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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.
THE FAIRNESS OF HELEN.
THE FAIRNES OF ELAN.
All the feturs of pat fre was fourmyt so well,
Hir forhed full fresshe & fre to be-holde,
3028 Quitter to qweme pen þe white snaw,
Nouper lynes ne lerkes but full lell streght;
Or any staring stone pat stithe is of vertue;
On the browes so bryght, borduret full clene, 3040 Stondyng full stepe and stable of chere.
Hir nose for the nonest was nobly shapyn,
With thrilles noght thrat but thriftily made,-
Hir chekes full choise, as the chalke white, 3048 As the rose, was the rud pat raiked hom in,—
Her golden hair.
Her forehead whiter than snow.
Her eyes shining like stars.
(fol. 48 b.) Her nose.
(fol. 49 a.)
Mengit with mesure in hir mylde face
3052 As it were coruyn by crafte, colourd with honde,
Alse qwyte & qwem as any qwalle bon;
Of faiernes so fele in hir face shewide.
With a necke for pe nonest of naturs deuyse,
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.
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,
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:
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.
But ay staryt O pat stoute with hire stepe Ene.
ffor to telle his entent yf ho tome hade;
And pepull in play, his place to Remeve.
While oper tentid in the temple tomly to playes,
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
(fol. 49 b.)
beckoning him to come to her.
(MS. has hom')
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.)
And noght hedit þat hynde hertely in loue,
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.
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,
3132 Evyn shoke to his shippes pere shene men were
And gedurt all the great greidly anon,
And said hom full soberly, er he sese wolde,
Thes wordys I wis, as ye wete shalle :—
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:
3144 With all pe might þat we may our malice to
And O nowise may we wyn þat woman to gete,
THE RAVISHING OF HELEN.
3148 And is fuerser of folke by a felle nowmber,
And lappis in hir loue, pat leue hir he nyll
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 þat shuld lelly be laght, as me leue thinke.
The most of tho mighty is menelai wife,
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,
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.
Here is a tempull atyret all with triet godys,
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
(fol. 50 b.)
Golde and oper goodes gripe it by dene,
Let us seize it