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,
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,
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,
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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;
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
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.
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,
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.'
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.
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.
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.