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That weren pale and fade hewed,
And as a busshe, whiche is besnewed,
Here berdes weren hore and white.
There was of kinde but a lite,
That they ne semen fully dede.
They comen to the king and bede
Some of his good pur charite.
And he with great humilite
Out of his chare to grounde lepte
And hem in both his armes kepte
And kist hem bothe foot and honde
Before the lordes of his londe
And yaf hem of his good therto.
And whan he hath this dede do
He goth into his chare ayeine.
Tho was murmur, tho was disdeine,
Tho was compleinte on every side,
They faiden of their owne pride
Echone till other : what is this?
Our king hath do this thing amis
So to abesse his roialte,
That every man it mighte se,
And humbled him in such a wise
To hem that were of none emprise.
Thus was it spoken to and fro
Of hem, that were with him tho
All prively behinde his backe.
But to him selfe no man spake.
The kinges brother in presence
Was thilke time and great offence
He toke therof and was the same
Abre all other, which moste blame
Van his lege lord hath laid
And bach unto the lordes faid,
Awe as he may time finde,
There bail nothing be left behinde,
Thx he wol ineke unto the king.
Now list what fell upon this thing.
The water was merie and fair inough,
Echene with other pleid and lough
And fedea into tales newe,
How that the fres the foures grewe,
And how the grene leves spronge,
ad hew that lore amonge the yonge
Began the hertes thanne awake,
And every brid hath chose his make.
And thus the maies day to thende
They lede and home ayein they wende.
The king was nought fo fone come,
That when he had his chambre nome,
His brother ne was redy there
And brought a tale unto his ere
Of that he didde such a shame
In hindring of his owne name,
Than he him ielte wolde dreche,
That to fo vile a pouer wrecche
Him deigneth shewe such simple tie
Ayein the state of his nobletie.
And faith, he shall it no more use
And that he mot him felfe excuse
'oward his lordes everichone.
'he king stood still as any stone
nd to his tale an ere he laide
ind thought more than he faide.
but netheles to that he herde
Vell curteilly the king answerde
Ind tolde, it shulde ben amended.
Ind thus whan that here tale is ended,
Ill redy was the bord and cloth,
Che king unto his souper goth
Among the lordes to the halle.
And whan they hadde fouped alle,
They token leve and forth they go.
The king bethought him selfe tho,
How he his brother may chastie,
That he through his surquedrie
Toke upon honde to dispreise
Humilite, which is to preise,
And therupon yaf such counseil
Toward his king, that was nought heil,
Wherof to be the better lered
He thenketh to make him afered.
It fell so, that in thilke dawe
There was ordeigned by the lawe
A trompe with a sterne breth,
Which was cleped the trompe of deth.
And in the court, where the king was,
A certein man this trompe of brass
Hath in keping and therof serveth,
That whan a lord his deth deserveth,
He shall this dredfull trompe blowe
To-fore his gate and make it knowe,
How that the jugement is give
Of deth, which shall nought be foryive.
The king whan it was night anone
This man afsent and bad him gone
To trompen at his brothers gate.
And he, which mot so done algate,
Goth forth and doth the kinges heft.
This lord, which herde of this tempest,
That he to-fore his gate blewe,
Tho wist he by the lawe and knewe,
That he was sekerlich dede.
And as of helpe he wist no rede,
But sende for his frendes all
And tolde hem how it is befalle.
And they him axe cause why,
But he the sothe nought forthy
Ne wist, and there was forwe tho.
For it stood thilke time so,
This trompe was of such sentence,
That there ayein no resistence
They couthe ordeine by no weie,
That he ne mot algate deie,
But if so that he may purchace
To get his lege lordes grace.
Here wittes therupon they caste
And ben appointed ate laste.
This lorde a worthy lady had
Unto his wife, whiche also drad
Her lordes deth, and children five
Betwene hem two they had alive,
That weren yonge and tender of age
And of stature and of visage
Right faire and lusty on to fe.
Tho casten they, that he and she
Forth with their children on the morwe,
As they that were full of forwe,
All naked but of smock and sherte
To tendre with the kinges herte
His grace shulden go to seche
And pardon of the deth beseche.
Thus passen they that wofull night,
And erly whan they figh it light
They gone hem forth in suche a wise,
As thou to-fore haft herd divise,
All naked but here shertes on
They wepte and made mochel mone.
Here hair hangend about here eres.
With sobbing and with sory teres
This lord goth than an humble pas,
That whilom proud and noble was,
Wherof the cite sore a flight
Of hem that sawen thilke sight.
And netheless all openly
With such weping and with such cry
Forth with his children and his wife
He goth to praie for his life.
Unto the court whan they be come
And men therin have hede nome,