from: King Arthur's Death: The Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Alliterative Morte Arthure 1994
Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part II
ALLITERATIVE MORTE ARTHURE: FOOTNOTES1 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
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
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"
ALLITERATIVE MORTE ARTHURE: NOTESThe 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.
Then answers Sir Arthur to that old wife:
"I am comen fro the conquerour, courtais and gentle,
As one of the hathelest of Arthure knightes,
Messenger to this mix, for mendement of the pople
To mele with this master man that here this mount yemes,
To trete with this tyraunt for tresure of landes
And take trew for a time, to better may worthe."
"Ya, thir wordes are but waste," quod this wife then,
"For both landes and lythes full little by he settes; 92
Of rentes ne of red gold reckes he never,
For he will lenge out of law, as himself thinkes,
Withouten license of lede, as lord in his owen.
But he has a kirtle on, keeped for himselven,
That was spunnen in Spain with special birdes
And sithen garnisht in Greece full graithely togeders;
It is hided all with here, holly all over
And borderd with the berdes of burlich kinges,
Crisped and combed that kempes may know
Ich king by his colour, in kith there he lenges.
Here the fermes he fanges of fifteen rewmes,
For ilke Estern even, however that it fall,
They send it him soothly for saught of the pople,
Sekerly at that sesoun with certain knightes.
And he has asked Arthure all this seven winter;
Forthy hurdes he here to outraye his pople
Til the Britones king have burnisht his lippes
And sent his berde to that bold with his best bernes;
But thou have brought that berde boun thee no further,
For it is a bootless bale thou biddes ought elles, 93
For he has more tresure to take when him likes
Than ever ought Arthur or any of his elders.
If thou have brought the berde he bes more blithe
Than thou gave him Borgoine or Britain the More;
But look now, for charitee, thou chasty thy lippes
That thee no wordes escape, whatso betides.
Look thy present be preste and press him but little,
For he is at his souper; he will be soon greved.
And thou my counsel do, thou dos off thy clothes
And kneel in thy kirtle and call him thy lord.
He soupes all this sesoun with seven knave childer,
Chopped in a chargeur of chalk-white silver,
With pickle and powder of precious spices,
And piment full plenteous of Portingale wines; 94
Three balefull birdes his broches they turn,
That bides his bedgatt, his bidding to work;
Such four sholde be fey within four houres
Ere his filth were filled that his flesh yernes."
"Ya, I have brought the berde," quod he, "the better me likes;
Forthy will I boun me and bere it myselven
But, lefe, wolde thou lere me where that lede lenges?
I shall alowe thee, and I live, Our Lord so me help!"
"Ferk fast to the fire," quod sho, "that flames so high;
There filles that fend him, fraist when thee likes. 95
But thou moste seek more south, sidlings a little,
For he will have scent himselve six mile large."
To the source of the reek he sought at the gainest, 96
Sained him sekerly with certain wordes,
And sidlings of the segge the sight had he reched
How unseemly that sot sat soupand him one!
He lay lenand on long, lodgand unfair,
The thee of a mans limm lift up by the haunch;
His back and his beuschers and his brode lendes
He bakes at the bale-fire and breekless him seemed;
There were rostes full rude and rewful bredes,
Bernes and bestail broched togeders,
Cowle full crammed of crismed childer,
Some as bred broched and birdes them turned.
And then this comlich king, because of his pople,
His herte bleedes for bale on bente where he standes;
Then he dressed on his sheld, shuntes no lenger,
Braundisht his brode sword by the bright hiltes,
Raikes toward that renk right with a rude will
And hiely hailses that hulk with hautain wordes:
"Now, All-weldand God that worshippes us all
Give thee sorrow and site, sot, there thou ligges,
For the foulsomest freke that formed was ever!
Foully thou feedes thee! The Fend have thy soul!
Here is cury unclene, carl, by my trewth,
Caff of creatures all, thou cursed wretch!
Because that thou killed has these crismed childer,
Thou has martyrs made and brought out of life
That here are broched on bente and brittened with thy handes, 97
I shall merk thee thy meed as thou has much served,
Through might of Saint Michel that this mount yemes!
And for this fair lady that thou has fey leved
And thus forced on folde for filth of thyselven,
Dress thee now, dog-son, the devil have thy soul!
For thou shall die this day through dint of my handes!"
Then glopined the glutton and glored unfair;
He grenned as a grayhound with grisly tuskes;
He gaped, he groned fast with grouchand lates
For gref of the good king that him with grame greetes.
His fax and his foretop was filtered togeders
And out of his face fom an half foot large;
His front and his forheved, all was it over
As the fell of a frosk and frakned it seemed;
Hook-nebbed as a hawk, and a hore berde,
And hered to the eyen-holes with hangand browes; 98
Harsk as a hound-fish, hardly who-so lookes,
So was the hide of that hulk holly all over;
Erne had he full huge and ugly to shew
With eyen full horrible and ardaunt for sooth;
Flat-mouthed as a fluke with fleriand lippes,
And the flesh in his fore-teeth fouly as a bere;
His berde was brothy and blak that til his breste reched;
Grassed as a mere-swine with carkes full huge
And all faltered the flesh in his foul lippes,
Ilke wrethe as a wolf-heved it wrath out at ones! 99
Bull-necked was that berne and brode in the shoulders,
Brok-brested as a brawn with bristeles full large,
Rude armes as an oke with ruskled sides,
Limm and leskes full lothen, leve ye for sooth; 100
Shovel-footed was that shalk and shaland him seemed,
With shankes unshapely shovand togeders;
Thick thees as a thurse and thicker in the haunch,
Grees-growen as a galt, full grillich he lookes!
Who the lenghe of the lede lely accountes,
Fro the face to the foot was five fadom long!
Then stertes he up sturdily on two stiff shankes,
And soon he caught him a club all of clene iron;
He wolde have killed the king with his keen wepen,
But through the craft of Crist yet the carl failed;
The crest and the coronal, the claspes of silver,
Clenly with his club he crashed down at ones!
The king castes up his sheld and covers him fair,
And with his burlich brand a box he him reches;
Full butt in the front the fromand he hittes
That the burnisht blade to the brain runnes;
He feyed his fysnamie with his foul handes
And frappes fast at his face fersly there-after!
The king changes his foot, eschewes a little;
Ne had he eschaped that chop, cheved had evil;
He follows in fersly and fastenes a dint
High up on the haunch with his hard wepen
That he heled the sword half a foot large;
The hot blood of the hulk unto the hilt runnes;
Even into the in-mete the giaunt he hittes
Just to the genitals and jagged them in sonder! 101
Then he romed and rored and rudely he strikes
Full egerly at Arthur and on the erthe hittes;
A sword-lenghe within the swarth he swappes at ones
That ner swoones the king for swough of his dintes!
But yet the king sweperly full swithe he beswenkes,
Swappes in with the sword that it the swang bristed;
Both the guttes and the gore gushes out at ones.
That all englaimes the grass on ground there he standes!
Then he castes the club and the king hentes;
On the crest of the crag he caught him in armes,
And encloses him clenly to crushen his ribbes;
So hard holdes he that hende that ner his herte bristes!
Then the baleful birdes bounes to the erthe,
Kneeland and cryand and clapped their handes;
"Crist comfort yon knight and keep him fro sorrow,
And let never yon fend fell him o life!"
Yet is that warlaw so wight he welters him under;
Wrothly they writhen and wrestle togeders,
Welters and wallows over within those buskes,
Tumbelles and turnes fast and teres their weedes,
Untenderly fro the top they tilten togeders,
Whilom Arthur over and other while under,
Fro the heghe of the hill unto the hard rock,
They feyne never ere they fall at the flood marches;
But Arthur with an anlace egerly smites
And hittes ever in the hulk up to the hiltes.
The thef at the ded-throwes so throly him thringes 102
That three ribbes in his side he thrustes in sonder!
Then Sir Kayous the keen unto the king stertes,
Said: "Alas! We are lorn! My lord is confounded,
Over-fallen with a fend! Us is foul happned!
We mon be forfeited, in faith, and flemed forever!"
They heve up his hawberk then and handelles there-under
His hide and his haunch eek on height to the shoulders,
His flank and his felettes and his fair sides,
Both his back and his breste and his bright armes.
They were fain that they fande no flesh entamed
And for that journee made joy, thir gentle knightes.
"Now certes," says Sir Bedvere, "it seemes, by my Lord,
He seekes saintes but selden, the sorer he grippes,
That thus clekes this corsaint out of thir high cliffes, 103
To carry forth such a carl at close him in silver;
By Michel, of such a mak I have much wonder
That ever our soveraign Lord suffers him in heven!
And all saintes be such that serves our Lord
I shall never no saint be, by my fader soul!"
Then bourdes the bold king at Bedvere wordes:
"This saint have I sought, so help me our Lord!
Forthy braid out thy brand and broche him to the herte;
Be seker of this sergeaunt; he has me sore greved!
I fought not with such a freke this fifteen winter;
But in the mountes of Araby I met such another;
He was forcier by fer that had I nere founden; 104
Ne had my fortune been fair, fey had I leved!
Anon strike off his heved and stake it thereafter; 105
Give it to thy squier, for he is well horsed,
Bere it to Sir Howell that is in hard bondes
And bid him herte him well; his enmy is destroyed!
Senn bere it to Barflete and brace it in iron
And set it on the barbican bernes to shew.
My brand and my brode sheld upon the bente ligges,
On the crest of the crag there first we encountered,
And the club there-by, all of clene iron,
That many Cristen has killed in Constantine landes;
Ferk to the fore-land and fetch me that wepen
And let found to our fleet in flood there it lenges.
If thou will any tresure, take what thee likes;
Have I the kirtle and the club, I covet nought elles."
Now they kaire to the crag, these comlich knightes,
And brought him the brode sheld and his bright wepen,
The club and the cote als, Sir Kayous himselven, 106
And kaires with the conquerour the kinges to shew.
That in covert the king held close to himselven
While clene day fro the cloud climbed on loft.
By that to court was comen clamour full huge,
And before the comlich king they kneeled all at ones:
"Welcome, our lege lord, to long has thou dwelled!
Governour under God, graithest and noble,
To whom grace is graunted and given at His will
Now thy comly come has comforted us all!
Thou has in thy realtee revenged thy pople!
Through help of thy hand thine enmies are stroyed,
That has thy renkes over-run and reft them their childer;
Was never rewm out of array so redyly releved!"
Then the conquerour Cristenly carpes to his pople:
"Thankes God," quod he, "of this grace and no gome elles,
For it was never mans deed, but might of Himselven
Or miracle of his Moder, that mild is til all!"
He summond then the shipmen sharply thereafter,
To shake forth with the shire-men to shift the goodes:
"All the much tresure that traitour had wonnen
To commouns of the countree, clergy and other,
Look it be done and delt to my dere pople
That none plain of their part o pain of your lives."
He commaunde his cosin, with knightlich wordes,
To make a kirk on that crag, there the corse ligges
And a covent there-in, Crist for to serve,
In mind of that martyr that in the mount restes.
When Sir Arthur the king had killed the giaunt,
Then blithely fro Barflete he buskes on the morn,
With his batail on brede by tho blithe stremes; 107
Toward Castel Blank he cheses him the way,
Through a fair champain under chalk hilles;
The king fraistes a furth over the fresh strandes,
Foundes with his fair folk over as him likes;
Forth steppes that steren and strekes his tents
On a strenghe by a streme, in those strait landes.
Anon after mid-day, in the mene-while,
There comes two messengers of tho fer marches,
Fro the Marshal of Fraunce, and menskfully him greetes,
Besought him of succour and said him these wordes:
"Sir, thy Marshal, thy minister, thy mercy beseekes,
Of thy mikel magistee, for mendment of thy pople,
Of these marches-men that thus are miscarried
And thus marred among maugree their eyen;
I witter thee the Emperour is enterd into Fraunce
With hostes of enmies, horrible and huge;
Brinnes in Burgoine thy burges so rich,
And brittenes thy baronage that beldes there-in;
He encroches keenly by craftes of armes
Countrees and casteles that to thy crown longes,
Confoundes thy commouns, clergy and other;
But thou comfort them, Sir King, cover shall they never!
He felles forestes fele, forrays thy landes,
Frithes no fraunches, but frayes the pople; 108
Thus he felles thy folk and fanges their goodes;
Fremedly the French tonge fey is beleved. 109
He drawes into douce Fraunce, as Dutch-men telles,
Dressed with his dragons, dredful to shew;
All to dede they dight with dintes of swordes,
Dukes and douspeeres that dreches there-in;
Forthy the lordes of the land, ladies and other,
Prayes thee for Petere love, the apostle of Rome,
Senn thou art present in place, that thou will proffer make
To that perilous prince by process of time.
He ayers by yon hilles, yon high holtes under,
Hoves there with hole strenghe of hethen knightes;
Help now for His love that high in heven sittes
And talk tristly to them that thus us destroyes!"
The king biddes Sir Bois: "Busk thee belive!
Take with thee Sir Berille and Bedvere the rich,
Sir Gawain and Sir Grime, these galiard knightes,
And graith you to yon green woodes and gos on thir needes;
Says to Sir Lucius too unlordly he workes
Thus litherly againes law to lede my pople;
I let him ere ought long, yif me the life happen, 110
Or many light shall low that him over land followes;
Commaund him keenly with cruel wordes
Kaire out of my kingrik with his kidd knightes;
In case that he will not, that cursed wretch,
Come for his courtaisy and counter me ones;
Then shall we reckon full rathe what right that he claimes,
Thus to riot this rewm and ransoun the pople!
There shall it derely be delt with dintes of handes;
The Drighten at Doomesday dele as Him likes!"
Now they graith them to go, these galiard knightes,
All glitterand in gold, upon grete steedes
Toward the green wood, with grounden wepen,
To greet well the grete lord that wolde be greved soon.
These hende hoves on a hill by the holt eves 111
Beheld the housing full high of hethen kinges;
They herde in their herberage hundrethes full many
Hornes of olyfantes full highlich blowen;
Palaises proudly pight, that paled were rich 112
Of pall and of purpure, with precious stones;
Pensels and pomells of rich princes armes
Pight in the plain mede the pople to shew.
And then the Romans so rich had arrayed their tentes
On row by the river under the round hilles,
The Emperour for honour even in the middes,
With egles all over ennelled so fair;
And saw him and the Sowdan and senatours many
Seek toward a sale with sixteen kinges
Syland softly in, sweetly by themselven,
To soupe with that soverain full selcouthe metes.
Now they wend over the water, these worshipful knightes,
Through the wood to the wonne there the wyes restes;
Right as they had weshen and went to the table,
Sir Wawain the worthy unwinly he spekes:
"The might and the majestee that menskes us all,
That was merked and made through the might of Himselven,
Give you site in your sete, Sowdan and other,
That here are sembled in sale; unsaught mot ye worthe!
And the false heretik that Emperour him calles,
That occupies in errour the Empire of Rome,
Sir Arthure heritage, that honourable king
That all his auncestres ought but Uter him one,
That ilke cursing that Caim caught for his brother
Cleve on thee, cuckewald, with crown there thou lenges,
For the unlordliest lede that I on looked ever!
My lord marveles him mikel, man, by my trewth,
Why thou murtheres his men that no misse serves,
Commouns of the countree, clergy and other,
That are nought coupable there-in, ne knowes nought in armes,
Forthy the comlich king, courtais and noble,
Commaundes thee keenly to kaire of his landes
Or elles for thy knighthede encounter him ones.
Senn thou covetes the crown, let it be declared!
I have discharged me here, challenge who likes,
Before all thy chevalry, cheftaines and other.
Shape us an answer, and shunt thou no lenger,
That we may shift at the short and shew to my lord."
The Emperour answerd with austeren wordes:
"Ye are with mine enmy, Sir Arthur himselven;
It is none honour to me to outraye his knightes,
Though ye be irous men that ayers on his needes;
Ne were it not for reverence of my rich table,
Thou sholde repent full rathe of thy rude wordes!
Such a rebawd as thou rebuke any lordes
With their retinues arrayed, full real and noble!
But say to thy soveraign I send him these wordes:
Here will I sujourn, whiles me lefe thinkes,
And sithen seek in by Seine with solace thereafter,
Ensege all the citees by the salt strandes,
And senn ride in by Rhone that runnes so fair,
And of his rich casteles rush down the walles;
I shall nought leve in Paris, by process of time,
His part of a pecheline, prove when him likes!" 113
"Now certes," says Sir Wawain, "much wonder have I
That such a alfin as thou dare speke such wordes!
I had lever than all Fraunce, that heved is of rewmes,
Fight with thee faithfully on feld by our one!"
Then answers Sir Gayous full gabbed wordes -
Was eme to the Emperour and erl himselven:
"Ever were these Bretons braggers of old!
Lo, how he brawles him for his bright weedes,
As he might britten us all with his brand rich!
Yet he barkes much boste, yon boy there he standes!"
Then greved Sir Gawain at his grete wordes,
Graithes toward the gome with grouchand herte;
With his steelen brand he strikes off his heved,
And stertes out to his steed, and with his stale wendes.
Through the watches they went, these worshipful knightes,
And findes in their fare-way wonderlich many;
Over the water they went by wightness of horses,
And took wind as they wolde by the wood hemmes.
Then follows frekly on foot frekes ynow,
And of the Romans arrayed upon rich steedes
Chased through a champain our chevalrous knightes
Til a chef forest on chalk-white horses.
But a freke all in fine gold and fretted in sable
Come furthermost on a Freson in flamand weedes;
A fair flourisht spere in fewter he castes,
And followes fast on our folk and freshly ascries.
Then Sir Gawain the good upon a gray steed
He grippes him a grete spere and graithly him hittes;
Through the guttes into the gore he girdes him even,
That the grounden steel glides to his herte!
The gome and the grete horse at the ground ligges,
Full grislich gronand for gref of his woundes.
Then presses a priker in, full proudly arrayed,
That beres all of purpure, paled with silver 114
Bigly on a brown steed he proffers full large. 115
He was a paynim of Perse that thus him persewed;
Sir Boys, unabaist all, he buskes him againes;
With a bustous launce he beres him through,
That the breme and the brode sheld upon the bente ligges!
And he bringes forth the blade and bounes to his fellowes.
Then Sir Feltemour, of might a man mikel praised,
Was moved on his manner and menaced full fast;
He graithes to Sir Gawain graithly to work,
For gref of Sir Gayous that is on ground leved.
Then Sir Gawain was glad; again him he rides;
With Galuth, his good sword, graithly him hittes;
The knight on the courser he cleved in sonder,
Clenlich fro the crown his corse he devised,
And thus he killes the knight with his kidd wepen.
Then a rich man of Rome relied to his bernes:
"It shall repent us full sore and we ride further!
Yon are bold bosters that such bale workes;
It befell him full foul that them so first named!"
Then the rich Romans returnes their bridles,
To their tentes in teen, telles their lordes
How Sir Marshall de Mowne is on the molde leved,
Forjousted at that journee for his grete japes. 116
But there chases on our men chevalrous knightes,
Five thousand folk upon fair steedes,
Fast to a forest over a fell water
That filles fro the fallow se fifty mile large. 117
There were Bretons enbushed and banerettes noble,
Of chevalry chef of the kinges chamber;
Sees them chase our men and changen their horses
And chop down cheftaines that they most charged.
Then the enbushment of Bretons broke out at ones,
Brothly at banner all Bedvere knightes
Arrested of the Romans that by the firth rides,
All the realest renkes that to Rome longes;
They ishe on the enmies and egerly strikes,
Erles of England, and "Arthur!" ascries;
Through brenyes and bright sheldes brestes they thirle,
Bretons of the boldest, with their bright swordes.
There was Romans over-ridden and rudely wounded,
Arrested as rebawdes with riotous knightes!
The Romans out of array removed at ones
And rides away in a rout - for reddour it seemes!
To the Senatour Peter a sandesman is comen
And said: "Sir, sekerly, your segges are surprised!"
Then ten thousand men he sembled at ones
And set sodenly on our segges by the salt strandes.
Then were Bretons abaist and greved a little,
But yet the bannerettes bold and bachelers noble
Brekes that batail with brestes of steedes;
Sir Bois and his bold men much bale workes!
The Romanes redies them, arrayes them better,
And all to-rushes our men with their reste horses,
Arrested of the richest of the Round Table,
Over-rides our rere-ward and grete rewth workes!
Then the Bretons on the bente abides no lenger,
But fled to the forest and the feld leved;
Sir Berille is borne down and Sir Bois taken,
The best of our bold men unblithely wounded;
But yet our stale on a strenghe stotais a little,
All to-stonayed with the stokes of tho steren knightes, 118
Made sorrow for their soveraign that so there was nomen,
Besought God of succour, send when him liked!
Then comes Sir Idrus, armed up at all rightes,
With five hundreth men upon fair steedes,
Fraines fast at our folk freshly thereafter
Yif their frendes were fer that on the feld founded.
Then says Sir Gawain, "So me God help,
We have been chased today and chulled as hares,
Rebuked with Romanes upon their rich steedes,
And we lurked under lee as lowrand wretches!
I look never on my lord the dayes of my life 119
And we so litherly him help that him so well liked!"
Then the Bretons brothely broches their steedes
And boldly in batail upon the bente rides;
All the fers men before frekly ascries,
Ferkand in the forest to freshen themselven.
The Romanes then redyly arrayes them better,
On row on a rowm feld rightes their wepens,
By the rich river and rewles the pople;
And with reddour Sir Bois is in arrest holden.
Now they sembled unsaught by the salt stremes;
Sadly these seker men settes their dintes,
With lovely launces on loft they lushen togederes,
In Lorraine so lordly on lepand steedes.
There were gomes through-gird with grounden wepens
Grisly gaspand with grouchand lates.
Grete lordes of Greece greved so high.
Swiftly with swordes they swappen thereafter,
Swappes down full sweperly sweltande knightes,
That all sweltes on swarth that they over-swingen. 120
So many sways in swogh, swoonand at ones -
Sir Gawain the gracious full graithly he workes;
The gretest he greetes with grisly woundes;
With Galuth he girdes down full galiard knightes,
For gref of the grete lord so grimly he strikes!
He rides forth really and redyly thereafter
There this real renk was in arrest holden;
He rives the rank steel, he rittes their brenyes,
And reft them the rich man and rode to his strenghes.
The Senatour Peter then persewed him after,
Through the press of the pople with his pris knightes,
Appertly for the prisoner proves his strenghes,
With prikers the proudest that to the press longes;
Wrothly on the wrong hand Sir Wawain he strikes,
With a wepen of war unwinly him hittes;
The breny on the back half he bristes in sonder;
And yet he brought forth Sir Bois for all their bale bernes! 121
Then the Bretons boldly braggen their trumpes,
And for bliss of Sir Bois was brought out of bondes,
Boldly in batail they bere down knightes;
With brandes of brown steel they brittened mailes;
They steked steedes in stour with steelen wepens
And all stewede with strenghe that stood them againes!
Sir Idrus fitz Ewain then "Arthur!" ascries,
Assembles on the senatour with sixteen knightes
Of the sekerest men that to our side longed.
Sodenly in a soppe they set in at ones,
Foines fast at the fore-breste with flamand swordes
And fightes fast at the front freshly thereafter,
Felles fele on the feld upon the ferrer side,
Fey on the fair feld by tho fresh strandes.
But Sir Idrus fitz Ewain aunters himselven
And enters in only and egerly strikes,
Seekes to the senatour and seses his bridle;
Unsaughtly he said him these sittand wordes:
"Yelde thee, sir, yapely, yif thou thy life yernes;
For giftes that thou give may thou yeme not thyselven,
For, dredles, drech thou or drop any wiles, 122
Thou shall die this day through dint of my handes!"
"I assent," quod the senatour, "so me Crist help.
So that I be safe brought before the king selven;
Ransoun me reasonabely, as I may over-reche,
After my rentes in Rome may redyly further."
Then answers Sir Idrus with austeren wordes:
"Thou shall have condicioun as the king likes,
When thou comes to the kith there the court holdes,
In case his counsel be to keep thee no longer,
To be killed at his commaundement his knightes before."
They led him forth in the rout and latched off his weedes,
Left him with Lionel and Lowell his brother.
O-low in the land then, by the lithe strandes,
Sir Lucius lege-men lost are forever!
The Senatour Peter is prisoner taken!
Of Perse and Port Jaffe full many pris knightes
And much pople withal perished themselven!
For press of the passage they plunged at ones! 123
There might men see Romans rewfully wounded,
Over-ridden with renkes of the Round Table.
In the raike of the furth they righten their brenyes 124
That ran all on red blood redyly all over;
They raght in the rere-ward full riotous knightes 125
For ransoun of red gold and real steedes;
Redyly relayes and restes their horses,
In route to the rich king they rode all at ones.
A knight kaires before, and to the king telles:
"Sir, here comes thy messengeres with mirthes fro the mountes;
They have been matched today with men of the marches,
Foremagled in the morass with marvelous knightes!
We have foughten, in faith, by yon fresh strandes,
With the frekest folk that to thy fo longes;
Fifty thousand on feld of fers men of armes
Within a furlong of way fey are beleved!
We have eschewed this check through chaunce of Our Lord
Of tho chevalrous men that charged thy pople.
The chef chaunceller of Rome, a cheftain full noble,
Will ask the charter of pees, for charitee himselven;
And the Senatour Peter to prisoner is taken.
Of Perse and Port Jaffe paynimes ynow
Comes prikand in the press with thy pris knightes,
With povertee in thy prisoun their paines to drie.
I beseek you, sir, say what you likes,
Whether ye suffer them saught or soon delivered.
Ye may have for the senatour sixty horse charged
Of silver by Saterday full sekerly payed,
And for the chef chaunceller, the chevaler noble,
Charottes chockful charged with gold.
The remenaunt of the Romanes be in arrest holden,
Til their rentes in Rome be rightwisly knowen.
I beseek you, sir, certify yon lordes,
Yif ye will send them over the se or keep them yourselven.
All your seker men, for sooth, sound are beleved,
Save Sir Ewain fitz Henry is in the side wounded."
"Crist be thanked," quod the king, "and his clere Moder,
That you comforted and helped by craft of Himselven.
Skillfully skomfiture He skiftes as Him likes. 126
Is none so skathly may scape ne skew fro His handes;
Destainy and doughtiness of deedes of armes,
All is deemed and delt at Drightenes will!
I can thee thank for thy come; it comfortes us all!
Sir knight," says the conquerour, "so me Crist help,
I give thee for thy tithandes Toulouse the rich,
The toll and the tachementes, tavernes and other,
The town and the tenementes with towres so high,
That touches to the temporaltee, whiles my time lastes. 127
But say to the senatour I send him these wordes:
There shall no silver him save but Ewain recover.
I had lever see him sink on the salt strandes
Than the segge were seke that is so sore wounded.
I shall dissever that sorte, so me Crist help,
And set them full solitary in sere kinges landes.
Shall he never sound see his seinoures in Rome,
Ne sit in the assemblee in sight with his feres,
For it comes to no king that conquerour is holden
To comone with his captives for covetis of silver.
It come never of knighthed, know it if him like,
To carp of cosery when captives are taken;
It ought to no prisoners to press no lordes
Ne come in presence of princes when parties are moved.
Commaund yon constable, the castle that yemes,
That he be clenlich keeped and in close holden;
He shall have maundement to-morn ere mid-day be rungen
To what march they shall merk with maugree to lengen."
They convey this captive with clene men of armes
And kend him to the constable, als the king biddes
And senn to Arthur they ayer and egerly him touches
The answer of the Emperour, irous of deedes.
Then Sir Arthur, on erthe athelest of other
At even, at his own borde avaunted his lordes:
"Me ought to honour them in erthe over all other thinges,
That thus in mine absence aunters themselven!
I shall them love whiles I live, so me Our Lord help
And give them landes full large where them best likes;
They shall not lose on this laik, yif me life happen,
That thus are lamed for my love by these lithe strandes."
But in the clere dawing the dere king himselven
Commaunded Sir Cador, with his dere knightes,
Sir Cleremus, Sir Cleremond, with clene men of armes,
Sir Clowdmur, Sir Cleges, to convey these lordes;
Sir Bois and Sir Berille, with banners displayed,
Sir Bawdwin, Sir Brian, and Sir Bedvere the rich,
Sir Raynald and Sir Richer, Rowlaunde childer,
To ride with the Romanes in route with their feres:
"Prikes now privily to Paris the rich
With Peter the prisoner and his pris knightes;
Beteche them the provost in presence of lordes
O pain and o peril that pendes there-to
That they be wisely watched and in ward holden,
Warded of warantises with worshipful knightes;
Wage him wight men and wonde for no silver;
I have warned that wye; beware yif him likes!"
Now bounes the Britons als the king biddes,
Buskes their batailes, their banners displayes, 128
Toward Chartres they chese, these chevalrous knightes,
And in the Champain land full fair they escheved,
For the Emperour of might had ordained himselven
Sir Utolf and Sir Evander, two honourable kinges,
Erles of the Orient with austeren knightes,
Of the auntrousest men that to his host longed
Sir Sextynour of Lyby and senatours many,
The king of Surry himself with Sarazens ynow;
The senatour of Sutere with summes full huge
Was assigned to that court by sente of his peeres,
Trays toward Troys the tresoun to work,
To have betrapped with a trayn our traveland knightes,
That had perceived that Peter at Paris sholde leng
In prisoun with the provost his paines to drie.
Forthy they busked them boun with banners displayed,
In the buscaile of his way, on blonkes full huge,
Plantes them in the path with power arrayed
To pick up the prisoners fro our pris knightes.
Sir Cador of Cornwall commaundes his peeres,
Sir Clegis, Sir Cleremus, Sir Cleremond the noble:
"Here is the Close of Clime with cleves so high;
Lookes the countree be clere; the corners are large;
Discoveres now sekerly skrogges and other,
That no scathel in the skrogges scorn us hereafter;
Look ye skift it so that us no scathe limpe,
For no scomfiture in skulkery is scomfit ever." 129
Now they hie to the holt, these harageous knightes,
To herken of the high men to helpen these lordes,
Findes them helmed hole and horsed on steedes,
Hovand on the high way by the holt hemmes.
With knightly countenaunce Sir Clegis himselven
Cries to the company and carpes these wordes:
"Is there any kidd knight, kaiser or other,
Will kithe for his kinges love craftes of armes?
We are comen fro the king of this kith rich
That knowen is for conquerour, crownd in erthe;
His rich retinues here, all of the Round Table,
To ride with that real in rout when him likes.
We seek jousting of war, yif any will happen,
Of the jolliest men ajudged by lordes;
If here be any hathel man, erl or other,
That for the Emperour love wil aunter himselven."
And an erl then in anger answeres him soon:
"Me angers at Arthur and at his hathel bernes
That thus in his errour occupies these rewmes,
And outrayes the Emperour, his erthly lord!
The array and the realtees of the Round Table
Is with rancour rehersed in rewmes full many,
Of our rentes of Rome such revel he holdes;
He shall give resoun full rathe, if us right happen,
That many shall repent that in his rout rides,
For the reckless roy so rewles himselven!"
"A!" says Sir Clegis then, "so me Crist help!
I know by thy carping a counter thee seemes!
But be thou auditour or erl or Emperour thyselven,
Upon Arthures behalf I answer thee soon,
The renk so real that rewles us all,
The riotous men and the rich of the Round Table:
He has araised his account and redde all his rolles,
For he will give a reckoning that rew shall after,
That all the rich shall repent that to Rome longes
Ere the rerage be requite of rentes that he claimes.
We crave of your courtaisy three courses of war,
And claimes of knighthood, take keep to yourselven!
Ye do but trayn us today with troufeland wordes;
Of such traveland men trechery me thinkes.
Send out sadly certain knightes
Or say me sekerly sooth; forsake yif you likes."
Then says the King of Surry, "Als save me Our Lord,
Yif thou hufe all the day thou bes not delivered!
But thou sekerly ensure with certain knightes
That thy cote and thy crest be knowen with lordes,
Of armes of auncestry enterd with landes."
"Sir King," says Sir Clegis, "full knightly thou askes;
I trow it be for cowardis thou carpes these wordes;
Mine armes are of auncestry envered with lordes,
And has in banner been borne senn Sir Brut time;
At the citee of Troy that time was enseged,
Oft seen in assaut with certain kinghtes;
Forthy Brut brought us and all our bold elders
To Bretain the Brodder within ship-bordes."
"Sir," says Sir Sextynour, "say what thee likes,
And we shall suffer thee, als us best seemes;
Look thy trumpes be trussed and troufle no lenger, 130
For though thou tarry all the day, thee tides no better,
For there shall never Roman that in my rout rides
Be with rebawdes rebuked, whiles I in world regne!"
Then Sir Clegis to the king a little enclined,
Kaires to Sir Cador and knightly him telles:
"We have founden in yon firth, flourished with leves,
The flowr of the fairest folk that to thy fo longes,
Fifty thousand of folk of fers men of armes,
That fair are fewtered on front under yon free bowes;
They are enbushed on blonkes, with banners displayed,
In yon beechen wood, upon the way sides.
They have the furth for-set all of the fair water,
That fayfully of force fight us behooves,
For thus us shapes today, shortly to tell;
Whether we shoun or shew, shift as thee likes." 131
"Nay," quod Cador, "so me Crist help,
It were shame that we sholde shoun for so little!
Sir Launcelot shall never laugh, that with the king lenges,
That I sholde let my way for lede upon erthe;
I shall be dede and undone ere I here dreche
For drede of any dogges-son in yon dim shawes!"
Sir Cador then knightly comfortes his pople,
And with corage keen he carpes these wordes:
"Think on the valiant prince that vesettes us ever
With landes and lordshippes where us best likes.
That has us ducherys delt and dubbed us knightes,
Given us gersoms and gold and guerdons many,
Grayhoundes and grete horse and alkine games,
That gaines til any gome that under God lives;
Think on rich renown of the Round Table,
And let it never be reft us for Roman in erthe;
Foyne you not faintly, ne frithes no wepens,
But look ye fight faithfully, frekes yourselven;
I wolde be welled all quick and quartered in sonder, 132
But I work my deed, whiles I in wrath lenge."
Then this doughty duke dubbed his knightes:
Ioneke and Askanere, Aladuke and other,
That eieres were of Essex and all those este marches,
Howell and Hardolf, happy in armes,
Sir Heryll and Sir Herygall, these harageous knightes.
Then the soveraign assigned certain lordes,
Sir Wawayne, Sir Uryelle, Sir Bedvere the rich,
Raynald and Richere, Rowlandes childer:
"Takes keep on this prince with your pris knightes,
And yif we in the stour withstanden the better,
Standes here in this stede and stirres no further;
And yif the chaunce fall that we be over-charged,
Eschewes to some castle and cheves yourselven,
Or ride to the rich king, if you roo happen,
And bid him come redyly to rescue his bernes."
And then the Bretons brothely enbraces their sheldes,
Braides on bacenettes and buskes their launces;
Thus he fittes his folk and to the feld rides,
Five hundreth on a front fewtered at ones!
With trumpes they trine and trapped steedes,
With cornettes and clariouns and clergial notes;
Shockes in with a shake and shuntes no longer,
There shawes were sheen under the shire eves. 133
And then the Romanes rout removes a little,
Raikes with a rere-ward those real knightes;
So raply they ride there that all the rout ringes
Of rives and rank steel and rich gold mailes. 134
Then shot out of the shaw sheltrones many,
With sharp wepens of war shootand at ones.
The King of Lyby before the avauntward he ledes,
And all his lele lege-men all on loud ascries.
Then this cruel king castes in fewter,
Caught him a coverd horse, and his course holdes,
Beres to Sir Berille and brothely him hittes,
Through the golet and the gorger he hurtes him even.
The gome and the grete horse at the ground ligges,
And gretes graithely to God and gives Him the soul.
Thus is Berille the bold brought out of life,
And bides after the burial that him best likes.
And then Sir Cador of Cornwall is careful in herte,
Because of his kinsman that thus is miscarried;
Umbeclappes the corse, and kisses him oft,
Gart keep him covert with his clere knightes.
Then laughs the Lyby king, and all on loud meles:
"Yon lord is lighted! Me likes the better!
He shall not dere us today; the devil have his bones!"
"Yon king," says Sir Cador, "carpes full large,
Because he killed this keen - Crist have thy soul! -
He shall have corn-bote, so me Crist help!
Ere I kaire of this coste, we shall encounter ones:
So may the wind wheel turn, I quite him ere even,
Soothly himselven or some of his feres!"
Then Sir Cador the keen knightly he workes,
Cries, "A Cornwall!" and castes in fewter,
Girdes streke through the stour on a steed rich;
Many steren men he stirred by strenghe of him one;
When his spere was sprongen, he sped him full yerne,
Swapped out with a sword that swiked him never,
Wrought wayes full wide, and wounded knightes,
Workes in his wayfare full workand sides,
And hewes of the hardiest halses in sonder,
That all blendes with blood there his blonk runnes!
So many bernes the bold brought out of life,
Tittes tyrauntes down and temes their saddles,
And turnes out of the toil when him time thinkes!
Then the Lyby king cries full loud
On Sir Cador the keen with cruel wordes:
"Thou has worship won and wounded knightes!
Thou weenes for thy wightness the world is thine own!
I shall wait at thine hand, wye, by my trewth;
I have warned thee well, beware yif thee likes!"
With cornus and clariouns these new-made knightes
Lithes unto the cry and castes in fewter,
Ferkes in on a front on feraunt steedes, 135
Felled at the first come fifty at ones;
Shot through the sheltrons and shivered launces,
Laid down in the lump lordly bernes.
And thus nobly our new men notes their strenghes!
But new note is anon that noyes me sore:
The King of Lyby has laght a steed that him liked,
And comes in lordly in liones of silver,
Umbelappes the lump and lettes in sonder;
Many lede with his launce the life has he reved!
Thus he chases the childer of the kinges chamber,
And killes in the champaines chevalrous knightes;
With a chasing spere he choppes down many!
There was Sir Aladuke slain and Achinour wounded,
Sir Origge and Sir Ermyngall hewen all to peces!
And there was Lewlin laght and Lewlins brother
With lordes of Lyby and led to their strenghes;
Ne had Sir Clegis comen and Clement the noble,
Our new men had gone to nought and many mo other.
Then Sir Cador the keen castes in fewter
A cruel launce and a keen and to the king rides,
Hittes him high on the helm with his hard wepen,
That all the hot blood of him to his hand runnes!
The hethen harageous king upon the hethe ligges,
And of his hertly hurt heled he never.
Then Sir Cador the keen cries full loud:
"Thou has corn-bote, sir king, there God give thee sorrow;
Thou killed my cosin; my care is the less!
Kele thee now in the clay and comfort thyselven;
Thou scorned us long ere, with thy scornful wordes,
And now thou has cheved so, it is thine own scathe;
Hold at thou hent has; it harmes but little, 136
For hething is home-hold, use it who-so will!"
The King of Surry then is sorrowful in herte,
For sake of his soveraign that thus was surprised;
Sembled his Sarazens and senatours many;
Unsaughtly they set then upon our sere knightes.
Sir Cador of Cornwall he counters them soon
With his kidd company clenlich arrayed;
In the front of the firth, as the way forthes,
Fifty thousand of folk was felled at ones.
There was at the assemblee certain knightes
Sore wounded soon upon sere halves.
The sekerest Sarazenes that to that sorte longed
Behind the saddles were set six foot large;
They sheerd in the sheltron shelded knightes;
Shalkes they shot through shrinkand mailes;
Through brenyes browden brestes they thirled;
Bracers burnisht bristes in sonder;
Blasons bloody and blonkes they hewen,
With brandes of brown steel, brankand steedes!
The Bretons brothely brittenes so many
The bente and the brode feld all on blood runnes!
By then Sir Kayous the keen a capitain has wonnen;
Sir Clegis clinges in and clekes another;
The Capitain of Cordewa, under the king selven,
That was key of the kith of all that coste rich
Utolf and Evander Ioneke had nommen
With the Erl of Afrike and other grete lordes.
The King of Surry the keen to Sir Cador is yelden,
The Seneschal of Sutere to Sagramour himselven.
When the chevalry saw their cheftaines were nomen,
To a chef forest they chosen their wayes,
And feeled them so faint they fell in the greves,
In the feren of the firth for ferd of our pople.
There might men see the rich ride in the shawes
To rip up the Romanes rudlich wounded,
Shoutes after men harageous knightes,
By hundrethes they hewed down by the holt eves!
Thus our chevalrous men chases the pople;
To a castel they escheved the few that eschaped.
Then relies the renkes of the Round Table
For to riot the wood there the duke restes;
Ransackes the rindes all, raght up their feres,
That in the fighting before fey were beleved.
Sir Cador gart charre them and cover them fair, 137
Carried them to the king with his best knightes,
And passes unto Paris with prisoners himselven,
Betook them the provost, princes and other,
Tas a sope in the towr and tarries no longer
But turnes tite to the king and him with tonge telles:
"Sir," says Sir Cador, "a case is befallen;
We have countered today in yon coste rich
With kinges and kaiseres cruel and noble,
And knightes and keen men clenlich arrayed!
They had at yon forest for-set us the wayes,
At the furth in the firth with fers men of armes;
There fought we in faith and foined with speres
On feld with thy fomen and felled them on live;
The King of Lyby is laid and in the feld leved,
And many of his lege-men that yore to him longed;
Other lordes are laght of uncouthe ledes;
We have led them at lenge, to live whiles thee likes.
Sir Utolf and Sir Evander, these honourable knightes,
By an aunter of armes Ioneke has nomen,
With erles of Orient and austeren knightes,
Of auncestry the best men that to the host longed;
The Senatour Carous is caught with a knight,
The Capitain of Cornette that cruel is holden,
The Seneschal of Sutere, unsaught with these other,
The King of Surry himselven and Sarazenes ynow.
But fey of ours in the feld are fourteen knightes.
I will not feyne ne forbere but faithfully tellen:
Sir Berille is one, a bannerette noble,
Was killed at the first come with a king rich;
Sir Aladuke of Towell with his tender knightes,
Among the Turkes was tint and in time founden;
Good Sir Mawrelle of Mawnces and Mawrene his brother,
Sir Meneduke of Mentoche with marvelous knightes."
Then the worthy king writhes and weeped with his eyen,
Carpes to his cosin Sir Cador these wordes:
"Sir Cador, thy corage confoundes us all!
Cowardly thou castes out all my best knightes!
To put men in peril, it is no pris holden,
But the parties were purveyed and power arrayed;
When thou were stedde on a strenghe thou sholde have with-stonden,
But yif ye wolde all my steren stroy for the nones!" 138
"Sir," says Sir Cador, "ye know well yourselven;
Ye are king in this kith; carp what you likes!
Shall never berne upbraid me that to thy borde longes,
That I sholde blinn for their boste thy bidding to work!
When any stertes to stale, stuff them the better,
Or they will be stonayed and stroyed in yon strait landes. 139
I did my deligence today - I do me on lordes - 140
And in daunger of dede for diverse knightes,
I have no grace to thy gree but such grete wordes;
Yif I heven my herte, my hap is no better."
Though Sir Arthur was angered, he answers fair:
"Thou has doughtily done, Sir Duke, with thy handes,
And has done thy dever with my dere knightes;
Forthy thou art deemed with dukes and erles
For one of the doughtiest that dubbed was ever!
There is none ischew of us on this erthe sprongen;
Thou art apparent to be eier, or one of thy childer;
Thou art my sister son; forsake shall I never!
Then gart he in his owen tent a table be set,
And tryed in with trumpes traveled bernes,
Served them solemnly with selcouthe metes,
Swithe seemly in sight with silveren dishes.
When the senatours herde say that it so happened,
They said to the Emperour: "Thy segges are surprised!
Sir Arthur, thine enmy, has outrayed thy lordes
That rode for the rescue of yon rich knightes!
Thou dos but tinnes thy time and tourmentes thy pople;
Thou art betrayed of thy men that most thou on traisted.
That shall turn thee to teen and torfer forever!"
Then the Emperour irous was, angerd at his herte
For our valiant bernes such prowesh had wonnen.
With king and with kaiser to counsel they wend,
Soveraignes of Sarazens and senatours many.
Thus he sembles full soon certain lordes,
And in the assemblee then he says them these wordes:
"My herte soothly is set, assent if you likes,
To seek into Sessoine with my seker knightes,
To fight with my fomen, if fortune me happen,
Yif I may find the freke within the four halves;
Or enter into Auguste aunters to seek,
And bide with my bold men within the burg rich,
Rest us and revel and riot ourselven,
Lende there in delite in lordshippes ynow,
To Sir Leo be comen with all his lele knightes,
With lordes of Lumbardy to let him the wayes."
But our wise king is wary to waiten his renkes,
And wisely by the woodes voides his host;
Gart felshen his fires flamand full high, 141
Trussen full traistely and treunt there-after.
Sithen into Sessoine he sought at the gainest,
And at the sours of the sun disseveres his knightes,
For-set them the citee upon sere halves,
Sodenly on eche halfe, with seven grete stales, 142
Only in the vale a vaweward enbushes.
Sir Valiant of Wales with valiant knightes
Before the kinges visage made such avowes
To vanquish by victory the Viscount of Rome;
Forthy the king charges him, what chaunce so befall,
Cheftain of the check with chevalrous knightes,
And sithen meles with mouth that he most traistes;
Demenes the middilward menskfully himselven,
Fittes his footmen als him fair thinkes;
On front in the fore-breste the flowr of his knightes;
His archers on either half he ordained there-after
To shake in a sheltron to shoot when them likes;
He arrayed in the rereward full real knightes
With renkes renowned of the Round Table,
Sir Raynald, Sir Richere that rade was never,
The rich Duke of Rouen with riders ynow;
Sir Kayous, Sir Clegis, and clene men of armes, 143
The king castes to keep by tho clere strandes;
Sir Lot and Sir Launcelot, these lordly knightes
Shall lenge on his left hand with legiones ynow,
To move in the morn-while, if the mist happen;
Sir Cador of Cornwall, and his keen knightes,
To keep at the karfuke, to close in thir other;
He plantes in such places princes and erles
That no power sholde pass by no privee wayes.
But the Emperour anon with honourable knightes
And erles enters the vale, aunters to seek,
And findes Sir Arthur with hostes arrayed,
And at his in-come, to eeken his sorrow,
Our burlich bold king upon the bente hoves,
With his batail on-brode and banners displayed.
He had the citee for-set upon sere halves,
Both the cleves and the cliffes with clene men of armes,
The moss and the morass with mountes so high
With grete multitude of men to mar him in the wayes.
When Sir Lucius sees, he says to his lordes:
"This traitour has treunt this tresoun to work!
He has the citee for-set upon sere halves,
All the cleves and the cliffes with clene men of armes!
Here is no way, iwis, ne no wit else,
But fight with our fomen, for flee may we never!"
Then this rich man rathe arrayes his bernes,
Rewled his Romans and real knightes;
Buskes in the avauntward the Viscount of Rome;
Fro Viterbo to Venice these valiant knightes
Dresses up dredfully the dragon of gold,
With egles all over enamelled of sable;
Drawen dreghly the wine and drinken there-after,
Dukes and douspeeres, dubbed knightes;
For dauncesing of Dutch-men and dinning of pipes,
All dinned for din that in the dale hoved.
And then Sir Lucius on loud said lordlich wordes:
"Think on the much renown of your rich faders,
And the riotours of Rome that regned with lordes,
And the renkes over-ran, all that regned in erthe,
Ecroched all Cristendom by craftes of armes;
In everich a viage the victory was holden
Inset all the Sarazenes within seven winter,
The part from Port Jaffe to Paradise gates!
Though a rewm be rebel, we reck it but little;
It is resoun and right the renk be restrained!
Do dress we therefore, and bide we no longer,
For dredles, withouten doubt, the day shall be oures!"
truce; until; be
live outside the law
prince; own (right)
covered; hair; wholly
asked for Arthur's (beard)
Therefore dwells; outrage
Burgundy; Great Britain
dinner; easily annoyed
If; take; i.e., armor
dines; on; male children
sad maidens; spits
dear; teach; man
praise thee if
sidewise; man; reached
stretched out; lodging
warms; without trousers
roasts; roast meats
Men; beasts spitted
Tub; baptized children
roasts spitted; maidens
holds back no longer
hastily greets; proud
cooking; churl; word
assign; reward; deserved
was terrified; glared
groaned; grudging expressions
hair; forelock; matted
skin; frog; freckled
Hook-nosed; gray (hoar)
Ears; be seen
Fat; dolphin; carcass
shoving (i.e., knock-kneed)
Fat; pig; horrible
length; man carefully
stately; reaches to him
strikes; Arthur's; fiercely
escaped; achieved (won)
strikes a blow
swiftly; quickly; works
Strikes; loins burst
throws away; seizes
sad maidens fall
fiend; kill him
bushes; (see note)
Tumble; tear; clothes
glad; found injured
day's fighting; these
seldom; more severely
churl to enclose
bonds of sorrow
Peninsula of Cotentin
Go; promontory; weapon
let us go
By that time
disordered realm; relieved
go; men of the shire
memory; i.e., the duchess
chooses (i.e., goes); (see note)
stern (one); stretches out
meanwhile; (see note)
from those far
great majesty; amendment
men of the marches
harmed in spite of
Burns; Burgundy; cities
beats down; dwells
i.e., make war
Go; quickly; (see note)
jolly; (see note)
do this errand
sharpened; (see note)
dine; rare foods
unfriendly; speaks; (see note)
hall; troubled; be
murder; trouble deserve
done my duty
do violence to
angry; go; errands
it seems good
garments (i.e., armor)
beat down; sword
Goes; man; angry
edges of the wood
adorned; (see note)
Frisian horse; bright armor
grisly; groaning; grief
unabashed; (see note)
charges at; readily
cleaved in two
Cleanly; body he divided
strong (i.e., swift)
in ambush; senior knights
redirect; (see note)
Boldly; Bedivere's; (see note)
(see note to line 68)
rally themselves; (see note)
dash asunder; rested
rear guard; sorrow
company; stronghold pauses
driven like hares
fierce; boldly cry
arrange the troops
gasping; angry expressions
To where; i.e., Bois
hauberk; breaks in two
stuck; battle; steel
Yield; quickly; yearn for
save; (see note)
tribute; readily furnish
Persia; Jaffa (Joppa)
Hacked to pieces; marsh
tidings; (see note)
is becoming; considered
belongs (i.e., is proper)
business is discussed
game; is granted
Entrust them to
On the; appends
Goes; Troyes (in France)
made themselves ready
Search; carefully shrubs
harmful person; shrubs
arrange; harm befall
hasten; wood; violent
Waiting; wood's edges
renowned; peace officer
powerful country; (see note)
drawn up; read; records
debt be repaid
trick; trifling; (see note)
delay; will be; (see note)
coat of arms; (see note)
Therefore; (see note)
Great Britain; aboard ships
prepared for battle
it befalls us
give up; man
dog's son; bushes
every sort of pleasure
profit any man
Take care of; i.e., Peter
boldly; strap on
Draw on helmets
trumpets; go; caparisoned
sudden movement; hold back
Goes; rear guard
loyal liegemen; (see note)
readies his spear
awaits the burial
penance; (see note)
As does; repay
readies his spear
Strikes straight; battle
Makes; painful; (see note)
Listen; ready their spears
with heraldic lions
Surrounds; group; drives
readies his spear
heathen violent; heath
forest; goes forth
most dependable; company
cut down; troop shielded
Men; wrinkled (plated)
armor braided; pierced
Arm guards; burst
Cordova; (see note)
ferns; forest; fear
violent; (see note)
edge of the wood
achieved (got to); escaped
woods; took; companions
entrusted them to
alive (i.e., killed them)
taken; foreign countries
to remain here
hold back; delay
lost; found (dead)
strong men destroy
table; (see note)
sets out; company; supply
speak my mind; fortune
issue (child); sprung
invited; trumpets; exhausted
do; lose; torment
Autun (province in France)
look out for
Soissons; went; quickest
Blockaded; all sides; (see note)
vanguard lies in ambush
to those that; trusts
Leads; middle guard
watch; crossroads; these
entry; add to
strong; plain rides
battalions spread out
besieged; many sides
marched here; treason
resounded; noise; stood
Let us prepare ourselves
Go To Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part III