Arthur, Copied And Edited From The Marquis of Bath's MS
by Frederick J. Furnivall
Home - Random Browse

[TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The original text contained the letters "yogh" and "thorn". They are represented in this ASCII text as [Th] [th] thorn (note that the text also uses "th") [Gh] [gh] yogh [P] pilcrow (parragraph symbol).]


A Short Sketch of His Life and History in English Verse of the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Copied and Edited From the Marquis of Bath's MS.


Frederick J. Furnivall, M.A., Camb.

Editor of De Borron's and Lonelich's "History of the Holy Graal," Walter Map's "Queste Del Saint Graal," Etc. Etc.

London: Published for the Early English Text Society, by Truebner & Co., 60, Paternoster Row. MDCCCLXIV


Preface Arthur Words Notes


As one of the chief objects of the Early English Text Society is to print every Early English Text relating to Arthur, the Committee have decided that this short sketch of the British hero's life shall form one of the first issue of the Society's publications. The six hundred and forty-two English lines here printed occur in an incomplete Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Britain, bound up with many other valuable pieces in a MS. belonging to the Marquis of Bath. The old chronicler has dealt with Uther Pendragon, and Brounsteele (Excalibur), and is narrating Arthur's deeds, when, as if feeling that Latin prose was no fit vehicle for telling of Arthur, king of men, he breaks out into English verse,

"Herkene[th], [th]at loueth honour, Of kyng Arthour & hys labour."

The story he tells is an abstract, with omissions, of the earlier version of Geoffry of Monmouth, before the love of Guinevere for Lancelot was introduced by the French-writing English romancers of the Lionheart's time (so far as I know), into the Arthur tales. The fact of Mordred's being Arthur's son, begotten by him on his sister, King Lot's wife, is also omitted; so that the story is just that of a British king founding the Round Table, conquering Scotland, Ireland, Gothland, and divers parts of France, killing a giant from Spain, beating Lucius the Emperor of Rome, and returning home to lose his own life, after the battle in which the traitor whom he had trusted, and who has seized his queen and his land, was slain.

"He that will more look, Read on the French book,"

says our verse-writer: and to that the modern reader must still be referred, or to the translations of parts of it, which we hope to print or reprint, and that most pleasantly jumbled abstract of its parts by Sir Thomas Maleor, Knight, which has long been the delight of many a reader,—though despised by the stern old Ascham, whose Scholemaster was to turn it out of the land.—There the glory of the Holy Grail will be revealed to him; there the Knight of God made known; there the only true lovers in the world will tell their loves and kiss their kisses before him; and the Fates which of old enforced the penalty of sin will show that their arm is not shortened, and that though the brave and guilty king fights well and gathers all the glory of the world around him, yet still the sword is over his head, and, for the evil that he has done, his life and vain imaginings must pass away in dust and confusion.

Of the language of the Poem there is little to say: its dialect is Southern, as shown by the verbal plural th, the vyve for five, zyx for six, ych for I, har (their), ham (them), for her, hem; hulle, dude, [gh]ut, for hill, did, yet, the infinitive in y (rekeny), etc. Of its poetical merits, every reader will judge for himself; but that it has power in some parts I hope few will deny. Arthur's answer to Lucius, and two lines in the duel with Frollo,

"There was no word y-spoke, But eche had other by the throte,"

are to be noted. Parts of the MS. have very much faded since it was written some ten or twenty years before 1450, so that a few of the words are queried in the print. The MS. contains a few metrical points and stops, which I have here printed between parentheses (). The expansions of the contractions are printed in italics, but the ordinary doubt whether the final lined n or u—for they are often undistinguishable—is to be printed ne, nne, or un, exists here too.

I am indebted to Mr. Sims, of the Manuscript Department of the British Museum, for pointing out the Poem to me, and to the Marquis of Bath for his kind permission to copy it for printing.

3, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, London, W.C., August 30, 1864.

Arthur [pg 1]

From the Marquis of Bath's MS.

BEF. 1450 A.D.

[The Latin side notes in italics, and the stops of the text in parentheses (), are those of the MS.]

Herkene[th], [th]at loue[th] honour, [Fol. 42b] Of kyng Arthour & hys labour; How Arthur And furst how he was bygete, was begotten As [th]at we in bokis do rede. 4 by Pendragon Vther pendragone was hys fader, on Ygerne. And ygerne was hys Moder. Pendragone ys in walysche Pendragon 'Dragones heed' on Englysche; 8 (t.i. Dragon's He maked ypeynted dragones two; Head) made Oon schold byfore him goo two painted Whan he went to batayle, dragons, Whan he wold hys foes sayle; 12 That other abood at wynchester, Euermore stylle there. and thence Bretones [gh]af hym [th]at Name, had his name. Vther Pendragone [th]e same, 16 For [th]at skyle fer & nere Euer-more hyt to here.

How Uther loved The Erles wyff of Cornewayle the Earl of He loued to Muche sanz fayle; 20 Cornwall's wife,

[Arthur Has the Round Table Made.]

Merlyn wy[th] hys sotelnesse Turned vtheris lyknesse, And maked hym lyche [th]e Erl anone, And wy[th] hys wyff (:) his wylle to done 24 In [th]e countre of Cornewelle: In [th]e Castel of Tyntagelle, and begat Arthur Thus vther, yf y schalle nat lye, in adultery. Bygat Arthour in avowtrye. 28 Whan vther Pendragone was deed, Arthur is Arthour anon was y-crowned; crowned, He was courteys, large, & Gent to alle puple verrament; 32 Beaute, My[gh]t, amyable chere To alle Men ferre and neere; Hys port (;) hys [gh]yftes gentylle is loved of all, Maked hym y-loved wylle; 36 Ech mon was glad of hys presence, And drade to do hym dysplesaunce; is strong A stronger Man of hys honde was neuer founde on any londe, 40 and courteous. As courteys as any Mayde:— [Th]us wryte[th] of hym [th]at hym a-sayde. [Fol. 42b, At Cayrlyone, wythoute fable, col. 2.] He makes the he let make [th]e Rounde table: 44 Round Table, And why [th]at he maked hyt [th]us, [Th]is was [th]e resoun y-wyss,— that all at it [Th]at no man schulde sytt aboue other, might be equal. ne haue indignacioun of hys bro[th]er; 48 And alle hadde (.)oo(.) seruyse, For no pryde scholde aryse For any degree of syttynge, O[th]er for any seruynge:— 52 [Th]us he kept [th]e table Rounde Whyle he leuyd on [th]e grounde. After his first After he hadde conquered skotlond conquests yrland & Gotland, 56

[He Fights Frollo for France.]

he lives twelve [Th]an leuyd he at [th]e best years in peace, twelf [gh]eeris on alle reste Wy[th]oute werre (:) tylle at [th]e laste he [th]ou[gh]t to make (.)a(.) nywe conqueste. 60 and then invades Into Fraunce wy[th] gode counceyle France. he wolde weende (:) & hyt assayle, [Th]at Rome [th]o kept vnder Myght, Vnder Frollo (:) a worthy knyght 64 [Th]at fraunce hadde [th]o to kepe, To rywle, defende, & to lede. He beats Frollo Arthour and Frollo fou[gh]t in feld; back to Paris, [Th]ere deyde many vnder scheld. 68 Frollo in-to Paryss fly, Wyth strenkthe kept hyt wysely: and there Arthour byseged [th]at Syte & town besieges him, Tylle [th]eire vytayl was y-doon. 72 till Frollo Frollo [th]at worthy knyght challenges him Proferyd wyth Arthour for to fyght to single combat. Vnder [th]is wyse & condicioun,— "Ho hadde [th]e Maystrie (:) haue [th]e crown; 76 And no mo men but [th]ey two." They fight: [Th]e day Was sett (:) to-geder [th]ey go: Fayr hyt was to byholde In suche two kny[gh]ghte[gh] bolde: 80 [Th]er was no word y-spoke, But eche hadde other by [th]e [th]rote; [Th]ey smote wyth trounchoun & wyth swerd; [Th]at hyt seye were a-ferd; [Fol. 43.] 84 Frollo fou[gh]t wy[th] hys ax (:) as men dude se; (Frollo with He hytt Arthour (:) so sore (:) his axe) [th]at he felle on kne. He ros vp raply (:) and smot hym fulle sore; He dude hym to grent a (.) soue[gh][1] [th]erfore. [1. ? sone[gh]] 88 thus they hyw on helmes hye, And schatered on wy[th] scheldes. [Th]e puple by-gan to crye [Th]at stood on [th]e feldes; 92

[Arthur Returns Victorious to Britain,]

till Arthur in ther ne wyst no man, as y can lere, wrath takes Who of ham two was [th]e bettere [th]ere. Brownsteel, Arthour was chafed & wexed wrothe, Caliburnus He hente brounsteelle and to Frollo gothe 96 Arthuri Gladius Brounstelle was heuy & also kene; [with a sketch Fram [th]e schulder(:) to [th]e syde thereof in the went bytwene MS.] and strikes Off frollo and [th]an he fell to Frollo [th]e grounde Ry[gh]t as he moste deed(.) in lyte stounde. 100 Frensche men made doelle & wept fulle faste; [Th]eir Crowne of fraunce [th]ere [th]ey loste. Arthur takes Than wente Arthour in-to paryse Paris. And toke [th]e castelle & [th]e town at hys avyse. 104 Worschuped be god of hys grete grace Glory to God. [Th]at [th]us [gh]eue[th] fortune(:) and worschup to [th]e Reme; Thanke [gh]e hym alle [th]at be[th] on [th]is place, Say ye a Pater And seye[th] a Pater noster wythout Noster therefore. any Beeme. 108

Pater noster.

Arthour fram paryse went wyth hys Rowte, Arthur conquers And conquered [th]e Countre on euery the countries syde aboute; around, Angeoy[2] , Peytow, Berry, & Gaskoyne, Nauerne, Burgone Loreyn & Toreyne; 112 He daunted [th]e proude & hawted [th]e poure; He dwelt long in Paryss after in honoure; He was drad and loued in countreis abowte; Heyest & lowest hym Loved & alowte; 116 And vpon an Estour tyme sone afterward He fested hys knyghtis & [gh]af ham gret reward; distributes To hys styward he [gh]af Angers & Aungeye; them among his To Bedewer hys botyler he [gh]af Normandye; 120 knights, He [gh]af to Holdyne flaundrys parde; To Borel hys Cosyn, Boloyne [th]e cyte; And eche man, after [th]e astat [th]at he was, He rewarded hem alle, bo[th]e More & lasse, 124 and returns to And [gh]af hem reward, bo[th]e lond and Fee, Britain. And turned to Breteyn, to Carlyone ayhe.

[And then Holds a Great Feast.]

Arthour wolde of honour [Fol. 43b, Arthur gives an Hold a fest at Eestour col. 1.] 128 Easter Feast Of regalye & worthynesse, And feede alle hys frendess; And sende Messanger To kynges ferre & neer 132 [Th]at were to hym Omager, to come to [th]is Dyner. And alle at oo certeyn day They come [th]yder in gode aray, 136 And kept [th]eire Cesone at Carlyon, At [th]e Castelle Cayrlyone. greater than ere Thys fest was Muche Moore before. [Th]an euere Arthour made a-fore; 140 Ten kings were For [th]ere was Vrweyn [th]e kynge there, Of scottes at [th]at dynynge, Stater [th]e kyng of south wales, Cadwelle [th]e kyng of north wale[gh], 144 Gwylmar [th]e kyng of yrland, Dolmad [th]e kyng of guthland, Malgan of yselond also, Archyl of Denmarch [th]erto, 148 Alothe [th]e kyng of Norwey, Souenas [th]e kyng of Orkenye, Of Breteyn [th]e kyng Hoel, and thirteen Cador Erl of Cornewelle, 152 earls Morice [th]e Erl of Gloucestre, Marran Erl of Wynchestre, Gwergound Erl of herford, Boo[gh] Erl of Oxenford, 156 (including him Of bathe vngent [th]e Erl also, of Bath), Cursal of Chestre [th]er-to, Euerad Erl of salesbury[3], Kynmar Erl of Canterbury, 160 Jonas [th]e Erl of Dorcestre,

[Arthur's Guests at Cayrlyone.]

Valence [th]e Erl of sylchestre, Jugeyn of Leyccer [?] [th]erto, Argal of warwyk also,— 164 Kynges & Erles Echon with many other [Th]es were; & many ano[th]er goom gentles great, Gret of astaat, & [th]e beste, [Th]es were at [th]e Feste. 168 Other also gentyls grete Were [th]ere at [th]at Meete, Sauer appon Donand, Regeym & Alard, 172 Reyne[gh] fit[gh] Colys, Tadeus fit[gh] Reis, Delyn fit[gh] Dauid, Kymbelyn le fit[gh] Gryffith, 176 Gryffit[gh] [th]e Sone of Nagand, [Th]es were [th]ere also theoband: besides the Alle [th]es were [th]ere wythoute fable, Round Tablers, Wythoute ham of [th]e rounde table. 180 Archbishops, Thre archebusschopes [th]er were also, Bishops, And other busschopes many mo— Alle [th]is mayne were nat al-oone; Wyth ham com many a Goome. 184 [Th]is feste dured dayes [th]re In reuelle & solempnite. and many from Of by [gh]onde [th]e See also beyond the sea. Many lordez[?] were [th]ere [th]o. 188 Now reste[th] alle wy[th] Me, And say a Pater & Ave.

Pater noster.

The [th]rydde day folowyng Then coom nywe tydynge, 192 [Th]e whyle [th]ey sete at [th]e Mete To the feasters Messagers were In ylete; came messengers Welle arayd forso[th]e [th]ey come, from the & send fram cite of Rome 196

[Lucius's Message to Arthur.]

Roman Emperor, Wy[th] lettres of [th]e Emperoures lucius. Whas name was Lucies. [Th]es lettres were opened & vnfold, And [th]e tydynge to alle men told, 200 Whas sentence, yf y ne lye, Was after [th]at y can aspye: Litera Lucii [P] Lucius [th]e grete Emperour imperatoris. To hys Enemy Arthour:— 204 We woundere[th] of [th]i wodeness And also of [th]y Madnesse! How darst [th]ow any wyse saying, that to A[gh]enst the Emperour [th]us aryse, 208 have invaded And ryde on Remes on eche wey, France, etc., and And make kynge[gh] to [th]e obey? made kings, [Th]u art wood on [th]e Nolle! Arthur must be [Th]u hast scley owre cosyn frolle; 212 mad in his noll; [Th]u schalt be taw[gh]t at a schort day [Fol. 44, for to make suche aray. col. 1.] Oure cosyn Iulius cesar Somme tyme conquered [th]ar; 216 that he must pay To Rome [th]u owest hys trybut; his tribute, We charge[th] [th]e to paye vs hyt. Thy pryde we wolle alaye [Th]at makest so gret aray: 220 We commande[th] [th]e on haste To paye owre trybut faste; [Th]u hast scley frolle in fraunce [Th]at hadde vnder vs [th]ere gouernaunce, 224 And wy[th]holdest oure tribute [th]erto: [Th]u schalt be taw[gh]t [th]u hast mysdo: We commande[th] [th]e in haste soone and come to [Th]at [th]u come to vs at Rome 228 Rome to be To vnderfang oure ordynaunce punished for For [th]y dysobediaunce; his disobedience. As [th]u wold nat leze [th]y lyf, Fulfylle [th]ys wythoute stryff." 232

[Arthur's Answer to Lucius.]

The Britons When [th]is lettre was open & rad; purpose to kill [Th]e bretouns & alle men were mad, the messengers, And wolde [th]e messager scle:— but Arthur "Nay," seyd Arthour, "per de, 236 forbids it, That were a[gh]enst alle kynde, A messager to bete or bynde; y charge alle men here for to make ham good chere." 240 And after Mete sanz fayl Wy[th] hys lordes he hadde counsayl; And alle asented [th]er to, and resolves to Arthour to Rome scholde go; 244 invade Rome. And [th]ey ne wolde in hys trauayle Wy[th] strenk[th] & good neuer fayle. Than Arthour wroot to Rome a lettre, Was sentence was somm-what byttere, 248 And sayde in [th]is manere As [gh]e may hure here:—

Litera Regis "Knowe[th] welle [gh]e of Romayne, Arthuri. Y am kyng Arthour of Bretayne. 252 Arthur's answer Fraunce, y haue conquered hyt, to the Emperor Y schalle defende & kepe hyt [Gh]ut, [Fol. 44, Lucius, Y come to Rome, as y am tryw, col. 2.] claiming tribute To take my trybut (.) to me dywe, 256 from him. But noon [th]ere-for to paye, By my werk [gh]e schalle asay; For [th]e Emperour Constantyne [Th]at was [th]e Soone of Elyne, 260 [Th]at was a Bretone of [th]is lond, Conquered Rome wyth hys hond, And so [gh]e owe[th] me tribut: Y charge [gh]ow [th]at [gh]e pay me hyt. 264 Also Maximian kyng of Bretaigne Co[n]quered al fraunce & Almayne, Lombardye Rome & ytalye—

[The Messenger's Report of Arthur.]

By [gh]oure bokis [gh]e may a-spye. 268 Y am [th]eir Eyr & [th]eyre lynage, Y aske [gh]ow my trywage."

[Th]is lettre was celyd fast, Y-take the Messagerez on hast; 272 Arthour [gh]af ham [gh]yftez grete, And chered ham wy[th] drynk and Mete. Lucius's [Th]ey hasted ham to come hoom; messengers Byfor [th]e Emperour [th]ey be[th] coom; 276 return to him. Saluted hym as resoun ys, And toke hym [th]es letterys. [Th]ey seyde to [th]e Emperour "We have be wy[th] kyng Arthour; 280 But such ano[th]er as he ys oon, Say neuer no Man. He ys serued on hys howshold Wy[th] kynges, Erles, worthy & bold; 284 Hys worthynesse, sur Emperour, Passe[th] Muche alle [gh]owre; and give him He seyde he wolde hyder come Arthur's message. And take trywage of alle Rome, 288 We dowte[th] last he wel do soo, For he ys Myghty ynow [th]er-too." Now, erst [th]an we goo fer[th]er, Every man [th]at ys here 292 Sey a Pater noster And ave wy[th] gode chere; Amen.

Pater noster

Ave Maria.

Now stureth hym self Arthour [Fol. 44b.] [Th]enkyng on hys labour, 296 Arthur prepares And gadery[th] to hym strenghth aboute, for his Hys kynges & Erles on a rowte— expedition A fayr sy[gh]t to Mannes ye to Rome. to see suche a cheualrye,— 300

[The Number of Arthur's Host.]

Has five kings, The kyng of Gotland, Also [th]e kyng of Irland, the kyng of ysland & of Orkenye, [Th]is was worthy Maynye; 304 The kyng of Denmark also was [th]ere, [Th]is was a worthy chere: Eche of [th]ese vyve at her venyw Brou[gh]t zyx [th]ousand at har retenyw; 308 with 30,000men, xxx{ti} [th]owsand, ych vnderstand, [Th]es vyf kyngis hadde on honde. 80,000 Normans Than hadde he out of Normandye, and Of Angeoy & of Almanye, 312 Boloyne(.) Peytow & flaundres Fowre skore [th]owsand harneys 12,000 from Geryn of Chartez .xij. [th]owsand Chartres, [th]at went wy[th] Artour euer at honde; 316 10,000 Bretons. Hoel of bretayn, [th]owsandez ten Of hardy & welle fyghtyng Men; Out of Bretaygne hys owne land and 40,000 He passed fourty [th]owsand 320 British: Of Archerys & off Arblastere [Th]at Cow[th] welle [th]e craft of werre. [P] In Foot other Many a Man Moo Able to feyght(:) as welle as [th]o: 324 in all 200,000. Two hunderd [th]ousand Went wy[th] hym out of lond, And Many moo sykerly That y can[4] not nombrye. [4. ? MS. y-tan.] 328 Arthour toke [th]an [th]e lond Britain is left To Moddredes owne hond; in Mordred's He kept al o[th]er [th]yng charge. Saue [th]o Corowne weryng; 332 But he was [fals] of hys kepynge, As [gh]e schalle hure here folewynge. Arthur ships Now thanne ys Artour y-Come at Southampton, And hys Ost to Sowthamptone: 336

[The Giant that Ravished Fair Elayne.]

Ther was Many a Man of Myghte Strong & bold also to fyghte. Eche man hath take his schuppynge, And ys at hys loghynge. 340 Vp go[th] [th]e sayl(:) [th]ey sayle[th] faste: Arthour owt of sy[gh]t ys paste. [Th]e ferst lond [th]at he gan Meete, and lands at Forso[th]e hyt was Bareflete; 344 Barfleet. Ther he gan vp furst aryve. Now welle Mote Arthour spede & thryve; God speed him! And [th]at hys saule spede [th]e better, Lat eche man sey a Pater noster. 348

Pater noster.

Now god spede Artour welle! A new foe hym ys comyng a nyw batelle. appears, a Ther coom a gyant out of spayne, Spanish Giant, And rauasched had fayr Elayne; 352 He had brou[gh]t heore vp on an hulle— Mornyng hyt ys to hure or telle— Cosyn heo was to kyng hoell, A damesel fayr and gentelle; 356 And [gh]ut fer[th]ermore to, who has slain He rauasehed heore Moder also. fair Elayne. He dude [th]e damesel for to dye for he myght not lygge heor bye. 360 Whan [th]is was told to Artour, He maked Much dolour, Arthur sends And send Bedewer for to spye Bedwere first How he myght come hym bye; 364 as a spy, And he was nat sclowh, But to [th]e hulle hym drowh [Th]at Closed was wy[th] water stronge, [Th]e hulle a-Mydde gret & longe; 368 He went ouer to [th]e hulle syde, And [th]ere a fonde a wommane byde [Th]at sorwedd & wept Mornynge

[Arthur's Fight with the Giant.]

For Eleynes de[th] & departynge, 372 And bad Bedewer to fle also Last he were ded more to; "For yf [th]e Gyant fynde [th]e, Wythoute dowte he wylle [th]e scle." 376 Bedwer wy[th] alle hastynge Tolde Arthour alle [th]is [th]ynge. Amorwe whan [th]at hyt was day and then (with Arthour toke [th]yder hys way, 380 Bedwere and Key) Bedewer wy[th] hym went, & keye,— starts on his Men [th]at cow[th]e welle [th]e weye,— [Fol. 45.] adventure. And broute Arthour Meyntenaunt, Euen byfore [th]e Gyant. 384 Arthour fow[gh]t wy[th] [th]at wyght; He had almost ylost hys Myght: Wy[th] Muche peyne, [th]ru[gh] goddez grace He kills the He sclowh [th]e Geant in [th]at place, 388 Giant, And [th]an he made Bedewere To smyte of hys heed [th]ere. To [th]e Ost he dude hyt brynge, And [th]eron was gret woundrynge, 392 whose horrible Hyt was so oryble & so greet, head is shown to More [th]an any Horse heed. the host, Than hadde hoel Ioye ynowh For [th]at Arthour so hym sclowh; 396 And for a perpetuel Memorie and St. Mary's He Made a chapelle of seynt Marye Chapel is built In [th]e hulle vpon [th]e pleyne, in honour of the Wy[th]-Inne [th]at (:) [th]e tumbe* of Eleyne; 400 victory. And [th]at name wy[th]oute nay [* tombe] Hyt bere[th] [gh]ut in-to [th]is day. Now ys an ende of [th]is [th]ynge, News of Lucius's And Artour ha[th] nyw tydynge,— 404 approach is Lucy [th]e Emperour wy[th] hys host brought, Come[th] fast in gret bost; [Th]ey hely[th] ouer alle [th]e lond,

[Arthur's Men— Pray to God.]

with an army of Fowre hundred [th]owsand 408 400,124 men. An hunderd and foure & twenty, Thus herawdes dude ham rekeny; Thus he hadde gadered to hym Of cristien and of Sarasyn, 412 Wy[th] alle hys wytt & labour To destroyen Arthour. Arthour dude wyselye, And hadde euer gode aspye 416 Of lucyes gouernynge And of hys [th]yder comynge; Some advise But somme seyde hyt were folye Arthur to To fyght a[gh]enst Emperour lucie, 420 turn and flee, For he hadde sepe[5] euere a[gh]enst oon, & counceyled Arthour to fle & goon. Wy[th] [th]e Emperour come kynges Many oon, And alle [th]eire power hoolle & soom; 424 Stronger men My[gh]t no man see, As fulle of drede as [th]ey myght be; But Arthour was not dysmayd, but he trusts He tryst on god, & was wel payd, 428 in God, And prayd [th]e hye trynyte Euer hys help forto be; And alle hys Men wy[th] oo voyse Cryde to god wy[th] Oo noyse, 432 to whom his "Fader in heuene, [th]y wylle be doon; soldiers pray Defende [th]y puple fram [th]eire foon, And lat not [th]e he[th]one Men Destroye [th]e puple crystien: 436 Haue Mercy on [th]y se[r]uantis bonde, to keep them And kepe ham fram [th]e he[th]one honde; from the [Th]e Muchelnesse of Men sainfayle heathen's hands. Ys nat victorie in Batayle; 440

[The Battle Between Arthur and Lucius.]

But after [th]e wylle [th]at in heuene ys, So [th]e victorie falle[th] y-wys." Arthur's Than seyd Arthour, "hyt ys so: "Forward!" Auaunt Baner, & be Goo." 444 Now frendes alle, for goddes loue, Rere[th] [gh]owre hertes to god aboue, And seye[th] [gh]owre prayeris faste, [Th]at we welle spede furst & laste. 448

Pater noster.

The emperour tryst on hys men, And [th]at ha[th] bygyled hym; Forsothe hyt most nedez be so, For [th]ey be[th] cursed [th]at welle hyt do, 452 Maledictus Suche alle myght come[th] of god; qui To tryst on hym, y hold hyt good. confidet in Lucye ha[th] pyght his paueloun homine. And sprad wy[th] pryde his gunfanoun; 456 His claryouns blastes fulle grete blywe, Archeris schot(:) Men ouer-thrywe; The battle Bowes, arwes, & arblastere begins. Schot sore alle y-vere; 460 Quarels, arwes, [th]ey fly smerte; [Th]e fyched Men [th]ru[gh] heed & herte; Axes, sperys, and gysarmes gret, Clefte Many a prowt Mannes heed: 464 Hors & steedes gan to grent, And deyde wy[th] strokis [th]at [th]ey hente; Many a man [th]ere lost hys lyf, [Fol. 45b.] Many on was wedyw [th]at was wyff; 468 Men are wetshod [Th]ere men were wetschoede with brains and Alle of Brayn & of blode; blood. Gret rywthe hyt was to seyn [Th]e feltes fulle of men y-scleyn; 472 Lucius is Lucy [th]e Emperour also was dede; slain, But ho hym sclowh, y can nat rede; He, for alle hys grete Renoun,

[Arthur Wins, and Buries the Dead.]

not able to A[gh]enst Arthour hadde no fusoun, 476 stand against No more [th]an haue twenty schep Arthur. A[gh]enst vyve wolfez greet. To god be euere alle honourez! The falde was hys & Arthourez. 480 Arthur sends Arthour, as he scholde done, Lucius's body Sende lucyes body to Rome; to Rome, Whan [th]e Romeynes say [th]is, [Th]o [th]ey dradde Arthour & hys. 484 buries Bedwere Also he buryed Bedewere and others Hys frend and hys Botyler, And so he dude other Echon in Abbeys, In Abbeys of Relygyoun 488 [Th]at were cristien of name; He dude to alle [th]e same; And dude for ham Masse synge wyth solempne song & offrynge, 492 And bood [th]ere for to rest, and stays the Tylle [th]at wynter was past, winter, Bo[th]e he (.) hys Men echone Seruyd god in deuocione, 496 thanking God [Th]ankyng god of hys My[gh]t [Th]at kepe[th] hys seruauntez ry[gh]t, And suffre[th] noon for to spylle for His honour [Th]at hym loue[th] & tryste wylle: 500 to England. [Th]us worschup god dude certeyn [Of the To Englond, [th]at [th]o was Bretayn; difference [Th]e More Breteyn Englond ys between More As men may rede on Cronyclys 504 (or Great) By[gh]end [th]e See Bretayne [th]er ys, Britain and [Th]at ha[th] hys name forso[th]e of [th]is, Little Britain.] For [th]e kyng Maxymyan, [Th]e next after Octauyan, 508 He conquered alle Armoryk, And to [th]e Reme named hyt lyk: Armorica. Amorica on latyn me cl[e]ped [th]at lond,

[Of the Welsh and Stinking Saxons.]

Tyl Maxymyan co[n]queryd hyt wyth honde, 512 And called hyt lyte bretayne [th]an, So hy[gh]t [th]is lond [th]at he coom fram; Little Britain For perpetuelle Mynde of grete Bretayne is called after He called hyt lyte Bretayne, 516 Great Britain. [Th]at Men schulde kepe in Mynde & wytt How [th]is lond conqueryd hytt; For Walsche Men be[th] Bretouns of kynde— Know [th]at welle fast on Mynde— 520 Englische men be[th] Saxoynes, [Th]at be[th] of Engistes Soones; There-fore [th]e walsch man Bretoun Sey[th] & clepe[th] vs "Sayson" * 524 [* [Th]at ys to seye vpon a reess, "Stynking Saxoun, be on pees." ] How the Welshmen And sey[th] (.) "taw or (.) peyd Sayson call the English brount"[8] "stinking Whan he ys wroth (;) or ellys drounke; Saxons." Hauyng Mynde of Engystis Men [Th]at wyth gyle sclow [th]eyre kyn: 528 At [th]e place of [th]e Stonehenge [Gh]ut [th]ey [th]enke[th] for to venge: And [th]at hyt neuere be so, Sey[th] a Pater noster more to. 532

Pater noster.

Arthur is Now turne we to oure labour preparing to And lat vs speke of Arthour: cross the He cast on herte sone mountains to After [th]at to go to Rome, 536 Rome, And spak of Passage & hys wey Forth ouer Mount Ioye. when he hears And sone after vpon an owr of Mordred's He horde of Mordred the tretour 540 treachery; That hadde alle [th]is loud on warde—

[Of Mordred's Treachery and Arthur's Return.]

Euylle moot suche fare, and harde. Who may best bygyle a man But suche as he tryst vpon? 544 [Th]er ys no man wel nye, y tryste, [Th]at can be waar of hadde wyste.— Mordred [th]is falss Man Muche sorw [th]o bygan; 548 He stuffed alle castelle Wy[th] armyre & vytelle, And strenghthed hym on eche syde Wyth Men of countreys ferre & wyde: 552 how the traitor He toke [th]e qwene, Arthoure[gh] wyff, had seized the A[gh]enst goddes lawe & gode lyff, queen, his And putte heore to soiourne [th]o (Arthur's) wife, At Euerwyk: god [gh]yf hym wo. 556 and put her at Yhork ys Euerwyk: York. & so me calle[th] hyt. Arthur then comes Arthour aryved at Whytsond home, Wyth gret Myght & strong hond, 560 fights Mordred, And Mordred sainz fayl [Gh]af hym [th]o a strong batayl; Many a man, as y rede, [Th]at day was [th]ere dede; 564 Arthoures nevew Waweyn and Gawain is [Th]at day was [th]ere y-sclayn, slain. And o[th]er kny[gh]tes Many moo: [Th]an Arthour was heuy & woo. 568 Mordred flies Mordred fly toward Londoun; to London, He most not come in [th]e toun: [Th]an fled he to wynchester And wyth hys Maynee kep [?] hym [th]ere; 572 And Arthour on gret haste Pursywed after hym faste. Mordred wythoute fayle and then to Fled in-to Cornewayle. 576 Cornwall. The qwene wy[th]oute lesyng

[Arthur's Last Battle with Mordred.]

Hurde of [th]is tydyng, And how Mordred was flow, And how to Cornewale he hym drow. 580 Heo of Mercy hadde noon hoope, The Queen Ther-for he dude on a Russet cote, turns nun at And to Carlyoun ys preuyly Rounne, Carlyon. And made heore self [th]o a Nounne; 584 Fro [th]at place neuer heo wende, But of heore lyf [th]ere made an ende. Gawain Waweynes body, as y reede, And other lordes [th]at weere deede, 588 is buried in Arthour sente in-to skotlonde, Scotland. And buryed ham [th]ere, y vnderstonde. Muche folke [th]erhenne he toke [th]o, Northern men Of Northumber-lond also 592 and others come Fram dyverse places to Arthour come to Arthur. Hys wylle to werk & to done: Thus he sembled a fulle gret Ost; To Cornewayle he drawe[th] hym fast 596 After [th]at Mordred [th]e traytour [Th]at hadde do hym Muche dyshonour. That tretour hadde gret strength And fulled [th]at lond on brede & lengthe, 600 He gives Mordred Suche a batelle as [th]ere was redy [th]o battle. Hadde neuer Arthour byfore y-doo: They fow[gh]t tyl [th]er come doun bloode Bellum As a(.) Ryver or (.)a(.) flood; 604 arthuri apud [Th]ey fow[gh]t euer sorest sadde; Camelertonum Men nyst ho [th]e betere hadde; in Cornubia. But at [th]e last Certeyn Mordred is slain: Was Mordred & alle hys y-sclayn; 608 Arthur wounded, And Arthour y-bete wy[th] wounde, and carried to He Myght not stonde on grounde; Avelon, or But on lyter ry[gh]t anon Auelona .l. Was brow[gh]t to Auelone, 612 insula pomorum [Th]at was a place fayr & Mury; Glastonia.

[Arthur is Buried At Glastonbury.]

Glastonbury, Now hyt hoote[th] Glastyngbury. where he dies, Ther Artho_ur_ [th]at worthy kyng Maked hys lyues endyng; 616 But for he skaped [th]_a_t batell_e_ y-wys, Bretou_n_s & Cornysch saye[th] [th]us, "[Th]at he leuyth [gh]ut p_ar_de, And schall_e_ come & be a kyng a[gh]e." 620 At Glastyngbury on [th]e qweer and is buried [Th]ey made Arto_ur_ez tou_m_be [th]ere, A.D. 542. And wrote wyth latyn vers [th]us, Hic iacet Arthurus rex quonda_m_ rex que futur_us_. 624 Thys was [th]us forso[th]e ydone _Anno d_o_m_ini_ [Th]e yheer after [th]e Incarnacione, qu_in_gente_simo_ Vyf hundred (.) fourty & two. _quadragesi_m_o Now saue vs alle fra woo 628 s_e_c_un_do._ Ih_es_u cryst, heuenly kyng, & grau_n_t vs alle hys blessyng; And [th]at hyt Moote so be, Seye[th] alle Pater & Aue. 632

Pater noster. Aue.

Ho [th]at wolle more loke, Read the French Reed on [th]e frensch boke, Book for the And he schalle fynde [th]ere rest. [Th]ynges [th]at y leete here. 636 But yf [th]at god wolle graunte grace, y schalle rehercy in [th]is place Alle [th]e kyngez [th]at after were, And what names [[th]]at [th]ey bere; 640 And ho [th]at wolle [th]eyre gestes loke, Reed on [th]e Frensche boke. Amen fiat.


2. ? MS. perhaps Angecye.

3. The s is rubbed: the word may be "onlesbury."

5. sepe, ? for seue, seven. It is p not x (six) in the MS. But as Arthur had 200,000, and Lucius only 400,124, sepe should mean two.

8. Pughe's abridged Dictionary gives tau, v.a. be still; taw, s.m. and adj. quiet, silence, silent; paid, s.m. a cessation, quiet; bront, a. nasty, filthy, surly. Or, says Dr. Benj. Davies, you must take as equal to the modern Welsh wr, man, if it is not English; peyd is cease, pause; taw, be silent. ]


a, he, l. 370. aspye, sb. espial, l. 416. ayhe, again, l. 126.

beeme, sb. ? noise, display, from A.S. beme, a trumpet, l. 108.

falde, l. 480, felt, l. 472; field. fusoun, gain, victory, l. 476. L. fusio, outpouring, plenty. fyched, pierced, l. 462.

goom, man, l. 166. gysarme, l. 463. Hallebarde, pique, hache. Roquefort.

hadde wyste, l. 546, had I known (how it would have turned out). See Nares, and the Poem "Beware of had-I-wyst," that he quotes. "Beware of had-I-wyst, whose fine bringes care and smart." hawted, exalted, l. 113. he, she, l. 582. helyth, cover, l. 407.

last, lest, l. 289. loghynge, lodging, l. 344. lynage, descendant, l. 269.

muchelnesse, sb. muchness, number and power, l. 439. mynde, remembrance, l. 527.

oo, one, l. 49.

sayle, assail, attack, l. 12. scley, slain, l. 212. skyle, sb. reason, l. 17. soue[gh] (?), sough, moan, l. 88.

that, ye who, l. 1; those who, l. 42, 84. theoband (l. 178), is, I expect, miswritten for theodand; A.S. [th]eodan, to join; ge-[th]eod-an, to join, associate. therhenne, thence, l. 591. toke, gave, l. 329.

venge, have revenge, take vengeance, l. 530. verrament, truly, l. 32.

was, whose, l. 248. wood, wild, mad, l. 211.

ydoon, done, spent, l. 72. ylete, let, l. 194. ytake, taken to, given to, l. 272. y-vere, together, l. 460. ywyss, certainly, l. 46.


Home - Random Browse