King Horn


1 Afterwards I do not care what people say

2 Lines 1191-92: I found Horn in a [certain] land about to go aboard ship

3 Who dressed [i.e., disguised] themselves as they pleased


Abbreviations: C: Cambridge MS Gg.4.27.2; L: Laud Misc. MS 108; H: Harley MS 2253; F&H: French and Hale.1-2 A conventional exhortation with strong connections to minstrelsy and oral traditions. Hall suggests that the poem "was apparently sung, or chanted, or recited . . . such a performance might have masked certain metrical irregularities that instantly become evident to a modern prosodist. . ." (p. 33). Because nearly every line of the extant texts contains divergent readings, Allen posits an "exclusive common ancestor" from which all three derive. This ancestor was not the author's version; it is just possible that it was not written down. She offers three reasons for variation in the MS tradition: "1) a later redaction by the author; 2) later additions by performers or unprofessional adaptors; and 3) scribal corruption" (p. 33). William A. Quinn in Jongleur: A Modified Theory of Oral Improvisation and Its Effects on the Perfor-mance and Transmission of Middle English Romances (Washington: University Press of America, 1982) agrees that King Horn and Havelok were both performed rather than read to an audience. As in all oral performances, variations occur while the story is being told and metrical irregularities are not as discernible to the ear when there are distractions for the eye.

3 ich. C: ihc. L: ich: H: ychulle. There are irregularities in the use of the first-person pronoun. Elsewhere in C it appears as ich, but more often as ihc. This may indicate a northern influence, perhaps imposed by the scribe. Because there are so many variations among the three MSS, we have been selective. Using C as our base text we have drawn from L and H where emendations seemed appropriate. Our emendations occur where there are omissions in the base text and where textual cruces have been noted by previous editors.

5 Hall suggests that biweste is a formality in romance discourse. Direction and precise location are problematic in this poem; among the MSS variation on direction is evident. See notes for lines 1145 and 1339.

6 So longe so hit laste. Allen: Ther whiles that hit yleste. Hall notes this as a "favorite formula of Layamon," though it is also found in other romances.

10 The description of Horn as "fair" is important. More frequently are found superlative descriptions of the romance heroine, though the Horn poet connects Horn with his mother's good looks (lines 7-8). Havelok, too, is extraordinarily handsome.

14-16 He was bright so the glas; / He was whit so the flur; / Rose red was his colur. Heroes described this way include Guy of Warwick (line 132), Bevis of Hampton (line 2675), and Ipomadon (line 5021). Hall points out several passages like this used to praise the beauty of women, but has "not found anything quite like it used for a hero of romance" (p. 93). See note to line 319.

17-18 He was fayr and eke bold, / And of fiftene winter hold. Lines supplied by L.

27-28 Villains are often placed in opposition to the "good guys" in medieval romance. Thus Athulf is named just before Fikenhild whose name, deriving from OE ficol, means "deceitful."

28 Fikenild. C: ffikenheld; L: fokenhild; H: ffykenyld. We have emended double f, which appears only occasionally in C.

34 Rod on his pleing. Hall notes that "to play almost regularly means to ride out by wood or water" (p. 96). But it could also suggest specific leisure time activities of the aristocracy such as hunting and hawking.

37-38 With him riden bote two - / Al to fewe ware tho. C omits these lines. They are supplied here by L.

41 Fifteen is a favorite number for romance writers and probably has numerological significance, i.e., the combination of seven (the number of completion) and eight (a number of new beginning). It could also be a division between stages of life as seems to be suggested by line 18 announcing Horn's age.

42 Sarazins. This is a contested term that could apply to many groups of non-Christian invaders. See Diane Speed, "The Saracens of King Horn," Speculum 65 (1990), 564-95.

43 hi soght. L: isoghte. We have followed F&H; n.b., similar locutions in lines 603-04.

48 Crist. The first mention of the deity, unusual since more often Middle English romances begin with an invocation or prayer. According to Allen in "Some Textual Cruces in King Horn," Medium Aevum 53 (1984), 73-77, there are "twenty-seven instances where God or Christ is mentioned in one or more of the three manuscripts and in only five of them is there consensus of agreement in all three" (p. 73).

51 The king alighte of his stede. The king's dismounting is curious here. Considering the threat he has just heard, remaining on horseback in a state of combat readiness might be a prudent idea. In later romances hand-to-hand combat takes place only after an opponent is knocked off his horse. Hall thinks this episode harkens back to a pre-Conquest English custom.

68 The fremde ne the sibbe. This is a conventional phrase meaning "no manner of men."

77-78 Godhild's retreat under a roche of stone may be to a subterranean chamber or cave. Her desire to separate herself from the world is an act reminiscent of the desert saints but also could be an act of self defense. Godhild is an uncommon name in England and is probably derived from the German Gundihildis.

105 That Horn is not slain is quite extraordinary given his princely position and the possibility that revenge might occur. The Greeks did not hesitate to kill Hector's son during the Trojan War just for this reason.

115 The children (i.e., young knights or squires) are Horn and his companions. At this point, Horn is still considered a "child," not only because of his tender age, but because of his impending social, political, and military obligations. For this reason, Lee C. Ramsey, in Chivalric Romance: Popular Literature in Medieval England, classifies King Horn as a "child exile" narrative, a story about "growing up in a personal, military, social, and political sense" (p. 26). In line 1529 Athulf is called "child" not in the sense of immaturity, but rather as an indication of his chivalry.

117-30 The boat has been set adrift and becomes subject to the will of God. Tradition held that those exposed in such a manner, just as those subjected to trials by ordeal, would die if guilty of some crime or sin. It could also be construed as a test of faith. Other romance figures were tested in the same ways, most notably Emaré or Custance as she is known in Chaucer's The Man of Law's Tale and Crystabelle with her son Eglamour in the romance bearing his name. Saints were also tested in this way.

120 L fills in four descriptive lines that H & C omit. They are as follows:
Horn yede in to þe shipes bord
Sone at þe firste word
And alle hise feren
Þat ware him lef and dere
121 The se bigan to flowe. "The sea reached high tide"; or "The sea began to rise, or surge." See MED flouen v. 4a.

142 Suddene is a locale contested among scholars. It could be the Isle of Man, between Ireland and Britain, Sussex, Cornwall, South Devon, Roxburgh, and/or the land of Suðdene as in Beowulf.

152 Jesu Cristes. C: Jhesucristes; L: Ihesu cristes; H: ihesu cristes.

156 The dent of myne honde. This line is followed by a couplet in L and three lines in H both describing the weeping of the children as the ship embarks.

210 Well bruc thu thin evening. The sense is "bear your name well." As Hall notes, "let your fame be spread wide as is the sound of a horn" (p. 107). Sands notes the puns on the name "Horn," the instrument called a "horn" which resounds literally, just as fame does metaphorically, "Bi dales and bi dune" (p. 22).

212 Bi dales and bi hulle. This line is followed by a line describing a journey through each town in L.

224 fundling. C: fundyng. Horn and his companions are treated as orphans rather than enemies, a sign of their lack of martial prowess and the accoutrements of knighthood. Abandonment and orphanage were serious matters in the Middle Ages. See John Boswell, The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance (New York: Vintage Books, 1988).

235 And tech him to harpe. C: And tech him to harpe. L: Tech him of þe harpe. H: Ant toggen oþe harp. Allen: To tuchen upon. Playing the harp with one's fingernails (line 236) is rare in Middle English literature, though not as rare in modern harp playing. Sir Orfeo, for instance, plays with his "wits."

237-38 Bivore me to kerve, / And of the cupe serve. Serving at table was customary practice for young boys at court. It taught both courtesy and discipline.

241 And his feiren. C: In his feiren. L: His feren. H: Ant his feren. Allen: And his ifeire. McKnight: In his feiren.

256 wexe wild. C: wexe wild. L: wex al wild. H: line is omitted. Allen: wexe wode. The interchangeability of wild and wode, the Middle English term for "madness," suggests an uncontrollable emotional dimension to love, which the poet emphasizes again in line 300.

258-61 Rymenhild's speechlessness is a symptom of love sickness. Her tongue is "broken," as Sappho might say.

288 Athulf is Horn's sworn brother. The relationship is like that among the four men in Athelston and between Amis and Amiloun. In modern terms a sworn brother is synonymous with a "blood brother," though there is usually no exchange of bodily fluid.

300 wexe wild. McKnight and Hall note the popularity of this expression. Here it is symptomatic of love sickness and its accompanying loss of reason and self-control. Swooning could also be a symptom of the condition.

303 F&H note that often "beds were the only furniture in most apartments, and hence served as chairs or benches." A maiden's wooing of a man is less usual but may be found in Amis and Amiloun, Bevis of Hampton, and Sir Eglamour.

318 fairer. A scribal error according to Hall, though it anticipates the next line quite well.

319 Fairer bi one ribbe. Having one more rib in the same way that (according to the creation story in Genesis) woman has one more rib than man and is also the "fairer" sex. Susan Dannebaum disagrees because "this interpretation has the disadvantage of paralleling Horn's physical excellence to that of women rather than to some masculine ideal" (p. 116). She sees instead a parallel between Adam and Christ, who were conventionally thought by medieval commentators to have had perfect physical bodies. For example, Nicholas Love's Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ (a translation of St. Bonaventure's Meditationes Vitae Christi) sees both Adam and Christ as paragons of masculine beauty. Dannenbaum believes a more typical (or at least male) medieval comparison would link Havelok to these male figures, who symbolize old and new creation, rather than to Eve, who symbolizes the fall of humanity. See also Liam Purdon, "King Horn and the Medieval Trope of Christ the Lover-Knight," Proceedings of the PMR Conference at Villanova 10 (1985), 137-47.

349 With him ye wolden pleie. Pleie has a range of meanings including those implicating innocent games of "merriment" and "pleasure" as well as more serious games of martial prowess and sexual intercourse. The context here seems to suggest a certain degree of intense sexual interest, something akin to the pleasure of foreplay.

363-64 On a squieres wise. / Whane the kyng arise. In C these two lines are reversed.

370 recche. C: recchecche. Hall and McKnight retain the C reading while F&H and Allen emend to recche.

386 Hall notes the paucity of description for Rymenhild. Horn's beauty does indeed seem of more interest. He, not she, illuminates the bedchamber.

403 gan stonde. "did stand." Gan is an auxiliary verb which simply intensifies the main verb and is indicative of past tense and causative aspect. The H scribe regularly substitutes con for gan.

405 Heo sette him on pelle. According to the MED, pelle has a range of meanings including "hide," "skin," "furred skin used as lining or trim on a garment"; it could also refer to a cloak or mantle or a piece of parchment. F&H gloss the term "rich coverlet" (p. 37), with which Hall seems to agree when he calls it the "rich cloth covering the bed" (p. 118). Hall bases his gloss on the use of the term in the King of Tars, "on bedde . . . that comelich was isprad with palle" (lines 781-83).

410 Hall detects a lacuna in C. The lines preceding Rymenhild's "are much too abrupt." Both H and L support this with more rhetorical foreplay.

423 Ich am icome of thralle. Hall's note illuminates Horn's motive for describing himself as the son of a thrall (peasant): "Horn's statement is dictated by caution and the desire not to compromise his master Athelbrus, who has told him to be careful and true to him" (p. 319).

427-28 The disparity in social status for a marriage alliance such as this in actual life would be subject to disapprobation. Being knighted raises Horn's apparent social status, however, and renders his marriage to a princess possible.

455 To Aylbrus the stuard. C: To Aylbrus & stuard. L reads styward. O: And beryt houre styward.

458 With loveliche speche. Allen notes that this reading "does not make sense since Rymenhild is begging Athelbrus (through Horn) to make a persuasive appeal to her father to knight her lover." Allen prefers liþeliche, which she suggests adds the appropriate touch of graciousness and humility. But Hall's glossing of the term as "loving and affectionate" makes sense too since Rymenhild's appeal to her father is predicated upon a close personal relation (father/daughter) just as much as it is based upon the political relation of king and subject. As any daughter knows, a doting father is easily persuaded with loveliche speche.

492 And after wurth. C: And afterward. L: And be ny nowne. H: Ant be myn oþer. Allen: And after wurþe. The emendation establishes value rather than time.

504-05 A sword, spurs, and a horse are essential items for a knight. Chivalry itself is derived etymologically from cheval, the French term for horse; a chevalier is one who rides a horse, i.e., a knight. Also, the dubbing signals a transformation in Horn's martial capability because as a thrall he cannot bear arms. Hall notes the oddity of the king's putting the boots and spurs on Horn, a practice usually enacted by knights rather than kings (p. 127).

512 The first request of a newly dubbed knight is usually granted.

524 According to custom, any knight could confer knighthood. Hall notes that "the knighting of Horn's comrades at the same time as himself is in accord with actual custom: the number of persons advanced with the distinguished personage varies with his rank" (p. 127).

548-58 A central requirement of chivalry is for a knight to prove himself worthy of his designated lady's love.

558 Forthi me stondeth the more rape. C: For þe me stondeþ the more rape. H: Oþer wyþ wymmon forewart make. L: Þerfore me have ich þe forsake. Allen: me stont forth rake. Rape is not to be understood in modern terms, but rather as a ME verb meaning "haste," "rush," "speed." It is on the basis of the relation of rape to rake that Allen makes her emendation.

567 Medieval romance is filled with magical rings. One of the most memorable is found in Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain. Given to the hero by a woman named Lunette, the ring confers invisibility to its wearer, though its true power is to help a knight conquer his fear. Rings could also function as signs of recognition between lovers, as in Erle of Tolous, Sir Eglamour, Ipomadon, and Floris and Blanchefleur.

568 Dubbing as ornamentation is unique here. In addition to signifying a ritual conferring knighthood, "dubbing" could also mean "attire," or "adornment," or "finery" according to the MED.

595 The arming of horses seems to have developed in the late twelfth century. The first mention of it in literature is in Wace's Roman de Rou. Hall dates the time when the usage became common in England by comparing the Statute of Winchester (1285) with the Statute of 27 Edward I (1298): "The former does not make any mention of armor for the horse, the latter makes it universally obligatory" (p. 132). This is Horn's second steed; the first is white. It is not unusual for literary knights to have three horses of different colors, e.g., Ipomadon and Sir Gowther.

602 hethene honde is a frequently used expression of contempt. Saracens apply it to Christians just as Christians apply it to Saracens and other enemies. See Sowdone of Babylone (line 956).

613 At evreche dunte. C: At evreche dunte, followed by F&H. L: At the furste dunte, followed by Allen. Allen's emendation perhaps emphasizes Horn's prowess as he smites off the heads of his opponents at the first attempt. But perhaps he is even more powerful if he succeeds at every attempt.

625 The carrying of an enemy's decapitated head on sword or spear point occurs not only in romance, but is a practice that carried over into real life. During the Rising of 1381, for instance, rebels paraded the heads of the Archbishop of Canterbury and several other government officials through the streets of London before piking them on the city gates. One of their leaders, Wat Tyler, suffered similar retaliatory treatment at the hands of the king's men.

636 Mid watere al byflowe. C: þo hit gan to flowe. L: Mid watere al by flowe. H: In þe found by flowen. Allen: Binne sund bi flowe.

649 Hall notes the divergence of the MSS and surmises a lost passage in C that would describe Firkenhild's joining the hunting party. Both H and L indicate Firkenhild's presence at the hunt.

650 The king him rod. This is an example of a reflexive verb form (as if one were to say "the king took himself out riding").

652 moder child. Hall suggests that this use of the phrase in the popular sense, i.e., as every man alive, is comparatively rare in Middle English. Allen notes that moder was probably added by the scribe of the lost ancestor she dubs the "exclusive common."

653 Horn ferde. C: Heo ferde. L: Horn wente. H: Ant to boure wes y gone. Allen: Horn wente. The emendation clarifies this as Horn's action.

654 To sen aventure. F&H see sen as a blunder for seie, meaning recount (p. 44). Allen, on the other hand, emends sen to sechen, making possible another interpretation.

655 He saw. C: Heo saw. L and O: He fond.

669 Seint Stevene. This may refer to one of many saints by the name of Stephen, but a likely candidate would be the deacon and protomartyr whose life first appears in Acts of the Apostles. He was martyred by stoning.

689 Sture. Probably the River Mersey, near modern Liverpool.

696 F&H note this baring of the sword as a "magical act" accompanying an oath. Hall sees the practice as more akin to realism: "The practice was of the highest antiquity among all northern nations" (p. 137).

721 A brunie was an armored corselet secured to the body with laces.

726 wyve. "Wife" should be read as "woman" here. At this point, Horn and Rymenhild are betrothed, but not officially married.

736 Seven years is the regular probationary period for a lover in ballad and romance. It is the measure of apprenticeship. Rymenhild's earlier premonition is fulfilled as will be her dream.

744 feol to grunde. The swoon is a trope of medieval romance, though Dante the Pilgrim does it frequently in the Commedia, a work not often considered part of the romance tradition. As Allen notes, the episode here is not connected with Rymenhild's previous faint (p. 301).

761-62 The whyght him gan stonde, / And drof til Hirelonde. These two lines are supplied by L.

792 Ne schal hit. C: Ne schat hit. L: Ne schal hym. H: Ne shal þe. Allen: Ne schal þe.

799-804 Editors disagree about the meaning of these lines. F&H think that the glove exchange is a way for Horn and Berild to pledge that they will not compete in love. Sands agrees with Hall when he suggests the following reading, which seems to make sense here: "When you [Berild] go a-wooing, entrust him [Horn] with your glove [i.e., as a symbol that he will not compete with you]; [but if] you intend to marry, he'll drive you away; because of Cutberd's handsomeness, assuredly you'll never succeed [in love]" (p. 36).

805 Exactly the 25th of December.

817-29 The contract made here Hall says is "primitive" in character but seems to represent trial by combat, a practice in which judgment is rendered by whoever wins the battle. Fighting a giant and defeating him is the stuff of which legendary kings are made. (The battle of David and Goliath is one outstanding Scriptural example.) There are many such contests in Arthurian romance, including King Arthur's confrontation with a giant at Mont St. Michel.

851 cum to felde. C: cum to fel. Both H and L: felde. Allen: felde. On the basis of this consensus, the emendation is made.

855 Right at prime tide. In its original sense, this means something like "6 a.m.," and is a term borrowed from the monastic division of the day into seven prayer-periods (Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline). This comes to mean simply "early in the morning" in secular usage.

863 He yaf dentes inoghe. "He gave enough blows," a typical understatement in Old and Middle English battle descriptions.

871-72 Bote of the King Murry, / That wes swithe sturdy. These two lines are supplied by H.

889 There are ten lines missing from C. L supplies the following account:
And seyde, "kyng, so þou have reste,
Clep now forþ ofi þi beste,
And sle we þyse hounden,
Here we henne founden."
Þe houndes hye of laucte,
An strokes hye þere kaute.
Faste azen hye stode,
Azen duntes gode.
Help nauht here wonder;
Cubert hem broute al honder.
894 Ne scathede wer. C: Ne scapede þer. L: Þer nas bute few slawe. Allen: Ne schaþed bute fawe.

900 And burden hem ful yare. L provides a couplet after this line that does not appear in C. Into holy kyrke / So man schulde werke. To leave unburied corpses on the battlefield is a sign of contempt for the enemy.

913 The wording of Horn's reply is confusing. He means something like the following: "Oh king, it would be wrong for me to accept what you are offering - your daughter [in marriage]."

948 Knave is often used less pejoratively in the Middle Ages, meaning "boy" or "servant" rather than in more modern usage where it connotes "rascal," "thief," or worse.

959 F&H identify Reynes as Furness, Lancashire (northwestern England).

974 Sunday at six a.m. is probably a significant time of arrival. It marks the sabbath [seventh] day in the Old Law and the first day of creation in the New. The seven-year pattern is thus archetypal.

981-82 The see him con ded throwe / Under hire chambre wowe. C: Þe se bigan to þroghe / Under hire wo3 e. Two lines from H are added here. L omits the detail.

1036 Also he sprunge of stone. Sands suggests that this refers to a non-Christian belief that the first humans were fashioned out of stones, and this "stoniness" made them solitary (p. 42). In his Metamorphoses, the Roman poet Ovid depicts mythic creation as Pyrrha and Deucalion, the only couple left on earth, sow stones from which a new civilization arises. Hall's note emphasizes a psychosocial dimension of the phrase "which expresses the most complete isolation like that of one who, having come into the world without human parents, is devoid of relations or ties of any sort" (p. 152).

1062 A beggar's disguise is a favorite trope of medieval romance writers. Hall compares this to an episode in the Gesta Herwardi, which tells how Hereward on behalf of a friend rescues a Cornish princess. Also, there is a passage in Layamon's Brut (lines 30728-30827) which relates how Brian visited the court of Edwine. The motif also recalls Odysseus' entry into Ithaca in Homer's Odyssey.

1090 beggeres rowe. A place where poor folk were relegated and made to wait for charitable handouts. As a literary trope it appears in romances such as Sir Gowther.

1119 The use of an animal horn as a drinking cup is ancient. Pliny, the Roman writer, describes them as vessels of the "barbarians." Other authoritative texts were more favorably disposed, equating specific animal horns with humans of specific social ranks. The ancient Laws of Wales, for instance, relegates the horn of a wild ox to a king, while those of lesser beasts were appropriate for those of lower social status. The English drinking horn was much admired. Decorated drinking horns were prized by kings. Ordericus Vitalis' chronicle of an Easter feast held by William the Conqueror describes the French nobility's appreciation for a beautifully decorated English drinking horn. Henry I and Edward I were known to possess them. Hall finds it curious in light of these references that drinking horns are not mentioned frequently in Middle English literature, though Chaucer's allusion in The Franklin's Tale suggests its currency in the fourteenth century:

Janus sit by the fyr, with double berd,
And drynketh of his bugle horn the wyn. (lines 1252-53)

1128-42 F&H note that a few beggars were customarily admitted to wedding feasts and served wine by the bride. Ancient Germanic custom, according to Hall, "required the lady or the daughter of the house to bear the drinking horn or cup round to the guests assembled at the greater feasts" (p. 159). Such is Weoltheow's duty in Beowulf.

1136-37 Resigned to what she perceives as the beggar's gluttony, Rymenhild offers him his original cup and the bowl she has just filled as well.

1142 Given the frequency with which the English decorated their drinking horns, the cuppe white is probably a horn mounted in silver. F&H disagree on the meaning of the vessel, however: "because drinking horns were made of horns of animals, they were white, while bowls and other pottery were brown" (p. 58).

1144 Horn's disguise is accompanied by his telling of a parable in which he restates Rymenhild's dream to her in an effort to reveal his true identity. The pun on "horn" in line 1155 and the preceding lack of protocol, i.e., his refusal to drink from anything other than the celebratory horn, is designed to spark her memory. He, as a fisherman, has returned to check his net to see whether she has remained true to him.

1145 by este. C: bieste. L: by weste. H: by wester. F&H: bi este. Allen: bieste. If Horn has traveled back to Westernesse from Ireland, east makes more sense geographically than west.

1154 Drynke null I of dyssh. C: Drink to me of disse. L: Drynk to me of thy disse. H: Drynke null y of dyssh. Our emendation allows Horn to reject the dish offered to him.

1162 Whi he bad to Horn drinke. F&H's capitalization of Horn in this line indicates a reading that explains why in disguise Horn commended Horn in line 1155. Such an expression of celebration would be decidedly inappropriate at a wedding feast acknowledging another man's marriage.

1171-72 He seyde, "Quen, nou seche / Qwat is in thy drenche." These two lines derive from L.

1179 That Horn isterve were. C: Þat Horn isteve. L: Þat Horn child ded were. H: Þat Horn dede were. Allen: Þat Horn isterven were.

1187 St. Giles (or Aegidius) was probably abbot of a Benedictine monastery on the Rhone in Provence; he died in approximately 710. He became very popular as the patron saint of the lame. There was an important shrine of St. Giles at Nimes in southern France. The St. Giles Fair still exists at Oxford.

1269 Ther was bridale swete. C: brid and ale. L: bridal swete. H: brudale suete. Allen: bridale suete.

1315-16 Op the schelde was drawe / A crowch of Jhesu Cristes lawe. These two lines have been supplied by L.

1323 bi thine crois lighte. This is "a phrase without parallel" according to Hall, though he points to a similar phrase in Havelok: On his right shuldre swithe brith, / Brithter than gold ageyn the lith (lines 2140-41).

1329 Ich serve aghenes my wille. C: ihc have ayenes my wille. L: hy serve ylle. H: Ich servy ille. Allen: Ihc serve ille.

1339 biweste. C: bieste. This is probably scribal error since both L and H indicate west. L: He woneþ alby weste. H: Þat woneþ her by weste. Allen concurs with L and H as do we.

1387 ut of stere. C: ut of stere. H: out of hurne. L: out of scyp sterne. Allen: out of herne. F&H gloss stere simply as "boat" while Sands gives the following reading: "They went over the stern [lit. 'rudder'] away from Horn's banner" (p. 51). The other MS readings and Allen's emendation illuminate the scene in greater detail and suggest a third reading. Since ME hirne means a corner, nook, or hiding place, it seems reasonable that the Irishmen Horn has brought with him have emerged from a specific place located at the stern of the boat.

1392 A touch of realism is operating in this scene since after foreign invasions, the countryside is left desolate; the native people are left to starve.

1475 Horn's disguise as a minstrel is effective. Like a beggar's disguise it allows him anonymity and freedom of movement through otherwise rigid social barriers.

1502 he fulde. C: ifulde. L: leyde þere. H: fel þer. Allen: he felde.

1519 Hi gunne for to arive. C: Hi gunne for arive. H: eode to ryve. Omitted in L. Allen: yede to rive.

1528 Ther he wo fonde. C: Þer he wo ifulde. L: he hadde woned. H: couth er fonde. Allen: he wonung fonde.

1529 Ther he dude Athulf child. The designation given to Athulf does not suggest immaturity. Rather, he is a knight, having grown into his personal, military, social, and political identity.
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King Horn

Alle beon he blithe
That to my song lythe!
A sang ich schal you singe
Of Murry the Kinge.
King he was biweste
So longe so hit laste.
Godhild het his quen;
Faire ne mighte non ben.
He hadde a sone that het Horn;
Fairer ne mighte non beo born,
Ne no rein upon birine,
Ne sunne upon bischine.
Fairer nis non thane he was:
He was bright so the glas;
He was whit so the flur;
Rose red was his colur.
He was fayr and eke bold,
And of fiftene winter hold.
In none kinge riche
Nas non his iliche.
Twelf feren he hadde
That he alle with him ladde,
Alle riche mannes sones,
And alle hi were faire gomes,
With him for to pleie,
And mest he luvede tweie;
That on him het Hathulf child,
And that other Fikenild.
Athulf was the beste,
And Fikenylde the werste.
Hit was upon a someres day,
Also ich you telle may,
Murri, the gode King,
Rod on his pleing
Bi the se side,
Ase he was woned ride.
With him riden bote two -
Al to fewe ware tho!
He fond bi the stronde,
Arived on his londe,
Schipes fiftene
With Sarazins kene
He axede what hi soghte
Other to londe broghte.
A payn hit ofherde,
And hym wel sone answarede:
"Thy lond folk we schulle slon,
And alle that Crist luveth upon
And the selve right anon.
Ne shaltu todai henne gon."
The king alighte of his stede,
For tho he havede nede,
And his gode knightes two;
Al to fewe he hadde tho.
Swerd hi gunne gripe
And togadere smite.
Hy smyten under schelde
That sume hit yfelde.
The king hadde al to fewe
Togenes so fele schrewe;
So wele mighten ythe
Bringe hem thre to dithe.
The pains come to londe
And neme hit in here honde
That folc hi gunne quelle,
And churchen for to felle.
Ther ne moste libbe
The fremde ne the sibbe.
Bute hi here laye asoke,
And to here toke.
Of alle wymmanne
Wurst was Godhild thanne.
For Murri heo weop sore
And for Horn yute more.
He wente ut of halle
Fram hire maidenes alle
Under a roche of stone
Ther heo livede alone.
Ther heo servede Gode
Aghenes the paynes forbode.
Ther he servede Criste
That no payn hit ne wiste.
Evre heo bad for Horn child
That Jesu Crist him beo myld.
Horn was in paynes honde
With his feren of the londe.
Muchel was his fairhede,
For Jhesu Crist him makede.
Payns him wolde slen,
Other al quic flen,
Yef his fairnesse nere:
The children alle aslaye were.
Thanne spak on admirad -
Of wordes he was bald, -
"Horn, thu art well kene,
And that is wel isene.
Thu art gret and strong,
Fair and evene long;
Thu schalt waxe more
Bi fulle seve yere.
Yef thu mote to live go
And thine feren also,
Yef hit so bi falle,
Ye scholde slen us alle:
Tharvore thu most to stere,
Thu and thine ifere;
To schupe schulle ye funde,
And sinke to the grunde.
The se you schal adrenche,
Ne schal hit us noght ofthinche.
For if thu were alive,
With swerd other with knive,
We scholden alle deie,
And thi fader deth abeie."
The children hi broghte to stronde,
Wringinde here honde,
Into schupes borde
At the furste worde.
Ofte hadde Horn beo wo,
Ac nevre wurs than him was tho.
The se bigan to flowe,
And Horn child to rowe;
The se that schup so fasste drof
The children dradde therof.
Hi wenden towisse
Of here lif to misse,
Al the day and al the night
Til hit sprang dailight,
Til Horn sagh on the stronde
Men gon in the londe.
"Feren," quath he, "yonge,
Ich telle you tithinge:
Ich here foyeles singe
And that gras him springe.
Blithe beo we on lyve;
Ure schup is on ryve."
Of schup hi gunne funde,
And setten fout to grunde.
Bi the se side
Hi leten that schup ride.
Thanne spak him child Horn,
In Suddene he was iborn:
"Schup bi the se flode,
Daies have thu gode.
Bi the se brinke,
No water the nadrinke.
Yef thu cume to Suddene,
Gret thu wel of myne kenne,
Gret thu wel my moder,
Godhild, Quen the gode,
And seie the paene king,
Jesu Cristes withering,
That ich am hol and fer
On this lond arived her;
And seie that hei schal fonde
The dent of myne honde."
The children yede to tune,
Bi dales and bi dune.
Hy metten with Almair King,
Crist yeven him His blessing
King of Westernesse
Crist yive him muchel blisse!
He him spac to Horn child
Wordes that were mild:
"Whannes beo ye, faire gumes,
That her to londe beoth icume,
Alle throttene,
Of bodie swithe kene?
Bi God that me makede,
A swich fair verade
Ne saugh ich in none stunde,
Bi westene londe:
Seie me wat ye seche."
Horn spak here speche,
He spak for hem alle,
Vor so hit moste bivalle:
He was the faireste
And of wit the beste.
"We beoth of Suddenne,
Icome of gode kenne,
Of Cristene blode,
And kynges swthe gode.
Payns ther gunne arive
And duden hem of lyve.
Hi sloghen and todroghe
Cristene men inoghe.
So Crist me mote rede,
Us hi dude lede
Into a galeie,
With the se to pleie,
Dai hit is igon and other,
Withute sail and rother:
Ure schip bigan to swymme
To this londes brymme.
Nu thu might us slen and binde
Ore honde bihynde.
Bute yef hit beo thi wille,
Helpe that we ne spille."
Thanne spak the gode kyng
Iwis he nas no nithing
"Seie me, child, what is thi name?
Ne schaltu have bute game."
The child him answerde,
Sone so he hit herde:
"Horn ich am ihote,
Icomen ut of the bote,
Fram the se side.
Kyng, wel mote thee tide."
Thanne hym spak the gode king,
"Well bruc thu thin evening.
Horn, thu go wel schulle
Bi dales and bi hulle;
Horn, thu lude sune,
Bi dales and bi dune;
So schal thi name springe
Fram kynge to kynge,
And thi fairnesse
Abute Westernesse,
The strengthe of thine honde
Into evrech londe.
Horn, thu art so swete,
Ne may ich the forlete."
Hom rod Aylmar the Kyng
And Horn mid him, his fundling,
And alle his ifere,
That were him so dere.
The kyng com into halle
Among his knightes alle;
Forth he clupede Athelbrus,
That was stiward of his hus.
"Stiward, tak nu here
My fundlyng for to lere
Of thine mestere,
Of wude and of rivere,
And tech him to harpe
With his nayles scharpe,
Bivore me to kerve,
And of the cupe serve.
Thu tech him of alle the liste
That thu evre of wiste,
And his feiren thou wise
In to othere servise.
Horn thu undervonge
And tech him of harpe and songe."
Ailbrus gan lere
Horn and his yfere.
Horn in herte laghte
Al that he him taghte.
In the curt and ute,
And elles al abute
Luvede men Horn child,
And mest him luvede Rymenhild,
The kynges owene doghter.
He was mest in thoghte;
Heo luvede so Horn child
That negh heo gan wexe wild:
For heo ne mighte at borde
With him speke no worde,
Ne noght in the halle
Among the knightes alle,
Ne nowhar in non othere stede.
Of folk heo hadde drede:
Bi daie ne bi nighte
With him speke ne mighte.
Hire soreghe ne hire pine
Ne mighte nevre fine.
In heorte heo hadde wo,
And thus hire bithoghte tho:
Heo sende hire sonde
Athelbrus to honde,
That he come hire to,
And also scholde Horn do,
Al in to bure,
For heo gan to lure;
And the sonde seide
That sik lai that maide,
And bad him come swithe
For heo nas nothing blithe.
The stward was in herte wo,
For he nuste what to do.
Wat Rymenhild hure thoghte
Gret wunder him thughte,
Abute Horn the yonge
To bure for to bringe.
He thoghte upon his mode
Hit nas for none gode:
He tok him another,
Athulf, Hornes brother.
"Athulf," he sede, "right anon
Thu schalt with me to bure gon
To speke with Rymenhild stille
And witen hure wille.
In Hornes ilike
Thu schalt hure biswike:
Sore ich me ofdrede
Heo wolde Horn misrede."
Athelbrus gan Athulf lede,
And into bure with him yede:
Anon upon Athulf child
Rymenhild gan wexe wild:
Heo wende that Horn hit were
That heo havede there:
Heo sette him on bedde;
With Athulf child he wedde;
On hire armes tweie
Athulf heo gan leie.
"Horn," quath heo, "wel longe
Ich habbe thee luved stronge.
Thu schalt thi trewthe plighte
On myn hond her righte,
Me to spuse holde,
And ich thee lord to wolde."
Athulf sede on hire ire
So stille so hit were,
"Thi tale nu thu lynne,
For Horn nis noght her inne.
Ne beo we noght iliche:
Horn is fairer and riche,
Fairer bi one ribbe
Thane eni man that libbe:
Thegh Horn were under molde
Other elles wher he wolde
Other henne a thusend mile,
Ich nolde him ne thee bigile."
Rymenhild hire biwente,
And Athelbrus fule heo schente.
"Hennes thu go, thu fule theof,
Ne wurstu me nevre more leof;
Went ut of my bur,
With muchel mesaventur.
Schame mote thu fonge
And on highe rode anhonge.
Ne spek ich noght with Horn:
Nis he noght so unorn;
Horn is fairer thane beo he:
With muchel schame mote thu deie."
Athelbrus in a stunde
Fel anon to grunde.
"Lefdi min oghe,
Lithe me a litel throghe!
Lust whi ich wonde
Bringe thee Horn to honde.
For Horn is fair and riche,
Nis no whar his iliche.
Aylmar, the gode Kyng,
Dude him on mi lokyng.
Yef Horn were her abute,
Sore I me dute
With him ye wolden pleie
Bitwex you selve tweie.
Thanne scholde withuten othe
The kyng maken us wrothe.
Rymenhild, foryef me thi tene,
Lefdi, my quene,
And Horn ich schal thee fecche,
Wham so hit recche."
Rymenhild, yef he cuthe,
Gan lynne with hire muthe.
Heo makede hire wel blithe;
Wel was hire that sithe.
"Go nu," quath heo, "sone,
And send him after none,
On a squieres wise.
Whane the kyng arise
To wude for to pleie,
Nis non that him biwreie.
He schal with me bileve
Til hit beo nir eve,
To haven of him mi wille;
After ne recche ich what me telle." : 1
Aylbrus wende hire fro;
Horn in halle fond he tho
Bifore the kyng on benche,
Wyn for to schenche.
"Horn," quath he, "so hende,
To bure nu thu wende,
After mete stille,
With Rymenhild to dwelle;
Wordes swthe bolde,
In herte thu hem holde.
Horn, beo me wel trewe;
Ne schal hit thee nevre rewe."
Horn in herte leide
Al that he him seide;
He yeode in wel righte
To Rymenhild the brighte.
On knes he him sette,
And sweteliche hure grette.
Of his feire sighte
Al the bur gan lighte.
He spac faire speche -
Ne dorte him noman teche.
"Wel thu sitte and softe,
Rymenhild the brighte,
With thine maidenes sixe
That the sitteth nixte.
Kinges stward ure
Sende me in to bure;
With thee speke ich scholde.
Seie me what thu woldest:
Seie, and ich schal here
What thi wille were."
Rymenhild up gan stonde
And tok him bi the honde:
Heo sette him on pelle
Of wyn to drinke his fulle:
Heo makede him faire chere
And tok him abute the swere.
Ofte heo him custe,
So wel so hire luste.
"Horn," heo sede, "withute strif,
Thu schalt have me to thi wif.
Horn, have of me rewthe,
And plist me thi trewthe.
Horn tho him bithoghte
What he speke mighte.
"Crist," quath he, "thee wisse,
And yive thee hevene blisse
Of thine husebonde,
Wher he beo in londe.
Ich am ibore to lowe
Such wimman to knowe.
Ich am icome of thralle
And fundling bifalle.
Ne feolle hit the of cunde
To spuse beo me bunde.
Hit nere no fair wedding
Bitwexe a thral and a king."
Tho gan Rymenhild mislyke
And sore gan to sike:
Armes heo gan bughe;
Adun heo feol iswoghe.
Horn in herte was ful wo
And tok hire on his armes two.
He gan hire for to kesse
Wel ofte mid ywisse.
"Lemman," he sede, "dere,
Thin herte nu thu stere.
Help me to knighte
Bi al thine mighte,
To my lord the king
That he me yive dubbing:
Thanne is mi thralhod
I went in to knighthod
And I schal wexe more,
And do, lemman, thi lore."
Rymenhild, that swete thing,
Wakede of hire swoghning.
"Horn," quath heo, "wel sone
That schal beon idone.
Thu schalt beo dubbed knight
Are come seve night.
Have her this cuppe
And this ryng ther uppe
To Aylbrus the stuard,
And se he holde foreward.
Seie ich him biseche,
With loveliche speche,
That he adun falle
Bifore the king in halle,
And bidde the king arighte
Dubbe thee to knighte.
With selver and with golde
Hit wurth him wel iyolde.
Crist him lene spede
Thin erende to bede."
Horn tok his leve,
For hit was negh eve.
Athelbrus he soghte
And yaf him that he broghte,
And tolde him ful yare
Hu he hadde ifare,
And sede him his nede,
And bihet him his mede.
Athelbrus also swithe
Wente to halle blive.
"Kyng," he sede, "thu leste
A tale mid the beste.
Thu schalt bere crune
Tomoreghe in this tune;
Tomoreghe is thi feste:
Ther bihoveth geste.
Hit nere noght for loren
For to knighti child Horn,
Thine armes for to welde:
God knight he schal yelde."
The king sede sone,
"That is wel idone.
Horn me wel iquemeth;
God knight him bisemeth.
He schal have mi dubbing
And after wurth mi derling.
And alle his feren twelf
He schal knighten himself:
Alle he schal hem knighte
Bifore me this nighte."
Til the light of day sprang
Ailmar him thughte lang.
The day bigan to springe;
Horn com bivore the kinge,
Mid his twelf yfere,
Sume hi were luthere.
Horn he dubbede to knighte
With swerd and spures brighte.
He sette him on a stede whit:
Ther nas no knight hym ilik.
He smot him a litel wight
And bed him beon a god knight.
Athulf fel aknes thar
Bivore the King Aylmar.
"King," he sede, "so kene
Grante me a bene:
Nu is knight Sire Horn
That in Suddene was iboren;
Lord he is of londe
Over us that bi him stonde;
Thin armes he hath and scheld
To fighte with upon the feld:
Let him us alle knighte
For that is ure righte."
Aylmar sede sone ywis,
"Do nu that thi wille is."
Horn adun lighte
And makede hem alle knightes.
Murie was the feste
Al of faire gestes:
Ac Rymenhild nas noght ther,
And that hire thughte seve yer.
After Horn heo sente,
And he to bure wente.
Nolde he noght go one;
Athulf was his mone.
Rymenhild on flore stod:
Hornes come hire thughte god:
And sede, "Welcome, Sire Horn,
And Athulf knight the biforn.
Knight, nu is thi time
For to sitte bi me.
Do nu that thu er of spake:
To thy wif thu me take.
Ef thu art trewe of dedes,
Do nu ase thu sedes.
Nu thu hast wille thine,
Unbind me of my pine."
"Rymenhild," quath he, "beo stille!
Ich wulle don al thi wille,
Also hit mot bitide.
Mid spere I schal furst ride,
And mi knighthod prove,
Ar ich thee ginne to woghe.
We beth knightes yonge,
Of o dai al isprunge;
And of ure mestere
So is the manere:
With sume othere knighte
Wel for his lemman fighte
Or he eni wif take;
Forthi me stondeth the more rape.
Today, so Crist me blesse,
Ich wulle do pruesse,
For thi luve in the felde
Mid spere and mid schelde.
If ich come to lyve,
Ich schal thee take to wyve."
"Knight," quath heo, "trewe,
Ich wene ich mai thee leve:
Tak nu her this gold ring:
God him is the dubbing;
Ther is upon the ringe
Igrave "Rymenhild the yonge":
Ther nis non betere anonder sunne
That eni man of telle cunne.
For my luve thu hit were
And on thi finger thu him bere.
The stones beoth of suche grace
That thu ne schalt in none place
Of none duntes beon ofdrad,
Ne on bataille beon amad,
Ef thu loke theran
And thenke upon thi lemman.
And Sire Athulf, thi brother,
He schal have another.
Horn, ich thee biseche
With loveliche speche,
Crist yeve god erndinge
Thee aghen to bringe."
The knight hire gan kesse,
And heo him to blesse.
Leve at hire he nam,
And in to halle cam:
The knightes yeden to table,
And Horne yede to stable:
Thar he tok his gode fole,
Also blak so eny cole.
The fole schok the brunie
That al the curt gan denie.
The fole bigan to springe,
And Horn murie to singe.
Horn rod in a while
More than a myle.
He fond o schup stonde
With hethene honde.
He axede what hi soghte
Other to londe broghte.
An hund him gan bihelde
That spac wordes belde:
"This lond we wullegh winne
And sle that ther is inne."
Horn gan his swerd gripe
And on his arme wype.
The Sarazins he smatte
That his blod hatte;
At evreche dunte
The heved of wente;
Tho gunne the hundes gone
Abute Horn a lone:
He lokede on the ringe,
And thoghte on Rimenilde;
He slogh ther on haste
On hundred bi the laste,
Ne mighte noman telle
That folc that he gan quelle.
Of alle that were alive,
Ne mighte ther non thrive.
Horn tok the maisteres heved,
That he hadde him bireved
And sette hit on his swerde,
Anoven at than orde.
He verde hom into halle,
Among the knightes alle.
"Kyng," he sede, "wel thu sitte,
And alle thine knightes mitte.
Today, after mi dubbing,
So I rod on my pleing
I fond o schup rowe
Mid watere al byflowe
Al with Sarazines kyn,
And none londisse men
To dai for to pine
Thee and alle thine.
Hi gonne me assaille:
Mi swerd me nolde faille:
I smot hem alle to grunde,
Other yaf hem dithes wunde.
That heved I thee bringe
Of the maister kinge.
Nu is thi wile iyolde,
King, that thu me knighty woldest."
A moreghe tho the day gan springe,
The king him rod an huntinge.
At hom lefte Fikenhild,
That was the wurste moder child.
Horn ferde into bure
To sen aventure.
He saw Rymenild sitte
Also heo were of witte.
Heo sat on the sunne
With tieres al birunne.
Horn sede, "Lef, thin ore!
Wi wepestu so sore?"
Heo sede, "Noght I ne wepe,
Bute ase I lay aslepe
To the se my net I caste,
And hit nolde noght ilaste;
A gret fiss at the furste
Mi net he gan to berste.
Ich wene that ich schal leose
The fiss that ich wolde cheose."
"Crist," quath Horn, "and Seint Stevene
Turne thine swevene.
Ne schal I thee biswike,
Ne do that thee mislike.
I schal me make thin owe
To holden and to knowe
For everech othere wighte,
And tharto mi treuthe I thee plighte."
Muchel was the ruthe
That was at thare truthe,
For Rymenhild weop ille,
And Horn let the tires stille.
"Lemman, quath he, "dere,
Thu schalt more ihere.
Thi sweven schal wende
Other sum man schal us schende.
The fiss that brak the lyne,
Ywis he doth us pine.
That schal don us tene,
And wurth wel sone isene."
Aylmar rod bi Sture,
And Horn lai in bure.
Fykenhild hadde envye
And sede thes folye:
"Aylmar, ich thee warne
Horn thee wule berne:
Ich herde whar he sede,
And his swerd forth leide,
To bringe thee of lyve,
And take Rymenhild to wyve.
He lith in bure
Under coverture
By Rymenhild thi doghter,
And so he doth wel ofte.
And thider thu go al right,
Ther thu him finde might.
Thu do him ut of londe,
Other he doth thee schonde!"
Aylmar aghen gan turne
Wel modi and wel murne.
He fond Horn in arme
On Rymenhilde barme.
"Awey ut," he sede, "fule theof,
Ne wurstu me nevremore leof!
Wend ut of my bure
With muchel messaventure.
Wel sone bute thu flitte,
With swerde ich thee anhitte.
Wend ut of my londe,
Other thu schalt have schonde."
Horn sadelede his stede
And his armes he gan sprede.
His brunie he gan lace
So he scholde in to place.
His swerd he gan fonge:
Nabod he noght to longe.
He yede forth blive
To Rymenhild his wyve.
He sede, "Lemman derling,
Nu havestu thi swevening.
The fiss that thi net rente,
Fram thee he me sente.
Rymenhild, have wel godne day:
No leng abiden I ne may.
In to uncuthe londe,
Wel more for to fonde;
I schal wune there
Fulle seve yere.
At seve yeres ende,
Yef I ne come ne sende,
Tak thee husebonde;
For me thu ne wonde.
In armes thu me fonge,
And kes me wel longe."
Heo custe him wel a stunde
And Rymenhild feol to grunde.
Horn tok his leve:
Ne mighte he no leng bileve;
He tok Athulf, his fere,
Al abute the swere,
And sede, "Knight so trewe,
Kep wel mi luve newe.
Thu nevre me ne forsoke:
Rymenhild thu kep and loke.
His stede he gan bistride,
And forth he gan ride:
To the havene he ferde,
And a god schup he hurede,
That him scholde londe
In westene londe.
Athulf weop with ighe
And al that him isighe.
The whyght him gan stonde,
And drof til Hirelonde.
To londe he him sette
And fot on stirop sette.
He fond bi the weie
Kynges sones tweie;
That on him het Harild,
And that other Berild.
Berild gan him preie
That he scholde him seie
What his name were
And what he wolde there.
"Cutberd," he sede, "ich hote,
Icomen ut of the bote,
Wel feor fram biweste
To seche mine beste."
Berild gan him nier ride
And tok him by the bridel:
"Wel beo thu, knight, ifounde;
With me thu lef a stunde.
Also mote I sterve,
The king thu schalt serve.
Ne sagh I nevre my lyve
So fair knight aryve."
Cutberd heo ladde in to halle,
And hi a kne gan falle:
He sette him a knewelyng
And grette wel the gode king.
Thanne sede Berild sone:
"Sire King, of him thu hast to done;
Bitak him thi lond to werie;
Ne schal hit noman derie,
For he is the faireste man
That evre yut on thi londe cam."
Thanne sede the king so dere,
"Welcome beo thu here.
Go nu, Berild, swithe,
And make him ful blithe.
And whan thu farst to woghe,
Tak him thine glove:
Iment thu havest to wyve,
Awai he schal thee dryve;
For Cutberdes fairhede
Ne schal thee nevre wel spede."
Hit was at Cristemasse,
Neither more ne lasse;
Ther cam in at none
A geaunt swthe sone,
Iarmed fram paynyme
And seide thes ryme:
"Site stille, Sire Kyng,
And herkne this tything:
Her buth paens arived;
Wel mo thane five
Her beoth on the sonde,
King, upon thy londe;
On of hem wile fighte
Aghen thre knightes.
Yef other thre slen ure,
Al this lond beo youre;
Yef ure on overcometh your threo,
Al this lond schal ure beo.
Tomoreghe be the fightinge,
Whane the light of daye springe."
Thanne sede the Kyng Thurston,
"Cutberd schal beo that on;
Berild schal beo that other,
The thridde Alrid his brother;
For hi beoth the strengeste
And of armes the beste.
Bute what schal us to rede?
Ich wene we beth alle dede."
Cutberd sat at borde
And sede thes wordes:
"Sire King, hit nis no righte
On with thre to fighte:
Aghen one hunde,
Thre Cristen men to fonde.
Sire, I schal alone,
Withute more ymone,
With mi swerd wel ethe
Bringe hem thre to dethe."
The king aros amoreghe,
That hadde muchel sorghe;
And Cutberd ros of bedde,
With armes he him schredde:
Horn his brunie gan on caste,
And lacede hit wel faste,
And cam to the kinge
At his up risinge.
"King," he sede, "cum to felde,
For to bihelde
Hu we fighte schulle,
And togare go wulle."
Right at prime tide
Hi gunnen ut ride
And funden on a grene
A geaunt swthe kene,
His feren him biside
Hore deth to abide.
The ilke bataille
Cutberd gan asaille:
He yaf dentes inoghe;
The knightes felle iswoghe.
His dent he gan withdraghe,
For hi were negh aslaghe;
And sede, "Knights, nu ye reste
One while ef you leste."
Hi sede hi nevre nadde
Of knighte dentes so harde,
Bote of the King Murry,
That wes swithe sturdy.
He was of Hornes kunne,
Iborn in Suddene.
Horn him gan to agrise,
And his blod arise.
Bivo him sagh he stonde
That driven him of lond
And that his fader slogh.
To him his swerd he drogh.
He lokede on his rynge
And thoghte on Rymenhilde.
He smot him thuregh the herte,
That sore him gan to smerte.
The paens that er were so sturne
Hi gunne awei urne;
Horn and his compaynye
Gunne after hem wel swithe highe
And sloghen alle the hundes
Er hi here schipes funde.
To dethe he hem alle broghte.
His fader deth wel dere hi boghte.
Of alle the kynges knightes
Ne scathede wer no wighte,
Bute his sones tweie
Bifore him he sagh deie.
The king bigan to grete
And teres for to lete.
Me leiden hem in bare
And burden hem ful yare.
The king com into halle
Among his knightes alle.
"Horn," he sede, "I seie thee,
Do as I schal rede thee.
Aslaghen beth mine heirs,
And thu art knight of muchel pris,
And of grete strengthe,
And fair o bodie lengthe.
Mi rengne thu schalt welde,
And to spuse helde
Reynild, mi doghter,
That sitteth on the lofte."
"O Sire King, with wronge
Scholte ich hit underfonge,
Thi doghter, that ye me bede,
Ower rengne for to lede.
Wel more ich schal thee serve,
Sire Kyng, or thu sterve.
Thi sorwe schal wende
Or seve yeres ende.
Whanne hit is wente,
Sire King, yef me mi rente.
Whanne I thi doghter yerne,
Ne shaltu me hire werne."
Cutberd wonede there
Fulle seve yere
That to Rymenild he ne sente
Ne him self ne wente.
Rymenild was in Westernesse
With wel muchel sorinesse.
A king ther gan arive
That wolde hire have to wyve;
Aton he was with the king
Of that ilke wedding.
The daies were schorte,
That Rimenhild ne dorste
Leten in none wise.
A writ he dude devise;
Athulf hit dude write,
That Horn ne luvede noght lite.
Heo sende hire sonde
To evereche londe
To seche Horn the knight
Ther me him finde mighte.
Horn noght therof ne herde
Til o day that he ferde
To wude for to schete.
A knave he gan imete.
Horn seden, "Leve fere,
What sechestu here?"
"Knight, if beo thi wille,
I mai thee sone telle.
I seche fram biweste
Horn of Westernesse
For a maiden Rymenhild,
That for him gan wexe wild.
A king hire wile wedde
And bringe to his bedde,
King Modi of Reynes,
On of Hornes enemis.
Ich habbe walke wide,
Bi the se side;
Nis he nowar ifunde.
Walawai the stunde!
Wailaway the while!
Nu wurth Rymenild bigiled."
Horn iherde with his ires,
And spak with bidere tires:
"Knave, wel thee bitide!
Horn stondeth thee biside.
Aghen to hure thu turne
And seie that heo nu murne,
For I schal beo ther bitime,
A Soneday by prime."
The knave was wel blithe
And highede aghen blive.
The se bigan to throghe
Under hire woghe.
The knave there gan adrinke:
Rymenhild hit mighte ofthinke.
The see him con ded throwe
Under hire chambre wowe.
Rymenhild undude the durepin
Of the hus ther heo was in,
To loke with hire ighe
If heo oght of Horn isighe:
Tho fond heo the knave adrent,
That heo hadde for Horn isent,
And that scholde Horn bringe.
Hire fingres heo gan wringe.
Horn cam to Thurston the King
And tolde him this tithing.
Tho he was iknowe
That Rimenhild was his oghe;
Of his gode kenne
The King of Suddenne,
And hu he slogh in felde
That his fader quelde,
And seide, "King the wise,
Yeld me mi servise.
Rymenhild help me winne,
That thu noght ne linne:
And I schal do to spuse
Thi doghter wel to huse:
Heo schal to spuse have
Athulf, mi gode felaghe,
God knight mid the beste
And the treweste."
The king sede so stille,
"Horn, have nu thi wille."
He dude writes sende
Into Yrlonde
After knightes lighte,
Irisse men to fighte.
To Horn come inoghe
That to schupe droghe.
Horn dude him in the weie
On a god galeie.
The wind him gan to blowe
In a litel throghe.
The se bigan to posse
Right in to Westernesse.
Hi strike seil and maste
And ankere gunne caste,
Or eny day was sprunge
Other belle irunge.
The word bigan to springe
Of Rymenhilde weddinge.
Horn was in the watere,
Ne mighte he come no latere.
He let his schup stonde,
And yede to londe.
His folk he dude abide
Under wude side.
Horn him yede alone
Also he sprunge of stone.
A palmere he thar mette
And faire hine grette:
"Palmere, thu schalt me telle
Al of thine spelle."
He sede upon his tale,
"I come fram o brudale;
Ich was at o wedding
Of a maide Rymenhild:
Ne mighte heo adrighe
That heo ne weop with ighe.
Heo sede that heo nolde
Ben ispused with golde.
Heo hadde on husbonde
Thegh he were ut of londe.
And in strong halle,
Bithinne castel walle,
Ther I was atte yate,
Nolde hi me in late.
Modi ihote hadde
To bure that me hire ladde:
Away I gan glide:
That deol I nolde abide.
The bride wepeth sore,
And that is muche deole."
Quath Horn, "So Crist me rede,
We schulle chaungi wede.
Have her clothes myne
And tak me thi sclavyne,
Today I schal ther drinke
That some hit schulle ofthinke."
His sclavyn he dude dun legge,
And tok hit on his rigge,
He tok Horn his clothes:
That nere him noght lothe.
Horn tok burdon and scrippe
And wrong his lippe.
He makede him a ful chere,
And al bicolmede his swere.
He makede him unbicomelich
Hes he nas nevremore ilich.
He com to the gateward,
That him answerede hard:
Horn bad undo softe
Mani tyme and ofte;
Ne mighte he awynne
That he come therinne.
Horn gan to the yate turne
And that wiket unspurne.
The boye hit scholde abugge.
Horn threw him over the brigge
That his ribbes him tobrake,
And suthe com in atte gate.
He sette him wel loghe
In beggeres rowe;
He lokede him abute
With his colmie snute;
He segh Rymenhild sitte
Ase heo were of witte,
Sore wepinge and yerne;
Ne mighte hure no man wurne.
He lokede in eche halke;
Ne segh he nowhar walke
Athulf his felawe,
That he cuthe knowe.
Athulf was in the ture,
Abute for to pure
After his comynge,
Yef schup him wolde bringe.
He segh the se flowe
And Horn nowar rowe.
He sede upon his songe:
"Horn, nu thu ert wel longe.
Rymenhild thu me toke
That I scholde loke;
Ich habbe ikept hure evre;
Com nu other nevre:
I ne may no leng hure kepe.
For soreghe nu I wepe."
Rymenhild ros of benche,
Wyn for to schenche,
After mete in sale,
Bothe wyn and ale.
On horn heo bar anhonde,
So laghe was in londe.
Knightes and squier
Alle dronken of the ber,
Bute Horn alone
Nadde therof no mone.
Horn sat upon the grunde;
Him thughte he was ibunde.
He sede, "Quen so hende,
To meward thu wende;
Thu yef us with the furste;
The beggeres beoth ofthurste."
Hure horn heo leide adun,
And fulde him of a brun
His bolle of a galun;
For heo wende he were a glotoun.
Heo seide, "Have this cuppe,
And this thing theruppe.
Ne sagh ich nevre, so ich wene,
Beggere that were so kene."
Horn tok hit his ifere
And sede, "Quen so dere,
Wyn nelle ich muche ne lite
But of cuppe white.
Thu wenest I beo a beggere,
And ich am a fissere,
Wel feor icome by este
For fissen at thi feste.
Mi net lith her bi honde,
Bi a wel fair stronde.
Hit hath ileie there
Fulle seve yere.
Ich am icome to loke
Ef eni fiss hit toke.
Ich am icome to fisse:
Drynke null I of dyssh:
Drink to Horn of horne.
Feor ich am jorne."
Rymenhild him gan bihelde;
Hire heorte bigan to chelde.
Ne knew heo noght his fissing,
Ne Horn hymselve nothing.
Ac wunder hire gan thinke
Whi he bad to Horn drinke.
Heo fulde hire horn with wyn
And dronk to the pilegrym.
Heo sede, "Drink thi fulle,
And suthe thu me telle
If thu evre isighe
Horn under wude lighe."
Horn dronk of horn a stunde
And threu the ring to grunde.
He seyde, "Quen, nou seche
Qwat is in thy drenche."
The Quen yede to bure
With hire maidenes foure.
Tho fond heo what heo wolde,
A ring igraven of golde
That Horn of hure hadde;
Sore hure dradde
That Horn isterve were,
For the ring was there.
Tho sente heo a damesele
After the palmere;
"Palmere," quath heo, "trewe,
The ring that thu threwe,
Thu seie whar thu hit nome,
And whi thu hider come."
He sede, "Bi Seint Gile,
Ich habbe go mani mile,
Wel feor by yonde weste
To seche my beste.
I fond Horn child stonde
To schupeward in londe. 2
He sede he wolde agesse
To arive in Westernesse.
The schip nam to the flode
With me and Horn the gode;
Horn was sik and deide,
And faire he me preide:
'Go with the ringe
To Rymenhild the yonge.'
Ofte he hit custe,
God yeve his saule reste!"
Rymenhild sede at the furste,
"Herte, nu thu berste,
For Horn nastu namore,
That thee hath pined so sore."
Heo feol on hire bedde,
Ther heo knif hudde,
To sle with king lothe
And hureselve bothe
In that ulke nighte,
If Horn come ne mighte.
To herte knif heo sette,
Ac Horn anon hire kepte.
He wipede that blake of his swere,
And sede, "Quen, so swete and dere,
Ich am Horn thin oghe.
Ne canstu me noght knowe?
Ich am Horn of Westernesse;
In armes thu me cusse."
Hi custe hem mid ywisse
And makeden muche blisse.
"Rymenhild," he sede, "I wende
Adun to the wudes ende:
Ther beth myne knightes
Redi to fighte;
Iarmed under clothe,
Hi schulle make wrothe
The king and his geste
That come to the feste.
Today I schal hem teche
And sore hem areche."
Horn sprong ut of halle
And let his sclavin falle.
The quen yede to bure
And fond Athulf in ture.
"Athulf," heo sede, "be blithe
And to Horn thu go wel swithe.
He is under wude boghe
And with him knightes inoghe."
Athulf bigan to springe
For the tithinge.
After Horn he arnde anon,
Also that hors mighte gon.
He him overtok ywis;
Hi makede swithe muchel blis.
Horn tok his preie
And dude him in the weie.
He com in wel sone:
The yates were undone.
Iarmed ful thikke
Fram fote to the nekke,
Alle that were therin
Bithute his twelf ferin
And the King Aylmare,
He dude hem alle to kare,
That at the feste were;
Here lif hi lete there.
Horn ne dude no wunder
Of Fikenhildes false tunge.
Hi sworen othes holde,
That nevre ne scholde
Horn nevre bitraie,
Thegh he at dithe laie.
Hi runge the belle
The wedlak for to felle;
Horn him yede with his
To the kinges palais,
Ther was bridale swete,
For riche men ther ete.
Telle ne mighte tunge
That gle that ther was sunge.
Horn sat on chaere,
And bad hem alle ihere.
"King," he sede, "thu luste
A tale mid the beste.
I ne seie hit for no blame:
Horn is mi name.
Thu me to knight hove,
And knighthod have proved
To thee, king, men seide
That I thee bitraide;
Thu makedest me fleme,
And thi lond to reme;
Thu wendest that I wroghte
That I nevre ne thoghte,
Bi Rymenhild for to ligge,
And that I withsegge.
Ne schal ich hit biginne,
Til I Suddene winne.
Thu kep hure a stunde,
The while that I funde
In to min heritage,
And to mi baronage.
That lond I schal ofreche
And do mi fader wreche.
I schal beo king of tune,
And bere kinges crune;
Thanne schal Rymenhilde
Ligge bi the kinge."
Horn gan to schupe draghe
With his Irisse felaghes,
Athulf with him, his brother:
Nolde he non other.
That schup bigan to crude;
The wind him bleu lude;
Bithinne daies five
That schup gan arive
Abute middelnighte.
Horn him yede wel righte;
He tok Athulf bi honde
And up he yede to londe.
Hi founde under schelde
A knight hende in felde.
Op the schelde was drawe
A crowch of Jhesu Cristes lawe.
The knight him aslepe lay
Al biside the way.
Horn him gan to take
And sede, "Knight, awake!
Seie what thu kepest?
And whi thu her slepest?
Me thinkth bi thine crois lighte,
That thu longest to ure Drighte.
Bute thu wule me schewe,
I schal thee tohewe."
The gode knight up aros;
Of the wordes him gros.
He sede, "Ich serve aghenes my wille
Payns ful ylle.
Ich was Cristene a while:
Tho icom to this ille
Sarazins blake,
That dude me forsake.
On Crist ich wolde bileve.
On him hi makede me reve
To kepe this passage
Fram Horn that is of age,
That wunieth biweste,
Knight with the beste;
Hi sloghe with here honde
The king of this londe,
And with him fele hundred,
And therof is wunder
That he ne cometh to fighte.
God sende him the righte,
And wind him hider drive
To bringe hem of live.
He sloghen Kyng Murry,
Hornes fader, king hendy.
Horn hi ut of londe sente;
Twelf felawes with him wente,
Among hem Athulf the gode,
Min owene child, my leve fode:
Ef Horn child is hol and sund,
And Athulf bithute wund,
He luveth him so dere,
And is him so stere.
Mighte I seon hem tweie,
For joie I scholde deie."
"Knight, beo thanne blithe
Mest of alle sithe;
Horn and Athulf his fere
Bothe hi ben here."
To Horn he gan gon
And grette him anon.
Muche joie hi makede there
The while hi togadere were.
"Childre," he sede, hu habbe ye fare?
That ich you segh, hit is ful yare.
Wulle ye this lond winne
And sle that ther is inne?"
He sede, "Leve Horn child,
Yut lyveth thi moder Godhild:
Of joie heo miste
If heo thee alive wiste."
Horn sede on his rime,
"Iblessed beo the time
I com to Suddene
With mine Irisse menne:
We schulle the hundes teche
To speken ure speche.
Alle we hem schulle sle,
And al quic hem fle."
Horn gan his horn to blowe;
His folk hit gan iknowe;
Hi comen ut of stere,
Fram Hornes banere;
Hi sloghen and fughten,
The night and the ughten.
The Sarazins cunde
Ne lefde ther non in th'ende.
Horn let wurche
Chapeles and chirche;
He let belles ringe
And masses let singe.
He com to his moder halle
nobr>In a roche walle.
Corn he let serie,
And makede feste merie;
Murye lif he wroghte.
Rymenhild hit dere boghte.
Fikenhild was prut on herte,
And that him dude smerte.
Yonge he yaf and elde
Mid him for to helde.
Ston he dude lede,
Ther he hopede spede,
Strong castel he let sette,
Mid see him biflette;
Ther ne mighte lighte
Bute foghel with flighte.
Bute whanne the se withdrowe,
Mighte come men ynoghe.
Fikenhild gan wende
Rymenhild to schende.
To woghe he gan hure yerne;
The kyng ne dorste him werne.
Rymenhild was ful of mode;
He wep teres of blode.
That night Horn gan swete
And hevie for tomete
Of Rymenhild, his make,
Into schupe was itake.
The schup bigan to blenche:
His lemman scholde adrenche.
Rymenhild with hire honde
Wolde up to londe;
Fikenhild aghen hire pelte
With his swerdes hilte.
Horn him wok of slape
So a man that hadde rape.
"Athulf," he sede, "felaghe,
To schupe we mote draghe.
Fikenhild me hath idon under
And Rymenhild to do wunder.
Crist, for his wundes five,
Tonight me thuder drive."
Horn gan to schupe ride,
His feren him biside.
Fikenhild, or the dai gan springe,
Al right he ferde to the kinge,
After Rymenhild the brighte,
To wedden hire bi nighte.
He ladde hure bi the derke
Into his nywe werke.
The feste hi bigunne,
Er that ros the sunne.
Er thane Horn hit wiste,
Tofore the sunne upriste,
His schup stod under ture
At Rymenhilde bure.
Rymenhild, litel weneth heo
That Horn thanne alive beo.
The castel thei ne knewe,
For he was so nywe.
Horn fond sittinde Arnoldin,
That was Athulfes cosin,
That ther was in that tide,
Horn for tabide.
"Horn knight," he sede, "kinges sone,
Wel beo thu to londe icome.
Today hath ywedde Fikenhild
Thi swete lemman Rymenhild.
Ne schal I thee lie:
He hath giled thee twie.
This tur he let make
Al for thine sake.
Ne mai ther come inne
Noman with none ginne.
Horn, nu Crist thee wisse,
Of Rymenhild that thu ne misse."
Horn cuthe al the liste
That eni man of wiste.
Harpe he gan schewe,
And tok felawes fewe,
Of knightes swithe snelle
That schrudde hem at wille. 3
Hi yeden bi the gravel
Toward the castel.
Hi gunne murie singe
And makede here gleowinge.
Rymenhild hit gan ihere
And axede what hi were.
Hi sede hi weren harpurs
And sume were gigours.
He dude Horn in late
Right at halle gate.
He sette him on the benche,
His harpe for to clenche.
He makede Rymenhilde lay,
And heo makede walaway.
Rymenhild feol yswoghe
Ne was ther non that loughe.
Hit smot to Hornes herte
So bitere that hit smerte.
He lokede on the ringe
And thoghte on Rymenhilde:
He yede up to borde
With gode swerdes orde:
Fikenhildes crune
Ther he fulde adune,
And al his men a rowe,
Hi dude adun throwe.
Whanne hi weren aslaghe
Fikenhild hi dude todraghe.
Horn makede Arnoldin thare
King after King Aylmare
Of al Westernesse
For his meoknesse.
The king and his homage
Yeven Arnoldin trewage.
Horn tok Rymenhild bi the honde
And ladde hure to the stronde,
And ladde with him Athelbrus,
The gode stward of his hus.
The se bigan to flowe,
And Horn gan to rowe.
Hi gunne for to arive
Ther King Modi was sire.
Athelbrus he makede ther king
For his gode teching:
He yaf alle the knightes ore
For Horn knightes lore.
Horn gan for to ride;
The wind him blew wel wide.
He arivede in Yrlonde,
Ther he wo fonde,
Ther he dude Athulf child
Wedden maide Reynild.
Horn com to Suddenne
Among al his kenne;
Rymenhild he makede his quene;
So hit mighte wel beon.
Al folk hem mighte rewe
That loveden hem so trewe:
Nu ben hi bothe dede -
Crist to hevene hem lede!
Her endeth the tale of Horn
That fair was and noght unorn.
Make we us glade evre among,
For thus him endeth Hornes song.
Jesus, that is of hevene king,
Yeve us alle His swete blessing.
be happy; (see note)
[Who]; listen
(see note)
in the west; (see note)
it (i.e., his life); (see note)
was called
be; (see note)
rain fell upon
or sun shone
as; (see note)
also; (see note)
no other kingdom
anyone like him
they; good fellows
one of them was called Athulf; (see note)
(see note)
As I
Rode for sport; (see note)
used to
(see note)
too; were they
ships(see note)
Saracens bold; (see note)
asked; they sought; (see note)
pagan heard it
(see note)
Nor shall you; hence
off; (see note)
then; had
they began
So that; felt
Against so many villains
easily; they
pagans came
took it into their possession
folk; kill
churches to destroy
might not live
strangers; relatives; (see note)
Unless they their religion forsook
theirs took
Most miserable
she wept
yet (even)
(see note)
Against the pagans' injunction
So that no pagan knew it
Ever she prayed
might be gracious to him
hands of the pagans
Great; beauty
wanted to kill him
Or flay him alive
If it were not for
one emir
you; eager
quite tall
grow bigger
If; were to go away alive
befall (happen)
might; slay
Therefore; must go; boat; (see note)
ship; hurry
bottom [of the sea]
drown in
Nor shall [we] regret it
pay for
shore; (see note)
(see note)
been woeful
But; then; (see note)
(see note)
rue (regret bitterly)
were afraid
They expected for certain
their life to lose
saw; shore
going about
"Friends," said; young
hear; birds
Let us be happy [to be] alive
Our ship; shore
Off; they hasten
foot to ground
(see note)
sea's edge
have you to drink
Greet; family;
say to; pagan
enemy; (see note)
sound; well
they; experience
blow; (see note)
went their way
King Alymar
Whence (from where); young ones
have come
very bold
very; group of companions
land of the west
Tell; seek
For; befall
are from
so very
did arrive
deprived; life
tore apart
So help me God
On; sport
[One] day; another
Without; rudder
Our; drift
Now; slay
Our; hands
truly; villain
As soon as
Come out; boat
you prosper
bear; name; (see note)
hill; (see note)
loudly shall sound
[All] about
each and every
not abandon you
with; foundling; (see note)
hunting; hawking
(see note)
Before; carve [meat]; (see note)
knew about
companions; teach; (see note)
take charge of
Athelbrus; teach
in his heart; understood
court; out
everywhere else
Rymenhild loved him the most
foremost in her thoughts
she nearly went crazy; (see note)
dinner table
(see note)
she could not speak
Her sorrow nor her pain
decided then
She; her message
into Athelbrus' presence
private chamber
appear downcast
was not a bit well
pained in his heart
did not know
Seemed very strange to him
It was for no good
(see note)
in private
know about her desire
Horn's likeness
fear greatly
advise badly
grew very passionate; (see note)
(see note)
revealed passion
In; two
swear fidelity
right here
to be a spouse
to have as lord
in her ear
As quietly as possible
(see note)
(see note)
Even if; earth
Or wherever
from here
would not beguile him nor you
foully; denounced
From here; wicked thief
will you be; dear
Get out; bower
much bad luck
overtake you
gallows hang
he (i.e., Athulf)
right away
My own lady
Listen to me for a moment
Hear; hesitated
Nowhere; equal
Placed; care
Greatly; fear
take pleasure; (see note)
beyond doubt
forgive; anger
Whoever may care
as much as she could
keep quiet
She made herself
[It was] well with her; time
she said; soon
dressed as a squire; (see note)
woods; sport
No one; will betray
close to evening
(see note)
turned away from her
Wine; pour
bedchamber; go
meal quietly
them keep (i.e., be quiet)
you will not regret it
took to heart
beautiful; (see note)
sweetly greeted her
sit next to you
(see note)
fur mantle; (see note)
She showed him
as much as she liked; (see note)
for your wife
pledge; oath (fidelity)
thought to himself
born; too low
a serf; (see note)
have become a foundling
Nor would it be natural
As a spouse; united
would be; (see note)
Then; be displeased
to bend (raise)
Down; fell unconscious
in much grief
with certainty
become a knight
dub me
serf-like status
Before a week is up
along with it
(see note)
see to it; keep the agreement
Say I ask him
(see note)
fall down (humble himself)
He will be well-rewarded
grant success
Make known your business
nearly evening
gave him what
How; fared
what he wanted
promised; reward
as soon as possible
The best of all tales
Tomorrow; town
It is fitting to have a good time
It is not a lost cause
young man
Good; turn out to be
good idea
(see note)
become; favorite
them all
thought to himself
With; companions
Some of them; evil
spurs; (see note)
white horse
was no; like him
light blow
ordered; good
on his knees
favor; (see note)
Now as
responded quickly
got down
(see note)
she thought seven years
sent for
Horn's coming seemed good to her
before you
spoke about before
i.e., a man of your word
Release; pain
When the time is right
With spear; (see note)
Before; begin; woo
one; sprung up
our mastery
For you; greater haste; (see note)
I will do knightly deeds
return alive
she said
believe; love
(see note)
Good; adornment; (see note)
under the sun
can tell of
blows be afraid
battle; go crazy
If; on it
[sworn] brother
He took leave of her
As black as
horse; armor; (see note)
court; resounded
a ship anchored
heathen hounds; (see note)
One heathen
wish to conquer
[the inhabitants]
blood [grew] hot
each and every blow; (see note)
head; off
killed; quickly
leader's head; (see note)
deprived of
On top on the point
with you
As I rode for sport
row of ships
With water surrounded; (see note)
would not
Or gave them deadly wounds
trouble rewarded
In the morning when; (see note)
(see note)
worst child of woman; (see note)
went; chamber; (see note)
seek; (see note)
(see note)
As if; out of her mind
i.e., at a sunny window
tears; covered
Beloved, grant me your favor
I do not weep for nothing
stay intact
fish; immediately
know; lose
(see note)
Interpret; dream
Above any other creature
oath; pledge
tears stop
my love
dream; turn [favorably]
Or someone will harm us
Certainly; torment
cause us pain
will be seen
the Mersey; (see note)
spoke these lies
destroy you
(see note)
to kill you
lies; chamber
the bedcovers
force him out
Before; harm
angry; sorrowful
out; foul thief
Nor will you ever be dear to me
Get out; bower
bad luck
Unless you flee at once
armor; laid out
chain mail tunic; (see note)
As if he; battle
He wasted no time
went; immediately
betrothed; (see note)
dear love
have a good day
No longer; stay
seven; (see note)
If I do not return or send a message
kissed; a while
swooned; (see note)
longer stay
Take care of
look after
harbor; went
good; rented
he saw all of that
seabreeze sustained him; (see note)
drove; Ireland
one called himself Harold
I am called
Come out; boat
From far away in the west
seek my fortune
remain a while
As surely as I must die
in my life
they on their knees
made them kneel
do [business] with him
Entrust; defend
harm; (see note)
go wooing; (see note)
[Whatever] intention; marry
for the sake of; beauty
(see note)
giant very quickly
non-Christian lands
listen to; message
There are pagans
There are; sand
One; (see note)
If your three slay our [one]
our one; three
they are
What advice shall we take
Against; heathen hound
the next morning
equipped himself
armored corselet put on
(see note)
together will go
six a. m.; (see note)
They rode out
giant very bold
companions beside him
same battle
enough blows; (see note)
they; nearly slain
For a moment if you desire
They never said they had
From a knight blows
Except from; (see note)
Who was very
out of the land
killed his father
sorely; hurt
pagans; fierce
in great haste
killed; hounds; (see note)
Before they their; found
They paid dearly for his father's death
harmed; not a one; (see note)
Except for; two
let [fall]
Men; funeral bier
buried them right away; (see note)
Slain are
great value
kingdom; rule
in the upper room
(see note)
realm; govern
before you die
give; reward
Nor shall you refuse me
neither sent a message
nor returned
great sorrow
Prevent [it]
she dictated
Who loved Horn not a little
Where; men
one; went
woods; shoot
servant; met; (see note)
Dear friend
do you seek
the west
On behalf of
is going crazy
(i.e., Furness in the northwest of England); (see note)
He is not to be found anywhere
Alas the hour
is deceived
heard; ears
bitter tears
good fortune upon you
her; return
not be sad
be there forthwith
Sunday; (see note)
hurried [back] again quickly
sea; toss
was drowned
did cast him dead; (see note)
door pin (bolt)
house where she
anything; could see
Then he [Thurston] was made aware
[Horn's] own
[Horn told him] of; kin
how; killed
The one who killed
Repay me
may you not fail me
bring about the marriage of
i.e., into a good family
for a husband
Good; among
most faithful
got on board
got underway
good galley
little while
lower sail
anchor dropped
Before another
caused to wait
At the edge of the woods
As if; out of; (see note)
greeted him
bridal feast
wept; eyes
wedded; gold [ring]
Even if
at the gate
they; let
To a chamber; men led her
I snuck away
sorrow; endure
As Christ commands me
exchange clothing; (see note)
give; cloak
So that; regret
lay down
were not displeasing to him
staff; bag
foul appearance
dirtied; neck
As; never before like that
gatekeeper (porter)
said no
ordered; quietly
wicket kicked
bastard; pay for it
beggars' row; (see note)
around him
dirty nose
out of her mind
her; stop
Nor did he see
As far as he could tell
If; ship
now; slow [in coming]
look after [her]
now or
longer; her
Wine; pour
meal; hall
drinking horn; in her hand; (see note)
As was the law (custom)
had no share
tied up [in emotion]
Queen; gracious
Towards me turn; (see note)
give; first
very thirsty
Her vessel she laid down
filled; from a brown bowl
bowl; gallon
believed; glutton
(see note)
to his companion
(see note)
You think
But; fisherman; (see note)
Very far: east; (see note)
lies here at hand
will not from; (see note)
Far; traveled
heart; grow cold
did not recognize him
But strange she began to
demanded; (see note)
in the woods
threw; bottom [of the vessel]
look at; (see note)
What; drink
went; bower
from her
Greatly she feared
dead; (see note)
Giles; (see note)
far beyond the west
seek; fortune
took to the water
give; soul
right away
you have no more
Where; hid
slay the hateful king
In case; might not
But quickly caught her up
dirt; neck
Cannot you recognize me
each other certainly
will go
Armed; [their] clothing
beggar's cloak
went; chamber
forest glade
Because of the news
ran as quickly
very much
set them on their way
Armed; heavily
From foot
Except for; companions
made them all sorry
They forfeited their lives
oaths of allegiance
Even if; death
wedding; carry out
went with his [men]
bridal [feast]; (see note)
[the king's] chair
ordered; to hear
listen to
blame [towards you]
raised up
made me an outlaw
stay; for a while
While I find my way
avenge my father
went to the ship
Irish men
he wanted no other
ship; make its way
went immediately
Upon; was drawn; (see note)
cross; faith
I think; (see note)
belong to our Lord
Unless; will
hack to pieces
he was terrified
against; (see note)
Pagans very evil
Then came; island
Against [Horn] they made me a guard
Who lives in the west ; (see note)
best of knights
They slew; their
many hundreds
a marvel
to here
kill them
They killed
They sent Horn out of the land
My own; dear son
without wound
like a guardian to him
them both
Most; times
right away
It has been a long time since I saw you
Yet lives
she might [have]
quickly; flay
knew it
away from the stern; (see note)
killed and fought
early morning
None remained in the end; (see note)
ordered built
be rung
Grain; be carried
paid for it dearly
caused him pain
[To] young; gave [bribes]
give allegiance
Stone; had transported
to succeed
had built
He filled the moat around the castle with sea water
none might land
Except for birds
drew back
To woo her intensely he began
dared; refuse
began to sweat
heavily to dream
Onto the ship [she]; taken
was about to drown
Wanted [to swim]
pushed her back
sword's hilt
woke from sleep
Like a man in a hurry
ship; must go
companions beside him
before; began
Immediately; went
led; at night
new fortress
Before; rose
ship; tower
was alive
it was so new [to them]
found sitting
Who; cousin
to wait for
deceived; twice
had built
knew; cunning
knew of
bring out; (see note)
went; beach
asked who they were
They let
a song
made a lament
fell swooning
went; table
crown (head)
tumbled; (see note)
in order
struck down
tear apart
They arrived; (see note)
Where; lord
Because of knight Horn's advice
sail away
sorrow; (see note)
caused Athulf the knight to; (see note)
grieve for
Now; they
among us
Horn's song

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