Second Book Of Kings (2 Samuel)

SECOND BOOK OF KINGS (2 SAMUEL): EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; CM: Cursor mundi; CT: Chau­cer, Canterbury Tales; DBTEL: A Dic­tionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, ed. Jeffrey; HS: Peter Comes­tor, Historia Scholastica, cited by book and chapter, followed by Patrologia Latina column in paren­theses; K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NOAB: New Oxford Annotated Bible; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OFP: Old French Paraphrase, British Library, MS Egerton 2710, cited by folio and column; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Pro­verbial Phrases; York: York Plays, ed. Beadle. For other abbreviations, see Textual Notes.

7365–80 The deeply romantic nature of David’s lament, complete with swooning and weeping and wringing of hands, is set in place of David’s elegy given in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 1:19–27. As Ohlander notes, David’s lament does not fit “with the ideal of the gallant knight,” forcing an anonymous duke to tell him to cease weeping like an old woman (line 7377–78) and to take his anger against their enemies instead: “The whole passage gives a good idea of how the writer has adapted the biblical narrative to his own time and its literary tastes and traditions. Carried away by the felicity of his colourful tale he starts the next stanza in the same popular vein. . . . Needless to say there is nothing of this in the Bible” nor in HS, though OFP 57a–57b contains the same account (with a baron in place of the duke); see “Old French Parallels,” p. 217.

7394 kyng by comyn crye. That is, king by the assent of the common people, or popular acclaim. David is thus doubly anointed: of God, and of the people he will rule. Notably absent from this ideal combination is force of arms, with David’s strength said to be the result of his kingship rather than the other way around. These conditions compare favorably to those presented by Gower in his work (see, especially, his In Praise of Peace).

7398 chefe of his chevalry. See note to line 7250.

7400 Aghaell and Abaghai. Asahel and Abishai are not named in the biblical narrative until 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 2:18.

7444 so wyght a stede. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 2:18 attributes Asahel’s speed not to his steed but to the man himself, calling him “a most swift runner, like one of the roes that abide in the woods.” Either the simile was too unrealistic for the poet’s taste or he simply took the opportunity to introduce yet another element of romantic knighthood to his story.

7445–48 When Abnare saw he sewed so sore / and to his hele wold take no hede . . . he suld gyf hym gold to mede. The Paraphrase-poet makes clear Abner’s concern for the younger warrior, who is taking no care for his own safety in rushing after the more veteran fighter. The details here are more personal than Abner’s reasoning in the Bible: “Go off, and do not follow me, lest I be obliged to stab thee to the ground, and I shall not be able to hold up my face to Joab thy brother” (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 2:22). Certainly here in the Paraphrase the sense one gets of Abner is of his chivalrous quality in trying to put off the unfair fight, even offering money to the younger man if he should stop (line 7448).

7559–60 Bot Abnare ay before / was honerd next hymselfe. This detail of the seating arrangements at the feast is not to be found in either the biblical source (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 3:20–21) or in HS (2 Reg. 5 [1327]), but it sets up the coming extrabiblical account of Joab’s envy.

7569 he suld be nare. Joab’s reason for anger is here given as envy: he thought that he was the closest man to David, only to learn that Abner had been given pride of place in his absence. In the Bible (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 3:27 and 30) his cause is specifically given as one of vengeance for his brother Asahel’s death at Abner’s hand. One might speculate that the poet is uncomfortable with David’s subsequent condemnation of Joab for Abner’s death — a condemnation that could be perceived as harsh given the somewhat just cause of fraternal piety.

7613 togh. K (5:89) glosses as “tough, ‘elaborate’ (tale),” noting derivation from OE toh. The MED reveals more nuance, however, listing the specific construction maken hit tough, meaning “to be arrogant or obstinate,” under tough adj.3b. Given the poet’s highlighting of Joab’s envy in this passage (see the explanatory note to line 7569, above), it is this more negative connotation that seems intended here.

7617–20 Bot als men may suppose . . . that he had forto lede. As one might expect, this aside regarding the real reason for Joab’s act — envy — is absent from the Bible, which twice gives his cause as one of simple vengeance for his brother. See the explanatory note to line 7569, above.

7681–7716 No such census is recorded in this location in the Bible or HS (2 Reg. 6 [1327–28]). It has been moved, apparently, from 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 24. Ohlander observes that “[t]he result of the census described here is with two exceptions the same as that in [OFP]. A slight difference is noticeable as regards Naphtali. In the [Paraphrase (lines 7705–06)] . . . that tribe is simply said to be innumerable, whereas [OFP 60c] reads ‘De Nephtalim mil princes a guerreier. / La gent qu’il meinent nuls nes pot acunter.’ In the [Paraphrase (lines 7709–11)] Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh number six hundred thousand altogether. The OF text says ‘cent vint mil’” (“Old French Parallels,” p. 218). The origin of the numbers provided is, in any case, unknown. The results of the census in both the Vulgate and Septuagint are an Israel numbering 800,000 able-bodied men, and a Judah of 500,000, while a retelling of the census in 1 Chronicles 21:1–6 gives the numbers as 1,100,000 and 470,000, respectively. No further numbers are provided in the Bible, and other potential sources provide no clues for the detailed accounting given here: on the census CM is silent, and Peter Riga’s Aurora and Comestor’s HS give no more than the biblical enumerations.

7693 lygh als levyn. K rightly notes this to be an epitheton ornans (5:55), a line-filling rhetorical epithet that perhaps owes something to the role of the Levites in the priesthood (though the precise connection is unclear). Alternatively, the phrase could be a description of the speed by which the Levites were counted, a usage that may be paralleled in the counting of the people of Zebulon in line 7703.

7741–54 The folke within . . . this sotelty . . . done in dyspytt. The story reported here is an expansion and explanation of the Jebusites’ boast to David in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 5:6: “Thou shalt not come in hither unless thou take away the blind and the lame that say: David shall not come in hither.” This obscure reference has been subject to much interpretation, the one apparently known to the Paraphrase-poet relating ultimately to the explanation from Josephus (via HS), who explained that even the blind and lame could defend Jerusalem’s walls due to their excellent design. The Jebusites’ ruse, then, is that David’s army will see the blind and lame guarding the walls and despair at the confidence of the inhabitants.

7763–64 Tho that wore maysturs most / had takyn a towr for strengh. That the capture of Jerusalem occurred in two stages — first, the taking of the city itself and, second, the taking of a tower within the city where stalwart defenders had holed up — comes not from the Bible. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 5:6–8 presents the taking of Jerusalem in short fashion, with few details beyond the Jebusites’ boast involving blind men (see note to lines 7741–54, above), and the parallel account of the event in 1 Chronicles 11:4–6 is similarly sparse on details, though it adds in the fact of David’s challenge to his men (see note to lines 7769–88, below). The two-stage scenario may rather owe something to the commonplace of the tower of Sion within Jerusalem. See, for instance, Hali Meithhad, where this tower represents virginity; Millett notes that the description in that text of Sion as “a tower” (tur), follows “the traditional (though inadmissable) etymology of Sion as specula ‘watch-tower’” (Hali Meiþ-had, ed. Millett, p. 26n2/5). The image of Sion as Jerusalem’s tower, however, is no doubt older in origin. Vulgate Psalm 75:3 records that God’s “place” is in Salem, an early name for Jerusalem, while his “home” is Sion, and 1 Chronicles 11:5 comes close to a distinction between the city and the citadel within when it says that “David took the castle of Sion, which is the city of David,” i.e., Jerusalem. The longest of Jerusalem’s hills, and the city’s highest point, is thus known as the Mount of Sion, itself able to function metaphorically as the “high tower” from which so much can be seen. Aside from such biblical exegesis, however, one wonders if these depictions of a tower within the city — especially as in the present case, where the tower represents the final stage of defense for the besieged city — owe much to the strands of history and legend surrounding the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. In that famous event, the city was indeed taken in stages, one of the hardest of which was the towerlike Fortress Antonia (see Siege of Jerusalem, ed. Livingston, pp. 4–5). Perhaps the 1099 siege of Jerusalem in the First Crusade might well be of note, too, since while the Romans took the city proper in one massive assault after the walls were breached, the Muslim governor was able to maintain control over the Tower of David, a medieval citadel, until he was granted free leave out of the city by the victorious crusaders.

7769–88 David’s challenge to his men comes not from 2 Kings (2 Samuel), but from the retelling of the event in 1 Chronicles 11:4–6, though the biblical challenge is for the first man to kill a Jebusite whereas here it is for the first man to enter the besieged tower.

7791 The folke then namyd yt David Towre. See note to lines 7763–64, above.

7835–36 A wyfe bare Absolon / and his suster Thamar. Absalom and Tamar are not mentioned in the list of children born to David in Jerusalem that appears at this point in the Bible (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 5:13–16; so, too, HS 2 Reg. 7 [1329]). Rather, Absalom is mentioned in the earlier list of children born to him in Hebron (3:2–5), briefly told here in lines 7499–7500, and Tamar is named first at 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 13:1, at the beginning of the lengthy sequence involving her and her brother Absalom and half-brother Amnon. Their appearance here in the course of the narrative is surely due to their prominent roles to come.

7917–20 This lesson wyll us lere: / non suld neght howled thyng / Bot thei that have power / grauntyd of Goddes gyfyng. The lesson is vaguely like that which Comestor attributes to Josephus: “Dicit Josephus eum percussum, quia tetigit arcam cum sacerdos non esset” (HS 2 Reg. 9 [1330]). The additional weight given to the exemplum, however, might well be appropriate to the late medieval struggles over the priesthood in the poet’s contemporary surrounds.

8030–36 The treatment of David’s messengers is one that is picked up in a number of contemporary poems, including Siege of Jerusalem (lines 357–74) and The Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 2330–70).

8105 I wott full well. David does, indeed, know her loneliness full well, his statement a self-incrimination before the very man he has made a cuckold.

8114 his wyfe to glose. The use of the verb glosen here is interesting. The term typically means to gloss something (commonly a text) or to flatter a person, but the implication here is undoubtedly sexual, as if to beget a new meaning. David hopes that Uriah can glose Bathsheba, thus creating the illusion that David’s child is actually Uriah’s. This sexual allusion will remind readers of the several uses of the word in Chaucer, particularly the Wife of Bath’s statement about her fifth husband, that “So wel koude he me glose / Whan that he wolde han my bele chose” (CT III[D]509–10), where the implication is more of performance than mere flattery or coaxing.

8225–32 That David’s response to God’s announcement of punishment is to compose psalms is a detail recorded in neither the Bible at this point nor in HS. It does, as K notes (1:clxxxvii), match OFP 125c. Though there are three psalms that begin Miserere mei Deus (line 8225) — Vulgate Psalms 50, 55, and 56 — the specific psalm referred to here is no doubt the first of these, which is so often used in Church liturgy and music as to be referred to often as simply “the Miserere.” This psalm, the fourth of the so-called penitential psalms, has traditionally been tied to David’s confession of his sin with Bathsheba (see Vulgate Psalm 50:1), an association that appears in even the earliest Greek and Hebrew records and surely functions as the source for its incorporation into the narrative here.

8245–48 He dyde away his garmentes gud, / and in a seke he sett hym down. / He weped . . . and kest powder apon his crown. The specifics of David’s behavior are given in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 12:16–20 as a refusal to change clothes and the undertaking of a solitary fast. The further details here — a casting away of garments in order to sit in sackcloth and ashes — are traditionally attributed to the scene as a result of the proverbial nature of such a penitential act (see, e.g., Daniel 9:3, Judith 4:15, and Esther 4:1).

8271 fawt of fode. As 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 12:26 relates, the vital lack is not that of food but of water.

8281–83 Anon, the kyng of Amonys . . . His crown. The crown, according to 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 12:30, is not from the head of Ammon but from the (presumably statuary) head of Milcom, the god of the Ammonites (see also 4 Kings [2 Kings] 11:5).

8333–34 Then wysed he all his men away / and bad them spere all as thei yede. That Amnon orders his men to bar the doors behind them as they leave, effectively locking him and his sister into his bedroom, is not biblical. The locking of the doors does, however, add a chilling precognition to Amnon’s plan: he expects that he will resort to rape — a fact confirmed by his awareness, in line 8361, that “all was sperd” for him to take her by force.

8343–60 The biblical account of Tamar’s reaction to Amnon’s desires (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 13:12–13) is substantially different. There, Tamar complains that it would be shameful for Amnon to rape her, especially when they can, as only half-siblings, rightfully marry (a practice only later forbidden it seems; see Leviticus 18:9). Tamar therefore suggests that Amnon present his suit to David. We get none of this in the Paraphrase, however, where the poet omits any chance whatsoever of a proper union between the half-siblings and instead presents a deeply frightened but nevertheless remarkably calm Tamar chastising Amnon in the manner of a preacher or confessor, advising him to throw the intent of his heart to Heaven, to ask God’s forgiveness for such evil thoughts. She says, too, that she would rather lose her inheritance and be exiled from her homeland than to have sex with him. Tamar’s simultaneous roles as victim and counselor, and her resolute determination to remain a virgin no matter the cost, no doubt owe much to hagiographical traditions, where such behavior is often the norm with many female saints and martyrs.

8393 So all this stryfe was haldyn styll. Following HS 2 Reg. 14 (1335), the Paraphrase-poet omits a substantial subtext to the biblical account of this story: David’s knowledge. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 13:21 makes clear that David learns about the rape almost immediately, yet he does nothing to punish Amnon. The poet, we might assume, is not satisfied with the rather soiled image of David thus painted, and so he falls silent on the question of David’s knowledge (indeed, he does not even indicate that David learns about the tragedy after Amnon’s murder).

8439 Jessor with the kyng of Cirre. That Talmai, king of Geshur, is also thereby king of Syria is an association not made at this point in the Bible or in HS. We later learn that Geshur is an Aramean kingdom (see 2 Kings [2 Samuel 15:8]), but not the identification of Aram with Syria.

8440 his syb man on his moyder syde. Absalom’s kinship with Talmai, the king of Geshur — Talmai is his grandfather through Absalom’s mother Maacah — is not mentioned at this point of the Bible but earlier, at 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 3:3.

8493–94 Then ware thei frendes fast, / the kyng and Absolon. According to 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 14:24 David ordered Joab to retrieve Absalom to Jerusalem and to “let him return into his house” but “let him not see my face.” While these biblical facts are followed in HS (2 Reg. 14 [1336]), the Paraphrase-poet again seems at pains to clear away any stain on David’s reputation in this sordid family affair.

8497–8504 DBTEL observes that of all the potential responses to Absalom and his life, medieval writers seem most preoccupied with his beauty; thus “Absalom’s name appears frequently in the interminable lists of Ubi sunt? poems, a popular poetic form emphasizing the transitoriness of life and the fragility of beauty” (p. 12). This concentration on Absalom’s physical appearance, especially his luxurious hair, led to Absalom becoming “a type of feminine beauty.” Nowhere is this perhaps more evident than in Chaucer’s Prologue to The Legend of Good Women (F.249, G.203), where Absalom is the first name listed in his balade cataloguing beautiful women (see also his characteri-zation of Absolon in The Miller’s Tale).

8501 Of twenty libri wegh was his hare. This weight corresponds to OFP 67d (“vint livres”), whereas both 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 14:26 and HS 2 Reg. 14 (1336) give the weight as two hundred shekels (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 218). Two hundred shekels, according to Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 7.8.5), would equate to five pounds.

8507–08 and he ware oght greved, / then was he fell os fyre. In these two lines the poet alludes to the whole of 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 14:28–33, which describes how Absalom, after living two years in Jerusalem under a sort of house arrest (see note to lines 8493–94), summons Joab to argue his case before the king. When Joab twice fails to come to Absalom, Absalom orders his servants to set fire to Joab’s fields. The conflagration stirs Joab’s attention, and he at last manages to reconcile Absalom and David.

8517 be faur yeres ware past. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 15:7 reads forty years in the Hebrew and the Vulgate, whereas the Paraphrase follows the Septuagint and Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.9.1, in reading four years. HS 2 Reg. 15 (1337) notes the discrepancy, and Ohlander observes that OFP parallels the Paraphrase here, too (“Old French Parallels,” p. 218).

8546 knyght, swyer, knave, and page. There is, of course, no biblical parallel for such a list, which is clearly medieval.

8657–60 Bot aftur sone, os men may rede, / this grome . . . Be David dome . . . lost his lyf, yf yt ware late. Though David refuses to react to Shimei’s insults at this time, and he will later swear not to kill Shimei (see 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 19:18–23), his dying words, it seems, are to instruct his son and heir Solomon to at last be avenged upon him (see 3 Kings [1 Kings] 2:8–9, 36–46).

8687–88 That Natan told before / bud unto end be broght. Though HS 2 Reg. 16 (1338) does not make this association, the poet follows the tradition that identifies the “neighbor” of Nathan’s pronouncement in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 12:11 as Absalom, whose family comes from a neighboring land (see Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.9.5).

8717 Take me ten thowsand men of myght. This does not match the number as given in the Bible or in HS, both of which record 12,000. A parallel can be found, as K notes (1:clxxxvii), in OFP; and Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.9.6 also puts the number at 10,000.

8783–84 Ne thei dowt no dele / for gune ne grett ingyne. The poet’s depiction of siege warfare is once again anachronistically medieval.

8787 Faur barons wuned ther besyde. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 17:27 gives three aides, naming all three. That there were four men, barons all, corresponds to OFP 70a (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” pp. 218–19).

8792 faur thowsand. The size of David’s army is not given in the Bible. The Paraphrase here fits with Josephus’ description of the size (Jewish Antiquities 7.10.1), but it conflicts with HS 2 Reg. 18 (1339), which reports that it is seven thousand strong. It is difficult to know whether this is firm evidence of the poet’s direct use of Josephus or simply a scribal error in which the numeral for four has been introduced by scribal eye-skip from line 8787.

8828 I hope thei held all that thei hette. A rare interjection on the part of the poet, who seems swept up in the narrative himself.

8849–50 The wynd heyved up his hare on hyght / so that yt cached into a tre. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 18:9 says only that Absalom’s head was caught in the branches of an oak, but the Paraphrase follows a very old tradition (see, e.g., Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.10.2), building on the description of Absalom in 14:26, that he was caught by his hair.

8851 His sted. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 18:9 places Absalom upon a mule, a detail supported by HS 2 Reg. 17 (1339). Both the Paraphrase and OFP (70c) place him upon the far more knightly horse (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 219).

8859–60 He bede a boy fyfty schylyng / to sla hym. The payment is in accordance with OFP 70d (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 219) and Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.10.2. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 18:11 places the price at “ten sicles [shekels] of silver and a belt.”

8879–80 And hedyd was Amon / for Thamar. The recollection of Absalom’s beheading of his half-brother for Tamar’s rape effectively sums up Absalom’s life.

8943 A bryg full wysly have thei wroyt. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 19:18 gives no impression of a bridge. Indeed, the Vulgate explicitly refers to David crossing a ford in the Jordan. The Septuagint refers to a ferry built by the Benjaminites that carries the king across the river. The Paraphrase here follows HS 2 Reg. 18 (1340), which is itself probably derived from Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.2, who describes a crossing made on a bridge of boats.

8971 Joab wold full fayn have hym aflayd. In 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 19:21 and HS 2 Reg. 18 it is Joab’s brother Abishai who desires to wreak vengeance upon Shimei; the alteration here might be the result of the poet’s efforts to simplify the biblical narrative by streamlining characters whenever possible.

9025–26 Syr Cyba, that I of ayre sayd, / was lord of Myfbosett land. Ohlander was the first to realize that the Paraphrase-poet is here guilty of “a remarkable confusion of persons” (“Old French Parallels,” p. 221). The present man, who rebels against David’s rule, is Sheba, the son of Bochri, a Benjaminite (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 20:1). The earlier man with whom the poet has mingled Sheba’s identity (first noted at line 2621) is Ziba, a man who was first a servant of Saul and later became the steward of Mephibosheth (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 9:2–13). The Bible is clear in delineating the identities of the two men, as are HS and OFP. The poet’s confusion is no doubt the result of their names being both very similar in Latin (Siba and Seba) and identical in Old French (Siba).

9137 A lady. 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 20:16 identifies her as a “wise woman.”

9187 Natan the prophett. In both the Bible (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 21:1) and HS (2 Reg. 20 [1342]) David receives his answer directly from God. Whether the poet derives this unique detail from another unknown source, or makes the alteration for other reasons — perhaps to reinforce the necessity of the priesthood, for instance — is unknown.

9189 Duke Josue. Joshua first made contact with the people of Gibeon in Joshua 9:3–27.

9222 gud wone. 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 21:6–9 specifies that only seven of Saul’s male heirs were handed over to the Gibeonites, a detail repeated in HS.

9233–34 Diligam te, Domine, / this salme he sett and sayd yt fast. This is Vulgate Psalm 17. Both HS 2 Reg. 21 (1343) and OFP 74b provide the Latin title.

9258 fyfty milia rekynd ryght. This number is tenfold shy of both the Bible (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 24:9) and HS (2 Reg. 23 [1345]), both of which record 500,000. A parallel, as K notes once again (1:clxxxviii), is OFP.

9273–76 HS 2 Reg. 23 (1346) and OFP 75a both follow 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 24:13 in giving the choice between seven years of famine, three months of war, or three days of pestilence. The Paraphrase-poet has the choice between seven years of war, three years of famine, and three days of pestilence. I know of no source for this change.

9319–24 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 24:18 labels the site of David’s altar only as the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. HS 2 Reg. 23 (1346) follows Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 7.13.4) in making the further association of the site with the hill whereupon Abraham offered up his son Isaac. The final connection of the location with Mount Calvary is found in the French tradition; e.g., OFP 75b (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” pp. 221–22).

9337–9625 The poet subsumes the final events of David’s reign, which are told in the first chapters of 3 Kings (1 Kings) into his paraphrase of 2 Kings (2 Samuel). This makes a clear and logical sense, and actually follows the division of books in Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities 7–8, though whether the poet would have access to this fact is subject to question. See also the explanatory note to lines 9469–9618, below.

9386 Naomy. According to all known sources, this should be Benaiah the son of Joiada, as it is in OFP 76c.

9422 well that is named Wyon. That Gihon was a principal source of water for Jerusalem is a detail found in 2 Chronicles 32:30.

9469–9618 The death of David, in which he names his son Solomon as his sole heir and entrusts his care to the lords of the land, is greatly expanded from its biblical source, 3 Kings (1 Kings) 1–2. Both its displacement to the end of 2 Kings and its expansion to this very medieval, feudal setting, is in accordance with OFP (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 222).

9611 Begynnyng, myddes, and ende. The poet clearly thinks of his presentation of the life of David as a narrative unit, a tale of the triumphs and woes of kingship.


SECOND BOOK OF KINGS (2 SAMUEL): TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: L: MS Longleat 257; H: Heuser edition (partial); K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; O: Ohlander’s corrigenda to K; P: Peck edition (partial); S: MS Selden Supra 52 (base text for this edition).

7321–7504 Missing in L (fol. 151 lost).
7321, 23 Lines indented to leave space for an initial capital; first letter of line 7321 written in the middle of the space.


7328 wyst. So K. S: þen wyst.

7336 I. S: & I.

7337 Then. So K. S: Þe.

7339 From. So K. S omits.
Jews. So K. S: Iewas, with a inserted above the line.


7340 seygne. So S. K: seygns.

7345 hyt. So S. K: yt.

7349 syre. S: ser syre.

7350 towre and town. So K. S: town & towre.

7357 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 69v): no heading.

7361 ne. So K. S: no.

7366 hend. So K. S: hand.

7370 guyse. So K. S: gryse.

7380 ther. So K. S: þei.

7385 Whore. So S. K: where.

7388 Israel. So O. S, K: Israhel.

7390 chose. So K. S: he chose.

7405 We told. S: inserted above two canceled words.

7406 in. So K. S: &.

7408 S: written below canceled line 7410.

7409 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 70r): no heading.

7410 Ysboset. S: yseb ysboset.
unweld. S: weld inserted above the line.


7422 kyng. So K. S omits.
Israel. So O. S, K: Israhel.


7424 Kyng. S: corrected from kynd.

7430 feyght on. So S. K: fey3ht in.

7438 tell. So K. S: fell.

7463 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 70v): no heading.
werke. S: he werke.


7464 clerly. So S. K: derly.

7465 well. S: inserted above the line.

7483 yt. S: s yt.

7484 kepe. S: h kepe.

7488 rested. S: word (reste?) canceled before.

7490 feld. S: inserted above the line.

7496 all way. So K. S: ouer.

7504 fare. So K. S: dwell.

7505 The text of L continues here (fol. 152r).

7507 con. So K. S: con he. L: gun.

7508 fore. So S. L, K: for.

7517 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 71r): no heading.

7518 bundom. So K. S: bomdom. L: gouernaunce.

7528 of. S: letter canceled before.

7539 of. So L, K. S: of all.

7540 small. S: inserted above the line.

7549 we. So L, K. S: þei.

7556 he. So L, K. S: be.

7568 suld so. So L, K. S: suld go so.

7569 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 71v): no heading.

7574 is all. So L, K. S: all his.

7588 best. So L, K. S: bestes.

7589 he. So L, K. S: be.

7590 blyn. So L, K. S: wyn.

7593 sone. So L, K. S: sone he.

7605 an evyll. So L, K. S: a gentyll.

7623 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 72r): liber Regum ijus.

7628 Israel. So O. S, K: Israhel.
cuntré. So L, K. S: te cuntre.


7636 therfore. So L, K. S: þore.

7646 is trist. So L, K. S: has.

7647 prevey. S: corrected from preuely.

7648 to. So L, K. S: two to.
in. So L, K. S omits.


7654 qwen. S: letter canceled before.
thei. So L, K. S omits.


7659 Kyng. So L, K. S: þe kyng.

7661 there. So L, K. S: þe.
thee. So L, K. S omits.


7670 lordes. So K. S: lo lordes. L: the lordes.

7671 knaw. So L, K. S: knew.

7675 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 72v): no heading.

7684 thei. S, K: þe.

7705 Neptalim. So L, K. S: neptalinm.

7706 com. So K. S: con, inserted above canceled neuyn. L: cum.

7717 was. So L, K. S omits.

7729 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 73r): no heading.

7730 thei. S, K: þe.

7735 schrews. So L, K. S: scherws.

7768 S: written above canceled line 7770.
to. S: to he.


7769 S: written after canceled line 7771.

7774 decré. S: degre decre.

7779 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 73v): no heading.

7783 as. So L, K. S: all.

7806 Aram. S: corrected from Iram.

7807 syder wod. So K. S: syper wod, with syder wyn canceled above the line. L: Cedre wod.

7817 gart. S: gart gart.

7819 them. So L, K. S: þen.

7827 bune. So K. S: bene. L: bonne.
and. So L, K. S omits.


7829 howses. So L, K. S: halles.

7833 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 74r): no heading.

7835–36 So L, K. S omits.

7840 goverand. So K. S: gouerard. L: governe.

7841 Thei. S: corrected from þem.

7864 wend thou then. So K. S, L: wend þen.

7873–8240 Lines missing in L (fols. 154–155 lost).

7887 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 74v): no heading.

7897 purpase. S: vp purpase.

7941 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 75r): no heading.

7945 os. So K. S: o.
understode. So K. S: vnderstand.


7952 and. S: r and.

7965 ald. So K. S: all.

7968 in. S: inserted above canceled &.

7984 os. So K. S omits.

7990 soveran. So S. K: soverin.

7994 a. So K. S: I.

7997 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 75v): no heading.

8007 frendchep. S: d inserted above the line.

8032 wer served. So K. S: wer sertes serue.

8051 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 76r): no heading.

8060 to. So K. S omits.

8068 Kyng. So K. S: kynd.

8070 was. So K. S omits.

8076 forto. So K. S: fort.
in. S: vn in.


8077 on. S: inserted above canceled at.

8084 ordan. S: ordand.

8098 com. So K. S: com to.

8099 done. So K. S omits.

8105 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 76v): no heading.

8120 lyfes lose. So K. S: lyfes to lose.

8126 rest. So K. S: treyst.

8130 knew. S: inserted above the line.

8145 saklese. So K. S: slaklese.

8151 forto. So K. S: fort.

8154 S: inserted above canceled line 8156.

8161 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 77r): no heading.

8183 pure. So K. S: purys.

mans. S: s inserted above the line.


8185 of thee. So K. S omits.

8210 helpe. S: & helpe.

8215 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 77v): ijus liber Regum.

8234 delyvered. So K. S, O: delyuer.

8241 The text of L continues here (fol. 156r).

8250 ne. So L, K. S: ne of.

8251 myrth. So L, K. S: thyng.

8253 sevynt. S: XII VII.
day. So L, K. S omits.


8257–68 So L, K. S omits.

8274 thei. So L, K. S omits.
thare. S: word canceled before.


8275 to. So L, K. S omits.

8276 that himself. So L, K. S omits.

8284 hent. So L, K. S: hend.

8285 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 78r): no heading.

8293 had. So L, K. S: bad.

8294 os. So K. S: o. L: as.
beforne. So L, K. S: to be fore.


8297 Amon. So L, K. S: Donon.

8300 to be lorn. So S. L, K: be lorn.

8302 not. S: not say not.

8304 peryst. So L, K. S: prayd.

8306 his. So L, K. S omits.

8331 So. So L, K. S: Tyll.
on. So L, K. S: or.


8332 forto. So L, K. S omits.

8341 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 78v): no heading.

8353 Amone. So L, K. S: a none.

8358 the. So K. S omits. L: othre.

8364 hyr. So K. S: hys. L: hire.

8375 Evyll hurled hed and hare. So L. S: Euyll hyr yryhed hyde & hare. K: hyr hed [scho] hyde and hare.

8379 go. So L, K. S: so.

8399 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 79r): liber ijus Regum.

8402 mangery. S: corrected from mangere.

8414 perfyt. S: perfytly.

8418 hed. S: inserted above the line.

8424 payn. S: pyn payn.

8429 dole. So K. S: Duke. L: doell.

8430 Alas. So L, K. S: als.

8434 S: transposed with line 8436.

8436 S: transposed with line 8434.

wrake. So L, K. S: wreke.


8453 heyr. S: I heyr.

8457 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 79v): no heading.

8461 con. So L, K. S: he con.

8462 wyll. So L, K. S omits.

8484 thou. So L, K. S: þat þou.

8498 syght. So L, K. S: fy3t.

8508 os. So K. S: of. L: as.

8513 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 80r): no heading.

8516 wylly. S: inserted above the line, after ware.

8522 at. So L, K. S: all.

8527 in. S: corrected from im.

8528 of. S: o of.

8546 knave. So L, K. S omits.

8554 sewrty. So S. K: seurty.

8565 cummand. So K. S: cumnand or cunnand. L: commant.

8566 forto. So L. S: so forto. K: so to.

8567 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 80v): no heading.

8572 with. So L, K. S omits.

8577 toke. So K. S: take. L: tuke.

8578 seged. So L, K. S: sege.

8611 with. So L, K. S omits.

8614 more. So L, K. S: & more.

8619 Mifbosett. So K. S: Misbosett.

8620 Jonatha. S: Ioratha Ionatha.

8621 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 81r): liber ijus.

8622 and. So L, K. S: at, above canceled þat.

8624 frend. So L, K. S: frendes.

8625 Ser. So L, K. S: sers.

8640 Myfbosett. So K. S: Misbosett.

8644 Semey. So L, K. S: Seney.

8647 fowles fene. So L, K. S: fowled kene.

8673 thei. So L, K. S: þou.

8675 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 81v): no heading.

8677 glose. S: letter canceled before.

8701 Godes. So L, K. S: lykes god.
is. S: inserted above the line.
wyll. S: inserted below the line.


8703 thee. So L, K. S: to þe.
untyll. So L, K. S omits.


8715 ryght. So L, K. S: my3t.

8719 be. So L, K. S omits.

8721 fayle. S: corrected from fayll.

8731 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 82r): no heading.

8735 more. So L, K. S: of.

8736 of. So L, K. S omits.

8737 all. So L, K. S omits.

8741 mene. So L, K. S: menyd.

8757 he was. So L, K. S: lest.

8758 at. So L, K. S: of.

8759 This tale. So K. S: þs tale. L: The mater.

8787 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 82v): no heading.

8791 tell. So L, K. S: tell in.

8799 thei. So L. S, K: þe.

8812 thei. So L, K. S: þi.

8817 sith. So L. S, K: sythis.

8819 lith. So L. S, K: lythes.

8828 all. S: inserted above the line.

8829 with. So L, K. S: with his.

8830 past. So L, K. S: he past.

8837 byd abyde. So L, K. S: byde.

8843 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 83r): no heading.

8848 beldyd. So L, K. S: belyd.

8853 fere. So L, K. S: fare.

8854 fryd. S, L, K: fyrth. The rhyme (: David) in both manuscripts is broken. My solution is to posit an original form fryd that has undergone metathesis in the copy shared by both existant manuscripts.

8857 tythyng. S: th tythyng.

8859 boy. So L, K. S: body.

8860 sla. So K. L: sloo. S: sha.

8883 well. So L, K. S: wall.

8885 hym. So L, K. S omits.

8886 hale. So K. S: half. L: hoal.

8897 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 83v): no heading.

8900 that doylefull dede. So L, K. S: with byttur bede.

8903 hym. So L, K. S: his.

8920 shamely. So L, K. S: shamesly.

8931 with. So L, K. S omits.

8935 kynred. So L, K. S: kyng.

8937 For. So L, K. S: Fro.

8939 fyrst. So L, K. S omits.
furth. S: inserted above canceled fyr.


8940 cité. So L, K. S: cuntre.

8941–64 S: these two stanzas, 746 (lines 8941–52) and 747 (lines 8953–64), are transposed in S. Like K, I have followed the order in L.

8942 thousandes. So L, K. S: þer sandes.

8956 welthis. So K. S: wethis. L: welth.

8963 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 84r): no heading.

8970 ther. So L, K. S: on þer.

8973 tyll. S: vntyll.

8978 Mifbosett. So L, K. S: Misbosett.

8983 The. So L, K. S: þei.

8990 as man. So L, K. S: man as.

8994 lyyse. So L, K. S: lyyfe. L: wyse.

8998 he. So L, K. S: be.

9004 with. S: inserted above the line.

9005 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 84v): no heading.

9015 then. S: altered from thei.

9028 furth. So L, K. S: futh.

9042 woo. So L, K. S omits.

9046 forto. So L, K. S: fort.

9047 We. So L, K. S: with.

9051 he began. So L, K. S: he he gan.

9056 to. So S. L, K: þe.

9059 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 85r): no heading.

9065 lend. So L, K. S: wend.

9067 Folke. So L, K. S: And folke.

9068 fayn. S: inserted above the line.

9094 cosyn. So L, K. S: counsell.

9100 yt. So L, K. S omits.

9106 murtherd. S: musche murtherd.

9108 Amasan. So L, K. S: masan.

9113 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 85v): no heading.

9114 and. So L, K. S omits.

9115 his. So L, K. S omits.

9135 folk. So L, K. S: fok.

9141 Ser. So L, K. S: Som.

9145 here thou. So K. S: þat here. L alters line.

9146 theym morne and none. So L, K. S: more & myne.

9152 Delyver. So S. L, K: Deliver.

9156 to lose oon. So L, K. S: losso on.

9158 them. S: inserted above canceled scho.

9160 thei. So L, K. S: þat þei.
hent. So L, K. S omits.


9162 unto. So L, K. S: to.

9166 frendes. So L, K. S: frend.

9167 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 86r): no heading.

9170 rewlys. So L, K. S: rowlys.

9175 for. So L, K. S: furth.

9179 fell sodan. So L, K. S: sodanly.

9183 pure. S: pr pure.

9205 he. So L, K. S omits.

9210 seson. S: reson seson.

9223 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 86v): liber ijus Regum.
Tho. So L. S: þei. K: þe.


9224 sessyd. So L, K. S: sessyn.

9229 in. S: inserted above the line.

9233 Diligam. So L, K. S: Deligam.

9243 no. So L, K. S omits.

9253 hym. So L, K. S: to hym.

9262 tent. S: a tent.

9264 no. S: inserted above the line.

9266 greved. So L, K. S omits.

9267 rekynyng. S: corrected from rekyngng.

9268 oft. S: letter canceled before.

9269 was. S: inserted above canceled wog.

9271 new. So L, K. S: ew.

9277 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 87r): no heading.

9280 fro. So L, K. S: for.

9281 he wyst wele. So L, K. S: wyst wele he.

9292 fyght. So L, K. S: fly3t.

9295 on. S: inserted above canceled in.

9305 on. S: corrected from om.

9309 S: after canceled line 9311.

9327 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 87v): no heading.

9336 thei. S: 3 þei.

9341 thyng. So L, K. S: thynges.

9349 David. So L, K. S omits.

9357 tell. So L, K. S: tyll.

9366 for. S: fare ffor.

9381 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 88r): liber ijus Regum.
then war. So L, K. S: was, inserted above the line.


9383–84 S: inserted in right margin.

9386 Naomy. So S. L, K: Neomi.

9390 made. So L, K. S omits.
fest. So L, K. S: frest.
fare. S: þer fare.


9392 that. S: corrected from þaf.

9409 Ser. So L, K. S: sers.
is this. So L, K. S: This is.


9410 Adonay. So L, K. S: I Adonay.

9430 that1. So K. S: of þat. L: all.

9433 Thurghoute. So L, K. S: Thurgh.

9437 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 88v): no heading.

9447 Abyathar. So S, L. K: Abhyathar.

9448 set. So L, K. S: sent.

9464 in. So L, K. S: on.

9467 mett. So L, K. S: made.

9474 bad. So L, K. S: bad þat.

9487 I. So L, K. S omits.

9488 os. S: r os.

9493 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 89r): no heading.

9495–9500 The overall numbering of these lines in K is incorrect due to miscounting.

9498 beseke. So L, K. S: leseke.

9506 of. S: or of, with over canceled above the line.

ever. S: inserted above the line.


9525 fyne. So L, K. S omits.

9547 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 89v): no heading.

9554 at. S: & at.
med. S: inserted above the line.


9556 and. So L, K. S: a.

9564 all. So L, K. S: all þi.

9571 dare. So L, K. S: dere.

9578 oon. So L, K. S: þem.

9581 maynteyned. So L, K. S: maynteyn.

9595 God. So L, K. S: go.

9601 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 90r): no heading.

9608 grauntyng. So L, K. S: graunted.
sum. So L, K. S omits.


9614 sone. S: sun sone.

9615 so. So L, K. S: for.

9619 werkes. So L, K. S omits.

9621 story. S: storr story.
 
Print Copyright Info Purchase

Second Book Of Kings (2 Samuel)


LIBER SECUNDUS REGUM.

[DAVID KILLS THE MESSENGER WHO HAD KILLED SAUL (1:1–15)]
 





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7350




7355

 
611.
In the Fyrst Boke of Kynges herd have we
   how Saul was fyrst crowned kyng,
And how he dyed on Gylboy
   with his ost outrayd, old and yyng.
Now in the Secund sall we see
   of David and of his doyng.
In Cesilla then sojornd he,
   and of that werke wyst he nothyng.
Tyll aftur, on the thryd day,
   then come a messynger,
And swylke saws con he say
   that chaunged all his chere.

612.
“Ser,” he sayd, “be mery, I rede,
   for gud thynges sall I tell thee.
Kyng Saul thin enmy is dede;
   I saw hym sloyn and his suns thre.”
Then David hert wex hevy as lede.
   He sayd, “How wott thou yt suld so be?”
He sayd, “From Jews in the same sted;
   the certan seygne that sall thou see.
Hymself he wold have slayn,
   so was he stede in nede.
And for he had no mayn,
   he prayd me do that dede.

613.
“I wyst hyt was his awn desyre;
   to beyre hym thrugh I was full bownne
And have here that I have to hyre:
   hys bees of gold and his gud crownne.
I wott thou sal be lord and syre
   and rewle the reme, both towre and town.”
Then David loked on hym with yre
   and sayd, “Thou sall have waryson.
He was enoynted kyng,
   that thou dyde swylke dyspytte.”
Withowt more doyng
   hys hede he dyde of smytt.
 

(t-note)

Gilboa
defeated


Ziklag
deed knew; (t-note)
Until afterwards

such news did he tell
his (David’s) mood


be happy, I counsel [you]

your
slain; sons; (t-note)
David’s heart grew; lead; (t-note)
know
place; (t-note)
clear indication [of]; (t-note)

placed in desperation
because; strength
deed


knew it; own; (t-note)
run him through; entirely ready
what I earned as wages
armlet; good
know; sire; (t-note)
rule the realm; (t-note)
anger
a reward
an anointed
so disparage

head he did cut off

 
[DAVID MOURNS SAUL AND JONATHAN (1:16–27)]
 




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7365






7370




7375




7380
 
614.
Full oft he syghtyd and sayd, “Alas!”
   that ever Kyng Saul suld ende so,
Bot more for gentyll Jonatas.
   When he yt wyst, then was he woe,
For trewer luf in werld ne was
   then ever was betwyx them two.
Therfor slyke care in hert he has
   ne he wyst in werld what he myght do.
He swouned, als he wold swelt,
   and weped and wrang his hend:
Lang with swylke doyles he delt.
   No man myght hym amend

615.
Tyll at the last a duke hym dyght
   to bryng his bale in bettur guyse.
He says, “Yt is no semly syght
   men forto werke on swylke a wyse.
Yt is well fayrrer forto fyght
   and venge us on our yll enmyse.
So suld acord to ylka knyght;
   with wepyng sall never wrschepe ryse.
Yt falys wemen of eld
   to wepe, when thei have wrang,
And knyghtes to fyght in feld
   ther foys with fors to fang.”
 

he (David) sighed; (t-note)

noble Jonathan
knew [for certain]
there was not; (t-note)

such sorrow
[that] he knows not
as if; die; (see note)
wept and wrung his hands; (t-note)
sorrows he dealt
cure


made
present his woe in a better manner; (t-note)

in such a way
much better
evil enemies
agree to each
from weeping; honor
befits old women

field
foes with force to catch; (t-note)

 
[DAVID ANOINTED KING OF JUDAH (2:1–4)]
 





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7400




 
616.
Then sayd thei so on ylka syde
   and cachyd myrth so them amell.
He trowed ther tayles in that tyde
   and prayd to God that He wold them tell
Whore hym ware best to beld and byd.
   And Goddes prophett bad hym go dwell
In Ebron, a cety long and wyd,
   with chosyn chylder of Israel.
The kynred of Juda
   thor chose hym forto ther kyng
All way well or wo
   to lyfe at his ledyng.

617.
Now wex David a man of myght
   when he was kyng by comyn crye.
The pure and rych he rewled ryght,
   aftur ther werkyng was worthy.
Hys cosyn Joab, a gentyll knyt,
   made he chefe of his chevalry
And next hym his two brether, that heyght
   Aghaell and Abaghai.
Ay the eldyst of Ebrew
   held he of the most counsell,
Qwyll all he trest for trew
   and wold not fayntly fayle.
 


between
believed their tales

Where it were best for him to live and remain; (t-note)

Hebron, a city
(t-note)
kindred of Judah
there; their; (t-note)
weal or woe



grew
common assent; (see note)
ruled fairly

noble
(see note)
brothers, who were called
Asahel and Abishai; (see note)
Always

Whom; trusted for loyalty
fail for weakness

 
[ISHBOSHETH’S RIVAL CLAIM TO KINGSHIP (2:8–10)]
 

7405




7410




7415






7420




7425



 
618.
We told before, and not full ferre,
   how Kyng Saul was feld in feyld.
At home was left Duke Abnarre
   his land and his welth to weld
So that none suld with maystry marre
   Ysboset, Saul sun unweld.
He and that duke yll angerd arre
   that David so was broyght to beld.
Thei hard how he was kyng
   of the kynred of Juda;
That toyght them herd hethyng
   and kest betwen them twa

619.
How thei myght turne all that entent,
   and thus thei ordand them omell:
Thei sembled all to ther assent
   that with Saul ware wunt to dwell.
That Ysbosett then have thei hent
   and made hym kyng of Israel;
And forto marre so have thei ment
   Kyng David and his force to fell.
When Joab herd of tho
   and of ther purpase playn,
He and his breyther two
   grathed them thor agayn.
 

and not very far away; (t-note)
killed on the battlefield; (t-note)
Abner
hold; (t-note)
harm; (t-note)
Ishbosheth, Saul’s helpless son

comfort


they thought a great shame
debated; two



among themselves
assembled; their agreement
wont
summoned
(t-note)
to harm; intention
(t-note)
those


prepared themselves against that

 
[JOAB AND ABNER FIGHT FOR THEIR KINGS (2:12–17)]
 


7430




7435




7440
 
620.
Duke Joab hath for David heyght
   to feyght on feld and not to flee.
Duke Abnarre says for Ysbotsett
   in batell sall he byde and bee.
Bot both ther men, when thei ware mett,
   ware Ebrews and of on cuntree.
Therfor to were wyll thei not lett
   tyll that thei wytt who sall wyn degré.
Ful fersly then thei fyght.
   Bot to tell at the last:
Abnare was put to flyght,
   and Joab fowled fast.
 

promised
fight on the field; (t-note)

remain and endure
their

war; go
know
fiercely
(t-note)

Joab [and his army] followed

 
[ABNER KILLS ASAHEL; THE FIGHT IS BROKEN OFF (2:18–3:5)]
 





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7500
 
621.
And als thei persewede thore,
   ware mony dede withowtyn drede.
Bot Aghaell was ay before,
   for thore hade he so wyght a stede.
When Abnare saw he sewed so sore
   and to his hele wold take no hede,
He prayd hym to persew no more,
   and he suld gyf hym gold to mede.
Therfor he wold not lett,
   ne for his spekyng spare.
And Abnare on hym sett
   and thrugh his brest hym bare.

622.
When Joab saw that sory syght:
   his brother lyg dede on the land,
Then dyde he all his mayn and myght
   to venge his ded with hert and hand.
And by that was yt nere the nyght,
   and no tyme to be traveland.
Duke Abanare toke a hyll on hyght
   and gatt a strengh in forto stand.
And then for peyce he prayd
   to Joab and his men.
“We werke all wrang,” he sayd.
   “That sall ye clerly kene.

623.
“Joab,” he sayd, “full well I knaw
   a feller knyght may no man fynde.
With Phylysteyns to fyght thee aw,
   and with paynyms that thei ben pynd.
Bot we that lyf all by a law
   and all are Ebrews of on kynd
Ylkon to bryng other a daw,
   we suld have God more in our mynd.
Both cosyns and kynred
   ar sembled on ayder syde.
The mo that thus ar dede,
   the more tene sall us be tyde.

624.
“I prayd thi brother of peyce
   when he persewed me with envy.
Bot for my saws he wold not sesse
   and fell so thrugh his awn foly.
So myght fall the same messe
   thiself to suffur or perchaunce I.
Therfor yt is fayrest forto sese,
   and ylk man kepe his cumpany.”
Qwen Joab saw certayn
   he sayd reson and ryght,
Hee turned his men agayn
   and rested thore that nyght.

625.
Bot on the morn thei morwnd omell
   for folke that thei fand fallyn in feld.
Thei beyred the body of Aghaell
   with all the wrschep that thei myght weld.
When Kyng David herd how yt fell
   that Aghael was schent on feld,
His tene in hert no tong myght tell,
   for he was all way hym to beld.
Kyng David had in Ebron
   sex wyfes with hym to go,
And sere suns: Absolon,
   Adony, and other moo.
 

pursued there

ever in front of them
strong a horse; (see note)
pursued so hard; (see note)
safety; heed
asked
for reward
But for that; cease
speaking pause
beset
bore [his spear] through his breast



laying dead
strength
avenge his death

traveling


peace

(t-note)
realize; (t-note)


(t-note)
keener
you ought
pagans; be put to pain
by one law
one
Each one; bring the other a day (kill)


assembled on either

sorrowful




advice; cease
own folly
blow

(t-note)
each; (t-note)



(t-note)


mourned together
(t-note)
buried
honor

killed on the field
grief
comfort; (t-note)


many sons: Absalom
Adonijah

 
[ABNER TURNS AGAINST ISHBOSHETH (3:6–21)]
 





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7545






7550




7555




7560
 
626.
Sone aftur this then fell debate
   betwyx Ysboset and Abnare,
For he had takyn a leman latt
   that with Saul before con fare.
He sayd yt fell not for his astate
   to use wemen that with kynges ware.
Abnare in hert then con hym hatt,
   that chalenged hym fore swylk a chare.
He says, “Evyn als I broyght
   the folke to wun hym wyth,
So sall I sett ther toyght
   and turne them to David.”

627.
And sone unto the same entent
   letturs dyde he to wrytyng.
And messyngers sone hath he sent
   unto David, of Juda kyng.
He told hym holy how he ment
   under his bundom forto bryng
All the Ebrews that with Saul went,
   fro Ysbosett, both old and yyng.
Kyng David was full glade
   when thei told this tythyng,
And sayd with sembland sade,
   “He sall have his askyng.”

628.
And forto prove be reson ryfe
   yf he this purpasse wold persew,
He sayd, “Send Mycoll, my fayrest wyfe,
   that homly is of hyd and hew.
I luf hyr lely as my lyfe
   sen fyrst that I that cumly knew.
Yf he do this to stynt all stryfe,
   then wyll I trest that all be trew.”
The messyngers ar wentt
   to Abnare evyn agayn,
And Mycoll sone was sent,
   and David then was fayn.

629.
Abnare this forward wold fulfyll.
   full sone he gart togeydder call
Lordes of the land, both lowd and styll,
   that oght myght govern, grett or small.
He sayd, “Sers, tentes unto my skyll;
   the certan soth say yow I sall.
I wott well yt is Goddes wyll
   that David be kyng of Ebrews all.
The prophett Samuel
   sayd yt suld so be,
And with hym wyll I dwell.”
   Thei say, “Ser, so wyll we.

630.
“With hym to pase ware we prest,
   had we not bene at thi bydyng.”
Then twenty barons of the best
   befor Kyng David con he bryng.
A fyrm sewrty thore thei fest
   and made hym homage, old and yyng.
So were all the twelfe kynredes kest
   with hym to hold and he ther kyng.
Grett fest than mad he thore
   bycause of kynredes twelfe,
Bot Abnare ay before
   was honerd next hymselfe.
 



Because he (Abner); woman recently
did go; (t-note)
He (Ishbosheth); estate (class); (t-note)

hate; (t-note)
such an action; (t-note)

live with (be loyal to)
their thoughts



at once with that very intention



completely; (t-note)
governance; (t-note)

young


with a resolute countenance



by ample reason

Michal
beautiful; skin and complexion; (t-note)
loyally
since




at once
glad


pact
caused to be called together
publicly and privately; (t-note)
anything; (t-note)
attend to my counsel
truth








live were we eager; (t-note)



firm surety there they established

twelve tribes cast
(t-note)
feast then he made there

ever before [everyone]; (see note)

 
[JOAB’S WRATH AGAINST ABNER (3:22–27)]
 





7565




7570






7575




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7585




7590




7595






7600




7605



 
631.
When all was wele, thei went ther ways,
   ylkon to ther awn cuntré.
Joab, the duke, was all ther days
   for errandes fare fro that cety.
When he come and herd how men says
   of fest and grett solempnité,
That purpas no thyng to hym pays:
   that Abnare suld so neghtbur be.
He hoped he suld be nare
   unto the kyng all way.
That mater wyll he marre
   in all that ever he may.

632.
Fyrst he told unto the kyng,
   “That Abanare dose is all envy.
He feynys frenschepe for nothyng
   bot for he wyll this land aspye
How he may best hys ost in bryng
   so to persew thee prevely.
And thou wyll trest to his tellyng,
   this land may so be lost therby.”
The kyng wyst this was wrang;
   the case full well he knew,
And sayd, “Wherever he gang,
   I trow Abnare be trew.”

633.
When Joab wyst this wold not be,
   sone hath he soyght a sotell gyne.
Fayr letturs sent he forto se
   with the best knyghtes of all his kyn
And prayd Abnare that hast suld he
   to the kyng be lyve, for no thyng blyn,
And speke with hym in specialté
   for bourdes that thei suld begyn.
Abnare full sone assent
   to werke the kynges wyll.
Wyghtly with them he went,
   that wold sped hym to spyll.

634.
Then Joab con full grathly spye
   and wentt to feld hym forto kepe.
He and his brother Abyghai
   welcumd hym with grett wrschepe.
In consell thei cald hym in hy,
   ryght als thei for his wo wold wepe.
Joab then spake full specialli
   and therwith wroyght hym wowndes depe.
This was an evyll corde
   and wroyght with weked trayn.
Alas that swylke a lord
   falsly suld be slayn!
 


each one; own
these
far from


satisfies
(t-note)
close; (t-note)

mar




What; (t-note)
pretends
spy out
army
secretly
If; trust in his speech



goes
trust Abner to be faithful



cunning trick

(t-note)
haste; (t-note)
at once; delay; (t-note)

games
immediately; (t-note)


kill


readily look out [for him]
to attend to

honor
council; haste
just as if they would weep for his woes
individually

plot; (t-note)
wicked guile
such

 
[DAVID CONDEMNS JOAB FOR KILLING ABNER (3:28–39)]
 


7610




7615




7620






7625




7630


 
635.
So prevely his sword he drogh;
   the duke was dede thore sodanly.
Kyng David hath full mekyll woght
   when he herd tell this trechery.
Duke Joab made his tale full togh
   and sayd he had encheson why:
“My brother Ayghel he slogh,
   and then I myght no wyn hym by.”
Bot als men may suppose,
   he dyd yt more for drede
The lordschep forto lose
   that he had forto lede.

636.
The kyng is so with mornyng mett;
   hym gaynes nowder game ne glee.
Unto the duke he dyd his dett:
   interyd hym in that same cyté.
Then of this lesson wyll we let
   sen of this bale no bott may be,
And say how fell of Ysbosett,
   te kyng of Israel cuntré.
When he herd how men sayd
   that Duke Abnare was dede
And trayturly betrayd,
   he was full wyll of rede.
 



much misery

most arrogant tale; (see note)
cause why he did it

be no joy to him
(see note)





mourning afflicted

duty; (t-note)
buried
cease
since; sadness no remedy
what befell
(t-note)




 
[ISHBOSHETH BETRAYED AND KILLED (4:1–12)]
 



7635




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7645




7650




7655






7660




7665



 
637.
Full grett mornyng he mad amang;
   so dyd all that then wore thore.
Bot his lyfe lasted not aftur lang;
   swylke falshed was formeld therfore.
To hym was wroyght als mekyll wrang
   as to Abnare or ellys more,
Be two tyrandes and trayturs strang:
   of Bynjamyns both born thei wore,
Rocab and Baana,
   as beyrs wyttenese the Boke.
Thies ware the trayturs two
   that treson undertoke.

638.
For none may bettur a man betray
   then he in whom his hert is trist,
So prevey with the kyng war thei
   to com in and owt at ther lyst.
Als he lay slepand on a day
   in place whore non bot thei yt wyst,
His hed thei toke and bare away
   full mony myls or thei ware myst.
Thei wend full well have done
   qwen thei this falshed fand.
To Kyng David full sone
   thei offerd that presand.

639.
With full grett gladnese thei hym grett
   and sone rehersed hym ther resown:
“Ser, here the hede of Kyng Ysbosett
   that was thi foo in feld and town.
Now lyfes there non thee forto lett.”
   He sayd, “Trayturs, full of tresown,
Have ye no mynd how I hym mett
   that proferd me Kynges Saul crown?
His hed I gart of schave,
   for he dyd that dyspyte.
The same hyre sall ye have.”
   Ther hedes he gart of smytt.
 

mourning he made among [his people]
were there

due to such betrayals mentioned before; (t-note)
much wrong

tyrants
Benjaminites
Rechab and Baanah





Because
heart is entrusted; (t-note)
privy; (t-note)
desire; (t-note)

knew

were missed
thought much good to have accomplished
labored; (t-note)
immediately
present


greeted

(t-note)

obstruct; (t-note)

treated
King Saul’s
head I had cut off

wage

 
[THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL SUBMIT TO DAVID (5:1–2)]
 


7670




7675




7680
 
640.
Unto Kyng David than thei draw,
   lordes of ylka cuntré cleyne.
And for ther kyng all thei hym knaw
   and makes hym homage all be dene.
So was he lord of hegh and law
   that langed to the twelfe kynredes kene.
Then loves he God, als he well aw,
   that so hath sett hym to be sene.
And full grett sacrafyce
   to God thore con he make,
And ylke man on ther wyse
   dyde the same for His sake.
 


every; entirely; (t-note)
acknowledge; (t-note)
forthwith
high and low (i.e., everyone)
belonged; (i.e., all Israel)
ought; (t-note)





 
[THE CENSUS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH (24:1–9)]
 





7685




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7695




7700






7705




7710




7715

 
641.
Sen that his enmys then ware ded
   that lyfand wold have done hym dere,
And all ware sembled in that same stede,
   the kyng wyll wytt what folke thei are.
He gart cownt of ylk kynred
   all that ware abyll armys to bere,
And that hade force to fend thar hede
   and fals Phylysteyns forto fere.
The kynred of Juda:
   sex thowsand and faur score,
This was nowmer of tha
   that ware ay sett before.

642.
Of the lyne of Levy, lygh als levyn,
   faur thowsand sevyn hunderth told.
Of Benjamyn faur thowsand evyn,
   and then of Effraym elders old
Were twenty thowsand styrd be stevyn,
   and aght hunderth of berns bold.
Of Ysacar two hunderth to nevyn
   and twenty thowsand, wytt who wold.
Sevyn thowsand of Symeon
   and one hunderth at hand.
And sythyn of Zabulon lygh als
   ware fyfty thowsand.

643.
Of Neptalim was so grett plenté,
   to nowmer them myght no man com.
Of Aser faurty thowsand free,
   of Dan twenty and sevyn thowsand sum.
Of Ruben, Gad, and Manasse,
   that ware wunnand beyond the flum,
Sex hunderth thowsand had tho thre.
   Of all ther was a thryfty thrum.
And ther ald and yeyng
   with wrschyp on ther wyse
Raysed David to be kyng.
   then was he ordand thryse.
 

Because; (see note)
harm
place
know how many people they are; (t-note)
caused to be counted
able to bear arms
defend their head (leader)
to frighten

6,080
those
were ever


lineage of Levi, quick as lightning; (see note)
4,700 altogether


moved by speech
800 bold men
to name
whoever would know it


then; quick also



(t-note)
manage; (t-note)

27,000 total

dwelling; river (Jordan)

flourishing body of people

honor in their way

ordained for a third time

 
[DAVID ANOINTED A THIRD TIME, ATTACKS JERUSALEM (5:3–6)]
 




7720




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7740
 
644.
The fyrst tym was betwyx them two,
   the prophett Samuel and he,
When God bad hym to Bedlem go,
   and David keped his fader fee.
The secund was in Cecilla
   whore he wonned with his wyfes three.
Thore come the kynred of Juda
   and made hym kyng of that cuntré.
The thryd was now hymselfe
   in Ebron was made kyng
Of all the kynredes twelfe
   that lyfyd to Goddes lykyng,

645.
Qwylke comynly ware cald Cananews
   for Canan that thei dwelled in.
And for Abraham thei ware Ebrews
   namyd with men, both more and myn.
In Jerusalem then wonned Ghebesews,
   the fellest folke of Phylysteyn.
And for thei ware so mekyll schrews,
   on them to were he wyll begyn.
The men that thus ware mett
   and geydderd in grett rowte
To that cyté ware sett
   and segyd yt all abowte.
 

(t-note)


father’s flock
Ziklag
dwelled








Who; Canaanites; (t-note)
they lived in; (t-note)

(i.e., all of them)
lived Jebusites
cruelest
great villains; (t-note)
war

gathered in a great force

besieged

 
[DAVID CAPTURES THE CITY OF JERUSALEM (5:6–8)]
 





7745




7750






7755




7760




 
646.
The folke within, of felows fame,
   saw thei had no force to fyght.
Thei toyght to gare them schon for schame;
   this sotelty sone have thei dyght:
All the lepurs and all the lame
   and all the blynd that wantyd syght
Apon the walles thei sett tho same
   and bad them crye holy on hyght:
“David, that kyng is cald,
   for all thi brag and bost,
This cety sall we hald
   fro thee and all thin ost.”

647.
The kyng hard how the crepyls cryde
   and wyst yt was done in dyspytt.
Therfor he wold no langer byde
   bot qwykly fand yt forto qwytt.
Thei seged yt full sadly on ylka syde
   so that that cyté toke thei full tytte.
Both man and page for all ther prid
   ther heddes full smartly thei of smytte.
The kyng thus and his ost
   dystroyd both bred and lengh.
Tho that wore maysturs most
   had takyn a towr for strengh.
 

infamous; (see note)

thought to make them retreat
subtlety immediately; made
lepers

those same [people]
ordered; in loud voices



army


cripples cried out
knew; despite
wait

besieged; resolutely
very quickly
boy
heads very promptly they cut off
army
width and length
(see note)
tower (citadel) for strength

 
[DAVID CHALLENGES HIS MEN (1 CHRONICLES 11:6)]
 

7765




7770




7775






7780




7785



 
648.
When thei had thus that cety wun
   and broyght yt all under ther bale,
Unto the towre thei have begun
   to sett and sadly yt asale.
Kyng David sayd what moder sun
   that enturs fyrst withoutyn fale,
Als most frendly he sal be fun
   and most cheve of the kynges consale.
When Duke Joab con here
   the kyng gaf this decré,
He wold non were so nere
   of his consell os he.

649.
Therfor he dyd his myght and mayn
   that wrschep to hymself at wyn.
He cast no perels ne no payn
   tyll he that towr was enturd in.
And hastely he hath them slayn;
   that boldnes gart his gamys begyn.
For so he was sett as soverayn
   of all the kynges men, more and myn,
And most chefe of conselys,
   whore so thei gang or ryde,
And ordenare of batellys
   to buske or ellys to abyde.
 

won
their authority

beset; resolutely assail it; (t-note)
mother’s son (i.e., whoever); (see note); (t-note)

held most in friendship
most chief; council
did hear
(t-note)
would have none be so near



strength and effort
honor
shunned no perils nor; (t-note)


caused his pleasure to be achieved
(t-note)
more and less (i.e., all of them)
counselors
wherever
director
hurry; wait

 
[JERUSALEM RENAMED (5:9–10)]
 


7790




7795




7800






7805




7810


 
650.
Sen that place was ther best socour,
   to byd thore ware thei not to blame.
The folke then namyd yt David Towre,
   and to this day yt beyrs that name.
So was the kyng sett in honour
   and over all namyd of nobyll fame.
Phylesteyns that war styfe in stowre,
   in this tyme thei war mad full tame
And flemed fro that cyté,
   and Ebrews thor ordand.
The kyng bad yt suld be
   chefe cyté of that land.

651.
Thos lordes then ther levys hath tane
   when he was sett as soveran syre.
For hym to noye then was ther none
   bot fals Phylysteyns, fell ose fyre.
Amang all other was ther on,
   Aram, that was kyng of Tyre;
Of syder wod had he gud wone.
   And that was Kyng David desyre
Forto make howse in hast
   his Ebrews in to abyd,
For that cyté was wast
   sere tyms befor that tyde.
 

haven
live there were
the Tower of David; (see note)
bears


were hard in battle

driven away
set themselves




their leaves have taken

trouble
cruel as fire
one [leader]
Hiram; (t-note)
cedar wood; plenty; (t-note)


live

many times

 
[HIRAM OF TYRE’S OFFERING TO DAVID; DAVID’S CHILDREN (5:11–16)]
 



7815




7820






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7835

 
652.
When Aram, kyng of Tyre, herd tell
   Kyng David in so grett degré,
And that he dyght hym forto dwell
   in Jerusalem, that grett ceté,
Grett syder treyse fast gart he fell,
   and bad that wryghtes bown suld be
And the best masons them omel
   at wend to Canan cuntré.
“Sekys to the kyng,” he sayd,
   “and werkes what he wyll bede.”
Kyng David was well payd,
   for of swylke had he nede.

653.
Then made he walles full mekyll of myght
   with nobyll towrs and turettes by
And barrys bune with yrn and dyght
   forto eschew all yll enmy.
Then mad he halles and howses on heyght
   for lordes and lades in to ly
With selers semly unto syght
   pavyd and paynted with ymagry.
Of wyfes he had gud wone,
   that with hym wonnand ware.
A wyfe bare Absolon
   and his suster Thamar.
 



desired

cedar trees did he chop down; (t-note)
wrights conscripted
together with them; (t-note)
that would go
Seek
order
very glad
such [men]


very great in strength

bars [on gates] bound with iron; (t-note)
wicked enemies

to sleep in
cellars

plenty; (t-note)
were dwelling
Absalom; (see note); (t-note)
Tamar

 
[PHILISTINE ATTACKS (5:17–25)]
 




7840




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7855




7860






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7870






7875




7880






7885




7890




7895

 
654.
Now hath Kyng David power playn
   of Ebrews in ylk cuntree.
Bot Phylysteyns ware no thyng fayn
   that he suld goverand swylke degré.
Thei sembled men with all ther mayn
   to sege Jerusalem cyté.
Bot os God wold, sone was sum slayn,
   and sum also ware fayn to flee.
That toyght them grett dyspyte;
   therfor thei wold not blyne.
Thei gatt mo folke full tytt
   and new were con begyne.

655.
Thei geydderd full grett cumpany
   that cyté oft sythys to assayle.
Kyng David wold not feygh forthi
   or he of God had sum consayle
Whether he suld have the vyctory
   and bettur byd in that batell.
God warnd hym then full wyttly
   by a sygne that he suld not fayle.
God bad he suld take tent
   and on the evynyng-tyd
Lay his men in buschement
   under a forest syde:

656.
“On the morn then sall ye fynd
   this tokyn trew that I yow tell.
When the wod wages withoutyn wynd,
   wend thou then be lyve; no langer dwell.
Your enmys sall ye bette and bynd
   and make them flee over fyrth and fell.
Thei sal be lorn that levys behynd,
   and maystry leve thi men omell.”
Os God demed, David dyde.
   His men sone he arayde.
And all to hym betyd,
   als God Hymself had sayd.

657.
When thei to batell bremly breyst,
   Phylysteyns ware full fayn to flee.
The kyng with his folke foled fast
   and putt them down, full grett plenté.
With ther pursewyt so ar thei past
   to Gessore, that was ther cyté.
That thei conquerd and down yt cast
   and gat gret gud of gold and fee.
Thei wan thor welth enogh,
   that wold to tresour tent.
Hamward then thei drogh
   and stroyd ever as thei wentt.

658.
The godes of gold that thei gat thore,
   that ware made for ther mawmentry,
Kyng David toke them to tresour
   and forto menske God Allmighty.
So fals Phylysteyns wasted wore
   that thei myght make no more maystry.
Kyng David wex ay more and more
   with wrschep, als he was worthy.
God wroyght for hym allway
   and made hym mekyll in price.
And he honerd God ay
   with suyt and sacrafyce.
 



in no way glad
(t-note)
their strength; (t-note)
besiege
at once were some slain
happy

tarry
very quickly
war did begin



many times
fight at that point
before

perform
advised; wisely

take heed
in the evening
ambush





forest shakes
go; quickly; (t-note)
beat
field and forest
killed who are left
among


happened



fiercely broke; (t-note)
very desirous
followed

pursuit
Gazer

goods; livestock
won there

withdrew themselves



won there
idolatry
(t-note)
honor
were

grew ever
honor

great in glory
always
submission

 
[DAVID FETCHES THE ARK OF GOD (6:1–5)]
 




7900




7905



 
659.
Then toke he purpase forto ta
   into Jerusalem cyté
The Arke of gold fra Gabatha
   and sett yt up in grett degré.
Thryty milia gart he ga
   with sang and grett solempnité
Withoutyn prestes and dekyns ma
   that abowt yt agh to be.
All maner of mynstralsy
   was ordand for this thyng,
And full fayre cumpany
   went before with the kyng.
 

take; (t-note)

Gibeah

30,000 caused he to go
song
Beyond the priests and other deacons
around it ought

occasion


 
[UZZAH TOUCHES THE ARK AND IS STRUCK DOWN (6:6–8)]
 


7910




7915




7920
 
660.
All loved thei God both loud and styll
   that His Arke suld lend in ther land.
The Arke, als thei went down a hyll,
   for als yt suld be falland.
On Osay went with full gud wyll
   to hald yt up layd on his hand.
Sone sodan ded was sent hym tyll,
   for he therfor was not ordand.
This lesson wyll us lere:
   non suld neght howled thyng
Bot thei that have power
   grauntyd of Goddes gyfyng.
 

outwardly and inwardly
remain

seemed as if it would be falling
Uzzah; good intention
hold it up
At once sudden death
for that was not ordained
learn; (see note)
no one should approach a hallowed


 
[THE ARK IN JERUSALEM (6:12–15, 17–19)]
 





7925




7930


 
661.
To Jerusalem that Arke is broyght
   with prelettes and with prophettes of price.
A tabernakyll therto was wroyght,
   als well os werkemen cowd avyse.
On ylka syde therto thei soyght
   with sense and solempne sacrafyce.
Als thei had God Hymself thei toyght;
   so fayn was ylkon on ther wyse.
Kyng David was full glad
   that hym was sent swylke seyle;
Gud hope in hert he hade
   that God dyd ever ylk dele.
 


prelates; renown
built
manage

incense
As if; thought
joyful was each one in their ways

such good fortune

part

 
[DAVID’S PROPOSAL TO BUILD A TEMPLE DENIED (7:1–29)]
 



7935




7940






7945




7950




7955






7960




7965



 
662.
And because he swylke wrschep wan
   and gat to govern swylke degré,
To honer God, yf that he can,
   in all his myght ymagyns hee.
He told to the prophett Nathan
   that he wold make of ston and tree
A chyrch that was cald tempyls then
   whorein the Arke of God myght be,
That folke may call and knell
   to be assoiled of ther syn.
Tho prophett prayssed hym well
   swylke gud werke to begyn.

663.
Bot aftur, os I understode,
   God cald unto hym on a nyght,
“David, my servand myld of mode,
   a howse to Me sall thou non dyght,
Bycause thi handes ar full of blod
   of thos that thou hath feld in fyght.
I thanke thee that thi wyll is gud,
   and therfor sall thou reyng be ryght.
And aftur thee thin hayre,
   that sal be Salamon,
He sall make well and fayre
   my howse of tree and ston.”

664.
The prophett sayd the kyng certayn,
   als God had told hym under teld.
Then was Kyng David ferly fayn
   that his heyre suld his welthis weld.
He honerd God with all his mayn
   that hym had broyght unto swylke beld
And mad hym kyng with power playn
   fro hyrd that keped fee in feld.
He governd ald and yyng
   allway by consell clere;
So lyfyd he in lykyng
   in myrth full mony a yere.
 

such honor won


imagines


called a temple at that time

kneel; (t-note)
forgiven
That



(t-note)
him (i.e., Nathan)
cheer
not build

killed in battle

reign; (t-note)
your heir
Solomon





just as; under [his] tent
marvelously glad
heir; wield his wealth
strength
such comfort

from a shepherd who kept the flock in the field
(t-note)


(t-note)

 
[DAVID’S GOOD RULE; HIS KINDNESS TO JONATHAN’S SON (8:15; 9:1–13)]
 


7970




7975




7980






7985




7990


 
665.
Kyng David both be nyght and days
   full dewly demys of ylka dede.
For on poynt was he worthy to prayse:
   that he wold herkyn and take hede
In ryght and reverence them to arase
   that helped hym when he had nede.
For Jonatas waytt he allways
   yf any sewtt ware of his sede,
For whyls he lyfed in land,
   his luf myght nothyng lett.
A sun of his thei fand
   that heygh Mifibosett.

666.
This Mifebozett was of age,
   bot mayned and halt was he.
Kyng David putt hym into perage
   of bacheler, os aght to be.
In Jerusalem a certayn stage
   was made for hym and his meneye.
He held wyght men for ther wage
   to serve hym in sere degré.
His steward con he make
   Cyba, that soveran was;
All for his fader sake,
   gentyll Jonatas.
 


duly judges every deed
one
listen
raise up

Jonathan he watched always
offspring were; seed

cease
found
who was called Mephibosheth



crippled and lame
peerage
bachelor, as it ought; (t-note)
place
company
strong
various means

Ziba; (t-note)
father’s

 
[HANUN BECOMES KING OF THE AMMONITES (10:1–2)]
 



7995




8000






8005




8010




8015

 
667.
When this was done sone aftur this
   a duke, that David trysted apon,
Heyght Naas, kyng of Amonys,
   and had an heyre, that heyght Anon.
The fader was wytty and wyse,
   bot sythyn the sun was fon a fown.
Kyng David held hym mekyll of price
   evyn as his awn son Absolon.
Sone when he herd of this
   that Kyng Naas was dede,
He sent wysmen of his
   the chyld to wysch and rede.

668.
He bad them tell hym how he wold
   mayntein hym with all his myght
And the same frendchep with hym hold
   that he had to his fader hyght.
The messyngers, herdy and bold,
   to wend this way thei war full wyght.
And to the yyng kyng have thei told
   ther resons all; thei rehershed ryght
How Kyng David had sayd
   his frenschepe suld not faylle.
The princes ware not payd
   and cald the kyng in consayle.
 

immediately
trusted; (t-note)
Called Nahash; Ammonites
heir; Hanun
clever; (t-note)
afterwards; found [to be] a fool
held him in much worth


dead

guide; counsel


instructed

(t-note)
assured






satisfied
into private council

 
[THE TREATMENT OF DAVID’S MESSENGERS (10:3–5)]
 




8020




8025






8030




8035




8040
 
669.
Thei say, “Ser, beware and wytty;
   this is the falshed of thi foo.
Thies lordans comys thi land to spy
   and wayte how thei may werke thee wo.
Therfor, ser, sett nothyng therby,
   bot sen thou sees that yt is so,
Lett us waytt them sum velany
   and send them furth wher thei com fro.”
The kyng was yyng of eld,
   that was sone aftur sene.
He lost his bygest beld,
   and so yt turned to tene.

670.
Be this consell the kynges meneye
   this messyngers both bett and band
And cutt ther cloghes up at the the,
   als foles wer served in that land;
Sythyn mad ther berdes half-chavyn be
   and the other half styll to stand
And send them so to ther cuntré
   and bad thei suld go tell thythand.
Yf Kyng David for this
   be wroth, no wonnder yt ys,
To see so mekyll of mys
   agayns his grett gudnes.
 


falsehood of your foe
little lords come
determine

since
inflict [on]

young in maturity
revealed
greatest protector
grief


company
these; beat and bound; (see note)
their clothes up to the thigh
as fools were presented; (t-note)
Then caused their beards half-shaven to be

thus
the news


offense

 
[DAVID RAISES ARMS AGAINST HANUN (10:6–19)]
 





8045




8050






8055




8060




 
671.
He bad them venge this velany
   that under hym had his power.
Joab, his steward stalworthy,
   sayd yt suld be boyght full dere.
And his brother Abbysay
   sembled folk from sydes sere
Anon, the kyng of Amonys,
   and his cuntré forto conquere.
When Kyng Anon herd say
   of Joab entent that tyd,
His folke he gart aray
   in batell hym to abyd.

672.
Duke Joab furth his folke he led
   unto thei come in Amonys cuntré.
He stroyd and brent all that was bred
   and nawder spared folke ne fee.
And als sone os thei batell bed
   to loke who suld the bettur bee,
Phylysteyns full fast thei fled
   and toke to Rabatt, thare ryche cyté.
That cyté was so strong
   with guns and other geyre,
Fro thei that force myght fang,
   thei dowtt no dedes of were.
 

avenge


returned in full measure
Abishai
gathered; many



at that time
caused to be arrayed; (t-note)




until they came
destroyed and burned; abroad
spared neither people nor livestock
offered battle


Rabbah, their; (t-note)

ballistae; equipment [of war]

feared no deeds of war

 
[DAVID FALLS INTO ADULTERY WITH BATHSHEBA (11:1–5)]
 

8065




8070




8075






8080




8085



 
673.
Duke Joab dyght hym forto dwell
   and wyn that cyté, yf he myght.
And in this meyntyme that I tell,
   Kyng David rewled hym all unryght.
In awowtry fowle he fell
   with Ury wyf, that was his knyght.
Swylke medyturs was mad omell
   that with hym was scho all nyght.
Dame Barsabé scho hatt,
   that was tane under teld.
Ser Urré at Rabat
   lay forto fyght in feld.

674.
Sone on the morn Dame Barsabé
   supposed to be with chyld in hy.
And costom was in that cuntré:
   whoso was tan in avowtry
Suld be stoned in the same cyté.
   Therfor scho past full prevely
And prayd the kyng hertly that he
   suld ordan therfor remedy.
The kyng sayd, “Dred thee noyght.
   Thor sall no folke thee fyle.”
Sone then he hym betoyght
   of a full wekyd wyle.
 




ruled himself; (t-note)
foul adultery
Uriah’s; (t-note)
Such mediation was made between [them]

Bathsheba she was called
taken under tent
Sir Uriah
on the battlefield; (t-note)


(t-note)
learned at once that she was with child

taken in adultery


heartily
(t-note)

defile
devised
very wicked trick

 
[DAVID PLOTS TO BRING URIAH AND BATHSHEBA TOGETHER (11:6–13)]
 


8090




8095




8100






8105




8110






8115




8120




 
675.
He thynkes in his awn entent
   how he suld fell all fowle defame.
Aftur Ser Urré hath he sent
   and bad that he suld hast hym hame.
And in this message hath he ment
   so forto scheld the wyfe fro schame.
Fro he with hyr alon ware lent,
   of that barne suld he bere the blame.
Syr Urré hast hym sone
   and com the kyng untyll.
He wyst not what was done
   and askyd what was his wyll.

676.
The kyng says, “Full fayn wold I fele
   how frendes faryn sen thei ferd us fro,
And for thin awn sake, ser, sum dele
   that thou may rest a day or two.
Thi wyfe thynkes lang, I wott full well;
   therfor to hyr I red thou go
And make hyr solace for your sele.
   Yt is semly that thou do so.”
Syr Urry sayd not nay,
   bot furth he wendys his ways,
And all that nyght he lay
   within the kynges palys.

677.
Sone on the morn the kyng beheld
   he was not gone his wyfe to glose,
And askyd hym why he wold not yeld
   chere to his wyfe sen he had chose.
The knyght sayd he suld byde no beld,
   ne be uncled of cotte ne hose,
Whyls all his felows lay in feld
   to wyn wrschep or lyfes lose.
The kyng saw his for-toyght
   myght nothyng stand in stede.
A lettur be lyve he wroyght,
   qwylke sayd he suld be dede.
 

own intention
do away with all foul rumor

homeward
intended

Because
child should he bear
hastened himself immediately
unto; (t-note)
knew; (t-note)



gladly would I learn
fared since they fared from us
some part

know; (see note); (t-note)
advise
your own sake
advisable

went

palace



copulate with; (see note)
give
comfort; since he had chosen it
abide no comfort
nor be unclad of tunic nor
in the field
honor or lose their lives; (t-note)
forethought

quickly
which

 
[DAVID SENDS URIAH TO HIS DEATH IN BATTLE (11:14–17)]
 

8125




8130




8135






8140




8145



 
678.
That lettur he toke the knyght untyll
   and sayd, “Ser, sen thou wyll not rest,
Unto Duke Joab bere this byll,
   as man on lyve that I lufe best,
And byd hym faythfully yt fulfyll.”
   The knyght knew not his ded was kest,
Bot furth he yode with full gud wyll;
   to plese Joab was he full prest.
That boke to hym he bede
   and bad hym serve yt sone.
When Joab had yt rede,
   he saw what suld be done.

679.
And on the morn maystrys he mays
   als he Phylysteyns wold fere.
Syr Urré sett he in swylke place
   whore he wyst thei suld do hym dere.
And sone away fro hym he gays.
   Then thei within were wyse of were
And sees that he no help hays;
   thrugh the body thei con hym bere.
Thus was he saklese slayn,
   that shaply under scheld.
The kyng therfor was fayn
   his wyf that he myght weld.
 


(t-note)
letter


death was established; (t-note)
went

carried






terrify
such a place
knew they would do him harm
goes
wise of war (i.e., veteran soldiers)
has

in innocence; (t-note)
fit man with a shield
glad
use

 
[DAVID MARRIES BATHSHEBA (11:27)]
 


8150




8155




8160
 
680.
He wedyd hyr with mekyll wyn
   and mad hyr to be crowned qwene:
All forto cover that cursyd syn
   that thei had done them two betwen,
For the grett state God sett hym in
   mad hym kyng with crown clene.
To greyve hym thus he con begyne,
   and that was on hymselfe sene.
God toke not sone vengiance,
   bot fyrst he wyll assay
Yf he with repentance
   wyll mend whyls he may.
 

much joy

(t-note)


(t-note)
did
revealed on himself
immediate
determine


 
[GOD SENDS NATHAN TO TEST AND REBUKE DAVID (12:1–15)]
 





8165




8170






8175




8180






8185




8190




8195






8200




8205






8210




8215




8220
 
681.
The prophett Natan sone he sent
   to Jerusalem, that ryche cyté.
Als God wold, wyghly he wentt
   both to Kyng David and Barsabé.
“Ser kyng,” he says, “sen God hath lentt
   that thou sall deme in ylke degré,
A thyng that falys to thi jugment
   am I comyn forto aske of thee.
Als the partys hath prayd,
   so sall I say thee sone.
And ser, when I have sayd,
   os thou demys, sal be done.

682.
“A myghty man and mekyll drede
   wuned heyr besyd down in a dale.
His catell was so wyd spred
   that of them cowth he not tale.
A pure man was besyd hym sted
   that had no catell, grett ne small,
Owt takyn a schep that he had fed
   upon a lamb with corne and cale.
This rych man mad a fest
   at home in his awn hall
And sloght the pure mans best
   to glad his gestes with all.

683.
“This question that I of thee crave
   how this rych man is worthy mede.”
The kyng sayd, “Ser, so God me save,
   this thynke me ryght to rede:
I deme thus that the pure man have
   fowr for on for his nede;
And the rych man that so wold rave
   to suffer ded for that same dede.”
The prophett sayd, “Certan,
   to be so best yt semyd.
This dome ys noyght in vayn;
   thin awn ded hath thou demed,

684.
“Bycawse thou gart kyll thi knyght —
   so semly er full seldom sawyn —
And haldes his wyf agayns the ryght
   because your syns suld not be knawn,
And hath enow both day and nyght
   lades and lemmans of thin awn.
A sodan deth suld on thee lyght,
   bot God has bedyn yt be withdrawn.
And thus therfor sall fall,
   os I sall say on one,
On of thin awn suns sall
   defowle thi wyfes ylk on.

685.
“And that same sun sal be slyke,
   thrugh helpe and myght of other mo,
To cache thee owt of thi kyngryke
   and make thee fayn to fle therfro.
And that ylke chyld that now is like
   to be broyght furth betwyx yow two
Dede with his strengh sall sone yt stryke
   that gain therof thou sall forgo.
This harme hath God thee hyght
   forto be sent unsoyght,
For thou dyssaved thi knyght
   that to thee trespast noyght.
 

(t-note)

desired it to be, promptly

since
judge
falls

parties have asked


as you judge, so shall it


much feared
lived near here

make count
dwelling

Except for
cabbage
feast

slaughtered; (t-note)
gladden his guests


(t-note)
rewarded

advise
judge
four to one

death
Certainly

judgment
your own death


did
such seemly [men] are very seldom seen


enough
lovers of your own
ought on you alight
desired that it be

at once
One of your own sons
every one


killed
(t-note)
kingship
glad to flee
very

Death; soon; (t-note)

promised
undesired
defrauded

 
[DAVID COMPOSES THE MISERERE (VULGATE PSALM 50:1)]
 





8225




8230


 
686.
“And other baylys abyd thee bus
   bot thou to God fast cry and call.”
When the kyng herd yt bus be thus,
   down on the grownd flatt con he fall
And made Miserere mei Deus
   with other psalmys, sum grett, sum small,
Qwylke ar now evydence to us
   at say to God that goverans all
Forgyfnes forto geyte,
   yf we in care be cast,
Als David dyd pennance grett
   and prayd to God full fast.
 

punishments must await you

heard that it must

“Have mercy on me, O God”; (see note)

Which
who say [them]
In order to get forgiveness
distress


 
[DAVID’S SORROW FOR HIS CHILD (12:16–23)]
 



8235




8240






8245




8250




8255

 
687.
Sone aftur then by cowrse of kynd,
   when Barsabé delyvered was,
A fayrer fode myght no man fynd
   of hyd ne hew then scho now has.
Kyng David was then mery in mynd,
   bot aftur sone he sayd alas,
When that he saw the chyld was pynd
   with payns of dede and myght not pase.
Bot in his hert he toyght
   that he to God wold pray
And mowrn all that he moght
   to mend yt, yf he may.

688.
He dyde away his garmentes gud,
   and in a seke he sett hym down.
He weped als he wold be wod
   and kest powder apon his crown.
Be sex days wold he fang no fode
   for spech of bacheler ne barown.
Ther myght no myrth amend his mode
   to tyme the barne to bere was bown.
On the sevynt day, als swyth
   as the chyld lyf was ende,
He bad all men be blyth
   sen mowrnyng made no mende.
 

nature
(t-note)
more beautiful child
skin nor complexion


afflicted
mortal pains; live
thought; (t-note)

he could manage



(see note)
sackcloth
as if he would go mad
ashes
For; take no food
baron; (t-note)
cheer; (t-note)
until; child to bier was taken
as swiftly; (t-note)
child’s life


 
[BIRTH OF SOLOMON (12:24–25)]
 




8260




8265



 
689.
Of David sonnes before sayd we.
   The first of all that hight Amon,
A semely man in sight to se,
   and the secund hight Absalon.
Now gate he anothre of Barsabee,
   and he was named Salamon:
As wyse a man in his degree
   as ever God layd life upon.
As Absalon was fair,
   so was Salamon wyse
And after his fadir hair
   and kyng pereles of price.
 

(t-note)
those was called Amnon
beautiful
Absalom
begat
Solomon




heir
unequaled in worth

 
[JOAB DEFEATS RABBAH FOR DAVID (12:26–31)]
 


8270




8275




8280






8285




8290


 
690.
In all this tyme Duke Joab lay
   the cyté of Rabaat forto wyn.
For fawt of fode thei fell down fay,
   Phylysteyns that ware within.
When Duke Joab saw certayn day
   that thei thare fro suld nedly twyn,
Hee sent to Kyng David forto say
   that himself suld com and begyn.
Heyrof well payd was he,
   and ydder he wendes on one.
Thei wan sun that cyté
   and gatt ther welth grett wone.

691.
Anon, the kyng of Amonys,
   was thore owtrad and al to shent.
His crown that was of grett price
   Kyng David has on his hed hent.
The lordschepes that abowt hym lyse
   and burghes brode be lyve ware brent.
And when all was wrogh on this wyse,
   to Jerusalem with joy thei wentt.
The kyng made all men glade
   with grett gyftes or thei gang.
Grett joy in hert he had,
   bot yt last not lang.
 

(i.e., beseiged)

lack of food; dead; (see note)


necessarily leave [the city]; (t-note)
(t-note)
(t-note)
rewarded

won soon
in great amounts


Ammon; (see note)
defeated; destroyed
worth
placed; (t-note)
(t-note)
towns; quickly were burnt
wrought


before they departed


 
[TAMAR RAPED BY AMNON (13:1–19)]
 



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692.
He had a doyghtur his hert was on,
   heygh Thamar, os I told beforne.
Scho was systur to Absolon;
   thei both ware of a moyder born.
Hyr eldest brother, that heygh Amon,
   he mad mornyng myday and morn.
And fowle he began to fon
   to have hyr lufe, or els to be lorn.
Hyre on so con he thynke,
   and for he durst not say,
He myght not ette ne drynke
   bot peryst and wast away.

693.
A servant that was to hym nere
   and most of all his counsels knew,
He saw his maystur make yll chere
   and oft sythys chaunged his hyd and hew.
He sayd, “Ser, tell unto me heyre
   what thyng thee noys now of new.
Full gud legians I sall thee lere,
   or ellys trest never that I be trew.”
He sayd, “Thus evyll I fare,
   and bot I sped, I spyll,
My systur, fayr Thamar,
   bot I hyr weld at wyll.”

694.
“A ser,” he sayd, “Take myrth omell
   and for this ded be not adred.
Feyn yow seke ose so befell,
   and say thou may not pase thi bed.
The kyng, thi fader, when he heyrys tell,
   wyll come to se how thou ert sted.
Pray hym Thomar may with thee dwell,
   for of hyr lyst thee best be fed.
Full sone he wyll thee graunt
   or thou thi myrthes myst.
And so thou sall hyr hawnt
   and luf evyn os thou lyst.”

695.
Thys purpase was well to his pay,
   and sone all this was was done in ded.
So Thamar was comyn on a day
   hyr brother frendly forto fede.
Then wysed he all his men away
   and bad them spere all as thei yede.
And to his systur con he say:
   “My ded ys dyght withoutyn dred.
No bettur boyt may be,
   bot thou this grace wyll gyfe:
To werke my wyll with thee,
   I may no langer lyfe.

696.
“We ar heyr in our howse at hame,
   and non sall wytt this, I warrand.”
When Thamar hard, hyr hert was tame,
   and for ferd tremled fotte and hand.
Scho sayd, “Brother, lett be for schame
   and for wreth of God all-weldand.
Well leuer me ware of lyfe be lame
   and lordschep lose and lefe this land.
No more this mote thou nevyn,
   that sory and synfull ys,
Bot heyve thi hert to Hevyn
   and aske God forgyfnes.

697.
“And have in mynd, dere brother Amone,
   how men wold marvell, both more and myn,
To here thou suld so fowly fon:
   thi systur forto seke with syn.
Grett vengians wold be tan theron
   both with the kyng and our kyn.
For wyst my brother Absolon,
   full mekyll wo yt wold begyn.”
Amon wyst all was sperd;
   hyr sawys he sett not by.
Fowle with hyr he ferd
   and forst hyr felously.

698.
The maydyn was full maysed and mate,
   bot of hyr bale no butt may be.
Son os a hownd he con hyr hatte
   and sayd he wold not on hyr see.
That scho suld go wyghtly hyr gate
   owt of his hows then commawnd he.
Scho prayd of leve tyll yt ware latte
   that scho myght pase in preveté.
For spech he wold not spare,
   no lenger suffer hyr lend.
Evyll hurled hed and hare;
   sore wepand con scho wend.
 

(t-note)
named Tamar; (t-note)

one mother
Amnon; (t-note)
mourning
sinfully; plan
love; lost; (t-note)
On this
because he dared; (t-note)
eat
perished and wasted; (t-note)



(t-note)

times; complexion
here
troubles
allegiance; promise


unless I succeed, I die

use


together
deed; fearful
Pretend you are sick
leave
hears tell [of this]
are in an ill plight

from her you desire most to be
At once

visit
pleased


plan; liking

(t-note)
(t-note)
ordered; (see note)
lock everything as they went

death is near without doubt
cure





here; (t-note)
know of this, I promise
heard; faint; (see note)
fear [she] trembled
stop this
almighty
I would rather in life

may you mention

heave



(t-note)
everywhere
sinfully behave
seek
vengeance; taken
(t-note)
If knew
much woe
prepared
advice; naught
Sinfully; dealt [with her]
forced her wickedly; (t-note)


dazed and dejected
misery; comfort
As soon as a dog; hate
look
(i.e., quickly leave)


secrecy
her to remain

(t-note)
weeping; leave

 
[ABSALOM AVENGES TAMAR (13:20–36)]
 




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699.
So went scho furth with mekyll wo
   tyll Absolon, hyr brother, hall.
And when he saw hyr gretand go,
   he had ferly what suld befall.
“Systur,” he sayd, “how ys it so?
   Who hath thee greved, grett or small?” —
“My brother Amon and no mo.”
   Then how betyde scho told hym all.
No mervell was to mene
   yf he in mynd ware mevyd.
Bot sembland non was sene
   in hert how he was greved.

700.
Thamar thus tuke he hym tyll
   and made hyr myrth with all his mayn.
He leytte Amon have all his wyll
   os he had noyght wyst of the trayn.
So all this stryfe was haldyn styll
   unto two yeres was past playn.
And then als end comys of all yll,
   befell in the seson certayn
That men suld clype ther schepe,
   and whore ther catell lendes
Suld ylk man take kepe
   ther for to fest ther frendes.

701.
Fell Absolon for this same thyng
   ordand a grett mangery.
He bad therto his fader the kyng,
   bot he excused hym skylfully.
He bad hym take both old and yyng
   of his breyther to be hym by,
And frendes, als fallys for swylke doyng.
   And als he demed, he dyd in hy.
He bad his brother Amon
   to se how frendes suld fare.
The ded ay thynkes he on
   that was done to Thamar.

702.
The fest was ordand fayr and fyne
   and purvayd in ylk poynt perfyt.
Sone Absolon sayd unto his hyne
   how Amon had done hym dyspytt,
“When ye se hym well dronkyn of wyne,
   his hed then smertly ye of smytt.
For he mysded to me and myne,
   now sall I fand yt forto qwytt.”
Thei dyd als he commawnd,
   and sone was Amon slayn.
So for fowle luf in land
   ar men oft put to payn.

703.
His brether, when thei saw this syght,
   and all his frendes ware fowle afrayd.
To Jerusalem thei went full wyght
   and told how Amon was betrayd.
Kyng David, qwen this dole was dyght,
   “Alas, both ware my suns,” he sayd,
“Bot Absolon by reson ryght
   sall dere aby this byttur brayd.”
He mornyd and mad grett mone
   for both thoo brether sake.
So dyd his frendes ylkon
   and wered weked wrake.
 

much woe
into Absalom[’s], her brother[’s]
grieving; (t-note)




what had happened
It is no surprise
moved [to action]
outward sign; seen




strength

as if; no knowledge; betrayal
kept quiet; (see note)
until two years


clip their sheep
where their
(t-note)
feast their friends


It happened
arranged; banquet; (t-note)


He (i.e., David)
brothers
befit
haste


deed always




(t-note)
servants
harm
drunk
you must swiftly cut off; (t-note)

repay


Thus for foul love
(t-note)


brothers

quickly

(t-note)
(t-note)

dearly atone for; evil

those; (t-note)

prepared wicked vengeance; (t-note)

 
[ABSALOM FLEES TO GESHUR; JOAB BRINGS HIM BACK (13:37–14:24)]
 




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704.
Then Absolon was fayn to fle
   and sojornnd for certan tyde
In Jessor with the kyng of Cirre,
   his syb man on his moyder syde.
And thore he bod by yeres thre
   his fader frenschep to abyd.
Then Joab toyght asay wold he
   to make acord, all harmys to hyd.
He soyght a sotell gyn
   and ordand of this thyng:
A woman suld begyn
   forto carpe with the kyng.

705.
He gart a lady go and grette
   and ryve hyr hare full rewfully.
Scho fell before the kynges fette,
   and “Mercy, lord!” lowd con scho cry.
He sayd, “My help heyr I thee hette;
   tell unto me thi harmys in hy.”
“A mercy, lord, my bale thou bete,
   for dred of thi law lorn am I.
I had two suns certayn;
   both ware full fayr of face.
On hath that other slayn
   as thei playd in a place.

706.
“My sun that dyd yt con hym withdraw
   to wyldernese, full wyll of wone,
For men says that he sall by law
   be turment, and he may be tone,
And suffer ded; this is thar saw
   that makes me morne and make this mone.
That ware to me a weked thraw,
   ther I had two, forto have none.
Therfor this grace me gyfe
   sen thou all sydes may save.
Say that my sun sall lyfe,
   I kepe noyght els to crave.”

707.
The kyng in hert then had pety.
   He comforth hyr that men myght here.
“Dame, thi sun sall lyf,” says he.
   “Therfor of mornyng mend thi chere.”
Then yt was solace to see.
   Scho sayd, “Ser kyng, with crown clere,
Sen thou hath grawnt mercy to me,
   graunt thi sun on the same manere.
Sen myn sall mercy have
   and grace on ground to gang,
Thin awn sun bot thou save,
   men wyll deme thou dose wrang.”

708.
Kyng David to this tale toke hede.
   he wyst well what this woman ment,
And that yt was Duke Joab dede,
   and therfor aftur hym sone he sent.
He bad that he suld go gud sped
   and tell to Absolon his entent
Forto com home and have no dred.
   The messeg wyghtly is he went.
Then ware thei frendes fast,
   the kyng and Absolon.
So was tho plenyng past
   for the ded of Amon.
 



Geshur; Syria; (see note)
kinsman; (see note)
dwelled
await
thought he would try

subtle guile


speak


caused
tear her hair
feet

here; assure; (t-note)

relieve
forlorn
(t-note)





(t-note)
completely without hope; (t-note)

be tortured; taken
death
mourn
evil time


since




pity





Since


walk (i.e., to live)
own son unless
deem you do wrong; (t-note)










(see note)

mourning passed
death

 
[ON ABSALOM’S BEAUTY (14:25–33)]
 




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8505



 
709.
Of Absolon is ferly fare
   to fynd how fayr he was to syght,
And of his makyng mekyll mare;
   he past all other men in myght.
Of twenty libri wegh was his hare
   that he had on his hed on heyght.
And als clerkes con yt declare,
   like to gold wyre so was it bryght.
To no maystrys he meved
   whyls men dyd his desyre,
Bot and he ware oght greved,
   then was he fell os fyre.
 

(see note)
(t-note)


pounds weight; (see note)



he stirred up no violence

But if; in any way grieved; (see note)
fierce as fire; (t-note)

 
[ABSALOM’S CONSPIRACY (15:1–9)]
 


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710.
He hath geydderd of gold and fee
   for hym and mony other moo,
And therof gafe he grett plenté
   and mad them frendes that ware his foo,
That soverance of that same cyté
   and other cetys sere also.
And the most of the kynges meneye
   ware wylly with hym forto go.
So be faur yeres ware past,
   he had so wysly wroght:
All folke ware with hym fast
   and to his socour soght.

711.
So when he wyst both old and yyng
   wold holly at his ledyng lende,
He asked leve at his lord the kyng
   unto Ebron forto wende
His sacrafyce thor forto bryng,
   als he had heyght with hert and hende.
The kyng sayd, “Sun, in my blessyng.”
   Bot of his cast nothyng he kend.
Of charys and chyvalry
   grett plenté war purvayde,
And furth he wendes in hy
   tyll Ebron, als he sayd.
 

gathered

very generously
foes
rulers; (t-note)
many
company
willing; (t-note)
Thus by [the time that]; (see note)

bound




completely; (t-note)

Hebron to journey

promised
Son, [go] with; (t-note)
treacherous plan he knew nothing; (t-note)
chariots and horses
were provided
goes in haste

 
[ABSALOM’S REVOLT AND DAVID’S FLIGHT (15:10–16:14)]
 



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712.
Cytes and towns, when thei herd tell
   that Absolon so was assent,
At home them lyst no langer dwell,
   bot with hym holy ar thei went.
And mervell had thei them omell
   what thyng he had in his entent.
Bot his cheve counsell, Archyttofell,
   ther wyst no mo men what he ment.
When he come in Ebron,
   whor hym lyked best to be,
He gart tho men ylkon
   to hymself make sewrté.

713.
Thei ware full bown to his bedyng,
   both knyght, swyer, knave, and page.
Thei honerd hym over all thyng
   and sett hym up in certan stage.
Then all the cuntré, old and yyng,
   com to hym and made homage
And heyght to hald hym for ther kyng
   and werke his wyll withoutyn wage.
When all ware same assent
   and mad sewrty certayn,
Then told he his entent
   and all his purpase playn.

714.
“Sers,” he sayd, “Sene ye deme
   me to be kyng and were the crown,
Your land and yow well sall I yeme
   and maynten yow in all reson.
My fader ys fayrest forto fleme,
   or yf he byde, to bryng hym down.”
Thei say, “Ser, sertes so wyll yt seme;
   to make this bargan ar we bown.”
This was a curssed cummand
   his fader forto spyll.
And yett feyll foyles he fand
   that falshed to fulfyll.

715.
Then Kyng David herd tythyng tell
   that his awn sun with sytt hym soght,
And how that fals Archytofell,
   his counsellar, was with hym broyght.
He ordand sone his men omell
   to remeve in all that thei moght.
He sayd, “We be ded and we dwell;
   I knaw so wele ther wekyd toyght.
And yf thei here us toke
   or seged this ceté,
Then war over latte to loke
   to qwylke syd we suld flee.”

716.
He bad the byschop Abyathar
   and his wyfes with drere mode
And other clerkes that with them ware
   in ther sere state als thei stude
To dwell ther styll for any care,
   to kepe the Arke of God full gud,
And send hym word ay how thei fare
   unto the flome or beyond the flode.
Ten wyfes with other frendes
   thor leves he sojorand so.
And furth then with hym wendes
   sex hunderth and no moo.

717.
Als he went apon a heght hyll,
   he saw the cyté and burghis by,
Qwylke he was wunt at weld at wyll
   and was dyssavyd fro sodanly.
Then loved he God with stevyn full styll
   and sayd, “This wo am I worthy.”
So come a man mornand hym tyll,
   that cosyn was and heyght Cusy.
Kyng David sayd, “I trest
   to thee that thou be trew.
Full fayn I wold thou frayst
   yf that thou may remewe

718.
“Archytofell, that fals is ay,
   oute of the counsell of my sun.
He is abowt both nyght and day
   to werke that we in bale ware bun.”
Then Cusy says, “I sall asay,
   for all this falshed hath he fun.”
And with this word he went his way
   to the ceté ward, as he was wun.
This mater sal be ment
   more furth, als yt befell;
Bot how Kyng David went
   is fyrst now forto tell.

719.
Sone on the morn with David mett
   fro the same cyté on Cyba,
Was stewerd to Mifbosett,
   that was the sun of Jonatha.
Both bred and wyn furth has he fett,
   a presand to that pepyll and ma.
David asked sone, when thei ware sett,
   “How farys our frend that thou com fra?”
He says, “Ser, sen thou went,
   he is abowt to bryng
Sere folke to his assent
   and says he wyll be kyng.”

720.
Kyng David says, “Sertes, that ware schame;
   thou wott well he may do no dede.
For he is lytyll, and he is lame
   and nothyng lyke a land to lede.
Me thynke that boy is forto blame;
   therfor sone sall I spyll his spede.
Syba, thou sall have that same
   that I gaf hym when he had nede.”
Then Syba went agayn;
   in hert he was full glade
And toke all power playn
   that Myfbosett hade.

721.
Kyng David cowd no comforth ken
   bot cayred furth with his cumpany.
A grett mysdoer mett hym then,
   Kyng Saul cosyn Semey.
He werred David and all his men
   and spytt on hym dyspytfully
And stones kest and fowles fene
   and oft sythys sayd apon hym “Fy!”
Knyghtes com fast hym to kyll,
   bot David bad them blyn.
“I wott yt is Goddes wyll;
   I suffer yt for my syn.

722.
“What mervel ys yt of this dede
   a hethyn hownd me forto hatte,
Sen myn awn sun wyll have no dred
   me forto brew all this debate?”
Bot aftur sone, os men may rede,
   this grome that greved hym in the gate
Be David dome he had his mede
   and lost his lyf, yf yt ware late.
In this tym Absolon,
   as kyng with playn power,
Was comyn owt of Ebron
   to Jerusalem ryght nere.
 


determined [to go]
desired
completely
curiosity they had all together

Except for his chief; Ahithophel
intended


made those
give allegiance


prepared to [do]
squire; (see note); (t-note)




swore
reward

(t-note)




Since you deem
wear
protect

drive out
remains
certainly
agreed
(t-note)
kill; (t-note)
many fools he found; (t-note)
betrayal


news
son with trouble

(t-note)
together

if we remain
thought
(t-note)
besieged; (t-note)
Then would it be too late to look
which side


Abiathar
dreary cheer
priests
bitter state

safe
always
river
concubines
there he leaves

600


high
towns
accustomed to control
defrauded of
voice
[Of] these woes
mourning
close friend; Hushai
trust

glad I would [be if] you try
move


who is ever false



try
committed
(t-note)
towards the city
told
(t-note)





one [man named] Ziba
Mephibosheth; (t-note)
Jonathan; (t-note)
(t-note)
more; (t-note)

(t-note)
(t-note)

Many



For certain
know



soon; end his success





(t-note)


command
traveled
misdoer
Shimei; (t-note)
cursed

chicken shit; (t-note)
many times

stop




surprise
dog; hate
own son

soon after; read; (see note)
fellow; road
By David’s judgment; reward





 
[HUSHAI DEFEATS AHITHOPHEL’S COUNSEL (16:15–17:23)]
 

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723.
When thei ware in that cyté sett,
   Archytofell, that curssed knyght,
He sayd, “Ser, and thou do thi dett,
   to David sall thou doles dyght;
Gar all his wyfes furth fast be fette
   hym to reprove by reson ryght,
And lyg by them — for no thyng lett —
   playnly in the pepyll syght.
And therby sall thei wytt
   and be exempyll se
That luf sall never be knytt
   betwyx thi fader and thee.

724.
Yf any gabbers wold hym glose
   to say that he suld come agayn,
By this syght sall thei well suppose
   that he sall never have myrth ne mayn.
So sall he all his lordschep lose
   and forto flee farre be full fayn.
Then of the chefe sall thou have chose
   that now ar to his bedyng bayn.”
Full wo the wemen wore
   when he so wekydly wroght.
That Natan told before
   bud unto end be broght.

725.
Cusy com, Kyng David frend,
   to Absolon, os I sayd ayre.
He haylsed hym with wordes hend
   and loved God fast for his welefare.
Absolon asked what he mende
   and sayd, “Swylke spekyng suld thou spare.
With David was thou wunt to wende,
   chefe of his counsell to declare.”
He sayd, “Ser, so I was
   whyls he stud in degré;
Now lyst me lett hym pase
   and lede my lyf with thee.

726.
“I wott well yt is Godes wyll
   that thou be kyng with crown clere,
And at all pepyll come thee untyll
   to serve thee in servyce sere.
That forward wyll I fayn fulfyll
   with hert and hand, I hett thee here.”
Absolon trowed of non yll
   and toke hym of his counsell nere.
Cusy in cowrt sall dwell;
   ys non so grett to geysse
All for Archytofell
   to make his lordschep lesse.

727.
That wekyd man then went full wyght
   to Absolon and says his toyght:
“Ser, thou sall have no rest ne ryght
   tyll David unto ded be broyght.
Take me ten thowsand men of myght;
   we sall not sesse or he be soyght.
We sall be nere this ylk nyght,
   and bot I take hym, trow me noyght.”
Absolon says, “Sawyns fayle,
   a fayr profer thou mase.”
Bot fyrst he asked counsell
   of Cusy in this case.

728.
Cusy hath mynd both morn and noyne
   to helpe David in his nede.
And wele he wyst, yf this ware done,
   he suld be dede withoutyn drede.
To Absolon thus says he sone,
   “Ser, this spekyng may not spede;
Ten thowsand folke wold be full fone
   into a fere land forto lede.
Thi fader is wunt to fyght,
   and his folke er full fell.
Ordand thou have more myght
   or thou of swylke maters mell.

729.
“Send aftur all thi knyghtes kene
   and aftur keyn men of thi kyn,
And wend thiself thore to be sene.
   Lett non other that wrschep wyn.”
Archytofell herd how that thei mene
   that Cusy consell was cald in.
In hert he had so mekyll teyne
   that langer he wold not byd ne blyn.
Bot herd he con hym hy
   untyll his howse at hame.
In anger and in envy
   he hanged hymself with schame.

730.
On this wyse was the lordan lorn;
   we hope he hasted sone to Hell.
And Cusy wentt sone on the morn
   to the Tempyll tythynges forto tell.
Abyathar he fand hym beforn
   with mony mo mowrnand omell.
He told all how he had hym born,
   that hanged was Archytofell.
And he was of consell
   to byde at bed and borde.
This tale fro tope to tale
   he told them ylka word.

731.
“Werkes now,” he sayd, “by your wysdom
   that Kyng David may here in hy
How I have ordand all and sum
   — I wott he wyl be fayn forthi —
And byde hym flee beyond the flum
   for beldyng of his awn body.
For Absolon his sun sall come
   agayns hym with grett cumpany.”
Letturs be lyve thei sent;
   this sand was for ther sele.
Wyse men so warly went;
   Kyng David wot ylk dele.
 



if; duty
sorrows inflict
Cause; fetched

lie by them; delay

know; (t-note)
by
reformed; (t-note)



gossipmongers; flatter; (t-note)


nor strength

far be very glad
the choice
obedient


(see note)



Hushai came
before
greeted; courteous







I desire to



(t-note)

that; unto; (t-note)
various services
agreement; gladly
promise
believed








thought
(t-note)
death
(see note)
cease
(t-note)
unless; trust me not
Without doubt; (t-note)
you make




midday



quickly
succeed
too few; (t-note)
far
liable
terrible [in might]
See to it that you; (t-note)
before; speak; (t-note)


brave; (t-note)
keen
go; seen
honor
(t-note)

anger
wait or remain
hard he did hasten himself
home




villain dead


news

among [them]


(t-note)
(t-note)
beginning to end; (t-note)
every



hear at once

glad therefore
river
protection

against
quickly
message; good fortune

knows each part

 
[DAVID’S ARMY DEFEATS ABSALOM (17:24–18:18)]
 



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8880
 
732.
When David had the letturs rede,
   well comforth in his hert was he.
Furth over the flum his folke he led
   to Manahym, a grett cyté.
The folke that in that sted ware sted
   welcumd hym with mekyll glee.
And all ther beld to hym thei bed
   to byd whore so hymself wold be.
That cyté was walled so wele,
   ther myght no man yt myne.
Ne thei dowt no dele
   for gune ne grett ingyne.

733.
Kyng David thore with blyse con byde
   and had at wyll what so he wald.
Faur barons wuned ther besyde
   that send hym vytell all unsald.
Ther helpe fro hym thei wold not hyde,
   bot hertly hetes with hym to hold,
So that he had to tell that tyde
   faur thowsand, that ware knytes cald.
In this tyme Absolon
   had geydderd grett plenté
Of knyghtes that cough theron
   his fader bayn to be.

734.
Thei rested nawder day ne nyght
   to thei the flum ware passed playn.
When thei had of that cyté a syght,
   whore David wuned, then ware thei fayn.
Bot he wyst wele thei had no myght
   to towch hym, bot yf it wer with trayn.
Therfor his men arays he ryght
   them forto mare with all his mayn.
A parte to hymself toke he
   and unto Joab another,
And the thryd he bad suld be
   to Abysay, Joab brother.

735.
Full fayn he wold with them have went,
   bot sone thei sayd hym this myschefe:
“Yf thou ware in ther handes hent,
   then had thei gam us all to greve.
And, ser, yf sum of us be shent,
   the remland then may thou releve.
Therfor yt is not our assent
   that thou owt of this cyté meve.”
He thanked them oft sith
   that shewed ther luf so large.
Bot he sayd, “Lordynges lith,
   of a thyng I yow charge.

736.
“Yf grace fall, when ye have begun,
   that ye the vyctory may geyte,
Loke ye save Absolon, my sun,
   that he be nawder bun ne bette.”
Thei say, “And he in feld be fun,
   we sall full dewly do our dette.
He sal be in no bandes bun.”
   I hope thei held all that thei hette!
Joab with cumpany
   os principall furth past.
His brother Abysay
   folod on full fast.

737.
Absolon on that other syd
   come with his folke, fell os the fend.
And with them was arayd to ryde
   Cusy, that was Kynges David frend.
Then was no bote to byd abyde,
   bot ylkon shope other to shend.
Of all ther tolyng in that tyd
   ware lang to tell bot loke the ende.
When David men had slayn
   twenty milia and moo,
The remland ware full fayn
   with lyfes ther way to go.

738.
Absolon, when he saw that syght:
   how that his folke ware fayn to flee,
Into a wod he rydes ryght;
   thor trowd he best beldyd to be.
The wynd heyved up his hare on hyght
   so that yt cached into a tre.
His sted went furth his way full wyght,
   and by the hare so hang he.
Folke fowled hym to fere
   and fand hym in the fryd.
Bot non durst do hym no dere
   for dred of Kyng David.

739.
When Joab herd tell this tythyng
   how Absolon hang by the hare,
He bede a boy fyfty schylyng
   to sla hym, or he farre fare.
Bot no man durst do swylke a thyng
   for David dred, als I sayd ayre.
Then Joab toyght yt hard hethyng
   and thrugh the body ther hym bare.
Thus had this man myschaunce
   and for non other thyng
Bot for myse-governance
   and unlefull lyfyng.

740.
Sone Joab herkynd and beheld
   all his enmys away wore gone.
To geydder his men agayn to beld
   bugyls gart he blaw gud wone.
Unto his hand all con thei held.
   That body down then have thei toyn
And beyred yt fayre in the feld
   and mad a hyll of mony a ston.
Thus ended Absolon
   so dyd Archytofell,
And hedyd was Amon
   for Thamar, so we tell.
 




Mahanaim
place were in difficulty
[and] welcomed; much
their protection; gave
stay where
well
undermine
Nor need they fear a bit; (see note)
ballista; siege engine


bliss did await
desired
dwelled; (see note); (t-note)
victuals for free
Their
heartily promised
(t-note)
knights; (see note)

gathered





until; river
(t-note)
dwelled; glad
knew well
unless; betrayal
he arrays
destroy; strength
division


Abishai


gladly

taken
would cause; (t-note)
killed
remnant

move
often times; (t-note)
love so freely
Gentle lords; (t-note)



If by grace it happens, once
achieve

neither bound nor beaten
If he on the field is taken
duly; duty
shackles bound
hold [to]; promise; (see note); (t-note)
(t-note)
(t-note)

followed



fierce as the devil

King David’s friend
(t-note)
planned the other to destroy
their fighting; time
[to] the end [of the battle]

20,000
remnant; glad; (t-note)
to leave with their lives




wood
believed; protected; (t-note)
hair aloft; (see note)

quickly; (see note)

followed; defeat; (t-note)
found; forest; (t-note)
harm
fear


news; (t-note)

gave; shillings; (see note); (t-note)
slay; (t-note)
dared
before
thought it very scornful
bore



unloyal




gather
trumpets he caused; in abundance

taken
buried; field


as
beheaded; (see note)

 
[DAVID MOURNS ABSALOM (18:19–19:10)]
 





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8925



 
741.
When this batell was done ylk dele,
   Joab sent sone a messynger:
Cusy, that lufed Kyng David well,
   was full mery to mend his chere.
He told hym all fro hed to hele
   how that thies folke ware hale in fere.
The kyng sayd, “Say me for my sele,
   ys my sun hole? That wold I here.”
He sayd, “Ser, I wald byd
   thine enmys be tyd ylkon,
Als thi sun is be tyd.”
   Then wyst he that he was sloyn.

742.
He syghyd sore and sayd, “Alas!
   In werld is none so wyll of rede.
The wurthest wyght that ever was
   this day with dole is done to ded.
Wold God that I with payn myght pase
   and to be styked thor in his stede.
Whoso my sun dyssayved hath
   sall dere aby that doylefull dede.”
He drowped day and nyght
   with sorow sore and sad.
No myrth amend hym myght;
   so wex he mased and made.

743.
Duke Joab and Abysay,
   when God to them this grace had sent,
Went home with ryall cumpany,
   and wele thei trawed in ther entent
Forto be welcumd worthyly
   sen thei for the kynges wrschep went.
Bot ever he drowped and was drery,
   and for thei wyst not what he ment,
Thei ware full evyll apayd;
   and becawse of this tythyng
Ylk on tyll other sayd,
   “He sall not be our kyng.”

744.
When Joab wyst, he was full wo;
   be lyfe wentt whore the kyng lendes.
“Ser kyng,” he says, “why dose thou so?
   Thiself full shamely thou shendes.
Had thou lever the lyf of thi foo
   then the frenschep of all thi frendes?
Bot yf thou gladly to them go,
   all this folk fast fro thee wendes.
Lett thi kyndnese be kyd
   and make mery chere.”
Att his cownsell he dyde;
   so ware all fayn in fere.
 



(t-note)

beginning to end; (t-note)
strong together; (t-note)
happiness




slain



so helpless
worthiest fellow
sorrow; death
die; (t-note)
there in his place

atone for; (t-note)


(t-note)
dazed and mad




royal
believed

since; king’s honor had gone


very much disconcerted






quickly he went

dishonor (injure); (t-note)
Would you prefer



shown


joyous together

 
[DAVID RETURNS TO JERUSALEM IN VICTORY (19:11–43)]
 


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9020




 
745.
The gud byschop Abythiar
   and Sadoch, that wytty prest be name,
Thei ordand clerkes that with them ware
   the Arke of God to kepe fro blame
And also wysmen, non wold them mare,
   to kepe ther kyng when he comys hame.
The kynred of Juda furth con fare;
   thei war the fyrst soght to that same.
For thei fyrst made hym kyng
   at home in ther cuntré,
Thei went fyrst furth to bryng
   hym to his awn cité.

746.
Unto the flom have thei soyght,
   thousandes mo then neyn or ten.
A bryg full wysly have thei wroyt
   for Kyng David and all his men.
Furth over the flode thei have hym broyght,
   and for ther kyng all thei hym kene.
Thei that before faverd hym noyght
   ware all full fayn to folow hym then.
The kynred of Juda
   ware next in cumpany.
Therfor full mony ma
   ware greved with grett envy.

747.
Dukes, erlys, and knythys kene,
   that went with Absolon, his sun,
When that thei wyst withoutyn wene
   Kyng David suld in welthis wun,
Unto hym then thei come clene
   and bed in bandes to be bun
And mendes make, als he wold meyne,
   for grevans that thei had begun.
He forgaf all ther gylt,
   when that thei mercy craved.
He wold that non ware spylt
   that wold themself be sayved.

748.
So als thei ryde rychly arayd,
   sodanly that man thei mett,
Semey, that had hym myssayd
   and stoned with stonys in the strette.
He knelyd on knese and mercy prayd,
   and his frendes fell before ther fette.
Joab wold full fayn have hym aflayd,
   bot the kyng sayd, “Hele I hym hete.
Sen God forgyfes us tyll
   and rychly us releves,
So sall we with gud wyll
   forgyf them that us greves.”

749.
Furth in ther pase, als thei con passe,
   sone Mifbosett hath thei mett.
He was the sun of Jonatas,
   that David lufed deuly be dett.
In febyll wede arayd he was,
   and all his face with hare umsett.
The kyng sone hym resond has
   yf any lede his lykyng lett:
“Thou hath catell and corne
   unto thi bedyng broyght.”
He sayd, “Lord, all ys lorn
   and me ys leved ryght noyght.

750.
“Lord, my stewerd, ser Cyba,
   thou toke to me, as man most wyse;
My lordschep hath he tane me fra,
   ay redy agayns me to ryse.”
The kyng sayd, “Sen I see yt sa
   that he hath wun lordschep with lyyse,
Yt sal be parted betwyx yow two
   to tyme that we may us avyse.”
On knese then con he fall
   and sayd, “So wyll not he.
Gud lord, lett hym have all,
   I wyll wende with thee.”

751.
So went thei furth withoutyn more,
   all that ware to his bydyng bown,
To Jerusalem, and when thei come thore,
   thei raysed hym up with grett renown.
In his astate con thei hym restore
   to reyn os ryall kyng with crown.
Folke of Juda ware ever before
   to forther hym in feld and town.
His wo was waryschyd then
   and end mad of all,
As the prophett Natan
   sayd that yt suld befall.

752.
Unto the Tempyll then con he fare;
   grett sacrafyce thei have begun.
Prestes and clerkes, that then ware thore,
   thei ware full fayn that he was fun.
His ten wyfes, that I told of ayre,
   ordand he wrschypfully to wun.
Bot with them wold he mell no mare
   bycause of Absolon his sun.
Thus was he gettyn agayn
   and sesyd in his kyngdom.
His frendes ware ferly fayn,
   bot enmys had he sum.
 


Zadok
(t-note)


care for
(t-note)

Because; (t-note)

(t-note)
(t-note)


river; (t-note)
(t-note)
bridge; (see note)


acknowledge

very glad


more



brave

without doubt
(t-note)

asked in feudal obligation; bound
amends; demand



(t-note)








(t-note)
(see note)
Life I promise him
(t-note)





path
Miphibosheth; (t-note)

loved truly dutifully
poor clothes
was covered (i.e., his beard was untrimmed)
soon asked him; (t-note)
man hindered his happiness
grain

taken away
to me is left nothing



(t-note)
taken
ever ready against

lies; (t-note)

until

(t-note)





bound

(t-note)
(t-note)
reign


relieved







(t-note)
joyful
before
honorably
deal


reinstated
wondrously glad
enemies

 
[SHEBA’S REVOLT AGAINST DAVID (20:1–26)]
 

9025




9030




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9060






9065




9070






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9165



 
753.
Syr Cyba, that I of ayre sayd,
   was lord of Myfbosett land.
Full ryally he hym arayd
   and full grett felnes furth he fand.
A grett geydderyng sone hath he grayd
   of Ebrews, that he had at hand.
And felous poyntes hath he purvayd
   that David in strengh suld not stand.
“Was he not Gesse sun
   and of Bedlem bredyng?
Whore has his fader fun
   that he suld be kyng?

754.
“Sat he not als a sympyll page
   on feld to fede his fader fee?
And aftur when he come of age
   cayred abowt in sere cuntree?
And sythyn in were for his wage
   wrogh mekyll woo, this wele wott we,
Yf yt suld go by herytage,
   then am I neghbour nere then hee.
Therfor I wold we wentt
   his forsce sone forto shend.”
Thei sayd all, “We assent
   evyn as thou wyll to wende.”

755.
Kyng David herd tell tythyng then
   how Cyba soght to do hym dere,
And all on what wyse he began
   to gedder folke hym forto fere.
He cald his cosyn Amasan,
   a duke that was full wyse of were.
“Wende furth,” he sayd, “full wele thou can,
   to the folke that our frendes ere,
The kynred of Juda,
   that ever wyll us releve,
And say them how Cyba
   ys ordand us to greve.

756.
“Bot loke thou be by thre days end
   with all thi men at me agayn
That thou then with my men may wende
   to mare that traytur of his trayn.”
Amasan wold no lenger lend;
   he soyght on ylk syd certayn
Folke that he wyst was David frend;
   to fech them furth he was full fayn.
In all that ever he moght
   that space he sped and spend,
Bot agayn com he noght
   when thre days was ende.

757.
The kyng toygh he dweltt full lang
   and dowt Cyba suld them schame.
He bad Joab, his stewerd strang,
   take the knyghtes he had at hame
Agayn Cyba fast forto gang:
   “Duke Amasan, he dose the same.
When ye ar mett your men amang,
   gos both togeydder in Goddes name!”
Duke Joab sone was dyght
   in all that he myght hy,
And furth he rydes full ryght
   with full clene cumpany.

758.
So in his way, as he was sett,
   Duke Amasan sone can he see
With full fayr folke that he had fett
   and samned owt of sere cuntré.
He toyght, “Bot I this lordschep lett
   the kyng sall prays hym more then me.”
Therfor he menys, when thei ar mett,
   with sum debate his bane to be.
Duke Amasan lyght down
   to com his cosyn untyll.
Duke Joab mad hym bown
   his falshed to fulfyll.

759.
In a fayr medew con thei mete.
   Joab fard all with faygyng fare.
His sword owt of his sheth he lete,
   ryght os yt noyght his wytyng ware.
To Amasan spake he wordes swete,
   and com als he suld kyse hym thare.
He toke the sword up at his fette,
   and throgh the body so he hym bare.
Two dughty dukes of dede
   so had he murtherd than,
And all for erthly mede:
   Abnar and Amasan.

760.
When folke fand this felous thyng,
   thei weped and had full mekyll wo.
Duke Joab fenyd a fals lesyng
   and bad thei suld not sorow so:
“He was traytur unto the kyng;
   and I was sent hym forto sloo.
To beryall lett his men hym bryng,
   and hast we fast to fell our foo.”
He gart a man of his
   hyde the cors owt of the way,
So that men suld hym myse
   and make no more daray.

761.
So went thei furth to seke Cyba
   and with ther forse to fell his pryd.
Thei soght in towns to and fra
   and in cytys on ylka syde.
In a cyté, that heygh Abelay,
   thore had he beld hym to abyd.
For yt was wardyd and wallyd swa,
   thei dred no tene that myght betyde.
Joab and his meneye
   to wyn yt ware in no dowt.
Thei seged that ceté
   with bold men all abowt.

762.
Thei sett a sawtt with gunys gud,
   with bowes and with alablawsters blend.
The folk within sone faled fode
   and had no forse them to dyffend.
A lady that was myld of mode
   thore in that same cyté con lend.
Apon the walles yeply scho yode
   and carped to Joab, that scho kend:
“Ser, thou suld with reson
   the kynges folke fend fro noe,
And here thou makes thee bown
   with strengh them to dystroye,

763.
“Forto dere thies here thou dwelles
   that suld maynteyn theym morne and none.”
Joab takes tent how scho hym tellys,
   and to hyr thus says he sone:
“Madame, to mare yow no man mellys.
   This is our wyll with wordes foyne:
Forto noy Cyba and non ellys.
   Delyver hym us, then have we done.”
That lady wysly wroyght;
   scho saw qwat suld befall.
Weyle lese perell, hyr toyght,
   to lose oon then all.

764.
A commyn consell cald scho tyte
   and told them holy as scho ment,
And how Cyba was worthy to wyte
   of all the harme thei had thore hent.
Smertly thei gart his hed of smytt,
   and unto Joab thei yt sent.
Hee remeved then withowt respytt,
   and to Jerusalem sone he went.
The kynred of Juda,
   that were ay frendes of old,
Went whore thei com fro
   and wrogh whatever thei wold.
 

Sheba, whom I spoke of before; (see note)
steward of Mephibosheth’s
royally
fierceness; (t-note)
gathering; made

wicked



found




feed; flocks

traveled; many
then in war
we well know; (t-note)

nearer

power soon to destroy; (t-note)
(t-note)
desire to do


news
harm
ways; (t-note)
gather; defeat
Amasa
war
Go
(t-note)


(t-note)






harm; for his treachery
(t-note)

(t-note)
(t-note)














ready
haste






fetched
assembled; various countries
Unless; hinder

intends

dismounts
(t-note)
ready




fared; flattery

knowing; (t-note)





(t-note)
rewards
(t-note)


discovered this wicked
much
falsehood

(t-note)
slay; (t-note)
burial; (t-note)

caused
[to] hide the corpse

disturbance






Abel(a)
lodged; to dwell

sorrow; occur


beseiged



began an assault; ballistae
arbalesters mingled
lacked food; (t-note)

moderate of cheer; (see note)
did live
quickly she went
called; knew
(t-note)
harm
ready



discomfort; (t-note)
(t-note)
takes heed

harm; intends
few
destroy
(t-note)


Far less peril, she thought
(t-note)


immediately


suffered; (t-note)
off
(t-note)
retreated


ever; (t-note)
where; (t-note)

 
[FAMINE IN ISRAEL (21:1–14)]
 


9170




9175




9180






9185




9190






9195




9200






9205




9210




9215






9220




9225



 
765.
Now is Kyng David broyght to rest
   and rewlys his reme with ryalté.
He ordand all thyng at the best,
   os gud consell bad yt suld be.
For hym and his court he kest
   gud servytours semly to see
And for his land by est and west
   gud governers in sere degree.
All folke ware fayn to plese
   and heyld unto his hand.
Bot sone fell sodan dysese
   over all in his land.

766.
Brede and wyn both wex so dere
   that sympyll men myght no socur gete.
The pure perysched fare and nere
   both for defawt of drynke and mete.
The kyng of God oft con inquere
   the cause of all that hungur grete.
Natan the prophett con apere
   and sayd for forfaders forfett,
“The gud Duke Josue
   heyght and ensured theron
That peyse suld holdyn be
   with the folke of Gabaon.

767.
“For he ensured them on swylke wyse,
   all ware thei folke Phylisteyn.
He fended them from ther enmys,
   evyn als thei Ebrews had beyne.
He sayd no man suld them surpryse
   agayns the trews tan them betwen.
Kyng Saul savyd not that assyse;
   therfor now comys the hungur keyne.
And, ser, it sall not sesse
   bot rayke abowt be ryght
Tyll thei be sett in pese
   and mendes therfor be dyght.”

768.
Kyng David, when he herd of this,
   sent fast for the folke of Gabaon
And sayd, “Sers, I wyll mend all myse
   that ye wyll rekyn by reson.”
“Syr Josue heyght for hym and his
   to send us pese in all seson,
And Kyng Saul, the sun of Cys,
   with his batels he bare us down.
That was noyght lafull thyng;
   therfor vengance we crave.”
Therto answers the kyng,
   “What vengance wold ye have?”

769.
Thei say, “Us nedes noyght of thi gud,
   ne of thi catell kepe we none.
Bot that ar born of Saul blod,
   delyver us them ylk on.”
When Kyng David this understud,
   thei soyght and sone gate gud wone.
Tho folke, that were in wyll full wode,
   sessyd noyght tyll thei were sloyn.
Ther cause then thei relessed
   and hyed them home agayn.
And so the hungur sessyd,
   and then the folke ware fayn.
 


realm; (t-note)

ordained


(t-note)
various

submitted to
sudden famine; (t-note)



grew so rare

poor; (t-note)
food
did beg

(see note)

Joshua; (see note)
promised
peace should be held
Gibeon



Philistines
defended
as [if] they had been Hebrews

compact taken
preserved; agreement
sharp
cease
go

made


(t-note)

troubles


(t-note)








goods

those [who] are
each one

a good number; (see note)
(t-note)
(t-note)

hasted


 
[WARS AGAINST THE PHILISTINES AND DAVID’S HYMN OF PRAISE (21:15–22:51)]
 


9230




9235




9240
 
770.
Then in the Bybyll may men see
   the kyng was oft in careys kest.
And sythyn when he had playn pawste
   and all his perels war over past,
Diligam te, Domine,
   this salme he sett and sayd yt fast.
That menes: “Lord, I sall luf thee
   lelly whyls my lyf may last.”
With swylke prayers of price
   he honerde God ever more
And with sere sacrafyce,
   os costom was then thore.
 

(t-note)
troubles
later; full power

(see note), (t-note)
psalm

loyally


many sacrifices

 
[DAVID’S CENSUS AND GOD’S PUNISHMENT (24:1–25)]
 





9245




9250






9255




9260






9265




9270




9275






9280




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9295




9300






9305




9310






9315




9320






9325




9330




9335

 
771.
Bot afturward he dyd a dede
   that was full grett for Goddes aw:
To nowmber, when he had no nede,
   the folke of God agayns His law.
For Moyses told, yf he toke hede,
   that no man suld the nowmber knaw
Of Goddes folke for dowt and drede
   that God suld vengance schaw.
For that law lett he noyght
   bot gart seke on ylka syd,
Joab the nowmber broyght
   and told to hym that tyde.

772.
He told hym of the kynred ten,
   that so many were sett in that syght:
Aght hunderth milia feyghyng men
   that ware in armys wyse and wyght.
Of the kynd of Juda myght he ken
   fyfty milia rekynd ryght;
Of Levy ware non rekynd then,
   for thei ware no folke forto fyght.
For orderd all ware thei
   unto the Tempyll at tent
And for the pepyll at pray
   that thei no harme suld hent.

773.
When this was done, the kyng sone knew
   that God was greved in this degree;
That rekynyng suld hym full sore rew,
   and mercy oft sythys asked hee.
Bot Gad, that was Goddes prophett trew,
   he sayd hym sone how yt suld bee,
For he had nowmberd so on new.
   God bad he suld chese on of thre:
Enmys on sydes sere
   sevyn yere to were allways,
Or have hungur thre yere,
   or pestalence thre days.

774.
Kyng David toyght here full herd chose,
   for all thei grathed folke unto grave.
Full loth he was his land to lose,
   and fro hungur hymself myght he save.
And ded, he wyst wele, wold not glose,
   ne take reward to knyght ne knave.
And in God con he grace suppose;
   therfor ded asked he forto have.
Sone on the morn was told
   amang the kynredes twelfe:
The folke dyed so thyke fold
   that non myght other delve.

775.
Kyng David in his towre con stand,
   and sone he saw a selcowth syght:
An angell in the ayre fleand,
   that feld the folk withowtyn fyght.
He hasted hym with hert and hand
   to save the cyté at all his myght.
Full low he kneled down on that land,
   wheron he saw that angell lyght.
He prayd to God of Hevyn
   to byd that vengance blyne,
And sayd, with sympyll stevyn,
   “Lord, I dyd all this syne.

776.
“The pepyll unto Thee trespast noyght
   that suffers ded thus sodanly.
Bot I am he that wrang hath wroyght,
   and all this wo I am worthy.
Let all the bale on me be broyght
   and spare them that ar not gylty.”
Then God of Hevyn, os Hym gud toyght,
   gaf them grace and graunt mercy.
He sent His prophett Gad
   to say what he suld do,
And evyn os God hym bad,
   he told Kyng David to.

777.
He sayd, “Thi myse forto amend
   God wyll that thou werke on this wyse:
In the feld, wher the angell dyscend,
   thore sall thi ryghtwysnese upryse.
Thou sall do make thore with thi hend
   an auter for prayers of price.”
In the same place, ose clerkes have kend,
   made Abraham fyrst his sacrafyce.
And sythyn in that same stede,
   as boke wytnese therby,
Was Jesus done to dede
   and cald the Mownt of Calvery.

778.
And in that same place fyrst was fun
   a tempyll folke in forto pray,
For the qwylke Kyng David hath begun
   in ylka poynt forto purvay
And sythyn Kyng Salamon, his sun,
   raysed yt up in ryght aray
And was cald Tempyll of Salomon
   and yett is so, os we here say.
Forther who likes to loke
   how all that werke was wroyght,
Go to the Bybyll boke;
   thor may thei see unsoght.
 



take a census; (t-note)





Because; hindered him not
but [he]




ten tribes; (t-note)

800,000 fighting
strong
tribe
50,000; (see note)
counted


attention; (t-note)

suffer; (t-note)



(t-note)
(t-note)
ofttimes; (t-note)
(t-note)

(t-note)
choose one
many; (see note)
years to war against




thought; hard; (t-note)
brought people

(t-note)
death, he knew well; comfort; (t-note)


death (i.e., pestilence)



bury



strange
air flying
killed; (t-note)


(t-note)
whereon; alight

make; cease








(t-note)



(t-note)





sins
desires


hand
altar
(see note)

place
books
death



founded

(t-note)








(t-note)

 
[DAVID GROWS OLD AND FRAIL (3 KINGS [1 KINGS] 1:1–4)]
 




9340




9345






9350




9355




9360






9365




9370


 
779.
And for Kyng David had warnyng
   by sere exempyls forto see
That Salamon his sun suld be kyng,
   on mony wyse hym warned hee
To honer God over all thyng
   and to his bydyng bowsom be,
And forto governd old and yyng
   ylkon dewly in ther degree,
And sayd his lordes ylkon,
   fro tyme that he ware dede,
To socour Salamon
   at stand furth in his sted.

780.
Kyng David wex then all unweld,
   no wounder was withowtyn wene,
For he was gone in full grett eld
   and bressed in batels ther he had bene.
Of kynd was his compleccion keled,
   and cold come on hym wonder kene
That in bed myght he have no beld
   for no kepyng with cloghes clene.
Physissiens com hym tell
   be all the wytt thei wote
That a yong damsell
   ware best to hald hym hote.

781.
And sone unto that same entent
   to hym was soyght a madyn swete.
On nyghtes he hyr in armis hent,
   and unto hym scho held gud hette.
In that maner no myse thei ment,
   for unto myrth was he not mete.
Bot lenger lyf was to hym lent
   and fuller forse fro face to fete.
That byrd was not to blame,
   for fawt myght no folke fynd.
Abysag was hyr name
   and comyn of gentyll kynd.
 

(see note)
many signs


(t-note)
obedient

everyone befitting their status

dead
help



feeble; (t-note)
doubt
age
injured
nature; cold
very sharp
comfort

(t-note)
wisdom they knew
girl
keep him hot



virgin
held
heat
sin they intended (i.e., they did not have sex)
inclined; (t-note)

from [his] face to [his] feet
girl

Abishag

 
[ADONIJAH’S STRUGGLE TO BE HEIR (3 KINGS [1 KINGS] 1:5–53)]
 



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9380






9385




9390




9395






9400




9405






9410




9415




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9430






9435




9440






9445




9450




9455






9460




9465



 
782.
He had a sun, heygh Adonay,
   that fast begane a fowle debate.
To his brother he had envy
   that he suld come to kynges astate.
He chese to hym grett chevalry,
   qwylke he hoped wold his brother hate,
And sayd to them, “Next hayr am I,
   for I am elder, all men wele wate.”
Of his assent then war
   Duke Joab, that gentyll Jew,
And the byschop Abyathar
   that David trest for trew.

783.
Sadoc never to them assent,
   ne Natan, ne Naomy and other ma,
Bot with Kyng David ay thei went;
   so dyd the kynred of Juda.
Adonay to fulfyll his entent
   made a grett fest not fare ther fra,
And all that of that mater ment
   war fayn unto that fest to ga.
And thore assented thei
   all holy to this thyng,
In all that ever thei may,
   that Adonay suld be kyng.

784.
When Natan herd ther werkes wyld,
   he went belyve to Barsabé
And sayd, “Thi sun sal be begylyd
   bot thou hym helpe by red of me.
Go tell the kyng with wordes myld
   how Adonay ordance kyng to be
And how he heyght unto thi chyld
   that non suld have the crown bot he.”
Scho went and asked this bowne
   as woman full affrayd,
And he come aftur sone
   unto the kyng and sayd.

785.
He sayd, “Ser, is this with thi wyll
   that Adonay be kyng on dese?
All yf thou wold that fare fulfyll,
   thou wot that God another chese.”
The kyng lyked his lesson yll
   and sayd, “Go sone, no lenger sesse.
Tak Salamon my sun yow tyll
   with all my knyghtes hym to encrese.
Rydes throwgh this cyté
   and says with solempne crye
That Salamon sal be
   kyng of all the Jury!

786.
“Anoynt hym to that same entent
   at the well that is named Wyon.
Then Adonay and his convent
   sall fynd how that thei fowly fon.”
When Natan herd how that he ment,
   he mad no poyntyng ther apon,
Bot aftur Sadok sone he sent
   forto anoynt kyng Salamon.
Barons and knyghtes kene
   that of that cowrt ware kende
And burgeys all be dene
   full sone war aftur send.

787.
Thurghoute that cety solemply
   thei went with cumpany full clene.
At ylke corner gart thei cry
   that Salamon suld kyng be sene.
When tho that ete with Adonay
   herd nakers, trompes, and clarions keyne,
Thei sent fast forto spyre and spy
   what all that melody myght be meyne.
When Salamon was led
   and sett in the kynges stede,
That feleschep fast fled
   for dred forto be dede.

788.
Duke Joab then that fest forsoke
   and wyst wele that thei rudly rave.
Abyathar, byschope with boke,
   was then set os a sympyll knave.
And Adonay the Tempyll toke
   for sewrty so hymselfe to save.
He held hym be the auter noke,
   for thor he hoped his hele to have.
Salamon then he knew
   for his kyng and his lord
And send fast to persew
   for frenschep and acorde.

789.
He sayd he wold amendes make
   for that wrang that he had wroght.
Then Salamon for Goddes sake
   sayd no vengance suld be soyght;
Bot unto trews he con hym take
   be this assent that he suld noyght
Wayte hym with more wrangwyse wrake,
   ne do hym dere in ded ne toyght.
So Salamon was sett
   in cowrse, os kyng suld be,
And all ware frendes mett,
   both his brether and he.
 

Adonijah
quickly


selected; knights

heir
know it well
(t-note)

(t-note)



Zadok
Nathan; Benaiah; others more; (see note); (t-note)
ever


feast not far there from; (t-note)

glad; go; (t-note)

completely





quickly to Bathsheba

unless; counsel

plans


at once





(t-note)
dais; (t-note)

chose

soon; delay





Jews



Gihon; (see note)
company
behave foully

comment

Solomon as king

(t-note)
straightway



(t-note)



those who ate; (t-note)
drums; trumpets; sound
look
might reveal






feast forsook
wrongly
(t-note)
(t-note)

protection
altar’s nook
health (i.e., life)












Ambush; unjust vengeance
harm in deed nor thought; (t-note)


(t-note)

 
[DAVID’S DEATH (3 KINGS [1 KINGS] 2:1–12)]
 


9470




9475




9480






9485




9490






9495




9500






9505




9510




9515






9520




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9535




9540






9545




9550






9555




9560






9565




9570




9575






9580




9585






9590




9595




9600






9605




9610






9615




9620     




 
790.
Kyng David then full clerly kend
   how that he chaunged hew and hyd.
His messyngers full sone he send
   to cetys sere on ylka syd.
The lordes that in his land can lend,
   he bad thei suld not blyn ne byd
Bot hast to hym befor his end
   to here hym tell what suld be tyd.
The messyngers ar gone
   this forward to fulfyll.
And sone thei come ylkon
   and thus he told them tyll.

791.
“Sers,” he sayd, “the suthe ye see:
   day of my ded begynys to draw.
I have yow governyd in degree
   lely to lyf after your law,
And ye have bene gud men to me
   and dewly done in dede and saw.
Now wyll I consell here that ye
   luf ylkon other os ye aw.
Yf ye be fast in fere,
   foyce sall ye fynd bot foyn.
And yf ye sonder sere,
   sone sall ye be for done.

792.
“With bandes of ded so am I bun
   that both me fayles flesch and bone.
Ye sall have Salamon, my sun,
   to govern yow when I am gone.
And as I have yow frendly fun,
   so, sers, beseke I yow ylkon
That ye wyll with hym wend and wun
   so that he wax not wyll of wone.
God hath ordand hym kyng,
   therfor I pray yow all
To bow to his bedyng
   and com unto his call.

793.
“He sal be wyse in werld allways
   dewly to deme of ever ylk dede,
And peyse sall be in all his days;
   therfor to helpe hym, sers, take hede
The Tempyll of God ryght forto raise,
   als I have layd the lenght and brede.
I have ordand what so men says
   that of no thyng sall he have nede.
Of metall, tre, and stone
   is purvayd grett plenté
And werke men full gud wone
   to sett in sere degree.

794.
“He sall fynd all ordand at onys
   so that no more nedes to be boyght:
Gold enogh ryght for the noyns,
   and sylver sall he have unsoght.
Besandes, pyrry, and prescius stonys
   ar plenté to that bygyng broyght;
Swylke welth os sal be in that wonys
   ayre in this werld was never wroyght.
Both wryghys and masons fyne
   therto have tane ther merkes
And taylurs of engyne
   and joners gentyll of werkes.”

795.
When he had warned them on this wyse
   and ordand all in gud degree,
To God thei mad gret sacrafyce
   of bestes and gyftes full grett plenté.
And Salamon, that prince of price,
   then sett thei in his fader see,
And mad to hym sewt and servyce
   and homage, als yt aght to be.
Kyng Salamon mad that day
   grett fest to folke in fere,
And then thei went ther way
   and parted to placeys sere.

796.
Then David in his bed con ly;
   he had no forse to flytt ther fro.
He cald his sun to byde hym by
   and sayd to hym betwyx them two,
“Sun, I sall wend heyn in hy
   the gate that all our elders go,
Whor we sall have, both thei and I,
   als we ar worthy, wele or wo.
The law that God hath lent
   loke thou never yt forsake,
And trewly, sun, take tent
   His hows fayr forto make.

797.
“Sen God wold noyght gyf leve to me
   at make His howse and have my med,
Bot sayd thou suld the maker be
   and lely lyf His laws to lede,
And I have ordand in all degré
   that specially the werke may spede,
Layt no defawt be fun in thee
   forto make endyng of that dede.
And fand forto socour
   thi men with all thi myght.
Then wyll thei thee honowr
   and reverence in all ryght.”

798.
Also, he sayd, “My sun, beware
   for Joab that with fals envy
Slogh Amasan and Duke Abnar,
   the gentylest of all Jury,
The fals byschope Abathyar,
   that forsoke me for Adonay.
Take vengance, dere sun, when thou dare,
   of them and als of Symei
That agayns me con com
   and dyd me grett dyspyte
Before I past the flome.
   Fand thou yt forto qwyte!

799.
“And, sun, loke thou that thi fayth be fyne
   to oon that I then fand my frend.
That was the baron Bersylyne.
   When I in this land durst not lende,
He maynteyned then both me and myne
   agayns my sun that wold me shend.
And, sun, yf that he be ded sythyn,
   to the ayrs of hym loke thou be hend.
When I was fled and flemed
   and all this myrth con myse,
No socur to me semed
   bot only of hym and his.

800.
“And hertly, sun, that thou thee hast
   to helpe all that of helpe has nede,
So that thies wordes be not in wast
   that I have spokyn here for thi sped.”
In bandes of ded then was he brast
   that unto Hele he toke no hede.
So unto God he gaf the gast
   furt at His lykyng forto lede.
For he of mercy ment
   and end in trawth trewly,
We trow his sawle went
   unto clene cumpany.

801.
Then the lordes and lades dere
   and all his meneye grett mornyng makes.
For he was prince withoutyn peyre
   wher so he past in ylka place.
God was ay hend hym forto here,
   for yf he spend of myse his space,
He syghyd ever with sympyll chere
   tyll he had grauntyng of sum grace.
Whyls he in lyf can lend,
   he ordan ylk thyng,
Begynnyng, myddes, and ende,
   alon to Goddes lovyng.

802.
A feller knyght was never before,
   ne that fro yre so sone wold slake,
Ne never man gat so grett thressour
   as he geydderd for Goddes sake.
Now of hym wyll we make no more;
   on mold he was withoutyn make.
Of Salamon werkes how thei wore,
   sum sall we tell who sotent wyll take.
And heyre our story twynes
   with the Secund Boke of Kynges,
And the Thryd Boke heyre begynnys.
   God graunt us gud endyngys!
 

(see note)


many cities

wait; (t-note)

hear; happen






truth
death

loyally

deed and word
(t-note)
love; ought; (t-note)
strong together
foes; few
sunder apart
defeated


the bonds of death; bound; (t-note)
I fail in both
(t-note)

found
(t-note)
live and dwell
grows not dismayed







judge; (t-note)








in abundance





right indeed

Bezants, jewels
building
place
before
wrights; (t-note)
taken their
ingenuities
joiners







seat
suit


together

many places


did lie
strength to flee there from
bid him goodbye

go hence

(t-note)
weal or woe


take heed




to make; reward; (t-note)

loyally live; (t-note)


Let; be found




(t-note)





Jews


(t-note)
also


river
Try



found; (t-note)
Barzillai

(t-note)
destroy
dead later
heirs; gracious
driven away








aid
[the] bonds of death; bound
Hell; heed
gave up the ghost; (t-note)
away

truth
believe



(t-note)
company


ever gracious


(t-note)


(see note)



braver
(t-note)
(t-note)

gathered
on earth; peer
(t-note)
whoever will take heed
here; ends; (t-note)



 

Go to Third Book of Kings (1 Kings)