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Book XX.

the Trojans are

borne back

Vne before in the face, with a fell stroke,
bat myche blode fro pe buerne on pe bent fell;
And pan bakeward was borne all pe bold Troiens,

towards the walls. 8240 With myche noye for pe note of pere noble

Hector observes some ladies


on the walls;

(fol. 128 a.)

ashamed of his position, he turns in rage and kills Merion.


cast vp his egh,

But the knight, in his kene yre,
Brusshet on the burgh & the bright walles,
Segh the ladies o lofte leghen to waite,-
8244 Elan an other, the oddest of Troy,

His worshipful wife, pat he well louet,
With his Suster beside, the semliest on lyue,
hat were sory for pe sight, Semple of chere.
8248 And the grekes so grymly had gird hom abacke
þat euyn borne were pai bigly to the bare wallis
Than shamet was the shalke for the shene ladies,
And euyn wode of his wit wex he belyue.

Achilles rushes on Hector with a great spear.

Hector with a

fierce blow hurls

through the

helmet of

Achilles, and

stuns him.


8252 He kyld þere a kyng, cosyn to Achilles,—
On Merion the myghty,-thurgh the mayn dynt.
He hurlet thurgh the helme, þat the hed yemed,
hat the brayn all-to brast, & on bent leuyt.
8256 Achilles aurthwart this aunterd to se,

Grippet to a grete speire with a grym wille;
Pight on the prinse, persit his wede;

Mart of his mailes, meuit hym noght;

8260 And nauther hurt he the hathell, ne hade hym to ground.

ben Ector in angur, angardly fast,

With the bit of his brond, on the bold light;
Hurlit þurgh the helme & the hard maile.

8264 But it breke not the brayn, ne the buerne


Achilles, with a chop, cheuyt on syde;

All in wer for to walt, wayueronde he sote,
But he held hym on horse, houyt o lofte.


8268 Euyll masit of the mynt, & the mayn stroke, Thes wordys to the whe warpit the prinse :

Achilles, Achilles, pou cheses pe fast,

ffor to prese me with pyne in thy proud yre! 8272 The next tym pou noyes me, pou neghis to pe



Thow dowtles shall dye with dynt of my
But or hit auntrid hym to aunsware Ector agayne,
Come Troilus full tyte with a tore pepull,

8276 ffrushet in felly po frekes betwene,

Depertid the prinse & the prise kyng.

So he greuit the Grekes, and gird hom abacke,
bat fyue houndrith were fay & in fild leuyt,
8280 Off knightes full kene, kild in the stoure;
And o backe fro the burghe bere hom anon.
Menelay with his men meuyt in swithe,
Thre thousaund full pro prang into batell;

8284 Restorit hom stithly, stuffit hom anon,
And cobbyt full kantly, kaghten the fild.
Then Sedymon with a sowme from the Cité come,
Of fell men in fight, freikes of his owne :

8288 He macchit hym to Menelay, & met on þe kyng,
Woundit hym wickedly in his wale face,

And gird hym to ground of his grete horse. Than Troiell hym toke þurgh his tried helpe 8292 Of Sedymon, the same kyng þat þe syre felle,

Wold haue led the lord o-lyue to be towne;
But the stoure was so stithe, & stedis so thicke,
Thai pullid hym with pyne, but passid þai noght.
8296 Then Diamede full dernly, with a dyn hoge,
On Troiell with tene tachet belyue;

Bere hym backe to the bent of his big stede,
Raght to the Reynes in a rad hast,

8300 Sent hym by a seruaund, or he ses wold,
To Breisaide the bright, & bad hym to say,
That pat was lelly a ledis, þat ho louet well,-

Book XX.


Hector threatens

to slay him at the next encounter.

Troilus with his followers separate the combatants.

(fol. 128 b.) The Greeks are driven back. Menelaus comes to their rescue.

Troilus, with the aid of Sedymon, captures Menelaus.

Diomedes smites Troilus to the earth:

seizes his horse:

and sends it to Briseis,

Book XX.

praying her to

hold him as her lover.

Briseis receives the present with joy; and says,

she may not hate one, who loves

her so well.

(fol. 129 a.)

The Greeks, again driven to their tents, are rallied by Agamemnon.

Polydamas succours the

Trojans, who

drive the Greeks

within their lines.

The whiche fro Troiell he toke, & turnet hym


8304 With a stroke, in the stoure, of his stithe arme.Prayaund her prestly, with all his pure hert,

bat hir seruaund were sadly set in hir mynd, Dyamed, the derf kyng, in daunger of loue. 8308 pen the seruond, full sone, with the same horse, Went to the woman fro the wale kyng,

And the palfray of prise present hir to.

Ho receyuit hym with Reuerence, & to pe Renke said :

8312 "To pi lord, þat me loues, lelly pou telle,

I may not hate hym, by heuyn, þat me in hert


ffro the maidon, with his message he nieuyt anon, And the bodeword broght to pe bold kyng. 8316 ffayne was the freike of the fre answare, Past furth into prese, paynet hym ther-for. The grekes pan were gird backe to pere grete tenttes;

With Swym vnder swerd swalton full mony! 8320 Ne hade Agamynon the gret oste gird in anon, The fight in the fild hade ben fynisshed for


Than Restoret was the stithe batell stuernly


The grekes full grymly girdon out swithe, 8324 Harmet hom hogely in a hond while.

Polidamas, the pert knight, presit in þen, With a batell full breme, britnet the grekes; ffaght with hom felly, frunt hom abacke; 8328 Droff hom vnto dykes with dynttes of sword. Then Diamede the doughty duly beheld,

Segh pe freke in his felnes his folk so distroy.
He ffrusshit at hym felly with a fyn spere;

8332 And the knight hym kept, caupit with hym so,


That bothe the hathell and his horse hurlit to


Dyamed was derit with a depe hurt,

Euill frusshet with the fall, & on feld lay. 8336 Polidamas the prise horse presit vnto, Raght to be Reyne, and the Roile toke; Broght hym full bainly to be bold Troiell, bat was fightand on fote in þe felle stoure. 8340 The triet knight Troiell titly wan vp,

As fayne of the foale, as a freke might.
Then Achilles with angur angardly preset,
Troiell to tene with a triet wepyn ;

8344 And he keppit the kyng with a kant wille,
Hurlit hym to hard yerthe, hurt hym full sore.
The bold kyng vp braid, & the bent leuyt,
ffor deire of his dynt dut hym but litle !
8348 pen Ector come auerthwert, as aunter befell,
Presit nym to pe place with a prise sworde ;
Brittonit the bold men, þat aboute stode,
And mony dange to the dethe & deret full
mekyll !


Book XX.

Diomedes is hurled to tho earth by Polydamas, who seizes his horse,

and brings it to Troilus, as he is fighting on foot.

Troilus hurls Achilles to the ground.

Hector rushes to the fray.

(fol. 129 b.)


8352 Thus Dares of his dedis duly vs tellus,

A thowsaund, full throly, he prang to pe dethe,-
All the knightes full kant, pat keppit Achilles,— The knights that
To haue wonen to pat worthy, so wodely he Achilles are cut


8356 There Achilles with choppes chaunset so hard, With myche wo he hym werit in wothe of his


Then the night come anon, neghit with merke, And for lacke of the light the ledis depertid 8360 ffro the batell on bothe halues busket anon And turnyt to towne & to tenttes all.



Night comes down; the battle


Book XX.

Skirmishing for thirty days.

Six of Priam's

sons are slain; and Hector is

wounded in the face.

Than thretty dayes proly pei prappit in feld, And mony bold in the bekur were on bent leuit! 8364 Mony doughty were ded of the derfe Troiens, But mo were pere marrit of pe mayne grekes. With-in thies dayes, with dole, was to dethe broght Sex sonnes, for sothe, of the sure kynges,— 8368 Of the noble brother naturill,-pat nait were in feld,

Priam demands a 8372 truce for six


the Greeks consent.

During the truce Hector recovered from his wounds.

He lay in the great hall of Ilion,

(fol. 130 a.)

which had

gorgeous pillars;



a floor wrought

with crystal;

and strong fair walls.


hyrons, corners.)

In each corner

was a pillar of

And Ector wondit, I-wis, in his wale face. ben Priam, the prise kyng, prestly can sende To Agamynon the grete, gomys of his awne, ffor a trew to be takon of a tyme short,Sex moneth & no more,-his men for to rest : hat the Grekes hym grauntid,.grucchet pai noght. Hit was festenit with faithe, & with fyn othes, 8376 On bothe halues to hold holly assentid, Withouten fight or affray to the fer end.

Er Jes dayes were done, the doughty prinse


Was hole of his hurtes purgh helpe of a leche. 8380 In a halle, þat was hoge, pere pe hend lay, In honerable Ylion, eset hym a qwile,


Of whiche fairehed & fourme, the fynest clerke

Tellys in his trety, vppon trew wise.

Hit was pight vp with pilers all of pure stones,
Palit full prudly; and a proude flore
Rowchet all with cristall, clere as the sonne.
The walles vp wroght on a wise faire

8388 With stones full stoute, stithest of vertue.
ffaire pillers were pere proude, all of pure coper,
In ffoure hyernes of the house hogely fest.
O lofte on tho louely were loget to stond,
ffoure ymages full fresshe, all of fyn gold,


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