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ACHILLES RUSHES TO BATTLE.

333

Book XXVI.

Enraged by the slaughter of his soldiers, he forgets his lady love;

10188 Thai told hym full tyte, the troiens with forse

Gird doun the grekes, & the ground wan;
Takyn þere tenttes, turnyt hom vnder;

Oppressit hom with payn & with pale strokes ; 10192 And þai no pouer hade plainly to put hom abake.

“ And ze, that hopyn in hele here for to leng,
Sekir of your selfe, & no sore pole!

Hit shall hap you to haue in a hond while, 10196 ffyfty thowsaund fell folke out of Troy,

To take you with tеne & tirne you to ground.
Mony of your Mirmydons marrit for euer :
Thai haue no forse hom to fend, þaire fos are so

kene;
10200 Withouten socour of suremen þai sothely bene

dede !"
Achilles for angur angardly swat;
So hatnet his hert in a hote

yre,
be loue of his lady ban left was behynd,
10204 Welt into wodnes, wan to his armys,

Strode on a stith horse, stroke into batell.
He fore with his fos in his felle angur,

As a wolfe in his wodenes with wethurs in fold : 10208 He hurlit of helmys, hedis within,

Rent thurgh ribbis, russhit vnfaire :
Tenyt so the troiens with his tore weppon,

That be bent was on blode blent with the erthe, 10212 ffor britnyng of buernes with his bright sword.

pan Troiell with tеne the tourfer beheld,
Knew well the kyng by caupe of his hond,

Reiches his Reynis & his roile strykes, 10216 Caires to be kyng with a kant wille.

The kyng met hym with mayn, macchit hym

sore ;
Derf dynttes pai delt bo doghty betwene,

With paire fawchons fell, femyt of blode. 10220 Troiell carue at the kyng with a kene sword,

(fol. 157 a.) mounts his horse; and rushes upon the Trojans.

Combat between
Achilles and
Troilus: both are
wounded.

a

Book XXVI.

Woundit hym wickedly in wer of his lyf,
hat he was led to the loge, laid as for dede,

But he langurd with lechyng long tyme after. 10224 Troiell in the toile truly was hurt,

But not so dedly his dynttes deiret as Achilles.
Thus þai bykirt on the bent till the bare night,

ban left þai for late, lordis and other,
10228 Turnyt vnto towne & the toile leuyt.

Night ends the battle.

HERE FAGHT HAI XX" DAYES TO-GEDUR.
Xxti dayes by dene with dynttes in feld,
þan mett þai with mayn,

&
mo

were kild: pat neuer restid po Renkes fro Risyng of sun,

10232 Of þat noyus note, till be night come. Priam is grieved

han Priam the prise kyng hade payn at his that Achilles has broken his

hert, pledge.

ffor Achilles by chaunse hade chaungit his

wille,

And breme was in batell his buernes to qwelle. 10236 He blamyt full bitturly pan his blithe qwene,

bat euer he tentit hir tale for trifles of hym.

He said þat his suranse sothely was fals, (fol. 157 b.)

And done for dissait, demit he non other. Polyxena too is 10240 Polexena the pert hade pyne in hir thoght, disappointed.

ffor ho purpost plainly in hir pure hert,
Hym to husband haue hade, and hir hap shope.

In Sex monys, at the most, þe mighty Achilles 10244 Was hole of his hurt he hade in the feld,

Of Troiell in the toile, as I told haue;
Bothe sound & saf, set for to fight.

Han hatnet his hert in a hote yre :
Achilles resolves 10248 To Troiell with tеne, pat turnit hym vnder,

And woundit hym wickedly, bes wordes said;
“Doutles with dynttes he deghes of my hond,
And er he fare out of fight haue a fowle end."

a

to kill Troilas.

TREACHERY OF ACHILLES.

335

Book XXVI.

THE DETHE OF TROILUS, BY ACHILLES TRAYTURLY SLAYNE

IN THE XXJ BATELL.

Troilus,

10252 When hit turnyt to be tyme torfer shuld rise,

Tho mighty on mold metton to fight,
With thaire batels full breme, bret full of pepull;
And mony bold were pere britnet vpon both

halues. 10256 Achilles the c[h]oise kyng chargit his knighter, Achilles instructs

his knights how Er þai busket to batell for baret on erthe, to capture þat þai holly on a hepe held hom to-gedur,

And mynd of no mater for myschef ne othir, 10260 Saue Troiell to take with torfer þat day;

Prese hym with pyne in parties aboute;
Cacche hym fro company, close hym within,

In myddes his mirmydons þat mighty to hold; 10264 Stuff hym with strenght þat he ne stir might,

But hym-self hym to sle sleghly with hond.
When he meuyt his men pis malis to wirke,

He fore to be fight with his felle knightes : 10268 All his mirmydons mightely meuit hym after,

And put hym in prise his purpos to hold.
han Troiell full tidely turnyt into batell,

With a folke þat was fell, fuerse of assaute, 10272 Hardy men of hond, hede knightes all,

And wondurfully wroght on hor wale fos.
Troiell the tru, with his triet strenght,

(fol, 158 a.) So britnet with his brond, & brisit the grekes, 10276 bat pai foundyt to flight for ferd of hym one,

And lefton the lond, pof hom lothe thught.
Then the Mirmydons mightely meuit in hole, The Myrmidons

coming forward, Two thowsaund by tale, as taght hom Achilles. rally them. 10280 His comaundement to kepe kaston hom þen,

And assemblit on a sop sadly to-gedur.
The Troiens with tеne pai tirnyt to ground,
Kyld of hor knightes & comyns full mony;

a

The Greeks are driven back.

Book XXVI.

sides,

Burround

he defends him.

10284 Wet hom with woundis, warpit hom doune,

And myche baret on bent to be buernes did. han the grekes agayne getton the feld ;

ffell was the fight foynyng of speires. Many fall on both 10288 Miche harme, in þat hete, happit to falle

On aither parte with pyne, þat put were to

dethe. The Myrmidons

The Mirmydons hade mynd of pe mayne troiell, Troilus;

And laited hym on the laund as the lede faght; 10292 The compast the knight, closit hym within,

On yche syde vppon hepes hastely strikon :
But mony of þo Mirmydons pe mayn knight

slogh,

& woundit hom wofully a wondurfull noumber.

10296 bai hurlit of his helme, hade hit to ground, self bravely.

Harmyt the hode, þat was of hard maile;
Rofe hit full Roidly, rent hit in peses,

bat all bare was the buerne aboue on his crowne; 10300 Yet he fendit hym fuersly, fele of hom kild,

And gird hom to ground, þat greuyt hom most. Achilles slays

Than Achilles with angur come angardly fast,

Segh the hathell all to-hurlit, & his hede bare, (MS. has

10304 And no helpe of his hynd (men) hastid him to. mend.")

With a fauchon felle he flange at the knight,
Slough him full slawthly with sleght of his hond,

And hade of [his] hede vndur horse fete.
10308 He light doun lyuely, leuit hym not so,

ffestryt hym vp fuersely, by his fete euyn, body to his (fol. 158 b.)

Hard by the here of his horse tayle, horse's tail; and drags it

And hurlit hym with hethyng þurgh þe hoole through the

ost.

him :

a

binds the dead

field.

Homer is reproved for representing Achilles as the noblest of knights.

10312 Thow Omer, þat oft-tymes openly writis

Of þat buerne in pi boke, as best of his hondes,
Or wegh þat is worshipfull, & wight of his dedis,
He comendith hym kyndly as a knight noble ;

HOMER NOT TRUSTWORTHY.

337

Book XXVI.

10316 How be reason, or right, or rewle, may bou

preue
To deme hym so doghty in dedis of armys?
And nomly in pis note, so noblely pou sayes,

Thurgh strenght of his strokes, stroyet he haso 10320 Two Ectors eger, & to end broght :

The prinse of þat prouynse, þat no pere hade,
And Troiell the triet knight, his owne tru

brother,

One, the strongist in stoure, pat on stede rode. 10324 Lelly þi lesynges bou lappis full faire,

His partiality

accounted for by Thurgh affection & faithe pou fest with the his descent.

grekes ; As pou said by bi-selfe, þurgh sibradyn first, ("sibradyn"=

sibreda, kindred, Thou was aliet to pat lynage, as by lyne olde, relationship.) 10328 Or ellis wodenes be wrixlet, & þi wit failet,

And no reason by rewle þat Renke to comend.
Ne fell he not first with his fals trayne,

Did not Achilles

slay Hector Honerable Ector, oddist of knightes,

treacherously? 10332 The strongest in stoure þat euer on stede rode :

pat mon hade no make of might in his lyue,
Ne so worthy in world, wist I neuer sithen.
When he caght hade a kyng, as come hym by

chaunse,
10336 And to pull hym of prese paynit hym fast,

With all besenes aboute & his brest naked,
His shild on his shulders shot was behynd,

He hedut no hathell, ne no harme thoght, 10340 Saue the kyng to his company clenly to bryng.

Hade the prinse of his purpos persayuet before,
He hade keppit hym full cantly, cawpit with

hym so,

pat pe grekes shuld haue greuyt, & be gre lost. 10344 And troiell, the tru knight, trayturly he slogh, And did he not

slay Troilus when Noght þurgh stowrenes of strokes, ne with he was sur

rounded and strenght one;

exhausted ?

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