General notes

Ihesu þat ert of miȝte most, {f.167rb} View Facsimile
Fader & sone & holy gost,
Ich bidde þe a bone,
Ase þow ert lord of our ginning
5000 & madest heuene and alle þing,
Se and sonne and mone,
ȝeue hem grace wel to spede
Þat herkneþ what y schel rede,
Ihesu, God in trone.
1000 Of a kniȝt was to batayle boun,
Sire Gij is sone þat hiȝte Rey[n]broun,
Of him y make my mone.

His fader Gij þat him get,
He was a werrour swiþe gret;
1500 Þar nas nowhar his per
In Fraunce, in Pycardy,
In Spayne, in Lombardy,
Neyþer fer ne ner.
Mani batayle he began
2000 For þe loue of o wimman
Þat was him lef & dere.
Siþe Rey[n]broun on hire he wan
Þat was a swiþe douȝti man,
Ase ȝe may forþward here.

2500 ¶ Þay were togedre fifti niȝt {f.167va} View Facsimile

After a spusede þat swete wiȝt
Wiþ meche melody.
Þanne was beȝete þat baroun,
His sone þat was cleped Rey[n]broun,
3000 Of þat kniȝt sire Gij.
Fourti wikes wiþ child ȝhe was
& dilyured þourȝ [Godes] gras
And is moder Mari.
Cristned hit was werschipliche,
3500 Reinbroun men calde him sikerliche,
For soþe and nouȝt ne lye.

¶ Heraud hadde þat child to lore
Seue winter and wel more;
Ful wel he gan him lere.
4000 Be þat he was seue winter old
He was a fair child and a bold,
And of swete chere.
So hit befel þat of fer lond
Marchauns riche, ich vnderstond,
4500 Hider þai come were.
Gold and seluer þai brouȝte meche,
Badekenes and pane riche,
Gris and menyuer,

¶ Bras, maslyn, yren & stel,
5000 Wod-wex, selk, and cendel,
Gingiuer and galingale,
Clowes, quibibes, gren de Paris,
Pyper, and comyn, and swet anis;
Mani a riche bale,
5500 Fykes, reisyn, dates,
Almaund, rys, pomme-garnates,
Kanel and setewale,
Scarlet and grene wel ywrouȝt;
More richesse wiþ hem hii brouȝt
6000 Þan y can tellen in tale.

¶ Þai riuede at Londen þat cite
King Aþelstond þan fonden he
Þat her was king wiþ croune.
A ȝaf hem leue in alle wise
6500 To wende wiþ her marchaundise
In is londe fro toun to toune.
To Walingforde þai gonne fare,
A strong bourȝ þai fonde þare -
Þai boskede & made hem boune – {f.167vb} View Facsimile
7000 Ac it was strued, wiþouten lesing,
For werre of Heraud & þe king,
Hit was niȝ brouȝt adoun.

Þe marchauns kedde hii wer fre,
A Spayniis mvle þan token he,
7500 To Heraud hii [hit] sende.
For he was lord of þat cite,
Wiþ him hii þouȝte wel to be;
So þai han him kende.
Sire Heraud, for soþ to say,
8000 Bad hem ete wiþ him þat day
Er hii þannes wende.
Þe marchauns seie þe child goand
In þe halle faire pleiande,
Þat was so faire and hende.

8500 ¶ At a kniȝt hii askede anonriȝt
Whas was þo child so faire of siȝt
And of swete chere,
And he answerde anon, y pliȝt,
‘Hit is Gij is sone, þe gode kniȝt,
9000 Þat Heraud haþ to lere.’
Þe marchauns hem beþouȝte
ȝif hii þat child haue mouȝte
Hii wolde stele him þere;
& ȝif hii hadde þat child bolde,
9500 Richely into her londe þai wolde
And selle hit ful dere.

¶ Wiþ þe porter þai speke stille,
Þat hii hadden al her wille.
Þai ȝeue him riche mede,
1000 He betauȝte hem þe child þare,
And into schip þai gonne fare;
Away þai gonne him lede.
Þay gonne saily toward Roussy,
Al glad hii were þet londe to sy;
1050 Hii þouȝte wel to spede.
Al siker hii were alond te gon,
Ac swiche a strom hem cam vpon,
Þat sore hem gonne drede.

¶ Þe wind began to blowen loude,
1100 Þe elmence þikkede on þe cloude;
Gret strom hem wex vpon.
Þe four wyndes began to blowe,
Þe se gan tornen & to þrowe, {f.168ra} View Facsimile
Ded hii wende haue ben echon.
1150 Here ropes toborsten, her mast also,
Þar nas non þat him nas wo;
Hii made reuful mon.
To Ihesu crist þai gonne crye
And to his moder Marie;
1200 Nas þer no beter won.

¶ Þe wind faire slake gan,
Mery in þe se þe schip ran.
Ase God hit wolde
Þai wer driuen al þe niȝt,
1250 In Aufrik þai riuede riȝt;
Þai toke a wel gode holde.
Þe marchauns han it vndernome
Þat hii beþ into Aufrik come,
Hii þouȝte þat hii wolde
1300 Þe king of þe lond presenti
Wiþ þat child þat was so fry
And of chere bolde.

¶ Of hem hii token marchauns þre
Þat noble were, courteis & fre,
1350 Wiþoute more duelling.
Þai toke þat child, veraiment,
And made þerwiþ a present
To Arguus þe king.
Þe king hadde a douȝter fair
1400 Of al Aufrik ȝhe was air,
A swiþe fair ȝonling.
Meche ȝhe kouþe of menstralcie,
Of harpe, of fiþele, of sautri,
Of romaunce reding.

1450 ¶ So was Reynbroun, for soþ to say,
Meche liche þat faire may
Of semlaunt and of chere.
Besouȝt ȝhe haþ be hir moder rede,
& to hire fader king ȝhe sede,
1500 ‘Leue, fader dere,
Y mote him in me chaumber norsy:
ȝet a may me seruy;
Norture y schel him lere.’
Þe king him graunted þourȝ alle þing,
1550 For he hire louede wiþoute lesing,
To ben hire plaie-fere.

Whan sire Heraud parseued was {f.168rb} View Facsimile
Þe child was stole, for þat cas
Gret sorwe he gan make.
1600 He let seche him in þat cite,
Mani man made gret pite
For þat childes sake.
Wiþ mesagers a sente is sonde
To seche him in mani londe
1650 ȝif hii him miȝte oftake
& whan hii him finde ne miȝte
Sorwe hii made day & niȝte,
For drede þai gonne quake.

¶ Hit nas nouȝt longe after þan
1700 Þat in Londen held king Aþelstan
A riel parlement.
Sire Heraud þeder gan gon;
Þe king a werschipede & mani on,
Whan he was þeder ywent.
1750 Oþer hadde þerof envie
And þouȝte hii wolde on him lye,
Þat a wer yschent,
& segge he hadde Reinbroun sold
For is wiȝte of rede gold
1800 To þe marchauns, verayment.

¶ ‘Lordinges’ seide þe king ycore,
‘Al ȝe ben to me yswore
For helpe me at nede.
ȝour consaile wite y welle.
1850 Wel ȝe witen ȝe han herd telle
Ase ȝour eldren sede,
Þat þe king of Denemark
Þourȝ a geaunt stor & stark
Kalaungeþ al oure þede.
1900 A gret ost he haþ ynome
& ȝif he may vs ouercome
He makeþ our sides blede.’

¶ ‘Sire’ queþ Heraud ‘þarf þe no drede.
Þourȝ Godes help we scholle wel spede
1950 Þei he vs wile asaile.
Gode kniȝtes ȝe han & cite stro[n]g,
ȝif ȝe him douteþ it is wrong
For al is grete taile.
Myn eldren seide, ich vnderstonde,
2000 Þe Dennisch men hadde riȝt in þis londe,
Wiþouten eni faile, {f.168va} View Facsimile
Whilom & nouȝt ful ȝore it is
& siþþe þai han it lore, ywis,
And here folk in bataile.

2050 ¶ Now þai han loren here riȝt,
Hii weren ouercomen in fiȝt
Þourȝ help of God almiȝte.
Þarfore ensemle þe barouns
Þat haþ þe toures & þe tounes
2100 Before þe an hiȝte.
At what hauen þai alende,
Ase tit aȝen hem we scholle wende
Wiþ hors and armes briȝte.
& ȝif a comeþ in þis londe, ywis,
2150 We scholle sle him & alle his,
So wel we scholle fiȝte.’

Þanne seide þe king ‘þow hast wel sed,
Þow hast red me a gode red;
Yblessed mote þow be.
2200 A beter rede ne wot y non;
Ase þow hast seid so y schel don,
Also mote ich þe.
Þow ert me beste consailer;
In al þis lond þer nis þe per
2250 Þat ich mowe yse.
Al þe while icham coren king,
Don ich wile be þe teching,
Sire Heraud þe fre.’

Þe duk Medyok vp aras,
2300 Of al Cornewaile lord he was,
A sterne kniȝt & a grim.
‘Sire king’ a seide ‘herkne to me.
Þow ert nouȝt wis ase þe holdest þe,
Whan þow leuest on him;
2350 Þow werschepest him fer & ner,
And he nis boute a losenger
Ful of tresoun [and] gin.
Beter we beþ to þe consaile
Þanne þe treitour, wiþouten faile,
2400 Be God and seinte Martyn.

¶ His gode lord traye he gan
Þat þourȝ him he was maked man,
Of Warwik sire Gij.
Euel he haþ is while ȝolde
2450 Whan he Reinbroun, is sone, solde {f.168vb} View Facsimile
To þe marchauns of Roussy;
For gold & seluer gret plente
To þe marchauns diliurede he,
Ase we gonne aspie.
2500 & ȝif he hadde þe riȝte lawe
A scholde ben hanged & drawe
For þat trecherie.’

¶ Þo Heraud herde him speke so,
Him þouȝte his herte barst ato,
2550 Vp he sterte an hye.
‘Felawe duk’ a seide ‘þow lyxst,
Whan þow wiþ tresoun me betwyxst;
Þow dost me vileynie.
Þow hit schelt to soþe bringe
2600 Þat þow hast seid before þe kinge,
Or þow schelt abye.
Hasteliche now arme þe,
Anon it schel proued be
Þat þow dost on me lye.

2650 ¶ Ich wile þat y ben hanged & drawe
Boute y defende me wiþ þe lawe
Of þis famacioun,
Þat þow seist y scholde selle
Me lordes sone þat ich of telle,
2700 Þat men clepede Reinbroun.
Whan ich þe soþe parseued hadde,
Þe marchauns him hadde [a] wei ladde
Me ofþouȝte þat tresoun.
Wiþ mesagers y sente me sonde
2750 To seche him in mani londe;
Þow lyxst on me feloun.

¶ Before þe king I say þe riȝt,
Þarto me treuþe y þe pliȝt.
To seche him y schel fonde
2800 In Fraunce, in Lombardie,
In Spayne, in Spir, in Roussie,
In mani an honkouþ londe.
Betwene þis and þe lond of Ynde
ȝif a be, y schel him fynde,
2850 And bringe him to honde.
& whan ichaue so ydo
Þin heued y schel smite þe fro,
For no man nel ich wonde.’
Catchword: ȝis felonn queþ
þerl of cornwa

¶ ‘Pes, feloun’ queþ [þ]erl of Cornewayle, {f.169ra} View Facsimile
2900 ‘Al þe lesing schel þe nouȝt vaile.
Traytour þow worst holde.’
Þat herde anoþer kniȝt,
Egar a het, forsoþ apliȝt,
Heraud is man ytolde.
2950 His steward, forsoþ, he was.
steward: MS unclear; perhaps stiward.
He sterte vp in þat plas
And to þe duk a wolde.
‘Felawe duk’ a seide ‘þow lixst,
Whan þow me lorde betwixst
3000 Þat he Reinbroun solde.

¶ Fif hondred siþe haue þow maugre
Of Ihesu þat sit in trinite,
Ihesu ful of miȝt,
Boute þow swiþe arme þe
3050 & do þe bataile aȝenes me
And proue(d) it ariȝt.’
Þar hii hadde togedres smite
Nadde þe king hit vnderȝite
& departede hem an hiȝt.
3100 He bad hem lete be þat fare,
& besouȝte hem to make hem ȝare
Aȝenes þe Dennisch king to fiȝt.

Heraud wiþ is ferde fre
Wente to Walingford þat cite
3150 Ful of sorwe and care.
‘Egar’ a seide ‘þow schelt beleue
& kepe þis land to me beheue
And forþ ich wile fare
Til ich Reynbroun finde may.
3200 Y ne schel reste niȝt ne day
Til ich wite whar he ware.
Ac war þe fro þerl of Cornewayle;
He wile arere on þe batayle,
He nele þe noþing spare.’

3250 ¶ ‘Sire’ queþ Egar ‘we scholle vs were,
Þat he ne schel vs noþing dere,
Þei he vs wile agreue.’
Heraud wente out of þat cite,
For him was maked gret pite,
3300 Whan he tok his leue.
Hasteliche to schip a wente,
Gode wind and weder God him sente,
In Denemark þai gonne riue. {f.169rb} View Facsimile
In Fraunce, in Lombardie,
3350 In Spayne, in Spyr, in Roussie
Reynbroun a souȝte bliue.

¶ Þourȝ mani londes þai him souȝte.
Whan hii miȝte finde nouȝte
To schip þai gonne fare.
3400 To Costantin-noble hii wolde wende,
Swiche a tempest God hem gan sende
Þat hii come nouȝt Þare.
Þai were driue wiþoute þe toun,
In Aufrik þai riuede soune.
3450 Þanne wer þai ful of care.
Þe cite on þe riuage hii sye,
Meche & wide, & walles hye,
Of blisse þai wer al bare.

¶ ‘O God’ seide þe meister þo,
3500 ‘Gret mishap is come vs to;
Our lif y telle ylore.
In Aufrik we ben, wiþouten lesing,
Vpon Arguus lond þe king;
Worsse man nas neuer bore.
3550 Al þat leueþ in Godes lawe
A wile he hem hongen & todrawe;
His oþ he haþ yswore.
Al for soþe we beþ dede
Boute God vs helpe at our nede
3600 Þat was of Marie bore.’

¶ Heraud seide ‘whas is þis cite?
Distrued it is so þenkeþ me.
Her haþ be strong bataile.’
Þe maroner seide ‘y þe telle.
3650 For soþe, sire, lye I nelle,
Wiþouten eni faile,
Hit is þemerailes Parsan;
In þis world nis þer worsse man
Cristene men to asaile.’
3700 Þe Saraȝins come wiþ þis
& nemeþ Heraud & alle his
And distrueþ is vitaile.

¶ Þai nomen Heraud & al is man,
And brouȝte hem before Parsan
3750 Þat was of gret power.
He let hem caste in prisoun
Stinkande & þerk, wel fer adoun, {f.169va} View Facsimile
For þai Cristen were.
Lite þai ete & dronke, ywis,
3800 Vnneþe her lif sostened is;
To God he made his prayere.
For Reynbroun him was ful wo,
For he neste whider he was go,
He made reuly chere.

3850 ¶ A seide ‘allas, allas!
In werre douȝti man y was,
And now icham forlore.’
On of þe gaylers herde þis,
To þemeraile a wente, ywis,
3900 And gan him telle fore
‘Sire’ a seide ‘wite nouȝt ȝe
Of a prisoun ȝe han in ȝour pouste,
A noble man ykore?
A is wel douȝti in bataile
3950 .... .... .... ....
Ase icham to ȝou swore.’

¶ Queþ þemeraile ‘bringe him forþ now.
ȝif he be swich ase seistow,
Meche helpe me a miȝte.’
4000 Þe gayler wente aȝen anon
& to þe prisoun he gan gon,
& Heraud vp atwiȝte.
In a sklauin he gan him folde.
Swiþe meche a was beholde
4050 Of mani a douȝti kniȝte.
His berde was to is brest ywax,
To his gerder heng is fax;
Grisliche he was of siȝte.

¶ Before þemeraile he(m) gan him lede,
4100 & areisoned him in ech a side,
‘Man, what is þe name?
Whar wer þow bore tel me now
Þat so meche of werre canstow?
Of þe ichaue game.
4150 Ich, ameraile Parsan,
Icham a swiþe douȝti man,
Wide springeþ me fame.
Miȝte [y] of þe siker be
Þat þow woldest serue me,
4200 Ne schostow haue no schame.’

¶ He answerede ‘leue lord,
To þe ich wile bere rekord, {f.169vb} View Facsimile
& telle y wile þe:
Heraud, for soþ, me nam is -
4250 In grete dede ichaue be er þis -
So men clepeþ me.
ȝif me stringþe wer aȝen icome
Þat ichaue lore in þe prisone
Ich wer of gret pouste.
4300 Find me stede gode & liȝt,
Spere, & scheld, & armes briȝt;
Þe man wile ich be.’

¶ Queþ þemeraile ‘wolcome, ywis.
Þow schelt haue þat þe nede is,
4350 Briȝt armur & stede.
Ingliis þow ert, sikerly;
Knew þow ouȝt þe gode Gij
Þat douȝti wes of dede?’
Heraud seide ‘y knew him wel,
4400 His man icham & euer be schel,
He was tauȝt me to fede.
His sone was stolen him fro,
To seche him icham ygo,
ȝif God me wolde spede.’

4450 Þemeraile cleped is chaumborlain,
& bad him wiþ al is mayn
Heraud to him take.
In pourpre pal þei gan him schrede
& founde him al þat was nede
4500 And baþes let him make.
On a day sire ameraile
Tok Heraud in consaile
Wiþoute þe castel gate
‘Now Arguus king werreþ on me,
4550 Me nis leued boute þis cite
For grete werre & hate.

¶ Þe king haþ a kniȝt wiþ him
Sterne in bataile & swiþe grim,
Of swich þow neuer herd.
4600 In þis world nis man, sikerly,
Boute hit wer þe lord sire Gij,
Þat of him nolde ben afered.’
Miȝtest of him awreke me,
A noble prins þan schostow be
4650 & sle him wiþ dent of swerd.’
Heraud seide ‘so y schel do {f.170ra} View Facsimile
ȝif God wile helpe me þerto,
Be min hore berd.’

¶ Wiþ þat com a mesagere bold,
4700 To þemeraile he haþ ytold
Swiþe hard tiding:
King Arguus stiward wiþouten let
On of is castels hadde beset,
Wiþouten eni lesing.
4750 Whan þemeraile herde þis,
He bad is stiward, forsoþ ywis,
His folk before him bringe.
So a dede riȝt anon
& bad hem bosken euerichon
4800 Al boun to batailinge.

¶ Heraud lep on a rabyte
Þat was meche, & noþing lite,
Rod out of þe toun.
Þat ost him siwede fair & wel
4850 Til hii come to þe castel
Wiþ spere and gounfanoun
Wiþ helm on heued & brinie briȝt.
Iyren-wrye mani a kniȝt
To bataile wer þai boun.
4900 Ayþer ost gan oþer asaile,
Ech man fondede, wiþouten faile,
To felle is foman adoun.

¶ Heraud a Saraȝin smot
Þat he fel doun fot-hot
4950 Dede of is stede.
Þe þredde, þe ferþe þat he mai hitte,
No man miȝte his strok wiþsitte;
For wreþþe a wolde awede.
Wiþ is swerd of meche pris
5000 Mani Saraȝin a slouȝ, ywis,
And made here sides blede.
Þe Saraȝins seide hit was a fend
Þe deuel hadde þeder isent
[Þ]emeraile to spede.

5050 ¶ Þe king hadde a Saraȝin,

His stiward þat seruede Apolyn;
Heraud he gan þrete.
Heraud he mete & is men echon,
Hard þai hewe togedre anon
5100 And delde dentes grete. {f.170rb} View Facsimile
Þe stiward was sconfited þere,
Abated was þe meister banere,
To fle þai nolde lete.
Heraud siwede him on a rabyte,
5150 Hard hii gonne togedre smite
Sterne strokes and grete.

¶ Here scheftes schiurede, scheldes flitte,
Brenyes barsteþ, hauberk ritte.
Þar was strong bataile.
5200 Heraud ouercom him in þat fiȝt,
And ladde him to his folk ariȝt,
Wiþouten eni faile.
Prisouns þai toke gret plente,
Forþ hii wente to þat cite
5250 To þemeraile
& presente him þe stiward
Þat in werre was so hard,
Swiþe heȝ of paraile.

¶ Þanne seide þemeraile
5300 ‘Heraud, do be me consaile,
Me stiward þow schelt be.
Erles, barouns, riche & poure,
Al me land folk, lasse & more,
Scholle do after þe.’
5350 Þanne gret werre he began,
Boþe into is hond he wan
Castel and cite
Þat þemeraile hadde lore;
King Arguus made þarfore
5400 Deul and gret pite.

¶ Þo þe king wiste þis,
Þat his stiward nomen is
And al his men aslawe,
Wroþ he was and sori.
5450 His barouns a clepede an hie
And tolde to hem þat sawe.
Þanne answerde an old kniȝt
‘Sire, y nel þe lye nowiȝt.
A kniȝt of Cristene lawe
5500 Þemeraile is souder is he.
Þe wer beter þan þis cite
Þat he wer of dawe.

¶ Hore a is and kniȝt ful eld,
Wel gode hit were to flen is scheld. {f.170va} View Facsimile
5550 Sire, þe miȝt me leue,
In al þe lond Saraȝin þer nis,
Wer he neuer so strong, ywis,
Þat he nolde tocleue.’
Þe king seide ‘a fend it is.
5600 To Mahoun I swore, ywis,
Wel sore y schel him greue.
Min ost schel ensembled be,
In is lond schel brenne & sle,
No cite schel ich beleue.’

5650 ¶ Þe king a parlement let crie.
To þemeraile a wolde an hie
Wiþ briȝt armvr & stede,
His castels struede & is cite.
Þat Heraud wan þanne les he,
5700 Douȝti man of dede.
Whan þemeraile wiste þis
He bed is kniȝtes, for soþ ywis,
To helpe him at is nede.
Heraud was prest to bataile,
5750 Þe king is ost he gan asaile;
God þat day him spede.

Faste þei smite to her fon,
Wiþ swerdes, speres wel gode won,
Togedres þai gonne fiȝte.
5800 Gret slauȝter was in eiþer side,
Þe blod ran in þe feld wel wide
Of mani a douȝti kniȝte.
Heraud mette wiþ þe king
& smot him wiþ is swerd keruing
5850 A strok of meche miȝte.
Þer he hadde slawe him þo,
Boute his ost com him to,
And hors þai gonne him diȝte.

¶ Wel stoutliche þe king gan fiȝte,
5900 Al þat a mette he felde doun riȝte.
Heraud he gin discrie.
Þemeraile was sconfited þere;
Abated was þe meister banere
And al here cheualrie.
5950 In eche side asailed a is
Wiþ speres & wiþ swerdes, iwis,
Þat he miȝte nouȝt flie.
Wiþ is swerd a wereþ him wel {f.170vb} View Facsimile
In eche side, ase a gode kniȝt schel,
6000 Whiles a miȝte driȝe.

¶ Þo he seȝ Heraud a cleped him to,
To helpe him he gan go.
An erl Heraud gan mete,
Heraud wiþ is fauchoun him smot
6050 A dent þat þourȝ is helm bot;
Þar a lefte þe swete.
Heraud & þemeraile anon
Delde dentes wel god won,
For noþing þai nolde lete.
6100 Þe king þai sailede & al is men;
So mani ȝede to deþe þen,
Þat grimly þai gonne grete.

¶ Þe king wel sori þanne was he
Whan he seȝ is men fle
6150 And al ybrouȝt to gronde.
Whar þat he seȝ Heraud ride
He fleȝ awei be þat oþer side
Wel sory in þat stonde.
His men ouercome were,
6200 Þarfore sori he was þere
& for his owene wonde.
King Arguus, for soþ, a geþ;
A was afered of is deþ
ȝif þat a were yfonde.

6250 ¶ Whan Heraud parseued is
Be his armes a knew him, iwis,
And after him he gan ride.
Neȝ he hadde him ouercome,
Slawe oþer in þe feld ynome
6300 In þat ilche tide.
Þanne seȝ he come a ȝingling -
Ouer al þe oþer a miȝte be king -
Out of þe wodes side.
Þe king him hadde dobbed kniȝt,
6350 ȝeue him hors & armes briȝt
Wiþ wel meche pride.

¶ Whan he seȝ þe king fleande,
Heraud after him folwande,
He him gan discrie
6400 ‘Old man, no forþer þow ne gon,
Boute þe ȝeue me bataile anon
Þow dost a gret folye. {f.171ra} View Facsimile
Þe lif þow lest er þe gon,
Þin heued þe king schel haue anon;
6450 For soþ þow schelt abye.
Þe rabite is min, sikerliche,
Y ne disirede neuer hors so meche
Þat y sauȝ wiþ eye.’

¶ Sire Heraud knew him anon
6500 Be his armes he hadde vpon,
Togedres þai gonne ride,
Þat boþe þei fellen of here stede,
& seþe gonne swerdes brede,
No lenger þai nolde abide.
6550 Hii cleueþ helm & scheldes bo,
Gret fiȝt þer was betwene hem to
In þat ilche tide.
Þai hewe þe scheldes of gode entaile,
Þe hauberk of so gode a maile
6600 Teborsten be boþe side.

¶ Betwene hem was strong batayle,
Eiþer fondede, wiþouten faile,
To bringe oþer to dede.
Ac ȝif aiþer wiste of oþer ariȝt,
6650 Betwene hem to þar ner no fiȝt
For noneskines nede.
Sire Heraud drouȝ him a heȝ,
And seide ‘kniȝt corteis & sleȝ,
Alse God þe spede,
6700 What is þe name? Tel þow me
For Godes loue in trinite,
And of what þede.

¶ Aȝild þe now to me.
Gret harm it wer to sle þe,
6750 So ȝong a bacheler,
For neuer kniȝt y ne fond
So wel werchande wiþ dent of brond
Naiþer fer ne ner.’
Reinbroun seide ‘þerof be stille;
6800 Þat telle þe y ne wille,
Be Godes moder dere.
Er þan ich wile ȝelde me
Erst þin heued schel of fle
Faste be þe swere.

6850 ¶ Boute þow now telle me
Wheþen þow ert & what þow be {f.171rb}View Facsimile
I schel þe sle anonriȝt;
For þow ert old & whit iblowe
Þe stringþe is gon alse y trowe,
6900 Þe power and þe miȝt.’
Heraud seide ‘me frend fre,
So fareþ folk in me contre
In bataile and in fiȝt.
Whan hii ginneþ for to helde
6950 Þanne þai wexeþ stout & belde
And stronge men, apliȝt.

¶ Er þow fro me departed be
Wel ȝonge þow schelt holde me
And douȝti man of dede.’
7000 Togedres þai smite, wiþouten faile,
Ase sterne lyouns in bataile,
Kniȝtes stif on stede.
Togedre þai smite ernest & faste,
Þe fur out of here helmes braste,
7050 And made here sides blede.
Ful dedli fon now þai are,
ȝet þai scholle be frendes þare -
Crist þerto hem spede.

¶ Heraud seide ‘sire kniȝt,
7100 Herkne to me a lite wiȝt,
For þe courteisie.
Gode þow ert & hardi, ywis,
In al þis land þe beter nis
Þat ich conne aspie.
7150 ȝif it were þe yteld
Which ichaue ben in feld
Of miȝt and of meistrie,
Ne wostow neuer aschamed be
Þe name for to telle me,
7200 Ne holde hit to vileynie.’

¶ ‘Sire olde man’ þanne seide he,
‘For a coward ich holde þe.
Min armes beþ al sonde,
Me strokes beþ sene on þin helm cler:
7250 Out of þe scheld ichaue a quarter
Yfeld to þe grounde.’
Heraud seide ‘me frend fre,
Þei min armes apeired be,
Me bodi naþ no wounde.
7300 What is þe name? Tel me fore {f.171va} View Facsimile
& y schel sai þe whar ich was bore,
Er ich fro þe founde.

¶ Swiche tiding þow miȝt of me here,
Or ich of þe in swiche manere,
7350 Þat frendes scholle we be.
I ne aske it for no vileinie,
Boute for meche courteisie;
For loue ich asked þe.’
Wiþ þat Reynbroun wiþdrouȝ him þere,
7400 Wiþ drery semlaunt & reuful chere
To Heraud seide he
‘Kniȝt’ a seide ‘þow ert wise,
Sleȝ and hardi, of gret prise,
Be God in trinite.

7450 ¶ Y nolde haue told it for non awe,
Erst ich wolde ben islawe
In þis ilche batayle.
In Ingelond ich was ybore,
So were min eldren me before,
7500 Wiþouten eni faile.
Gij a Warwik me fader was,
No beter kniȝt neuer nas,
Ase wid ase man mai saile.
A stiward hadde me fader Gioun
7550 Þat hiȝte Heraud, þe noble baroun,
Swiþe hiȝ of paraile.

¶ Lord he was of al Arderne,
Ich was take him to lerne
To conne of courteisie,
7600 And siþe marchaundes stele me
And brouȝte me to þis contre
Þat weren of Russie.
Þe king me haþ dobbed kniȝt,
& ȝeue me hors & armes briȝt
7650 To lede is chiualrie.
Be me lai a dede me swere
In eueri bataile is baner to bere;
Þarof y nouȝt ne lie.’

Whan Heraud herde þis,
7700 Þat he Gij is sone is,
Away a cast is scheld.
‘Lord’ a seide ‘in trinite,
Fader and sone, yherd þow be.
Þis dai y bide in min eld, {f.171vb} View Facsimile
7750 Þat ich me lordes sone se may.’
For ioie a wep al þe day
And swonede in þe feld.
Reinbroun hadde of him pite,
And seide ‘sire kniȝt, tel what þe be,
7800 For God þat alle þing weld.’

¶ ‘Heraud’ a seide ‘me name is,
‘Ich norschede þe, Reinbroun, ywis;
In my nory þow were.’
Sone Reinbroun wiste þis,
7850 Þat [he] Heraud of Arderne is,
Merci a cride him þere.
Sire Heraud tok him vp þo
Leuelich in is armes to
Wiþ hertte & wel gode chere.
7900 On here stedes lopen he
& forþ hii ride to þe cite
Wiþ meche ioie yfere.

¶ To þemeraile tolden he
How þai acorded be
7950 Þourȝ grace of God almiȝte.
King Arguus was ouercome,
& al is men yslawe and nome
In þat ilche fiȝte.
Heraud & Reinbroun toke leue þo
8000 Into Ingelond for to go,
& into schip hem diȝte.
So longe hii sailede in þe se
Þat in a lond þanne riuede he
Þat wonder was of siȝte.

8050 ¶ Hii ne seie castel ne cite,

Erst hii wente in al þe contre -
So distrued it is -
Til it toward þe neuen cam.
A castel þei seie fer hem fram,
8100 To þe gate þai riden, iwis.
Of þe porter Heraud gan craue,
‘Tel me now, so God þe saue,
Was þis castel is?
Forhele(d) [it] nouȝt we bedeþ þe.
8150 Kniȝtes we beþ of fer contre,
Ase God ȝeue vs blis.

¶ Þis in we beddeþ par cherite,
For Godes loue in trinite, {f.172ra} View Facsimile
Þat is lord [so] fre.
8200 Tomorwe anon so it is day
We scholle wenden in our way
Towardes our contre.’
Þe porter answerde anonriȝt
‘Of þis lord I ne can telle nowiȝt,
8250 Ne in what contre a be.
Ac a leuedi herin is
Ful of del and sorwe, ywis;
Wel sore wepeþ ȝhe

¶ For hire lord þat ȝhe haþ lore,
8300 Ioie ne worþ hire neuer þerfore
For non menstralcie.’
Þe porter in anon gan wende
And tolde tale ord and ende
To Amis is leuedy
8350 ‘Madame, her beþ come twei kniȝte,
Noble men hii be in fiȝte.
Þai wolde her soiurny
Al þis niȝt for soþ to say,
Tomorwe wenden in her way;
8400 Þarof y nouȝt ne lye.’

¶ Þe leuedi seide ‘let hym in,
Þai scholle be serued wel afyn,
Be þe grace of God almiȝte.’
Þe porter wente aȝen anon
8450 & to þe gate he gan gon
And let hem in ful riȝte.
Þe kniȝtes were kende kore,
Whan þai come to halle dore,
Adoun þai gonne liȝte.
8500 Men toke here swerdes, scheld & spere,
Here stedes, and here oþer gere,
Ful wel men gan hem diȝte.

¶ Þe leuedi faire grete hem anon,
To vnarme hem hireselue is gon
8550 Wiþ a wel gode chere.
Here mete was redi wiþouten let,
Anon hii were adoun yset
To þe sopere.
Heraud askede hire, ywis,
8600 ‘Dame, what þe lordes nam is
Fayn ich wolde hire.’
‘Of þe Montayne he het Amis, {f.172rb} View Facsimile
Wiþinne Almayne no swich þer nis,
Me leue frendes dere.

8650 ¶ A stiward was wiþ þemperour,
To al Almayne he was treitour,
Sire Berard of Paui.
Me lordes swike euer was he,
Þourȝ him in al þis sorwe we be.
8700 For þe loue of sire Gij,
Þat me lord louede wel
& sokoured him in is castel,
We beþ in gret vileinie.
For þe dukes deþ Otoun,
8750 Þat was a treitour feloun,
He vs gan beliȝe

¶ And made vs fle out of þat londe
& in þis contre we beþ astonde
Þat wonder is of siȝt.
8800 Mechel Arderne cleped it is.
A fairy kniȝt herin is
Þat is of meche miȝt,
Wiþ him ones fauȝt me lord
& ȝaf him dentes wiþ is sword
8850 Vpon is helm briȝt.
Wepne mai him dere non,
He is so hard to hewe vpon
Ase marbel, y þe pliȝt.

¶ On a dai me lord honted a best
8900 & drof it out of þe forest
Wiþinne is merkes stake.
Siþþe herde ich of him namore,
Þarfore me ofdredeþ sore
Þe kniȝt him haue take.’
8950 ‘Allas,’ queþ Heraud ‘is it Amis,
Þerl of Montaine of gret pris?’
Gret sorwe he gan make.
‘O’ a seide ‘sire Reinbroun,
Wel a louede þe fader Gioun.
9000 We mote him helpe for is sake.’

¶ Reinbroun seide ase he was hende
‘Tomorwe ich wile þerder wende
To seche sire Amis.’
‘Me swete frend’ queþ þe leuedi,
9050 ‘Be þow nouȝt to foul-hardi,
For gret perel it is.’ {f.172va} View Facsimile
Amorwe Reinbroun aros erly
And armede him ful hastely
For to winne pris.
9100 A gode stede he bestrod
& forþ a wente wiþoute abod
To þe forest, ywis.

¶ Heraud wiþ him go wolde
Ac he seide þat he ne scholde
9150 For nonskines nede,
& he dradde of him strangliche
& betauȝte him God in heuenriche
& in is wey a ȝede.
Heraud blefte & he gan gon,
9200 Þe merkes stake a pased anon,
Þat was wel vnrede.
Al þe dai a tok þe pas
Til it noun apased was
Ridand vpon is stede.

9250 ¶ An hille he seȝ before him þere,
Gates þeron maked were.
Forþ riȝt he rod in.
Þe gate aȝen anon was spered;
Þo was Reinbroun sore afered
9300 And faste blessede him.
Nouȝt he ne seȝ boute þesternesse.
Half a mile a rod, ywisse,
Þe wai was þerk and dim.
He rod ase faste ase a miȝte,
9350 Þanne he seȝ more liȝte
Be a wateris brim.

¶ To þe water he com sone þas,
A riuer be a launde þer was,
Þar he gan to liȝte.
9400 Faire hit was ygrowe wiþ gras,
A fairer place neuer nas
Þat he seȝ wiþ siȝte.
On þat place was a paleis on,
Swich ne seȝ he neuer non,
9450 Ne of so meche miȝte.
Þe walles were of cristal,
Þe heling was of fin ruwal
Þat schon swiþe briȝte.

¶ Þe reftes al cipres be
9500 Þat swote smal casten he {f.172vb}View Facsimile
Ouer al aboute.
Þe resins wer of fin coral,
Togedre iuned wiþ metal
Wiþinne and ek wiþoute.
9550 On þe front stod a charbokel ston,
Ouer al þe contre it schon
Wiþouten eni doute.
Postes and laces þat þer were
Of iaspe gentil þat was dere,
9600 Al of one soute.

¶ Þe paleis was beloken al
Aboute wiþ a marbel wal
Of noble entaile.
Vpon eueriche kernal
9650 Was ful of speres & of springal,
And stoutliche enbataile.
Wiþoute þe gate stod a tre
Wiþ foules of mani kines gle
Singande wiþoute faile.
9700 Þe water was so sterne & grim
Miȝte no man come þerin
Boute he hadde schip to saile.

Reinbroun dorste nouȝt pasy,
Wiþ is spere a gan it prouy
9750 How dep hit was beside.
He þouȝte on is fader fot-hot,
Þe stede in þe side a smot
& in he gan to ride.
Ouer is helm þe water is gon,
9800 He nolde haue be þer for eiȝte non,
Swich aunter him gan betide.
Er he vp of þe water ferde,
A fond it was þretti mete ȝerde,
So dep he gan doun glide.

9850 ¶ Þanne he þouȝte on Ihesu Crist,
His hors was wel swiþe trist,
& quikliche swam to londe;
His fet fastnede on þe grounde.
Reinbroun was glad in þat stounde,
9900 And þankede Gode sonde.
Into þe pales he him dede,
He [be]helde þe est[r]es of þat stede;
For no man a nolde wonde.
Ac wimman ne man fand he non þere {f.173ra} View Facsimile
9950 Þat wiþ him speke or confort bere
Naiþer sitte ne stonde.

¶ And þarof war a is
Into a chaumber a goþ, ywis,
A kniȝt a seȝ alone.
1000 A grette him wiþ wordes fre
& seide ‘sire, God wiþ þe be,
Þat sit an heȝ in trone.’
‘Sire’ a sede ‘tel þow me
ȝif þis pales þin owen be,
1005 Ich bidde þe a bone.
& ȝif þow ert her in prisoun diȝt,
Tel hit me so wel þow miȝt,
To me now make þe mone.’

¶ Amis answerde to Reinbroun
1010 ‘In Almayne ich was a baroun
And now icham forlore.
Ich was driue out wiþ a feloun
And now y lye her in prisoun,
Allas þat ich was bore!
1015 Of þis paleis I nam no lord.
Ich telle þe a soþe word,
Wiþoute oþ iswore,
Hit is a kniȝtes of fayri,
And al þis forest her by,
1020 A sterne man ykore.

¶ Þis paleys is of swiche miȝt,
Her schel no man elde, apliȝt,
Be he her neuer so longe.
Þei he wer her a þosand ȝer
1025 In is heued schel hore non her
Ne non elde fonge.’
Reinbroun seide ‘ert þow Amis,
Þerl of Montayne of gret pris?
Þow singest a reuly songe.
1030 Now ichaue fonde þe,
Now schelt wende now wiþ me
Out of þe paines stronge.’

¶ Amis seide (seide) ‘spek nouȝt so.
Of þe me wondreþ, so mot y go,
1035 Þat þow ert hider ycome.
Siþe þis world ferst began
In þis paleis ne com noman
Boute ȝif a wer inome,
Boute ȝif þe lord him hider ladde {f.173rb} View Facsimile
1040 Oþer of him sum leue hadde;
Nis non so hardi gome.
How miȝtest þow lede me
Whan þow miȝt nouȝt saue þe?
Ich telle þe at þe frome.’

1045 ¶ Reinbroun seide ‘drede nouȝt þe
Þarfore schel hit nouȝt lete be.
Go we anonriȝt.
ȝif eni man so hardi were
Þat vs wolde athelde here,
1050 His deþ wer ydiȝt;
Swich a strok ich him ȝeue wolde
Þat is heued lese a scholde,
Be grace of God almiȝt.
Þei he wer te bataile boun
1055 Ase sterne alse eni lyoun,
Wiþ him ich wile fiȝt.’

¶ Amis seide ‘let now be,
Swiche stringþe mai nouȝt helpe þe
Aȝenes sire Gayere;
1060 For noþing ne schel him dere
Wiþ no wepne þat man may bere,
Naiþer stel ne yre;
Ac ȝif þow wilt ouercome him,
Þat ilche swerd to þe nym
1065 Þat hangeþ a þe pylere.’
Reinbroun braide it out anonriȝt,
Þe chaumber was al ful of liȝt
Þat schon swiþe clere.

To þerl Amis anon a wond
1070 & tok him vp be þe hond;
No leng hii nolde abide.
Out of þe paleys boþe hii ȝede
And lopen on Reinbroun is stede
And forþ þai gonne ride.
1075 Nouȝt fer þannes beþ hii gon,
Þai beheld aȝen anon
Vpon here riȝt side,
Comande hii seȝe ride a kniȝt
Vpon a stede gode and liȝt
1080 Prikande wiþ pride.

¶ Swift ase swalwe he com ride
‘Kniȝtes’ a seide ‘ȝe scholle abide,
No forþer þat ȝe ne wende. {f.173va} View Facsimile
In me paleys þow hast ybe
1085 And me prisoun ledest wiþ þe;
Þow dost a dede vnhende.
Her ȝe sholle bleue bo
In me prisoun for euermo
Into þe worldes ende,
1090 Or þow schelt, Reinbroun, þin hed forgo.
Kep for me, icham þe fo;
Bataile y wile þe sende.’

¶ Þerl Amys þer aliȝte,
Arome he drouȝ him anonriȝte
1095 And Reinbroun Gayer gan smite.
Gret strokes hii smite betwene
Þat adoun hii fellen bene;
Aiþer sparede oþer lite.
Siþe þai drowe brondes on grounde
1100 & hewe togedre wiþ grimly wounde
Wiþ swerdes þat wolde bite.
ȝe herde neuer a stringe[r] fiȝt.
Reinbroun stirede him as gode kniȝt;
Hit was him nouȝt to wite.

1105 ¶ He þouȝte on is fader anonriȝt,
Ase fresch a was to fiȝt
Ase grehonde to hare.
Betwene hem twie was gret fiȝt;
Aiþer smot oþer in helmes briȝt
1110 And delde dentes sare.
Þai hewe helm and scheldes bo,
Gret fiȝt was betwene hem to;
Swich herde ȝe neuer are.
Reinbroun made him to blede,
1115 And felde him doun of is stede,
Þanne was he out of care.

¶ Reinbroun be þe nose him tok
And drouȝ to him & faste him schok,
Þat greuede him ful sore.
1120 His heued benome him he hadde
Ner it þat he merci gradde
& seide ‘sire R[e]inbroun, þin ore,
For þe fader loue Gii,
Þe beste kniȝt sikerly,
1125 Þat euer was ybore.
Wiþ þat þow haue merci on me
Al me prisouns diliured be {f.173vb} View Facsimile
And hennes for euermore.

¶ R[e]inbroun seide ‘so y schel.
1130 In þat forward y graunte wel
Þat þow aliue go,
So þe prisouns diliured be;
Þarto þe treuþe pliȝte me
Betwene vs-selue to.’
1135 R[e]inbroun glad & bliþe is,
He hadde diliured sire Amis,
Þre hondred kniȝtes & mo.
Into þe castel wenten hii,
Þar was Heraud & þe leuedy
1140 Ful of sorwe and wo.

¶ Þai wer welcomed wiþ fair gle.
Whan þe leuedi hire lord gan se
ȝhe made meche blis,
& Heraud for soþe dede also,
1145 And herede God almiȝti þo,
And Amis he gan kisse.
Heraud tolde him al is treye,
How he hadde in prisoun leye,
For soþe wiþouten misse,
1150 Fo[r] me lordes loue Reynbroun,
What sorwe he hadde in prisoun,
Honger and þesternesse.

¶ ‘Þis is Reinbroun, Gii is sone,
Þat haþ set þe out of prisone,
1155 And [brouȝt] þe out of þe care.’
Al is lif a tolde him þo,
How Gij was out of londe ygo,
And how hit was yfare.
Among hem gret ioie þer is,
1160 In þe castel was meche blis
Among alle þare.
Euerich of hem oþer gan kisse
And made meche ioie & blisse,
For blisse þai wepe ful sare.

1165 ¶ Wiþ þat þer com a kniȝt riding,
To þerl Amis a brouȝte tiding
Fro þat emperur
Þat þe duk Berard ded is:
A palmer slouȝ him, ywis.
1170 Wiþ wel mechel onour,
Þemperur hadde sent is sonde {f.174ra} View Facsimile
A scholde come, and [haue] is londe,
Boþe toune and tour;
& þat þerl Terry and he
1175 Were skyred and maked fre
Þourȝ þe conquerur.

¶ Sire Amis wiþ is meyne
Wente hom to is contre
To þat emperour.
1180 A ȝaf him is londes fre,
Boþe castel and cite,
Wiþ wel meche onour.
Glad of him was þemperur fre,
Euer a was to him priue
1185 Boþe in halle and bour.
And also was þerl Terry,
Þat was þerles sone Aubry,
A man of gret fauour.

Heraud & Reinbroun tok leue þo
Heraud: MS reads Beraud.
1190 Into Ingelonde te go.
Þanne was þe leuedi in care.
Mani iurne þai ride þo
Þourȝ Spayne & þourȝ londes mo,
Into Bourgoyne þai come ware
1195 Þe contre was strued doun riȝt.
Heraud askede at a kniȝt
How hit was yfare.
He seide ‘þe duk of Marce ytold,
Þat is a stout kniȝt and bold,
1200 Vs haþ ybrouȝt in care.

¶ Vpon our erl werreþ he,
He naþ leued boute þis cite
Þat he naþ ynome.
Ac þis castel is gode engyn,
1205 Noblech a wereþ him þerin
Also a douȝti gome.
Wiþ him he haþ a noble kniȝt,
His souder, siker apliȝt,
Þat to him is ycome.
1210 ȝong a is so þenkeþ me,
Nouȝt twenti winter old nis he,
Ich telle þe at þe frome.

¶ In þis launde her before
An hondred haþ her lif ylore,
1215 Whan he seȝ hem ride. {f.174rb} View Facsimile
Her forþ ne schel pase no kniȝt,
ȝif he haþ brenye or stede liȝt,
brenye: MS reads breyne.
Þat he ne schel abide
And forlese þer þat on,
1220 Oþer is heued riȝt anon
Be þe wode side.
ȝif ȝe be þat launde gon
Ich telle ȝow be sein Ion
Swich aunture ȝow schel betide.’

1225 ¶ ‘O, God be þanked’ queþ Reinbroun,
‘Ichaue founde me compaynoun,
Me felle wiþ to fiȝte.
ȝif he wile haue oure þing
Y schel him teche, wiþouten lesing,
1230 Þat he doþ vnriȝte.’
Nouȝt fer þanne ne beþ þai gon,
Þai behelde aȝen anon,
Hii siȝe his armes briȝte
Vpon a stede whit so flour;
1235 His armes wer of rede kolour,
A semede of meche miȝte.

¶ ‘Sire Heraud’ seide Reinbroun,
‘Now y se þat bolde baroun
Þat is so stout a fere.
1240 Wiþ vs to fiȝte he makeþ him ȝare;
Wiþ him to iusten ich wile fare
Emforþ me powere.
Ich him asaile, ȝif þow wilt so.’
Heraud seide ‘so þow schelt do,
1245 Me leue sone dere.’
Swiþe þeder rod Reinbroun,
& he in þe launde com adoun
Vpon is deistrere.

¶ Aiþer was prout & mody,
1250 No word þai speke, sikerly,
Togedres þai gonne driue.
Aiþer hitte oþer in þe scheld
Þat boþe hii fellen in þe feld
Of here hors beliue.
1255 Siþe þai drowe brondes of stel
And hewe togedre hard & wel
And delde dentes riue
& laiden on wiþ swerdes clere;
Helm and scheld þat stronge were {f.174va} View Facsimile
1260 Þai gonne hem al toschliue.

¶ Heraud beheld longe þat fiȝt,
For Reinbroun a bad te God almiȝt
Þat he non harm ne fonge.
To himselue a seide þare
1265 Swich fiȝt ne seȝ he neuer are
Of dentes þat were stronge.
‘Sire kniȝt’ seide Reinbroun,
Vnderstand to me resoun,
So God þe saule fonge,
1270 Ac neuer ne fond ich a kniȝt
Þat me strokes driȝe miȝt
Haluendel so longe.

¶ What is þe name? whar wer þe bore?
Ich þe praie tel me fore,
1275 For loue of oure driȝte,
& ȝif þow wost ȝelde þe,
Ich schel þe lede to me contre.
Me treuþe I schel þe pliȝte,
Y schel þe ȝeue castel & cite,
Erasure before castel.
1280 Bourwes, & tounes, & riche fe,
And mani a douȝti kniȝte;
For þow ert of gret power,
In al þis world þer nis þe per
Þat man finde miȝte.’

1285 ¶ ‘Sire kniȝt’ þanne answerde he,
‘Y nel nouȝt, be him þat made me,
Telle þe me name.
Þourȝ þe sarmoun scheltow nouȝt wite
Whar y was boren ne gete
1290 An erneste ne a game;
Erst y schel þe sle, verament.
Sire, let be þe prechement,
Hit is þe meche schame.
Ac neuer kniȝt I ne fond
1295 So wel worchande wiþ dent of brond
Þat ich fauȝt wiþ ysame.

¶ Ac y ne sei nouȝt for þam;
Þin heued y schel smite þe fram,
Forsoþe, wiþoute more.
1300 Þat olde man þat ich yse -
Y ne wot ȝif he þe fader be
Or þow ert wiþ him at lore -
Lite a louede [þe], siker þow be, {f.174vb} View Facsimile
Whan a sente þe to me,
1305 He wiþ þe berde hore.
Whan ichaue þin hed oftake,
Be þe berd y schel him schake
Þat him schel smerte sore.

¶ So y schel him þerbi ploke
1310 Þat al is teþ schel roke
Þat sitteþ in is heued.’
& þo Reinbroun herde þis,
Þat Heraud dispised is,
His swerd to him a weued.
1315 A strok a smot is helm vpon
Þat a quarter gan doun gon;
Hit was half tocleued.
Wiþ þat strok a stente adoun al,
& to þe erþe a is yfal,
1320 His lif neȝ he hadde leued.

¶ ‘O frend’ a seide ‘ich bidde þe lete,
For it is meche foly to þrete
Eni man aliue.’
& he a scorn bad him lete
1325 And a sterte vpon is fete
Hasteliche and bliue.
Haslak smot Reinbroun anon
Þat to þe bokel þe schel[d] chon,
Neȝ a gan doun driue.
1330 Strong and gode hii wer boþe,
Eiþer kedde þat hii wer wroþe
To bringe oþer of liue.

¶ Betwene hem strong fiȝt þer is,
Swich ne herde [ȝe] neuer, iwis,
1335 Siþe þat ȝe wer bore.
So miȝte nouȝt longe be
Þat [on] moste þat oþer sle
Of þe kniȝtes kende icore.
Heraud beheld þat bataile,
1340 How aiþer gan oþer asaile,
Wo was him þerfore.
A gret harm him þouȝte it were
ȝif aiþer slouȝ oþer þere,
For hem a wep wel sore.

1345 ¶ Wiþ þat amonges hem com he
And seide ‘kniȝt, for Godes pite,
Herkne to me a stounde. {f.175ra} View Facsimile
Let now ben al ȝour fiȝt
And aȝild þe to þis kniȝt
1350 Þat þou hast her yfounde.
For he is man of gret power,
In al þis world þer nis is per,
Ne of so meche mounde.
In is merci y rede þow [þe] do,
1355 Er þan be mad betwene ȝow to
Eni mo harde wounde.’

He answerde wiþoute more,
‘Say me ferst, þow faimel hore,
Also God þe spede,
1360 Why me stringȝe is forlore.
Siþþe þe time þat ich was bore
Y nas in swiche a drede.
ȝif þow ert of fendes come,
For whi þis drede me haue nome,
1365 Ich wolde þat þow me sede.
In Gode[s] name ich coniure þe
Þat þow þe soþe telle me,
And be al is ferede.’

¶ Heraud seide ‘þerof be stille,
1370 Þat telle þe [nis] me wille
For noman aliue.
Erst þow schelt telle me
Wheþen þow ert & what þow be,
Also mote y þriue.
1375 Þanne y schel telle þe riȝt
Boþe of me and of þis kniȝt
Þat ȝif[þ] þe dentes riue.
Þin hauberk is al tosiȝe,
And þe face wiþ blod bewriȝe
1380 Of woundes mo þan fiue.’

¶ He answerde ‘þow seist wel.
Boute for drede, be sein Miȝel,
Y nolde ben aknowe,
Ac for ich wolde wite an haste
1385 Whi ich was so sore agaste
Now in a lite þrowe.
In Ingelonde ich was bore,
So were min eldren me before
Boþe heȝ and lowe.
1390 Heraud me fader het, ywis;
Of Wallingforde lord a is {f.175rb} View Facsimile
And al þe contre is owe.

¶ Out of londe þan wente he
To seche Gii is sone þe fre
1395 Þat marchauns stele away.
To þerl of Winchester y was sent,
Þar ich was loked, veraiment,
Boþe niȝtes and day.
Whan ich was woxe of meche pris,
1400 Douȝti and swiþe strong, ywis,
Me felawes gonne say
Þat y nas of dedes nouȝt,
For þat y me fader [ne] souȝt
In vnkouþe contray.

1405 ¶ To Walingforde y gan gon,
Me fader is armes þer y fond anon,
His hauberk and is stede,
His scheld and is helm briȝt,
And is swerd gode and liȝt
1410 Þat he was woned to lede.
Me selue y dobbed me kniȝt þare,
Man ne tolde ich it neuer are,
Also God me spede.
Out of þat londe ich wente þo
1415 To seche me fader [in] wer & wo
In mani an vnkouþ þede.

¶ Of werre ne herde y neuer speke,
Þat y ne com þer me fader to seke;
Þus to þis lord y cam.
1420 Þe duk of Marce haþ strued him,
Boute þis castel is gode engyn.
Þe lord þat y wiþ am
Neȝ he hadde is lond forlore -
Swiþe wo was him þarfore
1425 And mani a douȝti man.
Boute þretti hors he hadde þo,
Now he haþ þre hondred & mo
Þat ich in bataile wan.’

Heraud herde þis wordes alle,
1430 Byter teres he let doun falle,
And seide ‘what is þe name?’
‘Haslak’ a seide ‘þow schelt me calle.
Heraud het me fader in halle,
& Cristiane het me dame.
1435 Now þow wost whar ich was bore {f.175va} View Facsimile
And what ich hatte wiþoute more
An erneste and agame,
To forward þow schelt telle me
Whi ich was afered of þe
1440 Þat we made er ysame.’

¶ Heraud beheld þe ȝonge kniȝt
Ac o word speke he ne miȝt
For meche ioie and blisse.
‘Heraud is me name, apliȝt,
1445 And þow Haslak y se wiþ siȝt,
Me sone, wiþoute misse.
Þis is þe lord, sire Reinbroun;
Ichaue had for him in prisoun
Honger and þesternesse.
1450 Þe miȝt him se, a stant þe by.
ȝild him þe swerd in is merci
And pray him þat he þe kisse.’

¶ Þo Haslak wiste sikerly
Hit was is fader þat stod him by
1455 And is lord Reinbroun,
Swiþe loude he gan to crie
‘Fader, for loue of oure leuedye,
ȝem me þe benesoun.’
Ofte he knewelede to þe grounde,
1460 And cride him merci in þat stounde
Wiþ gode deuocioun.
‘In þe merci y do me riȝt
And euermore to ben þe kniȝt
Boþe in feld and toun.’

1465 ¶ Þo Reinbroun wiste þis,
Þat he Heraud is sone is,
Vp he gan him take.
Leueliche a kiste him þo,
Sire Heraud, for soþ, dede also,
1470 Meche blisse þai gonne make.
Haslak ladde hem faire & wel
Hom til is lordes castel
And tolde, wiþoute sake,
Þat he hadde is fader brouȝt
1475 Þat he hadde wide ysouȝt
Wiþ meche wer and wrake,

¶ ‘And me lord, sire Reinbroun,
Ase sterne ase eni lyoun
At euery skenes nede, {f.175vb} View Facsimile
1480 Þat euer to bataile was boun.’
Glad was þanne þerl Myloun
And ȝaf hem riche mede
Þe kniȝtes of seluer & of golde,
Ase meche as he take wolde,
1485 Briȝt armur and stede.
So þai wente sone anon
For to wreke hem of here fon,
ȝif God hem wolde spede.

Fiue dawes before Miȝelmas
1490 Þai armede hem more & las
Aȝen here fon to fiȝte.
Out of þe castel þai gonne pas,
Þe duk hii fonden in þe plas
Wiþ mani helmes briȝte.
1495 Þar miȝte men se scheftes schake,
Þar men miȝte se crounes crake
Of mani an hardy kniȝte.
Heraud, Haslak, and Reinbroun,
Al þat hii smite ȝede adoun
1500 Of þai hii mete miȝte.

¶ Þe duk of Marce seȝ þat tide
His folk was slawe be ech aside,
& in þe feld al todreued.
He prikede is stede wiþ meche pride,
1505 Aȝenes þerl he gan ride
And smot him on þe heued.
Almest a felde þerl adoun,
Heraud com wiþ is fauchoun,
His body ato he cleued.
1510 Þanne Haslak and Reinbroun
Þerl is folk þai felde adoun,
Noþing þai ne leued.

¶ Þis seȝ al þe barnage,
For to do þerl omage
1515 Merci þai gonne crie.
Kniȝtes, squier, and page
Þai toke þer into ostage
Of þe duk is partye.
Þus þai stablede þe lond wiþ fiȝt
1520 & þerafter anonriȝt
Þai toke leue an hiȝe.
Inte Ingelonde þai gonne saile.