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Book IV.

Laomedon is

informed that the

Greeks are

masters of the city.

Sad at heart, he assembles his

men and returns to the city.

He is attacked in front by the ambuscade, and in rear by the band from the ships.

(fol. 23 a.)

Hercules strikes terror into the hearts of the


Wondit of pe wightist, warpide hom vnder;
Put hom fuersly to flight, folowet hom after
To the banke of the brode see pere botis were

1300 pere Lamydon þem leuyt, for a lede come

With tithynges fro the towne told to the kyng; One Dotes, with dyntes pat dedly was wondyt, Said the Citie was sesit & sad men pere-in, 1304 Of our fos full fell, fuerse men in Armys,

A grete nowmber of Grekis, & pe goodes takyn. be kyng for pat care coldit at his hert,

And siket full sore with sylyng of teris, 1308 Henttes his horne and hastily blawes;

Assemblit his sad men on a sop holle,

Left the Grekes on pe ground by the gray water:
Soght to pe Citie on soppes to-gedur

1312 Tho pat left were on lyue pogh pai lite were.
The kyng in his comyng kest vp his egh,
Segh a batell full breme fro pe burghe come
Prickand full prest vppon proude stedys.

1316 He blusshed ouer backeward to pe brode see,
Se the Grekys come girdand with a grym noise,
þat fled were before & pe fild leuyt.

He was astonyet full stithly to be stad so,

1320 Betwene the batels on bent & so bare leuyt,
Vmfoldyng with his fos þat he ne fle might.
pen to batell on bent þai busket anon,

A felle fight & a fuerse fell hom betwene.
1324 But vnmete was the Macche at pe mene tyme:
The Grekes were grym, of a grete nowmber,
And lite of pat other lede, pat on lyue were.
The Troiens full tyte were tyrnyt to pe grounde
1328 With batell on bothe halfes, blody beronyn,
Wyde woundes & wete of hor wale dyntes.
Ercules yreful euer vponone,

Pricket furthe into prise and full playne made,


1332 Gird gomes vnto grounde with vngayn strokes,
Bere the batell a-bake, mony buerne qwellid.
The freke was so fuerse, the[y] fled of his gate;
All shodurt as shepe shont of his way,

1336 Non so derffe to endure a dynt of his hond,
ffor all loste pe lyfe pat pe lede touchet.


Tyll he come to þe kyng in a kene yre, 'Dang hym derffly don in a ded hate, 1340 Grippit hym grymly, gird of his hede,

brew it into pronge of his pro pepull;
bat moche sorowe for pe sight & sobbyng of teres,
When paire kyng was kylt, hom be course felle.

1344 Sesit was the Citie, socour non pere,

paire fomen so felle, and so few other,

The Grekes gird hom to grounde & to grym


Of the dite & pe dyn was dole to be-holde. 1348 The Troiens with tene turnyt pe bake, ffleddon in fere and þe filde leuyt,


Quer hilles & hethes into holte woddes,

hat left were on lyue with mony laithe hurtes,

When the Grekys hade the gre & the grounde



Thai soght into the Cité vpon sere haluys,
Streght into stretis and into stronge houses,
There were wemen to wale, A wonderfull nowm-


1356 Childer full choise and of chere febill,

Wyth olde ffolke vnfere ferly to see.

All tight to be tempull of pere tore goddes, ffor drede of the dethe, & myche dynne made. 1360 Mony wyues, for woo, of þere wit past,

Book IV.


He falls upon Laomedon; kills him, and throws his head into the crowd of Trojans.

The city is taken, and the Trojans flee to the woods.

As the Greeks

crowd into the city, the Trojans

(fol. 23 b.)

old and young,

rush to the temple for safety,

Book IV.

and in their haste

leave all their goods behind.

The city is plundered and destroyed.

The people are killed or taken captive.

Hesione, daughter

of Laomedon, is

given to Telamon,

who was the first

And pere barnes on brest bere In þere armes, Hyd hom in houles and hyrnys aboute. Maydons for mornyng haue pere mynde loste, 1364 (Soche payne of a pepull was pitie to be-holde) Hurlet out of houses, and no hede toke

Of golde ne of garmenttes, ne of goode stonys;
ffongit no florence, ne no fyn pesys,

1368 Gemys ne gewellis, ne no ioly vessell,
But all left in hor loges & lurkit away.
The Grekes were full gredy, grippit hom belyue,
Prayen and pyken mony priuey chambur,
1372 ffongit pere florence and oper fyn gold,

Geton girduls full gay, mony good stonys;

Wele wantid no wegh wale what hom liste.
A monyth on pis maner meuyt no ferre,
1376 But soughton vp the Cité vpon sere haluys,
Grippit vp the grounde, girdyn doun þe wallys,
Prowde pales of prise puttyn to grounde;
Brent vp the byggynges & full bare maden;
1380 The temple ouer-turnyt, tokon pe folke,

Dydden all to the dethe & for ne drede lettyd;
Wemen, wale childur, & other weike pupull,
Madens full mony & of mete Age,

1384 Sesit hom sone in seruage to holde.


When the pales was put doun of pe prise kyng, pai fonde per a fre faire to be-holde,

Euyn of his owne doughter Exiona was callid.

to enter the city. 1388 Bannet worthe the bale tyme þat ho borne was,

(fol. 24 a.)

ffor the care pat pere come because of hir one. Ercules egerly euyn vponone

Betoke hir to Telamon, for he the towne entrid,

1392 In reward as by right for his ranke wille.


But caitif unclene, for thy curst dede!


Syn the fortune felle pat faire into honde,

hat was cumly and clene and a kinges doughter, 1396 pou shuld have holdyn þat hynd, had hir þi-selfe, Weddit with worship and to wife holdyn.

And pou so doggetly has done in þi derfe hate,
prast hir vnder praldam with pi pro hert,
1400 To a kyng þat is curst, of vnclene lyfe,

ffor to lede in his lechery all his lyfe after.
Thurgh vnhappe of þat hynde, pat pou a hore


Myche greuaunce shall groo & a gronnd hate; 1404 Wer wakyn & wo for pi wickede dede, Mony boldes for pat bright in batell be kylde. When the toune was ouertyrnyt, takyn þe godys, be Grekes to pe gray water gyrdyn belyue; 1408 Shottyn into shippes all pe shene godis,

Launchet furthe lightly & the lond passit,
Girdon ouer the grym waghes into grece samyn.
All pere lordes were light þat þai lyffe hade,
1412 ffayne of pere fortune & pere fine relikes,

Didyn sacrifice solempne vnto sere goddes.
All pere Rewmes wax riche, hade relikes ynowe,
And long tyme with hom last & pere lefe children,
1416 When the Cité was sesit, as I said ere,

And Lamydon the lege kyng out of lyfe broght,
Wemyn & wale children vnto wo put,
Set vnder seruage, sorow for euer,

1420 The kynges doughter caght & out of kythe led,
And in horedam holdyn, harme was þe more.
Se now the sorow þat þere suet after;
And yche wegh pat is wise & of wit stable,
1424 Light harmes Let ouer-passe, Lap noght in yre
ffor foly þat may falle of a felle hert.


A word þat is wrappid, and in wrath holdyn,

[blocks in formation]

Book IV.

hasty man, lest like a spark unnoticed among ashes, it waken up a dreadful


(MS. has

This maiden

shall be the cause of much woe to many

lands, and all on account of

angry words.

While she was in bondage, Troy

was built and destroyed;

(fol. 25 a.)

and many kings, knights, and

people killed on her account.

May feston as a fyre with a fuerse lowe,

1428 Of a sparke unaspied, spred vnder askys,
May feston vp fyre to mony freike sorow;
So lurkes with lordes of a light wrathe,
hat growes into gronnd harme, greuys full sore.
1432 (Happye) is þe here In no hate lengis,
Ne letis bele in his brest wherof bale rises,
Ne mynnes no malis þat is of mynd past;
As yt happes here harme for to come,
1436 And wreke to be wroght for wordes


Soche a kyng to be kylde, A cuntre distroyed, ffele folke forfaren with a ffeble ende.

Gyf an end hade ben now, & neuer noyet efter, 1440 Bothe of lure & of los, & oure lorde wolde,

Hit was euyn bot a venture of Angur to come,
And a Sesyn of sorow þat þere suet after.

Right as Lamydon þe lorde was of lyue broght, 1444 ffor he grethit with pe Grekys pat on his ground lay;

So pis Maidon shalbe mater of full mekull harme,


mony londes to lure pat euer ho lyffe hade. Lo, how fortune is felle & of fer caste,

1448 pat drawes in a dede hate in a derke wille,
And of a litill hath likyng a low for to kyndull,
hat hepis into harme in a hond while !
By pis mater I meane what myschefe befell,
1452 pere no cause was to ken but vnkynd wordes.
And while pis Lady was on lyffe in a lond fer,
And all thies maters in mynde, þat I mene here,
Grete Troy was vp tild with mony toures vmbe,

1456 þat was meruelously [made], & mekell to shew,
And Sesyt was sython & to sorow broght,

And mony kynges were kyld & knightes perfore.
What ledys were lost & of lyue done,

1460 Now I turne for to telle, whill I tyme haue.

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