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Of a knyht, that wes so strong,

Of wham God hath don ys wille ;
Me-thuncheth that deth hath don us wrong,

That he so sone shall ligge stille.
Al Englond ahte for te knowe

Of wham that song is, that y synge;
Of Edward Kyng, that lith so lowe,

Zent al this world is nome con springe :
Trewest mon of alle thinge,

Ant in werre war ant wys,
For him we ahte oure honden wrynge,

Of Christendome he ber the prys.
Byfore that oure kyng was ded,

He spek ase mon that wes in care,
“ Clerkes, knyhtes, barons,” he sayde,

“ Y charge ou by oure sware,
That ye to Engelonde be trewe.

Y deze, y ne may lyven na more;
Helpeth mi sone, ant crouneth him newe,

For he is nest to buen y-core.
“ Ich biqueth myn herte arhyt,

That hit be write at my devys,
Over the see that Huel be diht,

With fourscore knyhtes al of prys,
In werre that buen war ant wys,

Azein the hethene for te fyhte,
To wynne the croiz that lowe lys,

Myself ycholde zef that y myhte."
Kyng of Fraunce, thou hevedest “ sinne,'

That thou the counsail woldest fonde,
To latte the wille of. Edward Kyng

To wende to the Holy Londe:
That oure kynge hede take on honde

All Engelond to zeme ant wysse,
To wenden in to the Holy Londe

To wyunen us heveriche blisse.
Ver. 33, sunne. MS.

V. 35, kyng Edward. MS. 1 This is probably the name of the person who was to preside over this business.

The messager to the Pope com,

And seyde that our kynge was ded:
Ys oune hond the lettre he nom,

Ywis his herte was full gret:
The Pope him self the lettre redde,

Ant spec a word of gret honour.
“ Alas!” he seid, “is Edward ded?

Of Christendome he ber the flour."
The Pope to his chaumbre wende,

For dol ne mihte he speke na more;
Ant after cardinals he sende,

That muche couthen of Cristes lore,
Bothe the lasse, ant eke the more,

Bed hem bothe rede ant synge:
Gret deol me myhte se thore,

Mony mon is honde wrynge.
The Pope of Peyters stod at is masse

With ful gret solempnetė,
Ther me con the soule blesse :

“ Kyng Edward honoured thou be:
God love thi sone come after the,

Bringe to ende that thou hast bygonne,
The holy crois y-mad of tree,

So fain thou woldest hit hav y-wonne.
“ Jerusalem, thou hast i-lore

The flour of al chivalrie
Now Kyng Edward liveth na more :

Alas! that he zet shulde deye!
He wolde ha rered up ful heyze

Oure banners, that bueth broht to grounde;
Wel! longe we mowe clepe and crie

Er we a such kyng han y-founde."
Nou is Edward of Carnarvan

Kyng of Engelond al aplyht,
God lete him ner be worse man

Then his fader, ne lasse of myht.


V. 43. ys is probably a contraction of in hys, or yn his. me, i. e. men; so in Robert of Gloucester, passim.

To holden is pore men to ryht,

And understonde good counsail,
Al Engelong for to wysse ant dyht;

Of gode knyhtes darh him nout fail.
Thah mi tonge were mad of stel,

Ant min herte yzote of bras,
The godness mybt y never telle,

That with Kyng Edward was :
Kyng, as thou art cleped conquerour,

In uch bataille thou hadest prys;
God bringe thi soule to the honour

That ever wes, ant ever ys.?

2 Here follow in the original three lines more, which, as seemingly redundant, are thus appended, viz.

That lasteth ay withouten ende,

Bidde we God, ant oure Ledy to thilke blisse
Jesus us sende. Amen.

III. An original Ballad by Chaucer. This little sonnet, which hath escaped all the editors of Chaucer's works, is now printed for the first time from an ancient MS. in the Pepysian library, that contains many other poems of its venerable author. The versification is of that species which the French call Rondeau, very naturally Englished by our honest countrymen Round 0. Though so early adopted by them, our ancestors had not the honour of inventing it: Chaucer picked it up, along with other better things, among the neighbouring nations. A fondness for laborious trifles hath always prevailed in the dark ages of literature. The Greek poets have had their wings and axes : the great father of English poesy may therefore be pardoned one poor solitary rondeau. Geofrey Chaucer died Oct. 25, 1400, aged 72.

I. 1.
YOURE two eyn will sle me sodenly
I may the beaute of them not sustene,
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene.

And but your words will helen hastely
My hertis wound, while that it is grene,
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly.

Upon my trouth I sey yow feithfully,
That ye ben of my liffe and deth the quene;
For with my deth the trouth shal be sene.
Youre two eyn, &c.

II. 1. So hath youre beauty fro your herte chased Pitee, that me n'availeth not to pleyn: For daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

Giltless my deth thus have ye purchased;
I sey yow soth, me nedeth not to fayn:
So hath your beaute fro your herte chased.

Alas, that nature hath in yow compassed
So grete beaute, that no man may atteyn
To mercy, though he sterve for the peyn.
So hath youre beaute, &c.

III. 1.
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat,
I nere thinke to ben in his prison lene;
Syn I am fre, I counte hym not a bene.

He may answere and sey this and that,
I do no fors, I speak ryght as I mene :
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat.

Love hath my name i-strike out of his sclat,
And he is strike out of my bokes clene:
For ever mo 'ther ’ is non other mene,
Syn I fro love escaped, &c.

i This. MS.


The Turnament of Tottenham;1

DAVGHTER THERE. It does honour to the good sense of this nation, that while all Europe was captivated with the bewitching charms of chivalry and romance, two of our writers in the rudest times could see through the false glare that surrounded them, and discover whatever was absurd in them buth. Chaucer wrote his Rhyme of Sir Thopas in ridicule of the latter; and in the following poem we have a humorous burlesque of the former. Without pretending to decide whether the institution of chivalry was upon the whole useful or pernicious in the rude ages, a question that has lately employed many good writers, it evidently encouraged a vindictive spirit, and gave such force to the custom of duelling, that there is little hope of its being abolished. This, together with the fatal consequences which often attended the diversion of the Turna. ment, was sufficient to render it obnoxious to the graver part of mankind. Accordingly the Church early denounced its censures against it, and the State was often prevailed on to attempt its suppression. But fashion and opinion are superior to authority: and the proclamations against tilting were as little regarded in those times as the laws against duelling are in these. This did not escape the discernment of our poet, who easily perceived that inveterate opinions must be attacked by other weapons besides proclamations and censures; he accordingly made use of the keen one of RIDICULE. With this view he has here introduced with admirable humour a parcel of clowns, imitating all the solemnities of the Tourney. Here we have the regular challenge—the appointed day—the lady for the prize—the formal preparations—the display of armour—the scutcheons and devices—the oaths taken on entering the lists—the various accidents of the encounter—the victor leading off the prize-and the magnificent feasting—with all the other solemn fopperies that usually attended the pompous turnament. And how acutely the sharpness of the author's humour must have been felt in those days, we may learn from what we can perceive of its keenness now, when time has so much blunted the edge of his ridicule.

The Turnament of Tottenham was first printed from an ancient MS. in 1631, 4to, by the Rev. Wbilhem Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, who was one of the translators of the Bible. He tells us it was written by Gilbert Pilkington, thought to have been sometime parson of the game parish, and author of another piece, entitled Passio Domini Jesu Christi.

i It has been thought that this ballad is a burlesque upon the old feudal custom of marrying an heiress to a knight who should vanquish all his opponents, at a solemn assembly holden for that purpose. (See Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1794, p. 613.)Editor.

2 See ČMr. Hurd's] Letters on Chivalry, 8vo, 1762. Mémoire de la Chevalerie, par M. de la Curne des Palais, 1759, 2 tom. 12mo, &c.

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