[Miniature remoued]

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K Ni3tes þ[at were sometyme in londe]

      Ferli fele wolde fonde

A nd sechen auentures bi ni3t and dai

H ou 3he mi3te here strengthe asai

S o dede a kny3t Sire degarree

I ch wille 3ou telle wat man was he

¶I n litel Bretaygne was a kyng

O f gret poer in all þing

S tif in armes vnder sscheld

A nd mochel idouted in þe feld

Þ er nas no man verraiment

Þ at mi3te in werre ne in tornament

N e in iustes for no þing

H im out of his sadel bring

N e out of his stirop bringe his fot

S o stron he was of bon and blod

[¶]Þ is kyng he hadde non hair

B vt a maidenchild fre and fair

H ere gentiresse and here beaute

W as moche renound in ich countre

Þ is maiden he loued als his lif

O f hire was ded þe quene his wif

I n trauailing here lif 3he les

A nd þo þe maiden of age wes

K ynges sones to him speke

E mperours and dukes eke

T o hauen his dou3ter in mariage

F or loue of here heritage

A c þe kyng answered euer

Þ at no man sschal here halben euer

B vt 3if he mai in turneying

H im out of his sadel bring

A nd maken him lesen hise stiropes bayne


        [cut out]

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[H] ire dirige do and masse boþe

[P] oure men fede and naked cloþe

[O] ffring brenge gret plente

[A] nd fede þe couent wi3 gret daynte

T oward þe abbai als he com ride

A nd mani kny3tes bi his side

H is doughter al so bi him rod

A midde þe forest hii abod

H ere chaumberleyn 3he clepede hire to;

A nd oþer dammaiseles two

A nd seide þat hii moste ali3te

T o don here nedes and hire ri3te

Þ ai ali3t a doun alle þre

T weie damaiseles &ssche

A nd longe while þer abiden

T il al þe folk was forht iriden

Þ ai wolden vp and after wolde

A nd couþen nowt here way holde

Þ e wode was rough and þikke iwis

A nd þai token þe wai amys

Þ ai moste souht and riden west

I n to þe þikke of þe forest

I n to a launde hii ben icome

A nd habbe3 wel vndernome

Þ at þai were amis igon

Þ ai li3t adoun euerichon

A nd cleped and criede al ifere

A c no man ari3t hem ihere

Þ ai nist what hem was best to don

Þ e weder was hot bifor þe non

H ii leien hem doun vpon agrene

V nder a chastein tre ich wene

A nd fillen aslepe euerichone


B ote þe damaisele alone

3 he wente aboute and gaderede floures

A nd herknede song of wilde foules

S o fer in þe launde 3he goht iwis

Þ at 3he ne wot neuere whare 3e is

T o hire maidenes 3he wolde anon

A c hi ne wiste neuer wat wei to gon

W henne hi wende best to hem terne

A weiward þan hi go3 wel 3erne

A llas hi seide þat iwas boren

N ou ich wot ich am forloren

W ilde bestes me wille3 to grinde

O r ani man me sschulle finde

Þ an segh hi swich asi3t

T oward hire comen akni3t

G entil · 3ong · and iolif man

A robe of scarlet he hadde vpon

H is visage was feir · his bodi ech weies ·

O f countenaunce ri3t curteis

W el farende legges fot and honde

Þ er nas non in al þe kynges londe

M ore apert man þan was he

D amaisele welcome mote þou be

B e þou afered of none wih3te

I ich am comen here a fairi kny3te

M i kynde is armes for to were

O n horse to ride wi3 scheld and spere

F or þi afered be þou nowt

I ne haue nowt but mi swerd ibrout

I ich haue iloued þe mani · a3er

A nd now we be3 vs selue her

Þ ou best mi lemman ar þou go

W eþer þe like3 wel or wo

Þ o no þing ne coude do 3he

B ut wep · and criede · and wolde fle

A nd he a non gan hire at holde

A nd dide his wille what he wolde

H e binam hire here maidenhod

A nd seththen vp to foren hire stod

L emman he seide gent and fre ·


M id schilde iwot þat þou schalt be

S iker ich wot hit worht a knaue

F or þi mi swerd þou sschalt haue

A nd whenne þat he is of elde

Þ at he mai him self biwelde

T ak him þe swerd and bidde him fonde

T o sechen his fader in eche londe

Þ e swerd his god and auenaunt

L o as ifaugt wi3 a geaunt

I brak þe point in his hed

A nd siththþen when þat he was ded

I tok hit out and haue hit er

R edi in min aumener

3 it par auenture time bi3

Þ at mi sone mete me wi3

B e mi swerd i mai him kenne

H aue god dai i mot gon henne

Þ e kniyt passede as he cam

A l wepende þe swerd 3he nam

A nd com hom sore sikend

A nd fond here maidenes al slepend

Þ e swerd 3he hidde als 3he mi3te

A nd awaked hem in hi3te

A nd doht hem to horse a non

A nd gonne to ride euerichon

Þ anne seghen hi ate last

T weie squiers come prikend fast

F ram þe kyng þai weren isent

T o white whider his doughter went

Þ ai browt hire in to þe ri3te wai

A nd comen faire to þe abbay

A nd do3 þe seruise in alle þingges

M ani masse and riche offringes

A nd whanne þe seruise was al idone

A nd ipassed ouer þe none

Þ e kyng to his castel gan ride

H is doughter rod bi his side

A nd he 3eme3 his kyngdom oueral

S toutliche as a god king sschal

¶A c whan ech man was glad an bliþe


H is dou3ter siked an sorewed swithe

H ere wombe greted more and more ·

Þ erwhile 3he mi3te 3e hidde here sore ·

¶O n a dai as hi wepende set ·

O n of hire maidenes hit vnder3et ·

M a dame 3he seide par charite

W hi wepe 3e now telle3 hit me

¶A gentil maiden kinde icoren

H elp me oþer ich am forloren

I ch haue euer 3ete ben meke and milde

L o now ich am wi3 quike schilde

3 if ani man hit vnder3ete

M en wolde sai bi sti and strete

Þ at mi fader þe king hit wan

A nd i ne was neuer aqueint wi3 man ·

A nd 3if he hit him selue wite

S wich sorewe schal to him smite

Þ at neuer bli3e schal he be

For al his ioie is in me

A nd tolde here al to geder þer

H ou hit was bi3ete and wher

M a dame quad þe maide ne care þou nowt

        stille a wai hit sschal be browt

N o man schal wite in godes riche

W har hit bicome3 but þou and iche

¶H er time come 3he was vnbounde

A nd deliured al mid sounde

A knaue schild þer was ibore

G lad was þe moder þarfore

Þ e maiden seruede here at wille

W ond þat child in cloþes stille

A nd laid hit in a cradel anon

A nd was al prest þar wi3 to gon

3 hit is moder was him hold

F our pound 3he tok of gold

A nd ten of seluer al so

V nder his fote 3he laid hit þo

F or swich þing hit mihoue

A nd seththen 3he tok a paire gloue ·

Þ at here lemman here sente of fairi londe ·


Þ at nolde on no manne honde

N e on child ne on womman 3he nolde

B ut on hire selue wel 3he wolde

Þ o glouen 3he put vnder his hade

A nd siththen a letter 3he wrot and made

A nd knit hit wi3 a selkene þred

A boute his nekke wel god sped

Þ at who hit founde sscholde iwite

Þ an was in þe lettre þous iwrite

¶P ar charite 3if ani god man

Þ is helplos child finde can

L at cristen hit wi3 prestes honde

A nd bringgen hit to liue in londe

F or hit is comen of gentil blod

H elpe3 hit wi3 his owen god

W i3 tresor þat vnder his fet lis

A nd ten 3er eld whan þat he his

T ake3 him þis ilke glouen two

A nd bidde3 him whar euere he go

Þ at he ne louie no womman in londe

B ut þis gloues willen on hire honde

F or siker on honde nelle þai nere

B ut on his moder þat him bere

¶Þ e maiden tok þe child here mide

S tille a wai in auen tide

A lle þe winteres longe ni3t

Þ e weder was cler þe mone li3t

Þ an warht3 3e war a non

O f an hermitage in a ston

A n holi man had þer his woniyng

Þ ider 3he wente on heying

A n sette þe cradel at his dore

A nd durste abide no lengore

A nd passede for3 a non ri3t

H om 3he com in þat oþer ni3t

A nd fond þe leuedi al drupni

S ore wepinde and was sori

A nd tolde hire al to geder þer

H ou 3he had iben and wher

¶Þ e hermite aros erliche þo


A nd his knaue was vppe al so

A n seide ifere here matines

A nd seruede god and hise seins

Þ e litel child þai herde crie

A nd clepede after help on hie

Þ e holi man his dore vndede

&fond þe cradel in þe stede

H e tok vp þe cloþes a non

A nd biheld þe litel grom

H e tok þe letter and radde wel sone

Þ at tolde him þat he scholde done

¶Þ E heremite held vp boþe his honde

      An þonked god of al his sonde

A nd bar þat child in to his chapel

A nd for Ioie he rong his bel

H e dede vp þe glouen and þe tresour

A nd cristned þe child wi3 gret honur

I n þe name of þe trinite

H e hit nemnede degarre

D egarre nowt elles ne is ;

B ut þing þat not neuer whar hit is

O þe þing þat is neg3 forlorn al so

F orþi þe schild he nemnede þous þo ·

Þ e heremite þat was holi of lif ·

     Hadde a soster þat was a wif

A riche marchaunt of þat countre

H adde hire ispoused in to þat cite

T o hire þat schild he sente þo

B i his knaue and þe siluer al so

A nd bad here take gode hede

H it to forster and to fede

A nd 3if god almi3ti wolde

T en 3er his lif holde

A 3en to him i scholde hit wise

H e hit wolde teche of clergise

Þ E litel child degarre

     Was ibrout into þat Cite

Þ e wif and hire louerd ifere

K ept hit ase hit ere owen were

B i þat hit was ten 3er old


H it was afair child and a bold

W el inorisscher god and hende

W as non betere in al þat ende

H e wende wel þat þe gode man

H ad ben his fader þat him wan

A nd þe wif his moder al so

A nd þe hermite his vnkel bo

A nd whan þe ten 3er was ispent

T o þe hermitage he was sent

A nd he was glad him to se

H e was so feir and so fre

H e tau3te him of clerkes lore

O þer ten wynter oþer more

A nd he was of twenti 3er

S staleworth he was of swich pouer

Þ at þer ne wan man in þat lond

Þ at obreid him mi3t astond

Þ O þe hermite se3 wi3outen les

     Man for him self þat he wes

S taleworht to don ech werk

A nd of his elde so god aclerk

H e tok him his florines and his gloues

Þ at he had kept to hise bihoues

A c þe ten pound of starlings

W ere ispended in his fostrings

H e tok him þe letter to rede

A nd biheld al þe dede

O leue hem par charite

W as þis letter mad for me

3 e bi oure lord vs helpe sschal

Þ us hit was and told him al

H e knelede a doun al so swi3e

A nd þonked þe ermite of his liue

A nd swor he nolde stinte no stounde

T il he his kinrede hadde ifounde

F or in þe lettre was þous iwrite

Þ at bi þe glouen he sscholde iwite

W ich were his moder and who

3 hif þat sche liuede þo

F or on hire honden hii wolde


A nd on non oþer hii nolde

H alf þe florines he gaf þe hermite

A nd haluendel he tok him mide

A nd nam his leue an wolde go ·

N ai seide þe hermite schaltu no ·

T o seche þi ken mi3tou nowt dure

W i3 outen hors and god armure

N ai quad he bi heuene kyng

I ch wil haue first anoþer þing

H e hew a doun boþe gret an grim

T o beren in his hond wi3 him

A god sapling of an ok

W han he þar wi3 gaf a strok

N e wer he neuer so strong a man

N e so gode armes hadde vpon

Þ at he ne scholde falle to grounde

S wich a bourdon to him he founde

Þ o þenne god he him bitawt

&aiþer fram oþer wepyng rawt

C hild degarre wente his wai

      Þour3 þe forest al þat dai

N o man he ne herd ne non he se3

T il hit was non ipassed he3

Þ anne he herde a noise kete

I n o valai an dintes grete

B liue þider he gan to te

W hat hit ware he wolde ise

A n herl of þe countre stout and fers

W i3 a kni3t and four squiers

H adde ihonted a der oþer two

A nd al here houndes weren a go

Þ an was þar a dragon grim

F ul of filth and of venim

W i3 wide þrote and te3 grete

A nd wynges bitere wi3 to bete

A s a lyoun he hadde fet

A nd his tail was long an gret

Þ e smoke com of his nose a wai

A se fer out of a chimenai

Þ e kny3t and squiers he had to rent


M an and hors to deþe chent

Þ e dragon þe erl assaile gan

A nd he defended him as a man

A nd stoutliche leid on wi3 his swerd

A nd stronge strokes on him gerd

A c alle his dentes ne greued him nowt

H is hide was hard so Iren wrout

Þ erl flei fram tre to tre

F ein he wolde fram him be

A nd þe dragon him gan asail

Þ e dou3ti erl in þat batail

O f segh þis child degarre

H a help he seide par charite

Þ e dragoun se3 þe child com

H e laft þe erl and to him nom

B lowinde and 3eniend al so

A ls he him wolde swolewe þo

A c degarre was ful strong

H e tok his bat gret and long

A nd in þe forehefd he him batere3

Þ at al þe forehefd he to spatere3

H e fil a doun a non ri3t

A nd frapte his tail wi3 gret mi3t

V pon degarres side

Þ at vp so doun he gan to glide

A c he stert vp ase a man

A nd wi3 his bat leide vp an

A nd al to frusst him ech a bon

Þ at he lai ded stille as ston

Þ erl knelede a doun biliue

    And 3onked þe child of his liue

A nd maked him wi3 him gon

T o his castel ri3t a non

A nd wel at hese he him made

A nd proferd him al þat he hade

R entes tresor an eke lond

F or to holden in his hond

Þ anne answerede degarre

L at come ferst bifor me

Þ i leuedi and oþer wimmen bold


M aidenes &widues 3onge &olde

A nd oþer damoiseles swete

3 if mine glouen be3 to hem mete

F or to done vp on here honde

Þ anne ich wil take þi londe

&3if þai ben nowt so

I ich wille take me leue and go ·

A lle wimman were forht ibrowt

     Wide cuntreis and forht isowt

E ch þe glouen assaie bigan

A c non ne mi3te don hem on ·

H e tok his glouen and vp hem dede

A nd nam his leue in þat stede

Þ e erl was gentil man of blod

A nd gaf him a stede ful god

A nd noble armure riche and fin

W hen he wolde armen him þer in

A nd a palefrai to riden an

A nd a knaue to ben his man

A nd 3af him a swerd bri3t

A nd dubbed him þer to kny3t

A nd swor bi god almi3ti

Þ at he was better worthi

T o vsen hors and armes al so

Þ an wi3 his bat aboute to go

S ire degarre was wel blithe

    And þanked þe erl mani asiþe

A nd lep vp on palefrai hiis

A nd doht him for3 in his wai

V pon his stede ri3te his man

&ledde his armes als he wel can

M ani aiorne þai ride and sette

S o on a dai gret folk þei mette

E rles and barouns of renoun

Þ at come fram a Cite toun

H e asked a seriaunt what tiding

&whennes hii come &what is þis þing

S ire he seide verraiment

W e come framward a parlement


Þ e king a gret counseil made

F or nedes þat he to don hade

W han þe parlement was plener

H e lette crie fer and ner

3 if ani man were of armes so bold

Þ at wi3 þe king iusti wold

H e sscholde haue in Mariage

H is dowter and his heritage

Þ at is kingdom god and fair

F or he had non oþer hair

A c no man ne dar graunte þer to

F or mani hit assaie3 &mai nowt do

M ani erl and mani baroun

K ni3tes and squiers of renoun

A c ech man þat him iuste3 wi3 tit

H aþ of him a foul despit

S ome he breke3 þe nekke a non

A nd of some þe rig bon

S ome þour3 þe bodi he girt

E ch is maimed oþer i hirt

A c noman mai don him no þing

S wich wonder chaunce ha3 þe king

S ire degarre þous þenche gan

    Ich am astaleworht man

A nd of min owen ich haue a stede

S werd and spere and riche wede

A nd 3if ich felle þe kyng adoun

E uere ich haue wonnen renoun

A nd þei þat he me herte sore

N o man wot wer ich was bore

W heþer de3 oþer lif me bitide

A gen þe king ich wille ride

I n þe cite his in he take3

A nd reste3 him and meri make3

O n a dai wi3 þe king he mette

A nd knelede a doun and him grette

S ire king he saide of muchel mi3t

M i louerd me sende hider nou ri3t

F or to warne 3ou þat he

B i þi leue wolde iuste wi3 þe


A nd winne þi dowter 3if he mai

A s þe cri was þis enderdai

I ustes he had to þe inome

D e par deus qua3 þe king he is welcome

B e he Baroun · be he Erl

B e he burgeis be he cherl

N o man wil i forsake

H e þat winne3 al sschal take

A morewe þe iustes was iset

     Þe king him purueid wel þe bet

A nd degarre ne knew noman

A c al his trust is god vpon

E rliche to churche þan wente he

Þ e masse he herde of þe trinite

T o þe fader he offre3 hon florine

A nd to þe sone anoþer al so fine

A nd to þe holi gost þe þridde

Þ e prest for him ful 3erne gan bidde

A nd to þe seruise was idon

T o his in he wente wel son

A nd let him armi wel afin

I n god armes to Iusti in

H is gode stede he gan bistride

H is squier bar his sschaft biside

I n þe feld þe king he abide gan

A s he com ridend wi3 mani a man

S toutliche out of þe cite toun

W i3 mani a lord of gret renoun

A c al þat in þe felde be3

Þ at þe iustes ise3

S eide þat hi neuer 3it ise3e

S o pert a man wi3 here eg3e

A s was þis gentil degarre

A c no man wiste whennes was he

B oþe þai gonne to iusti þan

     Ac degarre can nowt þer on

Þ e king ha3 þe gretter schaft

A nd kan inow3 of þe craft

T o breke his nekke he had iment

I n þe helm he set his dent ·


Þ at þe schaft al to sprong

A c degarre was so strong

Þ at in þe sadel stille he set

A nd in þe stiropes held his fet

F or soþe iseie wi3 oute lesing

H e ne couþe nammore of iusting

A llas quaþ þe king allas

M e ne fil neuere swich a cas

Þ at man þat ich mi3te hitte

A fter mi strok mi3te sitte

H e take3 a wel gretter tre

A nd swor so he moste iþe

3 if his nekke nel nowt a two

H is rigg schal ar ich hennes go

H e rod eft wi3 gret raundoun

A nd þou3t to beren him a doun

A nd girt degarre a non

R i3t a3ein þe brest bon

Þ e schaft was stef and wonder god

A nd degarre stede astod

A nd al biforen he ros on hegh3

A nd þo was he ifallen negh3

B ut as god almi3ti wold

Þ e schaft brak and mi3t nowt hold

A nd degarre his cours out ritte

A nd was a gramed out of his witte

A llas quaþ he for vilaynie

Þ e king me haþ ismiten trie

A nd i ne touchede him nowt 3ete

N ou i schal bise me bette

H e turned his stede wi3 herte grim

A nd rod to þe king and he to him

A nd to gider þai gert ful ri3t

A nd in þe scheldes here strokes pi3t

Þ at þe speres al to riue3

A nd vpri3t to here honde sliue3

Þ at alle þe lordings þat þer ben

Þ at þe iusting mi3te sen

S eiden hi ne se3e neuer wi3 eg3e

M an ^þat^ mi3te so longe dregh3e


I n wraþþe for no þing

S itten a strok of here king

A c he his doughti for þe nones

A strong man of bodi and bones

Þ e king wi3 egre mod gan speke

     Do bring me a schaft þat wil nowt breke

A be mi trewþe he sschal a doun

Þ ai he be strengere þan sampson

A nd þei he be þe bare qued

H e sschal a doun maugre his heued

H e tok a schaft was gret and long

Þ e schild anoþer al so strong

A nd to þe king wel euene he rit

Þ e king faile3 &he him smit

H is schaft was strong and god wi3 al

A nd wel scharped þe coronal

H e smot þe kyng in þe lainer

H e mi3t flit noþer fer ne ner

Þ e king was strong and harde sat

Þ e stede ros vp biforn wi3 þat

&sire degarre so þriste him þan

Þ at maugre who so grochche bigan

O ut of þe sadel he him cast

T ail ouer top ri3t ate last

Þ an was þer long houting and cri

Þ e king was sor asschamed for þi

Þ e lordinges comen wi3 mi3t and mein

A nd broughte þe king on horse a3ein

A n seide wi3 o criing iwis

C hild degarre haþ wonne þe pris

Þ an was þe damaisele sori

F or hi wist wel for whi

Þ at hi scholde ispoused ben

T o a kni3t þat sche neuer had sen

A nd lede here lif wi3 swich a man

Þ at sche ne wot who him wan

N o in what londe he was ibore

C arful was þe leuedi þerfore

Þ an seide þe king to degarre

     Min hende sone com hider to me


A nd þou were al so gentil a man

A s þou semest wi3 si3t vpan

A nd ase wel couþest wisdomes do

A s þou art staleworht man þe to

M e þouwte mi kingdoms wel biset

A c be þou werse be þou bet

C ouenaunt ich wille þe holde

L o her biforn mi barons bolde

M i douwter i take þe bi þe hond

A nd seise þe her in al mi lond

K ing þou scalt ben after me

G od graunte þe godman for to be

Þ an was þe child glad and bli3e

A nd þonked þe kyng mani asithe

G ret purueaunce þan was þer iwrout

T o churche þai were to gidere ibrout

&spoused þat leuedi verraiment

V nder holi sacrement

L o what chaunse and wonder strong

B itide3 mani a man wi3 wrong

Þ at come3 in to an vncouþe þede

A nd spouse3 wif for ani mede

&knowes no þing of hire kin

N e sche of his neiþer more ne min

A nd be3 iwedded to gider to libbe

P ar auenture and be3 negh3 sibbe

S o dede sire degarre þe bold

S poused þere is moder

A nd þat hende leuedi al so

H ere owene sone was spoused to

Þ at sche vpon here bodi bar

L o what auenture fil hem þar

B ut god þat alle þingge mai stere

W olde nowt þa þai sinned ifere

T o chirche þai wente wi3 barouns bolde

A riche feste þai gonne to holde

A nd wan was wel ipassed non

A nd þe dai was al idon

T o bedde þai sscholde wende þat fre

Þ e dammaisele and sire degarre


H e stod stille and biþouwte him þan

H ou þe hermite þe holi man

B ad he scholde no womman take

F or faired ne for riches sake

B ut 3he mi3te þis gloues two

R i3tliche on hire hondes do

A llas allas þan saide he

W hat meschaunce is comen to me

A wai witles wrechche ich am

I ich hadde leuere þan þis kingdam

Þ at is iseised into min hond

Þ at ich ware faire out of þis lond

H e wrang his hondes and was sori

A c no man wiste þerfore wi

Þ e king parceyued and saide þo

     Sire degarre wi farest þou so

I s þer ani þing don ille

S poken or seid a3en þi wille

3 a sire he saide biheuene king

I chal neuer for no spousing

Þ erwhiles iliue wi3 wimman dele

W idue · ne wif · ne dammeisele

B ut 3he þis gloues mai take and fonde

A nd li3tlich drawen vp on hire honde

H is 3onge bride þat gan here

A nd al for þout chaunged hire chere

A nd ate laste gan to turne hire mod

H ere visage wex ase red ase blod

S he knew þo gloues þat were hire

S chewe hem hider leue sire

S che tok þe gloues in þat stede

A nd li3tliche on hire hondes dede

A nd fil adoun wi3 reuli cri

A nd seide god mercy · merci

Þ ou art mi sone hast spoused me her

A nd ich am sone þi moder der

I ch hadde þe loren ich haue þe founde

B lessed be ihesu crist þat stounde

S ire degarre tok his moder þo

    And helde here in his armes two ·


K este and clepte here mani asiþe

Þ at hit wa sche ; he was ful bliþe

Þ an þe kyng gret wonder hadde

W hat þat noise þat þai made

A nd meruaile of hire crying

A nd seide doughter what is þis þing

F ader 3he seide þou schalt ihere

Þ ou wenest þat ich a maiden were

A c certes na3 sire ich am non

T wenti winter nou hit is gon

Þ at mi maidenhed iles / in a fforest as iwes

A nd þis is mi sone god hit wot

B i þis gloues wel ich wot

S he told him al þat soþe þer

H ou þe child was geten and wher

A nd hou þat he was bo3en al so

T o þe hermitage 3he sente him þo

A nd seþthen herd of him no þing

B ut þanked be ihesu heuene king

I ich haue ifounde him aliue

I ch lam his moder and lek his wiue

L eue moder seide sire degarre

     Telle me þe soþe par charite

I n to what londe i mai terne

T o seke mi fader swithe and 3erne

S one 3he saide bi heuene kyng

I can þe of him telle no þing

B ut þo þat he fram me rau3t

H is owen swerd he me bitau3t

A nd bad ich sholde take hit þe for þan

3 if þou liuedest and were a man

Þ e swerd sche fet forht a non ri3t

A nd degarre hit out pli3t

B rod and long and heui hit wes

I n þat kyngdom no swich nes

Þ an seide degarre for þan

W ho so hit au3t he was a man

N ou ich haue þat ikepe

N i3t ne dai nel ich slepe

T il þat i mi fader see


3 if god wile þat hit so be

I n þe cite he reste al ni3t

A morewe whan hit was dai lit

H e aros and herde his masse

H e di3te him and for3 gan passe

O f al þat cite þan moste non

N eiþer wi3 him riden ne gon

B ut his knaue to take hede

T o his armour and his stede

F or3 he rod in his wai

M ani apas &mani iurnai

S o longe he passede in to west

Þ at he com in to þeld fforest

Þ er he was bigeten som while

Þ er inne he ride3 mani amile

M ani adai he ride gan

N o quik best he fond of man

A c mani wilde bestes he segh3

A nd foules singen on hegh3

S o longe he drouw3 to þe ni3t

Þ e sonne was a doune ri3t

T oward toun he wolde ride

B ut he nist neuer bi wiche side

Þ enne he se3 a water cler

    And amidde a riuer

A fair castel of lim and ston

O þer wonying was þer non

T o his knaue he seide tide wat tide

O fote forþer nel i ride

A c here abide wille we

A nd aske herberewe par charite

3 if ani quik man be here on liue

T o þe water þai come als swiþe

Þ e bregge was a doune þo

&þe gate open al so

A nd in to þe castel he gan spede

F irst he stabled vp his stede

H e taiede vp his palefrai

I nou3 he fond of hote and hai

H e bad his grom on heþing


K epen wel al here þing

H e passed vp into þe halle

B iheld aboute &gan to calle

A c neiþer on lond ne on he3

N o quik man he ne se3

A midde þe halle flore

A fir was bet stark an store

P ar fai he saide ich am al sure

H e þat bette þat fure

W il comen hom 3it to ni3t

A biden ich wille a litel wi3t

H e sat adoun vpon þe dais

A nd warmed him wel eche wais

A nd he biheld and vnder nam

H ou in at þe dore cam

F our dammaiseles gent and fre

E ch was itakked to þe kne

Þ e two bowen an arewen bere

Þ e oþer two icharged were

W i3 benesoun riche and god

A nd degarre vpstod

A nd gret hem wel fair apli3t

A c þai answerede no wi3t

B ut 3ede in to chaumbre anon

A nd barred þe dore after son

S one þer after wi3 alle

Þ er com a dwerw in to þe halle

F our fet of lengthe was in him

H is visage was stout and grim

B oþe his berd and his fax

W as crisp an 3halew as wax

G rete sscholdres and quarre

R i3t stoutliche loked he

M ochele were hise fet and honde

A se þe meste man of þe londe

H e was iclothed wel ari3t

H is sschon icouped as a kni3t

H e hadde on a sorcot ouert

I forred wi3 blaundeuer apert

S ire degarre him biheld and lowg3


A nd gret him fair inowg3

A c he ne answerede neuere a word

B ut sette trestles and laid þe bord

A nd torches in þe halle he li3te

A nd redi to þe soper di3te

Þ an þer com out of þe bour

A dammeisele of gret honur

I n þe lond non fairer nas

I n adiapre cloþed 3he was

W i3 hire come maidenes tene

S ome in scarlet some in grene

G ent of bodi of semblaunt swete

A nd degarre hem gan grete

A c hi ne answerede no wi3t ·

B ut 3ede to þe soper a non ri3t

C ertes quaþ sire degarre

I ch haue hem gret and hi nowt me

B ut þai be domb bi and bi

Þ ai schul speke first ar i

Þ e leuedi þat was of rode so bri3t

    Amidde 3he sat a non ri3t

A nd on aiþer half maidenes fiue

Þ e dwerw hem seruede al so bliue

W i3 riche metes and wel idi3t

Þ e coppe he fille3 wi3 alle his mi3t

S ire degarre couþe of curteisie

H e set achaier bifore þe leuedie

A nd þer in him selue set

&tok a knif and carf his met

A t þe soper litel at he

B ut biheld þe leuedi fre

A nd se3 ase feir awimman

A ls he heuere loked an

Þ at al his herte and his þout

H ire to loue was ibrowt

A nd þo þai hadde souped a now3

Þ e drew com and þe cloþ he drou3

Þ e leuedis wessche euerichon

A nd 3ede to chaumbre quik a non

I n to þe chaumbre he com ful sone


Þ e leuedi on here bed set

A nd a maide at here fet

A nd harpede notes gode and fine

A noþer brou3te spices and wine

V pon þe he set adoun

T o here of þe harpe soun

F or murþe of notes so sschille

H e fel a doun on slepe stille

S o he slep al þat ni3t

Þ e leuedi wrei3 him warm apli3t

A nd a pilewer vnder his heued dede

A nd 3ede to bedde in þat stede

A morewe whan hit was dai li3t

     Sche was vppe and redi di3t

F aire sche awaked him þo

A ris 3he seide grai3 þe an go

A nd saide þus in here game

Þ ou art worþ to suffri schame

Þ at al ni3t as a best sleptest

A nd non of mine maidenes ne keptest

O gentil leuedi seide degarre

F or godesloue for3if hit me

C ertes þe murie harpe hit made

E lles Misdo nowt ne hade

A c tel me leuedi so hende

A r ich out of þi chaumber wende

W ho is louerd of þis lond

A nd who þis castel haþ in hond

W eþer þou be widue or wif

O r maiden 3it of clene lif

A nd whi her be so fele wimman

A llone wi3 outen ani man

Þ e dameisele sore si3te

A nd bigan to wepen a non ri3te

S ire wel fain ich telle þe wolde

3 if euere þe better be me sscholde

M i fader was a riche baroun

A nd hadde mani a tour and toun

H e ne hadde no child but me

I ch was his air of his cuntre


I n mene ich hadde mani a kni3

A nd squiers þat were gode and li3t

A n staleworht men of mester

T o serue in court fer and ner

A c þanne is þar here biside

A sterne kni3t iknawe ful wide

I ch wene in bretaine þer be non

S o strong a man so he is on

H e had iloue me ful 3ore

A c in herte neuere more

N e mi3te ich louie him a3ein

B ut whenne he segh3e þer was no gein

H e was a boute wi3 maistri

F or to rauisse me a wai

M ine kni3tes wolde defende me

A nd ofte fow3ten hi an he

Þ e best he slowgh þe firste dai

A nd seþen an oþe par ma fai

A nd seþen þe þridde and þe ferþe

Þ e beste þat mi3te gon on erthe

M ine squiers þat weren so stoute

B i foure bi fiue þai riden oute

O n hors armed wel a now3

H is houen bodi he hem slough

M ine men of mester he slough alle

A nd oþer pages of mine halle

Þ erfore ich am sore agast

L est he wynne me ate last

W i3 þis word sche fil to grounde

A nd lai aswone a wel gret stounde

H ire maidenes to hire come

A nd in hire armes vp hire nome

H e beheld þe leuedi wi3 gret pite

L oueli ma dame quaþ he

O n of þine ich am here

I ch wille þe help be mi pouere

3 he sire 3he saide þan al mi lond

I ch wil þe giue in to þin hond

A nd ^at^ þi wille bodi mine

3 if þou mi3t wreke me of hine


Þ o was he glad al for to fi3te

&wel gladere þat he mi3te

H aue þe leuedi so bri3t

3 if he slough þat oþer kni3t

A nd als þai stod and spak ifere

     A maiden cried wi3 reuful chere

H er come3 oure enemi faste vs ate

D rauwe þe bregge and sschet þe 3ate

O r he wil slen ous euerichone

S ire degarre stirt vp a non

A nd at a window him se3

W el i armed on hors hegh

A fairer bodi þan he was on

I n armes ne segh he neuer non

S ire degarre armed him bliue

A nd on a stede gan out driue

W i3 a spere gret of gayn

T o þe kni3t he rit a3ein

Þ e kni3te spere al to sprong

A c degarre was so strong

A nd so harde to him þrast

B ut þe kni3t sat so fast

Þ at þe stede rigge to brek

A nd fel to grounde and he ek

B ut a non stirt vp þe kni3t

A nd drou3 out his swerd bri3t

A li3t he saide a doun a non

T o fi3t þou sschalt afote gon

F or þou hast slawe mi stede

D e3 dint schal be þi mede

A c þine stede sle inille

A c on fote fi3te ich wille

Þ an on fote þai toke þe fi3t

A nd hewe to gidere wi3 brondes bri3t

Þ e kni3t 3af sire degarre

ST erne strokes gret plente

A nd he him a3en al so

Þ at helm and scheld cleue a two

Þ e kni3t was a greued sore

Þ at his armour to burste þore


A strok he 3af sire degarre

Þ at to grounde fallen is he

B ut he stirt vp a non ri3t

A nd swich a strok he 3af þe kni3t

V pon his heued so harde iset

Þ at helm and heued and bacinet

Þ at ate brest stod þe dent

D ed he fil doun verraiment

Þ e leuedi lai in o kernel

A nd biheld þe batail eueri del

3 he ne was neuer er so bliþe

S che þankede god fele sithe ·

S ire degarre com in to castel

A 3ein him com þe dammaisel

A nd þonked him swiþe of þat dede

I n to chaumber sche gan him lede

A nd vnarmed him anon

A nd set him hire bed vpon

A nd saide sire par charite

I þe prai dwel wi3 me

A nd al mi lond ich wil þe 3iue

A nd mi selue whil þat iliue

G rant merci dame saide degarre

O f þe gode þou bedest me

W ende ich wille in to oþer londe

M ore of hauentours for to fonde

A nd be þis twelue moneþ be go

A 3ein ich wil come þe to

Þ e leuedi made moche mourning

F or þe kni3tes departing

A nd 3af him a stede god and sur

G old and siluer an god armur

A nd bitau3t him ihesu heuene king

A nd sore þei wepen at here parting

F orht wente sire degarre

     Þurh mani a diuers cuntre

E uer mor he rod west

S o in a dale of o forest

H e mette wi3 a dou3ti kni3t

V pon a stede god and li3t


I n armes þat were riche and sur

W i3 þe sscheld of asur

A nd þre bor heuedes þer in

W el ipainted wi3 gold fin

S ire degarre anon ri3t

H endeliche grette þe kni3t

A nd saide sire god wi3 þe be

A nd þous a3ein answerede he

V elaun wat dost þou here

I n mi forest to chase mi dere

D egarre answerede wi3 wordes meke

S ire þine der nougt ine seke

I ich am an aunterous kni3t

F or to seche werre and fi3t

Þ e kni3t saide wi3outen fail

3 if þou comest to seke batail

H ere þou hast þi per ifounde

A rme þe swiþe in þis stounde

S ire degarre and his squier

A rmed him in riche atir

W i3 an helm riche for þe nones

W as ful of precious stones

Þ at þe maide him 3af saun fail

F or whom he did raþer batail

A sscheld he kest aboute his swere

Þ at was of armes riche and dere

W i3 þre maidenes heuedes of siluer bri3t

W i3 crounes of gold precious of si3t

A sschaft he tok þat was nowt smal

W i3 a kene coronal

H is squier tok anoþer spere

B i his louerd he gan hit bere

L o swich auenture he gan bitide

Þ e sone a3ein þe fader gan ride

A nd noiþer ne knew oþer no wi3t

N ou biginne3 þe firste fi3t

S ire degarre tok his cours þare

    A3en his fader a sschaft he bare

T o bere him doun he hadde imint

R i3t in þe sscheld he set his dint


Þ e sschaft brak to peces al

A nd in þe sscheld lat þe coronal

A n oþer cours þai gonne take

Þ e fader tok for þe sones sake

A sschaft þat was gret and long

A nd he an oþer also strong

T o gider þai riden wi3 gret raundoun

A nd aiþer bar oþer adoun

W i3 dintes þat þai smiten þere

H ere stede rigges to borsten were

A fote þai gonne fi3t ifere

A nd laiden on wi3 swerdes clere

Þ e fader amerueiled wes

W hi his swerd was point les

A nd seide to his sone a pli3t

H erkne to me a litel wi3t

W her were þou boren in what lond

I n litel bretaigne ich vnderstond

K ingges doughter sone wit outen les

A c inot wo mi fader wes

W hat is þi name þan saide he

C ertes men clepe3 me degarre

O degarre sone mine

C ertes ich am fader þine

A nd bi þi swerd iknowe hit here

Þ e point is in min aumenere

H e tok þe point and set þer to

D egarre fel iswone þo

A nd his fader sikerli

A lso he gan swonþ

A nd whanne of swone arisen were

Þ e sone cride merci þere

H is owen fader of his misdede

A nd he him to his castel gan lede

A nd bad him dwelle wi3 him ai

C ertes sire he saide nai

A c 3if hit 3oure wille were

T o mi moder we wende ifere

F or 3he is in gret mourning

B leþelich qua3 he bi heuene kyng


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(version: 10 February 1998)