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Art. 47, Alle that beoth of huerte trewe


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

12 Yent. “Throughout, everywhere.” See MED, yond (prep.).

25–32 On Edward’s well-documented intention to undertake a crusade, see Aspin, who notes that “Edward himself blamed the Scottish wars, not the king of France, for preventing him from going to the Holy Land” (p. 88).

41–48 This account of Pope Clement V’s reaction to the news of Edward’s death is historically plausible. A Vatican manuscript contains a 1307 sermon delivered as a eulogy on Edward to Pope Clement V (Clanchy, pp. 286–87). Further comment is provided by Aspin, pp. 88–89; and Scattergood 2000a, p. 170.

54 That is, perform the service in memory of Edward and on behalf of his soul, which follows in the next stanzas.

73 Edward of Carnarvan. King Edward II (1307–27), son of Edward I. He was crowned at Westminster on February 25, 1308. He is also mentioned in a hopeful fashion at the end of The Flemish Insurrection (art. 48), line 133. See also The Execution of Sir Simon Fraser (art. 25), line 81 (and explanatory note).

81–82 These lines are faintly reminiscent of either Aeneid 6.625–27 (Scattergood 2000a, p. 169) or 1 Corinthians 13:1 (Aspin, p. 82).


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1932; B14: Brown 1952; DB: Dunn and Byrnes; Deg: Degginger; Do: Dove 1969; Gr: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hal: Hall; Hol: Holthausen; Hor1: Horstmann 1878; Hor2: Horstmann 1896; Hu: Hulme; JL: Jeffrey and Levy; Ju: Jubinal; Kel: Keller; Ken: Kennedy; Le: Lerer 2008; Mc: McKnight; Mi: Millett; MR: Michelant and Raynaud; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu: H. M. R. Murray; Pa: Patterson; Pr: Pringle 2009; Rei: Reichl 1973; Rev1: Revard 2004; Rev2: Revard 2005b; Ri1: Ritson 1877; Ri2: Ritson 1885; Ro: Robbins 1959; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tr: Treharne; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; W4: Wright 1844; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

12 springe. So MS (ri abbreviated), W1, Bö, Ro. Tr: sprynge.

16 Cristendome. So MS (ri abbreviated), Bö, Ro. W1, Tr: Christendome.

28 pris. So MS (ri abbreviated), Bö, Ro, Tr. W1: prys.

30 Agein. So MS, Bö, Ro, Tr. W1: A3eyn.

40 heveriche. So MS, Bö, Tr. W1, Ro: hevenriche.

43 hond. So MS, W1, Bö, Ro. Tr: bond.

48 Cristendome. So MS (ri abbreviated), Bö, Ro. W1, Tr: Christendome.

49 chaumbre. So W1, Bö, Ro, Tr. MS: chaunbre.

52 Cristes. So MS (ri abbreviated), W1, Bö, Ro. Tr: Christes.

61 lene. So MS, W1, Ro, Tr. Bö: leue.

69 fol. So MS, W1, Ro. Bö, Tr: ful.

71 crie. So MS (ri abbreviated), W1, Bö, Ro. Tr: crye.

79 Engelond. So MS, W1, Bö, Tr. Ro: engeland.





















¶ Alle that beoth of huerte trewe,
A stounde herkneth to my song
Of duel that Deth hath diht us newe,
That maketh me syke ant sorewe among:
Of a knyht that wes so strong,
Of wham God hath don ys wille.
Me thuncheth that Deth hath don us wrong
That he so sone shal ligge stille.

Al Englond ahte forte knowe
Of wham that song is that Y synge:
Of Edward Kyng that lith so lowe;
Yent al this world is nome con springe:
Trewest mon of alle thinge,
Ant in werre war ant wys.
For him we ahte oure honden wrynge;
Of Cristendome he ber the pris!

Byfore that oure kyng wes ded,
He speke ase mon that wes in care:
“Clerkes, knyhtes, barouns,” he sayde,
“Y charge ou, by oure sware,
That ye to Engelonde be trewe.
Y deye! Y ne may lyven na more!
Helpeth mi sone, ant crouneth him newe,
For he is nest to buen ycore.

“Ich biquethe myn herte, aryht,
That hit be write at mi devys:
Over the see, that hue be diht,
With fourscore knyhtes, al of pris,
In werre that buen war ant wys,
Agein the hethene forte fyhte
To wynne the crois that lowe lys;
Myself Ycholde yef that Y myhte.”

Kyng of Fraunce, thou hevedest sunne
That thou the counsail woldest fonde
To latte the wille of Kyng Edward
To wende to the Holy Londe,
That oure kyng hede take on honde
Al Engelond to yeme ant wysse,
To wenden into the Holy Londe
To wynnen us heveriche blisse!

The messager to the pope com
Ant seyde that oure kyng wes ded.
Ys oune hond the lettre he nom;
Ywis, is herte wes ful gret.
The pope himself the lettre redde,
Ant spec a word of gret honour:
“Alas!” he seide, “Is Edward ded?
Of Cristendome he ber the flour!”

The pope to is chaumbre wende;
For del ne mihte he speke namore.
Ant after cardinals he sende,
That muche couthen of Cristes lore
Bothe the lasse ant eke the more,
Bed hem bothe rede and synge.
Gret deol me myhte se thore!
Mony mon is honde wrynge!

The Pope of Peyters stod at is masse,
With ful gret solempnete.
Ther me con the soule blesse:
“Kyng Edward, honoured thou be!
God lene thi sone come after the,
Bringe to ende that thou hast bygonne:
The Holy Crois ymad of tre —
So fain thou woldest hit han ywonne!”

Jerusalem, thou hast ilore
The flour of al chivalerie!
Nou Kyng Edward liveth namore.
Alas, that he yet shulde deye!
He wolde ha rered up fol heyye
Oure baners that bueth broht to grounde.     
Wel longe we mowe clepe and crie
Er we a such kyng han yfounde!

Nou is Edward of Carnarvan
King of Engelond al aplyht.
God lete him ner be worse man
Then is fader, ne lasse of myht!
To holden is pore men to ryht,
Ant understonde good consail
Al Engelond forte wisse ant diht,
Of gode knyhtes darh him nout fail!

Thah mi tonge were mad of stel,
Ant min herte yyote of bras,
The godnesse myht Y never telle
That with Kyng Edward was.
Kyng, as thou art cleped conquerour,
In uch bataille thou hadest pris!
God bringe thi soule to the honour
That ever wes ant ever ys,
That lesteth ay withouten ende.
Bidde we, God ant Oure Ledy
   To thilke blisse
      Jesus us sende!
¶ All who are true of heart,
Listen awhile to my song
Of a grief Death dealt us recently,
Making me sigh and constantly mourn:
Of a knight who was most strong,
Through whom God enacted his will.
I think Death has done us wrong
That he should lie still so soon.

All of England ought to know
Of whom I sing that song:
It’s of King Edward who lies most low;
Throughout this world his name grows:   
Truest man in every way,
And in war prudent and wise.
For him we ought to wring our hands;
Of Christendom he bears the prize!

Before it happened our king was dead,
He spoke as a man who felt concern:
“Clerks, knights, barons,” he said,
“I charge you, by your oath,
That you be true to England.
I die! I may no longer live!
Help my son, and crown him soon,
For he is next in line to be chosen.

“I dedicate my heart, truly,
As shall be written by my command:
That it be arranged, over the sea,
With fourscore knights, all of repute,
Who are in war prudent and wise,
To fight against the heathens
To win the cross that lies low;
I would go myself were I able.”

King of France, you are to blame
That you would accept the counsel
To stop King Edward’s mission
To travel to the Holy Land,
Which our king had undertaken
To rule and guide all of England,
To travel to the Holy Land
To win us heavenly bliss!

The messenger came to the pope
And said our king was dead.
With his own hand he took the letter;
Indeed, his heart was very heavy.
The pope himself read the letter
And spoke a word of great honor:
“Alas!” he said, “Is Edward dead?
Of Christendom he bore the flower!”

The pope went to his chamber;
For sorrow he couldn’t say more.
And then he sent for the cardinals,
Who knew much about Christ’s lore
Both lesser and also greater ones,
Asked them to both read and sing.
Men might see great sorrow there!
Many a man wrung his hands!

The Pope of Poitiers stood at his mass,
With very dignified solemnity.
There men began to bless the soul:
“King Edward, may you be honored!
God grant that your son succeed you,
And bring to an end what you’ve begun:
The Holy Cross made of wood —
You did so eagerly wish to win it!”

Jerusalem, you have lost
The flower of all chivalry!
Now King Edward lives no more.
Alas, that he should ever have died!
He would have raised up very high
Our banners that are dashed to ground.
We may very long call out and cry
Before we’ll have found such a king!

Now is Edward of Carnarvon
All enthroned as king of England.
May God never let him be a worse man
Than his father, nor less of strength!
To hold his commons to the law,
And understand good counsel
To guide and instruct all of England,
May he not fail to have good knights!

Though my tongue were made of steel,
And my heart constructed of brass,
I might never tell the goodness
That rested with King Edward.
King, as you are named conqueror,
In every battle you had the prize!
God bring your soul to the honor
That ever was and ever is,
That lasts forever without end.
God and Our Lady, we pray,
   To this bliss
      Jesus us send!

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