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Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part I


1 Harmful Scotland with skill he rules as it pleases him

2 From Swynn (an arm of the North Sea near Zeeland) to Sweden, with his sharp sword

3 Created and gave out dukedoms in diverse realms

4 Caerleon; skillfully made

5 Where he might assemble his followers to review when it pleased him

6 Bishops and young knights (bachelers) and noble senior knights (bannerettes)

7 As the bold men at the table were served with bread (the first course)

8 And then (he bowed) again to the man (Arthur) and delivered his message

9 Think it not a trifle, his shield (armorial device) is to be seen hereon

10 August 1; hindrance found

11 Burn Britain the broad (Great Britain) and beat down your knights / And with anger bring you compliantly as a beast where he pleases / And you shall not sleep nor rest under the great heaven, / Though for fear of Rome you run to the earth (like a hunted animal)

12 The king looked on the man with his large eyes, / Which burned very fiercely like coals because of (his) anger

13 It is loyal (our duty) for us to do his pleasure

14 There is a certain man in this hall, and he was sorely grieved / That you dared not look on him once for all Lombardy (as a reward)

15 In appearance; lies; you seem

16 Since; country; holy oil

17 Don't save money on spices, but spend what you please

18 If you guard my honor, man, by my pledged word, / You shall have very great rewards that will profit you forever

19 Now are they nobly lodged and regarded as guests

20 In chambers with chimneys (heat), they change their clothes

21 himself

22 All with men trained and taught, in very rich clothes, / All of royal blood in a troop, sixty together

23 Flesh fattened in season with noble frumentee (a wheat dish), / Along with wild (game) to choose, and pleasant birds

24 Very many large swans on silver platters, / Pies of Turkey, to be tasted by whomever it pleases

25 Then shoulders of wild boars, with the lean meat sliced, / Barnacle geese and bitterns in pastry-covered dishes

26 Wavy with azure-colored sauce all over, and they appeared to be flaming; / From each slice the flame leaped very high

27 With pastries glazed with egg yolks and many (other) dainties

28 Then Claret and Cretan wine were cunningly made to flow / By conduits that were skillfully made, all of pure silver

29 With great jewels gilded over, glorious of hue

30 So that if any poison should go secretly under them (in the cup), / The bright gold would burst all to pieces with anger, / Or else the poison should lose its power because of the virtue of the precious stones

31 Therefore, without pretending (that you are enjoying it), force yourself all the more

32 Went round very quickly in russet-colored (gold) cups

33 Smiles at him pleasantly with pleasing features

34 sadness because of the ban

35 You take account of no circumstances, nor consider (the matter) any further

36 stately man; Brittany

37 Arrested them unjustly and afterwards held them for ransom

38 At Lamas (August 1) I shall take my leave, to remain freely / In Lorraine or Lombardy, whichever seems preferable to me

39 riders; excellent; siege

40 Unless he (the eagle) is quickly rescued by vigorous knights

41 lightens

42 Before any day's fight (the major battle) begins, to joust with himself (Lucius)

43 Despite the strong (ones) in battle that remain in his troop

44 Within a week from today with one hundred and twenty knights

45 If I can see the Romans, who are considered so powerful, / Arrayed in their riotous groups on a broad field.

46 Ride through all the company, rear guard and the rest, / To make a ready way and paths full spacious

47 He needs be afraid; such

48 When they had confidently discussed (this business), they blew on trumpets afterwards (conclusion of the council)

49 Seize the revenues, in faith, of all those fair realms, / Despite the threat of his power and regardless of his resistance

50 With safe-conduct and credentials; go where you please

51 I shall assign the resting-places for your journey, order them myself

52 stoutly from. Wherever you set down by night you must by necessity remain

53 Lodge yourself under trees, wherever it seems good to you

54 Whether (my order) is now hateful or a hindrance in your mind

55 You shall be speedily beheaded and torn apart by horses, / And then quickly hanged for dogs to gnaw.

56 They dress themselves worthily in precious clothes

57 I summoned him solemnly (to appear in Rome) with his knights looking on

58 Since; born; fearful (afraid)

59 I advise you to prepare yourself therefore and delay no longer

60 A watch-tower shall be raised on Mount Goddard (in the Alps)

61 Equipped with noble bachelors and bannerets (see note to line 68)

62 To Ambyganye and Orcage (Albania?) and Alexandria as well, / To India and to Armenia, where the Euphrates runs

63 Hyrcania; Elam; outer isles

64 From Persia and Pamphilia and Prester John's lands

65 By this time; prepared

66 At the Octave of St. Hillary's day (i.e., a week after January 24) Sir Arthur himself

67 To outrage my enemy, if a chance should appear

68 See that my forests are enclosed (from poachers), on pain of losing my favor, / That no one be allowed to hunt the game except for Guinevere herself, / And even she is to hunt only at the season when the game are fat enough to be hunted, / So that she will take her pleasure at appropriate times

69 earthly prosperity; as well

70 Sheriffs sharply move the common soldiers about, / Give orders (to their men) before the powerful (men) of the Round Table

71 Large ships and small boats then hoist their sails

72 Stoutly on the gunwale they weigh up their anchors

73 Launch the lead on the luff (the bow) to measure the depth of the water

74 And all the stern men of the stream (sailors) struck sail at once

75 Wandering unbecomingly; surging waves

76 Covered with waves of azure, enamelled (colored) very fair; / His shoulders were all covered with scales of pure silver / That clothed the monster with shrinking points (like mail)

77 Then came out of the East, directly against him, / A wild, black bear above in the clouds, / With each paw as big as a post, and palms very huge, / With very perilous claws that seemed all curling; / Hateful and loathly, his hair and the rest, / With legs all bowed, covered with ugly hair / That was churlishly matted, with foaming lips

78 So violently he stamped on it (the earth) to enjoy himself

79 He reared up on his hind legs so rudely that all the earth was shaken

80 Thus he beat down the bear and killed him

81 These dreams so oppress the king aboard the ship / That he nearly bursts for pain on the bed

where he lies

82 Before I must die quickly, interpret my dream for me

83 trumpet calls; boldly

84 And as many infants (baptized babies) of noble children

85 I would give the revenues of all of France for the past fifteen years / To have been even a furlong from that man

86 visor; face guard; plated

87 He puts on the arm straps (braces) of a broad shield and asks for his sword

88 They tie their horses with a good distance between them

89 And afterwards you shall make your offerings, each after the other

90 You crossed yourself unsafely (started out wrong) to go to these mountains; / Six such as you would be too weak to attack him alone, / For, if you see him with sight (of your eyes), you will not have the heart / To cross yourself securely, so huge does he seem

91 He had murdered this mild one by the time that midday (bell) was rung

92 nations he thinks little of

93 For it will be a sorrow without remedy if you offer him anything else

94 spiced wine; Portuguese

95 There that fiend fills himself, to try when you please

96 smoke; went; quickest

97 Those who are roasted on spits in the field and broken with your hands

98 haired; eye-holes

99 Each fold (in the quivering skin of his lips) at once twisted out like the head of a wolf

100 Limbs and loins very loathesome, believe you, truly

101 Right up to; cut; asunder

102 In his death throes the thief squeezes him so fiercely

103 drags; holy body; these

104 He was stronger by far than any I had ever found

105 Quickly strike off his head and put it on a stake thereafter

106 Sir Kay himself brings the club and the coat as well

107 With his battalion spread out by those calm streams

108 Spares; liberty; affrights

109 By foreigners the French tongue is destroyed

110 I shall stop him before much longer if life is granted to me (if I live)

111 These courteous ones wait on a hill by the edge of the wood

112 Palaces (rich tents) proudly pitched, / That had rich walls of silk and purple cloth adorned with precious stones

113 Within a short time I shall not leave him in Paris / So much as a tiny spot; let him test this when he pleases

114 That bears on his shield a heraldic device all of purple, striped with silver

115 With great force, on a brown horse, he offers battle boldly

116 Outjousted at that battle despite his great boasts

117 is filled; pale sea; away

118 astonished; thrusts

119 May I never look on my lord the rest of my life / If we serve him so poorly, we who once pleased him so well

120 die; ground; cut down

121 Even so, he (Sir Gawain) rescued Sir Bois despite all their baleful knights!

122 For, doubtless, if you delay or play any tricks

123 Because of the crowd at the ford they leaped into the water together

124 On the path by the stream they adjust their hauberks

125 They placed the riotous (Roman) knights in the rear guard (as prisoners)

126 God skillfully handles trouble as He pleases. / No one is so harmful that he can escape or slip away from His hands

127 All that concerns temporal life is yours while I live

128 Make ready their battalions, display their banners

129 No attack from ambush is ever defeated

130 See that you pack up your trumpets and trifle no longer

131 Whether we shun (battle) or show (fight), decide as you please

132 I would be boiled alive and cut in quarters

133 Where shrubs were bright under the shining eaves of the forest

134 Of rivets and strong steel and rich gold chain mail

135 Ride on iron-gray steeds at the front rank (of the Romans)

136 Keep what you have taken; it does little harm, / For scorn is internal, use it who will

137 Sir Cador commanded that they be put in wagons and covered with fair cloths

138 When you were placed in a stronghold, you should have endured

139 astonished; destroyed

140 I did my duty today - I put myself at the judgment of lords

141 Commands that his fires be fed so that they flame very high / And (commands them) to pack up securely and march away thereafter

142 Suddenly; each side; troops

143 Sir Kayous, Sir Clegis, and good men of arms / The king decides should keep watch by those shining strands.

144 Six inches above the waist, between the short ribs

145 fulfilled [their] vows

146 Then rushes the steadfast man and grips his bridle

147 Fought with foot-soldiers (brigands) from afar in those lands; / With feathered arrows they very eagerly shoot those men

148 Crossbow bolts skillfully whip through knights

149 whole; hastily; heath;

150 draws; Excalibur

151 All crushed, stamped to death by armored steeds

152 cockatrices (crocodiles)

153 Camels; Arabian horses; elephants

154 Spoil or rot before they could arrive

155 Measured; money; much

156 take care not to deceive

157 While I have power to speak, the Church's possessions shall never be harmed

158 For fear of being dashed asunder by the draw bridge

159 further back

160 Pitched tents of silk and placed (themselves) in siege

161 On Sunday by the time the sun gave out a flood of light

162 (The hay) mown and unstacked, worked over but little, / In rows of cuttings swept down, full of sweet flowers

163 A carbuncle is in the chef (upper third of the shield), changing in colors, / And (he was) an adventurous chief, challenge him who will

164 To that man, steadfast in battle, strongly he stands

165 Near the lower arm plate, veiled with silver

166 We must have a bandage, ere your color changes

167 barbers (surgeons)

168 For he who is wounded with this broad sword shall never cease bleeding!

169 I give you grace and grant you your life, though you have deserved grief

170 confession; prepare

171 If I have the good luck, for my recovery, to serve that noble (Arthur), / I will be quickly cured, I tell thee truly

172 I would rather be stabbed to the heart in private / Than to have an ordinary soldier win such a prize

173 quickly; will be; pieces

174 And some had fallen asleep because of the skillful singing of the creatures

175 Wine casks; broke open

176 those adventuring; To arms!

177 broke; breath

178 If they are not defeated, in faith, it would seem to me a great wonder

179 false of faith; falsehood

180 Meddles; middle guard

181 Devil take you

182 Marquis of Metz; pierces

183 hillside by skill

184 Monasteries and hospitals they hammer to earth

185 Strikes straight; narrow

186 I intend to be lord of that pleasing land!

187 Scout for those hiding so that no harm may befall them

188 Meekly on St. Martin's Day (November 11) to pay homage with his treasures

189 talk; spending; bitterness

190 Sept. 13-14; invade

191 He throws himself quickly on the bed and loosens his belt

192 Beautifully enclosed upon the noble boughs; / There was no moisture that could harm anything

193 expensively; patterned

194 brooches; medallions

195 strange (hostile) to others

196 defeated; hostile

197 Whom you unkindly (as a stranger) left dead in France.

198 Charlemagne; king's

199 An armor neckpiece, a stomach guard, and an excellent belt

200 Pauses at a main road, thinking by himself

201 A man in a full-cut cloak and very roomy clothes

202 With wallet and with pilgrim's mantle and many scallop shells, / Both staff and palm branch,
as if he were a pilgrim

203 I need ask for no credentials; I know you are true

204 Therefore to Great Britain it behooves us to hasten

205 See that in Lombardy no man change his allegiance

206 Sends forth troops and baggage and goes forth thereafter

207 Linked together with great wagon chains

208 Arranged wooden shields on the left (port), painted shields

209 All bareheaded because of business, with beaver-colored locks

210 They are on the rascal's side, I swear by my hand

211 But there was placed in the chef (upper third of shield) a chalk-white maiden

212 They talk in their jargon about what has happened

213 Weather (wind) brings stout ships against planks (of other ships), / So that the bilge and the beam burst apart

214 mast-stays; edgewise; hack

215 Armored knights rush boldly on board, / (Coming) out of small boats on board, (and) were pelted with stones

216 i.e., the captives'

217 By the time the battle was finished the high tide had passed; / Then was the water near the shore such a slush in very large pools / That the king could not land in the low water. / Therefore, he remained on the deep water for fear of losing his horses

218 exhausted with fighting

219 Each man may be warned by vengeance wreaked on another

220 Until he could get away by stealth and come to speak to her

221 not whole (i.e., dead)

222 Nor was there anything that sank him so sad as that sight alone

223 Get knights who hold your castles from their countries

224 Christians; crossed themselves

225 Why did the Lord not destine (me to die) at His dear will

226 Passant (shown from the side, walking) on a purple background of very rich jewels

227 (i.e., the sword Clarent); dainty

228 lifeblood left

229 Let us go to Glastonbury, nothing else avails

230"Into Your hands"


The following abbreviations are used in these notes to indicate editorial attribution:

Ba: Mary Macleod Banks, ed. An Alliterative Poem of the Fourteenth Century. London, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1900.

Be: Larry D. Benson, ed. King Arthur's Death. Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1974.

Bj: Erik Bjorkman, ed. Morte Arthure. Alt- und mittelenglische Texte, 9. Heidelberg and New York: Carl Winters, 1915.

Br: Edmund Brock, ed. Morte Arthure or The Death of Arthur. EETS o.s. 8. London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, New Edition, 1871; reprinted 1961.

F: the present editor

GV: E. V. Gordon and Eugene Vinaver. "New Light on the Text of the Alliterative Morte Arthure." Medium Aevum 6 (1937), 81-98.

H: Mary Hamel, ed. Morte Arthure: A Critical Edition. Garland Medieval Texts, 9. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984.

K: Valerie Krishna, ed. The Alliterative Morte Arthure. New York: Burt Franklin and Company, Inc., 1976.

OED: Oxford English Dictionary

OL: J. L. N. O'Loughlin. "The Middle English Alliterative Morte Arthure." Medium Aevum 4 (1935), 153-168.

1 Himselven. On the prominence of reflexive formulas in the poem (himselven, him likes, etc.) as indicators of the will and willfulness, see Peck, pp. 158 ff.

29 Uter. Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father.

32 Scotland and England were often at war in the fourteenth century, hence scathel ("harmful") Scotland.

37 Grace. The MS reading. Most editors emend to Grece (Greece) but Grace (Grasse) makes more geographical sense. Grasse is a small city in southern France, north of Cannes, which was an episcopal see from 1244 to 1790. K retains Grace.

41 Vienne. Ackerman suggests Vienna, though K thinks, rather, that it must refer to a town north of Valence or a district in Poitier.

42 Overgne (Ba, Be, K, H). I.e., Auvergne. MS: Eruge.

47 I.e., the whole extent of Denmark.

61 Caerlion. One of Arthur's principal cities where, according to the chronicles, he often spent Pentecost. K suggests that the reference to the city's "curious walles" may derive from Giraldus' description of the city: "[Caerleon] was of undoubted antiquity, and handsomely built of masonry, with courses of bricks, by the Romans. Many vestiges of its former splendour may yet be seen; immense palaces . . . a tower of prodigious size, remarkable hot baths, relics of temples, and theatres, all enclosed within fine walls, parts of which remain standing. You will find on all sides, both within and without the circuit of the walls, subterraneous buildings, aqueducts, underground passages; and what I think worthy of notice, stoves contrived with wonderful art, to transmit the heat insensibly through narrow tubes passing up the side walls" (p. 164).

64 Carlisle. Here, Arthur's new city, located on the Scottish border; another favorite site for Arthur's festivities, according to Froissant. The Middle English romance Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle suggests the city's foundation at a place where courtesy turned monstrosity to civility.

66 douspeeres. Originally Charlemagne's twelve peers, but here simply "high noblemen."

68 A bannerette was a senior knight entitled to bear his own banner; a bacheler ranked somewhat lower and was either a newly made knight or a young man about to be knighted.

77 West Marches. The territories bordering Wales.

79 The bread is the first course (since the other food was heaped upon it), and the first course is the traditional time for the arrival of a messenger. Compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 116-132.

86 Lucius Iberius: "The Emperor Lucius was apparently invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth [History of the Kings of Britain], who calls him Lucius Tiberius. . . . The attempt at a reconquest of Britain by the Romans in the sixth century also derives from Geoffrey" (K, p. 165).

92 Lamass Day: a harvest festival formerly celebrated on August 1.

95 Prime was "the first hour of the day, beginning at six-o'clock throughout the year or at the varying times of sunrise" (OED).

105 The Romans held title to Britain on the basis of Caesar's conquest, as recorded in chronicles based ultimately on Book V of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.

108 route. "Ambigious: either 'snore' (OE hrutan), an expression of Lucius's angry contempt, or more neutrally 'go, travel' (OF router), a contrast rather than a parallel to ryste (rest)" (H, p. 257).

134 There is (Br, Be, K). MS: thare.

142 crowned was (Bj, Be, K). MS: corounde.

168 Chambers with chimneys are heated rooms, a luxury at this time. See note to line 61.

176ff. The elaborate feast that follows might actually have been served at a royal household of the late fourteenth century. Menus for royal feasts are printed in Two Fifteenth-Century Cooking Books, ed. Austin, EETS o.s. 91 (London, 1888; reprinted 1964). See H's extensive notes on the dishes and feast practices of the later fourteenth century (pp. 259-63).

178 togges (OL, Be). MS: togers. H reads toges; Br and K follow MS.

186 whom. MS: whame. Bj, Be, and H emend to when or whan, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS sense.

200 Crete. The poet regularly identifies wines by their place of origin. The universality of Arthur's wine cellar is impressive.

213 The virtues (powers) of precious stones were commonplace in the Middle Ages. See English Medieval Lapidaries, eds. Evans and Serjeantson, EETS o.s. 190 (London, 1932; reprinted 1960).

233 Waynor and Gaynor for Guinevere are used interchangeably as are Gawain and Wawain for Gawain.

234 Sir Owglitreth. Sir Owghtreth of Turry is evidently one of Arthur's vassals. Turry perhaps is Turin, Italy. J. L. N. O'Loughlin, "The Middle English Alliterative Morte Arthure,"Medium Aevum 4 (1935), 159, suggests that he is one of Lucius' ambassadors, who out of courtesy is assigned with Gawain to accompany the Queen.

245 Giauntes Towr. Since giants occupied Britain before the arrival of Brutus, this tower is, presumably, a "prehistoric" edifice.

256 deffuse. Be and H emend to disuse, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

277 In Book III of Geoffrey's History we are told that, long before Caesar came to Britain, Belinus and Brennius conquered and ravaged Rome. This is, of course, not historical.

"Baldwin the Third is unknown; perhaps he was invented for the sake of alliteration" (K, p. 169).

282 According to Geoffrey (Book V, chapter 6) Constantine was the son of a Roman Senator and a British Princess, and he succeeded to the kingship of Britain. Then he overthrew the Emperor Maxentius and became Emperor. According to legend, his mother, Helen, discovered the True Cross. Arthur claims kinship with Constantine because of his supposed British mother. Constantine actually did proclaim himself Caesar while in York, but he was never king of Britain and not of British descent.

288 King Aungers. Robert W. Ackerman, An Index of Arthurian Names in Middle English (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1952), p. 20, identifies King Aungers as Geoffrey of Monmouth's Auguselus, a king of Scotland, son of Bryadens, grandson of Igerne, and brother of Lot and Urien. He was, like Lot, an enemy of Arthur who later became an ally.

297 The vernacle (the relic of Veronica) is the handkerchief with which St. Veronica wiped the face of Christ on His way to the Crucifixion. Miraculously, the image of His face was preserved on the handkerchief, which still survives. The cult of Veronica was especially strong in the fourteenth century. Pope John XXII granted an indulgence of ten thousand days for a prayer to the Veronica, and its legend had an important part in the popular romances about Titus and Vespasian.

301 eldes. Bj and Be emend to monthes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. It probably means "of two generations".

304 Berne of Britain the Little. King Hoel of Brittany.

305 beseekes. MS; besekys. Bj and Be emend to congee beseekes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in adhering to the MS reading.

320 The Welsh king. Perhaps Sir Valiant (line 2064).

334 Of Wyghte and. GV and Be emend to of wightest; H emends to of wyghte men, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

337 Sir Ewain fitz Urien. Iwain son of Urien and Morgan le Fay.

352 Petersand (Petrasanta, i.e., the Vatican); Pis (Pisa); Pount Tremble (Pontremoli).

368-70 "Lancelot, the great hero of the Vulgate tradition, was unknown in the earlier chronicles. In introducing him as one of the 'lesse men' among Arthur's retainers, the poet gives his audience a clear signal: this poem will not be concerned with the issues and themes of that tradition" (H, p. 268).

369 love. H reads lone and translates the line "I praise God for this contribution" (H, p. 268).

375 Genivers (Genoese): "The notorious giants from Genoa in Lucius' army may derive from the Genoan mercenaries who fought with France against Edward III at Crecy and other important battles" (K, p. 170).

391 renkes. Not rankes (men) but renkes (paths) from OF renc.

415 Epiphany. From the Greek for "appearance" or "manifestation," it is the feast on January 6, commemorating the coming of the Magi to see the child Jesus and symbolizing the "manifestation" of the newborn savior to the whole world (OED).

450 Watling Street. The old Roman road leading from the southern coast by way of London to Cardigan in Wales.

451 nyghes (Ba, K). MS: nyghttes. "The appearance of nyghte in the same line is very likely the source of the scribal error" (K, p. 171).

458 lette. Bj, Be, and H emend to lefe, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

471 sixteen (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: sex sum of six. "Either 'part of a company of six' or 'along with a company of six'. . . . In either case the number given [in the MS] is inconsistent with that of line 81, where the Senator arrives with a company of sixteen" (K, p. 171).

482 Catrik. A town in Yorkshire, identified with the Roman cataractonium.

490 Sandwich is the port from which the Romans will take ship. One of the "cinque ports," Sandwich is the site of the Church of St. Peter where curfew, now ceremonial, was rung.

497 Mount Goddard. One of the principal passes through the French Alps into Italy.

513 sandes. Bj, Be, and H emend to sandesman, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

515 wye (OL, Be, K, H). MS: waye. Br's emendation.

572 Ambyganye and Orcage are apparently in the East. H emends to Arcage, the OF spelling of Arcadia. Ambyganye, she suggests, could be Albania.

575 Irritane (Hyrcania) and Elamet (Elam) are not islands but countries in Asia.

587 Bayous. Be emends to boyes; H emends to barons, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS. This is an odd location in the context, but the suggested emendations are not persuasive. Bayonne (Beune) is in southwestern France.

588 Prester John was thought to be a Christian ruler living somewhere in the Orient. In The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (a famous fourteenth century book of fictitious travels, presented as a true account), Prester John is said to be the Emperor of India, allied by marriage to the great Khan of China. The legend was probably based on reports of Christian communities which actually did exist in the East. Pamphile is a region of Asia Minor.

604-05 Prussland (Prussia) and Lettow (Lithuania) were still pagan in the fourteenth century.

625 The octave of St. Hillary's day would be a week after January 24.

628-29 Constantine (the Peninsula of Cotentin) and Barflete (Barfleur) are on the coast of Normandy.

656 Arthur's concern for the protection of his game is not surprising in a century when (as shown by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) hunting was of great importance to the aristocracy.

674 wordles. MS: werdez. Bj, K, H read wer[l]de?.

716 Sways (Bj, Be). MS: Twys.

734 Hackes. MS: Hukes. K emends to Hekes. H follows MS on grounds that hukes are outergarments or possibly "caparisons for horses" (MED, s.v.); she finds Bj's emendation hackes to be redundant if paired with hackeneys.

769 Be, following GV, supplies a supposed missing line after 769: His tail was totattered with tonges ful huge; K notes but does not accept the insertion. H accepts. I have followed K.

771 Be, following GV, supplies a supposed missing line after 771: And his clawes were enclosed with clene gold; K does not note. H accepts. I have not included the line.

785 at. Be notes MS at, but prints it. I have retained the MS reading as do Br and K. H deletes the word, explaining that the scribe miscopied the following to which he then corrected by writing to but failed to cross out the at.

Rapped, H suggests, means "barked," not dashed to earth, which is inconsistent with the flying posture.

804 thring. MS: brynge. Holthausen's emendation, followed by Bj, Be, and K. H suggests breen, meaning "frighten, terrify." See her note discussing the problem. Br follows MS.

808 seven science. The seven liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, which were the trivium, and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, which were the quadrivium); these were the basis of Medieval education.

812 Second half of 812 appears in the MS as the second half of 813 and vice versa (Bj, Be). K and H disagree, but I have followed Be.

821 tattered (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: taschesesede. Br: tachesesede.

841 Templar. A member of the Knights Templar, a military order founded c. 1118 for the protection of the Holy Sepulchre and pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The order was suppressed in 1312.

848 countree of Constantine. The country around Cotentin, a peninsula on the coast of Normandy.

880 The promontory is Mont-Saint-Michel, on which, according to this story, Arthur founds the famous monastery to commemorate his victory. See also line 899.

905 jupon. A gipon is a sleeveless cloth garment worn over the armor; Arthur's is jagged in shredes - with fashionable scallopings at the edges. Jerodine is apparently a kind of cloth (perhaps gabardine).

910 enarmed. Bj and Be emend to enamelled, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

946 them. MS: thus. Br, K, and H retain MS.

964 Wade. A figure in German legend and a now-lost English romance.

1028 piment. Wine mixed with honey and spices.

1041 source (Bj, Be). MS: sowre. Br and K retain MS. H emends to sowþe.

1083 eyen-holes (Bj, Be). MS: hole eyghn. Br, K, and H retain MS.

1123 genitals (Bj, Br, Be, K, H). MS: genitates.

1142 buskes. Bj and Be emend to wild buskes, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1175 A reference to the giant Pitho, whom Arthur slew "in Aravio Montem" (in the mount of Araby), the Aran mountains in Wales. The story is from Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, Book X.

1225 Castel Blank is unique in this poem.

1231 mene-while. GV, Be, and H emend to mete-while, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS even though the emendation is plausible.

1248 frayes (Bj, Be, K). MS: fraisez. Br and H retain MS.

1263 Sir Bois. Earl of Oxford. "The name Bos (Boso de Vado Boum in Geoffrey [of Monmouth] was probably invented by Geoffrey as a pun on bos and Oxford" (Ackerman, p. 38).

1264 Sir Berille. Perhaps Borel, Earl of Mans, who fights on Arthur's side and is given Le Mans.

1265 Sir Grime. Bj emends to Geryn of Chartres, one of Arthur's vassals who appears at this point in the chronicles and also in line 3708. Grime is not known elsewhere.

1281 with (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: that with. Br follows MS.

1302 worthy (Bj, Be, K). MS: worthethy. Br and H retain MS.

1334 Appears in MS as line 1330 (Bj, Be, H).

1364 sable (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: salle. Br follows MS.

1378 unabaist all. Bj and Be emend to all unabaist, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS word order and have punctuated to make the grammatical relation clear.

1402-02 The perilous water that falls from the sea fifty miles away apparently refers to a tidal estuary (n.b. salt strandes in line 1422).

1405 I agree with H that changen should be taken as a hunting metaphor: to "change" attention from prey to prey.

1408 all (Bj, Be). MS: and; Bedvere (Be, H). MS: Bedwyne. Br and K retain both MS readings. Perhaps a miswriting of Baldwin, who appears in lines 1606 and 2384.

1427 redies. Be emends to relies, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1436 stokes. Br and Be emend to strokes, but K notes that emendation is unnecessary, citing OED stoke sb2 (p. 182). H follows MS too.

1466-67 Appear in MS in reverse order (Be). I have followed K, H in retaining MS order.

1503 not (Bj, Be). MS: now. Br, K, and H follow MS.

1558 Sir Ewain fitz Henry. Probably Sir Ewain fitz Urien, as in line 337. Ackerman notes that he is given both names in Layamon's Brut as well (p. 248).

1567 tithandes (Bj, Be, H). MS: thy?andez. Br and K retain MS spelling, as a variant of tydandis.

1622 Sir Evander. King of Syria and one of Lucius's vassals.

1638 Sir Clegis, Sir Cleremus, Sir Cleremond. Sir Clegis is a knight of the Rount Table. Either Sir Cleremus and Sir Cleremond might allude to Clarrus of Clere Mounte who appears in other romances aiding Launcelot in his war against Arthur. Here the pair fill out the alliterative quatrain.

1653 kith (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: lythe. Br retains MS but glosses: "Read Kythe."

1681 Clegis challenges the Romans to a formal tournament, with three courses of war (that is, three jousts with the lance) and the claims of knighthood (the winner to take the horse and arms of the loser.)

1683 Clegis' insult, like the King of Syria's, is part of the formal "flyting."

1688 hufe. Bj and Be emend to leng, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. The charge that Clegis is trying to delay things is only a pro forma insult. More significant is the King of Syria's inquiry about Clegis' ancestry, since it would be beneath his dignity to joust with any but the highest noble.

1690 crest (Bj, Be, H). MS: breste (Br, K).

1695 Sir Brut. The legendary founder of Britain. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth he was the great-grandson of Aeneas of Troy.

1698 Forthy (Be). MS: ffro the.

Brut (Bj, Be, H). MS: Borghte (Br, K).

1732 on. Bj, Be, and H emend to on the, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1744 Wawayne. Bj, Be, and H emend to Bawdwyne, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1745 Rowlaundes (Bj, Be, H). MS: and Rowlandez (Br, K).

1768 all on loud (Bj, Be). MS: o laundone (Br, K, H).

1786 corn-bote. Literally a fine paid in grain.

1797 in his (Bj, Be, K). MS: his ine (Br). H argues that MS reads in his.

1855 I.e., the Saracens are six feet from the waist up.

1866 Cordewa. Be and H emend to Cornett, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1878 men. Bj, Be, and H emend to hethen men, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

1904 Utolf (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Vtere (Br). Uther, Arthur's father, is dead. Utolfe appears in lines 1622 and 1868, along with Evander, as knights on the Roman side.

1908 Carous (K, H). MS: Barous. Br emends to Barouns.

1911 Sarazenes ynow (Bj, Be, K). MS: sarazenes.

1912 are (Bj, Be, H). MS: a (Br, K).

1930 never berne (Bj, Be). MS: never (Br, K, H).

1938 Though (Be). MS: Thofe (Br, K, H).

1979 them. Bj and Be emend to then, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1980 halfe. Bj and Be emend to side, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1982 Wales (Bj, Be, H). MS: Vyleris (Br, K).

2016 sees. Bj and Be emend to him sees, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2047 The knights of the Round Table fulfill the vows they made; the King of Wales fulfills the vow he made in lines 330-32.

2066 Ewain fitz Urien (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Ewayne sir Fytz Vriene (Br). Ewain fitz Urien fulfills the vow he made in lines 357-63.

2073 Lancelot had vowed (lines 372-77) to strike down the emperor himself, and accordingly he now strikes him down and leaves a spear stuck in his belly. The emperor evidently recovers very quickly, for he is soon back in battle.

2081 Lot had vowed to be the first to ride through the Roman ranks (lines 386-94), which he now does. When Lot has accomplished this, the vows are all fulfilled and the battle proper begins.

2108 hethe (Bj, Be, K). MS: heyghe (Br,H).

2112 Jonathal (OL, Be, H, K). MS: Ienitall (Br). Jonathal appears in a corresponding passage in Geoffrey of Monmouth.

2123 Caliburn is used for Excalibur by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

2151 on folde (Bj, Be, K). MS: fygured folde (Br). H emends to faireste-fygured felde.

2157 Sir Cleremond the noble (Bj, K). MS: with clene mene of armes (Br). Be, H have Sir Bedvere the rich, but Cleremond the noble is as familiar a formula and improves the alliteration.

2180 real renk (Bj, Be, H). MS: reall (K). Br reads ryalle. The addition of renk so much improves both rhythm and alliteration that a scribal omission seems likely.

2181 he (K). MS: and (Br, H).

2198 into. Bj, Be, and H emend to into the, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2217 chis. Bj, Be, and H emend to thriches, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2250 at. Bj, Be, and H emend to all, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2280 lighte. Bj and Be emend to lithe, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2283 cokadrisses (Be, K, H). MS: sekadrisses (Br).

2286 dromedaries of (Bj, Be, H). MS: of dromondaries (Br).

2288 Olfendes (Bj, Be, K). MS: elfaydes (Br, H).

2305 he lenged (Br, Be, K, H). MS: lengede. The colours are the heraldic devices on the banners set above the caskets.

2328 ne. Bj, Be, and H emend to we ne, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2343 full monee. Bj and Be emend to full of the monee, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2358 Br, Bj, Be, and H all emend MS fowre to ten. "However, though the messenger is presumably referring in 2358 to the tribute that Arthur's court owed and had not paid for four score winters, Arthur in 2344 is referring to something else - the tribute from Rome to his own kingdom that was lost in his ancestors' days" (K, 187).

2384 Sir Bedwar the rich. Apparently not the same knight as Sir Bedwere the rich who was buried in line 2379. See Bj, p. 158, and K, pp. 187-88, on defects in lines 2371-85.

2386 the Auguste. OL, Be, and H emend to Auguste, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2390 Cristofer day. St. Christopher's day, July 25. St. Christopher has since been de-canonized.

2398 Lorraine the lele. Bj and Be emend to of Lorraine the lege, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2403 to (K). MS: and.

2408 Tuskan (Ba, Be, K, H). MS: Turkayne (Br).

2418 is in (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: es (Br).

2419 Citee (Br, Be, K, H). MS: Pety.

2424 Br, Be, and H note MS beneyde: bended (Bj). K emends to bendyde.

2438 ferde. Bj and Be emend to rade, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

2478 plattes. Bj and Be emend to plantes, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

2495 Wecharde. Be emends to Wicher, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

2519 withouten any berne (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: with birenne ony borne.

2521 gessenande. Be and H emend to glessenand, but I have followed K. Instead of glistening in gold the sable (black) grayhounds are lying couchant.

2522 and (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: a (Br).

2531 the lange (Bj, Be, H). MS: a launde (Br, K).

2568 vailed (K). MS: vrayllede (Br). Bj and Be emend to railed.

2586 Salerne. Salerno. The University of Salerno was famous in the Middle Ages for its medical school.

2588 Be follows GV suggestion to insert two lines to follow 2588: That I might be cristened, with crisom annointed, / Become meek for my misdeeds for meed of my soul.

2594 legeaunce and land (OL, Be). MS: legyaunce (Br, K). H emends to undir what legyaunce.

2648 It would be dishonorable for Priamus to be defeated by an ordinary soldier. Gawain is such a great knight that even to be defeated by him is an honor that Priamus would prize even if no one were to learn of it.

2663 Be, following GV, inserts the following after 2663: For here hoves at thy hand an hundreth good knightes. H agrees, but I have followed Br and K in omitting the line.

2664 For they are. Be emends to they are, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2675 slight (Bj, Be, K). MS: slaughte. H emends to a slaughte.

2680 Wecharde (K). MS: Wychere.

2705 The four wells of Paradise (which were thought to be in the East) were celebrated for their magical qualities (one was the Fountain of Youth) and thought to be the sources of the four great rivers of the East - the Nile, the Ganges, the Tigris, and the Euphrates.

2771 breth (Bj, Be, H). MS: breste (Br, K).

2797 and (Bj, Be, H). MS: a (Br, K).

2854 Though (Bj, Be). MS: Thofe (Br, K, H).

2868 Unwine. A legendary hero of the Goths, probably known to the poet from a lost English romance.

Absolon. Absalom (2 Samuel 13-19), celebrated in medieval romance for his personal beauty.

2876 The adventure in the vale of Josephat, to which the gestes refer, is an episode in the Fuerre de Gaderes, a story of the Crusades.

2890 Gerard (Bj, Be, H). MS: Ierante (Br, K).

2891 He stabs him through a gyronny shield (a shield decorated with two colors divided into triangles).

2908 Giauntes. Bj and Be emend to giauntes are, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2940 duke dresses (Bj, Be, H). MS: duke (Br, K).

2950 Marches. MS: maches (Br). Be emends to matchless, but I have followed K and H.

2951 middle-erthe. "The earth, as placed between heaven and hell, or as supposed to occupy the centre of the universe" (OED).

2977 sleghte (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: elagere (Br).

3013 at heste (Bj, Be, H). MS: the beste (Br, K).

3031 in Hampton. According to H, the phrase "indicates that the messenger's reward is not simply a lump sum but an estate worth £100 a year - a princely gift for a mere herald" (p. 351).

3057 none (GV, Be, H). MS: no (Br, K).

3061 be deemed (Bj, Be, K). MS: idene the (Br). H emends to indeue the, meaning "endow you" or "provide you with a livelihood."

3064 he. Bj and Be emend to sho, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

3067 MS lines 3068-3083 are moved by Be to become lines 3112-3127. Although H agrees with Be, I have followed K in leaving them in their MS position.

3074 knighte. GV, H, and Be emend to king, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

3101 He crosses over Lake Lucerne into Switzerland.

3117 Slely. MS: slal (Br). Bj and Be emend to skathel, but I have followed K.

3140 for Pawnce and for (Bj, Be, H, K). MS: of Pawnce and of. Br: Plesaunce (Piacenza), Pawnce (Ponte), and Pownte Tremble (Pontremole) are towns in Lombardy.

3150 thus wele timed. GV and Be emend to him time semed, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3186 sceptre and swerde. MS: his ceptre (Br). Be emends to sceptre, for sooth, but I have followed K. H emends to ceptre forsothe.

3209 honden. Bj and Be emend to holde, but I have followed K in retaining MS. H emends to honouren.

3212 Cross-days: Rogation Days, three special days of prayer preceding Ascension Day (forty days after Easter).

3220 slakes his (Bj, Be). MS: slakes (Br, H, K).

3241 clerewort. Bj and Be emend to clevewort, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3251 Dame Fortune, with her Wheel of Fortune, is a familiar figure in late Medieval poetry, as are the Nine Worthies whom Arthur sees in his dream. The Nine Worthies first appear in fourteenth century works such as The Parlement of Three Ages and reappear as late as Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

3256 With brouches (Bj, Be, H). MS: bruches (Br, K).

besauntes are coins, originally from Byzantium, here coin-shaped golden discs.

3257 Her back (Bj, Be, H). MS: With hir bake (Br, K).

3263 riches (Bj, Be, K). MS: reched (Br), but K thinks MS may read reches anyway.

3272 this (Bj, Be). MS: thir (Br, K). H reads thi.

roo (Bj, Be, K). MS: rog (Br, H).

3282 tone eye (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: two eyne (Br).

3308 folded (Bj, Be, K). MS: fayled (Br). H emends to falded in.

3345 Frollo was the ruler of France whom Arthur killed in single combat when he conquered that country as part of the conquests that immediately precede the action of this poem and that are summarized in the opening lines. The story is told in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, Book IX, chapter 11, where Arthur's adversary is called Flollo, and in Wace's Brut (which our poet may have known), where he is called Frolle or Frollo.

3352 crispand (Bj, Be, H). MS: krispane (Br, K).

3356 Circled (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Selkylde (Br).

3408-10 Alexander the Great, Hector of Troy, and Julius Caesar are the three Pagan Worthies.

3412-16 Judas Maccabeus, Joshua, and King David are the three Jewish Worthies.

3422 tone climand kyng (Bj, Be, H). MS: two clymbande kynges.

3423 Karolus (Charlemagne) is the first of the three Christian Worthies. The second is Godfrey of Bouillon (line 3430), and the third is Arthur himself.

3427 lifelich. Bj and Be emend to loveliche, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3434 He shall recover the cross when he conquers Jerusalem. Godfrey's deeds, like Charlemagne's (lines 3423-29), are prophesied, since Arthur historically precedes both.

3439 ninde (Bj, Be). Ms: nynne (Br, K, H).

3470 Be interprets rowme ("roomy, or full-cut") to be fashionable, as he does the shreddes and shragges ("scalloped edges") in line 3473, but I am inclined to agree with H that the stranger is dressed quite unfashionably.

3474 slawin. Bj and Be emend to sclavin ("pilgrim's garb"), but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

The scallop shells were the mark of a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela in Spain, the palm branch of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

3480 wathe (Bj, Be, H). MS: wawthe (Br, K).

3505 Be reverses 3505 and 3506, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3510 I. Bj and Be emend to I was, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

3530 Of (Bj, Be). MS: To (Br, K, H).

3541 From the Humber River (at the southern border of Yorkshire) to the town of Hawick (in southern Scotland), i.e., the whole North Country.

3545 Hengest and Horsa were traditionally the first Germanic (that is, Anglo-Saxon) invaders of Britain; Geoffrey of Monmouth (History, Book VI, chapter 11) gives the traditional account.

3592 trome. Bj, Be, and H emend to trumpe, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

3605 Lines 3605 and 3606 appear in reverse order in the MS (Be).

3611 Apparently the painted cloths (sewn together and doubled) are meant to serve as a protection against arrows.

3648-49 The maiden on the chef, the upper third of the shield, is the Blessed Virgin, who is holding the Christ-child, the Chef or Lord of heaven. In 3650 the sense seems to be "noble."

3650 Arthur will not change his arms to disguise himself even when hard-pressed, as Mordred later does (lines 4181-85).

3662 Wether (Be). MS: With hir (Br, K, H).

Ramming and boarding were the principal tactics in fourteenth century sea battles, since cannon had only recently been introduced.

3672 bernes (Bj, Be). MS: braynes (Br, K). H reads berynes.

3675 Up ties (Be, K, H). MS: Vpcynes (Br).

3678 Many freke (Bj, Be). MS: ffreke (Br, K, H).

3684 englaimes (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: englaymous (Br).

3709 Galuth is Gawain's sword, here personified as "a good gome."

3720 in (Be, K). MS: and (Br, H).

3743 Engendure may be a reference to Mordred's incestuous begetting (see Stanzaic Morte Arthure, lines 2955-56), though there is no direct reference to it in this poem.

3773 The Montagues were a famous Northern English family. The head of the family was a supporter of Richard II and a suspected heretic. He rebelled against Henry IV in 1400; he was beheaded and his head was displayed on London Bridge as a warning to other potential traitors.

3796 help. Be emends to help me, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3797 to see us (Br, Be, K, H). MS: to us.

3864 Fres. Bj and Be emend to Frisland, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3869 The golden griffin (a winged dragon) is Gawain's usual heraldic device.

3891 sib-blood. Mordred and Gawain are half brothers; their mother is Arthur's sister.

3911 yeyes (Bj, Be, H, K). MS: ?ee (Br).

3924 Swalters. Bj and Be emend to swafres, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3929 trewth (Bj, Be, H). MS: trewghe (Br, K).

3937 It is unclear whether the MS reads Guthede or Guchede. The former makes more sense.

3942 encircled (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: enserchede (Br).

3996 kithe (Bj, Be, H). MS: kyghte (Br, K).

4010 Carried it (Br, Be, H). MS: Karyed (Br, K).

4017 Don for him (Bj, Be). MS: Done for (Br, K, H).

4020 erthe. Bj, Be, and H emend to bere, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

4095 The banners must be defended not only for the sake of honor but because signals made with the banners are the only means of communication during a battle.

4129 sere. Bj and Be emend to fele, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4157 Why then ne (Be). MS: Qwythen. K explains that an emendation may not really be necessary since the OED glosses the MS word in the same words as the emendation.

4181 churles. OL and Be emend to churlish, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. Mordred adopts the cowardly stratagem of changing his heraldic devices, which Arthur would never do (see note on line 3650).

4221 and in (Br, Be, K, H). MS: and.

4223 he ne (Br, Be, K, H). MS: ne he.

4303 Arthur is said to have been buried at Glastonbury.

4305 day. Be emends to dayes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4326 In manus is a common Medieval short form of Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," Christ's last words on the cross according to Luke 23:46.

4332 Requiem. Mass for the dead.

4343 blude. Bj and Be emend to kin, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4346 Brut. The History of Britain, which begins with Brutus, who settled the country. Brut refers to any history of Britain, though the poet may have meant some specific work, such as the popular English prose Brut.

4347 This and the following lines are not by the original author of our poem. This line, which is the inscription on Arthur's tomb (dating from 1278), was added by a later reader of the manuscript. The next lines concern the scribe rather than the author of the poem. Robert Thornton, who lived in Yorkshire, about 1440, wrote out the manuscript that contains this and a number of other romances. The final Latin line, asking that Robert be blessed for his work, was written by a grateful reader in the later fifteenth century.
Here beginnes Morte Arthure. In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen pur Charite. Amen.
Now grete glorious God   through grace of Himselven
And the precious prayer   of his pris Moder
Sheld us fro shamesdeede   and sinful workes
And give us grace to guie   and govern us here
In this wretched world   through virtuous living,
That we may kaire til his court,   the kingdom of heven
When our soules shall part   and sunder fro the body
Ever to beld and to bide   in bliss with Himselven;
And wisse me to warp out   some word at this time
That nother void be ne vain   but worship til Himselven
Plesand and profitable   to the pople that them heres.
   Ye that lust has to lithe   or loves for to here
Of elders of olde time   and of their awke deedes,
How they were lele in their law   and loved God Almighty
Herkenes me hendely   and holdes you stille,
And I shall tell you a tale   that trew is and noble
Of the real renkes   of the Round Table
That chef were of chivalry   and cheftains noble
Both wary in their workes   and wise men of armes,
Doughty in their doings   and dredde ay shame,
Kind men and courtais   and couth of court thewes,
How they won with war   worshippes many,
Slogh Lucius the lithere   that lord was of Rome,
And conquered that kingrik   through craftes of armes;
Herkenes now hiderward   and heres this story!
   When that the king Arthur   by conquest had wonnen
Casteles and kingdomes   and countrees many,
And he had covered the crown   of that kith riche
Of all that Uter in erthe   ought in his time:
Argayle and Orkney   and all these oute-iles,
Ireland utterly,   as Ocean runnes,
Scathel Scotland by skill   he skiftes as him likes, 1
And Wales of war   he won at his will,
Bothe Flaunders and Fraunce   free til himselven
Holland and Hainault   they held of him bothen,
Burgoigne and Brabaunt   and Bretain the less
Guienne and Gothland   and Grace the rich,
Bayonne and Bourdeaux   he belded full fair,
Touraine and Toulouse   with towres full high,
Of Poitiers and Provence   he was prince holden;
Of Valence and Vienne,   of value so noble,
Of Overgne and Anjou,   those erldoms rich,
By conquest full cruel   they knew him for lord
Of Navarre and Norway   and Normandy eek
Of Almaine, of Estriche,   and other ynow;
Denmark he dressed   all by drede of himselven
Fro Swynne unto Swetherwike,   with his sword keen! 2
   When he these deedes had done, he dubbed his knightes,
Devised ducheries and delt   in diverse rewmes, 3
Made of his cosins   kinges annointed
In kithes there they covet   crownes to bere.
When he these rewmes had ridden   and rewled the pople,
Then rested that real   and held the Round Table;
Sujourns that seson   to solace himselven
In Bretain the brodder, as him best likes;
Sithen went into Wales   with his wyes all,
Sways into Swaldie   with his snell houndes
For to hunt at the hartes   in those high landes,
In Glamorgan with glee   there gladship was ever,
And there a citee he set,   by assent of his lordes
That Caerlion was called,   with curious walles, 4
On the rich river   that runnes so fair,
There he might semble his sorte   to see when him liked. 5
Then after at Carlisle   a Christenmass he holdes,
This ilk kidd conquerour   and held him for lord
With dukes and douspeeres   of diverse rewmes,
Erles and erchevesques   and other ynow,
Bishoppes and bachelers   and bannerettes noble 6
That bowes to his banner,   busk when him likes.
But on the Christenmass-day   when they were all sembled,
That comlich conquerour   commaundes himselven
That ilk a lord sholde lenge   and no leve take
To the tende day fully   were taken to the end.
Thus on real array   he held his Round Table
With semblaunt and solace   and selcouthe metes;
Was never such noblay   in no mannes time
Made in mid-winter   in tho West Marches!
   But on the New-Yere day, at the noon even,
As the bold at the borde   was of bred served, 7
So come in sodenly   a senatour of Rome,
With sixteen knightes in a suite,   sewand him one;
He salued the soveraign   and the sale after
Ilk a king after king,   and made his inclines;
Gaynor in her degree   he grette as him liked
And sinn again to the gome   he gave up his needes: 8
"Sir Lucius Iberius,   the Emperour of Rome,
Salues thee as subjet,   under his sele rich;
It is credan, Sir King,   with cruel wordes;
Trow it for no troufles,   his targe is to shew! 9
Now in this New-Yeres Day,   with notaries sign,
I make thee summons in sale   to sew for thy landes,
That on Lamass Day   there be no let founden 10
That thou be redy at Rome   with all thy Round Table
Appere in his presence   with thy pris knightes
At prime of the day,   in pain of your lives,
In the kidd Capitoil   before the king selven
When he and his senatours   bes set as them likes,
To answer only   why thou occupies the landes
That owe homage of old   til him and his elders,
Why thou has ridden and raimed   and ransound the pople
And killed down his cosins,   kinges annointed;
There shall thou give reckoning   for all thy Round Table,
Why thou art rebel to Rome   and rentes them with-holdes!
Yif thou these summons withsit,   he sendes thee these wordes:
He shall thee seek over the se,   with sixteen kinges,
Brin Bretain the brode   and britten thy knightes 11
And bring thee buxomly as a beste   with brethe where him likes,
That thou ne shall route ne rest   under the heven rich
Though thou for reddour of Rome   run to the erthe!
For if thou flee into Fraunce   or Frisland other,
Thou shall be fetched with force   and overset forever!
Thy fader made fewtee   we find in our rolles,
In the regestré of Rome, who-so right lookes;
Withouten more troufling   the tribute we ask
That Julius Cesar won   with his gentle knightes!"
   The king blushed on the berne   with his brode eyen, 12
That full bremly for brethe   brent as the gledes,
Cast colours as the king   with cruel lates
Looked as a lion   and on his lip bites.
The Romanes for radness   rusht to the erthe,
For ferdness of his face   as they fey were;
Couched as kennetes   before the king selven;
Because of his countenaunce   confused them seemed!
Then covered up a knight   and cried full loud:
"King, crowned of kind,   courtais and noble,
Misdo no messanger   for mensk of thyselven,
Senn we are in thy manrede   and mercy thee beseekes;
We lenge with Sir Lucius,   that lord is of Rome,
That is the marveloustest man   than on molde lenges;
It is lelful til us   his liking til work; 13
We come at his commaundment;   have us excused."
   Then carpes the conquerour   cruel wordes:
"Ha! cravand knight,   a coward thee seemes!
There is some segge in this sale,   and he were sore greved 14
Thou durst not for all Lumbardy   look on him ones!"
   "Sir," says the senatour,   "so Crist mot me help,
The vout of thy visage   has wounded us all!
Thou art the lordliest lede   that ever I on looked.
By looking, withouten lees,   a lion thee seemes!" 15
   "Thou has me summoned," quod the king,   "and said what thee likes.
For sake of thy soveraign   I suffer thee the more;
Senn I crowned was in kith   with crisom annointed, 16
Was never creature to me   that carped so large!
But I shall take counsel   at kinges annointed
Of dukes and douspeeres   and doctours noble,
Of peeres of the parlement,   prelates and other
Of the richest renkes   of the Round Table;
Thus shall I take avisement   of valiant bernes,
Work after the wit   of my wise knightes.
To warp wordes in waste   no worship it were,
Ne wilfully in this wrath   to wreken myselven.
Forthy shall thou lenge here   and lodge with these lordes
This seven-night in solace   to sujourn your horses,
To see what life that we lede   in these low landes."
For by the realtee of Rome,   that richest was ever,
He commaundes Sir Kayous,   "Take keep to those lordes
To stightel tho stern men   as their state askes,
That they be herbered in haste   in those high chambres,
Sithen sittandly in sale   served thereafter,
That they find no faute   of food to their horses,
Nother wine ne wax   ne welth in this erthe;
Spare for no spicery,   but spend what thee likes 17
That there be largess on loft   and no lack founden;
If thou my worship wait,   wye, by my trewth, 18
Thou shall have gersoms full grete   that gain shall thee ever!"
   Now are they herbered in high   and in host holden, 19
Hastily with hende men   within these high walles.
In chambers with chimpnees   they changen their weedes, 20
And sithen the chaunceller   them fetched with chevalry noble;
Soon the senatour was set   as him well seemed,
At the kinges own borde;   two knightes him served,
Singulere, soothly,   as Arthur himselven,
Richly on the right hand   at the Round Table.
By resoun that the Romans   were so rich holden,
As of the realest blood   that regned in erthe.
There come in at the first course,   before the king selven, 21
Borehevedes that were bright,   burnisht with silver
All with taught men and towen   in togges full rich, 22
Of sank real in suite,   sixty at ones;
Flesh flourisht of fermison,   with frumentee noble, 23
There-to wild to wale,   and winlich briddes,
Pacockes and plovers   in platters of gold
Pigges of pork despine   that pastured never;
Sithen herons in hedoyne   heled full fair,
Grete swannes full swithe   in silveren chargeours, 24
Tartes of Turky,   taste whom them likes;
Gumbaldes graithly,   full gracious to taste;
Senn bowes of wild bores   with the brawn leched, 25
Bernakes and botoures   in batterd dishes,
Thereby braunchers in bred,   better was never,
With brestes of barrowes   that bright were to shew;
Senn come there sewes sere   with solace thereafter,
Ownde of azure all over   and ardaunt them seemed; 26
Of ilk a leche the lowe   launched full high,
That all ledes might like   that looked them upon;
Then cranes and curlewes   craftily rosted,
Connies in cretoyne   coloured full fair,
Fesauntes enflourished   in flamand silver,
With darielles endorded   and dainties ynow; 27
Then Claret and Crete   clergially rennen 28
With condethes full curious   all of clene silver,
Osay and Algarde   and other ynow
Rhenish wine and Rochelle,   richer was never,
Vernage of Venice,   virtuous, and Crete,
In faucetes of fine gold,   fonde who-so likes;
The kinges cup-bord   was closed in silver,
In grete gobletes overgilt,   glorious of hew; 29
There was a chef butler,   a chevaler noble
Sir Kayous the courtais,   that of the cup served;
Sixty cuppes of suite   for the king selven,
Crafty and curious,   corven full fair,
In ever-ilk a party pight   with precious stones,
That none enpoison sholde go   privily there-under 30
But the bright gold for brethe   sholde brist all to peces,
Or else the venom sholde void   through virtue of the stones;
And the conquerour himselven,   so clenly arrayed,
In colours of clene gold cledde,   with his knightes,
Dressed with his diadem   on his dese rich,
For he was deemed the doughtiest   that dwelled in erthe.
   Then the conquerour kindly   carped to those lordes,
Reheted the Romans   with real speche:
"Sirs, bes knightly of countenaunce   and comfortes yourselven;
We know nought in this countree   of curious metes;
In these barrain landes   breedes none other;
Forthy, withouten feining,   enforce you the more 31
To feed you with such feeble   as ye before find."
   "Sir," says the senatour,   "so Crist mot me help,
There regned never such realtee   within Rome walles!
There ne is prelate ne pope   ne prince in this erthe
That he ne might be well payed   of these pris metes!"
   After their welth they wesh   and went unto chamber,
This ilk kidd conquerour   with knightes ynow;
Sir Gawain the worthy   Dame Waynor he ledes,
Sir Owghtreth on tother side,   of Turry was lord.
Then spices unsparely   they spended thereafter,
Malvesy and Muskadell,   those marvelous drinkes,
Raiked full rathely   in rosset cuppes 32
Til all the rich on row,   Romans and other.
But the soveraign soothly,   for solace of himselven,
Assigned to the senatour   certain lordes
To lede to his levere,   when he his leve askes,
With mirth and with melody   of minstralsy noble.
   Then the conquerour to counsel   kaires thereafter
With lordes of his legeaunce   that to himself longes
To the Giauntes Towr   jollily he wendes
With justices and judges   and gentle knightes.
   Sir Cador of Cornwall   to the king carpes,
Laugh on him lovely   with likand lates; 33
"I thank God of that thro   that thus us thretes!
You must be trailed, I trow,   but yif ye tret better!
The lettres of Sir Lucius   lightes mine herte.
We have as losels lived   many long day
With delites in this land   with lordshippes many
And forlitened the los   that we are laited.
I was abashed, by our Lord,   of our best bernes,
For grete dole of deffuse   of deedes of armes. 34
Now wakenes the war!   Worshipped be Crist!
And we shall win it again   by wightness and strength!"
   "Sir Cador," quod the king,   "thy counsel is noble;
But thou art a marvelous man   with thy merry wordes!
For thou countes no case   ne castes no further, 35
But hurles forth upon heved,   as thy herte thinkes;
I moste trete of a trews   touchand these needes,
Talk of these tithandes   that teenes mine herte.
Thou sees that the emperour   is angerd a little;
It seemes by his sandesman   that he is sore greved;
His senatour has summond me   and said what him liked,
Hethely in my hall,   with heinous wordes,
In speche despised me   and spared me little;
I might not speke for spite,   so my herte trembled!
He asked me tyrauntly   tribute of Rome,
That teenfully tint was   in time of mine elders,
There alienes, in absence   of all men of armes,
Coverd it of commouns,   as cronicles telles.
I have title to take   tribute of Rome;
Mine auncestres were emperours   and ought it themselven,
Belin and Bremin   and Bawdewyne the third;
They occupied the empire   eight score winters,
Ilkon eier after other,   as old men telles;
They covered the Capitol   and cast down the walles,
Hanged of their hedesmen   by hundrethes at ones;
Senn Constantine, our kinsman,   conquered it after,
That eier was of Yngland   and emperour of Rome,
He that conquered the cross   by craftes of armes,
That Crist was on crucified,   that King is of heven.
Thus have we evidence to ask   the emperour the same,
That thus regnes at Rome,   what right that he claimes."
   Then answerd King Aungers   to Arthur himself:
"Thou ought to be overling   over to all other kinges,
For wisest and worthyest   and wightest of handes,
The knightlyest of counsel   that ever crown bore.
I dare say for Scotland   that we them scathe limped;
When the Romans regned   they ransound our elders
And rode in their riot   and ravished our wives,
Withouten resoun or right   reft us our goodes;
And I shall make my avow   devotly to Crist
And to the holy vernacle,   virtuous and noble,
Of this grete vilany   I shall be venged ones,
On yon venomous men   with valiant knightes!
I shall thee further of defence   fostred ynow
Twenty thousand men   within two eldes
Of my wage to wend   where-so thee likes,
To fight with thy fomen   that us unfair ledes!"
   Then the burlich berne   of Bretain the Little 36
Counsels Sir Arthur   and of him beseekes
To answer the alienes   with austeren wordes,
To entice the emperour   to take over the mountes.
He said: "I make mine avow   verily to Crist,
And to the holy vernacle,   that void shall I never
For radness of no Roman   that regnes in erthe,
But ay be redy in array   and at erest founden;
No more dout the dintes   of their derf wepens
Than the dew that is dank   when that it down falles;
Ne no more shoun for the swap   of their sharp swordes
Than for the fairest flowr   that on the folde growes!
I shall to batail thee bring   of brenyed knightes
Thirty thousand by tale, thrifty in armes,
Within a month-day,   into what march
That thou will soothly assign,   when thyself likes."
   "A! A!" says the Welsh king;   "worshipped be Crist!
Now shall we wreke full well   the wrath of our elders!
In West Wales, iwis,   such wonders they wrought
That all for wandreth may weep   that on that war thinkes.
I shall have the avauntward   witterly myselven,
Til that I have vanquisht   the Viscount of Rome,
That wrought me at Viterbo   a vilany ones,
As I past in pilgrimage   by the Pount Tremble.
He was in Tuskane that time   and took of our knightes,
Arrest them unrightwisly   and ransound them after. 37
I shall him surely ensure   that saghtel shall we never
Ere we sadly assemble   by ourselven ones
And dele dintes of deth   with our derf wepens!
And I shall wage to that war   of worshipful knightes,
Of Wyghte and of Welshland   and of the West Marches,
Two thousand in tale,   horsed on steedes,
Of the wightest wyes   in all yon West Landes!"
   Sir Ewain fitz Urien   then egerly fraines,
Was cosin to the conquerour,   corageous himselven:
"Sir, and we wiste your will   we wolde work thereafter;
Yif this journee sholde hold   or be ajourned further,
To ride on yon Romans   and riot their landes,
We wolde shape us therefore,   to ship when you likes."
   "Cosin," quod the conquerour,   "kindly thou askes
Yif my counsel accord   to conquer yon landes.
By the kalendes of Juny   we shall encounter ones
With full cruel knightes,   so Crist mot me help!
Thereto I make mine avow   devotly to Crist
And to the holy vernacle,   virtuous and noble;
I shall at Lamass take leve   to lenge at my large 38
In Lorraine or Lumbardy,   whether me leve thinkes;
Merk unto Meloine   and mine down the walles
Both of Petersand and of Pis   and of the Pount Tremble;
In the Vale of Viterbo   vitail my knights,
Sujourn there six weekes   and solace myselven,
Send prikers to the pris town   and plant there my sege 39
But if they proffer me the pees   by process of time."
   "Certes," says Sir Ewain,   "and I avow after,
And I that hathel may see   ever with mine eyen
That occupies thine heritage,   the empire of Rome,
I shall aunter me ones   his egle to touch
That borne is in his banner   of bright gold rich,
And rase it from his rich men   and rive it in sonder,
But he be redily rescued   with riotous knightes. 40
I shall enforce you in the feld   with fresh men of armes,
Fifty thousand folk   upon fair steedes,
On thy fomen to founde   there thee fair thinkes,
In Fraunce or in Frisland,   fight when thee likes!"
   "By our Lord," quod Sir Launcelot,   "now lightes mine herte! 41
I lowe God of this love   these lordes has avowed!
Now may less men have leve   to say what them likes,
And have no letting by law;   but listenes these wordes:
I shall be at journee   with gentle knightes
On a jamby steed   full jollily graithed,
Ere any journee begin   to joust with himselven 42
Among all his giauntes,   Genivers and other,
Strike him stiffly fro his steed   with strenghe of mine handes, 43
For all the steren in stour   that in his stale hoves!
Be my retinue arrayed,   I reck it but a little
To make route into Rome   with riotous knightes.
Within a seven-night day,   with six score helmes, 44
I shall be seen on the se,   sail when thee likes."
   Then laughes Sir Lot   and all on loud meles:
"Me likes that Sir Lucius   longes after sorrow;
Now he wilnes the war   his wandreth beginnes;
It is our werdes to wreke   the wrath of our elders!
I make mine avow to God   and to the holy vernacle:
And I may see the Romans   that are so rich holden, 45
Arrayed in their riotes   on a round feld,
I shall at the reverence   of the Round Table
Ride through all the rout,   rereward and other, 46
Redy wayes to make   and renkes full rowm,
Runnand on red blood,   as my steed rushes!
He that followes my fare   and first comes after
Shall find in my fare-way   many fey leved!"
   Then the conquerour kindly   comfortes these knightes,
Alowes them gretly   their lordly avowes;
"Allweldand God   worship you all!
And let me never want you,   whiles I in world regn;
My mensk and my manhed   ye maintain in erthe,
Mine honour all utterly   in other kinges landes;
My wele and my worship   of all this world rich,
Ye have knightly conquered   that to my crown longes.
Him thar be ferd for no foes   that swilk a folk ledes, 47
But ever fresh for to fight   in feld when him likes.
I account no king   that under Crist lives;
Whiles I see you all sound,   I set by no more."
   When they trustily had treted   they trumped up after, 48
Descended down with a daunce   of dukes and erles.
Then they sembled to sale   and souped als swithe,
All this seemly sorte,   with semblaunt full noble.
Then the roy real   rehetes these knightes
With reverence and riot   of all his Round Table
Til seven dayes was gone.   The senatour askes
Answer to the Emperour   with austeren wordes.
After the Epiphany,   when the purpose was taken
Of peeres of the parlement,   prelates and other,
The king in his counsel,   courtais and noble,
Uters the alienes   and answers himselven:
"Greet well Lucius, thy lord,   and laine not these wordes;
If thou be legemen lele,   let him wite soon
I shall at Lamass take leve   and lodge at my large
In delite in his landes   with lordes ynow,
Regne in my realtee   and rest when me likes;
By the river of Rhone   hold my Round Table,
Fang the fermes in faith   of all tho fair rewmes 49
For all the menace of his might   and maugree his eyen!
And merk sithen over the mountes   into his main landes,
To Miloine the marvelous   and mine down the walles;
In Lorraine ne in Lumbardy   leve shall I nother
Nokine lede upon life   that there his lawes yemes;
And turn into Tuskane   when me time thinkes,
Ride all those rowm landes   with riotous knightes.
Bid him make rescues   for mensk of himselven,
And meet me for his manhed   in those main landes!
I shall be founden in Fraunce,   fraist when him likes!
The first day of Feveryer   in those fair marches!
Ere I be fetched with force   or forfeit my landes,
The flowr of his fair folk   full fey shall be leved!
I shall him sekerly ensure   under my sele rich
To sege the citee of Rome   within seven winter
And that so sekerly ensege   upon sere halves
That many a senatour shall sigh   for sake of me one!
My summons are certified   and thou art full served
Of cundit and credens;   kaire where thee likes. 50
I shall thy journee engist,   enjoin them myselven, 51
Fro this place to the port   there thou shall pass over:
Seven days to Sandwich   I set at the large;
Sixty mile on a day,   the sum is but little!
Thou moste speed at the spurs   and spare not thy fole;
Thou wendes by Watling Street   and by no way elles;
There thou nyghes on night   needes moste thou lenge; 52
Be it forest or feld,   found thou no further;
Bind thy blonk by a busk   with thy bridle even,
Lodge thyselven under linde   as thee lefe thinkes; 53
There owes none alienes   to ayer upon nightes,
With such a ribawdous rout   to riot thyselven.
Thy license is limit   in presence of lordes,
Be now loth or lette,   right as thee thinkes, 54
For both thy life and thy limm   ligges thereupon,
Though Sir Lucius had laid thee   the lordship of Rome,
For be thou founden a foot   withoute the flood marches
After the aughtende day   when undern is rungen,
Thou shall be heveded in hie   and with horse drawen, 55
And senn hiely be hanged,   houndes to gnawen!
The rent ne red gold   that unto Rome longes
Shall not redily, renk,   ransoun thine one!"
   "Sir," says the senatour,   "so Crist mot me help,
Might I with worship   win away ones
I sholde never for Emperour   that on erthe lenges
Eft unto Arthur   ayer on such needes;
But I am singely here   with sixteen knightes;
I beseek you, sir,   that we may sound pass.
If any unlawful lede   let us by the way,
Within thy license, lord,   thy los is inpaired."
   "Care not," quod the king;   "thy cundit is knowen
Fro Carlisle to the coste   there thy cogge lenges;
Though thy coffers were full,   crammed with silver,
Thou might be seker of my sele   sixty mile further."
   They enclined to the king   and congee they asked,
Kaires out of Carlisle,   catches on their horses;
Sir Cador the courtais   kend them the wayes,
To Catrik them conveyed   and to Crist them bekenned.
So they sped at the spurres   they sprangen their horses,
Hires them hackenayes   hastily thereafter.
So for reddour they ridden   and rested them never,
But yif they lodged under linde   whiles them the light failed;
But ever the senatour forsooth   sought at the gainest.
By the sevende day was gone   the citee they reched.
Of all the glee under God   so glad were they never
As of the sound of the se   and Sandwich belles.
Withouten more stunting   they shipped their horses;
Wery to the wan se   they went all at ones.
With the men of the wale   they weighted up their ankers
And fled at the fore flood;   in Flaunders they rowed
And through Flaunders they found,   as them fair thought,
Til Aachen in Almaine,   in Arthur landes;
Gos by Mount Goddard   full grevous wayes,
And so into Lumbardy,   likand to shew.
They turn through Tuskane   with towres full high;
In pris appairelles them   in precious weedes. 56
The Sononday in Sutere   they sujourn their horses
And seekes the saintes of Rome   by assent of knightes;
Sithen prikes to the palais   with portes so rich,
There Sir Lucius lenges   with lordes ynow;
Loutes to him lovely   and lettres him bedes
Of credens enclosed   with knightlich wordes.
   Then the Emperour was eger   and enkerly fraines;
The answer of Arthur   he askes him soon,
How he arrayes the rewm   and rewles the pople,
Yif he be rebel to Rome,   what right that he claimes;
"Thou sholde his sceptre have sesed   and sitten aboven
For reverence and realtee   of Rome the noble;
By certes thou was my sandes   and senatour of Rome,
He sholde for solempnitee   have served thee himselven."
   "That will he never for no wye   of all this world rich
But who may win him of war,   by wightness of handes;
Many fey shall be first   upon the feld leved,
Ere he appere in this place,   proffer when thee likes.
I say thee, sir, Arthur   is thine enmy forever,
And ettles to be overling   of the empire of Rome,
That all his auncestres ought   but Uter himselven.
Thy needes in this New Yere   I notified myselven
Before that noble of name   and nine sum of kinges;
In the most real place   of the Round Table
I summond him solemnly   on-seeand his knightes; 57
Senn I was formed, in faith,   so ferd was I never, 58
In all the places there I passed   of princes on erthe.
I wolde forsake all my suite   of seignoury of Rome
Ere I eft to that soveraign   were sent on such needes!
He may be chosen cheftain,   chef of all other
Both by chaunces of armes   and chevalry noble,
For wisest and worthyest   and wightest of handes.
Of all the wyes that I wot   in this world rich -
The knighliest creature   in Cristdendom holden
Of king or of conquerour   crowned in erthe,
Of countenaunce, of corage,   of cruel lates,
The comlyest of knighthood   that under Crist lives!
He may be spoken in dispens   despiser of silver,
That no more of gold gives   than of grete stones,
No more of wine than of water   that of the well runnes,
Ne of welth of this world   but worship alone.
Such countenance was never knowen   in no kith riche
As was with this conquerour   in his court holden;
I counted at this Cristenmass   of kinges annointed,
Hole ten at his table   that time with himselven.
He will warray, iwis,   be ware yif thee likes;
Wage many wight men   and watch thy marches,
That they be redy in array   and at erest founden,
For yif he reche unto Rome,   he ransouns it forever.
I rede thou dress thee therefore   and draw no let longer; 59
Be seker of thy soudeours   and send to the mountes;
By the quarter of this yere,   and him quert stand,
He will wightly in a while   on his wayes hie."
   "By Ester," says the Emperour,   "I ettle myselven
To hostay in Almaine   with armed knightes;
Send frekly into Fraunce,   that flowr is of rewmes;
Fonde to fette that freke   and forfeit his landes,
For I shall set keepers,   full cunnand and noble,
Many giaunt of Gene,   jousters full good.
To meet him in the mountes   and martyr his knightes,
Strike them down in straites   and stroy them forever.
There shall upon Goddard   a garret be rered 60
That shall be garnisht and keeped   with good men of armes,
And a becon aboven to brin   when them likes,
That none enmy with host   shall enter the mountes.
There shall on Mount Bernard   be belded another,
Busked with bannerettes   and bachelers noble. 61
In at the portes of Pavia   shall no prince pass
Through the perilous places   for my pris knightes."
   Then Sir Lucius lordlich   lettres he sendes
Anon into the Orient   with austeren knightes
Til Ambyganye and Orcage   and Alisaundere eek 62
To Inde and to Ermonye,   as Eufrates runnes,
To Asia and to Afrike,   and Europe the large,
To Irritaine and Elamet,   and all those oute iles, 63
To Arraby and Egypt,   til erles and other
That any erthe occupies   in those este marches
Of Damaske and Damiet,   and dukes and erles.
For drede of his daunger   they dressed them soon;
Of Crete and of Capados   the honourable kinges
Come at his commaundement   clenly at ones;
To Tartary and Turkey   when tithinges is comen
They turn in by Thebay,   tyrauntes full huge,
The flowr of the fair folk   of Amazonnes landes;
All that failes on the feld   be forfeit forever.
Of Babylon and Baldake   the burlich knightes
Bayous with their baronage   bides no longer;
Of Perse and of Pamphile   and Preter John landes 64
Ech prince with his power   appertlich graithed;
The Sowdan of Surry   assembles his knightes
Fro Nilus to Nazareth,   numbers full huge;
To Garyere and to Galilee   they gader all at ones,
The sowdanes that were seker   soudeours to Rome;
They gadered over the Greekes Se   with grevous wepens,
In their grete galleys,   with glitterande sheldes;
The King of Cyprus on the se   the Sowdan abides,
With all the reales of Rhodes   arrayed with him one;
They sailed with a side wind   over the salt strandes,
Sodenly the Sarazenes,   as themselve liked;
Craftyly at Cornett   the kinges are arrived,
Fro the citee of Rome   sixty mile large.
By that the Greekes were graithed,   a full grete number, 65
The mightiest of Macedone,   with men of tho marches,
Pulle and Prussland,   presses with other,   
The lege-men of Lettow   with legions ynow.
Thus they semble in sortes,   summes full huge;
The sowdanes and Sarazenes   out of sere landes
The Sowdan of Surry   and sixteen kinges
At the citee of Rome   assembled at ones.
   Then ishews the Emperour,   armed at rightes
Arrayed with his Romans   upon rich steedes;
Sixty giauntes before, engendered with fendes,
With witches and warlaws,   to watchen his tentes
Aywere where he wendes   wintres and yeres.
Might no blonkes them bere,   those bustous churles,
But coverd cameles of towrs,   enclosed in mailes;   
He ayeres out with alienes,   hostes full huge
Even into Almaine,   that Arthur had wonnen,
Rides in by the river   and riotes himselve,
And ayeres with a huge will   all those high landes;
All Westfale by war   he winnes as him likes,
Drawes in by Danuby   and dubbes his knightes,
In the countree of Coloine   castelles enseges
And sujourns that sesoun   with Sarazenes ynow.
   At the utas of Hillary   Sir Arthur himselven 66
In his kidd counsel   commaunde the lordes:
"Kaire to your countrees   and semble your knightes,
And keepes me at Constantine,   clenlich arrayed,
Bides me at Barflete   upon the blithe stremes
Boldly within borde,   with your best bernes;
I shall menskfully you meet   in those fair marches."
   He sendes forth sodenly   sergeauntes of armes
To all his mariners in row   to arrest him shippes;
Within sixteen dayes   his fleet was assembled,
At Sandwich on the se,   sail when him likes.
In the palais of York   a parlement he holdes
With all the peeres of the rewm,   prelates and other;
And after the preching,   in presence of lordes,
The king in his counsel   carpes these wordes:
"I am in purpose to pass   perilous wayes,
To kaire with my keen men   to conquer yon landes,
To outraye mine enmy,   yif aventure it shew, 67
That occupies mine heritage,   the empire of Rome.
I set you here a soveraign,   assent yif you likes,
That is my sib, my sister son;   Sir Mordred himselven
Shall be my leutenant,   with lordshippes ynow
Of all my lele lege-men   that my landes yemes."
   He carpes to his cosin then,   in counsel himselven:
"I make thee keeper, Sir Knight,   of kingrikes many,
Warden worshipful   to weld all my landes,
That I have wonnen of war   in this world rich.
I will that Waynor, my wife,   in worship be holden.
That her want no wele   ne welth that her likes;
Look my kidd casteles   be clenlich arrayed,
There sho may sujourn herselve   with seemlich bernes;
Fonde my forestes be frithed,   of frendship for ever, 68
That none warray my wild   but Waynor herselven,
And that in the sesoun   when grees is assigned,
That sho take her solace   in certain times.
Chaunceller and chamberlain   change as thee likes,
Auditours and officers, ordain them thyselven,
Both jurees and judges,   and justices of landes;
Look thou justify them well   that injury workes.
If me be destained to die   at Drightens will,
I charge thee my sektour,   chef of all other,
To minister my mobles   for meed of my soul
To mendinauntes and misese   in mischef fallen.
Take here my testament   of tresure full huge;
As I traist upon thee,   betray thou me never!
As thou will answer before   the austeren Judge
That all this world winly   wisse as Him likes,
Look that my last will   be lely perfourned!
Thou has clenly the cure   that to my crown longes
Of all my wordles wele   and my wife eek; 69
Look thou keep thee so clere   there be no cause founden
When I to countree come,   if Crist will it thole;
And thou have grace goodly   to govern thyselven,
I shall crown thee, knight,   king with my handes."
   Then Sir Mordred full mildly   meles himselven,
Kneeled to the conquerour   and carpes these wordes:
"I beseek you, sir,   as my sib lord,
That ye will for charitee   chese you another,
For if ye put me in this plitt,   your pople is deceived;
To present a prince estate   my power is simple;
When other of war-wisse   are worshipped hereafter,
Then may I, forsooth,   be set but at little.
To pass in your presence   my purpose is taken
And all my perveance appert   for my pris knightes."
   "Thou art my nevew full ner,   my nurree of old,
That I have chastied and chosen,   a child of my chamber;
For the sibreden of me,   forsake not this office;
That thou ne work my will,   thou wot what it menes."
   Now he takes his leve   and lenges no longer
At lordes, at lege-men   that leves him behinden;
And senn that worthiliche wye   went unto chamber
For to comfort the queen   that in care lenges.
Waynor waikly   weepand him kisses,
Talkes to him tenderly   with teres ynow;
"I may werye the wye   that this war moved,
That warnes me worship   of my wedde lord;
All my liking of life   out of land wendes,
And I in langour am left,   leve ye, forever!
Why ne might I, dere love,   die in your armes,
Ere I this destainy of dole   sholde drie by mine one!"
   "Greve thee not, Gaynor,   for Goddes love of heven,
Ne grouch not my ganging;   it shall to good turn!
Thy wandrethes and thy weeping   woundes mine herte;
I may not wite of this wo   for all this world rich;
I have made a keeper,   a knight of thine owen,
Overling of Yngland,   under thyselven,
And that is Sir Mordred,   that thou has mikel praised,
Shall be thy dictour, my dere,   to do what thee likes."
   Then he takes his leve   at ladies in chamber,
Kissed them kindlich   and to Crist beteches;
And then sho swoones full swithe   when he his sword asked,
Sways in swooning,   swelte as sho wolde!
He pressed to his palfrey,   in presence of lordes,
Prikes of the palais   with his pris knightes
With a real rout   of the Round Table,
Sought toward Sandwich;   sho sees him no more.
   There the grete were gadered   with galiard knightes,
Garnished on the green feld   and graitheliche arrayed;
Dukes and douspeeres   daintely rides,
Erles of Yngland   with archers ynow.
Shirreves sharply   shiftes the commouns, 70
Rewles before the rich   of the Round Table,
Assignes ilk a countree   to certain lordes,
In the south on the se bank   sail when them likes.
Then barges them buskes   and to the bank rowes,
Bringes blonkes on borde   and burlich helmes
Trusses in tristly   trapped steedes,
Tentes and other tooles,   and targes full rich,
Cabanes and cloth-sackes   and cofferes full noble,
Hackes and hackeneys   and horses of armes;
Thus they stow in the stuff   of full steren knightes.
   When all was shipped that sholde,   they shunt no lenger,
But unteld them tite,   as the tide runnes;
Cogges and crayers   then crosses their mastes, 71
At the commaundement of the king   uncovered at ones;
Wightly on the wale   they wie up their ankers, 72
By wit of the watermen   of the wale ythes.
Frekes on the forestaine   faken their cables
In floynes and fercostes   and Flemish shippes,
Titt sailes to the top   and turnes the luff,
Standes upon steerbord,   sterenly they songen.
The pris shippes of the port   proven their deepness,
And foundes with full sail   over the fawe ythes;
Holly withouten harm   they hale in botes,
Shipmen sharply   shutten their portes,
Launches lede upon luff   latchen their deepes, 73
Lookes to the lode-stern   when the light failes,
Castes courses by craft   when the cloud rises
With the needle and the stone   on the night tides.
For drede of the dark night   they dreched a little
And all the steren of the streme   steken at ones. 74
   The king was in a grete cogge   with knightes full many,
In a cabane enclosed,   clenlich arrayed;
Within on a rich bed   restes a little,
And with the swogh of the se   in swefning he fell.
Him dremed of a dragon,   dredful to behold,
Come drivand over the deep   to drenchen his pople,
Even walkand   out the West landes,
Wanderand unworthyly   over the wale ythes; 75
Both his hed and his hals   were holly all over
Ounded of azure,   enamelled full fair; 76
His shoulders were shaled   all in clene silver
Shredde over all the shrimp   with shrinkand pointes;
His womb and his winges   of wonderful hewes,
In marvelous mailes   he mounted full high.
Whom that he touched   he was tint forever!
His feet were flourished   all in fine sable
And such a venomous flaire   flow from his lippes
The flood of the flawes   all on fire seemed!
   Then come out of the Orient,   even him againes, 77
A black bustous bere   aboven in the cloudes,
With ech a paw as a post   and paumes full huge
With pikes full perilous,   all pliand them seemed;
Lothen and lothly,   lockes and other,
All with lutterd legges,   lokkerd unfair,
Filtered unfreely,   with fomand lippes -
The foulest of figure   that formed was ever!
He baltered, he blered,   he braundished thereafter;
To batail he bounes him   with bustous clawes;
He romed, he rored,   that rogged all the erthe,
So rudely he rapped at   to riot himselven! 78
   Then the dragon on dregh   dressed him againes
And with his duttes him drove   on dregh by the welken;
He fares as a faucon,   frekly he strikes;
Both with feet and with fire   he fightes at ones.
The bere in the batail   the bigger him seemed,
And bites him boldly   with baleful tuskes;
Such buffetes he him reches   with his brode klokes,
His breste and his brayell   was bloody all over.
He ramped so rudely   that all the erthe rives, 79
Runnand on red blood   as rain of the heven!
He had weried the worm   by wightness of strenghe
Ne were it not for the wild fire   that he him with defendes.
   Then wanders the worm   away to his heightes,
Comes glidand fro the cloudes   and coupes full even,
Touches him with his talones   and teres his rigge,
Betwix the taile and the top   ten foot large!
Thus he brittened the bere   and brought him o live, 80
Let him fall in the flood,   fleet where him likes.
So they thring the bold king   binne the ship-borde, 81
That ner he bristes for bale   on bed where he ligges.
   Then waknes the wise king,   wery fortravailed,
Takes him two philosophers   that followed him ever,
In the seven science   the sutelest founden,
The cunningest of clergy   under Crist knowen;
He told them of his torment   that time that he sleeped:
"Dreched with a dragon   and such a derf beste,
Has made me full wery,   as wisse me Our Lord;
Ere I mon swelt as swithe,   ye tell me my swefen!" 82
   "Sir," said they soon then,   these sage philosophers,
"The dragon that thou dremed of,   so dredful to shew,
That come drivand over the deep   to drenchen thy pople,
Soothly and certain   thyselven it is,
That thus sailes over the se   with thy seker knightes.
The coloures that were casten   upon his clere winges
May be thy kingrikes all,   that thou has right wonnen,
And the tattered tail,   with tonges so huge,
Betokens this fair folk   that in thy fleet wendes.
The bere that brittened was   aboven in the cloudes
Betokenes the tyrauntes   that tormentes thy pople
Or elles with some giaunt   some journee shall happen,
In singular batail   by yourselve one;
And thou shall have the victory,   through help of Our Lord,
As thou in thy vision   was openly shewed.
Of this dredful dreme   ne drede thee no more,
Ne care not, sir conquerour,   but comfort thyselven
And these that sailes over the se   with thy seker knightes."
   With trumpes then tristly   they trussen up their sailes 83
And rowes over the rich se,   this rout all at ones;
The comly coste of Normandy   they catchen full even
And blithely at Barflete   these bold are arrived,
And findes a fleet there   of frendes ynow,
The flowr and the fair folk   of fifteen rewmes,
For kinges and capitaines   keeped him fair,
As he at Carlisle commaunded   at Cristenmass himselven.
   By they had taken the land   and tentes up rered,
Comes a Templar tite   and touched to the king;
"Here is a tyraunt beside   that tormentes thy pople,
A grete giaunt of Gene,   engendered of fendes;
He has freten of folk   mo than five hundreth,
And als fele fauntekins   of free-born childer. 84
This has been his sustenaunce   all this seven winteres,
And yet is that sot not sad,   so well him it likes!
In the countree of Constantine   no kind has he leved
Withouten kidd casteles,   enclosed with walles,
That he ne has clenly distroyed   all the knave childer,
And them carried to the crag   and clenly devoured.
The duchess of Bretain   today has he taken,
Beside Reines as sho rode   with her rich knightes,
Led her to the mountain   there that lede lenges
To lie by that lady   ay whiles her life lastes.
We followed o ferrome   mo than five hundreth
Of bernes and of burges   and bachelers noble,
But he covered the crag;   sho cried so loud
The care of that creature   cover shall I never
Sho was the flowr of all Fraunce   or of five rewmes,
And one of the fairest   that formed was ever,
The gentilest jowell   ajudged with lordes
Fro Gene unto Gerone   by Jesu of heven!
Sho was thy wifes cosin,   know it if thee likes,
Comen of the richest   that regnes in erthe;
As thou art rightwise king,   rew on thy pople
And fonde for to venge them   that thus are rebuked!"
   "Alas," says Sir Arthur,   "so long have I lived!
Had I witten of this,   well had me cheved.
Me is not fallen fair   but me is foul happened
That thus this fair lady   this fend has destroyed!
I had lever than all Fraunce   this fifteen winter 85
I had been before that freke   a furlong of way
When he that lady had laght   and led to the mountes;
I had left my life   ere sho had harm limped.
But wolde thou ken me to that crag   there that keen lenges,
I wolde kaire to that coste   and carp with himselven,
To trete with that tyraunt   for tresoun of landes
And take trews for a time   til it may tide better."
   "Sir, see ye yon forland   with yon two fires?
There filsnes that fend,   fraist when thee likes,
Upon the crest of the crag   by a cold well
That encloses the cliff   with the clere strandes;
There may thou find folk   fey withouten number,
Mo florines, in faith,   than Fraunce is in after,
And more tresure untrewly   that traitour has getten
Than in Troy was, as I trow,   that time that it was wonnen."
   Then romes the rich king   for rewth of the pople,
Raikes right to a tent   and restes no lenger;
He welteres, he wresteles,   he wringes his handes;
There was no wye of this world   that wiste what he mened.
He calles Sir Kayous   that of the cup served
And Sir Bedvere the bold   that bore his brand rich:
"Look ye after even-song   be armed at rightes
On blonkes by yon buscaile,   by yon blithe stremes,
For I will pass in pilgrimage   privily hereafter,
In the time of souper,   when lordes are served,
For to seeken a saint   by yon salt stremes,
In Saint Michel mount,   there miracles are shewed."
   After even-song   Sir Arthur himselven
Went to his wardrope   and warp off his weedes
Armed him in a aketoun   with orfrayes full rich;
Aboven, on that, a jerin   of Acres out over;
Aboven that a gesseraunt   of gentle mailes,
A jupon of Jerodine   jagged in shredes;
He braides on a bacenett   burnisht of silver
The best that was in Basel,   with bordours rich;
The crest and the coronal   enclosed so fair
With claspes of clere gold,   couched with stones;
The vesar, the aventail, enarmed so fair, 86
Void withouten vice,   with windowes of silver;
His gloves gaylich gilt   and graven at the hemmes
With graines and gobelets,   glorious of hew.
He braces a brode sheld   and his brand askes, 87
Bouned him a brown steed   and on the bente hoves;
He stert til his stirrup   and strides on loft,
Straines him stoutly   and stirres him fair,
Broches the bay steed   and to the busk rides,
And there his knightes him keeped   full clenlich arrayed.
   Then they rode by that river   that runned so swithe,
There the rindes over-reches   with real boughes;
The roe and the reindeer   reckless there runnen,
In ranes and in rosers   to riot themselven;
The frithes were flourisht   with flowres full many,
With faucons and fesauntes   of ferlich hewes;
All the fowles there flashes   that flies with winges,
For there galed the gouk   on greves full loud;
With alkine gladship   they gladden themselven;
Of the nightingale notes   the noises was sweet;
They threped with the throstels   three hundreth at ones!
That whate swowing of water   and singing of birds,
It might salve him of sore   that sound was never!
   Then ferkes this folk   and on foot lightes,
Fastenes their fair steedes   o ferrom between; 88
And then the king keenly   commaunded his knightes
For to bide with their blonkes   and boun no further;
"For I will seek this saint   by myselve one
And mele with this master man   that this mount yemes,
And senn shall ye offer,   either after other 89
Menskfully at Saint Michel,   full mighty with Crist."
   The king covers the crag   with cloughes full high,
To the crest of the cliff   he climbes on loft,
Cast up his umbrere   and keenly he lookes,
Caught of the cold wind   to comfort himselven.
Two fires he findes   flamand full high;
The fourtedele a furlong   between them he walkes;
The way by the well-strandes   he wanderd him one
To wite of the warlaw,   where that he lenges.
He ferkes to the first fire   and even there he findes
A wery woful widow   wringand her handes,
And gretand on a grave   grisly teres,
New merked on molde,   senn mid-day it seemed.
He salued that sorrowful   with sittand wordes
And fraines after the fend   fairly thereafter.
   Then this woful wife   unwinly him greetes,
Coverd up on her knees   and clapped her handes,
Said: "Careful, careman,   thou carpes too loud!
May yon warlaw wite,   he warrays us all!
Weryd worth the wight ay   that thee thy wit reved,
That mas thee to waife here   in these wild lakes!
I warn thee, for worship,   thou wilnes after sorrow!
Whider buskes thou, berne?   unblessed thou seemes!
Weenes thou to britten him   with thy brand rich?
Were thou wighter than Wade   or Wawain   either,
Thou winnes no worship,   I warn thee before.
Thou sained thee unsekerly   to seek to these mountes; 90
Such six were too simple   to semble with him one,
For, and thou see him with sight,   thee serves no herte
To saine thee sekerly,   so seemes him huge.
Thou art freely and fair   and in thy first flowres,
But thou art fey, by my faith,   and that me forthinkes!
Were such fifty on a feld   or on a fair erthe,
The freke wolde with his fist   fell you at ones.
Lo! Here the duchess dere - today was sho taken -
Deep dolven and dede,   diked in moldes.
He had murthered this mild   by mid-day were rungen, 91
Withouten mercy on molde,   I not what it ment;
He has forced her and filed   and sho is fey leved;
He slew her unslely   and slit her to the navel.
And here have I baumed her   and buried thereafter.
For bale of the bootless,   blithe be I never!
Of all the frendes sho had   there followed none after
But I, her foster moder,   of fifteen winter.
To ferk off this forland   fonde shall I never,
But here be founden on feld   til I be fey leved."
great; (see note)
shameful deeds
go to
dwell; abide
teach; utter
neither; honor
Pleasing; people; hear
desire; listen
loyal; religion
Hearken; courteously
royal men
chief; chieftains
dreaded always
courteous; skilled; manners
Slew; wicked
Listen; here; hear
recovered; country
Uther; earth; owned; (see note)
entirely; where the
(see note)
by; to
Grasse; (see note)
dwelt in
(see note)
Auvergne; earldoms; (see note)
Germany; Austria; many others
directed; dread; (see note)
countries where; bear
realms; ruled; people
royal (one)
Sojourns; season
Great Britain; pleases
Then; men
Moves; South Wales; swift
where gladness
city; established
(see note)
Christmas; (see note)
same famous
high nobles; realms; (see note)
Earls; archbishops
(see note)
go when it pleases him
each; should remain; leave
splendor; rare foods
those; (see note)
New Year's; exactly
(see note)
company following; alone
saluted; hall
Each; bows
greeted; pleased
(see note)
Salutes; subject; seal
hall; plead
(see note)
Appear; excellent
first hour; on; (see note)
famous; himself
are; it pleases them
robbed; ransomed
if; resist
sea; (see note)
(see note)
Frisia either
father; fealty; records
Turned pale; features
fear; ground
fear; fated to die
Crouched like hounds
they seemed
got up (on his knees)
by nature courteous
Harm; honor
Since; power; beseech
most marvelous; earth
craven; you seem
(see note)
As; may
(see note)
spoke so freely
high noblemen; theologians
most powerful men
advice; men
Do according to
utter; honor
Nor; avenge
Therefore; remain
pleasure; rest
lead; humble
royalty; most powerful
care of
arrange those; requires
lodged; noble
Then suitably in hall
generosity prevailing
courteous; noble
(see note)
Singly (alone)
reason; powerful
most royal; reigned
(see note)
Boar-heads; adorned
(see note)
Piglets; porcupine
Then; plumage concealed
pies; Turkey; pleases; (see note)
Beef pies readily
young hawks; bread
breasts; pigs; be seen
Then; stews various
men; who
Rabbits; milk and spices
Pheasants adorned; flaming
(see note)
Alsatian and Spanish wines; many others
White wine; full-bodied
vessels; to try
chief; chevalier
cups in a set
Skillfully made; carved
each part adorned
(see note)
pure; clad
Cheered; royal speech
exotic meats
poor food
As; may
reigned; royalty
is no; nor
pleased; excellent foods
bounteous feast; washed
same famous; many knights
Guinevere; leads; (see note)
the other; (see note)
unsparingly; expended
Malmsey and Muscatel
To; in turn
lead; desired place; leave
allegiance; belong
Tower; goes; (see note)
trouble; threatens
dragged; believe; unless
lighten; heart
lessened; praise; esteemed
by; men
(see note)
spout off; heart
consider; truce; matters
tidings; grieve
messenger; grieved
Scornfully; hateful
could not speak
painfully lost
Obtained; commoners
(see note)
Each one heir
head men; hundreds; once
Then; (see note)
heir; England
(see note)
suffered harm from them
reigned; ransomed
reason; bereft us of
image of Veronica; (see note)
villainy; avenged at once
well trained
ages; (see note)
At my expense; travel
foes; treat
(see note)
beseeches; (see note)
image of Veronica; retreat
fear; reigns
ready; the first
fear the blows; grim
shrink; sweep
flower; ground
battle; armored
count, prosperous
whatever country
(see note)
avenge; injury to
vanguard certainly
villainy once
Tuscany; some of
be reconciled
ourselves alone
deal; strong
bring at my expense
Isle of Wight; (see note)
strongest men
eagerly asks; (see note)
kinsman; courageous
if we knew; would
journey; adjourned
would prepare us
kinsman; said
first day of June
as; may
image of Veronica
Go; Milan; undermine
(see note)
supply (victual)
Sojourn; refresh
Unless; peace
Certainly; vow
If; man; eyes
venture; eagle-standard
snatch; cut it asunder
reinforce; field
foemen to go where
(see note)
praise; (see note)
lesser; leave
the day's fight; noble
active; equipped
giants, Genoese; (see note)
desires; sorrow
fates to avenge
image of Veronica
(see note)
Running with
path; dead left
Praises; vows
All-ruling; honor
be without you
honor; manhood
take account of
depend on
group (dance); earls
met; hall; dined quickly
company; splendor
royal king regales
respect; revelry
January 6; (see note)
Brings out
liege-man loyal; know
August 1; freely
delight; many lords
Reign; royalty
go; mountains
Milan; undermine
Lombardy; leave; neither
No kind of man; keeps
spacious; vigorous
manhood; strong
dead; left
certainly; seal
besiege; city
securely besiege; all sides
as a maximum time
must; foal
travel; else; (see note)
(see note)
field; go
horse; bush
ought; wander
ribald; company
(see note)
limb lie
laid on you
edge of the sea
eighth; nine a.m.
tax; belongs
man, ransom you alone
as; may
Could; go
should; remains
Again; go; a message
singly; (see note)
beseech; safely
man hinder
fame is impaired
said; safe conduct
From; coast; ship
secure; seal
bowed; leave
courteous; taught
entrusted; (see note)
fear; rode
Unless; tree
nearest (way)
By (the time)
sea; curfew; (see note)
Weary; pale sea
gunwale; anchors
first high tide; to
To; Germany
They go; grievous; (see note)
pleasant to be seen
Sunday; Sutri; rest
spur; palace; gates
Where; many lords
Bows; properly; offers
credentials; knightly
eager; ardently asks
orders the realm
seized; above
royalty; (see note)
Because; messenger
man; (see note)
Except; strength
dead; left
tell you; enemy
intends; overlord
owned; except
message; made knowen
nine in all
following; lordship
again; errand
chieftain; chief
men; know
courage; expressions
called in his expenditures
wealth; except for
Ten in all
make war
Pay; borders
at the earliest time
if; reach
sure; mercenaries
year, if; health remains
stoutly; hasten
Easter; intend
lead a host; Germany
Try; fetch; man
guards; cunning
narrow places; destroy
beacon; burn
(see note)
(see note)
eastern countries
Damascus; Damietta
Cappadocia (in Turkey)
China; tidings
land of the Amazons
are lacking
Cairo; Bagdad; stately
Men of Bayonne; (see note)
(see note)
Each; openly prepared
Sultan; Syria
From Nile
Gadara; gather; once
sultans; trusty mercenaries
glittering shields
royal (ones); alone
Quickly; Saracens
Apulia; Prussia; hasten; (see note)
liege-men; Lithuania
assemble; companies
sultans; Saracens; various
Sultan; Syria
issues; completely
by fiends
Anywhere; years
horses; bear; wild
camels covered with towers
Directly; Germany
Cologne; besieges
(see note)
famous; commanded
Go; assemble
await; completely; (see note)
peaceful streams
aboard (ships); men
kin; sister's son
lieutenant; enough authority
loyal liege-men; possess
says; kinsman
guardian; kingdoms
wield (rule)
desire; Guinevere
famous; completely equipped
she; fair knights
(see note)
do justice to; do
fated; God's
executor, chief
goods; reward
mendicants; those in misery
pleasantly directs
loyally performed
completely; care
(see note)
clear; complaint
come home; allow
beseech; related by blood
plight; people
cunning in warfare
be little regarded
provisions ready
nephew; near; nursling
disciplined; praised
blood relationship to
If; know; means
With; leaves
then; worthy man
weakly weeping
curse; person
denies; wedded
destiny; suffer; alone
begrudge; going
depart (turn aside from)
guardian; own
kindly; entrusts (them)
she; requested
as if she would die; (see note)
Spurs from; palace
Went; she
gathered; jolly
drawn up suitably
high noblemen
the soldiers from each country
horses aboard; stately
securely; equipped
siege-engines; shields
Cabins; sacks of clothes
(see note)
hold back; longer
untied; quickly
unfurled (sails)
surging waves
Men; bow coil
small ships; merchantmen
Pull; bow
starboard sternly; sang
go; bounding waves
Wholly; haul; boats
shut; portholes
North Star
i.e., with a compass
slowed down
cabin; completely
swaying; dreaming
He dreamed
driving; drown
Directly walking
neck; wholly
belly; hues
(see note)
decorated; (see note)
flame flowed
outpouring; flames
danced about; grimaced
prepares himself; wild
bellowed; roared; rocked
(see note)
finally came against him
blows; afar; sky
falcon; boldly
reaches to (gives); claws
breast; waist
wearied; serpent; stoutness
strikes directly
tears; back
wakens; wearily exhausted
most subtle; (see note)
most learned of scholars
Harassed; dire beast
guide me; (see note)
immediately; wise
dreamed; behold
driving; drown
clear (shining)
tongues; (see note)
beaten down
else; day's fight
battle; alone
coast; reach
By the time; reared
quickly; told; (see note)
Genoa; by fiends
devoured; more; hundred
family; left; (see note)
male children
Rennes; she
from afar
got to
most noble jewel; by
Genoa; Gironne
relative; acknowledge
righteous; have pity
endeavor; avenge
known; achieved
show; keen one
treat; treason
truce; betide
promontory; (see note)
lurks; try
clear (shining)
More coins
dishonestly; gotten
bellows; pity
Goes; longer
writhes; wrestles
knew; meant
horses; brush; calm
wardrobe; threw; clothes
padded jacket; gold trim
Upon that, a leather jacket
coat of mail
gipon; shreds; (see note)
draws; helmet
clear (shining); set
(see note)
Devoid of defects
gayly; decorated
seed pearls; jewels
went to; ground waits
leaped; aloft
Spurs; bush
trees reach over; stately
roe deer
bushes; rose bushes; amuse
woods; flowered
falcons; pheasants; wondrous
sang; cuckoo; groves
all sorts of gladness
debated; thrushes
swift sound
horses; go
speak; possesses
Honorably to
gets to; ravines
quarter to; (see note)
welling water
learn; warlock; dwells
Newly dug in the earth
saluted; fitting
asks; fiend
woman unhappily
warlock know; attacks
Cursed be; man; stole
makes; wander
Whither go
Expect; destroy; sword
fiercer; (see note)
fated to die; grieves
fifty such (as you)
buried; buried; ground
ground; knew not; meant
raped; defiled; left dead
sorrow; the helpless
go; promontory; endeavor

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