere.”
The kyng sayde with egre wylle:
“In presoun they schal leve stylle,
And fetters upon theyr fete feste
For the dedes that aren unwrest.
That he has my sone islawe,
He schal dye be ryght lawe.”
The porter yede, als he was sent,
To don hys lordys comaundement.
That day eete they no meete,
Ne no drynk myghte they gete.

   The kyngys doughtyr lay in here bour,
With here maydenys of honour:
Margery here name hyght;
Sche lovede Rychard with al here myght.
At the mydday, before the noone,
To the presoun sche wente soone,
And with here maydenes three.
“Jayler,” sche sayde, “let me see
Thy presouns now, hastyly!”
“Blethely,” he sayde, “sykyrly.”
Forth he fette Rychard anon ryght;
Fayre he grette that lady bryght,
And sayde to here with herte free,
“What is thy wylle, lady, with me?”
Whenne sche sawgh hym with eyen twoo,
Here love sche caste upon hym thoo.
And sayde, “Rycharde, save God above,
Of alle thyng, most I thee love!”
“Allas!” he sayde in that stounde,
“With wrong am I brought to grounde!
What myghte my love doo to thee?
A pore presoun, as thou may see.
This is that othir day igon,
That meete ne drynk ne hadde I non!”
The lady hadde of hym pyté,
And sayde it scholde amendyd bee.
Sche commaunded the jaylere,
Meete and drynk to fette hym there;
“And the yryns from hym take,
I comaunde thee for my sake.
And aftyr soper, in the evenyng,
To my chaumbyr, thou hym bryng
In the atyr of a squyer:
My self thenne schal kepe hym ther.
Be Jhesu Cryst and Seynt Symoun,
Thou schalt have thy warysoun!”
At even the porter forgat it nought,
To here chaumbyr Richard was brought.
With that lady he dwellyd stylle,
And played with here al hys fylle
Tyl the sevenyght day, sykyrly,
He yede and com fol prevyly.
   He was aspyyd of a knyght,
That to here chaumbyr he com o nyght.
Prevyly, he tolde the kyng
Forleyn was hys doughtyr yyng.
The kyng askyd ful soone,
“Who thenne, hath that dede idone?”
“Rychard,” he sayde, “that tretour!
He has don this dyshonour.
Sere, be my Crystyndam,
I sawgh whenne he yede and cam.”

   The kyng in herte sykyd sore,
To hym thenne spak he no more,
But swythe, withouten fayle,
He sente aftyr hys counsayle,
Erlys, barouns, and wyse clerkes,
To telle of these wooful werkes.
The messangers gunne forth gon,
Hys counsaylleres, they comen anon.
By that it was the fourtenthe day,
The counsaylers comen, as I yow say.
Al with on they gretten the kyng,
The sothe to saye withouten lesyng.
“Lordynges,” he sayde, “welcome alle!”
They wente hem forth into an halle,
Among hem the kyng hym set.
And sayde to hem, withouten let,
“Why I have aftyr you sent,
To geve a traytour jugement
That has don me gret tresoun:
Kyng Rychard is in my presoun.”
Alle he tolde hem in hys sawe,
Hou he hadde hys sone islawe,
And hys doughtyr also forlayn:
“That he were ded I were ful fayn!
But now it is ordeynyd soo,
Men schal no kyng to deth doo.”
To hym spak a bold baroun:
“Hou com Kyng Rychard in presoun?
He is halden so noble a kyng,
To hym dar no man doo no thyng.”
The kyng hym tolde in all wyse,
Hou he fond hym in dysgyse,
And with hym othere twoo barouns,
Noble men of gret renouns.
I took him thorwgh suspeccyoun,
In this manere to my presoun.”
He took leve at hem ylkone,
Into a chaumbyr he bad hem gone
For to take here counsayle,
What hem myghte best avayle.
In here speche they dwellyd thare
Thre dayes and sumdel mare.
And stryvenn faste als they were wode,
With grete erroure and egere mode;
Some wolde have hym adawe
And some sayde it was no lawe.
In this manere, for here jangelyng,
They myghte acorde for no thyng.
The wyseste sayde, “Verrament
We can hym geve no jugement.”
Thus answeryd they the kyng,
Sertaynly, withouten lesyng.
A knyght spak swythe to the kyng:
“Sere, greve yow no thyng.
Sere Eldryd, for sothe, iwis,
He can telle what best is,
For he is wys man of red,
Manye has he don to ded.”
The kyng bad, withouten lette,
That he were before hym fette.
He was brought before the kyng;
He askyd hym in hys sayyng:
“Canst thou telle me in ony manere,
Of Kyng Rychard that I vengyd were?”
He answeryd with herte free:
“Theron I moot avysyd be
Ye weten weel, it is no lawe,
A kyng to hange and to drawe.
Ye schal doo be my resoun;
Hastely takes youre lyoun,
And withhaldes hym hys meete,
Three dayes that he nought eete,
And Rycharde into chaumbyr ye doo,
And lete the lyoun wende hym too.
In this manere he schal be slawe.
Thenne dost thou nought agayn the lawe.
The lyoun schal hym there sloo;
Thenne art thou wroken of thy foo.”
The mayde aspyyd that resoun,
That he scholde dye thorwgh tresoun.
And aftyr hym sone sche sente,
To warne hym of that jugemente.
When he to the chaumbyr com than,
“Welcome,” sche sayde, “my lemman.
My lord has ordeynyd thee thorwgh red,
The thrydde day to be don to ded.
Into a chaumbyr thou shalt be doo,
A lyoun schal be late thee too,
That is forhongryd swythe sore;
Thanne wot I wel thou levyste no more!
But, leve lemman,” thenne sayde sche,
“To nyght we wole of lande flee,
With golde and sylver, and gret tresore,
Inowgh to have for evre more!”
Rychard sayde, “I undyrstande
That were agayn the lawe of land,
Away to wende withouten leve:
The kyng ne wole I nought so greve.
Of the lyoun, ne geve I nought,
Hym to sle now have I thought.
Be pryme on the thrydde day,
I geve thee hys herte to pray.”
Kevercheves he askyd of sylk,
Fourty, whyte as ony mylk:
“To the presoun thou hem bryng,
A lytyl before the evenyng.”
Whenne it to the tyme cam,
The wey to the presoun the mayden nam,
And with here a noble knyght.
Here soper was ful wel idyght.
Rychard bad hys twoo feres,
Come to hym to here soperes,
“And thou, sere Porter, alsoo.
The lady comaundes thee thertoo.”
That nyght they were glad inowgh,
And sythen to the chaumbyr they drowgh;
But Rychard and that swete wyght,
Dwellyd togedere al that nyght.
At morwen whenne it was day,
Rychard here preyde to wende here way.
“Nay, “ sche sayde, “be God above,
I schal dye here for thy love!
Ryght now here I wole abyde,
Though me scholde the deth betyde.
Sertes, henne wole I nought wende:
I shall take the grace that god wyll sende.”
Rychard sayde, “Lady free,
But yif thou wende swythe fro me,
Thou schalt greve me so sore
That I schal nevere love thee more.”
Ther agayn sche sayde, “Nay!
Lemman, have now good day.
God that deyde upon the tree,
Save thee yyf hys wyll bee!”
The kevercheves he took on honde,
Abouten hys arme he hem wonde.
He thoughte with that ylke wyle,
To sloo the lyoun with sum gyle,
And seyngle in a kertyl he stood,
Abood the lyoun, fers and wood.

With that com the jaylere,
And othere twoo with hym in fere,
And the lyoun hem among.
Hys pawes were bothe sharpe and long.
The chambre dore thay hafe undo,
And inn the lyoun lete hym to.
Rychard cryyd, “Help, Jhesu!”
The lyoun made a gret venu,
And wolde have hym al torent;
Kyng Rychard thenne besyde he glent,
Upon the brest the lyoun he spurnyd,
That al aboute the lyoun turnyd.
The lyoun was hungry and megre,
He beute hys tayl for to be egre,
Faste aboute on the wowes.
Abrod he spredde alle hys powes,
And roynyd lowde and gapyd wyde.
Kyng Rychard bethoughte hym that tyde,
What it was best, and to hym sterte.
In at hys throte hys arme he gerte,
Rente out the herte with hys hand,
Lungges and lyvere, and al that he fand.
The lyoun fel ded to the grounde.
Rychard hadde neyther wemme ne wounde.
He knelyd doun in that place,
And thankyd God of hys grace
That hym kepte fro schame and harme.
He took the herte, al so warme,
And broughte it into the halle
Before the kyng and hys men alle.
The kyng at meete sat on des
With dukes and erles, prowde in pres.
The saler on the table stood.
Rychard prest out al the blood,
And wette the herte in the salt;
The kyng and alle hys men behalt,
Wythouten bred the herte he eet.
The kyng wonderyd and sayde skeet:
“Iwis, as I undyrstonde can,
This is a devyl, and no man,
That has my stronge lyoun slawe,
The herte out of hys body drawe,
And has it eeten with good wylle.
He may be callyed, be ryght skylle,
Kyng icrystenyd of most renoun,
Stronge Rychard, Coer de Lyoun!”

   Now of this lete we bee,
And of the kyng speke we.
In care and mournyng he ledes hys lyf,
And often he calles hymself caytyf,
Bannes the tyme that he was born,
For hys sone that was forlorn,
And hys doughtyr that was bylayn,
And hys lyoun that was soo slayn.
Erlys and barouns come hym too,
And hys qwene dede alsoo,
And askyd hym what hym was.
“Ye weten weel,” he seyde, “my caas,
And why I leve in strong dolour;
For Rychard, the strounge traytour,
Has me wrought so mekyl woo.
I may hym nought to dethe doo;
Thefore, I wole for hys sake,
Raunsum for hys body take.
For my doughtyr that he has schent
Agayn the staat of sacrement,
Of every kyrke that preest in syng,
Messe is sayd, or belle in ryng,
There twoo chalyses inne be,
That on schal be brought to me;
And yyf ther bee moo than thoo,
The halvyndel schal come me too.
Whenne I am servyd of that fee,
Thenne schal Rychard delyveryd bee.”
And my doughter for her outrage
Shall forgoo her herytage.
“Thus,” he sayde, “it schal be doo.”
The barouns grauntyd weel thereto.
Kyng Rychard they aftyr sente,
For to here that ordeynemente.
   Kyng Rychard com in to the halle,
And grette the kyng and hys men alle.
Thenne sayde the kyng: “Verrayment,
We have lokyd thorwgh jugement,
That thou shalt paye raunsoun,
For thee and thy twoo baroun.
Of every kyrke in thy land,
Thou schalt doo me come to hand,9
There twoo chalys inne bee,
That on schal be brought to mee;
And yyf there be moo then thoo,
The halvyndel schal come me too.
Thorwghout thy land, wete it weel,
I wole have the halvyndel.
Whenne thou hast thus maad thy pay,
I geve thee leve to wende thy way,
And my doughtyr alsoo with thee,
That I yow nevere with eyen see.”
Kyng Rychard sayde, “As thou has told,
To that forewarde I me hold.”
Kyng Rychard, curteys and hende,
Seyde, “Who wole for me wende
To Engeland to my chaunceler
That my raunsoun be payde her?
And who so dos it, withouten fayle,
I schal aquyte hym weel his travayle.”
Up ther stood an hende knyght:
“The message I wole doo ful ryght.”
Kyng Rychard dede a lettre wryte,
A noble clerk it gan adyte,
And made therinne mensyoun,
More and lesse of the raunsoun.
“Gretes weel, as I yow say,
Bothe myn erchebysschopys tway,
And so ye doo the chaunceler,
To serve the lettre in alle maner.
In no manere thee lette fayle;
Sykyrly, it schal hem avayle.”
Hys seel theron he has set;
The knyght it takes withouten let.
Dyghtes hym and made hym yare
Over the see for to fare.
Whenne he was theron ibrought,
To gon hys way forgat he nought;
To London he hyyd hym anon.
There he fond hem everylkon.
He took the lettrys, as I yow say,
To the erchebysschopys tway,
And bad hem faste don it rede:
It is don for mekyl nede.
The chaunceler the wex tobrak,
Sone he wyste what to spak.
The lettre was rede among hem alle,
What therofe scholde befalle,
Hou Kyng Rychard with tresoun,
In Alemayne dwelles for raunsoun.
The kynges sone he has slayn,
And also hys doughtyr he hath forlayn,
And alsoo slayn hys lyoun:
Alle these harmes he hath don.
They beden clerkys forth to wende
To every kyrke, fer and hende,
Hastely, that it were sped,
And the tresore to hym led.
“Messanger,” thenne sayden hee,
“Thou schalt dwelle, and have with thee,
Fyve bysschopys to ryde thee by,
And fyve barouns, sykyrly,
And othere folk inowe with thee.
In us ne schal no fawte bee.
Of every kyrke, lesse and more,
They gaderyd up al the tresore,
And over the see thenne are they went,
For to make the fayre present.
Whenne they comen the cyté too,
The ryche kyng they gretten thoo,
And sayden as they were bethought:
“Sere, thy raunsoun is here brought,
Takes it al to youre wyl.
Lat goo these men as it is skyl.”
“Sayde the kyng, “I geve hem leve.
I ne schal hem no more greve.”
He took hys doughtyr by the hand,
And bad here swythe devoyde his land.
The qwene sawgh what scholde falle,
Here doughtyr sche gan to chaumbyr calle,
And sayde, “Thou schalt dwelle with me,
Tyl kyng Rychard sende aftyr thee,
As a kyng dos aftyr hys qwene;
So I rede that it schal bene.”

   Kyng Rychard and hys feres twoo
Took here leve and gunne to goo
Home agayn unto Yngelonde.
Thankyd be Jhesu Crystys sonde,
They come to Londoun, that cyté.
Hys erles and hys barouns free,
They thankyd God, al so blyve
That they seygh here lord on lyve.
Hys twoo feres wenten home,
Here frendes were glad of here come.
Bathid here bodyys that were sore,
For the travayle that they hadde before.
Thus, they dwellyd half a yer,
Among here frendes of gret power,
Tyl they were stalworth to fond.
The kyng comaundyd thorwgh the lond,
At London to make a parlement.10
Non withstonde his comaundement,
As they wolden saven here lyf,
And here chyldren and here wyf.
To Londoun to hys somoun,
Come erl, bysschop,
Abbotes, pryours, knyghtes, squyers,
Burgeyses and manye bachelers,
Serjauntes and every freholdande,
The kynges heste to undyrstande.
   Befor that tyme a gret cuntré,
That was beyonde the Grykkyssche see,
Acres, Surry, and fele landes,
Were in Crystene mennes handes,
And the croys that Cryst was on ded,
That boughte us alle fro the qued;
And al the cuntree of Bethleem,
And the toun of Jerusalem,
Of Nazareth and of Jerycho,
And al Galylee alsoo.
Ylke palmere and ylke pylgryme,
That wolde thedyr goo that tyme,
Myghte passe with good entent,
Withouten ransoun and ony rent,
Other of sylvyr or of golde,
To every plase that he wolde.
Fond he no man hym to myssay,
Ne with evele hondes on hym to lay.
Of Surry land, the Duke Myloun,
Was lord that stounde, a wol bold baroun.
Mawgré the Sawdon that lond he heeld,
And weryd it weel with spere and scheeld.
He and the doughty Erl Renaud,
Wel often gaf hym wol hard assaut,
And wol often in playn batayle,
They slowe knyghtes and gret putayle
Of Sarezynys that mysbelevyd:
The Sawdon was sore agrevyd.
   Lystenes of a tresoun strong
Of the Eerl Roys, that was hem among;
To whom Myloun tryste mekyl
And he was traytour fals and fykyl.
The Sawdon stylly to hym sente,
And behyghte hym land and rente,
The Crystene hoost to betrayen.
Whanne he hadde wunne hem, for to payen
Of gold many a thousand pounde,
The eerl grauntyd hym that stounde.
Another traytour, Markes Feraunt,
He wyste alsoo of that comenaunt.
He hadde part of the gold the eerl took,
And aftyrward Crystyndom he forsook.
Thus thorwgh tresoun of the Eerl Roys,
Surry was lorn and the Holy Croys.
The Duke Renaud was hewen smale,
Al to pesys, so says oure tale.
The Duke Myloun was geven hys lyf,
And fleygh out of lande with hys wyf,
— He was was heyr of Surry lande,
Kyng Bawdewynys sone, I undyrstande —
That no man wyste nevere siththe,
Where he be come, ne in what kiththe:
So that this los and this pyté,
Sprong out thorwgh al Crystyanté.
   An holy pope that hyghte Urban,
Sente to eche a Crystene man,
And asoylyd hem of here synne.
And gaf hem paradys to wynne,
Alle that wolde thedyr gon,
To wreke Jhesu of his foon.
The kyng of France, withouten fayle,
Thedyr he wente with gret vytayle,
The duke of Bloys, the duke of Burgoyne,
The duke of Ostrych, and the duke of Cessoyne,
And the Emperour of Alemayne,
And the goode knyghtes of Bretayne,
The eerl of Flaunders, the eerl of Coloyne,
The eerl of Artays, the eerl of Boloyne.
Mekyl folk wente thedyr before,
That nygh hadde here lyf forlore,
In gret hete and hongyr hard,
As ye may here aftyrward.

   In hervest, aftyr the nativité,
Kyng Richard, with gret solempnyté,
At Westemynstyr heeld a ryal feste
With bysschop, eerl, baron honeste,
Abbotes, knyghtes, swaynes strong.
And aftyr mete, hem among
The kyng stood up and gan to sayn:
“My leve frendes, I wole yow prayn,
Beth in pes, lystenes my tale,
Erlys, barouns, grete and smale,
Bysschop, Abbot, lewyd and lerde,
Al Crystyndom may ben aferde!
The pope, Urban, has to us sent
Hys bulle and hys comaundement:
How the Sawdon has fyght begunne,
The toun of Acres he has wunne
Thorwgh the Eerl Roys and hys trehcherye,
And al the kyngdom of Surrye.
Jerusalem and the Croys is lorn,
And Bethleem, there Jhesu Cryst was born,
The Crystene knyghtes ben hangyd and drawe;
The Sarezynys have hem now islawe,
Crystene men, children, wyf, and grome.
Wherefore the lord, the pope of Rome,
Is agrevyd and anoyyd
That Crystyndom is thus destroyyd.
Ilke Crystene kyng he sendes bode,
And byddes, in the name of Gode,
To wende thedyr with gret hoost,
For to felle the Sarezynys bost.
Wherefore my self, I have mente,
To wende thedyr, with swerdes dent
Wynne the Croys, and gete los.
Now frendes, what is youre purpos?
Wole ye wende? Says ye or nay!”
Erles and barouns and all they
Sayden: “We ben at on accord:
To wende with thee, Rychard, oure lord.”
Quod the kyng, “Frendes, gromercy!
It is oure honour: lystenes why!
Wendes and grauntes the pope hys bon,11
As other Crystene kynges have don.
The kyng of Fraunce is wente forth.
I rede est, west, south, and north,
In Yngelonde that we do crye,
And maken a playn croyserye.”
Mekyl folk that the croys have nomen,
To Kyng Rychard they were comen
On hors and foote, wel aparaylyd.
Twoo hondryd schyppys ben wel vitailid,
With flour, hawberks, swerdys, and knyvys;
Thrittene schyppys i-laden with hyvys
Of bees, of tymbyr, grete schydys and long
He leet make a tour ful strong12
That queynteyly engynours made,
Therwith three schyppys were wel lade.
Another schyp was laden yet,
With an engine hyghte robynet.
That was Rychardys o mangenel,
And all the takyl that therto fel.
Whenne they ware dyght al yare,
Out of havene for to fare,
Jhesu hem sente wynd ful good,
To bere hem over the salte flood.
Kyng Rychard sayde to hys schipmen:
“Frendes, doth as I yow ken,
And maystyr Aleyn Trenchemere,
Whether ye come fer or nere,
And ye meten be the see stronde,
Schyppys of ony other londe,
Tho Crystene men, of lyf and leme13
Looke no goodes ye hem beneme;
And yyf ye ony Sarezynys mete,
Loke on lyve that ye non lete!
Catayl, dromoun, and galeye,
Al I yow geve unto youre preye;
But at the cyté of Marchylé,
There, ye moot abyde awhile;
Be cable and ankyr for to ryde,
Me and myn hoost for to abyde.
For I and my knyghtes of mayn
Wole hastily wende thorwgh Alemayn
To speke with Modard, the kyng,
To wete why and for what thyng
That he me in presoun heelde;
But he my tresore agayn yelde
That he of me took with falshede,
I schal quyten hym hys mede.”
Thus Kyng Rychard, as ye may here,
Bycome Goddys owne palmere
Agayns Goddys wythirhynys.
The erchebysschop, Sere Bawdewynys,
Before wente with knyghtys fyn
Be Braundys and be Constantyn,
And al ther last thenne aftyrward
Thenne come the doughty Kyng Rychard.
Three hoostes Kyng Richard gan make
Into hethenesse, for Goddys sake:
In the forme warde hym self wolde be,
With hardy men of gret pousté,
That other ledes Fouke Doyly,
Thomas, the thrydde, sykerly.
Every hoost with hym gan lede
Fourty thousande goode at nede;
Non therinne but man of myght
That were wel provyd in werre and fyght
Kyng Richard callyd hys justys:
“Lokes that ye doo be my devys,
My land kepes with skele and lawe:
Traytours lookes ye honge and drawe.
In my stede schal be here
The bysschop of York, my chauncelere.
I wole that ye ben at hys wylle,
To wyrke aftyr ryght and skylle,
That I hereaftyr here no stryf,
As ye wole save youre owne lyf!
And in the name of God Almyght,
Ledes the pore men be ryght!”
Thertoo heeld they up here hand,
With ryght to lede al Yngeland.
Bysschopys gaf hem here benysoun,
And prayde for hem in kyrke and toun;
And prayde Jhesu Cryst hem spede,
In hevene to quyten hem here mede.

   Now is Kyng Rychard passid the see;
Sone he delte hys hoost in thre.
For he wolde nought folk anoye,
And here goodes nought destroye,
Ne nothyng take withouten pay.
The kyng comaundyd, as I yow say,
Every hoost fro othir ten myle;
Thus he ordeynyd that whyle,
In the myddyl hoost hym self to ryde,
And hys hoostes on bothe syde.
Forth they wenten withouten ensoyne,
To the cyté of Coloyne.
The hye mayre of that cyté
Comaundyd, as I schal telle thee,
No man selle hem no fowayle,
For no thyng that myghte avayle.
The styward tolde Richard, the kyng,
Sone anon of that tydyng,
That he myghte no fowayle beye,
Neyther for love, neyther for eye.
“Thus defendes Modard, the kyng,
For he hates yow ovyr alle thyng.
Weel he woot that ye have swore
Al that ye take to paye therfore;
Ye wole take with no maystry;
Therfore, he wenes, sykyrly
That ye schal have mete non;
Thus he thynkes youre men to slon.”
Kyng Richard answerid as hym thought:
“That ne schal us lette nought.
Now styward, I warne thee,
Bye us vessel, gret plenté,
Dysschys, cuppys, and sawsers,
Bolles, treyes, and plateres,
Fattys, tunnes and costret,
Makes oure mete withouten let,
Whether ye wole sethe or brede;
And the pore men also, God yow spede,
That ye fynde in the toun,
That they come at my somoun.”
Whenne the mete was greythid and dyght,
The kyng comaundyd to a knyght
After the mayr for to wende,
For he is curteys and hende.
The mayr come, as I have sayde,
Bord and cloth was redy layde.
Anon they were to borde sette,
And fayr servyse before hem fette.
Kyng Rychard askyd in hyyng:
“Sere mayr, where is thy lord, the kyng?”
“Sere,” he sayde, “at Gumery,
Sykyrly, withouten ly,
And alsoo, my lady, the qwene.
The thrydde day ye schal hem sene,
And Margery, hys doughtyr free,
That of youre comyng wol glad wil be.”
They waschede as it was lawe of land,
A messanger ther come rydand,
Upon a stede whyt so mylke,
Hys trappys were of tuely sylk,
With fyve hondryd belles ryngande,
Wel fayr of syghte, I undirstande.
Doun off hys stede he lyght,
And grette Kyng Rychard fayr, I plyght:
“The kynges doughtyr that is so free,
Sche gretes thee weel by me.
With an hondryd knyghtes and moo,
Sche comes ar thou to bedde goo.”
Kyng Rychard answeryd in hyyng:
“Welcome,” he sayde, “ovyr alle thyng!”
He made at ease the messangere,
With glad semblaunt and merye chere,
And gaf hym a cloth of golde,
For he was to hym leef iholde.
They come to hym that ylke nyght,
The knyghtes and the lady bryght.
Whenne Kyng Rychard myghte here see,
“Welcome, lemman,” sayde hee.
Ayther of hem othir gan kysse,
And made mekyl joye and blysse.
Thenne they dwellyd tyl it were day,
At morwen they wenten in here way.
   At mydday, before the noon,
They comen to a cyté boon,
The name was callyd Marburette.
There the kyng hym wolde lette.
Hys marschal swythe come hym too:
“Sere,” he sayde, “Hou schole we doo?
Swylk fowayle as we boughte yistyrday?
For no catel gete I may.”
Rychard answereyd with herte free:
“Of froyt here is gret plenté,
Fyggys, and raysyns in frayel,
And notes may serve us fol wel,
And wex sumdel caste thertoo,
Talwgh and grese menge alsoo;
And thus ye may oure mete make,
Seththen ye mowe non other take.”
There they dwellyd al that nyght;
On the morwe to wenden they have ityght
To the cyté of Carpentras.
There Kyng Modard hymself in was.
Further thenne myghte he fle hym nought;
Thorwgh the land he hadde hym sought.
Kyng Rychard hys hostel gan take,
There he gan hys ferste wrake
With gret wrong agayn the ryght,
For the goos that he hadde dyght.
   Kyng Modard wot Rychard is come,
Weel he wenes to be nome,
And in presoun ay to bee,
“But yyf my doughtyr helpe me!”
Sche come to hym there he sat:
“What now, fadyr, hou is that?”
“Sertes, doughtyr, I gete blame;
But yif thou helpe, I goo to schame!”
“Sertes, sere,” sche sayde than,
“As I am gentyl womman,
Yyf ye wole be mylde of mood,
Kyng Rychard wole do yow but good.
But grauntes hym with good wylle,
That he wil aske, and fulfylle,
And dos yow al in hys mercy,
Ye schole be kyssyd, be oure ledy!
Ye that have ben soo wrothe,
Ful fayre accordyd ye schal be bothe,
And eke, alsoo my lady, the qwene,
Goode frendes thenne schole ye bene.”
   Sche took here fadyr and with hym yede,
To Kyng Rychard, as I yow rede
And alsoo erles and barouns moo,
And syxty knyghtes withouten thoo.
Kyng Richard sawth hou that he come,
The way agayns hym he gan nom.
Kyng Modard on knees hym sette,
There Kyng Richard ful fayre he grette,
And sayde, “Sere, I am at thy wille.”
Sayde Rychard, “I wole nought but skylle.14
With so thou yelde agayn my tresore,
I schal thee love for everemore,
Love thee and be thy frende.”
Quod Kyng Modard, “My sone hende,
I wole ye swere upon a book,
Redy is it I of thee took:
Redy is al thy tresore,
Yyf thou wylt have it and mekyl more,
I schal thee geve, my pes to make.”
Kyng Rychard gan hym in armes take,
And kyste hym ful fele sythe:
They were frendes and made hem blythe.
That ylke day Kyng Modard
Eet, iwis, with Kyng Rychard.

   And aftyr mete, sone and swythe,
Kyng Rychard spak with wordis blythe
To the kyng that sat hym by:
“Welcome be thou, sykyrly!
Sere, of thy love, I praye thee,
Of thyn help to wende with me
To hethynnesse, withouten fayle,
For Goddes love to geve batayle.”
The kyng grauntyd al in grith,
Al hys land-folk to wende hym with,
“And myself to wende theretoo.”
“Nay,” quod Rychard, “I wole nought soo,
Thou art to old to beker in fyght,
But I pray thee that thou me dyght
An hondryd knyghtes, styff to stande,
And the beste in al thy lande;
And of vytayle, redy bon,
For al a yer that it be don,
And squyers that falles hem too.”
The kyng grauntyd to be soo.
“Another thyng I schall thee geve
That may thee helpe whyl that thou leve:
Twoo ryche rynges of gold,
The stones thereinne be fol bold.
Hennes to the lond of Ynde,
Betere thenne schalt thou non fynde;
For who soo has that on ston,
Watyr ne schal hym drenche non.
That othir ston, who so it bere,
Fyr ne schal hym nevere dere.
“Sere,” quod Rychard, “graunt mercy!”
Hys knyghtes weren dyght al redy,
Serjauntes of armes and squyers,
Stedes chargyd and destrers,
With armure and othir vytayle;
Kyng Richard wente with hys parayle,
To Marcyle they gunne ryde,
And hys hoostes on bothe syde.
Fouk Doyly, Thomas of Multoun,
Duke, eerl, and many baroun.
Rychardys maystyr, Roberd of Leycester,
In al Yngelond was non his betere;
And alsoo Robert Tourneham:
Gret Ynglys peple with hym cam.
Al redy they founde there here flete,
Chargyd with armure, drynk, and mete.
They schyppyd armes, man and stede,
And stoor here folk al with to fede.
They schyppyd al be the see stronde,
To wende into the Holy Londe.
The wynd was bothe good and kene,
And drof hem ovyr to Messene.
Before the gates of the Gryffouns,
Kyng Rychard pyghte hys pavylouns.
The kyng of Fraunce there he founde,
In pavylouns quarre and rounde;
Eyther of hem kyste othir,
And becomen sworen brothir,
To wenden into the Holy Londe,
To wreke Jhesu, I undyrstonde.

   A tresoun thoughte the kyng of Fraunce,
To doo Kyng Richard, withouten destaunce.
To Kyng Tanker he sente a wryt,15
That turnyd hym sythen to lytyl wyt;
That Kyng Richard, with strengthe of hand,
Wolde hym dryve out of hys land.
Tanker kyng of Poyl was,
For this wryt he sayde, “Allas!”
He sente anon a messanger
To hys sone that hyghte Roger,
That was kyng in Sesyle land.
He scholde come unto hys hand;
And also aftyr hys barouns,
Erles and lordes of renouns,
And whenne they were icome, ylkon,
The kyng sayde to hem anon,
And sayde hym hou the kyng of Fraunce,
Warnyd hym of a dystaunse.
Hou Kyng Richard was come fro ferre,
With gret strengthe on hym to werre.
Kyng Roger spak fyrst above,
And smot pes with hys glove:
“Mercy, my fadyr, at this tyme,
Kyng Richard is a pylgryme,
Croysyd into the Holy Lande;
That wryt lyes, I undyrstande.
I dar for Kyng Rychard swere
For hym ne tydes yow nevere dere;
But sendes to hym a messangere,
That he come unto yow here;
He wil come to yow ful fawe,
And that he thynkes he wil beknawe.”16
The kyng was payyd of that counsayle,
And sente aftyr hym, saunt fayle.
At morwen he com to hym, iwis,
Into the ryche cyté of Rys.
He fond Tanker in hys halle,
Among hys erlys and barouns alle.
Eyther othir grette ful fayre,
With mylde wurdes and debonayre.
Thenne sayde Tankar to Kyng Richard:
“Loo, Sere kyng, be Seynt Leonard,
Me it is idon to wyt
Of frendes be a fol good wryt,
That thou art comen with gret powere,
Me to bereve my landes here.
Thou were fayrere to be a pylgrym
For to sloo many a paynym,
Thenne for to greve a Cristene kyng
That nevere mysdede thee no thyng!”
Kyng Richard wax al aschamyd, became
And of hys wurdes sore agramyd,
And sayde, “Tanker, thou art mysthought
To have on me swylke a thought,
And swylke a rage upon me bere,
That I thee scholde with tresoun dere,
And swylke a tresoun to me sopos.
Upon my flesch I bere the cros!
I wole dwelle but a day;
Tomorwe I wole wende my way.
And I praye thee, Syr Tanker Kynge,
Procure me none evyll thynge;
For many men weneth to greve other,
And on his heed falleth the fother;
For who so wayteth me despyte,
Hymselfe shall nought passe quyte.”
“Syr,” quod Tanker, “Be not wrothe for this.
Lo, here the letter forsothe, iwys,
That the kynge of Fraunce me sente
That other daye in presente.”
Kynge Rycharde sawe and understode
The kynge of Fraunce wolde hym no gode.
Kynge Rycharde and Kynge Tanker kyste,
And were frendes with the beste
That myght be in ony londe,
Iloved be Jhesu Crystes sonde!
Kynge Rycharde wente agayne well styll,
And suffred the Frensshe kynges wyll.
He undyde his tresore,
And bought hym bestes to his store.
He let bothe salte and slene
Thre thousande of oxen and kene,
Swyne and shepe, so many also
No man coude tell tho.
Whete and benys twenty thowsande
Quarters he boughte als that I fynde;
And of fysshe, foules and venyson,
I ne can nought account in ryght reason.
The kynge of Fraunce, without wene,
Lay in the cyté of Messene,
And Kynge Rycharde without the wall,
Under the house of the Hospytall.
The Englysshe men wente into the chepynge,
And ofte hente harde knockynge.
The Frensshe and the Gryffons downeryghtes
Slewe there our Englyssche knyghtes.
Kynge Rycharde herde of that dystaunce,
And playned to the kynge of Fraunce,
And he answered he helde no wardes,
Of the Englysshe taylardes.
“Chase thy Gryffons, yf thou myght,
For of my men geteth thou no ryght.”
Quod Kynge Rycharde: “Syth it is so,
I wote well what I have to do.
I shall me of them so awreke
That all the worlde therof shall speke.”
   Crystmasse is a tyme full honeste.
Kynge Rycharde it honoured with grete feste.
All his erles and barons
Were set in theyr pavylyons,
And served with grete plenté
Of mete and drynke and eche deynté.
Than came there a knyght in grete haste;
Unneth he myght drawe his blaste.
He fell on knees, and thus he sayd:
“Mercy, Rycharde, for Mary mayde!
With the Frensshe men and the Gryffownes,
My brother lyeth slayne in the townes,
And with hym lyeth slayne fyftene
Of thy knyghtes, good and kene.
This daye and yesterdaye, I tolde arowe
That syxe and thyrty they had islowe!
Faste lesseth your Englysshe hepe!17
Good Syr, take good kepe,
Awreke us, syr, manly,
Or we shall hastely
Flee peryll, I understonde,
And tourne agayne to Englonde.”
Kynge Rycharde was wrothe and eger of mode,
And began to stare as he were wode.
The table with his fote he smote,
That it wente on the erth fote-hote
And swore he wolde be awreked in haste.
He wolde not wende for Crystes faste.
The hygh daye of Crystmasse
They gan them arme, more and lasse.
Before wente Kynge Rycharde,
The erle of Salysbury afterwarde
That was called by that daye
Syr Wyllyam, the Longe Spaye.
The erle of Leysestre, the erle of Herdforde,
Full comly folowed they theyr lorde,
Erles, barons, and squyers,
Bowmen and arblasteres,
With Kynge Rycharde they gan reke
Of Frensshe and Gryffons to be awreke.
The folke of that cyté aspyed rathe
That Englysshemen wolde do them skathe.
They shette hastely the gate
With barres that they found therate,
And swythe they ranne on the wall
And shotte with bowe and spryngall
And called our men, saunce fayle,
“Go home, dogges, with your tayle;
For all your boost and your orguyle,
Men shall threste in your cuyle!”18
Thus they mysdyde and myssayde;
All that daye kynge Rycharde they trayde.
Our kynge that daye for no nede
In baytayll myght nothynge spede.
On nyght, Kynge Rycharde and his barons
Wente to theyr pavylyouns.
Who that slepte or who that woke
That nyght Kynge Rycharde no rest toke.
On the morowe, he ofsente his counseyllers
Of the portes, the mayster maryners.
“Lordynges,” he sayd, “ye ben with me:
Your counseyll ought for to be pryvé.
All we sholde us venge fonde
With queyntyse and with strength of honde,
Of Frensshe and of Gryffons,
That have dyspysed our nacyons.
I have a castell, I understonde,
Is made of tembre of Englonde,
With syxe stages full of tourelles
Well flourysshed with cornelles;
Therin I and many a knyght
Ayenst the Frensshe shall take the fyght.
That castell shall have a surnownne:
It shall hyght the mate-gryffon.19
Maryners, arme your shyppes,
And holde up your manshyppes.
By the water-halfe ye them assayle,
And we wyll by londe, saunce fayle.
For joye come never to me
Tyll I of them awreked be!”
Therto men myght here crye,
“Helpe God and Saynt Mary!”
The maryners gan to hye
Bothe with shyppe and with galye,
With ore, sprete, and sayle also,
Towarde them they gan go.
The knyghtes framed the tre castyll
Before the cyté upon an hyll.
All this sawe the kynge of Fraunce,
And sayde: “Have ye no doutaunce
Of all these Englysshe cowardes,
For they ne be but mosardes.
But reyse up your mangenell,
And caste to theyr tre castell,
And shote to them with arblast,
The tayled dogges for to agast.”
   Now harken of Rycharde, our kynge,
How he let bere in the dawnynge,
Targes and hurdis his folke all
Ryght before the cyté wall.
His hoost he let at ones crye,
Men myght it here in the skye:
“Now let come the Frensshe mosardes,
And gyve batayll to the taylardes!”
The Frensshe men them armed all,
And ranne in hast upon the wall;
And began the Englysshe for to assayle.
There began a stronge batayle:
The Englysshe shotte with arblast and bowe,
Frensshe and Gryffons felde and slowe.
The galeys came unto the cyté,
And had nygh wonne entré,
They hade so myned under the wall,
That many Gryffons gan downe fall.
With hoked arowes, and eke quarelles,
Felde them out of the tourelles,
And brake bothe legges and armes,
And eke theyr neckes: it was none harmes!
The Frensshe men came to the stoure
And caste wylde fyre out of the toure;
Wherwith, I wote, forsothe, iwys,
They brente and slewe many Englysshe,
And the Englysshe men defended them wele
With good swerdes of browne stele
And slewe of them so grete chepes,
That there laye moche folke on hepes;
And at the londe gate, Kyng Rycharde
Helde his assawte lyke harde.
And so manly he toke one,
He lefte of his men never one.
He loked besyde and sawe hove
A knyght that tolde hym with a glove.
Kynge Rycharde come and he hym tolde
Tales in Englysshe, stoute and bolde.
“A lorde,” he sayd, “I aspye now right
A thynge that maketh myn herte lyght.
Here,” he sayd, “is a gate one,
That hath warde ryght none.
The folke is gone to the water toure,
For to do them theyr socoure,
And there we may, without dente,
Entre in now, verament.”
Blythe therof was kynge Rycharde,
Stoutly he wente thederwarde.
Many a knyght, doughty of dede,
After hym prycked upon theyr stede.
Kynge Rycharde entred without drede;
Hym folowed full grete felawrede.
His baner upon the wall he pulte;
Many a Gryffon it byhulte.
As greyhoundes stryken out of lese,
Kyng Rycharde threste amonge the prese.
Seven chaynes with his good swerde,
Our kynge forcarfe amydwarde
That were drawen for grete doute,
Within the gates and without.
Porcules and gates up he wan,
And lette come in every man.
Men myghte se by strete and lane,
Frensshe and Gryffons tholed schame;
And some to hous ran in haste,
Dores and wyndowes barred faste;
Oure Englissh with grete levours
Breke hem up with grete vigours.
All that they founde ayenst them stonde
Passed thorugh dethes honde.
They brake cofers and toke tresoure:
Golde and sylver and covertoure,
Jewelles, stones, and spycery,
All that they founde in tresoury.
There was none of Englysshe blode
That he ne had as moche gode
As they wolde drawe or bere
To shyppe or to pavylyons, I swere;
And ever cryed Kynge Rycharde:
“Slee downe every Frensshe cowarde
And ken them in bataylles
That ye have no tayles!”
   The kynge of Fraunce came pryckynge
Ayenst Rycharde, our kynge,
And fell on knees downe of his hors
And bad mercy, for Goddes corps,
For the crowne and for the love
Of Jhesu Cryste, kynge above,
And for the vyage and for the crose,
He should be in gree, and take lose;
And he wolde one hande take,
They sholde amende all the wrake
They that had hym or his
Ony thynge done amys.
   Kynge Rycharde had grete pyté
Of the kynge of Fraunce that sat on knee,
And lyght downe, so sayth the boke,
And in his armes up hym toke
And said it sholde be peas styll,
And yelde the towne all to hys wyll
And bad hym nought greve hym tho,
Though he venged hym of his fo
That had his good knyghtes quelde,
And eke on hym despyte itelde.
The kynge of Fraunce gan to preche
And bad Rycharde be his soules leche,
And the tresoure yelde agayne than
That he had take of every man,
And elles he ne myght, in Goddes paye,
To Jherusalem take the waye.
Kynge Rycharde sayde, “With alle thy tresoure
They myght nought amende the dyshonoure
And that they have me done amys;
And Syr, also thou dyde amys
Whan thou sentest to Tanker, the kynge,
To appayre me with thy lesynge.
We have to Jherusalem the waye sworne.
Who breketh our pylgrymage, he is forlorne,
Or he that maketh ony medlaye
Betwene us two in this way.”
Whan abbated was that dystaunce,
There came two justyces of Fraunce
Upon two stedes ryde,
And kynge Rycharde they gan chyde.
That one was hyght Margaryte,
That other Syr Hewe Impetyte.
Swythe sore they hym trayde,
Cleped hym taylarde and hym myssayde.
Kynge Rycharde helde a tronchon tewe,
And to them two he hym drewe.
Margaryte he gave a dente than
Above the eye upon the pan.
The skull brake with that dente;
The ryght eye flewe out quytemente,
And he fell downe deed in haste.
Hewe of Impetyte was agaste,
And prycked away without fayle,
And Rycharde was soone at his tayle.
And gave hym a stroke on the molde
That deed he thought be he sholde.
Ternes and quernes he gave hym there
And sayd, “Syr, thus thou shalte lere
To myssaye thy overhedlynge.
Go playne now to your Frensshe kynge!”
An archebysshop came full soone;
He fell on knees and badde a bone.
Of Kynge Richarde he asked mercy
That he wolde ther sesy,
And there no more harme do,
For Goddes love, the people to.
Kynge Rycharde graunted hym then,
And drewe to pavylyon all his men.
To this daye men may here speke
How the Englysshe were there awreke.
All the whyle that they were there,
They myght well bye theyr chafere;
There was none so hardy a man
That one evyll worde spake gan.

   Kynge Rycharde in peas and reste,
Fro Crystmasse, the hygh feste,
Dwelléd there tyll after the Lente
And than on his waye he wente.
In Marche moneth the kynge of Fraunce
Wente to shyppe without dystaunce.
Whan he was gone, soone afterwarde
Came the doughty Kynge Rycharde.
Forth towarde Acrys wende he wolde
With moche store of sylver and golde.
Foure shyppes were charged, I fande,
Towarde Cyprys, all saylande,
   Charged with tresour every dell,
And soone a sorowfull caas there fell.
A grete tempest arose sodaynly
That lasted fyve dayes, sykerly.
It brake theyr maste and theyr ore
And theyr takell, less and more,
Anker, bowe spret and rother,
Ropes, cordes, one and other;
And were in poynt to synke adowne
As they came ayenst the Lymosowne.
The thre shyppes, ryght anone,
All tobrake ayenst the stone.
All to peces they totare;
Unnethe the folke saved ware.
The ferde schippe behynde duellede:
Unnethes the maryners it helde;
And that schippe lefte righte in the depe,
That the folkes one the lande myghte wepe;
For the Gryffons, with sharpe wordes,
Some with axes and some with swerdes,
Grete slaughter of our Englysshe maked,
And spoyled the quycke all naked.
Syxtene hondred they brought of lyve,
And into pryson, hondredes fyve,
And also naked syxty score,
As they were of theyr moders bore.
Of the shyppes brekynge they were blythe.
The Justyces of Cyprys ran full swythe
And drewe up cofers manyfolde
Full of sylver and of golde,
Dysshes, cuppes, broches, and rynges,
Cuppes of golde, and ryche thynges.
No man by south ne by north,
Ne coulde account what it was worth;
And all was borne, that tresour,
Wheder that wolde the emperour.
   The thyrde daye afterwarde,
The wynde came dryvynge Kynge Rycharde
With all his grete navyes,
And his saylynge galyes,
To a shyppe that stode in depe.
The gentylmen therin dyde wepe,
And whan they sawe Rycharde, the kynge,
Theyr wepynge tourned all to laughynge.
They welcomed hym with worshyppes,
And tolde hym the brekynge of theyr shyppes,
And the robbery of his tresoure,
And all that other dyshonoure.
Than waxed Kynge Rycharde full wrothe,
And he swore a full grete othe
By Jhesu Cryste, our savyoure:
It sholde abye the emperoure.
He cleped Syr Steven and Wyllyam,
And also Roberte of Turnam,
Thre gentyll barons of Englonde,
Wyse of speche, doughty of honde:
“Now go and saye to the emperoure
That he yelde agayne my tresoure,
Or I swere by Saynt Denys,
I wyll have thre syth double of his;
And yelde my men out of pryson,
And for the deed paye raunson,
Or hastely I hym warne,
I wyll worke hym a harme
Bothe with spere and with launce.
Anone I shall take vengaunce!”
   The messengers anone forth wente,
To do theyr lordes commaundement,
And hendly sayd theyr message.
The emperoure began to rage,
He grunte his tethe and faste blewe,
A knyfe after Syr Roberte he threwe.
He blente awaye with a lepe,
And it flewe in a dore a span depe!
And syth he cryed, as uncourteys:
“Out, taylardes, of my paleys!
Now go, and saye your tayled kynge
That I owe hym no thynge!
I am full gladde of his lore,
I wyll hym yelde none other answore,
And he shall fynde me to morowe,
At the haven to do hym sorowe,
And werke hym as moche wrake
As his men that I have take.”
   The messengers wente out full swythe,
Of theyr ascapynge they were blythe.
The emperours stewarde, with honoure,
Sayde thus unto the emperoure:
“Syr,” he sayd, “thou hast unryght!
Thou haddest almoost slayne a knyght
That is messenger unto a kynge,
The best under the sonne shynynge.
Thou hast thy selfe tresoure enoghe.
Yelde hym his tresour or thou getis grete woghe;
For he is crossed and pylgrym,
And all his men that ben with hym.
Lette hym do his pylgrymage,
And kepe thy selfe frome domage.”
The eyen twynkled of the emperoure
And smyled as an evyll traytoure.
His knyfe he drewe out of his shethe
Therwith to do the stewarde scathe,
And called hym, without fayle,
And seid he wolde tellene hym a consaile.
The stewarde on knees hym set a downe
With the emperour for to rowne,
And the emperour of evyll truste
Carved of his nose by the gruste
And sayd, “Traytour, thefe, stewarde,
Go playne to Englysshe taylarde!
And yf he come on my londe,
I shall hym do such a shonde —
Hym and all his men quycke slayne —
But he in haste tourne agayne!”
   The stewarde his nose hente
— Iwys, his vysage was ishente —
Quyckely out of the castell ran:
Leve he ne toke of no man!
The messengers mercy he cryed,
For Maryes love in that tyde,
They sholde tell to theyr lorde
Of the dyshonour, ende and worde:
“And haste you agayne to londe,
And I shall sese into your honde
The keyes of every toure
That oweth that fals emperoure;
And I shall brynge hym this nyght
The emperours doughter bryght
And also an hondred knyghtes,
Stoute in batayll, stronge in fyghtes,
Ayenst that fals emperoure
That hath done us this dyshonoure.”
   The messengers them hyed harde
Tyll they came to Kynge Rycharde.
They founde kynge Richarde playe
At the chesse in his galaye.
The erle of Rychemonde with hym played,
And Rycharde wan all that he layed.
The messengers tolde all the dyshonour
That them dyde the emperour;
And the despyte he dyde his stewarde
In despyte of kynge Rycharde
And the stewarde presentynge
His byhest and his helpynge.
Than answered Kynge Rycharde,
In dede lyon, in thought, lybarde:
“Of your sawes, I am blythe!
Anone set us to londe swythe!”
   A grete crye arose fote-hote:
Out was shotte many a bote.
The bowe men and eke the arblasters
Armed them at all aventers
And shotte quarelles, and eke flone
As thycke as the hayle stone.
The folke of the countré gan renne
And were fayne to voyde and flenne.
The barons and good knyghtes
After came anone ryghtes
With theyr lorde, Kynge Rycharde,
That never was founde no cowarde.

   Kynge Rycharde, I understonde,
Or he wente out of Englonde,
Let hym make an axe for the nones,20
To breke therwith the Sarasyns bones.
The heed was wrought ryght wele:
Therin was twenty pounde of stele;
And whan he came into Cyprys londe,
The axe he toke in his honde.
All that he hytte he all tofrapped.
The Gryffons a waye faste rapped;
Nevertheles, many one he cleved,
And theyr unthonkes therby leved!
And the pryson whan he came to
With his axe he smote ryght tho
Dores, berres, and iren chaynes,
And delyvered his men out of paynes.
He let them all delyver cloth;
For theyr despyte he was wroth
And swore by Jhesu, our savyoure,
He sholde abye, that fals emperoure.
All the bourgeyses of the towne,
Kynge Rycharde let slee without raunsowne.
Theyr tresour and theyr jewells
He sesyde als his owne catells.
   Tydynges came to the emperour,
Kynge Rycharde was in Lymasour
And had his burgeyses to deth ido.
No wonder though hym were wo!
He sente anone, without fayle,
After all his counsayle,
That they came to hym on hye
To wreke hym of his enemye.
His hoost was come by mydnyght,
And redy on the morowe for to fyght.
   Herken now of the stewarde!
He came at nyght to Kynge Rycharde,
And the emperours doughter hym with.
She grette Kynge Rycharde in pease and gryth.
He fell on knees and gan to wepe
And sayd, “Kynge Rycharde, God thee kepe!”
The stewarde sayd, “I am shente for thee!
Gentyll lorde, awreke thou me!
The emperours doughter bryght,
I thee betake, gentyll knyght,
The keyes also I betake thee here
Of every castell in his powere.
An hondred knyghtes I you behyght,
Lo them here, redy in all ryght.
That shall you lede and socoure
Ayenst that fals emperoure!
Thou shalte be bothe lorde and syre,
Or to morowe of his empyre,
And swete syr, without fayle,
Yet thee behoveth my counsayle.
I shall thee lede by a coost
Pryvely upon his hoost.
In his pavylyon ye shall hym take;
Than thynke upon thee moche wrake
That he hath done thee or this!
Though ye hym slee, no force it is!”
Moche thanked Kynge Rycharde
Of the counseyll the stewarde,
And swore by God, our savyoure,
His nose sholde be bought well soure.
   Ten hondred stedes, good and sure,
Kynge Rycharde let araye in trappure.
On everyche lepte an Englysshe knyght,
Stowte in armes and stronge in fighte,
And as the stewarde, applyght,
Ladde them by the mone lyght
So nygh the emperours pavylyoune,
Of the trompis he herde the sowne —
It was before the dawynynge —
The stewarde sayd to Rycharde, the kynge:
“Lette se, Rycharde, assayle yerne
The pavylyon with the golden herne.
Therin lyeth the emperour.
Awreke thou this dyshonour!”
Than was Rycharde as fresshe to fyght
As ever was foule to the flyght.
He prycked forth upon his stede,
Hym folowed full grete ferrede.
His axe he helde in honde idrawe;
Many Gryffons he hath islawe.
The waytes of that hoost that dyde aspye
And full loude began they for to crye:
“As armes lordynges, alle and some:
We bene betrayed and inome!
In an evyll tyme our emperour
Robbed Kynge Rycharde of his tresour,
For he is here amonge us
And sleeth downe-ryght, by Jhesus!”
   The Englysshe knyghtes, for the nones,
All tohewed the Gryffons bodyes and bones.
They smote the cordes and felled downe
Of many a ryche pavylyowne;
And ever cryed squyer and knyght:
“Smyte! Lay on! Slee downe-ryght!
Yelde the tresour ayenwarde
That ye toke from Kynge Rycharde!
Ye ben worthy to have suche mede,
With many woundes to lye and blede!”
In the emperours pavylyon, Kynge Rycharde
Alyght, so dyde the stewarde;
And the emperour was fledde awaye
Hymselfe alone, or it was daye:
Flowen was that fals coward.
Narowe hym sought Kynge Rycharde.
He fande his clothis and his tresoure,
Bot he was fled, that vile traytoure.
Longe or the daye began to dawe,
Twenty thousande Gryffons were islawe.
Of sylke, sendell, and syclaton21
Was the emperours pavylyon:
In the worlde never non syche,
Ne by moche thynge so ryche.
Kynge Rycharde wan the grete worshyp,
And bad they sholde be lad to shyp:
Such at Acrys was there none founde,
Pavylyons of so moche mounde.
Cuppes of golde, grete and smale,
He wan there without tale.
Many cofers small and grete
He founde there full ibete.
Two stedes founde the Kynge Rycharde,
That one hyght Favell and that other Lyarde.
In the worlde was not theyr pere,
Dromedary nor destrere, Camel;
Stede rabyte, ne camayle,
That ran so swyfte, without fayle.
For a thousande pounde itolde
Sholde not that one be solde.
All that his men before had lore,
Seven double they had therfore.
   Tydynges to the emperour was come
That his doughter was inome,
And how that his hygh stewarde
Her had delyvered to Kynge Rycharde.
By that he wyst well, iwys.
That he had done amys.
Two messengers he clyped anone,
And bad them to Kynge Rycharde gone,
And saye your emperour and your kynge,
That I hym sende Goddes gretynge.
Homage by yere I wyll hym gyve and yelde
And all my londe I wyll of hym helde,
So that he wyll, for charyté,
In peas hereafter let me be.
   The messengers anone forth wente
And sayd theyr lordes commaundemente.
Kynge Rycharde answered therto:
“I graunte well that it be so.
Goth and seithe your emperour
That he dyde grete dyshonour
Whan he robbed pylgrymes
That were goynge to the paynymes.
Let hym yelde me my tresour,
Yf he wyll be my specyele,
And also saye your emperour
That he amende that dyshonour
That he dyde to his stewarde
In despyte of Kynge Rycharde;
And that he come erly tomorowe
And crye me mercy with sorowe,
Homage by yere me to bere,
And elles, by my crowne I swere,
He shall not have a fote of londe
Never more out of my honde.”
   The messengers by one accorde
Tolde this the emperour, theyr lorde.
Than the emperour was full wo
That he this dyde sholde do.
To Kynge Rycharde he came on the morowe;
In his herte he had moche sorowe.
He fell on knees, so sayth the boke,
Kynge Rycharde by bothe the fete he toke
And cryed mercy with good entent,
And he forgave hym his maltalent.
Fewté he dyde hym, and homage,
Before all his baronage.
That daye they were at one accorde,
And in same dyde ete at one borde;
In grete solace and moche playe,
Togyder they were all that daye,
And whan it drew towarde the eve,
The emperour toke his leve
And wente towarde his hostell:
In herte hym was nothynge well.
He helde hymslelfe a foule cowarde
That he dyde homage to Kynge Rycharde,
And thought how he hym awreke myght.
Forth he rode anone ryght
To a cyté that hyght Bonevent.
He came by daye, verament.
There he founde many a grete syre,
The rychest men of his empyre.
To them playned the emperour
Of the shame and of the dyshonour
That hym dyde Kynge Rycharde
Thorugh the helpe of his stewarde.
Up there stode a noble barowne,
Ryche of castell and of towne,
The stewardes eme he was,
That the emperour had shente his fas.
“Syr,” he sayd, “thou arte mystaught;
Thou arte all aboute naught.
Without encheson and jugement
Thy good stewarde thou haste ishent
That sholde, as he well couthe,
Us have holpe and saved nouthe!
Thorugh thy wyll malycyous,
Ryght so thou woldest serve us;
And I saye the wordes bolde:
With suche a lorde kepe I not holde
To fyght ayenst Rycharde, the kynge,
The best under the sonne shynynge.
Ne none of all my baronage,
Ne shall thee never do homage.”
   All the other sayd at one worde
That Rycharde was theyr kynde lorde,
And the emperour, for his vylanye,
Was well worthy for to dy.
The emperour sawe and understode
His barons wolde hym no gode:
To another towne he wente and helde hym thare.
In his herte he had moche care.
That same tyme the hygh stewarde
Counseylled with Kynge Rycharde.
He sayd that hym forthought sore
That the emperour was so forlore.
They sought hym in all wyse,
And founde hym in the cyté of Pyse.
And certaynly, Kynge Rycharde
Wolde not loke to hym warde;
For he had broken his treuth.
Of hym had he no reuth,
But let a sergeaunt hym bynde
His hondes soone hym behynde,
And caste hym into a galey,
And ledde hym into Surrey,
And swore by Hym that made mone and sterre,
Ayenst the Sarasynes he sholde lerne to werre.
   Whan all this warre abated was,
Kynge Rycharde set that londe in peas.
The Erle of Leycestre, full truly,
Thorugh counseyll of his barony,
He made hym stewarde of that londe,
To kepe his realme to his honde;
Grete feest they helde afterwarde.
His shyppes let dyght Kynge Rycharde:
Forth towarde Acrys he wolde
With moche store of sylver and golde,
With two hondred shyppes, I fynde,
Saylynge forwarde with the wynde,
And afterwarde fyfty galyes
For to warde his navyes.
And as the doughty Kynge Rycharde
Came saylynge to Acrys warde
And had sayled with wynde at wyll,
Ten dayes fayre and styll,
The unleventhe day thay saylyd in tempest.
That nyght ne day hadde they no rest.
And as they were in gret aventure,
They sawgh a drowmound out of mesure.
The drowmound was so hevy fraughte
That unethe myghte it sayle aught.
It was toward the Sarezynys
Chargyd with corn and with wynys,
With wylde fyre and other vytayle.
   Kyng Richard saygh the drowmound, saun faile;
He callyd in haste Aleyn Trenchemer,
And bad hym to wende hem neer,
And aske whens that they ware
And what they hadden in chaffare.
Aleyn quyk and men inowe
To that drowmound begunne to rowe,
And askyd with whom that they ware,
And what they hadden in chaffare.
Anon stood up here latymer
And answeryd Aleyn Trenchemer:
“With the kyng of Fraunce, saun faile;
Fro Poyl we brynge this vytaile.
A monith we haven leyen in the see,
Toward Acres wolde wee.”
“Wynde up sayl,” quod Aleyn swythe,
“And sayle we forth with wyndes lythe!”
“Nay! be Seynt Thomas of Ynde,
Us moste nedes come behynde!
For we ben so hevy fraught,
Unethis may we saylen aught.”
Thenne sayde Alayn sone anon:
“I here of yow speke but on.
Let stande up alle in fere,
That we now myghte moo here
And knowe youre tungge aftyr than;
For we wole nought leve oo man.”
“Sertes,” quod the latymere,
“With no moo men spekys thou here.
They were this nyght in tempeste;
They lyggen alle and take here reste.”
“Sertes,” sayde thenne goode Aleyn,
“To Kyng Rychard I wole seyn,
That ye aren alle Sarezynes,
Chargyed with cornes and with wynes!”
The Sarezynes sterten up al preste,
And sayden, “Felawe, goo doo thy beste!
For Kyng Richard and hys galyes,
We wolde nought geve twoo flyes!”
   Tho Trenchemer gan rowen hard,
Tyl he come to Kyng Richard,
And swor to hym be Seynt Jhon,
That they were Sarezynes everylkon.
Thenne sayde oure kyng of renoun
That hyghte Richard Coer de Lyoun:
“Of youre sawes, I am blythe;
Lat see arme you now swythe!
Stere thou my galye, Trenchemer,
I wole asaye that pawtener.
With myn ax I schal hem frape;
Ther schal no Sarezyn me ascape!”
Als tyte hys ax was to hym brought;
Hys othir armure forgat he nought.
To hym comen maryners inowe.
Kyng Richard bad hem faste rowe:
“Rowes on faste! Who that is feynt,
In evel water moot he be dreynt!”
They roweden harde and sunggen thertoo
With hevelow and rummeloo.

   The galeye wente alsoo fast,
As quarel dos of the arweblast;
And as the drowmund come with the wynde,
A large quarter out behynde
The galey rente with the bronde
Into the see, I undyrstonde.
Thenne were the Sarezynys armyd wel
Bothe in yryn and in steel;
And stood on borde and foughten hard
Agayn the doughty Kyng Richard;
And Kyng Richard and his knyghtes
Slowen the Sarezynes doun ryghtes,
And as they gunne to wyrke hem woo
Evere there stood up moo and moo,
And rappyd hem on, for the nones,
Sterne strokes with harde stones
Out of the topcastel an hygh,
That Richard was nevere his deth so nygh.
   Thenne comen sevene galyes behynde
To that drowmound quyk saylynde,
And stood on borde, baroun and knyght,
To helpe Kyng Richard for to fyght.
A strong batayle there began,
Betwene the hethene men and tham,
With swerdes, speres, dartes kene,
Arwes and quarelles fleygh between
Also thykke, withouten stynt,
As hayl aftyr thondyr dynt.
And in the bykyr that was so hard,
Into the drowmound come Kyng Richard.
Whenne he was comen in on haste,
He dressyd hys bak unto the maste.
With his ax that he ovyrraughte,
Hastely hys deth he caughte.
Some he hytte on the bacyn
That he clef hym to the chyn.
And some to the gyrdyl-stede,
And some unto the schyppes brede.
Some in the hals so hytte hee
That hed and helme fleygh into the see.
For non armour withstood hys ax,
No more than a knyf dos in the wax.
The Sarezynes, as I yow telle,
Sayden he was a devyl of helle;
And ovyr the bord lopen thay
And drownyd hem in the see that day.
Syxtene hundryd be aqueled,
Save thrytty Sarezynes the kyng leet held,
That they scholden bere wytnes
Of this batayle at Acres.
The kyng fond in the drowmound, saun fayle,
Mekyl stor and gret vytayle,
Many barel ful of fyr Gregeys,
And many a thousand bowe Turkeys.
Hokyd arewes and quarelles.
They fond there ful manye barelles
Of whete and wyn gret plenté,
Gold and sylver, and ylke deynté.
Of tresour, he hadde nought half the mounde
That in the drowmounde was ifound;
For it drownyd in the flood,
Ar half unchargyd were that good.
Avaunsyd was al Crystyanté;
For hadde the drowmound ipassed the see,
And comen to Acres fro Kyng Richard,
An hondryd wyntyr aftyrward,
For alle Crystene men undyr sunne,
Hadde nought Acres ben iwunne!
Thus Kyng Richard wan the drowmound,
Thorwgh Goddes help and Seynt Edmound.

  Kyng Richard aftyr anon ryght
Toward Acres gan hym dyght;
And as he saylyd toward Surrye,
He was warnyd of a spye,
Hou the folk of the hethene lawe
A gret cheyne hadden idrawe
Ovyr the havene of Acres fers,
And was festnyd to twoo pelers
That no schyp ne scholde in wynne:
Ne they nought out that were withinne.
Therfore, sevene yer and more,
Alle Crystene kynges leyen thore,
And with gret hongyr suffryd payne
For lettyng of that ylke chayne.
Kyng Richard herde that tydynge,
For joye his herte began to sprynge.
And swor and sayde in hys thought,
That ylke chayne scholde helpe hem nought.
A swythe strong galey he took
And Trenchemer, so says the book,
Steryd the galey ryght fol evene
Ryght in the myddes of the havene.
Were the maryners saughte or wrothe,
He made hem saylle and rowe bothe.
The galey yede as swyfte,
As ony foule by the lyfte,
And Kyng Richard that was so good,
With hys ax in foreschyp stood;
And whan he came to the chayne,
With his axe he smote it atwayne,
That alle the barouns, verrayment,
Sayden it was a noble dent,
And for joye of this dede,
The cuppes faste abouten yede,
With good wyn, pyement and clarré,
And sayllyd toward Acres cyté.
Kyng Richard out of hys galye
Caste wylde fyre into the skye,
And fyr Gregeys into the see,
As al on fyre weren hee.
Trumpes yeden in hys galeye,
Men myghten it here into the skye,
Taboures and hornes Sarezyneys.
The see brente al of fyr Gregeys.
   Gunnes he hadde on wondyr wyse,22
Magneles of gret queyntyse,
Arweblast, bowe, and with gynne,
The Holy Lond for to wynne.
Ovyr al othere wyttyrly,
A melle he made of gret maystry,23
In myddes a schyp for to stande
Swylke on sawgh nevere man in lande.
Foure sayles were thertoo,
Yelew and grene, rede and bloo,
With canevas layd wel al aboute,
Ful schyr withinne and eke withoute,
Al within ful of feer
Of torches maad with wex ful cleer;
Ovyrtwart and endelang,
With strenges of wyr the stones hang,
Stones that deden nevere note:
Grounde they nevere whete no grote,
But rubbyd als they were wood.
Out of the eye ran red blood
Before the trowgh ther stood on,
Al in blood he was begon,
And hornes grete upon hys hede:
Sarezynes therof hadden grete drede.
For it was within the nyght
They were agrysed of that syght,
For the rubbyyng of the stones,
They wende it hadde ben mennes bones.
And sayd he was the devyll of hell,
That was come them to quell.
A lytyl before the lyght of day,
Clenly they were don away.

   Kyng Rychard aftyr that mervayle,
Wente to the lond, saun fayle.
The kyng of Fraunce agayn hym come,
And in hys armes he hym nome,
And kyste hym with gret honour,
And so dede many an emperour.
Alle the kynges of Crystyanté
That there hadden longe tyme ibee,
And leyn there sevene yer in dolour,
Resseyvyd Kyng Richard with honour.
   The archebysschop of Pyse
Dede Kyng Richard his servyse,
And ledden hym, as ye may see,
Into a pavyloun in pryvyté,
And tolde hym a doolful tale
Of schrewede aventures, manye and fale:
“Kynge Richard,” he sayde, “now here!
This sege has lastyd sevene yere.
It may nought fro thee be holde,
Mekyl sorwe have we tholde!
For we ne hadde no castel
That us of ony warde fel,
But a wyde dyke and a depe
We made withinne us for to kepe
With barbycanes, for the nones,
Heyghe wrought of harde stones.
And whenne that oure dyke was made,
Saladyn the Sawdon was glade,
And come on us with gret route,
And besette us al aboute,
And with hym Markes Manferaunt,
That leves on Mahoun and Termagaunt.24
He was a Crystene kyng sumwhyle;
He dos us schame and moche gyle deceit
Thenne the Sawdon and al hys hoost.
Fadyr and Sone and Holy Gost,
Graunte hym grace of worldis schame,
Markys Feraunt be hys name!
Oure ferst bataylle, sykyrly,
Was ful strong and ful deedly,
Weel foughten oure Crystene knyghtes,
And slowen the Sarezynes doun ryghtes.
Oure Crystene hadden the maystry;
The Sarezynes flowen with woo and cry.
We slowe of hem manye thoo,
And they of us manye alsoo;
And I schal telle thorwgh what cas
It fyl to many a man, allas!
As we dede Sarezynys to dede,
Befel that a noble stede
Outrayyd fro a paynym.
Oure Crystene men faste folewyd hym.
The Sarezynes seyghen that they come,
And fleygh asyde, alle and some.
And come on us with gret fyght,
And slowgh many a Crystene doun right,
That there we loste ar we it wyste,
The beste bodyes undyr Cryste.
The Erl of Ferrers of Yngeland,
Ther was no doughtyere man of hand;
And the Emperour of Alemayne,
And Janyn, the Eerl of Playn Spayne.
Onlevene thousand of oure meyné
There were slayn withouten pyté!
   Therofe was the Sawdon glade,
On morwen a newe sawt he made.
He leet taken alle the cors
Of the men and of the hors,
And caste into the watyr of oure welle
Us to poysoun and to quelle;
Dede he nevere a wers dede
To Crystene men for no nede.
Thorwgh that poysoun and that brethe,
Fourty thousand toke theyr dethe.
   Sone aftyr newe yer, is nought to hyde,
The thrydde caas us gan betyde.
A schyp come saylande in the see
Chargyd with whete gret plenté,
With wylde fyr and armes bryght,
To helpe the Sarezynes for to fyght.
The Crystene token to red, saun fayle,
They wolde the schyp for to assayle,
And so they dede to oure damage!
The wynd blew with gret rage;
The Sarezynes drowgh up here sayl,
And ovyrsayleyd oure folk, saun fayl,
That there were lost syxty score
Of the beste bodyes that weren bore!
This was the begynnyng of oure care
That we have had this sevene yare,
And yit, sere kyng, thou schalt here more
That has grevyd us ful sore.

   On Seynt Jamys even, verrayment,
The Sarezynes out of Acres went,
Weel a myle us besyde,
And pyght up pavylouns round and wyde,
And sojournyd there a long whyle,
And alle it was us to begyle.
Oure Crystene men that were wyght,
Erl, baroun, squyer, and knyght,
Seyghen the Sarezynes have ryhchesse,
And we of alle good dystresse,
And thoughte to wynne to oure pray
Of that tresore and that noblay.
Fyfty thousynd hem armyd weel,
Bothe in yren and in steel,
And wenten forth to batayllyng.
The Sarezynes sawgh here comyng,
And flowen asyde swythe faste,
And oure men comen aftyr in haste,
And gunnen to ryde swythe gret raundoun
Tyl they come to here pavyloun.
They founde therinne no ferede:
They wende they hadde ben flowen for drede.
They founden there whyt bred and wynes,
Gold, sylvyr and bawdekynes:
Vessel of sylvyr, coupes of golde,
More thenne they take scholde.
Some stood and some sat doun,
And eet and drank gret foysoun;
And aftyr mete the pavylouns newe,
With there swerdes doun thay hewe,
And chargyd hors with vytayle,
As nyse men scholde, saun fayle!
Gold and sylvyr in males they pytte,
And with here gerdeles they hem knytte.
Whenne that ylke man hadde his charge,
Home they wolden, withouten targe.
The Sarezynes seygh wel here wendyng
And comen aftyr faste flyngyng:
At schorte wurdes, a gret route,
And besette oure hoost aboute.
There here males doun they caste,
Agayn the Sarezynes they foughten faste;
And there were lost thousandes fyftene,
Noble men, hardy and kene.
This caas grevyd us so sore
That we wende have ben forlore;
And God Almyghty, hevene kyng,
Sente us sone socouryng.
The doughty eerl of Champayne,
And goode knyghtes of Bretayne,
And Randulf, the Glamvyles.
And Jhon the Neel and hys brother Myles,
And Bawdewyne, a clerk ful mery,
The Erchebysschop of Cauntyrbery,
And with hym come hys nevewe,
A baroun of gret vertewe,
Huberd Gawter of Yngelande,
Agayn the Sarezynes for to stande;
And manye knyghtes of Hongry,
And mekyl othir chevalry.
Thenne heeld we strong bataylle,
But an hard caas us fel, saun faylle.

   At Myghhylmasse, it moste be told,
The wedyr gan to wexe cold.
Than fel bothe rayn and hayl
And snowgh fyve foote deep, saun fayle.
Thondyr, lyghtnyng, wedyr towgh,
For hungyr oure folk it slowgh;25
For hungyr we loste, and colde wyndes,
Of our folk sixty thousyndes!
Thenne oure goode hors we slowe,
Dede sethe and eete the guttys towe.
The flesch was delyd with deynté:
Therofe had no man plenté.
Al to peses we carf the hede,
And on the coles we gan it brede,
In watyr we boylyd the blood:
That us thoughte was mete ful good!
A quarter of whete men us solde
For syxty pound of floryns tolde!
For fourty pound men solde an oxe,
Though it were byt lytyl woxe.
A swyn for an hundryd floryn,
A goos for half mark of gold fyn,
And for an hen, to syke thynges,
Men gaf of penyes, fyftene schillinges,
For an hen ay, penyes unlevene,
And for a pere, syxe or sevene,
And for an appyl, penyes sexe;
And thus began oure folk unwexe,
And dyede for hungyr and for woo.
   The ryche men token to rede thoo
A ryche dole for to dyghte
To barouns and to pore knyghte.
Twelve penyes men gaf to everyche,
And syxe to othere that were nought ryche,
And foure to the smale wyghtes;
Thus, the ryche here dole dyghtes.
Therwith the more and lasse,
Boughte hem flesch of hors and asse.
They myghte have non othir thyng,
For whyt tourneys, ne for sterlyng.
I have thee told, sere kyng, here
Of oure men al the lere,
And the damage of Acres hoost.
But blessyd be the Holy Goost,
And Marye that bar Jhesus,
That thou art comen among us!
Thorwgh thyn help we hopen snelle
The Sarezynes hoost doun to felle!”
   Kyng Richard wepte with hys eyen bothe,
And thus he sayde to hym, forsothe:
“Sere bysschop, bydde thou for us,
That myght me sende swete Jhesus,
Hys foos alle to destroye,
That they no more us anoye!”
Kyng Richard took leve and leep on stede,
And pryckyd out of that felawred.
He rod aboute the clos dyke
Toward Acres, sykyrlyke,
Tyl he come to the hospytale
Of Seynt John, as I fynde in tale.
There leet he pyghte hys pavyloun,
And arerede hys mate-gryffoun,
That was a tree castell ful fyne
To assaute with many Sarezyn,
That he myghte into Acres seen.
   He hadde thryttene shyppes full of been.
Whenne the castel was framyd wel.
They sette therinne a magnel,
And commandyd hys men belyve,
To brynge up many a bee-hyve,
And beet on tabours and trumpes to blowe,
And made a sawt al in a throwe.26
Kyng Richard into Acres cyté
Leet keste the hyves gret plenté.
It was hoot in the someres tyde.
The bees bursten out on every side
That were anoyyd and ful of grame;
They dede the Sarezynes ful gret schame,
For they hem stungge in the vysage,
That alle they gunne for to rage,
And hydde hem in a deep selere,
That non of hem durste come nere;
And sayden kyng Richard was ful fel,
Whenne hys flyes byten so wel!
  &nsbp;Anothir gyn Kyng Richard upsette,
That was callyd Robynette,
A strong gyn for the nones,
And caste into Acres harde stones.
Kyng Richard, the conquerour,
Callyd in haste hys mynour,
And bad hym myne up to the tour
That is callyd Maudyt Colour.
And swoor hys oth be Seynt Symoun,
But yif it were ibrought a doun unless
Be noon the uttermeste wal,
He scholde hym hewe to peses smal.
The mynours gunne to myne faste;
The gynours ben and stones cast.
The Sarezynes hem armyd alle,
And runne anon unto the walle.
In whyte schetys they gunne hem wryen,
For the bytyng of hys flyen,
And sayde, “This man dos us strong pyne,
Whenne he wole bothe throwe and myne.
We sawe nevere kyng so begynne:
It is gret doute he schal us wynne!27
Kyng Richard stood in his mate-griffoun,
And sawgh here dedes in the toun:
And whedyrwardes the Sarazenes flowen,
Archers seygh and to hem drowe,
And arweblasters with quarell smerte,
Thorwgh legges and armes, hed and herte.
The Frenssche men with gret noblay,
Halp to myne that ylke day
That outemeste wal was doun caste,
And many a Sarezyn slayn in haste.
That day Kyng Richard spedde so thor
That he was holden a conqueror:
For betere he spedde that day or noon
Then the othre in the sevene yer hadde don.

   The Sarezynys myghten nought doure:
They flowen into the heyghe toure,
And lyghten torches abouten the wal,
Men myghte it sen ovyr al.
The torchys caste a gret lyght
That betokenyd a newe fyght
That was comen fro Yngelonde,
Where thorwgh they myghte nought withstonde,28
But yf Saladyn, the Sawdan,
Come to helpe with many a man.
Saladyn was ten myle thenne,
And seygh the torches lyghtly brenne.
They gaderede here folk togedere,
As thykke as rayn falles in wedere.
They assemblyd on a playn
Besyde Acres, on a mountayn.
Syxty thousand footmen, I fynde,
Knehches of hay he made hem bynde,
To goo before hastelyke
To fylle ful the Crystene dyke.
Soo they have taken here red,
To doo the Crystene men to ded.
Aftyr comen barouns and knyghtes,
An hundryd thousand stronge in fyghtes.
Be ordre they comen in here maners,29
Of red sendel were here baners,
With thre gryffouns depayntyd weel,
And of asure a fayr bendel.
Sone theraftyr come rydande as fele
Of bolde barouns by gentyl stele.
Here gonfanouns and here penseles,
Were weel wrought of grene sendeles,
And on everylkon, a dragoun
As he faught with a lyoun.
The fyrste were rede, and thyse were grene.
Thenne come the thrydde bataylle bedene:
Fyve and syxty thousand knyghtes,
In ynde armyd to all ryghtes.30
Aftyr come, whyte as the snow,
Fyfty thousand in a rowe.
Ther among was Sere Saladyn,
And hys nevewe, Myrayn-Momelyn.
Here baner whyt, withouten fable,
With thre Sarezynes hedes of sable
That were schapen noble and large;
Of balayn, bothe scheeld and targe.
No man cowde telle the route:
They besette the Crystene al aboute.
   The footmen kast in knehches of hay
To make the horsmen in redy way,
And fylde the dyke ful upryghte,
That al the hoost entre in myghte.
The Sarezynys hadden entry negh,
But God Almyghty thertoo segh.
The cry aros into the Crystene hoost,
“Susé seynours, has armes tost!31
But we have the betere socour,
We beth forlore be Seynt Savour!”
Thoo myghte men see many wyght man,
Hasteyly to hys armes ran
And wenten quykly to the dyke,
And defendyd hem hastelyke.
There was many gentyl heved
Quykly fro the body weved;
Scheldes, many schorn in twoo,
And many stede stykyd alsoo.
And many a knyghte loste his armys,
And many a stede drewe theyr tharmes,
And manye a doughty man, saun faylle,
There was slayn in that bataylle.
   Kyng Richard was syke thoo,
Al Crystyndom to mekyl woo!
He myghte hym nought of hys bed stere,
Though his pavyloun hadde ben on fere.
Therfore the kyng of Fraunce leet crye
Among the Crystene cumpanye
That no man scholde, for dedes doute,
Passe the clos dyke withoute;
But holde them all within
That the Sarasynes sholde them not wyn;
And thoo that were in icomen
Of the Saryzynes that were inomen,
Fol hastyly were they don to dede:
For them yede no raunsoun to mede!

   Why Kyng Richard so syke lay
The resoun I yow telle may:
For the travaylle of the see
And strong eyr of that cuntree,
And unkynde cold and hete,
And mete and drynk that is nought sete
To hys body that he there fonde,
As he dede here in Yngelonde.
Rychard bad hys men seche
For some wys clerk and sertayn leche,
Crystyn othir Sarezyn
For to loken hys uryn.
And every man sayde hys avys,
But ther was no man so wys
That myghte don his sorwe sese,
Ne of hys paynes hym relese.
Sory were the folk Englysch,
For here lorde laye in grete anguysch;
So was the Crystene hoost eke,
For Rychard lay so sore seke.
On knees prayden the Cristene hoost,
To the Fadyr, and Sone, and Holy Goost,
Be nyght and day with good entent:
“Geve Kyng Richard amendement!”
For love of his modyr dere,
Here Sone grauntyd her prayere.
Thorwgh hys grace and his vertu,
He turnyd out of hys agu.
   To mete hadde he no savour,
To wyn, ne watyr, ne no lycour,
But aftyr pork he was alongyd;
But though his men scholde be hongyd,
They ne myghte in that cuntree,
For gold, ne sylver, ne no moné,
No pork fynde, take, ne gete,
That Kyng Richard myghte ought of eete.

   An old knyght was with Richard Kyng;
Whenne he wyste of that tydyng,
That the kynges maners were swyche,
To the styward he spak, prevylyche:
“Oure lord kyng sore is syke, iwis,
Aftyr pork he alongyd is;
And ye may non fynde to selle.
No man be hardy hym so to telle!
Yif ye dede, he myghte deye!
Yow behoves to don als I schal seye,
That he wete nought of that.
Takes a Sarezyn, yonge and fat;
In haste that the thef be slayn,
Openyd, and hys hyde of flayn,
And soden ful hastyly,
With powdyr and with spysory,
And with saffron of good colour.
Whenne the kyng feles therof savour,
Out of agu, yif he be went,
He schal have thertoo good talent.
Whenne he has a good tast,
And eeten weel a good repast,
And soupyd of the broweys a sope,
Slept aftyr, and swet a drope,
Thorwgh Goddes myght and my counsayl,
Sone he schal be fresch and hayl.”
   The sothe to saye at wyrdes fewe,
Slayn and soden was the hethene schrewe;
Before the kyng it was forth brought.
Quod hys men: “Lord, we have pork sought:
Etes and soupes of the broweys swote.
Thorwgh grace of God it schal be youre boote.”
Before Kyng Rychard karf a knyghte;
He eet fastere than he kerve myghte.
The kyng eet the flesch and gnew the bones,
And drank wel aftyr, for the nones;
And whenne he hadde eeten inowgh,
Hys folk hem turnyd away and lowgh.
He lay stylle and drowgh in hys arme,
Hys chaumbyrlayn hym wappyd warme.
He lay, and slepte, and swette a stounde
And become hool and sounde.
Kyng Richard cladde hym and aros,
And walkyd abouten in the clos;
To alle folk he hym schewyd,
Glad was bothe leryd and lewyd,
And thankyd Jhesu and Marye
That he was out of his maladye.
   The Sarezynes spedde day and nyght
The dyke to wynne with here myght.
The barbycanes they felden a doun
And had nygh entred an in icome.
Whenne Kyng Richard therof herde,
As a wood man he spak and ferde:
“Armes me in myn armure,
For love of Cryst, oure creature!
To fyghte I have gret delyte
With houndes that wil us do despyte.
Now I me fynde hool and lyght.
This day schal I prove my myght
Yif I be strong as I was wone,
And yif I strokes dele cone,
As I was wunt in Yngeland.
Have I myn ax in myn hand,
Al that I mete schal me fele,
And swylk dole I schal hem dele torment;
That evere for love of here Mahoun,
They schole have here warysoun.”
He was armyd to alle ryghtes,
And hys footemen, squyers and knyghtes,
And the Crystene alle bedene.
Wondyr was that hoost to sene!
The sothe to say, and nought to hele,
The hethene were twoo so fele.

   The hethene were twoo so fele.
His Gascoynes and his Ospytalers;
Oure kyng among the Sarezynes ryt
And some to the sadyl he slyt.
A kyng he hytte above the scheeld,
That hed and helm fleygh into the feeld.
Another he has a strok ibrought,
That al hys armure halp hym nought.
Into the sadyl he clef the ferthe:,
Al that he smot it fleygh to the erthe.
Blythe was the Crystene felawrede
Of Kyng Richard and of hys dede;
For non armour withstood hys ax
No more than a knyf dos in the wax.
Whenne the Sawdon seygh hym so strong,
He sayde the devyl was hem among;
For Kyng Richard ryght doun slowgh.
With al hys hoost he hym withdrowgh,
And fleygh quyk with hys barounnage
Into a toun men calles Gage.
But sertes, al the rerewarde
Was islayn with Kyng Rycharde.
   The Sarezynys that in Acres ware,
Were anoyyd and ful of care
Whenne they seyghen the Sawdon flee,
And Kyng Richard dounryght slee.
Thus al the day tyl it was nyght,
They and the Crystene heeld the fyght.
At even whenne the sunne was set,
Every man drowgh to hys recet.
The Crystene, bothe pore and ryche,
Wente withinne the clos dyche
To reste, for they were wery.
Kyng Richard leet make a cry,
Trusty folk that nyght the paleys to kepe,
Whyl that othere lay and slepe.
   The Sarezynys that were withouten,
Of Kyng Richard so sore hem douten,
For he hadde the prys iwunne.
Away thay ryden and swythe runne,
That nyght to fle and to hyde,
That non of hem durste hym abyde
The mountenaunce of ten myle.
   When Kyng Richard hadde restyd a whyle,
A knyght hys armes gan unlace.
Hym to counforte and solace,
Hym was brought a sop in wyn:
“The hed of that ylke swyn
That I of eet,” — the cook he bad, —
“For feble I am, feynt and mad.
Of myn evyl now I am fere;
Serve me therwith at my sopere!”
Quod the cook, “That hed I ne have.”
Thenne sayde the kyng, “So God me save,
But I see the hed of that swyn,
For sothe, thou schalt lese thyn!”
The cook seygh non othir may bee,
He fette the hed and leet hym see.
He fel on knees and made a cry,
“Loo, here the hed, my lord, mercy!”
Hys swarte vys whenne the kyng seeth,
Hys blake berd and hys whyte teeth,
Hou hys lyppys grennyd wyde:
“What devyl is this?” the kyng cryde,
And gan to lawghe as he were wood.
“What? Is Sarezynys flesch thus good,
And nevere erst I nought wyste?
By Goddys deth and Hys upryste,
Schole we nevere dye for defawte
Whyl we may in any assawte
Slee Sarezynys, the flesch mowe taken,
Sethen and roste hem and doo hem baken,
Gnawen here flesche to the bones.
Now I have it provyd ones,
For hungyr, ar I be woo,
I and my folk schole eete moo!”
   On the morwe, withouten fayle,
The cyté they gunne for to assayle.
The Sarezynes myght nought endour;
They fledde into the heyghe tour,
And cryeden trewes and parlement
To Kyng Richard that was so gent,
And alsoo to the kyng of Fraunce,
And bad mercy without dystaunse.
Anon stood up here latymer,
And cryede lowde with voys cler:
“Heris,” he sayde, “gentyl lordynges,”
I yow brynge goode tydynges
That Saladyn yow sent by me.
He wole that Acres yolden bee
And Jerusalem into youre hand,
And of Surry, all the land
To flum Jordan, the water clere,
For ten thousand besauntes be yere;
And yif that ye wole noght soo,
Ye schole have pes for everemoo,
So that ye make kyng of Surry
Markes Feraunt, of gret maystry;
For he is strengeste man, iwis,
Of Crystyndom and of Hethenys.”
   Thenne answeryd Kyng Richard:
“Thou lyes,” he sayde, “fyle coward!
In ylke gaderyng and in ylke a pres,
Markes is fals traytour and les.
He has whytyd Saladynys hand
To be kyng of Surrye-land,
And, be the King in Trynyté,
That traytour schal it nevere bee!
He was Crystene be my fadyr day,
And siththen he has renayyd his lay
And is becomen a Sarezyn:
That God geve hym wol evele fyn!32
He is wurs than an hound!
He robbyd syxty thousand pound
Out of the Hospytelers hand
That my fadyr sente into this land,
That was callyd Kyng Henry,
Crystene men to governy.
I hote hym goo out of this hoost,33
For I swere be the Holy Gost
And be Marye that bar Jhesus:
Fynde I that traytour among us,
Other be nyght, other be dawe,
With wylde hors he schal be drawe.”
   Thenne answeryd the kyng of Fraunce
To Kyng Richard withoute destaunce:
“A sufre, sere, bele amys,
Thou hast wrong, sere, be Seynt Denys,
That thou thretyst that markis
That thee nevere yit dede amis.
Yif he have ony thyng don ylle,
He schal amende it at thy wylle.
I am hys borwgh: Loo, here the glove!
Tak it, leve sere, for my love!”
“Nay,” quod kyng Richard, “be God, my Lord,
Ne schal I nevere with hym acord!
Ne hadde nevere be lost Acres toun,
Ne hadde ben thorwgh hys tresoun.
Yif he yelde agayn my faderis tresour,
And Jerusalem with gret honour,
Thenne my wraththe I hym forgeve,
And nevere ellys whyl that I leve.”
   Kyng Phylyp was woo therfore,
But he durste speke no more:
For evere he dredde of dentys hard
To underfonge of Kynge Richard;
And whenne the latymer herde this,
That kynge myght not be Syr Markys,
“Heres,” he sayde, “goode lordynges,
I yow brynge othir tydynges,
That mekyl more is to youre wylle:
That oure folk may passe stylle,
With lyf and leme, hand and arme,
Without dente and without harme,
And we wole yelde yow this toun,
And the holy croys with gret renoun,
And syxty thousand presons, thertoo,
And an hundrid thousand besauntes and moo,
And have ye schole alsoo herinne
Ryche tresore and mekyl wynne,
Helmes and hawberks, syxty thousynde,
And other ryhchesse ye may fynde;
Whete inowgh and othir tresore,
To al youre hoost sevene yer and more,
And yif ye wole nought this fonge,
We may kepe yow out ful longe,
And evere to fynde on of oures
For to slen ten of youres.
For we have herinnne, withouten fable,
Syxty thousand men defensable;
And we praye, for the love of God,
That ye wolden taken oure bode.
Takes the tresore, more and lasse,
And lat us quyt awey passe!”
   Thenne answeryd Kyng Richard:
“In myn half, I graunte thee forward,
So that ye lete us in come,
It schal be don, al and some.”
They leten hem in come anon,
They token hem into hostage ylkon,
And into presoun put them thore.
Olde and yonge, lesse and mare,
Moste non out of Acres toun
Tyl that payde were here raunsoun,
And the Holy Croys therwith,
Ar they moste have pes or grith.34
There was founde catel strong
That was delyd the knyghtes among.
Cuntek was at the in-coming;
The best tresore hadde Richard, oure kyng.
Crystene presouns in Acres toun,
He gaf hem clothis gret foysoun,
Mete and drynk and armes bryghte,
And made hem fel for to fyghte,
And took hem into hys partyes
To venge God of hys enemyes.

   Kyng Richard in Acres hadde nome
Of Sarezynys that were thedir icome,
That were hys strengeste enemys,
Hardy knyghtes and of most prys,
Of hethenesse chef lordynges,
Prynces, dukes sones, and kynges,
Amyrallys and many sawdan:
Here names nought telle I can;
In presoun they lay bounden faste.
To the Sawdon they sente in haste:
“We bere so manye grete cheynes,
And there men do us so grete peynes,
That we may neyther sytte ne lye;
But ye us out of presoun bye,
And with raunsoun us helpe and borwe,
We schole dye or the thrydde morwe.”
   The ryche Sawdon was woo therfore;
Prynces, eerles, weel twoo score,
Amyrall, sawdon, and many lord,
Seyden: “We rede make acord
With Kyng Richard that is so stoute,
For to delyvere oure chyldren oute,
That they ne be hongyd, ne todrawe.
Of tresore Kyng Richard wole be fawe,
That oure chyldren may come hom hayl.
Charges mules and hors, be oure counsayl,
Of brende gold and of bawdekyn,
For oure heyres to make fyn.
Men saye Englyssche love weel gyfte.”
Of gold, weel twenty mennys lyfte,
Were layd on mule and rabyte,
Ten eerles alle clad in samyte,
Alle olde, hore, and nought yungge,
That were weel avysy of tungge,
To Kyng Richard the tresore broughte.
On knees of grace hym besoughte:
“Our Sawdon sendith thee this tresore,
And wole be thy frend ever more,
For the prisouns that thou dest neme.
Let hem goo with lyf and leme!
Out of prisoun that thou hem lete,
That no man hem slee ne bete;
For alle they are doughty vassales,
Kynges sones and amyrales.
At this tyme the beste doande
That be in alle Sarezyn lande,
And oure hoost most trustes too.
Saladyn loves hem wel alsoo;
Lese non of hem he wolde,
Nought for a thousand pound of golde.”
   Kyng Richard spak with wurdys mylde,
“The gold to take God me schylde:
Among yow partes every charge.
I brought in schyppes and in barge,
More gold and sylvyr with me
Then has youre lord and swylke three.
To hys tresore have I no nede;
But, for my love, I yow bede
To mete with me that ye dwelle,
And aftyrward I schal yow telle,
Thorwgh counsayl, I schal yow answere
What bode ye schal youre lord bere.”
   They grauntyd hym with good wylle,
Kyng Rychard callyd hys marchal stylle,
And in counsayl took hym alone:
“I schal thee telle what thou schalt don,
Pryvely, goo thou to the presoun;
The Sarezynys of most renoun,
That be comen of the ryhcheste kynne,
Pryvely slee hem therynne;
And ar the hedes off thou smyte,
Looke every mannys name thou wryte,
Upon a scrowe of parchemyn.
And bere the hedes to the kechyn,
And in a cawdroun thou hem caste,
And bydde the cook sethe hem faste.
And loke that he the her off stryppe
Of hed, of berd, and eke of lyppe.
Whenne we scholde sytte and eete,
Loke that ye nought forgete
To serve hem herewith in this manere:
Lay every hed on a platere;
Bryng it hoot forth al in thyn hand,
Upward hys vys, the teeth grennand
And loke that they be nought rowe.
Hys name faste above hys browe,
What he hyghte and of what kyn born.
An hoot hed bryng me beforn;
As I were weel apayde withal,
Faste therof ete I shall,
As it were a tendyr chyke,
To se hou the othere wyl lyke.”
    The styward, so says the jeste,
Anon dede the kynges byheste.
At noon, “a laver,” the waytes blewe,35
The messangerys nought ne knewe
Rychardis lawe ne hys custome.
Sayde the kyng, “Frendes, ye are welcome!”
To hem he was cumpanyable.
They were set a syde-table,
Salt was set on, but no bred,
Ne watyr, ne wyn, whyt ne red.
The Sarezynes saten and gunne to stare,
And thoughten, “Allas, hou schal we fare?”
Kyng Richard was set on des dais
With dukes and eerles, prowde in pres.
Fro kechene com the fyrste cours,
With pypes and trumpes and tabours.
The styward took ryght good yeme
To serve Kyng Richard to queme,
Lest aftyr mete hym tydde harm.
A Sarezynys hed, also warme,
He broughte oure kyng — was it nought leued!
His name was wreten in hys forheved!
The messaungerys were servyd soo,
Evere an hed betwyxe twoo.
In the forehed wreten hys name:
Therof they had all grame!
What they were whenne they seyen,
The teres ran out of here eyen;
And whenne they the lettre redde,
To be slayn ful sore they dredde.

   Kyng Richard hys eyen on hem threwe,
Hou they begunne to chaunge here hewe.
Fore here frendes they syghyd sore,
That they hadde lost forevere more.
Of here kynde blood they were.
Thenne they myghte weel forbere
For to pleye and for to leyghe!
Non of hem wolde hys mes neyghe,
Ne therof eeten on morsel.
The kyng sat and beheeld fol wel.
The knyght that scholde the kyng serve,
With a scharp knyf the hed gan kerve.
Kyng Richard eet with herte good:
The Sarezynes wenden he hadde be wood.
Every man sat stylle and pokyd othir;
They sayden, “This is the develys brothir
That sles oure men and thus hem eetes!”
Kyng Richard thoo nought forgetes;
Abouten hym gan loke ful yerne
With wrathful semblaunt and eyen sterne.
The messangers thoo he bad:
“For my love bes alle glad,
And lokes ye be weel at eese!
Why kerve ye nought off youre mese,
And eetes faste as I doo?
Tel me why ye louren soo?”
They seten stylle and sore quook;
They durste neyther speke ne look.
In the erthe they wolde have crope,
To be slayn fol weel they hope;
There was non answeryd a word.
Quod Kyng Richard: “Beres fro the bord
The mete that ye before hem sette,
And other mete before hem fette.”
Men broughten bred, withouten bost,
Venysoun, cranes, and good rost,
Pyment, clarré, and drynkes lythe.
Kyng Richard bad hem alle be blythe.
Was non of hem that eete lyste,36
Kyng Richard here thoughte wel wyste,
And sayde: “Frendes, beth nought squoymous,
This is the maner of myn hous,
To be servyd ferst, God it woot,
With a Sarezynys hede al hoot;
But youre maner, I ne knewe!
As I am kyng, Crysten and trewe,
Ye schole be therof sertayn,
In saf condyt to wende agayn;
For I ne wolde, for no thyng,
That wurd of me in the world scholde spryng,
That I were so vylayne of maners
For to mysdoo messangeres.”
   Whenne they hadde eeten, the cloth was folde,
Kyng Richard gan hem to beholde:
On knees they askyd leve to gon,
But of hem alle was ther nought on
That in message was thedyr come,
That hym hadde levere have ben at home,37
With wyf, frendes, and here kynde,
Thenne al the good that was in Ynde!
   Kyng Rychard spak to an old man:
“Wendes hom and tell thy Sowdan,
Hys malycoly that he abate,
And says that ye come to late.
To slowghly was youre terme igesseyd,38
Or ye come the flesch was dressyd
That men scholden serve with me
Thus at noon and my meyné.
Say hym it schal hym nought avayle
Though he forbarre oure vytayle,
Brede, wyne, flesshe, fysshe and kunger,
Of us non schal dye for hungyr,
Whyle that we may wenden to fyght,
And slee the Sarezynes dounryght,
Wassche the flesche and roste the hede.
With oo Sarwzyn I may wel fede, one;
Wel a nyne or a ten,
Of my goode, Crystene men.”
Kyng Richard sayd: “I you waraunt,
Ther is no flesch so norysshaunt,
Unto an Ynglyssche Crysten man,
Partryk, plover, heroun, ne swan,
Cow, ne oxe, scheep, ne swyn,
   As is the flessh of a Saryzyne!
There he is fat and therto tendre,
And my men are lene and sclendre.
Whyl any Sarezyn quyk bee
Lyvande now in this cuntree,
For mete wole we nothyng care:
Aboute faste we schole fare,
And every day we schole eete
Al so manye as we may gete.
To Yngelond wole we nought gon,
Tyl they be eeten, everylkon.”
   The messangerys agayn hom tournyd,
Before the lord they comen and mournyd.
The eldeste tolde the Sawdan
Kyng Richard was a noble man,
And sayde, “Lord, I thee werne,
In this world is non so sterne!
On knees we tolde hym oure tale,
But us ne gaynyd no gale.
Of thy gold wolde he non;
He swor he hadde betere won
Of ryche tresore thenne hast thou.
To us he sayde, ‘I geve it yow,
Tresore of sylvyr, gold, and palle,
Deles it among yow alle.’
To mete he bad us abyde,
We were set at bord hym besyde,
That stood Rychardes table negh;
But non of us before hym segh,
No bred brought forth, whyt ne sour,
But salt, and non othir lycour.
What mes fyrst before hym come,
Weel I beheld, good keep I nome,
A knyght broughte fro the kechyn
An hed soden of a Sarezyn!
Withouten her, on a a plater brode,
Hys name beforn hys hed-schode,
Was iwreten aboven hys yghe.
Me standes non awe for to lye,
Whos hed it was, my feres aske,
It was the Sawdones sone of Damaske!
At borde as we sate in fere,
We were servyd in this manere:
Evere an hed betwen tweye.
For sorwe we wende for to deye!
Ther come before my felaw and me
The kynges sone of Nynyve.
Hys of Perce hym that sat me by;
The thrydde, hys of Samary;
The ferthe, hys of Egypte:
Thoo ylkon of us hys eyen wypte!39
The fyfthe, hys of Auffryke,
For sorwe thoo we gan to syke,
Us thoughte oure herte barst ryght insundyr!
Lord, yit thou myght here a wundyr.
Before the kyng a knyght in haste,
Karf off the hed, and he eet faste.
With teeth he gnew the flesch ful harde,
As a wood lyoun he farde,
With hys eyen stepe and grym,
He spak and we behelde hym.
For drede we wende for to sterve.
He bad us that we scholde kerve
Oure mes and eeten as he dede.
To Mahoun we boden oure bede,
Fro deth that he be oure waraunt!
He segh oos make soure semblaunt,
For drede hou we begunne to quake!
Oure mes he bad hys men uptake,
And othir mete thoo us fette,
Hoot whyte bred before us sette,
Gees, swannes, cranes, venysoun,
And other wylde foul gret foysoun,
Whyte wyn and red, pyment and clarré,
And sayde: ‘Ye be welcome to me.
Bes blythe, yif it be youre wylle;
Dos gladly and lykes nought ylle,
For I knew nought nothyng youre gyse.
In my court, this is the servyse:
Be servyd ferst, I and myn hynys,
With hedes hote of Sarezynys.’
Of hym and hys we stoden swylk eye,
For drede and dool we wende to deye.
Non of us eet morsel of bred,
Ne drank of wyn, whyt ne red,
Ne eete of flesche, baken ne brede,
So sory were we thenne for drede.
Aftyr mete we gunne take leve,
He spak to us wordes breve:
‘Ye schole gon in saf coundyte.
No man schal do yow dysspyte.’
He sente thee certayn answere:
Or that we myghte come there,
Men of ryhcheste kyn were slawe,
He geves ryght nought though thou withdrawe40
And hyde stor al fro hys hoost.
He says, and hys men make boost:
He schal nought lete on lyve
In al thy land, chyld, ne wyve,
But slee alle that he may fynde,
And sethe the flesch and with teeth grynde:
Hungyr schal hem nevere eyle!
Into Yngelond wole he nought seyle
Tyl he have maad al playn werk!”
   His clothis of gold unto his scherk
Saladyn began torase for yre.
Kynges, prynces, and many a syre
Seyden allas that they hadden lorn
Here gentyl heyres of here bodies born,
That were so wyghte men and stronge.
“Weylaway!” they sayden, “We leve to longe.
Herde we nevere swylke mervayle!
It is a devyl, withouten fayle.
Allas, this werre was begunne!
Now Richard has Acres wunne.
He has ment, yif he may go forth
To wynne est, west, south, and north,
And ete oure chyldren and us!
Lord Saladyn, we rede thus:
Sende to hym, and beseke hym eft,
For hem that ben on lyve left.
Lete hem goo, yif so he wolde,
Geve hym, siththe he wole no golde,
Goode males, for the nones,
Ful of ryche, precyouse stones,
Chargyd in harneys and in coffre.
Soo that he wole, thou hym profere,
To lete Jhesu and Mary,
To geve hym land a gret party
That he be in pes, and lete the werre.
For he is comen from so ferre,
Wylt thou noghte that he his travayle lese.
Graunte hym come hym self and chese
The landes that hym thynkith best,
And make hym Sawdon heyest
Aftyr thyself, and ryhcheste kyng;
Conferme it hym and hys ospryng.
Yif he be payed so to doo,
Swythe in pes he come thee to.
Thowgh he have thy folk ischent,
Thou schalt forgeve thy maltalent.
As thy brothir love hym and kysse,
And he schal thee teche and wysse
In werre to ben bold and wys,
Of al the world to wynne the prys.
And so shall ye leve and be frendes
With joye to your lyves endes.”

   Saladyn by hys serjauntes
Sende Kyng Richard these presauntes,
And besoughte hym of hys men
That he hadde in hostage then,
And yif he wolde Jhesu forsake,
And Mahowne to lord take,
Of Surrye he wolde make hym kyng,
And of Egipte, that ryche thyng,
Of Darras, and of Babyloyne,
Of Arabye and of Cessoyne,
Of Affryk, and of Bogye,
And of the lond of Alysaundrye,
Of grete Grece, and of Tyre,
And of many a ryche empyre,
And make hym he wolde Sawdoun anon
Of al Ynde unto Preter Jhon.”41
Kyng Richard answeryd the messangeres:
“Fy upon yow losyngeres,
On yow and Saladyn, youre lorde!
The devyl hange yow be a corde!
Gos and says to Saladyn
That he make to morwe fyn
For alle hys dogges in hostage,
Or they schole dye in evyl rage!
And yif I mowe leve a fewe yere,
Of alle the landes ye have nempnid here,
I schal hym lete nought half foote
So God do my soule boote!
I wolde nought lese my lordes love
For al the londes under heven above.
And but I have the croys to morwe,
They schole dye with mekyl sorwe.”
   They answered at the frome,
They nyste where the croys was become.
Quod Kyng Rychard: “Siththen it is soo,
I wot weel what I have to doo.
Youre Sawdon is nought so slye,
So queyntyly to blere myn yghe.”
He callyd his knyghtes sone anon,
And bad hem into Acres gon,
“And taken Sarezynes syxty thousandes
And knytte behynde hem here handes,
And ledes hem out of the cyté,
And hedes hem withouten pyté
And so schal I telle Saladyn
To pray me leve on Appolyn!”
   They were brought out of the toun,
Save twenty he heeld to raunsoun.
They were led into the place ful evene;
There they herden an aungell of hevene,
That seyde, “Seygnyours, tues, tues,
Spares hem nought — behedith these!”
Kyng Richard herde the aungelys voys,
And thankyd God and the Holy Croys.
There were they behedyd hastelyke,
And casten into a foul dyke;
Thus Kyng Richard wan Acrys.
God geve hys soule moche blys!
Hys doughty dedes, who so wyl lere,
Herkenes now, and ye mowe here.

   Merye is in the tyme of May
Whenne foules synge in here lay.
Floures on appyl trees and perye,
Smale foules synge merye,
Ladyes strowen here boures
With rede roses and lylye floures.
Gret joye is in frith and lake,
Beste and bryd plays with his make.
The damyseles lede daunse;
Knyghtes playe with scheld and launse
In joustes and turnementes they ryde,
Many a caas hem betyde,
Many chaunces and strokes hard!
So befel to Kyng Richard,
Kyng Richard Phelyp to feste bad;
Aftyr mete, thoo they were glad,
Rychard gaf gyftes gret wones,
Gold and sylvyr and precyouse stones;
To herawdes and to dysours,
To tabourrers and to trumpours
Hors and robes to bere his los;
Thorwgh here cry his renoun ros,
Hou he was curteys and free.
Ful noble was that ensemblé!
Kyng Richard gaf castelles and tounnes
To hys eerlys and to barounnes,
To have therinne here sustenaunce.
Kyng Richard bad the kyng of Fraunce:
“Geve of thy gold and of thy purchase
To erl, baroun, knyght and serjaunt of mace!
Frely aquyte thou hem here travaylle;
They swonke for thee in bataylle.
Yif thou have eft with hym to done,
They wole be the gladdere eftsone
To helpe thee at thy nede.”
Kyng Phelyp took therof non hede,
But layde thertoo a def eere
And gaf hym ryght non answere:
Kyng Richardes wordes he took in vayn.
Richard began unto hym sayn:
“Among us be pes and acord;
Graced be Jhesu Cryst, oure Lord,
That gaf us myght this toun to wynne!
To ryde forth lat us begynne
Saladyn the Sawdon to anoye
And fonde hym for to destroye.
Yif he scounfyte us in bekyr,
Yif nede be, we mowe be sekyr,
Yif God us have lyf ischape,
And we may hedyr ascape,
And come quyk withinne the walle,
For Saladyn and hys folk alle,
And the gates be weel ischet,
We be sekyr of strong recet.”
 '  Kyng Richard gan Phelyp to telle:
“I rede we here no lengere dwelle.
Ryde we forth the cuntré to seche,
And Phelyp, doo as I thee teche.
Myn hoost I schal parte on three,
And Kyng Phelyp, tak thy meyné,
Departe hem in hostes tweye,
And looke thou doo as I thee seye.
Toun, cytee, and castel, yif thou wynne,
Slee alle the folk that be therinne.
In Goddes name, I thee forbede,
For gold, sylvyr, ne for no mede,
That they may profere and geven,
Ryche ne pore, lat non leven,
Hosebonde ne wyf, mayde ne grome,
But yif he wole take Crystyndome!”
   Phelyp the wurdes undyrstood.
Anon he gan to chaunge mood
That kyng Richard at hys devys,
Sette hym and hese at so lytyl prys.42
Phelyp to hym was cumpanyable;
He gan to glose and make fable,
And thankyd hym with glad semblaunt,
And sayde, “Brothir, I thee graunt,
To doo as thou sayst, sekyrly,
For thou art wysere man than I,
And of werre canst wel more.”
Netheles, he was agrevyd sore.
For drede, he and hys men so dede
As Kyng Richard hadde hem bede,
In aventure that he hente knokkes.
Hys men he delyd in twoo flokkes;
Richard, with hys hoost, wente hys way,
And fro hym to wynne pray.
With love they departyd asundyr,
But now ye may here a wundyr.
   Frenssche men arn arwe and feynte,
And Sarezynys be war and queynte,
And of here dedes engynous;
The Frenssche men ben covaytous.
Whenne they sytten at the taverne,
There they ben stoute and sterne,
Bostfyl wurdes for to crake,
And of here dedes, yelpyng to make.
Lytyl wurth they are and misprowde;
Fyghte they cunne with wurdes lowde,
And telle no man is here pere;
But whene they comen to the mystere,
And see men begynne strokes dele,
Anon they gynne to turne here hele,
And gynne to drawe in here hornes43
As a snayl among the thornes.
Slake a bore of here boost!
   Kyng Phelyp anon with hys hoost,
A strong cyté he besette
That was callyd Taburette.
With hys hoost he layde it aboute;
The Sarezynes myghte neyther in ne oute,
Lest they scholden be tohewe.
On the walles armyd they hem schewe,
Out of toureles and of kyrnelles,
Sette up baners and penselles,
And manly gan hem to defende.
There to dye the Frenssche wende.
Trumpes lowde for bost they blowe,
But durste they neyther schete ne throwe
With bowe, slynge ne arweblast
To make the Sarezynes with agast;
Ne the cyté for to assayle.
But of the toun the chef amyrayle,
Hys name was callyd Terryabaute:
“Lord, ar thou geve us assaute,
Alle the folk of this toun
Profere hem to knele a doun,
And rewefully with oo cry,
To seke thee myldely of mercy;
And the toun they wolen unto thee yelde,
And alle the goodes that they welde.
Man, wumman, every Sarezyn,
Grauntith thee with herte fyn
Every man to paye a besaunt.
Sere, on swylk a comenaunt,
That thou graunte that they crave:
Here lyves and lemes for to have,
Bestes, catel, and tresore,
And that they wole for everemore
Of thyn heyres holden this toun.”
Phelyp of hem took raunsoun:
For mede he sparede hys foon.
Thus with hem he was at on,
And bad hys folk, up lyf and leme,
No good fro hem to beneme,
Meete ne drynk, catel ne cloth.
Alle they sworen hym hool oth
To ben hys men that were there;
And hys baner they uprere
On a schaft in the heyeste tour
With flour delys of gold and asour.
   Thoo they hadde this iwunne,
To breke sege thenne they begunne.
They chargyd in waynes and in cartes,
Swerdes and speres, scheeldes and dartes.
Kyng, eerles, barouns, knyghtes and squyers,
Ryden ryally on trappyd destrers,
The foote men yeden on here feete;
Ryght soo they helden the heyghe strete,
That they turne nought, ne outraye.
They trumpyd, and here baners dysplaye
Of sylk, sendel, and many a fane:
Ful ryghte way wenten to Archane.
Phelyp of hem took raunsoun,
Ryght as he dede at the othir toun,
And leet hem leve forth in pes,
But for the lesse, the more he les.

   Kyng Richard with hys hoost gan ryde,
And wente be anothir syde,
With many an eerl and baroun
Iborn of Ynglyssche nacyoun:
All hardy men and stronge of bones,
And weel armyd for the nones.
They seten on stedes, goode and stronge,
Many Gascoyn was hem among,
And so ther were of Lumbardy,
Wol goode knyghtes, and hardy,
And folk off the coost of Alemayn,
And hys eme, Henry of Chaumpayn,
And hys maystyr, Robert of Leycetere,
Among hem alle was non hys betere.
Fouk Doyly and Thomas Multone
That evere yit was here wone
In fyght fyrst for to bede,
To helpe here kyng weel to spede.
Off the coost of Braundys with hym nam,
A noble baroun that hyghte Bertram,
And hys clergy, and hys freres,
And Templeres, and hys Hospytaleres.
The numbre was by ryght
Of hors-men an hondryd thousend,
And of foote men, swylke ten,
Garscoynes, Lumbardes, and Englyssche men.
Al becoveryd were feeldes and pleynes
With knyghtes, footmen and with sweynes.
   Kyng Richard hovyd and beheeld,
And devysyd hys hoost in the feeld,
And to hys hoost he sayde thus:
“Folk inowe we have with us.
I rede we departe hem in three,
That on part schal wende with me;
That othir, certayn for alle cas,
Schal lede of Multoun, Sere Thomas,
And Fouke Doyly schal lede the thrydde.
On lyf and leme, now I yow bydde,
Toun, cyté, castel, yif that ye wynne,
Spares non that is therinne.
Sleys hem alle and takes here good;
But yif they graunte with mylde mood
To be baptyzed in fount-ston:
Elles on lyve loke ye lete non!”

   Kyng Rychard with hys cumpany
Wenten to Sudan Turry;
Thomas, a knyght engynous,
Wente with hys hoost to Orglyous;
And Sere Fouke, the Doyly,
Wente to the cyté of Ebedy.
Every man belayde hys toun aboute.
No Sarazyn durste come withoute,
For the sege was so strong and hard.
But speke we now of Kyng Richard
That Sudan Turry has belayd.
The Sarezynes at the fyrste brayd,
Here brygges wounden up in haste,
And here gates barryd faste;
Hem to defende they gunne asaye.
Kyng Richard hys baner leet dysplaye.
Whenne Sarezynys saygh it arerde,
Of hym they were sore aferde;
For drede they begunne to quake.
Here wardayn has hys counsayl take;
He was callyd Grandary.
In the cyté, he leet make a cry:
Ilke a man that myghte armes bere,
Goo to the wal the toun to were.
The Sarezynes armyd forth lepe
Upon the walles the toun to kepe,
Stout in touret and in hurdys.
Richard bente an arweblast of vys,
And schotte it to a tour ful evene,
And it smot thorwgh Sarezynes sevene.
Ded fyl the dogges vyle,
But lystenes of a queynte gyle!
Kyng Richard leet hys folk apparayle,
On that on half the toun to assayle.
The toun folk drowgh to that on syde,
Kyng Richard sente of hys men that tyde,
On heyghe laddres for to gon in
That weren iwrought of queynte gyn.
With yrene hokes, goode and stronge,
On the walles they gunne hem honge.
Sevene men myghten gon in on brede;
Thus men ovyr the walles yede,
Three thousande or the Sarezynes wende,
So they gan the toun defende.
The Crystene comen in or they weten;
They schotten to hem and harde smeten,
Gret peple of hem doun felle,
But thoo the cunstable herde telle
That the Crystene were in comen,
Ten thousand he has i-nomen;
The othere, he leet kepe the toun.
“For these,” he sayde, “gos no raunsoun.
Thar hem no mercy crave!
Kyng Richard schal hem nevere save;
Anon-ryght they schole deye!”
   Whenne Kyng Richard herde hem so seye,
For scorn he gan to lawghe schrylle,
And bad hys men be of good wylle,
“And prove we this toun to wynne,
Rescue this folk that be withinne.”
The Sarezynes kydden here myght
The Crystene to sle doun-ryght
That were comen ovyr the walle.
Oure folk togedere heeld hem alle;
Arwes and quarelles to hem drowen:
Alle that thay hytten anon thay slowen.
With egre mayn gaf hem bekyr.
Of good help for they were sekyr
Of Kyng Richard that was withouten.
Oure Crystene men ran abouten,
And some to the gates they sterte,
Alle that they founden thorwgh they gerte.
And threwen hem out of the tour,
And cryeden: “Sere kyng, do us socour!
Savely thou schalt in come,
In lytyl whyle, it schal be nome!”
Thus they gunne Kyng Richard grete,
And the brygges doun thay lete,
And setten the gates up on brode.
Kyng Richard was the fyrste that in rode.
And next hym, Roberd Touneham,
Robert of Leycetre and Sere Bertram.
These reden in the vawmewarde;
To slee the houndes, non ne sparde.
Kyng Richard, hys ax in hond he hente,
And payde Sarezynys here rente!
Swylke levery he hem delte,
Al that he hytte, anon they swelte.
They slowe every Sarezyn,
And took the temple of Appolyn.
They felden it doun and brende Mahoun;
And al the tresore of the toun
He gaf to knyght, squyer and knave,
Al so mekyl as they wolde have.
Sarezynes none on lyve he lafte;
But in a tour on an hygh schafte,
Kyng Richard sette up hys baner,
And wan the toun on this maner.

   Now beth in pes, lystenes apas!
I schal yow telle of Sere Thomas,
The noble baroun of Multone,
That lay with many a modyr sone44
At Orglyous, a strong castel
Lystenes now what chaunce befel!
The Sarezynes for felonye,
Soone senten out a spyye
That hadde ben Crystene in hys youthe.
Many an evyl wrenche he couthe!
He come to Thomas and thus sayde,
And thoughte to have hym betrayde:
“Sere, I am a Crystene man.
I brak presoun and out I wan.
Truste ryght wel to my speche.
Yif thou wylt doo as I thee teche,
Thou schalt wynne hem in a whyle.
In al the toun ther is no gyle;
The sothe to thee, I am beknowe.”
Quod Thomas: “Byndes hym in a throwe!
Al is les that the thef saith;
He is at the Sarezynes faith.
He was sent us to beswyke.
Hys comyng schal hym evele lyke;
Therfore, he schal anon dyen.
So schal men teche hym to lyen!
And hys eeren in twoo slyttes,
And to hys feet a strong roop knyttes,
And hanges hym up tyl he dye.”
Quod the renay: “Mercy I crye!
To no vyle deeth ye me dooth!
Al that I can, I schal seye soth.
Yif ye me fynde in falshede,
Other in wurd, other in dede,
That ye mowe evere see or wryten,
Anon myn hed ye ofsmyten!
I was sent to betraye yow;
I schal yow telle: herkenes how!
   Before the gate is a brygge —
Lestnes weel what I schall sygge —
Undyr the bryggge ther is a swyke
Coverde clos, joynande queyntelyke,45
And undyrnethe is an hasp
Schet with a stapyl and a clasp;
And in that hasp a pyn is pylt.
Thou myght bewar, yif thou wylt —
Me were wol loth that thou mystydde —
Though thou and thy folk were in the mydde,
And the pyn smeten out were,
Doun ye scholden fallen there
In a pyt syxty fadme deep;
Therfore, bewar and tak good keep.
At the passyng ovyr the trappe,
Many on has had ful evyl happe.
Be peays it closes togedere aghen;
Where it is no man may seen.”
“Now, Sarezyn, anon me rede,
Hou we schole doo at this nede?”
“Thou has horsmen and putaylle;
Er thanne thou the toun assaylle,
Ye have with yow goode engynes,
Swylke knowen but fewe Sarezynes.
A mangenel thou doo arere,
And soo thou schalt hem weel afere.
Into the toun thou slynge a ston grete,
And also, swythe thou me lete
Passe into the toun aghen;
And also soone thou schalt seen
The toun they schole yelde soone;
But I bydde thee a bone:
Yif I doo thee wynne this toun,
That thou geve me my warysoun.”
Quod Thomas: “Thertoo I graunte.”
They departyd with that comenaunte.
   The engyne was bent and set al preste;
A gret ston into the toun was keste.
They slowe men and houses doun bare
Or ony man of hem was ware.
“We be ded! Help, Mahoun!” they cryede;
In every syde, away they hyede
To hyden hem for woo and drede.
The renay into the toun yede
And sayde to the wardayn, Orgayl:
“We be dede, withouten fayl!
He that the ston to yow threwe,
Al youre tresoun fol wel he knew:
How youre brygges gos insundyr,
And al the tresoun that is therundyr,
And hou it gos aghen be peys.
Bes war, barounnes and burgeys!
It helpes yow nought youre gates to schette
Hym and hys men out for to lette.
Yif ye fyghte and yow defende,
Moo stones he wole yow sende,
Schende yow and the toun doun bete.
Stondynge hous wil he non lete;
It is betere let hym in stylle
Than hereinne that he yow spylle;
Thenne we may be trust to leve.”
But whenne he hadde this counseil geve,
As he hem redde, they deden anon.
“Mercy, Thomas!” they cryeden echon.
“Have here the keyes of this cyté;
Doo therwith what thy wylle bee,
Yif soo thou graunte us oure lyves,
And oure chyldren, and our wyves.”
   Thomas of Multoun the keyes fong,
And another ston inslong
To Sere Mahouns habitacle,
And smot out a gret pynacle.
Out com the warden, Orgayl,
And an hundryd knyghts in his parayle:
Barfoot, ungyrt, withouten hood.
“Mercy, Thomas! Spylle nought oure blood!
Tak thee alle the goodes that we have.
With that thou wylt oure lyves save,
Lat us passe awey al nakyd.”
“Brekes the brygge,” quod Thomas, “that ye han makyd,
And lyme and ston throwes in the pyt,
Or, be Jhesu that in hevene syt,
Alle therinne, ye schole brenne,
That non schal goo, ne out renne,
Of yow alle, pore ne ryche,
But yif ye fylle weel the dyche
To the banke, al in a resse,
That we anon may faste in presse.”
   The amyral therof was blythe,
And brak the brygges al soo swythe,
And lym and ston keste in the pytte.
Anon it was feld and fordytte
Up to the banke, maad al playn
In lengthe and brede, ful trust, certayn
That twenty men, othir besyde,
On armyd stedes myghten inryde,
Withoute drede have entree;
Thus, they come to that cytee.
The toun folk comen, alle and some,
And fayre hym they gunne welcome,
Cryede mercy with lowde stevene.
Agayn on Crystene man they were sevene
In that cyté of Sarezynes.
Gold and sylvyr and bawdekynes
To Sere Thomas anon they profere,
And with good wyl to hym ofere
Landes, houses, and tresore,
Of hym to holde for evere more.

   Before Thomas com the renay,
“Mercy, Lord, thynk, I thee pray,
For this toun what thou me hyghte
As thou were a gentyl knyghte.
No more wole I that thou me geve,
But mete and drynk whyl that I leve.
For wollewarde on my bare feet,46
I schal walken in snowgh and sleet,
Me to amende of my synne,
The joye of hevene for to wynne!”
To a preest, he schroof hym clene.
The comenaunt that was hem betwene,
Thomas grauntyd with good wylle;
Thus with hym he lefte stylle,
In werre and pes whan he gan wende,
Evere unto hys lyves ende.

   Lordyngs, heres to my pleynte!
Ye schal here of a tresoun queynte,
Hou the Sarezynes have bespoken
Of Crystene men to ben awroken;
Hou the amyral hem redde:
“Whenne the Crystene be to bedde,
And they ben in here fyrste sleepe,
We schole come armyd, on an hepe.
On schal dwelle the clos withinne,
The gate to unschette and unpynne,
And stylly to unschette the lok.
We schole come prevyly in a flok,
And slee Thomas of Multone,
And with hym, every modyr sone
That he has with hym brought.”
Therof Sere Thomas wyste right nought.
They soden flesch, rost and brede,
And to the soper faste they yede.
Plenté ther was of bred and wyn,
Pyment, clarry, good and fyn:
Of cranes, swannes, and venysoun,
Partryhches, plovers, and heroun,
Of larkes, and smale volatyle.
The Sarezynes, al for a gyle,
Of strengeste wyn gaf hem to drynke.
They were wery, and lest weel wynke;
They slepte faste, and gunne to route.
The Sarezynes, they were alle withoute,
And comen armyd to the gate.
The renay stood redy therate.
They knokkede on the wyket;
He leet it stande stylle ischet,
And tolde Thomas that he herde,
Al togeder hou it ferde.
Sere Thomas no bost gan make;
Anon hys folk he gan to awake.
“For Goddys love,” he hem bed,
Dyghte yow tyt or ye ben ded!”
They styrten up and were afrayde
For that he hadde to hem sayde.
They armyd hem swythe yerne,
And wenten out by a posterne
Er thenne the Sarezynys wyste;
That whyle they hovyd and gunne to presten,
With strengthe wolde in have wunnen,
The Crystene to the gatys runnen,
And schetten faste with the kaye.
By that began to sprynge the daye.
Bowe and arweblast the Cristene bente,
Thorwghout every stret they wente,
And schotten arwes and quarel;
Many Sarezyn ded doun fel.
They ne lefte, be way ne hous,
No man levande in Orglyous,
Burgeys, ne wyf, ne children ying.
   Whenne they had maad this rekenyng,
He gaf hys men, withouten othis,
All the tresore and the clothis,
Sylvyr and gold, every grot,
Every man hadden hys lot.
Ther was non soo lytyl page
That ne hadde to hys wage
Of gold and sylvyr and gret tresore
To be ryche for everemore.
Thomas leet, or he wente then,
Out of presoun the Crystene men,
Every pylgrym and palmere,
Gaf hem rente and hous there,
With hem stabled the toun aghen;
Who so com ther myghte weel seen,
In ylke an hygh chef touret,
Kyng Richardes armes were upset.

   Lordynges, now ye have herd
Of these townes, hou it ferd;
Hou kyng Richard with hys maystry
Wan the toun of Sudan Turry;
Orglyous wan Thomas Multone,
And slowgh every modyr sone.
Of Ebedy we schal speke,
That faste now hath here gate steke,
Whenne Fouke Doyly it bylay,
That entre in nought he may.
The cyté was strong and stoute;
Sevene myle it was aboute.
Thrytty pryse toures be tale,
In every tour, a cheef amyrale.
Folk of armes, by ryght ascent,
Numbre ther were fyfty thousend.
With other smal putayle
That there come in to the batayle,
That ne cowde no man acounte
To how manye they wolde amounte.
Sere Fouke broughte goode engynes,
Swylke knewe but fewe Sarezynes.
In every half he leet hem arere,
His enemyes a newe play to lere.
A mangenel he leet bende,
To the prys-tour a ston gan sende;
That ston whanne it out fleygh,
The Sarezynes that it seygh,
“Allas!” they cryeden, and hadden wondyr,
“It routes as it were a thondyr!”
On the tour the ston so hytte,
That twenty feet awey it smytte.
To another a ston he threwe,
For to make hem game newe.
Al that on syde he smot away,
And slowgh dogges of fals fay.
They beet doun the toures all
In the toun and on the walle.
A prys tour stood ovyr the gate;
He bente hys engyne and threwe therate
A gret ston that harde drof,
That the tour al torof,
The barre, and the hurdys,
The gate barst, and the portecolys.
Therto he gaf anothir strook
To breke the bemes alle of ook,
And slowgh the folk that therinne stood.
The othere fledden, and were nygh wood,
And sayden it was the develys dent.
“Allas, Mahoun! What has he ment,
This Ynglyssche dogge that hyghte Fouke?
He is no man: he is a pouke
That out of helle is istole!
An evyl deth moot he thole
For us beseges faste.
Yif he moo stones to us caste,
Al this toun wole be doun bete.
Stondande hous wole he non lete!”
   Sere Fouke gan hym apparaylle,
With his folk the toun to assaylle.
Or he the toun with strengthe wan,
There was slayn many a man!
The toun dykes on every syde,
They were depe and ful wyde.
Ful of grut no man myghte swymme,
The wal stood faste upon the brymme.
Betwen hem myghte no man stande.
The archers al of this lande
Schotten in with arewes smale;
The toun folk ne gaf no tale.
The Sarezynes wenten up on the walles,
And schotten with areweblast and spryngalles,
And with quarelles they gunne hem stonye.
Of oure folk, they slowen monye:
Envenymyd here takyl was.
But whenne Fouke Doyly seygh that caas,
That hys men scholde be slawe,
He bad hem to withdrawe:
“And brynges trees, and manye a bowgh.”
To don hys wylle folk come inowgh.
Crystene men maden hem a targe
Of dores and of wyndowes large.
Some caughten a bord and some an hach,
And broughten to tymbyr, and thach,
And grete schydes, and the wode,
And slunge it into the mode,
And the thach above theron,
That Crystene men myghte on gon
To the wal, and stonde sekyr,
And hand be hand to geve bekyr:
A sory beverage there was browen!
Quarellys and arweys thykke flowen;
The Ynglyssche slowen that they oftoke.
Durste no man over the walles loke,
That the Crystene hem ovyrthrewe.
And wylde fyr ovyr the walles they blewe:
Many an hous, anon ryght,
Bycome upon a fayr lyght,
Many a lane and many a strete.
The Sarezynes, thoo, for hete,
Drowgh out godes, and faste gan flye:
“Allas!” and “Help!” lowde gan they crye.
The Ynglyssche men herden the cry,
They were stronge and wel hardy;
To wynne the toun weel they wende.
They withinne weel hem defende.
Though it were soo that on doun falle,
Another styrte upon the walle
In the stede there he stood,
And weryd it weel with herte good.
   Among the toun folk was no game;
To counseyl they gaderyd hem insame.
Thenne sayde the chef amyrale:
“Lordynges, lystnes to my tale!
This sege is gret, thys fyr is stronge;
Thus may we nought dure longe.
To slen us they have gret desyre,
They have set oure toun afyre!
Pes of hym tydes us no graunt,
But it be at swylke a comenaunt
That we oure god, Mahoun, forsake,
And Crystyndom undyrtake,
And trowe in Jhesu and Mary.
Despyt it wore, and velony47
That we scholde leve on fals lay!
So arme hym, every man that may,
That strong is wepene for to bere,
And fonde we this toun to were!
Of hoost, we have swylke ten
As he has of Crystene men
To fyghte with us now hedyr brought.
Bes bold and doutes hym ryght nought!
Betere it is that we outrenne
Thenne as wrehches in hous to brenne,
And frye in oure owne gres!
Englyssche be feynte and herteles:
Of mete and drynk they have defawte.
We scholen hem slee alle in asawte,
And fellen hem alle in the feelde.
Hangyd be he that this toun yelde
To Crystene men whyl he may leve!”
But whenne he hadde this counseyl geve,
Every man hys armes on keste,
And to hym they come alle preste;
For to fyghte they were ful fel.
To here temple they wente ful snell;
Ylke a man armyd in hys queyntyse,
And made there here sacrefyse
To Mahoun and to Jubiterre,
That he hem helpe in here werre:
“We hadde nevere nede or now,
And here we make hym oure avow:
The prys this day yif that we wynne,
That we schole nevere blynne
For to fyghte with Crystene schrewe
Tyl that they ben al tohewe.”
In foure partyes they delte here route,
And at the foure gates they issuyd oute.

   The fyrste hoost Sere Arcade ledde,
All aboute on brede they spredde.
Sere Cudary ledde that othir,
And with hym, Orphias, hys brothir.
The thrydde hoost with hym gan lede
Sere Materbe, wyght in wede;
Sere Gargoyle ledde the ferthe.
There they rede, al the erthe
Undyr the hors feet it quook.
Sere Fouke beheeld and gan to look.
Here folk were rengyd in that playn,
Foure score thousand, for sothe to sayn,
Of footmen, knyghtes, and squyers,
And of lordes with baners.
Ther were syxty amyrales,
The soth to say, in sertayn tales.
On stedes weel trappyd, armyd they ryden,
Redy batayle to abyden.

   Sere Fouke gan hys folk ordeyne,
As they scholden hem demeyne.
Formeste he sette hys arweblasteres,
And aftyr that, hys gode archeres,
And aftyr, hys staff slyngeres,
And othere with scheeldes and with speres.
He devysyd the ferthe part
With swerd and ax, knyf and dart.
The men of armes com al the last.
Quod Fouke: “Seres, beth nought agast,
Though that they ben moo than wee!”
They blyssyd hem and fel on kne:
“Fadyr, and Sone, and Holy Gost,”
Quod Fouke, “Kepe the Crystene hoost!
Mary milde oure erande bede!
Thy Chyld us helpe at our nede,
And kepe oure honour, we thee preye!
Prest we ben for thee to deye,
And for Hys love that deyde on roode!”
   The Sarezynes with egre mode,
Here wepenes begunne for to grype.
They trumpyd anon and gunne to pype.
To fyghte the Crystene were ful swyft;
Ylke a lord hys baner gan uplyft,
Of kynde armes of hys owen,48
That his men scholde hym knowen,
And to folewe hym that tyde
In the bataylle where they gan ryde.
Sarazynes comen with gret wylle
When the Crystene myghte drawe hem tylle.
To schete the arweblasteres hem dresse,
And the archeres to hem gesse.
Sere Fouke leet sette up a standard
With armes of the Kyng Richard.
Whenne the Sarezynes it sen,
They wende Richard hadde there iben.
Among hem alle in bataylle thore,
Of hym they were adred ful sore.
Knyghtes and amyralles prowde,
“Kylles doun ryght,” they cryeden lowde.
“Brynges the cyté out of cares!
Hangyd be he that hys foo spares!”
   Sere Archade took a gret launse,
And come prykande with bobaunce.
To Fouke Doyly he gan it bere,
And with anothir, Fouke mette hym there.
Ryght in pleyn cours in the feelde,
He hytte hym upon the scheelde.
Ryght thorwghout the herte it karff:
The mysbelevyd paynym starff.
   With bost come Sere Cudary
Agayn a Crystene knyght hardy.
With a fawchoun he gan hym smyte;
Sekyrly, it wolde weel byte.
In the nekke he hytte hym withal,
That the hed trendelyd off as a bal.
On a rabyte com Orphias,
For bost he prekyd a gret pas.
A gret fawchoun in hand he bar:
“Come fyght with me now hoo that dar!”
Sir John Doyly, Sir Foukes nevew,
A yonge knyghte of gret vertew,
In hande he took a spere long:
The schafte that was bothe styfe and strong,
And on hys scheeld, he smot hym soo
That it cleved evenen in twoo,
And slewe hym there sekyrly,
And sayde, “Dogge, there thou ly
And reste thee there tyl domysday,
For thou art payyd of thy pay!”
   Togedere whenne the hoostes mete,
The archers myghten no more schete.
Men of armes, the swerdes out breyden,
Balles out of hoodes soone ther pleyden.49
Swylke strokes they hem geven,
That helme and bacynet al toreven,
That on the schuldre fel the brayn;
The Crystene men slowen hem with mayn.
The foote folk and sympyl knaves,
In hande they henten ful goode staves.
Ther was no Sarezyn in that flok
That, yif that he hadde had a knok
With a staff wel iset
On helm other on bacynet,
That he ne yede doun, saun fayle,
Off hys hors top over taylle.
Sone withinne a lytyl stounde,
The moste party yede to grounde.
The lordes saygh hou that they spedde;
Anon hastyly they fledde:
Into the toun they wolde agayn.
   Sere Fouke and hys men therof were fayn eager
The paas to kepe and to lette;
On every half they hem withsette,
That non of hem ne myghte ascape.
The Crystene on hem gan faste to frape.
Whenne the foot folk weren islawe,
Grete lordynges doun they drawe
Of stedes and rabytes trappyd;
Anon here hedes were of clappyd.
That Jhesu hem helpyd it was wel sene;
The Sarezynes weren islayn alle clene,
Strypyd hem nakyd to the serke;
But whene they hadde maad al pleyn werk,
Sere Fouk, that noble man and wyse,
With trumpes he leet blowe the prys.
No man woulde tho dogges berye:
Crystene men resten and maden hem merye.
Of good wyn ylke man drank a draught,
And whenne that they herte hadde caughte,50
Colyd hem, and keveryd here state,
Anon they broken the toun gate.
Syre Fouk with his men inrode,
No Sarezyn there hym abode.
Every Sarezyn that they mette,
With swyche wessayl they hem grette
For the love of here Mahoun,
That by the schuldre they schoof the croun.
The footemen come behynde,
And slowgh alle that they myghte fynde.
Man, wumman, al yede to swerde,
Bothe in hous and eke in yerde.
The Crystene men the fyr gan quenche;
There was more good than man myghte thenche
Of sylvyr and gold in that cyté,
The Crystene men hadde gret plenté.
Ful curteysely seyde Sere Fouke,
“Every man hys wynnyng brouke
Amonges yow alle to dele and dyghte.”
For good was no nede to fyghte.
Crystene men Sere Fouke lete,
In every lane and every strete,
To take keep and to wake,
By nyght and day warde to make,
For to save weel afyn
Fro the Sawdon Saladyn.
On the toun wal, on every corner,
He leet sette up a baner
Upon schaft brode dysplayde,
With Kyng Richardes armes portrayde,
In sygne, to bere record
That Kyng Richard was here ovyrlord.

   Whenne he hadde stabelyd the toun,
With hys hoost he wente boun
To Orglyous to Sere Thomas.
Forth they wenten a gret pas
To Kyng Rychard to Sudan Turry,
And he hem took and sette hym by.
Every man tolde other is chaunce.
To hem come the kyng of Fraunce.
Unto Acres they gan turne,
Aftyr swynk there to sojurne,
To dwelle and reste hem a stounde,
To hele hem that hadde gret wounde.
Upon a day aftyrward,
Kyng Phelyp eet with kyng Richard,
Dukes, eerles, and barouns,
Men of Fraunce of most renouns;
With hem alle, the knyghtes free
That they broughten fro beyunde the see.
Thomas of Multone, Fouke Doyly,
Erles and barouns, sekyrly,
Of Yngelond, Gascoyne, and of Spayne,
Of Lumbardy, Gyan, and Alemayne.
Trumpes blewen, tabours dasschen,
Mete was greythid, they gunne to wasschen.
They were set doun at a table,
And weel iservyd, withouten fable,
To here talent of flesch and fysch,
Frenssche men, Lumbardes, Gascoynes, Ynglysch.
Of ryche wyn ther was plenté,
Pyment and ryche clarré.
Aftyr mete the cloth was drawe;
Of here comynge, Rychard was fawe.

   Aftyr mete they maden game;
They begynne to speke insame.
Quod kyng Richard: “Every man telle
Hou he has don, hou hym befelle.
Whoo has ben in most dystresse,
And who has don the moste prowesse.
Quod Rychard: “I myself wan Sudan Turry,
Of the folk hadde I no mercy.
Alle tha that ther wore, I and myn hoost slowgh,
And wunne therinne tresore inowgh;
Crystene men therinne wone.”
Thomas gan hys dedes mone:
“And I wan Castel Orglyous;
Maydyn and grome, hosebonde and spous,
Myn hoost slowgh, and non ovyrhaf,
Al the tresore that hem I gaf.”
Thoo tolde Fouke Doyly:
“And I wan the cyté of Ebedy,
Gaynyd hem no mercy to crye:
What scholde dogges doo but dye?
Al the flok hoppyd hedeles!
In this manere I made pes:
Destroyyd alle hethene blood.
To Crystene men al the good
I gaf that I therinne fond,
And stablyd it into Crystene hond.”
Quod Phelyp: “And I dede nought soo,
Taburet and Archane I wente too.
The folk come of bothe cytees,
Cryde mercy, and fylle on knees.
For every hed I took raunsoun;
They yolde to me every toun,
And up thay sette my baner:
We weren at on in this maner.
To sloo men was me nevere leeff.”51
   Kyng Richard took it to greff,
And on hym gan to loke rowe:
“Cursyd be he that thy werk alowe!
Thou were weel wurthy mawgrý to have,
Sarezynes that thou woldyst save!
For to graunte hem lyf for mede,
Thou dost God a gret falshede!
Thou hast don us gret schame:
Thou were wurthy to have blame!
Alle swylke werkes I refuse,
And thou, sere kyng, yif thou it use,
Thou dedyst nought as I thee bad!
Yif thou be eft in fyght bestad,
Thou schalt fynde hem, everylkon,
They schole ben thy moste foon.
Yif thou haddyst hem alle slayn,
Thenne myghtyst thou have ben fayn,
And wunnen al the good therinne.
Now is it eft newe to begynne,
And that thyself now schalt sen.”
Quod Phelyp: “I wole wende aghen
For to prove yif it be soth.
Whether the folk me gyle doth,
Be aboute me to anoye,
I schal hem brenne, sloo, and stroye!
They schole nevere have grith!”
Quod Richard: “Yif I wende thee with,
The betere hap thee may betyde.”
On morwen they begunne to ryde
With here hoost to Taburet.
The folk withinne the gatys schet;
They callyd, “Phelyp, feynte coward!
False wrehche, thou broke foreward!
Thou gaf us lyf for raunsoun.
Thee tydes no more of this toun
Henne to the worldes ende!”
Quod Kyng Rychard: “Phelyp, tak in mende
I sayde thee soth — now may thou wete!”
Anon hys baner doun they smete,
And brak it up in gret despyt,
Twoo peces brak it also tyt,
And out into the dyke it throwen,
And setten up on of here owen,
And bad hym: “Now doo thy beste!”
Quod Richard: “Frendes, haves no reste!
This toun assayle we now swythe.
Every man hys strengthe kythe
On these dogges to ben wroken!”
   Whenne kyng Richard thus hadde spoken,
The Crystene men gunne make a scryke.
Anon they wunne ovyr the dyke.
The folk on the walles above
To defende faste they prove,
In al that they may and cunne.52
Stones and stokkes they threwen dounne;
Summe of the Crystene they herte.
For drede, archeres abak they sterte.
The Sarezynys they gunne grete:
Arwys, qwarellys, thykke they schete,
And slowen that they ovyrtoke.
Ovyr the walles durste no man loke.
The Crystene the walles undyrmyn.
Quod Richard: “I schal nevere syne
Sytte on grounde, drynke, ne eeten,
Tyl I have this toun igeten.”
In the dyke the wal ovyrthrewe;
The hoost wan in, and on hem hewe
With swerdes, axes, and kene knyves,
And slowen men, chyldren, and wyves.
The hoost wolde no lengere be thare;
Toward Archane gunne they fare.
The folk of the toun the gatys schet,
Kyng Phelyp out for to let,
And sayden: “Coward, goo thy way!
Here hast thou lost thy pray.
Thou gaf us lyf for tresore:
Of this toun tydes thee no more.
Al at ones thy pay thou grepe;
Here hast thou lost thy lordschepe.
Thou art a fals, faynt wrehche!
Hangyd be he that of thee rehche!
Al that thou may doo us, thou doo!”
For that they despysyd hym soo,53
Kyng Richard swoor and was agrevyd:
“The Sarezynnes therinne that misbelevyd,
Schal non of hem be savyd quykke!”
Arwes, quarelles flowen thykke;
The Crystene men the gates brente,
They broke the walles, and in they wente.
The Sarezynes fledden, awey gunne fyken,
The Crystene folwen, slen, and styken,
And gaf alle here folk here bane;
Thus Kyng Phelyp wan Archane.

   Quod Richard: “Phelyp, tak to thee
The goodes of ayther cyté;
Thus thou myghtyst have don or this.
Certes, Phelyp, thou art nought wys.
Thee be forgeven the fyrste gylt:
Thou may bewar, yif that thou wylt.
Now be we frendes bothe,
But, sykyrly, we schole be wrothe,
Swylke folyes, yif thou haunte,
Sarezynys lyf, yif thou graunte.
Bewar, though thou gold coveyte:
In this land, do us no dysseyte!
Yif thou be eft founden with gyle
Wherethorwgh we fallen in peryle,
Be thee chyld in oure lady barme,
Goo schalt thou nought withouten harme!
Of gold schalt thou have thy fylle!”
He gan to moorne, and heeld hym stylle;
He glouryd, and gan to syke,
With Kyng Richard gan hym evyl lyke,
For wordes he gan to hym deyl.
Kyng Richard gan hym to counseyl:
“Be trewe, doo as I thee teche.
Goo we forth this cuntré to seche,
To sloo oure foos and wynne the croys!”
Kyng Phelyp withouten noys
Sayde: “In me schal be no delay
To helpe thertoo, that I may.”
Kyng Richard and Phelyp with here hoost
Wenten forth be the see coost.
Ageynes hem comen here naveye,
Cogges, drowmoundes, many galeye,
Barges, schoutes, crayeres fele
That were chargyd with all wele,
With armure, and with othir vytaylle,
That nothyng in the hoost scholde fayle.

   It was before Seynt James tyde,
Whenne foules begunne merye to chyde,
Kynge Richard turnde his ost to pas
Toward the cyté of Cayphas,
Evere forth be the maryn,
By the rever of Chalyn.
Saladyn it herde telle
And come flyngande aftyr snelle,
With syxty thousand Sarezynes kene,
And thoughte to doo Crystene men tene;
And ovyrtooke the rerewarde,
And begunne to bekyr harde.
Hastely swerdes they drowen,
And many a Crystene man they slowen.
Unarmyd was the rerewarde,
They fledde in haste to Kyng Richarde.
Whenne Kyng Richard wyste this,
The Sawdon slowgh hys men iwis,
On Favel of Cypre he sat, falewe,
Also swyft as ony swalewe.
In this world at grete nede
Was nevere founde a better stede.
Hys baner anon was unfolde;
The Sarezynes anon it gan beholde.
Thoo that myght the baner see,
Alle they gunne for to flee.
Kyng Richard aftyr hem gan ryde,
And they withturnyd hem that tyde,
And smot togedere with swylke raundoun
As yif al the world scholde fall doun.
Kyng Richard before smot
With hys ax that byttyrly
He them tohewed and tocarfe:
Manye undyr his hand gan sterve.
Never was man in erthe ryght
That better with hem gon fyght,
And manye Crystene, I telle yow sekyr,
Hente here deth in that bekyr
Thorwgh a carte that was Hubertes Gawtyr,
That was set al in a myr.
For Saladynes sones theder came
And the harneys them bename.
The cartere les his hand ryght;
There was slayn many a knyght.
For the harneys kepyd fourty,
And therof were islayn thrytty.
Kyng Richard hyyd thedyr with thate;
   Yet almoost he came to late!
In honde he helde his axe good,
Many Sarezyn he leet blood!
Ther was non armure, varrayment,
So good that myghte withstande his dent.
And the Longe Spay that tyde,
Layde on be every syde,
That doun it wente al that he smot
With hys fawchoun that byttyr bot;
And the batayle was dotous,
And to his folk wol perylous,
For the hete was so strong,
And the dust ros hem among,
And forstoppyd the Crystene onde,
That they fylle ded upon the sonde.
Moo dyede for hete, at schorte wurdes,
Thenne for dent of spere or swordes.
Kyng Richard was al most ateynt,
And in the pouder nygh adreynt.
On hys knees he gan doun falle,
Help to Jhesu he gan calle,
For love of His modyr, Mary;
And as I fynde in hys story,
He seygh come Seynt George, the knyght,
Upon a stede, good and lyght,
In armes whyte as the flour
With a croys of red colour.
Al that he mette in that stounde,
Horse and man he felde to grounde,
And the wynd gan wexe lythe;
Sterne strokes they gynne to kythe.
Whenne Kyng Richard seygh that syght,
In herte he was glad and lyght,
And egyrly, withouen fayle,
The Sarezynes he gan assayle.
Bertram Braundys, the goode Lumbard,
Robert Tourneham, and Kyng Richard,
Alle that agayn hem gan dryve,
Soone they refte hem of here lyve.
The Sarezynes fledden to recet
To the mount of Nazareth, withoute let.
They were so hyyd at the spore,
That mekyl of here folk was lore.
Kyng Richard wente a gret pas
Toward the cyté of Cayphas,
And thankyd Jhesu, Kyng of glorye,
And Marye, his modyr, of that victorie.
Alle they maden gret solas
For the wynnyng of Cayphas.

   At morwen, kyng Richard leet crye
Among hys hoost that they scholde hye
Ever more forth be the maryn
To the cyté of Palestyn.
There here pavylouns they telte,
And al to longe there they dwelte,
For to abyde here vytayle
That comen by watyr, saun fayle.
Certes, that was the werste dwellyng
That evere dwellyd Richard, oure kyng!
That whyle the Sawdon Saladyn,
Sente many a Sarezyn
To bete adoun manye castelles,
Cytees, tounes, and tourelles.
Fyrst they bete doun the castele
That was callyd Myrabele;
And aftyr the castel Calaphyne
That was ful of good engyne.
Of Sessarye they fellyd the wal,
And the tour of Arsour al.
Jaffe castel they bete adoun,
And the goode castel Touroun.
Castel Pylgrym they felden there,
And the goode castel La Fere;
The castel of Seynt George Dereyn,
They felde doun and made al pleyn,
The walles they felde of Jerusalem,
And eke the walles of Bedlem,
Maydenes castel they lete stande,
And the castel of Aukes land.
Be that coost were no moo leten,
But they were feld and doun beten;
And this he dede withouten lette,
For Richard scholde have no recette.
   Whenne he hadde thus idoo,
Kyng Richard he sente untoo,
And seyde he wolde the nexte morwe
Mete hym in the feld with sorwe,
And with a launce to hym ryde,
Yif that he durste hym abyde.
Undyr the forest of Arsour,
He wolde asaye hys valour.
Kyng Richard made it nought towgh,
But for that tydyng faste he lowgh,
Hee leet crye in hys hoost
In the name of the Holy Gost
That they scholden, with vygour,
That nyght reste before Arsour,
And dyghten hem al redy than,
At morwen to fyghte with the Sawdan.
On Seynt Marye even, the natyvyté,
This ylke bataylle scholde be.
Many was the hethene man
With Saladyn that come than:
Of Inde, of Perse, of Babyloyne,
Of Arabye and of Cessoyne,
Of Aufryk and of Bogye,
Of al the lond of Alysaundrye,
Of grete Grece and of Tyre,
And of many another empire;
Of moo landes than ony can telle,
Save He that made hevene and helle.
That nyght was Kyng Richard before Arsour,
Undyr the forest of Lysour.
With hym ther were of Yngeland
Wyse knyghtes, doughty of hand;
Manye Frensche folk and Templers,
Gascoynes and Hospytaleres,
Of Provynce, a fayr cumpanye,
Of Poyle and of Lumbardye,
Of Gene, of Sesyle, and of Tuskayn;
There was many a doughty man
Of Ostrych and of Alemayn
That weel cowde fyghte in the playn.
Of Crystene knyghtes that were hende
The fayreste hoost to the worldes ende.
And ye schal here as it is wrete,
Hou the batayle was ismete.

   Saladyn come be a mountayn,
And ovyrspradde hyl and playn,
Syxty thousand sayde the spye,
Was in the fyrste cumpanye,
With longe speres on heye stedes.
Of gold and asure were here wedes.
Syxty thousynd comen aftyrward
Of Sarezynes stoute and hard,
With many a pensel of sykelatoun,
And of sendel grene and broun,
Almost come fyve and fyfty thousinde
With Saladyn that comen behynde;
They comen alle stylle nought fer behende,
Here armure ferde al as it brende.
Thre thousand Turkes comen at the laste,
With bowe Turkeys and arweblaste.
A thousand taboures and yit moo,
Alle at ones they smeten thoo:
Al the erthe donyd hem undyr.
There myght men see a syghte of wundir.
   Now speke we of Richard, oure kyng,
Hou he com to batayle with hys gyng.
He was armyd in splentes of steel,
And sat upon his hors, Favel.
Weel hym lovede baroun and knyght,
For he cowde weel araye a fyght!
The fyrste batayle to the Templeres
He gaf, and to the Hospytaleres,
And bad hem goo in Goddes name,
The feend to schentschepe and to schame.
Jakes Deneys and Jhon de Neles,
Before they wenten in that pres.
In this world thenne were there
No betere knyghtes thenne they were.
Forth they prekyd, as I fynde,
With knyghtes fully twenty thousynde,
And the Sarezynes they mette,
With grymly launse they hem grette.
Many Sarezyn hadden here fyn,
And wenten to Mahoun and Appolyn;
And tho that caughten deth of oure,
Wenten to Cryst, oure Saveoure.
   Jakes Deneys was a noble knyght;
To slee paynymys he ded hys myght.
He prekyd before his folk to rathe
With hys twoo sones, and that was scathe,
Thre thousand Turkes comen with boost,
Betwen Jakes and hys hoost,
That non help myghte come hym too,
For no thynge that they cowde doo.
Ne he ne myghte hym withdrawe,
For the folk of hethene lawe.
It was gret scathe, by Jhesu Cryste;
Kyng Richard therof nought ne wyste,
For he was yit al behynde
To ordeyne othir twenty thousynde
Thoo scholde the Duke of Burgoyne
Lede, and the Eerl of Boloyne.
These comen and deden here devers
Agayn the hethene pawteners;
And Jakes and hys sones twoo
Almost weren islayn thoo.
He layde on every syde ryght,
And steryd hym as noble knyght.
Twenty he slowgh, and ayther sone ten
Of the vyle, hethene men.
And nyne sethyn hys hors was felde,
And evere he coveryd hym with his schelde.
He had non help of Templere,
Ne of non othir Hospytalere.
Nevertheles doughtely he faught:
The Sarazynes yet felde hym naught.
He layde on with his sworde,
And evere he sayde, “Jhesu, Lord,
I schal dye for Thy love:
Resseyve my soule to hevene above!”
The Sarezynes layde on with mace
And al tofrusschyd hym in the place,
Hym and hys sones bothe;
Therfore Kyng Richard was ful wrothe.
Whenne Kyng Richard wyste this,
That ded was Jakes Denys,
“Allas!” he sayde, “that is wronge!
Behynde I dwellyd al to longe!”
He smot Favel with spores of golde,
Sewe hym that sewe wolde!
A launse in hys hand he heelde;
He smot an amyral in the scheelde.
The dynt smot thorwgh the hethene herte:
I undyrstande it gan hym smerte!
Kyng Richard hys honde withdrowgh:
With that launse a kyng he slowgh.
So he dede an amyrayle,
And fyve dukes withouten fayle.
With that ylke launse selve
Kyng Richard slowgh kynges twelve.
The thryttenethe to the chyn he kerff;
The launse barste, the Sarezyn sterff.
Hys ax on his fore arsoun hyng:
Anon it took Richard, oure kyng.
On he hytte on the schuldyr bon
And karf hym to the sadyl anon!
And of som he pared so the croune
That helme and hed fel adoun!
Non armure iwrought with hand
Myghte Kyng Richardes ax withstande.
Of my tale bes nought awundryd:
The Frenssche says he slowgh an hundrid,
Whereof is maad this Ynglyssche sawe,
Or he reste hym ony thrawe.
Hym folewyd many an Ynglyssche knyght,
That egyrly halp hym for to fyght,
And layden on as they were woode
Tyl valeys runnen al on bloode.
The Sarezynes sayden in here pavylouns,
The Crystene ferden as wylde lyouns;
And that Rycharde with theyr folke fares
As hende grehoundes do with hares.
Upon here steedes, manly they lepen;
Swerdes and speres, manly the grepen.
Manye man there slowgh othir;
Many a Sarezyn loste there his brothir,
And manye of the hethene houndes,
With here teeth gnowgh on the groundes.
Be the blood upon the gras,
Men myghte see where Richard was!
Brayn and blood he schadde inowgh;
Many an hors hys guttes drowgh.
There was a manye an empty sadyl,
That it bewepte the chyld in the cradyl.
He thoughte rescue Jakes Denayn,
And ar he come, he was islayn.
For he and hys sones anon
Were tofrusschyd, flesch and bon.
He ledde hym to hys pavyloun,
In despyt of here god Mahoun.
Thoo delte Richard on ylke a syde,
The Sarezynes durste no lengere abyde.
Syxe thousand and sevene score,
At onys he drof hym before
Up agayn an hygh cleve.
They fledde as deer that hadde ben dreve;
And for the drede of Kyng Richard,
Off the clyff they fell dounward,
And al tobarste, hors and men,
That nevere non com to lyve than.
That seygh the Sawdon, Saladyn:
He was ful sekyr hys lyf to tyn.
He lefte hys pavylouns and hys tente,
And fledde away verramente.
Whenne Kyng Richard seygh hym fleande,
He sewyd aftyr, faste flyngande.
To sloo the Sawdon was hys thought,
But, for he myghte hym overtake nought,
Of a footman a bowe he took,
He drowgh an arwe up to the hook,
And sente it to the Sawdon anon,
And smot hym thorwgh schuldyr bon;
Thus, the Sawdon with dolour,
Fledde fro the batayle of Arsour.
Syxty thousand there were slawe,
Sarezynys of hethene lawe,
And of Crystene but ten score:
Blyssyd be Jhesu Cryst, therfore!
   Kyng Richard took the pavylouns
Of cendeles and of sykelatouns.
They were schape of casteles,
Of gold and sylvyr were the penseles.
Manye were the noble geste
Theron were wryten of wylde beste:
Tygrys, dragouns, leouns, lupard,
Al this wan the kyng Richard.
Bounden coffres and grete males
He hadde there withouten tales.
Of tresore they hadde so mekyl wone,
They wyste nowher where here goodes to done.
Kyng Richard wente with honour,
Into the cyté of Arsour,
And rested hym there all nyght,
And thanked Jhesu ful of myght.
On the morowe Kynge Rycharde arose;
Hys dedes were riche and his los.
Of Naples he callyd Sere Gawter
That was his maystyr Hospitaler.
He bad hym take with hym knyghtes,
Stronge in armes, stoute in fyghtes,
And agayn to the feelde tee
There the batayle hadde ibee,
And lede Jakes, the noble baroun,
Into Jerusalem toun,
And berye his body there in erthe,
For he was man that was wel werthe.
Al was don withoute cheste,
Hastyly Kyng Richardes heste.
Thus, Kyng Richard wan Arsour,
God graunte hys soule mekyl honour!

   At morwen he sente to the kyng of Fraunce,
And sayde to hym withoute bobaunce:
“Wende we to Nynyvé
That is a swythe strong cyté.
For hadde we that toun iwunne,
Thenne were oure game fayre begunne.
Hadde we that and Massedoyne,
We scholde wende to Babyloyne.
Thenne myghte we safly ryde
An hundryd myle by ylke a syde.”
Richard and Phylyp in Arsour lay.
A messanger thenne come to say
That the Sarezynes wolde abyde
And in batayle to hem ryde.
In the pleyn Odok, sothe to seye,
There they wele leve or deye.
Kyng Richard hem answerid anon:
“I schal yow telle, be Seynt Jhon!
And I wiste what day it wore,
I scholde mete with hym thore!”
The messanger sayde, by his lay,
That it scholde be on the sevenyght day.
That tyme come, as he telde,
The Sarezynes comen into the feelde
With syxty thousand and weel moo.
Kyng Richard come ageynes hem thoo.
Hys hoost he delte in foure manere,
As they sayde that ther were:
Fouke Doyly be that on syde;
Thomas be that othir to abyde,
Kyng Phelyp, the thrydde part,
And the forthe, Kynge Richard.
Thus they besette hem withoute54
The Sarezynes that were bolde and stoute.
In every hoost Crystene men,
Sarezynes baners outputte then.
The Sarezynes wenden thenne anon,
They hadde ben Sarezynes, everylkon.
Soone so Richard seygh this,
That the Sarezynys hoost beclosyd is,
His owne baner was soone arerde.
Thenne were the Sarezynes sore aferde,
And abaschyd hem in a thowe.
The Crystene gan the baner to knowe,
They smeten on in that stounde,
And slowgh many an hethyn hounde.
Kyng Richard upon Favel gan ryde,
And slowgh dounryght on ylke a syde,
And alle his folk dede alsoo,
Alle foure hostes layden too,
Many Sarezyn they schente.
Allas, an hoost from hem wente;
By the kyngys syde of Fraunce,
The hoost passyd by a chaunce,
Into Nynyvé agayn thoo;
Therfore was kyng Richard woo.
The Sarezynys that they founde thore,
They yeden to dethe, lesse and more,
The numbre that there to dethe yede,
Fyftene thousand as I yow rede.
Kyng Richard wente with his meyné
Toward the cyté of Nynyvé.
Kyng Phelyp wente hym by
With a gret hoost, sykyrly,
Tyl they come to Nynyvé,
And tylde here pavylouns besyde the cyté.
Kyng Richard on morwen whenne it was day,
To armes he comaundyd alle that may,
And hastyly, withoue pytee,
To assayle that cyté
With arweblast and with other gynne,
Yif they myghte the cyté wynne.
Alle the folk withouten chydyng,
Deden Kyng Richardys byddyng.
The gynours mangeneles bente,
And stones to the cyté they sente.
Harde stones in they threwe:
The Sarezynes that wel knewe!
Arweblast of vys with quarel,
With staff slynges that smyte wel,
With trepeiettes they slungen alsoo,
That wroughte hem fol mekyl woo,
And blew wylde fyr in trumpes of gynne,
To mekyl sorewe to hem withinne.

   Now seygh the Sarezynes, ylkone,
That they scholde to deth gone.
A messanger anon they sente;
To Kyng Richard forth he wente.
And prayed, yif hys wille be,
Of batayle betwen thre.
Three of hem, and three of hys,
Whether of hem that wynne the prys
And who that haves the heyere hand
Have the cyté and al here land,
And have it for evere more.
Kyng Richard grauntyd hem thore,
And bad hem come hastyly.
The messanger wente in on hy,
And sayde to the amyrayle,
That Kyng Richard, withouten faylle,
Weel armyd with spere and scheelde,
Wolde mete hem in the feelde,
And with hym othere twoo barouns,
Noble men of gret renouns,
For to fyghte with swylke three
As ye wole sende of this cytee.
Thenne on rabytes were they55
Three amyralles, bolde and wyght.
Here names I schal yow telle anon,
What they hyghten, everylkon.
   Sere Archolyn in fyrst rod,
Coudyrbras hovyd and abode,
Sere Galabre hovyd stylle
To see who wolde ryde hym tylle.
Kyng Richard, the noble knyght,
Agayn Sere Archolyn hym dyght.
They smete togedere dyntys sare,
He ne schal kevere nevere mare!
And he gaf Richard a sory flat
That foundryd bacynet and hat.56
Kyng Richard was agrevyd sore
For the strok that he hadde thore.
King Richard took his ax ful strong,
And on the Sarezyn fast he dong
On the helm above the crown:
He clef hym to the sadyl arsoun.
Hys lyf, for sothe, nought longe leste,
For Kyng Richard was his preeste.
Sere Cowderbras forth gan ryde;
Sere Thomas thoughte hym to abyde.
They reden togedere, as we rede,
That bothe to the erthe they yede.
Up they styrten in that stounde,
And smeten togedere with grym wounde.
They foughten ful sore with fawchouns kene;
Strong batayle was hem bytwene.
Cowderbras, for felonye,
Smot Sere Thomas, withouten lye,
On hys spawdeler of his scheelde,
That it fleygh into the feelde.
Thomas was agrevyd sore,
And thoughte to anoye hym more.
He took to hys mase of bras
That fayleyd hym nevere in no cas,
And gaf hym a sory wefe
That his helme al toclefe.
And al tobrosyd his herne panne;
Kyd he was a doughty manne.
Out of hys sadyl he hym glente,
And with the rabyte forth he wente.
   Sere Galabre hovyd stylle
To see who wolde ryde hym tylle.
He nyste whethir hym was most gayn57
For to fyghte or turne agayn.
Sere Fouke Doyly weel it say:
Loth hym were he scapyd away.
To hym he prekyd upon a stede,
Agayn hym that othir yede.
With egyr ire togedere rode
That eyther stede to grounde glode,
And brak here nekkes in that stounde,
That they lay ded upon the grounde.
Here speres scheveryd in the feeldes,
So eythir hytte othir in the scheeldes.
Eyther gaf othir strokes felle:
Dere they gunne here lyves selle.58
   Galabre was stout and wyght,
That Fouke ne myghte hym hytte nought ryght,
But at the laste he gaf hym on
That he brak his schuldre bon
And hys on arme thertoo:
Thenne was hys fyghtyng doo.
On knees he fyl doun and cryde: “Creaunt,
For Mahoun and Termagaunt!”
But Sere Fouke wolde nought soo:
The hed he smot the body froo.
The lordynges of that cyté
Agayn hem comen and fellen on kne,
And the keyes with hem they broughte.
Of mercy Kyng Richard besoughte:
Yif he wolde save here lyff,
They wolde be crystenyd, man and wyff,
And wenden with hym, withouten fayle,
In the brest of every bataylle,
And of hym, holden that cyté.
Kyng Richard grauntyd with herte free.
A bysschop he leet come anon,
And dede hem crystene, everylkon,
Lytyl, mekyl, lasse and more,
In that tyme crystynyd wore.
Kyng Richard a whyle there lefte stylle;
The comounners servyd hym at wylle.
Of alle that he with hym broughte,
Betere myghte thay serve hym noughte.
   The chef Sawdon of Hethenysse
To Babyloyne was flowen, iwisse.
His counseyl he ofsente that tyme,
There semblyd many a bold paynyme.
Syxty thousand there were telde
Of gylte spores in the feelde,
Withouten footmen and putayle
That ther come in to batayle.
As he sayde that was the spye
That tolde the folk on bothe partye,
Twoo hundryd thousand of hethene men
To batayle hadde the Sawden.
   Lystnys lordes, yungge and olde,
For His love that Judas solde.
The men that love treweth and ryght,
Evere he sendes hem strengthe and myght:
That was there ful weel sene.
Oure Crystene hoost, withoute wene,
Was, as we in booke fynde,
No more but foure score thousynde.
Kyng Richard thrytty thousand ladde,
For Phelyp and hys men were badde.
Fyfty thousand hadde hee,
By that on syde of that cytee
That kepte withinne Sarezynes stoute:
Was non so bold to passen oute,
And Kyng Richard on that othir syde lay,
On batayll redy every daye
With mangenels and with spryngeles,
With manye arewes and quarelles.
Was no Sarezyn so stoute
Ovyr the walles to loken oute.
The cyté was so ful strong withinne,
That no man myghte unto hem wynne.
Oure stronge engynes, for the nones,
Broken here walles with harde stones,
Here gatys and here barbycan.
Be ye sekyr, the hethene man
Gaf the encountre hard and strong
That manye a man was slayn among.
For hadde Phelyp trewe bee
At that sege of that cytee,
Hadde ther non iscapyd than,
Hethene kyng, ne Sawdan,
That they ne hadde be slayn dounryght:
For Kyng Richard ever upon the nyght,
Whenne the sunne was gon to reste,
With hys hoost he wolde be prest,
Gaf the bataylle hard and smerte,
That no paynym myghte withsterte,
And slowgh hem doun gret plenté,
And wylde fyr caste in to the cytee.
   The Sarazynes defendyd hem faste
With bowe Turkeys and arweblaste.
Hard fyght was hem bytwene:
So sayde thay that it sene.
Quarellys, arwes, al so thykke flye
As it were thondyr in the skye,
And wylde fyr the folk to brenne.
A counsayl took the hethene menne
To fyghte with hem in the feelde:
They wolde nought the cyté yelde.
Of Kyng Richard myghte they nought spede
To take trewes for no mede.
“For no thyng,” sayde Richard than,
“Tyl I have slawe the Sawdan,
And brend that is in the cytee!”
The latemere tho turnyd aghee
To that other syde of the toun,
And cryeden “Trewes!” with gret soun
To the false kyng of Fraunce;
And he hem grauntyd with a myschaunse
For a porcyoun of golde.

   Ellys hadde the toun ben yolde,
And the Sarezynes islayn;
But the Sowdan was full fayne,
And alle here folk on Richard felle,
For that othir syde was stylle.
Kyng Richard wende that Phelip foughte,
And he and hys men dede ryght noughte,
But maden hem merye al that nyghte,
And were traytours in that fyghte.
He lovyd nought crownes for to crake,
But doo tresoun and tresore take.
   Tho Kyng Phelyp to Richard sende,
Hou he myght him no lenger defende:
For hungyr, he and his men alsoo
Moste breke sege and goo.
Woo was kyng Richard than
And sayde, “Traytour, false man!
For covaytyse of tresour
He dos hymself gret dyshonour
That he schal Sarezynys respyt gyve.
It is harme that swylke men lyve!”
He brekes sege and gynnes to withdrawe:
Thenne were the Sarezynes wundyr fawe;
Gret joye made hem among,
Carollyd, trumpyd, and merye song.

   The nexte day aftyr than,
Messangeres comen fro the Sawdan,
And grette Richard in fayr manere,
And sayden: “Sere, yif thy wyl were,
My lord, the Sawdon to thee sente,
Yif thou wylt graunte in presente:
Thou art strong in flesch and bones,
And he doughty for the nones,
Thou doost hym gret harme, he says,
And destroyyst hys countrays,
Slees hys men and eetes among.
Al that thou werres, it is with wrong.
Thou cravyst herytage in this lande,
And he dos thee weel to undyrstande
That thou hast thertoo no ryght!
Thou sayst thy God is ful of myght:
Wylt thou graunte with spere and scheelde,
To deraye the ryght in the felde,
With helme, hawberk, and brondes bryght,
On stronge stedes, goode and lyght,
Whether is of more power,
Jhesu or Jubyter?
And he sente thee to say this:
Yif thou wylt have an hors of his?
In all the landes there thou hast gon,
Swylk on say thou nevere non!
Fauvel of Cypre, ne Lyard of prys,
Are nought at nede as that he is;59
And yif thou wylt, this selve day,
It schal be brought thee to asay.”
Quod kyng Richard: “Thou sayst weel!
Swylke an hors, be Seynt Mychel,
I wolde have to ryden upon,
For myn are wery and forgon;
And I schal, for my Lordes love,
That syttes heyghe in hevene above,
And hys owne hors be good,
With a spere schede hys blood.
Yif that he wole graunte and holde
In this manere that thou hast tolde,
As I moste, God my soule yelde,
I schal hym meten in the feelde.
Bydde hym sende that hors to me;
I schal asaye what that he bee.
Yif he be trusty, without fayle,
I kepe non othir into batayle.”
   The messanger thenne hom wente,
And tolde the Sawdon in presente,
Hou Kyng Richard wolde hym mete;
The ryche Sawdon also skete,
A noble clerk he sente fore then,
A maystyr nigromacien.
That conjuryd, as I yow telle,
Thorwgh the feendes craft of helle,
Twoo stronge feendes of the eyr
In lyknesse of twoo stedes feyr,
Lyke bothe of hewe and here.
As thay sayde that were there,
Nevere was ther sen non slyke.
That on was a mere lyke,
That other, a colt, a noble stede.
Where he were in ony nede,
Was nevere kyng ne knyght so bolde
That whenne the dame neyghe wolde,
Scholde hym holde agayn his wylle,60
That he ne wolde renne here tylle,
And knele adoun and souke hys dame:
That whyle the Sawdon with schame
Scholde Kyng Richard soone aquelle.
   Al thus an aungyl gan hym telle
That come to hym aftyr mydnyght,
And sayde: “Awake thou, Goddes knyght!
My Lord dos thee to undyrstande
That thee schal come an horse to hande.
Fayre he is, of body pyghte,
To betraye thee yif the Sawdon myghte.
On hym to ryde have thou no drede:
He schal thee helpe at thy nede.
Purveye a tree, styf and strong,
Though it be fourty foote long,
And trusse it ovyrthwert his mane:
Alle that he metes schal have his bane;
With that tree he schal doun felle.
It is a feend as I thee telle.
Ryde upon hym in Goddes name,
For he may doo thee no schame.
Tak a brydyl,” the aungyl seyde,
“And mak it fast upon hys hede,
And be the brydyl in his mouth,
Thou schalt turne hym north and south.
He schal thee serve al to thy wylle,
When the Sawdon rydes thee tylle.
Have here a spere hed of steel:
He has non armure iwrought soo weel
That it ne wole perce be thou bolde!”
But whenne he hadde thus itolde,
Agayn to hevene he is wente.
   At morwen hys hors was to hym sente.
Kyng Richard of the horse was blythe,
And dyghte hym a sadyl al soo swythe.
Both his arsouns weren of yren,
For they scholde be stronge and dyren.
With a cheyne they gyrde hym faste.61
The brydyl upon his hed he caste
As the aungyl hadde hym taught.
Twoo goode hokes forgat he naught
In hys arsoun he sette before.
With wax he stoppyd his eeres thore,
And sayde, “Be the aposteles twelve,
Though thou be the devyl hym selve,
Thou schalt me serve at this nede!
He that on the Roode gan blede,
And sufryd grymly woundes fyve,
And siththen ros from deth to lyve,
And boughte mankynde out of helle,
And siththen the fendes pousté gan felle,62
And aftyr steygh up into hevene,
Now God, for his names sevene,
That is on God in trynité,
In his name, I comaunde thee
That thou serve me at wylle!”
He schook his hed and stood ful stylle.

   At morwe, as soone as it was lyght,
And Kyng Richard was thus dyght,
Syxe Sawdones with gret route
Of the cytee comen oute,
And batayllyd hem on a ryver.
With brode scheeldes and helmes cler.
That day was told, withoute lesynges,
Of sawdons and of hethene kynges,
An hondryd and yit wel moo,
The leste brought with hym thoo
Twenty thousand and yit ten.
Agayn on of oure Crystene men,
There were a doseyn, be the leste:
As men myghten se in here foreste
Of Sarezynes, so ferde the hoost:
Weel a ten myle of a coost!
They made scheltroun and batayle byde;
Messangerys betwen gan ryde
To Kynge Phelyp and to Kyng Richard,
Yif they wolde holde foreward
That they made the day before.
The Sarezynes ful redy wore:
Three hundryd thousand and moo ther bee.
Kyng Richard lokyd and gan to see,
As snowgh lygges on the mountaynes,
Behelyd were hylles and playnes
With hawberkes bryghte and helmes clere.
Of trumpes and of tabourere,
To here the noyse it was wundyr.
As though the world above and undyr
Sholde falle, so ferde the soun.
   Oure Crystene men make hem boun.
Kyng Richard hem no thyng ne dradde,
To his men, “Has armes!” he gradde.
And sayde, “Felawes, for love of the roode,
Looke ye ben of coumfort good!
And yif we gete the prys this day,
Of hethenesse al the nobelay
For evere more we have wunne.
For He that made mone and sunne,
Be oure help and oure myght!
Beholdes hou my self schal fyghte
With spere, swerd, ax of steel,
But I this day note hem weel,
Evermore fro henne forward
Holdes me a feynt coward
But every Crystene man and page,
Have this nyght unto his wage
An hed of a Sarezyn
Thorwgh Goddes help and alsoo myn!
Swylk werk I schal among hem make
Of tho that I may ovyrtake,
That fro this to domysday,
They schole speke of my pay!”
   Oure Crystene men ben armyd weel,
Bothe in yryn and in steel.
The kyng of Fraunce with his batayle
Is redy the Sarezynes to asayle.
Above the Sarezynes they ryden,
And scheltroun pyghten and batayle abyden,63
And forstoppyd the lande wayes:
They myghte nought flee into the cuntrayes,
Ne no socour to hem come,
But yif they were slayn or nome!
The Frenssche gunne blowe bost and make
To sloo Sarezynes and crownes crake,
But in jeste as it is tolde,
Non of hem was so bolde
For to breke the Sarezynes scheltrome
Tyl kyng Richard hym self come.
   Now sewyd Richard with his hoost,
And closyd hem in be anothir coost,
Betwyxen hem and the cyté,
That no Sarezyn myghte flee.
Thenne hadde Richard hoostes three:
That on gaf asawt to the cytee,
The othere twoo with hym he ladde.
To bryngen hym his hors he badde
That the Sawdon hadde hym sent.
He sayde, “With hys owne present
I schal hym mete longe or nyght.”
To lepe to horse tho was he dyght;
Into the sadyl or he leep,
Of manye thynges he took keep.
Hym lakkyd nought but he it hadde;
Hys men hym broughte al that he badde.
A quarry tree of fourty foote,
Before his sadyl anon dede hote
Faste that men scholde it brase,
That it fayleyd for no case:
So they dede with hookes of yren
And good rynges that wolde duren.
Other festnynge non ther was
Then yryne cheynes for alle cas,
And they were iwrought ful weel.
Bothe in gerthes and in peytrel,
A queyntyse of the kynges owen,
Upon hys horse was ithrowen.
Before hys arsoun, his ax of steel,
By that other syde, his masuel.
Hymself was richely begoo
From the crest unto the too.
He was armyd wondyr weel,
And al with plates of good steel,
And ther above an hawberk;
A schaft wrought of trusty werk;
On hys schuldre a scheeld of steel
With three lupardes wrought ful weel.
An helme he hadde of ryche entayle;
Trysty and trewe his ventayle.
On his crest a douve whyte,
Sygnificacyoun of the Holy Speryte.
Upon a croys the douve stood,
Of gold wrought riche and good.
God hymself, Marye, and Jhon,
As he was nayleyd the roode upon,
In signe of hym for whom he faught.
The spere hed forgat he naught:
Upon his spere he wolde it have,
Goddes hyghe name theron was grave.

   Now herkenes what oth they swore
Ar they to the batayle wore.
Yif it were soo that Richard myghte
Sloo the Sawdon in feeld with fyghte,
Hee and alle hese scholde gon
At here wylle everylkon
Into the cyté of Babyloyne
And the kyngdome of Massedoyne
He scholde have undyr his hand;
And yif the Sawdon of that land
Myghte sloo Richard in that feeld,
With sweerd or spere undyr scheeld,
That Crystene men scholden goo
Out of that land for everemoo,
And Sarezynes haven here wylle in wolde.
Quod Kyng Richard: “Therto, I holde,
Thertoo, my glove, as I am knyght!”
   They ben armyd and weel adyght;
Kyng Richard into the sadyl leep.
Whoo that wolde therof took keep,
To se that syghte was ful fayr.
The stedes ran ryght with gret ayr,
Al so harde as they myghte dure.
Aftyr here feet sprong the fure.
Tabours beten and trumpes blowe.
There myghte men see in a throwe
How Kyng Richard, the noble man,
Encountryd with the Sawdan,
That cheef was told of Damas.
Hys trust upon his mere was.
Therfore, as the book telles,
Hys crouper heeng al ful of belles
And hys peytrel and his arsoun:
Three myle myghten men here the soun!
The mere gan nyghe, here belles to ryng,
For gret pryde, withouten lesyng.
A brod fawchoun to hym he bar;
For he thoughte that he wolde thar
Have slayn Kyng Richard with tresoun
Whenne his horse hadde knelyd doun
As a colt that scholde souke;
And he was war of that pouke.
Hys eeres with wex were stoppyd faste,
Therfore was Richard nought agaste.
He strok the feend that undyr hym yede,
And gaf the Sawdon a dynt of dede.
In hys blasoun, verrayment,
Was ipayntyd a serpent.
With the spere that Richard heeld,
He bar hym thorwgh undyr the scheeld.64
None of hys armes myghte laste:
Brydyl and paytrel al tobraste;
Hys gerth and hys styropes alsoo;
The mere to the grounde gan goo.
Mawgrý hym, he garte hym stoupe65
Bakward ovyr his meres croupe,
His feet toward the fyrmamente;
Behynde the Sawdon the spere outwente.
He leet hym lye upon the grene.
He smote the feend with spores kene;
In the name of the Holy Gost,
He dryves into the hethene hoost,
And also soone as he was come,
He brak asyndry the scheltrome.
For al that evere before hym stode,66
Horse and man to erthe yode,
Twenty foote on every syde.
Whom that he overraughte that tyde,
Of lyf ne was here waraunt non!
Thorwghout he made hys hors to gon.
As bees swarmen in the hyves,
Crystene men in aftyr dryves,
Stryke thorwgh that doun they lygges,
Thorwgh the myddyl and the rygges.
   Whenne they of Fraunce wysten
That the maystry hadde the Crysten,
They were bolde, here herte they took,
Stedes prekyd, schaftes schook.
The Kyng Phelyp with a spere,
An hethene kyng gan doun bere;
And othere eerles and barouns,
Stronge men of grete renouns,
Slowen the Sarezynes dounryght.
Of Yngelond, many a noble knyght
Wroughte weel there that day.
Of Salysbury, that Longespay
To grounde he feelde with his brond
Alle that he before hym fond.
Next Kyng Richard evere he was,
And the noble baroun, Sere Thomas,
Fouk Doyly, Robert Leycetre:
In Crystenedom, ther were non betre.
Where that ony of hem come,
They sparyd neyther lord ne grome,
That they ne dreven alle adoun.
That Sarezynes that weren withinne the toun,
For gret sorwe that they sen,
They wepte with bothe here eyen,
And “Mercy!” lowde thenne they cryde.
They wolden kaste up the gates wyde,
And lete hem at here wyl in come.
   The Crystene have the cyté nome.
Anon hastely withalle,
They setten baners upon the walle,
The kynges armes of Yngelande.
Whenne Saladyn gan undyrstande
That the cyté yolden was,
He gan to crye, “Allas, allas!
The prys of hethenesse is done,67
And gan to flee also soone,
And fayn alle thoo that myghte.
And Kyng Richard, that noble knyghte,
Whenne he seygh the Sawdon fleygh,
“Abyde, coward!” he cryede on heygh,
“And I schal thee proven fals,
And thy cursede goddes als.”
Kyng Richard dryves aftyr fast;
The Sawdon was ful sore agast.
A gret wode before hym he sees,
Thedyr in wol faste he flees.
Kyng Richard neyghyd the wode nere,
He doutyd for encumbrere:
He myghte nought in for his tree.
His horse agayn soone tournyd hee
And mette with an hethene kyng.
He took his ax out of the ryng,
And hytte hym on hygh upon the crest
And clef hym doun unto the brest.
Anothir he raughte upon the scheeld
That helme and hed fleygh into the feeld
Syxe he slowgh of hethene kynges,
To telle the sothe in alle thynges.
   In the jeste, as we fynde,
That moo than syxty thousynde
Of empty stedes aboute yede,
Up to the feetlakkes in the bloode,
Astray they yeden with grete pride;
The man that wolde myght ryde.
The batayle laste tyl it was nyght,
But whenne thay weren islayn dounryght
The Sarezynes that they myghte ovyrtake,
Gret joye gan the Crystene make,
Knelyd and thankyd God of hevene,
Wurschepyd hym and hys names sevene.
On bothe sydes were folk slawe.
The numbre of the Crystene lawe
That lay ded in the feelde,
To God they gunne the soules yelde:
There were slawen hundredes three;
Of Sarezynes was ther more plenté,
Syxty thousand and yit moo.
Loo, swylke grace God sente thoo!
   The Crystene to the cyté gon;
Of gold and sylvyr and precyous ston,
They founde inowgh, withouten fayle,
Mete and drynk and othir vytayle.
At morwen whenne Kyng Richard aros,
Hys dedes were noble, and his los.
Sarezynes before hym came,
And askyd hym Crystyndame.
There were crystenyd, as I fynde,
More than fourty thousynde.
Kyrkes they maden of Crystene lawe,
And here Mawmettes leet doun drawe.68
And that wolden nought Crystene become,
Richard leet slen hem, alle and some.
They departyd the grete tresour
Among the Crystene with honour,
Erl, baroun, knyght, and knave,
As mekyl as they wolde have.
   There they sojournyd fourtene nyght.
On a day they have hem dyght:
Toward Jerusalem gunne they ryde.
Kyng Phelyp spak a wurd of pryde:
“Kyng Richard, lystene to me,
Jerusalem, that ryche cyté,
Though thou it wynne, it schal be myn.”
“Be God,” quod Richard, “and Seynt Austyn,
And as God doo my soule boote,
Of my wynnyng noghte half a foote
Thou ne schalt have of no lande!
I doo thee weel to undyrstande!
And yif thou wylt have it,” he seyde then,
“Goo and gete it with thy men!
Myn offeryng,” quod Richard, “loo it here,
I wyl come the cyté no nere!”
An arweblast of vys he bente,
A floryng to the cyté he sente
That was in signifyaunce
Of Jhesu Crystys honouraunce.
   For yre become syke the kyng of Fraunce;
The leche sayde withouten dotaunce,
That he myghte nought hool ben
But he to Fraunce wolde tourne ayen.
The kyng hys counsayl undyrstood
And sayd it was trewe and good.
His schyppes he leet dyghte, more and lesse,
And wente home at Alhalewe-messe.
King Richard on hym gan crye,
And sayde he dede gret velonye
To wende hom for maladye
Out of the lond of Surrye
To don were Goddes servyse,
For lyf or deth in ony wyse.
The kyng of Fraunce wolde hym nought here,
But departyd in this manere;
And aftyr that partyng, for sothe,
Evere yit they were wrothe.

   Kyng Richard withouten bost,
To Jaffe wente with his hoost.
The kynges pavyloun fair and fyne,
He leete tylde in on gardyn.
Othere lordes gan aboute sprede,
Here pavyloun in a fayr mede.
Kyng Richard with hys meyné alle,
Of the cyté leet make the walle,
That nevere was non in Sarezyneys
So strong wrought and of gret ryhcheys.
That castel was strong and ryche,
In the world was non it lyche.
Theder myght come by the see,
Of every good gret plenté.
He made here warde of noble knyghtes,
Stoute in armes, stronge in fyghtes.
Inowe men myghte wende aboute,
Manye mile withouten doute.
Kyng Richard dwellyd with honure
Tyl that Jaffe was maad al sure.

   Fro thennes to Chaloyn they wente,
And fond the walles al torente.
Large and fayr was that cyté:
Kyng Richard therof hadde pyté.
He besoughte the lordes alle,
Of the cyté to make the walle;
And the lordes, everylkon,
Grauntyd hym hys askyng anon,
Save the Duke of Ostryke:
Kyng Richard he thoughte to beswyke.
Kyng Richard gan to travayle
Aboute the walles, saunfayle,
So they dede, on and othir.
Fadyr and sone, eme and brothir
Made morter and layde ston
With here myght, everylkon.
Every kyng and emperere,
Bare stones or mortere,
Save the duke; ful of prede,
He ne wolde hem helpe for no nede.

   On a day, Kyng Richard hym mette,
And hendely the kyng hym grette,
And bad hym, for hys curteysye,
Make of the walles hys partye;
And he answeryd in this manere:
“My fadyr nas masoun ne carpentere,
And though youre walles scholde al toschake,
I schal nevere helpe hem to make!”
Kyng Richard pykkyd gret errour;
Wraththe dede hym chaunge colour.
The duke with hys foot he smot
Agayn the brest, God it wot,
That on a ston he ovyrthrewe.
It was evyl don, be Seynt Mathewe!
“Fy! a debles, vyle coward!
In helle be thou hangyd hard!
Goo quykly out of oure hoost!
Curs hast thou of the Holy Goost!
By the sydes of swete Jhesus,
Fynde I thee, traytour among us,
Ovyr this ylke dayes thre,
My self schal thy bane bee.
Traytour, we travayle day and nyght,
In werre, in wakyng, and in fyght,
And thou lys as a vyl glotoun,
And restes in thy pavyloun,
And drynkes the wyn, good and strong,
And slepes al the nyght long.
I schal breke thy banere
And slynge it into the revere!”
Home wente the duke ful wroth,
Hys owne lyf hym wax loth.
Of that despyte, he was unblythe
And trussyd hys harneys al so swythe,
And swor by Jhesu in Trynyté,
And he myghte evere his tyme see,
Of Richard scholde he be so awreke
That al the world scholde therof speke.
He heeld hym al to weel foreward:
In helle moot he be hangyd hard!
For thorwgh hys tresoun and trehcherye,
And thorwgh the waytyng of hys aspye,
Kyng Richard he dede gret schame
That turnyd al Yngelond to grame.
A lytyl lengere hadde he most
Have levyd, for the Holy Gost,
Ovyr kyng, duke, and emperour,
He hadde be lord and conquerour.
Al Crystyanté and al Paynym Heathendom
Scholde have holden undyr hym.
   The Duke of Ostrych hyyd hym faste
Away with his meyné in haste.
With hym the duke of Burgoyne,
The folk of Fraunce and the eerl of Boloyne.
Kyng Richard brak the dukes baner,
And keste it into the rever,
And cryyd on hym with voys ful stepe,
“Home, schrewe! Coward! and slepe!
Come no more in no wyse,
Nevere eft in Goddes servyse!”
The duke awey prekyd thenne.
For yre his herte began to brenne.
Kyng Richard lefte with hys Englys,
Tuskaynes, Lumbardes, Gascoynes, iwis,
Scottes, Yrysch, folk of Bretayne,
Gennayes, Bascles, and of Spayne,
And made the wal day and nyght
Tyl it were maad strong, aplyght.
   Than Kynge Rycharde with grete pyne
Had made the walles of Chalyne,
All his hoost with hym he taas,
And wente forth a grete paas.
The fyrst nyght in the name of Marye,
He laye at a towne that hyght Famelye.
On the morowe he let hym arme wele
Bothe in yryn and in steel;
Be the maryn forth he wente
To Albary, a castel gente
That was a castel of Sarezynesse
Ful of stor and gret ryhchesse:
Bothe fat flesch and lene,
Whete and ooten, pesen and bene.
Kyng Richard it wan, and sojournyd there
Thre monethis al plenere;
And sente spyes every wayes
For to aspye the cuntrayes.

   Of castel Daroun, Kyng Richard herde
Al togedere hou it ferde.
Al was it ful of Sarezynes
That were Goddes wytherwynes.
Kyng Richard hyyd thedyr faste,
The Sarezynes for to make agaste.
So longe he wente by hys journay,
He come thedyr be Seynt James day.
He besegyd castel Daroun
To take the castel and the toun.
The castel was maad of swylke ston
That they doutyd sawt ryght non.
Aboute the castel was a dyke:
They hadde nevere isen non slyke
The Sarezynes cryyd in here langage:
“Crystene houndes of evyl rage!
But ye wenden swythe home,
Here have ye fet youre dome!”
Whenne Kyng Richard herde that cry,
He swor hys oth be Seynte Mary,
The Sarezynes scholde be hangyd alle,
Or swylke a cas hem scholde befalle.
The Crystene asaylyd and they defendyd:
Many quarel out they sendyd.
Al that day and al that nyght,
They and the Crystene heeld the fyght.
The Crystene sen thay myghte nought spede;
Kyng Richard took an othir rede.
Kyng Richard garte alle the Englys,
Schere ryssthys in the marys
To fylle the dykes of Daroun,
To take the castel and the toun.
Twoo grete gynnes for the nones,
Kynge Richard sente for to caste stones.
By water they were ibrought anon;
The mate gryffoun was that on
That was set upon an hel
To breke doun tour and castel.
That othir hyghte Robynet,
That on an othir hyl was set.
Kyng Richard keste a mangenel
That threw to an other tourel.
Kyng Richard dede the ryssches faste
Bynden, and into the dyke caste,
And al playne the dykes made.
The Sarezynes therof hadde no drade,
For wylde fyr theron they caste,
The ryssches be comen on fyre in haste,
And brenden ryght to the grounde,
Ryght withinne a lytyl stounde.
Of oure Crystene, many an hundryd
Were therof gretly awundryd.
The mangeneles threw alway,
And brak the walles nyght and day.
The robynet and the mate gryffoun,
Al that they hytte wente adoun,
So that withinne a lytyl stounde,
The outemeste wal was layde to grounde,
And fyllyd ful the grete dyke,
And oure men entryd hastelyke.
Tho oure Crystene men myghten wel
Entren into Dareyn Castel.
The eerl of Leyceterre, Sere Roberd,
The treweste knyght in myddylerd,
He was the fyrste, withoute fayle,
That Daroun Castel gan assayle.
Up he lyfte hys banere,
And smot upon hys destrere.
   The Sarezynes, with mysaventoure,
Fledde up into the heyeste toure;
And manye of hem stoden withoute,
And foughten faste in gret doute.
Agayn the Eerl, Sere Robard,
They gave many a dynt ful hard.
Many an helme was there ofwevyd,
And many a bacynet was clevede.
Scheeldes fele schorn in twoo;
Many stede stekyd alsoo.
Robert Tourneham with hys fawchoun,
There he crakyd many a croun.
The Longespay, the Eerl of Rychemeound,
Wolde spare non hethene hound.
Among hem come Kyng Richarde,
To fyghte weel no thyng he sparde.
Many on in a lytyl stounde
With his ax he felde to grounde.
Al on foote he gan fyghte.
Whenne the Sarezynes hadden syghte
Hou plenteuous was hys payment,
Non there durste abyde hys dent.
They wenten quyk, withoute fable,
And slowe here stedes in here stable,
The fayreste destreres and stedes,
That myght bere knyght in ony nedes.
Whete and flour, flesche and lardere,
Al togedere they sette on fere.
They hadden levere to don soo
Thenne with here vytaylles helpe here foo.
By the brethe Richard aspyde,
And slowgh dounright on ylke a syde
Alle that he myghte ovyrtake,
None amendes must they make.
He gunne asayle the heye tour
With wyghte men of gret valour.
The Sarezynnes in the tour on hygh,
Seygh here endynge day was nygh.
Wylde fyr swythe in haste
Among the Crystene men they caste.
That fyr fleygh aboute so smerte
That manye Crystene men it herte.
They myghte nought longe suffre that thrawe;
Anon they gunnen hem withdrawe
A myle fro Daroun Castel.
They caste abrode many fyr-barel,69
Soone withinne a lytyl spase,
Thorwgh the help of Goddes grace,
The castel become on afyr al
Fro the tour to the outemeste wal.
Here houses brende and here hurdys,
Gret smoke ther arose, iwis.
   The Sarezynes in the heyghe tour
Were in swyche strong dolour.
In the hete, they were almost ateynt,
And in the smoke, nygh adreynt.
Ten ther cryd at on word:
“Mercy, Kyng Richard, leve lord!
Let us goo out of this tour,
And thou schalt have gret tresour!
With lyf and leme thou lete us goo,
A thousand pound we geve thee too.”
“Nay!” quod Richard, “Be Jhesu Cryst,
By hys deth and hys upryst,
Ye schole nevere come adoun
Tyl payed be youre raunsoun,
And yit her aftyr be at my wylle,
Whether I wole yow save or spylle,
Or elles ye schole here ryght sterve.”
“Lord,” they sayde, “we schole thee serve.
At thy wylle with us thou doo,
With that we may come thee too.
To honge or drawe, brenne or sle
Our fredome, lorde, is in thee.”
Kynge Richard grauntyd than,
And comaundyd every Crystene man
Lete the Sarezynys to borwe70
Tyl the sunne ros on morwe.
It was so don, as I fynde.
Kynge Rycharde let them faste bynde,
Upon a playn besyde the walle,
Kyng Richard bad lat brynge hem alle;
And he that payde a thousand pound
For hys hed myghte goo sound.
And that wolde so mekyl geve
Tyl a certayn tyme, he leet hem leve;
And he that payde no raunsoun,
Als tyt the hed was stryken doun;
And thus Kyng Richard wan Daroun.
God geve us alle hys benysoun!

   Aftyr the wynnyng of Daroun,
Kyng Richard wente to another toun,
To Gatrys with fayr meyné
To besege that cyté.
Now herkenes hou he it wan,
And ye shall here of a doughty man,
A stout werreour and a queynte
And nevere founden in herte feynte.
He that was lord of Gatris
Hadde ben a man of mekyl prys,
And fel to fyght ageyns hys foo;
But that ylke tyme he was nought soo,
For he was fallen into elde,
That he myghte non armes welde.
But as he dede a fayr queyntyse,
Herkenes now al in what wyse!
In myddes the toun upon a stage,
He leet make a marbyl ymage,
And corownyd hym as a kyng,
And bad his folk, olde and ying,
That they scholde nevere be aknowe
To Crystene man, hygh ne lowe,
That they hadde no lord of dygnyté
But that ymage in that cyté.
   Kyng Richard, the werreour kene,
There assaute he began bydene.
Anon, his mangeneles were bente,
And stones to the cyté he sente.
The Sarezynes “Mercy!” cryede:
They wolde kaste up the gates wyde,
Yif it were Richardes wylle
That he wolde nought here peple spylle.
Kyng Richard grauntyd, withoute les,
And they hadde entré al in pes.
Kyng Richard askyd at a word
Of that cyté where was the lord,
And they answerde to the kyng
That they hadde non othir lordyng
But that ymage of marbyl fyn,
And Mahoun, here god, and Appolyn.
Kynge Rycharde stode, so sayth the boke,
And on the ymage he gan for to loke,
How hewge he was wrought and sterne,
And sayd to them all yerne:
“O, Sarezynes,” sayde Richard, withouten fayle,
“Of youre lord I have mervayle!
Yif I may, thorwgh my Lord so goode,
That boughte us alle upon the rode,
With a schaft breke his nekke asundir,
And ye may see that grete wundyr.
Wole ye leve alle upon my Lord?”
“Ye!” thay sayden at on word.
Kyng Richard leet dyghte hym a schaft
Of trusty tree and kynde craft;
And for it scholde be stronge and laste,
He leet bynde thertoo ful faste,
Foure yerdes of steel and yre;
And Kyng Richard, the grete syre,
Leet sette theron a corounnal kene.
Whenne it was redy on tosene,
Fauvel of Cypre was forth fette;
And in the sadyl he hym sette.
He rode the cours to the stage,
And in the face he smot the ymage.
That the hede flowe fro the body insundyr,
And slowgh fyve Sarezynes therundyr.
Alle the othere seyde than
He was an aungyl and no man;
And alle becomen Crystene thore,
Olde and ying, lesse and more,
And hastely, withouten lessyng,
Here olde lord they leet forth bryng
And tolde hys compassement.
Kyng Richard lowgh with good entent,
And gaf hym the cyté with wynne to welde,
Though he levyd Adammis elde.

   To Chaloyn Kyng Richard wente agayn,
Al be the maryn, soth to sayn.
There he sojournyd fourtenyght
With many a noble and doughty knyght.
They pyght pavylyons fayre and well
To besege a strong castel
That was a lytyl besyde hym,
Thre myle fro Castel Pylgrym,
With thykke walles and toures of pryde,
That was callyd Lefruyde.
The Sarezynes seygh the kyng come,
Weel they wende to be benome.
Theyr hertes were full of wo
All by nyght awaye they flo
The gates they unschette ful yerne,
And fledden awey by a posterne.
For al this wyde myddyl erde,
Durste they nought abyde Kyng Richerde.
The noble castel, verrayment,
Kyng Richard wan withoute dent.
Fro thennes he wente to Gybelyn;
Ther the Hospytaleres hadde wonyd in,
And Templeres bothe in fere,
And kepten the cyté many a yere.
Whenne Bawdewyn was slayn with bronde,
Saladyn took that toun on honde.
In that cyté was Seynt Anne ibore,
That Oure Lady was of core.
There they pyghte here pavyloun,
And with gret fors they wunne the toun.
And slowgh the Sarezynes all insame
That wolde nought leve in Crysteys name.

   Thenne ther come most wykke tydyng,
To Quer de Lyoun, Richard, oure kyng:
Hou of Yngelond hys brothir Jhon,
That was the fendes flesshe and bon,
Thorwgh help of the barouns some,
The chaunceler they hadde inome,
And wolde with maystry of hand,
Be corownyd kyng in Yngeland
At Estyr day aftyrward.
Thenne answerde Kyng Richard:
“What devyl!” he sayde, “Hou gos this?
Telles Jhon of me no more prys,71
He wenes that I wil nought leve longe;
Therfore, he wyl doo me wronge,
And yif he wende I were on lyve,
He wolde nought with me stryve.
I wole me of hym so bewreke,72
That al the world therof schal speke!
And Jhon hym corowne at Estyr-tyde,
Where wole he thenne me abyde?
There is no kyng in Crystyanté,
Sertys, that schal his waraunt bee.
I ne may leve it for no nede
That Jhon, my brother, wil do this dede.”
“Yis, certes,” quod the messangere,
He wyl do soo, be Seynt Rychere.”
   Kyng Richard al this tydyng
In herte heeld but as lesyng.
Fro Gybelyn forth thenne he wente,
To Bethanye, a castel gente.
And slowgh there many an hethene man,
And the noble cyté wan.
Ther come othere messangers
That tolde Kyng Richard, stout and fers,
That Jhon, hys brothir, wolde bere
Corowne at Estren, he wolde swere.
Richard was loth withdrawe his hand
Tyl he hadde wunne the Holy Land,
And slayn the sawdon with dynt of sword,
And avengyd Jhesu, oure Lord;
But he bethoughte hym aftyr then,
That he wolde leve there alle his men,
And with hys prevy meyné
Into Yngelond thenne wolde hee,
And asesse the werre anon,
Betwyxe hym and hys borther Jhon,
And come agayn in hyyng,
To fulfylle hys begynnyng.

   And as he thoughte in hys herte,
A stout Sarezyn gan in sterte
That oughte Kyng Richard raunsoun
For the wynnyng of Daroun.
He spak to the kyng apertelyche,
Among the peple, pore and ryche:
“Sere, thou schalt aquyte me here,73
And alle oure other hostagere:
Thorwgh my queyntyse and my gynne,
I schal doo thee gret tresore wynne.
More then an hundryd thousand pounde
Of floryns, both rede and sounde,
Of Saladynes cheef tresore,
And mekyl ryhchesse of here store.
Therto I laye in hostage my lyff,
And my chyldre and my wyff:
But yif I doo thee to wynne that preye,
On evele deth do me to deye!”
Quod Richard: “Thou myscreaunt,
So as thou bylevest on Termagaunt,
Tel me now what folk it is,
I wene it is but al feyntys.”
“Thoo that lede the tresore, saunt fayle,
Sere, they are thre thousand chamayle,
And fyve hundryd ther are alsoo
Of asses and mules, and yit moo
That leden gold to Saladyn,
Tryyd sylvyr, and tresore fyn,
Flour of whete and spysory,
Clothis of sylk and gold therby.”
Sayde Kyng Richard: “So God thee deme,
Is ther mekyl peple the tresore to yeme?”
“Yé, Sere,” he sayde, “ther are before
Knyghtes rydande syxty score,
And aftyrward, thousandes ten
Of swythe stronge, hethene men.
I herde hem speke in rownyng,
They were aferyd of thee, Sere Kyng.”
Quod Kyng Richard: “They schal it fynde,
Thowgh ther were syxty thousynde,
And I were but myself alone,
I wolde mete hem, everylkone.
Doo now, say me anon ryght,
Where may I fynde hem this nyght?”
The Sarezyn sayde: “I thee telle
Where thou wylt abyde and dwelle.
Here be southe, mylys ten,
Thou may fynde the hethene men.
There they wole resten and abyde
Tyl more folk come ther ryde.”
The kyng hym graythid, and wente anon,
Hys barouns aftyr, everylkon.
Al that nyght with fayr covey
They rede forth by the wey.
Thenne sayde the spye to the kyng:
“Sere, make here thy restyng.
They are loggyd in this toun:
I wyl goo and aspye ther roun.
Anon, I wole to hem goo,
And brewe hem a drynk of woo,
And saye to hem that Kyng Richard
Is at Jaffe to Yngeland ward.
They wole leve me with the beste,
Thenne wole they gon to reste.
Thenne may thou to hem wende,
And slou hem alle faste slepende.
“Fy a debles,” quod the kyng,
“God geve thee now an evyl endyng!
I am no traytour, tak thou kepe,
To sloo men whyl they slepe;
And ryght now here I wole abyde,
Tyl I see the Sarezynes come ryde.
Be cleer day upon the feeldes,
They schole see cloven helmes and scheldes.
Be they dukes, prynces, or kynges,
Here schole they make here endynges.”
The Sarezyn the kyng answerde:
“Thy pere is nought in myddyl erde,
Ne non so mekyl of renoun.
Weel may thou hote Coer de Lyoun!
Therfore, I wole it nought hele,
Ther are of Sarezynes twoo so fele
As thou hast folk in this cuntree,
Certaynly, I telle thee.
Quod kyng Richard: “God geve thee care!
Therfore is nought myn herte sare;
For on of my Crystene men
Is wurth Sarezynes nyne or ten.
The moo ther be, the moo I schal sloo,
And wreke Jhesu of hys foo.”
Forth wente the spye with then
To aspye the hethene men.
Al he spyyd here compassyng plotting
And tolde it Richard, oure kyng.
He gan crye, “Az armes, yare!
Coer de Lyoun! Loo now they fare!”
Anon leep Kyng Richard
Upon hys goode stede, Lyard;
And hys Ynglyssch and his Templers
Lyghtly lopen on here destrers,
And flynges into the hethene hoost,
In the name of the Holy Goost.

   As the Sarezynes with here nobelay
To the Sawdon were in here way,
Kyng Richard smot hem among;
There aros no blysseful song,
But to Termagaunt and Mahoun
They cryede faste, and to Plotoun.
Kyng Richard a kyng gan bere
Thorwgh the herte with a spere.
Aftyrward hys ax he drowgh,
And many an hethyn hound he slowgh.
Some he clevyd into the sadyl:
It bewepte the chyld al in the cradyl.
A kyng he clef unto the arsoun,
That hym halp nought hys God, Mahoun.
Many an hethene Sarezyne
He sente there to helle pyne.
The Templers and the Hospytalers
Wunne there manye fayre destrers.
So longe they foughte, so says the story,
That Kyng Richard hadde the vyctory
Thorwgh help of hys gode knyghtys,
Stoute in armes and stronge in fyghgtes;
And manye scapyd with dedly wounde,
That ne levyd nought no stounde.
They wolde aftyr no more mete
Kyng Richard be wey ne strete.
   Now may ye here the wynnyng
That ther wan Richard, oure kyng.
Hors of prys and gret camayle,
Fyve hundryd and ten, saun fayle.
Syxe hundryd hors of grete coursours
Chargyd al with riche tresours,
That were in cofres bounden ferlye,
With fyn sylvyr and gold ful trye.
Ther were thre hundryd mules and moo
That penyys and spyses boren thoo.
Ther aftyr fyftene hyndryd asse
Bar wyn and oyle, more and lasse.
And als manye with whete brede.
It was to Richard a gracyous dede!
When he al this tresore wan,
Home he wente to hys men than,
Into the cyté off Bethany the noble,
With that tresore and the moble.
He gaf the ryche and the lowe
Of his purchas good inowe.
He gaf hem destrers and coursours,
And delte among hem his tresours.
So Richard partyd hys purchas,
Of al Crystyndom belovyd he was.
   Theraftyr, in a lytyl stounde,
Comen messaungerys of mekyl mounde:
The Bysschop of Chestyr was that on,
That othir, the abbot of Seynt Albon,
That brought hym lettres speciele,
Aselyd with the barouns sele,
That tolde hym his brothir, Jhon,
Wolde doo corowne hym anon,
At the Pask, be comen dome,
But he the rathir wolde come home,74
For the kyng of Fraunce with envye
Hath aryvyd in Normandye.

   Quod Kyng Richard: “Be Goddes payne,
The devyl has to mekyl mayne!
Al here bost and here deray,
They schal abeye it sum day!”
And there he dwellyd tyl Halewemes,
And thenne he passyd to Jaffes.
For sevene yer and yit more,
The castel he gan astore.
Fyftene thousand, I fynde in boke,
He lefte that cyté for to loke,
For to kepe weel that land
Out of Saladynys hand
Tyl he agayn come myghte
Frome Yngelond, as he had tyghte;
And thenne he wente to Acres ward,
The doughty body, Kyng Richard.
   Now of Saladyn speke we,
What dool he made and pyté,
Whenne he wyste of that caas,
That hys tresore robbyd was,
And for hys men that were slawe,
He waryyd hys god, and cursyd his lawe,
And swor he wolde awroken be,
Myghte he evere hys tyme isee.
Soo that tyme a spye come in,
And sayde thus to Saladyn:
“Lord,” he sayde, “be blythe of mode.
For I thee brynge tydynges goode,
To thyn herte a blythe present.
Kyng Richard is to Acres went:
For ovyr he wole to Yngelonde.
For hym is come swylke a sonde
That Jhon, hys brother, I thee swere,
Wole elles hys corowne bere.
Jaffes he hath stored a ryght,
With many a baroun and gentyl knyght.
Fyftene thousand, I wot ful weel,
Schal kepen wel that castel.
Yif he may so weel spede,
Tyl he come from his thede.
But see, Lord, withouten fayle,
Fro his body kyttes the tayle.”75
Ofte was Saladyn wel and woo,
But nevere soo glad as he was thoo.
The spye he gaf an hundrid besauntes
That broughte hym that presauntes,
And also a fayr destrere,
And a robe ifurryd with blaundenere.
Thenne wolde he no lengere abyde;
He sente aboute on ylke a syde,
Upon leyme and upon lyff,
Upon chyldryn and upon wyff,
That they come to hym belyve
To helpe hym out of londe dryve
Kyng Richard with hys grete tayle.
To hym come many an amyrayle,
Many a duke, and many a kyng,
And many ful gret lordyng
Of Egypte and of Arabye,
Of Capados and of Barbarye,
Of Europ and of Asclanoyne,
Of Ynde and of Babyloyne,
Of grete Grece and Tyre alsoo,
Of empyres and kyngdomes manye moo,
Of alle hethene land, I fynde,
Fo the Grekyssche see to grete Ynde.

   Charles Kyng ne Alysaundre,
Of whom has ben so gret sclaundre,
He hadde nevere swylke an hoost.
In the cuntré ther he lay acoost,
Fyve myle it was of brede
And more, I wene, so God me rede,76
Twenty myle it was of lengthe:
It was an hoost of gret strengthe.
To Jaffe cyté they comen skete;
The Crystene men the gates dede schete.
Ther was withinne a lytyl thrawe,
On bothe half, many man slawe.
So strong and hard was that batayle
That it ferde withouten fayle,
As it hadde ben fro hevene lyght,
Among the swerdes that were so bryght,
And evere the Crystene ful weel faught,
And slowen Sarezynes, but it servyd naught;
For it ferde thar, no man axen,77
As they out of the ground were waxen,
That no slaughtyr of swerdes kene
Myghte there nothyng be sene.
   The Crystene fledde into the castel,
And kepten the gatys swyth wel.
The Sarasynes the cyté nome
To theyr will and to theyr dome.
Thenne began the Sarezynes
Undyr the wal to make mynes.
The Crystene men, for the nones,
Al tofrusschyd hem with stones.
The Sarezynys yede aboute the wal,
And threwe and schotten in ovyr al;
Many a brennande, scharp quarel
They schotten into Jaffe castel.
They soughten where they myghten beste
Oure Crystene men agreve meste.
At the laste a gate they founde,
Nought faste schet at that stounde.
There they fond strong metyng
With swerdes and speres ful grevyng.
To wedde they lefte a thousynd men,
And of the Crystene were slayn ten.
The Sarezynes, though they were stoute,
At the gate men putte hem oute.
The Sarezynes, for no nede,
That day ne myghte they nought spede.
   At nyght be the mone cler,
The Crystene sente a messanger
To Kyng Richard to Acres cyté,
And prayde the kyng for Goddes pyté,
That he scholde to hem come
Or elles they were al inome.
They tolden hym the harde caas
Of the Sawdonys hoost, hou it was,
And but he come to hem anon,
They were forlorn, everylkon.
Kyng Richard answeryd anon ryght:
“Weel I knowe the Sawdonys fyght;
He wole make a lytyl deray,
And al so tyt he wole hys way,
I nele for hym to hem wende,
But soone I wyll hem socour sende.”
He callyd to hym hys nevew,
A baroun of ryght gret vertew
That hyghte Henry of Champayn,
And bad hym wende to Jaffe playn.
“Tak,” he sayde, “with thee thyn hoost,
And abate the Sawdonys boost.
Az armys!” anon he gan crye
Among hys hoost: they scholde hyghe
With Sere Henry for to wende,
Jaffe to socoure and to defende
Agayn the Sawdon, Saladyn,
And many a cursyd Sarezyn.
   On morwen wente there with Sere Henry
Many a baroun and knyght hardy,
Gascoynes, Spaynardes and Lumbarde.
For the byddyng of Kyng Richard,
They wente forth be the maryn
Tyl they comen to Palestyn.
Of Saladynys hoost they seye then
Al the cuntré coveryd with hethene men;
And whenne the Sawdon of hem herde,
Swythe towarde them he ferde,
And whenne the Duke Henry it wiste,
He fledde ayen, be Jhesu Cryste,
That he made no taryyng
Tyl he come to Richard, oure kyng,
And seyde he ne seygh nevere, ne herde
In al this wyde myddyl erde
Halvyn-del the peple of men,
That Saladyn has be doune and den.
“No tungge,” he seyde, “may hem telle:
I wene they comen out of helle.”
Thenne answerde Kyng Richard:
“Fy a debles, vyle coward!
Schal I nevere, be God above,
Trustene unto Frenssche mannes love!
My men that in Jaffe beth,
They may wyte thee of theyr deth;
For thy defawte, I am adred,
My goode barouns beth harde bested.
Now, for the love of Seynte Marye,
Schewe me quykly my galye!
Now to schyp, on and othir,
Fadyr and sone, eme and brothir,
Alle that evere love me,
Now to schyppe, pour charyté!”
Alle that wepne bere myghte,
They wente to schyppe anon ryghte,
And wente agayn to Jaffe ward
With the noble kyng Richard.

   Now herkenes to my tale soth,
Thowgh I swere yow none oth!
I wole rede romaunce non
Of Partinope, ne of Ypomadon,
Of Alisaunder, ne of Charlemayn,
Of Arthour, ne of Sere Gawayn,
Ne of Sere Launcelet de Lake,
Of Beffs, ne Gy, ne Sere Vrrake,
Ne of Ury, ne of Octavyan,
Ne of Hector, the stronge man,
Ne of Jason, ne of Hercules,
Ne of Eneas, ne of Achylles.
I wene nevere, par ma fay,
That in the tyme of here day,
Dede ony of hem so doughty dede
Of strong batayle and gret wyghthede,
As dede Kyng Rychard, saun fayle,
At Jaffe in that batayle,
With hys ax and hys sword:
His soule have Jhesu, oure Lord!
   It was before the heyghe myd nyght,
The mone and the sterres schon ful bryght.
Kyng Richard unto Jaffe was come
With hys galeyes, alle and some.
They lokyd up to the castel:
They herde no pype ne flagel.
They drowgh hem nygh to the lande,
Yif they myghte undyrstande,
And they ne cowde nought aspye,
Be no voys of menstralsye,
That quyk man in the castel ware.
Kyng Richard thenne become ful of care.
“Allas!” he sayde, “that I was born:
My goode barouns ben forlorn.
Slayn is Roberd of Leycestre
That was myn owne curteys meystre.
Ylke leme of hym was wurth a knyght!
And Robert Tourneham that was so wyght,
And Sere Bertram, and Sere Pypard,
In batayle that were wys and hard;
And alsoo myn other barouns,
The best in all regyouns.
They ben slayne and all totore,
Hou may I lengere leve therfore?
Hadde I betyme comen hedyr,
I myghte have savyd al togedyr!
Tyl I be wreken of Saladyne,
Certys, my joye schal I tyne!”
   Thus waylyd Kyng Richard ay
Tyl it were spryng al of the day.
A wayte ther com in a kernel,78
And a pypyd a moot in a flagel.
He ne pypyd but on sythe,
He made many an herte blythe.
He lokyd doun and seygh the galey
Of Kyng Richard and his navey.
Schyppys and galeyes wel he knew,
Thenne a meryere note he blew,
And pypyd, “Seynyours! or suis! or sus!
Kyng Richard is icomen to us!”
   But whenne the Crystene herde this,
In herte they hadde gret joye, iwis,
Erl, baroun, squyer, and knyght,
To the walles they sterten anon ryght,
And seygh Kyng Richard, here owne lord.
They cryede to hym with mylde word:
“Welcome, lord, in Goddes name!
Oure care is turnyd al to game!”
Kyng Richard hadde nevere, iwis,
Halvyn-del so mekyl joye and blys.
“Az armes!” he cryede, “Makes yow yare!”
To hem that with hym comen ware:
“We ne have lyfe but one:
Sell we it dere, bothe flesshe and bone.
For to cleyme oure herytage,
Slee we the houndes ful of rage!
Who so doutes for here manace,
Have he nevere syghte of Goddys face!
Take me myn axe in myn honde
That was made in Ingelonde.
Here armure no more I ne doute
Thenne I doo a pylche cloute!
Thorwgh grace of God in Trynyté,
This day men schal the sothe isee!”
   Al ther ferst on lande he leep,
Of a dozeyn, he made an heep.
He gan to crye with voys ful cler,
“Where are these hethene pawtener
That have the cyté of Jaffe inome?
With my pollaxe I am come
To waraunte that I have idoo,79
Wesseyl I schal drynke yow too!”
He leyde on ylke a syde ryght,
And slowgh the Sarezynes, aplyghte.
The Sarezynes fledde and were al mate,
With sorwe, they runne out of the gate.
In here herte they were so yarwe,
Alle here gates hem thoughte to narwe.
To the walles they fledden of the toun:
On every syde they fellen adoun.
Summe of hem broken here swere,
Legges and armes al in fere;
And ylkon cryede in this manere
As ye schal aftyrrward here:
“Malcan staran nair arbru;
Lor fermoir toir me moru.”
This is to seye in Englys,
“The Englyssche devyl icome is;
Yif he us mete, we schal deye!
Flee we faste out of hys weye!”
Out of the toun they fledden ylkone,
That ther lefte never one,
But foure hyndryd or fyve
That Richard broughte out of lyve.
At the gate he sette porters,
And stablede up hys destrers.
He leep upon his stede, Favel,
Weel armyd in yryn and in steel.
The folk hem armyd alle in fere
That out of the galeys comen were,
And manye comen out of the castel
That were armyd wundyr wel.
   Kyng Richard rod out at the gate;
Twoo kynges he mette therate,
With syxty thousand Sarezynes fers,
With armes bryghte and brode baners.
That on upon the hood he hytte
That to the sadyl he hym slytte.
That othir he hytte upon the hood,
That at the gyrdylstede it stood;
And hys Templers and hys barouns,
Fared ryght lyke wood lyouns,
They slowen Sarezynes also swythe
As gres fallith fro the sythe.
The Sarezynes seyghen no betere won
But flowen awaye everylkon,
Unto Saladynes grete hoost
That fyftene myle lay acoost.
Twoo and thrytty thousand, forsothe to say,
The Sowdan loste that same daye,
For theyr armure fared as waxe
Ayenst Kynge Rychardes axe.
Many a Sarazyne and hygh lordynge
Yelded them to Rycharde, our kynge.
Rycharde put them in hostage tho:
There were a thousande prysoners and mo.
The chase lasted swythe longe,
Tyll the tyme of evensonge.
Richard rode after tyll it was nyght,
So many of them to deth he dyght,
That no nombre it may accounte.
How many of them it wolde amounte.
Rycharde lefte without the towne,
And pyght there his pavylyowne;
And that nyght with mylde herte,
He comforted his barons smarte.
And ye shall here on the morowe,
How there was a daye of sorowe;
For the gretest batayll, I understonde,
That ever was in ony londe.
And ye that this batayll wyll lere,
Herken now, and ye shall here!

   As Kynge Rycharde sate at his soupere,
And gladded his barons with mylde chere,
And comforted them with good wyne,
Two messengers came frome Saladyn,
And stode Kynge Rycharde before,
With longe berdes and with hore.
Of two mules they were alyght;
In golde and sylke they were idyght.
Eyther helde other by the honde
And sayd, “Kynge Rycharde, now understonde
Our lorde, Saladyn, the hygh kynge,
Hath thee sente this askynge:
If that thou were so hardy a knyght,
That thou durste hym abyde in fyght,
Tyll to morwe that it daye ware,
Of blysse thou sholde ben all bare;
For thy life and for thy barons
He wyll not gyve two skalons!
He wyll thee take with strength of hondes,
For he hath folke of many londes,
Egyens, and of Turkye,
Of Moryens, and of Arabye,
Basyles, and Embosyens,
Well eger knyghtes of defens,
Egypcyens, and of Surrye,
Of Ynde Maior and of Capadocye,
Of Medes, and of Asclamoyne,
Of Samarye, and of Babyloyne,
Two hondred knyghtes without fayle,
Fyve hondred of amarayle;
The grounde ne may them unneth bere,
The folke that cometh thee to dere.
By our rede, do ryght well,
And tourne agayne to Jaffe Castell.
In safe warde thou myght there be
Tyll thou have sente after thy meyné,
And yf thou se thou may not stonde,
Tourne agayne to thyn owne londe.”
In anger Rycharde toke up a lofe,
And in his hondes it all torofe,
And sayd to that Sarasyne:
“God gyve thee well evyll fyne,
And Saladyn, your lorde,
The devyll hym hange with a corde!
For your counseyll and your tydynge,
God gyve you well evyll endynge!
Now go and saye to Saladyn,
In despyte of his God, Appolyn,
I wyll abyde hym betyme,
Though he come to morowe or pryme,
And though I were but my selfe alone,
I would abyde them everychone;
And yf the dogge wyll come to me,
My pollaxe shall his bane be!
And saye that I hym defye
And all his cursed company in fere.
Go now and saye to hym thus:
The curse have he of swete Jhesus!”
   The messengers wente to Saladyn,
And told the Sowdane worde and ende.
Saladyn mervayled than
And sayde it was none erthly man:
“He is a devyll or a saynt.
His myght founde I never faynt.”
Anone he made his ordeynynge,
For to take Rycharde the kynge.
Therof Rycharde toke no kepe,
But all nyght lay and slepe
Tyll ayenst the dawnynge;
Than herde he a shyll cryenge.
Thorugh Goddes grace, an aungell of heven
Tho seyd to hym, with mylde steven:
“Aryse, and lepe on thy good stede, Favell,
And tourne agayne to Jaffe Castell.
Thou haste slepte longe inough!
Thou shalte it fynde harde and tough
Or thou come to that cyté,
Thou shalte be wrapped and thy meyné.
After the bataile do by myne hees,
With the Sowdan thou make thy peas.
Take trues and let thy baronage
Unto the flome do theyr pilgrimage,
To Nazareth and the Bedlem,
To Calvarye and to Jherusalem,
And let them wende hom after then,
And come thou after with thy shypmen,
For enemyes thou haste, I understonde,
Here and in thyne owne londe.
“Up!” sayd the aungell, “and well thee spede,
Thou ne haddest never more nede!”
   Rycharde arose as he wolde wede,
And lepte on Favell, his good stede,
And sayd: “Lordynges, Or sus! Or sus!
Thus hath us warned swete Jhesus!
“As armes,” he cryed thare,
Ayenst the Sarasynes for to fare;
But Saladyn and his tem
Was bytwene Jaffe and them.
That was to Rycharde moche payne,
That he ne myght his hoost ordayne,
But prekyd forth upon Favel,
And garte hys launse byte fol wel.
Therwith he slowgh withouten doute,
Three kynges of the Sawdones route.
Hys steed was strong, hymselven good,
Hors no man hym non withstood.
He hew upon the hethene cors,
That unto grounde fel here hors.
Who so hadde seen hys cuntynaunse,
Wolde evere had hym in remembraunce.
They gunne on hym als thykke to fleen,80
As out of the hyve doth the been;
And with hys ax doun he sweepe
Of the Sarezynys as bere doth scheepe.
Ynglyssche and Frenssche gunne aftir ryde,
To fyghte they were ful fressche that tyde;
Upon the Sarasynes faste they donge beat;
With swerdes and with sperys,
And layden on with al here myght,
And slowen the Sarezynes dounryght;
But therof was but lytyl keepe:
So many ther were upon an hepe
That no slaughtyr in that batayle
Myghte be sene, withoute fayle.
   A myr ther was withouten Jaffes,
A myle brod withouten les.
Mawgré the Sarazynes, Richard the syre,
Three thousand Sarezynys drof into the myre.
Thoo myghte men se the hethene men
Lyggen and bathen hem in the fen!
And thoo that wolden have come uppe,
They drank of Kyng Richardis cuppe.
What there were drowenyd, and what were slawe,
The Sawdon loste of the hethene lawe,
Syxty thousand in lytyl stounde,
As it is in Frensch ifounde.
Kyng Richard wente again
To helpe hys hoost with myght and mayn;
Now was there, now was here,
To governe hys hoost with hys powere.
Seygh nevere man I have herd telle,
One man so many to grounde quelle;
And the moste peryle of the batayle
Kyng Richard seygh, withouten fayle;
Hys eme, Sere Henry of Champayn,
Feld off hys horse doun on the playn.
The Sarezynys hadde hym undyr honde,
To slen hym ful faste they fonde.
It hadde ben hys day laste,
Ne hadde Kyng Richard comen in haste.
Kyng Richard cryede with lowde voys:
“Help, God and the holy croys!
This ylke day myn eme thou schylde
Fro deth of these doggys wylde!
Lordynges,” he sayde, “lays upon!
Letes of these houndes ascape non!
And I my self schal prove to smyte,
Yif my polax can ought byte.”
Men myghten see hym with myghte and mayne,
Schede the Sarezynys blood and brayn.
Upon the place that grene was,
Many soule wente to Sathanas.
Be the dymmyng of the more,
Men myghte see where Richard fore.
The Templers comen hym to socour;
There began a strong stour.
Thay layden on as they were wood,
Tyl valeys runnen al on blood.
The Longespay was a noble knyghte;
As a lyoun he gan to fyghte.
The Eerl of Leycetre, Sere Robard,
The Eerl of Rychemound, and Kyng Richard,
Many Sarezyn they slowgh, saun fayle.
Soo layde they on in that batayle,
There these ylke knyghtes rod,
There was slayn a way so brod
That foure waynes myghte on mete —
So manye Sarezynes les the swete —
On bothe half was many body
Slayn, strong, bold, and hardy;
And at the laste, with gret payne,
Kyng Richard wan the Eerl of Champayne,
And sette hym upon a stede
That swythe good was at nede,
And bad hym wenden by hys syde,
And nought a foote fro hym ryde.

   With that came a messenger reke
With kynge Rycharde for to speke,
And sayde, “Sere, pour charyté,
Turne agayn to Jaffe cytee!
Helyd is bothe mount and playn.
Kyng Alisaundyr, ne Charlemayn,
Hadde nevere swylk a route
As is the cyté now aboute!
The gates ben on fyre set,
Ryght of Jaffe castellet:
Thy men may nether in ne oute.
Lord, of thee I have gret doute,
For ye may nought to the cyté ryde,
In felde what aventure yow betyde!
And I yow warne, withouten fayle,
Mekyl apayryd is youre batayle.
The patryark itaken is,
And Jhon the Neel is slayn, iwis.
William Arsour, and Sere Gerard,
Bertram Braundys, thy goode Lumbard,
All these ben slayne and many mo!”
Kyng Richard bethoughte hym thoo,
And gan to crye, “Turne arere,
Every man with his banere!”
And many thousand before hym schete
With swerdes and with launses grete,
With fauchouns and with maces bothe;
Kyng Richard they made ful wrothe;
They slowen Fauvel undyr hym:
Thenne was Kyng Richard wroth and grym.
Hys ax fro hys arsoun he drowgh;
That ylke Sarezyn sone he slowgh
That stekyd undyr hym his stede;
Therfore, he loste hys lyf to mede.
On foote he was, and he on leyde:
Manye undyr hys hand ther deyde.
Alle that hys ax areche myghte,
Hors and man he slowgh dounryghte:
What before and what behynde.
A thousand and moo, as I fynde,
He slowgh whyl he was on foote;
That hem come nevere help ne boote.81
   Saladynes twoo sones come ryde,
Ten thousand Sarezynes by here syde,
And gan to crye to Kyng Richard:
“Yelde thee, thef, traytour, coward,
Or I schal sloo thee in this place!”
“Nay!” quod Richard, “be Goddes grace!”
And with hys ax he smot hym soo,
That hys myddyl flowgh in twoo.
The half the body fel adoun,
And that othir half lefte in the arsoun.
“Of thee,” quod Kyng Richard, “I am sekyr!”
Hys brothir com to that bekyr
Upon a stede with gret raundoun.
He thoughte to bere Kyng Richard doun,
And gaf hym a wounde thorwgh the arme
That dede oure kyng mekyl harme:
Upon the spere hed was venym.
And Kyng Rychard stoutly smot hym
That man and hors fyl ded to grounde.
“Lygge there,” he sayde, “thou hethene hounde!
Schalt thou nevere telle Saladyne
That thou madyst me my lyf to tyne!”
With that, fyve dukes of hethenys
Come with here hoost, withouten mis,
Bysette aboute Richard, oure kyng,
And thoughten hym to dethe bryng.
Kyng Richard in a lytyl thrawe,
The fyve dukes hadde islawe,
And fele hyndryd aftyr then
Of stronge, hethene men.
And at the laste, though it were late,
Rycharde wanne to Jaffe gate.
Thenne were oure Crystene men ful sekyr
That they scholden overcome the bekyr.
   The Eerl of Leycestre, Sere Robard,
Broughte oure kyng hys stede, Lyard.
Kyng Richard into the sadyl leep,
Thenne fledde the Sarezynes as they were scheep.
Oure kyng rode aftyr tyl it was nyghte,
And slowgh of hem that he take myghte.
There were slayn in playn and den,
Ten hundryd thousand hethene men
That nyght withouten les.
Kynge Richard wan into Jaffes,
And thankyd Jhesu, kyng of glorye,
And hys modyr of that victorye:
For siththen the world was ferst begunne,
A fayrere batayle was nevere iwunne.

   At morwen he sente Robert Sabuyle
And Sere Wyllyam Watevyle,
Huberd and Robert Tourneham,
Gawter, Gyffard, and Jhon Seynt Jhan,
And bad hem seye to the Sawden
That hym self agayn fyve and twenty men
In wylde feeld wolde fyght
To derayne Goddes ryghte;
Yif he it wynne, to have the land
Evere in Crystene mennys hand;
And yif the Sarezynes myghte hym slee,
The land scholde evere the Sawdonys bee.
And yif he wole nought here hys sawes,
“Says three yer, three monethis, and thre dawes,
I aske trewes of the Sawdan demand
To wenden home and come agayn than.”
The messangerys gunne to wende,
And tolde the Sawdon wurd and ende,
He wolde nought consente to that batayle:
Fyve hundryd agayn Richard, saun fayle!
At morwen, yif he wolde come,
The trewes scholde ben inome,
Thus he tolde the messangers,
And they it tolde Richard, the fers,
The nexte day he made foreward
Of trewes to the Kyng Richard.
Thorugh all the londe to the flome
Fro Acres that wolde come.
Thoo aftyrward all the thre yere
Crystene men bothe fer and nere,
Yeden the way to Jerusalem,
To the Sepulcre and to Bedlem,
To Olyvete and to Nazarel,
To Jaffe and to Mayden Castell,
And to alle othere pylgrymage,
Withote harme or damage.

   Thus Kynge Rycharde, the doughty man,
Peas made with the Sowdan,
And syth he came, I unerstonde,
The waye towarde Englonde;
And thorugh treason was shotte, alas,
At Castell Gaylarde there he was.
The Duke of Estryche in the castell
With his hoost was dyght full well.
Rycharde thought there to abyde;
The weder was hote in somer tyde.
At Gaylarde under the castell,
He wende he myght have keled hym well.82
His helme he abbated thare,
And made his vysage all bare.
A spye there was in the castell
That espyed Rycharde ryght well,
And toke an arblaste swythe stronge,
And a quarell that was well longe,
And smote kynge Rycharde in tene
In the heed, without wene.
Rycharde let his helme downe fall,
And badde his men dyght them all,
And swore by the see and the sonne,
Tyll the castell were iwonne
Ne sholde neyther mete ne drynke
Never into his body synke.
He let up robynet that tyde
Upon the castelles syde;
And on that other halfe the one,
He set up the matgryffone.
To the castell he threwe stones,
And brake the walles, for the nones,
And so within a lytell tyde,
Into the castell they gan ryde,
And slewe before and behynde
All tho that they myght ayenst them fynde;
And ever was the quarell by the lede,
Stycked styll in Rychardes hede.
And whan it was drawen out,
He dyed soone, without doute,
And he commaunded in all thynge,
To his fader men sholde hym brynge.
That they ne let, for nesshe ne harde,
Tyll he were at the Font Everarde.
At Font Everarde, wytterly,
His bones lye his fader by.
Kynge Harry, forsothe, he hyght:
All Englonde he helde to ryght.
Kynge Rycharde was a conquerour.
God gyve his soule moche honour!
No more of hym in Englysshe is wrought,
But Jhesu that us dere bought,
Graunte his soule rest and ro,
And ours whan it cometh therto,
And that it may so be,
Saye all amen for charyté.
Here begins the life of King Richard I; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)
What [remarkable]

hear in tales (storied exploits); (see note)

Many; compose; (see note)


(see note) (see note)
every [one of the] twelve peers; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

(see note)
killled in that struggle (battle)
verse narrative; (see note)
Uneducated; (see note)
men do not know any French
scarcely one; (t-note)

Many of them who would hear

hear; tale
end of life
hearken to an earlier time; (see note)

was named; (see note)
As; account
slain; (see note)
altar slab
Where; performed
(Henry); years
wanted; (see note)
Though he found her with great treasure
counseled him
That he should consent to wed a woman
envoys; (t-note)
fairest woman alive
marry; (t-note)
promptly prepared
At once; drew
in the middle of
scarcely had they
sorely distressed
encountered then; (see note)
Such a one saw they never not one
All of it was white as narwhal tusks; (see note)

rich silk cloth, utterly; (see note)
silk from Toulouse; (see note)
As white
in outward appearance; (see note)

spar; winch; (see note)
lapus lazuli, truly
much power (wealth)

Their; at the side of the ship
entreated them to remain
their plan
And they consented with all tact
Such vast; traveled

carbuncle stone; (see note)
Such one saw

each one

came toward them
in unison
placed a board [on them]


brought forth quickly

more; noble
did kneel to her
wished to have done
pleased themselves

nearly [finished] eating
Marvelous tales
account (tale)
came to him; (see note)

to travel; together
prepared ourselves
travel straight

eyes shall see

Tower [of London]; (see note)
disembark; promptly

as flower
did soon prepare himself

Toward; walk (proceed)
courteous and noble

pure gold
on every side
great splendor; (see note)
descended in haste
greeted graciously; unknown (strange)

together; (see note)

To eat; in a short time
great abundance

food, in haste

same [place]
(see note)
(see note)

troops (retainers)


are you named; creature; (see note)
lying; (see note)

fair and beautiful
under; control
consented right away


without pomp (discreetly)


in the morning sang the mass
elevation [of the host]; (see note)


disgraced (injured)


(see note)

was named
composed (written)
(see note)

(see note)
celebrated mass
power (authority)
Sire (Sir)

dare not witness
to make her remain
From [the time]

an unusual occurrence

prosperity; woe

consecration of bread and wine; (see note)
wished to leave

In spite of; happen

forsake (abandon); (t-note)
took herself





(see note)
; (t-note)
truly (indeed)

devoted himself
As is appropriate

place; received homage (allegiance)

arranged a tournament; (see note)

every one
not one
On penalty of losing
Not for anything that they be absent

set apart
without delay

heavy armor
martial play
knight errant
arrogantly splendid
(see note)
without flaw
(see note)
gaped; mad

disposition; (t-note)
(see note)

to harm and to harass

struck; (t-note)
blow in the middle of


His gorget with his lance point then; (see note); (t-note)

close by did linger and wait


arrayed himself well
was appropriate

dared to wait for him


gorget (throat armor); did go; (see note)
shoulder armor
(see note)
He regretted; (t-note)


attire; dressed


(see note)

(see note)

lingered; waited there; (t-note)
Against them


Against him [Richard]


peers; (t-note)



against him; mood

cast (molded)

(see note)


Very swiftly



(see note)
crupper; (see note)

(service; heroic achievement)

(see note)
(see note)

did betake himself; (t-note)
(see note)

to repay (strike)
helmet; (see note)
penetrated; (t-note)

On the chance that any blow should befall [him]

dealt him


So that; shattered


did not know
When; swoon

Heralds; (see note)
comrade (ally)
at once
Very discreetly
(see note)

at once
Ask; together
in response; (t-note)

be done
travelled quickly; joyful
received them

Said; Dear; two

dear friends; (see note)
charge (passage at arms)
who knew; (t-note)


At a distance he waited and held fast
dark (black)
did not support either side

of all the company
dared; try

seized; mounted

fell down

heralds; cried
Lest such a fate should happen to him
Seized; fierceness
one of ours; felled
We shall never be judged to be men
galloped; troop


errant knight; fury
neck; (t-note)

(see note)
Let me live, or let me die

drove (hit)
split; (t-note)

Lest he should deprive them of their lives

paid close attention
(see note)
He seemed genuinely to be a devil; (t-note)

ring; (see note)
Let the devil

entrusted to

Had it not been for Jesus Christ's grace

a much worse blow

smote wrongfully
seized readily
so that
struck him better
wait for

dove; (t-note)
tarried; keenly

nor fierce


I believed that knight was a devil (evil spirit); (see note); (t-note)

rage; fierce strength

mad rogue (devil)

a second time

A second time he sought to engage in more combat
more severe; anyway


Do not take offense
all together

to test

know you not
to travel

'; (see note)
wish; be sworn
To inform no man who now is born


delay; fear
(see note)
agreement be bound
(see note)
began to resound

With spiked staff and pilgrim’s cloak; (see note)
As pilgrims wear in heathen lands

prepared themselves thoroughly; (see note)

Flanders; (see note)
two companions

Brindisi; (see note)
shore (region) of great excellence (renown)


Famagusta; (see note)

Acre; (see note)
Macedonia; (see note)
Caesarea; (see note)
Nineveh; (see note)

Sidon-Tyre; (see note)
Ebren; (see note)
Castle of Pride; (see note)
Piraeus; (see note)
Jaffa; Safoire; (see note)
Tiberias; Archas; (see note)

afterward; betook themselves

Greek sea; (see note)
Lingered before they were able to depart
brought them

prepared; their; (see note)

mixed the sauce

Good men, indeed
music (singing)

took into his memory


travel about; (t-note)

(see note)
skin and complexion
time; (t-note); (t-note)

one and all

proud (fierce)
peer (equal)

clothing; dressed
(see note)

in haste

What are you called


thus [as a king and nobles] dressed

(see note)
As I may prosper
an illegal act, it seems to me

In the event that hazards may happen

gatekeeper (guard)

(see note)
happened upon an unlucky time; (see note)

fierce (proud)

under all circumstances

first then came

Dare you; blow

proud and haughty (valiant and noble)
a box on the ear

(see note); (t-note)

That he might not blame
On account of feebleness his blow to strike

repay; ready


Crosswise and lengthwise
punishment; vowed

To keep the agreement


 (see note)

swoon; (t-note)


slain; (see note)

overcome by woe
their; (t-note)
very quickly

in a loud voice

every one


“Lady,” he said, “don’t you know

Never had I not any such sorrow


nearly became mad
scarves (kerchiefs); tore; (t-note)
scratched; face; (t-note)
gushed with



statement (report)


brought them; (t-note)
did go
without delay; (t-note)

do your utmost
smote; (t-note)


took the position against him


angrily; (t-note)
prison; remain yet
depraved (wicked)
Since; (t-note)
in accord with the law
went as


was called

ninth canonical hour (3:00 pm)
without delay; (t-note)

Happily; surely

fair (beautiful)

gave to him

taken (captured)
accomplish for you

irons (shackles)

Dressed as a squire; (see note)
guard (confine)
(see note)
reward for service

remained secretly
heart’s desire
Until the same day a week later
He went and came in complete secrecy

Seduced; young

(see note)

Christian faith; (see note)

moaned (sighed) deeply; (t-note)


went forth; (t-note)

All as one
without lying

himself sat
without delay

report (speech)

well pleased (satisfied)
commanded (decreed)
(see note)


in every particular


each one

best help them
somewhat more
quarrelled; (t-note)
confusion and angrily
put to death
against the law
because of their quarrelling
decision (punishment)

right away

truly, indeed

judgment (counsel)
ordered; without delay

Upon King Rychard that I might be avenged

hang; disembowel and dismember; (see note)
act by my counsel
(see note)

go to him


avenged upon
proceeding; (see note)

came then
sentenced (judged); council; (t-note)

turned loose upon you
starving very severely
will live
dear love
flee from the kingdom

permission; (see note)

I pay no heed

second canonical hour (6:00 am)
as plunder
Kerchiefs (scarves)
(see note)


Their; prepared

afterward; withdrew

Richard pleaded with her to depart

Though death should be my fate
from this place; (t-note); (see note)
anger me so severely

very device (strategy)
without armor in a cloak
Waited; mad


torn him all to pieces
moved quickly to the side





indeed (very)

dais; (see note)
splendid in the throng

(see note)
(see note)

for good reason
(see note)

seduced; (t-note)
in the way described

was the matter with him

grievous (fierce); (see note)

(see note)
dishonored (ruined); (see note)
state of being married



assented heartily


ordained through decree


know it well

So that
To that agreement I hold myself

(see note)
So that; here

I shall repay him well [for] his effort; (t-note)
in full
did write it

Greet well
two archbishops; (see note)

help them
(see note)
without delay
Prepares himself; ready

into that place [England] brought

hurried at once

broke apart the [seal’s] wax
knew what to say

directed; to travel
far and near
Hastily, so that it would be accomplished
taken (brought)
[the chancellor]
linger (remain)

On account of us no neglect in duty will be
smaller and greater; (see note)

have departed

as they planned (were resolved)

to your satisfaction
right (fitting)


So I counsel

started to go





to be found strong
(see note)

None refused (resisted)

at his summons
and baroun,

sergeants; freeholder; (see note)

Greek Sea; (see note)
Acre; Syria; many

killed upon; (see note)
redeemed; devil


slander (insult)

Syria; (see note); (t-note)
at that time; a very
Against the Sultan
protected; (t-note)
(see note)
very hard assault

many foot soldiers (infantry)
held a false religious belief; (see note)
Sultan; grievously troubled; (see note)
(see note)
had much faith in
conquered them

gave his consent at that time
(see note)
knew; agreement (plot)

(see note)
(see note)
hewn to bits

heir of Syria; (t-note)
(see note)
knew afterward
country (region)
loss; sorrow (distress)
Became known
was named; (see note)
each [leader]
absolved them; (see note)
to earn
to that place
avenge; foes

Burgundy; (see note)
Austria; Soissons; (see note)
(see note)
Artois; (see note)

royal feast; (see note); (t-note)
soldiers below the rank of knight

(see note)

the unletttered and the learned; (see note)

(see note)


women, and young men; (see note)

Each; word
travel; army
to overcome; pride
with sword’s blow


Said; many thanks

I counsel (exhort)
summon a true crusade
take the cross; (see note); (t-note)


hives; (see note)
great shides (planks)
(see note)
engineers skillfully made
in addition
named; (see note)
one (only) mangonel; (see note)
thoroughly prepared

(see note)


See to it that you let none live
(see note)
as your booty
Marseille; (see note)

household (retinue)
(see note)
To find out


pay him his due

pilgrim; (see note)
(see note)

Brindisi; Constantinople

armies (divisions) appointed; (see note)
; (t-note)
[To go] into heathen territory

capable in time of need

Take care that you perform my order
reason and justice
(see note)

(see note)
justice and fairness


aid them
To give them their reward in heaven


away from the other
during that time

without delay


be profitable
(see note)


knows; sworn; (t-note)



not hinder us at all

Vats, casks, and flasks
Prepare our meal; hesitation (delay)
boil or roast
may God aid you

meal; cooked and ready

mayor; (t-note)

table seated
brought; (see note)
at once


very glad
washed; customary; (t-note)
ornamental gear; crimson

Very pleasing to see

I assure you

at once

comfortable; (t-note)

held dear

Each of them

on their way
ninth canonical hour (3 pm)
good city
(see note)
insisted that he would remain
swiftly came to him
[With] Such fowl
fruit (crops)
Figs; basket
And throw a little wax in there
Tallow; mix in


resolved to travel
(see note)
might he not retreat

took his lodging
to avenge his cruelty



will suffer disgrace

grant to him
That which
And put yourself completely at his mercy
(see note)

as I tell you

in addition, then

toward; did take

under your control
Provided that

peace (reconciliation)

very many times

for your love, I beseech you
heathen territory

his countrymen

contend; (t-note)
render me

all prepared
For an entire year
are joined to them

splendid (powerful); (see note)
[magically] unthwartable
From here; India
one stone
many thanks

(see note)
Horses loaded; warhorses
war equipment

(see note)

(see note)
High ranking; (t-note)
(see note)
Loaded; food

And provisions to feed all their people
boarded; shore

Greeks; (see note); (see note)
[Philip II]

To avenge

(see note)
without delay
 (see note)


was named

each one

told him [Roger]
from far away
against him
called for silence by
And striking with his glove

(see note)
Having become a crusader into the Holy Land
I believe
would swear on behalf of
Because of him harm never befalls you

very gladly

well pleased
without fail

Riace (Reggio); (see note); (t-note)

and gracious

It comes to pass for me to learn
by a legitimate document

more esteemed
In order

(see note)

bitterly vexed
think wrongly


Bring upon me no harmful thing
hope to injure; (t-note)
does me injury
not go unharmed

Behold; (t-note)

in this place


Praised be Jesus Christ's ordering of events
very peaceably

beasts for his stores
He gave up both salted and slain
livestock (cows)

count at that time
(see note); (t-note)