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THE RAVISHING OF HELEN.
3148 And is fuerser of folke by a felle nowmber,
3152 Or any Cité to sese by a sawte now,
bere pepull are so plaintiose, & placis of
And, sers, syn he so is be souerans of goddis,
Vs may falle here by fortune a fulfaire gifte, 3156 pat shuld lelly be laght, as me leue thinke. Here is a tempull atyret all with triet godys, And the grettist of Grise gedrit perin,
As of wemen to wale, worthy & nobill,
Book VII. will not give her up,
and we are too few to compel
But here is a rich temple, wherein the noblest ladies of
the land are now at worship:
3160 And prise of þis prouynse are in yond proude one of them
The most of tho mighty is menelai wife,
The grettist of grese and a gai qwhene. 3164 Yf we take this full tite, & tary no lengur, Bothe pepull & pilage, & put into ship,
Hit is a proffitable pray of persons me thinke,
3168 ffor the tempull is atyret all with tryet clothes,
is the lovely wife of Menelaus.
(fol. 50 b.)
3172 What fairer shuld vs falle and we fer soght. Yf ye deme it to do be deuyse of you all, Hit sittes, me semes, sone in the night We arme vs at all peces, & aunter pere on 3176 The temple to take and all the triet ladys. Golde and oper goodes gripe it by dene, And shote into our shippes, shake on our way: jewels, and, above And Elan of all thing we aunter vs to take. 3180 Yf we pat luffly may lacche & lede vnto troy,
Let us seize it and the ladies, carry off all the gold and
Shall we attempt 3184 this or pass on ?"
They arm and proceed to the temple, which they surround.
Priam, our prise kyng, may prestly suppose
And his couetyng to cacche because of pat
Lokys now lyuely! what list you to do? To melle in þis mater, or to meue ferre? And assai if we suffise our seluyn of might, Yf we put vs to pillage, er we pyne pole." 3188 At þe last, when the lede hade left of his speche, ffele of pe folke febull it thughten;
But yche lede by the last aliet perto,
And assentid to his saw, & suet his rede.
3192 When counsell was kaght of knightes & oper,
And the mone in the merke myghtely shone,
3200 Affrayet the folke fuersly by dene,
Paris seizes Helen 3204 Parys pen presit to be proude qwene,
and carries her to
(fol. 51 a.)
Returning to the temple, he aids in the pillage.
(MS. has 'uppon none')
And sesit hir sone, as hir assent was;
Led hir furth lyuely, lefte hir in shippe Vnder sight of sure men set hir to kepe: 3208 And to the tempull full tyte turnyt agayne, To rob of pe Riches, and Renkes to helpe. Clamour & crie was Comyns amonge, Hoge noise for pe nonest in night for to here; 3212 Lelly of the ladies, pat leuer were degh han be led out of lande, lowde was pe noise. The noise vpponone neghit to pe Eris Of Soudiours besyde in a sure castell,
THE RAVISHING OF HELEN.
3216 That the tempull was taken & tulkes perin,
And sum þat were slayne & slungen to ground.
By frekys pat fled for ferd to pe holde,
3220 And braid to pere bright gere, buskit hom furthe:
The soudiours by assent soghten to be tempull. Soldiers to the
þat enfourmet were of fyght, & the fet couthe; 3224 þai turnyt to the troiens, tarit hom longe, ffoghten with hom felly, frusshit hom abake; Hopit with hondis to hew hom to dethe, Prisoners to pike, & the pray lyuer.
3228 ffell was pe fight po fuerse men betwene,
Mony derfe pere deghit, & dungen to ground; But the Troiens were Torer & tentymes moo, And greuit the Grekes gretly with strokys; 3232 Oppressit hom with pyne, put hom to flight, ffolowed hom fuersly, felle hom with swerdys, Till pai come to pere castell & caght hade pere strenght.
Then turnyt the Troiens, tariet no lengur, 3236 And went vnto water with pere wale godys : Lefte noght vnlaght þat lykyng was in. Myche Riches full Rife and relikes ynow, bai shot into shippe: the sheltrun to-gedur, 3240 bat fild were with folke & fyne gold to wale,
Sesit vp pere sailes, set hom to wyndes.
Aght dayes be-dene & the derke nightes,
3244 Till pai comyn by course to the cuntre of Troy;
At the castell, þat cald was kyndly by name,
3248 pat sothely was sex myle fro the cité euyn.
The Trojans victorious pursue them to their castle.
return to their ships;
(fol. 51 b.)
spoil; and set
They arrive at
Paris sends a message to the king.
There arofe all the Rowte & restid a whyle,
3252 Parys full pristly puruait a message,
And sent to his souerain in a sad haste,
Of thies tithandes to telle how hom tyde hade.
3256 To Troy, or he turne wolde, and told hym in
bat his sons were in sound & hor sute holl
Priam, "proud of 3260 Pryam was proude of these pert dedis,—
these pert deeds,"
calls the nobles to a feast.
(MS. has "hym")
Helen and her ladies bewail their fate.
(fol. 52 a.)
The fainest freike in faithe pat on fote yode,-
And tolde hom pose tythinges tomly to end :
Hit Auntrid þat Elan, with other of hir lede
pus bemournet full mekull & no meite toke, 3280 But with care & complaint,-comford away. Parys hade pyté hir payne for to se,
PARIS AND HELEN.
On þat lady, his loue, with langour & wo.
He kairet to pat comly with comfortable wordys, 3284 And menyt hir in maner hir mournyng to voide; Yet sesit not hir sorow for solas of hym. Ne noght glad of þat geste, but greatly anoyet, Paris greuit at þat grete & gird out in yre; 3288 Saide hir full soberly sittyng these wordes :"What lyffe is pis, lady, to lede on his wise? Noght sesyng of sorow, & sobbyng vnfaire On dayes to Endure, with drouping on nightes. 3292 Who sothely might suffer pe sorow þat pou
With care & with complaint comynly ay:
Lamentacoun & langour the long night ouer?
THE WORDES BETWENE PARYS & ELAN AT TENYDON
Paris tries to in vain.
comfort her; but
He then chides her for such
("swyre," the neck.)
(fol. £2 b.)
In faithe the burde fell of falling of terys."And pou drunkyn hade dewly as mony du sopis, 3300 As shottes of shire water has shot fro pin ene, Thou faithfully were fillid vnto pi faire swyre. Therfore, lady, & it like you, lighten your chere ; Comford you kyndly, kacches sum rest; ffor in this riall Reme of my riche fader, Ne faute shall ye ffynde, ne your fre buernes. Tho truly þat are takon and temyn to you, Shalbe plesit with plenty at þere playne wille, 3308 And haue riches full ryfe: red ye non oper. And ye sothely, your selfe, souerain of all, Shalbe worshipped worthely & your wille haue, will be. And honouret of all men as your astate shuld; 3312 To be gouernet in your grettenes, most godely
("temyn to you," that belong to your suite.)
How great and honoured she