The Historical Collections of a Citizen of London in the Fifteenth Century. Originally published by Camden Society, London, 1876.
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THE SIEGE OF ROUEN.
God, that dyde a pon a tre
And bought us with Hys blode soo fre,
To Hys blys tham brynge
That lystenythe unto my talkynge.
Oftyn tymys we talke of travayle,
Of saute, sege, and of grete batayle,
Bothe in romans and in ryme,
What hathe ben done be fore thys tyme.
But y wylle telle you nowe present,
Unto my tale yf ye wylle tent,
Howe the V. Harry oure lege,
With hys ryalte he sette a sege
By fore Rone, that ryche cytte,
And endyd hyt at hys owne volunte. (fn. 1)
A more solempne sege was nevyr sette
Syn Jerusalem and Troy was gotte.
So moche folke was nevyr sene.
One kynge with soo many undyr hevyne. (fn. 2)
Lystenythe unto me a lytylle space,
And I shalle telle you howe hyt was.
And the better telle I may
For at that sege with the kyng I lay,
And there to I toke a vyse,
Lyke as my wyt wolde suffyce.
Whenne Pountlarge (fn. 3) with sege was wonne,
And ovyr Sayne then enter was be gunne,
The Duke of Exceter (fn. 4) that [lord so] (fn. 5) hende,
To Rone, yn sothe, oure kynge hym sende.
Herrowdys with hym unto that cytte,
To loke yf that they yoldyn wolde be,
And alle soo for to se that grounde
That was a boute the cytte rounde;
Howe our kyng myght lay [th]er at a sege,
If they wolde not obey to oure lege.
When [th]e Duke of Exceter with grete renowne
Was come by fore the ryalle towne,
He splayyd hys baners on a bent,
And herrowdys unto [th]e cytte were sent,
To meke hem to oure kyngys methe,
Chargyd them uppon payne of dethe,
Not withstondyng hym of hys ryght,
But delyvyr the cytte to hys syght.
For he dyd them to wytte with owtyn bade, (fn. 6)
He wolde not goo er he hyt hadde,
But or he paste farre in space,
Wynne hys ryght thoroughe Goddys grace.
To that the cytte gaf non answere,
But prayde oure herrowdys furthe to fare.
They made a maner skorne with hyr honde
That they there shulde not longer stonde.
Gonnys they schott with grete envye,
And many were smytte pyttyfully.
And they yssuyde owte many fulle kene
On horsbackys with hyr harneys fulle schene.
The Duke of Exceter droffe hym yn agayne,
Of them were takyn and sum slayne. (fn. 7)
Whenne that was done with owtyn bode,
To Pountlarge agayne the Duke rode
And tolde the kyng of that proude cytte,
Howe hyt stode and in what degre.
Nota de malicia eorum.
Nota de malicia eorum.
Nowe to my tale, and ye wylle hede,
I wylle you telle a cursyde deede,
How evylle they wrought there,
To (fn. 8) oure kynge com hem by fore.
Subbarbys with owte the towne,
Chyrchys and howse they drewe downe,
And the Porte Synt Hyllary they schende,
A parysche chyrche downe ther rente.
Of Synt Hyllary was that same,
And aftyr hyt [th]e Porte bare hys name.
At Porte Causses a downe they drowe
A chyrche of Synt Androwe,
And an abbay of Synt Gervays; (fn. 9)
There [th]e Duke of Clarans loggyd was.
And the Porte de Pounte doune they bete,
A chyrche of oure Lady swete,
And othyr of Synt Kateryn, that maydyn meke,
And of Synt Savyoure a nothyr eke;
And of Seynt Mathewe they drewne downe one,
And lefte there of stondyng nevyr a stone.;
At Martyrvyle (fn. 10) a doune they mynde.
Of Synt Mychelle a chyrche fynde; (fn. 11)
And of Synt Poule a nothyr thoo
And mynde doune (fn. 12) a nothyr a lytylle fro.
Hyr heggys, gardons and streys, (fn. 13)
They drewe hem into the cytte every pece.
Buschys and brerys and boughys they brende,
And made hyt as bare as my honde.
Nowe was there a prowde araye
That a boute the cytte gaye.
Welle hyt was ordaynyd for the warre
With alle the fence that myght darre.
The wallys was fulle varyable (fn. 14)
And the dychys depe and fensabylle.
The dyche that was the walle aboute
The londe syde whythe oute,
Hyt was depe and also wyde,
A trenche sewynge in every syde.
A trenche hyt was with a depe dyssende
That was made the diche to defende
That noo man shulde come to nere
In hyr donger (fn. 15) but they were. (fn. 16)
Whoo went that trenche withyn,
With owtyn harme he myght not wynne.
The diche was brode and depe,
And fewe myght fro many man hyt kepe.
The bottom of the diche with yn
Was pyttefallyd ij fote evyr bytwyn,
And every pyttefalle a spere hyghthe
That there schulde stonde noo man to fyght.
And soo, to make hem clere
That noo man a boute them were,
Fro the pyttefalle unto the walle
Hit was hyghe and stowte with alle.
As thycke of caltrappys hit fulle was sette
As meyschys be yn a nette.
With yn the cytte aftyr (fn. 17) the walle
Welle countyrmuryde hyt was welle with alle,
With erthe soo thyke and so brode
That a carte myght goo [th]er uppon lode.
That poynt they made in there werre
That noo gunne shulde not hym derre. (fn. 18)
Hoo soo wylle hem count soo
There ben a hundryd or too. (fn. 19)
And also mote I thryffe
There ben portys fyve.
Of tourys aboute that cytte
Many a schore (fn. 20) there yn be;
And every towre from othyr ys
But of vj. rode in space I wyssc;
Ande in every toure iij gonnys lay,
For to schete dyvers waye.
In the myddys of [th]e walle every towre be twyne
Alle that cytte by-dene,
A grete fouler (fn. 21) was layde lowe
Evyn by the erthe that hit myght throwe.
Every towre by twyne [th]er lay on lofte
viij gounnys smalle [th]at myght schute ofte,
And also launcetys layde on hyght
To schute farre at nyght. (fn. 22)
And at every warde was there set
A engyne or a trebget, (fn. 23)
And on sum warde sete were ij.
Synt Hyllerys warde was one of tho.
Thys they made hyr ordynaunce
With fence of grete substaunce.
And of thys fence leve we talkynge
And talke we more of oure kynge.
The Fryday be fore Lammasse daye
The kynge remevyde in ryche a raye
To the cytte of grete pryde,
And loggyd hym a lytylle [th]er be syde.
The Satyrday he sygnyde the grounde
To hys chyftaynys by-fore that cytte rounde.
A cry on Monday he dyd make
That every man schulde hys grounde take.
At the este ende of that cytte
With [inne] (fn. 24) a howse of Chartere
There loggyd hym oure kynge a-non,
And with hym loggyd many one.
Of alle worschyppe he ys a welle;
Hys honoure noo tonge may telle.
Of all pryncys for to a counte,
Sette hym pryncepalle in the frounte.
And at the ende towarde the weste,
Clarence the Duke he toke hys reste.
At an abbay he hym lende, (fn. 25)
That was mynyd doune and alle for-schende,
At Porte Causse that gate be-fore,
And kepte the Fraynysche men yn fulle sore,
And wan worschippe and grete honoure.
Of Pryncehode he may bere a floure.
Thoughe alle pryncys were i-mette,
Nexte the beste he myght be sette.
At the northe syde by twyne
There was loggyd Excetyr [th]e kene.
And at the Porte Denys he lay,
Where Freynysche men yssuyde owte every day.
He bet hem yn at every brounte,
And wanne worschyppe as he was wounte.
Of alle pryncys manhode to reporte
Set hym for on of the sorte. (fn. 26)
By twyne hym and Clarence (fn. 27) thanne,
Erle Marchalle (fn. 28) a man-fulle man,
Loggyd hym nexte the castelle gate
And kepythe hyt bothe erly and late.
And forthe in the same way
The Lorde Haryngton he lay.
Talbot from Dennifrount (fn. 29) when he come,
He loggyd hym next that gome. (fn. 30)
Then Haryngton Syr Wyllam
When he dyde hys retenewe he nam. (fn. 31)
The Erle of Urmounde (fn. 32) then lay he
Next Clarence with a grete mayne;
And Cornewale that comely knyght
He lay with Clarence bothe day and nyght;
And many knyghtys in a frounte
That nowe come not to my mynde to counte.
From Exceter towarde the kynge
Roos (fn. 33) and Wylby (fn. 34) were loggynge;
And thenne the Lorde Fe Hewe, (fn. 35)
That ys a goode knyght and a trewe;
Syr Wylham Porter thenne lay he
By fore the Porte Synt Hyllare.
Fulle spytefulle werre there was
And ought the cytte yssuyd owte in [th]at place. (fn. 36)
And ofte he droffe hem yn a gayne
Manfully with myght and mayne,
And wanne worschyppe alle wayes.
Moche ys that knyght to prayse.
And whylys Synt Kateryns was yolde, (fn. 37)
Of Mortayne the Erle (fn. 38) soo bolde,
That abbay and that towne by-twyne,
There he lay and wrought hem tene.
Moche worschyppe there he wanne;
Whyle he levyd he was the man.
The Erle of Saulysbury (fn. 39) in that tyde,
He loggyde in that othyr syde.
Syn thys vyage was thus begunne
Moche worschippe he wonne.
A comely knyght, Syr John the Gray,
On the Mounte Synte Mychelle he lay, (fn. 40)
That abbay and that towne by twyne,
And wan worschippe with war kene.
Syr Phylyppe Leche (fn. 41) thenne he lay
By twyne Sayn water and the abbay,
(fn. 42) And kepyd a warde undyr the hylle.
Worschyppe and honoure to hym fylle.
And Carowe, (fn. 43) that baron bolde,
Above he lay, and soo he wolde,
And kepte the watyr by the see syde. (fn. 44)
There fore hys worschyppe walkys wyde.
And Janygo (fn. 45) lay hym a-bove
A grete Squyer for to prove.
And in that othyr syde of Sayne
Lay Huntyngdone, (fn. 46) that cytte a gayne,
And helde them yn with manfulle warre
And gate hym worschyppe for evyr more.
Also Nevylle (fn. 47) that nobylle knyght,
And Umfravyle (fn. 48) that lorde soo lyght,
And Arundelle Syr Rycharde,
With Huntyngdon they lay inwarde.
Thoo Ferres (fn. 49) that lorde alle soo
With Huntyngdon he lay tho
At the Porte de Pounte in ryalle a-raye,
And wanne worschippe every daye.
Towarde Pounte del a roche (fn. 50) on Sayn,
Oure kynge made a gret chayne.
Thoroughe grete pylys he dyde hyt a-ray,
That no vesselle schulde rove a-way.
As nye the cheyne a brygge he made
To serve for man and hors i-lade.
Thenn every man myght to othyr fare
In hasty tyme yf nede were.
Sone as Warwyke (fn. 51) Domfrount wan
Then to oure kyng a non he cam,
A-non commaundyd hym oure lege
To Calbecke (fn. 52) to set a sege,
And when he come the toune be-fore
They dyd trete with owtyn more. (fn. 53)
He sought that soverayn Erle unto
That he that dede wolde doo.
He grauntyd hem in compassyon,
And selyd uppe a condyscyon,
The watyr of Sayn with owtyn lette,
Owre shyppys to passe with oure frette.
Then passyde oure shyppys alle in fere (fn. 54)
And keste hyr ancrys Roone fulle nere,
As thycke in Sayn as they myght stonde,
And segydde hyt bothe by water and by londe.
And when Warwyke that ende hadde made,
To Roone agayne that ryalle rode. (fn. 55)
By-twyxte Synt Kateryns and the kynge
He loggyd hym and was byggynge
Tylle that abbay in trety was,
And was yoldyn thoroughe Goddys grace.
Then withyn a lytylle whyle
He loggyd hym at Porte Martynvyle. (fn. 56)
Moche worschyppe therefore to hym was
And soo hathe ben in every place.
Saulysbury that was synyde to ryde,
Yet he returnyde and dyd abyde
By Huntyngdon, there lende
Tylle the sege was at an ende.
Glouceter that gracyus home, (fn. 57)
From the sege of Chirboroughe he come,
At the Port Synt Hyllarye
Fulle manfully loggyd he.
In caste of stone, in schot of quarelle, (fn. 58)
He dradde hym for noo perelle,
But wanne worschyppe with his werre,
And lay hys enmys fulle nerre
Thenne any man that there was
Be xl. rode and more in spas.
Whenn alle othyr pryncys ben tolde
Set hym for one of the bolde.
Of Sowthe folke (fn. 59) the Erle so wyght,
And Bergayne (fn. 60) that nobylle knyght
With Glouceter (fn. 61) bothe they lay,
And wanne worschyppe every day.
And then the pryor of Kylmaynan (fn. 62)
Was come with yn the mowthe of Sayn.
At Harflete he londed evyn, (fn. 63)
With xv. hundryd fyughtyng men,
Welle a-rayde of warre wyse,
As the cuntraye hathe the gysse.
Faste he hyed unto the sege,
And was welle-come unto oure lege.
Then was sayde the Fraynysche kynge
And the Burgaynys caste hyr entrynge (fn. 64)
In the northe syde of oure oste,
For cause there was playne (fn. 65) moste.
Oure kyng assygnyd a yenne
The priour (fn. 66) with hys xv. hundryd men
To logge hym in that syde,
For to kepe the wayes wyde.
By the Foreste of Lyones stoute,
To kepe the Fraynysche men owte,
He loggyd hym with owte that woode,
And made wacche and ordynaunce goode
Withowte oure oste iij legys large.
So for to logge hyt was hys charge.
The knyght thenne there-to sent, (fn. 67)
And manfully thedyr wente.
Yf the Fraynysche men ofte wolde there that way
The fryste frunt he thought to fray. (fn. 68)
Moche worschyppe wanne he there,
And soo he hadde done ellys where.
And moche worschyppe there he wan
I wolde you telle but alle I ne can.
Thys was oure sege with ryalle route
Alle the cytte sette aboute.
Nowe of thys cytte wylle y spelle,
And of the Captaynys wylle I telle.
Monsenyour Gy the goode Botlere (fn. 69)
Was cheffe captayne alle in fere, (fn. 70)
Bothe in castelle and in towne.
He was a man of grete renowne.
Monsenyour Termagon in that spase,
Captayne of Porte Causse he was.
Monsenyour de Roche alle soo
Of Bevewsyn captayn thoo.
Monsenyour Antoyne, a werryour wyght,
He was leuetenaunt to that knyght.
Herre Chanfewe (fn. 71) was captayne
Of the Porte de Pount de Sayne.
Johan Mawtrevers that [nobylle] (fn. 72) man
Of the Porte of Castelle was captayne.
Monsenoure Pennewys (fn. 73) thenne was he
Captayne of Porte Synt Hyllare.
The Bastarde of Teyne in that whyle
Was captayne of Porte Martynvyle.
And Gaunt Jaket or Jakys (fn. 74) of werrys wyse,
He was captayne, and alle so the pryce,
And of alle the skarmoschys that were withowte
Of alle the cytte rounde aboute.
And every on of thes captaynys hadde
v. ml. men and moo in lade. (fn. 75)
And whenn they wolde rayse all the comynaltye,
Many a thousande myght they be.
Men nomberyd them with yn
Whenn oure sege dyde by-gynne
To iij.ccc.ml. and ten (fn. 76)
Of wymmen, chyldryn, and of men.
O' pepylle hyt was a proude score,
A kynge to lay a sege be-fore.
And there-to they were fulle hardy in dede
Bothe in foote and eke in stede,
And als prowde men as evyr I saye, (fn. 77)
And poyntys of warre many one dyd shewe.
Whenn they yssuyd owt, moste comynly
They come not owte in one party.
At ij gatys, or iij, or alle
Sodynly they dyd owte falle.
And every parcelle there wolde be
A thowsande, or ellys thre, (fn. 78)
Rychely arayde at the beste
And there to prowdely and preste. (fn. 79)
Hyt was grete lykyng hem (fn. 80) to hede;
To counter hem (fn. 81) hyt was grete drede,
For the fensce of hem nought at alle,
For moche of the drede come fro the walle;
For schot of goonne and quarelle bothe
Sawe I nevyr gretter wothe. (fn. 82)
Evyr as they yssuyd oute and made a fray,
There wolde be schot I dar welle say
A hundryd govnnys at wallys and tourys
With [in] (fn. 83) the mount of ij halfe hourys.
Of quarellys noo tonge may sowne
That wolde be schot in schorte rome.
Thys they yssuyd owte tho and thoo,
And on the erthe men shulde be sloo, (fn. 84)
And othyr whyr with spere and schylde,
Whenn they wolde owte in to the fylde.
(fn. 85) Thenn oure kynge lette a diche make
And set ther uppon scharpe poyntyd stake
And heggys a-bove (fn. 86) for prykyers owte
Alle that cytte rounde a-boute.
Syr Robert Babthorpe in that space
Countroller unto oure kynge he was;
Bothe hegge and dyche he ordaynyd that,
And moche worschyppe there he gatte.
Then they yssuyd owte ofte on fote,
For in horsse-backe was noo boote.
Bothe in watyr and in londe
Oure men gaffe hem mete at hond.
And oft oure men were fully slayne,
For rennynge (fn. 87) of the walle soo gayne (fn. 88)
That was bothe grace and Goddys wylle
Bothe govnnys and quarellys went so thrylle,
Trypget and spryggalde and grete ingyne,
They wrought oure men fulle moche pyne,
And namely to Glouceter that dere, (fn. 89)
For he was loggyd them soo nere.
And come tydyngys newe and newe,
The Burgonnys wolde come for rescue.
Suche tydyngys come that cytte tylle
That the bellys they gon rynge fulle schrylle.
Nevyr aftyr tylde ne ronge the sythe [th]e sege was sette,
Ne aftyr tylle the cytte was gette.
Oure kynge demyd [th]at Duke of Burgon had ben nere,
And made a fylde with chyftens there. (fn. 90)
Sone tydyngys come hyt was not soo.
A-gayne to Parys [th]e Duke was goo.
Thenn with yn fewe dayes
They say he was at Pounthayes, (fn. 91)
And hadde iij.c. thousand (fn. 92)
Of fyghtyng men hym sewand. (fn. 93)
Oure kynge commaundyd with his crye
In harnys every man to lye.
With owtyn the border of hys oste
He made a dyche of grete coste,
Pyght with stakys that wolde perysce, (fn. 94)
With turnepykys, and with many an hers;
Govnnys goode and redy bente,
They were layde in many went. (fn. 95)
The countrollers the werke see,
A besy knyght in chevallere.
And sone they sayde with ynne a whyle,
He come with yn xx myle.
Thys tale was tolde un the Tuysday (fn. 96)
That he wolde com (fn. 97) on Fryday,
In that cytte was sayde the same;
Thys of hys comyng they hadde game.
And on the Fryday, with owtyn boode,
To Huntyndone oure kyng roode;
There he ordaynyd at hys a vyse,
A poynt of warre hyt was fully prysse.
He reryd that warde to batelle boune, (fn. 98)
Hyr backys tornyd toward the towne,
In hyr a ray so as they stode;
A nothyr batylle owte of a woode
Musterryd them with batylle sore.
Of Burgayne ys armys sum they bore. (fn. 99)
He made the bataylys for to mete,
As they hadde fought soo dyd they lete,
To make the cytte to yssue owte,
But they ne durste for they had dowte,
And supposyd hyt was a trayne;
They bode with yn for they wold not be slayne.
And aftyr that they werryd soore,
And yssude oute as [th]ey dyd be-fore,
Fulle myghtyfulle with power stronge,
And a-bode a-pon the Burgonnys longe,
Tylle hyt drewe towarde Crystysmas.
Bp [th]at tyme there vytayle waxyd scars.
Mete and drynke and othyr vytayle
In that cytte be-gan to fayle.
Save clene watyr they hadde i-nowe,
And vyneger to put there twoe,
Hyr brede was fulle ny gone
And flesche save hors hadde they non.
They etete doggys, they ete cattys;
They ete mysse, horse and rattys.
For an hors quarter, lenc or fatte,
At C s. hyt was atte.
A horsse hedde for halfe a pound;
A dogge for [th]e same mony round;
For xxxd. (fn. 100) went a ratte.
For ij noblys went a catte.
For vj d. went a mous;
They lefte but fewe in any house.
For brede as brode as my hond
Was worthe a franke, I undyrstond.
Hyt was febyll that they myght fynd,
For hyt was made in syche a kynde,
Ne of melle, ne of otys,
Bot of branne, God it wotys.
Oynonnys, lykys, bothe in fere (fn. 101)
Was to hem a mete fulle dere;
There of was a pece at a schelynge.
Welle was hym that myght gete a pyllynge.
A negge at ix d. a nappylle at x d.;
Suche a market was a-monge thes men.
There was many a carefulle herte
By-cause hyr market was so smarte.
They caryd not for exspens of goode,
For they myght fynde noo foode
Where on they myght hyr mony were;
And that made them soo fulle of care.
They ete uppe bothe roote and rynde
Of docke of gras (fn. 102) they myght fynde.
Thenne to dye they dyd be-gynne,
Alle that ryche citte withyn.
They dyde faster every day
Thenn men myght them in erthe lay.
There as was pryde in ray be-fore,
Thenn was hyt put in sorowe fulle soore.
There as was mete, drynke and songe,
Thenn was sorowe and hunger stronge.
Yf the chylde schulde be dede,
The modyr wolde not gyf hyt bredde,
Ne nought wolde parte hyt a scheve
Thoughe sche wyste to save hys lyve;
Ne the chylde the modyr gyffe;
Every on caste hym for to leve
As longe as they myght laste.
Love and kyndenys bothe were paste.
Alle kyndenys love was be-syde
That the chylde schulde fro the modyr hyde,
To ete mete that shulde hyt not see,
And ete hyt alle in prevyte.
But hunger passyd kynde and love,
By that pepylle welle ye may prove.
Yet in the wallys they made hyt stoute
For we shulde not wyt with-owte.
And sum stale a-way as they myght cache,
And they were takyn ay with-owte wacche. (fn. 103)
Alle they us tolde of hyr myschyffe,
And yet we can not them be-leffe,
That they shulde stonde in suche a state
By-cause that hyr warre dyd not a-bate.
Thenn with yn a lytylle space,
The poore pepylle of that place,
At every gate they were put oute
Many a hundryd in a route;
That hyt was pytte hem to see
Wemme[n] come knelyng on hyr kne,
With hyr chyldryn in hyr armys,
To socoure them from harmys;
Olde men knelynge them by
And made a dolfulle cry.
And alle they sayden at onys thenne,
"Have marcy uppon us, ye Englysche men."
Oure men gaffe them of oure brede,
Thoughe they hadde don sum of oure men to dede,
And harme unto them dyd they non,
But made them to the dyche gone.
There they kepte them a baycche
That non of hem shulde passe oure wacche.
Meny of them sayde they hadde levyr ben slayne
Thenn in to the cytte goo a-gayne.
They turnyd thenne with murmuracyon,
And cursyd hyr owne nacyon.
The cytte wolde not lete them yn,
There of I wote they dyd grete syn.
For many one there dyde for colde
That warmythe of howese savyd wolde.
That seson of Crystysmasse,
I shalle you telle a fayre grace,
And a mekenys of oure kynge,
Of goodenys a grete tokenynge.
He sent a-pon Crystysmasse daye
Hys herrowrys (fn. 104) of armys in ryche a-raye,
And sayde, by-cause of that hyghe feste,
Bothe to moste and leste,
With yn the cytte and with owte,
That were storles, and vytaylys with-owte,
They shulde have mete and drynke inowe
And save condyte to come there too.
They sayde "Graunt marcy," alle lyghtely,
As thoughe that they hadde sette lytylle [th]erby,
And unnethe they wolde graunte a space,
The pore to come there to that with-owte was.
ij prestys and iij men hem with (fn. 105)
To bryng hem mete they grauntyd grythe;
And yf there come any moo,
Them to slay they swere thoo.
On rowe [th]e pore were set in sete.
The prystys brought them hyr mete
They ete an dronke and were fulle fayne
And thankyd God (fn. 106) with alle hyr mayne,
And as they sette hyr mete to fong
Thys tale was them a-mong:
"A myghty God," they saydyn then,
"Of tendyr hertys ben Englysche men.
"Lo, here oure excellent kynge
"That we have ben so long stondynge,
"And nevyr wold obbey hym to,
"With oure wylle the omage hym do,
"Of us nowe hathe more compassyon
"Thenn hathe oure owne nacyon.
"That God as [th]ou art fulle of myght,
"Graunt hym grace to wynne hys ryght."
Thus the pepylle be-gan to speke.
Thenn to hem thys ij prystys toke.
When they hadde etyn they wente hyr way.
The trewys leste but that day;
And as the nyght be-gan to come
They hyr way yede sone. (fn. 107)
Thenn wacche and warde fulle strayte
Bothe day and nyght on hem they wayte,
To holde them yn, bothe grete and smalle;
For hunger brekythe the stone walle;
And the captaynys of that cytte,
Mayre, burges, and yemonrye,
For nede they muste wante mete,
Conselle they toke that they wolde trete.
A-pon the newe yerys evyn at nyght
At every gate of cytte [th]er callyd a knyght;
There was no man that tyme them herde.
With-owte answere forthe they farde,
Save a-pon Huntyng done ys syde,
Whenn they callyd in that tyde,
At the Porte de Pount of Sayne,
They answeryde full sone a-gayne.
A knyght thenn askyd what they wolde.
They sayde for sothe and thus they tolde.
"Speke with a knyght of oure lynage
"Or with sum lorde of Baronage."
He sayd, "For sothe I am a knyght;"
And they hym askyd what he hyght.
He sayde "My name ys Umfrevyle."
They thonkyd God and sayde [th]at whyle, (fn. 108)
"Of Normandy the olde blode
"Shalle helpe that we may have a ende goode
"By-twyxte us (fn. 109) and thys worthy kynge."
He sayde, "What ys youre wyllynge?"
They saydyn, "With[owte] (fn. 110) any sporte,
"We have ben at everyche Porte
"Where thys pryncys lyen before,
"And callyde aftyr them sore.
"Fryste at Clarence, that excellent, (fn. 111)
"Ought we callyde or we wente.
"Thenn at Glouceter the goode,
"Oftyn callyd and longe stoode.
"Thenn at Exceter we were,
"Fulle many tymys were callyd there.
"At Warwycke warde the Erle so fre
"We callyd moo then tymys thre. (fn. 112)
"Alle so at the Erl Marchalle we were,
"There was non that wolde us hyre.
"That we thys callyd yf they do muse,
"We pray you the ye us excuse,
"And pray thes pryncys for Goddys sake,
"That ys Lorde of alle and dyd us make,
"As they byn dukys of dignyte,
"And cheftaynys cheffe of chevalre,
"Unto the kyng pray for us,
"That we myght fynde hym gracyus;
"And we wylle you also
"Unt[o] the kyng for us to go,
"Besekyng hym for love of that Kynge
"In vj dayes that made alle thynge,
"With hys wyt and hys a-vyse,
"(Of alle othyr pryncys he ys [th]e pryce,)
"And also for hys owne prynce hode,
"And for hys moche manhode,
"And he ys kyng excellent,
"And unto non othyr obedyent,
"That levythe here in erthe be ryght,
"But only unto God almyght,
"With-yn hys owne Emperoure,
"And also kyng and conqueroure,
"That he wylle graunte us, of hys grace,
"Save condyte and also space,
"Nought to with-stonde oure offence,
"That we myght come unto hys presence,
"xij of us in one assent,
"Oure wylle to telle and oure entent.
"And with the myght of Goode soo fre,
"May we come onys [th]at we myght he see,
"We wylle hym say by lytylle instans
"Shalle turne the prynce to grete plesaunce."
Quod Umfrevyle, "Thys I assent."
He toke hys leve and forthe he went
To Clarens [th]e duke so dere
And tolde hym thys tydyngys alle in fere.
He thonkyd God and Marye eke
That owre enmys were made so meke,
And sayde "We wylle with fulle goode wylle
"Speke for them the kyng untylle."
Lo, so sone he undyrtoke,
And mekenys he nought for soke.
He ys a prynce for to commende,
But fewe in londe suche we fynde;
He ys manfulle whylys [th]e warre dos laste
And marcyfulle when wer ys paste;
Manhode, mekenys, bothe wyt and grace,
He has, content in lytylle space.
Hym wantyd no thynge [th]at a prynce shulde have:
Almyghty God moste (fn. 113) hym save!
Then Umfrevyle he toke hys leve,
Hys message went he for to meve.
To Glouceter then dyd hee goo,
To Exceter [th]e Duke alle soo.
Tolde they thys tydyngys alle in fere,
And thanked God of hevyn dyre,
That ther enmys agayne there wylle
For socoure shulde sende tham tylle;
And sayde they wolde for Goddys sake
Helpe a goode ende for to make.
Lo! (fn. 114) thos pryncys of mekenys
(God save them alle from sekenys!),
Thoughe they hadde sufferde war smarte,
Yet were they marcyfulle in herte.
Thenn Umfyrvyle hys leve there tas,
And passyd forthe on hys pace
To the Erlys alle by name,
And they hym sayde alle the same.
Loo! thes grete men of chyvalrye
Soo sone were in charyte.
There God of Hys grete grace
He them spedde in every place.
On neweyerysday in the mornynge
Umfyrvyle went unto the kynge,
Alle the mater to hym he sayde.
Lyke as hyt was unt[o] hym layde.
Oure kynge with counselle and wyse
Also by hys owne wyte and vyse,
Graunt the cytte alle hyr wylle,
That xij. of hem shulde com hym tylle.
And of hys lordys everyche on,
A-gayne hyt was nevyr of them non.
Lo! that Prynce pryncypalle,
Of worthynys he passythe alle.
Lo! howe he provyd hym manfully,
And also fulle marcyfully.
Thoughe they had of hys men so many maymyd, (fn. 115)
And so gretely hym grevyd,
And put hym unto so grete a coste,
And of hys men so many loste,
And so withstondyng hym of hys ryght,
And then were fallyn in to hys myght,
At hys wylle them to greve,
Yf he wolde venge hym with myscheve.
Then for to lyght so lowe,
Of hyr wylle to wytte and knowe.
Also to graunte them trete,
There was marcy and charyte!
And they so grevysly hym had gylte
And of hys pepylle so many (fn. 116) spylte;
He to graunte hem of hys grace
A marcy fulle mete hyt was.
The chylde of God I wote he ys
That dothe [th]e goode for the mys.
Of goodenys he lackythe noo thynge
That ys semyng for a kynge;
That Cryste for Hys Passyon
Kepe hym in Hys regnacyon!
Whenn he hadde grauntyd as I have tolde,
To Umfrevyle the knyght so bolde,
He askyd "Syr when shalle thys be?"—
"If that they wylle, to morowe," sayde he.
Umfrevyle hys leve there hente,
To the cytte a-gayne he wente,
And when he come unto the gate
The statys (fn. 117) he founde there ate.
He sayde "I have ben at oure kynge
"And he hathe grauntyd you youre wyllyng.
"To morowe by-tyme loke ye be yare, (fn. 118)
"For xij of you shalle with me fare.
"And sythe ye shalle goo hym to,
"Thys counselle I rede you doo.
"To morowe, I wotte, ye schalle se
"The ryalste prynce of Crystante.
"With suche a prynce yet ye nevyr spake,
"Ne not so sone a worde can take.
"Thynke with herte by fore youre tunge,
"Leste youre wordys ben alle to longe.
"Speke wordys but lytylle and welle hym set
"With that prynce when ye be met;
"For one worde wrong and owte of warde
"Myght cause you alle to fare fulle harde;
"For-thy of wordys be ye wyse
"And say not withowte a vyse."
They thonkyd hym alle curtesly,
And sayde, "Mon syr, graunt mercy,
"And ye thus moche good wolde us teche,
"Or that we com unto [th]at pryncys speche,"
And sayde "A dewe" and went hys waye—
Thys was Sonday and Neweyerysday. (fn. 119)
On that othyr day by pryme
Umfrevyle he come that tyme;
And of the kyngys squyers gente
That tyme with hym a certayne wente,
And many yemen with hym also
Were assygnyde for to go.
They wente to Synt Hyllarys gate,
The xij men come forthe there ate;
iiij knyghtys, and iiij clerkys,
And iiij burgeys wyse of workys;
And they alle were clad in blacke.
Maner they were (fn. 120) and fayre they spacke.
When they com unto Chartryte (fn. 121)
The kyng hyryng masse was he.
With yn Chartyr howse with yn dyd lyende, (fn. 122)
Tylle the masse was at ende.
Forthe come the kynge with owtyn let
Where he had knelyd in a closet, (fn. 123)
With a chere so chevetaynelyche
So lyght of loke and so lordelyche.
Solemp with semeland so sad
To se the kynge men myght be glad.
As sone as the Fraynysche men hym se
That lorde be fore they fylle on kne.
He blessyd them with statefulle chere
As he ne wyste what they were.
They inclynyd with meke speche
And a bylle to hym dyd they reche,
An bade a lorde to take the bylle, (fn. 124)
And sumwhat more he turnyd hem tylle.
What hyt ment, as I hyrde say,
A tretys they wolde have by sum way.
They hym be sought for Goddys sake,
That hevyn and erthe and alle dyd make,
Bothe este, west, northe, and soughthe,
That he wolde hyre them speke with mouthe.
And he bade them speke alle hyr wylle,
And they were fayne and knelyde stylle.
They sayde, "We you be seche and praye
"For Hys love [th]at dyde on Goode Frydaye,
"And for hys Modyrs love so fre,
"Consydyr ye the charyte,
"The pore pepylle that ben with owte
"In youre dychys rounde a-boute,
"That ben there and lacke mete and brede,
"For hunger many on ben dede.
"Have ye pytte tham uppon
"And graunte them leve for to gone."
Alle stylle he stode that whyle,
Nothyr dyd he laughe nor smyle,
But with a countenaunsce fulle clere,
And with a fulle lordely chere,
Nor to mylde, nor to stronge, (fn. 125)
But in a mene withowtyn change.
Hys countenans dyd he not a bate,
But stylle he stode and in astate,
Or hym lyste to geve an answere.
He sayde, "Felowys, hoo put them there,
"To the dyche of that cytte?
"I putte them not there, and [th]at wote ye.
"Nothyr hyt was not myn ordynaunce,
"Ne non passe by my sufferaunce.
"Let them fynde that they have sought;
"They a bode in the cytte whylys they mought.
"And as to you, ye knowe welle thys,
"Ye have offendyd me with mysse,
"And fro me i-kepte my cytte,
"That ys myn herrytage so fre,
"And ye shalle be my lege men."
They answeryd and sayde then,
"Of thys cytte that we here kepe
"We have a charge, and that a depe,
"That us be-toke oure soverayne lege,
"For to defende from saute and sege.
"We ben hys lege men i-bore,
"And also we have to hym swore,
"Also to the Duke of Burgayne fre,
"Of hym a fulle depe charge have we.
"But wolde ye of youre grete grace
"Graunt us leve and space,
"Sum of us to hem for to goo,
"That we myght warne them of oure woo
"And of oure faythe us to excuse,
"Many of us wolde them refuse,
"And to you delyvery youre cytte
"And many of us youre lege men be." (fn. 126)
He sayde, "I put you owte of doute,
"My cytte wylly not goo with owte.
"And as touchyng to youre Freynysche lege,
"He wot fulle welle I holde a sege.
"The Duke of Burgayne also
"Welle they wote bothe too;
"And thys whyle that I here have ben
"Ofte massyngers hathe gone us by-twyne
"If them lyste to nyght me nere. (fn. 127)
"Welle they wote to fynde me here.
"Welle they wote I wylle not gon
"With owte my ryght for frende ne fon.
"Sythe they hyt longe be fore knewe,
"To sende them message newe and newe,
"Hyt were to me but novylte; (fn. 128)
"To us but superfluyte.
"Suche massage shalle tham non be sent
"Hit ys noo nede ne compotent."
Whan he hadde gevyn then that answere
Of that mater they spake no more.
They sayde, "Hyt ys fulle lyke to wyn
"Rone cytte with men there yn."
He sayde, "Hyt ys myn owne londe,
"I wylle hyt wyn, thoughe ye hit with stond;
"And the men that ye so draffe
"Shalle be rewarde lyke as they serve."
With that worde they were a dradde
Then spake a clerke and thys he sayde:
"Soverayne lorde, yf ye wylle hede,
"In story thus I fynde and rede.
"ij chevetaynys a day had set,
"And with hyr hoste they met;
"Bothe a rayde uppon a fylde
"And bothe ij to batayle yelde.
"The wekyr party with les men yn
"Brought the bygger brede and wyne,
"In tokenyng that they shulde be
"Marcyfulle and of pytte.
"Lo, we brynge you bredde and wyne,
"We brynge you Rone the cytte fyne."
He sayde, "Rone ys myn herrytage,
"I wylle hit have with owtyn fage; (fn. 129)
"And for thys tyme I rede you doo
"That marcy may be grauntyd you to.
"And at the reverence of God alle myght,
"And of hys modyr, [th]at maydyn bryght,
"Of tretys I shalle graunte you space,
"If ye do welle ye may have grace."
Thenn they sayde, "Syr, for charyte,
"Howe wylle ye to oure pepylle see,
"That in the dychys suffer payne
"And for defaute dyen lyke swyne?"
He answeryd with wyt fulle wyse,
And sayde, "Ther on I wylle take a vyse.
"As God me puttys in herte and wylle,
"So wylle I do that pepylle tylle.
"As me my red ys, soo wylle I rewe"—
With that he went and sayde "A dewe."
The Fraynysche men in the same whyle,
Forthe they went with Umfrevyle.
Towarde the cytte as they yode,
They spake of oure kynge soo goode.
They sayde, "He ys, at oure a vyse,
"Of alle erthely pryncys the pryce,
"Takyng rewarde of hys chere,
"And to hys countenaunce so clere;
"To hys person in propyrte;
"To hys fetowrys and hys beute,
"And to hys depe dyscrecyon,
"That he hathe in possessyon,
"And to hys passyng prynce-hode,
"And to hys mykylle man-hode.
"And he ys marcyfulle in myght,
"And askysse no thynge but hys ryght.
"Thes vertuys ys a grete thynge
"To be withyn an erdely kynge.
"Howe shulde he but wyn honowre?
"Howe shulde he be but a conquerowre?
"Welle we wote withowtyn wene,
"God hym lovys, and that ys sene."
Thys the Fraynysche men of hym talkyd,
Towarde the cytte as they walkyd.
There leve of Umfrevyle they toke,
And in to the cytte the gon roke. (fn. 130)
A pon that othyr day erlyche
Oure kynge made ij tentys uppe to pycche,
One for Englysche, a nothyr for Fraynysche,
Bothe were sette in Glouceter ys trenche.
Thoughe the stormys were nevyr so grete,
Dry heddyd ther yn myght they trete.
When bothe pavylyons were uppe ryght,
They went to trete with wylle fulle wyght.
Warwyke, that worthy erle so wyse,
For oure parte he was pryce.
Sawlysbury, that erle so trewe,
And alle so the lorde Fehewe,
The kyngys stywarde Hungerforde,—
By name I can noo moo reporte,—
Fro that cytte cam tham to mete
xxiiij men fulle dyscrete. (fn. 131)
That was a syght of solempnyte,
To be-holde eyther othyr parte,
To se hyr pavylyons in hir a raye,
The pepylle that on the wallys lay,
And oure pepylle that was with owte,
Howe thycke they stode and walkyd a boute.
Also hyt was solas to sene
The herrowdys of armys [th]at went by twyne.
Kyngys, herrowdys, and pursefauntys,
In cotys of armys suauntys, (fn. 132)
The Englysche beste, (fn. 133) the Fraynysche floure, (fn. 134)
Of Portynggale castelle, and toure; (fn. 135)
Othyr in cotys of dyversyte,
As lordys berys in hys degre.
Gayly with golde they were be-gon,
Ryght as the son for sothe hyt schone.
Thys syght was bothe joye and chere;
Of sorowe and payne the othyr were.
Of pore pepylle there were put owte,
And nought as moche as a clowte (fn. 136)
But the clothys in there backe,
To kepe them from rayne I wotte.
The wedyr was unto them a payne,
For alle that tyme stode moste by rayne.
There men myght se grete pytte,
A chylde of ij yere or iij
Go a boute to begge hyt brede.
Fadyr and modyr bothe were dede.
Undyr sum the watyr stode;
Yet lay they cryyng aftyr foode.
And sum storvyn unto the dethe,
And sum stoppyde of ther brethe,
Sum crokyd in the kneys,
And sum alle so lene as any treys,
And wemmen holdyn in hyr armys
Dede chyldryn in hyr barmys, (fn. 137)
And the chyldryn sokyng in ther pappe
With yn a dede woman lappe.
There men myght fynde and see fulle ryfe
By twyne ij ded on lyynge on lyve,
And he not wetyng of there dethe,
Soo prevely they yelde uppe hyr brethe
Withoutyn calle or cry,
As they hadde slepte soo dyd they dy.
Thes were the syghtys of dyfferauns,
That one of joye and [th]at other of penaunce,
As helle and hevyn ben partyd a to,
That one of welle and [th]at othyr of wo.
There ne was noo man, I undyr stonde,
That sawe that but hys herte wolde change,
And he consyderyd that syght
He wolde be pensyffe and no thyng lyght.
There myght men lerne alle there lyve,
What was a-gayne ryght for to stryve.
For when hyt lay in there lotte
They were fulle cruelle, God hyt wote,
And marcy wolde they non have,
Nede causyd them aftyr for to crave.
And yet for alle hyr wyckyd wylle
Mercy they were takyn tylle.
Nowe of the pepylle lat we be,
And of oure tretys talke we.
We than (fn. 138) chalengyde and accused,
And they answeryd and excusyd.
We askyd moche and they proferd smalle,
That was ylle to corde with alle.
So they tretyd a forghtnyght,
And yet a corde they ne myght.
The tretys then they breke in haste,
And bothe tentys downe were caste.
The Fraynysche men them be thought
That hyr owne woo they hadde wrought.
And when they shulde hyr leve take,
They prayde oure men and thus they spake:
"For the love of Alle myghty God
"Contynu youre trewys to nyght for good.
"And yf we calle aftyr speche,
"In that tyme we you be seche,
"That we may have contynuans
"For to hyre oure audyens."
Oure men sayde, "That we assent."
Bothe tokyn hyr leve and forthe they went.
To the kyng oure party paste,
And tolde with tale fulle stydefaste,
Howe they hadde lefte and in what yssu,
And howe they had contynuyd trewe.
Oure kynge was marcyfulle in herte mode,
That they hadde grauntyd he not withstode.
The cytesyns with sympylle chere
In to the cytte they went yn fere. (fn. 139)
Sone in that cytte hyt was spoke
That the tretys was broke.
The poore pepylle alle a boute
On the ryche made a schoute:
"And ye fals tale-tellers,
"And also men quellers,
"Why wylle ye take no rewarde
"To us that suffer now so harde,
"That dye here every day,
"And welle mou (fn. 140) [th]en men telle may,
"Alle hyt rennys uppon youre coste, (fn. 141)
"For in youre faute we ben loste.
"We pray to God that ye answere,
"By fore that Lorde that sufferd sore (fn. 142)
"At Calverey uppon a roode,
"And bought us with Hys blessyd blode;
"That ye be gylty in thys cas
"We you apele by fore Hys face.
"Wolde ye obey unto oure lege,
"Thenn wolde he sesse of hys sege.
"But for youre goode that ye hyde,
"Youre pompe and youre grete pryde.
"And ye wolde enclyne unto youre kynge,
"Thenn myght he sesse of oure langgynge.
"But ye a corde with youre wylle,
"He shalle com yn thoughe ye nylle. (fn. 143)
"Youre styffe gatys that ye steke, (fn. 144)
"We shalle them bren and up breke.
"We shalle lat hym in to hys ryght;
"If ye defende we shalle fyght,
"Levyr then thys to byde here
"And dy for hunger alle in fere."
They sayde, "Suffyr for a whyle,
"For that we doo ys for a wyle.
"We wylle excuse us to that fode (fn. 145)
"For to pay but lytylle goode."
Then sembelyd alle in hyr degre (fn. 146)
And every one sayde in hys manere: (fn. 147)
"No nede ys to counsel to goo.
"There nys no more but on of too;
"Othyr delyvery up thys clos,
"Or ellys be ded ther ys no choys."
To the Port Synt Hyllary they went,
And callyd owte by one assent.
Thenn answeryd a knyght a non
Was callyd Robert (fn. 148) Syr John.
"Syrs," he sayde, "what ys youre wylle?"
They answeryd and sayde hym tylle,
"We you beseche for charyte,
"And for the honoure of oure Ladye,
"For us that ye wylle spende youre speche
"To Glouceter, and hym by seche
"For us to speke to [th]e kynge, and prayen
"That we myght come trete a gayne.
"We wylle submyt us unto hys wylle
"And alle that longe us tylle,
"Oure persons and oure possessyons,
"And alle dyspose at hys owne dyscressyns."
Whenn thys knyght the Duke hadde tolde,
For them to speke he sayde he wolde.
So he demenyd (fn. 149) unto the kynge
That spas he gate of newe tretynge.
Of Cauntyrbury the Byschoppe fre,
At Synt Kateryns that tyme lay he,
Whenn he hadde knowelege of that care,
In hys herte he tendyrde sore.
To the kyng whyghtely he wente,
And be sought hym with a good intente,
That he myght wende unto that cytte,
For to speke with hyr spyrytualte,
To helpe a fynyalle pes to gete,
To goo and be a mene at that trete.
The kyng hym grantyd a non ryght.
ij pavylyons a non were pyght
With yn the trenche where they hadde ben.
The byschoppe pyght hys owne bytwyne.
So was the state of spyryualte
A mene to make unyte.
They tretyd day, they tretyd nyght,
With candelle and torchys bryght.
They tretyd iiij dayes in space (fn. 150)
And made a nende thoroughe Goddys grace.
Whenn they knewe a conclusyon,
The Fraynysche men made a petyscyon,
Alle there worschyppe for to save,
viij dayes of respyte for to have,
That they myght goo unto [th]e Fraynysche kynge,
And to the Duke of Burgon sende tydynge,
And in what degre they stode and howe,
Bydyng on them to have rescowe.
That was a poynt of chevalrye,
Oure kyng grauntyd with herte fre,
That they myght wyt welle and when
Howe hyt shulde be delyveryd then.
Nowe to my tale, and ye wylle tende,
I shalle you telle oure cordymente.
In viij dayes, I you tolde,
If noo rescowe unto that holde,
They shulde delyvyr that cytte
And the burgonys (fn. 151) Englysche be.
Alle soo to oure kynge, of mony rounde,
To pay hy[m] l. ml. pounde.
More ovyr they shulde undyr take
A castelle to oure kynge to make
In iij halfe yerys with owtyn let,
Sum sayde, "In faye hyt shalle be set." (fn. 152)
And they to have hyr ffranches fre,
By fore as hyt was wounte to be;
No man with [ynne] (fn. 153) hyr cytte to selle,
But cyttezyns that [th]er yn dwelle,
And thoo that was a Norman borne,
And Englysche men wolde not be sworne,
Presener he shulde be us tylle,
Oure kynge hym to ponysche at hys wylle;
And alle the sowdyers that were there,
Hyr goode to leve and goo forthe bare,
In hyr dublettys owte of the towne.
Oure kynge gaffe eche on a gowne.
Thys was hys compascyon,
[And made by good discressioun]. (fn. 154)
And Graunt Jakys a non present,
Aftyr rescu he was sent.
Of that massage he was fulle fayne,
To Roone he come not yet a-gayne,
But massyngers thedyr he sende,
Bade them to come of and make an ende,
Dyd them to wyt, with tale fulle trewe,
No rescu was that he of knewe.
The viij dayes, the sothe to telle,
On the ffeste of Synt Wolstone (fn. 155) hyt felle.
That was apon a Thursday.
Oure kynge then in ryche aray,
And ryally in hys astate
[As a conquerour there he sate] (fn. 156)
With[in] a howse of Carteryte. (fn. 157)
To hym the keys of that cytte
Delyveryd unto hym in fe.
Monsenoure Gy the Botlere,
And burgeys of that cytte in feere, (fn. 158)
To oure kynge the keys they brought.
To ben hys lege men they hym besought.
To Exceter oure kynge soverayne
Commaundyd the keys for captayne.
Alle so that Duke chargyd he
To go resake that ryche cytte,
And entyr in hys name that nyght,
And synyd with hym many a knyght.
Then Exceter with owtyn boode
Toke hys leve and forthe he roode,
To Bevyse that Port so stronge
That he hadde layn be fore so longe.
To that gate fulle sone he cam,
And with hym many a goodely man.
There was neynge of many a steede,
There was shewynge of many a wede,
There was many a getton (fn. 159) gay,
Moche ryalte and ryche a ray.
Whenn the gatys were opynd there,
And they were redy in for to fare,
Tro[m]ppettys (fn. 160) blewe ther bemys (fn. 161) of bras,
Pypys and claryons bothe there was,
As they enteryd they gave a schoute
With a voyce, and that a stoute,
"Syn Jorge! Syn Jorge!" they cryde on hyght,
"Welle come Rone, our kyngys owne ryght!"
The Fraynysche pepylle of that cytte
Were gaderyd ml. for to see,
They cryde alle "Welcome," in feere, (fn. 162)
"In suche tyme mote ye entyr here,
"Plesynge to God that hyt myght be
"To us bothe pes and unyte."
Of the pepylle, to telle the treughthe,
Hyt was a syght of grete reuthe.
Moche of the folke that were thereyn,
They were but bonys and bare skyn,
With holowe yeen and vysage sharpe,
Unnethe they myght brethe or carpe;
With wan color as the lede,
Unlyke to lyvys men but unto dede.
Patrons (fn. 163) they were quente,
A Colayne kynge (fn. 164) aftyr to paynte.
There men myght see an example
Howe lacke of foode makys men fulle ylle.
In everyche strete lay dede,
And sum cryde aftyr brede.
Aftyr longe and many a day
They dyde faster then cartys myght cary a way.
The redy way [th]er God them wysse,
That they may bylde in blysse!
Off them y wylle no more spelle,
But of Exceter I wylle you telle.
To the castelle fyrste he roode,
And sythe unto the Portys alle and brode.
Lengythe and brede bothe he met,
And ryche baners up he set.
A pon the Porte Synt Hyllarye,
A baner of the Trynyte.
At Bovens (fn. 165) he set fulle evyn
A baner of the Quene of Hevyn.
At Martynvyle up he pyghte
Of Syn Jorge a baner bryght.
In the castelle he set to stonde
The armys of Fraunce and of Ingelond.
In the Fryday in the mornynge
Towarde the cytte come oure kynge.
iij byschoppys (fn. 166) in hyr a ray,
vij abbottys with crossys gay;
xlij (fn. 167) crossys there were
Of rerygyus (fn. 168) and seculere.
Alle they went in processyon.
A gayne thys prynce with owtyn towne
Every cros in ordyr they stoode.
He kyste them alle with meke mode.
And haly watyr with hys hande
Gaffe the prymate of oure lande,
At Boveys the Porte (fn. 169) so wyde
He passyde yn with owte any pryde,
With owtyn pype or claryons blaste,
Prynce devoutely yn he paste
As j. conqueroure in hys ryght,
Thankyng in hys herte God Almyght.
Alle the pepylle of that cytte,
They sayde, "Welcome, oure lege so fre,
"Welcome in to youre oune ryght,
"As hyt ys the wylle of God Almyght."
With that they cryde alle "Nowe welle," (fn. 170)
Al so schyrle as any belle. (fn. 171)
He rode a pon a blacke (fn. 172) stede,
Of blacke damaske was hys wede.
A paytrelle (fn. 173) of golde fulle bryght,
Aboute hys breste hyt was pyght.
The pendauntys dyd by hym downe hange
On eyther syde of hys hors stronge.
Thay that hym nevyr arste (fn. 174) se
By hys chere welle wyste that hit was he.
Soo to the mynyster dyd he fare
And of hys hors he lyght there.
Hys chapylle mette with hym at the doore,
And went by fore hym in the floore,
And songe a responde gloryus,
That ys namyd Quis est magnus? (fn. 175)
Masse he hyrde and offyrde thoo;
Sethen unto the castelle he dydyn goo.
That ys a pallays in that cytte,
For hyt a place of ryalte.
There he hym loggyd in the toune
With ryalte and grete renoune.
Nowe ys that cytte welle in tryste
Incresyd bothe of mete, drynke of the beste,
Thoroughe the grace of God and of oure lege.
Thys he hadde endyd uppe hys sege.
With owtyn fabylle or fage (fn. 176)
Thys procesce made John Page,
Alle in raffe and not in ryme,
By cause of space he hadde no tyme.
But whenne thys werre ys at a nende,
And he have lyffe and space he wylle hit a mende.
They that have hyrde thys redynge,
To Hys blysse He tham brynge,
That for us dyde uppon a tree.
Say amen for charyte.
Explicit [th]e sege of Rone.