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3016 He proffert no prayer to no prise goddis, Ne hedyt noght hertely but þe hend lady ; Ne no lede on to loke saue lelly hir one.

3020

THE FAIRNESS OF HELEN.

3024

THE FAIRNES OF ELAN.

All the feturs of pat fre was fourmyt so well,
And ho of fairnes so fele was ferly to se.
The here of hir hede, huyt as the gold,
Bost out vppon brede bright on to loke:
The shede purghe the shyre here shone as pe lilly,
Streght as a strike, straght þurgh the myddes,
Depertid the proudfall pertly in two,
Atiret in tressis trusset full faire.

Hir forhed full fresshe & fre to be-holde,

3028 Quitter to qweme pen þe white snaw,

Nouper lynes ne lerkes but full lell streght;
With browes full brent, brightist of hewe,
Semyt as þai set were sotely with honde,
3032 Comyng in Compas, & in course Rounde,
ffull metly made & mesured betwene,
Bright as the brent gold enbowet þai were.
Hir ene wull full onest euyn of a mesure,
3036 Shynyng full shene as pe shire sternys,

Or any staring stone pat stithe is of vertue;
ffull sutelly set, Serklyt with heris

On the browes so bryght, borduret full clene, 3040 Stondyng full stepe and stable of chere.

Hir nose for the nonest was nobly shapyn,
Stondyng full streght & not of stor lenght,
Ne to short for to shew in a shene mesure;
3044 Noght growen to grete ne to grefe smalle;

With thrilles noght thrat but thriftily made,-
Nawther to wyde ne to wan, but as hom well

semyt.

Hir chekes full choise, as the chalke white, 3048 As the rose, was the rud pat raiked hom in,—

Book VII.

Her features,

Her golden hair.

Her forehead whiter than snow.

99

Her eyes shining like stars.

(fol. 48 b.) Her nose.

Her cheeks,

Book VII.

lips,

mouth,

teeth,

and chin.

Her hue

and bust.

Her neck

and shoulders:

arms

and hands.

(fol. 49 a.)

Her breast,

and body.

Mengit with mesure in hir mylde face
To the lippus full luffly, as by lyn wroght,
Made of a meane vmb þe mowthe swete,

3052 As it were coruyn by crafte, colourd with honde,
Proporcionet pertly with painteres deuyse.
To telle of hir tethe pat tryetly were set,

Alse qwyte & qwem as any qwalle bon;
3056 Wele cumpast in cours & clenly to gedur
By rule in pe rede gomys, as a rose faire,
pat with lefes of pe lylly were lappit by twene.
Hir chyn full choise was the chekys benethe,
3060 With a dympull full derne, daynté to se.
In the hew of pat hend was a hegh ioye

Of faiernes so fele in hir face shewide.
The slote of hir slegh brest sleght for to showe,
3064 As any cristall clere, pat clene was of hewe,
Shene for to shew & of shap noble.

With a necke for pe nonest of naturs deuyse,
Glissonand as the glemes pat glenttes of pe snaw;
3068 Nawþer fulsom, ne fat, but fetis & round,
ffull metely made of a meane lenght.

With shulders full shaply, shenest of hewe, ffull pleasaund & playn, with a plase lawe 3072 Goyng downe as a goter fro the gorge euyn. Hir armys were auenaund & abill of shap,

Large of a lenght, louely to shewe.

Hir hondes fetis & faire, with fingurs full small,

3076 With nailes at the neper endes as a nepe white.
The brede of hir brest, bright on to loke,
Was pleasaund & playne pluttide a litull,
ffresshe and of fyne hew as pe fome clere:
3080 With two propur pappes, as a peire rounde,
ffetis and faire, of fauour full swete.

Hir corse [was] comly & of clene shap,

Euyn metely made of a medill deuyse,

3084 As nobly to pe nethur-most as nature cold shape.

MEETING OF PARIS AND HELEN.

Parys stode in a stody & streght on hir lokit,
ffaste by pat fre fresshe of araye;

Beheld hir full hertely, hade no rewarde 3088 To prayer, ne pepull, ne prayer within. So he hedit þat hynde, & ho hym agayne With a lokyng on lenght in hor loue ene, bat Paris ho pryset in hir pure mynde, 3092 Of feturs & fourme fairer by myche,

han he vppon hir hertely côuthe fynde:
And thus ho thought full thrange in hir thro
hert,

hat so semely a sight ho se neuer before, 3096 Ne so comly a creature to hir clene wit,

Ne no lede to hir lykyng halfe so luff-able.
Ho tentit not in Tempull to no tall prayers,
Ne no melody of mouthe made at þe tyme,
3100 Ne speche of no spiritualtie, with speciall ne

other;

But ay staryt O pat stoute with hire stepe Ene.
There most was hir mynd in þat mene qwhile;
And Parys perceyuit the print of hir sight,
3104 And lokit on pat louely with a light chere,
Till aither sight was sadly set vppon other.
So be lokyng of lenght with a loue chere,
Ayther kyndly by course knew oper wille.
3108 Then Parys pertly proffert a seigne,

ffor to telle his entent yf ho tome hade;
And ho onswaret þat Abill after agayne,
By seignes on the same wise soburly to come;
3112 And beckonet hym boldly, when bourdys were
thicke,

And pepull in play, his place to Remeve.
Parys listinet lyuely, let for no shame,
But drogh to pat dere & dressit to sitte,
3116 And softly by him selfe said what him liket.

While oper tentid in the temple tomly to playes,

101

Book VII.

Paris, astonished, can only gaze on Helen,

who is entranced with his beauty.

Still they gaze on each other,

till Paris proffers a sign, which she

answers:

(fol. 49 b.)

beckoning him to come to her.

(MS. has hom')

Book VII.

They sit together

and form their plans.

Paris passes to his ships and addresses his companions.

"Our work is to get possession of Hesione.

(fol. 50 a.)

Now, Telamon

And noght hedit þat hynde hertely in loue,
And pai hade laisure at lust pere likyng to say,
3120 And wrixle pere wit & pere wille shewe:
Ayther vnto oper arghit hom noght.

hai were assentid full sone sittyng to gedur, And festoned pere forward how pai fare sholde. 3124 pan pertid þai priuely, Paris toke leue,

And loutid pat louely, & ho hur luf kyste.
The knight with his company kayred fro pe
tempull,

And sho beheld to pat hynd houyng full stille, 3128 Lokyng on lenght with a loue ee,

Ay folowyng on fer till he was forthe past.

THE RAUYSHYNG OF ELANE.

Then Parys forthe past proude at his hert,
Wele laburt with loue longit full sore;

3132 Evyn shoke to his shippes pere shene men were

3136

in,

And gedurt all the great greidly anon,

And said hom full soberly, er he sese wolde,

Thes wordys I wis, as ye wete shalle :—
"Now faithfull felowes, & my fre buernes!
Hit is knowen to you kendly pe cause of our

iourney,

Why Pryam has put vs pes partis vnto.

This was truly his entent, & takon vs in charge, 3140 His sister Exiona to sese & we might,

By any Way in this worlde & Wirdis vs demyt:
And if vs happynt not hir to haue at our wille,
The Grekes for to greue on sum gret wise,

3144 With all pe might þat we may our malice to

kythe.

And O nowise may we wyn þat woman to gete,
Withouten batell full bigge & a breme oste.
Telamon, the tore kyng, tentes hir so wele,

THE RAVISHING OF HELEN.

3148 And is fuerser of folke by a felle nowmber,

And lappis in hir loue, pat leue hir he nyll
But with strenght of strokys, or with store fight;
And we ledis to lyte pat lady to wyn,
3152 Or any Cité to sese by a sawte now,

bere pepull are so plaintiose, & placis of

strenght.

And, sers, syn he so is be souerans of goddis, Vs may falle here by fortune a fulfaire gifte, 3156 þat shuld lelly be laght, as me leue thinke.

yle.

The most of tho mighty is menelai wife,
Lady of þis lond, full louely to shew,
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,
And godis full grete of gold & of syluer;

3168 ffor the tempull is atyret all with tryet clothes,
Bassons of bright gold, & oper brode vessell,
Chaundelers full chefe, & charbokill stones,
And other Riches full Rife pat we may rad

haue:

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 þere on 3176 The temple to take and all the triet ladys.

103

Book VII.

Here is a tempull atyret all with triet godys,
And the grettist of Grise gedrit pþerin,
As of wemen to wale, worthy & nobill,

But here is a rich temple wherein the noblest ladies of the land are

now at worship:

3160 And prise of pis prouynse are in yond proude one of them

is the lovely wife of Menelaus.

And Elan of all thing we aunter vs to take. 3180 Yf we pat luffly may lacche & lede vnto troy,

will not give her up,

and we are too few to compel

him.

(fol. 50 b.)

Golde and oper goodes gripe it by dene,
And shote into our shippes, shake on our way: jewels, and, above

Let us seize it
and the ladies,
carry off all
the gold and

all, Helen,

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