Otuel a Kniȝt

General notes

Herkneþ boþe ȝinge & olde, {f.268ra} View Facsimile
Þat willen heren of batailles bolde,
And ȝe wolle a while duelle,
Of bolde batailles ich wole ȝou telle
5000 Þat was sumtime bitwene
Cristine men and Sarrazins kene.
¶ Þere was sumtime a king in Fraunce,
A douȝty man wiþ spere and launce,
And made Sarazins ful tame;
1000 King Charles was his name
And was born in seint Denys
Nouȝt bote a litel fram Parys,
And was a wol treu kniȝt,
And meintenede Cristendom ariȝt.
1500 ¶ In his time a king þer was,
An heþene þat vncristned was,
Þat was king of Lumbardie,
And was yhoten king Garsie.
Marsile was his also,
2000 And manie oþer londes mo.
A swiþe gret lord he was,
In his time non suych þer nas,
On Ihesu crist ne leuede he nouȝt
Þat him hadde so dere abouȝt.
2500 He leuede al in maumettrie,
And forsok God & seinte Marie.
In alle londes þere he wente
He slouȝ al þat euere he hente
Þat wolde on Ihesu Crist bileue
3000 And tok þe lond to his byheue.
Niȝt and day it was his þout
To bringe Cristendom to nout.

¶ In heþenesse þer nas no king,
Þat ne hel[d] of him sum þing,
3500 Or dude him omage or feute. {f.268rb} View Facsimile
Suich a miȝty king was he,
Alle þei scholden to him bouwe.
He was lord of londes ynowe,
And ȝit he þouȝte wit maistrie,
4000 Habben al Cristendom to gye.
Al Cristendom, more & lasse,
He þouȝte to maken heþennesse.

¶ Whan he wolde hauen a parlement,
Þere com to his comaundement,
4500 To helpen hym wit alle þinges,
Fiftene heþene kinges;
And alle þei were togidere sworn
Þat Cristendom scholde be lorn,
And maden alle here ordenaunce
5000 To werren uppon þe king of Fraunce,
For þei herden alle tidinges
Þat he was chef of cristene gynges,
And þe king wiste it wel.
Nou schulle ȝe here hou it bifel,
5500 ¶ Hit was on childermasse day,
Soþ to segge wiþouten nay,
Þat king Charles of sein Denys,
Wente him toward Parys.
Hise duzzeperes wit him he nam,
6000 And muche poeple to him kam,
And token alle here consail þare,
Þat þei wolden wiþ alle fare,
Into Marsile riden and gon,
And werren þere wiþ Godes foon,
werren: first r is superscript,
with a caret mark
6500 And hadden set a certein day
To wenden þider wiþouten delay;
Bote ar þei þiderward ferden,
Suiche tydinges þei herden,
Of a Sarasin, douȝti and good,
Sarasin: MS reads sazasin.
7000 Þat amoeuede al here blod.

¶ Þere com a Sarazin ful of rage
Fram king Garsie in message,
Into Paris þe wei he nam,
And to þe kinges paleis he kam.
7500 Otuwel his name was,
Of no man afered he nas,
Into þe paleis þo he cam, {f.268va}View Facsimile
Line 77 is written twice
by the scribe. On the
second copying, he uses
the spelling palais.
A skwier be þe hon[d] he nam
And seide ‘ich am comen her,
8000 Kyng Garsies messager,
To speke wiþ Charles, king of þis lond,
And wiþ a kniȝt þat heet Roulond,
And a noþer hatte Oliuer -
Kniȝtes holden wiþouten peer.
8500 Þose þre ich biseche þe,
Þat þou telle me whiche þei be.’

¶ Þe skwier þouȝte wel by siȝt,
Þat Otuwel was a douȝti kniȝt,
And for he was in message come,
9000 Bi þe hond he haueþ him nome,
And ladde him into þe halle,
Among þe grete lordes alle,
And þere þei stoden oppon her feet.
He schewede him where þe king seet
9500 And tauȝte him hou he scholde knowe,
Þere þei seten oppon a rowe,
Roulond and Olyuer
And þe gode kniȝt Ogger.

¶ Anon as Otuwel hadde a siȝt
1000 Of Charles þat was king & kniȝt,
For eye of no man he ne leet
Bote wente to him þere he seet.
Hit was þe boldeste Sarazin
Þat euere þorte drinke win,
1050 And þat was sene wiþoute lesing.
Þo he spak wiþ Charles þe king.
He seide to him amydde his halle
‘Sire king, foule mote þe falle.
Þou art aboute for to greue
1100 Mahoun þat we onne byleue;
Þerefore haue þou maugre.
So þe greteþ Garsie bi me
Þat me haueþ in message sent
To seggen his comaundement.
1150 And þou, Roulond, þat art his kniȝt,
Nou ich knowe þe be siȝt,
May ich mete þe in þe feeld,
Wiþ þi spere and wiþ þi scheld,
Ich wole wyte, so mote ich þe,
1200 Riȝt bytwene me and te.’
.... .... .... .... {f.268vb} View Facsimile
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.... .... .... ....
.... .... .... ....
{ 8 lines missing where miniature cut out }
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‘Þat þou makest offe þis bost,
Tel me nou ȝef þou wost.’
Quaþ Otuwel ‘so mote ich þe,
I nelle nouȝt hele for eie of þe.
1250 It was oppon a Weddenesdai
In Aueril before þe May
King Garsie þe weie nam,
To þe Cite of Rome he cam,
Twenti þousende was þe sawe,
1300 Þat were þare of Sarazin lawe.
Corsouse m[i swerde ful] harde fel,
And bot þere Freinche flechs fol wel.’

¶ Estuȝt of Leggers, a Freinshe kniȝt,
He sterte op anonriȝt
1350 And kypte anon in his hond
A gret muche fir-brond,
And to Otuwel a strok hadde ment,
And Roulond bynam him þe dent.
¶ Þanne seide Charles þe king
1400 ‘Ich forbede oppen alle þing
Þat noman be so wood,
For to don hym oþer þan good,
A kinges messager for he is,
He ne schal habbe non harm, iwis.’
1450 ¶ ‘Sire king’ quaþ Otuwel ‘be mi blod,
And ani of hem be so wod
To drawe to me swerd or knif,
Certes he schal lesen his lif.’
¶ Þe kinges kniȝtes hadden tene
1500 Of Otuwel wordes kene,
Wiþ þat word anonriȝt
Op starte a Freinsche kniȝt,
Bihinden Otuwel he cam
And be þe hod Otuwel nam
1550 And braid wiþ so gret miȝt,
And braid adon þat heþene kniȝt,
And anon out wiþ a knif, {f.269ra} View Facsimile
And wolde haue reued him his lif.
And þat Sarazin Otuwel
1600 Was i-armed swiþe wel
Þat he ne dede him nouȝt bote good,
Ne drouȝ of his bodi no blood.
¶ He starte op and was wroþ.
To ligge longe him was loþ,
1650 And Corsouze his brond he drouȝ
And þe kinges kniȝt he slouȝ
And amang hem alle he stood
And lokede as he were wood.
Þe kinges kniȝtes were agramed,
1700 And summe of hem were asschamed
Þat Otuwel in þe halle
Slouȝ a kniȝt among hem alle,
And bigunnen op to stonden
And þouȝte to leggen on him honden.
1750 ¶ Otuwel þerof was war
And in his herte it him bar
Þat þei nere aboute no good,
And seide to hem þere he stod
‘Bi þe louerd sire Mahoun,
1800 Kniȝtes, I rede ȝe sitten adoun
For ȝef ani of ȝou so hardi be
Þat any strok munteþ to me,
Mahoun mi god ich here forsake
ȝef he sschal euere ordres take
1850 Of ani oþer bisschopes hond
Bot of Corsouze mi gode brond.’
¶ Þei behelden Otuwel alle,
Kniȝtes and skwieres in þe halle,
Þer nas non þat þere stood
1900 Þat ne wende Otuel were wod,
And euere he held his swerd ydrawe
And ȝaf nouȝt of hem alle an hawe.
¶ King Charles stood vpriȝt
And comaundede anonriȝt
1950 Þat no man sscholde be so wod
To do þe messager nouȝt bote good.
¶ Kniȝtes and sweines in þe halle
Were wol glade þerof alle
Þat þe king so bad,
2000 For mani of hem was sore adrad,
And þei wiþdrowen hem echone, {f.269rb} View Facsimile
And euere stod Otuwel alone
And biheld hem as þei ȝede,
ȝef ani him wolde strok dede.
2050 ¶ Þanne seide Charles þe king
‘Bi God þat made alle þing,
Sarasin nere þou messager,
Wroþerhele come þou her.
I rede þou ȝeld op þi brond,
2100 And taket out of þin hond.’
¶ Quaþ Otuwel, þat Sarazin
‘Bi Mahoun, þat is louerd myn,
I nelle take it out of min hond
To noman of al þi lond
2150 Þat is þerinne geten & bore;
Þat wind þou hauest ilore.’
¶ ‘Sarasin’ quaþ Roulond
‘Tak me þi swerd in myn hond,
And ichc wole saue þe bi mi blod,
2200 Sschal noman do þe nouȝt bote good,
And whan þou art redi to fare
For soþe þi swerd sschal be ȝare.’
¶ Quaþ Otuwel þe Sarazin
‘Bi Mahoun, þat is louerd min,
2250 Þauȝ ich hadde skwieres twelue,
Ich wole bere myn swerd miselue.
Holte o roum! Ich wolde rede
And þanne dostou a god dede.’
¶ ‘Sarazin’ quaþ Charles þe king,
2300 ‘Let ben al þi þretning.
Tel me nou alle and some
In what message artou come?’
Otuwel, þat noble kniȝt,
Answerede anonriȝt
2350 ‘Hider me sente king Garsie,
Spaine is his, an[d] Lumbardie,
And manye londes name-couþe
Þat I ne mai nouȝt nemne wiþ mouþe;
Bi me he sente þe to segge,
2400 Þou sscholdest Cristendom alegge,
And maken þin men in eche toun
For to leuen on sire Mahoun,
And þou and alle þine barons bolde
Of him ȝe sschulle ȝoure londes holde.
2450 Þanne miȝtou amenden if þou wilt {f.269va} View Facsimile
Þat þou hauest Mahoun agult.
And certes bote it so bifalle,
Garsie wele ȝiue þine londes alle
To Olecent of Esclauenye,
2500 Þe kinges sone of Ermenie,
Þat haueþ his .o. douȝter to wif,
Þat he loueþ as his lif;
Þous sschal al þi murþe adoun,
Bote þou leue on sire Mahoun.’
2550 ¶ Þe duzzepieres answerede þo
‘Certes, while we moun ride & go
Fraunse sschal he neuere ȝiue
To noman while we moun liue.
Sire king, his wille nou þou wost,
2600 Let asemblen al þin ost
And let vs oppon Garsie wenden
Alle hise londes for to sschenden;
Of wordes þat he haueþ ispeke,
For soþe we reden þou be awreke.’
2650 ¶ ‘Certes, sire king’ quaþ Otuwel
‘Þine Freinsche kniȝtes kune ȝelpe wel,
And whan þei beþ to werre ibrouȝt,
Þanne be þei riȝt nouȝt.
¶ Þauȝ þou bringe wiþ sscheld & spere
2700 Al þat euere may wepene bere
To werren vpon [k]ing Garsie,
Certes alle þei sscholden deie.
And þou art king, and old kniȝt
And hauest iloren al þi miȝt
2750 And in þi ȝinkþe, tak god hede,
Þou nere neuere douȝti of dede.’
¶ Þo was þe king was agramed
And alle hise duzzeperes asschamed
Þat Otuwel, þat heþene kniȝt,
2800 Tolde of hem alle so liȝt.
¶ Roulond bi þe king stood,
And ameuede al his blod,
And seide in wraþþe anonriȝt
To Otuwel þat heþene kniȝt
2850 ‘To werren on Garsie ȝef we fare,
In bataille, and I mete þe þare,
And I may mete þe ariȝt,
Bi Ihesu þat is ful of miȝt,
Þou ne sschalt neuere after þat day, {f.269vb} View Facsimile
2900 Despice Freinchs man, ȝef ich may.’
¶ ‘Ouȝ’ quaþ Otuwel and louȝ
‘Wherto makestou it so touȝ,
To þrete me in anoþer lond?
Nam ich [nouȝt] here at þin hond,
2950 ȝef þou hauest wille to fiȝte?
Whaneuere þou wolt let þe diȝte,
And þou sschalt finde me redi diȝt,
In þe feld to bide fiȝt.’
¶ ‘Bi God’ quaþ Roulond ‘ich wolde be ȝare
3000 Whan ich wiste to finde þe þare,
And euele mote he þriue & þe
Þat ferst failleþ of me and te.’
¶ ‘ȝe, leue, ȝa’ quaþ Otuwel þo
‘Wheþerso failleþ of us two,
3050 Ich wole finde Mahoun to borwe,
Ich wile be redi erliche tomorwe.’
¶ Quaþ Roulond þar he stod on grounde
‘Selpe me Gode.’ feere ifounde
Riȝt before þe kinges eien,
3100 Þat alle þe kinges kniȝtes seien,
Eiþer oþer his trewþe pliȝte
Vppon morwen for to fiȝte.
¶ King Charles stod al stille,
And biheld his gode wille,
3150 And seide ‘it is harm, iwis,
Þat þou nost what follaut is;
ȝef þou woldes follaut take
And þine false godes forsake,
Ichc wolle make þe, so mote ihc þe,
MS: line 319 copied in the margin,
its correct position marked by a trailing line.
3200 And tou wille bleue wiþ me,
A riche man in mi lond,
Þat ich wille sikere þe on hond.’
¶ Otuwel, þat hardi kniȝt,
Answerede anonriȝt
3250 ‘Cristes cors vppon his heued
Þat me radde such a red,
To forsake mi god Mahun;
I nelle nouȝt leue þi false sarmon.’
¶ Þauȝ Otuwel speke outrage,
3300 For he was comen on message,
King Charles þat was heende and god
Nolde soffre him habbe nouȝt bote god,
Bote seide to him anonriȝt
‘Be þou skwier, be þou kniȝt,
3350 Tel me ȝef þi conseil is nome, {f.270ra} View Facsimile
Of what linage þou art come.’
¶ Otuwel answerede þis
‘A kinges sone ich am, iwis,
Soþ to segge & nouȝt to lye,
3400 Ich am þe kinges cosin Garsie.
Fernagu myn eem was,
Þat neuere ouercomen nas.
S[i]r Roulond þi cosin him slouȝ,
Þerefore wole rise wo inouȝ,
3450 Þerefore ich desire so moche,
To fiȝte wiþ Roulond sikerliche.
Ich wille tomorewen in þe day
Awreken his deþ ȝef ich may;
ȝou he haueþ iseid his sawe
3500 Þat he ne mai him nouȝt wiþdrawe
Þat we schule boþe fiȝten ifeere.
Nou ich wille þat þou it here,
Min emes deþ ich [wille] awreke
Or myn herte sschal tobreke.’
3550 ¶ King Charle[s] gan to meuen his blod,
Bot naþeles he was hende & good
And nolde for hise wordes heȝe
Don Otuel no vileinie,
Bote comaundede anon a swein
3600 Gon fechen him his chaumberlein,
A ȝing kniȝt ant nouȝt old
Þat was wel norssched and bold;
And seide to him ‘sire Reiner,
Tak here þis messeger
3650 And to his in saueliche him lede,
Þat for no word ne for no dede
Þat he haueþ don and seid
Þat non hond be on him leid;
And loke þat he be wel idiȝt
3700 And onoured als a kniȝt.’
¶ Þe chamberlein anon dede
Als þe king him hadde ibede
And ladde him hom to his in.
And whan he was icomen in
3750 He tok his leue þe chamberlein
And wente to þe king aȝein.
Littel slep þe king þat niȝt
For ferd of Roulant þat gode kniȝt
Of þe bataille he hadde inome, {f.270rb} View Facsimile
3800 Leste he were ouercome,
For þe king hadde sein fol wel,
Þe kuntenaunse of Otuel;
Þe king wiste wel a fin
Hit was a bold Sarazin,
3850 For he sauȝ hit wel by siȝt,
Þo he sauȝ him slen his kniȝt.
¶ On morwe þo þe dai sprong
And þe larke bigan hire song
King Charles wente to cherche
3900 Godes werkes for to werche.
Roulond, his cosin, wiþ him ȝede,
Of Godes help þat hadde nede;
Þei wenten anon to here masse,
For here sinnen sscholde be þe lasse.
3950 ¶ Þo þe masse was iseid
And þe uestement doun ileid,
Þe king and Roulond ifere
Wente forþ as ȝe moun here
Riȝt to þe paleis ȝate
4000 And founde houinge þerate
Otuel, armed and idiȝt,
Al redi to bide fiȝt.
Þo seide þat Sarazin
‘Sire king, where is þi cosin,
4050 Roulond þat his truþe pliȝte,
Þat he wolde wiþ me fiȝte?
He was þo fol heie of mod,
Is he nou ilete blod?’
¶ Roulond stod al and herde
4100 Hou Otuel toward him ferde,
And answerede anonriȝt
‘By Ihesu þat is fol of miȝt
Þin heued sschal fele vnder þin hood,
Þat I nam nouȝt laten blood.’
4150 ¶ ‘Welcome be þou’ quaþ Otuwel þo,
And turnde his stede and made him go,
And to þe place þo rod he
Þere þe bataille sscholde be.
Al aboute þe water ran,
4200 Þer nas noþer man ne wimman
Þat miȝte in riden no gon
At no stede bote at on,
And þere Otuwel in rood; {f.270va} View Facsimile
No lengere he ne abood.
4250 ¶ Roulond, þat douȝti kniȝt,
Was fol hasteliche idiȝt
And his stede he bistrod
And no lengere he ne abood.
Er þe dai idon it were,
4300 Þer þei sschollen fiȝten ifere.
¶ Anon als Roulond beheeld
Otuwel houede in þe feel[d].
Roulond was so egre to fiȝte,
Þat for al þe world he ne miȝte
4350 Abide to riden in at þe ȝate
Þere Otuwel rod in ate;
He þoute þe nekste weie to ride,
And no lengere he nolde abide.
He smot his stede wiþ spores briȝte
4400 And wiþ help of Godes miȝte
Ouer þe water þe stede swam
And to londe saf he cam.
¶ Anonriȝt als Roulond
Hadde ikauȝt þe druye lond
4450 Gret enuye was ham betwene;
Þei riden togidere wiþ speres kene,
Þat were ste[r]ne and nouȝt longe;
And þe kniȝtes were boþe stronge
And smyten eiþer in oþeres sscheld
4500 Þat boþe hors fellen in þe feld
And risen aȝein op fram þe grounde,
And boþe kniȝtes were hole & sounde.
¶ Þo þe stedes were risen boþe,
Þe kniȝtes woxen boþe fol wroþe,
4550 And drowen swerdes ate laste,
And eiþer huȝ on oþer faste.
Roulond to Otuwel smot
A strok þat fol sore bot;
He wolde haue smiten Otuwel,
4600 And he blenkt swiþe wel,
And Roulond smot þe stede broun
And clef þe heued al adoun,
And þe stede fel to grounde,
Bot Otuwel was hol & sounde.
4650 ¶ Roulond was hende & good of wille,
And houede oppon his stede stille,
To smiten made he semblant non {f.270vb} View Facsimile
Er Otuwel was risen and gan.
¶‘Roulond’ quaþ Otuwel ‘what was þe?
4700 Art tou blynd, miȝtou nouȝt se
Wil ich oppon mi stede sat?
Whi sscholde mi stede habbe þat?
It hadde be more honour to þe
For soþe, to habbe ismite me.’
4750 ¶ ‘Ouȝ’ quaþ Roulond ‘blame me nouȝt,
Bi sen Geme, ihc habbe isouȝt.
Otuwel, ich hadde yment,
Þat þou sscholdest haue ifeled þat dent.
Ich hadde wel leuere, so mote ich þe,
4800 Otuwel, habbe ȝouen it þe.’
¶ Otuwel was wroþ his stede was slawe,
And wiþ his swerd he bar idrawe
He smot to Roulond wiþ good wille,
Þat [h]ouede oppon his stede stille.
4850 Þat he hadde Roulond ment,
And he failede of his dent
And smot Roulondes gode stede,
Þat neuere eft on erþe he ne ȝede.
¶ Otuwel þoute on errore deede,
4900 Þo he hadde slawe his stede,
Hou Roulond houede stille as ston,
Til he was risen and gon;
And he stod al stille
And leet Roulond risen at wille
4950 And seide ‘Roulond, so mote ich þe,
Þat strok ich mente to þe,
And nou it is on þi stede istunt,
Let nou stonde dunt for dunt.’
¶ Þo þei sien non oþer bote
5000 Þei wenten togidere al on fote
And strokes ȝeden bitwene ham so kene
Þat þe fer sprong out bitwene.
¶ King Charles wiþ hise kniȝtes bolde
Was come þe bataille to biholde
5050 And bisouȝte God fol of miȝt
He sscholde saue Roulond his kniȝt.
¶ Boþe kniȝtes were gode & stronge,
And fouȝten togidere swiþe longe.
Roulond was a hende kniȝt
5100 And feled þat Otuwel smot ariȝt
feled: d is superscript with
its position marked by
a caret.
And þat myȝt was in his arm, {f.271ra} View Facsimile
And þoute to sauen him fram harm,
And seide ‘Otuwel, let þi fiȝt
And leue on Ihesu ful of miȝt
5150 And ich wele ben at acent
Þat þou sschalt wedde Belecent,
Þe kinges douȝter, mi nese þat is;
I rede, Otuwel, þat þou do þis.’
¶ Quaþ Otuwel to Roulond
5200 ‘Whil my swerd is in min hond,
Al þi preching is for nouȝt,
Hit ne cam neuere in my þout;
Me ne stant nouȝt of þe swich awe
Þat þou sschalt make me reneie mi lawe
5250 For to wedde Belecent;
So nis nouȝt mi wille iwent.’
¶ Þo þei ne miȝte nouȝt acente
Aȝein to bataille þei wente
And fouȝten harde togidere beie;
5300 Neueron of oþer ne stod eie.
¶ Roulond bigan to meuen his blood
Þat Otuwel so longe stood,
And for tene vp wiþ þe brond
Þat he bar in his hond,
5350 And in þe heued he þoute to redde
Otuwel, bote nouȝt he ne spedde.
Otuwel starte o side
And lette þe swerd bi him glide,
And Roulond wiþ þe swerdes ende,
5400 Reiȝte Otuwel oppon þe lende;
Als he wolde þe dent fle,
Otuwel fel on kne.
¶ Otuwel asschamed was
Þat he knelede oppon þe gras,
5450 And for anger his herte gan sswelle,
And þouȝte Roulond for to quelle;
In þe heued he hadde him ment,
Bote Roulond bleinte for þe dent,
As swete Ihesu Crist wolde,
5500 Þat Roulond þere deie ne sscholde.
Biside þe heued þe dent wente,
And þe hauberk he torente,
Fram þe hepebon an heiȝ,
Þat alle þe pece out fleiȝ.
5550 ¶ King Charles sauȝ þere he stood {f.271rb} View Facsimile
And was fol dreri in his mood,
And was swiþe sore afriȝt
To lese Roulond his gode kniȝt,
For Otuwel smot so heterliche
5600 Þe king wende sikerliche
Þat Roulond sscholde been ylore,
And was a sori man þerefore.
¶ As þe king stod in doute
He spak to his folk aboute
5650 And seide to alle þat þere were
‘Lordinges, doþ as ich ȝou lere,
ȝou: MS reads won.
Sitte eche man oppon his kne,
And biddeth to God in trinite,
For his grace and for hise miȝtes,
5700 Sende seiȝtnesse bitwene þo kniȝtes
And ȝiue Otuwel wille today,
For to reneien his lay.’
¶ Euerichone þei token here red,
And deden as þe king ham bed.
5750 To Ihesu Crist þei deden here bone,
And swete Ihesu herde ham sone.
A whit coluere þer cam fle,
Þat al þe peple miȝten se,
On Otuweles heued he liȝte
5800 Þoru þe uertu of Godes miȝte.
And Otuwel, þat douȝti kniȝt,
Wiþdrouȝ him anoonriȝt
Fram Roulond and stod al stille,
To fiȝte more he ne hadde wille
5850 And seide ‘Roulond þou smitest fol sore,
Wiþdrau þin hond and smiȝt namore.
ȝef þou wolt holden þat þou me het,
Þat I sschal wedde þat maiden swet,
Þe kinges douȝter, Belesent,
5900 For soþe, þan is mi wille went;
ȝef I sschal wedden þat faire may,
Ich wille bileuen oppon þi lay,
And alle myne godes forsake,
And to ȝoure God ich wille take.’
5950 ¶ Roulond likede þat word fol wel,
And answerede Otuwel
‘I þonke it Ihesu ful of miȝt,
Þorou wham þat grace is in þe liȝt.’
¶ Otuel caste of his hond {f.271va} View Facsimile
6000 Corsouse, his gode brond,
And Roulond his also,
And togidere þei gune go.
Eyþer forȝaf oþer his loþ,
Nas non of hem wiþ oþer wroþ,
wroþ: MS reads worþ.
6050 Bote clippe and kusse eyþer oþer,
As eiþer hedde been oþeres broþer.
¶ King Charles rood þidere anon,
And kniȝtes wiþ him many on.
Anon as he þider cam
6100 Bi þe hon[d] Roulond he nam
And seide ‘Roulond, for Godes erþe,
Hou is þe and þis man iwurþe?
So harde strokes as ȝe habben ȝiue,
Hit is wunder þat ȝe liue.’
6150 ¶ ‘Sire’ quaþ Roulond ‘we beþ al sounde,
Noþer of vs ne haueþ wounde.
Otuwel haueþ his conseil nome
Þat he wile Cristene bycome,
And ich habbe granted bi ȝoure acent
6200 Þat he sschal wedde Belecent.’
¶ ‘Certes’ quaþ Charles þo
‘Nou þou wolt þat it be so,
I grante wel þat it so be,
For whi þat he wille dwelle wiþ me.
6250 Þanne hadde ich þe and Oliuer,
þe is superscript,
its position marked by a caret.
Otuwel, and gode Ogger.
In al þe world in lenkþe & brede,
Þer nis king þat nolde me drede.’
¶ Þe king took Otuwel anon
6300 And to his paleis made him gon
And makeden murþe and meloudie
Of alle maner of menestrausie
For þe miracle þat was wrouȝt,
Þat Otuwel hadde iturnd his þouȝt.
6350 ¶ On moruen þo þe day was briȝt,
Þei ladden to churche þat noble kniȝt,
Bisschop Turpin was bisschop þo,
He follede him þat day and nammo.
¶ Þo Otuwel hadde follauȝt nome,
6400 And to þe kingges pees was come,
Þe king beed him his douȝter anon,
And feire londes mani on.
¶ Otuwel to þe king saide {f.271vb} View Facsimile
‘Sire, keep me wel þat maide,
6450 For soþe ich nele hire neuere wedde
No neuere wiþ hire go to bedde
Er þi werre to þe ende be brouȝt
And sumwhat of þi wille wrouȝt;
Whan king Garsie is slawe or take,
6500 Þanne is time mariage to make.’
¶ Quaþ king Charles to Otuwel
‘Nou I se þou louest me wel,
And ȝef I leue, so mote I þe,
Þou ne sschalt nouȝt lese þi loue on me.’
6550 ¶ Þo leet þe king asemblen anon
Alle hise duzzeperes echon.
‘Lordinges’ he seide ‘what is ȝoure red?
King Garsie seiþ I sschal be ded,
And as ȝe habbeþ iherd segge,
6600 He þenkeþ Cristendam to legge.
Wheþer wole we wenden oppon him anon,
Oþer abide til winter be gon?’
MS: line 662 copied at the
foot of the column, its
correct position marked by .a.-.b.
Þe duzzeperes acentenden þerto,
To bide til winter were ido,
6650 And alle winter þe king of Fraunce
Lette maken his purueianse.
Al þat winter at hom he bod,
And in somer to werre he rod.

Lordinges, boþe ȝinge and olde,
6700 Her[k]neþ as we formest tolde,
Hou þe werre was fol hyȝe,
Bitwene king Charles & king Garsie.
Anon as winter was ygon,
Þe king asemblede his host anon,
6750 And mochel peple cam to his hond
Out of mani diuerse lond.
Aueril was comen an[d] winter gon,
And Charles tok þe weie anon,
And drouȝ him toward Lumbardie,
6800 To werren oppon king Garsie.
Þere was set wiþouten faille
Certein day of bataille.
¶ Anoon as Charles was icome,
Niȝ honde þar þe bataille was nome,
6850 In a mede anonriȝt
Þe kinges pauilons were ipiȝt,
Vnder an hul bisides a riuere, {f.272ra} View Facsimile
And bifel as ȝe moun here.
Fol nyȝ þe water þe king lay
6900 Of bataille for to abide his day,
And vppon þat oþer side
He miȝte seen hise enemis ride,
And þere nas brugge ne forde non
Þat man miȝte ouer riden ne gon.
6950 ¶ King Charles þat gode kniȝt
Tok carpenters anonriȝt
And lette make a brugge anon
Þat men miȝten ouer gon.
¶ Þo þe brugge was al ȝare,
7000 Þat men miȝten ouer fare.
Hit bitidde vppon a day,
Wil Charles in his bed lay,
Þat Roulond an[d] Oliuer
And þe gode kniȝt Oger
7050 Ouer þe brugge þei wenten ifeere
Auntres for to sen and here.
And þo þei ouer passed were,
Such auntres þei funden þere,
For al þe good vnder sonne
7100 Þei nolde habben þe gamen bigonne.
¶ Of Garsies ost foure heþene kinges
Wenten for te here tidinges,
For alle cas þat miȝte bitide,
Wel i-armed bataille to bide.
7150 Here foure names ȝe moun wite,
As we finden in romaunse write:
¶ Turabeles hatte þet o king -
A stout Sarazin, wiþouten lesing;
¶ Þat oþer Balsamun het -
7200 A werse man ȝede non on fet;
¶ Astaward was þe þriddes name,
He louede werre and hatede game;
¶ Þe ferþe king hiȝte Clarel,
Þat neuere ȝite ne dede wel.
7250 As þei riden alle yfere
Þat on seide as ȝe moun here
‘Mahoun leeue ous ȝit abide
Into Fraunce þat we moun ride,
And ich miȝte Roulond mete
7300 Al wiþ wraþþe ich wolde him grete.
Þat traitour he slouȝ mi broþer, {f.272rb} View Facsimile
Ne gete ich neue[r] eft such a noþer.’
¶ Roulonde herde and Oliuer
And þe gode kniȝt Ogger
7350 Hou þei speken hare wordes hiȝe,
And þratten Roulond to die;
And Roulond was so nyȝ
Þat alle foure kinges he syȝ.
¶ ‘Felawes’ quaþ Rouland anon
7400 ‘Iich am war of oure fon;
Þei beþ foure and we bote þre,
Daþeit habbe þat hem fle;
Nou we habben founden game,
Gawe to hem a Godes name.’
7450 ¶ Anon as Clarel ham syȝ
He seide ‘oure enemys beþ nyȝ,
Ich se bi here cuntenaunse
Þei beþ Cristene men of Fraunce.
Charles ost liþ here biside
7500 In pauilons bataille to bide
And þese beþ of hise men, iwis,
Þerfore mi reed is tis,
Þat we hasteliche to ham ride
And loke wheþer þei wole abide.’
7550 ¶ Wiþ þat word þe kinges anon
Touchede here stedes & made hem gon
And toward þe Cristene kniȝtes þei riden,
And þei douȝtiliche abiden.
¶ Astaward wiþ Roulond mette,
7600 Nouȝt he ne spak, ne him ne grette,
Bot smot him wiþ his spere anon,
Þorou þe sscheld he made hit gon.
And Roulondes spere, ywis,
Was wel betere þan was his,
7650 To Astawardes herte hit ȝede,
And caste him doun of his stede.
‘Aris’ quaþ Roulond ‘and tak þe bet,
At þis time þou art ilet.’
¶ Curabeles no lengere ne abood,
7700 To God Ogger anon he rod;
Ogger was a strong kniȝt,
And rod to him wiþ gret miȝt,
And bar ado[u]n hors and pak,
And þe Sarazins nekke tobrak.
7750 ¶ Balsamum and Oliuer {f.272va} View Facsimile
Eyþer neiȝede oþer ner;
Þo Balsamum bigan to ride
Oliuer nolde no lengere abide,
He pingde his stede wiþ spores kene
7800 And smot a strok þat was sene;
He ne (ne) miȝte þo no bette do
Bote gurde þe nekkebon otwo.
¶ Þus Roulond and Oliuer
And þe gode kniȝt Ogger
7850 Slouwen þe heþene kinges þre,
And ȝit nolde nouȝt Clarel fle.
To þe duk Roulond he rood,
And Roulond his strok abod.
For wraþþe hise felaus were islein,
7900 He rood to Roulond wiþ gret mayn
And bar a spere greet and long;
And þe Sarazin was strong
And in þe sadel sat faste
And Roulond to grounde he kaste.
7950 Wiþ þe fal þe steede anoon,
Tobarst þat o sschanke bon.
Roulond vppon his feet stood,
And ne hadde nouȝt bote good.
¶ Ogger sauȝ fol wel þo
8000 Þat Roulondes hors was ago,
Ogger þat was douȝti of dede
Smot doun Clarel of his stede.
Oliuer tok þe stede anon
And to Roulond he gan gon.
8050 ‘Roulond, haue þis.’ quaþ Oliuer
‘Þis þe sente good Ogger,
And Clarel he haueþ to grounde iþrowe
For he brouȝte þe so lowe.’
¶ Rouland þat hadde his stede ilore
8100 Þonkede hem boþe þerfore
And was þe gladdeste man vnder sonne
Þat he hadde an hors iwonne.
¶ Clarel vppon his feet stood
And fauȝt as he were wood,
8150 On none maner he nolde fle,
Bot fauȝt aȝein hem alle þre.
¶ Þe þre kniȝtes were fol stronge,
He ne miȝte nouȝt dure aȝein ham longe,
And seide to hem alle þre {f.272vb} View Facsimile
8200 ‘Lordinges, let me o liue be;
To ȝou it were lutel honour
To sle me þat nabbe no socour.’
To fiȝte more he forsook,
And Roulond his swerd tok;
8250 Roulond was hende & nouȝt forsok
And of Clarel his swerd he tok.
¶ ‘King Clarel’ quaþ Ogger
‘Worþ vp bihinden me her.’
Þo was king Clarel glad
8300 For to do þat Ogger bad
And was staleworþe and liȝt,
And lep vp anonriȝt.
vp: MS reads vt.
Þo wenten þei forþ wiþouten targing
And þoute presente Charles þe king
8350 Wiþ Clarel þat þei hadden inome,
And hopeden to ben welcome.
And of here weie þei were let,
And swiþe harde þei were met.
Þei sien of Garsies men a feerd,
8400 Boþe wiþ spere and wiþ swerd,
Bitwen hem and þe pauiloun
Þere þei sscholden wenden adoun.
Þei ne miȝte skapen in neuere a side,
Þoruout hem þei mosten ride.
8450 ¶ ‘Felawes’ quaþ Ogger þo
To Roulond and Oliuer bo
‘Ich wene er we hom come,
Clarel ous worþ bynome;
Lordinges, what is nou ȝoure red?
8500 Wole we smiten of his hed?’
¶ Quaþ Roulond ‘so mote ich þe,
At þat red nel ich nouȝt be.’
‘No ich noþer’ quat Oliuer,
‘Bi þe louerd sein Richer,
8550 On liue I rede we leten him go
And ne do we him nammore wo.
Such cas may fallen in sum neede
He mai quiten vs oure mede.’
¶ ‘Bi God’ quaþ Ogger ‘þat is soþ,
8600 And where he do, or he ne doþ,
Hit where sschame to ous, iwis,
To sslen a man þat ȝolden him is;
I rede we leten him gon his wey, {f.273ra} View Facsimile
For we mot entenden to anoþer pley.’
8650 ¶ Alle þre þei were at on
And leten Clarel on liue gon.
Clarel nolde no lengere abide,
He ne askede non hors onne to ride,
Bote on fote dede him go,
8700 And leuede hem þare in muchel wo.
¶ ‘Nou, lordinges’ quaþ Ogger
To Roulond and to Oliuer
‘Ich wole triste to my sswerd,
And fonde for to passe þis ferd.
8750 Ich hope þoru help of Godes miȝt
To se mi lord Charles þis niȝt.
ȝef ani Sarazin wiþ eie
Comeþ to lette me of mi weie,
Selp me God and þis day,
8800 He sschal abugge, ȝef ich may.’
¶ ‘Nou’ quaþ Roulond, þat douȝti kniȝt,
‘And ich wille helpe þe bi mi miȝt;
I nele today bi sein Martin
ȝilde me to no Sarazin.’
8850 ¶ Quaþ Oliuer ‘so mote ich þe,
In mani peril ich habbe ibe,
And ȝef ich faille at þis nede,
God ne lete me neuere eft spede;
I nele, ȝef God halt me sound,
8900 Today ȝelde me to non hound.’
¶ Þei markeden hem alle þre
To him þat þolede deþ on tre
And no lengere þei ne abiden,
Anon into þe ferde þei riden.
8950 ¶ A Sarazin wiþ Roulond mette,
And of his weie Roulond lette;
He cam out of al þe here,
And bar to Roulond a gret spere -
A bold kniȝt þat hatte Byoun -
9000 An[d] Roulond bar him adoun.
¶ Oliuer, þat was his broþer,
He mette wiþ anoþer,
A douȝti kniȝt, an heþene man,
A strong þef þat heet Bassan.
9050 Oliuer was horsed wel
And bare a spere kene & fel,
And smot him riȝt vnder þe sscheld {f.273rb} View Facsimile
Þat þere he lay amidde þe feld.
¶ And þe gode kniȝt Ogger
9100 Mette wiþ on þat heet Moter,
And wolde him habbe doun ibore,
And Ogger was wroþ þarfore
And smot þe Sarazin so sore,
Þat he ne spak neuere more.
9150 ¶ Oliuer, Ogger and Roulond
Among þe Sarazins stureden here hond
Þoru help of God þat is aboue
Þat ham hadde þat grace iȝoue.
Þorou þe ferd as þei riden,
9200 Alle þat here strokes abiden
Þei were maimed for eueremore.
Þe douȝti kniȝtes þei smiten so sore
Þat wiþinne a litel stounde
Þei felden mani on to grounde.
9250 ¶ Þo cam a soudan, stout and firs,
On of Garsies duzzepeers,
Þat hatte Karmel of Tabarie;
Oppon þe Sarasins he gan crie
‘Recreiede kniȝtes, whi nele ȝe fiȝte?
9300 Traitours, þeues, where [is] ȝoure miȝte?
It is sschame bi god Mahon
Þat oure folk goon þus adoun.’
¶ Wiþ þis word Carmel anon
Pingde his stede and made him gon,
9350 And rood to Ogger in þat hete
And þoute he sscholde his lif forlete;
And was strong, and ful of tene,
And smot sore, and þat was sene.
He smot Ogger in þe sscheld
9400 Þat Ogger lay amidde þe feld;
Sore he fel oppon þe grounde
And hadde a fol luþer wonde.
¶ Þe duk Roulond þat seyȝ,
For wraþþe he was wod wel nyȝ,
9450 And for wraþþe smot him so sore
Þat he ne spak neuere eft more.
¶ Þo cam Anwe of Nubie,
On of kinges kniȝtes Garsie,
And felde Oliuer to grounde,
9500 Bote he ne ȝaf him neuere a wounde.
¶ Roulond was fol wroþ wiþ alle, {f.273va} View Facsimile
Þo he sauȝ Oliuer falle,
And Anawe of Nubie he smot
Þat neuere eft crouste he ne bot.
9550 ¶ Oliuer ros op fram þe grounde,
Al hol wiþouten wo[u]nde,
And anon his stede he nam
And to Roulond sone he cam.
¶ Þo was Roulond fol fawe
9600 Þat Oliuer nas nouȝt isslauwe,
Þo þei were togidere imet.
þei: MS reads rei.
Þo were þei harde biset,
Amang Sarasins þat were kene,
And þei smiten sore for tene.
9650 ¶ Whil Roulond fauȝt and Oliuer,
Heuere stode þe gode Ogger,
And hadde lorn his gode stede,
And his wounde gan faste blede;
And ȝit he fauȝt þere he stod
9700 And leide on as he were wod.
¶ Whil Ogger þat douȝti kniȝt
Aȝenes Sarazins stod in fiȝt,
Oppon a stede Clarel come driue,
Þat Ogger halp to sauen o liue
9750 Þorou cunseil of Roulond & Oliuer,
And anon he knuȝ Ogger
‘Ogger’ he seide ‘hit is my red,
ȝilte to me ore þou art ded;
to me: MS reads come.
Þou holpe to saue mi lif a day,
9800 Ich wole sauen þin, ȝef I may.’
¶ Ogger sauȝ wel wiþ his eye
Þat he was in point to deye
And to Clarel he gan gon
And tok him his swerd anon.
9850 ¶ Clarel nas no wedded man,
Clarel hadde a fair lemman
Þat was hoten Aufanye,
And was born in Ermenie.
¶ Clarel anonriȝtes
9900 Clepede to him two kniȝtes
And seide to hem anon
‘To mi lemman ȝe schulle gon
And segge þat ich sente hire þis kniȝt
And þat his wounde be heled ariȝt;
9950 And god hede to him nome {f.273vb} View Facsimile
To sauen him til mi tocome.’
¶ Þe kniȝtes deden as he hem bad,
To his lemman he was lad,
Þat was hoten Aufanye,
1000 Þat was kinges douȝter Garsie,
And ȝo was glad of þat present,
To do Clareles comaundement.
Roulond and Oliuer fouȝten,
Þat of here liues nouȝt ne rouȝten.
1005 Þei hadden fouȝten ouer myȝte,
Þei ne miȝte no lengere dure to fiȝte,
An[d] anon turnden here steeden,
And flowen for þei ne myȝten nouȝt speden.
¶ To Otuwel it was told
1010 Þat Roulond þat was bold,
Oliuer and Ogger bo,
Were ouer þe water go.
¶ Otuwel anonriȝtes
Leet armen him and alle hise kniȝtes;
hise: written superscript,
with its position marked by a caret.
1015 Þo he was armed and wel idiȝt
He wente to þe king anonriȝt
And seide ‘sire, I dwelle to longe.
Roulond, Oliuer an[d] Ogger þe stronge
Oue[r] þe water alle þre
1020 Beþ went for envie of me,
To loke wher þei miȝten spede
To don any douȝti deede
Among þe Sarazins bolde,
And I sscholde be couward hoolde;
1025 Þerfore I nele no lengere abide,
To sechen hem ich wole ride.
Þauȝ þei habben envie to me
Ich wille for þe loue of þe
Fonden whoþer I miȝte comen
1030 To helpen hem ar þei weren inomen.
And ȝif hem any harm bytit,
Let ham witen hare oune wit.’
¶ Quaþ þe king ‘par charite,
Otuwel, ich biseche þe,
1035 For Godes loue hiȝe þe bliue
And fonde to sauen hem o liue
Er þei be slawe or nome,
And þe sschal sone socour come.’
¶ Otuwel no lengere ne abood, {f.274ra} View Facsimile
1040 Anon his stede he bistrood,
And alle hise kniȝtes bi his side,
And toward þe ferd he gan to ride.
¶ Anon as Otuwel was goon
Þe king leet diȝte his host anon
1045 After Otuwel to wende
As a God king and hende.
¶ As Otuwel bigan to ride,
He lokede abouten in eche side
And he sauȝ ate laste
1050 Where Roulond fleyȝ, & Oliuer faste.
Otuwel touchede his stedes side
An[d] aȝein hem he gan ride
And seide ‘turneþ aȝein anon
And helpeþ to wreke ȝou on ȝoure fon;
1055 Þei sschulle abugge, so mote ich þe,
Þat makeþ ȝou so faste fle.’
¶ Þo þei herden Otuwel speken
Þat þei sscholden ben awreken,
Þo were þei ferchs to fiȝte,
1060 And tournden aȝein and were fol liȝte.
¶ ‘Lordinges’ quaþ Otuel þo,
‘Whuder is god Ogger go?’
And þei answereden sikinge sore
‘For soþe we ne sien him nouȝt ȝore,
1065 We ne witen where he is bycome,
Wheþer he is islawe oþer nome.’
¶ ‘Allas! allas!’ quaþ Otuwel
‘Þis tiding likeþ me nout wel;
Sire Charles, my lord þe king,
1070 Wole be sori for þis tiding.
For Godes loue, hie we bliue,
And loke we whoþer Ogger be aliue.’

Otuwel and Oliuer,
And Roulond þat douȝti bacheler,
1075 Wiþ a feir compaignye,
Þei bigunnen for to hie
Toward king Garsies host
For to abaten of hare bost.
¶ Þere was a Sarazin strong
1080 Þat bar a brod swerd & a long,
And was hoten Encumbrer,
And bigan to neiȝen hem ner
Oppon a muche blak stede; {f.274rb} View Facsimile
And Otuwel took of him hede
1085 And of his armes hadde a siȝt
And knuȝ him anonriȝt.
And no lengere he ne abod,
Otuwel to him rood,
And bar him doun hors and man,
1090 Þus Otuwel gamen bigan.
¶ Estuȝt of Legers, a noble kniȝt
Þat wiþ Otuwel cam to fiȝt,
Bar a spere of tre fol fin
And smot a bold Sarazin
1095 Into þe bodi þoru þe sscheld,
And þere he lay det in þe feld.
Oliuer ho slouȝ anoþer,
And þe ferþe Roulond his broþer.
¶ Þo þe Freinche kniȝtes seien
1100 Þe Sarasins fallen wiþ hare eien,
Þei nolden þo no lengere abide;
Þei smiten to in eche side
And felden Sarazins faste,
And þei flowen ate laste.
1105 ¶ King Clarel made hem torne aȝein
Oppon Cristene men to lein,
And he leide on faste,
And þe þef ate laste
Slou Dromer of Alemaine;
1110 Þat reu fol sore þe king Charlemaine
¶ Erpater king of Ynde was,
He cam wiþ a mase of bras,
And Otuwel on þe helm he reiȝte
So harde þat al þe heued toqueiȝte.
1115 ¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘so mote y þe,
Ich ne þoute nauȝt boruwe þat strok of þe;
Bi min heued vnder myn hat,
I nele nouȝt longe ouwe þe þat.’
Otuwel wiþ a fauchoun
1120 Cleef him al þe heued adoun,
And he fil vnder his horse feet.
Quaþ Otuwel ‘þat ich þe biheet.’
¶ Þo was Otuwel fol of mood,
And fauȝt as he were wood.
1125 Al þe kinges ost anon
Foleuweden Otuwel echon,
Roulond and Oliuer, {f.274va} View Facsimile
And maden a foul larder.
Þe kniȝtes leiden on so faste,
1130 Þe Sarazins flouwen ate laste.
¶ Þo neiȝede it toward eue,
Þo moste þe ost bileue
And dwellen þere al þat niȝt
Til on morwe þe dai was briȝt.
1135 Þo þe ost was wiþdrawe
To resten hem, as is þe lawe,
King Clarel kam in fourme of pees
Wiþ tweie felawes, mo ne lees,
Toward Charles ost þe king,
1140 For to wyten a tiding.
Otuwel aȝein him wente
To wite who him þidere sente.
¶ Þanne seide king Clarel
To þe douȝti Otuwel
1145 ‘Kniȝt’ he seide ‘so mote þou þe,
Tel me what þi name be;
Þou art so douȝti man of dede,
And mani a kniȝt hauest maked blede,
Ich wolde fol fain bi myn eye
1150 Bringe þi name to þe king Garsie.’
¶ ‘Bi God, felawe’ quaþ Otuwel
‘Er þis þou kneuwe my name fol wel;
So God sschilde me fram sschame,
Otuel is my Cristine name.
1155 Mahun ich habbe forsake,
And to Ihesu ich habbe me take.’
¶ ‘Allas!’ quaþ Clarel ‘whi destou so?
So wrecheliche hauestou do.
ȝit I rede þou turne þi mood,
rede: MS reads rere.
1160 And leef on Mahoun, ore þou art wod,
And ich wole pese, ȝef þou wilt,
Þat þou hauest Garsie agult.’
¶ ‘Fiȝ’ quaþ Otuel þo
‘On Mahoun and on Garsie bo,
1165 Bi him þat maude Adam and Eue,
Y nele neuere oppon ȝou leue.
Bi Ihesu þat is fol of miȝt,
And ich may mete him ariȝt,
Þere sschal no Sarazin skape o liue,
1170 Þat ich may hente, so mote ich þriue.’
¶ ‘Otuwel’ quaþ Clarel þo {f.274vb} View Facsimile
‘Were we sumware bitwene vs two -
Bi Mahoun, þat ich onne bileue -
Oppon þi bodi ich wolde preue
1175 Þat Mahoun may mo miracles make
Þan he þat þou art to itake.
He nis nouȝt half, be mi croun,
So miȝty as is sire Mahoun.’
¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘bi Godes miȝte,
1180 Clarel, mi truþe ich þe pliȝte;
Whaneuere þou wolt hit schal be,
Euele mote he þriue þat fle.’
¶ Quaþ Clarel anonriȝt
‘Bi Mahoun þat is fol of miȝt,
1185 Woltou sikere me on hond
Þat no man of king Charles lond
Schal do me no vileynie?
By þe deþ þat I sschal deye,
Mi conseil is anon inome,
1190 Tomorue erliche ich wille come.’
¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘ne doute þe nouȝt.
Bi God þat al þe world haueþ wrouȝt
And þe deþ þat I schal deie,
Þou ne sschalt hente no vileinie
1195 Of no man of king Charles lond,
Bote riȝt of myn oune hond.
Bi him þat made leef & bouȝ,
þeroffe þe sschal þinken ynouȝ.’
Quaþ Clarel ‘þo do þi best,
1200 Tomorwe þou sschalt finde me prest.’
Tomorwe: r is superscript,
and its position marked by a caret.
¶ Þus þe[i] were þere boþe at on
Er þei wolden o twinne gon.
Eyþer oþer his treweþe pliȝte
Oppon morwen for to fiȝte.
1205 ¶ On moruwen þo þe day sprong
Clarel þe king þouȝte long
To þe pauiloun til he cam
To holde þe day þat he nam;
Oppon a stede wel idiȝt
1210 He cam fol redi to bide fiȝt.
¶ King Charles wiþ hise kniȝtes bolde
Comen out Clarel to biholde,
Hou he com al redi diȝt
Boldeliche to bide fiȝt.
1215 ¶ Clarel was bold on his bond {f.275ra} View Facsimile
For [O]tuwel sikerede him on hond
Þat no man of flechs and blood
Ne sscholde doon him nouȝt bote good,
Bot hemselue tweien fiȝte
1220 And habbe þe maistrie whoso miȝte.
Þo was Clarel fol trist
For to segge what him lust.
¶ King Charles was an old man
And Clarel hede þeroffe nam,
1225 And seide ‘Charles, þou art old.
Who made þe nou so bold
To werren oppon king Garsie
Þat is cheef of al Painie?
Al paynime he haued in wold;
1230 Þou dotest for þou art so bold.’
Bold: the b has been altered from an h
¶ King Charles waryþede anonriȝt
Þat Clarel tolde of him so liȝt
And hadde iment þo fol wel
To habben ifouȝten wiþ Clarel;
1235 And bad fetten his armure briȝt,
And wolde armen him anonriȝt,
And seide in wraþþe ‘by Godes miȝte,
Ich miself wole wiþ him fiȝte.’
¶ Roulond bi þe king stood
1240 And bigan to meuen his mood
And sede to þe king anon,
‘Þou hauest, sire king, mani on,
Gode douȝti kniȝtes of deede,
To fiȝte þiself þou ne hauest no nede.’
1245 ¶ ‘God sschilde, sire’ quaþ Oliuer
‘Hit sscholde springe fer or ner
To putte þin oune bodi to fiȝt,
And hauest so mani a douȝti kniȝt.’
¶ King Charles swor his oþ
1250 And bigan to wexe wroþ
And seide ‘for ouȝt þat man may speke,
Miself, ich wile ben on him wreke.’
¶ ‘A sire!’ quaþ Otuwel þo
‘For Godes loue sei nouȝt so.
1255 Ich and he beþ truþe pliȝte
Þat we sschole togidere fiȝte,
And ich wole telle þe wiþoute faille
Wherefore we habbe taken bataille.
¶ He wolde habbe maked me ȝusterday {f.275rb} View Facsimile
1260 To habbe reneied my lay,
And seide þat ich was ilore
And God nas nouȝt of Marie bore;
And seide algate he wolde preue
Þat ich am in misbeleue.
1265 Þerefore he profreþ him to fiȝt,
To wite wheþer is more of miȝt,
Ihesu þat is louerd min
Or Mahoun and Apolyn.
Þous we habbeþ þe bataille inome
1270 And boþe we beþ iswore to come.’
¶ Quaþ þe king Charles þo
‘Otuwel, whan it is so,
Tak þe bataille a Godes name,
And Ihesu schilde þe fram sschame.’
1275 Otuwel, þat noble kniȝt,
Lette armen him anonriȝt,
And his gode stede bistrod
And no lengere he ne abood
Bote to þe stede he rood fol riȝt
1280 Þere Clarel houede to bide fiȝt.
¶ Anon as Otuwel was icome
Here conseil was anon inome;
No lengere þei ne abiden,
Anonriȝt togidere þei riden,
1285 Noon oþer nas ham bitwene,
Bote gode stronge speres & kene.
Nas neuer noþer of oþer agast
And eiþer sat in his sadel fast,
Þat boþe stedes ȝeden to grounde,
1290 And þe kniȝtes weren al sounde;
And boþe stedes wenten forþ,
Þat on souþ, þat oþer norþ.
Þe kniȝte on fote togidere ȝede,
An[d] drowen hare swerdes gode at nede;
1295 Ne sparede þei nouȝt þe swerdes egge,
Eyþer on oþer bigan to legge.
¶ Þei were boþe swiþe stronge,
And fouȝten togidere swiþe longe.
King Clarel was wel neȝ wood
1300 Þat Otuwel so longe stood.
In gret wraþþe Otuwel he smot,
And his swerd felliche bot,
And þau þe swerd [nere] neuere so good, {f.275va} View Facsimile
Þe gode helm it wiþstood.
1305 Bote Otuwel astoneied was
Þere he stood vpon þe gras.
¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘so mote ich go,
He ne louede me nouȝt þat smot me so;
Ich warne þe wel, so mote ich þe,
1310 Þou sschalt habbe as good of me.’
¶ Otuwel for wraþþe anon
Areiȝte him on þe cheke-bon
Al þe fel of þat was þare
And made his teþ al bare.
1315 ¶ Þo Otuwel sauȝ [h]is cheke-bon
He ȝaf Clarel a skorn anon
And seide ‘Clarel, so mote þou þe,
Whi scheuwestou þi teþ to me?
I nam no toþ-drawere,
1320 Þou ne sest me no cheine bere.’
¶ Clarel felede him wounded sore,
And was maimed for eueremore,
An[d] smot to Otuwel wiþ al his miȝt;
And Otuwel, þat douȝti kniȝt,
1325 Wiþ his swerd kepte þe dent
Þat Clarel him hadde iment,
And ȝit þe dent glood adoun
And smot Otuwel oppon þe croun.
¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘bi Godes ore,
1330 Sarazin, þou smitest fol sore.
Suþen þi berd was ischaue
Þou art woxen a strong knaue.’
¶ Otuwel smot Clarel þo
O strok and nammo
1335 Þat neuer eft word he ne spak,
And so Otuwel his tene wrak.
¶ Þo was Charles glad ynouȝ
Þat Otuwel king Clarel slouȝ,
And ȝaf Otuwel, þat douȝti kniȝt,
1340 A god erldam þat selue niȝt.
Al þat in þe ost was
Maden murþe and solas
Þat Otuwel hadde so bigunne
And hadde so þe maistri wonne;
1345 Al þat miȝt ouer al þe ost,
Þei maden alþer ioye most.
¶ Þer cam a messager & browȝte tiding {f.275vb} View Facsimile
To Garsie þat riche king
Þat Otuwel his cosin in lawe
1350 Hadde king Clarel islawe.
¶ Þo Garsie it vnderȝat
He was swiþe sori for þat,
And for wraþþe þere he stood
Corsede hise godes as he were wood
1355 And seide ‘allas and walawo!
Nou is gode Clarel go.
Certes myn herte it wile tobreke,
Bote ich mowe Clarel awreke.’
¶ Þo lette Garsie asem[b]len anon
1360 Alle hise Sarazins echon
And þouȝte þoruout alle þing
To ben awreken on Charles king
And on his cosin Otuwel;
And on himself þe wreche fel.
1365 ¶ King Charles herde be a spye
Þat Garsie þratte him to die
And he asemblede hise kniȝtes echon
And sede to hem alle anon
‘Lordinges, Garsie þinkeþ to ride,
1370 For soþe I nele no lengere abide.’
Þe king armede him anon
And alle hise kniȝtes echon;
Þe king gurde him wiþ his swerd
And wente himself wiþ his ferd.
1375 ¶ Þe king cam stilleliche wiþ his ost
And Garsie cam wiþ gret bost.
Þo þe ostes neiȝeden nieȝ
Þat eiþer ost oþer sieȝ,
Out of Garsies ost cam ride
1380 A Turkein þat was ful of prude.
¶ Roulond was good and hende,
And aȝenes him gan wende.
Þe Tourkein no lengere nabod,
To Roulond anon he rood,
1385 And gurde Roulond wiþ a spere
Þat wel couþe a strok bere;
And as douȝti as he was,
His o stirop he las.
¶ Roulond was aschamed þarfore,
1390 Þat he hadde his stirop lore,
And wiþ Dorendal þat was good, {f.276ra} View Facsimile
He smot þe Tourkein oppon þe hood,
And he sey doun of his stede;
So Rowlond quitte him his mede.
1395 Quaþ Roulond ‘þat ich þe biheet,
Þou nult namore stonden on þi feet;
Min o stirop þou madest me tine,
Nou hauestou lose boþe þine.’
¶ Þer cam anoþer stout Sarazin,
1400 Þat was armed wel a fin,
Þat hiȝte Myafle of Bagounde,
And wiþ a litel stounde
He made his stede swiþe to goon
And smot Oliuer anoon;
1405 Þorou-out al his armure briȝt,
He woundede sore þat gode kniȝt.
¶ Roulond sauȝ be contenaunse,
His broþer was hurt wiþ þe launce;
þe: MS reads le.
His wardecors anon he fond
1410 And tok a spere out of his hond
And made his hors make a sturt
To him þat hadde his broþer hurt,
And touchede him wiþ þe speres ord
Þat neuere eft he ne spak word;
1415 And tok Myafles stede anon
And sette Oliuer þeron.
¶ Þere was a noble Sarazin,
A king þat heet Galatyn,
And cam wiþ a compainie,
1420 And bigan faste to hie.
¶ Otuwel was war of þat,
Oppon his stede þere he sat,
Hou king Galatin cam wiþ wille
Cristene men for to spille.
1425 Wiþ þe spores þe steede he nam,
To Galatyn þe king he kam.
Þorou þe bodi he him bar
And bad he scholde eft be war
Of such a strok whan it kam.
1430 Non oþer hede of him he ne nam
Bote rood forþ oppon his stede
And leet þe Sarazin ligge & blede.
¶ Þo smiten þo ostes togidere anon
And fouȝten faste and good won,
1435 And todaschsten many a scheld, {f.276rb} View Facsimile
Mani a bodi lay in þe feld.
¶ Þo cam ouer þe doune ride
doune: MS reads donne.
An heþene king fol of prude,
And browȝte wiþ him al ferche þo
1440 A þousende Sarazins and mo,
And fouȝten faste a good stounde
And felden Cristene men to grounde.
¶ A douȝti bacheler cam ride
Oppon king Charles side,
1445 A ȝong kniȝt þat sprong furst berd,
berd: MS reads herd.
Of no man he nas aferd;
Fiue hundred men wiþ him he brouȝte
Þat of hare lif litel þei þouȝte.
Nas non twenti winter old,
1450 And echon was douȝti man & bold.
He hadde ichosen hem fol wide,
Bolde men bataille to bide.
Þei fouȝten faste wiþinne a stounde
And brouȝten Sarazins to grounde.
1455 Þei were bolde and fouȝten faste,
Þe Sarazins flouwen ate laste.
Roulond & Oliuer hulpen wel,
And þe douȝty Otuwel.
¶ Coursabex, þe king, cam þo
1460 And mette fleinde a þousend and mo,
‘Traitours’ quaþ Coursabex þe king
‘Certes þis is a foul þing
Þat ȝe schule fle for ferd;
Traitours, tourneþ aȝein þe berd,
1465 Tourneþ aȝein alle wiþ me,
And we wole make þe Freinche fle.’
Þous Coursabex himself allone
Made tourne hem aȝein echone.
¶ Þe ȝinge kniȝt þat was so bold,
1470 Riȝt nou þat ich offe habbe told,
Wiþ Coursabex wel sone he mette
And wiþ his swerd anon he sette
Such a strok oppon his croun
Þat of his stede he fel adoun.
1475 Þe ȝinge kniȝt to him cam
And Coursabex o liue nam
And sente him Charles þe king.
Þo was he glad of þat tiding.
¶ Þo þe Tourkeins seien alle {f.276va} View Facsimile
1480 Þat Coursabex was falle
And Cristene men smite sore,
Þei flouwen and nolde fiȝte namore.
And þe gode ȝinge kniȝt
Suwede and leid on dounriȝt.
1485 Þere ne halp nouȝ[t] sire Mahoun;
Þe Tourkeins ȝeden faste adoun.
¶ Þo kam Poidras of Barbarin
And wiþ him mani a Sarazin.
Poidras oppon þe ȝunge kniȝt
1490 Leid on wiþ al his miȝt,
And here men togidere huwen,
And heþene hornes faste blewen;
Poidras and þe ȝinge kniȝt,
Bitwene hem was strong fiȝt;
1495 Poidras hadde þe more mayn
And hadde wel neiȝ þe kniȝt slain.
¶ Otuwel, þat douȝti kniȝt,
Was war of þat anonriȝt.
Otuwel no lengere nabood,
1500 To Poidras anoon he rood
And smot Poidras of Barbarin
Þat þere he lay as a stiked swin.
¶ Otuwel rood into þe feerd,
And leide on faste mid his swerd.
1505 Roulond and Oliuer,
Ne[i]ȝeden Otuwel ner,
And þe berdles kniȝt,
And slowen Sarazins adounriȝt.
¶ King Garsie herde wiþinne a stounde
1510 Hou hise men ȝeden to grounde.
King Garsie hadde a conseiler
And anon he took him neer
And seide to him ‘sire Arperaunt,
Aȝenes Otuwel myn herte stant,
1515 Þat þous haueþ reneied his lay,
And sleþ mine men niȝt and day.
Sire Arperant, what is þi reed
Þat þe þef traitour nere ded?
Certes Fraunce hadde be wonnen
1520 Ne hadde his tresoun be bigunnen.’
¶ ‘King Garsie’ quaþ Arperaunt
‘Bi Mahoun þat ȝonder stant,
Al þe while þat Roulond {f.276vb} View Facsimile
Mai bere Durendal in his hond
1525 And Oliuer rit by his side,
For no þing þat may betide,
Þou ne schalt neuere Otuwel winne,
For nouȝt þat euere þou kans[t] biginne.’
Þo was Garsie wel nyȝ wood
1530 For wraþþe on molde þere he stood.
¶ Þere was an Affrikan gent,
Þat hatte Baldolf of Aquilent,
King Garsie seide to him anoon
‘Certes, Baldoff, þou most goon,
1535 And take wiþ þe kniȝt an[d] swein
And tourne þe Cristene men aȝein;
And ich miself wole after come
And helpe þat Otuwel were nome.’
¶ Quaþ Baldolf ‘bi sire Mahun,
1540 Louerd, we wole don what we moun,
And com þou after and tak hede
Wuche maner þat we spede,
And ȝef þou sest þat nede be
Com and help us er we fle,
1545 For whan an ost to fliȝt is went,
Bote socour come it is schent.’
¶ Baldolf took his compainie
And to þe bataille he gan heye,
And wiþinne a litel stounde
1550 Hard bataille þei habben ifounde.
¶ Otuwel, douȝti of dede,
Where þei comen he took hede
And no lengere he ne bood
Bote hasteliche to ham he rood.
1555 Roulond and Oliuer
Neiȝeden Otuwel ner,
And þe gode ȝinge kniȝt
Þat was so douȝti man in fiȝt.
Þo þei foure weren ifere,
1560 Þo miȝte men seen and here
Harde strokes dele and diȝte
And wiþ Sarazins boldeliche fiȝte.
¶ Þer cam out of Garsies ost
A man þat made muche bost,
1565 A king þat hatte Karnifees,
And muchel onour þere he les.
¶ Þer kam a kniȝt of Agineis, {f.277ra} View Facsimile
A bold man and a courteis,
And wiþ Carnifees he mette
1570 And wende Carnifees to lette;
King Karnifees him haueþ istunt,
And slouȝ him ate forme dunt.
Þo Karnifees hadde þous do
He wende to seruen ham alle so.
1575 ¶ Otuwel no lengere nabood,
To Karnifees anon he rood.
Karnifees knuȝ Otuwel
By hise armes swiþe wel
And seide to þe gode gome
1580 ‘Forsworne þef, artou come?
Bi Mahoun’ quaþ Karnifees
‘Þou schalt hoppen heuedles.’
¶ Otuwel wiþoute targing
Answerede Karnifees þe king
1585 ‘Bi sein Geme, ich ne habbe nouȝt munt,
Þa[t] þou schalt ȝiue me þat dunt.’

Þei nolden no lengere abide,
Anon togidere þei gunde ride.
Karnifees smot Otuwel,
1590 Biside þe heued þe strok fel,
A corner of Otuweles scheld
He gurde out amidde þe feld.
¶ Quaþ Otuwel ‘Good it wite,
Þat strok was wel ismite.
1595 Nou þou schalt, bi seint Martyn,
Preuen a strok of myn.’
Otuwel Karnifees smot
Wiþ Corsouse þat wel boot
Þat Karnifees souȝte þe ground,
1600 Ros he neuere eft hol ne sound.
¶ Þo þe Sarazins wisten alle
Þat Karnifees was ifalle
And þat he nolde namore arise
Þo bigan ham alle to agrise,
1605 For in al Garsies feerd
Nas such a man to handle a swerd.
Þo tournde þei to fliȝt,
Þe Sarazins anonriȝt.
¶ Þous þe gode Otuwel {f.277rb} View Facsimile
1610 And Roulond þat was good and snel,
Þoru þe help of Godes miȝt,
Maden þe Sarazins tourne to fliȝt
Þorou swete Ihesu Cristes grace,
And þei suweden faste þe chasse.
1615 Þe Sarazins were so adredde,
Into þe water manye fledde,
Summe swumme & summe sunke,
And coold water ynouȝ þei drunke.

Til Roulond and Oliuer þe gode
1620 In manie harde stoures stode.
manie: MS reads mananie.
Godde Ogger in prisoun lay,
Boþe bi niȝt and eke be day.
Herkneþ what hede Good to him nam,
And hou he out of prisoun kam.
1625 ¶ Seuene heþene kniȝtes bolde,
Ogger was bitaken to holde,
And þe foure Ogger slouȝ,
And ȝit he skapede wel inouȝ.
¶ Þere was a noble skuier
1630 Þat wiþ queintize halp Ogger.
Swiþe priueliche and stille
He brouȝte Ogger, to his wille,
His swerd and his armure briȝt,
And Ogger armede him anonriȝt.
1635 Þo he hadde on his gode wede
Þe squier brouȝte him a good stede.
Ogger no lengere ne abood,
Þe goodde stede he bistrood.
Þe squier was armed and wel idiȝt
1640 And hadde a good hors and a liȝt,
And also stille as a ston
Þe squier lep to horse anon
And to þe porteres windou he kam,
And in his hond his mase he nam
1645 And oppon þe windou he schof
Þat þe windou al todrof.
¶ Hit was abouten midniȝt
And þe porter was afriȝt
And askede anon who was þare
1650 And who makede al þat fare.
¶ ‘Porter’ quaþ þe squier þo {f.277va} View Facsimile
‘Vndo þe gate and let us go.
We here tellen, bi sire Mahoun,
Þat Cristene men goon alle adoun,
1655 And ich and mi felawes, iwis,
We wole witen hou it is;
And ȝef we ani good winne,
For soþe þou schalt parten þerinne.’
And he dude op þe ȝate wide,
1660 And lette ham boþe out ride,
And steek aȝein þe ȝate fast,
And þere þei sien Ogger last.
¶ Ogger rood al þat niȝt
Til on þe morewen þe day was briȝt;
1665 Þat neuere his feet comen on grounde
Er he hadde his felawes founde.
¶ Þo Roulond and Oliuer
Weren war of gode Ogger,
Þei were fol glad of þat siȝt
1670 And þonkeden Ihesu fol of miȝt.
¶ Þo Roulond and Oliuer
[H]adden imet wiþ gode [Ogger]
Þei were also fous to fiȝt
As euere was a foul to fliȝt,
1675 And wenten into þe bataile anon
And fouȝten faste and good won
And made þe Sarazins agaste,
And Otuwel nas nouȝt þe laste.
¶ Þo alle foure weren ifere
1680 Þar nere none strokes dere
Þo douȝti kniȝtes smiten so sore,
As þauȝ þei ne hadden nouȝt fouȝten ȝore,
Þat wiþinne a litel stounde
Sarazins ȝeden alle to grounde.
1685 ¶ King Garsie took god hede
Hou his folk to grounde ȝede
And no lengere he ne abood,
Toward his pauilons he rood.
¶ And Otuwel anoon byheld,
1690 Þere he rod in þe feld,
And warende fore anon þo
Roulond and Oliuer bo,
And Ogger þat douȝty kniȝt,
Þat king Garsie was tornd to fliȝt.
1695 Þo Roulond and Oliuer, {f.277vb} View Facsimile
And þe gode kniȝt Ogger
Sien where king Garsie rood,
Þer nas non þat lengere abood,
Hasteliche þe wey þei nomen
1700 And to king Garsie þei comen.
¶ King Garsie was afered to deye
And bigan mersi to crie
And seide for soþe þat he wolde
Of king Charles his lond holde,
1705 And ben at eche parlement
Redi at his comaundement.
¶ King Garsie seide þis
‘For his loue þat ȝoure Good is,
Takeþ me on liue and sle me nouȝt.
1710 Leet mi lif be forbouȝt,
And let me as a prisoun goon
Bifore king Charles anoon,
And don him omage wiþ myn hon[d],
To holden of him al mi lond.’
1715 ¶ Þanne seide Otuwel,
Þat was douȝti kniȝt and snel,
To Roulond and to Oliuer
And to þe gode kniȝt Ogger
‘Nou he haueþ þis ȝift iȝiue
1720 I rede þat we laten him liue.
Bifore þe king he schal be brouȝt,
For Gode, we nulle slen him nouȝt.’
An[d] þei acenteden þerto
And seiden ‘it wile be wel ido.’
1725 And wiþouten any targing
Þei ladden him bifore þe king.
¶ Þanne seide Otuwel, þat gode kniȝt,
To king Charles anonriȝt
‘Sire’ he seide ‘her is Garsie
1730 Þat sumtime þratte þe to die;
He wile nou, ȝif þi wille be,
Do þe omage and feaute
And ben at þi comaundement,
And at eche parlement
1735 Al redi at þin hond,
And holden of þe al his lond,
And for his lond rente ȝiue,
Wiþ þe noue he mote liue.’