> Guy of Warwick (Section 2 of 4)

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Guy of Warwick

Section II (lines 997-2001)




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Sir Guy answerd to the king,
"Wel wele y knowe, withouten lesing,
  Herhaud, so God me rede.
And yif thou haddest her on here,
Of the maistri siker thou were,
  The bateyl for to bede."
The king asked him anon right,
"Whi artow thus ivel y-dight
  And in thus pover wede?
A feble lord thou servest, so thenketh me,
Or away he hath driven thee
  For sum ivel dede."

"Nay, sir, for God," quoth Guy,
"A wel gode lord ar than served y:
  With him was no blame.
Wel michel honour he me dede,
And gret worthschipe in everi stede,
  And sore ich have him gramed,
And ther-fore icham thus y-dight,
To cri him merci day and night,
  Til we ben frendes same.
And mi lord and y frende be,
Ichil wende hom to mi cuntre,
  And live with joie and game."

"Frende Youn," seyd the king,
"Wiltow fight for mi thing?
  Other y schal another purvay."
"Therfor com ich hider," quoth Guy,
"Thurgh Godes help and our levedi
  As wele as y may.
Bot first th'erl Jonas and his sones
Schal be deliverd out of prisones
  This ich selve day."
The king answerd, "y graunt thee.
Mahoun he mot thine help be,
  That is mi lord verray."

"Nay," seyd Guy, "bot Marie sone:
He mot me to help come,
  For Mahoun is worth nought."
"Frende Youn," seyd the king,
"Under-stond now mi teling,
  Al what ich have y-thought.
Yif that thou may overcom the fight,
And defende me with right
  (The wrong is on me sought),
So michel y schal for thee do,
That men schal speke ther-of ever mo
  As wide as this wold is wrought.

Alle the men that in my prisoun be
Thai schul be deliverd for love of thee
  That Cristen men be told.
Fram henne to Ynde that cite
Quite-claym thai schul go fre
  Bothe yong and old.
And so gode pes y schal festen anon,
That Cristen men schul comen and gon
  To her owhen wille in wold."
"Gramerci," than seyd sir Guy.
"That is a fair yift, sikerly.
  God leve thee it wele to hold."

The king dede make a bathe anon right,
For to bathe Guy and better dight:
  In silk he wold him schrede.
"Nay, sir," than seyd sir Guy,
"Swiche clothes non kepe y,
  Also God me rede,
To were clothes gold-bi-go
(For y was never wont therto)
  Ne non so worthliche wede.
Mete and drink anough yive me,
And riche clothes lat thou be:
  Y kepe non swiche prede.

And when the time com to th'ende,
That thai schuld to court wende,
  Ther sembled a fair ferred.
King Triamour maked him yare tho,
And Fabour his sone dede also,
  With knightes stithe on stede.
To court-ward than went he,
To Espire, that riche cite,
  With joie and michel prede.
To the Soudan thai went on heye
With wel gret chevalrie,
  Bateyle for to bede.

Guy was ful wele in armes dight
With helme, and plate, and brini bright,
  The best that ever ware.
The hauberk he hadde was renis,
That was king Clarels, y-wis,
  In Jerusalem when he was thare.
A thef stale it in that stede,
And away therwith him dede:
  To hethenesse he it bare.
King Triamours elders it bought,
And in her hord house thai thought
  To hold it ever mare.

Sir Guy thai toke it in that plas.
Thritti winter afrayd it nas:
  Ful clere it was of mayle,
As bright as ani silver it was:
The halle schon therof as sonne of glas,
  For sothe withouten fayle.
His helme was of so michel might,
Was never man over-comen in fight
  That hadde it on his ventayle.
It was Alisaunders, the gret lording,
When he faught with Poreus the king,
  That hard him gan aseyle.

A gode swerd he hadde, with-outen faile,
That was Ectors in Troye batayle,
  In gest as so men fint.
Ar he that swerd dede forgon,
Of Grece he slough ther mani on,
  That died thurgh that dint.
Hose and gambisoun so gode knight schold,
A targe listed with gold
  About his swere he hint.
Nas never wepen that ever was maked
That o schel might therof take,
  Na more than of the flint.

Or king Triamours elders it laught,
King Darri sum time it aught
  That Guy was under pight.
Ich man axe other bigan
Whennes and who was that man
  That with the geaunt durst fight.
King Triamour seyd with wordes fre,
"Sir Soudan, herken now to me,
  Astow art hendy knight.
To thi court icham now come
To defende me of that ich gome
  That is so stern of sight.

This litel knight that stont me by
Schal fende me of that felonie,
  And make me quite and skere."
"Be stille," seyd the Soudan tho,
"That batail schal wel sone be go,
  Also brouke y mi swere."
He dede clepe Amorant so grim,
And Guy stode and loked on him,
  Hou foule he was of chere.
"It is," seyd Guy, "no mannes sone:
It is a devel fram helle is come.
  What wonder doth he here?

Who might his dintes dreye,
That he ne schuld dye an heye?
  So strong he is of dede."
Than speken thai alle of the batayle:
Where it schuld be, with-outen fayle,
  Thai token hem to rede.
Than loked thai it schuld be
In a launde under the cite:
  Thider thai gun hem lede.
With a river it ern al about:
Ther-in schuld fight tho knightes stout.
  Thai might fle for no nede.

Over the water thai went in a bot,
On hors thai lopen fot hot,
  Tho knightes egre of mode.
Thai priked the stedes that thai on sete,
And smiten togider with dentes grete,
  And ferd as thai wer wode,
Til her schaftes in that tide
Gun to schiver bi ich a side
  About hem ther thai stode.
Than thai drough her swerdes grounde,
And hewe togider with grimli wounde,
  Til thai spradde al ablode.

Sir Amoraunt drough his gode brond,
That wele carf al that it fond,
  When he hadde lorn his launce:
That never armour might withstond
That was made of smitthes hond
  In hethenesse ne in Fraunce.
It was sir Ercules the strong,
That mani he slough ther-with with wrong
  In batayle and in destaunce.
Ther was never man that it bere
Over-comen in batayle ne in were,
  Bot it were thurgh meschaunce.

It was bathed in the flom of helle:
A goddes yaf it him to wille,
  He schuld the better spede.
Who that bar that swerd of might,
Was never man overcomen in fight,
  Bot it were thurgh unlede.
Ther worth sir Guy to deth y-brought,
Bot yif God have of him thought,
  His best help at nede.
Togider thai wer yern heweinde
With her brondes wele kerveinde,
  And maden her sides blede.

Sir Amoraunt was agreved in hert,
And smot to Guy a dint ful smert
  With alle the might he gan welde,
And hitt him on the helme so bright,
That alle the stones of michel might
  Fleyye doun in the feld.
Al of the helme the swerd out stint,
And forth right with that selve dint
  Other half fot of the scheld,
That never was atamed ar than
For knight ne for no nother man,
  Ne were he never so beld.

The sadel bowe he clef atwo,
The stedes nek he dede also,
  With his grimli brond.
With-outen wem or ani wounde
Wele half a fot in-to the grounde
  The scharp swerd it wond.
Sir Guy to grounde fallen is,
He stirt up anon, y-wis,
  And loked, and gan with-stond.
Anon right in that ich stede
To God almighten he bad his bede,
  And held up bothe his hond.

Sir Guy anon up stirt
As man that was agremed in hert,
  Nought wel long he lay.
"Lord," seyd Guy, "God al-might,
That made the therkenes to the night,
  So help me to-day.
Scheld me fro this geaunt strong,
That y no deth of him afong,
  Astow art lord verray.
That dint," he seyd, "was ivel sett.
Wele schal y com out of thi dett
  Yif that I libbe may."

Guy hent his swerd, that was ful kene,
And smot Amoraunt with hert tene
  A dint that sat ful sore,
That a quarter of his scheld
He made to fleye in the feld
  Al with his grimli gore.
The stedes nek he smot atwo,
Amoraunt to grounde is fallen tho:
  Wo was him therfore.
Than wer on fot tho knightes bold:
Fight ofot yif thai wold.
  Her stedes thai han forlore.

Amoraunt with hert ful grim
Smot to Guy, and Guy to him,
  With strokes stern and stive.
Hard thai hewe with swerdes clere,
That helme and swerd, that strong were,
  Thai gun hem al to-drive.
Hard foughten tho champiouns,
That bothe plates and hauberjouns
  Thai gun to ret and rive,
And laiden on with dintes gret.
Aither of hem so other gan bete,
  That wo was hem alive.

Sir Amoraunt was agreved strong,
That o man stode him tho so long.
  To Guy a strok he raught,
And hit him on the helme so bright,
That al the floures fel doun right.
  With a ful grimly draught
The cercle of gold he carf atwo,
And forth with his dint also
  Ther bileved it nought:
On the scheld the swerd doun fel,
And cleve it in-to halvendel,
  Almost to grounde him brought.

What with the swerdes out draweing,
And with his hetelich out braiding,
  Ther fel a wonder cas:
Sir Guy fel on knes to grounde,
And stirt up in that selve stounde,
  And seyd, "Lord ful of grace,
Never dint of knight non
Ne might me are knele don
  In no stede ther y was."
Sir Guy hent up his swerd fot hot,
Amoraunt on the hod he smot,
  That he stumbled in the place.

He hit him on the helme an heyye,
And with that dint the swerd it fleyye:
  Bi the nasel it gan doun founde,
And so it dede bi the ventayle,
And carf it atwo, saunfaile,
  And in-to his flesche a wounde.
His targe with gold list
He carf atwo thurgh help of Crist,
  He cleve that ich stounde.
So heteliche the brond out he plight,
That Amoraunt anon right
  Fel on knes to grounde.

So strong batayle was hem bitwene:
So seyd thai that might it sene
  That seye thai never non swiche,
That never was of wiman born
Swiche to knightes as thai worn,
  That foughten togider with wreche.
On a day bifor the nativite
Of seyn Jon, the martir fre,
  That holy man is to seche,
Togider fought tho barouns bothe,
That in hert wer so wrothe.
  Of love was ther no speche.

Sir Amoraunt with-drough him
With loureand chere wroth and grim,
  For the blod of him was lete,
That drink he most, other his liif forgon:
So strong thrust yede him upon,
  So michel was his hete.
"Fourti batayls ichave overcome,
Ac fond y never er moder sone
  That me so sore gan bete.
Tel me," he seyd, "what artow?
Felt y never man ar now
  That yaf dintes so grete.

Tel me," he seyd, "whennes thou be;
For thou art strong, so mot y thee,
  And of michel might."
Sir Guy answerd, "with-outen bost,
Cristen icham, wele thou wost,
  Of Inglond born, y plight.
King Triamour me hider brought
For to defenden him, yif y mought,
  Of that michel unright
That ye beren on him with wough,
That Fabour never Sadony slough
  Noither bi day ne night."

"O, artow Inglis?" seyd Amorant.
"Now wold mi lord Tervagaunt
  That thou were Guy the strong!
Mahoun yaf that thou wer he!
Blithe wold y than be
  Batail of him to fong:
For he hath destrud al our lawe,
His heved wold ichave ful fawe,
  Or heiye on galwes hong;
For kever schal we never more
That he hath don us forlore
  With wel michel wrong.

With michel wrong and michel wough
Fourti thousend of us he slough
  In Costentin on a day:
He and Herhaud, his felawe,
Michel han destrud our lawe,
  That ever-more mon y may.
Yif he wer slain with brond of stiel
Than were y wroken on hem ful wel
  That han destrud our lay."
Sir Guy answerd, "Whi seistow so?
Hath Guy ani thing thee misdo?"
  Amoraunt seyd, "Nay,

Ac it wer gret worthschip, y-wis,
To alle the folk of hethenisse,
  That y hadde so wroken mi kende.
Cristen," he seyd, "listen to me.
The weder is hot, astow may se;
  Y pray thee, leve frende:
Leve, to drink thou lat me gon
For the lordes love thou levest on,
  Astow art gode and hende.
For thirst mi hert wil to-spring,
And for hete, with-outen lesing,
  Mi live wil fro me wende.

And yif y schal be thus aqueld
Thurgh strong hete in the feld
  It were ayain the skille:
Unworthschipe it war to thee,
It were thee gret vilete
  In what lond thou com tille.
Ac lete me drink a litel wight
For thi lordes love ful of might
  That thou lovest with wille,
And y thee hot bi mi lay,
Yif thou have ani threst to-day,
  Thou shalt drink al thi fille."

Sir Guy answerd, "Y graunt thee,
And yete to-day thou yeld it me
  With-outen ani fayle."
And when he hadde leve of sir Guy
He was ful glad, sikerli:
  No lenger nold he dayle.
To the river ful swithe he ran,
His helme of his heved he nam,
  And unlaced his ventayle.
When he hadde dronken alle his fille
He stirt up with hert grille,
  And sir Guy began to asayle.

"Knight," he seyd, "yeld thee bilive;
For thou art giled, so mot y thrive.
  Now ichave a drink,
Icham as fresche as ich was amorwe:
Thou schalt dye with michel sorwe,
  For-sothe, withouten lesing."
Than thai drowen her swerdes long,
Tho knightes that wer stern and strong,
  With-outen more dueling,
And aither gan other ther asayle;
And ther bi-gan a strong bataile
  With wel strong fighting.

Amoraunt was ful egre of mode,
And smot to Guy as he wer wode
  (Ful egre he was to fight),
That a quarter of his scheld
He made it fleye into the feld,
  And of his brini bright:
Of his scholder the swerd glod doun,
That bothe plates and hauberioun
  He carf atwo, y plight,
Al to the naked hide, y-wis,
And nought of flesche atamed is
  Thurgh grace of God almight.

The scharp swerd doun gan glide
Fast bi sir Gyes side
  (His knew it com ful neye),
That gambisoun and gambler
Bothe it karf atwo y-fere:
  Into therthe the swerd it fleye
With-outen wem or ani wounde
Half a fot in-to the grounde,
  That mani man it seye.
And when Guy seye that fair grace,
That nothing wounded he was,
  Jesu he thanked on heye.

And when Guy feld him so smite
He was wroth, ye mow wite:
  To Amoraunt he gan reken.
He hent his brond with wel gode wille,
And stroke to him with hert grille:
  His scheld he gan to-breken.
So hetelich Guy him smot,
That into the scholder half a fot
  The gode swerd gan reken;
And with that strok Guy with-drough:
Weri he was forfoughten y-nough;
  To Amoraunt he gan speken.

"Sir Amoraunt," than seyd Guy,
"For Godes love now merci,
  Yif that thi wille be.
Ichave swiche thrist ther y stond,
Y may unnethe drawe min hond;
  Therfore wel wo is me.
Yeld me now that ich dede:
Y yaf the leve to drink at nede.
  Astow art hende and fre,
Leve, to drink thou lat me go,
As it was covenaunt bitwen us two:
  For love y pray thee."

"Hold thi pes," seyd Amoraunt,
"For, bi mi lord sir Tervagaunt,
  Leve ne hastow non.
Ac now that y the sothe se,
That thou ginnes to feynt thee,
  Thine heved thou schalt forgon."
"Amoraunt," seyd Guy, "do aright:
Lete me drink a litel wight
  As y dede thee anon,
And togider fight we:
Who schal be maister we schal se,
  Whiche of us may other slon."

"Hold thi pays," seyd Amoraunt,
"Y nil nought held the covenaunt
  For ful this toun of gold;
For when ichave thee sleyn now right
The Soudan, treweli, hath me hight
  His lond yif me he schold
Evermore to have and hold fre,
And yive me his doughter bright o ble,
  The miriest may on mold:
When ichave thee sleyn this day
He schal yive me that fair may
  With alle his lond to hold.

Ac do now wele and unarme thee,
And trewelich yeld thou thee to me:
  Olive y lat thee gon.
And yif thou wilt nought do bi mi red
Thou schalt dye on ivel ded:
  Right now y schal thee slon."
"Nay," seyd Guy, "that war no lawe:
Ich hadde lever to ben to-drawe
  Than swiche a dede to don.
Ar ich wold creaunt yeld me
Ich hadde lever an-hanged be,
  And brent bothe flesche and bon."

Than seyd Amoraunt, "At a word,
Bi the treuthe thou owe thi lord,
  That thou lovest so dere,
Tel me what thi name it be,
And leve to drink yive y thee
  Thi fille of this river.
Thou seyd thi name is sir Youn:
It is nought so, bi seyn Mahoun,
  It is a lesing, fere.
Yif thi name were Youn right
Thou nere nought of so miche might,
  Ne thus unbiknowen here."

"Frende," seyd Guy, "y schal telle thee:
Astow art hendi man and fre,
  Thou wray me to no wight.
Guy of Warwike mi name it is:
In Inglond y was born, y-wis.
  Lete me now drink with right."
When Amoraunt seye, sikerly,
That it was the gode Guy
  That ayaines him was dight,
He loked on him with michel wrake
Sternliche with his eyyen blake,
  With an unsemli sight.

"Sir Guy," he seyd, "welcom to me!
Mahoun, mi lord, y thank thee
  That ich have thee her-inne.
Michel schame thou hast me don:
Thi liif thou schalt astite forgon,
  Thi bodi schal atwinne,
And thine heved, bi Tervagaunt,
Mi leman schal have to presaunt,
  That comly is of kinne.
Hennes-forward, siker thou be,
Leve ne tit thee non of me,
  For al this warld to winne."

"Allas," seyd Guy, "what schal y don?
Now y ne may have drink non
  Mine hert breketh atwo."
Anon he bithought him thenne
Right to the river he most renne:
  He turned him, and gan to go.
Amoraunt with swerd on hond
He thought have driven Guy to schond:
  With sorwe he wold him slo.
Guy ran to the water right:
Bot on him thenke God almight
  Up cometh he never mo.

Tho was sir Guy in gret drede.
In the water he stode to his girdel stede,
  And that thought him ful gode.
In the water he dept his heved anon,
Over the schulders he dede it gon;
  That keled wele his blod.
And when Guy hadde dronken anough
Hetelich his heved up he drough
  Out of that ich flod;
And Amoraunt stode upon the lond
With a drawen swerd in hond,
  And smot Guy ther he stode.

Hetelich he smot Gyoun:
Into that water he fel adoun
  With that dint unride,
That the water arn him about.
Sir Guy stirt up in gret dout:
  For nothing he nold abide,
And schoke his heved as knight bold.
"In this water icham ful cold
  Wombe, rigge, and side,
And no leve, sir, ich hadde of thee,
And ther-fore have thou miche maugre,
  And ivel thee mot bi-tide."

Sir Guy stirt up, withouten fayl,
And Amoraunt he gan to asayl:
  To fight he was ful boun.
Hard togider thai gan to fight:
Of love was ther no speche, y plight,
  Bot heweing with swerdes broun.
"Amoraunt," than seyd Guy,
"Thou art ful fals, sikerly,
  And ful-filt of tresoun.
Ne more wil y trust to thee
For no bihest thou hotest me:
  Thou art a fals glotoun."

Hard togider thai gun fight:
Fro the morwe to the night
  That long somers day,
So long thai foughten bothe tho.
Wiche was the better of hem two
  Noman chese ne may.
Bot at a strok as Amoraunt cast,
Sir Guy mett with him in hast,
  And taught him a sori play:
The right arme with the swerd fot hot
Bi the scholder of he it smot,
  To grounde it fleye away.

When Amoraunt feld him to smite
In his left hond with michel hete
  The swerd he hent fot hot:
As a lyoun than ferd he,
Thritti sautes he made and thre
 With his swerd, that wel bot;
Bot for the blod that of him ran
Amoraunt strengthe slake bigan.
  When Guy that soth wot,
That Amoraunt was faynting,
Sir Guy him folwed withouten dueling:
  That other hond off he smot.

When Amoraunt had bothe hondes forlore
A wreche he held him-self therfore:
  His wit was al to-dreved.
On sir Guy he lepe with alle his might,
That almast he had feld him doun right,
  And sir Guy was agreved,
And stirt bisiden fot hot,
And Amoraunt in the nek he smot:
  His might he hath him bireved.
He fel to grounde, withouten faile,
And sir Guy unlaced his ventayle,
  And he strok off his heved.

Over the water he went in a bot,
And present ther-with fot hot
  The king, sir Triamour.
The king, sir Triamour, than
Went to that riche Soudan,
  And also his sone Fabour.
Than was the Soudan swithe wo:
Quite-claim he lete hem go
  With wel michel honour.
Into Alisaunder thai went, that cite,
And ladde with hem sir Guy the fre,
  That hadde ben her socour.

The king tok th'erl Jonas tho,
And clept him in his armes two,
  And kist him swete, ich wene,
An hundred times and yete mo,
And quite-claim he lete him go
  And his sones fiftene.
"Erl Jonas," seyd the king,
"Herken now to my teling,
  And what ichil mene:
For mi liif thou savedest me,
Half mi lond ich graunt thee

  With this knight strong and kene.
Understond to me, sir knight:
Mahoun yave ful of might
  Thou wost duelle with me!
Thridde part mi lond y yive thee to:
Michel honour ichil thee do,
  A riche prince make thee.
Y nil nought thou forsake god thine:
Thou art bileveand wele afine
  Better may ne be."
Sir Guy answerd him ful stille,
"Sir, of thi lond nought y nille,
  For-sothe y telle thee."

That erl to Jerusalem went anon,
Guy of Warwike with him gan gon
  And alle his sones on rawe.
Th'erl wold yif he might
Wite the name of that knight,
  Yif he him ever-more sawe.
In conseyl," sir knight," than seyd he,
"That thou Youn dost clep thee,
  Thou ne hatest nought so, y trowe.
For Jesu love y pray thee,
That died on the rode tre,
  Thi right name be aknowe."

Sir Guy seyd, "Thou schalt now here,
Seththen thou frainest me in this maner:
  Mi name ichil thee sayn.
Guy of Warwike mi name is right.
Astow art hende and gentil knight,
  To non thou schalt me wrayn.
Batayl for thi love y nam,
And the geaunt over-cam;
  Therof icham ful fain."
When th'erl seye it was sir Guy
He fel doun on knes him bi,
  And wepe with both his eyn.

"For Godes love," he seyd, "merci!
Whi artow so pover, sir Guy,
  And art of so gret valour?
Here ich yive thee in this place
Al th'erldam of Durras,
  Cite and castel tour:
Thi man ichil bicomen and be,
And alle mi sones forth with me
  Schal com to thi socour;
For the priis of hethen lond
Thou hast thurgh douhtines of hond
  Wonne with gret vigour."

"Erl Jonas," than seyd sir Guy,
"Mi leve frende, gramerci
  For thi gode wille!
Than schustow hire me al to dere
To yive me thi lond in swiche manere;
  Ther-of nought y nille.
To your owen cuntre wendeth hom:
God biteche y you everichon.
  Mi way ichil ful-fille."
Than went and kist him everi man:
Th'erl so sore wepe bigan,
  That might him no man stille.

Th'erl to Durras went anon
And his sones everichon,
  Were scaped out of care.
Guy than in his way is nome:
For that the geaunt was over-come,
  Ful blithe than was he thare.
Into Grece than went he,
And sought halwen of that cuntre,
  The best that ther ware.
Seththe forth in his way he yede
Thurgh-out mani uncouthe thede:
  To Costentyn he is y-fare.

When Guy in Costentin hadde be
Out of that lond than went he,
  Walkand in the strete
On pilgrimage in his jurnay,
His bedes bidand night and day,
  His sinnes for to bete.
In Almaine than went he, y-wis,
Ther he was sumtime holden of gret pris.
  He com to a four-way lete
Biyonde Espire, that riche cite:
Under a croice, was maked of tre,
  A pilgrim he gan mete,

That wrong his honden, and wepe sore,
And curssed the time that he was bore:
  "Allas," it was his song.
"Wayleway," he seyd, "that stounde!
Wickedliche icham brought to grounde
  With wel michel wrong."
Sir Guy went to him tho:
"Man," he seys, "whi farstow so?
  So God yeve thee joie to fong,
Tel me what thi name it be,
And whi thou makest thus gret pite:
  Methenke thi paynes strong."

"Godeman," seyd the pilgrim tho,
"What hastow to frein me so?
  Swiche sorwe icham in sought,
That, thei y told thee alle mi care,
For thee might y never the better fare:
  To grounde icham so brought."
"Yis," seyd Guy, "bi the gode rode,
Conseyl y can yive thee gode,
  And thow telle me thi thought;
For oft it falleth uncouthe man
That gode conseyle yive can.
  Therfore hele it nought."

"For God," he seyd, "thou seyst ful wel.
Sumtime ich was, by seyn Miyhel,
  An erl of gret pouste.
Thurgh al cristendom, y-wis,
Ich was teld a man of gret pris
  And of gret bounte,
And now icham a wroche beggare:
No wonder thei icham ful of care.
  Allas, wel wo is me!"
For sorwe he might speke na more:
He gan to wepe swithe sare,
  That Guy hadde of him pite.

Than seyd the pilgrim, "Thou hast gret wrong
To frain me of mi sorwe strong,
  And might noght bete mi nede.
To begge mi brede y mot gon:
Seththen yistay at none ete y non,
  Also God me rede."
"Yis, felawe," quoth Guy, "hele it naught.
Telle me whi thou art in sorwe braught:
  The better thou schalt spede;
And seththen we schul go seche our mete.
Ichave a pani of old biyete:
  Thou schalt have half to mede."

"Gramerci, sir," than seyd he;
"And alle the soth y schal telle thee.
  Erl Tirri is mi name,
Of Gormoys th'erls sone Aubri.
Ich hadde a felawe that hight Guy,
  A baroun of gode fame.
For the douk of Pavi sir Otoun
Hadde don him oft gret tresoun,
  He slough him with gret grame.
Now is his neve th'emperour steward,
His soster sone, that hat Berard:
  He has me don alle this schame.

Th'emperour he hath served long.
For he is wonderliche strong
  And of michel might,
He ne cometh in non batayle
That he ne hath the maistri, saunfayl:
  So egre he is to fight.
In this warld is man non
That ayaines him durst gon,
  Erl, baroun, ne knight,
And he loked on him with wrake,
That his hert ne might quake:
  So stern he is of sight.

And for his scherewdhed sir Berard
Th'emperour hath made him his steward,
  To wardi his lond about.
Ther nis no douk in al this lond
That his hest dar with-stonde:
  So michel he is dout.
Yif a man be loved with him,
Be he never so pover of kin,
  And he wil to him lout,
He maketh hem riche anon right,
Douk, erl, baroun, or knight,
  To held with him gret rout.

And yif a man with him hated be,
Be he never so riche of fe,
  He flemeth him out of lond:
Anon he schal ben to-drawe,
Als tite he schal ben y-slawe,
  And driven him al to schond.
So it bifel, our emperour
Held a parlement of gret honour:
  For his erls he sent his sond.
Y come thider with michel prede
With an hundred knightes bi mi side,
  At nede with me to stonde.

And when y come unto the court
The steward, the wicked pourt,
  To me he gan to reke:
He bicleped me of his emes ded,
And seyd he was sleyn thurgh mi red:
  On me he wold be wreke.
And, when ich herd that chesoun
Of the doukes deth Otoun,
  Mine hert wold to-breke.
To th'emperour y layd mi wedde an heiye
To defende me of that felonie
  That he to me gan speke.

No wonder thei y war fordredde.
Th'emperour tok bothe our wedde,
  As y thee telle may.
For in alle the court was ther no wight,
Douk, erl, baroun, ne knight,
  That durst me borwe that day,
Th'emperour comand anon
Into his prisoun y schuld be don
  With-outen more delay.
Berard went, and sesed mi lond;
Mine wiif he wold have driven to schond:
  With sorwe sche fled away.

Than was ich with sorwe and care
Among min fomen nomen thare,
  And don in strong prisoun.
Min frendes token hem to rede,
To th'emperour thai bisought and bede
  To pay for me ransoun.
Th'emperour and sir Berard
Deliverd me bi a forward
  And bi this enchesoun,
Y schuld seche mi felawe Guy,
To defende us of that felonie
  Of the doukes deth Otoun.

Out of this lond went y me,
And passed over the salt se:
  In Inglond y gan rive.
At Warwike ichim sought:
When y com thider y fond him nought
  (Wo was me alive),
Ne sir Herhaud fond y nought tare:
To seche Gyes sone he is fare,
  That was stollen with strive.
Therfore y wot that Guy is ded:
For sorwe can y me no red;
  Mine hert wil breke o five."

Sir Guy biheld Tirri ful right,
That whilom was so noble a knight,
  And lord of michel mounde.
His bodi, was sumtim wele y-schredde,
Almost naked it was bihedde,
  With sorwe and care ful bounde.
His legges, that wer sumtime hosed wel,
To-brosten he seiye hem everidel.
  "Allas," seyd Guy, "that stonde."
For sorwe that he hadde tho
Word might he speke no mo,
  Bot fel aswon to grounde.

Sir Tirri anon com to him than,
And in his armes up him nam,
  And cleped upon him thare.
"Man," he said, "what aileth thee?
Thou art ivel at aise, so thenketh me.
  Hard it is thi fare."
Sir Guy answerd ther-after long,
"This ivel greveth me so strong,
  In erthe y wold y ware;
For, seththen that y was first man,
Nas never sorwe on me cam
  That greved me so sare."

Than seyd Tirri, "Felawe, y-wis,
To-day a yer gon it is
  Out of this lond y went
To seche Guy, mi gode frende,
Y ne finde nought fer ne hende:
  Therfore icham al schent;
For now it is teld me our emperer
Hath taken a parlement of this maner
  For mi love, verrament,
That douk ne erl in his lond be,
That he ne schal be at that semble,
  For to here mi jugement.

And now no lenge abide y ne may,
That ne me bi-hoveth hom this day,
  Other for to lese min hed.
Th'emperour ichave mi treuthe y-plight,
Y schal bring sir Guy to-night
  To fight ayain that qued,
To fende us of that felonie
Ayain the douke Berard of Pavi
  Al of his emes ded.
Y wot wele, yif y thider fare,
Thai schal me sle with sorwe and care:
  Certes, y can ne red."

Guy biheld Tirri with wepeand eiye,
And seiye him al that sorwe dreiye,
  That was him lef and dere:
"Allas," thought Guy, "that ich stounde
That Tirri is thus brought to grounde!
  So gode felawes we were."
He thought, "Might y mete that douke,
His heved y schuld smite fro the bouke,
  Or hong him bi the swere.
Y ne lete for al this warldes won
That y ne schuld the traitour slon,
  To wreke Tirri, mi fere.

Tirri," seyd Guy, "lat be thi thought:
Y-wis, it helpeth thee right nought,
  For sorwe it wil thee schende.
To court go we bothe y-fere:
Gode tidinges we schul ther here;
  Swiche grace God may sende.
Have gode hert, dred thee no del;
For God schal help thee ful wel:
  So curteys he is and hende."
Up risen tho knightes two
With michel care and ful of wo:
  To court ward thai gan wende.

And as thai went tho knightes fre
To court ward in her jurne
  Ful bold thai were and yepe.
"Allas," sir Tirri seyd tho,
"Ich mot rest er ich hennes go,
  Or mi liif wil fro me lepe."
"For God, felawe," than seyd Guy,
"Ly doun, and y schal sitt thee bi,
  And feir thine heved up kepe."
And when he hadde thus y-seyd
On Gyes barm his heved he leyd:
  Anon Tirri gan slepe.

And when sir Tirri was fallen on slepe
Sir Guy biheld him, and gan to wepe,
  And gret morning gan make.
Than seiye he an ermine com of his mouthe
Als swift als winde, that bloweth on clouthe,
  As white as lilii on lake.
To an hille he ran withouten obade:
At the hole of the roche in he glade.
  Guy wonderd for that sake.
And when he out of that roche cam
Into Tirries mouthe he nam:
  Anon Tirri gan wake.

Sir Guy was wonderd of that sight,
And Tirri sat up anon right,
  And biheld Guy upon.
Than seyd Tirri, "Fader of heven!
Sir pilgrim, swiche a wonder sweven
  Me met now anon,
That to yon hille that stont on heiye,
That thou may se with thin eiye,
  Me thought that y was gon,
And at an hole in y wond,
And so riche tresour as y fond
  Y trow in this world is non.

Biside that tresour lay a dragoun,
And ther-on lay a swerd broun,
  The sckauberk comly corn:
In the hilt was mani precious ston,
As bright as ani sonne it schon,
  With-outen oth y-sworn.
And me thought Guy sat at min heved,
And in his lappe me biweved
  Astow dest me biforn.
Lord, merci, and it wer so
Wele were me than bi-go,
  That ever yete was y born."

"Now, felawe," seyd Guy, "bi mi leute,
That sweven wil turn gret joie to thee,
  And wele y schal it rede:
Thurgh Guy thou schalt thi lond kever.
Trust wele to God, thei thou be pover:
  The better thou schalt spede.
To the hulle nim we the way,
Ther thee thought the tresour lay,
  And in thou schalt me lede.
Now God, that schope al mankinde,
Wold we might that tresour finde:
  It wold help us at nede."

Up risen tho knightes tway,
And to the hille thai nom the way,
  And in thai went ful even,
And founde the tresour, and the dragoun,
And the swerd of stiel broun,
  As Tirri met in his sweven.
Sir Guy drough out that swerd anon,
And alle the pleynes ther-of it schon,
  As it were light of leven.
"Lord," seyd Guy, "y thanke thi sond:
Y seiye never are swiche a brond;
  Y wot it com fram heven."

Sir Guy gan the hilt bi-hold,
That richeliche was graven with gold,
  Of charbukel the pomel.
Into the sckaweberk ayain he it dede,
And seyd to Tirri in that stede,
  "Bi God and seyn Miyhel,
Of alle this riche tresore
Y ne kepe therof no more,
  Bot this brond of stiel."



one of them(?)

offer

poorly clad






ere, previously



angered


together












very same day















earth









earth


grant



cloth



gold-embroidered




pride



company


bold


pride, display
in haste

offer


hauberk

strange, exotic






treasure










neck piece






find





neck / hanged




Ere / took
owned

Each




As thou

same warrior




clear


As I may







endure




counsel



ran




leaped



















disagreement, strife




river




misleading, treachery



eagerly hewing
carving




wield


Flew



harmed

bold




injury

went




prayer



enraged


the darkness



As thou


live











afoot




stiff


break apart


strike(?)





one man
reached, fetched


blow








fierce / striking





Could previously make me kneel
place






nose piece
neck piece


border

that same time
fiercely / pulled







were









frowning


thirst









as I may thrive



swear










grant

take

eagerly

recover
made us lose







I can remember

avenged
belief, religion






avenged my kin



Leave, permission






killed

against reason

villainy




I promise you by my belief
thirst







dally


neck piece

angry



beguiled






delay












swear

harmed




knee / near
quilted doublet / leg guards(?)
together








felt
you ay know
go



fiercely



tired from fighting



















feign



previously












maiden on earth






alive






as surrendered











lie, companion






betray






anger







straightway
part (from your head)




betides









shame








dipped

cooled

fiercely







ill-fated
ran




belly, back






ready


bright swords

















him






leaps
bit




delay




driven away

felled

leaped

taken away

neck piece













their









say











completely


















hear




betray (my identity)


happy


eyes

















You would be paying me too much

I want none of it


My determined course of travel











saints' shrines


country






prayers praying
amend


crossroad, intersection

cross










take





question

though







conceal



power



wretched
though






question
amend

Since yesterday at noon

conceal



penny acquired long ago
as payment









anger
nephew












anger



rascality

guard, administer

command
is feared


bow





possessions
puts him to flight

Very quickly
shame


message
proud display




peasant(?)
go
accused / uncle's death

avenged
account


pledge in haste




pledges (to fight)



be my guarantor

put








counsel
offered



condition






arrive, land



to tarry

stolen / strife


in five pieces



importance
clothed
seen


uncovered
































behooves to be at home



evil
defend

uncle's death











trunk (of the body)
neck
possessions


















eager







breast




mourning



abiding



took his way






dream
dreamed



went




shining sword
scabbard / carved




wrapped
As thou didst
if it were



faith

interpret
recover














dreamed / dream


lightning
gift
saw never before




carnuncle
scabbard



care for nothing more

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Last modified: June 28, 2006
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Gold Texts on this page prepared and maintained by L. D. Benson (ldb@wjh.harvard.edu)