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Book XXI.

8728 He fraynet at þo fre, with a fyn wille, keep the body of

How the korse might be keppit in his kynd Hector without corruption, and

holl, without sepulture.

ffresshe, vndefacede, & in fyne hew,

As a lede vpon lyue, likyng to se;
8732 And not orible, ne vgly of odir to fele.

Then þo maisturs gert make a meruelous toumhe,
Honerable & auonand, in Apolyn temple,

At the prayer of Priam, of a prise werke, 8736 Beside Tiberian, þat in Troy was a triet yate,

ffoundit full faire fele yeres past. They erect a

There set was full solenly besyde the high rich tabernacle on four pillars

aulter, of gold,

A tabernacle triet & tristyly wroght,

8740 Of foure pillers vp right all of pure gold : adorned with

Like ymages were all, abill of shap, images of angels,

Lokend full lyuely as any light angels,

ffro aboue to pe base bright to be-hold, 8744 With full corius korse, & craftely grauen.

Hit was atiryt vmb the top all with triet stones,

Of all kyndes to ken, þat clerkes cold deuyse. and gleaming

pai lemet so light, þat ledes might se with precious

8748 Aboute midnyght merke as with mayn torches ;

And on dayes to deme, as by due sight, (fol. 135 b.)

As beamys of bright sun, þat braunchis olofte,

This tabernacle tristy was tyrit on hegh, 8752 Vpon cristall full clere, clustrit with greses, As a gate fro the ground to the gay

herse : bat weghes might walke & waite þerapon. Above the

Aboue on bis bright, as the boke sayes, tabernacle they set a great image 8756 Thos maisturs gert make a meruelous ymage, of gold,

All grauen of gold, a gret & a longe, representing

Amyt after Ector, abill of shap, Hector menacing

With a noble sword & a nait naked in his honil, A naked sword.

8760 Vp holdand on high as he þat wold stryke :

Turnyt to the tenttes of the tore grekes,

stones.

the Greeks with

[blocks in formation]

under the

to be still alive.

They cause a fine ointment to

to preserve it,

With a lyuely loke, ledis to be-hold:

Book XXI. The same fawchon full fell, þat þe freke bere, 8764 þat had greuit mony grekes, & to ground broght,

Hit was burnisshed full bright & of blade kene;
And in mynd of þat man for manas was holdyn.
The body of þat bold, as buerne vppon lyue, They set the

body of Hector 8768 Was full solemly set in a seate vnder,

tabernacle ; and Ymydward the mayne towmbe with maistres arrange it that

it might seem deuyse. All the feturs of þat fre, fresshe to be-hold,

Iche lede on to loke, lemys & other 8772 All set for to se, saue the fete one,

In soche apparell full pure, as the prince vsit.
pan po maisturs gert make, amyddes his hede,

A hole þurgh his herne-pon hertely by craft; 8776 There-in put was a pipe, with a prise oyntment drop into the

head, and flow Of bavme & of balsamom, þat brethede full swete, all over the body With oper maters mynget, þat most were of

strenght,

Conseruatours by craft, þat cointly were made. 8780 The bavme þurghe his brayn all on brod ran,

And the forhed before fresshly within ;
So hit entrid to be Ene, & evyn to his nase,

And so be craft & by course come to his chekes, 8784 Goyng to his gomys and the ground of his tethe, (fol. 130 a.)

hat keppit hom be crafte all in clene vertue.
So the face of þat freike was fresshe to be-hold, By this means
With the here on his hede, þat hogely was features of the

hero are kept mekyll,

fresh and life

like. 8788 And grew fro the ground, þat gomys might

know,
As a lede vpon lyue ;

lefe if

ye

will !
ffro thethen the lycour belyue launchit doun

evyn,

Thurgli the goters of his gorge, & the grete pype, 8792 To the brest of the buerne and the bare shulders;

Book XXI.

So also the arms and hands,

legs and feet.

They set round the body four lamps of gold, whose fire could never be extinguished.

And past so by proces to his prise armys,
Bret thurgh the bones and the big senowis,

Euer folowand the fell to þe fyngur endys.
8796 So hit soght to the sydes & serchit with-in,

And keppit hom full cleane in hor kynd hew, hat as a lede vpon lyue to loke on þai ware.

ben hit sewit furth soberly, & sanke fro aboue, 8800 By the lyndes of the lede, to the leell theghes,

Passond by poris into be pure legges ;
And so, be corse of the craft, com to his fete.

In whiche fete þere was formyt fresshly another, 8804 ffull of bawme þat was bright, & of brethe noble.

Thus keppit was this corse of the clene prinse,
As a lede vpon lyue a full long tyme.
ben þos maisters gert make, all with mayn

crafte,
8808 ffovre lampis full light, ledis to beholde,

pat gay were & grete, all of gold fyne;
ffild vp with fyre, þat fynet not to bren;

pat no watur þen wete in world might hom let, 8812 Ne the light make lesse ne the low fade.

When this taburnacle atyrit was tally to end,
Thai closit hit full clanly, all with clene ambur,

Vmbe the borders aboue, pat no buerne entrid, 8816 With a dore þat was derne, all for dere fryndes

ffor to loke on þat lede, when hom lefe bought, Or þat soght hym to se in his sete holl.

Then Priam, the prise kyng, puruait to leng 8820 Mony seruondis full solemne in the same

temple, Of prestes to pray, and pure men of lyffe, With worship to wale goddis, & wakyng on

nightes.

He gafe Renttes full Rife, & myche Ranke godis, 8824 All po ledis on to lyf, þat longit perto,

Bothe prestes and prise clerkes prudly to fynd.

(fol. 133 b.)

To this temple Priam appoints many priests, and rich endowments,

287

THE COUNSEL OF AGAMEMNON.

Book XXI.

THE COUNSAILL OF AGAMINON AFTER THE DETHE OF

ECTOR.

Agamemnon
proposes to his
captains that
they should thank

Hector's death :

When Ector done was to dethe, & his day past,
Achilles woundit full wothely in were of his

lyffe,
8828 All the grete of the grekes gedrit were sone,

By ordinaunce of the Emperoure, þat after hom

sent.
Thus he spake for his spede his specials vnto :-

“Now fryndes, in faith, vs is faire happont, 8832 And þroly, me thinke, we thanke shuld oure their gods for

goddes,
þat hase grauntid vs þat grace of þe gome Ector,
To be drepit to dethe thurgh dughty Achilles.

ffor, while the lede was on lyf, & his lymes holl, 8836 We hade hertely no hope here for to spede,

Yonder toun for to take, ne tene hom within,
Ne in this lond, at our lust, lykyng to haue.
ffor he hase kyld of our kynges, to count hom for he had slain

by nome,
8840 Prothesselon, Patroculus, & Policene alse;

Myrion the mighty, & the mayn Sedymon ;
Prothenor the pert, & the prinse Xancipun.

Alphenor the fuerse flung he to dethe ; 8844 Archillagon the choise choppit to ground;

Domen the doughty, & derf Polexenas ;
Isum, also, abill of his dedys.

Polipheten, a prise mon, he put out of lyue ; 8848 Letabion on the laund bere left he for ded ;

And mony grete of our grekes he to ground

broght.
Syn he be destany is dede, what dem þar vs ellus, And now that he
But the Citie to sese, & slyng it to ground;
All the pepull to pyne put, and dethe at oure

so many of the Greeks and their allies,

is dead, Troy and the Trojans will be easily taken.

(fol. 137 a.)

8852

lust?

Book XXI.

sondlesmen,

truce.

And þat shall douteles be done in dayes a few.
And syn vs botis notto batell but vs bale worthe,
Withoutyn the helpe and the hondes of herty

Achilles,
8856 Hit is best þat we byde, barly, me thinke,

Tyll he be hole of his hurt, hast we no ferr. That they should

Let vs puruay to Priam prise men of wit, send to Priam to obtain a truce for

ffor to trete of a tru in trist of the bettur, two months, that their dead may be

8860 Till two monethes & more be meuit to end, buried and their wounded healed.

ffor to bery pies bodies, pat brittnet are to dethe, That storis vs with stynke, & our state harmys;

Andourhurt men to hele, þat harmys haue kaght." 8864 When his speche was spokyn, & sped to pe last,

All the lordes hit alowet, & lowten perto. (Soundismen,'=

Then sent were pere sone soundismen two, messengers.)

To Priam, the prise kyng, purpos to hold; Priam grants the 8868 And he grauntid vngright with a good chere,

And affirmet hit with faith to þe frekis all.
Within the tyme of pis tru, as the trety sais,

Palomydon the proud kyng playnet hym ofte, murmurs against Agamemnon. 8872 Of Agamynons gouernaunce in a grete yre.

And as hit tid on a tyme, pes triet kynges hoole
Were somyn at a semly the souerain before,

Palomydon put hym full prestly to say,
8876 And meuit of his mater, þat I mynnet are.

ban Agamynon, full godely, agayn to hym said, Againemnon

Before po kynges in comyn on a cleane wise :replies;

“Now Palomydon, pure ffrende, pertly I aske, 8880 Whethur þou hope it in hert, or hold in pi mynd,

That I am glad of pis gouernaunce, to be gyde

here: “I never even

Syn I with prayer, ne with pursuet, preset not desired the command of the

þeraftur, Greek forces; nor have I

Ne desyret hit in dede pe dayes of my liffe. any profit

8884 Ne neuer fortherit me a ferthing to fylsy my thereby.

goodes;

Palamedes

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