Destruction of Troy

            Achilles hade appetite, & angardly dissiret,
9105      The Citie for to se, and the solemne fare
9106      At the entierment full triet of ŝe tru prinse.
9107      Ŝan vnarmyt he entrid, euyn to ŝe citie;
9108      To Appollo pure temple passit anon,
9109      There the body of the bold blithly was set,
9110      Of honerable Ector, as I ere said.
9111      There were plenty of pepull, prise men & noble,
9112      And worthy wemen to wale weping with teris,
9113      In sykyng & sorow syttyng aboute.
9114      The taburnacle titly vntild was aboue,
9115      On yche syde, as I say, who ŝat se wold,
9116      Ŝere the body was aboue of the bold prinse,
9117      In his sete, as I said, sittyng full hoole,
9118      Ŝat arayet was full richely, as I red haue,
9119      With bame & with balsaum, ŝat brethid full swete.
9120      At the fete of ŝat fre was his faire moder,
9121      Honerable Ecuba, oddist of ladys,
9122      And Polexena the pert, ŝat was his prise suster,

[Page 297]

9123      With mony worshipfull wemen to wale in ŝe towne,
9124      The here of ŝere heddes hynging on brede,
9125      On backe & on brest bare for to shew;
9126      With remyng, & rauthe, & myche rife sorow,
9127      Sobbyng & sourcher soght fro ŝere herttes.
9128      Polexena the pert pairet of hir hew,
9129      All facid hir face with hir fell teris,
9130      Ŝat was red as the Roses, richest of coloure,
9131      Hit was of hew to behold with hend men aboute.
9132      The teris ŝat trickilt on her tryet chekes,
9133      As pure watur pouret vn polishet yerin,
9134      Ŝat blaknet with bleryng all hir ble qwite.
9135      The faire heris of ŝat fre flammet of gold,
9136      All abouen on hir brest & hir bright swire,
9137      Ŝat sho halit with hond, hade it in sonder,
9138      And puld hit with pyn, pité to be-hold.
9139      When the hond of ŝat hend to ŝe hede yode,
9140      Hit semyt by sight of sitters aboute,
9141      As the moron mylde meltid aboue,
9142      When ho hasted with hond ŝe hore for to touche.
9143      When Achilles the choise maidon with chere can behold,
9144      He hade ferly of hir fairhede, & fell into thoght.
9145      To hym-seluyn he said in his saule ŝen,
9146      Ŝat neuer wegh in this world of woman kynd,
9147      Hade fairnes so fele, ne so fyne shap,
9148      Ne so pleasaund of port, ne of pure nurtur.
9149      As Achilles this choise in chapell beheld,
9150      A fell arow in his frunt festnet of loue,
9151      Woundit hym wickedly by will of hym-seluyn;
9152      And lurkid doun lagher to his low brest,
9153      All hatnet his hert, as a hote fyre,
9154      Made hym langwys in Loue & Longynges grete.
9155      Ay the more on ŝat maidon the mighty beheld,

[Page 298]

9156      The sarre woundit he was, & his wille hatter.
9157      Lo, so sodainly with sight in a sad hast,
9158      A whe may be woundit ŝurgh wille of hym seluyn!
9159      Thus, Achilles by chaunse is chaltrid in grym,
9160      With loue of this lady, ŝat ledis to ŝe dethe.
9161      All the care of his cure the kyng has forgeton,
9162      And all meuit out of mynd saue the maidon one!
9163      When ŝe day ouerdrogh to ŝe due tyme,
9164      Ecuba the honerable, & hir awne doghter,
9165      Turnyt from the temple and to toune yode;
9166      Wentton hom wightly, weppit nomore.
9167      The lede loked hir after with a loue egh,
9168      ffolowand on fer, ŝat fre to beholde,
9169      Ŝat was cause of his combranse & his cold dethe:
9170      Ŝan with langur of lust, & of loue hote,
9171      He was stithly astondid, stird into ŝoght.
9172      So he passid the port, & his pale entrid,
9173      Turnyt into tent, takon full hard.
9174      The buerne into bed busket anon,
9175      Seke & vnsound, set out of hele:
9176      Mony thoghtes full ŝro ŝrang hym within,
9177      And was laburt full long in his lefe saule.
9178      He feld in his fare, & his fell hert,
9179      Ŝat the cause of his combraunse was the clere maidon.
9180      Thies wordes, in his wo, witturly he said,
9181      Soberly to hym-selfe, ŝat no saule here:---
9182      "Now wrecche full vnworthy, wo mot I ŝole,
9183      Ŝat mony stalworth in stoure, & stuerne men haue kyld,
9184      Might non abate of my blysse, ne my ble chaunge.
9185      Noght Ector of all other, oddist of knightes,
9186      Hade no sleght me to sle, ne to slyng vnder,

[Page 299]

9187      Ne ouercome me by course with his clene strenght.
9188      A ffrele woman me fades, & my fas chaunges,
9189      And has gird me to ground, & my gost feblit!
9190      Syn ho is cause of my care, & my cold angur,
9191      Att what leche vppon lyue might I laite hele?
9192      There is no medcyn on mold, saue the maiden one,
9193      Ŝat my sors might salue, ne me sound make.
9194      The whiche ŝof I loue, & langwisshe to dethe,
9195      With prayer, with prise, ne with pure strenght,
9196      Ne for worthines of wer, ne of wale dedis.
9197      What wildnes, or worship, waknet my hert
9198      ffor to hap her in hert, ŝat hates my-seluyn?
9199      In hir cuntre to come, & hir kyn sle,
9200      Hir fadur & hir fryndis, fond to distroy,
9201      And hir brother haue britnet, ŝe best vpon erthe?
9202      On what wise in this world wilne shuld I hir,
9203      Most exilent of other, onerable of kyn,
9204      Of Rent, & of Riches, rankir ŝan I,
9205      And passes of pertnes pure wemen all?
9206      Hit semith me vnsertain, all serchyng of wayes;
9207      Ys stokyn vp full stithly, shuld streche to my hele!"
9208      Ŝen he turnys in his tene, & terys on his chekes
9209      Ronen full rifely, for his ranke sorow.
9210      Ŝen he driet vp the dropes, & dreghly can syle.
9211      On all wise in this world he his wit cast,
9212      ffor to wyn to his will, if werdis noght let.
9213      Ŝen he rose fro his rest in a Rad hast,
9214      Asket water at his weghes, wesshed hym anone,
9215      Refresshing his face for facyng of teres,
9216      And dride vp his dropes for dymyng his ene.

[Page 300]


9217      Anon as the night passid, & neghid the day,
9218      Yet lastoon the lell tru the lordes betwene,
9219      He ordant to Ecuba, the honerable qwene,
9220      A message for the maiden by a mene frynd,
9221      Priuely to passe to the prise lady,
9222      Ŝat worthy to wilne to his wif euyn,
9223      And mell with a mariage & matremony hole,
9224      As a lady to liue to hir lyues end:
9225      On suche couenaund to kepe, yf ŝat dere wold,
9226      He shuld procour the prinse, & the prise grekes,
9227      To pas fro ŝat prouyns, payre hom nomore;
9228      And nought tary on the towne, ne no tene wirke,
9229      Withoute condiscoun, or cause, for to come after.
9230      The mon, ŝat this message meuit for to do,
9231      Was a seruond full sure of the same kynges.
9232      When he hade told hym ŝis tale, toght hym to go,
9233      He made hym redy full rad, ron to the toun,
9234      Esely to Ecuba etlit he anon,
9235      And all his charge, to ŝat chefe, choisly he said.
9236      The worthy, to ŝat wegh, ŝat was of wit noble,
9237      Depe of discrecioun, in dole ŝof sho were,
9238      Sho herknet hym full hyndly, & with hert gode,
9239      And onswaret hym esely, euyn on this wise:---
9240      "ffrend, ŝou shall fairly fare to ŝi lord,
9241      And say hym vpon sewertie thy-seluyn with mouthe,
9242      In ŝat at menys to me, with my might hole
9243      I shall filsyn ŝis forward, in faith, ŝat I can;
9244      But, I will say the, my son, or ŝou sew ferre,
9245      I most wete all the wille of my wale kyng,
9246      And my sonnes, for sothe, or I say more,
9247      Yf ŝai graunt will ŝis grace, with a goode wille.

[Page 301]

9248      ffull onsware, in faith I forme ŝe not here,
9249      But come the thrid day, full ŝroly, withoutyn ŝrepe more,
9250      Sew to my selfe, & I the say wille
9251      Vne faithly before, as hit fare shall."
9252      When the messanger hade melit with ŝe myld qwene,
9253      Than he lut to ŝe lady, & his leue toke,
9254      Meuit to his maistur, & the mater told.
9255      Ŝen comford he caght in his cole hert,
9256      Thus hengit in hope, & his hele mendit:
9257      More redy to rest, ricchet his chere.
9258      This honerable Ecuba, eft, when hir liked,
9259      Preset vnto Priam, and Paris hir son;
9260      Caght hom in counsell, & hir cause told,---
9261      All the maner of the message from ŝe main kyng.
9262      When Priam persayuit the proffer of ŝe greke,
9263      Long he stode in a stody, or he stir wolde
9264      Doun hengond his hed, herkonyng the qwene:
9265      Mony thoghtes full ŝro ŝrang hym within!
9266      Thus onswart ŝat honerable euyn to his wif:---
9267      "A! how hard were my hert, to hold hym as frend,
9268      That so highly me hyndret, & my hate seruet!
9269      All the leght has he lost fro my leue ene,
9270      Thurgh slaght of my son, ŝat my sore ekys!
9271      ffor whose dethe, vppon dayes, all the derfe grekes
9272      Hertyn hom full hogely, my harmes to encres.
9273      But to fle all the offence, & fortune to come,
9274      In sauyng of my selffe & my sons als;
9275      Ŝat I may lyff in my lond in my last dayes,
9276      Out of batell & baret in my bare eld,
9277      I assent to ŝi sagh, vpon soche wise,
9278      Ŝat he ŝis forward fulfille, & before do,
9279      And with no gawdes me begile, ne to greue ferre."

[Page 302]

9280      The prise wordes of Priam Paris alowet,
9281      And demet to be don, as the duke said,
9282      So ŝat his wiffe, o nowise,---worshipfull Elan,---
9283      Shuld be sent to hir souerain, ne seche vnto grece,
9284      But leng in ŝat lond to hir lyues end.
9285      The ŝrid day, full ŝroly, ŝriuond Achilles
9286      Sent his message, full mekely, to ŝe myld qwene.
9287      He past to hir priuely, and the pert fond,
9288      And asket of ŝat onerable onsware to haue.
9289      Thus said hym ŝat souerain with a softe speche:---
9290      "I haue wetyn the wille of my wale kyng,
9291      And of Paris, my pure son, prestly also:
9292      Bothe assenton to ŝis sound, sothely, to me,
9293      On suche couenaunt to kepe, ŝat the kyng shall
9294      All ŝo forwardes fulfill, first, of hym-seluyn.
9295      All ys holly in hym, hold yf hym lyst,
9296      ffor to sew hit hym-seluyn, say hyt fro me:
9297      So hit keppit be in cource, carpit no ferre,
9298      Tyll yssu be ordant, after his deuyse."
9299      Ŝen be leue of ŝe lady, the lede on his way
9300      Past at the port, & the pale entrid:
9301      To his maistur of his mater menit anon,
9302      All the truthe of the tale, tomly to end.
9303      Achilles was choise fayne, cherit hym the bettur,
9304      And now hatnis his hert all in hote loue:
9305      Myche myndit the mater, in the mene tyme,
9306      And to bryng hit aboute besit hym sore.
9307      Hit heuet his hert of his hegh proffer,
9308      Ŝat passit his pouer, to Priam the kyng;
9309      ffor hit longis to a louer soche a light vice,
9310      In the hete of his hert, for his hegh lust,
9311      To proffer soche prise thing, ŝat passis his might,
9312      And festyn in forward, ŝat hym for-thinkes after.

[Page 303]

9313      Yet hopit he full hertely, for his hegh prowes,
9314      And doghtenes of dede with his dregh strokes,
9315      If he gright with the grekes to graunt hom his helpe,
9316      Ŝat ŝai the lond shuld leue & lightly go home.
9317      Ŝen Achilles did cherisshe the cheftan of all.
9318      Palomydon, the prise, by purpos of hym,
9319      All the grete of the grekes gedrit hym somyn,
9320      To a counsell to come for the comyn proffet.

9321      When prinses & prise kynges were in pale somyn,
9322      Among tho mighty with mouthe menit Achilles:---
9323      "Now, fryndes faithfull, in feliship here!
9324      Kynges, & knightes, & other kyde Dukes,
9325      That the charge, & the chaunse hase of ŝis choise wer,
9326      Thurgh oure might & oure monhod maintene to gedur!
9327      What whylenes, or wanspede, wryxles our mynd?
9328      Ŝat for meuyng of a man,---Menelay the kyng,---
9329      And the wille of a woman, as ye weton all,
9330      Oure londes haue leuyt, & oure lefe godys,
9331      Our childur, oure choise folke, & chefen fro hom
9332      Vnto a cuntre vnkynd, with care at oure herttes:
9333      Oure godys, oure gold vngaynly dispendit,
9334      And oure persons be put vnto pale dethe.
9335      Oure kynges are kyld, & oure kyd Dukes:
9336      Oure buernes with baret britnet in feld,
9337      Ŝat might haue leuet in hor lond, as lordes at hame.
9338      And my selfe, sothely, suffert full hard,
9339      Wickedly woundit, wasted my blode.

[Page 304]

9340      At the dethe of the derfe prince, soche a dynt hade,
9341      I wend neuer, witturly, walked on fote.
9342      Hit greuys me full gretly, & to ground brynges,
9343      Whethur Elan be so honerable, or of so hegh prise,
9344      ffor hir, oure Dukes to dethe, & oure derfe kynges.
9345      In yche lond, lelly, ŝat lithe vnder heuen,
9346      Are wemen to wale, of worship full mony,
9347      Ŝat Menelay may mightily mell hym to haue,
9348      And chose hym a choise, withouten charge heuy;
9349      And not so mony be mard, ne on mold ded,
9350      Ne all grece for to greve, with no ground harme.
9351      Hit is not light for vs lite, ŝis lond to dystroy,
9352      Ŝat haue a Cité full sure, & Surffetus mony,
9353      Bothe of kynges, & knightes, & kid men of armes:
9354      And we, the worthiest in wer, haue wastid in dethe,
9355      Kyld of oure kynges, and other kyd Dukes.
9356      This suffises, me semys, to ses with oure worship;
9357      Kayre to oure cuntre, & couet no more!
9358      Ŝof Elan leue in ŝis lond, & not laght worthe,
9359      Hit greues not full gretly, ne no ground harme,
9360      Syn we Exiona, the suster of the sure kynges,
9361      At hom holdyn for hir, ŝat is a hede lady,
9362      And more honerable ŝan Elan, of auncetre grete."

9363      When the wegh hade thies wordis warpit to end,
9364      Here he seset full sone, said he no more.
9365      Ŝan Toax, the tore kyng, talkys agayne,
9366      With Menelay & mo, mighty of astate,
9367      Gright with the gret & agayne stode:

[Page 305]

9368      All the most of ŝo mighty, with a mayn wille,
9369      Dyssaisent to the dede, demyt hit for noght.
9370      Achilles at tho choise men cheuert for anger,
9371      Vne wrothe at hor wordes, & wightly he send
9372      To all the Mermydons, his men, and his mayn pepull,
9373      That no freke to the feld fare shuld to batell;
9374      Ne to go with ŝe grekes, to greue hom with-in.
9375      Ŝen hit auntred in the ost of the od grekes,
9376      Ŝat hom failed the fode, and defaute hade:
9377      Hongur full hote harmyt hom ŝen,
9378      And fayntid the folk, failet ŝe strenkith.
9379      Palomydon a perlement puruait anon,
9380      And the grete of the grekes gedrit he somyn.
9381      Ŝan ordant thei all men Agamynon the kyng,
9382      With mony shippes full shene shapon ŝerfore,
9383      To fecche hom som fode, & filsyn hor strenght.
9384      Agamynon, full goodly, by grement of all,
9385      Meuyt vnto Missam with mayn shippes fele,
9386      & rofe ŝere full radly, raiket to the kyng.
9387      And Thelaphon hym toke with a triet chere;
9388      ffylde all his fyne shippes, & his fraght made;
9389      Stuffit hym with store, ŝat hom strenght might.
9390      Toke leue at ŝe lord, and the land past;
9391      Sailet hom soundly to the sure tenttes;
9392      Was welcom I-wis to the weghes all.
9393      ffayne were ŝo freikes of ŝe fre kyng!
9394      Palomydon, the prise kyng, prestly gart ordan
9395      All the shippes full shene shapyn to rode;
9396      And all the navy full noble, naitly aray,
9397      Atyrit with takell, & trussyng of Ropes,
9398      To be Redy for the Rode, yf ŝai Red toke.
9399      And so ŝai lyue ŝere in legh: oure lord gyf us Ioye!



Laud Troy Book




In-to the toun wente he blyue,
11959    And to the temple Apolynys
11960    Yede he to se, what Ioye & blis
11961    Aboute Ector Troyens made:
11962    He fond ther non that was glade,
11963    But makyng dele & gret wepyng;
11964    Be-fore Ector saw he sittyng

[Page 353]

11965    Ectuba, the semely quene,
11966    And hir douyter Pollexene;
11967    And fele ladies of gret genterie
11968    Here ther In that companye.
11969    Thair heer faire a-boute hem spred,
11970    On eyther halff hit was fair sched,
11971    Hit henged doun by-nethe her pappes,
11972    By-nethe here mydeles, by-nethe here lappes.

11973    Thei made gret del & sykyng,
11974    Thei were echon In euel lykyng,
11975    Mechel del & mechel mone
11976    A-boute Ector made thei echone.
11977    Ector yit sat als entere
11978    And so fair In his solere,
11979    As he was furst ther ordeyned;
11980    The baume so his body susteyned
11981    Fro al appayryng & alle sauour,
11982    And ffro chaungyng of his colour.

11983    The tabernacle on eche a syde
11984    Was vn-done and opened wyde,
11985    That eche man, bothe yong & old,
11986    On eche a syde Ector behold.

11987    Achilles loked on that werk faste;
11988    As he his eyen aboute him caste,
11989    So was he war of Pollexene
11990    Faste sittynge by the quene,
11991    He loked vpon the damysele
11992    And saw the teres fro hir fele.
11993    But thoow that lady fair & swete
11994    Wonder sore & hertly grete,

11995    Not-for-thi for alle hir payne
11996    Sche wex nother pale ne wayne,
11997    Sche lost not of her fayrnesse,
11998    Off hir beaute ne hir swetnesse.

[Page 354]

Hic Achilles Amat Pollexenam Filiam Regis Troiani.

11999    Al hir wo ne al hir pyne
12000    Made hir not hur fayrnes tyne,
12001    The teres that so fro hur ran
12002    Made hir nother blo ne wan;
12003    Hit for-did no-thyng hir sight,
12004    Hir eyen were euere clere and bryght,
12005    For alle here wepyng were thei not dym,
12006    Ne sche not apayred In neuere a lym.
12007    Ther is no man that is on lyue,
12008    Hir fairnesse that myght discryue---
12009    For siker sche was as fair a woman
12010    As man scholde sette his eyen vpan.

12011    Achilles loked euere In on;
12012    So ffair a thyng as sche was on
12013    Saw he neuere In al his lyue---
12014    Widwe, ne mayden, ne non wyue.
12015    As he loked In hir vysage,
12016    His herte torned & his corage,
12017    Him hadde leuere than any thyng
12018    He hadde ben siker of that swetyng:
12019    Alle his herte and his delite
12020    Was to haue of hure a sight,
12021    He loked on hir as he were mad.
12022    The more lokyng to hir he had,

12023    His long lokyng hir louely sight
12024    Be-rafft him clene of his myght;
12025    But he myght not his lokyng leue,
12026    That thoght myght no man him byreue:
12027    He loked to hir the while he myght,
12028    Til the day was gon, & hit was nyght.
12029    Off alle thinges that euere was wroght
12030    Was non so mochel In his thoght;
12031    Him thoght it yede thorow his hert,
12032    So sore sche made him ake and smert.

[Page 355]

12033    When it was nyyt, the quene vp ros,
12034    And Pollexene home with here gos;
12035    Achilles loked afftir that wenche
12036    With more longyng than man may thenche,
12037    Til sche out of the temple was went.
12038    Achilles In hir loue then brent;
12039    And this was al the bygynnyng
12040    Off his sekenes and his lyggyng,
12041    That he afftir In his bed lay
12042    For loue & longyng of that may.

12043    When he myght hir no lenger se,
12044    His herte for sorwe brast on thre,
12045    He turned him hom to his tent
12046    And In his bed as-tite he went.
12047    That nyght for-sothe litel he scleped,
12048    He turned him offte & sore weped;
12049    Hir loue hade wounded him so depe,
12050    That he myght not that nyght slepe.
12051    He saw hir loue on him was gret,
12052    Al his body brast on swete,
12053    He tholed for hir gret penaunce,
12054    He waried thanne that foule myschaunce:

12055    'Alas,' seide he, 'that I was born!
12056    That I am now thus foule lorn
12057    Thorow a mayden that is so tendre,
12058    With-oute myyt, feble, & sklendre.
12059    And he that was so mychel of myght,
12060    The strengest that was In any fyght,
12061    Ector of Troye, that doughti man,
12062    That price & honour of alle men wan,---
12063    That alle the men that stalworthe wore
12064    He ouercome with strokes sore,
12065    Alle that were styff & strong
12066    That doughti knyyt to dethe throng;

[Page 356]

Lamentacio amoris Achillis.

12067    I knewe neuere non that hadde that myght,---
12068    That was so strong ne douyti wyght,---
12069    Ayeyn him that myyt stonde,
12070    Whil he leued In this londe---
12071    And yit he with alle his fforce
12072    Ne myyt ouercome my carful corse!
12073    And now am I thus ouercomen,
12074    That al my myght is fro me nomen

12075    Thorow a mayden feble & frele!
12076    How schal I come to my hele?
12077    Ho schal do me any medecyn?
12078    Sche hatis me & al my kyn
12079    For hir brother that I slow;
12080    I may not keuere,---I wot neuere how?
12081    For I may not vnto me drawe
12082    Her hert for-sothe for loue ne awe!
12083    Ne with prayeres may I not spede;
12084    I may not to hir my loue bede,

12085    I may not so of loue hir pray,
12086    I may not so that lady assay.
12087    Ne my richesse ne my gret yiffte
12088    May not hir hert to me lyffte,
12089    For sche is richer for-sothe then I;
12090    I wot neuere how to come hir by?
12091    Ne---I wote wele---I may not spede
12092    Thorow my strengthe & my kynrede,

12093    For thoow my kyn be gentil & gode,
12094    Sche is comen of genteler blode
12095    Then I or any of my lynage.
12096    How schal I my sorwe aswage,
12097    When I no wise, no way can fynde
12098    By strengthe, richesse, ne by kynde,
12099    Ne with prayers hir loue to wynne?
12100    The wo is gret that I am Inne

[Page 357]

Hic Achilles mandat nuncium ad Reginam.

12101    In gret wodnes am I now broght!
12102    Alas! how com I in-to this thoght!
12103    I can not wete---so god me saue!---
12104    How that I here loue schal haue?'
12105    He leued that nyyt In that gret sorwe;
12106    The sonne was risen faire at morwe,
12107    A carful nyyt he thenne hadde lede,
12108    Til he was risen vp of his bede.

12109    At morwe whan he was rysen,
12110    Off him selff was he a-grysen,
12111    Off his sorwe so strong In myyt
12112    That he hadde al that long nyyt.
12113    He called to him a siker man,
12114    Al his consayl him telle bygan
12115    And sayde: 'if thow wol trewe be,
12116    Ful riche yifftes yeue I the;
12117    For-sothe schal I faile the neuere,
12118    I schal the make riche for euere.

12119    Go to Hectuba, the quene,
12120    And say: "I loue so Pollexene,
12121    That I schal falle for-sothe In rage,
12122    But I haue hir In mariage."
12123    Bid hir sicurly my wordes byleue,
12124    And if sche wol me hir doghter yeue
12125    To me hastly In wedlak,
12126    That I schal remewe al this pak:
12127    The Gregeis alle schal I make go
12128    To the lond that I come fro.

12129    Al this ost schal I remewe---
12130    As I am a knyyt trewe!---
12131    Kynges & dukes, lord & sires,---
12132    To gret honour to hire & hires
12133    With couenaunt & condicioune,
12134    Iff sche wol haue me to hir sone.

[Page 358]

12135    Ne thei schal neuere amendes make,
12136    Harme ne schame ne sclaunder take,
12137    For alle the harme & vylony,
12138    Slauyt of men, ne robry
12139    To hem of Grece that thei haue done---
12140    By him that made sonne & mone!---
12141    Ne for the quene dame Eleyne rape---
12142    If my couenaunt wille skape,---
12143    But Paris schal hir stille holde
12144    Vnto his wyff, be he right bolde.'

12145    This man was trewe as any stele,
12146    He vndirstode his erand wele,
12147    He wiste wel what he scholde say:
12148    He hyed him faste vpon his way,
12149    As faste as he myyt gone;
12150    To Hectuba he come anone,
12151    He tolde hir al his mayster thoght,
12152    Word by word for-yate he noght.

12153    Hectuba, the quene of pris,
12154    Was ful witti & ful wis,
12155    Sche seyde to him as lufly hende:
12156    'Abyde me here, my louely frende!
12157    This thyng may not be ent
12158    With-outen my lord kyng assent.
12159    I schal ther-fore vn-til him gange,
12160    Sicurly I dwelle not lange.
12161    What he wol say, I wol the telle;
12162    Ful longe schal I not fro the dwelle.'

12163    Vnto the kyng the quene hir hyed,
12164    To him this consayl sche discryed:
12165    "What Achilles to him bed,
12166    For-whi his doughter he most wed;
12167    How he scholde alle the Gregeis gare
12168    In-to ther contre for to fare,

[Page 359]

Hic Priamus miratus est.

12169    And remewe & leue the sege,
12170    And be-come his man lege,
12171    And Elayn leue with Alysaundre
12172    With-outen amendis, with-oute slaundre."

12173    Pryamus chaunged al his blod,
12174    When he al this vndirstod;
12175    Al his blod be-gan to colde,
12176    When Hectuba thes wordes tolde;
12177    In his herte ran many a thoght,
12178    That he the quene hadde be-soght.
12179    An hundrid sithe sore he siked,
12180    When he thoght how he be-swiked
12181    His sone Ector that he sclow;
12182    At his herte was care y-now,
12183    He thoght on his deth so fast,
12184    The water of his eyen out-brast.
12185    'Alas, the while!'---the kyng seyde tho---
12186    'To graunte this thyng that me is wo!
12187    How scholde I fynde In my wil
12188    His askyng now to fulfil?
12189    How scholde I loue In body or gost
12190    Thing In erthe I hate most?
12191    That refft me al my worldis Ioye,
12192    That slow my sone, Ector of Troye!---
12193    But for to eschewe al other perrel,
12194    That more harm not to vs fel,
12195    Ayeyn this thyng may I not stryue;
12196    That I may haue myne other on lyue,
12197    Myne other sones to haue lyuand,
12198    I graunt his bone myn vn-willand:
12199    So that he do furst alle these thynges
12200    That he sente hidur In tydynges,
12201    That we be [be-]trayed noght,
12202    When we haue graunted al his thoght.'

[Page 360]

Hic Priamus concedit Pollexenam Achilli.

12203    Hectuba, worthi In wede,
12204    To the Messanger a-yeyn yede:
12205    'I haue'---sche seide---'thin erand sayd
12206    To Priamus, that wel is payd
12207    Off his askyng; so is Paris:
12208    Bothe are thei payde of his y-wys.
12209    And I for-sothe anendis me

12210    Schal do his wille, that schal he se;
12211    So that no thyng be broght to ende,
12212    Or euere my doghter fro me wende.'
12213    The Messager held vp his hondes
12214    And thonked hir of tho tythandes;
12215    When he hadde graunt of his askyng,
12216    On his way yede he syngyng:
12217    He toke his leue, for he was blythe.
12218    Ham-ward wente he thanne swithe,
12219    He made his lord bothe blythe & glad,
12220    He tolde him what answere he had
12221    Off Priamus, and of Hectuba,
12222    And of Paris; he seyde alsa:
12223    "How thei hadde alle graunt his bone"---
12224    'Alle thi wille for-sothe schal be done;
12225    Iff ye wol do that ye haue hete,
12226    Al schal be done with-oute lete.'

12227    In somer was neuere no nyghtyngale,
12228    The throstel ne no wodewale,
12229    The throche ne the lauerok,
12230    The papeiay ne the throstel-cok
12231    So mery syngand In thaire note,
12232    As he be-gan thanne to lote;
12233    When that he was of here assured,
12234    Ne hadde not elles his wo endured.
12235    But than be-gan he for to kest,
12236    How he myght do this thing best.

[Page 361]

Hic Achilles mandauit post Reges Grecorum.

12237    That he be-het to the quene
12238    For hir douyter Pollexene
12239    By his man, his Messager;
12240    For hit was not In his power
12241    To remewe that company.
12242    He thoght he hadde done foly,
12243    That he hadde hight hem suche a thyng
12244    That he myght not to ende bryng.

12245    But not-for-thi, what vp so doun,
12246    He traist so mechel In his renoun,
12247    In his grete dedes & his chyua[l]rie
12248    That he hadde done be-fore here eye,
12249    That if he leffte hem In that byker,
12250    In his herte was he sekir
12251    That thei scholde leue al her querel,
12252    For drede of harm & perel
12253    That hem schulde falle In that stour,
12254    Iff thei for-yede his socour.

12255    Hit was a day whil trewes last,
12256    Achilles In his hert cast
12257    That he wolde make the lordes alle
12258    That were of Grece come to his halle:
12259    His Messager anon he sende
12260    To alle the lordes that were him hende,
12261    And bad hem come al at ones
12262    To speke with him In his wones.

12263    Ther was no lord that with-stode,
12264    That ne thei als sone to him yode.
12265    When thei were comen thedur euerychon,
12266    Thei sat as stille as any ston;
12267    Achilles sayde: 'lordynges, my peres,
12268    Herkenes now to me and heres,
12269    Why that I sende afftir yow
12270    For thing that is for yowre prow.

[Page 362]

12271    I haue meruayle what vs ayled
12272    That we the kyng of Troye assayled,
12273    Whi that we this werre be-gan
12274    For the loue of a womman?
12275    We haue by-gonne folily this striff
12276    For Menelaus the kynges wiff.

12277    What deuel ayled us to leue oure londes
12278    In other straunge mennes hondes?
12279    As thoght we roght not of oure lyues
12280    Off oure childryn & oure wyues
12281    At home that we behynde vs leffte;
12282    An aunter were we schal se hem effte.
12283    And we ar here at gret dispence
12284    To make of this werre defence;
12285    Oure goodis fast begynnes to waste,
12286    We may be beggeres alle In haste.

12287    We suffur wo of oure bodyes
12288    As men---me thynke---that are vn-wyse;
12289    We take here not but woundes
12290    And ligge In dikes as dede houndes.
12291    Ne here is non a-monges vs alle
12292    That wot w[h]at wol him by-falle;
12293    For the beste of vs echon
12294    May haue harm, and thei non,
12295    In woundes sore & gret brosures.
12296    He is a fole that him ensures
12297    In his strengthe & In his myght,
12298    For I my-selff haue ben euel dyght:

12299    Many a wounde haue I here tholed,
12300    My body hath ben y-holed.
12301    Was I not hurt so sore now last
12302    That I wende neuere to haue I-past?
12303    I was for-sothe the deth so hende,
12304    That non of yow my lyff ne wende.