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To God thi Sone make a mocion

How he thi servaunt was, Mayden Marie, And lat his love floure and fructifie! 4991

Al-thogh his lyfe be queynt," the résemblaunce

Of him hath in me so fressh lyfiynesse, That, to putte othir men in remembraunce

Of his persone, I have heere his lyknesse Do make, to this ende, in sothfastnesse, That thei that have of him lest thought and mynde,

4997 By this peynture may ageyn him fynde.



But wel assured in his manly herte,
List 1 nat onys a-syde to dyverte, 1130
But kepte his way, his sheld upon his brest,
And cast his spere manly in the rest,
And the first platly ? that he mette
Thorgh the body proudely he hym smette,
That he fille ded, chief mayster of hem alle;
And than at onys they upon hym falle
On every part, be 3 compas envyroun.
But Tydeus, thorgh his hegh renoun,
His blody swerde lete about hym glyde,
Sleth and kylleth upon every side 1140
In his ire and his mortal tene; 4
That mervaile was he myght so sustene
Ageyn hem alle, in every half besette; 5
But his swerde was so sharpe whette
That his foomen founde ful unsoote.
But he, allas! was mad light a foote,
Be force grounded, in ful gret distresse;
But of knyghthod and of gret prouesse
Up he roos, maugre alle his foon, 11
And as they cam, he slogh 12 hem oon be oon,
Lik a lyoun rampaunt in his rage, 1151
And on this hille he fond a narow passage,
Which that he took of ful high prudence;
And liche 13 a boor, stondyng at his diffence,
As his foomen proudly hym assaylle,
Upon the pleyn he made her blode to raylle 1-
Al enviroun, that the soyl wex rede,
Now her, now ther, as they fille dede,
That her lay on, and ther lay two or thre,
So mercyles, in his cruelte,

Thilke day he was upon hem founde;
And, attonys 15 his enemyes to confounde,
Wher-as he stood, this myghty champioun,
Be-side he saugh, with water turned doun,
An huge stoon large, rounde, and squar;
And sodeynly, er that thei wer war,
As 16 it hadde leyn ther for the nonys,"
Upon his foon he rolled it at onys,
That ten of hem 18 wenten unto wrak,
And the remnaunt amased drogh 19 a-bak;
For on by on they wente to meschaunce. 26
And fynaly he broght to outraunce 1172
Hem everychoon, Tydeus, as blyve 22
That non but on left 23 of ham 18 alyve:
Hym-sill yhurt, and ywounded kene,24
Thurgh his harneys bledyng on the grene;




JOHN LYDGATE (1370 ?-1451 ?)


HAVE SLAYN TYDEUS At a posterne forth they gan to ryde By a geyn 4 path, that ley oute a-side, Secrely, that no man hem espie, Only of 5 tresoun and of felonye. They haste hem forth al the longe day, Of cruel malys, forto stoppe his way, Thorgh a forest, alle of oon assent, Ful covartly to leyn a busshement Under an hille, at a streite passage, To falle on hym at mor avantage, The same way that Tydeus gan drawe At thylke’ mount wher that Spynx was slawe.8 He, nothing war in his opynyoun Of this compassed 10 conspiracioun, But innocent and lich 11 a gentyl knyght, Rood ay forth to 12 that it drowe 13 to nyght, Sool by hym-silf, with-oute companye, Hlavyng no man to wisse 11 hym or to gye.15

But at the last, lifting up his hede, Toward eve, he gan taken hede; Mid of his waye, right as eny lyne, Thoght he saugh, ageyn the mone shyne, Sheldes fresshe and plates borned 16 bright, The which environ 17 casten a gret lyght; Y magynyng in his fantasye Ther was treson and conspiracye Wrought by the kyng, his journe 18 forto lette.19 And of al that he no-thyng ne sette,20

1 quenched 2 had måde 3 ambush 4 convenient Spurely because of 6 greater advantage ? the same

not at all aware in his thought 10 arranged, formed 11 like 12 till 13 drew 14 direct 15 guide 16 burnished 17 around 18 journey 19 hinder 20 he cared nothing for all that



II 20


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8 slain


I wished 2 absolutely 3 by pain 5 beset on unsweet, bitter

made to alight on foot 8 brought to ground 'prowess 10 in spite of 11 foes 12 slew 13

16 as if 17 for the purpose

18 them 19 drew defeat destruction quickly remained sorely

like 14

flow 15

at once 20






The Theban knyghtes in compas rounde

aboute In the vale lay slayne, alle the hoole route, Which pitously ageyn the mone ? gape; For non of hem, shortly, myght eskape, 1180 But dede * echon as thei han deserved, Save oon excepte, the which was reserved By Tydeus, of intencioun, To the kyng to make relacioun How his knyghtes han her journe

spedde, Everich of hem his lyf left for a wedde, 6 And at the metyng how they han hem born; To tellen al he sured 7 was and sworn To Tydeus, ful lowly on his kne.




5. “Buskel yee, bowne' yee, my merry

men all,
For John shall goe with mee;
For I'le goe seeke yond wight yeomen

In greenwood where they bee.”
6. They cast on their gowne of greene,

A shooting gone are they,
Until they came to the merry greenwood,

Where they had gladdest bee;
There were they ware of a wight yeoman,

His body leaned to a tree. 7. A sword and a dagger he wore by his side,

Had beene many a mans bane,
And he was cladd in his capull-hyde,2

Topp, and tayle, and mayne. 8. “Stand you still, master,” quoth Litle

John, “Under this trusty tree, And I will goe to yond wight yeoman,

To know his meaning trulye.”
9. “A, John, by me thou setts noe store,

And that's a ffarley 3 thinge;
How offt send I my men beffore,

And tarry my-selfe behinde?
10. “It is noe cunning a knave to ken;

And a man but heare him speake. 40 And itt were not for bursting of my bowe,

John, I wold thy head breake." 11. But often words they breeden bale;

That parted Robin and John.
John is gone to Barnesdale,

The gates 4 he knowes eche one.

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14. “Yett one shoote I'le shoote,” sayes Litle

John, “With Crist his might and mayne; l'le make yond fellow that flyes soe fast

To be both glad and ffaine.”

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get ready 2 horse-hide 3


ways 5 valley

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2 made ready 3 help 4 linden 6 astray

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I made ready 2 careless 3 maiden 4 back-handed

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4 released

53. But Robin hee hyed 1 him towards Litle

Hee thought hee wold loose him belive;?
The sheriffe and all his companye

Fast after him did drive.

They dyd owr Ynglyssh men grete

wrange, To battell that were not bowyn.

54. “Stand abacke! stand abacke !” sayd

"Why draw you mee soe nere?
Itt was never the use in our countrye

Ones shrift another shold heere."

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6. “Now we have haryed all Bamborowe

schyre, All the welth in the world have wee; I rede we ryde to Newe Castell,

So styll and stalworthlye."
7. Upon the morowe, when it was day,

The standerds schone fulle bryght;
To the Newe Castell they toke the waye,

And thether they cam fulle ryghi. 8. Syr Henry Perssy laye at the New Castell, I tell yow wythowtten drede;

30 He had byn a march-man all hys dayes,

And kepte Barwyke upon Twede. 9. To the Newe Castell when they cam,

The Skottes they cryde on hyght: “Syr Hary Perssy, and thow byste within,

Com to the fylde, and fyght. 10. “For we have brente Northomberlonde,

Thy erytage good and ryght,
And syne 5 my logeyng @ I have take, 39
Wyth my brande dubbyd many a

II. Syr Harry Perssy cam to the walles,

The Skottyssch oste for to se,
And sayd, “And thow hast brente North-


Full sore it rewyth me. 12. “Yf thou hast haryed all Bamborowe

Thow hast done me grete envye;?
For the trespasse thow hast me done,

The tone 8 of us schall dye.” 13. “Where schall I byde the?” sayd the

Dowglas, “Or where wylte thow com to me?” 50 “At Otterborne, in the hy way,

Ther mast thow well logeed be. 1 man a field 3 morrow 4 doubt 5 since 6 lodging 7 hostility 8 the one

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1. Yt felle abowght the Lamasse tyde,

Whan husbondes wynnes 5 ther haye, The dowghtye Dowglasse bowynd hym

to ryde,

In Ynglond to take a praye. 2. The yerlle of Fyffe, wythowghten stryffe,

He bowynd hym over Sulway;
The grete wolde ever to-gether ryde;

That raysse ? they may rewe for aye. 3. Over Hoppertope hyll they cam in,

And so down by Rodelyffe crage;
Upon Grene Lynton they lyghted dowyn,

Styrande 8 many a stage. 4. And boldely brente 'Northomberlond,

And haryed many a towyn; 1 hastened ? quickly 3 help *clotted 5 dry 6 got ready ? raid 8 arousing 'burned


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