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Item 1, Saint Eustace


Abbreviations: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; D: Oxford, Bod­leian Library MS Digby 86; GL: Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend; MED: Middle English Diction­ary;

Title Seynt Ewstas. Spellings of the name Eustace vary widely. Rate uses both this form and the form Eustas. Rate’s title, written in a slightly larger script than that used for the text, does not identify the genre of the story, though even this terse title suggests a saint’s life will follow.

7 Placydas. Both Malory’s Morte d’Arthur and Spenser’s Faerie Queene feature char­acters with this name, perhaps based in part on the popularity of the lives of St. Eustace.

8 Tracyan. Trajan, Roman emperor from 98 to 117 A.D., known for his considerable military success, enormous popularity, and major public works in Rome, was one of the most idealized of the emperors in the Middle Ages. A widespread legend held that Pope Gregory I, upon hearing of Trajan’s repu­tation for decency and justice, prayed for him and earned his release from hell (where he had been consigned as a pagan). Dante’s Divine Comedy and Langland’s Piers Plowman treat Trajan as the chief example of the “virtuous pagan,” one whose moral integrity trumps his ignorance (while alive) of Christian doctrine. Placidas, in his service to Trajan, can be seen as a similar figure, though of course he soon receives the baptism that Trajan did not.

16 He rode on huntyng on a dey. In medieval literature, hunting often symbolizes both aristocratic privilege and the ungoverned exercise of the human will. In this con­text it may also suggest worldly (as opposed to Christian) activity. See Rooney, Hunting in Middle English Literature, pp. 118–21.

17 A hert. The hart or stag, though not a particularly common Christian symbol, represented devotion, purity, or spiritual aspiration.

18 Three lines are missing from this stanza. In D, the stanza reads:
He rod on hunting on a day
On hert he founde, ther he lay
Wel faire ounder on helde.
The hert wes muchel, of heie cinde,
There he was ounder wode linde,
Mest he was of alle.
53 thi name changyd schall be. Assuming a new name after baptism recalls the earliest practices of the Christian Church, part of the “rebirth” of baptism.

71 And told it to hys wyffe at home. In some versions of the Eustace legend Eustace’s wife receives a dream vision while he is hunting, and the husband and wife are thus converted simultaneously. See GL 2.267.

87 Ne was it not be nyght. For reasons that are not entirely clear, this contradicts the account of Eustace’s baptism given in some other versions of the legend. Jacobus de Voragine describes the family being baptized by the bishop of Rome in the middle of the night (GL 2.267). Presumably, a night baptism emphasizes both the urgency and secrecy of the act, whereas in this version of the legend the emphasis is on the openness of Eustace’s conversion.

115 He found his schepe in fold were betyn. The immediate impoverishment and devas­tation experienced by Eustace closely resembles the description of Job’s suffering (Job 1:13–20). See also lines 201–03.

157 scheld. “Shallow, not deep.” See MED “sholde” (adj.).

181 Than was Syr Eustas sorye. Rate or his copy-text has omitted nine lines, including the account of the second child’s abduction by a wolf. Though line 182 mentions that “both his childer were borne awaye,” Rate does not seem to have noticed the omission, possibly because of the repetition of Eustace’s swooning in the original text. The missing lines are present in D (160–68):
Wore he wes in that water depe;
Hit nes no wonder they he wepe,
Of care he hevede i-nowe!
Tho he hof swoning aros,
He lokede oup and him agros;
To londe he moste te.
A wonder thing he sey him thar:
A wolf his other child at-bar.
I-swowen he fel on kne.
            was no wonder [at all] though
had enough
Then out of [his] swoon he
up; shuddered [with fear]
take himself
bore away

188 On his deth and his up-ryst. Rate has dropped the final line of this stanza, possibly due to a damaged copy-text or because he had altered the stanza’s “b” rhyme from “forloren” to “fro” without a way of revising the final “b” rhyme to match it. The stanza in D (lines 169–74) reads as follows:
Tho he of swoning aros,
He lokede oup and him agros,
His wit wes ney forloren.
Evere he thouhte on Jhesu Christ,
On his deth, on his oup-rist,
That for ous wes i-boren.
201 On Job. See note to line 115 and Heffernan, “Narrative Motifs,” pp. 72–73.

229 A line is missing at the end of this stanza. See D (line 216): “He wes hayward and knight.” The hayward is an officer of the manor, an overseer, a guardian of fences, crops, and livestock.

261 The identifying wound or scar has a long literary history, from Homer’s Odyssey to Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain.

266 Nay, seres. Eustace’s enigmatic initial unwillingness to be recognized might be at­trib­ut­ed to his newfound Christian humility and his desire to remain a humble shepherd.

290 It was therafter longe. The better reading of D is more in keeping with the usual pace of the narrative: “Hit nes ther-after nothing long” (line 271).

291 a werre strong. Trajan was an energetic soldier, leading major campaigns north of the Danube River against the Dacians, in Mesopotamia against the Parthians, and throughout the Middle East.

309 both of one dyssche thei ete. Medieval meals usually served food in communal dishes shared among groups of diners seated at large communal tables. For more on eating habits and table manners, see items 7 and 8 in this volume.

368 A! Broder, late me tell thee. Heffernan singles out this moment as one of the least satisfying in this version, calling it “terse to a fault” (“Narrative Motifs,” p. 79). The mutual recognition of the two brothers is here expressed in a “single utter­ance . . . the sum total of emotional response” (Heffernan, “Narrative Motifs,” p. 79). This may be seen as a serious flaw, or as part of the text’s commitment to swift movement and action.

377–79 The boy is established as a knight through the granting of these gifts.

419 And when that thei ther sones se. Rate (or possibly his copy-text) has altered the last three lines of this stanza, and added the following stanza, not present in D. The revised lines and additional stanza emphasize the family’s piety and their joy in being reunited, an emphasis in keeping with Rate’s tastes throughout Ashmole 61. In D, this stanza concludes with three lines describing the drinking and feasting after their reunion, lines picked up and used in another stanza probably added by Rate, lines 434–39.

440 The Emperoure. Though the text makes no distinction between this emperor and the Emperor Trajan mentioned at the outset of the poem, in other versions of the life of St. Eustace the emperor is named as Hadrian and described as a severe per­secutor. Hadrian was indeed the successor of Trajan; his reign was not particu­larly notable for its persecution of Christians, though many continued to be martyred by Roman authorities throughout both reigns.

452 a panne of brasse. Other versions specify a brass bull, recalling the brazen bull of the ancient tyrant Phalaris who tortured and killed his victims in a brass bull designed to make the screams of the victim sound like the bellows of an ox. Consider Gower’s account of Berillus, inventor of the brass bull, whom the cruel Siculus gave the honor of being the first to make it bellow (CA 7.3295–3322). As Heffernan notes, the martyrdom of Eustace and his family also recalls an inci­dent in the Book of Daniel, in which the Israelites Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego are placed in a furnace but go unharmed through the protection of God (“Narrative Motifs,” p. 74).


Abbreviations: see Explanatory Notes

1 All. MS: ll. Space left for larger initial A.

1–31 On fol. 1r, a false start of lines 1–31 breaks off, and is then followed by a partial table of contents. The right margin has been partially torn, with loss of text in the penultimate line before the text is abandoned. The text be­gins again with a fresh start on the bottom half of fol. 1r. The false start reads as follows, with variants from the complete text (other than minor differences of spelling) given in italics:
All that be in Goddys lore
Lytell mekell les and more
Lysteneth to me a stounde
Of a knyght of hethenes
That mykyll had of werldys blysse
Off gold and penyes rownde
Hys name hyght placydas
With tracyan the emperour he was
Ryght wyse man of rede
With the pore he was well gode
And with the riche myld of mode
And good in every dede
Off fre huntyng he cowde ynough
In hals and under the wode bough
And in the wyld feld
He rode on huntyng on a dey
An hert he found ther he ley
Well fayre under the lynd
[Line missing here]
Off felle hertys ther ware mo
He was the feyrest of all
The grettyst hert fled his way
The knygh rode after all the dey
By hym selve alone
In tyll another kyngys lond
Ther gan the hert for to withstond
Uppon a roch of stone
The her turned hys hornes hye
Ther he stod under the wode lye
And seyd placydas
Thou arte a knygh of huntyng f
Tho me folow.
49 spake as. MS: as is added above the line.

71 told it to hys. MS: told it hys.

72 nyght. MS: nygh.

99 hevens. MS: heves.

117 On fote must thei go. MS: On fote ne myght thei gon.

122 away. MS: a was.

130 schypman. MS: scypmen.

132 He thought. MS: The thought.

138 Full woo. MS has a false start of line 137 at the beginning of this line.

163 Soune he seyd. MS: Doune he sett.

192–93 MS: lines reversed.

199 schall I lyve so. MS: schall lyve so.

208 Tho. MS: There.

212 woneth. MS: wonetht.

217 Schall haven that. MS: schall that haven.

224 worche. MS: woche.

251 Emperares. MS: eperares.

279–80 MS has a false start of line 280 between these lines.

285 his herd fare. MS: is herd fare.

294 Well armed, I you plight. MS: We I armed I you a plight.

310 maden them full. MS: maden full.

329 yong. MS: yon.

359 schypherdys with ther schepe. MS: schypherdys schepe.

389 knyght. MS: knght.

398 well I knaw. MS: we I knaw.

423 sone onne kneys doune thei flewe. MS: sone onne kneys sone thei flewe.
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Seynt Ewstas
All that be on Godys lore,
Lytell, mykyll, lesse and more,
     Lystyns to me a stound
Of a knyght of hethenes
That mych had of werldys blysse,
     Of gold and penyes round.

Hys name hyght Placydas;
Wyth Tracyan the emperoure he was
     Ryght wyse man of rede.
Wyth the pore he was wele gode,
And wyth the rych myld of mode,
     And gode in every dede.

Of fre huntyng he couth inoughe,
In holte and under the wode boughe,
     And in the wyld felde.
He rode on huntyng on a dey;
A hert he found ther he ley,
     Well feyre under the lynd.
Of many hertys and bestys also,
Of more and lesse ther were moo,
     He was the feyrest of all.

The gretyst hert fled hys wey.
The knyght rode after all a dey
     By hymselffe alone
In tyll anodor kynges lond.
Ther gane the hert to wythstond
     Upon a roche of stone.

The hert turned hys hornes hyghe
Ther he stod under the wode lynd
     And seyd, “Syr Placydas,
Thow arte a knyght of huntyng fre;
Thow me foloys and I thee fle —
     Ryde softer thy pace.

“Betwene my hornes that are so hyghe,
To me and thou wold cast thyn eyghe,
     Well sone than myght thou see
The feyrest syght that may be thought,
Or yn thys werld that may be wroght,
     Or ever in erthe may be.

“Jhesu Cryst onne crosse iwys,
That hath thee broght in all thys blys,
     Thou huntys after thys tyde.
The truthe wele son thou schall se,
If thou wyll tourne thy face to me,
     For ferther thou may not ryd.”
The lyght of hevene in a leme,
Bryghter than is the sone beme,
     Upon that hert gan lyght.
The hert spake as a man it were,
So fayre to the knyght ryght there,
     And seyd to hym wyth ryght:

“Placydas, I sey to thee
That thi name changyd schall be,
     And Crystindom underfonge.
It is Jhesu Cryst of heven
That spekys to thee with myld steven;
     Ne duell thou not to long.

“Thou take thi chylder and thi wyfe,
And wend all withouten stryffe,
     And crystyn you betyme.
For oftyn tyme you schall be lede,
Wyth sorow and care ye schall be fedde,
     For love of me and myne.”

“Leve Lord,” seyd he,
“My Crysten name thow gyff to me,
     Or that I hens wend.”
“Now thou hyght Placydas;
Thow schall hyght Syr Ewstas
     In werld withouten end.”

Homeward he went fast anone
And told it to hys wyffe at home;
     They thankyd God dey and nyght.
“Syr,” sche seyd, “we wyll gon,
And becom cristynd anon
     In the name of God allmyght.”

He toke his chylder and his wyffe,
And went forthe withoutyn stryffe
     To the font ston.
Ther thei were crystyn tho,
His wyffe and his childer two,
     Ne was he not alone.

Som tyme he hyght Placidas,
Now he hyght Syr Ewstas;
     Blyssed be God Allmyght.
Betwen the undron and the none,
I wote this dede it was done,
     Ne was it not be nyght.

To the wodde thei went anon,
Als so swyth as thei myght gon,
     Ne restyd thei no stound.
As thei went under the wodde bowe,
Of god tydyngys ther cam inow,
     Fro hevene to them on grownd.

An angell seyd, that was full bryght,
“Syr Ewstas, Godys knyght,
     Blyssyd mote thou ben.
Thiselve, thi chylder, and thi wyfe
Schall in joy lede your lyfe,
     And hevens blys schall sene.

“Thoff thou les both lond and lede,
Halle and bowre, palfray and stede,
     Ne be thou not sorye.
Now thou hast Crystindom understond,
The fend wyll yern thee for to fond,
     Now thou arte made holye.

“Wend ye forthe into your waye,
And kepe your saulys nyght and daye,
     And do as I you rede.
All ye schall, for sothe iwys,
For the love of swete Jhesus
     In marterdom be dede.”

Syr Eustas went hym home
Al so swyth as he myght gone,
     Wyth wyfe and childer two.
He found his schepe in fold were betyn,
And thonder his hors to deth had smyten;
     On fote must thei go.

All that hym lovyd went hym fro,
Bot his wyfe and his childer two;
     Son thei must wende.
Erly or it was any daye,
Stylly thei stalkyd away
     By a woddys ende.

To a water thei gan gone,
A schype thei found sone anon;
     Thei went ther tyll.
Into the schype thei went tho,
His wyfe and his chylder two;
     The water was sterne and ylle.

The schypman byhold that ilke knyght
And that lady that was so bryght;
     He thought hyre fare and schene.
To hym he seyd after than,
“Wher hadyst thou this feyre woman?
     Sche schall be myn, I wene.”

Out of the schype he drew hym tho,
And his yong childer two;
     Full woo was hym therfore.
The lady cryed and mad gret dynne,
And fro hyr lord was loth to twyn,
     And weppyd and syghed sore.

The knyght sett hym don apon a ston,
And se hys wyfe was fro hym go,
     Takyne fro hym wyth wrong.
He seyd alas that he was born,
Hys wytte fro hym nyghehond was lorne;
     Hym thought hys lyf to longe.

After the schype his eye he caste;
Out of his syght than was sche paste.
     He beheld hys chylder two:
“Me thinke my herte wyll all to-bled.
How schalle I you moderles fede?
     Now was me never so wo.”
So long forth his way he toke,
Tyll that thei com unto a broke,
     Ther over thei must fare.
Wade thei muste. The water was scheld,
By ether syde the wyld feld;
     Well mekyll was hys care.

He toke hys o chyld in his arme —
The other he wend schuld have no herm —
     He bare hym over to the lond.
Soune he seyd in hys mode:
“Godys grace,” he seyd, “is ever more gode —
     That I understond.

“Sytt now styll, son myn,
Tyll that I fett brother thyn,
     And thou schall have thi mede.
I schall com to thee anon,
Als so sone as I may gon,
     Ne make thou no dred.”

Into the water he went agayn,
Tyll that he com to the myddys strem,
     And lokyd hym bysyde.
A wyld lyon he saw ther gone;
He toke his yonge sone anon;
     On hym he gapyd wyde.

That lyon bare that child with hym,
That was both gret stoute and grym,
     Ne was he never so wo.
Than was Syr Eustas sorye,
For both his childer were born awaye;
     He fell in swounyng tho.

Bot when he fro swonyng rose,
He lokyd up and forth he gose;
     His wytt was neyghe hym fro.
Bot ever he thought onne Jhesu Cryst,
On his deth and his up-ryst.

“Jhesu Cryst in Trinyté,
Allmyghty God, thou comforth me!
     To thee I make my mone
Of my wyfe that was so trew,
So feyer a woman of hyde and hew,
     So wo is me alone.

“Of my chyldren that be forlorn,
With wyld bestys awaye born,
     I may now sey alas.
Tyll uncouthes londys I wyll go;
How long schall I lyve so?
     That ever I born was!

“On Job I wyll bethink me,
That ever had in blysse be
     And sethen fell in care.
Lord, for the love of thee,
Ne wyll I never to sory be,
     How so ever I fare.

“I have wepyn all my fyll —
Tho bade no man me yit be styll —
     For Goddys helpe is nyghe.”
Ther come an angell fro heven,
That spake to hym with myld steven,
     From Cryst that woneth one hyghe:

“Blyssed be thou, Syr Eustas:
In heven is made thi mery place,
     Ther thou schall blyth bene.
Thiselve, thy chylder, and thi wyfe
Schall haven that merye lyfe,
     And all that joy sene.”

So long he went forth in hys wey,
His bedys bedande nyght and dey,
     To toune tyll that he came.
Suynkyng and suetyng he muste tho,
For his spendyng was all go.
     To worche he must than,

With bow and arowys and with horn,
For to kepe other mens corn,
     By dey and eke by nyght.
Weddys to take and bestys to pynd —
That was hym not comyn of kynd.

Fyftyn wynter he was ther,
Or men wyst whens he were,
     His mete for to eyren.
The Emperor dyd hym to seche,
With men that ware myld of spech,
     Knyghtys bothe styff and sterne.

Over that corne comen thre
Riding men of one ble;
     With hym ther they mette.
The knyghtys rydyn on horsys hye;
With wordys myld, feyre and sclyghe,
     That heyward fare thei grette.

For he was wardan over that corn,
The heywerd stod and blow his horn;
     Ther wedd he bade them yeld.
He askyd what thei soughtyn ther,
And why thei went over so ferre,
     Over that hyghe felde.

“Syr,” thei seyd, “be not dysplesyd,
We knaw that we have yow dessesyd,
     For we seke after a man.
We ben the Emperares consylerys;
We have hym sought both ferre and nere,
     Bot fynd hym nought we canne.

“A nobull knyght for soth he was,
Hys name was callyd Syr Placydas.
     On huntyng oute he fared,
Never sethyn come home,
Ne no tydyng from hym come,
     That no man sethen of herd.

“Here we have foundyn thee,
By a wound that I se,
     On thee that stondys here.
One thy nose ther is a wound,
Whereby we have thee here found,
     And thou schall ben owre fere.”

“Nay, seres, so mote I then,
I may not your feloy ben;
     I ame a pore man.”
“Thou must with us to the Emperowre
For to have thy honour
     That thou were wonte to hane.”

Syr Eustas se that he muste nedes
For to go forth with thes knyghtys,
     Unto the kyngys courte.
He toke hys leve at grete and smalle,
At man and wyfe and gentylles alle;
     Thei wer loth to departe.

Forthe he went with them all thre
With the Emperour for to be;
     To the kyngys courte he came.
Ther was joy and blysse inoughe;
The Emperour onne hym lowghe,
     And knyghtys, squyre, and grome.

He told hys lord of his care,
In strange lyffe his herd fare,
     Fro begyning to the end:
Bothe of hys swynke and of hys suete
Of his treuthe and of hys byhete
     Of all that God hym send.

It was therafter longe
That ther come a werre strong
     Upon the Emperour.
Theder wente many a knyght,
Well armed, I you plyght,
     To save hys honour.

Theder went knyghtys two,
And thei were to fyght also,
     With hors and hernes gode.
Ther was non in all that playe,
With spere and suerd that ilke dey,
     That ther dynte ne withstode.

When thei hade foughten all the deye,
And scomfet the other syde aweye,
     Thei went bothe to one inne.
Ther gode feloys thei become,
As thei hade ben queynted at home,
     By grace of God, I wene.

Togeder thei dyde syte at mete,
And both of one dyssche thei ete,
     And maden them full blythe.
After met thei told talys
Of aventures and herd batayles,
     And of all ther lyfe.

The yonger man of the two
Son askyd the other tho
     Of what kyne that he were.
He satte styll and syghed sore,
And seyd lytell and thought more,
     With a wele sad chere.

“Syr, wyll thou my counsyll hylle
If I thee telle of my wylle,
     And also of my care?
A riche man my fader was;
His name hyght Syr Placydas —
     God gyffe hym wele to fare.

“My fader was a doughty knyght,
And my moder a lady bryght,
     And ruddy of all hew.
We were yong sones two:
My yonger broder and I also,
     In halle and boure of stone.

“My fader toke us alle thre,
My moder, my broder, and me —
     Thorow the grace of God Allmyght —
And lede us to a founte ston,
And crystind us ther anon,
     Ne was it not by nyght.

“Sethyn, I understode me,
We felle into poverté,
     And wenten oute of lond.
Over a water we schuld have gone;
Oure moder ther fro us was tane,
     With falsyd born onne hond.

“My moder was a feyr woman,
Lyke in this werld was non
     That onne water fare.
The schypman toke her us from,
Withouten law or other dom;
     Than wexed new all our care.

“We went throghe a wyldernes;
With wepyng and with soroufulnes
     We come to a strem.
My fader me toke and over me bore,
And my broder he left ther,
     Tyll that he come ageyne.

“A wyld lyone ther gan gon,
And cought me in his mouthe anon,
     And bore me fast aweye.
The schypherdys with ther schepe
When thei hym se, thei dyd hym mete,
     And schrewydly dyd hym freye.

“Thus fro the lyon I was tane.
And broght me up with bourde and game —
     Thanke be God allmyght —
A riche man of that lond.
All that nedyd, he me fond,
     And dubyd me a knyght.”

“A! Broder, late me tell thee,
A wolf ther came and caught me,
     And bore me in hys mothe.
Plowmen that syght thei se,
And to hym fast thei dyd hyghe,
     Stronge men and welle thei cowthe.

“The wolfe for fere doun me leyd,
And sethyn a lady me hath fedd,
     And dubyd me a knyght.
Sche me fond palfrey and sted,
Helme, habyrion, and odour wed,
     Spere and swerd full bryght.”

Ther modour all this herd,
Ther as sche was in a yerde;
     Sche wepe all for blysse.
To hyr bowre sche went anon,
Also swyth as sche couthe gon,
     With full mykill gladnes.

Ther came ryding Syr Eustas,
Ther that lady inne was,
     The knyghtys to sekyn swythe.
Sche beheld that sembly knyght,
And he that lady that was so bryght,
     With chere fayre and blythe.

“Dame,” he seyd, “tell thou me,
What men here at inne be,
     At this nexte howse?”
“Syr, I knaw ther knyghtys two:
Well thou schall them know also.
     Wellcome, my lefe spowse!

“My lord, well I knaw thee
By a wond that I se,
     Upon thy nose is sene.
A! Lord, I had herde fare,
And lede my lyve in mykyll care;
     I tell yow now bydene:

“Fro thee I was take with a schypman,
And wened I schuld have be his leman;
     He was not of my laye.
A knyght ther was in that schyppe,
That fro the schypman he dyde me helpe,
     And brought me safe awaye.

“Suete lord, wyll ye gone
To this nexte hous anone?
     Your chylder ther they be!
And make grete joye in that house
And thanke owre Lord, suete Jhesus,
     And God in Trinyté.”

Both thei wente theder anon,
Also swyth as thei myght gon,
     And come into the halle.
And when that thei ther sones se,
Thei thankyd God in Trinyté,
     And also suet Seynt Palle.

The two knyghtys ther fader knew,
And sone onne kneys doune thei flewe,
     And thankyd God Allmyght.
For joye that they togeder were mette,
All fowre full faste thei dyd wepe,
     And so dyde many a wyght.

Syr Eustas gane to tell tho
Of his joy and of hys wo
     That he had ben inne.
Than ther was none at that bord
That fore wepyng myght speke a word,
     Nor none in that inne.

So glad of odour ichon thei ware;
Thei kyssed and mad gode chere,
     And fylled the wyne anone,
And told how thei were crystinde,
And thought ther care was withstond,
     And sorow was fro them gon.

The Emperoure herd telle of this,
How thei were in joy and blysse,
     And crystinde that thei were.
He sente knyghtys sone anon
To seke theme up everychone,
     That thei founden were.

When thei were befor hym brought,
Them to scle it was his thought,
     And so for sothe he dyde.
For Allmyghty Godys sake
The deth to them thei wold take,
     What deth as he them bedde.

He dyd them in a panne of brasse,
Al so hote as ever it was,
     And made fyere abowtyne.
All fowre therin he brente;
Ther saulys onto heven went.
     Of payn thei were withouten.

Beseke we all Seynt Eustas
That he graunte us all grace
     To heven for to wend.
To Jhesu, Seynt Mary sone,
And ther withouten end to wone
     God that grace us send. AMEN.
(see note)
in God’s religion; (t-note)
Listen; while
had much of the world’s (worldly) bliss

was called; (see note)
Trajan; (see note)
[A] very; counsel


noble; knew enough
In woods

(see note)
hart (male deer); (see note)
under a linden tree; (see note)

large and small; more

after [it] for a day

Into another
began; hold firm

under a (linden) tree

You follow me
more gently

If you would cast thine eye upon me


certainly (indeed)

flash (ray)

began to fall
as if it were a man; (t-note)

(see note)
And [you shall] receive Christianity

Nor wait; too

go; hesitation (resistance)
christen; promptly

Before I go hence (from here)
are called

(see note); (t-note)

christened immediately

[baptismal] font
christened then

Nor was he alone

Once he was called

mid-morning and noon
Nor; by night (in secret); (see note)

As fast
Nor did they rest a moment
good ; enough

may thou be

shall see; (t-note)

Though you lose; people
home, horse and steed

fiend; yearn to tempt you

Go; on your way

truly indeed

be killed

As quickly

         sheep in their fold were struck (down); (see note)
lightning [thunder]; smitten

Except; children
Soon; depart
Early before it was day
Quietly; slipped; (t-note)
the outskirts of a forest


stormy and dangerous

shipman (captain) beheld that same; (t-note)

fair and beautiful; (t-note)

Where did you get
I think


made great din
loathe to part

saw; gone

nearly was gone

bleed to death
I was never so miserable

shallow; (see note)


in his mind; (t-note)

Until I fetch

Do not be afraid

middle (of the)

He (the lion) seized;soon
him (the child); opened [his mouth] wide

Nor was he (Eustace) ever so miserable
(see note)


nearly (gone) from him
But he continually thought about
resurrection; (see note)

skin and complexion

To unknown
(i.e., Alas, that I was ever born)

be mindful; (see note)
Who had always been in bliss

I will never

Though no man commanded; (t-note)

dwells on high; (t-note)

you shall be blithe
have; (t-note)

prayers praying
Until to town
Working and sweating; then
money was all gone
work; then; (t-note)

Pledges (guarantees); pen
common habit; (see note)

Before men knew from whence
to earn his food
ordered him to be sought

stalwart and fierce


hayward fair(ly) they greeted

Their pledge he bade them provide




since heard of

(see note)


so may I prosper; (see note)
be your companion

must go

wont (used) to have





difficult; (t-note)

toil; sweat
constancy; loyalty

(see note)
war; (see note)

promise; (t-note)


sword; same

an inn
good companions
As if; acquainted
I believe

at the meal
out of one dish; (see note)
were joyful; (t-note)
After the meal


very solemn face

will you keep my secret

was called

freshly red


[baptismal] font
Nor was it at night (in secret)

Then, as I understand


With falsehood carried away

went over water

waxed (grew)



began to go

shepherds; their sheep; (t-note)

harshly; fight

entertainment and sport

All that I needed, he provided

(see note)


run (hasten)
well they were able

afterwards; raised

provided me; (see note)
Helmet, coat of armor, and other clothes

yard (garden)


To where that lady’s dwelling was
To seek the knights quickly
seemly (handsome); (t-note)


are at [this] inn


know; (t-note)
[can be] seen
hard going
lead; great

From you; taken by a shipman
[he] thought; sweetheart


house now
children are there

there immediately
As quickly as they might go

(see note)

sweet St. Paul

knees; fell; (t-note)

strongly they wept
a person



So happy for the other each of them was

gone from them

(see note)

each of them
[So] that

His plan was to slay them

They would accept their deaths
Whatever death he prescribed for them

pan (vessel, cauldron); (see note)
As hot as


They were without pain

[May] we all beseech (beg)

In order to go to heaven
Jesus, Saint Mary’s son
to dwell
[May] God send that grace to us
Here ends the Life of Saint Eustace
Go To Item 2, Right as a Ram’s Horn, introduction
Go To Item 2, Right as a Ram’s Horn, text