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Me imette that mon me hof
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.
And brought me to land ;-
5. The Ormulum (Manual, p. 27).
(Edited by Dr. White, Oxford, 1852.) Yu, 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, Thoaverd 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. I to all his lieges, clerk and lay, in Huntdon' schir'.
ingdonshire, Thaet witen ge wel alle, thaet we This know ye 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 alledon 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-
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 :
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).
Hwan he was hosled and shriven,
" that he couthen speken wit tunge,
When he was housled and shriven,
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
(In his hand a sturdy spear)
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,
Lords, that be now here,
THE AGE OF CHAUCER.
11. The Vision of Piers Ploughmun, 1350 (Manual, p. 50).
SATIRE OF LAWYERS.
Til moneie be shewed.
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
These oldè men upon this thing,