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The Tale of Ralph the Collier


1 There occurred a fearful storm in those wide hills

2 In that severe storm no one knew where to stay

3 In those mountains, in fact, he became completely lost

4 There came a lively countryman making his way

5 The king spoke to the countryman in a friendly manner

6 For I believe that if it is not so [that you find me a noble fellow], some part [of the blame] will be yours

7 Provided that you'll be pleased with such as you found [there]

8 But if we might bring this lodging tonight to a good conclusion

9 Tomorrow, in the morning, when you shall mount up

10 First to praise and then to find fault

11 For she never dared to ignore orders that she heard him give

12 I believe our guest has had just as hard a time on the road

13 Strike down the best capons, out in the barn

14 Acted as if he intended to put the collier in before him

15 He never stopped falling / until he struck the ground

16 You should have good manners enough, but you have none

17 Nothing is better than desisting and making no more trouble

18 Thus were they arranged, without more ado, and paired that night

19 Then the delicacies come in, elegantly arranged on the table

20 They are angry at me for fear of [what I might do to] the deer

21 They drank deeply in turn; they washed and rose [from the table]

22 The king was pleasant and companionable

23 `Without a doubt,' said the king, `I never hesitated to tell'

24 There you can sell, properly, as dearly as you will set the price

25 It seems reasonable to me, by the Cross, that I follow your advice

26 Enclosed with curtains and handsomely covered

27 The King grew weary of this way of life and mounted in haste

28 And he who should perform his duty early in this season / will, without a doubt, be at fault if he's missing

29 Where any collier may trade, I trust to succeed

30 Ten such as these were sent out in every direction

31 Not to mention commoners

32 I will keep my promise, whatever happens

33 In his sound armor, to keep his promises

34 He paused and waited until midmorning and later

35 Very eager to do as commanded, to bring him to the King

36 To handle me roughly or drag me off, though my clothes be foul

37 He bore, engraved in gold and red on a green background, / glittering quite colorfully when light gleamed on it, / a tiger tied to a tree, a token of wrath

38 Truly that wrathful one was shaking [with anger] then

39 Handsomely formed and protected in that bright shield

40 His armor plates were fittingly studded all over with precious stones, / and his knee-armor [was] quite ready [for battle], equally matching

41 May he be graced with victory in every battle

42 Should he [Roland] be as courageous a man as he is a well-formed [one], / that one would have to be very powerful who dared to withstand a hostile encounter with him

43 It might be considered an insult unless you appear

44 Nor did he name you to me / any more than [he named] another man / but [said to bring] whomever I found

45 You found me bringing nothing that led to enmity

46 Who lives with much honesty and hard work, in faith

47 Unless you move out of my path, very quickly you will regret it

48 He hastily took off his armor without delay

49 As he [Roland] was accustomed, with the man who ruled that dwelling

50 There would no valiant man be armed for combat on this day

51 I fear he so daunted you that you dared not have anything to do with him

52 Where are you going, fellow, so quickly this way?

53 Takes hold of the fastenings quickly, before he would stop

54 I would be loath to lose my load; I leave it all here with you

55 That bold man makes his way, in haste, into the hall

56 He believed the man had known about the Wymond he was thinking of

57 They considered the collier hardly worth noticing

58 With tapestries hung up to the doors, whoso would judge [i.e., for all to see], / with various sorts of finery daintily arranged, / encircled with silver, handsome to see, / wondrously various, it [he = the hall] was skillfully decorated

59 From these men, indeed, to go on my way

60 And be intently on the lookout for him [literally: have my eye after him] constantly

61 Quickly he advanced to the forefront of the company

62 In clothes of pure gold, revealing yon man clearly

63 The devil possessed me to teach courtesy to kings

64 How he was lodged and treated and considered of so little worth

65 To make you a good fighting man, I make you powerful

66 That becomes available in France, wherever it happens to be

67 I will take the most direct way to that fine man

68 That I should leave, out of cowardice, while still living

69 And he [the carll] was able to do nothing [i.e., was worthless]

70 Until it was nearly the time of day that he had been there [before]

71 Within the space needed for a joust, he lowered his lance

72 He struck the steed with his spurs; it sprang forward on the moor

73 Those noble, eager men rushed out very quickly

74 Rapidly they exchanged blows; they were reluctant to stop, / to lose the honor of battle that they had previously won

75 There was no safety anywhere until one of them gave up the ghost [i.e., died]

76 You will think it too soon that you have met with me now

77 I don't want to live by letting you [go] in friendship

78 For that [fighting both knights at once, as the Saracen has suggested] would be no knightly deed, some men would say

79 We shall despoil you mercilessly next spring, / make your buildings quite desolate -- I've brought you warning

80 You Saracens are always arrogant and self-willed

81 A bright fire will never come from so green a piece of wood

82 Whoever awaits the Christian to cause him trouble, they are my kin

83 That day, worthy bishops had that bold man brought



4 The phrase `fra Sanct Thomas' has been variously interpreted. Amours takes it to refer to the date of the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, December 21. Walsh follows Browne in reading it as suggesting that those referred to are returning from a pilgrimage to Canterbury, where the tomb of St. Thomas à Becket is located. Bawcutt and Riddy suggest that the phrase seems to refer to a place and note the suggestion of H. M. Smyser that `Thomas' be emended to `Dyonys.' Speed's observation that the reference to the pilgrimage would be a literary device recalling Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is worth keeping in mind. She also notes that `Charlemagne lived and died almost four hundred years before Thomas B Becket but such anachronism is familiar in medieval literature.'

5 The second `thay' in this line means `those,' as it does again in l. 20 (second `thay') and in l. 22 and elsewhere in the text. In l. 21 the `thay' should be translated `that' since `wedderis' (technically a plural) has the singular sense of `storm.'

10 On `duchepeiris,' see the note to Sowdone of Babylone, l. 241 (commenting on the `Dosipers,' an alternate spelling of the same word).

17 The first `deip' in the line has been emended by Speed to `drip' and by Bawcutt and Riddy to `drift.' Herrtage maintains `deip' but glosses it only with a question mark. Walsh suggests that the word may be `a noun or nominalized adjective meaning that the snow was being driven in the ``deep places,'' -- valleys and rock chasms.' This is surely the sense of the line, but the first `deip' (assuming the reading is correct) must refer to the snow itself which has mounted up in the `mony deip dell.'

23 `Prime' is the canonical hour, the fixed part of the Divine Office to be sung or recited at a specific time, for the first hour of the day (6 a.m. or sunrise).

46 A `collier' is one who makes and sells charcoal.

63 `Sanct July' is Saint Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of inn keepers and travellers.

84 Bawcutt and Riddy emend `thus' to `us' and translate `so that we might justly be forgiven (for praising the hospitality).' But the emendation doesn't seem necessary if we read `baith' as the object of excuse.

96 The phrase `cheveris with the chin' is the equivalent of `our teeth are chattering.'

123 When `part' is used with a cardinal number, it indicates `a proportion one measure short of a whole' (MED). Thus `twa part' is literally `two-thirds.' The sense of the phrase is probably best conveyed in modern English by the translation of Bawcutt and Riddy: `more than half annoyed.'

126 This line alludes to a proverb: `Nature ought to crawl where it cannot walk.' The line translates: ```Now is one time when,' said the Collier, `nature ought to crawl.''' The suggestion is that his guest's natural courtesy should lead him to act in a way that is appropriate to the circumstances even if different from his normal way of doing things.

134 There seem to be two lines missing at this point in the stanza.

147 In this line `fair' seems to be used in the sense of a `fuss' and `strange' in the sense of `alien'; thus the line suggests that by offering to let Rauf go before him, Charlemagne is once again extending a courtesy that is inappropriate to the circumstances and thus not really a courtesy at all.

235 The shrine of Saint James the Apostle at Compostela was a famous pilgrimage site. According to medieval legend, James preached the gospel in Spain and even fought against the Moors.

239 The Wardrobe is `the office or department of a royal or noble household charged with the care of the wearing apparel' (OED).

309-10 These lines are difficult to make sense of as they stand in other editions (`For thow will never gif the mair / To make ane lesing'). Browne suggested translating them as `Thou wilt nevermore undertake (give thyself) to tell a lie.' Speed translates: `for you will never again undertake (literally, give yourself) to tell a lie.' Walsh proposes translating: `You won't give yourself anymore trouble by telling a lie.' None of these interpretations makes much sense in the context. However, by emending `ane' to `nane' and taking line 310 as a filler of the type employed by the poet in several other places, the lines make perfect sense. Rauf says, in effect, `I'll surely be there tomorrow because you will never give any more, in truth [literally, to make no lie].' That is, he can never expect to receive more than on the day after he has offered shelter to his guest.

344-45 A `convent' of priests would be those living together in one religious community. The phrase `at ane sicht' might mean that the priests are dressed in vestments (`revest') uniformly (as Speed suggests), or it might depend on the verb `se' -- i.e., they were seen `at a glance' or `all together' (as Browne translates).

352 On St. Denis see the note to Sowdone of Babylone, l. 26.

370 Walsh and Speed both suggest that the line implies that Gyliane thinks their guest didn't return the blow because she was present. It is also possible that the line might originally have read `and he ne had bene allane'; that is, if he had his fellow courtiers with him, as he will when Rauf journeys to court, he would have punished Rauf for his insolence.

374 Amours suggests that `layd' is a contraction of `lay it' (i.e., stake it [my life]).

391 Browne suggests that here and in l. 481 `thing' is used to refer to a person.

423 The line translates literally: `Then bade him to cease his courtesy and prepare to go.' That is, Roland wants Rauf to stop kneeling to him, rise and prepare to go with him to court.

441 Bawcutt and Riddy, following Laing, gloss `mad' as `simple.' The term thus refers to Rauf who says he is just a simple man. Walsh and Speed make `mad man' direct address, referring to Roland. In their reading, Rauf, responding to Roland's `sic ten' in the previous line, says, `I am only one, mad man. . . .' Though the meaning `simple' would be unusual for `mad' something like `foolish' is elsewhere attested and `simple' is not an unreasonable extension of that meaning.

450 `To Wymond nor Will' means `to Wymond nor to anyone else.' The common name `Will' is used much as we would use `Tom, Dick and Harry.'

461 Bawcutt and Riddy are probably correct in taking `sene' as `seen' (used pleonastically).

469 The line either means that Roland's greaves (the armor worn on the leg, below the knee) are [like] great clasps of gold indeed; or, as Speed suggests (following Amours and Browne), the word `on' has been omitted and the line means that there are great clasps of gold on his greaves.

473 The line, which translates `tied all over with topazes and true-love knots together,' probably means that the topazes were arranged in the shape of true-love knots, which the OED defines as knots `of a complicated and ornamental form (usually either a double-looped bow, or a knot formed of two loops intertwined), used as a symbol of true love.'

511 `Mat' (meaning `obstruct' or `checkmate,' as in chess) is emended to `mar' by Walsh and by Bawcutt and Riddy.

521 Editors generally take `toun man' to mean a resident of a town as opposed to someone living in the country, but the context would seem to suggest that Roland sees Rauf as an example of a `toun man' and not different from one. OED gives as one meaning of `town' `a farm with its farmhouse' and notes that it still has this meaning in the Scottish dialect. This is surely the sense intended here.

533 `By books and bells' is a mild oath. Roland is swearing by sacred books and church bells.

538 This is a difficult line. Herrtage says simply `I do not understand this line.' Walsh translates as: `to keep my compact unless I put you to the test beforehand.' This translation does, however, ignore the word `now.' I suspect the line is corrupt and that the original reading was something like: `Bot gif I fand the forward [or the alternate form `forrad'] now to keip my cunnand' (which would give an acceptable meaning of: `if I didn't find you more ready now to keep my compact').

563 The earliest reading `bland' is generally emended by modern editors to `band.'

605 Lekpreuik's text reads Bo for Bot.

611 Herrtage glosses `gift' as `message.' This is the sense of the word in this context, if not the literal meaning. The thing that the swain has to give is the message about Rauf. The word was probably chosen more for alliteration than for connotation.

613 The word `leif' is taken by Walsh to mean `leave'; the line then translates literally: `Unless he is let in quickly, he doesn't want to leave.' Bawcutt and Riddy take it as `live' and translate: `Unless he is let in straight away, he does not want to go on living.' The latter seems to make the line coincide more naturally with modern English syntax, but the former seems more in keeping with Rauf's character.

619 The phrase `on ground' means literally `on the ground' or `on the earth' but here is an almost meaningless line filler. The same might be said of `in this stound' in the next line.

701 `Can' is used here as an auxiliary indicating the past tense (the equivalent of `did'). The line thus translates: `He thrust in through them and eagerly pushed.'

706-7 There is a line missing between these two lines. Speed suggests that the missing line had the sense of `He didn't have as splendid an appearance.'

731 The phrase `and sa strait ford' has been interpreted in several different ways. Herrtage takes `ford' as meaning `road' or `way' and the phrase as meaning `so severe was the way.' Bawcutt and Riddy take `ford' to mean `for it' and consider this a pleonastic expression; thus `strait,' like `fell,' would modify `frostis.' Walsh reads `strait ford' as `straight forth'; Charlemagne told how he met Rauf, how fierce the frost was, and so straight forth (to the end of his story). Herrtage's reading, though apparently rejected by later editors, does fit the context of the King's story quite well.

760 A `forfeiture' is an estate confiscated as punishment for a crime; a `free ward' is the estate of a deceased tenant who did not have an heir old enough to inherit the property; in this case the control of the land would revert to the overlord.

762 To `have hy' is literally to `have haste'; Speed seems to capture the sense of the phrase best with her gloss of `have urgent need.'

765 To `win one's shoes' implies proving oneself in combat.

782 `Gest' probably means `guest' here; but Browne takes it as `jest.'

822 Herrtage and Bawcutt and Riddy read `bair'; Speed, following Browne, emends to `baft' (`struck') and Walsh to `bait.' The basic sense of the line does not change whichever of these readings we accept: `These men rained blows on [each other's] helmets before they stopped.'

850 Mahoun (Mahomet or Mohammed) and Termagant were thought to be gods worshipped by the Saracens.

861 Speed takes `Rude' to mean `a rod' (a measure equivalent to sixteen and a half feet). But, considering the religious nature of the conflict, the meaning of `Cross' might apply equally well: `He made him move back the length of a broad Cross.' (Browne translates `Rude braid' as `Rood-breadth.')

882 Walsh notes that Browne thought `breif' to be an error for `brey' (frighten) and that the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue cites this use of `breif' as a possible erroneous form. But it is likely that Bawcutt and Riddy are correct in reading `breif' as a form of `breven,' which is commonly used in alliterative verse to mean `repeat or tell.' Their extension of the meaning to `address' in this line seems plausible.

886 Walsh cites Browne's observation that the line `the tane is in power to mak that presoun' would make better sense if the poet had written `the' instead of `that' but does not emend the line. Only Bawcutt and Riddy emend to `the.' I follow them in so emending. It seems an obvious slip to have read `that' instead of `the' -- especially given the appearance of the word `that' in the previous and the following lines. The line then translates: `The one of us has the power to make you a prisoner.'

904 Tartary was the area inhabited by the Tartars, who dwelt in `the region of Central Asia extending eastward from the Caspian Sea. . . . First known in the West as applied to the mingled host of Mongols, Tartars, Turks, etc., which under the leadership of Jenghiz Khan (1202B1227) overran and devastated much of Asia and Eastern Europe . . .' (OED).

926 Walsh suggests that `be that ressoun' is a line filler and rhyme tag that is `probably best left untranslated.'

936 Bawcutt and Riddy say that `god' is an `obvious error' and emend to `gold,' as do Walsh and Speed. However, `god' in the sense of `goods' (i.e., worldly possessions) seems a possible reading here.

957 It is interesting that Magog is given `Gawteir' as his Christian name. In the Sege of Melayne there is reference to a `Sir Gawtere' as a close relative of Charlemagne (ll. 377B378). Though the characters can not be one and the same, it seems clear that the author of Rauf Coilyear is borrowing a traditional name for one of Charlemagne's knights.

967 Bawcutt and Riddy emend `thame' to `thane' and translate `to live thenceforward'; but `leif thame' (meaning `live together') seems more appropriate to the context.
The Taill of Rauf Coilyear



In the cheiftyme of Charlis, that chosin chiftane,
Thair fell ane ferlyfull flan within thay fellis wyde 1
Quhair empreouris and erlis and uther mony ane
Turnit fra Sanct Thomas befoir the Yule tyde.
Thay past unto Paris, thay proudest in pane,
With mony prelatis and princis that was of mekle pryde.
All thay went with the King to his worthy wane;
Ovir the feildis sa fair thay fure be his syde.
All the worthiest went in the morning --
   Baith dukis and duchepeiris,
   Barrounis and bacheleiris.
   Mony stout man steiris
       Of town with the King.
And as that ryall raid ovir the rude mure,
Him betyde ane tempest that tyme, hard I tell.
The wind blew out of the eist stiflie and sture,
The deip durandlie draif in mony deip dell;
Sa feirslie fra the firmament, sa fellounlie it fure,
Thair micht na folk hald na fute on the heich fell.
In point thay war to parische, thay proudest men and pure;
In thay wickit wedderis thair wist nane to dwell. 2
Amang thay myrk montanis sa madlie thay mer,
   Be it was pryme of the day,
   Sa wonder hard fure thay
   That ilk ane tuik ane seir way,
       And sperpellit full fer.
Ithand wedderis of the eist draif on sa fast,
It all to-blaisterit and blew that thairin baid.
Be thay disseverit sindrie, midmorne was past;
Thair wist na knicht of the court quhat way the King raid.
He saw thair was na better bot God at the last.
His steid aganis the storme staluartlie straid;
He cachit fra the court, sic was his awin cast,
Quhair na body was him about, be five mylis braid.
In thay montanis, i-wis, he wox all will, 3
   In wickit wedderis and wicht,
   Amang thay montanis on hicht:
   Be that it drew to the nicht
       The King lykit ill.
Evill lykand was the Kyng it nichtit him sa lait,
And he na harberie had for his behufe;
Sa come thair ane cant carll chachand the gait, 4
With ane capill and twa creillis cuplit abufe.
The King carpit to the carll withouten debait, 5
`Schir, tell my thy richt name, for the Rude lufe.'
He sayis, `Men callis me Rauf Coilyear, as I weill wait;
I leid my life in this land with mekle unrufe,
Baith tyde and time, in all my travale;
   Hine ovir sevin mylis I dwell,
   And leidis coilis to sell.
   Sen thow speris, I the tell
       All the suith hale.'
`Sa mot I thrife,' said the King, `I speir for nane ill;
Thow semis ane nobill fallow, thy answer is sa fyne.'
`Forsuith,' said the Coilyear, `traist quhen thow will,
For I trow and it be nocht swa, sum part salbe thyne.' 6
`Mary, God forbid!' said the King, `that war bot lytill skill;
Baith myself and my hors is reddy for to tyne.
I pray the, bring me to sum rest, the weddir is sa schill,
For I defend that we fall in ony fechtine.
I had mekill mair nait, sum freindschip to find;
   And gif thow can better than I,
   For the name of Sanct July,
   Thow bring me to sum harbery,
       And leif me not behind!'
`I wait na worthie harberie heir neirhand
For to serve sic ane man as me think the:
Nane bot mine awin hous, maist in this land,
Fer furth in the forest, amang the fellis hie.
With thy thow wald be payit of sic as thow fand, 7
Forsuith thow suld be welcum to pas hame with me
Or ony uther gude fallow that I heir fand
Walkand will of his way, as me think the;
For the wedderis ar sa fell, that fallis on the feild.'
   The King was blyth quhair he raid
   Of the grant that he had maid,
   Sayand, with hart glaid,
       `Schir, God yow foryeild!'
`Na! thank me not ovir airlie, for dreid that we threip,
For I have servit the yit of lytill thing to ruse;
For nouther hes thow had of me fyre, drink, nor meit,
Nor nane uther eismentis for travellouris behuse.
Bot, micht we bring this harberie this nicht weill to heip, 8
That we micht with ressoun baith thus excuse,
Tomorne, on the morning, quhen thow sall on leip, 9
Pryse at the parting how that thow dois;
For first to lofe and syne to lak, Peter! it is schame.' 10
   The King said, `In gud fay,
   Schir, it is suith that ye say.'
   Into sic talk fell thay,
       Quhill thay war neir hame.
To the Coilyearis hous baith, or thay wald blin,
The carll had cunning weill quhair the gait lay:
`Undo the dure belive! Dame, art thow in?
Quhy devill makis thow na dule for this evill day?
For my gaist and I baith cheveris with the chin.
Sa fell ane wedder feld I never, be my gude fay!'
The gude wyfe glaid with the gle to begin --
For durst scho never sit summoundis that scho hard him say -- 11
The carll was wantoun of word, and wox wonder wraith.
   All abaisit for blame,
   To the dure went our dame,
   Scho said, `Schir, ye ar welcome hame,
       And your gaist baith.'
`Dame, I have deir coft all this dayis hyre,
In wickit wedderis and weit walkand full will.
Dame, kyith I am cummin hame, and kendill on ane fyre;
I trow our gaist be the gait hes farne als ill. 12
Ane ryall, rufe, het fyre war my desyre,
To fair the better, for his saik, gif we micht win thairtill.
Knap doun capounis of the best, but in the byre -- 13
Heir is bot hamelie fair -- do belive, Gill.'
Twa cant knaifis of his awin haistelie he bad:
   `The ane of you my capill ta,
   The uther his coursour alswa;
   To the stabill swyith ye ga.'
       Than was the King glaid.
The Coilyear gudlie in feir tuke him be the hand
And put him befoir him, as ressoun had bene;
Quhen thay come to the dure, the King begouth to stand,
To put the Coilyear in befoir maid him to mene. 14
He said, `Thow art uncourtes; that sall I warrand!'
He tyt the King be the nek, twa part in tene,
`Gif thow at bidding suld be boun or obeysand,
And gif thow of courtasie couth, thow hes forget it clene!
Now is anis,' said the Coilyear, `kynd aucht to creip,
   Sen ellis thow art unknawin,
   To mak me lord of my awin;
   Sa mot I thrive, I am thrawin;
       Begin we to threip.'
Than benwart thay yeid, quhair brandis was bricht,
To ane bricht byrnand fyre, as the carll bad.
He callit on Gyliane his wyfe, thair supper to dicht;
`Of the best that thair is, help that we had,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Eftir ane evill day to have ane mirrie nicht,
For sa troublit with stormis was I never stad.
Of ilk airt of the eist sa laithly it laid,
   Yit was I mekle willar than,
   Quhen I met with this man.'
   Of sic taillis thay began,
       Quhill the supper was graid.
Sone was the supper dicht, and the fyre bet,
And thay had weschin, i-wis, the worthiest was thair.
`Tak my wyfe be the hand in feir, withouten let,
And gang begin the buird,' said the Coilyear.
`That war unsemand, forsuith, and thyself unset.'
The King profferit him to gang, and maid ane strange fair.
`Now is twyse,' said the carll, `me think thow hes forget!'
He leit gyrd to the King, withoutin ony mair,
And hit him under the eir with his richt hand,
   Quhill he stakkerit thair with all
   Half the breid of the hall;
   He faind never of ane fall
       Quhill he the eird fand. 15
He start up stoutly agane -- uneis micht he stand --
For anger of that outray that he had thair tane.
He callit on Gyliane his wyfe, `Ga, tak him be the hand,
And gang agane to the buird, quhair ye suld air have gane.
Schir, thow art unskilfull, and that sall I warrand;
Thow byrd to have nurtour aneuch, and thow hes nane. 16
Thow hes walkit, i-wis, in mony wyld land;
The mair vertew thow suld have, to keip the fra blame!
Thow suld be courtes of kynd and ane cunnand courteir.
   Thocht that I simpill be,
   Do as I bid the:
   The hous is myne, pardie,
       And all that is heir.'
The King said to himself, `This is ane evill lyfe,
Yit was I never in my lyfe thus-gait leird;
And I have oft-tymes bene quhair gude hes bene ryfe,
That maist couth of courtasie, in this Cristin eird.
Is nane so gude as leif of and mak na mair stryfe, 17
For I am stonischit at this straik, that hes me thus steird.'
In feir, fairlie he foundis with the gude wyfe,
Quhair the Coilyear bad, sa braithlie he beird.
Quhen he had done his bidding, as him gude thocht,
   Doun he sat the King neir
   And maid him glaid and gude cheir,
   And said, `Ye ar welcum heir,
       Be Him that me bocht.'
Quhen thay war servit and set to the suppar,
Gyll and the gentill king, Charlis of micht,
Syne on the tother syde sat the Coilyear.
Thus war thay marschellit, but mair, and matchit that nicht. 18
Thay brocht breid to the buird and braun of ane bair,
And the worthyest wyne went upon hicht;
Thay beirnis, as I wene, thay had aneuch thair,
Within that burelie bigging, byrnand full bricht.
Syne enteris thair daynteis, on deis dicht dayntelie; 19
   Within that worthie wane
   Forsuith wantit thay nane.
   With blyith cheir sayis Gyliane,
       `Schir, dois glaidlie.'
The carll carpit to the King cumlie and cleir:
`Schir, the forestaris, forsuith, of this forest,
Thay have me all at inuy, for dreid of the deir; 20
Thay threip that I thring doun of the fattest.
Thay say, I sall to Paris, thair to compeir
Befoir our cumlie king, in dule to be drest;
Sic manassing thay me mak, forsuith, ilk yeir,
And yit aneuch sall I have for me and ane gest.
Thairfoir sic as thow seis, spend on, and not spair.'
   Thus said gentill Charlis the Mane
   To the Coilyear agane:
   `The King himself hes bene fane,
       Sum tyme, of sic fair.'
Of capounis and cunningis they had plentie,
With wyne at thair will, and eik vennysoun;
Byrdis bakin in breid, the best that may be;
Thus full freschlie thay fure into fusioun.
The carll with ane cleir voce carpit on he,
Said, `Gyll, lat the cop raik for my bennysoun,
And gar our gaist begin, and syne drink thow to me;
Sen he is ane stranger, me think it ressoun.'
Thay drank dreichlie about; thay wosche and thay rais; 21
   The King with ane blyith cheir
   Thankit the Coilyeir;
   Syne all the thre into feir
       To the fyre gais.
Quhen thay had maid thame eis, the Coilyear tald
Mony sindrie taillis efter suppair.
Ane bricht byrnand fyre was byrnand full bald.
The King held gude countenance, and company bair, 22
And ever to his asking ane answer he yald;
Quhill at the last he began to frane farther mair,
`In faith, freind, I wald wit, tell gif ye wald,
Quhair is thy maist wynning?' said the Coilyear.
`Out of weir,' said the King, `I wayndit never to tell: 23
   With my lady the Quene
   In office maist have I bene,
   All thir yeiris fyftene,
       In the court for to dwell.'
`Quhat-kin office art thow in, quhen thow art at hame,
Gif thow dwellis with the Quene, proudest in pane?'
`Ane chyld of hir chalmer, schir, be Sanct Jame,
And thocht myself it say, maist inwart of ane;
For my dwelling tonicht, I dreid me for blame.'
`Quhat sall I call the,' said the Coilyear, `quhen thow art hyne gane?'
`Wymond of the Wardrop is my richt name;
Quhairever thow findis me befoir the, thi harberie is tane.
And thow will cum to the court, this I underta,
   Thow sall have for thy fewaill,
   For my saik, the better saill,
   And onwart to thy travaill,
       Worth ane laid or twa.'
He said, `I have na knawledge quhair the court lyis,
And I am wonder wa to cum quhair I am unkend.'
`And I sall say thee the suith on ilk syde, i-wis,
That thow sall wit weill aneuch or I fra the wend:
Baith the King and the Quene meitis in Paris
For to hald thair Yule togidder, for scho is efter send.
Thair may thow sell, be ressoun, als deir as thow will prys; 24
And yit I sall help the, gif I ocht may amend,
For I am knawin with officiaris in cais thow cum thair.
   Have gude thocht on my name,
   And speir gif I be at hame,
   For I suppois, be Sanct Jame,
       Thow sall the better fair.'
`Me think it ressoun, be the Rude, that I do thy rid, 25
In cais I cum to the court, and knaw bot the ane;
Is nane sa gude as drink and gang to our bed,
For als far as I wait, the nicht is furth gane.'
To an previe chalmer belive thay him led,
Quhair ane burely bed was wrocht in that wane,
Closit with courtingis, and cumlie cled; 26
Of the worthiest wyne wantit thay nane.
The Coilyear and his wyfe baith with him thay geid,
   To serve him all at thay mocht
   Till he was in bed brocht.
   Mair the King spak nocht,
       Bot thankit thame thair deid.
Upoun the morne airlie, quhen it was day,
The King buskit him sone, with scant of squyary.
Wachis and wardroparis all war away,
That war wont for to walkin mony worthy.
Ane pauyot previlie brocht him his palfray,
The King thocht lang of this lyfe and lap on in hy; 27
Than callit he on the carll, anent quhair he lay,
For to tak his leif; than spak he freindly.
Than walkinnit thay baith, and hard he was thair;
   The carll start up sone,
   And prayit him to abyde none:
   `Quhill thir wickit wedderis be done
       I rid nocht ye fair.'
`Sa mot I thrive,' said the King, `me war laith to byde;
Is not the morne Yule day, formest of the yeir?
Ane man that office suld beir be tyme at this tyde,
He will be found in his fault that wantis, foroutin weir. 28
I se the firmament fair upon ather syde;
I will returne to the court, quhill the wedder is cleir;
Call furth the gude wyfe; lat pay hir or we ryde
For the worthie harberie that I have fundin heir.'
`Lat be! God forbid!' the Coilyear said,
   `And thow of Charlis cumpany,
   Cheif king of chevalry,
   That for ane nichtis harbery
       Pay suld be laid.'
`Yea, sen it is sa that thow will have na pay,
Cum the morne to the court, and do my counsall:
Deliver the, and bring ane laid, and mak na delay;
Thow may not schame with thy craft gif thow thrive sall.
Gif I may help the ocht to sell, forsuith I sall assay,
And als myself wald have sum of the fewall.'
`Peter!' he said, `I sall preif the morne, gif I may,
To bring coillis to the court, to se quhen thay sell sall.'
`Se that thow let nocht, I pray the,' said the King.
   `In faith,' said the Coilyear,
   `Traist weill I salbe thair,
   For thow will never gif the mair,
       To mak nane lesing.'
`Bot tell me now lelely quhat is thy richt name?
I will forget the morne and ony man me greif.'
`Wymond of the Wardrop, I bid not to lane;
Tak gude tent to my name, the court gif thow will preif.'
`That I have said, I sall hald, and that I tell the plane;
Quhair ony coilyear may enchaip I trow till encheif.' 29
Quhen he had grantit him to cum, than was the King fane,
And withoutin ony mair let, than he tuke his leif.
Than the Coilyear had greit thocht on the cunnand he had maid,
   Went to the charcoill in hy,
   To mak his chauffray reddy;
   Agane the morne airly
       He ordanit him ane laid.
The lyft lemit up belive, and licht was the day;
The King had greit knawledge the countrie to ken.
Schir Rolland and Oliver come rydand the way,
With thame ane thousand, and ma, of fensabill men
War wanderand all the nicht ovir, and mony ma than thay
On ilk airt outwart war ordanit sic ten, 30
Gif thay micht heir of the King, or happin quhair he lay;
To Jesus Christ thay pray that grace thame to len.
Als sone as Schir Rolland saw it was the King,
   He kneillit doun in the place,
   Thankand God ane greit space;
   Thair was ane meting of grace
       At that gaddering.
The gentill knicht, Schir Rolland, he kneilit on his kne,
Thankand greit God that mekill was of micht;
Schir Oliver at his hand, and bischoppis thre,
Withoutin commounis that come, and mony uther knicht. 31
Than to Paris thay pas, all that chevalrie,
Betuix none of the day and Yule nicht;
The gentill Bischop Turpine cummand thay se
With threttie convent of preistis revest at ane sicht,
Preichand of prophecie in processioun.
   Efter thame baith fer and neir
   Folkis following in feir,
   Thankand God with gude cheir
       Thair lord was gane to toun.
Quhen thay princis appeirit into Paris,
Ilk rew ryallie with riches thame arrayis.
Thair was digne service done at Sanct Dyonys,
With mony proud prelat, as the buik sayis.
Syne to supper thay went, within the palys;
Befoir that mirthfull man menstrallis playis;
Mony wicht wyfis sone, worthie and wise,
Was sene at that semblay ane and twentie dayis,
With all-kin principall plentie for his pleasaunce.
   Thay callit it the best Yule than,
   And maist worthie began,
   Sen ever King Charlis was man,
       Or ever was in France.
Than upon the morne airlie, quhen the day dew,
The Coilyear had greit thocht quhat he had undertane;
He kest twa creillis on ane capill, with coillis anew,
Wandit thame with widdeis, to wend on that wane.
`Mary, it is not my counsall, bot yone man that ye knew
To do yow in his gentrise,' said Gyliane;
`Thow gaif him ane outragious blaw and greit boist blew;
In faith, thow suld have bocht it deir, and he had bene allane.
For-thy, hald yow fra the court, for ocht that may be;
   Yone man that thow outrayd
   Is not sa simpill as he said;
   Thairun my lyfe dar I layd;
       That sall thow heir and se.'
`Yea, dame, have nane dreid of my lyfe today;
Lat me wirk as I will; the weird is mine awin.
I spak not out of ressoun, the suth gif I sall say;
To Wymond of the Wardrop, war the suith knawin.
That I have hecht I sall hald, happin as it may, 32
Quhidder sa it gang to greif or to gawin.'
He caucht twa creillis on ane capill and catchit on his way
Ovir the daillis sa derf, be the day was dawin,
The hie way to Paris, in all that he mocht,
   With ane quhip in his hand,
   Cantlie on catchand
   To fulfill his cunnand,
       To the court socht.
Graith thocht of the grant had the gude king,
And callit Schir Rolland him till, and gaif commandment,
(Ane man he traistit in, maist atour all uther thing,
That never wald set him on assay withoutin his assent):
`Tak thy hors and thy harnes in the morning;
For to watche weill the wayis, I wald that thow went.
Gif thow meitis ony leid lent on the ling,
Gar thame boun to this burgh; I tell the mine intent.
Or gyf thow seis ony man cumming furth the way,
   Quhatsumever that he be,
   Bring him haistely to me,
   Befoir none that I him se
       In this hall the day.'
Schir Rolland had greit ferly, and in hart kest
Quhat that suld betakin, that the King tald.
Upon solempnit Yule day, quhen ilk man suld rest,
That him behovit neidlingis to watche on the wald,
Quhen his God to serve he suld have him drest.
And syne, with ane blyith cheir, buskit that bald.
Out of Paris proudly he preikit full prest.
In till his harnes all haill, his hechtis for to hald, 33
He umbekest the countrie, outwith the toun.
   He saw na thing on steir,
   Nouther fer nor neir,
   Bot the feildis in feir,
       Daillis and doun.
He huit and he hoverit quhill midmorne and mair, 34
Behaldand the hie hillis and passage sa plane;
Sa saw he quhair the Coilyear come with all his fair,
With twa creillis on ane capill; thairof was he fane.
He followit to him haistely, amang the holtis hair,
For to bring him to the King, at bidding full bane. 35
Courtesly to the knicht kneillit the Coilyear,
And Schir Rolland himself salust him agane,
Syne bad him leif his courtasie, and boun him to ga;
   He said, `Withoutin letting,
   Thow mon to Paris to the King;
   Speid the fast in ane ling,
       Sen I find na ma.'
`In faith,' said the Coilyear, `yit was I never sa nyse;
Schir Knicht, it is na courtasie commounis to scorne:
Thair is mony better than I, cummis oft to Parys,
That the King wait not of, nouther nicht nor morne.
For to towsill me or tit me, thocht foull be my clais, 36
Or I be dantit on sic wyse, my lyfe salbe lorne.'
`Do way,' said Schir Rolland, `me think thow art not wise,
I rid thow at bidding be, be all that we have sworne;
And call thow it na scorning, bot do as I the ken,
   Sen thow hes hard mine intent:
   It is the Kingis commandement,
   At this tyme thow suld have went
       And I had met sic ten.'
`I am bot ane mad man that thow hes heir met;
I have na myster to matche with maisterfull men,
Fairand ovir the feildis, fewell to fet,
And oft fylit my feit in mony foull fen;
Gangand with laidis, my governing to get.
Thair is mony carll in the countrie thow may nocht ken;
I sall hald that I have hecht, bot I be hard set,
To Wymond of the Wardrop, I wait full weill quhen.'
`Sa thrive I,' said Rolland, `it is mine intent
   That nouther to Wymond nor Will
   Thow sald hald nor hecht till,
   Quhill I have brocht the to fulfill
       The Kingis commandment.'
The carll beheld to the knicht as he stude than;
He bair, gravit in gold and gowlis in grene,
Glitterand full gaylie quhen glemis began,
Ane tyger ticht to ane tre, ane takin of tene. 37
Trewlie that tenefull was trimland than, 38
Semelie schapin and schroud in that scheild schene; 39
Mekle worschip of weir worthylie he wan,
Befoir, into fechting with mony worthie sene.
His basnet was bordourit, and burneist bricht
   With stanis of beriall deir,
   Dyamountis and sapheir,
   Riche rubeis in feir,
       Reulit full richt.
His plaitis properlie picht attour with precious stanis,
And his pulanis full prest of that ilk peir; 40
Greit graipis of gold his greis for the nanis,
And his cussanis cumlie schynand full cleir.
Bricht braissaris of steill about his arme banis,
Blandit with beriallis and cristallis cleir,
Ticht ovir with thopas and trew-lufe atanis;
The teind of his jewellis to tell war full teir.
His sadill circulit and set, richt sa on ilk syde;
   His brydill bellisand and gay,
   His steid stout on stray,
   He was the ryallest of array,
       On ronsy micht ryde.
Of that ryall array that Rolland in raid
Rauf rusit in his hart of that ryall thing;
`He is the gayest in geir that ever on ground glaid;
Have he grace to the gre in ilk jornaying. 41
War he ane manly man as he is weill maid,
He war full michtie, with magre durst abyde his meting.' 42
He bad the Coilyear in wraith swyth withoutin baid,
Cast the creillis fra the capill and gang to the King.
`In faith, it war greit schame,' said the Coilyear;
   `I undertak thay suld be brocht
   This day for ocht that be mocht;
   Schir Knicht, that word is for nocht
       That thow carpis thair!'
`Thow huifis on thir holtis and haldis me heir,
Quhill half the haill day may the hicht have.'
`Be Christ that was cristinnit, and His Mother cleir,
Thow sall catche to the court -- that sall not be to crave.
It micht be preifit prejudice, bot gif thow suld compeir, 43
To se quhat granting of grace the King wald the gaif.'
`For na gold on this ground wald I, but weir,
Be fundin fals to the King, sa Christ me save!'
`To gar the cum and be knawin, as I am command,
   I wait not quhat his willis be,
   Nor he namit na mair the,
   Nor ane uther man to me,
       Bot quhome that I fand.' 44
`Thow fand me fechand nathing that followit to feid; 45
I war ane fule gif I fled, and fand nane affray,
Bot as ane lauchfull man, my laidis to leid,
That leifis with mekle lawtie and laubour, in fay. 46
Be the Mother and the Maydin that maid us remeid,
And thow mat me ony mair, cum efter quhat sa may,
Thow and I sall dyntis deill, quhill ane of us be deid,
For the deidis thow hes me done upon this deir day.'
Mekle merwell of that word had Schir Rolland;
   He saw na wappinnis thair,
   That the Coilyear bair,
   Bot ane auld buklair,
       And ane roustie brand.
`It is lyke,' said Schir Rolland, and lichtly he leuch,
`That sic ane stubill husband man wald stryke stoutly;
Thair is mony toun man to tuggill is full teuch,
Thocht thair brandis be blak and unburely;
Oft fair foullis ar fundin faynt, and als freuch.
I defend we fecht or fall in that foly;
Lat se how we may dissever with sobernes aneuch,
And catche crabitnes away, be Christ, counsall I.
Quhair winnis that Wymond thow hecht to meit today?'
   `With the Quene, tauld he me;
   And thair I undertuke to be,
   Into Paris, pardie,
       Withoutin delay.'
`And I am knawin with the Quene,' said Schir Rolland,
`And with mony byrdis in hir bowre, be buikis and bellis;
The King is into Paris, that sall I warrand,
And all his advertance that in his court dwellis.
Me tharth have nane noy of myne erand,
For me think thow will be thair efter as thow tellis
Bot gif I fand the forrow now to keip my cunnand.'
`Schir Knicht,' said the Coilyear, `thow trowis me never ellis,
Bot gif sum suddand let put it of delay;
   For that I hecht of my will,
   And na man threit me thairtill,
   That I am haldin to fulfill,
       And sall do quhill I may.'
`Yea, sen thow will be thair, thy cunnandis to new,
I neid nane airar myne erand nor none of the day.'
`Be thow traist,' said the Coilyear, `man, as I am trew,
I will not haist me ane fute faster on the way;
Bot gif thow raik out of my renk, full raith sall thow rew, 47
Or, be the Rude, I sall rais thy ryall array.
Thocht thy body be braissit in that bricht hew,
Thow salbe fundin als febil of thy bone fay.'
Schir Rolland said to himself, `This is bot foly
   To strive with him ocht mair:
   I se weill he will be thair.'
   His leif at the Coilyear
       He tuke lufesumly.
`Be Christ!' said the Coilyear, `that war ane foull scorne,
That thow suld chaip, bot I the knew, that is sa schynand;
For thow seis my weidis ar auld and all toworne,
Thow trowis nathing thir taillis that I am telland.
Bring na beirnis us by, bot as we war borne,
And thir blonkis that us beiris; thairto I mak ane band,
That I sall meit the heir upon this mure tomorne,
Gif I be haldin in heill -- and thairto my hand --
Sen that we have na laiser at this tyme to ta.'
   In ane thourtour way,
   Seir gaitis pas thay,
   Baith to Paris, in fay;
       Thus partit thay twa.
The gentill knicht, Schir Rolland come rydand full sone,
And left the Coilyear to cum, as he had undertane;
And quhen he come to Paris the hie mes was done,
The King with mony cumly out of the kirk is gane.
Of his harnes in hy he hynt withoutin hone, 48
And in ane rob him arrayit richest of ane;
In that worschipfull weid he went in at none,
As he was wont, with the wy that weildit the wane, 49
On fute ferly in feir, formest of all.
   Richt weill payit was the King
   Of Schir Rollandis cumming;
   To speir of his tything
       Efter him gart call.
The King in counsall him callit, `Cum hidder, Schir Knicht!
Hes thow my bidding done, as I the command?'
`In faith,' said Schir Rolland, `I raid on full richt,
To watch wyselie the wayis; that I sall warrand.
Thair wald na douchtie this day for jornay be dicht. 50
Fairand ovir the feildis full few thair I fand;
Saif anerly ane man that semblit in my sicht,
Thair was na leid on lyfe lent in this land.'
`Quhat kin a fallow was that ane, schir, I the pray?'
   `Ane man in husband weid,
   Buskit busteously on breid;
   Leidand coillis he geid
       To Paris the way.'
`Quhy hes thow not that husband brocht, as I the bad?
I dreid me, sa he dantit the, thow durst not with him deill.' 51
`In faith,' said Schir Rolland, `gif that he sa had,
That war full hard to my hart, and I ane man in heill.'
He saw the King was engrevit, and gat furth glaid,
To se gif the Coilyearis lawtie was leill:
`I suld have maid him in the stour to be full hard stad,
And I had wittin that the carll wald away steill;
Bot I trowit not the day that he wald me beget.'
   As he went outwart bayne,
   He met ane porter swayne
   Cummand raith him agayne,
       Fast fra the get.
`Quhair gangis thow, gedling, thir gaitis sa gane?' 52
`Be God,' said the grome, `ane gift heir I geif;
I devise at the get thair is ane allane,
Bot he be lattin in belive, him lykis not to leif.
With ane capill and twa creillis cassin on the plane,
To cum to the palice he preissis to preif.'
`Gif thow hes fundin that freik, in faith I am fane;
Lat him in glaidly; it may not engreif.
Bot askis he eirnestly efter ony man?'
   Than said that gedling on ground:
   `Ye, forsuith in this stound,
   Efter ane Wymound
       In all that he can.'
`Pas agane, porter, and let him swyith in,
Amang the proudest in preis, plesand in pane.
Say thow art not worthy to Wymond to win;
Bid him seik him hisself, gif thair be sic ane.'
Agane gangis Schir Rolland, quhair gle suld begin,
And the yaip yeman to the get is gane;
Enbraissit the bandis belive, or that he wald blin, 53
Syne leit the wy at his will wend in the wane.
`Gang seik him now thyself,' he said upon hicht:
   `Myself hes na lasair
   Fra thir gettis to fair.'
   `Be Christ,' said the Coilyear,
       `I set that bot licht.'
`Gif thow will not seik him, my awin self sall:
For I have oft tymes swet in service full fair.
Tak keip to my capill, that na man him call,
Quhill I cum fra the court,' said the Coilyear.
`My laid war I laith to lois; I leif the heir all. 54
Se that thow leis thame not, bot yeme thame full yair.'
In that hardy, in hy, he haikit to that hall, 55
For to wit gif Wymondis wynning was thair.
He arguit with the ischar ofter than anis,
   `Schir, can thow ocht say
   Quhair is Wymond the day?
   I pray the, bring him gif thow may
       Out of this wanis.'
He trowit that the wy had wittin of Wymond he wend, 56
Bot to his raifand word he gave na rewaird;
Thair was na man thairin that his name kend.
Thay countit not the Coilyear almaist at regaird. 57
He saw thair was na meikness nor mesure micht mend,
He sped him in spedely, and nane of thame he spaird;
Thair was na fyve of thay freikis that micht him furth fend,
He socht in sa sadly, quhill sum of thame he saird.
He thristit in throw thame thraly with threttis.
   Quhen he come amang thame all,
   Yit was the King in the hall,
   And mony gude man, with all,
       Ungane to the meit.
Thocht he had socht sic ane sicht all this sevin yeir,
Sa solempnit ane semblie had he not sene;
The hall was properly apperrellit and paintit but peir,
Dyamountis full dantely dentit betwene.
It was semely set on ilk syde seir,
Gowlis glitterand full gay, glemand in grene,
Flowris with flourdelycis formest in feir,
With mony flammand ferly, ma than fyftene.
The rufe reulit about in revall of reid,
   Rois reulit ryally,
   Columbyn and lely;
   Thair was ane hailsum harbery
       Into riche steid.
With dosouris to the duris dicht, quha sa wald deme,
With all divers danteis dicht dantely,
Circulit with silver semely to sene,
Selcouthly in seir he was set suttelly. 58
Blyth byrdis abufe, and bestiall full bene,
Fyne foullis in fyrth, and fischis with fry;
The flure carpit and cled, and coverit full clene,
Cummand fra the cornellis closand quemely.
Bricht bancouris about browdin ovir all,
   Greit squechonis on hicht,
   Anamalit and weill dicht,
   Reulit at all richt
        Endlang the hall.
`Heir is ryaltie,' said Rauf, `aneuch for the nanis,
With all nobilness anournit, and that is na nay;
Had I of Wymond ane word, I wald of thir wanis,
Fra thir wyis, i-wis, to went on my way; 59
Bot I mon yit heir mair quhat worthis of him anis,
And eirnestly efter him have myne e ay.' 60
He thristit in throw threttie all atanis,
Quhair mony douchtie of deid war joynit that day.
For he was unburely, on bak thay him hynt;
   As he gat ben throw,
   He gat mony greit schow.
   Bot he was stalwart, I trow,
        And laith for to stynt.
He thristit in throw thame, and thraly can thring,
Fast to the formest he foundit in feir. 61
Sone besyde him he gat ane sicht of the nobill king.
`Yone is Wymond, I wait; it worthis na weir;
I ken him weill, thocht he be cled in uther clething,
In clais of clene gold kythand yone cleir. 62
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Quhen he harbreit with me, be half as he is heir.
In faith, he is of mair stait, than ever he me tald.
   Allace, that I was hidder wylit!
   I dreid me sair I be begylit.'
   The King previlie smylit,
        Quhen he saw that bald.
Thair was servit in that saill seigis semelie,
Mony senyeorabill syre on ilk syde seir;
With ane cairfull countenance the Coilyear kest his e
To the cumly Quene, courtes and cleir:
`Dame, of thy glitterand gyde have I na gle,
Be the gracious God that bocht us sa deir;
To ken kingis courtasie, the devill come to me, 63
And sa I hope I may say, or I chaip heir.
Micht I chaip of this chance, that changes my cheir,
   Thair suld na man be sa wyse,
   To gar me cum to Parise,
   To luke quhair the King lyis,
        In faith, this sevin yeir!'
Quhen worthie had weschin, and fra the buirdis went,
Thay war for-wonderit, i-wis, of thair wyse Lord;
The King fell in carping, and tauld his intent,
To mony gracious grome he maid his record.
How the busteous beirne met him on the bent,
And how the frostis war sa fell and sa strait ford.
Than the Coilyear quoke as he had bene schent,
Quhen he hard the suith say how he the King schord.
`Greit God! gif I war now, and thyself with all,
   Upon the mure quhair we met,
   Baith all suddandly set,
   Or ony knicht that thow may get
        Sa gude in thy hall!'
Thir Lordis leuch upon loft, and lystinit to the King,
How he was ludgeit and led, and set at sa licht; 64
Than the curagious knichtis bad have him to hing,
`For he hes servit that,' thay said, `be our sicht.'
`God forbot,' he said, `my thank war sic thing
To him that succourit my lyfe in sa evill ane nicht!
Him semis ane stalwart man and stout in stryking,
That carll for his courtasie salbe maid knicht.
I hald the counsall full evill that Cristin man slais,
   For I had myster to have ma,
   And not to distroy tha
   That war worthie to ga
        To fecht on Goddis fais!'
Befoir mony worthie he dubbit him knicht,
Dukis and digne lordis in that deir hall.
`Schir, se for thyself, thow semis to be wicht;
Tak keip to this ordour, ane knicht I the call.
To mak the manly man, I mak the of micht: 65
Ilk yeir thre hundreth pund assigne the I sall.
And als the nixt vacant, be ressonabill richt,
That hapnis in France, quhair sa ever it fall, 66
Forfaltour or fre waird, that first cummis to hand,
   I gif the heir heritabilly,
   Sa that I heir, quhen I have hy,
   That thow be fundin reddy
        With birny and brand.'
`It war my will, worthy, thy schone that thow wan
And went with thir weryouris wythest in weir;
Heir ar curagious knichtis, suppois thay the nocht ken,
For thy simpill degre that thow art in heir.
I beseik God of his grace to mak the ane gude man,
And I sall gif the to begin glitterand geir.'
Ane chalmer with armour the King gart richt than
Betaucht to ane squyar, and maid him keipeir.
With clois armouris of steill for that stout knicht,
   Sextie squyaris of fee
   Of his retinew to be;
   That was ane fair cumpany
        Schir Rauf gat that nicht.
Upon the morne airly, Schir Rauf wald not rest,
Bot in ryall array he reddyit him to ryde;
`For to hald that I have hecht, I hope it be the best,
To yone busteous beirne that boistit me to byde.
Amang the galyart gromis I am bot ane gest,
I will the ganandest gait to that gay glyde; 67
Sall never lord lauch on loft, quhill my lyfe may lest,
That I for liddernes suld leif, and levand besyde. 68
It war ane graceles gude that I war cummin to,
   Gif that the King hard on hicht
   That he had maid ane carll knicht,
   Amang thir weryouris wicht,
        And docht nocht to do.' 69
Upon ane rude runsy he ruschit out of toun;
In ane ryall array he rydis full richt.
Evin to the montane he maid him full boun,
Quhair he had trystit to meit Schir Rolland the Knicht.
Derfly ovir daillis, discoverand the doun,
Gif ony douchtie that day for jornayis was dicht.
He band his blonk to ane busk on the bent broun,
Syne baid be the bair way to hald that he had hecht
Quhill it was neir time of the day that he had thair bene. 70
   He lukit ane lytill him fra;
   He sa cummand in thra
   The maist man of all tha
        That ever he had sene.
Ane knicht on ane cameill come cantly at hand,
With ane curagious countenance, and cruell to se;
He semit baldly to abyde with birny and with brand,
His blonk was unburely, braid and ovir hie.
Schir Rauf reddyit him sone and come rydand,
And in the rowme of ane renk in fewtir kest he; 71
He semit fer fellonar than first quhen he him fand,
He foundis throw his forcenes gif he micht him se.
He straik the steid with the spurris, he sprent on the bent; 72
   Sa hard ane cours maid thay,
   That baith thair hors deid lay,
   Their speiris in splenders away
       Abufe thair heid sprent.
Thus war thay for thair forcynes left on fute baith,
Thay sture hors at that straik strikin deid lay than;
Thir riche restles renkis ruschit out full raith, 73
Cleikit out twa swordis and togidder ran.
Kest thame with gude will to do uther skaith,
Bair on thair basnetis thay beirnis or thay blan.
Haistely hewit thay togiddir; to leif thay war laith,
To tyne the worschip of weir that thay air wan; 74
Na for dout of vincussing thay went nocht away.
   Thus ather uther can assaill
   With swordis of mettaill;
   Thay maid ane lang battaill
       Ane hour of the day.
Thay hard harnest men, thay hewit on in haist;
Thay worthit hevy with heid and angerit with all;
Quhill thay had maid thame sa mait, thay failye almaist,
Sa laith thay war on ather part to lat thair price fall.
The riche restles men out of the renk past,
Forwrocht with thair wapnis, and evill rent with all;
Thair was na girth on the ground, quhill ane gaif the gaist. 75
`Yarne efter yeilding!' on ilk syde thay call.
Schir Rauf caucht to cule him, and tak mair of the licht;
   He kest up his veseir,
   With ane chevalrous cheir.
   Sa saw he cummand full neir
       Ane uther kene knicht.
`Now, be the Rude!' said Schir Rauf, `I repreif the!
Thow hes brokin conditioun; thow hes not done richt:
Thow hecht na bak heir to bring, bot anerly we;
Thairto I tuik thy hand, as thow was trew knicht.'
On loud said the Sarasine, `I heir the now lie!
Befoir the same day I saw the never with sicht;
Now sall thow think it richt sone thow hes met with me, 76
Gif Mahoun or Termagant may mantene my micht.'
Schir Rauf was blyth of that word, and blenkit with his face;
   `Thow sayis thow art ane Sarasine?
   Now thankit be Drichtine
   That ane of us sall never hine,
       Undeid in this place.'
Than said the Sarasine to Schir Rauf succudrously,
`I have na lyking to lyfe to lat the with lufe.' 77
He gave ane braid with his brand to the beirne by,
Till the blude of his browis brest out abufe.
The kene knicht in that steid stakkerit sturely,
The lenth of ane Rude braid he gart him remufe.
Schir Rauf ruschit up agane and hit him in hy;
Thay preis furth properly thair pithis to prufe.
Ilk ane a schort knyfe braidit out sone;
   In stour stifly thay stand,
   With twa knyfis in hand;
   With that come Schir Rolland
       As thay had neir done.
The gentill knicht Schir Rolland come rydand ful richt,
And ruschit fra his runsy, and ran thame betwene:
He sayis, `Thow art ane Sarasine, I se be my sicht,
For to confound our Cristin men, that counteris sa kene.
Tell me thy name tyte, thow travelland knicht.
Fy on thy fechting! fell hes thow bene.
Thow art stout and strang, and stalwart in fecht;
Sa is thy fallow, in faith, and that is weill sene.
In Christ and thow will trow, thow takis nane outray.'
   `Forsuith,' the Sarasine said,
   `Thyself maid me never sa affraid
   That I for soverance wald have praid,
       Na not sall to day.
`Breif me not with your boist, but mak you baith boun,
Batteris on baldly the best, I yow pray.'
`Na,' said Schir Rolland, `that war na resoun,
I trow in the mekle God, that maist of michtis may.
The tane is in power to mak that presoun,
For that war na wassalage, sum men wald say; 78
I rid that thow hartfully forsaik thy Mahoun;
Fy on that foull feind, for fals is thy fay!
Becum Cristen, Schir Knicht, and on Christ call;
   It is my will thow convert --
   This wickit warld is bot ane start --
   And have Him halely in hart
       That Maker is of all.'
`Schir Rolland, I rek nocht of thy ravingis;
Thow dois bot reverance to thame that rekkis it nocht;
Thow slane hes oft, thyself, of my counsingis,
Soudanis and sib men, that the with schame socht.
Now faindis to have favour with thy fleichingis;
Now have I ferlie, gif I favour the ocht.
We sall spuilye yow dispittously at the nixt springis,
Mak yow biggingis full bair -- bodword have I brocht -- 79
Chace Charlis your king fer out of France;
   Fra the Chane of Tartarie,
   At him this message wald I be,
   To tell him as I have tauld the,
       Withoutin plesance.'
`Tyte tell me thy name; it servis of nocht.
Ye Saraseins ar succuderus and self-willit ay; 80
Sall never of sa sour ane brand ane bricht fyre be brocht. 81
The feynd is sa felloun, als fer as he may.'
`Sa thrive I,' said the Sarasine, `to threip is my thocht,
Quha waitis the Cristin with cair, my cusingis ar thay; 82
My name is Magog, in will, and I mocht,
To ding thame doun dourly that ever war in my way.
For-thy my warysoun is full gude at hame quhair I dwel.'
   `In faith,' said Schir Rolland,
   `That is full evill wyn: land
   To have quhill thow ar levand,
       Sine at thine end hell.
`Wald thow convert the in hy and cover the of sin,
Thow suld have mair profite and mekle pardoun;
Riche douchereis seir to be sesit in,
During quhill day dawis, that never will gang doun;
Wed ane worthie to wyfe, and weild hir with win,
Ane of the riche of our realme, be that ressoun;
The gentill Duches, Dame Jane, that clamis be hir kin
Angeos and uther landis, with mony riche toun.
Thus may thow, and thow will, wirk the best wise.
   I do the out of dispair,
   In all France is nane so fair;
   Als scho is appeirand air
       To twa douchereis.'
`I rek nocht of thy riches, Schir Rolland the Knicht,'
Said the rude Sarasine in ryall array.
`Thy god nor thy grassum set I bot licht;
Bot gif thy God be sa gude as I heir the say,
I will forsaik Mahoun and tak me to His micht,
Ever mair perpetuallie, as He that mair may.
Heir with hart and gude will my treuth I the plicht,
That I sall lelely leif on thy Lord ay,
And I beseik Him of grace and askis Him mercy,
   And Christ His Sone full schene.
   For I have Cristen men sene,
   That in mony angeris hes bene,
       Full oft on Him cry.'
`I thank God,' said Rolland -- `that word lykis me! --
And Christ His sweit Sone, that the that grace send.'
Thay swoir on thair swordis swyftlie all thre,
And conservit thame freindis to thair lyfis end,
Ever in all travell, to leif and to die.
Thay knichtis caryit to the court, as Christ had thame kend.
The King for thair cumming maid game and gle,
With mony mirthfull man thair mirthis to mend.
Digne bischoppis that day, that douchtie gart bring, 83
   And gave him sacramentis seir,
   And callit him Schir Gawteir,
   And sine the Duches cleir
       He weddit with ane ring.
Than Schir Rauf gat rewaird to keip his knichtheid.
Sic tythingis come to the King within thay nyne nicht
That the Marschell of France was newlingis deid;
Richt thair, with the counsall of mony kene knicht,
He thocht him richt worthie to byde in his steid,
For to weild that worschip worthie and wicht.
His wyfe wald he nocht forget, for dout of Goddis feid.
He send efter that hende, to leif thame in richt,
Syne foundit ane fair place quhair he met the King,
   Ever mair perpetually,
   In the name of Sanct July,
   That all that wantis harbery,
       Suld have gestning.
reign; Charlemagne
Where; many another
(see note)
attire; (see note)
(see note)
young knights
proud; proceeds
king; rough moor
befell; heard
east fiercely; strong
continuously; (see note)
wildly; came on
hold footing; high hill
dark; were confused
By [the time that]; 6 a.m.; (see note)
each one took; different
were dispersed; far
Constant violent winds; drove
blasted; remained
By [the time]; were separated
knew; what; rode
horse; strode
wanders; such; own fate
severe winds; tempestuous
By [the time]
was displeased
Displeased; became night
shelter; need
horse; baskets joined
real; for love of the Cross
know; (see note)
much trouble
time; labor
From here
carry coal
Since you ask I tell you
whole truth
ask; hostile reason
trust whenever
forbid; quarreling
much more use
Julian; (see note)
know; shelter; nearby
such; as it seems to me you are
own; greatest
Far; high hills
go home
winds; violent
glad; rode
too early; quarrel
served you; praise
have; food
amenities; benefit
(see note)
Until; near
before; stop
knowledge; way
door; quickly
Why; complaint
guest; shiver; (see note)
fierce a storm felt; faith
proceeded; entertainment
rough; became; angry
dearly bought; wages
wet; astray
recognize; kindle
magnificent, strong, hot fire
attain thereto
simple fare; act quickly
lively servants; own
horse take
steed also
quickly; go
graciously together
When; began to wait
[He = Rauf]; shall; warrant
seized; angrily; (see note)
If; command; ready; obedient
if; knew
once; nature; crawl; (see note)
otherwise; uncouth
inside; went; logs
(see note)
each compass point; fiercely; laid on
much more lost then
Until; prepared
ready; made up
washed indeed
together; delay
go to the head of the table
unseemly; not seated
go [first]; (see note)
struck; at once
So that; staggered
[The King] rose up; scarcely
insult; received
[He = Rauf]; go
go; table; before
uncouth; warrant
by nature; wise
by God
in this way instructed
good men; numerous
Who knew most; world
blow; staggered
courteously; walks
violently; behaved
as seemed good to him
By; redeemed
noble; might
table; meat; boar
was raised up
people; expect; enough
excellent building; shining
they lacked nothing
happy countenance
be glad
said; handsome; distinguished
chide; shoot
gracious; sorrow; treated harshly
Such menacing; each year
partake of
in response
such fare
capons; rabbits
baked; bread
eagerly; proceeded; abundance
spoke aloud
pass round the cup; blessing
make; guest; then
Since; proper
happy demeanor
Then; together
Until; ask
know; would
usual dwelling
What kind of
attendant; chamber; by; (see note)
though; intimate
tarrying; fear
Wardrobe; real; (see note)
lodging; assured
If; promise
payment for
load; two
extremely reluctant; unknown
truth; in every respect; indeed
know; before
she is sent for
if; anything; make better
fare better [by asking for me]
only you
The best thing is for us to
know; night
private chamber quickly
fine bed; made; house
that; might
readied; scarcity; attendants
Guards; valets
accustomed; awaken; many a
small page privately; horse
awakened; heard
wait until noon
advise; travel
reluctant; wait
tomorrow; chief [day]
while; weather
tomorrow; follow my advice
be ashamed of
anything; try
also; fuel
try tomorrow
shall be
(see note)
truthfully; real
tomorrow if; annoy
want; hide
heed; try
promised; glad
delay; leave
In preparation for
prepared; load
sky brightened up quickly
more; fighting
hear; chance upon
a providential meeting
great; might
body of knights
Between noon
(see note)
those; appeared in
Each rank; adorns
worthy; (see note)
valiant woman's son
excellent bounty; pleasure
baskets; coals enough
Tied; ropes; dwelling
place yourself at his mercy
boasted greatly
paid for; if; (see note)
Therefore; anything
Thereupon; stake; (see note)
fear for
fate; own
unreasonably; truth
were the truth known
Whether; goes; gain
placed; went
sdales; rugged; had dawned
as well as he could
Boldly going
Immediate; agreement
trusted; above; (see note)
engage in combat
person passing; moor
Direct them; town
wonder; considered
solemn; each; should
necessarily; moor
applied himself
prepared; bold man
rode; readily
went around; outside
all together
Dales; hill
road so open
hoary woods
greeted him in return
(see note)
must [come]
Since; no other
Before; daunted; lost
advise; be obedient
Since; heard
Even if; ten such [as you]
(see note)
skill; powerful
Traveling; fuel; fetch
loads [of coal]; living
promised; unless; beset
know; when
(see note)
keep nor make a promise
looked at
Great honor; war
in fighting; (see note)
helmet; bordered; burnished
Diamonds; sapphires
Arranged decorously
(see note)
thigh-pieces; handsomely
vambraces; bones
Studded; beryls
(see note)
tenth; tiring
circled; adorned
elegant; beautiful
powerful; road
armor; walked
anger quickly; delay
no matter what
delay; wooded hill
whole; reaches its height
go; question
earth; without a doubt
fool; cause for fear
gave us redemption
oppose; (see note)
exchange blows
Great marvel
rusty sword
likely; laughed gently
rough country-man
countryman; struggle; tough; (see note)
swords; inelegant
birds; frail
forbid; fight
part; peacefulness enough
send quarrelling
dwells; promised; meet
by God
ladies; chamber; (see note)
I need; worry
just as
(see note)
believe me
Unless; hindrance
promised; freely
forced; thereto
agreements to renew
earlier; than noon
Cross; slash
Though; covered
weak; good faith
any more
leave; from
escape unless
clothes; old; worn out
believe not at all these
horses; pact; (see note)
here; heath tomorrow
leisure; take
Different roads
in faith
high mass
handsome people; church
robe; of all
garment; noon
marvelously; first
had him called
Except only; appeared
person alive passing
countryman's clothes
Proceeded roughly abroad
Transporting coals; went
countryman; ordered
upset; went out gladly
word was true
combat; hardpressed
If; known; steal
deceive; (see note)
quickly; towards
servant; give; (see note)
perceive; gate
let in quickly; (see note)
unloaded; ground
insists; try
man; glad
cause trouble
fellow; (see note)
As earnestly as he can
Go back; quickly
throng; attire
seek; such a one
Back; fun
eager attendant; gate
Then; man; go; dwelling
seek; aloud
To go from these gates
care little about that
Until I come [back] from
lose; attend; well
know; dwelling
usher; once
at all
raving; regard
moderation; make amends
men; keep out
went; determinedly; hurt
pushed; eagerly; threats
Not yet gone; food
Though; sought
impressive; assembly
furnished; peerlessly
daintily; inlaid
adorned; each different side
fleur-de-lis; foremost
brilliant marvel
roof enclosed; border; red
Roses arranged
Columbine; lily
wholesome shelter
In; place
animals; pleasant
woods; young fish
carpeted; completely
corners fitting closely
bench-covers; embroidered
Enameled; arranged
Set in order properly
All along
enough for the occasion
adorned; denial
I'd go from this hall
must; becomes; once
pushed; thirty; at once
bold; deed; assembled
rude; pushed
As he went in through [them]
many a great shove
reluctant; stop
(see note)
know; there is no doubt
know; dressed
(see note)
of higher degree
Alas; tricked
fear; sorely; deceived
privately [i.e., to himself] smiled
bold man
hall handsome men
lordly; different
worried; eye
gown; joy
redeemed; dearly
escape; mood
make; Paris
nobles; washed; tables
amazed; indeed
man; told his story
rustic man; moor
fierce; (see note)
quaked; shamed
heard; threatened
if [only]
unexpectedly situated
laughed aloud
have him hung
deserved; as we see it
advice; slays
need; more
fight against; foes
worthy; precious
heed; order [of knighthood]
also; vacant estate
(see note)
here to be held by heritable right
hear; urgent need; (see note)
mail; sword
(see note)
warriors most valiant; war
although; know
Because of
shining armor
Entrusted; keeper
as a feudal grant
rude man; challenged
valiant men; guest; (see note)
laugh aloud; last
valiant warriors
riding horse; hastened
Boldly; dales; exploring; hill
bold man; combat; prepared
tied; horse; bush; moor
waited by the open road
largest; those
camel; briskly close by
boldly; stand fast; mail
mount; uncomely
tries; fierceness
fierce horses; stroke
Set about; harm
(see note)
fear; being vanquished
each attacked the other
bold armored; struck
became; heat
fatigued; fainted
loath; honor
noble eager men; lists
Exhausted; badly cut
proceeded; cool
Cross; reprove
supporter; only
Saracen; hear
(see note)
the Lord
[go] hence
blood; burst
staggered greatly
(see note)
press; strengths; prove
combat boldly
straight on
rushed; horse
contend; boldly
fighting; fierce
if; believe; harm
truce; begged
Address; boast; ready; (see note)
wouldn't be right
great; who is most powerful
(see note)
advise; heartfully
care; ravings
Sultans; kinsmen; sought
you try; flattery
wonder; you at all
Khan; Tartary; (see note)
To; messenger
Quickly; [it = your threat]
as cruel
wishing if I could
strike; sternly
Therefore; reward
poor profit
haste; redeem
duchies various; invested with
Lasting; dawns; end
govern; joy
nobility; (see note)
if; way
I'll put you out of doubt
Also; heir apparent
two duchies
goods; treasure; (see note)
who has more power
faith; pledge to you
faithfully believe in; always
remained friends
travail; live
went; directed
made merry
to gladden them
(see note)
then; beautiful
recently dead
take his place
have; honor; valiant
fear; anger
noblewoman; (see note)

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