Gold THE GEOFFREY CHAUCER PAGE


The Romance of Emaré

 

The text is lightly glossed; see the glossary in the Riverside Chaucer for words not glossed here.

 

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Jesu, that is king in trone,
As thou shoope bothe sonne and mone,
And alle that shalle dele and dighte,
Now lene us grace such dedes to done,
In thy blis that we may wone,
Men calle hit heven lighte;
And thy moder Mary, heven quene,
Bere our arunde so bitwene,
That semely is of sight,
To thy sone that is so fre,
In heven with him that we may be,
That lord is most of might.

2

Menstrelles that walken fer and wide,
Her and ther in every a side,
In mony a diverse londe,
Sholde, at her beginning,
Speke of that rightwis king
That made both see and sonde.
Who-so wille a stounde dwelle,
Of mikelle mirth I may you telle,
And morning ther a-monge;
Of a lady fair and fre,
Her name was called Emaré,
As I here singe in songe.

3

Her fader was an emperour,
Of castelle and of riche toure,
Sir Artyus was his nome;
He hadde bothe halles and bowres,
Frithes fair, forestes with flowres,
So gret a lord was none.
Weddedde he had a lady,
That was both fair and semely,
White as whales bone;
Dame Eraine hette that emperes,
She was fulle of love and goodnesse,
So curtais lady was none.

4

Sir Artyus was the best manne
In the worlde that livede thanne,
Both hardy and ther-to wight;
He was curtais in alle thing,
Bothe to olde and to yinge,
And welle kouth dele and dight.
He hadde but on child in his live,
Be-geten on his weddedde wife,
And that was fair and bright;
For sothe, as I may telle thee,
They called that child Emaré,
That semely was of sight.

5

When she was of her moder born,
She was the fairest creature borne,
That in the lond was thoo;
The emperes, that fair ladye,
Fro her lord gan she dye,
Or hit kouthe speke or goo.
The child, that was fair and gent,
To a lady was hit sente,
That men called Abro;
She thought hit curtesye and thewe,
Golde and silke for to sewe,
Amonge maidenes moo.

6

Abro taughte this maiden smalle,
Nortur that men useden in sale,
Whyle she was in her bowre.
She was curtais in alle thinge,
Bothe to olde and to yinge,
And white as lilye flowre;
Of her hondes she was slye,
Alle her loved that her sye,
With menske and michel honour.
At the maiden leve we,
And at the lady fair and fre,
And speke we of the emperour.

7

The emperour of gentille blode,
Was a curteis lorde and a gode,
In alle maner of thinge.
After, when his wyf was dede,
And ledde his lif in weddewede,
And muche loved plainge;
Sone after, in a while,
The riche kinge of Cesyle
To the emperour gan wende.
A riche present with him he brought,
A cloth that was worthilye wroght.
He wellecomed him as the hende.

8

Sir Tergaunte that nobille knight highte,
He presented the emperour right,
And sette him on his knee,
With that cloth richily dight,
Fulle of stones ther hit was pight,
As thikke as hit might be:
Of(f) topaze and rubyes,
And other stones of muche pris,
That semely wer to se;
Of crapoutes and nakette,
As thikke ar they sette,
For sothe, as I say thee.

9

The cloth was displayed sone,
The emperour lokede ther-upone,
And mighte hit not se;
For glistering of the riche ston
Redy sighte had he non,
And saide, "How may this be?"
The emperour saide on high,
"Certes, this is a fairy,
Or ellis a vanitee!"
The King of Cisyle answered than,
"So riche a jwelle is ther non
In alle Cristiantee."

10

The amerayle doughter of hethennes
Made this cloth with-outen lees,
And wroughte hit alle with pride;
And purtreyed hit with gret honour,
With riche golde and asour,
And stones on ylke a side.
And, as the story telles in honde,
The stones that in this cloth stonde,
Soughte they wer fulle wide.
Seven winter hit was in makinge,
Or hit was broughte to endinge,
In herte is not to hide.

11


In that on corner made was
Ydoine and Amadas,
With love that was so trewe;
For they loveden hem with honour,
Portrayed they wer with trewe-love-flowr,
Of stones bright of hewe:
With carbunkulle and safere,
Kassydones and onyx so clere,
Sette in golde newe;
Diamondes and rubyes,
And other stones of muchelle prise,
And menstrelles with her glewe.

12

In that other corner was dight,
Tristram and Isoude so bright,
That semely wer to se;
And for they loved hem right,
As fulle of stones ar they dight,
As thikke as they may be:
Of topase and of rubyes,
And other stones of muche prise,
That semely wer to se;
With crapautes and nakette,
Thykke of stones ar they sette,
For sothe, as I say the.

13

In the thridde corner, with gret honour,
Was Floris and Dame Blauncheflour,
As love was hem bi-twene;
For they loved with honour,
Purtrayed they wer with trewe-love-flowr,
With stones bright and shene:
Ther wer knightes and senatoures,
Emeraudes of gret vertues,
To wite with-outen wene;
Diamoundes and coralle,
Peridotes and cristalle,
And gode garnettes bi-twene.

14

In the fourthe corner was oon,
Of Babylone the soudan sonne,
The amerayles doughter him by.
For his sake the cloth was wrought;
She loved him in hert and thought,
As testimoyeth this storye.
The fair maiden her bi-forn
Was portrayed an unicorn,
With his horn so hye;
Floures and briddes on ylke a side,
With stones that wer soughte wide,
Stuffed with imagerye.

15

When the cloth to ende was wrought,
To the soudan sone hit was brought,
That semely was of sighte.
"My fader was a nobille man,
Of the soudan he hit wan,
With maistrye and with might.
For gret love he yaf hit me,
I bringe hit thee in specialtee,
This cloth is richely dight."
He yaf hit the emperour,
He received hit with gret honour,
And thonkede him fair and right.

16

The King of Cesyle dwelled ther,
As long as his wille wer,
With the emperour for to play;
And when he wolde wende,
He toke his leve at the hende,
And wente forth on his way.
Now remeveth this nobille king.
The emperour after his doughter
To speke with that may.
Messengeres forth he sent
After the maide fair and gent,
That was bright as someres day.

17

Messengeres dighte hem in hye;
With muche mirthe and melodye,
Forth gon they fare,
Both by stretes and by stye,
After that fair lady,
Was godely under gare.
Her norisse, that highte Abro,
With her she goth forth also,
And wer sette in a chare.
To the Emperour gan they go;
He come ayein hem a mile or two;
A fair meting was there.

18

The maiden, white as lilye flowr,
Lighte ayein her fader the Emperour;
Two knightes gan her lede.
Her fader, that was of gret renowne,
That of golde wered the crowne,
Lighte of hys stede.
When they wer bothe on her fete,
He clipped her and kissed her swete,
And bothe on fote they yede.
They wer glad and made good chere;
To the palys they yede in fere,
In romans as we rede.

19

Then the lordes that wer grete,
They wesh and seten doun to mete,
And folk hem served swithe.
The maiden that was of sembelant swete,
Bifore her owene fader sete,
The fairest wommon on life;
That all his hert and all his thought
Her to love was in brought:
He behelde her ofte sithe.
So he was enamored his doughter till,
With her he thought to worche his will,
And wedde her to his wife.

20

And when the mete-while was don,
Into his chambur he wente son
And called his counseile nere.
He bad they shulde sone go and come,
And gete leve of the Pope of Rome
To wedde that maiden clere.
Messengeres forth they wente.
They durste not breke his commandement,
And erles with hem in fere.
They wente to the courte of Rome,
And broughte the Popes bulles sone,
To wedde his dowghter dere.

21

Then was the Emperour gladde and blythe,
And lette shape a robe swithe
Of that cloth of golde;
And when hit was don her upon,
She semed non erthely wommon,
That maked was of molde.
Then seide the Emperour so free,
"Doughter, I woll wedde thee,
Thou art so fresh to beholde."
Then seide that worthy under wede,
"Nay sir, God of heven hit forbede,


22

"Yif hit so betidde that ye me wedde
And we shulde play togeder in bedde,
Bothe we were forlorne!
The worde shulde springe fer and wide;
In all the worlde on every side
The worde shulde be borne.
Ye ben a lorde of gret prise,
Lorde, lette never such sorow arise:
Take God you biforne!
That my fader shulde wedde me,
God forbede that I hit so se,
That wered the crowne of thorne!"

23

The Emperour was right wrothe,
And swore many a gret othe,
That deed shulde she be.
He lette make a nobell boot,
And dede her therin, God wote,
In the robe of nobell ble.
She moste have with her no spending,
Nother mete ne drinke,
But shote her into the se.
Now the lady dwelled thore,
Withoute anker or ore,
And that was gret pitee!

24

Ther come a wind, I understonde,
And blewe the boot fro the londe,
Of her they lost the sight.
The emperour him be-thought
That he hadde alle miswrought,
And was a sory knighte.
And as he stode in studyinge,
He felle doun in soueninge,
To the erthe was he dight.
Grete lordes stode ther-by,
And toke up the emperour hastily,
And conforted him fair and right.

25

When he of souning covered was,
Sore he wepte and saide, "Alas,
For my douhter dere!
Alas, that I was made man!
Wrecched kaitif that I hit am!"
The teres ronne by his lere.
"I wrought a-yein Goddes lay,
To her that was so trewe of fay.
Alas, why ner she here!"
The teres lasshed out of his yen;
The grete lordes that hit syen,
Wepte and made ille chere.

26

Ther was nother olde ny yinge,
That kouthe stinte of wepinge,
For that comely under kelle.
In-to shipes faste gan they thringe,
For to seke that maiden yinge,
That was so fair of flesh and felle.
They her sought over-alle in the see,
And mighte not finde that lady fre,
A-yein they come fulle snelle.
At the emperour now leve we,
And of the lady in the see,
I shalle be-ginne to telle.

27

The lady fleted forth a-lone;
To God of heven she made her mone,
And to his moder also.
She was driven with winde and rain,
With stronge stormes her a-gain,
Of the water so blo.
As I have herd menstrelles sing in sawe,
Hous ny lond might she non knowe,
A-ferd she was to go.
She was so driven fro wawe to wawe,
She hid her hede and lay fulle lowe,
For water she was fulle woo.

28

Now this lady dwelled thore,
A good seven-night and more,
As hit was Goddes wille;
With carefulle herte and syking sore,
Such sorow was here yarked yore,
And ever lay she stille.
She was driven in-to a lond,
Thorou the grace of Goddes sond,
That alle thing may fulfille;
She was on the see so harde be-stadde,
For hunger and thirste almost madde,
Woo worth wederes ille!

29

She was driven in-to a lond,
That hight Galis, I understond,
That was a fair countree.
The kinges steward dwelled ther by-side,
In a castelle of mikille pride;
Sir Kadore hight he.
Euery day wolde he go,
And take with him a squier or two,
And play him by the see.
On a time he toke the eir,
With two knightes gode and fair;
The weder was lithe of le.

30

A boot he fond by the brim,
And a glistering thing ther-in,
Ther-of they hadde ferly.
They went forth on the sond
To the boot, I understond,
And fond ther-in that lady.
She hadde so longe meteles be,
That him thought gret dole to se;
She was in point to dye.
They askede her what was her name;
She chaunged hit ther a-none,
And saide she hette Egaré.

31

Sir Kadore hadde gret pitee;
He toke up the lady of the see,
And hom gan her lede.
She hadde so longe meteles be,
She was wax lene as a tree,
That worthy under wede.
In-to his castelle when she came,
In-to a chaumber they her nam,
And fair they gan her fede,
With alle delicius mete and drinke,
That they might hem on thinke,
That was in alle that stede.

32

When that lady, fair of face,
With mete and drinke kevered was,
And had colour a-gaine,
She taughte hem to sewe and marke
Alle maner of silky werke;
Of her they wer fulle faine.
She was curteis in alle thing,
Bothe to olde and to yinge,
I say you for certeine.
She kouthe werke alle maner thing,
That felle to emperour, or to king,
Erle, baroun or swaine.

33

Sir Kadore lette make a feste,
That was fair and honeste,
With his lorde, the kinge.
Ther was muche menstralse,
Trommpes, tabours and sautre,
Bothe harpe and fidelling.
The lady, that was gentille and smalle,
In kirtelle alone served in halle,
By-fore that nobulle king.
The cloth upon her shone so bright,
When she was ther-in y-dight,
She semed non erthly thing.

34

The king loked her up-on,
So fair a lady he sigh never non,
His herte she hadde in wolde.
He was so enamored of that sight,
Of the mete non he might,
But faste gan her be-holde.
She was so fair and gent,
The kinges love on her was lent,
In tale as hit is tolde.
And when the mete-while was don,
In-to the chamber he wente son,
And called his barouns bolde.

35

First he called Sir Kadore,
And other knightes that ther wore,
Hastely come him tille.
Dukes and erles, wise of lore,
Hastely come the king be-fore,
And askede what was his wille.
Then spakke the riche in ray,
To Sir Kadore gan he say,
Wordes fair and stille:
"Sir, whens is that lovely may,
That in the halle served this day?
Telle me, yif hit be thy wille."

36

Then saide Sir Kadore, I understonde,
"Hit is an erles doughter of ferre londe,
That semely is to sene.
I sente after her, certeinlye,
To teche my childeren curtesye,
In chamber with hem to bene.
She is the konningest wommon,
I troue, that be in Cristendom,
Of werk that I have sene."
Then saide that riche raye,
"I wille have that fair may,
And wedde her to my quene!"

37

The nobulle king, verament,
After his moder he sent,
To wite what she wolde say.
They broughte forth hastely
That fair maide Egarye;
She was bright as someres day.
The cloth on her shon so bright,
When she was ther-in dight,
And her-self a gentelle may,
The olde quene saide a-non,
"I sawe never wommon
Halvendelle so gay!"

38

The olde quene spakke wordes unhende,
And saide, "Sone, this is a fende,
In this worthy wede!
As thou lovest my blessinge,
Make thou never this weddinge,
Crist hit thee forbede!"
Then spakke the riche ray,
"Moder, I wille have this may!"
And forth gan her lede.
The olde quene, for certaine,
Turnede with ire hom a-gaine,
And wolde not be at that dede.

39

The king wedded that lady bright;
Grete purveance ther was dight,
In that semely sale.
Grete lordes wer served a-right,
Duke, erle, baron and knight,
Both of grete and smale.
Muche folke for sothe ther was,
And ther-to an huge prese,
As hit is tolde in tale.
Ther was alle maner thing,
That felle to a kinges wedding,
And mony a riche menstralle.

40

When the mangery was done,
Grete lordes departed sone,
That semely were to see.
The kinge be-lafte with the quene,
Moch love was hem bi-twene,
And also game and glee.
She was curteis and swete,
Such a lady herde I never of yete;
They loved both with herte free.
The lady that was both meke and milde,
Conceived and wente with childe,
As God wolde hit sholde be.

41

The king of France, in that time,
Was be-sette with many a Sarezine,
And cumbered alle in tene;
And sente after the king of Galis,
And other lordes of muche pris,
That semely were to sene.
The king of Galis, in that tide,
Gadered men on enery side,
In armour bright and shene.
Then saide the king to Sir Kadore,
And other lordes that ther wore,
"Take good hede to my quene."

42

The king of Fraunce spared none,
But sent for hem everichone,
Both king, knight and clerke.
The steward by-laft at home,
To kepe the quene white as fome,
He come not at that werke.
She wente with childe in place,
As longe as Goddes wille was.
That semely under serke;
Til ther was of her body,
A fair child borne and a godely,
Hadde a doubille kinges marke.

43

They hit cristened with grete honour,
And called him Segramour;
Frely was that fode.
Then the steward, Sir Kadore,
A nobulle letter made he thore,
And wroughte hit alle with gode.
He wroughte hit in highinge,
And sente hit to his lorde the kinge,
That gentille was of blode.
The messenger forth gan wende,
And with the kinges moder gan lende,
And in-to the castelle he yode.

44

He was resceived richely,
And she him askede hastily,
How the quene hadde spedde.
"Madame, ther is of her y-borne
A fair man-childe, I telle you be-forne,
And she lyth in her bedde."
She yaf him for that tidinge
A robe and fourty shillinge,
And richely him cladde.
She made him dronken of ale and wine,
And when she sawe that hit was time,
Tho chamber she wolde him lede.

45

And when he was on slepe brought,
The quene that was of wikked thought,
To chamber gan she wende.
His letter she toke him fro,
In a fire she brente hit do;
Of werkes she was unhende.
Another letter she made with eville,
And saide the quene had born a deville,
Durste no mon come her hende.
Thre heddes hadde he there,
A lion, a dragon and a beere,
A foulle, feltred fende.

46

On the morn, when hit was day,
The messenger wente on his way,
Bothe by stye and strete,
In trwe story as I say,
Til he come ther as the kinge laye,
And speke wordes swete.
He toke the king the letter in honde,
And he hit redde, I understonde,
The teres doune gan he lete.
And as he stode in reding,
Doune he felle in souening,
For sorow his herte gan blede.

47

Grete lordes that stode him by,
Toke up the king hastely;
In herte he was fulle woo.
Sore he grette and saide, "Alas,
That I ever man born was!
That hit ever shullde be so!
Alas, that I was made a kinge,
And sigh wedded the fairest thing,
That on erthe might go!
That ever Jesu him-self wolde sende
Such a foule, lothly fende,
To come bi-twene us too!"

48

When he sawe hit might no better be,
Another letter then made he,
And seled hit with his sele.
He commanded in alle thinge,
To kepe welle that lady yinge,
Til she hadde her hele;
Bothe gode men and ille,
To serve her at her wille,
Bothe in wo and wele.
He toke this letter of his honde,
And rode thorou the same londe,
By the kinges moder castelle.

49

And then he dwelled ther alle night;
He was resceived and richely dight,
And wiste of no treson.
He made him welle at ese and fine,
Bothe of brede, ale and wine,
And that be-rafte him his reson.
When he was on slepe brought,
The false quene his letter sought;
In-to the fire she kaste hit doune.
A-nother letter she lette make,
That men sholde the lady take,
And lede her out of toune.

50

And putte her in-to the see,
In that robe of riche ble,
The litille childe her with;
And lette her have no spending,
For no mete ny for drinke,
But lede her out of that kith.
"Upon pain of childe and wife,
And also upon your owene life,
Lette her have no grith!"
The messenger knewe no gile,
But rode hom mony a mile,
By forest and by frith.

51

And when the messenger come home,
The steward toke the letter sone,
And be-gan to rede.
Sore he sight and saide, "Alas,
Certes, this is a foule case,
And a dolfulle dede!"
And as he stode in reding,
He felle doune in swoninge,
For sorow his hert gan blede.
Ther was nother olde ny yinge,
That mighte for-bere of wepinge,
For that worthy under wede.

52

The lady herde gret dole in halle,
On the steward gan she calle,
And saide, "What may this be?
Yif any-thing be a-mis.
Telle me what that hit is,
And lette not for me."
Then saide the steward, verament,
"Lo, her, a letter my lord hath sente,
And ther-fore woo is me!"
She toke the letter and be-gan to rede;
Then fonde she writen alle the dede,
How she moste in-to the see.

53

"Be stille, sir," saide the quene,
"Lette suche morninge bene;
For me have thou no care.
Loke thou be not shente,
But do my lordes commaundement,
God for-bede thou spare!
For he weddede so porely,
On me, a sympulle lady,
He is a-shamed sore.
Grete welle my lord fro me,
So gentille of blode in Cristyante,
Gete he never more!"

54

Then was ther sorow and muche woo,
When the lady to shipe shulde go;
They wepte and wronge her honde.
The lady, that was meke and milde,
In her arme she bar her childe,
And toke leve of the londe.

When she wente in-to the see,
In that robe of riche ble,
Men souened on the sonde.
Sore they wepte and saide, "Alas,
Certes, this is a wikked case!
Wo worth dedes wronge!"

55

The lady and the lytille childe
Floted forth on the water wilde,
With fulle harde happes.
Her surcote that was large and wide,
Ther-with her visage she gan hide,
With the hinder lappes;
She was aferde of the see,
And laide her gruf upon a tree,
The childe to her pappes.
The wawes, that were grete and strong,
On the bote faste they thonge,
With mony unsemely rappes.

56

And when the child gan to wepe,
With sory herte she songe hit a-slepe,
And putte the pappe in his mouth,
And saide, "Might I ones gete lond,
Of the water that is so stronge,
By northe or by southe,
Wele ought I to warye thee, see,
I have muche shame in thee!"
And ever she lay and grought.
Then she made her prayer,
To Jesu and his moder dere,
In alle that she kouthe.

57

Now this lady dwelled thore,
A fulle sevene night and more,
As hit was Goddes wille;
With carefulle herte and syking sore,
Such sorow was her yarked yore,
And she lay fulle stille.
She was driven toward Rome,
Thorou the grace of God in trone,
That alle thing may fulfille.
On the see she was so harde be-stadde,
For hunger and thirste alle-most madde,
Wo worth chaunces ille!

58

A marchaunte dwelled in that cytee,
A riche mon of golde and fee,
Jurdan was his name.
Every day wolde he
Go to playe him by the see,
The eier for to tane.
He wente forth in that tide,
Walkinge by the see side,
Alle him-selfe a-lone.
A bote he fonde by the brimme,
And a fair lady ther-inne,
That was right wo-begone.

59

The cloth on her shon so bright,
He was a-ferde of that sight,
For glistering of that wede;
And in his herte he thought right,
That she was non erthyly wight,
He sawe never non such in leede.
He saide, "What hette ye, fair ladye?"
"Lord," she saide, "I hette Egarye,
That lye her in drede."
Up he toke that faire ladye,
And the yonge childe her by,
And hom he gan hem lede.

60

When he come to his bigginge,
He welcomed fair that lady yinge,
That was fair and bright;
And badde his wyf in alle thinge,
Mete and drinke for to bringe,
To the lady right.
"What that she wille crave,
And her mouth wille hit have,
Loke hit be redy dight.
She hath so longe meteles be,
That me thinketh grette pitee;
Conforte her yif thou might."

61

Now the lady dwelles ther,
With alle mete that goode were;
She hadde at her wille.
She was curteis in alle thing,
Bothe to olde and to yinge;
Her loved bothe goode and ille.
The childe began for to thrive,
He wax the fairest child on live,
White as flowr on hille;
And she sewed silke werk in bowr,
And taughte her sone nortoure;
But ever she mornede stille.

62

When the childe was seven yer olde,
He was bothe wise and bolde,
And wele made of flesh and bone;
He was worthy under wede,
And right welle kouthe prike a stede,
So curtais a childe was none.
Alle men lovede Segramoure,
Bothe in halle and in bowre,
Wher-so-ever he gan gone.
Leve we at the lady, clere of vice,
And speke of the king of Galis,
Fro the sege when he come home.

63

Now the sege broken is,
The king come home to Galis,
With mikelle myrthe and pride.
Dukes and erles of riche assice,
Barones and knightes of mikille prise,
Come ridinge be his side.
Sir Kadore, his steward thanne,
A-yein him rode with mony a man,
As faste as he might ride;
He tolde the king aventoures,
Of his halles and his bowres,
And of his londes wide.

64

The king saide, "By Goddes name,
Sir Kadore, thou art to blame,
For thy first tellinge!
Thou sholdest first have tolde me
Of my lady Egaré,
I love most of alle thing!"
Then was the stewardes herte wo,
And saide, "Lorde, why saist thou so?
Art not thou a trewe kinge?
Lo her, the letter ye sente me,
Your owene self the sothe may se;
I have don your biddinge."

65

The king toke the letter to rede,
And when he sawe that ylke dede,
He wax alle pale and wanne.
Sore he grette and saide, "Alas,
That ever born I was,
Or ever was made manne!
Sir Kadore, so mot I the,
This letter come never fro me,
I telle thee her anone!"
Bothe they wepte and yaf hem ille.
"Alas," he saide, "saf Goddes wille!"
And both they souened then.

66

Grete lordes stode by,
And toke up the king hastily,
Of hem was gret pitee;
And when they both kevered were,
The king toke him the letter ther,
Of the heddes thre.
"A, lord," he saide, "by Goddes grace,
I sawe never this letter in place!
Alas! how may this be?"
After the messenger ther they sente,
The king askede what way he went:
"Lord, by your moder fre."

67

"Alas!" then saide the kinge,
"Whether my moder wer so unhende,
To make this treson?
By my crowne, she shalle be brent,
With-outen any other jugement,
That thenketh me best reson!"
Grete lordes toke hem bi-twene,
That they wolde exile the quene,
And be-reve her hir renoune.
Thus they exiled the false quene,
And be-rafte her hir liflothe clene,
Castelle, towre and toune.

68

When she was fled over the see fome,
The nobulle king dwelled at hom,
With fulle hevy chere;
With carefulle hert and drery mone,
Sikinges made he many on,
For Egarye the clere.
And when he sawe childeren play,
He wepte and saide, "Welle-a-wey,
For my sone so dere!"
Such lif he lived mony a day,
That no mon him stinte may,
Fully seven yere.

69

Tille a thought in his herte come,
How his lady, white as fome,
Was drowned for his sake.
"Thorou the grace of God in trone,
I wolle to the pope of Rome,
My penans for to take!"
He lette ordeine shipes fele,
And filled hem fulle of worldes wele,
His men mery with to make.
Doles he lette dight and dele,
For to winnen him soules hele,
To the ship he toke the gate.

70

Shypmen, that wer so mikelle of price,
Dight her takelle on riche assise,
That was fair and free.
They drough up sail and laid out ore,
The winde stode as her lust wore,
The wether was lithe on le.
They sailed over the salt fome,
Thorou the grace of God in trone,
That most is of pouste.
To that citee when they come,
At the burgeis hous his inn he nome,
Ther-as woned Emarye.

71

Emaré called her sone,
Hastely to here come,
With-oute ony lettinge,
And saide, "My dere sone so fre,
Do a litelle after me,
And thou shalt have my blessinge.
To-moroue thou shalle serve in halle,
In a kirtelle of riche palle,
Bi-fore this nobulle king;
Loke, sone, so curtais thou be,
That no mon finde chalange to the,
In no manere thinge!

72

When the king is served of spicerye,
Knele thou doune hastilye,
And take his hond in thin;
And when thou hast so done,
Take the cuppe of golde sone,
And serve him of the wine.
And what that he speketh to thee,
Com a-non and telle me,
On Goddes blessing and mine!."
The childe wente in-to the halle,
Among the lordes grete and smalle,
That lufsumme wer under line.

73

Then the lordes that wer grete,
Wish and wente to her mete,
Menstrelles brought in the cours.
The childe hem served so curteisly,
Alle him loved that him sy,
And spake him gret honoures.
Then saide alle that loked him upon,
So curteis a child sawe they never non,
In halle ny in bowres.
The kinge saide to him in game,
"Swete sone, what is thy name?"
"Lorde," he seid, "I hight Segramoures."

74

Then that nobulle king
Toke up a grete sykinge,
For his sone highte so;
Certes, with-outen lesinge,
The teres out of his yen gan wring;
In herte he was fulle woo.
Never-the-lese, he lette be,
And loked on the childe so free,
And mikelle he lovede him thoo.
The king seide to the burgeis a-non,
"Swete sir, is this thy sone?"
The burgeis saide, "Yoo."

75

Then the lordes that wer grete,
Wesshen a-yein after mete,
And then come spicerye.
The child that was of chere swete,
On his knee doune he sete,
And served him curteislye.
The kinge called the burgeis him tille,
And saide, "Sir, if hit be thy wille,
Yif me this litelle body!
I shalle him make lorde of toun and towre,
Of hye halles and of bowre,
I love him specially."

76

When he had served the king at wille,
Fair he wente his moder tille,
And telles her how hit is.
"Soone when he shalle to chamber wende,
Take his hond at the grete ende,
For he is thy fader, y-wisse;
And bid him come speke with Emaré,
That changed her name to Egaré,
In the londe of Galis!"
The childe wente a-yein to halle,
A-monge the grete lordes alle,
And served on riche assise.

77

When they wer welle at ese, a-fine,
Bothe of brede, ale and wine,
They rose up, more and min.
When the king shulde to chamber wende,
He toke his hond at the grete ende,
And faire he helpe him in;
And saide, "Sir, if your wille be,
Take me your honde and go with me,
For I am of your kinne!
Ye shulle come speke with Emaré,
That chaunged her name to Egaré,
That beres the white chinne!"

78

The king in herte was fulle woo,
When he herd minge tho,
Of her that was his quene;
And saide, "Sone, why saist thou so?
Wher-to umbraidest thou me of my wo?
That may never bene!"
Nevertheles with him he wente;
A-yein hem come the lady gent,
In the robe bright and shene.
He toke her in his armes two,
For joye they souened, both two,
Such love was hem bi-twene.

79

A joyfull meting was ther thore,
Of that lady, goodly under gore,
Freely in armes to folde.
Lorde! gladde was Sir Kadore,
And other lordes that ther wore,
Semely to be-holde,
Of the lady that was put in the see,
Thorou grace of God in Trinitee,
That was kevered of cares colde.
Leve we at the lady white as flowr,
And speke we of her fader the emperour,
That firste this tale of y-tolde.

80

The emperour her fader then
Was woxen an olde man,
And thought on his sinne;
Of his doughter Emaré,
That was putte in-to the see,
That was so bright of skinne.
He thoughte that he wolde go,
For his penance to the Pope tho,
And heven for to winne.
Messengeres he sente forth sone,
And they come to the court of Rome,
To take her lordes inne.

81

Emaré praide her lord, the king,
"Sir, a-bide that lordes coming,
That is so fair and fre.
And, swete sir, in alle thing,
A-queinte you with that lording;
Hit is worship to thee."
The king of Galis seide than,
"So grete a lord is ther non,
In alle Cristyantee."
"Nou, swete sir, what-ever be-tide,
A-yain that grete lord ye ride,
And alle thy knightes with thee."

82

Emaré taughte her sone yinge,
A-yein the emperour kominge,
How that he sholde don:
"Swete sone, in alle thing,
Be redy with my lord the king,
And be my swete sone!
When the emperour kisseth thy fader so free,
Loke yif he wille kisse thee,
A-bove thee to him sone;
And bidde him come speke with Emaré,
That was putte in-to the see,
Him-self yaf the dome."

83

Now cometh the emperour of prise;
A-yein him rode the king of Galis,
With fulle mikelle pride.
The child was worthy under wede,
A satte upon a nobille stede,
By his fader side;
And when he mette the emperour,
He valed his hode with gret honour,
And kissed him in that tide;
And other lordes of gret valoure,
They also kissed Segramoure;
In herte is not to hide.

84

The emperours hert enamored gretlye,
Of the childe that rode him by,
With so lovely chere.
Segramoure, he staide his stede,
His owene fader toke good hede,
And other lordes that ther were.
The childe spake to the emperour,
And saide, "Lord, for thin honour,
My worde that thou wille here:
Ye shulle come speke with Emaré,
That changede her name to Egaré,
That was thy doughter dere."

85

The emperour wax alle pale,
And saide, "Sone, why umbraidest me of bale,
And thou may se no bote?"
"Sir, and ye wille go with me,
I shalle thee bringe with that lady free,
That is lovesom on to loke."
Never-the-lesse, with him he wente;
A-yein him come that lady gent,
Walkinge on her fote.
And the emperour a-lighte tho,
And toke her in his armes two,
And clipte and kissed her sote.

86

Ther was a joyfulle metinge
Of the emperour and of the kinge,
And also of Emaré;
And so ther was of Sir Segramour,
That after was emperour;
A fulle gode man was he.
A grette feste ther was holde,
Of erles and barones bolde,
As testimonyeth this story.
This is on of Britaine layes,
That was used by olde dayes,
Men calles "plain de garye."
Jesu, that settes in thy trone,
So graunte us with thee to wone,
In thy perpetualle glorye! Amen.

Explicit Emaré.
throne

apportion. . . control
lend, grant
dwell


errand, message










her = their
righteous
sea and sand (land)
while
much
mourning mixed with it









bowers (private rooms)
woods




was called . . . emperess







strong

young












thoo = then


Or = ere. . . hit (the child)





more (i.e., others)




good manners. . . hall


young


saw
much













Sicily



courteously



was called


adorned
covered (lit. stuffed)

topaz, rubies


toad-stones. . . agates












work of magic
illusion






Emir's. . . heathendom
lies

adorned with paintings
azure
every side
straightaway



Or = Ere











carbuncle and saphire
chalecedony



music



placed





topaz


toad-stones and agates












powers
know. . . doubt

Chrysolite





Sultan's son
emir's






every side







handsome in appearance


mastery













from the courteous one

removes, departs
hadde longing,
maiden






betook them hastily

did they go
highways. . . paths

gore (gown)
nurse

chariot
did go, went
toward them









dismounted from
their
embraced
went

palace. . . went together
romance




washed. . . food
swiftly (skilfully)
appearance




frequently
toward his daughter
work, achieve




dinner-time
soon, immediately
nearer

leave, permission



together







had a robe made quickly

put

earth



worthy one. . . garment

That ever do so we shulde!





would be lost



renown










dead
boat
put. . . knows
appearance
might. . . provisions

shoot forth
there
anchor or oar











swooning







swooning. . . recovered





law
faith
ner = is not
rushed. . . eyes
saw




neither nor young
could stop from
beautiful one. . . garment
throng

flesh and skin


quickly






floated



against her
dark, grey
words
nor land

wave to wave





there


sighing
here ordained long since


dispensation

beset

Woe be to evil weathers




Wales







air

gentle



boat. . . edge of the sea

wonder



without food











without food



took








recovered

adorn

greatly pleased












music
trumpets, drums, psalters











saw
possession

he could not eat
intently

given


immediately





were




array


maiden







see, be seen






raye = roi (king)













maiden


half so pretty



evil
fiend




king









preparations made ready
handsome hall








minstrel



dinner


remained













encombered. . . trouble







were







remained

business


beautiful one. . . smock


birthmark





noble. . . child

there

haste



stay
went














lead







made it burn
evil


near


shaggy









gave

let fall

swooning







cried



saw









sealed

young
health










cared for
knew






had made






appearance

provisions, money

country


security, shelter
guile

woodland






sighed





nor young
















must go




Let be such mourning

harmed







Beget












swooned


Woe be to evil deeds








folds

face down. . . wood plank
breasts
waves
boat. . . struck










curse

complained









sighing
ordained long since






Woe be to evil happenings








to take the air









shone



creature
in the country
are you called

here






dwelling








without food















good manners
quietly mourned







spur, ride




devoid of vice








estate
renown




happenings























cried


as I may prosper

straightway

save
swooned






recovered





















livelihood








sighings











foam




many ships
worldly wealth

He had alms prepared and distributed
soul's health
way



worth
prepared their tackle. . . manner

oar
as they desired
gentle
foam

power

lodging he took
Where dwelt




To come quickly to her
delay




garment. . . fabric


















handsome. . . linen




washed
musicians

saw



nor







sighing

lie
eyes



then
















nigh, noble















manner





less













mentioned then


upbraid



shining

swooned




there
garment


were



recovered













then, at that time



prepare. . . lodging





























gave the order










removed










reined












upbraid
remedy






dismounted then

embraced. . . sweetly












Breton lays

Complaint of Egary (?)

dwell



  Spelling lightly regularized for beginning readers of Middle English from the edition by Edith Rickert, The Early English Text Society, o.s. 55, 1906.

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