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Title: Arthur, Copied And Edited From The Marquis of Bath's MS
       A Short Sketch of His Life and History in English Verse
              of the First Half of the Fifteenth Century


Editor: Frederick J. Furnivall

Release Date: October 10, 2005 [EBook #16845]

Language: English

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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.

Published for the Early English Text Society,
by Trübner & Co., 60, Paternoster Row.


[pg v]


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,

"Herkenež, žat louež 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, [pg vi] 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, ȝut, 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 [pg vii] 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.

[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.]

Herkenež, žat louež honour, [Fol. 42b.]

Of kyng Arthour & hys labour;

And furst how he was bygete, How Arthur was begotten

As žat we in bokis do rede. 4

Vther pendragone was hys fader, by Pendragon on Ygerne.

And ygerne was hys Moder.

Pendragone ys in walysche

'Dragones heed' on Englysche; Pendragon (t.i. Dragon's Head) made two painted dragons, 8

He maked ypeynted dragones two;

Oon schold byfore him goo

Whan he went to batayle,

Whan he wold hys foes sayle; 12

That other abood at wynchester,

Euermore stylle there.

Bretones ȝaf hym žat Name, and thence had his name.

Vther Pendragone že same, 16

For žat skyle fer & nere

Euer-more hyt to here.

The Erles wyff of Cornewayle How Uther loved the Earl of Cornwall's wife,

He loued to Muche sanz fayle; 20

[pg 2 - Arthur Has the Round Table Made.]

Merlyn wyž hys sotelnesse

Turned vtheris lyknesse,

And maked hym lyche že Erl anone,

And wyž hys wyff (:) his wylle to done 24

In že countre of Cornewelle:

In že Castel of Tyntagelle,

Thus vther, yf y schalle nat lye,

Bygat Arthour in avowtrye. 28 and begat Arthur in adultery.

Whan vther Pendragone was deed,

Arthour anon was y-crowned; Arthur is crowned,

He was courteys, large, & Gent

to alle puple verrament; 32

Beaute, Myȝt, amyable chere

To alle Men ferre and neere;

Hys port (;) hys ȝyftes gentylle

Maked hym y-loved wylle; 36 is loved of all,

Ech mon was glad of hys presence,

And drade to do hym dysplesaunce;

A stronger Man of hys honde is strong

was neuer founde on any londe, 40

As courteys as any Mayde:— and courteous.

Žus wrytež of hym žat hym a-sayde. [Fol. 42b. col. 2.]

At Cayrlyone, wythoute fable,

he let make že Rounde table: 44 He makes the Round Table,

And why žat he maked hyt žus,

Žis was že resoun y-wyss,—

Žat no man schulde sytt aboue other, that all at it might be equal.

ne haue indignacioun of hys brožer; 48

And alle hadde (.)oo(.) seruyse,

For no pryde scholde aryse

For any degree of syttynge,

Ožer for any seruynge:— 52

Žus he kept že table Rounde

Whyle he leuyd on že grounde.

After he hadde conquered skotlond After his first conquests

yrland & Gotland, 56

[pg 3 - He Fights Frollo for France.]

Žan leuyd he at že best he lives twelve years in peace,

twelf ȝeeris on alle reste

Wyžoute werre (:) tylle at že laste

he žouȝt to make (.)a(.) nywe conqueste. 60

Into Fraunce wyž gode counceyle and then invades France.

he wolde weende (:) & hyt assayle,

Žat Rome žo kept vnder Myght,

Vnder Frollo (:) a worthy knyght 64

Žat fraunce hadde žo to kepe,

To rywle, defende, & to lede.

Arthour and Frollo fouȝt in feld; He beats Frollo back to Paris,

Žere deyde many vnder scheld. 68

Frollo in-to Paryss fly,

Wyth strenkthe kept hyt wysely:

Arthour byseged žat Syte & town and there besieges him, till

Tylle žeire vytayl was y-doon. 72

Frollo žat worthy knyght Frollo challenges him to single combat.

Proferyd wyth Arthour for to fyght

Vnder žis wyse & condicioun,—

"Ho hadde že Maystrie (:) haue že crown; 76

And no mo men but žey two."

Že day Was sett (:) to-geder žey go: They fight:

Fayr hyt was to byholde

In suche two knyȝghteȝ bolde: 80

Žer was no word y-spoke,

But eche hadde other by že žrote;

Žey smote wyth trounchoun & wyth swerd;

Žat hyt seye were a-ferd; 84 [Fol. 43.]

Frollo fouȝt wyž hys ax (:) as men dude se; (Frollo with his axe)

He hytt Arthour (:) so sore (:) žat he felle on kne.

He ros vp raply (:) and smot hym fulle sore;

He dude hym to grent a (.) soueȝ1 žerfore. 88

thus they hyw on helmes hye,

And schatered on wyž scheldes.

Že puple by-gan to crye

Žat stood on že feldes; 92

[pg 4 - Arthur Returns Victorious to Britain,]

ther ne wyst no man, as y can lere,

Who of ham two was že bettere žere.

Arthour was chafed & wexed wrothe, till Arthur in wrath takes Brownsteel,

He hente brounsteelle | and to Frollo gothe 96

Brounstelle was heuy & also kene; Caliburnus Arthuri Gladius [with a sketch thereof in the MS.]

Fram že schulder(:) to že syde went bytwene

Off frollo | and žan he fell to že grounde

Ryȝt as he moste | deed(.) in lyte stounde. 100 and strikes Frollo dead.

Frensche men made doelle & wept fulle faste;

Žeir Crowne of fraunce žere žey loste.

Than wente Arthour in-to paryse Arthur takes Paris.

And toke že castelle & že town at hys avyse. 104

Worschuped be god of hys grete grace Glory to God.

Žat žus ȝeuež fortune(:) and worschup to že Reme;

Thanke ȝe hym alle žat bež on žis place,

And seyež a Pater noster wythout any Beeme. 108 Say ye a Pater Noster therefore.

Pater noster.

Arthour fram paryse went wyth hys Rowte,

And conquered že Countre on euery syde aboute; Arthur conquers the countries around,

Angeoy2, Peytow, Berry, & Gaskoyne,

Nauerne, Burgone | Loreyn & Toreyne; 112

He daunted že proude | & hawted že 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 & ȝaf ham gret reward; distributes them among his knights,

To hys styward he ȝaf Angers & Aungeye;

To Bedewer hys botyler he ȝaf Normandye; 120

He ȝaf to Holdyne flaundrys parde;

To Borel hys Cosyn, Boloyne že cyte;

And eche man, after že astat žat he was,

He rewarded hem alle, bože More & lasse, 124

And ȝaf hem reward, bože lond and Fee,

And turned to Breteyn, to Carlyone ayhe. and returns to Britain.

[pg 5 - And Then Holds a Great Feast.]

Arthour wolde of honour [Fol. 43b, col. 1.]

Hold a fest at Eestour 128 Arthur gives an Easter Feast

Of regalye & worthynesse,

And feede alle hys frendess;

And sende Messanger

To kynges ferre & neer 132

Žat were to hym Omager,

to come to žis Dyner.

And alle at oo certeyn day

They come žyder in gode aray, 136

And kept žeire Cesone

At že Castelle Cayrlyone. at Carlyon, greater than ere before.

Thys fest was Muche Moore

Žan euere Arthour made a-fore; 140

For žere was Vrweyn že kynge Ten kings were there,

Of scottes at žat dynynge,

Stater že kyng of south wales,

Cadwelle že kyng of north waleȝ, 144

Gwylmar že kyng of yrland,

Dolmad že kyng of guthland,

Malgan of yselond also,

Archyl of Denmarch žerto, 148

Alothe že kyng of Norwey,

Souenas že kyng of Orkenye,

Of Breteyn že kyng Hoel,

Cador Erl of Cornewelle, 152 and thirteen earls

Morice že Erl of Gloucestre,

Marran Erl of Wynchestre,

Gwergound Erl of herford,

Booȝ Erl of Oxenford, 156

Of bathe vngent že Erl also, (including him of Bath),

Cursal of Chestre žer-to,

Euerad Erl of salesbury,3

Kynmar Erl of Canterbury, 160

Jonas že Erl of Dorcestre,

[pg 6 - Arthur's Guests at Cayrlyone.]

Valence že Erl of sylchestre,

Jugeyn of Leyccer [?] žerto,

Argal of warwyk also,— 164

Kynges & Erles Echon

Žes were; & many anožer goom with many other gentles great,

Gret of astaat, & že beste,

Žes were at že Feste. 168

Other also gentyls grete

Were žere at žat Meete,

Sauer appon Donand,

Regeym & Alard, 172

Reyneȝ fitȝ Colys,

Tadeus fitȝ Reis,

Delyn fitȝ Dauid,

Kymbelyn le fitȝ Gryffith, 176

Gryffitȝ že Sone of Nagand,

Žes were žere also theoband:

Alle žes were žere wythoute fable,

Wythoute ham of že rounde table. 180 besides the Round Tablers,

Thre archebusschopes žer were also, Archbishops,

And other busschopes many mo— Bishops,

Alle žis mayne were nat al-oone;

Wyth ham com many a Goome. 184

Žis feste dured dayes žre

In reuelle & solempnite.

Of by ȝonde že See also and many from beyond the sea.

Many lordez[?] were žere žo. 188

Now restež alle wyž Me,

And say a Pater & Ave.

Pater noster.

The žrydde day folowyng

Then coom nywe tydynge, 192

Že whyle žey sete at že Mete

Messagers were In ylete; To the feasters came messengers from the Roman Emperor,

Welle arayd forsože žey come,

& send fram cite of Rome 196

[pg 7 - Lucius's Message to Arthur.]

Wyž lettres of že Emperoures

Whas name was Lucies. lucius.

Žes lettres were opened & vnfold,

And že tydynge to alle men told, 200

Whas sentence, yf y ne lye,

Was after žat y can aspye:

¶ Lucius že grete Emperour Litera Lucii imperatoris.

To hys Enemy Arthour:— 204

We wounderež of ži wodeness

And also of žy Madnesse!

How darst žow any wyse

Aȝenst the Emperour žus aryse, 208 saying, that to have invaded France, etc., and made kings, Arthur must be mad in his noll;

And ryde on Remes on eche wey,

And make kyngeȝ to že obey?

Žu art wood on že Nolle!

Žu hast scley owre cosyn frolle; 212

Žu schalt be tawȝt at a schort day [Fol. 44, col. 1.]

for to make suche aray.

Oure cosyn Iulius cesar

Somme tyme conquered žar; 216

To Rome žu owest hys trybut; that he must pay his tribute,

We chargež že to paye vs hyt.

Thy pryde we wolle alaye

Žat makest so gret aray: 220

We commandež že on haste

To paye owre trybut faste;

Žu hast scley frolle in fraunce

Žat hadde vnder vs žere gouernaunce, 224

And wyžholdest oure tribute žerto:

Žu schalt be tawȝt žu hast mysdo:

We commandež že in haste soone

Žat žu come to vs at Rome 228 and come to Rome to be punished for his disobedience.

To vnderfang oure ordynaunce

For žy dysobediaunce;

As žu wold nat leze žy lyf,

Fulfylle žys wythoute stryff." 232

[pg 8 - Arthur's Answer to Lucius.]

When žis lettre was open & rad;

Že bretouns & alle men were mad, The Britons purpose to kill the messengers,

And wolde že messager scle:—

"Nay," seyd Arthour, "per de, 236 but Arthur forbids it,

That were aȝenst 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

Wyž hys lordes he hadde counsayl;

And alle asented žer to,

Arthour to Rome scholde go; 244 and resolves to invade Rome.

And žey ne wolde in hys trauayle

Wyž strenkž & good neuer fayle.

Than Arthour wroot to Rome a lettre,

Was sentence was somm-what byttere, 248

And sayde in žis manere

As ȝe may hure here:—

"Knowež welle ȝe of Romayne, Litera Regis Arthuri.

Y am kyng Arthour of Bretayne. 252 Arthur's answer to the Emperor Lucius,

Fraunce, y haue conquered hyt,

Y schalle defende & kepe hyt ȝut, [Fol. 44, col. 2.]

Y come to Rome, as y am tryw,

To take my trybut (.) to me dywe, 256 claiming tribute from him.

But noon žere-for to paye,

By my werk ȝe schalle asay;

For že Emperour Constantyne

Žat was že Soone of Elyne, 260

Žat was a Bretone of žis lond,

Conquered Rome wyth hys hond,

And so ȝe owež me tribut:

Y charge ȝow žat ȝe pay me hyt. 264

Also Maximian kyng of Bretaigne

Co[n]quered al fraunce & Almayne,

Lombardye Rome & ytalye—

[pg 9 - The Messenger's Report of Arthur.]

By ȝoure bokis ȝe may a-spye. 268

Y am žeir Eyr & žeyre lynage,

Y aske ȝow my trywage."

Žis lettre was celyd fast,

Y-take the Messagerez on hast; 272

Arthour ȝaf ham ȝyftez grete,

And chered ham wyž drynk and Mete.

Žey hasted ham to come hoom; Lucius's messengers return to him.

Byfor že Emperour žey bež coom; 276

Saluted hym as resoun ys,

And toke hym žes letterys.

Žey seyde to že Emperour

"We have be wyž kyng Arthour; 280

But such anožer as he ys oon,

Say neuer no Man.

He ys serued on hys howshold

Wyž kynges, Erles, worthy & bold; 284

Hys worthynesse, sur Emperour,

Passež Muche alle ȝowre;

He seyde he wolde hyder come and give him Arthur's message.

And take trywage of alle Rome, 288

We dowtež last he wel do soo,

For he ys Myghty ynow žer-too."

Now, erst žan we goo feržer,

Every man žat ys here 292

Sey a Pater noster

And ave wyž gode chere; Amen.

Pater noster

Ave Maria.

Now stureth hym self Arthour [Fol. 44b.]

Ženkyng on hys labour, 296

And gaderyž to hym strenghth aboute, Arthur prepares for his expedition to Rome.

Hys kynges & Erles on a rowte—

A fayr syȝt to Mannes ye

to see suche a cheualrye,— 300

[pg 10 - The Number of Arthur's Host.]

The kyng of Gotland, Has five kings,

Also že kyng of Irland,

the kyng of ysland | & of Orkenye,

Žis was worthy Maynye; 304

The kyng of Denmark also was žere,

Žis was a worthy chere:

Eche of žese vyve at her venyw

Brouȝt zyx žousand at har retenyw; 308

xxxti žowsand, ych vnderstand, with 30,000 men,

Žes vyf kyngis hadde on honde.

Than hadde he out of Normandye,

Of Angeoy & of Almanye, 312 80,000 Normans and

Boloyne(.) Peytow & flaundres

Fowre skore žowsand harneys—

Geryn of Chartez .xij. žowsand 12,000 from Chartres,

žat went wyž Artour euer at honde; 316

Hoel of bretayn, žowsandez ten 10,000 Bretons.

Of hardy & welle fyghtyng Men;

Out of Bretaygne hys owne land

He passed fourty žowsand 320 and 40,000 British:

Of Archerys & off Arblastere

Žat Cowž welle že craft of werre.

¶ In Foot other Many a Man Moo

Able to feyght(:) as welle as žo: 324

Two hunderd žousand in all 200,000.

Went wyž hym out of lond,

And Many moo sykerly

That y can4 not nombrye. 328

Arthour toke žan že lond

To Moddredes owne hond; Britain is left in Mordred's charge.

He kept al ožer žyng

Saue žo Corowne weryng; 332

But he was [fals] of hys kepynge,

As ȝe schalle hure here folewynge.

Now thanne ys Artour y-Come

And hys Ost to Sowthamptone: 336 Arthur ships at Southampton,

[pg 11 - 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 gož že sayl(:) žey saylež faste:

Arthour owt of syȝt ys paste.

Že ferst lond žat he gan Meete,

Forsože hyt was Bareflete; 344 and lands at Barfleet.

Ther he gan vp furst aryve.

Now welle Mote Arthour spede & thryve;

And žat hys saule spede že better, God speed him!

Lat eche man sey a Pater noster. 348

Pater noster.

Now god spede Artour welle!

hym ys comyng a nyw batelle. A new foe appears, a Spanish Giant,

Ther coom a gyant out of spayne,

And rauasched had fayr Elayne; 352

He had brouȝt 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 ȝut feržermore to,

He rauasehed heore Moder also. who has slain fair Elayne.

He dude že damesel for to dye

for he myght not lygge heor bye. 360

Whan žis was told to Artour,

He maked Much dolour,

And send Bedewer for to spye Arthur sends Bedwere first as a spy,

How he myght come hym bye; 364

And he was nat sclowh,

But to že hulle hym drowh

Žat Closed was wyž water stronge,

Že hulle a-Mydde gret & longe; 368

He went ouer to že hulle syde,

And žere a fonde a wommane byde

Žat sorwedd & wept Mornynge

[pg 12 - Arthur's Fight with the Giant.]

For Eleynes dež & departynge, 372

And bad Bedewer to fle also

Last he were ded more to;

"For yf že Gyant fynde že,

Wythoute dowte he wylle že scle." 376

Bedwer wyž alle hastynge

Tolde Arthour alle žis žynge.

Amorwe whan žat hyt was day

Arthour toke žyder hys way, 380 and then (with Bedwere and Key) starts on his adventure.

Bedewer wyž hym went, & keye,—

Men žat cowže welle že weye,— [Fol. 45.]

And broute Arthour Meyntenaunt,

Euen byfore že Gyant. 384

Arthour fowȝt wyž žat wyght;

He had almost ylost hys Myght:

Wyž Muche peyne, žruȝ goddez grace

He sclowh že Geant in žat place, 388 He kills the Giant,

And žan he made Bedewere

To smyte of hys heed žere.

To že Ost he dude hyt brynge,

And žeron was gret woundrynge, 392

Hyt was so oryble & so greet, whose horrible head is shown to the host,

More žan any Horse heed.

Than hadde hoel Ioye ynowh

For žat Arthour so hym sclowh; 396

And for a perpetuel Memorie

He Made a chapelle of seynt Marye and St. Mary's Chapel is built in honour of the victory.

In že hulle vpon že pleyne,

Wyž-Inne žat (:) že tumbe5 of Eleyne; 400 tombe

And žat name wyžoute nay

Hyt berež ȝut in-to žis day.

Now ys an ende of žis žynge,

And Artour haž nyw tydynge,— 404 News of Lucius's approach is brought,

Lucy že Emperour wyž hys host

Comež fast in gret bost;

Žey helyž ouer alle že lond,

[pg 13 - Arthur's Men Pray to God.]

Fowre hundred žowsand 408 with an army of 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

Wyž alle hys wytt & labour

To destroyen Arthour.

Arthour dude wyselye,

And hadde euer gode aspye 416

Of lucyes gouernynge

And of hys žyder comynge;

But somme seyde hyt were folye Some advise Arthur to turn and flee,

To fyght aȝenst Emperour lucie, 420

For he hadde sepe6 aȝenst oon,

& counceyled Arthour to fle & goon.

Wyž že Emperour come kynges Many oon,

And alle žeire power hoolle & soom; 424

Stronger men Myȝt no man see,

As fulle of drede as žey myght be;

But Arthour was not dysmayd,

He tryst on god, & was wel payd, 428 but he trusts in God,

And prayd že hye trynyte

Euer hys help forto be;

And alle hys Men wyž oo voyse

Cryde to god wyž Oo noyse, 432

"Fader in heuene, žy wylle be doon; to whom his soldiers pray

Defende žy puple fram žeire foon,

And lat not že hežone Men

Destroye že puple crystien: 436

Haue Mercy on žy se[r]uantis bonde,

And kepe ham fram že hežone honde; to keep them from the heathen's hands.

Že Muchelnesse of Men sainfayle

Ys nat victorie in Batayle; 440

[pg 14 - The Battle Between Arthur and Lucius.]

But after že wylle žat in heuene ys,

So že victorie fallež y-wys."

Than seyd Arthour, "hyt ys so: Arthur's "Forward!"

Auaunt Baner, & be Goo." 444

Now frendes alle, for goddes loue,

Rerež ȝowre hertes to god aboue,

And seyež ȝowre prayeris faste,

Žat we welle spede furst & laste. 448

Pater noster.

The emperour tryst on hys men,

And žat haž bygyled hym;

Forsothe hyt most nedez be so,

For žey bež cursed žat welle hyt do, 452

Suche alle myght comež of god; Maledictus qui confidet in homine.

To tryst on hym, y hold hyt good.

Lucye haž pyght his paueloun

And sprad wyž pryde his gunfanoun; 456

His claryouns blastes fulle grete blywe,

Archeris schot(:) Men ouer-thrywe;

Bowes, arwes, & arblastere The battle begins.

Schot sore alle y-vere; 460

Quarels, arwes, žey fly smerte;

Že fyched Men žruȝ heed & herte;

Axes, sperys, and gysarmes gret,

Clefte Many a prowt Mannes heed: 464

Hors & steedes gan to grent,

And deyde wyž strokis žat žey hente;

Many a man žere lost hys lyf, [Fol. 45b.]

Many on was wedyw žat was wyff; 468

Žere men were wetschoede Men are wetshod with brains and blood.

Alle of Brayn & of blode;

Gret rywthe hyt was to seyn

Že feltes fulle of men y-scleyn; 472

Lucy že Emperour also was dede; Lucius is slain,

But ho hym sclowh, y can nat rede;

He, for alle hys grete Renoun,

[pg 15 - Arthur Wins, and Buries the Dead.]

Aȝenst Arthour hadde no fusoun, 476 not able to stand against Arthur.

No more žan haue twenty schep

Aȝenst vyve wolfez greet.

To god be euere alle honourez!

The falde was hys & Arthourez. 480

Arthour, as he scholde done, Arthur sends Lucius's body to Rome,

Sende lucyes body to Rome;

Whan že Romeynes say žis,

Žo žey dradde Arthour & hys. 484

Also he buryed Bedewere buries Bedwere and others

Hys frend and | hys Botyler,

And so he dude other Echon

In Abbeys of Relygyoun 488 in Abbeys,

Žat were cristien of name;

He dude to alle že same;

And dude for ham Masse synge

wyth solempne song & offrynge, 492

And bood žere for to rest,

Tylle žat wynter was past, and stays the winter,

Bože he (.) hys Men echone

Seruyd god in deuocione, 496

Žankyng god of hys Myȝt thanking God

Žat kepež hys seruauntez ryȝt,

And suffrež noon for to spylle

Žat hym louež & tryste wylle: 500

Žus worschup god dude certeyn for His honour to England.

To Englond, žat žo was Bretayn; [Of the difference between More (or Great) Britain and Little Britain.]

Že More Breteyn Englond ys—

As men may rede on Cronyclys— 504

Byȝend že See Bretayne žer ys,

Žat haž hys name forsože of žis,

For že kyng Maxymyan,—

Že next after Octauyan,— 508

He conquered alle Armoryk,

And to že Reme named hyt lyk:

Amorica on latyn me cl[e]ped žat lond, Armorica.

[pg 16 - Of the Welsh and Stinking Saxons.]

Tyl Maxymyan co[n]queryd hyt wyth honde, 512

And called hyt lyte bretayne žan,

So hyȝt žis lond žat he coom fram;

For perpetuelle Mynde of grete Bretayne Little Britain is called after Great Britain.

He called hyt lyte Bretayne, 516

Žat Men schulde kepe in Mynde & wytt

How žis lond conqueryd hytt;

For Walsche Men bež Bretouns of kynde—

Know žat welle fast on Mynde— 520

Englische men bež Saxoynes,

Žat bež of Engistes Soones;

There-fore že walsch man Bretoun

Seyž & clepež vs "Sayson"7 524

And seyž (.) "taw or (.) peyd Sayson brount"8 How the Welshmen call the English "stinking Saxons."

Whan he ys wroth (;) or ellys drounke;

Hauyng Mynde of Engystis Men

Žat wyth gyle sclow žeyre kyn: 528

At že place of že Stonehenge

Ȝut žey ženkež for to venge:

And žat hyt neuere be so,

Seyž a Pater noster more to. 532

Pater noster.

Now turne we to oure labour Arthur is preparing to cross the mountains to Rome,

And lat vs speke of Arthour:

He cast on herte sone

After žat to go to Rome, 536

And spak of Passage & hys wey

Forth ouer Mount Ioye.

And sone after vpon an owr when he hears of Mordred's treachery;

He horde of Mordred the tretour 540

That hadde alle žis loud on warde—

[pg 17 - 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

Žer ys no man wel nye, y tryste,

Žat can be waar of hadde wyste.—

Mordred žis falss Man

Muche sorw žo bygan; 548

He stuffed alle castelle

Wyž armyre & vytelle,

And strenghthed hym on eche syde

Wyth Men of countreys ferre & wyde: 552

He toke že qwene, Arthoureȝ wyff, how the traitor had seized the queen, his (Arthur's) wife,

Aȝenst goddes lawe & gode lyff,

And putte heore to soiourne žo

At Euerwyk: god ȝyf hym wo. 556 and put her at York.

Yhork ys Euerwyk:

& so me callež hyt.

Arthour aryved at Whytsond Arthur then comes home,

Wyth gret Myght & strong hond, 560

And Mordred sainz fayl fights Mordred,

Ȝaf hym žo a strong batayl;

Many a man, as y rede,

Žat day was žere dede; 564

Arthoures nevew Waweyn

Žat day was žere y-sclayn, and Gawain is slain.

And ožer knyȝtes Many moo:

Žan Arthour was heuy & woo. 568

Mordred fly toward Londoun; Mordred flies to London,

He most not come in že toun:

Žan fled he to wynchester

And wyth hys Maynee kep [?] hym žere; 572

And Arthour on gret haste

Pursywed after hym faste.

Mordred wythoute fayle

Fled in-to Cornewayle. 576 and then to Cornwall.

The qwene wyžoute lesyng

[pg 18 - Arthur's Last Battle with Mordred.]

Hurde of žis tydyng,

And how Mordred was flow,

And how to Cornewale he hym drow. 580

Heo of Mercy hadde noon hoope,

Ther-for he dude on a Russet cote, The Queen turns nun at Carlyon.

And to Carlyoun ys preuyly Rounne,

And made heore self žo a Nounne; 584

Fro žat place neuer heo wende,

But of heore lyf žere made an ende.

Waweynes body, as y reede, Gawain

And other lordes žat weere deede, 588

Arthour sente in-to skotlonde, is buried in Scotland.

And buryed ham žere, y vnderstonde.

Muche folke žerhenne he toke žo,

Of Northumber-lond also 592 Northern men and others come to Arthur.

Fram dyverse places to Arthour come

Hys wylle to werk & to done:

Thus he sembled a fulle gret Ost;

To Cornewayle he drawež hym fast 596

After žat Mordred že traytour

Žat hadde do hym Muche dyshonour.

That tretour hadde gret strength

And fulled žat lond on brede & lengthe, 600

Suche a batelle as žere was redy žo He gives Mordred battle.

Hadde neuer Arthour byfore y-doo:

They fowȝt tyl žer come doun bloode

As a(.) Ryver or (.)a(.) flood; 604

Žey fowȝt euer sorest sadde; Bellum arthuri apud Camelertonum in Cornubia.

Men nyst ho že betere hadde;

But at že last Certeyn

Was Mordred & alle hys y-sclayn; 608 Mordred is slain:

And Arthour y-bete wyž wounde, Arthur wounded,

He Myght not stonde on grounde;

But on lyter ryȝt anon and carried to Avelon, or Auelona .l. insula pomorum Glastonia.

Was browȝt to Auelone, 612

Žat was a place fayr & Mury;

[pg 19 - Arthur Is Buried at Glastonbury.]

Now hyt hootež Glastyngbury. Glastonbury, where he dies,

Ther Arthour žat worthy kyng

Maked hys lyues endyng; 616

But for he skaped žat batelle y-wys,

Bretouns & Cornysch sayež žus,

"Žat he leuyth ȝut parde,

And schalle come & be a kyng aȝe." 620

At Glastyngbury on že qweer

Žey made Artourez toumbe žere, and is buried A.D. 542.

And wrote wyth latyn vers žus,

Hic iacet Arthurus rex quondam rex que futurus. 624

Thys was žus forsože ydone

Že yheer after že Incarnacione, Anno domini quingentesimo quadragesimo secundo.

Vyf hundred (.) fourty & two.

Now saue vs alle fra woo 628

Ihesu cryst, heuenly kyng,

& graunt vs alle hys blessyng;

And žat hyt Moote so be,

Seyež alle Pater & Aue. 632

Pater noster. Aue.

Ho žat wolle more loke,

Reed on že frensch boke, Read the French Book for the rest.

And he schalle fynde žere

Žynges žat y leete here. 636

But yf žat god wolle graunte grace,

y schalle rehercy in žis place

Alle že kyngez žat after were,

And what names [ž]at žey bere; 640

And ho žat wolle žeyre gestes loke,

Reed on že Frensche boke. Amen fiat.


a, he, l. 370.

aspye, sb. espial, l. 416.

ayhe, again, l. 126.

beeme, sb. ? noise, display, from A.S. béme, 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.

soueȝ (?), 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. žeodan, to join; ge-žeod-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.


? soneȝ (return)
? MS. perhaps Angecye. (return)
The s is rubbed: the word may be "onlesbury." (return)
? MS. y-tan. (return)
tombe (return)
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. (return)
Žat ys to seye vpon a reess,
"Stynking Saxoun, be on pees." (return)
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. (return)

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