Gold THE GEOFFREY CHAUCER PAGE


Sir Bevis of Hamptoun>

Part 4 of 5


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His men answerde, with-outen lesing:
"Thar nis neither emperur ne king,
That come thar the dragoun wore,
An hondred thosend men and more,
That he nolde slen hem everichon,
Ne scholde thai never thannes gon."

"Ascopard," he seide, "whar ertow?"

"Ich'am her; what wilte now?"

"Wille we to the dragoun gon?
Thourgh Godes help we scholle him slo!"

"Ya, sire, so mot I thee,
Blitheliche wille I wende with thee!"

Beves armede him ful wel,
Bothe in yrene and in stel,
And gerte him with a gode bronde
And tok a spere in his honde.
Out ate gate he gan ride,
And Ascopard by his side.

Alse thai wente in here pleghing,
Thai speke of mani selkouth thing.
That dragoun lai in his den
And segh come the twei men;
He made a cri and a wonder,
As hit were a dint of thonder
Ascopard was adrad so sore,
Forther dorste he go namore;
He seide to Beves, that was his fere:

"A wonder thing ye mai here!"
Beves seide: "Have thow no doute,
The dragoun lith her aboute;
Hadde we the dragoun wonne,
We hadde the feireste pris under sonne!"

Ascopard swor, by Sein Jon,
A fot ne dorste he forther gon.

Beves answerde and seide tho:
"Ascopard, whi seistow so?
Whi schalt thow afered be
Of thing that thow might nought sen?"

He swor, alse he moste then,
He nolde him neither hire ne sen:
"Ich'am weri, ich mot have reste;
Go now forth and do thy beste!"

Thanne seide Beves this wordes fre:
"Schame hit is, to terne aye!'
He smot his stede by the side,
Ayen the dragoun he gan ride,
The dragoun segh, that he cam
Yenande ayenes him anan,
Yenande and gapande on him so,
As he wolde him swolwe tho.
Whan Beves segh that ilche sight,
The dragoun of so meche might,
Hadde th'erthe opnede anon,
For drede he wolde ther-in han gon;
A spere he let to him glide
And smot the dragoun on the side;
The spere sterte ayen anon,
So the hail upon the ston,
And to-barst on pices five.
His swerd he drough alse blive;
Tho thai foughte, alse I yow sai,
Til it was high noon of the dai.

The dragoun was atened stronge,
That o man him scholde stonde so longe;
The dragoun harde him gan asaile
And smot his hors with the taile
Right amideward the hed,
That he fel to grounde ded.
Now is Beves to grounde brought,
Helpe him God, that alle thing wrought!
Beves was hardi and of gode hert,
Ayen the dragoun anon he stert
And harde him he gan asaile,
And he ayen with strong bataile;
So be-twene hem laste that fight,
Til it was the therke night.
Beves hadde thanne swich thrast,
Him thoughte, his herte to-brast;
Thanne segh he a water him be-side,
So hit mighte wel be-tide,
Fain he wolde thider flen,
He ne dorste fro the dragoun ten;
The dragoun asailede him fot-hot,
With his taile on his scheld he smot,
That hit clevede evene a-two,
His left scholder dide also.
Beves was hardi and of gode hert,
Into the welle anon he stert.

Lordinges, herkneth to me now:
The welle was of swich vertu:
A virgine wonede in that londe,
Hadde bathede ther-in, ich understonde;
That water was so holi,
That the dragoun, sikerli,
Ne dorste neghe the welle aboute
By fourti fote, saundoute.
Whan Beves parsevede this,
Wel glad he was in hertte, i-wis;
He dide off his helm of stel
And colede him ther in fraiche wel,
And of his helm he drank thore
A large galon other more.
He nemenede Sein Gorge, our levedi knight,
And sete on his helm, that was bright;
And Beves with eger mode
Out of the welle sone he yode;
The dragoun harde him asaile gan,
He him defendeth as a man.

So be-twene hem laste the fight,
Til hit sprong the dai light.
Whan Beves mighte aboute sen,
Blithe he gan thanne ben;
Beves on the dragoun hew,
The dragoun on him venim threw;
Al ferde Beves bodi there,
A foule mesel alse yif he were;
Thar the venim on him felle,
His flesch gan ranclen and tebelle,
Thar the venim was i-cast,
His armes gan al to-brast;
Al to-brosten his ventaile,
And of his hauberk a thosend maile.
Thanne Beves, sone an highe
Wel loude he gan to Jesu crighe:
"Lord, that rerede the Lazaroun,
Delivre me fro this fend dragoun!"

Tho he segh his hauberk toren,
"Lord!" he seide, "that I was boren!"
That seide Beves, thar he stod,
And leide on, as he wer wod;
The dragoun harde him gan asaile
And smot on the helm with his taile,
That his helm clevede a-two,
And his bacinet dide also.
Tweies he ros and tweies he fel,
The thredde tim over-threw in the wel;
Thar-inne he lai up right,
He niste whather hit was dai other night.

Whan over-gon was his smerte
And rekevred was of his hertte,
Beves set him up anon;
The venim was awei i-gon,
He was as hol a man,
As he was, whan he thider cam.
On his knes he gan to falle,
To Jesu Crist he gan to calle:
"Help," he seide, "godes sone,
That this dragoun wer over-come!
Boute ich mowe the dragoun slon,
Er than ich hennes gon,
Schal hit never aslawe be
For noman in cristente!"
To God he made his praiere
And to Marie, his moder dere;

That herde the dragoun, ther he stod,
And flegh awei, as he wer wod.
Beves ran after, with-outen faile,
And the dragoun he gan asaile;
With his swerd, that he out braide,
On the dragoun wel hard he laide,
And so harde he hew him than,
He karf a-two his heved pan,
And hondred dintes he smot that stonde,
Er he mighte kevren a wounde,
He hitte him so on the cholle
And karf a-two the throte bolle.
The dragoun lai on his side,
On him he yenede swithe wide.
Beves thanne with strokes smerte
Smot the dragoun to the herte,
An hondred dintes he smot in on,
Er the heved wolde fro the bodi gon,
And the gode knight Bevoun
The tonge karf of the dragoun;
Upon the tronsoun of his spere
The tonge he stikede for to bere.
He wente tho with-outen ensoine
To-ward the toun of Coloine.

Thanne herde he belles ringe,
Prestes, clerkes loude singe;
A man ther he hath i-met,
And swithe faire he hath him gret,
And asked that ilche man tho,
Whi thai ronge and songe so.
"Sire," he seide, "with-outen faile,
Beves is ded in bataile;
Thar-fore, for sothe I saie thee:
Hit his Beves dirige!"

"Nai," queth Beves, "bi Sein Martin!"
And wente to bischop Florentin.
Tho the bischop hadde of him a sight,
He thankede Jesu ful of might
And broughte Beves in-to the toun
With a faire prosesioun;
Thanne al the folk that thar was,
Thankede Jesu of that gras.

On a dai sire Beves sede:
"Leve em, what is to rede
Of my stifader Devoun,
That holdeth my londes at Hamtoun?"

The beschop seide anon right:
"Kosin, Saber, thin em, is in Wight,
And everi yer on a dai certaine
Upon th'emperur of Almaine
He ginneth gret bataile take,
Beves, al for thine sake;
He weneth wel that thow be ded;
Thar-fore, kosin, by my red,
An hondred men ich yeve thee wighte,
Ayen th'emperur to fighte,
Stalworde men and fer,
And thow schalt wende to Saber:
Sai, ich grette him wel i-lome!
Yif ye han nede, sendeth to me,
Ich wille yow helpe with al my might,
Ayen th'emperur to fight.
While thow dost this ilche tourne,
The levedi schal with me soiurne,
And the page Ascopard
Schal hire bothe wite and ward."

Forth wente Beves with than
To his lemman Josian:
"Lemman," he seide, "ich wille go
And avenge me of my fo,
Yif ich mighte with eni ginne
My kinde eritage to winne!"

"Swete lemman," Josian sede,
"Who schal me thanne wisse and rede?"

Beves sede: "Lemman min,
Min em, the bischop Florentin,
And Ascopard, my gode page,
Schal thee warde fro damage."

"Ye, have ich Ascopard," she sede,
"Of noman ne stant me drede;
Ich take thy God and Seinte Marie:
Sone so thow might, to me thow hiye!"

Beves wente forth anon
With his men everichon,
That the bischop him hadde yeve.
So longe thai hadde here wei i-drive,
That thai come upon a done,
A mile out of Southhamtone.
"Lordinges," to his men he sede,
"Ye scholle do by mine rede!
Have ich eni so hardi on,
That dorre to Hamtoun gon,
To th'emperur of Almaine,
And sai: her cometh a vintaine,
Al prest an hondred knighte,
That fore his love wilen fighte
Bothe with spere and with launce,
Al fresch i-come out of Fraunce!
Ac ever, an erneste and a rage,
Ever speketh frensche laungage,
And sai, ich hatte Gerard,
And fighte ich wille bi forward,
And of the meistri ich'am sure,
Yif he wille yilde min hure?"

Forth ther com on redi reke,
That renabliche kouthe frensch speke;
"Sire," he seide, "ich wille gon,
The mesage for to don anon!"

Forth he wente to the castel gate
The porter he mette ther-ate,
To th'emperur he hath him lad,
Al he seide, as Beves him bad.
Th'emperur and Beves sete i-fere
That ilche night at the sopere;
Th'emperur askede him, what he het;

"Gerard!" he seide alse sket.

"Gerard," he seide, "for soth iwis,
This levedi hadde her er this
An erl to lord, er ich hire wedde,
A sone be-twene hem two thai hadde,
A proud wreche and a ying,
And for sothe a lite gadling;
So was his fader of proud mode,
I-comen of sum lether blode;
His sone, that was a proud garsoun,
Men him clepede Bevoun;
Sone he was of age,
He solde me his eritage
And spente his panes in scham and schonde,
And sithe flegh out of Ingelonde.
Now hath he her an em in Wight,
Sire Saber, a wel strong knight,
And cometh with gret barnage
And cleimeth his eritage,
And ofte me doth her gret gile,
And thow might yilden his while,
Him to sle with swerd in felde,
Wel ich wolde thin hire yelde!"

"Sire," queth Beves anon right,
"Ich'ave knightes of meche might,
That beth unarmed her of wede,
For we ne mighte non out lede
Over the se with-outen aneighe;
Thar-fore, sire, swithe an highe
Let arme my knightes echon,
And yef hem gode hors forth anon,
An hondred men sent thow thy-self,
As mani ich'ave by min helf,
Dight me thy schip and thin men bothe,
And y schal swere thee an othe,
That I schal yeve swiche asaut
On that ilche Sabaaut,
That with-inne a lite while
Thow schalt here of a queinte gile!"

Al thus th'emperur hath him dight
Bothe hors, armes and knight,
Thar-to schipes with gode vitaile;
Forth thai wente and drowe saile.
In the schipe the knightes seten, y-wis,
On of here, another of his.
Whan thai come amidde the forde,
Ech threw his felawe over the bord;
Of th'emperures knightes everichon
With-inne bord ne levede non.

Saber hem ful wel y-say,
As he upon his toure lay,
Mani baner he segh arered.
Tho was Saber sumdel afered,
That th'emperur with his host come,
Biker he made wel y-lome.
Beves wiste wel and sede,
That Saber him wolde drede;
Upon the higheste mast his top there
He let sette up a stremere
Of his fader armure,
Saber the rather to make sure,
For mani a time thar be-foren
He hadde hit in-to bataile boren.
Tho the schip to londe drough,
Saber hit knew wel inough
And thoughte and gan to understonde,
That Beves was come inte Ingelonde.
"Lord," he sede, "hered thow be,
That ich mai my kinde lord se:
That he wer ded, ich was of-drad,
Meche sorwe ich'ave for him had."

He wente with his knightes blive,
Thar the schipes scholde arive;
Either other gan to kisse,
And made meche joie and blisse,
And Beves tolde him in a while,
He hadde do th'emperur a gile.
Tho seide Beves with than:
"Have ich eni so hardi man,
That dorre to Hamtoun gon
Over the water sone anon,
And sai th'emperur anon right,
That I nam no Frensche knight,
Ne that I ne hatte nought Gerard, am not called
That made with him the forward,
And sai him, ich hatte Bevoun,
And cleymeth the seinori of Hamtoun,
And that his wif is my dame,
That schal hem bothe terne to grame;
Now of hem bothe to-gadre
I schal fonde wreke my fadre?"

Up thar sterte an hardi on:
"Sire," he seide, "ich wille gon,
The mesage for-doth hem bothe,
And maken hem sori and wrothe."

Forth he wente as hot
Over the water in a bot,
Forth he wente also whate
In at the castel gate;
At the soper alse he set,
Th'emperur he gan thus gret:
"Sire emperur, I thee bringe
A swithe sertaine tiding:
Wel thee grete that ilche knight,
That sopede with thee yerstene night;
He saith, he hatte nought Gerard,
That made with thee the for-ward,
He saith, that he hatte Bevoun
And cleymeth the seinori of Hamtoun,
And is i-come with thee to speke,
Of his fader deth to ben awreke,
Thee to sle with schame and schonde
And for to winne his owene londe."

Th'emperur herde of him that word,
His sone stod be-fore the bord;
He thoughte with his longe knif
Be-reve that mesageres lif;
He threw his knif and kouthe nought redi
And smot his sone thourgh the bodi.
The mesager spak a gainli word
Be-fore th'emperur his bord:
"Thow gropedest thy wif anight too lowe,
Thow might nought sen aright to throwe;
Thow havest so swonke on hire to-night,
Thow havest negh for-lore thy sight:
Her thow havest lither haunsel,
A worse thee be-tide schal!"

And smot his hors with the spore
And arnde out at halle dore;
Wel and faire he hath him dight
And com ayen to Beves in Wight
And tolde, he slough his sone for grame;
Beves lough and hadde gode game.

Lete we sire Beves thanne
And speke of Josiane,
That in Coloine was with Beves em,
Til that he ayen thider kem.
In that londe that ilche while
Thar wonede an erl, that highte Mile;
To Josian he hadde his love cast
And gan hire to wowen fast,
Faire he spak to terne hire thought,
And she seide, he was aboute nought.
That erl was wroth in his manere,
For Josian him nolde here,
And spak to hire with loude gret:
"For wham," he seide, "scholde ich it lete,
Boute ich mai have of thee my wille?
Ich wile," he seide, "who that nille!"
She seide: "While ich'ave Ascopard,
Of thee nam ich nothing afard,
For thy wreththe ne for thin host,
Ne for thee ne for thine bost!"

And tho thoughte that erl Mile
To do Josian a gile:
A leter he let for to write,
In this maner he dide it adite,
That Ascopard come scholde
To Beves, thar the letter him tolde,
In-to a castel in an yle,
The brede of the water thre mile;
To Ascopard thai come snel;
Thai seide, Beves him grette wel
And be-soughte, for his love
In haste he scholde to him come.
Forth wente Ascopard as hot
Over the water in a bot;
Whan he was over the water come,
Thai un-lek the yate at the frome;
And whan he was comen with-inne,
Thai sperede him faste with ginne.

Ayen to Josiane Miles gan terne:
"For wham," he seide, "schal ich it werne?"
She thoughte for to kepe hire, aplight,
She sente a masager to Wight,
To Beves, by letter and tolde fore
Al to-gedre lasse and more.

Miles wolde have his wille
And she bad him holde stille:
"Nought, thogh I scholde lese my lif,
Boute ich were thy weddede wif;
Yif eni man me scholde wedde,
Thanne mot ich go with him to bedde:
I trowe, he is nought now here,
That schal be my wedde-fere!"

"Y schal thee wedde ayenes thy wille,
To-morwe y schal hit ful-fille!"
And kiste hire anon right
And sente after baroun and knight
And bad hem come leste and meste,
To anoure that meri feste.
The night is gon, that dai comen is,
The spusaile don hit is
With mirthe in that toun
And joie of erl and baroun.
And whan hit drough toward the night,
Here soper was ther redi dight,
And thogh thai richelich weren i-fed,
That erl wolde ben a bed.
Josian he het lede to bour,
To have hire under covertour;
Upon hire bedde thar she sat,
That erl com to hire with that,
With knightes gret compainie
With pyment and with spisorie,
With al the gamen that thai hedde,
For to make hire dronke a bedde:
Ac al another was hire thought,
Ne gamnede hire that gle right nought.
"Sire," she seide to that erl sone,
"Ich bidde, thow graunte me a bone,
And boute thow graunte me this one,
I ne schal thee never bedde none:
Ich bidde thee at the ferste frome,
That man ne wimman her in come;
Be-lok hem thar oute for love o me,
That noman se our privite!
Wimmen beth schamfast in dede
And namliche maidenes," she sede.

That erl seide, he wolde faine.
He drof out bothe knight and swaine,
Levedies, maidenes and grome,
That non ne moste ther-in come,
And schette the dore with the keie:
Litel he wende have be so veie.
Josian he com ayen to:
"Lemman," he seide, "ich'ave ido,
The bone ich'ave do with lawe,
My schon I mot my-self off drawe,
As y never yet ne dede."
Adoun he set him in that stede;
Thanne was be-fore his bed i-tight,
As fele han of this gentile knight,
A covertine on raile tre,
For noman scholde on bed i-se.
Josian be-thoughte on highing,
On a towaile she made knotte riding,
Aboute his nekke she hit threw
And on the raile tre she drew;
By the nekke she hath him up tight
And let him so ride al the night.

Josian lai in hire bed:
No wonder, though she wer adred.
Dai is come in alle wise,
A-morwe the barouns gonne arise
Sum to honten and sum to cherche,
And werk-men gonne for to werche.
The sonne schon, hit drough to under,
The barouns thar-of hadde wonder;
That th'erl lai so longe a bed,
Gret wonder thar-of he hedde.
Queth sum: "Let him lie stille!
Of Josian he hath al his wille."

Middai com, hit drough to noone,
The barouns speke ther eft soune;
Queth the boldeste: "How mai this be?
Wende ich wille up and i-se!"
That baroun dorste wel speke,
To the chaumber he gan reke
And smot the dore with his honde,
That al wide opun it wonde.
"Awake," he seide, "sire erl Mile,
Thow havest sleped so longe while,
Thin heved oweth to ake wel:
Dame, let make him a caudel!"

"Nai," queth Josian at that sake,
"Never eft ne schal his heved ake!
Ich'ave so tyled him for that sore,
Schal hit never eft ake more,
Yerstendai he me wedded with wrong
And to-night ich'ave him honge:
Doth by me al youre wille,
Schal he never eft wimman spille!"

Al thai made meche sorwe;
Anon rightes in that morwe
Sum hire demte thanne
In a tonne for to branne.
With-oute the toun thai pighte a stake,
Thar the fir was i-make,
The tonne thai hadde ther i-set,
Thai fette wode and elet.
Ascopard with-inne the castel lay,
The tonne and al the folk he say;
Ful wel him thoughte that while,
That him trokede a gret gile,
For he was in the castel be-loke,
The castel wal he hath to-broken;
He was maroner wel gode,
He stertte in-to the salte flode,
A fischer he segh fot-hot,
Ever he swam toward the bot.
The fischer wende, sum fend it were,
Out of his bot he flegh for fere.

Ascopard hente the bot an honde
And rew him-self to the londe,
To-ward the fir faste he schok,
Beves com and him of-tok:
"Treitour," he seide, "whar hastow be?
This dai thow havest be-traied me!"

"Nai, sire!" Ascopard seide,
And tolde, Miles him hadde be-traide.
To-ward the fir thai wente blive:
The prest, that hire scholde schrive,
Godes blessing mote he fonge,
For that he held Josiane so longe!
In hire smok she stod naked,
Thar the fur was i-maked;
As men scholde hire for-brenne,
Beves on Arondel com renne
With his swerd Morgelay;
Ascopard com by another way,
And slowen in that ilche stounde
Al that thai aboute the fir founde,
And that he hadde for his while,
That proude erl, sire Mile.
He sette Josian on his palfrai,
And wente forth in here wai;
Thai wente to schip anon righte
And sailede forth in-to Wighte.
Wel was Saber paid with than
Of Ascopard and of Josian.

Beves and Saber sente here sonde
Wide in-to fele londe,
And thai sente an hie
After gret chevalrie,
Of al the londe the strongeste knighte,
That thai owhar finde mighte.

That emperur negh daide,
His wif confortede him and saide:
"Sire," she seide, "doute yow nought!
Of gode consaile ich'am be-thought:
Ye scholle sende, for sertaine,
After your host in-to Almaine,
And whan your host is come to-gadre,
Send to the king of Scotlonde, my fadre;
He wille come to thee an highe
With wonder gret chevalrie,
That thow derst have no sore
Of that thef, Saber the hore,
Ne of Beves, that is me lothe:
Yit ye schollen hem hangen bothe!"

Tho the letters were yare,
The masegers wer forth i-fare.

In Mai, whan lef and gras ginth springe,
And the foules merie to singe,
The king of Scotlonde com to fighte
With thretti thosend of hardi knighte
Of Almaine, his owene barouny,
With wonder gret chevalry.
"Lordinges," he seide, "Ye witeth alle,"
Whan thai were be-fore him in the halle,
"That ofte this thef, Saber the hore,
Me hath aneied swithe sore.
Now is him come help to fighte,
Beves of Hamtoun, an hardi knighte,
To Sarasins was solde gon longe,
Ich wende, he hadde ben anhonge;
He me threteth for to slen
And for to winne his londe ayen;
With him he hath a geaunt brought:
Erthliche man semeth he nought,
Ne noman of flesch ne felle,
Boute a fend stolen out of helle;
Ascopart men clepeth him ther-oute,
Of him ich'ave swithe gret doute.
Ac, lordinges," he seide, "arme ye wei,
We scholle besege hem in here castel;
Tho Ascopard be strong and sterk,
Mani hondes maketh light werk!"

Forth thai wenten as snel,
Til thai come to the castel,
Thar Saber and Beves weren inne,
Thai pighte pavilouns and bente ginne.
Saber stod on his tour an high,
Al that grete host he sigh;
Gret wonder ther-of he hade,
The holi crois be-fore him he made
And swor by his berde hore,
Hit scholde some of hem rewe sore.
Saber doun of his tour went,
After al his knightes he sent:
"Has armes, lordinges!" he gan segge,
"Th'emperur ther-oute us wille be-legge:
Make we thre vintaine,
That be gode and certaine!
The ferste ich wille my-self out lede,
And thow that other, Beves!" he sede,
"And Ascopard the thredde schal have
With his gode, grete stave.
Be we thre upon the grene,
Wel ich wot and nought ne wene:
Mani man is thar-oute kete,
This dai schal his lif for-lete!"

Saber his horn be-gan to blowe,
That his host him scholde knowe.
"Lordinges," he seide, "ne doute yow nought,
Ye scholle this dai be holde so dought,
That hem were beter at Rome,
Thanne thai hadde hider i-come."

Tho th'emperur herde in castel blowe,
Thar-bi he gan to knowe,
That thai armede hem in the castel;
His knightes he het as snel:
"Has armes, lordinges, to bataile!
Out thai cometh, us to asaile."

Twei hostes thai gonne make,
He of Scotlonde hath on i-take,
Th'emperur that other ladde:
His deth that dai ther he hadde.
Out of the castel cam before
Saber with his berde hore,
And in his compainie
Thre hondred knightes hardie.
Sire Morice of Mounclere
His stede smot ayenes Sabere;
His spere was sumdel kene,
And Saber rod him ayene:
Though his spere wer scharp i-grounde,
Saber slough him in that stounde.

Out on Arondel tho com Bevoun
And mette with his stifader Devoun,
And with a dint of gret fors
He bar him doun off his hors;
With Morgelay, that wolde wel bite,
He hadde ment his heved off smite;
His host cam riding him to,
Wel ten thosend other mo;
So stronge were tho thai come:
Th'emperur Beves thai benome
And broughte him an horse tho;
Thar-fore was Beves swithe wo.
Thar com in the thredde part
With his batte Ascopard;
Ever alse he com than,
He felde bothe hors and man.
Thar-with was Beves wel apaide,
He clepede Ascopard and to him saide:
"Ascopard, tak right gode hede:
Th'emperur rit on a whit stede;
Thin hire I schal thee yilde wel,
With that thow bringe him to my castel!"

"Sire," he seide, "I schal for sothe
In-to the castel bringe him to thee!"
Ascopard leide on wel inough,
Bothe man and hors he slough;
Thar nas non armur in that londe,
That mighte the geauntes strok astonde.
The king of Scotlonde, with his bat
He yaf him swiche a sori flat
Upon the helm in that stounde,
That man and hors fel ded to grounde.

Thanne anon, with-oute sojur,
He wente to that emperur,
And hasteliche with might and main
He hente the hors by the rain;
Wolde he, nolde he, faire and wel
He bar hors and man to the castel.

Of al that other, siker aplighte,
That were ensemled in that fighte,
Of Scotlonde and of Almaine,
Beves and Saber with might and maine
With deth his dintes gonne doun drive,
That thar ne scapede non alive.
And thus sire Beves wan the pris
And vengede him of his enemis,
And to the castel thai wente i-same
With gret solas, gle and game,
And that his stifader wer ded,
As tit he let fille a led
Ful of pich and of brimston,
And hot led let falle ther on;
Whan hit alther swither seth,
Th'emperur thar-in he deth;
Thar he lay atenende:
Wende his saule, whider it wende!

His moder over the castel lai,
Hire lord sethen in the pich she sai;
So swithe wo hire was for sore,
She fel and brak hire nekke ther-fore.
Alse glad he was of hire,
Of his damme, as of his stipsire,
And seide: "Damme, for-yeve me this gilt,
I ne yaf thee nother dint ne pilt!"

Thanne al the lordes of Hamteschire
Made Beves lord and sire
And dede him feute and omage,
As hit was lawe and right usage.
Tho was Beves glad and blithe
And thankede God ful mani a sithe,
That he was wreke wel inough
Of him, that his fader slough.

Wel hasteliche he let sende
To Coloine after the bischop hende,
And spusede Beves and Josiane.
Of no joie nas ther wane;
Though ich discrive nought the bredale,
Ye mai wel wite, hit was riale,
That ther was in alle wise
Mete and drinke and riche servise.

Now hath Beves al his stat;
Tweie children on hir he begat
In the formeste yere,
Whiles that thai were i-fere.
And Saber him redde thar
Wende to the king Edgar;
Tho with-inne a lite stounde
The king he fond at Lounde.
Beves a knes doun him set,
The king hendeliche he gret;
The king askede him, what he were
And what nedes he wolde there.
Thanne answerde Bevoun:
"Ich'atte Beves of Hamtoun;
My fader was ther th'erl Guy;
Th'emperur for his levedi
Out of Almaine com and him slough:
Ich'ave wreke him wel inough;
Ich bidde be-fore your barnage,
That ye me graunte min eritage!"

"Bletheliche," he seide, "sone min,
Ich graunte thee, by Sein Martin!"
His marchal he gan be-holde:
"Fet me," he seide, "my yerde of golde!
Guy, his fader, was my marchal,
Also Beves, his sone, schal."
His yerd he gan him ther take;
So thai atonede with-oute sake.

In somer aboute Whit-sontide,
Whan knightes mest an horse ride,
A gret kours thar was do grede,
For to saien here alther stede,
Whiche were swift and strong.
The kours was seve mile long;
Who that come ferst thider, han scholde
A thosand pound of rede golde.
Thar-with was Beves paied wel:
Meche he treste to Arondel.

A-morwe, whan hit was dai cler,
Ariseth bothe knight and squier
And lete sadlen here fole.
Twei knightes hadde the kours i-stole,
That thai were two mile be-fore,
Er eni man hit wiste y-bore.
Whan Beves wiste this, fot-hot
Arondel with his spures he smot
And his bridel faste he schok;
A-mide the kours he hem of-tok.
"Arondel," queth Beves tho,
"For my love go bet, go,
And I schal do faire and wel
For thy love reren a castel!"

Whan Arondel herde, what he spak,
Be-fore the twei knightes he rak,
That he com rather to the tresore,
Than thai by half and more.
Beves of his palfrai alighte
And tok the tresore anon righte:
With that and with mor catel
He made the castel of Arondel.
Meche men preisede his stede tho,
For he hadde so wel i-go;
The prince bad, he scholde it him yive:
"Nay," queth Beves, "so mot y live,
Though thow wost me take an honde
Al the hors of Ingelonde!"

Siththe that he him yive nele,
He thoughte, that he it wolde stele.
Hit is lawe of kinges alle,
At mete were croune in halle,
And thanne everiche marchal
His yerde an honde bere schal.
While Beves was in that office,
The kinges sone, that was so nice,
What helpeth for to make fable?
He yede to Beves stable
And yede Arondel to nighe,
And also he wolde him untighe,
And tho Arondel, fot-hot
With his hint fot he him smot
And to-daschte al his brain.
Thus was the kinges sone slain.

Men made dol and gret weping
For sorwe of that ilche thing;
The king swor, for that wronge
That Beves scholde ben an-honge
And to-drawe with wilde fole.
The barnage it nolde nought thole
And seide, thai mighte do him no wors,
Boute lete hongen his hors;
Thai mighte don him namore,
For he servede tho the king be-fore.

"Nai," queth Beves, "for no catele
Nel ich lose min hors Arondele,
Ac min hors for to were
Ingelonde ich wille for-swere;
Min eir ich wille make her
This gode knight, min em Saber."
In that maner thai wer at one,
And Beves is to Hamtoun gone;
He tolde Josian and Ascopard fore
Al to-gedre, lasse and more.
Beves lep on his rounci
And made his swein Terri,
That Saber his sone is;

And whan Ascopard wiste this,
Whiche wei thai wolde take,
Ayen to Mombraunt he gan schake,
To be-traie Beves, as ye mai se,
For he was falle in poverte,
For, whan a man is in poverte falle,
He hath fewe frendes with-alle.
To him seide king Yvore:
"Treitour, whar hastow be thus yore?"

"Sire," he seide, "have sought the quene,
And have had for hire miche tene!
Sire," he seide, "certeine for sothe,
Yet ich kouthe bringe hire to thee!"

"Ich wille thee yeve a kingdom right,
Bring thow me that levedi bright!"

Queth Ascopart: "Ther-to I graunt,
By Mahoun and by Tervagaunt,
So that ich'ave fourti knightes,
Stout in armes and strong in fightes;
For Beves is ful sterne and stoute,
Of him ich'ave swithe gret doute;
He over-com me ones in bataile:
Me be-houeth help, him to asaile."

King Yvor grauntede anon rightes;
He let him chese fourti knightes
And armede hem in yrene wede,
And forth with Ascopard thai yede.
Now lete we be this Ascopard
And speke of Beves, that rit forthward
In his wei til Ermonie
Thourgh Fraunce and thourgh Normondie;
And Josiane, Crist here be milde!
In a wode was be-stonde of childe.
Beves and Terri doun lighte
And with here swerdes a logge pighte;
Thai broughte Josiane ther-inne,
For thai ne kouthe no beter ginne.
Beves his servise gan hire bede,
To helpe hire at that nede.
"For Godes love," she seide, "nai,
Leve sire, thow go the wai,
God for-bede for his pite,
That no wimman his privite
To noman thourgh me be kouthe:
Goth and wendeth hennes nouthe,
Thow and thy swain Terry,
And let me worthe and oure levedy!"




were






what do you want









girded




their playing







companion















prosper
hear nor see




turn back



Yawning










burst
very quickly



irritated
one man











the dark night
thirst




turn to go


evenly










draw nigh
indeed
perceived


fresh
there

named / lady's


went










leper

rankle and swell






raised











third time

knew not

pain
hurt








unless I can slay

slain





flew





skull


throat
Adam's apple

yawned, gaped






truncheon

delay











Office for the dead








grace


dear uncle / advise










advice


fierce

many times






protect and guard





device, plan













As soon as / hasten





down



a one
dare

company of warriors
All ready





am called

victory
repay me

a ready warrior
fluently









was called

very quickly





young
bit impudent

evil
young man


me = men (people)
pennies (money)
fled





pay him back

reward you



weed (armor)

difficulty
vary quickly

quickly

on my side
Provide me with






prepared




One of theirs





saw




Battle / often




father's arms
the more quickly






worshipped




quickly










am not



lordship

turn to anger

try to avenge








very boldly






yesterday












Take away


suitable



labored

evil gift



ran









at that same time
dwelled





would not hear
shout


whoever does not wish it

am not / afeared


















unlock / first

locked him in / trickery

turn
desist
indeed







Unless



mate






honor

wedding



prepared


had brought




piment and spiced wine





ask / boon


very first, beginning






gladly (do it)


might

doomed to die



shoes


provided

curtain on a railing

in haste
noose











undern (midmorning)











go

went



caudle



handled




kill



deemed, condemned
burn
pitched


fuel

saw

tricked









grabbed
rowed
rushed
overtook












running










avenged


message

in haste


anywhere



fear





in haste

need have / discomfort
hoar, gray
hateful


ready











annoyed


long ago





skin


fear


Though


very swiftly


pitched / catapults

saw


gray



To arms!

companies of warriors







brave
give up




considered so bold






commanded swiftly
To arms!







gray










step-father







took the emperor from Beves






pleased


rides

Providing that








blow



delay


grabbed



indeed
assembled






together


Very quickly / cauldron


boiled very hard
puts
until his death



boiling





blow



fealty and homage



revenged





lack
bridal feast
royal





first

advised
To go







I am called










fetch / sceptre


give
reconciled / argument

Whitsunday (Pentecost)

race / announced
see




pleased







man born knew it



overtook






rushed
more quickly



possessions





wouldst give me
horses

would not give him


At feasts to wear



foolish



as

hind
dashed out






pulled to pieces / horses
barons / suffer





possessions

protect

heir

agreed

before


made Terri his squire




go







I have
























be merciful to her
in the throes of childbirth

erected a shelter


offer




womens' secrets

now

let me be / lady

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