Stanzaic Guy of Warwick
STANZAIC GUY OF WARWICK: FOOTNOTES
1 Lines 1-2: God give them the rewards of heaven / Who listen to my romance read aloud
2 Lines 70-72: Unless I have you as my husband / I will not take another man / For all the riches in the world
3 Lines 80-81: His happiness he could explain to no one / On account of that beautiful woman
4 Lines 82-84: He had never before been / Half so joyful since he was born / For anything that anyone had promised him
5 Lines 92-93: And yet you will not take [as a husband] one of them / Under any circumstance
6 Lines 148-50: I would rather have her alone / Than gain all worldly goods / With any other woman alive
7 Lines 248-49: [But] for love of Jesus, our Savior, / He had never done any good deeds
8 Have you heard anything at all about me that is not good
9 That I never did any virtuous acts after that moment
10 But everything I have done has been for your love
11 Lines 310-11: Of all the good deeds that I may accomplish, / I ask God to grant to you, my dear, half the benefit of them
12 Lines 415-17: And [she thought] that her father and each of her friends / Would say that her husband had done it / And had therefore fled away
13 With a greyish-white head [of hair]and plentiful beard
14 Lines 633-34: And stabbed our horses to death under us; / Nevertheless we fought on foot for a long time
15 Lines 730-32: Unless they were able to defend themselves / He would condemn them to great danger / And to their punishment
16 Lines 919-21: And despite them, I have never yet fled / Nor ever left a battle out of fear, / Not for any man (lit., for no man that ever broke bread)
17 Be on your guard against any cowardliness in him
18 Lines 1006-08: You serve an inferior lord, it seems to me, / [Either that] or he has exiled you / Because of some terrible crime
19 Lines 1045-47: All men in my prison that are counted Christian shall be released out of respect for you
20 Lines 1114-16: No weapon had ever been made / That could pierce that shield / Anymore than [it could pierce] a piece of flint
21 They would not be able to flee [the battlefield] under any circumstances
22 Lines 1168-70: No armor exists (lit., no armor made by a smith), either in Muslim lands or in France, which would be able to withstand it
23 Lines 1174-76: No man that had ever carried it / Had been defeated in battle or in war / Except through treachery
24 Lines 1256-57: And continued forward with his stroke, / It did not stop there
25 Lines 1261-62: What with pulling out the sword, / And fiercely disengaging it
26 Lines 1267-68: Never before has the blow of any knight forced me to kneel down
27 Lines 1285-89: Such a violent battle arose between them, / So those who watched it said, / That they had never seen such [a fight] / And that there never were of woman born / Two such knights as they were
28 Provided that you return [the favor] to me today
29 Lines 1474-76: Before I would acknowledge myself defeated / I would rather be hanged / And my body burnt to ashes (lit., both flesh and bone burnt)
30 Lines 1487-88: You could not be of such strength / And remain unheard of here
31 Lines 1510-12: Hence forward you can be certain / That no permission [to drink] will come to you from me, / Even [if I could thereby] win all of this world
32 Lines 1672-74: Then you would pay me far too highly / To give me your lands like this; / I will have none of them
33 As surely as God gives you salvation to hope for
34 That nephew (i.e., Berard) obliges me [to return] home today
35 Lines 1963-64: And I dreamed that Guy sat at my head / And wrapped me in the loose folds of his shirt
36 Lines 2008-10: But Tirri was terribly afraid / Of being recognized by his enemies / If he entered the city
37 Lines 2054-55: What do the men of those lands that you have come from say about me?
38 Lines 2084-85: These seven years you will not see / Neither your feet nor hands
39 Lines 2089-90: "Oh! sir," said Guy, "are you thus [such a one]? / I knew no better who it was["]
40 Lines 2157-59: She wanted to dress him in silk. / But this was not his desire; / The only thing he asked her for was good armor
41 Lines 2230-32: In the same way that one sees sparks come from flint, / Steam rose from their helmets / Since they struck so violently
42 Lines 2267-68: But at [the thought of] being recognized by his enemies / He became extremely fearful
43 Lines 2302-03: When the light of day failed them / They could not decide what they should do
44 Lines 2323-24: Duke Berard did not forget about him (Guy); / He devised a wicked plan
45 Why have I been cast into this terrible misfortune
46 Lines 2642-43: To the pilgrim he immediately wished / To sign over all his land
47 To the king (Athelston) he (Anlaf) has sent his message
48 Lines 2878-79: Silent sat earls and barons / As men who had shaved their heads (i.e., As monks)
49 Lines 3068-69: It was nothing but steel plates / From his foot to his neck
50 Lines 3155-56: If Guy was then intensely afraid / It was no surprise
51 Despite all your boasting (lit., in spite of your teeth)
52 [So] that nobody is able to hear our private discussion
53 To tell you to prepare for yourself a direct passage [to Heaven]
54 Lines 3452-53: Never transport me from here / But bury me here in the earth
STANZAIC GUY OF WARWICK: EXPLANATORY NOTES
1-24 As the Middle English redactor selected a tranche of material from midway through his source Gui de Warewic, a certain amount of editorial shaping was necessary at various narrative junctures. Here, at the opening of the romance, the conventional laudatory description of the protagonist has been extended to include a recapitulation that summarizes events from the earlier part of Guy's life. These first two stanzas are not included in Gui de Warewic but were added by the Middle English redactor in order to orient the narrative and to signal, in the traditional manner, the opening of a new romance. The final stanza was, likewise, added by the Middle English redactor to mark narrative closure. For a discussion of the redactor's omission of the "Reinbroun" material, see the note to lines 1843-44.
1-3 God graunt hem heven-blis to mede / That herken to mi romaunce rede / Al of a gentil knight. As is typical of romance, an oral storytelling context is imagined. This opening stanza contains a number of traditional elements: a prayer for the audience, a statement of subject, and praise for the hero. The narrator's call to an audience to "listen" to his romance being "read" aloud is suggestive of the affiliations of romance with both orality and literacy in terms of origins, composition, and transmission. The opinions of commentators vary as to the relative extent to which orality and literacy should each be regarded as influential. For a range of views on this issue see: Albert C. Baugh, "The Middle English Romance: Some Questions of Creation, Presentation, and Preservation" (Speculum 42 , 1-31); M. Chesnutt, "Minstrel Reciters and the Enigma of the Middle English Romance" (Culture and History 2 , 48-67); Ruth Crosby, "Oral Delivery in the Middle Ages" (Speculum 11 , 88-110); Andrew Taylor, "Fragmentation, Corruption, and Minstrel Narration: The Question of the Middle English Romances" (Yearbook of English Studies 22 , 38-62).
12-13 Of Warwike wise and wight. / Wight he was for sothe to say. The repetition of "wight" links the end of one stanza and the start of the next. This use of repetition has an obvious structural function and can be compared with certain forms of "catenation" in Anglo-Norman chansons de geste, where they are accounted for as memorial aids for the oral reciter. Similar structural repetitions appear elsewhere in the stanzaic Guy of Warwick. For example, Guy's parting speech to Felice begins with his address to her as "Leve leman" and this is echoed as "Leman" four more times during the speech, each at the start or mid-point of a stanza (lines 337, 349, 361, 373, 379). For further discussion of the use of this and similar kinds of repetitions in romance, see Smithers (1988), pp. 192-94.
20 Athelston. The Saxon King Athelstan ruled 924-39 and is best known for his defeat of the Scots and Danes at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. This battle, recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and sung as a great victory won by Athelstan over the Viking invader Anlaf, is traditionally said to have inspired the story of Guy and Colbrond that appears in the Stanzaic Guy of Warwick lines 2965-3324; see Legge (1963), p. 162. The location of the battle near Winchester is not that of the historical event and the romance does not attempt an accurate historical presentation. Nevertheless, the historicity of the Stanzaic Guy of Warwick is important to its meaning, and Field (p. 168) and Klausner (p. 117) each argue that the historical setting is essential to its success. There are a number of indications that the historicity of Guy of Warwick informed its contemporary reception and from the early fourteenth century Guy is mentioned in chronicle accounts of Athelstan's reign. The Short Metrical Chronicle, for example, concludes its account of Athelstan's reign with a description of how:
In Aþelstonis time, ich understond,Guy's battle with Colbrond is also included in the account of Athelstan's reign in Peter Langtoft's Chronique d'Angleterre, c. 1306, translated into English by Robert Mannyng c. 1338. Langtoft directly associates Guy's legendary battle with the Battle of Brunanburh in order to forge a parallel with Edward I's battles with the Scots, one which would suggest, by historical and legendary association, the chivalrous status of Edward's own military accomplishments. For further dis-cussion of these chronicle accounts, see Richmond, pp. 65-76.
Was Gii of Warwike in Inglond
& for Aþelston he dede a bateyle
Wiþ a geaunt gret, saunfaile.
Þe geaunt hi3t Colbro[n]d,
Gy him slou3 wiþ his hond.
At Winchester þe bataile was don
& seþþe dede Gii never non. (lines 1663-70)
22-24 For his love ich understond / He slough a dragoun in Northhumberlond / Ful fer in the north cuntré. The dragon-slaying episode from Guy's youth is recounted in other versions of the romance and is the concluding episode of the couplet Guy of Warwick (lines 7141-7306). The episode is also referred to in Bevis of Hampton, where the narrator includes Guy in a list of great heroes of romance: "And Gy a Warwik, ich understonde, / Slough a dragoun in North Homberlonde" (lines 2607-08). The reference suggests this was a particularly well-known episode, though the similarity of phrasing with the stanzaic Guy may imply that one of these references was based upon the other.
71 Other lord nil Y non take. Double negatives are common in Middle English and invariably function to add emphasis; they do not cancel each other out.
75 That semly was of sight. The expression "of sight" has the sense "to be seen," "as can be seen," or "in appearance," and occurs six times elsewhere in the text, always in the tail-rhyme position (lines 675, 909, 1128, 1776, 2292, 2832). It is formulaic and appears in other romances with this sense, for example, The King of Tars: "Þat grimli was of si3t" (line 168); Reinbroun: "Þo child so faire of si3t" and "Grisliche he was of si3te" (stanza 8, line 2, and stanza 34, line 12); Amis and Amiloun: "Tho gomes, that were egre of sight" (line 1309).
97-102 Felice answerd ogain . . . / Bi Him that schop mankende. The awkwardness here, which is a kind of periphrasis, reflects the Middle English redactor's attempt to compress what were in the couplet source two distinct statements from Felice:
"Sire," fait ele, "jo en penserai,Mills (1991), p. 227, comments that, as a result of the omission of lines 7464-66, "the heroine now seems to be clearing her throat at somewhat excessive length, giving a (nervous?) hiccough in the middle of doing so, and starting again from the beginning. None of which is really like her at all."
De ci al tirerz jur le vus dirrai."
Cum il vint al tierz jur,
Li quons apele par grant amur
Felice sa fille qui tant ert sage:
"Fille, di mei tun corage."
"Sire," fait ele, "ben vus mustrai
Cum en mun corage proposé l'ai;
Ne vus en peist si jol vus di,
Bel dulz sire, ço vus en pri." (Gui de Warewic, lines 7461-70)
123 Sir Gii the conquerour. The title "conqueror" denotes a victorious ruler and in contemporary texts tends to be applied to historical figures. "King Richard" and "Charls" are both referred to as "þe conquerour" in the romances Richard Coer de Lyon (line 1015) and Roland and Vernague (line 57; in The Taill of Rauf Coilyear, with the Fragments of Roland and Vernagu and Otuel, ed. Sidney J. H. Herrtage, EETS e.s. 39 [London: N. Trübner and Co., 1882; rpt. H. Milford, 1931]); Robert Mannying refers in his chronicle to "William conqueroure" (chapter 2, lines 2122, 4455, 4564); and the Cursor Mundi refers to "Alisaunder þe conquerour" (line 3, ed. Richard Morris, 7 vols., EETS o.s. 57, 59, 62, 66, 68, 99, 101 [London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, and Co., 1874; rpt. London: Oxford University Press, 1961]).
128-29 Tel me the sothe par charité / Y pray thee, par amoure. This case of periphrasis, which results in the earl's excessive politeness, occurred during translation and can be compared to lines 97-102 above.
169-216 Significant interest has been generated in the relationship between these four stanzas and similar descriptions of feasting in Amis and Amiloun, another East Midland tail-rhyme romance from the Auchinleck MS. The comparable passages occur in Amis and Amiloun at lines 97-132, 409-44, and 1505-24. Particularly close similarities can be observed by comparing lines 181-83, 190-91, 195, and 211-13 from the stanzaic Guy of Warwick with the following passage from Amis and Amiloun:
Fourtennight, as me was told,Loomis (pp. 613-27) and Fewster (pp. 60-66) each suppose that Amis and Amiloun was derived from the stanzaic Guy. However, the subsequent consideration by Mills (1991), who gives Amis priority, seems the most convincing. Mills argues that here, as at other points, the Middle English redactor of the stanzaic Guy had loosely followed Gui de Warewic but used his knowledge of Amis and Amiloun in order to amplify and re-structure his material into stanza form.
With meet and drynke, meryst on mold
To glad the bernes blithe;
Ther was mirthe and melodye
And al maner of menstracie
Her craftes for to kithe;
Opon the fiftenday ful yare
Thai token her leve forto fare
And thonked him mani a sithe. (lines 100-08)
190-210 Ther was mirthe and melody. References to professional entertainers are common in metrical romance and appear in such diverse specimens of the genre as Emaré (line 13), Sir Orfeo (line 449), Sir Gowther (line 531), Sir Cleges (line 99), William of Palerne (line 5355), The Seege or Batayle of Troye (line 804), and Kyng Alisaunder (line 5981). The description here in the Stanzaic Guy of Warwick is comprised of several conventional elements; the statement that there was "every kind of entertainment" is typical, as is the listing of instruments and reference to singers or tale tellers. What is unusual is the length and detail of this description. Not only are several elements combined but these are repeated and extended, so an unusually long list of seven instruments is given (there are players on horns, drums, fiddle, crowd, harp, organs, bagpipes) and the narrator asserts that there is al maner menstracie (line 191) and then, again, that there is al maner of gle (line 202). See also the note to line 197, below.
194 croude. The croude was a straight-sided, six-stringed instrument of Welsh origin that was plucked or played with a bow. For a full description see Otto Emanuel Andersson, The Bowed-Harp: A Study in the History of Early Musical Instruments, trans. Mary Stenbäck, ed. and trans. Kathleen Schlesinger (London: W. Reeves, 1930), pp. 195ff.
197 Minstrels of mouthe and mani dysour. References to singers or tale tellers appear in several other romances: Kyng Alisaunder (line 6981), Firumbras (line 417; in Firumbras and Otuel and Roland, ed. Mary Isabelle O'Sullivan, EETS o.s. 198 [London: Oxford University Press, 1935]), and The Seege or Batayle of Troye (line 806) each refer to "dysoures" who "talen" or "synge and . . . carpe." However, it is difficult to be certain about exactly the kind of entertainment that is here being referred to. The minstrels of mouthe may be storytellers or singers. The term dysour may specify a storyteller but also seems to have been used as a more generalized term to refer to a range of different types of entertainers or jesters. See also the note to lines 190-210, above.
201 to mithe. The form is recorded nowhere else by the MED.
208-10 Thai goven glewemen for her gle / Robes riche, gold and fe, / Her giftes were nought gnede.The depiction of the patronage of entertainers is a topos found in a number of romances. The protagonists of Sir Isumbras (lines 19-21) and Sir Cleges (lines 37-48) are each lauded for their generosity towards minstrels, and Sir Orfeo pivots upon the fairy king's promise to repay the musician Orfeo "largelich" for his harping (line 451). There is a certain degree of correspondence here with the contemporary treatment of entertainers. The accounts of Thomas Lancaster show that in 1319 high-quality cloths were purchased for household musicians at the large sum of £13. Records of this type imply that skilled entertainers were often regarded as servants of status and rewarded accordingly. Such gift-giving also reflects the position of minstrels and musicians. Many were often only loosely connected to a parent household. As they therefore did not draw the same daily benefits as other servants, they would be recompensed on a more ad hoc basis. For further consideration of the position of minstrels and entertainers within the great household, see Woolgar, pp. 27-29.
216 In gest also we rede. In the stanzaic Guy, interjections from the narrator are of three main kinds: those which begin "In gest . . ." (". . . also we read" [line 216], ". . . as Y you say" [line 420], ". . . as Y you telle" [line 3054, etc.]); those which alliterate on "telle," "tale," "tong" ("no tong may telle in tale" [line 199], "With tong as Y thee telle" [line 741, etc.]); and those with "listen" ("listen and lithe" [line 3396], "listen and lere" [line 518], "listen now to me" [line 2192, etc.]). In addition, there are a number of very short phrases which represent interjections from the narrator and typically offer enforcement or claim the authority or truth of a statement, such as, "for sothe to say" (line 13), "ich understond" (line 22), "ich wene" (line 1611), "sikerly" (line 2779), and "verrament" (line 953).
234 On hunting thai gun ride. On is used before the verb to indicate an ongoing, continuous action; so, they continued to hunt regularly.
237 In herd is nought to hide. This expression also occurs in the tail-rhyme position in line 57 of Sir Launfal where Sands describes it as "One of many metrical expletives in Launfal, this one best rendered as 'No reason to hide anything'" (Middle English Verse Romances [Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1966], p. 205). It occurs eight times in the Auchinleck MS and always in the tail-rhyme position of texts written in twelve-line tail-rhyme stanzas: Sir Owain (line 420, in Three Purgatory Poems, ed. Edward E. Foster [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Pub-lications, 2004] ), Amis and Amiloun (line 501), and Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild (lines 39, 57, 189, 396, 669, and 729).
250 with wrong. The specific sense "sinfully" is implied; that is, "contrary to moral or religious teachings, wickedly; in a sinful or an immoral manner" (MED).
251 it was his song. A conventional expression with the sense that "all his speech" or "everything he said" was of this nature.
257-58 For Him that bar the croun of thorn / Gode dede dede Y nare. In Middle English romance, oaths and expressions that call upon God tend to be highly formulaic and, as here, a preference is shown for periphrastic forms. This example conforms to a pattern used repeatedly in the stanzaic Guy: periphrastic pious exclamations are typically of one line, begin with a version of "For Him that" (see also "Bi Him that," "To Him that," "Now God that" at lines 63, 333, and 1978) and end with a phrase which refers to the Creation (". . . schope mankinne," ". . . schope mankende," ". . . schope al mankinde" at lines 63, 333, and 1978) or the Passion (". . . this warld wan," ". . . suffred ded," ". . . schadde for ous His blod," ". . . dyed on Rode," "schadde His blod" at lines 134, 924, 2027, 2947, and 2948). Dalrymple (2000), pp. 123-26, counts twenty-seven pious formulae in the stan-zaic Guy and observes that images of the Passion are specifically invoked "when Guy speaks of his desire to appease God." He argues that they function to stress Guy's pious motives and would potentially have affective power upon readers/auditors who knew of their poignant use in other texts and were familiar with visual images of the Crucifixion. See the note to lines 1216-17 for a discussion of pious expressions which invoke the omnipotent Deity rather than the Passion.
331 Chirches and abbays thou might make. The endowment of religious foundations was common practice in the Middle Ages. In at least three other romances, unlike Guy, the protagonist does go ahead and build an abbey in order to win spiritual reward of some kind. The Northern Octavian recounts the story of a couple who cannot conceive a child so build an abbey to request intercession from Virgin; Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle (in Sir Gawain: Eleven Romances and Tales, ed. Thomas Hahn [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1995]) tells how a man builds an abbey so that masses may be said for the men he has slain; in Sir Gowther, an abbey and convent are founded in penitence.
383 And bothe thai fel aswon tho. In the romance mode, the expression of emotion is signalled through a highly conventionalized pattern of gestures. Fainting (and sometimes the simultaneous fainting of two or more characters) may occur at moments of intense sorrow, as here. It may also follow a shock (as occurs when Guy reveals his identity to Tirri, lines 2699-2703) or indicate a general sense of being overwhelmed with emotion (such as when Felice breaks the news of Guy's departure, line 431). Other gestures representative of sorrow include sighing (line 2787), going pale (line 2724), weeping (especially at parting, see lines 1679, 2774, 3313), and crying "alas" or "wayleway" (lines 1708, 3519). Distress is also indicated by wringing hands (line 3522), tearing hair or clothes (line 544). See the note to line 808 for a discussion of the significance of kisses exchanged between men.
388-93 "Leman," sche seyd, "have here this ring . . . / And God Y thee betiche." The ring given by Felice to Guy is a symbol of their relationship. It ultimately becomes a token of recognition when it is later returned by Guy to Felice (lines 3430-32 and 3467-74), at which point we also learn that it is a "gold" ring (line 3432) engraved with distinguishing "letters" (line 3471). Rings given on parting or as tokens of recognition are commonplace in romance tradition and appear, for example, in King Horn (lines 567-70, where the ring is also engraved), Sir Perceval of Galles (lines 471-74; in Sir Perceval of Galles and Ywain and Gawain, ed. Mary Flowers Braswell [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1999]), and Sir Eglamour (line 709).
397-408 This stanza offers a significantly abbreviated version of the Anglo-Norman source. Gui de Warewic (lines 7727-52) includes a description of how Guy leaves in secret for the Holy Land and his motivations (lines 7732-36: "En Jerusalem puis aler voldra. / Desore d'errer ne finera, / En Jerusalem si vendra / E en meinte estrange terre / U les sainz Deu purra requere" ["He desired then to go to Jerusalem. Henceforth, he will not cease from wandering until, by way of many strange lands, he reaches Jerusalem where he will be able to visit God's holy relics"]) as well as the actual words of Felice's lament. Observing this, Mills (1991), p. 224, comments that "Given the translator's weakness for producing whole stanzas that described wanderings over the face of England, Europe, or the Near East [see the notes to lines 469-80 and 829-40], it is at first surprising that he should not here have produced another wholly given up to Guy's pilgrimage." Mills' explanation is that the Middle English redactor was influenced by his knowledge of Amis and Amiloun, another twelve-line tail-rhyme romance, and had re-worked the couplet source into stanza form using Amis lines 253-64 as a model or "mould."
468 With his brother Tirry. Guy and Tirri are brothers in the sense of "sworn brothers," bound to each other by an oath of loyalty and brotherhood. They are close friends and comrades in arms although not blood relations. Their relationship is developed through the series of adventures they share together during Guy's youth. A specific episode in the couplet Guy of Warwick recounts the moment they make their bond of brotherhood:
Gii seyd to Tirry, wiþouten lesing:For a discussion of the importance of the theme of sworn brotherhood in Amis and Amiloun and Athelston see the introductions to those texts in Foster and Herzman et al. A wide-ranging study of the topic is provided by John Boswell, Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (New York: Villard Books, 1994).
"Ich wil þat we be treuþe-pli3t
& sworn breþer anon ri3t,
Tirri," seyd sir Gyoun,
"Understond now to mi resoun
Þat noiþer oþer after þis
No faile oþer while he lives is."
Wiþ þat answerd þerl Tirri,
& seyd, "wel bleþelich, sir Gii.
Now þou lovest so miche me,
Þat tow mi sworn broþer wil be,
No wille ich never feyle þe
For nou3t þat mai bifalle me.
Gret worþschip þou hast don me:
God leve me 3ete þan day yse
Þat ich it þe mow wele 3eld.
For gode baroun þou art yheld;
Fram deþ þou hast ywarist me;
Wel gret wrong it schuld be
Bot ich þe loved as mi lord fre.
Wel gret worþschip ich ou3t bere þe."
Treuþe bitven hem is pli3t,
& after kist anonri3t. (lines 4906-28)
469-80 Menssangers anon thai sende . . . / Bi north no bi southe. What is, in the Anglo-Norman source, a very short list of geographical names has here been expanded to a much longer catalogue. Gui de Warewic has: "Puis unt lur messages pris, / Par tote la terre l'unt il quis. / Mais quant pas trové ne l'unt, / Arere repairé se sunt" (lines 7815-18). Mills (1991), p. 220, cites this as an example of the Middle English redactor's tendency to amplify material from his source in order to make distinct sections fit the twelve lines of the stanza form. However, the expansion of another list of geographical names at lines 829-40 implies a particular interest in depictions of wandering (which is discussed in more detail above, in the Introduction, pp. 9-10). Smithers (p. 22) describes a comparable example of amplification in his edition of Kyng Alisaunder.
484 Palmers wede. Medieval pilgrims were identifiable by their characteristic sclavin ("cloak"), scrip ("bag" or "satchel"), and burdoun ("staff"). For a discussion of the importance of recognizability and the potential advantages it offered pilgrims, see A. M. Koldeweij, "Lifting the Veil on Pilgrim Badges" in Stopford, pp. 161-88.
496 He yede over alle bi doun and dale. Compare to Chaucer's Tale of Sir Thopas, line 796: "By dale and eek by downe"; and Sir Tryamour, line 270: "Be dale and eke be downe."
517-19 Now herken and ye may here / In gest yif ye wil listen and lere / Hou Gii as pilgrim yede. This is an example of transitio, a rhetorical device whereby the narrator makes an explicit shift from the experiences of one character to another. It is a common procedure in Middle English verse narratives, Old French romance, and chansons de geste. For a detailed discussion of the use of such rhetorical devises in romance, see Smithers (1988), pp. 209-10.
541 Up until this point, the redactor has used the four-rhyme version of the twelve-line tail-rhyme stanza: aabaabccbddb. This version is unusual within the corpus of tail-rhyme romances and is only used consistently in The King of Tars and Amis and Amiloun. Mills (1991), p. 216, highlights the possibilities of this stanza form: "Its densely asymmetrical rhyme-structure encourages some distinctive narrative procedures and produces some particular dramatic effects; its first half tends to be relatively self-contained, involuted, static; its second, both more varied in content and more dynamic in impetus." As a result of the greater number of rhymes, this scheme is more demanding than the more common five-rhyme pattern (aabccbddbeeb) and, after alternating between the two from lines 541-624, the redactor settles on the five-rhyme pattern with only a few exceptions.
592 Sarrayins. The term "Saracen" has both generalized and more specific usages in Middle English. Here it refers to an Arab or Muslim, though elsewhere in romance, such as in King Horn, it may be used in a generalized way to refer to any non-Christian or opponent of Christianity.
619-24 In a brom feld ther wer hidde . . . / And drof ous alle to schond. An incident involving hiding in a field full of broom also occurs in Kyng Alisaunder: "He was hyd in lynde and brome" (line 2488).
638 That we might to raunsoun come. This refers to the practice of ransoming noblemen from the field. A well-known example is of Geoffrey Chaucer who, when captured by the French during the Hundred Years War, was ransomed for £16. The regulation of this chivalric practice relied upon the importance of bonds between those of the same social rank (which existed even between opponents) and the potential for financial and personal advancement to be gained among the captors. See the discussion in Derek Pearsall, The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), pp. 40-46.
668 Yif he wald ate ches playn. Chess was a game associated with high culture and, as a war game, with chivalry. It was probably invented in India in the sixth century and over time spread to Western Europe, given impetus by the contact of the crusades with Islamic countries.
723 parlement. A council of nobles convened to advise and make a decision as a court of law.
734-35 Have he Cristes curs and mine / With boke and eke with belle. During the ceremony of excommunication in the Catholic Church a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished to signify symbolically that, from that moment, the person is excluded from taking the sacraments and joining in divine worship.
752 playn place. A piece of flat, open ground designated for martial games (tournaments, jousts) and fighting.
777 bond. A serf or customary tenant (as distinct from a free-holder): "a villager (villain) or farmer (husbandman) holding land under a lord in return for customary services, esp[ecially] ploughing" (MED).
791 burjays. "A freeman of a town, a citizen with full rights and privileges" (MED).
808 He kist me so glad he was. Kissing and embracing between men is common in romance and has various significances. According to the encoded pattern of gestures, a kiss may be used to represent a strong feeling of happiness or given as a formal sign of reconciliation and restored friendship (line 2605). Both of these senses, joy and reconciliation, are implied by the kiss Triamour gives to Jonas. In cases of reconciliation where forgiveness or acquittal are specifically implied, then an embrace (initiated by the one who is forgiving or acquitting) rather than or as well as a kiss is given (as at lines 1609-14 and 2721). Kisses are also given at the parting of someone dear, as at line 1678 where Jonas and all his fifteen sons line up to kiss Guy good-bye. Gratitude and thanks are expressed by the kissing of feet (lines 929-30). See the note to line 383 for discussion of the significance of other kinds of gestures in romance.
829-40 Y sought hem into the lond of Coyne . . . / And thurthout al Breteyne. Here, as at lines 469-80, what appears in the Anglo-Norman source as a brief list of names has been amplified by the Middle English redactor to become a much more extensive geographical itinerary. Gui de Warewic (lines 8135-38) has: "Dreit m'en alai en Alemaigne, / En Loheregne e en Espaigne, / E en Puille e en Ses-soigne, / E en France e en Burgoigne" ["I went directly to Germany, to Lorraine and to Spain, and into Apulia and to Saxony, and to France and to Burgundy"].
983-85 He slough mi brother Helmadan, / Thurth him icham forlore. / Min em he slough, the riche Soudan. According to the couplet Guy of Warwick (lines 2947-52), it is not Guy but one of his comrades, Tebaud, who slew Helmadan. This episode and the slaying of the Sultan occur during Guy's exploits around Constantinople fighting for the Emperor Hernis. A similar reference to an episode in Guy's youth is subsequently made by Amorant (lines 1327-41).
1004-06 Whi artow thus ivel ydight / And in thus pouer wede?/ A feble lord thou servest, so thenketh me. Triamour refers to the practice whereby knights and retainers were clothed and fed by their lord. The episode can be compared to one in Sir Launfal (lines 154-56) in which the appearance of Hugh and John, who return to Arthur's court very tattered and in the same clothes they left a year before, instantly prompts questions and speculation about their retaining lord during their time away.
1010-20 A wel gode Lord than serve Y . . . / And live with joie and game. Guy maintains his anonymity without lying about his situation by using the knight and his retaining lord as a metaphor for himself and his relationship with God. The metaphor is informed by the wider theme in the text of the "pilgrimage of life" and, as on other occasions, the disguise motif offers significant opportunity for dramatic irony.
1048 Inde that cité. See Index of Place Names.
1074 stithe on stede. "Powerful on horse." Compare Sir Tristram (in Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot of the Laik, ed. Alan Lupack [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1994]), "With knightes stithe on stedes" (line 66) and Sir Amadace, "so stithe on stede" (line 577).
1076 Espire. Compare Gui de Warewic, line 8384, "Perse" (i.e., Persia).
1081-1119 This description provides a heroic genealogy for each item of armor given to Guy by Triamour. King Clarel (line 1085), who owned the hauberk, is the Saracen king and opponent of Charlemagne who features prominently in the Auchinleck MS romance Otuel. Clarel is imprisoned by Charlemagne's knights, then, when freed, takes Ogier prisoner before being slain by Otuel in hand-to-hand combat. Alisaunder (line 1102), who is said to have worn the helmet when he fought against Poreus (line 1103), is Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, conqueror of the Persian empire (356-23 BC), and renowned hero of romance. The romance Kyng Alisaunder describes Alexander's pursuit of King Porus into India and how he forces him to become his subject and guide around the sub-continent; when Porus renounces his allegiance, Alexander slays him in single combat and assumes dominance over India. King Darri (line 1118), who owned the shield, is Darius, another of Alexander's opponents whose pursuit by Alexander around the East also features prominently in the romance. Ector (line 1106), the owner of the sword, is Hector, the Trojan war hero and son of Priam. Hector and Alexander were two of the Nine Worthies; Weiss, pp. 101-02, suggests that the equivalent description in Gui de Warewic was designed to portray Guy as a successor to the Nine Worthies and, thereby, to compare him implicitly with Arthur. This portrayal, however, has been somewhat weakened in the stanzaic Guy as only two of the Nine Worthies are represented. A third, Charlemagne, is included in Gui de Warewic (rei Charles, line 8390) but is replaced in the stanzaic Guy with King Clarel. The replacement may suggest an interest in representing warriors from the East or it may represent a particular knowledge of Otuel on the part of the redactor or scribe. For other examples of this type of heroic genealogy in romance, see Floris and Blancheflour (lines 177-84), in which the precious cup used to buy and then win back Blancheflour is linked to Aeneas and Caesar, and Generydes, in which the hero fights with a sword that once belonged to a prince "callid Julyan . . . sumtyme of Rome the Emperour" (lines 3400-01; ed. W. Aldis Wright, 2 vols., EETS o.s. 55, 70 [London: N. Trübner and Co., 1873-78]).
1112 A targe listed with gold. A light shield (usually small and round in shape); here described as either edged or banded with strips of gold.
1134 Also brouke Y mi swere. An oath: "As I may break my neck!" or, possibly, "Thus I keep my oath." See Whiting, N42 for an analogous example used as an emphatic: "As soon break his neck as his fast in that house."
1150 With a river it ern al about. Literally, the river "ran all around" the edge of the plain.
1171-82 The description of Amorant's sword answers the preceding description of Guy's weapons and armor (lines 1081-1119). The sword is said to have once been owned by the Greek hero Hercules but the identity of Agnes (line 1178) is uncertain. Gui de Warewic at this point states that "Une deuesse la li dona" (line 8467), that is, "a goddess" gave the sword to him. The auditory similarity suggests "Agnes" may have resulted from the Middle English scribe or redactor misunderstanding or mishearing "deuesse."
The sword is said to have been imbued with special strength after having been bathed in the flom of Helle (line 1177), so that whoever wields it will be unbeatable. This reference associates Amorant with Achilles whose (near) in-fallibility was likewise achieved after he was dunked in the Styx. The Seege or Batayle of Troy records how Achilles' mother "bathid his body in þe flom of helle" (line 1345) and, with the exception of his feet which remained tender, his body turned "blak as Mahoun / Fro þe foot to þe croun / And his skyn was as hard as flynt" (line 1350-52). The process by which Achilles' skin achieved its flint-like hardness is subsequently reiterated in The Seege as a preface to the scene in which Achilles kills Hector in hand-to-hand combat (lines 1461-66). The as-sociation of Guy with Hector (he carries Hector's sword, line 1105) and Amorant with Achilles (his sword having the strength of Achilles) gives the battle another dimension. Portrayed as the descendants of these heroic ancestors, their meeting is dramatized in terms of the famous battle between Hector and Achilles, Trojan and Greek.
1201 sadelbowe. "The arched front part of a saddle, pommel" (MED).
1216-17 "Lord," seyd Gii, "God Almight / That made the therkenes to the night." This form of the rhetorical device "apostrophe" is very common in Anglo-Norman and Old French epics and their Middle English counterparts. Smithers (1988), p. 197, defines its use in these texts as involving "a reference to God or to Christ that specifies one or more of his attributes, or (more commonly) alludes to events in biblical history or in the life of Christ." It may be used in prayer, as a blessing, curse, oath, or greeting, in farewell, as a request, statement, or asseveration, in an interjection from the narrator, a confirmation of faith, or as hyperbole. The example here at lines 1216-17 conforms to a pattern which is repeatedly used in the stanzaic Guy, in which the first line has a call to God by name and the second refers to a biblical event. Comparable examples appear at lines 2353-54: "God Almight / That winde and water and al thing dight"; and lines 2032-33: "'Lord,' seyd Gii, 'that with hond / Made wode, water, and lond.'" Dalrymple (2000), p. 128, observes that Guy consistently makes entreaties using this kind of pious expression (in which the omnipotent deity rather than the Passion is invoked) when he "seeks the protection and guardianship of God." For a discussion of pious expressions which invoke the Passion see the note to lines 257-58.
1230 with his grimli gore. gore < OE gar ("sword," "spear"). The line is formulaic; compare to Amis and Amiloun, "with his grimli gore"(line 1353); and Horn Child and Maiden Rimnald, "wiþ his grimli gare" (line 213); Sir Isumbras, "With grymly growndyne gare" (line 453).
1239 stern and stive. An alliterative formula for fierce, unbending severity. E.g., William of Palerne, "a stif man and a stern" (line 3378).
1255 cercle of gold. The metal band encircling the helmet.
1271 hod. A mail covering for the head and neck.
1275 nasel. The nose guard of a helmet.
1291-92 nativité / Of Seyn Jon the martir fre. Although the reference could be to John the Martyr, who, along with Paul the Martyr, was slain in the fourth century at Antioch, and is mentioned in Eucharistic prayers, the citation of the saint's nativity makes John the Baptist the more likely candidate. June 24 is the feast day celebrating his nativity, in which case the battle between Amourant and Guy would occur on June 23. The feast day of John the Martyr is June 26. Jacobus de Voragine gives some attention to John and Paul as among those who fell victim to Julian the Apostate, but the only detail given to link the two together is that they die as one for Christ. They do not appear in the South English Legendary. Although John the Baptist is not commonly referred to with the eponym "martyr," the fourteenth-century Scottish Legend of the Saints gives him three crowns, one for virginity, one for preaching, and one for martyrdom (Legends of the Saints in the Scottish Dialect of the Fourteenth Century, ed. W. M. Metcalfe, 3 vols., Scottish Text Society first ser. 13, 18, 23, 25, 35, 37 [Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1896; rpt. London: Johnson Reprint, 1968], 2.236, lines 461-72). He was an enormously popular saint with feast days both for his nativity (June 24) and his death by beheading (August 29). The South English Legendary combines events of both the nativity and martyrdom feasts, first celebrating his nativity ("the beste bern . . . that of womman was euere ibore withoute [except for] Iesu Crist" 1.244, line 2), but then concentrating on his martyrdom, with great emphasis on the ensuing miracles pertaining to his head and the finger that pointed out Christ that refused to burn when his headless body was cremated. That "in a castel of Arabie his heued was of ysmite" (1.243, line 45) perhaps lends a particular aptness to the beheading of Amorant in Arabie on the day before John the Baptist's nativity.
1296 Of love was ther no speche. This kind of ironic understatement, which uses litotes, is typical of the medieval epic style, especially in descriptions of battle. For further discussion of the influence of epic upon romance see Smithers (1988), p. 34, and David Burnley, "Comforting the Troops: An Epic Moment in Popular Romance," in Mills, Fellows, and Meale, pp.175-86.
1310 so mot Y the. "So may I thrive," "as I may prosper" (a common oath).
1322 Now wald mi lord Ternagaunt. According to the standard treatment of Islam in medieval romance and hagiography, "Ternavaunt" or "Sir Ternagaunt" (the most common form elsewhere is "Termagant") is regarded as one of the pagan gods worshipped by "Saracens." Saracens in romance also often swear by "Termagant" or by "Apolin," that is, "Apollo," as Colbrond does at line 3187. In The Song of Roland, the Saracens fight in the name of a trinity: Termagant, Apollo, and Muhammed.
1327-41 For he hath destrud al our lawe . . . destrud our lay. Amorant refers to an episode from Guy's youth in which he defended Constantinople from Saracen invasion (recounted in the couplet Guy of Warwick, lines 2869-4096). A similar reference is made by King Triamour at line 983. Guy's tendency to encounter figures from his former life develops the linked themes of penitence and identity. For another view of this aspect of the romance see Paul Price, "Confessions of a Godless Killer: Guy of Warwick and Comprehensive Entertainment" in Medieval Insular Romance: Translation and Innovation, ed. Judith Weiss, Jennifer Fellows, and Morgan Dickson (Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 2000), pp. 93-110.
1433 drawe min hond. Have strength or power to "turn my hand."
1567-69 Bot at a strok as Amoraunt cast / Sir Gii mett with him in hast / And taught him a sori play. The use of cast and play suggests punning upon the "casting" and "playing"' of dice, a game of chance.
1716 Me thenke thi paynes strong. Perhaps originally "Me thenke thi payn es strong" (i.e., I think your pain is severe); compare to line 273.
1726-27 For oft it falleth uncouthe man / That gode conseyle give can. Whiting, M303, records this to be a common type of proverb in Middle English: "Uncouth (unknown) man oft can give good counseyl."
1762-63 Now is his neve th'emperour steward, / His soster sone that hat Berard. There are many examples in epic and romance of the privileged relationship between uncle and nephew. The significance of this relationship, especially between a man and his "sister's son," resides in the close and incontestable blood ties between these two men and the importance of their relationship for the stability of the dynasty. The relationship is not necessarily felicitous, but rather one of "schame" (line 1764), as was the fate of Mark and Tristram.
1810 layd mi wedde. Made a pledge "as a token and guarantee of intent to do battle" (MED).
1818 borwe. A legal term, "To become surety for [somebody] . . . guarantee the good behavior of, go bail for, to obtain the release of [somebody] . . . from prison or punishment" (MED).
1843-44 No Sir Herhaud fond Y nought tare; / To seche Gyes sone he is fare. Here reference is made to the existence of Reinbroun, the son who was conceived during the first days of Guy's marriage to Felice. Herhaud has gone in search of Reinbroun who, a subsequent reference reveals, has been stolen by travelling merchants: "To seche Gyes sone he is fare / That marchaunce hadde stollen thare" (lines 2836-37). The story of Reinbroun's capture and Herhaud's efforts to regain him constitutes a narrative off-shoot, of significant length and interest in its own right, that is explored in Gui de Warewic and in other Middle English redactions. In Gui de Warewic, the Reinbroun material is divided into two parts: the first, much shorter section appears midway through Guy's narrative (Gui de Warewic lines 8975-9392, intersecting the narrative during Guy's visit to Constantinople, which would be immediately after line 1692 in the stanzaic Guy); then, after Guy's death, the Reinbroun story is resumed and concluded (Gui de Warewic, lines 11657-12926, which would be after line 3576 in the Stanzaic Guy of Warwick). Although the redactor of the stanzaic Guy took care to omit this material, it was fashioned into a stanzaic romance in its own right by another East Midland redactor. The appearance of both romances together in the Auchinleck MS suggests they may have been companion pieces and that production of the stanzaic Guy motivated the composition of Reinbroun.
1936-44 Than seighe he an ermine com of his mouthe . . . / Anon Tirri gan wake. This instance of an ermine creeping out of and back into a sleeping person's mouth is unique in romance. Marvelous and symbolic animals are, in general, a feature of romance, though dragons, horses, lions, dogs, and birds are the most common. See Bordman (1963).
1963-64 And me thought Gii sat at min heved / And in his lappe me biweved. In this context lappe has the meaning: "the lower part of a shirt, skirt, or habergeon; the front or back skirts of a divided garment" (MED).
1995 Of charbukel the pomel. The "pomel" refers to the knob at the end of the hilt of the sword. The name "carbuncle stone" was applied to precious stones of a red or fiery color, such as rubies, but also to a mythical gem said to emit light in the dark; see the note to lines 2986-88.
2084-85 This seven winter no schaltow se / Noither fet no hond. That is, his hands and feet would be severely bound. On seven as a sign of totality, see the note to line 3513, below.
2123 wedde. See note to line 1810.
2133 Whereso thou may be sought. A common verse phrase with diminished semantic force.
2168 Prout and stern as a lipard. That is, cunning and clever. The comparison is not necessarily derogatory and also appears in the romance Richard Coer de Lyon: "Than answered Kynge Rycharde, In dede lyon, in thought lybarde" (line 2194).
2224 gerthes. Saddle girths (the strap to secure each saddle).
2347-48 The pilgrim waked and loked an heyghe, / The sterres on the heven he seighe. Guy looks to the night stars for the second time in the romance. The decision to mark this the structural mid-point of the narrative (the interval during the second of three battles) with an echo of Guy's first contemplation of the stars seems entirely deliberate. Once again Guy's fate hangs in the balance, though this time his destiny is beyond his own control. This shift, from Guy being in control of his own destiny to being "in God's hands," is a movement that is signalled at a number of other points in the narrative and is significant for the text's wider pious themes. The stars in this context, as Hopkins (p. 102) has pointed out, function as a "positive reminder of the greatness and glory of God" in contrast to the limited abilities of the individual human.
2352 Bot winde and wateres wawe. A metonymical expression to refer to the sea.
2353-70 The stanzaic Guy diverges from other versions in its presentation of Guy's prayer and subsequent rescue by the fisherman. Particularly significant is the addition of the emphatic statement (not found in the Anglo-Norman Gui de Warewic or the Caius MS 107 Guy of Warwick) that Christ himself saved Guy by sending the fisherman. In the Caius MS text, which offers a much closer rendering of the Anglo Norman, Guy's prayer focuses upon Berard's treachery and includes Guy cursing Berard:
"God," he seyd, "all weldande,2365 striif. This is the only instance of this sense of striif recorded by the MED (see "strife" n.2[d]).
That stablyssheth both watre and londe,
Lord, now thow thynke on mee;
For I am betrayed now, I see.
Lord, who hath do me thys ded?
And I fyght for no mede,
Ne for sylver ne for golde,
But for my brother, my trowth to hold,
And for to delyver hym owte of peryle,
That longe hath bene in excile.
Also power as he may bee.
When I hym saw I had pyte:
Sometyme he was a noble kny3t.
I wold dye for Sir Terry is ryght.
For he ys now so wrechyd a wyght,
Ageyne Berrarde I toke the fyght.
Yf I had the traytour slayne,
Terry shuld have hys land ageyne.
Lord, yf hyt my3t so be
That he had helpe thorou3 me,
And I wonne all hys land,
And all the honoure to hys hand,
Thow3 I levyd but till that daye,
Hit were my joy, for soth I seye.
But I am ded, well I wote:
For me shall he never have state
Thorought treason of the Duke Barrard.
Have he never of hevyn parte!
He ys a thefe full of treason;
God geve hym hys malyson!"
Tho ther com a good fysshere
Fyshyng be Sir Gye nere.
The bed he saw far by fletand:
He turned hys bot and went nere hand. (lines 9776-9809)
2419 Seyn Martin. The emperor swears by St. Martin twice (also at line 2601). This is most likely to be Martin of Tours (c. 316-97). His legend was popular in the Middle Ages and is especially appropriate for the story of a pilgrim knight. Martin was a soldier who, after he dreamed of Christ as a beggar, became a beggar himself and then a monk. See Farmer, pp. 265-66.
2423 dempt. A legal term meaning "to declare guilty; to convict, condemn to death." See MED, dampnen n.2(a).
2431 Therof give Y nought a chirston. Whiting, C187, records this to be a common type of proverb in Middle English: "Not give a cherry-stone."
2500-04 For bothe helmes he carf atuo . . . / Into the erthe wele half a fot. Guy literally splits Berard in half from the top of his head down to the ground. The description is indebted to the similarly massive blows which feature in epic, such as the stroke dealt by Roland on Chernuble in The Song of Roland: "he breaks the helmet on which rubies gleam; he slices downward through the coif and hair and cuts between the eyes, down through his face, the shiny hauberk made of fine-linked mail, entirely through the torso to the groin, and through the saddle trimmed with beaten gold. The body of the horse slows down the sword, which, seeking out no joint, divides the spine: both fall down dead upon the field's thick grass" (lines 1326-34).
2592 Thou do me londes lawe. "To establish (sth.) by law, authorize, ordain." See MED, lauen.
2601 Bi God and Seyn Martine. See the note to line 2419.
2650-52 Tho was sche founden in an ile / In a nunri that while / For doute of Berardes bond. This episode can be compared to King Horn (lines 75-84): Horn's mother, in response to the pagan invasion and murder of her husband, goes to live alone "Under a roche of stone" (line 77) where she prays for her son and serves God in defiance of the pagan religion.
2683-2700 These episodes from Guy's earlier life are recounted in the couplet Guy of Warwick, though not quite in the order reported here. According to the alternative sequence, Guy helps Tirri in the following ways: (1) he finds Tirri lying grief stricken in a forest after having been assailed by outlaws (lines 4503-4690); (2) he rescues Tirri's beloved Oisel from the same outlaws (lines 4691-4734); (3) when Tirri is then carried off, he slays his captors (lines 4735-86); (4) he heals Tirri's wounds (lines 4819-4904); (5) he assists Tirri's father in battle (lines 4931-6094); (6) he delivers Tirri from Otoun's prison (lines 6095-6384); and (7) he slays Otoun and rescues Oisel just before they are married, then reunites Tirri and Oisel (lines 6385-6542).
2716-17 He seyghe . . . yhosed ful wel. Compare these lines to lines 1855-56.
2728-33 Bot ich have a sone, ywis . . . in al thing. Guy's response to Tirri's offer of a rich reward is to ask that the benefit of it be passed over to his son, Reinbroun. He later gives the same response to King Athelstan (lines 3304-06) when offered a reward for his services: "Ac yif Herhaud to this lond com / And bring with him Reynbroun mi sone / Help him Y thee biseche." Although Guy refuses these benefits for himself, Hopkins, p. 78, regards their deferral to his son as a sign that Guy "has not by any means abandoned worldly values in his striving for God" in the way that the model for his life, St. Alexis, does. Similarly, Dannenbaum, p. 359, highlights how Guy integrates a series of more worldly interests into his supposedly pious existence "in a way that, for Alexis, is out of the question."
2779-84 And when the countas sikerly . . . laten him nought thennes gon. Tirri's final humiliation is to be severely scolded by his wife. The way that Tirri is repeatedly rescued by Guy (see the note to lines 2683-2700) over the course of the legend has led Fewster, pp. 97-98, to propose that they represent two views of knighthood in symmetry. Tirri, she argues, "offers a set of alternatives to Guy's success," a "parallel but failing version of Guy himself," and "a backdrop of conflict and decline" against which Guy's idealized successes are played out.
2794 At Winchester. Winchester was a town of some importance between the tenth and twelfth centuries. Second in size after London, it shared the developing functions of a national capital. The association fostered with Guy of Warwick was apparently motivated by the popularity of the legend and an awareness of the prestige to be gained from a local connection. The account by Gerard of Cornwall (fl. 1350?) seems to have been particularly important in this respect. It presents a highly localized and selective version of the legend that focuses entirely on Guy's battle with Colbrond. Gerard names "Hyde Mede" near Winchester as the location for the battle and mentions that Colbrond's axe can still be seen in Winchester Cathedral (this axe is reported to have been held in the treasury of St. Swithun's Priory until the Dissolution). The rubric identifying Gerard states that his book was kept on a writing table close to the high altar of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Winchester. The account goes on to describe the hospice in Winchester, where Guy is alleged to have spent the night and which, it says, is located "250 paces in a northerly direction, where a new monastic building has now been built." Another association was suggested by Thomas Warton in the eighteenth century. He claimed to have seen a wall painting in the north transept of Winchester Cathedral when he was a boy which illustrated the fight between Guy and Colbrond. For a full discussion of these artifacts, see Richmond, pp. 70, 97-106.
2805 Colbrond. The Sussex Lay Subsidy Rolls (1296-1332) and the Rolls of Knight's Fees in Kent (1254) both record the surname "Colebrond," which is glossed as "firebrand" by the MED (col, n.2, 4[c]). The choice of this name, however, which can also be glossed "black sword," clearly has significance in terms of race and religious imagery; compare lines 2816, 3060, 3066, and 3079.
2836-37 See the note to lines 1843-44.
2923 about prime. Prime is the first canonical hour. That is, it is the monastic office or prayer service to be sung or recited at the first hour of the day, 6 a.m. (though the term can refer to the period between 6 and 9 a.m. when the next office begins). The sense here is "first thing in the morning."
2974 To the king of Danmark he sent than. In the manuscript each stanza is headed by a blue and red paraph sign with the exception of this stanza which has two paraphs. The second appears at this the tenth line and it may be intended to provide a visual marker to signal the beginning of Guy's final, climactic battle. See the facsimile editions by Pearsall and Cunningham and Burnley and Wiggins.
2984 cercle. See the note to line 1255, above.
2986-88 In the frunt stode a charbukel ston / As bright as ani sonne it schon / That glemes under schawe. Medieval lapidaries record the various virtues and special powers that precious stones were commonly believed to possess. This included the belief that certain stones shone with their own light, which would emanate even in dark places. References to such stones are not unusual in romance; for example, the magnificent cup in Floris and Blancheflour is surmounted by a carbuncle stone said to provide sufficient light for a butler to pour wine even in the darkest cellar (lines 171-75). For examples of Middle English lapidaries see: A Middle English Lapidary, ed. Arne Zettersten (Lund: Gleerups, 1968), and English Mediaeval Lapidaries, ed. Joan Evans and Mary S. Serjeantson, EETS o.s. 190 (London: Oxford University Press 1933; rpt. 1960).
2997 targe listed. See the note to line 1112.
2998-99 Portreyd with thre kinges corn / That present God when He was born. The offering of the Three Kings is an especially appropriate image for Guy to carry at this point in the text. As Dyas, p. 131, has observed, the journey of the Three Kings from the East to see the infant Christ "made them ideal role models for pilgrims." An image of kings, figures of the highest social rank, is also appropriate for Guy as the "king's champion." A similarly high-status appropriation of the image appears in the Chester Cycle of mystery plays where it was the wealthy and high-ranking guild of Mercers who presented the scene depicting the Three Kings' offerings. The Pre-Reformation Chester Banns makes special mention of the bright, shining, many-coloured fabrics used for the scene ("velvit, satten and damaske fyne / Taffyta sersnett of poppyngee grene," lines 69-71) and this great display of wealth indicates the Mercers' concern to associate themselves with an image that combined piety and prestige; see The Banns of the Chester Plays, ed. F. M. Salter (London: Oxford University Press, 1940).
3013-17 rered Lazeroun . . . / And halp Daniel fram the lyoun. The miracle in which Christ raised Lazarus from the dead appears in the New Testament (John 11), whereas Susanna and Daniel are both Old Testament figures: Susanna was rescued from the Jewish elders (Vulgate, Daniel 13) and Daniel was miraculously saved from the lions' den (Daniel 6:16-22). They are all examples of the kind of miraculous deliverance that Guy himself requires as he is about to enter a desperate situation. References to any of these biblical figures is rare in Middle English romance, though Dalrymple, pp. 133-35, records that prayers to Lazarus and Daniel appear in The Song of Roland and the French Romance of Horn. A parallel also occurs in Bevis of Hampton at the moment when Bevis, finding himself in a similarly desperate situation to Guy, offers a prayer which refers to Lazarus: "Lord, that rerede the Lazaroun, / Dilivre me fro this fend dragoun!" (lines 2839-40).
3027-29 After the relikes thai sende, / The corporas and the Messe gere. / On the halidom thai gun swere. The "Messe gere" refers to the Eucharistic vestments and articles used for the swearing of oaths. These included the missal (the book containing the order of service for the Mass), the chalice (to hold the communion wine), the paten (to hold the host or bread wafer), and the corporal cloth or altar cloth on which all the Eucharistic elements were placed during consecration and with which they were subsequently covered. All of the "Messe gere" is sacred as it is essential to the re-enactment of Christ's death during the Mass, the principal Christian liturgical rite. The "halidom" can refer to either the sacred relics themselves or to a box containing sacred relics.
3061 mailes. The small metal rings or plates linked together in a mesh to make chain armor.
3064 splentes of stiel. Rod-like plates of steel.
3074 bacinet. "A hemispherical helmet, without a visor, worn under the fighting helmet" (MED).
3088 gisarmes. "A long-shafted battle ax or halberd with a knife-like point rising from the blade" (MED).
3094 wicked hert. Here "heart" refers to character or disposition. Compare, for example, to Troilus and Criseyde 3.736, where Pandarus calls Troilus a "wrecched mouses hert."
3115 arsoun. The pommel (the front of the saddle).
3137 charbukel ston. See the note to lines 2986-88.
3194-96 Al sone he gan him turn tho . . . / Ther his axes stode bi hemselve. This episode parallels Guy's request to Amorant for a drink of water (lines 1429-52 and 1513-24). In both cases, Guy appeals to his opponent's honor and sense of fair play, then, when he is denied, makes a dash for the item requested.
3236 Te Deum laudamus thai gun sing. The Te Deum is a hymn of praise (Te Deum laudamus being the opening words of this Latin hymn) sung during the night offices, especially matins, and on special occasions of thanksgiving. The "terminal" position of this hymn in the romance prompts Richmond to suggest that its choice "appropriately suggests that Guy's story is near conclusion" (Velma Bourgeois Richmond, The Popularity of Middle English Romance [Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1975], p. 186.)
3304-3306 See the note to lines 2728-33.
3340-48 For thritten pouer men and yete mo / For hir lordes love sche loved so, / Ich day sche gan fede. Woolgar, p. 154, records that "Alms from the table were a major element in charity associated with the great household." Felice is motivated to give alms regularly by the departure of her husband and, in this respect, can be compared to Josian, the heroine of Bevis of Hampton, who daily feeds and clothes poor pilgrims at the castle gates "For a knightes love, Bevoun" (line 2085). A contemporary parallel is offered by Joan de Valence, countess of Pembroke. Household accounts from September 1295 to September 1297 indicate that Joan regularly fed the poor and that after the death of her husband in May 1296 (when she took full responsibility for the household costs) the number of poor being fed increased from 8 to 21. See Woolgar, pp. 12-14, citing Public Record Office E101/505/25-7.
3361-72 The levedi biheld him inliche . . . / Unto his lives ende. The "wanderer returned" is an ancient theme, best known from Odysseus' return home to Penelope in Homer's Odyssey. Comparable episodes in medieval romance include King Horn lines 1089-1172 and Bevis of Hampton lines 2049-2235. Like Guy, Horn and Bevis each disguise themselves as a pilgrim and unrecognized receive alms from their beloved. However, whereas the disguise enables both Horn and Bevis to undertake a reconnaissance of a hostile locale, Guy enters his own home and faces no threat. Furthermore, whereas the identity of Horn and Bevis is dramatically revealed to the heroine, in the stanzaic Guy the episode pivots upon Guy's decision not to reveal his identity to Felice.
3367-69 Of hire bere and of hir wine . . . / Oft sche gan him sende. Robert Grosseteste's "Rules," a text from the first half of the thirteenth century which gives advice on dining, states that it was part of the role of the head of the household to ensure that food was distributed fairly and strangers were well provided for. In addition, the head of the household should ask for their dish to be piled high and passed around to offer extra portions to everyone. For further discussion of dining in the great household, see Woolgar, pp. 157-58.
3513 A thousand angels and seven. That there are a thousand "and seven" angels ref-lects the predilection in romance for conventional numbers of totality. For example, Guy is threatened with punishment for "seven winter" (line 2084); in Bevis of Hamtoun, Bevis lies in prison for "seven yare" (line 2001); and in Havelok the miraculous light shining from Havelok's mouth makes it seem as if "ther brenden serges sevene / And an hundred serges ok" (lines 2125-26). Other conventional numbers have religious or symbolic resonances. Thus Guy fights three battles and Felice feeds "thritten" poor men each day (lines 3340 and 3354).
3524-27 A swete brathe com fram his bodi / That last that day so long / That in this world spices alle / No might cast a swetter smalle. The smell of spices was regarded as a miraculous sign indicating a holy presence. Christ and the Virgin are regularly described in epithets as sweet spices (see 2 Corinthians 2:14-16): in Ecce ancilla (in Religious Lyrics of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Carleton Brown [London: Ox-ford University Press, 1939], pp. 105-06) the Virgin is hailed and told she shall "conceyve a swete spyce" (line 5) and, in Heil be þou marie þe (in Hymns to the Virgin and Christ, ed. Frederick J. Furnivall, EETS o.s. 24 [London: N. Trübner and Co., 1868; rpt. New York: Greenwod Press, 1969], pp. 4-5), she is addressed as "spice swettist of savour" (line 29). Marvels, magic, and wonders feature regularly in medieval romance but the application of a posthumous miracle of this kind to a romance protagonist is remarkable and shows the extent of hagio-graphical influence upon the text. In only one other romance, Sir Gowther, do posthumous miracles of this kind occur to the protagonist. After death, Sir Gowther is described as a true saint (a "varré corsent parfett," line 727) for whose faithfulness God performs miracles: he "garus tho blynd to see / And tho dompe to speyke," he "makus tho crokyd ryght. / And gyffus to tho mad hor wytte / Any mony odur meracullus" (lines 739-43).
STANZAIC GUY OF WARWICK: TEXTUAL NOTES
100 fayn. MS: faym.
107 lord. MS: lod.
180 gret. MS: gre.
601 sone. MS: som, with the o altered from n.
664 cleped. MS: clepd.
675 were. MS: second e added above the line.
800 ther no man. MS: þer man.
853 trewthe yplight. MS: trewþe y, with pli3t inserted above the line.
855 he. MS: ich.
863 swich sorwe, ywis. MS: swiche ywis sorwe, with sorwe added to the margin by a later hand.
900 preved. MS: proued.
1018 mi. MS: m altered from y.
1029 A line has been erased after this line in the MS.
1031 help. MS: hep.
1034 to. MS: preceded by an erased þe.
1044 warld. MS: wald.
1069-71 These lines are included in the previous stanza in the MS.
1080 Bateyle for. MS: Batelye of him for, with of him canceled.
1091 thai thought. MS: þai it þou3t.
1204 wem. MS: when.
1227 sore. MS: o altered from a.
1272 the. MS: þe þe.
1336 and. MS: 7 inserted above the line.
1362 lond. MS: lond lond, with cancellation marks under the second.
1373 ful glad sikerli. MS: ful glad ful sikerli, with second ful crossed out.
1410 fleye. Altered from fleyee in the MS.
1440 For Godes love. MS: for love. Emended for sense and meter.
1441 seyd. MS: preceded by an erased þ.
1447 Gii. Marked for insertion at the end of the line in MS.
1547 thou. MS: þo.
1582 was faynting. MS: was gin faynting.
1603 was. Inserted below the line in the MS.
1627 thou. Inserted above the line in the MS with correct position marked.
1741 wrong. Inserted above gret in the MS.
1782 is. Altered from it in the MS.
1784 pouer of. MS: pouer for of, with for canceled.
1791 out. MS preceded by canceled his lond.
1797 sent. MS: preceded by canceled u or n.
1798 Y. Altered from Þ in the MS and followed by a canceled ai.
1802 with wicked pourt. MS: þe wicked pourt. MED supports the preposition yn for this construction (see port n.4 [1a]), but with makes more sense in this particular context.
1808 Otoun. MS: of toun.
1822 Berard. MS: Bernard, with cancellation mark under the n.
1836 Otoun. MS: of toun.
1849 The rubricated paraph that originally appeared at the head of this stanza has been erased and replaced with a rubricated initial S. This initial was painted by a different limner than the others in the text and is cruder in style.
1877 hende. MS: altered from hente.
1888 treuthe. MS: treþe, with u inserted above and its correct position marked.
1893 ded. MS: altered from dede.
1952 thin eighe. MS: þi nei3e.
1953 y. MS: þou.
1965 dest. MS: dost.
1970 sweven. MS: seuen.
1979 tresour. MS: resour.
1987 Gii. MS: inserted above the line with correct position marked.
1996 it. MS: superscript.
2002-04 Missing in MS.
2042 Gii. MS: inserted above the line with correct position marked.
2047 seyd. MS: inserted above the line with correct position marked.
2113 Berrard. MS: Berrad. See also line 2149.
2119 Gii. MS: inserted above the line with correct position marked.
2149 Berrard. MS: Berrad. So, too, line 2113.
2197 stount. MS: ston.
2240 Beter. MS: Berter.
2245 Strong. MS: Srong.
2263 herd telle that the pilgrim. MS: herd telle pilgrim.
2280 Missing in MS.
2326-27 An inkblot obscures the beginning of these two lines in the MS.
2390 with. MS: þ inserted above the line.
2402 at. MS: atte, with cancellation marks under te.
2414 swore. MS: s inserted above the line.
2423 dempt. MS: demp.
2485 There is no paraph sign to indicate the opening of this stanza in the MS.
2488 him. MS: omitted but included in the catchword (at the foot of fol.160vb): he hit him on þe helm.
2506-08 An inkblot obscures the initial letters of these three lines in the MS.
2549 wraied. MS: wraid.
2592 Thou. MS: Þo.
2607 there. MS: þre.
2615 thin em. MS: þi nem.
2803 hem. MS: him.
2814 toun. MS: altered from doun.
2822 Inglond. MS: Inglong.
2833 is Herhaud. MS: iherhaud.
2867 and. MS: 7 7.
2878 Stil. MS: Til.
2951 þe. Inserted above the line in the MS.
2968 God. MS: followed by a second, erased god.
2984 cercle. MS: cecle.
2991 bihold. MS: bhold.
3031 ywis. MS: inserted above furst to maintain column width.
3068 splentes. MS: spentes.
3088 Axes. MS: Axs.
3095 aferd. MS: d altered from t.
3199 Colbrond. MS: Colbron.
3208 dint. MS: preceded by erased de.
3213 wounde. MS: o altered from a.
3222 gan. MS: omitted.
3280 mi. MS: þi mi.
3299 Half. MS: In half.
3301 Gii. MS: added above (possibly in a later hand).
3364 dring. MS: ding.
3373 Gii. MS: omitted.
3503 sche. MS: ssche, with the initial s marked for deletion.
3529 levedy. MS: leudy.
3559 say. MS: day.
3587 that. MS: þai.
God graunt hem heven-blis to mede
That herken to mi romaunce rede1
Al of a gentil knight;
The best bodi he was at nede
That ever might bistriden stede
And freest founde in fight.
The word of him ful wide it ran
Over al this warld the priis he wan,
As man most of might.
Balder bern was non in bi,
His name was hoten Sir Gii
Of Warwike wise and wight.
Wight he was for sothe to say
And holden for priis in everi play
As knight of gret boundé.
Out of this lond he went his way
Thurth mani divers cuntray
That was biyond the see.
Sethen he com into Inglond
And Athelston the king he fond
That was bothe hende and fre.
For his love ich understond
He slough a dragoun in Northhumberlond
Ful fer in the north cuntré.
He and Herhaud for sothe to say
To Wallingforth toke the way
That was his faders toun.
Than was his fader sothe to say
Ded and birid in the clay;
His air was Sir Gioun.
Alle that held of him lond or fe
Deden him omage and feuté
And com to his somoun.
He tok alle his faders lond
And gaf it hende Herhaud in hond
Right to his warisoun.
And alle that hadde in his servise be
He gaf hem gold and riche fe
Ful hendeliche on honde
And sethen he went with his meyné
To th'erl Rohaud that was so fre,
At Warwike he him fond.
Alle than were thai glad and blithe
And thonked God a thousand sithe
That Gii was comen to lond.
Sethe on hunting thai gun ride
With knightes fele and miche pride
As ye may understond.
On a day Sir Gii gan fond
And feir Felice he tok bi hond
And seyd to that bird so blithe
"Ichave," he seyd, "thurth Godes sond
Won the priis in mani lond
Of knightes strong and stithe
And me is boden gret anour,
Kinges douhter and emperour,
To have to mi wive.
Ac swete Felice," he seyd than,
"Y no schal never spouse wiman
Whiles thou art olive."
Than answerd that swete wight
And seyd ogain to him ful right
"Bi Him that schope mankinne,
Icham desired day and night
Of erl, baroun, and mani a knight;
For nothing wil thai blinne.
Ac Gii," sche seyd, "hende and fre,
Al mi love is layd on thee,
Our love schal never tuinne;
And bot ich have thee to make
Other lord nil Y non take
For al this warld to winne."2
Anon to hir than answerd Gii,
To fair Felice that sat him bi
That semly was of sight,
"Leman," he seyd, "gramerci."
With joie and with melodi
He kist that swete wight.
Than was he bothe glad and blithe,
His joie couthe he no man kithe
For that bird so bright.3
He no was never therbiforn
Half so blithe sethe he was born
For nought that man him hight.4
On a day th'erl gan fond
And fair Felice he tok bi hond
And hir moder biside,
"Douhter," he seyd, "now understond
Why wiltow have non husbond
That might thee spouse with pride?
Thou has ben desired of mani man
And yete no wostow never nan
For nought that might bitide.5
Leve douhter hende and fre
Telle me now par charité
What man thou wilt abide."
Felice answerd ogain
"Fader," quath hye, "ichil thee sain
With wordes fre and hende.
Fader," quath sche, "ichil ful fayn
Tel thee at wordes tuain
Bi Him that schop mankende.
Opon Sir Gii that gentil knight,
Ywis, mi love is alle alight
In warld where that he wende
And bot he spouse me, at o word,
Y no kepe never take lord,
Day withouten ende."
Than seyd th'erl with wordes fre,
"Douhter, yblisced mot thou be
Of Godes mouthe to mede.
Ich hadde wele lever than al mi fe
With than he wald spousy thee,
That douhti man of dede.
He hath ben desired of mani woman
And he hath forsaken hem everilcan,
That worthly were in wede.
Ac natheles ichil to him fare
For to witen of his answare,
That douhti man of dede."
On a day withouten lesing
Th'erl him rode on dere hunting
And Sir Gii the conquerour,
Als thai riden on her talking
Thai speken togider of mani thing,
Of levedis bright in bour.
Th'erl seyd to Sir Gii hende and fre,
"Tel me the sothe par charité
Y pray thee, par amoure,
Hastow ment ever in thi live
Spouse ani wiman to wive
That falleth to thine anour?"
Sir Gii answerd and seyd than
"Bi Him," he seyd, "that this warld wan
To saven al mankende,
Bi nought that Y tel can
Y nil never spouse wiman
Save on is fre and hende."
"Sir," quath th'erl, "listen nou to me:
Y have a douhter bright on ble,
Y pray thee leve frende,
To wive wiltow hir understond
Y schal thee sese in al mi lond
To hold withouten ende."
"Gramerci," seyd Gii anon,
"So help me Crist and Seyn Jon
And Y schuld spouse a wive
Ich hadde lever hir bodi alon
Than winnen al this warldes won
With ani woman o live."6
Than seyd th'erl, "Gramerci,"
And in his armes he kist Sir Gii
And thonked him mani a sithe.
"Sir Gii," he seyd, "thou art mi frende,
Now thou wilt spouse mi dohter hende
Was Y never are so blithe."
"Ac certes," seyd th'erl so fre,
"Sir Gii, yif thou wilt trowe me
No lenger thou no schalt abide.
Now for fourtenight it schal be
The bridal hold with gamen and gle
At Warwike in that tyde."
Than was Sir Gii glad and blithe
His joie couthe he no man kithe,
To his ostel he gan ride.
And tho Gii com hom to his frende
He schuld spouse his douhter hende
He teld Herhaud that tide.
Th'erl Rouhaud as swithe dede sende
After lordinges fer and hende
That pris wel told in tour,
When the time was comen to th'ende
To chirche wel feir gun thai wende
With mirthe and michel anour.
Miche semly folk was gadred thare
Of erls, barouns, lasse and mare,
And levedis bright in bour.
Than spoused Sir Gii that day
Fair Felice that miri may
With joie and gret vigour.
When he hadde spoused that swete wight
The fest lasted a fourtennight
That frely folk in fere
With erl, baroun, and mani a knight
And mani a levedy fair and bright
The best in lond that were.
Ther wer giftes for the nones,
Gold and silver and precious stones
And druries riche and dere.
Ther was mirthe and melody
And al maner menstracie
As ye may fortheward here.
Ther was trumpes and tabour,
Fithel, croude, and harpour
Her craftes for to kithe;
Organisters and gode stivours,
Minstrels of mouthe and mani dysour
To glade tho bernes blithe.
Ther nis no tong may telle in tale
The joie that was at that bridale
With menske and mirthe to mithe,
For ther was al maner of gle
That hert might thinke other eyghe se
As ye may list and lithe.
Herls, barouns, hende and fre
That ther war gadred of mani cuntré
That worthliche were in wede,
Thai goven glewemen for her gle
Robes riche, gold and fe,
Her giftes were nought gnede.
On the fiftenday ful yare
Thai toke her leve for to fare
And thonked hem her gode dede.
Than hadde Gii that gentil knight
Feliis to his wil day and night
In gest also we rede.
When Gii hadde spoused that hendy flour,
Fair Feliis so bright in bour
That was him leve and dere,
Ywis, in Warwike in that tour
Fiftendays with honour
With joie togider thai were.
So it bifel that first night
That he neyghed that swete wight
A child thai geten yfere
And sethen with sorwe and sikeing sare
Her joie turned hem into care
As ye may forward here.
Than was Sir Gii of gret renoun
And holden lord of mani a toun
As prince proude in pride.
That Erl Rohaut and Sir Gyoun
In fretthe to fel the dere adoun
On hunting thai gun ride.
It bifel opon a somers day
That Sir Gii at Warwike lay -
In herd is nought to hide -
At night in tale as it is told
To bedde went tho bernes bold
Bi time to rest that tide.
To a turet Sir Gii is went
And biheld that firmament
That thicke with steres stode,
On Jhesu omnipotent
That alle his honour hadde him lent
He thought with dreri mode,
Hou he hadde ever ben strong werrour,
For Jhesu love, our Saveour,
Never no dede he gode.7
Mani man he hadde slayn with wrong;
"Allas, allas!" it was his song,
For sorwe he yede ner wode.
"Allas," he seyd, "that Y was born,
Bodi and soule icham forlorn,
Of blis icham al bare
For never in al mi liif biforn
For Him that bar the croun of thorn
Gode dede dede Y nare.
Bot wer and wo ichave don wrought
And mani a man to grounde ybrought,
That rewes me ful sare.
To bote min sinnes ichil wende
Barfot to mi lives ende
To bid mi mete with care."
As Gii stode thus in tour alon
In hert him was ful wo bigon,
"Allas!" it was his song.
Than com Feliis sone anon
And herd him make rewely mon
With sorwe and care among.
"Leman," sche seyd, "what is thi thought?
Whi artow thus in sorwe brought?
Me thenke thi pain wel strong.
Hastow ought herd of me bot gode8
That thou makes thus dreri mode?
Ywis, thou hast gret wrong."
"Leman," seyd Gii ogain,
"Ichil thee telle the sothe ful fain
Whi icham brought to grounde.
Sethen Y thee seyghe first with ayn -
Allas the while Y may sayn -
Thi love me hath so ybounde
That never sethen no dede Y gode9
Bot in wer schadde mannes blode
With mani a griseli wounde.
Now may me rewe al mi live
That ever was Y born o wive
Wayleway that stounde!"
"Ac yif ich hadde don half the dede
For Him that on Rode gan blede
With grimly woundes sare,
In Hevene He wald have quit mi mede
In joie to won with angels wede
Evermore withouten care.
Ac for thi love ich have al wrought,10
For His love dede Y never nought;
Jhesu amende mi fare.
Therfore ich wot that icham lorn.
Allas the time that Y was born,
Of blis icham al bare.
"Bot God is curteys and hende
And so dere he hath bought mankende
For no thing wil hem lete.
For His love ichil now wende
Barfot to mi lives ende
Mine sinnes forto bete
That whoreso Y lye anight
Y schal never be seyn with sight
Bi way no bi strete.
Of alle the dedes Y may do wel,
God graunt thee, lef, that halvendel11
And Marie His moder swete."
Than stode that hende levedi stille
And in hir hert hir liked ille
And gan to wepe anon.
"Leman," sche seyd, "what is thi wille?
Ywis, thi speche wil me spille.
Y not what Y may don.
Y wot thou hast in sum cuntré
Spoused another woman than me
That thou wilt to hir gon
And now thou wilt fro me fare.
Allas, allas, now cometh mi care!
For sorwe ichil me slon.
"For wer and wo thatow hast wrought
God that al mankende hath bought,
So curteys He is and hende,
Schrive thee wele in word and thought
And than thee tharf dout right nought
Ogaines the foule fende.
Chirches and abbays thou might make
That schal pray for thi sake
To Him that schope mankende.
Hastow no nede to go me fro;
Save thou might thi soule fram wo
In joie withouten ende."
"Leve leman," than seyd Sir Gii,
"Lete ben alle this reweful cri;
It is nought worth thi tale.
For mani a bern and knight hardi
Ich have ysleyn sikerly
And strued cites fale
And for ich have destrued mankin
Y schal walk for mi sinne
Barfot bi doun and dale.
That ich have with mi bodi wrought,
With mi bodi it schal be bought
To bote me of that bale.
"Leman," he seyd, "par charité,
Astow art bothe hende and fre
O thing Y thee pray:
Loke thou make no sorwe for me
Bot hold thee stille astow may be
Til tomorwe at day.
Gret wele thi fader that is so hende
And thi moder and al thi frende
Bi sond as Y thee say;
Grete wele Herhaud Y thee biseche;
Leman, God Y thee biteche,
Y wil fare forth in mi way.
"Leman, Y warn thee biforn
With a knave child thou art ycorn
That douhti beth of dede.
For Him that bar the croun of thorn,
Therfore, as sone as it is born
Pray Herhaud wight in wede
He teche mi sone as he wele can
Al the thewes of gentil man
And helpe him at his nede.
For he is bothe gode and hende
And ever he hath ben trewe and kende,
God quite him his mede.
"Leman," he seyd, "have here mi brond
And take mi sone it in his hond
Astow art hende and fre,
He may therwith ich understond
Winne the priis in everi lond
For better may non be.
Leman," he seyd, "have now godeday.
Ichil fare forth in mi way
And wende in mi jurné."
Thai kist hem in armes tuo
And bothe thai fel aswon tho -
Gret diol it was to se.
Gret sorwe thai made at her parting
And kist hem with eyghen wepeing,
Bi the hond sche gan him reche
"Leman," sche seyd, "have here this ring;
For Jhesus love heven-king
A word Y thee biseche:
When thou ert in fer cuntré
Loke heron and thenk on me
And God Y thee biteche."
With that word he went hir fro
Wepeand with eyghen to
Withouten more speche.
Now is Gii fram Warwike fare,
Unto the se he went ful yare
And passed over the flod.
The levedy bileft at hom in care
With sorwe and wo and sikeing sare;
Wel drery was hir mode.
"Allas, allas," it was hir song,
Hir here sche drough, hir hond sche wrong,
Hir fingres brast o blode.
Al that night til it was day
Hir song it was, "wayleway,"
For sorwe sche yede ner wode.
Hir lordes swerd sche drough biforn
And thought have slain hirself for sorn
Withouten more delay.
To sle hirselven er the child wer born
Sche thought hir soule it wer forlorn
Evermore at Domesday,
And that hir fader hir frendes ichon
Schuld seyn hir lord it hadde ydon
And were so fled oway.12
Therfore sche dede his swerd ogain
Elles for sorwe sche hadde hir slain
In gest as Y you say.
Arliche amorwe when it was day
To chaumber ther hir fader lay
Sche com wringand hir hond.
"Fader," sche seyd, "ichil thee say
Mi lord is went fro me his way
In pilgrimage to fond.
He wil passe over the se,
Schal he never com to me
Ogain into Inglond."
For sorwe that sche hadde that stounde
Aswon sche fel adoun to grounde,
O fot no might sche stonde.
"Douhter," seyd hir fader, "lat be,
Y trowe nought that Sir Gii the fre
Is thus fram thee fare.
Ywis, he nis nought passed the se;
He ne doth nought bot forto fond thee
Hou trewe of hert thou ware."
"Nay, sir," sche seyd, "so God me spede,
He is walked in pouer wede
To beggen his mete with care
And therfore now singen Y may
Allas the time and wayleway
That mi moder me bare."
Th'erl ros up with sikeing sare
For Sir Gii was fram him fare,
In hert him was ful wo
And alle his frendes, lesse and mare,
For Sir Gii thai hadde gret care
For he was went hem fro.
Thai sought him than al about
Within the cité and without
Ther he was won to go.
And when thai founde him nought that day
Ther was mani a "wayleway"
Wringand her hondes tuo.
And when Gii was fram hem gon
Herhaud and his frendes ichon
And other barouns him by
To th'erl Rohaut thai seyden anon,
"The best rede that we can don
Smertliche and hastily,
Messangers we schul now sende
Over alle this lond fer and hende
To seche mi lord Sir Gii
And yif he be nought in this lond
He is in Loreyn ich understond
With his brother Tirry."
Menssangers anon thai sende
Over al this lond fer and hende
Fram Londen into Louthe
Over al biyonde Humber and Trent
And est and west thurthout al Kent
To the haven of Portesmouthe.
Thai sought him over al up and doun
Over alle the lond in everich toun
Bi costes that wer couthe
And sethen to Warwike thai gan wende
And seyd thai might him nowhar fende
Bi north no bi southe.
Herhaud was wele understond
That Gii was fer in uncouthe lond.
Ful hende he was and fre,
Palmers wede he tok on hond
To seche his lord he wald fond
Unto the Grekis See.
To th'erl Rohaut he seyd anon
To seche his lord he most gon
Thurth alle Cristianté.
When th'erl seye him thus ydight
"Thou art," he seyd, "a trewe knight,
Yblisced mot thou be."
Tho went Herhaud so trewe in tale
To seche his lord in londes fale,
For nothing he nold abide;
He yede over alle bi doun and dale
To everi court and kinges sale
Bi mani a lond side.
Thurth Normondye and alle Speyne
Into Fraunce and thurth Breteyne
He yede bothe fer and wide;
Thurth Lorain and thurth Lombardye
And never no herd he telle of Gii
For nought that might bitide.
When Herhaud had sought him fer and hende
And he no might him nowhar fende,
Noither bi se no sond,
Into Inglond he gan wende
And th'erl Rohaut and al his frende
At Warwike he hem fond,
And teld he hadde his lord sought
And that he no might finde him nought
In nonskinnes lond.
Mani a moder child that day
Wepe and gan say, "waileway,"
Wel sore wringand her hond.
Now herken and ye may here
In gest yif ye wil listen and lere
Hou Gii as pilgrim yede.
He welke about with glad chere
Thurth mani londes fer and nere
Ther God him wald spede.
First he went to Jerusalem
And sethen he went to Bedlem
Thurth mani an uncouthe thede.
Yete he bithought him sethen tho
Forto sechen halwen mo
To winne him heven-mede.
Tho he went his pilgrimage
Toward the court of Antiage,
Bi this half that cité
He mett a man of fair parage,
Ycomen he was of heyghe linage
And of kin fair and fre.
Michel he was of bodi ypight,
A man he semed of michel might
And of gret bounté
With white hore heved and berd yblowe13
As white as ani driven snowe;
Gret sorwe than made he.
So gret sorwe ther he made
Sir Gii of him rewthe hade
He gan to wepe so sare.
His cloth he rent, his here totorn,
And curssed the time that he was born
Wel diolful was his fare;
More sorwe made never man.
Gii stode and loked on him than
And hadde of him gret care.
He seyd, "Allas and walewo,
Al mi joie it is ago,
Of blis icham al bare."
"Gode man, what artow," seyd Gii,
"That makest thus this reweful cri
And thus sorweful mone?
Me thenke for thee icham sori
For that thine hert is thus drery,
Thi joie is fro thee gon.
Telle me the sothe Y pray thee
For Godes love in Trinité
That this world hath in won.
For Jhesu is of so michel might
He may make thine hert light
And thou not never hou son."
"Gode man," seyd the pilgrim,
"Thou hast me frained bi God thin
To telle thee of mi fare
And alle the soth withouten les
Ichil thee telle hou it wes
Of blis hou icham bare.
So michel sorwe is on me steke
That min hert it wil tobreke
With sorwe and sikeing sare.
Forlorn ich have al mi blis
Y no schal never have joie, ywis,
In erthe Y wald Y ware.
"A man Y was of state sum stounde
And holden a lord of gret mounde
And erl of al Durras.
Fair sones ich hadde fiftene
And alle were knightes stout and kene;
Men cleped me th'erl Jonas.
Y trowe in this warld is man non,
Ywis, that is so wo bigon
Sethen the world made was,
For alle min sones ich have forlorn -
Better berns were non born -
Therfore Y sing 'allas.'
"For blithe worth Y never more:
Alle mi sones ich have forlore
Thurth a batayl unride,
Thurth Sarrayins that fel wore
To Jerusalem thai com ful yore
To rob and reve with pride.
And we toke our ost anon
Ogaines hem we gun gon
Bateyl of hem to abide;
The acountre of hem was so strong
That mani dyed ther among
Or we wald rest that tide.
"Thurth mi fiftene sone
Were the geauntes overcome
And driven doun to grounde.
Fiftene amirals ther wer nome,
The king gan fle with alle his trome
For drede of ous that stounde.
Ich and mi sones withouten lesing
Out of that lond we driven the king
And his men gaf dedli wounde.
The king him hight Triamour,
A lord he was of gret honour
And man of michel mounde.
"Than dede we wel gret foly:
We suwed him with maistrie
Into his owhen lond.
Into Alisaundre thai fleye owy,
The cuntré ros up with a cri
To help her king an hond.
In a brom feld ther wer hidde
Thre hundred Sarrayins wele yschridde
With helme and grimly brond,
Out of that brom thai lepen anon
And bilapped ous everichon
And drof ous alle to schond.
"Thai hewen at ous with michel hete
And we layd on hem dintes grete
And slouwen of her ferred,
And ar that we were alle ynome
Mani of hem were overcome
Ded wounded under wede.
Thai were to mani and we to fewe,
Al our armour thai tohewe
And stiked under ous our stede;
Yete we foughten afot long14
Til swerdes brosten that were strong
And than yeld we ous for nede.
"To the king we yolden ous al and some
That we might to raunsoun come
To save our lives ichon,
Into Alisaunder he ladde ous tho
And into his prisoun dede ous do,
Was maked of lime and ston.
Litel was our drink and lasse our mete,
For hunger we wende our lives lete;
Wel wo was ous bigon.
So were we ther alle that yer
With michel sorwe bothe yfere
That socour com ous non.
"So it bifel that riche Soudan
Made a fest of mani a man
Of thritti kinges bi tale.
King Triamour com to court tho
And Fabour his sone dede also
With knightes mani and fale
The thridde day of that fest
That was so riche and so honest
So derlich dight in sale.
After that fest that riche was
Ther bifel a wonder cas
Wherthurth ros michel bale.
"That riche Soudan hadde a sone
That was yhold a douhti gome,
Sadok was his name.
The kinges sone Fabour he cleped him to,
Into his chaumber thai gun go,
Tho knightes bothe ysame.
Sadok gan to Fabour sayn
Yif he wald ate ches playn
And held ogain him game,
And he answerd in gode maner
He wald play with him yfere
Withouten ani blame.
"Ate ches thai sett hem to playn,
Tho hendy knightes bothe tuayn
That egre were of sight.
Er thai hadde don half a game
With strong wretthe thai gan to grame,
Tho gomes michel of might.
Thurth a chek Fabour seyd for soth
Sadok in hert wex wroth
And missayd him anonright
And clepd him fiz a putayn
And smot him with might and main
Wherthurth ros michel fight.
"With a roke he brac his heved than
That the blod biforn out span
In that ich place.
'Sadok,' seyd than Fabour,
'Thou dost me gret deshonour
That thou me manace.
Nar thou mi lordes sone were
Thou schuldest dye right now here.
Schustow never hennes passe.'
Sadok stirt up to Fabour
And cleped him anon, 'Vile traitour!'
And smot him in the face.
"With his fest he smot him thore
That Fabour was agreved sore
And stirt up in that stounde.
The cheker he hent up fot-hot
And Sadok in the heved he smot
That he fel ded to grounde.
His fader sone he hath yteld
That he hath the Soudan sone aqueld
And goven him dethes wounde,
On hors thai lopen than bilive
Out of the lond thai gun drive
For ferd thai were yfounde.
"When it was the Soudan teld
That his sone was aqueld
And brought of his liif dawe
On al maner he him bithought
Hou that he him wreke mought
Thurth jugement of lawe.
After the king he sent an heyghe
To defende him of that felonie
That he his sone hath yslawe
And bot he wald com anon
With strengthe he schuld on him gon,
With wilde hors don him drawe.
"King Triamour com to court tho
And Fabour his sone dede also
To the Soudans parlement.
When thai biforn him comen beth
Thai were adouted of her deth
Her lives thai wende have spent
For the Soudan cleped hem fot-hot
And his sones deth hem atwot
And seyd thai were alle schent;
Bot thai hem therof were might
In strong perile he schuld hem dight
And to her jugement.15
"Than dede he com forth a Sarrayine -
Have he Cristes curs and mine
With boke and eke with belle -
Out of Egypt he was ycome,
Michel and griselich was that gome
With ani god man to duelle.
He is so michel and unrede
Of his sight a man may drede
With tong as Y thee telle;
As blac he is as brodes brend,
He semes as it were a fende
That comen were out of helle.
"For he is so michel of bodi ypight
Ogains him tuelve men have no might
Ben thai never so strong,
For he is four fot sikerly
More than ani man stont him bi,
So wonderliche he is long.
Yif King Triamour that ther was
Might fenden him in playn place
Of that michel wrong
Than is that vile glotoun
Made the Soudans champioun
Batayl of him to fong.
"King Triamour answerd than
To that riche Soudan
In that ich stounde
That he wald defende him wele ynough
That he never his sone slough
No gaf him dedli wounde.
When he seye Amoraunt so grim -
Ther durst no man fight with him
So grille he was on grounde -
Than asked he respite til a day
To finde another yif he may
Ogaines him durst founde.
"Than hadde he respite al that yere
And fourti days so was the maner
Thurth lawe was than in lond;
Yif himselven durst nought fight
Finde another yif he might
Ogaines him durst stond.
The king as swithe hom is went,
Over alle his lond anon he sent
After erl, baroun, and bond
And asked yif ani wer so bold -
Thriddendel his lond have he schold -
The batayl durst take an hond.
"Ac for nought that he hot might
Ther was non durst take the fight
With the geaunt for his sake.
Than was ich out of prisoun nome,
Biforn him he dede me come
Conseyl of me to take
And asked me at worde fewe
Yif Y wist other Y knewe
A man so mighti of strake
That for him durst take the fight;
Were he burjays other knight
Riche prince he wald him make.
"And yif Y might ani fende
He wald make me riche and al mi kende
And gif me gret honour
And wold sese into min hond
To helden thriddendel his lond
With cité, toun, and tour.
Ac ichim answerd than
In alle this warld was ther no man
To fight with that traitour
Bot yif it Gii of Warwike were
Or Herhaud of Ardern his fere
In warld thai bere the flour.
"When the king herd tho
That Y spac of tho knightes to
Ful blithe he was of chere,
He kist me so glad he was.
'Merci,' he seyd, 'Erl Jonas;
Thou art me leve and dere.
Yif ich hadde here Sir Gii
Or Herhaud that is so hardi
Of the maistri siker Y were.
And thou mightest bring me her on
Thee and thine sones Y schal lete gon
Fram prisoun quite and skere.'
"Bi mi lay he dede me swere
That Y schuld trewelich bode bere
To tho knightes so hende
And seyd to me as swithe anon
With michel sorwe he schuld me slon
Bot ichem might fende
And al mine sones do todrawe;
And ichim graunt in that thrawe
To bring hem out of bende.
Out of this lond Y went tho
With michel care and michel wo;
Y nist wider to wende.
"Y sought hem into the lond of Coyne,
Into Calaber and into Sessoyne,
And fro thennes into Almayne,
In Tuskan and in Lombardye,
In Fraunce and in Normondye,
Into the lond of Speyne,
In Braban, in Poil and in Bars,
And into kinges lond of Tars
And thurth al Aquitayne,
In Cisil, in Hungri and in Ragoun,
In Romayne, Borgoine, and Gastoine
And thurthout al Breteyne.
"And into Inglond wenden Y gan
And asked ther mani a man
Bothe yong and old,
And in Warwike that cité
Ther he was lord of that cuntré
For to haven in wold.
Ac Y no fond non lite no miche
That couthe telle me sikerliche
Of tho to knightes bold,
Wher Y schold Gii no Herhaud fende
In no lond fer no hende;
Therfore min hert is cold.
"For ich have the king mi trewthe yplight
That Y schal bring Gii now right
Yif he olives be.
And yive Y bring him nought anon
Wele ich wot he wil me slon -
Therfore wel wo is me -
And min sones he schal don hong
And todrawe with michel wrong,
Tho knightes hende and fre.
And yif thai dye gret harm it is
For hem ich have swiche sorwe, ywis,
Mine hert wil breken on thre."
"God man," seyd Gii, "listen me now,
For thine sones gret sorwe hastow
And no wonder it nis
When thou Gii and Herhaud hath sought
And thou no may hem finde nought;
Thi care is michel, ywis.
Thurth hem thine hope was to go fre
And thi sones al forth with thee
Thurth Godes help and his.
Sum time bi dayes old
For douhti men thai wer told
And holden of gret priis.
"Thurth Godes helpe our Dright -
He be min help and give me might
And leve me wele to spede -
And for Gyes love and Herhaud also
That thou hast sought with michel wo,
That douhti were of dede,
Batayl ichil now for thee fong
Ogain the geaunt that is so strong,
Thou seyst is so unrede.
And thei he be the fende outright
Y schal for thee take the fight
And help thee at this nede."
When th'erl herd him speke so
That he wald batayl fong for him tho
He biheld fot and heved.
Michel he was of bodi pight,
A man he semed of michel might
Ac pouerliche he was biweved.
With a long berd his neb was growe,
Miche wo him thought he hadde ydrowe.
He wende his wit were reved
For he seyd he wald as yern
Fight with that geaunt stern
Bot yif he hadde him preved.
"God man," than seyd he,
"God almighten foryeld it thee
That is so michel of might
Thatow wost batayl for me fong
Ogain the geaunt that is so strong;
Thou knowest him nought, Y plight,
For yif he loked on thee with wrake,
Sternliche with his eyghen blake,
So grim he is of sight
Wastow never so bold in al thi teime
Thatow durst batayl of him nim
No hold ogaines him fight."
"Gode man," seyd Gii, "lat be that thought
For swiche wordes help ous nought
Ogain that schrewe qued.
Mani hath loked me opon
With wicked wil, mani on
That wald han had min hed,
And thei no fled Y never yete
No never for ferd batayl lete,
For no man that brac bred.16
And thei he be the devels rote
Y schal nought fle him afot,
Bi Him that suffred ded."
"Leve sir," than seyd he,
"God of heven foryeld it te.
Thine wordes er ful swete."
For joie he hadde in hert that stounde;
On knes he fel adoun to grounde
And kist Sir Gyes fet.
Gii tok him up in armes to,
Into Alisaunder thai gun go
With the king to mete.
And when thai com into the tour
Bifor the king Sir Triamour
Wel fair thai gun him grete.
And when he seye th'erl Jonas
Unnethe he knewe him in the fas
So chaunged was his ble.
"Erl Jonas," seyd the king,
"Telle me now withouten lesing
Gii and Herhaud where ben he?"
Th'erl answerd and siked sore,
"Gii no Herhaud sestow no more
For sothe Y telle thee.
For hem ich have in Inglond ben
And Y no might hem nowhar sen,
Therfore wel wo is me.
"Ac the lond folk teld me in speche
That Gii was gon halwen to seche
Wel fer in uncouthe lond
And Herhaud after him is went
For to seche him verrament.
Noither of hem Y no fond.
Ac this man ich have brought to thee
That hath ben man of gret bounté
That wele dar take on hond
Ogain the geaunt that is so fel
Al for to fende thee ful wel
For drede wil he nought wond."
"Erl Jonas," seyd the king,
"Loke with him be no feynting17
That Y deseyved be.
And yif ther be thou schalt anon
Be honged and thi sones ichon."
"Y graunt, sir," than seyd he.
The king cleped Sir Gyoun
And asked him at schort resoun,
"What is thi name tel me?"
Sir Gii answerd to the king,
"Youn," he seyd, "withouten lesing
Men clepeth me in mi cuntré."
"What cuntré artow?" the king sede.
"Of Inglond, so God me rede;
Therin ich was yborn."
"O we," seyd the king, "artow Inglis knight?
Than schuld Y thurth skil and right
Hate thee ever more.
Knewe thou nought the gode Gii
Or Herhaud that was so hardi?
Tel me the sothe bifore.
Wele ought ich be Gyes fo man;
He slough mi brother Helmadan,
Thurth him icham forlore.
"Min em he slough, the riche Soudan,
Ate mete among ous everilkan.
Seyghe Y never man so bigin.
Y seyghe hou he his heved of smot
And bar it oway with him fot-hot
Maugré that was therinne.
After him we driven tho -
The devel halp him thennes to go,
Y trowe he is of his kinne.
Mahoun gaf that thou wer he,
Ful siker might Y than be
The maistri forto winne."
Sir Gii answerd to the king,
"Wel wele Y knowe withouten lesing
Herhaud so God me rede
And yif thou haddest her on here
Of the maistri siker thou were
The bateyl forto bede."
The king asked him anonright,
"Whi artow thus ivel ydight
And in thus pouer wede?
A feble lord thou servest, so thenketh me,
Or oway he hath driven thee
For sum ivel dede."18
"Nay, sir, for God," quath Gii,
"A wel gode Lord than serve Y.
With Him was no blame.
Wel michel honour He me dede
And gret worthschipe in everi stede
And sore ich have Him grame;
And therfore icham thus ydight
To cri Him merci day and night
Til we ben frendes same.
And mi Lord and Y frende be
Ichil wende hom to mi cuntré
And live with joie and game."
"Frende Youn," seyd the king,
"Wiltow fight for mi thing
Other Y schal another purvay?"
"Therfor com ich hider," quath Gii,
"Thurth Godes help and our Levedi
As wele as Y may.
Bot first th'erl Jonas and his sones
Schal be deliverd out of prisones
This ich selve day."
The king answerd, "Y graunt thee.
Mahoun he mot thine help be
That is mi lord verray."
"Nay," seyd Gii, "bot Marie sone
He mot to help come
For Mahoun is worth nought."
"Frende Youn," seyd the king,
"Understond now mi teling,
Al what ich have ythought
Yif that thou may overcom the fight
And defende me with right
The wrong is on me sought,
So michel Y schal for thee do
That men schal speke therof evermo
As wide as this warld is wrought.
"Alle the men that in my prisoun be
Thai schul be deliverd for love of thee
That Cristen men be told.19
Fram henne to Ynde that cité
Quite-claym thai schul go fre
Bothe yong and old.
And so gode pes Y schal festen anon
That Cristen men schul comen and gon
To her owhen wille in wold."
"Gramerci," than seyd Sir Gii,
"That is a fair gift sikerly,
God leve thee it wele to hold."
The king dede make a bathe anonright
For to bathe Gii and better dight;
In silk he wald him schrede.
"Nay, sir," than seyd Sir Gii,
"Swiche clothes non kepe Y
Also God me rede
To were clothes gold bigo
For Y was never wont therto
No non so worthliche wede.
Mete and drink anough give me
And riche clothes lat thou be,
Y kepe non swiche prede."
And when the time com to th'ende
That thai schuld to court wende
Ther sembled a fair ferred.
King Triamour maked him yare tho
And Fabour his sone dede also
With knightes stithe on stede.
To courtward than went he
To Espire that riche cité
With joie and michel prede.
To the Soudan thai went on heye
With wel gret chevalrie
Bateyle forto bede.
Gii was ful wele in armes dight
With helme and plate and brini bright
The best that ever ware.
The hauberk he hadde was Renis
That was King Clarels, ywis,
In Jerusalem when he was thare.
A thef stale it in that stede
And oway therwith him dede,
To hethenesse he it bare,
King Triamours elders it bought
And in her hord-house thai thought
To hold it ever mare.
Sir Gii thai toke it in that plas.
Thritti winter afrayd it nas;
Ful clere it was of mayle
As bright as ani silver it was,
The halle schon therof as sonne of glas
For sothe withouten fayle.
His helme was of so michel might
Was never man overcomen in fight
That hadde it on his ventayle.
It was Alisaunders the gret lording
When he faught with Poreus the king
That hard him gan aseyle.
A gode swerd he hadde withouten faile
That was Ectors in Troye batayle,
In gest as-so men fint.
Ar he that swerd dede forgon
Of Grece he slough ther mani on
That died thurth that dint.
Hose and gambisoun so gode knight schold,
A targe listed with gold
About his swere he hint.
Nas never wepen that ever was make
That o schel might therof take
Namore than of the flint.20
For King Triamours elders it laught,
King Darri sum time it aught,
That Gii was under pight.
Ich man axe other bigan
Whennes and who was that man
That with the geaunt durst fight.
King Triamour seyd with wordes fre
"Sir Soudan, herken now to me
Astow art hendy knight.
To thi court icham now come
To defende me of that ich gome
That is so stern of sight.
"This litel knight that stont me by
Schal fende me of that felonie
And make me quite and skere."
"Be stille," seyd the Soudan tho,
"That batail schal wel sone be go
Also brouke Y mi swere!"
He dede clepe Amorant so grim
And Gii stode and loked on him
Hou foule he was of chere.
"It is," seyd Gii, "no mannes sone,
It is a devel fram helle is come,
What wonder doth he here?
"Who might his dintes dreye
That he no schuld dye an heye
So strong he is of dede?"
Than speken thai alle of the batayle,
Where it schuld be withouten fayle
Thai token hem to rede.
Than loked thai it schuld be
In a launde under the cité;
Thider thai gun hem lede.
With a river it ern al about,
Therin schuld fight tho knightes stout;
Thai might fle for no nede.21
Over the water thai went in a bot,
On hors thai lopen fot-hot
Tho knightes egre of mode.
Thai priked the stedes that thai on sete
And smiten togider with dentes grete
And ferd as thai wer wode
Til her schaftes in that tide
Gun to schiver bi ich a side
About hem ther thai stode.
Than thai drough her swerdes grounde
And hewe togider with grimli wounde
Til thai spradde al ablode.
Sir Amoraunt drough his gode brond
That wele carf al that it fond
When he hadde lorn his launce.
That never armour might withstond
That was made of smitthes hond
In hethenesse no in Fraunce.22
It was Sir Ercules the strong
That mani he slough therwith with wrong
In batayle and in destaunce.
Ther was never man that it bere
Overcomen in batayle no in were
Bot it were thurth meschaunce.23
It was bathed in the flom of Helle,
Agnes gaf it him to wille
He schuld the better spede.
Who that bar that swerd of might
Was never man overcomen in fight
Bot it were thurth unlede.
Ther worth Sir Gii to deth ybrought
Bot yif God have of him thought,
His best help at nede.
Togider thai wer yern heweinde
With her brondes wele kerveinde
And maden her sides blede.
Sir Amoraunt was agreved in hert
And smot to Gii a dint ful smert
With alle the might he gan welde
And hitt him on the helme so bright
That alle the stones of michel might
Fleyghe doun in the feld.
Al of the helme the swerd out stint
And forth right with that selve dint
Other half fot of the scheld
That never was atamed ar than
For knight no for no nother man
No were he never so beld.
The sadelbowe he clef atuo,
The stedes nek he dede also
With his grimli brond;
Withouten wem or ani wounde
Wele half a fot into the grounde
The scharp swerd it wond.
Sir Gii to grounde fallen is,
He stirt up anon, ywis,
And loked and gan withstond.
Anon right in that ich stede
To God almighten he bad his bede
And held up bothe his hond.
Sir Gii anon up stirt
As man that was agremed in hert;
Nought wel long he lay.
"Lord," seyd Gii, "God Almight
That made the therkenes to the night
So help me today.
Scheld me fro this geaunt strong
That Y no deth of him afong
Astow art lord verray.
That dint," he seyd, "was ivel sett
Wele schal Y com out of thi dett,
Yif that Y libbe may."
Gii hent his swerd that was ful kene
And smot Amoraunt with hert tene
A dint that sat ful sore
That a quarter of his scheld
He made to fleye in the feld
Al with his grimli gore.
The stedes nek he smot atuo,
Amoraunt to grounde is fallen tho,
Wo was him therfore.
Than were on fot tho knightes bold,
Fight o fot yif thai wold -
Her stedes thai han forlore.
Amoraunt with hert ful grim
Smot to Gii, and Gii to him
With strokes stern and stive.
Hard thai hewe with swerdes clere
That helme and swerd that strong were
Thai gun hem al todrive.
Hard foughten tho champiouns
That bothe plates and hauberjouns
Thai gun to ret and rive;
And laiden on with dintes gret
Aither of hem so other gan bete
That wo was hem olive.
Sir Amoraunt was agreved strong
That o man stode him tho so long,
To Gii a strok he raught
And hit him on the helme so bright
That al the floures fel doun right
With a ful grimly draught.
The cercle of gold he carf ato
And forth with his dint also,
Ther bileved it nought.24
On the scheld the swerd doun fel
And cleve it into halvendel;
Almost to grounde him brought.
What with the swerdes out draweing,
And with his hetelich out braiding25
Ther fel a wonder cas.
Sir Gii fel on knes to grounde
And stirt up in that selve stounde
And seyd, "Lord, ful of grace,
Never dint of knight non
No might me are knele don26
In no stede ther Y was."
Sir Gii hent up his swerd fot-hot,
Amoraunt on the hod he smot
That he stumbled in the place.
He hit him on the helme an heyghe
And with that dint the swerd it fleyghe,
Bi the nasel it gan doun founde
And so it dede bi the ventayle
And carf it ato saunfaile
And into his flesche a wounde.
His targe with gold list
He carf atuo thurth help of Crist
He cleve that ich stounde.
So heteliche the brond out he plight
That Amorant anonright
Fel on knes to grounde.
So strong batayle was hem bituene,
So seyd thai that might it sene,
That seye thai never non swiche;
That never was of wiman born
Swiche to knightes as thai worn 27
That foughten togider with wreche
On a day bifor the nativité
Of Seyn Jon the martir fre
That holy man is to seche.
Togider fought tho barouns bothe
That in hert wer so wrothe,
Of love was ther no speche.
Sir Amoraunt withdrough him
With loureand chere wroth and grim,
For the blod of him was lete,
That drink he most other his liif forgon
So strong thrust yede him opon
So michel was his hete.
"Fourti batayls ichave overcome
Ac fond Y never er moder sone
That me so sore gan bete.
Tel me," he seyd, "what artow?
Felt Y never man ar now
That gaf dintes so grete.
"Tel me," he seyd, "wennes thou be?
For thou art strong, so mot Y the,
And of michel might."
Sir Gii answerd withouten bost,
"Cristen icham wele thou wost
Of Inglond born, Y plight.
King Triamour me hider brought
For to defenden him yif Y mought
Of that michel unright
That ye beren on him with wough
That Fabour never Sadony slough
Noither bi day no night."
"O artow Inglis?" seyd Amorant.
"Now wald mi lord Ternagaunt
That thou were Gii the strong.
Mahoun gaf that thou wer he,
Blithe wald Y than be
Batail of him to fong;
For he hath destrud al our lawe
His heved wald ichave ful fawe
Or heighe on galwes hong;
For kever schal we never er more
That he hath don ous forlore
With wel michel wrong.
"With michel wrong and michel wough
Fourti thousend of ous he slough
In Costentin on a day.
He and Herhaud his felawe
Michel han destrud our lawe
That ever more mon Y may.
Yif he wer slain with brond of stiel
Than were Y wroken on him ful wel
That han destrud our lay."
Sir Gii answerd, "Whi seistow so?
Hath Gii ani thing thee misdo?"
Amoraunt seyd, "Nay,
"Ac it wer gret worthschip, ywis,
To alle the folk of hethenisse
That Y hadde so wroken mi kende.
Cristen," he seyd, "listen to me,
The weder is hot astow may se,
Y pray thee, leve frende,
Leve to drink thou lat me gon
For the lordes love thou levest on,
Astow art gode and hende.
For thrist mi hert wil tospring
And for hete withouten lesing
Mi live wil fro me wende.
"And yif Y schal be thus aqueld
Thurth strong hete in the feld
It were ogain thee skille.
Unworthschipe it war to thee -
It were thee gret vileté
In wat lond thou com tille.
Ac lete me drink a litel wight
For thi lordes love ful of might
That thou lovest with wille
And Y thee hot bi mi lay
Yif thou have ani threst today
Thou shalt drink al thi fille."
Sir Gii answerd, "Y graunt thee
And yete today thou yeld it me28
Withouten ani fayle."
And when he hadde leve of Sir Gii
He was ful glad sikerli,
No lenger nold he dayle.
To the river ful swithe he ran,
His helme of his heved he nam
And unlaced his ventayle.
When he hadde dronken alle his fille
He stirt up with hert grille
And Sir Gii he gan to asayle.
"Knight," he seyd, "yeld thee bilive
For thou art giled, so mot Y thrive.
Now ichave a drink
Icham as fresche as ich was amorwe.
Thou schalt dye with michel sorwe
For sothe withouten lesing."
Than thai drowen her swerdes long
Tho knightes that wer stern and strong
Withouten more dueling
And aither gan other ther asayle
And ther bigan a strong bataile
With wel strong fighting.
Amoraunt was ful egre of mode
And smot to Gii as he wer wode -
Ful egre he was to fight -
That a quarter of his scheld
He made it fleye into the feld
And of his brini bright.
Of his scholder the swerd glod doun
That bothe plates and hauberjoun
He carf atuo, Y plight.
Al to the naked hide, ywis,
And nought of flesche atamed is
Thurth grace of God almight.
The scharp swerd doun gan glide
Fast bi Sir Gyes side -
His knew it com ful neye -
That gambisoun and jambler
Bothe it karf atuo yfere;
Into th'erthe the swerd it fleye
Withouten wem or ani wounde
Half a fot into the grounde,
That mani man it seye.
And when Gii seye that fair grace
That nothing wounded he was
Jhesu he thanked on heye.
And when Gii feld him so smite
He was wroth ye mow wite;
To Amoraunt he gan reken
He hent his brond with wel gode wille
And stroke to him with hert grille;
His scheld he gan tobreken.
So hetelich Gii him smot
That into the scholder half a fot
The gode swerd gan reken.
And with that strok Gii withdrough
Weri he was forfoughten ynough,
To Amoraunt he gan speken.
"Sir Amoraunt," than seyd Gii,
"For Godes love now merci
Yif that thi wille be.
Ichave swiche thrist ther Y stond
Y may unnethe drawe min hond
Therfore wel wo is me.
Yeld me now that ich dede,
Y gaf thee leve to drink at nede.
Astow art hende and fre,
Leve to drink thou lat me go
As it was covenaunt bituen ous to
For Godes love Y pray thee."
"Hold thi pes," seyd Amoraunt,
"For bi mi lord Sir Ternagaunt
Leve no hastow non.
Ac now that Y the sothe se
That thou ginnes to feynt thee
Thine heved thou schalt forgon."
"Amoraunt," seyd Gii, "do aright,
Lete me drink a litel wight
As Y dede thee anon
And togider fight we;
Who schal be maister we schal se
Wiche of ous may other slon."
"Hold thi pays," seyd Amoraunt,
"Y nil nought held thee covenaunt
For ful this toun of gold,
For when ichave thee sleyn now right
The Soudan treweli hath me hight
His lond gif me he schold
Ever more to have and hold fre
And give me his douhter bright o ble,
The miriest may on mold.
When ichave thee sleyn this day
He schal give me that fair may
With alle his lond to hold.
"Ac do now wele and unarme thee
And trewelich yeld thou thee to me
Olive Y lat thee gon.
And yif thou wilt nought do bi mi red
Thou schalt dye on ivel ded
Right now Y schal thee slon."
"Nay," seyd Gii, "that war no lawe.
Ich hadde lever to ben todrawe
Than swiche a dede to don.
Ar ich wald creaunt yeld me
Ich hadde lever anhanged be
And brent bothe flesche and bon."29
Than seyd Amoraunt at a word
"Bi the treuthe thou owe thi lord
That thou lovest so dere
Tel me what thi name it be
And leve to drink give Y thee
Thi fille of this river.
Thou seyd thi name is Sir Youn;
It is nought so bi Seyn Mahoun,
It is a lesing fere.
Yif thi name were Youn right
Thou nere nought of so miche might
No thus unbiknowen here."30
"Frende," seyd Gii, "Y schal telle thee;
Astow art hendi man and fre
Thou wray me to no wight.
Gii of Warwike mi name it is,
In Inglond Y was born, ywis.
Lete me now drink with right."
When Amoraunt seye sikerly
That it was the gode Gii
That ogaines him was dight
He loked on him with michel wrake,
Sternliche with his eyghen blake
With an unsemli sight.
"Sir Gii," he seyd, "welcom to me.
Mahoun, mi lord, Y thank thee
That ich have thee herinne.
Michel schame thou hast me don,
Thi liif thou schalt as tite forgon,
Thi bodi schal atuinne
And thine heved, bi Ternagant,
Mi leman schal have to presaunt
That comly is of kinne.
Hennes forward siker thou be
Leve no tit thee non of me
For al this warld to winne."31
"Allas," seyd Gii, "what schal Y don?
Now Y no may have drink non
Mine hert breketh ato."
Anon he bithought him thenne
Right to the river he most renne;
He turned him and gan to go.
Amoraunt with swerd on hond
He thought have driven Gii to schond
With sorwe he wald him slo.
Gii ran to the water right,
Bot on him thenke God Almight
Up cometh he never mo.
Tho was Sir Gii in gret drede.
In the water he stode to his girdel stede
And that thought him ful gode.
In the water he dept his heved anon
Over the schulders he dede it gon
That keled wele his blod.
And when Gii hadde dronken anough
Hetelich his heved up he drough
Out of that ich flod
And Amoraunt stode opon the lond
With a drawen swerd in hond
And smot Gii ther he stode.
Hetelich he smot Gyoun,
Into that water he fel adoun
With that dint unride
That the water arn him about.
Sir Gii stirt up in gret dout,
For nothing he nold abide,
And schoke his heved as knight bold.
"In this water icham ful cold
Wombe, rigge, and side
And no leve, sir, ich hadde of thee
And therfore have thou miche maugré
And ivel thee mot bitide."
Sir Gii stirt up withouten fayl
And Amoraunt he gan to asayl;
To fight he was ful boun.
Hard togider thai gan to fight;
Of love was ther no speche, Y plight,
Bot heweing with swerdes broun.
"Amoraunt," than seyd Gii,
"Thou art ful fals sikerly
And fulfilt of tresoun.
No more wil Y trust to thee
For no bihest thou hotest me.
Thou art a fals glotoun."
Hard togider thai gun fight
Fro the morwe to the night
That long somers day.
So long thai foughten bothe tho
Wiche was the better of hem to
No man chese no may.
Bot at a strok as Amoraunt cast
Sir Gii mett with him in hast
And taught him a sori play.
The right arme with the swerd fot-hot
Bi the scholder of he it smot,
To grounde it fleye oway.
When Amoraunt feld him so smite
In his left hond with michel hete
The swerd he hent fot-hot.
As a lyoun than ferd he,
Thritti sautes he made and thre
With his swerd that wel bot.
Bot for the blod that of him ran
Amoraunt strengthe slake bigan.
When Gii that soth wot
That Amoraunt was faynting
Sir Gii him folwed withouten dueling;
That other hond of he smot.
When Amoraunt had bothe hondes forlore
A wreche he held himself therfore;
His wit was al todreved.
On Sir Gii he lepe with alle his might
That almast he had feld him doun right,
And Sir Gii was agreved
And stirt bisiden fot-hot,
And Amoraunt in the nek he smot.
His might he hath him bireved;
He fel to grounde withouten faile
And Sir Gii unlaced his ventayle
And he strok of his heved.
Over the water he went in a bot
And present therwith fot-hot
The king Sir Triamour.
The king Sir Triamour than
Went to that riche Soudan
And also his sone Fabour.
Than was the Soudan swithe wo,
Quite-claim he lete hem go
With wel michel honour.
Into Alisaunder thai went that cité
And ladde with hem Sir Gii the fre
That hadde ben her socour.
The king tok th'erl Jonas tho
And clept him in his armes to
And kist him swete, ich wene,
An hundred times and yete mo
And quite-claim he lete him go
And his sones fiftene.
"Erl Jonas," seyd the king,
"Herken now to my teling
And what ichil mene:
For mi liif thou savedest me
Half mi lond ich graunt thee
With this knight strong and kene.
"Understond to me, sir knight,
Mahoun gave ful of might
Thou wost duelle with me;
Thridde part mi lond Y give thee to,
Michel honour ichil thee do,
A riche prince make thee.
Y nil nought thou forsake God thine;
Thou art bileveand wele afine,
Better may no be."
Sir Gii answerd him ful stille:
"Sir, of thi lond nought Y nille
For sothe Y telle thee."
That erl to Jerusalem went anon,
Gii of Warwike with him gan gon
And alle his sones on rawe.
Th'erl wold yif he might
Wite the name of that knight
Yif he him evermore sawe.
"In conseyl, sir knight," than seyd he,
"That thou Youn dost clep thee,
Thou no hatest nought so Y trowe.
For Jhesu love Y pray thee
That died on the Rode tre
Thi right name be aknawe."
Sir Gii seyd, "Thou schalt now here
Sethen thou frainest me in this maner;
Mi name ichil thee sayn:
Gii of Warwike mi name is right,
Astow art hende and gentil knight
To non thou schalt me wrayn.
Batayl for thi love Y nam
And the geaunt overcam;
Therof ich am ful fain."
When th'erl seye it was Sir Gii
He fel doun on knes him bi
And wepe with both his ayn.
"For Godes love," he seyd, "merci.
Whi artow so pouer Sir Gii
And art of so gret valour?
Here ich give thee in this place
Al th'erldam of Durras
Cité and castel tour.
Thi man ichil bicomen and be
And alle mi sones forth with me
Schal com to thi socour;
For the priis of hethen lond
Thou hast thurth douhtines of hond
Wonne with gret vigour."
"Erl Jonas," than seyd Sir Gii,
"Mi leve frende, gramerci.
For thi gode wille
Than schustow hire me al to dere
To give me thi lond in swiche maner;
Therof nought Y nille.32
To your owen cuntré wendeth hom,
God biteche Y you everichon;
Mi way ichil fulfille."
Thai went and kist him everi man,
Th'erl so sore wepe bigan
That might him no man stille.
Th'erl to Durras went anon
And his sones everichon
Were scaped out of care.
Gii than in his way is nome.
For that the geaunt was overcome
Ful blithe than was he thare.
Into Grece than went he
And sought halwen of that cuntré
The best that ther ware.
Sethe forth in his way he yede
Thurthout mani uncouthe thede,
To Costentyn he is yfare.
When Gii in Costentin hadde be
Out of that lond than went he
Walkand in the strete
On pilgrimage in his jurnay
His bedes bidand night and day
His sinnes forto bete.
In Almaine than went he, ywis,
Ther he was sumtime holden of gret pris.
He com to a four way lete
Biyonde Espire, that riche cité,
Under a croice was maked of tre,
A pilgrim he gan mete,
That wrong his honden and wepe sore
And curssed the time that he was bore,
"Allas!" it was his song.
"Wayleway," he seyd, "that stounde!
Wickedliche icham brought to grounde
With wel michel wrong."
Sir Gii went to him tho,
"Man," he seys, "whi farstow so?
So God geve thee joie to fong,33
Tel me what thi name it be
And whi thou makest thus gret pité,
Me thenke thi paynes strong."
"Gode man," seyd the pilgrim tho,
"What hastow to frein me so?
Swiche sorwe icham in sought
That thei Y told thee alle mi care,
For thee might Y never the better fare;
To grounde ich am so brought."
"Yis," seyd Gii, "bi the gode Rode,
Conseyl Y can give thee gode
And tow telle me thi thought,
For oft it falleth uncouthe man
That gode conseyle give can,
Therfore hele it nought."
"For God," he seyd, "thou seyst ful wel.
Sumtime ich was, bi Seyn Mighel,
An erl of gret pousté.
Thurth al Cristendom, ywis,
Ich was teld a man of gret pris
And of gret bounté;
And now icham a wroche beggare.
No wonder thei icham ful of care
Allas, wel wo is me."
For sorwe he might speke namore;
He gan to wepe swithe sare
That Gii hadde of him pité.
Than seyd the pilgrim, "Thou hast gret wrong
To frain me of mi sorwe strong
And might nought bete mi nede.
To begge mi brede Y mot gon,
Sethen yistay at none ete Y non
Also God me rede."
"Yis, felawe," quath Gii, "hele it naught.
Telle me whi thou art in sorwe braught,
The better thou schalt spede
And sethen we schul go seche our mete.
Ichave a pani of old biyete,
Thou schalt have half to mede."
"Gramerci, sir," than seyd he,
"And alle the soth Y schal telle thee.
Erl Tirri is mi name,
Of Gormoys th'erls sone Aubri.
Ich hadde a felawe that hight Gii,
A baroun of gode fame.
For the douk of Pavi Sir Otoun
Hadde don him oft gret tresoun
He slough him with gret grame.
Now is his neve th'emperour steward,
His soster sone that hat Berard;
He has me don alle this schame.
"Th'emperour he hath served long
For he is wonderliche strong
And of michel might.
He no cometh in non batayle
That he no hath the maistri saunfayl,
So egre he is to fight.
In this warld is man non
That ogaines him durst gon,
Herl, baroun, no knight,
And he loked on him with wrake
That his hert no might quake
So stern he is of sight.
"And for his scherewdhed Sir Berard
Th'emperour hath made him his steward
To wardi his lond about.
Ther nis no douk in al this lond
That his hest dar withstonde
So michel he is dout.
Yif a man be loved with him
Be he never so pouer of kin
And he wil to him lout
He maketh hem riche anonright,
Douk, erl, baroun, or knight,
To held with him gret rout.
"And yif a man with him hated be
Be he never so riche of fe
He flemeth him out of lond.
Anon he schal ben todrawe
Als tite he schal ben yslawe
And driven him al to schond.
So it bifel our emperour
Held a parlement of gret honour,
For his erls he sent his sond.
Y come thider with michel prede
With an hundred knightes bi mi side
At nede with me to stonde.
"And when Y come unto the court
The steward with wicked pourt
To me he gan to reke.
He bicleped me of his emes ded
And seyd he was sleyn thurth mi red;
On me he wald be wreke.
And when ich herd that chesoun
Of the doukes deth Otoun
Mine hert wald tobreke.
To th'emperour Y layd mi wedde an heighe
To defende me of that felonie
That he to me gan speke.
"No wonder thei Y war fordredde;
Th'emperour tok bothe our wedde
As Y thee telle may
For in alle the court was ther no wight,
Douk, erl, baroun, no knight,
That durst me borwe that day.
Th'emperour comand anon
Into his prisoun Y schuld be don
Withouten more delay.
Berard went and sesed mi lond,
Mine wiif he wald have driven to schond,
With sorwe sche fled oway.
"Than was ich with sorwe and care
Among min fomen nomen thare
And don in strong prisoun.
Min frendes token hem to rede,
To th'emperour thai bisought and bede
To pay for me ransoun.
Th'emperour and Sir Berard
Deliverd me bi a forward
And bi this enchesoun:
Y schuld seche mi felawe Gii
To defende ous of that felonie
Of the doukes deth Otoun.
"Out of this lond went Y me
And passed over the salt se,
In Inglond Y gan rive;
At Warwike ichim sought,
When Y com thider Y fond him nought
Wo was me olive.
No Sir Herhaud fond Y nought tare;
To seche Gyes sone he is fare
That was stollen with strive.
Therfore Y wot that Gii is ded,
For sorwe can Y me no red -
Mine hert wil breke o five."
Sir Gii biheld Tirri ful right
That whilom was so noble a knight
And lord of michel mounde.
His bodi was sumtim wele yschredde,
Almost naked it was bihedde
With sorwe and care ful bounde.
His legges that wer sumtime hosed wel
Tobrosten he seighe hem everidel.
"Allas," seyd Gii, "that stonde!"
For sorwe that he hadde tho
Word might he speke no mo
Bot fel aswon to grounde.
Sir Tirri anon com to him than
And in his armes up him nam
And cleped opon him thare.
"Man," he said, "what aileth thee?
Thou art ivel at aise so thenketh me,
Hard it is thi fare."
Sir Gii answerd therafter long,
"This ivel greveth me so strong
In erthe Y wold Y ware,
For sethen that Y was first man
Nas never sorwe on me cam
That greved me so sare."
"Than," seyd Tirri, "felawe, ywis,
Today a yer gon it is
Out of this lond Y went
To seche Gii mi gode frende.
Y no finde nought fer no hende,
Therfore icham al schent.
For now it is teld me our emperer
Hath taken a parlement of this maner
For mi love verrament
That douk no erl in his lond be
That he no schal be at that semblé
For to here mi jugement.
"And now no lenge abide Y no may
That ne me bihoveth hom this day34
Other forto lese min heved.
Th'emperour ichave mi treuthe yplight
Y schal bring Sir Gii tonight
To fight ogain that qued
To fende ous of that felonie
Ogain the douke Berard of Pavi
Al of his emes ded.
Y wot wele yif Y thider fare
Thai schal me sle with sorwe and care,
Certes Y can no red."
Gii biheld Tirri with wepeand eighe
And seighe him al that sorwe dreighe
That was him lef and dere.
"Allas," thought Gii, "that ich stounde
That Tirri is thus brought to grounde;
So gode felawes we were."
He thought, "Might Y mete that douke
His heved Y schuld smite fro the bouke
Or hong him bi the swere.
Y no lete for al this warldes won
That Y no schuld the traitour slon
To wreke Tirri mi fere."
"Tirri," seyd Gii, "lat be thi thought.
Ywis, it helpeth thee right nought,
For sorwe it wil thee schende.
To court go we bothe yfere,
Gode tidinges we schul ther here
Swiche grace God may sende.
Have gode hert, dred thee no del
For God schal help thee ful wel
So curteys He is and hende."
Up risen tho knightes tuo
With michel care and ful of wo
To courtward thai gan wende
And as thai went tho knightes fre
To courtward in her jurné
Ful bold thai were and yepe.
"Allas," Sir Tirri seyd tho,
"Ich mot rest er ich hennes go
Or mi liif wil fro me lepe."
"For God, felawe," than seyd Gii,
"Ly doun and Y schal sitt thee bi
And feir thine heved up kepe."
And when he hadde thus yseyd
On Gyes barm his heved he leyd,
Anon Tirri gan slepe.
And when Sir Tirri was fallen on slepe
Sir Gii biheld him and gan to wepe
And gret morning gan make.
Than seighe he an ermine com of his mouthe,
Als swift as winde that bloweth on clouthe
As white as lilii on lake,
To an hille he ran withouten obade,
At the hole of the roche in he glade;
Gii wonderd for that sake.
And when he out of that roche cam
Into Tirries mouthe he nam,
Anon Tirri gan wake.
Sir Gii was wonderd of that sight
And Tirri sat up anonright
And biheld Gii opon.
Than seyd Tirri, "Fader of Heven,
Sir pilgrim, swiche a wonder sweven
Me met now anon,
That to yon hille that stont on heighe
That thou may se with thin eighe
Me thought that Y was gon
And at an hole in Y wond
And so riche tresour as Y fond
Y trow in this world is non.
"Biside that tresour lay a dragoun
And theron lay a swerd broun,
The sckauberk comly corn.
In the hilt was mani precious ston,
As bright as ani sonne it schon
Withouten oth ysworn.
And me thought Gii sat at min heved
And in his lappe me biweved35
Astow dest me biforn.
Lord merci, and it wer so
Wele were me than bigo
That ever yete was Y born."
"Now felawe," seyd Gii, "bi mi leuté
That sweven wil turn gret joie to thee
And wele Y schal it rede.
Thurth Gii thou schalt thi lond kever.
Trust wele to God thei thou be pouer
The better thou schalt spede.
To the hulle nim we the way
Ther thee thought the tresour lay
And in thou schalt me lede.
Now God that schope al mankinde
Wald we might that tresour finde
It wald help ous at nede."
Up risen tho knightes tuay
And to the hille thai nom the way
And in thai went ful even
And founde the tresour and the dragoun
And the swerd of stiel broun
As Tirri mett in his sweven.
Sir Gii drough out that swerd anon
And alle the pleynes therof it schon
As it were light of leven.
"Lord," seyd Gii, "Y thanke Thi sond
Y seighe never are swiche a brond;
Y wot it com fram Heven."
Sir Gii gan the hilt bihold
That richeliche was graven with gold,
Of charbukel the pomel.
Into the sckaweberk ogain he it dede
And seyd to Tirri in that stede,
"Bi God and Seyn Mighel,
Of alle this riche tresore
Y no kepe therof no more
Bot this brond of stiel."
[. . .]
[. . .]
[. . .]
To courtward tho knightes went
To aspie after the parlement;
For drede wald thai nought lete.
Ac Tirri was aferd ful sare
Of his fomen be knowen thare
In the cité yif he sete.36
Therfore thai toke her ostel gode
At an hous withouten the toun stode
Al bi a dern strete.
Of al night Gii slepe nought,
So michel his hert was ever in thought
With Douk Berard to mete.
Erlich amorwe than ros Gii
And bisought God and our Levedi
He schuld scheld him fro blame
And seyd to Sir Tirri the hende,
"Kepe me wele this swerd, leve frende,
Til Y sende therfore bi name,
And Y schal go to court this day
And yif Y the douke mete may
Y schal gret him with grame;
And yif he say ought bot gode,
Bi Him that schadde for ous His blod
Him tit a warld schame."
Gii goth to toun with michel hete,
Th'emperour fram chirche he gan mete
And gret him with anour.
"Lord," seyd Gii, "that with hond
Made wode, water, and lond,
Save thee, sir emperour.
Icham a man of fer cuntré
And of thi gode, par charité,
Ich axse to mi socour."
Th'emperour seyd, "To court come
And of mi gode thou schalt have some
For love of Seyn Savour."
To court thai went al and some,
Th'emperour dede Gii biforn him come,
"Pilgrim," than seyd he,
"Thou art wel weri me thenketh now.
Fram wiche londes comestow?
For thi fader soule telle me."
"Sir," seyd Gii, "ich understond
Ichave ben in mani lond
Biyond the Grekis Se:
In Jerusalem and in Surry,
In Costentin and in Perci
A gode while have ich be."
"Sir pilgrim," seyd th'emperour fre,
"What speketh man in that lond of me
When thou com thennesward?"37
Sir Gii answerd, "Bi the gode Rode
Men speketh thee ther ful litel gode
Bot tidinges schrewed and hard;
For thou hast schent so th'erl Tirri
And other barouns that ben hendy
For love of thi steward.
Gret sinne it is to thee
To stroye so thi barouns fre
Al for a fals schreward."
When the douk herd him speke so
As a wilde bore he lepe him to
His costes for to schawe,
With his fest he wald have smiten Gii
Bot barouns held him owy,
Wele tuenti on a rawe.
He seyd to Gii, "Vile traitour,
Ner thou bifor th'emperour
Thei Y wende to ben tohewe
Bi thi berd Y schuld thee schokke
That al thi teth it schuld rokke,
For thou art a kinde schrewe.
"Bi thi semblaunt se men may
Thou hast ben traitour mani a day -
God gif thee schame and schond.
Yif that Y thee mai overgon
To wicked ded thou schalt be don
As a traitour to ly in bond,
In swiche a stede thou schalt be
This seven winter no schaltow se
Noither fet no hond.38
So schal men chasti foule glotuns
That wil missay gode barouns
That lordinges ben in lond."
"Ow sir," seyd Gii, "ertow thas?
Y nist no nar hou it was39
Bi the gode Rode.
And now Y wot that thou art he,
Thou art uncurteys so thenketh me.
Thou farst astow wer wode,
And art a man of fair parage
Ycom thou art of heighe linage
And of gentil blod.
It is thee litel curteysie
To do me swiche vilanie
Bifor th'emperour ther Y stode.
"And for thee wil Y wond no thing,
Y schal telle thee the sothe withouten lesing
Bifor his barouns ichon,
That with gret wrong and sinne, ywis,
Th'erl Tirri deshirrite is
And other gode mani on.
A thousend men ichave herd teld
Bothe in toun and in feld
As wide as ichave gon
That he is giltles of that dede
Thou berst on him with falshede,
Thin eme he schuld slon."
The douk Berrard was wroth,
Bi Jhesu Crist he swore his oth.
"Y wald that thou were Gii
Or that thou so douhti were
Thou durst fight for him here
God gaf it and our Levedi."
Sir Gii answerd, "Bi Seyn Savour,
Drede thee nothing, vile traitour,
Therto icham redy.
Bi thou wroth, be thou gladde,
To th'emperour Y gif mi wedde
To fight for th'erl Tirri."
The douk Berard ther he stode
Stared on Gii as he wer wode
And egrelich seyd his thought.
"Pilgrim," he seyd, "Thou art ful stout,
Ywis, thi wordes that er so prout
Schal be ful dere abought.
Y warn thee wele," he seyd tho,
"That thine heved thou schalt forgo
Whereso thou may be sought."
Sir Gii seyd, "Than thou it hast
Than make therof thi bast;
For yete no getes thou it nought."
Bifor th'emperour than come Gii
And seyd, "Sir Berard of Pavi
Is a man of mighti dede,
And fram fer cuntres comen icham
And am a sely pouer man;
Y no have here no sibbered
No Y no have wepen no armour bright;
For the love of God Almight
Finde me armour and stede."
Th'emperour answerd, "Bi Jhesu,
Pilgrim, thou schalt have anow
Of al that thee is nede."
The douk Berrard thennes he went;
His hert was in strong turment
He no wist what he do might.
Th'emperour cleped his douhter a mayde,
"Leve douhter," to hir he seyd,
"Kepe this pilgrim tonight."
Sche him underfenge ful mildeliche
And dede bathe him ful softliche,
In silke sche wald him dight.
Ac therof was nothing his thought;
Bot of gode armour he hir bisought40
With the douke Berard to fight.
Amorwe aros that emperour
Erls, barouns of gret honour,
To chirche with him thai yede.
And when the barouns asembled was
Than might men sen in that plas
Togider a fair ferred.
Thider com the douk Berard,
Prout and stern as a lipard,
Wele yarmed on stede
And priked right as he wer wode
Among the barouns ther thai stode
Batayle forto bede.
The maiden forgat never a del
The pilgrim was armed ful wel
With a gode glaive in honde
And a swift-ernand stede;
Al wrin sche dede him lede
The best of that lond.
Than Sir Gii him bithought
The gode swerd forgat he nought
That he in tresour fond.
He sent therafter priveliche -
No man wist litel no miche -
And Tirri sent him the brond.
When that mayden hadde graithed Gii
Wele ydight and ful richely
Men gan on him biheld.
Sche ledde him forth swithe stille,
To th'emperour with gode wille
Sche taught him forto weld.
Than seyd th'emperour hende and fre,
"Lordinges, listen now to me
Bothe yong and eld:
This knight that ye se now here
Hath taken batail in strong maner
Al forto fight in feld.
"This knight," he seyd, "that stount me bi
Wil fight for th'erl Sir Tirri -
For nothing wil he wond -
And defende him of that felonie
Ogain the douk Berard of Pavi
That he berth him an hond;
For Tirri is out of lond went
To seche Gii verrament
That for him might stond.
This day is sett bituen hem tuo
Or be deshirrite forevermo
And flemed out of lond.
"Bot now is comen here this knight,
Ogain Berard hath taken the fight
For nothing wil he flen.
Ac, lordinges," he seyd, "everichon
Where the batayl schal be don
Loke where it may best ben."
Than loked thai it schuld be
In a launde under the cité.
Thider in thai went biden.
Mani man bad God that day
Help the pilgrim as He wele may
The douk Berard to slen.
On hors lopen tho knightes prest
And lopen togider til schaftes brest
That strong weren and trewe;
And her gerthes brusten that strong were
And tho knightes bothe yfere
Out of her sadels threwe.
After thai drough her swerdes gode
And leyd on as thai were wode
That were gode and newe.
And astow sest the fir on flint,
The stem out of her helmes stint
So hetelich thai gun hewe. 41
Wele wer armed tho knightes stout
Bot he had more yren him about,
That fals Berardine.
Tuay hauberkes he was in weved
And tuay helmes opon his heved
Was wrought in Sarayine.
Opon his schulder henge a duble scheld
Beter might non be born in feld,
A gode swerd of stiel fine.
Mani man therwith his liif had lorn;
It was sumtim therbiforn
The kinges Costentine.
Strong batayl held tho knightes bold
That alle that ever gan hem bihold
Thai seyden hem among
The pilgrim was non erthely man;
It was an angel from Heven cam
For Tirri batayle to fong.
For mani gode erl and mani baroun
Berard hath ybrought adoun
With wel michel wrong.
Therfore hath God sent, ywis,
An angel out of heven-blis
To sle that traitour strong.
Al the folk in that cité was,
Litel and michel, more and las,
To se the batayl thai yede.
Bot Tirri in a chirche liis
And ever he bisought God, ywis,
He schuld him help and spede.
When he herd telle that the pilgrim
Faught ogain the douke Berardin
To help him at his nede.
Wel fain he wald thider gon
Bot for knoweing of his fon
Wel sore he gan him drede.42
Ac natheles he ros up tho
With michel care and michel wo
And thider he went wel swithe.
When he com to the plas
Ther the bataile loked was
Amonges hem he gan lithe
And when he seyghe the douk so strong
And his armes tohewe among,
In his hert he was ful blithe.
And tho he seyghe his blod spille,
God he thonked with gode wille
[. . .]
"Lord, merci," Tirri gan say,
"This is nought the pilgrim Y met yisterday
That is so richeliche dight.
He was a feble pouer body
Sely, messays, and hungri,
And he is of michel might.
Y trow non erthelich man it be,
On Gii Y thenke when ichim se
So douhti he was in fight.
Yif Gii mi felawe now ded nere
Ich wald sigge that he it were
So liche thai ben of sight."
Into chirche ogain he yede
And fel on knes in that stede
And Jhesus Crist he bisought
He schuld help the pilgrim
That faught ogain Douk Berardin
That miche wo hath him wrought.
Hard togider gun thai fight
Fro the morwe to the night
That thai rest hem nought.
And when hem failed light of day
Thai couthe no rede what thai do may.43
To th'emperour thai hem brought.
"Sir emperour," thai seyd anon,
"What schul we with this knightes don?
At thi wille schal it be."
Th'emperour clept to him tho
Four barouns that his trust was to.
"Lordinges," than seyd he,
"Kepe me wele the Douk Berard,
And bring him tomorwe bi a forward,
Open al your fe;
And Y schal kepe the pilgrim tonight;
Til tomorwe that it is day light
He schal bileve with me."
Than departed this batayle,
Tho four barouns withouten fayl
Understode Berard to kepe
And th'emperour toke the pilgrim
In a chaumber to loken him
With serjaunce wise and yepe.
The douke Berard forgat him nought;
Of a foule tresoun he him bithought:44
Four knightes he gan clepe.
"For mi love," he seyd, "goth tonight
Ther the pilgrim lith ful right
And sleth him in his slepe."
Thai armed hem swithe wel
Bothe in iren and in stiel
And went hem forth in hast,
Into the chaumber thai went anon.
The pilgrims kepers everichon
Lay and slepe ful fast.
To the pilgrim thai went ful right
And left up the bedde with her might
Tho four traitours unwrast.
To the se thai beren him
And bothe bed and the pilgrim
Into the see thai cast.
To Sir Berard thai went anon
And teld him hou thai hadden don,
Therof he was ful fawe.
"Sir," thai seyd, "be nought adred.
Bothe the pilgrim and the bed
Into the se we han ythrawe."
The pilgrim waked and loked an heyghe,
The sterres on the heven he seighe,
The water about him drawe.
Thei he was ferd no wonder it nis;
Non other thing he no seyghe, ywis,
Bot winde and wateres wawe.
"Lord," seyd Gii, "God Almight
That winde and water and al thing dight
On me have now pité.
Whi is me fallen thus strong cumbring?45
And Y no fight forto win nothing -
Noither gold no fe,
For no cité no no castel -
Bot for mi felawe Y loved so wel
That was of gret bounté,
For he was sumtyim so douhti
And now he is so pouer a bodi.
Certes it reweth me."
Now herkeneth a litel striif
Hou He saved the pilgrims liif,
Jhesu that sitt in trone,
With a fischer that was comand
In the se fische takeand
Bi himself alon.
He seth that bed floter him by
"On Godes half!" he gan to cri,
"What artow? Say me son."
The pilgrim his heved upplight
And crid to him anonright
And made wel reweli mon.
"Gode man," than seyd he,
"Y leve on God in Trinité
The sothe thou schalt now sen.
Understode thou ought of the batayl hard
Bituen the pilgrim and Sir Berard
Hou thai foughten bituen?"
The fischer seyd, "Y seighe the fight
Fro the morwe to the night,
For nothing wald thai flen.
Th'emperour comand tho
Thai schuld be kept bothe tuo
Tomorwe bring hem oghen."
"Icham," he seyd, "the pilgrim
That faught with the douke Berardin
For Tirri the hendi knight.
Yistreven we wer deled ato,
In a chaumber Y was do
With serjaunce wise and wight.
Hou Ich com her no wot Y nought;
For His love that this warld hath wrought
Save me yif thou might."
The fischer tok him into his bot anon
And to his hous he ladde him hom
And saved his liif that night.
Th'emperour ros amorwe, ywis,
And at the chirche he herd his messe
In the first tide of the day
And into his halle he gan gon
And after the steward he axed anon
And the pilgrim withouten delay.
The four barouns forgat hem nought,
The douke Berard thai han forth brought
Redy armed to play.
And the pilgrims kepers com everichon
And seyd to th'emperour, bi Seyn Jon,
The pilgrim was oway.
Th'emperour was wel wroth,
Bi his fader soule he swore his oth
Thai schuld ben hang and drawe.
"For Godes love," he seyd, "Merci,
This douke Berard of Pavi
Hath him brought o dawe."
Th'emperour seyd, "Bi Seyn Martin,
Hastow don this, fals Berardin,
To don the pilgrim slawe?
Yeld him dethes or lives to me
Or in mi court dempt thou schalt be
Thurth jugement of lawe."
The douke Berard wex wroth and wo,
Th'emperour he answerd tho
With wel michel hete,
"Ichave served thee long, Sir Emperour,
And kept thi londes with michel anour
And now thou ginnest me threte.
Therof give Y nought a chirston.
Hom to Lombardy ichil gon
With alle the ost Y may gete.
Y schal com into Almayn for al thi tene
Of al thi lond siker mot thou ben
O fot Y no schal thee lete."
When th'emperour herd that
And of his thretening undergat
He bad with wordes bold
Out of his court he schuld gon
And he answerd sone anon
That sikerliche he nold.
Ther com the fischer priveliche
And puked th'emperour softliche,
His tale to him he told.
"Sir emperour," he seyd, "listen to me.
Of the pilgrim ichil telle thee
Yif thou me herken wold."
"Fischer," seyd th'emperour fre,
"Of the pilgrim telle thou me
Yif thou the sothe can sayn."
"For sothe," he seyd, "Y can ful wel
Y schal thee leyghen never a del;
Therof icham ful fain.
Yistreven withouten lesing
Y went to the se of fischeing
Mine nettes forto layn.
A bedde Y fond ther floterand
And theron a knight liggeand,
A man of michel mayn.
"And ich him axed what he were.
He told me the sothe there
With wordes fre and hende.
'Icham,' he seyd, 'the pilgrim
That faught with the douke Berardin
Yisterday to the nende.'
Y tok him into mi bot anon
And to min hous Y lad him hom
And kept him as mi frende.
Yif thou levest nought he is thare
Do sum serjaunt thider fare
And ther ye may him fende."
Th'emperour sent after him tho
With the fischer and other mo
And brought him saunfayle.
Thai were don togider blive
With hard strokes forto drive
Thai gun hem to asayle.
Wel hard togider gun thai fight,
With her brondes that wer bright
Thai hewe hauberk of mayle.
Thus togider gun thai play
Til it was the heyghe midday
With wel strong batayle.
The douk Berard was egre of mode,
He smot to Gii as he wer wode
His liif he wende to winne.
He hit him on the helm on hight
That alle the floures feir and bright
He dede hem fleyghe atuinne.
The nasel he carf atuo
And the venteyle he dede also
Right to his bare chinne.
[. . .]
[. . .]
[. . .]
Sir Gii was wroth anon fot-hot
And Berard on the helme he smot;
To stond hadde he no space
For bothe helmes he carf atuo
And his heved he dede also
In midward of the face.
Thurth al his bodi the swerd bot
Into the erthe wele half a fot,
That seighe men in the place.
Th[e s]oule went fro the bodi there,
Th[e fol]k of the cite wel glad were,
Th[ai] thonked our Lordes grace.
Bifor th'emperour than com Sir Gii,
"Ichave wroken th'erl Tirri -
The sothe thou might now sen -
And defended him of that felonie
Ogain the douke Berard of Pavi
That was so stout and ken.
Therfore the sothe ich ax thee
Yif Tirri schal quite-cleymed be
And have his lond ogen;
And whoso ther ogain withstond
He schal have schame of min hond
Wel siker may he ben."
Th'emperour seyd, "Sikerly
Thou hast wroken th'erl Tirri;
Gret honour thou hast him don.
Therfore when he is come
His londes than al and some
He schal have everichon."
Than was Gii glad and blithe
And kest of his armes also swithe,
After him he thought to gon.
Th'emperour wald clothe him in gold
Ac sikerliche he seyd he nold,
His sclavain he axed anon.
To toun he went in his way
To finde Tirri yif he may
In sorwe and care ful bounde.
Into a chirche he him dede
And fond him in a privé stede
Liand on knes to grounde.
"Arise up, Tirri," he seyd tho,
"To court thou schalt with me go
Now ichave thee founde."
Tirri anon his heved upbreyd
And seyd, "Pilgrim hastow me treyd?
Allas, that ich stounde!
"Allas, allas!" than seyd he,
"To what man may men trust be
To chese to his make?
Thou that semed so stedefast
To th'emperour me wraied hast,
To sle me thou hast take.
In ivel time was it to me
That Y mi name told to thee;
Allas that ich sake."
For sorwe that he hadde tho
O word no might he speke mo
Bot stode and gan to quake.
"Tirri," seyd Gii, "drede thee nothing,
Thou schalt today here gode tiding
Thurth grace of Godes sond.
The schrewed Douke Berard he is ded,
Under the cité he is yleyde,
Y slough him with min hond."
Tho was Tirri glad and blithe,
To court he went also swithe
For nothing wald he wond.
"Sir emperour," seyd Gii anon,
"Now is Tirri comen hom
To resceive his lond."
Th'emperour on him gan bihold
And seyd to him with wordes bold,
"Artow th'erl Tirri?
Where is now thi bold chere
That whilom so douhti were
And holden so hardi?"
"Ya, sir," he seyd, "icham he.
Whilom Y was of gret boundé
And helden ful douhti
And now ich have al forlorn
With miche sorwe on even and morn
To seke mi felawe Sir Gii.
"Ich have him sought in mani lond
Ac never man yete ich fond
Can telle of him no sawe.
He is dede ich wot ful wel,
God Almighti and Seyn Mighel
To blis his soule drawe.
Ac now is it told me this pilgrim
As slayn the douke Berardin;
Therof icham ful fawe.
Sir Emperour, Y bid merci,
For Godes love and our Levedi,
Thou do me londes lawe."
Thritti erls wel curteys
And alle the lordinges of the paylais
And mani baroun afine
Crid merci to th'emperour bold.
Th'emperour gan him bihold
And seyd, "Tirri, frende min,
Here Y sese thee in al thi lond
With worthschip to held in thine hond
Bi God and Seyn Martine.
Bifor mi barouns Y graunt thee
Steward of mi lond thou schalt be
As was the douke Berardine."
Th'emperour kist him ful swete,
Forgaf him his wrethe and his hete
Bifor hem al there.
When th'emperour and th'erl were at on
The lordinges everichon
Wele blithe of hertes were.
"Sir Tirri," seyd th'emperour fre,
"For thi fader soule tel thou me
Astow art me leve and dere,
Whennes is this pilgrim?
Is he thin em or thi cosyin
That faught for thee here?"
"Sir Emperour," seyd Sir Tirri,
"So God me help and our Levedi
For sothe withouten fayle
Y no seighe never ere this pilgrim
Bot this other day Y met with him
And told him mi conseyl.
He swore as tite bi Seyn Jon
To thi court he wald gon
The douk Berard to asayle.
Ich wend wel litel than, Y plight,
He hadde ben of michel might
To hold with him batayle."
Th'emperour dede as a gode man
And Tirri into his chaumber he nam
And richeliche gan him schrede.
He fond him wepen and armour bright
And al that schuld falle to knight
And feffed him with prede
And fond him hors and stedes gode
Of al his lond the best stode
Hom with him to lede.
Th'emperour wald the pilgrim athold
Ac sikerliche he seyd he nold,
With Tirri hom he yede.
When Tirri was comen hom
The pilgrim he wald anon
Sesen in al his lond.46
And he forsoke it al outright
For riches loved he no wight
For to hold in hond.
Th'erl as swithe his sond he sent
Over al his lond verrament
Til that his wiif he fond.
Tho was sche founden in an ile
In a nunri that while
For doute of Berardes bond.
Tho was Tirri a noble man
In al that lond better nas nan
As Y you tel may.
Destrud were al his enemis,
He liveth in michel joie and blis
Also a prince in play.
Anon Sir Gii him bithought
That lenger wald he duelle nought;
To Sir Tirri on a day
He seyd to him in that tide,
"Here nil Y no lenger abide,
Ich mot wende in mi way.
"O thing," he seyd, "Y pray thee,
Out of the cité go with me
Astow art hendi knight.
Alon we shul go bothe yfere
And swich tidinges thou schalt here
Thou schalt have wonder, aplight."
Th'erl him graunt with hert fre
And went with him out of that cité
In his way ful right.
And when thai wer thennes half a mile
Ther thai duelled a litel while
Tho gomes of michel might.
"Tirri," seyd Gii, "understond thou the,
Thou art unkinde so thenketh me
For Gii thi gode fere;
Whi wiltow him knowe nought?
Ywis, thou art ivel bithought,
No was he thee leve and dere?
Thenke he slough the douk Otoun
And brought thee out of his prisoun
And made thee quite and skere
And hou he fond thee ded almast
As he rode thurth a forest
With a rewely chere.
"And hou he socourd thi leman schene
And al the fiften outlawes ken
He slough hem al on rawe
And slough the four knightes radde
And thi bodi to toun ladde
To leche thi woundes ful fawe;
And he socourd thi fader in wer
And halp thee bothe nere and fer
Tho thou was fallen ful lawe.
And now Y slough Berard the strong.
Icham Gii, thou hast wrong.
Why niltow me nought knawe?"
When th'erl herd him speke so
Wepen he gan with eyghen to
And fel aswon to grounde.
"For Godes love," he seyd, "merci.
Ivel at ese now am Y
In sorwe and care ful bounde.
Ful wele might Y knowe thee ar now,
In al this warld was man bot thou
Ogain Berard durst founde.
Merci, sir, par charité;
That ich have misknowen thee
Allas, allas, that stounde!
"Merci!" he crid on his kne,
Bothe for sorwe and for pité
Wepen he bigan.
He seyghe his legges brosten ich del
That whilom wer yhosed ful wel
More sorwe made never man.
Sir Gii went to him tho -
In his hert him was wo -
And in his armes up him nam.
Atuix hem was gret diol in that stounde,
Bothe thai fel aswon to grounde
For sorwe thai wex al wan.
"Tirri," seyd Sir Gii tho,
"Thou schalt bileve and Y schal go;
Y biteche thee heven-king
Bot Ich have a sone, ywis -
Y not whether he knight is
For he is bot a yongling -
Yif he have ani nede to thee
Help him for the love of me
Y pray thee in al thing.
Ich hope he schal be a gode knight,
Y pray Jhesu ful of might
He graunt him His blisceing."
"Merci, sir," than seyd he,
"For Godes love leve her stil with me
Y pray thee par amour;
Mi treuthe Y plight in thine hond
Y schal thee sese in al mi lond
Bothe in toun and tour.
Thi man Y wil be and serve thee ay
Ther while mi liif lest may
To hold up thin honour.
And yif thou no wilt, ichil with thee go;
Ywis, ichave wele lever so
Than bileve with th'emperour."
"Do oway, Sir Tirri, therof speke nought,
Al idel speche it is thi thought.
Wende ogain hom now right
And be nought to prout Y thee rede
To serve thi lord at al his nede
Thou prove with thi might.
Desirite no man of his lond;
Yif thou dost thou gos to schond
Ful siker be thou, aplight.
For yive thou reve a man his fe
Godes face schaltow never se
No com in heven-light.
"Bithenke thee wele of Douke Berard
Hou prout he was for he was steward
And flemed thee out of lond
And he now desirite is,
With michel sorwe slayn, ywis,
And schamelich driven to schond.
Y schal gon and thou bileve schalt,
Y biteche thee God that al thing walt
And maked with His hond."
Thai kisten hem togider tho;
Olive thai seyghen hem never eft mo
As the gest doth ous understond.
Gret sorwe thai made at her parting
And kist hem with eighe wepeing;
Thai wenten hem bothe atuo.
Als swithe th'erl Tirri went him hom;
Thre days he no ete mete non,
In hert him was ful wo.
And when the countas sikerly
Herd seyn it was Sir Gii
That than was went hem fro
Sche upbreyd hir lord day and night
That he no had holden him with strengthe and might
And laten him nought thennes gon.
Now went Gii forth in his way
Toward the see so swithe he may,
For Tirri he siked sare.
Into schip he went bilive,
Over the se he gan drive,
Into Inglond he gan fare.
The lond folk he axed anon
After King Athelston
In what cuntré he ware.
"At Winchester verrament
And after his barouns he hath sent,
Bothe lasse and mare.
"Erls, barouns, and bischopes,
Knightes, priours, and abbotes
At Winchester thai ben ichon
And han purvayd withouten lesing
Thre days to ben in fasting
To biseke God in tron
He sende hem thurth His swet sond
A man that were douhti of hond
Ogain Colbrond to gon.
Ther is the king and the barnage, ywis,
For doute of her enemis
That wayt hem forto slon.
"For Sir Anlaf the king of Danmark
With a nost store and stark
Into Inglond is come
With fiften thousend knightes of pris,
Alle this lond thai stroyen, ywis,
And mani a toun han nome.
A geaunt he hath brought with him
Out of Aufrike stout and grim,
Colbrond hat that gome.
For him is al Inglond forlore
Bot Godes help be bifore
That socour sende hem some.
"To the king he hath sent his sond47
Forto yeld him al Inglond
And gif him trowage outright
Yif he no wil nought finde a baroun,
A geaunt other a champioun,
Ogain Colbrond to fight,
And therof thai han taken a day.
Ac our king non finde may
Erl, baroun, no knight,
No squier, no serjaunt non
Ogain the geaunt dar gon
So grim he is of sight."
Than seyd Sir Gii, "Whare is Herhaud?
That in his time was so bald?"
And thai answerd ful swithe.
"To seche Gyes sone he is fare
That marchaunce hadde stollen thare,
For him he was unblithe."
"And where is th'erl Rohaut of pris?"
And thai answerd, "Dede he is -
A gode while is go sithe -
And Feliis his douhter is his air,
So gode a levedi no so fair,
Ywis, nis non olive."
Gii went to Winchester a ful gode pas
Ther the king that time was
To held his parlement;
The barouns weren in the halle.
The king seyd, "Lordinges alle,
Mine men ye ben verrament,
Therfore ich ax withouten fayl
Of this Danis folk wil ous aseyl
Ich biseche you with gode entent,
For Godes love Y pray you
Gode conseyl give me now
Or elles we ben al schent.
"For the king of Danmark with wrong
With his geaunt that is so strong
He wil ous al schende.
Therfore ich axi you ichon
What rede is best forto don
Ogaines hem forto wende?
Yif he overcom ous in batayle
He wil slen ous alle saunfeyle
And strouen al our kende.
Than schal Inglond evermo
Live in thraldom and in wo
Unto the warldes ende.
"Therfore ich axi you now right
Yif ye knowe our ani knight
That is so stout and bold
That the batayle dar take an hond
To fight ogain Colbrond.
Half mi lond have he schold
With alle the borwes that lith therto,
To him and to his aires evermo
To have yive he wold."
Stil seten erls and barouns
As men hadde schaven her crounes;48
Nought on answere nold.
"Allas," seyd the king, "that Y was born.
Al mi joie it is forlorn,
Wel wo is me olive.
Now in al mi lond nis no knight
Ogains a geant to hold fight
Mine hert wil breken on five.
Allas of Warwike Sir Gii
Y no hadde geven thee half mi lond frely
To hold withouten strive;
Wele were me than bifalle.
Ac certes now the Danis men alle
To sorwe thai schul me drive."
When it was night to bedde thai yede;
The king for sorwe and for drede
With teres wett his lere.
Of al that night he slepe right nought
Bot ever Jhesu he bisought
That was him leve and dere
He schuld him sende thurth His sond
A man to fight with Colbrond
Yif it Is wille were.
And Jhesus Crist ful of might
He sent him a noble knight
As ye may forward here.
Ther com an angel fram heven-light
And seyd to the king ful right
Thurth grace of Godes sond.
He seyd, "King Athelston, slepestow?
Hider me sent thee King Jhesu
To comfort thee to fond.
Tomorwe go to the north gate ful swithe,
A pilgrim thou schalt se com bilive
When thou hast a while stond.
Bid him for Seynt Charité
That he take the batayl for thee
And he it wil nim on hond."
Than was the king glad and blithe,
Amorwe he ros up ful swithe
And went to the gate ful right.
Tuay erls went with him tho
And tuay bischopes dede also.
The weder was fair and bright.
Opon the day about prime
The king seighe cum the pilgrim
Bi the sclavayn he him plight.
"Pilgrim," he seyd, "Y pray thee
To court wende thou hom with me
And ostel ther al night."
"Be stille, sir," seyd the pilgrim,
"It is nought yete time to take min in,
Also God me rede."
The king him bisought tho
And the lordinges dede also,
To court with hem he yede.
"Pilgrim," quath the king, "par charité,
Yif it be thi wil understond to me,
Y schal schewe thee al our nede:
The king of Danmark with gret wrong
Thurth a geaunt that is so strong
Wil strou al our thede.
"And whe han taken of him batayle
On what maner, saunfayle,
Y schal now tellen thee.
Thurth the bodi of a knight
Ogains that geaunt to hold fight
Schal this lond aquite be.
And pilgrim for Him that dyed on Rode
And that for ous schadde His blod
To bigge ous alle fre,
Take the batayle now on hond
And save ous the right of Inglond
For Seynt Charité."
"Do way, leve sir," seyd Gii,
"Icham an old man, a feble bodi;
Mi strengthe is fro me fare."
The king fel on knes to grounde
And crid him merci in that stounde
Yif it his wille ware,
And the barouns dede also,
O knes thai fellen alle tho
With sorwe and sikeing sare.
Sir Gii biheld the lordinges alle
And whiche sorwe hem was bifalle,
Sir Gii hadde of hem care.
Sir Gii tok up the king anon
And bad the lordinges everichon
Thai schuld up stond,
And seyd, "For God in Trinité
And forto make Inglond fre
The batayle Y nim on hond."
Than was the king ful glad and blithe
And thonked Gii a thousend sithe
And Jhesu Cristes sond.
To the king of Danmark he sent than
And seyd he hadde founden a man
To fight for Inglond.
The Danismen busked hem yare
Into batayle forto fare,
To fight thai war wel fawe.
And Gii was armed swithe wel
In a gode hauberk of stiel
Wrought of the best lawe.
An helme he hadde of michel might
With a cercle of gold that schon bright
With precious stones on rawe.
In the frunt stode a charbukel ston
As bright as ani sonne it schon
That glemes under schawe.
On that helme stode a flour
Wrought it was of divers colour,
Mirie it was to bihold.
Trust and trewe was his ventayle
Gloves and gambisoun and hosen of mayle
As gode knight have scholde;
Girt he was with a gode brond
Wele kerveand biforn his hond;
A targe listed with gold
Portreyd with thre kinges corn
That present God when He was born,
Mirier was non on mold.
And a swift-ernand stede
Al wrin thai dede him lede,
His tire it was ful gay.
Sir Gii opon that stede wond
With a gode glaive in hond
And priked him forth his way.
And when he com to the plas
Ther the batayl loked was
Gii light withouten delay
And fel on knes doun in that stede
And to God he bad his bede
He schuld ben his help that day.
"Lord," seyd Gii, "that rered Lazeroun
And for man tholed passioun
And on the Rode gan blede,
That saved Sussan fram the feloun
And halp Daniel fram the lyoun,
Today wisse me and rede.
Astow art mighti heven-king
Today graunt me thi blisseing
And help me at this nede;
And Levedi Mari ful of might
Today save Inglondes right
And leve me wele to spede."
When the folk was samned bi bothe side
The to kinges with michel pride
After the relikes thai sende,
The corporas and the Messe gere.
On the halidom thai gun swere
With wordes fre and hende.
The king of Danmarke swore furst, ywis,
Yif that his geant slayn is
To Danmarke he schal wende
And never more Inglond cum withinne
No non after him of his kinne
Unto the warldes ende.
Sethen swore the king Athelston
And seyd among hem everichon
Bi God that al may weld,
Yif his man ther slayn be
Or overcomen that men may se
Recreaunt in the feld,
His man he wil bicom an hond
And alle the reme of Inglond
Of him forto helde
And hold him for lord and king
With gold and silver and other thing
Gret trowage him forto yelde.
When thai had sworn and ostage founde
Colbrond stirt up in that stounde,
To fight he was ful felle.
He was so michel and so unrede
That non hors might him lede
In gest as Y you telle.
So mani he hadde of armes gere
Unnethe a cart might hem bere
The Inglisse forto quelle.
Swiche armour as he hadde opon,
Ywis, no herd ye never non
Bot as it ware a fende of Helle.
Of mailes was nought his hauberk,
It was al of another werk
That mervail is to here.
Alle it were thicke splentes of stiel,
Thicke yjoined strong and wel,
To kepe that fendes fere.
Hossen he hadde also wele ywrought
Other than splentes was it nought
Fram his fot to his swere.49
He was so michel and so strong
And therto wonderliche long
In the world was non his pere.
An helme he hadde on his heved sett
And therunder a thicke bacinet;
Unsemly was his wede.
A targe he had wrought ful wel -
Other metel was ther non on bot stiel -
A michel and unrede.
Al his armour was blac as piche
Wel foule he was and lothliche,
A grisely gom to fede.
The heighe king that sitteth on heighe
That welt this warld fer and neighe
Made him wel ivel to spede.
A dart he bar in his hond kerveand
And his wepen about him stondand
Bothe bihinde and biforn
Axes and gisarmes scharp ygrounde
And glaives forto give with wounde
To hundred and mo ther worn.
The Inglis biheld him fast.
King Athelston was sore agast
Inglond he schuld have lorn
For when Gii seighe that wicked hert
He nas never so sore aferd
Sethen that he was born.
Sir Gii lepe on his stede fot-hot
And with a spere that wele bot
To him he gan to ride.
And he schet to Gii dartes thre,
Of the tuay than failed he,
The thridde he lete to him glide,
Thurth Gyes scheld it glod
And thurth his armour withouten abod
Bituene his arme and side
And quitelich into the feld it yede
The mountaunce of an acre brede
Er that it wald abide.
Sir Gii to him gan to drive
That his spere brast afive
On his scheld that was so bounde;
And Colbrond with michel hete
On Gyes helme he wald have smite,
And failed of him that stounde;
Bituix the sadel and the arsoun
The strok of that feloun glod adoun
Withouten wem or wounde.
That sadel and hors atuo he smot,
Into the erthe wele half a fot
And Gii fel doun to grounde.
Sir Gii as tite up stirt
As man that was agremed in hert,
His stede he hadde forlore.
On his helme he wald hit him tho
Ac he no might nought reche therto
Bi to fot and yete more,
Bot on his schulder the swerd fel doun
And carf bothe plates and hauberjoun
With his grimli gore.
Thurth al his armour stern and strong
He made him a wounde a spanne long
That greved him ful sore.
Colbrond was sore aschame
And smot Gii with michel grame.
On his helm he hit him tho
That his floures everichon
And his gode charbukel ston
Wel even he carf atuo.
Even ato he smot his scheld
That it fleyghe into the feld.
When Gii seyghe it was so
That he hadde his scheld forlorn,
Half bihinde and half biforn,
In hert him was wel wo.
And Gii hent his swerd an hond
And heteliche smot to Colbrond -
As a child he stode him under.
Open the scheld he yave him swiche a dent
Bifor the stroke the fiir out went
As it were light of thonder.
The bondes of stiel he carf ichon
And into the scheld a fot and half on
With his swerd he smot asunder,
And with the out-braiding his swerd brast.
Thei Gii were than sore agast
It was litel wonder.50
Tho was Gii sore desmayd
And in his hert wel ivel ypayd
For the chaunce him was bifalle,
And for he hadde lorn his gode brond
And his stede opon the sond
To our Levedi he gan calle.
Than gun the Danis ost
Ich puken other and make bost
And seyd among hem alle,
"Now schal the Inglis be slain in feld;
Gret trouage Inglond schal ous yeld
And evermore ben our thral."
"Now, sir knight," seyd Colbrond,
"Thou hast lorn thi swerd in thine hond,
Thi scheld and eke thi stede.
Do now wele, yeld thee to me
And smertlich unarme thee;
Cri merci Y thee rede.
And for thou art so douhti knight
Thou durst ogain me held fight
To mi lord Y schal thee lede
And with him thou schalt acorded be,
In his court he wil hold thee
And finde that thee is nede."
"Do way," seyd Gii, "therof speke nought.
Bi Him that al this world hath wrought
Ich hadde lever thou were anhong.
Ac thou hast armes gret plenté,
Ywis, thou most lene me
On of thine axes strong."
Colbrond swore bi Apolin,
"Of al the wepen that is min
Her schaltow non afong.
Now thou wilt nought do bi mi rede
Thou schalt dye on ivel dede
Er that it be ought long."
When Gii herd him speke so
Al sone he gan him turn tho
And to his wepen he geth
Ther his axes stode bi hemselve;
He kept on with a wel gode helve
The best him thought he seth,
To Colbrond ogain he ran
And seyd, "Traitour," to him than,
"Thou schalt han ivel deth.
Now ich have of thi wepen plenté
Wherewith that Y may were me
Right maugré al thin teth."51
Colbrond than with michel hete
On Gyes helme he wald have smite
With wel gret hert tene
Ac he failed of his dint
And the swerd into the erthe went
A fot and more, Y wene.
And with Colbrondes out-draught
Sir Gii with ax a strok him raught
A wounde that was wele sene.
So smertliche he smot to Colbrond
That his right arme with alle the hond
He strok of quite and clene.
When Colbrond feld him so smite
He was wel wroth ye may wel wite,
He gan his swerd up fond
And in his left hond op it haf
And Gii in the nek a strok him gaf
As he gan stoupe for the brond
That his heved fro the bodi he smot
And into the erthe half a fot
Thurth grace of Godes sond.
Ded he feld the glotoun thare.
The Denis with sorwe and care
Thai dight hem out of lond.
Blithe were the Inglis men ichon.
Erls, barouns, and King Athelston,
Thai toke Sir Gii that tide
And ladde him to Winchester toun
With wel fair processioun
Over al bi ich a side.
For joie belles thai gun ring
Te Deum laudamus thai gun sing
And play and michel pride.
Sir Gii unarmed him and was ful blithe;
His sclavain he axed also swithe,
No lenger he nold abide.
"Sir pilgrim," than seyd the king,
"Whennes thou art withouten lesing?
Thou art douhti of dede,
For thurth douhtines of thin hond
Thou hast saved al Inglond.
God quite thee thi mede,
And mi treuthe Y schal plight thee,
So wele Y schal feffe thee
Bothe in lond and lede
That of riches in toun and tour
Thou schalt be man of mest honour
That woneth in al mi thede."
"Sir King," seyd the pilgrim,
"Of alle the lond that is tin
Y no kepe therof na mare
Bot now ichave the geant slain,
Therof, ywis, icham ful fain,
Mi way ichil forth fare."
"Merci, sir," the king seyd than,
"Tel me for Him that made man -
For nothing thou ne spare -
Tel me what thi name it be,
Whennes thou art and of what cuntré
Or Y schal dye for care."
"Sir King," he seyd, "Y schal tel it thee.
What mi right name it be
Thou schalt witen anon;
Ac thou schalt go with me yfere
That no man of our conseyl here52
Bot thou and Y alon."
The king him graunted and was blithe,
He comand his folk also swithe
No wight with him to gon.
Out of the toun than went he
Wele half a mile fram that cité
And ther made Gii his mon.
"Sir King," seyd Gii, "understond to me.
O thing Y schal now pray thee
Astow art curteys and hende:
Yif Y mi name schal thee sayn
That to no man thou no schalt me wrayn
To this yere com to th'ende.
Gii of Warwike mi nam is right,
Whilom Y was thine owhen knight
And held me for thi frende;
And now icham swiche astow may see.
God of Heven biteche Y thee,
Mi way Y wil forth wende."
When the king seighe sikerly
That it was the gode Gii
That fro him wald his way
On knes he fel adoun to grounde,
"Leve Sir Gii," in that stounde,
"Merci," he gan to say.
"For Godes love bileve with me
And mi treuthe Y schal plight thee
That Y schal this day
Sese and give into thine hond
Half the reme of Inglond;
For Godes love say nought nay."
"Sir King," seyd Gii, "Y nil nought so.
Have thou thi lond for evermo
And God Y thee biteche;
Ac yif Herhaud to this lond com
And bring with him Reynbroun mi sone
Help him Y thee biseche.
For thai er bothe hende and fre,
On Herhaud thou might trust thee
To take of thine fon wreche."
Thai kisten hem togider tho
Al wepeand thai wenten ato
Withouten ani more speche.
The king wel sore wepe for pité
And went him hom to his meyne
With a mournand chere.
His folk ogaines him gan gon
And asked the king sone anon
What man the pilgrim were.
Thai seyd, "He is a douhti knight.
Wald Jhesu ful of might
He wald leve with ous here."
The king seyd, "Al stille ye be.
What he is your non schal wite for me,
Iwis, of al this yere."
Sir Gii went in his way forth right,
Oft he thonked God Almight
That the geaunt was slawe.
To Warwike he went to that cité
Ther he was lord of that cuntré
To hold with right lawe.
He nas knowen ther of no man
When he to the castel gates cam,
Therof he was ful fawe.
Among the pouer men he him dede
Ther thai weren up in a stede
And sett him on a rawe.
And Feliis the countas was ther than.
In this warld was non better wiman,
In gest as so we rede,
For thritten pouer men and yete mo
For hir lordes love sche loved so,
Ich day sche gan fede
With than God and our Levedi
Schuld save hir lord Sir Gii
And help him at his nede.
Sche no stint noither day no night,
For him sche bisought God Almight
With bedes and almos dede.
On a day the levedi went to mete
And bad men schuld biforn hir fete
Hir pouer men al biden.
And men brought hem everichon
And Gii of Warwike was that on
Of tho ich thritten.
In his hert he hadde gret care
That he schuld be knawen thare
Of hem that hadde him sen;
Ac ther was non so wise of sight
That him ther knowe might
So misais he was and lene.
The levedi biheld him inliche
Hou mesays he was sikerliche.
Curteys sche was and hende,
Of everich mete of everich dring
That sche ete of herself withouten lesing
Sche was him ful mende;
Of hire bere and of hir wine
In hir gold coupe afine
Oft sche gan him sende
And bad him ich day com he schold,
Mete and drink sche finde him wold
Unto his lives ende.
Sir Gii thonked that levedi oft
Bot alle another was his thought
Than he wald to hir say.
When the grace were yseyd
And the bordes adoun layd
Out of toun he went his way.
Into a forest wenden he gan
To an hermite he knewe er than
To speke him yif he may.
And when he thider comen was
The gode hermite thurth Godes grace
Was dede and loken in clay.
Than thought Sir Gii anon
That wald he never thennes gon
Therwhiles he war olive.
With a prest he spac of that cuntray
That dede him Servise ich day
And of his sinnes gan schrive.
With him he hadde ther a page
That served him in that hermitage
Withouten chest and strive.
No lenger was he lives there
Bot nighen monethes of a yere
As ye may listen and lithe.
In slepe as Gii lay anight
God sent an angel bright
Fram Heven to him thare.
"Gii," seyd the angel, "slepestow?
Hider me sent thee King Jhesu
To bid thee make thee yare,
For bi the eightenday at morwe
He schal deliver thee out of thi sorwe
Out of this warld to fare.
To Heven thou schalt com Him to
And live with ous evermo
In joie withouten care."
When Gii was waked of that drem
Of an angel he seighe a glem.
"What artow?" than seyd he.
The angel answerd, "Fram Heven Y cam,
Mighel is mi right nam.
God sent me to thee
To bid thee make thee redi way,53
Bi the eightenday thou schalt day
Wel siker maughtow be.
And Y schal feche thi soule ful even
And bere it to the blis of Heven
With grete solempneté."
The angel goth forth and Gii bileft stille,
His bedes he bad with gode wille
To Jhesu Heven-king.
And when his term was nere gon
His knave he cleped to him anon
And seyd withouten lesing,
"Sone," he seyd, "Y pray now thee
Go to Warwike that cité
Withouten more duelling;
And when thou comest ther Y thee biseche
Gret wele the countas with thi speche
And take hir this gold ring.
"And say the pilgrim hat hir biforn
That hir mete was to born
On the pouer mannes rawe,
Gret hir wele in al thing
And sende to hir this gold ring
Yif that sche wil it knawe.
Als son as sche hath therof a sight
Sche wil it knawe anonright
And be therof ful fawe.
Than wil sche ax ware Y be.
Leve sone, for love of me,
The sothe to hir thou schawe.
"And say icham for Godes love
In the forest hermite bicome
Mine sinnes forto bete;
And bid hir for the love of me
That sche com hider with thee
For nothing sche no lete.
And when ye com ye finde me dede
Do me never hennes lede
Bot grave me here in grete.54
And after sche schal dye, ywis,
And com to me into Heven-blis
Ther joies her ful swete."
The knave went forth anon,
Into Warwike he gan gon
Bifor that levedi fre.
And when he hadde that levedi founde
On knes he fel adoun to grounde
And seyd, "Listen to me,
The pilgrim that ete thee biforn
That thi mete was to born
An hermite now is he.
He greteth thee wele in al thing
And sent thee this gold ring
In sum tokening to be."
The levedi tok that ring an hond
And loked theron and gan withstond
The letters forto rede.
"Ow, certes," quath the levedi,
"This ring Y gaf mi lord Sir Gii
When he fro me yede."
For sorwe sche fel aswon, ywis,
And when that sche arisen is
To the knave sche gan spede.
"Leve sone," sche seyd, "Y pray thee
Wher is that pilgrim telle thou me
And gold schal be thi mede."
"Madame," seyd the knave ful skete,
"In the forest ichim lete,
Right now Y com him fro.
He is ner ded in the hermitage,
On his halve Y make the message;
Ywis, he bad me so
And bad thou schust to him come,
For that ich trewe love
That was bituene you tuo
Do him never lede oway
Bot biri him right ther in clay,
Olive sestow him no mo."
The levedi was glad of that tiding
And thonked Jhesu Heven-king
And was in hert ful blithe
That sche schuld sen hir lord Sir Gii;
Ac for o thing sche was sori
That he schuld dye so swithe.
Thai made hem redi forto wende
With knightes and with levedis hende.
On a mule thai sett hir sithe
And with al the best of that cité
To th'ermitage went sche
As ye may listen and lithe.
To th'ermitage when thai come
Ther thai light al and some
And in sche went wel even.
When that sche seighe hir lord Sir Gii
Sche wept and made doleful cri
With a ful reweful steven.
Sir Gii loked on hir thare,
His soule fram the bodi gan fare.
A thousand angels and seven
Underfenge the soule of Gii
And bar it with gret molodi
Into the blis of Heven.
Than was that levedi ful of care
For hir lord was fram hir fare,
"Allas!" it was hir song.
Sche kist his mouthe, his chin also,
And wepe with hir eighen to
And hir hondes sche wrong.
Gret honour dede our Lord for Gii:
A swete brathe com fram his bodi
That last that day so long
That in this world spices alle
No might cast a swetter smalle
As then was hem among.
The levedy as tite dede send hir sond
After bischopes, abotes of the lond,
The best that might be founde,
And when thider was com that fair ferred
To Warwike thai wald him lede
As lord of michel mounde.
Bot al the folk that ther was
No might him stir of that plas
Ther he lay on the grounde.
An hundred men about him were
No might him nought thennes bere
For hevihed that stounde.
Than seyd the levedi, "Lete him be stille;
Never more remoun him Y nille
No do him hennes lede.
He sent me bode with his page
To biri him in this hermitage
Simpliche withouten prede."
Thay tok a through of marbel ston
And leyd his bodi therin anon
Atird in knightes wede.
Fair servise than was thare
Of bischopes, abbotes that ther ware,
And clerkes to sing and rede.
When thai hadde birid his bodi anon,
The gret lordinges everichon
Hom thai gun wende,
Ac the levedi left stille thare;
Sche nold never thennes fare,
Sche kidde that sche was kende.
Sche lived no lenger sothe to say
Bot right on the fiftenday
Sche dyed that levedi hende
And was birid hir lord by
And now thai er togider in compeynie
In joie that never schal ende.
When Sir Tirri herd telle this
That Gii his fere ded is
And birid in the clay,
He com to this lond withouten lesing
And bisought Athelston the king
His bodi to leden oway.
He it graunted him ful yare,
Into Lorain with him gan fare
Into his owhen cuntray.
An abbay he lete make tho
Forto sing for hem to
Ever more til Domesday.
Now have ye herd lordinges of Gii
That in his time was so hardi
And holden hende and fre,
And ever he loved treuthe and right
And served God with al his might
That sit in Trinité.
And therfore at his ending-day
He went to the joie that lasteth ay
And evermore schal be.
Now God leve ous to live so
That we may that joie com to.
Amen, par charité.
person; in time of danger
ride a horse
[A] bolder man; town
clever; courageous; (see note)
Valiant; to tell the truth
most excellent; tournament
I; (see note)
noble; into his possession
began his attempt
I have; through God's grace
in reply; directly
beautiful was to behold; (see note)
Sweetheart; many thanks
the earl (i.e., Felice's father)
I will very willingly; (t-note)
in two words
wed; in a word (in short)
I will never obey or accept a husband; (t-note)
declined them each and every one
Who honorable; in clothing
ladies beautiful in chamber
if you please (of your kindness)
Have you ever intended
comes within your high rank
Except one [who] is
fair of face
make you legal possessor of
if; put your confidence in me
in two weeks
express to no man
(i.e. the earl's)
at once; (see note)
ladies beautiful; chamber
Those freeborn; together
finest (highest in rank)
for the occasion
horn players; drummers
fiddlers, croude players; harpers; (see note)
Their skills; show
Singers (Story-tellers); entertainers (jesters); (see note)
please those people
is not any tongue
hospitality; pleasure to be seen; (see note)
imagine or eye see
listen and hear
honorable; in clothing
gave professional entertainers; their; (see note)
at his desire
story as; (see note)
But afterwards; painful sighing
Their; them; sadness
[was] regarded as lord
magnificent in array (splendidly dressed)
park (woodland) to slay deer
It is no secret (It is well known); (see note)
At that time; then
without just cause; (see note)
He nearly went mad with remorse
(i.e., damned to hell)
I am stripped of all joy
deed did; none
war; distress I have caused
cure; I shall
overcome with grief
[is] very severe
I shall; willingly
saw you; eyes
given my reward
live in angels' clothing
put right my course
to atone [for]
wherever; at night
Along road nor
I shall slay myself
need not feel fearful
In the presence of the devil
because; many people
See to it that
to God I entrust you
in times of trouble
then; (see note)
God be with you
gone; (see note)
hair; tore; hands; wrung
went nearly mad
out of sorrow
it would be lost
Early in the morning
at that time
desist [from sorrow]
think not; noble
On account of
Lorraine; imagine (assume)
close friend; (see note)
Pilgrim's clothes; (see note)
honest in speech
Across; country border
never heard anything spoken
Not in any circumstance
sea nor land
told [them how]
no kinds of
listen; (see note)
[the] story if; learn
walked; contented mood
Wherever God would guide him
Nonetheless; then decided
To seek out more shrines
To win for himself the rewards of heaven
On this side of
Large; with a well-built body
clothes; ripped; hair tore to shreds
what [type of person] are you
for your sake
has lived in
know not; soon
asked; your God
I wish I were in the earth [i.e., my grave]
rank at one time
happy I will never be again
Saracens; fierce in battle; (see note)
Before we could
amirs (commanders); taken
followed; with power
field full of broom; (see note)
[Each] with helmet; deadly sword
Mortally; clothing (armor)
cut to pieces
surrendered; of necessity
led us then
expected to die
We were overcome with grief
[On] the third
richly prepared; hall
regarded; honorable man
called to him; (t-note)
chess; (see note)
challenged him to a game
Respectfully (without giving offense)
At the chessboard
spirited; to see (in appearance); (t-note)
[call of] check
"son of a whore"
rook (chesspiece); head
Were you not
You should never leave
leaped up immediately
chessboard; picked up suddenly
Sultan's son killed
a fatal wound
horses; leaped without delay
deprived of his life
Forceably; punish him
cause him to be drawn
called them immediately
attributed to them
he made come forward; Saracen
Huge; ugly; man
[who] stands; beside
defend himself; plateau used for tournaments; (see note)
extension of time; for
Who would dare to fight against him
According to law
But; might promise
was aware of or knew
mighty of stroke [i.e., strong in battle]
burgess or; (see note)
transfer by deed
possess a third part
But I him
they are the best
[to] me dear; precious
here one [of them]
On my faith
Unless I am able to find them
tear apart (draw)
knew not; go
Konya (Iconium); (see note)
Romania; Burgundy; Gascony
But; nobody at all
promise sworn; (t-note)
is alive; (t-note)
cause to be hanged
pulled to pieces; great injustice
a matter for great sorrow
such; truly; (t-note)
into three parts
it is no wonder [at all]
said to be
held in high esteem
Even if he is the devil himself
in this time of peril
scrutinized [Guy from] head to toe
suspected; lost his mind
Unless; denied; (t-note)
[May] God Almighty for this reward you
That you would; undertake
terrifying; to see
reward you for it
are very pleasing
you [will] see
people of that country
I give my assurance
by reason and by rights
to my face
At table; us all (every each one)
head cut off
Disgrace there was in that act
believe; (i.e., the devil's)
Very well; lying
one of them here
inadequately equipped; (see note)
beg [to] Him [for]
When; friends; (t-note)
Muhammed; may; (t-note)
only Mary's son
are able to win
injustice; done against me
Throughout the world; (t-note)
here; India; (see note)
[By] deed of release
such peaceful relations; establish
[May] God help you to grant it
Such; I do not wish for
it was never my desire
I do not care about such ostentation
company of people
strong; horse; (see note)
Spires; (see note)
host of mounted knights
helmet; plate armor; coat of mail
Rhenish (from the region of the Rhine river)
their treasure house; (t-note)
disturbed; was not
Truly without doubt
Before; give up
leg guards; jacket; as
shield bordered; (see note)
myself; same man
dreadful to look at
exonerated of misdoing
On my life! (lit., as I break my neck); (see note)
was surrounded; (see note)
shatter; all around
were covered all over with blood
easily cut; met with
had belonged to; (see note)
river of Hell
beaten by another man
Unless; through treachery
There Sir Guy would have died
their very sharp swords
Fell on the ground
One and a half foot
split in two; (see note)
said his prayer
Not for very long
said [to Amorant]; poorly struck
repay you your debt (i.e., with a return blow)
fall to the ground
deadly sword; (see note)
merciless and unflinching; (see note)
[So] hard; gleaming
break to pieces
plates of armor; coats of mail
one; withstood; then
very fierce blow
carved in two; (see note)
occurred an extraordinary happening
hood [of mail]; (see note)
[So] that; (t-note)
nose-guard; proceeded; (see note)
with no doubt
cleaved; same instant
to appeal to
thirst was upon him
before [any] mother's son
what [manner of man] are you
from which place
so may I thrive; (see note)
without arrogance (meekly)
I assure you
may Termagant bring it about; (see note)
faith (religion); (see note)
head; very gladly
recover; never again
That which he has caused us to lose
done you any personal harm
avenged my people
thirst; burst apart
against your better judgement
to you; shame
whatever; to; (t-note)
I assure you; faith
surrender yourself immediately
in the morning
as [if]; mad
coat of mail
plate armor; mail
in two, I swear
[So] that jacket and leg armor
felt himself struck in this way
may be sure
made his way
with fighting so much
hardly; (see note)
Grant; same favor
Be silent; (t-note)
act in the right way; (t-note)
keep my promise to you
fair of face
most beautiful girl on earth
suffer a painful death
I [will] grant
reveal my identity to no person
rightly (as promised)
[be cut] into two parts
as a gift
of noble birth
breaks in two
decided to himself
Unless he calls upon
would not delay
bad luck to you
full of deceit
extended; (see note)
gave him painful instruction
felt himself thus struck
However; because of
knew the truth (realized)
knocked him right over
jumped aside quickly
presented [the head] quickly to
extremely sorrowful; (t-note)
affectionately, I believe
and then more
I will say
Because you saved my life
A third of
will not [ask that]; (t-note)
I will have none
Though; call yourself
You are not called that I reckon
I will tell you
bravery in battle
dear; many thanks
God be with you all
No man was able to quieten him
escaped from danger
took his way
to atone for
at one time held in great esteem
Who wrung; hands
why do you behave like this
I think you suffer greatly; (see note)
What [reason] have you to ask
often; befalls a stranger; (see note)
At one time; Saint Michael
spoken of as; wealth
As God guides me
do not keep it secret
after that; food
a penny got long ago
as a gift
his (Otoun's) nephew the emperor's; (see note)
sister's son who is called
victory without fail
shudder with fear
frightening in appearance
greatly he is feared; (t-note)
stand with him [in a] great retinue
be hated by him
great display; (t-note)
accused me of his uncle's death
Duke Otoun's death; (t-note)
pledge at once; (see note)
Of which he accused me
though I was frightened
dared become surety for me; (see note)
brought to disgrace
entreated and begged
I took myself
came to shore
I was ever so wretched
there; (see note)
stolen by force
I cannot guide myself
into five [pieces]
furnished with leg-wear
Blistered; saw; all over
after a long pause
the earth (i.e., a grave)
Or else; head
sworn my oath; (t-note)
uncle's death; (t-note)
speak (mention it)
Alas; each time
Such loyal friends
were I to
trunk [of the body]
prevent (stop); wealth
not at all
fear you not one bit
support your head
ermine; from; mouth; (see note)
cleft in the rock; slipped
on account of that
I dreamed just now
dreamed (imagined); (t-note)
reckon; none [more rich]
on top of it; polished
scabbard beautifully carved
As you did; before (earlier); (t-note)
if it were
endowed [with wealth]
by my honor
dream; bring about great happiness to you; (t-note)
get along [in life]
in our time of need
all of its surfaces shone
a flash of lightning
give thanks for Your gift
I never before saw such a sword
carbuncle-stone; (see note)
scabbard; put; (t-note)
fear; give up
They; protect; sin
Look after for me; dear
Public disgrace will befall him
"out of kindness"
ask; help (provision)
the Holy Savior
do you come
father's soul (an oath)
Only; malicious; harsh
twenty all together
Were you not
appearance men may see
disgrace and dishonor
a horrible death; put
punish wicked wretches
know; are he [as has been rumored]
It is no compliment to you
hold nothing back
truth without falsehood
(i.e., the emperor's)
many other persons
everywhere I've been
uncle; had killed
Fear not [on that account]
To do that
make my pledge; (see note)
dearly paid for
Wherever you might look; (see note)
Then you may brag of it
you have not got it yet
showed hospitality; graciously
In the morning
leopard; (see note)
Properly armed on horseback
spurred [on his horse]
not one thing
Fully equipped; bring
for it secretly
knew anything [about it]
delivered him; fight
On no account; shrink back [for fear]
represent in battle
deprived [of land and possessions]
But; each of you
leaped those; at once
attacked each other; broke
their saddle girths burst apart; (see note)
rained down blows; mad (i.e., frenziedly)
(i.e., their swords)
Two coats of mail; wrapped in
said to one another
Small and large, rich and poor
Very eagerly; wished to go
great suffering; distress
the people; walk
Humble, impoverished; starved
earthly (of this world)
strong; in battle
were not dead
So alike they appear
once again; went
they led them
that he had confidence in
Guard for me
Upon forfeit of your wealth
Accepted [under their charge]
guards able; clever
Directly to where the pilgrim lies
Lay asleep; soundly
do not worry
looked up; (see note)
If he was afraid it is no surprise
Only wind and water's wave; (see note)
I don't fight to win anything
Because; once so excellent
unfortunate an individual
hear; narrative; (see note)
fisherman; approaching (coming)
On God's behalf!
Who are you? Tell me immediately
Know; anything; fierce
guarded both of them
Yesterday evening; separated
if you can
had done their duty
gone from the place
put him to death
cause the pilgrim to be killed
dead or living
condemned; (see note); (t-note)
grew angry; distressed
protected; great honor
cherry stone; (see note)
you may be certain
One; leave you
certainly; would not
Into that place; discreetly
nudged (poked); gently
will not lie to you about the smallest detail
to put out
looked after him like one of my own
do not believe
other persons beside
(i.e., Guy and Berard); immediately
[So] that; ornaments
nose-guard; carved in two
stand [against it];chance
bold and brave
offers resistance to this
certain [of that]
threw off his armor at once
him (Tirri); decided
did not desire it
town; on his journey
secret (secluded) place
What man can anyone be confident in
To choose as his companion
an unlucky time
gave up [my disguise]
do not fear
You authorize my lands [as mine] by law; (see note); (t-note)
grant legal possession to you
In front of (i.e., witnessed by)
Forgave; anger; hatred
at one (reconciled)
to me dear and precious
Apart from; [when] I
Little did I know then, I swear
But truly; would not
completely refused it
not one bit
island; (see note)
nunnery during all that time
must continue my journey
be amazed; in faith
Was he not dear to you
Remember; (see note)
acquitted (blameless); free
rescued; beautiful lady
all of them
treat (heal); gladly
assisted; father; battle
in every way
to weep; [his] eyes two
was [no] man
[Who would] dare fight against Berard
failed to recognize
blistered all over; (see note)
Between; sorrow; time
I commend you to God
However; (see note)
has any need to [call on] you
above all else
if you please (of your kindness)
My loyalty I pledge with a handshake
much rather [do] so
too proud; advise
if; rob; [of] his land
Nor; into [the] light of Heaven
entrust you [to]; rules
saw each other
tale tells us (causes us to know)
kissed each other; eyes
countess; (see note)
not let him go away
as quickly [as]
ship; at once
people of that country
pray to; in majesty
of great fighting ability
fight; (see note)
an army (host) powerful; strong
have taken; (t-note)
was called; creature
Because of him; lost
Unless; is forthcoming
To surrender [to] him; (t-note)
for that; set
Some time ago
at great speed
in good faith
towns; belong to it
Silent sat; (t-note)
If only I had
Then would I do well
not at all
[to] him beloved
[do] you sleep?
Here I am sent to you by
To try to
take in hand (i.e., undertake)
pilgrim's cloak; seized
As God directs me
destroy; people (nation)
we have agree to do combat with him
the nature of which, truly
free (exempt from payment)
on [the] Cross
rightful ownership (entitlement); (t-note)
concern for them
lifted up [to standing]
prepared themselves quickly
Made in the best way
(see note); (t-note)
in a row
carbuncle; (see note)
in the dark
shield bordered; (see note)
Adorned; carved (engraved); (see note)
offered [gifts to]
More beautiful; on earth
went (i.e., hoisted himself)
raised Lazarus; (see note)
enable; attain success
holy relics; (see note)
altar cloth; implements of Mass
His (Anlaf's) vassal; assuredly
exchanged hostages as a guarantee
English man; kill
you never heard of
Unless it were; devil
kind of workmanship
plates; (see note)
Tightly set together
protect; devil's comrade
subhelmet; (see note)
terrible creature; nourish (sustain)
difficult to succeed over [in battle]
halberds; whetted; (see note); (t-note)
English [spectators] stared intently at him
heart; (see note)
terribly afraid; (t-note)
Since [the time]; (i.e., in all his life)
With the [first] two he missed
third; shot to him [Guy]
distance; the width of an acre
Before it would stop
broke into five pieces
But missed; moment
pommel; (see note)
cut in half
two feet; still more
plate armor; jacket of mail
Completely; in two
[sparks of] fire
Like lightning from
cut to pieces
pulling out [of the sword]; broke
Each to nudge the other and brag
Do the right thing; surrender yourself
supply what you need
Enough of this
painful (miserable) death
At once; (see note)
(i.e., Colbrond's) stash of weapons
took one; long handle
With which; defend myself
anger at heart
But; missed; blow; (t-note)
cut off completely
bent down; (t-note)
pilgrim's garb; immediately
May God reward you
land and people
[So] that [in terms] of
desire; none of it
Do not hold back for any reason
know at once
until; the end
promise I will make you
take revenge on your enemies
came to him
none of you; from
for the duration of this year
sat himself among a group [of poor men]
thirteen; (see note)
In the hope that
did not cease [in her efforts]
prayers; charitable works
one of them
carefully; (see note)
food; drink; (t-note)
[towards] him; thoughtful
beer; (see note)
many times; (t-note)
Than [what] he would
buried in the earth
from that place
Who performed Mass for him daily
disagreement or disturbance
listen and hear
[do] you sleep
eighth day (in a week)
you can be certain
servant boy he called
who ate before her
In the poor men's company
Greets; every way
There; [to] hear; dulcet
As some authentication
in her hand
I left him
you will see him
finest (highest in rank)
the hermitage; (t-note)
fragrant breath; (see note)
right away; summons; (t-note)
company [of people]
wanted to take [Guy]
were not able to move him
remove; will not
cause him to be moved hence
marble container (trough)
showed; dutiful (loving)
had made there
two [Guy and Felice]
the Last Judgment
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