Gold THE GEOFFREY CHAUCER PAGE


The Sowdon of Babylon and His Son Ferumbras

Part 4 of 5

 

 

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Anoon here swerdes oute thay brayde
And smoten down right al aboute
Tille the hethen were down layde
Thai reseyved many a sore cloute.
Thai smyten off here hedes alle;
Eche man toke one in his lappe.
Fal whatsoever byfalle,
To the Soudon wole they trappe.
Tille thai come to Egremoure
Thai stynte for no worldes thinge.

Anone thai fonde the Sowdan thore
At his mete proudely sittynge
And that maide, faire dame Floripas,
And fourtene princes of grete price
And Kinge Lukafere of Baldas
Thas was both bolde, hardy and wyse.

Doughty Duke Neymes of Bavere
To the Sowdone his message tolde
And said, "God that made heven so clere,
He save Kinge Charles so bolde
And confounde Laban and all his men
That on Mahounde byleve
And gife hem evel ending, amen.

"Tomorwe, long er it be even,
He commaundith thee uppon thy life
His nevewes home to him sende
And the reliqes of Rome withoute strife,
And ellis getist thou an evel ende.
Twelfe lurdeynes mette us on the waye;
Thai saide thay come streight fro thee.
Thai made it both stoute and gay.
Here hedis here maistowe see.
Thai saide thai wolde to Charles goon
Evel tiddingges him to telle.
Loo here here heddis everychone;
Here soulis bene in helle."

"O," quod Lavane, "what may this be,
To suffre this amonge my knightes alle,
To be rebuked thus here of thee
At mete in myn owen halle?
To Mahounde myghty I make a vowe:
Ye shall be hanged alle ten
Anoon as I have eten i-nowe,
In presence of alle my men."

Maide Floripas answered tho
And saide, "My derworth fadir dere,
By my counsaile ye shal not so
Tille ye have your barons alle in fere
That thai may se what is the best
For to delyvere my brother Sir Ferumbras;
And aftirward, if that ye liste,
Ye may gife hem ful evel grace."

"Gramercy, doghter, thou saieste welle;
Take hem alle into thy warde.
Do feter hem faste in iren and stele
And set hem in strayghte garde.
Thus was I never rebukede er nowe.
Mahounde myghty gyfe hem sorowe!
Thay shalle be flayn and honged on a bowe
Long ere tyme tomorowe."

Florip toke these messangeris
And ladde hem up into here toure,
There thai founde two of here feris.
Thay thanked thereof God of honoure.
Tho sayde Duke Neymys of Bavere,
"Gladde men we be nowe here
To fynde Roulande and Olyvere
In helthe of bodye and of goode chere."

Thai kissed eche other with herte gladde
And thanked God of his grace;
And eche toolde othir how thay sped hadde
And how thay come into that place
By helpe of mayde Florip hireself:
"God kepe hir in honoure,
For thus hath she brought us hider alle twelfe
To dwelle in her owen boure."

Tho thay wessh and wente to mete
And were served welle and fyne
Of suche goode as she myght gete,
Of venyson, brede and gode wyne.
There thai were gladde and wel at ease;
The Soudon ne wist in noght.
Aftyr thay slepe and toke her ese,
Of no man than thay ne roght.

On the morowe Florip, that mayde fre,
To Duke Neymes spake in game.
"Sir gentil knight," tho saide she,
"Telle me, what is your name."

"Whi axe ye, my lady dere,
My name here to knowe alle?"

"For ye spake with so bolde chere
To my fadir yestirdaye in his halle.
Be not ye the Duke of Burgoyne, Sir Gy,
Nevewe unto the Kinge, Charles so fre?"

"Noe, certes, lady, it is not I;
It is yondir knight, that ye may see."

"A, him have I loved many a day
And yet knowe I him noght
For his love I do alle that I maye
To chere you with dede and thought.
For his love wille I cristenede be
And lefe Mahoundes laye.
Spekith to him nowe for me,
As I you truste maye.
And but he wole graunte me his love,
Of you askape shalle none here.
By Him that is almyghty above,
Ye shalle abye it ellis ful dere."

Tho wente Duke Neymes to Sir Gye
And saide, "This ladye loveth thee;
For thy love she maketh us alle merye
And baptizede wole she be.
Ye shalle hir take to your wedded wife,
For alle us she may save."

"By God," quod Gye, "that gafe me life,
Her wole I never have;
Wyle I never take hire ner no woman
But Charles the Kinge hir me gife.
I hight him, as I was trewe man,
To holden it while I lyve."

Tho spake Roulande and Olyvere,
Certifyinge him of here myschefe,
Tellinge him of the parelles that thay in were,
For to take this lady to his wedded wife.
"But thou helpe in this nede,
We be here in grete doute.
Almyghty God shalle quyte thy mede;
Elles come we nevere hennys oute."

Thus thay treted him to and fro;
At the laste he sayde he wolde.
Floripas thay cleped forth tho
And brought fourth a cuppe of golde,
Ful of noble myghty wyne
And saide, "My love and my lorde,
Myn herte, my body, my goode is thyn,"
And kissed him with that worde.
And, "Sir," she saide, "drink to me
As the gyse is of my londe;
And I shalle drink agayn to thee
As to my worthy hosbonde."

Thay clipped and kissed both in fere
And made grete joye and game
And so did alle that were there:
Thai made ful mery alle in same.

Tho spake Floripas to the barons boolde
And saide, "I have armure i-nowe;
Therfore I tel you what I wolde
And that ye dide for your prowe.
Tomorwe, whan my fadir is at his soupere,
Ye shalle come in alle attonys.
Loke ye spare for no fere;
Sle down and breke both bake and bones.
Kithe you knightis of hardynesse!
Ther is none helpe but in this wyse.
Then moste ye shewen your prowes
And wynne this castel in this guyse."

Thai sayden alle it was welle saide,
And gladde thay were of this counsaile.
Here armure was forth layde,
At souper the Sowdon to assaile.

King Lucafere prayde the Sawdon
That he wolde gif him lysence
To the prisoners for to goon
To see the maner of her presence.
He gafe him lefe, and forth he wente
Up unto Floripas toure.
To asspie the maner was his entent,
Hem to accuse agayne honoure.
Whan he come he founde the dore fast i-stoke.
He smote thereon with his fist
That the barre began to broke.
To make debate wel him list.

"Who artowe," quod Floripas,
"That maketh here such araye?"

"I am Kinge Lucafere of Baldas;
The Sowdon sente me hidir, in faye.
To seen his prisoneris is my desire
And speke with hem everychon,
To talke with hem by the fire
And speke of dedis of armes amonge."

Tho saide Duke Neymes, "Welcome be ye
To us prisoners here.
What is your wille, nowe telle ye,
For we be men of feble chere."

"I woolde wete of Charles the Kinge,
What man he is in his contree,
And what meynee he hath, and of what thinge
He rekyneth moost his dignyti."

Duke Neymes saide, "An emperoure
And kinge he is of many a londe,
Of citeis, castels, and many a toure,
Dukes, erles, barons bowynge to his honde."

"But saye me, felowe, what is your use
To do in contree aftyr the none,
And what is the custome of your hous
Tille men to souper shalle gone?"

"Sir, somme men jouste with spere and shelde
And some men carol and singe gode songes;
Some shote with dartis in the feelde,
And somme play at chesse amonge."

"Ye bene but foulis of gode dissporte. know nothing of good games
I wole you tech a newe play.
Sitte down here by one assorte
And better myrthe never ye saye."

He teyde a tredde on a pole
With an nedil theron i-fest
And theruppon a qwik cole.
He bade every man blowe his blast.

Duke Neymes hade a long berde.
Kinge Lucafere blewe even to hym;
That game hade he never before lered.
He brent the here of Neymes berde to the skyne.

Duke Neymes than gan wex wroth,
For he hade brente his berde so white,
To the chymneye forth he goth
And caught a bronde him with to smyte.
With a goode wille he him smote
That both his eyen bresten oute.
He caste him in the fire al hote;
For sothe he hadde a right gode cloute.
And with a fyre forke he helde him doune
Tille he were rosted to colis ilka-dele.
His soule hade his god Mahoun.
Florip bade him warme him wele.

"Sires," tho saide Floripas.
"Entendith nowe al to me.
This Lucafere of Baldas
Was a lorde of grete mayne.
My fadir hade him ever yn chere.
I telle you forsothe everydele
He wolde anoon aftyr him enquere,
And therefore loke ye arme you well."

Florip wente in, as the maner was,
To her fadir at souper tyme.
No man spake worde of Kinge Baldas
Nor no man knewe of his sharp pyne.
The Twelfe Peris armed hem wel and fyne
With swerdes drawe and egre chere
While thay were drinkyng the wyne
And sittinge alle at here soupere.

Thai reheted the Sowdon and his barons alle
And maden orders wondir fast;
Thai slowe down alle that were in the halle
And made hem wondirly sore agast.
Olyvere egerly sued Laban
With swerd i-drawe in his honde.
Oute at the wyndowe lepte he than
Uppon the salte see stronde,
And he skaped away from him.
But woo was he therfore
That he went awaye with lym
To worche hem sorowe more.
Roulande than came rennynge
And axed where was Laban.
Olyvere answerede mournynge
And saide how he was agoon.
Tho thai voided the courtes at the last
And slowen tho that wolde abyde
And drewe the brigge and teyed it fast
And shitte the gatis that were so wyde.

Laban that by the ebbe escapede
Of harde er he come to londe,
He alle astonyed and a-mapide;
For sorowe he wronge both his honde
And made a vowe to Mahounde of myght
He wolde that citee wynne
And never go thens by day nor nyght
For foo, for frende, ner for kynne.
"And tho traytouris will I do honge
On a galowes hye withoute the gate;
And my doghter, that hore stronge,
I-brente shal be thereate."

To Mauntryble he gan sende anoon
Aftir men and tentis goode
And engynes to throwe with stoon
And goode armure many-foolde.
The sege he did leyen abowte
On every side of that citee.
To wallis with engynes thai gan rowte
To breke the toures so fre.
Tho saide Florip, "Lordingges goode,
Ye bene biseged in this toure;
As ye bene wight of mayne and moode,
Proveth here to save youre honoure.
The toure is stronge, drede you nought,
And vitayle we have plenti.
Charles wole not leve you unsought;
Truste ye welle alle to me.
Therefore go we soupe and make merye
And takith ye alle your ease;
And thirti maydens lo here of Assye,
The fayrest of hem ye chese.
Take your sporte and kith you knyghtes
Whan ye shalle have to done;
For tomorowe when the day is light
Ye mooste to the wallis goon
And defende this place with caste of stoon
And with shotte of quarelles and darte.
My maydyns and I shall bringe goode wone,
So everyche of us shalle bere her parte."

On morwe the Sowdon made assaute
To hem that were withinne.
And certes in hem was no defaute,
For of hem myght thay nought wynne.
Here shotte, here cast was so harde
Thay durste not nyghe the walle.
Thay drowen hem bakwarde;
Thay were beten over alle.

King Laban turnede to his tentes agayn.
He was nere wode for tene.
He cryede to Mahounde and Apolyne
And to Termagaunte that was so kene
And saide, "Ye goddes, ye slepe to longe;
Awake and helpe me nowe
Or ellis I may singe of sorowe a songe
And of mournynge right i-nowe.
Wete ye not wele that my tresoure
Is alle withinne the walle?
Helpe me nowe, I saye, therfore
Or ellis I forsake you alle."

He made grete lamentacion,
His goddis byganne to shake.
Yet that comfortede his meditacion
Supposinge thay didde awake.
He cleped Brenlande to aske counsaile
What was best to done,
And what thinge myght him moste avayle
To wynne that citee sone.
"Thou wotist welle that alle my tresoure
Is there in here kepinge
And my doughter, that stronge hore,
God yif her evelle endyng!"

"Sir," he said, "ye knowe welle
That toure is wondir stronge.
While thay have vitayle to mele,
Kepen it thay wole fulle longe.
Sende to Mauntreble, youre cheif citee
That is the keye of this londe,
That non passe, where it so be,
Withoute your speciall sonde,
To Alagolofure, that geaunte stronge
That is wardeyne of that pas,
That no man passe that brigge alonge
But he have special grace.
So shalle not Charles with his meynee
Reskowe than Agramoure.
Than thay shalle enfamyched be
That shalle hem rewe ful sore."

"Mahoundis blessynge have thou and myne,
Sortybraunce, for thy rede."

"Espyarde, messangere myne,
In haste thou most thee spede
To my citee Mauntreble
To do my message there
To Alogolofre, that giaunte orrible.
Bydde him his charge wele lere
And tel him how that the last day
Ten fals traytours of Fraunce
Passed by that same waye
By his defaute with myschaunce,
Charginge him uppon his hede to lese
That no man by the brigge,
Be it rayne, snowe or freze,
But he his heede down ligge."

Espiarde spedde him in his waye
Tille he to Mauntrible came
To seke the geaunte there he laye
On the banke bysyde the dam
And saide, "The worthy Sowdon,
That of alle Spayn is lorde and sire,
Uppon thy life commaundeth thee anoon
To deserve better thyn hire.
The laste day thou letist here passe
Ten trattoures of douse Fraunce.
God giffe thee evel grace
And hem also moche myschaunce!
He charged thee uppon life and deth
To kepe this place sikerlye.
While in thy body lasteth the breth,
Lette noon enemye passe therebye."

Alagolofur rolled his yen
And smote with his axe on the stone
And swore by Termagaunte and Apolyne
That therby shulde passen never one;
But if he smote off his hede
And brought it to his lord Laban,
He wolde never ete no brede
Nor never loke more on man.
Twenti-four cheynes he didde over-drawe
That noo man passe myght,
Neyther for love nor for awe,
No tyme by daye nor by nighte.

"Go telle my lorde I shalle it kepe;
On payne of my grete heede
Shalle ther no man goo ner crepe
But he be take or dede."
This geaunte hade a body longe
And hede like an libarde.
Therto he was devely stronge;
His skynne was blake and harde.
Of Ethiope he was bore,
Of the kinde of Ascopartes.
He had tuskes like a bore,
An hede like a liberde.

Laban nolde not forgete
The saute to renewe;
To wynne the toure, he wolde not lete.
Here trumpes lowde thay blewe.
Every man wente to the walle
With pikeys or with bowe.
Thai made assaute generalle,
The walles downe to throwe.

But thay withinne bare hem soo
Thay slowe of the Saresyns thre hundred.
Thay wroghten hem both care and woo;
Uppon her fightinge thay wondride.
Tho cryed Laban to hem on hye,
"Traytours, yelde you to me;
Ye shall be hongede els by and bye
Uppon an hye galowe tree."

Tho spake Florip to the Sowdon
And sayde, "Thou fals tyraunte,
Were Charles come, thy pride were done
Nowe, cursede myscreaunte.
Alas that thou ascapediste soo
By the wyndowe uppon the stronde.
That thy nek hade broke a-twoo!
God sende the shame and shonde!"

"A, stronge hore, God gife the sorowe!
Thou venomous serpente.
With wilde horses thou shalt be drawe tomorowe
And on this hille be brente
That al men may be ware by thee
That cursed bene of kynde.
And thy love shalle honged be,
His hondes bounde him byhynde."

He called forth Mavon, his engynoure,
And saide, "I charge thee
To throwe a magnelle to yon toure
And breke it downe on three."
Mavon set up his engyne
With a stoon of six hundred wight
That went as even as eny lyne
And smote a cornell down right.

Woo was Roulande and Olyvere
That that myschief was befalle,
And so were alle the Twelfe Peres.
But Florip than comforte hem alle:
"Sires," she saide, "beith of goode chere.
This toure is stronge i-nowe.
He may cast twies or thries er he hit ayen ther;
For sothe I telle it you."

Marsedage, the roialle kinge,
Rode in riche weede,
Fro Barbary commyng
Uppon a sturdy stede,
Cryinge to hem uppon the walle,
"Traytouris, yelde you here.
Brenne you alle ellis I shalle,
By myghty god Jubytere."

Gy aspied that he came nere;
A darte to him he threwe ful even.
He smote him throwe herte and liver in fere.
Dame Floripe lough with loude steven
And saide, "Sir Gye, my love so free,
Thou kanste welle hit the prikke.
He shall make no booste in his contree.
God giffe him sorowe thikke!"

Whan Laban herde of this myschief,
A sory man was he.
He trumped, his mene to relefe,
For to cease that tyme mente he.
Mersadage, Kinge of Barbarye,
He did carye to his tente
And beryed him by right of Sarsenye
With brennynge fire and riche oynemente
And songe the Dirige of Alkaron,
That Bibill is of here laye,
And wayled his deth everychon
Seven nyghtis and seven dayes.

Anoon the Sowdon, sooth to say,
Sente thre hundrid of knightis
To kepe the brigge and the waye
Oute of that castil rightis,
That noon of hem shulde issue oute
To feche vitayle by no waye.
He charged hem to wacche wel all abowte
That thay for-famelid myght dye.

Thus thay kepte the place seven dayes
Tille alle hire vitaile was nyghe spente.
The yates thai bar the streyte weyes;
Tho helde thai hem within i-shente.

Tho spake Roulande with hevy chere
Woordes lamentable,
Whan he saugh the ladies so whighte of lere
Faile brede on here table
And saide, "Charles, thou curteys kinge,
Why forgetist thou us so longe?
This is to me a wondir thinge.
Me thinkith thou doiste us grete wronge
To let us dye for faute of mete,
Closed thus in a dongeon.
Tomorowe wol we asaye what we kon gete,
By God that berithe the crown."

Tho saide Floripas, "Sires, drede noghte
For noon houngre that may befalle;
I knowe a medycyne in my thoughte
To comforte you with-alle.
I have a girdil in my forcere,
Whoso girde hem therwith aboute,
Hunger ner thirste shal him never dere
Though he were seven yere withoute."

"O," quod Sir Gye, "my love so trewe,
I-blessed mote ye be.
I pray you that ye wole us alle hit shewe
That we may have oure saule."

She yede and set it forth anoon;
Thai proved alle the vertue
And diden it aboute hem everychon.
It comforted alle both moo and fewe,
As thai hade bene at a feste.
So were thay alle wele at ease;
Thus were thai refresshed both moost and lest
And weren bifore in grete disese.

Laban wondred how thai myght endure
Withouten vitaile so longe.
He remembred him on Floripas sencture
And of the vertue so stronge.
Tho wiste he welle that through famyne
Might he hem never wynne.
He cleped to him fals Mapyne,
For he coude many a fals gynne;
He coude scale castel and toure
And over the walles wende.
"Mapyne," he saide, "for myne honoure,
Thou mooste have this in mynde:
That hore, my doghter, a girdil hath she;
From hounger it savyth hem alle
That wonnen may thay never be --
That foule mote hir bifalle!
Kanstowe gete me that gyrdill by craft,
A thousande pounde than shal I gefe thee,
So that it be there not lefte
But bringe it hithire to me.
Thou kanste see by nyghte as welle
As any man doth by daye.
Whan thay bene in here beddes ful still,
Than go forth thider right in thy waye.
Thou shalt it in here chamber fynde;
Thou maist be thereof sure."

"Sir, thereto I wole me bynde,
If my life may endure."
Forth wente this fals Mapyne
By nyght into the toure --
God gife him evel endinge! --
Even into Floripas boure.
By a chemney he wente inne.
Fulle stilly there he soughte it.
He it founde and girde it aboute him,
And aftyr ful dere he boght it.
For by the light of a lampe there
Floripas gan him aspye,
Alle afrayed oute of hir slepe for fere;
But lowde than gan she crye
And saide, "A thefe is in my boure;
Robbe me he wole or sloo."

Therwith come Rouland fro his toure
To wete of hir woo.
He founde Mapyne bysyde hir bedde
Stondinge amased for drede.
To the wyndowe he him ladde
And ther he smote off his hedde
And caste him oute into the see.
Of the gyrdille was he not ware;
But whan he wist the girdel hade he,
Tho hadde he sorowe and care.

Floripe to the cheste wente
And aspyed hire gyrdel was goon.
"Alas," she saide, "alle is it shente!
Sir, what have ye done?
He hath my girdel aboute hym.
Alas, that harde while!
A rebelle hounde doth ofte grete tene;
How be we alle begilede."

Tho spake Roulande with chere boolde,
"Damselle, beyth noughte aferde.
If any vitaile be aboute this hoolde,
We wole hem wynne with dinte of swerde.
Tomorowe wole we oute-goon
And assaye how it wole be.
I make a vowe to God alone,
Assaile hem wole we.
And if thay have any mete
Parte with hem wole we,
Or elles strokes thay shal gete
By God and Seynte Mary, myn avoure."

In the morne, er the larke songe,
Thai ordeynede hem to ride
To the Saresyns that hade so longe
Leyen hem besyde.
Duke Neymes and Ogere
Were ordeynede to kepe the place.
The ten othir of the Twelfe Peres
Wente oute to assaye here grace.
Thay founden hem in logges slepynge;
Of hem hade thay no thought.
Thai slowen down that came to honde.
Mahounde availed hem noghte.
In shorte tyme the ende was made;
Thay ten slough thre hundred there.
Tho founde thai vitaile, thay were glad,
As moche as thay myghte home bere.
Duke Neymes and Ogere that kept the toure
Say hem with here praye.
Thai thanked God, hye of honoure,
That thai spedde so that day.
Thay avaled the brigge and lete him yn;
Florip and here maydyns were gladde
And so were thay that were withyn,
For alle grete hounger thay hadde.

Thai eten and dronken right i-nowe
And made myrth ever amonge.
But of the Sowdon Laban speke we nowe,
How of sorowe was his songe.
Whan tidyngges came to him
That his men were slayn
And how thai hade stuffed hem also
With vitaile in agayne,
For sorowe he woxe nere wode.
He cleped Brenlande and Sortybraunce
And told hem with angry mode
Of his harde myschaunce.
"Remedye ordeyne me --
Ye be chief of my counsaile --
That I of hem may vengede be;
It shalle you both availe.
O ye goddes, ye faile at nede,
That I have honoured so longe.
I shalle you bren, so mote I spede,
In a fayre fyre ful stronge.
Shalle I never more on you bileve
But renaye you playnly alle.
Ye shalle be brente this day er eve --
That foule mote you befalle!"

The fire was made; the goddes were broght
To have be caste thereinne.
Tho alle his counsaile him bysought
He shulde of that erroure blynne
And saide, "Sir, what wole ye done?
Wole ye your goddis forsake?
Vengeaunce shalle than on you come
With sorowe, woo and wrake.
Ye moste make offrynge for youre offence,
For drede of grete vengeaunce,
With oyle, mylke and frankencense
By youre prestis ordynaunce."

Tho he dide bere hem in ayen,
And to hem made dewe offerynge.
The prestis assoyled him of that synne,
Ful lowly for him prayinge.
Tho he cleped his counselers
Brulande and Sortybraunce,
Axynge how he myght destroye the Twelfe Peres,
That Mahounde gife hem myschaunce.
Thay cowde no more theron
But late saile ayen the toure.
With twenti thousande thai gan gon
And bigonne a newe shoure
To brake down the walles
With mattokes and with pike
Tille four hundred of hem alle
Lay slayne in the dike.
So stronge was the cast of stoone,
The Saresyns drewe hem abakke
Tille it was at hye none.

Tho gonne thay ayen to shake.
Tho fayled hem cast that were withinne;
Tho cowde thai no rede
For stoone was ther noone to wynne.
Tho were thay in grete drede.
Than saide Florip, "Beith not dismayde.
Ye shalle be holpe anoon.
Here is sylver vessel i-now," she sayde,
"That shulle ye prove goode woon."
She set it forth; thay caste oute faste
Alle that came to honde.
Of silver and goolde vessel thay made waste
That wast down uppon the sonde.

Whan thai saugh that roial sight,
Thai leften alle here dede
And for the tresoure thay do fight,
Whoso myghte it awey lede.
Tho the Sowdon wexe nere wode,
Seinge this tresoure thus dispoyled
That was to him so dere and goode
Laye in the dike thus defouled.
He bade that thai shulde leve
And turne hem agayne in haste.

He wente home tille his tente than
With grete sorowe and mournyng mode.
To-fore his goddis whan he came
He cryed as he were wode:
"O fals goddis that ye beth,
I have trustid too longe youre mode.
We were levere to suffre dede
Than lif this life here lenger nowe.
I have almoste loste the breth.
Twelfe fals traytours me overe-lede
And stroyen alle that I have.
Ye fals goddis, the devel you spede!
Ye make me nowe for to rave.
Ye do fayle me at my nede."

In ire he smote Mahounde
That was of goolde fulle rede,
That he fille down to the grounde
As he hade bene dede.
Alle here bisshopes cryden oute
And saide, "Mahounde, thyn ore!"
And down to the erthe wele lowe thay loute
Howlynge and wepynge sore
And saide, "Sire Sowdon, what have ye done?
Vengeaunce shalle on thee falle
But thou repente thee here anone."

"Ye," quod he, "I shrewe you alle."

Thai made a fyre of frankencense
And blewen hornes of bras
And casten in milke hony for the offence
To-fore Mahoundes face.
Thay counsailed Laban to knele adown
And aske forgevenes in that place.
And so he didde and hade pardon
Throgh prayere and specialle grace.

Then this was done, than sayde Roulande
To his felowes eleven:
"Here may we not longe holde londe,
By God that is in heven.
Therefore sende we to Charles the Kinge
That he wolde reskowe us sone
And certyfye him of oure strayghte beinge,
If ye thinke it be to done.
Richard of Normandye, ye most goon;
I holde you both wyse and hende.
And we shalle tomorowe as stil as stoon
The Saresyns awake er ye wynde.
And while we be mooste bysy in oure worke
And medel with hem alle in fere,
Stele ye awaye in the derke;
And spede you faste, ye were there."

On the morowe aftire the daye
Thay were armede ful ryghte;
Thay rode forth stilly in here way --
God governe hem, mooste of myght!

Floripe and here maydyns kept the toure
And woonde up the brigges on hye
And prayde God to kepe here paramoure,
The Duke of Burgoyne, Sir Gye.
She preyde to Rouland, er he wente,
To take goode hede of him,
That he were neyther take nor shente,
As he wolde her love wynne.

On thay set with herte stronge
And alle hem sore afrayed.
Richard the whiles away he wronge,
While thai were alle dismayede.
Towarde the Mountrible he hyed him faste
To passe, if that he myghte.
Thedir he came at the laste.
God kepe him for his moch myght!
His twelfe felowes besyed hem soo
That many of hem thay sloughe.

Gye slowe the Kinge of Babyloyne tho;
The Babyloynes off his hors him drowe
And with force him drowe there
And bounde his hondes ful fast.
A newe game thai gan him lere,
For in depe prison thay him caste.
But Laban wolde him first se
To wete what he was.
"Telle me thy name nowe," quod he,
"Thy songe shalle be `alas.'"
"Sire," he saide, "my name is Gye;
I wole it never forsake.
It were to me grete vilanye
An othir name to take."

"O fals traytour," quod Laban,
"My doghtir, that stronge hore,
Hath me forsake and thee hath tan;
Thou shalte be honged therefore."

Roulande made grete moone;
It wolde noon other be.
Homwarde thai gan goon;
Thre hundred Saresyns ther saye he
That kepte the pace at the brigge-ende,
Armed wel in goode araye,
That thai sholde not in wende
But be take or slayn that daye.
Roulande to his felowes saide,
"Beth alle of right gode chere
And we shal make hem alle afrayde
Ere we go to oure soupere."

There byganne a bykeringe bolde
Of ten bachelers that tyde
Agayne thre hundred men i-tolde
That durste righte wel abyde.
Tho was Durnedale set a-werke:
Forti of hethen he sloughe.
He spared nether lewde ner clerke,
And Floripas thereof loughe.
The shotte, the caste was so stronge,
Syr Bryer was slayn there
With dartes, gavylokes and speres longe --
Twenti on hym there were.
Roulande was woo and Olyvere;
Thay sloughen alle that thai mette.
Tho fledde the Turkes alle for fere --
Thay durste no longer lette --
And saide thai were no men
But develis abroken oute of helle:
"Thre hundred of us agayn hem ten.
Oure lorde Mahounde hem qwell!
Forti of us here be ascaped
And hardde we be bistadde.
Whoso wole of hem more be japed,
I holde him worsse than madde."

Tho Roulande and Olyvere
Maden grete woo and sorowe
And token the corps of Sir Bryere
And beryed it on the morowe.
Floripe asked Roulande anoone,
"Where is my love, Sir Gye?"

"Damesel," he saide, "he is goon,
And therefore woo am I."

"Alas!" she saide, "than am I dede;
Nowe Gye my lorde is slayn
Shall I never more ete brede
Tille that I may se him agayn."

"Be still," quod Roulande, "and have no care:
We shal hym have ful wele.
Tomorowe wele we thiderward fare
With spere and shelde of stele.
But we bringe him to this toure
Leve me elles no more --
With victorye and grete honoure
Or thay shalle abye it ful sore."

On the morowe whan the day was clere,
Laban ordeynede Gye honged to be.
He cleped forth Sir Tampere
And badde him do make a galowe tre
"And set it even byfore the toure
That thilke hore may him see,
For by lord Mahounde of honoure
This traitour there shalle honged be.
Take with thee thre hundred knightes
Of Ethiopis, Indens and Ascopartes
That bene boolde and hardy to fight,
With wifles, fauchons, gavylokes and dartes
Leste that lurdeynes come skulkynge oute,
For ever thay have bene shrewes.
Loke eche of hem have such a cloute
That thay never ete moo sewes."

Forth thay wente with Sir Gye
That bounde was as a thefe faste
Tille thay come the towre ful nye;
Thai rered the galowes in haste.
Roulande perceyved here doynge
And saide, "Felows, let armes!
I am ful gladde of here comynge;
Hem shall not helpe her charmes."

Oute thai riden a wele gode spede,
Thai nine towarde hem alle.
Florip with here maydyns toke gode hede
Biholdinge over the toure walle.
Thai met first with Sir Tampere --
God gife him evelle fyne!
Such a stroke lente hym Olyvere
He clefe him down to the skyne.
Rouland bare the Kinge of Ynde
Ther with his spere frome his stede.
Four foot it passed his bak byhynde:
His herte blode there didde he blede.
He caught the stede -- he was ful goode --
And the swerde that the Kinge hadde
And rode to Gye there he stode
And onbounde hym and bade him be gladde
And girde him with that goode swerde
And lepen uppon here stedes.
"Be thou," he saide, "righte nought aferde
But helpe us wightly at this nede."
An hundred of hem sone thay slowe
Of the beste of hem alle;
The remenaunte away fast thay flowe --
That foule motte hem byfalle!
Rouland and his felowes were glad
That Gye was safe indede.
Thay thanked God that hem hadde
Gyfen such grace to spede.

drew


blow



go

stopped

there
meal

worth
















rascals





here their / every one












precious

together


it pleases you
ill grace, disfavor

Thanks
custody

under strict guard


bough
very early



companions








fared




chamber

washed


roasts

knew nothing of it

cared


jest



ask













deed

leave / law (belief)


















promised
keep my promise



perils


danger
reward you


entreated








custom



embraced
sport

all together




benefit

at once
fear

Show yourselves

must
manner







permission

their condition
leave


contrary to
barred


cause trouble / it pleased him


such a scene


faith



therewith




poor condition












in the afternoon






at times


game
in one group
saw

thread
needle fastened on it
burning coal




learned
hair




fire-brand





every bit




Listen

power
good favor

inquire





suffering

eager mood



attacked
administered blows to the head

afraid
followed


shore
escaped

limbs intact





emptied

drawbridge; tied
shut

ebb-tide
With difficulty
astonished / bewildered





those / have hanged
high outside
arrant whore








attack



strong of might and courage


provisions
without rescue

dine

Asia
choose
show yourselves




cross-bow bolts
quantity
each



failing


come near

beaten


nearly mad for sorrow




















their
arrant whore
give



victuals for meals




order
giant
guardian
bridge
permission

rescue
famished



advice






learn



fault / ill fortune
lose
(pass) by

lay














securely



eyes







chains




protect

creep
dead

leopard
devilishly


race

leopard

would not
assault
cease


pikes









side by side





infidel

beach

disgrace

arrant

torn apart


nature



engineer

catapult


weight

part of a building











clothing





Jupiter


straight
together
voice

bull's-eye

plentiful



signalled / recall



Saracen rite

the Koran
Bible / law (belief)





guard guard the way


victuals

starved




destroyed



pale of complexion
Lack




lack








girdle (belt)/ strongbox

harm




show
fill

went
tested / power

one and all
feast


distress



girdle
power



knew / trick






defeated


give









pledge




chamber



paid for


startled / fear

chamber



know

fear




realized Mapyne had it




lost


difficult time
harm











Share

protector




besieged them



try their luck
huts




slew



Saw / loot

fared
lowered / drawbridge





therewith



















renounce you completely






cease



disaster














assail

attack



ditch (moat)


high noon

move forward
ran out of missiles
knew not what to do





abundance



went to waste / ground

thai = the attackers



















defeat










mercy
bow






















difficult situation




wend, go
















killed




turned












teach












taken


moan, lamentation


saw
guarded the passage








fight





layman



javelins




delay



slay


made a fool of






















Believe














spears, broadswords, javelins
rascals


stews, boiled dishes




raised

to arms








ending

cleaved






















 

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