Siege of Jerusalem
SIEGE OF JERUSALEM: FOOTNOTES1 Lines 1-4: In the time of Tiberius, this legitimate emperor, / [Ruling as] Sir Caesar himself, held sway in Rome, / While [Pontius] Pilate was provost under that rich prince (i.e., Tiberius) / And also judge of the Jews in Judaea's lands
2 Lines 5-8: [And] Herod, under his (i.e., Tiberius') imperial rule, by hereditary right, / Was called the king of Galilee when Christ died; / Though Caesar, who often hated sin, was innocent, / Through Pilate He (i.e., Christ) was pained (tortured) and put on the Cross
3 A pillar was set upon the flat ground
4 Until His whole body ran red with blood, as rain [does] upon the street
5 Lines 13-14: Then [they] struck Him upon a stool with stiff men's hands, / Blindfolded Him as a bee and gave Him blows
6 Lines 17-18: A crown of straight thorns was thrust upon His head, / [And they] surrounded Him with a cry and on a Cross slew [Him]
7 Lines 19-20: Despite all the harm that He had [from them], He did not haste / To revenge the villainy on those who had burst His veins
8 Lines 21-22: Instead [He] waited for the time when they might convert, / Gave those who slew Him time, though it availed little
9 Before [He] set the princes upon those who [had] given Him pain
10 He had a cruel malady amidst [his] face
11 As a cancer unclean it clenched [his lips] together
12 Lines 39-40: Out of Galatia [he] was taken to cheer him a short time, / For in that country he was king though he suffered ill
13 Lines 41-42: There was no doctor alive [who] could help these lords, / Nor herbs growing that could benefit their grim sores
14 Lines 45-48: Now was there one [man named] Nathan, Naym's son, of Greece, / Who often journeyed over the sea from [one] city to another, / [Who] knew many countries, many kingdoms, / And was both a great mariner and merchant
15 And with a drumond (a large ship) on the deep drives on quickly
16 The clouds thundered loudly as [if] they would break apart
17 Lines 63-64: The weather and the wind so meet on the water / That [he] who governed the helm was hurtled into a heap
18 Lines 65-68: Nathan dropped flat for fear and fell under the hatches, / Let the water and the wind do what they would; / The ship ran swiftly past shores, shot away from Rome / Toward unknown coasts, carried on the waves
19 Lines 69-70: Moving rapidly among ragged towers [of water]. / The broad sail in one moment burst in two
20 Over wild waves he went, [so wild it seemed] as [if] all would be overturned
21 All was borne by a favorable wind to the haven of Bordeaux
22 Lines 87-88: "It would be better to me [to be] at that land - lord, grant that I were - / Than [to have] all the gold or goods that God ever made"
23 Lines 91-92: And said: "Do you know any cure or craft on earth / To ease the massive sore that sits on my cheek? / And[, if you do,] I shall quickly reward you and send [you] to Rome"
24 Lines 93-94: Nathan answers him with a no, says he could do nothing: / "But if you, king, were in that country where Christ died . . ."
25 Whether [they are] gums or grasses, or any special drinks
26 As pure as [a] cliff where crystals spring out
27 Lines 121-24: The second person [of the Trinity], the Son, was sent to earth / To take the carrion's nature (i.e., a fleshly body) from a pure woman; / And so He came in disguise to help wretches, / And [He] wrought many wonders until he suffered woe
28 Those pained with paralysis He put to heel (i.e., made them walk)
29 There is no accountant with counters who could count half of them all
30 Lines 159-60: As yet both Barnabas and Paul were not baptized, / And did not know Christ, but [they] came [to the fold] soon afterward
31 And does not become fully healed in an instant
32 Why had not your (Caesar's) body been laid low under the earth
33 And before these words were finished to the end
34 And I shall prepare myself to work ills [on] them
35 Then couriers took the roads to each coast
36 [And] Soon sends for him (i.e., Peter), and he (i.e., Peter) the truth told [to Vespasian]
37 [Just] as Nathan, Naym's son, who [had] come to Nero, had said
38 But, without [receiving] tribute or safe conduct, by troubled paths
39 The pope (i.e., Peter) gave pardon to them and moved towards them
40 I give the protection of this veil and my body to you
41 Lines 239-40: The idols of Mohammed crumbled to pieces / And broke all to bits as the cloth passed through the church
42 Lines 243-44: A scent erupted from there; they all sensed it: / There was never a smell or an air on earth that was sweeter
43 The pope used the veil, and his (i.e., Vaspasian's) face touched
44 What before was leper-like had never been better
45 So that the common people might see it until supper-time
46 Lines 271-72: And unanimously [they] deemed by decree to send those dukes / Who were cured by Christ, who they (i.e., the Jews) on [the] Cross slew
47 Lines 275-76: A bold man on horseback (i.e., a knight) and come from his body (i.e., Vespasian's family): / No more distantly related to him than being his own dear son
48 Who had given them (i.e., Titus and Vespasian) of His grace and their ills destroyed
49 Lines 281-84: Then there was rattling in Rome, rubbing of mailcoats, / Showing of swords, shields prepared. / [They] took leave of that lord (i.e., Nero), lifting his insignia, / A great dragon of gold, and all the gathered men followed
50 Tackled and readied on rolling waves
51 And stuff of all manner of stores in order that they should have strength [for the war]
52 Lines 289-90: There were floins (i.e., small ships) afloat, many farcosts (i.e., large ships), / Cogs (i.e., bigger ships) and crayers (i.e., small vessels), all well-fortified.
53 Very much woe may be wrought on your proud towns
54 At Passover, as priests of their law preached to them
55 Covering over the chieftain's [tent], with four carbuncles
56 Filled (or covered) completely with histories, painted with arms (i.e., family armorial insignia)
57 A hundred [could be] standing on stage in that place alone
58 But sends messengers in return, twelve trusty knights
59 Up their gates to yield, with rods (signs of authority) in hand
60 Who were scorned and reproached in [this] shameful way.
61 Thus are we turned out of our clothes (attire) in token of the truth
62 Lines 391-92: When the men who were to go to the battlefield lacked anything, / At this structure they could find assistance
63 Lines 397-400: The [four] points [of the falchion] were pointed in the four directions / Of this proud world where they had found war (i.e., made conquests); / They hung these falchions as a proof to the people / That they had won with the sword all the rich world
64 Ringed strongly about [with wooden platforms] the siege-tower was then
65 And on each pommel (i.e., tower top) were placed high pennons
66 Lines 434-35: With sixteen thousand soldiers expressly assigned; / And just as many were marked to remain in the midguard
67 At least one hundred on high, [and] a hundred within
68 Lines 503-04: That these people (i.e., the Jews) [will be put] to torture, nor will pity be had: / That proves His Passion, [by] whomever reads the Pasch
69 Lines 505-08: It is not necessary in these circumstances to remember Nero, / Nor to consider any truce for the tribute that he desires: / That quarrel I renounce even if he desires / With this rebel to Rome to have only negotiations
70 Lines 513-15: Never let this faithless people win from us in fighting / [Either] horse or harness, unless they buy it through difficulty, / [Nor] armor, nor pizane, nor [even the] end of a pendant
71 And [might] well think at a [single] blow [that] they all would [be] slain
72 "Today, whoever flees a single foot, [may] the Fiend (i.e., Satan) have his soul!"
73 Knights cross themselves, take up their helms
74 As [a] woman weeps and wails when she needs water
75 [They] bear through men, bursting their lances
76 [They] Fought strongly in the field, and always the false (i.e., the Jews) [fell] beneath [them]
77 On high brandishes the sword and looks like a boar
78 Lines 557-60: Quickly they drive their spears into splinters, / Split the shields on their shoulders into firewood, / Shake out of sheaths what was sharply ground (their swords), / And thrust the metal [blades] through un-mild hearts
79 Lines 561-64: [They] hew upon the heathen, hurtle together, / Gilt shrouds (i.e., clothing) are torn to pieces, mailcoats are shattered: / The streams in the valley grew bloody, / And gushes from golden armor ran like gutters
80 Lines 571-72: [Such] entrails break forth that a hundred ridders (i.e., field-strippers) / Would be hard-pressed to bury what was left upon the field
81 They brought with the bishop (i.e., Caiaphas), though [they] thought him evil
82 Lines 615-16: Except seven thousand of their total number, who fled to the city / And won with much sadness [a return to] within the walls
83 [They] took into towers a great number [of] chests
84 [They] defended boldly with [the] casting [of stones from] the battlements on high
85 That the other folk (i.e., the Romans) at the foot [of the wall] freshly assailed [them]
86 Unarmed themselves as quickly [as possible] and all that night rested
87 The king commanded with a cry what was soon begun
88 They brought [siege] towers [made] of wood that they had taken
89 Through the crenelations many good men catch their deaths
90 By that [means] were many bold men [prepared] to assail the town
91 Other [men] were prepared quickly, set engines
92 Lines 685-88: Then [they] choke the ditches with the dead bodies, / Cram it with carrion beneath all the battlements, / So that the stench from that stew (combination) might strike over the walls [of the city] / To infect the cursed folk (i.e., the living Jews) that should defend them (i.e., their fallen dead)
93 Lines 697-700: The judges upon the dais decide quickly / That each man would be flayed alive, cleaned of flesh: / [But] First to be drawn upon a field by horses, / And then hanged all together upon a high gallows
94 Lines 731-32: Birds fall to their feet and their feathers shake out. / The night-watch [goes] to the wall and waits to sound [the alarm]
95 Lines 741-44: When shadows and bright day divide in two, / Larks aloft lift up their voices; / Men hasten out of bed [to the sound of] loud trumpets / Blowing on the field and on the town walls
96 Lines 757-58: The gauntlets of grey steel, which were hemmed with gold, / Handle the harness after he asks for his horse
97 Lines 773-76: Look down from the walls, [see] what woe is at hand: / You cannot fetch [more] food, even if you are dying [from starvation]! / And as you go waterless [now], [so] will you never get it again: / [Not] one drop even if you should die [by thus passing the remaining] days in your life
98 Lines 781-84: "Thus it would be more wise (man-like) to seek mercy now / Than to perish without food where no might can help you." / There was no one [among the Jews] who said a word [in reply to Vespasian], but [they] awaited their chance / To kill with stones any [Roman] who wanders astray
99 Lines 785-88: Then, angry as a mad boar, he (Vespasian) turns his bridle: / "If you would die like dogs, the devil take whoever cares! / But before I turn from this wall, you will [indeed] say something; / And [you must] speak more wisely in reply before I [will] acknowledge your speech!
100 [He] made [the besieged Jews] plunge wool clothes into water
101 Lines 803-04: Make with mangonels (machines for hurling large stones) many unanswered blows. / And they marred a great deal of masons' work at that time
102 Of the leather-wrapped foot into the horse's side
103 Lines 825-28: There were marvels seen [then], as men might hear: / A man with an evil stone was cloven to the brain, / The largest piece of which was so struck out by that rock / That it flew out into the field, a furlong or more
104 Lines 837-38: The city [would] have been seized with assault at that time / [If] the folk hadn't been so fierce who served the Fiend (i.e., the "pagan" Jews)
105 Would much prefer a doctor than [to] fight with his weapons
106 Lines 865-66: For before this town is taken, and these high towers, / Much trouble and sadness awaits us close at hand
107 Thus to engage with these lesser people turns out worse for us
108 Lines 875-76: When [this is the case] we must hesitate and watch and work little harm, / Since ever the evil of the fight comes down on us
109 Lines 877-78: Now may they go no farther from here to get their food; / Would we cease of our fight, while they used up their stores?
110 Lines 889-90: For we will hunt for the deer [in] these heaths about, / And hear hunting dogs run along these rough shores
111 Tortured the pope to death and many people killed
112 To quench the life of the emperor who had troubled them
113 Then he yielded [to] Satan his soul and killed himself
114 A knight who was called Vitellius, and he attained the crown
115 Men came from Rome, traveling quickly
116 Have chosen you as chieftain, their chief lord to be
117 Shall be [as if done by the] sovereign himself, seen in the work
118 You do yourself, what your soldiers work by your order
119 Lines 1001-04: Then with a lion's look [upon his face] he (i.e., Vespasian) lifted up his eyes, / To Titus turns at once, and told him the tale. / And just as Sir Sabinus had said, [so] he (i.e., Titus) soon grants to him, / With his brother and the men, as if he (i.e., Titus) wanted to bless him (i.e., Vespasian)
120 The promise of both of us to maintain, if my health remains good
121 I wouldn't [know that] this town were untaken, nor these towers high
122 Lines 1023-24: Prays God, as he goes, to send them grace / To keep what they have promised and to never change their hearts
123 He became crooked against nature and as a cripple grew
124 Lines 1051-52: That the blood began to spread in his veins as a result of the heat, / And his sinews [began to] return to their proper nature
125 The strong warred upon the weak to completely fill his belly
126 Her own child that she bore she cooked on the coals
127 Down they smashed the door: die should the man
128 Lines 1101-04: Then they passed a judgment that was terrible to hear: / To execute by cruel death all those who used vital [supplies] - / Women and weak people who were of old age, / Who might not [be able to] stand in place but their stores depleted
129 Lines 1105-08: After [which] to touch [on the subject] of truce, to treat with the lord. / But Titus grants [them] nothing because of the guile that the men (i.e., the Jews) intend, / For he is wise who is aware before woe happens [to him] / And it is best to deal with falsehood at a distance
130 Lines 1139-40: Saying [that they] preferred in that position to remain, / Than [to have] any man from Rome rejoice [in] their sorrow
131 Lines 1145-46: But all was incurable evil, for whoever had bread / Would not have given a morsel [to someone else] for [all of the] goods upon the earth
132 Lines 1149-50: Swoon, swell like pigs, and some grow black, / Some [grow as] thin to look upon as lantern-horns (i.e., so thin as to be transparent)
133 Lest enemies should take them, they had eaten their florins
134 Lines 1199-1200: Makes his way onto the wall with strength - though woe would happen to him - / And stands up in spite of the stones or arrows [launched at him by the Jews]
135 Lines 1211-12: [So hard] that all were overthrown wherever it turned, and hundreds of men / Were killed by its blows and fell into the ditch
136 Then Titus throws up his hand and thanks the King of Heaven (i.e., Christ)
137 Lines 1215-16: The Jews plead [for] peace - this was Passover - / And to the noble king bring forth the gate keys
138 Before the gates were given over - all that year's time
139 Lines 1237-40: And then the people thought about them (these omens) and considered it all [God's] vengeance, / And knew their woe was due to the wrong that they did / When they killed in the town the bishop, Saint James; / [Yet] no one would equate it with Christ['s suffering], the misfortunes that they had
140 Lines 1251-52: Burgesses with bellies like barrels before that time / [Were now] no bigger than a greyhound to grip around the middle
141 Lines 1314-15: That shall be hateful to them, before I go hence: / Anyone who their (i.e., the Jews') bodies will buy or bargains make [of them]
142 Anyone who would buy merchandise would have bargains
143 And so the caitiff, as was his nature, cursedly died
144 Here ends the war against the Jews in Jerusalem
SIEGE OF JERUSALEM: EXPLANATORY NOTESABBREVIATIONS: D86: Duggan (1986); D88: Duggan (1988); H: Hanna and Lawton (2003), editing L; K: Eugen Kölbing and Mabel Day (1932), editing L; MED: Middle English Dictionary; OCD: Oxford Classical Dictionary; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; T: Turville-Petre (1989), editing D. Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases. For manuscript abbreviations, see p. 40.
1-12 In Tyberyus tyme . . . as rayn in the strete. As K notes (p. 91), these lines form "one sentence, translating the opening sentence of Vindicta Salvatoris."
1 Tyberyus. Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (r. 14-37), the successor to Augustus Caesar. That Tiberius is a trewe emperor is surely meant to differentiate him from the criminal Nero and the number of would-be emperors wrought of the civil war which followed Nero's death and prompted Vespasian's eventual claim on the crown. These events are shown later in the poem, at lines 897-964.
3 Pylat was provost. Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judaea from 26-36.
5 Herodes. Herod Antipas, appointed tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea by Augustus Caesar following the death of Antipas' father, Herod the Great (d. 4 BC). He was eventually exiled in AD 39. According to Luke 23:6-12, Pontius Pilate tried to transfer the responsibility of Jesus' trial to Herod.
7 oft synne hatide. As H (p. 91) observes, this characterization might derive "upon the account of Tiberius's youth in Poly 4.4. (2:310-12)."
9 upon the playn erthe. Though it might appear to read as "on the barren earth" or, in a tautological construction, as "on the plain, the earth," this odd turn of phrase actually translates as "flat upon the ground." See MED: plain(e), adj. 1(a).
12 Til He al on rede blode ran, as rayn in the strete. While I have glossed this phrase as indicating that Christ's blood fell like rain onto the street (a proverbial usage; see Whiting R17), it is also possible to read the line as portraying Christ's blood running in rivulets like rain upon the street. Either possibility has iconographic support, as Christ's blood is often shown running on His body in rivulets and also springing out of Him (and curing Longinus in the process). The former usage, however, is perhaps supported by its appearance in Alliterative Morte Arthure, line 795, where the bear and the dragon fight and their blood "Runnand on red blood as rain of the heven."
14 Blyndfelled Hym as a be. The bee is a figure of blindness in the Middle Ages. K (p. 91) notes Maidstone's Penitential Psalm 253: "I stomble as doth þe blynde be," in Richard Maidstone's Penitential Psalms. The usage here is proverbial: Whiting B63.
15 Gif thou be prophete of pris. The Siege-poet seems particularly indebted to the Gospel of Matthew for many of the details concerning the Passion. For this scene, compare Matthew 26:68: "Prophesy unto us, O Christ. Who is he that struck thee?" It is interesting to note that this passage in Matthew directly follows the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas, the high priest of the Jews. The poet probably expects the reader to have Caiaphas' dominant role in bringing about Christ's death in the forefront of his mind.
20 On hem the vyleny to venge. As noted in the Introduction (pp. 30-36), it is the vengeance upon the Jews for the death of Christ that is to be the focus and the underlying structure of the entire poem.
25 Tytus. Titus Flavius Vespasianus (r. 79-81). The eldest son and namesake of Vespasian.
26 Gascoyne gate and Gyan. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 329) notes an echo of Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 491: "Gascoyne and Gyane gatt."
36 Waspasian was caled the waspene bees after. Titus Flavius Vespasianus (r. 69-79). The derivation of his name from wasps given here is a false etymology, but one that enjoyed great popularity during the Middle Ages and is amusing to contemplate.
45 Nathan. Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea names the messenger Alban, though the poet here follows Vindicta Salvatoris. In other traditions, the messenger is named Volusian. The name itself may carry specific significance here, as Nathan was a prophet associated with the courts of David and Solomon, and it was Nathan who rejected David's request to build a temple for God in Jerusalem, saying that, after David's death, God would raise one up from his seed and through him establish His kingdom. This son to come, Nathan prophesied, would be the one to build a temple to God in Jerusalem and a great dynasty under God (see 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 7:1-17). Though David's son Solomon, anointed by Nathan, built the First Temple in Jerusalem, Nathan's prophecy "became the focus of messianic hope for the postexilic community" since it promised an "everlasting dynasty for David" (Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, p. 604). Christian exegetes, not surprisingly, have seen in Nathan's words a prophecy about the coming of Christ, who was, after all, in the line of David and whose body could be regarded as the Temple to be resurrected (see p. 32n121, above). In Siege, Nathan's journey to Rome will ultimately set in motion the actions of Titus and Vespasian that culminate in the destruction of the Second Temple and the victory of a new temple to God (i. e., Christ); from this perspective, the name Nathan for the messenger is most fitting.
of Grece. Nathan does not appear to be from Greece proper, as he clearly states that Christ was "in our lande" in line 95. Hellenistic communities were widespread throughout the lands surrounding the Mediterranean, and the Christian movement made many early converts among them. It is possible to hear a faint echo here of Acts 6:1-7, where the Seven (Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus) are chosen to serve in order to help resolve a growing rift between the Hellenists and Hebrews. Identifying what the author of Acts meant by Hellenists is difficult to determine (he could have meant Greeks, Greek-speaking peoples, a heterodox movement, diaspora Jews, or even a group who accommodated Greek culture). Acts 11:20 also discusses evangelizing work by the early Christians among the Hellenists. Whether Nathan is meant to be associated with these early missionary movements is difficult to determine. For more on these passages in Acts and the possible historical matters behind them, see Livingston, "The Seven."
49 Sensteus out of Surye. This is probably Gaius Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria from 63 (or 65)-67. Cestius Gallus had to deal with a number of uprisings in Palestine during his rule, ultimately marching on the territory in 66 to restore peace (OCD); it was his failure to take Jerusalem, however, that led to the appointment of Vespasian to deal with the problems once and for all. K notes (p. xxiii) that the poet has adopted his role from Higden's Polychronicon, book 4, but H (p. xlv) makes a stronger case for reliance on Josephus at this point.
52 his tribute to telle, that they withtake wolde. The treatment of tribute is a recurrent theme in poems of the alliterative movement, seen in Alliterative Morte Arthure, Wars of Alexander, and Destruction of Troy. H posits (pp. xlv-vi and 94) that its appearance in the present poem is indebted to Josephus.
56 on the deep dryveth on swythe. Presumably a stock formula, since it can be found once in Wars of Alexander (line 64), twice in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 761 and 816), and once in Cleanness (line 416).
58 Cloudes clateren on loude as they cleve wolde. As Neilson notes ("Huchown," p. 283), there is a possible echo here of Destruction of Troy, line 5787: "Cloudis with the clamour claterit above." Similar lines also appear in Wars of Alexander, line 555 ("Cloudis clenly to-cleve clatird unfaire"), and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 2201 ("hit clatered in þe clyff as hit cleue schulde").
59 The racke myd a rede wynde roos on the myddel. A "red wind" is literally a strong wind that carries sand from the deserts of North Africa northward across the Mediterranean Sea. Alternatively, the adjective could indicate a "harsh wind," from ME roide. The former is supported by Neilson ("Huchown," p. 283) and K's (p. 92) observations of similarity to Destruction of Troy, line 1984, "A rak and a royde wynde rose in hor saile." The latter is supported by the possibility that the Siege-poet adds the detail of the "red wind" from a gloss on Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy 2.m.6.12-13, which describes Nero's crimes against Rome and the Senate: "Quos Notus sicco violentus aestu / Torret ardentes recoquens harenas" ["those burnt by the harsh south wind / That bakes the hot dry sands"].
63 So the wedour and the wynd on the water metyn. H (p. 95) notes an echo of Cleanness, line 371 ("For when þe water of þe welkyn with þe worlde mette") and Patience, line 141 ("Þe wyndes on þe wonne water so wrastel togeder").
64 That alle hurtled on an hepe that the helm gemyd. H (p. 95) observes parallel lines in Patience, line 149 ("Þen hurled on a hepe þe helme and þe sterne"), and Cleanness, line 1211 ("By þat watz alle on a hepe hurlande swyþee").
89 The kyng into conseyl. Titus pulls Nathan aside so that they may speak more privately.
93 nyckes hym with nay. Proverbial: see Whiting N34, who cites numerous instances in Cursor Mundi.
102 in our londe. Probably a Hellenistic community in Judaea, not Greece. See the explanatory note to line 45.
105 And ho a mayde unmarred that never man touched. Oakden (Alliterative Poetry in Middle English, p. 100) notes a possible echo of Cleanness, line 867: "Þat ar maydenez vnmard for alle men õette."
106 ther cristalle of sprynges. Proverbial; see Whiting C588. H rightly notes (p. 97) that the comparison is probably meant to call to mind "conventional depictions of the Annunciation as a light shining through glass."
108 ho conceyved at ere. The poet here refers to the Annunciation - in which her pregnancy is announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26-38) - as the conception itself, a convention not far from many visual depictions of the event that show the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove entering at Mary's ear.
109 touched. It is interesting to note that the L reading here conveys a more personal moment at the Incarnation than does the reading of D (trouthe), which is far more doctrinal.
116 mene fram Hem passyth. The Siege-poet here supports Augustine's Double Procession of the Holy Spirit (i.e., that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son rather than from the Father through the son). Double Procession had long been the predominant view in the Catholic Church and a persistent point of conflict between East and West since the phrase filioque ("and the son") was added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (451) at the Third Council of Toledo in 589. The addition of filioque to the Creed is considered the primary motivator in the Great Schism of 1054. On the Procession of the Holy Spirit, see Bell, Many Mansions, pp. 193-207.
117 Alle ben they endeles, and even of o myght. H (p. 98) finds the term even "perhaps theologically objectionable," but the doctrine that the Trinity is consubstantial (homoousios), co-eternal, co-eternally distinct, and ever in unison leads back to Athanasius (d. 373) but was resolved into orthodoxy by the Cappadocian Fathers: Basil the Great (d. 379), Gregory of Nyssa (d. c.395), and Gregory of Nazianzus (d. 389). Since the consubstantiality of the Trinity had been accepted at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (a council that condemned the Arian position of subordination within the Trinity), the positions of Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers, which became the standard in the Catholic Church, are often collectively called the Nicene Faith. See Bell, Cloud of Witnesses, pp. 65-74.
125 Wyne He wroght of water at o word ene. At a wedding in Cana, Christ turned six jars of water into wine, an act that John names as the first sign of Christ's power. See John 2:1-11. No doubt the linking of this story - along with the feeding of the five thousand at lines 133-36 and perhaps even the healings in between - with the story of Marie and the plight of the starving, dehydrated Jews (lines 1081- 1104) is meant to show the powerlessness of the Jews to acquire those things most necessary for survival, things that Christ could have provided them.
126 Ten lasares at a logge He leched at enys. For the cleansing of the ten lepers, see Luke 17:11-19. A parallel story is that of the healing of the single leper, found in Luke 5:12-13 (compare Matthew 8:2-4 and Mark 1:40-42).
127 Pyned myd the palsy He putte hem to hele. Christ's healing of the paralyzed man is recorded in Luke 5:18-25 (compare Matthew 9:2-8 and Mark 2:3-12).
128 And ded men fro the deth ever ilke day rered. The Gospels record at least three "raisings": Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:41-56; compare Matthew 9:18-25 and Mark 5:22-42), the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:11-15), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). The last of these is said by John to be the seventh sign of Christ's power.
129 Croked and cancred He kevered hem alle. Probably an oblique reference to the healing of both the crippled woman (Luke 13:11-13) and the man with dropsy (Luke 14:1-4).
130 the dombe and the deve. The healing of the deaf man is recorded in Mark 7:31-37. The healing of the dumb could refer to either the healing of the mute, demon-possessed man recorded in Mark 9:32-33 or the blind, mute, demon-possessed man of Luke 11:14 (compare Mark 12:22). Given the poet's attention to details from Luke, I am inclined to think that it is the latter story that the poet has in mind: "And he was casting out a devil: and the same was dumb. And when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes, were in admiration at it."
132 Nis no clerk with countours couthe aluendel rekene. Perhaps this is meant to echo John 20:30 ("Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book") or the last verse of John's Gospel, 21:25: "But there are also many other things which Jesus did which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written."
133-36 Fyf thousand of folke . . . bascketes twelve. The feeding of the five thousand appears in all four Gospels: Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12- 17, and John 6:5-13. John provides the detail that the bread was made from barley.
135 yit ferre leved. Nathan is surely not referring to any sort of physical immortality being granted to the five thousand. He is probably arguing that those who partook in the feeding followed Christ, and thus through Christ's sacrifice and resurrection attained life everlasting.
137-40 Ther suwed Hym of a sorte seventy and twey . . . Ay by two and by two til hy were atwynne. The story of the Seventy-two (or, according to some traditions, the Seventy) is found in Luke 10. In particular, the poet seems to be recalling the opening of the story, Luke 10:1: "And after these things, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two. And he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come." Four different lists that claim to record the names of these disciples were produced in the early years of the church: Epiphanii textus, the list of Pseudo-Hippolyti, the list of Pseudo-Dorothei, and Textus Syriaci. All four lists are reproduced in Schermann, Prophetarum Vitae Fabulosae. It is interesting to note, however, that Eusebius of Caeserea claims that "no list of the Seventy is anywhere extant" (Ecclesiastical History 1.12.1). At the very least, this reference further reinforces the poet's reliance on the Gospel of Luke.
141-56 Hym suwed of another sorte . . . to-breste on the myddel. The choosing of the Twelve Apostles, and the subsequent catalog of them, is found in Luke 6:12-16 (compare Matthew 10:1-4 and Mark 3:13-19).
143 His Churche to encresche. This may be a reference to the sending forth of the Apostles (Luke 9:1-6) or to the Great Commission that ends Matthew (28:19-20): "Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
154 Judas, that Jhesu Crist to the Jewes solde. Judas Iscariot's selling of Christ to the authorities for the sum of thirty pennies is a detail that will be revisited at the end of the poem when the Jews are sold thirty to the penny in retribution (lines 1319-20). The circumstances of Judas' betrayal are given little time in the Gospels, the fullest account coming at Luke 22:1-6. That the sum paid was thirty pennies derives from a Christological reading of Zacharias 11:12.
155 Suth hymsulf he slowe for sorow of that dede. For the story of Judas' suicide, see Matthew 27:3-10.
156 to-breste on the myddel. The detail that Judas' body burst when he hanged himself is not recorded in the Gospels but in Acts 1:16-19. Judas' death is also reported in Matthew 27:3-8, though there is some difficulty corroborating the two accounts since Acts claims that Judas died after the crucifixion of Christ, and Matthew's account places the suicide before the Crucifixion. The poet is surely using Acts as his source here, though the suicide of Judas is a staple feature of the mystery cycles, and is given a separate play in York, Towneley, and N-Town; it is not included in Chester, however.
157 Crist hadde heried Helle. The harrowing of Hell, in which Christ literally "turned over" Hell, has no clear Biblical source but was one of the most popular medieval images of Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil, appearing in Piers Plowman B.18 (C.20), the mystery plays, Cursor Mundi, and even within poems devoted entirely to the subject such as Harrowing of Hell; these various accounts derive, ultimately, from the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus (or Acta Pilati), of which a number of Middle English translations survive. Though the Siege-poet surely knew the story from many different sources, his direct source here is Vindicta Salvatoris, which uses Gospel of Nicodemus not only for the harrowing of Hell but also for the story of Veronica and her veil.
158 For that mansed man Mathie they chossyn. According to Acts 1:21-26, Matthias was chosen to maintain a full complement of twelve apostles after the betrayal and subsequent suicide of Judas Iscariot.
159 Barnabé and Poule. The conversion of Barnabas is given at Acts 4:36-27, that of Saul at 9:1-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:8. The two men are frequently linked with one another in Acts as the primary missionaries among the Gentiles (see their joint commissioning at 13:1-3, and their work together on Paul's first missionary journey at 13:13-15:36). It is appropriate for Nathan to bring them up here since the conversion of Titus and Vespasian is, in essence, an extension of the Gentile mission.
165 that worliche wif. Apocryphal traditions, including the poet's source, Vindicta salvatoris, and one of the Vindicta's primary sources, The Gospel of Nicodemus, equate Veronica with the woman healed of a twelve-year bleeding by touching the hem of Jesus' garment (Matthew 9:20-22). The identification is surely the result of the two stories' focus on the healing power of clothes associated with Jesus.
166 Hath His visage in hire veil - Veronyk ho hatte. The Vernicle, the veil of Saint Veronica that had an image of the face of Christ, was one of the most famous relics in the Middle Ages and a focus of many pilgrimages. Receiving a medal struck with an image of the veil was a well-known mark of evidence for having been on a pilgrimage to Rome, where the relic was kept. Chaucer describes the Pardoner, for example, as having such a medal "sowed upon his cappe" (CT I[A]685). See the explanatory note to line 261.
194 Cristen kyng that for Crist werred. While the idea of a Christian king making war for Christ might seem paradoxical, going to war for Christ was a common conceit in medieval concepts of knighthood. Bernard of Clairvaux, for example, exhorts the creation of a new chivalric ideal in his Liber ad milites Templi ("Letter to the Knights Templar"), a work subtitled as De laude novae militae ("In Praise of the New Knighthood") and written in support of the establishment of the Knights Templar: "This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens." See Bernard, Works of Bernard of Clairvaux, ch. 1.
203 heyly Y afowe. As K (p. 94) notes, this half-line might be associated with Parlement of Thre Ages, line 178: "And heghely I a-vowe."
205 Peter was pope. Traditional accounts place Peter's martyrdom around the year 65, under the direction of Nero. According to some stories, he was accompanied in his death by Paul, a stance that the Siege-poet seems to take in line 899. Jesus' election of Peter as first pope is a prominent position of Catholic orthodoxy, ultimately derived from Matthew 16:17-19 and 18:18.
215-17 Twenti knyghtes were cud . . . tenfulle wayes. The logic of these lines is very confusing. Nero has certainly sent the knights to Judaea to demand the resumption of tribute, but it might also imply that he has sent them to acquire Veronica and the Vernicle, too. The knights were apparently given some sort of safe conduct for their mission, but the Jews revoked this truce in addition to refusing the tribute. The knights, however, do succeed in retrieving both Veronica and her veil despite the difficulties involved.
239 The mahound and the mametes to-mortled to peces. As a result of the widely held misconception that Muslims worshiped Mohammed as a god, the prophet's name (here mawmetis, from the OF Mahumet) came to be used to indicate a pagan idol of any sort. Thus when Saint Benedict first arrives at Monte Cassino in South English Legendary's Life of Saint Benedict (Seyn Benet), he smashes the "maumets" that he finds there (lines 50-51). As Neilson notes ("Huchown," p. 283), this line of Siege may be borrowed from Destruction of Troy, line 4312: "Bothe Mawhownus & maumettes myrtild in peces."
251-52 Than was wepyng and wo and wryngyng of hondis / With loude dyn and dit for doil of Hym one. As Neilson points out ("Huchown," p. 283), these two lines appear in various guises in Destruction of Troy: "Of wepyng, & wayle, & wryngyng of hondes" (line 8719, compare also line 9611); "Miche water þai weppit, wringyng of hond: / The dit & the dyn was dole to be-hold!" (lines 8679-80); "Of the dite & þe dyn was dole to be-holde" (line 1347).
260 into soper-tyme. Literally, "until supper-time." Though one cannot deny a literal reference to eating, it is more likely that a theological sense is meant: the veil is a reminder of Christ's presence until the people are witness to the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the re-enactment of the Last Supper (Luke 22:7-23). One might additionally read in this passage a reference to Christ's return at the end of time, an event referred to as a feast in Apocalypse 3:20.
261 Vernycle after Veronyk. Remarkably, this etymology is accurate: the OED lists "vernicle" as a loan word from OF veron(n)icle, itself a variant of OF veronique, from the Latin veronica. According to Sumption, the Vernicle eventually "replaced the horse of Constantine as the emblem of Rome" and became an extremely popular goal of pilgrimages, especially in the fifteenth century: "Langland's palmer pinned it to his hat, as did Chaucer's pardoner. Public displays of the [Vernicle] were occasions for mass exhibitions of fierce repentance which astonished more than one visitor to Rome." See Pilgrimage, pp. 249-50.
270 To jugge who jewes myght best upon the Jewys take. The internal punning in this line is marvelous: jewes means "judgment," while Jewys means "Jews." The Siege-poet seems to be using the pun to push a theological point; as H (p. 107) puts it, "Jews deserve only justice, and a justice administered by those committed to their victim Jesus." Even further, it is possible that the poet understood the parallel between the terms to have etymological significance, even if this is not actually the case.
275 A bold burne on a blonke and of his body comyn. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 324) notes an echo of Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 110: "A bolde beryn one a blonke bownne for to ryde."
279-80 most thei hadde hit in hert . . . here forwardis to fulfille. The point the poet is at pains to make is that the two men are going to war not for Nero or for the reestablishment of tribute to Rome. They are going to uphold their own vows to avenge Christ (Titus' promise is given at lines 185-88; Vespasian's is given at lines 201- 04). Vespasian will again drive home this fact in a speech to his men just before the first battle in Jerusalem, lines 493-522. It goes hardly without saying that the poet's ultimate source, Josephus' Wars of the Jews 3.1.1, mentions no motive for Vespasian other than following Nero's orders to reestablish Roman superiority over the region.
281-88 Than was rotlyng in Rome . . . that hem strengthe scholde. This portrayal of a quartermaster mustering - the moving of armies to the shore, the pageantry of the leadership, and the subsequent (and very practical) stocking of the Roman armada - has a close parallel in Alliterative Morte Arthure, lines 729-35.
281 brynnyis. Coats of mail, from ON brynja.
283-84 leften his sygne, / A grete dragoun of gold. See the explanatory note to lines 393- 420, below.
288 By that schippis were schred, yschot on the depe. H observes (p. 108) that a nearly identical line appears in Destruction of Troy, line 5385.
289-90 floynes aflot . . . y-casteled alle. This small catalog lists the various sorts of ships that make up the Roman fleet: floins, farecostes, coggis, and crayers. Cogs are the largest vessels, followed in size by farcosts and crayers. As K notes (p. 95), all four ship types make appearances within only a few lines of Alliterative Morte Arthure as ships in Arthur's fleet: "Cogges and crayers then crosses their mastes" (line 738) and "floynes and fercostes and Flemish shippes" (line 743).
293-94 They tyghten up tal-sail whan the tide asked, / Hadde byr at the bake and the bonke lefte. Compare Destruction of Troy, lines 12489-90: "Thai past on the pale se, puld vp hor sailes, / Hadyn bir at þere backe, and the bonke leuyt." Neilson also notes ("Huchown," p. 283) an echo at line 1902: "Hade bir at his bake, and þe bankes leuyt."
296 port Jaf. Jaffa, the port most closely associated with Jerusalem in the Middle Ages (now a district of Tel Aviv).
307 noght bot roryng and rich in alle the riche tounnes. I do not think it would be a stretch to mark a pun in this line on rich-riche. The former means "smoke," the latter "rich." For the Siege-poet, the Jewish riches are fittingly going up in flames.
313 Josophus. Historically, Flavius Josephus was the primary leader of the Jews in Jotapata during its siege by the Romans. After the fall of that city, Josephus was captured by the Romans. He eventually became a mediating voice between the Romans and Jerusalem, though his many attempts to persuade the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem to surrender failed. After the destruction of the Temple, Josephus held the imperial favor of both Vespasian and Titus. He was given Roman citizenship, and he authored a number of histories in Greek, the most famous of which are Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews (see OCD). The latter of these is especially important as it records the fall of Judaea from an eyewitness perspective (see especially Books 3-6). His historical role is somewhat garbled in Siege of Jerusalem, which presents him as one of the leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem throughout much of the siege, though the poem does focus on Simon and John as the primary leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem and allows Josephus his place as the voice of reason among the Jews.
314 flowen as the foule. Proverbial; see Whiting F578.
316 With many toret and toure that toun to defende. Neilson notes ("Huchown," p. 283) an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 1551: "Mony toures vp tild þe toune to defende." This is also an echo of Wars of Alexander, line 1151.
320 At Paske-tyme. For the establishment of Passover, see Exodus 12 and Numbers 28: 16-25. Josephus began the tradition that the siege began at Passover, and there is no strong reason to disbelieve his account since the Romans would likely have seen the holiday as a strategically good time to strike. Josephus' claim that the siege lasted just over 140 days, making the destruction of the Temple fall on the ninth of Av, is more subject to debate. For the Siege-poet, the beginning of Passover would be doubly fitting for the start of the siege, since it often marks the beginning of Passion week.
326 pallen webbes. Cloth woven from pall, a very expensive material.
329 charboklis. Carbuncles are magnificent stones said to glow in the dark. As a result of their unique properties, these stones are often mentioned as evidence of material (often exotic) wealth in texts of the late Middle Ages (MED).
330 A gay egle of gold on a gilde appul. This golden eagle is the famed symbol of the Roman legions.
342 Deden mekly by mouthe. The meekness of the Jews stands in sharp contrast to the condescension of Vespasian, who refuses to even meet with the messengers. Though the Jews ultimately refuse Vespasian's unreasonable demands, the poet avoids condemning them for it; it is possible that Vespasian's actions are here meant to undermine such authoritative behavior on the part of leaders.
350 moder-naked alle. Proverbial; see Whiting M721. It is worth noting that two Roman senators approach Arthur's force similarly unattired as a mark of submission in Alliterative Morte Arthure, lines 2306-13.
351 yerdes. Traditionally, rods (Hebrew mate[h]) were used as markers of authority for the Jewish tribal leaders. See, for example, Genesis 38:18, where Juda produces his staff as a pledge to a disguised Thamar. The rod of Aaron figures prominently in the history of Israel, both in the cursing of Egypt (Exodus 7:9-20) and in the confirmation of his priesthood (Numbers 17). The latter is echoed in the N-town Cycle, where the sons of David are ordered by Episcopus to "brynge here du offryng / With whyte yardys in þer honde" ("The Marriage of Mary and Joseph" 10.127-28), and to place them on the altar whereby the one that blooms will identify Mary's husband (see also Isaias 11:1, which speaks of the rod that will come from the root of Jesse). Also possibly of note here is Psalm 22:4 of the Vulgate, wherein David is confronted by the Lord's rod and staff.
360 Cayphas. Caiaphas, the high priest who took part in the trial of Jesus according to the Gospels: "Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people, into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas and they consulted together that by subtlety they might apprehend Jesus and put him to death" (Matthew 26:3-4). See also Matthew 26:27-66; Mark 14:60-64 (though Caiaphas is not named); John 11:47-53, 18:19-28.
360 And of flocken here fax, and here faire berdis. As K notes (p. 95-96), the shaming of the Roman messengers has a biblical parallel in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 10:4: "Wherefore Hanon took the servants of David, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut away half of their garments even to the buttocks, and sent them away." Arthur takes similar action against Roman messengers in Alliterative Morte Arthure, lines 2330-70.
365 naked as a nedel. As naked as a needle. Proverbial: Whiting N64.
368 chese. The MED cites this usage of cheese as a "cake or lump of cheese," but this does little to construe the meaning behind the detail. The pieces of cheese apparently act either as marks of shame (here H supposes [p. 113] that "one should also understand the cheeses as smelly globes, and thus mockery of the imperial orbs prevalent in Roman decoration") or as symbols of the authority of the Jewish leaders' return message (in much the same way that a wax seal authenticates a royal letter). The detail is not in Josephus' account, so where the author of the Bible en François (the Siege-poet's immediate source for this passage) found it remains tantalizingly unclear. According to Orach Chaim 670, it is Jewish custom to eat cheese on Chanukah in commemoration of an act whereby Judith, the daughter of Yochanon, fed an Assyrian governor cheese to make him sleepy; when he fell asleep she cut off his head (see the parallel tradition of Judith and the general Holofernes in the apocryphal Book of Judith, where she gives him wine to put him to sleep). Judith's success saved future brides from the exploitation of "first night's rights," which the Assyrian had claimed (see the account in the Mishna Berura). It is possible that this importance of cheese was misinterpreted at some point in time and made its way into the textual tradition of our story as a mark of authority, though the line remains painfully elusive.
389 standard. According to the MED, "a tower used in a siege," though this is the only attribution. No doubt the meaning arises from the standards (i.e., flags or banners) that were fixed atop siege towers.
390 belfray. Probably a type of siege tower (from OF berfrei), though it is possible that Bild as a belfray is meant to act as a simile: the Roman tower is built as solidly as a bell-tower.
393-420 A dragoun was dressed . . . as the sonne bemys. Golden dragons are a common insignia in the Middle Ages, but Hamel points out that the source of this passage is quite likely to be the description of Emperor Otho's standard in the French poem Florence de Rome, lines 1264-69. The dragon banner obviously calls to mind Arthur's association with dragon standards (his own Welsh standard, for example), but in Alliterative Morte Arthure (line 2026) it is the Roman emperor Lucius Iberius, not Arthur, whose standard is a "dragon of gold." As Hamel notes, the chronicle sources (such as Geoffrey of Monmouth) agree that the golden dragon standard should be Arthur's, and the swapping of the standard to represent Roman imperial power is best explained by the indebtedness of Alliterative Morte Arthure to Siege; see Morte Arthure, ed. Hamel, pp. 46-52. It should also be noted that the dragon here described bears some affinity for the dragon that appears to Arthur in a dream in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 760-97). For other similar echoes between the two poems' dragons, see the explanatory notes to lines 283-84 and to line 396.
396 A fauchyn under his feet. I have glossed this as describing a falchion held by the dragon, but it is interesting to note that a "faucon" makes an appearance in the description of the dragon in Alliterative Morte Arthure (line 788) and is usually glossed there as "falcon." Hamel posits that the detail of the falchion in Siege may also be from the French poem that probably acts as a source for this passage, Florence de Rome, which describes a lance atop its golden standard; see explanatory note to lines 393-420, above.
413 I-brytaged. "Provided with a parapet or barricade, fortified" (MED). In addition to a "defensive structure on a wall or tower, such as a parapet or bastille," bretage (from OF bretesche) can denote "a defensive structure on the back of an elephant." (MED).
419 glitered as gled fure. Proverbial; see Whiting G148-52.
421 the foure gates. Not, as H points out (p. 115), an accurate understanding of Jerusalem's layout. It would, however, be a layout familiar to the poet's readers.
431 Josophat. Though it is only one of several possible locations for the Last Judgment (another primary option being the Mount of Olives), the valley of Josaphat (or Jehoshaphat) was widely accepted during the Middle Ages as the most likely location for Christ's triumphant return, an opinion with the weight of scripture behind it:
For behold in those days, and in that time when I shall bring back the captivity of Juda and Jerusalem: I will gather together all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat. . . . Let them arise, and let the nations come up into the valley of Josaphat: for there I will sit to judge all nations round about. (Joel 3:1-2)For more information about the traditions surrounding the location of the Last Judgment, see Hall, "Medieval Traditions about the Site of Judgment." The poet's immediate source here is Legenda aurea, but a parallel reference to Josaphat can be found in Cursor Mundi, line 22969. Placing this battle in the valley of Christ's final judgment upon humanity would be fitting for the poet since the course of the poem is preparing for the passing of final judgment upon the Jews. From a structural standpoint, this battle marks the beginning of the end of the poem, as the events of Caiaphas' capture represent the final piece in establishing the stage for the remainder of the poem's progress (for more on the structure of the poem, see Introduction, pp. 30-36). It is quite likely, as Hamel has noted, that the oddly out-of-place mention of "jousting . . . In the vale of Josephate" in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 2875-76) is another clue to the influence of Siege on that text (Morte Arthure, ed. Hamel, p. 50).
434-41 sixtene thousand soudiours . . . And ten thousand atte tail. The poet lists 16,000 men in the vanguard (i.e., at the front of the force) under the command of Titus, with another 16,000 in the main force of the army under Vespasian's command. Sabinus of Syria commands the rearguard, consisting of 16,000 more men, 4,000 of which are his own Syrians, with a final 10,000 men maintaining watch over the train and camp. The resulting Roman force of 58,000 men would have impressed upon any medieval reader the remarkable amount of manpower that the Romans bring to bear on the city. It is also meant to pale in comparison with the number of Jews - the Romans will win despite being greatly outnumbered.
445-88 The Jewes assembled were sone . . . ne uneth the cité knowe. Despite the huge numbers in the Roman force, they are clearly outnumbered in the battle: the Jews have 100,000 men on horseback, 25 elephants that each carry 200 men (5,000 men), another 100,000 dromedaries each holding 20 men (2,000,000 men), plus an undetermined number of camels each carrying 10 men. Not counting men on foot (though see the explanatory note to lines 613-15, below) and conservatively estimating 10 camels, the Jewish force is said to number 2,105,100; this gross exaggeration - Davis (Besieged, pp. 8-13) estimates the Jewish fighting force as 23,400 men - is certainly meant only to show the vastly superior numbers of Jews. For a brief discussion of how the Jewish army's exotic nature associates them with Saracens, see Chism, "The Siege of Jerusalem: Liquidating Assets," pp. 320-21. For more extended arguments on the association, see Hamel, "The Siege of Jerusalem as a Crusading Poem," and Nicholson, "Haunted Itineraries." Most of these arguments seem to ignore the poet's biblical sources for such material, however; see the explanatory note to line 449, below.
449 Fyf and twenti olyfauntes. That armed elephants have a role in the battle does not appear in the poet's sources, and was likely suggested to the poet from either 1 Maccabees 6 or Josephus' retelling of it in Antiquities of the Jews 12.9, where Antiochus V Eupator (who was probably nine years old, having just become king after the death of his father, Antiochus IV Epiphanes) uses fortified elephants in a battle against the Jews in Beth-zechariah, ten miles southwest of Jerusalem. This story details not only the elephants with wooden structures (see the explanatory note to line 460), but also the killing of one particularly large beast from beneath (1 Maccabees 6:43-46) - a feat that is probably echoed in Sir Sabinus' assault in lines 565-72. Whether the poet is utilizing 1 Maccabees or Josephus is not clear. As K notes (p. 96), fortified elephants also figure prominently in Alexander's fight against Darius in King Alisaunder, lines 2025-30 and 2521-38. It might be that, for the poet and his audience, elephants simply have the ring of Alexander and of the distant East, and that their presence at such a battle is therefore expected.
460 toret of tre. Other manuscripts read various forms of hurdigh, meaning some sort of wooden structure, often made of wicker, that acted as a palisade (from OF hourdeis). "A hurdle used for defense in battles and sieges; also, a palisade, bulwark, or other structure made of hurdles" (MED). In this case, what is meant are the fortified wooden structures atop the backs of the beasts.
469-72 A which of white selvere . . . with brennande sergis. H notes (pp. 117-18) that although this chest may owe something to the Ark of the Covenant (see Exodus 25), the description is mainly derived from 1 Maccabees 6:43.
477-78 Lered men of the lawe . . . and the psalmys tolde. Aside from being plainly anachronistic, this portrayal of the Jewish priests as Breviary-reading Christian clerics also borders on the heavily ironic. The Siege-poet would seem to be questioning the legitimacy of such learning, the very qualities he himself possesses.
479 Of doughty David the kyng. Alliterative Morte Arthure names David as the sixth of the nine worthies, and uses the same adjective to describe him: "The sixt was David the dere, deemed with kinges / One of the doughtiest that dubbed was ever" (lines 3416-17). Both poems probably borrow the description from Parlement of the Thre Ages, which speaks of "David the doughty" (line 442).
480 Josue, the noble Jewe. Joshua, son of Nun, successor to Moses, and fifth of the nine worthies in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 3414-15).
Judas the knyght. Judas Maccabeus, whose name means "the hammerer," the primary leader of the Maccabean Revolt (167-164 BC) against the Seleucids. The chief sources for information on Judas are 1 and 2 Maccabees and Josephus' retelling of the same in Antiquities of the Jews. Caiaphas is presumably reading the story of how Judas turned back the Seleucid armies in the battle at Beth-zechariah. Judas Maccabeus is listed as the fourth of the nine worthies in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 3412-13). For more on Judas' role in history and in our poem, see Introduction, p. 3, and the explanatory note to line 449.
481 rolle. This detail, not in the poet's known sources, is startling in that it suggests that the Siege-poet has a fair idea of what a Jewish Torah looks like. One wonders how this is possible.
489-522 Waspasian dyvyseth . . . hede to His owne. On how Vespasian's speech reveals the foundational differences between the Jewish and Christian mythologies, see Van Court, "The Siege of Jerusalem and Augustinian Historians," pp. 230-31.
493-94 Here nys king nother knyght comen to this place, / Baroun ne bachelere ne burne that me folweth. As K notes (p. 96), the source for these lines is undoubtedly Wynnere and Wastoure, lines 327-28: "Ne es nothir kaysser, ne kynge, ne knyghte that the folowes, / Barone, ne bachelere, ne beryn that thou loueste."
495 Crist forto venge. King Arthur similarly decides to avenge the death of Christ by invading the Holy Land in Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 3216-17), but his plan is condemned by the poem as vain and misguided and is closely followed by the news that his kingdom has been usurped by Mordred.
504 That preveth His Passioun, whoso the Paas redeth. It is unclear whether a particular passage of the scriptures is being referred to here for the reading of the Pasch, or if the whole of the Easter liturgy itself is meant. Christ's Passion - His sufferings in the period from the Last Supper to His death on the Cross - are intimately connected with the Paschal Feast (Easter), when His resurrection is celebrated. The word Pasch derives from the Jewish feast of Passover (Heb. Pesach), which was traditionally celebrated by the eating of a paschal lamb (Exodus 12: 1-28). Christian exegetes interpreted the serving of the paschal lamb as a prefiguration of the Passion of Christ, the Lamb of God (John 1:29). H supposes (p. 119) that the term is meant to convey Latin passus, the division of an alliterative poem, though this seems an unnecessarily complex reading.
505 Hit nedith noght at this note of Nero to mynde. Vespasian drops the political reasons for the expedition on the basis that all things temporal, including the temporal rule of the emperor, Nero, must ultimately submit to the rule of Christ, the King of Kings (Apocalypse 19:16). The need to avenge Christ, then, supersedes all political aims: even if the Jews gave up their rebellion against Rome and agreed to pay tribute to the emperor once more, the siege would go on. Vespasian admits that his action is against the orders of the emperor.
510 to Rome the realté fallyth. It is possible that Vespasian's argument that mastery of all lands under Heaven belongs to Rome is meant to carry double meaning to readers: in the historical context of the poem's action, Vespasian is speaking of the Roman Empire; in the historical context of the poem's readership, Vespasian is speaking of the papacy in Rome.
511 Bothe the myght and the mayn. Neilson notes ("Huchown," p. 283) this as an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 5825: "all the might & the mayn."
515 pesan. Pizane (from OF pizane). "A piece of metal or mail attached to the helmet and extending over the neck and upper breast" (MED).
520 Bot alle in storijs of stoure and in strength one. As K notes (p. 97), there is possibly a distant echo of Destruction of Troy (line 9015) here: "stowrnes of strenght." The Jewish reliance on stories of battle rather than on battles themselves is immediately reflected in Caiaphas' reading of the past glory of Moses, David, Joshua, and Judas Maccabeus in lines 477-84.
529 With loude clarioun cry and alle kyn pypys. In some manuscripts, the pipes are more specifically designated to be cornmuse pipes. Carter defines these instruments as trumpets (Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, p. 80) and bagpipes with drones (p. 97), respectively. The line is probably echoed by lines 1809-10 of Alliterative Morte Arthure: "With cornus and clariouns these new-made knightes / Lithes unto the cry."
530 Tymbris. Carter defines a timbre (timbrel) as a "small percussion instrument consisting of a wooden cylinder, covered on one end with skin or parchment, and usually equipped with metal disks and a catgut snare; it was played by beating with the hands or by shaking to produce a jingling effect; a rudimentary tambourine" (Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, p. 500).
tabourris. According to Carter, the main definition of tabour is a "small drum, an instrument of minstrelsy" (Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, p. 486), though it is the secondary meaning, "a larger drum used for military purposes (perhaps one with two skins and a cylinder of sufficient depth to provide the volume necessary for military signals, such as the German grosse Hersumper of the 14th century)" (p. 488), that is surely meant here.
536 As thonder and thicke rayn throbolande in skyes. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 283) hears an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 7619 (and compare line 12496, as well): "A thondir with a thicke Rayn thrublit in þe skewes."
547 as a bore loketh. For various proverbial comparisons with boars, see Whiting B387-92.
549 Alle brightned the bent as bemys of sonne. It is somewhat ambiguous whether the battlefield is brightened by the actual illumination of sunbeams or by the metaphorical illumination of falling blood.
553 fanward. The vanguard of a military force (from OF avangarde).
557 Spakly here speres on sprotes they yeden. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes a number of possible lines in Destruction of Troy as a source here: "Speires vnto sprottes sprongen" (line 1195; compare also lines 5783, 6406, 7248, 9666, and 11022). A similar construction also shows up in Wars of Alexander, line 790: "Al to spryngis in sprotis speres."
558 Scheldes as schidwod on scholdres to-cleven. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes an echo in Wars of Alexander, line 789 ("Sone into sheverand shidez shaftez tobristen") as well as one in Awntyrs of Arthur, line 501 ("Schaftis of schene wode thay scheverende in schides").
564 And goutes fram gold wede as goteres they runne. K (p. 97) notes a possible echo of Wars of Alexander, line 4796: "As gotis out of guttars in golnand wedres." The usage is proverbial; see Whiting G495.
570 Girdith out the guttes with grounden speres. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) sees this as an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 9406: "He gird hym thurgh the guttes with a grym speire."
577-81 The burnes in the bretages . . . dyed in that stounde. The detailed exactness of this passage is remarkable: the dust and confusing noise of the battle effectively blinds even those who are atop the wooden towers on the field. The great beasts, similarly blinded, fall amid the chaos of blood, bodies, and weapons, and they take the towers down with them, scattering the men upon the ground. The men, locked in steel and unable to move quickly, are then trampled by the beasts.
580 hurdighs. See explanatory note to line 460.
582 Was non left upon lyve that alofte standeth. As K notes (p. 98), the line is very much like that found in Destruction of Troy, line 4764: "Was no lede opon lyfe þat a lofte stode."
594 Chaire and chaundelers and charbokel stones. As both Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) and K (p. 98) note, this line may be derived from Destruction of Troy, line 3170: "Chaundelers full chefe and charbokill stones."
603 So was the bent over-brad, blody by-runne. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes the similarity to Destruction of Troy, line 11141: "All the bent of þat birr blody beronnen." Alliterative Morte Arthure, line 1863, appears to echo either Troy or Siege here, too: "The bente and the brode feld all on blood runnes!" The b-verse is formulaic.
608 merevail were ellis. This construction is a rather formulaic half-line of a similar type to that which occurs in Alliterative Morte Arthure, line 3595.
612 complyn tyme. Compline is the last of the seven daily offices formalized by the Rule of St. Benedict, to be completed just before the monastic house retired for the night. The service consists of psalms appropriate for the time of day, an evening hymn, and a canticle based on Luke 2:9 (Nunc dimittis [Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace]). K notes (p. xxiii) the appropriateness of a reference to compline within this context, as the battle "stages the beginning of this divine judgment on the Jews in the scene of the last judgment of all," the valley of Josaphat (see the explanatory note to line 431). One might also note that, in the structure of the poem, this reference to compline falls just as the poem moves into the central event of the work: the execution of Caiaphas and the setting of a siege upon Jerusalem.
613-15 An hundred thousand helmes . . . Save seven thousand of the somme, that to the cité flowen. This 100,000 may refer to the men on horseback (see the explanatory note to lines 445-88), or it may be the number of footmen involved in the battle. Regardless, the small number of survivors is just as exaggerated as the total numbers involved in the battle (the poet's source reads 53,000): 93,000 dead out of 100,000 would rate this not only as one of the bloodiest days of battle in history, but also one of the most lopsided. By contrast, some estimates of the death toll at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461 in Yorkshire, in which Edward IV won his crown over Lancastrian forces, hover around 28,000; the first day British losses at the Battle of the Somme have gone down to history as 57,470 out of roughly 100,000 men engaged, of which 19,420 were dead; and even the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 saw "only" 60,000 soldiers of the British army taken captive. Given such numbers, it might be more proper to term the engagement described in the poem as a massacre.
617-19 Ledes lepen to anon . . . with brouden chaynes. As K notes (p. 98), these lines are reminiscent of Destruction of Troy, lines 10462-64: "Þai wan in wightly, warpit to þe yates, / Barrit hom full bigly with boltes of yerne; / Braid vp the brigges in a breme hast."
620 portecolis with pile. A portcullis with pins that set into holes in the ground, helping to stabilize the gate against battering rams.
624-25 With grete stones of gret and of gray marble. / Kepten kenly with caste the kernels alofte. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes an echo of Wars of Alexander, line 1395: "Kenely thai kepe with castyng of stanes."
625 kernels. Battlements, especially crenelations (from OF crenel).
626 querels. A square-headed crossbow bolt (from OF quarel).
quarters. A crossbow (from OF quartot).
643 besauntes. A bezant is literally a "gold coin of Byzantium," but the use of the word is extended in Middle English to include "several similar coins minted in Western Europe" as well as "various Biblical coins" (MED). The MED also cites usage of the word to denote "a bezant used as an ornament, an ornament resembling a bezant."
649 toures of tre that they taken hadde. That is, the wooden towers taken from the fallen elephants, now pressed into service by the besieging Romans.
651 garrite. A watchtower used in siege operations (from OF garite).
658 And arwes unarwely with attyr envenymyd. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes an echo of Wars of Alexander, line 1390: "Archers with arowes of atter envenmonyd."
670 Schoten up scharply to the schene walles. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 4739: "Shottyn vp sharply at the shene wallis." See the explanatory note to line 820, as well. A similar line also shows up in Wars of Alexander, line 1391: "Schotis vp scharply at shalkis on þe wallis."
671 arblastes. A crossbow (from OF arbaleste).
674-77 Hote playande picche . . . right as schyre water. Though familiar to modern audiences from countless presentations in the movies, using burning oil to defend against a siege is first recorded in Josephus' defense of Jotapata, which ultimately lies behind this passage of Josephus' wiles (see note to line 789-96, below).
681-92 By that wrightes han wroght a wonder stronge pale . . . That they no water myght wynne that weren enclosed. Aside from acting as a fulfillment to the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 19:41-44, this central climax of the hysteron proteron structure of the poem (see Introduction, pp. 30-36) might also echo back to Jeremias 4:16-17: "Say ye to the nations: Behold it is heard in Jerusalem, that guards are coming from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Juda. They are set round about her, as keepers of fields: because she hath provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord."
682 bastiles. Tall towers (from F bastille).
710 tourmented on a tre, topsail walten. It is possible that the description here is of an inverted crucifixion, though an upside-down hanging is also possible. As vengeance for the death of Christ, an inverted crucifixion would seem appropriate, though it would also carry vestiges of the death of St. Peter, who is said to have demanded that he be crucified upside-down so as not to seem the equal of Christ.
724 for the bischop soule. That is, for the soul of Saint James the Less (James the Just, brother of the Lord), who was the supposed first bishop of Jerusalem (a fact probably inferred from Acts 12:17 and 21:18). James was said to have been martyred in AD 57 at the Temple by a mob of Jews angry that Paul had escaped local punishment by appealing to Rome and Caesar. James was thrown from the top of the pinnacle of the Temple, and then stoned to death while he prayed for Christ to forgive those who were persecuting him. Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea recounts the story, noting that "Josephus states that it was in punishment of the murder of Saint James that the destruction of Jerusalem was permitted" (trans. Ryan and Ripperger, p. 264). Jacobus then proceeds to tell his account of the destruction. The passage of Josephus referred to is in Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1.
727 In tokne of tresoun and trey that they wroght. Caiaphas, as head of the priests, is given primary responsibility for the death of Christ in the poem.
729-37 By that was the day don . . . to cacchen hem reste. As noted in the Introduction (pp. 11- 13), these lines are almost assuredly influenced by Destruction of Troy, lines 7348-56.
735 Chosen chyventayns out. The chieftains chosen before the Romans retire are the chiefs of the watch, a fact made clear in the next line, where mention is made of the "chekwecche": literally, the "check-watch," an officer whose duty is to check the status of the posted nightwatchmen.
745-64 Waspasian bounys of bedde . . . with saphyres sett the sydes aboute. The arming topos is a popular one in late medieval literature, perhaps made most famous by the extended arming of Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. For an overview, see Brewer, "The Arming of the Warrior."
757 The glowes of gray steel, that were with gold hemmyd. Oakden (Alliterative Poetry in Middle English, p. 100) notes that Alliterative Morte Arthure, line 912, might pick up this line from Siege: "His gloves gaylich gilt and graven at the hemmes."
760 avental. An aventail (from OF esventail), the "lower front piece of a helmet" or more simply "a vent or an air hole in a helmet" (MED). The MED also lists usage of the word to designate "a piece of chain mail protecting the lower face, neck, and part of the upper chest, later extending around the upper back." A "vent" in armor also appears, quite famously, in Alliterative Morte Arthure, lines 4249-51, where Arthur raises up Mordred's "fente" in order to kill him. Though most commentators have read this as the faceplate of the helm (in agreement with the MED), Sutton ("Mordred's End") has recently argued persuasively that the "fente is the cover protecting Mordred's backside." Though the context here makes such a reading unlikely, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
770 the bras rynges. Not brass rings, but ringing brass; that is, the gates of the city are supposed to be made of brass. H speculates (p. 132) that, since a similar depiction of brazen gates appears in the Egerton Mandeville's Travels, "such architectural features may have [been] recognized as uniquely Palestinian."
774 thogh ye fey worthe. I have glossed this in the sense of "even if you are dying," but it is possible that it could be glossed as "though you work magic." In either case, the sense is clear: the Jews cannot get food or water through the siege.
777-80 The pale that I pight have . . . in scholde ye tourne. The syntax is difficult to follow here, but the sense is clear enough: Vespasian boasts that even if any of the Jews were to pass through the palisade that he has built to enclose the town and the odds were forty Romans against five hundred Jews and the Jews were all giants, still the Jews would be turned back.
786 the devel have that recche. This idiomatic, perhaps proverbial phrase means "may the devil take anyone who cares"; see MED: recchen, v. 2. K notes (p. 99) a correspondence with Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 447: "And he was dede of that dynt: the deuyll hafe that reche." The phrase also appears in King Edward and the Shepherd, line 312, and Piers Plowman A.7.112. It might be possible to read recche as "wretch" (deriving from OE wrecca rather than OE reccan) though the MED does not list the spelling as an alternative for the expected ME wrecche. And compare, for instance, this poem's own orthography in "wrecchys," line 302.
789-96 By that a Jewe, Josophus, the gentyl clerke . . . water schold fayle. The story of Josephus' clever attempts to convince the Romans that the siege is ineffective is actually, as K notes (pp. 99-100), a detail that ultimately derives from historical events at the siege of Jotapata; see Josephus, Wars of the Jews 3.7.10-20. Such ruses would be familiar to readers of many medieval romances, however. In The Avowyng of Arthur, lines 1051-1126, for example, Baldwin tells how he and his garrison, trapped by an opposing army, caused the siege to be lifted by putting out the last of their food and drink for a sumptuous feast attended by an emissary of the besiegers. Seeing such an abundance of supplies being so wantonly wasted, the emissary reported that the siege would never succeed; the invading army left.
822 Fought right felly, foyned with speres. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 286) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 10287 (compare also lines 4753 and 5795): "ffell was the fight foynyng of speires."
830 as the storyj telleth. The source referred to here is Higden's Polychronicon, though a number of different sources have been used in the compilation of the poem as a whole. See Introduction, pp. 21-23.
840 archelers. As K notes (p. 100), the term derives from Medieval Latin archelharia, meaning a type of balista.
841 spryngoldes. I.e., missiles (usually heavy stones) thrown from catapults (from AN springalde).
842 Dryven dartes adoun, geven depe woundes. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 284) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 4741: "Dryuen vp dartes, gyffen depe woundes." See the explanatory note to line 670, as well.
855-56 Bot daunsyng and no deil with dynnyng of pipis / And the nakerer noyse alle the nyght-tyme. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 324) notes a possible echo of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 118: "Nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes."
856 nakerer. A kettledrum player (from OF naquere). A "naker" is a "type of kettledrum introduced into Europe by the crusaders, consisting, in varying sizes, of a hemispherical body of metal or wood with skin stretched tightly over the top" (Carter, Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, p. 317).
862 That were freschere to fight than at the furst tyme. H (p. 136) notes a parallel line in Destruction of Troy, line 9862.
881 For ther as fayleth the fode ther is feynt strengthe. Proverbial: Whiting F390.
882 And ther as hunger is hote, hertes ben feble. Proverbial: Whiting H645.
886 masers. A soldier equipped with a mace (from OF massier).
889 we wol hunten at the hart. As Lawton explains, the detail of the besiegers going hunting and hawking during the siege is true to conventions; see "Titus Goes Hunting and Hawking."
891 Ride to the rever and rere up the foules. Compare Parlement of Thre Ages, lines 208 and 217: "And ryde to a revere redily thereaftir . . . To the revere with thaire roddes to rere up the fewles." See explanatory note to line 889.
900 Senek. Nero ordered that Seneca, his tutor and advisor, kill himself on the accusation that Seneca had worked to replace him on the throne with Calpurnius Piso. Seneca loyally complied (a fate shared by Lucan). Subsequent medieval writers, drawn to Seneca's literary works, were quick to add the act to a long list of crimes worthy of condemnation on Nero's part. Seneca is subsequently cited in Mum and the Sothsegger (a work reacting against Richard II's haughty treatment of advisors) as an example of right counsel (see lines 205 and 1212).
901 His modire. The murder of his mother Agrippina was a popular medieval image of Nero's brutality: he is said to have caused his mother's womb to be cut open and dissected so that he could see where he had come from - that she died in the process did not seem to disturb him. This terrible event was often used as an exemplum on why physicians should not perform dissection on human bodies.
his mylde wif. Probably a reference to Nero's second wife, Poppaea Sabina. She pushed his first wife Octavia off of the throne, then (supposedly) encouraged Nero to kill his mother and Seneca (see explanatory notes to line 900 and 901, above). In AD 65, Nero kicked her to death while she was pregnant with their second child. Before becoming Nero's mistress and wife, Poppaea was married to the future emperor, Otho.
904 To quelle the emperour quyk. Nero died on 9 June 68, beginning the Year of Four Emperors in which civil wars led to the short terms of Galba, Otho, and Vitellius.
913 with his teth he toggeth and byteth. Though the Siege-poet is here relying heavily on the death of Nero in Legenda aurea, he has worked hard to paint Nero as a trapped animal. See the explanatory notes to lines 900 and 901.
926 Gabba. Servius Sulpicius Galba (r. 68-69). After Nero's suicide, Galba was quick to march on Rome (he had earlier in the year joined Julius Vindex in instigating a revolt against Nero) and proclaim himself the new Roman emperor. Like Nero, Galba is well known to the Middle Ages for his avarice. One of his early supporters, Otho, turned against him and gathered the support of the praetorians who ultimately murdered Galba (OCD). See the explanatory note to line 927.
927 Othis Lucyus. Marcus Salvius Otho (r. 69). Once a supporter of Galba's claim to the throne, Otho grew angry when Galba named Calpurnius as his successor. He pushed the praetorians to revolt against Galba, resulting in the emperor's murder (OCD). As K notes (p. xxi), the name "Otho Lucius" clearly marks this passage as indebted to Higden's Polychronicon. Otho's personal involvement in the death of his predecessor also makes this debt clear, since the other identified sources for the Siege make no mention of his presence at the murder. See the explanatory note to line 926.
938 Vitel. Aulus Vitellius (r. 69). After Otho's suicide, Vitellius was proclaimed emperor by his troops and made a march on Rome. He failed to gather the support of the eastern legions, however, who began to proclaim Vespasian as the new emperor. As prefect of Rome, Vespasian's eldest brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, came into direct conflict with Vitellius and was killed. Ultimately, however, his forces defeated those soldiers loyal to Vitellius and the emperor "was dragged through the streets, humiliated, tortured, and killed" (OCD).
939 Sire Sabyn. The Siege-poet conflates two men with the name Sabinus. The historical Sabinus referred to here is Vespasian's eldest brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, who was executed by Vitellius (see explanatory note to line 938). Elsewhere, however, the poet refers to a Sir Sabinus of Syria, developed from a minor character who ultimately comes from Josephus' account (Wars of the Jews 6.1.6). This latter Sabinus was simply a warrior who defeats a number of Jews prior to his death on the walls and whose example spurs the Romans to conquer the Fortress Antonia. A similar story is told in this poem at lines 1197-1216.
943 naked as an nedul. See the explanatory note to line 365.
945 his guttes alle. Vitellius was a notorious glutton, a fact brought out by his murderers in the peculiarities of their butchery.
979 And me the gates ben get and golden the keyes. This line appears to be an echo of lines 398 and 575 in Parlement of the Thre Ages: "While hym the gatis were yete and yolden the keyes."
989-90 who doth by another / Schal be soferayn hymself, sein in the werke. The line seems to be proverbial, though nothing similar is attested in either Whiting or Tilley's Dictionary of the Proverbs in England. It certainly has the ring of a legal formulation: anyone who has another act on his behalf is fully responsible after the fact. See the explanatory note to lines 991-92, where this principle is given a concrete example.
991-92 For as fers is the freke atte ferre ende / That of fleis the fel as he that foot holdeth. The example (a proverb, see Whiting F112) is meant to prove the truth of the "legal judgment" in the previous two lines by pointing out that the man (freke) who stands apart from someone (atte ferre ende) and flays the flesh from their foot (usually using a leather whip of some kind) is just as fierce as the man who is holding them down for the torture (he that foot holdeth). H remarks (p. 142) that the "comparison, valorizing, not simply physical savagery, but psychological viciousness, seems stated in reverse," but the apparent reversal actually fits neatly with Sabinus' point. Even if Vespasian must return to Rome and act from afar, it is he who is truly responsible for what Sabinus and those on the ground in Jerusalem accomplish. Sabinus and the others might be the hands-on party (holding the foot, as it were), but the true ferocity of the Roman force will always be Vespasian. See the explanatory note to lines 989-90. H notes "the different discussion of counsel as a form of agency" in Mum and the Sothsegger, lines 743-50.
994 Domyssian, his brother. Titus Flavius Domitian (r. 81-96), a younger brother of Titus.
1006 Made weys throw the walles for wenes and cartes. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 286) notes an echo of Wars of Alexander, line 1324: "And makez a way wyde enogh waynez for to mete."
1013 fayn as the foul of day. Proverbial; see Whiting F561 and F566.
1047 A man to the mody kyng that he moste hated. The identity of the man whom Titus so passionately despises is not given. We might speculate that the man is Pilate - given Titus' visceral reaction to him and the overriding need to secure safe conduct for his transportation to and from the besieged city - but the episode ends with Titus forgiving the anonymous man. Given Titus' eventual actions toward Pilate, this would be difficult to understand. The poet's primary source for this part of the poem, Legenda aurea, says that the unnamed man is a former servant of Titus that had been thrown in prison; Josephus sits the two men at table together after promises are given that no harm will come to the prisoner. Here, however, it is clear that the man is from the city, presumably a Jew.
1049-62 Whan Tytus saw that segge . . . to go where he wolde. Josephus' cure is in accordance with medieval humoral theory. Titus is suffering from a malady that makes him cold (line 1030) and lethargic (line 1032). At a humoral level, then, Titus' sorrow at his father's departure has caused him to grow phlegmatic: an overabundance of phlegm has caused him to become apathetic. Since phlegm is the cold and wet humor, Josephus' solution is to make Titus hot and dry by provoking him to anger, the sign of a choleric personality brought on by the production of yellow bile in the gall bladder. The blood grows hot in Titus, and his anger spurns him to break free from his apathy.
1078 Ded as a dore-nayl. Proverbial: Whiting D352. This half-line also occurs in Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 65.
1079 as wolves they ferde. The conditions within the city have reduced the Jews to the status of ravenous beasts.
1081-96 On Marie, a myld wyf . . . and alle hire blode chaungeth. The story of the mother driven so mad by hunger that she murders her infant son and eats him is a powerful one. Though the poet's direct source is surely Legenda aurea, the story ultimately derives from the account of Josephus (Wars of the Jews 6.3.4), who is probably adopting a story of a mother's cannibalism of her child during the siege of Samaria by Ben-hadad (told in 4 Kings [2 Kings] 6:28-29) by filtering it through the Lamentations of Jeremias (especially 2:20). The story is remarkably popular in the late Middle Ages. Merrall Llewelyn Price notes an "almost pathological proliferation of versions of the Maria story" at that time (p. 289). Sources of the story are as diverse as John of Salisbury's Polycraticus, Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale, Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium, and even Dante's depiction of the Gluttonous in Purgatorio 23.28-30: Ecco / la gente che perdé Ierusalemme, / quando Maria nel figlio diè di becco ["Behold the people who lost Jerusalem, when Mary plunged her beak into her son" - trans. Singleton]. Though she is unnamed in Legenda aurea, the mother is named Mary in most accounts of the story (including that of Josephus). Three manuscripts of the beta family of Siege of Jerusalem, including D, however, name her as Marion. The change of name is probably due to a desire to distance this mother from the Holy Mother. For more on the motif of mother-child cannibalism in the Vengeance of Our Lord tradition, and especially on the strong affinities between the Jewess and the Virgin Mary, see Price, "Imperial Violence and the Monstrous Mother." Price includes several manuscript illuminations of the incident from the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century accounts.
1093 in a wode hunger. It is possible that this phrase belongs to Mary's speech, but I have followed other editors (and the poet's source material) in attributing it to the narrator.
1101-04 Than they demeden a dom . . . bot her stor mardyn. The situation of the Jews is so desperate that they make the decision to kill all noncombatants in order to preserve resources. This is surely an embellishment on the part of the poet, and one that is not preserved in the sources. The only possible parallel, as K notes (p. 102), is a passage in Vindicta Salvatoris reporting that eleven thousand Jews killed themselves so that they would not fall prisoners to the Romans.
1107 For he is wise that is war or hym wo hape. Proverbial: Whiting W392.
1108 And with falsede afere is fairest to dele. The line seems to be proverbial, though nothing similar is attested in either Whiting or Tilley's Dictionary of the Proverbs in England.
1111 With mynours and masouns myne they bygonne. The Jews are not mining under the walls of the city (a counterproductive act in a siege) but mining under the walls that the Romans have erected to prevent both their escape and their procurement of supplies. As H observes (p. 146), the subsequent attack on Titus allows him "to participate in a scene of personal danger analogous to that faced by Vespasian at 815-18."
1118 jepouns and jambers. I.e., tunics and leg-guards. French terminology.
1126 That the fure out flewe as of flynt-stonys. K (p. 102) posits a potential echo of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 459: "Þat þe fyr of þe flynt flaõe fro fole houes."
1137 Jon the jenfulle, that the Jewes ladde. Four manuscripts, all of the beta family (including D), name Josephus here, while the L text names the leader as John. Yet another text, that found in British Library, MS Cotton Caligula A.ii, Part I, reads Iona. John of Gischala is surely meant in these latter texts, as this is the name recorded in Josephus, Wars of the Jews 4.2.1. Higden, believed to be the Siege-poet's direct source for this portion of the poem, clearly reads Johannes (Polychronicon, book 4), though later scribes may simply have mistaken John to mean Josephus, whose name was more clearly associated with the Jewish defense of Judaea. See explanatory note to line 1138.
1138 Symond. Simon, son of Gioras. According to Josephus, John and Simon's mutual disdain placed the city in a state of near-constant civil war for the duration of the siege. Higden says that they had put their differences aside, however, in order to face the mutual enemy at full strength. Regardless, the Siege-poet has written any disagreements out of the story and thus follows Higden in portraying a more or less unified Jewish defense. See explanatory note to line 1137.
1143 floryns. As the currency of Florence, florins became the common currency of international trade in medieval Europe, akin to the euro today.
1157 Josophus to preche. According to Josephus' account, he agreed to try to convince John to move the fight from a siege to a battle on open ground once again as Titus was particularly concerned about causing damage to the Temple (Wars of the Jews 6.2.1). In that account, of course, Josephus had defected to the Roman side after the fall of Jotapata. The portrayal here is quite different, however, as Josephus is among the Jews in Jerusalem, ordering his people to surrender the city and submit to Titus, who has sworn to destroy the Temple. The conflation is roughly managed at best.
1173 tille two yeres ende. Another exaggeration, as the historic siege was a matter of months, not years. But the poet is here following Legenda aurea, which claims a far more drawn-out process.
1175 Eleven hundred thousand Jewes. The number of dead (1,100,000) is an exaggeration, but the point is surely to emphasize the enormous loss of life on the part of the Jews. See above, p. 5n14.
1195 At eche kernel was cry and quasschyng of wepne. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, lines 4752 ("At yche cornell of þe castell was crusshyng of weppon") and 11090 ("Kene was the crie with crusshyng of weppyn"). See also the explanatory note to line 1198.
1198 Leyth a ladder to the wal and alofte clymyth. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 4751: "Layn ladders alenght & oloft wonnen." See also the explanatory note to line 1195.
1203-04 That the brayn out brast at both nosethrylles / And Sabyn, ded of the dynt, into the diche falleth. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287), noting that Sabinus had reached the wall via ladder, points out the echoes of Destruction of Troy, lines 4755-56: "Till þai lept of the ladder, light in the dyke, / The brayne out brast & the brethe leuyt."
1215 this was the Paske-evene. Although the historical events being described fall some months after Passover, the poet's sources have perhaps changed the chronology for a theological point: divine vengeance will no longer pass over the Jews, as they refused to recognize Christ.
1221-36 Or the gates were yete . . . throw dynt of a slynge. These portents do not take place over the course of the preceding year as indicated in line 1221; rather, they took place across the forty years in which vengeance was stayed (lines 19-24). The change is due to the poet's source, Higden's Polychronicon. On the abrupt introduction of these portents, Chism writes:
These afterthoughts of portents emphatically separate the invaders from the victims by retroactively constructing a vulturelike signifier of Jewish doom. The sword and the army appear in the sky as divine retributions, looming above and beyond the city but themselves inaccessible and aloof. By situating these ancient portents unsequentially at the moment the walls of the city are finally broken and Romans are pouring in, the poem resists the disintegratory culmination toward which the battle fervor tends. It extracts the Romans from the danger presented by the breach of Jewish walls - the boundary that separates them - and transforms the vulnerable Roman army into an invulnerable heavenly one (Chism, "The Siege of Jerusalem: Liquidating Assets," p. 327).Though Chism implies that the portents are a later part of the Vengeance of Our Lord tradition, or perhaps even from the hand of the Siege-poet alone, their source is none other than Josephus. And their appearance at this point in the story of the destruction of Jerusalem is not "unsequential" in the tradition by any means. In Wars of the Jews 6.5.3, in describing the conflagration of the Temple after the fall of the city to the Romans, Josephus describes a series of ill omens, what he terms "denunciations" of God, beginning with a "star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year"; there is uncertainty whether Josephus here means to indicate two phenomena (a star and a comet) or one (a star-like comet), but the fact that the comet is said to last one year is surely behind the later mistake that the omens lasted only the year of the siege itself. The other omens - an army in the clouds (lines 1225-26), a heifer birthing in the Temple (lines 1227-28), and a man who dies upon the wall proclaiming woe to Jerusalem - also originate in Josephus' Wars of the Jews 6.5.3.
1227 A calf agen kynde calved in the Temple. Numbers 19:1-10 describes the ritualized sacrifice of a red heifer as a purification offering, an act that would have been practiced in the Temple with some regularity. The omen is in Josephus' Wars of the Jews 6.5.3 (see explanatory note to lines 1221-36, above), but might have had additional significance for Christian exegetes (if not to Josephus himself): that the heifer calves just as the priests were preparing the sacrifice symbolizes that a New Law (the Lamb of Christ) has replaced the Old Law and thus the old ways of sacrifice. Paul makes explicit reference to this very exchange in Hebrews 9: 13-14, referring to the sacrifice of the heifers as "dead works" now that Christ has taken all sacrifices upon Himself:
For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?This miracle is clearly one more means for the Siege-poet, following his sources, to demonstrate the divine authority of Christ and the Christian Church as the new Israel, heirs to a new Jerusalem.
Of more contemporary note, Ultra-Orthodox Jews believe that the Temple destroyed by Titus and Vespasian cannot be rebuilt without the rite of purification, a potential problem toward re-establishing the most holy of sites in Jerusalem since red cows are thought to have been extinct for centuries. One was born in Israel in 1997, however, raising fears that radical Israelis would use the heifer as an excuse to move violently against the Palestinians. One liberal newspaper wrote that the "potential harm from this heifer is far greater than the destructive properties of a terrorist bomb"; the editor recommended that the red cow, then a ten-month old calf named Melody, be shot at once. See Bronner, "Portent in a Pasture?"
1229 a wye on the wal. Though anonymous here, this figure is identified by Josephus (Wars of the Jews 6.5.3) as a certain Jesus ben Ananias. Josephus relates that during the Feast of Tabernacles, four years before the war against Rome began, Jesus began to cry out incessantly: "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people." When the Roman procurator Albinus had him beaten and flayed, his answer to every strike of the implements was, "Wo, wo to Jerusalem." For seven years and five months he would say little else. Then, during the siege of Jerusalem, he would go about the walls saying "Wo, wo to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house." According to Josephus (and related in Siege, lines 1233-36), he added at one point "Wo, wo to myself also," and at that moment was struck and killed by a stone from one of the Roman siege engines.
The fact that the later traditions treat Jesus ben Ananias as an anonymous "voice of the people" - in La Venjance Nostre Seigneur (lines 1044-1110) the man is an idiot who has been proclaiming woe to Jerusalem for twenty years and whose death is caused by a random missile in an unsuccessful Roman attempt to breach the walls which is thenceforth regarded as an omen among the besieged Jews - might be due to the fact that his name was potentially discomforting or simply confusing. Perhaps, too, later exegetes felt that he was better nameless, when he could be thought to represent the sentinels said to be watching over the city and preparing for the ultimate salvation of Zion in Isaias 62:6: "Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen all the day, and all the night, they shall never hold their peace. You that are mindful of the Lord, hold not your peace." See the explanatory note to lines 1231-32.
1231-32 Wo, wo, wo. Though the pronouncement is made against Jerusalem and the Temple - the former in conjunction with the poet's source, Josephus' Wars of the Jews 6.5.3 - an exegetical connection was probably Apocalypse 8:13 (itself hearkening back to Jeremias 13:27): "And I beheld: and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice: Woe, Woe, Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, by reason of the rest of the voices of the three angels, who are yet to sound the trumpet!" On this mysterious prophetic voice, see the explanatory note to line 1229.
1239 the byschup, Seint Jame. See explanatory note to line 724, above.
1242 Without brunee and bright wede, in here bare chertes. Forced into submission, the Jews come forth just as Vespasian requested when he first arrived at the gates (lines 349-54).
1251 balies as barels. Proverbial; see Whiting B53.
1263 Out the tresour to take Tytus commaundyth. Josephus' account claims that Titus tried to protect the Temple, but that it was destroyed by accident during an assault on a hard-line group of Jews - Titus only having glanced at its interior and only recovering Temple materials from surrendering priests. Regardless of the accuracy of Josephus' account, we know that Titus did, indeed, take possession of a number of Temple artifacts that were displayed when he returned to Rome in triumph. The Arch of Titus, commissioned to commemorate the event, depicts the Temple menorah among other items.
1268 Bassynes of brend gold and other bryght gere. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 3169: "Bassons of bright gold, & oþer brode vessell." Oakden (Alliterative Poetry in Middle English, p. 100) records a similar line in Cleanness, line 1456: "For þer wer bassynes ful bryõt of brende golde clere."
1281 Now masouns and mynours han the molde soughte. The historical destruction took place around 26 September 70, but the poem's timeline is far off from this. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 4774: "Mynours then mightely the moldes did serche."
1289-96 Nas no ston in the stede stondande alofte . . . "Now is this stalwourthe stede distroied forevere." The utter destruction of the Temple, in addition to the significance discussed in the Introduction, pp. 30-36, might also be intended to fulfill the prophecies of Jeremias 9:11 ("And I will make Jerusalem to be heaps of sand, and dens of dragons: and I will make the cities of Juda desolate, for want of an inhabitant") and 26:18 ("Sion shall be ploughed like a field, and Jerusalem shall be a heap of stones: and the mountain of the house the high places of woods"), the latter taken from Micheas 3:12.
1290 Morter ne mude-walle bot alle to mulle fallen. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes a distant echo of Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 433: "In manere of a mode walle that made were with hondes."
1292 Bot doun betyn and brent into blake erthe. Neilson ("Huchown," p. 287) notes an echo of Destruction of Troy, line 4777: "Betyn doun the buyldynges & brent into erthe."
1296 distroied forevere. The same half-line is used to describe the exploits of the dead Sir Gawain in Alliterative Morte Arthure (line 3873).
1301-34 Pilat proffrith hym forth . . . corsedlich deied. Pilate's life after the Crucifixion is shrouded in mystery, as no official records have survived. Though the Siege-poet is here following his primary sources in claiming that Pilate was still in Jerusalem at the time of the siege and taken into custody by Titus, such a scenario is historically unlikely. The idea that Pilate eventually committed suicide can be traced back to Eusebius of Caesarea, who cites unnamed records as showing that Pilate was forced to kill himself during the reign of Caligula, probably in the late 30s (Ecclesiastical History 2.7); still, there is no evidence that this is more than Christian revisionist history. For a fuller account of Pilate's later literary life, see Growth, "Pontius Pilate."
1312 This line, omitted in a number of manuscripts (including L) does not alliterate without emendation. In correcting the line I have followed H (p. 155), who also proposes another possible reconstruction:
Perhaps a better line would see the initial conjunction (in L's usual form, þey) as the remnants of original þof of. . . . In this interpretation, the second word would have been lost in all mss. through haplography, to the great muddling of the construction; and the archetypal text would have read had be fourmed. . . . We would translate this reconstruction: "Although a hundred florins had been created from each farthing."
See also the textual note to this line.
1325 Josophus, the gentile clerke. The double meaning of gentile is clearly evident: Josephus is not just "noble," but also, perhaps, a "gentile," having forsaken his Jewish comrades in order to join the Romans.
1328 Vienne. L is alone in clearly giving Viterbo as the location of Pilate's imprisonment and death. Most copies in the beta family give the location as Vienne, a town in France's Rhone valley. Traditional accounts claim that Pilate's body was thrown into the Tiber after his death, but that evils plagued the area until the body was removed and placed elsewhere. According to one strand of legend, it was only in this second internment that Pilate was brought to Vienne and thrown into the Rhone (a Pilate's Tomb can still be seen in the area). Other legends place his final resting place as a lake near Lausanne or in a tomb beneath one of several mountains bearing the name Mt. Pilate.
1340 Now rede us our Lorde. This sort of conclusionary half-line is common to many alliterative poems. For example, one appears near the end of Alliterative Morte Arthure (line 3992).
SIEGE OF JERUSALEM: TEXTUAL NOTESABBREVIATIONS: see Explanatory Notes, and the list of manuscripts in the Introduction
Minor orthographical differences have been disregarded in the construction of these notes, and the spelling provided follows either that of the first manuscript cited in a sequence or of the most common spelling in the sequence. It should also be noted that this is not a full accounting of textual variants between the many copies of the poem. Rather, these notes are an accounting of instances either where an alternative reading from the base text (L) has been adopted or where the text here presented differs from that of previous editors. Those students and scholars interested in accessing a fuller apparatus are encouraged to consult the edition of Hanna and Lawton (H), which greatly improves upon the readings provided in the earlier edition of Kölbing and Day (K).
1 Every effort has been made to place internal half-line separations in accordance with the scribe's punctus elevatus marking the same. Indents in the text correspond to large initials in L.
4 Judeus londis. So L, followed by K. D, E Judees londe, followed by H.
5 Herodes. So L, followed by K. U, C Herode, followed by H.
6 was. So L. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K, H.
10 and. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
11 by-wente. So L, U, D, E, C, followed by K. H emends to vmbywente.
12 He. So L, U, D, E, C, followed by K. P, A omit, followed by H.
in. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: on.
13 Hym. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
mannes. So L, followed by H. P, D: men. A, U: mens, followed by K.
14 Hym1. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
16 berne. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, H. L, E, C: man.
bolled. So L, followed by K. U, E: bobbed, followed by H.
17 was. So L, followed by K. H omits.
18 Hym. So L, A, followed by K. P omits, followed by H.
a2. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
23 Fourty. L: XL. I have expanded Roman numeration silently on all subsequent occasions.
wynter as. So P, A, U, E, followed by K, H. L: wynter was as.
24 Or. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: Our.
25 that. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E: on, followed by H.
26 gate. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: gaten.
27-28 The quatrain is broken in all extant copies. H assumes a loss of only two lines and numbers accordingly, a decision I have followed to facilitate cross-referencing between texts.
29 noyet. So L, followed by K. U: neght. P, A, D, C: neõet, followed by H.
hym in. So E, followed by K. L: hym into. P, U, D, C: hym to in, followed by H.
30 inmyddis. So P, U, D, C, followed by H. L: amyd. A: in the myddis of. E: amyddis, followed by K.
33 is. So L, followed by K. U, E, C omit. P, A, D: a, followed by H.
34 in. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: on, followed by K.
35 upon. So L, followed by K. P: of. A: up heghe in. U, D, C: up in, followed by H.
40 For in. So L, A, followed by K. P omits line. U, D, C: Of, followed by H. E omits.
43-44 The quatrain is broken in all extant copies. H assumes a loss of only two lines and numbers accordingly, a decision I have followed to facilitate cross-referencing between texts.
45 Nathan. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: Nothan. P: Natan.
Grece. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K. L: Grecys, followed by H.
48 a2. So A, followed by D88, H. L, P, U, D, E, D omit, followed by K.
49 out. So L, A, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
55 salt. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: wode.
56 dryveth. So P, C, followed by H. L: drof, followed by K. A: he drave. U, E: dryved. D: drivyn.
swythe. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: faste, followed by K. A: full swythe.
57 wolcon. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: wolcom.
58 on loude. So P. A: one the lande. L: gon, followed by K. H emends to on lofte.
59 roos. So L, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K. P: roof, followed by H.
61 Hit. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
62 the. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, D88, H. L omits.
64 hurtled. So L, U, followed by K. P, A: hurled, followed by H. D, C: hit hurlid. E: it hurtlyd.
66 worche. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: worthe, followed by K.
hem. So P, A, followed by H. L: hit, followed by K. U, D, E, C: they.
68 uncouth costes. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: costes uncouth, followed by H.
kayrande on. So H. L: kevereth, followed by K. P: yerne on. A: kayrande full. U, D, C: caried hem. E: caryed þanne.
69 unradly. So L, P, followed by K. A: full rathely. U, E, C: ful redely. D: ful radly. H emends to on radly.
72 alle. So L, A, followed by K. P: he. U: she. D, E, C: hit. H emends to õo.
74 Stroke. So L, followed by H. P: Strake over þe. A: Starke, followed by K. U, D, E, C omit line.
76 byr. So P, A, C, followed by K, H. L: by. U: birth. D, E: breyd.
78 citezeins. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: suth. E: peple.
hem. So A, U, D, C, followed by K, D88, H. L, P omit. E: they.
82 hym. So P. A, D, C: hem, followed by K, D88, H. L, U omit.
84 L places the caesura prior to sent, though K's placement (followed by H) is far more reasonable.
seignour. So U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: senatour. P: senur. A: senyõoures. Nero is clearly not a senator but the emperor of Rome.
86 of the Jewen lawe. So U, C, followed by D88. L: of Jewen lawe, followed by K. P, A: over þe Jewes alle, followed by H. D, E omit line.
87 lene. So L, followed by H. P, A: lenged, followed by K. U, D, E, C omit line.
88 God made. So L, P, followed by K. A: gome aughte, followed by H. U, D, E, C omit line.
94 that2. So L, E, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: as, followed by H.
95 worldlich. So L. P, D, E, C: worthy. A: wirchipfull. U: worthly. K emends to worlich, followed by H.
101 telle. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: sey.
106 ther. So L, P, U, D, followed by K. A, C: þat, followed by H. E: þere þat.
of. So A, followed by D88, H. L, P, D, E omit, followed by K. U, C: in.
109 taknyng. So P, followed by H. L: touche, followed by K. A: troche. U, D, E, C: trouth.
117 even. So P, A, E, C, followed by H. L: ever, followed by K. U, D: alle.
118 inwardly endeles. So A, followed by H. So L: endeles ever, followed by K. P omits line. U, D, E, C omit.
or. So U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: byfor. P omits line.
erthe. So H. L, U, D: world, followed by K. P omits line. A omits. E: wurld. C: worlde.
bygan. So H. L: was bygonne, followed by K. P omits line. A: bygonnyne. U, D, E, C: was ever bygonne.
120 heye. So D, E, followed by H. L, P, A, U, C omit, followed by K.
123 And. So L, A, E, followed by K. P, U, D, C omit, followed by H.
124 ay. So L, A, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
125 He wroght of water. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: of water he wroõt, followed by H.
127 the palsy. So P, U, D, C, followed by H. L: piles, with the es written over an erasure. A: parilsye, followed by K.
hem. So P, A, followed by D88, H. L omits, followed by K. U, D, E, C: in.
128 ever ilke. So A, followed by D88. L, P, U, D, E: eche, followed by K. C: yche a. H emends to ilka.
131 many. So L. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K, H.
133 ferly. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, D88, H. L: ferre. C: mervayle.
134 berly. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by D88, H. L: bere, followed by K.
136 brede. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E: battes, followed by H. C: bettes.
bascketes. So L, U, followed by K. P: berelepes, followed by H. A, D, C: basketes full. E: lepys ful.
137 of. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: out of, followed by K.
a. So P, A. L: an, followed by K. U, C: one. D, E: o, followed by H.
sorte. So P, E, followed by H. L: cite. A: sekte. U, D: sute, followed by K. C: assent.
seventy. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: sixty.
138 hoten. So L, followed by K. P, A, D, C: chosen, followed by H. U, E: ichone.
140 were a-twynne. So L, followed by K. A: ware twelve makede. U, C: were dissevered. D: were all dissevered. E: alle departyd. H emends to atwynne.
141 of. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: out of, followed by K.
sorte. So P, D, E, followed by H. L: cite, followed by K. A: soyte. U: sute. C: sent.
143 kaytefes. So A, U, E, followed by K. L: cayftes. P omits. D: chaytyfes, followed by H. C: pore kynreden.
His. So U, D, E, C, followed by D86, H. L, P: holy, followed by K. A: fro holy.
144 and. So A, followed by D88, H. L, P, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K.
146 And. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
147 eke. So L, P, followed by K. A: then. U, D, E, C: after, followed by H.
148 that. Added above the line in L.
151 myche. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: after, followed by H.
152 Petrus. So L, E, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: Petres, followed by H.
154 Crist. So L, E, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C omit, followed by H.
157 to Heven. So U, D, C, followed by K. L: heven. P alters b-verse. A: till heven. E alters line. H emends to hennes.
162 hadde Hym in hate. So L, U, D, E, C, followed by K. P: hatyd hym harde. A: hatede hym in herte. H emends to hatte in herte.
165 that. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E, C: of whom. H emends to whom.
arst was. So L, followed K. P: I are. A, U, D, C: I firste. E: Y arst, followed by H.
y-nempned. So L, followed by K. P, A: nevende. U, D, E, C: tolde. H emends to nempned.
167-248 C: missing folio.
167 prively. So L, P, U, followed by K. A: prevaly. D: privily. E alters a-verse. H emends to purely.
169 on. So P, A, D, followed by K, H. L, U, E: in.
grounde. So P, A, D, followed by K, H. L, U: erthe. E: wurld.
172 to helle. So L. P: it heles. A: thaym the hele. U, D: be hole. K, H emend to to hele.
an. So A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: and. P: a.
173 A. So P, A, followed by H. L, U, D, E: At, followed by K.
renayed. So P, A, followed by H. L: reyned þe emperour, followed by K. U, E: reyned. D: regnith.
the2. So P, D. L omits, followed by K. A: thou. U: a, followed by H. E: þat.
emperour. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: þan.
177 were wonne. So L, E, followed by H. P, D: wer wele, followed by K. A: wele. U: weren al.
181 than. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, H. L: riche þan.
182 to telle. So L, followed by K. P, A: tille, followed by H. U, D, E: wille.
183 have don. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E: don have, followed by H. A: dide.
185 bayne me. So L, followed by H. P: graunte me. A: be bayne to, followed by K. U, D alter the line.
187 forto. So P, A, followed by D88, H. L, U, D, E: to, followed by K.
197 sought. So A, followed by K, H. L: þouõt. P, U, D, E: sent.
unto. So P, U, followed by D88. L, E: to, followed by K. A: towarde. D: anone unto.
202 As. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: And.
203 afowe. So P, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L, A: afowne.
207 fele. So K, H. L, P, A, U, D, E: fast(e).
of. So P, D, followed by K, H. L, A, U: on. E omits.
210 he. So P, A, D, E, followed by H. L, U omit, followed by K.
212 come. So P, U, D, followed by H. L, A: was come, followed by K.
215 were. So L, D, E, followed by K. P, A: þat were, followed by H. U: ere.
kerchef. So P, A, U, followed by K, H. L: clergyf. D: kerchifs. E: clooth.
216 Editors have speculated that a section of text is missing from the poem after this line. At the very least there is a jump in the plot: the knights are sent out to seek the veil in line 216 only to return in the next line with both Veronica and her miraculous cloth. The following lines hearken the reader back to the refusal of the Jews to pay tribute to Rome (part of the reason for Nathan's journey in the first place) and seem to also imply disrespect on the part of the Jewish leadership toward the knights. The loss of text, as H notes (p. 104), is no doubt the result of eyeskip between trewes in the a-verse of line 216 and trewes in the a-verse of line 217.
217 by. So A, U, D, E, followed by H. L, P omit, followed by K.
wayes. So P, A, U, followed by K, H. L: wyes. D: dayes. E: weye.
219 and. So P, A, U, E, followed by H. L: þat, followed by K. D: þat, above a canceled and.
220 of. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L omits.
222 Of. So P, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: To. A: Byfore.
228 he. So L, U, D, E, followed by K. P, A: sho. H emends to õo.
229 he. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, H. L: þey. E alters the line.
warp. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: warpen. U, D: warped. E alters the line.
231 To. So P, U, D, E, followed by H. L: Out of, followed by K. A: Towarde.
palace. So A, U, D, E, followed by H. L, P: place, followed by K.
they. So L, A, followed by K. P omits, followed by H. U, D, E: he.
235 Waspasian. So L, P, A, E, followed by K. U, D: Vaspasian, followed by H.
243 flambeth. So L, followed by K. P, A: flawe, followed by H. U, D, E alter the line.
255 wenten. So L, A, followed by K. P: wyten, followed by H. U, D, E, C: went al.
256 was lasar-liche. So D, E, followed by H. L: lasar was longe, followed by K. P: laythre was. A: lazare was laythe. U: was lazar ful leke. C: lazare was lyke.
257 departyng of stryf. So P, followed by H. L: his pyne was awey, followed by K. A: thay partede at the laste. U, C: partyng atte last. D, E: and partyng atte last.
258 this two. So L, followed by K. P: many. A: alle þo, followed by H. U, D, C: all the. E: of alle þat.
259 carieth. So L, followed by K. P alters the line. A: wente. U: cauth. D: caught. E: was takyn. C: kawõte. H emends to aireth.
fram alle. So L, followed by K. P alters the line. A: fro thaym alle. U, D, C: was hem fro. E: hem fro. H emends to fram hem alle.
eyr. So L, followed by H. P alters the line. U, D, E, C: chirche. K emends to kirke.
260 symple pople. So L, P, A, followed by H. U: symple, followed by K. D, E: synful. C: somple.
261 Vernycle. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: veronycle, followed by K.
Waspasian. So L, P, E, followed by K. A, U, D, C: Vaspasian, followed by H.
264 The Romaynes hit holdeth at Rome. This half-line is almost surely in error as it stands in all extant manuscripts, and that error has, in turn, affected the b-verse. H has perhaps come closest to solving the problematic line by emending to Þe Romaynes hit teldeþ a rome, / and for relyk holden on the supposition that the original line spoke of the building of a room to house the Vernicle and that"the scribes read the common noun as the name of the city and provided a preposition to smooth the construction" (p. 107). Still, the line is problematic enough to cast uncertainty on any explanation; I have opted to record L as it stands since it is clear in meaning even if faulty in meter.
holden. So P, followed by D86, H. L, A, U, D, E, C: hit holden, followed by K.
266 withholde. So L. P: untane. A: tell. U, D, tynt, followed by K. E: nat payd. C: loste. H emends to withtane.
267 to holde. The scribe has written to take holde, before canceling take.
280 forwardis. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: forwarde, followed by H. E: avowes.
281 brynnyis. So L. K reads brynnyes.
284 gyng. So U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: kyng. P: gomes. A: gentills. E alters the line.
folwed. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: after, followed by H. E alters the line.
292 Brayd. So P, followed by H. L: Sprad. A: Alle abowtte. U, D, C: The brede, followed by K. E: they spredde.
293-369 A: missing folio.
293 tal-sail. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, C: topsail, followed by H. E: her sail.
296 joyned. So D, C, followed by K, H. L: ryved. P: Rafe. U: Right. E: took londe.
up at. So L, followed by H. P: at þe. U: unto. D: into, followed by K. C: to.
judeis. So L, followed by K. P: þe Jues. U: Judee. D, E: Judees, followed by H. C: Judeus.
londys. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C: londe, followed by H.
298 moun. So P, followed by K, H. L: men. U, E, C: worthe. D: wroght.
wlonk. So U, D, followed by K, H. L: blonk. P: walled. E: fayre. C: welthy.
tounnes. So L, followed by H. K misreads tounes.
299 Syone. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: sene.
300 the2. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
304 jouke. So P, D, C, followed by K, H. L: rouke. U: jouken. E: dwelle.
you. So U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: õour. P omits.
306 ful. So L, P, followed by H. U, D, C: al, followed by K. E alters the line.
307 rich. So L, followed by H. U, D, C: reuth, followed by K. E: weepyng.
313 ther. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: þat.
318 comens. So K, abbreviated coes in L. H expands to comunes.
319 schacked. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C omit line. H emends to samned.
328 torkeys. So P, D, E, followed by K, H. L: torken. U: turky. C: turcheyes.
329 Choppyn. So D, followed by K, H. L: Thoppyn. P: Chippen. U: Chopt. E: They settyn. C: They chopped.
331 grym. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C: and grym, followed by H.
332 lyk to lyouns also. So L, P, followed by K. D, E, C: therto lyons two. H emends to to lyouns lyk.
334 stayned. So D, followed by K, H. L: strayned. P, U, C: and steynyd.
335 coloures. So U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: colour, followed by K. P omits the line.
336 on stage. So L, followed by K. P omits the line. U, C: in stage. D: on a stag. H emends to stage.
343 us. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: õou.
343 serchen. So U, followed by D88, H. L, P, D, C: serche, followed by K. E: wetyn.
344 and what. So P, U, followed by K, H. L: õif. D, E, C: and what þat.
347 Gaf. So L, followed by K. P omits. U: Made. D: Garde, followed by H. E: And bad. C: They made.
348 come. So U, D, followed by K, H. L: coms. P, E, C: comyng.
350 mydday. So U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L, P: undren of þe day.
moder-naked alle. So K, followed by H. L: open-heded alle. P: uncled and nakyd. U, D, C: al modur-naked. E: to be clene nakyd.
352 whight. So L, followed by K. P, U: wye, followed by H. D: bierne. E: body. C: mon.
353 Crist. So K. L: Crist to take. P, U, C omit, followed by H. D: sake. E alters the line.
354 brynge Cayphas. So P, U, D, C, followed by H. L: make hem come, followed by K. E: bryngge also Cayphas.
Crist. So P, D, C, followed by H. L: Jhesu Crist, followed by K. U: Jhesu.
362 alle twelf. So L, followed by K. P, U, D: hem als-tite, followed by H. E: anon. C: hem as sone.
364 flocken. So L. P: flowen, followed by K, H. U, D: flewen. E, C alter half-line.
fax. So P, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: face. E: fayr her.
365 Made him naked. So L, followed by K. P: Nackynde þaim. U, D, E, C: Als naked. H emends to Nakened.
366 visage. So P, followed by H. L: visages, followed by K. U, D, E, C: face.
376 scorned. So L, followed by K. P, A omit line. U, C: shamed. D: shamefully (omits following and). E: yschave. H emends to schorne.
379 myght. So L, U, C, followed by K. P, A omit line. D: mynt, followed by H. E: thretnyng.
maken. So D88, followed by H. L, D: make, followed by K. P, A omit line. U: recche. E, C: sette.
384 thee. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E add to sey, followed by H. C adds and seyn.
385 wedande. So L, followed by K. P: wellande, followed by H. A: wylde and. U, D, E, C: wepand.
390 Bilt. So L, C, followed by K. P: Bellyd. A: Belde. U, D: Byggid, followed by H. E: Y-tymbryd.
394 gomes. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D: the gomes. E: þe jewes. C: þe lordes. H emends to þe gollet.
to swelwe. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E, C: schewe, followed by H.
398 wlonfulle. So L, followed by K. P: wankyll. A: wankille. U, D, C: wanton. E omits line. H emends to wlonkfulle.
worlde. So A, followed by K. P: folke. U, D, C: worme. E omits line. H emends to worde.
399 fauchoun. So P, followed by K, H. L: fauchouns. A, D, U, C: fawkon. E omits line.
thay. So A, followed by D88. L, P omit, followed by K. U, D, C: he, followed by H. E omits line.
hengede. So A. L, P: hengeþ, followed by K, H. U, D, C: helde. E omits line.
400 swerd. So L, P, A, followed by H. U, D, C: werre, followed by K. E omits line.
401 A. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E, C: On a, followed by H.
on sette. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, C: assised, followed by H. E: y-fastnet.
404 al. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, C: it. E alters line. H emends to þat.
405 setlyng. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D: saghtlyng, followed by H. E: acord. C: pece.
407 her. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, C: han, followed by H. A: hafe to.
408 burwe. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: toun. E alters line.
409 brad. So K, H. L: sprad. A: brighte. P, U, D, E, C omit the line.
411 runnen. So L, followed by K. A: range. P, U, D, E, C omit the line. H emends to ran.
ryngen. So D88, followed by H. L, A: rynge, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C omit the line.
412 a wap of the wynde. So A, U, D, C, followed by H. L: wynde of a wap. P, E omit the line. K emends to wap of a wynde.
413 bigly. P, A, U, D, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K. E alters the line.
415 batail. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: beste, followed by H. E: dragun.
the. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: his, followed by H.
417 And. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
422 Sixti. So U, D, E, C, followed by H. L, P, A: Sixtene, followed by K.
423 on. So L, followed by H. P: at. A, U, D, C: to, followed by K. E: abowte.
426 After this line, L inserts an extra line, here omitted following K, H: Right so in the cité they schapte hem therfore.
427 Armyng. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: With armyng, followed by K.
429 Waspasian. So P, A, E, followed by K, H. L: Waspasial. U, D, C: Vespasian.
431 Crist. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
432 biden. So A, followed by D86, D88, H. L, E: abide, followed by K. P, D, C: byde. U: abyden.
434 sixtene. So P, U, E, C, followed by H. L: six, followed by K. A, D: sexty.
435 as. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
440 helmes and harnays. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: an here with helmes, followed by H.
442 harmyng. So L, followed by K. P, A, D, E, C: harmes, followed by H. U: harme.
444 beden. b written over an erasure in L.
452 hundred. So L, followed by K. P omits line. A: hurdeschede. U: hurdist. D: hurdys. E alters line. C: hurdes. H emends to hurdised.
454 An. So P, A, U, E, followed by K, H. L, C: And. D omits line.
hundred. So U, E, C, followed by K. L: hundred thousand. P: hundred houshid. A: hundred hosed, followed by H.
464 er. So L, E, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: be, followed by H.
that. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: þat þe.
465 at the laste. So L, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K. P: upon lofte, followed by H.
466 myd. Added above the line in L.
467 tabernacle. L: n added above the line.
469 was sett. So A. L: walynde. P omits line. U, D, C: walwed, followed by H. E: hanged. K emends to walwynde.
471 chosen. So U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: closen. P, A omit line. E: chose.
on. So L, followed by K. P, A omit line. U, E, C: an, followed by H. D: wiþ.
charbokeles. So L, followed by K. P, A omit line. U, D, E, C: chaundelers, followed by H.
472 bright. So U, C. L: barne. P, A omit line. D: brent. E: brende. K emends to barnd. H emends to bournde.
473 charbokles. So D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: chabokles. P, A, U: charbucle.
474 ther. So L, P, A, U, D, C, followed by K. E alters line. H moves to the first word in line.
480 Josue. So A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L, P, C: Joseph.
482 rede water. So U, D, followed by H. L: rerewarde. P: brade water. A: rede waters, followed by K. E, C: red se.
487 that blased. So L, followed by K. P: and bemes. A: and beme wode. U: and bemewede. D: and bright wede. E: and pensellis. C: and trumpes. H emends to and beme-worde.
488 sonne. So L, U, D, E, C, followed by K. P, C: soyle. A: somme, followed by H.
uneth. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K.
489 Waspasian. So L, P, E, followed by K. A: Than Waspasiane. U, D, C: Vaspasian, followed by H.
vale. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: feld.
490 overbrad. So K, H. L: oversprad. P: brade. A: brode. C: ovurspradde. U, D, E: al oversprad.
wallis. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E: õatis. C: walle.
493 knyght. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: kynõt.
494 bachelere. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: burges, followed by K.
495 come. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, H. L: comes. E, C: comyngge.
498 byndyng . . . betyng. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L transposes, followed by K. A: buffettynge . . . betynge.
He on. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: þe. E: he on his.
501 quycke-clayme. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D: quyte-clayme, followed by H. C: voyde awey.
504 That. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: As, followed by H. E omits line.
505 mynde. So L, followed by K. P, A: mene. U, D: mynne, followed by H. E omits line. C: mynge.
507 That. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D: His, followed by H. E omits line. C: The.
quik-cleyme. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D: quit-cleyme, followed by H. E omits line. C alters line.
whether. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: for oþer. U, D, C: quite it where. E omits line.
he. So P, C, followed by H. L, A: he ne, followed by K. U, D: him. E omits line.
509 mynde. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, C: mode, followed by H. D, E omit line.
us. So K. L omits, followed by H.
510 realté. So P, U, D, C, followed by D88, H. L: regnance, followed by K. A: rygalite. E omits line.
511 or ellys. So L. P: and oþer, followed by H. A: of all oþer landis. U: of erthe. D, C: on erthe, followed by K. E omits line.
512 lordschip. So P, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: lord suþ. A: the lordschipe. E omits line.
513 of. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, D88, H. L omits. C omits line.
517 feynt. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: feyn.
fals. Corrected from falf in L.
518 they wold. So L. P omits line. A alters line. U, D, E, C: þe world, followed by K, H.
520 storijs. So L, P. A, D, E, C: sternes, followed H. U omits line. K emends to stourness.
522 His. So L, followed by K. A: þyn, followed by H. P, U, D, E C alter line.
526 felde. So L, P, A, followed by K. U, D, E: stede, followed by H. C: place.
undere stele wedes. So U, D, E, followed by D86. L: stif steil undere, followed by K, T. P: stith steil undere. A: stuffed steil undere, followed by H. C: undur þe stele aray.
529 alle kyn. So L, followed by K. P: with cormous, followed by H. A: cormous. D: cornmuse, followed by T. U, E, C: curiouses.
531 schillande. So L, followed by K, T. P omits line. A: schakande. U, C, C: shrike in a. E alters line. H emends to schrikande.
532 wepith and waylith. So D. L: schal in a swem, followed by K. P omits line. A: weltir solde in swoun. U: shrillen on hye. E: wepeth an hey. C: wepyn on hyõe. T, H emend to welter schal in swem.
533 Lacchen. So L, P, followed by K, T. A, U, D, E, C add Þey, followed by H.
536 throbolande. So K, T, H. L: þrowolande. P: and thrymbland. A: threpande. U: thrilles. D: þirled. E: hurleth. C: persheth.
537 here. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by D88, T, H. L omits, followed by K. A: with.
541 to tolles. L marks the caesura to come before to.
beste. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: bestes.
542 joynyng. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: joyned.
544 Tille. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: Þat, followed by T, H.
545 sore. So L, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T. P, A: sad, followed by H.
551 schyveryng. So L, P, C. A, U, D, E: schymeryng, followed by K, T, H.
scheldes. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: schendes.
552 alle. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by T, H.
fure. So P, A, U, followed by H. L, D, E, C: a fure, followed by K, T.
553 Waspasian. So L, P, A, E, followed by K, T. U, D, C: Vaspasian, followed by H.
555 fals. So A, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: fals men, followed by K. P: folke. U: fals folk.
forto. So P, A, D, followed by T, H. L, U, E: to, followed by K. C: unto.
556 greved. So L, followed by K. P: þe grimly. D, E: wiþ grame, followed by T. A, U, C: grownde. H emends to gremed.
girden. So L, followed by K. P: girden þey. A, U, D, E, C: þey girden, followed by T, H.
559 was. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, D, E, C: war, followed by K, T.
562 burnee. So L, followed by H. P omits line. A: those beryns. U, D: beerns, followed by K. E, C emend line. D.
565 hit. L: added above the line.
571 Rappis. So L, followed by H. C: Here ropes. K, T emend to Roppis.
rydders. So A, followed by K, T, H. L: redles. P omits line. U, D, C: redely. E alters line.
575 in. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by D86, T, H. L: in þe, followed by K.
576 That. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: Þe.
579-80 Ordering of lines in L, followed by K. T, H invert line order.
579 starke. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: storte, corrected from strrte, followed by K. A: stane.
581 dyed. So U, D, E, followed by K. L: doun diõten. P omits line. A, C: diõeden, followed by H. T emends to doun dyede.
581 in that stounde. So U, followed by K. L: hem sone. P omits line. A: full sone, followed by T. D, E: in a stounde. C: in a whyle. H emends to sone.
583 an anlepy. So A, followed by K, T, H. L: olepy. P: anely ane. U, D: an. E, C: on.
584 a. So U, D, C, followed by D88, H. L, P, A omit, followed by K, T. E: þe.
586 made. So L, A, U, D, C, followed by K, T. P: ma, followed by H. E omits.
589 a. So P, U, E, C, followed by D88, T, H. L omits, followed by K. A: ane. D: þe.
590 ilka. So A, followed by D88, H. L, U, D: eche, followed by K. P, E, C: iche a, followed by T.
591 to the berfray. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, T, H. L: þe bischup. C: to þe bastyle.
and. So L. P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K, T, H.
the2. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: his. A: those, followed by K.
595 redde on. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: redden.
599 Fele of. So L, D. P: Felles þe. A: He fellide. U: Felde of, followed by K, T, H. C: And felde. E alters line.
608 mart. So L, followed by T, H, though red has been added above the line by a later hand. P: morte. A: merrede full. U, D, E, C: marred, followed by K.
610 Unriven. So A, followed by K, T, H. L: Ronnen over. P omits line. U, D, E, C: Wele-arayed.
614 or the fight ended. So L. K emends to that no freke skapide, H emends to and noõt a freke skaped, both from variants of P, A, U, D, E, C.
616 wynnen. So K. L: wynmen. P, U, D: wan. A: wane. E omits. C: wanne. T, H emend to wonnen.
620 pile. So L, followed by K. P: pynnes. A, U, C: pyne, followed by T. D, E: pinne, followed by H.
623 manye. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: þykke, followed by T, H.
626 Quarten. So L. P: Whappen, followed by T, H. A: Warppis. D: E Quattid. C: They shette. K emends to quarren.
out querels. So A, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L inverts, followed by K. P: doune querels.
quarters. So L, P, A, D, E, C, followed by T. K emends to quartotes. H emends to quartes.
630 The. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, D, E, C: For þe, followed by K, T.
632 Wanted. So P, A, followed by K, T, H. L: Wounded. U, D: Wanted hem. E: lakkyd hym. C: They wanted.
636 thus. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: so, followed by K.
637 As rathe. So D, followed by T. L, A: Sone. P: Onone. U: Alsone. E, C: As sone. H emends to Rathe.
637 ros yn. So D. L: rosen. P, E, C: rose on, followed by K, T, H. A: and rase one. U: gan rise on.
638 This line added in the margin of L by the same hand.
on brode. So P, A, C, followed by T, H. L: anon, followed by K. U: her bemes. C: on brode and. E: up.
ryse. So A, D, followed by T, H. L, C: aryse, followed by K. P, U, E: rayse.
641 spare. So L, P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T. H emends to sparen.
644 manye. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, C: noble, followed by T, H. A: full nobylle. E alters line.
646 Made wayes full wide. So A, U, D, followed by T. L: Made wide weyes, followed by K. P: Weyes made they wide, followed by H. E alters line. C: They made wayes full wide.
652 Greided. So P, U, D, followed by T, H. L: Groded, followed by K. A, C: Getyn. E: Deepe ypyõt.
653 Hit. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: he.
655 hyghte. So P, A, followed by T, H. L: haste, followed by K. U, D, E: hye. C: hyed.
658 unarwely. So A, followed by K, T, H. L: arwely. P: egrely. D: ful hastily. C: full smertelye.
661 beldes. So A, D, followed by T, H. L: þat bilde was, followed by K. P: bretage. U, E omit line. C: byggynges.
full. So A, followed by T. L: wel, followed by H. P omits. D, C: so. U, E omit line.
665 and brode. So L, followed by K. P omits. A: and bare. U, D, C: at a bir, followed by T, H. E omits line.
667 above. So L, followed by H. P: aboune. A, U, D, C: abowte, followed by K, T.
halves. So P, A, D, C, followed by T, H. L: sydes, followed by K. U alters line. E omits line.
674 playande. So P, A, followed by K, T, H. L: blowande. U, D, C: boyland. E omits.
675 Brennande. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: Brennen.
many. So U, D, C, followed by H. L, P, A omit, followed by K, T. E alters line.
barels. So L, P, A, followed by K, T. U, D, C: barel, followed by H.
683 L omits line. Supplied from P, following K, T, H.
freke. So P, followed by T, H. A: unfongede. U omits. D: found. E: fonde, followed by K. C: out wente.
fele harmes. So P, followed by T. A: feþer-hames, followed by K, H. U, D, E, C: fressh harmes.
684 Ne. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, T, H. L: Þat. E alters line. C: Nor.
686 kirnels. So L, followed by K, T. P: kyrnels. A: kirnells. U, D, E: corners. C: cornerers. H emends to kirneles.
alle. So U. L, P, A, D, E, C omit, followed by K, T, H.
687 stewe. So P, A, C, followed by T, H. L, U: steem, followed by K. D, E: stench.
689 to toun. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, E, C: to þe toune, followed by K, T. D: þe wellis.
690 strande. So A, followed by K, T, H. L, P: strem. U: cours. D, E, C: spryng.
695 What. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L: With. A: Whatekyns.
697 deyes. So P, A, D, E, followed by K, T, H. L, C: deþes. U: dayes.
699 Firste. So P, A, D, C, followed by T, H. L: Þen, followed by K. U: And than. E: Bot feerst.
702 half. So P, A, U, D, followed by K, T, H. L, E: side. C: parte.
704 kagged. So K, H. L: kagges. P: cacchyd, followed by T. A: chachede. U: catched. D: cacchid. E: bounde. C: were kawõte.
708 sett. So P, A, U, C, followed by T. L: souõt, followed by L. D: syed, followed by H. E alters line.
the2. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by D88, T. L omits, followed by K. E alters line.
709 men. So L, A, E, C, followed by K, T. P, U, D: ledes, followed by H.
710 topsailes. So D88, H. L: topsail, followed by K, T. P, C: topsayle. A: topsaile. U, D: and topsaile. E: topseyl.
715 here. So L, P, followed by K, T. A: hem by þe, followed by H. U, D, E, C: hemself by the.
716 doun. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, T, H. L omits.
daschen. So P, followed by H. L: daschande. A, U, D, E, C: daschede, followed by K, T.
718-24 As H (pp. 130-31) was the first to realize, these lines are a direct quotation of Vespasian's orders concerning the dead prisoners. This construction has only survived in pieces throughout the manuscript record, requiring "extensive, although minimalist, surgery" to be reclaimed.
719 alle. So P, A, U, C, followed by T, H. L: twelf, followed by K. E: caste. D cursid.
720 brennen. So H. L: brenten, followed by K, T. P: brynd. A: brynte. U, D, E, C: brent.
browne. So P, A, E, C, followed by T, H. L, U, E: þe browne, followed by K.
721 wende. So H. L, P, U, D: went, followed by K, T. A, E, C: wente.
722 blowen. So P, followed by H. L, D, E: blewen, followed by K, T. A, U: blewe thay. C: þey blewen.
723 for. So L, P, followed by T, H. A, U, D, E, C: to, followed by K.
doun. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, D, E, C: duke, followed by K, T.
724 bidde. So H. L, A: bade, followed by K, T. P, U, D, E: bad. C: badde.
bischop. So P, A, U, followed by D86, T, H. L, E, C: bischopes, followed by K. D: bisshops.
725 twelf. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L, A: alle, followed by K.
727 they. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: he, followed by K. P omits line.
728 here. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by T, H. L: his, followed by K.
729 dymmed. So D, followed by K, H. L: dymned. P: and dryven. A: and dynnede. U: and dymmed. C: & þenne dymmedde.
730 montayns. So L, followed by H. U, D: the montayns, followed by K.
731 rysten. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: rusken. U, D, C: to reste. E omits line.
733 aboute betyn abrode. So L, followed by K. P, A: on brade bette. U: al obrode is brent. D: and brood ar bette. E: omits line. C: and brode were made. H emends to abrode betyn.
741 schadewes. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E: schadew, followed by H. C alters line.
742 lyften. So P, U, E, followed by K, H. L: lyfteneþ. A: to newen. D: lyft up. C: sone leften up.
743 full. So U, D, followed by D88, H. L, P omit, followed by K. A: one. E, C alter line.
746 face. So P. L, U: fote, followed by K. D, E, C: foote. A: fourche. H emends to fronte.
747 pallen. So A, D, followed by K, H. L, P: pale. U, E omit line. C: gay.
749 The grate. So U, D, C, followed by H. L: Grayþed. P: Þe grace. A: The grate was, followed by K. E: With a grate.
750 colour. So L, followed by H. P: to couer. A: colourede, followed by K. U, D, C: of colour. E: with colours.
754 polisched. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: purged, followed by K.
756 above. So L, followed by H. A: abowte, followed by K. U: al about. D: cast about. E alters line. C: aboven.
758 hanleth. So L, followed by H. A: Than hendely. K emends to hauleþ over.
760 avental. So P, A, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H. L: with avental, followed by K.
767 sewen. So L, followed by H. P, C: saw. A: seese. U: syen. D: seyen, followed by K. E: seen.
770 Bet. So P, followed by H. L: Betynge, followed by K. A alters line. U, D, E: And bet. C: And beteth.
that all. So P. L: on, followed by K. A alters line. U, D, C: þat, followed by H. E alters line.
773 walle. So L, followed by K. P, A: walles, followed by H. U, D, E, C omit line.
775 hit never. So P, A, followed by H. L: noõt o droppe. U, D: never. E alters line. C: maye nevur.
776 O droppe. So P, U, D, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K. A: A dope. E: for o droppe.
dey scholde. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by H. L: deþ scholde dey, followed by K. E alters line.
778 hath. þ written over an erasure in L.
779 defenden. So P, followed by H. L, C: fyõten. A, U, D: fende off, followed by K. E: defende and hold of.
780 ye tourne. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: we wende, with we inserted above the line. E: õe nevere.
781 manschyp. So L, D, followed by K. P, A: menske, followed by H. U, C: wirship. E: wysdom.
were hit. So P. L: were hit õit, followed by K, H. U, D: it is. E, C: hit were.
to. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
784 any. So A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L omits. P omits line. E alters line.
stray. So A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: stay. P omits line. E alters line.
789 gentyl. So L, A, E, C, followed by K. P: gynnes. U, D: gynful, followed by H.
793 and dryen. So D. L: deyed. P: dryen. A: and dryede. U, C: and dried. E alters line. K emends to dryed. H emends to dryeden.
797 Bot. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
801 The caesura is marked following nothyng in L.
note newe. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by D86. L: anewe note, followed by K. E: newe werk.
808 dyt. So L, followed by H. P, A, U, D, C: dyn, followed by K. E: noyse.
811 the. Added above the line in L.
814 Brente. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: Brenten. U, D: men he brent. E alters line. C: he hem brente.
820 habiden. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: habben, followed by K. P hab.
821 braydyn. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. P: brayed þan. L: bowyn, followed by K.
bekered. L: b corrected from k.
822 felly. So L, D, E, C, followed by K. P, A: felony. U: felonsly, followed by H.
823 Jokken. So K. L: Jolken. P: Jugkyn. A: Thay jusken at those. U: And the. D: Jollid. E: And beryn. C: Ther þey jolledde. H emends to Iouken.
829 a. So L, D, followed by K. P, A, U, C omit, followed by H. E alters line.
bely. So P, U, C: bely, followed by H. L, A, D: body, followed by K. E alters line.
830 a. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: þe, followed by K.
of. So H. L, P, A, C: on, followed by K. U: out of. D, E: in.
stayre. So P, A, C, followed by H. L: staf. U: toure. D, E: stound. K emends to staf-slyng.
832 And was. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E omit, followed by H. A, C: And.
840 archelers. So K, D88, H. L, U, D: archers. P: aschelers. E: achillers. C: asshelers.
843 by resting. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: reste.
sonne. So P, D, followed by H. L: þat synne. A, U, E, C: the sonne, followed by K.
844 toles. So P, followed by H. L: ton, followed by K. A: toose. U, D, E, C alter line.
857 doun. So L, followed by K. H reads don.
sprongen. So P, A, C, followed by K, H. L: spryngen. U, D, E omit line.
858 Caesura unmarked in L.
863 on ernest. So L, followed by K. P, C: firste. A: in haste. U, D, E omit. H emends to õernest.
864 specke. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, C: schewe, followed by H. E alters line.
866 torfere. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: torsom. U, D: tray. E alters line. C: tormente.
867 graunten. So A, followed by H. L: scheweth, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C: grauntede.
870 lese folke. So A, followed by K. L: lesne. P, U: ledes. D: losse. C: folk. E alters line.
878 marden. So A, followed by K, H. L, P: maden. U, E: spende. D: spendid. C: have spended.
879 hunger. So P, A, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L omits. U omits line.
880 L, P omit line. Supplied from A, following K, H.
883 sege. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: cite.
886 and masers. So A, U, followed by H. L: maser. D: and marcers. E: and masons. C: and bedelles. K emends to masers.
The caesura is marked following men in L.
he. So A, U, C, followed by H. L: he to, followed by K. P omits line. D, E alter line.
887 chefly. So A, followed by K. L: chersly, followed by H. P omits. U: ful styfly. C: styfely. D, E alter line.
891 the. Added above the line in L.
892 fele. So L, followed by H. K reads fole.
893 lyked. So L, followed by K. P: lykeþ, followed by H. A: wolde. U, D, E alter line. C: beste pleseth.
895 Torneien. So K, H. L: Tornen. P alters line. A: With tournaye and. U, D: And turnyd with. E: And wente withowte. C alters line.
the. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: þe þe.
896 oure Lord. So P, A, C, followed by H. L: and God. U, D: and Lord, followed by K. E alters line.
grace. So L, followed by K. P, U, D: joye, followed by H. A: heven. E, C alter line.
899 bothe. So P, followed by H. L omits. A omits line. U, D, E: yit therto. C: also, followed by K.
901 mylde. So P, A, D, C, followed by K, H. L, U, E: myde.
903 this. So P, A, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: þus. U: the.
906 brytten. So P, A, D, followed by K, H. L: brenten. U: birten. E: cacche. C: murder.
910 privé. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: pore, followed by K.
914 a prikkes. So A, U, D, followed by H. L: a pokes, followed by K. P: pryk. E alters line. C: a prikke.
919 stryketh. So L, followed by K. P: styked. A: stekide. U: strike. D: stikyd. E alters line. C: smote. H emends to stykeþ.
923 mynden. So D88, H. L: mynde, followed by K. P: mene. A: menyn. U: mynne. D: myn. E alters line. C omits line.
925 togedres gan. So H. L: togedres þan, followed by K. P: togeder er gone. A: gadirde þam togedire and. U: togeder gan gone to. D, E: gan togidir gon. C: gedered togydur and.
geten. So P, U, D, followed by K, H. L, E: chossen. A, C: gatt.
927 Lucyus. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: lyous. P: Lustius.
928 lord. So L, D, E, C. P, A, U: lede, followed by K, H.
929 they. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: þe.
metten. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by D88, H. L, E: mette, followed by K.
931 more. So L, P, D, E, followed by H. A, U, C: no more, followed by K.
932 and. So P, A, E, followed by D86, H. L, C: and þe, followed by K. U: and his. D: þe.
933 And whan. So L, followed by K. P, U, D, E, C: Whan, followed by H. A: Than when.
934 on ernest. So L, followed by K. P: in. A: in areste. U, D: in ernest. E omits. C: aftur. H emends to õernest.
935 That. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by H. L: Þe, followed by K. E alters line.
936 Than. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E: An, followed by H. C: He.
he heldeth. So L, followed by K. P, A, U, D, E, C: õelde. H emends to õeldeþ.
937 raisen. So P, U, D, followed by H. L: risen up, followed by K. A, C: rayssede. E: resyn þo.
938 An unknown number of lines appear to have been lost at this point. For more on the loss of text here and after line 942, see H (pp. 139-40).
939 that. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L omits. E alters line.
941 Waspasian. So L, P, E, followed by K. A omits line. U, D, C: Vaspasian, followed by H.
942 Sent. So P, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: Souõt. A: Sendis. C: He sente.
943 as1. So P, D, E, followed by K, H. L: is. A, C omit. U: al.
944 drowe. So U, D, E, followed by H. L: drowe hym, followed by L. P: was drawen. A alters line. C: drawen.
945 gome. So L, P, U, D, followed by K. A: gome hymselfe. E: gorel, followed by H. C: prince.
946 boweled. So P, C, followed by K, H. L: bowewed. A: boluede. U, D, E alter line.
947 yermande. So K, H. L: õernande. P: heledand. A: õarande. U: yemerand. D alters line. E: stumbling. C: gronynge.
948 they. So P, A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L omits.
949 segge. So P, U, D, followed by K, H. L, C: man. A alters line. E: Vitayl.
955 men. So L, A, U, C, followed by K. P, D, E omit, followed by H.
956 of the burwe so bold was. So P, A, U, D, C, followed by H. L: was so bold þe bruwe for, followed by K. E: was so boold out of þe town.
959 and2. So A, C, followed by H. L, P, U, D, E omit, followed by K.
960 and. Added above the line in L, followed by H. K omits.
963 for. So P, A, U, C, followed by H. L, D, E: her, followed by K.
973 broght of blys. So V, followed by H. L, P, A, U, C: of blys broõt. D omits line. E alters line.
974 lond. So L, U, E, C, followed by K. A, V: lede, followed by H. P, D omit line.
976 and I so. L reads & so & I so, with the initial & so marked for deletion.
978-79 K inverts these lines following P, A, V, U, C, then reinstates the first word of each line so that they read Tille me the gates . . . / And I this toured toun . . . . H follows L.
978 toun. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: doun.
have. So P, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: han. A, V omit.
my. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L, P omit, followed by K.
981 Brosten and betyn. So L, followed by K. P: brayde and brosten. A, V: Betyn and brosten, followed by H. U: Brent and brusten. D: Broke and brusten. E: Bete and brusten. C: And beten and breken.
983 thy. So P, A, V, U, D, followed by K, H. L: þe. K's emendation. E alters line. C omits line.
this. So L, followed by K. P, A, V, U, D: þe, followed by H. E alters line. C omits line.
988 doun. So L. H reads don.
989 who. So A, V, followed by D86, H. L, U, C: whoso, followed by K. P: þat who. D: þat whoso. E omits line.
990 sein. So P, A, V, followed by K, H. L: seint. U: yseyn. D: set. E omits line. C omits.
992 of. So P, A, C, Ex, followed by K, H. L: ofte. V omits. U, D, E omit line.
999 the. So P, A, V, U, D, E, Ex, followed by H. L, C: þy, followed by K.
1001 lote. So L, P, A, followed by H. V, U, D, E, C: look. K emends to loke.
his. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: þe, followed by K.
1004 burnes. So U, D, followed by K, H. L, P: burne. A, V, C omit. E alters line.
1005 I. So P, A, V, U, D, E, Ex, followed by H. L: And I, followed by K. C: For I.
1006 the walles. So P, A, E, followed by K, H. L omits. V, D, C: þe wall. U: wal.
1007 hap. So P, A, V, U, E, followed by H. L: þe happis. D: hele. K emends to þe happe.
1008 be to-hewen. So L, followed by K. P, Ex: tohewen be, followed by H. A: hewen forto be. V: hewen be. U, C: hewen to be. D: britnyd to be. E: deed forto be.
1010 Alle. So L, P, followed by K. A, V, U, D, Ex omit, followed by H.
to. So A, C, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L, Ex omit. E: on.
1018 upon grounde. So L, followed by K. P, A, V, D, C: under God, followed by H. U, E: under the cope.
1019 Ne. So P, A, V, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: Be. C: Nor.
stondande. So P, A, V, U, D, C, followed by K, H L: stonden. E: laft.
1021 he. So P, V, followed by H. L: his. A, C: he his, followed by K. U, D: the kyng. E: Waspasyan.
1023 God. So P, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L omits. A: to God.
forto. So A, U, followed by H. L, P, V, D, C: to, followed by K. E omits.
1024 hertis. So A, V, D, E, C. L, P: herte, followed by K, H.
1025 the. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
1027 hath. So A, V, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: han. P alters line. E omits.
so. So A, V, U, C, followed by K, H. L omits. P alters line. D, E: such.
1033 He. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K. L: Ben. H emends to Be-.
woxen. So L, followed by H. P: waxen. A, V, C: wexe, followed by K (woxe). U: waxeth. D: wexid. E omits.
1034 And. So L, followed by K. P, A, V, U, D, E omit, followed by H. C alters.
1035 sente. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: wende. K emends to sende.
1036 condit. So P, A, followed by K, H. L: condis. V, U, E: condit hym. D: conduyt þei. C: a condyte.
1038 freke. So P, A, V, U, D, followed by K, H. L, C: man.
1040 with a goode wylle. So L, P, A, V, C, followed by K. U, D, E: þe gome forto hele, followed by H.
1051 with the hete. So P, A, V, C. L: to sprede. D alters. K, H emend to to brede.
to brede. So P, A, V, U, C. L: abrode, followed by K, H. D: to blede. E: to wurche.
1052 resorte. So L, followed by H. P, A: to resorte, followed by K. V, C: to comforte. U, D, E: to restore.
1061 saghtles. So P, D, followed by H. L: satles, followed by K. V, A, U: saughtled. E: acordyd. C: sawe how.
1062 ther. So L, followed by K. A, V, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
he. So L, C, followed by K. P, A: hym beste. V: hym, followed by H. U, D: him gode. E: þat he.
wolde. So L, E, C, followed by K. P, A, V, U, D: lykede, followed by H.
1067 And. So P, A, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: Now. V omits. C: Thanne.
1069 Now. So A, V, E, followed by K, H. L: And. U, D, C omit.
tore. So P (?), followed by K, H. L: hard. A, U, D, E, C: tym. V omits.
1071 fourty. So D, E, followed by H. L, A, V, U, C: four, followed by K.
1077 flatte. So U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: platte. P: faste. V: fellen.
1080 wyght. So A, U, D, followed by K, H. L: wye. E: grete. C: feble.
1082 ho brad. So L, followed by K. P: brynt it. A: Made brede. V: brad hit. U: braid. D: brad, followed by H. E: leyde. C: leyde hit.
1086 hunger. So A, V, U, D, E, followed by K, H. L: hingur. C: honger is.
1088 And entre. So L, followed by K. A, V, U, D, C: entre, followed by H. P, E alter line.
cam out. So L, E, followed by K. A, V, U, D, C: out cam, followed by H. P, E alter line.
1089 smel. So L, V, E, followed by K. A, U, D, C: smelle. H emends to rich.
into. So U, D, E, followed by H. L: to, followed by K. P, A, V, C: in.
strete. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: walles, followed by K.
1090 felden. So V, followed by D88, H. L, P, U, E: felde, followed by K. A: felide. C: þer felede.
1092 layned. So P, A, V, followed by H. L: loyned, followed by K. U, D, C: ykept.
1095 forth. So L, P, followed by K. A, V, U, D, C omit, followed by H.
1097 Away. So L, followed by K. P alters line. A: And furthe. V, U, D, E, C: Forþ, followed by H.
wepyng. So L, D, E, followed by K. P alters line. A, V, U: wepande, followed by H. C: wepynge.
ech one. So L, followed by K. P alters line. A, U, D, E, C: full sore. V: sore, followed by H.
1100 fyne. So L, followed by H. A, V, U, D: pyne, followed by K. E, C: peyne.
1103 olde age. So L, followed by K. A, V, C: elde, followed by H. U, D: grete elde. E: gret age.
1104 That. So A, V, U, D, followed by H. L omits, followed by K. E: Þo þat. C: And.
1105 to1. So L, followed by H. A: thay, followed by K. V, U, D, E omit.
1109 wayes. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: wyes.
1112 on. So L, followed by H. P, A: in, followed by K. V, U, D, E, C: undir.
1113 after. So L, followed by H. A, V, D, E: after one, followed by K. U, C: on.
redeth. So L, followed by H. D: ridis. C: rode. K emends to rideþ.
1117 and. So L, followed by H. A, V, U, E omit, followed by K.
1122 L omits line. supplied from A, following K, H.
And. So P, A, followed by K. V, U, D, E, C omit, followed by H.
scharpe. So V, U, D, C, Ex, followed by K, H. A: scharpere. E: wol scharpe.
1123 wede. So L, U, D, C, followed by K. P, V: yren, followed by H. A: iryns.
1125 hetter. So A, followed by H. L, D: herty, followed by K. P: hetty. V: hettill. U, E: hertly. C: byttur. Ex: herter.
1126 the. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
flewe. So P (?), A, V, U, D, E, C. L: flowen. K, H emend to flowe.
1130 issed. So U, D, E, followed by K. L: dissed. P: hyes. A: faste hyes. V: issues. C: hovede.
1132 holpen. Corrected from helpen in L.
1134 mynours. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: mynour. P: mason.
forto. So P, A, V, U, D, E, Ex, followed by D88, H. L, C: to, followed by K.
1138 forsoken. So V, U, E, followed by D88, H. L, A, D, C, Ex: forsoke, followed by K.
1139 that. So P, A, V, U, D, C, followed by H. L: þis, followed by K.
1140 rejoyced. So D, followed by K, H. L: joyced. A: rewede of. V, C: shulde rejoisse of. U, E: renewed.
1141 by. So P, A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: with, followed by L.
1145 for. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: fro.
1146 gyven. So A, V, D, C, followed by K. L: õoven.
erthe. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: lyve.
1149 Swounen. So L, followed by H. A, E: Some, followed by K. V: Sum men. U: Swollyng. C: Swonyng.
and. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by D88, H. L omits, followed by K.
1150 lanterne. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: laterne.
1153 hem overe. So V, U, D, C, followed by K, D88, H. L: evere. A: þam alle over.
1154 diche. So U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: diche depe. A: dikis. V: dyke.
1156 had. So A, V, C, followed by H. L: hadde, followed by K. D, E: he had.
1157 he. So A, V, C, followed by K, H. L: he he hadde Josophus. U, D, E: He bad.
to enforme. So A, U, C, followed by K, H. L omits by mislineation, placing the phrase at the head of the following line. V: and hem forto lerne. D, E: enfourme.
1158 Forto save. So A, V, C, followed by K, H. L: Enforme hem to save. U, D, E: In savying of.
1167 ilka. So U, followed by H. L: eche, followed by K. A: iche a. D, C: eche a. V alters line.
1170 Withouten. So A, U, D, followed by K, H. L: Souõten.
1171 Goren. So K, H. L: Toren. A: Thay gorrede. U: Thei gored. D: They gorid. C: Ther þet gorede. V: Þey slitten.
1172 Fayner. So V, U, D, followed by K, H. L, C: Fayn. A: And faynere.
than of. So A, V, U, D, followed by K, D88, H. L: were. C: and þenne of.
1174 sought. So V, followed by K, H. L: þouõt. A: bysoughte. U: setten. D, C: set. E: laste.
cité. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: toun.
1178 wyse. So A, V, C, followed by K, H. L: side. U: half. D: way.
1181 Armen. So L, followed by H. A: Than thay armede. V, U, E, D: Þey armed. D: Þan armyd. K emends to Þei armen.
1187 fyghtyng men. So A, followed by K, H. L: men. V, C: of fyghtande men. U: of men. D, E: of folk.
ilka. So U, followed by H. L, E, C: eche, followed by K. A, V: aythir. D: eche a.
1190 mynours. So A, V, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: mynour.
myne. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: mynde.
1192 brenyed. So A, V, followed by H. L, D, E: brayned, followed by K. C: armedde.
1196 brayned. So L, U, E, followed by K. A: birssede. V: brusshed. D: braynid. C: fell. Ex: brusyd. H emends to brosed.
1199 Wendeth. So L, followed by K. A, V: wane up. U: He wynnes. D: Wynneþ, followed by H. C: And wanne up.
1200 for ston. So L, followed by H. A: for stones, followed by K. V, C: on þe walle. U: on stone. D, E: on a stone.
ware. So U, followed by H. L, A: gere, followed by K. V, D, E: weede.
1205 tyme. So L, C, followed by K. A, V, U, D, E: stounde, followed by H.
1209 Than. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L omits, followed by K.
1211 hit. So V, U, D, followed by H. L: he, followed by K. A: scho. E alters line.
1216 to. So A, V, U, D, E, C. L omits, followed by K, H.
1218 the1. So A, V, D, C, followed by H. L: õour, followed by K. U, E: this.
1219 agenes. So D88, H. V: agains. U: ageyns. D, C: aõens. E: al aõens. L: aõen, followed by K. A: mawgrethe.
1220 ben. So L, followed by H. K emends to be.
1221 yete. So A, followed by H. L, U, D: õolden, followed by K. V: unshette. C: geten.
al the yeres tyme. So V, followed by D88, H. L: thre õer byfore, followed by K. A: was all þe õeres tyme. U, D: thre õer aforne. E alters line. C: al þe thre õeres tyme.
1223 brennyng. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: brendyng.
1224 hond. So L, followed by K. A, V, U: hold, followed by H. D, E, C: holdyng.
of. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: þe. V omits.
1228 the. So A, V, U, E, C, followed by K, D88, H. L, D omit.
1230 voys2,3. So A, V, followed by H. L: and . . . and, followed by K.
1233 L, U, D, E omit line, followed by K. Supplied from V, following H.
taken and wonnen. So H. A: wonnen and tane. V: taken and graunted. C: taken and õolden.
1234 Yit. So L, A, V, U, D, C, followed by K. H moves to head of b-verse.
another. So C. L: o, followed by K, H. A: a. V: one. U: thyes. D: þis ilk.
1235 worldly. So L, followed by K. A: worþly, followed by H. V, U, D, E: worthy. C: wordy.
1236 a. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by L, D88, H. L omits.
1237 the vilayns. So H. L, E: þey, followed by K. U: thei. D: þei.
1241 and. So L, followed by H. A, V, C: anone thay. E: þanne and. K emends to þey.
1244 evere. So D, C. L, A omit, followed by K. V, U, E: ay, followed by H.
1246 stande. So A. L: stoken. U, D: stynt. A: stande. V, C: stonde. K emends to steken. H emends to styken.
on. So L, followed by H. A, V, U, D, C: in, followed by K.
1248 enfamyned. So V, U, followed by K, H. L: enfamyed. A: enfameschede. D: with famyne. C: famyssched.
and defeted. L, A: for defaute, followed by K. V: for faute. U: and defete, followed by H. D: defetid. C: þe for defaute.
1256 flikreth. So H. L: stikeþ. A, U: strykes. V: flikeþ. D: strikis. E: striketh, followed by K. C: ryche.
1259-60 Order of lines as given by L, followed by K. A, V, U, D, E invert order, followed by H.
1259 kende. So H. V, D: kindelled. U: kynde, followed by K. L: tende. E: lyõt. K emends to kynde. A, C alter line.
1260 So were they. So L, followed by K. A: Þat one ane. V: Þat ay, followed by H. U: That over. D: Þat evere with. E: And ever more. C: That evur.
and. So L, C, followed by K. A, V, U, D, E omit, followed by H.
1262 perische. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: persche, followed by K.
for. So V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L, A: for here, followed by K.
1267 pulisched. So D88. L: pulsched, followed by K, H. A, V: and poleschede. U, D, E: ypolsched.
1269 metalles. So V, followed by H. L: metals, followed by K. A, U, D, C: metalle. E: marbul.
1270 copper. So A, V, followed by K, H. L: coppe. U, D, E, C: Cuppes.
1271 with. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: as.
over. So V, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: was over, followed by K.
1274 The caesura is marked following tresours in L.
they. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: þey þer, followed by K. V: þe.
1275 and jemewes. So U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: jewels. A: and gemmys. V: gemmys. K emends to iemewes.
1276 fyne. So V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: rede. A: full fyne.
ther. So H. L, A, V, U, D, C omit, followed by K. E: ywis.
1277 Riche. So L, A, V, followed by K. U, E: Ne. D, C: Ne riche, followed by H.
1280 wale. So L. A: wele. V: chese. U, D: welde. E hadde. C: toke. K emends to waleþ.
1283 hurled. So U, followed by H. L: hadde, followed by K. A, C: and had. V: and drof. D: hurtlid. E: and hurlyd.
1286 Tille. So D, E, followed by H. L, A, V, U: Tille alle, followed by K.
1287 a. So A, followed by K, H. L: þe. V, U, D, E alter line. C omits line.
1290 mude. So A, V, E, followed by K, H. L, D: made. U, C omit line.
1293 overtilt. So U, D, followed by H. L: overtourned, followed by K. A: overtytt. V: overtekte. E: overthrowe. C: overkaste.
1295 they. So A, V, followed by H. L, U, D, E, C omit, followed by K.
seiden. So V, U, followed by D88, H. L, A, D, E, C: seide, followed by K.
1298 Alle the. So E. L: As iuge, followed by K. A: To iuggen thase. V: To iuge þe. U: Os alle the. D: And al þe. C: To iuge the. H emends to Alle.
as. So A, D, C, followed by H. L, U omit, followed by K. V: a. E alters.
1299 Criours. So V, U, D, C, followed by K, H. L: Crioure. A: And bedells. E: And.
1304 hethyng. So V, U, D, followed by K, H. L: hevyng. A: hethynges. E: betyng. C: rebukynge.
After this line, L inserts the following line (omitted from all other MSS): And of þe tene þat hym tidde tell hym þe soþe.
1309 acate. So U, followed by H. L: cate, followed by K. A: bargaun. V: achat. E: acade. C: countes.
1312 L, U, D, E omit line. Supplied from A, following H. See explanatory note.
fourmed. So H. A: bene. V, C: ben worth. K emends to bene ful.
1317 the myddis. So A, D. L: myddel, followed by K. V, C: myddes, followed by H. E: þe mydde.
of the. So A, D, E, followed by K. L: of. C, V: þe, followed by H.
1322 on. So V, C, followed by K, H. L: out of. A: of. D: in. E omits.
1325 ajorned. So U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: aiorneyd, followed by K. A: aioynede. V: ioyned.
1327 put. So A, U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: do, followed by K. V omits.
pynen. So A, followed by D88, H. L, V, U, D, E, C: pyne, followed by K.
1328 Vienne. So U, D, E, C, followed by H. L: Viterbo, followed by K. A: Vittern. V: Vettury.
he. So U, D, C, followed by H. L, V place before venjaunce, followed by K.
1334 the. So L, followed by K. H omits. A, V, U, D, E, C omit line.
1335-36 The quatrain is broken in L, the only extant copy. H assumes a loss of only two lines and numbers accordingly, a decision I have followed to facilitate cross-referencing between texts.
1337 don. So A, V, U, D, E, C, followed by K, H. L: dempte.
drowen. So V, U, followed by D88, H. L, D: drow, followed by K. A: tuke. E, C: drewe.
In Tyberyus tyme, the trewe emperour,
Sire Sesar hymsulf, seysed in Rome,
Whyle Pylat was provost undere that prince riche
And Jewen justice also in Judeus londis.1
Herodes, undere his emperie, as heritage wolde,
Kyng of Galilé was y-called whan that Crist deyed;
They Sesar sakles were, that oft synne hatide,
Throw Pylat pyned He was and put on the Rode.2
A pyler pyght was doun upon the playn erthe,3
His body bonden therto, and beten with scourgis.
Whyppes of quyrboyle by-wente His white sides
Til He al on rede blode ran, as rayn in the strete.4
Suth stoked Hym on a stole with styf mannes hondis,
Blyndfelled Hym as a be and boffetis Hym raghte:5
"Gif thou be prophete of pris, prophecie!" they sayde,
"Whiche berne here aboute bolled Thee laste?"
A thrange thornen croune was thraste on His hed,
Umbecasten Hym with a cry and on a Croys slowen.6
For al the harme that He hadde, hasted He noght
On hem the vyleny to venge that His veynys brosten,7
Bot ay taried on the tyme gif they tourne wolde,
Gaf hem space that Hym spilide, they hit spedde lyte.8
Fourty wynter, as Y fynde, and no fewere yyrys,
Or princes presed in hem that Hym to pyne wroght,9
Til hit tydde on a tyme that Tytus of Rome
That alle Gascoyne gate and Gyan the noble
[. . . .]
[. . . .]
Whyle noye noyet hym in Neroes tyme,
He hadde a malady unmeke inmyddis the face:10
The lyppe lyth on a lumpe, lyvered on the cheke;
So a canker unclene hit cloched togedres.11
Also his fadere of flesche is ferly bytide:
A bikere of waspen bees bredde in his nose,
Hyved upon his hed; he hadde hem of youthe
And Waspasian was caled the waspene bees after.
Was never syknes sorere than this sire tholed,
For in a liter he lay, laser at Rome;
Out of Galace was gon to glade hym a stounde,
For in that cuthe he was kyng they he car tholede.12
Nas ther no leche upon lyve this lordes couth helpe,
Ne no grace growyng to gayne here grym sores.13
[. . . .]
[. . . .]
Now was ther on Nathan, Neymes sone, of Grece,
That sought oft over the se fram cyté to other,
Knewe contreys fele, kyngdomes manye,
And was a marener myche and a marchaunt bothe.14
Sensteus out of Surye sent hym to Rome
To the athel Emperour - an eraunde fram the Jewes -
Caled Nero by name that hym to noye wroght,
Of his tribute to telle, that they withtake wolde.
Nathan toward Nero nome on his way
Over the Grekys grounde myd the grym ythes,
An heye setteth the sayl over the salt water,
And with a dromound on the deep dryveth on swythe.15
The wolcon wanned anon and the water skeweth,
Cloudes clateren on loude as they cleve wolde.16
The racke myd a rede wynde roos on the myddel
And sone sette on the se out of the south syde.
Hit blewe on the brode se, bolned up harde;
Nathannys nave anon on the north dryveth,
So the wedour and the wynd on the water metyn
That alle hurtled on an hepe that the helm gemyd.17
Nathan flatte for ferde and ful under hacchys,
Lete the wedour and the wynde worche as hem lyked;
The schip scher upon schore, schot froward Rome
Toward uncouth costes, kayrande on the ythes,18
Rapis unradly umbe ragged tourres.
The brode sail at o brayd to-bresteth a-twynne:19
That on ende of the sschip was ay toward heven,
That other doun in the deep, as alle drenche wolde.
Over wilde wawes he wende, as alle walte scholde,20
Stroke stremes throw yn stormes and wyndes;
With mychel langour atte laste, as our Lord wolde,
Alle was born at a byr to Burdewes havene.21
By that were bernes atte banke; barouns and knyghtes
And citezeins of the syght selcouth hem thoght
That ever barge other bot or berne upon lyve
Unpersched passed hadde: the peryles were so many.
They token hym to Titus, for he the tonge couthe;
And he fraynes how fer the flode hadde hym y-ferked.
"Sire, out of Surré," he seide, "Y am come,
To Nero, sondisman sent, the seignour of Rome,
"Fram Sensteus, his serjant, with certayn leteres,
That is justise and juge of the Jewen lawe.
Me were lever at that londe - lord, lene that Y were -
Than alle the gold other good that ever God made."22
The kyng into conseyl calleth hym sone
And saide: "Canste thou any cure or craft upon erthe
To softe the grete sore that sitteth on my cheke?
And Y schal thee redly rewarde and to Rome sende."23
Nathan nyckes hym with nay, sayde he non couthe:
"Bot were thou, kyng, in that kuththé ther that Crist deyed,24
Ther is a worldlich wif, a womman ful clene,
That hath softyng and salve for eche sore out."
"Telle me tyt," quod Titus, "and thee schal tyde better,
What medecyn is most that that may useth,
Whether gommes other graces, or any goode drenches,25
Other chauntementes or charmes? Y charge thee to say."
"Nay, non of tho," quod Nathan, "bot now wole Y telle:
Ther was a lede in our londe, while He lif hadde,
Preved for a prophete throw preysed dedes
And born in Bethleem one by, of a burde schene,
"And ho a mayde unmarred that never man touched,
As clene as clef ther cristalle of sprynges.26
Without hosebondes helpe save the Holy Goste,
A kyng and a knave child ho conceyved at ere;
"A taknyng of the Trinyté touched hire hadde,
Thre persones in o place preved togedres:
Eche grayn is o God and o God bot alle,
And alle thre ben bot one as eldres us tellen.
"The first is the Fadere that fourmed was never,
The secunde is the Sone of His sede growyn,
The thridde in Heven myd Hem is the Holy Goste,
Nether merked ne made bot mene fram Hem passyth.
"Alle ben they endeles, and even of o myght
And weren inwardly endeles or the erthe bygan.
As sone was the Sone as the self Fadere,
The heye Holy Goste with Hem hadde They ever.
"The secunde persone, the Sone, sent was to erthe
To take careynes kynde of a clene mayde;
And so unknowen He came caytifes to helpe,
And wroght wondres ynowe ay tille He wo driede.27
"Wyne He wroght of water at o word ene,
Ten lasares at a logge He leched at enys,
Pyned myd the palsy He putte hem to hele,28
And ded men fro the deth ever ilke day rered.
"Croked and cancred He kevered hem alle,
Both the dombe and the deve, myd His dere wordes,
Dide myracles many mo than Y in mynde have;
Nis no clerk with countours couthe aluendel rekene.29
"Fyf thousand of folke, is ferly to here,
With two fisches He fedde and fif berly loves,
That eche freke hadde his fulle, and yit ferre leved
Of battes and of broken mete bascketes twelve.
"Ther suwed Hym of a sorte seventy and twey
To do what He dempte, disciples were hoten.
Hem to citees He sende His sawes to preche,
Ay by two and by two til hy were a-twynne.
"Hym suwed of another sorte semeliche twelve,
Pore men and noght prute, aposteles were hoten,
That of kaytefes He ches His Churche to encresche,
The outwale of this worlde, and this were her names:
"Peter, James, and Jon, and Jacob the ferthe,
And the fifthe of His felawys Phelip was hoten;
The sixte Symond was caled, and the seveth eke
Bertholomewe, that his bone never breke nolde;
"The eyght man was Mathu, that is myche y-loved;
Taddé and Tomas - here ben ten even -
And Andreu the elleveth, that auntred hym myche
Byfor princes to preche, was Petrus brother.
"The laste man was unlele and luther of his dedis:
Judas, that Jhesu Crist to the Jewes solde.
Suth hymsulf he slowe for sorow of that dede;
His body on a balwe-tree to-breste on the myddel.
"Whan Crist hadde heried Helle and was to Heven passed,
For that mansed man Mathie they chossyn.
Yit unbaptized were bothe Barnabé and Poule,
And noght knewen of Crist, bot comen sone after.30
"The princes and the prelates, agen the Paske tyme,
Alle thei hadde Hym in hate for His holy werkes.
Hit was a doylful dede whan they His deth caste;
Throw Pilat pyned He was, the provost of Rome.
"And that worliche wif that arst was y-nempned
Hath His visage in hire veil - Veronyk ho hatte -
Peynted prively and playn that no poynt wanteth;
For love He left hit hire til hire lyves ende.
"Ther is no gome on this grounde that is grym wounded,
Meselry ne meschef ne man upon erthe,
That kneleth doun to that cloth and on Crist leveth,
Bot alle hapneth to helle in an hand-whyle."31
"A, Rome renayed!" quod the kyng. "The riche emperour,
"Cesar, synful wrecche, that sent hym fram Rome,
Why nadde thy lycam be leyd low under erthe32
Whan Pilat provost was made suche a prince to jugge?"
And or this wordes were wonne to the ende,33
The cankere that the kyng hadde clenly was heled,
Without faute the face of flesche and of hyde,
As newe as the nebbe that never was wemmyd.
"A, corteys Crist!" seide the kyng than.
"Was never worke that Y wroght worthy Thee to telle,
Ne dede that Y have don, bot Thy deth mened;
Ne never sey Thee in sight, Goddis Sone dere.
"Bot now bayne me my bone, blessed Lord,
To stire Nero with noye and newen his sorowe,
And Y schal buske me boun hem bale forto wyrche:34
To do the develes of dawe and Thy deth venge!
"Telle me tit," quod Titus, "what tokne He lafte
To hem that knew Hym for Crist and His crafte leved?"
"Nempne the Trinyté by name," quod Nathan, "at thries,
And thermyd baptemed be in blessed water!"
Forth they fetten a font and foulled hym ther,
Made hym Cristen kyng that for Crist werred.
Corrours into eche coste than the cours nomen35
And alle his baronage broght to Burdewes haven.
Suth with the sondes-man he sought unto Rome,
The ferly and the faire cure his fadere to schewe;
And he, gronnand glad, grete God thanked
And, loude criande on Crist, carped and saide:
"Worthy, wemlese God, in whom Y byleve,
As Thou in Bethleem was born of a bryght mayde,
Sende me hele of my hurt, and heyly Y afowe
To be ded for Thy deth, bot hit be dere yolden."
That tyme Peter was pope and preched in Rome
The lawe and the lore that our byleve asketh.
Folowed fele of the folke and to the fayth tourned,
And Crist wroght for that wye wondres ynow.
Therof Waspasian was ware, that the waspys hadde,
Sone sendeth hym to and he the sothe tolde36
Of Crist and the kerchef that kevered the sike,
As Nathan, Neymes sone, seide that to Nero come.37
Than to consayl was called the knyghtes of Rome
And assenteden sone to sende messageres:
Twenti knyghtes were cud the kerchef to fecche
And asked trewes of the empererour that erand to done.
[. . . .]
Ac, without tribute or trewes, by tenfulle wayes38
The knyghtes with the kerchef comen ful blyve;
The pope gaf pardoun to hem and passed theragens39
With processioun and pres of princes and dukes.
And whan the womman was ware that the wede owede
Of Seint Peter the pope, ho platte to the grounde,
Umbefelde his fete and to the freke saide:
"Of this kerchef and my cors the kepyng Y thee take."40
Than bygan the burne biterly to wepe
For the doylful deth of his dere mayster,
And longe stode in the stede or he stynte myght,
Whan he unclosed the clothe that Cristes body touched.
The wede fram the womman he warp atte laste,
Receyved hit myd reverence and rennande teris.
To the palace myd pres they passed on swythe
And ay held hit on hey that alle byhold myght.
Than twelf barouns bolde the emperour bade wende,
And the pope departe fram the pople faste;
Veronyk and the vail Waspasian they broght,
And Seint Peter the pope presented bothe.
Bot a ferly byfelle forthmyd hem alle;
In her temple bytidde tenful thynges:
The mahound and the mametes to-mortled to peces
And al to-crased as the cloth throgh the kirke passed.41
Into the palice with the prente than the pope yede;
Knyghtes kepten the clothe and on knees fallen.
A flavour flambeth therfro; they felleden hit alle:
Was never odour ne eyr upon erthe swetter.42
The kerchef clansed hitself and so clere wexed
Myght no lede on hit loke for light that hit schewed.
As hit aproched to the prince, he put up his hed;
For comfort of the cloth he cried wel loude:
"Lo, lordlynges, here: the lyknesse of Crist,
Of whom my botnyng Y bidde for His bitter woundis."
Than was wepyng and wo and wryngyng of hondis
With loude dyn and dit for doil of Hym one.
The pope availed the vaile, and his visage touched,43
The body suth al aboute, blessed hit thrye.
The waspys wenten away and alle the wo after:
That er was laser-liche, lyghtter was nevere.44
Than was pypyng and play, departying of stryf;
They yelden grace to God, this two grete lordes.
The kerchef carieth fram alle and in the eyr hangyth,
That the symple pople myght hit se into soper-tyme.45
The Vernycle after Veronyk Waspasian hit called,
Garde hit gayly agysen in gold and in selvere.
Yit is the visage in the vail, as Veronyk hym broght;
The Romaynes hit holdeth at Rome, and for a relyk hit holden.
This whyle Nero hadde noye and non nyghtes reste,
For his tribute was withholde, as Nathan told hadde.
He commaundith knyghtes to come consail to holde,
Erles and alle men the emperour aboute.
Assembled the senatours sone, upon haste,
To jugge who jewes myght best upon the Jewys take;
And alle demeden by dome tho dukes to wende
That were cured throw Crist, that they on Croys slowen.46
That on Waspasian was of the wyes twey
That the travail undertoke, and Titus another,
A bold burne on a blonke and of his body comyn:
No ferther sib to hymself bot his sone dere:47
Crouned kynges bothe and mychel Crist loved,
That hadde hem geven of His grace and here grem stroyed.48
Moste thei hadde hit in hert here hestes to kepe
And here forwardis to fulfille that thei byfor made.
Than was rotlyng in Rome, robbyng of brynnyis,
Schewyng of scharpe, scheldes y-dressed.
Laughte leve at that lord, leften his sygne,
A grete dragoun of gold, and alle the gyng folwed.49
By that schippis were schred, yschot on the depe,
Takled and atired on talterande ythes:50
Fresch water and wyn wounden yn faste,
And stof of alle maner store that hem strengthe scholde.51
Ther were floynes aflot, farcostes many,
Cogges and crayers, y-casteled alle;52
Galees of grete streyngthe with golden fanes,
Brayd on the brod se aboute foure myle.
They tyghten up tal-sail whan the tide asked,
Hadde byr at the bake and the bonke lefte,
Soughte over the se with soudeours manye,
And joyned up at port Jaf in Judeis londys.
Suree, Cesaris londe, thou may seken ever;
Ful mychel wo moun be wroghte in thy wlonk tounnes.53
Cytees under Syone, now is your sorow uppe:
The deth of the dereworth Crist dere schal be yolden.
Now is, Bethleem, thy bost y-broght to an ende;
Jerusalem and Jerico, for-juggyd wrecchys,
Schal never kyng of your kynde with croune be ynoyntid,
Ne Jewe, for Jhesu sake, jouke in you more.
They setten upon eche side Surrie withyn,
Brente ay at the bak and ful bare laften;
Was noght bot roryng and rich in alle the riche tounnes
And red laschyng lye alle the londe overe;
Token toun and tour, teldes ful fele,
Brosten gates of brass and many borwe wonnen,
Holy the hethen here hewyn to grounde,
Both in bent and in borwe, that abide wolde.
The Jewes to Jerusalem, ther Josophus dwelde,
Flowen as the foule doth that faucoun wolde strike.
A cité undere Syon sett was ful noble
With many toret and toure that toun to defende.
Princes and prelates and poreil of the londe,
Clerkes and comens of contrees aboute
Were schacked to that cité sacrifice to make
At Paske-tyme, as preched hem prestes of the lawe.54
Many swykel at the sweng to the swerd yede;
or penyes passed non, thogh he pay wolde,
Bot diden alle to the dethe and drowen hem after
With engynes to Jerusalem there Jewes were thykke.
They sette sadly a sege the cité alle aboute,
Pighten pavelouns doun of pallen webbes,
With ropis of riche silk raysen up swythe
Grete tentis as a toun of torkeys clothys.
Choppyn over the cheventayns, with charboklis foure,55
A gay egle of gold on a gilde appul
With grete dragouns grym alle in gold wroghte,
And lyk to lyouns also lyande ther undere.
Paled and paynted the paveloun was umbe,
Stoked ful of storijs, stayned myd armys56
Of quaynte coloures to know, kerneld alofte,
An hundred stondyng on stage in that stede one.57
Toured with torettes was the tente thanne,
Suth britaged aboute, bright to byholde.
Er alle the sege was sette yit of the cité comyn
Messengeres, were made fram maistres of the lawe.
To the chef cheventayn they chosen here wey,
Deden mekly by mouthe here message attonys,
Sayen: "The cité hath us sent to serchen your wille,
To here the cause of your comyng, and what ye coveyte wolde."
Waspasian no word to the wyes schewed
Bot sendeth sondismen agen, twelve sikere knyghtes,58
Gaf hem charge to go and the gomes telle
That alle the cause of her come was Crist forto venge:
"Sayth, Y bidde hem be boun, bischopes and other,
Tomorow or mydday, moder-naked alle,
Up here gates to yelde, with yerdes an hande,59
Eche whight in a white scherte and no wede ellys,
"Jewyse for Jhesu Crist by juggement to take,
And brynge Cayphas, that Crist throgh conseil bytrayede.
Or Y to the walles schal wende and walten alle overe;
Schal no ston upon ston stonde by Y passe."
This sondismen sadly to the cité yede
Ther the lordes of the londe lent weren alle,
Tit tolden here tale and wondere towe made
Of Crist and of Cayphas and how they come scholde.
And when the knyghtes of Crist carpyn bygonn,
The Jewes token alle twelf without tale more,
Here hondis bounden at here bak with borden stavys
And of flocken here fax, and here faire berdis,
Made hem naked as a nedel to the nether hove,
Here visage blecken with bleche, and al the body after,
Suth knyt with a corde to eche knyghtes swere
A chese, and charged hem here chyventayn to bere:
"Sayth, unbuxum we beth his biddyng to yete,
Ne noght dreden his dom: his deth have we atled.
He schal us fynde in the felde, ne no ferre seke,
Tomorowe pryme or hit passe, and so your prince tellith."
The burnes busken out of burwe, bounden alle twelf,
Agen message to make fram the maister Jewes.
Was never Waspasian so wrothe as whan the wyes come
That were scorned and schende upon schame wyse.60
This knyghtes byfor the kyng upon knees fallen
And tolden the tale as hit tid hadde:
"Of thy manace ne thy myght they maken bot lyte:
Thus ben we tourned of our tyre in tokne of the sothe61
"And bounden for our bolde speche; the batail they willeth
Tomorowe prime or hit passe. They put hit no ferre.
Hit schal be satled on thyself the same that thou atlest;
Thus han they certifiet thee and sende thee this cheses."
Wode wedande wroth Waspasian was thanne,
Layde wecche to the walle and warned in haste
That alle maner of men in the morowe scholde
Be sone after the sonne assembled in the felde.
He streyght up a standard in a stoure wyse,
Bild as a belfray bretful of wepne;
Whan oght fauted in the folke that to the feld longed,
Atte the belfray to be botnyng to fynde.62
A dragoun was dressed, drawyn alofte,
Wyde-gapande, of gold, gomes to swelwe,
With arwes armed in the mouthe, and also he hadde
A fauchyn under his feet with foure kene bladdys.
Therof the poyntes were pight in partyis foure
Of this wlonfulle worlde ther thei werre fondyn;
In forbesyn to the folke this fauchoun thay hengede
That they hadde wonnen with swerd al the world riche.63
A bal of brennande gold the beste was on sette,
His taille trayled theraboute that tourne scholde he nevere
Whan he was lifte upon lofte ther the lord werred,
Bot ay lokande on the londe tille that al laughte were.
Therby the cité myght se no setlyng wolde rise
Ne no treté of no trewes bot the toun yelde,
Or ride on the Romayns, for they han her rede take
Ther britned to be or the burwe wynne.
His wynges brad were abrode boun forto flee,
With belles bordored aboute al of bright selvere,
Redy, whan oughte runnen to ryngen ful loude
With eche a wap of the wynde that to the wynges sprongyn.
I-brytaged bigly aboute the belfray was thanne64
With a tenful toure that over the toun gawged.
The batail by the brightnesse burnes myght knowe
Foure myle therfro, so the feldes schonen.
And on eche pomel were pyght penseles hyghe65
Of selke and sendel with selvere y-betyn:
Hit glitered as gled fure, ful of gold riche,
Over al the cité to se, as the sonne bemys.
Byfor the foure gates he formes to lenge
Sixti thousand by somme while the sege lasteth;
Sette ward on the walles that noght awey scaped,
Sixe thousand in sercle the cité alle aboute.
Was noght while the nyght laste bot nehyng of stedis,
Strogelyng in stele wede, and stuffyng of helmes,
Armyng of olyfauntes and other arwe bestes
Agen the Cristen to come with castels on bake.
Waspasian in stele wede and his wyes alle
Weren dight forth by day and drowen to the vale
Of Josophat, ther Jhesu Crist schal juggen alle thinges,
Bigly batayled hym ther to biden this other.
The fanward Titus toke, to telle upon ferste,
With sixtene thousand soudiours assyned for the nones;
And as mony in the myd-ward were merked to lenge66
Ther Waspasian was with princes and dukes.
And sixtene thousand in the thridde with a thryvande knyght,
Sire Sabyn of Surrie, a siker man of armes,
That prince was of Provynce and michel peple ladde,
Fourty hundred in helmes and harnays to schewe.
And ten thousand atte tail at the tentis lafte,
Hors and harnays fram harmyng to kepe.
By that bemys on the burwe blowen ful loude,
And baners beden hem forth. Now blesse us our Lorde!
The Jewes assembled were sone and of the cité come
An hundred thousand on hors with hamberkes atired,
Without folke upon fot at the foure gates
That preset to the place with pauyes on hande.
Fyf and twenti olyfauntes, defensable bestes,
With brode castels on bak out of burwe come;
And on eche olyfaunte armed men manye,
Ay an hundred an hey, an hundred withyn.67
Tho drowen dromedarius doun develich thicke,
An hundred and y-heled with harnays of mayle,
Eche beste with a big tour ther bold men were ynne,
Twenty, told by tale, in eche tour evene.
Cameles closed in stele comen out thanne
Faste toward the feld; a ferlich nonbre
Busked to batail, and on bak hadde
Ech on a toret of tre with ten men of armes.
Chares ful of chosen, charged with wepne
A wondere nonbre ther was, whoso wite lyste.
Many doughti that day, that was adradde nevere,
Were fond fey in the feld er that fight endid.
An olyfaunt y-armed came out at the laste,
Kevered myd a castel, was craftily y-wroght,
A tabernacle in the tour atyred was riche,
Pight as a paveloun on pileres of selvere.
A which of white selvere was sett therynne
On foure goions of gold that hit fram grounde bare;
A chosen chayre therby on charbokeles twelfe,
Betyn al with bright gold with brennande sergis.
The chekes of the chayre were charbokles fyne,
Covered myd a riche clothe, ther Cayphas was sette.
A plate of pulsched gold was pight on his breste
With many preciose perle and pured stones.
Lered men of the lawe that loude couthe synge
With sawters seten hym by and the psalmys tolde
Of doughty David the kyng and other dere storijs:
Of Josue, the noble Jewe, and Judas the knyght.
Cayphas of the kyst kyppid a rolle
And radde how the folke ran throgh the rede water
Whan Pharao and his ferde were in the floode drouned;
And myche of Moyses lawe he mynned that tyme.
Whan this faithles folke to the feld comen
And batayled after the bent with many burne kene,
For baneres that blased and bestes y-armed
Myght no man se throw the sonne ne uneth the cité knowe.
Waspasian dyvyseth the vale alle aboute,
That was with baneres overbrad to the borwe wallis,
To barouns and bold men that hym aboute were
Seith: "Lordlynges a londe, lestenyth my speche:
"Here nys king nother knyght comen to this place,
Baroun ne bachelere ne burne that me folweth,
That the cause of his come nys Crist forto venge
Upon the faithles folke that Hym fayntly slowen.
"Byholdeth the hethyng and the harde woundes,
The byndyng and the betyng, that He on body hadde:
Lat never this lawles ledis laugh at His harmys
That bought us fram bale with blod of His herte.
"Y quycke-clayme the querels of alle quyk burnes
And clayme of evereche kyng - save of Crist one -
That this peple to pyne, no pité ne hadde:
That preveth His Passioun, whoso the Paas redeth.68
"Hit nedith noght at this note of Nero to mynde,
Ne to trete of no trewe for tribute that he asketh:
That querel Y quik-cleyme whether he wilneth
Of this rebel to Rome bot resoun to have.69
"Bot more thing in our mynde myneth us today:
That by resoun to Rome the realté fallyth,
Bothe the myght and the mayn, maistre or ellys,
And lordschip of eche londe that lithe under Heven.
"Lat never this faithles folke with fight of us wynne
Hors ne harnays, bot they hit hard byen,
Plate, ne pesan, ne pendauntes ende,70
While any lyme may laste, or we the lif have.
"For thei ben feynt at the fight, fals of byleve,
And wel wenen at a wap alle they wold quelle.71
Nother grounded on God ne on no grace tristen,
Bot alle in storijs of stoure and in strength one.
"And we ben dight today Drighten to serve:
Hey Heven kyng hede to His owne!"
The ledes louten hym alle and aloude sayde:
"Today, that flethe any fote, the Fende have his soule!"72
Bemes blowen anon, blonkes to neye,
Stedis stampen in the felde undere stele wedes.
Stithe men in stiropys striden alofte;
Knyghtes croysen hemself, cacchen here helmys,73
With loude clarioun cry and alle kyn pypys,
Tymbris and tabourris tonelande loude,
Geven a schillande schout. Schrynken the Jewes,
As womman wepith and waylith whan hire the water neyeth.74
Lacchen launces anon, lepyn togedris,
As fure out of flynt-ston ferde hem bytwene.
Doust drof upon lofte, dymedyn alle aboute
As thonder and thicke rayn throbolande in skyes.
Beren burnes throw, brosten here launces;75
Knyghtes crosschen doun to the cold erthe;
Fought faste in the felde, and ay the fals undere76
Doun swowande to swelt without swar more.
Tytus tourneth hym to, tolles of the beste,
For-justes the jolieste with joynyng of werre.
Suth with a bright bronde he betith on harde
Tille the brayn and the blod on the bent ornen.
Sought throgh another side with a sore wepne,
Bet on the broun stele while the bladde laste,
An hey breydeth the brond and as a bore loketh,77
How hetterly doun, hente whoso wolde!
Alle brightned the bent as bemys of sonne
Of the gilden gere and the goode stones;
For schyveryng of scheldes and schynyng of helmes
Hit ferde, as alle the firmament upon fure were.
Waspasian in the vale the fanward byholdeth,
How the hethyn here heldith to grounde;
Cam with a fair ferde the fals forto mete.
As greved griffouns girden in samen.
Spakly here speres on sprotes they yeden,
Scheldes as schidwod on scholdres to-cleven,
Schoken out of schethes that scharpe was y-grounde,
And mallen metel throgh unmylt hertes.78
Hewen on the hethen, hurtlen togedre,
For-schorne gild schroud, schedered burnee.
Baches woxen ablode aboute in the vale,
And goutes fram gold wede as goteres they runne.79
Sire Sabyn setteth hym up whan hit so yede,
Rideth myd the rereward and alle the route folweth,
Kenely the castels came to assayle
That the bestes on here bake out of burwe ladden.
Atles on the olyfauntes that orible were,
Girdith out the guttes with grounden speres:
Rappis rispen forth that rydders an hundred
Scholde be busy to burie that on a bent lafte.80
Castels clateren doun, cameles brosten,
Dromedaries to the deth drowen ful swythe;
The blode fomed hem fro in flasches aboute
That kne-depe in the dale dascheden stedes.
The burnes in the bretages that above were
For the doust and the dyn - as alle doun yede
Al for-stoppette in stele - starke-blynde wexen
Whan hurdighs and hard erthe hurtled togedre,
And under dromedaries dyed in that stounde.
Was non left upon lyve that alofte standeth -
Save an anlepy olyfaunt at the grete gate
Ther as Cayphas the clerke in a castel rideth.
He say the wrake on hem wende and away tourneth
With twelf maystres made of Moyses lawe.
An hundred helmed men hien hem after,
Er they of castel myght come, caughten hem alle,
Bounden the bischup on a bycchyd wyse
That the blode out barst ilka band undere,
And broghten to the berfray, and alle the bew-clerkes
Ther the standard stode, and stadded hem ther.
The beste and the britage and alle the bright gere -
Chaire and chaundelers and charbokel stones,
The rolles that they redde on, and alle the riche bokes -
They broghte myd the bischup, thou hym bale thoughte.81
Anon the feythles folke fayleden herte,
Tourned toward the toun and Tytus hem after:
Fele of the fals ferde in the felde lefte,
An hundred in here helmes myd his honde one.
The fals Jewes in the felde fallen so thicke
As hail froward Heven, hepe over other;
So was the bent over-brad, blody by-runne,
With ded bodies aboute alle the brod vale.
Myght no stede doun stap bot on stele wede,
Or on burne, other on beste, or on bright scheldes;
So myche was the multitude that on the molde lafte
Ther so many were mart; merevail were ellis.
Yit were the Romayns as rest as they fram Rome come,
Unriven eche a renk and noght a ryng brosten;
Was no poynt perschid of alle here pris armure:
So Crist His knyghtes gan kepe tille complyn tyme.
An hundred thousand helmes of the hethen syde
Were fey fallen in the felde or the fight ended,
Save seven thousand of the somme, that to the cité flowen,
And wynnen with mychel wo the walles withynne.82
Ledes lepen to anon, louken the gates,
Barren hem bigly with boltes of yren,
Brayden up brigges with brouden chaynes
And portecolis with pile picchen to grounde.
Thei wynnen up whyghtly the walles to kepe,
Frasche, unfounded folke, and grete defence made;
Tyeth into tourres tonnes ful manye83
With grete stones of gret and of gray marble.
Kepten kenly with caste the kernels alofte,84
Quarten out querels with quarters attonys.
That other folke at the fote freschly assayled85
Tille eche dale with dewe was donked aboute.
Withdrowen hem fro the diche, dukes and other -
The caste was so kene that come fram the walles -
Comen forthe with the kyng clene as they yede,
Wanted noght o wye, ne non that wem hadde.
Princes to here pavelouns passen on swythe,
Unarmen hem as tyt and alle the nyght resten86
With wacche umbe the walles to many wyes sorowe;
They wolle noght the hethen here thus harmeles be lafte.
As rathe as the rede day ros yn the schye,
Bemes blowen on brode burnes to ryse.
The kyng comaundeth a-cry that comsed was sone,87
The ded bodies on the bonke bare forto make:
To spoyle the spilt folke, spare scholde none,
Geten girdeles and gere, gold and goode stones,
Byes, broches bryght, besauntes riche,
Helmes hewen of gold, hamberkes manye.
Kesten ded upon ded, was deil to byholde,
Made wayes full wide and to the walles comen;
Assembleden at the cité saut to bygynne,
Folke ferlich thycke at the foure gates.
They broghten toures of tre that they taken hadde88
Agen evereche gate, garken hem hey;
Bygonnen at the grettist a garrite to rere,
Groded up fro the grounde on twelf grete postes.
Hit was wonderlich wide, wroght upon hyghte,
Fyve hundred in frounte to fighten at the walles.
Hardy men upon hyghte hyen at the grecys
And bygonnen with bir the borow to assayle.
Quarels, flambande of fure, flowen out harde,
And arwes unarwely, with attyr envenymyd,
Taysen at the toures, tachen on the Jewes;
Throgh kernels cacchen here deth many kene burnes.89
Brenten and beten doun beldes full thycke,
Brosten the britages and the brode toures.
By that was many bold burne the burwe to assayle.90
The hole batail boun, aboute the brode walles
That were byg and brode and bycchet to wynne,
Wondere heye to byholde with holwe diches undere,
Heye-bonked above upon bothe halves,
Right wicked to wynne, bot yif wyles helpe.
Bowmen atte bonke benden here gere,
Schoten up scharply to the schene walles
With arwes and arblastes and alle that harme myght,
To affray the folke that defence made.
The Jewes werien the walles with wyles ynowe,
Hote playande picche amonge the peple yeten:
Brennande leed and brynston, many barels fulle,
Schoten schynande doun right as schyre water.
Waspasian wendeth fram the walles wariande hem alle;
Other busked were boun, benden engynes,91
Kesten at the kernels and clustred toures,
And monye der daies worke dongen to grounde.
By that wrightes han wroght a wonder stronge pale
Alle aboute the burwe, with bastiles manye,
That no freke myght unfonge withouten fele harmes,
Ne no segge undere sonne myght fram the cité passe.
Suth dommyn the diches with the ded corses,
Crammen hit myd karayn the kirnels alle under,
That the stynk of the stewe myght strike over the walles
To cothe the corsed folke that hem kepe scholde.92
The cors of the condit that comen to toun
Stoppen, evereche a streem, ther any strande yede,
With stockes and stones and stynkande bestes,
That they no water myght wynne that weren enclosed.
Waspasian tourneth to his tente with Titus and other,
Commaundeth consail anon on Cayphas to sitte,
What deth by dome that he dey scholde
With the lettered ledes that they laughte hadde.
Domesmen upon deyes demeden swythe
That ech freke were quyk-fleyn, the felles of clene:
Firste to be on a bent with blonkes to-drawe,
And suth honget on an hep upon heye galwes,93
The feet to the firmament, alle folke to byholden,
With hony upon ech half the hydeles anoynted;
Corres and cattes with claures ful scharpe
Foure kagged and knyt to Cayphases theyes;
Twey apys at his armes to angren hym more,
That renten the rawe flesche upon rede peces.
So was he pyned fram prime with persched sides
Tille the sonne doun sett in the someretyme.
The lered men of the lawe a litel bynythe
Weren tourmented on a tre, topsailes walten,
Knyt to everech clerke kene corres twey,
That alle the cité myght se the sorow that they dryven.
The Jewes walten over the walles for wo at that tyme,
Seven hundred slow hemself for sorow of here clerkes,
Somme hent here heere and fram the hed pulled,
And somme doun for deil daschen to grounde.
The kyng lete drawen hem adoun whan they dede were,
Bade: "A bole-fure betyn to brennen the corses,
Kesten Cayphas theryn and his clerkes alle,
And brennen evereche bon into browne askes.
Suth wende to the walle on the wynde syde,
And alle abrod on the burwe blowen the powdere:
'Ther is doust for your drynke!' adoun to hem crieth,
And bidde hem bible of that broth for the bischop soule."
Thus ended coursed Cayphas and his clerkes twelf,
Al to-brused myd bestes, brent at the laste,
In tokne of tresoun and trey that they wroght,
Whan Crist throw here conseil was cacched to deth.
By that was the day don: dymmed the skyes,
Merked montayns and mores aboute,
Foules fallen to fote and here fethres rysten,
The nyght-wacche to the walle and waytes to blowe.94
Bryght fures aboute betyn abrode in the oste;
The kyng and his consail carpen togedre,
Chosen chyventayns out and chiden no more,
Bot charged the chek-wecche and to chambre wenten,
Kynges and knyghtes, to cacchen hem reste.
Waspasian lyth in his logge, litel he slepith,
Bot walwyth and wyndith and waltreth aboute,
Ofte tourneth for tene and on the toun thynketh.
Whan schadewes and schire day scheden attwynne,
Leverockes upon lofte lyfteth here stevenes;
Burnes busken hem out of bedde with bemes full loude
Bothe blowyng on bent and on the burwe walles.95
Waspasian bounys of bedde, busked hym fayre
Fram the face to the fourche in fyne gold clothes.
Suth putteth the prince over his pallen wedes
A brynye, browded thicke, with a brestplate:
The grate of gray steel and of gold riche.
Therover he casteth a cote, colour of his armys;
A grete girdel of gold without gere othere
Layth umbe his lendis with lacchetes ynow.
A bryght burnesched swerd he belteth alofte,
Of pure polisched gold the pomel and the hulte.
A brod schynande scheld on scholdire he hongith,
Bocklyd myd bright gold, above at the necke.
The glowes of gray steel, that were with gold hemmyd,
Hanleth harnays and his hors asketh.96
The gold-hewen helme haspeth he blyve,
With viser and avental devysed for the nones.
A croune of clene gold was closed upon lofte,
Rybaunde umbe the rounde helm, ful of riche stones,
Pyght prudely with perles into the pure corners,
And so with saphyres sett the sydes aboute.
He strideth on a stif stede and striketh over the bente
Light as a lyoun were loused out of cheyne.
His segges sewen hym alle, and echon sayth to other:
"This is a comlich kyng knyghtes to lede!"
He boweth to the barres, or he bide wolde,
And bet on with the brond that all the bras rynges:
"Cometh, caytifes, forth, ye that Crist slowen,
Knoweth Hym for your kyng, or ye cacche more.
"Wayteth doun fro the walle, what wo his on hande:
May ye fecche you no fode thogh ye fey worthe!
And thogh ye waterles wede, wynne ye hit never,
O droppe thogh ye dey scholde daies in your lyve!97
"The pale that I pight have, passe hit who myght,
That is so byg on the bonke and hath the burowe closed,
Fourty to defenden agens fyve hundred -
Thogh ye were etnes ech on in scholde ye tourne!
"And more manschyp were hit mercy to byseche
Than metles marre there no myght helpys."
Was non that warpith a word, bot waytes here poyntes
Gif any stertis on stray with stones hem to kylle.98
Than, wroth as a wode bore, he wendeth his bridul:
"Gif ye as dogges wol dey, the devel have that recche!
And or I wende fro this walle, ye schul wordes schewe;
And efte spakloker speke or Y your speche owene!"99
By that a Jewe, Josophus, the gentyl clerke,
Hadde wroght a wondere wyle whan hem water fayled:
Made wedes of wolle in wete forto plunge,100
Water-waschen as they were, and on the walle hengen.
The wedes dropeden doun, and dryen yerne.
Rich rises hem fro; the Romayns byholden,
Wenden wel here wedes hadde wasschyng so ryve
That no wye in the wone water schold fayle.
Bot Waspasian the wile wel ynow knewe,
Loude lawghthe therat and lordlynges byddis:
"No burne abasched be, thogh they this bost make;
Hit beth bot wyles of werre, for water hem fayleth."
Than was nothyng bot note newe to bygynne,
Assaylen on eche a side the cité by halves,
Merken myd manglouns ful unmete dyntes.
And myche of masouns note they marden that tyme.101
Therof was Josophus ware, that myche of werre couthe,
And sette on the walle side sakkes myd chaf,
Agens the streyngthe of the stroke ther the stones hytte,
That alle dered noght a dyghs bot grete dyt made.
The Romayns runne to anon and on roddes knytte
Sithes for the sackes, that selly were kene,
Raghten to the ropis, rent hem in sondere,
That alle dasschande doun into the diche flatten.
Bot Josophus the gynful here engynes alle
Brente with brennande oyle and myche bale wroght.
Waspasian wounded was ther wonderlich sore
Throw the hard of the hele with an hande-darte
That boot throw the bote and the bone nayled
Of the frytted fote in the folis syde.102
Sone assembled hym to many sadde hundred
That wolden wrecken the wounde, other wo habiden.
They braydyn to the barres, bekered yerne,
Fought right felly, foyned with speres,
Jokken Jewes throgh. Engynes by thanne
Were manye bent at the bonke and to the burwe threwen.
Ther were selcouthes sen, as segges mowe here:
A burne with a balwe ston was the brayn clove,
The gretter pese of the panne the pyble forth striketh,
That hit flow into the feld, a forlong or more;103
A womman, bounden with a barn, was on the bely hytte
With a ston of a stayre, as the storyj telleth,
That the barn out brayde fram the body clene
And was born up as a bal over the burwe walles;
Burnes were brayned and brosed to deth;
Wymmen wide open walte undere stones;
Frosletes fro the ferst to the flor thrylled;
And many toret doun tilte the Temple aboute.
The cité had ben seised myd saut at that tyme
Nad the folke be so fers that the Fende served,104
That kilden on the Cristen, and kepten the walles
With arwes and arblastes and archelers manye,
With speres and spryngoldes sponnen out hard,
Dryven dartes adoun, geven depe woundes,
That manye renke out of Rome by restyng of sonne
Was mychel levere a leche than layke myd his toles.105
Waspasian stynteth of the stoure, steweth his burnes
That were forbeten and bled undere bryght yren;
Tyen to here tentis myd tene that they hadde,
Al wery of that werk and wounded ful sore.
Helmes and hamberkes hadden of sone,
Leches by torchelight loken here hurtes,
Waschen woundes with wyn and with wolle stoppen,
With oyle and orisoun, ordeyned in charme.
Suth evereche a segge to the soper yede;
Thogh they wounded were was no wo nempned
Bot daunsyng and no deil with dynnyng of pipis
And the nakerer noyse alle the nyght-tyme.
Whan the derk was doun and the day sprongen,
Sone after the sonne sembled the grete,
Comen forth with the kyng conseil to here,
Alle the knyghthod clene that for Crist werred.
Waspasian waiteth a-wide, his wyes byholdeth
That were freschere to fight than at the furst tyme,
Prayeth princes on ernest and alle the peple after
That eche wye of that werre schold his wille specke:
"For or this toun be tak, and this toures heye,
Michel torfere and tene us tides on hande."106
They tourned alle to Titus and hym the tale graunten
Of the cité and the sege to seyn for hem alle.
Than Titus tourneth hem to and talkyng bygynneth:
"Thus to layke with this lese folke us lympis the worse,107
For they ben fele of defence, ferce men and noble,
And this toured toun is tenful to wynne.
"The worst wrecche in the wone may on walle lygge,
Strike doun with a ston and stuny many knyghtes,
Whan we schul hone and byholde and litel harme wirche,
And ay the lothe of the layk light on usselve.108
"Now mowe they ferke no ferre here fode forto wynne;
Wolde we stynt of our strif, whyle they here store marden?109
We scholde with hunger hem honte, to hoke out of toun,
Without weme or wounde or any wo elles.
"For ther as fayleth the fode ther is feynt strengthe,
And ther as hunger is hote, hertes ben feble."
Alle assenteden to the sawe that to the sege longed,
Apaied as the prince and the peple wolde.
To the kyng were called constables thanne,
Marchals and masers, men that he tristith;
He chargeth hem chefly for chaunce that may falle,
With wacche of waled men the walles to kepe:
"For we wol hunten at the hart this hethes aboute,
And hure racches renne amonge this rowe bonkes,110
Ride to the rever and rere up the foules,
Se faucouns fle, fele of the beste."
Ech segge to the solas that hymself lyked,
Princes out of pavelouns presen on stedes,
Torneien, trifflyn and on the toun wayten.
This lyf they ledde longe: oure Lord gyve us grace!
In Rome Nero hath now mychel noye wroght:
To deth pyned the pope and mychel peple quelled,111
Petre, apostlen prince, and Seint Poule bothe,
Senek and the senatours; and alle the cité fured;
His modire and his mylde wif murdred to dethe;
Combred Cristen fele, that on Crist leved.
The Romayns resen anon, whan they this rewthe seyen,
To quelle the emperour quyk that hem unquemed hadde.112
They pressed to his paleys, porayle and other,
To brytten the bold kyng in his burwe riche;
The cité and the senatours, assented hem bothe,
Non other dede was to doun: they han his dome yolden.
Than flowe that freke, frendles, alone,
Out at a privé posterne, and alle the peple folwed.
With a tronchoun of tre, toke he no more
Of alle the glowande gold that he on grounde hadde.
On that tronchoun with his teth he toggeth and byteth,
Tille hit was piked at the poynt as a prikkes ende.
Than abideth that burne and biterlych speketh
To alle the wyes that ther were wordes aloude:
"Tourneth, traytours, agen! Schal never the tale rise
Of no karl by the coppe, how he his kyng quelde."
Hymself he stryketh myd that staf, streght to the hert,
That the colke to-clef, and the kyng deyed.
Six monthe after, and no more, this myschef bytydde,
That Waspasian was went to werry on the Jewes;
Foure mettyn myle out of Rome to mynden forevere,
That erst was emperour of alle thus ended in sorow.
The grete togedres gan, geten hem another,
On Gabba, a gome that mychel grem hadde
Throgh Othis Lucyus, a lord that hym longe hated.
And at the last that lord out of lyf hym broght:
Amydde the market of Rome they metten togedres;
Othis fallith hym fey, gaf hym fale woundes
That foure monthes and more hadde mayntened the croune;
And tho deyed the duke and diademe lefte.
And whan that Gabba was gon and to grounde broght,
Othis entrith on ernest and emperour was made;
That man in his majesté was monthes bot thre,
Than he yeldeth Sathanas the soule and hymself quelled.113
The Romayns raisen a renk Rome forto kepe,
A knyght that Vitel was calde, and hym the croune raughte . . .114
[. . . .]
Bot for Sire Sabyn's sake, a segge that was noble,
Waspasian brother of blode, that he brytned hadde . . .
[. . . .]
Waspasian upon Vitel to vengen his brother
Sent out of Surrie segges to Rome . . .
[. . . .]
That as naked as an nedul the newe emperour,
For Sire Sabyns sake, alle the cité drowe;
Suth gored the gome that his guttes alle
As a boweled beste into his breche felle.
Doun yermande he yede and yeldeth the soule,
And they kayght the cors and kast into Tybre.
Seven monthes this segge hadde septre on hande,
And thus loste he the lyf for his luther dedes.
Another segge was to seke that septre schold have,
For alle this grete ben gon and never agayn tournen.
Now of the cité and of the sege wolle Y sey more,
How this comelich kyng, that for Crist werreth,
Hath holden yn the hethen men this other half wynter,
That never burne of the burwe so bold was to passe.
As he to dyner on a day with dukes was sette,
Comen renkes fram Rome, rapande swythe,115
In bruneys and in bryght wede and with bodeworde newe,
Louten alle to the lord, and lettres hym raughten;
Sayn: "Comelich kyng! The knyghthod of Rome,
Throgh the senatours assent and alle the cité ellis,
Han chosen thee for chyventayn, here chef lord to worthe,116
And riche emperour of Rome. Thus redeth this lettres."
The lord unlappeth the lef, this lettres byholdeth,
Overloketh ech a lyne to the last ende.
Bordes born were doun, and the burne riseth,
Calleth consail anon and kytheth this speche:
"Ye ben burnes of my blod, that Y best wolde,
My sone is next to myself, and other sib manye:
Sire Sabyn of Surrie, a segge that Y triste,
And other frendes fele that me fayth owen.
"Now is me bodeword broght of blys froward Rome,
To be lord over that lond as this lettres speketh.
Sire Sabyn of Surrie, sey thee byhovyth
How Y myght savy myself and I so wroght;
"For Y have heylych heyght here forto lenge
Tille I this toured toun have taken at my wille
And me the gates ben get and golden the keyes,
And suth houshed on hem that this hold kepyn,
"Brosten and betyn doun this britages heye
That never ston in that stede stond upon othere.
Kythe thy consail, sire knyght," this kyng to hym sayde,
"For Y wol worche by thy witt gif worschip may folowe!"
Than seith Sire Sabyn anon: "Semelich lord,
We ben wyes thee with, thy worschup to further,
Of longe tyme bylafte, and ledes thyn owen;
That we doun is thy dede, may no man demen elles.
"The dom demed was ther: who doth by another
Schal be soferayn hymself, sein in the werke.117
For as fers is the freke atte ferre ende,
That of fleis the fel as he that foot holdeth.
"Bytake Tytus, thy sone, this toun forto kepe,
And to the doughti duke Domyssian, his brother.
Here I holde up myn honde myd hem forto lenge
With alle the here that I have while my herte lasteth.
"And thou schalt ride to Rome and receyve the croune,
In honour emperour to be as thyn eure schapith.
So may the covenaunt be kept that thou to Crist made:
Thyself dest, that thy soudiours by thyn assent worchen."118
Than with a liouns lote he lifte up his eyen,
To Titus tourneth anon, and hym the tale schewed.
And as Sire Sabyn hadde seid, he hym sone granteth,
With his brother and the burnes, as he hym blesse wolde:119
"I wol tarie at this toun til I hit taken have,
Made weys throw the walles for wenes and cartes,
Oure bothere heste to holde, gif me hap tydith,120
Or here be to-hewen, or I hennes passe."
A boke on a brode scheld was broght on to swere:
Alle burnes boden to the honde and barouns hit kyssen,
To be leel to that lord that hem lede scholde,
Sire Titus, the trewe kyng, tille they the toun hadde.
Fayn as the foul of day was the freke thanne,
Kysseth knyghtes anon with carful wordes:
"My wele and my worschup ye weldeth to kepe,
For the tresour of my treuth upon this toun hengyth:
"I nold this toun were untake, ne this toures heye,121
For alle the glowande golde upon grounde riche,
Ne no ston in the stede stondande alofte,
Bot alle overtourned and tilt, Temple and other."
Thus laccheth he leeve at his ledes alle,
Wende wepande away and on the walles loketh,
Praieth God, as he gooth, hem grace forto sende
To hold that they byhot han and never here hertis chaunge.122
Now is Waspasian went over the wale stremys
Even entred into Rome and emperour maked.
And Titus for the tydyng hath take so mychel joye
That in his synwys soudeynly a syknesse is fallen.
The freke for the fayndom of the fadere blysse,
With a cramp and a colde caught was so hard
That the fyngres and feet, fustes and joyntes
Was lythy as a leke and lost han here strengthe.
He croked agens kynde and as a crepel woxen,123
And whan they sey hym so, many segge wepyth;
They sente to the cité and soughten a leche
That couthe kevere the kyng, and condit delyveryn.
Whan they the cyté hadde sought with seggys aboute,
Fynde couthe they no freke that on the feet couthe,
Save the self Josophus that surgyan was noble,
And he graunteth to go with a goode wylle.
Whan he was comen to the kyng and the cause wyste
How the segge so sodeynly in syknesse is fallen,
Tille he have complet his cure condit he asketh
For what burne of the burwe that he brynge wolde.
The kyng was glad alle to graunte that the gome wylned,
And he ferkith hym forth, fettes ful blyve
A man to the mody kyng that he moste hated,
And yn bryngeth the burne to his beddes syde.
Whan Tytus saw that segge sodeynly with eyen,
His herte in an hote yre so hetterly riseth
That the blode bygan with the hete to brede in the vaynes,
And the synwes resorte in here self kynde.124
Feet and alle the fetoures as they byfore were,
Comyn in here owen kynd, and the kyng ryseth,
Thonketh God of His grace and the goode leche
Of alle save that his enemy was yn on hym broght.
Than sayth Josophus: "This segge hath thee holpyn,
And here hath be thy bote, thogh thou hym bale wolde;
Therfor graunte hym thy grace agen his goode dede,
And be frende with thy foman that frendschup hath served!"
The kyng saghtles with the segge that hym saved hadde,
And ther graunted hym grace to go where he wolde.
With Josophus he made joye and jewels hym raughte:
Besauntes, byes of gold, broches and ryngys.
Bot alle forsaketh the segge and to the cité yede
With condit as he come; he kepith no more.
And Tytus segyth the toun ther tene is on hande
For hard hunger and hote that hem is bylompyn.
Now of the tene in the toun were tore forto telle
What moryne and meschef for mete is byfalle;
For fourty dayes byfor they no fode hadde:
Nother fisch ne flesch freke on to byte,
Bred, browet ne brothe, ne beste upon lyve,
Wyn ne water to drynke bot wope of hemself.
Olde scheldes and schone scharply they eten;
That liflode for ladies was luther to chewe.
Fellen doun for defaute flatte to the grounde,
Ded as a dore-nayl, eche day many hundred.
Wo wakned thycke: as wolves they ferde;
The wyght waried on the woke alle his wombe-fille.125
On Marie, a myld wyf, for meschef of foode,
Hire owen barn that ho bare ho brad on the gledis,126
Rostyth rigge and rib with rewful wordes,
Sayth, "Sone, upon eche side our sorow is alofte:
"Batail aboute the borwe our bodies to quelle,
Withyn hunger so hote that negh our herte brestyth.
Therfor yeld that I thee gaf, and agen tourne
And entre ther thou cam out," and etyth a schouldere.
The smel roos of the rost right into the strete,
That fele fastyng folke felden the savere;
Doun thei daschen the dore: dey scholde the berde127
That mete yn this meschef hadde from men layned.
Than saith that worthi wif, in a wode hunger,
"Myn owen barn have I brad and the bones gnawen;
Yit have I saved you som," and forth a side feccheth
Of the barn that ho bare - and alle hire blode chaungeth.
Away they went for wo, wepyng ech one
And sayn: "Alas! In this lif how longe schul we dwelle?
Yit beter were at o brayde in batail to deye
Than thus in langur to lyve and lengthen our fyne."
Than they demeden a dom that deil was to hure:
To voiden alle by vile deth that vitelys destruyed -
Wymmen and weyke folke that weren of olde age,
That myght noght stonde in stede bot her stor mardyn -128
After to touche of trewe, to trete with the lord.
Bot Titus graunteth noght for gile that the gomes thenke,
For he is wise that is war or hym wo hape,
And with falsede afere is fairest to dele.129
To worchyn undere the wal wayes they casten,
Whan Tytus nold no trewe to the toun graunte;
With mynours and masouns myne they bygonne,
Grobben faste on the grounde, and God gyve us joye!
As Tytus after a tyme umbe the toun redeth
Wyth sixty speres of the sege, segges a fewe,
Alle outwith the ost, out of a kave
Up a buschment brake, alle of bright hedis,
Fyf hundred fightyng men, and fellen hem aboute
In jepouns and jambers. Jewes they were,
Hadde wroght hem a wey and the wal myned.
And Titus tourneth hem to without tale more.
Schaftes schedred were sone and scheldes y-threlled,
And many schalke throw-schot with the scharpe ende,
Brunyes and bright wede blody by-runne;
And many segge at that saute soughte to the grounde,
Hacchen upon hard steel with an hetter wylle,
That the fure out flewe as of flynt-stonys:
Of the helm and the hed hewen at-tonys,
The stompe undere stede feet in the steel leveth.
The yong duk Domycian of the dyn herde
And issed out of the ost with eghte hundred speres,
Fel on the fals folke, umbe-feldes hem sone,
As bestes bretnes hem alle and hath his brother holpen.
Than Titus toward his tentis tourneth hym sone,
Maketh mynours and men the myne forto stoppe;
After profreth pes for pyté that he hadde
Whan he wist of here wo that were withyn stoken.
Bot Jon the jenfulle, that the Jewes ladde,
An other Symond, of his assent, forsoken the profre,
Sayn lever in that lif lengen hem were,
Than any renke out of Rome rejoyced here sorowe.130
Sale in the cité was cesed by thanne;
Was noght for besauntes to bye that men bite myght:
For a ferthyng-worth of fode floryns an hundred
Princes profren in the toun to pay in the fuste.
Bot alle was boteles bale, for whoso bred hadde
Nold a gobet have gyven for goode upon erthe.131
Wymmen falwed faste and here face chaungen,
Feynte and fallen doun that so faire were,
Swounen, swallen as swyn, and som swart wexen,
Som lene on to loke as lanterne-hornes.132
The morayne was so myche that no man couthe telle
Where to burie in the burwe the bodies that were ded,
Bot wenten with hem to the walle and walten hem overe;
Into the depe of the diche the ded doun fallen.
Whan Titus told was the tale, to trewe God he vouched
That he propfred hem pes and grete pité hadde.
Tho praied he Josophus to preche, the peple to enforme
Forto save hemself and the cité yelde.
Bot Jon forsoke the sawe so forto wyrche,
With Symond, that other segge that the cyté ladde.
Myche peple for the prechyng at the posterne gatis
Tyen out of the toun and Tytus bysecheth
To forgyve hem the gult that they to God wroght;
And he graunteth hem grace and gaylers bytaught.
Bot whan they metten with mete, unmyghty they were
Any fode to defye, so faynt was here strengthe.
Ful the gottes of gold ilka gome hadde:
Lest fomen fongen hem schold, here floreyns they eten.133
Whan hit was broght up abrode and the bourd aspyed,
Withouten leve of that lord, ledes hem slowen,
Goren evereche a gome and the gold taken,
Fayner of the floreyns than of the frekes alle.
Ay were the gates unget tille two yeres ende,
So longe they sought hit by sege or they the cité hadde;
Eleven hundred thousand Jewes in the menewhyle
Swalten while the sweng last by swerd and by hunger.
Now Titus conseil hath take the toun to assayle,
To wynne hit on eche wyse of warwolves handes,
Never pyté ne pees profre hem more,
Ne gome that he gete may to no grace taken;
Armen hem as-tyt alle for the werre,
Tyen even to the toun with trompis and pypys,
With nakerers and grete noyce neghen the walles
Ther many styf man and stoure stondith alofte.
Sire Sabyn of Surrye on a syde yede;
The yong duke Domycian drow to another.
Fiftene thousand fyghtyng men ilka freke hadde,
With many maner of engyne and mynours ynowe.
Tytus at the toun gate, with ten thousand helmes,
Merketh mynours at the wal where they myne scholde,
On ech side for the assaute setteth engynes
And bold brenyed men in belfrayes heye.
Was noght bot dyn and dyt as alle deye scholde,
So eche lyvande lyf layeth on other;
At eche kernel was cry and quasschyng of wepne,
And many burne atte brayd brayned to deth.
Sire Sabyn of Surrye, whyle the saute laste,
Leyth a ladder to the wal and alofte clymyth,
Wendeth wyghtly theron - thogh hym wo happned -
And up stondith for ston or for steel-ware.134
Syx he slow on the wal, Sire Sabyn alone;
The seveth hitteth on hym an unhende dynte
That the brayn out brast at both nosethrylles.
And Sabyn, ded of the dynt, into the diche falleth.
Than Tytus wepyth for wo and warieth the tyme,
Syth he the lede hath lost that he love scholde:
"For now is a duke ded the doughtiest Y trowe
That ever stede bystrode or any steel wered."
Than Tytus on the same side setteth an engyne,
A sowe wroght for the werre, and to the wal dryveth
That alle overwalte ther hit went, and wyes an hundred
Were ded of that dynt and in the diche lyghten.135
Than Tytus heveth up the honde and Heven Kyng thonketh,136
That they the dukes deth han so dere boughte;
The Jewes preien the pees - this was the Paske-evene -
And to the comelich kyng the keyes out raughten.137
"Nay, traytours," quod Tytus, "now take hem yourselfen,
For schal no ward on the wal us the way lette:
We han geten us a gate agenes your wille;
That schal ben satled soure on youre sory kynde!"
Or the gates were yete - al the yeres tyme -138
Over the cyté were seyn selcouthe thynges.
A bryght brennyng swerd over the burwe henged
Without hond other helpe save of Heven one.
Armed men in the ayere upon ost-wyse,
Over the cyté were seyn sundrede tymes.
A calf agen kynde calved in the Temple
And eued an ewe-lombe at the offryng-tyme.
A wye on the wal cried wondere heye:
"Voys fram est, voys fram west, voys fram the foure wyndis,"
And sayd: "Wo, wo, wo worth on you bothe,
Jerusalem, the Jewen toun, and the joly Temple!"
The same tyme the toun was taken and wonnen
Yit sayth the wye on the walle another word more:
"Wo to this worldly wone and wo to myselve!"
And deyd, whan he don hadde, throw dynt of a slynge.
And than the vilayns devysed hem and vengaunce hit helde,
And wyten her wo the wronge that they wroghte
Whan they brutned in the burwe the byschup, Seint Jame;
Noght wolde acounte hit for Crist, the care that they hadde.139
Bot up yeden here gates, and yelden hem alle
Without brunee and bright wede, in here bare chertes;
Fram none tille the merke nyght never ne cesed,
Bot evere man after man mercy bysought.
Tytus into the toun taketh his wey:
Myght no man stande on the stret for stynke of ded corses.
The peple in the pavyment was pité to byholde
That were enfamyned and defeted whan hem fode wanted.
Was noght on ladies lafte bot the lene bones
That were fleschy byfore and fayre on to loke;
Burges with balies as barels or that tyme
No gretter than a grehounde to grype on the medil.140
Tytus tarieth noght for that, bot to the Temple wendith
That was rayled the roof with rebies grete;
With perles and peritotes alle the place ferde
As glowande gled-fure that on gold flikreth.
The dores ful of dyemauntes dryven were thicke
And made merveylous lye with margeri-perles;
Derst no candel be kende whan clerkes scholde rise -
So were they lemaunde lyght and as a lampe schonen.
The Romayns wayten on the werke, warien the tyme
That ever so precious a place scholde perische for synne.
Out the tresour to take Tytus commaundyth:
"Doun bete the bilde, brenne hit into grounde."
Ther was plenté in the place of precious stonys:
Grete gaddes of gold whoso grype lyste,
Platis, pecis of peys, pulisched vessel,
Bassynes of brend gold and other bryght gere;
Pelours, masly made of metalles fele,
In copper craftly cast and in clene selvere;
Peynted with pure gold alle the place over.
The Romayns renten hem doun and to Rome ledyn.
Whan they the cyté han sought upon the same wyse,
Telle couthe no tonge the tresours that they founden:
Jewels for joly men and jemewes riche;
Floreyns of fyne gold ther no freke wanted;
Riche peloure and pane princes to were;
Besantes, bies of gold, broches, and rynges,
Clene clothes of selke many carte-fulle -
Wele wanteth no wye, bot wale what hym lyketh.
Now masouns and mynours han the molde soughte,
With pykeyse and ponsone persched the walles:
Hewen throw hard ston, hurled hem to grounde
That alle derkned the diche for doust of the poudere.
So they wroughten at the wal alle the woke tyme,
Tille the cyté was serched and sought al aboute,
Maden wast at a wappe ther the walle stode,
Bothe in Temple and in tour alle the toun over.
Nas no ston in the stede stondande alofte,
Morter ne mude-walle bot alle to mulle fallen:
Nother tymbre ne tre, Temple ne other,
Bot doun betyn and brent into blake erthe.
And whan the Temple was overtilt, Tytus commaundys
In plowes to putte and alle the place erye;
Suth they sow hit with salt, and seiden this wordes:
"Now is this stalwourthe stede distroied forevere."
Tytus suth sett hym on a sete riche,
Alle the Jewes to jugge as justise hymself.
Criours callen hem forth as hy that Crist slowen,
And beden Pilat apere, that provost was thanne.
Pilat proffrith hym forth, apered at the barre,
And he frayneth the freke alle with faire wordis,
Whan Crist of dawe was don and to the deth yede,
Of the hethyng that He hadde and the hard woundis.
Than melys the man and the matere tolde,
How alle the ded was don whan He deth tholed;
For thritty penyes in a poke His postel Hym solde:
So was He bargayned and bought, and as a beste quelled.
"Now corsed be he," quod the kyng, "that the acate made;
He wexe marchaunte amys, that the money fenged
To sille so precyous a prince for penyes so fewe
They eche a ferthyng had fourmed floryns an hundred.
"Bot I schal marchaundise make in mynde of that other,
That schal be hethyng to hem or I hennes passe:
Alle that here bodyes wol by or bargaynes make,141
By lowere pris forto passe, than they the Prophete solde."
He made in the myddis of the ost a market to crye,
Alle that cheffare wolde chepe chepis to have;142
Ay for a peny of pris, whoso pay wolde,
Thrytty Jewes in a throm throngen in ropis.
So were they bargayned and bought and broght out of londe,
Never suth on that syde cam segge of hem after;
Ne non that leved in here lawe scholde in that londe dwelle,
That tormented trewe God. Thus Titus commaundyth.
Josophus, the gentile clerke, ajorned was to Rome:
Ther of this mater and mo he made fayre bokes.
And Pilat to prisoun was put to pynen forevere,
At Vienne, ther venjaunce and vile deth he tholed.
The wye that hym warded wente on a tyme
Hymself fedyng with frut and feffyt hym with a pere.
And forto paren his pere, he praieth hym yerne
Of a knyf, and the kempe kest hym a trenchour.
And with the same he schef hymself to the herte,
And so the kaytif, as his kynde, corsedlich deied.143
[. . . .]
[. . . .]
Whan alle was demed and don they drowen up tentis,
Trossen here tresour and trompen up the sege,
Wenten syngyng away and han here wille forthred,
And hom riden to Rome. Now rede ous oure Lord!
Hic terminatur bellum Judaicum apud Jerusalem.144
(see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
bound; beaten; (t-note)
pliable leather beset; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
If; prophet of worth; (see note)
man; struck You; (t-note)
I find; years; (t-note)
Until it befell; Titus; (see note); (t-note)
Who; Gascony ruled; Guienne; (see note); (t-note)
trouble harassed; Nero's; (t-note)
lip lay; clotted; cheek
father; is marvelously afflicted; (t-note)
hive of wasp-bees bred; (t-note)
Hived; them since youth; (t-note)
[he] was called Vespasian; (see note)
sickness; this man suffered
(see note); (t-note)
Cestius; Syria; (see note); (t-note)
came to trouble
they would hold back; (see note)
amid the fierce waves
On high set the sail; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
sky waned; grew dark; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
storm; red wind rose; (see note); (t-note)
soon set upon the sea
Nathan's ship soon; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
one end; [the] heavens
as [if] all would drown; (t-note)
Struck through streams; (t-note)
men at the shore
thought [it a] marvel; (t-note)
[a] barge or boat or man alive
could speak the language
asks; far; carried; (t-note)
[as a] messenger; leader; (t-note)
Cestius, his officer
judge of the Jewish law; (t-note)
called him (i.e., Nathan); (see note)
worldly wife; very pure; (t-note)
healing and salve
quickly; you will do
man in our land; was alive; (see note)
Proved [to be] a prophet
Bethlehem; fair maiden
she; (i.e., a virgin); (see note)
(see note); (t-note)
a male child she; ear; (see note)
token; had touched her; (see note); (t-note)
one; acknowledged together
part is one God
as [our] elders tell us
third; with Them
appointed; conjointly; (see note)
endless (i.e., immortal); equally; (see note); (t-note)
with one word alone; (see note); (t-note)
lepers; lodge; leeched (healed) at once; (see note)
(see note); (t-note)
dead; death; raised; (see note); (t-note)
Crook-backed and cancered; cured; (see note)
mute; deaf; with; (see note)
more miracles; I know of; (t-note)
Five; [it] is wondrous to hear; (see note); (t-note)
barley loaves; (t-note)
each man; yet lived long; (see note)
pieces [of bread]; meat; (t-note)
sowed; one group seventy-two; (see note); (t-note)
He deemed; were called; (t-note)
He sent them; teachings
Always; until they were apart; (t-note)
twelve goodly [men]; (see note); (t-note)
not proud; were called
caitiffs; chose; increase; (see note); (t-note)
outcasts; these; their; (t-note)
fifth of His fellowship; (t-note)
sixth; seventh; (t-note)
whose bones would never; (t-note)
here are [an] even ten
eleventh; adventured; (t-note)
Before; [and who] was; (t-note)
disloyal; wicked in his deeds
(see note); (t-note)
slew; deed; (see note)
gallows-tree burst in; (see note)
harrowed; (see note); (t-note)
To replace that accursed; chose; (see note)
at the time of Passover
woeful deed; plotted
Through Pilate tortured
honorable; first was named; (see note); (t-note)
face on; she's called; (see note)
Painted; missing no detail; (t-note)
it [to] her until her life's
man on this earth; (t-note)
[By] illness or mischief or man's [work]
Who kneels; believes
Ah; traitorous; (t-note)
him (i.e., Pilate)
cancer; was fully healed
Ah, courteous; (t-note)
to tell You; (t-note)
deed; death lamented; (t-note)
see; God's dear Son
promote my petition; (t-note)
stir; trouble; renew
To slay these devils
quick; token He left
Name; at once
therewith be baptized
fetched a font-stone; followed
who fought for Christ; (see note)
messenger (i.e., Nathan); went; (t-note)
(i.e., Vespasian), groaning gladly
pure woman; (t-note)
wholly I avow; (see note); (t-note)
unless; requited (avenged)
[At] that time; (see note)
our faith preaches
Many folk followed [him]; (t-note)
man wonders enough
cloth that cured the sick
Then to council were
[they] quickly agreed
appointed; fetch; (see note); (t-note)
permission; do; (t-note)
returned very quickly
and [a] crowd; (t-note)
aware who; owned
she fell flat; (t-note)
Embraced his feet; man
Then began the man
doleful death; dear teacher
place before he might stop
cloth; took at last; (t-note)
with [the] crowd; quickly; (t-note)
ordered to go
[to] Vespasian; (t-note)
marvel happened before them all
their temple difficult things occurred
palace; veil then; went
purified; grew so bright
(i.e., Vespasian); head
healing I ask
hands; (see note)
noise; clamor; grief
piping (music); (t-note)
gave thanks; these; (t-note)
hangs in the air; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Vernicle; (see note); (t-note)
Had it arrayed beautifully
Still [today]; face; veil
quickly, in haste
judge; [the] judgment; (see note)
one; two men
Who the work
their words to keep; (see note)
their promises; (t-note)
rattling; rubbing of mailcoats; (see note); (t-note)
Showing of swords, shields
[They] took leave of; lifting insignia; (see note)
gathering followed; (t-note)
By then; rigged, issued
wine hoisted in quickly
Scattered; broad sea; four miles; (t-note)
the top sail; (see note); (t-note)
wind at their backs; bank
Jaffa in Judaea's lands; (see note); (t-note)
Syria, Caesar's land; seek
Mt. Zion; here; (t-note)
dearly shall be avenged; (t-note)
Nor; rest; again; (t-note)
beset; [trapping] Syria
Burned always; left everything bare; (t-note)
roaring and smoke; (see note); (t-note)
red rushing (i.e., fire) that spread
Took; very many houses
Broke [down]; towns won
field; town, whoever would stay
where; (see note); (t-note)
as do the fowl that the falcon; (see note)
turrets and towers; (see note)
commoners of countries; (t-note)
Had flocked; (t-note)
[siege] engines; thick
resolutely set a siege
Set pavilions; [made] of pall cloth; (see note)
raised up quickly
[made] of turkish cloth; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
gilded apple; (see note)
lying underneath them; (t-note)
Towered with turrets
masters of law
chief chieftain; made their way
their message at once; (see note)
Gave them; men; (t-note)
their coming; avenge; (t-note)
before; stark-naked; (see note); (t-note)
man; no other clothes; (t-note)
go and throw [them]
stand by [the time] I leave
These messengers resolutely; went
Where; were all dwelling
Quickly; made a great row
Caiaphas; (the Jews); (see note)
took; more talk; (t-note)
Their hands; wooden
tore off their hair; beards; (t-note)
lowest reaches; (see note); (t-note)
blacken with blacking; (t-note)
Then knit; knight's neck
A [piece of] cheese; (see note)
we are unwilling; to follow
dread; judgment; planned
field; farther seek
men hastened; bound
Return; Jewish leaders
angry; men came
have; certified [to]; (t-note)
Raging mad [with] anger; (t-note)
Put watches; advised
erected; headquarters; stern way; (see note)
Built; full to the brim with weapons; (see note); (t-note)
A dragon [banner] was prepared; (see note)
Wide-gaping; [as if] men to swallow; (t-note)
falchion; keen blades; (see note)
burnished; beast; (t-note)
lifted; where; warred
ever looking; taken; (t-note)
treaty or no truce; yield
Before; counsel taken; (t-note)
to be slain or the town [to] win; (t-note)
extended; ready; (t-note)
Ready, if anyone ran away; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
troubling tower; gauged
battlefield; men; (t-note)
silk and cendal; beaten
glowing fire; (see note)
Before; sets to remain; (see note)
sum; siege; (t-note)
watch; no one escaped; (t-note)
neighing of steeds
Struggling into steel armor; (t-note)
elephants; slow beasts; (t-note)
Against; castles on [their] backs
all his men; (t-note)
arrayed; came to the valley
where; judge; (see note); (t-note)
Strongly battled; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Who; many people led
in the rear; tents
trumpets in the town
banners bade them; (t-note)
soon; (see note)
not counting men on foot
pressed; with shields
elephants; beasts; (see note)
broad castles; town
covered; mailed harnesses; (t-note)
beast; tower, where; in
Camels enclosed in steel came
[in] an amazing number
Armed for battle
Each one a wooden tower; (see note)
number; desired [to] know
brave men; who were afraid
found dead; before
was attired richly; (t-note)
A chest; (see note); (t-note)
chair; carbuncles; (t-note)
Beaten; burning candles; (t-note)
where; sitting; (t-note)
pearls and noble
Learned; could sing; (see note)
psalters sat beside him
brave; dear stories; (see note)
Joshua; Judas Maccabeus; (see note); (t-note)
chest took a roll; (see note)
read; (i.e., Red Sea); (t-note)
he related [at] that time
field; keen men
observes; (see note); (t-note)
overspread; town walls; (t-note)
Lords of land, hear
There is neither king nor; (see note); (t-note)
bachelor (petty knight); man; (t-note)
coming is not to avenge; (see note); (t-note)
Look [to] the scorning
Let; these lawless men
I renounce; living men; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
[one] more; we remember; (t-note)
supreme rule falls; (see note); (t-note)
strength, master or not; (see note); (t-note)
lord; lies; (t-note)
faint; belief; (t-note)
stories of battle; (see note); (t-note)
are called; [the] Lord
High Heaven's; [takes] heed; (t-note)
Trumpets; horses [begin] to neigh
Steeds; field; steel clothes; (t-note)
Strong; striding up on high
clarion; all kinds [of] pipes; (see note); (t-note)
Timbrels and drums intoning; (see note)
Gave a resounding; (t-note)
Took lances; leapt; (t-note)
fire; [it] fared between them
dust drove; dimmed
jostling in the skies; (see note); (t-note)
swooning to die; word
toils with the best; (t-note)
Fights the strongest; (t-note)
Then; sword; beats
brain; field runs; (t-note)
flank [of the army]; (t-note)
Beat; blade lasts
Hews fiercely; receive [it]
field; beams; (see note)
Off the golden gear
shivering of shields; (t-note)
went, as [if]; sky was on fire; (t-note)
vanguard sees; (see note); (t-note)
there were holding ground
[He] came; strong force; (t-note)
angered; [they] strike together; (t-note)
their backs; town led
[He] takes aim; horrible
Tears out the guts; (see note)
clatter; camels burst [open]
are driven quickly
foamed from them; pools; (t-note)
dashed steeds; (t-note)
men; wooden towers; (see note)
Completely locked; grew; (t-note)
hurdighs; (see note)
died in that place; (t-note)
alive, who stands upright; (see note)
Except one single elephant; (t-note)
sees the destruction
go after them
Bound; in [such a] bitter way; (t-note)
burst out under each bond; (t-note)
fine clerks (scholars); (t-note)
Where; placed them there
read from; (t-note)
failed [in their] hearts
Titus [came] after them
Many; army; field [were] left; (t-note)
helms with his hand alone
from; heaping over each other
field covered over; (see note)
steed; step; steel clothing
man, or on beast
high; number; earth
dead; (see note); (t-note)
Unharmed; man; broken; (t-note)
pierced; prize armor
until compline time; (see note)
helms (i.e., soldiers); (see note)
dead; before; (t-note)
Men leap; lock; (see note)
Bar them strongly; iron
Raise up the drawbridges
[the] portcullis with pins drops; (see note); (t-note)
bravely; to defend
[These] fresh, untried
grit; (see note)
Hurling bolts; crossbows at once; (see note); (t-note)
Until; made wet
They withdrew; ditch
[For] the casting; (t-note)
Came; [as] unharmed; went
Lacking; one man; injury; (t-note)
watch around; men's
heathen; be left; (t-note)
Soon; rose in the sky; (t-note)
Trumpets blow aloud to wake the men; (t-note)
field to make bare
loot; dead (spilled); (t-note)
Bracelets; byzants; (see note)
[They] cast dead; grievous
to begin [the] assault
Against every; placed them high
Began; watchtower to raise; (see note)
hew at the stairs; (t-note)
with [a] rush; city
Bolts, flaming with fire
arrows swiftly; poisoned; (see note); (t-note)
[They] burnt; buildings; (t-note)
Burst the galleries; broad
whole battle raging
hollow trenches beneath
at the bank bend their gear
Shoot; fair walls; (see note)
arrows and crossbows; (see note)
defend; wiles enough
Hot boiling pitch; cast; (see note); (t-note)
Burning lead and brimstone; (t-note)
Shoot shining; bright
cursing them all
Cast; crenelations and clustered
many dear days' work falls
By then; palisade; (see note)
around the town, with towers; (see note)
encircle; many; (t-note)
man under [the] sun; (t-note)
course of the canal; (t-note)
current went; (t-note)
sticks; stinking [dead] beasts
council; sit [in judgment]
death by judgment; die; (t-note)
the scribes; had captured
to the sky (i.e., by the feet)
honey; hideless; (t-note)
Dogs and cats; claws
caught and latched; thighs; (t-note)
Two apiece; to torment
rent; into red pieces
pained from prime; pierced
Until the sun set; (t-note)
learned; beneath; (t-note)
tormented; turned upside-down; (see note); (t-note)
Tied; two keen dogs
grabbed their hair; (t-note)
sorrow dashed; (t-note)
Build a bale-fire; burn; (t-note)
Burn every bone; ashes; (t-note)
Then go; (t-note)
across; town blow; soot; (t-note)
imbibe; (see note); (t-note)
mangled by beasts, burned
return for; trouble; (see note); (t-note)
put to death; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Darkened; moors; (t-note)
fires; army (host); (t-note)
Choose chieftains; quarrel; (see note)
to get their rest
lies in his lodging, he sleeps little
wallows and turns and tosses
turns for sadness
rises; hastened; (see note)
fork (crotch); (t-note)
clothes made of pall; (t-note)
coat of mail, braided thick
The lance-seat; (t-note)
puts on a coat, [the] color; (t-note)
wide belt; gear
about his loins; lashes enough
he belts above
pure refined; hilt; (t-note)
broad shining shield
helm he buckles quickly
visor; aventail; (see note); (t-note)
strong steed; field
loosed out of confinement
men all saw him; (t-note)
barriers, before he would stop
beat; sword so that; (see note); (t-note)
before you get more [guilt]
palisade; set; (see note)
bank; town; (t-note)
giants; you go [again]; (t-note)
By that time; Josephus; (see note); (t-note)
dripped; quickly; (t-note)
Know; their clothes; plentiful
man; place can lack water
man be weak; boast
It is only
aware; war knew
sacks of chaff
strike where; hit
harmed not a bit; noise; (t-note)
on poles attached
Scythes; were very sharp
Cut at; (t-note)
dashing; ditch flattened
Burned; burning; woe; (t-note)
That bit; boot
avenge; or woe endure; (t-note)
rushed; barriers, engaged quickly; (t-note)
fiercely, thrust; (see note); (t-note)
Battered; Siege engines by then; (t-note)
pregnant; child; (t-note)
stone from a siege-ladder; (see note); (t-note)
child [was] flung out
borne; town walls; (t-note)
Men; brained and bruised
Fortifications; ground fell
Who killed; kept
arrows; crossbows; catapults; (see note); (t-note)
missiles thrown; (see note)
Drive; cause deep wounds; (see note)
a man; setting of the sun; (t-note)
battle, stows; men
Retire; their tents with sadness
weary; very badly
took off soon
Physicians; looked [to] their hurts
wool bandaged [them]
Then every man; supper went
dancing; grief; dinning; (see note)
drummers' noise; (see note)
day dawned; (t-note)
sun assembled the great [men]; (t-note)
looks all-around; men
more ready; (see note)
man; war; (t-note)
opportunity grant; (t-note)
turns to them
are hard; fierce
place; wait on the wall
hunt, to proceed; (t-note)
injury or wound; (t-note)
where food is short; (see note)
strong; feeble; (see note)
saying; siege; (t-note)
mace-bearers; trusted; (see note); (t-note)
charged them chiefly; (t-note)
a watch of chosen
river and raise; birds; (see note); (t-note)
See falcons fly; fall; (t-note)
man [goes] to the solace; (t-note)
press on horses
Joust, loiter; (t-note)
life; [for a] long [time]; (t-note)
prince of the Apostles; (t-note)
Seneca; burned; (see note)
mother; mild; murdered; (see note); (t-note)
Harassed many; believed
rose; evil saw; (t-note)
palace, poor people
slay; rich burrow; (t-note)
both [of] them assented
have; doom given
flew; man (i.e., Nero), friendless
poor toilet; (t-note)
staff of wood
teeth he tugged; bit; (see note)
Until; sharpened; (t-note)
churl; cup; killed
strikes; straight; (t-note)
core was cleft; died
measured miles; (t-note)
great [men] (i.e., aristocracy); go; (t-note)
Galba, a man; trouble; (see note)
Otho; (see note); (t-note)
lord (i.e., Otho); (t-note)
Amid; came together; (t-note)
felled him mortally; deadly
Who [for]; (t-note)
then died; crown left; (t-note)
brought (i.e., buried); (t-note)
entered [Rome]; (t-note)
raised a man; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Sabinus' sake, a man who; (see note); (t-note)
Syria; men; (t-note)
needle; (see note); (t-note)
drew him (i.e., Vitellius); (t-note)
Then gored the man; (see note); (t-note)
screaming he went; yields; (t-note)
corpse; Tiber River; (t-note)
man; scepter; (t-note)
to [be] sought
great [men] were gone
city (i.e., Jerusalem); siege
Has held in; (t-note)
man of the town; (t-note)
garb; message; (t-note)
Bowed; gave him letters; (t-note)
So read these letters
Carefully read each line
made this speech
are men of my blood
nearest; many other relations
many, who owe me loyalty
message; bliss from; (t-note)
you must say
save; if I did this; (t-note)
solemnly vowed; remain
been given and yielded; (see note)
Burst; beaten; high fortifications; (t-note)
work; wit, if honor
For a long time; your own men
What we do; claim else; (t-note)
judgment made; does; (see note); (t-note)
fierce; man at the far end; (see note)
flays off the skin; (t-note)
brave; Domitian; (see note)
with them to remain
all the forces
your fortune (destiny)
paths; wagons; (see note); (t-note)
hewn, before I hence; (t-note)
book; shield; swear
men stretched toward; (t-note)
loyal; them should lead
Glad; day-bird; man (Vespasian); (see note)
prosperity; honor; you control
troth; town hangs
stone in the place; (t-note)
tilled, Temple and all
he takes leave from his men; (t-note)
Goes weeping; looked
wild sea; (t-note)
And so entered
news; taken so much joy; (t-note)
Were weak as a leaf
saw him so [beset]; men wept; (t-note)
could cure; safe conduct; (t-note)
could; who could walk; (t-note)
whichever man; town
goes forth, fetches very quickly
moody; he (i.e., Titus); (see note)
man to his bedside
with [his] eyes; (see note)
hot anger so quickly rose
has helped you
for his good deed
wherever he wanted; (t-note)
he keeps nothing more
besieges; where woe; (t-note)
hardship; difficult; (t-note)
mortality; for [lack of] food
Bread, soup; beast alive
but what they wept
shields and shoes soon they ate
Fell down from starvation; (t-note)
door-nail; (see note)
Woe stirred up thickly; became; (see note)
One; (see note)
around the town; kill
almost our hearts burst; (t-note)
give back what I gave you
enter where; eats; (t-note)
rose; roast; (t-note)
many starving folk smelled the savor; (t-note)
meat; hidden; (t-note)
crazed hunger; (see note)
[she] fetches; (t-note)
she bore; their
woe, weeping; (t-note)
one blow in battle to die
languish to live; end; (t-note)
mine; plot; (t-note)
would not a truce
miners; mine they began; (see note)
around; rides; (t-note)
siege, and a few men
away from the army; cave
an ambush broke; helms
fell about them; (t-note)
tunics and greaves; (see note)
turns toward them
men shot through; (t-note)
Armor; gear run with blood; (t-note)
men at that assault
[They] hack; [such] a savage; (t-note)
sparks fly about; (see note); (t-note)
Off; head [are] hewn at once
stump; horse hooves; remains
Fell upon; surrounds them
beasts slaughters; (t-note)
Afterwards [he] offers peace
knew of their woe; trapped
crafty, who; led; (see note)
Simon; forsook the offer; (see note); (t-note)
Selling; ceased; (t-note)
nothing; bezants to buy
farthing's worth; florins; (see note)
offer; pay in hand (fist)
blanched; their faces
went; threw them; (t-note)
offered them peace; (t-note)
begged; (see note); (t-note)
themselves; yield; (t-note)
forsook the message
man who led the city
Many; secret gates
[to] jailers sent
met; food, powerless
guts; each person had; (t-note)
it was discovered; trick
men slay them; (t-note)
Butcher each person; (t-note)
Always; un-gotten until; (see note)
siege, before; (t-note)
nor peace [to] offer them again
quickly; battle; (t-note)
trumpets and pipes
drummers; noise come near
Where many strong
each man had; (t-note)
assault he sets siege engines
armored; high fortifications; (t-note)
noise and blows
living life lays
corner; crashing of weapons; (see note)
men in a moment [are] brained; (t-note)
while the assault lasts
Lays; climbs; (see note)
Six he slew
seventh hits; a hideous blow
brain burst out; nostrils; (see note)
dead from the blow
weeps; curses the moment; (t-note)
Since; man has lost
bravest I believe
rode a horse; armor wore
siege engine; war; drives
have so dearly
guard from your wall; (t-note)
have seized for ourselves a gate; (t-note)
settled sorely; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
burning; hung; (t-note)
hand or help; alone; (t-note)
air like an army
against its nature; (see note)
gave birth [to] a baby lamb; (t-note)
man; cried loudly; (see note)
A voice from east; (t-note)
fall on you both; (see note)
Yet says the man; (t-note)
died; blow from; (t-note)
go; [they] yield themselves; (t-note)
in their bare shirts; (see note)
morning to dark; ceased
sought mercy; (t-note)
makes his way
fair to look upon
glowing burning coals; flickers; (t-note)
marvelously light; pearls
Needed no; kindled; (t-note)
brilliantly alight; shone; (t-note)
perish for [its] sin; (t-note)
treasure; (see note)
Raze the building, burn
bars; for whoever wanted to grab them
pieces of weight, polished vessels; (t-note)
Basins of burnished; (see note)
Pillars, sturdily; (t-note)
copper; silver; (t-note)
tore them down; took
No tongue could tell; (t-note)
rich double rings; (t-note)
no man lacked; (t-note)
fur and fabric; wear; (t-note)
Wealth; man; chooses; (t-note)
have searched the earth; (see note)
picks and punches pierced
made; that week's time
Made waste with one blow where; (t-note)
Was no stone; place standing; (see note)
mud-brick wall; earth; (see note); (t-note)
That wasn't razed and burned; (see note)
Then they sowed; these; (t-note)
strong place destroyed; (see note)
then set himself; seat
Criers; they who Christ slew; (t-note)
order Pilate [to] appear
proffers; appeared at court; (see note)
he (i.e., Titus) asks the man
day was done; went
Of the scorn; (t-note)
pennies; bag His apostle
bargain made; (t-note)
merchant amiss; took
[Even if]; farthing; (see note); (t-note)
midst; host (army); (t-note)
in a crowd bound
man of them; (t-note)
ordered; (see note); (t-note)
was put to [be in] pain; (t-note)
where; suffered; (see note); (t-note)
man cast [to] him
said and done; folded; (t-note)
Pack; trumpet; siege
have their will furthered
ride home; guide us may; (see note)
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