¶ This is the Royall Cyte of Thebes.

¶ Here begynneth the prologue of the Storye of Thebes.

THan bryght phebus passed
Phebus in Aryete
was the Ram
Myd of Aprell & in to the Bo le cam
And Satourne olde. with
Saturnus in Virgine
his frosty face
In Virgyne. taken had his place
Melencolyke. and slouth of mocyo [...]
And was also. in thopposycyon
Of Lucyna the mone. moyste and pale
Jupiter in capitecācri
That many shoure. fro heuen made auale
whan Aurora. was in the morow red
And Jupyter. in the Crabbes hed
Hath take his paleys. and his mansyon
The lusty tyme. and Joly fresshe season
whan that Flora. the noble myghty quene
The soyll hath clad. in newe tender grene
with her floures. craftely meynte
Branche & bough. with red & whyte depeynte
Fle [...]yng the baume. on hylles and on vales
The tyme in soth. whan Canterbury tales
Complet and tolde. at many sondry stage
Of estates. in the pylgrymage
Eueryche man. lyke to his degree
Some of desporte. some of moralyte
[Page]Some of knyghthode. loue and gentyllesse
And some also. of parfyte holynesse
And some also. in sothe of Rybaudrye
To make laughter. in the companye
Eche admytted. for none wolde other greue
Lyke as the Loke. the Myller and the Reue
The Loke Myller & ye Reue
Aquyte hemselfe. shortly to conclude
Boystously in her termes rude
whan they hadden. well dronken of the bolle
And eke also. with his pylled nolle
The Pardoner. beerdles all his chyn
Glaly eyes. and face of Lherubyn
Tellyng a tale. to angre with the Frere
As openly. the story can you lere
worde by worde. with euery circūstaunce
Echone I wryte. and put in remembraunce
By hym that was. yf I shall not fayne
Lhaw [...]er
Floure of Poe [...]es. thorugh out of all Bretayne
whiche sothly had. moost of excellence
In Rethoryke. and in eloquence
Rede his makyng. who lyst the trouthe fynde
whiche neuer shall. appallen in my mynde
But alwaye fresshe. ben in myn memorye
To whome be yeue. pryse honour and glorye
Of well sayeng. fyrste in oure langage
Lhyfe regystrer. in this pylgrymage
All that was [...]olde. forgetyng nought at all
Fayned tales. nor thyng hystoryall
[Page]with many prouerbes. dyuerse and vncouthe
By rehersayle. of his sugred mouth
Of eche thynge. kepynge in substaunce
The sentence hole. withoute varyaunce
Voydynge the chaff. sothly for to sayn
Enlumynynge. the trew pyked grayn
By crafty wrytyng. of his sawes swete
Fro the tyme. that they dyde mete
Fyrste the pylgrymes. sothly euerychon
Atte the Tabard. assembled one by oon
And fro Sothwerke. sothly for to seye
Atte the [...]a bard in sou thwerke
To Lanterbury. rydynge on her weye
Tellyng a tale. as I reherse can
Lych as the hoost. assygned euery man
Noon soo hardy. his byddynge dysobeye
The Oost
And this whyle. that the pylgrymes leye
Atte Lanterbury. well logged one and alle
I not in soth. what I may it calle
Hap or fortune. in conclusyon
That me befelle. to entre in to the toun
The holy Saynt playnly to vysyte
After my sykenesse. vowes to acquyte
In a Lope of blake. and not of grene
The discri uynge of ye monke &c.
On a palfray. Sclender. longe and lene
with Rusty brydell. made not for the Sale
My man toforne. with a voyde male
That of fortune. toke myne ynne anoon
where the pylgrimes. were logged euerychon
[Page]The same tyme. her gouernour the Oost
Scondynge in halle. full of wynde and boost
Lyche to a man. wounder sterne and fers
whiche spake to me. and sayd anone dan pers
The wor­dis of ye ost to ye monke
Dan domynyk. dan Godfray or Llement
Ye be welcome. newly in to kent
Though your brydell. haue nother boos ne bell
Besechynge you. that ye wyll tell
Fyrste of youre name. and what coūtre
withoute more. shortly that ye be
That loke so pale. all deuoyde of blode
Vpon youre hede. a wonder thredbare hode
well arrayed. for to ryde late
I answerde my name. was Lydgate
Lydgate monke of Burye
Monke of Burye. nye fyfty yere of age
Lome to this towne. to do my pylgrymage
As I haue hyght. I haue there of noo shame
Dan Johan qd he. well brouke ye your name
The wor­dis of ye ost
Though ye be sooll. byth right glad and lyght
Prayeng you to suppe. with vs this nyght
And ye shall haue made. at your deuys
A grete poddynge. or a rounde hagys
A fraunche moyse. a tanse or a Froyse
To ben a monke. sclender is your coyse
ye haue ben syke. I dare myne hede assure
Or lette fede. in a faynt pasture
Lyfte vp your hede. be glad take noo sorowe
And ye shold home ryde. with vs to morowe

Pars prima ¶ Here begynneth the Story of the de­struccyon of the Lyte of Thebes

SIrs quod I. syth of your curtesye
I entred am. in to your cōpanye
And admytted. a tale for to telle
By hym that hath. power to compelle
I mene oure Ost. gouernour & guyde
Of you echone rydynge. here besyde
Though that my wytt. bareyn be & dulle
I wyll reherse. a story wounderfulle
Towchynge the Syege of destruccyon
Of worthy Thebes. the myghty royall toun
Bylte and begonne. of olde antyquyte
Vpon the tyme. of worthy Josue
By dylygence. of kynge Amphyon
Lheef cause fyrste. of his foundacyon
For whiche his fame. whiche neuer shall awaye
In honour floureth. yet vnto this daye
And in story remembred. is and preysed
But how the walles. were on heyght reysed
It is wonder. and meruayle for to here
But yf ye lyste. I shall you platly lere
The maner hole platly in sentence
Vnder supporte. of your pacyence
As wryte myn auctour. & Bochas bothe two
Rede her bookes. and ye shall fynde it so
[Page]Eueryche conclude. lyche as his fantasye
And thus full ofte. gendred is enuye
In folkes hertes. of soleynce and pryde
For suche as lyste not. ones to loke asyde
To rewarde hem. whan they lowe lou [...]e
And agayne kynde. it is oute of doute
That ony hede. by recorde of the wyse
How ye poure peple su­pportē & be ren vp ye state of a k [...]g
Sholde the fote of dysdayne despyse
whiche bereth hym vp. who soo can take hede
And susteyneth. in his moost nede
As his pyler. and his suppoayle
For fynally. ne were the porayle
Her berer vp. and supportacyon
Fare well lordshyp. and denomynacyon
Thorugh oute the londe. of euery hygh estate
wherfore me semeth. more is fortunate
Of Marcurye. the swete sugred harpe
Than Mars swerde. whettyd kene and sharpe
More accepted. with aspectes good
Than is this god. with his lokes wood
Nota What the goodlihede of a prynce auaileth to wyne ye her [...]is of his peple
For humble speche. with glad contenaūce
Maye a prynce. shortly auaūce
Among his people. hertes for to wynne
Of Inwarde loue. whiche wyll not twyne
Than golde. rychesse. pryde or tyrannye
Other dysdayne. daungere or surquedye
Or of lordes. clerkes can reporte
But that loue. her crowne doo supporte
[Page]The fyne is not. in conclusyon
Ensample of kyng ā ­phyon
I take recorde. of kyng Amphyon
That bylte Thebes. by his eloquence
More than of pryde. or of vyolence
Noble and ryche. that lyke was nowhere none
And thus the walles. made of lyme and stone
were reysed fyrste. by syngynges of this kyng
Lyke as poetes feynen. in her wrytyng
But sothly yet. some exposytours
How after thopynyon of som auc tours Cad mꝰ bylded fyrst ye cyte of Thebes
Groundyng hem. vpon olde auctours
Sayen that Cadmus. the famous olde man
Full longe afore. the Cytee fyrste began
And the grounde. of byldyng sette
And the bondes. by compas oute mette
with thong oute kerue of a bolys syde
whiche enuyron. stretche myght wyde
To gette in londe. a full large space
How the cō tre of boece toke fyrste his name of a bolys­kyn & aftir callid The bes How kyng cadmꝰ was exyled oute of Thebes by the ꝓwesse of kyng Amphyon
where vpon to bylde. a dwellyng place
And called was. the soyle thus getten yn
whylom Boece. of the bolys skyn
The name after. in to Thebes tourned
But Cadmus. hath not there longe soiourned
Lyke in story. as it is compyled
For shortly. he fro thennes was exyled
Neuer after. for to dwell in the town
By the knyghthode. of this Amphyon
whiche vp perfourmeth. ryche for the nones
The Cytee Thebes. of myghty square stones
[Page]As I you tolde. a lyte here to forne
And Cadmus thus. his kyngdom hath lorne
Sceptre and crowne. and his power royall
Now haue I tolde. vnto you grounde of all
That ye well knowe. by Informacyon
Clerely the pyth. and thexposycyon
Of this mater. as clerkes can you tell
It were but vayne. lenger for to dwell
To tarye you on this mater
Syth my tale. whiche that ye shall here
Vpon oure waye. wyll laste a longe whyle
The space in sothe. as I suppose of an myle
And now ye knowe. fyrste how Amphyon
Bylte and began this Cyte and this town
Regnyng there. longe after as I rede
Of hym nomore. for I wyll procede
How the ly [...]e of aphy on by ducet was cō [...]ey e [...] vnto k [...] ge Layus
To my purpos. that I fyrste began
Not tellyng here. how the lyne ran
Fro kyng to kyng. by successyon
Conueyeng doun. by the stoke of Amphyon
Ceryously by lyne. all the dyscente
But leue all this. playnly of entente
To telle forth. in bokes as I rede
How Layus. by processe gan succede
To bere the crowne. in this myghty londe
Holdyng the scepture. of Thebes in his honde
kyng Layꝰ & [...]ocasta his wyfe
Manly and wyse. duryng all his lyfe
And Jocasta. called was his wyfe
[Page]Full womanly. the story sayth certeyn
For a tyme. though she were bareyn
Tyll layus. in full humble wyse
To haue a childe. dyde sacrefyce
Fyrste to Appollo. in his chare soo bryghte
And Jubyter. that hath soo grete a myghte
Besechynge hem. with deuoute reuerence
To graunte oonly. through her influence
That his request. executed maye be
And specyally. to goddesses thre
He besoughte. Pallas and Juno
And Dyane. for to helpe also
That he be not defrauded. of his boone
And his prayer accepted. was full soone
That fynally. thorugh his rytes olde
Euen lyke. as his herte wolde
The quene Jocasta. hath anone conceyued
whiche whan the kynge. fully hath perceyued
He made in haste. hym lyste not to abyde
Thorugh his kyngdome. messengers ryde
Fro coost to coost. the story can deuyse
For dyuyners. and philosophers wyse
For suche as werne. famous physycyens
And well experte. Astronomyens
To come in haste. vnto his presence
To fynde oute. shortly in sentence
By crafte oonly. of calculacyon
How the astronomyēs & the phylosophers of thebes cal­ked out the fayt of edippus
The childes fate. and dysposycyon
[Page]And therupon. to yeue a Jugemente
The rote I take. atte ascendente
Trewly sought oute. by mynute and degree
The selfe houre. of his natyuytee
Not for yet. the heuenly mansyons
Clerely serched. by smale fraccyons
Fyrste by secondes. teers. and eke quartes
On angrym stones. and on whyte cartes
I preued oute. by dylygente laboure
In tables correcte. deuoyde of all erroure
Justly sought. and founde oute of bothe two
The yeres collecte. and expanse also
Consydred eke. by good inspeccyon
Euery houre. and constellacyon
And eche aspecte. and loke eke dyuers
whiche were good. and whiche also peruers
where they were towarde. or at debate
Happy welfull▪ or infortunate
And fynally. in conclusyon
Nota the cursed cōstella cōn & indis [...]osi cōn of heuē in ye nat [...]y te of edippꝰ Nota How ye face of edyppus dysposed yt he shold sle his owne fader
They founde Saturne. in the Scorpyon
Heuy chered. malencolyke and lothe
And wood Mars furyous and wrothe
Holdynge his septure. in the Caprycorne
The same houre. whan this childe was borne
Venus dyrecte. and contraryous
And depressyd in Marcuryus hous
That the dome. and Jugemente fynall
Of thees clerkes. to speke in specyall
[Page]By fatall sorte. that may not be withdrawe
That with his swerde. his fader shall be slawe
There maye no man. helpe it nor excuse
On whiche thynge. the kynge gan sore muse
And caste he wolde. on that other syde
Agayne her dome. for hymselfe prouyde
Shape awaye. and remedye toforn
Byddyng the quene. whan the childe were born
withoute mercy. or moderly pyte
That he be dede. it maye none other be
And in all haste. lyke as he hath sente
She obeyed. his commaundemente
with wofull herte. and pyteous loke
And face pale. her yonge sone she toke
Tendre and grene. bothe of flesshe and bones
To certayne men. ordeyned for the nones
Fro poynte to poynte. in all maner thynge
To execute. the byddynge of the kynge
They durste not. delaye it nor abyde
But to a foreste. that stode ferre besyde
They toke her waye. and fast gan hem spede
The kynges wyll. to perfourme in dede
Hauynge therof. passynge heuynesse
But whan that. they behelde the fayrenesse
Of the childe. and excellente beaute
In her herte. they hadde grete pyte
And playnly caste. amonge hem was no stryfe
That the childe. sholde haue his lyfe
[Page]And anone. full hyghe vpon a tree
In a place. that noo man myghte see
They henge hym vp. the story can reherse
But fyrste his fete. thorugh they gan to perse
And on bowes tender. towgh and smale
They knette hym vp this noo tale
Hym to preserue. fro bestes wylde and rage
And after that. taken her vyage
Towarde Thebes. in all the haste they maye
But of fortune. thylken same daye
with her houndes. serchynge vp and down
The hunters wente. of kynge polybon
Through the foreste. game for to fynde
Some aforne. and some come behynde
And gan serche. and seke wounder sore
Amonge the hylles. and the holtes hore
And as the reenge. the trenches by and by
how the hū ters of kynge polybon fonde ye childe in ye foreste & present hym vnto the kynge
They harde a noyse. and a pyteous cry
Of this childe. hangynge on this tree
And all atrones. drowe it for to see
And lefte not. tyll they haue hym founde
And toke hym downe. and his feet vnbounde
And bare hym home. vnto polybon
Lrynge of Archadye. the famous regyon
And whan that he. fyrste the chylde gan see
Of his woundes. he hadde grete pytee
To beholde. his tender fete blede
And called hym. Edyppus as I rede
[Page]whiche is to seyn. platly this noo phage
Bored the fete. as in that langage
And fyrste the kynge. in his royall halle
Made his men. a nouryce for to calle
This yonge childe. to fuster and to kepe
with her mylke. that he nought wepe
And his leches. he charged eke also
Tyll he were hoole. her deuoure for to do
Fully in purpose. for the childe was fayre
After his daye. to make hym his heyre
For cause oonly. who soo taketh hede
Sone hadde he none. by lyne to succede
And where that he hadde. a wyfe or none
I fynde not. and therfore let it gone
But by processe. of dayes and of yeres
This Edyppus. amonge his playeng feres
was in his porte. passynge full of pryde
That none. with hym myghte in peas abyde
I herte he. was soo inly surquidous
Malencolyke. and contraryous
Full of despyte. and hygh dysdayne
That no wyght durst. shortly hym with sayne
Tyll on a daye. he gan with one debate
To whome he hadde. specyally grete hate
whiche of rancoure. and of hasty tene
As he that myghte. his pryde not sustene
Gan vpon hym. truely abrayde
And vnto hym. felly thus he sayde
[Page]wherto quod he▪ arte thou soo proude of porte
Lontrarye euer also in oure dysporte
Frowarde and felle. lastynge euer mone
As thou were lorde. of vs euerychone
And presumeste. fully in worchynge
Lyke as thou were sone vnto the kynge
And descended. of his royall blood
But where soo be. thou be wrothe or wood
Thou arte nothynge. and thou lyste take hede
Apperteynynge. vnto his kynrede
But in a foreste. founden and vnknowe
whan thou were yonge. the▪ fore bere the lowe
And vtterly. remembre yf the lyste
Thy byrthe and blood. are both twoo vnwyste
This is the fyne. shortly of my tale
wherwith Edyppus. gan to waxe pale
And chaunge also. chere and coūtenance
And gan a poynte. in his remembrance
worde by worde. and feyned righte noughte
And felly to muse. in his owne thoughte
And caste he wolde. withoute more taryenge
The trouthe enquere. of Polybon the kynge
And whan he sawe. oportune space
And the kynge. in syker place
He hym besoughte. lowly on his knee
To his requeste. benygnely to see
And that he wolde. playnly and not spare
Of his byrthe. the trewe trouthe declare
[Page]And make hym sure. of this thynge anone
Yf he were his verray sone or none
And Polybon. oonly of gentylnesse
whan he behelde. the grete heuynesse
Of Edyppus. and the wofull payne
He gan dyssymule. and in maner fayne
Lyke as he hadde be. verrely his heyre
But more and more. he falleth in dyspeyre
And downe on knees. efte ayen gan falle
Hym coniurynge. by the goodes alle
To telle trouthe. and noo thynge to hyde
Affermynge eke he wolde not abyde
Lenger with hym. but ryden and enquere
Tyll tyme he maye. the verray sothe here
In ony parte. of happe or of fortune
And for that he. was soo importune
In his desyre. the kynge withoute abode
Leryously▪ tolde how it stode
In a foreste fyrste. how he was founde
Vpon a tree. by the feet I bounde
And how he caste. in conclusyon
To make hym kynge. of that regyon
After his daye. shortely for to telle
But Edyppus. wyll noo lenger dwelle
But to ke leue. and in haste gan ryde
To a temple. faste there besyde
Of appollo. in story as it is tolde
whoos statu. stode in a chare of golde
[Page]On wheles foure. burned bryghte and shene
And within. a spyryte full vnclene
By fraude oonly. and false collusyon
And answere gafe. to euery questyon
Bryngynge the people. in full grete erroure
Suche as to hym. dyden false honoure
By ryghtes vsed. in the olde dawes
After custome. of paganymes lawes
And Edyppus. with full humble chere
To Appollo. made his prayere
Besechynge hym. on his knees bowe
By some sygne. that he myghte knowe
Thorugh euydence. shortly comprehendeth
Of what kynrede. he was descendeth
And whan Edyppus. by grete deuocyon
Fynysshed hathe. fully his oryson
He founde anone. wymmen Inuysyble
with a voyse. dredfull and horryble
Bade hym in haste. taken his vyage
Towarde Thebes. wherof his lynage
He heren shall. and be certefyed
And on his waye. anone he hathe hym hyed
By hasty Journaye. & so his horse constreyned
Daye by daye. tyll he hathe atteyned
Vnto a castell. Pylotes I called
Ryche and stronge. and well aboute walled
Adiacente. by syght of the countree
And perteynente. to Thebes the cytee
[Page]Lrynge Layus. beynge there presente
For to holde. a manere tornemente
with his knyghtes. yonge and curyous
And other folke. that were desyrous
To preue hemselfe. shortely for to telle
who by force. other myghte excelle
Or gette a name. thorugh his hye prowesse
Eche of hem. dyde his besynesse
On horse backe. and also eke on fote
All be that some founde all vnsote
Rather applye. of werre than of pees
where Edyppus. putte hymselfe in prees
As he that was ay redy to debate
Enforsynge hym. to entren in atte gate
Maugre all tho. that hym wolde lette
And in the prees. of auenture how he mette
How edyp­pus slough his fad a [...] a castell
Lrynge Layus. and cruelly hym slowe
Though the story. wrytte not the maner howe
Ne noo wyghte. can of all the companye
By noo sygne. verely espye
By whos hande. that the kynge was slawe
For Edyppus in haste gan. hym withdrawe
And kepte hym coye. of entencyon
Grete was the noyse. and the pyteous soun
In the castell. for slaughter of the kynge
Dooll and complaynte. sorow and wepynge
But for they see. heuynesse and thoughte
Agaynste dethe. vayleth lytell or noughte
[Page]They ordeyne. with Rytes full royall
For the feste. called funerall
And lyke the custome. of the dayes olde
The cors they brente. in to asshes colde
And in a vessell. rounde made as a balle
They closed hem. in golde and in metalle
And after that dyde hyr besy cure
An Thebes. to make a sepulture
And rychely. hem lyste noo lenger lette
The asshen dyde they. enclose and shette
Of this mater. there is noo more to seyne
But to Edyppus. I wyll tourne ayene
whiche hym enhasteth ay fro daye to daye
Towerde Thebes. in all that euer he maye
Brennynge in herte. hote as ony fyre
The fyne to knowe. of his fatall desyre
But for that he fayled. of a guyde
Oute of his waye. he wente fer besyde
Thorugh a wyloe. and a waste countree
How edyp­pꝰ went by ye hylle where ye mōstre lay yt called was spynx
By a montayne that stode vpon the see
where that monstres. of many dyuerse kynde
were conuersante. in story as I fynde
Amonge whiche. sothly there was one
Soo Inly cruell. that noo man durste gone
For drede of dethe. forthe by that passage
This monstre. was soo mortall in his rage
The des [...] cōn of yt fou le monstre
whiche hadde also. by descrypcyon
Body and feet. of a fers lyon
[Page]And lyke a mayde. in sothe was hede and face
Fell of his his loke. and cruell to manace
And odyous. of contenaunce and of syghte
And as I rede. Spynx this monstre hyghte
worse than Tygre. Dragon or Serpente
And I suppose. by enchauntemente
He was ordeyned. on the hylle to abyde
To slewe all tho. that passeden besyde
And specyally. all that dyde fayle
To expowne. his mysty dyuynayle
His probleme eke. in wordes playne and bare
withoute a mysse. openly declare
Or with the lyfe. he myghte not escape
This is berray sothe. platly and noo Jape
And yf that he. by declaracyon
Gaaf there vpon. clere exposycyon
He sholde in haste. there was none other meane
Slee this monstre. for all his cruell teane
There may of mercy. be none other graunte
But for all this. Edyppus ignoraunte
This dredfull hylle. standynge on a Roche
Or he was ware. full nye gan aproche
More perlous platly. then he wende
And sodeynly the monstre gan descende
To stoppen his waye. and letten his passage
Thus abraydynge. with a fell corage
I haue in herte. Inly grete dysporte
That fortune hathe broughte the. to my sorte
[Page]To make a preste. yf thou mayste endure
The fatall ende of this auenture
Sette atte a fyne. sothely by dayes olde
And by and by. all the caas hym tolde
Chargynge hym. to be well ware and wyse
Gette the palme. and bere awaye the pryse
Thouchynge this thyng. set atwene vs twey [...]
with lyfe or deth. whiche we shall dareyn
And this monstre. with a despytous chere
His probleme. gan thus. as ye shall here
There is a beest. merueylous to see
Of the probleme that spynx putt to edyppus
The whiche in sothe. atte his natyuytee
Is of his myghte. soo tender and soo grene
That he maye not. hymselfe sustene
Vpon his fete. though he hadde it sworne
But yf that he be. of his moder borne
And afterwarde. by processe of age
On foure feet. he maketh his passage
After one. thre. yf I shall not fayne
And alderlaste. he gooth vpryghte ontwayne
Dyuerse of porte. and wonderfull of cheres
Tyll by lengthe. of many sondry yeres
Naturelly. he gooth ayen on three
And syth on foure. it may none other bee
And fynally. this is the trouth playne
He retorneth. kyndely agayne
To the mater. whiche that he came fro
Loo here is. all my probleme doo
[Page]Muse here vpon. withouten werre or stry [...]e
It to declare. or elles lese thy lyfe
And whan Edyppus. gan this thynge aduerte
well assured. in his manly herte
Gan in his wytte. serchen vp and downe
And of prudence. caste in his reasone
By grete auyse. what this thynge maye be
Seenge also. that he maye not fle
And how there was. counseyll none nor rede
But telle trouth. or elles to be dede
And by full goode delyberacyon
Thus he answered. in conclusyon
Thou Spynx quod he. fals and fraudulente
Thou fowle monstre. thou dragon yu serpente
That in this hylle. lyche as I conceyue
Lyeste in a whayte. folkes to deceyue
But truste well. for all thy sleyghty wytte
Thy false fraude. shall anone by quyte
Me lyste not now. whysper nether rowne
But thy probleme. anone I shall expowne
Soo openly. thou shalte not goo ther fro
Loo thus it is. take good hede ther to
Thylke beste. thou spake of her beforne
How edyp­pus expow ned ye ꝓble­me yt spynx put to hym
Is euery man. in this worlde borne
whiche maye not gon. his lymmes be soo softe
But as his moder. beryth hym a lofte
In her armes. whan he dooth crye or wepe
And after that. he gynneth for to crepe
[Page]On foure fete. in his tender youthe
By experyence. as it is ofte couthe
A forne I rekened. his handes bothe two
And by processe. thou mayste consyder also
with his twoo fete. for all thy felle tene
He hath a staff. hymselfe to sustene
And than he gooth. shortly vpon three
And alderlaste. as it muste nedes be
Voydynge his staff. he walketh vpon tweyne
Tyll it soo be. thorugh age he atteyne
That luste of youthe. wasted be and spente
Than in his honde. he taketh a potente
And on thre fete. thus he gooth agayne
And I dare afferme. yu mayst it not withsayne
And soone after. thorugh his vnweldy myght
By influence. of natures ryght
By experyence. as euery man maye knowe
Lyche a childe. on foure. he [...]repeth alowe
And for he maye. here noo whyle soiourne
To erthe agayne. he muste in haste retourne
whiche he come fro. he maye it not renue
For in this worlde. noman maye eschewe
This verraye sothe. shortly and noo doughte
whan the whele of kynde. comyth aboughte
And naturelly. hath his cours ronne
By cyrcuyte. as dooth the shene sonne
That man and childe. of hye and lowe estate
It gayneth not. to make more debate
[Page]His tyme sette. that he muste fyne
whan Antropos. of malyce dooth vntwyne
His lyues [...]hred. by Cloto fyrste compowned
Loo here thy probleme. fully is expowned
Atte oure metynge. as I toke on honde
To the lawe. that thou muste nedes stonde
And in all haste. of myne hondes deye
But of reason. thou can it ought with seye
And soo this spynx. a wapyd and amate
Stode dysamayed. and dysconsolate
with chere done caste. muyte pale and dede
And Edyppus. anone smote of the hede
Of this fende. stynkynge and vnsw [...]te
And the countree. sette holy in quyete
wherby he hathe. suche a pryse I wonne
That his fame. is euery coste yronne
Thorugh all the londe. yt he the monstre hathe slawe
And lyne righte. to Thebes he gan drawe
well receyued. for his worthynesse
For his manhode. and his righte prouesse
And for they see. he was a semely knyghte
well fauoured. in euery mannys syghte
And sawe also. Thebes the myghty towne
Not oonly they. but all the regyone
werne destytute. of a gouernoure
Avens her foon. hauynge noo socoure
Hem to defende. but the quene allone
Amonge hemselfe. makynge full grete mone
[Page]For there was none. as bookes specyfye
The Septure or crowne. for to occupye
For whiche the lordes. all by one assente▪
within the towne. sette a parlyamente
Shortly concludynge. yf it myghte bene
Prudently to treate. with the quene
Namely they that. helde hemselfe moost sage
To condyscende by waye of maryage
She to be Joyned. to this manly knyght
Passynge prudente. and famous eke of myght
Moost lykely man. as they can dyscexne
The worthy Cyte. to kepen and gouerne
And thorugh counseyll. of the lordes alle
To her desyre. playnly she is falle
And corded. withoute more taryeng
That of Thebes. Edyppus shall be kyng
By full assente. was none that sayd naye
And tyme sette. agayne a certayne daye
Amonge hemselfe. and fynaly dyuysed
The weddynge was in Thebes solempnysed
Full ryally. with nedes moost vnthryne
Oonly for he is. moder toke tho wyne
Vn [...]yst of bothe. he was of her blode
And Ignoraunte. shortly how it stode
That he tofore. hadde his fader slawe
For whiche this weddyng. was agayn the lawe
And to [...]ore god. is nother fayre ne good
Nor acceptable. blood to touche blood
[Page]whiche cause hathe be. of grete confusy [...]
In many londe. and many Regyon
Grounde and rote. of vnhap and meschaunce
The fyne concludynge. alwaye in vengaunce
As men haue seen. by clere experyence
And holy wryte. recordeth in sentence
How herodes. falsly in his lyfe
Vyolence. toke his brothers wyfe
For she was fayre. and pleasaunte to his syght
And kepte her styll. by force thorugh his myght
All be to her. tytle hadde he noon
And for her sake. the holy man saynt Johon
For his trouthe. in pryson loste his hede
Therfore I rede. euery man take hede
where soo he be. prynce lorde or kynge
That he be ware. to eschewe suche weddynge
Or that the swerde. of vengaunce of manace
Leste he lese happe. fortune and grace
Takynge ensample. in all maner thynge
Of Edyppus. in Thebes crowned kynge
All be that he wroughte of ignoraūce
Full derke and blynde. of his wofull chaūce
And yf vnwyste. he of Innocence
As ye haue herde. fylle in suche offence
For whiche he was punysshed and brought low
what ar they worthy that her errour know
And fro the knotte. lyste not to abstene
Of suche sponsayle. to god and man vnclene
[Page]I can not seen. nomore therof deuyse
Demeth youre selfe. that prudente ben & wyse
And Edyppus. haue amonge in mynde
Of whom the weddyng. lyke as ye may fynde
Vnhappy was. and passynge odyous
Infortuned. and vngracyous
I am wery. and therof more to wryte
The hatfull processe. also to endyte
I passe ouer. fully of entente
For Imynens. was not there presente
Nor Lucyna. lyste not therto shyne
Ne there was none. of the musys nyne
Of oure accorde. for to make melodye
For they songe not. by heuenly Armonye
Nother Clyo. nor Calyope
One of the sustren. in nombre thryes thre
And they dyde. whan Phylogye
Ascended vp hye. aboue the skye
To be wedded. this lady vertuous
Vnto her lorde. the god Marcuryus
As Marcyan I named. de Capelle
In his booke of weddynge. can you telle
There concludynge. in this maryage
The Poete. that whylom was soo sage
That this lady. called Sapyence
I wedded was. vnto Eloquence
As it sat well. by heuenly purueaunce
Hem to be Joyned. by knotte of alyaunce
[Page]But bothe twoo. sothly of entente
Atte weddynge. in Thebes were assente
That caused after. grete aduersyte
For fynall ende. of that solempnyte
was sorowe. and woo and destruccyon
Vter ruyne. of this royall toun
There may noo man. helpe it ne socoure
For a tyme in Joye. though they floure
But atte weddynge. platly for to telle
The infortunat follr yt were atte edippꝰ weddyng. Cer­berꝰ herebz Noye with her iii dou­ghters dre­de fraude Trecherye treson poū te Indygence nede de­the & cruell Mars
was Cerberus cheef porter of helle
And herebus. fader to hatrede
was there presente. with his hole kynrede
His wyfe also. with her browes blake
And her doughter. sorowe for to make
Hydous chered. and vggely for to see
Megera. and Thesyphonee
Allecto eke. with laboure and enuye
Drede and Fraude. and false Trecherye
Treson Pouerte. Indygence and Nede
And cruell Dethe. in his rente wede
wretchednesse. complaynte and eke rage
Ferfull pale. derkenes croked age
Cruell Mars. as ony tygre wood
Brennynge yre. of vnkynde blood
Fraternall hate. depe sette the rote
Saaf oonly dethe. that there nas noo bote
Assured othes. atte fyne vntrewe
All thise vnthryfty people were at ye weddyng of Edyppꝰ & Jocasta
Alle these folke. were atte this weddynge newe
[Page]To make the towne. desolate and bare
As the story. after shall declare
But ay in Thebes. with his walles stronge
Edyppus regnyth. many daye and longe
And as myne auctoure wryte. in wordes playne
By Jocasta. he hadde sones twayne
Ethyocles. and also Polymyte
And in bookys. as soundry clerkes wryte
Doughters twoo. full goodly on to see
Of the whiche. one hyghte Antygonce
And that other. called was I meyne
Off hir beaute. inly souereyne
Edyppus ay deuoyde. of werre and stryfe
with Jocasta. ladde a mery lyfe
Tyll fortune. or his iniquyte
Hadde enuye. of his prosperyte
For whan he shone. moost riche in his renoune
Fro her whele. she plonged hym adoune
Oute of his Joye. in to sondayne woo
As she is wonte. frowardly to doo
And namely hem. that setten her affyaunce
On erthly truste. in her varyaunce
For whan this kynge. passyng of grete myghte
Sate with the quene. vpon a certeyne nyghte
Casuelly whan his folke echone
Oute of his chambre. sodeynly were gone
Or he was ware. Jocasta gan beholde
The carectes of his woundes olde
[Page]Vpon his feet. enprented woundes depe
Tournynge her face. brast oute for to wepe
Soo secretly. he myghte it not aspye
And she anone. felle in to a fantasye
Ay on this thynge. musynge more and more
And in her bedde. gan to sygh sore
And whan the kynge. conceyued her dystresse
He gan enquere. of her heuynesse
Fully the cause. and occasyon
For he wolde wyte. in conclusyon
what her eyleth. and why she ferde soo
My lord quod she. withoute wordes moo
Parcelle cause. of this sodeyne rage
Is for I in my tender age
Hadde a lorde. I named Layus
Lrynge of this towne. a man right vertuous
By whome I hadde a sone. wonder fayre
Lykely to haue ben his. successour and heyre
But by cause. his dyuynours tolde
Atte his byrthe. sothly that he sholde
Yf he haue lyfe. by fatall destenye
Slee his fader. it myghte none other be
For whiche the kynge. his face to eschue
Badde me in haste. as hym thoughte due
To slee the childe. and haue therof noo routhe
And I anone badde. withoute slouthe
To certayne men. vpon payne of Jugemente
To excecute. the commaundemente
[Page]Of the kynge. as I gaaf hem in charge
And forthe they gone. to a foreste large
Adiacente to this countree
Percen they his feet. and hangynge on a tree
Not perfourmynge. the execucyon
On hym they. hadde suche compassyon
Lefte hym there. and home resorte agayne
Beynge in doubte. and in none certayne
Atte her repayre. as they tolde alle
Of this childe. what afterwarde is befalle
Saaf they sayde. hunters haue hym founde
whiche lad hym forthe. and his feet vnbounde
But to what coste. they coude not declare
whiche percell is of. myne euell fare
Grounde and cause. of myne heuy chere
Consydered eke. the woundes that appere
Vpon youre feet. and wote not what they mene
And one thynge is. ay atte myne herte grene
My lorde alas. but of newe date
Lrynge Layus. slayne was but late
Atte a castell. nye by this countree
Vpon youre comynge. in to this Cytee
Alle this I wayed. and rekened in to one
Makynge myne herte. heuy as ony stone
Soo that I can counseyle. none ne rede
And with yt worde. the kynge lyfte vp his hede
And abarayed. with sharpe syghes smerte
And all this thynge. by ordre gan aduerte
[Page]Ceryously. by good aduysemente
And by sygnes. clere and euydente
Conceyueth well. and sore gan repente
It was hymselfe. that Jocasta mente
And whan ye quene. in maner sawe hym playne
By her goddes. she gan hym to constrayne
To shewen oute. the cause of his affraye
And it expowne. and make noo delaye
Croppe and rote. shortly why that he
Entred fyrste. in to that countre
Fro when he came. and fro what regyo [...]
But he her putte in delusyon
As he hadde done it. for the nones
Tyll atte laste. he brake oute attones
Vnto the quene. and gan a processe make
Fyrste how he was. in the foreste take
wounded the feet. and soo forthe euery thynge
Of his serchynge. how Polybon the kynge
And hole the cause. why he hym forsoke
And in what wyse. he the waye toke
Towarde Thebes. as Appollo badde
And of fortune. how he was ladde
where that Spynx. kepte the mountayne
And how that he slowe▪ also in certayne
Lrynge Layus atte castell gate
Towardes nyghte. whan it was full late
And to Thebes. than he gan hym spede
To fynde oute. the stok of his kynrede
[Page]whiche vnto hym. gan wexe couthe
For by processe. of his grene youthe
He founde oute well. by rekenynge of his lyfe
That she was bothe. his moder and his wyfe
Soo that all nyght. and suyng on the morowe
Atte twene hem twoo. gan a newe sorowe
whiche vnto me. were tedyous to telle
For therupon. yf I sholde dwelle
A longe space. it wolde occupye
Tragedia senecede Edyppo rege thebax
But ye maye reden. in a Tragedye
Of morall Senek. and fully his endynge
His dooll. his myscheef and his compleynynge
How with sorowe. and vnweldy age
This Edyppus. fylle in to dotage
Loste his wytte. and his worldely delyte
And how his sones. hadde hym in dyspyte
And of dysdayne. toke of hym noo kepe
And bookes sayen. his eyen oute he wepte
And as myne auctour. lyketh to deuyse
As his sones. rebuke hym and despyse
Vpon a daye. in a certayne place
Oute of his hede. his eyen he gan oute race
And caste at hem. he gan none other bote
And of malyce. they tradde hem vnder fote
Fully deuoyde. bothe of loue and drede
And whan Edyppꝰ. for myscheef was thꝰ dede
withinne a pytte. made in the erthe lowe
Of cruelte. his sones haue hym throwe
[Page]werre than serpente. or ony tygre wood
Of cursed stok. cometh vnkynde blood
As in story. ye maye reden here to forne
All by the Rose. growe oute of a thorne
Thus of Edyppus. whan he was blynd & olde
The wretched ende. I haue yon playnly tolde
For whiche shortly. to man and childe I rede
To be well ware. and take hede
Nota How euery man ought of dewte to do reuerēce to fad (er) & moder. or ellis the wylfull vengaunce therof
Of kyndly righte. and conscyence
To doo honoure. and due Reuerence
To fader and moder. of what estate they be
Or certaynly ellis. they sholde neuer thee
For whoo that is. not to hem debonayre
In speche in porte. for to treate hem fayre
Hem to obeye. in honeste and drede
And to cherysshe. of what they hadde nede
I dare afferme. exceptynge none estate
That he shall fyrste. be infortunate
In all his werke. bothe in see and londe
And of what thynge. he taketh on honde
Fortune frowarde. and to hym contrayre
waste of his good. playnly and appayre
Fynde plente. of contek warre and stryfe
Vnhappy ende. and shortyenes of lyfe
And graceles of. what he hathe to do
Hatrede of god. and of man also
Therfore noo man. be here of recheles
But make youre myrroure. of Ethyocles
[Page]And his brother. called Polymyte
whiche in suche thynge. gretely weve to wyte
As ye shall here. of hem how it fylle
And whan we be descended doune this hylle
And I passed here. the lowe vale
I shall begynne. the remenante of my tale
¶ Explicit prima pars istius Codicilli.

¶ Inmediate sequitur se­cunda pars eiusdem.

PAssyd ye thorpe. of boughton on the blee
By my childern. I gan anone to see
Thrugh ye sonne. yt full clere gan shyne
Of the clok. that it drowe to nyne
And sawe also. the syluer dropes shene
Of the dewe. lyche perles on the grene
Vapoured vp. in to the ayre a lofte
whan zepherus. with his blowynge softe
The weder made lusty. smothe and fayre
And righte attempred. was the holsome ayre
The same houre. all the hole route
Of the pylgrymes. rydynge Rounde aboute
In my tale. whan I gan procede
Rehersynge forthe. as it was in dede
[Page]whan Edyppus. buryed was and graue
How his sones. the kyngdome for to haue
Amonge hemselfe. by full of mortall hate
For the crowne. gonne to debate
whiche of hem. Justely shall succede
And the septure. of the towne possede
Aduertynge not. nother to righte ne wronge
But eche of hem. to make her partye stronge
And his quarell. proudly to sustene
From whoos hertes. was deuoyded clene
Of bretherhode. the faythfull alyaunce
False couetyse. soo made hem at dystaunce
Fully worchynge. in to destruccyon
And ruyne of this noble town
Soo hote brente. the hatred enuye
of bothe twoo. thorugh pompous surquedye
That neyther wolde. playnly in a poynte
Other forborne. they stode in suche desioynte
How as they hadde. of byrthe be foreyns
Tyll of the towne. the noble Cytezeyns
Lmyghtes barons. with many worthy lorde
Shope awaye to make hem of accorde
And to sette hem. in quyete and in pes
But for his parte. this Ethyocles
Alledge gan. that he was fyrste borne
For whiche of reason. he oughte goo to forne
In the cytee. to be crowned kynge
The cōtrauercy of the twoo bre­theren
Sythe by lawe. there was noo lettynge
[Page]For vnto hym. longeth the herysage
By descende. and by tytle of age
But Polymyte. of full hye dysdayne
All openly. gan replye agayne
And for his parte. sayde in specyall
Reason was none. that he sholde haue all
Regalye. and domynacyon
And the lorshyppe. hole of the toun
And he righte noughte. oute of the Cyte
Lyue in exyle. and in pouerte
Full concludynge. withoute fere or drede
Rather than it suffre. he wyll be dede
And thus alas. thorugh her enuyous stryfe
Atte ende eueryche loste his lyfe
Atte grete myscheef. as ye shall after here
But thylke tyme. the lordes all I fere
Full besely dyde. her dylygence
By grete auyse. of full hyghe prudence
To setten hem in quyete and in reste
Coūseylynge hem. playnly for the beste
To leue her stryfe. of wysdome and reason
A condescende. to some conclusyon
whiche to bothe myghte. moost auayle
That fynally thorugh. her gouernayle
The lordes all. beynge tho presente
They haue hem broughte. to be of one assente
Of one herte. as brother vnto brother
Eueryche of hem. to regoen after other
The cōuen cyon of the twoo bre­theren
[Page]yere by yere as it come aboute
Soo that the towne. shall absente hym oute
Fully that yere. and hymselfe guye
By his manhode. and his chyualrye
Haunte hymselfe. in dedes marcyall
whyle his brother. in his see royall
Holdeth his septure. the Cytee to gouerne
And whan the yere. his cours hath ronne yerne
And is come oute. he shall haue repeyre
To regne in Thebes. lyke as lorde and heyre
Therto receyue. fully his dygnyte
whyle that the other. voydeth the Cyte
Pacyently takynge. his aduenture
Tyll he agayne. his honoure maye recure
Thus entrechange. euery yere they shall
That one ascendeth. that other hath a fall
They muste obeye. of herte and take it wele
Lyche as the tourne. resorteth of the whele
For this was. hole the composycyon
The wor­des of the composicy­on
By twene the brethern. and conuencyon
Full knytte vp. by grete auysemente
Therfore the goddes. by othe of sacramente
Neuer after to grutche. ne to varye
But accomplysshen. shortly and not tarye
Lyche as ye accorde. enrolled in the towne
Fro poynte to poynte. made mencyone
But alder fyrste. by reason of his age
Ethyocles. hadde thauantage
[Page]To regne aforne. to were a crowne
Polymyte hastynge hym oute of towne
Durynge that yere. it maye none other bee
Whyle his brother. sate in his royall see
Full rychely. vpon fortunes whele
And rode hym forthe. armed bryghte in stele
This Polymyte. sothly as I rede
Hymselfe allone. on a Royall stede
Withoute guyde. all the longe daye
Beynge aferde. to kepe the hyghe waye
In his herte. hauynge suspecyon
To his brother. of malyce and treson
Lest he pursued. through his fals vnkynd blood
To haue hym dede. for couetyse of good
That he allone. myghte haue possessyone
Durynge his lyfe. fully of the towne
For whiche in haste. hauynge noo felawe
Polymyte asyde gan hym drawe
By a foreste. Joynynge to the see
Linowyng right nought. ye syght of the coūtree
Full of hylles. and of hye mountayns
Craggy roches. and but few playns
Wounder dredfull. and lothsome of passage
And therwith all. full of bestes rage
Holdynge his waye. of herte noo thynge lyghte
Mate and wery. tyll it drowe to nyghte
And all the daye. beholdynge enuyrone
He neyther sawe. castell towre ne towne
[Page]The whiche thynge. greuyd hym full sore
And sodeynly. the see began to rore
Wynde and tempeste. hydously to aryse
The reyne doune bete. in full grysly wyse
That man and beste. therof was adradde
And nye for fere. gan to waxe madde
As it semed. by the wofull sowns
And Tygres Beres. Bores and Lyons
Whiche for refute. hemselfe for to saue
Eueryche in haste. drowe vnto his caue
But Polymyte. in this tempeste huge
Alas the whyle. he fyndeth noo refuge
Nor hym to shronde. sawe noo where no socour
Tyll it was passed. almoost mydnyghte hour
The cloude voyde. in heuen dyde appere
A large space. that the sterres clere
Soo that this knyghte. oute of a foreste large
How Poly myte came in to ye lon­de of Arge
Gan approchen. to the londe of Arge
Seenge a paleys myghty of byldynge
Of whiche Adrastus. called was the kynge
A manly man. riche and wounder sage
And ronne was. somdele in to age
Borne of the yle. that called is Clyson
And whylom sone. of the kynge Chalon
And for his wytte. in story as is couthe
He chosen was. in his tender youthe
Of all Arge. to be crowned kynge
Chyfe of all grece. by recorde of wrytynge
[Page]Nor by dyscente. ne successyon
But all oonly. of free eleccyon
Beholde of Arge. the septure in his honde
As moost worthy. of all Grekes londe
Loued and drad. for wysdome and Justyce
And as the story playnly can deuyse
This worthy kynge. hadde doughtres two
Passynge fayre. and righte good also
It were to longe. her beaute to dyscryue
And the eldeste. called was Argyue
Argyue dei phyle & A­drastus
Deiphyle. I named the seconde
And Adrastus. lyche as it is fonde
This worthy kynge. hadde sone none
To succede. after he be gone
For whiche he was durynge. all his lyfe
Tryste in herte. and passynge pensyfe
But hole his truste. and his hope stode
By alyaunce. of some worthy blode
Brought in by meane. of his doughters twayn
That he shall be. relessed of his payn
Thorugh recomforte. of some hye maryage
And sothly yet. full hye in his corage
He troubled was. by occasyon
The dre­me of adrastus of a bore & of a ly­on
Of a sweuen. and a vysyon
Shewed to hym. vpon a certeyne nyghte
For as hym thoughte. in his inwarde syghte
Whyle he slepte. by clere inspeccyon
A wylde bore. and a ferce lyon
[Page]Possede shall. the bestes in her rage
His doughters twoo. by bonde of maryage
In shorte tyme. within a certayne daye
whiche broughte his herte. in full grete affraye
But thynge in southe. that destyne hathe shaꝑe
Here in this worlde. full harde it is tescape
Eke merueylous. a man teschue his fate
And Polymyte. of whome I spake late
With the tempeste. bete and all bereyned
By grace oonly. the cytee hathe atteyned
Where Adrastus. full statly of degree
Thylke tyme. helde his Royall see
The trouble nyghte. myrke and full obscure
Hathe broughte this knyght. oonly by auenture
Through the cytee. enclosed with a wall
Vnto the paleys. chyffe and pryncypall
Where as the kynge. in his chambre alofte
Laye in his bedde. and slepte wounder softe
Eke all his folke. hadde her chambres cake
Lyke as fortune. peraunter hadde shape
The selfe tyme. by cause it was soo late
And casuelly. noo porter atte gate
As it hadde be righte. for the nones
And in a porche. bylte of square stones
Full myghtly. enarched enuyrowne
Where the domes. and the plees of the towne
Were execute. and lawes of the kynge
And there this knyght. without more taryenge
[Page]wery and mate. fro his stede a lyght
Hangynge the reyn. in all the haste he myght
Vpon his arme. surer hym to kepe
And layde hym doune. and gan anone to slepe
As hym semed. that tyme for the beste
And whyle he laye. thus for to reste
Of auenture. there come a knyghte rydynge
The worthyest. in the worlde lyuynge
Curteys lowly. and righte vertuous
As sayth my auctour. called Tydyus
Eureus in armes. and manly in werkynge
Of his byrthe. sone vnto the kynge
Of Calydonye. a londe of grete renowne
And he alas. oute of that regyowne
E [...]yled was. for he his brother slow
As Scace of Thebes. wryte the maner how
All be that he to hym. noo malyce mente
For on a daye. as they on hoūtynge wente
In a foreste. for herte and for hynde
Soo as he stode. vnder a grene lynde
And casuelly. lette his arowe slyppe
He slow his brother. called menalyppe
Thrugh mortall sorte. his honde was begyled
For whiche he was. banysshed and exyled
As the lawe. narowe sette his charge
And for this caas. he came fyrste to Arge
In to the porche. where Polymyte slepe
Of auenture. or he toke ony kepe
[Page]The same nyghte. hydously besaen
with the tempeste. of thonder wynde and rayn
And fylle also. anoye and grete domage
Thrugh the foreste. holdynge his passage
As Polymyte. hadde done beforne
In perell ofte lykely. to be lorne
with bestes rage. sette on euery syde
Tyll of grace. withoute ony guyde
He rode thrugh Arge. the grete myghty towne
Streyte to the paleys. and the chefe doūgone
Lyche as I tolde. where Polymyte laye
And atte his comynge. made a grete afraye
For he was blynd. thorugh derknesse of ye nyght
And hym to guyde. he founde noo lyght
whan he came in. of pryket ne of torche
Tyll he vnwarly. entred the porche
And wolde haue taken there. his herbygage
But Polymyte. sterte vp in a rage
Sodeynly awaked. as I rede
with the nyghynge. of his proude stede
And fyrste of all. whan that he behelde
A knyghte armyd. vpon his breste a shelde
And gan the maner. of his araye aduerte
Of verraye yre. vpon his horse he sterte
And cruelly. gan tydynge enquere
whennes he came. or what he dyde there
And badde in haste. his answere to deuyse
And Tydeus. in full humble wyse
[Page]Answered agayne. of verray gentylnesse
And sayde in sothe. that of hygh dystresse
Of the tempeste. and the derke nyghte
He dryuen was. lyke an arrante knyghte
Of nede oonly. and of necessyte
And hye constreynte. of his aduersyte
Take lodgynge. where soo that he myghte
And in that courte. therfore he a lyghte
withoute more. thynkynge none outerage
Nor to noo wyghte. menynge noo domage
Than Polymyte. of malyce and hye pryde
Tolde hym shortly. he sholde not abyde
Noo lenger there. though he hadde it sworne
For I quod he. toke it vp beforne
And wyll it kepe. durynge all this nyghte
I say the platly. maugre all thy myghte
Quod Tydeus. that is noo curtesye
Me to deuoyde. but rather vylonye
Yf ye take hede. that seme a gentyll knyghte
And I suppose. ye haue noo tytle of ryghte
To this lodgynge. by waye of herytage
More than haue I. for all youre felle rage
And parde. yet shall it be noo dysese
Tyll to morow. that doo me ese
Of gentylesse. oonly by youre leue
To suffre me. it shall lytyll greue
But ay the more. Tydeus spake fayre
Polymyte. was frowarde and contrayre
[Page]And shortly sayd. it geyneth not to stryue
That of force. he shall deuoyde blyue
Or vtterly bytwene hem bothe twoo
This thynge to trye. he must haue a doo
And Tydeus seeng noo better mene
Full lyke a knyght. in stele armed clene
withoute abode. faste gam hym spede
wounder lyghtly. for to take his stede
And thus. these knyghtes pompous and elate
For lytyll cause. fellen atte debate
And as they ranne togyder on horse bake
How Ty­deus & Po­lymyte stro fe for her lodgyng
Eueryche on other. fyrste her spere brake
And after that. full surquydous of pryde
with sharpe swerdes. they togyder ryde
Full yrously. these myghty champyons
In her furye. lyke Tygres or Lyons
As they hurtle. that all the paleys shoke
And kyng Adrastus. oute of slepe woke
And made in haste. his chamberleyns call
And thrugh the courte. his worthy knyghtis all
Commaundyng hem. to descende and se
And reporte what it myght be
This wounder noyse. in his courte be nyght
And whā they sawe. two strange knyght fyght
In plates bryght. and in thyk mayle
withoute Juge. they hadde grete meruayle
And dysamayed. of this vncouthe thyng
As they founde. tolde they to the kyng
[Page]And Adrastus. for derkenesse of the nygh [...]
Fro his chambre. with many torches lyght
In to the courte. is descended downe
All his mayne. stondynge enuyrowne
Of these knyghtes. hauyng full grete wounder
And of manhode. he putte hem fyrst asounder
Hem commaundyng. lyke a gentyll kyng
To leue her stryte. and cesen of her fyghtyng
And entred in. with a knyghtly loke
And fyrst from hem. her swerdes both he toke
Affermyng eke. as to his fantasye
It was a rage. and a grete folye
Soo wylfully. her lyues to in parte
withoute Juge. her quarell to departe
And specyally. in the derke nyght
whan neyther of other. myght haue a syght
Chargyng hem. on payne of her lyfe
To desure and stynten of of her stryfe
And Tydeus. in all the haste he myght
Full humbly. fro his stede a lyght
And right mekely. with chere and contenaūce
Putte hym hole in the gouernaūce
Of Adrastus. in all maner thyng
And Polymyte. made eke noo taryeng
To a lyght also. and wolde it not withseye
The kynges byddyng. lowly to obeye
Soo as hym ought. with due reuerence
And as they stode. both in his presence
[Page]He gan enquere. fyrste of her estate
The cause also. why they where atte debate
Of her countrees sothly. and her age
He asked eke. touchyng her lynage
By dyscente of what. stok they were borne
And Tydeus. his answere gaaf toforne
Tolde playnly. made noo lesyng
How that he was. sone to the kyng
Of Calydonye. and rightfull heyre therto
And of thexyle. the soth he tolde also
As ye haue herde. in the story radde
And Polymyte. with chere and face sadde
Vnto the kyng. touchyng his countree
Sayde he was borne. in Thebes the Cytee
And Jocasta. the grete famons quene
His moder was. withouten ony wene
But of his fader. whylom kyng and lorde
For verraye shame. he spake not a worde
Oonly for he. yf I sholde not fayne
His fader was. and brother bothe twayne
The whiche in south. he was full lothe to telle
And eke the kyng. wolde hym not compelle
Of gentyllesse. but badde withoute blame
Of his byrthe. for to haue noo shame
For hole the caas. and maner euery dele
Touchyng his kyn. ye groūde he knew full well
Lyche as it was. by full clere reporte
Enforsyng hym. for to doo comforte
[Page]with all his myght. and his besy payne
This manly kyng. to these knyghtes twayne
And to hem sayd. aforne hym as they stode
He wyst well. that of worthy blode
They were descended. touchyng her kynrede
And made his offycers. in haste to lede
The strange knyghtes beynge atte debate
Thrugh his paleys. to chambres of estate
Eche by hymselfe. for to take his ease
And euery thyng in south yt myght hem please
was offred hem. lyche to her estates
And whan they weren. dyseuered of her plates
Cusshewes grenes. and her sabatous
Her harneys voyded. and her habargous
Twayn mantels. vnto hem were brought
Fret with perle. and ryche stones wrought
Of clothe of golde. and veluett cremesyne
Full rychely furred. with armyne
To wrappe hem in. agayn the colde morowe
After the rage. of her nyghtes sorowe
To take her reste. tyll the sonne aryse
And than the kyng. in full prudente wyse
Fyrste of all. was nothyng recheles
The knyghtes hertes. to [...]etten in pees
That euer after. I dare aferme it well
Eche was to other. as trewe as ony stele
Durynge her lyfe. bothe in werke and dede
Vnder a knotte. bounden of bretherhede
[Page]And Adrastus. the worthy kyng famous
A feste made. riche and plenteuous
To these knyghtis. & hymself there at presente
And after mete. full goodly he hath sente
This noble kyng. for his doughters dere
Of gentyllesse. for to make hem chere
To the knyghtes. Icome fro soo fer
And lyke in sothe. as Lucyfer the ster
Gladdeth the morow. atte his vprysyng
Soo the ladyes. atte her incomyng
with the stremes. of her eyen clere
Goodly apporte. and womanly manere
Contenaunce. and excellent fayrenesse
To all the courte. broughten in gladnesse
For the fresshenesse. of her heuenly cheres
Soo agreable was. to the strangers
Atte her entre. that in specyall
Hem thought it lyke. a thynge celestyall
Enhastyng hem. in full knyghtly wyse
Agaynst hem. goodly to aryse
And as they mette. with humble contenaunce
Full connyngly. dyde her obseruaunce
Hem conueyeng to her syttyng place
But sothly. I haue leyser none ne space
To reherse. and putte in remembraunce
Hole the maner. of her dalyaunce
I [...] were to longe. for you to abyde
But well I wote. that the god Cupyde
[Page]By influence. of his myghty honde
And the feruence. of his fyry bronde
Her metyng fyrste. fortuned hath soo well
That his arowe. of golde and not of stele
I perced haue the. knyghtes hertes twayne
Thrugh the breeste. with suche a lusty payne
That there abode. sharpe as spere or launce
Depe I fyxed. the poynte of remembraunce
whiche maye not lyghtly. rased ben a waye
And thus in Joye. they dryuen forth the waye
In play and reuell. for the knyghtes sake
And towardes nyght. they her chambres toke
Atte due tyme. as her fader badde
And on her way. the knyghtes haue hem ladde
Reuerently. vp by many a steyre
Takyng leue. gan anone repayre
To her lodgyng. in a full statly toure
Assygned to hem. by the herberyoure
And after spyces. playnly and the wyne
In cuppes grete. wrought of golde fyne
withoute taryeng. to bedde streyte they gone
Touchyng her rest. where they slepte or none
Demeth ye louers. that in suche maner thyng
By experyence. haue fully knowlechyng
For it is not. declared in my boke
But as I fynde. the kyng all nyght woke
Thought full in herte. the story specyfyes
Musyng sore. and full of fantasyes
[Page]Fyrste aduertyng. the grete worthynesse
Of these knyghtes. and the semlynesse
Her lusty youthe. her force and her manhode
And how they weren comen. of Royall blode
All this he gan to reuolue aboute
Ay in his herte. hauyng a maner doubte
Bytwene twoo. hangyng in a balaunce
whether he sholde maken alyaunce
Bytwene his doughters. & the knyghtis twayn
For one thyng. ay his herte gan constrayn
The remembraunce of his auysyon
Of whiche. therfore I made mensyon
Touchyng the lyon. and the wylde bore
It nedeth not. to reherse it more
Castyng alwaye. in his fantasye
what it myght. clerely sygnyfye
This derke dreme. this was hydde and close
But on the morowe. Adrastus vp arose
And to the temple. the right waye he toke
And gan praye deuoutly on his boke
To the goddes. his dreme to specyfye
And they hym badde. homewarde for to hye
And to beholde. in the knyghtes sheldes
The fell bestes. peynted of the feldes
whiche shall to hym. by clere inspeccyon
Full playnly. make declaracyon
Of his dreme. that he had in the nyght
And Adrastus. enhasted hym full ryght
[Page]In her sheldes. hangynge vpon hokes
The bestes rage. with her mortall hokes
And to purpose. lyke as wryte Bochas
Polymyte. full strayte enbraced was
In the hyde of a fers lyon
And Tydeus. abouen his haberyon
Agypon hadde. [...]dous sharpe and hore
wrought of the brystles. of a wylde bore
The whiche bestes. as the story leres
were wrought and bete. vpon her baners
Dysplayed brode. whan they sholde fyght
wherof the kynge. whan he hadde a syght
Atte his repayre. in herte was full gladde
with a face full demure and sadde
with his lordes. that he aboute hym hadde
To the temple. he these knyghtes ladde
And whan they hadde. with all circumstaūces
Of rytes olde. done her obseruaūces
Home to the courte. they resorte agayn
And in a hall. riche and well besayn
This worthy kyng. of herte lyberall
Made a feste. solempne and Royall
whiche in deyntes. suerly dyde excelle
But it were veyn. euery cours to telle
Her strange sewes. and her sotyltees
Ne how they. sat lyke to her degrees
Fer lak of tyme. I lette it ouerslyde
And after mete. Adrastus toke asyde▪
[Page]The knyghtes twoo. and lyke a prudente man
In secrete wyse. thus his tale he gan
SIrs quod he. I doughte it nought
Verba Re­gis Adras­tus ad Po­limitem et Tydeū
That it is fresshe. & grene ay in your tho­ught
How that fyrst. by goodis ordynaūce
And after nexte. thrugh fates purueaūce
And by workynge. of fortu [...]s honde
How yt ye werne. fyrst brought in to this londe
Bothe tweyne. but now this laste nyghte
Of wos comynge. I am full gladde & lyghte
Fyrste in my selfe. shortly to expresse
whan I consyder. and see the lyklynesse
Of youre persones. with the circumstaunces
And hole the maner. of your gouernaunces
Seeynge full well. wherto sholde I fayne
ye lykely be. here after to attayne
The grete estate. of habondaunce of good
Thrugh youre byrthe. and your Royall blood
ye maye not fayle. but ye haue wronge
For ye are bothe manly. and ryghte stronge
And for to sette. youre hertes at more reste
My purpose is. I hope for the beste
Soo that in you. be noo varyaunce
To make a knot. and by alyaunce
A twixe you and my doughters two
yf youre hertes. accorden wyll therto
And for. I am fully in dyspeyre
To succede. for to haue an heyre
[Page]Therfore ye shall haue. possessyon
Durynge my lyfe. of halfe this regyon
Forth with in honde. and hole after my daye
There is noman. that therto shall saye naye
And sothly after. whan I am graue
Eche of you. shall his parte haue
Of this kyngdome. as I haue prouyded
This to seen. it shall be deuyded
Bytwene you twoo. eueryche to be crowned
youre purpartyes. by equyte compowned
Soo egally. in euery mannys syghte
That eche of you. reioyse shall his ryghte
And by youre wytte. ye shall the londe amende
And of manhode. knyghtly it defende
Agayne oure enemyes. and oure mortall foon
And for the dayes. passed ben and goon
Of my desyres. and my lusty youthe
I am full sette. for to make couthe
That ye sholde haue. lyke myne opynyon
The gouernaunce of this regyon
To this entente. me semyth for the beste
ye to gouerne. and I to lyue in reste
Fully to fulfylle. the luste of my pleysurs
Hunte and hawke. in woodes and ryuers
whan soo euer. therto I shall haue pleasance
And for to haue. none other attendance
Vnto nothynge. but vnto myne ease
For whiche shortly. yf it agree and please
[Page]That I haue sayde. to you that ben soo wyse
And ben accordynge. vnto youre auyse
Delayeth not. but in wordes playn
what you semyth. yeue answere agayn
ANd whan Adrastus. had his tale fyned
Responsia a Polimite et tideo ad Regem Adrastu
Tydeus with hede. full lowe enclyned
As he that was. a verry gentyll knyghte
with all his power. and his full myghte
Full humbly. thanked the kynge
Touchynge his profre. of soo hygh a thynge
And for his parte. sayd he wolde assente
Fully of herte. neuer to repente
To all that euer. the kynge hath sayde
And Polymyte. was also well apayde
In the story. as it is comprehended
And soo they be bothe. condescended
The kynges wyll. to fulfylle in dede
Fro poynte to poynte. and therupon procede
where so euer. that they wynne or lese
And Tydeus made. his brother chese
Of gentyllesse. and of curtesye
whiche was moost. to his fantasye
Of the sustren. for to haue to wyue
And he in south. chosen hadde Argyue
That eldest was. full womanly to se
And T [...]deus. toke than Deyphyle
Of her beaute. moost souerayn excellente
And Adrastus. thrugh out his londe hath sente
[Page]For his lordes. and his baronage
To be presente. atte maryage
Of the knyghtes. and make noo lettynge
And they echone. come atte his byddynge
In goodly wyse. meke and full benygne
Agayne the daye. that he dyde assygne
And thyder come. full many lusty knyghte
Full well beseen. and many lady bryghte
Fro euery coste. and many fresshe squyre
The story it sayth. and many comynere
To beholde. the grete Royalte
And the maner. of this solempnyte
But to telle. all the circumstaunces
Of Justes. reuell. and of dyuerse daunces
The festes riche. and the gyftes grete
The pryue syghes. and the feruente hete
Of loues folke. brennynge as the glede
And deuyses. of many sondry wede
The touches stole. and the amerous lokes
By stoyll crafte. layde doune lyne and hokes
The Jelous folke. to trayssen and begyle
In theyr a wayte. with many sondry wyle
All this in southe. descryuen I ne can
But well I wote. the newe fame ran
This meane whyle. with full swyfte passage
Vnto Thebes. of this maryage
And by reporte trewe. and not I fayned
The sowne therof. the eres hathe attayned
[Page]Myne auctour wryte. of Ethyocles
Touchyng the honoure. and the grete encres
Of Polymyte. hyghly magnyfyed
And how that he. newly was allyed
with Adrastus. in the londe of Arge
The whiche thyng. gretly he gan to charge
Dredyng inly. that this maryage
Shall after tourne. in to his damage
Sore musyng. and castyng vp and downe
The grete power. and the hye renowne
Of Adrastus. the whiche of Grekes londe
Hadde all the power. sudgett to his honde
Leste that he for Polymyte sake
wolde vpon hym. a newe werre make
But yf that he. lyke to the conuencyon
Atte the tyme sette. delyuerd the toun
To his brother. by bonde of bothe I sworne
By couenauntes. assured here byforne
Yf ye remember. late as I you tolde
whiche he was not. in purpos for to holde
But from his hest. casted for to [...]arye
And therupon lyste noo lenger to tarye
Lyche his desyre. to shape remedyes
And fyrste he sente. for his next allyes
In whome he hadde. moost affyaunce
For his lordes. that hadde gouernaunce
Of his kyngdome. to come to hym anone
And whan they were presente euerychone
[Page]He sayd playnly. wenyng for the beste
That his herte. shall neuer lyen in reste
But in sorowe. and in a maner drede
Tyll his brother. vtterly be dede
That he in Thebes. in his Royall sete
Myghte allone. regne in quyete
He mente hymselfe. shortly and none other
Unperturbed. of Polymyte his brother
And atte this counseyll. dyucrse of entente
I fynde wrytte thre folkes were presente
Some in sothe. that feythfull were and trewe
And some also. that changen can of newe
And other eke. that bytwene twayne
Couertly coude vnder coloure fayne
THe fyrste sayd. aboue all thyng
The com­mēdacyon of trouth
Trouth sholde longe to a kyng
Of his worde. not be varyable
But playne and hole. as a contre stable
For trouth fyrste. withoute ony wene
Is chyfe pyler. that many a kyng sustene
In Joye and honour. for to lede his lyfe
Nota How trou­the is pre­ferred [...]v ye book of es­dre aforne kyngis wȳ mē & wyne
For trouth whylom had a prerogatyfe
As of Esdre. the book can specyfye
Recorde I take. of prudente Neemye
That worthy kyng. for all her grete pryde
with all her power. and domynacyon
Hauyng rewarde. in comparyson
The trouthes myght. trouthes worthynesse
[Page]For as Esdre. playnly dooth expresse
who taketh hede. in the same place
The influence sothly. and the grace
Of trouth allone. this olde Neemye
Gate hym lycence to redefye
The walles newe. of Jherusalem
Salamon Trouth & mercy p̄ser uen a kyng fro all ad­uersyte Chaūgene doublinesse sholde not be in a kynge
whiche trouth is. tresoure. cheef of euery realme
For Salamon wrytte. how that thynges tweyn
Trouth and mercy. lynked in a cheyn
Preserue a kyng. lyke to his degree
Fro all myscheef. and aduersytee
Alas therfore. that ony doublenesse
Varyaunce. or vnsykernesse
Chaunge of worde. or mutabylytee
Fraude or deceyte. other instabylyte
Sholde in a kyng. haue domynacyon
To causen after. his destruccyon
Of kynges rede the story done by rowe
And seen how many. haue ben ouerthrowe
Thrugh her falshede. fro fortunes whele
For vnto god. it pleseth neuer a dele
A kyng to be double of entente
For it maye happe. that the worlde is blente
Full ofte syth by sleyth of her werkyng
But this is the trouth. god seeth euery thyng
Right as it is. for there maye be noo cloude
Toforne his syght. trouth for to shroude
It may be clypsed. and derked by dyscente
[Page]By false engyne lyeng in a wayte
As a serpente. for to vndermyne
But atte laste. it wyll clerely shyne
who that sayth nay. she we his bryght beames
For it is in sothe. of kyngdomes & of reames
Is berer vp. and conseruatryce
Fro all myscheef. and southfaste medyatryce
To god aboue. who soo lyste to see
To kepe a kyng. in prosperytee
On euery syde. as I affermely dare
For whiche kyngis. and lordes be well ware
youre behestes. Justly for to holde
And thynke how Thebes. with his wall olde
Destroyed was. platly this noo less
For the doublenesse. of Ethyocles
whiche his people. after sore abought
Donly for he not by counseyll wrought
Of hem that were. bothe trewe and wyse
Hym lyste not worche. after her deuyse
But lefte trouth. and sette his fantasye
To be gouerned. by false flaterye
That had hym thynke. how he was a knyght
And to shelde of force. more than of ryght
Duryng his lyfe. lordshyp of the towne
And not for to lese. his possessyon
For noo bonde. ne hestes made aforne
But late his brother. blowen in a horne
where that hym lyste. or pypen in a rede
[Page]This was the counseyll. platly and the rede
Of suche that lyste not. to sayen the southe
But falsly flater. with her wordes smothe
And whan they had. hole her tale fayned
Ethyocles. fully was enclyned
who soo euer there atte. lawghe or wepe
Lyke her counseyll. pessessyon to kepe
who that saye nay. or grutche there agayne
Hym to contrarye. he thought it was but vayne
BVt in this whyle. hath the shene sonne
How the ye re was co­men oute yt Ethyocles regned in Thebes
The. xii. sygnes. rounde aboute ronne
Syth Ethyocle. by Juste rekenyng
In Thebes was crowned lorde and kyng
Holdyng the septure. and the dyademe
That by reason. as wolde seme
The tyme was full complete and the space
Of couenaunt. he sholde voyde his place
And Polymyte eke. his Journey make
Towarde Thebes. possessyon to take
Of due tytle. but yf he hadde wronge
whiche thought in soth▪ ye yere was woūd longe
Of his exyle. or it come aboute
And for he hadde in herte. a maner doute
Leste in his brother. there were falshede fonde
To acquyte hymselfe. lyke as he was bonde
To Adrastus. he gan declare his herte
Besechynge hym. this mater to aduerte
And therupon. to yeue his counseyll sone
[Page]Touchyng his right. what was beste to done
where it was. beste to gone or to abyde
Or lyke a knyght. manfully to ryde
Hymselfe allone. and make noo message
For the chalange. of his rightfull herytage
within Thebes. eyther by peas or stryfe
And therupon. to yeoparde his lyfe
Thus was he sette. for all his fers brother
But Adrastus sothly. thought a nother
Better was to sende. than hymselfe to goon
Leste he were trapped. among his mortall foon
Hauyng his brother. suspecte in the case
That by fraude. or by some falase
He wolde werke. to his destruccyon
Yf he were hardy. to entren in to the towne
For whiche he badde hym. prudently take hede
Full concludyng. how it was more spede
That some other. be to Thebes sente
To apperceyue. fully the entente
Of Ethyocle. outewarde by some sygne
And where that he his crowne wyll resygne
For tylke yere. lyke as he made his othe
And whan he knew. how his purpos goth
Therupon to werke and procede
Thus Adrastus. wysely gan hym rede
And whyle they treate. vpon this mater
Tydeus toke vpon hȳ to do ye message of his brother Polymyte
Tydeus with a manly chere
Sayd vtterly. for his brothers sake
[Page]This message. he wolde vndertake
with hole tempryse. of the embassyate
were it wylfull. or infortunate
He wyll not spare. what soo that bytyde
But Adrastus. on that other syde
And Polymyte. in conclusyon
weren contrarye. to that opynyon
And sayd sothly. as hem thought ryght
Syth that he was. soo well aproued knyght
And descended. of soo worthy blood
That they nolde. for none erthly good
For all Thebes. with the rygalye
Put his body. in suche yeopardye
BUt all this thynge. auayled hē right nouzt
For he wold forth. how dere yt it be bought
Takyng leue. fyrste of all the states
And armed hym. in mayle and sure plates
And shope hym forth. vpon his Journey
who made sorowe. but Deyphyle
The soro­we of Deyphyle whā tydeꝰ went vnto The­bes
with bytter teeres. dewed all her face
Full ofte syth. swownyng in the place
Tryste and mornyng. in her blake wede
whan she sawe. that he toke his stede
Soo inwardly. gan encreace her mone
Seeng her lorde. soo ryde forth allone
Vpon his waye. this worthy Tydeus
And in all haste. the story telleth vs
He spede hym soo. makyng noo delayes
[Page]That in space. of a fewe dayes
The hye towres of Thebes he gan see
And entred is in to the Lytee
wysely enqueryng. where the paleys stode
And lyke a knyght. thyder streyte he rode
Marked full well. in many mannes syght
Lyche Mars hymselfe. in stele armed bryght
Tyll he atteyned hath. the cheef dongyon
where as the kyng. helde his mansyon
And thrugh the paleys with a knyghtly loke
In to the halle. the right waye he toke
Fro his stede. whan he lyght down
Not aferde. but hardy as a lyon
where as the kyng. with lordes a grete route
In the halle. syttyng rounde aboute
He entred in moost manfull of corage
To execute. the fyne of this message
And as hym thought. conuenyente and due
Full connyngly. he gan the kyng salue
Requyryng hym of kyngly excellence
In goodly wyse. to yeue hym audyence
And not dysdayne. neyther in porte ne chere
Syth he was. come as a messagere
From Polymyte. his owne brother dere
Gynnyng his tale thus. as ye shall here
QVod he vnto youre worthynesse
How wysely & howe knyghtely tydeꝰ dyde his messa­ge
My purpos is. bryfly to expresse
Theffecte oonly as in sentemente
[Page]Of the message. why that I am sente
It were in vayne. longe processe for to make
But of my mater. the verraye grounde to take
In eschuynge. of prolixyte
And voyde awaye. all superfluyte
Syth yourselfe. best ought to vnderstonde
The cause fully. that we haue on honde
And eke conceyue. thentente of my menyng
Of rightwysnesse. longyng to a kyng
Fyrste consydred. yf that ye take hede
whan Edyppus. the olde kyng was dede
How yourselfe. and youre brother blyue
For the crowne. contagyously gan stryue
As mortall foon. by full grete hatred
whiche of you twoo. fyrste sholde succede
Tyll that ye weren. by meanes recouncyled
The to regne. and he to be exyled
Out of this towne. for a yeres space
And than agayne. resorte to his place
To regne as kyng. and ye to voyde oute
Soo as your tourne. by processe come aboute
Eueryche of you. pacyently to endure
The enterchaungyng. of his aduenture
who were putte oute. or stode in his estate
Therupon to make noo debate
Lyche the conuenaunte. and conuencyon
Enrolled vp. by lordes of this towne
whiche of reason maye. not be denyed
[Page]And sythe ye haue. a yere I occupyed
Polymyte. requyreth you of ryght
The requeste yt tydeus made in ye name of polimyte vnd ye tytle of ye cōuencyon
To acquyte you. lyche a trewe knyght
In eschewyng. of mortall werre and stryte
Syth ye haue hadde. a prorogatyfe
As eldest brother. for to regne a forne
And thynheth eke. how that ye are sworne
youre othe to kepe. and make noo taryeng
Hole aduertyng. lyke a prudente kyng
That trouth is more in comparyson
Than all the tresoure. of youre regyon
More acceptable. bothe to god and man
Than all ryches. that ye reken can
wherfore in haste. and let there be noo slouthe
Ouyteth youre selfe. Justly of your trouthe
Vnto your brother. auoydyng this cyte
And lette hym regne. in his royalte
The crowne of Thebes. a yere to occupye
Than wyll all Grece. preyse and magnyfye
youre hye renowne. and maye saye none other
But ye haue you. Justly to your brother
This is hole theffecte. of all that I wyll sayen
Answere expectante. what ye lyste sende ayen
WHan Tydeus hadde tolde his tale
Ethyocles. tryste and wonder pale
His conreyte fyrste. in maner had refrayned
Dyssymelyng. vnder coloure fayned
Shewyng a chere. in maner debonayre
[Page]To his entente. wounderly contrarye
Inwarde in herte. wood and furyous
Tournyng his face. towarde Tydeus
But he gan abrayde. and atte laste outbrake
And euen thus. to hym he spake
I haue gret meruaylle qd tydeꝰ The āswe re of ethyo cles
I haue grete meruayle. quod he in my thought
Of the message. whiche thou hast I brought
That my brother. as thou haste expowned
Desyreth soo in Thebes. to be crowned
Hauyng rewarde. to the habondaunce
The grete plente. and the suffysaunce
That he hath now. with the kyng of Arge
That me semeth. that he sholde lytell charge
To haue lordshyp. or domynacyon
In the bondes. of this lytell towne
Syth he regneth. soo fresshely in his floures
Surmountyng. all his predecessoures
By newe encrease. thorugh fortunes myght
wherof in herte. I am right glad and lyght
Full trustyng. yf I hadde nede
To his helpe. that withoute drede
Lyke a brother. than I sholde hym fynde
To mewarde. faythfully trewe and kynde
Supposyng. playnly euermore
Of this regne. he sette but lytyll store
Nor caste hym not. for soo shorte a whyle
As for a yere. his brother to exyle
To lyue in pouerte. and grete dystresse
[Page]He wyll not suffre it of his grete noblesse
It were noo token of noo brotherhede
But a sygne rather of hatrede
To interrupte. of my possessyon
Of this lytyll poore regyon
All that he spake. whoo that coude aduerte
Of verray scorne. roted in his herte
As it semeth. the story can you teche
By the surplus. sothly of his speche
He myght not. hym noo lenger refrayne
But platly sayd. as tweyne vs twayne
I mene thus Polymyte and me
There is noo bonde. nother suerte
Nor fayth I made. that maye hym auayle
As he claymeth. to haue the gouernayle
Of this Lytee. nother yere ne daye
For I shall lette hym sothly yf I maye
That he shall not. by tytle of noo bonde
Reioyse in Thebes. halfe a fote of londe
Lete hym kepe. all that he hath wonne
For I purpose. as I haue begonne
To regne in Thebes. hensforthe all my lyfe
Maugre all hem that there agayne stryfe
And in despyte. of his frendes all
Or the counseyll. that hym lyste call
Lete hym be sure. and know this right well
His manassyng. I drede neuer a dele
And sykerly. as to myne auyse
[Page]It sheweth well. that thou were not wyse
But supprysyng. with a maner rage
To take on the. this surquydous message
And presume. to done soo hye offence
Soo boldly to speke in my presence
But all I fere. auayle shall ryght nought
For the tydynges. that thou, haste brought
Shall vnto hym. be but dysencrees
He better were. to hauen in pees
Than of folye. and presumpcyon
Agaynst me. to seke occasyon
For whyle I leue. and therto here myne honde
As I sayd erste. he wynneth here noo londe
For fynally. I doo the to vnderstonde
whyle the walle. of this towne maye stonde
That they shall fyrste. be bete down full lowe
And all the toures. to the erthe I throwe
Or he in Thebes. haue ony thyng to doo
Loo here is all. retourne and saye hym soo
Whan Tydeus sawe. the feruente yre
Of the kyng. with anger sette a fyre
Full of dyspyte. and malencolye
Conceyuyng eke. the grete felonye
In his apporte. lyke as he were wood
This worthy knyght. a lytyll whyle stood
Sadde and demure. or he wolde ought seyn
But atte laste. thus he spake ageyn
Lerteys quod he. I conceyue of newe
The kny­ghtely an­swere of tydeus ayen to ye kyng
[Page]Aboute the. thy counseyll is vntrewe
I dare it sayn. and vowen atte leste
Nor thou arte. faythfull of thy beheste
Stable of thy worde. that yu hast sayd toforne
B [...]t dysceyuable. and falsly eke forsworne
And eke periure. of thyne assured othe
But where soo be. that thou be leff or lothe
I say the shortly. holde it for noo fage
All shall tourne. vnto thy domage
Truste it well. and in full cruell wyse
All Grekes londe. shall vpon the ryse
To ben auenged. and manly to the redresse
The grete vntrouth. and the hye falfnesse
whiche that yu haste. agayn thy brother wrought
It shall full dere. after this be bought
And verrayly in dede. as thou shalte lere
Lryng Adrastus. wyll medell in this mater
And all the lordes. aboute hym enuyron
That bounde ben. to his subgeccyon
Prynces Dukes. and many a noble knyght
In susteynyng. of thy brothers ryght
Shall vpon a daye. with spere and shelde
Agayns the be gadred. in a felde
Lrnyghtly to proue. all by one assente
That thou arte fals. and double of entente
Of thy promyse. atteynt and eke outrayed
And leue me well. it shall not be delayed
But in all the haste. execute in dede
[Page]Lyke thy deserte. thou shalte haue thy mede
For god aboue. of his ryghtwysnesse
Suche open wronge. shall in haste redresse
And of his myght. all suche conclusyon
Refourme agayne. and all extorsyon
For this the tyne. falshede shall not auayle
Agayne trouth. to holde batayle
wronge is croked. bothe halte and lame
And here anone. in my brothers name
As I that am his next allye
In his quarell. I shortly the defye
Fully auysed. with all my hole entente
And the lordes. that ben there presente
I you requyre. of your worthynesse
To saye trouth. and to bere wytnesse
whan tyme cometh. Justly to recorde
How youre kyng. falsly can dyscorde
From his heste. of false varyaunce
And thynke how ye. of fayth and lygaunce
Arne bonde echone. ye maye not goo therfro
For to obeye. and seruen bothe twoo
This next yere. now anone folowyng
As to youre lorde. and youre trewe kyng
Polymyte. though he be now absente
By Juste accorde. made in perlemente
At youre deuyse. whiche sytten here arowe
Engrosed vp as it is right well knowe
And enrolled. oonly for wytnesse
[Page]In youre regestres. to voyden all falnesse
That none of you. varye maye of newe
For that I saye. but yf he be vntrewe
For whiche I rede. youre selfe to acquyte
Lette noo [...]yme lenger you respyte
But attones. withoute more taryeng
Of manly force. fetteth home youre kyng
Manger his foon. lyke as ye are bounde
And lette in you. noo slouth be founde
To putte hym Justly in possessyon
This my counseyll. in conclusyon
As Tydeus had his message sayde
Lyke to the charge. yt was on hym layde
As he that lyste. noo lenger there soiourne
Fro the kyng. he gan his face tourne
Not astonyed. nor in his herte aferde
But full proudly. leyd his honde on his swerde
And in despyte. whoo that was leff or loth
f [...]ow tydeꝰ manly de­parted frō the kyng
A sterne paas. thorugh the hall he goeth
Thorught out ye courte. & manly toke his stede
And oute of Thebes. faste gan hym spede
Enhastyng hym. tylle he was att large
And spede hym forth. toward the lond of Arge
Thus leue I hym. ryde forth a whyle
whyle that I retourne agayne my style
Vnto the kyng. that in the hall stode
And amonge his lordes furyous and wode
In his herte wrothe. and euyll apayed
[Page]Of the wordes. that Tydeus had sayde
Specyally hauyng. remembraunce
On the proude. dyspytous dyffyaunce
whyles that he satte. in his royall see
Vpon whiche. he wyll auenged bee
Full cruelly. what euer that befalle
And in his yre. he gan to hym calle
Chyfe constable. of his chyualrye
Chargyng hym faste for to hye
with all the worthy chose. of his housholde
whiche as he knew. most manfull & most bolde
In all haste. Tydeus to sue
Toforn. or he oute of his londe renue
Vpon payne of lyffe. and lesyng of her hede
withoute mercy. anone that he be dede
And of knyghtes. fyfty were in nombre
Myne auctour sayth. vnwarly hym tencombre
Armed echone. in mayle and thyk stele
And therwith all I horsed wounder wele
Atte a posterne. forth they gan to ryde
How false­ly ethiocles layd a bus­shemete in ye valey to haue slayn Tydeus
By agayne path. that laye oute asyde
Secretly. that noo man hem aspye
Oonly of treason. and felonye
They haste hem forth all the longe daye
Of cruell malyce. for to stop his waye
Thorugh a foreste. all of one assente
Full cowardly. to laye a busshemente
Vnder an hylle. at a strayte passage
[Page]To falle on hym. at more auantage
The same waye. that Tydeus gan drawe
Ate thylk mounte. where Spyx was slawe
He nothyng ware in his opynyon
Of this compassed. conspyracyon
But Innocente. and lyke a gentyll knyght
Rode ay forth. tyll it drew to nyght
Sole by hymselfe. withoute companye
Hauyng noo man to wyse hym or to guye
But atte laste. lyftyng vp his hede
Towarde eue and gan take hede
In mynde of his waye. right as ony lyne
Thought he sawe ayen the mone shyne
Sheldes fresshe. and plates bourned bryght
The whiche enuyron. casten a grete lyght
Ymagynyng. in his fantasye
There was treason. and conspyracye
Wrought by the kyng. his Journey for to lette
And of all that. he nothyng sette
But well assured. in his manly herte
How tydeꝰ outerayed fyfty kny­ghtes yt lay in a wayte for to slee hym
Lyste not ones. asyde to dyuerte
But kepte his waye. his shelde vpon his breste
And caste his spere. manly in his reste
And the fyrste platly. that he mette
Thorugh the body. proudly he hym smette
That he fell dede. chyfe mayster of hem all
And than attones. they vpon hym falle
On euery parte. by compas enuyrown
[Page]But Tydeus. thorugh his hye renown
his blody swerde. let aboute hym glyde
Sleeth and kylled. vpon euery syde
In his yre. and in his mortall tene
That meruayle was. he myght so susteyne
Ayen hem all. in euery halfe be sette
But his swerde. was soo sharpe I whette
That his foon. founde full vnswette
But he alas. was lyght on feete
By force grounded. in full grete dystresse
But of knyghthode. and of grete prowesse
Vp he rose. maugre all his foon
And as they come. he slewe hem one by one
Lyke a lyon rampant in his rage
And on this hylle. he fonde a narowe passage
whiche that he toke. of full hye prudence
And lyche a bore. standyng at his defence
As his foo men. proudly hym assayle
Vpon the playne. he made her blood to rayle
All enuyron. that the soyle waxe rede
Now here now there. as they fyllen dede
That laye here one. & there laye twoo or three
Soo mercyles. in his fers crueltee
Thylke daye he was. vpon hem founde
And attones. his enmyes to confounde
where as he stode. this myghty campyowne
Besyde he sawe. with water tourned downe
An huge stone. large longe and square
[Page]And sodaynly. or that they were ware
As it had layen there for the nones
Vpon his foon. he rolled it attones
That ten of hem. wenten vnto wrake
And the remenaunte. amased drowe a bake
For one by one. they wente to myschance
And fynally he brought to outrance
Hem euerychone. Tydeus as blyue
That none but one. left of hem a lyue
Hemselfe I hurte. and I wounded kene
Thorugh his harneys. bledyng on the grene
The slayne knyghtis. in compas roūde aboute
In the vale. slayne all the route
whiche pyteously. agayne the mone gape
For none of theym. shortly myght escape
But dede echone. as they it haue deserued
Saaf one excepte. the whiche was reserued
By Tydeus. of this entencyon
To the kyng to make relacyon
How his knyghtes. haue on her Journey sped
Eueryche of hem. his lyfe lefte for awed
And atte metyng. how they haue hem borne
To tellen. all he sured was and sworne
To Tydeus full. lowly on his knee
By whiche ensample. openly ye may see
Agayne trouthe. falshede hath noo myght
How trou­the with lytell multy­tude hathe euer in the fyne vycto­rye of fals­hede
Fye on quarels. not grounded vpon ryght
withoute whiche. maye be noo vyctorye
[Page]Therfore eche man. haue this in memorye
That grete power. shortly to conclude
Plente of good. nor moche multytude
Sleyght or engeny. force or folonye
Arn [...] to feble. to holde champartye
Agayne trouth. who that lyst take hede
For atte ende. falshede maye not spede
To endure longe. the sholde fynde it this
Recorde I take. of worthy Tydeus
whiche with his honde. thrugh tronyes excellence
Fyfty knyghtes slewe. in his defence
But one excepte. as I late tolde
Sworne & assured. and his honde vpholde
The kyng to enfourme. how they were attaynt
And Tydeus of bledyng. wounder faynt
Meat and wery. and in grete dystresse
And ouerlayd. of verray feblynesse
But as he myght. hymselfe to sustene
He toke his horse. standyng on the grene
worthed vp. and forth he gan to ryde
An easy pace. with his woundes wyde
And shortly yet. in his opynyon
He was alwaye. aferde of treason
But anguysshous. and full of besy payne
He rode hym forth. tyll he dyde attayne
In to the bondes. of Lygurgus londe
How tydeꝰ all for woū ded come in to Lygurgus londe
A worthy kyng. and manly of his honde
And he full pale. oonly for lacke of blode
[Page]Tydeus sawe. where a castell stode
Stronge and myghty. bylte vpon a roche
Towarde whome. faste he gan approche
Conueyed thyder. by clerenesse of the stone
That by nyght. agayn the mone shone
On the towres. with crestes mar [...]yall
And Joynyng. all moost to the wall
Was a gardayne. lytyll oute besyde
In to whome. Tydeus gan to ryde
Of auenture. by a gate small
And there he founde. for to reken all
A lusty Erber. vnto his deuyse
Swete and fresshe. lyche a paradyse
Verray heuenly. of inspeccyon
And fyrste of all. he lyghted a doun
The goodly place. whan that he behelde
And from his nek. auoyded hath his shelde
Drawe his brydell. fro his horse hede
Lete hym goon. and take noo maner hede
Thrugh the gardayn. that enclosed was
Hym to pasture. on the grene gras
And Tydeus. more heuy than is lede
Vpon the herbes. grene whyte and rede
As hym thought. that tyme for the beste
He layde hym downe. for to take his reste
Of werynesse. desyrous to slepe
And none awayte. his body for to kepe
And with dremes. grutched euer amonge
[Page]There he laye. tyll the larke songe
with notes newe. hye vpon in the hayre
The glad morowe. rody and ryght fayre
Phebus also. castyng vp his bemes
The hye hylles. gylte with his stremes
The syluer dewe. vpon the herbes rounde
There Tydeus laye. vpon the grounde
Atte the vpryste. of the shene sonne
And stoundmele. his grene woundes ronne
Rounde aboute. that the soyll depeynte
Of the grene. with rede meynte
And euery morow. for holsumnesse of the heyre
How lygurgꝰ dought fonde tideꝰ slepyng in the erber al forwoūded
Lygurgus doughter. made her repayre
Of custome. ay among the floures newe
In the gardayne. of many dyuerse hewe
Suche Joye had. for to take hede
On her stalkes. for to see hem sprede
In the alayes walkyng to and fro
And whan she had. a lytyll whyle go
Her selfe allone. castyng vp her syght
She behelde. where an armed knyght
Laye to reste hym. on the herbes colde
And hym besyde. she gan eke beholde
His myghty stede. walkyug here and there
And she anone. fell in a maner fere
Specyally. whan she sawe the blode
Sprad all the grene. aboute there she stode
But at laste. she caught hardynesse
[Page]And womanly. gan her for to dresse
Toward this knyght. hauyng a maner of dre­de
And gan grete doute. lest yt he were dede
And of her wyll. soothly it was cheef
That she thought. for to make a preef
How that it stode. of this man full ofte
And forth she gooth. & touched hym full softe
There as he laye. with her hondes smale
And with a face dedely. bleyke and pale
Lyche as a man. dawed in a swone
Vp he sterte. and his swerde he drowe
Not fully oute. but put it vp agayne▪
Anone as he hath the lady sayne
Besechyng her. oonly of her grace
To haue pyte vpon his trespace
And rewe on hym. of her womanhede
For of afraye. he was falle in drede
Leste he had. assayled be of newe
Of the Thebans. preued full vntrewe
For dred of whiche he was soo recheles
Full humbly yeldyng hym to the pees
Truste in hymselfe. he passed had his boundes
And whan that she sawe his mortall woundes
She had routhe. of verraye gentellesse
Of his dysease. and of his dystresse
And bad he sholde. noo thyng be dysmayed
Howe wo­manly yt lady acquy­teth her to tydeꝰ in his dysease
Nor in herte sorowfull. nor afrayed
Dyscomforte hym. in noo maner thyng
[Page]For I quod she. am doughter to the kyng
Called Lygurge. that gretly me delyte
Euery morowe. this gardayne to vysyte
It is to me. soo passyngly dysporte
wherfore quod she. byth of good comforte
For noo wyght here. touchyng your vyage
Shall hynder you. ne doo you noo domage
And yf ye lyste. of all youre aduenture
The playne trouthe. to me dyscure
I wyll in south. doo my besynesse
To refourme. your greuous heuynesse
with all my myght. and myne hole dylygence
That I hope. of youre grete offence
ye shall haue helpe. in youre aduersyte
And as ferforthe. as it lyeth in me
Trusteth right well. ye shall noo faute fynde
And whan he sawe. that he was kynge
Soo womanly. soo goodly and soo benygne
In all her porte. by many dyuerse sygne
He vnto her. by order wolde not spare
His aduentures. fully to declare
In thebes fyrste. touchyng his message
And all the hylle. of the wood rage
Of his woundes. and hurtes sore
It were but vayn. to reherse it more
By and by. he tolde her euery dele
The whiche in soth. she lyked neuer a dele
But had reuthe and compassyon
[Page]Of his myschyfe. wrought by false treason
Byddyng in haste. that he sholde her sue
And womanly. as her thought due
To a chambre she lad hym vp a lofte
How tydeꝰ was refes­shed in the castell of ye lady
Full well besayn. there in a bed right softe
Rychely abouten apparayled
with clothe of golde. all the flore I rayed
Of the same. bothe in length and brede
And fyrste this lady. of her womanhede
Her wymmen bad. as goodly as she can
To be attendaunte. on this wounded man
And whan he was vnarmed to his sherte
She made fyrste. wasshe his woundes smerte
And serche hem well. with dyuerse instrumentis
And made fette. sondry oynementis
And leches eke. the beste that she coude fynde
Full craftely. to staunchen hem and to bynde
And euery thyng that maye doo hem ease
To swage his payne. or his woo to pease
was in the courte. and in the castell sought
And by her byddyng. to the chambre brought
And for his sake. she hath after sente
For suche deyntes. as were conuenyente
Moost nutrytyfe. by physykes lore
Hem that were syke. or wounded to restore
Makyng her wymmen. eke to taken kepe
And wayte on hym. a nyghtes whan he slepe
And be well ware. that noo thyng a sterte
[Page]That was or myght. be lusty to his herte
And with all this. she prayed hym to abyde
Tyll he were strong. and myghty for to ryde
In the castell. to playe hym and dysporte
And at leyser. home agayne resorte
whan he myght. bywelde hym at his large
But all for nought. he wyll home to Arge
Toke his leue. on the next daye
withoute abode. to haste hym on his waye
Lowly thankyng. vnto her goodnesse
Of her fredome. & of her bounteous largenesse
So wommanly. that her lyst take hede
Hym to refresshe. in his grete nede
Behotyng her. with all his full myght
He wolde be her seruaunte. and her knyght
whyle he lyueth. of what she wolde hem charge
How tydeꝰ repayreth home to Arge alle for­woūded & sore I hurte
And forth he rode. tyll he come to Arge
In full grete haste. & wolde noo where dwelle
But what sholde I rehersen other telle
Of his repayre. the costes or the playns
The craggy roches. or the hye mountayns
Or all the maner. of his home comyng
Of the metyng, or of the welcomyng
Nor the Joye that Adrastus made
Nor how his sus [...]re. ne his wyfe were glad
Nor how that they. where to sholde I wryte
Embrased hym. in her armes wyte
Nor the gaderyng. aboute hym ne the prece
[Page]Nor the sorowe. that Polymyte
Made in hymself. to see hym soo sore wounded
His greuous hurtes. his sorowes eke vnsounded
His dedely loke. and his face pale
Of all this. to gynne a newe tale
It were in south a maner ydelnesse
Nor how hymselfe. in ordre dyde expresse
Fyrste how that he. in Thebes hath hym borne
Nor how the kyng. falsly was forsworne
Nor of the awayte. nor treason that he sette
whan fyfty knyghtes. on the waye hym mette
As he haue herde. all the maner howe
withoute whiche. my tale is longe ynowe
But Adrastus. made men to seche
In euery coste. for many dyuerse leche
To come in haste. and make noo taryeng
Vpon a payne. by byddyng of the kyng
To done her crafte. that he were recured
And of his force. in euery parte assured
And they echone. soo her connynges shewe
That in space. of dayes fewe
He was all hole made. of his sykenesse
Tho was there Joye. th [...] was there gladnesse
Thorugh the courte. and thorugh all the town
For euery man. hath suche opynyon
In Tydeus. for his gentyllesse
For his manhode. and his lowlynesse
That he was holde. the moost famous knyght
[Page]And beste beloued. in euery mannes syght
Thorugh oute Grece. in euery regyon
But now muste I make. a dygressyon
To telle shortly. as in sentemente
Of thylke knyght. that Tydeus hath sente
In to Thebes. oonly to declare
The grete myschyfe. and the euyll fare
Vnto the kyng. how it is befall
The open trouthe. of his knyghtes all
How Tydeus hath slayne hym euerychone
Than saaf hymselfe. there escaped none
That were reserued. fro shedyng of his blode
The kyng to telle. playnly how it stode
And whan he had. rehersed euery poynte
Ethyocles stode. in suche dysioynte
Of hatfull yre. that he waxe nye wode
How ethyocles was as toned whā he herde ye deth of his knyghtes
And in his tene. and in his fell mode
Of cruell malyce. to the knyght he spake
And felly sayde. that it was for lake
Oonly of manhode. thorugh her cowardyse
That they were slayne. in soo mortall wyse
And hanged be he. hye by the nek
That of your deth. or of your slaughter rek
Or you complayne. other one or all
Of the myscheef. that is you befall
I doo noo force. that none of you asterte
But fye vpon. youre false coward herte
That one knyght. thrugh his hye renoune
[Page]Hāth brought you. all in confusyon
Full graceles. and full vnhappy to
Naye quod this knyght. it is not so
It is thyne vnhap. playnly and not oures
That soo many. worthy werryoures
whiche all her lyfe. neuer had shame
Excepte this quarell. taken in thyne name
That grounded was. and roted in falnesse
This was cause. in verray sykernesse
Of oure vnhappe. I wote well and none other
And the vntrouthe. done vnto thy brother
And that thou were. soo openly forsworne
A percell cause. why that we were forlorne
was false brekyng. of thyne assured othe
And tho the kyng. all moost mad for wrothe
In purpose was. for to slee this knyght
Oonly for he sayde vnto hym ryght
The whiche myles alas. both at eue & morowe
Supprysed was. with a dedely sorowe
Renewed ay in his remembraunce
with the pyteous. and vnhappy chaunce
Of the myscheef. and mysauenture
Touchyng the deth. and the dyscomfyture
Of his fers. and of hymselfe also
That the shamfaste. importable wo
Soo fratte on hym. with suche a mortall stryfe
That he was wery. of his owne lyfe
Hence a swerde. and a syde sterte
[Page]And roffe hymselfe. euen to the herte
The kyng hymselfe. beyng tho presente
That the romoure. and the noyse is wente
Thrugh oute all Thebes. and the wood rage
By suche as weren. Joyned by lynage
To the knyghtes. slayne atte hyll
That all attones. of one herte and wyll
They wolde haue rysen. thrugh out all the cyte
Vpon the kyng. auenged for to be
whiche of her dethe. was cheef occasyon
But the barons. and the lordes of the town
Full besy weren. this rumoue to dyscease
Of hye prudence. to stynten and appease
In quyete. euery thyng to sette
And after that the bodyes home they fette
Of the knyghtes. lyke as ye haue herde
A forne I slayne. with the blody swerde
Of Tydeus. full sharpe whette and grounde
And in the felde. soo as they hem founde
Oonly of loue. and of affeccyon
Solempnely. they brought hem to the town
And lyke the maner of her rightes olde
They were fyrste brente. in to asshes colde
Eueryche I buryed. lyche to his degree
Loo here kalendes of aduersytee
Sorowe vpon sorowe. and destruccyon
Fyrste of the kyng. and all the regyon
For lacke oonly. lyke as I you tolde
[Page]That behestes. truely were not holde
Fyrste grounde and rote. of this ruyne
As the story. clerely shall determyne
And myne tale herafter. shall you lere
If you lyste. the remenaunte for to here
¶ Explicit pars Secunda.

¶ Sequitur pars Tercia.

O Cruell Mars. full of malencolye
And of thy kynde. hote combust & drye
As the spercles. shewen fro soo fer
By the stremes. of the rede ster
In thy spere. as it aboute gothe
what was cause. that thou were soo wrothe
with hem of Thebes. thrugh whos feruent yre
The Cytee brente. and was sette a fyre
As bookes olde. well reherse konne
Of cruell hate. roted and begonne
And engendred. the story maketh mynde
Oonly of blood. corrupte and vnkynde
By infeccyon. called orygynall
Causyng a stryfe. dredfull and mortall
Of whiche the myscheef. thrugh all Grece ran
And kyng Adrastus. alder fyrste began
That hath hym caste. a conqueste for to make
Vpon Thebes. for Polymytes sake
[Page]In knyghtly wyse. there to preue his myght
Of full entente. to recure his ryght
And fyrste of all. he sette a parlyamente
And hath his lettres. and messengers sente
Thrugh out Grece. to many soundry kynges
Hem to enhaste. and make noo lettynges
And rounde aboute. as made is mencyon
He sente also. to many Regyon
For prynces dukes. lordes and barons
To taken vp. in cytees and in townes
And chesen out. the moost lyklyeste
And suche that waren preued for the beste
And of manhode. and sende hem vp echone
And in her honde. receyue her paye anone
with Adrastus. to Thebes for to ryde
The grete purueaūce of kyng A­drastus to­warde ye cyte of thebes
And the lordes. that with hym abyde
In housholde styll haue her leue take
To ryden home. her retenu to make
In theyr countrees. as they were of degree
To stuffen hem. and to take vp mayne
And make hem strong. with knyght & squyres
with speres bowes. and with arblastres
In all the haste possyble. that they maye
And to retourne. in her beste araye
Atte terme sette. full manly to be sayen
To forne Arge. moustren in a playn
And as I rede. full worthy of degre
The kyn­ges & prynces that come with a­drastus
Thyder came fyrste. Prothonolope
[Page]The whiche was. by recorde of wrytyng
Of Archada. sone to the kyng
And full prudente. fonde in werre and peas
There come also. the kyng Cylmythenes
And as I fynde. full famous of renoun
Thyder come eke. the kyng Epymedon
And passyng all. of knyghthode and of name
And excellyng. by worthynesse of fame
The noble kyng. called Campaneus
Come eke to Arge. the story telleth vs
Proued right well. and had ryden fer
And thyder come. the kyng Melleager
Lryng Genor eke. that helde his royall sete
Myne auctoure sayth. in the londe of Crete
Lryng Laerys. and the kyng of Pyrrus
And eke the kyng. called Tortalanus
And renomed in many regyon
There come the kyng. I named Polemon
Ofte assayed and I founde. a manly knyght
That with hym brought. in stele armed bryght
Full many worthy. oute of his countree
And Tydeus. moost knyghtly for to see
That manly man. that noble werryoure
As he that was. of worthynesse floure
Mayster and myrrour. by prouesse of his honde
Hath sente also. in to the myghty londe
Of Calydonye. wherof he was heyre
That is a kyngdome. bothe riche and feyre
[Page]Chargyng his counseyll. and his offycers also
In all the haste. that it may be do
To seken oute the beste werryours
Of famous knyghtes. and proued saudyours
Thrugh all the lond. & leyd on hem this charge
withoute abode. for to come to Arge
And they obey shall. his byddyng
Enhastyng hem. and made noo lettyng
But sped hem faste. vpon her Journeye
And from Thebes. the myghty strong Cyte
Come downe knygh [...]. with many a nother mā
Mauger the kyng. to helpe what they can
Consydred fyrste. his falshede and treason
I mened oonly. of trouth and of reason
Polymytes. as they were sworne of yore
To his crowne. Justely to restore
And whan they wern. at large out of the towne
In to Arge they be descended downe
And lyke her othe. and theyre assuraunce
As they weren bounde. oonly of lygaunce
To hym they came. in full lowly wyse
Redy to done. what hym lyste to deuyse
And whan he had. her trouth full conceyued
He hath to grace. goodly hem receyued
Assygnyng hem. her place myd the ooste
Assembled there. fro many dyuerse coste
That fynally. in this companye
I gadred was. the floure of chyualrye
[Page]I chosen oute. of all Grekes londe
The moost knyghtly. & manfull of her honde
That I trowe. sythe the worlde began
There was not seen. soo many manly man
Soo well horsed. with spere and with shelde
Togyder assembled. sooth in a felde
There men myght see. many strange gyses
Of armyng newe. and vncouthe deuyse
Euery man after his fantasye
That yf I sholde. in order specyfye
Euery pees longyng to armure
And therupon. doo my besy cure
It were in south. almoost a dayes werke
And the termes. ben also to derke
To reherse hem clerely. and to ryme
I passe ouer. oonly for lacke of tyme
And telle I wolde. forth of her lodgyng
How Adrastus. the noble worthy kyng
Hath euery lorde. lyke to his degree
Receyueth well. within his cytee
And there they had. lyke to her pleasaunce
Of what nedeth. fulsome habondaunce
For man and horse. plente of vytayle
Commaundyng. that noo thyng ne fayle
That all these noble werreours
Bothe hye and lowe. and pooer saudyours
I serued were. of that they had nede
For Adrastus. prudently toke hede
what vay­leth a kyng to pay his peple truly her soude
[Page]Full lyke a kyng. touchyng her terme daye
That they to forne. were serued of her paye
He was soo free. hym lyste▪ nothyng restrayne
And noo man. had cause to complayne
Hunger. thurste. nor Indygence
And in a prynce. it is full grece offence
As clerkes sayn. and a grece repre [...]e
To suffre his people. lyuen at myschefe
It is full heuy. and greuous in her thought
If he habonde. and they haue ryght nought
He maye not both. possede good and herte
He to be riche. and seen his people smerte
He maye the body. of poore well constreyne
But her herte. hath a full longe reyne
Mauger his myght. to louen at large
There maye noo kyng. on hertes sette a charge
Nor hem cohercen. from her lybertee
Men seen full ofte. how that thought is free
For whiche eche prynce. lorde and gouernoure
And specyally. euery conqueroure
Lete hym beware. for all his noblesse
That bounte fredome. plente and largesse
By one accorde. that they his brydell lede
Leste of his people. whan he hath moost nede
He be defrauded. whan he is but allone
Than is to late. for to make his mone
Nota Howe loue auaylethe more a kynge thā gold or grete ry­chesse
But in his courte. lete hym fyrste deuyse
To exyle scarshede and couetyse
[Page]Than is he lykly. with fredome yf he gynne
Loue of his people. euermore to wynne
To regne longe. in honoure and contune
Ay to encrease. by fauoure of fortune
And his enmyes. manly to oppresse
For loue is more. than golde or grete richesse
Golde fayleth ofte. loue wyll abyde
For lyste or deth. by a lordes syde
And the tresoure. shortly of a kyng
Standeth in loue. aboue all thyng
Fare well lordshyp. bothe morowe and eue
Specyally. whan loue taketh his leue
And who so lyste. a myrrour for to make
Of kyndly fredome. lete hym ensample take
Of Adrastus. the manly kyng famous
Soo lyberall. soo bounteous
Unto his people. at all tyme founde
Whiche made hym strong. his fomen to confoū de
And loue oonly. his enmyes to werreye
All grece. made his byddyng to obeye
Of one accorde. knyghtly by his syde
All attones. to Thebes for to ryde
For tauenge. syth they were soo strong
The grete Iniurye. and the Importable wrong
Done to his sone. and to his next allye
As ye to forne. haue harde me specyfye
But whyle Grekes. areste a whyle in pes
I wyll resorte to Ethyocles
[Page]with Inne Thebes. warly hath aspyed
By his frendes. as he was certefyed
Of the Grekes. hole the ordynaunce
Her purpos eke. and her purueaunce
And therof had in herte. a maner drede
And fyrste he toke. his counseyll and his rede
Of the lordes. and of the barons of the town
And of the wysest. of his regyon
How he myght. maken resystence
Manly to standen. at defence
To be strong. that there were noo doubte
How ethyo cles made him strong ayen the comyng of ye Grekes
And in tho contrees. adiacente aboute
And eke▪ also. in foreyn regyons
He hath withholde. all the champyons
And therupon. he sente oute his aspyes
And his frendes. and his next allyes
And all the worthy. dwellyng enuyrowne
Yonge fresshe and lusty. he gadred in to towne
Maskowede his walles. and his hye toures
And stuffed hem. with many sadyoures
Rounde aboute. he sette many gonnes
Grete and smale. and some large as tonnes
And in his hasty. passyng feruente hete
He spente his tresoure. and gaf yeftes grete
Unto knyghtes. and worthy men of name
And euermore. to encrease his fame
He yafe to lordes. Jewels many folde
Clothes of veluette. of damaske and of golde
[Page]To gete hym hertes. sothly as I rede
To helpe hym now. in this grete nede
And prudently purueyed hym to fome
Of flesshe and fysshe. and of wyne and corne
Sette his Capyteyns. erly and late
with full styfe stronge. at euery gate
He made also. by werkmen that were trewe
Barbycans. and bolwerkes newe
Barres chaynes. and dyches wounder depe
Makyng his vowe. the Cytee for to kepe
whyle he lyueth. despyte of all his foon
And by his goddes. of metall and of stoon
Full ofte he swore. bothe of herte and thought
That it shall fyrste. full dere ben a bought
And many a man. with pollax & swerd & knyfe
To forne this towne. fyrste shall lese his lyfe
And there shall eke. many sydes blede
Or his brother. peasybly possede
The towne in peas. lyke as Grekes wene
But atte ende. the trouth shall be sene
Lete hym beware. and well to forne prouyde
For Adrastus. on that other syde
For his parte. was not neclygente
But on a daye. helde a parlyamente
All his lordes. syttyng enuyron
To dryue shortly. a playne conclusyon
And vp thappoynte. the fyne of her entente
But some thought. full expedyente.
[Page]Of they procede. to werke by thauyse
Of one that was. full prudente and right wyse
And circumspecte. in his werkes all
A worthy bysshop. in to age fall
And called was sothly by his name
How ye bys­shop āphio rax was sēt for to come to ye grekes
Amphyorax. of whome the grete fame
Thrugh all the londe. both est and south
Among Grekes. passyngly was couth
A man in sothe. of olde antyquyte
And moost excepted. of auctoryte
Fyrste by reason. of his hye estate
And eke. for he was soo fortunate
In his werkes. and was also secree
with the goddes. knowyng her pryuetee
By graunte. of whome as bokes specyfye
He had a spyryte. of trewe prophecye
And coude a forne. full openly dyuyne
Thynges begonne. how they sholde fyne
And eke by crafte. of calculacyon
Gyue a dome. of euery questyon
And had in Magyk. grete experyence
And fynde coude. by heuenly Influence
And by meanyng. of hye sterres
A fynall dome. of contek and of werres
And wyst well. as his goddes tolde
And wyste well ye trew ꝓphecye of bisshop amphyorax
That yf Grekes. forth her Journey holde
It tourne sholde. platly this noo phage
To grete myschyfe. and to grete domage
Of hem echone. and in especyall
The moost parte. of the blode royall
Thrugh all Grece. it maye not be withdrawe
In this vyage. shortly shall be slawe
And yf hymselfe. with the Grekes wente
who that euer wepte. hym or by mente
This was the fyne. and maye not be socoured
Of the erthe. he sholde be deuoured
Quyke as he was. he knew none other in serteyne
And for he saw. there was non̄ other geyne
To saue his lyfe. nor noo bet defence
Than vtterly. to withdrawen his presence
Prayeng his wyfe. for hym to prouyde
If he were sought. that she wolde hym hyde
And womanly. for to kepe hym close
And of trouth. councelen his purpose
For all his truste. touchyng his greuaunce
was fully sette. in her preuyaunce
I hope to god. that he nede not drede
Of noo decerte. in her womanhede
She was soo trewe. as wȳmen ben euerychone
And also close. and muet as a stone
That she ne wolde. as the mater stode
Dyscuren hym. for noo wordly gode
But fynally. the Grekes of entente
In all his drede. haue for the bysshop sente
Though it was long. or they myght hym fynde
For cause his wyfe. was to hym soo kynde
[Page]That full suerly. hath locked vp his cors
But for she had. a maner remors
In her selfe. greuyng her conscyence
How yt wyt of amphyo rax of con­science to sa ue her othe discured hir husbonde
Dredyng to falle. in full grete offence
Leste her soule. were in perell lorne
whan she by othe. compelled was a sworne
There requyryng. yf she coude telle
where her lorde. the bysshop sholde dwelle
whiche to dyscure. her herte was full lothe
Tyll tyme she ganne. remembren on her othe
And coude a trouthe of custome not denye
And had also grete conscyence to lye
wounder heuy. with a sorowfull face
Mauger her luste. taught hem to the place
where as he was. shytte vp in a toure
All allone. hauyng noo socoure
They fell on hym. or that he was ware
And sette hym vp. in a full riche chare
A grete fole he was. to yeoparde his lyfe
For to dyscure. his counseyll to his wyfe
And yet she was. full sory for his sake
Specyally whan she sawe hym take
But I hope. that her heuynesse
Gan a swage. full sone by processe
In shorte tyme. whan that he was gone
There is no tempeste. that may lest euer in one
But this bysshop. by verray force and myght
Unto Grekes. conueyed was full ryght
[Page]This hore graye. in his chare syttyng
And they full glad. were of his comyng
Hauyng a truste. and full opynyon
And thorugh cause. and occasyon
Of his wysdome. and his sapyence
And by vertue. of his hye presence
They sholde eschewe. all aduersytee
Possyble to falle. as in her Journee
And as the storye. fully hath deuysed
Full circumspecte. and right well aduysed
He hath pronounced. in the parlyamente
To forne the lordes. and the presydente
His clere conceyte. in verray sykernesse
Not entryked with noo doublenesse
Her dysmole dayes. and her fatall houres
Her aduentures. and her sharpe shoures
The frowarde sorte. and the vnhappy stoūdes
The complayntes. of her dedely woūdes
The wofull wrath. and the contrauerse
Of fell Mars. and his cruelte
And how by meane. of his gery mode
There shalbe shed. all the worthy blode
Of the Grekes. it maye not be eschewed
If her purpose. be execute and sewed
There is noo more. this shall be the fyne
The hye noblesse. shall drawe to declyne
Of Grekes blood. in myschyfe sorow and wo
And with all this. I myselfe also
[Page]As my fate. hath to forne dysposed
Depe in the grounde. I shall be enclosed
And locked vp. in the derke vale
Of cruell deth. loo this was the tale
That the bysshop to Adrastus tolde
Hym counseylyng. his purpos to withholde
In eschewyng. of more myscheef and sorowe
For all his goodes. he take vnto borowe
Yf the Thebans. and the Grekes mete
The fyne therof. shall be vnswete
That all Grece. after shall it rewe
warnyng hym. yf they the myscheef knewe
That shall folowe. that noo man maye lette
They wolde abstene. a sege for to [...]ette
Unto Thebes. and her purpos leue
with whos wordes. the lordes gan hem greue
And there in had. but full smale delyte
And euery chone. of herely hye despyte
They abrayde. and sayd he was vntrewe
A contryuer. of prophecyes newe
And eke also. for his long berde
And olde dottarde. a cowarde and a ferde
And of rancoure. gan to defye
Bothe his calkyng. and his astronomye
And sayd shortly. they toke therof none hede
Ne wyll no thyng. gouerne hem after his rede
This was the clamoure. & noyse in euery coste
Of hye and lowe. thorugh oute all the hoste
[Page]And specyally of the saudyours
And of lordes. regnyng in floures
And of the states. effectuelly I mene
whiche of age. were but tender and grene
That haue not had. by Martys Influence
Of the werre. grete experyence
Here yf ye lyste. ye maye consyder and see
Of conceytes. full grete dyuersytee
How that youthe. noo peryll caste a forne
Tyll the myschyfe. sodeynly be borne
Where as age prouydeth euery thyng
Or he begynne. to casten the endyng
youthe is gouerned by a large reyne
How age & youthe ben of dyuerse opynyons
To renne forth. and can not hym refrayne
But of hede. sette on all attones
As he that hurtlyth. agayn the harde stones
Broseth hymselfe. vnwarly and parbraketh
But age experte. noo thyng vndertaketh
But to forne. of good dyscrecyon
Make a due examynacyon
How it wyll tourne. other to bad or good
But youthe as faste. as stered is the blood
Take empryses. of hasty wylfulnesse
Joye at gynnyng. the ende is wretchednesse
The olde prudente. in all his gouernaunce
Full longe a forne. maketh purueaunce
But youthe alas. by counseyll wyll not werke
For whiche full ofte. he stombleth in the derke
[Page]Thus selde is seen. the trouth to termyne
That age and youthe. drawe by one lyne
And where that folye hath denomynacyon
wysdome is putte in to subieccyon
Lyke as this bysshop. with all his hye prudence
For cause. he myght haue none audyence
All his wysdome. and his prophecye
How ye wysdom with­out suppor tacōn auay leth lytyll or nought
Of the Grekes. was holden but folye
For though Plato. and wyse Socrates
Morall Senek. and Dyogenes
Albumazar. and prudente Tholome
And Tullyus. that had soueraynte
whylom in Rome. as of eloquence
Though all these. shorly in sentence
were a lyue. moost connyng and experte
And noo man. lyste her counseyll to aduerte
Nor of her sawes. for to taken hede
what myght auayle. and it come to nede
For where prudence. can fynde noo socoure
And prouydence. hath noo fauoure
Fare well wysdome. fare well dyscrecyon
For lacke oonly. of supportacyon
For vnsupported. with his lockes hore
Amphyorax. syghen gan full sore
with hede enclyned. and many euyll thought
whan yt he sawe. his counseyll stonde for nought
For vtterly. the Grekes as I tolde
Haue fully caste. her Journey for to holde
[Page]Made hem redy. and gonnen to hosteye
Towarde Thebes. the Cytee to werrey
And forth with hem. Amphyorax they carye
And in Grece. wyll noo lenger tarye
Sytte in his chare. with a doolfull herte
whan he wyst. he myght not asterte
Of his fate. his dysposycyon
And hostyng. in to the regyon
Of Lygurgus. Grekes gan approche
A sondy londe. with many a craggy roche
But all the waye. sothly that they gone
For horse nor man. water was there none
Soo drye was the vales. and the playnes
For all that yere. they hadden had noo reynes
But full grete drought. as made is mencyon
The grete myscheef yt grekes had of ye defaut of water
And all the londe. serchyng enuyron
They nother fonde. well ne ryuere
Hem to refresshe. ne water that was clere
But they alas. noo refute ne conne
Soo importable. was the shene sonne
Soo hote on hem. in feldes where they lay
That for myscheef. man and horse gan dey
Gapyng full drye. vpward in to south
And some putten. her swerdes in her mouth
And spere hedes. in story as it is tolde
Taswage her thurste. with the yron colde
And of his lyfe. full many one dyspayred
In this myscheef. and home agayne repayred
[Page]Tyll on a daye. worthy Tydeus
And with hym eke. the kyng Campanous
Of purpos rode. thorugh oute the countree
If they myght. ony water see
From coste to coste. bothe fer and nere
Tyll of fortune. they entred an herbere
with trees shadowed. for the sonne shene
Full of herbes. and of floures grene
wonder holsome. both of syght and hayre
There Inne a lady. that passyngly was fayre
Syttyng as tho. vnder a laure tre
And in her armes. a lytyll childe had she
Full gracyous. of loke and of vysage
And was also. wounder tender of age
Sone of the kyng. borne to succede
Called Lygurgus. in story as I rede
whoos hertly Joye. and worldly eke dysporte
All his myrthe. pleasance and comforte
was in this childe. of excellente fayrenesse
And this lady. myrroure of semlynesse
All sodeynly. as she caste vp her syght
And on his stede. sawe an armed knyght
Gretely abasshed. gan anone renue
But Tydeus. after gan to sue
And sayd. syster byth nothyng dysmayed
In youre selfe. dyspleased nor affrayed
For we are come. oonly to this place
How tydeꝰ cōplayneth to the lady in the erber for water
you to beseche. of mercy and of grace
[Page]Vs to socoure. in oure grete nede
Declaryng you. how it stonde in dede
Here faste by. all moost at honde
The worthyest. of all Grekes londe
Lrynges prynces. ben lodgyng in the felde
And many other. with pollax spere and shelde
whiche in myscheef. parell and grete drede
For want of water. ben lykly to be dede
For there was none. of hye ne lowe degree
In all oure Dost. now passed dayes three
That dranke. alas excepte none estate
Oure vyage. is soo Infortunate
Prayeng you. of womanly pyte
Benygnely. and gracyously for to see
How of grece. all the chyualrye
Of her lyues. stant in ieopardye
That ye wolde of womanhede tell
If ye knowe. ryuer spryng or well
Specyally nowe. in all oure care
Of gentyllesse. vnto vs declare
Loo here is all. yf ye lyste to here
That ye wyll seyn. myn owne syster dere
And whan this lady Inly vertuous
How the lady taughte tydeus to ye well
The complaynte herde. of worthy Tydeus
Of verray pyte. changeth chere and hewe
And in her herte. vpon her woo gan rewe
And full goodely. seeng his dystresse
Sayde vnto hym. in all his heuynesse
[Page]Certes quod she. yf I were at large
Touchyng this childe. of whom I haue charge
I sholde in haste. of all that dooth you greue
To my power. helpen to releue
Oonly of reuthe. and compassyon
And leue all other occupacyon
Conueye you. and be youre trewe gyde
To a ryuer. but lytyll here besyde
But I dare not. soo moche me assure
This lytyll childe. to putte in auenture
I am soo ferfull. from it to departe
But for youre sake. that I in parte
My lyfe my dethe. of trewe affeccyon
To prouyde. for youre sauacyon
Toke the childe. and leyde it in her lappe
And richely in clothes. gan it wrappe
And couched it among the herbes soote
And leyde aboute. many holsom roote
And floures eke. bothe blewe and rede
And supprysed. with a maner drede
With Tydeus forth anone she wente
As she in trouth. that noo treason mente
And in her waye. wolde she neuer dwell
Tyll she hym brought. to a right fayre well
And to a ryuer. of water right habonde
But who was glad. and who was tho Joconde
But Tydeus seeng the ryuer
whiche in all the haste. sente his messenger
[Page]To Adrastns. and bade hym not abyde
But downe descende. to the ryuer syde
with all thoost. recure for to haue
Atte this ryuer. her lyues for to saue
And this enhaste. hem makyng none abode
All attones. to the ryuer rode
For to drynke. they had soo grete luste
Of appetyte. for to stanche her thruste
And some dronke. and foūde it dyde them good
And some were soo feruente and soo wood
Upon the water. that in sykernesse
Thrugh vndyscrete. and hasty gredynesse
Oute of mesure. the water soo they drynke
That they fyll dede. euen vpon the brynke
And some naked. in to the ryuer ronne
Oonly for hete. of the somer sonne
To bathen hem. the water was soo colde
And some also. as I haue you tolde
I mene tho. that prudente weren and wyse
The water dranke. in mesurable wyse
That of the thurste. they haue toforne endured
They were refresshed. fully and recured
And Grekes than. of hye and lowe degree
For hye profyte. and grete commodytee
Compas the ryuer. crystallyn of syght
Of one accorde. there her tentes pyght
To reste hem. there in relees of her payne
Oonly the space. of a daye or twayne
[Page]And whyles Grekes. vpon the ryuer laye
This Tydeus. vpon the same daye
Full knyghtly. hath doo his dylygence
This yonge lady. with grete reuerence
To Adrastus. goodly to presente
Atte whoos comyng. the kyng hymselfe wente
Agaynst her. she fallyng downe on her knees
All the states. presente and degrees
Of grekes londe. absente was not one
And in his armes. toke her vp anone
Thankyng her. and of her besynesse
Of her laboure. and her kyndnesse
Behotyng her. lyke as he was holde
If ony thyng. playnly that she wolde
That he maye done. she sholde it redy fynde
And Grekes all. the story maketh mynde
Of the states. beyng tho presente
Thanked her. with all her hole entente
For the refresshyng. done to many a Greke
And for her parte. they behyght her eke
with her bodyes. and goodes bothe twoo
what her lyste. commaunde hem for to doo
To be redy platly. and not fayle
And here myne auctour. maketh rehersall
That this lady. soo fayre vpon to see
Of whome the name. was Isyphyle
To Adrastus tolde. as ye maye rede
Lynealy the stok of her kynrede
[Page]Whylom how she a kynges doughter was
Rehersyng hym. hole all the caas
Fyrste why that she. oute of her countree wente
Shortly. for she nolde not assente
To execute. a conspyracyon
Made by the wymmen. of that regyon
A thyng contrarye. and ayenste all ryght
That eche of hem. vpon a certayn nyght
By one accorde. shall warly take kepe
Fader broder. and husbondes in her slepe
with knyues sharpe. and rasours kene
Lrytte her throtes. in that mortall tene
Vnto this fyne. as Bochas tell can
In all that londe. be not founde a man
But slayn echone. to this conclusyon
That wymmen myght haue domynacyon
In that kyngdome. to regne at lyberte
And on noo parte. interrupted be
But for this lady. passyng debonayre
To this morder. was froward and contrarye
Lrepte her fader. that he was not slawe
But fro the dethe. preserued and wythdrawe
For whiche alas. she fled the countree
And of a pyrat. taken in the see
To kyng Lygurgus. broughten in all drede
And for her trouthe. and her womanhede
To her he toke his yong childe to kepe
whiche in the herber. alone lefte to slepe
[Page]whan Tydeus. she brought to welle
And by Jason. some bokes telle
That this lady. had sones two
whan that he. and Hercules also
Towarde Colchos. by her countree cam
For tacomplysshe. the conquest of the Ram
But who that lyste. by and by for to see
The story hole. of this Isyphyle
Her faders name. of whiche also I wente
Though some seyn. he named was Toante
And some bokes. Vermes eke hym call
But to knowe. the auentures all
Of this lady. Isyphyle the fayre
Soo faythfull ay. and Inly debonayre
Loke on the boke. that Johan Bochas made
whylom of wymmen. with Rothorykes glad
And dyrecte. by full souerayne style
To fayre Jane. the quene of Secyle
Rede there the Rubrysshe of Isyphyle
Of her trouth. and of her hye bountye
Full craftely compyled. for her sake
And whan that she. hath her leue take
Of Adrastus. homewarde in her waye
Tydeus. gan her to conueye
To the gardeyn. tyll she is repayred
But now alas. my mater dysepeyred
Of all Joye. and of all welfulnesse
And destytute. of myrthe and all gladnesse
[Page]For now of woo. gynneth the sharpe shoures
For this lady founde. among the floures
Her lytyll childe. tourned vp the face
Howe the childe was slayn with a serpent
Slayne of a serpente. in the selfe place
Her tayle burled. with scales syluer shene
The venyin. was soo persyng and soo kene
Soo perylous. eke the mortall vyolence
Caused alas. thorugh her long absence
She was to slowe. homewarde for to hye
But now can she. but wepe wayle and crye
Now can she not. but syghen and complayne
And wofully. wryng her hondes twayne
Dedely of loke. pale of face and chere
And gan to rende. her gylte tresses clere
And ofte sythe. gan she saye alas
I wofull wretche. vnhappy in this caas
what shall I doo. or wheder shall I tourne
For this the fyne. yf I there soiourne
I wote right well. I maye not escape
The pyteous fate. that is for me shape
Socoure is none. nor there maye be noo rede
Lyche my decerte. but that I mote be dede
For thorugh my slouth. and my neclygence
I haue alas. done soo grece offence
That my gylte. I maye not excuse
Shall to the kyng. of treason me accuse
Thorugh my defaute. and slouth bothe two
His sone is dede. and his heyre also
[Page]whiche he loueth. more than all his gode
For tresoure. none soo nye his herte stode
Nor was soo depe. graue in his corage
That he is lykly. to falle in a rage
whan it is soo. myne odyous offence
Reported be. vnto his audyence
Soo Importable. shall be his heuynesse
And well wote I. in verray sothfastnesse
That whan the kyng. hath this espyed
To myne excuse. it maye not be denyed
I doubte it not. there geyneth noo pyte
with oute respyte. he wyll auenged be
On me alas. I haue deserued
That fro the deth. I maye not be preserued
Nother by bylle. ne supplycacyon
For the rage. of my transgressyon
Requyreth deth. and none other mede
And thus alas. quakyng in her drede
None other helpe. ne remedye [...]an
But dreynte in sorowe. to the Grekes ran
Of hertly woo. face and chere desteyned
And her chekes. with wepyng all bereyned
In her affraye. dystracte and furyous
To forne all. she come to Tydeus
And fyll on knees. & gan her complaynt make
Tolde playnly. that for Grekes sake
She mote be dede. and shortly in substance
Rehersyng hym. the grete of her greuance
[Page]Fyrste how by traynes. of false serpente
The childe was slayne. whyle she was absente
In what dysioynte. and perell that she stode
And whan that he. her myschyfe vnderstode
Vnto her. full knyghtly he behyght
To helpe and further. all that euer he myght
Her pyteous wo. to stynten and appeale
And for to fynde. vnto her dysease
Hasty comforte. he wente a full grete pase
To Adrastus. and tolde hym all the caas
Of this vnhappy. wofull aduenture
Besechyng hym. to done his besy cure
As he was bounde. of equyte and ryght
And aduerten. and to haue a syght
How she quyte her. to Grekes here to forne
whan they were lykly. for to haue be lorne
The socour voyde. of her womanhede
Of whiche he muste. of knyghthode take hede
To remedyen this vnhappy thyng
And Adrastus. lyke a worthy kyng
Taquyte hymselfe. the story maketh mynde
To this lady. wyll not to be founde vnkynde
Nother for coste. nor for noo trauayle
But besy was. in all that myght auayle
To her socoure. consydered all thynges
And by thauyse. of all the worthy kynges
Of Grekes londe. they ben accorded thus
Prynces dukes. and worthy Tydeus
[Page]To holde her waye. and all attones ryde
To Lygurgus. dwellyng there besyde
Of one entente. yf they maye purchace
In ony wyse. for to gete grace
For this lady. called Isyphyle
They wolde assaye. yf it myght be
And to his paleys. full royall bylte of stone
The worthy Grekes. cam rydyng euerychone
Euery lorde. full fresshely on his stede
And Lygurgus. example of manlyhede
Anone as he knewe. of her comyng
Taquyte hymselfe. lyche a gentyll kyng
Agayn hem wente. to mete hem on the waye
Full well beseen. and in full good araye
Receyuyng hym. with a full kyngly chere
And to Adrastus sayde. as ye shall here
Cosyn quod he. and gan hym to enbrace
ye be welcome. to youre owne place
Thankyng hertely. to your hye noblesse
That soo goodly. of youre gentyllesse
Towardes me. ye lyste you taquyte
youre selfe daye. youre Cosyn to vysyte
In this castell. to make youre lodgyng
That neuer yet. I was soo glad of thyng
And all my lyfe. and there to here my trouthe
And euermore. there shall be noo slouthe
That the chambres. and the large toures
Shall be delyuered. to your herberyours
[Page]That euery lorde. as is of degree
Vnto his lodgyng. assygned shall be
Youre offycers. lete hemselfe deuyse
If the housyng. maye largely suffyse
To you and youres. stretchen and attayne
That none estate. haue cause to complayne
And all youre hoost. lodged here besyde
whiche in tentes. vpon you abyde
Lete hem fette. by myne auctoryte
Vytayle you here in my cyte
And all that maye. hem socoure or saue
And at a worde. all that euer I haue
Is full and hole. at youre commaundemente
Quod Adrastus. that is not oure entente
How adrastꝰ & all the stat [...] of gre­kes prayed lygurgꝰ for the lyfe of Isyphyle
Nor in noo partye. cause of oure comyng
For we come. all for a nother thyng
A certeyn gyfte. of you to requyre
Benygnely. yf ye lyste to here
whiche maye Grekes. passyngly auayle
Of youre request. that ye not ne fayle
whiche we dare not openly expresse
withoute that ye wolde of gentyllesse
youre graunte a forne. conferme an ratyfye
Than were we bolde. it to specyfye
Quod Lygurgus. what thyng euer it be
Nought excepted. by oonly thynges thre
The fyrste thyng is it. toucheth not my lyfe
My yong sone playnly. ne my wyfe
[Page]Take all my good. or what ye lyste prouyde
Of my tresoure. and sette these thre a syde
All the surplus. I counte not at a myte
Than Adrastus. astoned was a lyte
whan Lygurgus in conclusyon
Of his sone. dyde make excepcyon
And whyles they thus entreaten I fere
There come forth one. with a woofull chere
Of face. of loke pale and noo thyng rede
A lowde cryeth. the kynges sone is dede
Alas the whyle. that whylom was soo fayre
After Lygurgus borne. for to ben hayre
The whiche alas. hath yolden vp the brethe
As a serpente. stongen vnto the dethe
And with his wounde. newe fresshe and grene
In therber. lyeth that pyte is to sene
And hath soo layen. all moost all this daye
That whan Lygurgus harde this affraye
And wyste his childe was dede. & had no moo
Lytyll wounder. though that he were woo
For sodeynly. the Importable smerte
The soro­we ye kyng ligurgꝰ made for ye de­the of his child & ye lamētacōn of the quene
Ran anone. and hente hym by the herte
That for constreyne. of his dedely peyne
Thorugh oute he felte. koruen euery veyne
The rage gan myne. in hym soo depe
That he can not. but sygh sobbe and wepe
And with the noyse. and lamentacyon
The quene destraught. is descended doun
[Page]And whan she knew. groūde of all this sorowe
It nede her noo teres for to borowe
But twenty tyme. by vpon a rowe
A swoune she fell. vnto the grounde lowe
And stounde mele. for this hye myschaūce
Styll as stone. she lyggeth in a traūce
And whan it. in to the courte was brought
Therfore Lygurgus alas. I wyte hym nought
Vpon the cors. with a mortall face
He fell attones. and gan it to embrace
Sore to grype. and agayn vp sterte
That whan Adrastus. gan this aduerte
Of kyngly reuthe. and compassyon
From his eyen. there teres fell doun
Eke kynges dukes. that aboute stode
O only of pyte. that is in gentyll blode
Noo power had the water to restrayne
That on her chekes. downe gan to reyne
But all a daye. wolde not suffyse
All her sorowes. in order to deuyse
Fyrste of the kyng. and of the quene also
To tellen all. I sholde neuer haue do
Nought in the space. all moost of an houre
But whan the stormes. and sharpshoures
Of her wepyng. was somewhat ouer gone
The lytyll cors. was grauen vnder stone
And Adrastus. in the same tyde
Lygurgus toke. alyte oute asyde
[Page]And full wysely. with his prudente speche
The quene presente. gan hym for to teche
That soo to sorowe. auayle maye right nought
Agayns de the may be no recure
To morder hymselfe. with his owne thought
Syth los of deth. noman maye recure
Though he in woo. perpetuelly endure
All helpeth not. whan the soule is go
And oure lyfe here. who taketh hede therto
Is but an exyle. and a pylgrymage
Full of tourmente. and of bytter rage
Lyche a see. rennyng to and fro
Suyng an ebbe. whan the flode is do
Lytyll space. abydyng at full
Of whoos soiourne. the [...]ope yeueth noo bull
Nor kyng is. nor duke no Emperoure
That may hym shroude. agayn yt fatall shoure
Of cruell deth. whan hym lyste manasse
To marke a man. with his mortall mace
That geyneth not. to his sauacyon
Nother franchyse. ne proteccyon
And lytyll or nought. maye helpe in this caas
Saue conduyte. or supersydeas
For in this worlde. who loketh a ryght
Is none soo grete. of power ne of myght
None soo riche. shortly ne none soo holde
That he muste dye. other yong or olde
And who in youthe passeth this passage
He is escaped. all the wood rage
[Page]All sorow and trouble. of this presente lyfe
Replenysshed. with contek warre and stryfe
whiche selde or neuer. stonde in suerte
wherfore beste is. as semeth vnto me
Noo man grutche. but of hye prudence
The sonde of god. take in pacyence
And ye that be soo manly to
youre lyfe to drowne. in tournement and in wo
For losse of thyng. that ye lyste to see
whiche in noo wyse. recured may be
Is grete foly. and vndyscrecyon
And thus Adrastus. hath conueyed doun
The substance hole. of that he wolde saye
Tyll that he fonde. a tyme for to praye
Conuenyente. for Isyphyle
Besechyng hym. for to haue pyte
Of that she hath. his hyghnesse
Not wylfully. but reklesnesse
Fyrste that he wolde. his domes to deuyde
Mercy preferre. and sette right asyde
Atte requeste and prayer. of hem all
Of this vnhap. and myscheef that is befall
By hasty rygoure. and not to vengaunce
But thyng a forne. in his purueaunce
who to wretches. dooth mercy in her drede
Shall mercy fynde. whan he hath moost nede
And syth he hath. power myght and space
Lete hym take this lady to his grace
[Page]For lacke of ruthe. that she nought dye
But tho the quene. gan ayen replye
And platly sayde. as in this mater
Auayleth not. request nor prayer
Pyte mercy. noo remyssyon
But yf it be. by this condycyon
But yf the serpente. cause of all this sorowe
Though his laboure. leye his hede to borowe
This is fynall. and vtter recompense
To fynde grace. for her grete offence
Or shortly shede. blode for blode
And whan the Grekes. her answer vnderstode
All of one accorde. in her beste wyse
Toke on hem. this auentures empryse
For loue oonly of Isyphyle
And gan to ryde. enuyron the countre
By hylles vales. roches and eke caues
In dyches darke. and in olde graues
By euery coste. serchyng vp and downe
Tyll [...]at laste. full famous of renowne
The worthy knyght. Parthonolope
How par­thonolope sawe fyrste this serpēt
was the fyrste. that happed to se
This hydeous serpente. by a ryuer syde
Grete and horryble. stern and full of pryde
Vnder a roche. by a banke lowe
And in all haste. he hent a sturdy bowe
And there in sette. an arowe fyled kene
And thrugh the body. spotted blewe and grene
[Page]Full myghtely. he made it for to glyde
And rente oute a swerde. hangyng by his syde
Smote of his hede. and anone it hente
And therwith all. gan the quene presente
Where thorugh. her sorow parcell gan a swage
And thus of prowesse. and of hye corage
This manly man. Parthonolope
Hath reconsyled. fayre Isyphyle
Vnto grace. fully of the quene
Her yre auoyed. and her olde tene
And by Adrastus. medyacyon
Lryng Lygurgus. graunted a pardon
To this lady. that from all daunger fre
She was restored. to her lyberte
In her paleys. all her lyfe to dwell
Though Johan Bochas. the contrarye tell
For this auctoure. affyrmed oute of drede
That whā this childe. was by the serpent dede
She durste not. for her grete offence
Neuer after come in presence
Of Lygurgus. but of intencyon
Fled anone oute. of that regyon
A [...]te herte she toke. the childes dethe soo sore
what fell of her. I fynde can noo more
Than ye haue herde. me a fore specyfye
And the kyngdome. but kookes lye
Nota De Ligur­gꝰ rege regni tracee
Of Lygurgus. was I called trace
And as I rede. in a nother place
[Page]He was the same myghty champyon
To Athenes. that cam with palamon
Agaynst his brother. that called was Arcyte
Lad in his chare. with .iiii. boles whyte
Vpon his hede. a wreth of golde full fyne
And I fynde eke. how Bachus god of wyne
Bachus deus vinū
with this kyng. was whylom at debate
Oonly for he. pompous and elate
Destruccyon dyde. to his vynes
And for he fyrste. allaye sette on wynes
Meynte water. where they were to strong
And this Bachus. for the grete wrong
Brake his lymmes. and dreynte hym in the see
Of Lygurgus. ye gete noo more of me
But the trouth. yf ye lyste verryfye
Notādū de xii arboriꝰ in libro bochacii de geneologya deo (rum)
Rede of goddes. the geneologye
Lyneally. her kynrede by degrees
Ibraūched oute. vpon twelue trees
Made by Bochas. Decertaldo called
Amonge poetes. in Itayle stalled
Next Frauncys. petrarke suyng in certayn
Vnto Grekes. I wyll retourne agayn
To telle forth. shortly yf I canne
Of her Journey. that they haue begonne
How Adrastus. hath his leue take
Of Lygurgus. with his browes blake
And departyng. with saynt Johan to borowe
Made his wardes. on the next morowe
[Page]Soo well beseen. soo myghty and soo stronge
wonder erly. whan the larke songe
with a trompette. warned euery man
To be redy. in all the haste they can
For to renne. and noo lenger lettyng make
And soo they haue. the ryght waye take
Towarde Thebes. the Grekes euerychone
That suche a nombre. gadered in to one
Of worthy knyghtes. neuer a forne was sayne
whan they in fere. moustren in a playne
And they ne stynte. by none occasyon
Tyll they become. euen a forne the town
And pyght her tentes. proudely as I rede
Vnder the walles. in a grene mede
And whan the Thebans. weren besette aboute
The manly knyghtes. wolde a yssued oute
And haue scarmesshed. in her lusty pryde
with her fomen. on that other syde
But by byddyng of Ethyocles
All thylke nyght. they kepte hemselfe in pees
By cause oonly. that it was soo late
with grete awayte. set at euery gate
Men of armes. all the nyght wakyng
On the walles. by byddyng of the kyng
Leste there were. treynes or treason
And on the coures. and in the chyfe dongon
He sette vp men. to make mortall souns
with brasen hornes. and lowde claryons
[Page]Of full entente. the watches for to kepe
In his warde. that noo man ne slepe
And Grekes proudly. all the long nyght
Lryndly fyres. and made full grete lyght
Set vp lodgyng. vpon euery syde
Lyke as they solde. euer there abyde
Compas the towne. there was noo voyde space
But all besette. her fomen to manace
And whyles they. a forne the Cytee laye
the forraye yt the Gre­kes made in ye coūtre aboute the bes
On euery coste. they sente oute the forraye
Brente townes. thorpes and vyllages
with grete Rauyne. makyng her pyllages
Spoyle and robbe. and brought home vytayle
And all maner sortes of bestayle
Shepe and neet. and in her cruell rage
with houndes slowe. all that was sauage
Herte and hynde. both buk and do
The blak bore. and the wylde Roo
The fatte swyne. and the tusshy bore
Caryeng all home. for the Grekes store
whete and wyne. for her auauntage
Hay and otes. foder and forage
with this kalendes. as hem thynk due
Grekes gan the Thebans to salue
Mynystryng hem. occasyons fell
The sege sette. shortly for to tell
Of full entente. in her hatfull pryde
For lyfe or deth. there vpon to abyde
[Page]Who soo euer therwith be agreued
Tyll they fully. her purpos haue acheued
There maye therof. be maked noo reles
And of this. full ware Ethyocles
Gan in partye. gretely meruayle
whan that he sawe. the grete apparayle
Of the Grekes. the Cytee rounde aboute
And in hymselfe. had a maner doubte
None atte poynte. what was beste to doo
For thylke tyme. it stode with hym soo
That to some. abydyng in the town
He had in herte. grete suspeccyon
Leste towarde hym. they were vnstable
And to his brother. in partye fauorable
For in the Cytee. there was varyaunce
The varyance in the bes yt cytee among hē selfe
whiche vnto hym. was a grete meschaunce
For in his nede. shortly he ne wyste
Vpon whome. that he myght tryste
For they were not all of one entente
For whiche he hath. for his councell sente
All his lordes. and the olde quene
whiche as he dempte. were pure and clene
Hole of one herte. and not varyable
Of olde experte. and alwaye founde stable
Requyryng hym. by cause they were wyse
All openly. to tellen her auyse
where it where. bet playnly in her syght
with his brother. to treaten or to fyght
[Page]And some gafe. a full blonte sentence
whiche had of werre. none experyence
Sayde it was beste. and not be aferde
To trye his right. manly with his swerde
And some also. that were more prudente
Spake vnto hym. by good aduysemente
And lyste not spare. but theyre conceyte tolde
How it was beste. his couenante for to holde
And to perfourme. his heste made to forne
To his brother. lyche as he was sworne
Soo yt his sworde. the wors to make hym spede
Be not founde varyaunte. fro noo dede
For none hatred. rancoure nother pryde
Nota The wor­des of ye quene Jocasta vnto ethyocles ye kyng
And tho the quene. toke hym oute a syde
Tolde hym playnly. it was vnsyttyng
Suche doublenesse. to fynde in a kyng
And sayd hym eke. all though he were strong
To his brother. how he dyde wrong
As all the towne. wyll recorde in dede
And bere wytnesse. yf it came to nede
wherfore lete vs shape a nother mene
In this mater. whyle that it is grene
Or this quarell. gonne of volunte
Tourne in the fyne. of more aduersyte
For yf it be. darreyned by batayle
who trusteth moost. maye lykely fayle
And it is foly. by sho [...]te aduysemente
How pery­lous it is to be goūned by Marces in ony quarell
To put a stryfe. in Martis Jugemente
[Page]For harde it is. whan a Juge is wood
To treate a forne hym. withoute losse of blood
And yf we putte it hole in Marte
That with the swerde. his lawes dooth coarte
Than may it hap. where ye be glad or lothe
Thou and thy brother. shall repente bothe
And many a nother. that is here presente
Of youre trespace. that ben Innocente
And many thousand. in caas shall complayne
For the debate. oonly of you twayne
And for youre stryfe. shalte fynde full vnswote
And for thou arte. gynnyng grounde and rote
Of this Iniurye. and this grete vnryght
To the goddes. that here of haue a syght
Thou shalte a countes. and a rekenyng make
For all tho. that perysshen for thy sake
And now the cause. dryuen is soo ferre
Sodeyn peas. or hasty warre
Muste folowe anone. for the fatall chaunce
Of lyfe and deth. dependeth in balaunce
And noo man maye by noo crafte restrayne
That vpon one. platly of these twayne
The sorte mote falle. lyke as it dooth torne
whos that euer. laughe or morne
And thou arte dryue. soo narowe to the stake
That thou mayste not. mo delayes make
But fyghte or treate. this quarell for to fyne
Be none engyne. thou canste it not declyne
[Page]An hasty casse. as folke seyn that ben wyse
Redresse requyreth. by full shorte auyse
For to treate longe. now auayleth nought
For to the poynte. sothly thou arte brought
Eyther to kepe. thy possessyon
Or in all haste. deuoyde oute of this town
where thou therwith. be wroth or well apayde
Now note well. all that I haue sayde
And by my councell. wysly condescende
wrong wrought. of olde newly to amende
The tyme is come. it wyll be none other
wherfore in haste. treate well with thy brother
And ageyn hym. make none resystence
But to thy lordes. fully yeue credence
By whoos counceyll. syth they be soo sage
Lete Polymyte. reioyse his herytage
And that shall tourne. moost to thyne aueyll
Loo here is hole. the fyne of oure counceyll
And shortly tho. for verray yre wroth
Though he therto. frowarde was or loth
Accorded is. heryng all the pres
If he algate. treate shall for pees
It muste be. by this condycyon
That he wolde haue. the domynacyon
Fyrste in chyfe to hymselfe reserued
As hym thought. he had it well deserued
And saue to hym. hole the soueraynte
And vnder hym. in Thebes the Cyte
[Page]He to graunte. with a right good chere
Polymyte. to regne for a yere
Than auoyde. and not resorte agayne
For more to cleyme. was not but in vayne
Thus wolde he done. oonly for her sake
And other wyse. he wolde none ende make
with the Grekes. what fortune euer falle
And fynally. among his lordes all
There was not one. of hye ne lowe estate
That wolde gone on bassate
Oute of the towne. nother for bette ne worse
Tyll Jocasta. made sadell her horse
And caste her selfe. to gone for this treate
To make an ende. yf it wolde be
And this was done. the morowe right by tyme
Vpon the houre. whan it drowe to pryme
And with her went. her yong doughters tweyne
Antygone. and the fayre Imeyne
Of her meyne. full many one aboute
At gate she was conueyed oute
And of purpos. she made fyrste her wente
On horse bak. to the kyng Adrastus tente
He and his lordes. beyng all I fere
And they resceyue her. with right glad chere
Suyng her. lyke to her degre
On euery halfe. full grete humanyte
Polymyte rysyng. fro his place
And humbely. his moder gan embrace
[Page] [...]ryssed her. and than Antygone
And Imeyne. excellente of beaute
And for that they were passyngly fayre
Grete was the pres. concours and repayre
Of the ladyes. for to haue a syght
And Jocasta. procedeth anone ryght
To Adrastus. her mater to purpose
And gan to hym. openly dysclose
Thentente and wyll. of Ethyocles
And by what mene. he desyreth pees
To hym reserued. as she can specyfye
The honour and hole. and the regalye
with the septure. & crowne fro hym not deuyded
But hole to hym. as he hath prouyded
And Polymyte. vnder this condycyon
Vnder hym to regnen. in the town
As a subgette. by suffraūce of his brother
But the Grekes. thoughten all a nother
And specyally. worthy Tydeus
The āswere of tydeꝰ to ye quene
Playnly affermyng. it sholde not be thus
For he wyll haue noo condycyons
But sette a syde. all excepcyons
Noo thyng reserued. as in specyall
But hole the lordshyp. regaly and all
Polymyte. it fully to possede
In Thebes crowned. verrayly in dede
As ryghtfull kyng. put in possessyon
Lyche the couenantes. and conuencyon
[Page]Imade of olde. assured and essealed
whiche shall not now. of newe be repleted
But stabyll and hole. in his strengthe stonde
And lete hym soo. platly vnderstonde
And fyrste yt he. deuoyde hym out of the towne
And delyuer. the septure and the crowne
To his brother. and make there of noo more
And shortly ellys. it shall be bought full sore
Or this mater. brought be to an ende
For Grekes is there none. yt shall hens wende
Or that oure right. whiche is vs denyed
with lyfe or deth. dereyned be and tryed
we ne wyll. erst fro this towne rennewe
And yf hym lyste. all this to eschewe
And all myschyfe. stynten and appease
To eyther parte. he maye doo grete ease
Thus I mene. for his auauntage
Delyuer vp hole. the trewe herytage
To his brother. for a yere to endure
And Grekes shall hym. fully assure
By what bounde. that hym lyste deuyse
The yere complete. in oure best wyse
To hym delyuer. ayen possessyon
withoute stryfe. or contradyccyon
And to his fyne. Justly holde vs to
And yf it falle. that he wolde not so
Lete hym not wayte. but oonly after warre
The houre is come. we wyll it not deferre
[Page] [...]oo here is all. and thus ye maye reporte
To hym agayn. whan that ye resorte
Fro whiche a poynte. we caste vs not to varye
And yet to hym. Amphyorax contrarye
Full playnly sayde in conclusyon
This fyne shall cause a destruccyon
Of hem echone. yf it forth procede
To be perfourmed. and executed in dede
But thylke tyme. for all his eloquence
He had in soth. but lytyll euydence
For where soo euer. it mente good or yll
Kyng Adrastus. bad hym to be styll
And tho Jocasta. as wysdome dyd her teche
Humble of her porte. with full softe speche
Gan seke meanes. in her fantasye
If she myght. the yre modefye
Of the Grekes. to make hem to enclyne
In ony wyse. her rancoure for to fyne
She dyde her deuoyre. and her besy cure
But tho befell. a wounder aduenture
Cause and grounde. of grete confusyon
Grekes perturbyng. and eke the town
And it telle. maye not me asterte
For whiche a while. my style I mote dyuerte
And shortly telle. by descrypcyon
Of a Tyger. dwellyng in the town
whiche from a kyngdome. besyden adiacente
Oute of Egypte. was to Thebes sente
[Page]Whiche beste. by recorde of scrypture
Is moost swyfte. as of his nature
And of his kynde. also moost sauage
And moost cruell. whan he is in his rage
And as clerkes. maken mensyon
He of body. resembleth to a lyon
And lyke a greyhoūde. the mosell and the hede
And of eyen. as ony fyre rede
Eke of his skynne. wryten as I fynde
Lyche a panter. conuersaunte in ynde
With all maner. hues and colours
And is full ofte desceyued with myrrours
By fraude of hunters. and false apparence
Shewed in glas. withoute exystence
Whan his kyndles. arn by sleyght Itake
And he desceyued. maye noo rescuse make
And lyke a lambe. was this Tyger tame
Ayen kynde. myne auctour wryte the same
And this beste. merueylous to se
Was sente. to Imeyne and antygone
Whiche vnto hem. dyde grete comforte
And coude playe. and make grete dysporte
Lyke a whelpe. that is but yonge of age
And to wyght. dyde noo domage
Noo more in south. than dooth a lytyll hounde
And it was worth. many a hoūdred pounde
Vnto the kyng. for ay in his greuaūce
There was no thyng. dyde hym more plesaūce
[Page]That for no tresoure. it myght not be bought
For whan that he was. in pensyfe or in thought
It put hym oute. of his heuynesse
And thylke tyme. the story dyde expresse
That Jocasta. treated for a pes
This tame Tyger. in partye rekles
Oute of the gates. in syght of many a man
In to the felde. wyldly oute ran
And casuelly. rennyng to and fro
In and oute. as dooth a tame Ro
Grekes wenyng. that were yong of age
That this Tyger. had be sauage
And cruelly besectyng all the place
Rounde abounte. gan hym to enchase
Tyll he was dede. and slayn in the felde
The deth of whome. whan that they behelde
The proude Thebans. whiche on ye walles stode
They ronne downe. full furyous and wode
Wenyng he had. ben slayn of despyte
Takyng her hors. withoute more respyte
Fully in purpos. with Grekes for to fyght
The Tygers deth. tauenge yf they myght
And oute they rode. withoute gouernayll
And full proudely. Grekes gan assayll
And of hatred. and hye dysdayne
Fyll vpon hem. that haue the Tyger slayne
And cruelly quyten hem her mede
That many Greke. in the grene mede
[Page]By the force. and the grete myght
Of her fomen. laye slayne in the syght
The Tygres dethe. soo dere they a bought
Soo mortally. the Thebans on hem wrought
That all the Ooste. in the felde lyggyng
Was astoned. of this sodeyn thyng
And in this whyle. of rancoure reckles
Oute of Thebes. rode Ethyocles
And with hym the worthy kyng Tremoure
Of his honde a noble werryoure
That made Grekes. to forsake her place
And to her tentes. gan hem enchace
And myd the felde. as they togyder mette
On horse bake. with speres sharpe whette
Of ve [...]ray hate. and enuyous pryde
Full many one. was dede on euery syde
The whiche thyng. whan Tydeus espyeth
The grete māhode of worthy ty­deus
Wood as a lyon. to hors bak hyeth
As he that was. neuer a dele aferde
But ran on hym. and mette hem in the berde
And maugre hem. in his crueltee
He made hem fiee. home to her Lytee
Hem pursuyng. of full dedely hate
That many one. laye slayn at gate
Gapyng vpryghtes. with her woundes wyde
That vtterly. they durste not abyde
There for the swerde. of this Tydeus
He was on hem. soo passyng furyous
[Page]Soo many Theban. he rofe to the herte
That whan Jocasta. the slaughter gan aduerte
Polymyte. she gan praye full fayre
To make Grekes. home agayne repayre
And that they wolde stenten to assayle
For thylke daye. and seasen her batayle
Atte whoos requeste. playnly and prayer
And at reuerence. of his moder dere
Polymyte. hyr herte to comforte
Grekes made. home ageyn resorte
And Tydeus to stynten. of his chace
And they of Thebes. hastyng a grete pace
Full tryste and heuy. ben entred in to the town
And for the Tygre. in conclusyon
As ye haue herde. fyrste began this stryfe
That many Theban. that daye loste his lyfe
And reculees. haue yolden vp the breth
In thauengyng. of the Tygre is deth
And all this whyle. duely as she ought
The quene Jocasta. humbly besought
Lryng Adrastus. oonly of his grace
Some mene waye. wysly to purchace
To make a peas. a twene the brethern tweyne
And the treate. soo prudently ordeyne
On eyther partye. that noo blood be shad
And this Adrastrus. wyse and ryght sad
For Grekes partye. answere gaue anone
That other ende. shortly gete she none
[Page]Lyche as the lordes. fully ben aduysed
That Tydeus. hath to forne deuysed
And whan she sawe. it maye none other be
She leue toke. and home to the Cyte
She is repeyred. hauyng to her gyde
Polymyte rydyng by her syde
And Tydeus. lad Antygone
And of Archadye. Prothonolope
The worthy kyng. dyde his besy peyne
To be attendaunte. vpon fayre Imeyne
Whos herte she hath. to her seruyce lured
And he agayne. hath p [...]rtrayed and fygured
Myd of his breste. that lyghtly maye not passe
Hole the fetures. of her fresshely face
Hym thought she was. soo fayre a creature
And though that he. durste not hym dyscure
Yet in his herte. as ferforth as he can
He hath auowed. to be hyr trewe man
U [...]wyste to her. playnly and vnknowe
How he was marked. with Cupydys bowe
with his arowe. sodeynly werreyed
And to the yate. the ladyes conueyed
Ben entred in. for it drewe to eue
Grekes of hem. takyng tho her leue
Though some of hem. were lothe to departe
yet of wysdom. they durste not inparte
Under a conduyte. to entren in to the town
Leste it tourned. to her confusyon
[Page]Though some bokes. the contrarye sayn
But myn auctoure. is platly there agayn
And fermeth. in his oppynyon
That Tydeus. of hye dyscrecyon
Of wylfulnesse. nor of folye
Ne wolde as tho. putte in partye
Nother hymselfe. ne none of his feres
And the ladyes. with heuenly there
Angelyke. of loke and contenaunce
Lyche as it is putte. in remembraunce
Atte her entryng. fro Grekes in to the town
Polymyte. of grete affeccyon
The quene besought. thylke nyght not fyne
For to assaye. yf she myght enclyne
Ethyocles. of conscyence and ryght
To kepe couenaunte. as he hath behyght
Full yere ago. with the superlusage
Leste the contrarye. tourne to domage
Fyrste on hymselfe. & syth on many other moo
And thus from Thebes. the Grekes ben a goo
To her tentes. and reste hem all the nyght
And Lucyna the mone. shone full bryght
within Thebes. on the chyfe dongon
whan Jocasta. made relacyon
Unto the kyng. and tolde hym all the gyse
How that the Grekes. vtterly despyse
His profer made. by false collusyon
Only excepte. the conuencyon
[Page]Of olde engrosed. by grete purueaunce
That is enrolled. and put in remembraunce
Upon whiche. fynally they wyll reste
Hym conseylyng. her though for the beste
To conferme hym. to that he was bounde
Leste in the fyne. falsnesse hym confounde
But all her counseyll. he sette at noo pryce
He dempte hymselfe. soo prudente and soo wyse
For he was wylfull. and he was Indurate
And in his herte. of malyce obstynate
And vtterly aduysed. in his thought
within Thebes. his brother gette right nought
And in his erroure. thus I lete hym dwell
And of Grekes. forth I wyll you tell
whiche all that nyght. kepte hemselfe close
And on the morowe. whan tytan vp a rose
They armed hem. and gan hem redy make
And of assente. haue the felde Itake
with the Thebans. that day oute of doughte
For to fyghten. yf they yssue oute
And Adrastus. in full trysty wyse
In the felde. his wardes gan deuyse
As he that was. of all deceytes ware
And rychely armed in his chare
Amphyorax come. with his menye
Full renomed. of antyquyte
And well experte. by cause he was olde
And whyle that Grekes. as I haue you tolde
[Page]were besyeste. her wardes to ordeyne
Myd of the felde. befell a caas sodeyne
Full vnhappy. lothsome and odyble
And lyche a thyng. that were Inuysyble
This olde bysshop. with chare & horse certeyn
How bys­shop āphiorax sodeynly fell downe in to hell
Dysapered. and noo more was seyn
Oonly of fate. whiche noo man can expelle
The erthe openeth. and he fyll downe to helle
with all his folke. that vpon hym abode
And sodeynly. the grounde that he on stode
Closed agayn. and togyder shytte
That neuer after. Grekes with hym mette
And thus the deuell. for his olde outrages
Lyche is deserte. payde hym his wages
For he full lowe. is descended dewn
In to the darke. and black rogyon
where that Pluto. is crowned and Istalled
with his quene. Proserpyna called
with whome this bysshop. hath made his man­syon
Perpetuelly. as for his guerdon
Loo here the mede of ydolatrye
Of ryghtes olde. and of false mammentrye
Loo what auaylen Incantacyons
Of exorsysmes. and coniurysons
what stode hym stede. his nygramancye
Calculacyon. or Astronomye
what vayled hym. the heuenly mansyons
Dyuerse aspectes. or constellacyons
[Page]The ende is not. but sorowe and myschaunce
Of hem that setten. her vtter affyaunce
In suche werkes. superstycyous
Or truste on hem. he is vngracyous
Recorde I take. shortly for to telle
Of this bysshop. sonken downe to helle
whoos wofull ende. aboute in euery coste
Suche a rumor. hath made in the oste
That the noyse. of this vncouth thyng
Is I ronne. and I come to the kynge
How this vengaūce. is vnwardly falle
And he anone. made a trompette calle
All his people. oute of the felde agayne
And euerychone. assembled on a playne
Tofore the kyng. and also rounde aboute
Euery man of his lyfe in doubte
Full pyteously. gan to froune and loure
Leste that the grounde. hem all wolde deuoure
And swalue hem. in his darke kaue
And they ne can. noo recure hem to saue
For neyther force. ne manhode may hem auayle
In suche myschyfe. the value of a mayle
For he that was wyseste. coude moost
To serche and seke. thorugh oute all the oost
Amphyorax. whan he leste wende
To helle is sonken. and can not hym defende
To hym the tyme. vnknowen and vnwyste
In whom whylom. was all the Grekes tryste
[Page]Her hole comforte. and her affyaunce
But all attones. for this sodeyn chaunce
And this myschyfe. they gan hem all dyspeyre
Home to Grece. that they wyll repeyre
This was the purpos. of hem euerychoon
And on the walles. of Thebes lay her foon
Reioysyng hem. of this vnhappy eure
wenyng therby. gretly to recure
And on her towres. as they loken oute
They on Grekes. enuyously gan shoute
And of despyte. and grete enuyte
Bad hem foles. gone ho [...] to her contre
Syth they haue lost. her comforte & her socoure
Her fals prophete. and her dyuynoure
where thrugh. her parte gretly is appeyred
And in this wyse. Grekes dysespeyred
Dempte playnly. by tokens euydent
This case falle. by so [...] enchantement
By wytchecrafte. or by false sorcerye
Agaynste whiche. maye be noo remedye
Trysty defence. helpe nor socoure
And whan Adrastus. herde this clautoure
He besy was. agayns this perturbance
To prouyde. some maner cheuysance
And to hym calleth. suche counsell as he wyste
For lyfe or deth. that he myght truste
Requyryng hem. but in wordes fewe
In this myschyfe. her mocyon to shewe
[Page]And declare by good auysemente
what to Grekes. were moost expedyente
To remedyen. and make noo delaye
The vncouthe noyse. and the grete affraye
That Grekes made. with clamour Importune
And nowe and nowe euer. in one contune
And they yt weren. moost manly & moost wyse
Shortly sayd. it were a grete cowardyse
The empryse. that they haue vndertake
For drede of dethe. soo sodeynly forsake
It were to hem. a perpetuell shame
And oure hyndryng. vnto Grekes name
And better it were. to euery werryoure
Manly to deye. with worshyp and honoure
Than lyke a cowarde. with the lyfe endure
For ous shamed. harde is to recure
His name ayen. of what estate he be
And syth Grekes. of olde antyquyte
As of knyghthode. who soo lyste take hede
Ben soo famous. and soo renomede
If now of newe. the shynyng of her fame
Eclypsed were. with ony spot of blame
It were a thyng. vncouth for to here
Of whoos renon. the bemes yet ben clere
Thrugh all ye world. where as they haue passed
And ben nor yet. dyrked ne defaced
By noo reporte. neyther on see ne on londe
Thyng to forsake. that they toke on honde
[Page]And by ensample. of oure progenytours
That whylom weren. soo manly conquerours
To forne that we. in to Grece wende
Of thyng begon. lete vs make an ende
And parte not. nor seuere fro this town
Tyll it be brought. to destruccyon
walles toures. crested and embatayled
And for werre. strongly apparayled
Be fyrste downe. bete that noo thyng be seen
But all togyder. to the erthe pleyn
Be lowe layde. or that we resorte
That afterwarde. men maye of vs reporte
That we began. knyghtly we haue achened
Vpon oure foon. with worshyp vnrepreued
This was the counsell. shortly and thauyse
Of the Grekes. that manly were and wyse
That none aforn. were marked with no blame
And specyally. suche as drede shame
And fully caste. what fortune euery tyde
On her purpos. to the ende abyde
That on noo parte. her honour not appall
And this counsell. Grekes one and all
Ben condescended. for more happy spede
In stede of hym. that was soo late dede
Amphyorax. buryed depe in helle
That coude whylom. to the Grekes telle
Of thynges hyde. how it shall falle a forne
In stede of whome. now they haue hym lorne
[Page]They casten hym. wysly to purchase
Some prudente man. to occupye his place
That in suche thyng. myght hem moost auayle
Thorugh storye. of his dyuynayle
By crafte of sorte. or of prophecye
If ony suche. they conden oute espye
And among all. her purpos to attayne
How Grekes chosen hem a new dyuynoure in ye stede of āphyorax ye bysshop
As I fynde. they haue chosen twayne
Moost renomed. of hem euery chone
And Menolyppus. called was that one
And Tardynyus. eke that other hyght
And for he had. moost fauoure in her syght
This Tardynyus. was chosen and preferred
And her choys. Grekes haue not arred
For whylom. her lerned is empryse
Of his mayster. Amphyorax the wyse
And was dyscyplyne. vnder his doctryne
And of entente. that he shall termyne
Vnto Grekes. thynges that shall fall
And as bysshop. mytred in his stall
Done for hym. in many vncouth wyse
In the Temple. to goddes sacryfyse
And thus confermed. and stalled in his see
And fell dayes. stode in his degree
After his mayster. with full grete honoure
Of Grekes chose. to be successoure
And all this tyme. in story as it is tolde
Full grete myschyfe. of hunger thrust and colde
[Page]And of Thebans. as they yssuen oute
Laye many one slayn in the route
On eyther parte. of fortune as they mette
Her mortall swerdes. were soo sharpe whette
And Tydeus. among hem of the town
Fro daye to daye. playeth the lyon
Soo cruelly. where soo that he rode
That Thebans none. a forne his face abode
He made hem. thrugh his hye renon
Soo grete slaughter. and occasyon
That as the deth. fro his swerde they fled
And who came next. leyde his hede to wed
He quyte hymselfe. soo lyke a manly knyght
That where he wente. he put hem to the flyght
And maugre hem. in his crueltee
He drofe hem home. in to theyr Lytee
Hem pursuyng. proudly to the gate
That vnto hym. they bare soo dedely hate
That they hem caste. by slyght or some engyne
To bryng hym. vnwarely to his fyne
And leyde awayte. for hym daye and nyght
But o alas. this noble manly knyght
Vpon a daye. as he gan home enchase
And mortaly made. hem to lese her place
And sued hem. almoost to the town
That cause was. of his destruccyon
For one alas. that on the walles stode
Whiche all that daye. vpon hym abode
[Page]With a quarell. sharp heded for his sake
Marked hym. with a bowe of brake
Soo cruelly makyng. none areste
How pyte­ously wor­thy tydeus was slayn wt a quarel
Tyll it was passed. bothe back and breste
Where thorugh alas. there was none other rede
Nor lechecrafte. that he mote be dede
There maye therof. be made noo delayes
And yet was he. holden in his dayes
The beste knyght. and the moost manly man
As myne auctoure. well reherse can
But for all that. was there noo defence
Agayn the stroke. of dethes vyolence
And Bochas wryte. or he was fully dede
He was by Grekes. presented with the hede
Of hym that gaue his laste fatall wounde
And he was called. lyke as it is founde
Menolyppus. I can not other telle
How he yt slow tydeꝰ called was menolippꝰ
But thylke daye. Thebans waxe soo felle
Vpon Grekes. that vnder her Lyte
The manly kyng. Parthonolope
Islayn was. euen a forne the gates
And there also. armed bryght in plates
The famous kyng. called ypomedon
The same daye. as made is mencyon
On horse back. manly as he faught
Atte brygge. euen vpon the draught
Besette with pres. casuelly was drowned
And thus fortune. hath on Grekes frouned
[Page]On euery syde. thylke vnhappy daye
But all the maner. tellen I ne maye
Of her fyghtyng. nor her slaughter in sothe
More to declare. than myn auctour dothe
But thylke daye. I fynde as ye maye seen
Whan phebus. passed was merydyen
And fro the south. westwarde gan hem drawe
His gylte tresses. to bathen in the wawe
The Theban kyng. fell Ethyocles
Rote of vnreste. and causer of vnhappes
The slaughter of Grekes. whan yt he behelde
Armed in stele. he come oute in to the felde
Full desyrous. in that sodeyn hete
Polymyte. atte good leyser to mete
Syngulerly. with hym to haue a doo
For in this worlde. he hated noo man soo
He satte soo nye. emprented in his herte
Whoos comyng oute. his brother gan aduerte
Vpon his stede. in the opposyte
And had agaynwarde. also grete delyte
To meten hym. yf fortune assente
Thenuyous fyre. soo her hertes brente
With hate cankred. of vnkynde blode
And lyke twoo Tygres. in her rage wode
With speres sharpe. grounde for the nones
Soo as they ran. and mette bothe attones
Polymyte. thrugh plates mayle and shelde
Rofe hym thrugh out. & smote hym in to ye felde
[Page]But whan he sawe. the stremes of his blood
Rayle aboute. in maner of a [...]lood
All sodeynly. of compassyon
Fro his courser. he a lyght down
And bretherly. with a pyteous face
To saue his lyfe. gan hym to vnbrace
And fro his wounde. of newe affeccyon
Full besy was. to pull oute the tronchon
Of loue oonly. handlyng hym ryght softe
But o alas. whyle he lay [...] a lofte
Full yrously. Ethyocles the fell
Of all this sorowe. verray sours and well
with a dagger. in all his paynes smerte
How eue­ryche of ye theban brethern slow other to f [...] ­ren the cyte
His brother smote. vnwardly to the herte
whiche all her lyfe. had be soo wrothe
And thus the Thebans were slayne bathe
Atte entre. euen a forne the towne
But Grekes tho ben a [...]ayled downe
Oute of the felde. the worthy knyghtes all
And in Thebes londe. as ony shall
The Cytee arose. whan her kyng was d [...]de
And to the gates. armed fote and hede
Out of the towne. come many proude Theban
And some of hem. vpon the walles ran
And gan to shoute. that pyte was to here
And they withoute. of her lyfe in where
withoute comforte. or consolacyon
Dysespyred. ronne home to the town
[Page]And Grekes folowen after atte back
That many one. that daye gooth to wrack
And as her fomen. proudly hem assayle
Full many grekes. thrugh plates & thrugh mayle
was shet thrugh. oute pressyng at walles
And beten of. whiche with grete roūde balles
That here laye one. and a nother yonder
And the noyse. more hydeous than thonder
Of gonne shotte. and arblastes [...]he
So londroute rong. that many worthy Greke
There loste his lyfe. they were on hem soo fell
And at the gates. shortly for to tell
Atte Grekes pres. to entren the Cytee
They of Thebes. in her crueltee
with hem mette. full furyous and wo [...]e
And mortally. as they agayn hem stode
Men myght see. speres shyner a sonder
That to beholde it was a verray wonder
How they feyne. with daggers & with swerdes
Thorugh the vyser. hauyng at berdes
Persyng also. thrugh the rounde mayles
Rente oute peces. of her auantayles
That nought auayleth. the myghty gestran
Thrugh breste & neck. yt the myghty speres ran
Her wepenes were. soo sharpe grounde & whette
In there armure. that there were noo lette
For there laye one. troden vnder fote
And yonder one. persed to the herte rode
[Page]Here lyet one dede. and there a nother lame
This was the playe. and the mortall game
Attwene Thebans. and the Grekes proude
That the swonnes. and the cryes loude
Of hem that laye. and yolden vp the goste
was herde full fer. aboute in many coste
And atte gates. and saylyng of the wall
Howe alle the gentyll blood of ye lond of gre [...]es & of the bes ye Cyte destroyed was vpon a daye
I slayne was. all the blood Royall
Both of the towne. and of Grekes londe
And all the worthy. knyhtes of her honde
And of lordes. I shall not fayne
On grekes syde. a lyue were but twayne
Lryng Adrastus. and Campaneus
That daye to hem. was soo vngracyous
And for tytan. westred was soo lowe
That noman myght. vnnethes other knowe
Tho of the towne shette her gates faste
with [...]arres rounde made. for to laste
In whiche noo wyght. kerue maye ne hewe
And Adrastus. with a Grekes fewe
Repeyred is home. vnto his tente
And all that nyght. he hasted and spente
For his vnhap. in sorowe complaynyng
And they in Thebes. the next daye suyng
Her deuoyre dyde. and her besy cure
To ordeyne. and make a sepulture
For her kyng. Islayne in the felde
And offred vp. his baner and his shelde
It were a deth. to ony man a lyue
warde [...]he [...] bes
And yf I sholde. by and by dyscryue
Theyre tender wepyng. and her wofull bale
Her complayntes. with taces dede and pale
Therof I myght. make a newe tale
All moost. a daye you to occupye
And as myn auctoure. clerely dooth certefye
Through oute Grece. fro all the Regyons
Oute of Cytees. and Royall towns
Come all the ladyes. and wymmen of estate
Full heuy chered. and dysconsolate
To this assemble. to forn as I you tolde
I purpose fully. her Journey for to holde
Towarde Thebes. these sorowfull creatures
There to bewayle. her wofull auentures
Taquyte hemselfe. of trouth in womanhede
To her lordes. whiche in the felde laye dede
And as the story. lyketh to declare
All this Journey. they wente on fote bare
Lyke as they had gone. on pylgrymage
In token of mornyng. barbed the vysage
wympled echone. and in burnette wedes
Not in chares. drawen forth with stedes
Nor on palfrays. blake neyther whyte
The sely wymmen. coude hem not delyte
To holde her waye. but bare fote they wente
Soo faythfully. euerychone they mente
Thorugh heuynesse. defaced of her hewe
[Page]And as I fynde. they were all trewe
Now was not that a wonder for to see
Soo many trewe. oute of oo coūtree
Attones gadred. in a companye
And feythfull all. bokes can not lye
Bothe in her porte. and Inwarde in menyng
Vnto my dome. it was an vncouthe thyng
Among a thousande wymmen or twayne
To fynden one. that coude in herte fayne
It was a meruayle. not ofte seen a forne
For selde in feldes. groweth ony corne
But yf some wede. spryng vp there among
Men allaye wynes. whan they be to strong
But her trouth. was meynt with none allayes
They were soo trewe. fonde at all assayes
And they ne stynte. vpon her Journee
Tyll that they come. there as they wolde be
where Adrastus wryten. as I fynde
Laye in his tente. all of coloure ynde
Gretly meruayled. whan that he behelde
The nombre of hem. sprad thrugh all the felde
Clad all in blacke. and bare fote euerychone
Oute of his tente. he dressed hym anone
Vpon his honde. the kyng Campaneus
Full tryste in herte. and face ryght pyteous
Agayn the wymmen forth. they wente I fere
And to beholde. the wofull chere
The wofull cryes. also whan they mette
[Page]The sorowfull syghes. in her brestes shette
The teres newe. dystyllyng on her faces
And the swounyng. in many sondry places
Whan they her lordes. alyue not ne founde
But in the felde. thrugh gyrte with many woū de
Laye starke vpryght. playnly to endyte
with dedely eyen. tourned vp the whyte
who made sorowe. or felte her herte ryue
For her lorde. but the fayre Argyue
who can now wepe. but Deyphyle
Tydeus for she. ne myght fele
whoos constrayntes. were soo kene
That Adrastus. myght not sustene
To beholde the ladyes. soo complayne
wysshyng her herte. parted were on twayne
But yet alas. bothe eue and morowe
how cursed Creon wyl not suffre ye bodyes neyther to be buryed ne to be brent▪
A thyng there was. that doubled all her sorowe
That olde Creon. fader of felonye
Ne wolde suffre. thorugh his tyrannye
The dede bodyes. be buryed neyther I brente
But with bestes. and houndes to be rente
He made hem all. vpon an hepe be layde
wherof the wymmen. tryste and euyll apayde
For verray dooll. it was no wonder
Her hertes felte. all moost reyne a sonder
And as my mayster. lyste to endyte
All clad in black. with her wymples whyte
with grete honoure. and due reuerence
[Page]In the Temple. of the goddesse Clemence
They abode the space. of forty nyght
Tyll Theseus. the noble worthy knyght
Duke of Athenys. with his chyualrye
Repeyred home. out of Femynye
And with hym ladde. full fayre vpon the sene
Thorugh his manhode. Ipolyta the quene
And her suster. called Emelye
And whan these wymmen. gan fyrste espye
This worthy duke. as he came rydyng
[...]ryng Adrastus. hem all conueyeng
The wymmen brought. to his presence
whiche hym besought. to yeue hem audyence
And all attones. swounyng in the place
Full humbly. prayed hym of grace
To rewe on hem. her harmes to redresse
But yf ye lyste. to see the gentylnesse
Of Theseus. how he hath hym borne
How the fynall destruccion of the­bes is compendiously rehersed in the knyght tale
yf ye remembre. ye haue herde it to for [...]e
well rehersed. at Depforde in the vale
In the begynnyng. of the knygtes tale
Fyrste how that he. whan he herde hem speke
For verray reuthe. felte his herte breke
And her sorowes. whan he gan aduerte
Fro his courser. downe anone he sterte
Hem comfortyng. in full good entente
And in his armes. he hem all vp hente
The knyghtes tale. reherseth euery dele
[Page]Fro poynte to poynte. yf ye loke wele
And how this duke. withoute more abode
The same daye. towarde Thebes rode
Full lyke in sothe. a worthy conqueroure
And in his Oste. of chyualrye the floure
And fynally. to speken of this thyng
with olde Creon. that was of Thebes kyng
How yt he faught. & flow hym lyke a knyght
And all his oost. put vnto flyght
yet as some auctours make mencyon
Or Theseus entred. in to the town
wymmen fyrste. with pykeys and with malles
with grete laboure. bete downe the walles
And in her wrytyng. also as they sayn
Campaneus. was on the walles slayn
with caste of stone. he was soo ouerlade
For whome Adrastus. suche sorow made
That no man myght. hym relees of his payne
And Jocasta. with her doughters twayne
Full wofully. opressed of her cheres
To Athenes. were sente as prysoners
what fell of hem. can I not seyn
But Theseus. myne auctoure wryte certeyn
Oute of the felde. or he from Thebes wente
He bette hit downe. and the houses brente
The people slowe. for all her cryeng loude
Made the walles. and her towres proude
Rounde aboute. euen vpon a rowe
[Page]with the soyle. to be layde full lowe
That nought was lefte. but the soyle all bare
And to the wymmen. in relees of her care
The bones of her lordes. that were slayne
The bones of her lor­des were de lyuered to the ladyes by duke the seus▪
This worthy duke. restored hath agayne
And what sholde I. than lenger dwell
The olde rytes. by and by to tell
Nor the obsequyes. in order to deuyse
Nor to declare. the maner and the gyse
How the bodyes. were to asshes brente
Nor of the gomes. in the flamme spente
To make the ayer swetter of reles
As frankensence. myrre and aloes
Nor how the wymmen. rounde aboute stode
Some with mylke. and some also with blode
And some of hem. with vrnes made of golde
whan the asshes. fully were made colde
To enclosen hem. of grete affeccyon
And bere hem home. in to her regyon
And how that other. full dedely of her loke
For loue oonly. of the bones toke
Hem to kepe. for a remembrance
That to reherse euery obseruance
That was done. in the fyres bryght
The wake playes. duryng all the nyght
Nor of the wrastlyng. to tell poynt by poynt
Of hem that weren. naked and enoynt
How eueryche other. lugge gan and shake
[Page]Nor how the wymmen. haue theyr leue take
Of Theseus. with full grete humblesse
Thankyng hym. of his worthynesse
That hym lyste. on her woo to rewe
And how that he. his fredome gan renewe
with the wymmen. of his hye larges
I parted hath eke. of his rychesse
And how this duke. Thebes eke forsoke
And to Athenes. the ryght waye toke
with laurer crowned. in sygne of vyctorye
And the palme. of conquest and glorye
Dyde his honoure. duely to Marte
And how the wȳmen. wepte whan they departe
with kyng Adrastus. home ayen to Arge
How ye kynge Adrastꝰ with the ladyes repey­red ayen home to Arge
To tell all. it were to grete a charge
And eke also. as ye sholde vnderstonde
Atte gynnyng. I toke noo more on honde
By my promyse. and in conclusyon
But to reherse. the destruccyon
Of myghty Thebes. shortly and noo more
And thus Adrastus. with his lockes hore
Styll abode. in Arge his Cyte
Vnto his ende. ye gete noo more of me
Saaf as myn auctoure. lyketh to compyle
After that. he lyued but a whyle
For he was olde. or the sege began
And thought and sorowe. soo vpon hym ran
The whiche in sothe. shorted hath his dayes
[Page]And tyme sette. deth maketh noo delayes
And all his Joye. passed was and gone
For of his lordes. a lyue was not one
But slayn at Thebes. ye knowen all the cas
And what this kyng. in Arge buryed was
Full royally. with grete solempnytee
It was accompted. in bokes ye maye see
Foure hundred yere. as made is mencyon
Foure hundred yere to forn the fū dacōn of rome was thebes fynaly destroyed
To forne the byldyng. and foundacyon
Of grece Rome. soo Royally and soo large
Whan the ladyes. departed fro Arge
To her coūtrees. full tryste and desolate
Loo here the fyne. of conteke and debate
Loo here the myght. of Mars the myghty sterre
Loo what it is. to gynne a werre
How it concludeth. ensample ye maye see
Fyrste of Grekes. and next of the Lytee
For eyther parte. hath mater to complayne
And in her stryfe. ye maye see thynges twayne
The worthy blood. of all Grece spylte
And Thebes eke. of Amphyon fyrste bylte
Withoute recure. brought in to ruyne
And with the soyle. made playn as a lyne
To wyldernesse tourned. and deserte
And Gr [...]kes eke. falle in to pouerte
Both of her men. and also of her good
For fynally. all the gentyll blood
Was shad oute there. her woūdes were soo wyde
[Page]To lose fynall. vnto eyther syde
For in the werre. is none excepcyon
Of hye estate. nor lowe condycyon
But as fortune. and fate bothe I fere
Lyste to dyspose. with her double chere
And Bellona. the goddesse in her chare
A forne prouydeth. therfore eche man beware
Vnauysed. a werre to begynne
For noo man wote. who shall lese or wynne
And harde it is. whan eyther parte leseth
And doubteles. neyther of hem cheseth
That they muste. in all suche mortall rage
Maugre her lyste. folowe grete domage
It maye not be. by mannes myght restrayned
And werre in soth. was neuer fyrste ordeyned
But for synne. folkes to chastyse
And as the byble. truly can deuyse
Nota How yt werre fyrst be­gan in he­uen by pryde & surque dye of proude Lucyfer
Hye in heuen. of pryde and surquedye
Lucyfer. fader of enuye
The olde serpente. he Leuyathan
Was the fyrste. that euer w [...]rre began
Whan Mycaell. the heuenly champyon
With his fers. vaynquysshed the dragon
And to helle. caste hem downe full lowe
The whiche serpente. hath the bockell sowe
Through all e [...]th. of enuye and debate
That vnnethes. is there none estate
Withoute stryfe. can lyue in charyte
[Page]For euery man. of hye and lowe degre
Enuyeth now. that other sholde thryue
And groūde and cause. why that men so scryue
Is couetyse. and false ambycyon
That eueryche. wolde haue domynacyon
Ouer other. and trede hym vnder fote
Whiche of all sorowe. gynnyng is and rote
And cryste recordeth. rede the boke & ye maye se
For lack of loue. what myschyfe there shall be
For oo people. as he dooth deuyse
Surget gens contra gentē Luce xxi
Agayn another. of hate shall aryse
And after tellyth. what dyuysyons
There shall be. at wene regyons
Eueryche besyde other to expresse
And all suche stryfe. as he bereth wytnesse
Lralendes ben. I take his worde to borowe
And a gynnyng. of myschyfe and of sorowe
Men haue it founde. by experyence
But the venym. and the vyolence
Of stryfe of werre. of contek and debate
That maketh londes. bare and desolate
Shall be proscrypte. and voyded oute of place
And Martys swerde. shall noo more manace
Nor his spere. greuous to sustene
Shall now noo more. whetted be soo kene
Nor he noo more. shall his hauberk shake
But loue and peas. in hertes shall awake
And charyte bothe. in lengthe and brede
[Page]Of newe shall. her bryght bemes sprede
Through grace oonly. in dyuers nacyons
For to reforme. atwene Regyons
Peas and quyete. concorde and vnyte
And he that is both. one and two and thre
Eke thre in one. and souerayn lorde of pease
Whiche in this exyle. for oure sake these
For loue oonly. oure troubles to termyne
For to be borne. of a pure virgyne
And lete vs praye to hym that is moost good
That for mankynde. shed his herte blood
Thrugh besechyng. of that heuenly quene
Wyfe and moder. and a mayde clene
To sende vs peas. here in this lyfe presente
And of oure synnes. parfyte amend [...]mente
And Joye eternall. whan we hens wende
Of my tale. thus I make an ende


¶ Here now endeth as ye maye see The destruccyon of Thebes the Lytee

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