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Book III.

she then gives to destroy venom and fire:

and a ring with

a rich stone to

destroy all poison or deadly power:

and a large roll which he must read:

and a glass

containing liquor to be cast into the

mouths of the monsters.

Toke hit hym full tyte & tolde hym these wordes :

784 "This strongly distroy shall be strenght of pe


And fade all the ffyr and pe furse lowe."

Than ho raught hym a ring with a riche stone, hat no poison enpaire might, þe power is soche: 788 And if it borne were in batell on his bare flesshe, He shulde slyde forth sleghly & vnslayn worthe. Achates it calde is with clene men of wit, And in Cicill forsothe sene was it first:

792 Eneas it name & in note hade,

Whan he to cartage come vnknowen with sight. And pan ho broght hym a bref all of brode letres, hat was comly by crafte a clerke for to rede; 796 And enformyt him fayre how he fare shuld, When he [h]is deuer hade done & drow to pe whethir,



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ffor to knele on his knes to the cold erth,

And grete all his goddes with a good chere;
And the rolle for to rede or he rest thry,
As with sacrifice to shew & seruice to goddes,
þat hym grauntede of grace pat gifte for to haue,
hat he might worthely it welde, & away beire.
And pan sho gafe hym a glasse with a good

And bade whan he buskyt to the bolde Exin,
To werke it with mesure, & in hor mouthe caste,
And pai clappe shall full clene, & neuer vnclose

Ne neuer dere hym a dyse with no dede efte.
Thus enfourmet ho pat fre of pe fete euyn,
How he wyn shuld his worship, & his woche


And pen lacches his leue & his loue kyst,
Past furth priuely and pat pert leuyt,


Enon lurkys to his loge, & laide hym to slepe. By the renke hade hym restid ryses the sun, Brightis all the burghe and the brode valis ; 816 Meuyt ouer the mounteyns men to beholde.

Jason feynit with fare as he hade fast sleppit,

Book III.

company and goes to meet Æetes.


And now rapis hym to ryse & rom from his bede. Jason collects his With Ercules and oper mo of his aune men, 820 He sues furth on pe soile to Chethes the kyng, In company of kynges and oper clene burnes. Whan he was ware of þe wegh, welcomed hym faire,

And spird at hym specially what his spede were. 824 Than Jason vnioynid to the gentill speche :"Lord, and it like you, longe am I here!

He asks

permission to

Wold ye graunt me your grase goodly to wende, depart.
I wold boune me to batell, and take my bare


828 Yon worthy wethir to wyn, & your wille be."


The Kyng pan full curtesly karpes agayne: Sais, "Jason, this Jorney is no ioye in, I am ferd, by my faith, of pi frele yowth, 832 pat hit lede pe to losse and pi lyffe tyne, And me harme for to haue of thy hegh wille, To be sclaundret of pi skathe, & pou skape noght. perfore ffrynd, by my faith, vppon faire wise,

836 I counsell þe in kyrt, kaire to pi londe,

Eetes advises

Jason to abandon the enterprise:

And put of pis purpos, for perille þat may folowe." but finding him
Jason carpes to the kyng, conyngly he said,

"Sir I hade counsaill in pis case er I come here,

840 And ye shall boldly be blameles, pof me bale


þat I wilne of my wit & wilfull desyre."

determined to proceed,

(fol. 15 b.)


pan the kyng to pe knight carpes these wordes; he grants him "ffrynd þou shall fully haue fauer to wend,

Book III.

Jason seeks the

island where the fleece is kept.

Medea, in terror during his

absence, bewails her love.

(fol. 16 a.) Jason gets his first view of the oxen that guard the golden fleece.

844 And ouer goddes pe graunt grace of þi hele." He lowted the lege kyng, & his leue toke, Dressit hym for his dede, dose hym to goo.

In an yle þat was negh þe noble kynges sete,
848 This clene flese was inclosede all with clere water,
Euon a forlong perfro, & fully nomore.
Jason to pis Jorney ioynes hym belyffe,
Bowes euyn to pe banke & a bote fonde,
852 Entris with armur & all his other gere,
ffore to be fer syde, noght aferd was:
Gird vp to be grounde, gripes his weppon,
Armur & all thing atlet before,

856 pat Medea pe maiden myldly hym betaght,
And past furth prudly his pray for to wyn.

Mournyng the maiden made in hir thought,
Lest pe ffyre shuld hym fere of pe fuerse bestes,
860 þat was blasound of brunston with a brem lowe.
Sho went vp wightly by a walle syde

To the toppe of a toure, & tot ouer the water ffor to loke on hir luffe, longyng in hert.

864 So ferd was pat fre, & he faile shuld,

Sho brast out bright water at hir brode een.
Thus sykyng ho said with a sade wille :—
"A! Jason my ioye & my gentill knight,
868 I am ferd lest pou faile of my fyn lore,

And for zenernes for-zete pat pe 3eme shuld;
Thou dawly bes dede, & I to doll broght,
Neuer þe comly to kysse, ne clippe in myn armys.
872 Now full pristly I pray to my prise goddes,

hat I may see thee come sounde to pis sale enys, And me comford of thy coursse, kepe I no more." When the knight was comyn into pe cliffe ferre, 876 He waites vmbe hym wightly, & was ware sone Of pe orible oxin, vgsome to see,

pat fyre out fnast with a fuerse lowe,


þat no buerne might abide but he brent were ; 880 Hit gird from the grym with so gret hete.


The tokyn hym taght was of a tru maiden
He forzet not, but 3epely 3arkit hym perfore,

Book III.

And anoyntide hym anon with his noble boyste, He anoints

884 Bothe the face and pe fete, & all pe fore perte.


himself; sets the sacred image;

and reads the

His noble ymage at his necke for neghyng of fyre, roll.
And his rolle pan he rede as he to reste toke;

ffore evyn to be fight with po felle bestes. 888 So pe fuerse by-flamede all with fyre hote,

spear are burnt.

pai brent vp his brode shilde & his bigge speire; His shield and And Jason for all po Japes hade nere his ioy lost, Hade his licour ben to laite, pat pe lede caght, 892 And caste it be course into the core hete: Hit stake vp the stith lippes as stiffe bounden, As pai chaltrede were choisly with chenys of


þat abatede the breme hete, brent it no more. 896 All cold it became & the course helde,

Bothe of ymur & aire, after I-wise.
ffayne was the freike & fore to be hornes

Of pe balefull bestes, & hom aboute ladde ;
900 þai were made als meke as maistur behouet,
And as bowande to pe bowes as any bestes might.
3ynerly the 3epe knight 30kit hom belyue,

Pight hom into ploghe, pilde vp the vrthe,

904 Braid vp bygly all a brode ffeld:

And all the gayre of the ground pere pe gome


He casts the liquor and the

lips of the

monsters are

He leads them by
the horns: they
meekly submit to
the yoke, and
plough up a
broad field.

(fol. 16 b.)

Drow euyn to the dragon, dressit hym to fight, He attacks the

And he gird him agayne with a grym noyse:

fierce dragon, as it rushes towards him with flame

908 Mony slecynges vnslogh throughe hys slote yode. and noise.
As þe welkyn shold walt, a wonderfull noyse
Skremyt vp to the skrow with a skryke ffelle.

Book III.

Jason hastily
clutches his ring;
holds it aloft;
and overcomes
the dragon with

the shining of the
bright stone.

With a sword he deals it some dreadful wounds,

then cuts off its head, and sows the teeth.

(fol. 17 a.)

They start up armed knights, who fight till

With a smorther & a smoke smult through his


912 He rut out roidly with a rede hete,

þat all blasit the bent on a breme lowe; And as he tilt out his tung with his tethe grym, He straght fro hym stremes all of styth venym. 916 The freike was a-ferd of pat felle beste,

And raght to his Ryng in a rad haste,

Held it high in his hond, þat he behold might. ffor chynyng of the chene stone he shont with his hede,

920 And with-droghe the deire of his dere attur; All dropet the dule as he degh wold.

pis stone full of strenght, as þe story tellus,

Is erdand in Jud, as Isoder sais :

924 Be it smethe owper smert, smaragden hit hat. here is no derffe dragon, ne no du edder,

Ne no beste so bold with no bale atter,

May loke on pe light, but he his lyffe tyne. 928 his stone with his stremys stroyed all the venym, And drepit the dragon to the dethe negh. Jason grippede graithly to a grym sworde, Dange on the deuyll with a derffe wille, 932 Tyll the stremys of stynke & of stythe venum Past out in the place pyne to be-holde.

He laid on pat loodly, lettyd he noght,

With dynttes full dregh, till he to dethe paste, 936 And he Enfecte the ffirmament with his felle


Jason of his iorney was ioyfull ynoghe,

Gryppet a grym toole, gyrd of his hede,

Vnioynis the Jamnys pat iuste were to-gedur:
940 Gyrd out the grete tethe, grippet hom sone,
Sew hom in the soile or he sesse wold.
Stythe knightes and stoure stert vp agayne,
Armet at all peses abill to fight,

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