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Me imette that mon me hof
Uppen are halle.
Tha halle ich gon bestriden,
Swulc ich wolde riden
Alle tha lond tha ich ah
Alle ich ther ouer sah.
And Walwain sat biuoren me;
Mi sweord he bar an honde.
Tha com Moddred faren ther
Mid unimete uolke.
He bar an his honde
Ane wiax stronge.
He bigon to hewene
Hardliche swithe,
And tha postes for-heou alle
Tha heolden up the halle.
Ther ich isey Wenheuer eke,
Wimmonen leofuest me:
Al there muche halle rof
Mid hire honden heo to-droh.
Tha halle gon to haelden,
And ich haeld to grunden,
That mi riht aerm to-brac.
Tha seide Modred, Haue that!
Adun ueol tha halle
And Walwain gon to ualle,
And feol a there eorthe;
His aermes brekeen beine.
And ich igrap mi sweord leofe
Mid mire leoft honde,
And smaet of Modred is haft,
That hit wond a thene ueld;
And tha quene ich al to-snathde,
Mid deore mine sweorde,
And seodthen ich heo adun sette
In ane swarte putte.
And al mi uolc riche
Sette to fleme,
That nuste ich under Criste
Whar heo bicomen weoren.
Buten mi seolf ich gond atstonden
Uppen ane wolden
And ich ther wondrien agon
Wide yeond than moren.
Ther ich isah gripes
And grisliche fugheles,
Tha com an guldene leo
Lithen ouer dune.
Deoren swithe hende,
Tha ure Drihten make.
Tha leo me orn foren to,
And iueng me bi than midle,
And forth hire gun yeongen
And to there sae wende.
And ich isaeh thae vthen
I there sae driuen;
And the leo i than ulode
Iwende with me seolue.
Tha wit i sae comen,
Tha vthen me hire binomen.
Com ther an fisc lithe,

I dreamt that men raised (set) me Upon a hall; The hall I gan bestride, As if I would ride ; All the lands that I possessed (had), All I there overlooked (them saw). And Walwain sate before me; My sword he bare in hand. Then approached Modred there, With innumerable folk; He bare in his hand A “battle"-axe (most) strong ; He began to hew Exceeding hardily ; And the posts all hewed in pieces, That held up the hall. There I saw Wenhaver eke (the queen), “ Dearest of women to me"; All the mickle hall roof With her hand she drew down ; The hall gan to tumble, And I tumbled to the ground, So that my right arm brake in pieces, Then said Modred, “Have that!" Down fell the hall; And Walwain gan to fall (was fallen), And fell on the earth; His arms both brake. And I grasped my dear (good) sword With my left hand, And smote off Modred his head, So that it rolled on the field. And the queen I “cut all in pieces With my dear sword, And afterwards I” set “her” down In a black pit. And all my good people Set to flight, So that I knew not under Christ, Where (that) they were gone. But myself I gan stand Upon a weald, “And I there gan to wander Wide over the moors”; There I saw gripes, And grisly (wondrous) fowls ! Then approached a golden lion Over the down ; A beast most fair, That our Lord made" ;

[me, The (this) lion ran towards (quickly to) And took “me” by the middle, And forth gan her move (he gan me And to the sea went.

[carry), “ And I saw the waves Drive in the sea"; And the lion in the flood Went with myself. When we came in the sea, The waves took her from me; [a fish, But there approached (came swimming)

And fereden me to londe.
Tha wes ich al wet,
And weri of soryen, and seoc.
Tha gon ich iwakien
Swithe ich gon to quakien ;
Tha gon ich to binien
Swule ich al fur burne.
And swa ich habbe al niht
Of mine sweuene swithe ithoht;
For ich what to iwisse
Agan is al mi blisse ;
For a to mine liue
Soryen ich mot driye.
Wale that ich nabbe here
Wenhauer mine quene!

And brought me to land ;-
Then was I all wet,
" And” weary" from sorrow," and (very)
When I gan to wake,

[sick.
Greatly (then) gan I to quake;
“Then gan I to tremble
As if I all burnt with fire."
And so (thus) I have all night
Of my dream much thought :
For I wot (all) with certainty,
Gone is all my bliss,
For ever in my life
Sorrow I must endure !
Alas! that I have (had) not here
Wenhaver, my queen!

5. The Ormulum (Manual, p. 27).

(Edited by Dr. White, Oxford, 1852.) Nu, brotherr Wallterr, brotherr min Now, brother Walter, brother mine Affterr the flaeshes kinde;

After the flesh's kind (or nature) ; Annd brotherr min i Crisstenndom

And brother mine in Christendom (or

Christ's kingdom) Thurrh fullubht and thurrh trowwthe; Through baptism and through truth ; Annd brotherr min i Godess hus,

And brother mine in God's house, Yet o the thride wise,

Yet on (in) the third wise, Thurrh thatt witt hafenn takenn ba Though that we two have taken both An reghellboc to folghenn,

One rule-book to follow, Unnderr kanunnkess had and lif, Under canonic's (canon's) rank and life, Swa summ Sannt Awwstin sette ;

So as St. Austin set (or ruled); Icc hafe don swa summ thu badd

I have done so as thou bade Annd forthedd te thin wille ;

And performed thee thine will (wish; Icc hafe wennd inntill Ennglissh

I have wended (turned) into English Goddspelless hallghe lare,

Gospel's holy lore, Affterr thatt little witt tatt me

After that little wit that me Min Drihhtin hafеthth lenedd.

My Lord hath lent.

C.-OLD ENGLISH, 1250-1350.

6. Proclamation of Henry III. in a.d. 1258. (From Marsh's Origin and History of the English Language, pp. 192, 193.) Henr', thurg Godes fultume King on · Henry, by the grace of God king in Englencloande, lhoaverd on Irloand, (of) England, lord in (of) Ireland, duke duk' on Norm', on Aquitain', and eorl in (of) Normandy, in (of) Aquitaine, on Aniow, send igretinge to all hise and earl in (of) Anjou, sends greeting halde ilaerde and ilaewede on Hunten- to all his lieges, clerk and lay, in Huntdon' schir'.

ingdonshire. Thaet witen ge wel alle, thaet we This know yo well all, that we wil. willen and unnen, thaet thaet ure and grant that what our councillors, raedesmen alle other the moare dael all or the major part of them, who are of heom, thaet beoth ichosen thurg chosen by us and by the land's people us and thurg thaet loandes folk on ure in our kingdom, have done and shall kuneriche, babbeth idon and schullen' do, to the honour of God and in alle. don in the worthnesse of Gode and on giance to us, for the good of the land, ure treowthe for the freme of the by the ordinance of the aforesaid counloande thurg the besigte of than tofo cillors, be stedfast and permanent in all reniseide redesmen, beo stedefaest and ilestinde in alle thinge a buten aende, and we hoaten alle ure treowe in the treowthe, that heo us ogen, thaet heo stedefaestliche healden and swerien to healden and to werien the isetnesses, thaet beon imakede and beon to makien thurg than toforeniseide raedesmen other thurg the moare dael of heom alswo alse hit is biforen iseid, and thaet aehc other helpe thaet for to done bi than ilche othe agenes alle men, rigt for to done and to foangen, and noan ne nime of loande ne of egte, wherethurg this besigte muge beon ilet other iwersed on onie wise and gif oni other onie cumen her ongenes, we willen and hoaten, thaet alle ure treowe heom healden deadliche ifoan, and for thaet we willen, thaet this beo stedefaest and lestinde, we senden gew this writ open iseined with ure seel to halden amanges gew ine hord.

Witnesse usselven aet Lunden' thane egtetenthe day on the monthe of Octobr' in the two and fowertigthe geare of ure cruninge.

And this wes idon aetforen ure isworene redesmen :

shere follow the signatures of several redesmen or councillors) and aetforen othre moge.

And al on tho ilche worden is isend in to aeurihce othreshcire ouer al

kuneriche on Engleneloande and ek in tel Irelonde.

things, time without end, and we com-
mand all our lieges by the faith that
they owe us, that they stedfastly hold,
and swear to hold and defend the regu-
lations that are made and to be made
by the aforesaid councillors, or by the
major part of them, as is before said,
and that each help others this to do,
by the same oath, against all men,
right to do and to receive, and that
none take of land or goods, whereby
this ordinance may be let or impaired
in any wise, and if any [sing.) or any
(plural] transgress here against, we
will and command that all onr lieges
them hold as deadly foes, and because
we will that this be stedfast and per-
manent, we send you these letters
patent sealed with our seal, to keep
among you in custody.

Witness ourself at London the eighteenth day in the month of October in the two and fortieth year of our coronation.

And this was done before our sworn councillors :

[Signatures]

and before other nobles [?]

And all in the same words is sent into every other shire over all the kingdom in (of) England and also into Ireland.

7. King Alisaunder (Manual, p. 28).

(From Guest's History of English Rhythms, vol. ii. p. 142.) Averil is meory, and longith the day; April is merry, and length'neth the day; Ladies loven solas and play ;

Ladies love solace and play ; Swaynes justes; knyghtis turnay; Swains the jousts; knights the tournay ; Syngeth the nyghtyngale ; gredeth theo Singeth the nightingale; screameth the jay;

jay; The hote sunne chongeth the clay; The hot sun changeth the clay ; As ye well yseen may.

| As ye well may see.- Alisaunder, 140.

8. Havelok (Manual, p. 28).
(From Guest's History of English Rhythms, vol. ii. pp. 142-145.)

Hwan he was hosled and shriven,
His quiste maked, and for him given,
His knictes dede he alle site,
For thorw them he wolde wite,
Hwo micte yeme hise children yunge,

" that he couthen speken wit tunge,

When he was housled and shriven,
His bequests made, and for him given,
His knights he made all sit,
For from them would he know,
Who should keep his children young,
Till they knew how to speak with tongue,
Speken, and gangen, on horse riden,
Knictes and sweynes bi hete siden.
He spoken there offeand chosen sone
A riche man was, that, under mone,
Was the trewest that he wende -
Godard, the kinges oune frende ;
And seyden, he moucthe hem best loke
Yif that he hem undertoke,
Till hise sone mouthe bere
Helm on heued, and leden ut here,
(In his hand a spere stark)
And king ben maked of Denmark.

To speak, and walk, and ride on horse, I Knights and servants by their side.

They spoke thereof-and chosen soon | Was a rich man, that, under moon, Was the truest that they knewGodard, the king's own friend ;

And said they, he might best them keep ¡ If their charge he undertook,

Till his son might bear
| Helm on head, and lead out host,

(In his hand a sturdy spear)
And king of Denmark should be made.

1 This is clearly a mistake for here.

9. Robert of Gloucester (Mannal, p. 27). Thuse come lo! Engelond into Nor. Thus came lo! England into Normans'. mannes honde,

hand. And the Normans ne couthe speke tho And the Normans not could speak then bote her owe speche,

but their own speech, And speke French as dude atom, and And spake French as (they) did at home, here chyldren dude al so teche;

and their children did all so teach : So that heymen of thys lond, that of her So that high men of this land, that of blod come,

their blood come, Holdeth alle thulke speche that hii of Hold all the same speech that they of hem nome.

them took ; Vor bote a man couthe French me tolth For but a man know French men tell of hym wel lute;

(reckon) of him well little : Ac lowe men holdeth to Englyss and to But low men hold to English and to her kunde speche yute.

their natural speech yet. Ich wene ther ne be man in world con- I wen there not be man in world cuntreyes none

tries none That ne holdeth to her kunde speche, That not holdeth to their natural speech bot Engelond one.

but England (al.) one. Ac wel me wot vor to conne both wel | But well I wot for to know both well yt ys;

it is : Vor the more that a man con, the more For the more that a man kouws, the worth he ys.

more worth he is.

10. Robert Mannyng or Robert of Brunne (Manual, p. 27).

Lordynges, that be now here,
If ye wille listene & lere
All the story of Inglande,
Als Robert Mannyng wryten it fand,
& on Inglysch has it schewed,
Not for the lerid bot for the lewed,
For tho that in this land wonn,
That the Latyn no Frankys conn,
For to haf solace & gamen
In fela wschip when thai sitt samen.

Lords, that be now here,
If ye will listen and learn
All the story of England,
As Robert Mannyng found it written,
And in English has shewed it,
Not for the learned but for the unlearned,
For those that in this land dwell,
That know not Latin nor French,
In order to have solace and enjoyment
In fellowship when they sit together.

CHAPTER II.

THE AGE OF CHAUCER.

11. The Vision of Piers Ploughmun, 1350 (Manual, p. 50).

SATIRE OF LAWYERS.
Yet hoved 1 ther an hundred
In howves ? of selk,
Sergeantz it bi-semed
That serveden at the barre,
Pleteden for penyes
And poundes the lawe;
And noght for love of our Lord
Unlose hire lippes ones.
Thow myghtest bettre meete myst
On Malverne hilles,
Than gete a mom of hire mouth,

Til moneie be shewed.
1 hored, waited

2 howves, hoods or caps.

12. John Gower, d. 1408. Confessio Amantis (Manual, p. 51, seq.).

TALE OF THE COFFERS OR CASKETS.

From the Fifth Book
In a Cronique thus I rede :
Aboute a king, as must nede,
Ther was of knyghtès and sqniers
Gret route, and eke of officers :
Some of long time him hadden served,
And thoughten that they haue deserved
Avancement, and gon withoute :
And some also ben of the route,
That comen but a while agon,
And they avanced were anon.

These oldè men upon this thing,
So as they durst, ageyne the king

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