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Sir Degrevant


1 Lines 2-4: Grant that they may see Heaven / Who love pleasure and merriment / And to entertain guests

2 Lines 13-16: No knight that he might ever encounter, / In France nor in England, / Was able to knock a lance from his hand / While he was sitting on a strong stallion

3 He harbored a strong grudge against the knight (Sir Degrevant)

4 In my opinion he is a worthless person (not worth a piece of watercress)

5 Nor worse by a pear (i.e., not in the least any worse [because of the fight])

6 She was perfectly beautiful (lit., she had all the beauty)

7 Lines 786-87: But for no reproach would she be stopped / To ask the same thing again

8 Lines 822-23: "How does the Earl spend his days? / Does he go hunting or hawking?"

9 Even if it seems to her, without much ground


ABBREVIATIONS: C = Cambridge, Cambridge University Library MS Ff.1.6 (the Findern MS); Cn = Casson edition (1949); L = Lincoln, Cathedral Library MS Cathedral 91 (the Thornton MS); Lu = Luick edition (1917).

26 nevew full ner. Some have argued that Degrevant is a variant of Agravain, who would be one of Arthur's"near" nephews (Davenport,"Sir Degrevant and Composite Romance," p. 115). The name appears as Degrevant in two lists of Arthurian knights in the Healing of Sir Urry episode in Malory and in the muster of knights for the burial of Galahad in Hardyng's Chronicle. See Kennedy,"Malory and His English Sources," pp. 27-55, as cited by Davenport, p. 115n10.

47 ganne. Variants gon/gun, can; auxilliary of the past tense, indicating that the verb preceding or following is in the past tense.

50 revay."To go hawking on riverbanks."

97 him besyd. The Earl is Sir Degrevant's neighbor and territorial rival, a situation not entirely unlike rivalries in the Old West where ranchers might poach or harm the water supply as aggressive harassment of neighbors whose land they coveted.

99 forestes. The word is here used in a specialized sense, either"woodland set apart for hunting" or"a wood enclosed by walls, a park."

100 bowres. The word bower is ambiguous; it may mean"chamber,""dwelling," but also a"place overarched with trees, arbour" (OED). In view of the context (the forests in the preceding line) the latter meaning has been adopted here.

108 he. Refers back to"his" in the previous line and therefore denotes Sir Degrevant.

117 For he was in the Holy Lond. See Edwards on"identifiable social issues" rooted in the poem, particularly with reference to crusader knights whose property was threatened by trespass during their absence ("Gender, Order and Reconciliation," pp. 54-55). See Lloyd, English Society and the Crusade, pp. 163-75, as cited by Edwards.

131 frount. The word makes clear that Sir Degrevant was in the vanguard.

the Garnad. The definite article was standard with a number of place-names (compare"the Rodes" for Rhodes in The Squire of Low Degree, line 198).

136 twelthe nyght. The feast of Epiphany on 6 January commemorates the visit of the three Magi to the newborn Christ child twelve days after His birth and in the Middle Ages marks the end of the Christmas celebrations.

141 tenantrie. Forste-Grupp notes the legal implications of the term:"The poet specifies that the persons whose properties were pillaged were not serfs but householders with their own income." Degrevant is an astute administrator who"takes particular care of those persons who pay him rent" ("'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" p. 118).

143 parkes. MED cites park n.1(a) as"an enclosed tract of land; an enclosed area surrounding or bordering a castle or manor."

151-52 lawe . . . schore."The word lawe implies that Degrevant could bring his case before one of the king's justices, state his grievance, give his evidence, and listen to the earl's defense. The word schore implies a forceful and immediate response to an affront to one's honor" (Forste-Grupp,"'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" p. 120). The poet emphasizes Degrevant's concern with legality, even though the Earl forces retaliatory violence, the point being that Degrevant's behavior is governed"by the same rules which govern the behavior of the audience of the romance" (Forste-Grupp, p. 120, citing Beckman,"Adding Insult to Iniuria").

153 lettre has he dyght. Forste-Grupp finds it noteworthy that Degrevant is literate and writes the letter himself. This fact"places Degrevant in a new generation of progressive English nobility who could write as well as read" (Forste-Grupp,"'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" p. 121). On the other hand, the phrase could also mean that"he has a letter prepared" by someone else.

155-56 ryght . . . wherfore. Degrevant's letter is a writ praecipe, an open patent letter, calling for ryght, wherfore justice may be achieved. Forste-Grupp emphasizes that Degrevant"assumes juridical authority by appropriating the language of the royal government to insist that the earl do what is right or explain his actions" ("'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" p. 123). The letter has teeth, for if the Earl chooses to ignore it, Degrevant will bring the matter to the attention of King Arthur. That the Earl fails to recognize the letter"as a document of power, authority, and intent" suggests that he is"of an older generation of nobility who distrusted writing and refused to learn the new skill despite ample opportunity" (p. 126).

167 many knyghte. In OE"manig" is an adjective that is normally followed by a noun in the singular (hence the translation"many a"), and although the plural is found increasingly towards the end of the OE period, the combination of"many" and a singular noun is still quite common in ME.

174-76 Immediately when he sees him the squire rides towards the Earl and pulls up his horse so that his horse's front is level with that of the Earl's horse.

188 woderys. The Earl implies that the tree's branch might well serve as a gallows.

196 In herde is nat to hyde. The phrase is a typical filler, not only occurring here but also in lines 1104 and 1340 as well. Proverbial; see Whiting H281. The proverb is found with variants in Amis and Amiloun (line 501), Guy of Warwick (line 237), Otuel and Roland (line 649), Horn Childe (lines 39, 57, 189, 396, 669, 729), Chester's Sir Launfal (line 57), Sir Owain (line 420), Ipomadon (lines 2479, 2608, 3918, 4803), Emaré (lines 120, 996), Sir Gowther (line 189), and Tryamore (line 1629). Here herd seems to mean"heart"; the Lincoln MS reads"In hert es noght to hyde," as in metaphors of the telltale heart; (i.e.,"it can't be kept a secret" - see MED), though sometimes herd seems to mean"retinue," as"there's no hiding in a crowd," and in others (Ipomadon in particular) the spelling is"erde" or"erthe," rather than"herd," with the sense being"there's no hiding place on earth," with a biblical overtone as in the African-American spiritual.

236 wede. Under wede is as much a filler as"under gore," but wede may mean"armor, coat of mail," which is appropriate here.

250 Withinne the knyghtus boundus. The hounds are unleashed while they are still on Sir Degrevant's property ("groundus" - line 251).

252 halowede. MED cites halouen v.1 (a):"To shout in the chase, either at the hunted animal or at the hunting dogs to incite them to attack, halloo."

263 gyant. A sarcastic reference to Sir Degrevant.

270 game, as in Modern English, can mean both"joke" or"entertainment" and"quarry."

275 baner. Here not just the ensign itself, but also the men fighting under it.

278 Both lase and the mar. Lit.,"both those of high and of low social status," thus, implying everyone.

298 armere. N.b. the break in rhyme scheme. Compare line 143.

364 Ne worse be a pere. The expression is proverbial, and has variants with straw, bean, tare, fly, etc., for pear (see also line 1712). See Whiting P84.

383 The words of the Earl make sense only if we take Y take my leve to mean"I will desist from."

395 cors of wer. The standard expression for a"round" in a joust.

424 My troth y thee plyght. Variants on the phrase occur more than a dozen times in the poem in what Edwards defines as"a sort of symbolic marker" (compare lines 696, 765, 768, 769, 971, 1038, 1222, 1371, 1552, etc.)."The referentiality of the concept of 'trouth' . . . shifts [in the course of the poem] from courtly, amatory fidelity to martial prowess, serving to remind us of the complex social and personal issues that need to be resolved for the creation of harmony" ("Gender, Order and Reconciliation," p. 61). The interrelationship of"different forms of 'trouõth' . . . can only be achieved through the integration of these worlds - inner/outer, masculine/feminine - that the poem explores" (p. 62).

434 reveres. The banks of streams where waterfowl were hunted with hawks. See MED rivere n.2 (a). The destruction of such sites by the diverting of the water was an age-old means of aggression by troublesome neighbors.

439 warreyn. Another technical term:"a piece of land enclosed and preserved for breeding game."

449 inwith wan. Another tag, like"under wede" (line 236).

471 troweloves. Casson translates"fleurs-de-lis," because of the heraldic context, but there is little support for that elsewhere.

497 gentriese. Denotes both Sir Degrevant's noble descent and the qualities that should go with it, like courtesy, clemency, or mercy.

529-44 See Edwards ("Gender, Order and Reconciliation," p. 60) on the poem's formalized emphasis on the use of direct utterance in this"self-contained lyric in which Degrevant declares his love for Melidor." Between a quarter and a third of the poem is cast in direct speech.

542 all the gold in the Reyn. The story of the Nibelungenlied (first recorded c. 1200) was still sufficiently known in the later Middle Ages in most countries in Western Europe for a poet to assume that such a reference would be understood by his audience.

543 Fausoned on floren. Compare Chaucer's Miller's Tale, where Alison's beauty is praised by analogy with a newly minted coin:"Ful brighter was the shynyng of hir hewe / Than in the Tour the noble yforged newe" (CT I[A] 3256-57).

570 the Eorlus owun eyer. Degrevant's love of Melidor is certainly romantic, as her love for him subsequently is. Yet both recognize the politics of the situation in which the relationship constitutes a kind of revenge on the Earl. Forste-Grupp notes Melidor's literacy to suggest that Degrevant's showing her the written document -"Here the chartur in thi hand, / Thiself may hyt see" (lines 975-76) - is a"formidable force" in establishing their relationship, documenting that he is"a canny, literate lord who not only knows the details of land transferral and tenure but also composes and writes legal documents to achieve his own objectives" ("'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" p. 129). Melidor is a good match for him, since she too"can decipher a charter and ascertain its validity . . . the new ideal of the late medieval English lady - beautiful and literate" (p. 131).

613 hyt. Grammatically superfluous, daylight being the subject.

646 nuche. A"nucheum," or"ouch," is an ornament (brooch, clasp, earrings) with one or more mounted gems.

647 Anurled. An orle, in heraldry, is a border following the outline of a shield, but within it. It here probably denotes fur lining of Melidor's dress, which she wears turned back to show the fur.

653-54 aspanne. C, Cn: a spanne; the first does not occur in the MED, the second in no useful meaning for this context. Reading recevyd as retenyd does not make the lines any clearer either. Casson admits being unable to interpret these lines satisfactorily. However, if we take spanne as"embrace (by the hands)," aspanne might mean"in an embrace by the hands." Still, as they stand these two lines constitute an odd interruption of the description of Melidor's outward appearance (unfortunately L is defective here: lines 652-55 were apparently skipped by the scribe).

657 hold. So C, L. Casson reads on mold, the sense being"adorned on top." See MED"holde" n. 2. Although there is no citation in the MED of"hold" meaning"pinned up," perhaps that sense might be extrapolated from hold, meaning"to hold together" or"to elevate." This reading avoids the rime riche of lines 657-59, a device which is seldom found in Sir Degrevant.

663 boses. According to the MED a bos is an ornament, so here it could mean a medallion or a pendant. Since the text mentions a payr, it is just possible that"horns" are meant, a kind of headdress popular with women in the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and mocked by Lydgate in his poem Horns Away.

681 bordys. Cn; L: borde; C: lordys. Tables usually consisted of planks placed on trestles. Because they took so much space they were cleared away after every meal and stored against the wall. Not so, however, in the house of Chaucer's epicure the Franklin, about whom it is said that the tables"in his halle alway / Stood redy covered al the longe day" (General Prologue, CT I[A]353-54).

682 was not to leyn. A stopgap: lit.,"it was not to be concealed."

690 he. Superfluous here, as Sir Degrevant (line 689) is the real subject.

694 see. The grammar is ambiguous, and various meanings are possible: (a)"May Christ save you and see [you]"; (b)"May Christ save you and see I want to be your servant"; (c)"May Christ save you, and may you see that . . ." I have opted for (c), Casson for (a).

703 ryally arayd. This could be translated both as"splendidly dressed" and as"royal in appearance." The second translation emphasizes the impression Degrevant makes.

779 hur hood of hoe hent. The phrase is ambiguous but most likely means that the maid takes off the hood of her lady.

884 Lok yf thee paye. Since no personal pronoun is given the phrase could mean either"See if he pleases you" or"See if it pleases you."

885 I gyf. A bond is a deed by means of which one binds oneself to pay a certain sum of money to a certain person.

889 Whan here trouthus were plyghth. After the squire and the maid plight their troth as a result of which they are formally, i.e., legally, engaged to be married, Sir Degrevant dubs his squire a knight (see also lines 969-72).

895 As thou wolt that I be thin. Sir Degrevant cannot, of course, mean this too literally, as he"belongs" to the lady; he probably merely wants to express his feeling of obligation towards the maid.

900 pore. Casson translates"worthless," but the word mainly indicates the difference between a suitor like the Duke of Gerle and Sir Degrevant.

904 sothe. Considering that the other three tail lines have a French rhyming word ending in"-o(u)r," sothe must be a scribal mistake, perhaps for"for sure."

923 waturwal. MED defines waturwal or wough as"a retaining wall beside a body of water; a wall on either side of a mill wheel forming a sluice."

951 thei. In view of the singular"byrd" in the preceding line, thei may refer to Sir Degrevant and his squire, and not the lady and her maid; or perhaps it refers to"that gentyl knyght" (line 949) and"that byrd bryght" (line 950).

964 As ever mote thou the. This is a variant of the stopgap"so mote I the," in which the means"to prosper." As there is no modern equivalent for this phrase, translations tend to result in awkward English.

1021-24 The quatrain makes little sense as it stands in C: The ryche Duk, whan he eet, / The Eorle hertely hym hete / And with Mayd Myldore the swet / To have hyr for ay. I have reversed the order of lines 1022 and 1023, and slightly adjusted C's 1023, on the basis of L. Another possibility would be to delete And with from line 1023. Casson also suggests transposing these two lines, but follows the manuscript in his text.

1039 Whedur he wol tornay or fyghth. I.e., whether he wants to challenge me in a tournament or on the battlefield.

1045-48 cheef . . . trewelovus bytwene. The"chief" denotes the upper third of the shield. The partition line with the lower part is engrailed (Engrelyd), i.e., it shows a series of low arcades. The color of the chief is blue (azour), that of the lower part is not given. It is not clear on which part the St. Andrew's cross is found (satur; Cn has engrelyd refer to the saltire). It is not clear either whether the double tressure, i.e., a double band following the edge of the shield, extends over the entire shield or is limited to the lower part. This tressure is ornamented with truelove knots (trewelovus). The in-itself-rare feature of the tressure is characteristically Scottish if ornamented with fleur-de-lis (it occurs, e.g., on the Scottish royal arms), something that poet and audience were no doubt aware of. The chief, saltire, and tressure are all so-called ordinaries, of which some fifteen exist; however, usually a shield displays only one of them. Hence we must conclude that, in spite of all the details given, Sir Degrevant's coat of arms is a fairly poor fabrication by the poet.

1049 is. Since the Earl is describing a knight in full armor, as he would appear on the battlefield, this quatrain probably presents Sir Degrevant's standard, on which the badge would normally appear.

1060 stak. Stake or post driven into the ground.

1062 Seynt Martyn of Toure. As an officer in the Roman army, St. Martin gave away half of his mantle to a naked beggar. He later became bishop of Tours in France, where he died in AD 397.

1064 knew. The Earl is thinking of the common belief that nobody fights better than a man in love (see also lines 1129-32).

1092 pryd. In contexts like the present one pryd combines the features of arrogance, prowess, and splendor.

1098 bachelere. A bachelor was a knight of the lowest degree.

1107 strete. Here a straight strip of land, making up the tournament field.

1129-32 These lines repeat lines 1061-64 and show that the Earl's premonitions about the outcome of the tournament proved only too justified. Note the wordplay on mak, which first meant"match, equal," and here"mate, wife."

1131 The lady lay in the toure. Casson, by putting a semicolon at the end of line 1130, makes lines 1131-32 an independent statement which comes rather unexpectedly and serves no clear purpose. If, on the other hand, line 1130 is made to run on, line 1131 ("the lady [that] lay in the toure") becomes the direct object of"loved," and the sense is much improved.

1137-40 The grammar of these lines is faulty: line 1137 is superfluous, except that it explains that Degrevant is the fre of line 1140.

1190 damysel. In ME the word usually denotes a young lady (OF damoiselle), but it is obvious from the context that the masculine sense is required here, as in OF damoisel.

1198 topteler. On the poem's rich vocabulary of specialized interest in horses, armor, castle architecture, heraldry, jewels, furniture, and the refinements of castle life, see Davenport,"Sir Degrevant and Composite Romance," pp. 116-19. Casson (pp. xlvi-xlix) notes that many of the terms, particularly those devoted to the court and the refined life, are derived from French; many reflect the earliest use of the word in English.

1211 gest. Here used in the original sense, with rather ominous overtones, of"someone coming from outside," hence"a stranger."

1217 des. The dais was the raised platform on which the"high" table stood. It is not exceptional for a knight to ride into a hall and up to the dais (see, e.g., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 221-22).

1225 Bytwene underun and prime. The order is a bit odd, since underun is the third and prime the first hour of the day after sunrise. The MED also lists a third meaning for underun,"late afternoon or early evening," but this also makes little sense - unless the time referred to is the middle of the night.

1239 resoun. In line 214 of The Squire of Low Degree the context leaves no doubt that"motto" is the required sense. Unfortunately we are not told what the motto is.

1267 o pesse or of were. In tournaments there were two types of combat: à plaisance and à outrance. In the latter case one fought with the normal weapons of war, and death of the opponent was a calculated risk if not the real aim; the other type of combat was primarily for entertainment, and lighter, rebated (blunted) weapons were used.

1302 renckus. The course down which the opponents rushed toward each other. Each rode on his own side of the barrier, the fence dividing the lists into two separate tracks.

1313 the stede. The definite article is curious, as this horse had not been mentioned before.

1321 Apparently Sir Degrevant had taken off his armor, so that he now had to get ready for the final course.

1325 After addressing Sir Degrevant in a most encouraging way Melidor now turns to the Duke, who lies on the ground in bitter agony (see the next stanza), with a taunting remark.

1346 This is a strange moment to reward the minstrels, but since C and L agree here, we shall just have to accept the text as it stands.

1354 This is the same tree as the hawthorn of line 944. In this episode Melidor's maid had shown him a secret entrance to the castle.

1364 Perseved the thoughth. I.e., Melidor guessed that her maid knew that Sir Degrevant had come in.

1368 ff. The gist of the passage is that the maid tells her lady not to conceal herself from her guest and his men because, on her word of honor, he has dearly paid for her. Although it is not said, Melidor apparently consents, which gladdens the maid, who goes out to meet Sir Degrevant and lead him up the stairs and to Melidor's room.

1372 He has dere yboughth: from L's reading - Dere he hase me boghte - it appears that Melidor is speaking here. It is not uncommon for her to address her maid with the word"dameselle," e.g., see below, line 1393. In L the maid explicitly states that it was she who was bought by Sir Degrevant.

1385 Welcome, Syre Aunterous. Davenport notes that the courtly tone of welcome to a conquering hero is appropriate to aristocratic taste that might be pleased with the literary refinements of a"chaumbur of love," a grand banquet, the"rich variety of wine and Meliador's singing to the harp creates an evocative atmosphere of hedonism and sensual enjoyment which might appropriately lead to love-making" ("Sir Degrevant and Composite Romance," p. 124).

1401 Eylyssham. As Casson points out, Aylsham in Norfolk was famous for its linen at the time.

1403 Sanappus. Over-cloth to protect the tablecloth.

1441 ff. On the inner world of the castle with its splendidly decorated bedroom, a veritable Chamber of Venus, see Davenport,"Sir Degrevant and Composite Romance," pp. 124-29. Although the passage is"purely literary," it nonetheless is reminiscent of chambers like those of Longthorpe Tower, with its splendid wall paintings. See illustrations in Davenport, pp. 126-27, or the verbal luxuries of the love grotto in Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, or the wonders of the Indian Temple in the Wars of Alexander, lines 3664-3703.

1446 ogee and parpon are architectural terms, indicating the diagonal rib of a vault and a binding stone respectively.

1459 Hend. The poet here addresses the audience, hence"gentle people."

1461-62 Gregorius . . . Ambrosius. A: Gregory . . . Ambrose. I have emended to maintain the rhyme. These two church fathers, together with the other two, are traditionally referred to as the four doctors, i.e., great teachers, of the (Roman Catholic) Church.

1466 fylesoferus. These would include Aristotle, Plato, Seneca, but also others. Their writings carried the same authority as those of the four doctors of the Church, and in didactic, moralizing texts one may find them side by side (see, e.g., Chaucer's Parson's Tale).

1467-68 The story of Absalom is the stock example of pride going before a fall (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 18).

1475 moynelus. Mullions are the vertical stone bars between window panes.

1481-83 Charlemagne, Arthur, and Godfrey of Bouillon are the three Christians among the Nine Worthies, the others being three pagan kings (Hector of Troy, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar) and three Jewish heroes from the Old Testament (Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabeus).

1490 testur. The tester was the paneling at the head end of the bed, or the wooden framework, on which the canopy rested.

1493-94 And all a storye as hyt was / Of Ydoyne and Amadas. L's reading definitely makes better sense here: Also a story ther was. The story of Amadace et Ydoine, though not surviving in English, was well known, judging by the references in this and other texts, like Emaré. The ME Sir Amadace is not related.

1511 Westfal. As Casson points out, knop"is of Low German origin, and the manufacture of crystal gems and other objects was carried on in Germany from Carolingian times until the sixteenth century at least" (p. 143).

1518 The Duk Betyse. The name of the Duke, Betis, occurs nowhere else in the text, and, as Casson asserts, is in fact known only from the Old French Voeux du Paon. There is, however, no obvious link between Sir Degrevant and that story. See textual note to this line.

1523 ff. The conversation has definite sexual overtones, brought out more clearly in L: When thou gase to thi reste, / Lady, wysse me the beste, / Giff it be thi will. An awareness of this will help to understand Melidor's snappy reply, in which the line Thou touchest non swych thing is not free from sexual innuendo either.

1565 bachylere. This is the squire who had just been knighted, and who follows the example of Sir Degrevant with Melidor's maiden.

1594 kayous. According to both the OED and the MED this word occurs only here; its meaning is obscure. Casson suggested"resembling Sir Kay, hence 'uncourtly,'" which was adopted by the MED as"? A steward, the 'Sir Kay' of this romance." L's gracyous is certainly wrong. Casson suggests that the original may have had something like kaytyvous,"villainous" (from caitiff).

1740 yowr. The plural form makes clear that the Earl is accusing both his daughter and Sir Degrevant of treachery.

1757-86 On the concerted advisory effort of Melidor and the Earl's wife to end the Earl's stubborn predatory behavior, see Edwards,"Gender, Order and Reconciliation," pp. 58-59.

1793-94 Bylyve a lettur ho sent / Thorw the Yorlus comandment. The Earl acknowledges the intellectual authority of his daughter and the new circumstances. See Forste-Grupp,"'For-thi a lettre has he dyght,'" pp. 132-33, who notes that"one of the two surviving copies of Sir Degrevant was copied by two women"; and, especially, Edwards on the relationship of gender issues to the Findern MS:"If women were a significant element in the early readership of this manuscript, then this would suggest that the romance had an audience that may have had good reason to be particularly responsive to the representation of the crucial, harmonizing female role in Sir Degrevant" ("Gender, Order and Reconciliation," p. 64).

1841 Trinité day. Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday following on Whitsun (Pentecost).

1870 Nine Doseperus. The Douzepers, lit.,"the twelve equals," were in origin the twelve bravest and most important nobles at the court of Charlemagne. The number nine here is an obvious mistake, possibly by confusion with the Nine Worthies (of whom Charlemagne was one; see note to lines 1481-83). As Casson remarks, the display described here is no doubt a"masque" or"disguising," comparable to the theatrical"mumming" wherein masks representing great heroes of the past were worn by the performers.

1881-84 This quatrain has a faulty rhyme in knyghthus and shaky grammar and makes doubtful sense. Since the impression is given that the jousting consisted in a drinking contest, revele must mean"to revel," forms of the verb"to reveal" being extremely rare in the fifteenth century.

1882 seryd. According to the OED the word serried,"close together, shoulder to shoulder" (used of armed men), came into use only in the seventeenth century. But the Old French verb from which it is derived, serrer, was borrowed a hundred years earlier as serr. The appearance of the past participle seryd at an even earlier moment is therefore not as unlikely as it at first sight seems. On the other hand, it could be a scribal mistake for sere,"various" (as in line 1480); that would definitely make better sense.

1910 He seysed hys eyr with hys hond. Sir Degrevant put his heir in possession of all his property by means of a verbal agreement, sworn in front of witnesses.


ABBREVIATIONS: See Explanatory Notes.

With C's first scribe, e cannot always be distinguished from a or o, while his r (in any position) causes problems time and again; the second scribe writes exactly the same sign for n and u. Small corrections by the scribes, like a letter inserted or a word crossed out or corrected, have been mentioned in the notes to the first one hundred lines only; after that only the more significant alterations are given.

Title degreuuaunt. Written at the top of the page, with theynke and thanke added in a different hand.

2 to. Written above the line, a dot between for and se indicating where to insert it.

4 gestys. C, corrected from gestus or possibly gesstus.

7 hem. Inserted above the line in another hand, a caret below the line indicating where to insert it.

8 on. C; Cn: in.

9 y. The first scribe consistently uses a lower case y for I, the second a capital I (retained in the edition), while the third has both (with a predilection for I).

12 of dede. The scribe originally wrote and wyght, crossed that out and added of dede above the line.

13 knyght. C reads kyngh; obviously, the scribe meant knyght. Casson misread C and transcribed knygh.

he. Inserted between that and fond by means of a caret.

14 In Fraunce. After the scribe had written In ffraunce he apparently produced a stain, crossed out these words, and started again on the next line.

25 He was dowghty and der. The scribe first wrote he was herdy and wyght, then crossed it out, continuing to write the correct verse on the next line. Cn's wording gives the wrong impression of what happened:"he was herdy and wyght written above the line, and cancelled."

27 myght. Also written after he, but crossed out.

37 on. C: in.

39 The whole line was added later in a smaller script (but by the same hand).

47 parke. Cn: perke. Both scribes use one and the same abbreviation for per- and par- (a p with a cross stroke through the descender). Since the word parke is written in full in line 70 that spelling has been used throughout.

50 honte and. Cn; C: honte to and.

53 To. Cn; C: Tho. Although the grammatical construction resulting from Cn's emendation is still shaky (the infinitive is not connected to any finite verb), a sentence with tho,"then," produces no better grammar and less sense. In fact, on the basis of seththe,"after that," in line 55 one would have expected the line to open with a word like"first."

54 Trewly. In C followed by to crossed out.

68 muchell. Cn; C: muchll.

71 herdus. C; Cn translates"harts," probably on the basis of L's hertes, or because C also occasionally has herd(e) for herte, heart (lines 196, 1104, 1340). On the other hand, C could just as well have intended herdus to mean"herds" here.

77 he. Inserted above the line.

88 Of. Followed by a word looking like Gvld but crossed out and hence practically illegible.

96 whan. This spelling for wan, won, occurs only here, elsewhere it is used strictly for when; apparently the scribe was not paying close attention to what he was copying.

97 This line is the fourth line of the second column of fol. 96v. The first three repeat lines 77-79 but were subsequently canceled. One gets the impression that lines 77-79 caught the scribe's eye because they opened a column in his exemplar while he was opening one in his own text.

104 grade. Cn; C: grode.

113 drowhe. Cn; C: drow he.

118 Dede. This is the old, endingless plural form (from OE dæde).

127 sey."Saw," C; Cn: seyde,"said."

131 the Garnad. C; L: Degranade; Cn: Garnad (for C), Granade (for L).

137 maner. Inserted, masynges crossed out.

143 comen. C; Cn: comoun. There is no need to emend, see, e.g., the spelling armere (line 298,"armor"), rhyming with"stour" and"honor." His lands had become"common property," as it were, because the Earl had destroyed the fences and gates.

147 hem. Cn; C: hen.

149 for to. Cn; C: for.

154 of gret myght. L; C, Cn: opo myght; although the C text makes no sense Cn has adopted it without comment.

157 And wyth a sqwer. Emended; C, Cn: And wyth sqwer; L: With a sqwyere.

hit. Cn; C: him. Note that he/hys in lines 157-60 first refer to Sir Degrevant, then to the squire, and finally to the Earl.

161-76 This stanza is missing in C; the text given here is from L.

179 sethens. Cn; C: sethes.

barown. Cn; C: bowron.

193 sone. Cn reads C as sono, but the last letter could well be a badly formed e (compare plece in line 427, or trowe in line 471).

209 wroth. Cn; C: worth.

237 was yarmed. Cn; C: W (crossed out) was y armed, with y crossed out and r inserted.

261 Eorl. Cn; C: dukes.

267 sese. Written above the line.

279 yare. L; C, Cn: þare. Repetition of the same rhyming word is rare; moreover, the L reading, meaning"ready," makes more sense.

289 enjoined. A peculiar kind of suspension stroke occurs over the n; hence Cn reads ennjoined. But the stroke was added by the corrector, and looks rather as if he has struck out something; the same hand also inserted the i.

300 hethe. Cn; C: hethene. The scribe first erroneously wrote hethne, then mistook this as a scribal error for hethene ("heathen") and corrected accordingly. The word obviously needed here is hethe,"heath."

301 They. Cn; C: Then.

312 dedus. C; L: bledis. C's dedus seems less likely to be the original than L's version:"many a bold one bleeds"; it moreover has the same word in line 316.

315 Wo wrekes thare wryth. C. The text in L appears more logical: With waa wreke thay thaire wrythe,"By inflicting woe they avenge their anger."

322 Bryttenes. Cn; C: Brghtenes.

343 knyght. C: knygh.

344 mornyng. Cn; C: mornyg.

345 Degrevvant. Cn; C: Degrevvat (ibid. lines 353, 385).

349 laf. C; L: lefte. Since the weak verb"to leave" has always formed its preterite by means of a dental suffix (as in L), laf is best taken as a scribal error for laft.

355 grat. Metathesized form from gart, a characteristic feature of the text (see also lines 384, 422, 437, 558, 944, etc.).

358 myle. Cn; C: mele.

360 dud. In C corrected from earlier and (by merely writing d over a).

361 schygynge. First y corrected from e.

368 After this line the scribe has written: Her endyth the furst fit, to which another hand has added: Howe say ye? will ye any more of hit. No other fits are distinguished.

370 knyght. C has knygh (as in line 343), but the rhyme requires the final -t. It must be concluded that the copyist did not double-check what he wrote.

379 is. Corrected to his by a later hand.

381 was. Corrected from wys by a later hand.

383 leve. Ibid., from lyfe.

384 wornges. Another instance of metathesis.

385 Degrevvant. Cn; C: Degrevvat.

396 knythus. The spelling of this word and of"hytus" (line 400) on the one hand, and of whyght, whyghth (lines 518, 1402) on the other, proves that at least in the idiolect of the two scribes the gh was no longer pronounced.

408 under wede. See explanatory note to line 236.

411 After the scribe had written this line (with mesger for mesager), he crossed it out - only to write it again one line down.

417 wall. L; C: hall. As Cn put it:"C has missed the point of the carefully thought out localization of the incident . . . . Sir Degrevant and his knights remain outside the castle while the porter goes to the Earl with the message. As they are waiting, the Countess and her daughter appear on the castle wall, not in the hall. 539 makes the author's intention quite clear." In spite of this apt observation Cn retained C's hall.

418-19 The scribe had written these lines in the order 419-18, and subsequently corrected this by writing b, a in the margin.

422 seyth. Cn; C: seygh.

knyghte. Cn; C: kynghtes.

chevalerus. The word has been crossed out, possibly because the scribe thought it was the rhyming word (compare plyght in line 424).

427 plece. c written over ee (or oe?).

428 nyght. Cn; C: nynght.

437 Spayn. C: spyan.

447 slayn. The scribe started off with the wrong rhyme word, and on seeing his mistake, crossed out what he had written, probably flyi. Cn saw correctly that the scribe probably reversed the order of lines 446 and 447; unlike Cn I have adopted that emendation in the text, finding support for this in L's reading:"Or I shall dy in the payne / He that my fosters hase slayne / I sall rewarde hym agayne."

455 vilany. Cn; C: vlany.

470 and. Added Cn; not in C.

475 beuté. Cn; C: beut.

477 wondus. Cn; C: wendus. L: wondid.

485 thy. Cn; C: they.

506-07 The scribe made the same mistake here as with lines 418-19, with the same correction.

514 Tenede. Cn; C: temede.

515 foreste. Cn; C: forste.

516 bernus. After the scribe had written this word the ink ran out, and so he wrote it again, without crossing out his first attempt. Such rewritten words occur regularly with the first two scribes.

520 in wold. in added Cn, but the emendation is unnecessary (compare Floris and Blancheflour E207, A366).

537 in pall. L, Cn; C: pall.

541 levere. L, Cn; C: leve.

544 der. L, Cn; C: drer.

546 After this line the scribe erroneously started with lines 548-49: In payn of my liue / That y; he then discovered his mistake, crossed out these lines except for y, which he made the first word of line 547 (and which caused a faulty word order). Note that the scribe used two different spellings for the word"life" within these two lines.

547 And y. Cn; C: y and.

556 knyef. In C n is represented by a suspension stroke over the y.

560 streff. C; Cn: stryeff.

565 This line begins a new quire and here the second scribe takes over. He consistently spells I where the first scribe wrote y for the personal pronoun (1st sg.). Other differences are that his e is quite distinct from his o, while on the first page and a half the three rhyming lines have been bracketed.

591 Bote. Cn; C: bete.

596 For. Cn; C: fro.

609 coursers. Cn; C: cousers.

646 nuche. C; Cn: nouche, L: miche. C's spelling makes good Latin but bad Middle English.

647 Anurled. Cn; C: an erlud.

651 the. C and; Cn: hur.

657 herre. C; L, Cn: here.

hold. C, L; Cn: mold.

660 worthelychere wyghth. The letters after -ly are smudged, and have been rewritten below the line (which was the last of that column). The emendation is Cn's.

693 Corteys. Cn; L: curtayse, C: certys.

707 thou not dost ryghth. The word order is obviously wrong, not and dost having changed places, but apparently not wrong enough for the scribe to notice or correct it.

733 lat be thee. C; L: lat be, which is the normal expression.

757 oure. C; Cn: our. As with werre and erbere (lines 709, 711) there is a dot over the final r, which in the earlier lines was taken as an abbreviation by Cn, too.

765 be ton. Cn; L: be tane; C: leton.

798 ever. Cn; C: never.

802 One folio is missing here from L, resulting in the loss of lines 802-1008 (L has two columns per page, and roughly fifty lines per column).

848 An. Cn; C: and.

885 I gyf. Cn; C: I gyf l; Lu: igyf I.

893 Recumaunde me. Cn; C: me left out.

899 thenke. Cn; C: thonke.

901 shal be. My emendation; C, Cn: shal. Either"that shal" of line 902 is superfluous, or a verb should be added to line 901.

932 byfore."An odd collocation of textual errors in the tail-rimes: byfore, cornes, morow, hawthrone. The original must have had byforne, corne, morne, hawthorne" (Cn).

943 stod. Written over what was probably wer, crossed out; Cn reads wor, but the form would be exceptional for C.

944 hawthrone. Another case of metathesis (see above, lines 355, 384, 422, 437, 558). Its occurrence here with the second scribe shows that it is a feature of the text rather than of one of the scribes.

946 retenu. Cn: retenue; C: reten; the scribe must have read n for his exemplar's u and ignored the suspension stroke.

952 Since we do not hear anymore of how they spent their night, ne probably dropped out.

979 Degrivaunt. Cn; C: Degrivaunant.

982 no. Cn; C: now.

986 kyng. Cn; C: kyg.

989 nol. My emendation; C, Cn: wol.

999 to so. Cn glosses"ever so (?)"; this use of to is not recorded elsewhere.

1008 foryeod. C; Cn: forʒood.

1014 of. Cn; C: and.

1025 knyghthus. Cn: knyʒthus; C: kyʒthus.

1029 told. Cn; C: tol.

1030 armes. Cn is undoubtedly right in assuming that L has the right reading: harmes; confusion concerning initial h- is no exception in the text (see, e.g., the textual note on is, line 379).

tonn. Cn; C: conn.

1030-31 These lines too had been written in the wrong order, but this time the scribe corrected himself by means of the letters b and a in the margin.

1041 This line verbally repeats line 1037. L is only slightly better, with ansuerde this knyght in line 1037.

1042 knowus. Cn; C: kowus.

1045 a. Cn; C: s.

1049 is. Cn; C: þis.

1057-58 L has the superior reading here: He es bown [ready] to the felde, / Bath with spere and with schilde.

1064 knew. Cn; C: kew.

1070 isworun. Cn; C: iswrun.

1077 sonne. The MS has a c inserted between the s and the o, while the entire word has been struck out. Cn's explanation deserves to be quoted in full:
The present MS. reading may be regarded as a modified haplography: the scribe wrote sonne, then his eye picked up the following word schonne in his copy, and he assumed he had made a mistake in the word already written. So he inserted the c, saw there was no room for the h, cancelled the word without referring to his copy, and went on with schonne, thinking he was repeating the word already cancelled.
1091 this. The MS reads þs, with the s slightly above the line. We are therefore justified in seeing the s as the, very common, abbreviation for is. Cn's emendation to þis is in fact no emendation at all.

1110 sadelus. Cn; C: sadely.

1115 bent. C; Cn's emendation to brent, on the basis of L, is unnecessary.

1137 that very. My emendation; C, Cn: every; L: that ilke.

1152 alle. L, Cn; C: omitted.

1167 lef. Cn; C: lefte; compare L: Whare hym lyked for to dwelle.

1170 tornayde. Cn; C: tornyment.

1187 tow. Cn; C: tolly. C's mistake may be due to a misreading of a w in his original. It once again shows he was writing without much attention to the meaning of the text.

1188 pryvest. C; Cn: pryvest.

1189 Ha. Cn. In the MS two letters, dd, probably canceled, follow Ha.

1197 aget. C; Cn: a get; L: in gete. I have interpreted the a- in aget as a shortened form of"on," as in"aknee" or"aloft" (and compare line 1341: agreff).

1207 The scribe first copied line 1209 here, discovered his mistake, canceled it and wrote line 1207 on the next line. In his first attempt he wrote hul, in his second hull.

1210 and. L, Cn; C: in, a common mistake in medieval writing, as the difference between the abbreviations for and and in is slight.

crest. L, Cn; C: rest.

1215 brad. C, Cn; L: opyn brade.

1227 in. Cn; C: i.

1242 grete. Cn; C: omitted; L: ryche. Cn provides the standard expression.

1251 mowro. C; Cn emends to morow, but the MS spelling occurs elsewhere with this scribe, e.g., mowroun in line 953.

1254 scheld. Cn; C: sched.

1262 feraunt. Cn; C: ferauns.

1272 what hap. Suggested by Cn, but not in his text; C: hap what.

1273 hem. Cn; C: hym. The next line shows that the plural form is required here.

1282 knyghthes. C: knyʒthes; Cn: knyʒthe[s], but the last letter looks more like an s, written a little above the line and signaling the abbreviation"es" (as in line 1091, above).

jusset. Cn correctly observes that the word makes sense only if translated as"approached," but that jusset or was more likely a scribal error for feutor (L fewtir),"support for the spear on the saddle."

they. C, Cn: thy; as it is the only time C has this spelling an emendation is justified.

1286 Gaf. Cn; C: And gaf.

1289 agayne. Cn; C: aʒyn.

1293 Heven. L, Cn; C: heve.

1294 go. Cn; C: so.

1298 whyll. Cn; C: wyll, with a letter, probably h, written over the initial w. Still ME"tyll" would have seemed more logical (compare L to).

1310-11 Having written these lines in the wrong order the scribe corrected this by means of the letters b and a in the margin.

1320 In. Cn; C: I.

1322 felawe. C, Cn; L's reading mayden makes clear that Melidor is meant.

1332 Trewly, that tyde. A stopgap if ever there was one, since that tyde merely repeats that stownd of the preceding line.

1341 agreff. See textual note to line 1197.

1343 Y hope nat y may lyff. Cn; C: y haþe nat y my lyff, L: I hope noghte I may leue.

1368 Layne. L, Cn; C: Delayne.

1378 knyght. L, Cn; C: omitted.

1389 isete. Since L reads fett and double rhymes are rare we must assume that the scribe read isete for his original's ifete.

1392 With mouth for to mete. C, Cn; L uses the plural, as is common with this expression: And thare thir [these] semly wer sett / With mowthis to mete, i.e., with their mouths so close that they (almost) met, hence face to face.

1395-96 The double tt and cc in words like fagattus and fecchyd are not always clearly distinct; in the case of these two words one might just as well read fagactus or fecthyd (as is suggested by Cn). However, since this is a general problem not limited to this one scribe, it is better to give the scribe the benefit of the doubt and opt for the more common reading.

1397 yvore. Cn; L: yvorye; C: yuorere.

1402 see ys. Since C reads see ys it may be that not the genetive form (the seeys fame,"the sea's foam"; thus Cn) was meant but the combination of noun + possessive pronoun ("the sea his foam").

1423 Ryche. C, Cn; L's riche wyne looks more like the original text.

1424 Crete. It looks as if the first letter has been changed to a g, which might give grece.

1427 dentethus. The odd spelling is no doubt caused by confusion between y and þ (compare L's dayntese).

1430 Roche. According to the MED this word occurs only once in ME. It probably denotes a wine from the French city La Rochelle.

1433 Myldore sche. One of the many places where the C text uses a double subject.

1436 hur. In hur the h had to be supplied due to a hole in the manuscript. From this page (fol. 106r) onwards stains on the manuscript page and several holes have obliterated (parts of) words, but usually the manuscript itself (viewed by means of UV light) or L provide enough information to reconstruct the text. My scrutiny of the MS, which I carried out together with Dr. Elizabeth Blom and with the help of UV light, revealed that some letters that could still be seen by Cn were now no longer legible or even visible (in a few cases this has been mentioned).

1438 Swyche. y supplied.

1446 ogee. Cn; C: oger.

1461 Gregorius. C: Gregory. I have emended to match the rhyme.

1462 Ambrosius. C: Ambrose. I have emended to match the rhyme.

1464 Lysten tham. L, Cn; C: Lystened than.

1468 layked. Cn; C, L: lyked.

1470 ours at. C: our[s at].

1471 the bryghth. C: th[e b]ryʒth.

1473 glas. C: g[la]s.

1480 sere. Cn; C: sure.

1482 de. Cn; C: þe.

1488 Afflore. C; Cn: A flore; L: On floure.

1501 testere. C: has testere, but with the abbreviation sign ur written over the second e.

1502 Again L appears to have the better reading: The Erles awen banere.

1518-19 The Duk Betyse. C, Cn; L: The dere Duk.

Medyore: C, Cn; L: Edoyne. With so many uncertainties in C, one is tempted to adopt L's reading.

1523 worthely wyght. My emendation; C, Cn: the worthely wyght. Because the definite article the has no function here, I have followed L in omitting it.

1526 me. C: [m]e.

1527 best. L, Cn; in C only the ascender of the b is visible.

1529 full yare. L, Cn; C: [full ʒa]re.

1555 faukon. Cn; L: fawcon, C: faukons (with the u represented by a line over the a).

1567 han. Cn; C has part of a hole here.

1568 quarterus. Cn; C: [qua]rterus, L: quarter.

1569 missomere. L, Cn; C: [mis]somere.

1570 The mone. L, Cn; C: Þ[e mo]ne.

1571 Syr Degrivaunt. L, Cn; C: S[yr De]grivaunt.

1572 Busked. L, Cn; C: [Bus]ked (the k is partly visible).

1573 The. Cn; L: Þis; in C there is room for a capital and one letter only.

1574 Lyghth. L, Cn; C: [L]yʒth.

1575 gan. L, Cn; C: gam.

1597 sette. L, Cn; C has part of a hole.

1601 heyle. Cn; with UV light much of this stanza can be read, except where letters are really missing. In hey[le] two letters are not there.

1602 this thornne. Cn; C: þi[s þor]nne.

1603 hed on the mornne. Cn; L: hed ham to morne; C: h[ed on þ]e mornne.

1605 wyst noughth. Cn; C: wy[st n]ouʒth.

1606 hade thoughth. Cn; L: had thoghte; C: [hade þ]ouʒth.

1607 had bene. Cn; C: ha[d ben]e.

1608 dede. L, Cn; C: de[de].

1609 yhighth. Cn; L: hight; C: y[hiʒ]th.

1610 knyghth. C: k[n]yʒth.

1627 Stoute. Cn; C: [Sto]ute.

1628 Armede. L, Cn; C: [Ar]mede.

1629 Syre. C: [S]yre.

1630 Blyve. Cn; C: [B]lyue.

1646 schrade. Cn; C: scharde; L: strade.

1655 fosse. C, Cn; L's force (from ON fors,"waterfall") is more likely to be the original.

1662 scheld. L, Cn; C: sche[ld].

1663 weld. L, Cn; C has a hole here.

1670 sort. The meaning"fate" is quite common in ME, and would do here. Cn translates:"In any way they see," but he adds that it is only just possible to make sense of the line as it stands. On the basis of C and L he suggests the following reconstruction:"For the syght that they sees."

1701 Here. C: [H]ere.

1702 Were. C: [W]ere.

1703 Leve. L, Cn; C: [Le]ue.

1704 Youre clothus. L, Cn; C: [ʒoure c]lothus.

1707 never selly. Cn; L: no celly. Cn does not argue his choice for never instead of L's no. In the manuscript there is room for an abbreviated form of never only; on the other hand, the result is more satisfactory both metrically and semantically.

1708 shold us. L, Cn; C: sh[old vs].

1709 as we passed. Cn; L's we come is too short for the space available, hence Cn's conjecture. Apparently he could still see the s of as.

1710 wer our gownus. Cn; L: oure clothis were; C: [wer ou]r gownus.

1711 shalle. L, Cn; C: sh[alle].

1712 cownte. L, Cn; C: [cownt]e. For the expression, see explanatory note to line 364.

1713 knyghth. Cn; L: knyʒthen; C: [knyʒ]th.

1714 So that. Cn; C: S[o that].

1715 The mayde. L, Cn; C: [Þe m]ayde.

1716 The spyces. L, Cn; C: [Þe s]pyces.

1717 At this line scribe C takes over.

1725 wendys. Written between the lines, with a caret pointing at the wrong place for insertion (between on and his).

1737 Yorle. This form of the word is typical of scribe C.

1742 thou dede. L, Cn; C: þ[ou de]de.

1743 is he. L, Cn; C has a hole here.

1744 belayn. Cn; L: forlayne; C: be[layn].

1745 answerde agayn. L, Cn; C: answe[rde aʒayn].

1746 am fayn. L, Cn; C: [am f]ayn.

1747 not slayn. L, Cn; C: [not slay]n.

1748 lye. L, Cn; C: l[ye].

1749 my fyrst make. Cn; L: me to make; C: my f[yrst m]ake.

1750 forsake. L, Cn; C: forsa[ke]. Cn could still read the entire word.

1757 tho. Cn; C: þe.

1767 Owre. Cn; C: [Ow]re.

1768 He. L, Cn; C: [He].

1769 Was. Cn; C: [W]as.

1770 While. Cn; L: When; C: [W]hile.

1827 Degrivvance. Cn; C: Degrivvace. at Sir Degrivvance: L more logically has for Sir Degrevance.

1831 Erchebyschopus. The last two letters in the manuscript are either vʒ, which could for once replace the normal plural ending -us, or bʒ, which could be due to a misreading of the usual abbreviation for this same -us.

1849 the ryche emperour. In C we are not told which emperor this is, in L he is Of Almayne the Emperour.

1850 hur. Cn; L: hir; C has a hole.

1851 worship. Cn; L: wyrchip; C: w[orshi]p.

1852 for hys. L, Cn; C: f[or hys].

1853 sew. L, Cn; C: [se]w.

1854 Well. C: W[ell]; Cn has Welle, but after the W there is hardly room for four letters.

1855 Lay glyteryng. L: Laye gleterand; C: l[ay g]lyteryng. Cn has no indication of letters missing, which seems more of an oversight than anything else, as the hole has rather sharp edges here.

1856 By the. Cn; C: By þ[e].

1857 This line had originally been written as the last line of fol. 108r, but when the scribe discovered that it was the first line of a new stanza he cancelled it and wrote it again on the reverse page. Once more the spelling differences between the two versions are revealing: þen þei semeled þe sale vs. þan þe semelede þe sale.

1860 barnus. C, Cn; L: barouns. Since C uses the word barn only here the original probably had baruns.

1885 fyftenthe. Cn; C: fyfteþe (the first e looks very much like an o here).

1886 herd y. Cn; L: I herd; C: h[erd y].

1887 went. L, Cn; C has a hole.

1888 wale. Cn; C: w[ale].

1903 peres. L, Cn; C: perves or pernes, but neither makes sense.

1920 After the last line there follows the beginning of another, which has been struck out: here e. In the hand of the second scribe two names have been added: Elisabeth Koton and Elisabet Frauncys, and also, in a different hand, Rokeldo.
































































































































































































































































































































































































Lord Gode in Trynité,
Geff home Hevene for to se
That lovethe gamen and gle
   And gestys to fede.1
Ther folke sitis in fere
Shullde men herken and here
Off gode that before hem were
   That levede on arthede.
And y schall karppe of a knyght
That was both hardy and wyght;
Sir Degrevaunt that hend hyght,
   That dowghty was of dede.
Was never knyght that he fond,
In Fraunce ne in Englond,
Myght sette a schafft of hys hond
   On a stythe stede.2

With Kyng Arrtor, y wene,
And wyth Gwennor the quene,
He was known for kene,
   That comelych knyght,
In hethenesse and in Spayne,
In Fraunce and in Bryttayne,
Wyth Persevall and Gawayne,
   For herdy and wyght.
He was dowghty and der,
And ther nevew full ner,
Ther he of dedys myght yher
   By days or by nyght.
Forthy they name hem that stounde
A knyght of Tabull Round,
As maked is in the mappemond
   In storye full ryght.

He was fayre man and free
And gretlech gaff hym to gle,
To harp and to sautré
   And geterne full gay;
Well to play on a rote,
Of lewtyng, well y wote,
And syngyng many seyt not
   He bare the pryes aey.
Yet gamenes hade he mare:
Grehondes for hert and hare,
Both for bokes and the bare,
   Be nyght and be day.
Fell faukons and fayr,
Haukes of nobull eyre,
Tyll his parke ganne repeyr,
   By sexxty, y dar say.

He wold be upp or the day
To honte and to revay.
Gretly gaff hem to pley,
   Eche day to newe.
To here hys Mas or he went
Trewly in gode entaunt,
And seththe to bowe into the bente
   There games ine grewe.
Now to forest he founde,
Both wyt horne and with hound;
To breyng the deere to the grond
   Was hys most glew.
Certus, wyff wold he non,
Wench ne lemon,
Bot as an anker in a ston
   He lyved ever trew.

Ther was sesyd in hys hand
A thousand poundus worth of land
Of rentes, well settand,
   And muchell dell more:
An houndered plows in demaynus,
Fayer parkes inwyth haynus,
Grett herdus in the playnus,
   Wyth muchell tame store,
Casteles wyth heygh wallus,
Chambors wyth noble hallus,
Fayer stedes in the stallus,
   Lyard and soore.
Wher he herd of anny cry
Ever he was redy,
He passede never forthby
   In lond wher they were.

He lovede well almosdede,
Powr men to cloth and fede
Wyth menske and manhede;
   Of met he was fre,
And also gestes to call,
And mensteralus her in halle.
He gaff hem robes of palle,
   Of gold and of fee.
In ych place whaer he come,
When he wente fram hem
They hade halowed hys name
   Wyth gret nobullé.
In ych lond wher he wentt,
So many men he hadd schennt,
In justus and on tornament,
   He whan ever the gre.

Ther wonede an Eorl him besyd,
Ye, a lord of mechell pryd,
That hadd eight forestes ful wyd
   And bowres full brode.
He hade a grete spyt of the knyght, 3
That was so hardy and wyght,
And thought howe he best myght
   That dowghty to grade.
He was sterne and stoute,
And rode in a gay route,
And brak hys parkes about,
   The best that he hade.
Therinne he made a sory pley:
The fattest he feld, in fey,
By sexty on a day,
   Such maystries he made.

He drowhe reveres with fysh
And slogh hys forsteres ywys.
The knyght wyste not of thys,
   For soth, y you say,
For he was in the Holy Lond
Dede of armes for to fond;
The hethene men with hys hond
   He feld hem offten, in fey.
Hys steward hadd a lettre ysent;
A mesynger hath hyt hent
And forth hys wey ys ywent
   As fast as ever he mey.
When he tyll hys lord com
The lettre in hys hand he nom.
He sey all yoode to schom,
   And went on hys wey.

Wyth the knytht was non abad;
He buskyd hym forth and rade
Fram the frount of the Garnad
   As faste as he myght.
Son he pased the see,
He and hys meney,
And com into hys contré
   By the twelthe nyght.
Tyll his maner he went:
A feyr place he fond schent,
Hys husbondus that gaf rent
   Was yheryyed dounryght.
His tenantrie was all doun,
The best in every toun;
His fayr parkes wer comen
   And lothlych bydyght.

He closed hys parkes agen.
His husbondus they were fyen:
He lent hem oxon and wayn
   Of his own store,
And also sede for to sowe
Wyght horse for to drow,
And thought werke be lawe
   And wyth non other schore.
Forthi a lettre has he dyght
To this Eorl of gret myght.
He preyd hem to do him ryght
   Ar tell hym wherfore.
And wyth a sqwer he hit sent,
Of an honderd pond of rent,
And forth hys way ys he went
   To wytt hys answer.

The sqwyere wold noghte habyd,
Bot forthe faste gun he ryde
Unto the palesse of pryde
   Thare the Erle wonnde.
Sone so he of hym had syghte:
Sir Sere of Cypirs he highte,
Was buskede with many knyghte
   In the foreste to hunte.
He was steryn and stowte,
With many knyghtes hym abowte.
The sqwyere thoght gret dowte
   To byde his firste brount.
Therefore wold he noghte lett;
Sone with hym als he mett
Even to hym was he sett
   With his horse front.

The squier nolde nat down lyght,
Bot haylis this Eorl opon hyght,
And sethens barown and kynyght
   With wordes full wise.
He held the lettre by the nooke
And to the Eorle he hit toke.
And he theron gan loke
   And seyde his avys,
And spake to the squiere:
"Ne were thou a messengere
Thou shuld abey ryght here
   Under this woderys.
I wull, for thy lordes tene,
Honte hys foresstus and grene
And breke his parkes bydene,
   Proudeste of prys."

Thanne the squier seyde sone:
"Syre, that is nat well done.
Ye have lefft hym bot whone,
   In herde is nat to hyde.
He that seyth that hit is ryght -
Be he squier other knyght -
Here my glove on to fyght,
   What chaunce so betyde.
Syr, yeff hit be your well,
Thenkes that ye han don ylle.
Y rede ye amend to schkyll,
   For wothes is ever wyde."
The Eorl answeryd: "Ywyse,
Y woll nat amend that mese;
Y counte hym nat at a cres, 4
   For all hys mechell pryd."

Than the Eorl wax wroth
And swor many a gret owth:
He schold be messaggere lothe
   But he hys wey wente.
He toke his leve withouten nay,
And wendus forth on his way,
As fast as ever he may,
   Over the brode bent.
He com hom at the none
And told how he hade done.
The knyght asked him as sone
   What answer he sent.
"Sir, and he may as he ment,
His game woll he never stent.
Thyself, and he may thee hent,
   I tell thee for yschent."

Than Syr Degrevvaunt syght
And byheld the heven upan hyght:
"Jhesu, save me in my ryght,
   And Maré me spede!
And y schall geff Gode a vow:
Som of us schall hyt row.
Hyt schall not be for his prow
   And y may right rede."
Anon to armus they hom dyght,
As fast as ever they myght,
Both squier and kynyght,
   Wys under wede.
Ther was yarmed on hye
Ten score knythis redy,
And thre hondred archerus by,
   Full goode at her nede.

Anon to the forest they found.
Ther they stotede a stound;
They pyght pavelouns round,
   And loggede that nyght.
The Eorle purveyede him an ost,
And com in at an othur cost
Wyth his brag and his bost,
   Wyth many a ferres knyght.
He uncouplede his houndus
Withinne the knyghtus boundus,
Bothe the grene and the groundus;
   They halowede an hyght.
Thus the forest they fray,
Hertus bade at abey;
On a launde by a ley
   These lordus doune lyght.

Sexten hertus wase yslayn
And wer brought to a pleyn,
Byfore the cheff cheventen
   Yleyd wer yfere.
Thane seys the Eorl on the land:
"Wher ys now Sir Degrevvaund?
Why wol not com this gyant
   To rescow his dere?
Hys proud hertes of grese
Bereth no chartur of pes.
We schall have som ar we sese;
   Y wold he wer here.
Trewely, ar he went
He shuld the game repent,
The proud lettre that he sent,
   By hys sqwer."

Syr Degrevvaunt was so nere
That he the wordes can her.
He seyd: "Avaunt baner,
   And trompes apon hyght!"
Hys archarus that wer thare,
Both lase and the mar,
As swythe wer they yare
   To shote wer they dyght.
Thane the Eorle was payd;
Sone his batell was reyde,
He was nothyng afreyd
   Of that feris knyght.
Now ar they met on a feld,
Both with spere and sheld;
Wyghtly wepenes they weld,
   And ferysly they fyght.

And whan the batell enjoined
With speres ferisly they foynede.
Ther myght no sege be ensoynd
   That faught in the feld.
Wyth bryght swerdus on the bent
Rych hawberkes they rent;
Gleves gleteryng glent
   Opon geldene scheldus.
They styken stedus in stour,
Knyghtus thorow her armere;
Lordus of honor
   Opon the hethe heldus.
They foughten so ferisly
Ther weste non so myghty
Who schold have the victory,
   Bot He that all weldus.

The doughty knyght Sur Degrevaunt
Leys the lordes on the laund
Thorw jepun and jesseraund,
   And lames the ledes.
Schyr scheldus they schrede,
Many dowghty was dede,
Ryche maylus wexen rede,
   So manye bolde dedus.
Thus they fowghten on frythe,
Kene kynghus inwith kyth,
Wo wrekes thare wryth,
   These doughty on dede.
Burnes he hadde yborn doun;
Gomes wyth gambisoun
Lyes opon bent broun,
   And sterff under stede.

Sir Degrevaunt the gode knyght
Bryttenes the basnettus bryght.
Hys feris ferysly they fyght
   And felles hom to grond.
The knyghtus of the Eorlus hous,
That wer yhalden so chyvalerus,
And in batell so bountyveus.
   They deyden all that stond.
The Eorl hovede and beheld,
Both with sper and with scheld,
How they fayr in the feld,
   And syght unsound.
The best men that he ledde,
He hadd ylefft hom to wedde;
With fyffty spers is he fledd
   And wodelech was ywounded.

Syr Degrivvant and his men
Feld hom faste in the fen,
As the deer in the den,
   To dethe he tham denges.
Wyth scharpe axus of stell
He playtede her basnetus well.
Many a knyght gart he knell
   In the mornyng.
Sir Degrevvant was full thro,
Departed her batell atwo.
The Eorl fley and was wo,
   On a stede can he spryng.
He laf slawe in a slak,
Forty scor on a pak,
Wyd open on her bake,
   Dede in the lyng.

Syr Degrevuant gat a sted,
That was gode in ilk a ned.
Many a side grat he bled,
   Thorow dent of his spere.
And schased the Eorl within a whyll
Mor then enleve myle.
Many bold gert he syle
   That byfore dud hym dere.
He com schygynge agen,
And of hys folk was fyen,
And fond never on slayn,
   Ne worse be a pere. 5
He knelyde doun in that place
And thankyd God of His grace.
And all wend that there was
   Tyll his feyr manere.

Bleve to soper they dyght,
Both squier and knyght;
They daunsed and revelide that nyght,
   In hert wer they blythe.
And whan the Eorl com ham,
He was wonded to scham.
The lady ses he was lam,
   And swouned full swyth.
Offte she cryed: "Alas!
Have ye nat parkus and chas?
What schuld ye do at is place,
   Swych costus to kythe?"
"Dame," he seys, "y was thare,
And me rews now full sar.
Y take my leve for everemare
   Swych wornges to wrythe."

On the morow Sir Degrevvant
Dyght him at is avennaunt
On a sted ferraunt,
   Yarmed at ryghtes.
To the castell he rad
With folkys that he had.
At the barnekynch he abad
   And lordelych doun lyght.
And axed yef ther eny were
That wold hym delyver him ther
Of thre cors of wer,
   Hym and twelf knythus.
He prayd the porter
For to ben his mesenger,
And to wit an answer,
   And anon he him hytus.

The porter went to the hall,
And to the Eorl he can call:
"Her is comen to thus wall,
   Yarmed apon a sted,
Sir Degrevvant the gode knygt,
With hey helmes bryght,
Many bold men and wyght,
   Wyse under wede.
He axit justes of were,
And prays thee of answer.
He mad me his mesager
   To walk on his ned."
The Eorl answerd an hy:
"Here is non redy."
Hit semes as that dowghty
   Sir Degrevaunt drede.

The Contase wendes to the wall,
And hur doughter withall;
Sche was jentell and small,
   And lovesom to seyght.
She lokyd on that aunterous,
And seyth: "Sire knyghte chevalerus,
Thou art a man marvelus,
   My troth y thee plyght.
Yeff Gode hath lent thee grace
That thou hast vencoust thy foos,
Ne sekes nat at our plece,
   Be day ne be nyght."
The knyght spekes to that free:
"Maydam, wytes nat me!
Muchell mawgré have he
   That chalangeth unryght."

He sais: "My parkes ar stroyed
And reveres endreyde;
Y gretly am anoyde,
   For south as y you say.
Whyle y wared in Spayn
He made my londes barreyn,
My wodes and my warreyn;
   My wylde ys away.
Y shall do you withowten dred:
He that dede me that dede,
Y shall quite hem his mede,
   Y tell you in fay.
Yeff y dey in the pleyn,
He shall award hom eyan
That my fosteres hath slayn,
   As son as y may."

Thanne spekes that wis inwith wan:
"Ye have well good men yslayn;
Y rede ye be at an,
   Or ther dey any moo."
The knyght answeres an hy:
"He schall that bargayn aby
That dede me this vilany,
   As ever mote y goo.
Madam, yef hit be your well,
Y pray you, take hit not to ill,
Y am holden thertyll
   To fyght on my foo.
Y tell you trewly,
Hyt leyves not so lyeghtly;
Many dowghty schall dey
   Or hyt ende soo."

The knyth hoves in the feld,
Bothe weth ax and with sheld.
The Eorlus doughder beheld
   That borlich and bolde.
For he was armed so clen,
With gold and azour ful schen,
And with his troweloves bytwen,
   Was joy to behold.
She was comlech yclade:
To ryche banrettes hur lade;
All the beuté sche hade. 6
   That frely to folde,
Wyth love she wondus the knyght;
In hert trewly he hyeght
That he shall love that swet wyght,
   Acheve how hit wold.

How as ever hit cheve,
The knyght takes his leve:
"Madam, takes not agreve
   A thyng that y you say.
Gret well the Eorl thy lord,
And sey we shall not acord
Tyll my thyng be restored
   That he hath don awey.
Her afore myght he eyth
Son have made me aseyth.
Nowe schall he magré his tyeth,
   For all is grete arey.
Trewly, y undertake,
Wer hit not for your sake,
Y schall hym wynly wake
   Or to-morrow it wer day.

"Y lette, for my gentriese,
To do swych roberyse,
For seche fayr laydes
   Ther casteles to fray.
Sen y mey do no mare
Tyll his freth wyl y fare;
Y woll no wyld best spare,
   For soth, all this day."
Anon to forest they founde,
Both with horn and with hound,
To breng the dere to the grond,
   Alaund ther they lay.
Thus this games he began;
Rachis reyally ran.
Sexti bockes, ar he blan,
   Hadde he felde, in fay.

Sir Degreevant, ar he reste,
Tenede the Eorl on the beste,
And hontede his foreste
   Wyth bernus full bolde.
His depe dychys he drowe,
Hys whyght swannes he slow,
Grete luces ynowe,
   He gat hom in wold.
Now hym lykys no pley,
To honte ne to revey,
For Mayd Melidor the may
   His care wax all cold.
As he honted in a chas,
He told his squier his case,
That he loved in a place,
   A frely to folde.

"My love is leliche ylyeght
On a worthly wyeght.
Ther is no berell so bryght,
   Ne cristall so clere.
She is ware and wyse,
Rode ronne hit ys,
As the rose in the ris,
   Wyth lylye in lere.
She ys precious in pall,
Fere feyrest of all,
Y say hur ones on a wall,
   Y neyghed hur so nere.
Y hade levere she were myn
Than all the gold in the Reyn,
Fausoned on floren.
   She is myn so der."

His squier answered: "Ywyse,
Lat me wyte what she is,
And y wol syker thee this,
   In payn of my lyff,
That y woll do that y mey,
Both be nyght and be day,
Yeff y can be any way
   Wyn hur to your wyf.
And here y shall thee ensur
Thi consell never descur
Whyll my body may endur;
   Wyth swerd and wyth knyef
That y shall faythly fyeght,
Both in worng and in ryght,
Or he be squier or knyght,
   Agenese thee woll streff."

"Melydor ys hur naume,
Whyeght as the seys fame.
My bolde burnes wold me blam
    (What bot is that y ley?)
That I shoulde wow in a stede,
Ageyn alle mene rede.
And bothe my lyff and my dede
   Ys loken in hur tye,
For she is frely and fair,
And the Eorlus owun eyer.
I wolde nothing of their,
   Broche ne bye;
I wolde aske tham na mare
But hyr body all bare,
And we frendes for evermar,
   What doel that I drye."

That sqwyer seyde hys avyse:
"Think that ye er enemys!
Lat some wye that ys wys
   Walk on thus nede.
For I dar saffly swere,
Gyff he take thee in werre
Alle Englond here
   Wold spek of thi dede,
And say hyt ys a folly
For to love thin enemy
Gyf thou gett a vylony
   But maugré to mede.
Other ladyes wolde say
Myghthe no womman thee apay
Bote Maiede Mylder the may,
   Vlonkest on wede."

Then saide Syr Degrivaunt:
"Thou shal not mak thin avaunt
That I shall be recreaunt,
   For frende ne for foo.
Thou woldest halde me ful made,
For the Erle ful rade.
Troust I be so made
   To leve my love so?
At even arme thee well,
Bothe in yren and in stel,
And we shullen to the castel
   Bytwyx us owun two.
Sertenly this ylke nyghht
I wyll see hyr with syghth,
And spek with that byrde bryghth,
   For wel or for wo."

Tow ryche coursers thei hente,
And forthe here weys thei wente
Undir a lynd, or thei lente
   By a launde syde.
Whyle hyt dawed lyghth day
The Eorle buskede on hys way,
Out at a posterne to play,
   With knyghth of pryde.
Sir Degrivaunt helde hym styll
Whyle the Eorle passyde the hyll,
And seid hys squier hym tyll
   Pryvaly that tyde:
"I rede we hye us ful yerne
In at the yond posterne.
And let us halde us in derne
   The burde tyll abyde."

Syr Degrivaunt tok non hede,
In at the posterne he yede.
The porter hade bene in drede
   Hadd he ben thare.
He that the gatt shulde kepe,
He was go for to slepe.
In at an orcherd thei lepe,
   Yarmede as thei ware.
The knyght and the squiere
Resten in a rosere
Tyll the day wex clere,
   Undurne and mare.
Whyle that hurde thei a bell
Ryng in a chapell;
To chyrche the gay dammisel
   Buskede hyr yare.

Sche come in a vyolet
With whyghth perl overfret,
And saphyrus therinne isett,
   On everyche a syde.
All of pallwork fyn,
With nuche and nevyn,
Anurled with ermyn,
   And overt for pryde.
To tell hur botenus was toor,
Anamelede with azour,
With topyes the trechour
   Overtrasyd that tyde.
Sche was recevyd aspanne
Of any lyvand manne;
Of rede golde the rybanne
   Glemyd hur gyde.

Hyr herre was hyghthtyd on hold
With a coronal of golde.
Was never made upon mold
   A worthelychere wyghth.
Sche was frely and fair,
And well hyr semed hyr geyr,
With ryche boses a payr,
   That derely were bydyghth,
With a front endent
With peyrl of Orient,
Out of Syprus was sent,
   To that burd bryghth.
Hur kerchevus was curyus,
Hyr vyssag ful gracious.
Sir Degrivaunt that amerus
   Had joye of that syghth.

By that the Masse was iseid
The halle was ryaly areyd
The Eorlle hadd irevayd,
   And in hys yerd lyghthus.
Trompers tromped to the mete.
They weshen and went to sette;
So duden all the grete,
   Ladyes and knyghttus.
When the bordys were drawin
Ladyes rysen - was not to leyn -
And wentten to chaumbur ageyn,
   Anon thei hom dyghthus.
Dame Mildore and hyr may
Went to the orcherd to play;
Ther Syr Degrivaunt lay,
   Thei com anonryghthus.

Syr Degrivaunt withouten lett
In an aley he hyr mete,
And godlyche he hyr gret,
   That worthelych wyghth.
And seyd: "Corteys lady and fre,
Jhesu save thee, and see
Thi servaunt wold I be,
   My troughth I thee plyghth.
I wold spek (hadd I space)
Prevely in a place.
My lyff ys loken in thi grace,
   Thou worthilych wyghth."
The byrd was gretely affraid,
But natheles hoo was wel paid:
He was so ryally arayd,
   That commolych knyghth.

The byrd answerus on hyghth:
"Whethur thou be squier or knyghth,
Me thenkus thou not dost ryghth,
   Sothely to say,
That thou comyst armid on werre
To maydenus to afferre,
That walkes in her erbere
   Prively to play.
By God and by Sent Jame,
Y know not thi name.
Thou erte gretely to blame,
   I tell thee in fay."
The knyght kneled hyr tyll:
"Medame, yf hit be your wyll,
I graunt I have done yll,
   I may not ageynsay.

"As God save me of synne,
I myghth with non other gynne
Tyl your spech for to wynne,
   By day ne be nyghth.
Fro I tell thee my name
I am not for to blame.
And yf hit turne me to grame
   I shal anonryghth.
Hyt is I, Syr Degryvaunt.
And hit wer your avenaunt
I wold be your servaunt,
   As y am trew knyghth."
Sho seyd: "Tratur, lat be thee!
Be Hym that dyed on tre
My lord hymself shal thee see
   Hanged on hyghth."

Than Syr Degrivaunt lough,
As he stod undur the bow:
"Madame, ye wyteth me with wough,
   Gyf hyt be your wyll.
I had never no gylt
Of al that blod that was spylt.
That wyll I prove as thou wylt
   Above the yondur hyll.
Corteys lady and wyse,
As thou arte pervenke of pryse
I do me on thi gentryse.
   Why wolt thou me spyll?
And I be slayn in this stede
Thou shalt be cause of my dede.
Yet wolt thou rew that rede
   And lyke hyt ful yll."

Sche said: "Tratur, thou shalt bye!
Why were thou so hardye
To do me this vylanye,
   By day ar by nyghth.
For oure folk that thou hast slayn
Thou shalt be honged and drawyn.
Therof my fadyr wol be fayn
   To see that with syghth."
The knyght spak to this fre:
"Seththe hyt may no bettur be,
Go feche all hys many
   With me for to fyghth.
And here my troughth: eer I be ton
The geyest of hem shal gron,
Gyf ther come fourty for on,
   My troughth I thee plyghth.

"And her my troughth I thee plyghthe:
Tho that lepeth now ful lyghth
Shal be fay and we fyghth,
   For all her michel pryde."
The stout man was astered;
Hys squier raughth hym hys swerd.
Thanne the borlych berde
   No lenger durst byde.
Tyl hyr chaumbur sche went
And swor the knyghth shulde be schent.
The mayde hur hood of hoe hent
   And knelyd that tyde:
"Meydame, oppon Yowlus nyghth
My waryson ye me hyghth.
Y ne axe thee bote yonde knyghth
   To slep by my syde."

Blyve the burde gat a blame,
Bot sche ne let for no schame
That sche ne asked the same, 7
   Sothly to say.
"Damesel, go, do thi best.
I pray thee, let me have my rest.
Go and glad thi gest,
   In all the devyl way.
For, as ever Gode me save,
Haddest thou asked a knave,
The symplust that I have,
   Hadd be more to my pay.
I swer thee, by Godus grace,
Come he ever in this place
He passed never syche a pace,
   By nyghth ne by day."

"Maydame," sche seid, "gramercy
Of thi gret cortesy."
Blyve a chaumbur therby
   Busked was yare.
And in sche feches the knyghth,
Privaly withouten syghth,
As wymen conn mychel slyghth
   And ther wylles ware.
Sche dyght to hys sopere
The foules of the ryvere.
Ther was no deyntethus to dere,
   Ne spyces to spare.
The knyght sat at hys avenaunt
In a gentyl jesseraunt;
The mayd mad hym semblaunt
   And hys met schare.

Of all the met that she schar
The knyght ete never the mare.
Whan he syghthe ful sare
   The mayden gan smyle.
Sone aftyr he seys:
"What useth the Eorl adayes?
Hontes he ar revayes? 8
   What does he this whyle?"
The burd answerus agayn:
"Seththe hys chyvalry was slayn
He passed never out on the playn
   Halvendel a myle.
Hys hurtus has hym so yderyd,
He has byn gretely afferyd.
The gatus has byn ay ysperyd
   For dred of thi gyle."

"Or hys yatis be ysperyd
I shal mak hym afferyd.
I shal schak hym by the berd,
   The nexte tyme we mete.
But I let for hur sake
That I have chosen to my mak.
Sche doys me unwynly to wak
   With wongus ful wete.
I had levere sche was saughth
Then all the golde in hys aughth,
And I in armus hade ylaughth
   That commely and swete.
Thann durste I saffly syng;
Was never emporour ne kyng
More at hys lykyng,
   An honde, I thee hete."

The mayd answerus ageyn:
"Me think thou travelus in vayn.
Thou hast our kunred yslayn -
   How myght hit so be?
I swer thee by Godus myghth,
Com thou ever in hur syghth
Thou bes honged on hyghth,
   Hyie on a tre.
Hyr proferrys par amoure
Both dukes and emperoure;
Hyt were hyr disonowre
   For to taken thee.
The Duke of Gerle for hir has sent
That he wol have a tornament.
Hyt ys my lordys assent
   Withynne for to be.

Tho Duke comes of so gret arey
To juste and to tornay,
Thou comes nat at that play,
   By counsayl of me.
Hyt is my lordys ensent,
Come thou to that torniment
Sertaynly thou be schent
   And all thi meynye."
"Damesele, withouten drede,
Thou hast warnyd me of this dede,
Of this gret gentyl rede,
   God foryelde thee.
And y swer be Sent Luke,
I shal juste with that Duke
Or I gete a rebuke,
   However that hyt be.

And, damesel, for thi chere
And for my god sopere
Thou shalt have my squiere;
   Lok yf thee paye.
Here I gyf yow be band
An hundred pownd worth of land.
Do tak hyr by the hond,
   And do as y thee saye."
Whan here trouthus were plyghth
Sone torches were ilyghth,
And gaff hym ordyr of knyghth,
   For sothe as I say.
"Recumaunde me, for Godys pyne,
To my lady and thine,
As thou wolt that I be thin
   To my dethus day.

"Recumaund me pryvaly
To that fayr lady,
Or hur thenke lyghthely9
   That I am pore.
Ther shal be emporour ne kyng
That shal hyr to bed bryng.
That I shall make a lettyng,
   I sey thee tho sothe.
Here my trouth I thee plyghth:
Seyn fyrst I see hyr with syghth
I sleped never o nyghth
   Halvendel an hour.
Pray that corteys and hende
That sche wold be my frend,
And some socour me send
   For hyr mychel honowre."

The maid seis: "I take on hand
That I shal do thyn errand;
Or I be flemyd out of lond
   Y lete for no dred.
I shall teche thee a gyn
Out of this castel to wyn,
And how thou shal come in
   Thyn erond to spede.
Ther ys a place in the wall,
Bytwyne the chaumbur and the hal,
Thor lyghth a mychel waturwal
   Of fourty feyt brede.
Ther shalt thou come in a nyghth,
Prevaly withouten syghth,
And here thi chaumbur shal by dyght
   And I can ryghth rede."

"Damesel, for Godus grace,
Teche me to that ylke place!"
The maid privaly apace
   Passes byfore,
And ledes hym out at a gate,
In at a waturgate,
Ther men vytayled by bate
   That castel with cornes.
"At ebbe of the see
Thou shalt not wad to the kne."
The knyght kyst that fre;
   Erly at the morow,
Fayir thei passed that flode.
To tho forest thei youd,
And toke here stedus wher thei stod,
   Undur the hawthrone.

Syr Degrivaunt ys whom went
And aftyr hys retenu sent;
To that gret tornament
   Thei busked hem yare.
But leve we now that gentyl knyght,
And spek we of that byrd bryght;
How thei gestened that nyght
   Carp wyll we mare.
Erly on the mowroun
The lady lough hyr to scorn;
Sche seys: "Thi maydynhed is lorn,
   God gyf thee care."
"Maydame, gyff hyt so be,
Hyt deres no man but me.
I fouchesaff on that fre,
   And hyt so ware."

Tho lady loughwes uppon hyght:
"Damesele, for Godys myght,
How peyis thee that knyght,
   As ever mote thou the?"
"I dar make myn avaunt
For my lord Syr Degrivaunt -
Corteys and avenaunt,
   I know non so fre.
Sertaynly, this ylke nyghth
Hys squier ys mad knyghth.
He and I ys troutheplyghth
   My housbond to be.
And he hath gyf us by band
An hundred pownd worth of land.
Here the chartur in thi hand,
   Thiself may hyt see."

Than that lady was glad
By sche that chartur had rad.
"Had thou Syr Degrivaunt had
   Then had thou wel igon."
"Nay Meydame, so mot I thryve,
Ther ys no lady on lyve
That he wol wed to wyff
   But only thee allon.
Y warne thee of o thing:
Ther shall be emperour ne kyng
That shal thee to bede bryng -
   I owttake non -
That he nol mak a lettyng.
He sendys thee syche a gretyng:
Lo, here ys a rede gold ryng
   With a ryche ston."

The lady loked on that ryng,
Hyt was a gyfte for a kyng.
"This ys a merveylous thing!
   Wenus thou I be wode,
To do syche a foly,
To love my lordys enemy?
Thow he were to so dowghty,
   Nay, be the Rode!
Y do thee wele for to wyte
Y nel non housbond have yyte.
Seye the knyghth, whan ye mete,
   I wol hym no gude.
The Duk of Gerle hase ihyght
That he wol soupe here this nyght,
And gyf my chaumbur wer idyght
   Nothing foryeod."

The Duk ys comen over the see
With a ful grete meyné.
The Eorl, cortays and fre,
   Fayr hym gan praye
To dwel at hys costage
At bouche of court and wage,
With knyght, squier, and page,
   Tyl the tent day.
A thousand hors and thre
Of the Dukus meyné
Ylke nyght tok lyveré
   Of cowrun and of hay.
The ryche Duk, whan he eet
With Mayd Myldore the swet,
The Eorle hertely hym hete
   To have hyr for ay.

The knyghthus of the Eorles house
Held the Duk so chyvalrous,
For he was gay and amorous
   And made hyt so tow.
The Eorl told hym anon
What armes he hadde tonn,
And how hys chyvalré was slon
   Undir the wodbowe.
"The baneret that wonnes hereby
Wol asayl the cry.
He wroghthe me this vylany
   And dud me this wough."
The Duk answerus on hyghth:
"Here my trouth I thee plyghth,
Whedur he wol tornay or fyghth,
   He shal have inow."

The Duk answerus on hyghth:
"Whereby knowus thou the knyghth?"
The Eorle taughth hym ful ryghth
   With wordys, I wene.
"He beres a cheef of azour
Engrelyd, with a satur,
With doubule tressour,
   And trewelovus bytwene.
Hys bagges is blake:
For he wol no man forsake
A lyoun tyed to an ake,
   Of gold and of grene.
An helme ryche to behold
He beres a dolfyn of gold,
With trewelovus in the mold,
   Compasyd ful clene.

He ys a lyoun in feld
When he ys spred undur scheld.
Hys helme shal be wel steled,
   That stond shal as stak.
He ys so stalloworth in stoure,
By Seynt Martyn of Toure,
Couthe he love par amoure,
   I knew never hys mak.
All the londes that I welde
Wold I gyf in my yelde
To se hym falde in the feld.
   Ho wold hyt undurtake?"
The Duk lough hym to scorun,
Hys oth heyly has isworun:
"He shal abye tomowrun,
   Syre, for thi sake."

And on morow the Duk hym dyghth,
Also fast as he mighth,
The Eorl, hardy and wyghth,
   Cruel and kene.
The sonne schonne en clere;
They uschen in with banere,
Five hunderyd knyghtus in fere,
   Iarmed ful clene,
And ther servitourus bysyde.
All that contray so wyde
Come thedur that tyde
   That solas to sene.
Sire Egrivaunt out of the west
Broughth out of the forest
Thre hundred knyghttus of the best,
   Was greythed al on grene.

Ther was non so hardy
That durst asayl the cry;
The held this Duk so doughty
   For hys mychel pryd.
But when thei se Syr Degrivans
Com armed up a ferauns,
Thei thonked Gode of her shaunce,
   Al that other syde.
Then thei drowe hym ful nere,
Baneret and bachelere,
To ben undur hys banere
   To tornay that tyde.
With trompe and with naker
And the scalmuse clere
Folke frouschen in fere;
   In herd ys not to hyde.

And when the renkus gan mete
Fele was fouled undur fete,
Knyghthus strewed in the strete,
   Stonyed with stedys.
With swerdus smartely thei smyt,
The temes sadelus ful tyte;
Ther was no lengur delyte,
   These worthely in wedus.
Baronus syttys on the bent
With shuldrys shamly shent;
Bryghthe browus and bent
   Brodelyche bledus.
Manye harmus has thei hent;
That was never at hor asent
To come to that tornament
   To do suche dedus.

Syre Degrivaunt, withouten les,
Prykkus fast therow the pres;
To the cheventayn he ches
   And raughth hym a strok.
The Duk dotered to the ground,
On erthe swyfftly he swouned.
Syre Degrivaunt, within a stound,
   He wan hys sted blak.
He was stalworth in stoure,
For he loved par amoure
The lady lay in the toure,
   That shuld be hys mak.
Syre Degrivaunt, ar he blan
(This sey many a man)
Syxty stedus he wan,
   And broughth to stak.

Syre Degrivaunt that very day,
The sertayn soth for to say,
Al the prys of the play
   Was put on that fre.
Sone that doughty undur sheld
Had yvenkessyd the feld.
Many a man hym byheld,
   So hardy was he.
Ladyes seyden al bydene,
Bothe contasse and qwene:
"Yond gentyl knyght on grene
   Hath deservyd the gre."
Bryghth burdus in ther boure
Loved that knyghth par amoure,
Gret ladyes of honoure,
   And alle that hym seyen.

The Duk was horsed agayn
And prycked fast thorw the playn.
The Eorl and he with a trayn
   To the castel gan fare.
Thane an heroud gon crye
And prayd al the chyvalrye
To soupe at the maungerye,
   Gyff ther wyllus ware.
The good knyght Syre Degrivaunce
He had ymade repurveaunce
For al hys retenaunce,
   Fourty days and mare,
In the syde at a fel
At a wel feyre castel,
Whyle hym was lef for to dwel
   For to sle care.

The sterne knyghthus and the stout,
Whylk that tornayde without,
Ryden away in hys rout,
   Thre hundred and mo.
And hundred pound and a stede
He send the mynstralus to mede
(Of gyffte was he never gnede,
   For wele nor for wo).
Tyl hys castel he rade;
A ryal maungerye he made.
Alle the bold ther abade,
   Ther scapyd non hym fro.
At even seyd Syr Degrivauns:
"I wol se the countenauns
Of the chyvalrye of Frauns,
   As ever mote I go."

Syr Egrivaunt at evynlyghthus
Armed hym at al ryghthus,
And callyd to hym tow knyghthus,
   That pryvest were ay.
"Ha dyght yow on stedus
In two damysel wedus,
For I wol found in my nedus,
   As fast as I may.
Tak ether of yow a spere,
Bothe of pes and of were;
Greyth myn hors on hor gere
   And lok that thei be gay,
That thai be trapped aget,
In topteler and in mauntolet,
In a fyn vyolet,
   And makes non delay."

And whan here hors wer held
Thei toke ther sperus and there scheldus
And prycked fast on the felde;
   No lengur wolde thei dwel.
And syen thei ryden even west
Thorw a fayr forest,
With two trompess of the best
   That range as a bell.
On an hull he gan hym rest.
Thei gaf hym hys helm and hys crest;
He was the sternest gest
   Fro Heven to Helle.
Syr Degrivaunt withouten abad
To the Eorlus castel he rade.
He found the gat so brad,
   Swyche hap hym felle.

And rydes up to the des,
As thei were servid of her mes;
To Mayd Myldor he ches
   And chalangys that fre.
The Duk sterte up an hyght:
"Here my trouthe y thee plyght,
I shal delyver thee this bryght;
   Tomorow shalt thou se.
Bytwene underun and prime,
Loke at thou come at that tyme.
Other swowne shal in sweme;
   The lady shal ise.
And trewly, withouten les,
Thou shalt be servid or I sess
Bothe of werre and of pess,
   Of aythur cours thre."

The knyghth was so dresse,
Hytt was gret joye to se;
So fayr an horsman as he
   Seye thei never are.
Some loked on hys stede,
And some on hys rych wede,
And some the resoun gan rede
   What the knyghth bare.
He loutes down to them alle,
Bothe to the grete and to the smalle,
And rydys out of the halle
   And buskys hym yare.
Of all that loked on the knyght
Was non that knew hym with syght,
Bot Mayden Myldor the bryght,
   Of all that ther ware.

Hammard he rydes ryghth
And as fast as he myghth.
On the mowro he hym dyghth,
   Ryghth as he dude are,
And fyndys the Duk in the feld
Bothe with spere and with scheld.
The Eorl hoved and byheld,
   Brem as a bare.
Than seid the Duke on the land:
"Whare ys now this geand?
He wol hald no covenand,
   For alle hys gret fare."
But when he say Syr Degrivaunt
Come armed up a feraunt,
Hys hert wex recreaunt
   And syghth ful sare.

The Duk send a squiere
To wytt what hys wyll were:
To juste o pesse or of were,
   So sore he hym dredus.
The knyght answerd thertyll,
Bothe with resoun and with skyll:
"Hyt shal be at hys wyll,
   Tak what hap ledus."
Then the doughthy hem dyghth
As faste as thei myghth.
Thei set helmus on hyghth,
   Thes doughty on dedus.
To gret sperus of pese
Bothe these lordes hem chese,
And prikes fast thorw the prese
   Opon stout stedus.

Ther stedes styrres hom faste,
The knyghthes jusset or they cast,
Ther good speres al tobrast,
   That weren gode at nede.
Syr Degrivaunt, as he had ment,
Gaf the Duk swych a dynt
That bothe styroppus he tynt -
   An honde, I thee hete.
The Duke rekyvered agayne.
Hys frenchepys were fayn;
The proford hym paynmayn,
   Vernage, and Crete.
The Duk swore by gret God of Heven:
"Wold my hors go evene
Yet wold I sett all on seven,
   For Myldor the swet."

Tow gret sperus ha they ton,
And gerd there stedus whyll the gron;
Wytt yow wel that many on
   Lokede on them two.
The doughty knyghthus of pryde
Thorw the renckus gon thei ryde.
Bote they myssede at that tyde -
   Thorw hap hyt fell so.
The good knyghth Syre Auntorus
Come in at the thryd cours;
For he loved par amours
   In hert that he was thro,
And strykus the Duk thorw the scheld
Wyd opon in the feld.
The Eorl hoved and byheld,
   In hert he was wo.

The damessel toke the stede
And thorw the renkus gon hym lede
And seys: "Have this for thi mede
   Tyl thou gete mo."
Yet she spekys a word of pride:
"On this stede wol I ryde
By my lemmanus syde
   In lond whare I go."
That knyght dressyd hym in hys gere;
Hys felawe raughth hym a spere,
A scharpe wepon of were,
   The Duk for to slo,
And seis: "Syre Duke avenaunt,
I pray thee, hold covenaunt!
Yondur ys a knyghth erraunt,
   Why taryest thou hym so?"

The Duk lay on the grownd,
On erthe swyftely he swound;
He was stonyed that stownd,
   Trewly, that tyde.
And yit she cryes upon hyghth:
"Yondur ys armed a knyghth,
All redy and ydyghth,
   Thi comes for to abyde!"
The Duk answerd thertyl,
Bothe with reson and skyl:
"I am yhurte ful yl,
   In herd is not to hyde.
Pray hym tak hit nat agreff,
He ses I am at myscheff.
Y hope nat y may lyff,
   So sore ys my syde."

Syre Degrivaunt toke his stede
And gaff the mynstrelus to mede,
And to forest thei spede,
   As faste as the may.
The Duke that was this ydyght,
He toke his leve that ylk nyght,
Bothe with baroun and with knyght,
   And went on hys way.
Sir Degrivaunt on the morwoun
Come aye to the thorun
Ther hys stede stod byforun,
   And lenges all that day.
Privayly at the nyghth
He come in with his knyghth
To spek with Myldore the bryghth,
   Spede yf he may.

The mayde wyst by a gynn
That the knyghth was comen in.
The lady of heye kynn
   Perseved the thoughth:
"Damesele, so have I rest,
Thou hast geton thee a gest
Of wylde men of the west;
   Layne thou hom noughth.
Prevayly, withouten syghth,
Do me carp with that knyghth.
Here my troughth y thee plyghth,
   He has dere yboughth."
Thanne the mayden was glade;
Sche dude as the lady bade
And up at the grese hoe him lade,
   And to chaumbur hym broughth.

The lady of honowre
Metes the knyght in the doure,
Knelyd doun in the floure,
   And fel hym to feet.
Frek as fuyre in the flynt
He in armes had hyr hynt,
And thrytty sythes ar he stynt
   He kyst that swet.
"Welcome, Syre Aunterous.
Me thenkus thou art mervelous!
Wyst my lord of this hous,
   With grame wolde thee gret."
Swythe chayres was isete
And quyschonus of vyolete.
Thus this semely was isete
   With mouth for to mete.

"Damesele, loke ther be
A fuyre in the chymené,
Fagattus of fyretré,
   That fecchyd was yare."
Sche sett a bourd of yvore,
Trestellus ordeyned therfor;
Clothus keverede that ovur -
   Swyche seye thei never are.
Towellus of Eylyssham,
Whyghth as the see ys fame,
Sanappus of the same,
   Thus servyd thei ware.
With a gyld saler,
Basyn and ewer,
Watyr of everrose clere,
   They wesche ryghth thare.

Paynemayn privayly
Sche broughth fram the pantry,
And served that semely,
   Same ther thei seet.
Sche brought fram the kychene
A scheld of a wylde swyne
Hastelettus in galantyne,
   An hand y yow hete.
Seththe sche brought hom in haste
Ploverys poudryd in paste;
Ther ware metus with the maste,
   I do yow to wytte.
Fatt conyngus and newe,
Fesauntus and corelewe;
Ryche she tham drewe
   Vernage and Crete.

To tell here metus was ter
That was served at her soper;
Ther was no dentethus to dere,
   Ne spyces to spare.
And evere sche drow hom the wyn,
Bothe the Roche and the Reyn
And the good malvesyn,
   Felde sche hom yare.
And evere Myldore sche sete,
Harpyng notus ful swet,
And otherwhyle sche et,
   Whan hur leveste ware.
Songe yeddyngus above;
Swyche murthus they move
In the chaumbur of love -
   Thus thei sleye care.

Ther was a ryal rooffe
In the chaumbur of loffe.
Hyt was buskyd above
   With besauntus ful bryghth;
All of ruelbon,
Whyghth ogee and parpon,
Mony a derewrothe stone,
   Endentyd and dyghth.
Ther men myghth se ho that wolde
Arcangelus of rede golde,
Fyfty mad of o molde,
   Lowynge ful lyghth.
With the Pocalyps of Jon,
The Powlus Pystolus everychon,
The Parabolus of Salamon,
   Payntyd ful ryghth.

And the foure gospellorus
Syttyng on pyllorus,
Hend, herkeneth and herus,
   Gyf hyt be youre wyll.
Austyn and Gregorius,
Jerome and Ambrosius,
Thus the foure doctorus
   Lysten tham tylle.
There was purtred in ston
The fylesoferus everychon,
The story of Absolon,
   That layked ful ylle.
With an orrelegge on hyghth
To rynge the ours at nyghth,
To waken Myldore the bryghth
   With bellus to knylle.

Square wyndowus of glas,
The rechest that ever was;
Tho moynelus was of bras,
   Made with menne handus.
Alle the wallus of geete,
With gaye gablettus and grete,
Kynggus syttyng in ther sete,
   Out of sere londus.
Grete Charles with the croune,
Syre Godfray de Boyloune
And Arthur le Bretoune,
   With here bryght brondus.
The flour was paved overal
With a clere crystal,
And overkeveryd with a pal,
   Afflore where she stondes.

Hur bede was of aszure,
With testur and celure,
With a bryght bordure
   Compasyd ful clene.
And all a storye as hyt was
Of Ydoyne and Amadas,
Perreye in ylke a plas,
   And papageyes of grene.
The scochenus of many knyght
Of gold and cyprus was idyght,
Brode besauntus and bryght,
   And trewelovus bytwene.
Ther was at hur testere
The kyngus owun banere;
Was nevere bede rychere
   Of empryce ne qwene.

Fayr schetus of sylk,
Chalkwhyghth as the mylk,
Quyltus poyned of that ylk,
   Touseled they ware;
Coddys of sendal,
Knoppus of crystal
That was mad in Westfal
   With women of lare.
Hyt was a mervelous thing
To se the rydalus hyng
With mony a rede gold ryng,
   That home upbare.
The cordes that thei on ran
The Duk Betyse hom wan;
Mayd Medyore hom span
   Of meremaydenus hare.

Ryght abought mydnyght
Seyd Syre Degrivaunt the knyght:
"When wolt thou, worthely wyght,
   Lysten me tyll?
For love my hert wyl tobrest!
When wylt thou bryng me to rest?
Lady, wysse me the best,
   Gyf hyt be thi wyll."
The burde answered full yare:
"Nevene thou that eny mare
Thou schalt rew hyt ful sare
   And lyke hyt ful ylle.
Sertes, tho thou were a kyng,
Thou touchest non swych thing
Or thou wed me with a ryng,
   And maryage fulfylle.

"Leff thou well, withouten lette,
The ferste tyme y thee mette
Myn hert on thee was sette,
   And my love on thee lyghth.
I thoughthe never to have non,
Lord nothur lemman,
Bot onely thee allon;
   Caysere ne knyghth,
Kyng ne non conquerour,
Ne no lord of honour,
And gyff hyt were the Emperour,
   Most proved of myghth.
Forthy, syr, hald thee stylle
Whyle thou get my fadyr wylle."
Tho knyght sentus thertylle,
   And trouthus thei plyghth.

And whan here trouthus was plyght,
Than here hertus were lyghth;
Was never faukon of flyght
   So fayn as thei ware.
Thai lay doun in ther bede,
In ryche clothus was spred.
Wytte ye wel or thei wer wed
   Thei synnyd nat thare.
Than spekus tho burd bryghth
To Syre Degrivaunt the knyghth:
"Swet syre, come ylke nyghth
   And loke how we fare."
And the bold bachylere
Toke the damysele clere.
This han thei dured that yere,
   Thre quarterus, and mare.

At missomere in a nyghth -
The mone schone wondur bryght -
Syr Degrivaunt and hys knyght
   Busked to wend.
The doughty knyghthus so fre
Lyghth doun by a tre.
A prout foster gan tham se
   Alaund ther thei lende,
And folewes hom thorw the wode,
Alle the weyes that thei yode,
And how thei passed the flode,
   The knyghthus so hende.
So dud the weyt on the wall;
The Eorlus owne mynstrall,
Sey tham wende to the hall,
   And wyst nevere what hyt mende.

The pypere haldus hys pays,
Tyl no man he hyt says
(Mynstralus shuld be cortays
   And skyl that thei ben).
The foster tolde anoneryghthus
To the Eorle and hys knyghthus
How thei come armede anyghthus,
   As he hadde ysen.
The styward was chyvalrous,
Syre Eymur the kayous.
With offycyrus of that hous,
   Cruel and kene,
A gret buschement hadde he sette
Ther the foster hom mette,
And thoughth Syre Degrivaunt lette
   The wayes ful grene.

The stywarde heyle hath swornne:
"And he come be this thornne
We bryng hys hed on the mornne
   And non othur mede."
Dame Myldor wyst noughth
What al this folkys hade thoughth;
She wende no man that had bene wroughth
   Hade wyten of hor dede.
And Syre Degrivaunt hadde yhighth,
Ryghth as he was trew knyghth,
To speke with Myldore that nyghth,
   And lette for no drede.
God, as Ye ar muchel of myght,
Save Syre Degrivaunt the knyght,
And lene hym grace in that fyght
   Wel for to spede.

Syre Degrivaunt at evenelyghth
Armede hym and hys knyghth,
And toke on privayly for syghth
   Two gownes of grene.
Nothur schelde ne spere,
Ne no wepen of werre,
Bot twey swerdus thei berre
   Of Florence ful kene.
Whan thei come to the slac
The bolde buschement brac,
Stoute opon stedus bac,
   Armede ful clene.
Syre Degrivaunt, ys nat to layn,
Blyve hys swerde had ydrayn.
He that come formast was slayn
   In the schaw schene.

Whan thei Syr Degrivaunt mett
Sevene sperus on hym ysett,
Evene in hys bassonett,
   Brasten a two;
Some bare hym thorw the gown,
Some brast on hys haberjown.
Hys sqwyer was born down,
   Hys swerd cast hym fro.
Then Syre Degrivaunt lyghth,
And rescowede hys knyghth,
And cryed to hym an hyghth:
    "Why wolt thou lyen so?"
The beste stedes that thei hade
By the scholders he them schrade.
He was never so hard ystade,
   For wele ne for wo.

The styward, Syre Eymere,
Com a lytyl to nere:
Hys hede by the coler
   He kerves away.
The body syttys opon the hors,
Hyt was uncomely to the cors.
The stede stert over a fosse
   And strykys astray.
Y wyst never how hyt ferde:
He betus hom fast to the erthe;
With hys twohonde swerde
   He made swych paye
That syxty lay on the feld,
Bothe with sper and with scheld,
That never wepen myghth weld
   Sen that ylke day.

The panter, the boteler,
The Eorlus cheff sqwyer,
Ther lyes slay yfer
   In the schawe schene.
Than the remenaunt fles
On the sort that thei sees,
And some lorkus undur tres,
   In slowes unshene.
Thonkede be Godes grace:
He has venkest hys face
And made a chyvalrous chace,
   That crewel and kene.
Noughth fourty fot fram the wal
He slowe the marchal of the hal,
And other gode sqwyers withal,
   Mo then fyftene.

By that hyt dawed ney day,
By that he hade endyd this play,
Some scaped away
   And many on was slayne.
Than sayd Syre Degrivaunt the knyght:
"Here my trouthe y thee plyght:
I shal speke with Myldore tonyght,
   To dey in the payn."
Thei set here stedus ther thei stode,
And fayr passede the flode.
To the Eorlus castel the yode,
   The gatus ful gayn.
Than the lady so bryghth,
Fayr sche welcomed the knyghth.
She had nat hard hore fyghth
   Therof wer thei fayn.

She had wondur in hyr wyt
Why here clothus war toslyt,
As thei in holtus had byn hyt,
   With dyntus of spere.
Here gay gownus of grene
Were ful schamely besene.
"Leve syre, where have ye bene,
   Youre clothus to tere?"
The knyghth sat semely
And seide tyl hyr prively:
"We sey never selly
   That shold us aughth dere.
But as we passed by a thorn
Thus wer our gownus totorn.
We shalle have new tomorn;
   We cownte hyt not a payr."

The knyghth had foughten as a bar,
So that hym fersted ful sare.
The mayde broughth hym ful yar
   The spyces and the wyn.
Dyverse spices thei ete,
And ofte with mowthus thei mete.
Sche broughthe hem Vernage and Crete,
   And wyne of the Reyn.
He toke his leve at the day
At Mayde Myldore the may.
Yet wyste ho note of the fray;
   That she harde seyne.
The knyghth wendys on his way
Ther the dede men lay,
And seyde soufft on his play:
    "Yondur was stout hyne."

Thei broughthe hom on bere,
The stywarde Syr Eymer
And other gode sqwyer,
   Of fryththus unfayn,
And cryide out overall
Both gret and small.
The mayde wyndus to the hall
   Tythyngus to frayn.
The Yorle spekus to that fre:
"Y wytt Syr Degrivvant and thee
The slaughthtur of my mené;
   This is yowr false treyn.
By Hym that dyede on tre,
This day shall thou dede be.
I wat well hit is he
   That hase thee belayn."

The mayde answerde agayn
And seis: "Petur, I am fayn
And that knyghth be not slayn;
   What bote is that I lye.
Sene he was chosen my fyrst make
Shall I hym never forsake.
What dethe that I take,
   Or dool that I drye."
Than the Yorle wax wode
And swor: "Be bonus and blode,
Mete ne drynk shall do me gode
   Ar I se thee dye!"
The Contasse knelyd tho anon:
"Gode schylde, syr, that he be slon.
We hade never chyl but hyr on,"
   And cryid ful hye.

The Contasse cryed: "Alas!
Ye have ben to longe foas.
Wycked tonge hit mas;
   God gif them shame.
I dar savely say
The knyghth went on his way,
Owre men bysett hym the way;
   He was not to blame.
Was not his fosteres slayn
While he werred in Spayn?
Hys woddys and hys waryn,
   Ye made hem all tame.
Y rede ye saughthle with the knyghth,
That is so hardy and wyghth,
And graunte hym Myldore the bryght,
   By hyr ryghth name."

Than spekus Myldore the bryghth:
"Ther was but he and a knyghth.
I spake with hym this nyghth -
   Why shulde I spare?
He is my love and my lorde,
Myn hele and my counforde.
Hyt is gode ye be acorde,
   And yowre wyllus ware.
And giff ye holde us agret
Shall I never ete mete."
The Yorl for angur gan swet,
   And syghthe ful sar.
"Damesele, ar thou be spylte,
I forgiff thee the gylte.
Hit is all as thou wylte,
   I can say na mar."

Bylyve a lettur ho sent
Thorw the Yorlus comandment;
A messenger has hyt hent,
   With tythingus ful newe.
She bad hym cum prively,
With hys best chyvalry,
As he was gode and doughty
   And holden for trewe.
And hoe shuld make swych acord
Bytwene hym and hur lorde,
That shulde be a counforde
   Tyll all that hym ever knewe.
Yet Syr Degrivvant hym drade;
Syxty knyghthus he clade,
Tyl the Yorlus castel he spede
   By the day dewe.

The Yorle metus hym withoute
With sterne knyghthus and stoute.
Wonder low gan he loute
   And haylus that hende,
And says: "Syr, by Goddys grace,
Welcome to this place.
We have ben to longe fase,
   Now wyl I be thi frende."
Prively that no man wyste
All wrongus was redressyde.
The Yorle and he hade keste
   And to chaumbur thei wende.
Withoutyn mor rehersyng
Made was the saughthlyng,
And grauntyd hym Myldor the ying
   Till hys lyves ende.

Was never sych a purvyaunce,
In Englond ne in Fraunce,
As was at Sir Degrivvance
   And Myldor the schene.
Ther com tyl hir weddyng
An emperour and a kyng,
Erchebyschopus with ryng
   Mo then fyftene.
The mayster of Hospitall
Come over with a cardinall,
The gret kyng of Portyngall
   With knyghthus ful kene.
All the lordys of that lond
War holy at that offorand,
And ladyes, y undyrstond,
   Emperyce and qwene.

On the Trinité day,
Thus in romance herd y say,
He toke hyr in Godus lay
   Tyll hys lyvys ende.
Solempnely a cardinal,
Revestyd with a pontifical,
Sang the Masse ryal
   And wedded that hend.
And the ryche emperour
Gaff hur at the kyrkedor,
With worship and honour,
   As for hys owne frend;
And sew gold in that stonde,
Well a thowsand pounde,
Lay glyteryng in the gronde
   By the way as thei wende.

Than the semelede the sale,
Kyng and cardynale
And the emperour ryale,
   With barnus ful bolde.
So dud ladies bydene,
Both contasse and qwene,
Bryghth burdys and schene,
   Was joye to beholde.
Fro the mangery bygan
Wyn in condyt ran,
Redy tyll ylke man
   Take ho so wolde.
Ther come in a daunse
Nine Doseperus of Fraunce;
Me thowghth syche a countynaunce
   Was joye to beholde.

I knewe nevere man so wys
That couth tell the servise
Ne scrye the metys of prys
   Was servyd in that sale.
Mynstrallus hade in halle
Grete gyftys withalle,
Ryche robus of palle
   With garnementus hale.
Ylke day that fourtynyghth
Justyng of seryd knyghthus;
To revele he best myghth
   With wyn and with ale.
And on the fyftenthe day,
Thus in romaunce herd y say,
They toke her leve and went her way,
   Thys worthely to wale.

Al thei maketh ther avaunt
Of the lord Syr Degrivvant,
Cortays and avenaunt,
   Ladyes and knyghthus.
He gaff stedus that stound
Worth a thousand pound,
Withouten haukus and hound
   And faukun of flyghthus.
The Yorle dyede that same yer
And the Contasse cler.
Bothe hor beryelus yfer
   Was gayly bydyghth.
Syr Degrivaunt bylefte ther eyr
With brod londus and fair;
Was never peres myghth hym peyr,
   By reson ne ryghth.

Thrytty wyntur and mare
Thei lyvede togydur without care,
And seven chyldur she hym bare,
   That worthly in wede.
And sene sche dyed, y undurstond,
He seysed hys eyr with hys hond
And went into the Holy Lond,
   Heven be hys mede.
At Port Gaff was he slon,
Forjustyd with a soudon.
Thus to Gode is he gon,
   Thus doughty in dede.
Lord Gode in Trinité,
Gyff hem Heven for to see
That loves gamen and gle,
   And gestus to fede.


Where; sit together
good [people]; them; (t-note)
lived in days of old; (t-note)
tell; (t-note)
brave; courageous
gentle [one] was called
doughty; in deeds; (t-note)

Arthur; think
as a fierce one
heathen lands

hardy; courageous
valiant; (t-note)
their; quite close; (see note)
Where; deeds; hear; (t-note)
Therefore; appointed him at that time

written; world

handsome; noble
greatly devoted himself; music
cittern; joyful
a [kind of] fiddle; (t-note)
With playing the lute; know
many a sweet note; (t-note){C}
won; prize always
roebucks; boar
Many falcons
hawks; breed
estate assembled; (see note); (t-note)
sixty [all in all]

before daybreak
hunt; hawk; (see note); (t-note)
[he] devoted himself; sport
hear; Mass; (t-note)
Truly with good will; (t-note)
afterwards to head for the hunting field
Where game (the hunted animals) lived

greatest joy
Concubine; mistress
hermit; cell

(i.e., he was given in property)

[With its] incomes, well situated
a great deal; (t-note)
plowlands; possession
inside enclosures
herds; plains; (t-note)
In addition to; livestock

Spotted (white and silvery gray); reddish-brown
Whenever someone made an appeal to him; (t-note)
never went past
wherever they were

Poor people
dignity; compassion
food; generous
[he loved] guests; invite
minstrels hear
gave them (i.e., the minstrels); fine cloth
[Rewards] of gold; money; (t-note)
every; where; came
left them
put to shame
won always the prize; (t-note)

lived; beside him; (see note); (t-note))
great pride
extensive; (see note)
arbor; spacious; (see note)

worthy one; ruin; (t-note)
strong; bold
glittering company
broke into; everywhere
(see note)
grievous display
downed, truly
As many as
shows of strength

drew [nets in] rivers; (t-note)
slew; foresters for certain
truly; tell
(see note)
Feats of arms; undertake; (t-note)
heathen; hands

on his way; gone
before; came
saw all was ruined; (t-note)

made haste; rode
front line; Granada; (see note); (t-note)
was able to
Soon; sea

Epiphany; (see note)
manor; (t-note)
tenants; paid
Had been robbed exceedingly
tenants' houses; torn down; (see note)

[were made] open to all; (see note); (t-note)
appallingly looked after

fenced off
oxen; carts; (t-note)
seeds; (t-note)
Strong; pull
intended; (see note)
Therefore; prepared; (see note)
justice; (see note)
Or; why [not]
squire; (t-note)
For; reward
on; gone
find out

not tarry; (t-note)
off; he rode
palace; ostentation
Where; lived
caught sight
Cyprus; was called
Had made ready; many a; (see note)

strong; bold
surrounding him
await; stroke
he did not want to delay
As soon as; (see note)
Straightaway; pulled up

would not dismount
greets; aloud
after that; (t-note)


gave his opinion

pay for it
branch; (see note)
will, despite your lord's anger
break into; immediately
The most excellent ones by reputation

at once; (t-note)
that would not be a good idea
a few
(i.e., that's the truth of it); (see note)
right (just)

[is]; to fight it out
Whatever the outcome might be
if you please
advise; according to reason
danger; on the lookout

In spite of

grew angry; (t-note)
regret to have been a messenger



if; intends
[little] game; cease
if; capture
hold; destroyed

on high
confirm; rights
to his advantage
If; guess
At once they armed themselves

armor; (see note)
quickly; (t-note)
Two hundred
in addition
Just what they needed

halted for a while
put up pavilions
levied; army
from; side
arrogance; boast
boundaries; (see note)
grassland; lands
shouted loudly; (see note)
stayed at bay
open space; lake

Sixteen deer had been killed

Laid down together

(see note)

fat harts
agreement (letter); peace
before we leave off; (t-note)

(see note)

Forward; (see note)
blow the trumpet loudly

All of them; (see note)
Quickly; ready; (t-note)
battalion; arrayed
not at all
have met together


[they] engaged [in]; (t-note)
warrior be excused (permitted to delay)


swords; glanced
pierce steeds; battle
armor; (see note)

sink; (t-note)
none knew, regardless of his might

Except; governs

Lays low
tunic; chain mail
maims; men
Bright; cut
[a] brave [man]
coats of mail became
deaths (deeds); (t-note)
Fierce in their own country
Woe there avenges anger; (t-note)

Warriors; borne down
Men; [leather] tunic

died; horse

Cuts through; helmets; (t-note)
strike down

Who; considered; doughty
all that time

got on (fared)
sighed grievously
was the leader of
left; for safety's sake
soldiers armed with spears

Struck them down
Like; hiding place
axes; steel
bent (pleated) their helmets
forced on his knees; (t-note)
fierce; (t-note)
Split their battle formation in two
left behind slain; hollow; (t-note)
800 (40 x 20); group
Stretched out on their

won a steed
such an emergency
caused to; (t-note)
eleven; (t-note)
bold men caused he to fall
Who before had harmed him; (t-note)
trotting back; (t-note)
about; happy
(see note)

all returned who
manor; (t-note)

Quickly; went
to his shame
sees; crippled

hunting grounds
at his; (t-note)
manners; show
regret; bitterly
(see note); (t-note)
wrongs; inflict; (t-note)

The next morning; (t-note)
Prepared himself as he thought fit
Armed properly

barbican he halted
engage with
In; jousts; (see note)

find out
at once; ordered

said in a loud voice
at the wall


do; errand

as if; doughty one (i.e., the Earl)

Countess; (t-note)
as well; (t-note)
lovely in appearance
daring one
courteous; (t-note)
On my word; (see note)

seek out; (t-note)
noble person
do not blame
ill will

lands; destroyed
rivers (hunting grounds) dried up; (see note)

To say the truth
made war; (t-note)
laid waste
breeding grounds; (see note)
game has gone
do [the same to] you doubtless

give him his just due
I tell you the truth
Even if
pay compensation for them
foresters; (t-note)

wise one (i.e., the countess) in the house; (see note)

advise; reconciled
Before any more die
in a loud voice
pay dearly for such an agreement
Who; (t-note)


It is my solemn duty

stops; easily
will have to


bright; (t-note)
truelove knots; (see note)

splendidly dressed
Two knight-bannerets attended her
lovely lady worthy of embrace
wounds; (t-note)
Achieve it however [he] might

Whatever may come of it

don't be upset
[About] something
Greet; (t-note)

shall he [make redress] in spite of his teeth
Despite his great display [of military force]

with pleasure

desist; noble descent; (see note)
From such

woodland; go


In the country where

Hounds magnificently
before he blew [the end of the hunt]
slain, truly

Enraged; as best he could; (t-note)
men; (t-note)
ditches; dragged with nets
white; slew
pikes aplenty
got them into his possession; (t-note)
no amusement pleases him
Neither hunting nor hawking
Because of; maiden
indignation cooled down
forest (hunting ground)

a [certain]
beautiful [lady] on earth

truly settled; (see note)
noble creature
Complexion suffused
Like; branch
dress [of rich cloth]; (t-note)
approached; closely
would prefer; (t-note)
Rhine; (see note)
Minted as florins; (see note)

know whosoever; (t-note)
warrant you; (t-note)
I will stake my life on it

by any means

secret; reveal

Against; contend; (t-note)

White; sea's foam
benefit; [if] I lie
woo; place; (t-note)
And [yet]; death
locked; net (lit., noose)
heir; (see note)
from them

And [that] we [may be]
distress; suffer


dare make an oath


And ill will as a reward

Except Maid Melidor the maiden; (t-note)
Most lovely in clothing

consider; mad
Do you think

Just the two of us
with my eyes
For good or for worse

warhorses; took; (t-note)

tree; arrived
Beside an open space
dawned; (see note)
back door; sport

suggest; hurry quickly
over there
To await the maiden

paid no attention
would have been afraid

had gone

Remained; rosebush
it was broad daylight
Midmorning and later

Hastened without delay

violet [dress]
white; embroidered

work in rich cloth
clasp; precious stone; (see note); (t-note)
Bordered; (see note); (t-note)
worn open to show off
buttons; hard
Enameled; azure
topazes; ribbon [round the head]; (t-note)
Covered with tracings
(see note)
By; living
Caused to shine; dress

hair; pinned up; (see note); (t-note)
on earth
more distinguished being; (t-note)
suited; clothes
ornaments; (see note)
preciously; arrayed
resplendent pearl
head-scarves; finely made
infatuated [one]

splendidly prepared
sounded the trumpet; meal
took their seats

tables; cleared away; (see note)
rose; lie (i.e., truly); (see note)

made themselves ready

Where; was

path; (see note)
courteously; greeted

[may you] see [that]; (see note)

I give you my word of honor
Secretly somewhere
depends on

she; pleased
He was so royal in appearance; (see note)

in a loud voice


as for war
Who; their garden
To relax in private

I don't even know

if that is what you think

deny it

May God protect me from sin
Manage to speak to you

As soon as

[Even] if; grief
shall [tell it] immediately

If; pleasure

forget it; (t-note)
By; (i.e., the Cross)
will see to it that you are

blame me wrongfully

most perfect of ladies
commit myself to your clemency
regret that decision
dislike it greatly

pay for it




here [is] my pledge: before; taken; (t-note)
finest; groan
[Even] if; against

Those; run; fast
doomed if

noble lady

put to shame
from her took; (see note)

Christmas Eve
reward; promised
but that yonder

At once; reproach

make happy; guest
By the devil



Should he come; (t-note)
[would] escape; strait

I am grateful
Quickly; nearby
Was made ready

Secretly; being seen
know; cunning
tricks cover up
delicacy too dear

light tunic of mail
acted hospitably
meat cut

nothing more
sighed sorrowfully

right now

wounds; afflicted
gates; always locked

Whether [or not]

unhappily; wake

In higher spirits
My hand on it; assure; (t-note)

make an effort


for her


My lord has assented
It will be held here

with such a display of power

cannot participate
If you ask me


informed; event
[May] God reward

Even if I am put in my place

in exchange for; hospitality

[it/he] pleases; (see note)
you (i.e., the squire); bond; (see note); (t-note)

(see note)
[he, i.e., Sir Degrevant] dubbed him a knight

Recommend; suffering; (t-note)

If; (see note)

(see note)

I will prevent that
(see note)

Since; saw

Half an hour
gracious [one]

As an act of grace


Before; banished
how to get

mission to accomplish

Where lies; moat; (see note)

Secretly; being seen
be prepared
If; advise

Show me; very

provided with victuals; boat

The water will not come up
noble [maiden]
in the morning
Splendidly; water

home gone

made themselves ready

were lodged; (see note)
Speak; (t-note)

laughed to scorn her (i.e., her maidservant)

harms no person; myself
would grant to
If; were

How will you ever prosper?; (see note)
speak in praise

are engaged
To be married

By the time
been successful

who intends
will not obstruct; (t-note)

something to marvel at
Think; mad

twice as; (t-note)
by the Cross
don't want
intend [to show]; favor
if; prepared
would go wrong; (t-note)


Courteously; requested
With an allowance of food and drink; money; (t-note)


ate; (see note)

keep her forever

ever so

had fought so fiercely
injuries he had taken (received); (t-note)
In the forest
banneret; lives
challenge; proclamation


(see note)

recognize; (t-note)
informed; correctly
chief (see note); (t-note)
Engrailed; saltire
tressure (cords)
truelove knots
badge; (see note); (t-note)

[On] a

on top
Devised neatly

stretched out

post; (see note)
brave in battle
(see note)
If he could
match; (see note); (t-note)
old age
brought down
[But] who
laughed; scorn
loudly; (t-note)
suffer for it

made ready
The Earl [too]; valiant

brightly; (t-note)
entered [the lists]
as a group
Armed splendidly

Came there
joyful event to see

[Who] were dressed; in

They considered; ever so; (t-note)
Because of; prowess; (see note)

upon an iron-gray [horse]
their good fortune

came to him quite close
Knight; squire; (see note)

struck violently together
There is no reason to hide it

men met
scattered all over the place; (see note)
Knocked out by
bitterly; smote
They emptied; quickly; (t-note)

[Among] these worthy
disgracefully injured
Fair and curved brows; (t-note)
with their consent

without lying
Rides; through; crowd
leader; went

battle; (see note)

[who] was; (see note)
before he stopped

the boundary post

same; (see note); (t-note)

noble man


[Because] he was
one after another

ladies; bower



dinner; banquet


slope; hill

he liked to stay; (t-note)
set aside anxiety

Who; outside; (t-note)

sent; as a reward
In good times or bad

He let no one go

face to face

at all points
two; (t-note)
most discreet; always; (t-note)
Get yourselves ready; (t-note)
young men's clothes; (see note)
see to

Array; horses; harness

furnished in style; (t-note)
[ornamental] covering (for horses); caparison; (see note)
violet [cloth]

covered [with armor]

then; straight

horns; (t-note)

severest stranger; (see note)


wide [open]; (t-note)

dais; (see note)
their meal
demanded [as his prize]
leapt up

fair [one]
see [her]
early in the morning; (see note)
See to it that
One of us shall fall in a swoon; (t-note)

Three courses of either


motto; interpret; (see note)

the high and the low; (t-note)

gets ready


Homeward; straightaway

morning; (t-note)
did before

Fierce; boar


In spite of; conduct

on an iron-gray [horse]; (t-note)
[he] sighed

(see note)

as he chooses
luck brings; (t-note)

Two; peace


approached before; (t-note)

blow; (t-note)
My hand on it, I assure you
friends; happy
They gave; white bread
(i.e., wines from Italy and Crete)
straight; (t-note)
risk all

Two; have; taken
prepared; they groan; (t-note)

lists; they went; (see note)

Sir Daring (i.e., Sir Degrevant)

In his heart he was persistent


lady; (see note)


want to
Into; (t-note)
(see note)
companion (i.e., Melidor) handed; (t-note)

handsome; (see note)
stick to the agreement
keep waiting

passed out
dazed; moment
time; (t-note)


(i.e., that's the truth of it)
not to take it hard; (t-note)
in distress
think; (t-note)

reward; (see note)

had thus been dealt with

again; hawthorn; (see note)


To see if he might further his case

knew; device

Apprehended; (see note)

Hide; them; (see note); (t-note)
being seen
Let me talk

dearly bought [me]; (see note)

stairs she

at the door; (t-note)

Promptly; fire from the flint
times; stopped

(see note)

Knew [it]
anger; greet
Quickly; (t-note)
handsome [one]
Face to face; (t-note)

Faggots; fir tree; (t-note)
table of ivory; (t-note)
Aylsham; (see note)
White; sea's foam; (t-note)
Overcloths; (see note)

Washbasin; pitcher
Rose water

White bread
storeroom (esp. for bread)
handsome one
Together; sat

side; boar
Pig's fry; [bread] sauce
On my word of honor
After that; them
Plovers seasoned; pasty
courses; in great quantities

Amply; (t-note)
Italian and Cretan wine; (t-note)

describe their food would be difficult

dainties too costly; (t-note)

French and Rhenish wines; (t-note)
malmsey (a sweet wine)
Filled; readily (eagerly)

Whenever it pleased her most; (t-note)
[She] sang songs as well
pleasures; excite; (t-note)
set aside

magnificent; (see note)

White ogive; perpent (binding stone); (see note); (t-note)

one design
St. Paul's Epistles
The biblical book of Proverbs
quite correctly

Gentle [people]; listen; (see note)
If you please
(see note); (t-note)

to them; (t-note)
learned writers; (see note)
(see note)
exerted himself; (t-note)
hours; (t-note)


mullions; (see note)

black marble
nice little gables

various; (t-note)
Charlemagne; (see note)


covered over; rich cloth
On the floor; (t-note)

headboard; canopy; (see note)

Devised; neatly
(see note)

coats of arms
costly fabric; adorned
ornamental besant patterns

high headboard; (t-note)

Embroidered of the same (i.e., of silk)
Pillows of thin silk
Westphalia; (see note)
By skilled women


supported them

(see note); (t-note)


creature; (see note); (t-note)

When will you give me peace of mind?; (t-note)
show; (t-note)

lady; eagerly; (t-note)
[If] you mention

even if
come to

Believe; indeed



Even if

Until; consent
consents to that

falcon; (t-note)
happy; were

[Which] with

make out
squire; (see note)
Accepted; pretty
continued; (t-note)

midsummer one night; (t-note)
Prepared to go; (t-note)
Dismounted; (t-note)
forester saw them; (t-note)
In the place where they stopped
followed them


realized; meant

[bag]piper; peace

[it is] reasonable
forester; immediately

at night

uncourtly (villainous); (see note)

ambush; (t-note)

block off

loudly; (t-note)
If; (t-note)
not at all; (t-note)
thought no living creature; (t-note)
their; (t-note)
promised; (t-note)

leave off



secretly against being seen

rushed upon them
it is not to be concealed; (t-note)
Quickly; drawn; (t-note)

bright thicket

at him threw
Straight; helmet
[Which] burst
coat of mail


they; cut to pieces; (t-note)

neckpiece [of his armor]
cut off

inconvenient; body
jumped; ditch; (t-note)

levied; toll

wield; (t-note)
Since; very

officers in charge of the bread and the drinks

slain together
bright thicket

fate; see [ahead]; (t-note)
dirty quagmires

vanquished his foes
merciless; bold [one]

in addition

By the time it dawned near

[Even if] effort

they went
The most direct way


As if; woods
Were a shame to see; (t-note)
Dear; (t-note)

saw [nothing] unusual; (t-note)
harm; (t-note)
torn to pieces; (t-note)
We could not care less; (t-note)

boar; (t-note)
thirsted greatly; (t-note)
quickly; (t-note)
sweet wine from Italy and Crete


she; fight

company of followers


From woods unhappy
called in every direction

News to ask
Earl; (t-note)
deceit; (see note)

lain with you; (t-note)

[By St.] Peter; (t-note)
If that; (t-note)
What good will it do if I lie; (t-note)
spouse; (t-note)
grief; suffer

By [Christ's] bones and blood

then; (see note); (t-note)
God prevent; she be killed


barred; (t-note)
waged war; (t-note)
breeding grounds
put them under your control
advise [that] you become reconciled
Who; valiant

(i.e., formally)

refrain [from saying so]

well-being; comfort

in sorrow


Quickly; she; (see note)

considered to be respectable

That [it]

was afraid
At daybreak


Amazingly; bowed
welcomes; noble [one]





at [the wedding of]; (t-note)


[the Knights] Hospitallers

Were without exception; offering


Trinity Sunday; (see note)


Dressed; bishop's robe

gracious [couple]
noble; (t-note)
Gave her away at church door; (t-note)
dignity; (t-note)
[Sir Degrevant] strewed on that occasion; (t-note)
[Which] lay; on; (t-note)

they assembled [in] the hall; (t-note)

men; (t-note)
one after another

Beautiful ladies; lovely

From [the time] the banquet
for each

Douzepers; (see note)
It seemed to me; display

Nor describe the splendid foods
[That] were; hall

fine cloth
whole garments
(see note)
[There was] jousting of contentious knights; (see note)
revel whoever

worthy [ones] excellent; (t-note)

spoke proudly


on that occasion

Not counting
falcons for pursuit of game

beautiful Countess as well
funerals together
splendidly arrayed
remained behind as their heir

nobles; cause damage; (t-note)

endowed; by oath; (see note)

Overcome by a sultan

This doughty [one]

pleasure; entertainment
guests; feed; (t-note)

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