|The Romance of Duke Rowland and Sir Ottuell of Spayne Of Cherlles of Fraunce
Lordynges that bene hende and free,
Herkyns alle hedirwardes to mee,
Gif that it be your will.
Now lates alle your noyse be,
And herkyns nowe of gamen and glee
That I schall tell yow till.
Of doghety men I schall yow telle
That were full fayre of flesche and fell
And semely appon sille,
And with thaire wapyns wele couthe melle
And boldly durste in batell duelle
And doghety proved one hill.
The sone of le Roy Pepyn
That was Sir Cherlles gud and fyne,
Als the cronykills us gan say,
With his dusperes doghety and dyin
That wele couthe feghte with a Sarazene
For to felle tham fey;
Till Genyone with his traytorye
Solde tham ille and wikkedly
Unto the false ley —
Fourty thowsande and fyfty
Of the flour of chevalrye
There dyede apon a daye!
Mynstrells in that lande gan duelle,
Bot alle the sothe thay couthe noghte tell
Of this noble chevalrye:
How that Cherlles with his swerde gan melle,
Bot suche a menske hym befell
That come hym sodeynly.
They tentede to thaire daunsynge,
And also to thaire othir thynge,
To make gamen and glee;
Burdours into the haulle thay brynge
That gayly with thaire gle gan synge
With wowynges of lady.
And forthir in romance als ye mon here,
This noble kynge of grete powere
Duellede in Pariche,
With his lordes and his duspers
That were holden felle and fers
And in batelle full wyse.
All thay buskede tham for to bere
Helme and hawberke, schelde and spere,
And rapede tham for to ryse
Agaynes Kynge Merthill, forto were
And forto kepe the heythyn here,
And struye there Goddes enymys.
Bot now come tham newe note one hande,
And wondirfull hasty tythande
That grevede tham righte sore;
For of the chevallrye of the lande,
Ther hade dyede thritty thousande,
Gif Goddes helpe ne wore!
And owte of Spayne there come in hy
A Sarazene that was full doghety
With grymly grownden gare,
Fro the Emperour Sir Garcy
To Kyng Charlles full hastilye,
That kyndilde alle thaire care.
The messangere was mekill of pride.
Thorowte Pareche gan he ryde
And at the kynges sale he lighttis,
And there he metys in that tyde
That were faire of hewe and hide,
Thre full noble knyghtis:
Sir Otes and Sir Raynere,
Duke Naymes was theire fere,
That ofte thaire resouns rightes.
He haylsede tham with steryn chere,
Sayd, “Fro the kynge am I sent a messangere,
That moste es provede of myghtis.”
Duke Naymes sayde full curtaysly,
“Sir, whate may thi name bee?”
He sayde, “I highte Otuell.
Kyng Cherlles, where es he?
Righte to hym byhovede mee
Mi message forto telle.”
Duke Naymes saide, “He sittes his duspers imange,
With white berde large and lange,
Faire of flesche and fell,
With a floreschede thonwange,
Oure noble kynge that es so strange,
His doghety men imelle.
He sittes in riche meneuere;
The Duke Rowlande sittys hym nere
In rede siclaton,
And the gentill erle Sir Olyvere,
That es full noble and felle and fere
And in batelle ay full bowun.”
Forthe passede than the messangere
Bifore the kynge with steryn chere,
It was hym grete renoun.
He saide, “Ane evyll flawmande fyre
Bryne thi berde, thi breste, and thi swyre,
Even to thi fote alle doun!
A messangere ame I sent in hy
Fro my lorde the emperor Sir Garcy
That settis yow alle at noghte.
In paynym ne es none so doghety;
He hathe the flour of chevallrye
Allredy with hym broghte.
Charlles, I ne maye noghte honour thee,
For thou hase grevede Mahoun and me,
That alle this worlde hase wroghte.
And Rowlande, if ever I may thee see
At batayle or at any semblé,
Thi dedis schall dere be boghte!
And Rowlande, gif ever I maye thee mete,
With my swerde I schall thee hete
To hewe thi body in two,
And fulle thee under my horse fete,
Sarazenes myrthe with thee to bete,
For thou hase wroghte tham woo!”
And Rowlande at those wordes loughe,
And said, “Sir, thou arte doghety ynoghe
Siche dedis to undirtoo!
Thou may jangill and make it toughe,
For here schall no man do thee woghe
Till aughte dayes ben agoo.”
The kyng spekes than the Sarazene till,
“Say one, felawe, whatte thou will.
Distroube thee schall righte none,
Ne none of my men, lowde nor still,
Touche thee with nonekyns ille
Till heghte dayes ben gone.”
The Sarazene at those wordes hadde skorne.
“I dowte no man,” he says, “that ever was borne,
And I my stede hafe tone,
Corsu my swerde me biforne,
That myche Cristen blode hathe schorne
And many a body slone.”
“Where?” sayde the kynge in hy.
“Sir, in the playnes of Lubardy —
Thou claymes it for thi lande,
The powere there of Sir Garcy.
Appon a daye we garte tham dy,
Fully fifty thousande.
Nyne monethes es gone arighte
Sen I with Cursu was dobbide knyghte,
My golde brayden brande.
A thosande there to the dede I dighte,
Of Cristen men mekill of myghte,
Righte with myn awenn hande.
And thus hathe Lubades harmes laughte
Bothe by dayes and by naghte,
Ne gladdes tham no glee.
Myselfe was then in batelle and faughte;
Myn neffes were bolnede dayes aughte
That selly was to see.”
Up than stirte ane hardy knyghte,
Sir Estut of Logres, forsothe, he highte,
A lorde of grete bountee.
With the Sarazene wolde he fighte;
A staffe in hande he takes hym righte
Was of sqwarede tree.
Than Rowlande sayde full sobirly,
“Now, gud Sir Estut, let it be.
He es a messangere.
He es ensurede to myn eme and mee.
For thi gud, Sir, par charyté,
Thyn hert that thou wolde stere.”
Bot yit the knyghte ne wolde noghte spare,
Bot hent the Sarazene by the hare
And bakwarde doun hym bere.
The Sarazene stirte up breme as bare,
Cursu his swerde he drewe reghte thare —
The knyghte hede off he schere.
Than saide the baronage with hole sowun,
“Lay hande one the traytoure feloun!
He hase done velanye!”
Bot he rollede his eghne both up and dowun
And ferde als a wilde lyoun,
Brayde up his browes one hye.
He braundescht hir swerde bare,
That trenchande was and wele schare,
And sayde full sobirly
(And by his grete Mahown he sware),
“And any of yow duspers stirre thare,
The beste party schall dy!”
The kyng his men sone sessed he,
Sayd, “Sarazene, yelde thi suerde to mee,
And late be alle this bere.”
And he sayde, “Naye, als mot I thee!”
Up than rose Sir Rowlande full sobirly,
And with a lagheande chere
Said, “Yelde to me thi brande brighte.
I schall thee save, als I ame knyghte,
Whills that thou arte here.
And when thi message es doun and dighte,
I schall delyver thee thi brande so brighte,
Als I ame trewe duspere.”
“In that covande I yelde it thee.
I nolde gif it for twelve cité,
So bittirly will it bite!
And, Rowlande, yif ever I may thee see
At batayle or at any semblé,
Thi hede off therwith to smyte!”
Rowlande sayde, “Sir, thou art to outrage!
Fayrere myghte thou batayll wage
Than al daye thus to chide.”
The Sarazene spake with stowte vesage,
“Herkenys now to my message,
And I schall tell yow tyte.
Kyng Cherlls, als thou may here,
I am sent a messangere
Fro hym that es doghty.
He weldes paynym ferre and nere:
Alysaundere of grete powere,
And the londis of Boty,
Toures, Sedoyne, ferre and fre,
Perse, semely one to see,
And therto Fermorye.
This noble kynge of grete pousté,
He distruyes bothe londe and see
Reghte into Fermorye.
Forthi hathe he sent thee worde by mee:
That thou schall uncristen bee,
And leve appon oure ley.
For we will prove in oure degré
That the lawes of Cristyanté
Ne are noghte worthe ane aye!
Giffe thi hert unto Mahoun,
That weldis bothe toure and towun
And alle myghtis maye;
Hafe done belyfe that thou be bowne
Forto come to oure somoun —
Thus am I sent to saye.
Hafe done, sir! Buske thee to oure kynge,
For he hath ordeynede thi wonnynge,
For alle thi chevalrye;
House and londe, wodde and thynge,
He grauntes thee over all othir thynge
The londes of Normaundy.
Inglonde also hathe giffen to thee;
And to Rowlande thi nevieu fre
To be sesede in Russy.
Olyver, that es faire and free,
The knyghte es provede of grete bounté,
The landes of Scamonye.
To Sir Florance of Surry,
He hathe giffen France in hye,
That wele cane prike a stede —
The kyng sone of Barbarye,
To hafe it to his bayly
Therone his life to lede.”
Than the kynge sayde, “Nay!
Duspers, whate will ye say
Of this wonder dede?
Schall never Sarazene of heythyn ley
Welde France, by nyghte ne daye.
Now Jhesu it forbede!”
Then thay ansuerde sone in hye,
“Nay, Sir, we will oure batells guy,
And rape us for to ryde
Agayne the Emperor Sir Garcy.
Thurgh the myghte of mylde Marye,
Hy schall schome betyde.”
The Sarazyn laughes full smothirly,
“What, threte ye now Sir Garcy
With your boste and your pryde?
Ther es none of yow so hardy,
And ye hade sene his chevalrye,
Your hedis that ye nolde hyde!”
The Duke Naymes talkes wordes one highte,
Says, “Sir, if that the emperor will fighte,
We schall to hy full even!”
The Sarazene ansuerde with mekill myghte,
“He hath a hondreth thousande helmys brighte
And therto hundrethes seven!
Ther es no kyng in Cristyanté
Dare warne hym huntynge and fischynge fre,
Ne discrye hym ther with steven!
Bitwix two watirs fayre and fre,
He hath bigged a cité hight Attaylé —
Es none siche under the heven!
Cherlles, with thi longe berde,
That empoure schall make thee full ferde
With his stronge powere!
For he hathe men in batell lerede
That wele kon feghte with floresched swerde
And hafe lemans full clere.
Lete Duke Naymes lenge at hame
To kepe Pareche walles fro schame,
That no gledes neghe tham nere,
Coo ne pye that there come none,
For chevalrye es fro hym gone —
An olde nappere als he were!”
The Duke Naymes asschamede was;
The blode stert up in his face —
Agreved he was full sore.
Than Sir Rowlande full rathely up he rase;
“Unconnande Sarazene!” he said, “In this place
Thi wykkednes es yare.
By Hym that dyede appon a tree,
Thou scholde have a velany of me,
Ensurede nyfe that I ware!
Bot in batelle if ever I may thee see,
Schall never no kyng of Cristyanté
Be encombirde with thee mare!”
The Sarazene ansueres full stoutly,
“Be Mahownn, Rowlande, I ame redy
For to fighte with thee!
Into yone medowe I rede we hye
And luke that no man bee us by —
Grete gamen than schall men see!
Whethir so werse es of us twoo,
Lett hewe bothe his spourres hy froo;
He never more honorede bee.”
Rowlande was of hert full throo
Siche dedys to undertoo;
His hande upholdes hee.
“Sir Vernague of Barabas,
Sertys, myn eme I wote he was,
That Rowlande here hath slayne.
I chalange his dethe now in this place.
I schalle thee lede a wikkede pase,
Bothe with myghte and mayne.”
The kynge at those wordes loughe,
And said, “Sir, thou arte doghty ynoghe!
Garte calle a chambirlayne.
Garte delyvere hym innes withowtten woghe.
To sue hym, lokes that thee bene toughe
Of alle that scholde hym gayne.”
The kynge garte calle Sir Grauntere,
Sir Raynere, and Sir Oggere,
Bade take kepe of the knyghte.
One the morne thay rose alle in fere.
The abbott of Saynte-Thomers
Songe tham a messe full righte.
Elleven coupes fayre to fonde
Was offrede at the abbottes honde,
Full of golde so brighte.
Rowlande offrede Droundale his brande,
Boghte it agayne with golde at hande.
Alle honoured thay God Allemyghte.
And unnethes was the messe alle done,
When that the Sarazene come full sone,
And cryed appon highte
To Kyng Cherlles with steryn tone,
Sayd, “Send owte Rowlande withowtten hone!
I calle hym recreyande knyghte.
I appelle hym for trouthe broken
For the wordes that were spoken
Yistreven within the nyghte.
In his armes that he be loken;
Myn emes dethe I will hafe wroken —
He was a kynge of myghte!”
Elleven duspers stode hym by
To arme Sir Rowlande full hastyly,
That provede was in batayle.
Ane actone they threwe appon hym hye,
And ane hawberke, sekerly,
That sekire was of mayle,
Hose of hawberke, gesseraunte;
Broghte hym ane helme of bettant,
And lacede his aventale.
Iche a knyghte gane tham avante
For to sue hym to his avenaunte,
That no thynge scholde hym fayle.
Thay spende hym with his gilte sporres,
And dressede hym in his armours,
Alle redy to the felde.
Broghte hym a schelde of faire coloure;
He was a lofely creatoure,
Whoso hym than bihelde.
Girde hym with Drondale to the were;
Appone a stede he leppes there,
That doghety under schelde.
And in his hande a noble spere,
A faire course he rydes there
Hys wapyns for to welde.
Then sayde Cherlles the kynge,
“Loke rekreyande thou hym brynge
That hathe made this derraye!
Late hym noghte skape for nonkynsthynge.”
He gaffe hym Goddes blyssynge
And bade hym wende his waye.
Thay broghte tham bytwene two watirs brighte —
Sayne and Meryn le Graunte thay highte,
Als the bukes gan us saye —
Into a medowe semely to sighte,
There als thies doghety men solde fighte
Withowtten more delaye.
This while hovede the Sarazene still,
And called to the kynge with voyce full schrylle,
“Ane hawberke aske I thee!
Spere and schelde garre brynge me till,
For I hafe horssynge at my will,
None siche in Cristyanté.”
The kyng than lokes hym besyde
And saughe his dogheter mekill of pryde,
Belesent brighte of blee.
Than he comandide hir that tyde,
“Goo take hym fayre be thi syde,
Wele armede that he bee.”
And scho calles Flores of Maundelle,
Mayden Roselet of Barelle,
And bade tham wende to the knyghte,
And haste tham that within awhile,
And til a chambire gan thay syle,
And gayly gan hym dighte.
To arme hym wele thay were full snelle:
Out his aktone ane hawberke felle
Of colours that were brighte,
That aughte gud Kynge Ragnell,
That was bothe ferse and felle,
And in felde full faire couthe fighte.
Thay armede hym wele withowtten fayle;
With golde thay lacede his aventaile
For that it solde be trewe;
Broghte hym ane helme of riche entayle
Of precyouse stones, the appayrayle
That brighteste was of hewe.
His helme was bothe harde and holde;
Therone was sett a sercle of golde
That bett was wonder newe.
Then sayde thies damesels fre one folde,
A meryere armede knyghte one molde
Never yitt thay ne knewe.
Thay broghte hym a schelde when he was bowun;
Thies maydens two thay broghte hym dowun.
He cried aftir his stede.
He rollede his eghne up and dowun,
And sware by his grete Mahoun —
His enemy sore myghte drede!
Than spake those two maydens smale,
“Sir, kepe thee wele fro Drondale,
For it will garre thee blede!
Entyre thou ones into yone vale,
Comes thou never aftyr into this sale,
And Sir Rowlande righte may rede!”
He toke his leve and forthe he gose,
Lepe one a stede highte Mekredose,
In his hande a spere.
A faire course he rydes close,
Full egerly amonges his fose,
And dressede hym in his gere.
When the Sarazene comen was,
The kyng garte sone avoyde the place
Of Cristen that there were.
To the castelle he wendes a pase,
And appone the kirnells gase
To wayte appon that were.
The kynge to Rowlande lowde gan crye,
“Feghte one, dere sone, hardely,
In the name of Marie of heven!”
The Sarazene saide, “I ame redy!”
Appon Sir Rowlande he gan defy
With a full hawtayne steven.
Thies kene knyghtis togedir gan glide,
The medowe tremlyde one aythir syde,
In scheldes thay cowped full even.
Theyre joynynge was so harde that tyde
That theyre tymbir in sondire gan ryde
In mo than sex or seven.
Thurghowte thaire scheldis than thay schare
And all the lethirs that thare ware —
Thay assembled soryly.
The poyntes appon the hawberke bare,
Bot the mayles so sekir ware
The spere hedis bigan to plye.
Rawlande owte his swerde wanne
And hittes hym on the helme thanne
That the nasell floghe full hye.
Thurgh the horse schuldirs the swerde rane —
That was a styffe stroke of a man!
His noble stede gan dy.
The Sarazene off his horse tublys doun
And stert up fers als any lyoun,
And Cursu his swerde he drewe.
He brasede his schelde and made hym bowun;
He hitt Sir Rowlande one the crowun,
That fore egirnes he loughe.
The nasell of his helme off glade
Dowun bifore hym in the strade —
Hade almoste wroghte hym woghe!
Thurgh the horse schuldirs the swerde gan wade,
His stede even in sondere he hade —
The stroke was stythe ynoghe!
Rowlande one the grownde es lighte,
Uppon his fete he sterte uprighte;
His swerde in his hande he helde.
The Sarazene cryed with mekill myghte,
“This was a stythe stroke of a knyghte,
And no thynge of a childe!”
Charlles herde those wordes wele;
Appon his knees dowun gan he knele,
And bothe his handes uphelde.
“God,” he said, “that alle schall dighte and dele,
His modir mylde and Saynt Michael,
Fro schame Ye Rowlande schelde!”
Rowlande raysede up Drondale;
Abown his hede he gane it hale,
His enemy forto dere.
He hade almoste wroghte hym bale;
A quartere of his helme awaye gane vale
And halfendele his one ere,
That the Sarazene bygane to helde,
And up he caste his noble schelde;
In the bokells gane he schere.
So thikke thaire dynttys togedir pelyde,
Thaire armours hewenn laye in the felde
Als floures that strewede were.
Belesent sayde full curtaysly,
“Mi lorde, thay feghten full gentilly;
A grete travayle thay hafe!”
Up to God he caste a crye,
And to His moder Saynt Marie:
“Fro schame Ye Rowlande save!
And coverte us yone gentill knyghte
That es so hardy and so wighte,
For elles it were grete wathe!
He es so ferse in armes to fyghte,
And a man of mekill myghte.
Full doghety are thay bathe!”
Than Rowlande sayde full curtaysly,
“Sarazene, will thou cristenyde be
And leve appon oure laye?
A noble gifte I schall giffe thee:
Belesent that es brighte of ble —
In the worlde ne es siche a maye!
And thou and I and Olyver,
We schall be felawes all in fere,
And travell nyghte and daye.
We schall ryde bothe ferre and nere,
Wyn citees and towunes dere,
And gode horses at assaye!”
The Sarazene ansuers full stoutly,
“Thou kan to littill of clergy
To leryn me siche a lare!
The wordes that thou hase spoken in hy,
Thou schall tham full dere aby
With sadde dynttes and sare!
I swere thee, by my grete Mahoun,
I schall thee lere a newe lessoun
Or I fro thee fare,
With a bofete appon thi croun
That thou schall laye thi wapen doun,
Rekreyande als thou were!”
Than was Sir Rowlande gretly grevede,
And in his hert full sore amevede;
At the Sarazene lete he flye.
He hitt hym a bown appon the heuede
That to the scholdire the swerde wefede;
The fyre floghe owte full hye!
Thurgh duble hawberke it hym schare,
To the girdilstede it made hym bare.
Then bigane he forto plye.
Drondale felle so sadde and sare
That the Sarazene bigane to stare
And fallen he was full nye.
The Sarazene than a lepe he made;
A stroke to Rowlande forsothe he glade,
And hit hym on the hede
That almoste top over tayle he rade,
And nere the swerde twynede hade,
His life ther hade he lefede.
Ane other stroke he to hym bere,
And doun byfore hym it strypes there;
His schelde awaye revede,
And alle the skirtys of Rowlandes gere.
Otuell says, “My suerde kan schere!”
And into the erthe it wevede.
Rowlande claghte up his noble schelde,
His wapyns wightly for to welde
And helde it one his nefe.
Thaire dynttis so thikke gan samen helde,
Thaire harnays hewen was in the felde —
Full littill was tham levede!
Thaire dynttis felle so sadde and sare
That bothe thaire bodies wexen bare,
Thaire armours all todreves.
Tharefore Sir Charlles hade mekill care;
Appon his knees he knelys thare
And bothe his handes upheves.
And als the kynge thus prayed faste,
A dofe come fro the Holy Gaste
And one the Sarazene lightes.
And than was he full sore agaste,
And unto Sir Rowlande saide he in haste,
“Sesse, Sir, of thi fighttes!
For I ame broghte in siche a will
That I youre lawes will fulfill,
And become a Cristyn knyghte.”
Than doun thay layde thaire wapyns still,
And aythere wente othire untill;
A saughtillynge was ther dighte.
Than wolde the kynge no lengere duelle,
Bot hyed hym dowun of the castelle,
And grete lordes hym by.
He askede Sir Rowlande how it bifelle,
And he ansuerde with wordes snelle,
“Mi lorde, full gentilly
I hafe foghten with the beste knyghte
In alle this werlde — es none so wighte
That ever yit provede I!
And he hase yolden hym to the righte;
Belesent I hafe hym highte.
Gare cristen hym in hy.”
Unto the grounde than knelide the kynge;
He loved God of alle this thynge
And His modir fre.
Two gude stedis thay garte forthe brynge,
And one thay lepe withowte lettynge
And went home to the cité.
Bischope Turpyn was redy
With bukes and with stoles in hy.
A fownte sone halowes he
To cristen hym that was doghety.
Many grete lorde stode thaym by
With myche solempnyté.
And when the Sarazene cristenned was,
The kynge tuke his doghetir faire of face,
And gyffes hir to that noble knyghte.
The lovelyeste inwith lace,
And swetteste in armes for to enbrace —
In the worlde was siche a wighte.
Als lely-like was hir coloure,
Hir rode rede als rose floure,
In lere that rynnes righte.
The kyng toke that brighte in boure
With menske and with myche honoure,
And gaffe hym that birde so brighte.
He said, “Hafe here my doghetir fre,
And Rowlande felawe schall thou bee,
And gentill Sir Olyver.
Powunce and plesaunce I schalle gife thee,
With two full noble cités
With towrres heghe and dere.
I make thee lorde of Lubardye,
To hafe it alle to thi bayllye,
That contreth ferre and nere.
For thi noble chevallrye,
Welcome to this companye,
Duelle and be a pere.”
The Sarazene knelyde appon his knee,
And thankkes the kynge full gentilly
Of thies giftes so gude.
He sayde, “Damesell, arte thou payed of me?”
And scho sayde, “Yee, als mot I thee.”
Full frely was that fude.
Than he said, “I make a vowe to mylde Marie:
Now that I hafe chosen to my lady
That es so mylde of mode,
That I schall wende to Attalé,
And for thi lufe do chevalrye,
And distruye the heythyn blode.
Sir Kyng, I giff agayne to thee
This mayden that es faire and fre,
And in clethynge comly clede.
And lokes alle that we redy be
Into the landes of Lubardye,
Righte als we firste redde,
Forto distruye there Goddes enemy
That hathe to yowe ther grete envy,
With folkes one fote wele fedde.
When I hafe tane myn eme Garcy
And the cité of Attaly,
This mayden schall I wedde.”
The king said than to his duspers,
“Now hafe herde the messangeres.
Your consell? What es beste?
Sir Garcy with his stronge powere
Distruyes my landes, both ferre and nere,
Mi cités brekes and bristes.
He confoundes so myche of Cristen blode
That I for sorowe goo nere wode,
And I may hafe no riste.”
And thay than ansuerde with steryn mode,
“To fende off, lorde, us thynke it gude;
To batayle are we priste.”
The kynge saide, “We will habyde
Till it be nerre the somertyde,
The colde of Marche be gone.
We schalle sende letteres on ilke a syde,
In dyverse contres, brode and wyde,
To grete lordes ichone,
Sqwyers doghety undir schelde
That wele kan thaire wapyns welde —
Byhynde us leve we none!
And alle that are within elde,
Loke that thay to batayle helde,
Goddes enemys forto slone.”
Thus the kynge duellys there
Till the tyme comen were,
The daye neghede neghe.
With hym Rowlande and Olyvere,
And the gentill Grauntere,
In batayle that was so sleghe.
Sir Oggere and Sir Raynere,
Duke Naymes was thaire fere,
And Gayryn of kynredyn heghe,
Sir Estut and Sir Inglere,
Sir Otuell the werryeure,
His dynttys were full dreghe.
Appon a mornynge thay lokede owte,
And saughe there powere stythe and stowtte
Comynge ferre and nere.
Thay rode in many a ryalle rowte,
By thowsande tale, withowtten dowte,
Under the Mount Marteres.
The Almaynes and the Tuskaynes,
The Flemynges full fele for the nanes
With the banereres;
The Provynce worthily inwith wone,
The Normandes gude of blode and bone —
There semlyde faire powere!
There semled owte of Lubardye
A full noble chevalrye,
And sekir at ilke a nede.
The Gayscoynes comen sone in hy,
And the Burgoynes faste tham by,
That worthily were in wede.
The Bretons come withowtten faile;
There semblede a full faire batayle
One many a stalworthe stede.
With helmys one hedis that walde avayle,
Full riche was thaire appayraille,
And worthily was thaire wede.
One the forthirmaste daye of Averille,
The kyng assemblede appon ane hille
Alle his mery menye.
Full faire he offres Saynt Denys till,
And appon his knees he knelys still
To God and Oure Lady;
Sayde to Olyvere, gud at ilke a nede,
“My sone, thou schall the vawarde lede,
For thou arte swythe doghety!”
The oste remowede and forthe thay yode.
Thay stirrede one many a stalworthe stede;
To thaire journaye thay hye.
Olyvere his stede hathe hent,
With hym yode mayden Belesent,
That lady of grete renoun.
One a muyle then rode that gentyll maid,
And in hir company ther were arrayed
A thousande bolde barouns.
Thay passed forthe than Bretayne by,
Thurgh the landes of the Mandely,
By many a ryalle toun.
Thay schipped over at Vertely
Into the landes of Lubardy,
Thay passede bothe dales and dowun.
Under a mountayne thay herberde than
Besyde a rever that highte Soltane,
And in a medowe thay lighte.
Ther was many a worthy man,
Ryalle howssynges thay bygan
Of pavylyons proudly pighte.
So fortravellede were thay sare,
That aughte dayes thay duelled thare,
Thaire harnays forto righte.
Therefore Kyng Cherlles wolde noghte spare,
A noble brigge he garte make thare
Over the watir of Soltane dighte.
And a wonder poynte now schall ye here:
To the mete thay wente alle in fere
Iche lorde in thaire lyveré,
Bot Duke Rowlande and Olyvere
And the Daynnes Oggere,
Stode armede undir a tree;
And over the brigge than gan thay ryde
Full prevaly that ilke a tyde
That no mo wiste bot they three.
Awnters thoghte thay forto byde;
Thay stale awaye by a wodde syde
Righte towarde Attalé.
And a mile withowtten Attalé
There hovede foure kynges fre
With speris in theire hande;
And ichone sware in theire degree
That thay wolde reghte gladly see
Olyver and Rowlande.
Thay sware alle by thaire grete Mahowun,
“We wolde that thay were nowe here bowun,
To loke how thay couthe stande!
And so we scholde forjuste tham doun,
That thay solde never see Charllyoun,
The chefe of Cristen lande!”
Now, lordynges, forto rede yow righte,
Thies kynges names, what thay highte,
The sothe I will yow tell.
Kynge Balsame, a mane of myghte;
Kynge Corsabell, another knyghte
That bothe was ferse and felle.
Kyng Askuardyne, that teraunt,
Of wikkednes he myghte hym avaunte,
Was lyke a fende of helle.
The ferthe was faire and avenante
With a full manly semblande;
Men callede hym Kyng Claryell.
Kynge Clariell sayde, “Als mot I thee,
Rowlande es holden full doghety —
Es none siche undir sone!
Be Mahoun, I wolde he were here me by.
I scholde assaye his body,
My dynttes scholde he con!”
Thies knyghttes herde how thay therett were;
With sporres thay brochede thaire stedis there,
Oute of the wodde thay rynn.
Than sayd Kynge Clariell, breme als bare,
“We hafe tham that we spake fare!
Be Mahoun, alle es wonn!
Bot wendes now forthe, ye kynges three,
And slees yone knyghtis of Cristyantee,
And I schall hove here styll.
Alle als ye done I schall see;
There es no mache unto mee,
And that me lykes ille!”
Kyng Askuardyn in his gere
Rydes owte a course of were
Full egerly and with ill will.
And Rowlande thurgh his scholdir gan schere;
His armours ne vaylede noghte a pere;
His hert blode he gan ther spill.
Kyng Corsabolyn in armes full clere
Rydis owte to Sir Oggere,
And hittes hym in the schelde.
The Cristen knyghte neghede hym so nere,
Thurgh double hawberke he hym bere,
Of horse he garte hym helde.
Kyng Balsamy rode till Sir Olyvere.
Thies thre kynges dyede in fere,
And lyen gronande in the felde.
Thaire thretynge boghte thay there full dere;
Thaire saules went alle to Lucyfere
That hade tham alle towelde.
Then was Kyng Clariell full sory,
And flynges owte full fersely
With hert egire and throo.
He smyttys Rowlande that was doghety
That his noble stede gan dy —
His bakke braste even in two.
And up he keste ane heghe cry,
“This was a poynte of chevalry!”
And busked hym for to goo.
Oggere Dauynes gan aftir hym hye
And stroke the kynge his sadill bye;
His stede he tuke hym fro.
Olyvere anone hath hent the stede,
And righte to Rowlande he gan hym lede,
And sayde, “Hafe this for thyne!”
And he stert up bettir spede
And drissede hym in his worthy wede
That lofesome under lyne.
Kyng Clariell drawes Melle
And faghte agaynes tham all thre;
His swerde was gude and fyne.
He said, “Gud lordes, slees noghte me!
A noble cheke here wonn hafe yee,
My lyfe wolde I noghte tyne.”
And when his vesage was alle bare,
A fayrere knyghte sawe thay never are,
And sett hym one a stede.
Thay wende awaye with hym to fare;
A thousande Sarazenes come one tham thare;
There bale bygan to brede.
Than saide Rolande to Olyvere,
“Yondere I see full brighte banere
And worthily undir wede.
Tham semys bothe felle and ferse;
I wolde no worde come to oure peres
That we fledde tham for drede.”
Ogger Daynes was moste wysse,
Sayd, “Sen we hafe getyn this kyng of price,
I rede we late tham goo.
For bi God and Saynt Denys,
We may noghte skape in nonekynswyse,
Ne hym will we noghte slo.”
Than said Kyng Clariell there he stode,
“This was a worde of gentill blode,
To speke thus for thi foo!”
He tuke his leve and forthe he yode,
Thankede tham with mylde mode,
And agaynes a thousande was no moo.
Rowlande and Olyvere
Dressede tham in armes clere,
Alle redy to the fyghte.
And the Daynes Oggere
Cryed “Mountjoy!” all in fere,
Bothe with mayne and myghte.
For the Sarazenes thay haden dowte,
To Jhesus Criste thay crye and lowte,
That moste es man of myghte.
Thies paynyms put tham owte,
That were halden full steryn and stoute,
And under thaire horses thay lighte.
Those thre to the thousande gan ryde,
And hewed one faste one iche a syde,
And brittenede blode and bone.
Thay made thaire wayes wondere wyde;
Ther durste no Sarazene thair dynttis byde;
To gronde thay garte tham gone.
Then comes girdande Sir Carpé,
The kynges sone of Aubré,
Was halden a noble man.
Upone highte he castis a krye:
“What schall saye to Sir Garcye?
Thre schendis us everichone?”
Sir Carpy come girdande suythe:
To Oggere Daynes gan he dryfe
That he swounede als he were wode.
Sir Rowlande gan doghety dedis kythe,
With Drondale he gan hym ryfe
Reghte to the girdillstede.
Ogger Daynes wakkened than,
Pulled owte a swerde highte Curtane,
Was gude at ilke a nede;
Than to fighte Oggere bygane
To hewe doun many ane heythyn man —
Grete travayle ther thay hade!
And the gentill Erle Sir Olyvere
Hewes one with Haunkclere —
Mighte none his dynttis withstande!
He daunge tham doun bothe ferre and nere;
It was a wonder thynge to here,
Thies thre men wroghte with hande.
Than comes a Sarazene sone in hye;
His name was Kyng Alphamanye,
Was fayre and wele farande.
He smyttes Olyvere that was doghety,
That toppe over tayle he garte hym lye
Appon a ley lande.
Bot than was Sir Rowlande never so woo;
Full swythe that Sarazene gan he sloo,
That to the grounde he yede.
Olyvere rose with herte full throo;
Belyfe his stede gan he too
And sterte up in his nede.
He sayd, “Rowlande, drede thee noghte!
Now I am one horse broghte,
I fayle thee at no nede!”
With Hankclere many wondirs he wroghte;
Fele Sarazenes to the grounde he broghte,
And ferde als he wolde wede.
This while was Ogger Daynes one fete;
The Sarazenes that he myghte with mete,
He wroghte thaire bodyes wo.
He gaffe tham woundes wyde and wete,
Full many one there lefte the swete
(The boke us telles soo)
Till almoste scomfet was he.
Than comes Kyng Clariell with hert fre,
Als faste als he myghte go,
And bade the Sarazenes thay scholde late be:
“Oggere, yelde thi suerde to me!”
Belyve he sayde hym yoo.
A Sarazene come with steryn ble,
Sayd, “This Cristen doge sall not saved be,
Bot sle we hym reghte here!”
“Yee,” sais Kyng Clariell, “as avenche thee
He schall be savede nowe, pardee!”
He heued of sone he schere.
He called seven paynyms of mekill myghte,
Said, “Gose, ledis hym to my leman brighte
Of colours that es clere.
Loke his wondes ben wele dighte,
And kepe me wele this Cristen knyghte,
For this es gentill of chere.”
The Sarazenes toke hym that was hende,
And to that lady gan thay wende,
Of coloures that was brighte,
Tolde hir the tale unto the ende,
Sayd, “Madame, this Duke Claryell yow sende
To hele hym at your myghte.”
“What?” saide that lady, white als fame,
“Es this Kynge Charlles that here es tane,
His men to dethe alle dighte?”
“Nay, by grete Mahoun!” thay sware, “Madame,
Thre knyghtes of his hath a thousande slane,
That we helde hardy and wighte.
And Kyng Clariell under schelde
Hymselfe was taken in the felde,
Thre kynges by hym slayne.
Ther was nother bute nere belde,
Ne Mahoun that alle schall welde,
For hym thay moghte nott gone.
And there was none bot glotons three,
And one of tham here may thou see
That Kyng Clariell hathe tane.”
“What, devyll?” scho said, “How may this be?
Who durste neghe my leman free,
Es beste of blode and bone?”
Scho said, “Comforthe thee, sir. Be noghte abayste.
Schall none of my men thee brayste.
What es the name of thee?”
“Madame,” he sayde, “Oggere Daunays.”
Than sayde the lady that was curtayse,
“I have herde speke of thee.”
Belyfe scho garte unarme hym there,
And to hym comes that lady clere,
And greses broghte that fre,
That Godd sett in His awenn herbere.
Als sone als ever thay dronken were,
He was lyghte als lefe one tree.
Thus Oggere Daynas duelled there,
And heled es of his hurtes sare
In the ladise presoun.
And of his felawes speke we mare,
How that thay full harde handilde ware,
Thies two knyghtes of renoun.
Ten thousande Sarazenes come girdande
That hardy were of hert and hande,
With helme and haberjoun.
Bot than myghte thay no lengere stande,
Olyver and gud Rowlande —
To flye now are thay boun.
Otuell that was so wighte
Duelles with Belesent the brighte,
Was comely one to calle.
Oute of hir chambire he wendis righte,
Als faste als ever that he myghte,
Into the kynges haulle
To seche Olyver and Rowlande,
Bot never nother he ther fande
Amonge the lordes alle.
Therefore Kynge Charlles his handes wrange,
And ever “allas!” was his sange,
“What may of this byfalle?”
Ottuell sayde, “Where it be soo?
Oggere Daynes and tho twoo
Are went to Attalee.
Now buske we aftir thaym to goo,
Or ells the Sarazenes will tham sloo —
Forsothe, thay mon alle dy.”
Thay busked tham in armes full clere,
Seven hundrethe bolde bacheleres
With hym to wende in hy.
Belesent sayde to Sir Grauntere,
“Gude Sir, ryde my lemmane nere;
The knyghte es full thethey.”
Thies seven hundrethe knyghtis
Duellede with Belesante the brightes
At hir awenn fyndynge.
Sir Otuell that was so wighte
Strykes Florence his stede brighte;
Byfore tham forthe gan he flynge.
He metys Rowlande and Olyvere
Faste rydande by a revere
And fresche folke aftir tham dynge.
He hailsede tham with steryn chere,
And sayde, “Sirres, whate make ye here?
Come ye fro fischeynge?”
He reproved tham there full velanslye,
And yit theire bodies were alle blodye
With wondes many one.
“Wene ye, for youre chevalrye,
For youre boste and youre folye,
That the Sarazenes will late yow one?
Charlles with his stronge powere
Schall thynke this a grete gramaungere,
This dede to undertone.
Bot this chase schall thay by full dere!”
He smote to a knyghte highte Sir Glantere
And belyfe he hathe hym slone.
Syr Otuell there righte in that gere,
Full faste he dange tham doun there
And garte tham go to grounde.
And his felawe Sir Ynglere
In a Sarazene breke a spere
Within a littill stounde,
And in his hande lefte a littill troncheoun,
Therwith full faste he dange tham doun,
Full many ane heythyn hounde.
He crakkede full many a carefull croun,
And criede “Mountjoye!” with heghe sowun.
Fele folke thay there confounde.
Then come a knyghte that highte Sir Galias,
A noble Sarazene men saide he was,
And in his hande a spere.
For the lufe of his leman fayre of face,
A glofe to his pensalle he hase
In sygnance of his were.
He rydes to Sir Inglere,
And thurghe the schelde he gan hym schere
And unhorssede hym there.
Thurghe double hawberke he hym bere,
Bot, als Goddes will it were,
His flesche hade nonekyns dere.
Appon hym also relevede a Sarazene wighte
That hardy was, and Ancole highte,
Sir Inglere for to sloo.
Bot Sir Ysope come with mekill myghte,
And Sir Estut a noble knyghte,
And Sir Davide also;
Sir Estut de ronoun,
Sir Grauntere de Lyoun,
One bakke thay garte tham goo;
And broghte hym upe that are was doun,
And horsede hym one a stede browun
With hert egere and throo.
Than come rydande Sir Galyadose,
Of Sarazenes alle he bare the lose,
Was halden a noble knyghte.
Faste he felled dowun of his fose!
Sir Inglere righte to hym gose,
And cleves his hede full righte.
Forthe rydes than Sir Grauntere,
A Sarazene thurgh the body he bere,
Sir Megradyn he highte;
He dange tham doun, bothe ferre and nere,
Bot appon hym come a stronge powere
With baners brode and brighte.
Then was there no nother crye
When grete batells togedir gan hye,
With mouthe als I yow mene.
Full thikke-folde gan Sarazenes dy
And thaire horses thaym by,
To wete withowtten wene.
Be thousandes thay tumblede doun dede,
Thaire saules wente unto the quede
That myghte not nombrede be.
For braynes and blode in that stede,
The brode medowe was waxen rede
That ere was growen grene.
Than come a Turke appon a stede
To Kynge Clariell better spede,
And sayde, “Allas, how do wee!
For Cristen men we hafe grete drede,
And bot thou helpe us in this nede,
Grete sorowe here may thou see!”
Kynge Claryell come with his powere,
Oure batells ferre one bakke he bere,
Ane Almayne sone sloghe he.
Also he dide the gude Gauntere,
Sir Otes and Sir Raynere,
And other grete plentee.
By that it was so nere nyghte
Thay moghte no lengere see to fighte,
Bot stynt one ayther syde.
Sir Otuell that was so wighte
Stroke Florence his stede full righte,
And byfore tham forthe gan ryde.
Then comes girdande Kynge Clariell,
And cried to hym with wordes fell,
“To speke thou schalt abyde,
Thi righte name that thou me tell!”
He sayde, “I highte Otuell,
For no man will I hyde!
And fro youre Mahoun ame I went,
And Cristyndome hafe I hent,
And baptiste ame I full righte.
My leman es bothe faire and gent,
Hir reghte name es Belesent,
Charlles dogheter the brighte.”
Bot than the Sarazene said, “Allas!
Now is this a wikkede case,
And thou so noble a knyghte!
Whi duelles thou there amonges thi fase?
Foully there thou wichede was.
And whi es this dede thus dighte?
I rede that thou coverte thee in hye,
And then sall saughtyll with thyn eme Sir Garcy,
And forsake not thy lawe.”
Unto the Sarazene gon he defye,
“Your lawes are noghte worthe a pye,
That dare I savely saye!
And if thou wilt for Mahoun fighte,
Loo, me here, a Cristyn knyghte,
With Hym that myghtes maye
Stalworthely to stande for oure righte!”
Kyng Clariell his trouthe hafe plighte
At morne to holde his daye.
Kyng Clariell wendis to the cité
That men callede Attalé,
Ther into duelle al nyghte;
Sir Otuell to his companye,
To Kyng Charlles that was fre,
And Belesent so brighte.
That faire mayden of hewe and hide,
Hirselfe unarmed hym that tide
And thris scho kissede that knyghte,
And groped hym wele, body and syde,
That he ne hade no woundes wyde,
And esede hym at hir myghte.
Knyghtis wache was there sett,
Faire fyres was there bett
To ese tham that there ware.
Of dede folkes thay hepes fett
To berye tham withowtten lett,
Those that Cristen ware.
Leches come that couthe one booke
Woundede men for to loke,
To salve tham of thaire sare.
And grete lordes riste toke,
And nyghte wache full worthily wooke,
Blewe and made grete fare.
Kyng Clariell rose at morne,
Wiste whate othes that he hade sworne
And to his chambir went,
Garte kaste armoures hym byforne,
That riche was and comly korne.
Ane actone one he hent,
One he dide ane hawberke schene,
Of the mayster handwerke of Galyene
That never no wapyn rent.
When that was armed clene,
A fayrere knyghte was never sene,
For joly ne for gent.
His creste was of an eddire hede
With golde abowte it was bywevede
And sett one hym Mahoun
And Appolyne that he one levede.
Alle his armours was overdrevede
With stones of grete renoun.
He girde hym with a suerde that hate Modlee,
Broghte hym a schelde of faire blee.
He buskede and made hym boun,
Lepe on a stede semely to see,
With mekill myrthe and solempnytee
He rydes thurghowte the toun.
An hundrethe knyghtes of Turkeye
Bare his mawmettis hym by,
And paste over that strande;
And doun thay lighten all in hye.
Thay were halden full doghetye
Alle in thaire awenn lande.
Thay sett thaire goddes appon a stone
And dowun thay knelyde everichonee,
And made tham thare offerande.
Kyng Clariell his leve hase tone,
Lepe one a stede that highte Browan —
That horse was noble at hande.
Charlles come rydande by a revere,
With hym Rowlande and Olyvere
Appon the ferrere syde.
Duke Naymes was thaire fere,
And Sir Otuell the gude werryere,
Full faire of hewe and hyde.
Than comes girdande Kynge Clariell,
And cried to tham with wordis felle:
“To speke ye schall abyde!
I beteche yow to the devell of helle!
How longe schall I aftir batelle duelle?”
Thus bygynnes he forto chide.
“And yitt,” he cried, breme als bore,
“Wiche of yow foure es mayster thore?”
Kyng Charlles calles on, “Mee!”
“Now cursede worthe thou ever mare,
For thou hase wroghte us myche care
In many dyverse contree.”
The kyng sayde, “Be Saynt Marie,
And hir dere Sone Almyghtye
That derely dyede one tree,
With dyntt of swerde thou schalte aby,
And take your Emperoure Sir Garcy,
And distruye alle youre citee.”
The Sarazene ansuerde with wordes full bolde,
“Charlles, methynke that thou scholdeste folde,
And thou were streken sore.
Thi vesage es crounkilde and waxen olde;
A nobill suerde thee burde not wolde
Now for thi mellyde hare.
Bot, by righte, methynke thou scholde be founde
Als those it were an olde grewhounde
That myghte rynn no mare.”
The kynge wex grevede in that stounde
And keste his clothes appon the grounde
“As armes!” he cried thare.
Bot Sir Otuell saide full curtasely,
“Gude Lorde, graunte this batell to me,
For trowthes hafe we plighte.
He sett the lawes of Cristyantee
Nott at a pillynge of a tree
Yistereven within the nyghte.”
Charlles thankkes hym ther he stode,
Taughte hym to Godde that diede one rode,
That alle schall deme and dighte.
Elleven duspers with hym yode,
To dresse hym in his armours gude,
Alle redy for to fighte.
When he was armede in his gere
That was bothe faire white and clere,
Thay girde hym with a brande;
Broghte hym ane helme was riche and dere
That aughte gud Kynge Galliere —
Was none siche in that lande!
The lady lufsome under lyne
Garte the Bischope Sir Turpyne
Assoyle hym with his hande.
Scho kiste hym thryse with herte full fyne,
Bytaughte hym unto dere Dryghtyne,
That mayden faire to fande.
Lordes that weren of mekill pride
Overe the brigge than gan thay ryde,
With mouthe als I yowe mene.
Bot then the Sarazene begynnes to chide:
“Now schalte thou, fole, lose thi pryde,
Bothe with traye and tene!
To oure goddes I rede thou gone
And knele bifore tham everichone,
Of colours that are clene.”
“Nay!” he sayde, “There es no God bot one
That ever made ne blode ne bone.
Nowe sone it schall be sene!”
Than bothe thies kene knyghttes there,
Togedir thay reden a course of werre
With stronge speres in theire hande,
That alle in sondre floughe thaire gere;
Tayle over tope bothe doun gon bere —
The stroke was wele sittande!
Belysent keste up a crye
Unto God and milde Marie;
Scho wepede and handis wrange.
Bot up thay stert full hastily,
And ayther gan to other defye
With swerdis large and lange.
This noble kyng this Clariell,
Smyttes to Sir Otuell
A dynt that he myghte fele;
Bot one his helme it myghte nott duelle,
So sadly one his scholdire it felle;
The knyghte bygane to knele.
Bot up he stirte full hastilye,
“I vowe to God thou schall abye,
That alle schalle deme and dele!”
Cursu thurghe his helme gan hye
That alle his one cheke hyngede bye —
His tethe were schaven wele!
He said than, “Clariell, als mote thou thee,
Whi grynnes thou nowe so one mee,
As thofe thou wolde me byte?
Alphayné, thi leman white and fre,
Thare never yerne to kysse thee;
Therfore I may nott hir wyte!”
The kynge ferde than als he wolde wede;
To the knyghte he hyed hym bettir spede,
Full egerly to smyte,
And thurgh his schelde he gan hym schrede,
That schulde hafe savede hym at his nede —
Almoste he was scomfite!
The kynge woundede Otuell so sore,
Hade he nott schounte his stroke thore,
Forsothe, he hade bene slayne.
Bot than Cursu that the knyghte bare
Thorowowte the kynges herte it schare,
Bothe with myghte and mayne.
And to the grounde he tumbills doun;
His saule went unto Mahoun,
Than by those gates gayne.
And a full blythe man was Charllyoun,
And lovede God with full heghe sowun,
And Belesent was full fayne.
For sorowe Sir Garcy went nere wode
For Clariell dede, was stronge of mode,
And sware by Appolyne
That mete ne drynke scholde done hym gude
Are he struyed hade Cristen blode
And broghte tham alle to pyne.
His grete bataylls he garte arayee
And his baners brode displeye
With coloures noble and fyne.
And Charlles wele thynkes that he maye
Forto kepe the heythyn laye
With the helpe of dere Drightyn.
Sir Barlott of Perse come girdande swythe
Also faste als he myghte dryfe —
Was holden a noble knyghte —
And doghety dedis gun he kythe;
Ther myghte no wapen his wedys ryfe,
So savely was he dighte.
He rydes owte a course of were
And in his hande a noble spere,
His armours glyssenede full brighte.
He askede leve at Sir Garcy there
To juste with Rowlande and Olyvere,
Theire bothere dede to dyghte.
And one his horse he come rynnande
With his spere faste in his hande;
His armour glessened clere.
He called firste one Rowlande,
One Otuell stalworthe forto stande,
And sythen one Olyvere.
“Hafe done,” he saide. “Brynge mee forthe your kynge,
Or ells to dethe I schall yow dynge,
Forsothe, alle foure ifere.”
Rowlande askede the kynges blyssynge;
He stroke his stede and forthe gan flynge —
His thretynge boghte he dere!
When that thay togedir mett,
A sekere stroke was there sett
That bothe thay tynte thaire stedys.
And up thay rose withowtten lett,
And ayther harde one othir bett
And persed some of thaire wedys.
Rowlande doghty dedis gan kythe;
With Drondale he gan hym ryve
That reghte to the girdill it yede.
And Sir Barlot loste his lyfe;
He faughte nothir with foure ne fyve;
His lyfe was hym full gnede.
Then comes a Sarazene girdande there;
His name was called Sir Lamagere,
Was holden a noble knyghte.
He come als breme als any bore,
And woundede Sir Rowlande wonder sore
Thurgh his brenyes brighte.
And Olyvere saughe his felawe blede,
With sporres he touches his noble stede;
The Sarazene garte he lighte.
The grete batells by than togedir yede;
Thay hewede one faste and full gude spede,
And now bygynnes thaire fyghte.
Bot other noyse was ther none
When the grete togedir gun gone
Bot stronge strokes and steryn!
Thay hewede one faste and full gud wone,
Brusten bothe bak, blode, and bone —
Of wandrethe myghte men leryn!
Be thousandes thay doun gan dryfe,
For bothe helme and haberjeone thay ryfe —
Ther myghte no man tham werun!
Kyng and duke there loste thaire lyfe;
With dynt of swerde, spere, and knyfe,
Thay brittenede many a beryn.
Doun thay dange thaire baners brade
Bothe in slakkes and in slade,
One bukes as we rede.
Full fele Sarazenes feble thay fade,
And many one to the grounde thay hade —
Thaire lyfe was tham full gnede.
Full grisely thay grone and grenne;
Maisterles thaire horse thay rynne —
Of tham toke no man hede.
The Cristen men gan the maystry wynn,
Bot yitt thaire barett ne wolde not blyn.
On nowe bygynnes thaire dede.
Sir Elys come with mekill myghte,
With seven hundrethe newe-made knyghtes
Oute of Bretayne.
Thise fresche men so freschely fyghte
That it was joye to see that sighte,
Bothe with myghte and mayne.
A Sarazene come with felawes fyve,
Thorowte Sir Briane gane he dryfe;
That nobill knyghte was slayne.
And yitt that paynym loste his lyfe;
With a spere thay gan hym ryfe;
His saule went unto payne.
Sir Otuell that noble man,
To his awenn cosyn he ran
Full grymly in his gere.
He strikes the Duke Balamé,
The kynges sone of Alphané,
Even thurghowte with a spere.
Than Kynge Alphané come in hye
With twenty thowsande of Barbarye
That wele couthe wapyns bere,
And the Kynge Cursabolee
With thritty thousande of Turkee,
And alle one fote thay were.
Thies futemen so stalworthe were
That oure batells full ferre one bakke thay bare, 1
Ther myghte none stirre thaire schelde.
Thaire dynttes felle so sadde and sare
That wele ané alblastire schott and mare,
Thay myghte no wapyns welde.
Thay were so mekill and so unryde,
And so foulle of hewe and hyde,
That thay hade almoste wonn the felde.
Thay gafe thaym wondes wete and wyde,
And brittenede tham bothe bake and syde;
Oure batell garte thay helde.
Than come girdande a gude sqwyere,
Sir Grym sone, the gude duchere,
That was borne in Pareyche —
With hym an hundrethe that hardy ware —
His name was hatten Naymere,
A man of mekill pryce.
To arme thaym grete hye thay hade,
Dispoyle the bodyes that laye one brade,
Ichone one thaire beste wyse.
Of thaire clothes pensalles thay made;
To Kyng Cherlles belyfe thay rade:
“Mountjoye!” was thaire discrye.
The grete batell than relyed agayne,
Both with myghte and with mayne,
And brittenede blode and bone.
Kyng Charlles than was full fayne,
And lovede God, es noghte to layne,
And His Modir allone.
Kynge Corsable hoved by Apparoun
And seese hys men alle doungen doun,
And sone gane he to tham goo.
Bot Aymere hitt hym one the crowun,
That that lorde hathe loste alle his renoun,
In the felde he hathe hym tone.
Aymere hathe the kynge hent,
And to Kynge Charlles he hathe hym sent
By foure of his sqwyeres.
Bot when that he made hym that ther sent,
He loves Gode that luffe hade lent
And His mylde Modere dere.
Thies fresche men so fersely fighte,
It was grete joye to see that syghte,
And a wondere thynge to here!
This noble man Sir Ottuell,
Thilke-folde he gane tham felle
With strengthe and noblitee.
And certis, als the bookes gane telle,
Thaire saulles wente unto helle,
Those fele that there gun blede.
Thus kynges and dukes to the dede thay dighte;
A hundrethe dubbide thamselfe to knyghte,
That worthy were and welde.
And to the banere belyfe thay wanne,
And foure gude kynges thay sloughe ther thane —
Thaire lyfes was tham full gnede.
Thurgheowte the oste are that he blane
Unto Kynge Charlles als a mane.
He thankede hym of that dede.
Than for sorowe Sir Garcy said, “Allas!”
To a kynge that highte Sir Abars,
That was armede full clere.
“Yone renayede thefe my cosyn was;
He ledis us here a wikkide pase,
Bothe with traye and tene!”
The kyng ansuerde to Sir Garcy,
“Loo, where Sir Cherlles commes thee by
And dynges alle doune bydene,
Now, for Mahomis lufe, that thou thee hye
With twenty thousande of Turkye
Till that we redy bene!”
The kyng dide als the emperour bad:
With those Turkes that he hade
He stroke into the stourre.
There were oure folkes full styffely stadde;
Thay hewede one faste als thay were madde,
And brittenede brighte armour.
The Duke Naymes stede was slayne,
And hymselfe in the felde tan —
That boughte thay sythen full sourre.
Rowlande, gude of blode and bone,
And Sir Otuell hase thre kynges slone,
And reschewsede hym with honoour.
Than was there no nother crye,
Bot thik-folde gane the Sarazenes dy,
And grysely gane thay grone.
A sory man was Sir Garcy,
And alle the Sarazenes that hoved hym by —
Thaire herttis was fro tham tone!
Oggere Daunays laye in presoun,
And of that noyse he herde the soun;
A heghte men kepede hym one.
Bot prevaly he made hym boun;
With an astell schide he slewe tham doun;
Hys wardens thus hath he slayne.
He armede hymselfe iche a thwnge,
And to a stabill gan he gange
And hent a noble stede.
The horse was styffe, thuoghe, and strange,
He caughte a spere, was large and lange,
And leppe up better spede.
He kayres forthe owte of the cité,
“Nowe hafes alle gude daye!” says he,
And to his felawes thus he yede.
And gladdere men there myghte none bee
Ne thay were when thay Sir Oggere Daynnes see,
That doghety was of dede.
Now Oggere Daynas bygynnes to fighte,
And to hew doun many ane heythen knyghte,
And brittyne blode and bone.
Kynge and duke to the dede he dighte;
The emperour tooke hym to the flighte —
To the toun he wolde hafe gone.
Sir Otuell stroke his stede Floryne
With two sporres of golde full fyne,
And belyfe he to hym come.
“Nay, Sir!” he sayde, “Be Sayne Drightyne,
Thou schall noghte to the toun to dyne,
Bot here thee moste be tone!”
Sir Otuell hase there tane the emperour;
That lorde hath loste there his honour;
To Charlles he hathe hym sent.
Knyghtis streghte in ilke a stourre
Token up cité, toun, and toure;
The Sarazenes are alle schent.
When thay had wroghte one swilken wyse,
Home thay wente than to Pariche,
Full wightly one thaire waye;
And Charlles lovede God of this enpryce,
And Sir Otuell that worthy es,
Now weddede he Belesent.
And than thay helde a mangery
With alle the noble chevalry
That semely was to see.
Thay made hym lorde of Lubardy
To hafe it alle in his bayly,
That contré faire and free.
And thus he duellys and es a pere,
Rowlande felawe and Olyvere,
A gud Cristyn man was hee.
And Jhesus Criste that boghte us dere,
Brynge us to Thi blisses sere.
Amen, par charité.
Here endes the romance
Charlles Of Duk Rowland and Sir Otuell of Spayne.
Explycit Sir Otuell
flesh and skin [i.e., body]
handsome in the hall
twelve peers; dignified; (see note)
in one day
Paris; (see note)
considered strong and fierce
coat of mail
Were it not for God’s help; (see note)
sternly wrought armor
Who often provided sound judgment
greeted; stern expression
Directly; it is required of
bearded cheek; (see note)
strong and fierce
eager; (see note)
He was held in great renown
deems you worthless
sorely paid for
knock you down
Gladden Saracens by beating you
eight; have passed
No one shall disturb you
loud or quiet
May harm you; nothing
If; have mounted
Corsouse; (see note)
[Otuel speaks]; Lombardy; (see note)
sent to death
fists; swollen; eight; (see note)
in surety; uncle
You should control your anger
angry as a boar; (see note)
sheared; (see note)
Raised his brows quickly; (see note)
better part of you
ordered to cease
as I may thrive; (see note)
done and delivered
By that promise
rules pagan lands
Sidonia; far away and noble; (t-note)
Persia, pleasing to look at
(see note); (t-note)
For this reason
believe in our faith
an egg; (see note)
has almighty power
Give up the religion that holds you
in possession of Russia
spur a horse
[He is]; (t-note)
prepare our battalions
menacingly; (see note)
That were you to see; (t-note)
Who wouldn’t hide your heads
leave right away
helmets [i.e., men]
prevent him from; freely
erected; Ataly; (see note)
skilled in warfare
rest at home
sparks come near
nap-taker; (see note)
If I had not given my oath
troubled by; again
Let both his spurs be cut off from him
Truly; uncle; (t-note)
give you a grievous blow
Have him taken care of without harm
Ordered [them]; care
Saint-Omer; (see note)
Durendal; (see note)
Redeemed it with an offering of gold
coat of mail
Chain mail leggings, jacket of scale armor
girded; gilded spurs; (see note); (t-note)
[To] those who
Adeptly [i.e., in a fair manner]
to defeat; (see note)
coat of mail
let be brought to me
an equipped horse
once belonged to
freshly and beautifully crafted
noble on earth
led him forth
Once you’ve entered; valley
If; is able to deal rightly
ordered that the place be cleared
takes a path
to the tower window goes
lances; broke asunder
bore down upon
nose guard flew
Who eagerly he brought low; (see note)
path; (see note)
half of his own earpiece
boss of a shield; he [Roland]
hewn pieces of armor
convert [for] us
dearly pay for
hard blows; painful
Defeated; (see note)
sparks; at once
had not; broken in two
was shorn away
so thickly began to come
very little was left to them
alights; (see note)
Let him be christened at once
on they leapt; delay
baptismal font; blesses
was [never] such a creature; (t-note)
complexion; (see note)
In an honest face
lovely one in bower
might I thrive; (t-note)
noble; young woman
Just as we first planned
With well-nourished foot soldiers; (t-note)
breaks and crushes
make a defense
in all directions
We won’t leave anyone behind
enlist in battle
strong and sturdy
Montmartre; (see note)
numerous for the occasion; (see note)
Those who nobly dwell in Provence
Gascons; in haste
Saint Denis; (see note)
Brittany; (see note)
hills and valleys
armor and weapons; adjust
Because; was diligent
bridge he ordered to be made
(see note); (see note); (t-note)
Ogier the Dane
no one knew except
find out; stand [in fight]
might; unhorse (defeat)
might never [again]
spurred on; (t-note)
fierce as a boar; (see note)
here of whom we spoke; (t-note)
no match [i.e., no fourth knight]
was not worth a pear; (see note)
He caused him to fall from his horse
prepared to ride away
hastened after him
[Roland]; more quickly
was handsome under linen; (see note)
victory; (see note)
expected to go away with him
Their anxiety began to grow
They seem to be; (t-note)
don’t want any; peers
no more [i.e., only three]
together; (see note)
[Because] of; fear
made them fall
swooned; senseless; (t-note)
soon in haste
Quickly he regained his horse
fought as if he were a madman
During this time; on foot
Quickly; then; (t-note)
may you be avenged
He [Clarel] cut off his head quickly; (t-note)
Go, lead him; paramour
Of beautiful coloring
protect for me
this [man, i.e., Ogier]
white as foam; (see note); (t-note)
neither aid nor support
Quickly; had him disarmed
potions; noble one
coat of scale armor
Why has this happened
headstrong; (see note)
By her [Belesent’s] own maintenance; (see note)
charging after them
grant you [victory]
foolish enterprise; (see note)
cost them dearly; (see note)
glove on; pennant
As a sign of his pledge
no injury at all
was the most distinguished
knocked down his foes
He [Megradyn] had struck
strong power [i.e., the Christians]
know and not to guess
to join the wicked
at rapid speed
He pushed our battalions further back
You will stop to speak [to me]
advise that you convert at once
magpie; (see note)
Lo, see me here
keep his appointment [i.e., challenged him to duel]; (see note)
[returned] to; (t-note)
gathered in heaps
Physicians; knew by book
how to look after
watchmen; stayed awake
Blew [horn]; fanfare
Ordered his armor be laid out
Made by; (see note)
had never been torn by
that one; thoroughly
beset [with images of]
in whom he believed
They; (see note)
went forth; ready
idols; (see note)
took his leave
do I have to wait for battle
as savage as a boar; (see note); (t-note)
[I shall] capture
Before you are
might not; wield
gray; (see note)
Like an old greyhound; (t-note)
At less than the worth of a tree bark
To get him attired
as I tell you; (t-note)
pain and torment
[Appearing] in bright colors
commenced a battle
Head over heels
pay for it
fair and noble (generous)
I would not blame her; (see note); (t-note)
as if he were mad
at great speed
Then; quickly; (see note)
praised; loud outcry
That he would neither eat nor drink
Until he had ruined Christendom
Restrain the heathen law
[his] dear Lord
dead brother to avenge
either beat hard against the other; (t-note)
pierced; garments (i.e., armor)
lacking [i.e., he is dead]
fierce as any boar; (see note)
battalions; clashed together
the great encounter had begun
furiously and a long while
jacket of scale armor
ward off; (t-note)
in valley and on hill; (see note)
feebly they weakened
won the upperhand
And now their [heroic] deeds begin; (t-note)
[heathen] footmen; (t-note)
truly and sorely
however well a crossbowman could shoot
He couldn’t wield a weapon
They held back our battalion
By despoiling the bodies that lay broadly
it is no lie; (t-note)
waited; [the statue of] Apollin; (t-note)
[Aymere] had sent [Corsable] there
[Charles] praises; peace
Those many who bled there
they struck to death
were dubbed as knights
banner [i.e., the battle]; (t-note)
without delay; (see note)
He [Charles] thanked him [Otuel]
That recreant thief
gave us a wicked turn
treason and trouble
They paid for that later quite bitterly
haughty; guarded him
piece of firewood
at each point; (t-note)
sturdy, tough; strong
at great speed
As they were
at once in every battle
conquered in such a way
(see note); (t-note)