A Little Treatise of Merlin


STC 17841
Brown and Robbins 611.5. Ringler 17841 and TP 307.5. An anon. trans. from the French Prose _Merlin_ (by Robert de Boron?), c. 1300. Fragments of an earlier ed. (de Worde, c. 1499) have now been identified: see STC 17840.7, and O. D. Macrae-Gibson, 'Wynkyn de Worde's _Marlyn_', _The Library_ 6th ser. (March, 1980), 73-6. The MS texts from which the variants are drawn are printed in vol. I of _Of Arthour and of Merlin_, ed. O. D. Macrae-Gibson, 2 vols. (London, 1973-79), EETS OS 268, 279. UMI microfilm reel 1178

Here begynneth a lytel treatyse of ye byrth and prophecye of Marlyn
London: W. de Worde,1510.

Composition Date: late 15th century? [Ringler].

genues: =Genoese?; danes: =Danes' or Danish?(see MED)The=They; hewe is strong form of pret. OED)see OED strain, sb. 1 and esp. MED stren, 2 (a)P: For all that he might euer reach, 2342
sig: A1
Here begynneth a lytel treatyse of the byrth and prophecye of Marlyn

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CRyste on crosse his blode that ble[dde] copytext defective in lines 1, 2, 4 and 5
And lyfe for lyfe he layd to w[edde]
As it was his wyll
Graunt them grace of myrthes r[yfe]
5 Ioye and blysse in all theyr l[yfe]
That me herkeneth tyll
I shall you tell solace and game
Frendes felawes sythe all in same
And herken of grete nobly
10 Sounde and sauffe than mote ye be
And all that herkeneth vnto me
What I shall you say

I shall you tell here-afore
How Merlyn was goten and bore
15 And of his dedes also
And of other meruaylles many mo
Some-tyme in Englonde was a kynge
A noble man in all-thynge
I warre he was ware and wys
20 Constantyne the kynge hyght ywys Constantyne] Constanstyne 1510
Sones he had full fayre thre
The fayrest that in londe myght be
The eldest sone that was his heyr ryght
Moyn he hyght
25 The medlest sone hyght Pendragon
He was a man of grete renon
The yongest sone hyght Vter ryght
A styffe man and stronge in fyght
Constantyne the kynge ywys
30 In euery place he bare the prys
In his tyme was reynynge in englonde
A grete syknesse I vnderstonde
In that syknes the kynge fell tho
sig: A2
That out of this worlde he must nedes go
35 After erles and barons he lete call
Whan they were come before hym all
Than sayd the kynge to them all
Lordynge lefe and hende
Out of this worlde I must wende
40 I praye you syrs for the loue of me
And for goddes loue and saynt charyte
Whan I am dede and layde in clay
Helpe my chyldren all that ye may
And Moyn myn eldest sone
45 Make hym kynge and gyue hym crowne
The kynge called as ye may here
His stuarde that hyght Vortygere
Stronge he was wyse and daungerous
And false and fekle and full couetous
50 The kynge he had serued longe
For he was styffe and stronge
Whan Moyn was chosen kynge
In-to denmarke the worde gan sprynge
And whan angys worde had
55 Therof he was ryght glad
He sente after messagers in that tyde
Ouer all his londe on eche syde
For many a stoute man and stronge
Of genu[e]s and of danes londe genues] genus 1510genues: =Genoese?; danes: =Danes' or Danish?(see MED)

60 An hondred thousande and many mo
On hors and on fote also
Came to hym there letted none
For to warre on the yonge kynge Moyn
Kynge angys wolde not abyde
65 Vnto shyp he wente in that tyde
And brought in-to Englonde syn
sig: [A2v]
M[a][n]y a doughty sarasyn
As Englonde was called that day
The more_brytayne withouten nay
70 Worde anone aboute gan sprynge
How the denysshe kynge angys
Gan wyrche moche amys
Mony the kynge herde that it was so
He wente to syr Vortyger tho
75 With full grete mournynge chere
He prayed hym with good vygure
That he wolde be his gouernoure
Ayenst his fomen for to fyght
And he sayd that he ne myght
80 He made hym seke as traytour stronge
And neyther for ryght ne for wronge
Wolde he come in batayll
For his strength hym gan fayll
For his pourpose that he had on honde
85 Was to be kynge of this londe
The kynge wolde no more hym pray
But toke his leue and wente his way
His messengers he sente that tyde
Ouer all his londe on euery syde
90 To duke / Erle / Baron / and knyght
To come to hym in that fyght
And whan they were all ycome
And euerche had his armes nome
They prycked forth without fayle
95 And gaue the denysshe kynge batayll
There was broken many a crowne
And slayne was many a bolde barowne
Many a doughty man that tyde
Was slayne with woundes wyde
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100 And the denysshe kynge was so stronge
With speres and with knyues longe
All that they myght in that stounde
Were slayne and layed to grounde
So the englysshe folke that day
105 Were dyscomfyted and fledde away
Kynge Moyn in that tyde
Toke his horse and faste gan ryde
Kynge angys there-before
Sawe his folke many lore
110 Sone he sente his sonde
Home ayen in-to his londe
For all that myght wepen bere
Sholde come to englonde for to were
Of warre wolde he not blynne
115 For toures and castelles he dyde wynne
And wrought them all moche wronge
All the erles and barons in Englonde
They toke them all-togyder anone
For to wreke them of theyr fone
120 Whan they were come as I you tell
Erles and barons that were full fell
And sayd ywys that Moyn theyr kynge
Was not but a bretherlynge
And swore yf Vortyger theyr kynge ware
125 He wolde a_wreke them of theyr care
And thought anone bothe olde [and] yinge and] 1510 omits, and L
To make syr Vortyger theyr kynge
And whan they had spoke of this
Twelue barons there wente ywys
130 To Vortyger the bolde
For to wreke them yf he wolde
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Agayne theyr fomen to fonde
To dryue them out of the londe
Whan the barons all in fere
135 Were come to syr Vortygere
Hendly they hym grette
He toke them vp and bad them sette
And bad them with wordes styll
To saye what was theyr wyll
140 And they answered agayne
And bad hym that he sholde sayne
Why that he wolde not gone
To helpe and wreke them of theyr fone
And sayd the kynge was nye slawe
145 And almoste brought of lyfe dawe
And sayd they myght neuer haue peas
For the denysshe folke without leas
That warred on hym bothe day and nyght
And prayed hym that he myght
150 That he sholde take on honde
To helpe of that wronge
Ayenst theyr fomen to fare
For to brynge them out of care
Tho answered syr Vortyger
155 As a lorde of grete power
Why bydde ye me suche a thynge
I was neuer your kynge
Ne neuer yet here-beforne
Was I to you sworne
160 To helpe you at your nede
And therfore so god me spede
Go home to your kynge
And pray hym vpon all-thynge
That he you helpe of your fone
165 For helpe of me gete ye none
sig: A4
Tho a bolde baron answerde
Syr our kynge is but a cowarde
For whan he seeth swerdes drawe
He weneth anone for to be slawe
170 He dooth vs no more good
But fleeth away as he were wood
Haddest thou be amonge vs all
Than had vs not that shame befall
All that we lost in that saute
175 In hym was all the defaute
And all the losse of our baner
I trowe well sayd Vortyger
Certes he sayd it was grete dole
To make a kynge so grete a fole
180 Had ye made a man your kynge
He wolde you helpe in all-thynge
As certaynly syker ye be
Helpe gete ye none of me
But and your kynge were dede I_plyght
185 I wolde you helpe with all my myght
Tho sayd the barons euerychone
Syr wyll ye that we hym slone
Vortyger sayd without stryfe
But ye byreue his lyfe
190 Myn helpe gete ye none ywys
The barons toke theyr leue with this
To wenchester they wente all
And founde kynge Moyn in his hall
As he satte at his mete
195 They ranne on hym with herte grete
As he satte at the borde
Or they spake ony worde
They smote of his hede anone
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And passed forth euerychone
200 Whan they had theyr kynge I_sloo
Erles and barons hye and lowe
Also ryght they toke them to rede
A kynge they must haue nede
All Englonde for to warre
205 Ayenst theyr fomen that wolde them darre Ayenst] Aayenst 1510
Than had the kynge [b]rethern two brethern] drethern 1510
Yonge chyldren they were tho
They were so yonge within yelde
That they myght none armes welde
210 Neyther Vther ne Pendragon
Then sayd a bolde baron
That they sholde neuer spede
But yf a doughty man of dede
Were chosen to be kynge
215 They swore that Vortyger in all-thynge
Was the best man of his londe
That was that tyme in Englonde
They swore togyder euerychone
That other kynge wolde they none
220 Tho was there neyther knyght ne swayne
That wolde saye a worde agayne
But graunted all bothe olde and yinge
That Vortyger sholde be theyr kynge

MEry tyme it is in apryll
225 That semeth well by many skyll
In feldes and medes floures spryngeth
In grene wood foules syngeth
That maketh a man Iolyfe
Than lyketh bothe man and wyfe
230 So in that tyme as ye may here
sig: [A5]
Twelue barons came to Vortygere
They sayd that Englonde ryght
Was loste thrughe theyr kynge I_plyght
And he was dede without lesynge
235 And his two bredren were to yinge
This kyngdome to holde in honde
Therfore the counseyll of this londe
Hath chosen you with grete vygure
For to be theyr gouernoure
240 Blythe and gladde was Vortyger
He was made kynge without daunger
At the feest of his coronament
Erles there was bothe fayre and gente
All this treason they vnderstode
245 And had reuth on the chyldrens blode
That they sholde be do to dede
Therfore they toke a better rede
And toke Vter and pendragon
And passed the see anone
250 So quantly they passed than
In all this londe ther was no man
That wyst whyther the chyldren by_come
So pryuely away they nome
Whan the feest was holde
255 Anone Vortyger the bolde
Lete make a comune parlyament
Of Erles and of barons gent
At whiche parlyament he had thought
To haue slayne the chyldren with vnryght
260 And commaunded that his men were bone
To fetche Vter and Pendragon
And also soone after them he sente
But they myght fynde them nought
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Whan Vortyger that vnderstode
265 For anger he wexed nye wode
And thought yf they two lyue
To shameful deth they wolde hym dryue
And in his herte he was full wo
For they were scaped so
270 But neuertheles syr Vortygere
Lete commaunde ferre and nere
To duke / erle baron and knyght
To make them redy for to fyght
Ayenst theyr fomen for to fyght
275 That made them sorowe bothe day and nyght
They dyde dresse them ywys
In armes and on hors of prys
Some on palfray / and some on stede
And some stronge on fote yede
280 Whan they were all-redy dyght
To se them it was a semely syght
There was many a stoute man and wyght
With helme on hede and baner bryght
With helme on hede and bryght baner
285 That sayd that to Vortyger defective?
I rede we parte our hoost in thre
In the best maner that may be
The kynge of denmarke with grete pryde
Brought his hoost by euery syde
290 Vortyger withouten fayll
Gaue them there stronge batayll
Swerdes were drawen and arowes shotte
And many a quarell thrughe the throtte
Shaftes were broken and helmes browne
295 And slayne was many a bolde barowne
But englysshe folke the soth to say
sig: [A6]
Had the maystry that day
There was slayne and sent to hell-pyne
Many a doughty sarasyne
300 Kynge angys me[n] that tyde
Were on the warre syde
And ranne away as they were wood
In-to a castell stronge and good
That was made stronge and well
305 That it is called tyntagell
And his hoost fledde also
In-to a castell they escaped tho
Vortyger with all his route
Beset kynge angys all aboute
310 But the castell that angys in in: was in?
There myght it no man wynne
Whan he had hym belayne
Kynge angys sent hym to sayne
Yf he in pease passe moost
315 He wolde take all his hoost
And wende home to his countre
And neuer-more after that day
Wolde he passe the se-stronde
For to warre on Englonde
320 Whan they had sworne all and some
That they sholde in englonde neuer come
Kynge Vortyger by his counseyll
Lete them passe hole and all
Tho wente the kynge to the se
325 And saylled forth to his countre
Tho Vortyger toke all his hoost
And went home with grete boost
And helde feest many a day
With grete delyte and moche play
sig: [A6v]
330 Whan the feest was all holde
The .xii. barons that I of tolde
They that slewe Moyn theyr kynge
Bethought them on a wonder thynge
That they wolde wende Vortyger to
335 To aske grace and he so do
Kynge Vortyger answered agayne
With eyger mode and gan to sayne
By the lawe that god made
Ye shall haue that ye bade
340 Ye be traytours wycked and stronge
And haue slayne your kynge with wronge
And yf I may so mote I the
So shall ye not serue me
For ye haue wrought ayenst the lawe
345 Ye shall be hanged and drawe
He toke horses well skete
And dyde them tay by the fete
He had them drawe on the pauement
And after not longe verament
350 Many an erle and baron then
That were of the barons kyn
On Vortyger they ranne anone
And so they were his dedely fone
And harde with hym they gan to fyght
355 Hym to slee they dyde theyr myght
As Vortyger with mayne and myght
He and all his hoost agayne
Many an arowe there was shotte
That tourned men to lytell note
360 Many a man loste his herte-blode
And many the ball in the hode
That Vortyger withouten lay
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Vnneth scaped with lyfe awaye
Erles and barons of englonde
365 Sente faste aboute there sonde
To all theyr frendes frenthe and couthe frenthe not in MED, OED; P has sibb-probably fremde-see MED, fremed; or a ghost-word, incorporating elements of 'frendes' and 'couthe' by eyeskip?
Est and west northe and southe
And tolde them all the sothe as tyte
That Vortyger with grete despyte
370 Had with treason and with wronge
Theyr kynred to drawe and honge
Well wrothe was tho many a man
And to_gyder they swore than
That they wolde neuer be glad
375 Tyll they hym auenged had
Euery man other bysought
To gyue hym strokes yf they mought
Many a erle and many a knyght
That eygre was and fell in fyght
380 That warreth ayenst Vortyger
Many a moneth of the yere
Many a lady gente and fre
Lost her lorde and her meyne
The warre began to laste longe
385 For the barons were so stronge
That Vortyger toke good cure
That he ne myght ayenst them dure
For theyr folke wexed ay
And his folke lessed euery day
390 Messengers anone he toke
And made them swere on a boke
That they sholde on his errandes gone
And bewrey hym to none
And sente hym ouer the se ywys
395 In-to denmarke to kynge angys
sig: [A7v]
And bad hym come and helpe at nede
With all his folke that he myght lede
Agayne his fomen that wolde hym slee
And he sholde haue halfe his fee
400 Than was the kynge blythe
And sent messagers also swythe
To duke erle baron and knyght
All tho that wepen myght bere
In-to shyp they gan dryue
405 And ouer the se they came bylyue
And came in-to this londe with hym
Many a sarasyn stoute and grym
Whan they came to Vortyger
He welcomed them with glad chere
410 And seased there in-to his honde
Halfe the realme of englonde
And that he had or haue myght
And he wolde helpe hym to fyght
Whan theyr couenauntes were made faste
415 They dyde them dyght in haste
In-to batayle for to wente
For the barons were come them hende
Besyde salysbury a_lyght
There they dyde togyder fyght
420 There was soone layde a_downe
Many a gentell companyowne
Speres were broken and sheldes torne
And men were thrughe the sydes borne
Many a thousande in that stounde
425 Were felled and layde to the grounde
Many a man with woundes lay
A dolfull syght it was that day
Many a lady and damoysell
sig: [A8]
Wepte that day with teres fell
430 Than Vortyger had ten
Ayenst one of the barons men
Wherfore they had no myght
Agayne them to holde fyght
All they were dyscomfyte that day
435 And with sorowe they flowen a_way
Yet Vortyger wolde not spare
But hounted them as men dooth the hare
None other pease wolde he make
But all that he myght take
440 He dyde them drawe and hange
And certayne it was all wrange
Many a baron hende and fre
Wente out of his owne countre
Some ouer the se wente
445 And dwelled there veramente
And many for drede and doute
In-to other londes wente aboute
In grete sorowe and moche wo
Twelue yere and many mo
450 For drede of syr Vortyger
They dwelled there many a yere
Whan they were gone out of this londe gone] flowen 1499
Vortyger seased in his honde
Londes rentes and tenauntes bolde
455 Wyfe and chylde he gan with_holde
And [through] the counsayle of kynge angys through] thought 1510
He gaue it to the sarasyns of prys
Kynge angys veramente
Hadde a doughter fayre and gente
460 That was a hethen sarasyn
And Vortyger for loue of hym
sig: [A8v]
Toke her anone to his wyfe
And was accorded all his lyfe
Soone he wedded her there
465 And menged theyr blode bothe in fere
So that the cure of Englonde
Was loste in the fendes honde
He helde no better goddes lawe
Than dooth an hounde and his felawe
470 Thus they lyued many a yere

SO on a tyme syr Vortyger
Bythought him on the chyldren two
That out of englonde were fled tho
Also he by_thought hym than
475 Of many another doughty man
That he made to go out of the lande
And I haue done them moche wronge
That it a sory happe
And bythought hym of after-clappe
480 And thought yf euer they come agayne
That Englonde wolde of them be fayne
And with wreke on hym renne
He sayd he wolde beware of them
He sente anone for messengers
485 Ouer all his londe for carpenters
And for good masons also
The best that were in londe tho
Many an hondred ther came anone
That coude werke in lyme and stone
490 Whan they were come in-to the hall
The kynge sayd to them all sayd to them all] bygan to them calle 1499, hem gan fair to calle A, anon to heom gon calle L
Herkeneth lordynges vnto me
As ye be bothe hende and fre
sig: B1
In my herte I haue be_thought
495 A fayre castell to haue wrought
That it be made of stronge werke
For to stonde styffe and sterke
Of stronge tymber lyme and stone
That a stronger in all the worlde be none
500 For my fone that ben on lyue
That I dyde out of this londe dryue
Yf that I haue euer nede
My lyfe therin that I may lede
That castell ye shall make mery
505 Vpon the playne of salysbury
And there ye shall it founde
Moche large and wyde on grounde
And do it as I you tell And do it as I you tell] Do it nowe I you bade 1499, Goþ and doþ als y ow bad L
That it be made trusty and well That it be made trusty and well] That it be trusty and well-made 1499, þat it beo trusty and wel-ymad L
510 And ye shall haue for your hyer
As moche as ye wyll desyre
For the Ioye that god is in
Fyll the cuppe and lete vs begyn

ALl the werkemen wente tho
515 Fyue thousande and well mo
The hewe wood and ca[ru]ed stone carued] caured 1510, coruen L, AThe=They; hewe is strong form of pret. OED)

And layde the foundement anone
Some rebated and some dyde bere
And some began the werke to rere
520 The werkemen were lyght and slye
The werke began to ryse sone on hye
The fyrst day withouten doute
The werke arose kne-hye aboute
Whan it was come to the nyght
sig: [B1v]
525 To theyr rest they wente ryght
And came agayne on the morowe
And founde thynge of moche sorowe
All the foundement in that stounde
Lay spred a_brode on the grounde
530 And all to_torne lyme and stone
Grete wonder they thought anone
No better rede coude they than
But a newe werke they began
And sped well for-sothe to say
535 As they dyde the fyrst day
Whan the day was gone
To rest they wente euerychone
And came agayne on the morowe
And [founde] theyr werke done to moche sorowe founde] 1510 omits
540 And all spredde here and there
And so it fared halfe a yere
All that they wrought on the day
On the morowe abrode it lay
Whan the kynge harde tell of this
545 Grete wonder he had ywys
And dyde aspye of yonge and elde
What it myght be that his werke felde
And why his werke myght not stonde
But there was none in all the londe
550 Hye ne lowe lewde ne clerke
That coude tell what felled his werke
As kynge Vortyger sat in his hall
And many a man hym withall
Syth the tyme that they were borne
555 Suche a wonder sawe they neuer beforne
As they of that werke founde
sig: B2
That euery nyght was felled to grounde
The kynge sware he wolde not spare
Tyll he wyste how it ware
560 His messengers he sente hastely
Ouer all his londe for to espye
For wyse clerkes olde and yonge
That coude tell of suche a thynge
They sholde come to hym rathe
565 As they wolde theyr lyfe haue
Full soone the dyde the kynges sonde the=they?
And wente aboute in all the l[o]nde londe] ldnde 1510
Many wyse clerkes the sought the=they
And all they were before hym brought
570 Kynge Vortyger [a]pposed them all apposed] spposed 1510, aposed L, A
There was none coude hym tell
Wherfore his werke was ouer_caste
They coude not tell hym in haste
Maysters he lete take anone
575 The wysest of them euerychone
In a chambre he lete them do
That no man sholde come them to
The kynge sware parmafay
That they sholde not scape away
580 Tyll they wolde wherby knowe
Wherfore his werke was ouerthrowe
In-to a chambre they were dyght
Nyne dayes and nyne nyght
The hadde no comforte of no-thynge
585 Saue onely of mete and of drynke
So on the daye v[e]ramente veramente] vrramente 1510
They loked on the fyrmamente
On the walkyn they sawe a skye
sig: [B2v]
That shewed theym truly
590 That fyue wynter there-before
A chylde in englonde there was bore
And begoten without mannes mone
Yf men myght haue suche one
And sle hym lyghtly than
595 Or he speke with ony man
And anoynte the werke with his blode
Than it shall be stronge and good
Thus the skye tolde thyem tho
And torned agayne there it came fro
600 Tho were the clerkes gladde and blythe
And wente to the kynge also swythe
And sayd withouten leas
That a chylde in E[n]glonde was chylde] chaylde 1510
Bygoten without mannes stre[n]e strene] streme 1510, streone Lsee OED strain, sb. 1 and esp. MED stren, 2 (a)

605 The clerkes sayd all bydene
Lete seke after that chylde
Whether he be in towne or felde
Sle hym than hastely
And take the blode of his body
610 And anoynte the werke therwyth
And it shall stonde in peas and gryth
Blythe and glad was Vortyger
And sent twelue messengers
And dyde them parte in thre and thre
615 That none sholde with other be
And sente full soone his sonde
In foure quarters of englonde
And bad they sholde stynte nought
Tyll the chylde were to hym brought
620 The messengers forth wente
sig: B3
And dyde his commaundemente
Tho syr Vortyger the bolde
Lete the clerkes be taken in holde
Tyll the messengers come agayne
625 For to wyte what they wolde sayne
And yf they made ony lesynge
He swore by Ihesu heuen kynge
There sholde no raunson for them gone
But they sholde be hanged euerychone

630 NOwe late these clarkes bene
And his messengers all by_dene messengers] menssengers 1510
That wente to seke the chylde so yonge
And ye shall here a wonder thynge
Yf ye wyll a stounde dwell
635 Of that chylde I wyll you tell
And how the thre messengeres
Brought them to syr Vortygeres
And of what kynne he was
And what he hyght without lees
640 And ye shall all wyte
For what cause he was by_gete
Dauyd the prophete and Moyses
Wytnessen and sayth in theyr verse
Whan god had made thorowe his myght
645 Heuen full of aungelles bryght bryght] brynght 1510
The Ioye that he made for man
There is no tongue that tell can
Tyll Lucyfer lost it thorowe his pryde
And all that helde with hym that tyde
650 Suche wreke god on hym dyde take
That they became fendes blacke
sig: [B3v]
As it is founde in holy wryte
They fell in hell pyte
Bothe dayes and eke nyght
655 They fyll out of heuen lyght
Also thycke by saynt Iohan
As motes in the sone-beme
Whan they were falle out of heuen
God sayd hoo with mylde steuen
660 And heuen he lete dwell styll
As it was his owne wyll
Falle of the fendes that tyde
That fellen out of heuen for pryde
As wyse clerkes can telle
665 They felle not all in-to helle
For Moyses sayth that holy man
In that stede they were than
Whan god almyghty heuen kynge
Sayd who without lesynge
670 Some dyde stynte in water and some in londe
And some in the erthe dyde withstonde
For whan god had sayd who
They seased euer-more
Than made god after his wyll
675 Heuen setes agayn to fyll
Whan he had made adam I_wys
And brought hym to paradyse
Eue he made of his rybbe tho
And gaue them welle withouten wo
680 Ye haue harde here-byfore
Why adam and Eue were forlore
Thorowe the fendes that made them to synne
They were lore and all theyr kynne
sig: B4
God that is and euer shall bene
685 Lyght in-to Mary mayden clene
And in her body toke flesshe and blode
And bought vs dere vpon the rode
Blyssed be he euery songe
And Mary his moder of whome he spronge
690 Thrughe hym mankynde [is] free is] his 1510
He bought them out of the fendes postee
Many of tho fendes that I of tolde
That fell in-to hell with Lycyfer bolde
They that dwell in eyre
695 They be bothe so queynt and sly
On the erthe they toke theyr lyght
And of the wynde strength and myght
To make theyr body after man
Fayre and rody and ge[n]tell than
700 And lyght on erthe amonge mankynde
To tempte them to dedely synne
Well ye wyst here-bef[o]re before] befere 1510
That Ihesu was of mayden bore
And that he dyed vpon the rode
705 And bought vs all with his blode
Therof the fendes hadden myght and honde
And sayd that a fende sholde fonde
To lye on erthe by a mayde mylde
And brynge on her suche a chylde
710 That sholde they sayd tho
All the worlde wyrche wo
And a_comber also it befyll
As Ihesu brought to his wyll
Thus they thought this worlde to haue fyled
715 But at the laste they were bygyled
sig: [B4v]
For I shall tell you how it was
Ye may here a wonder case

GOod men ye shall vnderstonde
A ryche man there was in Englonde
720 And had a woman to his wyfe
In grete Ioye they ledde theyr lyfe
A sone the had and doughters thre
That fayre was vpon to se
Anone the fende that I of tolde
725 That dwelled in the erthe so bolde
In-to the erthe he a_lyght than
And tempted so that woman
That in her body he had myght
And brought her in-to grete myschefe
730 And made her oft with eyger mode
Curse her chyldren as she were wode
So vpon a nyght late
Thorowe the fende with grete hate
With her sone-chylde she began
735 And cursed hym that had by name
Tho she bad hym the fende bytake
With all the power that she myght make
Tho was the fende glad and blythe
And thought to do her shame as swythe
740 Whan it came to the nyght
In-to the house the fende wente ryght
And strangled the chylde there it laye
His moder arose whan it was daye
And founde her sone dede on the morowe
745 She wente and hanged her-selfe for sorowe
Whan the good-man wyst of this this line repeated at top of C1
sig: C1
Also s[wy]the for shame ywys swythe] sywthe 1510
Sodeynly he dyed tho
Without housyll and shryfte also
750 The folke as sone of this countre
Came thyder them to se
Whan they se them fare so
They sayd alas and wele and wo
For the good-man and his wyfe
755 For they lyued so clene a lyfe
An hermyte that dwelled them bysyde
Came thyder to se them that tyde
Blasy the hermytes name was
Full ofte he sayd alas alas
760 That it was be_fallen so
In his herte he was full wo
And sayd it was verament
Thorowe the fendes combrement
The thre doughters he founde alyue
765 That good man dyde them shryue
Of all that they coude mene
And then he ossoyled them clene
Fayre penaunce on them he layde
And for them to god he prayde
770 And bad them with all theyr myght
Serue god bothe daye and nyght
Whan he had taught them so
Home agayne he yede tho
Anone the doughters all in fere
775 Serued god with glad chere
And our lady saynt Mary also
Nyght and day they serued tho
sig: [C1v]
Ouer all the londe was the vsage
Yf a woman dyde ony outrage
780 But yf it were in wedlake
Anone ryght men sholde them take
And thorowe ryght dome withouten wene
And quycke they sholde doluen bene
But yf she were a lyght woman tolde
785 To all them that euer axe wolde
Tho the fende that was full of myght
That dwelled aboue in the lyght
In-to the erthe he came as man
And wente to an olde woman
790 And byhyght her golde and fe
To go to the systeryn thre
The eldest doughter for to be_chaunt
Some yonge man for to haunt
And yf she myght brynge her therto
795 He behyght her golde for euer-mo
This olde q[u]ene was full glad
And dyde as the shrewe her bad
And wente to her systeryn thre
As sone as she myght them se
800 And made moche sorowe and care
For the systeryn that is fayre
To the eldest doughter she sayd
Alas / alas my fayre mayde
Thou hast bothe fayre fete and honde
805 And a gentell body by goddes sonde
With stronge myght and longe arme
Iwys it were moche harme
But thy body sholde assaye
With some yonge man for to playe
sig: C2
810 That game is bothe good and swete
Fayre mayden I you behete
Nay certes sayd the mayden than
Yf I nowe toke ony man
But yf it were in weddynge
815 And ony wyst it olde or yinge
Ony man of this countre
All quycke I shall doluen be
Nay certes sayd the olde quene
Thou may it done without dene
820 Pryuely in thy bedde
Tyll some man come the to wedde
And therfore doughter doute the nought
For it shall neuer be further brought
And yf thou do after my rede
825 Thou dydest neuer a better dede
What thorowe the quene enchaunsement
And thorowe the fendes entesement
The eldest doughter that I of say
Lete a man with her playe
830 And whan she lyked best that game
It torned her to sorowe and shame
Anone she was forth I_drawe
And of that dede she was by_knowe
And for that werke dolue she was
835 Many one for her sayd alas
Yet the fende in a whyle
The other syster dyde begyle
And made her loue a yonge man loue a yonge] longe after a 1499, loue a fair Ȝong L
Wherof all her sorowe began
840 Mannes loue she thought swete anone
And it was perceyued also soone
sig: [C2v]
Than she was taken and brought in honde
To her Iugement for to stonde
Her apposed the Iustyce tho
845 Why she had take on so
For she had wrought ayenst the lawe
Her Iu[g]ement she must haue Iugement] Iustement 1510
She answered as she was tought
And swore that she forsoke it nought
850 And sayd that she was a lyght woman
And comune for euery man
So she escaped with her lyfe away
After her dyde sewe all that day
Of harlottes o grete raas
855 To foule her body for that caas
Than was the yongest doughter wo
That nye her herte braste a_two
For the fendes slewe her brother ywys
And her fader dyed amys
860 And her moder hanged her-selfe
And her syster was by_delfe
And her other syster an hore is
And accompanyed with harlottes ywys
Almoost for sorowe and for thought
865 In wanhope she was brought
To the hermyte she wente anone
That hyght Blasy an holy man
And tolde hym all the sothe before
How that her kynred was forlore
870 The hermyte had wonder grete
On goddes name he her bete
That she sholde haue god in mynde
And leue the waye of the fende
sig: C3
And badde her forsake in all wyse
875 Pryde hate and couatyse
And also slouth and enuy
And specyally lechery
And glotony he bad her fle
And goddes seruaunt for to be
880 He bad her take kepe
That she sholde not go to sle[pe] That she sholde not go to slepe] That she sholde not go to sle 1510, That she shulde not leye her doune to slepe 1499, þat sche hir laid doun to slape A, þat heo neo leyde hire nouȜt to slepe L
Neyther by daye ne by nyght
But that she blyssed her a_ryght
And wyndowes and dores in that tyde
885 Be barred fast on euery syde
And marke theron with mylde woys woys? L has voys
The sygne of the holy-crosse
And that shall thy warraunte be
Byfore the fader in trynyte
890 And whan he had taught her so
Home agayne she wente tho
And serued god with herte gladde
And dyde as the hermyte her badde
Than the fende with grete enuy
895 Bygyled her with trechery
And brought her in shame and sorowe I_fere
And I shall you tell in what manere

IT befell that she veramente
With her neyghboures to the ale wente
900 So longe she dranke and dyde amysse
That she was ryght dronke ywys
The hore her syster that I of tolde
She was stoute and swythe bolde
And chyded her syster as she were wood
905 And called her otherwyse than good
sig: [C3v]
And she was dronke the sothe to sayne
And myssayed her fast agayne
So longe they stryued without lees
Tyll she sterte vp in rees
910 And dyde to her grete outrage
And bette her in the vysage
She rente her clothes and tare her here
Ryght as she wo[o]de were woode] wolde 1510
In-to her chamber [s]he escaped tho she] the 1510
915 And barre the dore bytwene them two
And cryed out and neyghbours came
And as soone the strompet nome
And drewe her awaye anone
Amonge the harlottes euerychone
920 Whan she was so drawen away
The mayden in her chamber lay
And was medde and coude no good
But wepte all day as she were wood
And whan it was come to nyght
925 Vpon her bedde she fell downe-ryght
As she was dronke and gladde
Fell a_slepe and wexed madde
And forgete her dore vnblyssed ywys
Wyte ye well she dyde a_mys
930 Than was the fende glad and blythe
And came to her also swythe
Come ouer-all well he myght
To the mayden anone he wente
And wende crystendome to haue shende
935 And by her body he lay than
As it had be a nother man
With chylde he made her tho
sig: C4
And wente agayne there he came fro
Whan the mayden was awaked
940 She groped and found her flesshe all naked
And as she groped with her honde
In preuy place anone she fonde
Wherby she wyst truely
That some man had lyen herby
945 Anone she sterte vp in haste
And founde her dore barred faste
Whan she founde that it was so
In her herte she was full wo
And thought it was some wycked thynge
950 That in sorowe wolde her brynge
She rente her clothes and her here drowe
She wepte and made sorowe ynowe
All that nyght she made grete sorowe
And wente to the hermyte on the morowe
955 For to tell hym how it was
The hermyte sayd alas alas
And sayd it was the fendes encombraunce
For she had broken her penaunce
Good syr she sayd tho
960 What yf it be fallen so
And a chylde shall be gete on me
How sholde I excused be
Than shall I be take anone
And be doluen flesshe and bone
965 Ye certes sayd the good man
Lyue doughter sayd he than
And yf I the sothe may se
That a chylde be by_goten on the
I shall the helpe with all my myght
sig: [C4v]
970 Tyll therof I haue a syght
Now go home doughter myne
And haue cryste in herte thyne
For he may yf his wyll be
Out of thy payne brynge the
975 Home she wente with sory chere
And serued god with herte good
And euery day after than
Her wombe faste grete began
Whan she myght it no lenger hyde
980 It was perceyued in that tyde
She was take and brought Iwys
Byfore the kynges hye Iustyce
Her Iugement to vnderfonde
As it was the lawe of the londe
985 The hermyte herde than
That they had take that woman
And brought her to Iugement
Ryght anone theder they went
And thought than for all theyr stryfe
990 That he wolde saue her lyfe
Byfore the Iustyce men dyde her lede
And he apposed her of that dede
And sayd damoysell by my treuth
On the I haue full grete reuth
995 For thou haste thy-selfe shende
And wrought agaynst the lawe of londe
For thou hast a man take
That mayst thou not forsake
Thou haste wrought a wycked dede
1000 For thou haste serued to be dede
She answered and sayd nay
sig: [C5]
I wrought neuer ayenst the lay
By hym that dyed vpon the tre
There lay neuer man by me
1005 Not flesshely with felonye
But the fende had to me grete enuye
The Iustyce answered anone
Damoysell thou lyest by saynt Ihone
Thy wordes ben bothe false and wylde
1010 Men may se thou goost with chylde
In this worlde was neuer chylde bore
Without gendrynge of man byfore
Saue onely Ihesu that is full of myght
He was borne of a mayden bryght
1015 How mayst thou forsake it than
That thou haddes neuer parte of man
Whan the sothe my-selfe may se
That a chylde is bygoten on the
Ye certes syr she sayd than
1020 I go with chylde without man
By hym that shope this same day
Neuer yet man by me lay
Bu[t] as I slepte vpon a nyght But] Bus 1510
By me lay a fulsom wyght
1025 But I ne wote what it was
I must me holde to goddes grace
The Iustyce withouten fayle
Herde neuer suche a meruayle
This day there shall no man the delue
1030 Tyll the haue Iuged wyues twelue
Yf ony chylde may gete bene
Without helpe of mannes stre[n]e strene] streme 1510
And yf they saye it may be so
sig: [C5v]
Thou shalte passe quyete and go
1035 For yf they say nay
Thou shalte be dolue this ylke day
And on twelue wyues they dyde her anone
And they answered euerychone
No chylde was borne of a mayde
1040 But Ihesu alone they sayd
Without mannes mone for-sothe
Therto they swore all theyr othe
Blasy the hermyte sterte vp than
And to the Iustyce he spake than
1045 Syr Iustyce he sayd than
Speke with me a worde or two
She hath tolde me her lyfe euerydele
And certes I may beleue her well
And ye wyll her nought
1050 But by hym that all this worlde hath wrought
I haue her teched to the lawe teched to the lawe- see OED teach, 3; cf. L, A (pp. 70-71)
To me she was neuer by_knowe
That ony man with worde or dede
Touched her body with euyll rede
1055 But yet it is founde for to_day
That she hath wrought ayenst the lay
Thoughe she hath serued to be spylte
The chylde in her wombe hath no gylte
And therfore syr by my rede
1060 Thou shalte not do her yet to dede
Do her in warde and kepe byfore
Tyll the tyme the chylde be bore
And than he sayd god wote
Another halfe-yere she mote
1065 Ke[p]e her chylde her-selfe Kepe] keke 1510, kepe L
sig: [C6]
And afterwarde ye may her delue
Perauenture he sayd than
The chylde may be a full good man
Than answered the hye Iustyce
1070 Hermyte he sayd thy wordes be wyse
After the do nowe I wyll
To_day there shall no man her spyll
He commaunded his men euerychone
For to lede her in-to a towre of stone
1075 And that no man sholde with her go
But a mydwyfe and no mo
Into a towre men dyde her lede
Alone without felawes rede
Saue onely an olde mydwyfe
1080 That myght saue the chyldes lyfe
The toure was so stronge and hye
That no man myght come them nye
In the wyndowe there was made tho
An hoke and a corde teyed therto
1085 For to drawe vp therwith all-thynge
Fyre and water mete and drynke
And whan the tyme of her was come
She had borne a seldome-sene sone seldome sene: selcouþ(e) L, A
Ryght fayre shape he had than
1090 And all the shape that fell to man
But blacke he was withouten lees
And roughe he was as ony swyne
The mydwyfe anone ryght
Was a_greued of that syght
1095 For he was roughe of hyde
And also sone [s]he thought [that] tyde she thought that tyde] he thought tyde 1510, heo þouȜte þat tyde L
That he was neuer bygete of man
sig: [C6v]
And full fayne she wolde than
In hell that he had [b]e her fro he had be] he had he 1510, he hadde beon L
1100 That neuer man hast sene hym more
The good man that hyght Blasy
Wyst full well truelly
What tyme the chylde sholde be borne
And to the towre he came on the morne
1105 And called vp the wardes thre
And asked the mydwyfe of her chere
And she answered withouten lees
A knaues chy[l]de borne there was chylde] chyde 1510
Fayre shape he had and ryght
1110 But full vnsemely he was of syght
For all his hyde was rughe of here
Suche a chylde sawe he ne[u]er ere
Now take it me he sayd than
I shall make it a crysten man
1115 And wheder it dye lyue or abyde
The better chaunce shall hym betyde
Full glad was the mydwyfe
And toke the chylde also bylue
And by a corde lete hym downe
1120 And blasy gaue hym his blyssynge
And bare hym home with mylde mode
And baptysed hym in the f[l]ode flode] ffode 1510
And called hym to his crysten name
Marlyn to hyght in goddes name
1125 Thorowe that name I you tell
All the fendes that were in hell
Were agreued full sore therfore
For theyr [pouste] was forlore pouste] spouse 1510, pouste L
And he was crystened so
sig: [C7]
1130 Home agayne he brought hym tho
And on the corde he gan hym lede
And the mydwyfe drewe hym vp agayne
He bad her withouten blame
Call hym Marlyn by his name
1135 Whan she had done as I you say
The hermyte wente home on his way
The mydwyfe on the morowe ryght
Bare hym to a fyre bryght
And warmed hym by the fyre tho
1140 But of hym in her herte she was full wo
And as she warmed hym by the fyre
She byhelde hym of his foule chere
Bothe on fote and eke on honde
On the backe and on the wombe
1145 And on sydes and hede for_thy
And all aboute truely
Than she sayd arte thou Merlyn
Whens arte thou come and of what kynne
Who was thy fader by nyght or by daye
1150 That no man were ne may were] wite L
It was grete reuth by heuen kynge
That for thy loue thou foule thynge
Thy moder shall be slawe with wo
Alas the stounde that it shall be so
1155 For so god me helpe and saynt Iohan
A fouler wyght sawe I neuer none
Certes she sayd thou arte a foule wyght
Wolde Ihes[u] full of myght
And his moder with mylde steuen
1160 And all the felawshyp of heuen
That thou were in the se
sig: [C7v]
Syth that thy moder myght go fre
And also quycke suche chere
As ony woman fer or nere
1165 And whan he herde her spe[k]e so speke] spede 1510, speke L
He breyed v[p] his eyen tho vp] vs 1510, vp L
And wrothely began to loke
And his hede on her he shoke
With eyen grym as I you say
1170 Aboute hye none of the day
He bygan to crye with grete dene
And sayd thou lyest thou olde quene
For nought that thou can tell
Neyther by [nyght] ne by daye nyght] daye 1510
1175 For ought that ony man can saye
Neyther by northe ne by southe
Neyther for man frende ne couthe
Whyle that I may speke and gone
Maugre them euerychone
1180 I shall saue her lyfe ywys
That thou shalte here and se ywys
Whan the mydwyfe herde that
Almoost she fell downe there she sate
And gan to quake as she were wood
1185 And had leuer than ony good
That she had be fer awaye
And so had his moder there she laye
So sore they were of hym agast
That they began to blysse them fast
1190 And coniured hym in goddes name
That he sholde do them no worldly shame
And fast on hym they gan to crye
The name of god and of Marye
sig: [C8]
He sholde tell them what he were
1195 And what aduenture brought hym there
With full moche wo and care
And afterwarde halfe a yere
As she helde hym by the fyre
To hym she spake with mo[ur]nynge chere mournynge] mornnynge 1510
1200 And rufully she gan to wepe
And sayd alas my sone swete
For thy loue withouten wene
All quycke I shall doluen bene
And answered and sayd nay
1205 Dame ye lye by this day
There is no man ne no Iustyce
Shall deme you to the dethe in no wyse
In erthe thy body for to reke
The whyles that I may go or speke
1210 Tho wexed his moder a gladde waman
Euery day after than
She gladded her herte with his tale
And lerned tho meruely fare And tolde hire merueyles feole, L
Whan they coude speke and gone
1215 The Iustyce sayd to hym anone
And dyde commaunde his men than commaunde] commauunde 1510
To brynge tofore hym that woman
For to receyue her Iugement
And she was come in present
1220 The Iustyce forgate it nought
That egrely he sayd his thought
He sayd anone by heuen quene
All quycke she sholde doluen bene
And she answered nother good ne harme
1225 But helde chylde Marlyn in her arme
sig: [C8v]
That was but two yere olde
He answered wordes bolde
And sayd to hym with eyger mode
Syr Iustyce he sayd thou canst no good
1230 For to deme my moder to deth
That thou ne wyst by her queth
Saue a chaunce that her befell
And therfore thou dydest not well
For euery man may wete by than
1235 Agayne shame may no man
For thorowe shame and thorowe grace
In-to this londe brought I was
And I was thorowe chaunce bygete
Euery man may well wete
1240 That my moder ought nought
For my loue to deth be brought
Grete wonder had bothe olde and yonge
Of that yonge chyldes answerynge
And tho the Iuge wexed well wrothe
1245 And by god he swore his othe
That quycke she sholde doluen be
Than sayd Merlyn so mote I the
Thou shalte neuer brynge her therto
For ought that euer thou canst do
1250 For it shall not go as thou wylte
For she hath therof no gylte
And that I shall preue with good wyll
Maugre all-tho that wyll her spyll
My fader that bygate me
1255 Is a fende of grete pooste
And dwelleth in the eyre aboue the lyght
And tempteth folke bothe day and nyght
sig: D1
Therfore to my moder he wente
And thought all crystendome to haue shente
1260 And by_gate me without lesynge
That she wyst therof no-thynge
And she knewe not what it was
Forsothe I wyll preue her gyltles
That all the fendes wende thorowe me
1265 For to haue destroyed crystente
They wende of me to haue a wycked fode
But god hath torned me to good
And nowe I am at goddes sonde
For to helpe all this londe
1270 For thorowe my fader he sayd than
[All] thynges tell I can All] I 1510, Alle L
That euer was and nowe is euer] neuer 1510, euere L
I can tell it nowe ywys
And all thynges that shall come
1275 I can tell all and some
Therfore wyte thou well ywys
She was my moder and nowe is
But thou ne wyst by saynt Iohan
Who was thy fader than
1280 Therfore I wyll proue moder thyne
Is better worthy to be doluen than myne

NOw herken all to this stryfe
How Marlyn saued his moders lyfe
Grete wonder had many a man
1285 How the chylde to speke began
Tho the Iustyce was full wo
And to Marlyn he spake tho
He sayd thou lyest thou foule congon
My fader was a bolde baron
sig: [D1v]
1290 And my moder a lady fre
She is on lyue thou mayst her se
For I wene by our lady
That she dyde neuer suche a velony
Syr sayd Marlyn holde thy mouthe
1295 Or I shall make it wyde I_couthe
Lete some man after her gone
And I my-selfe shall anone
Make her to by_knowe
Syr Iustyce byfore the
1300 The Iustyce byfore them all
Lete after his moder call
And sayd to Marlyn thou belaymye
Be so bolde or so hardye
To speke the worde that thou began
1305 That thou saydest by that woman
Marlyn answered and sayd Iustyce
Iwys thy wordes be not wyse
For yf I tell the folkes all byfore
How thou were bygote and bore
1310 Than sholde it sprynge abrode
Than hast thou lost thy maydenhode
And thy moder shall doluen be
And all is for the loue of the
Than the Iustyce vnderstonde
1315 That Marlyn coude moche good
And brought hym in-to a chambre than
Them-selfe .iiii. and none other than
Than sayd the Iustyce to Marlyn
Nowe Marlyn chylde for crystes pyne
1320 Tell me the sothe I pray the
What man it was that bygate me
sig: D2
Syr he sayd by saynt Symon
It was the persone of the t[ow]ne towne] twone 1510
He bygate the by saynt Iame
1325 Vpon this lady this your dame
The lady sayd thou foule thynge
Iwys thou lyest a stronge lesynge
His fader was a bolde baron
And a man of grete renowne
1330 And thou arte a mysbygote wretche
I praye to god the deuyll the fetche
For it were ryght and londes lawe
That thou were honge and drawe
Or in a wylde-fyre for to be brente
1335 For with wronge thou hast me shente
Dame he sayd holde the styll
For it were ryght and skyll
That thou sholdest quycke doluen bene
I wote ryght well withouten wene
1340 And yf thou wylte it forsake
A_taynt anone I shall the take
Sythe thou were in this worlde brought
All the werke that thou hast wrought
I can tell the euery worde
1345 Better than thou by our lorde
Dame he sayd yf thou hast forgete
How thy sone was bygete
I shall tell the all the case
How that he bygoten was
1350 Yf thou wylte forsake it than
I wyll tell all that I can
That thou shall be a_shamed sore
Thou were better speke no more
sig: [D2v]
The lady was sore dysmayed
1355 And Marlyn forthe his tale sayed
Dame he sayd verament
Whan thy lorde was to the cardynall sent
And home he came by nyght and not by day
The persone in thy bed lay
1360 To thy chambre dore thy lorde gan go
Thou stertest vp and was full wo
Whan he dyde at the dore knocke
Thou stertest vp in thy smocke
Thou were aferde in that tyde
1365 And dydest open a wyndowe wyde
The person thou awaye lete
And to a dore thou gan lepe
Dame sayd Marlyn that same nyght
He bygote thy sone that is knyght
1370 Dame sayd he lye I nought
Nay by hym that me dere bought
That was the Iustyce wrothe and wo
And to his moder he sayd tho
Moder he sayd how gooth this
1375 Sone she sayd all a_mys
Thoughe thou woldest hange me with a corde
The chy[l]de lyeth euery worde chylde] chyde 1510
The Iustyce for shame wexed all rede
And on his moder he shoke his hede
1380 And bad her soone wende home
Vnknowen that she there come
Tho sayd Marlyn in preuyte
Iustyce herken nowe to me
Thy moder shall nowe go home
1385 Sende after her a grome
sig: D3
That pryuely can her espye
For to the persone she wyll hye
And forsothe she wyll hym say
How that I dyde her bywray
1390 Whan the persone hereth of this
Anone for sorowe and shame ywys
To a brydge wyll he fle
And loke that no man hym se
And in-to the water skyppe he wyll
1395 And so he wyll hym-selfe spyll
And but it be as I the saye
Do me hange this same daye
The Iustyce without fayle
Dyde by Marlyns counseyle
1400 And sende after a spye bolde
And founde all as Marlyn tolde
Than the Iustyce sate and lowe
Hym thought the chylde wyse Inowe
And there fore Marlyns sake
1405 Hym and his moder he lete take
And all quyte lete them go fre
Byfore the folke of that countre
And sayd he wolde neuer after than
Iuge to dethe no woman
1410 Now let we be all this stryfe
Thus saued Marlyn his moders lyfe
For saynt Thomas of caunterbury
Gyue vs drynke and make vs mery
Tho Marlyn was fyue yere olde
1415 Of dedes he was sone bolde
His moder he dyde anone make
A grey habyte for to take
sig: [D3v]
And euer after verament
She serued god omnypotent

1420 NOw late we his moder be
And to our tale tourne we
And tell we of the messengeres
That went fro syr Vortygeres
For to seke Marlyn the bolde
1425 For to haue his blode as I of tolde
So there befell suche a caas
That they came there as Marlyn was
On playnge there he dyde go
And with hym went chyldren mo
1430 And as he played in that stede
One of the chyldren he mysdede
They chydde and cryed on hym tho
Thou foule shrewe go fro vs go
For thou arte a foule thynge bygote amysse
1435 There wote no man who thy fader is
But some fende bygote the I wene
For to do vs sorowe and tene
The messagers rode faste by
And herde the chyldren on marlyn crye
1440 And anone echone they thought
It was the chylde that they sought
And toke them to rede anone
That they wolde hym slone
Eche of them theyr swerdes out drowe
1445 And marlyn behelde them and lowe
Chyldren he sayd ye wolde haue me fro you
Haue good-day I go nowe
Here come the kynges messengeres
That hath me sought fer and neres
sig: D4
1450 For to haue my herte-blode
Ryght nowe they thought in theyr mode
For to sle me this same daye
But by my truthe yf I may
Or that they parte fro me
1455 Ryght good frendes shall we be
Marlyn anone to them ran
And gret them as he well can
And sayd welcome messengers
That come fro syr Vortygers
1460 Lo I am here that ye haue sought
Me to sle is your thought
For to bere the kynge my blode
That neuer sholde do hym good
For he that tolde hym that tydynge
1465 On me lyeth a foule lesynge
He sayd my blode with grete wronge
Sholde make his werke styffe and stronge
Though his werke therwith were wet
It sholde stande neuer the bet
1470 The messagers hadde [wonder] echone wonder] 1510 omits, wondur L
And spake to marlyn anone
How canst thou knowe suche preuyte
Tell vs sothe we praye the
Yes sayd marlyn I wote well
1475 The kynges councell euerydele
And what is your pourpose for to do
And other aduentures many mo
Therfore sholde ye me not slo
But to courte I wyll with you go
1480 I wyll saue you fro the dede
Hardely vpon my hede
And before the kynge yplyght
sig: [D4v]
I shall tell the sothe a_ryght
Why that his castell wyll not stonde
1485 And afterwarde I shall fonde
To make the clerkes false echone
That hath demed me to be slone
Tho sayd the messagers rathe
To sle the it were grete scathe
1490 For thy wordes be good and hende
To courte with vs thou shalte wende
Tell vs what is thy name
And what woman is thy dame
That we may haue veray tokenynge
1495 To answere at home byfore our kynge
Marlyn led them forth a grete pace
Tyll he came there his moder was
And he them tolde his moder byfore
All how he was bygote and bore
1500 And thorowe his wysdome and his rede
He saued her fro the dede
The messengers that I of tell
That same nyght he made them to dwell
On the morowe whan it was day
1505 They toke they[r] leue and wente theyr waye theyr] they 1510
And set Marlyn in that tyde
Vpon an horse by theyr syde
And wente forth all I_fere
Towarde kynge Vortygere
1510 They came to a towne as I you say
Ryght vpon a market-day
So that Marlyn as I you say
Sawe a man shone bye
A grete lawghter vp he nome
sig: E1
1515 The messengeres to hym come
And full fayre asked hym tho
Why he loughe faste so
He answered and sayd se ye nought
Yonder a man that shone hath bought
1520 And stronge leder them to cloute
And grees to grese them all aboute
He weneth to lyue and them to [w]ere were] tere 1510, A, weore L
But by my trouth I dare well swere
His wretched lyfe shall be lore
1525 Or he hath gone a myle or more
The messengers that same tyde
After a man they gan ryde
And or they had a forlonge gone
They founde hym dede as ony stone
1530 In that towne they bode all nyght
On the morowe whan it was lyght
They dressed theyr hors and made them yare
And on theyr waye they gan to fare
And as they rode in theyr Iourney
1535 Thorowe a towne of that countrey
They came by a chirche-yerde
And mette a corps that sholde be buryed
Many a man therwith gan gone
Marlyn behelde them euerychone
1540 And his brydell he withdrowe
And a grete laughter he lowe
The messengers rode hym to
And asked hym why he loughe so
So loude and so wonder shyll
1545 Than sayd Marlyn by goddes wyll
Yf ye wyst what it were
sig: [E1v]
Ye wolde laughe also smere
Amonge these folke he sayd than
I se yonder a sory man
1550 That for sorowe dooth wepe
That for Ioy ought to [s]kyp and lepe skyp] kyp 1510, skippe L
Another I se amonge them synge
That ought for to sorowe his handes to wrynge
I shall tell you why
1555 That ye shall haue good rybaudrye
The corps is dede he sayd and colde
Whiche was a knaues chylde of .x. yere olde
The same preest he sayd tho
That gooth byfore and syngeth so
1560 He it was that hym bygat
Sory he may be for that
He ought to wrynge his handes sore
And for his synnes care the more
And he syngeth and maketh blysse
1565 As it hadde neuer be his
And se the sory husbonde
He we[p]eth and wryngeth his honde wepeth] weheth 1510
He ought not his handes to wrynge
He ought to skyppe and synge
1570 For he is more than a fole
That for his enemye maketh dole
For he was the same fode
That sholde neuer haue done hym good
All the messengers rode anone
1575 To the chyldes moder anone
And Marlyn within a lytell throwe
Made her all for to by_knowe
Where-thorowe she coude not say nay
sig: E2
And prayed them her not to bywray
1580 Tho were the messengers blythe
And on theyr waye they rode swythe
And as the rode on theyr waye the=they?
It byfell on the thyrde daye
Whan it was at hye pryme
1585 Marlyn lought the thyrde tyme
The messengers asked hym there
Why he made so laughynge chere
Marlyn answered them ywys
Though I laughe no wonder it is
1590 Syth the tyme that ye were bore
Herde ye neuer suche a me[ruayle byf]ore meruayle byfore] me fruayle byore 1510
I shall tell you without othe
That ye shall fynde truely sothe
Now herken bothe yonge and olde
1595 What was the meruayle that marlyn tolde
Than sayd Marlyn lysten nowe
I shall tell you why I lowe
This day he sayd by my treuthe
In the kynges courte is grete reuthe
1600 Of the kynges chamberlayne
All thorowe the quene the sothe to sayne
She hath made a lesynge stronge
Men do her to dethe with wronge
The chamberlayne is a woman
1605 And gooth in clothes as a man
And for she is fayre and bryght of hewe
The false quene that is vntrewe
She thought well that she was a man
And thought anone she began
1610 To haue her to her lemman derne
sig: [E2v]
The chamberlayne gan her warne
Nedes she must that game forsake
For she myght her to lemman take myght: myght not?
Ne she myght make her no comforte
1615 For her takyll was so shorte
And there the quene was a foule
For had she wyste of her tole
How shorte it was wrought
She wolde haue desyred her nought
1620 Whan the quene her gan yerne
The chamberlayne her gan werne
The quene gan her dysmay
And thought she wolde her bywray
And knewe well she wolde her shende
1625 And to her lorde she gan wende
And complayned to the kynge
And made on her a grete lesynge
And sayd that his chamberlayne
With strengthe wolde her haue forlayne
1630 And swore she wolde neuer glad be
Tyll he were hanged on a tre
That were to dethe brought
The kynge faste she bysought
Than was the kynge wonder wrothe
1635 And eygrely he swore his othe
That she wolde be drawe and honge
But certes it were all with wronge
To sle a woman for a man
Thoughe she had mannes c[l]othes on clothes] chothes 1510
1640 Therfore I pray you for the loue of me
For goddes loue and saynt charyte
Go to the kynge blyue
sig: E3
Also fast as ye may dryue
Amd saye vnto the kynge
1645 The quene hath made a stronge lesynge
Vpon his chamberlayne with wrake
Therfore bed hym that he do her take
And loke all aboute than
He shall her fynde for a woman
1650 A knyght there was stoute and fre
He lepte vpon a good destre
That he made no lettynge
Tyll he came byfore the kynge
And whan he came in-to the hall
1655 Downe on knees he gan fall
And sayd to kynge Vortyger
God the saue and thy power
Many a countre we haue wente
On thy message as thou vs sente
1660 To seke a chylde [of] selcouth monde of] 1510 omits, of L
Thanked be god we haue hym founde
That chylde is fyue wynter olde
But ye sawe neuer none so bolde
Wyse he is by crystes pyne
1665 And he hyght chylde merlyne
He can tell all-thynge
That euer was without lesynge
And all-thyn[g]e that nowe is thynge] thynhe 1510
He can tell nowe Iwys
1670 Also he can tell ryght well
What destroyeth your castell
That it may not stande on the playne
And also of thy chamberlayne
That thou hast thought to drawe and honge
sig: [E3v]
1675 For certes it were all with wronge
To sle a woman for a man
Thoughe she haue mannes clothes on
Therfore he sende the sayne
Take anone thy chamberlayne
1680 And of her bondes her vnbynde
And a woman thou shalte her fynde
But yf it be so with all lawe
Do her to hange and to drawe
Kynge Vortyger a_wondred was
1685 And all that herde of that cas
He dyde commaunde byfore them all
To brynge his chamberlayne in-to the hall
She was serched in that stounde
For a woman they her founde
1690 Full wrothe was kynge Vortyger
And asked of that messager
Who tolde hym that she was a woman
Forsothe he sayd than
Chylde Merlyn gan vs say
1695 As we rode by the way
For he can tell and lye nought.
Of all that euer was wrought.
Tho spake vortyger the b[ol]de bolde] blode 1510
If that it be so as thou hast tolde
1700 I shall gyue the londe and ploughe
And make you all ryche Inoughe
He dyde commaunde anone ryght
Duke / erle / baron / and knyght
To dresse them and make them yare
1705 Wyth hym ayenst Merlyn for to fare
The kynge wolde no lenger abyde
sig: E4
But lepte vpon his horse that tyde
And pryked forth out of the towne
And wyth hym many a bolde barowne
1710 To speke wyth Merlyn the yonge
So glade he was of his comynge
Whan it was ayenst the nyght
The kynge with Merlyn mette ryght
And whan the kynge Merlyn mette
1715 Hendly he hym grette
And the kynge welcomed the chylde
Wyth fayre wordes and wyth mylde
Home to courte togyder they went
Wyth full grete Ioye verament
1720 And were well at ease that nyght
On the morowe whan it was day-lyg[ht] day-lyght] day-lygth 1510
To the place they went bydene
That Merlyn sholde the castell sene
The kynge sayd to Merlyn than
1725 Tell m[e] chylde yf thou can me] my 1510, me L
Why my castell in a stounde
Is euery nyght fall to the gronde
And why it myght stande nought
That of stronge werke is wrought
1730 Tho merlyn answered the kynge
Syr thou shalte se a wonder thynge
Here in the gronde two yerdes depe
There is a water huge and grete
An vnder the water be stones two
1735 Moche and fayre and brode also
Vnder the stones and vnder the molde
There lye two drag[on]s folde dragons] dragnos 1510
That one is whyte as mylke-reme reme: =skin on milk
sig: [E4v]
That other is rede as fyers leme
1740 Foule they be of syght bothe
And they togyder alwaye wrothe
And euery tyme whan it is nyght
Herde they gan togyder fyght
And thorowe strength of theyr blaste
1745 All the werke is ouer_caste
And yf the dragons were awaye
Thy werke myght stande nyght and daye
And make thy werke all at thy wyll
For to stande bothe sterke and styll
1750 Do nowe loke thou shalte se
Ryght as I tell the
syr Vortyger commaunded anone
That his werkemen euerychone
Fyue thousande and .l. mo
1755 He bad them loke yf it were so
Bynethe water in the grounde
Two grete stones there they founde
Many a man was redy there
The grete stones vp to rere
1760 Whan the stones were vp_drawen
Two dragons there they sawen
With theyr longe tayle double-folde
They founde all as Marlyn tolde
That one was rede as fyere
1765 With two eyen as a basyn clere
Pawes he had grete and longe
Fyre out of his mouthe spronge
His tayle was grete and no-thynge small
And his body boystous withall
1770 His blaste myght no man tell
sig: [E5]
He fared lyke the fende of hell
The stronge dragon that lay by hym
Of hym was a foule syght and grym
With grete pawes and sharpe hokes
1775 With grete tuskes and sharpe crokes
With throte and mouthe moche wyde
The blaste of his mouthe in that tyde
All glowynge was his onde
His tongue brente as a fyre-bronde
1780 His tayle was ragged as a fende
And vpon his tayles ende
Was shape a grysely hede
For to fyght with the rede
Marlyn sayd sothe I_plyght
1785 They be bothe grysly of syght
Whan they dyde bothe aryse
Many men they made a_gryse
The dra[g]on rose out of her denne dragon] dradon 1510
Therof dred many men
1790 All that were there in that tyde
Ne lenger durste they there abyde
Whan the dragons came to hepe
Eche man dyde on other lepe
And some for drede fell on sowughe
1795 And Marlyn stode styll and lowghe
The rede dragon and the whyte
Herde togyder gan they smyte
With mouthe and pawes and with tayle
Bytwene them was stronge batayle
1800 That all the erthe gan dynte tho
A lothely weder wexed tho
A stronge fyre they kyst anone
sig: [E5v]
That all the place therof shone
And spercles about also bryght
1805 As ony fyre of thonder lyght
And so they fought the sothe to say
All the longe somers day
That they ne stynt of fyg[h]tynge fyghtynge] fygtynge 1510
Tyll euensonge bell bygan to rynge
1810 And in that tyme as I you tell
The rede dragon wexed so fell
That he droue the whyte dragon
Out of the place a grete feron
Tyll they came in-to a valaye
1815 And there they rystyd bothe two
The mountenaunce of so longe whyle
That a man myght goo a myle
There the whyte conqueryd his myght
And vexed all stronge for to fyght
1820 And egerly wythouten fayle
The rede dragon he gan assayle
And droue the rede dragon agayne
Tyll they came vpon the playne
And the whyte anone ryght
1825 Caught the rede wyth strength and myght
And to the gro[u]nde he hym cast
And wyth the fyre of his blast
And all to pouder he brente the rede
That neuer was fonde of hym a glede
1830 But dust on the grounde laye
Whan he had so do he flewe a_waye
That neuer syth herde man
Where the whyte dragon went than
Tho sayd Merlyn the yonge
sig: [E6]
1835 To them all byfore the kynge
And sayd to them wordes bolde
Nowe syr the tale that I you tolde
It is sothe as thou mayst se
Therfore syr I pray the
1840 The clerkes do byfore me brynge
That made on me suche a lesynge
I shall them aske the byfore
Why they wolde me haue forlore
Than answered Vortyger
1845 And graunted hym without daunger
Anone he commaunded his men
To brynge forth the clerkes then
Whan they came byfore Marlyn
He apposed them of newe latyn
1850 Wherby they knewe and vnderstode
That Marlyn coude moche good
Marlyn asked them in haste
Why they dyde lye on hym so faste
That thorowe the vertue of his blode
1855 The kynges werke [be] stronge and gode be] 1510 omits
The clerkes answered the chylde
With fayre wordes and with mylde
And sayd to hym sekerly
Vnder the welken we sawe a skye
1860 That shewed vs all thy [b]egete begete] hegete 1510, byȜate L, biȜate A
How thou were [in yerthe] late in yerthe] myrthe 1510, in eorþe L, on erþe A
And thorowe thy blode the kynges castell
Sholde stonde fayre and well
And so we wende verament
1865 Do with vs nowe thy talent
How sayd Marlyn tho
sig: [E6v]
He was a shrewe that taught you so
The skye that shewed you that
Was my fader that me bygat
1870 For I serued hym neuer at wyll
Therfore he wolde my blode spyll
For he hath begyled you
Kynge Vortyger I pray the nowe
Graunte them lyfe for to lyue
1875 And all myn anger I them forgyue
The kynge them graunted also swythe
Tho were the clerkes glad and blythe
The kynge went to his ynne
And wyth hym went chylde merlyn
1880 Merlyn was wyth vortyger
To his counceyll all that yere
Thorowe his counceyll and his rede
His castell was stronge made in-dede
Whan his castell was ywrought
1885 Erles and barons hym bysought
That he sholde wyte of Marlyn tho
Why the dragons fought so
It was some tokenynge they sayd all
Of some thynges that sholde fall
1890 Marlyn was brought byfore the kynge
And he asked hym without lesynge
What the tokenynge myght bene
The fyghtynges of the dragons twene
Marlyn stode and made daungere
1895 And tho spake syr Vortygere
And sayd Marlyn but thou me tell
Anone ryght I shall the quell
Than answered Marlyn I_plyght
sig: [E7]
With grete anger anone ryght
1900 And sayd syr without othe
That worde shall neuer be sothe
Though thou take thy swerde in honde
Me to slo or dryue out of londe
Thou shalte fayle of thy fare
1905 Though that thou it swere
For I warne the well Vortyger
I gyue ryght nought of thy daunger
But thou wylte fynde me a borowe
That thou shalte neuer do me sorowe
1910 I shall tell the and not lye
What the dragons syngnyfye
But thou wylte so by our lorde
I wyll the tell neuer one worde
All the lordes and the kynge
1915 Had grete wonder of that warnynge
Two barons the kynge fonde
Good erles of the londe
Soone they swore vpon a boke
That they sholde no harme hym loke
1920 Yf he wolde tell withouten wene
What that tokenynge myght bene
Tho spake Marlyn to the kynge
Herken now to my talkynge
The rede dragon that was so foule of syght
1925 Betokeneth thy-selfe and thy myght
And also thorowe thy false procurynge
Moyne was slayne the yonge kynge
The rede dragon made the whyte fle
Ferre downe in the valee
1930 Bytokeneth the eyres that thou madest fle
sig: [E7v]
With wronge out of theyr countre
All the folke that with them helde
Bothe in towne and in felde
And dyde them moche sorowe
1935 Bothe on euen and on morowe
The whyte dragon sygnyfye
That the ryght eyres haue enuye
To the that holdest all theyr londe
With wronge in-to thy honde
1940 The whyte dragon as I you say
Recouered his strength in the valay
And droue the rede agayne
Tyll he came in-to the playne
And to the grounde he hym cast
1945 And brente hym there with his blast
That bytokeneth the eyres so yonge
Whiche haue s[o]coure fonde socoure] scoure 1510, socour L, A
And redy with many a knyght
Agayne the to holde fyght
1950 And come in-to Englonde
For to dryue the to shame and shonde
Into a castell they wyll the dryue
Bothe thy chyldren and thy wyue
And all that euer be with the thenne
1955 In-to the grounde they wyll them brenne
The redes tayle that was so longe
Betokeneth warre stronge
Whiche shall come after thenne
Of thyne owne wyues kynne
1960 And the hethen kynge angys
He shall be slayne and lese the pryse
His kynred and thyne also
sig: [E8]
Shall do Englonde moche wo
The hede of the whytes tayle
1965 Be[toke]neth withouten fayle Betokeneth] Bekoneth 1510
That eyres bothe true and good
Shall destroye all th[y] blood thy] the 1510, þy L
And certes syr that is the tokenynge
Of the dragons stronge fyghtynge
1970 That I the tell withouten othe
Thou shalte fynde it syker sothe
Styll stode syr Vortyger
And bote his lyppe with sory chere
And sayd to Marlyn anone
1975 Thou must me tell by saynt Iohan
How I may best saue my lyfe
And my chyldren and my wyfe
Marlyn stode tho full styll
And answered hym with wordes yll
1980 And sayd syr withouten wene
Thus it must nedes bene
Kynge Vortyger gan wexe wrothe
And by god he swore his othe
But he wolde tell hym some rede
1985 Anone he wolde do hym to dede
And sterte vp and wolde hym haue caught
But of hym was founde ryght nought
So lyghtely he was a_waye
That in all the courte that daye
1990 Hye ne lowe swayne ne grome swayne] sawayne 1510
Wyst where Marlyn was bycome
Whan he was escaped so
Kynge Vortyger was full wo
And in his herte he had care
sig: [E8v]
1995 And so had all that with hym ware
And sought hy ouer-all bydene
But they myght hym not sene
Marlyn wente hastely
To the hermyte Blasy
2000 And tolde hym without lesynge
How he had serued the kynge
And tolde hym without wronge
The fyghtynge of the dragons stronge
Of the rede and of the whyte
2005 A grete boke he dyde wryte
And sayd that the rede dragon
Betokeneth grete dystruccyon
Thorowe Vortygers kyn ywys
And thorowe the hethen kynge angys
2010 And thorowe theyr kynge withouten wene
In Englonde shall it bene
Stronge warre and batayll kene
And many a man shall slayne bene
For as Marlyn tolde and sayd
2015 In scrypture he it layde
Of all the aduentures I vnderstonde
That sholde be_fall in Englonde
But derke it is and wonder thynge
That Marlyn made in his shewynge
2020 But fewe men without wene
Coude vnderstonde what it myght bene
And for it was so derke wrought
Of that scrypture I tell nought
But yf ye a stounde dwell
2025 Of other aduentures I wyll you tell
Of the yonge chyldren two
sig: F1
Vther and pendragon also
I tell you as I vnderstonde
How they fledde out of Englonde
2030 In-to Gascoyne they were ledde
And with theyr frendes fastered and fedde
Whan they were wexed of age
For to wynne th[eyr] erytage theyr] thyn 1510
Therfore I wyll you sayne
2035 How they came to londe agayne
With grete strength and grete power
And how they droue syr Vortyger
Vnto his castell thycke and stronge
For his treason and for his wronge
2040 And how they brente hym flesshe and bone
And how they dyde kynge angys slone
I shall tell you in what manere
Herken nowe and ye may here

MEry tyme it is in may.
2045 Than spryngeth the longe somers day
In grenewode foules syngynge
And in medes grasse spryngynge
And in chirches clerkes redynge
And damoyselles caroules ledynge
2050 In that tyme as ye may here
Two barons came [to] Vortygere to] 1510 omits, to L, A
And sayd to hym my lorde the kynge
We haue brought the harde tydynge
Of Pendragon that is thy fo
2055 And of his brother Vther also
That is come in-to this londe
With many doughty man of honde
With helme on hede and baner bryght
sig: [F1v]
Full stronge they be and fresshe to fyght
2060 And swere they wyll stynte nought
Tyll thou be to grounde brought
They wyll no lenger abyde
Nyght and day they do ryde
And a[t] wynchester they be almoost at] an 1510, at L, A
2065 Therfore sende aboute with grete boost
To all th[y] frendes bothe ferre and nere thy] theyr 1510, / y L
For to helpe the with theyr powere
Ayenst thy fomen for to spede
For thou haddes neuer more nede
2070 V[p] sterte syr Vortygere Vp] Vo 1510, Vp L, A
And called anone his messenger
And to wynchester he sente in haste
And commaunded the burgeyse euerychone
That they sholde all be bowne
2075 Ayenst Vther and Pendragon
And shyt the gates with so queynt gyn
That they come not therin That] That that 1510
And I wyll come permafay
To helpe them all that I may
2080 And messengers he sente ywys
To the hethen kynge angys
And bad hym come without dwellynge
With all the folke that he myght brynge
For to helpe hym ayenst his fone
2085 In londe that wayte hym to slone
Anone he sente his sonde
Ouer-all aboute in Englonde
To duke / Erle / baron / and knyght
To come to hym anone ryght
2090 To helpe hym in that tyde
sig: F2
In felde his fomen to abyde
Whan kynge angys thyder dyde come
And his folke all and some
Duke / Erle / baron / and knyght
2095 Armed redy for to fyght
They lepte to horse soone anone
And to wynchester they prycked echone
Yet or they myght come thore
Vther / and Pendragon was byfore
2100 And were come wynchester nye
And soone rered theyr baner on hye
With so grete people without the towne
That they ouerspred bothe dale and downe
The burgeyse that in the t[ow]ne were towne] twone 1510
2105 Loked out on that banere
Full fast theron they gan to beholde
And sawe a lybberde of rede golde
That rychely was dressed theron
That was theyr faders there-byfore
2110 That baner anone they knewe
And soone anone they gan rewe
The deth of good constantyne the kynge
And of Moyne that was slayne so yonge
And sayd that Vortyger with wronge
2115 Had be theyr kynge to longe
He was a_cursed lym and lyth
And all that euer helde hym with
The burgeyse sware togyder echone
Though they sholde be hanged anone
2120 They wolde lete in-to the towne
Bothe Vther and Pendragon
And sease in-to theyr honde
sig: [F2v]
For they were ryght eyres of the londe
They set open the gates wyde
2125 And Pendragon they lete in ryde
And his brother also
And all that came with hym tho
The burgeyse were glad and blythe
And therfore also swythe
2130 They yelde to hym towne and toure
And dyde hym grete honoure
That euer wynchester after than
Grete fredome hym wan
Whan that Vortyger the fell
2135 Of that tydynges herde tell
How Vther and Pendragowne
Were late in-to the towne
For anger wexed wode nye
And sayd that they sholde abye
2140 And ladde his hooste ryght faste
To wynchester in all haste
Whan Vther wyst and Pendragon
That Vortyger was thyder come
He commaunded all his men than
2145 To horse and armes euery man
And opened the gates wyde
Oute of the gates they gan ryde
Whan they came out of the towne
Vp they rered a gonfawcowne
2150 And dressed them withouten fayll
To gyue theyr enemyes batayll
And the Englysshe folke I_fere
That were with kynge Vortygere
Whan they myght that baner se
sig: F3
2155 That the kynges myght be
With Vortyger was many a knyght
That knewe that baner anone ryght
Well a thousande and mo were
That serued theyr fader byfore
2160 And wyst well and vnderstode
That they were of the ryght blode
And torned theyr thought anone
Ayenst Vortyger euerychone
And sayd thou false traytoure
2165 Thou shalte abye by our sauyoure
For thou hast be kynge with wronge
Thou shalte be drawe and honge
For grete anger anone ryght
With glayues and with swerdes bryght
2170 They wolde haue slayne Vortyger
But all to lytell was theyr power
For euer ayenst one of tho
He had an hondred and well mo
Of wyght men and stronge
2175 With glayues and swerdes longe
That were come all-togyder
For to fyght they came thyder
Kynge Vortyger and kynge angys
For wreche were nye wood ywys
2180 And commaunded all theyr route
To besette the knyghtes all aboute
And swore there sholde escape none
Of knyghtes that dyde ayenst them gone
Speres they brake and swerdes they drewe
2185 Many a knyght there they slewe
But the knyghtes were full wyght
sig: [F3v]
And wente ayenst them for to fyght
Herde they gan ayenst them hewe
But alas there were to fewe
2190 Thrughe that metynge and that stryfe
Well halfe an hondred loste theyr lyfe
There came a baron that was gente
That sayd they sholde all be shente
He prycked his stede a grete randon
2195 Tyll he came to Vther and Pendragon
And sayd ryght heyres of this londe
To my tale ye vnderstonde
Many a knyght and baron fre
For loue of thy broder and the
2200 With good wyll they be to you I_wente
And therfore they be foule shente
Kynge Vortyger and kynge angys
With many a sarasyn of prys
Haue shente them in a stounde
2205 Horse and man layde to grounde
Nowe be they shent for the loue of the
Helpe them nowe for charyte
It was no nede to byde them ryde
His folke spred on euery syde
2210 Whan they were togyder met
Strokes there were well set
There was soone verament
Gyuen many [a] sore dynt a] 1510 omits, a L, A
Many a sarasyns hede anone
2215 Flewe fro the necke-bone
A grete nomber in that tyde
Were slayne on euery syde
But Vortyger without fayle
sig: F4
Was ouercome in that batayle
2220 Bothe he and all his
And so was kynge angys
They were all dryue so nye
That he and all his hoost dyde flye
In-to his castell stronge and mery
2225 Vpon the p[l]ayne of salysbury playne] payne 1510
Kynge angys fledde as he were wood
In-to a castell stronge and good
That was wrought of lyme and stone
Better in the londe was none
2230 The name of that castell
Is called Tyntagell
Nowe lete we kynge angys there
And tell we forth of Vortyger
Pendragon and syr Vther
2235 Prycked after Vortyger
Whan they to the castell come
Wylde-fyre anone they nome
And cast it ouer the wall anone
And also sone as it was within
2240 It gan to brenne as a fyre-bronde
That no man myght it withstonde
Tyll Vortyger was brent chylde and wyfe
And all that were within on lyfe
Beest and man with lyme and lede
2245 Brenned downe withouten rede
That no-thynge of them was founde
But dust that lay on the grounde
Whan Vortyger was so brente
Vther and pendragon togyder wente
2250 For to seche kynge Angys
sig: [F4v]
There he lay on his castell of prys
Thyder he was flowen for doute
And Pendragon with all his route
Bysette hym nyght and day
2255 That no man may scape away
But kynge angys in his castell
Was stored veray well
So well the castell was wrought
That no man it wynne mought
2260 Fyue barons with Vther were
That had ben with Vortygere
And tolde Vther and Pendragon before
How Marlyn was bygote and bore
And how he coude tell all-thynge
2265 That euer was without lesynge
And all-thynge that shall bene
He can tell without wene
And vortyger a wonder thynge
Of two dragons that lay folde
2270 And how he sholde I_brent be
Thorowe thy broder and thorowe the
How the kynge wolde hym haue nome
But he ne wyst where he was bycome
And sayd syr veramente
2275 And yf he were now presente
Thorowe his counceyll thou sholdest anone
Kynge angys ouercome and slone
Pendragon was a_wondred tho
And Vther his brother also
2280 And sente anone knyghtes fyue
For to seche Marlyn blyue
And yf they fynde the chylde
sig: G1
Pray hym with wordes mylde
For to speke with pendragon
2285 And Vther in theyr pauylyon
Them to wysshe and to rede
And them to helpe in theyr nede
For to wynne that stronge-holde
And he sholde haue that he wolde
2290 Nowe be these messagers wente
To seche Marlyn with good entente
Wyde and syde they hym soughte
But they founde hym noughte
So on a day the messengeres
2295 As they satte at theyr dyneres
In a towne of the west countre
With mete and drynke grete plente
An olde chorle there came ynne
With longe heres on his chynne
2300 A staffe in his honde he had
And shone on his fete full bad
He began to coughe and grone thore
Ans sayd he was an_hongred sore
And bad them on the benche aboue
2305 Gyue hym some mete for goddes loue
They hym answered without lesynge
He sholde neyther haue mete ne other thynge
They swore by hym that Iudas solde
He was a stoute chorle and a bolde
2310 And myght trauayle for his mete
Yf he with trouthe wolde it gete
They called hym fayter euerychone
And bad hym trusse faste and gone
And swore by the trouthe that god hym gaffe
sig: [G1v]
2315 He sholde haue of his owne staffe
Thre stro[k]es well I_set strokes] stroses 1510, strokes A
But he hyed hym oute the bet
Than answe[r]ed the olde man answered] answeeed 1510
Felowes he sayd no chorle I am
2320 I am an olde man of this worlde
And many wonders I haue herde
And ye but wretches of yonge blood
And knowe all but lytell good
And yf ye coude as ye ne can
2325 Ye wolde scorne none olde man
As ye go in your prynces nede
For olde men myght you rede
For to fynde Marlyn the chylde
Your prynce was bothe good and wylde
2330 To sende men that done oute_rage
For to wende on his message
For Marlyn is of suche manere
Though he stode before you here
And spake to you as I do
2335 Ye sholde hym knowe neuer the mo
Thryes to_daye ye haue hym met
And yet ye knowe hym neuer the bet
Therfore go home by my rede
To fynde hym shall ye not spede
2340 Bydde your prynce take barons fyue
And go seche Marlyn blyue
And that Marlyn shall them abyde
On hye by the forest-syde
And whan he had tolde this
2345 He wente away anone ywys
Ther was none of them tho
sig: G2
That wyst where he was go
The messagers were wondred all
And after hym they [g]an to call gan] can 1510
2350 And ouer-all they gan hym seche
But of hym herde they no speche
For in gest as it is tolde
The chorle that was there so bolde
That rebuked the messageres
2355 As they satte at theyr dyners
It was chylde Marlyn the yonge
That made of them his scornynge
The messagers wente home anone
And tolde Vther and Pendragon
2360 How a chorle had them tolde
And them scorned with worde bolde
And sayd how Marlyn the chylde
Was vp in the forest wylde
And bad them take barons fyue
2365 For to seke merlyn blyue
And sayd Marlyn wolde abyde
On hye vnder the forest-syde
Pendragon had wonder tho
And Vther his brother also
2370 And wyll and talent fyne
For to speke with chylde Marlyn
He badde Vther his brothe[r] gente brother] brothe 1510
To theyr syege take theyr entente
That kynge angys scape not away
2375 Neyther by nyght ne by day
Tyll they were on hym a_wreke
And he wolde go with Marlyn to speke
Pendragon toke barons fyue
sig: [G2v]
And wente forth also blyue
2380 For to speke with Marlyn the chylde
That was in the foreste wylde
Whan pendragon was out I_wente
Marlyn anone to Vther wente
To hym he wente anone
2385 For to warne hym of his fone
As it were a stoute garson
He came in-to his pauylyon
And sayd Vther lysten to me
Of thy harme I warne the
2390 I am crysten the sothe to saye
Therfore I warne the to_daye
That the byhete kynge angys
With many a sarasyn of pryce
Shall come to the this same nyght
2395 With many a man well ydyght
In thy fyrst slepe anone
He wyll wayte the to slone
For well [he] wote without fayle he] 1510 omits
All the kynges counceyle
2400 But of hym haue ye no doute
Do warne thyne hoost all aboute
That they ben armed very wele
Bothe in yron and in stele
And gader togyder all thyn hoost
2405 And holde you styll without boost
Tyll he be amonge you come
For he wyll be the formest of that frome of that frome: =verse tag "atte frome"?; see OED frume
That on thy pauylyon wyll renne
And loke that thou be redy then
2410 And harde on hym that thou smyte
sig: G3
And loke of thy swerde wyll byte
For thou shalte hym sle with thy honde
And wynne the pryce of this londe
Whan he had tolde all this case
2415 No man wyst where he was
Vther had grete wonder tho
For he was escaped so
And in his herte gan vnderstonde
That it was thrughe goddes sonde
2420 And had hym warned of his fone
For he was lyghtely gone
Whan it was within the nyght
Kynge angys anone ryght
Dyde arme his men all preste
2425 Thre thousande of the beste
And sayd how a spye hym tolde
How Pendragon the prynce bolde
In-to the courte was I_fare
And Vther was lefte there
2430 Therfore he sayd with grete hete
On hym he wolde be a_wreke
And swore by his god mahon
He wolde hym sle in his pauylyon
And whan he hath Vther slayne
2435 In-to his castell he wolde agayne
Whan they were redy dyght
Kynge angys anone ryght
Out of his castell he gan ryde
And thre thousande by his syde
2440 And prycked forth with grete boost
Tyll he came to Vthers hoost
Whan he came there ryght
sig: [G3v]
There Vther his pauylyon pyght
Kynge angys was full felon
2445 And gan hewe on his pauylyon
And thought to haue slayne hym therin
But he was begyled through Marlyn
For marlyn had on the morne
Warned Vther there-byforne
2450 How kynge angys had I_thought
Therfore in his pauylyon was he nought
But Vther was redy there-oute
With many men stronge and stoute
And Vther was a stronge man
2455 To kynge angys anone he ranne
And gaue hym suche a stroke
That he flewe tayle ouer toppe
And toke hym by the hede anone
And smote it fro the necke-bone
2460 Whan the sarasyns that dyde see
Sone anone they gan flee
In-to the castell all bydene
And lete theyr lorde without bene
But or they myght come home agayne
2465 Fyue hondred of them were slayne
Of the strongest that there wore
That came with theyr kynge byfore
Now lete we be of all this reason
And tourne we agayne to Pendragon
2470 That was gone to the forest-syde
To speke with Marlyn in that tyde
The fyrst tyme that he sawe marlyn
He was an herde and kepte swyne
With an olde hatte on his hede
sig: G4
2475 And in a sacke he was I_wede
Stronge he semed and well made
The prynce anone to hym rode
And well fayre he dyde hym frayne
Yf he coude ought of marlyn sayne
2480 Or tell hym ony-thynge
Where was his moost dwellynge
Ye syr he sayd by saynt Rychere
Ryght now marlyn was here
Had ye come or ye dyde
2485 Ye had hym founde in this stede
And yf ye coude marlyn knowe
He is not yet ferre goo
And therfore ryde on thy way
Also fast as thou may
2490 And on thy ryght honde full rathe
Thou shalte fynde a lytell pathe
That thorowe that forest lyethe
In that way ryde forthe swythe
Wherby without wene
2495 There shalte thou marlyn sene
Than was the prynce gladde
And rode forth as he hym badde
As the herde hym sayd he fonde
A pathe on his ryght honde
2500 They torned theym euerychone
In that waye they rode anone
Whan they had ryden in that way
Almoost a myle of that countrey
With Marlyn mette they often than
2505 As it were a stoute chapman
With a ferdell on his backe
sig: [G4v]
And to the prynce fayre he spake
The prynce hym answered there
And asked hym by his chaffere
2510 Yf he mette ought with Marlyn
Ye syr he sayd by saynt Martyn
A lytell here before thy syght
I was there he was nowe ryght
And yet he sayd by saynt Ihone
2515 He is not yet ferre gone
Therfore ryde forth bylyue
As faste as ye may dryue
And thou shalte fynde hym in a whyle
Or thou haue ryden halfe a myle
2520 With Marlyn thou shalte speke than
Or thou speke with ony man
Than was the prynce glad and blythe
And prycked forth also swythe
They rode a whyle as they wolde
2525 Ryght as the chapman them tolde
They met Marlyn on a playne
As he were a doughty swayne
Clothed he was in a robe of rede
And lapped in a mantell in-dede
2530 And bare a ga[u]elocke in his honde
And spake as a man of straunge londe
Whan he with the prynce met
Hendely he hym gret
And the prynce full hendelye
2535 Asked hym for his curteysye
If he met ought that daye
Marlyn by the waye
Syr he sayd by saynt Myghell
sig: [G5]
Marlyn I knowe very well
2540 Ryght nowe he sayd sekerly
Marlyn was here faste by
Haddest thou ryden a lytell bet
With Marlyn thou myghtest haue met
And syr he sayd without othe
2545 He is a quaynt boye for-sothe
To fynde hym it is strounge
Thoughe ye seke hym neuer so longe
So well I knowe marlyns thought
Without my helpe ye gete hym nought
2550 Yf thou of hym wylte haue speche
Thou must do as I the reche
The nexte towne here-by_syde
There thou must Marlyn abyde
And certaynly chylde marlyn
2555 Shall come to your ynne
And speke with the this nyght
There thou shalte haue of hym a syght
Than myghtest thou bothe loude and styll
Speke with Marlyn all thy fyll
2560 Then was the prynce full gladde
And dyde as the swayne hym badde
And toke his ynne in the towne
As a lord of grete renowne
Now may ye here in this tyme
2565 How Marlyn came the fyrste tyme fyrste] 5th P
And how he the prynce mette
And how he hym grete
And how Pendragon was kynge
And how Marlyn without lesynge
2570 Dwelled with hym and his meyne
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And wyst all his preuyte
And how he was his counceylere
Fyll the cuppe and ye shall here
Whan it was within the nyght
2575 Marlyn came to hym full ryght
In the gyse of a s[wa]yne swayne] sawyne 1510
As he mette hym on the playne
And sayd as men fynde in boke
To the prynce god the loke
2580 Lo [I] am here that thou hast sought I] 1510 omits, I P
Tell now me what is thy thought
Vp thenne sterte Pendragon
And toke hym in his armes anone
And prayed hym with hym to lyue
2585 And what he wolde he sholde hym gyue
Marlyn sayd veramente
I am at your commaundemente
Than was the prynce glad and blythe
And thanked hym ofte-sythe
2590 Than sayd marlyn by saynt Rycher
I come now fro thy brother Vter
And thorugh my counceyll and his myght
Kynge angys is slayne this nyght
Thenne was the prynce very glade
2595 And grete solace togyder they made
All that there were were full fayne
On the morowe they wente home agayne
And founde kynge angys slawe
His hede vp_sete his body to_drawe
2600 Pendragon asked vter ywys
Who hadde slayne kynge angys
And he answered hym agayne
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How he was warned thorugh a swayne
And tolde hym without lesynge
2605 How he slewe the hethen kynge
Whan he had tolde how he dyde
And thanked god in that stede
Thenne speke Pendragon
And sayd to Vther anone
2610 He that helpe the at thy nede
It was Marlyn so god me spede
That stondeth here now by the
Vther hym thanked with herte fre
And prayed hym for all-thynge
2615 To make there his dwellynge
For in that castell without lesse
Many a sarasyne there was
That no man myght on them wynne
Ne peyre them with no gynne
2620 Therfore the hoost styll laye
And sythe on the thyrde daye
Two knyghtes came fro the sarasynes
That were in the Castell synes
And sayd that they wolde yelde the castell
2625 Yf they myght passe well
In-to Denmarke without dere
And on a boke they wolde swere
That they wolde neuer come agayne
And Marlyn sente them sayne
2630 They sholde passe euerychone
By Vthers leue and pendragon
Whan they had swore all and some
They sholde no more in Englonde come
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They wente to the see-stronde
2635 And passed them to theyr londe
Than was Englonde blythe and glad
And sythe thrughe comyn radde
Pendragon the crowne name
And kynge of Englonde he became
2640 In Englonde he was kynge
But thre yere without lesynge
And sythe he was slayne rathe
With vnryght and that was scathe
I wyll you tell in what manere
2645 Herken it now and ye shall here

IT befell in Denmarke
Two sarasyns that were sterke
That were of kynge angys kynrede
And of his blood they were descended
2650 The one was come of the brother
And of the syster came the other
Stronge men they were and fell
Full well I can theyr names tell
The one was called syr Gamoure
2655 Amd the other Metradoure
Grete lordes they were of londe
Metrador helde in his honde
Two ducheys and Gamor thre
Agayne them durst no man be
2660 Whan they herde that kynge angys
In Englonde was slayne ywys ywys] I ywys 1510
As soone as they dyde togyder speke
Theyr enemys deth to a_wreke
They gadred them stronge myght
2665 Duke / Erle / baron / and knyght
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So grete an hoost togyder they brought
The nombre can I tell nought
In-to shyppe they wente than
And to sayle they fast began
2670 So the wynde gan them blowe
They aryued vp at brystowe
Marlyn wyst that well anone
And tolde Vther and pendragon
There was come frome denmarke
2675 A stronge hoost and a sterke
With many a sarasyne of prys
For to haue wreke kynge angys
In Englonde he sayd than
So grete an hoost sawe neuer man
2680 And sayd one of you without lesse
Shall be slayne in that presse
And whiche of you that is
Shall haue to mede heuen blysse
But for no-thynge wolde he sayen
2685 Whiche of them sholde be slayne
But in-dede as ye may here
That Marlyn loued more Vtere
The leest here of his crowne
Than he dyde pendragon
2690 He hadde them make them redy anone
Agaynst theyr enemyes for to gone
And pendragon without fayll
By the londe shall them assayll
And Vther I byde the
2695 That thou go by the se
And loke that there escape none
But they be slayne euerychone
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Pendragon was a doughty knyght
Eger and fell in euery fyght
2700 He dyde neuer forsake to bere
Agaynst a man shylde and spere
And fyght with swerde without fayle
And that was sene in that batayle
He toke his hoost with myght and mayne
2705 And wente the sarasyns agayne
Whan they were togyder mette
Strokes there well I_sette
Of many a doughty sarasyn
He clefte theyr hedes to the skyn
2710 And many a knyght there was in haste
Slayne and out of theyr sadyll cast
Vther by the see was wente
And hym tolde veramente
Chylde Marlyn in his sawe
2715 That there he sholde not be slawe
Than in hast he was full lyghte
Fell and fresshe for to fyghte
Egerly without ony fayle
The sarasyns he began to assayle
2720 Vther and his felowe rede
Doughty men they were of dede
All that they myght bylyue
Some they reued of theyr lyue
Pendragon and his folke in haste
2725 The sarasyns downe they caste
There was none that ayenst them stode
But flowe awaye as they were wode
Vther in that same tyde
Kepte them by the water-syde
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2730 With strokes yll and dyntes harde
Drofe them all ayenwarde
Thus they were chased bytwene them two
That them was neuer erste so wo
Whan they no ferther myghte
2735 On Pendragon they gone to fyght
An hondred sarasyns in a route
Be_sette hym all aboute
Who had sene Pendragon than
Myghte haue sene a do[u]ghty man
2740 Agayne the sarasyns to fyghte
Whyle that he had his lymmes a_ryghte
All that euer [he] myght a_reche he] 1510 omitsP: For all that he might euer reach, 2342

They had neuer other leche
The sarasyns were stronge and grym
2745 And slewe his stede vnder hym
Whan he had loste his stede
Grete meruayle it is in bokes to rede
How he faught and on fote stode
Tyll he loste his herte-b[l]ode blode] bode 1510, bloode P
2750 And hondred sarasyns on a rewe
Atte-ones began on hym to hewe
And brake bothe backe and arme
And slewe hym and that was harme
Whan Vther that vnderstode
2755 That his broder was slayne he was wode
And badde his folke faste fyght
And he bestyred hym as a knyght
Of .xxx.M. that were on lyue
There escaped away not fyue
2760 Of Englysshe-men there were slayne
But thre hondred that ony man coude sayne
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Bytwene bath and brystowe tho
Thre myle myght no man go
Neyther in dale neyther in den
2765 But he trade on dede men
Whan it was agaynst the nyght
Vther dyde dyscomfyte the fyght
With many an Erle and baroune
And with knyghtes of grete renoune
2770 They wente home to theyr In
On the morowe by the counceyll of Marlyn
Pendragon was out sought
And in the erthe fayre I_brought
Beryed he was full mery
2775 In the towne of Glastenbery
Thus ended the doughty kynge
God gyue his soule good endynge
And after that Pendragon was dede
Vther was crowned by comyn rede
2780 And helde Englonde to ryght
I praye to god full of myght
Graunte them heuen blysse aboue
Amen for his moders loue
And gyue them all good endynge
2785 That haue herde this talkynge
¶Here endeth a lytell treatyse of Marlyn whiche prophe[s]yedprophesyed] prophefyed 1510 of many fortunes or happes here in Englonde. Enprynted in London in flete_strete at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn_de_Worde. the yere of oure lorde a .M.CCCCC. and .x.