THE AVN­CIENT HISTORIE AND onely trewe and syncere Cronicle of the warres betwixte the Grecians and the Troyans, and subsequently of the fyrst euer cyon of the auncient and famouse Cytye of Troye vnder Lamedon the king, and of the laste and fynall destruction of the same vn­der Pryam, wrytten by Daretus a Troyan and Dictus a Grecian both souldiours and present in all the sayde warres and dige­sted in Latyn by the lerned Guydo de Columpnis and sythes translated in to en­glyshe verse by Iohn Lydgate Moncke of Burye. And newly imprinted. An. M.D.L.V.

To the reader.

ALthough the battayles betwixte the Grecyans and the Troyans before the laste and fynall euer­sion of ye Cyty of Troy (as an his­storye worthye of eterne memo­rye hath passed through the pennes of sundry famouse Poetes and great clerkes, Grekes, and Latynes, as Homer, Vergyle, Ouyde, and others, whych for that theyr workes ther of came to the handes of most men, haue ther­fore hytherto ben holden as chiefest reporters of that hystorye. Of whom neuerthelesse part lye by affection towardes theyr countreythe­men, as Homer fauourynge the Grecyans, and Virgyle and Ouyde the Troyans, and partelye breakynge out (as who sayth) into theyr poetycall fictions, the historye was so peruerted: that the verye trouthe therof is not to be had in theyr dygestes. What we maye then hope to fynde of the trouthe, in theyr do­ynges that haue onely laboured as transla­tors of Virgyle & Homer into theyr peculyer and vulgare languages, as it is easelye to be consydered. Of whome, although some I do confesse haue learnedlye and that ryghte well perfourmed theyr enterpryse therin. Yet hath there ben other some, so beastly bolde to vndertake wtout eyther wyt or any learning, to translate the same history namelye the Ea­nedes of Virgyle into englyshe, not vnder­standynge searse any word what Virgile mēt in all that worke. As by example, if a man stu­dyouse of that historye, shoulde seke to fynde the same in the doynges of Wyllyam Caxton in his leawde recueil of Troye: what shoulde he then fynde thyncke you? assuredlye none o­ther thynge, but a longe tedious and brayne­les bablyng, tendyng to no end▪ nor hauyng any certayne begynnynge: but proceadynge therin as an ydyot in his follye, that can not make an ende tyll he be bydden. Muche lyke the foolyshe and vnsauerye doynges of Ore­stes, whom Iuuinall remembreth, that after he had wryt his booke to the iuste volume, fil­led then the mergentes and outwarde sydes with his madnes, whych after both that with in and wythout consydered tended to no pur­pose at all. whych Caxtons recueil, who so lyst wyth iudgement peruse, shall rather thyncke his doynges worthye to be nūbred amongest the trifelinge tales and barrayne luerdries of Robyn Hode, & Beuys of Hampton, then re­maine as a monumēt of so worthy an history. Yet hath there not wanted the faythful & trew reporters of ye historye, as Daretus the Phri­gyan, and Dytus the Grecyan, who both cu­ryouse of the worthy dedes of theyr countrei­thes, & both lykewyse presēt in al the sayd warres haue dyligently regestred the same, whose bokes although by iniurye of the tyme, were not of long extant, yet at the last beyng founde at Athenes, haue sins by dewe conference ben founde hooly to agre, in all the dyscourse of ye sayd warres, which the labores aswel of Da­rete as Dyte, at the laste came to the syght & handes of the lerned and dylygent Guydo of Columpna, who hath syncerelye and pythely digested the same in one latyne volume. And so by these degrees, hath bene at the laste by ye diligence of Iohn Lydgate a moncke of Bu­rye, brought into our englyshe tonge: and dy­gested as maye appere, in verse who estra­nayle as well in other his doynges as in this hathe wythout doubte so muche preuayled in this our vulgare language, that hauynge his prayse dewe to his deseruynges, may worthy­ly be numbred amongest those that haue chefelye deserued of our tunge. As the verye perfect disciple and imitator of the great Chaucer, ye onelye glorye and beauty of the same. Neuertheles, lykewyse as it hapned ye same Chaucer to lease ye prayse of that tyme wherin he wrote beyng then when in dede al good letters were almost aslepe, so farre was the grosenesse and barbarousnesse of that age from the vnderstā ­dinge of so deuyne a wryter. That if it had not bene in this our time, wherin all kindes of learnyng (thancked be god) haue as much floryshed as euer they did by anye former dayes within this realme, and namelye by the dyly­gence of one willyam Thime a gentilmā who laudably studyouse to ye polyshing of so great a Iewell, with ryghte good iudgement tra­uail, & great paynes causing the same to be ꝑ­fected and stamped as it is nowe read, ye sayde Chaucers workes had vtterly peryshed, or at ye lest bin so depraued by corrupcion of copies, [Page] that at the laste, there shoulde no parte of hys meaning haue ben founde in any of them. E­uen the same iniurye almost hathe happened to this wryter in this his Pamphlite of the e­uerciō of Troye: being printed about .xlii. yea­res agoe, euen then in the tayle (as it hapned) of the dercke and vnlearned times, suche was then the ignoraunce of bothe the prynter and correctour, neyther of them as it shoulde seme eyther learned or dnderstandynge englishe, yt ye same worke is so falsed in his verse by either lacke, folishe surplus, or displasinge of ye wor­des, that thereby ye sentence and cōsequētlye ye historye is so confused and obscured, that in most places, there can be almost nothing ga­thered therof. I therfore muche meruaylinge how it hath happened, whether for lack of co­pies, (as in dede they be but few) or otherwise yt this boke being thouly trew & sincere english Cronicle, of that so worthye an historye wher­vpon so many great clerkes in other langua­ges haue voutsafed theyr trauayles, hath not before this tyme (whiche in deede lacketh not that haue already by their doynges shewed them selfes to haue ryght good iudgement in our language) bin purged of his falsyties, & redused as nere as mgiht be with conueniēce to the auctours translation. Haue therfore taken vpon me as one studyous of ye language of my countreyth although I must confesse ye least able of a great nūbre, to, bring again this historian into lyght somewhat I truste more perfecte & polished then before, not inuertyng therin eyther matter or sentence, but leauyng that to the auctour his commendacyon, as of right apperteineth. Natheles if I would haue ben withdrawen from this myne attempte, wt that which I myght iustly haue recompted wt my selfe, that is, to consyder how great an en­terprise he vndertaketh, that goeth aboute to brynge perfected into the handes of men ye corrupted labours of former wryters, and howe lyttle thanke is gained therby I shulde neuer then haue dared, to haue bestowed here­of one penful of yncke. Consideryng that who so trauaylethe in other mennes doynges is thought to do nothinge of him selfe, and ther­by in some mens iudgmentes hath before hād the thancke that he deserueth. But if any such be that shal so discerne hereof. I may accompt his iudgement like indifferent as is that mās that should iudge, that he whych hath purged an ouergrowē felde of thornes, & stones, hath also sowed ye same wyth corne, & shuld in ye end be no partaker of ye fruytes or increase therof. And surelye who so euer shall take vpon hym thus to trauayle in others mens labores, whether ye lyst to waye ye difficultie of the thing or the commoditye & pleasure that shall ensewe to theym that be desirous to vnderstande the pryueties of our englishe tonge, me thincketh such one worthy of his praise. And that I may say my iudgemēt his trauayle ought not to be thought muche lesse then is his that wri­teth of his owne inuēcyō. For if the one com­mend ye quickenes of ye witt, thother declareth the ripenes of iudgement. He hauyng a large fielde to discourse in, thother cōpelled withī ye straight boūdes of ye writer. The one may vse ye frugalitye of inuencion & wytt, thother must so moderate the same, yt when he hath greatest neade therof, yet may he not passe the lmittes. Not one onely copye must be perused, but many exāplars loked ouer, & therin he maye not chose such as lyketh his fantasye, but yt which shal seme to come more nere to ye auctours meninge, and maye most please and pleasure the readers. So that therin, he shall be compel­led to put on (as it were) theyr fantasye, and yet that so sparinglye, yt he maye neither adde nor take awaye, but where he shalbe thereto ledd by certaine & sure iudgmentes. Al which thinges how easie they be, who so list practise the same maye sone discerne. Thus muche I haue thought good to set in wrytynge before this worke. To thend the readers maye be admonyshed, that this without other is the very trewe and sincere englishe historyan of the la­mentable battels, destinye, and vtter euersion of the auncient and famouse Cytye of Troye and also to preuent the malice of suche, as shal happlye accompte my trauayle herein, rather rashe presumpcyon, then anye vertuouse imi­tacion of wel doynge.

[...]Robert Braham.

¶The prologue of the Translatour.

O Myghty mars that wt thy sterne lyght,
In armys hast the power and ye myght.
And named arte from easte tyl occident,
The myghty lorde, the god Armipotent.
That with the shininge of thy stremes rede:
By influence dost the brydell lede,
Of chiualrie as soueraygne and patron.
Full hote and drye of complexion:
Irous woode and malencolyke,
And of nature brent and collerike.
Of colour shininge like the fiery glede,
Whose ferse lokes ben as ful of drede,
As is the leuene that alighteth lowe,
Downe by the skies from Iupiter his bowe,
So bene thy stremes passing dispyteous,
And to beholde so inly furious.
Thou causer art with thy fyrie beames,
Of werre and strife in many sūdrye realmes.
Whose lordshyp cheifest is in Capricorne,
But in the crabbe is thy power lorne.
And causer art of conteke and of strife.
Now for the loue of her Vlcanus wife,
With whom whilom yu were at mischiefe take,
So helpe me now onely for her sake,
And for the loue of thy Bellona,
That with the dwelleth beyonde Cirrha,
In Lybye londe vpon the sandes rede:
So be my helpe in this great nede,
To do succour my stile to dyrecte,
And of my penne the traces to correcte.
Whiche barrayne is of aureat lycoure.
But in thy grace I finde some succoure:
For to conuoy it with thine influence,
That stumbleth aye for fault of eloquence.
For to reherse or writen any worde:
Now helpe o mars yt art of knighthode lorde:
And hast of manhode the magnificence.
And other goddes yt arne of highe prudence,
This worke texplete that ye not refuse,
But maketh Clyo for to be my muse,
With her systren that on Pernasus dwelle,
In Cirrha by Helycon the welle.
Renning full cleare with stremes cristallyn.
And called is the fountayne Caballyn,
That springeth by touche of the Pegase.
Helpe me also o thou Callyope,
That were mother vnto him Orpheus.
Whose dytees weren so melodius,
That the werbles of his resowninge harpe,
Appeased all the wordes sherpe:
Bothe of Parchas and furyes infernall,
And Cerberus so cruell founde at all.
He coyed also bothe beast foule and tree.
Now of thy grace be helpyng vnto me.
And of thy golden dewe let the lycoure wete,
My dulled brest that with thy hony swete:
Sugrest the tunges of Rethoryciens,
And maystresse art to all musciens.
Now be mine helpe tenlumine wt thy worke:
Which am beset with cloudes dimme & derke,
Of ignoraunce in making to procede:
To be to theym lustye that shall it reade.
And in herte I am so full of drede,
Whan prudent lysters hereto shall take hede:
Who as in makinge more skill can than I:
That they vouchesafe I pray full beningly,
Of theyr goodnesse to haue compassion:
Where as I erre in my translacion.
For god I take highly to witnesse:
That I this worke of hertie lowe humblesse,
Toke vpon me of good entencion,
Deuoyde of pride and al presumpcion.
For to obey withouten varyaunce,
My lordes biddynge fully and plesaunce.
Which hath desyre sothely for to sayne,
Of very knighthod to reporte agayne,
The worthinesse if so I shall not lye:
And eke the prowesse of olde cheualrye.
Bycause that he hath ioye and great deintye,
To reade in bokes of olde antiquitye.
To finde onely howe he may vertue sewe,
By theyr ample also and to eschewe:
The cursed vyce of slouthe and idelnesse.
So he enioyneth in verteous businesse,
In all yt longeth to manhode dare I sayne,
He busyeth him and therto is so fayne,
To haunte his bodye in playes marciall,
Through exercise to exclude slouthe in all,
After the doctrine of Vigecius.
Thus is he manfull and eke vertuous,
More passingly than I can of hym write.
I want conning his renowne to endite.
So much of manhode men may in him sene,
And for to witen whō that I would meane,
He eldest sonne is of the noble kinge,
Hēry ye fourth of knighthode well and spring.
In whom is shewed of what stock he grewe,
The rootis vertue thus can the sett renewe:
[Page]In euery parte the tarage is the same.
Lyke his father of maners and of name.
In sothfastnes and this no fable is,
Called Henry eke ye worthy prince of Wales.
¶To whom shall longe as by succession,
For to gouerne this Brutis albion,
Which hath me bydde the drery pyteous fate,
Of them of Troye in ynglyshe to translate.
The siege also and destruction.
Lyke as the latyn maketh mencion,
For to compile and after Guido make,
So I could and write it for his sake.
Bycause he would that both to highe & lowe,
The noble storye openly were knowe.
And in our tunge about in euery age,
Written it were as well in our language,
As in the latyn and the frenshe it is.
That of the storye we the truthe not mys.
No more than doth eche other nacion:
This was the fine of his entencion.
¶The which emprise anon I ginne shall,
In his worshyp as for memoryall.
And of the tyme to maken mencion,
Whan I began on this translation,
It was the yeare sothly for to seyne,
Fourtene complete tho of his fathers reygne.
The time of yeare shortly to conclude,
Whan .xx. grees was Phebus altitude.
The hour whā he hath made his stedes draw
His rosen chariet lowe vnder the wawe,
To bathe his beames in the wawy sea,
Gresed lyke golde as men myght playnly se,
Passyng the bordure of our Occion.
And Lucina of coloure pale and wan,
Her colde arisynge in Octobre dyght,
Tenchase the darkenes of the frosty nyght,
That then amiddes was of the Scorpion.
And Hesperus gan fast to wester down,
Her course to haste againe the morowe gray.
When Lucifer the nyght to voyd away,
The messenger is called of the day.
Our hemispher to put out of Affray,
With bright kalēdes of Phebus vprist shene,
Out from ye boundes of Proserpin ye quene.
Where Pluto dwelleth the darke region,
And there the furyes haue theyr mansion.
Tyll after soone Apollo lyst not tarye,
To take his soiourne in the Sagittarye.
¶Which time I gan the prologue to behold,
Of Troye boke ymade by dayes olde.
Where written was of Auctours vs beforne,
Of al the dede the very trewe corne,
So as it fell seuered from the chaffe.
For in their hande they holde as for a staffe,
The truth onely which they haue compyled,
Vnto this fyne that we were not begiled,
Of necligence thorough foryetfulnesse,
The which serpent of age by longe processe.
Engendred is fiersely vs to assayle,
And of the trouth to maken vs to fayle,
For nere writers all were out of minde,
Not storyed onely but of nature and kinde,
The true knowing shuld haue gon to wrake,
And our wittes from scyence put abacke.
Ne had our elders serched out and soughte,
The sothfast pythe to impe it in our thought,
Of thinges passed fordyrked of theyr hewe,
Which through the writing be refreshed new.
Of Aūceters and left to vs be hynde.
To make a myrrour onely to our minde.
To se eche thinge truly as it was,
As bright and cleare as it were in a glasse.
For nere theyr writynge nowe memoryall,
Death wt his swerde shuld haue slayne all,
And ydimmed with his sodayne showres,
The great prowesse of these conquerours.
And derked eke the brightnesse of their fame,
That shineth yet by reporte of her name.
For vnto vs their bokes represent,
Without fayninge the waye that they went,
In theyr dayes when they were alyue,
Agayne the trouth who so euer striue,
Or counterplede or make any debate,
The south is redde of high or lowe estate,
Without fauour who so lyst take hede,
For after death clerkes litell drede,
Of theyr deserte for to beare wytnes,
Nor of a tyraunt the truthe to expresse.
¶As men deserue without excepcion,
With lak or pris they graūt their guerdon.
Wherfore me semeth euery maner man,
Shulde by his lyfe in all that euer he can,
For vertue sake eschewe to do amys:
For after death playnly as it is,
Clerkes willlyn write and except none,
The playne trouth when a man is gone.
And by olde time for theyr writinge trewe:
They cheryshed were of lordes yt thē knewe.
[Page]And honoured greatly as in tho dayes.
For they enacted and gilt with theyr sayes,
Theyr high renowne their māhod & prowes:
Their knighthod eke and theyr worthines.
Their trihumphes al and eke their victories,
Their famous cōquest & their fonge glories.
¶Fro point to poynt rehersinge all ye trouth,
Without fraude neclygence or slouth.
They did theyr labour and theyr besinesse,
For elles certayne the great worthinesse:
Of all theyr dedes had bene in vayne.
For dyrked age elles would haue slayne,
By length of yeares the noble worthy fame,
Of conquerours and playnly of theyr name,
For dimmed eke the letters aureat.
And eke deffaced the palme laureat,
Which yt they wan by knighthod ī their dayes.
Whose freting ruste newe and newe assayes,
For to eclipse the honour and the glory,
Of highe prowes which clerkes in memory,
Haue truly set through dilygent laboure,
And enlumined with many curious floure,
Of Rethorike to make vs comprehende,
The trouth of all as it was tho kinde.
Bysied them and faithfully trauailed,
Agayne all that that age wold haue assayled,
In theyr bokes euery thinge yset,
And with the key of remembraunce is shet.
Which lasteth yet and dureth euer in one.
Recorde of Thebes that was so longe agone.
Of which the ruyne and destruction,
Ye may beholde by good inspection.
Croppe and roote right as it was in dede,
On Stace loke and there ye may it rede.
Howe Polynece and Eteocles,
The brethern two ne could not liue in peace:
Till Thebes brought was to his ruyne.
And all the maner howe they diden fyne,
That death also of worthy Tideus,
And howe Edipp with teares full pyteous,
Wept out his eyen and all his drery payne,
And how ye smokes departed were in twaine,
At the feast of fyres funerall.
In great Stace ye may reden al.
The syre engendred by brotherly hatred,
Where through ye deathe was the cruel mede.
¶In very sothe of many worthy man,
Lyke as mine Auctour well rehearse can.
Of Troye also that was of latter yeares,
By diligence of these Cronycleres.
Ye may beholde in theyr writinge well,
The strife werre the siege and euery dell.
Right as it was so many yeares sin passed,
Whose storye yet age hath not diffaced,
Nor cruell deathe with his mortall strokes,
For maugre death ye may beholde in bokes,
The storye fully rehersed newe and newe,
As freshe as floure of coloure and of hewe.
From day to day quicke and nothinge feinte,
For clerkes haue this storye so depeynt,
That death nor age by any other weye,
The trouth may not make for to deye.
¶Al be that some haue the trouth spared,
In their wrytynge and playnty not declared.
So as it was nor tolde out faythfully,
But it transformed in theyr poesy,
Through vayne fables which of entencion,
They haue contriued by false transsumptiō.
To hide trouth falsly vnder cloude.
And the sothe of malyce for to shroude.
As Homer did the which in his writinge,
I feyned hath full many dyuers thynge,
That neuer was as Guydo lyst deuise.
And thinges done farre in anotherwise,
He hath transformed then the trouth was,
And feyned falsly that goddes in this case.
¶The worthy Grekes helpe to warrey,
Agayne Troyens & how that they were sey,
Lyke lyfely men among theym day by day.
And in his dytyes that were freshe and gay,
With sugred wordes vnder hoony sote,
His galie is hyd lowe by the roote.
That it may not outward be aspyed,
And all for he with Grekes was alyed.
Therfore he was to theym fauorable,
In much thyng whych is not commendable.
Of theym that lust to deine after ryght,
For in making loue hath lost his sight.
To gyue a prys where none is deserued,
Cupide is blinde whose domes ben obserued,
More after lust then after equytye:
Or after reason how the trouth be.
For syngulertee and false affeccion,
Reyseth ful ofte by vayne lausion,
A man to worshyp that deserueth none.
By false reporte and thus full many one,
Without merite hath his fame blowe,
Wherof another the renowne is vnknowe,
[Page]That ī armes hath sūdry meruailes wrought
Of whō peraunter speaketh no mā nought.
For fauour only is fostred more thē rightes,
That hindred hathe many worthy knightes.
¶Ouide also poete egally hath closed,
Falshed with trouthe yt make the men enosed:
To which parte that they shall theym holde,
His misty speche so hard is to vnfolde.
That it entriketh readers that it see.
Virgil also for loue of him Ene,
In his Eneyd reherseth much thinge:
And was in partie trewe of his writing.
Except onely that him list somwhile,
The traces folowe of Homeris stile.
¶And of this syege wrote eke Lollius,
But tofore all Daretus frigens.
Wrote most truely after that he fonde,
And Ditus eke of the Grekes londe.
For they were present and sene euery dell,
And as it fill they write trewe and well.
Eche in his tunge by suche consonaunce,
That in theyr bokes was no variaunce.
Which after were vnto Athenes brought,
And by processe serched out and sought,
By diligence of one Cornelius,
Who neuewe was vnto Salustius.
Of rome yborne which did his dewe,
Them to translate and the traces sewe,
Of these Auctours by good auisement,
But for bycause he set all his entent,
For to be brefe he lefte muche behinde:
Of the story as men in bokes finde.
The firste meninge and cause originall,
What was the ginninge and roote in speciall,
Ne how they come by lande or by nauy,
How firste the sparke was kindled of enuy,
Betwixt Grekes and theim of Troye towne,
Of this Cornelie maketh no menciowne.
Of theyr shyppes nor of theyr vytayle,
Nor how that Grece is called ytayle.
And the lasse as bokes verifye,
¶Is named nowe the lande of Romanye,
What numbre of kinges and of Dukes wēt,
Towarde the syege all of one assente,
To wynne worshyppe and for exercyse,
Of armes onely in full knyghtly wyse,
Abydyng there to se the version,
Of the cytye and noble Illyon.
Nor what the maner was of theyr armure,
¶Nor at the syege who longest did endure.
In what wise eche other dyd assayle,
Nor how often they met in battayle,
How many worthy lost theyr his lyfe,
How olde hatred wrought vp newe stryfe,
Nor of theyr death he dateth not the yeare,
For his wrytinge was so partyculere.
Without fruite he was compēdious:
This foresayd Romayne this Cornelius.
¶Wherfore but late in comparysowne.
There was an Auctour of ful highe renowne
That besyed hym the traces for to sewe,
Of Dite & Daret & cast him not transmewe.
In all the story a worde as in sentence.
But foloweth theym by such conuenyence,
That in effect the substaunce is the same:
And of Columpna Guydo was his name.
Which had in writing passing excellence,
For he enlumineth by crafte and cadence:
This noble storye with many freshe coloure.
Of Rethorik and many ryche floure,
Of eloquence to make it sounde the bett.
¶He in the storye ymped hath and set.
That in good fayth I trowe he hath no pere,
To recken all that write of this mattere.
As in his boke ye may beholde and se.
To whom I saye knelyng on my kne.
Laude and honour and excellence of fame,
O Guydo mayster be vnto thy name.
That excellest by souerayngtye of style,
All that wryte this matter to compyle.
Whom I shal folow as nere as euer I may,
That god graunte it to be to the paye,
Of hym for whom I haue it vndertake,
So as I can this storye for to make.
Prayinge to all that shal it read or see,
Where as I erre there to amende me.
Of humble herte and lowe entencion,
Committing all to theyr correction.
And therof thanke my will is yt they wyn,
For through theyr support thus I wil begin.
The ende of the prologue

The fyrste boke.

¶How ye knge of Thessalie named Pelleus lost all his men by diuine punishemēt who af­ter by his praiers obtained others. Ca. i.

IN ye reigne and land of Thesalye,
The which is now ynamed saloni
There was a king called Pelleus:
Wyse and discrete & also vertuous.
The which as Guido list to specifie,
Helde the lordshippe and the regalye,
Of this yle as gouernour and kynge.
Of whych the people by recorde of writinge,
Mirundones were called in tho dayes.
Of whom Ouide fayneth in his sayes,
Metamorphoseos where as ye may rede,
How this people sothfastly in dede,
So as mine Auctour maketh mencion,
Were brought echeone to destruction
With sodayne tempest and with fyry leuen,
By the goddes sent downe from the heauē,
For they of yre without more offence,
With swerde and with ye stroke of pestilence,
On this yle whilom toke vengeaunce:
Like as it is put in remembraunce.
For this people destroyed were certayne,
With thunder dint & with hayle and rayne,
Full vnwarely as Guido list descriue,
For there was none of them left a liue,
In all the lande that the vyolence,
Escape might of this pestilence.
Except the kinge the which went alone,
Into a wood there to make his mone,
Sool by him selfe all disconsolate,
In a place that stode all desolate.
Where this kinge ronnynge to and fro,
Complayninge aye of this his fatall woo:
And the harmes that he did endure,
Till at the last of case or auenture.
Beside an holt he sawe where stode a tree,
Of full great hight and large of quantitye:
Holowe by thee roote as he coulde knowe,
Where as he sawe by the earthe lowe,
Of Antes crepe passing greate plente,
With which sight he fell downe on his kne.
And made his prayer in his panim wise,
To the goddes with humble sacrafise.
Vpon his wo and great aduersytee,
Onely of mercy for to haue pytee.
To turne these Antes into fourme of man:
Thus gan he praye with coloure pale & wan.
His lande tenhabite which standeth desolate,
And he alone awhaped and a mate,
Comfortles of any creature:
Him to releue of that he did endure.
And as Ouide maketh mencion,
The god Iupiter herde his orison,
And hath such routhe on him at the leste,
That he anone fulfilleth his request.
And of his might which that is diuine,
His grace he made from heuen for to shine,
Beningly vnto the earth adowne,
That by a sodayne transmutaciowne,
The Antes were brought to fourme of mē a­non,
Which on their fete vpright gan to gon.
To Thesaly and salue there the kinge,
And like his lieges toke theyr dwellinge,
Within a citye called tho Egee,
As in Ouide ye may beholde and se.
The which people for theyr worthinesse,
For theyr strength and great hardinesse,
Mirundines so longe haue bore the name,
As in the life ye reade may thee same.
Of saincte Mathewe how they be called so,
Where the Apostle so much had a do.
Which for their wisdome their prudent aduer­tence,
Besy labour and wilfull diligence,
By forseing and great discrecion,
As I suppose in mine opinion:
That this fable of Antes was contriued,
Which by their wisdōe haue so much acheued.
Through their knighthod who so list to loke,
Their manly dedes throughout Troye boke,
In al mischiefe so wel they haue theim borne,
That they full wisely prouided were toforne,
Of that it fil both in werre and peace:
For of slouthe they weren not reckles.
¶But as the Ante to eschewe idelnesse,
In somer is so full of besinesse,
Or winter comme to saue her from the colde:
That she to fore astored hath her holde.
¶But in this matter I holde no sermon,
Ywill no longer make disgression,
Nor in fables no more as nowe soiourne,
But there I lefte I will agayne retourne:
Of Pelleus ferther to procede.
¶Which king forsothe in story as I rede,
And as mine Auctour listeh to endite,
[Page]Hadde a wife that called was Tethite.
Of whyche twayne platly this no lees,
The manly man the hardy Achilles,
So as Guido liste to termine,
Descended was sothely as by lyne.
Moste renoumed of manhode and of might,
Amonges Grekes and the best knyghte,
Yholde in sothe throughout all the lande:
In worthines preued of his hande.
Whose crueltye Troyens sore abought,
By his merueyles that he there wrought,
Durynge the syege as ye shall after lere:
Pacyently yf ye shall list to heare.
¶This Pelleus that I of spake aforne,
A brother had of one mother borne,
That hight Eson so ferre yronne in yeares,
That he of lust hath lost all his desyres:
So ferre he was cropen into age,
That all his wyt was turned to dotage.
For bothe minde and memoriall,
Furdulled wer and dercked so in all,
That veryly his discrecyon:
Was him berafte in conclusion.
Wherfore the reigne and land of Thesalye,
Crowne and ceptre with all the regalye,
He hath assigned his brother for to queme:
Estate royall and also diademe.

¶Howe Eson the kyng for that he was olde and myghte no longer welde the gouernayle caused to crowne his brother Pelleus. Ca. ii.

Bycause he croked was lame and blinde,
And to gouerne lost both wit and minde,
So feble was his celle retentife,
And forderked his imaginatife,
That lost were bothe memorye and reason.
For whiche he made hathe resignacion,
To his brother nexte heyre by degre:
And nyest allye of his affynytye.
But as some Auctors in theyr bokes sayne,
To youth he was restored newe agayne,
By crafte of Mede the great Sorceresse.
And renewed to his lustinesse.
For with her herbys and with her pocions,
By subtyl workynge of confexions,
By queintise eke of her instrumentes,
Wyth her charmes and enchauntmentes,
She made a drinke in bokes as it is tolde,
In whych a yerde that was drye and olde,
Without abode anone as she it cast,
To blome and budde woulde begin fast:
And eke grene and freshe to beholde.
And through this drinke she hathe fro yeares olde,
Eson restored vnto lusty age.
And was of wyt and reason eke as sage,
As euer he hadde in all his life aforne.
The whiche Eson of his wife yborne,
Had a sonne and Iason was his name,
In worke of whō nature was not to blame.
For she her crafte platly and conninge,
Spent vpon him hooly in workynge.
Whan she him made with hert wil & thought,
That of her crafte behind was right nought.
To reken his shape and also his fayrnesse,
His strength, his beauty, and his liuelynesse,
His gentylnes and his wise gouernaunce,
How large he was and of dalyaunce,
The most goodly that men coulde knowe,
In all his porte both to highe and lowe,
And with all this auise and eke tretable,
That of conning god wote I am not able,
For to discriue his vertues by and by.
For as myne Auctour telleth faithfully,
He was beloued so of olde and yonge,
That through ye lād so is his honour sprong.
But for yt he was yet but yonge and slendre,
Of age also inly grene and tendre,
He was committed to the gouernaile,
Of Pelleus to whom withouten fayle.
In euery thinge he was as seruiable,
As diligent in chambre and at table,
As euer was childe or any man:
Vnto his lorde in al that euer he can.
Glad in herte, of faithful obeyssaunce,
So that in cheare nor yet in countenaunce,
Inwarde in hearte nor outward in shewing,
His vncle against was he not grutching,
All be he had hooly in his hande,
The worthy kingdome and the riche lande.
Of this Iason and the heritage.
Onely for he was tho to yonge of age.
¶Vnto whom Pelleus did his payne,
Against his herte falsly for to fayne,
To shewe other that he mente not in herte,
And kept him close yt nothing him outsterte.
Like an addre vnder floures fayre,
For to his herte his tunge was al contrayre.
[Page]Benigne of speche of mening like serpent,
For vnder coloure was the treason blente.
To shewe him goodly vnto his allye,
But inward brent of hate and of enuy,
The hoote fyre and yet there was no smeke,
So couertly the malyce was yreke.
That no man might as by signe espie,
Towarde Iason in herte he bare enuye,
And meruayle none for it was causeles,
Saue he dradde that he for his encres,
And for his manhode likely was tatteine,
For to succede as in his fathers reigne.
Whiche Pelleus vniustly occupieth,
And daye by day cast and fantisyeth.
How his venim may by some pursute,
Vpon this Iason be fully execute.
Here on he museth euery houre and time,
As he that dradde to se an hasty prime,
Folowe chaunge as it is wonte to done,
Sodenly after a chaunge or newe mone.
He casteth wayes and compasseth sore,
And vnder coloure alway more and more
His fell malice he gan to close and hide,
Like as a snake that wonted is to glide,
With his venim vnder freshe floures.
And as the sonne is right hote after shoures,
So of enuy hotter brent the glede.
Till on a time he thought he would procede,
To execute his meaninge euery dell.
In port a lambe in herte a lion fell.
Double as Tygre slyghtly to compace,
Galle in his breste and suger in his face.
That no man hath to him suspection,
How he purueyeth the destruction,
Of his neuewe and that within a while,
Pretending loue all be the fine was gile:
His malice was yshet so vnder keye,
That his entent there can no man bewreye.
It was conceled and closed in secre,
Vnder the cloke of priuye enmitye.
And that in so the greued him the more,
Vpon him selfe the angre frette so sore,
Abidynge aye tyll vnto his entent,
He finde may leysur conuenient,
Vpon his purpose platly to procede,
For to perfourme it fully vp in dede.
Wherof Iason hath full lytell rought,
His vncle and he ne were not in one thought.
Of whose meaninge was no conuenience,
For so was malice linked with innocence.
And grounde of all so as I can deuise,
Was false enuye and hatefull couetise.
Whiche frette so sore falsly for to winne,
As croppe and roote of euery sorowe & sinne.
And cause hath bene sith go full yore,
That many a realme hath bought ful sore,
The dreadful venim of couetise alas.
Let them beware that stande in this case.
¶To thinke afore and for to haue in minde.
That all falshed draweth to an ende.
For though it bide and last a yeare or two,
The ende in sothe shall sorowe be and woo.
Of all that bene false and enuious,
Hereof no more but forth of Pelleus
I will you tell that hath so longe sought,
Vpō this thing till they were to him brought,
Tydinges newe and that so merueylous,
That he astoned was and all his house.
Of a meruayle that tho was newly falle,
Beside Troy the plage orientalle,
Howe in Colchos as the tidinges cam,
Within an yle enclosed was a ram,
Whiche bare his flese full richly all of golde.
And for the richesse it was kept in holde,
With great aduice and great dilygence,
That no man might there to do offence.
And in this ile there was a gouernour,
A noble kinge a worthy warrour.
That Oetes hight wise discrete and sage.
Which was also yronne farre in age.
That in his time as bokes can deuise,
Had vnderfonged many great empryse.
In peace & warre and much worship wonne,
And he was also sonne vnto the sonne.
That gaue him vre to honour to atteyne,
So as these poetes listen for to feyne.
Touchinge his line I leue as nowe ye greate,
And of this Ram my purpose is to treate.
That was commit I dare you well assure,
To the keping and the busy cure,
Of cruell Mars the mighty god of werre,
Which with the stremys of his rede sterre.
And influence of his deytee,
Ordeyned hath by full great crueltee.
This Ram to kepe bullis full vnmilde.
With brasen fete ramageous and wilde.
And there with all fell and dispitous,
And of nature wood and furious.
[Page]To hurte and slee euer of one desyre,
Out of whose mouthe, leuen and wylde fyre.
Lyke a flawme euer blased out,
To brenne all theim that stode nygh aobut.
Eke of their eyen the lokes moste horrible,
To a fourneys the stremes were visyble.
And who that wolde tencrease his glorye.
This Ram of golde wynnen victorie.
Fyrste he must of very force and myght,
Vnto oultraunce with these bulles to fyght.
And theim vanquishe alder fyrst of all,
And make theim humble as any oxe in stall.
And sithe theim yoke and do them ere ye land,
Of very manhode this must he take in hand.
And after that he must also endure,
With a serpent of huge and great stature.
Without fauour playnely haue to do,
To oultraunce eke without wordes mo.
The whiche serpent shortly for to tell,
Was lyke a fende comyng out of hell.
¶Full of venym and of cruell hate,
And with skales harde as any plate.
He armed was to stande at defence,
And by his brethe werse then pestilence,
Infecten wolde enuiron all the eyre,
In eche place where was his repeyre.
He was so full of foule corruption,
And eke so dredefull of infection.
That deth in soth shortly to deuyse,
Was the fyne of this hygh Empryse.
To suche as wolde this quarell take in hond,
Ylyke in one both to free and bonde.
But if he coulde the bet him selfe defende,
And of his conquest this was eke the ende.
That when he had the myghty serpēt slawe,
He must anone by custome and by lawe.
¶Out of his head his tethe echeone arrace,
And after sowe theim in the selfe place.
Where as the oxen eryd had aforne,
Of which seede there sprange a wōder corne.
Knyghtes armed passynge of great myght,
Eueryche with other redy for to fyght.
Til eche his brother had ybrought to groūd,
By mortall fate and yeue his dethes wound.
This was the ende of euerychone,
For sowfastly of all there was non.
That liue myght by that fatall lawe,
A longer tyme then lyued his fellowe.
¶And by this way dredfull and peryllous,
Who so desyreth to ben victorious.
He passe must and manly to endure,
And how so fall take his auenture.
For of estate was no excepcion,
Chese who so wyll for this conclusyon,
He may not scape for fauour ne for mede,
Who so begynneth a vyse him wel I rede.
For by the statute of the kyng he may,
Who so that wyll entre and assaye.
But after that he ones hath begonne,
He may not chese tyll he haue lost or wonne.
Yet as some other of this Ram expresse,
And of his flese also bere wytnesse.
It was nothyng but golde & great treasour,
That Oetes kynge with full hye laboure.
Made kepe it as by Incantacions,
By sorserye and false illusyons.
¶That was spoke of in realmes fer about,
For whiche many put theyr lyfe in doubte.
Of hye desyre that they had for to wyn,
The great treasoure that was shyt within.
Colchos londe, as ye haue harde deuyse,
Whose pursuyte rose out of couetyse.
Grounde and roote of wo & of myschaunce,
By vayne reporte theim selfe to auaunce.
For whiche they put theim selfe in ieopardy,
Without rescues lykely for to dye.
There was no helpe ne no sleyght of armes,
That vaile might againe ye cursed charmes.
So were they stronge and supersticious,
That many worthy in knighthode famous.
Enhasted were vnto their deth alas,
That ieoparde list their liues as in this case.
¶This lasteth forthe tyll afterwarde byfell,
That Pelleus platly hath hard tell.
The great mischiefes and destructions,
In Colchos wrought on sundry nacions.
That haue pursued thes auntres to cōquere,
Tyll Pelleus so ferforth gan enquere.
That he knewe hooly how the trouth was,
And in his herte anone he gan compasse.
How that he myght by any slyght make,
His neuewe Iason for to vndertake.
This hye Empryse in Colchos for to wende,
For by that way he myght hym best shende.
¶And gan pretende a colour freshe of hew,
Ygylte outwarde so lusty and so newe.
As though there were no treasō hyd within,
He sawe also it was tyme to begyn.
[Page]On his purpose tho fyrst he made it queint,
And gan forthwith with golde & asure paint.
His gaye wordes, in sownyng glorious,
Knowynge Iason was yonge and desyrous.
Vnto suche thynge & lyghtly wolde enclyne,
Therfore he thought that he wolde not fyne:
Playnely to worke to his conclusyon,
And made anone a conuocation.
Of his lordes and of his baronye,
Aboute enuyron the lande of Thesalye.
For to assemble estates of eche degree,
Of all his realme within the chiefe citee.
To holde a counseyle vtterly he caste,
Therby to acheue his desyre as faste.
And so his courte continued dayes three,
Tyll at the laste his hyd iniquitie.
He out gan rake that hath be hyd so longe,
For he ne myght no longer forth prolonge.
The venym hyd that fret so at his herte,
In so slye wyse that no man myght auerte.
Vpon no syde but that he mente well,
So was his treason couered euerydell.
And curtined so vnder trechery,
For he this thynge so slyghtly gan to gye.
At pryme face that no man myght deme,
By any worde as it wolde seme.
In chere, in porte, by sygne or dalyaunce,
But that he caste knyghtly to auaunce.
His yonge neuewe as by lykelynesse,
To hye honour of manhode and prowesse.
For of thentent of whiche he gan purpose,
No man cowde spye theffect he dyd so glose.
The texte was so conueyed with flatery,
That the people cowde not then espye,
Lyttell or nought of his entent within.
For whiche anone to preyse him they begyn.
That he suche honour to his neuewe wolde,
For with suche chere he began vnfolde,
Tofore theim all this entencion.
That he hath voyded all suspection.
From all that were assembled in the place,
And towarde Iason he tourne gan his face.
Full louyngly in countenaunce and chere,
And to hym sayde that all myght it here.
Throughout ye court whē maked was silēce,
Thus worde by worde platly in sentence.

¶Howe Pelleus fearynge to be deposed by his brothers son Iason, a worthye & valiaūt yonge knight, coūsayled him to vndertake ye perellous & almost inuincible conquest of the golden flese at Colchos, who by his perswa­cion vndertoke the same. Cap. iii.

COsyn Iason take hede what I shal sain
For the I am so inly glad and fayne,
And so surprised with mirth through my hert
That it enchaseth and voideth all my smerte.
For to consyder in myne inspection,
Of thy youthe the disposicion.
The whiche shortely for to comprehende,
Saue to vertue to nothyng do entende.
Vnto worshyp and to gentylnesse,
To manly fredom and to hye largesse.
That veryly whether I wake or wynke,
My ioye is onely there on for to thyncke.
My selfe I holde so passinge fortunate,
And all my lande of hye and lowe estate.
That lykely are in honour for to flete,
And to lyue in reste and perfecte quiete.
Through thy supporte & worthy gouernaile,
Whose manhode may so muche to vs auayle.
By likelyhod and eke so moche amende,
In very soth to saue vs and defende.
Agayne al tho as I can descryue,
That of malis wolde against vs stryue.
Or rebell be in any maner waye,
Of surquedrye or pryde to werraye.
Our worthinesse assured in tranquyll,
From all assaute of them that wolde vs ylle,
For to perturbe our noble state royall,
Agaynst whome thou arte our only wall,
Our myghty shyelde and our protection,
Thus deme I fully in myne opynion.
¶For of thyne age, thy wyt, thy prouidence,
Thy knyghtly herte thy manly excellence,
Reported ben and thyne hye renowne,
In many londe and many regyowne,
This rounde worlde aboute in circuite.
Howe myght I than stonde in better plyte.
For thyne honour lyke as it is founde,
To my worshyp so hyghly doth rebounde,
That I wolde playnly seke & nothyng cease,
If I coulde helpe thyne honour to encrease,
And hygh renowne Ywys in euery houre.
And therupon spenden my treasoure.
This hye desyre withouten any fayle,
Of entier loue me dothe so sore assayle,
[Page]That nyght nor daye I maye haue no reste,
And all shall tourne I hope for the beste.
For tenhaunce thyne honour to the heauen,
Aboue the poole and the sterres seuen,
To whiche thinge I haue awaye espyed,
As I my wyt therto haue applyed,
This is to meane what shuld I longer dwel,
My dere Cosyn as I shall after tell,
If it so were by manhode souerayne,
Of thy knyghthode that thou durst attayne,
The flese of gold to conquere by thy strength,
Whiche is spoke of so fer in bredth and length,
And home returne in body saufe and sounde,
If so this conquest myght in the be founde,
That thou acheue durst this hyghe emprise,
More hertes ioye coulde I not deuyse.
In all this worlde, for sothly at the beste,
My realme and I were fully then in rest.
For by thy manhode all men wolde vs drede,
Wherfore Cosyn of knyghthode & manhede:
Take vpon the my praier and request.
¶And here my trouth and take it for beheste,
What euer nedeth in meyne or costage,
I wyll my selfe towarde this viage,
Ordaine ynoughe in harneyse and araye,
That nought shal faile yt may be to thy paye.
And furthermore I playnly the ensure,
That if I see thou do thy besy cure,
This hyghe empryse for to bryng aboute,
Thou shalt not feare nother ben in doubt,
After my daye by successyon,
For to be kyng of this Region,
And hooly haue sceptre and regaly.
Wherfore Iason lyfte vp thyne hertes eye,
Thynke thy name shalbe longe recorded,
Throughout ye world wherfore be accorded,
Within thy selfe and plainly not ne spare:
Of thyne entent the sentence to declare.
VVhan Iason had his vncle vnderstāde,
He muche reioyseth for to take on hand,
This dredfull labour without auisement.
He nought aduertith the menyng fraudulēt,
The priue poyson vnder suger cured,
Nor howe to galle with hony he was lured.
The dercke deceyte the cloudy false engyne,
Ygylt without but vnder was venyme.
Wherto Iason, hath none aduertence.
The kynge he wende of cleane conscience,
Withouten fraude had all this thyng yment.
Wherfore anon he yeueth full assent,
At wordes fewe and plainely gan to seye,
His vncles will that he wolde obeye.
He was accorded in conclusion,
With humble herte and hoole entensyon,
Wherof the kynge receyueth suche gladnesse,
That he vnneth myght the same expresse.
But ryght as faste dyd he his besy paine,
For this iourney in hast there nedes ordaine.
And for asmoche as Colchos the countrey,
Enclosed was inuyron with a sea,
And that no man how longe that he stryue,
Without shyp thyder may arryue,
To his presence anone he dyd call,
Famous Argus that coulde most of all,
To make a shyp and fyrst that art yfonde,
To sayle with by sea fro londe to londe.
And he hath wrought a shyp by sotyl crafte,
Whiche was the fyrst that euer wawe rafte,
To haue entre and Argon bare the name.
Gramariens do yet recorde the same.
The which shyp fyrst for that meruayle,
Is called so whiche proudely bare her sayle,
As Guydos boke doth vs specifye.
But how it happed forthe of this nauye.
¶Whan all was ready meyne and vytayle,
They byde nought but wynde for to sayle.
And many worthye was there in companye,
Of noble byrthe and of great allye.
In that vyage ready for to gon,
Bothe for loue and worshyp of Iason.
Amonge the whiche the great Hercules,
Of force and myght of strength pereles.
And he begetten was vpon Alcmene,
So inly fayre and womanly to sene.
Of Iubiter, and that full longe agone,
Takyng lykelynesse of Amphitrion.
Downe fro the heuen for all his deyte,
He rauisshed was through lust of her beaute.
For he her loued with herte and hole entent,
And of them two sothly by discent,
Came Hercules the worthy famous knyght,
Most renoumed of manhode and of myghte.
Whiche in his tyme was so meruaylous,
So excellent and so victorious,
That Ouyde liste recorden all hym selue,
In Methamorphosis his dedes twelue.
Whiche ben remembred there inspeciall,
[Page]In his honour for a memoryall.
¶And theim reherse in ordre by and by,
If ye lyst here I purpose vtterly.
He slough Antheon in the eyer on hyght,
And many an other Gyaunt by his myght.
He hath outrayed for all their lymes rude,
The serpent Hydra he slough eke in pallude.
And Serberus the hounde he bonde so sore,
At hell gates that he brake no more.
And made him voide his venym in ye strife,
And vpwarde gaue hym suche a laxatyfe,
That all the worlde his brethe contagyous,
Infected hath it was so venymous.
That with an blast he althinges wold do die,
He toke the Harpyes byrdes of Archady.
And slough the Centaurus bestꝭ mōstruous.
The fyerse Lyon he berafte his house.
This is to sayne whan that he was slawe,
Out of his skynne he hath him stript & flawe.
With cruell herte throughe his hye renowne.
The golden applys he berafte the dragone.
The fyrye catte he slough withouten more,
Of Archadye likewyse the cruell bore.
And at the last on his shuldres square,
Of veray myght the fyrmament he bare.
But for that I ne may not reaken all,
His passynge dedes whiche ben historyall,
Redeth Ouide and there ye shall theim fynd.
And of his trihumphes how he maketh mīde.
Thoughout ye world how he his honour fet,
And of the pyllers that at gades he set.
Which Alexsaundre of Macedone ye kyng,
That was so worthy here in his lyuynge.
Rood in his conquest as Guydo list to write,
With all his hoost proudely to visyte.
Beyonde whiche no londe is habitable,
Nor sea to sayle sothly conuenable.
So ferre it is beyonde the Occian,
That shypmen thense no further no skill can.
And Sibilles streightes maryners it call,
And these boundes named be of all,
Of Hercules for he hym selfe theim set.
As for his markes all other for to lette,
Ferther to passe as Guydo maketh mynde,
And yet the place is called as I fynde.
Saracenica as fyne of his laboure,
Of Longa, Saphy, recorde of mine auctour.
¶Of this matter what more shuld I sayne,
For vnto Iason I wyll retourne agayne.
That in all haste doth him ready make,
Of his vncle whan he hath leue take.
Towarde the sea and Hercules yfeare,
With all his men anone as ye shall here.
THe tyme of yere whan the shene sonne,
In his sphere was so farre vp ronne,
That he was fully passed the Gemyny.
And hath his chare whyrled vp so hye,
Throughe the draught of Pirrous the reed,
That he had made in the crabbes head,
His mansion and his sea royall,
Where halowed is the stondyng estiuall,
Of freshe Appollo, with his golden wayne.
When herde men in herte be so fayne,
From the hete to shroude them in the shade.
Vnder theise braūches & theise bowes glade.
Whan Phebus beames that so bryght shine,
Descended ben right as any line,
And cause the eyer by reflection,
To be full hoote, that lusty freshe season.
Whan cornes gyn in the fielde to sede,
And the grasses in the grene mede,
Fro yere to yere ben of custome mowe,
And on the playne caste and leyde full lowe,
Tyll the moysture consumed be awaye.
On holte and hethe the merye somers daye.
At whiche time the yonge knyght Iason,
With Hercules is forth to shyp gon.
And with theim eke as I reherse can,
Of Grekes also many a lusty man.
Shypped echon with royall apparayle.
And whan they were crossed vnder sayle,
Within the shyp whiche that Argus made,
Which was so staūche it might no water lade
They gan to sayle and had wynde at wyll.
The shyp gan breake the sturdy wawes yll.
Vpon the sea and so both daye and nyght,
To Colchos warde they held the waye right.
Gydyng their course by the lode sterre,
Where ere they sayle by costes nigh or ferre.
For Philoctetes was their alder guide,
That coulde afore so prudently prouyde,
Of great insyght to caste afore and see.
Tempest or winde both on lande and sea.
Or whan there shuld trouble of stormes fall,
For he was mayster plainly of them all.
In shipman craft and chose their gouernour.
And coude them warne afore of euery shour,
[Page]That shuld be fall, whan sterres dyd appere,
And specyally as Guydo doth vs lere,
This Philoctetes whiche was tho no fole,
Had moste his syght erecte vnto the pole.
His aduertence and cleare inspection,
To the sterres and constellacion,
Whiche the artre rounde aboute gone,
That clerkes call the septemtrion.
For the pole ycalled Articus,
Euer in one appereth vnto vs.
Ryght so in sothe who can loke aryght,
Antarticus is shrouded from our syght.
But to shypmen that be discrete and wyse,
That lyste their course prudently deuyse,
Vpon the sea haue suffysaunce ynoughe,
To gye theyr passage by Arthourys ploughe.
For it to them is playne direction.
Vnto the costes of euery region.
With helpe only of nedle and of stone,
They may not erre what costes yt they gone.
For maryners that be discrete and sage,
And lyke expert be of their lodmanage,
By straunge costes for to sayle ferre,
Gynne their course only by the sterre.
¶Whiche that Arthur compasseth enuiron,
The whiche cercle and constellacion,
Ycalled is the cercle Artophilax.
Who knoweth it nedeth no more to axe.
For it to shypmen on the sterry nyght,
Is suffysaunt whan that they see his lyght.
¶And as poetes of these pooles twayne,
In their bokes lyken for to fayne,
And in their ditees manifest to vs,
Calixto and the yonge Archadius,
Her owne sonne were both ystellyfyed,
In the heauen and there defyed,
For that Iuno had to her enuye.
With Iupiter whan she did her espye.
¶For whiche she was into a bere tourned.
And for her gilte she hath in erth mourned.
Till into heauen Nason can you tell,
She was translate eternally to dwell.
Amonge sterres where she as is stalled,
And vrsa maior is of clerkes called.
So as her sonne for his worthy fame,
¶Of vrsa minor beareth yet the name▪
Of suche, the course might not asterte,
Philectetes that was the moste experte,
Of all shypmen that euer I herde tell▪
For of cunnynge he might beare the bell.
¶And whan the Grekes had longe be,
Fordryue and caste saylynge in the sea,
And all forweried after their trauayle,
They caste to aryue if it wolde auayle.
Theim to refreshe and disporte in ioye,
Vpon the boundes of the londe of Troye.

¶Howe Iason in his expedicion towardes Colchos, casually with his felowshyp arry­ued in the territoryes of Troye, meanynge onely there for a whyle to refreshe and reste theim. Cap. iiii.

VUhan Hercules & Iason on his honde,
Out of their ship taken haue the londe,
And wt theim eke their knightes euerichone,
That fro the sea be to londe gone,
Sore forweried after their trauaile,
As they in sothe come to aryuaile,
At Symeonte an hauen of great renowne,
That was but litle distant fro Troy towne.
And they were glad to be in sykernesse,
From storme and tempest after werinesse.
For they ne mente treason, harme, nor gyle,
But on the stronde to resten theim awhyle.
No wight to hurt of any maner age,
Nor in that yle for to do damage,
To man nor beast where euer that they go,
But as to abyde for a daye or two,
Theim to refreshe and efte repaire anone,
When that the rage of the seas were gone,
And whyle that they vpon the stronde laye,
They did nought els but to disporte & playe,
And bath & washe them in the freshe ryuere.
And dronke waters that were soote & cleare:
That sprange like cristall in the colde well.
And toke right nought but if it were to selle.
It was nothyng in their entencion,
Vnto no wyght to do offensyon.
Or to moleste or greuen any wyght.
But the vnstable rule of fortunes might,
Hath euer enuye that men liue in ease.
Whose hastie course vnwarely doth disease.
For she was cause god wote causeles,
This gery fortune, this lady recheles,
The blinde goddesse of transmutacion,
To tourne her whele by reuolucion,
To make Troyens vniustly for to wene,
[Page]That Grekes were ariued theim to tene.
So that the cause of this suspicion,
Hath many brought vnto destruction.
Full many worthy of kinges and princes,
Throughout ye world reckened in prouinces.
Were by this slaundre vnto mischief brought.
For thinge alas that neuer was be thought.
For it was cause and chiefe occasiowne,
That this citye and this royall towne,
Destroyed was as it is playnly founde.
Whose walles hie were betē downe to groūd.
And many a man & many a worthye knight,
Were slayue there and many a lady bright,
Was wedowe made by duresse of this werre.
As it is kouthe and sith reported ferre.
And many a mayde in grene and tender age,
Be lefte were sole withouten mariage.
Behinde theyr fathers alas it fall shulde,
And for nought elles but yt fortune would,
Shewen her might and her crueltye.
In vengeaunce taking vpon this citye.
¶Alas that euer so worthy of estate,
Shuld for so lytell fallen at the debate,
Whan it is gon it is not like to staunche.
For of the graffing of a litell braunche,
Full sturdy trees growen vp full ofte.
Who clymbeth hye may not fall softe.
And of sparkes that be of sight small,
Is fyre engendred that deuoureth all.
And as a gnat first of litell hate,
Encauseth flawme of contek and debate.
And enuiouslye to sprede abrode full ferre.
And thus alas in realmes mortall werre,
Is first begonne as men may reade and se,
Of a sparke of litell enmitye.
That was not staunched fyrst whē it begōne.
For when the fire is so ferre yronne,
That it embraseth hertes by such hatrede,
To make them brenne as hote as any glede.
On other partye through his cruell tene,
Ther is no staunche but sherp swerdes kene.
The which alas consumeth all and slethe,
And thus the fine of enmite is death.
And though the ginning be but casuell,
The biding frete is passingly cruell.
To voyde realmes of reste peace and ioye,
As it fill whilom of this worthy Troye.
It doth me wepe of this case sodayne,
For euery wight ought it to complayne.
That litell gilt shuld haue suche vengeaūce,
Except percase through goddes purueaunce,
That this mischiefe shuld perhappes be,
The ensuing cause of great felycitye.
For Troye brought thus vnto destruction,
Was the ginninge and occacion,
In mine auctour as it is specified,
That worthy Rome was after edified.
By the of springe of worthy Eneas.
Whilom from Troy whan he exiled was.
The whiche Rome reade and ye may se,
Of all the worlde was head and chiefe citye.
For the famous passing worthinesse.
And eke whē Troy was brought thus in di­stresse,
And ye walles cast & broke adowne,
It was in cause that many regiowne,
Begonne was and many a great citye,
For this Troyan this manly man Enee,
By sundrye seas gan so longe to sayle,
Till of fortune he came into Itayle.
And wan that lande as bokes tellen vs,
With whom was eke his sonne Ascanius.
That after Enee doth by line succede,
The land of Itale iustly to possede.
And after him his sonne Siluius,
Of whom came Brute so passingly famous.
After whom if so I shall not fayne,
Whilom this land called was Britayne.
For he of geauntes through his māhode wā,
This noble yle and it first began.
¶From Troye also with this ilke Enee,
Came worthy Francus a lorde of hye degre.
Which after Rome tēcrease his high renowne
Builded in his time a full royall towne,
Which he sothely his honour to auaunce,
After his name he made do call it Fraunce.
And thus began as I vnderstande,
The name first of that worthy lande.
And Anthenor departing from Troyens,
Began the cytie of the Veneciens.
And Sycanus within a litell while,
Began tenhabite the land of Cecile.
And after parting of this Sycanus,
His worthy brother called Syculus,
So as I finde reygned in that yle,
And after him it called was Cecile.
But Eneas is forth to Tuscy gone,
It tenhabite with people right anone.
And in Cicile he Naples first began.
[Page]To which full many Neopolitane,
Longeth this daye ful riche & of great might.
¶And Diomede the noble worthy knight.
Whan Troye was fall with his toures faire,
Howe to his reygne he cast to repayre.
His lieges tho began a quarell fayne,
And him withstode wt al their might & maine.
And of malyce and conspiraciowne,
They him wtheld both sceptre & the crowne.
Their deutye and theyr olde aligeaunce,
And him denied both trouth and obeyssaūce.
Wherfore anone so as the bokes tell,
With all his folkes he went for to dwell,
To Calabre and gan it to possede.
And there the knightes of this Diomede,
That fro Troye haue him thither sewed,
To fourme of byrdes wer anone trāsmewed,
By Circes crafte doughter of the Sonne,
And in the eyer to flee anone they gonne.
And called bene in I sodore as I reade.
Amonge Grekes the byrdes of Diomede.
Not as some bokes of theim list beare witnes
This chaūge was made by Venꝰ ye goddesse.
Of wrathe yt she had to this worthy knight,
Onely for that she sawe him ones fighte,
With Eneas her ownely sonne deare.
At which time as they faughte yfeare,
And Diomede with a darte ygrounde,
Gan ame at him a deadly mortall wounde.
¶His mother Venꝰ gan anone him shroud,
Vnder a skye and a misty cloude.
To saue him tho that time fro mischaunce.
And for this skill Venus toke vengeaunce,
Into byrdes to tourne his meyne.
And in that fourme from yere to yere they fle,
Vnto his tombe where as he is graue,
So yt on him as yet a minde they haue.
That of custome for a remembraunce,
A rite they holde and an obseruaunce,
At his exequies these byrdes euery chone,
A dayes space and thence not ne gone.
And moreouer as it to them is dewe,
They loue the Grekes & platly they eschewe,
Latins all for ought that may betyde,
For they present anone they flee aside.
And eche from other as bokes vs assure,
These byrdes knowe onely of nature.
Grekes and latines kindely assonder,
Whan they theym se yt which is such a wōder,
Vnto my wit that I can not espye,
The causes hidde of such sorcerye.
But well I wote though my wit be blent,
That roote of all was false enchauntement,
But of our fayth we ought to defye,
Such apparences shewed to the eye.
Which of the fende is but illusion,
Therof no more & thus whan Troye towne,
Euersed was and that brought to nought,
Full many citie was ybylde and wrought.
¶And many lande and many ryche towne,
Was edifyed as by occasiowne,
Of this werre as ye haue herde me telle.
Whiche to declare as now I may not dwelle.
From poynt to poynt like as bokes sayne,
For to Iason I wyll resorte agayne,
That landed is with worthy Hercules,
At Symeonte the hauen that he ches.
As I haue tolde to reste them and comforte,
And for not elles but onely to desporte.
But to the kyng reygnyng in Troye towne,
That was that tyme called Lamedowne.
Of false enuye reported was and tolde,
How certayne grekes were of herte bolde,
His londe to entre the which they not knewe.
Well arayed and in a vessell newe.
Which to aryue had there no lycence.
And theym purpose for to done offence.
By likelyhed and his lande to greue.
For they of pride without any loue,
Or safe conduite haue the stronde ytake.
And such masteries on the land they make,
As in theyr power were all maner thinge,
Without regarde playnly to thy kinge.
¶Of his estate taking tho none hede.
Of such straungers great is for to drede.
If men by laches other neclygence,
Fully to wete what is theyr pretence,
But forth prolonge and no perill caste,
Such sodeyne thinge wolde be wist as fast,
And not differred till the harme be do.
For it were wisedome that it were so.
Men may to longe suffer and abide,
Of necligence for to let slide,
For to enquere of theyr gouernaunce,
This was the speche of the dalyaunce,
Eueriche to other by reuelaciowne,
In euery strete throughout Troye towne.
Some rowning and some spake abrode,
[Page]And this speche so longe there abode,
From one to an other sothely that the sowne,
Reported was to kinge Laomedowne.
As ye haue herd the which of wilfullnesse,
Without counsayle or auisenesse.
To hastely maked hath his sonde,
To wit how they were hardy for to londe.
Beside his leue of presumption.
Wherfore he bad that in conclusion,
Without abode soone to remewe.
Or finally they shuld not eschewe,
To be compelled maugre who sayeth nay.
And so the king vpon a certayne day,
In haste hath sente his imbassadore,
Vnto Iason of Grekes the gouernoure,
That nother thought harme nor villanye,
But Innocent with his companye,
Disported him endlonge on the stronde.
And euer hath do sith he came to londe.
And of the charge that he on him layd,
And worde by worde to Iason how he sayde,
As in effect with euery cyrcumstaunce,
This was the somme playnly in substaunce.

¶How Lamedon king of Troye sent to Ia­son commaundyng him and his felowshippe forthwith to depart the confines of his coun­treith and of their aunswere sente ayen to the kinge. Ca. v.

THe wise worthy & famous of renowne,
The mighty king ye noble Lamedowne,
Hath vnto you his message thus ysent.
Of which theffect as in sentement,
Is this in sothe that he hath meruayle,
Into his lande of your ariuayle.
Bringing with you Grekes not a fewe,
And haue no conduite for you for to shewe.
Protection playnly nor licence,
In preiudice of his magnificence.
Wherfore he hath on me the charge layde,
And will to you that it be platly sayde,
That ye anone without more delay,
Without noyse or any more affraye,
Of Troye land the bondes that ye leue,
Or you and yours he casteth for to greue,
And better it is with ease to departe,
Than of folye your liues to Ieoparte.
In any wise for lacke of prouidence.
Against his will to make resistence.
Other of pride or of wilfulnesse,
For to be bolde without auisenesse,
To interrupt his high felicitye.
For he desireth in tranquilitie,
To holde his reigne withouten perturbaūce▪
In whose parson is made such alyaunce,
Atwene his manhode and Royall magestye,
That they will suffer none of no degre,
Him to disquiet in any maner wise.
Wherfore I counsayle as ye semen wise,
To take good hede vnto this that I seye,
And this his bidding not to disobey.
¶Lest ye offende his knightly excellence.
For ye shall finde as in experience,
Without feyninge the sothe of that I telle.
Take hede therfore I may no longer dwelle.
From point to point sith ye be wise and sage,
For this is hoole the effect of my message.
VVhan Iason herd had of the messegere,
These wordes al he gā to chaūgē chere.
And kept him close with sobre countenaūce,
And was not Ireful hastye for greuaunce,
Ne for no rancoure he caughte of his tale,
Saue in his face gan to waxen pale,
Longe abiding or he ought would sayne,
And or he spake any worde agayne.
As vnto him that fro the kinge was sent,
He gan disclose the somme of his entent,
Vnto his folkes standing rounde aboute,
For vnto them he tho discured oute,
The message hole and first when he abreyde,
Then worde by worde thus to theim he sayd.
¶Syrs he sayeth to you be it well knowe,
Take hede I pray and that both hye & lowe.
How Lamedone that is the king of Troye,
Hath sent to vs a wonderful Lenuoye.
Chargyng in hast to hye out of his land,
And axeth howe we thus vpon the stronde,
For to ariue hadden hardinesse.
Withouten leue se there his gentilnesse.
And his fredome the which is not alite.
Howe like a kinge he can him selfe aquite.
Vnto straungers that entre in his yle.
For nought god wote but for a litell while,
Them to refreshe and to departe anon.
Like as ye can recorden euerychon.
And hereof bearen witnesse al and some.
[Page]Alas fredome where is it nowe become.
¶Where is manhode and gentilnesse also,
Which in a kinge togither both two,
Shulde of custome haue theyr resting place.
And where is honour yt shuld also embrase.
A lordes herte which of kyngely right,
Of manly fredome with all his full might,
Shuld straūgers halfe refreshe & recomfort.
That afterwarde they might of him reporte.
¶Larges experte manhode and gentillesse,
That they haue founde in his worthinesse.
For if noblesse were aught of his allye,
And fredome eke knit with his regallye,
So as longeth to honour of a kinge,
He shulde haue charged first of all thinge,
His worthy lieges with al that might please,
To haue shewed theyr comforte & theyr ease;
With all theyr might and theyr busy cure,
Vnto straungers that of auenture,
Were in the sea fordryuen and dismayed.
And of our comming not be euill appayed.
For yf that he in any case semblable,
Oether by fortune that is variable,
By sort or hap that may not be withstande,
Aryued had into Grekes land,
More honestly and like to his degre.
He shuld of vs haue there receyued be.
Lyke as it longeth vnto gentrye,
But sith that he for ought I can espye,
Hath fredom honour and humanytye,
At ones made out of his courte to flie,
Chose dishonour and let worship gone,
There is no more but we shall euerichone,
That he hath chose helpe to fulfiil,
When that power shall not be like his will.
That is to saye and sothe it shall be founde,
That his dede shall on him selfe rebounde.
Sith of malyce he hath this worke begonne,
Perauenture or that the somer sonne,
To zodiak hath thrise gone about.
For let him trust and nothing be in doubte,
We shall him serue wt such as he hath sought,
For if I lyue it shall be dere abought.
Albe therof I set as nowe no tide,
And in this lande I will no longer abyde,
Till I haue leysur better to soiourne.
And with that worde begā anone to fourne,
With manly face and with a sterne cheare,
All sodeynly vnto the messagere.
That fro the kinge was so vnto him sent.
And in this wise he sheweth his entent.
¶My frende quod he I haue wel vnderstād,
The message hoole that yu hast toke in hand,
From thy kinge to bringen vnto vs.
Right nowe vnwarely & sith it standeth thus,
That nowe I haue his meaninge euery dele,
From poynt to poynt and vnderstande it wel.
Worde by worde and playnly it conceyued,
And the giftes that we haue receyued,
On his behalfe in this our great nede,
I will remembre and take of it good hede.
To euery thing that thou hast to vs brought.
For truste well that I forget it nought.
But shall imprinte it surely in my minde.
And withall this how goodly that we finde,
The great bountie in all maner thinge.
Within this land of Lamedone the kinge.
His welcominge and his great cheare,
And goodly sonde that thou bringest here.
Not accordinge as to our entent.
For god well wote that we neuer ment,
Harme vnto him nor playnly no domage,
To none of his of any maner age.
And there vpon the goddes inmortall,
That of theyr kinde ben celestiall,
Vnto recorde with all mine herte I take.
And touching this my borowes I thē make.
In witnessing we ment none offence,
Ne haue not taken as by violence,
Within this realme of woman childe or man,
And so thou mayest reporte if thou can.
But for that we fordriuen in the sea,
Compelled were as of necessyte,
For to ariue as thou hast herd me sayne.
Onely to reste vs here vpon the playne.
Without more vnto a certayne daye,
And afterwarde to hold furth our way,
Vpon our Iourney and make no tarying.
Like as thou mayste recorde vnto thy kinge.
And saye him eke he shall the time se,
That he perauenter shal mowe thanked be,
Whan time commeth by vs or by some other.
Go furth thy way & say him thus my brother.
¶And then anone as Iason was in peace,
[Page]The manly knight the worthy Hercules,
Whē he had herd this thinge fro point to poīt,
He was anone brought into such disioynt,
Of hasty rancoure and of sodeyne Ire,
The whiche his herte almost set a fyre,
That sodeynly as he abreyde abacke,
Of hie disdeyne euen thus to him he spake.
With chere askoyne vnto the messengere.
And sayd felowe be nothing in feare.
Of our abydinge but do the well certayne,
That are Titan his bemes reyse agayne,
We shall departe and hence to shyppe gone,
That of our men shall not be lefte one,
Within this lande & god to forne to morowe.
And there vpō haue here my faith to borowe.
For we no longer shall holde here soiourne,
For elles where we shall make our retourne,
To morowe early by the daye dawninge,
On payne of reprefe and so go saye thy kinge.
And or thre yeare yf god vs graunt life,
Maugre who grutcheth or maketh any strife
Vnto this lande we shall agayne retourne,
And cast anker a while to soiourne.
Take hede therof and note well the time.
A newe chaunge shall folowe of this prime.
And thē his power shall not so large stretche,
Of his safe conduit litell shall we reche,
I say the platly as is our entent,
We will not haue vnto his maundement,
But small regarde and we that day abyde.
For taking leue shalbe set aside.
Bycause he hath begonnen here a playe,
Which we shal quite by god if that we may.
That tourne shall into his owne shame.
And spare not to say thy kinge the same.
¶This messeger then gan agayne replye,
And sayd syr ye may not me denye,
Of honeste my message to declare,
Auise you well for I will not spare.
The kinges sonde playnly for to tell.
And where so beye liste to go or dwell,
Ye may yet chese who so be lefe or lothe,
Ye haue no cause with me to be wrothe,
For it sit not vnto your worthinesse,
If ye take hede by waye of gentellesse,
Of manassing suche arowes for to shete,
For bett it were your thretninge to lete,
And kepe secret till ye be at your large,
For certaynly no parcell of my charge,
Is to striue with you or make debate.
But better is betimes than to late.
That ye beware for harmes that mighte fall.
And for my parte I say vnto you all,
It were pytie that ye destroyed were.
Or any man shulde hinder or do dere,
So worthy persons in any maner wise.
Which likly ben to be discrete and wise.
And lest wt wordes as nowe I do you greue,
I saye no more I take of you my leue.
THe nighte ypassed at springing of ye day,
When that the larke with a blessed laye,
Began to salue the lusty rowes rede,
Of Phebus chare yt ther were freshly sprede,
Vpon the bordure of the oriente.
And Aurora of herte and hole entent,
With the swetenes of her siluer shoures,
Bedewed had the freshe somer floures,
And made the rose wt newe bawme to flete,
The soote lylye and the margarete,
For to enclose theyr tender leues white,
Oppressed hertes with gladnes to delite.
That drery were afore of nightes tene.
And hony suckels among the bushes grene,
Enbawmed had enuyron all the eyre.
Longe or Titan gan make his repayre,
With the brightnes of his beames merye,
For to reioyse all our Hemisperie.
For longe aforne are he did arise,
This worthy Iason in full hasty wise,
And his felowe Hercules also,
Ycharged haue theyr shypmen haue ado,
To hale vp anker and theym ready make,
And bad in haste euery man to take,
The right way vnto the shyppe anone.
For in sothnes this manly man Iason,
Thought he was not stuffed of meyne,
To gin as than a werre on Troye citye.
For he was not shortly to conclude,
Egall in nombre nor in multitude,
As for that time a werre to beginne.
It was not likely that he shuld wynne.
Victorye as tho for they were but a fewe.
And it sitteth nought for a man to hewe,
Aboue his head when it is ouer hye,
Leste that the chippes do fall in his eye.
Wherfore of Troye they leue the costes bliue,
They drewe vp sayle the ship began to driue,
[Page]The winde was good the goddes fauorable,
Fortune theyr frende though she be variable,
And thus to Colchos safe they ben ycome.
And vnto lande safe both all and some,
They ben ariued in a litell space.
For in the sea founde they haue such grace,
Of Neptunus that caused them as blyue,
As I sayd erst at Colchos to aryue.
NOw in this yle and in this lytell lande,
That Colchos hight ye shal vnderstāde,
Howe that there was a royall cheife cyty,
In al that reygne most of dignitye.
Of worthinesse of ryches and of fame,
And Iacomtes tho it bare the name.
Chefest of all to speake of buylding,
With stretes large and curyous of housinge.
And therwith all dyched well without.
Stronge walled and toured rounde about.
Of huge height and aloft battayled,
And ye ryght strongly leste they were assailed,
With many paleys stately and royall,
For there was tho the seat most principall,
The kinge to abide better than elles where.
And at that time it happed him be there.
And he was called Oetes as I reade,
Full renōmed of knighthod and of manhead,
And him about a well besene meane,
Like as was sitting vnto his degre.
And euery where the landes enuirowne,
The fame spredde of his hye renowne.
And al about this mighty chiefe citye,
Where as Oetes helde his royall sea,
Were riuers freshe of which ye waters cleane,
Lyke cristall shone agayne the sonne shene.
Fayre playnes as Guydo beareth wytnesse,
And holsome hilles full of lustinesse,
And many lake and many lusty welle.
And there were eke mine auctour cā you tell.
Full many a parke full fayre & freshe to sene,
And many wode and many a medowe grene.
With sundry floures among ye herbes meynt,
Which on theyr stalke nature hath depeynt,
With sundry hewes within and eke withoute.
After the season as somer came aboute.
For fishing fouling for hauking eke also,
For venery and hunting both two,
The place was right inly delytable.
Of corne and grayne passingly greable.
And plenteous in all maner thynge.
For their men harde the birdes freshely syng.
In tyme of yere in their hermonye.
That the noyse and soote melodye,
On freshe braunches full delycious,
Reioyse wolde these folkes amerous.
Whom loues bronde had fyred to the herte,
And efte adawen of their paynes smerte.
That certeynly whan that grene Vere,
Ypassed was aye fro yere to yere,
And May was come the month of gladnes,
And freshe flora of floures Emperesse,
Had cladde the soyle newe at her deuyse,
This noble place was lyke to Paradyse.
And Ceres goddesse of largesse and foyson,
Suche plentye gaue vnto that regyon,
Of fleshe, of fyshe, wyne, vitaile and corne,
That the lycour of her full horne,
Vpon the londe so gan to raine and snowe.
That all astates yea both high and lowe,
Lad their life in soueraiane suffysaunce.
With al that nature coulde or might auaūce.
This litle yle with her giftes great,
Lyke as toforne ye haue harde me treate,
For ther was plētie & ther was habundaūce,
And there was al that might do pleasaunce.
To any harte and all commoditee.
And so befell that to this citie,
Iason is come and with him Hercules.
And after them foloweth al the pres.
Full well arayed and royally be sayne.
Their armes enclosed togyther twayne and twain
A people chose as it were for ye nones.
And therwith all of brawnes and of bones,
Eueriche of theim of makyng and facion,
Full well complete as by preportion.
Yonge of age and of good stature,
Sadde of countenaunce and full demure.
That euery wight had great pleasaunce.
To se the maner of their gouernaunce.
So yonge, so freshe, hardy and meke also,
And all at ones they to the paleys go.
With suche a chere that eueriche hath disport,
To see the maner of their noble porte.
So gentylmanly they demeaned were,
That the people prese gan euery where,
To see these straungers lyke the grekes gyse.
Demeane them selfe in so thryfty wyse.
And of desire the people ne wolde cesse,
[Page]Aboute them to gather and impresse.
And to enquere what they myght be,
That of newe with suche a royalte,
Ben sodeynly entred into the towne.
Thus eueriche wold with his felowe rowne.
They were so rude to stare and to gase,
To gape and loke as it were in a mase.
As townish folke done so comonly,
Of euery thynge that falleth sodeinly.
But how Oetes lyke a worthy kyng,
Whan that he harde fyrst of their comyng,
Receyueth them and hooly the manere,
If that ye lyst anone ye shall it here.
VVhan yt the king hath sothly vnderstāde
How the grekes come were to lande,
And how Iason was also there with all,
Borne by dissente of the blud royall,
Of Thesalye and lykely to be heyre,
If he by grace haue againe repeire,
The auentures achyued of Colchos.
The kynge anone out of his sea arose.
Of gentillesse in all the haste he may,
In goodly wyse to mete theim on the waye.
And them receiueth with a cheare benigne,
And vnto them anone he doth assygne,
His offycers tawayte them night and daye.
Chargynge them in euery maner waye,
That what soeuer may to them do ease,
Or any thyng that may them queme or plese,
That they it haue in foyson and plente.
Eueryche of them lyke to his degree.
Thus he commaunded in al maner thyng,
And than anone this noble worthy kyng,
As he that was of fredome a myrrour,
Through many halle and many riche toure,
By many tourne and many dyuers waye,
By many gree made of marbyll graye,
Hath them conueyed a full easy pase,
Tyll he thē brought there his chambre was.
Where he with them helde his daliaunce.
And there anone with euery circumstaunce,
Of manly fredome he made vnto them chere.
And in his chambre englosed bright & cleare,
That shone ful shene with gold & with asure,
Of many ymage that there was in picture.
He hath commaunded to his offycers,
Only in honour of thē that were straungers,
Spyces and wyne and after that anon,
The yonge freshe the lusty man Iason,
As fast gan by lycence of the kyng,
For to declare the cause of this comyng.
But fyrst the kyng with great royalte,
Assended is into his royall sea.
Clothes of golde ranged enuyron,
After the custome of that regyon.
That to beholde it was a noble syght,
Stondyng aboute many a worthy knight.
And many a squyre and many a gentylman,
Full well besene and the kyng right than,
Vnto Iason stondyng in presence,
Commaunded hath of his magnifycence,
With Hercules to sytte a downe besyde.
And Iason than no longer lyste abyde,
Of his commyng the cause for to shewe.
The effect of which was this in wordes fewe.
Saue Iason fyrst ere he his tale began,
Full well auised and chered lyke a man.
Conceyued hath and noted wonder well,
From poynt to poynt his mater euerydell.
And not forgot a worde in all his speche.
But euen lyke as rethoryke doth teache,
He gan his tale so by crafte conueye,
To make ye kyng to that which he wold seye,
Condescende and rather to enclyne.
For to assente that he myght fyne,
Of his comyng the knightly hye empryse,
Thus word by worde as I shall here deuyse.
RIght worthy prince presēt in this place,
Only with supporte of your hye grace,
And your goodnes most excellēt & dign
With pacience of your fauour benygne,
Displease it not that I may saye and shewe,
And efte declare with wordes but fewe,
The fynal grounde and cause of my coming.
So that ye lyste whiche ben so noble a kyng,
In goodly wise without more offence,
Of curtesye to gyue aundience.
To my request and that ye not disdayne,
Goodly to graunte that I may atteyne,
In this yle if it may me auayle,
The flese of golde frely to assayle.
As the goddes in this myne auenture.
Lyste to ordeyne for my fatall eure.
In whom lyeth all playnly and fortune,
For to gouerne thynges in comune.
In werre and peace conquest and victorye,
[Page]And of armes the renowne and glory.
Discomfyture and bryngyng to outraunce,
All lyeth in them to hyndre or tauaunce,
Ayen whose might no mortal mā may chese,
But for all this where so I wynne or lese,
Or lyfe or deth be fyne of my labour,
If that ye lyste to do me this fauour,
To gyue me leue and no more delaye,
I am accorded fully for to assaye,
Lyke as the statute maketh mencion,
Me lyste to make none acception.
Vpon no syde fauour for to fynde.
But as the rytes playnly maken mynde,
What euer fall I shall them vnder fonge.
Lowly besechynge that ye not prolonge,
My purpose now nor make no delaye,
But of your grace sette to me a daye,
Myne enterpryse that I maye achyeue.
For myne abode stant vpon your leue.
Saithe but one word of grauntyng at ye lest,
And than I haue the fyne of my requeste.
¶And whan the kyng had herde ceriously,
Thentent of Iason sayd so manfully,
He stynt alyte and kepte hym close a whyle,
Tyll at the last he goodly gan to smyle,
Towardes Iason and said vnto hym thus.
Iason quod he albe thou desyrous,
To vnderfonge this passyng hye empryse,
My counsayle is lyke as I shall deuyse.
Full prudently for to caste aforne,
The mortall peryll or that thou be lorne.
For in this thynge there is a lawe ysette,
By chauntement that may not be ylette,
Nor remedyed for fauour nor for mede.
For deth in soth who so taketh hede,
Is the guerdon platly or they twynne.
Of them that caste the flese of golde to wyn.
For helpe is none in manhode nor fortune,
The streyght waye is so importune,
So dredefull eke and so full of rage,
That saue deth there lyeth no passage.
Of victorye the palme to conquere.
For sothly Iason as I shall the lere,
Founded of olde by meruaylous workyng,
By the statutes of this mortall thinge,
So sore bounde vnder my regalye,
That the rygour I may not modifye.
Wherfore Iason or thou this thinge attame,
Leste afterwarde on me were laide ye blame,
Of thy lesynge or thy destruction,
Of faythfull herte and true entencion,
I warne the my selfe for to quyte.
So that no man iustely shall me wyte.
Though thou of youth & of thy wylfulnesse
Thy lyfe destroye without auysynesse.
Sith I Iason of this peryllous case,
From poynt to point haue tolde the al ye case,
Be now auised and put no faulte in me,
For the surplus frely lyeth in the.
Of all this thinge syth thou mayst chese,
And where so be that thou wynne or lesse,
No man to me it iustly may arecte.
For that lawe that Mars hym selfe sette,
No mortall man of right may duelye passe.
For hie or lowe he getteth none other grace.
Than the goddes lyste for hym ordeyne.
What euer he be that caste hym to darrayne,
This diuers thyng most furious of drede.
Wherfore Iason how euer that thou spede,
I haue to the openly declared,
Hooly the peryle and for fauour spared,
As fer in soth as reason wyll and ryght.
For thou wotest wel it lyeth not in my might,
For to declare or any man to lette,
That of manhode knightly caste to sette,
Vpon this thing as thou hast herde me tell.
What shulde I longer in this mater dwell.
It were but vaine for now thou knowest all,
Beware of her that tourneth as a ball.
For at this tyme thou gettest no more of me,
Do as thou lyste I put the choyse in the.
And with that word the kyng rose vp anone,
Vpon the tyme whan he shulde gone,
Vnto his meate and Iason by his syde.
As ye shall here if so ye lyste abyde.
THe time approcheth & gan to neigh fast,
That offycers full busyly them cast,
To make redy with all their busye cure.
And in the halle bordes for to cure.
For by the dyal the hour they gan to marke,
That Phebꝰ southward whirled vp his arke
So hye a lofte that it drewe to none.
That it was tyme for the kyng to gone,
Vnto his meate and entre into halle.
And than Oetes with his lordes all,
And with his knightꝭ aboute hym euerichon,
With Hercules and also with Iason,
[Page]It sette to meate in his royall sea.
And euery lorde lyke to his degree.
But fyrste of all this worthy man Iason,
Assygned was by the kynge anone,
For to sytte at his owne borde.
And Hercules that was so great a lorde.
Was sette also faste by his syde.
And the marshall no longer lyste abyde,
To assygne estates where they shulde be.
Lyke as they were of hye or lowe degree.
And after that on scaffolde hye alofte,
The noise gan loude and nothynge softe.
Of trumpeters and eke of clarioneres.
And there with all the noble offycers,
Full thryftely serued haue the halle.
Lyke as the season gan that tyme fall.
With all deyntes that may rekened be,
That sothfastly the foyson and plente,
Of kyngly fredom vnto hye and lowe,
So fulsomly gan there to reygne and snowe,
That through ye hall was ye manhod praised.
Of the kyng and his renowne reysed.
That can his gestes sothly for to sey,
Whan that hym lysteth chere and festey.
So lyke a kyng and in so thryfty wyse,
With all deynte that man can deuyse,
For at this feast and solempnitie,
The grekes myght the great nobely see,
Of kyng Oetes and the worthynesse,
And by reporte therof beare wytnesse,
Where so they come after all their lyue.
I wante connynge by ordre to discryue,
Of euery course the diuersitees.
The straunge sewes and the sotyltees.
That were that day serued in that place,
Haue me excused thoughe I lyghtly passe,
Though I can not all in ordre sayne,
Mine englyshe is to rude and eke to playne.
For to endite of so hye a thyng.
But forthe I will reherse how the kyng.
To shewe his gestes his nobley ouer all.
Hath for his doughter sent in speciall.
And byd she shulde forth anone be broughte,
The which in south though men had sought,
The world thrughout I do you plain assure,
Men might a founde no fayrer creature.
More womanly of porte nor manere.
Nor more demure nor sadder of her chere.
Whose beaute was not lykely for to fade,
And whan she came the grekes for to glade,
The halle in soth she walketh vp and downe,
Of womanhede and pure affectiowne.
To make chere vnto these gestes newe.
And thus Medea, with her rosen hewe,
And with the freshnesse of the lyllye whyte,
So entermedled kyndly by delyte,
That nature made in her face sprede,
So egally the white with the rede,
That the medlynge in conclusyon,
So was ennewed by proportion,
That fynally excesse was there none.
Of one nor other for both two in one.
So ioyned were longe to endure,
By the empresse that called is nature.
For she her made lyke to her deuise,
That to beholde it was a paradyse.
In verye soth bothe to one and all,
Of olde and yonge that sytten in the hall.
Therto she was as by successyon,
Borne to be heyre of that regyon.
After her father by discent of lyne.
If she abyde and dure after his fyne.
Syth he ne had by ryght to succede,
One heyre male that I can of reade.
She was also the boke maketh mencion,
Were vnto yeres of discretion.
Able for age maryed for to be.
And not withstondynge also eke that she,
Was of beaute and of womanhede,
One of the fayrest that I can of read,
Yet none of bothe haue her youth let,
That to clergy was her desyre set.
So passyngly that in speciall,
In all the artes called lyberall,
She was expert and knowynge at the beste,
It was her vre to konne what her lyste.
Of suche a woman herde I neuer telle.
At Helicon she dranke so of the welle.
That in her tyme was there none semblable.
I founde in sothe ne none that was so hable,
As to conceyue by studye and doctrine.
And of natures to dispute and termine,
She coude also and the causes fynde,
Of althinges formed as by kynde.
She had in lernyng so her tyme spente,
That she knewe of the fyrmament,
The trewe course and of the sterres all.
And by their meuynge what that shulde fall.
[Page]So was she lerned in astronomye.
But moste she wrought by nycromancye.
With exorsismes and cōiuracions,
And vsed also to make illusyons,
With her charmes sayde in sondrye wyse.
And with rytes of diuers sacrifyse.
Encens and ryches caste into the fyre,
To shewe the thynges lyke to her desire,
With gootes hornes and with milke & blude.
Whan the mone equat was and stode,
In the fyfthe or in the syxte house.
And was fortuned with lokyng gracious.
To these an houre that were conuenient,
And fortunate as by enchauntement,
To make and worke sundry apparences,
So well she knewe the heauenly influences.
And aspectes bothe wrothe and glade,
For she by them all her thynges made.
That apperteyne to suche experimentes.
For whan her lyst by her enchauntementes,
She coude make the wyndes for to blowe,
To thondre lighten and to haile & snowe.
And frese also to greue men with payne,
And sodeynely she coude make to rayne.
And shewe what wether that her list to haue.
And gasten men with sodeyne erth quaue.
And tourne the daye vnwarely vnto nyght:
And then anone make the sonne bryght.
Shewe his beames full persyng & ful shene,
With golden hornes to voyde nyghtes tene.
And reise ye floodes wt many a dredful wawe,
And whā her list she coude them eft wtdrawe.
Eke yonge trees to sere roote and rynde,
And afterward make them againe in kinde.
With lusty braunches blome & budde newe.
Also in wynter with floures freshe of hewe,
Aray the yerth and tapyte hym in grene.
That to beholde a Ioye it was to sene.
With many colour shewynge full diuers,
As whyte and rede grene ynde and pers.
The deysy with her ryche perled crowne,
And other floures that winter made frowne,
Vpon their stalke freshly for tappere.
And sodeynely with a deadly chere,
She coude somer into winter tourne.
Causynge the daye with mystes for to mone.
And olde men she coude make yonge,
And efte agayne or any here was spronge,
She coude them shewe both in head & berde.
Ful hore and graye in crafte so was she lerede.
And trees wt fruite she coude also make bare,
Of rinde and leafe to do men on them stare.
Eclipse the mone and the bryght sonne,
Or naturally they had theyr course yronne,
To them apropred which they mai not passe.
For if that Tytanes course by kindly trase.
Whan so he meueth vnder the clyptik lyne,
The clipse mott folow as auctours list diffine
So that there be by their discription,
Of bothe twayne full coniunction.
And that the sonne with his beames red,
Haue his dwellyng in the dragones head.
And the mone be set eke in the tayle,
As by nature than it maye not fayle,
That there must fall eclyps of veary nede,
In sondry bokes like as ye may read.
Bycause of certayne interfecacions,
Of diuers circles and reuolucions,
That maked ben in the heauen alofte.
Whiche causen vs for to fayle ofte.
Of the freshe and comfortable stremes,
That be vs shad from Phebꝰ bryght bemes.
For so the mone hath made deuisyon,
By this sodeyne interposicion,
That of our syght the stremes visuall,
May not beholde nor yet ysene at all.
Nor to our luste fully comprehende,
How Phebus in his chaire is cheuansende.
As we were wonte aforehande for to see.
But of all this the great Ptholome,
Kyng of Egypt telleth the causes why.
Within his boke and that compendiously.
Bothe of Eclyps and coniunction.
And why they fall by naturall mocion.
But of Medee though this clerke Ouyde,
Tencrease her name vpon euery syde,
Lyst suche thynges in his fables tell,
Though he of poetes was the spryng & well,
Yet god forbede ye shulde gyue credence,
To suche feynyng or do so hyghe offence.
Sith of nature it must be denyed.
Al suche affirmyng and likewise be diffyed,
Of euery christien stedfast in beleue.
For certainly it wolde hyghly greue.
Our conscience in any wyse to wene,
Agaynst kynde whiche is so hye a quene.
That any wight or lyuynge creature,
Shulde haue power I do you plaine assure,
[Page]So cursed thynges supersticious,
To do or worke to kynde contrarious.
¶For god almyghtye Iudge of Iudges all,
Hath sette a lawe the whiche may not falle.
Amonge planettes eternally tendure.
Afore ordeyned in his eternall cure.
The whiche may not as clerkes lyst termine,
Vpon no syde bowen nor declyne.
But as they were from discorde or debate,
Eternally yformed and create,
Through the fynger of his sapience,
Alway to meue in their intelligence,
Lyke as they be to his lordshyp bounde,
For neuer yet was eclyps yfounde,
The mone not beinge inconiunction.
As I haue tolde saue in the passyon.
The which eclyps was tho against kinde,
Nature her knot that tyme lyst vnbynde.
Whan goddes sonne starfe vpon the roode,
The sonne of lyfe was derked for our good.
Whan heauen and erth wt hye compunction,
Haue sygnes shewed of lamentacion.,
By earthquakes light tourned to derkenes,
And dead bodies vpwarde gan them dresse.
From their tombes againe from deth to liue,
Stone and rocke a sonder gan to ryue.
In the temple the veyll was kut a two,
And sygnes many were yshewed tho,
That for ye wondre and tokens meruailous,
The great worthy Dyonysyous,
Vhiche at Athenes as clekes of hym write,
Was called in scholes Ariopagyte.
He whan he sawe this noble famous clerke,
The bryght daye sodeynely so derke,
Although he were apaynym in tho dayes,
And was infecte with rytes of their layes,
As he that was moste chiefe and principall,
Of phylosophers for to reken all.
Yet that tyme astoned in his mynde,
Sayde platly other the god of kynde,
Suffreth the death other out of doubte,
This rounde worlde which is so large about,
Shalbe dissolued and ybrought to nought.
By sodayne chaunge hasty as a thought,
By his clergye he knewe no better skyll,
For god may all chaungen at his wyll,
And hath power of suche coaction,
Vnder whose myght and disposicion,
Is lawe of kynde constreyned soth to seye,
From poynt to poynt lowely to obeye.
In euery thynge that hym lyst ordeyne.
Of elementes he may the course restreyne.
As holy wryt doth witnesse ye may se,
How at request of worthy Iosue,
The bryght sonne stode at Gabaon,
Adayes space in one degree and shone.
Shewynge token to his trewe knyght,
Fynally and for to gyue him lyght,
That he myght by his hye prowesse,
His cruell foon manfully oppresse.
Whan that he fought this knight this Iosue,
With fyue kinges reignyng in Amoree.
So longe laste the pursuite and the chase,
Tyll they were take & for their hye trespasse,
Dempt to be dead the Bible can you tell.
Now syth that god thus hyghly lyst fulfyll,
This his knyghtes request and orison,
What wonder was though in the passyon,
Of Christe Iesu incarnat for our sake,
The sonne beames as tho were waren blak.
Syth he hath lordship of the planettes all.
And as hym lyst it must nedely fall.
For of Medea though Ouydyus,
In his fables writeth and saith thus,
As he that lyst her name so hyghe exalte,
Yet in the truth somewhile doth he halte.
Albe she were a passynge sorceresse.
And chefest named of any chaunteresse.
¶I wyll passe ouer agayne to my matere,
And howe she came to meate ye shall en here.
Whan her father had thus for her sent,
Se came anone at his commaundement.
But or she came I fynde that tofore,
For to make her beautie se men more,
She in her closet toke her best araye.
For tencrease in all that euer shee maye,
Natures worke with royall apparayle.
For these women gladly wyll not fayle,
Whā they of beautie, haue plēteuous largesse,
It to embellyshe they do their businesse.
With ryche a tire vpon euery syde.
If ought be mysse they can it close and hyde.
For all the foule shall couertly be wryed,
That no defaute outwarde be espied.
¶But she was faire and also well be sayne,
And in her porte so womanly certayne,
That at her comynge gladeth all the halle.
For it was ioye both vnto one and all,
[Page]To se the maner tho of her entree.
To whom her father bad to take her see,
Besyde Iason hym for to disporte.
Of womanhede and for to recomforte.
¶But oh alas here lacked hye prudence.
Discrete auyse of inwarde prouydence,
Wysedome also with perell caste aforne,
To truste amayde of tendre yeres yborne,
Of lyght vnhappy fonde wylfulnesse.
For this kynge of his gentylnesse,
Commaunded hath to his confusyon,
To his dishonour and destruction,
His owne doughter borne to be his heyre,
That was also so womanly and fayre,
So sodaynly downe for to discende.
Consydered not the myschyefe of the ende.
Alas why durst he in her youth affye,
To make her sytte of his curtesye.
Where as she myght by casuell mocion,
Full lyghtly catche or haue occasyon,
To do amysse alas why dyd he so.
Why list he not take better hede therto.
Nor to auerte in his discretion,
Wysely to caste afore as in reason,
The vnware chaunge that is in womanhed.
Whiche euery wyse man oughte for to drede.
For who was euer yet so mad or wood,
That ought of reason coude aright his good,
To gyue fayth or hastyly credence,
To any woman without experyence.
In whom is nother trust nor sykernesse.
They ben so double and full of brytylnesse,
That it is harde in them to assure.
For vnto them it longeth of nature,
From theyr birth to haue alliaunce,
With doublenesse and with variaunce,
Their hertes be so fraile and so vnstable,
Namely in youthe so meuynge and mutable.
That so as clerkes of them lyst tendyte,
Albe that I am sory for to wryte,
They sayen that chaunge and mutabilite,
Apropred ben vnto feminite.
This is affyrmed of them that were ful sage,
And specially whyle they be grene of age.
In their wexyng and whan yt they be yonge,
Whose herte full selde accordeth wt her tonge.
For if the trouth inwardely be sought,
With ye surplus & remnaunt of their thought,
Men may anone the true patron fynde.
Of inconstaunce whose flaskysable kynde,
Is to and fro meuynge as a wynde.
That Hercules were not stronge to binde,
Nother Sampson so as I beleue,
A womans herte to make it not remeue.
For as the blase whyrleth of a fyre,
So to and fro they flee in their desyre.
Tyll they accomplyshe fully their delite,
For as nature by kyndly appetyte.
Kyndly seketh to sewen after fourme,
Tyl he his course by processe may performe.
Euen so these women refraine them ne can,
To sewe their luste as fro man to man,
They will not cease till all be assayed.
But wolde god as nature is apayed,
With one fourme and holdeth him content,
Whan of his boundes he hath the terme went
And not desyre ferther to procede,
But styll abyte and wyll it not excede,
That by example all sortes women wolde,
Abide in one as they of duety shoulde.
And holde them paide and stylle there abyde,
But faile of foting doth them ofte to slyde.
For they be not content with vnitee,
But fast they sewen to finde pluralitee.
So of nature to menynge they be shewed,
Although among by signes outward shewed
They ofte pretende a maner stablenesse.
But vnder that is hyd their doublenesse.
So well yreke that outwarde at the eye,
Full harde it is the treason to espye.
Vnder curtyn and veyle of honeste,
Is closed chaunge and mutabilitye.
For their desyre is kepte full close in mewe,
Of thyng that they had leuest for to sewe.
Only outwarde for to haue a laude,
They can declyne wt faynyng & with fraude.
¶Wherfore Oetes thy wyt was to barayne.
That thou afore by prudence naddest sayne.
What shulde folowe of this vnhappy case.
Why were thou bolde thus to suffer alas.
Thine owne doughter inly freshe of hewe,
With straunge gestes entred but of newe,
So folilye for to lete her dele.
Where thrugh thin honor worship & thin hele
Was lost in haste & she to mischiefe brought.
In straūge lande wt sorowe & with thought.
Where as she in sclaunder of thy name,
With miserie with sorowe and with shame.
[Page]An ende made and thou were left sole,
That myghtest well complayn & makē dole.
Alas the whyle if by prudent forsyght,
Thou haddest had grace for to record aright,
And to haue cast by discrete purueaunce,
And wysely weyed by measure in balaūce,
The fraude of women and the frayltye,
In whom full selde is any sykertye,
As in his latyn Guydo doth expresse.
Wherfore Oetes of verye rychelesnesse,
Thou hast at ones in augment of thy wo,
Without recure bothe the two forgo.
Fyrst thy treasure and thy doughter deare,
That was to the so passingly entere.
And eke thyne heyre for whē yt she was gone,
As sayth mine Auctour other was ther none.
After thy daye for to occupye,
Thy royall ceptre nor thy land to gye.
¶But what was worth the great prouidēce,
The waker kepyng the busy diligence,
Of myghty Mars that god is of battayle,
What might it helpe defende or ought auaile,
Agayne the wyt of woman or the sleyght.
Whose fraudes bene of so huge weyght,
That as theym lyst aye the game goeth,
Theyr purpose bydeth who so be lief or lothe.
They be so slye so prudent and so wyse.
For as this storye playnly doth deuise,
This Medea by her engyne and crafte,
From her father hath his treasure raft.
Through the working of her sleightie gyle,
As ye shall heare within a litell whyle.
For as she sat at meate tho in that tide,
Her father next and Iason by her side,
All sodeynly her freshe and rosen hewe,
Ful ofte tyme gan chaungen and renew.
An hundreth sithes in a litell space.
For now the bloud from her goodly face,
Vnto her herte vnwarely gan avale.
And therwithall she waxeth dead and pale.
And eft anone who therto can take hede,
Her hewe returneth in to goodly reade,
But still among temblyshe her coloure,
The rose was meynt aye with the lyly floure.
And though the rose some dele gan to pace,
Yet still the lylye bydeth in his place.
Till nature made theym eft ayene to mete.
And thus with colde and eke wt sodayne hete,
Was Medea in her selfe assayled,
And passyngly sore vexed and trauayled.
For nowe she brent and now she gā to colde.
And aye the more that she gan beholde,
This Iason yong the more she gan desire,
To loke on hym so was she set afyre.
With his beaute and his semelynesse.
And euery thing she inly gan inpresse,
What that she sawe both in minde & thought,
She all emprynteth and forgetteth nought.
For she consydereth euery circumstaunce,
Both of his port and his gouernaūce,
His sonnyshe hayre crisped lyke golde wire,
His knightly loke and his manly chere.
His countenaunce with many noble signe.
His face also most gracious and beninge.
Most acceptable vnto her plesaunce.
For as she thought it was full suffysaunce.
Without more as vnto her alone,
Well to bethynke and loke on his parsone.
For in that time withouten any drede,
Of meate or drynke she toke but litell hede.
For she of foode hath lost her appetite,
To loke on hym she hath so great delite.
He was so prynted in her remembraunce,
Loue hath her caught so newely in a traunce.
And her ymarked with his fyery brond.
That she may not escape from his honde.
Nor yet eschewe his stroke in speciall,
For she was yolde body hert and all,
Vnto this Iason platly for to seye.
And euer eft on him she cast an eye,
Whan that she founde a leyser opportune.
But of her wysedome she wolde not contune,
To loken longe lest men dempt amys.
But as the maner of these women is,
She kept her close and wonderly secre,
That by her chere no man could se,
What that she ment by none occasyon.
She put theym out of all suspection.
For openly there was no tokens sene,
She cast rather that men shulden wene,
That the encheson of her abstinence,
And why that she abode in thus sylence,
How that it was onely of womanhede,
Of honest shame and of chaste drede,
That both together in her herte met.
The whych twayne haue so this maydē let,
For meate and drinke as it wold seme.
Thus by her wit she made theim for to deme.
[Page]And so to cast in theyr opynion.
And thus she blent them by discrescion.
For so her cheare could euery thinge excuse,
She gaue to fooles no matter on to muse.
¶No chere vnbrideled that tyme her asterte,
For there was one thyng closed in her hert,
An alder other in her chere declared.
For maydens haue ofte syth spared,
To shewe out that they desyre in dede.
As it falleth who so can take hede.
That while they flouren in virgynitye,
And for theyr youth haue no lyberty,
To specyfy that theyr hertes woulde,
They kepe theym close for they be not bolde,
To shewe out the summe of theyr sentence.
And thus Medea kepyng aye sylence,
Ne let no worde by her lippes pace,
But couertly with sobre chere and face,
And what she ment sheweth with her eye,
In such a sorte that no man could espye,
The hoote fyre in her breste yreke.
And in her selfe right thus she gan to speke.
As she in sothe that so much good can,
So would god this yong lusty man,
Which so fayre and semely in my sight.
Assured were to be my owne knight.
Which is to me most plesaunt and entyre.
With berde ysprong shining lyke golde wyre.
So wel ylimed and compact by measure,
Well growe on heyght and of good stature,
And lyketh me in euery parte so wele,
That by assent of Fortune and her whele,
I ewred were to standē in his grace.
For as me semeth vpon his knightly face,
It is to me an heauen to beholde,
Albe therwith my herte I fele colde.
And yet in sothe it may none other be,
Alas why nill he not do pyty me.
Or at the leste he knewe in his entent,
How much trouth to hym that I ment.
Of which alas he taketh no maner hede.
Albe for him I brenne as doth the glede.
And to be dead I dare not me discure.
Alas my piteous woful auenture,
To rewful is helples my mortall paine,
Thus to be dead & dare me not complayne.
To frende nor foo of this my chaunce alas.
To finds some helpe or succour in this case.
And trewly nathles as I shall deuise,
I nothing meane but that in honest wyse.
Lyke as it shall well openly be founde.
For I desyre to be knyt and bound,
With him in wedlock & neuer thens to twine,
So is my meaning cleane devoyde of syn.
Grounded and set vpon al clenlynesse,
Without fraude or any doublenesse.
So clean and pure is mine entencion.
Lo aye the maner and condicion,
Of these women that so well can fayne,
And shewe one though they thinke twayne.
And couertly that nothing be sayne,
With humble chere and with face playne,
Enclose theyr lustes by such subtyltye,
Vnder the boundes of al honestye,
Of theyr entent though the trecherye,
Withal the surplus smothely couered be.
And though that they fayth afore pretend,
And can theyr fraude with florishing defēde,
And speake full fayre the word forth to blēde,
With doublenesse enclosed in the end.
Yet a deceyte is couertly yment,
Vnder the suger of fayned cleane entent.
As it were sothe in very existence.
But truste me well al is but apparence.
They can shewe one and another meane,
Whose blewe is lightly dyed into grene.
For vnder floures depeynt of stablenesse,
The serpent dareth of newfangelnesse.
So playn they seme with wordes fair glosed,
But vnderneth theyr couerte wiles be closed.
For what thing is dearest to theyr paye,
They will deny and rathest swearen naye.
THis lyketh Guydo of womē to endite,
Alas that he so cursedly would wryte,
Agaynst them or with theym haue debate.
I am right sory in englyshe to translate,
Reprefe of theym or any euyll to seye,
For me were leuer for theyr loue to deye.
Wherfore I pray theym to take pacience,
I purpose not to do to theym offence,
They be so good and perfyte euerychone.
To reken all I trowe there be not one,
But that they be in will and hert trewe.
For though amōg they chese thē loues newe.
Who wayeth it wel they be nothing to blame,
For often tyme they se men do the same.
They must puruay thē when men thē refuse,
[Page]And yf I coulde I wolde theim full excuse.
It sytteth not a woman lyue alone,
It is no store but they haue mo than one,
Praying to theim for to do me grace,
For as I hope to theim is no trespace,
Though my makyng be the same in all,
As Guido wryteth in his oryginall.
Where he missayeth do let hym beare ye wyfe,
For it syt well that the vengeaunce byte,
On him that so these women hath offended,
And if I myght it shuld be well amended.
He shulde receiue duely his penaunce,
For yf he died withouten repentaunce,
I am dispeyred of his saluacion.
How he shulde euer haue remission.
But yf he were content to do redresse.
It may not bene as clerkes beare witnesse.
And by my trouth and he were alyue,
I meane Guido and I shulde him shryue,
So bytter penaunce playnly he shulde haue,
That to the tyme that he were depe ygraue,
He shulde remembre and platly not asterte,
For to repente with all his hoole herte.
That he so spake to his confusyon,
I wyll no longer make disgressyon,
From my matter but letteth Guydo be,
And tell I shall the workynge of Medee.
That hath lycence of her father nome,
And to her chamber is alone ycome.
Whan out of hal withdrawen was al ye pres,
And whan Iason and this Hercules,
Lyke as the kynge after meate badde,
To their chambres conueied were and lad.
Full royally arayed and well be sayne,
For euery wall was couered in certayne,
With clothe of golde in full stately wise,
And in this whyle as ye haue herde deuise,
Was Medea to her chambre gone.
Wherby her selfe complaynynge euer in one,
She gaue an issue to her paynes smarte,
That her so sore hath wounded to the harte.
For loue hath brought her in so sodeine rage,
That was not lykely soone for to aswage,
For in sothnesse the furious god Cupide,
Hath such a fyre kyndled in her syde,
That it was neuer lykly for to lete.
So violent and feruent was the heate.
That more and more encrease gan her paine.
For in her brest there was atwyxt twayne.
A great debate and a stronge battayle.
So feruently eche other dyd assayle.
And this contek in ernes and in game,
Departed was betwixt loue and shame.
Metynge together there at vnset steuen.
Albe the fielde was not tho parted euen,
For loue in soth full of hye renowne,
Was bolde and hardy lyke a fierse Lyowne.
And was not fereful of spere swerd nor knife
But hote and hasty for to auntre lyfe.
Eke surquidous stoute and full of pryde,
Chiefe champyon of the god Cupyde.
That causeth ofte both to free and bonde,
Full many peryll for to take on honde.
And caused hath full many man his death,
And many one to yelden vp the breth.
And made ther woundes largly for to blede,
For of peryll loue taketh none hede.
To get hym honour by excellence of fame.
¶But contrary his enmye called shame,
Lyke a coward faynte and hertles,
As he that neuer dare be sene in pres,
For lacke of māhod draweth hī euer abacke,
He is so ferd and dreadfull of the wrake.
Like to a chylde yonge and tender of age.
For he hath nother herte nor yet corage,
For to assayle so feble is his myght,
And yet full ofte he hath stonde in the syghte,
Of many louer and lete him for to spede,
Through false cōspiring of his brother dred,
For drede and shame when they be allyed.
Of one assent haue piteously denyed,
As vnto loue both hert and herdinesse.
That he ne durst out a worde expresse.
For whā that loue of māhode willeth speake.
The wood fyre out of his brest to reke,
Vpon the poynte when he shulde assaye,
Shame cometh anone & vtterly sayeth nay.
And causeth loue his hornes for to shrynke,
Tabashe his chere & pitiously to wyncke.
Cowardly his cause tho to appayre.
And thus is shame froward & like contraire,
Through helpe of drede loues folke to feare.
For doubtlesse if so be shame nought ne were,
As it is kouthe aswell nigh as ferre,
Loue in his lawes shuld often tyme erre.
And winde him out of honestye his cheyne,
Of his bondes both bridell breake & reyne.
Right as an horse out of the trayse at large,
[Page]For lite or nought louers wolde take charge,
To vse their wyll and all their lust tensewe.
But al the while that shame is kept in mewe,
Within his brest so that no wight it knowe,
Outward in porte loue beareth him ful lowe,
For ne were shame as clekes haue compiled,
Out of their hertes daunger were exiled.
Al straungenesse and feyned false disdeyne,
For ne were shame playnly the wardeyne,
Of these women by wrytyng of these olde,
Without assaulte the castell were yyolde.
It were no nede a syege for to layne,
For in suche case longe treaty were in vayne.
For of nature they louen no processe.
¶But nowe alas dread and shamfastnes,
Haue daunted loue in full lowe maner,
And made him humble both of port & cheare.
And they haue eke by their vyolence,
For all his manhode put him in sylence.
And ben great cause of morning of his paine.
And thus amiddes of either of these twaine,
Of loue and shame euen so vpon the poynt,
Medea stode as tho in great disioynt.
That she ne may the paine not to endure,
So hoote she brent this wofull creature.
Betwixt both I meane loue and shame.
For whan that loue wolde any thing attaine,
Of his desyres to declare them out,
Came shame anone & put him in a doubte.
With redy dread her lust for to deny.
And thus she stode in doubtfull Ieopardy,
Of loue and shame in maner of a traunce,
Full euenly vphanged in balaunce.
For shame was great & loue was yet yt more,
As well appeared by her syghes sore,
And by her stormy cruell auenture,
For dread and shame durst she not discure,
The fyre that loue hath in her brest enclosed.
Whiche was full harde for to be deposed.
And thus she hange amyddes betwene two,
That she ne wist what was best to do.
Tyll that fortune with her double face,
Vnhappely hath wrought to get her grace,
With the whyrlyng of her whele about,
That causeth wretches full lowe adowne to loute,
Whā they best wene to sittē hye aloft.
By plaine profe as men may se full ofte.
By gerinesse of this her reuolution.
For so this lady of transmutacion,
Full ofte time false and full vnstable,
Enhasteth thynges to fooles full agreable.
Which in the ende to their confusyon,
Can vnder suger shroude her poyson.
For aye fortune as her maner is,
To wretches sheweth other than it is.
By fayre semblant and face of flattery,
As she that can with full beninge an eye,
Fully of fooles parfourmen the entent.
Where through they be in great mischefe shēt
At the ende and can no crafte teschewe,
To sodeyne harme that at her taile doth sew.
Ryght as it fell whylome of Medee,
Gynning and grounde of her aduersitye.
¶For this lady that called is Fortune,
Ygraunted hath a leyser opportune,
To shewe Iason hooly all her herte,
Which made her after wt repentaunce sinerte.
For on a daye after Meredien,
Whan that Apollo with his beames shene,
From the southe plage gan to wester fast,
Oetes her father hath ysent in haste,
To Medea to com to hym anone.
And bad to her that she shuld gone,
Vnto Iason and to Hercules,
To make thē chere amiddes of al the pres.
And when she caught hath oportune & space,
To her desyre and sawe eke in the place,
That then her father was most occupied,
As she that thought not for to bene espyed.
Well apperceiuing his great busynesse,
Towardes Iason anon she gan her dresse.
And he in haste with a full knightly chere,
In curteys wise gan to drawen nere.
Towardes her ayen & sawe there was no let.
And when that they were thus together met,
This Mede a with syghing first abrayde,
And syth to Iason euen thus she sayd.

¶How Iason through the only helpe of Medea Oetes daughter, the kynge of Colchos enamored of him he achieued the conquest of the golden flese. Cap. vi.

IAson quod she of thyne hye noblesse,
Of thy manhode and of thy gentilnesse,
In thy person assembled both yfeare,
But of thy knighthode first I the requere,
In thy conceite and thyne opinion,
[Page]Not to arrecte as to presumption,
To doublenesse nor yet to inconstaunce,
Of womanhead neither to variaunce,
That I am bolde & can for nothynge spare,
To you my meaninge platly to declare,
Without deceyte in wordes trewe and playn,
Beseching first to that which I shal sayne,
Without more of your goodly hede,
Beningnely for to taken hede.
And pacyently that to my wordes ye lyste,
And what I saye to take it for the best.
In your entent and nothing you to greue,
For thinges two myne hert sore ameue,
That is to saye loue and gentylnesse,
What that I meane clerely to expresse,
To your person and nothing to concele.
Or we departe by profe as ye shall fele.
For as me semeth first of curtesye,
In sothfastnes and sith of gentrye,
That to straungers euery maner wight,
Is bounde and holde of very due right,
To maken cheare and trewely as for me,
Bycause Iason for that I in you se,
So much manhode & so great worthinesse,
I will not fayne with all my businesse,
To further you in all that may you lyke.
And with that worde of hert she gan to sike,
As for his sake and sayd thus ouermore,
For you I fele full great anoy and sore.
That mened are without auisenesse,
Onely of youth and wilfull hardinesse,
The flese of golde to getten if ye may.
The which emprise who euer that assay,
More perillous is playnly to achieue,
In verye sothe than ye coulde wene or leue.
For doubtles this I do you well assure,
The finall mede of this great auenture.
Is not but deathe saue report of shame.
For there ye wene to getten you a name.
The end playn shall tourne into contrayre,
From the ginning so shall the fine varye.
For wit of man no engine force or might,
Though he be neuer so expert in fight,
Or haue in armes passing exercise,
With all ye sleyghtes of olde or newe emprise,
Or though he be best brethed to endure,
Or what deuise there be of his armure,
Or what so euer wepen that he bringe,
Harded with stele trenchaunt or persing.
Yet at the last whan he hath all sought,
Without me auayle he may right nought.
¶Wherfore Iason I haue compassion,
On this your youthe by pure affection.
That wilfully ye shulden thus be lorne,
That ben of bloode and line so high yborne.
For certaynly it may none other be,
But if that ye your counsayle take of me.
For none but I may do you helpe or ease,
Alas Iason why wyll ye not appease,
Your manly corage in this case yblent,
And to my counsayle bene obedient.
Then durst I swere ye shuld haue victory,
Ben remembred and put in memory,
Perpetually & through your knighthod win,
The flese of golde the which is yonde within,
In the yle that standes here beside.
Of which that Mars is gouernour and gide.
Wherfore at ones in your selfe assente,
And to my counsayle fully do consent,
At fewe wordes if so ye list to spede,
And leue your lust and worketh by my reade.
TO whom Iason with full humble chere,
Answered & sayd mine owne lady deare,
I thanke it you in all my best wise,
Right thus as ferre forthe as I may suffise,
And as my power platly may attayne,
Mine hertes quene and lady soueraine.
Whom ye may hooly I you well ensure,
All the while that this my life may dure.
Trusteth right well me liste not for to fayne.
To liue or dye shall at your lust restrayne,
As him that is your owne assured man,
You to obeye in all that euer I can,
Without chaunge or any doublenesse,
While that I liue in very sothfastnes.
For that you list of trewe affection,
Vpon my life to haue compassion,
Of gentillesse and that ye list to haue,
Suche chierte my body for to saue.
That in good fayth of verye due right,
I am ybounde to be your owne knight:
Vnto mine ende and that more specially,
That of your grace ye so beningnely,
Listeth your selfe of my counsaile be.
That neuer erst to you in no degre.
Ne did seruice to your woman heade.
And with your wordes ful of goodliheade,
[Page]Your owne man listeth recomforte.
The which in sothe so as I can reporte,
A thousande folde be the more plesaunt,
That neuer erst no merite gat him graunt,
Ne no desert request nor prayer,
But rather frely of your herte entere,
Lyst vnrequired on my woo to rewe.
And vndisserued be to me so trewe.
That I ensure vpon my fayth as fast,
In your seruice I shall vnto my laste,
Parseuer sothely that there shalbe no slouth,
Nor variaunce and thereto here my trouthe.
For finally I saye withouten wene,
At fewe wordes in all right as I meane.
Me list not fayne flatter nor delude,
For my beheste with deathe I shall conclude,
When Parcas shall my liues threde do rend,
This all and some and thus I make an ende.
VVell thā quod she ful wisely in your hert,
Ye must afore consydre and aduerte,
The aduenture that ye shall take on hande,
And prudently the perill vnderstande,
And warely cast and haue full well in minde,
The mortall harme at the tayle behinde.
That is well more then it is credible.
For leue me well it is an impossible,
To ginne in honour and also for to fine.
For thilke flese by hye power diuine,
Preserued is and that wyth Marcys mighte,
That who so therfore entreth in to fight,
It were full harde to him thence to eskape.
The fyery flawme when the bulles gape,
That bene of brasse trapped all in leuen
Ben more to dread thē lightening of ye heauē.
Tofore the dint of the great thonder.
That seuered hath full many toure a sunder.
For vnto ashes they will a man consume.
Wherfore I rede that ye not presume,
The Ram to assayle lest ye your laboure lese.
yet to withdraw your foote sith ye may chese,
By good aduise and by discresiowne,
Your honour safe and your hye renowne.
Where so ye list of your worthinesse,
Onely of folye and of hastinesse,
To this emprise of head to procede,
Or where ye list like as I you rede,
Saue your selfe from woo and al mischaūce,
Like as ye shall if to mine ordinaunce,
Ye you commytte and lowely lyste obeye,
Without fraude there is no more to seye.
ANd Iason ther thā sitting at the borde,
Of Medea emprintynge euery worde,
Waxed for Ire almost vnpacient,
And sayd alas and is this your entent,
Me to counceyle to leue this my emprise,
Certes it were to foule a cowardyse,
To gyn thynge that I myght not a chyeue.
For euery man wolde me of shame repreue,
And eke reporte to my confusyon,
That I of pride and of presumption,
Toke this on me whan I was at large,
So hye a thynge and so great a charge,
That I durst not distrustyng of myschyefe,
Accomplyshe it whan it came to the prefe.
Leuer me were myne owne lady dere,
For to ieoparde and to put in were,
My selfe at ones and at wordes fewe,
On smale pyeces to be all to hewe.
Rather than I shulde cowardely forsake,
Thylke empryse that I haue vndertake.
As ye well knowe and leue it thus alas.
Let be your counseyle plainly in this case.
For what so euer happe or falle of me,
Trusteth ryght well it shall none other be.
For if that I shulde of my cowarde harte,
Fro this my purpose by any way diuerte,
Without laude my lyfe I shulde lede,
And shame eternall iustlye by my mede.
Throughout the worlde noted ouer all.
In euery lande spoke of in speciall.
That Iason hath so hyghly vndertake,
Wherof for feare he dare none ende make.
Thynketh ryght well that it shall not betide,
For lyfe or deth what mischiefe I abyde.
And thervpon my trouth I you ensure,
That so ferforth as this my lyfe may endure,
I shall parfourme that I haue nowe begon.
And though so be no honor may be wonne,
But that I muste with my deth it beye,
I wil not leue for bett were me to deye,
Than liue ashamed of cowardise & slouth.
For as me semeth it is to hygh a routhe.
A man tappere or dare do shewe his head,
Whan he hath ones his honour vyllanede.
And after time whan yt his name is slayne.
For euery man shulde coueite rather faine,
[Page]To dye in honour than liue as a wretche.
And though this thinge to my death stretche,
Welcome beit I shall it well abyde,
This all and some what so of me betyde.
IAson quod she than syth it standeth so,
That ye algates desyre to haue a do,
There is no more by ought I can espye,
But ye had leuer shortly for to dye,
Rather than lyue and haue ye saye a shame,
And yet it is an ernest and no game,
With suche monsters vnwarely for to deale.
Lyke as in dede hereafter ye shal feale.
And therfore I am meued of pytee,
And greatly steered that ye of volunte,
Without aduyse or by discresion,
Counsayle or elles deliberation,
Lyst take on you this meruailous voyage.
For both your youth and also your courage,
Gouerned ben chiefely in this matere,
All after luste for both the two I feare,
Inparded ben if ye your purpose sewe.
For impossyble is that ye eschewe,
A sodeyne death for nother free nor bonde,
By crafte of man hath power to withstonde.
¶Wherfore I thinke of herte & good entent,
To cast for you yea yet or ye be shent,
And to your tourne to shape a remedye.
Suche routhe I haue that ye shulden dye,
For to my father whom I loue most,
Rather then ye shulde in this wise be loste,
I shall offende and vtterly displease,
And all my friendes so it may do you ease.
For I shall fynde suche a meane weye,
That at the least I will not se you deye.
For in this case I thinke to be your gyde,
So that for you I shall do sette asyde,
First my discent as of the stocke royall.
¶And ouer more myne heritage withall.
Lykewise my honour shal I put abacke,
You for to helpe that there shalbe no lacke,
Yfounde in me so ye be to me kinde,
And that ye lyste for to haue in mynde,
As I deserue goodly me to quyte.
Consyderyng first that it is nat alite,
To saue your lyue that stant in Ieopardye,
More peryllous than ye can ought espye.
But for all this I shall it so ordeyne,
All by my crafte only atwyxe vs twayne,
That or we parte I hope all shall be well,
Vpon this poynt if so that I may fele,
Faythfully for ioye woo or smarte,
With full accorde of body will and herte,
To my desire that ye condescend.
I vndertake to make therof an ende.
¶This sothly ladye sayde this Iason tho,
I am assented without wordes mo,
For to fulfyll with euery circumstaunce,
What euer thinge may be to you plesaunce.
THan quod she there is no more to saine,
But firste of all wt fayth & herte plaine,
With all your myght and your busy cure,
And meanyng hole that ye do me assure,
Hereafter for to take me for your wyfe,
To holde and kepe by terme of your life.
So that your dede accorde may wt your hest.
This is the fyne and summe of my requeste.
Except only that ye shall ordeyne,
In your repayre to your fathers reigne,
That faithfully ye shall me with you lede,
And after that whan so ye shall succede,
As by his death into your heritage,
With herte aye one and with lyke corage,
Ye shall to me alwayes be founden true,
And cherishe me for chaunge of any newe.
Like mine estate without varyaunce.
And while ye lyue haue in remembraunce,
My gentlenesse in this your great nede.
For there is none aliue that may ought spede
What so he be that lyueth here mortall,
For to assayle the forces marcyall,
Of both the dragon and the bulles yfeare.
But it so be of me that first he lere,
Hooly the manere howe he shall him gye,
Like as to you I thinke to specifye.
Whan so it happeth that we mete againe,
For none but I may helpe herin certayne,
As in this case whiche platly ye shall fynde,
And I naught aske but ye ayene be kynde.
SOthly quod Iason al this shalbe do,
As ye deuyse I will that it be so.
And here my faith theron I you assure,
Oh goodliest of any creature.
That euer yet I sawe vnto my paye.
And fayrest eke in soth it is no naye.
And of bountie ye ben incomparable,
[Page]For of my death ye ben so marciable,
That whyle I lyue I saye you by my fayth,
Myne herte meneth as my tunge sayth.
I wyll be founde your aldertrewest man,
For life or death in all that euer I can.
So that of grace it be to you pleasaunt,
For to perfourme your hestes & your graunt.
And fully worke to my saluation,
As ye haue sayde in full conclusyon.
For truely ye of all that bearen lyfe,
In beaute haue such prerogatife,
Passyng echone me list not for to glose.
Amonges floures as doth the rede rose.
Which in somer amyd the leues soote,
After that Vere hath made out of the roote,
The humidyte kyndly to ascende,
The barrayne soyle to clothe and to amend,
And them whom winters blastes haue shakē bare,
With sote blosmes freshly to repayre
And the medowes of many sundry hewe,
Tapited bene with diuers floures newe,
Of sundry motlees lustly for to sene,
And holsome bawne is shad among ye grene.
¶Ryght as the rose is fayrest of echone,
Ryght so hath nature set you all alone.
When she you made first at her deuise.
Aboue all other for to haue a pryse.
As ye that bene of bounte spring & welle,
Therto in beaute sothly ye excelle,
All that beare life for no comparyson,
Ne may be made so of discrescion,
Ye passen all as euery man may se.
And with all this I finde you vnto me,
The goodlyest that euer yet was borne.
Without whom I were as now but lorne.
Of helpe and succoure fully destitute,
Ne were that I had founde in you refute.
Frō whō al fredom to meward doth haboūd,
So passingly that I am euer bounde,
As ferre forth as my sely life may stretche,
That for your sake of death I ne reche,
If vnto you it might a pleasure bene,
That to my helpe so goodly list to sene.
For if that I of neclygence shuld,
In Any thing refusen that ye would,
I might of reason full well merked be,
And noted eke of wilfull nycetye.
So folylye to voyde away my grace,
It were a rage aman from him to chase,
Wilfull fortune whan she is beninge.
Wherfore as nowe hooly I resigne,
Herte body my lyfe and eke my death,
Into your hande while ye me lasteth breath,
With all the othes that I affirme may,
For to parseuer to mine endinge daye,
Your trewe spouse as I haue sayd & sworne.
And you behested playnly here toforne.
And there vpon in euery thinge obeye,
That may you please till such time as I deye.
This all & some what shuld I longer tarye,
From this behest I shall me neuer varye.
¶Thus whan Medea sawe his stedfastnes,
She was supprised with so hye gladnesse,
With so great ioye pleynly in her herte,
That she was voyde of euery wo and smert,
For he so lowly to her lust obeyd.
That or she went thus to him she seyde.
¶Iason quod she than shall I well ordayne,
A meane waye wherby we both twayne,
May eft agayne at leysure mete sone.
For to perfourme all that is to done.
In this matterlike to our entent.
Where shall be made a finall sacrament,
Of our desire that no man shall vnbinde.
Though nowe therto we may no leisure fīde.
And that toward eue it shall not me eskape.
Trust me right well a time for to shape,
Right secretly that we may mete yfeare.
For I shall sende a priuy chambre,
To you of mine which shall you do conuye,
Vnto my chaumbre by a priue wey.
A certayne houre withouten any fable,
To our entent that shalbe most greable.
Vpon the point when Phebus wt his light,
Ywestred is and eke the dercke night,
Hath wt his dimmesse of his shadowes black,
Our Hemisperye fully ouertake,
That oft giueth by fauoure of fortune,
Vnto theise louers a leysour opportune.
For to perfourme their lustes and achieue.
And right anone as it shall drawe to eue,
I shall for you vnto my closet send,
Of euery thinge there for to make an ende.
Where we togither shall at leysur speake,
Euerich with other and our hertes breake.
And eft declare the summe of all our will,
And when we haue spoken all our fill,
By good leysur I fully you byhete,
[Page]We shall ordeyne whan so vs lust to mete,
To set a time who euer that say nay,
Alway by nyght whan passed is the day.
For myghty Ioue as wysely me succour,
As hence forth I wyll be hooly your,
Whyle that I lyue both wakyng & a slepe,
If it so be that ye your hestes kepe.
TO whom Iason lowly gan enclyne,
And sayd as far as man may ymagine,
Or any wight may clearly comprehende.
I wyll to you vnto my liues ende,
As seruaunt trewe faythfully me quyte.
And though that I can not saye but lyte,
My fayth to you shalbe nerthelesse.
And though I can not paynt nor compasse,
No gay processe my soueraigne hertes quene,
Tyll I be dead I shall but trewly meane.
Haue here my trouth whyle I haue lyfe and mind,
As in the end ye shall hereafter finde.
And of theyr speche an ende thus they make,
And Medea shope her for to take,
Her leue anone amonges all the prese,
First of her father syth of Hercules.
No longer bode but forthwith that anone,
In haste she is vnto her chambre gone.
Where vp and downe she made many went,
None of her meine wetyng what she ment.
Casting wayes her purpose to achieue,
And in her wittes gan busyly to meue,
As she thus rometh in her habytacle,
On any side if let were or obstacle,
Or other thinge which would her sore greue,
This was her study till it drewe to eue.
Where I her leue complaining in her wo,
With many a thought walking to and fro.
¶The midday hour is gone and ouerslide,
Tytan so fast doth in his chayre ryde.
The daies arke from east to west compassed,
His fyry stedes haue almost ouer passed,
Our orizonte and drowen downe ful lowe,
His golden waine that no man might know,
Where as he hidde his fyery beames bright,
In his discence full farre out of our syght.
And Hirenes with her copes myrke,
The euening begon for to dirke.
In the Twylight when the day gan faide
And Hesperus with her beames glade,
That ben so freshe so lusty and so merye,
Gan recomforte all our Hemisperye.
¶Whan thus Medea by her selfe alone,
Of hyghe desyre gan to make her mone,
That she so longe abode after her knyght.
Alwaye accountyng the houres of the nyght,
So full of trouble and of busye thought,
Which hath full streitly serched out & sought,
A ready waye wel setting her purpose,
Albe that she kept it in full close,
Amyd her herte quapping as a wawe,
For dreade and feare tyll hope gan adawe,
And bad she shuld be ryght mery and glad.
Tyll dreade agayne it made sobre & sadde.
Lest her desyre troubled were or let,
And thus she was at abay yset.
Amyd hope and fearfull dreade also.
That she ne wyst what was best to do.
¶For her desyre and hygh affection,
So hoote they brent in her opynyon,
Of lust she had to mete with this Iason,
And there agaynst dreade come in anone,
And made her fearfull lest she were espyed.
But all her ill was holpe and remedyed,
Onely by fortune and the derke night.
By whych she was made full glad and lyght,
For recomforted onely those two.
And with good hope that made her glad also.
She gan anone to casten and deuyse,
When that the moone on heauē would aryse.
And whan that she with her hornes pale,
Wolde shed her lyght vpon the hylle & vale,
She gan acounte and caste well the tyme,
And founde a quarter passed after pryme.
As she that was well knowyng in that arte,
And sawe in soth that the fourth part.
Of the mone was shadde with newe lyght,
And passed was in her course aryght,
After the tyme of coniunction,
Three sygnes full by computacion.
And dayes seuen complete were of her age.
¶At which time she brennyng in her rage,
As one through darted with cupides arowe,
Gan for to loke and beholde narowe,
At euery dore and listen busely,
If any wyght that she myght espye,
Of all the courte other walke or go.
Or any man romyn to or fro.
So sore she dradde goynge vp and downe,
Whan so she herde noyse or any sowne.
[Page]Or whā she heareth whisperyng any where,
It was venim sothly in her ere.
She wished all had slept fast a bed.
This pytyous lyfe the longe nyght she led.
wtout respite though no wyght coude knowe,
Till hye mydnyght that the cockes crowe,
At whych tyme whan al was bushte & styl,
For taccomplyshe the remnaūt of her wyll,
And euery where made was sylence,
She cleped anone vnto her presence,
And aged vecke fer in yeares yronne,
That in such crafte so mikle helpe kon.
Thriftly to bryng this thing about,
For they afore can casten euery doubte.
¶Of yeares passed olde experyence,
Hath gyue to theim so passyng hye prudence,
That they in loue all the sleyghtes knowe,
And she was made as dogge for the bowe,
To whom Medea discureth al her thoughte,
Fro poīt to poīt & hath forgat righte nought,
And charged her in release of her smerte,
And recomforte of this her troubled herte.
To haste her anone vpon her waye,
Vnto her chambre Iason to conuaye,
And she anone not rekles in that case,
Is gone for hym forthe an easy pase,
As she that was of newe not to lere,
And hath him brought as ye shal after heare.
VVhā that the cock comon Astrologere,
The midnight hour wt his voyce clere,
Began to sowne and did his busy payne,
To beate his breste with his wynges twayne.
And of the time a mynute wyll not pace,
To warne them that weren in the place,
Of the tides and season of the night.
Medea to awayte vpon her knight,
Full ready was the entre for to kepe.
As she that lyst full lytell for to slepe.
For that ne was no parcell of her thought.
And whā Iasō was to his chambre brought,
Without espying of any maner wight,
Than she anone conueyeth hym full ryght,
Into her closet in all the haste she maye.
Full well besene with great and ryche araye.
Where by her syde she made him take his see.
And first of al this ylke lease of thre,
By her that most expert was in this case,
All sodeynly was tourned to a brase.
For the olde vecke to stare vpon the mone.
Is walked out and hath theym left alone.
And when Medea the dores had fast shet,
By Iason downe anone she hath her set.
But first I finde with all her busy might,
About the chambre that she set vp light,
Torches of great and cyerges ful royall,
Aboute on pyllers and on euery wall.
Whych gaue a lyghte like ye sonne shene.
And to a cheste wrought of crystall clene,
Firste of all she taketh her passage.
Out of the whych she toke a ryche image,
Of pure golde full lusty to beholde,
That by theyr custome of the rytes olde,
To myghty Ioue eterne and increat,
Yhalowed was and also consecrat.
The whych Image deuoutly as she ought,
With humble hert to Iason first she brought.
And made him lowly theron take his othe,
Vnto his last other for lyef or lothe,
That he her shuld take vnto his wyfe.
Fro that daye forthe duryng all his life.
With herte vnfayned and fayth inuyolate,
And cheryshe her lyke to her estate.
Fro till that tyme I finde how that she,
Had euer floured in vyrgynitye.
And as myne Auctour well reherse can,
Aye kept her cleane from touche of any man.
In thought and dede and neuer did amys.
For she of herte all hooly gyuen is,
Vnto Iason and that for euer mo,
And he anone hath put his hande vnto.
And swore fully as ye haue heard me saye,
All her requestes without more delaye,
To kepe thē aye while that his life may laste.
But oh alas how soone he ouercast,
His hest his fayth wt which he was assured,
And had his fraude with flatterye y [...]ured.
So couertly that both her innocence,
Her trewe meanyng and her diligence,
And all that euer she deuyse can:
Deceyued was by falshed of this man.
And though ye trouth apparent was aboue,
Yet doublenesse so slyghly was in shoue,
As though he had sothely be allyed,
With trewe meaning so yt nothinge espyed,
Vnder fayre chere was faining and fallaces,
for what might she haue wrought more ī this case.
Thā for thy sake ceptre & regallye,
[Page]And all the lordes eke of her alie,
Forsoke at ones and toke of them no hede,
And of pitye and of very goodly hede,
Loste her friendes and her good fame,
Only Iason to saue the this fro shame.
And yet moreouer forsoke her heritage,
She that was borne of so hye parage,
And shulde haue be by succession,
Heyre by dissent of that Region.
But womanly for she wolde her quite,
Of all yfeare she hath not set a mite.
But in one houre all she hath forsake,
And vnto the she hath her holy take,
Only for trust thou shouldest haue be kynde.
Riches and honour she hath ylefte beynde.
And in exyle hath chose with the to gone,
From all her kynne this sely mayde alone.
¶Alas I wepe for thyne vnkyndenesse,
What hath she not fro death and fro distresse,
Preserued the? and yet thou takest none hede
That shuld haue died ne had she be thy read.
Of thy conquest she was the very cause,
That I may not shortly in a clause,
Write her bountie nor briefly comprehende,
Effectually perfourmed to the ende.
At wordes fewe ne may it not be tolde.
Thrugh whom yu hast the riche flese of golde,
Manly conquered which withouten doubte,
Vnlikely was that to haue brought about.
For whan thou were of helpe tho destitute,
She was thine only comforte and refute.
And with all this thou maiest it not denye,
All erthly honour how she gan defye,
The to conserue out of all heuinesse.
And eke her father hath of his richesse,
So enpeyred that pitie is to here.
By whose example women may well lere.
How they shuld faith or trusten on any man.
Alas Medea that so mykle can,
Both of sterres and of astronemye,
Yet sawe she not afore her destinye.
Loue hath her put so out of gouernayle.
That al her crafte ne myght her not auayle.
She was to slowe by calculation,
To caste afore the constellation,
Of her birthe and eke her wofull fate.
For rekleshed she sawe it all to late.
But I suppose her connyng was fallyble,
And doubtles as me semeth incredible.
For if she had wiste of it toforne,
So piteously she had not now be lorne.
As ye shall se hereafter hastely.
So as the story teacheth by and by.
How it befell of Iason and Medee,
But fyrst ye shall the maner holly see,
How she gan wirche for after he was swore,
The same night alas she hath forbore,
Her maydenhead and that was great pitie.
And yet she mente naught elles but honestye,
As I suppose she went haue be his wyfe,
But touchyng that I holde as now no strife,
And yet one thing I dare afyrme and sayne,
That both so the meaning of these twayne,
Ne was not one but wonder fer atwene.
For all that she truely gan to meane,
Of honeste thynkyng no outrage,
Like as a maide all innocent of age,
He to perfourme his fleshly false delight,
And to acheue his fylthy appetite,
Wrought euery thing to her entent contraire.
Alas that she was tho so debonaire,
As for to truste vpon his curtesye.
Or to acquite her of her gentery,
So hastely to rewe vpon his smarte.
But women ben so pytefull of herte,
That they wyll gladly shewen petie all.
When in mishappe they se a man is fall.
And saue his lyfe rather than he shoulde dye.
And so Medea shortly for to seye,
Castyng no peryll after that shall fall,
But his desyres and his lustes all,
Holy obeyeth with all her full might.
And that so longe almoste that the night,
Hath his course rounde about gone.
At whiche tyme thus spake to her Iason,
And lowly sayde my lady it is time,
That we aryse for soone it wyll be pryme.
Ye may see well the day beginneth to springe.
For we may here howe the byrdes synge,
Prayinge to you in all my beste wyse,
How I shall worke that ye lyste deuyse.
And ceriously in euery thyng dispose,
I you beseche o goodly freshe rose.
Myne enterpryse to bring vnto an ende.
And than at erst fro hense will I wynde.
Saue that I thincke first with you to treate,
In what maner ye shall this countrey lete.
And into Grece repaire agayne with me.
[Page]Whiche is a lande of great felicitie.
For trusteth wel and be nothyng adrede,
Into that reygne with me I shall you lede.
After my conquest if so be that I wynne.
Wherfore I pray you goodly to begynne.
How I shall worke in all the hast we may,
For in good fayth anone it wil be daye.
¶To whom she spake saying as ye shal here,
Myn owne Iason and vnto me more deare,
Than is my selfe as in conclusyon.
I am assented with ful affection,
Of all my wittes and with my hole herte,
You to enfourme how ye shall asterte.
Euery daunger of that lytell yle,
If it so be ye lyst bide a whyle.
And vp she rose in all the haste she maye,
And to a cofer where her treasour laye,
She wēt anone and brought him in her hōde,
A ryche ymage of syluer that she fonde.
Which sothely was of meruaylous entayle.
Whose power was and vertue to auayle,
Effectually to her both entent,
Agayne all magik and enchauntement.
And to with syt the force of Sorcerye.
For it was made so by Astronomye.
In houre chosen equat for the nones,
By clerkes olde that full long agone is.
Whilom whā they were flouring ī their ages,
That they vsed to make such ymages,
As did the kyng called Thelomee,
And so to Iason wylled hath Medee,
To beare this ymage on hym pryuely.
As ye haue herd to worke effectually,
In euery thynge as she dyd assygne,
And then she toke to hym a medycine,
Made as in maner of an oyntment,
Hym to enoynt that he be not brent.
That was more riche & precious thā bawme
Agayne the malyce of eche fire and flawme.
And after that she toke to hym anone,
A ryche rynge wherin was set a stone,
That vertue had all venym to destroye.
That on no syde it myght hym not anoye.
The which stone had furthermore this might
That yf a man coude it beare aright.
Within his hand next the skyn enclosed,
The strength of syght shuld be deposed,
Of theim that would gasen or beholde.
For who so euer in his hand it holde,
By such vertue as was infallyble,
The storye sayeth he was inuysible.
The which stone these prudent clerkes call.
Achates most vertuous of all.
And it is founde sothly in Cecile.
Of which stone whylom wrote Virgyll,
Now that Venus it to Eneas sente,
First whan that he into Cartage went.
¶And after this she to Iason toke,
A certayne byll wrytten lyke a boke.
That to his Iourney myght much auayle.
And bad him wysely that he not ne fayle,
If he bethought him graciously to spede,
First of all the scripture that he rede,
Or he the Ram touche in any wyse.
Him charging eke afore this hye empryse,
With humble hert and great deuocion,
That he knelyng saye that oryson,
That vp and downe was wrytten on the bill.
Praying the goddes lowely to fulfyll,
His request and mercy for to haue,
Of very pitye from mischiefe him to saue.
And after that for his chiefe socoure,
She toke to hym a vyoll with lycoure,
And bad him manly without feare or drede,
When that he come vnto the bulles reade,
If he hym cast knightly to escape,
That as fast as he seeth theim gape.
Into theyr golles that he the lycour caste.
Than hym nede but lytel of theim gaste,
For theyr iawes togither it shall glyewe,
That on no syde they shall not eschewe,
To bide his lust in what hym lyst constreyne.
For doubtles maugre al theyr busye peyne,
He shall theim daunte & therwt make so tame.
That where hym list in earnest or in game,
He myght theym make louten and encline.
And do theym bowen both in backe & chyne,
The lycour shall theyr iawes so coharte,
That lyghtly they shall not a sundre parte.
For to offende or noyen any wight.
And whē she had thus sayd vnto her knight,
In euery thynge and gyue instruction.
Playn doctrine and informacyon,
How he shall scape the daungers by and by,
If he take hede and worke auysely.
¶And thus agreyd they thought it for ye best,
For to parte or men out of theyr rest,
Awaked were for it drewe towardes daye.
[Page]As they well sawe by the morowe graye,
And lest men had to theym suspiciō,
Of hye prudence and discrecion,
Atwene the twelight and the rody morowe.
They toke theyr leue wt saint Iohn ye borow.
With oft kyssyng as louers whē they twinne.
And so he went and she is left within.
Beyng in hope to mete agayn some daye,
And Iason than as fast as euer he maye,
Gan ordayne him his Iourney to achieue,
And thought he would anō go take his leue,
And in that wyse wtin a litel whyle,
After the maner of my rude style,
My purpose is sothly and not to spare,
With your supporte playnly to declare.
VVhan that the rowes & the rayes rede,
Estward to vs full early gonnen sprede,
Euen at the twelyght in the dawnynge,
When that the larke of custome gynneth sing,
For to salue in her heauenly laye,
The lusty goddesse of the morowe graye.
I meane Aurora which afore the sonne,
Is wonte tench [...]se the blacke skyes donne,
And the derkenesse of the dymmy night.
And freshe Phebus with cōforte of his light,
And with the brightnes of his beames shene,
Had ouergylt the hye hylles grene.
And floures eke agayn the morowe tyde,
Vpō their stalkes gā playn theyr leues wide.
Whan that Iason with all his companye,
Toward the kynge full fast gan hym hye.
Whom than he fonde lyke to his estate,
With sceptre in hādeful pompous and elate.
Hye in the see of his regally,
Sittyng full kyngly amid his cheualrye,
And his lordes about him enuiron.
¶At why [...]he tyme this yonge champion,
Vnder a vowe standing of the Ram.
With sterne face tofore the kyng in cam.
Besechyng hym of his magnificence,
The same day to graunt him lycence,
To do hys armes and make no mo delayes.
Concluding playnly that at all assayes,
He will that daye in the felde be found.
For to achieue lyke as he was bound,
Of olde behest and not a poynt declyne.
For life nor death till he parfourme and fine.
Holy the auntres that to the flese belonge,
The kynge requyryng no lōger him prolōge,
But goodly graūt the fine of his empryse.
And than the kynge in ful sobre wyse,
Consydering the summe of his demaunde,
To Iason spoke & sayd he shall commaūd,
That his request perfourmed were in hast.
Albe quod he I am ful sore agast,
Of wylfulnesse thou shulde destroyed be,
Lest men thy death arected vnto me.
And therupon would a blame set,
Of royall power that I not ne let,
Thy manly youth from such Ieopardy
Which were in sothe a great vylany,
And preiudice to my estate and name.
That afterward men should put me ī blame,
Through false reporte & wrong opynyon.
That I withstode not thy destruction.
¶Wherfore I rede that yu be yet bet auysed,
And my counsayle let not be dispysed.
For better it is with honoure in certayne,
Into thy country to repayre againe,
Than wilfully for to take on hande,
A mortall thyng that no man may withstād.
That is my rede and fully myn aduise.
Take hede therto syth ye aren wyse.
Lest thou repent when it is to late,
And yf so be that thou wilt algate.
Thy purpose holde and not do as I rede,
Almyghty Mars I praye to be thy spede.
The for to gyde whatsoeuer shal befall,
And eke I praye to the goddes all,
Safe and sound thy body to restore,
This all & some on me thou gettest no more.
¶And whan Iason thus had herd the kyng,
Not dismayed nor stoned in no thyng,
In knyghtly wise did him reuerence.
Thankyng highly his royall excellence,
That of his grace and beningnytye,
Vpon his death hym lyst to haue pytye.
Fully concluding touchyng his battayle
That nother rede nor other counsayle,
In no wyse his purpose should withdrawe.
But lyke the statute playnly and the lawe,
Right so far forth as fortune wyll hym eure,
What so besyde of this his auenture,
Settyng asyde euery feare and drede,
He platly sayd that he wyll procede,
For to parfourme that he hath vndertake.
It were in ydle mo skylles for to make.
[Page]Or to allege more there againe.
And Iason than full openly and plaine,
Touching ye surplus of this dredfull thing,
At his departyng thus sayd to the kyng.
In audience tho of his lordes all.
What so of me hereafter now be fall,
Or who so euer of malys theron muse,
To all the worlde fyrst I you excuse.
And to the goddes platly you acquyte.
That though I deye ye be nothyng to wyte.
Ne no man shall arecte it you of skylle,
For that I worke is freely at my wyll.
Agayne the aduice of your hye prudence,
And lyfe or death here in your presence,
Hooly of herte and neuer for to flytte,
Vnto the goddes and fortune I commytte.
So as them lyst for me to ordayne.
Againe whose wyll I shall neuer plaine.
Nor them nor you ne shall put in no blame,
What so betide honour, ioye, or shame.
And of this thyng thus an ende I make,
And for this tyme of you my leue I take.
And of all tho that you about stande.
And one by one he toke them by the hande.
And in what wyse forth he gan hym dresse,
To you anone I thyncke it to expresse.
VVhan that Titan had wt his feruēt hete
Drawen vp the dewe fro the leues wete,
Towarde myd morowe as I can diffine,
Vpon the houre whan the clocke is nine.
Iason full manly and full like a knight,
Armed in stele of cherefull glad and lyght,
Gan dresse hym forth what hap that euer fal.
And sayd a dieu vnto his feres all.
He in the boote and they vpon the stronde,
And all a lone whan he came to londe,
And in the water had his vessell lafte,
He fyrst of all remembryng on the crafte,
Of Medea with all the circumstaunces,
And how he shulde kepe his obseruaunces,
In euery thing and had it well in mynde.
And than anone full manly as I fynde,
He shope him forth and went a knyghtly pase
Toward the bulles that forged wer of brase.
But at the point whan he his iourney gan,
For him Medea wexed full pale and wan.
So sore agast that nothing might her glade.
A ruthe it was to see what wo she made.
For so her teares on her chekes twayne,
Full pyteously gan to destylle and rayne,
That all fordewed were her wedes blake.
And aye this sorowe she made for his sake.
Lyke a woman fearefull and in doubte,
While he his armes ful māly brought about.
To sobbe and syghe she can not be in a peace,
Lest he for hast were ought rekles.
Fro point to point to do as she him bad,
This was the life that she hath for hym lad.
¶And for to se how he shulde him defende,
She gan anone by greces to assende,
Of a Touret in to an hye pynacle.
Where as she myght haue tho none obstacle,
Nor lettyng nother for to haue a syghte.
Of hym that was her owne chosen knight.
And euer amonge with wordes out she brake
And stoundemell thus to her selfe she spake.
¶O thou Iason my souerayne hertes heale,
If thou ought knew what wo for the I fele,
Sothly I trowe it shulde the not asterte,
For to be trewe with all thy hole herte.
And god I praye this iourney at the leste,
May this tyme tournen for the best.
And kepe ye saulfe & sounde in euery membre,
And yefe the might fully to remembre,
As I the taught and in the same fourme,
Euery thynge fully to perfourme.
Only this day thine honour to anaunce.
Which for to se were all my hole pleasaunce.
For certes Iason if the fylle ought amisse,
Fare well my helth and all my worldly blisse.
And fare well than my mirthe and my solace,
And my welfare, my fortune, and my grace,
And all at ones my hartes suffisaunce.
¶Lo this for him was her gouernaunce.
First fro ye time that he the lande hath nome.
And first of all whan he was thether come,
Where as the bulles fell and dispiteous,
Out caste their fyre and flawme furious,
Fro out their mouthes wonder large & huge,
Againe the whiche for his chiefe refuge,
Hym for to saue that he were not brent,
He was enoynted with an oyntement,
On his body that kept him from damage.
Of thilke fyre that was so full of rage.
And the smokes darke and full horrible.
Whiche to escape was almoste impossyble,
For any man of what estate he be,
[Page]Without comforte and counsayle of Medee.
By whose doctryne Iason can so worke,
That he is scaped from the mistes darke.
Of the syre with the blases blake.
That all the eyre so cloudy hath do make.
She had hym made so discrete and sage.
By vertue onely of thilke same ymage.
Whych that he about his necke bare,
Wherby he was so prudent and so ware,
That when ye bulles haue most feersly gaped
He hath theyr malyce so auysedly scaped.
For the enfection of theyr troubled eyre
He hath vanquished and was in no dispeire.
For in effect agayne the foule fume,
That would a man vnto the death consume,
The ymage was a ful preseruatyfe.
Him to diffend and to saue his lyfe.
And more surely to kepe him out of drede,
Ful ofte sythe the wrytte he did rede.
For the vertue of thilke same oryson,
Was vnto hym a full protection.
That he not fell therby in no distresse.
And after that for rather sykernesse,
Him to preserue in this his mortall case.
He toke the lycoure that in the vyall was,
And therwithall full lyke a manly man,
That all at ones he toke the bulles than.
And nought forgat so warely it to cast,
That therwtal theyr iawes were closed fast.
And by the vertue so mightely englued,
That he ther through hath vtterly eschewed,
The hole enfection of the smoky leuen.
And whē the eyre gan clere and al ye heauen,
And that ye mystes were wasted him toforne,
With māly hert he raught hath by the horne,
The sterne bulles and by his vyolence,
He drew them forth in whom was no defēce.
And yo [...]keth them so as the maner was,
And with the plough he made them go a pase.
Now vp now down and so to eare the londe,
And at his lyst so buxom he them fonde,
That the soyle smothe bare and playn,
They redy made to bearen any grayne.
And on renges it tourned vp so downe.
For tho in theym was no rebellyowne.
But humble meke and redy at his will,
All his desyres playnly to fulfyll.
¶And Iason than lyke a champyon,
Gan him enhaste towardes the dragon,
That was a beast ryght great & mōstruous,
Foule and horrible and deadly venimous,
And was armed in scales large and thicke,
Of whom the breath more perillous & wicke,
Was then the eayre of any pestylence.
His venim was of such a vyolence,
That it full deadly was and eke mortall,
And at his throte there issued out with al,
A flawme of fyre as of a fournes mouthe,
Or lyke the leuen that downe by the south,
Out of the East is wont in tempest smite.
Right so this dragon sothely for to wite,
Out at his mouth had a flawme blased.
Wherof Iason a lytell first amased,
Was in his hert of that dreadfull thynge.
But whā that he remembred on his ringe,
All feare and dread was layd asyde and gone,
For in that ringe there was set a stone,
Ful ryche noble and right vertuous.
Of whych as teacheth great Ysydorus.
And in mine Auctour also as I finde,
Most comenly cometh out of ynde.
And must be kept chaste and wonder cleane,
And of colour surmounteth euery grene.
Whose vertue is all venym to destroye.
And to withstand that it may not anoye.
Of dragon serpent of adder and of snake.
And specyally if so that it betake,
And be yholden in the opposyte,
Of any worme euen agayn the syte,
Without abode in sothe he may not chese,
Of his venym the force must he lese.
How stronge it be or vyolent of rage,
But to the stone it doth ful great damage.
For whan he hath his vertue do as blyue,
On peces smale it gynneth all to ryue.
And in it selfe abydeth whole no whyle,
For in the land that called is Cecyle.
There is a worme yt Bufo beareth ye name.
And when men of malice make him tame,
And his venym vtterly expresse,
They take a quil mine Auctour beareth wit­nesse,
Whā they wyll worke or a large can,
And in the ende this stone they set than,
And line right agayne the wormes heade,
They holden it tyll that he be deade.
For that is sothly his vertue of nature.
That no venim last may nor endure,
In the presence of this ryche stone.
[Page]And as I finde this Bufo ryght anone,
Through myght therof brusteth euē a twain,
Onely by kynde that no mā may restrayne.
For the goddesse that called is Nature,
Whych next her lorde al thyng in cure,
Hath vertue gyue to herbe gras and stone,
Whych no man knoweth but her selfe alone.
The causes hyd be closed in her hande.
That wyt of man can not vnderstande,
Openly the myght of her workyng.
And so Iason by vertue of this rynge,
And through his ston yt might hī most auaūce
Hath the dragon brought to vttraunce,
In whom he fonde no maner resystence.
Hym to wythstand force nor diffence.
Neyther by venym nor none other stryfe,
Wherfore he hath beraft him of his lyfe.
In manly wise and in the fielde outrayed,
And Iason then full glad and well apayed,
Hath wt his sword spēt on him many a stroke.
And layde on hym as men newe on an oke.
His bryght skales were so hard and dure.
That well vnneth he ne might endure.
Hym to dysmembre and smite of his head.
And then anone in the stede of sede,
He gan his tethe out of his head arace,
And right forth with in the selfe place,
He gan them sowe right as men do corne.
Vpon the land that eared was aforne.
Of whych fede there sprāge a wonder grayn,
Bright armed knyghtes standing on ye playn.
The which anone wt sharpe swerdes groūde,
Eueriche gan other for to hurt and wounde.
Tyll eche his felowe hath cruelly yslawe.
This of theyr fate was the fynal lawe.
That none of theim shuld by vyctorye,
The death reioyce of other by memorye.
For all yfeare thus haue they made an ende.
And after this Iason gan to wende,
Vnto the Ram with all his dylygence.
In which he fonde no power nor defence.
No maner stryfe nor rebellyowne,
And mightely the Ram he draweth downe.
And set an hand vpon eueryche horne,
And slewe it first and than he hath it shorne.
Out of his flese of golde so passyng ryche.
That in this world ther was no treasour lich
And after that he maketh no delay,
To take his boote in all the hast he may.
And roweth forthe into that other yle,
Where Hercules all the meane whyle,
Vpon the bryncke with many other mo,
Abode Iason till he had ydo.
And euerychone I finde that as blyue,
Onely for ioye when he did aryue,
They gan to thanke to theyr goddes all.
So gracyously that it hath yfall.
And that the flese he hath so knyghtlye wōne,
That shone as cleare as the somer sonne.
Which that he brought with hym vnto lōde,
His feares all abydyng on the stronde.
ANd whan Apollo of his dayes arke,
Had in ye west almost yronne his marke,
And fast gan downward drawen & declyne,
And on the wawes full watry gan to shine,
Yet or that he was passed the Occian,
Iason is come with many a manly man,
Of his coferes in presence of the kinge.
As he that had acheued euery thynge,
Which that longeth to conquest of the Ram.
And than Oetes as soone as euer he cam,
To make hym chere outward hath hī pained.
Albe in herte sothely it was but fayned.
For he full sory was withouten dread.
Of the exployte and of the happye spede,
Of this Iason that he the flese hathe wonne.
But lyke in sothe as the feyners koune,
When that theim lyst craftely compace,
To shewe outward a faythful meanyng face,
Albe the venym closed hole within,
As in meaning there was no maner syn.
Ryght so the kyng wyth loke & forhead clere,
Made vnto Iason outward right good chere
And gan to hym to speake in wordes fewe,
Of frendly head and many sygnes shewe,
As though his conquest hole and euery dele,
From poīt to point did like him wonder well.
And be full glad that he was so fortuned.
Vnto the ende that he hath so contuned.
And ioyeth both in speche and countenaunce,
That fortune lyst so far forthe him auaunce.
And to his paleys gan him fayre conueye,
And daye by daye ful rychely him festeye.
Albe that it was nothing done of herte.
For this no les he felt full great smerte,
That of his treasour he was despoyled so,
And that he hath the ryche flese forgo.
[Page]To his domage and his confusyon.
And thus there was a great dyuysyon,
Atwirt his chere & meanyng of his thoughte.
Oft as it fareth if yt be dewlye sought.
That many man in meanyng false & double,
Can with the calme couer so the trouble,
Of hyghe malyce hyd in his desyre,
And rake falsly the wycked couert fire,
Ful hote brennynge inwarde of enuye,
So wel were hym that cowd theim out espye.
And knewe theyr meanynge false & fraudelēt
Where through alas ful many an innocent,
Deceiued is that wote not what they meane,
And namely suche that not but trouthe wene.
And euery cheare that men to theim make,
Of innocence they for the best take.
And in no wyse thynke not but well,
Ryght so certayne this Iason euery dell,
Hath take in gre what ye kyng hath wrought.
Not aduertyng ye grutchyng of his thoughte.
For doubtles tho it sat the king full sore.
That he the Ram hath lost for euermore.
But when that he hath vtterly ysayne,
Thoughe he still grutche that therin was no gayne.
But fynally as of necessety,
As at that tyme it might none other be.
And playnly sawe that he may not chese,
But that algate the flese he must lese,
Whether it were that he were lyef or lothe,
He fayneth chere as though he wer not wroth
For onely he as of his gentilnesse,
No signe outward of grutching doth expresse.
But daye by daye of verye curtesye,
He cheareth Iason and his companye.
At whych tyme aboute enuirowne,
From euery partye of his regyowne,
The people came to staren and to gase,
Vpon the Ram as it were on a mase.
They loke wonder and deme what thē lyst.
On whose domes is but lytell tryst.
They oft varie and tourne to and fro,
That who that wysely taketh hede therto,
The comon people chaungeth as a phane.
To day they wexe & to morow do they wane
As doth the mone they be so flaskesable.
Who trusteth thē shall finde thē full vnstable.
For some were glad that Iason sped so wel,
And some sory and lyke it neuer adell.
Some other sayd they wōder how he myght,
Agayne the dragon or the bulles fyght.
Or how that he agaynst the force of Marte,
Out of the yle alyue might astert.
Some other sayde that perauenture,
By craft was wrought all this dyscomfeture.
Other by charme or some sorcerye,
Thus eche of them after theyr fantesye,
Gan deme of hym all the longe daye.
But at the last bout makyng of delay.
Ful glad and lyght Medea downe descēdeth,
From her chambre & outwardly pretendethe.
Sadnes of chere as she nothīg ne knewe.
For nought could men cōceiue as by her hew,
Her secret meaning so hath she womanly,
Demened her and eke so prudently.
That she auoyded by discrescion,
All fantesye and all suspection.
That no man coude as of her working deme,
Nothyng but well for as it shuld seme,
By porte and cheare there was no cause whi.
And so by processe drewe her pryuely,
Towarde Iason for she was not to lere,
And secretly she bad him in his ere,
In any wyse that he not ne leue,
To her chambre for to come at eue.
For matter they hadden for to treat.
Which he shal knowe at leisur whē they mete.
And so anone when entred was the night,
Sole by hym selfe without torche or lyght,
To Medea he hath the waye take.
And she abode sleples for his sake.
Wonder deuoutly desyryng as I gesse,
With him to treate of some holynesse,
Touching matters of contemplacion.
For she was smitte with such deuocion,
Of freshe Venus to holde a memorye,
With him alone in her oratorye,
Not openly as ypocrytes praye.
In dyuers angels ioyning on the waye.
Of the people for to be commended,
But they haue not the night so dispended.
For vayne glorye nor none other laude,
But by them selfe thynkyng on no fraude,
Secretly this ilke twayn alone.
Without light of eyther sonne or mone.
The long nyght haue led wythout rest,
For as them thought it was not for the beste.
To speake of slepe till that it was pryme.
For they them cast to lese as tho no time.
[Page]And thus the nyght together they dispende,
That I am dull for to comprehende,
The obseruaunces of such relygyous,
Prolyx in workyng or compēdyous,
Demeth your selfe ye get no more of me.
For well ye wote in euery faculte,
Who so hath knowyng and experyence,
Men wyll to hym rather gyue credence.
Wherfore I saye ye that be wyse and can,
Are not me whych am so rude a man,
To deme a thyng and namely when that it,
Passeth my knowing also and my wyt.
Fordulled is myne imagynatyfe,
To deme in practike or in speculatyfe,
Wherfore I passe and let it ouer slide.
And forthe I thynke if ye list abide,
Playnly to tell of Iason and Medee.
The whych accorded and assented be,
That she with him should into Grece wēde,
When that he goeth shortly this the ende.
Vnwyst her father and euery other wyght.
Saue he alone that hath his trouth plyght,
For to be trewe both in well and wo,
Vnto his last to her and to no mo.

¶How Iason after this conquest with Me­dea and felowshyppe retourned agayne into Thesalye. Cap. vii.

ANd whan Iason after his Iournee,
Full rychely lyke vnto his degree,
Refreshed was in Colchos of the kynge,
Withall that might be to his lykynge,
And a moneth passed was and gone,
He with his Grekes assented into one,
Purposed hath shortly yf he might,
With Medea to stele away by nyght.
Takyng wt hym great treasour & ye rych flese,
With ful assent also of Hercules.
¶But O Medea thou hastest all to fast,
Thou were to slawe wysely for to cast,
What shuld befall when yu thy iourney toke.
For how that he in mischiefe the forsoke,
And how that he was false and eke vnkinde,
For all his othes to the wherof I fynde,
And how that thou both at eue & morowe,
Thy fatall chaunce and thy pyteous sorowe,
By weptest after and gan thy selfe to rende,
Tyll death of all made a wofull ende,
It were but vaine to maken rehersayle.
I wote nothynge howe it might auaile.
Nor howe Iason vnkynde for the nones,
Receyued hath penam tallionis,
Of the goddes for his disnaturelnesse.
For he in mischiefe and in wretchednesse,
Made eke an ende, though the cruell hate,
Of felle Mars loo here the mortall fate,
Of these twayne that made their ende so.
But I suppose lyke as writeth Guydo,
For their gynnynge was not vertuous,
An ende foloweth full contagious.
Alas yf they hadde taken hede aforne,
Than had they not in mischiefe be forlorne.
But who wyll not afore this mischiefe se.
May not eschewe to haue aduersitie.
In the ende platly to deuyne.
For euen lyke right as a medicyne,
Auayleth not whan the sycke is dead,
For what may helpe the stomake or the head,
Lectuarye emplaystre or pocyon,
Or any receite or confection,
Herbe or stone or that the leches knowe,
Whan that the corps is layde in earth alowe.
¶Or whan a beast is tourned to careine,
Myne auctour sayth that it is but veyne,
For his recure to seken any halowe,
Or to his ere for to leyne a salowe.
For veryly after his fantasye,
It helpeth not nor doth no remedy.
For thynge perfourmed in his due date,
More vertue hath thā whā it cometh to late.
Right so in case veryly semblable,
Of worldly trust false and full mutable,
Who caste no peryll tyll that it be falle,
In stede of sugre ofte tasteth galle.
Blended with luste which tho is present,
And of the future slouthe and necligent.
That theim ne lyste afore no mischiefe caste,
Tyll in the snare they be englued faste.
For to prouyde they be graceles,
Full indiscrete and wilfully richeles.
To caste the peryll or that it be tyde.
They sewe their lust their reason goeth aside.
As it befell whylom of this two,
Of Medea and of Iason also.
¶But how so euer of Iason that it be,
I fynde playnly the harme alone had she.
The great damage and the fynall smerte,
[Page]For lacke of wysedome she ne wolde aduerte,
What shuld be fall whā she her iourney toke.
And then her father folyly forsoke.
But syth she wrought only of wylfulnesse,
Without counsayle or auysenesse,
Me lyst no more her harmes to bewayle.
For lyte or nought it myght now auayle.
Let her alone complainyng her damage,
For well I wote touchynge her passage,
It was not take in good plyte of the mone.
Of hastynesse she began to soone.
Chesynge an houre which was not fortunat,
For she alone of frendes desolate,
Colchos forsoke and is to shyp gon.
And in all the haste be byddynge of Iason.
Hercules and all his companye,
That with him comyn out of Thesalye.
Without tarying forthwith at a worde,
Yentred ben within shyppes borde.
Only for cause that the wynde is good.
And euery thyng tho at their luste stode.
And thus assented stale awaye by nyght,
With all the treasure that they catche myght,
And with them ladde plente of vitayle,
And forthe anone they began to sayle.
By many coast and many sondry yle,
Towardes Grece and all this meane while,
Was Medea glad and of good chere.
She and Iason syttynge both yfeare,
And Hercules of very gentylnesse,
Her to comforte did his busynesse,
Al faynyngly for the maner sake.
As these louers full queynte can it make.
Tyll they haue had hooly their pleasaunce,
Their lust fulfylled than vttreth varyance.
As it by Iason was preued vtterly.
That hath forsaken full vnkyndly,
This Medea in paine sorowe and wo.
Of her Guydo ne wryte no wordes mo.
Nor maketh of her none other mencion,
Bycause I trowe in myne opynyon,
That her sorowes ende and euery deale,
Rehersed be full openly and weale,
Methamorphoseos & writē there full plaine.
Where as Naso recordeth in certayne,
Her death not only nor her heuynesse,
But percell eke of the vnkyndnesse,
Of this Iason and telleth playnly howe,
Medea hath both her sonnes slowe.
For they were lyke their father of visage.
And telleth eke that put her most in rage,
How falsly he I can hym not excuse,
Loued an other that called was Ceruse.
Eke in his pistelles who so taketh hede,
Her deadly sorowe there may beholde & rede.
And howe that she her trouth aboughte sore,
Of Medea ye gete of me no more.
In all this boke nor of her auenture,
But I wyll nowe do my busy cure,
Hooly to tourne my stile to Iason.
And of the werre he made on Lamedon,
Like as in Guydo is openly described,
After that he in Grece was aryued.
FIrst whan Iason and Hercules also,
Ylonded were with many an other mo,
Within the land & reygne of Thesalye,
Kyng Pelleus with all his chiualrye,
Caste hym playnly that he wyll not fayle,
To mete his neuewe at his ariuayle.
And whan they mette in countenance & chere
Made it outwarde as hoole and as entere,
As he had had soueraygne gladnesse.
Of his knighthode and his highe prowesse.
Of his renowne and his manlyhede,
Of his expleyte and of his good spede.
And that fortune to encrease his name,
Hath caused him with so noble fame,
Out of Colchos with honour to repayre.
Albe his chere was vtterly contraire.
To his entent that euer he came agayne.
But for all that with face hole and playne,
He welcomed hym but al against his herte.
Full sore astoned that he euer asterte,
The auentures of Colchos peryllous,
And is retourned so victorious.
But couertly his treason for to hyde,
All delaye he gan to sette asyde.
And to Iason with chere full benyng,
His heritage fyrste he gan resygne.
Septre and crowne and kingdome at ye leste,
For to perfourme the summe of his beheste.
Like as he was assured by his bonde.
And Iason toke all into his honde.
And gan his vncle in full lowe manere,
First to thanke with all his herte entere.
¶And after that ful knightly gan him pray,
Goodly to here what that he wolde saye.
[Page]Of a mattere that fret his herte sore,
From daye to daye encreasyng euer more.
Besechyng hym to graunt hym audience,
Touchyng a wronge and a vyolence,
Done vnto hym whan he no harme ne ment.
In Troye lande to Colchos as he wente.
This is to saye the kynge of Troye towne,
Within the bondes of his region,
Whan I and myne in great aduersitye,
With winde and wether fordryuen in the sea.
Vs to refreshe to lande dyd aryue.
Not in purpose with hym for to stryue.
But for to rest vs after all our wo,
A lytell whyle and forth anone to go.
For we in sothe no maner harme ne thought,
But he vnkyngly of very malyce sought,
Agaynst vs to fynde occasyon.
Byddyng in haste to voyde his region.
Notwithstanding that we come in peace,
Lyke as my brother knoweth Hercules.
Vnto no wyght doyng no distresse,
Wherfore we praye to your hygh noblesse,
To our purpose for to condiscende.
Of whiche platly this the fynall ende.
That we be sette in full conclusyon,
Hooly to worke to his destruction.
Lyke our auowe whan we thense went.
If it so be ye goodly lyste assent.
And all at ones, strongly and not spare,
Maugre his myght to Troye for to fare.
So that we may fynde in you fauoure,
Vs to refreshe with golde and with treasure.
And only eke of our curtesye,
Vs strength also with your cheualrye.
¶And Pelleus without more abode,
Anone as he this matter vnderstode,
Assented is of herte and wyll also,
In this voyage with theim for to go.
And all the worthy of that regyowne.
Kynges, Dukes, and Lordes of renowne.
Be accorded there is not one saieth naye,
To go with theim and helpe what they may.
And of this iourney chiefe solicitour,
Was Hercules the worthy conquerour.
¶And he in haste his retenewe to make,
Towarde Spartos hath the way take.
Whiche is an yle to Grekes pertinent.
Fully obeying to their commaundement.
In whiche Pollux and Castor eke also,
The worthy kingꝭ the mighty brothern two,
Were as I fynde that tyme gouernours.
And bare their crowne like noble werreours.
And brothern weren also vnto Eleyne.
And as poetes lyketh for to fayne,
That Iupiter for all his deyte,
Vpon Leda begat them all three,
That in beautie all other dyd excelle,
And as for Eleyne lyke as bokes telle.
Conceyued was in Tyndarys the yle,
Vnto the londe ioynyng of Cecyle.
Therfore of some I fynde that she is,
After the yle called Tyndaris.
Of their byrth me lyst no more to endite,
But forthe I thyncke of Hercules to wryte.
That hath besought these noble kingꝭ twain,
With mighty hande to do their busy payne,
Only to graunte with him for to wende,
To Troye warde shortly this the ende.
And to assente they saye not ones nay.
With all the power that they catche may.
Againe what tyme that him lyst assygne,
And Hercules with chere full beninge,
Thanked them of that they him behyght,
And forth he wente in all the haste he might,
Toward Messene the stronge mighty londe,
Within whiche the noble king he fonde,
The knightly man the worthy Thelamon,
Lorde and prynce of that region.
That in armes was one the manlyest,
That was a lyue and egall with the beste.
And whan he knew that Hercules was com,
For ioye he hath hym in his armes nome.
And him receyued in all maner thynge,
Lyke as it sat to a worthy kyng.
And whan he wiste sothly what he mente,
Without more anone he dyd assente,
With hym to gone Troyens for to greue.
And Hercules goodly toke his leue,
And hym enhasteth to Thesalye agayne.
To Pelleus and telleth hym certayne,
Howe he hath spedde besechynge hym also,
In all the haste that it may be do,
Letters to sende and all his lordes call,
And to assemble his worthy knyghtes all,
Thrughout his lād yt were both nigh & ferre.
Suche as he knewe yt were experte in werre.
And them also that were of counsayle sage,
For wyt of them that be yronne in age,
[Page]Is more than force without experience.
But whan manhode is mente with sapience,
Who loketh well it may double auayle.
And they that longe haue vsed to trauayle.
Lyke as it is playnly to suppose,
May helpe moste our iourney to dispose.
For vnto age experience and wytte,
To youth force and hardinesse sytte.
And whan that both be of one entent,
Fully accorded to worken by assent,
With a quarell grounded vpon ryght,
Thrugh helpe of grace yt hath treble myght,
Thē nede not drede with spere nor wt shelde,
In knyghtly wyse for to holde a feilde.
For of knighthode the fame and the glory,
Nor in armes conquest nor victory,
Be not assured vpon multitude.
But on manhode so grace lyste conclude.
¶Therfore let vs for to auenge our wrong,
First with right make our selfe stronge,
And efte our force manly for to shewe,
Of knyghtes chose taken out a fewe,
And so auoyde encombraunce of numbre.
And so we shall our foes beste encombre.
And of all that that Hercules hath sayde,
Kyng Pelleus was tho right well apayde.
For as him thought his counsaile was righte good,
And Hercules without more abode.
Is in great haste with his meine gon,
To a prouince that called is Pilon,
In whiche there was a duke of noble fame,
And as I fynde Nestor was his name.
Full renowmed and stronge of chiualrye,
And he was eke of kinred and allye,
To Hercules and of the same bloud.
And whan that he plainly vnderstode,
The purpose hole and cause of his coming,
He graunted hym without more taryinge,
To go hym selfe with hym in this voiage.
With all the worthy of his baronage.
And to be ready agayne a certayne daye,
And Hercules as faste as euer he maye,
Repaired is ayen to Thesalye.
Where gathered was holy the nauye,
Of the lordes full redy apparayled,
Well enarmed and rychely vitayled.
¶And Pelleus hath taken fyrste the sea,
And euery lorde lyke to his degree,
Yshypped is and ready for to gon,
With Hercules and also with Iason,
Their behestes manly to fulfyll,
Towardes Troye the Citie for to spylle.
And after that sothly as I fynde,
They not abyde but vpon the wynde.

¶Nowe Iason, Hercules, and all the pryn­ces of Grece, assembled to aduenge ye vncur­tesy done to theim by Lamedon in this expedicion towardes Colchos. Cap. viii.

VVhan that the sote stormes of Apryll,
Vnto the roote full lowe gan destille,
His lustye licour with many holsome shoure,
To reyse the vertue hyghe vpon the floure.
And Phebus was ascendyng in his sphere,
And on the brest smote his beames cleare.
Of the Ram full colerike at all:
Halowynge in veer the Equinoctiall.
Whan Mayes kalendes entren in for sothe,
And zephirus with swete breath and smothe,
The tendre braūches enspireth & doth spryng
When euery bushe is freshe and blosomynge.
And from the hylle the water is reuolued,
Of snowes whyte yt Phebus hath dissolued.
For than the bawme vapoureth vp a lofte,
Into the eyre from the herbes softe.
The rotes vertue by colde of wynter hydde,
Hath full his myght and his force ykydde.
Out of the erth in herbe and euery tree,
Shade in the braunches his humiditee,
Araysed only with the sonnes heate,
And with the moyster of the raynes swete.
Whan siluer welles sheden out their stremes,
In ryuers gylte with the sonne beames.
And for he had with newe greene againe,
Her largesse shad vpon euery playne.
And nightingales that all the wodde ronge,
Full amorously did welcome in their songe,
The lusty season freshe and desyrous.
Namely to hertes the whiche ben amorous.
And whan the sea calme is & blaundishinge,
Fro trouble of wynde or wawy boylynge.
And is from tempest sure to escape.
The same season Grekes forth them shape,
Towardes Troye, Erles, Dukes, & kynges.
Their shyppes stuffed wt all maner thynges,
That to werre myght them most auayle,
And ryght anone they began to sayle,
[Page]Whan all was redy without more abode,
Eche shyppe by other on the water rode.
And whan the winde at their lust gan blowe,
A ioye it was to se them go by rowe.
Whiche made thē hast & speden on their waie,
That in short tyme they comen ben to Troy.
And in the hauen called Symeonte,
Whan Phebus fer vnder their orisente,
I westred was that men no myght hym se,
Grekes byn past all peryll of the sea,
And cast their ancrees thynking for the best,
In their shippes the same night to reste.
ANd in ye morowe whan the larke songe,
The worthi Grekes so māly & so strōge
Began to lande in all the haste they myghte.
On Troye grounde and their tentes pighte.
Afore the towne with great dylygence,
For they ne founde no maner resystence,
And all this whyle they sette good awayte,
On euery syde leste there were deceyte.
Tyll on the houre that the sonne bryght,
Had in the morowe shade his rody lyghte,
Amyd the fielde vpon euery tente,
At whiche tyme all of one assente,
The Grekes were assembled euerychone.
And by the byddyng of the kynge anone,
Iason fyrst and with him Hercules,
With many worthy beyng in that prese,
Ben to the tente of Pelleus ycome.
And whā these lordes of grece both al & some
Assembled were and in that place met,
And eche of them in his degree was set.
Than Pelleus whan al was whist and styll,
Right thus began ye sentence of his wyll.
¶O noble & worthy of hye estate and lowe,
whose knightly fame throughout ye worlde y­know,
Reported is as fer as shineth sonne.
That Grekes yet neuer thynge begonne,
That they ne had the victorye at ende.
For with ye lawrer so fer as men may wende,
They crowned ben of what thei toke on hād.
Suche is thier happe both on se and lande.
¶Wherforeye lordꝭ most worthi of renowne
Ye can remembre of kyng Lamedowne,
And of the wronge yt he vpon you wrought,
Whan harme to him none of you ne thought.
Which must be quit shortly this the ende.
For we be come to stroie them and to shende,
Wherfore anone in all the haste we may,
Lette vs set on without more delaye.
But fyrst I rede that we taken hede,
To thre thynges most helpyng in this nede.
¶First by aduyse and good discretion,
For our defence and good saluacion,
So prudently our wardes for to make,
That none of oures be at mischiefe take,
This ylke daye for lacke of prouidence.
The seconde is to do our diligence,
With all our might and hole entention,
So to labour that full distruction,
Come to our foes & to our selues glory.
¶And this the thirde that we may victorye,
Inioye of them platly at the laste.
And ouer this ye maye afore well caste,
If we of knighthode through our hardinesse,
May vanquishe them we shal so hye richesse,
Conquere of them to our possessyowne,
For it is knowen how that Troye towne,
Of all plentie as it shalbe founde,
Of golde & tresour doth passingly habounde.
That our shyppes sothly as I wene,
For to receiue ne shall not mow susteine,
The habundaunce that is yonder within.
If it so be that we the Citie wyn.
As god vs graunte if so it be his wyll.
¶And also faste as the kynge was styll,
The noble knight the stronge Hercules,
In the presence of that worthy prese,
Said his counsaile was highely to cōmende.
For wyse begynnynge is preysed by the ende.
But to effecte our purpose for to brynge.
My counsayle is that in the mornynge,
Tofore or we discured byn by daye,
That we vs arme in all the haste we maye.
And on this fielde that we do our payne,
For to deuyde our mayne into twayne.
And of the tone shall kyng Thelamowne,
Be gouernour of his hye renowne.
And of the other kyng Pelleus shall haue,
The gouernaunce wisely theim to saue.
And I my selfe and Iason here my brother,
Shall secretely go with all the other,
Vnder the Citie or the sonne shynes.
And in the bushaile and the thicke vynes,
We shall vs hyde and kepe vs there full koye.
For Lamedon that is kyng of Troye,
[Page]Anone as he may here or may espye,
Of the Grekes with his cheualrye,
Out of the Citie will yssue out anone.
With vs to fyght & venge hym of his fone.
But whan he cometh to our shippes warde,
Nestor the duke shall in the first warde,
Mete with hym and Castor shall also,
Whan he seeth time knightly haue ado,
To helpe Nestor if that it be nede.
The thirde warde Pelleus shall lede,
And whyles ye do thus him occupye,
Iason and I shall vs as faste hye,
Vnto the Citie vnwist of them echone.
I doubte not we shall it wyn anone.
Doth by counsayle and it will you auayle,
And here my trouth that ye may not fayle,
For to conquere the Citie yonde tofore.
This all and some ye gete of me no more.
¶And they accord wt al their strēgth & might
Enarme theim in stele yt shone full bryght,
Againe the sonne at morowe whan he riseth,
And wrought at all as Hercules deuiseth.

¶Of the battaile betwixt the Grecians and the Troians, wherin the Troyans were dis­comfeted, their kinge slayne, and after their Citie taken, rased, and destroyed. Ca. ix.

KYng Lamedon whan that he herde tell,
Of their cōming him list no longer dwel,
But out he went with many a noble knighte,
Flouryng in youth and desyrous to fyght.
And all tho that mighten armes beare,
Or that coude shote or handell durste a spere.
¶And whan they were assēbled in the fielde,
Eueryche his armes depeint vpon his shilde,
Brouded or bete vpon his coote armure,
Than Lamedon with all his busy cure,
Set them in ordre and his wardes maketh,
And in the fielde forth his waye he taketh,
Towarde the Grekes as any lyne right.
Fully purposynge there to abide and fight.
He was not ware of thē that were behynde,
He not aduerteth or casteth in his mynde,
The great sleyght nor the treachery,
That him was shape he coude it not espye.
But forthe he wente with his wardes set,
And the Grekes anone with him hath met.
With herte bolde astoned not at all.
Duke Nestor first sturdy as a wall,
In whose manhod was neuer foundē lacke,
Full knightly than vpon his horse backe,
To herte his men and his knightes eke,
Gan prese in with many worthy Greke,
With Lamedon sturdely to mete.
At whiche tyme they felte it full vnswete.
For in the frounter many manly man,
With sharpe speres first together ran.
And eft with swordes sharpe & kene ygroūde
Was thilke daye geuen many a wounde.
Where as they met thus on euery syde,
Thrugh plate & maile their woundes bledde wide,
And basenettes they riue to ye crowne,
The noyse of strokes in the eyre gan sowne.
And of the blode that tho was shad of new,
The grene soyle chaunged hath his hewe.
For it was dyed playnly in to red.
Vpon the whiche full many man lay dead.
And many worthy lost their his lyfe,
And certainly than in this mortall stryfe,
The Grekes had discomfyted be echone,
Ne had Castor socoured them anone,
The folke of Troy so manly haue them bore,
That many a knight of grekes was ylore.
But after Castor entreth in bataile,
With his knightes so sore he did assayle,
The worthy Troyans yt with spere & shielde,
Grekes agayne recouered haue the fielde.
That many one lieth slayne vpon the grene,
Thrugh girt the body wt sharpe speres kene.
That they of Troye in this mortall stoure,
Were driue a backe tyll there came socour,
To them in hast of worthy Lamedowne.
Whiche entred in like a wodde lyowne,
And made a waye vpon euery syde.
And where as he made his swerde to glyde,
There was but deth so manly he hym bare.
That well vnneth was there none that dare,
Abyde his stroke for rydynge vp and downe,
He made waye about him enuirowne.
In the renges he hath his foen out soughte,
That dai ī armes meruailes hath he wroute.
Than by his manhod and his worthines,
He the grekes hath brought in suche distresse,
That they his swerde flyen as the death,
Marciles so many of them he sleeth.
Of which slaughter the grekes wer confuse,
Tyll Pelleus came to their rescuse,
[Page]Irous and wood as he were fall in rage.
He thought he wold ye great pompe aswage,
Of them of Troye and so he dyd anone.
For he vnhorseth of them many one.
And felly slough all that stode him aforne,
And many harueys he hath yt daye to torne.
And made sheldes for to ryue a sonder,
That to beholde it was a very wondre.
Til Lamedon his people sawe go backe,
For Pelleus brought them so to wracke,
Wherof in herte he felte full great payne.
Beseching them efte to repaire againe,
And kyth their might & like as men endure,
And so the fielde he made them to recure.
Tyll duke Nestor knewe that Lamedowne,
Amid the fielde was kynge of Troye towne,
And right anone without more abode,
Agaynst hym a full great pace he rode.
And whan the kyng did him first espye,
Of hye dispite of rancour and enuye,
In knightly wyse gan to tourne againe.
Nothynge agast but of hye disdayne,
With yrons herte enbolned all with pride,
His horse fyersly smytyng in the syde,
That from ye pricke out ran the red bloud.
And forth to Nestor like as he were wood,
He rode anone and he his spere brake.
But he full knightly kept his horse backe,
And full delyuerly him againe to quite,
With speare full sharpe whette for to byte,
Thrugh sheld & brest gaue him such a woūde
That fro his hors he felde hī down to groūd.
Of whiche fall the kyng nothyng a ferde,
Vprise ayene and knightly drewe his swerd,
So angre fret hym at his herte rote,
That he vnhorsed fyghte muste on fote.
Wherof he was in partyfull confuse,
Tyll one Cedar came to his rescuse.
That was made knight ye selfe same yere,
Yonge freshe and lusty and of noble chere.
Syttyng that tyme on a noble stede,
And whan that he gan to take hede,
And saw the kyng on foote at mischiefe fight,
Gan forth to pryke in all the hast he might,
Toward Nestor and with a spere him hytte,
From his sadell that he made him flytte.
Downe to the ground afore kyng Lamedon,
But he anone full lyke a champion,
Recured vp and hymselfe defendeth,
And many a stroke eche on other spendeth,
With sharpe swerdrs kene for to byte.
Eueriche at other gan foyne and smyte.
Tyll Lamedon with a dispyteous chere,
From of his face rased his viser.
And by that strype he of at ones sinet,
A ryche cercle from his basenet.
Of large perle goynge enuyrowne.
With creste and all he fyersly beate a downe.
That whyles Nestor thus afore hym stode,
His face was all depeint with his bloud.
That certainely the soth to conclude,
Had not Grekes with great multitude,
Rescued him he had of Lamedowne,
Be slayne as faste for he was bore a downe,
Vnto the earth amonge the horse feete.
But Castor thought that he ne wolde lete,
To be his helpe as he behelde yfeare,
And yrously he toke a mighty spere,
And to Cedar that I spake of late,
He gan to ryde and pricke in deadly hate.
But or he came and toke him there doubtles,
A Troyan knight called Segnerides,
Cosyn to Cedar whan he hath this sene,
On a courser rode anone bytwene,
And with a spere he smote Castor so,
That with the stroke it broken is a two.
To whom Castor withouten more areste,
Hath with a spere amyddes of the brest,
Segnerides gyue a mortall wounde.
That lykely was neuer for to sounde.
Wherfore Cedar caught hath suche enuye,
That he anone of fell melancolye,
And of dispyte boylynge in his herte,
Segnerides when he beholde so smerte,
Maugre who grutcheth amiddes of ye fielde,
Of very myght from Castor toke his shelde.
And through vyser of rancour and of rage,
He wounded hym amyddes of his vysage.
And eke his horse fro hym also he caughte,
And to his squier manfully it raught.
That certainely he stode in suche disioynt,
This worthy Castor that he was in poynt,
To haue be taken of them of Troye tho.
For he on foote with him must haue go,
Ne had Pollux with many manly knyght,
Mo then .vii. hundred in stele armed bryght,
The rather come Castor to rescue.
Whiche after them so sore gan to sewe,
[Page]That maugre them Castor when he fond,
Of force he reste him from his enemies hōd,
And to his horse restored hym agayne.
And after that this Pollux in certayne,
Of very anger and of feruent Ire,
Agayne Troians with rancoure set a fyre,
That al at ones he vpon theim set,
And in his mode by fortune as he met,
A Troian knight called Eliatus,
In armes yonge freshe and desyrous,
Wonder semely and yet of tendre age,
The kinges sonne also of great Cartage,
And neuewe eke vnto king Lamedon.
Whom Pollux hath like a fierse Lyon,
Without compassion pytye or mercye,
Within the renges slayne ful cruelly.
That Lamedon whan he gan take hede,
Of inwarde dole felt his herte blede,
Whan he hym sawe in point vpon the deathe,
Full pyteously yelden vp the breathe.
Vpon the playne as he lay him beforne.
For whiche anone he made sowne a horne,
At which time there came in riche araye,
Seuen .M. knigh tin all the haste they may,
Vpon his deathe auenged for to be.
Which merciles of theyr great crueltye,
The Grekes haue here and there confoūded,
Here lyeth one dead & here another woūded.
So that they might with them hold no tacke.
So mortally they made theim go abacke,
That all gan tourne to theyr confusion.
And fynally that daye wyth Lamedon,
The triumphe had and the fielde ygone,
Saue that alas out of the towne anone,
Vnto the king there came a messengere,
That hath him tolde wt a ful piteous cheare,
How the Grekes haue his Citye take.
¶Then for to se the wo he tho did make,
It would haue made a piteus herte as bliue,
Of very dole a sundre for to riue.
So sore he gan within him selfe to mourne.
He wist not to what partye he may tourne.
But in a weuer he abiding longe.
Afore him sawe the mighty Grekes stronge,
And in the Citie another hoost behinde,
Almoste for wo he went out of his minde.
And sodeynly backward as he behelde,
Toward the Citye he sawe come in the felde,
First Hercules and with him Iason.
That by theyr sleyght wonnen had ye towne.
And in all hast this cruell Hercules,
The mighty giaunt of force pereles,
Lyke a Lyon wood and dispiteous,
Or a Tygre ramage and furyous,
Gan of newe theim of Troye assayle.
And with his sworde perce plate & mayle.
Which of laboure were full mate and feynt,
And of longe fight with werinesse atteynt.
And he came in lusty freshe and grene,
That they his force might him not sustene,
For as he rode among theim here & yonder,
In cruell wise he seuered theim a sonder.
And put theim hooly in this high mischaunce,
Out of rule and from all gouernaunce.
So that the kinge oppressed al with dole,
Out of his wardes destytute and sole,
At mischiefe left and all infortunate,
And of comforte fully disconsolate.
This Hercules with full dispiteous loke,
With sharpe spores his stede felly toke,
And cruelly rode forthe to Lamedowne,
And to the earth fiersly bare him downe.
And vpon him in all the hast he might,
Downe of his horse sodeinly alighte,
And mightely rent of his Basenet.
And with a swerd sharpe grounde and whet,
Smote of his head there was no other grace
And cast it forth in the selfe place.
Amonge the horse by cruel violence.
Without pytye or any reuerence.
And in arage raught his horse agayne,
And like a Lion renning on the playne.
Bare down & slough what so cā in his weye.
And many Troyan at yt time made deye.
That like to shepe were forskatered wide,
All destitute of gouernour or guide.
Ne can no reade shortly to conclude,
For the Grekes with double multitude,
Gan theim enchase to the death ful blyue.
That wel vnneth there left was one alyue.
The felde they haue & ben that day victours.
And with triumphe like as conquerours,
To the citye they toke their waye after,
And rende adowne both wall sparre & rafter.
And all the treasour and riches of the towne
They toke anone to theyr possessyowne.
Who euer grutche or be lefe or lothe,
What they found there plainly wt them gothe.
[Page]And in the temples did great violēce.
There to the goddes doyng no reuerence.
For all they spoyle without dread or feare,
And vnto shippe euery thing they beare.
And mercyles on croked olde and lame.
Theyr swerdes they made cruelly to tame.
And childrē soukyng at theyr mother breste.
They kill and sley withouten more arest.
And yong maydens wepyng in distresse,
Full gentyl borne and of great semelynesse,
With theym they led & may not them excuse,
Theyr freshe beaute falsly to misuse.
They waste bren and consumen all,
And roūde aboute they brake adowne ye wall.
And Exyone the kinges doughter dere,
That was to him so passingly entere,
By his life I meane to Lamedon,
Meke and bening of her condicion.
This Hercules hath anone her take,
That in her dreadful pyteously gan quake.
And her delyuered vnto Thelamowne,
For that he entred first into towne.
And he his gift receyued hath at gree,
Bycause she was surmounting of beautee.
And treated her after as he would,
Not like as he a kinges doughter shuld.
For syth he hath her wonne by victorye,
For his worship and his owne glorye,
Hauing regarde to her highe degree,
He shuld rather of knightly honestee,
And of knighthode wedded her therfore,
Sith that she was of blode so gentill bore.
Than of false lust agayne all goodlihead,
Vsed her beautye and her womanhaede,
Dishonestly and in such sinfull wise.
Of royall blode not lyke the high empryse.
Nor the doctrine of natures right.
Nor like to nurture of a gentil knight.
Consydered fyrst her birth and her kinrede,
Her grene youth and eke her maydenheade,
So good so fayre so womanly therto,
A kinges doughter of byrth she was also,
To haue her wed it coulde haue be no shame.
Now Thelamō in sothe thou were to blame,
For through the errour of thy gouernaunce,
There kindled was of ful highe vengeaunce,
So hote a sparke after of enuye,
That through ye world ye fire gan multeplye.
Which was not like to quenche of his hete,
For hatred olde to bren can not lete.
With newe flawme who so taketh hede,
If it not smoke it is the more to dread.
As in this storye hereafter shall be knowe.
& whā this towne was brēt & brought so low,
Bothe toure and wall wt ye soyle made playn,
And nothing stode of all that might be sein.
So vtterly the Grekes theym oppresse,
Makyng all waste like a wyldernes.
¶For good treasour & ryches infynyte,
With many iewell full pleasing of delyte,
To theyr shippes out of the towne they lede,
And in shorte tyme homeward do they spede.
With treasour stuffed & habūdaūce of good.
And when they sawe that the wether stode,
The wynd also at theyr lust they had.
They gā to saile and with thē home they lad,
Yong Exione and many a mayde mo.
That out of Troye into Grece go.
And sayling forth within a litell space,
They be escaped fro the sea by grace.
And vnto land aryued merely.
At whose commyng the Grekes vtterly,
So ioyfull be of theyr good spede,
And specially in Guido as I reade,
Theyr shyppes were wt golde & treasour lade.
Wherof in herte they wexe wonder glade.
And for they had outward so well thē borne,
To ouerthrowe and haue so fewe ylorne,
Of theyr meyne they thanke theyr goddes al.
And of the grace that to theym is fall.
For wt ye treasour yt haue they home brought,
Full many pore was made vp of nought,
Throughout yt lād there was such habūdaūce
So much good and so great suffisaunce.
That no wight had among theim nede,
And many day this blessedfull lyfe they lede.
From yeare to yeare by reuoluciowne,
And for theyr manhod & theyr high renowne,
Theyr honour ran round the world about.
That theim toffende many lāde hath doubte.
For theyr knighthod & for they were so wyse.
Vntill the storye last agayne deuise.
In this matter ferther to procede,
With the fauour of your goodlyhead,
I wil me rest for a lytel space.
And thā vpborne wt supporte of your grace,
For taccomplishe as I you vndertoke,
And here an ende of the first boke.
[Page]I make now with quakyng hand for dreade,
Onely for feare of you that shall it reade,
Lest ye alas of hasty mocion,
Ne will not haue no compassyon,
Pytye nor routhe vpon my rudenesse.
Lowly besechyng to your gentilcesse,
Of mercye onely both nigh and ferre,
Where ye finde that I fayle or erre,
For to correcte or ye further flyt.
For to your grace I hooly all commit.

¶The Translatour complaineth the misfor­tune of the Troians in the losse of theyr City, liuely describyng the tykle estate of Fortunes gouernaunce, beginning in the same chapyter his secound boke persewing the matter of the sayd historye. Ca. x.

THe enuious ordre of fortunat meninge,
In worldly thynge false and flikerynge,
Nil suffer vs as in this present life,
To lyue in reste without werre or stryfe.
For she is blinde fikel and vnstable,
And of her course false and ful mutable.
Who sitteth highest she cā him downe encline,
Whē he least weneth and bring hym to ruine.
With the awaytes that gladly ben sodayne.
And with her face that parted is in twayne.
Shewe most hole whā she is lest to tryst,
That well were him that her deceytes wist.
And her engines and her trappes knewe.
That in her courte euery daye be newe.
Of which in sothe I well affirme dare,
No mortall man may in this life beware.
For she vneuen peysing in balaunce,
With counterfete and fayned countenaunce,
With lo [...]ing playn & cheare of flatterye,
Vnwarely can do blere a mannes eye,
And him begile this the very sothe,
With a face blandishing and smothe.
When she hath him frō high degre made low,
Full falsly smile and make to him the mowe.
And yet somewhyle most varyaunt of hewe,
She vnto some pretendeth to be trewe.
For she whylom to some is fauorable,
And to some false and like deceiuable.
She can reise one and bring another downe,
This false lady of transmutacyowne,
To some she giueth renowne & victorye,
And doth theym floure in honoure & glorie.
And some she can appayre with false fame,
And giltles perde put a man in blame.
To some she is goodly and beninge,
And of disdeyne she can also malygne,
Agayne an other and make hym lowte lowe,
And frō their see she can great kinges throwe
And theim auayle for all their high toures,
And she can plonge worthy Emperours.
From the hyll of hye prosperetye.
Into the vaile like of aduersytye.
The ryche emprishe of rancoure & dysdayne,
And eft the pore she can enhaūce agayne,
This false goddesse with her eyen blinde,
Set one afore another goeth behinde,
And doth one renne & maketh another halte,
And one she can high in riches exalte,
And an other plonge in pouertye,
In whom no man may haue securytye.
To some suger and hony she distilleth,
And to other some she the bottel fylleth,
With bytter gall mirre and aloes.
And thus this lady wilfull and rechles,
As she that is froward and peruers,
Hath in her seller drinkes ful diuers.
For she to some of fraude and of fallas,
Ministreth piment bawme and ypocras.
And sodeynly when the soote is past,
She of custome can giue him a cast,
For to conclude falsly in the fine,
Of bytter eysell and of egre wine.
And corrosynes that fret and perce depe.
And Narcotikes that cause men to slepe.
Thus she to theim that her can aproche,
After swete the bitter can a broche.
Thus in her reygne this quene of varyaunce,
Whose ioye alwayes fineth with mischaunce.
Who trusteth her she will him ouercast,
And him deceyue playnly at the last.
Of what estate soeuer that he be,
This double lady of mutabilitye.
Se here example of king Lamedon,
Whom she hath brought to confusion.
For litel cause and for a thing of nought,
Her crueltye he hath to deare abought.
Wherfore I reade euery man take hede,
To gin a quarell where as is no nede.
For litell fyre vnder ashes reke,
So may be kindled that it will out breake,
[Page]Into such flawme men may it not apease.
Who best can suffer moste shall haue his ease,
Therfore ye kynges and lordes euerychone,
Make you a myrroure of this Lamedone,
And be well ware to do no violence,
Vnto straungers when they do none offence.
Whan they come fer into this region,
Ne suffer theim by none oppression,
Within your bondes for to haue no wrong.
For in your owne though that ye be strong,
And mightye eke among your lieges all,
Another daye perauntre may befall,
That when that ye ful lytell thynke on it,
Of sodeyne case thus may ye be aquyt.
And ythanked in another place,
Of auenture where ye may fayle of grace.
Therfore when ye may any such espye,
Do theym good cheyre of your curtesye.
And prudently consyder in your witt,
That to a lorde of gentilnesse it syt,
To euery straunger goodly him to haue.
There is nothing may more his honour saue.
Than to refreshe them frely and disporte,
Than may they after good of him reporte.
By whose cōtrary hath much wo be wrought
Afore this time if so it be well sought.
The first Troye thus vtterly destroyed,
And the people in sorowe and wo acloyed.
Lad into exyle a farre from theyr Cytye,
Lyuing in thraldome and captiuitye.
And Exyone as ye haue herde me tell,
Led into Grece with Thelamon to dwell.
For whō there was as Guido cā you teache,
After take so great vengeaunce & wreche.
On eyther parte that in very trouthe,
For to heare it is to great a routhe.
As in this boke ye may hereafter rede,
Ceryously if that ye list take hede,
For gladly aye by reuolusyon,
Of fatall thing by disposicion,
So enuyous is and alway meynt with wo,
That in this world where so that we go,
We truely may aduert as in our thought,
That for the value of a thyng of nought.
Mortall causes of werres first begonne.
Strife and debate here vnderneth the sonne.
Were meued first of small occasyon,
That caused after great confusyon,
That no man can the harmes halfe endite,
And for a cause deare inough a mite.
Eche one is redy to destroye other.
A man for litel stryue will with his brother.
Blode is vnkynde which greatly is to drede,
Alas why ne will they take better hede,
For olde Troye and after that the newe,
Through smal enchesō who the trouth knew,
Were fynally brought to destruction.
As olde bokes make mencion.
And many worthy and many noble knight,
Slayne in the felde by duresse of that fight.
Kynges and prynces at the siege ben deade,
Whā Attropos lyst breake theyr liues threde.
That for to tel the mischiefe and the wo,
I want connyng and I fele also,
My pen quake and tremble in my hand.
Lyst that my lorde dradde on sea & lande,
Whose worthines thrugh ye world doth sprede
My rude makyng shal beholde and reade,
Whych of colour full naked is and bare.
That but if he of his mercye spare,
For to disdayne and list to haue pytye,
For feare I tremble that he shuld it se.
¶But onely mercye yt doth his hert embrase,
Byd me presume fully in his grace,
Seyng in hym most vertuous and good,
Mercye annexed vnto royall blode,
As to a prince longeth nigh and ferre,
Aye to fore ryght pytye to preferre.
For through the support of his high noblesse,
As now I will ayene my style dresse,
To wryte forth the storye by and by.
Of newe Troye in ordre seryously.
As mine auctour in latyn Guydo wryt.
Praying ye reader wher as my wordes missit,
Causyng the metre to be halte or lame,
For to correct to saue me from blame.
Let hym not wayte to haue curyosytye,
Sith that in rime Englyshe hath skersytye,
I am so dull certayne that I ne can,
Guido ensewe that clerke and curyous man.
Whych in latyn hath by rethoryke,
Set so his wordes that I cā not be lyke.
To sewe his style in my translation.
Worde by worde like the construction.
After the maner of gramariens.
Nor like the stile of rethoriciens.
I toke but on me this storye to translate,
For me to further Clio came to late.
[Page]That in such craft hath great experience,
I leue the wordes and folowe the sētence.
And trouthe of metre I set also asyde,
For of that arte I had as tho no guide.
Me to reduce whan I went a wrong,
Taking small hede eyther of short or long.
But to the trouth and lette curiosite,
Both of making and of metre be,
Not purposyng to much for to varye,
Nor for to be dyuers nor contrarye,
Vnto Guydo as by discordaunce.
But me conforme fully in substaunce.
Onely in meanyng to conclude all one.
Albe that I ne can the waye gone,
To sewe the floures of his eloquence.
Nor of peyntyng I haue none excellence.
With sundry hewes noble freshe and gay,
So ryche coloures byggen I ne may.
I must procede with sable and with blacke,
And in ennuyng where ye fynde a lacke,
I axe mercy or that I fro you twyn,
And with your fauour I will nowe begyn.
And in all haste my stile forth right directe,
And where I erre I pray you to correct.
THe same tyme whē that Troye towne,
Destroyed was & yt king Lomedowne,
Was also slayne through the crueltye,
Of Hercules and that tofore his cytye.
He had a sonne the storye telleth vs,
Which was his heyre ycalled Priamus.
Wonder manly discrete eke and prudent,
Which at that time from Troye was absente,
When so his father lost hath so his lyfe.
For at that tyme with Hecuba his wyfe,
And with his sonnes aboute a castell laye.
And all his knightes to get it if they may.
That hath on theym mightely werreyed,
For they his father falsly disobeied.
And vnto hym be rebell wonder longe.
Albe Priam with sautes huge and stronge,
Theim had assayled oft and many syth.
His strength on them like a knight to kyth,
To get in armes worship and honour,
And theim to daunt like a conquerour,
He cast him fully or that he departe,
For day by day his life he gan Ieoparte,
Tofore their walles for to preue his mighte,
With many baron & many worthy knight.
For he was flowing yet lusty bloude,
And was of age flouryng in knighthode.
And at assautes and such maner strife,
On with the first auenture his life.
To herte his men him lyst not be behind.
For dread of death sothly as I find.
Afore the castell hygh & thyck ywalled,
And by his wife that Hecuba was called.
This Pryam had ful worthy of degre,
Fiue sonnes and yonge doughters thre.
¶Of whych the eldest Hector called was,
Which also fer as Phebus in compase,
A naturall daye his cercle goeth about,
So fer of hym withouten any doubte,
Reported was the renowne and the name,
The worthynesse and the noble fame.
For like as bokes of him specifye,
He was the roote and stocke of chiualrye.
And of knighthod very soueraygne floure,
The sours and well of worship and honoure.
And of manhode I dare it well expresse,
Patron & myrrour and of high prowesse,
Ginning and grounde & with all this yfeare,
Wonder benynge and lowely of his cheare.
Discrete also prudent and vertuous,
Of whom the dedes and actes merueilous,
Remembred ben of so long a gone.
For he alone excelled euerychone.
In olde Auctours reade and ye may finde,
Of his knighthod how yet they makē mynde.
¶The next brother called was Parys,
To whom nature gaue to her deuys,
Of shape and fourme beautye & semelynesse,
That to recorde his excellent fayrnesse,
He in his time withouten any dread,
Ferre passed all that I can of reade,
And he was eke a full manly knight.
But most he vsed when so he shuld fight,
In his hand to beare a mighty bowe.
For such an archer no man coud knowe.
None might be foūd to seke both fer & nere,
That of shoting might hardely be his pere.
As he was founde whan he had a do,
And Alexsandre called he was also.
¶The third sonne hight Deiphobus,
A worthy knight and a chiualrous.
And had in armes a ful great renowne,
And was a man of high discresciowne.
And wife of coūsail min auctour sayeth thus.
[Page]¶The fourth brother called was Helenus.
Sad and discrete and of highe prudence,
And was also a man of great scyence,
And renommed therwith in specyall.
In al the artes called lyberal,
For he in theym was full experte a ryght.
¶The fyfth sonne was a worthy knyght.
Freshe and lusty and yongest of theim all,
And as sayeth Guido Troylus men him call.
A manly man valyaunt in battayle,
And fearsely hote his fomen to assayle.
One of the best in his time yfounde,
For called he was Hector the secound.
For his manhode throughout Troye booke,
Within the werre ful oft vpon him toke.
Of his knighthode many high empryse,
As the storye lyke after shall deuyse.
¶And in his boke like as wryte Vergile,
The poete olde wt soueraintye of style.
How that the king Pryam had also,
By Hecuba other sonnes two.
And by recorde of this Vergelius,
The one was named Pollidorus.
Whom Priamus in his grene youthe,
When that ye cominge was of Grekes kouth,
To Troyewarde in all the haste anone,
With golde treasour and many ryche stone,
Hath sent him forthe besyde vnto a kinge,
Of ful great trust to haue him in kepyng.
Till tyme he sawe what conclusyowne,
There shuld befall after of the towne.
And eke what fine the werres shoulden take,
That vpon theym the Grekes tho did make.
But thilke kyng of false couetyse,
Of his treasour that ye haue herde deuyse,
Whan that he sawe fortunes varyaunce,
Toward Pryam and his vnhappy chaunce,
Lyke a tyraunt and murderer also,
The childes throte made do cutte a two.
And after that he full of crueltye,
Made his men to burye him priuelye,
That no man might his treason vnderstond.
Besyde a sea depe vnder the strond.
¶The other sonne also that I of reade,
In Vergile called was fayre Ganimede.
Whom Iupiter hath in a forest hente,
Vpon a daye as he on huntinge wente.
And bare him vp aboue the sterres clere,
And in the heauens made him butlere.
Eternally with hym to wonnen there,
In stede of Hebes his owne daughter dere.
¶The fyrst doughter of kyng Pryamus,
Was hoote Creusa as sayeth Vergilius,
In his Eneydos sothely as it was.
And she was wedded vnto Eneas,
And eke this storye sayeth that this Enee,
Was wonderfull in his natyuytye.
Of whom the father as I fynde doubtles,
Was in his tyme called Anchyses.
That hym begat on Venus the goddesse.
For after her he was of such fayrnesse,
That to no wyght could neuer yet be se,
A man that was more passyng of beautye.
Of whom this storye touchyng his workyng,
Shall you declare many wonder thyng.
For it is he to whom so great a loos,
Vergyle hath giue in his Eneydos.
For he that booke in worshyp of Enee,
Compyled hath like as ye may se.
Of his knyghthood and many strong batayl,
By hym acheued before he wan Itayle.
Full long time after that the royall towne,
Of Troy was brought to his confusiowne.
And of his conquest yf ye lyst take hede,
In this poete ye may by ordre reade.
And how in armes he wrought in al his age,
And of his comyng also to Cartage,
Fro Troywarde within a litell while,
Al this ye may behold in great Vergile.
¶Another doughter also it is founde,
Kyng Pryam had of birth the secound,
Called Cassandra of ful great sadnesse.
And was in maner a diuineresse.
And in eche arte had experience,
Of thynges future fully the prescience,
To tell afore what that shall betide.
Of whom the fame sprang in costes wide,
Which kept her chaste aye in virginitye,
And eke in prayers and in honestye.
She led her life and in deuocion,
After the rites and the religyon,
Of Pagynisme vsed in tho dayes.
The obseruaunces keping of their layes.
¶The third doughter hight Pollicene,
Yongest of all and stil a mayde cleane,
She kept her selfe & honest in her lawe.
Vnto the time that Pirrus hath her slawe.
Of shape of fortune was neuer by nature,
[Page]Wrought to beholde a fayrer creature.
Eke as I fynde this noble kynge also,
Hadde thirty sonnes the boke saith & no mo.
Hardy in armes and noble founde at all,
That called were his sonnes naturall.
And they were all exceptinge neuer one,
Worthy knyghtes and manly men echone.
And their names who so lyste to knowe,
He shall them fynde wryte vpon arowe,
After in story eueryche after other,
Begynnyng fyrst at the eldest brother.
¶And whiles Pryam at the syege laye,
Tofore the castell to gette it if he may,
And therabout hath many way sought,
The wofull tydynges be vnto him broughte,
How the grekes haue taken Troye towne.
And slayne his father worthy Lamedowne.
And how the Citie of olde foundaciowne,
Full piteously was tourned vp so downe.
The worthy lordes and gentle men echone,
Taken and slayne and ylefte not one,
Of them a lyue through Grekes crueltie.
After the ruyne alas of their Citie.
And Exion his owne syster dere,
Lad in exyle with her eyen cleare.
¶Wherfore the kyng in herte astoned so,
For very sorowe he nist what to do.
His sodayne wo gan hym so constrayne.
He sobbeth wepeth that of mortall payne,
He thought his herte wolde a sondre breste.
Of hye distresse for he myghte haue no reste.
And into teares he gan him selfe destylle,
That for to deye was fynally his wyll.
¶And fortune that can so falsly varye,
With drery herte gan bytterly to warye.
That she to hym was so deceyuable.
So inly cruell and vnmercyable.
So dispyteous and so sterne of face,
So vengeable and so deuoyde of grace.
For of enuy with a raged thought,
She hath hir worst of malis on hī wrought.
And felly shewed what she myght do.
That in this worlde was neuer wight so wo.
As I suppose of no maner of age.
To reaken all her harmes and damage.
For whiche anone in all that euer he maye.
In hast he chaungeth all his ryche araye,
Tryste and heuy with deadly face pale,
So astoned with this mortall tale,
That his desyre was to haue be dead,
With countenance enclined and with head.
This lyfe he lad and clad him all in blacke,
And sodaynly he the syege brake,
And wolde as tho no lenger there abyde,
But with his folke anone he gan to ryde,
That pyteously gan likwise wt him morne,
And toward Troy attones they efte returne.
¶And whan that he hath the Cyty founde,
Plaine with the soyle & euen wt the grounde,
The hye walles whylom thicke and longe,
Ybeate downe that made were so stronge,
And his toures and paleys pryncypall,
That was in buildyng so excellent royall,
So famous ryche and of great noblesse,
He founde tourned into wyldernesse.
His people slayne, his syster ladde awaye,
For very wo he ne wyste what to saye.
For the constraynt of his aduersytie,
And for his harmes that wyll not cured be.
For in that time he was right fully sure,
Vpon no syde there foūde might be recure.
Wherfore he can nought do but sobbe & wepe
And fro his brest wt syghes sought full dede,
Broken out with pale and dead visage,
And thus alas in this furious rage,
Full pyteously all his hooste and he,
Without respite continued dayes three.
Tyll at the laste the darke skyes blacke,
Gan of their wo in partye for to slacke.
And the tempest some deale gan withdrawe,
And of their wepynge blādyshe gan ye wawe.
And whan the floode of wo is ouer paste,
The ebbe of ioye folowe must in haste.
To sorowe euer it wolde their hertes shende.
And at a terme euery wo must ende.
for though for frēdes mē may wepe & wayle,
After their deth their teares may not avayle.
Wherfore the kyng after all his care,
Hath sought a waye the Citie to repaire.
And caste hym fully if it wolde so be,
To make a vertue of necessytie.
And manfully after all his tene,
Whan that the eyre gan to wexen clene,
Of the mystes of his cloudy sorowe,
And that some deale adawe gan the morowe
Of heuynesse after the derke nyght,
Chaced awaye with a sonne bryght,
Of newe ioye for aye the fyne of wo,
[Page]Muste be gladnesse whan sorowe is ygo.
And so Pryam after a certayne space,
Whan his sorowe gan lyte and lyte to passe,
And of wysedome in all his pytious smerte,
Gan prudently to plucken vp his herte,
And of his eyen the wawes gan to clere,
Anone he wroughte as ye shall after here.

¶Howe Pryam sonne to Lamedon and suc­cedynge his father, buylded the Cytye a­gayne. Cap. xi.

THe sorowe aswaged & the syghes olde,
By longe processe lyke as I you tolde,
This worthy kyng called Pryamus,
In his herte is nowe so desyrous,
Vpon the playne that was so waste & wilde,
So stronge a towne of newe for to buylde,
At his deuyse a Cytie edifye,
That shall the assautes vtterly defye,
Of enmyes all and the mortall foone.
With riche toures and walles of harde stone.
And all aboute the countreyes enuiron,
He made seke in euery regyon,
For suche workemen as were curyous,
Of wyt inuentife of castyng meruaylous,
Or suche as coulde crafte of geometrye,
Or were sotyll in their fantasye.
And for euery such as was a good deuysour,
Mason, hewer, or crafty quarreour,
For euery wryghte and passyng carpenter,
That may be founde eyther ferre or nere,
For such as coulde graue groupe or carue,
Or suche as were able for to serue,
With lime and stone for to reyse a wall,
With bataylyng and crestes marciall.
Or such as had connynge in their head,
Alabaster other white or read,
Or marbell grey for to pullyshe playne,
To make it smothe of vaynes and of grayne,
He sente also for euery ymage our,
Both in entayle and euery portreyour,
That coulde wel drawe or wt colour peynte,
With hewes freshe yt the worke not feynte,
And suche as coulde wt countenaunce glad,
Make an ymage that wyll neuer fade.
To counterfeate in mettall tree or stone.
To sotill worke of hym Pygmaleon.
Or of Appollo whiche as bokes do tell,
In ymagerye all other did excelle.
For by his crafte and workyng curyous,
The tombe he made of kyng Daryus.
Whiche Alixsandre dyd on heyght reyse,
Only for men shulde his fame preyse.
In his conquest by Perce when he went.
And thus Priam for euery mayster sente,
For eche caruer and curious ioyner,
To make knottes wt many a queynt floure.
To sette on crestes within and eke without,
Vpon the wall the Citie rounde aboute.
Or who that were excellyng in practike,
Of any arte called mecanyke.
Or had a name flowryng or famous,
Was after sente to come to Priamus.
¶For he purposeth this noble worthy kyng,
To make a Citie royall in buildyng.
Brode, large, and wide, & lest it were assailed,
By werre about proudely enbatayled.
And fyrst the grounde he caused to be sought,
Full depe and lowe that it fayle nought.
To make sure the foundaciowne,
In the place where as the olde towne,
Was fyrst ybuylded he the walles sette.
And he of lande many myle out mette,
About in compasse for to make it large.
As the maisters that toke on them the charge
Deuysed haue the settynge and the scyte.
For holsome eyre to be more of delyte.
¶And when the soyle defouled with ruyne,
Of walles olde was made playne as a lyne.
The workmen gan this Citie for to founde.
Full mightly with stones square and rounde.
That in this worlde was none vnto it lyche,
Of workemanshyp nor of buylding riche.
Nor in crafte of curyous masonrye,
I can no termes to speke of geometrye.
Wherfore as now I must them sette a syde,
For certaynly I neuer redde Enclide.
That the maister and the foundour was,
Of all that worke by square or by compasse.
Or kepe their measure by leuell or by lyne,
I am to rude as clearely to diffyne,
Or to discriue this worke in euery parte.
For lacke of termes longyng to that arte.
But I dare well of trouth affyrmen here,
In all this worlde ne was there neuer pere.
Vnto this Citie and write it for a sothe.
As in his boke my maister Guydo dothe.
[Page]And that it myghte in his prosperitie,
In hyghe honour and in felicitie,
From all assaut perpetually contune,
It raysed was in worshyp of Neptune.
And named Troye as it was tho toforne,
Like the first that was through grekes lorne.
The length therof was shortly to conclude,
Three dayes iourne and lyke the latitude.
That neuer erst I herde make mencyon,
Of suche a nother of foundacion.
So huge in compase nor of such largesse,
Nor to counte so passyng of fayrenesse.
So edifyed or lusty to the syghte,
And as I read the walles were on heyght,
Two hundred cubytes all of marbell grey.
Magecolled without for sautes and assaye.
And it to make more pleasaunt of delyte,
Amonge the marbel was alblaster whyte,
Meynt in the walles & rounde ye towne about
To make it shewe within and eke without.
So freshe so ryche and so delectable,
That it alone was incomparable.
Of all Cities that any mortall man,
Sawe euer yet syth that the world began.
And at the corner of euery wall was sette,
A crowne of golde with ryche stones yfrette.
That shone full bryght againe ye sonne shene.
And euery towre bretexed was so clene,
Of chose stone that were not ferre a sonder,
That to beholde it was very wonder.
Therto his Citie compassed enuirowne,
Had gates .vi. to entre into towne.
The fyrst of them and strongest eke withall,
Largest also and most principall,
Of mighty buildyng by him selfe perelesse,
Was by the kyng called Dardanydes.
And in story lyke as it is founde,
Tymbrya was named the seconde.
And the thirde was called Helyas,
The fourth gate hyght also Cetheas.
The fifth Troiana the syxth Antinorydes,
Stronge & mighty both in werre and peace.
With square toures set on euery syde,
At whose corners of very pompe and pryde,
The workmen haue with sterne & fel visages,
Of riche entayle vp reysed great ymages.
Wrought out of stone and neuer lyke to fayle,
Full curiously enarmed for batayle.
And through the wall their fomen for to lette,
At euery toure were great gonnes sette.
For assautes and sodayne auentures.
And on eche tourettes were reysed vp figures
Of sauage beastes as Beares & of Lyons.
Of Tygers, Bores, of Serpētes & Dragons
And Hertes eke with their brode hornes,
Of Elyphauntes and large Vnicornes.
Bugles, Bulles, and many great Gryffon,
Forged of brasse of coper and laton.
That cruelly by sygnes of their faces,
Vpon their foon made felle menaces.
Barbycans and also bulworkes huge,
Afore the towne made for hyghe refuge,
When nede shulde be early and eke late.
And portekoles stronge at euery gate.
That of assautes they nede take no charge,
And the lockes thycke brode and large.
Of al ye gates wel wrought of shyning brasse.
And eke within the mighty shytting was,
Of yren barres stronge square and rounde.
And great barres pytched in the grounde,
With huge cheynes forged for diffence.
Whiche ne wolde breake for no violence.
That harde it was through theym for to win.
And euery house that buylded was within,
Euery paleys and euery mansyowne,
Of marbell were throughout all the towne.
Of crafty buildyng & working most royall.
And the highte was of euery wall,
Sixty cubytes from the grounde accounted.
And there was none yt other hath surmoūted.
In the Citie but of one hyght aliche,
In very soth both of pore and ryche.
That it was harde of hye estate or lowe,
House or paleys a sonder for to knowe.
So egally of tymbre and of stone,
Theyr houses were reysed euerychone.
And yf I shuld rehersen by and by.
The corne knottes by craft of masonry,
The freshe enbowīg wt verges right as lynes
And the housyng ful of backewines,
The ryche coyning the lusty tablementes,
Vinettes ronning in casementes,
Though ye termes in Englishe wolden rime,
To shewe theim all I haue as now no time.
Ne yet language picked for the nones,
To tell the sotyll ioynyng of the stones,
Nor howe they put in stede of mortere,
In the ioyntoures coper gylte full clere.
[Page]To make them ioyne by leuell and by lyne,
Amonge the marbell freshely for to shyne.
Agaynst he sonne whan his shene lyght,
Smote on the golde that was burned bright.
To make the worke glister on euery syde,
And of this towne the stretes large & wyde.
Were by crafte so prudently prouyded,
And by workmen sette so and deuyded,
That holsome eyre amyddes myght enspyre,
Erely on morowe to them that it desyre,
And zephirus that is so comfortable,
For to nouryshe thinges that bene vegetable,
In tyme of yere throughout euery strete,
With sugred sauour lusty and so swete,
Moste pleasauntly in the eyre gan smyte,
The Citezeynes onely to delyte.
And with his breth them to recomforte,
Whan they lyste walke theim selfe to disporte.
And thrugh the towne wt crafty purueiaunce,
By great auise and discrete ordenaunce,
By compase cast and squared out by squyers,
Of pullished marble vpon stronge pyllers,
Deuysed were longe large and wyde,
Of euery streate in the fronter syde,
Freshe alures with lusty hye pynacles,
And moūstryng outward costly tabernacles.
Vauted aboue lyke to reclynatoryes,
That called were deambulatoryes.
Men to walke togithers twaine and twaine,
To kepe thē drye when it happed to rayne,
Or them to saue fro tempest winde or thundre
If that them lyst shroude thēselfe there vnder
And euery house couered was with lead,
And many gargoyle and many hydous head,
With spoutes thorough & pipes as they aught
From the stone worke to the canell raught.
Voydyng fylthes lowe into the grounde,
Thorough grates made of yron perced roūd.
The stretes paued bothe in length and brede,
In cheker wyse with stones whyte and reade.
And euery crafte that any maner man,
In any lande deuyse or reken can,
Kyng Pryamus of hye discreciowne,
Ordeyned hath to dwell in the towne.
And in streates seuered here and yonder,
Eueryche from other to be set a sonder.
That they myght for there more commoditie,
Eche by hymselfe worke at his lybertye.
¶Goldsmythes fyrst and riche Iewelleres,
And by them selfe crafty brouderers,
Weuers also of wollen and of lyne,
Of clothe of golde damaske and satyn.
Of veluet sendell and double samyt eke,
And eueryche clothe that men lyste to seke.
Smythes also that coulden forge wele,
Pollaxes, swerdes, and speres sharpe of stele.
Dartes daggers for to mayme and wounde,
And quarelheades sharpe & square ygrounde.
There were also crafty armerers,
Makers of bowes and also these fletchers,
And suche as coulde make shaftes playne.
And other eke that dyd their busy payne,
For the werre to make also trappures,
Baners beate and royall cote armures,
And by diuers Standardes and penouns,
And for the fyelde freshe and gaye getouns.
And euery crafte that may reckened be,
To tell shortly was in this Citie.
And through this towne so ryche & excellent,
In the myddes a large ryuer went,
Causynge to them full great commoditie.
The whiche on twayne hath parted the Citie.
Of course full swyfte wt freshe stremes clere,
And hyght Xantus as Guydo doth vs lere.
And as I rede that vpon this flode,
On eche a syde many a mylle stode.
Whē nede was their graine & corne to grinde,
Them to susteyne in storye as I fynde.
This ryuer eke of fyshe full plenteous,
Deuided was by workemen curious,
So craftely through castynge souerayne,
That in his course the stremes might attaine,
For to areche as Guydo doth coniecte,
By arches stronge his course for to reflecte.
Through condite pypes large & wyde withal,
By certayne meanes artifyciall,
That it tho made a full purgacion,
Of all ordure and fylthes in the towne.
Wasshyng the stretes as they stode a rowe,
And the gutters in the earth be lowe.
That in the Citie was no fylthe ysene,
For the cauell scoured was so clene.
And eke deuoyded in so secrete wyse,
That no man myght espye or deuyse,
By what engyne the fylthes fer nor nere,
Were borne awaye by course of the ryuer.
So couertly euery thyng was coured.
Wherby the towne was vtterly assured,
[Page]From engendryng of all corruption.
From wycked eyre and from infexion,
That cause ofte by their vyolence,
Mortalitie and great pestilence.
And by example of this flode there was,
Made tybre at Rome and wrought by Eneas
The whiche also departeth Rome a two.
Myne auctour saith. I note if it be so.
And tenhabite this royall chiefe Citie,
Kynge Pryam hath about in eche countre.
Made for to serche with all his hole entent,
And in prouinces that were adiacent,
In borowes townes and in smales vyllages,
Ygathred had out of all maner ages,
And of thropes folkes full dyuers,
Of suche as were vacant and dispers,
About Troye in any regyowne,
He made hath to entre into towne.
Great multitude what of yonge and olde.
It tenhabyte as ye haue herde me tolde.
And those that were afore to him foreynes,
He hath in Troye made them Citezeynes,
Full discretly lyke as it is founde.
And whan they gan with people to abounde,
Kynge Priamus of hye affectiowne,
After the buyldyng of this myghty towne,
Hath in his harte caughte a fantasye,
His newe Cytie for to magnifye,
And it to put the more in remembraunce,
He fully caste to do some obseruaunce,
To myghty Mars sterne and ferse of hewe.
And specially with certayne playes newe,
On horse and foote in many sondry wyse,
To gyue his men in knyghthode excercyse.
Eueryche to put other at assaye.
In iustes lystes and also in tourney.
To preue their force whā they happe to mete,
The which plaies were founded first in Crete
And in that lande of hye and lowe estate,
In Martys honour they were dedicate.
And in palastre on wakes on the nyght,
Were other plaies as men tassaye their might,
Only on foote with many sotyll poynt,
And some of them were naked and enioynt,
To wynne a pryse they dyd their full entent.
And there was founde by clerkes full prudent
Of the chesse the playe moste gloryous,
Whiche is so sotill and so meruaylous,
That it were harde the matter to discryue.
For though a man studied all his lyue.
He shall aye fynde dyuers fantasyes,
Of wardes makynge and newe inparties,
There is therin so great diuersytie,
And it was fyrst founde in this Citie.
During the syege lyke as sayth Guydo,
But Iacobus de vitriaco,
Is contrary in his opynyon.
For lyke as he maketh playnly mencion,
And affyrmeth at full in his aduyse,
How Philometer a philosopher wyse,
Vnto a kynge to stynte his crueltee,
Foūde first this playe and made it in Caldee.
And into Grece from thence it was sent.
Also in Troye by great auisement,
The playe was founde first of dyce & tables,
And castynge the chaunces deceyuables,
That cause haue byn full ofte of great debate,
For if that one be now founde fortunate,
To wynne a whyle by fauour of his chaunce,
Or he be ware with sodeyne varyaunce,
Vnhappely he is put cleane a backe.
And other folke that stode vpon the wracke,
And by their losse were plonged in distresse,
They reysed haue in haste to hye rychesse.
Gladnesse of one is to an other rage,
A deuaunt of hasarde and passage.
If one haue ioye a nother suffreth wo,
Lyke as the bones ronnen to and fro,
An hundred syth in a daye they varye.
Now blandyshing & now they be contrary,
No man with them assured is in ioye.
¶And first also I read how that in Troye,
Were songe and red many freshe comedies,
And other dities that called ben tragedies.
And to declare shortly in sentence,
Of bothe two the fynall difference.
¶A comedye hath in his gynnynge,
A pryme face a maner complaynynge,
And afterwarde endeth in gladnesse.
And it the dedes onely doth expresse,
Of such as be in pouerte plonged lowe.
¶But tragedye who so lyste to knowe,
It styll begynneth in prosperitie,
And endeth lykewyse by aduersytie.
And it doth also of the conquest treate,
Of ryche kynges and of lordes great.
Of mighty men and olde conquerours,
Which by fraude of fortunes sodeine shoures,
[Page]Be ouer caste and whelmed from their glory.
And whylom thus was halowed ye memorye,
Of tragedyes as bokes maken mynde.
When they were red and songe as I fynde.
¶In the theatre there was a smale aulter,
Amyddes sette that was halfe Circuler,
Which into East of custome was directe,
Vpon the whiche a Pulpet was erecte,
And therin stode an auncient poete,
For to reherse by rethorykes swete,
The noble dedes that were hystoryall.
Of kynges & prynces for memoryall.
And of these olde worthy Emperours,
The great empryse eke of conquerours.
And how they gate in Martes hye honour,
The lawrer grene for fyne of their labour.
The palme of knighthod disserued by old date
Or Parchas made them passen into fate.
¶And after that with chere and face pale,
With style enclyned gan to tourne his tale,
And for to synge after all their loose,
Full mortally the stroke of Attropose.
And tell also for all their worthy head,
The sodeyne breaking of their liues threde.
How piteously they made theyr mortall ende,
Thrugh false fortune yt al ye world wil shende.
And how the fyne of all their worthynesse,
Ended in sorowe and in hyghe tristesse.
By compassynge of fraude or false treason,
By sodaine murder or vengeaunce of poyson.
Or conspyryng of fretyng false enuye,
How vnwarely that they dydden dye,
And how their renowne & their mighty fame,
Was of hatred sodeynly made lame.
And how their honour dawnward gā decline,
And the mischiefe of their vnhappy fyne.
And how fortune was to them vnswete,
All this was tolde and red of the Poete.
And whyle that he in the pulpet stode,
With deadly face all deuoyde of blode,
Synging his ditees with muses all to rent,
Amyd the theatre shrowded in a tent,
There came out men gastfull of their cheres,
Disfygured their faces with viseres,
Playing by sygnes in the peoples syght.
That the Poet songe hath on heyght,
So that there was no maner discordaunce,
Atwene his ditees and their countenaunce.
¶For lyke as he a lofte dyd expresse,
Wordes of ioye or of heauinesse,
Meaning and chere beneth of theim playing,
From poynt to poynt was alway answering.
Now triste, now glad, now heuy, & now light,
And face ychaunged with a sodeyne syght.
So craftely they coulde them transfygure.
Conformyng them to the chante plure.
Now to synge and sodaynely to wepe,
So well they coulde their obseruaunces kepe.
And this was done in Apryll and in May,
Whan blosmes new both on bushe and hey,
And floures freshe gynne for to sprynge.
And the byrdes in the wood synge.
With lust supprysed of the somer sonne,
Whan these playes in Troye were begon,
And in the theatre halowed and yholde.
And thus the rytes of tragedyes olde,
Pryamus the worthy kyng began,
Of this matter no more tell I can.
BVt I wyll forth of this storye wryte,
And on my matter boystously endyte,
How Pryamus was passyng dylygent,
Ryght desyrous and inwardly feruent,
If so he myght amonge his workes all,
Do bylde a palays and a ryche hall.
Whiche shulde be his chose chyefe dungyon.
His royall see and souerayne mansyon.
And whan he gan to his worke approche,
He made it builde hye vpon a roche.
It for to assure in his foundation,
And called it the noble Ylion.
The syght of whyche iustly circuler,
By compasse cast rounde as any sphere.
And who that wolde ye content of the grounde
Truely acounte of this place rounde,
In the theatre fyrst he muste entre,
Takyng ye lyne yt carueth through the centre.
By geometrye as longeth to that art.
And trebled it with the seuenth parte,
He fynde myght by experience,
The measure hole of the circumference.
What lande also playnly eke with all,
Conteyned was within the stronge wall.
The crest of which in place where lowest was,
Vpreysed was full syxe hundred pase.
Builded of marbell ful royall and ful stronge.
And many other ryche stone amonge,
Whose toures were reysed vp so hye,
[Page]And who that lyst by greces vp assende,
He there might se in his inspection,
The fayre boundes of many regyon,
And prouinces that stode rounde about.
And the walles within and eke without,
Endlonge were with knottes grauen cleane,
Depeynt with asure, golde, cinople, & grene.
That verely when so the sonne shone,
Vpon the golde meynt amonge the stone,
They gaue a lyght withouten any were,
As doth Apollo in his midday sphere.
And all the windowes and eche fenestrall,
Wrought were of beryle & of cleare crystall.
¶And high amiddes this noble Ylion,
So ryche and passing of foundacion,
Whych clerkes yet in theyr bokes prayse,
Kyng Priam made an hall for to rayse.
Excelling all in beaute and in strengthe,
The latitude according with the lengthe,
And of marbyll outward was the wall,
And the tymbre noble in speciall,
Was halfe of Cedre as I reherse can,
And the remnaunt of the ryche Heban.
Which most is able as I dare specifye,
With stone to ioyne by craft of carpentrye.
For they of tymber haue the soueraynte.
And for to tel of this Heban tree,
Lyke in bokes sothely as I finde,
It cometh out of Ethiop and ynde.
Blacke as is geate and it wyll waxe anone,
Whan it is korne as harde as any stone.
And euermore last wil and endure,
And not corrupt with water nor moysture.
And of this hall further to diffine,
With stones square by leuel and by line,
It paued was with full great dilygence,
Of masonrye and passyng excellence,
And all aboue reysed was a see,
Ful curyously of stones and perre.
That called was as chiefe and pryncipall,
Of the reygne the seate most royall.
Tofore which was set by great delyte,
A borde of Heban and of yuerye white.
So egally yioyned and so clene,
That in the worke there was no ryft ysene.
And sessyons were made on euery syde,
Onely the states by ordre to deuide.
Eke in the hall as it was conuenable,
On eche partye was a dormaunt table,
Of yueree eke and of this Heban tree.
And euen agayne this kynges royall see,
In the partye that was therto contrayre.
Yraysed was by many crafty stayre,
High in the hall in the other syte,
Ryght as lyne in the opposytr,
Of pured metall and of stones clere,
In brede and length a full rych aultere.
On which there stode of fygure and vysage,
Of massy golde a wonderful ymage,
As to be honoured in that high seate,
Onely in name of Iupyter the great.
¶And the statue for all his huge weyght,
Fyftene cubytes compleyt was of heyght.
A crowne of golde high vpon his heade,
With heauēly saphyres & many ruby redde,
Fret enuyron with other stones of Inde,
And amonges were medled as I fynde,
Whyte pereles massye large and rounde.
And for most chefe all dirkenesse to confound,
A Carbuncle was set as kyng of stones all,
To recomforte and gladden all the hall.
And it to enlumine in the black night,
With the freshenes of his ruddy light.
The value was therof inestymable,
And the ryches playnly incomparable.
For this ymage by diuision,
Was of shape and of proporcion,
From heade to foote so maysterly entayled,
That in a poynt the workmā hath not failed,
It to parfourme by crafty excellence.
Whom Priamus with dread and reuerence,
Honoured hath aboue the goddes all,
In all mischiefe him to clepe and call.
For in him was his hole affection,
His soueraygne trust and chefe deuocion.
His hope also and his affyaunce,
His welth his ioye and his assuraunce.
And his welfare and his prosperytye,
He hath committed to his deyte.
Wening in herte wonder sykerly,
To be assured from all mischefe therby.
And diffended in eche aduersytye,
And holde his reygne in high felicitye.
And in honour contynually to shyne,
While Iupyter through his power diuine,
Hym and his hath in protection.
This was his trust and full opinion.
And thus this worke to the ende achyeued,
Wherof Pryam with ioye full releued.
That he his Citye and noble Ilion,
Hath fully brought vnto perfection,
[Page]Lyke his entent whā he therof began.
And thus Pryam this king this worthy man
Full many a day in this newe Troye,
With his lyeges lad his lefe in ioye,
Where I hym leue in his royall sete,
Soueraygnly reygning in quyete.
Procedyng forth if so ye list to heare,
Vnto the effect anone of my matere.

¶How king Pryā send Anthenor into Grece to haue restored ayen his sister Exion. Ca. xii.

O Hateful harme which most is for to dred
Kindled so longe o sparke of olde hatred
Roote and debate grounde of enuy and yre,
With newe flawme hertes for to fyre.
O grayne of malyce causer of all offence,
Of rancour rusted of impacyence.
Which hast of newe made festred sores smert,
Whan thou art ones raked in an herte.
Which for disdayne of mercye mayst not lete,
A man no whyle to lyue as in quyete.
But deluest vp malyce manyfolde,
Debates newe that buryed were of olde.
And falsly quyckest strifes to restore,
That enuious serpēt that was slayne of yore,
Which felly hath this addre enuyous,
Out of his rest awaked Pryamus.
And with his venim so persyng and so ille,
Made him wery to lyue a lyfe tranquille.
And meued hym of his iniquitee,
Vpon the Grekes auenged for to be.
For where as he in peace held his reygne,
With his lyeges in ioye souereygne,
Without anoye or any perturbaunce,
This serpent hath wyth newe remembraūce,
Without aduyse or discrete areste,
So hote a flawme kindled in his breste,
Of olde enuye with freshe rancour meynte,
That lykly is neuer to be queynte.
For Pryam nowe in his entenciowne,
Cast and compasseth reuoluing vp & downe,
Howe strong he was of ryches and meyne,
How noble and mighty was his newe Citye,
And habundaunt shortly to conclude,
Both of plentye and of multitude,
Of men of armes and of chyualrye.
Which stered him to haue a fantesye.
Alas the whyle to his vnhappy chaunce,
That to be dead he take will vengeaunce,
Vpon his foon the fyre of hote enuye,
So brent him inward by melancolye.
Standing in purpose yt no man chaūge may,
Of his domages auenged be some day.
And of iniuryes yt thei on him haue wrought.
¶And when that he had a tyme out sought,
To his purpose most conuenient.
Anone he hath for all his lordes sent.
And his knightes called euerychone,
To come in haste excused was not one.
Namely of theim that were of hygh degre.
And they obeying with all humylitye,
His bydding hooly and made no delay,
To come echeone agayne a certayne day,
And his sonnes were also tho present,
Hector except that was that tyme absent.
In the stronge and mighty regyon,
Of Panomye which in subiection,
Kinge Pryam held through his worthynesse,
And to amende thinges and redresse,
Hector was gone into this Panomye.
Certayne causes for to iustifye.
As in his reason he thought for the best,
To settle theim in quiet and in rest.
For he was aye so iust and so prudent,
So well aduysed and so pacient,
And so demeaned in his gouernaunce,
That him was lothe for to do vengeaunce,
Where as he might in easy wise treate.
For to reforme thinges small and great.
For lothe he was this noble worthy knighte,
For any haste to execute vnright.
Or causeles by rygour to condempne.
And in this while full worthy and solempne,
Kinge Priamus of lordes great and small,
Within Troye held a court royall,
As he that lyst for no cost to spare.
And ceryously his meaning to declare,
He in his see his lordes enuyron,
Gan to shewe his hertes entention.
¶O worthy lordes assembled here present,
Faythfull and trewe of herte and of entēte.
It is well knowen to your discrecion,
The great domages and foule oppression,
Which that ye Grekes haue vpon vs wrought
Without cause for a thinge of nought,
This other daye as who sayeth yet but late.
That as I trowe so newe is yet the date,
That it is freshe remembred in your mynde,
Vnto your blode if so that ye be kinde.
For I suppose no foryetfulnesse,
May put away the mortal heuynesse,
[Page]Of harmes olde whych aye renewe agayne.
As in my mynde I saye you in certayne.
And as I trowe playnly in your thought,
It yet is grene and ne dyeth nought,
How they haue slaine our olde progenitours,
That whylom were so noble werreours.
Our Cytye brent and brought vnto ruyne,
And robbed it falsly by rauyne,
And tourned all into wildernesse,
And into Grece caryed our rychesse.
My father slayne that hyght Lamedon,
Without cause or iuste occasyon.
And raught frō him his golde & his treasour,
Which as me semeth is a foule errour.
We might of ryght amendes well chalenge,
And eke desyre to be fully aduenge,
Afore the goddes of full high offence,
Onely of reason and of conscience.
And passyng all theyr mortall crueltee.
There is one thinge that most greueth me,
That they vngoodly agaynst all gentyllesse,
Without regarde as to the worthinesse,
To the byrth ne the royall blode,
Of her that is so fayre and eke so good,
I meane my syster called Exyon.
Whom they alas to theyr confusyon,
Disuse and kepe not like to her degre,
From day to day in such dishonestee,
Where thrugh her honour & her name is lorn
Cōsiderīg nought of what stock she was born
For they are blinde for to take hede,
Or to aduert the roote of her kindred,
Of surquidrye they be so indurate.
And syth that she borne of so highe estate,
Ytreated is like as ye may se,
We may coniecte that those of lowe degre,
Gouerned be passing dishonestly.
For ye may thinke and demen truely,
How wyues and maydens in that companie,
With other eke that be of your allye,
Yhaunted be and vsed at theyr luste.
On the Grekes I haue no better truste.
For they ne spare nother blode nor age,
And thus they liue in torment & seruage.
Without routhe mercy or pitee.
The which toucheth you as well as me.
And as me semeth of equite and of ryght,
Ye ought echone with all your ful might,
Of the wronges with which ye be offended,
To seke a waye how it might be amended.
And that we worke all by one assent,
And sins procede like to our entent.
Of theyr malyce and cursed crueltee,
All at ones auenged for to be.
And that we be in herte wil and thought,
Of one accord and ne varye nought.
For then our force is doubled and pouste,
For right and reason and good equite,
Requyre vengeaunce on him yt doth ye wrōge,
Though it so be we differre it longe.
I truste also the goddes rightwisenesse,
That they shall helpe our harmes to redresse.
And fauour vs in our innocence,
To chastice them that wrought this offence.
¶Also ye knowe how that this our Citye,
Is stronge mighty and of great suertye.
With toures high & walled for the werre,
That also fer as shineth sonne or sterre,
There is none like for to reken all.
That may in force be therto peregall.
Ye knowe also as it shall eft be founde,
With cheualrye how that we habounde,
Except in armes and of olde assayed,
That yet for dreade neuer were dismayed.
And we haue plenty also of vytayle.
Of frendshyp eke that ne will vs fayle,
With all theyr might to do to vs succour.
Wherfore I reade without more soiour,
To set vpon theim sith we be well able,
And time is nowe me semeth couenable,
For manhode byd to make no more delaye,
To venge a wronge hap what so euer maye,
For in differring is oft drawen in domage,
To worke in time is double auauntage.
For to our purpose lacketh neuer a dele,
And through our manhod we be assured wel,
But that we be not holde to hasty,
Or to rakell to worken wilfully.
And werre also stant in auenture,
For aye of Mart doubtous is the eure.
I reade first to Grekes that we sende,
To wyt if they our harmes will amende,
Without stryfe werre or more debate.
Then may we sayne that we be fortunate.
And yf they be contrarye of reason,
To condiscende to this conclusyon,
To graunte our askyng of equite and righte,
Then haue we cause for to preue our might.
[Page]But are that we proceden by rygour,
We shall assaye them fyrst measure,
As fer as ryght and reason eke requere.
And of disdeyne yf them lyst not here.
Than our quarell deuoyde of wylfulnesse,
Yrooted is vppon good sykernesse.
And if that we of their great offence,
Demaunde amendes fyrst in pacience,
God and fortune I hope wyll not assent,
That in the ende we shulde the same repent.
And it is better by peace to haue redresse,
Than gyn a werre without auisenesse.
Therfore let vs our wofull auenture,
Paciently aye suffre and endure.
And in our porte both humble be & playne,
Tyll they to vs their answere send ayene.
For though so be in myne entencion,
I meaued am by iuste occasyon,
In Irous sort proceadyng to vengeaunce,
I wyll put all out of remembraunce,
And letten slyde by foryetfulnesse,
The wronges do and voyde all heauinesse,
Toward grekes and axe of them no more,
But that they wyll Exiona restore.
To vs againe whiche is to me most dere,
Only to stynte hatred debate and werre.
For the surplus of our mortall eure,
We shall dessymule and prudently endure,
Our harmes olde forth in pacience.
If ye accorde vnto my sentence.
Saye here vpon as ye be full auysed.
For yf this sonde be of them despised,
And that them lyste to reason not obeye,
Than we may iustly seke a nother waye,
To haue redresse for now there is no more.
Saue I purpose to senden Anthenore,
Whiche is a man discrete and well auysee,
And specially in mater of treatee,
For he is both wyse and eloquent,
As ye well knowe and passyngly prudent.
And whan the kyng had tolde his tale anone,
To his counseyle they consent echone,
That Anthenor this iourney vndertake.
And he in hast gan him ready make,
Without abode and wyll not ones denye,
To take on hym this embassadrye,
Full well auised in his discrecion,
Toke or he went informacion,
From poynt to poynt of this great charge,
For he hym caste to stande at his large,
Without errour as he that coulde his good,
For he theffecte full playnly vnderstode,
And euery thyng he prynted in his thought,
Or that he went & hath forgat ryght nought.
For of a worde he caste him not to fayle,
To shyppe he goth and began to sayle,
And in short tyme he and his companye,
Aryued be vp into Thesalye,
At a citie called Monosyus,
Where by fortune was kynge Pelleus,
The same tyme and Anthenor anone,
Vnto the kynge the right way is gone.
Of whom he was as Guydo hath conceiued,
At pryme face right beningly receyued.
But whan he knewe the cause of his comyng,
He bad in hast without more tarying,
To Anthenor with a fell visage,
Shortly to saye theffecte of his message.
THis Troian knight astoned neuer adel,
But full demure and auysed well,
Not to hasty nor rakle for to sayne,
But abydyng with loke and face playne,
To Pelleus with a manly chere,
Sayde in effecte right thus as ye shall here.
¶The worthy kyng called Pryamus,
So wyse, so noble, so manly and famous,
And of knighthod passyng excellent.
Hath fyrst to you in goodly wyse seyt,
Out of Troye his royall chiefe Eitie,
His full entent and message here by me,
As I shall saye to you in wordes playne.
If it so be that ye not disdayne,
Paciently to gyue audience.
Remembryng fyrst in your aduertence,
Of the harmes not full longe ago,
And the wronges that ye wrought also,
Full cruelly with other eke of yours,
In Troye lande on his progenitours.
What iniuryes and what destruction,
Causeles without any occasyon,
Ye shewed haue of very cruelty,
And mercyles destroyed his Citie.
Slayne his father named Lamedowne,
And his cytie brent and beat adowne,
And nother lefte paleys house nor toure,
And lad awaye his rychesse and treasour,
And nother spared as I reherse can,
[Page]In your slaughter woman childe nor man.
There might none from your swerde astert.
And yet one thynge yt most he hathe at herte,
That his syster called Exyon,
Is hold and kept of kinge Thelamon,
Dishonestly agayne all gentrye.
To great dishonour and great vyllanye,
Of her kindred lyke as ye may se.
Treated nor cherished like to her degre.
Wherfore syth ye be so wyse a knight,
Ye ought aduert and to haue a syght,
To such thinges of iust affection.
And consydre in your discrecion,
Of gentilnesse and of equite,
How such wronges might amended be.
Wherfore Pryam of great auisenesse,
As he that fully with all his busynesse,
Of herte and will desyreth peace and reste,
Sendeth to you beseching for the beste,
That ye wil do your busy diligence,
To make to hym this litell recompence.
That he may haue the restytucion,
Through your knightly mediacion,
Of his syster withouten longer space.
And the remenaunt he wyll let pace,
Strife and werre onely to eschewe.
For he desireth fully for to sewe,
Peace and quyete of hole affection.
And to pursue measure and reason.
And finallye lyke as ye may se,
All occasyon of werre for to fle,
Consyder this that holdē be so sage,
For this the fine fully of my message.
¶Whan Pelleus hym playnly vnderstode,
Of sodayne yre in hert he waxed woode,
Of cheare and loke fell and furyous.
And of rancoure right melancolyus.
That he ne might attempre nor appease,
The hasty fyre that gan his herte sease.
For he anone in full dispytous wise,
Gan Pryamus threten and despise,
And of malyce set his sond at nought,
With al the meanes yt Anthenor hath sought.
And gan also this Troian knight manace,
And bad in haste that he auoyde his place,
Vpon peryll that after fall might.
And he anone went out of his syght.
And in all haste he and his meynee,
Without abode taken haue the see.
And gan to saylen out of Thesalye,
And in theyr waye so fast they gan theim hye,
That in shorte tyme they aryued be,
Vp at Salerne a mighty strong Citye.
Where by fortune in this royall towne,
This Anthenor fonde king Thelamowne,
And to his paleys he hath the waye nome.
And first I finde that when he was come,
He was accepted vnto his presence,
Beningly without all offence,
For Exyone was present in that tyde.
Of auenture standing by his syde.
And at reuerence of her womanheade,
Of Anthenor he toke the better hede.
Albe of custome that kyng Thelamon,
Had hye despyte and indignacion,
Of euerye Troyan that he could espye.
For specially to them he had enuye.
Of rancour onely through the bytter rage,
Which in his hert might neuer yet aswage.
But for al that he in pacience,
To Anthenor hath giuen audience,
The which anone in ful sobre wise,
His tayle gan as I shall deuise.
¶Syr quod he with supporte of your grace,
So ye me graunt oportune space,
For to declare the cause of my cominge,
I will reherse without more tarying,
My matter hole brefely in sentence.
To make it kouthe to your magnificence.
Signifying without displesaunce,
That Priamus which hath the gouernaūce,
Of Troye towne hath vnto you sent,
Of faythfull meaning and of clene entent,
Besechyng first to your goodlyheade,
All other wronges forgotten and eke deade,
That ye onely of your hygh noblesse,
Of equite and of gentilnesse,
Ye will restore Exyona agayne.
Which that ye hold to speake in wordꝭ playn,
In very sothe not like to her estate.
Wherfore he prayeth to stinten all debate.
And euery harme to put from memorye,
Of knightly honour for your owne glorye,
To sende her home and make delyueraunce,
Goodly of her withouten varyaunce.
Whom ye haue holde so many longe dayes,
Ne tarieth not nor setteth no delayes,
Ne let in you be founden any slouthe.
[Page]For sothfastly it is to great a routhe,
As to recorde how ye haue her abused,
It may of trouthe not goodly be excused.
Which we shall lett lightly ouerslyde,
So that ye beningly list prouyde,
To sende her home like as I haue sayde.
Lo here the charge that was on me layde,
Without more abiding in certayne,
What goodly answere ye will sende agayne.
¶Whan Thelamon herkened had his tayle,
For hasty yre he gan to wexen pale.
The fyery collor hath him made so woode,
That from his face aualed is the blode,
Within his herte and gan to frete and bite.
Wyth loke askoye and tourned vp the whyte.
Of hye disdayne with face dispytous,
With pale smilyng and laughter furyous.
Gan rake out the fearful mortall fyre,
Of fretinge hate that brent in his desyre.
And shortly made in conclusyon,
To Anthenor put this ilke obiection,
And sayde frende what euer that thou be,
I wonder greatly for meruayle is to me,
What auenture or sodaine newe thinge,
Vnprudently meueth nowe thy kinge,
Vnto me to make such a sonde.
Thou were a foole whā so thou toke on hōd,
Eyther vnhappy or elles infortunate,
To me to bring this proude embassete.
For I with him wyl nothing haue a do,
Nor he with me and loke thou say him so.
For we ne be aqueynted but a lyte,
Nor I nothing platly me delyte,
At short wordes if thou list to heare,
To do for hym nor ought at his prayer.
For I ne haue delyght ioye ne feste,
To do the thinge wherof he maketh requeste.
This wote I well that but a whyle a go,
I was at Troye my selfe and other mo.
For to reforme a thinge that was amys.
Through your offence shortly thus it is.
For certaine thing wrought by Lamedowne,
And by our manhod wonnē there ye towne.
And slewe the kyng & all that with him helde,
In knightly wise him meting in the felde.
And for that I as euerye man might se,
Did ieoparde first to enter that Cytye,
It was to me graunted for memorye,
In onely signe of mine hygh victorye,
Withouten any contradiction,
By all the Grekes to haue possession,
Of her that is to me the most entere,
Exiona whom nowe thou claymest here.
But be well syker thyne asking is in vayne.
For truste me this & be right well certayne,
Thou gettest her not at one worde yf I may.
For there shal first be made full greate affray.
Or I her leue during all my liue.
Who euer grutche or there agaynst striue.
It were not sittyng me to leue her so,
For whom I had whilom so great a do.
Or I her gat with spending of me blode.
For who so wrothe be therwith or wood,
I will her kepe as it shall be founde,
For whom I had so many mortall wounde.
At Troye towne or that I her thense wan.
And in good fayth as fer forthe as I can,
She shall not lightly fro my handes pace.
For she alone so standeth in my grace,
For her beaute and her semelyheade,
For of her bounte and her godlyheade,
That if I shal my reason shortly fine,
She is in sothe the most feminine,
That euer I sawe and without dreade,
Of porte & conning and of womanheade,
She hath alone in very existence,
The souereynte and perfect excellence.
That Priamus for ought that thou cā sayne,
While that I lyue getteth her not agayne.
But he her bye with many deadly wounde.
With sharpe swerdes & square speres groūde.
For there shal first be reysed such a strife,
That it shall cost many mannes lyfe,
Or she to him agayne restored be.
Take this forsothe yu gettest no more of me.
And when him list he may wel beginne,
But I supose he shall but litell winne.
None otherwise but as I haue the tolde.
And wotest yu what a great foole I the holde,
The to put thy selfe so ferre in Ieopartye,
To execute this his embassadrye.
The manly Grekes so boldly to offende.
Beware therfore that he no more the sende.
Vpon thy selfe for rancoure nor for pride.
Now go thy waye for yf that thou abide,
Any longer sothly in my syght,
Thou wotest ye pryse yt I haue the hyght,
Thou scapest not who that be liefe or lothe.
[Page]Than Anthenor anone to shyp he goth.
And forth sayleth hym list not to delaye,
Towarde an yle that called is Achaye.
And whan that he taken hath the lande,
At his ryuayle of auenture he fonde,
The worthy kynges Pollux and Castor.
And ryght anone this Troyan Anthenor,
Without abode to the courte is fare,
Vnto them his message to declare.
And together when they were present,
Right thus he sayd as in sentement.
¶The noble kynge of Troye the Citee,
Hath vnto you sent his wyll by me.
Besechyng you in full lowe maner,
That she vouchesafe as vnto his prayer,
Of equitie for to condescende,
And goodly helpe a certeine wrong to mende.
Touchyng his syster called Exion,
That he may haue restitucion,
Of her agayne by your discrete aduyse.
For syth ye be so manly and so wyse,
It lykely is in his oppynion,
That ye by your good medyacion,
May easely agayne restored be.
For to cheryshe peace and vnitee.
Wherfore he prayeth wt all his herte entere,
In goodly wyse to done your deuere,
That holde byn so knyghtly and so sage,
And he wyll playnly all the surplusage,
Of wronges olde put as in suspence.
For he desyreth of knyghtly hygh prudence,
To stynte warre and to nouryshe peace.
For he is nother rakle nor rekles.
But euell auysed in his workes all,
To caste afore what that shall after fall.
And thynges future aduertynge from a ferre,
And seeth what peryll that there is in werre.
Wyll hym conforme vnto peace and reste,
For he conceyueth that it is the beste.
For euery man vnite to sewe,
And prudently also to eschewe,
Of all debates the hole full occasion.
Lo here the fyne of this entencion,
Which I commyt vnto your iugement.
¶This Castor then of yre inpacient,
For hastinesse ne might not abyde,
His cruell herte so swolen was with pride.
Brake out anone with right despiteous face,
And sayde frende I knowe of no trespace,
That euer grekes did vnto thy kynge,
To axe amendes it is a wonder thynge.
Of vs that neuer dyd him none offence.
Saue that we made a maner recompence,
Of a wronge wrought by Lamedon.
The whiche fyste sought occasyon,
Agaynst grekes in vngoodly wyse,
That caused vs vpon hym tho to ryse,
All at ones and manly on hym sette,
Of due ryght for to quyte our dette.
Lyke his deserte we haue him playnly serued,
And nothīg wrought but as he hath deserued
To axe amendes he gynneth now to late.
For we coueyte more his mortall hate,
His vtter malys and his enmyte,
Then outher peace accorde or vnite.
As in effecte hereafter he shall fele,
If so he dare hereafter with vs deale.
The bargayne shall full dere ben abought,
And we his frendeshyp sothly set at nouhgt.
And ouermore I speake now as to the,
It lykely is as semeth vnto me,
That Pryamus they loued but a lyte,
Not as I thincke, the value of a myte,
Whan he the sent forth on this message.
And thou of folye dyddest great outrage,
To take on the so hyghe a peryllous thynge,
Vnto grekes to bryngen suche tydynge.
Where throughe thy lyfe is put in inpartye.
But I the counsayle faste that thou the hye▪
Out of my syght lest that thou repente.
¶And Anthenor forth to shyp went,
And with the wynde gan to sayle anone,
Towarde an yle that called was Pylon.
And in all hast whan he dyd aryue,
He shope hym forth to the court as blyue,
Where duke Nestor in all maner thynge,
His housholde helde royall as a kinge.
And Anthenor full sad and auysee,
Tofore Nestor syttyng on his see,
Whan that he was admytted for to sayne,
His tale he tolde full openly and playne.
From poynt to poynt as ye herde afore,
It were but vayne for to reherse it more.
For he alway concluded hath in one,
As ye haue herde touchyng Exion.
¶But duke Nestor with face nothyng red,
But of hewe of any asshes dead,
Fret with collor so inwardly was he,
[Page]That his blode from eche extremitee,
Withdrawen is downe alowe vnto his herte.
Which for his yre so sore made hym smerte,
That he gan quake in euery ioynt and vayne.
That he his hande vnneth may restreyne,
For melancolye a venged for to be.
Lyke a Lyon so wood and wroth was he.
Fer from hym selfe he was so alyenate,
And inwardly of rancour passyonate,
With loke reserued and furious of syghte,
That tho to rule hym selfe vnneth he myghte,
He felte of anger so great aduersytie,
And syth amyddes of all his crueltie,
Of sodeyne haste at ones he out brake,
And euen thus to Anthenor he spake.
¶O thou quod he with al thy wordes whyte,
As I suppose that thou wottest full lyte,
Tofore whom thou haste thy tale tolde.
For I meruayle howe thou arte so bolde,
Thus to presume myne eares to offende.
And for Pryam so proudely to pretende.
A maner tytle in thy kynges name,
The worthy grekes for to put in blame,
And vniustly of foule hardynesse.
Requere of them for to haue redresse,
Of Iniuryes wrought by Lamedon.
Boldely affyrmyng of false presumpcion,
Vpon grekes wronkes outragious.
Whiche in myne eres be so odyous,
So fretyng eke so bytyng and so kene,
For to lyste that I may not susteyne,
In my hearyng so hatefull is the sowne.
That ner the honour of my hye renowne,
Refrayned me I shulde in cruell wyse,
Execute full hastely Iustyce.
Through the rygour of my mortall law,
With bestes wylde fyrste to do the drawe,
And thervpon for thy fayned tale,
Dismembre the all on peces smale,
In despyte of Pryamus thy kynge.
To teache other to bryng more tydyng,
Presumptuously or any tales newe,
To any lorde but he hym better knewe.
Thus shuldest thou haue for thy presūpcion,
Thy last mede and fynall guerdon,
Without mercy lyke as I haue behyght.
And in all hast bego out of my syght,
For vtterly it doth to great offence,
Vnto myne eye to haue the in presence.
For through disdeine it causeth myne vnreste.
¶Than Anthenor thought as for the best,
It was not holsom longer to abyde.
But caste wysely for rancour or for pryde,
That it was beste for to beare him fayre,
And to his shyppe he gan anone repayire,
And in all haste by possybilitee,
Without abode he taken hath the sea.
And gan to sayle and homeward faste drawe,
But sodeynly to boylen gan the wawe,
The seas to ryse and the cloudes blacke,
For to appere and the wynde a wake,
Wonder gastfull also was the heauen,
With dredfull fyre of the bryght leuen,
The thonder smote. so gan the tēpest driue,
That toppe and mast asunder gynneth ryue.
Now alofte and now in poynt to drowne,
The fell wether gan so on theim frowne,
That naught they awayte but on the death.
Euen at the poynt of yeldyng vp of the brethe.
For they ne sawe none other remedy,
Styll amonge they gan to clepe and crye,
Vnto their goddes and auowes make,
And deuoutly for to vndertake,
Eche of them as he was growen of age,
If they escape to go on pylgremage.
Lyke the rytes of their paynym wyse,
To the goddes to do their sacrifyse.
So as they were of substaunce & of myght,
And sodeinly the wether derke as nyght,
With newe lyght by grace gan adawe.
The sea ware calme and smothē gan ye wawe.
So that of happe amonge euerychone,
For all the tempest perished not one.
But tofore Troye within a lyttell space,
They be aryued euerychone by grace,
Eschaped safe from euery ioypardye.
Bothe Anthenor and all his companye.
And to the temple he toke the ryght way,
And in his prayer there full longe he laye.
With many another also for his sake,
Thankyng their goddes yt lysten so to slake,
Euery peryll and tempest of the sea.
And after this vnto the kynge goeth he.
That with his lordes about him full royall,
In his paleys and dongyon pryncipall,
Sat and abode full solempnelye.
To heare reporte of this embassadrye.
And this knyght of all that hath hym fall,
[Page]Hath tolde the kynge tofore his lordes all.
THis Anthenor hath fyrst made mencion,
Tofore the kynge by iuste relacion,
Of his exployt by ordre by and by,
And in what wyse and howe vncurteously,
He was receyued of kynge Pelleus.
Of the thretes, and wordes despyteous,
That he had suffred of kyng Thelamon,
As ferse and cruell as a wood Lyon.
And afterwarde he gan also complayne,
Of the despyte of the bretherne tawyne,
Of his rebuke and his great dread,
And at Nestor howe he happed to spede,
That with his lyfe he myght vnneth escape,
All this he tolde and gan an ende make,
Of his iourney and eke of his repayre.
Wherby Pryam was fully in dispayre,
Outher by force or yet by aduenture,
That he his syster neuer might recure.
For he conceyueth in his aduertence,
By cleare reporte of experte euydence,
That aye the more he was to theim beninge,
The more vngoodly ayen him they malinge.
& where he sheweth him selfe most debonayre,
There he ayeneward fond thē most cōtrayre.
So frowardly euer they theim quite.
Shewing by sygnes that they set but lyte,
By his frendshyp for ought he could aduerte.
Wherof he was ful sorowfull in herte,
That he constrayned ryght of very nede,
Was tho compelled iustly to procede,
To haue redresse onely by rygoure:
For profered peace myght haue no fauour.
To be admitted by tytle of rightwysenesse,
Through hygh despite of hasty wylfulnesse.
For euery meane of measoure was in vayne,
Saue onely werre engendred by disdayne,
Began and caused all of olde hatrede.
Which gan anone such a broyle to brede,
Of newe enuy within the kynge his breste,
That Priamus without more areste,
So inly Irous and with rancour fret,
And with disdayne so sore ground & whet,
That where so be that he must lese or wyn,
Vpon Grekes he wyll a werre begyn.
And therin Ieoparde manly as a knight,
His lyfe and deathe bycause he had ryght.
And cast hym first a nauye for to sende,
In hast to Grece his fomen to offende.
And like a knight his force there to haunte,
In knightly wise he cast him for to daunt,
The pompe of Grekes and the sturdinesse,
And fynally theyr pride to oppresse.
¶But saye me Priam what infelycitye,
What newe trouble, what hap, what destiny,
Or from aboue what hateful influence,
Descended is by vnware violence,
To meue ye thus thou canst not liue in peace.
What sodayne sorte what fortune gracelese,
What chaunce vnhappy without auisenesse,
What wilfull lust what fonde hardinesse,
Haue put thy soule out of tranquilitye,
To make the werye of thy prosperitye.
What sauourest yu in bitter more thē swete,
That canst not lyue in peace nor in quiete.
Thou art trauayled with wilfull mocions,
And ouer maystred with thy passions.
For lacke of reason and of hyghe prudence,
Derked and blinde from all prouydence.
And full barayne to cast afore and se,
The harmes folowyng of thine aduersitye.
Thou were to slowe wisely to consydre,
For want of syght made the thus to slydre.
Through myst of errour falsly to forueye,
By pathes wronge from the right weye.
To voyde reason of wylful hastynesse,
Where was thy guyde where was thy may­stresse,
Discrecion so prudēt & so sadde,
Auysely that should the there haue lad,
From the traces of sensualitee.
Though it ful selde in mannes power be.
By sufferaunce him selfe to refrayne,
Whan sodayne yre doth his herte strayne.
thou shuldest afore better haue cast thi chaūce
Wrought by counsayle & not put in balaunce,
Thy sykernesse alas why diddest thou so.
And haue symuled some dele of the wo.
And cast thy chaunge wel afore the prime,
To haue forgotten wronges of olde time.
And thought afore as in thine aduertence,
That oft it falleth in experyence,
That whiles men do most theyr busynesse,
Vengeably olde wronges to redresse,
With double harme or that they beware,
They fall agayne in a newe snare.
And domages that were forgotten cleane,
By false reporte of rumour freshe & grene,
[Page]Renewed be through the swyfte fame,
That fleeth fer to hurt a lordes name.
Namely whan so they to a purpose wende,
Only of head and not forsee the ende.
For of pryde and of sodayne heate,
They voyde them selfe out of all quyete,
Aduertyng not to worke auysely,
Nor the prouerbe that teacheth comonly,
He that stande sure enhaste hym not to meue,
For yf he do it shall him after greue.
And he that walketh surely on the playne,
Where if he stumble it is but in vayne,
Onlesse so be he lyste of his folye,
Be neclygent to put hym wylfully,
In auenture and of hym selfe to reche,
To eschewe peryll I holde he be a wreche.
For sothly Pryam thou were to rechelese,
For to commytte thy quyete and the peace,
So dredfully durynge by no date,
To cruell fortune or to fykell fate.
Whose maner is of custome comonly,
That whan a man trusteth most suredly,
Of this goddesse blynde and full vnstable,
Then she to hym is moste deceyuable.
Hym to abate from his royall stalle,
And sodeynly doth make hym downe to falle.
And with a tryp throwe him on the backe,
Who that gayne striueth shal haue lytle tacke.
She is so slyely with her gylefull snare,
That she can make a man for his welfare,
With her pantre that is with fraude englewed
Whā he least weneth for to be remewed.
Therfore no man may hope affyaunce,
In fortunes rule so full of varyance.
Ne lete no wyght his ease more Iuparte,
Then he ne recke how she the game departe,
To tourne his chaunce outher to well or wo,
For selde in one she doth the game go.
As ye may see example of Pryamus,
That of his foly is so desyrous,
To worke of head and folow so his wylle.
That troubled is the calme of his tranquille.
As in the boke hereafter shalbe founde,
Hym and his citie platly to confounde.
And vtterly to his confusyon,
That afterwarde by longe successyon,
It shalbe red in story and in fable,
And remembred with dytees delytable.
To do pleasaunce to them that shall it here,
That by this sample they beware and lere,
Of hasty lust or of rashe voluntee,
To gyn a thyng wherin no suretee,
Dependeth aye as stryfe werre and debate.
For in such play vnwarely cometh check mate
And harme ydone to late is to amende,
Whose fyne is ofte other then they wende.
In this story as ye shall after see,
And lette Pryam alwaye your myrrour be.
Hasty errour by tymes to correcte,
For I anone my poyntill wyll directe,
After the maner of his traces rude,
Of this story the remnaunt to conclude.
THis worthy kyng euer of one sentence,
Aye more and more fyred with feruence,
Hath his breuettes and his letters sente,
For his lordes to holde a parlement.
And them cōmaunded in al the hast they may
To come anone at their assygned daye.
From euery warde and party of the towne,
For to assemble in noble Ilyowne.
Chiefe of his reigne & when they were echone
With hym present this noble kyng anone,
Tofore theim all as shortly as he can,
His wyll declareth and thus he than began.
¶Syres quod he bycause ye be so wyse,
It nedeth not longe processe to deuyse,
For to reherse of your comynge the cause,
But for to tell shortly in a clause,
What I meane and maketh no more delaye.
Ye wotte how I now this other day,
Sent into Grece by counsayle of you all,
A knyght of myne that Anthenor is call.
To haue recured Exiona agayne,
Whose message tho was not but in vayne.
For of grekes full vncurteysly,
He was receyued and dispyteously,
Threte and rebuked in poynt to haue be dead.
Vnneth he myght escape with his head.
They put on hym such hygh offence & blame,
That muche redoundeth to our alder shame.
And day by day it must encrease the more,
But we ordeyne some remedy therfore.
For there as we all measure haue them offred,
They haue to vs werre and stryfe yprofred.
Of hyghe despyte of rancour and of heate,
And of malys cruelly vs threate.
And where as we wold peace of thē purchace,
[Page]For wronges done they felly vs manace.
And for ye harmes yt they haue to vs wrought.
They not purpose playnly in their thought,
Other redresse nor amendes make.
But vtterly with werre vs to awake.
Whose ioye is fully encrease of our greuaunce
So wolde god they were with repentaunce.
Contryte in herte to stynten all myschiefe,
That lykely is to fall and eke the grefe,
On outher parte that it myght ouer slyde.
But they alas with rancour & with pryde,
Are swole of new to threaten more and more.
But god defende halfe deale of the sore,
By infortune that euer shulde be fall,
As they purpose to euery of vs all.
But syth they haue deuysed thus for vs,
We must resyste their wyll malicious,
Through myght of god as of necessitie,
In our deffence it wyll none other be.
And beste I holde vnto our entent,
To worke and do all by one assent.
So we our purpose sonest shall achieue,
Where is discorde there may no quarell preue.
For on that parte where hertes be not one,
Victorye may no way with them gone.
Chiefe of conquest is peace and vnitie.
Ryght as discorde is of aduersytie.
Wherfore I read that of a wyll and harte,
Lette vs set on to do the grekes smerte.
For sothfastly if so ye lyste to se,
I dare affyrme that we farre stronger be,
Than be the grekes vpon euery parte,
And haue of armes parfytly the arte.
And be accoūted of knighthod crop and roote,
And plenty haue of horsemen and on foote.
Arrayed well eueryche in his degree,
And therwith also stronge is our Citie.
For to withstonde our fomon euerichone,
You counsayling, and syth ordayne anone,
Fyrst tassemble holy your nauye,
And stuffe them strongly wt our chiualrye,
And into Grece hastely them to sende,
The proude grekes manly to offende.
And of iuste cause and by tytle of ryght,
On theim to werre with all our force & might.
Their townes bren and their fyeldes waste,
With herte vnfayned also vs enhaste,
To quite them as they deserued haue,
For by my read we shall none of them saue.
But cruellyf to do on theim vengeaunee,
Ne hath no eare ne let be no greuaunce,
Though they tofore by fortune were victours
And slewe our fathers & progenitours.
For he that was of vnhap fyrste put downe,
Remounteth ofte and that to hyghe renowne.
As by the charge and duble varyance,
Of werre and stryfe that aye is in balaunce.
For he that this day is assured wele,
We see to morowe cast downe of the whele.
The victor ofte lykewyse in aduenture,
And vanquished as by discomfyture,
Of hym that had afore the victorie.
Now vp syth downe in armes stant the glory.
In Martes chaunce no man may him assure,
But as it cometh so must he take his eure.
For gery Mars by sudden influence,
Can gyue a man whylom excellence,
To wynne a pryse lyke a conquerour,
And sodaynly as falleth the somer floure,
He can his honour make for to fade.
For whan that he all his aspectes glade,
From any man lysteth for to wrythe,
His olde renowne goth away as blythe,
As after floode the ebbe foloweth aye.
As men deserue prayse them for the daye.
For though to day Phebus mery shyne,
To morow he may his bemes downe decline.
Through the thicknesse of the mistes trouble,
Ryght so of Mars are the chaunces double.
Now vp, now downe, now low, & now alofte,
As fortune will whiche that chaungeth ofte,
Lyst on her whele make a man assende,
And vnwarely downe agayne descende.
Stounde mele his honour to auaunce,
And with asweigh throwe him to mischaunce.
Now with fauour set him vp full hye,
Erst him auale with twyngling of an eye.
Her playe vnstable tourneth as a ball.
Whyle one goeth vp an other hath a fall.
She reyseth one and doth another loute,
For euery man whan it cometh aboute,
Must take his tourne as her playe requireth.
Who is experte and her fraudes lereth,
Shall with hir sugre fynde gall ymeynt.
And her hony aye with bitter spreynt.
In peace and werre in honour and in fame,
In dignities in renowne and in shame,
Be at her lykyng as her lyst to graunt,
[Page]Therfore no man his hap to muche auaunte.
¶For though grekes whylom were a lofte,
It may them happe hereafter full vnsofte.
Wherfore echone shewe your worthynesse,
That so are named of strength & hardinesse.
And to fortune playnly you commytte,
And lette no feare your manly hertes flytte.
But stonde hole and be in meanyng playne,
And therupon let se what ye wyll sayne.
And at ones their voyce they gan reyse,
And his sentence hyghely for to preyse.
And of one herte manly gan expresse,
They wil at ones despende goodes & rychesse,
And their bodyes put in Ieopardye,
There was not one that wolde it tho denye.
And of this graunt he thanketh them echone,
And gaue them leue where them lyst to gone.
For he dissolued hath his parlement,
And euery man on his waye is went.
And repayred to his mansiowne,
The kynge alone lefte in Ilyowne,
Sole by hym selfe inwardly musynge,
How he his purpose myght about brynge.
For he in soth on nothyng elles thought,
And therupon in fyne thus he wrought.
KYng Pryamus makyng thus his mone,
As I you tolde in chambre all alone,
Many wayes castyng vp and downe,
For to perfourme his conclusyowne,
And to fulfyll the fyne of his entent,
He fyrste of all prudently hath sent,
For his sonnes to come to hym in haste,
As well for them that were borne in baste,
As for the other tassemble there yfeare.
For this purpose lyke as ye shall here.
To haue a counsaile for nedeful purueaunce,
Against grekes to maken ordenaunce.
Fyrst by them selfe alone pryuely,
And when they were in ordre by and by,
Eueryche of them set in his dewe see,
Lyke as they were of age and of degree,
And Hector fyrst floure of chyualrye,
Repayred home out of Panonye,
Most acceptable in euery wyghtes grace,
Nexte his father taken hath his place.
¶And whan Pryam his leyser did espye,
With syghes sore castyng vp his eye,
To them echone syttyng enuyron,
Gan to declare his hertes mocyon.
But first or he might ought his wil expowne
In salt teares he gan hym selfe drowne,
So inly was his wo outragyous,
That for wepyng and sobbyng furyous,
Vnneth he myght with any word out breake.
Nor vnto them for distresse speake.
Nor openly his inwarde meanyng shewe,
Tyll at the last he in wordes fewe,
Gan to abrade in all his pyteous fare,
Euen thus in sentence gynnyng to declare.
¶My dere sonnes so louyng and so kynde,
As I suppose that ye haue in mynde,
And remembre discretly and aduerte,
And eke imprente full freshly in your herte,
How the grekes agayne all ryght and lawe,
With cruell swerde mundred haue and slawe,
Our auncetours whylom of hyghe renowne,
And destroyed brent and beate downe,
The fyrst Troye with his walles olde.
And how vngoodly also they withholde,
Myne owne syster called Exion.
To full great shame and confusyon,
And hyghe repryfe to your worthynesse,
That me semeth of very kyndenesse,
And of nature ye ought be agreued,
And inwardly in herte sore amened.
To suffer her in hyndring of her name,
So to be treated for your alder shame.
Alas why nyl ye do your besynesse,
This highe despyte knyghtly to redresse.
You for tauenge vpon their crueltie,
Recure to fynde of her iniquitie.
Sith that ye be so myghty and so stronge.
Certes me semeth ye byden all to longe,
From day to day that ye so differre,
In knyghtly wyse to gyn on them a werre,
Your force and myght manly to assaye.
I am pure sory that ye lyste delaye,
You to confyrmen vnto my desyre,
That in their hate bren as hoote as fyre.
And vpon them lyke as ye may see,
Of frettynge yre auenged for to be.
Lyke their desert to quyten them their mede.
And ye alas that lysten take no hede,
Whyle your renowne doth so freshly shyne,
Vnto my luste your hertes to declyne.
Consyderyng lyke as it is well kouthe,
How I my selfe from your tender youth,
[Page]Y fostred you and brought you forth echone,
Fro thilke daye that first ye coud gone,
As tenderly as I could or might,
To which thynge in your inward syght,
Ye shuld aduert alway newe and newe,
And of nature on my sorowes rewe,
To remedye this mine aduersytee.
Whych toucheth you also as wel as me,
Sith that ye wote how sore it doth me greue,
Ye shulden shape myne harmes to releue.
And sodeinly as he thus gan mourne,
Towardes Hector he gan his face tourne.
And sayd Hector my truste and all my ioye,
Mine heyre also, like to reygne in Troy,
After my daye and be my successoure,
And named art the very souerayne floure,
Of worthynesse and of manhod the well.
And al thy brethren in knighthod dost excelle.
And in armes lyke a conquerour,
Called the stock of worshyp and honour,
I hertely praye though thou syttest styll,
Be wyllinge nowe my purpose to fulfyll,
To execute that I desyre so.
For fynally in the and in no mo,
Is full my fayth to bryng this thinge about.
Now take on the and be nothinge in doubte.
To be chefetayne and also gouernour,
Of this purpose and vtterly socour,
Into thine hande this Iourney I committe.
Hooly of herte so that thou ne flytte,
The to confourme by good auysement.
Vp to perfourme the fine of mine entent.
For of reason best to the it syt,
Whych art so prudent and so ful of wyt,
Strong and deliuer flouryng eke in youthe,
Of whom ye fame through ye world is kouthe.
Yonge of yeares olde of discreciowne,
Eurous to loue, passyng of renowne.
Vnto whose will thy brethren shall obeye,
And stande with the both to lyue and deye.
Now cōdescēde to accomplyshe my request,
And what thou felest answere at the leste.
¶And whē the kinge hath shewed his sētēce,
Demure of cheare humble of reuerence,
This worthy Hector example of gentrie,
With soft speche as teacheth curtesye,
His answere gaue with sobre countenaunce,
The effecte of which was this in substaunce.
¶Mine owne lorde and my father dere,
Beningly if so ye list to heare,
After the force and the great might,
And after eke the summe of natures ryght,
Which euerye thinge by kinde doth constrain,
In the bondes of her large chayne,
It sytting is as she doth enspyre,
And to that ende that euery man desyre,
Of wronges done to haue amendement.
And to her lawe ryght conuenient,
Namely to such that with nobylytye,
Kinde hath endewed and set in high degre,
For to such great reprefe is and shame,
When any wronge be do vnto theyr name.
For eche trespasse must consydered be,
Iustly measured by the qualyty,
Of hym that is offended and also,
After the parson by whom the wrong is do,
Be it in werre in conteck or debate.
For greater grefe is to high estate.
To suffer harme of case or auenture,
Or any wronge vniustly to endure,
Or iniuryes compassed by malyce,
Is more offence by discrete aduyse,
To theim that be famous in manhod,
Well renoumed and borne of gentyl blode,
Than to such one that holde is but a wretch
Wherfore we must greatly charge and retch
Onely of knighthod our worshyp for to eke,
Of wronges done a mendes for to seke.
Our state consydered & our high noblesse,
And in what plyte we stand of worthynesse,
Whan that beastes of reason rude & blinde,
Desyre the same by iust instinct of kinde.
¶And for my parte trusteth in certayne,
Ye haue no sonne that woulde half so fayne,
Vpon Grekes auenged be as I.
For here my trouthe I say you faythfully,
For yre of theim I bren as doth the glede,
I thurst their blode more than other mede.
For ryght as I eldest am of age,
Amonge your sonnes so am I most wt rage,
I fret within iustly of knighthode,
With my right hand to shed the grekes blode.
As they shalle fele peraunter or they wene.
Whan time cometh the sothe shalbe sene.
¶But firste I rede wisely in your minde,
To cast afore and leue not behinde,
Or ye begyn discretly to aduert,
And prudently consydre in your herte,
[Page]All onely not the gynnynge but the ende.
And yt the middes what way in they wil wēd.
And to what fine fortune will theim lede,
If ye thus do amisse ye may not spede.
For that counsayle in mine opinion,
Is worthy lytell by discrecion,
To haue a pryse that cast not by and by,
The course of thinges by ordre ceryously.
What waye they trace to wo or to delyte.
For though a ginninge haue his appetite,
Yet in the ende playnly this no fable,
There may thīg fall which is not cōmēdable.
For what is worthe a ginninge fortunate,
That causeth after strife and great debate.
Wherfore in sothe begynninges are to dread,
But mē well knowe what fine shall succede.
For a ginninge with grace is well fortuned,
Whan ende and middes a lyke be contuned.
But when that it in wele ne may conteme,
It is well better rather to absteine,
Than put in doubt that standeth in suerte.
For who so doth hath aduersitee.
But humble this to your estate royall,
Of herte I pray let not offende at all,
That I am bolde to say my mocion.
For in good fayth of none entencion,
I nothing meue to do to you offence,
But onely this that your magnificence,
Procede not of heade to wilfully.
Ne that no hast you meue to foly.
To gyn a thing that after wil you shende,
For lacke that ye se not tofore the ende.
Nor take hede in your aduertence,
To consydre by good prouidence,
How Grekes haue in theyr subiection,
Europe and Affryke with many region.
Ful large & wide of knighthod most famous,
And of rychesse wonder plenteous.
Right renoumed also of worthinesse,
With your supporte I dare it wel expresse.
Ful peryllous is theim displease or disturbe
For yf that we our quyet nowe parturbe,
Which standeth fully in peace is to drede.
For though all Assye helpe vs in our nede,
If it be loked on euery parte aryght,
They be not egal vnto Grekes might.
¶And though also mine Aunte Exion,
Agayne all right be holde of Thelamon,
It is not good for her redempcion,
To put vs all vnto destruction.
I rede not that we bye her halfe so deare.
For many of vs perhappes that syttē here,
And other mo might for her sake
Death vnderfonge and an ende make.
Which were no wisedome lyke as semeth me,
And it may happe also how that she,
In shorte time her fatall course shall fine.
Whē Attropos the thredde a two shal twine.
What had we then wonne and she were go,
But enmite, thought, sorowe and wo.
Slaughter of our men death and confusyō,
Wherfore I reade without discencion,
Without more that we our wo endure.
And not to put our selfe in auenture.
This holde I best and worke as the wyse,
But doubtles for no cowardise,
I saye not this in your high presence.
But forcause I holde it no prudence,
To fortune knowen so ful of doubilnesse,
Syth we be sure to put our sykernesse.
Thus all and some the effect of my will.
And with that worde Hector helde hym styll.
ANd whan yt Hector by ful high prudēce,
Cōcluded hath the fine of his sētence.
Ful demurely he kept his lippes close.
And therwithall this Paris vp arose,
And gan his tale thus afore the kinge.
My lorde quod he so it be lykinge,
To your highnesse for to taken hede.
As me semeth we shuld litell dread,
In knightly wise for to vndertake
Vpon Grekes a werre for to make,
All at ones theyr pride to confounde.
Sith that we so passingly habounde,
Of chiualry here within our towne.
And haue plenty and possessyowne,
Of eche thinge that may to werre auayle,
Stuffe in our selfe and royall apparayle.
Of all that longeth to assautes marciall.
And with all this more in speciall,
Helpe and succour of many region,
With vs to worke to theyr destruction.
The pompe and pryde manly to abate,
And of Grekes the malyce to amate.
For al that they of herte be so stoute,
Me semeth shortlye that we nede not doubte,
Nor on no parte for to be dismayed.
[Page]Wherfore I reade let not be delayed,
Our shyppes fyrst ready for to make,
And I my selfe wyl fully vndertake,
So it to you be liking and plesaunce,
Of this empryse hooly the gouernaunce,
And you assure and put in certayne.
Exyona for to recure agayne.
And in what fourme that it shall be wrought,
I haue a waye deuised in my thought.
That likely is hereafter to be done.
Which vnto you I will declare anone,
First I haue cast with strōg & myghty hand,
For to rauyshe some lady of that land,
Of high estate and make no taryinge,
And mightely into Troye her brynge.
Maugre her might for this conclusyon,
That ye may haue restitucion,
By chaunge of her that ye desyre so.
And therupon shall not be longe ado,
I you behete for all the Grekes stronge,
And for that I shall not this tale prolonge,
I wil you sayne excluding euerye doubte,
How this aduise shal well be brought about.
First how that I shal this purpose fine,
The goddes haue thrugh their power diuine,
Shewed to me by reuelacion.
For therupon I had auisyon,
But late agone as I laye in a slepe,
Vnto the which if so ye take kepe,
Ye may not fayle nor be in no despayre,
To haue recure of her that is so fayre.
For whom ye haue now so much care.
¶And the maner hoole I wyl declare,
Of this dreame to your magnificence,
If it so be ye lysteth giue credence,
To this my tale for I shal not dwelle,
Ceryously in ordre for to tell,
The very trouthe and no fable fayne.
To you that be my lorde most souerayne.
¶First if that ye remembre in your minde,
This other daye when I was last in Inde
By your aduyse and commaundement,
For a matter which in your entent,
Was specially had in cheirte,
As it is knowen betwene you and me,
Of whych I toke vpō me tho the charge,
Within the bondes of that land large.
¶The same time your desyre to spede,
When that Titan with his beames rede,
From Geminy droue his chayre of golde,
Toward the Crabbe for to take his holde.
Which named is the paleys of Diane,
The bent moone that wex can and wane.
When halowed is the sonnes stacion,
Nigh the middes of the moneth of Iuyn.
At which season early in the morowe,
Whan that Phebus auoiding nightes sorow,
Doth Pirrous his wayne vp to drawe,
And Aurora Estward doth adawe,
And with the water of her teares rounde,
The siluer dewe causeth to habounde,
Vpon the herbes and the floures soote,
Ful kindly noryshyng both crop & roote.
¶Vp I rose out of my bed anone,
Ful desyrous on huntinge for to gone,
Pricked in herte with lusty freshe plesaunce,
To do to loue some dewe obseruaunce,
And Diana that daye to magnifie.
Which called is lady of Venerye,
And reuerendly rites to obserue,
Of Citherea her as tho to serue,
I and my feres our hertes to releue,
Cast vs fully til it drewe to eue,
Within a forest to playe vs and disporte,
And plesauntly vs to recomforte,
As it longeth to loue of lustynesse.
For thilke day to Venus the goddesse,
Ysacred was by full great excellence.
With great honour and dewe reuerence,
Done vnto her both of one and all,
And on a fryday is this aduenture fall.
Whan we gā haste vs to the woodes grene,
In hope that day some game for to sene.
With great labour riding to and fro,
Til that we had full many bucke and doo,
By strengthe slayne as we might thē fynde.
The herte ychased with hoūdes & the hinde,
Through the downes and the dales lowe,
Till Phebus high vpon his dayes bowe,
Amid the arke was of Meredien,
For than his beames ful hote were and shene▪
And we most busy were vpon the chase.
That me befell a wonder diuerse case.
For of fortune it happed sodeynly,
While I was seuered from my companye,
Sole by my selfe amonge the holtes hore,
To finde game desyrous euermore,
Or I was ware through thicke & thyn,
[Page]A ful great harte I sawe afore me ryn.
Downe by the launde and the vales grene.
That I in sothe ne might not sustene,
He was to swift for to nigh hym nere.
Though hym to sewe I pricked my coursere,
Nigh to ye death through many sundry shawe
Out of my syght so fer he can withdrawe,
For al that euer that I sewe myght,
That I anone lost of hym the syght.
In a wood that I dabare the name.
And I so faynt gan wexen of that game,
And mine horse on whych I tho did ryde,
Fomyng full whyte vpon euery syde,
And his flankes all with blode distayned.
In my pursute so sore he was constrayned,
With my sporres sharpe and dyed redd,
After the harte so prycked I my stede.
Now vp now downe with a ful busy thought,
But my laboure auayled me right nought.
Tyll at the last amonge the bowes glade,
Of aduenture I caught a plesaunt shade,
Ful smothe and playn and lusty for to sene,
And soft as veluet was the yonge grene,
Where fro my horse I did alight as fast,
And on a bowe aloft his reyne cast,
So faynte and mate of werynesse I was,
That I me layde downe vpon the gras.
Vpon a bryncke shortly for to telle,
Besyde the ryuer of a cristall welle.
And the water as I reherse can,
Like quicke siluer in his streames ran.
Of whych the grauell and the bryght stone,
As any golde agayne the sonne shone.
¶Where ryght anone for very werynesse,
A sodayne slepe gan me so oppresse,
That syth the tyme that I first was borne,
I neuer was asleped so toforne.
And as I lay I heard a wonder sweuen.
For as me thought high downe from heauē,
The wynged god wonderful of cheare,
Mercuryus to me did appeare,
Of whom I was some dele first aferde,
For he was gyrde with his croked swerde.
And with him brought also in his hande,
His slepy yerde as plyaunt as a wande.
With a serpent goyng enuyrowne,
And at his fete also lowe adowne,
Me semed also that there stode a cocke,
Singing his houres trewe as any clocke.
And to the mouth of this god Mercurye,
Were pypes set that songe wonder merye.
Of whych the swete sugred Hermonye,
Made to mine eares such a melodye,
That me semed tho in mine aduyse,
I was rauyshed into paradise.
And thus this god dyuerse of liknesse,
More wonderfull than I can expresse,
Shewed him selfe in his apparence,
Like as he is descryued in Fulgence.
In the boke of his methologies.
Where be rehersed many poesyes,
And many likenesse like as ye may se,
And for to take the moralitee,
His longe yerde right as is a lyne,
Whiche on no syde wrongly may decline,
Signifyeth the prudent gouernaunce,
Of discrete folke yt through theyr purueyaūce
Cast a peryll or that it befall.
And his pypes loude as any shall,
That through musyke be entuned trewe,
Betokeneth eke with many lusty hewe,
The sugred dytees by great excellence,
Of Rethoryke and of eloquence.
Of which this god is soueraigne & patrowne.
And of this cocke the swete and lusty sowne,
That iustly kepeth the houres of the night,
Is vtterly the aduise of inward sight,
Of such as voyde by waker diligence,
Out of theyr court stouthe and necligence.
And his sworde which croketh so againe,
That is not forged nor ymade in vayne,
Is to reuoke to the right weye,
Such as wrongly for trouthe forueye.
And the serpent whiche that I of tolde,
Which wrincled is as ye may beholde,
Vpon the yerde and about goeth,
Signefyeth that falshode wood & wrothe,
That lieth in wayte by many sleyghty weye,
With his ginnes the trouthe for to werrey.
And of this god of eloquence the kinge,
Brought with him eke in his comminge,
Citherea whom these louers serue,
Iuno and Pallas that called is Minerue.
And this Venus her lieges to delite,
About her head flikered douues white,
With loke beninge and eyen debonayre,
Aye circuling with snowy winges fayre.
For to declare sothly in sentence.
[Page]By the douues very innocence,
Of theim in loue yt but trouth meane,
And yt theyr groūde shuld honeste be & cleane.
Ytokned is clerely by witnesse.
Without soyling of any vnclennesse.
And the freshnesse of the roses redde,
That in somer so lustyly doth sprede,
And in wynter of theyr coloure fade,
Signifieth the hertye thoughtes glade,
Of yonge folkes that ben amerous.
Feruent in hope and inly desyrous,
Whan loue gynneth in theyr hertes floure,
Till longe processe maketh theim to loure,
With the wynter of vnweldy age.
That lust is palled and dulled with the rage,
Of feblenesse when somer is a gone.
As folkes knowe I wott well mo than one.
And therfore Venus fleteth in a see,
To shewe the trouble and aduersytee,
That is in loue and in her stormye lawe,
Whych is byset with many sturdye wawe.
Nowe calme now rough who so taketh hede,
As hope assayled aye with sodeyne dreade,
And next Venus Pallas I behelde,
With her spere and her bryghte shelde
And a raynbowe rounde about her head,
That of colour grene was blewe and rede.
And her tofore as I can discryue,
She growyng had a grene freshe olyue,
And therupon with his browes fowle,
In the braunches I sawe syt like an Owle.
And first the shilde of Pallas the goddesse,
Signifyed as I can expresse,
In vertue force by manly high diffēce.
Agayne vyces to maken resistence.
And her spere sharpe and kene ygrounde,
By iust rygour was forged to confound,
Theim that be false and to put abacke,
And for that mercy shall medle wt ye wrack.
The shafte in sothe shauen was full playne,
Lest mercyles that right ne wrought in vain.
And after werre to make false release,
There was the Oliue that betokeneth peace.
The Owle also so odious at all.
That songes syngeth at feastes funerall.
Declaring playnly fine of euery glorye,
Is onely death who hath it in memorye.
And the raynbowe grene read and perse,
Signifyeth the chaunges ful diuerse,
That oft falleth in werre and battayle.
Now to winne and sodeynly to fayle,
Now stable as blew chaūging now as grene,
For Pallas playe is alwaye meynt wt tene.
And alder last as nowe I haue in minde,
With her nimphes Iuno came behinde.
Whyche of custome Fulgencius so telles,
Abydeth in floudes and in depe welles.
And this Iuno as theise poetes fayne,
A mayden is and of fruyte barayne,
And the Pecock to this freshe quene,
Ysacred is with his fethers shene.
Splayed abrode as large as a sayle,
With Argus eyen emprinted in his tayle.
¶The waters ronninge in ryuer & in floud,
Is the labour that men haue for good,
The great trouble and the besynesse,
That day and nyght they suffer for rychesse.
That who so euer in these floudes rowe,
Let him beware for aye after the flowe,
Of nature ryght by courses it is dewe,
Folowing ye moone there must an ebbe ēsewe.
The most dread is aye vpon the full.
Lest fortune do the freshe fethers pull,
Of ryche folkes that shine in golde shene,
Sith she of chaūche the lady is & quene.
¶And Argus eyen that set are aye behinde,
Are nygardes hertes yt oft sythes be blinde.
Which not aduert of goodes to the ende,
That like an ebbe sodeynly wil wende.
Whyche they nothinge consydre in their sight,
For as the fayre lusty fethers bright,
Of a Pecock vnwarely fall awaye,
Right so ryches shortly at a daye,
Will theyr mayster sodeynly forsake,
Saying adewe & thens theyr leue take.
And as Iuno barayne is of fruyte,
Right so naked bare and destitute,
Are these gredy hertes couetous.
Which to gather be so desyrous.
That in nothing can haue suffysaunce,
The fret of dred thē putteth ī such mischaūce.
Imagening that the world wil fayle.
And in theyr feare agayne ye wynd they sayle.
Till all at ones they must departe there fro,
And thus of good aye the fine is wo.
Namely of theim that so pinche and spare,
For this no dread as clerkes can declare,
The fruite of good is to spende large,
[Page]And who so euer set but lytell charge,
But frely parteth his treasour in commune,
When he discretely seeth time opportune,
He hath no ioye to put his good in mewe.
For who in herte that fredome list to sewe,
Of gentylnesse taketh no hede therto.
¶And in this wyse Pallas and Iuno,
With freshe Venus be adowne descended,
Like as I haue shortly comprehended,
Vnder the guyding of Mercurius.
Whych vnto me began his tale thus.
¶Parys quod he lyft vp thine eyen & see,
Lo these goddesses here in nombre thre,
Whych from heauen wyth theyr eyen clere,
So dyuersly vnto the appere,
Were at a feast wherof I tell shall,
With all the goddes aboue celestyall.
That Iupyter helde at his owne borde,
Was none absent saue onely discorde,
And for despyte she was not there present,
To be auenged set all her entent,
And in her wyttes many wayes sought,
Tyll at the last euen thus she wrought.
Of olde Poets lyke as yt is tolde.
She toke an appel rounde of pure golde,
With Greke letters grauen vp and downe,
Whych sayd thus in conclusyowne,
Without strife let it be gyue anon,
Vnto the fayrest of theim euerychone,
And of discorde this lady and goddesse,
As she that is of conteke maystresse,
Hath this appel passyng of delyte,
Brought to this feast of malyce & despyte,
And cast it downe among theim at the borde.
With deynous chere speaking not a worde.
But on her waye fast gan her hye,
And sodeynly so inly great enuye,
Into the courte this appel hath in broughte,
So great a werre & such a conteck wrought,
In the hertes of these ilke thre,
That after longe may not staunched be,
Amonge theim selfe so they gan disdayne.
Whiche in beaute was most seueraygne,
And whych of theym hath most tytle of right,
For to cōquere this burned apple bryght.
And first they gan thus for beaute stryue,
That of rancour almost theyr hertes ryue.
To wite of ryght who shuld it first possede.
¶Lo yet enuye reygneth in womanhede.
That one is fayrer than an other holde,
For eche woman of her kinde would,
Haue on some parte prise aboue an other.
In eche estate in sothe it is no other.
And eche of theim in her owne aduise,
Hath ioye in beaute for to haue a prise,
For none so foule doth in a myrrour prye,
That shene is fayre in her owne eye.
But like a foole he him selfe doth quite,
That aumber yelowe cheseth for the white.
A goundy eye is deceyued soone,
That any colour cheseth by the moone.
For some colour with fyre is made fine,
And some encreased with spices & wyth wine.
With oyntementes and with confections,
And on the night by false illusyons,
Some appeare wonder freshe and fayre.
That loke full derke by day light in the ayre.
There is no prefe but early by the morowe,
Of such as nede no beaute for to borowe,
But as nature hath her selfe disposed,
Therfore fasting or boxes be vnclosed,
Make thy chose so byddeth the Ouide,
Whan euery drugge and pot is set a syde,
Lest haply thou be after his sentence,
Deceyued lightly by false apparence.
For now a dayes such craft is ful ryfe,
And in this wise first began the stryfe,
Betwixt Iuno, Venus, and Pallas.
That be decended for this sodayn case,
By one assent touchyng theyr beaute,
The dome therof committed vnto the.
I speake to the that called art Parys,
And holdē arte ful prudent and right wyse,
Be wel auysed how thy dome shal fyne,
For they ne may to nor fro decline,
But must obeyen all by one assent.
Without strife as to thy iudgement.
But hercke first or that thou procede,
Of eche of theim what shall be thy mede.
Consydre a ryght and take good hede therto.
If thou the appel graunt vnto Iuno,
She shall the gyue plenty of richesse,
Hyghe renowne of fame eke worthynesse,
With habundaunce of golde and of treasour.
And do the reyse to so hyghe honour,
That thou alone all other shalte excelle.
For thy guerdon lyke as I the telle.
¶And yf to Pallas goddesse of prudence,
[Page]The lyst the fyne conclude of thy sentence,
That she may lady of the appell be,
For thy mede she shall assure the,
That of wyt and eke of sapyence,
Thou shalte hooly haue the excellence.
And of wysedome and of discrecion,
As to discerne by clerenesse of reason,
Also fer as Phebus cast may his lyght,
There shall not be a more prudent knyght.
Nor in this worlde syth it fyrst began,
Of iust reporte a more manly man.
Nor to thy name none equipollent.
¶And if to Venus of true and clene entent,
The lyste to graunt in this conclusyon,
Of the Appell to haue possessyon,
The freshe goddesse that syt so hyghe aboue,
Shall the ensue to haue vnto thy loue,
The fayrest lady that is or was tofore,
Or in this worlde hereafter shalbe bore.
And in Grece thou shall her knightly wynne.
Now be aduised or that thou begynne.
Iustly to deme and for no thynge spare.
¶And I anone gan loke vp and to stare,
Greatly astoned what me was best to do.
Tyll at the laste I spake Mercurye to,
And sayde certayne that I ne wolde there,
Gyue no dome but they naked were.
So that I myght haue fully lybertee,
Eueriche of them aduisedly to see.
And well consider euery circumstaunce,
Who fayrest were vnto my pleasaunce.
And goodlyest to speake of womanhede.
And after that wolde to my dome procede.
¶And they anone as ye haue herde me seye,
To my desyre mekely gan obeye.
In all haste to do their busy cure,
Them to dispoyle of clothing and vesture,
Lyche as the statute of my dome them bonde,
For in no point they wolde it not withstonde.
That I myght haue full inspection,
Of fourme and shape and eche proporsyon,
For to discerne as I can remembre,
A vysedly by ordre euery membre,
And than at erst to iudge after the ryght.
¶But whan yt I of them had thus the syght,
I gaue to Venus the Appell right anone.
Bycause she was fayrest of eche one.
And most excellyng sothly of beatie,
Moste womanly and goodly on to see.
Tho as I demed playnly in my syght.
For the stremes of her eyen bryght,
Yleche glade and of egall lyght,
Were like yt sterre yt sheweth towardes ye night
Whiche called is Hesperus so shene.
Venus her selfe the freshe lusty queene.
The whiche anone this heauenly Emperesse,
After my dome of harty hyghe gladnesse,
That of the appell she hooly hath the glorye,
And wonne it thus iustly by victory,
Reioysed her more than I can tell.
That she her feares in beautie dyd excell.
And she in hast of trewe affection,
Concluded hath fully for my guerdon,
Full demurely lowe and not a lofte,
To Mercury with sobre wordes softe.
Deuoyde both of doublenesse and slouthe,
Lyke her behest holde wyll her trouth.
And sodaynly without more Iniurye,
They disapered and the god Mercurye,
Streyght to heauen the ryght waye he toke,
And I anone out of my slepe a woke.
¶Wherof my lord whom I most loue & drede
If ye aduerte and wisely taketh hede.
That this behest affyrmed in certayne,
Was vnto me assured not in vayne.
Of goodly Venus lyke as I haue tolde,
Wherfore I rede ye be of herte bolde,
Me for to sende with stronge & mighty hande
Without abode into the Grekes lande.
After the fourme that I haue to you sayde.
For thus I hope ye shall be well apayde,
Whan I haue spede as Wenus hath be hight.
And home retourne with my lady bryght.
So shall ye best me lyste not speake in vayne,
As by exchaunge your syster wyn agayne.
Whom Thelomon withholden hath of yore.
Lo this is all I can say you no more,
Touchyng theffect hooly of myne aduyse.
And after that tho satte hym downe Parys,
As he that had hym selfe full well aquytt.
But saye Pryam alas where was thy wytt,
Of neclygence for to taken kepe,
Thy truste to sette on dremes or on slepe.
Full thynne forsothe was thy discrecion,
To take a grounde of false illusyon,
For to procede lyke to the fantasye.
Vpon a sweuen meint with flattery,
Alas reason was tho nothynge thy guyde,
[Page]For Pallas was wrongly sette a syde.
Not receyued with dewe reuerence.
And Iuno eke for all her sapience,
For all her good and lokynge debonayre,
With her treasour and her hestes fayre,
Refused was alas of wylfulnesse.
And she that is of loue the goddesse,
And eke also of Vulcanus the wyfe,
In whose seruyce is euer werre and strife,
Preferred was the appell to possede.
Againe all ryght for Paris toke none hede,
Saue vnto luste and sette asyde the trouth,
Where through alas & yt was ful great routh,
The myghty ryche and the noble towne,
Of Troye was brought to full confusyowne.
Only for he knyghthode hath forsake,
Prudence, and golde, and in his choyse ytake,
A woman only, and holde hym therto,
That after was the roote of all their wo.
As this story ceriously shall tell,
But I in dreames will no longer dwell.
But write forth how that Deiphobus,
That was the thirde sonne to Priamus,
His tale began in open audience,
And to the kynge shortly in sentence,
As he that lyste a trouthe not to spare,
Euen thus he gan his fantasye declare.
¶My lorde quod he if that euery wyght,
Aduerte shulde and caste in his syght,
Of future thynge the peryll and the doubte,
And serche it wel within and eke without,
From poynt to poynt alwaye in reasō,
To caste doubtes and tournen vp so downe,
Than shulde no wyght to no purpose wende,
In any matter for to make an ende.
Eyther presume by manhode in his thought,
Who casteth doutes achieueth lite or nought.
For if the plowman alway cast aforne,
How many graynes in his fielde of corne,
Shalbe deuoured of foules rauynous,
That he doth sowe in fieldes plenteous,
Than shulde he neuer in vale nor in playne,
For cowardshyp throwe abrode his grayne.
Let all suche drede now be layde asyde.
I holde if folye longer to abyde,
But yt Parys my brother make hym stronge,
With his shyppes for to venge our wronge.
Vpon grekes with all his payne and might,
To preue shortly that he is a knight.
For of reason ye this consyder may,
How that no man iustly may saye nay,
But that Parys hath counsayled wele.
For by my trouth as fer as I can fele,
It were errour his purpose to contrary.
Wherfore let hym now no longer tarye,
But holde his waye with a stronge nauye,
For to auenge the shamefull velanye,
That grekes haue done if so ye lyst take hede,
In alder dayes to vs and our kynred.
And eke for fynall execucion,
Of the recure as touchyng Exion.
Whom they demeyne in such dishonest wyse,
Agaynst all ryght and title of iustyce.
Wherof to thinke it giueth my hert a wounde.
The shame of which so newly doth rebounde,
Vpon vs all that be of her ally.
Wherfore the best that I can espye,
Is that Parys take maye this voyage,
With suche as be of freshe and lusty age.
Manly to wende into grekes lande,
And by force of their myghtye hande,
Maunger the Grekes proude and most elate,
Rauishe there some lady of estate.
And thā ye may by knighthod of my brother,
If ye lyste after chaunge her for that other.
This is most redy and short conclusyon,
That I can se for restytution,
Of Exyon if so that Parys wende,
And of my counsayle shortly thus the end▪
¶And than as faste full discrete and sage,
Helenus the fourth sonne as of age,
Rose from his seate with humble reuerence,
Praying his father graunte hym aundience
That he may say in presence of them all,
Openly what after shalbe fall,
As he that most of secrete thynges can.
And soberlye thus he his tale began.
With cleane entent and trewe affection.
¶My lorde quod he with supportacion,
Of your grace wherin is most my trust,
Let none offence be vnto your luste,
Nor you displease yf so I my conceyte,
As now declare syth I meane no decetie.
For neuer yet fayled no sentence,
But that it fyll efte in experyence,
Lyke as I tolde in partie and in all.
In pryuye treate and eke in generall.
Without meanynge of any doublenesse.
[Page]That it folowed as I dyd expresse.
Remembryng you as ye shall fynde it trewe,
And yf god wyll I shall not now of new,
Spare for to say lyke as I conceyue,
Nor to be dede with fraude you deceyue.
Declaryng fyrst of trewe entention,
As it shall folowe in conclusion.
¶That yf he Parys into Grece wende,
Trusteth me well it wyll vs all shende.
For the goddes so by reuelacion,
Haue made to me playne demonstration,
And eke I knowe it by astronomye.
For neuer yet as in my prophecye,
I was deceyued of that shulde after fall.
Nor none that lyste me to counsayle call.
So am I taught of thyng that shall betyde,
Wherfore I praye for rancour nor for pryde,
Nor for enuye wrought of olde hatred,
To take vengeaunce that ye not procede,
In your aduyse lyke as ye purpose.
I saye you playnly for me ylyst not glose,
Ye shall repente if so ye Parys sende.
Into Grece the whiche god defende.
Wytte this full well for the conclusyon,
Shall fully tourne to our destruction,
And fynally vnto our ruyne,
Lyke as to you I gan afore deuyne.
For this the fyne that there folowe shall,
Subuercyon both of towne and of wall.
Of house and paleys here in our Citie,
Al goth to nought ye get no more of me.
Forme semeth it ought ynough suffyse,
That I haue sayd syth that ye be wyse.
For yf that ye aduerten to my sawe,
I doubte not that ye wyll withdrawe,
Your hande be tyme or that more domage,
Assayleth you by constraynte of this rage.
For better is betymes to absteyne,
From this purpose whiche is yet but grene,
Than of hede thus hastely assente,
To thynge for which we shal echone repente.
For plenerly there shall nothynge socoure,
That there shal folowe both of you and your,
Despyteful death without excepciowne.
Of one and all abydynge in this towne.
Fyrst on your selfe playnly to endite,
Shall the vengeaunce of the grekes byte,
Through the fury of their mortall tene,
And your wyfe fayre Hecuba the queene,
Shall lede her lyfe through grekes crueltie,
In sorowe wo and in captiuitie,
And your lyeges by the sworde shall pace,
Of cruell death withouten any grace.
And innocentes merciles shall blede,
In your aduyse if that ye do procede,
Of wylfulnesse a werre for to make.
And folyly thus for to vndertake,
As to parturbe your quyete and your rest,
Which shal retourne nothyng for the best.
But to ruyne of you and of vs all.
I can no more but or that mischyefe fall,
My counsayle is afore that ye prouyde,
And letteth wylfulnesse be sette asyde.
Specially whan death as I you tolde,
Must be the fyne if ye your purpose holde.
Lo here is all without wordes mo.
Into Grece if so that Parys go.
¶And in this wyse whan that Helenus,
Had playnly sayde as Guydo telleth vs,
Tryste and heuy with pale and deadly face,
Agayne resorteth to his syttynge place.
Of whose sentence astoned euerychone,
Sat in sylence stylle as any stone.
Powerles their hertes efte to resume.
To speake a worde no man dare presume,
Of all the prese but kept their lyppes close,
That at the laste Troylous vp arose,
Yonge freshe and couragyous also,
And aye desyrous for to haue a do,
In armes manly as longeth to a knight.
And whan that he of chere ful glad and light,
Sawe his father and brethern euerychone,
So inly troubled thus he spake anone.
¶Oh noble and worthy syttyng enuiron,
Of hyghe prudence and great discrecion,
Manfull also and of hyghe courage,
What sodein fere hath brought you ī this rage
What new trouble is cropen in your brest,
For the sentence of a coward priest.
Syth they echone as ye shall euer fynde,
Desyre more veryly of kynde,
To lyue in lust and voyde awaye trauayle,
And deadly hate to here as of battayle.
For they their wyt fynally applye,
To sewe their lust and lyue in glottony.
To fyll their stomake and restore their mawe,
To reste and ease euermore to drawe.
And to sewe their inwarde appetite.
[Page]This their ioye and this their delyte.
In eatyng, drynkyng, and in couetyse,
Is their studye fully to deuyse,
How they may folow their lust without more.
Of ryght nought elles setten they no store.
Alas for shame why be ye so dismayde,
And sytte mate astoned and afrayde,
For the wordes of hym this Helenus,
Fearefull for drede as a lyttle mouse.
That he quaketh to here speake of fyght.
And moreouer agayne all skylle and ryght,
In preiudice of the goddes all,
He taketh on hym to say what shall be fall.
Of thynge future for to specyfye.
As yf he had a spirite of prophecye,
Graunted to hym alone in speciall.
As though he were in connyng perygall.
To the goddes hauynge prescience.
To shewe afore through his sapyence,
What shall betyde outher euyll or good.
Let be let be for no wyght is so woodd,
That hath his wyt to gyue therto credence.
That any man by crafte or by scyence,
That mortall is hath connyng to deuyne,
Fortunes course or fates to termyne.
Suche causes hyd conceled in secree,
Reserued be to goddes priuitee.
Men may dyuyne but all is but folye,
To take hede for they do but lye.
Wherfore I rede as in this mattere,
Both one and al and you my lorde most dere,
Exclude all drede and all that may disturbe,
Out of your herte and let nothyng perturbe,
Your highe courage that Helenus hath tolde.
And yf that he of herte be not bolde,
As manhod wold to helpe venge our wronge
Let hym go hyde him in the temple stronge.
And kepe him close in contemplation.
To wake and praye by deuocion,
Without socour on dayes and on nyghtes.
And suffer suche as be lusty knyghtes,
To haunte their youth and grene lustynesse,
Manly in armes to preue their hardinesse.
That they may haue the better acqueintaūce,
In tyme comyng for to do vengeaunce,
On their enmyes and their cruell foen.
And sith cōmaunde yt Parys may forth gone,
To execute the fyne of your entent.
Afore purposed in your parlement.
Vpon grekes for their offention,
For to perfourme the payne of talyon,
For wronges olde of whiche yet the fame,
Rehersed is vnto our aldershame.
Through out the world ye wote this is no lece
And therwithall Troylous helde his peace.
And sodeynly all that were present,
Began at ones holly by one assent,
Troylus counsayle greatly for to preyse.
And his manhode to the heauen reyse.
His freshe courage and his hygh prowesse,
His feruent zeale and his hardinesse.
And of one herte greatly him commende,
And ryght anone there they made an ende.
Than Pryamus whan that all was done,
Vpon the tyme of the houre of none,
To mete goeth within great Ilyon,
All his sonnes syttyng enuyron.
And after mete he called hath Parys,
And Deiphobus also that was full wyse.
And secretely bad they shulden go,
The same day with other lordes mo,
To Panonye in all the haste they maye,
To make them ready agayne a certayne day,
Wyth all the araye of worthy cheualrye,
That they maye get in their companye,
Towardes Grece to saylen hastely.
And after that the kynge sodeynly,
The next day made his counsayle call,
And euen thus he sayde afore them all.
¶Oh noble lyeges beynge nowe present,
My purpose is to saye you myne entent,
Without abode to here it if ye lyste,
For as I thyncke to you is not vnwyste,
How the grekes of pryde and tyrrannye,
Of malys olde compassed by enuye,
In many wyse haue agayne vs wrought,
Whiche is so grene that I foryet it nought.
For day by day encreasynge euer mo,
By remembraunce renewed is my wo.
Whan I recorde and casten vp and downe,
Our greues all and how that Exiowne,
In seruytude amonge them doth soiourne.
Whiche ofte a day causeth me to mourne.
And hath my herte almost asonder ryue.
For to consyder and se it by my lyue.
Whose crueltee we haue to dere bought,
And albeit that I haue meanes sought,
To haue had reste without any more,
[Page]Whan into Grece I sent Anthenore,
Peasably my syster to recure.
And paciently the surplus to endure.
But all for nought they toke of it no hede,
What I offred them of goodlyhede,
It was not herde for lacke of gentilnesse.
Recorde of whiche doubleth my distresse.
¶Wherfore we must as teacheth surgerye,
With sharpe Irous seken our remedye.
To cutte away by the roote rounde,
The dead fleshe festred in the wounde.
Whiche wyll not voyde wt oynetmentes softe,
Albe that they applyed be full ofte.
Right so we must attempte as by duresse,
To get recure whan that with fayrenesse,
We may none haue wherfore by your aduyse,
My purpose is in hast to sende Paryse.
Forth into Grece some lady there to wyn,
And bringe her home & we shal here within,
Strongly her kepe mauger who sayth nay.
Tyll that we see some agreable day,
That they be fayne lyke myne opinion,
To haue exchaunge for her of Exion.
My syster namely whom I loue so.
We may not fayle that it shal thus be do,
So that the goddes be to vs fauourable,
And this counsayle be also acceptable,
To you echone as it is to me.
For whan a thynge toucheeh a comonte,
Of wyttye men as it is affyrmed,
Of all the comon it ought to be confyrmed.
Thyng touchyng all shuld be fyrst appreued,
Of euerychone or it were achieued.
Wherfore I caste by aduise of you all,
Plainly to worke. & forthwith there withall,
This noble Pryam was sodeynly in pease.
And after that amonges all the prease,
Whan all was whyshte in their alder syghte,
A knyght vp rose and Percheus he highte.
That sonne was to great Euforbyus,
De transformatis as sayth Ouidius
Into whom he fayneth that there was,
Whylom the soule of Pithagoras,
Hooly transsumed so as wryte Ouyde.
As touchyng that I wyll not longer byde,
But tell forth of this Percheus.
Afore the kynge whiche gan his tale thus.
¶My lyege lorde vnto your hygh noblesse,
Displease it not nor to your worthynesse,
Though here in presence of your maiestye,
That I shall saye for to acquyte me,
Towardes you of my fayth and trouthe.
For sothfastly in me may be no slouthe,
Touchyng your honour that without dread,
With zeale of fayth I bren as doth the glede.
Of all harmes to byd you ye beware.
For doubtlesse this affyrme well I dare,
If so ye stande in your firste aduyse,
As ye purpose to senden forth Paryse,
I doubte it not that it shall you rewe.
For god well wote of olde and not of newe,
I had a father called Enforbius,
Discrete and wyse and ryght vertuous,
And knowyng had afore of euery thynge,
By prescyence and before wyttynge.
To tell playnly through his philosophye,
So heauenly he sawe and that at eye,
That there nas thyng that might so secretely,
Be hyd from hym ne yet no pryuytee.
That he ne knewe he was of wyt so sage.
And at the laste whan he was of age.
An hundred yere with lockes grey and hore,
I well bethincke how he complayned sore,
And wepte also of pitie tenderly,
Fully affyrmyng if Parys vtterly,
Wente into Grece to rauyshe hym a wyfe,
There shulde insue suche a mortall stryfe,
Vpon vs all that sothly this citie,
Shulde into scindred asshes tourned be.
And that there shulde nothyng do vs socour,
But grekes sworde shulde cruelly deuoure,
Both hye and lowe and playnly spare none.
Wherfore I praye amonge you euerychone,
Of that I tell haue ye no despyte,
Your wronge to venge putteth in respyte,
And rancour olde I reade that ye lete.
And the tranquyll now of your quyete,
Of hastynesse that ye not submytte.
To fortune lyste that can so falsely flytte.
And trouble not for auncient enmyte,
With newe sterynge your felycitie.
For if that ye this Iourney thus assente,
Ye euerychone full sore shall repente.
And yf ye wyll algates thether sende,
In Parys stede let some other wende.
Lest his voyage be to you no spede.
Loe this my counsayle and fully my rede,
Sayde vnder supporte only of your grace.
[Page]¶And sodaynly they gan echone to chace,
At Penthens and loude agayne hym crye.
Repreuynge hym and the prophecye,
Of this father to their confusyon.
¶But oh alas the reuolucion,
Of ioye or wo or of felicitee,
For thing tofore ordeyned must nedely be,
The state of thynges wt fate is so englewed,
For that shall fall may not be eschewed.
Whiche caused them for tassent in one,
In al the hast that Parys shulde be gone,
Vnhappely wt hap they were enuolued.
¶And thus concluding their counsaile is dis­solued,
But casuelly loe it befell ryght than,
That this aduyse vnto the eres ran,
Of Cassandra and she with great afraye,
Of sodayne wo gan cryen welaway.
¶Alas quod she alas what wyll ye do,
What? and shall Parys into Grece go?
And with that worde she braste out to wepe.
Full piteously with inwarde syghes depe.
She gan to wayle and sowne for the payne,
And furyously with noyse to complayne.
With wofull rage and many pyteus sowne,
She made a mortall lamentatiowne.
For to be deade she might her not withholde.
With heare to torne and with fystes folde,
She sayde alas more than and hundred syth.
Ah stormy fortune why lyst thou to kythe,
Thy cruell force to oure aduersytie.
Vpon vs all and eke on this Citie,
Of mortall yre and gery violence,
with sword of vengeaunce worse thā pestilēce.
¶Oh Troye Troye what is the gylte alas,
What hast thou done what is thy trespas,
To be euersed and tourned into nought.
With wylde fyre thy synne is dere abought.
Ah Pryam kynge vncely is thy chaunce,
What hast thou gylte outher do greuaunce,
To thy goddes or wyrched through vnryght,
Them to prouoke to shewe their cruell might,
Vpon thy bloud alas what hast thou do?
Oh mother myne Oh Hecuba also,
What maner cryme or importable offence,
Hast thou cōmyt to haue such recompence.
The daye to abyde Oh noble worthy quene,
Of thy sonnes suche vengeaunce for to sene.
Oh wofull deth cruell and horryble.
Alas why are ye no more credible,
To my counsayle suche harmes to eschewe,
Your mortall purpose fully to remewe.
That he go not as it is ordeyned.
The thought of which my hart hath so cōstrained
That vnneth I may this my wo endure,
And to her father this wofull creature,
Helde streight her way & falleth plat to groūd
And of her wepyng all in water drownde,
By her chekes so gan the teares rayne,
And as she myght for constraint of her paine,
Vpon hym she gan clyppen and crye,
Besechynge hym to shape a remedye,
With pyteous voyce as she yt knewe ful wele,
In this matter playnly euerydele,
What shall befall and had it full in mynde.
The sodeyne harmes that shal insue behynde,
But all her clamour was not but in vayne,
For that shall fall as some clerkes sayne,
Ne may not well of men eschewed be.
And eke fortune by great aduersytie,
Of hasty Ire furyous and wood,
And aye vnkynde vnto the Troyan bloud,
Causelesse agaynst them sore agreued,
And of rancour sodaynly amened,
With blind awaite to catche them in a traūce,
By vyolence of her vnhappy chaunce,
Hath wt a sweyght tourned her whele vnsta­ble,
As she that is enuyous and mutable,
To hasten Troyens to theyr confusyon,
Of wylfulnesse and vndiscretion,
Agaynst grekes quarell for to make,
And therupon haue their counsayle take.
And haue achieued as ye herde deuyse,
Without assent of the most wyse.
For yf so they the diffynycyon,
Of Hector herde concluded in reason,
In this matter and of Helenus,
The counsayle take, and to Percheus,
Aduerted wysely as to his sentence,
And without faynyng gyuen full credence,
To her Cassandra that neuer lyst to lye,
And by aduyse had harde the prophecye,
From poynt to poynt for to caste aforne,
In such mischief they had not tho be lorne,
But floured yet in theyr felycitie.
Without domage and aduersytie.
But fortune will fortholde her course alway.
Whose wyll abydeth who so sayth ye or nay.
For she it was that caused this voyage,
[Page]With forhead playne & blandishing vysage.
With sugre shad and venim in the roote,
Bytter of taste and in shewing soote.
Wrynckled double like an horned snayle,
Fayth in her face & fraud ay in her tayle.
To haste the Troyans to accorde into one,
That Parys shuld into grece gone.
As ye haue herde there is no more to sayne,
For herupon they cast theim to ordayne.

¶How Priam the king sent Paris Deipho­bus and others of the worthies of Troy into Grece, to aduenge the rauishinge of his syster Exion, & how they before their returne rauy­shed the faire Heleine wife to Menelaus and brought her to Troye. Ca. xiii.

THe time approched whē ye son shene,
His golden wayne whyrleth vp atwene,
The cleare sterres of Hyades so read,
Which haue theyr scyte in the Bulles head,
And Pleyades the seuenth sterre so bryght,
Of whych syxe appearen to our syght,
For the seuenth draweth her asyde,
And couertly doth her beames hide,
Whylom for she hath done a great offence,
That vnto vs causeth her absence.
For she dare not shewe her stremes cleare,
Nor with her systren openly appeare,
Whelom for she as with a god mortall,
A syn committed that was cryminall.
Which noysed was & kouth thrughout ye heuē
That she alone amonge the sistrē seuen,
Shroudeth to vs shamefestly her chere.
¶And when as Titan in the zodiak sphere,
Atwene these sterres taken had his see,
Of the bul in the sixtenth degre,
Vpon the time of Ioly grene Maye,
When that Flora with her hewes gaye,
Hath euery playne medowe hil and vale,
With her floures quicke & nothing pale,
Ouer spred and clad in lyuery newe.
And braūches blosme with diuerse lusty hewe
And byd vs fully to be glad and lyght,
For by assuraunce they their fruit haue hight,
Agayne Autumpne who so that list thē shake.
When on the vines ripeth euery grape.
For thus this season most lusty of disporte.
Embraseth hertes with newe recomforte,
Onely of hope by kinde as it is dewe,
That holsom fruite shall the blosmes sewe.
Whan time cometh by reuolucion.
And thus in May ye lusty freshe season,
Whan byrdes synge in theyr hermonye,
The same time out of Pannonye,
Repeyred be Deiphobus and Parys,
And with theim brought chosen by deuyse,
Thre thousande knightes redy for to gone,
With theim to grece and shippes many one,
Ful vitayled of all that may theim nede,
And of these shippes the nomber as I rede,
Was two and twenty like as wryte Guydo.
And after this without more ado,
The kinge commaundeth vnto Eneas,
To Anthenor and to Polydamas,
In al the haste that they theim redy make,
With Parys knyghtly for to vndertake,
As ye haue herde this Iourney to acheue.
And on the time whan they toke theyr leue,
Pryamus with shorte conclusyon,
Sheweth the effect of his entencion.
And specially they theyr deuer done,
For to recure his syster Exione.
As ye haue herde here tofore me tell.
What shuld I more in this matter dwell.
Whan they were ready without more soioure,
This Parys first as lord and gouernour,
Of this voyage made by Pryamus,
And his brother called Deiphobus,
Theyr leue haue take as longed of deutye.
And after that to ship right manfully,
Without abode they gan theym selues dresse,
And in the name of Venus the goddesse,
And mighty Ioue they taken theyr Iourney.
With anker hoist forth by the large sea,
They gan to saile and haue the winde at wil.
The water calme blandishing and still.
Without trouble of any boystous wawe,
And to the costes they ginnen fast to drawe,
Of grekes lande for nothing ne theim let,
And of fortune in theyr course they met,
A grekishe shyp mine Auctour telleth thus,
In whych there was the king Menelaus,
Towarde Pyram a famous stronge Citie,
For to visite a duke of high degre,
That Nestor hight and this Menelaus,
Was brother eke vnto the king famous,
The wise worthy great Agamenon.
Greatest of name and reputacion,
[Page]Amonges the Grekes for his worthinesse,
And Menelay this storye beareth wytnesse,
Husbande was to the quene Heleyne.
And she was syster to the brethren tweyne,
Castor and Pollux whych as I you tolde,
Were of their hand so worthy knightes hold.
And in that time like to their degre,
In Strynester theyr most cheif Citye,
They helde a housholde solempne & royall.
The loue of whom was tho so speciall,
Of wyll and herte accordinge with the dede,
Atwixe theim two of very brotherhede,
That none from other could lyue alone.
With whom was eke the mayde Hermyone,
The yonge doughter of the quene Heleyne,
Of fayrenesse most inly souereyne.
Most passyngly excellyng in beaute,
¶And thus the Troians sayling on the sea,
Towarde grece amonge the wawes wete,
Of auenture theim happed for to mete,
Kinge Menelaus sayling by theyr syde,
And none of theim list of very pryde,
For to enquere what that other was,
But passen forthe a swyft and lusty pase,
For none of theym could then other knowe,
And aye the wynde peasebly gan blowe,
The Troian flete causyng in a whyle,
For to approche to the noble yle,
That called is Cithera at this daye.
And in the hauen in all the haste they may,
They anker cast & boūd theyr shippes strōge,
And after that theim list not tarye longe,
To take the lande ful many lusty man,
Araying theim as freshly as they can.
¶Now in this yle of passyng excellence,
There was a temple of great reuerence,
That buylded was of olde foundacion,
And honoured most as in that region,
Throughout the land both of fer and nere,
The feast day aye from yere to yere,
Like as it fil by reuolucion,
Repeyringe thither of great deuocion,
In honour onely of Venus the goddesse.
Whom the grekes with al theyr businesse,
Honoured most of euery maner age.
With giftes brynging and with pilgremage.
With great offryng and with sacrafise,
As vsed was in theyr paynem wise.
¶For in this Phane as they knele & wake,
With herte contryte and theyr prayer make,
The statue gaue of euery questyon,
Perfect answere and ful solucion,
With ceremonies to Venus as they loute,
Of euery thinge wherof they were in doubt.
They hadden there ful declaracion.
And thus the grekes vpon Citheron,
Halowe this feast with riche & great araye.
With rytes dewe as fer forthe as they may.
In hope fully the better for to thryue.
¶And of fortune when he did aryue,
Vp to the land by aduenture or case.
The same tyme this feast halowed was.
Of many a greke coming to and fro,
From euery coste that to the temple go.
On pilgramage theyr vowes to acquite.
Of the place the reliques to visyte.
And after Parys all this did espye,
He chosen hath out of his companye,
The worthiest that he there chese may.
And to the temple he toke the right way.
Ful wel besene and in knightly wise.
And did his honour and his sacrafise.
Ful humble and to the Grekes liche,
With many an ouche and many iewel riche.
With golde and syluer stones and riche perre,
He spendeth there like to his degre.
And quit him manly in his oblacions,
And ful deuoutly in his orysons,
He him demeneth that ioye it was to se.
¶Now was Parys of passing great beaute,
Amonges all that euer were alyue.
For there was none that might wt him striue,
Troian nor greke to speake of semeliheade,
Wonder freshe and lusty as I reade.
And in his porte full lyke a gentil knighte,
Of whose person for to haue a sight,
They gan to prease both of nigh and fere.
So royally he bare him in his gere.
And all prease both high estate and loowe,
What knight he was desyren for to knowe.
And of his men they asken busyly,
From whense he came and the cause why.
Of his coming enquyring one by one,
But prudently they kept theym euerychone,
That nothing was openly espyed,
In theyr answer so they them selues guyde.
That euery thing kept was secree,
Eueriche of theim was so auisee.
[Page]Albe that some openly declare,
What that he was and ne list not to spare,
But tolde playnly the cause of his cominge.
And howe Pryam the stronge mighty kinge,
His father was most royall of renowne.
And how he came also for Exiowne.
Thus eche of theim gan with other rowne,
At pryme face whan he came to towne.
And therupon were ymagynatyfe,
Sore musyng and much inquisitife,
Eche with other as by suspection,
Deminge therof lyke theyr opynyon.
And rathest they that nothinge ne knewe,
As folkes done of thinges that be newe.
And whyles that they of this matter treate,
In sondry wise among theyr wordes greate,
The saying of theim gan anone atteyne,
To the eares of the quene Heleyne.
Nigh there beside in that regyon.
And when she herde as by relacion,
And by reporte of them that come bytwene,
This fayre Heleyne, this freshe lusty quene,
Anone as she the sothe vnderstode,
Without delay or any more abode,
She casteth her to this solempnytye,
The freshe folke of Phrigia to se.
Wel more god wote in her entention,
To se Parys than for deuocion.
Vnder colour of holy pylgramage.
To the temple she taketh her voyage,
With a great meyne and royal apparayle,
Parys to se for she wyll not fayle.
¶But oh alas what lusty newe fyre,
Her herte hath nowe enflawmed by desyre,
To go to vigiles other to spectacles.
None holynesse to heare of myracles,
Hath meued her that there shal befall,
But as the maner is of women all,
To drawe thether platly to conclude,
Where as they be sure that multytude,
Ygathered is at lybertye to see,
Where as they may finde oportunitye,
To theyr desyre ful narowe they awayte.
Now couertly theyr eyen for to baite.
In place where as set is theyr plesaunce.
Now pryuely to haue dalyaunce,
By some sygne or casting of an eye,
Or tokens shewing in hert what they drye.
With touche of hādes stole amonge the prese,
With arme or fote to catche vp in theyr lese,
Whom that them lyst, all be he free or bonde,
Of nature they can holde him in honde.
Ayen whose sleyght auaileth wyt nor myght.
For what theim list be yt wronge or ryght,
They aye achieue who so sayth yea or nay.
Agayne whose lust defend him no man may.
¶Thus Guydo aye of cursed false delyte,
To speak thē harme hath caught an appetite
Throughout his boke of women to say yll,
That to translate it is agayne my wll,
He hath aye ioye theyr honour to ramuerse.
And I ryght sorye that I must reherse,
The fel wordes in his booke yfounde,
To all women I am so mikle bounde.
They be echone so goodly and so kynde,
I dare of theim not say but as I finde.
Of Guydoes write throughout Troy booke,
For when I redde for feare my herte quoke.
And veryly my wyttes gan to fayle,
Whan I therof must maken rehersaile.
Like his decrete but Guydo now do wyte,
For ye shall heare anone how that he chit,
The quene Heleyne for cause that she went,
With herte deuoute her offryng to presente.
To the temple of Venus the goddesse,
Thus word by word he sayth to her expresse.
¶O mortal harme that most is for to dread,
A fraude ycast by sleyght of womanhead.
Of euery wo ginning crop and roote,
Agaynst whych helpe may no bote,
Whan lust hath dryue in theyr herte a nayle,
Aye deadly venim seweth at the tayle.
Which no man hath power to restreyne,
Recorde I take of quene Heleyne.
That inly brent alas in her desyres,
Of newe lust to dele with those straungers.
Whom she knewe nat ne neuer sawe beforne,
Wher through alas ful many mē were lorne,
Of cruel death embrased in a cheyne.
Without pyty now saye thou quene Heleyne,
What ghost or spyryte alas hath meued the,
Sole fro thy lorde in such royaltye,
Out of thy house to go among the prease.
Why were yu wery to liue at home in peace.
But wentest out straungers for to se,
Taking no hede vnto thine honestye.
Thou shuldest haue kept thy closet secretly,
And not haue passed out so folyly,
[Page]In the absence of thy lorde alas.
Thou were to wilful and rakel in this case.
To se afore what shuld after sewe,
For al to sone thou were drawē out of mewe.
That coulde not kepe at home tho thy boūdꝭ.
Thou wētest out as hare among ye houndes.
For to be caught of very wilfulnesse.
And thy desyre coudest not compesse.
For though thy lust lyst not to refrayne,
O many woman hath caught be in a trayne,
By goyng out such halowes for to seke.
It syt theim better at home for to kepe,
Close in theyr chaumber and fle occasyowne.
For neuer shyp shuld in peryl drowne,
Nor ryue on rocke nor be with tempest rente,
Nor with Caribdis dreached or yshent,
Nor to go to wrake with no wethers yll,
If it were kept in the hauen styll.
For who wil not occasyons eschewe,
Nor dread no peryll for it is to sewe,
He must nedely as by necessytie,
Or he beware endure aduersytie.
And who can not his fote fro trappes spare,
Let him take hede or he fall in the snare.
For harme ydone to late is to compleyne,
For if whylom the noble quene Heleyne,
Her selfe had kept at home secrete and close,
Of her there ne had be so wicke a lose.
Reported yet grene freshe and newe.
Whose chaūce vnhappi eche mā ought to rew
That cause was of such destruction,
Of many worthy and confusyon,
Of her husband and many other mo.
On grekes syde and those of Troye also.
In this storye as ye shall after reade.
¶And so this quene as fast as she may spede,
To the temple hath the way ynome,
Full royally and whan that she was come.
Ful deuoutly within Citheron,
Made vnto Venus her oblacion,
In presence and syght of many one.
With many iewell and many ryche stone.
¶And whē that Paris had this thing espied,
To the temple anone he hath him hyed.
Ful thriftely in all the hast he myght.
Wher he forthwith as he had a syght,
Of the goodly fayre freshe quene,
Cupides darte that is whet so kene,
Or he was ware hath him marked so,
That for astoned he nist what to do.
So much he meruayleth her semelinesse,
Her womanhead her porte and her fayrnesse.
For neuer erst ne wende he that nature,
Coud ought haue made so fayre a creature.
So aungellyke she was of her beaute,
So feminine so goodly on to se.
That sothly he her dempte as by liklynesse,
For her beaute to be some goddesse.
For so his herte did him aye assure,
That she ne was a mortall creature.
So heauenly fayre and so celestyall,
He thought she was in partye and in all.
And eft consydereth for auysely,
Her features all in ordre by and by.
So curyously aye in his reason,
Of euery thinge by good inspection.
Her golden heare like the sonne streames,
Of freshe Phebus with his bright beames.
The goodly heade of her fleshly face,
Full replete of beaute and of grace.
Ylike enewed with quickenes of coloure,
Both of the rose and the lyly floure.
So egally that nother was to wite,
Through none excesse of much nor of lite.
Within the cerclynge of her eyen bryght,
Was paradise compassed in her syght.
That through eche hert ye beaute gā to perce.
And certaynly if so I shall reherce,
Her shape her fourme her features by & by,
As Guydo doth by ordre ceryously,
From head to foote clearly to deuyse,
I want englyshe that therto may suffyse.
It wil not be our tunge is nothing like,
I want also the floures of Rethorike.
To sewe his flouryshyng or his peynture,
For to discryue so fayre a creature.
For so my coloures feble be and feynte,
That nother can ennewe nor wel depaynte.
Eke I am not acqueynted with no muse,
Of all the nine therfore I me excuse,
To you echone not all of neclygence,
But for defaute onely of eloquence.
And you remit to Guydo for to se,
How he descriueth by ordre her beaute.
To take on me it were presumpciowne.
¶But I wil tell how Parys vp and downe,
Gothe in the temple and his eye cast,
Towardes Heleyne and gan presen fast,
[Page]As he that brent hoote in loues fyre,
That was enflawmed greatly by desyre.
And oft he chaungeth coūtenaunce & cheare,
And euer he neygheth to her nere and nere,
Ydarted through with her eyen tweyne.
And in likewyse this freshe quene Heleyne,
As hote she brent in herte priuely,
Albe no man it outward could espye.
For as her thought she neuer erst to fore,
Of all men that euer yet were bore,
Se none so fayre nor like to her pleasaunce.
On him to loke was hartes suffysaunce.
For in the temple she taketh hede of nought,
But compasseth and casteth in her thought,
How she may catche some oportunitye,
With him to speake at further lybertye.
This hooly was all her busynesse.
For him she felt so inly great distresse.
That oft she chaūgeth coūtenaūce & hewe,
For Venus hath theim marked so of newe,
With her brondes fyred by feruence,
And enflawmed by sodayne influence,
That egally they brought were in rage.
And saue the eye atwene was no message.
Eche on other so fyxe haue cast theyr sight,
That they conceyue and wyst anone right,
Within theim selfe what theyr herte ment.
And nere to her euer Parys wente.
To seke fully and get occasyon,
When as they might by ful relacion,
Theyr hertes conceyte declare secretly.
And so befell that Parys nigheth nye,
To the place where the quene Heleyne,
Stode in her see, & there atwene thē tweyne,
They broke out al & sum of theyr whole hert.
And gaue yssue to theyr inward smerte.
But this was done lest they were espyed,
Whan the people was most occupyed,
In the temple for to stare and gase.
Now here now there as it were on a mase.
They kept theim close that no worde asterte,
There was no man the treasō myght aduert.
Of theim twayne ne what they would mene.
But at the last Parys and this quene,
Concluded haue wyth shorte auysement,
Fully the fine of theyr both entent.
And set the time betwyx theim in certayne,
Whan they appoynten for to mete agayne.
But lest men had to theim suspection,
They made an ende without more sermō.
And syth departe albe that they were lothe.
And soberly anone this Parys gothe,
From the temple with brest in euery parte,
Fully through gyrt with loues fiery darte.
And to his shippes he helde the right way,
Where he anone in al the hast he may,
Whan that assembled was his chiualrye,
One and other and al his companye.
In fewe wordes as shortly as I can,
Tofore theim all his tale he thus began.
LOrdinges quod he shortly to expresse,
The cause is kouthe as to youre worthi­nesse,
Why my father into Grece vs sent.
For as ye knowe the chief of his entent,
Was to recure his sister Exion,
Out of the handes of mighty Thelamon.
The which thinge for ought I can espye.
Is impossible shortly in mine eye.
By any waie as fer as I can se,
He is so great and strong in his countre.
Of his allyes aboute on euery side,
And in herte so inly full of pride,
To yelde her vp he hath not but disdayne.
Therof to treate it were not but in vayne.
Therfore the best that I can deuise,
Sith our power may not now suffise,
To werrey him in this regiowne,
We be not egall of might nor of renowne,
For lacke of men with him to holde a felde.
We may not win with spere nor wt shelde,
Tencountre him with all his multitude.
Wherfore the best that I can conclude,
Is sith fortune hath vs hither brought,
And the goddes haue eke for vs wrought,
So graciously to make vs for to londe,
At Venus temple fast here by the stronde.
Whiche aboundeth with ful great richesse,
Of grekes offringe vnto the goddesse,
By londe and sea fro many sundry porte,
Of men and women that hyther haue resort,
To that place in worshyp of Venus,
So that the wife of kinge Menelaus,
Is there present. ful riche and wel beseyne,
And if that we by manhod might atteyne,
To rauishe her and the temple spoyle,
And of theyr treasour chesen out and coyle,
The chefe iewels and chargen our somers,
[Page]Wyth golde and syluer and wyth prysoners,
And maugre theim to our shyppes brynge,
This same night without tarying,
We may not fayle who euer that saythe nay,
If ye assenten of a worthye pray.
Wherfore in haste that ye now redy make,
And euery man anone his harnes take,
And arme hym well in his best aray.
And they assente without more delaye,
And in theyr shyppes they bydē till at night,
Whē Phebus chaire wtdrawē had his light,
Vnder the wawes and sterres did appeare,
On the heauen with theyr streames cleare.
And or the moone that time did aryse,
They shope theim forth in ful thrifty wise,
The manly Troians armed in stele bryghte,
To the temple holding theyr waye aryght.
For they casten no longer for to tarye,
But proudly enter in the sanctuarye,
Into the chappel called Citheron,
Without reuerence or deuocion.
Done to Venus in her oratorye.
For it was cleane out of theyr memorye.
Honour and dread and all obseruaunce,
For fynally all theyr attendaunce,
As myn Auctour sothly can diffine,
Was to ryght nought but onely to rauyne.
They token all that came to theyr hande,
Rychesse and treasour that was in the lande,
Golde and syluer stones and riche Iewelles,
Releques sacred the holy eke vessels,
Without abode out of the sacrary,
And all yfeare to theyr shippes carye.
It is a wonder to thynke on the good.
They kil & sley all that theim withstode,
And likewyse pytie for to se theim blede,
And of the Grekes how they to ship lede.
That after lyued in captyuytie,
Ful many a yeare in Troye the Citye.
¶And there whiles goth Parys to Heleyne,
And her embraseth in his armes tweyne,
Full humble and with great reuerence.
In whom he found no maner resystence.
It sat her not she was so womanly,
For ther to Parys she yolde her vtterly.
Her herte in hap was yolde or he came there,
Therfore to yelde she had lesse feare.
She can not stryue nor no woman sholde,
And he anone as gentilnesse him wolde
Comforteth her as he best can or may.
And led her forthe without more delaye,
Vnto the shyppes and there full busyly,
He set wardes to kepe her honestly.
While to the temple he retourneth agayne,
To spoyle and robbe and to make all playne,
Through the temple withe his walles wyde.
¶Nowe stode a castell fast there besyde,
Ystuffed well with Grekishe Souldeours,
The whych awoke wyth noyse of pylours.
The same nyght and gan make a shoute.
And therwithall anone they yssue oute,
Armed in stele the temple to reskewe.
And manfully after theim they sewe.
And so befell whan they togyther mette,
Wyth speres sharpe and swerdes kene whet.
¶They ran togither as these Tygres wilde,
Like wood Lions or these Bores vnmilde.
There was no fayninge foūd in theyr fyght,
Albe the felde was not departed ryght.
For the Troians doubled them in nomber,
That vtterly the Grekes they encoumbre.
And at mischefe made theim fast to flee
And in pursute ful cruelly theym flee.
Without mercy to the castell gate.
There was no rescuse for they came to late.
Of this skermyshe for the fine was deathe,
Nowe here now there thei yeldē vp ye breath.
So mightely the Troians theim assayle.
That to withstāde it might not theim auaile.
For of manhod they the felde haue wonne.
And after that ryght cruelly begonne,
In hasty wyse to ransacke that castell,
And to shyppe they broughten euerydell.
Treasour & golde & what that they may win,
And on the morowe to salen they begyn.
Stuffed with good by the grekyshe sea,
Towarde the costes of Troye the Citye.
The sea was calme and fully at theyr will,
Both of tempest and of stormes ill.
And cleare also was the bryght heauen,
That in space almost of dayes seuen,
At the castel called Tenedowne,
They are aryued sixe mile from the towne.
And glad and light they to land wente.
And after that I finde this Parys sente,
His messāger streyght vnto the kinge,
That him enfourmeth of his home cominge,
Of theyr exployt he tolde theim euery dele,
[Page]And Pryamus it lyketh wonder wele,
That so manly they haue borne them out,
And made to publyshe in all the towne about,
These tydynges new with great solempnitie,
To hygh and lowe through out the cytie.
And that for ioye the moste and eke the leste,
For remembraunce halowe and holde a feste.
And thanke their goddes in full humble wyse,
With obseruaunces and with sacrafyce,
On their aulters with great deuocion,
And all this whyle he at Tenedon,
Holdeth soiourne with the quene Heleyne.
The whiche her hap gan rewfully complain,
Her vnkouth life to dwellen with straungers.
Disconsolate amonge the prysoners.
Ferre sequestred away from her countrey,
All solytarye and in captiuitie.
She wepeth and cryeth with a pyteous chere
With wawes vpboyled from her eyen clere,
Wherof the stremes by her chekes rayne.
And for constraynt of her inwarde peyne,
Full often sythes her songe was wel away.
With sobbing voice that she so fer awaye,
Departed is from Menelaus,
For whose absence in rages furyous,
She hateth her lyfe and curseth eke fortune,
And in this wo she euer doth contune,
Without soiourne alway more and more.
And for her brethern Pollux and Castor,
And for the loue of her doughter dere,
Now pale and grene she wexeth of her chere,
That whylom was fresher for to sene,
Than is lyilye on his stalke grene.
Alas chaunged is her rosen hewe.
And aye elyche her wo encreaseth newe.
That lyke no woman she was to beholde,
For aye she wepte as she to water wolde.
¶Till at the laste in all her heauynesse,
Parys to her came of gentylnesse,
To recomforte and to appese her rage.
He besyeth hym her sorowes to aswage.
Sayeng to her alas what may this mene,
That ye in one oh goodly freshe quene,
Lyst thus your selfe in sorowynge diffygure.
I wonder greatly how ye may endure,
So moche water causeles thus to shede,
That with weping haue dewed so your wede.
For like a conduite the streames ran a downe
And as a penitaunt in contriciowne,
Ye you disraye alas why do ye so.
Let be this fare and let it ouer go.
All your wepynge thought and heauinesse,
And be no more my lady in distresse.
Make here an ende now of your greuaunce,
For all the ease comforte and pleasaunce,
That men may do truste well ye shall haue,
It is but foly in sorowe thus to raue.
Lette passen ouer all these sharpe shoures,
And here my trouth ye and all youres,
Of what your lyste you shal haue suffysaunce.
As ferforth and more in haboundaunce,
Than haue ye had amonge the grekes there,
I you ensure and be nothyng in feare.
That I shall holde all that I haue hyght,
On my trouthe as I am true knyght.
In worde and dede with all my herte entire,
And she anone with a dolefull chere,
So as she myght forsobbyng tho suffyce,
Answered agayne in full lowly wyse.
¶I wote quod she were me lothe or lefe,
Syth I am caught & take at this mischiefe,
Vnto your wyll I may not now with seye,
I am so bounde that I must obeye.
Vnder your daunger that I may not flee,
In holde distrayned and in captiuitee.
¶Ye wot also by nature out of dreade,
That it ne longeth vnto womanhead.
In straunge soyle to stryue or to rebell.
And namely there where as her quarell,
Shall haue no fauour nor susteyned be,
But yf ye lyste now to haue pitee,
On me or myne of your goodlyhead,
Ye may of god deserue thanke and mede.
That wyll rewarde iustly geue to tho,
And comforte them that be in care and wo.
¶Now lady myne, than quod Parys,
What that maye lyke or be at your deuyse,
All shall be do trusteth me ryght wele.
For by my trouthe as ferre as I can feele,
In any thyng that may do you pleasaunce,
Ye shall it haue and that in habundaunce.
This I ensure of heste not fallyble,
Be not agaste but fully be credible,
To my wordes and hestes euerychone.
And therwithall he ladde her ryght anone,
Into a place of royall apparayle,
To comforte her if it wolde auayle.
And secretely there betwene them two,
[Page]This Parys fyrste without more a do,
Spake vnto her and sayde my lady dere,
I fayne it not but speake of herte entyer,
And that I hope ye shall hereafter fynde.
Wherfore I praye enprenteth in your mynde,
What that I saye and in your remembraunce.
This is to saye syth ye by purueyaunce,
Ben of the goddes brought as now therto,
And fortune eke will that it be so,
I dare affyrme playnly for the fyrste,
That they disposed haue not for your worste,
But for your good and so ye must it take,
Wherfore I reade suffer ouer shake,
All heauynesse and loketh that ye be,
As glad and lyght here in this countrey,
As though ye were in your owne lande.
For faythfully I do you tunderstande,
Ye shall haue here as moche habundaunce,
On euery parte with full suffysaunce,
Of all that you semeth to be pleasaunt,
For of one thyng I dare me well auaunt,
That in this countrey as it shalbe founde,
In euery thyng we plenteously habounde.
And more at ful then do your grekes yonder,
And though ye ben farre from them a sonder,
Out of the lande that called is Achaye,
There is no cause whye ye shoulde dismay,
Syth ye at worshyp and more reuerence,
At more honour and greater excellence,
Here shalbe cherished than ye were afore.
And where ye playne that ye haue forbore,
Your owne lord and be as now left sole,
For whom ye maken al this wo and dole,
Ye shall in haste be sette at better ease.
For certaynly so it not displease,
Nor offende vnto your womanhead,
In stede of hym I purpose out of dread,
To wedde you and be your trewe man,
To loue and serue in all that euer I can,
Without faynyng to my lyues ende.
And be to you as lowly and as kynde,
As dylygent and eke more laborous,
Than whylom was your Menelaus,
In euery thynge your lustes to obeye.
Haue here my trouthe tyll tyme that I deye.
¶And though that I in wordes be but plain,
For the loue of god haue no disdeyne,
Of my request nor grutche not at all,
For at the least of the stocke royall,
I am descended and come as hygh of bloud,
As Menelay and of byrth as good,
And can in loue to you be farre more trewe,
Than erst was he and chaunge for no newe.
¶Wherfore leue of thus to playne and wepe,
And let some comforte in your bosome crepe,
Your wo appease which is not worth an haw,
And lette some myrth in your herte adawe.
This I beseche you and of womanhead,
To my wordes that ye lyst take hede.
¶Alas quod she how myght this befall,
That haue ylefte my frendes one and all,
In straunge lande and here am al alone,
How shuld I thā but stil complaine in one,
I haue no cause god wote for to pley,
Nor yet my chekes for to kepe drey.
From salte teares alas it wyll not be,
That can none ende of myne aduersyte.
For in good fayth it were agaynst kynde,
So sodaynly tabandon out of mynde,
Thilke thyng that eyther for ioye or smerte,
In all this worlde sytteth nexte my herte.
For whom alas so sore I am destrayned.
But syth the goddes haue as now ordeyned,
No better chaunce of hope vnto me,
I can no more I must it take at gre.
And humbly accepte also their sonde.
For I am weake their power to withstonde.
Wherfore I shal agayne my wyll now striue,
Al be for wo my herte I fele ryue.
For to consent and lowly to admytte,
Thylke thynge fro whiche as now I may not flytte.
Maugre my wyll of necessytie,
Fully to obey what ye lyst do with me.
It wil not helpe although I sayed you nay.
And thus she playneth in al that euer she may
Little and little her sorowe to aswage.
What shulde she aye lyue in wo and rage.
To lese her selfe so tender a creature,
An herte of stele ne myght it not endure.
But aye of women the maner is and kynde,
That they can not of sorowe make an ende.
Tyll they by leysure wepte haue at full.
But at the laste whan they gynnen dull,
To make sorowe it happeth them as faste,
That by grace they soone it ouer caste.
And lyghtly catche comforte for their smerte.
They be so tender yt men may them conuerte,
Fro wo to ioye & thought from them disseuer,
[Page]There is no storme that may laste euer,
As clerkes wyse in bookes lyste discerne,
Thynge vyolente may nothyng be eterne.
For after stormes Phebus bryghter is.
And so by comforte and counsayle of Parys,
She is adawed of her olde sorowe.
For euen lyke as the glade morowe,
Of veray kynde seweth the dercke nyght,
So by processe her herte wexeth lyght.
And of her wepyng dryed is the well.
Lyke as the storye shall anone vs tell.

Howe Parys was receyued in Troye at his retourne, and of his maryage to Heleyne. Capitulo. xiiii.

VVhan so ye quene that called is Heleine,
Adawed was of her drery peyne,
And the wawes of her heauy cheare,
On her chekes gonnen for to clere:
Parys in herte freshe and amerous,
In haste hath sente to kyng Pryamus,
For horse and men and other apparayle,
Clothes of golde full noble of entayle,
Made for Heleyne, & wrought for the nones,
With ryche perle and many sondry stones,
Agayne her commyng into Troye towne.
And after that Parys from Tenedowne,
Shappeth him to lede her into Troye.
And Pryamus mette them on the waye,
Full royally as faste as he myght hye,
With many a lorde in his companye,
Full many lady freshe and well beseyne,
And many mayde that ryde them agayne,
Fyrst estates and after communers.
Nowe had Parys all his prysoners,
Set before in order tweyne and tweyne,
And he rode next with the quene Heleyne.
And Deiphobus vpon the other syde,
And his knyghtes enuyron him dyd ryde.
But nexte hym rode the worthy Eneas,
And the Troyan called Pollydamus,
His meane suynge eche in his degree,
So gentylmanly that ioye it was to see,
Eche from other kepyng a certayne space.
And forth they ryden but a softe pace,
Tyll that the kyng them mette sodaynly,
And them receyued hath full solempnely,
As he beste coulde and goodly toke the rayne,
Into his hande of the quene Heleyne.
And her conueyed forth to his Citie.
Great was the preyse that abode to see,
Of sondry folke that shoued faste and croude.
The shyrle trumpettes were yreysed loude,
Vp to the skye goth the blysfull sowne,
Whan all this people entreth in the towne.
And many a nother dyuers instrumente,
That all tofore in at the gates went,
In sondry wyse that made melodye.
That to here the heauenly armonye,
By musycke touched vpon strynge and corde,
So euen in one and iustly they accorde,
It wolde an herte rauyshe into ioye.
And whan they weren entred into Troye,
Amydde his palayse Pryamus alight.
And then anone as faste as euer he myghte,
Into a chambre ryche and well besey,
The quene Heleyne in haste he dothe conuey.
Cōmaundyng eft with herte wyll & thought,
His offycers that her fayle nought,
Of any thynge that she can bethyncke.
The spyces parted anone ye wyne they drinke.
And than the kyng toke leue tyll supper,
And she there whyles chaungeth her attyre.
¶But of the ioye that was in the towne,
In euery place where men went vp & downe,
I am to rude sothly all to wryte.
So muche in herte the Troyans them delyte,
That safe and sounde retourned in Parys.
They wende haue ben for ioye in paradyse,
That he so well sped in his iourne.
And hath not one loste of his meyne.
Wherof they be in herte glad and lyghte.
And in all haste after the nexte nyght,
As wryte Guydo without tarying longe,
Erely the morowe before the larke songe,
In Pallas temple as myne auctor sayth,
Assured was by othe and eke by fayth,
The bond of wedlocke of him and of Heleine,
For euermore to laste atwixte them tweyne.
The knotte is knitte of this sacrament.
And thus was done fully by thassent,
First of the kyng and also by thaduyse,
Of all the Citie in fauour of Paryse.
And so the feast and great solempnitee,
Continued was with muche royaltee,
Of this weddyng in myrthe and solace,
Through the towne by eyght dayes space.
[Page]What shulde I wryte the reuell or ye daunces,
The freshe aray or the countenaunces,
The scole touches the lokes amerous,
The priue grutche of them yt were Ialous,
The great iustes bourdes or tornaye,
Amydde palestre with many sundry playe,
The dyuers courses eke at euery feste,
The large plente done to most and leste,
The straunge meates the maner of seruyce.
I haue none englyshe all for to deuyce,
I passe it ouer for I was not there.
¶But whan this weddyng came vnto ye ere,
Of Cassandra and fyrste it dyd espye,
A thousande sythe alas she gan to crye,
Of pyteous wo with vntressed heeres.
And sayde thus albe spreynte with teeres.
O wretched Troye errynge in this case,
Within thy selfe to suffer this trespase,
For to consente vnto suche folye,
In susteynyng of foule auouterye,
That Parys shulde taken vnto wyfe,
The quene Heleyne whose husband is alyue,
Oh wofull Troye to cruell is thy fate,
For to beware it is almost to late.
The tyme is come thou shalte destroyed be,
For many father shall his sonne see,
Hole on the morne that shalbe slayne or eue.
Amyddes the fyelde that wyll him sore greue.
And many wyfe shall carefully bewepe,
To se her husband with large woundes depe.
Gryde through the body pale colde and grene
Alas how shall ye the sorowe mowe susteyne.
¶Ah wretched mothers how shall ye endure,
To se your children by cruell aduenture,
Afore you slayne withouten remedye.
It wyll not helpe though ye clepe and crye.
¶Ah mother myne Heccuba the quene,
How shalt thou byde ye sharpe stoundes kene,
Thy worthy sonnes to se afore the slawe.
And in the fyelde by cruelte ydrawe.
¶Ah blynde people of death yu takest no hede,
Why nylte thou worke and do after my rede,
And in this case more prudent be and wyse,
To take awaye this Heleyne fro Paris,
As right requireth withouten any more,
And to her lorde iustely her restore.
¶What trowen ye his thefte & cruel dede,
Shall passe thus nay nay withouten drede,
The sword of vengeaūce shal ful sharply byte
For his offence and we shall beare the wyte.
Paleys and house to se within a throwe,
And toures hye layde on the erthe alowe.
Alas alas I saye to the Heleyne,
Vnhappy woman causer of our payne.
Harde, vnsely, and also gracelese,
Vnwealfull woman disturbler of our peace.
Thou hast vs brought in mischefe & in were,
Kyndled a bronde to burne vs all yfeare.
Alas thou arte the grounde and roote of all,
Of many drery feast funerall.
That shall beholde amonge vs in this towne.
And in this wise Cassandra vp and downe,
Aboute ran in subarde and in strete,
And crieth in one whom euer that she mete,
Full ofte syth alas and welaway.
Tyll Pryamus bycause of her affray,
And for the noyse that she as tho did make,
Without abode anone he doth her take,
And bounde her fast and fetred in pryson,
Without mercy or remyssyon:
They toke no hede to her sadde trouthe,
Nor to her wordes it was the more routhe.
But shet her vp in bondes great and stronge,
Without pitie where she abyde longe.
And thus in pryson a whyle I let her morne,
And to the grekes I wyll agayne retourne.
THunhappy tyme & in the same whyle,
That false fortune frendly gan to smyle,
Vpon Troyans and bad them to be mery,
For which highly they gan their goddes hery
Wenyng with ioye to haue assured weale,
Nothyng aduerting the tournyng of ye whele,
Of her that lasteth stable but a throwe.
Whē men most trust her she can make a mowe
Tourne her forhead and her face wrythe,
Suche ioye she hath her doublenesse to kythe.
And to wrappe her clerenesse vnder cloude,
Agaīst whose might ther mai no mā hī shroud
Whē most she flattereth thē is she lest to triste,
For in her ioye the Troyans lyttell wyste,
What she hath mente to their confuciowne.
For whyle that they aboute in all the towne,
Wende of grekes haue gotten full recure,
Of their domages and to haue be sure,
Through thilke pray ye Paris had thē wonne.
The wycked fame and rumour is yronne,
With swift wingꝭ of al yt they haue wroughte,
[Page]To Menelay the fydynges were ybrought,
Whyles he abode with Nestor at Pirrha,
Firste of the temple in Cithera,
How it was spoyled and the robberye,
Of golde and treasoure and the tyrrannye,
Vpon his men by Troyans execute,
Both of assaylyng and of all the suite,
That on the grekes they made cruelly,
And how that they ne spared vtterly,
Man nor woman that came in their waye,
That they ne toke and ladde as for praye,
To theyr shyppes. also of the fyght,
Afore the Castell that was on the nyght.
¶And alder laste he heareth of his wyfe,
Whom he loued as derely as his lyfe,
More tenderly god wote a thousande folde.
For whom at herte he waxed is as colde,
As any stone and therto pale of hewe,
His hertye wo so inly gan renewe.
That fyrst whan he harde her name sowne,
Without more anone he fell in sowne,
For he ne myght endure for to stande.
Til that duke Nestor toke hym by the hande,
And hym adawed of his deadely swowe.
Alas quod he why haue I lost and howe,
My lyues luste my hertes suffysaunce.
Ah death come now & make of my greuaūce,
Fully an ende with thy cruell darte.
That wounded am through on euery parte,
My herte also korne in euery veyne,
For you my wyfe for you myne owne Heleine
That be deforced fro me welaway.
Farewell my ioye farewell my olde playe.
Now haue straungers of you possessyon.
Whiche wyll to me be full confusyon.
Alas I not how they cheryshe or trete,
My fayre Heleyne that were to me so swete.
Now ye are gone pensyfnesse me sleath,
I may not wayte now but after death.
And after this amyd in all his wo,
This Menelay shope hym for to go,
To his reygne but lyttell there besyde.
He axeth horse and said how he wolde ryde,
Sole to complaine of yt he felte him greue,
But all this whyle Nestor wyll not leue,
To go with hym for consolacion.
Of frendly ryght hauynge compassion,
Hym to comforte with all his full myght.
Leading with him many a worthy knyght.
Into the reygne of this Menelaus.
¶Than fyrst of all the story telleth vs,
How they sent for kyng Agamenon.
And for Castor to come to him anone.
And for Pollux if it myght so be,
And when that they comen were all three,
And saw their brother ī such mischief brought
Almost murdred with his owne thought,
Without abode the wyse Agamenon,
To gyue him hoope and consolacion,
Dyd his labour and diligence entere.
Sayinge to hym as ye shall after here,
¶Oh brother mine, what wo, what heuinesse,
What deadly sorowe thus inly may oppresse,
Your knightly hert or trouble your manhead.
More furiously ywys than it is nede.
For though that ryght required vtterly,
You for to sorowe and hadden cause why,
Yet me semeth by iuste prouidence,
Ye slyly shulde dyssymule your offence.
Sith eche wyse man in his aduersytie,
Shulde fame chere and kepen in secree,
The inwarde wo that bynt hym in distresse.
By manly force rathest there compesse,
The spyryte of Ire and melancolye,
Where the people myght it not espye.
The doctryne of them that be prudent,
Than whan a man with furye is to rent,
To fayne chere tyll tyme he se leysure,
That he of vengeaunce kyndell may the fyre.
For sorowe out shewed if I shall not fayne,
Who so taketh hede it doth thynges twayne,
It causeth frendes for to syghe sore,
And his enemyes to reioyse the more.
Thy frende in herte is sorye of nature,
Thyne enemye glad of thy mysaduenture.
Wherfore in herte whā wo doth most haboūde
Faineth gladnesse thyne enemye to confound,
And shew in chere as thou roughtest nought.
Of that most is greuous in thy thought.
And where yu hast moste matter to complayne,
Make there good face & glad in porte ye faine.
For into teares though thou all distylle,
And rende thy selfe as thou woldest the spylle,
It helpeth not to a ledge thy greuaunce.
For honour nother pursuite of vengeaunce,
With sorowe makynge mowe be execute.
Though it last ay ther cometh therof no frute,
Men say how he that can dissimule a wronge,
[Page]How he is slyghe and of herte stronge.
And who can be peasyble in his smerte,
It is a token he hath a manly herte.
Not to wepe as women in their rage,
Whiche is contrary to an hygh courage.
With word & weping for to auenge our paine,
And no meanes to worshyp to attayne,
Let vs with sworde & not with wordes fyght.
Our tunge appese, by māhod preue or might.
Worde is but winde and water that we wepe.
And though the tempest and of fluddes depe,
Of this two encrease euer mo,
They may not do but augment our wo.
And to our foon therof when they here,
Both of our dole and our heauy chere,
All is to them but encrease of ioye,
Wherfore brother a whyle do acoye,
The cruel tourment that byndeth you so sore,
For in prouerbe it hath be sayd full yore.
That the prowesse of a manly knyght,
Is proued most in mischyefe and his myght.
To be assured in aduersitee,
Strongly susteyne what wo that it be,
Not cowardly his courage to submytte,
In euery peryll nor his honour flytte.
Through no dispeyre but hope alway wele,
And haue a truste trewe as any stele.
Tacheue aye what he take an hande,
For fynally I do you vnderstande,
That of hym selfe who hath good fantasye,
To set vpon and put in inpartye,
What that befall or happe what happe may,
Takyng what chaunce tourneth on his play,
The fyne of suche gladly is victorye.
They fayle selde of the palme of glorye.
And tyme is now to speke in wordes fewe,
Oh brother myne manhode for to shewe.
To plucke vp herte and to make you stronge,
And to venge your damages and wronge.
We shall echyone helpe and lay to hande,
Kynges, Dukes, and lordes of this lande.
And all atones do our busynesse,
I you behyght your harmes to redresse.
And in despyte who that euer vs lette,
We shall vs lodge and our tentes sette.
Euen in the fyelde afore Troye towne.
And it beseage to their destructiowne.
Albe therof I set as now no daye.
But brother first in all the haste we may,
Let maken letters without more sermon,
To all the lordes of this region,
Of matter touchynge this your vyllanye.
To come to gyther and shape a remedye,
This is theffect of all that I can sayne.
¶And thus released somwhat of the payne,
Is Menelays through cōfort of his brother,
For whan he sawe it myght be none other,
And of his tale the kynge made an ende,
Thrugh out ye lande he did his letters sende.
Fyrst to her kynne and to his allye,
To come to helpe hym of their curtesye.
¶And fyrst of all to Menelaus,
Came Achylles and with him Patroclus.
And alder nexte the stronge Dyomede,
And many another to helpe in this nede.
And all echone in open Parlement,
They were accorded full by assente,
To be gouerned as Agamenon,
Lyst to ordayne in his discrecion.
Of this voyage they made hym gouernour,
And of their hooste chieftaine and Emperour.
Amonge them all there was full vnitee,
Vpon Troyans auenged for to bee.
And from this purpose neuer to remewe,
But fyrst I fynde Parys for to sewe,
The voyage toke ye worthy brethern tweine,
Pollux and Castor to recure Heleyne.
Yet neuertheles as some bokes lysten tell,
That these kynges no longer wolde dwell,
But alder faste as Parys was agone,
They toke a shyppe and folowed hym anone.
With many worthy in their company,
And doubtlesse but yf olde bokes lye,
That or they had sayled dayes three,
To Troyewarde in the large see,
The tempest rose and wyndes dyd awake,
The heauen derke with the cloudes blake,
That haue the day tourned into nyght.
And bryght Phebus was mirked of this light
The fyry lenen and stroke of the thonder,
Smote in the maste and shyuerde it a sonder.
It was so derke no lyghte myght adawe,
The sea gan swell with many sturdy wawe.
That rose on hyghte large as any mounte,
And fell downe and swapped in the frounte,
Euen of the shyppe and plunged it full lowe.
Now vp now downe forcast and ouerthrow,
Their shyppes were with tempest to and fro.
[Page]The fomy waters grene, whyte, and blo,
Of feruent boylyng and as pytche blacke,
With storme & wynd that al goeth to wracke.
So hydously the blastes at theim dryue,
That euery borde gan from other ryue.
And all is peryshed there scaped not a man.
But all atones as I reherse can,
Be dead & drowned with tempest sodaynly,
There scaped none I say you certaynly.
Except the brethern such as bookes tel,
The one in heauen the other lowe in hel,
Were lordes made tabyde eternally.
¶And some fayne in theyr poesy,
How the goddes haue theim defyed,
Like in heauen and ystellifyed.
After theyr shyppes ware ygo to wrake.
They were made sterres in the zodyake.
And to the sygne transfourmed vtterly,
Whych is of clerkes called Gemyny.
The whych sygne and constellation,
Is to Mercury house and mansyon.
And is of kinde femell and masculyne,
In whych the Egle and also the Dolphyne,
Haue theyr arysyng by reuolucion,
The tayle also aboue the Dragon,
Is exaltate in the thyrd degree,
Of Gemyny whych sygne hathe most pouste,
In hande and armes of man oute of doubte,
Like as Lucina halt her course aboute.
And in this wyse were the brether twayne,
To heauen rapt as these poetes fayne.
After the tempest ye get no more of me.
For in this wise the grekes in the sea,
An ende made and that ful wylfully.
This ernest first came vnhappely,
To theim echone as ginning of theyr wo,
And finall chaunce to the brether two.

¶How ye Grekes assembled to be aduēged of yt Troians for the rauishing of Helein. Ca. xv

BVt for asmuche as Dares frigius,
Was in his boke whilom curyous,
The fourme of Troiens & grekes to descriue
Lyke as he sawe this auctour by his lyue,
The shape the fourme & complexiowne,
Both of the partye of theym of Troy towne,
And of the grekes by good auisement,
In time of trewse amonge theim as they wēt,
Seyng the maner of theyr gouernaunce,
Their porte theyr chere wt euery circūstaūce,
Namely of tho that were of high degre.
He not forgate one loose nor qualyte,
Condicions and also theyr stature,
All to descryue Dares did his cure.
In Grekishe tunge beginning at Heleyne.
Like as tofore ye haue herd me seyne.
Of her beaute and her semelynesse,
How seryously Guido doth expresse,
Saue he sayd as in a lytell space,
A strype there was endlong in her face,
Whych as he wryte became her wonder wele.
Embelyshing her beaute euerydele.
Like as Dares maketh desripcion.
¶And first he sayeth how king Agamenon,
Was of good shape and high of his stature,
And might in laboure at the best endure.
Vnpacient to lyue in quyet,
He was to armes so egall and so mete,
Of coloure whyte and good proporcion,
And flemytek of his complexion.
Discrete and hardy and wonder vertuous,
And of speche ryght facundious.
And coud him wel in euery thinge demene,
¶But Menelay of stature was but meane.
Proporcioned atwix shorte and longe,
Worthy in armes delyuer and ryght stronge.
Of courage and of hert vygorous,
Semely also and aye more desyrous,
To lyue in werre rather than in peace.
¶And furthermore to speake of Achilles,
He was ryght fayre and of great semelynesse.
With aborne heyr crispyng for thicknesse.
With eyen glawke, large, stepe, and great,
& shuldred brode wt brest ful square & mete,
To endure in armes fel and coragious.
And of his loke wonder amerous.
High of stature and large of giftes eke,
And more of strength than any other Greke.
And to spend he set lytel charge,
He was of herte so plenteous and large.
And in the felde passyng chyualrous.
¶And for to tell forth of Tantalus,
Of sanguine hewe hauing much of reed,
Diuerse eyed aye meuing in his head.
Of huge making also & of great strengthe,
Wel answeryng hys brede to his lengthe.
Hatinge to striue where he sawe no nede,
[Page]Ryght trewe of worde also as I reade,
And neuer quarel wolde he take on hande,
To fyght for but he might vnderstande,
That it were fully grounded vpon ryght.
And than he wolde quyte hym like a knyght.
¶Cilcus Ayax was right corpulent,
To be well cladde he set al his entent,
In ryche aray he was ful curyous.
Although he were of body corsyous,
Of armes great wt shoulders square & brode,
It was of him almost a horse lode.
Hygh of stature and boystous in a pres,
And of his speche rude and rechles.
Ful many worde in ydel hym asterte,
And but a coward was he of his herte.
¶An other Ayax Thelamonyous,
There was also dyscrete and vertuous,
Wonder fayre and semely to beholde,
Whose heyr was black & vpward ay gā folde.
In compas wise rounde as any sphere,
And of musyke was there none his pere.
Hauing a voyce full of melodye.
Right well entuned as by Hermonye.
And was inuentife for to counterfete,
Instrumentes aswell smal as grete,
In sundry wise longing to musyke,
And for all this yet had he good practike,
In armes eke and was a noble knyght,
No man more orped nor hardyer for to fight.
Nor desyrous for to haue vyctorye,
Deuoyde of pompe hatyng all vaynglorye,
All ydle laude spent and blowe in vayne.
¶Of Vlyxes what shall I also sayne,
That was so noble and worthy in his dayes,
Ful of wyles and sleyghty at assayes.
In meaning double and deceyuable,
To forge a leysyng also wonder able.
With face playn he coud make it toughe,
Mery worded and but selde loughe.
In counsayling discret and ryght prudent,
And in his tyme the most eloquent.
And holpe to Grekes often in theyr nede.
¶And for to speake of worthy Diomede,
Full wel compact and growe well in length,
Of sturdy porte and famous eke of strength.
Large brested and ferse also of syght,
And deceyuable of what euer he hyght.
Hasty testyf to smyte reckles,
And medlyng aye and but selde in peace.
To his seruauntes ful inpacient,
And baraytous where that so euer he went.
For lytel worthe of disposycion,
And lecherous eke of complexion.
And had in loue oft syth his parte,
Brenning within of Cupydes fyery darte.
And spechles ful ofte felt he his sore.
¶What shal I sayne eke of Duke Nestore,
Of longe stature and wel compact wythall,
With corbe shoulders and of middell small.
In handes strong with armes large & roūde
In counsalyng prudent and wyse yfounde.
Whose wordes were sugred wyth pleasaunce,
Vpon his frende hauing aye remembraunce.
For of his trouthe he ne coud fayne.
But in anger he might him not refrayne.
He was so fret wyth melancolye,
That no man myght his yre modefye.
Albe it laste but a lytell space,
Who could him suffer anone it would pace.
Lightly it came and lyghtly went awaye.
¶And Prothesalyus yt freshe was of araye,
Wonder semely and of great beaute,
I trowe a fayrer might no man se.
Of good stature delyuer and ful lyght.
No man swyfter and to speake of myght,
Of his makyng he was passyng stronge.
Ferse of courage and lothe to take a wronge.
¶And to tell of Neptolomus,
He was of making wonder corsyous.
Whose heyr was blacke shining as doth geat,
With eyen rounde brode and therto great,
Large brested with a rysyng backe,
And in speche stamerd whan he spacke.
But in causes he could medle wele.
And in the lawe ful depe he did fele.
For all his lust was beset on plees.
¶But for to tell of Pallamides.
King Naulus sonne withouten any wene,
Of face fayre of body longe and lene.
Of manful hert hardy in battayle,
And desyrous his enemye to assayle.
Famylyer curteyse and therto right tretable,
In al his dedes and inly worshipable.
In giuing large and passing of grete fame,
Of whose bounteful wide sprange the name,
In many land the storye telleth thus.
¶And next I finde of Polydamus,
The worthy Greke was of great thycknesse,
[Page]Of wombe swolle enbossed with fatnesse.
That vnneth he might him selfe sustene,
And yet of herte he was ful proude & kene,
Right surquidrous and ful of pensyfenesse,
And selde glad so thought did him oppresse.
¶But Machaon like as wryte Guydo,
Of longe and short was betwyx two.
Ful proude and ferse deuoyde of pacyence,
And vengeable who hym did offence.
And yet he was as balde as is a coote.
On whose forhead euen by the roote,
The heyr was fallen & wasted clene away.
And selde or neuer he would slepe a daye.
¶And ouermore to tellen of Crysyde,
Stumbleth my pen for longe or she dyed,
My mayster Chauncer did his diligence,
As to descryue the great excellence,
Of her beaute and that so maysterly,
To take on me it were but high folye:
In any wyse to adde more therto.
For wel I wote anone as I haue do,
That I in sothe no thāke deserue maye:
By cause that he in wrytyng was so gay.
And but I wryte I must the trouthe leue,
Of Troye booke and my matter breue.
And ouer passe and not go by and by,
As doth Guydo in ordre ceryously.
And that I must don offencion,
Through necligence or presumpcion,
So am I set euen amiddes twayne,
Great cause haue I & matter to complayne.
On Attropos that through her enuye,
Tho brake the thred and made for to dye,
Noble Galfryde chefe Poete of Brytayne.
Among our Englishe yt caused first to rayne,
The golden droppes of Rethorike so fyne.
Our rude language onely tenlumine,
To god I praye that he his soule haue.
After whose helpe of nede I must craue.
And seke his boke that is left behinde,
Some goodly worde therin for co finde,
To set amonge the croked lines rude,
Whych I do wryte as by symylitude,
The rubye stant so royall of renowne,
Within a ryng of coper or latowne.
So stant the making of him doubtles,
Amonge our bokes of Englyshe pereles.
They be ful easy knowen so they be excellēt.
There is no making to his equipolent.
We do but halte who so taketh hede,
That medle of makyng without any drede.
Whan as we would his style counterfete.
We may alday our colour grinde and bete,
Tempre our asour and vermilyon,
But al I holde but presumpcion,
It foloweth not therfore I let be.
And fyrst of all I wil excuse me,
And procede as I haue erst begon,
And through his fauour certayn if I con.
Of Troye booke for to make an ende.
And there I left I wyl agayne nowe wende.
Vnto Crisyde and though to my succour,
Of Rethoryke that I haue no floure,
Nor hewes ryche stones nor yet perre,
But al bare of curyosytye,
Though crafty speche to enbroude with her sleue,
Yet for al that now I wil not leue,
But be as ay bolde bayarde is the blynde,
That cast no peryl what way that he finde,
Right so wil I stumble forth of haed.
For vnconning and take no better hede,
So as I can her beaute to discryue,
That was in sothe of al tho alyue,
One of ye fayrest this Calchas doughter dere
Therto of shap of face and of cheare,
There might be no fayrer creature,
Of high nor lowe but meane of stature.
Her sonnishe heyr like Phebus in his sphere,
Boūde in a tresse bryghter thā gold wyere,
Downe at her backe lowe downe behinde,
Which with a thred of golde she would binde.
Ful oft syth of a customaunce,
Therto she had so much suffysaunce,
Of kindes worke without any were,
And saue her browes ioyned were yfere,
No man coud in her a lacke espyen.
And furthermore to speake of her eyen,
They were so heauenly persyng and so clere,
That an herte ne might him selfe stere,
Agayne her shyninge yt they ne woūd wolde,
Throughout a brest god wote & make it yold
Also she was for al her semelinesse.
Symple and wyse and ful of sobernesse,
The best nouryshed that eke might be,
Goodly of speche fulfylled of pytye.
Facundious and therto right tretable,
And as sayth Guydo in loue variable.
Of tender hert and vnstedfastnesse,
[Page]He her accuseth and newfanglynesse.
¶And after this Dares doth reherse,
Amonges other how the kyng of Perse,
Came to grekes with many worthy knight,
To helpe and further all that euer he myght.
The whych kyng was of stature longe,
And wonder fat & as he wryte right stronge.
Whose berd and heyr redde as flawme of fire.
With eyen stepe and feruent of desyre,
To haue ado and sterne of cheare and loke,
And oft sythes of sodayne yre he quoke.
And had wertes plenty in his face.
¶And thus Dares shortly for to pace,
No more of Grekes wryteth as I fynde.
But of Troians for to make mynde,
Ceryously he doth his style dresse,
Them to discryue as I shall expresse.

¶The descryption of Priam, his sonnes and doughters & of the ariuall of ye grekes tofore the Temple of Diane the goddesse. Ca. xvi.

ANd first he sayeth how king Pryamus,
Was of his cheare bening & gracious.
Of stature hygh with lymmes sklendre & lōg,
Delytyng much in musyk and in songe.
And specially was most desyrous,
To heare songes that weren amerous,
A semely man and of great hardinesse,
And spake but lowe as bookes vs expresse,
Deuoyde of dread hating flatterye,
And all that could other glose or lye,
Trewe of his worde and to euery wyght,
He did playnly equite and right.
For no mede him list not to declyne,
And loued early on morowe for to dine.
In his time one of the worthyest,
Of all kinges and he that loued best,
Worthy knightes & al that euer he knewe,
That manfull were and of herte trewe.
He coud cherishe no man halfe so wele,
With golde and gyftes that they myght fele,
His great fredome and larges eke withall.
¶And of his sonnes for to reken all,
The first of byrth so as bookes tell,
Was worthy Hector of knighthod sprīg & wel
Floure of manhod of strength pereles,
Sad discrete and prudent neuertheles.
Crop and roote ground of chyualrye,
Of cheare demure and of curtesye,
He was example therto of sobernesse:
A very myrour and for his gentilnesse,
In his time and therto most renoumed,
To reken all and of goodlyhead.
The most famous in peace and werre.
Whose fame stretched both to nygh and ferre,
On eche parte he was so vertuous.
And to be loued most gracious.
Of brawne and bones compact by measure,
So wel brethed in armes to endure.
So wel perfourmed by proporciowne,
So quicke so liuely and of most renowne.
So huge made so well growen of length,
So wel complet for to haue great strengthe▪
That in this worlde if I shal not fayne,
Was neuer none that fully myght attayne,
To the prowes of this worthy knight
To prayse his herte as well as his might.
And therwithall so wyse and aduysee,
The lowlyest eke of his degre.
To ryche and pore and of wordes fewe,
Vnto all suche cheare he could shewe,
Of his presence that glad was euery wight.
Whan they at leysur had of him a syght.
He was so bening to them of the towne,
And to his enemyes like a ferse Lyowne.
He could him shewe whan it was to do.
And in the felde there might no man so.
To reken all his labour halfe endure.
For the storye doth vs plyan assure,
That he was neuer werye in battayle,
Nor faynt in herte his fomen to assayle.
Of all good I finde he was the best.
Prowesse & vertue in him were set at rest.
So passingly that neuer was or shall,
None bore of mother so perygall,
To him of manhod nor of chiualrie:
For all he passed but yf bokes lye.
In whom nature ne was nothing to wyte,
Saue in his tunge he was let a lite.
And as some Auctours make mencion,
He was sanguine of complexion.
¶And furthermore his brother Deiphobus,
Like as I finde and also Helenus,
Were lyke Pryam that sothly of theim thre,
Was hard to espye any dyuersyte,
Of shape or fourme or of countenaunce,
Saue of age there was no varyaunce.
[Page]Their father olde & they were yonge & lyght,
And in Deiphobus was a worthy knight.
And in armes fame and excellence,
And Helenus in clergye and scyence,
Was well expert and toke but lytell hede,
Of al the werre knighthod and manhede.
¶But sothly Troylus if I shall discriue,
There was of herte no manlyer alyue.
Nor more likly in armes to endure.
Well growen of hight and of great stature.
Yonge, freshe, lusty, hardy as a Lyō,
Deliuer and stronge as any champyowne.
And perygall of manhode and of dede,
He was to any that I can of reade.
In derryng do this noble worthy wight,
For to fulfyl that longeth to a knight.
Te secounde Hector for his worthinesse,
He called was and for his high prowesse.
Duryng the werre he bare him selfe so wele,
Therto in loue trewe as any stele.
Secre and wise stedfast of courage,
The most goodly also of visage,
That might be and most beninge of cheare,
Without chaunge and of one herte entere.
He was alway faythfull iust and stable,
Perseueraunt and of will immutable.
Vpon what thing [...] he ones set his herte,
That doubilnesse might him dot peruert.
In his dedes he was so hole and playne,
But of his foon the sothe for to sayne,
He was so ferse they might hym not wtstand,
Whan that he helde his blody sworde in hād.
Vnto Grekes death and confusyon,
To them of Troye shelde and protection.
And his knighthod shortly to accounte,
There might in māhod no mā him surmoūt.
Through the world though mē wouldē seke,
To reken all Troian nouther greke.
None so named of famous hardinesse,
As bokes olde of him do beare witnesse.
Except Hector there ne was such an other.
¶And after him to speake of his brother,
I meane Parys most passing of beaute,
That in this worlde no man might se,
In very sothe a more semely knight,
For as I reade that he by title of right,
Of fayrnesse bare aye away the floure.
With lockes yelowe like golde as of coloure,
And in shotyng most was his delyte,
Hauyng in hunting a full great appetyte.
And as Dares lyketh him discriue,
The best archer one that time a liue.
And of his hand was eke a noble knight.
A manly man delyuer and of good might.
And in the werre preued wel he was.
¶And as I reade the Troian Eneas,
As mine Auctour lysteth to endyte,
Was wel brested and of body lyte.
And bare in Troye wonder great estate.
And in his workes discrete and temporate.
And had a fame of passyng eloquence,
Wise of counsayle and of great sapyence.
Most renōmed also of lecture,
Delyting muche in bokes and scripture.
And euer glad both of porte and cheare,
Sterne of his loke with persyng eyen cleare.
And amonge all dwellyng in the towne,
To speake of goodes and possessyowne,
Of castelles and Toures great plentye,
I finde sothly that none in that Citye,
Ne might attayne vnto his rychesse.
And had also for al his worthynesse,
Of golde and Iewellꝭ passyng great treasor.
¶And his felowe that hyght dan̄ Anthenor,
Was sklender longe and of great dalyaūce.
And circumspect in all his gouernaance.
Welbeloued also of Pryamus,
And of wordes wonder copyous.
Resowning ay into myrth and playe.
And he was bouerdyng all the long daye.
Amonges his feres and in companye,
So dryely that no mā might espye.
So sobre he was in his countenaunce.
That euery wight had great plesaunce,
To heare him talke whan that he was glad.
And albeit that he of porte was sad,
Yet all his speche ful of bouerdes was,
¶And his son called Pollidamas,
Was like his father of stature and of make.
Ythewed well that there was no lacke,
In his persone gentill and right trewe,
Wonder stronge and pale also of hewe.
And to yre stered sodaynly.
Albe in wordes he kept couertly,
But all his heate passe would anone.
¶And to tell of king Mereone,
Large brested and of his makyng all,
The best compacte & the most tall,
[Page]Of shape and fourme that men coulde fynde,
And eke so well perfourmed vp by kynde,
That none was lyke to hym nye ne ferre.
His lockes yelow and crisping was his heare.
Styll of his porte and gentill with to playe,
And inly stronge maistryes to assaye.
Wonder curteyse to no wyght rygorous,
And wrought in ariues dedes meruaylous.
As in this boke hereafter shalbe sene.
¶Nowe after him Heccuba the quene,
Lyke the story my style I must enclyne.
Whose lymmes all rather dyd declyne.
To shappe of man than to womanhead,
As sayth Guydo. but in worke and dede,
She was in soth the most womanly,
The beste aduysed and most prudently,
In her dedes could her selfe gouerne,
That mans wyt myght in no wise discerne,
To fynde a better doubtles than was she.
So trewe example of femynyte.
She was in sothe and to euery wyghte,
Benynge of porte and gracious of syghte.
To pore also pyteous and mercyable,
And vnto nedy wonder cherytable,
The wife of Hector her doughter eke in law
After her lore semed muche to drawe,
Andromecha the faythfull trewe wyfe.
So good, so iust, the whiche in all her lyfe,
In honeste dyd aye her most delyte.
Longe of her shap with brestes fayre & white.
With ruddy chekes ennewed by measure,
With persynge eyen of angelyke fygure.
Leke golde her tresses and rosen lyppes red,
Ylyche freshe, of colour nothyng dead.
Therto she was of chere the goodlyest,
To riche and pore and spake alwaye the best,
Of euery one aye helpyng that she might,
That no man heauy went out of her syght,
And ouer this euery gentylman,
She further wolde in all that euer she can.
And gladly euer dyd her dylygence,
To get grace to them that dyd offence.
This was her vsage and condicion,
She was so fylled of compassyon.
That women all myght of her lere.
¶And Cassandra her owne doughter dere,
Was of stature wonder womanly.
Of colour whyte and therwith ryght semely.
Saue in her face in sondry places were,
Many wertes growyng here and there.
And all her ioye and felycytee,
Was to kepen her virginite.
In freelte that women haue of kynde,
Through vertue morall she put out of minde.
And of all foly fleynge occasyon,
So aye in study and contemplacyon,
Of sondry bookes she wolde her occupye.
But most of all to knowe Astronomye.
¶Of prophecye a spyryt also had she,
And some men saye she was one of three,
Of thilke women that Cebyle bare the name.
Of whom ye renowne floureth and the fame,
Vnto this daye and is as yet full grene.
¶And to tell of younge Polycene,
And to descryue her beautie vp and downe,
It were in soth a foule presumpciowne,
To take on me now so great a thynge,
To clymbe so hye it passeth my connyng.
Syth nature hath in forgynge of this mayde
Her connyng all vtterly assayed.
To make her fayre aboue eche creature.
¶And sayd proudely se how I nature,
Whan that my lyste enbellyshe can my worke.
Lyke as Phebus amonge the cloudes derke,
Is passyng clere so in comparyson,
I can my worke and operacion,
Right as me lyste adourne and make fayre.
So painte and floryshe it shall not appayre.
And my colours so craftely dispose,
Of the lylye and of the freshe rose,
And so ennewe them yt they shall not fade.
But aye be one and in this wise I made,
My dere doughter as ye know whō I mene.
The yonge freshe and fayre Polycene.
Askaunse that none can this crafte but I,
This in her worke bosted vtterly,
Nature her selfe whan she this may wrought.
As she that fully in her herte thought,
Aboue all other to maken her excell.
And of beautie to be the very well.
And therwithall in shap nor in stature,
Ne was no lacke I dare you well assure.
And god aboue gaue her soueraintee,
In all thewes and wolde she shulde be,
Crop and roote named of womanhead,
With fulsomnesse of all goodlihead.
So passyngly that it were ydelnesse,
Me to presume in wordes to expresse,
[Page]Her beaute all it were a vayne trauayle.
For wel I wote mine englishe would fayle.
In such matter to talke felingely,
Who euer can it certayne it am not I.
Therfore I passe and streight now wil I go,
To my matter for Dares of no mo,
In all his booke maketh menciowne,
Of theim of grece nor of Troye towne.
In special he put no mo in minde,
Than ye haue herde saue as ye shal finde,
In this storye whan it cometh therto,
Of theyr knighthod & who that best hath do,
Lasting the siege the maner euerydell,
And ryght anone to sharpe my poyntell,
I wil me dresse this storye to entreate,
Of all the werre and to tellen you the great.
THe time nigheth after this as yore,
The breme wynter with his trostꝭ hore,
Gan to aswage of his bitter colde.
Whan Apollo passed was the holde,
Of the sygne that we call Aquarye.
And in the fyshe fer in Februarye,
Yronne was toward the Ariete.
And that season with his feynte heate,
On hylles high gan his beames smyte.
Makyng the snowe with fayre flakes white,
Into water kyndely to relente.
Whych from aboue to the valey wente.
That nere floudes of the sodayne thowe,
The grene mede gan to ouerflowe.
And the yse gan s [...]oundmele destyll,
Downe fro the hight the brokes for to fyll.
With fomy streames of the wawes smale,
By broke bankes as they did auale.
When lusty Vere with his yonge grene,
Yrecomforted by the sonne shene,
Which lytel and litel his hewes styl amēdeth,
Ayein his sphere as Titan vp ascendeth.
Whan Marche approcheth & braūches ouer all,
Gan blowe out and Equinoctiall,
Of Vere is halowed the season amerous,
Whan the Grekes proude and couragious,
With hole the floure of the chiualrye,
Assembled were and hooly theyr nauye.
In the hauen that was most of fame,
And of Athenes that tyme bare the name.
Ygathered was by assent echone,
Towadre Troye to sayle and to gone,
So great a nomber that sith the world begā,
Is remembred of no maner man.
That togyther in one companye,
Was met yfeare so passyng a nauye.
Of manly men who so lyst take hede,
In this storye as ye shall after rede.
And by and by to make descripcion.
¶Mine auctour telleth howe Agamemnon,
The worthi king an hondred shippꝭ brought,
With worthy knightes stuffed as thē ought.
¶And Menelay on whom lay most ye charge
Hath wt him brought syxty shippes large.
Out of his land that called is Sperten.
¶And from Boece ful of manly men,
Came fifty shippes ye story telleth thus,
With Prothenor and with Achelaus.
¶And from the land called Sithemenye,
Came syxty shippes in the companye,
Of the Duke that hyght Achalaphus,
With whō was eke freshe and desyrous,
Helmyus the Erle the worthy knyght.
¶And fyfty shippes enarmed for to fyght,
With him brought the kyng Epistrophus.
Onely with helpe of king Thedius.
¶And Thelamon whom Ayax men call,
Ful renowmed for to reken all,
Hath fifty shippes brought to his Iourney.
From Salerne his royall chefe Citye.
With Earles Dukes & many worthy knight,
Eueryche of theim in stele armed bryght.
¶And Duke Tenter with Amphiacus,
Earle Daryon and noble Theseus.
This ylke foure full worthy of renowne,
In this voyage came with Thelamowne.
¶And olde Nestor cruel of hert & thought,
Out of Pylon hath fyfty shippes brought.
¶The kinge of Dyames yt full worthy was,
And eke the kinge that hight also Thoas.
Brought with theim in theyr companye,
An hundred shippes knightlye for to guye.
¶And Thelamou ycalled Pyleus,
That was in armes fell and d [...]spytous,
With him brought from his lande so ferre,
Sixe and thyrty shippes for the werre.
¶Amphymacus and kinge Polibete,
Thyrty shippes brought to the flete.
From Calcedoyne and Mereō the kinge,
With Ydameus had in theyr ledinge,
Foure score shippes with theym out of Crete.
[Page]¶And Vlixes with the grekes dyd mete.
with fyfty shyppes stuffed out of Trace.
Towardes Troye proudly for to pace.
¶Duke Mellens full of manly men,
Brought eke with hym great shyppes ten.
And moreouer the duke Prothecatus.
¶And the duke named Prothesylaus,
To the hauen that called was Athene,
Brought fyfty shyppꝭ enarmed bright & shene
From Phylyarcha the stronge myghtye yle.
¶And Machaon as Guydo doth compyle,
With his brother Polydris also,
From their countrey Trycionyco,
Brought two and twenty shippes as I finde.
¶And from Phyces as it is had in mynde,
With Achilles came fyfty full by numbre.
¶And from Rhodon Troyans to encombre,
Came twenty shyppes wt kyng Thelapolus.
¶And with the duke that hyght Antipus,
Out of the lande that Hesyda men call,
Of whiche the folke be nyghe cherles all.
With sayle crossed agayne the bryght heauen,
In numbre came shyppes eke elleuen.
And with them was of name full famous,
The worthy duke called Amphymacus.
¶And Polibethes the stronge myghty kyng,
Fyfty shyppes brought at his cōmynge,
Out of Richa the noble regiowne.
And with this kyng full worthy of renowne,
Was Latnisus the duke eke as I rede.
¶And as I fynde the noble Diomede,
Of shyppes great I saye no small barge,
Hath wt him brought fro Calidonye & Arge,
Fourescore in numbre sothly this no tale.
¶And Thelemus and myghty Euryale,
Two manly men and in armes sage,
With Dyomede came in this voyage.
¶And Polyphebus brought shippes seuen.
And Phyneus the hardy kynge enleuen.
¶And Prothoylus as I can specifye,
Brought fyfty shyppes vnto this nauye.
Fro Demenesa the myghtye regyon.
¶And Carpenor as made is mencion,
Brought fyfty eke from Capadye his coūtrey
A great prouynce of whiche king was he.
¶Tricorius of Beysa lorde and kynge,
Brought two and twenty eke in his cōmyng.
And fynally if I shall not lye,
Full many shyppe was in this nauye.
Mo than Guydo maketh rehersayle,
Towarde Troye with grekes for to sayle.
For as Homer in his discrypcion,
Of grekes shyppes maketh mencion,
Shortly affyrmyng ye man was neuer borne,
That such a nombre of shippes sawe toforne.
Countyng the shyppes that Palamydes,
Brought with him their nombre to encrease.
That whan these lordes aforsayd euerychone
Kynges, dukes, and erles all in one,
Assembled were without any wene.
Afore the hauen that called is Athene.
THe famous kynge great Agamenowne,
So wyse, so worthy, & of so hye renown,
As he that was Prynce and gouernour,
Of grekes hooste anone dyd his labour,
His busy cure and waker dylygence,
By hyghe aduyse and inwarde prouydence,
To deliberate wisely in this nede,
What were to do or that he procede,
In this matter, castyng vp and downe,
And reuoluynge of hygh discreciowne,
That he may so begyn that the ende,
Conclude well that wylfulnesse ne shende,
Hooly their purpose through no rakelnesse.
Ne through none haste without auysenesse.
So that they may afore so wysely see,
That fynally they in felicitye,
Accomplyshe may their purpose in certayne.
¶And so this king vpon a large playne,
Out of the Citie lyttle from the stronde,
With his lordes wyll for nothyng wonde.
To haue counsaile this wyse Agamenon,
Makyng anone a conuocacyon,
Of suche as were more great inspeciall.
He syttyng fyrste in his see royall,
And his lordes eueryche in his see,
Lyke as they were of hye or lowe degree.
And all Tumulte stynted and scylence,
Was through ye prese to gyne hym audyence,
Whan he anone in full sobre wyse,
Began his tale as I shall deuyse.
SYres quod he I praye you taketh hede,
That be so noble and so renowmede.
Both of wysedome and of worthinesse,
Of manhode eke and of hyghe prowesse.
That of knyghthode the reporte & the fame,
[Page]Thrughout ye world reboūdeth to your name.
For doubtlesse the floure of chyualrye,
Men may now fynde in this companye.
For who sawe euer of manly men yfeare,
Together met as there be now here.
So younge, so freshe, couragyous also,
So well besene for to haue a do.
Or so lykely syth the worlde began,
Without raskayle so many knyghtly man.
Of kynges, dukes, and many an other lorde,
As be now here of wyll and one accorde.
And of one herte assembled in this place.
That yf fortune and goddes of their grace,
Be not behynde our Iourney to repreue,
We may not fayle our purpose to achyeue.
For I deme hym playnly in arage,
Or worse than wood that durste this voyage,
In any wyse perturbe or presume,
To take agayne vs outher to assume,
By myght on hym of malys to exscyte,
Our worthynesse were it neuer solyte,
Vs to prouoke to Ire or do offence.
That we ne shulde by mortall recompence,
Aquyte his mede as it lyeth in our myght.
In this assemble of many worthy knyght,
Amouges whiche an hundred and yet mo,
I coulde chese able for to go,
By manly force and knyghtly suffysaunce,
To take on hym for to do vengeaunce,
Vpon Troyans by hym selfe alone.
For whyche that we be gathred echone,
That with his men were suffycient,
To execute the summe of his entent.
And it accomblyshe in felicitee,
The cause I meane for whiche that all we,
Assembled ben together hye and lowe.
¶And also this to you is not vnknowe,
Howe shamefully Troyans haue vs greued.
Prouoked vs and wylfully ymeued,
To ryse agayne them to haue recure of right,
Of wronges done with all our force & myght.
Wherfore let vs by one assent and wyll,
Sette to haue as it is ryght and skyll.
Redresse to fynde of that we nowe complaine,
And of one harte do our busy peyne,
Vpon Troyans a werre for to make.
And I suppose we shall them so awake,
That they shall lerne or we thense wende,
To remembre to the worldes ende,
Now they hereafter shall dare take an hande,
For to presume in grece more to lande.
Or to be bolde while they haue lyfe or space,
Agayne grekes more to trespace.
For whose offence as who sayth do but late,
Within our herte the deadly brennyng hate,
The feruent hete and the gredy yre,
Fro day to day so setteth vs a fyre,
That it reneweth the constreynt of our peine.
So inwardely that yf I shall not fayne,
We must of reason of so hygh greuaunce,
Our selfe enforce for to do vengeaunce.
As ryght requereth and our iuste sorowe,
Compelleth vs both at eue and morowe,
On Troyans our harmes to bewreke.
And for to stoppe the tounges that so speake,
To our reprefe and to our villanye,
We must attones shapen remedye.
That our foen henseforth may haue drede,
For to do worse to vs as god forbed.
In tyme commynge yf through our pacience,
We lykely suffer their importable offence,
To passe forth and take of it no hede.
Syth neuer yet of Grekes coulde I reade,
That any man dyd reprefe to their name.
That iustly might rebounde to their shame.
Withouten this that they it quyte agayne,
Thrugh their manhode so openly & playne,
That no man myght of them seyne ere this,
In any wyse or reporte amysse.
¶Ne we shall not dyssymule in this case,
With chere oppressed nor with dredfull face,
To let slyde or lyghtly ouer go,
The great offences that were so late ydo,
Which might happly tourne to vs and oures,
A great reprefe and to our successours.
In tune comming and shamfully bespoke,
Now that grekes durste not be a worke,
Vpon their foon the whiche may not be.
I you ensure sythe that all we,
Be of one wyll to refourme our wronge,
And therwithall so mighty and so stronge.
That who is he that coulde in brede & length,
A ryght reherse our power and our strength.
Or who durste euer our worthynesse assayle,
That he ne shulde withouten any fayle,
Repente in herte or at the ende rewe.
Saue Troyans this other daye of newe,
Of wylfulnesse in a foly rage,
[Page]Into our lande made a voyage,
Vnware of vs & with their pray home wente,
The whiche they shall full hastely repente.
For their trespace and great offencyowne.
¶For all the worlde knoweth vp and downe,
But late a gone how grekes but a fewe,
Vpon Troyans their power dyd shewe.
And slewe their kyng called Lamedowne,
Father to Pryam now kyng of that towne.
And cleane fordyd both toures and Citye,
And slewe vp all the commynaltye.
From grekes sworde whom yt them list spare,
Those amonges vs in seruitude and care,
Compleine their harme yt may not be recured
Than how may they stande full assured,
Agayne vs all to holde chaumpartye.
That haue so worthy in our companye.
For it is lykely a thousande to acheue,
That foure or fyue so lyghtly myght preue.
And yet one thynge affyrme well I dare,
Of our cummyng Troyans are well ware.
And do their labour and their diligence,
Agaynst vs to maken resystence.
With al their myght I knowe it out of doute.
And gather frendes in countreys all about,
To helpe them & strength them in their nede.
Vs to withstande if so they may spede.
¶But fynally one thynge I counsayle,
From this hauen or we ferther sayle,
That we may be the more fortunate,
Of one assent to make ambassyat,
And prudently or we further wende,
Into Delos in all haste we sende.
Whiche is an yle a little here besyde,
More discretely our iourney to prouyde.
That we may haue the better hap and grace,
Of Apollo Patron of this place.
To haue of him if that we maye speade,
Fynall answere in this great nede.
Of our exployet how that it shall fall,
If it be so ye wyll assenten all.
To this counsayle the most and eke the leste.
¶And they echone thought for the best,
To condescende to this conclusyon:
Without any contradiction.
And all attones without any drede,
To preyse his counseyle and his wise rede,
And therupon distretly as they ought,
As sayth this story euen thus they wroughte.

¶How Achilles and Patroclus were sent to Delos to receiue answere of god Apollo, how they shuld spede ayenst ye Troyans. Cap. xvii.

AFter the tyme that Agamenon,
Concluded had fully his reason,
As ye haue herde and his sentence fyned,
The grekes be of herte full enclyned,
And with one voyce accorded plainly thus,
That Achilles and also Patroclus.
For comon profyt syth they were sage.
Shall take on them ye charge of this message,
To Appollo for answere for to gone.
And to shyppe they them in haste anone.
And sayle forth by the large sea,
Towarde Delos and in prosperitee,
They be aryued and ycome to lande.
The whiche yle as I vnderstande,
And as myne auctor sayth without les,
Hath his scyte amonges the Cyclades,
Where men with rockes haue so muche a do,
Amyd the see called Helespontico.
Of whyche yle to make descrypcion,
I must awhyle make disgressyon,
Fro my matter as myne auctour doth,
For in this yle Isodorus in soth,
Reherseth playnly how Latona the quene,
Appollo fyrst and Dyane the shene,
Ychilded hath by Iubyter her lorde.
Whan he and Iuno were at suche discorde,
As wryte Ouyde for a lyttell whyle,
And so befell that in this lyttell yle,
There was a temple whylom dedicate,
Vnto Appollo and also consecrate,
In his worshyp of olde foundacion.
That was honoured by great deuocion.
Bycause Appollo with his beames cleare,
After the floud fyrst there dyd appere.
To shewe his hornes rather there and soone.
And eke Dyane that called is the moone,
Of whiche shewyng this yle bereth the name,
Into this day that is of so great fame.
Onely be apperyng of this ylke twayne,
For Delos is in greke no more to sayne,
Than a shewyng or an apparence.
And thus began the great reuerence,
To Appollo fyrst and the honor eke,
To hym ydone of so many greke.
And to his syster that called is Dyane,
[Page]The pale moone that can so waxe and wane.
And called is of Paynems a goddesse,
That whylom was in wod an hunteresse.
And this lady with the sonne her brother,
Of this yle hath lordshyp and none other.
Only for they at their natiuitie,
Shewed their lyght fyrst in that countrey.
The whyche yle grekes also calle,
Ortygya in their language all.
Bycause Curlewes were there fyrste yseyne,
For Otygyas is no more to seyne,
Than a Curlewe in Grewe I vnderstande,
For they were fyrst ingendred in that lande.
¶And Appollo is called eke Tytan,
That in his tyme so moche worshyp wan.
Longe afore or he was made a sterre,
With Iubiter whan that he helde werre,
And he also ycalled is Phebus,
And of some ynamed is Phyteus,
For of Phyton he had the victorye.
When he hym sl [...]we to his great glorye.
The great serpent here in erthe alowe,
With his arowes and his mighty bowe.
Of whiche conqueste the great god Cupyde,
Hadde enuye and euen through the syde,
He wounded hym depe to the herte.
With ye arowe of gold yt made him sore smerte.
And of Phyton that Phebus made thus fine
Came Phetonysses that can so deuyne,
I meane women that be deuyneresses:
Through dead men these false sorceresses.
As one whylom reysed Samuel,
For loue of Saule the byble can you tell.
And in his temple large longe and olde,
There was a statue all of pured golde.
Full great and hyghe and of huge weyght,
And therin was through the deuylles sleyght
A spyryte vnclene by false illusyon,
That gaue answere to euery questyon.
Not the ydoll dombe as stocke or stone,
And thus the people deceyued euerychone,
Were by the fende brought in great errour.
To do worshyppe and suche false honour,
With sacryfyce and cursed mawmentrye.
And in this wyse began ydolatrye.
As in this place to telle I me caste.
And eke how longe it abode and syth laste,
Compendiously I purpose to descryue,
Gynnyng and ende as ye shall here blyue.
Withouten any ambyguytee,
For at the byrth and natiuitie,
Of chryste Ihesu his incarnaciowne,
All the ydolles braste & fell adowne.
And vanyshed and were brought to nought,
Whan Herodes the blesfull chylde sought,
Through his malis and crueltye horryble,
As holy wryte recordeth and the byble.
For whiche pursuite and persecucion,
There dyd appere tho by auisyon,
An holly aungell to Ioseph as he slepe,
And bad hym ryse and also take kepe,
Vnto the chylde and also to Marye,
And go his waye or Herode hym aspye.
Into Egypt the great regyon.
Lyke as the gospell maketh mencyon.
And ryght anone as he came to that lande,
There was none ydol yt vpright might stand.
But to shyuered vnto pieces small,
This holy wrytte plainly and no tale.
And was recorded fyrst of Esaye,
How that our lorde on an easy skaye,
Ascende shulde and holde forthe his weye.
Towarde Egipt and therwithall shuld deye,
All mawmentrye and no longer dwell.
¶But as the Iewes recorde of Ismael,
That he was fyrst yt mawmentrye hath fond,
And made of claye an ydoll with his honde.
¶And as Paynems write and tellen vs,
That alder fyrst as Prometheus,
That founde ydolles shortly to conclude.
For symulacrum cometh of symylytude.
That is nothyng playnly but lykenesse.
Made after man his ymage to expresse.
Vnto whiche paynems in their guyse,
With false honour and cursed sacryfyse,
Begon fyrst this ryte for drede of man.
And some saye how Belus fyrst began,
Suche false worshyp and such mawmentrye.
In their bokes as clerkes specyfye.
¶That of Assiry was lord and gouernour.
After whose deth his sonne is in honour.
¶That Nynus hyght an ymage did do make
To be worshypped only for his sake.
All of brent golde by false effection,
And sette it vp for consolacion,
And for amynde and a memoryall,
Vnto the whiche with herte wyll and a [...]l,
Of ignoraunce and of fleshely loue,
[Page]He dyd honour as to god aboue.
In his temples most of excellence.
And made his people to do reuerence,
And sayde in heauen he masdefyed.
That of no man it durste be denyed.
Tyll after soone but a lyttell whyle,
A wycked spyryte folkes to begyle,
In this ydoll entred to abyde,
And gaue answere vpon euery syde,
To the people of what them lyst demaunde.
And they agayne what he wyll cōmaunde,
Obey fully the folke of all Assyrye.
Whiche vnto god did great iniurye.
Makyng the people in suche errour fall,
And some Belus, and some Bell him call.
And some Balym, and some Belphegore,
And felle in errour alway more and more.
And Belzebub he named was also.
Whiche name is made of these wordes two,
Of Bel, and zebub that thus syngnyfye,
For Bell is God, and zebub is a flye,
Than Belzebub togyther specyfyes,
Ioyned in one the great god of flyes.
And of this fayned false ydolatrye,
Gan all the worlde worshyp mawmentrye.
¶For some Saturne god of goddes all,
Gan in their errour falsely for to call.
That whylom was the myghty king of Crete
And gaue hym name after the planete,
That in heauen hath so large a sphere.
And as Poetes in their fables lere,
That he before through his sapyence,
Sawe in his diuine prouydence,
Howe a sonne shulde of hym descende.
¶And of Iuno the goddes as he wende,
That shuld him plainly fro his reigne expell,
And suffer hym no lenger for to dwell,
In his kyngdome whan he came to age.
Wherof Saturne fyll in suche rage,
That he wyll shape remedye therfore,
Byddyng his wyfe when ye childe were bore,
That she to hym shulde it brynge anone.
In stede wherof to him she brought a stone.
To saue her childe she dyd her busynesse,
And this Saturne through his gredinesse,
The stone deuoureth in his melancolye.
And this Saturne but if bookes lye,
Had sonnes thre a doughter and no mo.
¶Iubiter, Neptunus, and Pluto,
But Iubiter greatest was of name,
Moste renowmed and worthyest of fame.
Amonge Paynems as it is veryfyed.
For they so hyghe haue hym magnifyed,
That they hym call god of fyre and eyre,
Next to Saturne borne for to be heyre.
¶And next to hym in bookes as I rede,
Is god of batayle myghty Mars the rede.
¶And next Appollo so clere shene and bright
The dayes eye and voyder of the nyght,
Cherisher of fruite, herbe, floure, and corne,
The whiche god lyke as is sayd toforne,
In Delos is worshypped and honoured.
¶And after Venus that often hath socoured
Many louer the fayre lusty quene,
And them aledge of their woundes grene,
That fyrste was hurte with her fyrye bronde,
As she that is goddesse of many lande.
And all the worlde hath in her demeyne,
Fast enbraced in her fyry cheyne.
I meane the lady that called is Venus.
¶And next in ordre is Mercurius.
That in speche hath most excellence,
Of rethoryke and sugred eloquence.
Of musyke songe and of Hermonye,
He hath lordshyp and hole the regalye.
¶Next the Moone that wexe can and wane.
Called Lucyna and also eke Dyane,
That in Delos hath her mancyon,
Lyke as tofore is maked mencyon,
Now full of myght now horned pale is she,
Lady of chaunge and mutabilitie.
That selde in one halte her any tyme.
And so fare they that be borne in her clyme,
That aye delyte in thynges that be newe,
Whose herte is cladde in many sondry hewe.
So they be diuers in their affections,
And in this wyse in sondry regyons,
Of mawmentrye is the venym ronne,
Lyke as clerkes well deuyse konne.
¶For as I fynde of the Mauryens,
They worshyp Iubam and Egypciens,
¶Honour ysis after their connyng.
Whylom doughter of Inachus the kynge.
That taught thē first their lond to ere & sowe.
And also letters for to reade and knowe,
And in lecture to sette their busynesse,
For whiche thyng they call her a goddesse.
¶And Iubyter honoured is in Crete.
[Page]Where he whylom helde his souerayne seate.
And on theim layde many dyuers charge,
With Egles beaten in his baner large.
And he was lorde of eyre land and see,
His royall kyngdome deuiding into three.
¶In the highest him selfe doth contune,
¶And hoole the sea he gaue vnto Neptune,
And last the earth to holde his sea royall,
¶He gaue to Pluto that god is infernall.
And alder last whan he was stellyfyed,
This Iubiter was most magnyfyed,
Of theim of Crete aboute ouer all.
To whom they made for a memoryall,
A large tombe and statue high alofte,
And him honoured in theyr rites ofte.
With encens and with other sacryfyse.
And of this matter ferther to deuyse,
The latines wyth theyr busy diligence,
In theyr rytes didden reuerence,
To the goddes yf it be credyble,
Ycalled Fawny that be inuisyble.
And haue their dwelling in the wodes grene.
Albe that men theyr fygure may not sene.
¶And of the Romaynes further to deuyne,
They most ī honour haue their god Quirine.
The whych whylom as bokes tellen vs.
Amonges theim was called Romulus.
That bylte fyrst the walles of the towne,
And from an herde he came to such renowne.
Through his manhod and his worthinesse.
The spere of whom as bokes sayne expresse,
As he the heade pytched in the grounde,
It gan anone lyke as it is founde,
To flouryshe floure and budde by myracle,
And of nature had none obstacle,
To waxe grene with freshe blomes newe.
And for the manhode that men in him knew.
For his knyghthod and his worthye fame,
The worthy knightꝭ of Rome bare ye name,
After him and were Quirites called.
High in heauen whan that he was stalled,
Amonge the goddes and ydeyfied,
And thus Romaynes haue him glorified,
As for their god with golde & great expenses.
¶And as I reade the Athenienses,
Of hoole herte chosen haue to serue,
The goddesse great that called is Minerue,
And Pallas eke with her cristall shelde,
That with Neptunus euen amyd the felde,
Helde champartye wyth women on her syde.
And he with men full surquedous in pryde,
Defendeth him for gyuing of the name,
To Athenes a Cytye most of fame.
That is to sayne whether he or she,
Shulde of ryght gyue name to the Citye.
Tyll it befell as they gan to striue,
Sodeynly there sprange a fayre Olyue,
For Pallas parte grene & fayre blossominge,
On the other syde a well gan to sprynge,
For him Pluto with water large and depe.
Of whych thinge Apollo toke good kepe,
Whych in his dome was not reckles,
And for the Olyue tokeneth loue and pease,
Water trouble conteck werre and stryfe,
He gaue sentence anone diffynitife,
How Pallas should that called is Minerue,
The palme plainly of this striue discerue.
And she anone gaue name to the towne,
And called it by hygh discrecyowne,
Athenes the whych in specyall,
Is to sayne a Citie immortall.
For wysedome first there began to floure,
And for this skyll this Citye did honoure,
Mighty Pallas goddesse of science,
And her aye most had in reuerence.
¶And they of Pauye in all their region,
Worshyp most the quene of Citheron,
I meane Venus ful of doubilnesse,
Of whom afore somwhat I did expresse.
And in her temple there full solemplye,
They set her highest and most rychly,
With gold and asure her statue they do paint.
And other coloures that may neuer faynte.
And set her vp in the highest see,
Of all the temple that all men may se.
And she stant naked in a wawy see,
Enuyron her with goddesses thre,
That be assygned with busy attendaunce,
To wayte on her and do her obseruaunce.
And floures freshe blewe, rede, and whyte,
Be her aboute the more for to delyte.
And on her heade she hath a chaplet,
Of roses rede ful plesauntly yset.
And from the heade downe vnto her foote,
With sondry gommes & oyntementes soote,
She is ennoynte sweter for to smell.
And all alofte as these Poetes tell,
By dowues whyte fleing and eke sparowes,
[Page]And her besyde Cupyde with his arowes.
Her blynde sone for to hurt and dere,
And loseth ofte and smyte he wote not where.
As he must nedes bycause he is blynde,
And thus honoured and had moste in mynde,
Amonge this people is Venus the goddesse.
¶And Naxyens do theyr businesse,
To serue Bachus the myghty god of wyne,
Whose lycour is most precious and fine,
To recomforte hertes and to make glade,
And to refreshe hewes that be fade,
In faces pale and maketh wyttes sharpe,
Loseth tunges & make theym loude to carpe.
And causeth theim to walke at lybertee,
And to discure thynges that be secree.
Without aduyse or discrescion,
For where as wyne hath domynacion,
No secretnesse may be kept in mewe.
And some of them that Bachus serue & sewe,
Amonge to him haue such deuocion,
That they some while voyde of all reason,
Hasty and wood and without all dreade,
And some also so toty in theyr heade,
That they are voyde of power and of myght,
And haue no foote for to stande vpryght.
And yet they be as Iargaunt as a pye.
Right pale cheared with a glasye eye.
Full of reason til his winde be spent,
For or woman that is vynolent,
Is veryly a beast vnreasonable.
And to my dome I holde theim eke vnable,
To be accepted in any companye.
Whan that theyr tunge wadeth on the lye.
That they ne may bryng forth a worde.
¶And thus Bachus the strōg & mighty lord,
Ful oft causeth folkes for to erre,
For to debate and to maken werre.
Of hastynesse where as is no nede,
Wherfore it is wysedome that men drede.
His sleyghty workyng or they fall in snare,
And feble braines by measure for to spare.
Or they vnwarely arested be and take,
And or Bachus make theim for to shake.
In a feuer worse than tercyen,
If it of custome be cotydyen.
Alterat with Bachus myghty Ious.
And affered of tourning of the hous.
And fordreynt on the drye lande,
When he hath lost the vse of foote & hande.
And with a strawe playeth lyke an ape,
And deuoutly ginneth for to gape,
And noddeth oft wyth his Iowsy heade,
As he had on an heauy cappe of leade.
And who that be of this condicion,
He entre maye the relegyon,
Of myghty Bachus for habylite,
The whych lorde hath the souereynte,
Both of hony and of mylke therto.
And of bawme that is so ryche also.
And lordshyp hath of high power diuine,
Both of grapes and of euery vyne.
Theim to nouryshe through his influence.
Of whom the honour and the reuerence,
Is reysed most as I vnderstande,
Amonges vynters in euery maner lande.
Bycause he is to theim so gracious.
¶And they of Lemnos worshyp Vulcanus,
The god of fyre Iubyter his smythe,
The whych forgeth on his blacke stythe,
The great thonder hydous and horryble.
And the leuens that whylom be visible,
Into the west out of the Oryent.
And gasteth vs with his dredful dent.
The smotry smyth this swarte Vulcanus,
That whylom in herte was so Ialous,
Toward Venus that was his wedded wife,
Wherof there rose a deadly mortall strife,
Whan he with Mars gan her first espye,
Of hygh malyce and cruell false enuye.
Through ye shining of Phebus bemes bright,
Lying abed with Mars her owne knight.
For which in herte he brent as any glede,
Making the slaundre all abrode to sprede.
And gan theron falsly for to muse,
And god forbede that any man accuse,
For so lytell any woman euer.
Where loue is set hard is to disseuer.
For though they do such thing of gentilnesse,
Passe ouer lyghtly and beare none heuinesse,
Lest that thou be to women odius.
And yet this smythe this false Vulcanus,
Albe that he had theim thus espyed,
Amonge Paynems yet was he defyed.
And for that he so falsly theim awoke,
I haue him set last of all my boke.
Amonge the goddes of false mawmentrye,
And in this wyse gan ydolatrye,
As ye haue herde through oppynyons,
[Page]Of people erryng in theyr affections.
That all is false who the trouthe serche.
For by teaching of all holy churche.
By holy doctryne and tradicions,
We shal despyse such opynyons.
Whych of the fende were founde not of late.
For whan aungelles in heauen were create.
He that of all had the prelacye.
Of whom the prophete called Esaye,
Wryteth ryght thus how the Cedres grene,
Of Paradyse were not so fayre to sene,
Planys nor fyrre in heyght soth to sayne,
To his highnes might not attayne,
Nor all the trees so delycious,
Of Paradyse were not so precious,
Nouther in sight nor in semelinesse.
To be egall to him as in fayrnesse.
But through his pryde and his surquidrye,
Whan so he sayde to god that syt so hye,
He wyll be lyke and also set his see,
High in the north passyng his degre.
He was cast downe wyth all his legyons,
From the fayre heauenly mansyons,
All sodaynly into the pyt of hel,
Perpetually there for to dwell.
Of whom was sayde whan he fel so ferre,
How fell thou so O thou morowe sterre,
From the middes of the stones bryght,
That be so persyng and fyery of theyr lyght.
That whilom were for thy great bryghtnesse,
Called Lucifer of whō Christ sayeth expresse,
In his gospell how he sawe fro heauen,
Sathan descende lyke the fyery leuene.
The olde serpent that is so lowe yfall,
Whom the Hebrues in theyr tunge call,
¶Bemoth that doth in latin playne expresse,
A beast rude full of cursednesse.
The vile serpent he Leuiathan,
Whom I sydore well descryue can,
Whych of kynde is neuer conuersaunt,
In welles trouble and hath most his haunt,
Amonges waters and in the large sea.
Of whom sayth Dauid like as ye may se,
In his Psalter making mencion,
Of the snake the monstruous Dragon,
ful of venym and of hard grace,
Whych in the sea large and great of space,
Wyth foule adders hath his mansyon.
Vnto mankynde to do illusyon.
Whom whylom sawe the holy monke Brādā
As he sayled forthe by the Occyan,
Thorowen and deiect in a pyt horryble,
More foule and hydous than it is credible.
There to abide this tortuous serpent.
Vnto the daye playnly of Iudgement.
That of malyce enuyed so mankynde.
Whych with his ginnes & sleightes as I find,
Came to our fathers first in paradyse.
And to deceyue the bet at his deuyse,
More couertly this worme in his passage,
Toke of a serpent the lyknesse and ymage.
That is of cheare of loke and countenaunce,
Lyke a mayde and hath resemblaunce,
Of a woman as recordeth Bede.
In his deceytes rather for to spede.
I meane the face onely and not elles,
For behynde so as clerkes telles,
Lyke a serpent of wombe backe and tayle.
He was whan he gan him to assaile,
And towarde Eue whan he gan to glyde.
He fyrst enquereth as he her toke asyde,
Why god forbad theim eten of the tree,
Whych if they eate sothly they shulden be,
Like to goddes knowing good and yll.
And right forthwith as they gan fulfyll,
The fendes hest theyr eyen were vnclosed,
And for theyr gylt sodaynly deposed,
From Paradyse into wretchednesse,
To lyue in labour sorowe and distresse.
And thus the fende whan that fyrst he toke,
Fourme of a snake and a womans loke,
And made the tunge in her heade to meue,
By false engene mankinde for to greue,
So as he doth in theim that be trauayled,
With wycked spyrytes vexed and assayled,
To meue theyr tunges falsly out to breake.
Into blasphemy what thinge yt they speake,
The same serpent he Leuiathan,
Continuing aye falsely as he gan,
In cursed Idolles dombe, deafe, and blinde,
Ful oft speaketh by spyrytes as I finde.
Which are but fendes Dauid wryte certayne▪
The goddes all whom folkes so in vaine,
Honour with rites supersticious,
As whilom was Apollo Delphicus,
Like as tofore ye haue herd deuise,
Which as for now ought inough suffise.
¶And as I trowe the very cause why,
[Page]That myne auctour reherseth by and by.
Grounde and ginnyng of Idolatrye,
This the cause for ought I can espye.
For that he sawe the matter was not knowe,
Ilyche well both to high and lowe.
Perauenture you to do pleasaunce.
He hath the grounde put in remembraunce,
Of false goddes and of mawmentrye,
And most for theim that can no poesye,
ANd to ye storye resorteth soone agayne,
How Achilles as ye haue herd me saine
And Patroclus haue the waye ynome,
To the temple and thyther be ycome.
To haue aunswere of theyr embassadrye,
Of great Apollo whych may not lye.
Of ye pryestes they haue theyr counsaile take,
In the temple to praie and to wake,
Tyll they may finde vnto theyr entente,
To haue aunswere at time conuenient,
To theyr purpose and leysure oportune.
¶And of one herte so longe they contune,
In praying fastyng and oblacions,
Wyth sacrifise and sundrye orysons,
Tofore the god awayting alwaye fast,
Tyll he to theim answered at last.
With softe voyce and sayde Achilles twye,
Home to Grekes fast that thou the hye,
From whom thou were hyther to me sente.
And saye thē sothly the sūme of their entent,
Shalbe fulfylled withouten wordes mo.
And how that they shall to Troye go,
And there abyde many stronge battayle.
But at the last withouten any fayle,
At ten yeares daye they win shall the towne,
And brynge it playnly to destructiowne,
Wall and toures fall shal to ruyne,
And with al this theyr purpose for to fyne,
Kyng Priamus and Hecuba his wife.
And theyr sones in this mortall stryfe,
Shall there be slayne brother after brother,
This is the fine for it may be none other.
For there shal none escape in the place,
But such as Grekes liketh vnto grace,
Of very routhe and of mercy take.
This all and some and thus an ende I make.
Of which aunswere Achilles glad & light,
Was in his hert and with al his myght,
Thanketh Apollo of his blesfull eure.
And sodeynly of sorte or aduenture,
The selfe tyme befell a wonder thynge,
For out of Troye from Pryamus the kynge,
Was sent a bysshop for the same case,
To haue answere and named was Calchas.
And he came in fool without prese,
The same houre whyle that Achilles,
Was there present a man of great scyence.
I meane Calchas had experyence,
Especially of calculacion,
Of sorte also and dyuinacion.
And lerned was in astronomye,
And whan that he his tyme dyd espye,
To haue answere most conuenient,
Of Appollo lyke to his entent,
As heretofore maked is memorye,
He entred is in to the oratorye,
Doyng his rytes and his obseruaunces,
Lyke the custome with the circumstaunces.
And besely gan to knele and praye,
And his thinges deuoutly for to saye.
And to the god crye and call ful stronge,
And for Apollo would not tho prolonge,
Sodaynly his aunswere gan attame.
And sayd Calchas twies by his name.
Be right wel ware thou ne tourne agayne,
To Troye towne for that were but in vayne.
For finally lerne this thinge of me,
In shorte tyme it shall destroyed be.
This is in sothe whych may not be denyed.
Wherfore I wil that thou be alyed,
With the Grekes and with Achilles go.
To theim anone my will is it be so.
For they shall haue as I haue disclosed.
Victorye and honour that may be disposed.
For it is fatall and ne may not varye,
And thou to theim shalt be necessarye,
In counseling and in yeuing rede,
And be right helping to their good spede.
And with that worde rose him vp Calchas,
And to Achilles he went an easy pace.
And whan that he came to his presence,
With great honour & muche reuerence,
He was receiued like to his estate.
And after soone they were confederate,
Swore togyther be bonde and assuraunce,
To be al one withouten varyaunce.
And than in haste they togyther gone.
[Page]To theyr shippes & shope theym forth anone,
With Patroclus goyng by theyr syde,
They hale vp the anker and no longer byde,
But sayle forthe Calchas and they twayne.
Toward Grece theim nedeth not complaine.
On winde and wawe till they aryued be,
At Athenes that stode vpon the sea,
A large Citye of olde foundacion,
And Achilles to kyng Agamenon,
Hath Calchas brought and also Patroclus,
And whan the Grekes the storye telleth vs,
Assembled were they together went,
Tofore the king and Calchas represent.
To all the lordes and no longer dwell,
And right anone Achilles gan to tell,
Without abode in Delos how they mette,
Tofore Apollo where they aunswer fette.
And how the god hath playnly determyned,
The Grekes purpose how it shal be fyned.
Vpon Troians and bad Calchas also,
In no wyse that he to Troye go.
But with Grekes that he abyde styll,
Tyll they theyr purpose fynally fulfyll.
Of whiche thyng the grekes glad of chere,
Calchas accepte with herte full entere.
For one of them confederate by bonde,
To be all one on water and on londe.
Without chaunge or any varyaunce.
The othe is made and put in remembraunce,
And they agayne fully hym assure,
To cheryshe hym whyle theyr lyfe may dure,
For weale or wo and so they made an ende,
And after parte and to their lodgyng wende.
TIll on the morne after the sterry nyght,
When Aurora was gladded wt the light,
Of Phebus beames the grekes vp aryse,
And to their goddes with many sacryfyce,
They do honour in what they can or may.
And deuoutly holdyng a feast daye,
After their rytes meynt with loue and drede,
In remembraunce of the good spede,
And of the answere ye goddes haue them sent.
So agreable vnto their entent.
By Patroclus and by Achilles.
And after this amonges all the prese,
Is Calchas come tofore Agamenon,
All his lordes syttynge enuyron.
Lyke their estates eche in his place dewe,
And humbly gan them all to salewe.
Vpon his knees with sobre countenaunce,
And prayed them it be no displesaunce,
To stynte a whyle and gyue hym audyence.
And ryght anone as made was sylence,
Amonge them all Calchas gan abrayde,
And euen thus full sobrely he sayd.
OH syres quod he and my lordes dere.
Kynges, Princes, & Dukes that be here,
So noble echone worthy and famous,
And eke so manly and so vertuous.
Whiche in this place be now here present,
Is not the fyne and chiefe of your entent,
And cause also why that ye echone,
Assembled be to Troye for to gone,
With this power and this great strength.
Your purpose is to longe drawe a length,
And differred forth from day to daye,
To your damage platly this no naye.
For to longe ye soiourne in this yle.
And trowe ye not that Pryam in this whyle,
Hath his espyes amonge you pryuely,
I wote it wele I saye you faythfully.
To knowe the fyne of your gouernaunce.
And he there whyles may make purueaunce,
Hym to defende while ye in ydell reste.
Me semeth sothly ye do not for the beste.
For in abydyng and in suche delayes,
Great harme may fal certayne this no nay is.
I preue it thus for playnly whyle that yee,
To your enmyes graunte this lybertee,
Them to puruey they may with mighty hand
Enforce them your power to withstande.
With their fryendes and their allyaunce,
And at leysour make their ordinaunce.
It is foly that ye so dyfferre.
Syth ye be ready for to make a werre.
On your ennemyes with euery circūstraunce,
For nothyng may a quarell so auaunce,
As hasty suite it will the sharper byte.
The Iron hoote tyme is for to smyte.
And not abyde tyll that it be colde.
For it wyl neither plye then nor folde.
Go sette vpon all of one accorde,
And to your shyppe anone within borde,
Enhaste you for tyme is to remewe.
With all your might your quarell to pursue.
Agaynst them that haue to you trespassed,
[Page]How many dayes be of somer passed,
And many monthes ronne and ouerslyde,
And Titan oft with his chare hath ryde,
From East to West and in the wawes depe,
His streames bathed whyles that ye a slepe,
And spent your tyme in this place thus.
Whyle that the wynde called zephirus,
Beningly enspyred hath alofte,
The attempre aier with wether fayre & soft,
The calme sea from wawes styll and playne,
Whyles ye waste your dayes here in vayne.
That when your foon therto taken hede.
They wil suppose that it is for drede,
And be more bolde to set of you but lite.
Truste forsothe for I wyll me quite,
Trewlye to you like as I am bounde.
And thynke how ye haue the goddes founde,
There toward bening and fortunate.
Your honour saued in high and lowe estate.
And so shall forthe if your ingratytude,
Prouoke theim not your purpose to delude.
Wylfully to slouthe your good fortune,
No wonder is though they not contune,
Towardes you for to shewe theyr grace,
Wherfore I reade hense for to pace,
And shapeth you no longer to lye here,
But whyle the wether is so fayre and clere,
And lusty somer abydeth in his hete,
Or wynter come wyth his raynes wete,
And while the season is so freshe and grene,
I speake of herte platly as I mene,
For your exployt and your alder ease,
Where it so be I angre you or please,
That forth in haste ye to shyppe wende,
I can no more my tale is at an ende.

¶Howe the Grekes nauye retourning from Athenes were distressed by tempest, and how they toke a castel of ye Troians called Sara­naba. Ca. xviii.

ANd all at ones they be cōdescēded,
To his aduyse & haue it wel cōmēded.
And in al haste Agamenon the grete,
The lusty time and the season swete,
Hastyng the grekes both the high and lowe,
Made soūde a trumpe & to shipward blowe.
And they echone his bidding did obey,
And to theyr shippes they go the right weye.
Without abode they will no longer dwell,
What shuld I more of the nomber tell.
Of theyr shippes syth ye haue herde afore,
It nedeth not reherse it any more,
I can not se what it might auayle.
But forthe they dresse thē and begā to sayle,
And this is sothe playnly and no wene,
So great a nauye was neuer yet ysene,
In all this worlde nor together met.
The winde was good yt they were not let,
On theyr waye fyrst whan they begon.
But after soone gan the shene son,
The clearnesse chaunge of his bryght face,
And dimme cloudes gan his light enbrace.
And sodaynly in full ougly wise,
The heauen dercke & the wynde gan ryse,
The hydous thunder and leuene clere,
Smote in the mast bryght as any fyere,
And the blacknes of the smoky reyne,
Blindeth the eyre that nothyng may be sene.
And the wawes gan to ryse alofte,
And in theyr shippes fell nothyng softe.
But plonge a downe and theyr toppes smyte,
That theim thought they wanted but a lyte,
To haue be dead in the selfe stounde.
Tyll Calchas hath by his craft yfounde,
The cause of all and with his orysons,
With his charmes and incantacions,
Made sodaynly the tempest to appease
And wt his craft done theim right great ease.
For he founde out the cause of euerydele,
How Dyane lyked nothyng wele,
That the grekes dursten take on hande,
To be so bolde to parte from the stronde,
Into the sea in any maner wyse,
And do to her no maner sacrifyce.
Nouther offer tofore or that they gothe,
For which thyng the goddesse is so wroth,
Towarde grekes saylynge on the sea,
That they echone wende haue drowned be.
Tyll at the laste the kyng Agamenon,
Hath by counsayle and information,
Of wyse Calchas made sette vp to londe,
Into an yle and faste his shyppes bonde,
And Aulydes that little yle hyghte.
In whiche he fonde vnware in his syghte,
A lyttle temple and an oratorye,
Founded of olde and made in memory,
Of great Dyane to which anone he wente,
[Page]Full deuoutly his offerynge to present.
And quemed her with his oblacions,
And lay there longe in his orisons.
After the rytes vsed in his lawe.
Tell after he sawe the tempest gan adawe.
But some bokes maken mencion,
Touchyng this thyng that Agamenon,
As Ouyde lyst rehersen in his boke,
How this kyng his owne doughter toke,
Effygenya benynge of face and chere.
And endelonge there vpon the aultere,
This mayde he layde dispoyled of her wede,
Tofore Dyane to maken her blede.
To fyne only that he the heauenly quene,
With bloud that was innocent and clene,
Appease myght and quemen of her rage.
And the goddesse gracious of visage,
Hath mercy meynt with her magnifycence,
To suffer a mayde so full of innocence,
Gyltlesse to be in her temple slawe.
Hath by myracle away her body drawe.
And it conserued from all anoy and smerte,
And in her stede vnwarely caste an herte,
By deth of whom as bokes maken mynde,
Agamenon fyrst gan grace fynde.
In the goddes for to modefye,
Her cruell Ire and cleren gan the skye.
The sea waxe calme and the wether fayre▪
And Phebus eke to glade with the eyre,
Gan shewe newe and his beames caste,
In to the sea and the kynge as faste,
Vnto shyppe repayred is agayne.
Thrugh helpe of her which is as clerkꝭ saine
Lady and quene is of wayes and of passage,
And goddesse is called of voyage.
After the sentence and opynyon,
Of them that worke by calculacion.
And gyn their domes by Astronomy.
And most of all they her magnifye,
In the tenth and the twelfe house.
For there she is they saye moste gracious.
Best fortuned, clere, or in her shade,
If she haue comeforte of aspectes glade.
Of planettes standynge tho as in good state,
I meane suche planettes as be fortunate,
To voyage or iourney for to make.
And such tyme Agamenon hath take,
His happy waye shypped for to be.
And in good houre he taken hath the sea,
With the grekes the wether agreable,
And Eolus hath maked acceptable,
Wynde and eyre hoole at their wyll.
Nouther to loude playnely nor to styll.
But in a meane so mery made it blowe,
That they attayne as in a lyttell throwe,
To certayne boundes of Troye the Citie.
Vnto a castell that stode vpon the sea,
Right wonder strong though it were but lite,
The name of whiche thoughe Dares liste not wryte.
I meane Dares called Frygius,
Yet other auctours reherse sothly thus,
Saranaba that it was ycalled.
Rounde aboute diched and well walled.
With hyghe toures rounde square and wide,
Where vnder went the sea and fast besyde,
Was an hauen able for ryuayle,
At whiche playnely the grekes wyl not fayle,
With their power myghtely to aryue.
Maugre all tho that there agayne stryue.
They might well for it was not denied,
Only except that they were espyed,
Of them alone that in the castell dwell,
The whiche anone as they herde tell,
Of their commynge proudely in the berde,
With them to mete were nothyng aferde.
But issue out downe vnto the stronde,
In purpose onely to lette them to londe,
With all their might if it wolde auayle,
But the grekes so proudely them assayle,
That they ne myght in their defence endure,
For where as they wende to haue be assure,
Demyng the grekes plainly on the sea,
For weryed and faynted to haue be,
With longe saylinge parbraked and forbroke,
Wherfore they cast on them to haue be wroke,
All sodeinly and sette on the head,
And put them selfe in aduenture and drede.
Of rakelnesse vnaduysedly.
Wherof to them selfe vnhappely,
It befell when they with grekes mette,
With speres longe and swerdes sharpe whet.
Eche on other manhode for to shewe.
But for cause Troyans were to fewe,
To yssue out they dyd folyfye.
The fyelde was not parted egally.
For the grekes were innumerable,
That them to mete Troyans were not able.
For that tyme they mighten not suffyse,
[Page]They toke on them to passyng hygh empryse.
And yet they wold for nothing them wtdrawe
Tyll that they were wounded and yslawe,
And ouerlayne of grekes vtterly.
Now here, now there, bore downe cruelly.
Mercylesse as Guydo doth reporte,
That them behoueth home agayne resorte,
Of verye nede and necessytee.
And all attones gan for to flee,
I meane suche as were lefte alyue,
To the castell they hasted them full blyue.
For they ne myght no longer holde the fyelde,
Agaynst grekes with spere nor with shielde.
They were to feble shortely to conclude,
There to abyde so great a multitude.
And as they flee the grekes a great pace,
Ne cease not to sewe them in the chase,
Full hastyly to the castell gate.
And entre in and by cruell fate,
They kyll and slea all both hye and lowe.
They spare none ne lyst no wyght knowe.
Of none estate but felly them oppresse,
And what they fonde golde and eke rychesse,
Vnto shyppe they caryed it anone.
And of the castell they ne lefte a stone,
Aboue an other but tourned vp so downe.
Both wall & toure and the chiefe dongeowne
That nothynge stode so they vnder myne,
And whan that all was brought vnto ruyne,
Grekes anone to their shyppes haste.
Of one assent and purposen as faste,
Without abode of one wyll and herte,
Fro that hauen playnly to dyuerte.
And to sayle towarde Tenedowne,
A stronge castell whyche from Troye towne,
In distaunce thense but syxe myle stode,
Ful of treasour of rychesse and of good.
Replenyshed of all in habundaunce,
And when that they with theyr ordynaunce,
Ysayled haue theyr Iourney safe and sound,
And fro the sea taken haue the grounde.
To theyr plesaunce wonder agreable.
And of syght a place delectable,
Holsome of eyre the soyle fayre and grene,
And lusty playnes goodly on to sene.
And was also haboundaunt of vitayle,
Replenyshed of all that may auayle,
The osteyng and to souldiours,
For first the land of freshe floures,
Was plenteous both of corne and grayne.
Of wyne and fruyt yt no thynge laye baraine,
Of beastes and foules passyngly plentee,
And fast by was adioyning the see.
Full habundaunt of fyshe as I fynde,
After the season of euery maner kynde.
And whan that they yt in the castell were,
The Grekes sea londed from a ferre,
Without abode they arme them & went out,
And vpon theim make an hidous shoute.
Stuffyng the castel wt meyne strong behinde,
And toke their waye in Guydo as I fynde.
Towarde their foen and knyghtly set vpon,
And right forth the grekes eke anone,
Mette with them vpon the other fyde.
Right surquidous and inly full of pryde.
Clenly armed in harneys all of stele,
Freshe arayed and besene so wele,
For in the fielde as thicke as sworme of been,
On eche syde men may beholde and seen,
Spradde all the playne downe vnto ye strond.
Tyll at the laste they mette hande to hande.
Where as they yoyne wt square speres groūd,
And hurtle yfere with many bluddy wounde.
There was no good day nor no saluynge.
But strokes felle that men hardeen rynge,
On bassenettes the fieldes rounde about.
So cruelly that the fyre sprange oute,
Amonge the tuftes brode bryght and shene.
Of foyle of golde & fethers whyte and grene.
Eke in brestes perced many shelde,
And coursers fledde abrode in the fyelde.
And many layde in that mortal stounde,
Full deadly pale lowe vpon the grounde.
With face gruf and bluddy streames wyde.
And aldermost vpon the grekes syde,
The slaughter was and the discomfyture▪
So mightly the Troyans dyd endure.
TIll at the laste for they were so fewe,
With multitude the grekes on thē hewe,
For mo then forty were against one,
Of very force abacke they muste gone,
Nothyng for lacke of manhode dare I seyne.
But for so many haue them ouer layne.
They no longer may in fyelde soiourne,
But to their Castel home agayne retourne,
In full great haste suche as myght escape,
Away aliue. and some of them for rape.
[Page]And drede of death toke them to flyght.
On horse backe to Troye towne full ryght.
No wonder was though they haste faste,
For to the gates the chace of grekes laste.
So cruelly after they pursewe.
And some of them that myght not remewe,
On Troye syde forweryed of the fyght,
The grekes slewe with all their full myght,
Now here now there whō they might atteine,
There may no raunsom nor no mercy gayne.
Of none estate without excepciowne.
And after that vnto Tenedowne,
The grekes went and it be sette aboute.
That Troyan none myght escape out.
And when yt they the bulwerkes had ywonne
To skale the walle after they begoone.
And made a saute manfully and ofte,
And eke Troyans as they stode a lofte,
Dryue them of that enter they ne myght.
With caste of stone and with quarelles bright,
With bowe turkeys and shote of Arbalasters.
And their gonners standyng at corners.
With this also and caste of wylde fyre,
Of yrous hate full hote in their desyre.
Lyke manly men them selfe they do deffende.
And aye the grekes as they vp ascende,
Cruelly they dryuen to the grounde.
Tyll they without an ordynaūce haue foūde,
What with gynnes deuysed for the nones,
And gonnes great for to caste stones,
Bent to the toures ryght as any lyne,
And large sowes lowe for to myne,
And some of them vpon the walle gone,
That were so thycke made of lyme and stone.
And in to entre they many wayes seke.
Sette their bastyles and their hurdeys eke.
Rounde aboute to the harde walle,
And skalyng ladders for sawtes marcyall.
They gan vp caste with hokes for to holde,
And vp ascende the sturdy grekes bolde.
Tyll the Troyans from the crestes caste,
The great stones whyle as they woulde laste.
And Rollers eke grekes to oppresse.
And wonder manly dyd their busynesse,
In their deffence and made plonge them low,
With caste of quarell and with shote of bowe.
Through Olyettes that of necessytee,
They put them of it may none other be.
And broke their neckes & their shulder bones,
As they fell downe with the square stones.
And lyen dead pyteous pale of hewe.
But grekes aye gan the saute renewe,
With multytude Troyans to assayle,
That to withstande they gynnen for to fayle.
And were feble for rescuse came their none,
And so of force the grekes be in gone.
Through ye walles when they haue thē broke,
And on Troyans so cruelly be wroke,
That fynally they lefte none alyue.
But slea and kylle and after that as blyue,
On the walles their baners they haue sette.
And yonge and olde it myght be no bette,
All goth to wracke vpon Troye syde.
And after that they wyll no longer byde,
But treasour golde & what so they may fynde,
They caste on heape and together bynde.
And make spoyle of all that was within,
And then in haste the walles they begyn,
Pynacle, toures, and also the dungeowne,
To brenne and hewe and to bete downe.
And with the soyle they made euen & playne.
And with great pray anone they went againe
To their shyppes glad and lyght of chere.
When the fyre with the flawmes clere,
The castell had consumed and ybrent.
And after that auyse and ryght prudent,
The manly man the worthy Agamenon,
Let make anone a conuocation,
Of the grekes and bad they shulden bryng,
Golde and treasour without more taryinge,
With all the pray they wanne at Tenedowne,
To his presence for this conclusyowne.
That he may make distribucion,
Amonges them without exception,
Lyke their desert vnto pore and ryche.
He departeth to euery man a lyche,
But moste to suche as dyd it best deserue,
For to hym selfe him lyst nothyng reserue,
For he hath leuer their hertes then the good.
Of suche as had spente their owne bloud,
So manfully the castell for to wynne.
For who that can with largesse fyrst begyn,
Ne fayleth not after well to spede.
Through helpe of men whē that he hath nede
For loue foloweth fredome comenly.

¶Howe Agamenon assembled a counsayle of the nobles of Grece, and determyned, & sente Vlyxes and Dyomede in ambassade to kynge Pryam. Capi. xix.

ANd after this the kyng let make a crye,
That al the kinges & lordes of his ostie,
Dukes and Erles come from euery coste,
The next morowe afore him to appere.
The nyght ypassed Phebus gan to clere,
Their hemysperye after the larke songe.
Whan yt the king amonge the grekes stronge,
Vpon the playne in his see royall,
And faste by moste chife and pryncipall,
Of his lordes were set in their degree.
And when the king sawe oportunitee,
And that there was made scilēce euery where,
His lyeges standynge enuyron here & there.
The kyng of chere sad and not Iocounde,
As he that was of speche full faucounde,
Began his tale with sobre countenaunce,
The effect of whiche was this in substaunce.
Syres quod he full worthy of degree,
Of verye ryght and of necessytee,
We be compelled both the hygh and lowe,
With all our myght lyke as ye well knowe,
To redresse a thynge that is amys.
For through the worlde as it reported is,
We be of force of power and of myght,
Of worthynesse in euery wyghtes syght,
Most renowmed and most worshypable.
And ydempt and iudged for moste able,
Of all people and lyklyest to stonde,
For to perfourme what we haue take on hand
Who that euer grutcheth or sayth nay,
Yet me semeth if it be your paye,
Thylke power moste is acceptable,
Vnto goddes and longest stondeth stable,
That is deuoyde of surquidry and pryde.
For it is kouth vpon euery syde,
In eche lande both of one and all,
How many harmes and greues haue befall,
Through rancour onely pryde & wylfulnesse.
So inportable as I coulde expresse,
Through pryde there as is done offence,
The hygh goddes maken resystence,
To all tho that be surquydous.
Whiche is a vyce so contraryous,
That it ne may in no place abyde.
And in good fayth manhode is no pryde,
For who that hath any acqueyntaunce,
Outher by frendshyp or by alyaunce,
With a proude man to be confederate,
With him in herte of hyghe or lowe estate.
He nedes must what euer that he be,
To many other of necessytee,
Be lothsomest enmy and contrayre.
For nothyng may a man so moche appayre,
As pryde in soth in highe or lowe degree.
Wherfore I rede playnely how that wee,
This foule vyce out of our herte arrace.
That our quarell may haue the more grace.
And specyally that our dedes all,
Conueyed be how euer that it fall,
By ryghtwysenesse more than voluntee.
For if trouth our sothfast guyde be,
Vs to derecte by his rightfull lyne,
Than shall our quarell aye in honour shyne,
And contune in full felycytee.
¶And ferthermore this knowen all ye,
How we are come for to done vengeaunce,
With our frendshyppe and our alyaunce.
Vpon Pryam for wronges done of olde.
By hym and his as I haue ofte tolde.
And hereupon we haue his grounde ytake,
And some of his maked to a wake.
With manful hande and his castelles stronge,
I beate downe that stonde haue so longe.
And take there the rychesse that we founde,
And slewe his men with many bluddy woūde
And harmes mo done in his countre,
That I wote well if their enmytee,
Was vnto vs great and moche afore.
I dare saye now it is in double more,
That yf that they auenged myght be,
On vs echone anone ye shulde see.
Their great Ire so cruell and so huge,
Be execute without more refuge.
And yet in soth I wote they haue espyed,
Our beynge here though we be not askyred.
Of them as yet I dare saye vtterly,
They are well ware that we are faste by.
And ouermore this wote I well also,
Of the harmes that we haue to them do,
The whiche as yet be but freshe and grene,
If they were stronge and mighty to susteyne,
I werre on vs anone they wolde it gynne,
[Page]And yet the Citie in whiche that they be in.
Is walled stronge and toured rounde about,
That they wenen fully out of doute,
With the meyne that they haue gathred in,
Of theyr allyes that we shall not wyn,
Of them but smale in werre nor in stryfe.
For he in soth hath a prerogatyfe,
And aduauntage that in his countre,
Hym selfe deffendeth namely if that he,
Be stuffed stronge of frendes hym besyde.
And of alyes where he doth abyde.
Lyke as the Rauen with his fether blacke,
Within his nest will often tyme make,
Agayne the Faukon gentyll of nature,
Full harde diffence whyles hy may endure.
Or that he be vanquysshed and outrayed.
And yet some whyle the Faukon is delayed,
Whyles the Rauen besyde his nest doth flee,
Within his courte at his lybertee.
As euery foule is frowarde to areste,
For to be daunted in his owne neste.
ANd yet to you these wordes I ne saye,
In any wyse to putten in a fraye,
Your knyghtly hertes so manly and so stable.
Nor that to you it shulde be doutable,
But we the Troyans fully shall confounde.
And their Citie in which they now habounde,
Playnly destroye albe that it be stronge.
And they and all that nowe be them amonge,
Shall fynally consumpt be with death.
Thorowe grekes sworde yelden vp the breth.
¶But the cause without any drede,
Why I saye thus is that ye take hede,
For any pryde or presumpcion,
To aduerte in your discrecion,
So prudently that reason in this nede,
For any haste may our brydell lede.
And so ordeyne or we hense wende,
That laude and prayse after in the ende,
May be reported as I haue deuysed.
For many man that hath not be aduised,
In his pursuite for lacke of prouidence,
To se tofore in his aduertence,
What shuld be fall to deth it hath thē brought.
Suche wylfull hast were good to be thought,
Of vs by fore examynacion,
And well discussed by reuolucion.
¶Of thynkyng ofte that we not repente,
And fyrst remembre how that Pryam sent,
To vs but late only for Exyon.
That yet is holde of kynge Thelamon.
Whiche was of vs without aduisement,
Vndiscretely denyed by assent.
Whiche hath to vs be none aduauntage.
But grounde and rote of full great damage.
For if that we through wyse purueyaunce,
Of her had made tho delyueraunce,
The harmes great had be then eschewed,
That after were of Parys so pursewed.
In the temple of faire Cythera,
That buylded is besyde Cirrea,
The treasour great also that he had,
And Iewelles thense that he with him ladde.
Than to Troye and the great rychesse,
The slaughte of men and the heauinesse,
That yet is made for the quene Heleyne.
Throughout Grece and the great payne,
Of Menelaye all had ben nowe vnwrought,
If so we had foresene this in our thought.
Wysely tofore and restored Exyon,
Than had not the harmes ne of them one,
Ensewed on vs in very sothfastnesse.
Nor spent our labour so in ydelnesse.
Treasour nor good wasted so in vayne,
Nor come so ferre for to fetche agayne,
The quene Heleyne with costes inportable.
Withouten harmes now in eschewable.
ANd for all this yet ne wote we,
Whether to ioye or to aduersytye,
The thynge shall tourne that we be about.
Syth ofte syth dependent and in doubte,
Is fatall thyng vnsyker and vnstable.
And fro the gynnynge often varyable.
The ende is sene fortune can transmewe,
Her gery course and therfore to eschewe,
The harmes possyble lykely for to fall,
My counsayle is here amonge you al,
Vpon arryuaile trauayle to eschewe,
In this matter are we further sewe,
To Pryamus without any more,
To sende fyrste agayne for to restore,
The quene Heleyne as ryght and reason is.
And other harmes done eke by Parys.
After his trespasse and offencion.
Iustely to maken restytucion.
Than may we all in worshyp and honour,
[Page]Retourne home without more labour.
If they assente to do as we requere.
And our axynge if they lyste not here,
But folyly of their wylfulnesse,
Refusen it than this our worthynesse,
Is double assured on a syker grounde.
By iuste tytle Troyans to confounde.
With thynges two we shalbe vnder pyght,
Fyrst our power borne vp with our ryght,
Shall for vs fyght our quarell to dareyne.
In balaunce euen to weye atwixe vs twayne,
To fyne that we shalbe more excused,
For they tofore haue wylfully refused,
Our iuste profers made to them afore.
And we shalbe through the worlde therfore,
Without spot of trespasse or of blame.
Of mysreporte in hyndrynge of our name.
Where they of foly shall ynoted be,
Of wylfull wodnesse playnly where that we,
Shall stande free our power for to vse.
And euery man shall vs well excuse.
Though that we do execucyon,
By takynge vengeaunce for their offencyon.
Of men and chylde of eche secte and age.
That shall of death holden their the passage.
And by the sworde without mercy pace,
One and other there is no better grace.
BVt yet tofore I counsayle taketh hede,
That ye to them with all measure bede,
This holde I beste and moste syckernesse.
And worke now by good auisenesse.
Amonge your selfe and no longer tarye,
To whiche counsayle some weren contrary.
And varyaunt to his opinyon.
Saue they that were of most discrecion,
Assented be playnly to this ende.
And chosen haue to Pryam for to sende,
Amonges them the ambassyat to spede,
Vlyxes wise and worthy Dyomede.
The whiche anone gan them ready make,
And shope them forth and their waye take,
Towarde Troye as any lyne ryght.
When the sonne shone full shene and bryghte.
Holdyng the course of his fyry sphere,
In mydday arke wonder bryght and clere.
And gylte eche hyll vale playne & roche,
With his beames, when they dyd approche,
To the walles and gates of the towne,
And in they go without noyse or sowne▪
Full well be sene and in their porte them had,
Ryght manfully and the waye them ladde,
To the paleyes streyght as any lyne.
Them nedeth not asyde to declyne.
But into a courte large wyde and square,
And thei ful knightly for no wight wold space
Vnto the effecte manly to procede.
To do their charge without feare and drede.
For their commyng was not tho refused,
And in tho dayes peraunter was not vsed,
To haue no conduite for embassadrye.
The custome was to no man to denye,
As I suppose entre nor passage,
If it so were he come as for message.
And in this courte builded so royally,
When they come fyrst they meruayled greatly
The royall syght of so huge a strength,
So well complete both in brede and length.
For they ne had in their lyfe tofore,
Sene none so fayre & yet they wonder more,
Into the paleyes as they together gone,
That paued was all of Iasper stone,
Of a tree that amyddes stode.
On which to loke they thought it did thē good
Musyng where it were Artifyciall,
Erecte or sette by magyke naturall,
Or by engyne of workemen curyous.
Through subtyll craftes supersticious.
Or other worke of Nycromancye,
Or profounde castynge of Phylosophye,
By apparaunce or yllusyon.
Outher by crafte of incantacion.
Vp and downe they casten in their mynde,
Out by reason if they myghten fynde,
Rote and grounde of this wonder worke.
But the trouthe was to them so derke,
That in their wytte though they longe trace,
The pryuitee they can not compare,
To conceyue how it was possyble,
For to the eye as it was vysyble,
In very soth without any fable,
To mannes hande so it was palpable.
Of whiche the stocke of Guydo as is tolde,
In sothfastnesse was of pured golde.
Whiche shone as bryght as the somer sonne.
To enlumyne thinges that weren donne.
And the body as a maste was ryght,
Proporcyoned most goodly to the syght,
[Page]Substanciall and of huge strengthe,
And twelue cubytes the body was of length,
And the croppe rounde and large of brede,
And in compasse gan flourishe so and sprede,
That all the playne aboute enuyrowne,
With the bowes was shadowed vp & downe.
The ryche braunches and the leues fayre,
Twayne and twayne ioyned as a payre,
One of golde another syluer shene,
And meynt among wt stones whyte & grene,
Some rede and some sapher hewed,
And euery daye the blomes were renewed,
And the blossomes with many sundry suyte,
For stones Inde it bare in stede of fruyte.
As sayth Guido I can no other tell.
And the Grekes will no longer dwell,
But holde theyr waye by many sondry wente,
For to parfourme the fyne of their entent.
Tyll they atteyne the chamber pryncypall,
Where Pryamus in his see royall,
Lyke his estate in full kyngly wyse,
Sat and aboute ful prudent and ful wyse,
His lordes all in settes hym besyde.
Whan the grekes surquedous of pryde,
With sterne cheare & frowarde coūtenaunce.
As they that had lytell remembraunce,
Of gentylnesse nor of curtesye,
For as Guydo doth playnly specifye,
Enteryng in they taken haue theyr place,
In thopposyte of the kynges face.
And set theym downe without more sermon,
Any obeysaunce or salutacyon,
Worshyp honour or any reuerence,
Done to the kyng for all his excellence,
In preiudyce of all gentylnesse.
And than anone Vlixes gan expresse,
Cause of theyr comyng to kyng Pryamus.
Without abode saying euen thus.
Not forberyng presence of the kynge.
MEruayle not nor haue no wondrynge,
Though we to the do no honour dewe,
In our comynge the for to salewe.
Syth it ne longeth in sothe as thinketh me,
Where rancoure is and hertye enmyte.
Or deadly hate with salutacions,
Or with fayned false affections,
For to shewe where hertes ben a fyre.
For naturally no man shall desyre,
Of his enmye the helthe nor welfare.
And platly now me lyst not for to spare,
Shortly to shewe the fyne of our entent,
Lyke as we hauen in commaundement,
In our message from Agamenowne.
The noble kyng most worthy of renowne.
Whych vs hath sent there is no more to seyne,
Now vnto the for the quene Heleyne.
That was rauyshed out of grekes lande.
And brought to Troy by force of mighty hād.
Agaynst ryght and by vyolence,
Wherfore shortly without more offence,
We iustly axe without more demaunde,
That thou anone rightfully commaunde,
To Menelay that she be sent agayne.
And with all this we axe not in vayne,
That thou do make restytucion,
Of wronges done in that regyon.
Of pylfres great slaught & robberye,
By Paris done of wylfull tiranye.
Whych is thy son and by the susteyned,
And in his errour wronfully maynteyned.
Wherfore come of and fully condescende,
Without grutching this wronges to amende.
For so thou mayst best the goddes queme,
Lyke as thou mayst in thy reason deme.
As right requireth & worke as the wyse.
For if so be that thou now despyse,
To execute that I haue the tolde here,
Truste me right well a lesson thou shalt lere,
Whych thou and thine shall hereafter rewe,
Without feyning thou shalt it fynde trewe.
That but if thou a better ende make,
Cruell vengeaunce shall on the be take.
And fynally what shuld I to the fayne,
The force of death this quarell shall darayne.
Vpon the and vpon all thy bloud,
Raunsomles other of golde or good.
And questionles reporte this of me,
That merciles this riche stronge Cyte,
Shall downe be bete & ylayde ful lowe,
Walle and Toures also ouerthrowe.
This all and some beth now well aduysed.
That our axyng of the be not despysed.
But wysely worke and do as I haue sayde.
ANd sodaynly king Priamus abrayde,
Of hasty yre he ne might abyde.
Of the grekes whan he sawe the pryde,
[Page]The great outrage and presumpcyon,
Without abode or delyberacyon,
To Vlyxes anone he gan out breake,
And vnto him euen thus to speake.
¶I wonder greatly in myn aduertence,
Beyng astoned how in my presence,
So vngoodly ye dare make this demaunde.
Lyke as ye had power to commaundt.
And me constrayne your byddyng to obey,
And I for feare durst you not with saye,
No maner thinge that ye axen here.
Nor contrayre what that ye requyre.
Wherof sothly in herte I am amened,
And of your threttes inwardly agreued.
And astoned surely not a lyfe,
That ye so hardy are this to excyte,
And vylaynously myn honour to prouoke.
On your wordes for to be a worke.
But for all this trusteth me right wele,
I wyll not passe my boundes neuer a dele,
Nor the rather shortly at an ende,
To your axyng in ought to condescende.
¶For to consydre the fyne of your entente,
It were not syttyng nor conuenyent,
A kynge to graunte your axing though yt he,
Stode in myschefe and captiuite,
Without recure to vttraunce ybrought.
It were outrage playnly to be thought.
To axe of hym that ye axe of me,
And sothly yet I not beleue that ye,
Accomplyshyng may so much auayle,
As ye haue sayd for platly ye shall fayle,
Of your purpose I saye and god toforne.
Mauger your might though ye had it sworn.
For your request in euery mans syght,
Wanteth a grounde both of trouthe & righte.
To axe of me satysfactyon,
And were your selfe fyrst occasyon,
Whan ye slewe my father Lamedowne,
And his lyeges and brent eke the towne,
And many harmes if they were out soughte,
On him and his causeles tho ye wrought.
That it were longe all for to reherse.
Whych daye by daye through my herte perce.
My syster eke called Exiona,
Out of this regyon ye haue ladde away,
The whych is not vnto her worthinesse,
Ytreated lyke nor after gentilnesse.
¶And for all this ye would amendes haue.
Wrongly of me that whylom for to saue,
All thynges in peace and to stynt werre,
To you haue sente into Grece ferre,
Onely to haue Exyona agayne.
Of whych sonde ye hadden but disdayne.
And cruelly in vngoodly wise,
My messenger ye gan as tho despyse.
That he vnueth ne might escape awaye,
From out of grece ye knowe it is no naye.
Of you he had so vngoodly cheare,
And in good fayth me lyst not nowe to heare,
Your request nor gyuen audience,
To your axyng for your great offence.
For leuer I had shortly to deyen here,
Than condescende to ought that ye requere.
For I wyl fully for conclusyon,
That it be knowen to Agamenon,
That we haue leuer this is doubtles,
Fynally his werre that his peace.
Syth ye to me haue done so great trespace.
And by my trouthe in this selfe place,
Cruelly anone ye shulden dye,
But for the offyce of embassadrye,
Agaynst death is fully your diffence.
That be so bolde withouten reuerence,
In my presence so to thret or speake.
Truste me right wel it shuld anone be wreke.
Wherfore in haste without wordes mo,
My counsayle is that ye be ago.
Out of my sight and voyde this my Cyte,
For thus it standeth that whiles I you se,
In my herte may entre no gladnesse.
The fret of yre so holdeth me in distresse.
That in good fayth I may it not sustene,
So Inportune is the rage and tene,
That inwardly bindeth me for the whyle.
ANd Diomedes tho began to smyle,
And sayd anone thus vnto the kinge.
If it be so that thou of our cominge,
In thine herte hast so mykle payne,
Vs to beholde now that be but twayne,
And art therwith so inly set a fyre,
Than shalt thou neuer be withouten yre,
In all thy life nor deuoyde of wo.
Syth thou hast so many cruell fo,
Of grekes now entred in thy lande.
An hundred thousand almost at thyn hande.
Agayne whose might yu mayst ye not assure,
[Page]To resyst playnly nor endure,
Consyder well how that they be stronge,
As thou shalt wyt peraunter or be longe.
So manly men and so well arayed,
Expert in armes and of olde assayed.
That no diffence may agayne theim vayle,
And wyte eke well that thou mayst not fayle,
By death of sworde of theyr hande to deye,
And all thyne there is no more to seye.
Though it so be proudly that thou speake,
And with thy tunge onely to be wreake,
Afermest more than thou mayst acheue,
Better it were such bostyng wordes leue,
And to wyse counsayle taketh better hede.
BVt than in haste agayne this Diomede,
Surquidous and inly full of pryde,
There rose vp some by the kynges syde,
With swordes & drawe on him wold haue fal,
And al to hewen him there among theim all,
Of hasty yre brenning as the glede,
Tyll Pryamus gan to taken hede.
And rose him vp seyng this disease,
And manfully this rage gan appease.
Theim diffending vpon death and lyfe,
That none of theim be hardy in this stryfe,
The embassadoures to harme or to greue,
For though a fole his foly will not leue,
To presume to speake vnconningly,
A wyse man must suffer pacyently.
And though that he happe to do offence,
Through folishe speche for lacke of sapyence,
A wyse man ne ought sothe to sayne,
To taken hede or to speake agayne.
For to a fole as it is pertynent,
To shewe his foly, right so conuenient,
Is to the wyse sothly with suffraunce,
In all his porte to haue tolleraunce.
For vnto foles belongeth kindely,
Without aduyse to speake folyly.
Vndiscretly his mening to fulfyll.
Where as a wyse man heare can and be styll,
Tyll he se tyme and haue pacience,
And dissimule in his aduertence,
The rage of foles that last but a throwe.
For by his tunge a fole is oft knowe.
And leuer I had I do you wel assure,
In my persone domage to endure,
Then to suffer any messengere,
In my court of you that be here,
To haue a wronge other great or lite.
The swerde of rancoure may not alway bite.
To do vengeaunce for a thyng of nought,
For oft it falleth that a wronge is wrought,
For lytel excesse foloweth great reprefe.
And haste is aye medled wyth myschefe.
Wherfore I byd that ye sytte adowne,
And in no wise of presumpciowne,
Attempteth not in no maner wyse,
By sygne or worde more for to despyse,
Thembassadoures from the Grekes sente.
But let theim frely declare theyr entente,
And ye there whyles kepe your lippes close,
ANd sodaynly then Eneas rose,
Whych next the kinge helde then his see,
So inwardly with rancour fret was he,
That he ne myght him selfe not refrayne,
And sayd syr so ye not disdayne,
That I shall saye me semeth that it is,
Wel according when one hath sayd amys,
And rekly spoken vnaduised,
Of his foly that he be chastysed.
That other maye example by him take.
To be wel ware such noyse and crye to make.
And specially in open audience.
So to offende your royall excellence.
And sothly yet I wote well that I might,
So me gouerne playnly in your syght,
Of hastinesse without auisement,
That I shulde by your commaundement,
The death deserue for my great offence.
And trewly yet ne were for your presence,
Of this twayne that haue so yspoke,
Without abode I shuld anone be wroke.
For it were worthy and ryght well sittyng,
Whan that a fole in presence of a kinge,
Is bolde or hardy of presumpcion,
To take on him of indiscrescion,
Thinge to reherse concluding in sentence,
Preiudyce of his magnificence,
That he were taught better to gouerne,
His large tunge to konne bet and diserne,
Whan he shal speake or whan be in pease,
To suffer him to renne out of lese.
As doth he this that spoke hath so large.
Wherfore in haste I counsayle him & charge,
Without abode or any worde mo,
[Page]Out of your syghte anone he be ago.
For it is best to do as I him rede.
TO whom anone ful proudly Diomede,
Not astoned but with a sterne loke,
To Eneas that for yre quoke,
Answered agayne but with wordes fewe,
And sayd syr thy wordes doth well shewe,
What so thou be that thou art ryght wise.
Well is that king that doth by thyne aduyse.
Or hath the nye of counsayle for to be,
For he ne maye erre in no degre.
That art so rightful in thy iudgement.
Of wylfullnesse without aduysement,
To cause a lorde his bondes for to pace.
So would god in some other place,
That I myght by fauoure of fortune,
Mete with the at leysure oportune.
Lyke my desyre that canst so well endite.
In olde fables thy labour for to quyte.
And the to thanke for thy gentyll chere,
Which so knightly thou hast vs shewed here,
Truste well therto and haue therof no drede.
ANd tho Vlixes of this Diomede,
Gan interrupte his wordes prudently,
And to him sayde full aduysely,
That it was best to stynt and be still.
And now we know fully all thy will,
Quod Vlyxes full manly to the kynge,
We will go hense without more taryinge.
Out of thy sight to Agamenon,
And make to him playne relacion,
Of thy aunswere in ordre by and by.
And to horse they wenten sodaynly,
And in shorte time so hast them in their way,
That they be come there is no more to saye,
Where the kinge satte in his tentorye,
And worde by worde as came to memorye,
They reherse the substaunce euery dele,
Wherof the grekes like nothing wele.
Conceyuing full there was no remedye,
As by reporte of the embassadrye,
Saue onely this vtterly procede,
How they theim shall gouerne in this nede,
Agayne Troians of necessitee.
For they well wote it may none other be.
And assented both in wyl and dede.
To puruey theim fast they theim spede.
In this storye as ye shall after fynde.
BVt fyrst or I therof maken mynde,
I must a whyle of Eneas endyte,
As myne Auctour lyst of hym to wryte.
The whych sothly as bokes saye he was,
This manly Troian this worthy Eneas,
Anchises sone of great worthinesse,
Whylom gete of Venus the goddesse.
Conqueroure of many regyon.
Whan Troye was brought to destruction,
He wente his waye by the large see,
Called Tyrene and saylyng forth goth he,
By many coste and many streyght passage,
Many daunger tyll into Cartage,
He ryued is and thense gan to sayle,
To the conquest of the great Ytale.
And so to Rome he hath the waye take,
Of whose spring as auctours mencion make,
Came Augustus Cesar the Emperour.
That was whilom so noble a conquerour.
That his renowne to this daye doth shine,
And of Enee the Emperour Iustyne,
In his bokes called Autentykes,
Full playnly wryt therin the rubrykes,
That after Cesar so as Cesares,
Be named yet ryght so Eneades,
After Enee they name shoulden beare.
Whych fro Troye comen was so fere.
Vnto ytayle and of this Eneas,
As I haue tolde Cesar descended was.
Downe lyne ryght ful manly and royall.
That fyrst in Rome by sceptre imperyall,
Maugre theyr myght had the gouernaunce,
And of wysedome set the ordynaunce,
Of common thynges touchyng the Cytee.
And to procede further of Enee,
Hooly his lyfe and knyghthod by and by,
If that ye lyst to reade ceryously,
Ye may se all ful autentyke of style,
In Eneydos compyled of Vergyle.
Albeit so that this noble clerke.
Was graue afore or cōplete was his werke.
As bokes olde maken mencion.

¶How Agamenon sent Achilles and Thelephus into the Ilande of Messa for vytayles, and how they slewe the king and after ordey­ned Thelephus the kynge there. Ca. xx.

BVt nowe agayne to Agamenon,
Without more I wyll my style retourne,
The whych kyng will no more soiourne,
In this matter delayes for to make,
But in all haste he hath his counsayle take.
Of his lordes beyng there present.
And such as were not he hath after sent,
For one and al, Earles, Dukes, and kinges.
¶And sayd syres amonge other thynges,
To our Iourney that be necessarye,
My counsayle is no longer that we tarye,
But fyrst of all to make ordynaunce,
By one assent with prudent purueaunce,
That alder fyrst we shape vs for vytayle.
Without whych none hoost may auayle.
To parfourme a iourney thryftely.
Wherfore I reade here but fast by,
If it to you be lykyng and plesaunce,
Into an yle ful of habundaunce,
Called Messa that we sende anone.
And at one worde assented euery chone,
They chosen haue worthy Achilles,
And Thelephus the sone of Hercules,
To execute this purpose fynally,
With many worthy in theyr company.
Ychosen out through the hoost anone,
With Achilles are to Messa gone.
In whych lande ryche and plenteous,
Reygned a kynge worthy and famous,
That Tentran hyght whych in tranquylyte,
Without werre or aduersyte,
Had holde his Sceptre and his royall sete,
In this yle so pleasaunte and so mete.
Albe that some saye that this lytell yle,
To the kyngedome longeth of Cecyle.
And hath his name gyuen of plente,
After Messane an huge great Cite.
Full plenteous both on se and lande.
The whych kyngdome as I vnderstande,
Is sayde Messena of Messes in latin,
Through habundaūce of fruyt corne & wyne.
At the aryuayle on the playnes large,
Where they are wont for to stuffe & charge,
Merchaunt shyppes of straunge fer countre.
That thyther sayle by the large sea.
To fetche vitayle aye from yeare to yeare.
Fro many coste of landes farre and nere,
Onely by eschaunge of merchaundise,
And eke also as bokes can deuyse.
And as Guido full playnly telleth vs,
That of a kyng called Messanus,
This countrey first of Messa toke the name,
That in his tyme was of great fame,
Passyng ryche and wonder plenteous.
But of all this Dares Frygyus,
In his boke maketh no mencion.
But shortly telleth in conclusyon,
How Achilles and Thelephus also.
To Messena be togither go.
With thre thousande of grekes chosen out.
Most manly men amonges all theyr route.
The whych as fast as they gan to londe,
And the kynge gan to vnderstonde,
Of theyr comyng he is descended downe.
With all the worthy of his regiowne,
On horse and foote in stele armed bryght,
Agaynst Grekes manfully to fyght,
Theim to deuoyde playnly yf they can,
And sodaynly thus the skermyshe gan,
Atwixe Grekes and other mortall fone.
On other parte there was many one,
Slayne and hurte & to the death ywounded,
Neuer lykly therof to be sounded.
¶For other treate was theim not atwene,
But swerdꝭ sharpe and speres square & kene.
Now here now there that they go to ground,
For euery man his foo for to confounde,
His labour dyd and his busynesse.
And though grekꝭ through theyr worthinesse
Had on theyr foen much londe ywon,
Yet to retyre after they begon,
And meruayle none bycause that theyr fone,
Had alwaye thre in noumber agaynst one.
For the time it may none other be,
Till Achilles gan beholde and se,
The mortall slaughter vpon grekes syde.
Tourning ye backe wt woundes large & wide.
Of hasty rancour chaungen gan his bloode,
And for yre furious and woode,
Whan he behelde his men lese theyr lande,
He wt the swerd whiche he helde in his hande,
Made waye kylled and bare downe,
And in the felde like a fierse Lyowne,
He fared in sothe when yt his men were slawe.
Makyng his foen backwarde to withdrawe.
And his grekes so manly recomforte,
That maugre theim he made them to resorte.
¶And who that euer in his waye stode,
[Page]Without mercy he kylleth in his mode.
There gayneth nought in his crueltee,
For doubtles ne had his manhod be,
His passyng renowne and his worthynesse,
His knighthod eke and his high prowesse,
The Grekes had that daye fynallye,
Vanquished be without remedye.
But through his helpe they recure all,
For Achilles sturdy as a wall,
Gan serche sheltrouns & theyr rāges brake,
Tofore whose face his fomen go to wrake.
¶And alderlast whan he gan espye,
Tentran the kyng through his chyualrye,
Defende him selfe lyke a worthy knyght,
And as a Lyon bare him in his fyght,
Now here now there grekes so oppresse.
This Achilles of cruell hardynesse,
Ne would cease in his pursewynge,
Through the warde tyll he came to the king.
Of manly force stoute and full of pryde,
Makyng a waye rounde on euery syde,
Agayne whose might nothyng might auayle.
¶And of Tentran fyrst the auentayle,
He raced hath and rent the male asonder,
And al to hewe that it was a wonder,
To consydre that daye his cruelte.
And after that al to broke hath he,
His bassenet wyth many cruell wounde.
And by his myght smyt the kyng to grounde.
And in all haste he maked hath no let,
From of his head to rende his bassenet.
And merciles for to do vengeaunce,
His harme he gan on heyght to auaunce,
Fully in purpose that he shulde be dead,
And raunsomles gan amyn at his heade,
With blody swerde and despytous herte,
Castyng playnly he shulde not asterte,
In his Ire he was so furyous.
¶But of fortune it befell ryght thus.
Thelephus the yonge lusty knyght,
Casuelly therof had a syght,
And of Achilles the maner ful behelde,
The stroke anone he bare vp with his shelde.
And gan Achilles mekely for to preye,
To haue pytye so to do him deye.
Syth he laye wounded almost to the deathe.
Brought to the poynt to yelden vp ye breathe.
Beseching him for his beningnyte,
Of manly routhe and eke knightly pyte,
Withdrawe his hande and to do him grace,
And graunt him life for a lytell space.
Syth euery knyght should of gentilnesse,
His enmye spare whan he is in distresse.
To vttraunce brought and specyally whē he,
Mercy requireth of humble voluntee.
¶To whom Achylles feruent in his yre,
As he that was of rancoure set a fyre,
Aunswered agayne what lyst the so to preye,
For him that nolde of pryde our wyll obeye.
But gyn a werre where as was no nede.
Of highe disdayne and indignacion,
Hauyng a truste of presumpcion,
In his manhod which myght him not auaile.
Agaynst grekes to holden a battayle.
As it is preuyd playnly in the ende,
All otherwyse shortly than he wende.
For in the dyche iustely he is falle,
Which he hath made of malys for vs all.
¶Where we of wyll nor entencion,
Gaue vnto hym none occasyon,
Vpon no syde platly fer nor nere,
Nor ministred to hym no such matere,
Nor to his lande menten no damage.
But he hym selfe grounde of all this rage,
Without offence done to hym of vs.
¶And efte agayne this yonge Thelephus,
Humbly required hath of hym Achylle,
Of knyghtly routhe his axyng to fulfyll.
And to haue mercy on hym in this case.
For with my father this kynge whylom was.
Quod Thelephus by bonde confederate.
Whiche lyeth nowe here all disconsolate.
Expectant only with a deadly face,
Vpon the houre whan his goste shall pace,
Through gyrte alas wt many mortal woūde.
¶And for bycause that I haue in him found,
Afore this tyme assured great kyndenesse,
For of manhode and of gentylnesse,
In the boundes of his regiowne,
He vnto me through his highe renowne,
Whylom as I casually gan ryde,
Shewed in soth vpon euery syde,
Full royal chere and great humanite.
That I am bounde as of very duytee,
To remembre and to haue in mynde.
And doubtles elles me semeth I were vnkind
Which after wolde my name foule a twyte,
And for that I in parte wolde him acquite.
[Page]I you beseche of respyte of his lyfe.
And Achylles withouten any stryfe,
Delyuered hath the story telleth thus,
Tentran frely vnto Thelephus.
Whether hym lyste to sauen or to spylle.
And when that he had hym at his wyll,
He hath consydered by his woundes grene,
That were so mortall sothly and so kene,
Of very nede that he must dye.
There was no gayne nor no remedye.
Nor auayle maye no medecyne.
The houre whē Phebꝰ westward gan decline
And the battayle brought was to an ende,
Whyle the grekes to their shyppes wende,
The meane whyle Tentran for the payne,
Of his woundes gan more & more complain.
Without staunche so pyteously they blede.
His offycers faste gan them spede,
In a lytter made tho full royall,
Toward his paleys & doūge owne pryncipall,
To cary hym softe and easyly.
¶And at his prayer full benyngly,
Thelephus and also Achylles,
Conueyed hym among all the prese,
Tyll he was brought there as hym lyst to be.
And they receyued lyke to their degree.
Full royally the kyng aye languysshyng,
As he that drewe towarde his endynge,
And might not longer drawen forth a length,
His wofull lyfe so weke was he of strengthe,
That his spirite must algates wende.
And he in haste caused for to sende,
For Achylles and for Thelephus,
And whan they came he sayd vnto them thus.
¶Syres quod he full worthy of degree,
Helth and honour with longe prosperitee,
Be vnto you and goodly aduenture,
All the whyle that your lyfe may dure.
And specyally of the Oh Thelephus,
Whiche haste to me be so gracious,
Of gentilnesse in my paynes stronge,
Onely of grace my lyfe for to prolonge.
But death alas I may not now eschewe.
Nor his sworde on no parte remewe.
Without recure knytte in bytter bondes,
Vpon the brincke fall of fatys hondes,
And of my lyfe all fully in dispeyre,
Whiche of my body neuer myght haue heire.
After my daye by successyon.
As to gouerne this lyttell regyon.
Whiche lykely is to stande disconsolate,
Of gouernaunce and fully desolate.
Which erst I wan with full great trauayle,
And to this day with werre & stronge bataile
I haue it kept as ye well knowe echone.
And it defended from all maner fone,
Withouten losse yeres heretoforne.
But recurlees of yore I had it lorne,
Ne had I had helpe and eke socour,
Of Hercules the great conquerour.
That whylom was father to Thelephus.
So stronge so mighty and so chyualrous.
By whose manhode and whose hardinesse,
By his knyghthode and great worthynesse,
Whiche daye by day is new of memorye,
Of all my foen I had the vyctorye.
He daunted them and made them so a ferde,
Only by rygoure of his sharpe swerde,
That fynally through his manlyhede,
He caused me this reygne to possede.
Maugre their might in peace and quyete.
With septre and crowne and my royall seate.
That none of them tyll that he was dead,
Hardy was to lyfte vp the head,
Agaynst me to speake but wordes fewe,
Wherby I may fully declare and shewe,
By euydence that this little yle,
Is perteynent and longeth to Cecyle.
Where Hercules for a memoryall,
Sette pillers in his conquest royall.
When he had ryde and gon tho so ferre,
And of Columpna yet the name they beare,
After hym called Herculea.
Though some saye they hyght Herracula.
The name chaungyng by corrupcion.
The whiche lande was whylom mansyon,
To the people of wylde Barbarye.
The whiche kyngdome for to magnyfye,
Frederyke sothly the secounde,
Of golde and good passyngly habounde,
That chosen was to be Emperour,
Of Rome towne and mighty gouernour,
And whylom eke kyng was of Cecyle,
Whiche made reyse in that large yle,
A myghty toure hyghe and thycke of wall,
As sayth Guydo for a memoryall,
To put his name longe in remembraunce,
And for the soyle was to his pleasaunce,
[Page]With floures freshe of many sondry hewe,
In some bokes the lande was named newe,
And ycalled as I vnderstande,
For his fayrenesse the lusty newe lande.
But Tentran aye lyinge in his payne,
As he that faste gan the houre attayne,
Of cruell death afore his lordes all,
He made in haste Thelephus to call,
To his presence and with a mortall chere,
Sayde openly that all men myghten here.
My sonne quod he syth nedely I must pace,
Out of this worlde for gayne may no grace,
My lyfe to saue through no mannes myghte.
But for bycause of equytye and ryght,
I am compelled iustly in sentence,
To declare clerely my conscyence,
Tofore my death herynge all this prese,
This to saye thy father Hercules,
The wyse worthy and that knyghtly man,
Whylom this lond through his conquest wan:
The whiche onely of his godlyhead,
As he that was the stocke of manlyhead,
Toke vnto me by cōmyssyon,
The gouernaunce of this regyon:
Of his free wyll with hole the regally.
And nolde him selfe the countrey occupye.
And sothly yet his ryght was not the lasse.
For loue of whom syth that I shall passe,
With full entent of my laste wyll,
To the I graunt as it is ryght and skylle,
As very heire iustly to succede.
Longe in honour therin thy lyfe to lede,
Makyng there a protestacion,
That in full token and confyrmacion,
This is the wyll fynall of myne hearte.
Fro the whiche no man may me diuerte,
Vpon no syde nor vtterly declyne.
¶For fyrst my wyll and dissent of lyne,
Be together combyne now in one.
Fro whiche thyng no man may do me gone,
For this desyre laste of my langour,
That thou playnly be my successour.
And fynally thus I conclude and deme,
That vnto the Septer and diademe,
Delyuered be with euery circumstaunce.
But all his wyll for more assuraunce,
He made do write it in his testament.
The fyne concludynge of his laste entent.
And after that he full piteously,
Besought Thelephus most hertely,
Of manly routhe and knyghtly gentilnesse,
To do his deuer and his busynesse.
After his death like his estate royall,
To halowe and holde his feast funerall,
Solemply and the exequies do.
And sodeynly without wordes mo,
The kyng Tentran yeldeth vp the goste.
And went his waye I note to what coste.
I can not deme of suche mystyhede.
And whan Percas broken had the threde,
On the rocke and he was forth his waye,
Then Thelephus out of marbell graye,
Curiously a tombe made do carue.
The dead corps therin to conserue,
Full rychely and aboue the graue.
An Epythaphe anone he dyd do graue.
In his honour playnly to expresse,
His knighthode both and his worthynesse.
And howe his goste and he were deuorced,
With letters ryche of golde aboue enboced.
Rounde aboute wonder curious.
On his tombe that sayden playnly thus.
Here lyeth Tentran the kyng doubtles,
Whylom slayne of cruell Achylles.
That his scepter and the regallye,
Hooly gaue whiche no man may denye,
To Thelephus the sonne of Hercules.
Whiche in his tombe resteth nowe in peace.
Whan this perfourmed was in euery thynge,
And Thelephus of Messa crowned kyng,
And hyghe and lowe all by one assent,
Had solempnely in open parlement,
Made fayth to hym and ydone homage,
Lyke their degrees as they were of age,
And with hole herte in all their best entent,
By othe assured and by sacrament,
As trewe lyeges receyued him for kyng.
¶Than Achylles without more taryinge,
Whan all was sette in peace and gouernaunce
Without grutchinge or any varyaunce,
To their shyppes anone he made carye,
Euery thyng that was necessarye,
To the grekes, corne, fruite, or vitayle.
Fleshe or, fyshe, or what that might auayle.
To hosteynge or helpe them in their nede.
Downe to the sea he all this dyd lede,
Fully their vessell for to stuffe and lade.
And Thelephus after this he made,
[Page]Stylle in boundes of his regyon,
For to abyde for this conclusion.
That through his helpe and his diligence,
Busynes and discrete prouydence,
Agayne all myschyefe and all scarsytee,
Whan they nede he myght their socour be.
ALbe that he lyke as sayth Guydo,
With Achilles full fayne wolde haue go,
But he abode sothly for the beste.
By bonde assured fully and beheste.
In euery thynge grekes to releue,
And than in haste Achilles toke his leue.
Of Thelephus and gan anone to sayle,
All his shyphes stuffed with vitayle,
Towarde grekes as made is menciowne.
And in shorte tyme he at Tenedowne,
Aryued is and taken hath the grounde.
With all his knyghtes likwise hole & sounde,
¶And after this to Agamenon,
He fyrste hath made full relacion,
Of his exployt lyke as it was fall.
In the presence of his lordes all.
Sittyng enuyron many worthy knyght.
¶And fyrste in Messa he telleth of the fyght,
Whan they entred and of their welcomyng,
And ceryously he tolde eke of the kynge,
That Tentran hyght and playnly also how,
Achylles amydde the fyelde hym slowe.
And or his death how he of hole entent,
Fully ordeyned in his testament,
Thelephus also to be his heire.
All this he tolde and eke of his repayre,
Vnto the sea and eke of the vyttayle.
¶And Thelephus how he wyll not fayle,
To sende them all that may them please.
Of whiche thynge the grekes in great ease,
Were brought of herte and lyke wonder well.
When Achilles had tolde them euerydell,
And greatly preysed his hygh prouydence.
His manhode both and his sapyence.
In his out beynge that he bare him so,
And after this Achylles is ygo,
To his lodgynge a lyttle there besyde.
Where his knyghtes vpon hym abyde,
Myrmydones full glade of his comynge.
And hym receyued as longeth to a kynge.
Where he abode and rested hym a whyle.
¶But for Guydo declyneth here his style,
From the grekes to them of Troye towne,
I must also make digressyowne,
Of myne auctour the steppes for to sewe.
Lyke as it is conuenient and dewe,
To my matter syth he is my guyde.
And for a whyle grekes sette asyde.
I wyll reherse how Dares Frygyus,
In Troye booke declareth vnto vs,
And ceriously maketh menciowne,
Of the lordes that came to Troye towne,
To helpen them manly in their defence,
Agaynst grekes to maken resystence.
With ordynaunce of many dyuers thynges,
There came to thē, Erles, Dukes, & kinges.
As in Dares playnly is made mynde,
Reade his boke and there ye may yt fynde.
¶And alder fyrst I reade how that he,
Specyally speaketh of kynges three.
Full manly men and also of great fame.
All be that he reherseth not the name,
Of their kyndomes yet he wryteth thus,
¶The fyrst of theim was called Pandarus.
And as I reade Tapor the seconde,
The thirde Andrastrus lyke as it is founde.
And as Guydo lyst to specyfye,
Thre thousande knyghtes in their companye,
And manly men they were euerychone.
¶And from an yle called Coleson,
Lyke as Dares listeth to expresse,
There came also of excellent prowesse,
¶Kynges foure of whiche the fyrst was,
As he hath wrytte ynamed Carras.
And the seconde hyghte Ymasyus.
Nestor the thirde the .iiii. Amphymacus.
And fyue thousande worthy knightes all,
There came with them manly for to fall,
Vpon the grekes in helping of the towne,
And fro ye prouince knowen of great renowne
Called Lycye came the kyng Glaucon,
And with him brought his sonne Sarpedon.
A noble knight in armes full famous,
And was allyed to kyng Pryamus.
And thre thousande yf I shall not fayne,
There came of knightꝭ wt these lordes twaine.
¶And from Larysse a ryche lande also,
As I fynde there camen kynges two,
And them to quite manly as they ought,
A thousand knightꝭ they to Troye brought.
¶And from a kyngdome named Lycaowne,
[Page]Euphemus a kyng of great renowne,
Brought with hym as Dares doth wytnesse,
A thousande knyghtes of great worthynesse.
And fyue hundred Dares telleth vs,
Came with Hupon and with Epedus,
Many knyghtes in plates of syluer bryght,
And with hym eke a kyng yt Remus hyght.
Brought .iii. thousande to Troye many myle,
From Tabaria his large mightye yle.
And Dukes foure with all their chiualrye,
And Erles .viii. came in his companye.
Hauynge in armes great experyence.
And all they bare without difference,
Their men & they when they were in ye fyelde,
The chiefe of golde eueryche in his shielde,
Wherby the kynge and holy his nauy,
Amonge them all knowen mighten be,
Albe that other bore eke the same.
Also frō Trace kynge Pylex by his name,
Fro thylke Trace that is moste excellent,
Whiche in the plage of the Oryent,
Haueth his scyte frō which this mighty kyng,
A thousande knightꝭ brought at his cominge.
As myne auctor recordeth eke also,
An hundred knightes be to Troye go,
With Alchamus a worthy Duke famous.
That came with Pilex Guydo wryteth thus.
Troyans to helpe in their great nede,
And fro Pauonye sothly as I reade,
Came Pretemessus the noble werryour,
Lorde of that lande kynge and gouernour.
And duke Stupex with him also had,
And of knyghtes a thousande that he ladde.
Towarde Troye from his region.
And as this storye maketh mencyon,
That prouince standeth most by wildernesse,
And by woodes of plenteous thickenesse,
Wherin growe full many diuers tree,
And most is forest that men may there se.
For they there buylde houses but a fewe.
And in that lande full diuersly them shewe,
Many lykenesse queynte and monstruous,
Beastes vnkouth to syght merueylous.
Stoundmele as by apparence.
By illusyon false in existence.
Wonder gastfull playnly for to sene,
For dyuers goddes of the woodes grene,
Apperen there called Satyrye,
Bycornes eke Fawny and Incubye.
That cause often men to falle in rage.
And of this lande the people full sauage.
Hardy knyghtes furyous and woode,
And desyrous aye to sheden bloude.
Greatly Experte specyally to shete,
With darte and spere peryllous for to mete.
For they caste euen as any lyne.
¶And from an yle that named was Boetine,
In great araye to Troye the Citee,
Lyke as I fynde there came Dukes three.
The fyrst of all called Amphymus,
Samus the secounde the thirde Forcius.
And as sayth Dares which listeth not to lye,
Twelue hundred knightes in their company.
¶And fro Brotyne as made is remembrance
The riche lande that hath such habundaunce,
Of spyces, gummes, fruites, corne, and wine,
Holsome rotes, ryndes, ryche and fyne,
Wonder vnkouth and precious also,
Out of which there comen kinges two.
Full knightly men in armes desyrous,
Kynge Boetes and Epristuis,
And wt them brought to Troye from ferre,
A thousande knightes arayed for the werre.
¶And fro the lande called Pafflagonye,
Whiche seuered is from all companye,
As bookes saye that be hystoryall.
Vnder the plage that is Oryentall,
Sette so ferre as made is rehersayle,
That fewe or none to that lande trauayle,
For there to come is nere impossyble.
For whiche that lande is called inuisyble,
Bycause onely of his remosion,
And yet yt is a ryche regyon.
Of golde and syluer also and of stones,
And habundaunte of plentee for the nones.
It is so full of treasour and of good.
And hath his scyte on the ryche floude,
Ynamed Tygre not fer from Eufrates,
As sayth myne auctour that called is Dares.
From whiche lande in stele armed clene,
A thousand knightes came with Phylomene.
The worthy kyng whose shildes out of drede,
Were of cuirboilye in Guydo as I read.
With golde depainte & fret with stones ryche,
that in this world I trow there was nōe liche,
Out of the floudes chosen by deuyse,
Whiche haue their course out of Paradyse.
The whiche kyng a Gyaunt of stature,
[Page]And of his makynge passyng all measure.
Stronge and delyuer also as I fynde.
¶And fro the lande yt marcheth vpon Inde,
Kyng Perses came with many knightly man,
And he also that with his hande hym wan,
So moche honour the noble kyng Menon,
And eke his brother called Sygomon.
Whiche from the lande of their subiectiowne,
Of dukes, erles, and knyghtes of renowne,
Thre thousande brought all in plates shene.
With speres rounde whet ful square and kene
From Ethyope came this noble route.
¶And from the kyngdome also out of doute,
That Thereo of Dares called is,
Came the kyngfull prudent and full wyse,
The manly man named Theseus,
And eke his sonne that hyght Archylogus.
A thousande knyghtes in their company,
And Theseus full nyghe was of allye,
To Pryamus by dissent of bloud.
And kynges twayne passyng ryche of good,
And renowmed of knighthode as by fame,
Albe that Guydo reherseth not their name.
Yet in this storye he maketh mencion,
That from Agresta the lyttle regyon,
A thousand knightꝭ they brought vnto Troy,
The grekes pryde to daunte and to acoye.
For they were chosen and pycked for ye nones.
¶And from: he land beyond the Amazones,
Lyssynya the kyng Epystrophus,
So wyse, so worthy, and inly vertuous.
Passyng of counsayle and discreciowne,
And with all this full worthy of renowne.
He preued was also in speciall,
And in the artes called lyberall,
He lerned was and expert a ryght.
Notwithstandyng he was a worthy knyght.
In werre and peace manfull and ryghte sage,
Albe that he was ronne ferre in age.
And as the storye maketh rehersayle,
A thousande knightꝭ cladde in plate & mayle,
To Troye towne I fynde that he ladde.
And with hym Guydo sayth that he hadde,
A wonder archer of syght meruaylous,
Of fourme and shap in maner monstruous,
For lyke myne auctour as I reherse can,
Fro the nauell vpwarde he was man,
And lower downe lyke a horse yshaped,
And thilke parte that after man was maked,
Of skinne was blacke and rough as any bere,
Couered with here fro colde him for to were.
Passyng foule and horrible of syght,
Whose eyen twain were sparkeling as bright,
As is a furneis with his reade leuene.
Or the lyghtnyng that falleth from yt heauen,
Dredefull of loke and reade as fyre of chere,
And as I reade he was a good archer.
And with his bowe both at euen & morowe,
Vpon grekes he wrought moche sorowe.
And gasted them with many hydous loke,
So sterne he was that many of them quoke,
Whan they hym sawe so ougly and horryble.
And more lothsome than it is credible.
That many one hath wounded to the death,
And caused them to yelden vp the breath.
On grekes syde as ye shall after here.
¶And in this wyse assembled byn yfere,
Kynges, Dukes, and Erles of renowne,
From sundry landes within Troye towne,
That byn ygathred and come fro so ferre,
As sayth Dares to helpe them in this werre.
That were in numbre as he maketh mynde,
Two and thirtye thousande as I fynde.
Of worthy knyghtes and lordes of estate,
That syth the worlde was fourmed & create,
Ne was sene I trowe in one Citee.
Together assembled of so hygh degree,
Nor of knightes so great a multitude.
And yet this Dares sothly to conclude,
In his boke maketh of them no mynde.
That came to Troye out of smaler Inde.
Nouther of them moste famous of renowne,
That were wt Priam yborne of Troy towne.
¶That fynally if it be trewly sought,
Syth ye houre that this world was wrought,
I dare affyrme vnder Phebus sphere,
So many worthy were not mette yfere.
Of manly men flouryng in lustynesse,
So freshe, so yonge, and as by lyklynesse,
In euery poynt of shape and of arraye,
For to do well. for sothly this is no naye,
Who lyst consyder vpon outher syde,
For through the world where men go or ryde,
The floure of knighthode and of worthinesse,
Of chyualrye and of hyghe prowesse,
Assembled was without and within,
Fully assented the werre so to begyn.
¶Wherfore ye lysters taketh now good hede,
[Page]That you delyte in this boke to reade.
Fyrst for how lyttle that this werre began,
How light the cause for which so many a man,
Hath loste his lyfe in myschyefe pyteously.
And yet no man can beware therby.
Almost for nought was this stryfe begonne.
And who lyste loke they haue hereby nought wonne,
But only deth alas the hard stound.
So many knight caught his dethes wounde,
Without recure or any remedye.
¶And for a woman if I shall not lye,
Gan all this stryfe it was the more pytie.
That so great mischyefe or aduersytie,
Of mortall slaughter euer shulde betyde.
Better had be to haue sette asyde,
Suche quarelles all dere ynough a myte,
And let thē passe or yt the vengeaunce byte.
For wysedome were to caste afore and se,
If suche sklaunders myght eschewed be,
Or the venym gynneth for to rype.
For though ye men with hornes blowe & pype,
Whan the house is fyred in his hete,
Of the sparke to late is then to treate,
That caused all wherfore at the gynnynge,
The remedye is put of euery thynge.
As euery wyght may deme in his reason.
¶And while that grekes lay at Tenedon,
Them to refreshe and to reste in peace,
The worthy kyng that hyght Pallamydes,
With thirtye shyppes out of grekes lande,
Stuffed wt knightꝭ ful worthy of their hande,
The beste choyse of all his regyon,
Aryued is vp at Tenedon.
Wherof the grekes whan they had a syght,
Reioysynge them were ryght glad and lyght,
Hauynge regarde vnto his worthynesse.
Where they afore had made heuynesse,
For his absence that he was so longe.
And some of them grutched at hym stronge,
For he ne kepte his mouster at Athene.
But for to shewe that he was all clene,
Of any spotte in his conscyence,
Full manfully in open audyence,
Lyke a knyght he gan him selfe excuse,
Stoppyng all tho that theron lyste to muse.
¶Of his absence shewyng the cause why,
That for sykenesse and sodeyne malady,
He was cōstrained his presence to withdrawe
And for they sawe that sycknesse hath no law,
They helde excused fully his absence.
¶And for he was of most reuerence,
Amonge grekes so no wight the secounde.
And was also full wyse and eke habounde,
Of golde and good auyse and prudent,
That what so euer he sette on his entent,
Knyghtly & wisely he wolde aye well achieue.
And what soeuer he gan he nolde it leue,
Maugre his foen in no maner wyse.
Tyll that he sawe a fyne of his empryse.
And for he was most of opinion,
Amonge grekes and reputacion.
They him besought that he wolde be,
Of their counsayle auisely to forse,
What were to do in euery maner thyng.
And he assenteth vnto their axynge.
Benyngly of his great gentilnesse.
And grekes than dyd theyr busynesse,
To procede withouten more delaye,
Them to enhaste in all that euer they maye,
To gyn a syege and differre it nought.
And sundry waies they serched haue & sought
In their wyttes how from Tenedowne,
They may remeue towardes Troye towne.
From the hauen where their shippes be.
And some thought moste commoditee,
For best exployt by nyght pryuely,
Toward Troye towne that stode but fast by,
Proudely to sayle with their shyppes all.
And some sayde great peryll might be fall,
Towarde night for take the sea,
Lest with derkenesse they ennosed bee.
In their passage knowynge not the waye.
Wherof great harme after fall maye.
And thus diuers of opynyon,
Procedyng not to no conclusyon,
For in effecte their purpose not ne helde,
But styl abyden lodged in the fyelde.
Lyke as they had entryked be with drede.
¶Tyll on a daye the worthy Dyomede,
Of the grekes seynge the cowardyse,
Euen thus he his counsayle gan deuyse.
¶Syres quod he that be here now present,
If that he lyste all by one assent,
Goodly consyder aduertyng prudently,
What I shall saye tofore you openly,
Whiche of knighthode haue so noble name,
sothly me semeth we oughtē haue gret shame,
Whiche holde our selfe so mighty & so stronge,
[Page]And in this lande soiourned haue so longe,
Nigh all this yeare and dursten in no wise,
Remoue hense for very cowardise.
What haue we do nought elles certaynly,
But to our foen graunted folyly,
Euen at their lust space and liberte,
To make theim stronge and oportunite,
Vs to withstande playnly at the hande,
And so they will ye may well vnderstande.
¶For daye by daye to our confusiowne,
They sought waies full wisely vp & downe,
To get theim helpe in the meane space,
And theim enforced aboute in euery place,
Their large Cite with barres & with palis.
Their walles mascued and agayn our skalis,
Trusteth theron made great ordinaunce.
And with all this of our gouernaunce,
They haue espyed seyng that for drede,
We haue no herte manly to procede,
In our purpose to hold with them the werre.
And aye the more they se that we differre,
The more they will catchen hardinesse.
Vs to resyste with al their businesse.
Also I se and trust it veryly,
That if we had afore hand manfully,
As we began knightly forth contynued,
Our Iourney had better be fortuned.
If sodaynly with stronge and mighty hande,
They vnauysed we had into their lande,
Without abode afore this time ariued.
Of which a while we must be depriued.
And delayed where fyrst the victorye,
To our honour with palme of high glory,
We might sothly ne had be our slouthe,
Our will complyshed this the playne trouthe
Where maugre vs or we to lande ariue,
With strōg defēce they will agayne vs striue.
And put vs of or we the stronde may win.
For aye the more we tarye to begin,
The more in sothe for me list not lye,
We put our selfe echone in Ieopardye,
What should I sayne or fage from ye trouthe.
For our tarying and our cowarde slouthe,
Are likely after to tourne vs to great sorowe.
Wherfore betimes on the next morowe,
My counsayle is our ankers vp to pulle.
In this matter no longer that we dulle.
But to enarme our shippes for the werre,
And at the vprise of the morowe sterre,
Let vs ordayne with knightly apparayle,
Out of thys hauen with the winde to sayle.
Of manly herte and lusty freshe courage.
Our course holdinge and our right passage,
Towarde Troye and landen openlye.
What euer fall for truste sykerlye,
Without scarmishe we may not ariue.
For they of Troye descende will as bliue,
Like manly men to mete vs in the berde.
But for all that let vs not be aferde,
But dreade avoyde and manhod set afore,
That cowardise ne entre at no bore.
For to adaunt the manhode of your herte.
And with that worde grekes gan aduerte,
The manly counsayle of this Diomede,
And in effect to procede in dede,
Vnto the poynt and for nothinge wyll spare,
And in what wise anone I will declare.

¶How the grekes lāded tofore Troy, where they were stoutly fought with all. Ca. xxi.

THe next morowe wonderly betime,
Or Phebus rose longe or it was prime,
Whan it began full merily to dawe.
The grekes hoost to shipward ginnen drawe,
With manly herte fully deuoyde of drede,
Onely through comforte of this Diomede.
But alder first anone as they awake,
The lordes wisely gan their counsayle take,
And concluded amonge theim euerichone,
Which of their shippes shulde ye formest gone,
And on the sea how they shoulde theim guye.
So to ariue that no man theim aspye.
This was deuised at a certayne marke.
The night past at singing of the larke,
Grekes ben shipped without more tarying.
Both high and lowe rathe in the dawning.
¶And first tofore an hūdred shippes of toure
Stuffed with many worthy werrioure,
Gan proudly sayle as they had in charge,
And theyr baners brode bright and large,
Were displayed out on euery side,
As they departe the fomy wawes wyde.
That to sight whelmen vp so grene.
And next to theim for werre enarmed clene,
¶Another hondred folowed fast by.
Which bare their sayles passing proudly.
In which there was ful many worthy knight
[Page]Armed in mayle and in plates bryght.
And after foloweth hooly their nauye,
That as I trowe such a companie,
Of worthy knightes and lordes of degree,
Was neuer afore sene vpon the see.
And Eolus was to them fortunate,
And eke Neptune made tho none debate,
wt winde nor trouble amōge ye sterne wawes,
The attempre wether ful mery to thē dawes.
That in a tide as they sayled tight,
Of Troye towne they caught anone a sighte.
Wherof in herte full glad and light they be.
But whan Troians first their shippes se,
So proudely sayle a litell from the stronde,
And sawe how they cast thenn for to londe,
They bode no more but arme theim hastely,
In plate and mayle and Iackes richly,
With Irous herte and that was done anone,
And toke their horse & forth in hast they gone
Out at the gates and made no tariynge,
For they ne bide prince duke nor kinge.
Nor other lorde to guyde theim or gouerne,
But hast theim forth so many & so yerne,
Through out the felde so great a multitude,
Amonges whom were no folkes rude,
But manly men thriftely be sayne.
So clenly armed on the large playne.
That when ye grekes gan theim first beholde,
The great nomber made their hertes cold.
For there was none so manly theim amonge,
So yonge so freshe so hardy nor so stronge.
Of high estate nor of low degre,
That he ne was astoned for to se,
The hardy Troiās so proudly down descend.
To let Grekes that they not assende.
That well they wist and seme vtterly,
There was none other meane tariue by,
But onely death or manly for to fight,
Or cowardly take theim to the flight.
For other conduyte playnly none there was.
But sharpe sworde and speres in this case.
Tyll sodaynly the hardy fierse kinge,
Prothesalius which in his gouerninge,
Formest of all an hundred shippes ladde,
Gan hast him for Ire that he hadde,
To win the lande first if it would be.
To mete with theim so great desyre had he.
But such a winde gan in the sayle driue,
Of his shippes whan he shope to ariue▪
That he vnwarely s [...] vpon the londe.
On the getteys and the drye sonde,
That his shippes shiuered all asonder,
And some dreynt to broke here and yon [...]er.
And deuoured of the wawy see,
That it was routhe and pyte for to se.
For greater parte as tho gone to wrake,
And whiles some were busy for to take.
The drye lande with filth and mudde ylade,
Troians of theim ful cruell slaughter made.
Maugre their might grekes so constrayned,
That wt their blud the wawes were ystayned
So mortally that sothly to beholde,
Amonge the sonde pale dead and colde,
The grekes lye with woūdes freshe & grene.
And all the eyre withe shote of arowes kene,
Yshadowed was ye Phebus beames bright,
Vpon the soyle was derked of his light.
And newe alway Troians theim assayle,
That to grekes playnly this ryuayle,
So mortall was and so infortunate,
So vnwelfull and disconsolate,
So vndisposed through infelicitee,
That I trowe neuer erst out of see,
Ne came none hoost more harder to the londe.
But for all that grekes ne wolde wonde,
For lyfe nor death manly to aryue.
And so befelle of aduenture as blyue,
¶Thre hundred shyppes ye next after sewe,
Aduysedly and in a tyme dewe,
Be entred and in haste not to faste.
And stryke sayle and their ankers caste.
For they were there strongly enbatayled,
In their londyng lest they were assayled,
And wisely fyrst they sette their Arbalasters,
And their gonners and their best archers.
With pauysers for to go aforne,
Knightly to land though troiās haddē sworn,
The contrary proudely them to lette,
Yet for all that fyersly vp they sette,
The grekishe shote made them to withdrawe.
And many of them on the lande laye slawe.
That maugre them the strōde they recure.
And suche as myght moste manfully endure,
Was sette afore tyll they the lande haue take.
And all attones suche assaute they make,
Vpon Troyans and tho began the fyght.
When Prothesylaus ye noble worthy knighte,
Wonder lyfely and ryght passyng stronge,
[Page]With the grekes that entred in amonge.
The hardy troians & euery where thē sought
For he of armes meruayles on thē wrought,
Thilke daye through his worthinesse,
That many Troyan he brought in distresse,
Where as he went they felt full vnsofte.
Through whose manhod grekes were alofte,
For thilke daye no had his knighthod be,
The grekes had in great aduersite,
Be vanquished by fatall purueyaunce,
And finally brought vnto vttraunce.
Yout abacke playnly this no lye,
But what auayleth all his chiualrye.
His worthinesse or his fierse courage,
What might it helpe or do auauntage.
Syth. vii. thousande grekes had ado
With an hundred thousād Troians tho.
It meruayle was how they might endure,
In any wise the stronde to recure.
Or so fewe for to holde a felde,
But in theim selfe one thinge they behelde,
Full prudently whych tho gaue theim herte,
That they sawe they mighten not asterte,
To scape with life if they woulden fle.
For at their backe was nothing but the see.
And them to fore an hoost so great and huge,
And other waye was there no refuge,
But dye attones or fight manfully.
Wherfore they cast and shope theim knightly,
Like manly men their liues rather ieoparte,
Than cowardly from their foen departe.
To lese their grounde and drenchen in the see.
And thus as longe as it would be,
Grekes defende theim for aboue their might,
Albe that many killed were in this fight.
That the streames of their red bloud,
Ran in the sonde large as any flode.
So cruelly Troians on theim set.
With spere & swerd ful sharpe ground & whet.
That routhe was and pyte for to thinke,
Till they almost droue theim to the brinke.
Where the grekes in mischiefe and distresse,
In great anguishe and passing werinesse,
Theim selfe defende mate and full ywery.
Where they shoulde haue peryshed vtterly,
Recureles in sothe for euermore,
Ne had Archelaus and worthy Prothenor,
From their shippes aryued vnto lande.
Of sodayne happe with theim for to stande.
And yet they had full great aduersyte,
For to ariue through the cruelte,
Of the Troians but yet the lande they win.
And grekes than cruelly begin,
Agayne their foen to standen at defence,
With manly force and with great violence.
Tho gan encrease the blody werre newe,
That all ye soyle depeynted was wt the dewe.
That first was grene tourned into red,
On eche side so many one lay deade.
Vpon the grounde of his life depryued.
¶But duke Nestor all sodaynly ariued,
With his knightes fell and full Irous,
And of herte right melancolious.
With his speres and archiers out aside,
He entred in sterne and full of pride.
With sworde & are grounde sharpe and kene.
They ran yfere and met vpon the grene,
And hoked arowes alway flewe amonge,
And shaftes shiuer brast and tourne wronge.
And with their toles steled and well whet,
The longe daye they haue togither met.
And the slaughter newe alwaye began.
On euery halfe of many worthy man.
With woundes large and despytous.
¶For Prothenor and king Archelaus,
With swerdes stiffe among the renges kerue,
That many Troian made for to sterue,
They were that daye so passingly Irous.
And theim tauenge inly desyrous,
Neuer seasing in their pursewing,
¶And to releue theim Alagus the kinge,
Ylonded is and eke king Attalus,
Which on Troians were full enuious.
Brenning of ire as the fiery glede,
And vpon theim of very olde hatrede,
With their knightes sodeynly be fall,
And in their ire bitterer than gall,
Cruelly there they their foen oppresse,
And of assent did their businesse,
Maugre theim backwarde to resorte,
Amide the felde as I can reporte,
There was no choyse so they were cōstreyned
Of very force and of manhode payned,
To withdrawe to their confusiowne.
But than in hast downe from Troye towne,
Of worthy knightes freshly armed newe,
With deuyses of many sondry hewe,
Without abode shortly to conclude,
[Page]There came downe so great a multitude,
Eche his armes depaynte vpon the shylde,
That in their comming glittereth al the felde,
Of their armure as the sonne bryght.
And whan that they were entred in to fight,
Grekes metynge felly by enuye,
They sette vpon fret with melancolye.
With such a will of herte and of courage,
With such furye in their mortall rage,
That to accorde was none other mene.
But slaught and death theym to go betwene.
Thrugh stroke of axe of dagger and of spere.
That of force compelled the grekes were,
Theim retourne backwarde to the stronde.
To whose rescuse anone there came to londe,
The king Vlixes with his hole nauye.
And full knightly wyth his chiualrye,
Towardes Troians enhasteth him anone.
And of one herte the grekes with him gone,
And theyr courage hooly they resume,
And gan their foen felly to consume.
Vnto the death their domage to reuenge.
That no wight may iustly theim chalenge,
Of manhode so well they haue theim borne.
To acquite again their harmes done beforne
At which time like a fierse Lyowne,
Amonge Troians ranging vp and downe,
Vlixes wente with his swerde in honde.
He killeth sleeth and knightly gan to fonde,
Thilke daye like a man be founde.
And here & there with many mortal wounde,
Vpon Troians he wrought all this wracke.
Thē bering downe on fote & on horse backe.
In his ire his strokes were so kene.
¶At which time worthy Philomene,
Lorde and king of Pafflagonye,
Whan he behelde with his companye,
So many Troian of Vlixes slawe,
Towardes him anone he gan him drawe,
On horse backe and with a spere rounde,
Out of his sadyll bare him to the grounde.
But Vlixes rose vp anone right,
Taking his horse lyke a manly knight,
The which anone as Philomene hath sayne,
Toke eft a spere and rode to him agayne.
So mightely and with such violence,
That fynally there gayneth no diffence,
But that he smote him euen through ye shelde,
The which flewe asonder in the felde.
And through his plates without any fayle,
The spere head and rested in the mayle.
That forged was of stele ful shene & bright,
Which to perce the spere head hath no might.
So trewly made was the haberiowne.
But wt that stroke Vlixes was bore downe.
Yet efte agayne he hasteth vp anone,
Ne of this stroke herme felt he none.
And raught a spere sharpe whet & ygrounde,
And Philomene he gaue such a wounde,
With all the myght of his armes twayne,
Of yrous herte with so great a payne,
That through his sheld both ye plate & maile,
He smote him vp through his auentayle,
Into the gorge that the stocke gan glyde,
That from his horse he fell downe asyde,
Full peryllously pyght vpon his head.
His knightes wenyng sothly he were dead.
Which toke him vp and layde him on a shelde,
And bare him home in hast out of the felde.
With great daunger or they might him wyn,
Through the grekes with their lord to twyn.
And for Troians supposed sykerly,
That Philomene withouten remedye,
Had be dead they were astoned all.
That if this case that daye ne had befall,
Of Phylomene grekes on the stronde,
Had be outrayed arruing vp to londe.
Through the knighthod this is doubtles.
Of Phylomene whom that Vlyxes,
Vnhorsed hath with a mortall wounde,
In knightly wyse Troians to confounde,
Wherof they were astoned euerychon.
¶But Thoas than and Agamenon,
Of Grekes hooste lorde and emperour,
Aryued is vnto theyr socoure.
With all his knightes and Menelaus,
And eke the worthy Thelamonious.
Called Ayax is to lande come.
And they at leysure haue theyr horse nome,
While other grekes Troians occupye,
Sore fighting and they gan fast hye,
Towardes theim making no delay,
All in a frushe in all the hast they may,
They ran yfere and their speres bracke,
With herte enuyous vpon horse backe.
There myght men the worthy knyghtes se,
On their stedes eche at other flee.
With styffe swordes shaftes great & rounde.
[Page]With hedes square the pointes kene grounde.
There myght men se in their furyous tene,
So many knightes dead vpon the grene.
But most the slaughter and confusyowne,
Fell thilke time of theim of the towne.
The grekes were so myghty and so stronge.
And in the felde this contynueth longe,
¶Til Prothesylay the stronge mighty king.
Which all the daye in skarmishe and fighting.
Full lyke a knyght had occupyed be,
Againe Troians in his cruelte,
Of manhode onely and of worthinesse.
Of aduenture in his werynesse,
Him to refreshe and to taken eyre,
And to abrethe him making his repeyre,
To the stronde where he did aryue,
Where as he thought his herte gan to ryue,
Of cruel yre and also of pyte,
That he hath caught onely for to se,
His men slayne endlonge on the stronde.
And some of theim comyng vp to londe,
Dreynt in the sea amonge the flodes depe.
For whych thinge he gan anone to wepe,
Full pyteously all were it not aspyed,
Whose wofull eyen might not tho be dryed,
For the constreynt which sat so nygh his hert.
Till at the last amonge his paynes smerte,
So cruell yre gan his herte enbrace,
That sodaynly with a despytous face,
Without abode thought how that he,
Vpon theyr death would auenged be,
Or finally attones with theim deye.
And on his stede he toke the right weye,
Towarde his foen ful yrous in his rage,
And line right he holdeth his passage,
Swift as grayhounde yt renneth out of lese,
And where he sawe that greatest was ye prefe,
He preceth through amiddes of the felde,
And with the sworde yt in his hande he helde,
That grounde was to kerue and to byte,
Full mortally aboute him gan he smyte.
That these Troians might him not asterte,
That he ne ryueth some vnto the herte.
And some he woundeth sothly to the death,
And some he made yelden vp the breath.
And some also vnhorseth cruelly.
And whom he met that daye vtterly,
From his horse he made him to alyght.
For where he rode they fled out of his sighte,
And his presence as the death eschewe,
But styll in one he gan theim after sewe.
In his chase lyke as a wood lyon,
For thus he playeth with theim of the towne.
TYll Perseus of Etheopye kinge,
Came from the Cyte sodaynly riding,
With many a knyght and many lyuely man,
At whose coming of newe there began,
A freshe skarmyshe furyous and wood.
That many greke that daye lost his blode.
So fell assaute Troians on theim make,
Amonge theim the Ethiopes blake.
To manly bare thē fighting here and there,
That where the Troians were afore in fere,
Remounted be and of newe assured,
yt through their helpe they haue ye feld recured
And made theim lese also much agayne,
As they tofore wonnen on the playne.
For they so hole and so mightely,
Kept theim togyther and so auysely,
Gouerned theim with glaue spere and shelde,
That grekes were compelled in the felde,
Maugre who grutche of necessyte,
To the stronde backwarde for to flee,
Almost dispayred mate and comfortles.
But in that while kinge Pallamides,
To theyr rescous came to aryuayle,
All lusty freshe entreth into battaile,
With his knightes and his hole maynee.
Taking their horse tho fast by the see,
And proudly thense embushed all at ones,
With spere & swerde yground for the nones,
By wise gouernement in their doinge.
Haue so oppressed at their in coming,
The manly Troians that it was a wonder,
To se theim lye slayne here and yonder.
And this continueth til amonge the prese,
Of auenture that Pallamides,
Brenning aye in his furious hete,
Amid the felde happeth for to mete,
A worthy knight called Sygamon,
Which brother was to the kyng Menon.
Neuewe also as Guido doth reherse,
This manly man to the kinge Perce.
Which Grekes had that daye sore oppressed,
By his knighthod as it is expressed,
For he the grekes to his worthinesse,
Had oft sithes brought in great distresse.
[Page]The same daye to his great encrease.
¶But of Fortune alas Pallamydes,
As I you tolde hath in the fyelde him mette.
And with a spere square and sharpe whette.
Whan he of knighthod was most in his pride,
He rode at hym and smote him through ye side,
And with that last deadly fatall wounde,
From his stede he bare hym to the grounde.
And on the playne of his bloud all red,
Pallamydes lefte him pale and dead,
Amonges them that of Troye were.
And forth he rode & bare downe here & there,
All that euer in his waye stode.
He was on theim so furyous and wood.
Maugre Troians tofore him on the playne,
Made resorte to the walle agayne,
His manly knightes alway fast by,
On him awayting ful ententifely.
Redy to honde at euery great emprise,
But tho began the noyle to aryse,
The wofull clamour and the pyteous crye,
Of theim of Troye the which vtterly,
Agayne grekes mighten not sustene.
The mortall swerde was so sharpe and kene,
Of the noble worthy famous knyght,
Pallamydes that with his great myght,
The longe daye hath yborne him so,
Agayne his foen and so knightly do,
In his persone through his high renowne,
That chased hath almost to the towne,
Troians echone and manly made theim flee.
The noyse of whom is entred the Cite,
The hydous crye and the mortall shoute.
¶Wherof amened Hector yssueth oute,
Furyously in all the hast he can,
The son of Mars this knyght this māly mā,
Of all worthy yet the worthiest.
That euer was and the hardiest.
For as Phebus with his beames cleare,
Amonge the sterres right so did he appeare,
Excellyng all in stele armed bryght,
On whom it was a very heauenly syght.
For it was he that both nigh and terre,
Of worthinesse was the lode sterre.
The whych whan he entred into felde,
Like as I reade bare that daye a shelde,
The fyelde of which was of pure golde,
With thre Lions in storye as is tolde.
Of whose coloure is made no mencion,
But as I fynde by discripcion,
They were passant if I reporte a ryght,
Borne on the brest of this Troian knyght.
That was ye ground & rote of high prowesse.
And floure accompted of all worthinesse.
The which so manly without more abode.
Amonge his knightes to the grekes rode,
So lyke a man that they in his cominge,
Astoned were as he gan in thringe.
Amonges thē which killeth downe & slethe,
And whom he met there was not but death,
Afore his swerd grekes go to wrake.
And their wardes of knightly force he brake,
Maugre theyr head & seuered thē a sonder,
And bare all downe ridyng here and yonder.
And casually he meteth in his waye,
¶Prothesylaus whych all the longe daye,
Had sore fought agaynst theim of Troye.
And slewe all tho that comen in his waye.
This hardy knyght this worthy fierse kinge,
Whych on Troians was euer pursewyng,
He had to theim so hertely great enuye.
The whych thinge whan Hector gan espye,
And of his knyghthod gan to taken hede,
Towardes him tho turneth he his stede,
And line right of hasty Ire he rode,
And with his swerde disteyned al with blode,
He cloue his head through his basenet.
With such a might that his stroke nas let,
By force of mayle nor of thicke plate,
But fynally as was his mortall fate,
the swerd of Hector thrugh nerue bone & vain
This worthy kynge parted hath on twayne.
For vtterly there gayneth none armure,
Agayne the stroke of Hector to endure.
But that this kynge so full of worthinesse,
Stronge mighty and of great hardinesse,
Receyued hath his last fatall wounde.
And lyeth now dead parted on the grounde.
And Hector forth amonge the grekes rideth,
And whosoeuer his stroke so abydeth,
Refute was none nor diffence but death.
And many greke thus that daye he sleyth,
For whych of theim tho in his waye stode,
His sharpe swerde he batheth in his blode.
That also ferre as they might him se,
As the death from his swerde they fle.
So mortal vengeaunce vpō thē he wrought.
And many a greke at his felowe sought,
[Page]And gan enquere what he might be,
For all their lyfe they coulde neuer se,
None so knightly haue him in battayle.
And playnly dempte as by supposayle,
It was Hector the noble warryour.
Whiche of knighthode bare away the floure,
Amonge all that euer yet were borne.
For there nas greke that him may stād aforne
Of all that day he gan them so enchace,
To the stronde euen afore his face.
For they ne durste his mortall stroke abyde,
And when he had this on euery syde,
The grekes chaced to the wawy sea,
Wounded and mate in great aduersyte,
Then him to rest this Troyan knight anone,
Lyke Mars himselfe home to Troye is gone.
AT whose partynge grekes efte presume,
Manly agayne their hertes to resume.
And of newe their fomen to assayle.
And to inparte if it wolde auayle,
Lyfe and death to sette at outraunce,
On fortunes lyst if she wold auaunce,
Their parte agayne in recure of the fyelde.
And thē enforce with might of spere & shielde,
Anone forthwith and maken no delay,
To wynne agayne on Troyans if they maye.
For .viii. tymes sythen they begonne,
The felde they haue that day lost and wonne.
Lyke as fortune lyste to do their cure,
Vp or downe for to tourne her eure.
For as her whele went about rounde,
Right so that day they wan & lost their groūd.
But specially they weren most desmayde.
Whē Hector came which hath thē so outraide,
Thrugh his knighthod made their hertꝭ ryue,
And to resorte where they dyd aryue.
And thus continued mauger all their myght,
While in the fielde was this Troyan knyght.
¶Tyll Phebus chere gan to westre downe,
That he repayred is into the towne,
Whiche had grekes wrought afore full yll.
¶But now the hardy cruell fyres Achyll,
Aryued is with his knyghtes all,
Myrmydones whom men are wonte to calle.
Whyche from the sea taken haue the playne,
At whose cōmynge grekes haue agayne,
The fyelde recured and put them selfe in prese
Only through helpe of worthy Achylles.
Whiche is so felly Troyans fall vpon,
That he of them hath slayne full many one.
For thre thousande in stele armed bryght,
With hym he brought redy for to fyght.
Knyghtes echone full worthy of renowne.
Whiche with Achylles grekes champyowne,
Haue mercilesse in their crueltee,
Slayne many Troyan out of the Citie.
They were so feruent in their mortall Ire.
So enuyous of hate to desyre,
Newe and newe for to shede their bloud.
For Achylles thought it dyd him good.
With his sworde ye Troians bloud to shede,
And on the soyle to se them lye and blede.
Rowthlesse in his melancolye.
For he to them hath so hote enuye,
Without their deth that it may not quenche.
And he his sworde ful depe hath made drenth,
Throughout the day in the Troyans bloud.
And batheth it as it were in a floude.
Whiche forged was and ywhette so knene.
That many ryuer sothly on the grene,
Ran here and there of the hurtes sore.
And with his knyghtes alway more & more,
Pursued them afore hym as they flee.
Harde to the walles of Troye the cytee.
Where dolefully they made a pyteous crye.
And in this whyle I fynde in the storye,
¶The grekes hoost hooly is aryued,
Lyke in Guydo as it is descryued.
Of men of armes suche a multytude,
And of knightes shortly to conclude,
That from their shyppes of newe landed be,
That they of Troye astoned were to se,
And abashed gan to wexen all,
For sodaynly there gynneth on them fall,
On euery halfe passyngly great prese.
And euer in one this hardy Achilles,
With his sworde made their sydes red,
For here and there laye the bodyes dead,
He wounded some at entre of the gate,
And knightly there with them he gan debate.
And furyously this fell cruell knyght,
The chyldren slewe in their fathers syght.
That to beholde it was great pyte,
And yet the slaughter tho greater had be,
Numbrelesse of them of the towne,
Perpetually to their confusyowne,
Lykely for euer to haue be ouercome,
[Page]¶If Troylus ne had to rescuse come.
Yenge, freshe, lusty, and inly desyrous,
With whom come Paris and Deiphobus,
And many worthy their partye to socoure,
So that the grekes tho ne myght endure,
Agaynst them to standen at deffence.
For all their pryde nor maken resystence.
Worthy Troylus so well yt time hym quytte.
For this in soth what greke that he hytte,
Outher he maymeth or he made hym deye.
Wherfore as deth they fled out of his weye.
And fyerse Achylles with his companye,
For it was nyght homewarde gan hym hye.
Towarde grekes with glorye and honoure,
And they receyue hym lyke a conquerour.
Whiche at that tyme so happely were mette.
¶And they of Troye haue their gates shet.
And made thē strong throughout al ye towne,
¶And in this tyme kyng Agamenowne,
Yserched hath a place couenable,
Which to him was thought most agreable,
By liklyhod and most conuenient,
For euery lorde to pytchen there his tente.
And in a fylde that was full large of space,
Moste competent as for lodgyng place,
In dewe scyte sette for the Cite,
Eche lorde was signed where as he shulde be.
¶And gan anone ordeyne mansyons,
Pytched their tentes and pauyllyons,
And such as there might no Tentoryes haue,
From storme and rayne them selfe for to saue,
They deuysed other habytacles.
Tiguryes and smalle receptacles,
To shroude them in and all the night also,
From their shyppes they hadden moche ado.
Or they might well haue their horse to lande,
And to ordeyne where they shulden stande.
And they also busye for to carye,
Other thynges that weren necessarye,
And nedefully vnto a syege longe.
And eke they made tye their shyppes stronge,
For in the porte their ankers haue they caste.
And of assent they busyed them full faste,
For to confyrme of one entenciowne,
To set a syege tofore Troye the towne,
And thervpon a bounde assured faste,
For to abyde whyle their lyfe many laste.
Fynally without repentaunce.
And prudently they made their ordynaunce,
As they best coulde all the longe nyght,
They bete their fyres which brennen wonder light,
And at a space deuyded fro the fyres,
They sette vp lyke to these barriers,
And rounde about where their lodgyng was,
They paled them all the fyelde compase.
And to acheue the fyne of their purpose,
They slyly wrought & kept thē selfe aye close.
¶And the kynge that no treason fall,
Let make watche without his tentes all.
Of suche as had rested them afore.
And his mynstrelles he made ouermore,
As sayth Guydo all the longe nyght,
To kepe their tydes tofore the fyres bryght.
Meryly to sowne their Instrumentes,
And them he made reste in their tentes,
That had afore wery be of fyghte.
And in the sea were faynted of their might.
And others eke he made in their armure,
Awayte wysely agayne all aduenture.
That no deceite were founde vpon no syde.
¶And thus this kyng knightly can prouyde
In his aduyce that nothyng hym escape.
And al the night I fynde how he dyd wake.
¶Tyll on the morowe that the rowes red,
Of Phebus chare gonne for to sprede,
And thus eche thynge disposed as it ought,
I wyll procede to tellen how they wrought.
Ceryously without and eke within,
With your support the thirde boke begyn.
Thus endeth the seconde boke.

The thyrde boke.

¶Of the first battaile wherin Hector shewed hym selfe in valyauncye tofore all other. Capitulo .xxii.

WVhen Aurora with her pale lyght,
Vnder ye mantel of the mirke night.
And the curtyne of her hewes fade,
Yshrouded was in the derke shade,
Abashed rud dy as I can defyne,
Only as she that is Femynyne,
For ashamed durste not tho be seyne,
Bycause she had so longe a bedde leyne,
With freshe Phebus her owne chosen knight.
For whiche she hydde her sothly out of syght.
Tyll his stede that called is Flegonte,
Enhasted hym aboue oure Orizonte.
And Appollo with his beames clere,
Hath recomforted her oppressed chere.
This to saye after the dawnynge.
When Tytan was vp in East rysinge.
Of his hete atempre and ryght softe,
Their hemisphere for to glade a lofte.
¶The same houre the Troyan champiowne,
Gouernour of werres of the towne,
Worthy Hector whiche in the Cite,
Nexte Pryam had of all the souereyntee,
The towne to guyde by knightly excellence,
For his manhode and his sapyence.
Of Troyan knyghtes lorde & eke cheuetaine,
Whiche hath commaunded in a large playne,
To hyghe and lowe he exceptynge none,
Kynges, prynces, and lordes euerychone,
The same morowe for to mete yfere,
In their araye to mustre and appere.
Lyke as they were of name and of estate.
Besyde a temple whylom consecrate,
To the goddesse that called is Dyane.
Moste honoured in this riche phane.
There to array them in all the haste they can,
Lyke the deuyse of this knyghtly man.
¶And in this playne passynge fayre to se,
Was sette amydde of Troye the Cite.
Smoth & right faire & full of freshe floures.
Where all the worthy noble werryours,
Of Troye towne togyther assembled be,
And many other to beholde and se,
The famous knyghtes arme them in yt place.
And some of them gan full streyte lace,
Their doublettes made of lynnen clothe.
A certayne folde that aboute hym goth.
And some also dempte moste sureste,
To arme them for batayle of areste,
And dyd on fyrst after their desyres,
Sabatons greues cussues with voyders,
A payre brech alder fyrst of mayle,
And some there were eke that ne wolde fayle,
To haue of mayle a payre brase.
And therwithall as the custome was,
A payre gussettes on a pety coote,
Garnished with golde vp vnto the throte.
A paunce of plate whiche of the selfe behynde,
Was shot and close and theron as I fynde,
Enuyron was abordure of smalle mayle,
And some chose of the newe entayle,
For to be surmyd of all their foes,
And hole breste plate with arere dors.
Behynde shet or elles on the syde,
And on his armes rynged not to wyde,
There were voyders fretted in the mayle.
With cordes rounde and of freshe entayle,
Vambras with wynges and rerebras therto,
And theron sette were besaguys also,
Vpon the head a basenet of stele,
That within was locked wonder wele,
A craftye syght wrought in the viser,
And some wolde haue of plate a bauer,
That on the brest fastned be aforne,
The canell pece more easy to be borne.
Gloues of plate of stele forged bryght,
And some for they wold armed be more light,
In thicke Iackes couered with satyne.
& some wolde haue of mayle wrought ful fine,
An hawberion of late wrought cassade,
That with weight he be not ouer lade.
Hym selfe to welde lyke a lyfly man,
And some wyll haue of chose geseran,
On his boublet but an hawberyon.
And some only but a sure gepon,
Ouer his polrynges rechinge to the knee.
And that the sleues eke so longe be,
[Page]That his vambras may be cured ner.
A pryckynge palet of plate the couer.
And some wyll haue also no vyser,
To saue his face but onely an aser,
And some wyll haue a payre of plates lyghte,
To welde hym well whan that he shall fyght.
And some wyll haue a target or a spere,
And some a pauade his body for to were.
And some a targe made stronge to laste,
And some wyll haue dartes for to caste.
Some a poilax headed of fyne stele,
And pycked square for to laste wele.
And some a swerde his enemye for to mete,
And some wyll haue a bowe for to shete.
Some an arblast to standen out a syde,
¶And some on foote and some for to ryde.
Array them selfe their fomen for to sayle,
And many one was busye for to nayle,
His felowes harneys for to make it stronge,
And to dresse it that it sette not wronge.
With poyntes tasshyes & other maner thinge,
That in suche case longeth to armynge.
I haue no connynge euery thynge to telle,
And vnto you were to longe to dwelle,
Where I fayle ye mot haue me excused,
For in suche crafte I am but lyttle vsed.
And ignoraunce doth my pennelette,
In order dewe my termes for to sette.
And ofte chaūgeth suche harneys and deuyse,
And ye that be therin expert and wyse,
Disdeyne not that I speake in this place,
Of their armynge for all is in your grace.
Right at your lyst correcte it euerydell.
¶And when Hector sawe that al was well,
And euery man armed and arrayed,
This worthy knight no longer hath delayed,
Aduysedly his wardes for to make,
And prudently badde they shulden take,
Their grounde in haste to put all in certayne,
And stande in order endlonge on the playne.
So that no man founde were recheles.
¶And the gate called Dardanydes,
Without abode Hector made vnshette,
And after bad that men shulde do fette,
To his presence that it were done in haste,
¶Cyncynabor his brother borne in baste.
And vnto hym fyrst of euerychon,
¶And to a lord that named was Glaucon,
The kynges sonne of Lycye and his heire,
With many baner auaunsed in the eyre,
To these two Hector gaue the guarde.
And gouernaunce of the fyrst warde.
In which he hath a thousande knyghtes sette,
With speres rounde and swordes kene whette.
And on their brest full many ryche shyelde,
And they were chosen out in all the fielde,
Amonge the beste that endure myght.
Agayne grekes manly for to fyght.
And vnto them Hector bad anone,
In goddes name that they shulden gone.
Out at the gate sothly as I rede.
¶And lest they fyll in mischiefe or in nede,
He assygned in the selfe place,
With manly chere to the kynge of Trace,
Wysely on hym to be awaytyng.
A thousande knyghtes to haue at his ledyng.
In a wynge knyghtly to abyde,
To wayte on hym vpon euery syde,
And with hym his sonne Archylogus,
Of his age a man ryght vertuous,
To fulfyll that longeth to a knyght,
For both he had herte and also myght.
¶And next to them Hector gan deuyse,
The next warde to the kyng of Fryse,
That in his time called was zantipus.
And vnto hym stronge and desyrous,
He assygned to wayte on his banere,
Thre thousand knightꝭ armed bryght & clere.
With whiche warde kyng Alcanus also,
Of Hector was commaunded for to go,
And to his byddyng he mekely dyd obeye,
And full knyghtly taken haue their waye,
Out at the gate passyngly arrayed.
Towarde grekes with baners all displayed.
And their penons vnrolled euerychone.
¶And Hector then assygned hath anone,
To the noble yonge lusty freshe and free,
His brother Troylus so goodly on to se.
Whiche in knyghthode had all suffysaunce.
The thirde warde to haue in gouernaunce.
With thre thousand knightes yonge of age,
Flourynge in force hardy of courage.
Suche as he was of custome wont to lede.
To whom Hector of very brotherhead,
Full goodly spake and sayd at his partynge.
Brother quod he my herte is so louynge,
Towardes the of very kyndnesse,
That though I haue in party gret gladnesse,
[Page]Of thy manhode that so ferre is kouthe,
And the knyghthode of thy grene youthe.
Yet doubtlesse I in my fantasye,
Ful ofte a daye stande in iupardye,
Of pensyfehead and in busye drede,
Whan I remembre vpon thy manhead.
Lest thy courage be to vyolent.
Of thy lyfe to be neglygent.
Thy selfe to put to ferre in aduenture,
Of surquidrye so moche to assure.
In thy force knightly to a sterte,
Euery peryll in thy manfull herte.
Hauynge regarde in suche mortall stryfe,
Of wylfulnesse nouther to death nor life.
Nor aduertence to thy sauacyowne
But as fortune turneth vp and downe,
Her whele meuable hye and after lowe.
In Martes Ire as the wynde doth blowe.
Whiche causeth me ful ofte syghe and thincke,
And to wake whan that I shulde wynke.
Reuoluynge aye thy hasty wylfulnesse.
But gentyll brother for any hardynesse,
Thus ylke daye vpon euery syde,
I praye the so wysely to prouyde,
For hate or yre thy foes pursuynge,
Not to excede more than is settynge.
But let prudence kepe the in a mene,
And wysdome eke holde agayne the reyne.
Of thy herte and thy fyerse courage,
That fyred haue thy grene tendre age.
Deuoyde of drede eche peryll to endure,
That our ennemyes of thy mysauenture,
Reioyce not myne owne brother dere.
And myghty Mars I praye of herte entere,
Thus euery day on the Troyans grounde,
From their handes the to kepe sounde.
Lyke as I wolde that he dyd do me.
¶To whom anone with all humilite,
In manly wise this yonge lusty knight.
This worthy Troylus in herte freshe & light,
Answered agayn and sayd with glad cheare,
Mine owne lorde and my brother deare,
And god tofore I fully shall obeye,
And all fullfyll what you lyst to seye.
Now vnto me of your gentilnesse,
And not decline through none recklesnesse,
In any poynt from your commaundemente.
But with hole herte in all my best entente,
I shall take hede and playnly do none other.
Than ye haue sayd mine owne lord & bother.
So lothe me were offende you or greue.
And in this wise he lowly toke his leue.
And forth he rode so lyke a manly knyght,
That to beholde it was a noble syght,
Amonge his men he haueth hym so wele.
Thre thousande knightes armed all in stele,
Enuyron rode with Troylus into fyelde.
And as that day he beareth in his shielde,
Passant of golde thre Lyons rychely.
The champe of asure wrought full craftly.
And by the gate he yssued out anone,
And with him ladde his knyghtes euerychon,
To the grekes holdyng the next waye.
¶And Hector hasteth all that euer he may,
Prudently his wardes to ordeyne.
And to the noble worthy bretherne twayne,
To kyng Hupon and Andelius.
Assygned he the story telleth thus,
The fourth warde to guye and to wysse.
And in the lande that called was Larysse,
The brethern two there had reigned longe.
And this Hupon was passyngly stronge,
And of stature lyke a chaumpyowne.
And saue Hector in all Troye towne,
Was none to hym egall as of myght.
More delyuer nor a better knight.
And on his foen passyng despytous.
Whiche with his brother Andelyus,
Foure thousande knyghtes hadde for to lede.
And seuen thousande sothly as I rede,
And to them lyke as wryte Guydo,
Worthy Hector assygned hath also,
One of his brothern called Dimarchus,
A noble knight in armes ryght famous.
And had in manhode passyng excellence,
And of Hector they taken haue lycence,
And rode their waye amonge all the prese,
Through the gate of Dardanides.
¶The fyfte warde to haue at his ledyng,
Was by Hector commytted to the kyng,
That of Cesoyne lorde and prynce was.
And to his brother called Pollidamas.
These Cysones were of hye stature,
And might in armes passyngly endure.
Vpon whom full many man behelde.
And their kyng bare nothynge in his shyelde,
But a fyelde of Gules as I fynde.
Of other sygne Guydo maketh no minde.
[Page]And forth he rode a full sterne pase,
This noble kynge and Pollydamas,
Whan they had of Hector lene take.
Whiche euer in one full busye was to make,
The syxth warde with all his diligence.
And to the kyng called Pretemense,
That was full worthy both in werre & peace,
¶And to a duke that hyght Sterepes,
Whyche was also full worthy of his honde,
He toke the folke of Poenye lande.
Them to gouerne in the fyelde that day.
The whiche people hath in custome aye,
Without plate hawberion or mayle,
On swyfte horse their fomen for to assayle.
With mighty bowes & arrowes sharpe groūd.
Through an harneys mortally to wounde.
And with this folke of Hector eke also,
Deyphobus assygned was to go.
In the fyelde to guyde them and to lede.
And on their waye they faste gan theim spede.
But or they passe by Dardanydes.
Full discretely Hector for them chese,
Panysers cladde in mayle and plate.
Them commaundyng at yssuyng of the gate,
And with the archers in to fyelde to gone.
And many worthy well armed euerychone,
To awayte on them that they were not lore.
For this folke that I of spake tofore,
Of Poenye hadden none armure.
But prudent Hector for to make them sure,
Out of Agrest the myghty regyowne,
Hath chosen out full worthy of renowne,
The best knightes of them euerychon.
¶And with the kynges Esdras and Phylon,
Assygned them for to taken hede.
To the fotemen when that they haue nede.
The whiche Phylon ordeyned full rychely,
Rode in a chere all of Yuery.
Of whyche the wheles wrought full curious,
Were of a tree ycalled Hebanus,
The whiche tree groweth ferre in Inde.
Blacke of hewe and also as I fynde,
When it is korne this tree wyll were anone,
Of his nature harde as any stone.
Whan it is graue eyther rounde or square.
And of pure golde roued was this chare.
Fret with perle and many ryche stones.
That suche an other I trowe now there none is.
In all this worlde if I shall not fayne,
And it was ladde of mighty knightes twaine.
Men of armes within eke and without,
Armed in stele rydyng rounde aboute.
These worthy kynges Esdras and Phylon,
And Hector hath called to hym anone.
One of his brethern what so that be falle,
To be guyde and leder of them all.
The name of whom was Pytagoras,
¶And to the great Troyon Eneas,
Of whom tofore made is mencion,
Hector by good deliberation,
The seuenth warde assygned hath to kepe.
And vpon stedes lusty for to lepe,
Of suche as were vsed moche to ryde,
Full manly knightes to haue by his syde.
Whiche with Ewpheny vnto Troye towne,
Come so ferre from their regyowne.
To succour them and that for Hectors sake.
And when they had of hym leue take,
They rode full proudely forth with Eneas.
Out at the gate a wonder knightly pase,
The brode fyelde tyll they haue atteyned.
¶And in this whyle Hector hath ordeyned,
Lyke myne auctour as I can reherse,
The eyght warde of the folke of Perce.
Worthy knightes manly and ryght wyse,
The whiche were committed to Paryse.
On him that day tawayte busyly.
To whom Hector tho full beningly,
Spake and saide thus at his departyng.
Oh brother myne in all maner thynge,
Whan thou arte passed by Dardanides,
This daye to ferre put the not in prese.
Amonge grekes nor in iupardye.
Lest thy toen in mischyefe the espye.
To whom they haue of olde and newe date,
In their hertes full freshe and mortall hate.
The fyre of which their brest hath so enbrased
That it were harde out to be araced.
Wherfore brother loke that thou euer be,
In any wise not to ferre fro me.
But kepe the nye that no misauenture,
Fall vpon the so that I may succoure,
This daye to the mine owne brother deare.
To whom Parys with full humble cheare,
Answered and sayd that in euery thinge,
He would obeye vnto his bidding.
And rode his waye anone with his meyne,
Into the felde out of the Cite.
[Page]The ninth warde in ordre for to dresse,
Whych he thought hym selfe for to lede,
In whych he put sothly as I rede,
Fiue thousand knightꝭ borne of Troy towne.
The worthyest and greatest of renowne.
And passyngly famous in knighthode.
Borne by discent on the Troians bloud.
¶And of his brethern taketh wt hym ten,
Suche as he knewe the most manly men.
That were forayne from stocke of regallye,
Out of the lyne borne in bastardye.
Whom Hector had in great chyerte,
For the knyghthod he could in theim se.
And whan he had by knightly purueaunce,
All his wardes set in gouernaunce,
Lyke Mars him selfe fast gan him spede,
Without abode for to take his stede,
Whych was in bokes called Gallathe.
Of all horse hauyng the soueraynte.
As ferre as men ryde in any coste,
Of whom Dares maketh so great a boste,
Of shape of heyght and also of fayrnesse,
Of strengthe of loke and of great swyftnesse,
So lyke an horse perfourmed out and oute,
And wt a wyer men might him tourne about.
Lyke as Dares maketh menciowne,
Of whō Hector rydeth through troye towne.
Armed at all that came him wonder well.
From foote to head full rychly euerydele,
That shone as bright as son on somers daye.
And to Pryam he helde the ryght waye,
And whan that he was come to the kinge,
He reherseth in ordre euery thynge,
How he hath done and all his ordynaunce,
And lowly sayd so it be plesaunce,
To your noble royall excellence,
I haue chosen with busy dylygence,
A thousand knightes full of suffysaunce,
With fyue hundred to haue attendaunce,
On your persone alway where ye be,
With all footmen that be in the Cyte,
That shall awayte on you euer in one.
Wherfore my lorde as fast as we are gone,
Lowly I praye to your worthinesse,
To sewe vs by good aduysenesse.
Out at the towne alway eke that ye,
Togyther kepe your knightes and meyne.
This I beseche with all my full myght,
Within the boundes where as we shall fight.
That ye suffer none of theim passe,
But kepe ye hole in the selfe place,
Atwyxe vs and this stronge Cyte,
If we haue nede that ye maye aye se,
Vs to releue kepyng you asyde,
And specially there for to abyde,
Where most is lyckly our partye to sustene,
For euer amonge there shal men go betwene,
Of our exployt the trouthe to reporte.
For which parte Mars lyst the fielde to sorte.
Of his power this ilke daye fatall,
For ye shal be our castell and our wall,
And our refuge to saue vs from all smerte,
And specially one thynge ye aduerte,
That no deceyt fraude nor treasowne,
Compassed be behynde to the towne,
Of our foen through our recklesnesse,
Whyles that we don hooly our busynesse,
Agaynst theim in the fielde to fight.
In all wise therto haue a syght.
That nothynge tourne vnto our domage,
Through their engine but worke as ye sage,
With victorye that we maye conclude,
So that grekes with fraude vs not delude,
By no engyne of vnware vyolence.
Hopyng alway that it is none offence,
To your highnes that I haue here sayde.
And with that worde Pryamus abrayde,
Beningely of cheare and countenaunce,
And sayde Hector my sothfast suffysaunce,
My fynall truste and supportacion,
In thy discreat disposycion,
Hooly I put as thou list ordaine,
For next god if I shall not fayne,
My fayth my hope and all my sikernesse,
And my welfare in very sothfastnesse,
Committed be hole into thy hande.
And gouernaunce playnly of my lande,
As thou ordaynest it must nedes be,
And this prayer I make nowe for the,
To the goddes aboue celestyall,
The to preserue in partye and in all,
From eche myschiefe and aduersyte,
That thou mayst home ayene to this Cite,
Repaire in honour with laude and victorye,
So that the praise renowne and memorye,
Of thy name be put in remembraunce,
Perpetually thine honour to auaunce,
And fare now well mine owne sonne deare.
[Page]And Hector tho with full humble cheare,
His leue toke and forth he rode anone,
Amonge his lordes & knyghtes euerychone,
As he that was the roote of noblesse.
Of knyghthode groūd of strengthe & hardy­nesse
The very stocke and therto inuincyble,
For as muche as it was possyble.
That nature myght to him graunt or kynde,
Touchyng manhode in bokes as I fynde,
He hadde in him soueraygne excellence,
And gouernaunce medled with prudence.
That nought asterte he was so wyse & ware,
And in his shelde I fynde that he bare,
Vpon his brest this Troian champyon,
The chyefe of golde of gowlys a lyon,
Depeynt therin and in his baner bete,
The selfe same and so amydde the strete,
He toke the waye to Dardanydes,
That to beholde huge was the prese,
Noyse of trumpettes and of claryons,
Baners vnrolled and longe freshe penons,
Of red and whyte grene blewe and blacke,
And in this wyse Hector hath ytake,
The felde wythout wt herte and hole entente,
As Mars him selfe had tho be presente.
And they that he as Guydo maketh mynde,
Rode with in warde that lefte was behinde,
Of his manhode he would not abyde,
But smote his stede sharply in the syde,
Of fell courage he hath his horse so payned,
The fyrste warde that he hath atayned.
By vale and hylle tofore in the frounteres.
Not astoned of the fell cheares,
Of the grekes nor platly not aferde,
But lyke a knyght euen afore theyr berde,
He gan prease in as theyr foo mortall.
¶And in this whyle vpon Troye wall,
In sondry places on the hygh toures,
As freshe besene as May is with his floures,
The ladyes be ascended of the towne.
So fayre so yonge standinge enuyrowne,
The quene Heleyne passyng fayre to sene,
The kinges doughters & goodly Pollycene,
And many other whych of womanheade,
In herte weren full of busy dreade,
Inly agaste and of feare afrayde,
Whan they behelde in the fyelde displayde,
The brode baners that some of tendernesse,
Some of loue and some of kyndnesse.
Pale and dreadfull for theyr lordes were.
And some theyr faces hyden eke for feare,
That were not bolde to lyfte vp theyr syghte,
For to heholde the armure cleare and bryght,
So glytterynge aye agayne the sonne shene,
Theyr hertes tender myght not sustene,
And in theyr dreade thus I lette theim dwel.
ANd of grekes forth I shall you tell.
Yf so be ye list abyde but a whyle,
For now must I my fordulled style,
Agayne dyrect to Agamenon.
Well maye I make an exclamacion,
On ignoraunce that staunt so in my lyght.
Which causeth me with a full cloudy syght,
In my makynge to speken of the werre.
For lacke of tearmes I must nedely erre,
Conningly my wardes for sette,
Cruell Alecto is busy me to lette,
The nyghtes doughter blynded by derknesse,
By crafte of armes the trouthe to expresse,
In ordre dewe a felde to descryue.
And Chauncer nowe alas is not alyue.
Me to refourme or to be my rede,
For lacke of whom slower is my spede,
The noble Rethor that all did excelle,
For in making he dranke so of the welle,
Vnder Pernaso that the muses kepe,
On which hylle I neuer yet might slepe,
Vnneth slombre for whych alas I playne.
But for all this there is no more to sayne,
Though my wede be not pollymyte,
As of coloures forth I wyll endyte,
As it cometh euen to my thought,
Playnly to write how ye kinge hath wrought,
The manly knight the great Agamenon.
Lyke as the latyn maketh mencion.
¶What trowen ye that he in his entente,
Was founde slowe other neclygente,
On grekes halfe his wardes for to make,
Nay nay not so for him lyst to wake,
That tyme more sothly than to slepe,
For lyke a kinge that daye the felde to kepe,
No neclygence myght his herte fade,
For in that daye I fynde that he made,
Syxe and twenty wardes by and by,
So well deuysed and so prudently,
That no man might amende his ordynaūce.
And of the fyrst he gaue gouernaunce.
[Page]To the manfull noble Patroclus,
That wt him ladde myn auctour telleth thus,
Myrmydones so myghty and so stronge,
With all the folke that to Achilles longe.
Besyde thylke that were of his meyne,
Whych that he brought out of his countre,
At his cominge to the siege of Troye,
And he rode forth with theim on his waye.
Into the syelde and made no delaye.
Now fell it so on the same daye,
That Achilles kept him in his tente,
And for sycknesse that daye out ne wente.
For his lechesse made him to abstene,
For his woundes freshe were and grene.
That he caught on the daye tofore,
Whych for to heale of theyr akyng sore,
He by counsayle kept him selfe close,
And from his bedde that daye not ne rose.
In hope onely the better to endure,
Whan that he was restored vnto cure,
But all his men he toke to Patroclus,
Which was in armes passyngly famous.
And by discent come of great kynrede.
And was also of hym as I reade,
Hoboundaunt of golde and of rychesse.
And ferre commēded for his gentilnesse,
And had a name of hygh dyscrecion,
¶Now were they aye of suche affection,
Of entyre loue trouthe and faythfulnesse,
So great desyre and inwarde kyndenesse,
Busy thynkyng and so great feruence,
So much frendship wt thoughtful aduertēce,
So huge brennyng so passyng amerous,
Betwyxt Achilles and this Patroclus.
That theyr hertes were locked in a cheyne,
And what soeuer if I shall not fayne,
The tone hath wrought as brother vnto bro­ther,
In herte it was confermed of the other.
For wyll and goodes weren both commune,
And to the death they euer so contune,
Without chaunge theyr loue so abode.
¶And Patroclus forth anone rode,
Into the fyelde with Myrmydones,
And in his tente abydeth Achilles.
¶The secounde warde to kinge Menon,
Assygned was by Agamenon.
¶And to the worthy kinge Ydumenee,
And to a Duke called Menestee,
Thre thousand knightes in stele armed clene,
Wyth all the folke that comen from Athene,
Assygned were wyth theim for to go.
¶The thyrde warde to king Ascalapho.
And to his sone that hyght Phylomene,
With the knightes that came from Cumane,
¶The fourth warde without more lettynge,
To Archelaus the noble worthy kynge,
To Prothenor and to Securydan,
Whych in his dayes was so stronge a man,
Assygned was holly to these three,
And all the knyghtes with theim for to be,
Of Boece the myghty lande famous.
¶The fyfth warde to kinge Menelaus,
With all the folke of the regyowne,
Called Spertence of full high renowne,
And of yles that were adiacent.
All these with the baner wente,
¶Of Menelay freshe and couragyous,
The .vi. warde to kynge Epystrophus,
Was assygned and to the kinge Gelyde,
With many worthy rydyng by his syde,
Of the prouynce and the famous yle,
That called is in Guydo Fordesyle.
¶The seuenth warde to Thelamonius,
Called Ayax the great kynge famous,
Was assygned shortly to termyne,
With the folkes that from Salomyne,
He with him brought and many another mo.
And foure Earles with hym went also,
¶Theseus and eke Amphymacus,
And the thyrde that called was Doxus,
And the fourth named Polyxarye.
The .viii. warde if I shall not tarye,
By good aduyse that daye assygned was,
Vnto the kinge that called was Thoas,
¶Ayax Cileus the .ix. warde tho ladde,
And the tenth king Philoctetes hadde,
¶And to the kinge the .xi. he did assigne,
That sothly was both of byrth and lyne,
So renowmed and of so great encrease,
The mighty kynge called Pallamides,
Kinge Naulus son highest borne of blode,
And Duke Nestor full famous in knighthod,
The .xii. warde ladde on grekes syde.
Melancolyke and surquedous of pryde.
And kinge Honux son of one Maberte,
Into the fyelde by hym selfe aparte,
In ordre hadde of wardes the thyrtene,
Proudly musterynge endlonge on the grene.
[Page]Agayne Troians redy for to fyght.
¶And eke the kinge that Vlyxes hight,
Ladde with him the fourtene as I rede,
¶And eke Humelius the kinge did lede,
The fiftenth mine auctour writeth thus.
¶And a Duke called Curibulus,
The sixtenth had in gouernaunce that daye,
In which the knightes of king Prothesylay,
Assygned were by great ordinaunce,
To enforce theim to do vengeaunce,
Vpon the death of their worthy kinge.
By Hector slayne at grekes ariuinge.
¶And kinge Rodus ladde the seuentene,
And he that was the kinge of Occymene.
¶The eyghtenth warde had at his ledinge,
He zantipus that was of Lyde kinge.
Had to kepe committed to his garde,
On grekes syde the .xix. warde.
¶And the twenty mine auctour lerneth vs,
Had the kinge called Amphimacus.
Like a kinge to guyde theim and to wysse.
And Philoctetes that kinge was of Larysse,
The one and twenty ladde eke as I reade,
The two & twenty hadde king Diomede.
¶And Eneus kinge of Cyparye,
That was whylom so noble and so worthy,
The thre and twenty had in gouernayle.
And the Troians proudly for tassayle,
The .xxiiii. with swerde spere and shelde,
¶King Prothecatus lad into the felde.
¶And Carpenor of Carpedye the kinge,
In werre expert and right wise in workynge,
The fiue and twenty riche and well besayne,
On grekes syde brought into the playne,
¶The syxe and twenty sothly and the laste,
As he that could se afore and caste,
Euerye thinge by good inspection,
The wise kinge the great Agamenon,
Had with him this prudent werriour,
As he that was ordayned Emperour,
Of grekes hoost as wysest of echone.
¶And in this wise forth the grekes gone,
In the felde with pompe full royall,
With thensignes and tokens marcyall.
Haue take their grounde passingly araied,
And on theyr standerdes richly tho displayed.
Brode baners and many freshe penowne,
Againe the winde ye made an hidous sowne.
And right dredfull playnly for to heare,
And there men sawe many cristes cleare,
And many tufte of golde and syluer shene,
Meynt with fethers red, whyte, and grene.
And deuises wonder meruaylous,
And such of folkes as weren amerous.
The tokens borne to shewe openly,
How they in loue brent inwardly.
Some high empryse that daye to fulfylle,
And there were herde the loude noyses shryle,
Ferre in the felde and the dreadfull sownes,
Both of trumpettes and of claryownes,
That kalendes bin of sheding out of blode,
And with the noise almoste for rage wood,
The fomy bridelles and the mouthes blede.
And furious neyhing of many bastarde stede.
¶Praunsyng of horse vpon eyther syde,
With the ensygnes that might be of pryde.
On grekes partye and on Troye also,
In knightly wise for to haue ado.
Euery warde standing in his place.
¶The first asunder but a lytell space,
Began to approche with all their ful entent,
And Hector tho ful vnpacient,
Formest of all on the syde of Troye,
The yre of whom no man might accoye.
But lyke a Lion in his hungry rage,
Yssued out furyous of vysage,
Towarde grekes on his mighty stede,
That with his sporres made his sides blede.
His knightly herte so inly was toforne,
Of mortall yre and as he rode forne,
Brenning full hote in his melancolye,
The whych thinge whan grekes gan espye,
¶Patroclus then withouten more abode,
Of surquedrye afore the wardes rode.
Out all toforne in both hoostes syght.
For to encountre playnly if he might,
With worthy Hector whan he him sawe a fer,
And as lyne right as is Dyameterre,
Rode vnto him in his hatefull tene,
And with a spere sharpe grounde and kene,
Throughout his shelde tho of enuyous rage,
He smote Hector without more domage.
Except onely that the head of stele,
That was afore whet and forged wele.
Through plate & mayle mightly gan to glace
But to the skinne for nothing might it race.
Albe it came wt passing violence,
Yet to Hector it done hath none offence,
[Page]Out of his saddell ones him to flytte.
For though that he sturdely him hitte,
He might not backward bēd or bow his chine
Nor on no partye make him to encline.
¶But fatally to his confusyon,
This mighty man this Troian champion,
In his Ire aye brenning more and more,
Vpon him the hate aye fret so sore,
Left his spere mine Auctour wryteth thus,
And with a sworde rode to Patroclus,
Auysed fully that he shall be dead,
And furiously gan aymen at his head,
And roue him downe there was no maner let
Into the brest through his bassenet,
As sayth Guydo with so great a payne,
That with his stroke he parted him ī twayne
His mortall swerde whetted was so kene.
That Patroclus myght not sustene,
Vpon his horse but fell downe to grounde,
As he that caught his last fatall wounde.
¶Beyng present his knyghtes euerychon,
And delyuerly vpon him anone,
Worthy Hector from his stede adowne,
Descended is like a wood Lyowne,
Of hatefull yre brenning as the fyre,
Hauing in hert inly great desyre,
To spoyle him of his armure there anone.
In which there was full many riche stone,
Both of rubies and of Saphyres ynde,
For that dayes playnly as I finde,
Kinges lordes and knightes this no naye,
To battayle went in their best araye.
And sothly Hector whan he first gan se,
The multitude of stones and perre,
On Patroclus so oryent and sheyne,
Vpon his arme he hinge his horse reyne,
The meane while while he of hole entente,
To catche his praye was so diligent.
Of couetise in theyr alder syghtes.
¶Tyll king Menō wt thre thousād knighꝭ,
Armed in stele rounde about him all,
Is sodaynly vpon Hector fall,
The dead corps of Patroclus to saue.
That his purpose Hector may not haue.
At lybertye the riche kinge to spoyle,
Which caused hym in angre for to boyle,
To whom the king that called is Menon,
Irous and wood sayde amonge echon,
Oh gredy Liowne Oh wolfe most rauinous,
Oh hatefull Tygre passing enuyous,
Of aueryce Oh beast insaturable,
And of desyre sothly vnstaunchable.
¶Vpon this praye thou shalt not now ye fede.
Go elles where to sewen for thy mede.
For trusteth well in conclusyon,
Fyfty thousande to thy destruction,
Of one entent playnly will not fayle,
Thine hatefull pryde attones for to assayle.
And sodeynly with speres sharpe whet,
On euery halfe they gan him besette.
Maugre his force his might & his manhode.
Enforsyng theim to reue him of his stede.
That sothfastly of great violence,
He was constrayned for all his strong defēce,
As sayth Guydo to fall vpon his kne.
But through his might and magnanimite.
He of manhode hath his horse recured,
And maugre grekes is so ferre assured,
In his strengthe and in his great might,
That he recured like a worthy knight,
His stede agayne amiddes of all his foen,
And right as lyne he rode to kinge Menon.
Full desyrous on him auenged be.
In his furye of hasty cruelte.
For therupon was set his hole delyte,
That in his mortall cruell appetite,
In very sothe he had him slayne anone,
Saue that the kinge that called was Glacō,
Came him to rescue with kinge Theseus.
And his sone that hight Archilogus.
As I haue tolde Menon to reskewe.
And thre thousande knightes gan him sewe,
Full assented attones in battayle,
For life or death Hector to assayle.
In awayte vnware on him to set.
But al this whyle with whō that euer he met,
With his sworde he killed and bare downe.
That fynally there gayneth no raunsowne,
For any greke that durste with him mete,
But or he went he felt it full vnswete,
¶He made a waye aboute him euery where,
That they him fledde as the death for feare.
For where he rode he made a patth ful plaine
And as I reade to Patroclus agayne,
He is repeyred to spoyle him if he might.
Amid the felde in the grekes syght.
As he that would his praye not lightly lete.
Till Idume the mighty king of Crete,
[Page]With two thousande cladde in plate & mayle,
Worthy knightes Hector to assayle,
Whiles that he was so inly desyrous,
As I haue tolde to spoyle Patroclus,
And newe agayne to his confusion,
Like as I finde came king Merion,
And or Hector might of theim take hede,
They of force reft him of hys stede.
That sothly he there was none other boote,
Compelled was for to fight on foote.
And of knighthod his herte he resumeth,
And wt his swerde about him he consumeth,
All that withstande both the horse and man.
And furyously this Troian knight began,
Armes legges and shoulders by the bone,
To hewe of amid his mortall fone.
That grekes might afore him not sustene,
And as I reade that he slewe fiftene,
Of theim that were busy him to take.
And such a slaught he gan among thē make,
That they ne durst abyde afore his face.
¶And Merion in the selfe place,
This meane while toke vp Patroclus,
With heuy cheare and face full piteous.
And on his stede he layd it him beforne.
And to his tente anone he hath it borne.
Alway grekes in their cruell mode,
About Hector furyous and wode,
Felly abode fyghting vpon fote,
Of which some felt it full vnsote.
That presumed vpon him to presse.
But of manhode they ne woulden cesse,
Him to beset rounde on euery side.
Hauing a trust in their great pride,
Fynally at mischiefe him to take.
For they dempt he might not escape,
Their handes shortly by none aduenture,
Nor his stede by lyklyhede recure,
For of force they casten him to let.
And all attones gan on him to set.
And specially amonge theim euerichone,
I finde in sothe how that there was one,
A grekishe knight of right worthy fame,
¶And Carion playnly was his name,
That him enforced Hector to oppresse,
Whan he was most in mischiefe and distresse.
Beset with grekes him enuyroning,
Tyll of fortune aye on him awaytinge,
The longe daye in that fell fight,
To his rescuse there came a Troian knighte.
Midde of grekes whan he was beset,
And hent two dartes sharpe and kene whet,
And furiously fyrst he shoke the toen,
And through ye herte he smote this Carion,
That the darte into the felde gan glide.
By playte & mayle throughout outher side.
That fatally of that deadly wounde,
This Caryon glode anone togrounde.
Amonge an hundred knightes of his ferys.
Afore conspyred with their fell chearis.
To haue slayne Hector by some maner waye.
But eft agayne this yonge knight of Troye,
Full delyuer raughte another spere,
And cast at one that he sawe yfere,
Auaunce him selfe on Hector in the felde
And through his plates playnly & his shelde,
Line right that he ne should asterte,
Of very might roue him through the herte.
¶And after that in all the hast he coude,
Vpon Troians he gan to crye aloude,
To enhaste theim knightly to succoure,
Worthy Hector that stode in aduenture,
Amonge grekes hauing no refute,
Sole he him selfe of helpe destitute.
At whych crye on grekes all vnware,
¶Fyrst of all came worthy Cincibare.
That brother was to Hector borne in baste,
Ridinge him selfe tofore in all haste.
And ye knightes of whom he tho was guyde,
Wonder proudly pricking by his syde.
Sodaynly together one and all,
In a froshe be on the grekes fall,
That had Hector rounde beset aboute.
And through manhode of this great route,
That be enbushed on theim at the backe.
Thre hondred knightes of which yt I spacke,
For astoned gan theim to withdrawe.
But thurty first cruelly were slawe.
And maugre theim Hector of manhede,
Amid the felde taken hath his stede,
And entred is in amonge the prees,
As he that daye of knighthode pereles.
While he helde his blody sworde in hande,
All tho that there in felde agayne him stande,
There was no helpe playnly nor no rede,
But that he brake and karfe a two the threde,
And the knotte of cruell Attropos.
Onely for he was let of his purpose,
[Page]At his leyser to spoylen Patroclus.
Therfore in Ire wood and furious,
Full cruelly grekes quytte he their mede.
Whiche from his face faste gan them spede.
Whose sharpe sworde bathed in theyr bloud,
Was dyed red for it dyd hym good,
Vpon them tho auenged for to be.
For that daye a Lyon played he,
Vpon grekes his manhode for to haunte.
For he their pryde so mortally gan daunte,
That they hym fledde where so that he rode,
Makyng all hote the streintes of their bloud,
Endlonge to renne and shede vpon ye grene.
¶Tyll the tyme the duke of great Athene,
That called was whylom Menesteus,
With thre thousande knyghtes full famous,
Of whom he was both lorde and guyde,
The fyelde hath take vpon the lefte syde.
For a deceyte in full secrete wyse.
¶Where Troylus was with ye folke of Frise.
Whiche hath that daye who so lyste to seke,
By his knighthode kylled many greke.
Lyke a Tygre gredy on his praye.
Troylus bare hym all the longe daye,
Sleynge of grekes many worthy knyght,
And whyle that he was busyest in fyght,
¶Agayne his foen with kyng Antipus,
And the kynge that hyght Alchanus,
Vpon grekes ylyche freshe and newe,
Making their sides all of blody hewe.
By one assent these thre through their māhed,
And specially vpon his bay stede,
Where so euer that this Troylus rode,
Euery greke that his sworde abode,
Sodaynly he made for to sterue.
Through their plates he gan so depe kerue.
¶And this continued tyll duke Meneste,
Of Troylus sawe the great cruelte.
And the slaughter that he of grekes made,
Of hasty yre with face pale and fade,
¶Hent a spere and threwe it in the rest.
And Troylus smytte euen amydde the brest,
So sternely that maugre his renowne,
To the earth anone he bare him downe.
In the myddes of his mortall foen,
That cruelly hym besette anone,
And hym to treyne layde out hoke and lase,
Rounde about in maner of compase.
With spere & darte and swordes forged bright
But he hym selfe deffendeth lyke a knight.
With great manhode his honour to auaunce,
Albe his lyfe was hanged in balaunce.
Where he stode and felte full vnswete.
In poynt of deth amonge the horse fete,
With great awayte of duke Meneste,
Howe this Troylus myght haue take be.
Of mortall hate castynge in his thought,
At myschyefe take that he escape nought.
On euery halfe he was so besette,
With sworde & spere kene grounde & whette.
Alone alas mortally bestadde,
They seased hym & forth they haue him ladde.
Tyll Mesers a worthy knight of Troye,
Gan to crye as he stode in the waye,
Sore abashed in ryght furyous wyse,
Oh ye noble worthy men of Fryse,
Manly knightes aye preued in the fyelde,
Moste renowmed both with spere and shielde
Consyder now vnto your hyghe fame,
And aduert the glorye of your name.
How this daye throughe your neclygence,
By the power and myghty vyolence,
Of the grekes Troylus is ytake.
Sool in the fyelde for ye haue hym forsake.
That shall rebounde to your alder shame.
For ye in soth greatly are to blame,
If he that is of worthynesse the floure,
Betake of grekes for lacke of your succoure.
That but yf ye taken hasty wreche,
Shameful reporte your honour shall apeche,
Perpetually and saye therof amys,
In your defaute that Troylus taken is.
Whiche named be so worthy and famous,
And with that worde the kyng Alcamus,
Of melancolye felte his herte ryue.
And in his yre hente a spere blyue,
And pryckyng after enchasteth what he might
Tyll he of them playnly had a syght.
That busy were Troylus for to lede.
And he full knyghtly syttyng on his stede,
Ran one through that he fell downe dead,
And efte agayne pale and nothyng redde,
In his rancour no longer wolde he lette,
But a greke the fyrste that he mette,
Through the body smet he with a spere.
That men myght se therof the poynt a fere.
By brest and plate through the shulder bone,
That to the ground he fel downe dead anone.
[Page]And tho forthwith the worthy Fryses all,
Came flokmele downe and on the grekes fal,
So myghtely that maugre their diffence,
They sette vpon with so great vyolence,
That Troylus is from all daunger free.
And through their knightly magnanimyte,
They maden hym there to recure his stede.
And specially helpyng in this nede,
Was zantipus the stronge manly kyng.
Whiche of disdaine at his commyng,
On Meneste he gan his spere grate.
And through his shielde mayle & thicke plate,
So sore he smote that this Meneste,
Had be dead ne had his armour be.
Whiche for Ire gan tremble tho and shake,
That Troylus was from his handes take,
And escaped to be prysoner.
Dispyte his berde and maugre his power.
Wherfore he gan of hasty hote enuye,
On his knyghtes furyously to crye,
That were so mighty renowmed and stronge,
To payne them for to venge his wronge,
Vpon Troyans to mete them in the face.
¶And they in hast gan mightely enbrace,
Their sharpe speres grounde for to byte,
And felly foyne and together smytte.
¶For tho began the great mortall werre,
The fyre brast out shene as any sterre.
On basenettes and their plates bryght,
That through ye fielde flaumeth ye fereful light
To lyfe nor death they toke tho no hede.
And downe the plaine both in length & bredth
The wardes gan proudly to auale.
And with lokes ryght enuyously pale,
They aproche and assemble yfere.
In hate brennyng that no man may stere.
And gan hurte with spere sworde and darte,
And mortally vpon euery parte,
The slaughter gan greatly for to rewe,
And ylyche alwaye newe and newe,
Hector grekes through his worthynesse,
Where he rode manly dyd oppresse,
And mercylesse slowe them and bare downe,
Now here now there without excepciowne,
So furyously that routhe was to see.
¶And then of new duke Meneste,
Repayred is with full enuyous herte,
From his hondes that Troylus so a sterte,
And for the slaughter eke of his meyne,
That where he rode busy was to slee.
The troian people whan he myght them mete
For him tauenge for nothyng wolde he lete.
Tyll casually amonges all the prese,
¶A knight he mette that hyght Myseres.
Whyche in dispyte of this Meneste,
Had at the rescuse of worthy Troylus be.
And maugre him put hym from his praye,
And so befell on the selfe daye,
As they mete agayne of aduenture,
That Meneste by his cote armure,
Marked hym by armes that he bare.
And sodeynly or that he was ware,
And or that he might taken any hede,
Furiously on his mightye stede,
And with a spere amyd the renges all,
Bare hym ouer and made hym for to fall.
Mauger his might to the earth adowne.
¶And than I fynde howe the kynge Hupon,
Descended is the storye lyste not lye,
Two thousande knyghtes in his companye,
Whiche on grekes felly gan to sette.
And in ye berde kynge Prothenor them mette.
And Archelaus the noble werryour,
Of Boece the lorde and gouernour.
With helpe onely of this Prothenor,
Lyke to a Tygre or a wood Bore,
Gan Troyans assaylen to the deth.
And many one him selfe that daye he sleeth.
But kyng Hupon through his chyualrye,
Full fell that tyme in his melancolye,
Full many greke gaue his dethes wounde.
And thus they gan eche other to confounde.
Such mortall hate amonges them there was
Tyll of fortune a knyght Pollydamas,
¶On Troye syde sonne of Anthenor,
With his knightes and hym selfe tofore,
Is on grekes right enuious of pryde,
Amyd their wardes fallen in a syde,
And gan them breke & knightly to disseuer,
Againe whose sword they might not perseuer,
He was on them so inly furyous.
¶And him to helpe came the kyng Remus,
With a wynge on that other parte,
Breakyng in with many spere and darte,
Agayne grekes with thre thousand knightes,
That to beholde how felly that he fyghtes,
It was in sothe vnto them of Troye,
A very luste and heauenly aioye.
[Page]To see how grekes brake there asondre,
That the noyse loude as any thonder,
In the fyelde of strokes gan aryse.
¶And while Remus as ye haue herde deuise
Vpon grekes was so enuyous,
Into the fyelde came Menelaus,
With his worthy knightes of Spartense,
Agayne Remus to maken resystence.
And full proudely makyng no delaye,
This worthy Remus and kynge Menelaye,
On horse backe with sharpe speres whette,
Amydde the fielde byn together mette.
And through their manly prowesse & renown,
From horsebacke eche bare other downe.
For none the stroke of other tho might shone.
And in that whyle of Anthenor the sonne,
Pollydamas lusty freshe and lyght,
As he that was in his delyuer myght,
And desyrous to honour to attayne,
Mette in the fielde the neuewe of Heleyne,
The mighty duke called Mereus.
Flouringe in youthe and ryght vertuous.
Freshe armed newe and lusty of courage,
And was in sothe but twenty yere of age.
Whyche of so yonge was a noble knight.
Right renoumed bothe of herte and might.
But of fortune it befell alas,
The Troian knight Dan Pollidamas,
With a spere throughe shelde maile and plate,
Hytte hym so that by cruell fate,
Amonge grekes that he fallen is downe dead
Of whiche thyng when Menelaye toke hede,
And sawe hym lye slayne on the grene,
In his herte remembrynge on the quene,
The quene Heleine to whom he neuewe was.
For dole of which a full delyuer pas,
To Remus rode in his cruelte,
Also ferre as he might him se.
And full knightly mette him in the berde,
And smytte at him with his sharpe swerde,
Vpon the head in his hatefull tene,
That on his stede he might not sustene.
His wounde was so passingly mortall,
That with the stroke and the perillous fall,
His knightes wende dead that he had be.
¶And hent him vp and began to fle,
To Troye warde with him a great pase.
¶But it befell that Pollidamas,
The maner of theim when that he behelde,
Made theim repayre knightly into felde,
Except that some as they in bidding hadde,
Worthy Remus home to Troye ladde.
Pale and dead with his woundes wide,
And tho came in on the grekes syde,
¶Celydys the lusty freshe kinge.
Of whom Dares sayeth in his wrytinge,
And for a sothe in his boke lyst tell,
How Celydys all other did excell,
Both in beaute and in semelyheade.
Of shape of porte and of goodlyheade,
Surmounting all as Dares list descriue.
As in fayrnesse all tho that time alyue,
All his limmes compact were so clene.
And as I rede the yonge freshe quene,
Of feminye which was of beaute floure,
Kinge Celidys loued as paramoure.
That vpon him was hooly her plesaunce.
He was so printed in her remembraunce.
For chiefe resorte sothly of her herte,
Was vpon him eche houre to aduerte.
For fynally he departed nought,
Day nor night nor houre from her thoughte.
For he was fully all her owne knight.
¶But of fortune he lusty freshe and light,
Smote his stede sharply in the syde,
Of surquedrye and proudly gan to ryde,
Of mortall hate a full furyous pase,
Right as lyne to Pollidamas.
And with a spere made him for to flytte,
From his sadell in which he tho did sytte,
He marked him with so great a might.
And eft ayene this noble troian knight,
Pollydamas with a despitous face,
Or Celidys departed fro the place,
With a swerde so smyt him on the heade,
From his stede that he fell downe deade,
Which to grekes was great confusion.
And all this tune fierser than a Lyon,
Hector grekes knightly gan enchase,
And oft made theim for to lese their place.
Where euer he rode of necessyte.
Afore his swerde he made theim for so fle,
Suche vengeaunce he hath on theim take.
That they the felde were fayne to forsake,
And to pursewe would he neuer fyne,
Till amonge the people of Salomine,
Hector met the worthy kinge famous,
That was their lorde and hight Thesalus,
[Page]That many Troian that daye had yslawe.
And as Hector towardes him gan drawe,
Kynge Tenter eke that was of grece also,
A manly knight and prudent both two,
Raught a spere in all the haste he can,
And at vnwares he to Hector ran,
And through his shelde plate & mayle of stele,
The speare head forged was so wele,
So sharpe square and so kene ygrounde,
That he to Hector gaue a perillous wounde.
But as Hector tournen gan his stede,
Proude Center to aquite his mede,
He full wysely in all the haste he myght,
Was ryght ferre seuered from his syght.
Wherof Hector melancoleous,
And of herte wood and furyous,
For the akynge of the wounde grene,
In haste tauenge the constraynte of his tene,
What greke after shortly that he mette,
That was so bolde his waye to with sette,
Without mercy he was his death anone.
And as I read he encountred one,
Whiche of pryde his purpose wolde diuerte
Whom with his sworde he roue to the herte,
Through his herneys of melancolye.
The whiche stroke whan grekes gan espye,
They astoned of one entencyon,
Peryllously be sette hym enuyron,
And suche assaute gan aboute hym make,
Though their manhod if they might him take
And of accorde with great multitude,
Cruelly they gan him to include,
By lykelyhode in that mortall stryfe.
He myght not escapen with the lyfe,
On hym they were so fell and enuyous.
Tyll that a kynge whiche hyght Theseus,
On grekes syde onely of gentylnesse,
Suche routhe caught vpon his dystresse,
To se hym stande so nye vpon the wrake,
Thus vnto hym of manly pety spake.
OH flour of knyghthode rote of hardynes,
Welle of manhode stoke of worthynes,
Whylyst ye not to haue none aduertence,
Thy lyfe to saue of knyghtly prouydence.
But wylfully where most is to drede,
Thy lyfe Iupardest and take lyste no hede,
In mortall peryll howe thou art besette,
Amonge so many closed and yshette.
Alone alas deuoyde of all socoure,
And to thy selfe wylte do no fauoure,
But as fortune lyketh to ordayne,
That euery wyght ought to complayne,
To beholde that suche a worthy knyght,
Whiche through the world cast so clere a lyght
In worthinesse and wyll him not withdrawe,
Reklesly this day thus to be slawe,
So pyteously thy persone for to lese,
Withdrawe thy hande yet syth yu mayst chese,
Thy hygh prowesse compelleth me to preye,
At suche myschefe that thou not ne deye.
¶And whan Hector of hym gan take hede,
He thanked hym of his goodly hede,
And maugre sothly the power and the myght,
He from the grekes lyke a worthy knight,
Eft scaped is mydde of all his foen.
And went his way through them euerichone.
His blody sworde alway in his honde,
And in his waye Pollydamas he fonde,
Full lyke a man with all his busy payne,
Defende him selfe agayne the kinges twaine,
Menelay and Thelamonius.
Which vpon him were full furyous.
And wt a spere this greke this Thelamowne,
Pollydamas smote to the earthe adowne.
Compellyng him there was none other bote,
Agayne theim two to fyght eu on his fote.
Assented fully on him to be wroke.
And fyrst they haue hewen and to broke,
The mighty charnelle of his bassenet,
And whan his vyser after was of smet,
And his face naked was and bare,
They fell on hym in that mortall snare,
And haue him take the storye can deuyse,
And sent him forth in full cruell wyse,
Towarde grekes with many worthy knyght.
But whan Hector therof had a syght,
And sawe the myschefe of Pollydamas,
He caste fully to socoure in this case,
And prycked after wooder than Lyon,
And where he rode aboute hym enuyron,
With his swerde he made a large space,
Tyll that he came to the selfe place,
Amonges grekes furyous and wood,
Pollydamas the selfe tyme stode,
Socourles deuoyde of remedye,
Tyll that he on Hector caste his eye,
That grekes made hastely withdrawe,
[Page]And thirty fyrst of them hath he slawe.
And seuered them maugre all their pryde,
Tofore his sworde they durste not abyde.
Agaynst hym nor make none obstacle.
But of knighthode by very hyghe myracle,
Pollydamas in myschyefe fyrste awhaped,
From grekeshe hande frely is escaped.
¶But freshly tho the kynge Epystrophus,
Menelay and Thelamonyus,
With all their knyghtes togyther hole & close,
Agayne Troyans to getten them alose,
Be of new entred in battayle.
With great strength and passynge apparayle,
That mightely Troyans they compell,
In their waye that they dare not dwelle.
Notwithstandyng their great worthynesse.
Nor of Hector the knightly hygh prowesse.
That fought so manly that tyme as I read,
But cowardly they haue slayne his stede,
That he constrayned was to fyght on fote.
That many greke felte full vnsote.
For there was none that aboute hym stode,
With his swerde that he ne shadde his bloud.
Though he so thycke about was be layne.
He voyded them and made a space playne.
In compasse rounde behynde and eke afore,
And on his fete so well he hath hym bore,
That day. that greke was none certayne,
That hardy was hande on hym to layne.
He was so stronge and sturdy as a wall.
And whan his brothern called naturall,
Sawe hym a fote amyd of all his foen,
On a frushe they fell in euerychon,
And founden hym the story maketh mynde,
Deffende him selfe as Tygre doth in Inde.
And him to helpe through their high renown,
They fallen fyrst on kyng Thelamowne.
For he on Hector was so cruell founde.
They gaue to hym many blouddy wounde.
Tyll one of them named Dyndaron,
Hath so ferre amonge the renges gone,
And bore hym so only of manhead,
That he hath wonne a passyng myghty stede.
¶And brought to Hector sothly there he stode
Amonge grekes all bathed in their bloud.
The whiche in haste ful knightly he be strode,
And thē amonge lyke Mars himselfe he rode.
Full many greke makyng for to sterue.
And with this sworde whetted for to karue,
He daunted hath their enuious pryde.
Tyll Deyphobus entred in a syde,
Into the fyelde with a knightly chere,
And with hym brought many good archer,
Of Boeme whiche with their arrowes kene,
And with fethers of Pecock freshe and shene,
Vpon grekes haue the fyelde recured.
In their shotte they were so muche assured.
That through mayle and thicke plate of stele,
They perced haue their harneys euery dele.
¶And Deiphobus full lyke a manly man,
To kynge Tentran on horse backe tho ran.
And furyously gan his swerde enbrace.
And wounded hym euen amyd the face.
Through the vyser in his felle tene.
On horse backe that he myght not sustene,
And thus on grekes the Troyans are yron,
That they agayne hath the fielde ywonne.
They were on them so yrons and so wood,
But Theseus full knightly them withstode,
With the knightes that he with him ladde,
¶And as I read Hector a brother hadde,
The story sayth that hyght Quintilene,
Yonge freshe and lusty armed bryght & shene,
Whiche with the kinge called Modernus,
Is proudely falle vpon Theseus,
And these twayne togither of assent,
Be falle on hym with great aduisement,
That fynally to his vnhappy chaunce,
With their knyghthode broughte hym to out­traunce,
And cast shortly that he shalbe dead.
Of whose purpose as Hector gan take hede,
He vnto them of very gentery,
With all his myght loude gan to crye,
Besechyng them for nothyng that he deye.
And lowely they his byddyng dyd obeye.
And them withdrewe for to do vengeaunce,
For Hector had fully remembraunce,
Now Theseus the same daye tofore,
Towarde hym so goodly had hym bore,
Whan he hym sawe in mischyefe and dystresse,
And knightly thought quyte his gentilnesse.
Lyke as it longeth to euery gentylman.
¶And Theseus full lowly tho began,
To thanke Hector that he was escaped.
¶But kyng Thoas tho hath faste yraped,
Into the fyelde with other knightes many,
And specyally with them of Calydony,
¶Came Phyloctetes the myghty kinge also,
[Page]Agayne the Troyans for to haue ado,
And fyrst Thoas with a spere ran,
¶Furyously to Cassybellan,
One of the sonnes of kynge Pryamus.
And gaue hym tho a wounde so greuous,
Without recure that he fell downe dead.
Of whiche stroke when Hector gan take hede
In his herte gan his death complayne,
And in all haste dyd his busy payne,
On his brother auenge him if he myght,
And many one he made to a lyght,
Through his knighthod from his horse backe
That sothfastly all went to wrake,
On grekes syde what came in his waye.
So worthely he bare hym all that daye.
¶Tyll duke Nestor is entred in to fyght,
With fyue thousande in stele armed bryght,
Agayne the Troyans grekes to socoure,
And with hym mette of very auenture,
¶The kynge Esdras so mighty and so bolde,
And kyng Phylon in his chare of golde,
With all the worthy noble chyualrye,
That from Agresta came with Iaconye,
The kynges sonne of the same lande,
Full renowmed and worthy of his hande.
And as they semble and together ran,
The same tyme many worthy man,
Hath loste his lyfe vpon eyther syde.
And of the slaught with large woundes wyde
All the soyle of bodyes that laye dead,
Lyke a ryuer ran with streames red.
With their cheres grysely pale and fade,
That in the bloud men might go and wade,
To the ancle the slaughter was so huge.
¶And kyng Phylon socour and refuge,
Vnto Troyans so bare hym in that stryfe,
That many greke he made lese his lyfe,
The same day so well his sworde was whette.
But he vnwarely was so sore besette,
With multytude of grekes rounde aboute,
That of his lyfe he playnly stode in doubte.
For lykely was he myght not escape,
And of grekes he shulde anone be take,
Ne had the helpe be of worthy Iaconye,
That to Esdras loude gan to crye,
Alas quod he of routhe and pyte,
¶Worthy Phylon the kyng shall taken be.
Amonge grekes through your necligence,
But in all haste ye do your diligence,
For to rescue this noble worthy kynge.
And all attones without more taryinge,
Maugre all tho that maden resystence,
From grekes swerde by myghty vyolence,
They haue rescued the noble kyng Phylon.
And at his large with them he is gone.
Of his escape wonder gladde and lyght.
¶And Hector than with many lusty knight,
Retourned is and Deiphobus also,
Pollydamas and many an other mo,
Of Troyan knightes that desyre newe,
To causen grekes sore for to rewe.
For of assent they fully them purpose,
In suche mischiefe grekes to enclose,
That if they might fewe shulde escape.
And therupon knightly they them shape,
And them began freshely for to assayle,
That in the fielde grekes gan to faile,
Of their power and to lese their lande.
That fynally through the mighty hande,
And the force of the Troyan knightes,
The grekes had maugre all their mightes
Be brought that day to confusyowne.
¶But Menelay and kyng Thelamowne,
When they them sawe febly and apeyre,
They of knyghthode made them to repeyre,
And so lyke men they haue thē selfe deffended,
Tyll Eneas from Troye is descended.
With Ewfremus the duke the manly man,
And with their knightes of newe they began,
Efte agayne grekes to oppresse.
And Hector aye through his worthynesse,
Lyke a Lyon with a sterne face,
Euer in one so gan them to enchace,
That compelled of great necessytye,
They were echone afore his sworde to fle.
And constrayned ryght of very nede.
Of whiche thynge when Ayax gan take hede,
He had in herte great compassyon,
To se the slaughter and confusyon,
On grekes syde Guydo maketh mynde.
And gan to loke at his backe behynde,
And sawe where many warde stode abrode,
And many baner and penowne that abode,
Amyd the fielde hole and not for broke,
That redy were attones to be wroke,
If nede were on them of Troye towne,
In whiche wardes without excepciowne,
Was hole the floure of grekes chyualrye.
[Page]¶To whom anone Ayax gan him hye,
As he that was in herte sore agreued,
And with his crye he hath thē so commened,
That they in haste theim comen to reskuse,
Amonges whom was there no reffuse,
And as fast as they gan assemble,
Of noyse of horse the earthe gan to tremble,
Furyously as they together flynge.
There might men the strokes heren ringe,
Of speres sharpe through the harneys borne,
And through sheldes wrought of stele & horn
Into the brest sturdy square and brode.
¶And there I fynde how that Ayax rode,
¶To Eneas and he to him also,
So great enuye was atwyxe theim two,
That not but death might their ire apease.
For in herte nother might haue ease,
Tyll with speres sharpe ground and whette,
On horse backe they togyther mette,
And at copyng so sore haue they hytte,
That eueryche other to the earth smytte.
That to beholde was a knightly syght.
And after they bothe on foote fyght,
By lyklyhead tho in theyr wood rage,
Other to fall in full great domage,
Amonge the horse bycause that they stode,
Vpon the soyle all ouer spredde with blode.
¶But Phyloctetes is to Ayax come,
And hath him vp amonge the horse ynome,
That knightly fought as made is memorye,
For sothly elles Troians with victorye,
Had had the fyelde playnly for to sayne.
Tyll Philoctetes with his wardes twayne,
Euen in the face manly theim withstode.
And with a spere he fyrst to Hector rode.
And vpon him the shafte I fynde he brake,
But sothly he vpon his horse bake,
Kept him so well for all that fell stroke,
Remeuinge not but sturdy as an oke,
Sat in his sadell vpryght with his chine,
And wyth a spere ryght as any lyne,
Into the body depe through the shyelde,
Philoctetes he smote into the fielde,
That of his lyfe hys knightes were in doubt.
¶But tho came in with so great a route,
¶Kynge Humerus and Vlixes eke,
And with them brought many worthy greke.
Ten thousād knightes manly men echone,
That gan Troians for to assayle anone.
And cruelly on euery halfe certayne,
With multytude they haue theim so belayne,
That dispayred and disconsolate,
And of longe fyght a waped and a mate,
Gan withdrawe faynted in battayle,
And eke theyr horse sothly gan to fayle,
That on theyr syde all went vp so downe.
¶But Parys tho with them of Troy towne,
Is entred in in ful manly wyse,
And fyrst he mette with the kynge of Fryse.
That to Vlyxes nye was of allye,
Whom Parys smote with so great enuye,
That he hym slewe wherof grekes were,
Sore abashed and after wyth a spere,
¶Vlyxes rode to auenge him if he might.
And fyrst when he of Parys had a syght,
Into the brest he gan his spere throwe,
That fynally for he bare to lowe,
Fayling of Parys sothely as I reade,
Vnder him he slewe his mighty stede.
That maugre him he to grounde is gone.
And he on him would haue fall anone,
¶But Troilus tho mette him in the berde,
And furyously with his sharpe swerde,
He smote Vlyxes throughout his viser.
That lyke a condyte or a small ryuer,
Downe by his face of bloud the streames ran.
But Vlyxes tho lyke a manly man,
Of that stroke astoned not at all,
But on his stede stiffe as any wall,
With his swerde so mightely gan race,
Through the vmber into Troylus face.
That he him gaue a large mortall wounde,
Of which stroke passingly ioycounde,
The grekes were supposing in theyr thought,
How Troians fynally were brought,
Vnto outtraunce and sothly so they hadde,
Saue that Hector wt knightes which he lad,
And with him Parys and Deiphobus,
And al his brethern ī knighthod most famous
Troylus also for all his laste wounde,
That was alway so noble knight yfounde.
All at ones be ioyned into one,
And vpon grekes sodaynly be gone.
¶And worthy Hector alder fyrst began,
Grekes to enchase that afore him ran,
Like as beastes that fledde fro the death,
And euer in one thus he killeth and sleyeth,
Whom he mette or durst his stroke abyde.
[Page]And on his foen with freshe woundes wyde,
The slaught he made alway to renewe,
And thylke daye in blody rosen hewe,
He hath theyr plates & their harneys steined,
And thought it had bloud from heauē rained.
The soyle redder might not tho a ben,
And aye ylyche as a swarme of been,
The grekes flockmele fledde out of his way.
And Guydo sayth that all that ylke daye,
Hector had formest on the playne,
In the frounter of the grekes layne.
That behynde the knyghtes of his garde,
For lacke of hym were all out of warde.
Wherfore when he had sought full longe,
And grekes sawe of new wexen stronge,
To his knyghtes he is agayne repeyred.
Whych in theim selfe greatly were dispayred,
For his absence. but tho when they him se,
Full inwardly recomforted they be,
And with glad hert haue theyr lorde receiued.
And theyr gladnesse when he hath perceyued,
¶Spake vnto theim full affectiously.
And lykewyse prayed theim full beningly,
To remembre knyghtly in their herte,
And consyder wysely and aduerte,
First the wronges that grekes haue them do.
Of yore ago and ouermore also,
If grekes had that daye the victorye,
Farewell for aye the honour and glorye,
Of Troyan bloud in conclusyowne.
For fynally we and eke our towne,
Shall mortally tournen to ruyne.
And our honour that was wont to shyne,
Throughout the world and our worthinesse,
Eclipse shall and tournen to dercknesse.
But ye this daye lyke as men you quyte.
Wherfore I praye that no man ne atwyte,
Your hygh renowne of any cowardise,
To sette vpon in full manly wise,
And not to spare for dread of death I praye.
¶And they echone full lowly gan obeye,
To his desyre withouten longer tale.
And entryng in by a certayne vale,
Vpon grekes these worthy knyghtes all,
Folowing Hector sodaynly be fall,
Full mortally or that they were ware.
And Hector tho no greke would spare,
But euery where to theyr confusyon,
He killed and slewe aboute him enuyron.
And his knyghtes riding by his side,
Made theyr foen maugre all their pryde,
To lese their lande & flewe out of their sighte.
¶Tyll that the kinge which ye Thoas hight,
On grekes syde inwarde gan him dresse,
And of newe fulll knyghtly gan oppresse,
Them of Troye this knight this manly mā.
¶That had afore slayn Cassybellan,
One of the sonnes of king Pryamus.
But as he rode of fortune it fell thus,
That all the brethren on a frushe he mette,
Which of assent enuyron him besette,
And from his sadell that many greke beheld,
Amonge the horse smyt him into felde.
And of they rente first his basenet,
And cruelly they had his head of smet.
For he vnarmed all at myschief stode.
¶Saue that the Duke furyous and wood,
Of Athenes riding tho a great pase,
Reskued him in this mortall case,
With his knightes that about him rode.
And him to helpe without more abode,
With a spere sharpe whet and kene.
¶Fyrst of all he fell on Quintiline,
That busy was Thoas to haue slawe.
And the bretherene made also withdrawe,
Whan Quintiline of his horse was throwe.
¶But Parys thē drewe vp his mighty bow,
And to this Duke let an arowe glyde.
And through his plates hit him in the side,
Vpon a rybbe that made him sore to blede.
Of whych stroke he ne toke no hede,
Bycause onely that he so feruent was,
Amid his foen to helpe thus kinge Thoas,
Amonge the horse that was bore to grounde,
In poynt of death with many mortall woūd.
Onely for he was naked on the head.
But this Duke fully deuoyde of dread,
Of his knighthod in this perillous case,
Amid his foen hath holpe the king Thoas,
And with his lyfe made him scapen fre.
And Hector aye of cruell enmitee,
Iliche freshe for nothing would leue,
Vpon grekes his manhode for to preue.
Enforsing him to their destructiowne.
¶And as he rode amonge theim vp & down,
¶Kinge Humerus hath a bowe take,
And to shote gan him redy make.
And hatefully therin set an arowe,
[Page]And to Hector he marked hath so narowe,
That he smote him euen amid the face.
But or he might any ferther pace,
Hector smyt him with so great a payne,
That wt his swerd he roue his head atwayn.
¶The death of whō when the grekes know.
Mine auctour saith they haue an horn yblow
That vnwarely with that dreadfull sowne,
Seuē thousād knightꝭ came at ones adowne
About Hector without more abode.
But of force through theim all he rode.
Maugre theyr might that him tho withsette.
And slowe all tho that his way lette.
And would do stynt playnly tyll he came,
To his father the worthy kinge Pryam.
With many worthy full famous of renowne,
That wyth his knyghtes fast by the towne,
Laye all the daye with men on horse & foote,
As he that was of knighthod crop and roote,
And kept him close in full high prudence,
Tyll Hector came vnto his presence,
And him besought in this great nede,
With thre thousand that he would him spede,
Vpon grekes in theyr full rage,
To fall on theim at most auauntage.
ANd thē in haste this worthy Priamus,
With his knightes freshe & desyrous,
Towarde grekes hath the waye ytake,
And such a mordre gan vpon theim make,
That many grekes laye dead on the playne.
For Pryamus hath theim so sore belayne.
On euery halfe through his great might,
That they full fast fledde out of his syght.
So sore of newe he vpon theim sette.
¶And as I fynde they tohether mette,
¶Hector and Ayax of cruell auenture.
And on their stedes stronge and wonder sure,
The storye sayth in all the haste they konne,
Lyke wood Lyons they together ronne.
With so great might yt were they lefe or lothe,
Vpon the playne they were vnhorsed bothe.
¶And in this whyle Menelay the kinge,
Sodaynly as he camen ridinge,
He slewe of Troye a worthy admyrall.
And thus the slaughter passingly mortall,
Renewed aye for that Celidonas,
The neuewe slewe of the kinge Thoas.
And Madā met mine auctour writeth thus,
A grekyshe kinge called Cedeus.
Which wt his swerde such a stroke him sette,
That through ye vmber out his eye he smette.
¶And Sardellus that was of Troye eke,
The same whyle slewe a worthy greke,
A lorde of name and of high prowesse,
Although Guido his name doth not expresse.
¶And then also came Margaryton,
On Troye side agayne Thelamon,
And both two inly set a fyre,
Of high disdayne and of hatefull yre.
As they met on horse backe both yfere,
Kinge Thelamon sothly as I lere,
Gaue vnto him a deadly wounde cruell.
¶But tho came in the Troian Phanuell.
And Prothenor smote downe of his stede,
And thus the sones playnly as I reade,
Of Pryamus nothing nat dismayde,
The grekes haue on euery parte outrayed.
And so knightly all the daye theim borne,
That many greke fatally hath lorne,
His life in sothe of hate and enmyte.
And kinge Anglas is fall on Meneste,
Of Athenes Duke and gouernoure,
And with a spere of yre and olde rancoure,
He ran and smet him tho amyd the shyelde.
But for al that his sadell yet he helde.
¶And for that the Duke spere had none,
He with a swerde to Anglas rode anone,
And through yt owmber roue of nigh his nase
That he astoned stode as in a mase,
When that he sawe the condyte of his blode,
So streame out but for all that he rode,
Out asyde fully deuoyde of feare,
Vnto the time that he staunched were.
¶But Deamor his owne brother deare,
When he behelde his mortall blody cheare.
¶Of high disdayne he rode to Meneste,
And him vnhorseth but vp anone sterte he,
And or he might fully vp aryse,
Another brother in full creuell wyse,
Is fall on him so that of them thre,
Attones weten vpon Meneste,
Fully in purpose he shall lese his lyfe.
But he so knightly bare him in that stryfe,
Agaynst theim that wonder was to se.
And vpon him most cruell of theim thre,
Was one Thoas eldest of echone.
Which him to sleye was busy euer in one.
[Page]For all to broke they haue his basenet,
¶But when that Tenter sawe him so beset,
A grekishe kinge as made is mencion,
Had in his herte great compassyon,
And thought playnly of manhode him releue
And if he might his fomen for to greue.
But all for nought was his busy payne,
For Hector tho fallen is on both twayne,
¶Vpon Tenter and on Meneste,
¶And had theim slayne ne had Ayax be.
Which vnto Hector faste gan him hye,
A thousande knightes in his companye,
Him to withstande and Meneste to saue.
From his handes if he might him haue.
¶But Parys tho and the king of Perce,
With fiue thousande as I can reherse,
Of worthy knightes and many troian mo,
Be vnto Hector all at ones ygo.
In thryfty wise cydyng on a rowe,
For Parys made a trumpet to be blowe,
At whych there came knightly enbattayled,
Many Troian full well apparayled,
Whych in the fielde of Hector were conueyed.
For of one herte they fully haue obeyed,
Vnto the bydding of this Troian knight,
All freshe and newe to begyn a fyght,
Vpon grekes as ferre forth as they can.
Of whom was slayne many manly man.
And aye the slaughter pyteously reneweth,
That many greke sore in herte reweth,
Theyr great losse and destructiowne,
Wrought vpon thē by theim of Troye towne.
And specially of Hector as I finde.
Whych on that day as Dares maketh minde,
With his hande a thousande knightes slowe.
That neuer were adawed of their sowe,
For greke none dare in his waye dwell.
For wt his swerde he coud theim so compell,
To lese theyr grounde of necessyte,
And lyke as shepe afore the wolfe to fle.
¶And as I reade amiddes this victorye,
Hector hath met vnder a Tentoree,
¶Amonges grekes Mereon the kinge.
To whom he spake without more tarying.
Oh thou tratoure thy houre aprocheth faste,
For thou art come sothly to thy laste,
Thy fatall daye hath his course yronne,
For truste well or westrynge of the sonne,
I caste platly to quyten the thy mede.
And with my swerd in haste thy bloud to shed.
For thou so bolde were on me to daye,
Me to disturben of my ryche praye,
At the spoylyng of kinge Patroclus.
That for cause thou were presumptious,
Me to disturbe thou shalt anone be deade.
And downe he sterte & smote of first his head.
¶And him to spoyle also gan him haste.
¶But Meneste came on him as faste,
Whan he behelde trauerse at his backe,
And wt a spere in which was no lacke,
Smote him in with so great violence,
Without syght or any aduertence,
Of worthy Hector or any takyng hede,
The wound of whom sore gan to blede.
But out he went and made it faste bynde.
¶And Meneste stale away behinde,
Not in purpose sothly if he maye,
To mete Hector of all that ylke daye.
¶But when that he was ybounde sore,
His wound to staunche that it blede no more,
More furyous than he was erst tofore,
Repeyred is with angre al to tore,
So aye the yre on his herte fret.
That he bare downe all that euer he met.
Slayth and kylleth he was so mercyles,
All tho that put theim selfe in the prease,
Or hardy were wyth hym for to mete.
For in his boke lyke as wryte Darete,
For very sothe and in the storye sayth,
If it be so that men may gyuen fayth,
And full credence of possybylyte,
As in Guydo clearly ye may se,
After that he caught his latter wounde,
Fynally the grekes to confounde,
So as it is affermed in certayne,
A thousand knightꝭ wt his hande were slayn,
Without theim tho that I spake of rathe.
And newe alway he gan his swerde to bathe,
In grekes bloud that sodaynly they be,
So ouerlayne through his cruelte,
That greke was none of high nor low estate,
That he ne was awhaped and amate,
Of his knighthod and manly excellence.
For there was none to maken resystence,
Nor vtterly that durste take on hande,
Of all that daye Hector to wythstande.
¶And as is made also mencion,
Thylke daye kyng Agamenon,
[Page]As sayth Guydo came not into felde,
For causes great his presence he withhelde,
On grekes syde that al goeth vp so downe,
Hector on them so playeth the wood Liowne.
That to theyr tentes they fledde for socours,
And they of Troye proudly as victours.
Sewed after theim by traces of theyr bloud,
And there they wan treasour and great good.
And spoyled theim in full great dystresse,
Of their armure and of theyr richesse,
And fell on theim or that they were ware,
And home to Troye all that good they bare.
For fynally that daye wyth myschaunce,
Grekes had be brought vnto outraunce,
Without recure in sothe for euermore,
On euery parte they were belayde so sore,
Through the manhode of Hector & ye mighte,
With helpe of many other worthy knyght,
That so felly agayne the grekes wrought,
For to such mischief playnly they thē brought,
That ne had be theyr owne pyteous slouthe,
Of pryde onely and of folye routhe,
They had of theim at theyr volunte,
That daye for euer had the soneraynte.
And recured through theyr hygh renowne,
Lordshyppe of theim and dominacyowne,
Whych shoulde haue laste and be continuall,
Victoryously and perpetuall.
Haue endured saue that cruell fate,
Is redy aye with fortune to debate,
Agayne thynges that gynne in wilfulnesse.
To make theim fine aye in wretchednesse.
Through theyr enuyous disposytion,
Of sodayne chaunce and reuolucion,
And vnware tourning of her false whele,
That wyll not byde when a thinge is wele.
Alas freyle deuoyde of sykernesse,
The cause was dimmed so with dercknesse,
That hath troians through false opynyon,
Yblinded so in theyr discrescion.
And specially fordercked so the syght,
Of worthy Hector the prudēt manly knyght.
To se afore what shulde after sewe,
By good aduyse the mischyefe to eschewe.
That folowed theim at the backe behinde.
Alas they were wilfully made blynde.
The same daye when they sytten softe,
By victorye on the hill alofte.
That they ne could of neclygence not se,
The after fall of theyr felycite.
So put abacke was theyr aduertence.
For lacke of reason and of high prudence.
For they their hap haue voided & theyr grace,
That presently were set afore theyr face.
For in a man it is not commendable,
If fortune be to him fauorable,
And blandeshing with a forhead cleare,
To smyle on him with a plesaunt cheare,
Onely of fauoure for to helpe him oute,
When he in myschyefe is beset aboute,
If he refuse his hap of wylfulnesse,
Fortune auoyding through vnkindnesse,
Whan she ministreth to him of her grace,
Another tyme he shall not her embrace.
Whan he hath nede to her helpe at all,
To succour him or he catche a fall.
But rather then for his ingratitude,
Frowardly with mowes him delude,
Whan he best weneth to stande in sikernesse.
Fortune is aye so full of brotilnesse,
Remouable and ready for to flytte.
¶Her welfull houre yt who lyst not admytte,
With her fauour for to be allyed,
Another time it shall be denied,
When he were leuest finde her fauorable.
For in some houre sothly this no fable,
Vnto some man she graunteth his desyres,
That will not after in a thousande yeares.
Peraunter ones condescende,
Vnto his will nor his lust him sende.
¶As it hath fall this daye vnhappely,
To worthy Hector that so wilfully,
Wrought of head grekes for to spare,
Fatally when they were in snare.
For he of theim lyke a conquerour,
With victorye tryumphe and honour,
Might haue brought thrugh his hye renown
The palme of conquest into Troye towne.
Which he that daye refused folylye.
¶For as he rode this Hector cruelly,
Amonges grekes slowe and bare all downe,
Casually he mette Thelamowne,
I meane Ayax nygh of his allye,
That of hate and cruel hote enuye,
To Hector rode lyke as he were wood,
Albe to him he was full nygh of bloud.
Yet for all that this yonge lusty knight,
[Page]Dyd his power and his full myght,
Without fayning to haue borne hym downe.
Whose father hyght also Thelamowne,
That hym begat the storye telleth vs,
Of Eryon syster to Pryamus.
And this Ayax flourynge in yonge age,
Freshe and delyuer and of great courage,
Sette on Hector of knyghtly hygh prowesse.
And as they met both in theyr woodnesse,
On theyr stedes these manly champyons,
Eueryche on other lyke Tygres or Lions,
Began to fall and proudly to assayle,
And furyously seuere plate and mayle.
First with speres longe large and rounde,
And afterwarde with swerdes kene ygroūde.
And fyghtyng thus longe they do contune,
Tyll it befell of case or of fortune,
Token or sygne or some apparence,
Or by natures kyndly influence,
Whych into hertes doth full depe myne,
Namely of theym that borne be of one lyne.
Whych cause was peraunter of these twane.
Naturally theyr rancour to restrayne,
And theyr yre for to modefye,
Onely for they so nygh were of allye,
Vnwyst of other and therof vnsure,
Tyll they were taught onely of nature.
For naturally bloud wyll aye of kynde,
Drawe vnto bloud where he may it fynde.
Whych made Hector kyndely to aduerte,
To be meued and stered in his herte,
Both of knyghthod and of gentilnesse,
Whan he of Ayax sawe the worthynesse,
¶Spake vnto him full beningnely.
And sayd Cosyn I saye the trewly,
If thou lyst grekes here forsake,
And come to Troye I dare the vndertake,
To thyne allyes and to thy kynrede,
Thou shalt be there withouten any dreade,
Full well receyued in partye and in all,
Of theim that be of the blode royall,
Sothly decended and hyghest of degre.
That it of ryght shall suffyse vnto the,
And kyndely be to the great plesaunce,
For to repayre vnto thyne allyaunce,
Of gentyll herte sythe nothyng is so good,
As be confedered with his owne bloud.
For I conceyue by thy worthynesse,
Whych nature doth kyndly in the impresse,
Of Troian bloud that thou art descended.
Whych of grekes longe hath be offended.
Wherfore I reade to leue theim vtterly,
And he aunswered agayne full humbly,
That sythen he of byrthe was a greke,
And was of youthe among them fostred eke,
From the tyme of his natiuitye,
And taken had the ordre and degre,
Of knighthod eke amonges theim aforne,
And ouer this bounde was and sworne,
To be trewe as to theyr nacion.
Making of bloud none excepcion,
He swore he would conserue his beheste.
And to Hector he made this requeste,
That if that he of manfull gentilnesse,
Would of knyghthod and of worthinesse,
Shewe vnto hym so great affectiowne,
To make theim that were of Troye towne,
Onely withdrawe grekes to pursewe,
And for theyr tentes make theim to remewe,
And resorte agayne vnto the towne.
Of knighthode routhe and compassyowne,
Without assaylynge or anye more affraye,
Made on the grekes for that ilke day,
Sythe vnto theim ought ynoughe suffyse,
That of the fielde in so knightly wyse,
They were of manhead fully possessours,
And of theyr fomen fynally victours,
Like as tofore fully is defyned.
To whose request Hector is enclyned.
Alas the while of hasty wilfulnesse,
And made anone without auysenesse,
Amydde the fielde trumpet for to blowe,
Wherby Troians fully mighten knowe,
His wil was that they shulde thē withdrawe,
After custome playnely and the lawe,
And the vsaunce both of nyghe and ferre.
Amonges them that be experte in werre.
Whan they were moste feruent for to fyght,
Vpon grekes for to preue their might.
And had them chaced lowe to the stronde,
That they were weake of power to withstāde
For they of Troye all of one desyre,
Gan sette on with shotte of wylde fyre,
To brenne their shyppes & of high mischaūce,
Fynally to put them at outtraunce.
¶And so they had this the very trouth,
Ne had Hector had vpon them routh,
Makyng Troyans repayre ayene to towne,
[Page]Vngraciously to their confusyowne.
As the story shall after specifye,
For tho he put alas in iupardye,
Lyfe & death whiche elles might haue be sure,
And whiche againe they shall neuer recure.

¶How the grekes through their suite optey­ned of kyng Pryam a trewce for eyght wekes and of their battayles after the trewce ended. Capitulo .xxiii.

THey haue matter to complaynen sore,
For fro that daye farewell for euermore,
Laude victory and fro them of the towne,
To them denyed by disposyowne,
Of mortall fate whiche contrarye,
In this matter me lyste no lenger tarye.
For they of Troye be entred their Citie,
And shet their gates for more suretie,
For of that daye lyke as made is mynde,
Thus was the ende in Guydo as I fynde,
They wende haue done peraunter for the best.
¶And when the sonne was ygo to rest,
They toke their ease all that ylke night,
Tyll on the morowe Tytan clere and bryght,
Shadde his beames on their hemispherye,
Makyng the daye for to shewe merye.
At whiche tyme Troyans anone right,
They that were hole and lusty for to fyght,
Gan arme theim in purpose full that daye,
Their foen to mete platly if they maye.
For that was hole their wyll & playne entent.
And eke they had in commaundement,
Tofore of Hector redy them to make.
Out of their slepe a morowe whan they wake
Of whiche thynge they were not neclygent,
But to Pryam the grekes haue ysent,
There messangers the same day or pryme,
To take trewce onely for the tyme,
Of eyght wekes the whiche Pryamus,
With Hectors wyll the story telleth thus,
Hath graunted them and by auctoritye,
Of all the wyse that were in the Citie.
In whiche tyme whyle they leyser haue,
The grekes gan to burye and to graue,
The bodyes that afore weren slawe,
Lyke their rytes in their paynem lawe.
With all their might and their busy cure,
For some brent and some by sepulture,
Enclosed were lyke their estate in all,
And thus they helde the feast funerall,
Fro day to day duryng aye the peace.
¶In whiche space I fynde how Achelles,
Of Patroclus the death hath sore playned.
As he that was with teares all be rayned,
So inwardly he loued hym in herte.
That for the anguyshe and the cruell smerte,
He longe abode in lamentacion,
And dyd make by great affection,
A large toumbe for a remembraunce,
Myd the fielde as tho was the vsaunce,
Amonge grekes with great reuerence.
Lyke the honour and the excellence,
¶Of royall burying. so this Patroclus,
Ygraue was and Protheselaus,
In their toumbes korue of marbyll graye.
And nye together in a playne they laye.
The werke about them rychly was ywrought
And to the earth they were together brought.
Solempnely lyke the obseruaunces,
Of their rytes with the circumstaunces,
Of grekes vsed sothly in tho dayes.
Fro poynt to poynt as longeth to their layes.
Of suche as weren of estate royall,
So holden was the feast funerall,
Of these two whyles the trewse doth laste.
¶And they of Troye busyed them full faste,
With all their might and their bufy eure,
The grene hurtes and woundes for to cure.
By their aduyse that were in surgerye,
Full well experte to shapen remedye,
Their swolle sores to soften of their payne.
That in the space of these monthes twayne,
They were restored to helth in euery thynge,
In whiche time Priamus the kinge.
¶Suche sorowe made for Cassybellan,
In his herte that no wyght ne can,
Hym recomforte of his heuinesse.
For day by day of inwarde tendernesse.
Full pyteously he gan to sobbe and wepe.
¶And the body he made for to kepe,
Aboue the earth for a certayne space,
Tyll he had chosen out some worthy place,
To his burying and his sepulture,
And as Guydo vs fully doth assure,
¶In Venus temple ryche as any shryne,
He made his men a toumbe for to myne,
In marbell greye and metall rychely,
[Page]In whiche he put full solempnely,
The dead corps of this Cassybellan.
Beinge present full many manly man.
In the phane of Cytherea.
The whiche thynge when that Cassandra,
Within her selfe consydered and behelde,
And sawe vp offred his helme & eke his shelde,
His sworde also and vnto Mars his stede,
Of inwarde wo she felte her herte blede.
Heryng the noyse and the pyteous crye,
The tender wepynge and sorowyng vtterly,
Of them of Troye and lamentaciowne,
Which for their frendꝭ throughout al ye towne,
They gan to make that were slawe afore.
With sodeyne rage her herte was all to tore.
So inwardely she might her not restrayne,
Furyously to crye and to complayne,
And sayde alas full ofte and welawaye.
¶Oh wofull wretches that ye be this daye,
Vnhappy eke and graceles also,
Infortunate and inly wo bego.
How ye may suffre the great harmes kene,
Whiche ye are lykely hereafter to sustene,
Duryng the syege in this towne belocke,
Seynge your foen redy to be wroke,
Aboute you beset on euery syde.
To be venged on your great pryde.
I wote ryght well ye may them not eschewe.
That they ne shall vnto the death pursewe,
You euerychone besyeged in this place.
Without mercy rewth or any grace.
Alas alas why wyll ye besy be,
Ye wofull wretches shet in this Cite.
With the grekes for to seken peace,
Or the sworde of vengeaunce mercyles.
On hygh and lowe do execuciowne,
And or this noble worthy royall towne,
Euersed be and ybrought to nought.
Why lyst ye not consyder in your thought,
How the Modres with their children smale,
In stretes shall with face dead and pale,
Lye murdred there through grekes cruelte,
And yonge maydens in captiuite,
Be wepe shall in myserye and wo.
Their seruitute and this towne also.
So famous ryche alas it is pyte,
With grekes fyre shall destroyed be.
In shorte tyme sothly this no were.
Heleyne of vs alas is bought to dere.
Syth for her sake we shall euerychone,
Poore and ryche exceptyng neuer one,
An ende make wofull and pyteous.
The yre of them shalbe so furious.
Vpon vs all there is none other meane,
Saue onely death vs to go betwene.
¶This was the noise and the pyteons crye,
Of Cassandra that so dredefully,
She gan to make aboute in euery strete.
Through ye towne whom euer she might mete
Lyke as she had be out of her mynde,
Tyll Pryamus faste made her bynde,
And shytte vp it as the more routhe,
She was not harde albe she sayd trouth.
¶For neyther wysedome nor discrecion,
Counsayle nor wyt prudence nor reason,
Trouth nor rede withouten any lye,
Nor the spirite of trewe prophecye.
Auayleth not nor all suche sapyence,
In place where there is no audyence.
For be a man inly neuer so wyse,
In counsaylyng or in hyghe deuyse,
In workyng outher or in eloquence,
Eche thynge to se in his aduertence,
Or it be falle afore in his reason,
Amyd the eye of his discrecion.
Yet for all this it is the more dole,
Without fauour he holden is a fole.
For vnfauoured wisedome vayleth nought,
Neyther trouth how dere that it be bought.
As Cassandra for all her wyse rede,
Dispysed was and taken of no hede.
Of them of Troye to their confusyon,
But cruelly ythrowen in pryson,
Where as a whyle I wyll lette her dwelle.
And of grekes forth I wyll you telle.
ANd fyrst of all how Pallamydes,
Gan to grutche agaynst them yt chese,
He beyng absent kyng Agamenon,
To haue lordshyp or domynacyon,
On them all namely syth that he,
Was not worthy to suche dignite,
For to gouerne so great a myghty hoste.
Throughout the world come from euery cost,
Of kynges, prynces, so worthy of renowne.
For he therof had indignaciowne.
¶And sayd himselfe was of more poustee,
Amonge grekes and greater of degree,
[Page]Concludyng that by no maner weye,
To his power he ne wolde obeye.
In peace and werre as by subiection.
Syth he ne was at his election.
Platly affyrmyng how there were but thre,
Whan he was chose kynges of degre,
Where as thurty were that tyme absent,
For whiche he swore it was not his entent,
Nor accordyng with his opynyon.
¶In any wyse that Agamenon,
Of grekes shulde haue suche gouernaunce.
¶Lo what myschyefe lyeth in varyaunce.
Amonge lordes whan they not accorde.
For to drawe fully by one corde.
Enuye is cause of suche dyuysyon,
And couetyse of domynacyon.
That eueryche wolde surmounten his felowe,
This cursed vyse often hath withdrawe,
Hap and grace in many regyon.
For whan discorde and false discencion,
Allyed ben in hertes for to stryue,
Among lordes that kingdom may not thriue.
Tyll they reformed be agayne to peace.
Amonge them selfe playnely this no lease.
Of whyche thinge grekes token hede,
And thought not good ferther to procede,
In the matter that Pallamydes,
Ymeued had amonges all the prese.
And through their wyt they set all in quyete,
And made him his rancour for to lete.
And to accorde fully in his herte.
But nowe must I my style agayne dyuerte,
Vnto the werre and telle on the maner,
After the trewes how they mette yfeare.
LYke as the storye maketh mencion.
The worthy kyng the great Agamenon,
When the trewes were passed and ygone,
In all haste he gan ordeyne anone,
With all myght and waker dylygence,
Deuoyde of slouthe and all neclygence,
To sette his wardes full auysely.
¶And to Achylle he full prudently,
The fyrste warde cōmytteth for to lede,
And the seconde vnto Diomede.
The thyrde also to kyng Menelay,
And the fourth on the same daye.
¶He had Meneste the duke of Athene,
At his lodyng in stele armed clene.
And other wardes folowyng by and by,
Agamenon the kyng full manfully,
Ordeyned hath how they shall procede,
As he that was in all his worke and dede,
Full circumspect both in werre and peace.
¶And worthy Hector was not reckles,
To sette his wardes of them of the towne.
In knightly wyse of discreciowne,
And to Troylus so yonge freshe and lyght,
The fyrst warde with many lusty knyght,
He hath assygned and other wardes set,
So prudently they ne myght be no bet.
And forth in hast hym lyste no longer byde,
With many worthy rydyng by his syde.
Out at the gates he went of the towne,
Towarde grekes this Troyan champiowne.
And fyrst whan he sawe the fyerse Achylle,
He ne coulde no lenger kepe hym styll,
But smote his horse felly in the syde,
And towarde hym cruelly gan ryde.
The whiche thynge with a dispyteous eye,
Whan Achylles sothly gan espye,
Agayne Hector of manfull hardynesse,
With herte enuyous gan his stede dresse.
And in the fyelde together as they mette,
With rounde speres the poyntes kene whette,
At the encountryng of knightly excellence,
Eueryche other through great vyolence,
By very force bare other vnto grounde.
As full ofte it happeth and is founde,
Whan stronge doth mete with his peregall.
There is no more but eueryche had a fall.
But Hector fyrst of strength most assured,
His stede agayne hath anone recured.
And lefte Achylle tho of gentilnesse,
And in great hast forth he gan hym dresse,
Amonge grekes and where so that he rode,
He kylled and slewe all that hym with stode.
For wt his sworde he made their woūdes wide
And through the brest & some through the side,
He perced hath and waged them for euer,
And sheltroūs brake & made them to disseuer.
For in his herte him thought it did him good,
To hath his sworde in the grekes bloud.
And this continued tyll that Achylles,
Caught his stede agayne amonge the prese.
And entred in amonges them of Troye,
And with his swerde he made large weye.
Sleeth and bare downe whom yt euer he met,
[Page]For there was none hardy hym to lette.
Tyll it befell in his melancolye.
¶Hector he mette rydyng sodainly,
And when they sawe eche other come a ferre,
Without abode eueryche caught a spere,
And ran together there was no more a reste.
¶But Hector fyrst smette him in the brest,
That his spere playnely this no tale,
All to shyuered into peces smale.
That Achilles of necessyte,
To grounde goth it wolde none other be.
And vnhorsed at the earth laye.
And Hector then in all the haste he may,
Enforced hym for to catche his stede.
But many a greke in this great nede,
Came to rescues of this Achylles.
And for his loue put them selfe in prese.
Thrugh help of whō his horse he doth attaine
Enhastyng him with al his might & payne,
To be auenged of his great iniurye.
And sodeynly in his wood furye,
With a sworde ful sharpe ground and whette,
¶He smote Hector vpon the basenet,
That from his sadell he made hym to remewe
The whiche stroke he might not eschewe,
But for all that this noble worthy knight,
Of very force through his great myght,
Maugre his foen his sadell hath recured.
As he that was in manhode most assured.
And sodeynly in herte he wexed so wroth,
That in arage to Achylles he goth,
And with his sworde so smyt him on the head,
Through the basenet that the bloud all red,
By his face gan to ronnen downe,
Lyke a ryuer his chekes enuyrowne.
But he hym selfe deffendeth as a knyght,
And tho of newe began the cruell fyght.
Atwene them two to se that it was wonder.
For euery stroke great as dent of thonder,
Range in the eyre for none wolde other spare.
And this the soth in their fyght they fare,
Lyke wood Tygres or Bores in their rage,
Or sterne Bulles whan they be sauage.
That it semyd in very sothfastnesse,
If these two so full of worthynesse,
Contune longe in fyghtynge and endure.
The tone or both of cruell aduenture,
Must haue be dead of necessyte.
The whiche thyng had great petye be.
Bycause they weren worthy knyghtes bothe.
But whyle that they in fyghtyng fell & wroth,
Most busy were the grekes tho begyn,
With their wardes for to entre in.
And they of Troye the storye maketh mynde,
On their partye lefte not behynde,
But in the fyelde enhaste them euerychone.
In knightly wyse to mete with their fone,
That with the prease here and also yonder,
The knyghtes two seuered were a sonder.
¶And tho came in sterne Dyomede.
With the knyghtes whiche he there dyd lede,
Full lustly and in the selue place,
With whom hath mette proudly in the face,
Worthy Troylus on his horsebacke.
That neuer had yet in manhode lacke.
And as they countre the storye doth vs lere,
Eueryche vnhorsed knightly hath his feare.
¶But fyrst his horse recureth Dyomede,
And in all haste gan him for to spede,
Tassayle Troylus stondyng vpon foote.
And when he sawe there was none other bote
And knightly yet as dyd erst any man.
Agaynst hym to deffende tho he began.
But Dyomede hote as any fyre,
Wonder enuyous and hatefull of desyre,
With his sworde of rancour for the nones,
The ryche Cercle full of Inde stones,
That was that tyme on Troylus basenet,
Full cruelly hath raced of and smet.
But Troilus nolde for that him wtdrawe,
For hym deffendynge he hath the stede slawe,
On whiche sat that tyme Dyomede.
That mauger him he must alyght nede.
And whan they were on fote both twayne,
They dyd their myght and their cruell payne,
Eueryche of them other to assayle.
With swordes sharpe so that plate and mayle,
They gan to seuere and a sonder race.
As wood Lyons with mortall chere and face,
Tyll the Grekes stronge stoute and felle,
As myne auctour in his boke can telle,
Haue through their might caused Dyomede,
All sodeynly to recure his stede.
And Troyan knightes on the tother syde,
Haue Troylus brought a stede for to ryde.
¶And when they were horsed both two,
Without more they efte togyther go.
With stronge foynes and yfeare ran,
[Page]Eche at other as felly as they can.
Tyll at the laste cruell Dyomede,
Lyke as ye may in myne auctour rede,
Were it by case hap or aduenture,
In whiche no man fully may assure,
Or by fortune with her false vysage,
Had that tyme of Troylous avauntage.
For he on hym was fallen at myschyefe,
The whiche thynge to hym was no reprefe,
Though he him toke amonge so great aroute
On euery halfe with grekes set aboute.
Syth doubtous euer is the fyne of fyght.
Now vp, now down, now derk, & after bright,
For no wyght may be aye vyctoryous,
In peace nor werre nor ylyche eurous.
Let euery man syth hap it sette in doute,
Take his tourne as it commeth aboute.
Though troylus now was take of Diomede,
An other tyme he shall him quite his mede.
For as the storye telleth in this place,
This Dyomede but a lyttell space,
Troylus ladde forth as prysoner,
That to reskewes in stele armed clere,
Many Troyan came pryckynge in this nede,
That maugre all the myght of Dyomede.
They Troylus haue from his handes take,
And tho began the slaughter for his sake,
On euery halfe that wonder is to telle,
Of the Troyans and the grekes felle.
¶Than into fyelde is entred Menelay,
Whiche on Troyans all that ylke daye,
Full busy was auenged for to be.
To them he had so cruell enmyte.
¶And whan Parys sawe hym in the fyelde,
Towardes hym the ryght waye he helde.
And of purpose they their wardes sette,
Eche on other tyll they together mette.
And tho the skyrmyshe & the slaughter gan,
On outher parte of many manly man.
¶And all this whyle Hector ne wolde cease,
Amonge grekes cruelly to prease.
And new and new of hym as I read,
Alyke freshe the bloud of them to shede.
For of his sworde the traces were ysene,
That the grekes ne myghten not sustene,
To resyste nor stande afore his face.
But where he rode aye they gaue him place.
¶Tyll that a knyght whiche Boetes hyghte,
Yonge of age whan he had a syght,
How Hector slewe the grekes mortally,
On euery syde hauynge no mercy.
He preased in to encrease his name.
Perpetually to purchase him a fame.
And furiously in herte not aferde,
He caste platly to mete him in the berde.
The whiche thynge when Hector gan aduert,
So hyghe rancour enbraced hath his herte,
That with his sworde of indignaciowne,
He rofe hym euen to the nauell downe.
Fro the crowne with so great a payne,
That in the fyelde he parted laye in twayne.
And Hector tho assygned hath his stede,
To a squyer and bad he shulde it lede,
To Troye towne without more abode.
And all this while furyously he rode,
Amonge grekes and euer mercilese,
He slewe all tho that put them selfe in prese.
And shedde their bloud of herte despiteous.
The whiche thynge when kyng Archylogus,
Rydyng besyde sawe and gan espye,
How Boetes his cosyn and allye,
So cruelly was of Hector slawe,
Towardes him in hast he gan him drawe.
Vpon his death auenged for to be.
And rode at him with great cruelte,
Fully in purpose Hector for to quyte.
And sodeynly as he gan at hym smyte,
Hector vnwarely hyt him on the head,
So myghtly that he fell downe dead.
Parted on two by cruell aduenture.
Notwithstanding his mighty stronge armure
Agayne his stroke it was of no deffence,
For it was geuen with suche violence,
That it holpe hym in no maner thynge.
¶And then anone Prothenor the kynge,
Of hatefull yre and fole hardynesse,
Of surquedye and of hastinesse,
Of melancolye and indignacion,
Caught in his herte a presumpcion,
To assayle Hector of in warde folyshe pryde,
And goth to him attrauerse on the syde,
Furyously with a dispiteous herte.
That his commonge he might not aduerte,
Onely for he came at his backe behynde.
And vnwarely in Guydo as I fynde.
And Hector smote from his horse to grounde,
In whom there was so muche manhod foūde
That he anone with a knightly herte,
[Page]Without abode into his sadell sterte,
And ryght fyersely Prothenor purseweth,
That fynally his hande he not escheweth,
For with his sworde he marked hym so wele,
Through the basenet by his breste of stele,
That into twayne without any fayle,
He roue him downe into his paunce of mayle.
And he fell downe in full pyteous wise.
Of whych stroke the grekes sore agryse.
¶And specially the hardy fierse Achille,
When he behelde lyked it full yll.
¶For Prothenor was nygh his cosyne,
And descended of the same lyne,
For death of whom he hath such heuynesse,
So inwarde thought and so great distresse,
In all this worlde he ne wyst what to do.
For him he had so much payne and wo.
And for the death of him Archilogus,
To be auenge he was full desyrous.
And in his herte many waye he caste,
And in the wardes gan to seke faste,
With many greke on Hector to haue fall.
Conspyred fully in sothe amonge theim all,
Of one entente Hector to assayle.
But all for nought it would not auayle,
He was that daye so cruell in his rage,
They might of him haue none auauntage.
And Troian knightes by fauour of Fortune,
Vpon grekes so mightely contune,
Thrugh conueyeng of Hector and his might,
That they anone haue put theim to flyght.
And to theyr tentes maugre who that stryue,
In their pursuite forwoūded they them driue.
That here and there they laye as in a swowe,
And many a greke merciles they slowe.
The longe daye till it drewe to nyght.
And sothly then for very lacke of lyght,
These troians knightꝭ ful worthy of renowne
Aboute Hector repayren to the towne.
And entre in with honour and with glorye,
That daye of grekes hauing the victorye.
And thus I leue theim in their towne within,
And forth of grekes to tel I will begyn.
VVhan Hesperus the faire bright sterre,
Agaynst eue hath caste his streames fer,
And in the west rathest gan appeare,
Whan the twylight with a pale cheare,
In maner morneth thabsence of the sonne.
And night aprocheth with his coopes dunne.
The same time when Titan toke his leue,
That clerkes call Crepusculum at eue,
Whych is not elles but the meane lyght,
Of Phebus absence and the dercke night.
And twylight hatte for it is a meane,
Of daye and night departing theim betwene.
Fully nother but of both ymeynt,
Or the heauen be clustered and depeynt,
With bryght sterres in the eueninge.
AT whyche tyme Agamenon the kinge,
For his lordes sodaynly hath sente,
To come echone anone into his tente.
And when they were assembled all yfeare,
Tryst and heuy with a ruthfull cheare,
They gan ye slaught of Hector to complayne.
Affirming playnly they ne maye attayne,
Vnto victorye while he were alyue.
Wherfore they gan to conspyre blyue,
The death of him in many sondry weye.
Echone concludynge whyle he were in Troy,
It was not lykely grekes for to wynne.
For he alone of them that were within,
Was chiefe deffence and protectiowne.
And soueraynly vpholder of the towne.
Their mighty Castell and their stronge wall,
And vnto grekes deadly foe mortall.
For they ne myght his great force endure,
Nor neuer aryght agayne their foes be sure.
He standyng hole they sayde in no degre,
Nor whyle he floureth in felycitye.
Wherfore echone of one entencion,
They condiscende to this conclusyon.
That by some slyght of awayte lyinge,
Whan he were moste busy in fyghtynge,
Amonge them in myschyfe or distresse,
That Achylles do his busynesse,
With all his might vnwarely hym to assayle.
That hym to slea for nothynge that he fayle.
¶And grekes all gan their prayer make,
To Achilles for to vndertake.
Of this Empresse fynally the suite.
Through his manhode that it be execute,
The hasty deth of their mortall foe,
And Achylles without wordes mo,
Their request assenteth to perfourme.
And to their luste gan hooly hym confourme.
From that tyme lett hym beware I reade,
[Page]To be to hasty this iourney for to spede,
Vpon Hector his power for to kythe.
Lest fortune awronge her face wrythe,
To loke on him wyth a frowarde cheare,
Him to brynge vnto his handes nere.
Through sorte or hap of Hector folylye,
To put his lyfe of death in Ieopartye.
Lest vnto him it happe euen lyche,
To fall him selfe in the same dyche,
That he for Hector compassed hath & shape,
For it is wonder if that he escape.
Sith Hector had without any dreade,
As brennyng yre and as great hatrede,
To Achilles his death for to puruey,
If he hym founde or in any place to saye,
Conuenyent for execucion.
I trowe there should gayne him no raunson,
Nor other mede his herte to quyete,
But onely death when so that they mete.
This the ende and fyne of my mattere,
As in this boke after ye shall heare.
And thus Grekes made haue an ende,
Of theyr counsayle and anone they wende,
Eueryche of theim home to theyr lodgynge,
And toke theyr resten till in the morninge.

¶Howe the troians toke kinge Thoas pry­soner and led him captiue to Troie. Ca. xxiiii.

VVhan Aurora the syluer droppes shene,
Her teares shad vpon the freshe grene,
Complayning aye in weping & in sorow,
Her chyldrens death euery somer morowe,
That is to saye when the dewe so soote.
Enbawmed hath the floure and eke the roote
With lusty lycoure in Aprill and in Maye,
When that the larke messenger of daye,
Of custome aye Aurora doth salue,
With sundrye notys her sorow to transmewe.
Or Phebus ryse with ioye and gladnesse,
Through hermonye to leue her heuynesse,
Taking her leue with sainct Iohn to borow,
The same time Grekes by the morowe,
With lusty herte early did aryse,
And armed theim in all theyr best wise.
For they theim caste that daye for to gone,
Into the felde to mete with their fone.
¶And Hector hath the same morowe also,
I cast him fully with Grekes haue ado.
And yssued is knightly out of Troye,
In herte he hath so great desyre and ioye,
The same daye with grekes for to fyght,
And wyth him ladde many lusty knyght,
Of such as were of the Cyte borne,
And forthe he rode him selfe all aforne,
¶And Eneas with many a worthy,
Folowed after wonder fast by.
¶And Paris thē and next him Deiphobus,
¶And syth Troylus that was coragious,
With all the wardes made of Troye towne,
In which as Dares maketh menciowne,
Within his boke there were on Troye syde,
Of fighting men yt went and that did ryde,
And hundred thousande armed for to go,
Into the felde and fyfty thousande mo.
Which haue theim cast that daye or at eue,
Of one entent Grekes for to greue.
¶And so they mette strongly on other syde,
And gan assemble and together ryde,
Full cruelly and with great hatrede.
And with theim tho that Paris had to lede,
He entred in full mighty stronge archeres,
Of Perce lande with many Arbalasters,
That with theyr arowes filed sharp & roūde,
And wt quarelles square whette and ground,
Full many greke hath reued of his lyfe.
And amiddes of this mortall stryfe,
¶Agamenon into the felde is come.
Towardes whom Hector hath ynome,
The right way & threwe him from his stede,
Amonge his knightes that he there did lede.
He spared nought for all the great prese.
¶And therwithall anone came Achilles,
That in awayte of Hector tho had layne,
And sodaynly with all his might and payne,
¶Hector he smote on the head so sore,
That wt ye stroke mine auctour sayth no more
His basenet was bowed and ycrased.
¶Of which stroke Hector not amased,
On Achilles shuld anone yfall,
Ne had Eneas with his knightes all,
And worthy Troylus come and go betwene.
The which twayne with their swerdes kene,
Gan Achilles felly for to assale.
To hewe his playtes and to perse his mayle.
And tho began the slaught on euery syde,
Of men of foote and of theim that ryde.
¶Like a condyte their woundes gā to blede,
[Page]And in this whyle cruell Dyomede,
Were it by hap aduenture or case,
So as he rode mette wyth Eneas,
And ryght anone as he had him founde,
He smet at hym and gaue him such a wound,
That lykly was he should it not recure,
But if therto be do the better cure.
¶And therupon full despyteously,
Thys Diomede in his melancolye,
Repreued hath this Troian knight Enee,
And sayd to him all hayle for thou art he,
That whylom gaue to Pryamus the kinge,
A fell counsayle hasty and bytynge,
Me to haue slayne by sodayne violence,
When I was last at Troye in his presence.
That trust me wel and haue it well in minde,
Amyd the fyelde if I the eft fynde,
Thou shalt thy counsayle mortally repente.
If that fortune hereafter will assent,
To brynge the aryght vnto my hande,
At good leyser here in thine owne londe,
¶I am full sette thy laboure for to quyte.
& here my trouth this swerde shal kerue & bite
So kenely thy Troian bloud to shede,
That fynally death shall be thy mede,
The which I beare atwene my hādꝭ twayne
And wt that word he might him not restrayn,
This Diomede but rode all sodaynly,
Vpon Enee and tho so furyously,
He smote at him this hardy cruell knight,
With such a payne and so great a myght,
That from his horse he made him for to fall.
Maugre the myght of his knightes all.
The which stroke he lyked but full yll.
¶And in this while Hector hath Achylle,
Assayled so that through his basenet,
He perced hath and with his swerde him smet
And hath so narowe brought him to ye poynt,
Of hye mychefe and in suche disioynt,
Constrayned hym that of necessite,
He had hym take ne had only be,
Sodayne rescues of thys chyualrous.
¶That called is the sonne of Tydyus,
I meane the fell fyrse Dyomede.
Which Achilles hath holpen in his nede.
For he through force of his armes twayne,
Smote Hector tho with so great a payne,
That he him gaue a wounde full greuous.
But he nothyng mine auctour wryteth thus,
Astoned was this knight this manly man,
But with his swerde in all the haste he can,
Smote Diomede so furyous and wrothe,
That from his horse to the earth he gothe.
For all his pryde and his surquidrye.
¶The which anone as Troylus did espye,
Without abode downe of his stede alyght,
With Dyomede a foote for to fyght.
And eche of theim in sothfastnesse than,
Aquyte him selfe lyke a manly man.
That nother was in muche nor in lyte,
In no degre of manhode for to wyte.
¶And while they fought, Hector & Achilles,
Togyther mette agayne amonge the prees.
And ran yfeare fyersly in theyr rage,
As wood Lyons when they be ramage.
Right so in sothe they faired in their fighting.
And in that tyme Menelay the kinge,
Full proudly shope him Troians for to mete,
¶Vlyxes eke and also Pollymete,
And after him came Neptolonyus,
¶Pallamides and eke Scelemus.
¶Duke Meneste, Nestor and Thoas,
¶Currynulus and Phyloctheas.
¶And Theseus as it is made mynde,
With his knyghtes proudly came behinde.
¶And on the partye of theim of the towne,
Came all the kinges without excepciowne,
That were assembled into their d [...]ffence,
Agayne Grekes to maken resystence.
Except the knightes which yt Hector ladde,
And the wardes that he made hadde,
The same daye as sayeth the Latin boke,
In knightly wyse the fyelde when yt he toke.
And tho began the fell mortall fyght,
In which that daye ful many worthy knight.
In fates handes fynally are fall.
And of fortune amonge the wardes all.
¶Agamenon the noble mighty kynge,
All sodaynly as he came rydynge,
¶Pantysylaus in his waye he mette,
Agaynst whom anone his horse he sette,
And he to him full knyghtly rode agayne.
And as they mette there is no more to sayne,
On horse backe whiles they weren wrothe,
Of violence they were vnhorsed bothe.
¶And Menelay Parys mette of newe,
The whych two well togyther knewe,
Full desyrous eche other for to dere.
[Page]¶But Menelay caught fyrst a spere,
And hytte Parys wyth all his busy cure.
But for surenesse of his stronge armure,
And mighty plates his woūde was but small.
Which in effect greued not at all.
But with that stroke vnto grounde he gothe.
Of whych fall Parys wexed wrothe,
Wonder confuse and also red for shame,
Lest the reporte in hinderyng of his name,
Came to the eares of quene Heleyne,
How he that daye might not atteyne,
With Menelay to holde chaumpartye,
Lykly to sowne vnto his vilanye.
The whych at herte greued him full sore.
And Adrastus the kinge withouten more,
So as he rode the kinge Vlyxes fonde,
And knightly both they fought hōde to hōde,
And as they fought downe to the earth lowe,
From his horse Vlyxes hath him throwe.
And ful proudly in sygne of his victorye,
He sente his horse home to his Tentorye.
¶And in that tyme amonges all the prese,
¶Full sodaynly kynge Pallamydes,
Is fall on Hupon with his lockes hore,
And in his yre wounden him so sore,
That he fell dead and grouelyng to ye groūd.
His mortall swerde was so kene ygrounde.
Besyde whom Neptolonius,
Assayled hath kinge Archylogus,
The whych him selfe manly gan defende,
But as they faught and many strokes spēde,
In their diffence it would be none other.
Eueryche of theim hath vnhorsed other.
¶And tho came in riding on his stede,
¶Pollidamas and gan to taken hede,
Amonge the renges a lytell him besyde,
Where as the kinge Pollamides doth ryde.
And fiersely tho full lyke a manly man.
He smote his stede and to him he ran.
And maugre his might and his worthinesse,
As the storye playnly beareth wytnesse.
Onely to venge the death of kinge Hupowne,
From his stede he proudly bare him downe.
And in his rancoure and his cruell hete,
Of that despyte gan him to rehete,
¶And tho besyde the kynge Scelenus,
Of deadly hate and herte full yrous,
With kinge Carras by aduenture hath met,
And furyously from his stede hym smet.
¶And then also the kinge Philomene,
Is on the Duke fall of Athene.
That maugre both his manhode & his might
He hath his horse berafte him in this fyght,
And lad with him proudly by his syde,
Where as him lyst that it shoulde abyde.
¶And Philoctetes the worthy kinge also,
The selfe tyme with Remus had ado.
And euery other sothly as I reade,
His felowe made to voiden from his stede.
¶And Theseus the king that was so strong,
Amid the fyelde so as he rode amonge,
In great prese hathe met Curyalus.
The worthy king of knighthod most famous
And both two in armes wonder stronge,
By theim selfe fought at leyser longe,
Til eche other with woundes freshe & grene,
His felowe threwe from horsback on ye grene.
And afterwarde I fynde how they two,
Vpon foote knightly had ado.
They were in armes so inly desyrous.
And of manhode passyngly famous.
¶And all this whyle the sonnes naturell,
Of Pryamus bare theim wonder well,
Amonge Grekes vp and downe ryding,
And prudently together abydynge,
Made a slaught of grekes full pyteous.
Of kinges, dukes and lordes right famous.
And as I reade how worthy Thelamowne,
That tyme mette kynge Sarpedowne,
And with theyr speres squared full sharply,
Eueryche hath wounded other mortally,
Through shelde & plate & haberion of mayle.
That as the storye maketh rehersayle,
How their harneys wexed of bloud red,
And how they fell almost bothe dead.
At great myschyefe amonge the horse fete.
Of whose bleding the soyle gan wexe wete,
Through theyr harneys as it gan destylle
Whiles kinge Thoas and the fyerse Achille,
As they that were of kynne and allyed.
¶Amyd the fyelde Hector haue espyed,
Where as he faught beset amyd his foen,
And vpon him of one accorde they gone,
And mortally if that it would auayle,
On euery halfe they gan him newe assayle.
And of hate in herte borne of yore,
They haue beset this Troian knight so sore.
That they alas from his head hath smet,
By violence his ryche basenet,
[Page]And wounded him felly on the head.
But for all that he ne toke none hede,
This worthy man floure of chyualrye,
But him defending tho so myghtely,
¶Kynge Thoas smet him in the face so,
That wyth a stroke he rafte his nose a two.
And shorted it by the halfe dele.
To whych stroke the brother naturele,
Of manly Hector fast gan theym hye,
To succoure him when they first espye,
His great myschyefe and at theyr in coming,
They so manly bare theim in fightyng,
¶Agayne Grekes ye Thoas they haue take,
And Thelamon so they made a wake.
With newe assaute of sharpe woundes kene.
That he was take and lefte vpon the grene.
And of his men borne home to his tente.
¶And kinge Thoas home to Troye is wēt,
Maugre grekes which may hī helpe no more
For Deiphobus and also Anthenore,
Haue sent him forth to Troye the Cyte.
¶And Menelay tho began to se,
¶So as he rode Parys stande asyde,
And shope him shorty of hate & cruell pryde.
If it would fallon on his chaunce,
Sodainly to giuen him mischaunce.
¶But he was ware & kept him self so narow
¶That Menelay he marked with an arowe,
The head of which wt venym was enoint,
Intoxycate at the square poynt,
That the king of that dreadfull wounde,
All dispayred of his men was founde.
Whych in great haste bare him to his tent.
And he anone for surgyens hath sente,
Which fyrst the head toke out of his wounde,
Albe it was yperced full profounde,
Through his harneys depe into the bone.
But cunningly they did theyr craft echone,
To drawe it out with their instrumentes,
And subtylly with certayne oyntmentes.
They serched haue the wounde enuyron.
To make it cleane from corrupcion.
And prudently first they token hede,
That the venum further nat procede.
Rounde in compasse clensed it aboute,
And after that bounde it sure without,
And defensyues made on euery syde.
And Menelay no longer would abyde,
And bad in haste to bryngen forth his stede,
¶In purpose full Parys to quite his mede,
If he him finde the selfe same daye,
Him lyst no longer put it in delaye,
What euer fall of his grene wounde.
And forth he rode tyll he hath him founde,
By aduenture vnarmed in the fyelde,
Without swerde pollax spere or shelde,
Or bowe in hande were it of recklysnesse,
Or to refreshe him after werynesse.
¶And Menelay a spere anone hath take,
And in his yre felly gan it shake,
Towarde Parys by great auysenesse.
And shoulde haue slayne him as by lyklinesse,
Ne had Eneas whych all this thinge beheld,
Bore of the stocke with his stronge shelde,
To defende him in this auenture,
Destytute and naked of armure.
¶Parys that tyme in suche peryll was,
Wherfore in haste hath this Eneas,
Ordayned knightes armed bryght in stele,
¶Aboute Parys for to kepe him wele,
From all myschyefe and confusyowne,
Hym to conueye vnto Troye towne,
Right in despyte of kinge Menelay,
Which in awayte so for Parys laye.
¶Whom Hector had ytaken sodaynly,
And vnto Troye ladde hym vtterly.
Ne had Grekes come in his defence,
Agaynst him to maken resystence.
¶Of which Hector as they came in his weye,
Full many Greke made for to deye.
And the remnaunt put vnto the flyght,
That through his māhode yt day & his might,
Troians made the Grekes for to fle,
Vnto their tentes of necessytee.
And theim to sewe ne would neuer leue,
But slee and kill tyll it drewe to eue.
That Phebus gan faste for to weste,
To drawe thē home they thought for the best.
For Tytan was at his goyng downe,
Whan they gan entre into Troye towne.
Their gatꝭ shet they to their lodging wende.
And of this daye thus they made an ende.
Tyll on the morowe that the rowes red,
Of Phebus carte gan to ouer sprede.
Afore his vpryste in the Oryent.
At which tyme king Pryamus hath sent,
For such as were wyth him most pryue.
And of his counsayle inwardly secre.
[Page]¶And specially he sent for by name,
¶For worthy Hector ye greatest was of fame
¶For Parys eke and for Deiphobus,
¶And for Troylus freshe and desyrous.
¶For Anthenor and for Pollidamas,
¶And for the Troian called Eneas.
For he that daye cast him not to gone,
Into the felde to mete with his foen.
And when they were to his paleys come,
These lordes haue the right waye ynome,
Vnto the kinge within his closet.
And when the vssher had the dores shet,
And eueryche had lyke to his degre,
His place take and his dewe see,
This worthy kinge as made is mencion,
Gan to declare his hertes mocion,
And his meninge afore theim specifye,
And sayd syres in whom I most affye,
¶To you is knowē how ye king Thoas here,
Is in this Cite taken prisonere.
And is as yet belocked in prisowne,
Whych euer hath be vnto Troye towne,
An enemye great vnto his power.
And vs offended aye both ferre and nere.
In many wise albe we lytell retche,
As ferre as he his force might do stretche.
And now wt Grekꝭ came to besiege our town,
As he that willeth our destructiowne.
And therupon hath do his busynesse,
Wherfore of dome and of rightwysnesse,
Both of reason and of equite,
I saye playnly as semeth vnto me,
So that it be to you acceptable,
And that ye thynke my counsayle cōmēdable,
Like as he hath cast our death and shape,
I holde it rightfull that he not escape.
But that by death he receyue his guerdon.
For ryght requireth and also good reason,
That death for death is skilful guerdonning.
Vnto my witte and right well syttyng.
¶Say your aduise now playnly in this case,
¶And fyrst of all tho spake this Eneas,
And sayd lorde so it be none offence,
To your highnesse to gyue me audyence,
Thrugh support here of thē that be full wyse,
I shall reherse playnly my deuise,
What is to worke as in this mattere.
Me semeth fyrst my lyege lorde so deare,
That your noble royall excellence,
Consydre shoulde with full high prudence,
In euery worke and operacion,
To caste afore in conclusyon,
The fynall ende that may after sewe.
For to a wyse man onely is not dewe,
To se the gynning and the ende nought.
But both attones peysen in his thought,
And weye theim so iustly in balaunce,
That of the fine ensewe no repentaunce.
Why I saye this and platly why I meane,
Is for that ye ought for to sene,
How kinge Thoas one of the pryncipall,
Amonge the grekes is and of yt bloud royall.
If ye consydre descended as by lyne.
Wherfore if he haue thus foule a fyne,
As to be slayne whyle he is in pryson,
It happen might as in conclusyon,
That ye and yours that therto assente,
Here afterwarde shoulde it sore repent.
¶I preue it thus that by aduenture,
Of fortunes rule that no man may assure,
Some of your lordes were another daye,
Of grekes take as it happe maye.
Or of your sonnes full worthy of renowne,
Or of kinges that here be in this towne.
Trusteth me well that suche lyke gentylnesse,
As ye to theim shewen in their distresse,
They will you quyte when in case semblable,
Fortune to theim they fynde fauorable.
The which no man constrayne may or binde
Wherfore my lord haueth this thing in mind.
¶For yf Thoas of shorte auysemente,
Shall now be dead through hasty iudgemēt,
Another daye Grekes wyll vs acquyte,
And for rygour make their malyce byte,
On some of yours who euer that it be.
And nother spare high nor lowe degre.
Though he were peraunter of your bloud.
The which thinge for all this worldes good,
It might fall that ye ne would se.
Wherfore I reade to let kinge Thoas be,
Honestly kept in your presowne,
Like his estate still here in this towne,
Lest as I sayd that another daye,
Some lorde of yours as it happe maye,
Casuelly were take of auenture,
By his eschaunge ye might best recure,
Without stryfe your owne man agayne,
In this matter I can no more sayne,
[Page]But fynally this is my full rede.
¶To which counsayl Hector toke good hede,
And for it was according to reason,
He it commendeth in his opynion.
¶But Pryam euer of one entencion,
Stode alway fixe to this conclusion.
Playnly affirminge if greks may espye,
That we this kinge spare of gentrye,
They will arrecte it cowardyse anone,
That we dare not venge vs of our foen,
For very dread hauynge none hardynesse,
Nor herte nother to do rightwisenesse.
Yet neuerthelesse after your assente,
That he shall lyue I wyll in myne entente,
To your desyre fully condescende.
¶And of this counsayle so they made an end,
Without more. saue Eneas is ygo,
¶And Troylus eke and Anthenor also,
Into an hall excelling of beaute,
The quene Heleyne of purpose for to se.
With whom was eke Hecuba the quene,
And other ladyes goodly on to sene,
And many mayde that yonge & lusty was.
And worthy Troylus with this Eneas,
Did their labour and their busy payne,
For to comforte the fayre quene Heleyne,
As she that stode for the werre in dreade.
But for all that of very womanheade,
Thilke time with all her herte entere,
As she well could made to theim good chere.
Hauinge of conninge iuly suffysannce,
Both of cheare and of dalyaunce.
And Hecuba beyng in this hall,
Very example vnto women all,
Of bounte hauinge soueraygne excellence,
In wisedome eke and in eloquence,
Besought theim tho wonder womanly,
And counsayled eke full prudently,
For any haste both of nigh and ferre,
Auysely to kepe theim in the werre,
And not ieoparte theyr bodies folyly,
But to aduerte and caste prudently,
In diffence knightlyy of the towne,
Theim to gouerne by discresciowne.
She spake of fayth & could nothing feyne,
And then of her and after of Heleyne,
They toke leue and no longer dwell,
But went their waye & forth I will you tell,
¶How the Grekes on the same morowe,
Amonge thē selfe complayne & makē sorowe,
Their harmes great in murmur and in rage,
The losse the costes and the great domage,
That they haue there endured folylye.
Lastynge the werre and wisten neuer whye.
The death & slaught of many worthy man,
That there were dead sith yt the werre began.
Hunger and thurst watche and colde also,
Full great vnreste sorowe, thought, and wo,
And all together for a thinge of nought.
In sothfastnesse if the grounde be sought.
This was the noyse & rumour eke that ran,
Throughout ye hoost yt day from man to mā.
And most amonge the pore souldiours.
Which bare the bronte euer of such shoures.
And the mischiefe of werre comonly,
And though they plain they haue no remedy.
Of sondry thinges which sit theim full vnsoft.
And thus grekes complayned haue full ofte.
Of many mischief that hath on theim fall,
The which they might haue eschewed all,
If they ne had of foly gonne a werre.
Out of Grece nat come halfe so ferre,
To their mischief and confusyon.
This was that daye their lamentacion.
¶Which to encrease the same nexte night,
So derked was without sterre light,
So cloudy blacke and so thicke of ayre,
Dimmed with skyes foule and nothing fair,
So windy eke with tempest all belayne,
Almost for drenched with the smoky rayne.
And in the felde astoned here and yonder,
With sodayne stroke of the dreadfull thonder,
And with opening of the hidous leuene,
That it semed in the high heauen,
The Cataractes hadden be vndo.
For both the cloudes and the skyes two,
Sodainly wexen were so blake,
Like as the goddes would haue takē wrake,
And had of newe assented be in one,<