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Book XVII.

Achilles is chosen to accomplish his death.

Greeks take the field in their best array ;

and Hector leads out his chosen band.

7368 Achilles by chaunse may chefe to be worse,

And be dede of his dynttes, but if desteny let.
When this purpos was plainly putto an end,

Then partid the prinsis, and the prise dukes, 7372 Turnyt to þere tenttes & tarit no lengur ;

And Rapit to pere rest, rioll & other.
When the light vp launchit, littid the erthe,

The derke ouer-done, and pe day sprange, Next day the 7376 All the grekes in hor geire gedrit to feld,

Were boun on the bent on hor best wise,
And pe stithest in stoure, sturnyst of knightes,
Honerable Ector, þat eger was ay,

(fol. 115 a.) 7380 Euer waker and vnwar, wightist in armys,

Past furth with his pepull fro the pure Cité :
ffore euyn to be fild with fuersmen of Troye,

That hym self hade assignet surest of othir. 7384 Eneas afturward with abill men ynow;

Æneas, Paris,

Deiphobus, Paris þen put furthe with a proude folke; Troilus, and the

other Trojan Deffebus drogh next with a derfe pepull; leaders follow, Troiell, the tru knight, with a triet menye,

own division. 7388 And other, þat Ector had ordant before,

Suet furth to þe semely, as þai assignet were.
The first of þo fuerse men, þat to fight past,

Was Ector, hym aune selfe, with odmen of troye, 7392 As Dares in his dytyng of his dedis tellis.

ffro the Cité, the same day, soght to be fild,
With the prinse, to the plase, and his prise

brether,

& iij .m. thro men, priuond in armys, 7396 And v.m. fer, fuersmen & noble.

ben gird thai to-gedur with a grym will !
The stere was full stithe ; þere starf mony The battle is

begun by Paris knightes !

with the Persians Paris, with the perscans, presit in first, 7400 With his bowmen full bold bykrit with the

grekes.

each with his

and archers.

Book XVII.

who is next set on

has his helmet broken,

Troilus and Æneas rescue him,

Mony woundit tho weghis & wroght vnto dethe,

And harmyt full hogely with pere hard shot. Agamemnon is

Than Agamynon the grete gird into batell! struck down by Hector,

7404 Ector full egerly etlit hym to mete,

Gird hym Euyn to be grond with a grym hurt :
Halfe dede of pe dynt þere pe duke lay.

Than Achilles with a choise sword choppit to by Achilles; and

Ector,
7408 Alto hurlet the helme of þe high prinse;

But hym seluyn was safe, & his seate helde.
Than Troilus full tite, & tidé Eneas,

Chefyn to Achilles with choise men ynogh, 7412 Hurlit hym hastely, harmyt hym full mekull,

Bere hym bak of þe bent & his buernes all. Diomedes attacks

Then Diomede, the derfe kyng, drof to Eneas, Æneas; wounds (fol. 115 b.)

Woundit hym wykkidly, & to þe whe saide : him severely; taunts him;

7416 “Now, welcum l-wysse, for þi wale counsell,

þat in presens of Priam pursuet me to fle!
Wete hit full well for þi wyll febill,

If þou contynu by course, & cum into batell, 7420 You shall happyn in my handis hardly not faile,

And be ded of my dyntis for pi dissire old.” blow unhorses him.

Þen he drof to the duk with a dynt fell,

Vnhorsit hym in hast, had hym to ground. 7424 Ector eftirsons ettlyt on Achilles,

And greuit hym full gretly with a grym stroke, Achilles ; breaks his helmet;

Alto hurlit his helme, hurt hym full euyll, severely;

Wold haue takyn hym full tit, but at tene fell but is stunned by 7428 A sad man full sone, be sun of Theseus, about to capture

Segh Achilles myscheuyt, choppit to Ector:
With a swyng of his sword swagit on pe prinse.

Ector, for þe stithe stroke stoynyt no thyng, Recovering, le 7432 Gryppit to his gode sword in a grym yre, to the ground,

Drof vnto Diomede, þat deryt hym before,
Hat hedstoupis of his horse he hurlit to ground.
Hat Toilus in þe toile pis torfer beheld,

and with a fierce

Hoctor rushes on

wounds him

a blow when

him.

strikes Diomedes

THE BATTLE BECOMES GENERAL.

241

Book XVII.

where he is set upon by Troilus ; but defends himself bravely.

Greek leaders hasten with their divisions to

7436 Segh Dyomede with a dynt dryuyn to fote,

He lyght doun full lyuely leuyt his horse,
And dressit to Dyamede with a derfe chere.

he freke hym defendit with a fyn wyll,
7410 Were hym full wightly, and his woche past.
Achilles and Ector angarely faght!

Achilles and

Hector again meet Furse was þe fare po fyn men betwene;

and fight

furiously.
But þer hastid on hond help vnto bothe,
7444

With batels full byg, þat on bent met.
pen Menelay be myghti, & monly Vlixes;
Palomydon, Philomytes, Philothetes be grele; Menelaus,

Ulysses, and other Neptolon þe nobill, & Nestor pe duk ; 7448 Theseus, & Thoax, & mony tryed knight;

assist Achilles ; Menestaus be myghty, & modé Girilius ; Stelleus, pe stythe kyng, with a sturne wyll ;

bes gyrd in o þe grekys side with a grym ost. 7152 On the tothir Side fro Troy turnyt in swith, (fol. 116 a.) All þe kyngis, þat were comyn by course of and to resist the

allied kings and þere helpe,

their divisions, With þere batels full big & mony buerne felle,

As honerable Ector hade ordant before. 7456 Hit is wonder to wete of þo weghes þen,

How fell was pe fight of pe fuerse pepull!
How stith men & stedis were strikon to ground,

And mony derf þat was ded er þe day endit ! 7469 Agamynon þe grete, & his gay brother,

Menelay with mayn macchit hom in fere,
And presit vnto Paris all with pale hate,

The duke for to deire & to dethe bringe. 7464 Menelay hym met with a mayn speire, And woundit hym wickedly, warpit hym wounds him and

dashes him to the doun ; But his armour was od good & angardly picke,

Ind sauit þat Syre, socurd his lyfe. 7468 Then shamet þe shalke for þe shene Elan, bat he held in his hate fro be hed kyng.

that had come to assist Hector.

Menelans engages with Paris :

earth.

aris

Book XVII.

with Adrastus ;

horse.

Archilochus unhorse each other.

down Palamedes.

unhorses himn.

strikes down the Duke of Athens,

horse.

pen Vlixes & Arest angurdly faght: Ulysses fights

Vlexes gird hym to grond, grippit his horse,
strikes him down, 7472 Sent hym by a seruaund sone to his tent.
and captures his

Polimytes, pe proud kyng, presit vnto Ilupon,
Polymetes kills
Hupon.

Wondit hym wickedly, warpit hym to dethe.
Neoptolemus and

Neptolemus, the noble, nolpit to Archilagon,

7476 That both went backward & bult vppon the erthe. Polydamas strikes Polidamas to Palomydon presit so fast,

bat he gird hym doun grymly with a grym

wound;

Spake to hym spitously, dispisit hym foule ;

7480 ffore with hym fuersly all in fell angur. Stelleus fights

Stelleus, the stithe kyng, stroke vnto Carax, with Carras, and

Hurlet hym of horse, hade hym to ground. Pylæmenes

Philmen, the fuerse, with a fell dynt

7484 Drof to the derfe duke, doughty of Athens; and captures his

Hurlit hym doun hedlynges, & his horse toke; (fol. 116 6.)

Raght hym full radly to a rynke of his owne.

Philoc with felle angur frusshet to Remo, unhorsed : so also 7488 Till bothe welt backward of hor bare sadles.

Theseus, a tore kyng, tachit on Eurialon,
That aither wegh other woundit, & welt to be

grene.

The noble brether naturell naited pere strenght, Hector slay many Greeks,

7492 Mony woundit in wer wroght po þat day; many kings.

Mony grekes, thurgh hor grefe, on þe ground

leuyt;

Mony woundit po worthy of paire wale kynges. Telamon fights

Telamon, the tore kyng, with a togh speire, with Sarpedon till

7496 With the kyng of Capadoys caupit so harde, ground sore

hat bothe were þai bold men borne to be grene,
Woundit full wickedly in wer of hor lyues :

In the brest of be batell þere pe buernys lay!
7500 Den Achilles cherfull, & his choise cosyn

Toax, þat other, a tore mon of strenght, upon Hector, and

Ayren vnto Ector angardly sore !

Philoctetes and
Reinus are

are Theseus and Eurialus.

The brothers of

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both fall to the

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Achilles and his cousin Thoas fall

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his nose.

With the strenght of hor stroke, & hor store fare, Book XVII. 7504 The helme of his hede pai hurlit to peces ; wound him in

the head : Woundit hym wickedly with wepon aboue, bat þe Rinels of red blode ran doun his chekes. Hector in a rage

strikes at Thoas But Ector in angur aykeward he stroke,

and cuts off half 7508 Tachit vpon Toax, toke hym in the face,

He hade of þe halfe nase to pe hard chekes;
And he, for dere of þe dynt, droppid on þe laund.
Den his noble brother naturell neghit hym The brothers

come to Hector's aboute,

aid; kill many 7512 Socurd hym full sone with þaire sad helpis.

Greeks, capture

Thoas, and Mony grekes þai gird doun with pere grym fare! wound Telamon. Kyng Toax pai toke, & to toun led;

Telamon, þat tore kyng, so tenfully wondit,
7516 bat he was borne on his brode sheld with

buernes to his tent,
As for ded of the dynt, dressit of þe fild,
And left halfe lyueles with ledis of his aune.

Menelay with malys meuyt hym to Paris,
7520 De freke forto felle fondit at all ;
But Paris, with a prise arow put into Venum,

Menelaus with a
Hurt hym so hidously, þat he his horse leuyt, poisoned arrow.
And was borne to his bare tent with his bold

(fol. 117 a.)
knightes,
7524 As for dede of pe dynt, so derit hym sore ;

But leches full lyuely lokid his wound ;
With oile and with ointment abill perfore,

Bond it full bigly on hor best wise.
7528 And Menelay with malis meuit vnto batell, Menelaus having

had his wound To venge on his velany & his vile harme ;

dressed, again Presit vnto Paris with a prise speire,

attacks Paris. Wold haue hurt hym full hidusly, or had hym

to ground. 7532 But Eneas come ouerthwert, as aunters befelle, Æneas separates

them, and
And Keppit the caupe on his clene shild,
ffor the buerne was bare of body vnarmyt,

Paris wounds

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