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Sir Tristrem, Part I


1 Unless he cause my torment to cease

2 Among the people it was not hidden (i.e., it was no secret; it was well known).

3 Through coats of mail the blood spewed

4 He did not know whom to blame for it

5 It [his heart] would have burst through blood and bone

6 To learn the ins and outs of [his] story

7 He did not stop [searching] because of that

8 He [Rohand] asked him [Tristrem] directly

9 As soon as he looked at it

10 He commended them to God and [said] good day

11 They advised the King to rid [himself of a problem]

12 You say I prevent my uncle from taking a wife

13 They didn't care who the man might be / In all the world / Who might slay him [the dragon] or who knew how to; / He would have Ysonde as a reward.

14 She asked for the drink from Ireland

15 Do not forsake for any payment / Doing that deed

16 And asked advice about those two [alternatives]

17 Tristrem came just / As Isolt had [gone] away

18 To go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem

19 [It would have been] good if you had commanded me

20 If [only] I dared, [but I don't] because of the King

21 But though I thought [myself] to die [as a result]

22 Except for the one [who] carried me to the ship

23 Neither of them might be sated with the other

24 They do not care about such sexual play

25 He [the Duke] offered him [Tristrem], in truth

26 Her hope [of receiving Tristrem's love] lasted so long [without fulfillment]

27 Without his [the giant's] waiting for him [for combat]

28 It seemed as if they were not images / Standing there

29 One of us shall lose his life-blood

30 For what action do you blame her

31 He was sorry, that noble young man

32 As a man who may do much (i.e., who is rich or powerful)


1 In the manuscript, a large capital I begins the romance. Large capitals also appear at the beginning of lines 34, 276, 452, 529, 573, 771, 1211, 1255, 1442, 1541, 1629, 1805, 1926, 2014, 2047, 2267, 2751, 2850, 3235, and 3290.

Because of damage to the manuscript, probably due, as Scott suggests, to the cutting out of an illumination, the end of the first line is missing. However, the entire line appears as a catchphrase on the preceding page.

Ertheldoun is Erceldoune, a village in Berwickshire, Scotland.

2 The Tomas referred to here (and again in lines 10, 397, 412 and 2787) as the purported source of the story of Sir Tristrem is Thomas of Erceldoune (fl. ?1220-?1297), a poet and prophet who is said to have predicted the death of the King of Scotland, Alexander III. Another work attributed to him but written long after his death is The Romance and Prophecies of Thomas of Erceldoune, edited by James A. H. Murray for the Early English Text Society (o.s. no. 61) in 1875.

3 The MED cites this line as an example of the use of the phrase in roune meaning "secretly" or "mysteriously." These meanings seem not to fit the context. The word probably has the meaning of "poem" or "song" in this context, and the author is here merely using the convention of citing an authority for his work.

20 McNeill notes that to abide is used here as "a mere expletive, which cannot be adequately translated."

23 McNeill notes that "Rouland" should be read for the manuscript reading of "Morgan," though he does not make the emendation in his text. I have followed Kölbing in making the emendation.

24 On Morgan, see the note to line 74.

39 Earlier editors agree on reading pouer as "the poor"; but it might also mean "the military force" or "the army."

44 On Rouland Rise (and also Rouland Riis on line 49), W. W. Skeat ("The Romance of Sir Tristrem," Scottish Historical Review 6 [1909], 59) says the "Rise" or "Riis" "is obviously the Welsh name Rhys, which has been Englished both as Reece and Rice."

74 Ermonie (which appears again in lines 762, 807, and 906, and as "Hermonie" in lines 532 and 849) as Tristrem's heritage is discussed at length by Ernst Brugger ("Almain and Ermonie as Tristan's Home," MP 25 [1927-28], 269-290). He suggests that in the Norse version of Thomas's story,
Ermenia, Tristram's home, was a town and port in Brittany. Tristram was therefore a Breton as well as his enemy, Duke Morgan. . . . The English translation [i.e., Sir Tristrem] does not go so much into details as the Saga, is more vague in its geographical indications, but generally confirms, or does not contradict, those about Tristram's home in the Saga. Ermenie is not yet a town. Navigation is necessary for passing from King Mark's court in England to Ermenie or vice versa. . . . Brittany . . . may have been thought of as adjacent to Ermonie and to the country of Duke Morgan, though this is not expressly stated . . . (pp. 272-273).
Brugger also suggests, however, that if Ermonie is original to the Tristan story, which he considers to have a Pictish origin, "Ermenie" should be identified with "Manann-Manau in Scotland" and goes on to say that a "confusion of Ermenie=Manann with Ermenie=Brittany . . . may have been the reason why Thomas transplanted Tristan's home from Scotland to the Continent; but I am inclined to think that this shifting was rather caused by the ambiguity of the name Bretaigne" (p. 289).

In another article ("Loenois as Tristan's Home," MP 22 [1924-25], 159-191), Brugger discusses the location of Tristan's home given in the Beroul (as opposed to the Thomas) tradition and identifies this place, Loenois or Lyonas, as Lothian, which he considers "far more important than Ermenie" (p. 190) because closer to what he sees as the Pictish origin of the legend.

80-81 The verse form and the sense suggest that there has been an omission by the scribe of two lines at this point.

95 Here and elsewhere throughout the manuscript, gan is an auxiliary verb indicating the past tense. Thus "gan he wende" means "he went."

146 The goinfainoun or "gonfalon" is a small pennon, here raised on the mast, or, as in line 173, suspended beneath the steel head of a knight's lance.

176-77 The paragraph mark used by the scribe to indicate new stanzas is erroneously placed before line 176, rather than before line 177, where the new stanza actually begins.

189 I follow Kölbing in emending the manuscript reading "Of" to "On."

247-49 The meaning of these lines is that Rohand, the steward of Tristrem's father Rouland, goes to his own wife's childbed and claims that his wife had two children, one of whom is Tristrem. Perhaps wiif is best taken as a dative form: he went "to his own wife" in her childbed. Rohand pretends the child is his own to protect Tristrem from his father's enemy Morgan. As part of the deception, he adopts the strategy referred to in lines 252-53 of disguising his name by reversing the syllables. In other versions of the legend, this strategy is adopted by Tristrem himself when he goes to Ireland in order that his identity as the slayer of the brother of the Queen of Ireland will not be revealed.

272 McNeill glosses held his hert in an as "kept his heart in one (i.e., in equanimity, repressing his sorrow)." Kölbing glosses "hielt sein herz in gleicher stummung, d.h. unterdrükte seinem kummer" (held his heart in constant temper, that is, suppressed his grief). The sense is clearly that Rohand did not wear his heart on his sleeve.

291 McNeill's note summarizes the opinions of the previous editors on this line:
This line defies interpretation as it stands. Scott in his glossary gives "Thede, apparently a contraction for they gede." But, as Kölbing points out, such a conjecture is untenable. Kölbing suggests that thede may be equivalent to the Old English theód, and proposes to read -

And everich play in thede,

which would have the same sense as in lede in verse 64, so that the line would mean every game known to the people - every game in the country.
The sense of the line is surely something like: he taught him "the manner of playing of every nation" of the old law and the new. Such a reading might be achieved without emendation if "thede" is taken as a genitive form. The Old English "theód," from which the Middle English word derives, is a feminine noun which would have a genitive in -e, so it is possible to read "thede" as a genitive form in this line.

297 W. W. Skeat ("The Romance of Sir Tristrem," Scottish Historical Review 6 [1909]: 61) says of Manerious: "the great puzzle is the wonderful name Manerious, which no one (says the note [i.e., McNeill's note]) can explain. However, I explained it once somewhere some years ago. It should rather be Manerius; and it is nothing but the Old Norman and Middle English word Manére, touched up with a Latin suffix to imitate its original. For what is its original? It is merely a French translation, meaning 'manner,' of the Latin name Modus. But what is meant by Modus? It is to be feared that its fame has departed; yet it was at that time one of the most famous of all works, as well known as the Roman de la Rose, or as the name of Newton is now to the students of science. Le Livre du Roi Modus et de la Reine Reson (The Book of King Manner and Queen Reason) was the chief authority on this very subject of 'venery' or hunting, containing all the precious terms of the chase and all the directions for the cutting up of the deer which, as the Romance informs us, Sir Tristrem knew so well. If he really knew more of hunting terms than even King Manner, he had great reason to be proud."

Skeat's explanation seems preferable to that of A. E. H. Swaen (Anglia 41 [1917], 182), who suggests reading "the puzzling name as Manuredus, i.e. Manfredus. Manfred, king of Sicily, wrote additional chapters to the Emperor Frederick the Second's famous treatise on falconry."

313 The OED notes that "aire" (of which air in this line is a variant) is "the earlier equivalent of aerie."

322The MED entry on the word "assise" (of which asise in this line is a variant spelling) refers to H. J. R. Murray's A History of Chess (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913) p. 455, for an explanation of the term in this context. Murray writes: "In the Middle Ages there was no tribunal whose word on the game of chess could be final. All attempts at the improvement of the game were from the necessity of the case individual at the outset, and each had to win its way to universal or national acceptance. Hence the first result of such attempts was a loss of uniformity, and the rise of local rules which differentiated the game of one locality from that of another. It took time for a happy improvement discovered perhaps in Spain to reach Germany, England, or Iceland, and all the modifications did not commend themselves to players in other countries. This led to the growth of what were called Assizes, the different codes of rules by which chess was played in different places or at different times. Thus we hear of the Lombard assize - the rules of the game as played by the famous players of Lombardy. We also hear in England of the long and short assizes, of which the former would appear to have been the ordinary mediaeval game, and the latter a game commencing from a different and more advanced arrangement of the pieces. We have a reference to the former in the Scotch version of the Tristram romance, Sir Tristrem . . . ."

325 The manuscript reads "Tristem." I have emended to "Tristrem." McNeill observes that "the sense of this and the following lines is very obscure. They seem to mean that Tristrem, doing as the wise do, looks upon the hawks on the one part, and the money on the other, as two separate parts, and lets the captain of the ship win as much money as he himself wins hawks." The problem with this interpretation is that in lines 340-41 we learn that Tristrem won 100 pounds. The MED, citing this line, glosses "delen a twinne" as "?act in two ways, work toward a double goal." However, in other instances cited by the MED the phrase means merely "to separate"; and it is possible that all that is meant is that Tristrem sets himself apart from Rohand in the process of playing the game. Lines 326-28, however, do seem to suggest that Tristrem plays wisely by allowing his opponent to win sometimes.

384 Kölbing glosses weder as "wetter" ("storm" or "bad weather" and McNeill glosses it as "weather"; but it seems to make as much or more sense to read it as "whither" or "wherever."

397 McNeill reads tho as "they, in the indefinite sense of people in general." It seems, however, that assigning it its more normal meaning of "then" yields better sense.

403-07 McNeill says that the sense of these difficult lines seems to be: "Whoever can say anything better (tell the story in a better manner), may say what he has to say (his owhen) here like a courteous man. But let each man praise what is pleasant to him at the end - i.e., when I have finished my version of the story." (See the introduction for another reading of "As hende").

410 Blihand or "bleaunt" is a costly silk fabric.

412 Toun might mean "a town," but it might also mean an enclosed space, a garden or a courtyard, where a reading might occur.

420 A peni can be a coin of small value or, if used more exactly, an "English silver coin, weighing approximately 22 grains, decreasing in weight and value from about 1300 A.D., equal to 1/12 of a shilling or 1/240 of a pound" (MED).

431 The OED, citing this line, considers temed to be a form of teem (v. 1, definition 8) "to betake oneself, to repair, go, proceed to." McNeill glosses as "appealed"; Kölbing as "berief sich" (relied on); and Scott as "tamed." The last meaning makes little sense; however, the verb "teme" is defined by the OED as "subjugate," and the sense could be that Tristrem subjugated himself to (that is, put himself under the protection of) the king.

446 A les or "leash" is here a set of three hounds.

454 The MED and OED both take Martirs as an erroneous form of the plural of "mart," a slaughtered animal (originally "a cow or ox slaughtered at Martinmas and prepared for provision for the winter," MED). But, despite the fact that line 455 makes this the most plausible reading, it is likely that the poet also was suggesting (or that the scribe was thinking of) images of martyrs quartered for their faith.

464 The manuscript reads "Tristem." I have emended to "Tristrem."

472 The phrase In lede is nought to lain, which literally means "Among the people it not to lie" is basically a metrical filler. The best translation is an emphatic "truly."

476 McNeill defines the "heminges" as "a piece of the hide cut out to make brogues for the huntsmen."

485 Scott, McNeill and Kölbing all read "spande"; but, as the MED suggests, this is an error for spaude ("shoulder"). The two minims were read as n rather than u. McNeill and Kölbing also read brede as "breadth"; but it seems possible that the meaning intended is something like a "cut of meat" (from "brede" = "roasted or grilled meat; also a roast" [MED]).

486 The erber is the first stomach, as opposed to the "rede" (line 489), which is the fourth stomach. On the process of dressing or "dighting" the erber, see J. Douglas Bruce, "The Breaking of the Deer in Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight," Englische Studien 32 (1903), 23-36; the note to line 1774 in English Hawking and Hunting in The Boke of St. Albans: A Facsimile Edition of Sigs. a2-f8 of The Boke of St. Albans (1486), ed. Rachel Hands (London: Oxford University Press, 1975) 141. The process is also referred to in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 1330.

487 The stifles are the joints "at the junction of the hind leg and the body (between the femur and the tibia) in a horse or other quadruped" (OED).

491 The noubles or "numbles" are inner parts of an animal used for food. The word is also found in the form "umble" and the parts so designated are used in making "umble pie." The phrase "to eat humble pie" is from the word "humble," according to the OED, but perhaps with jocular reference to "umble pie."

499 The word quirré, which comes from the Old French "cuirée," meaning "skin," refers to "certain parts of a deer placed on the hide and given to the hounds as a reward" (OED).

502 M. Y. Offord, in her note to The Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 80 (EETS, o.s. 246, [London: Oxford University Press, 1959] 41), notes that "a small piece of gristle at the end of the sternum . . . was thrown up into a tree to crows or ravens, as a kind of luck-offering."

518 Hunting calls were used as a form of communication during and after the hunt. Presumably the tokening or signal referred to here is the "retraite," the signal used to announce the return of the hunters. On hunting calls, see John Cummins, The Hound and the Hawk: The Art of Medieval Hunting (New York: St. Martin's, 1998), pp. 160-71.

531 The MED, citing this line, glosses the phrase spac biforn as "spoke first," but the meaning here must be something like "spoke right up."

537 McNeill glosses the tag For thought as "that can be imagined."

564-65 These lines, which earlier editors do not explain, present a problem of interpretation. A possible reading of the lines might be: "They took leave [of Tristrem] in the hall, whoever might reach the young man." The suggestion would be that those in the hall honored Tristrem by taking their leave of him if they could get to him, which was difficult because of the throng of people wishing to reach him after the display of his talent.

615 The manuscript reads "Tristram," but, as McNeill notes, this is obviously an error for "Rohand," to which I have emended the text.

687 The MED defines scarlet as "a robe, an article of clothing, etc.: of fine quality, perh. of scarlet color."

736 Kölbing suggests emending "skete" to "swete."

743 McNeill glosses with sight as "with a glance." The MED, citing this line, glosses "with a sigh."

754 Kölbing suggests that the word "he" (referring to Tristrem) is needed to complete the line: Rohand tells how Tristrem was begotten by his parents.

823 Unsought seems to suggest that one could find ten sons of kings at Morgan's table without even looking for them, that is, that kings' sons were plentiful there.

851-58 Kölbing and McNeill both ascribe all of these lines to Morgan, but it seems as if they are an exchange: Morgan admits killing Tristrem's father; Tristrem replies that since he has admitted it, reparations are due; Morgan asks if it is for his rights (the reparations) that Tristrem has come from Mark.

874-75 Here, as in lines 80-81, the verse form and the sense suggest that there has been an omission by the scribe of two lines.

906 Almain is discussed by Ernst Brugger in his article on "Almain and Ermonie as Tristan's Home" (cited above in the note to line 74) and at greater length in the second part of that article (MP 26 [1928-29], 1-12). Brugger asserts in the former article that "Almain was not Morgan's duchy, but was, like Ermonie, occupied by Tristan as his heritage" (p. 269). Though in the English poem Almain must be adjacent to Ermonie, Brugger suggests in the latter article that if Almain is to be traced back to the original form of the legend, which he regards as Pictish, it must be a corruption of "Albaine," a "northern neighbor" of Lothian (10).

921 In the phrase mi nem, there is a transference of n from "min" to the following noun. It is not unusual for a similar transference to occur with articles and with other possessive pronouns. See, for example, "A neten" (for "An eten," ["A giant"]) in line 950; "thi nore" (for "thin ore" [your mercy]) in line 2004; "thi nem" (for "thin em" [your uncle]) in line 2150; and "thi nare" (for "thin are" [your mercy]) in line 2135.

943 Latoun ("latten") is an alloy of copper, tin, and other metals.

948 Moraunt is the character who, in the French versions of the Tristan legend, is generally called le Morholt or le Morhot and, in Malory, Marhaus or Marhalt. In these versions, he is the Queen of Ireland's brother, whom Tristrem kills in combat to end the demand for tribute to the King of Ireland. In Sir Tristrem, Moraunt is presented as the brother of Ysonde (see line 1324) rather than her uncle.

955 The MED, citing this line, defines rade as "a protected place near shore where ships could lie at anchor."

968 As McNeill suggested, the word "tha" (after "thing" in the manuscript) seems to be crossed out.

1040 It seems fitting that Tristrem has a lion as the heraldic emblem on his shield, since the lion was the "Kyng and prince of alle bestes . . . . and some leouns . . . haven scharpe and fers hertes," as John of Trevisa writes in On the Properties of Things: John of Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomæus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975) II, 1214.

1093 McNeill reads "Zour," but the letter he reads as a "Z" seems to be comparable to the initial capital yogh as it appears elsewhere in the manuscript Thus I have transcribed it as "Y."

1132 McNeill suggests that following Kölbing's emendation of "thai" for "he" would improve the sense. It is possible to maintain the manuscript reading and to translate as: "Each of them had done what he might"; but perhaps a more suitable approach would be to emend "he" to "hie," an alternate form of "they," or to leave the manuscript reading and consider "he" as the third person plural pronoun. This form appears frequently enough in Middle English. See, e.g., Havelok the Dane, line 152 ("He [They] wrungen hondes, and wepen sore").

1150 McNeill says that for the manuscript reading of "son," "send must be read." The emendation is not necessary, however, if we read "yare" as a verb (meaning "to prepare").

1157 His is ambiguous in this line. It might refer to Tristrem: that is, Tristrem asked for a blessing for himself. It might also refer to Mark: Tristrem asked for his (Mark's) blessing. In either case, the subject (he=Tristrem) is understood.

1173 McNeill and the MED are probably correct in considering the manuscript reading "ride" an error for "rive," which is required by the rhyme. Thus I have emended to "rive."

1202 The phrase under line is used in Middle English, as the OED observes, as a mere expletive. Its literal meaning in something like "clothed in linen" or "in [one's] clothes."

1204 The manuscript reads "medicie." I have emended to "medicine," which is required by the rhyme.

1220 According to the MED, fowe is "a kind of particolored fur" and griis is a kind of gray fur, probably "fur from the back of the Russian gray squirrel in winter."

1226 Croude or "crowd" is "a name applied to various forms of the early fiddle: any of a class of stringed instruments with two to six strings, with bow, and later a fingerboard, in the shape of a rectangle, ellipse, or double ellipsoid, and played, depending on size, at the shoulder or across the knees" (A Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, compiled by Henry Holland Carter [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1961]).

1228 It is appropriate for the Irishmen to swear by St. Patrick, their patron saint.

1234 The first two letters of "sche" are not clearly legible in the manuscript; thus McNeill's text reads ". . he," though he does suggest that the word must be "sche."

1248 The phrase maken aloft means "to start or begin" something. In this line the word play means "music."

1290 Fet could be the third person singular of "feden" ("to feed" or "to nourish") or of "fetten" ("to rescue"). McNeill says the "sense" is "whoever cherishes an unknown man (is doomed to disappointment, for) he always goes away."

1308-9 Kölbing translates these lines: "Sie ahnten rache, weil sie ihn allein hatten fahren lassen" (They had a premonition about vengeance because they had let him travel alone).

1317 Gain is an alternate spelling of "gan." It gives a past sense to the word "frain" ("ask"). See the note to line 95.

1356 The MED, citing this line, glosses reles as "taste" and "? also beauty." McNeill glosses it as "description." Something like "beauty" is probably the sense intended, but it is possible that another sense of "reles" is intended either as the primary meaning or as a pun. The word can also mean "relief" or "abatement of distress" (MED). For the King and for the barons, a wife could relieve them of the problem of not having a direct heir to the throne.

1366 The point of this line is not immediately obvious. Perhaps the sense is something like "A little bird told me" that you are accusing me of preventing my uncle from marrying.

1381 According to the OED, vair is "a fur obtained from a variety of squirrel with grey back and white belly, much used in the 13th and 14th centuries as a trimming or lining for garments." On griis, see note to line 1220.

1390 The MED, citing this line, glosses fare as "rigging." However, the term might also refer to the "merchandise" of the ship.

1445 John of Trevisa (in On the Properties of Things: John of Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomæus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975] II, 1214) notes that when lions are pursued by hounds and hunters, "they lotyeth [lie concealed] nought nouther behuydeth [hide] hemself but sitteth in feldes where he may be seye [seen] and arrayeth himself to defens and renneth out of woode and covert with swift rennynge and cours, as though he wolde acounte vile schame to loty [lie concealed] and to huyde [hide] hymself. . . . Whanne he is ywounded he taketh wonderliche heede and knoweth hem that him furst smyteth, and reseth on [charges] the smytere though he nevere be in so gret multitude."

1520 Skeat, in his note to Piers Plowman C.II.147 (The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman in Three Parallel Texts . . . [London: Oxford University Press] 1961, II, 27) defines "treacle" (tryacle in his text) as "a sovereign remedy" and says that "the chief point to be observed is that it was considered to be an antidote against poisons, because it contained the flesh of vipers."

1584 The manuscript reads "mi brother." I have emended to thi brother. McNeill notes the error, and observes that "it was the queen's brother, not Ysonde's, who was slain by Tristrem"; but he does not emend his text.

1586 McNeill reads "be," where the manuscript has "he."

1608 The manuscript reading of "lerld" is, as the MED suggests, apparently an error for "lerde," to which I have emended the text.

1633 The sense of this line seems to be that the steward claims he will not fight because "a wrong is being perpetrated there."

1645 See Sir Walter Scott's note on love potions in his edition of Sir Tristrem (313-315). Scott writes that "the noted hippomanes [a growth found at the forehead of a newborn foal and considered in antiquity to be an aphrodisiac] was the principal ingredient in these love-potions; but the bones of a green frog (provided the flesh had been eaten by ants), the head of a kite, the marrow of a wolf's left foot, mixed with ambergris, a pigeon's liver, stewed in the blood of the person to be beloved, and many other recipes, more or less nauseous, are confidently averred to be of equal virtue."

1655-59 McNeill gives the "sense" of these lines as: "Thus the true knights rowed, and Tristrem also rowed, and continued to row, all the time that they came fresh (having been relieved while Tristrem was still at the oar), though he was only one man to three of them - a great labour."

1663 The pin here refers to a pin or peg "inserted in a drinking vessel marking equal portions of the contents" (MED).

1677 In lide = "in lede," means literally "among the people" or "on earth;" but here it is a virtually meaningless tag.

1681 For thought is difficult to gloss in this context. In her translation of Sir Tristrem, Jessie Weston translates "Long as man's thought" (160). This seems too loose a gloss. The phrase may be seen as a nearly meaningless tag. Or the sense may be something like "when we think about it" (similar to McNeill's gloss "that can be imagined" for the phrase as it appears in line 537). It is also conceivable that what is intended is "for-thought," a participle from "forthinken" (regret). The sense would then be that Tristrem and Ysonde were together in joy and also in pain, which was to be regretted. This reading is supported by the "to sain" in the following line. The phrase suggests that the comment that the drink was made in an evil time explains what came before.

1720 ff. In these lines Ysonde sneaks into bed to make Mark think he has slept with her rather than Brengwain. She asks for the drink from Ireland to make it seem to him that they have shared the love potion, but she lets the cup fall because she does not want to share it with Mark and she no longer needs it to strengthen her love of Tristrem, since their love is already sealed by the earlier drinking of the potion.

1734 ff. The fact that Ysonde would laugh when Tristrem is in grief seems strange. Kölbing translates these lines: "Ysonde lachte, wen Tristrem in leid war, absichtlich" (Ysonde laughed when Tristrem was in sorrow, intentionally) and explains that her laughter was intentional so that no one would suspect the relationship between them. It might also be a sign that Ysonde's mind is affected by the love-sickness caused by their forced separation, the laughter being a kind of mad laughter. She does, after all, in the next line, plan to kill Brengwain. Susan Crane sees these and the surrounding lines as a "dramatization of feelings alternating between joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment" which "nearly captures Thomas's idea that love's contrary movements are reciprocal and inseparable" (p. 191).

1853 A rote is "a medieval stringed-instrument of the harp family consisting of a solid, triangular wooden frame with seven strings and played like a guitar with the hand." The harp of the Irish minstrel is, if the term is used technically (and not loosely to indicate a stringed instrument, as is sometimes the case), "a triangular-shaped diatonic instrument consisting of a small tripartite frame (body, front pillar, and arched neck with metal tuning pins) on which from eight to eighteen strings of twisted hair, gut, or wire were strung" (A Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms, compiled by Henry Holland Carter [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1961], p. 414 and p. 185).

1854 The ring refers to a "metal ring attached to an object for fastening, lifting, etc." (MED).

1875 On dathet, John Edwards (Scottish Historical Review 1 [1904], 56) says, "This old imprecation is not Anglo-Saxon; it came over with the Conqueror, but early found an abiding place here. It is explained as coming from the Merovingian French, `Deu hat,' meaning `God's hate.'" Perhaps the best gloss on the word would be "damn" or "curses [on him]!"

1876 McNeill says that this line is "so corrupt as to be unintelligible." Perhaps some sense can be made of it by taking stound as a verb (as in "stound," OED v. 1) which means "to be painful" or "to cause great pain." Lines 1875 and 1876 then mean: "A curse on him always, / If this [his playing] cause [you] great pain concerning [that is, because it reminds you of] Tristrem." The earliest use of such a meaning recorded in the OED is 1500, but the parallel meaning of the noun "stound" dates back to 1300. There remains, however, an abrupt shift in the earl's thought, from cursing the minstrel for reminding Ysonde of Tristrem to rewarding him for traveling with them because his music pleases her.

1930 The manuscript reads "Tristren," which I have emended to "Tristrem," the form in which the name most frequently appears throughout the manuscript.

1940 I follow the suggestion of the MED in emending by adding "and" between the words "sorwe" and "site," which are contiguous in the manuscript.

1993 Say seems to govern both what comes before it and what follows. The sense is: "Ask to go with him, and say to him if he still loves you, `send Tristrem away.'" The shift from indirect to direct discourse occurs frequently in Middle English romances.

2002 I follow Kölbing's suggestion in emending the manuscript reading of "thi nemes" to "his emes" ("his uncle's," i.e., Mark's).

2004 On thi nore, see the note to line 921.

2019 Meridok's plan is to trap Tristrem by separating him from Ysonde thus causing him to arrange a meeting with her which Mark can observe.

2051 McNeill says that "the line is unintelligible." Kölbing suggests emending to "Tristrem go with hem bede" ("Bid Tristrem to go with them"). This seems to be the sense of the line. Perhaps the emendation is not necessary, since it is not unusual for the verb "to go" to be understood.

2080-90 This stanza is typical of the compressed style of the poet. Tristrem sees through the dwarf's deception and immediately adopts the strategy of accusing Ysonde of harming him by slandering him to Mark. Tristrem's words are addressed to the dwarf, whom he calls "Maister," which may be used as a term of respect when addressing someone of a higher station or merely as a polite (or occasionally ironic) way of addressing someone of a lower station.

2135 On thi nare, see the note to line 921.

2138 The word make is repeated in this line of the manuscript.

2144 Kölbing notes that Ungiltles must be read as either "ungilti" or "giltles;" the sense is surely that Mark now believes Tristrem is not guilty of the accusations that have been made against him.

2169 A constable is "the chief officer of a ruler's household or court" (MED).

2184 In the Middle Ages, blood-letting was routine preventive medicine, a way of ridding the body of evil humors, as well as a cure for specific diseases. On this subject, see Stanley Rubin, Medieval English Medicine (Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 1974) 140 ff.

2199 Tristrem's leap of thirty feet is quite an accomplishment. The current record for the long jump, held by Carl Lewis, is twenty-eight feet, ten and a quarter inches.

2201 Willes is a genitive singular of "will" and is used here as a predicate adjective.

2229 ff. On the ordeal with the hot iron, see Ernest C. York, "Isolt's Ordeal: English Legal Customs in the Medieval Tristan Legend," SP 68 (Jan. 1971), 1-9. York notes that the ordeal "had gone out of use in England almost a century before" Sir Tristrem was written. For a more general literary context, see Ralph J. Hexter, Equivocal Oaths and Ordeals in Medieval Literature (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975). For historical information about ordeals, see Robert Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), and Henry Charles Lea, The Ordeal, with additional original documents in translation by Arthur E. Howland, ed. Edward Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1973).

2234 The merkes are the "posts by which the path of the accused is designated in a trial by ordeal" (MED).

2235 York (see note to lines 2229 ff.) notes that "Westminster was not a bishopric [the usual site of a trial by ordeal] until the sixteenth century and then only for a short time. But here an earlier Anglo-Saxon custom may be pertinent. According to the laws of Ethelred, `every ordeal shall take place in a royal manor.' Westminster Abbey, from the time of the Confessor on, held numerous manors, many of which were royal ones" (8).

2280 Ycorn is the past participle of "chesan," "to choose."

2286 F. Holthausen (in "Zur Erklärung und Textkritik der ME. Romanze `Sir Tristrem,'" Anglia, 39 [1915], 381) suggests reading "Hir" instead of "And." However, given the poet's tendency to use nearly meaningless tags, the manuscript reading should remain. The line then becomes a redundant (or perhaps emphatic) phrase meaning "and he did," but perhaps best translated by something like "indeed."

2290 Maugré is a preposition governing the genitive case. Thus maugré his means "in spite of him."

2296 McNeill translates "And he quickly gains intelligence of this (i.e., of the reconciliation between Mark and Ysonde) . . ." But it seems more likely that fraines this refers to seeking battle. The poet uses "frainen" again in this sense in line 2626.

2327 Scott, McNeill and Kölbing all take mete as "meal," probably because Tristrem is said to have come upon Morgan as he began to cut his bread (see line 820). It is also possible that "mete" is related to the verb "meten" in the sense of encounter.

2329 Bist is from the verb "bien," which means "to buy" or, as here, "to pay for" or "to atone for."

2371 An is the third singular present of "unnen" ("to grant").

2393 Deste is the past tense of "dashen" ("to fall precipitously" or "to collapse").

2474 The OED, citing this line, defines fede as "Great, large" and notes that the etymology is unknown and that "the senses assigned are somewhat uncertain, and perh. the examples do not all contain the same word." The MED, also citing this line, suggests that the word may be related to the Old Icelandic "feyja" ("to rot, decay") and defines the term as "Decayed, withered; ?hoary (forest)."

2496 It seems possible to translate this line in two ways. It might mean: "On account of the love each had for the other." But it might also mean: "On account of love, each gazed on the other." The latter meaning would require the line to be punctuated: "For love, ich other bihalt;" rather than as it appears in the text.

2508 The line means "A year minus three weeks."

2548 McNeill reads "liue" (live), but the minims that he reads as u may also be read as an n. Reading "line" (as a form of "lien," "to lie,") makes much better sense in the context.

2557 This line appears at the bottom of the first column on folio 295 v. There is a sign after the fourth line of the column to indicate that this line should be inserted at that point.

2590 McNeill glosses this line: "In spite of the plans we are able to devise."

2628 McNeill glosses thurchsayn as "explored." Kölbing glosses it as "durchsuchen" ("search through").

2663-73 Of these lines, Susan Crane says, "The whole of Tristan's debate on whether or not to marry Isolt of Brittany . . . is distilled into one stanza" (190).

2666 McNeill omits the word "ous," which appears in the manuscript between "hath" and "wrought."

2674 That refers to the intention to marry Ysonde of the White Hands.

2725 Brether is a plural form. Thus "brethern" (as in line 3310, for example) is a double plural (as is also the word "children"). The n-plural also appears in the word "fon" ("foes") in line 3245.

2730 The word fre as used in this line seems to have a legal connotation as it does, for example, in The English Register of Godstow Nunnery, near Oxford; ed. Andrew Clark; EETS o.s. 129 (London: Kölbing emends to "blac."

2742 The MED, citing this line, glosses merkes as "tracks (of an animal)"; but it seems preferable to read it as a variant of "markes" (which appears in line 2710), meaning "boundary markers." The point is that Tristrem's hounds run beyond the boundary markers into the giant's territory. The chance thus arising (see line 2739), Tristrem enters into the forbidden territory.

2744 I have emended the manuscript reading "blalc" to "blac." McNeill reads "blalc" but says in his glossary that it is erroneously written for "blac." Kölbing emends to "blac."

2746 McNeill suggests that Kölbing's emendation of "was fade" to "forbade" "would certainly make the sense more intelligible than it at present is." However, if "douke" is read in a general sense (meaning "knightly warrior") and taken as referring not to Duke Rohande but to the giant Beliagog, the line makes perfect sense. "Fade" would mean "eager for battle" in this context.

2749 Priis is the signal on the hunting horn that indicates that the quarry has been taken.

2779 Bleynt is the past tense of "blenchen" ("to move suddenly or sharply; jerk, twist; flinch, wince, dodge," MED). This line explains how Tristrem evaded the spear. By turning quickly aside, the spear passed between his hauberk and his body.

2786 The line, which translates literally as "Tristrem's life he nearly sold," means "He nearly killed Tristrem."

2801 ff. McNeill translates this line: "Tristrem acknowledged him as a free man - i.e., accorded him his freedom." Skeat ("The Romance of Sir Tristrem," Scottish Historical Review 6 [1909], 61) says, "This is a very harsh construction of knewe. I take fre in its usual sense of `liberal' or `bounteous.' Further, I alter the semi-colon after fre to a comma, and place another comma after Beliagog. The sense is `Tristrem knew him, Beliagog, (to be) liberal in his promise, (namely), if I am to conceal nothing, that he would make a bright hall for him.' Here is nothing forced or obscure. For hight, a promise, see the Cursor Mundi, l. 785. The semi-colon after fre deprives the rest of the passage of its verb." Another possible explanation is to read 2801 either as McNeill does or as meaning "Tristrem knew him to be generous." In the next line, "hight" could be read as the past of "hien" ("to hasten or hurry"). The sense would then be: "Beliagog rushed right in, truly, to make him a bright hall for Ysonde and Brengwein."

2814 Kölbing glosses this line: "Sein werk zu ende zu führen" ("to carry through his work to the end").

2841 McNeill says that to calle is "an expletive with no more definite meaning than `so to say,' `so to speak"'; it is possible, however, that the phrase means something like "[ready] to be summoned" and is emphasizing the life-like quality of the statues of the dogs.

2851 York Powell ("A Few Notes on Sir Tristrem," Englische Studien 6 [1883], 464) says: "Sein Matheus toun is S. Mahé in Brittany on the coast, I fancy. This spot was well known to Englishmen and Scots at the date of the original poem. He is in Bretein l. 2641, and S. Mahé by Ushant i[s] [article reads "in"] not so far from S. Pol de Leon, the Lyoun of l. 2855. So we get an indication of travel or of knowledge of the Brittany coast such as a knight or bachiler serving in the wars or as ambassador might show. S. Mahé was well known from the Brittany wars of Ed. III and Rich. II to Englishmen."

2880 The MED, citing this line, notes that Withouten oth is used "as a tag or emphatic" to mean "assuredly, unquestionably, truly, indeed."

2936-37 McNeill seems to capture the sense when he glosses these lines: "Kölbing is probably correct in reading let as a form of "leten" meaning "speak of" or "judge." This line makes best sense when seen as a continuation of the description of the beloved: "My beloved fair and sweet . . . who knows well how to speak of love." Line 3306 might be translated as "May Christ send her to you" (i.e., "May you save her"); or, if "hir" is taken to refer to Ysonde (named in line 3308), the line might mean: "May Christ send her [Ysonde] to you / [If] you undertake to make better my sorrow / For love of the noble Ysonde." If the latter reading is preferred, the period at the end of line 3306 should be changed to a comma.

2943 The phrase in lede (literally "in the [his] country" or "among the people" is here a rhyming tag with little real meaning.

2966 The word are in this line modifies "duelled" in the following line.

2968 The MED, citing this line and also line 3177, says that the phrase to lithe (literally "to hear" or "to listen") is "a more or less empty metrical tag."

2976 The word blo, meaning dark and thus virtually synonymous with "black," survives in the phrase "black and blue" where "blue" is "a corruption arising when blo became obsolete after 1550" (OED).

3050 The MED, citing this line, defines hayte as "?to fight, do battle"; but the more normal meaning of "to show hatred" seems more appropriate to the context.

3068 Catherine of Alexandria was a saint supposed to have lived in the fourth century who was "a noble girl persecuted for her Christianity, who despised marriage with the Emperor because she was a `bride of Christ' . . . . Her protests were against the persecution of Christians by Maxentius; her tortures consisted of being broken on a wheel (later called Catherine wheel), but the machine broke down injuring bystanders; Catherine was beheaded." She was a patron of nurses ("because milk instead of blood flowed from her severed head") and of young girls (Oxford Dictionary of Saints).

3128 Clerk and knight is one of the contrasting pairs commonly used in Middle English to represent completeness. The sense of the phrase is "one and all."

3139 McNeill takes to-kest (his reading is "tokest" as meaning "destroyed." I prefer to read "to-kest," which I take as related to the verb "casten," which can mean "to cast one's eyes at" or "to look at something." Though the examples of this sense cited by the MED generally have a word meaning "look" or "eye" in conjunction with "cast," the sense of looking is suggested by the notion of spying. Thus "to-kest" would mean something like "looked over" or "surveyed."

3153 Bond and fre is another example of a contrasting pair used in Middle English to suggest completeness (see the note to line 3128). Thus the sense of the phrase is "everyone."

3173 The claper is the "lid or clapper of a beggar's clapdish" (MED). Scott (362) notes that lepers "usually carried the cup and clapper mentioned in the text. The former served to receive alms, and the noise of the latter warned the passenger to keep aloof, even while bestowing his charity."

3183 This line only makes sense if hem is taken as referring to Canados and Ysonde. Apparently her threats to catch them in the act are a way of preventing Canados from having his way with Ysonde. Although the antecedent is far removed from hem in this reading, the interpretation is supported by the following lines in which Brengwain complains about Canados to Mark.

3248 The sense of yeld in this line is something like "paid them back for." Tristrem and Ganhardin are paying back the bold knights (like Meriadok) for their old deeds, i. e., the harm done to Tristrem and Ysonde.

3261 In the manuscript the last letter of stirops is an "o." The word thus reads "stiropo," but the MED considers this an error for "stirops," to which I have emended the word.

3296 About the phrase A knight that werd no schone (wore no shoes), Scott says: "The knights often made whimsical vows, to forbear a certain part of their dress, armour, or habits of life, until they had executed a particular adventure . . . ." However, the line probably refers to the fact that the second Tristrem is a young and untested knight. To "win one's shoes" meant to prove oneself in combat. (See, e.g., Rauf the Collier, line 765: "It war my will, worthy, thy schone that thow wan . . . ."

3305-6 Kölbing is probably correct in reading let as a form of "leten" meaning "speak of" or "judge." This line makes best sense when seen as a continuation of the description of the beloved: "My beloved fair and sweet . . . who knows well how to speak of love." Line 3306 might be translated as "May Christ send her to you" (i.e., "May you save her"); or, if "hir" is taken to refer to Ysonde (named in line 3308), the line might mean: "May Christ send her [Ysonde] to you / [If] you undertake to make better my sorrow / For love of the noble Ysonde." If the latter reading is preferred, the period at the end of line 3306 should be changed to a comma.

3398 Scott defines haggards as "wild hawks, metaphorically, loose women." A stale is "a lover or mistress whose devotion is turned into ridicule for the amusement of a rival" but may also have the meaning of a "decoy-bird" (OED).

I was at Ertheldoun
With Tomas spak Y thare;
Ther herd Y rede in roune
Who Tristrem gat and bare,
Who was king with croun,
And who him forsterd yare,
And who was bold baroun,
As thair elders ware.
Bi yere
Tomas telles in toun
This aventours as thai ware.
This semly somers day,
In winter it is nought sen;
This greves wexen al gray,
That in her time were grene.
So dos this world, Y say,
Ywis and nought at wene,
The gode ben al oway
That our elders have bene.
To abide,
Of a knight is that Y mene,
His name, it sprong wel wide.
Wald Rouland thole no wrong,
Thei Morgan lord wes;
He brak his castels strong,
His bold borwes he ches,
His men he slough among
And reped him mani a res.
The wer lasted so long
Til Morgan asked pes
Thurch pine.
For sothe withouten les,
His liif he wende to tine.
Thus the batayl, it bigan
(Witeth wele it was so)
Bituene the Douk Morgan
And Rouland that was thro,
That never thai no lan
The pouer to wirche wo.
Thai spilden mani a man
Bituen hemselven to
In prise.
That on was Douk Morgan,
That other Rouland Rise.
The knightes that were wise,
A forward fast thai bond
That ich a man schul joien his
And seven yer to stond;
The Douke and Rouland Riis
Therto thai bed her hond
To heighe and holden priis
And foren till Inglond
To lende.
Markes king thai fond
With knightes mani and hende.
To Marke the King thai went
With knightes proude in pres
And teld him to thende
His aventours as it wes.
He preyd hem as his frende
To duelle with him in pes.
The knightes, thai were hende
And dede withouten les
In lede.
A turnament thai ches
With knightes stithe on stede.
Glad a man was he
The turnament dede crie
That maidens might him se
And over the walles to lye.
Thai asked who was fre
To win the maistrie;
Thai seyd that best was he,
The child of Ermonie,
In tour.
Forthi chosen was he
To maiden Blauncheflour.
The maiden of heighe kinne
Sche cald hir maisters thre:
" . . .
. . . .
Bot yive it be thurch ginne.
A selly man is he;
Thurch min hert withinne
Ywounded hath he me
So sone:
Of bale bot he me blinne, 1
Mine liif days ben al done."
He was gode and hende,
Stalworth, wise and wight;
Into this londes ende
Y not non better knight,
Trewer non to frende
And Rouland Riis he hight.
To batayl gan he wende,
Was wounded in that fight
Ful felle.
Blauncheflour the bright,
The tale than herd sche telle.
Sche seyd "wayleway"
When hye herd it was so.
To hir maistresse sche gan say
That hye was boun to go
To the knight ther he lay.
Sche swouned and hir was wo,
So comfort he that may,
A knave child gat thai tuo
So dere;
And seththen men cleped him so:
Tristrem the trewe fere.
The trewes that thai hadde tan
And stabled in her thought
Than brak the Douk Morgan;
He no wald held it nought.
Rohand, trewe so stan,
A letter he ther wrought
And sent to Rouland onan,
As man of socour sought
In kare
To help what he mought
Or lesen al that ther ware.
Rouland Riis in tene
Tok leve at Markes King . . .
[Lines 124-35 are missing in the manuscript.]
" . . . Or thou wilt wende with me."
"Mi duelling is hir ille;
Bihold and tow may se.
Mi rede is taken thertille,
That fare Y wille with the
And finde
Thi fair folk and thi fre
O lond ther is thi kinde."
Thai busked and maked hem boun;
Nas ther no leng abade.
Thai lefted goinfainoun
And out of haven thai rade
Til thai com til a toun,
A castel Rohant had made.
Her sailes thai leten doun,
And knight overbord thai strade
Al cladde.
The knightes that wer fade,
Thai dede as Rohand bade.
Rohand, right he radde:
"This maiden schal ben oure,
Rouland Riis to wedde,
At weld in castel tour,
To bring hir to his bedde
That brightest is in bour.
Nas never non fairer fedde
Than maiden Blauncheflour
Al blithe."
After that michel anour,
Parting com ther swithe.
In hird nas nought to hele 2
That Morgan telles in toun,
Mekeliche he gan mele,
Among his men to roun;
He bad his knightes lele
Com to his somoun
With hors and wepenes fele
And rered goinfaynoun,
That bold.
He rode so king with croun
To win al that he wold.
Of folk the feld was brade,
Ther Morgan men gan bide;
Tho Rouland to hem rade,
Ogain him gun thai ride;
Swiche meting nas never made
With sorwe on ich a side.
Therof was Rouland glade;
Ful fast he feld her pride,
With paine.
Morgan scaped that tide
That he nas nought slain.
Morganes folk cam newe
On Rouland Riis the gode.
On helmes gun thai hewe,
Thurch brinies brast the blod; 3
Sone to deth ther drewe
Mani a frely fode.
Of Rouland was to rewe
To grounde when he yode,
That bold.
His sone him after stode,
And dere his deth he sold.
Rewthe mow ye here
Of Rouland Riis the knight.
Thre hundred he slough there
With his swerd bright;
Of al tho that ther were
Might non him felle in fight,
Bot on with tresoun there
Thurch the bodi him pight
With gile.
To deth he him dight.
Allas that ich while!
His hors o feld him bare
Alle ded hom in his way;
Gret wonder hadde he thought thare
That folk of ferly play.
The tiding com with care
To Blauncheflour, that may.
For hir me reweth sare:
On childbed ther sche lay
Was born
Of hir Tristrem that day,
Ac hye no bade nought that morn.
A ring of riche hewe
Than hadde that levedi fre;
Sche toke it Rouhand trewe.
Hir sone sche bad it be:
"Mi brother wele it knewe;
Mi fader gaf it me.
King Markes may rewe
The ring than he it se
And moun.
As Rouland loved the,
Thou kepe it to his sone."
The folk stode unfain
Bifor that levedi fre.
"Rouland, mi lord, is slain;
He speketh no more with me.
That levedi, nought to lain,
For sothe ded is sche.
Who may be ogain?
As God wil, it schal be
Sorwe it was to se
That levedi swelted swithe.
Geten and born was so
The child was fair and white.
Nas never Rohand so wo;
He nist it whom to wite. 4
To childbed ded he go
His owhen wiif al so tite,
And seyd he hadde children to;
On hem was his delite,
Bi Crist!
In court men cleped him so:
Tho "Tram" bifor the "Trist."
Douk Morgan was blithe
Tho Rouland Riis was doun;
He sent his sond swithe
And bad al schuld be boun
And to his lores lithe,
Redi to his somoun.
Durst non ogain him kithe,
Bot yalt him tour and toun
So sone.
No was no king with croun
So richeliche hadde ydone.
Who gaf broche and beighe?
Who bot Douke Morgan?
Cruwel was and heighe,
Ogaines him stode no man.
To conseil he calleth neighe
Rohand trewe so stan,
And ever he dede as the sleighe
And held his hert in an,
That wise.
It brast thurch blod and ban 5
Yif hope no ware to rise.
Now hath Rohand in ore
Tristrem and is ful blithe.
The child he set to lore
And lernd him al so swithe;
In bok, while he was thore,
He stodieth ever, that stithe.
Tho that bi him wore
Of him weren ful blithe,
That bold.
His craftes gan he kithe
Ogaines hem when he wold.
Fiftene yere he gan him fede,
Sir Rohand the trewe.
He taught him ich a lede
Of ich maner of glewe
And everich playing thede,
Old lawes and newe.
On hunting oft he yede;
To swiche a lawe he drewe
Al thus.
More he couthe of veneri
Than couthe Manerious.
Ther com a schip of Norway
To Sir Rohandes hold
With haukes white and gray
And panes fair yfold.
Tristrem herd it say
On his playing he wold
Tuenti schilling to lay.
Sir Rouhand him told
And taught;
For hauke, silver he yold,
The fairest men him raught.
A cheker he fond bi a cheire;
He asked who wold play.
The mariner spac bonair:
"Child, what wiltow lay
Ogain an hauke of noble air?"
"Tuenti schillinges, to say.
Whether so mates other fair
Bere hem bothe oway."
With wille
The mariner swore his faye:
"For sothe, ich held thertille."
Now bothe her wedde lys,
And play thai biginne;
Ysett he hath the long asise
And endred beth therinne.
The play biginneth to arise.
Tristrem deleth atuinne;
He dede als so the wise:
He gaf has he gan winne
In raf.
Of playe ar he wald blinne,
Sex haukes he gat and gaf.
Rohand toke leve to ga;
His sones he cleped oway.
The fairest hauke he gan ta
That Tristrem wan that day;
With him he left ma
Pans for to play.
The mariner swore also
That pans wold he lay
An stounde.
Tristrem wan that day
Of him an hundred pounde.
Tristrem wan that ther was layd.
A tresoun ther was made:
No lenger than the maister seyd,
Of gate nas ther no bade.
As thai best sat and pleyd,
Out of haven thai rade
Opon the se so gray,
Fram the brimes brade
Gun flete.
Of lod thai were wel glade,
And Tristrem sore wepe.
His maister than thai fand
A bot and an are
Hye seyden, "Yond is the land,
And here schaltow to bare.
Chese on aither hand
Whether the lever ware
Sink or stille stand;
The child schal with ous fare
On flod."
Tristrem wepe ful sare;
Thai lough and thought it gode.
Niyen woukes and mare
The mariners flet on flod,
Til anker hem brast and are
And stormes hem bistode.
Her sorwen and her care
Thai witt that frely fode;
Thai nisten hou to fare,
The wawes were so wode
With winde.
O lond thai wold he yede
Yif thai wist ani to finde.
A lond thai neighed neighe,
A forest as it ware,
With hilles that were heighe
And holtes that weren hare.
O lond thai sett that sleighe
With al his wining yare,
With broche and riche beighe,
A lof of brede yete mare,
That milde.
Weder thai hadde to fare,
A lond thai left that childe.
Winde thai had as thai wolde;
A lond bilaft he;
His hert bigan to cold
Tho he no might hem nought se.
To Crist his bodi he yald,
That don was on the Tre:
"Lord, mi liif me bihold,
In world Thou wisse me
At wille;
Astow art Lord so fre,
Thou lete me never spille."
Tho Tomas asked ay
Of Tristrem, trewe fere,
To wite the right way
The styes for to lere. 6
Of a prince proude in play
Listneth, lordinges dere.
Whoso better can say,
His owhen he may here
As hende.
Of thing that is him dere
Ich man preise at ende.
In o robe Tristrem was boun
That he fram schip hadde brought
Was of a blihand broun,
The richest that was wrought,
As Tomas telleth in toun.
He no wist what he mought
Bot semly sett him doun
And ete ay til him gode thought;
Ful sone
The forest forth he sought
When he so hadde done.
He toke his lod unlight;
His penis with him he bare.
The hilles were on hight;
He clombe tho holtes hare.
Of o gate he hadde sight
That he fond ful yare.
The path he toke ful right;
To palmers mett he thare
On hand.
He asked hem whennes thai ware.
Thai seyd, "Of Yngland."
For drede thai wald him slo
He temed him to the king.
He bede hem pens mo,
Aither ten schilling,
Yif thai wald with him go
And to the court him bring.
"Yis," thai sworen tho
Bi the Lord over al thing
Ful sone.
Ful wel biset his thing
That rathe hath his bone.
The forest was fair and wide,
With wilde bestes ysprad.
The court was ner biside;
The palmers thider him lad.
Tristrem hunters seighe ride;
Les of houndes thai ledde.
Thai token in that tide
Of fat hertes yfedde
In feld.
In blehand was he cledde.
The hunters him biheld.
Bestes thai brac and bare;
In quarters thai hem wrought,
Martirs as it ware
That husbond men had bought.
Tristrem tho spac thare
And seyd wonder him thought:
"Ne seighe Y never are
So wilde best ywrought
At wille.
Other," he seyd, "Y can nought
Or folily ye hem spille."
Up stode a serjaunt bold
And spac Tristrem ogain:
"We and our elders old
Thus than have we sain;
Other thou hast ous told.
Yond lith a best unflain;
Atire it as thou wold
And we wil se ful fain
In feld."
In lede is nought to lain,
The hunters him biheld.
Tristrem schare the brest;
The tong sat next the pride;
The heminges swithe on est
He schar and layd biside.
The breche adoun he threst;
He ritt and gan to right;
Boldliche ther nest
Carf he of that hide
The bestes he graithed that tide,
As mani seththen has ben.
The spaude was the first brede;
The erber dight he yare.
To the stifles he yede
And even ato hem schare;
He right al the rede,
The wombe oway he bare,
The noubles he gaf to mede.
That seighen that ther ware
Al so.
The rigge he croised mare,
The chine he smot atuo.
The forster for his rightes
The left schulder gaf he,
With hert, liver and lightes
And blod tille his quirré
Houndes on hyde he dightes;
Alle he lete hem se.
The raven he gave his giftes,
Sat on the fourched tre
On rowe.
"Hunters, whare be ye?
The tokening schuld ye blowe."
He tight the mawe on tinde
And eke the gargiloun;
Thai blewen the right kinde
And radde the right roun.
Thai wist the king to finde
And senten forth to toun
And teld him under linde
The best, hou it was boun
And brought.
Marke, the king with croun,
Seyd that feir him thought.
The tokening when thai blewe,
Ther wondred mani a man;
The costom thai nought knewe;
Forthi fro bord thai ran.
No wist thai nought hou newe
Thai hadde hunters than.
It is a maner of glewe
To teche hem that no can
Swiche thing.
Alle blithe weren thai than
That yede bifor the king.
The king seyd, "Where were thou born?
What hattou, bel amye?"
Tristrem spac biforn:
"Sir, in Hermonie.
Mi fader me hath forlorn,
Sir Rohand, sikerly
The best blower of horn
And king of venery
For thought."
The lasse gaf Mark forthi,
For Rohand he no knewe nought.
The king no seyd no more
Bot wesche and yede to mete.
Bred thai pard and schare -
Ynough thai hadde at ete.
Whether hem lever ware
Win or ale to gete,
Aske and have it yare,
In coupes or hornes grete
Was brought.
Ther, while thai wold, thai sete
And risen when hem gode thought.
An harpour made a lay
That Tristrem aresound he.
The harpour yede oway,
"Who better can, lat se."
"Bot Y the mendi may,
Wrong than wite Y the."
The harpour gan to say,
"The maistri give Y the
Ful sket."
Bifor the kinges kne
Tristrem is cald to set.
Blithe weren thai alle
And merkes gun thai minne,
Token leve in the halle
Who might the child winne.
Mark gan Tristrem calle,
Was comen of riche kinne;
He gaf him robe of palle
And pane of riche skinne
Ful sket.
His chaumber he lith inne
And harpeth notes swete.
Now Tristrem lat we thare;
With Marke he is ful dere.
Rohand reweth sare
That he no might of him here;
Over londes he gan fare
With sorwe and reweful chere,
Seven kingriche and mare
Tristrem to finde there
And sought.
His robes riven were;
Therfore no leved he nought.7
Nought no semed it so
Rohand, that noble knight.
He no wist whider to go,
So was he brought o might;
To swinke men wold him to
For mete and robes right.
With other werkmen mo
He bileft al night
In land.
Of the palmers he hadde a sight
That Tristrem first fand.
His asking is ever newe
In travail and in pes.
The palmer seyd he him knewe
And wiste wele what he wes:
"His robe is of an hewe
Blihand withouten les;
His name is Tristrem trewe;
Bifor him scheres the mes
The king.
Y brought him ther he ches;
He gave me ten schilling."
"So michel wil Y give the,"
Quath Rohand, "will ye ta,
The court ye lat me se."
The palmers seyd, "Ya."
Blithe therof was he
And redily gaf him sa
Of wel gode moné
Ten schilinges and ma
Of gayn.
Rohand was ful thra
Of Tristrem for to frain.
In Tristrem is his delit,
And of him speketh he ay.
The porter gan him wite
And seyd, "Cherl, go oway,
Other Y schal the smite!
What dostow here al day?"
A ring he raught him tite -
The porter seyd nought nay -
In hand.
He was ful wise, Y say,
That first gave gift in land.
Rohand tho tok he
And at the gate in lete.
The ring was fair to se;
The gift was wel swete.
The huscher bad him fle:
"Cherl, oway wel sket,
Or broken thine heved schal be
And thou feld under fet
To grounde."
Rohand bad him lete
And help him at that stounde.
The pouer man of mold
Tok forth another ring;
The huscher he gaf the gold,
It semed to a king,
Formest tho in fold.
He lete him in thring.
To Tristrem trewe in hold
He hete he wold him bring
And brought.
Tristrem knewe him no thing,
And ferly Rohand thought.
Thei men Tristrem had sworn,
He no trowed it never in lede
That Rohand robes were torn,
That he wered swiche a wede.
He frained him biforn, 8
"Child, so God the rede,
How were thou fram Rohand lorn?
Monestow never in lede?"
Nought lain
He kneled better spede
And kist Rohand ful fain.
"Fader, no wretthe the nought;
Ful welcom er ye.
Bi God that man hath bought,
No thing no knewe Y the.
With sorwe thou hast me sought;
To wite it wo is me!"
To Mark the word he brought:
"Wil ye mi fader se
With sight?
Graithed Y wil he be,
And seththen schewe him as knight."
Tristrem to Mark it seyd,
His aventours, as it were,
Hou he with schipmen pleyd,
Of lond hou thai him bere,
Hou stormes hem bistayd,
Til anker hem brast and are.
"Thai yolden me that Y layd;
With al mi wining yare
In hand,
Y clambe the holtes hare
Til Y thine hunters fand."
A bath thai brought Rohand inne;
A barbour was redi thare.
Al rowe it was, his chinne;
His heved was white of hare.
A scarlet with riche skinne
Ybrought him was ful yare,
Rohand of noble kinne.
That robe ful fair he bare,
That bold.
Who that had seyn him thare
A prince him might han told.
Fair his tale bigan
Rohand, thei he com lat;
Tristrem, that honour can,
To halle led him the gate.
Ich man seyd than
Nas non swiche, as thai wate,
As was the pouer man
That thai bete fram the
With care.
Nas non that wald him hate,
Bot welcom was he thare.
Water thai asked swithe,
Cloth and bord was drain
With mete and drink lithe
And serjaunce that were bayn
To serve Tristrem swithe
And Sir Rohand, ful fayn
Whasche when thai wald rise;
The king ros him ogain
That tide.
In lede is nought to layn,
He sett him bi his side.
Rohand, that was thare,
To Mark his tale bigan:
"Wist ye what Tristrem ware,
Miche gode ye wold him an.
Your owhen soster him bare."
The King lithed him than.
"I nam sibbe him na mare;
Ich aught to ben his man,
Sir King.
Know it yive ye can,
Sche taught me this ring
"When Rouland Riis the bold,
Douke Morgan gan mete."
The tale when Rohand told,
For sorwe he gan grete.
The King biheld that old,
Hou his wonges were wete.
To Mark the ring he yold -
He knewe it al so sket
Gan loke. 9
He kist Tristrem ful skete
And for his nevou toke.
Tho thai kisten him alle,
Bothe levedi and knight
And serjaunce in the halle
And maidens that were bright.
Tristrem gan Rohand calle
And freined him with sight,
"Sir, hou may this falle?
Hou may Y prove it right?
Nought lain
Tel me, for Godes might,
Hou was mi fader slayn."
Rohand told anon
His aventours al bidene,
Hou the batayle bigan,
The werres hadden yben,
His moder hou hye was tan
And geten hem bituene.
"Slawe was Rouland than
And ded Blaunche the Schene.
Naught les,
For dout of Morgan kene
Mi sone Y seyd thou wes."
Tristrem, al in heighe,
Bifor the king cam he.
"Into Ermonie,
Sir, now longeth me;
Thider fare wil Y.
Mi leve Y take of the
To fight with Morgan in hy,
To sle him other he me
With hand.
Erst schal no man me se
Ogain in Ingland."
Tho was Mark ful wo;
He sight sore at that tide.
"Tristrem, thi rede thou ta
In Inglond for to abide.
Morgan is wick to slo;
Of knightes he hath gret pride.
Tristrem, thei thou be thro,
Lat mo men with the ride
On rowe.
Take Rohand bi thi side;
He wil thine frendes knawe."
To armes the king lete crie
The folk of al his land
To help Tristrem. Forthi
He made knight with his hand.
He dede him han on heye
The fairest that he fand
In place to riden him by,
To don him to understand
So swithe.
Sorwe so Tristrem band
Might no man make him blithe.
No wold he duellen a night -
Therof nas nought to say.
Ten hundred that were wight
Wenten with him oway.
Rohand, the riche knight,
Redy was he ay.
To his castel ful right
He sailed the sevenday
On rade.
His maister he gan pay;
His sones knightes he made.
His frendes, glad were thai -
No blame hem no man forthi -
Of his coming, to say,
Al into Ermonie,
Til it was on a day
Morgan was fast by,
Tristrem bigan to say,
"With Morgan speke wil Y
And spede.
So long idel we ly;
Miself mai do mi nede."
Tristrem dede as he hight.
He busked and made him yare
His fiftend som of knight;
With him yede na mare.
To court thai com ful right
As Morgan his brede schare.
Thai teld tho bi sight
Ten kinges sones thai ware
Hevedes of wild bare
Ichon to presant brought.
Rohand bigan to sayn,
To his knightes than seyd he,
"As woman is tuiis forlain,
Y may say bi me.
Yif Tristrem be now sleyn,
Yvel yemers er we.
To armes, knight and swayn,
And swiftly ride ye
And swithe.
Til Y Tristrem se,
No worth Y never blithe."
Tristrem speke bigan:
"Sir king, God loke the
As Y the love and an
And thou hast served to me."
The douke answerd than,
"Y pray, mi lord so fre,
Whether thou blis or ban,
Thine owhen mot it be,
Thou bold.
Thi nedes tel thou me,
Thine erand, what thou wold."
"Amendes! Mi fader is slain,
Mine hirritage Hermonie."
The douke answerd ogain,
"Certes, thi fader than slough Y."
"Seththen thou so hast sayd,
Amendes ther ought to ly."
"Therfore, prout swayn,
So schal Y the, for thi
Right than
Artow comen titly
Fram Marke, thi kinsman?
"Yongling, thou schalt abide.
Foles thou wendest to fand.
Thi fader thi moder gan hide;
In horedom he hir band.
Hou comestow with pride?
Out, traitour, of mi land!"
Tristrem spac that tide:
"Thou lext, ich understand
And wot."
Morgan with his hand
With a lof Tristrem smot.
On his brest adoun
Of his nose ran the blod.
Tristrem swerd was boun,
And ner the douke he stode.
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
With that was comen to toun
Rohand with help ful gode
And gayn.
Al that ogain hem stode
Wightly were thai slayn.
To prisoun thai gun take
Erl, baroun and knight;
For Douke Morgan sake
Mani on dyd dounright.
Schaftes thai gun schake
And riven scheldes bright;
Crounes thai gun crake
Mani, ich wene, aplight.
Saun fayl,
Bituene the none and the night
Last the batayle.
Thus hath Tristrem the swete
Yslawe the Douke Morgan.
No wold he never lete
Til mo castels wer tan;
Tounes thai yold him skete
And cités stithe of stan.
The folk fel to his fet;
Againes him stode ther nan
In land.
He slough his fader ban.
Al bowed to his hand.
Tuo yere he sett that land;
His lawes made he cri.
Al com to his hand
Almain and Ermonie,
At his wil to stand
Boun and al redy.
Rohand he gaf the wand
And bad him sitt him bi,
That fre.
"Rohand lord make Y
To held this lond of me.
Thou and thine sones five
Schul held this lond of me;
Ther while thou art olive
Thine owhen schal it be.
What halt it long to strive?
Mi leve Y take at te
Til Inglond wil Y rive,
Mark, mi nem, to se
That stounde."
Now boskes Tristre the fre
To Inglond for to founde.
Blithe was his bosking,
And fair was his schip fare.
Rohand he left king
Over al his wining thare.
Schipmen him gun bring
To Inglond ful yare.
He herd a newe tiding
That he herd never are
On hand.
Mani man wepen sare
For ransoun to Yrland.
Marke schuld yeld unhold
Thei he were king with croun
Thre hundred pounde of gold
Ich yer out of toun,
Of silver fair yfold
Thre hundred pounde al boun,
Of moné of a mold
Thre hundred pounde of latoun
Schuld he.
The ferth yere, a ferly roun,
Thre hundred barnes fre.
The truage was com to to
Moraunt, the noble knight.
Yhold he was so
A neten in ich a fight.
The barnes asked he tho
Als it war londes right.
Tristrem gan stoutely go
To lond that ich night
Of rade.
Of the schippe thai hadde a sight
The day thai dede obade.
Mark was glad and blithe
Tho he might Tristrem se.
He kist him fele sithe;
Welcom to him was he.
Marke gan tidinges lithe,
Hou he wan londes fre.
Tristrem seyde that sithe,
"Wat may this gadering be?"
Thai grete.
"Tristrem, Y telle it the,
A thing is me unswete.
"The King of Yrlond,
Tristrem, ich am his man.
To long ichave ben hir bond.
With wrong the King it wan.
To long it hath ystond.
On him the wrong bigan.
Therto ich held min hond."
Tristrem seyd than,
Al stille,
"Moraunt that michel can
Schal nought han his wille."
Marke to conseyl yede
And asked rede of this.
He seyd, "With wrong dede
The raunsoun ytaken is."
Tristrem seyd, "Y rede
That he the barnes mis."
Tho seyd the King in lede,
"No was it never his
With right."
Tristrem seyd, "Ywis,
Y wil defende it as knight."
Bi al Markes hald
The truwage was tan.
Tristrem gan it withhald
As prince proude in pan.
Thai graunted that Tristrem wald,
Other no durst ther nan;
Nis ther non so bald
Ymade of flesche no ban,
No knight.
Now hath Tristrem ytan
Ogain Moraunt to fight.
Tristrem himself yede
Moraunt word to bring
And schortliche seyd in lede,
"We no owe the nothing."
Moraunt ogain sede,
"Thou lexst a foule lesing.
Mi body to batayl Y bede
To prove bifor the King
To loke."
He waged him a ring;
Tristrem the batayl toke.
Thai seylden into the wide
With her schippes tuo.
Moraunt bond his biside,
And Tristrem lete his go.
Moraunt seyd that tide,
"Tristrem, whi dostow so?"
"Our on schal here abide,
No be thou never so thro,
Whether our to live go,
He hath anough of this."
The yland was ful brade
That thai gun in fight.
Therof was Moraunt glade;
Of Tristrem he lete light.
Swiche meting nas never non made
With worthli wepen wight.
Aither to other rade
And hewe on helmes bright
With hand.
God help Tristrem the knight!
He faught for Ingland.
Moraunt with his might
Rode with gret raundoun
Ogain Tristrem the knight
And thought to bere him doun.
With a launce unlight
He smot him in the lyoun
And Tristrem that was wight
Bar him thurch the dragoun
In the scheld.
That Moraunt bold and boun
Smot him in the scheld.
Up he stirt bidene
And lepe opon his stede.
He faught, withouten wene,
So wolf that wald wede.
Tristrem in that tene
No spard him for no drede;
He gaf him a wounde ysene
That his bodi gan blede
Right tho.
In Morauntes most nede
His stede bak brak on to.
(see note)
spoke; (see note)
recounted in a poem; (see note)
Who conceived and bore Tristrem
From year to year
These events
These thickets become
Indeed and without a doubt
The good have all passed away
continue; (see note)
what I speak
Would; suffer; (see note)
Though; (see note)
[He = Rouland]
castles he occupied
dealt him many an attack
Because of the suffering
Truly; lying
His life he expected to lose
(see note)
Between the two of them
(see note)
firm agreement they made
each person; enjoy
offered their hands
To improve and preserve renown
journeyed to
valiant in battle
the end
dwell; peace
And did so truly
Among the people
decided upon
stalwart; horses
was announced
noble [enough]
(see note)
(see note)
if; through cunning
The days of my life
do not know
is called
he went; (see note)
she heard
she; prepared
was sorrowful
male; those two
afterwards; called
true companion
truce; agreed upon
ratified; their
would not keep it
free from deceit as a stone
at once
lose everything
My remaining is bad for her
I have decided about that
where; kindred
prepared; themselves ready
There was no long delay
raised the banner; (see note)
harbor; sailed
Until; to
Their; lowered
eager for battle
To govern
fairest; chamber
There was none; alive
great honor
Humbly; talk
raised banner (see note to line 146)
valiant [knight]
as; crown
wanted; (see note)
people; full
Where Morgan's men awaited battle
When; rode
Such an encounter
grief; on each side
escaped; time
So that he was not
(see note)
noble young warrior
Roland was in a pitiable condition
valiant [man]
dearly; exacted payment for
Something pitiful you may hear
Except that someone; treachery
that very time
onto the ground
I am very sorry
But she didn't live through
noble lady
[For] her son
for his son
noble lady
lady; lie
Who can come back to life
lady to have died [too] soon
child [who] was
(see note)
wife; quickly
messenger quickly
listen to his decrees
None dared oppose him
yielded to him tower and town
brooch and ring
Cruel; proud
true as stone
the clever man
(see note)
wise [man]
If; were not
security from danger
placed under instruction
taught; swiftly
bold [man]
Those; by; were
courageous [man]
He revealed his skills
To them
each song
every style of music
(see note)
knew of hunting
(see note)
Twenty; bet
put up
brought to him
spoke courteously
Young man; bet
Against a hawk of noble breed; (see note)
Whoever checkmates the other
truth; thereto
put up their stakes
(see note)
to become more intense
(see note)
before; cease
won; gave
money; wager
In his turn
There was no delay of departure
those best [of men]
port; sailed
broad waves
boat; oar
you shall [go] into the waves
you would rather
On the sea
wept grievously
laughed; amusing
Nine weeks and more
sailed on the sea
anchor; broke; oar
oppressed them
Their sorrows
blamed upon that noble young man
did not know how to navigate
waves; tumultuous
they wished he might go
If; knew how
forests; dark
put ashore; clever [person]
winnings willingly
brooch; ring
bread in addition
noble person
Regardles of where; (see note)
On land
On land he was left behind
to grow cold
When; see them no longer
As you; generous
Then; (see note)
true companion
noble lords
(see note)
politely, courtly
brown silk; (see note)
(see note)
knew not; might [do]
ate; until
money; carried; (see note)
climbed those gray wooded hills
Two pilgrims
(see note)
offered them more money
Yes; then
[are] arranged his affairs
quickly; request
pilgrims; led
A leash; (see note)
silk; clad
cut up
(see note)
then spoke
it seemed to him
saw; before
In such a way a wild beast dressed
By choice
Either; I have no knowledge
foolishly; slaughter
replied to Tristrem; (see note)
seen [it done]
(see note)
watched him
tongue set; spleen
(see note); quickly with pleasure
hind quarters
cut; apportion
Carved; off
prepared; time
many a one since
(see note)
first stomach; prepared; readily; (see note)
(see note); went
in two cut them
set out; fourth stomach
(see note); as a reward
That they who were there saw
The back he cut crosswise
The backbone he chopped in two
(see note)
(see note)
In order
stretched the viscera on a tine
played; note
knew how
told; under a tree
beast; prepared
it seemed good to him
signal; (see note)
Therefore; table
those who do not know
What is your name, fair friend
(see note)
(see note)
Mark could not care less about that
washed; went to [his] meal
cut the crust off and sliced
to eat
Whether they preferred
cups; great
as long as they wanted
it seemed good to them
went away (i.e., gave way to Tristrem)
let's see
Unless I can surpass you
Wrongly then I blame you
victory I give to you
distinctive features; take note of
(see note)
[Who] was born
fine cloth
we cease to speak of
grieves greatly
doleful spirit
knew where
deprived of strength
Men wanted to take him to work
Just for food and clothes
trouble; peace
knew; who he was
of a solid color
Silk in truth
carves the meal
where he chose [to go]
take [it]
eager; (see note)
gave; quickly
let [him] in
asked him to cease [his threats]
[him = Rohand]; time
mortal man
It seemed worthy of a king
The greatest then on earth
push forward
it seemed surprising to Rohand
Though; to Tristrem
would never have believed it
wore such clothing
Young man, may God advise you
Do you remember
kneeled right away
do not become angry
I didn't know you at all
It grieves me to know it
With your own eyes
Equipped I want him to be
From; carried
beset them
anchor; oar
returned to me what I bet
climbed the grey wooded hills
(see note)
valiant man
although he came recently
who knows how to treat with honor
led him on the way
There was none such as far as they knew
beat; gate
serving men; eager
rose to greet him
If you knew
listened to
I am not related
be his servant
entrusted to me
old [man]
(see note)
asked; (see note)
adventures completely
she was taken
(see note)
dead; Beautiful
fear; cruel
I want [to go]
right away
slay; or
Before [I do so]
very sorry
be advised
difficult to slay
Among; great prowess
though you be bold
In an armed party
had called
For that occasion
He provided him immediately
To counsel him
He would not remain
seventh day
that is
I can attend to my own business
prepared; himself ready
a group of fifteen knights
cut his bread
(see note)
Heads; boar
Each one; as a gift
twice seduced
I may compare myself to
Poor guardians
I will never be happy
watch over you
given aid
wish well or curse
in reply
Surely; slew; (see note)
Reparations; be due
proud young man
As I may thrive
cohabit with secretly
fornication; had intercourse with
By what right
palm; struck
Tristrem's; ready
(see note)
Many a one died outright
Heads; split open
in faith
Without fail
more; taken
yielded to him quickly
slew his father's murderer
submitted to his authority
set that land in order
he had proclaimed
(see note)
hold [from a feudal lord]
avails; debate
from you
my uncle (see note)
ship's rigging
wept grievously
had to give unwillingly
all prepared
money cast in one mold
latten; (see note)
fourth; a terrible requirement
noble children
tribute; take
(see note)
A giant
children demanded he then
according to law
(see note)
wait for
many times
[that] is to me disagreeable; (see note)
I have owed them fealty
advice about
fail to obtain the children
among the people
Throughout; domain
tribute; collected
rich clothing
what Tristrem wanted
[To do] otherwise; dared
Is not
flesh nor bone
said in reply
You lie a wicked lie
in battle I offer
As an offering
He [Moraunt] gave as a pledge
accepted the challenge
sailed; open sea
tied up
do you
One of us
Whichever of us stays alive
He took Tristrem lightly
excellent; strongly constructed
overthrow him
(see note)
leapt; horse
As; became mad
greatest need
His horse's back broke in two

Go to Sir Tristrem, Part II