The Rowley Poems
Thomas Chatterton

Part 3 out of 7

[Footnote 2: law.]

[Footnote 3: painted.]

[Footnote 4: much.]

[Footnote 5: hurt, damage.]

[Footnote 6: sweetly.]

[Footnote 7: cause.]

[Footnote 8: oft.]

[Footnote 9: holy.]

[Footnote 10: rake, lewd person.]

[Footnote 11: humble.]

[Footnote 12: adder.]

[Footnote 13: hurt, damage.]

[Footnote 14: learning.]

[Footnote 15: knows.]

[Footnote 16: plucks or tortures.]

[Footnote 17: knowledge.]

[Footnote 18: a service used over the dead.]

[Footnote 19: peasant.]

[Footnote 20: unlearned.]

[Footnote 21: laugh.]

[Footnote 22: sounds.]

[Footnote 23: foolish.]

[Footnote 24: churls.]

[Footnote 25: knows.]

[Footnote 26: laughable.]

[Footnote 27: tale, jest.]

[Footnote 28: beyond.]

[Footnote 29: foolishly.]

[Footnote 30: if.]

[Footnote 31: many.]

[Footnote 32: holy.]

[Footnote 33: strange perversion of words. _Droorie_ in its antient
signification stood for _modesty_.]

[Footnote 34: another.]


Straunge dome ytte ys, that, yn these daies of oures,
Nete[35] butte a bare recytalle can hav place;
Nowe shapelie poesie hast loste yttes powers,
And pynant hystorie ys onlie grace;
Heie[36] pycke up wolsome weedes, ynstedde of flowers, 5
And famylies, ynstedde of wytte, theie trace;
Nowe poesie canne meete wythe ne regrate[37],
Whylste prose, & herehaughtrie[38], ryse yn estate.

Lette kynges, & rulers, whan heie gayne a throne,
Shewe whatt theyre grandsieres, & great grandsieres bore, 10
Emarschalled armes, yatte, ne before theyre owne,
Now raung'd wythe whatt yeir fadres han before;
Lette trades, & toune folck, lett syke[39] thynges alone,
Ne fyghte for sable yn a fielde of aure;
Seldomm, or never, are armes vyrtues mede, 15
Shee nillynge[40] to take myckle[41] aie dothe hede.

A man ascaunse upponn a piece maye looke,
And shake hys hedde to styrre hys rede[42] aboute;
Quod he, gyf I askaunted oere thys booke,
Schulde fynde thereyn that trouthe ys left wythoute; 20
Eke, gyf[43] ynto a vew percase[44] I tooke
The long beade-rolle of al the wrytynge route,
Asserius, Ingolphus, Torgotte, Bedde,
Thorow hem[45] al nete lyche ytte I coulde rede.--

Pardon, yee Graiebarbes[46], gyff I saie, onwise 25
Yee are, to stycke so close & bysmarelie[47]
To hystorie; you doe ytte tooe moche pryze,
Whyche amenused[48] thoughtes of poesie;
Somme drybblette[49] share you shoulde to yatte[50] alyse[51],
Nott makynge everyche thynge bee hystorie; 30
Instedde of mountynge onn a wynged horse,
You onn a rouncy[52] dryve yn dolefull course.

Cannynge & I from common course dyssente;
Wee ryde the stede, botte yev to hym the reene;
Ne wylle betweene crased molterynge bookes be pente, 35
Botte soare on hyghe, & yn the sonne-bemes sheene;
And where wee kenn somme ishad[53] floures besprente,
We take ytte, & from oulde rouste doe ytte clene;
Wee wylle ne cheynedd to one pasture bee,
Botte sometymes soare 'bove trouthe of hystorie. 40

Saie, Canynge, whatt was vearse yn daies of yore?
Fyne thoughtes, and couplettes fetyvelie[54] bewryen[55],
Notte syke as doe annoie thys age so sore,
A keppened poyntelle[56] restynge at eche lyne.
Vearse maie be goode, botte poesie wantes more, 45
An onlist[57] lecturn[58], and a songe adygne[59];
Accordynge to the rule I have thys wroughte,
Gyff ytt please Canynge, I care notte a groate.

The thynge yttself moste bee ytts owne defense;
Som metre maie notte please a womannes ear. 50
Canynge lookes notte for poesie, botte sense;
And dygne, & wordie thoughtes, ys all hys care.
Canynge, adieu! I do you greete from hence;
Full soone I hope to taste of your good cheere;
Goode Byshoppe Carpynter dyd byd mee saie, 55
Hee wysche you healthe & selinesse for aie.


[Footnote 35: nought.]

[Footnote 36: they.]

[Footnote 37: esteem.]

[Footnote 38: heraldry.]

[Footnote 39: such.]

[Footnote 40: unwilling.]

[Footnote 41: much.]

[Footnote 42: wisdom, council.]

[Footnote 43: if.]

[Footnote 44: perchance.]

[Footnote 45: them.]

[Footnote 46: Greybeards.]

[Footnote 47: curiously.]

[Footnote 48: lessened.]

[Footnote 49: small.]

[Footnote 50: that.]

[Footnote 51: allow.]

[Footnote 52: cart-horse.]

[Editor's note: ll. 15-16 _See Introduction_ p. xli]

[Footnote 53: broken.]

[Footnote 54: elegantly.]

[Footnote 55: declared, expressed.]

[Footnote 56: a pen, used metaphorically, as a muse or genius.]

[Footnote 57: boundless.]

[Footnote 58: subject.]

[Footnote 59: nervous, worthy of praise.]


Somme cherisounce[60] it ys to gentle mynde,
Whan heie have chevyced[61] theyre londe from bayne[62],
Whan theie ar dedd, theie leave yer name behynde,
And theyre goode deedes doe on the earthe remayne;
Downe yn the grave wee ynhyme[63] everych steyne, 5
Whylest al her gentlenesse ys made to sheene,
Lyche fetyve baubels[64] geasonne[65] to be seene.

AELLA, the wardenne of thys[66] castell[67] stede,
Whylest Saxons dyd the Englysche sceptre swaie,
Who made whole troopes of Dacyan men to blede, 10
Then seel'd[68] hys eyne, and seeled hys eyne for aie,
Wee rowze hym uppe before the judgment daie,
To saie what he, as clergyond[69], can kenne,
And howe hee sojourned in the vale of men.

[Footnote 60: comfort.]

[Footnote 61: preserved.]

[Footnote 62: ruin.]

[Footnote 63: inter.]

[Footnote 64: jewels.]

[Footnote 65: rare.]

[Footnote 66: Bristol.]

[Footnote 67: castle.]

[Footnote 68: closed.]

[Footnote 69: taught.]



Before yonne roddie sonne has droove hys wayne
Throwe halfe hys joornie, dyghte yn gites[1] of goulde,
Mee, happeless mee, hee wylle a wretche behoulde,
Mieselfe, and al that's myne, bounde ynne myschaunces chayne.

Ah! Birtha, whie dydde Nature frame thee fayre? 5
Whie art thou all thatt poyntelle[2] canne bewreene[3]?
Whie art thou nott as coarse as odhers are?--
Botte thenn thie soughle woulde throwe thy vysage sheene,
Yatt shemres onn thie comelie semlykeene[4],
Lyche nottebrowne cloudes, whann bie the sonne made redde, 10
Orr scarlette, wythe waylde lynnen clothe ywreene[5],
Syke[6] woulde thie spryte upponn thie vysage spredde.
Thys daie brave AElla dothe thyne honde & harte
Clayme as hys owne to be, whyche nee fromm hys moste parte.

And cann I lyve to see herr wythe anere[7]! 15
Ytt cannotte, muste notte, naie, ytt shalle not bee.
Thys nyghte I'll putte stronge poysonn ynn the beere,
And hymm, herr, and myselfe, attenes[8] wyll slea.
Assyst mee, Helle! lett Devylles rounde mee tende,
To slea mieselfe, mie love, & eke mie doughtie[9] friende. 20



Notte, whanne the hallie prieste dyd make me knyghte,
Blessynge the weaponne, tellynge future dede,
Howe bie mie honde the prevyd[10] Dane shoulde blede,
Howe I schulde often bee, and often wynne, ynn fyghte;

Notte, whann I fyrste behelde thie beauteous hue, 25
Whyche strooke mie mynde, & rouzed mie softer soule;
Nott, whann from the barbed horse yn fyghte dyd viewe
The flying Dacians oere the wyde playne roule,
Whan all the troopes of Denmarque made grete dole,
Dydd I fele joie wyth syke reddoure[11] as nowe, 30
Whann hallie preest, the lechemanne of the soule,
Dydd knytte us both ynn a caytysnede[12] vowe:
Now hallie AElla's selynesse ys grate;
Shap[13] haveth nowe ymade hys woes for to emmate[14].


Mie lorde, & husbande, syke a joie ys myne; 35
Botte mayden modestie moste ne soe saie,
Albeytte thou mayest rede ytt ynn myne eyne,
Or ynn myne harte, where thou shalte be for aie;
Inne sothe, I have botte meeded oute thie faie[15];
For twelve tymes twelve the mone hathe bin yblente[16], 40
As manie tymes hathe vyed the Godde of daie,
And on the grasse her lemes[17] of sylverr sente,
Sythe thou dydst cheese mee for thie swote to bee,
Enactynge ynn the same moste faiefullie to mee.

Ofte have I seene thee atte the none-daie feaste, 45
Whanne deysde bie thieselfe, for wante of pheeres[18],
Awhylst thie merryemen dydde laughe and jeaste,
Onn mee thou semest all eyne, to mee all eares.
Thou wardest mee as gyff ynn hondred feeres,
Alest a daygnous[19] looke to thee be sente, 50
And offrendes[20] made mee, moe thann yie compheeres,
Offe scarpes[21] of scarlette, & fyne paramente[22];
All thie yntente to please was lyssed[23] to mee,
I saie ytt, I moste streve thatt you ameded bee.


Mie lyttel kyndnesses whyche I dydd doe, 55
Thie gentleness doth corven them soe grete,
Lyche bawsyn[24] olyphauntes[25] mie gnattes doe shewe;
Thou doest mie thoughtes of paying love amate[26].
Botte hann mie actyonns straughte[27] the rolle of fate,
Pyghte thee fromm Hell, or broughte Heaven down to thee, 60
Layde the whol worlde a falldstole atte thie feete,
On smyle woulde be suffycyll mede for mee.
I amm Loves borro'r, & canne never paie,
Bott be hys borrower stylle, & thyne, mie swete, for aie.


Love, doe notte rate your achevmentes[28] soe smalle; 65
As I to you, syke love untoe mee beare;
For nothynge paste wille Birtha ever call,
Ne on a foode from Heaven thynke to cheere.
As farr as thys frayle brutylle flesch wylle spere,
Syke, & ne fardher I expecte of you; 70
Be notte toe slacke yn love, ne overdeare;
A smalle fyre, yan a loude flame, proves more true.


Thie gentle wordis doe thie volunde[29] kenne
To bee moe clergionde thann ys ynn meyncte of menne.



Alle blessynges showre on gentle AElla's hedde! 75
Oft maie the moone, yn sylverr sheenynge lyghte,
Inne varied chaunges varyed blessynges shedde,
Besprengeynge far abrode mischaunces nyghte;
And thou, fayre Birtha! thou, fayre Dame, so bryghte,
Long mayest thou wyth AElla fynde muche peace, 80
Wythe selynesse, as wyth a roabe, be dyghte,
Wyth everych chaungynge mone new joies encrease!
I, as a token of mie love to speake,
Have brought you jubbes of ale, at nyghte youre brayne to breake.


Whan sopperes paste we'lle drenche youre ale soe stronge, 85
Tyde lyfe, tyde death.


Ye Mynstrelles, chaunt your songe.

_Mynstrelles Songe, bie a Manne and Womanne._


Tourne thee to thie Shepsterr[30] swayne;
Bryghte sonne has ne droncke the dewe
From the floures of yellowe hue;
Tourne thee, Alyce, backe agayne. 90


No, bestoikerre[31], I wylle goe,
Softlie tryppynge o'ere the mees[32],
Lyche the sylver-footed doe,
Seekeynge shelterr yn grene trees.


See the moss-growne daisey'd banke, 95
Pereynge ynne the streme belowe;
Here we'lle sytte, yn dewie danke;
Tourne thee, Alyce, do notte goe.


I've hearde erste mie grandame saie,
Yonge damoyselles schulde ne bee, 100
Inne the swotie moonthe of Maie,
Wythe yonge menne bie the grene wode tree.


Sytte thee, Alyce, sytte, and harke,
Howe the ouzle[33] chauntes hys noate,
The chelandree[34], greie morn larke, 105
Chauntynge from theyre lyttel throate;


I heare them from eche grene wode tree,
Chauntynge owte so blatauntlie[35],
Tellynge lecturnyes[36] to mee,
Myscheefe ys whanne you are nygh. 110


See alonge the mees so grene
Pied daisies, kynge-coppes swote;
Alle wee see, bie non bee scene,
Nete botte shepe settes here a fote.


Shepster swayne, you tare mie gratche[37]. 115
Oute uponne ye! lette me goe.
Leave mee swythe, or I'lle alatche.
Robynne, thys youre dame shall knowe.


See! the crokynge brionie
Rounde the popler twyste hys spraie; 120
Rounde the oake the greene ivie
Florryschethe and lyveth aie.

Lette us seate us bie thys tree,
Laughe, and synge to lovynge ayres;
Comme, and doe notte coyen bee; 125
Nature made all thynges bie payres.
Drooried cattes wylle after kynde;
Gentle doves wylle kyss and coe.


Botte manne, hee moste bee ywrynde,
Tylle syr preeste make on of two. 130

Tempte mee ne to the foule thynge;
I wylle no mannes lemanne be;
Tyll syr preeste hys songe doethe synge,
Thou shalt neere fynde aught of mee.


Bie oure ladie her yborne, 135
To-morrowe, soone as ytte ys daie,
I'lle make thee wyfe, ne bee forsworne,
So tyde me lyfe or dethe for aie.


Whatt dothe lette, botte thatte nowe
Wee attenes[38], thos honde yn honde, 140
Unto divinistre[39] goe,
And bee lyncked yn wedlocke bonde?


I agree, and thus I plyghte
Honde, and harte, and all that's myne;
Goode syr Rogerr, do us ryghte, 145
Make us one, at Cothbertes shryne.


We wylle ynn a bordelle[40] lyve,
Hailie, thoughe of no estate;
Everyche clocke moe love shall gyve;
Wee ynne godenesse wylle bee greate. 150


I lyche thys songe, I lyche ytt myckle well;
And there ys monie for yer syngeynge nowe;
Butte have you noone thatt marriage-blessynges telle?


In marriage, blessynges are botte fewe, I trowe.


Laverde[41], wee have; and, gyff you please, wille synge, 155
As well as owre choughe-voyces wylle permytte.


Comme then, and see you swotelie tune the strynge,
And stret[42], and engyne all the human wytte,
Toe please mie dame.


We'lle strayne owre wytte and synge.

_Mynstrelles Songe._


The boddynge flourettes bloshes atte the lyghte; 160
The mees be sprenged wyth the yellowe hue;
Ynn daiseyd mantels ys the mountayne dyghte;
The nesh[43] yonge coweslepe bendethe wyth the dewe;
The trees enlefed, yntoe Heavenne straughte.
Whenn gentle wyndes doe blowe, to whestlyng dynne ys broughte. 165

The evenynge commes, and brynges the dewe alonge;
The roddie welkynne sheeneth to the eyne;
Arounde the alestake Mynstrells synge the songe;
Yonge ivie rounde the doore poste do entwyne;
I laie mee onn the grasse; yette, to mie wylle, 170
Albeytte alle ys fayre, there lackethe somethynge stylle.


So Adam thoughtenne, whann, ynn Paradyse,
All Heavenn and Erthe dyd hommage to hys mynde;
Ynn Womman alleyne mannes pleasaunce lyes;
As Instrumentes of joie were made the kynde. 175
Go, take a wyfe untoe thie armes, and see
Wynter, and brownie hylles, wyll have a charme for thee.


Whanne Autumpne blake[44] and sonne-brente doe appere,
With hys goulde honde guylteynge the falleynge lefe,
Bryngeynge oppe Wynterr to folfylle the yere, 180
Beerynge uponne hys backe the riped shefe;
Whan al the hyls wythe woddie sede ys whyte;
Whanne levynne-fyres and lemes do mete from far the syghte;

Whann the fayre apple, rudde as even skie,
Do bende the tree unto the fructyle grounde; 185
When joicie peres, and berries of blacke die,
Doe daunce yn ayre, and call the eyne arounde;
Thann, bee the even foule, or even fayre,
Meethynckes mie hartys joie ys steynced wyth somme care.


Angelles bee wrogte to bee of neidher kynde; 190
Angelles alleyne fromme chafe[45] desyre bee free;
Dheere ys a somwhatte evere yn the mynde,
Yatte, wythout wommanne, cannot stylled bee;
Ne seyncte yn celles, botte, havynge blodde and tere[46],
Do fynde the spryte to joie on syghte of womanne fayre: 195

Wommen bee made, notte for hemselves, botte manne,
Bone of hys bone, and chyld of hys desire;
Fromme an ynutyle membere fyrste beganne,
Ywroghte with moche of water, lyttele fyre;
Therefore theie seke the fyre of love, to hete 200
The milkyness of kynde, and make hemselfes complete.

Albeytte, wythout wommen, menne were pheeres
To salvage kynde, and wulde botte lyve to flea,
Botte wommenne efte the spryghte of peace so cheres,
Tochelod yn Angel joie heie Angeles bee; 205
Go, take thee swythyn[47] to thie bedde a wyfe,
Bee bante or blessed hie, yn proovynge marryage lyfe.

_Anodher Mynstrelles Songe_, bie Syr _Thybbot Gorges_.

As Elynour bie the green lesselle was syttynge,
As from the sones hete she harried,
She sayde, as herr whytte hondes whyte hosen was knyttynge, 210
Whatte pleasure ytt ys to be married!

Mie husbande, Lorde Thomas, a forrester boulde,
As ever clove pynne, or the baskette,
Does no cherysauncys from Elynour houlde,
I have ytte as soone as I aske ytte. 215

Whann I lyved wyth mie fadre yn merrie Clowd-dell.
Tho' twas at my liefe to mynde spynnynge,
I stylle wanted somethynge, botte whatte ne coulde telle,
Mie lorde fadres barbde haulle han ne wynnynge.
Eche mornynge I ryse, doe I sette mie maydennes, 220
Somme to spynn, somme to curdell, somme bleachynge,
Gyff any new entered doe aske for mie aidens,
Thann swythynne you fynde mee a teachynge.

Lorde Walterre, mie fadre, he loved me welle,
And nothynge unto mee was nedeynge, 225
Botte schulde I agen goe to merrie Cloud-dell,
In sothen twoulde bee wythoute redeynge.

Shee sayde, and lorde Thomas came over the lea,
As hee the fatte derkynnes was chacynge,
Shee putte uppe her knyttynge, and to hym wente shee; 230
So wee leave hem bothe kyndelie embracynge.


I lyche eke thys; goe ynn untoe the feaste;
Wee wylle permytte you antecedente bee;
There swotelie synge eche carolle, and yaped[48] jeaste;
And there ys monnie, that you merrie bee; 235
Comme, gentle love, wee wylle toe spouse-feaste goe,
And there ynn ale and wyne bee dreyncted[49] everych woe.



AElla, the Danes ar thondrynge onn our coaste;
Lyche scolles of locusts, caste oppe bie the sea,
Magnus and Hurra, wythe a doughtie hoaste, 240
Are ragyng, to be quansed[50] bie none botte thee;
Haste, swyfte as Levynne to these royners flee:
Thie dogges alleyne can tame thys ragynge bulle.
Haste swythyn, fore anieghe the towne theie bee,
And Wedecesterres rolle of dome bee fulle. 245
Haste, haste, O AElla, to the byker flie,
For yn a momentes space tenne thousand menne maie die.


Beshrew thee for thie newes! I moste be gon.
Was ever lockless dome so hard as myne!
Thos from dysportysmente to warr to ron, 250
To chaunge the selke veste for the gaberdyne!


O! lyche a nedere, lette me rounde thee twyne,
And hylte thie boddie from the schaftes of warre.
Thou shalte nott, must not, from thie Birtha ryne,
Botte kenn the dynne of slughornes from afarre. 255


O love, was thys thie joie, to shewe the treate,
Than groffyshe to forbydde thie hongered guestes to eate?

O mie upswalynge[51] harte, whatt wordes can saie
The peynes, thatte passethe ynn mie soule ybrente?
Thos to bee torne uponne mie spousalle daie, 260
O! 'tys a peyne beyond entendemente.
Yee mychtie Goddes, and is yor favoures sente
As thous faste dented to a loade of peyne?
Moste wee aie holde yn chace the shade content.
And for a bodykyn[52] a swarthe obteyne? 265
O! whie, yee seynctes, oppress yee thos mie fowle?
How shalle I speke mie woe, mie freme, mie dreerie dole?


Sometyme the wyseste lacketh pore mans rede.
Reasonne and counynge wytte efte flees awaie.
Thanne, loverde, lett me saie, wyth hommaged drede
(Bieneth your fote ylayn) mie counselle saie; 271
Gyff thos wee lett the matter lethlen[53] laie,
The foemenn, everych honde-poyncte, getteth fote.
Mie loverde, lett the speere-menne, dyghte for fraie,
And all the sabbataners goe aboute. 275
I speke, mie loverde, alleyne to upryse
Youre wytte from marvelle, and the warriour to alyse.


Ah! nowe thou pottest takells[54] yn mie harte;
Mie soulghe dothe nowe begynne to see herselle;
I wylle upryse mie myghte, and doe mie parte, 280
To flea the foemenne yn mie furie felle.
Botte howe canne tynge mie rampynge fourie telle.
Whyche ryseth from mie love to Birtha fayre?
Ne coulde the queede, and alle the myghte of Helle,
Founde out impleasaunce of syke blacke a geare. 285
Yette I wylle bee mieselfe, and rouze mie spryte
To acte wythe rennome, and goe meet the bloddie fyghte.


No, thou schalte never leave thie Birtha's syde;
Ne schall the wynde uponne us blowe alleyne;
I, lyche a nedre, wylle untoe thee byde; 290
Tyde lyfe, tyde deathe, ytte shall behoulde us twayne.
I have mie parte of drierie dole and peyne;
Itte brasteth from mee atte the holtred eyne;
Ynne tydes of teares mie swarthynge spryte wyll drayne,
Gyff drerie dole ys thyne, tys twa tymes myne. 295
Goe notte, AElla; wythe thie Birtha staie;
For wyth thie femmlykeed mie spryte wyll goe awaie.


O! tys for thee, for thee alleyne I fele;
Yett I muste bee mieselfe; with valoures gear
I'lle dyghte mie hearte, and notte mie lymbes yn stele, 300
And shake the bloddie swerde and steyned spere.


Can AElla from hys breaste hys Birtha teare?
Is shee so rou and ugsomme[55] to hys fyghte?
Entrykeynge wyght! ys leathall warre so deare?
Thou pryzest mee belowe the joies of fyghte. 305
Thou scalte notte leave mee, albeytte the erthe
Hong pendaunte bie thie swerde, and craved for thy morthe.


Dyddest thou kenne howe mie woes, as starres ybrente,
Headed bie these thie wordes doe onn mee falle,
Thou woulde stryve to gyve mie harte contente, 310
Wakyng mie slepynge mynde to honnoures calle.
Of selynesse I pryze thee moe yan all
Heaven can mee sende, or counynge wytt acquyre,
Yette I wylle leave thee, onne the foe to falle,
Retournynge to thie eyne with double fyre. 315


Moste Birtha boon requeste and bee denyd?
Receyve attenes a darte yn selynesse and pryde?
Doe staie, att leaste tylle morrowes sonne apperes.


Thou kenneste welle the Dacyannes myttee powere;
Wythe them a mynnute wurchethe bane for yeares; 320
Theie undoe reaulmes wythyn a syngle hower.
Rouze all thie honnoure, Birtha; look attoure
Thie bledeynge countrie, whych for hastie dede
Calls, for the rodeynge of some doughtie power,
To royn yttes royners, make yttes foemenne blede. 325


Rouze all thie love; false and entrykyng wyghte!
Ne leave thie Birtha thos uponne pretence of fyghte.

Thou nedest notte goe, untyll thou haste command
Under the sygnette of oure lorde the kynge.


And wouldest thou make me then a recreande? 330
Hollie Seyncte Marie, keepe mee from the thynge!
Heere, Birtha, thou hast potte a double stynge,
One for thie love, anodher for thie mynde.


Agylted[56] AElla, thie abredynge[57] blynge[58].
Twas love of thee thatte foule intente ywrynde. 335
Yette heare mie supplycate, to mee attende,
Hear from mie groted[59] harte the lover and the friende.
Lett Celmonde yn thie armour-brace be dyghte;
And yn thie stead unto the battle goe;
Thie name alleyne wylle putte the Danes to flyghte, 340
The ayre thatt beares ytt woulde presse downe the foe.


Birtha, yn vayne thou wouldste mee recreand doe;
I moste, I wylle, fyghte for mie countries wele,
And leave thee for ytt. Celmonde, sweftlie goe,
Telle mie Brystowans to bedyghte yn stele; 345
Tell hem I scorne to kenne hem from afar,
Botte leave the vyrgyn brydall bedde for bedde of warre.



And thou wylt goe; O mie agroted harte!


Mie countrie waites mie marche; I muste awaie;
Albeytte I schulde goe to mete the darte 350
Of certen Dethe, yette here I woulde notte staie.
Botte thos to leave thee, Birtha, dothe asswaie
Moe torturynge peynes yanne canne be sedde bie tyngue,
Yette rouze thie honoure uppe, and wayte the daie,
Whan rounde aboute mee songe of warre heie synge. 355
O Birtha, strev mie agreeme[60] to accaie[61],
And joyous see mie armes, dyghte oute ynn warre arraie.


Difficile[62] ys the pennaunce, yette I'lle strev
To keepe mie woe behyltren yn mie breaste.
Albeytte nete maye to mee pleasaunce yev, 360
Lyche thee, I'lle strev to sette mie mynde atte reste.
Yett oh! forgeve, yff I have thee dystreste;
Love, doughtie love, wylle beare no odher swaie.
Juste as I was wythe AElla to be bleste,
Shappe foullie thos hathe snatched hym awaie. 365
It was a tene too doughtie to bee borne,
Wydhoute an ounde of teares and breaste wyth syghes ytorne.


Thie mynde ys now thieselfe; why wylte thou bee
All blanche, al kyngelie, all soe wyse yn mynde,
Alleyne to lett pore wretched AElla see, 370
Whatte wondrous bighes[63] he nowe muste leave behynde?
O Birtha fayre, warde everyche commynge wynde,
On everych wynde I wylle a token sende;
Onn mie longe shielde ycorne thie name thoul't fynde.
Butte here commes Celmonde, wordhie knyghte and friende. 375



Thie Brystowe knyghtes for thie forth-comynge lynge[64];
Echone athwarte hys backe hys longe warre-shield dothe slynge.


Birtha, adieu; but yette I cannotte goe.


Lyfe of mie spryte, mie gentle AElla staie. 380
Engyne mee notte wyth syke a drierie woe.


I muste, I wylle; tys honnoure cals awaie.


O mie agroted harte, braste, braste ynn twaie.
AElla, for honnoure, flyes awaie from mee.


Birtha, adieu; I maie notte here obaie. 385
I'm flyynge from mieselfe yn flying thee.


O AElla, housband, friend, and loverde, staie.
He's gon, he's gone, alass! percase he's gone for aie.


Hope, hallie suster, sweepeynge thro' the skie,
In crowne of goulde, and robe of lillie whyte, 390
Whyche farre abrode ynne gentle ayre doe flie,
Meetynge from dystaunce the enjoyous fyghte,
Albeytte efte thou takest thie hie flyghte
Hecket[65] ynne a myste, and wyth thyne eyne yblente,
Nowe commest thou to mee wythe starrie lyghte; 395
Ontoe thie veste the rodde sonne ys adente[66];
The Sommer tyde, the month of Maie appere,
Depycte wythe skylledd honde upponn thie wyde aumere.

I from a nete of hopelen am adawed,
Awhaped[67] atte the fetyveness of daie; 400
AElla, bie nete moe thann hys myndbruche awed,
Is gone, and I moste followe, toe the fraie.
Celmonde canne ne'er from anie byker staie.
Dothe warre begynne? there's Celmonde yn the place.
Botte whanne the warre ys donne, I'll haste awaie.
The reste from nethe tymes masque must shew yttes face. 405
I see onnombered joies arounde mee ryse;
Blake[68] stondethe future doome, and joie dothe mee alyse.

O honnoure, honnoure, whatt ys bie thee hanne?
Hailie the robber and the bordelyer, 410
Who kens ne thee, or ys to thee bestanne,
And nothynge does thie myckle gastness fere.
Faygne woulde I from mie bosomme alle thee tare.
Thou there dysperpellest[69] thie levynne-bronde;
Whylest mie soulgh's forwyned, thou art the gare; 415
Sleene ys mie comforte bie thie ferie honde;
As somme talle hylle, whann wynds doe shake the ground,
Itte kerveth all abroade, bie brasteynge hyltren wounde.

Honnoure, whatt bee ytte? tys a shadowes shade,
A thynge of wychencref, an idle dreme; 420
On of the fonnis whych the clerche have made
Menne wydhoute sprytes, and wommen for to fleme;
Knyghtes, who efte kenne the loude dynne of the beme,
Schulde be forgarde to syke enfeeblynge waies,
Make everych acte, alyche theyr soules, be breme, 425
And for theyre chyvalrie alleyne have prayse.
O thou, whatteer thie name,
Or Zabalus or Queed,
Comme, steel mie sable spryte,
For fremde[70] and dolefulle dede. 430

MAGNUS, HURRA, _and_ HIE PREESTE, _wyth the_ ARMIE, _neare_ Watchette.


Swythe[71] lette the offrendes[72] to the Goddes begynne.
To knowe of hem the issue of the fyghte.
Potte the blodde-steyned sword and pavyes ynne;
Spreade swythyn all arounde the hallie lyghte.

HIE PREESTE _syngeth_.

Yee, who hie yn mokie ayre 435
Delethe seasonnes foule or fayre,
Yee, who, whanne yee weere agguylte,
The mone yn bloddie gyttelles[73] hylte,
Mooved the starres, and dyd unbynde
Everyche barriere to the wynde; 440
Whanne the oundynge waves dystreste,
Stroven to be overest,
Sockeynge yn the spyre-gyrte towne,
Swolterynge wole natyones downe,
Sendynge dethe, on plagues astrodde, 445
Moovynge lyke the erthys Godde;
To mee send your heste dyvyne,
Lyghte eletten[74] all myne eyne,
Thatt I maie now undevyse
All the actyonnes of th'empprize. 450
[_falleth downe and efte rysethe._
Thus sayethe the Goddes; goe, yssue to the playne;
Forr there shall meynte of mytte menne bee slayne.


Whie, foe there evere was, whanne Magnus foughte.
Efte have I treynted noyance throughe the hoaste,
Athorowe swerdes, alyche the Queed dystraughte, 455
Have Magnus pressynge wroghte hys foemen loaste.
As whanne a tempeste vexethe soare the coaste,
The dyngeynge ounde the sandeie stronde doe tare,
So dyd I inne the warre the javlynne toste,
Full meynte a champyonnes breaste received mie spear. 460
Mie sheelde, lyche sommere morie gronfer droke,
Mie lethalle speere, alyche a levyn-mylted oke.


Thie wordes are greate, full hyghe of sound, and eeke
Lyche thonderre, to the whych dothe comme no rayne.
Itte lacketh notte a doughtie honde to speke; 465
The cocke saiethe drefte[75], yett armed ys he alleyne.
Certis thie wordes maie, thou motest have sayne
Of mee, and meynte of moe, who eke canne fyghte,
Who haveth trodden downe the adventayle,
And tore the heaulmes from heades of myckle myghte. 470
Sythence syke myghte ys placed yn thie honde,
Lette blowes thie actyons speeke, and bie thie corrage stonde.


Thou are a warrioure, Hurra, thatte I kenne,
And myckle famed for thie handie dede.
Thou fyghtest anente[76] maydens and ne menne, 475
Nor aie thou makest armed hartes to blede.
Efte I, caparyson'd on bloddie stede,
Havethe thee seene binethe mee ynn the fyghte,
Wythe corses I investynge everich mede,
And thou aston, and wondrynge at mie myghte. 480
Thanne wouldest thou comme yn for mie renome,
Albeytte thou wouldst reyne awaie from bloddie dome?


How! butte bee bourne mie rage. I kenne aryghte
Bothe thee and thyne maie ne bee wordhye peene.
Eftsoones I hope wee scalle engage yn fyghte; 485
Thanne to the souldyers all thou wylte bewreene.
I'll prove mie courage onne the burled greene;
Tys there alleyne I'll telle thee whatte I bee.
Gyf I weelde notte the deadlie sphere adeene,
Thanne lett mie name be fulle as lowe as thee. 490
Thys mie adented shielde, thys mie warre-speare,
Schalle telle the falleynge foe gyf Hurra's harte can feare.


Magnus woulde speke, butte thatte hys noble spryte
Dothe soe enrage, he knowes notte whatte to saie.
He'dde speke yn blowes, yn gottes of blodde he'd wryte, 495
And on thie heafod peyncte hys myghte for aie.
Gyf thou anent an wolfynnes rage wouldest staie,
'Tys here to meet ytt; botte gyff nott, bee goe;
Lest I in furrie shulde mie armes dysplaie,
Whyche to thie boddie wylle wurche[77] myckle woe. 500
Oh! I bee madde, dystraughte wyth brendyng rage;
Ne seas of smethynge gore wylle mie chafed harte asswage.


I kenne thee, Magnus, welle; a wyghte thou art
That doest aslee alonge ynn doled dystresse,
Strynge bulle yn boddie, lyoncelle yn harte, 505
I almost wysche thie prowes were made lesse.
Whan AElla (name drest uppe yn ugsomness[78]
To thee and recreandes[79]) thondered on the playne,
Howe dydste thou thorowe fyrste of fleers presse!
Swefter thanne federed takelle dydste thou reyne. 510
A ronnynge pryze onn seyncte daie to ordayne,
Magnus, and none botte hee, the ronnynge pryze wylle gayne.


Eternalle plagues devour thie baned tyngue!
Myrriades of neders pre upponne thie spryte!
Maiest thou fele al the peynes of age whylst yynge, 515
Unmanned, uneyned, exclooded aie the lyghte,
Thie senses, lyche thieselfe, enwrapped yn nyghte,
A scoff to foemen & to beastes a pheere;
Maie furched levynne onne thie head alyghte,
Maie on thee falle the fhuyr of the unweere; 520
Fen vaipoures blaste thie everiche manlie powere,
Maie thie bante boddie quycke the wolfome peenes devoure.

Faygne woulde I curse thee further, botte mie tyngue
Denies mie harte the favoure soe toe doe.


Nowe bie the Dacyanne goddes, & Welkyns kynge, 525
Wythe fhurie, as thou dydste begynne, persue;
Calle on mie heade all tortures that bee rou,
Bane onne, tylle thie owne tongue thie curses fele.
Sende onne mie heade the blyghteynge levynne blewe,
The thonder loude, the swellynge azure rele[80]. 530
Thie wordes be hie of dynne, botte nete besyde;
Bane on, good chieftayn, fyghte wythe wordes of myckle pryde.

Botte doe notte waste thie breath, lest AElla come.


AElla & thee togyder synke toe helle!
Bee youre names blasted from the rolle of dome! 535
I feere noe AElla, thatte thou kennest welle.
Unlydgefulle traytoure, wylt thou nowe rebelle?
'Tys knowen, thatte yie menn bee lyncked to myne,
Bothe sente, as troopes of wolves, to sletre felle;
Botte nowe thou lackest hem to be all yyne. 540
Nowe, bie the goddes yatte reule the Dacyanne state,
Speacke thou yn rage once moe, I wyll thee dysregate.


I pryze thie threattes joste as I doe thie banes,
The sede of malyce and recendize al.
Thou arte a steyne unto the name of Danes; 545
Thou alleyne to thie tyngue for proofe canst calle.
Thou beest a worme so groffile and so smal,
I wythe thie bloude woulde scorne to foul mie sworde,
Botte wythe thie weaponnes woulde upon thee falle,
Alyche thie owne feare, slea thee wythe a worde. 550
I Hurra amme miesel, & aie wylle bee,
As greate yn valourous actes, & yn commande as thee.



Blynne your contekions[81], chiefs; for, as I stode
Uponne mie watche, I spiede an armie commynge,
Notte lyche ann handfulle of a fremded[82] foe, 555
Botte blacke wythe armoure, movynge ugsomlie,
Lyche a blacke fulle cloude, thatte dothe goe alonge
To droppe yn hayle, & hele the thonder storme.


Ar there meynte of them?


Thycke as the ante-flyes ynne a sommer's none, 560
Seemynge as tho' theie stynge as persante too.


Whatte matters thatte? lettes sette oure warr-arraie.
Goe, sounde the beme, lette champyons prepare;
Ne doubtynge, we wylle stynghe as faste as heie.
Whatte? doest forgard[83] thie blodde? ys ytte for feare? 565
Wouldest thou gayne the towne, & castle-stere,
And yette ne byker wythe the soldyer guarde?
Go, hyde thee ynn mie tente annethe the lere;
I of thie boddie wylle keepe watche & warde.


Oure goddes of Denmarke know mie harte ys goode. 570


For nete uppon the erthe, botte to be choughens foode.



As from mie towre I kende the commynge foe,
I spied the crossed shielde, & bloddie swerde,
The furyous AElla's banner; wythynne kenne
The armie ys. Dysorder throughe oure hoaste 575
Is fleynge, borne onne wynges of AElla's name;
Styr, styr, mie lordes!


What? AElla? & soe neare?
Thenne Denmarques roiend; oh mie rysynge feare!


What doeste thou mene? thys AElla's botte a manne.
Nowe bie mie sworde, thou arte a verie berne[84]. 580
Of late I dyd thie creand valoure scanne,
Whanne thou dydst boaste soe moche of actyon derne.
Botte I toe warr mie doeynges moste atturne,
To cheere the Sabbataneres to deere dede.


I to the knyghtes onne everyche syde wylle burne, 585
Telleynge 'hem alle to make her foemen blede;
Sythe shame or deathe onne eidher syde wylle bee,
Mie harte I wylle upryse, & inne the battelle slea.



Now havynge done oure mattynes & oure vowes,
Lette us for the intended fyghte be boune, 590
And everyche champyone potte the joyous crowne
Of certane mastershhyppe upon hys glestreynge browes.

As for mie harte, I owne ytt ys, as ere
Itte has beene ynne the sommer-sheene of fate,
Unknowen to the ugsomme gratche of fere; 595
Mie blodde embollen, wythe masterie elate,
Boyles ynne mie veynes, & rolles ynn rapyd state,
Impatyente forr to mete the persante stele,
And telle the worlde, thatte AElla dyed as greate
As anie knyghte who foughte for Englondes weale. 600
Friends, kynne, & soldyerres, ynne blacke armore drere,
Mie actyons ymytate, mie presente redynge here.

There ys ne house, athrow thys shap-scurged[85] isle,
Thatte has ne loste a kynne yn these fell fyghtes,
Fatte blodde has sorfeeted the hongerde soyle, 605
And townes enlowed[86] lemed[87] oppe the nyghtes.
Inne gyte of fyre oure hallie churche dheie dyghtes;
Oure sonnes lie storven[88] ynne theyre smethynge gore;
Oppe bie the rootes oure tree of lyfe dheie pyghtes,
Vexynge oure coaste, as byllowes doe the shore. 610
Yee menne, gyf ye are menne, displaie yor name,
Ybrende yer tropes, alyche the roarynge tempest flame.

Ye Chrystyans, doe as wordhie of the name;
These roynerres of oure hallie houses slea;
Braste, lyke a cloude, from whence doth come the flame, 615
Lyche torrentes, gushynge downe the mountaines, bee.
And whanne alonge the grene yer champyons flee,
Swefte as the rodde for-weltrynge[89] levyn-bronde,
Yatte hauntes the flyinge mortherer oere the lea,
Soe flie oponne these royners of the londe. 620
Lette those yatte are unto yer battayles fledde,
Take slepe eterne uponne a feerie lowynge bedde.

Let cowarde Londonne see herre towne onn fyre,
And strev wythe goulde to staie the royners honde,
AElla & Brystowe havethe thoughtes thattes hygher, 625
Wee fyghte notte forr ourselves, botte all the londe.
As Severnes hyger lyghethe banckes of sonde,
Pressynge ytte downe binethe the reynynge streme,
Wythe dreerie dynn enswolters[90] the hyghe stronde,
Beerynge the rockes alonge ynn fhurye breme, 630
Soe wylle wee beere the Dacyanne armie downe,
And throughe a storme of blodde wyll reache the champyon crowne.

Gyff ynn thys battelle locke ne wayte oure gare,
To Brystowe dheie wylle tourne yeyre fhuyrie dyre;
Brystowe, & alle her joies, wylle synke toe ayre, 635
Brendeynge perforce wythe unenhantende[91] fyre:
Thenne lette oure safetie doublie moove oure ire,
Lyche wolfyns, rovynge for the evnynge pre,
See[ing] the lambe & shepsterr nere the brire,
Doth th'one forr safetie, th'one for hongre slea; 640
Thanne, whanne the ravenne crokes uponne the playne,
Oh! lette ytte bee the knelle to myghtie Dacyanns slayne.

Lyche a rodde gronfer, shalle mie anlace sheene,
Lyche a strynge lyoncelle I'lle bee ynne fyghte,
Lyche fallynge leaves the Dacyannes shalle bee sleene, 645
Lyche [a] loud dynnynge streeme scalle be mie myghte.
Ye menne, who woulde deserve the name of knyghte,
Lette bloddie teares bie all your paves be wepte;
To commynge tymes no poyntelle shalle ywrite,
Whanne Englonde han her foemenn, Brystow slepte. 650
Yourselfes, youre chyldren, & youre fellowes crie,
Go, fyghte ynne rennomes gare, be brave, & wynne or die.

I saie ne moe; youre spryte the reste wylle saie;
Youre spryte wylle wrynne, thatte Brystow ys yer place;
To honoures house I nede notte marcke the waie; 655
Inne youre owne hartes you maie the foote-pathe trace.
'Twexte shappe & us there ys botte lyttelle space;
The tyme ys nowe to proove yourselves bee menne;
Drawe forthe the bornyshed bylle wythe fetyve grace,
Rouze, lyche a wolfynne rouzing from hys denne. 660
Thus I enrone mie anlace; goe thou shethe;
I'lle potte ytt ne ynn place, tyll ytte ys sycke wythe deathe.


Onn, AElla, onn; we longe for bloddie fraie;
Wee longe to here the raven synge yn vayne;
Onn, AElla, onn; we certys gayne the daie, 665
Whanne thou doste leade us to the leathal playne.


Thie speche, O Loverde, fyrethe the whole trayne;
Theie pancte for war, as honted wolves for breathe;
Go, & sytte crowned on corses of the slayne;
Go, & ywielde the massie swerde of deathe. 670


From thee, O AElla, alle oure courage reygnes;
Echone yn phantasie do lede the Danes ynne chaynes.


Mie countrymenne, mie friendes, your noble sprytes
Speke yn youre eyne, & doe yer master telle.
Swefte as the rayne-storme toe the erthe alyghtes, 675
Soe wylle we fall upon these royners felle.
Oure mowynge swerdes shalle plonge hem downe to helle;
Theyre throngynge corses shall onlyghte the starres;
The barrowes brastynge wythe the sleene schall swelle,
Brynnynge[92] to commynge tymes our famous warres; 680
Inne everie eyne I kenne the lowe of myghte,
Sheenynge abrode, alyche a hylle-fyre ynne the nyghte.

Whanne poyntelles of oure famous fyghte shall saie,
Echone wylle marvelle atte the dernie dede,
Echone wylle wyssen hee hanne seene the daie, 685
And bravelie holped to make the foemenn blede;
Botte for yer holpe oure battelle wylle notte nede;
Oure force ys force enowe to staie theyre honde;
Wee wylle retourne unto thys grened mede,
Oer corses of the foemen of the londe. 690
Nowe to the warre lette all the slughornes sounde,
The Dacyanne troopes appere on yinder rysynge grounde.

Chiefes, heade youre bandes, and leade.

DANES _flyinge, neare_ WATCHETTE.


Fly, fly, ye Danes; Magnus, the chiefe, ys sleene;
The Saxonnes comme wythe AElla atte theyre heade; 695
Lette's strev to gette awaie to yinder greene;
Flie, flie; thys ys the kyngdomme of the deadde.


O goddes! have thousandes bie mie anlace bledde,
And muste I nowe for safetie flie awaie?
See! farre besprenged alle oure troopes are spreade, 700
Yette I wylle synglie dare the bloddie fraie.
Botte ne; I'lle flie, & morther yn retrete;
Deathe, blodde, & fyre, scalle[93] marke the goeynge of my feete.


Enthoghteynge forr to scape the brondeynge foe,
As nere unto the byllowd beche I came, 705
Farr offe I spied a fyghte of myckle woe,
Oure spyrynge battayles wrapte ynn sayles of flame.
The burled Dacyannes, who were ynne the same,
Fro syde to syde fledde the pursuyte of deathe;
The swelleynge fyre yer corrage doe enflame, 710
Theie lepe ynto the sea, & bobblynge yield yer breathe;
Whylest those thatt bee uponne the bloddie playne,
Bee deathe-doomed captyves taene, or yn the battle slayne.


Nowe bie the goddes, Magnus, dyscourteous knyghte,
Bie cravente[94] havyoure havethe don oure woe, 715
Dyspendynge all the talle menne yn the fyghte,
And placeyng valourous menne where draffs mote goe.
Sythence oure fourtunie havethe tourned foe,
Gader the souldyers lefte to future shappe,
To somme newe place for safetie wee wylle goe, 720
Inne future daie wee wylle have better happe.
Sounde the loude flughorne for a quicke forloyne[95];
Lette alle the Dacyannes swythe untoe oure banner joyne.

Throw hamlettes wee wylle sprenge sadde dethe & dole,
Bathe yn hotte gore, & wasch oureselves thereynne; 725
Goddes! here the Saxonnes lyche a byllowe rolle.
I heere the anlacis detested dynne.
Awaie, awaie, ye Danes, to yonder penne;
Wee now wylle make forloyne yn tyme to fyghte agenne.


O forr a spryte al feere! to telle the daie, 730
The daie whyche scal astounde the herers rede,
Makeynge oure foemennes envyynge hartes to blede,
Ybereynge thro the worlde oure rennomde name for aie.

Bryghte sonne han ynne hys roddie robes byn dyghte,
From the rodde Easte he flytted wythe hys trayne, 735
The howers drewe awaie the geete of nyghte,
Her sable tapistrie was rente yn twayne.
The dauncynge streakes bedecked heavennes playne,
And on the dewe dyd smyle wythe shemrynge eie,
Lyche gottes of blodde whyche doe blacke armoure steyne, 740
Sheenynge upon the borne[96] whyche stondeth bie;
The souldyers stoode uponne the hillis syde,
Lyche yonge enlefed trees whyche yn a forreste byde.

AElla rose lyche the tree besette wyth brieres;
Hys talle speere sheenynge as the starres at nyghte, 745
Hys eyne ensemeynge as a lowe of fyre;
Whanne he encheered everie manne to fyghte,
Hys gentle wordes dyd moove eche valourous knyghte;
Itte moovethe 'hem, as honterres lyoncelle;
In trebled armoure ys theyre courage dyghte; 750
Eche warrynge harte forr prayse & rennome swelles;
Lyche flowelie dynnynge of the croucheynge streme,
Syche dyd the mormrynge sounde of the whol armie seme.

Hee ledes 'hem onne to fyghte; oh! thenne to saie
How AElla loked, and lokyng dyd encheere, 755
Moovynge alyche a mountayne yn affraie,
Whanne a lowde whyrlevynde doe yttes boesomme tare,
To telle howe everie loke wulde banyshe feere,
Woulde aske an angelles poyntelle or hys tyngue.
Lyche a talle rocke yatte ryseth heaven-were, 760
Lyche a yonge wolfynne brondeous & strynge,
Soe dydde he goe, & myghtie warriours hedde;
Wythe gore-depycted wynges masterie arounde hym fledde.

The battelle jyned; swerdes uponne swerdes dyd rynge;
AElla was chased, as lyonns madded bee; 765
Lyche fallynge starres, he dydde the javlynn flynge;
Hys mightie anlace mightie menne dyd slea;
Where he dydde comme, the flemed[97] foe dydde flee,
Or felle benethe hys honde, as fallynge rayne,
Wythe syke a fhuyrie he dydde onn 'hemm dree, 770
Hylles of yer bowkes dyd ryse opponne the playne;
AElla, thou arte--botte staie, mie tynge; saie nee;
Howe greate I hymme maye make, stylle greater hee wylle bee.

Nor dydde hys souldyerres see hys actes yn vayne.
Heere a stoute Dane uponne hys compheere felle; 775
Heere lorde & hyndlette sonke uponne the playne;
Heere sonne & fadre trembled ynto helle.
Chief Magnus sought hys waie, &, shame to telle!
Hee soughte hys waie for flyghte; botte AElla's speere
Uponne the flyynge Dacyannes schoulder felle. 780
Quyte throwe hys boddie, & hys harte ytte tare,
He groned, & sonke uponne the gorie greene,
And wythe hys corse encreased the pyles of Dacyannes sleene.

Spente wythe the fyghte, the Danyshe champyons stonde,
Lyche bulles, whose strengthe & wondrous myghte ys fledde; 785
AElla, a javelynne grypped yn eyther honde,
Flyes to the thronge, & doomes two Dacyannes deadde.
After hys acte, the armie all yspedde;
Fromm everich on unmyssynge javlynnes flewe;
Theie straughte yer doughtie swerdes; the foemenn bledde; 790
Fulle three of foure of myghtie Danes dheie slewe;
The Danes, wythe terroure rulynge att their head,
Threwe downe theyr bannere talle, & lyche a ravenne fledde.

The soldyerres followed wythe a myghtie crie,
Cryes, yatte welle myghte the stouteste hartes affraie. 795
Swefte, as yer shyppes, the vanquyshed Dacyannes flie;
Swefte, as the rayne uponne an Aprylle daie,
Pressynge behynde, the Englysche soldyerres slaie.
Botte halfe the tythes of Danyshe menne remayne;
AElla commaundes 'heie shoulde the sleetre staie, 800
Botte bynde 'hem prysonners on the bloddie playne.
The fyghtynge beynge done, I came awaie,
In odher fieldes to fyghte a moe unequalle fraie.
Mie servant squyre!



Prepare a fleing horse,
Whose feete are wynges, whose pace ys lycke the wynde, 805
Whoe wylle outestreppe the morneynge lyghte yn course,
Leaveynge the gyttelles of the merke behynde.
Somme hyltren matters doe mie presence fynde.
Gyv oute to alle yatte I was sleene ynne fyghte.
Gyff ynne thys gare thou doest mie order mynde, 810
Whanne I returne, thou shalte be made a knyghte;
Flie, flie, be gon; an howerre ys a daie;
Quycke dyghte mie beste of stedes, & brynge hymm heere--awaie!


AElla ys woundedd sore, & ynne the toune
He waytethe, tylle hys woundes bee broghte to ethe. 815
And shalle I from hys browes plocke off the croune,
Makynge the vyctore yn hys vyctorie blethe?
O no! fulle sooner schulde mie hartes blodde smethe,
Fulle soonere woulde I tortured bee toe deathe;
Botte--Birtha ys the pryze; ahe! ytte were ethe 820
To gayne so gayne a pryze wythe losse of breathe;
Botte thanne rennome aeterne[98]--ytte ys botte ayre;
Bredde ynne the phantasie, & alleyn lyvynge there.

Albeytte everyche thynge yn lyfe conspyre
To telle me of the faulte I nowe schulde doe, 825
Yette woulde I battentlie assuage mie fyre,
And the same menes, as I scall nowe, pursue.
The qualytyes I fro mie parentes drewe,
Were blodde, & morther, masterie, and warre;
Thie I wylle holde to now, & hede ne moe 830
A wounde yn rennome, yanne a boddie scarre.
Nowe, AElla, nowe Ime plantynge of a thorne,
Bie whyche thie peace, thie love, & glorie shalle be torne.




Gentle Egwina, do notte preche me joie;
I cannotte joie ynne anie thynge botte weere[99]. 835
Oh! yatte aughte schulde oure sellynesse destroie,
Floddynge the face wythe woe, & brynie teare!


You muste, you muste endeavour for to cheere
Youre harte unto somme cherisaunced reste.
Youre loverde from the battelle wylle appere. 840
Ynne honnoure, & a greater love, be dreste;
Botte I wylle call the mynstrelles roundelaie;
Perchaunce the swotie sounde maie chafe your wiere[99] awaie.



O! synge untoe mie roundelaie,
O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee, 845
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,
Lycke a reynynge[100] ryver bee;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree. 850

Blacke hys cryne[101] as the wyntere nyghte,
Whyte hys rode[102] as the sommer snowe,
Rodde hys face as the mornynge lyghte,
Cale he lyes ynne the grave belowe;
Mie love ys dedde, 855
Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Swote hys tyngue as the throstles note,
Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee,
Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote, 860
O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree:
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Alle underre the wyllowe tree.

Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge, 865
In the briered delle belowe;
Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
To the nyghte-mares as heie goe;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde, 870
Al under the wyllowe tree.

See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie;
Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude;
Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie,
Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude: 875
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Heere, uponne mie true loves grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde. 880
Nee one hallie Seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys death-bedde,
Alle under the wyllowe tree. 885

Wythe mie hondes I'lle dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre,
Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres,
Heere mie boddie stylle schalle bee.
Mie love ys dedde, 890
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Comme, wythe acorne-coppe & thorne,
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
Lyfe & all yttes goode I scorne, 895
Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes[103], 900
Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.
I die; I comme; mie true love waytes.
Thos the damselle spake, and dyed.


Thys syngeyng haveth whatte coulde make ytte please;
Butte mie uncourtlie shappe benymmes mee of all ease. 905


Curse onne mie tardie woundes! brynge mee a stede!
I wylle awaie to Birtha bie thys nyghte:
Albeytte fro mie woundes mie soul doe blede,
I wylle awaie, & die wythynne her syghte.
Brynge mee a stede, wythe eagle-wynges for flyghte; 910
Swefte as mie wyshe, &, as mie love ys, stronge.
The Danes have wroughte mee myckle woe ynne syghte,
Inne kepeynge mee from Birtha's armes so longe.
O! whatte a dome was myne, sythe masterie
Canne yeve ne pleasaunce, nor mie londes goode leme myne eie! 915

Yee goddes, howe ys a loverres temper formed!
Sometymes the samme thynge wylle bothe bane, & blesse;
On tyme encalede[104], yanne bie the same thynge warmd,
Estroughted foorthe, and yanne ybrogten less.
'Tys Birtha's loss whyche doe mie thoughtes possesse; 920
I wylle, I muste awaie: whie staies mie stede?
Mie huscarles, hyther haste; prepare a dresse,
Whyche couracyers[105] yn hastie journies nede.
O heavens! I moste awaie to Byrtha eyne,
For yn her lookes I fynde mie beynge doe entwyne. 925


The worlde ys darke wythe nyghte; the wyndes are stylle;
Fayntelie the mone her palyde lyghte makes gleme;
The upryste[106] sprytes the sylente letten[107] fylle,
Wythe ouphant faeryes joynyng ynne the dreme;
The forreste sheenethe wythe the sylver leme; 930
Nowe maie mie love be sated ynn yttes treate;
Uponne the lynche of somme swefte reynyng streme,
Att the swote banquette I wylle swotelie eate.
Thys ys the howse; yee hyndes, swythyn appere.



Go telle to Birtha strayte, a straungerr waytethe here. 935



Celmonde! yee seynctes! I hope thou haste goode newes.


The hope ys loste: for heavie newes prepare.


Is AElla welle?


Hee lyves; & stylle maie use
The behylte[108] blessynges of a future yeare.


Whatte heavie tydynge thenne have I to feare? 940
Of whatte mischaunce dydste thou so latelie saie?


For heavie tydynges swythyn nowe prepare.
AElla sore wounded ys, yn bykerous fraie;
In Wedecester's wallid toune he lyes.


O mie agroted breast!


Wythoute your syghte, he dyes. 945


Wylle Birtha's presence ethe herr AElla's payne?
I flie; newe wynges doe from mie schoulderrs sprynge.


Mie stede wydhoute wylle deftelie beere us twayne.


Oh! I wyll flie as wynde, & no waie lynge;
Sweftlie caparisons for rydynge brynge; 950
I have a mynde wynged wythe the levyn ploome.
O AElla, AElla! dydste thou kenne the stynge,
The whyche doeth canker ynne mie hartys roome,
Thou wouldste see playne thieselfe the gare to bee;
Aryse, uponne thie love, & flie to meeten mee. 955


The stede, on whyche I came, ys swefte as ayre;
Mie servytoures doe wayte mee nere the wode;
Swythynne wythe mee unto the place repayre;
To AElla I wylle gev you conducte goode.
Youre eyne, alyche a baulme, wylle staunche hys bloode, 960
Holpe oppe hys woundes, & yev hys harte alle cheere;
Uponne your eyne he holdes hys lyvelyhode[109];
You doe hys spryte, & alle hys pleasaunce bere.
Comme, lette's awaie, albeytte ytte ys moke,
Yette love wille bee a tore to tourne to feere nyghtes smoke. 965


Albeytte unwears dyd the welkynn rende,
Reyne, alyche fallynge ryvers, dyd ferse bee,
Erthe wythe the ayre enchased dyd contende,
Everychone breathe of wynde wythe plagues dyd flee,
Yette I to AElla's eyne eftsoones woulde flee; 970
Albeytte hawethornes dyd mie fleshe enseme,
Owlettes, wythe scrychynge, shakeynge everyche tree,
And water-neders wrygglynge yn eche streme,
Yette woulde I flie, ne under coverte staie,
Botte seke mie AElla owte; brave Celmonde, leade the waie. 975




Heere ynn yis forreste lette us watche for pree,
Bewreckeynge on oure foemenne oure ylle warre;
Whatteverre schalle be Englysch wee wylle slea,
Spreddynge our ugsomme rennome to afarre.
Ye Dacyanne menne, gyff Dacyanne menne yee are, 980
Lette nete botte blodde suffycyle for yee bee;
On everich breaste yn gorie letteres scarre,
Whatt sprytes you have, & howe those sprytes maie dree.
And gyf yee gette awaie to Denmarkes shore,
Eftesoones we will retourne, & vanquished bee ne moere. 985

The battelle loste, a battelle was yndede;
Note queedes hemselfes culde stonde so harde a fraie;
Oure verie armoure, & oure heaulmes dyd blede,
The Dacyannes, sprytes, lyche dewe drops, fledde awaie.
Ytte was an AElla dyd commaunde the daie; 990
Ynn spyte of foemanne, I moste saie hys myghte;
Botte wee ynn hynd-lettes blodde the loss wylle paie,
Brynnynge, thatte we knowe howe to wynne yn fyghte;
Wee wylle, lyke wylfes enloosed from chaynes, destroie;--
Oure armoures--wynter nyghte shotte oute the daie of joie. 995

Whene swefte-fote tyme doe rolle the daie alonge,
Somme hamlette scalle onto oure fhuyrie brende;
Brastynge alyche a rocke, or mountayne stronge,
The talle chyrche-spyre upon the grene shalle bende;
Wee wylle the walles, & auntyante tourrettes rende, 1000
Pete everych tree whych goldyn fruyte doe beere,
Downe to the goddes the ownerrs dhereof sende,
Besprengynge alle abrode sadde warre & bloddie weere.
Botte fyrste to yynder oke-tree wee wylle flie;
And thence wylle yssue owte onne all yatte commeth bie. 1005




Thys merkness doe affraie mie wommanns breaste.
Howe sable ys the spreddynge skie arrayde!
Hailie the bordeleire, who lyves to reste,
Ne ys att nyghtys flemynge hue dysmayde;
The starres doe scantillie[110] the sable brayde; 1010
Wyde ys the sylver lemes of comforte wove;
Speke, Celmonde, does ytte make thee notte afrayde?


Merker the nyghte, the fitter tyde for love.


Saiest thou for love? ah! love is far awaie.
Faygne would I see once moe the roddie lemes of daie. 1015


Love maie bee nie, woulde Birtha calle ytte here.


How, Celmonde, dothe thou mene?


Thys Celmonde menes.
No leme, no eyne, ne mortalle manne appere,
Ne lyghte, an acte of love for to bewreene;
Nete in thys forreste, botte thys tore[111], dothe sheene, 1020
The whych, potte oute, do leave the whole yn nyghte;
See! howe the brauncynge trees doe here entwyne,
Makeynge thys bower so pleasynge to the syghte;
Thys was for love fyrste made, & heere ytt stondes,
Thatte hereynne lovers maie enlyncke yn true loves bondes. 1025


Celmonde, speake whatte thou menest, or alse mie thoughtes
Perchaunce maie robbe thie honestie so fayre.


Then here, & knowe, hereto I have you broughte,
Mie longe hydde love unto you to make clere.


Oh heaven & earthe! whatte ys ytt I doe heare? 1030
Am I betraste[112]? where ys mie AElla, saie!


O! do nete nowe to AElla syke love bere,
Botte geven some onne Celmondes hedde.


I wylle be gone, & groape mie passage oute,
Albeytte neders stynges mie legs do twyne aboute. 1035


Nowe bie the seynctes I wylle notte lette thee goe,
Ontylle thou doeste mie brendynge love amate.
Those eyne have caused Celmonde myckle woe,
Yenne lette yer smyle fyrst take hymm yn regrate.
O! didst thou see mie breastis troblous state, 1040
Theere love doth harrie up mie joie, and ethe!
I wretched bee, beyonde the hele of fate,
Gyss Birtha stylle wylle make mie harte-veynes blethe.
Softe as the sommer flowreets, Birtha, looke,
Fulle ylle I canne thie frownes & harde dyspleasaunce brooke. 1045


Thie love ys foule; I woulde bee deafe for aie,
Radher thanne heere syche deslavatie[113] sedde.
Swythynne flie from mee, and ne further saie;
Radher thanne heare thie love, I woulde bee dead.
Yee seynctes! & shal I wronge mie AElla's bedde, 1050
And wouldst thou, Celmonde, tempte me to the thynge?
Lett mee be gone--alle curses onne thie hedde!
Was ytte for thys thou dydste a message brynge!
Lette mee be gone, thou manne of sable harte!
Or welkyn[114] & her starres wyll take a maydens parte. 1055


Sythence you wylle notte lette mie suyte avele,
Mie love wylle have yttes joie, altho wythe guylte;
Youre lymbes shall bende, albeytte strynge as stele;
The merkye seesonne wylle your bloshes hylte[115].


Holpe, holpe, yee seynctes! oh thatte mie blodde was spylte! 1060


The seynctes att distaunce stonde ynn tyme of nede.
Strev notte to goe; thou canste notte, gyff thou wylte.
Unto mie wysche bee kinde, & nete alse hede.


No, foule bestoykerre, I wylle rende the ayre,
Tylle dethe do staie mie dynne, or somme kynde roder heare. 1065
Holpe! holpe! oh godde!



Ah! thatts a wommanne cries.
I kenn hem; saie, who are you, yatte bee theere?


Yee hyndes, awaie! orre bie thys swerde yee dies.


Thie wordes wylle ne mie hartis sete affere.


Save mee, oh! save mee from thys royner heere! 1070


Stonde thou bie mee; nowe saie thie name & londe;
Or swythyne schall mie swerde thie boddie tare.


Bothe I wylle shewe thee bie mie brondeous[116] honde.


Besette hym rounde, yee Danes.


Comme onne, and see
Gyff mie strynge anlace maie bewryen whatte I bee. 1075
[_Fyghte al anenste_ Celmonde, _meynte Danes he fleath,
and faleth to_ Hurra.


Oh! I forslagen[117] be! ye Danes, now kenne,
I amme yatte Celmonde, seconde yn the fyghte,
Who dydd, atte Watchette, so forslege youre menne;
I fele myne eyne to swymme yn aeterne nyghte;--
To her be kynde. [_Dieth_.


Thenne felle a wordhie knyghte. 1080
Saie, who bee you?


I am greate AElla's wyfe.




Gyff anenste hym you harboure soule despyte,
Nowe wythe the lethal anlace take mie lyfe,
Mie thankes I ever onne you wylle bestowe,
From ewbryce[118] you mee pyghte, the worste of mortal woe. 1085


I wylle; ytte scalle bee foe: yee Dacyans, heere.
Thys AElla havethe been oure foe for aie.
Thorrowe the battelle he dyd brondeous teare,
Beyng the lyfe and head of everych fraie;
From everych Dacyanne power he won the daie, 1090
Forslagen Magnus, all oure schippes ybrente;
Bie hys felle arme wee now are made to straie;
The speere of Dacya he ynne pieces shente;
Whanne hantoned barckes unto our londe dyd comme,
AElla the gare dheie sed, & wysched hym bytter dome. 1095




Bee stylle.
Botte yette he ys a foemanne goode and fayre;
Whanne wee are spente, he foundethe the forloyne;
The captyves chayne he tosseth ynne the ayre,
Cheered the wounded bothe wythe bredde & wyne;
Has hee notte untoe somme of you bynn dygne? 1100
You would have smethd onne Wedecestrian fielde,
Botte hee behylte the flughorne for to cleyne,
Throwynge onne hys wyde backe, hys wyder spreddynge shielde.
Whanne you, as caytysned, yn fielde dyd bee,
Hee oathed you to bee stylle, & strayte dydd sette you free. 1105

Scalle wee forslege[119] hys wyfe, because he's brave?
Bicaus hee fyghteth for hys countryes gare?
Wylle hee, who havith bynne yis AElla's slave,
Robbe hym of whatte percase he holdith deere?
Or scalle we menne of mennys sprytes appere, 1110
Doeynge hym favoure for hys favoure donne,
Swefte to hys pallace thys damoiselle bere,


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