Anonymous


Emare - Poem by Anonymous

Jhesu, that ys kyng in trone,
As Thou shoope bothe sonne and mone,
And all that shalle dele and dyghte,
Now lene us grace such dedus to done,
In Thy blys that we may wone -
Men calle hyt heven lyghte;
And Thy modur Mary, hevyn qwene,
Bere our arunde so bytwene, 1
That semely ys of syght,
To thy Sone that ys so fre,
In heven wyth Hym that we may be,
That lord ys most of myght.

Menstrelles that walken fer and wyde,
Her and ther in every a syde,
In mony a dyverse londe,
Sholde, at her bygynnyng,
Speke of that ryghtwes kyng
That made both see and sonde.
Whoso wyll a stounde dwelle, 2
Of mykyll myrght y may you telle,
And mornyng ther amonge;
Of a lady fayr and fre,
Her name was called Emaré,
As I here synge in songe.

Her fadyr was an emperour
Of castell and of ryche towre;
Syr Artyus was hys nome.
He hadde bothe hallys and bowrys,
Frythes fayr, forestes wyth flowrys;
So gret a lord was none.
Weddedde he had a lady
That was both fayr and semely,
Whyte as whales bone:
Dame Erayne hette that emperes;
She was full of love and goodnesse;
So curtays lady was none.

Syr Artyus was the best manne
In the worlde that lyvede thanne,
Both hardy and therto wyght;
He was curtays in all thyng,
Bothe to olde and to yynge,
And well kowth dele and dyght. 3
He hadde but on chyld in hys lyve
Begeten on hys weddedde wyfe,
And that was fayr and bryght;
For sothe, as y may telle the,
They called that chyld Emaré,
That semely was of syght.

When she was of her modur born,
She was the fayrest creature borne
That yn the lond was thoo.
The emperes, that fayr ladye,
Fro her lord gan she dye,
Or hyt kowthe speke or goo.
The chyld, that was fayr and gent,
To a lady was hyt sente,
That men kalled Abro.
She thawghth hyt curtesye and thewe,
Golde and sylke for to sewe,
Amonge maydenes moo.

Abro tawghte thys mayden small,
Nortur that men useden in sale,
Whyle she was in her bowre.
She was curtays in all thynge,
Bothe to olde and to yynge,
And whyte as lylye-flowre.
Of her hondes she was slye;
All her loved that her sye,
Wyth menske and mychyl honour.
At the mayden leve we,
And at the lady fayr and fre,
And speke we of the Emperour.

The Emperour of gentyll blode
Was a curteys lorde and a gode,
In all maner of thynge.
Aftur, when hys wyf was dede,
And ledde hys lyf yn weddewede,
And myche loved playnge.
Sone aftur, yn a whyle,
The ryche Kynge of Cesyle
To the Emperour gan wende;
A ryche present wyth hym he browght,
A cloth that was wordylye wroght.
He wellcomed hym as the hende.

Syr Tergaunte, that nobyll knyght,
He presented the Emperour ryght,
And sette hym on hys kne,
Wyth that cloth rychyly dyght,
Full of stones ther hyt was pyght,
As thykke as hyt myght be:
Off topaze and rubyes
And othur stones of myche prys,
That semely wer to se;
Of crapowtes and nakette,
As thykke ar they sette,
For sothe, as y say the.

The cloth was dysplayed sone;
The Emperour lokede therupone
And myght hyt not se,
For glysteryng of the ryche ston;
Redy syght had he non,
And sayde, 'How may thys be?'
The Emperour sayde on hygh,
'Sertes, thys ys a fayry,
Or ellys a vanyté!'
The Kyng of Cysyle answered than,
'So ryche a jwell ys ther non
In all Crystyanté.'

The Emerayle dowghter of hethenes
Made thys cloth wythouten lees,
And wrowghte hyt all wyth pryde;
And purtreyed hyt wyth gret honour,
Wyth ryche golde and asowr
And stones on ylke a syde.
And, as the story telles in honde,
The stones that yn thys cloth stonde,
Sowghte they wer full wyde.
Seven wynter hyt was yn makynge,
Or hyt was browght to endynge,
In herte ys not to hyde.

In that on korner made was
Ydoyne and Amadas,
Wyth love that was so trewe;
For they loveden hem wyth honour,
Portrayed they wer wyth trewe-love-flour,
Of stones bryght of hewe:
Wyth carbunkull and safere,
Kassydonys and onyx so clere
Sette in golde newe,
Deamondes and rubyes,
And othur stones of mychyll pryse,
And menstrellys wyth her glewe.

In that othur corner was dyght
Trystram and Isowde so bryght,
That semely wer to se;
And for they loved hem ryght,
As full of stones ar they dyght,
As thykke as they may be:
Of topase and of rubyes,
And othur stones of myche pryse,
That semely wer to se;
Wyth crapawtes and nakette,
Thykke of stones ar they sette,
For sothe, as y say the.

In the thyrdde korner, wyth gret honour,
Was Florys and Dam Blawncheflour,
As love was hem betwene;
For they loved wyth honour,
Purtrayed they wer wyth trewe-love-flour,
Wyth stones bryght and shene:
Ther wer knyghtus and senatowres,
Emerawdes of gret vertues,
To wyte wythouten wene;
Deamoundes and koralle,
Perydotes and crystall,
And gode garnettes bytwene.

In the fowrthe korner was oon,
Of Babylone the Sowdan sonne,
The Amerayles dowghtyr hym by.
For hys sake the cloth was wrowght;
She loved hym in hert and thowght,
As testymoyeth thys storye.
The fayr mayden her byforn
Was portrayed an unykorn,
Wyth hys horn so hye;
Flowres and bryddes on ylke a syde,
Wyth stones that wer sowght wyde,
Stuffed wyth ymagerye.

When the cloth to ende was wrowght,
To the Sowdan sone hyt was browght,
That semely was of syghte.
'My fadyr was a nobyll man;
Of the Sowdan he hyt wan
Wyth maystrye and wyth myghth.
For gret love he gaf hyt me;
I brynge hyt the in specyalté;
Thys cloth ys rychely dyght.'
He gaf hyt the emperour;
He receyved hyt wyth gret honour,
And thonkede hym fayr and ryght.

The Kyng of Cesyle dwelled ther
As long as hys wyll wer,
Wyth the Emperour for to play;
And when he wolde wende,
He toke hys leve at the hende,
And wente forth on hys way.
Now remeveth thys nobyll kyng.
The Emperour aftur hys dowghtur hadde longyng,
To speke wyth that may.
Messengeres forth he sent
Aftyr the mayde fayr and gent,
That was bryght as someres day.

Messengeres dyghte hem in hye;
Wyth myche myrthe and melodye,
Forth gon they fare,
Both by stretes and by stye,
Aftur that fayr lady,
Was godely unthur gare.
Her norysse, that hyghte Abro,
Wyth her she goth forth also,
And wer sette in a chare.
To the Emperour gan they go;
He come ayeyn hem a myle or two;
A fayr metyng was there.

The mayden, whyte as lylye flour,
Lyghte ayeyn her fadyr the Emperour;
Two knyghtes gan her lede.
Her fadyr that was of gret renowne,
That of golde wered the crowne,
Lyghte of hys stede.
When they wer bothe on her fete,
He klypped her and kyssed her swete,
And bothe on fote they yede.
They wer glad and made good chere;
To the palys they yede in fere,
In romans as we rede.

Then the lordes that wer grete,
They wesh and seten doun to mete,
And folk hem served swythe.
The mayden that was of sembelant swete,
Byfore her owene fadur sete,
The fayrest wommon on lyfe;
That all hys hert and all hys thowghth
Her to love was yn browght:
He byhelde her ofte sythe.
So he was anamored hys thowghtur tyll,
Wyth her he thowghth to worche hys wyll,
And wedde her to hys wyfe.

And when the metewhyle was don,
Into hys chambur he wente son
And called hys counseyle nere.
He bad they shulde sone go and come,
And gete leve of the Pope of Rome
To wedde that mayden clere.
Messengeres forth they wente.
They durste not breke hys commandement,
And erles wyth hem yn fere.
They wente to the courte of Rome,
And browghte the Popus bullus sone,
To wedde hys dowghter dere.

Then was the Emperour gladde and blythe,
And lette shape a robe swythe
Of that cloth of golde;
And when hyt was don her upon,
She semed non erthely wommon,
That marked was of molde.
Then seyde the Emperour so fre,
'Dowghtyr, y woll wedde the,
Thow art so fresh to beholde.'
Then sayde that wordy unthur wede,
'Nay syr, God of heven hyt forbede,
That ever do so we shulde!

'Yyf hyt so betydde that ye me wedde
And we shulde play togedur in bedde,
Bothe we were forlorne!
The worde shulde sprynge fer and wyde;
In all the worlde on every syde
The worde shulde be borne.
Ye ben a lorde of gret pryce,
Lorde, lette nevur such sorow aryce:
Take God you beforne!
That my fadur shulde wedde me,
God forbede that I hyt so se,
That wered the crowne of thorne!'

The Emperour was ryght wrothe,
And swore many a gret othe,
That deed shulde she be.
He lette make a nobull boot,
And dede her theryn, God wote,
In the robe of nobull ble.
She moste have wyth her no spendyng,
Nothur mete ne drynke,
But shate her ynto the se.
Now the lady dwelled thore,
Wythowte anker or ore,
And that was gret pyté!

Ther come a wynd, y unthurstonde,
And blewe the boot fro the londe,
Of her they lost the syght.
The Emperour hym bethowght
That he hadde all myswrowht,
And was a sory knyghte.
And as he stode yn studyynge,
He fell down in sowenynge,
To the erthe was he dyght.
Grete lordes stode therby,
And toke yn the Emperour hastyly,
And comforted hym fayr and ryght.

When he of sownyng kovered was,
Sore he wepte and sayde, 'Alas,
For my dowhter dere!
Alas, that y was made man,
Wrecched kaytyf that I hyt am!'
The teres ronne by hys lere.
'I wrowght ayeyn Goddes lay
To her that was so trewe of fay.
Alas, why ner she here!'
The teres lasshed out of hys yghen;
The grete lordes that hyt syghen
Wepte and made yll chere.

Ther was nothur olde ny yynge
That kowthe stynte of wepynge,
For that comely unthur kelle.
Into shypys faste gan they thrynge,
Forto seke that mayden yynge,
That was so fayr of flesh and fell.
They her sowght ovurall yn the see
And myghte not fynde that lady fre,
Ayeyn they come full snell.
At the Emperour now leve we,
And of the lady yn the see,
I shall begynne to tell.

The lady fleted forth alone;
To God of heven she made her mone,
And to Hys modyr also.
She was dryven wyth wynde and rayn,
Wyth stronge stormes her agayn,
Of the watur so blo.
As y have herd menstrelles syng yn sawe,
Hows ny lond myghth she non knowe,
Aferd she was to go.
She was so dryven fro wawe to wawe,
She hyd her hede and lay full lowe,
For watyr she was full woo.

Now thys lady dwelled thore
A good seven nyghth and more,
As hyt was Goddys wylle;
Wyth carefull herte and sykyng sore,
Such sorow was here yarked yore,
And ever lay she styll.
She was dryven ynto a lond,
Thorow the grace of Goddes sond,
That all thyng may fulfylle.
She was on the see so harde bestadde,
For hungur and thurste almost madde.
Woo worth wederus yll!

She was dryven into a lond
That hyghth Galys, y unthurstond,
That was a fayr countré.
The kyngus steward dwelled ther bysyde,
In a kastell of mykyll pryde;
Syr Kadore hyght he.
Every day wolde he go,
And take wyth hym a sqwyer or two,
And play hym by the see.
On a tyme he toke the eyr
Wyth two knyghtus gode and fayr;
The wedur was lythe of le.

A boot he fond by the brym,
And a glysteryng thyng theryn,
Therof they hadde ferly.
They went forth on the sond
To the boot, y unthurstond,
And fond theryn that lady.
She hadde so longe meteles be
That hym thowht gret dele to se;
She was yn poynt to dye.
They askede her what was her name:
She chaunged hyt ther anone,
And sayde she hette Egaré.

Syr Kadore hadde gret pyté;
He toke up the lady of the see,
And hom gan her lede.
She hadde so longe meteles be,
She was wax lene as a tre,
That worthy unthur wede.
Into hys castell when she came,
Into a chawmbyr they her namm,
And fayr they gan her fede,
Wyth all delycyus mete and drynke
That they myghth hem on thynke,
That was yn all that stede.

When that lady, fayr of face,
Wyth mete and drynke kevered was,
And had colour agayne,
She tawghte hem to sewe and marke
All maner of sylkyn werke;
Of her they wer full fayne.
She was curteys yn all thyng,
Bothe to olde and to yynge,
I say yow for certeyne.
She kowghthe werke all maner thyng
That fell to emperour or to kyng,
Erle, barown or swayne.

Syr Kadore lette make a feste
That was fayr and honeste,
Wyth hys lorde, the kynge.
Ther was myche menstralsé,
Trommpus, tabours and sawtré,
Bothe harpe and fydyllyng.
The lady that was gentyll and small
In kurtull alone served yn hall,
Byfore that nobull kyng.
The cloth upon her shone so bryghth
When she was theryn ydyghth,
She semed non erthly thyng.

The kyng loked her upon,
So fayr a lady he sygh nevur non:
Hys herte she hadde yn wolde.
He was so anamered of that syghth,
Of the mete non he myghth,
But faste gan her beholde.
She was so fayr and gent,
The kynges love on her was lent,
In tale as hyt ys tolde.
And when the metewhyle was don,
Into the chambur he wente son,
And called hys barouns bolde.

Fyrst he called Syr Kadore,
And othur knyghtes that ther wore,
Hastely come hym tyll.
Dukes and erles, wyse of lore,
Hastely come the kyng before
And askede what was hys wyll.
Then spakke the ryche yn ray,
To Syr Kadore gan he say
Wordes fayr and stylle:
'Syr, whenns ys that lovely may
That yn the halle served thys day?
Tell my yyf hyt be thy wyll.'

Then sayde syr Kadore, y unthurstonde,
'Hyt ys an erles thowghtur of ferre londe,
That semely ys to sene.
I sente aftur her certeynlye
To teche my chylderen curtesye,
In chambur wyth hem to bene.
She ys the konnyngest wommon,
I trowe, that be yn Crystendom,
Of werke that y have sene.'
Then sayde that ryche raye,
'I wyll have that fayr may
And wedde her to my quene.'

The nobull kyng, verament,
Aftyr hys modyr he sent
To wyte what she wolde say.
They browght forth hastely
That fayr mayde Egarye;
She was bryghth as someres day.
The cloth on her shon so bryght
When she was theryn dyght,
And herself a gentell may,
The olde qwene sayde anon,
'I sawe never wommon
Halvendell so gay!'

The olde qwene spakke wordus unhende
And sayde, 'Sone, thys ys a fende,
In thys wordy wede!
As thou lovest my blessynge,
Make thou nevur thys weddynge,
Cryst hyt the forbede!'
Then spakke the ryche ray,
'Modyr, y wyll have thys may!'
And forth gan her lede.
The olde qwene, for certayne,
Turnede wyth ire hom agayne,
And wolde not be at that dede.

The kyng wedded that lady bryght;
Grete purvyance ther was dyghth,
In that semely sale.
Grete lordes wer served aryght,
Duke, erle, baron and knyghth,
Both of grete and smale.
Myche folke, forsothe, ther was,
And therto an huge prese,
As hyt ys tolde yn tale.
Ther was all maner thyng
That fell to a kyngus weddyng,
And mony a ryche menstralle.

When the mangery was done,
Grete lordes departed sone,
That semely were to se.
The kynge belafte wyth the qwene;
Moch love was hem betwene,
And also game and gle.
She was curteys and swete,
Such a lady herde y nevur of yete;
They loved both wyth herte fre.
The lady that was both meke and mylde
Conceyved and wente wyth chylde,
As God wolde hyt sholde be.

The kyng of France yn that tyme
Was besette wyth many a Sarezyne,
And cumbered all in tene;
And sente aftur the kyng of Galys,
And othur lordys of myche prys,
That semely were to sene.
The kyng of Galys, in that tyde,
Gedered men on every syde,
In armour bryght and shene.
Then sayde the kyng to Syr Kadore
And othur lordes that ther wore,
'Take good hede to my qwene.'

The kyng of Fraunce spared none,
But sent for hem everychone,
Both kyng, knyghth and clerke.
The steward bylaft at home
To kepe the qwene whyte as fome,
He come not at that werke.
She wente wyth chylde yn place,
As longe as Goddus wyll was,
That semely unthur serke;
Thyll ther was of her body
A fayr chyld borne and a godele;
Hadde a dowbyll kyngus marke. 4

They hyt crystened wyth grete honour
And called hym Segramour:
Frely was that fode.
Then the steward, Syr Kadore,
A nobull lettur made he thore,
And wrowghte hyt all wyth gode.
He wrowghte hyt yn hyghynge
And sente hyt to hys lorde the kynge,
That gentyll was of blode.
The messenger forth gan wende,
And wyth the kyngus modur gan lende,
And ynto the castell he yode.

He was resseyved rychely,
And she hym askede hastyly
How the qwene hadde spedde.
'Madame, ther ys of her yborne
A fayr man-chylde, y tell you beforne,
And she lyth in her bedde.'
She gaf hym for that tydynge
A robe and fowrty shylynge,
And rychely hym cladde.
She made hym dronken of ale and wyne,
And when she sawe that hyt was tyme,
Tho chambur she wolde hym lede.

And when he was on slepe browght,
The qwene that was of wykked thowght,
Tho chambur gan she wende.
Hys letter she toke hym fro,
In a fyre she brente hyt tho;
Of werkes she was unhende.
Another lettur she made wyth evyll,
And sayde the qwene had born a devyll;
Durste no mon come her hende.
Thre heddes hadde he there,
A lyon, a dragon, and a beere:
A fowll feltred fende.

On the morn when hyt was day,
The messenger wente on hys way,
Bothe by stye and strete;
In trwe story as y say,
Tyll he come theras the kynge laye,
And speke wordus swete.
He toke the kyng the lettur yn honde,
And he hyt redde, y unthurstonde,
The teres downe gan he lete.
And as he stode yn redyng,
Downe he fell yn sowenyng,
For sorow hys herte gan blede.

Grete lordes that stode hym by
Toke up the kyng hastely;
In herte he was full woo.
Sore he grette and sayde, 'Alas,
That y evur man born was!
That hyt evur shullde be so.
Alas, that y was made a kynge,
And sygh wedded the fayrest thyng
That on erthe myght go.
That evur Jesu hymself wolde sende
Such a fowle, lothly fende
To come bytwene us too.'

When he sawe hyt myght no bettur be,
Anothur lettur then made he,
And seled hyt wyth hys sele.
He commanded yn all thynge
To kepe well that lady yynge
Tyll she hadde her hele;
Bothe gode men and ylle
To serve her at her wylle,
Bothe yn wo and wele.
He toke thys lettur of hys honde,
And rode thorow the same londe,
By the kyngus modur castell.

And then he dwelled ther all nyght;
He was resseyved and rychely dyght
And wyst of no treson.
He made hym well at ese and fyne,
Bothe of brede, ale and wyne,
And that berafte hym hys reson.
When he was on slepe browght,
The false qwene hys lettur sowghte.
Into the fyre she kaste hyt downe:
Another lettur she lette make,
That men sholde the lady take,
And lede her owt of towne,

And putte her ynto the see,
In that robe of ryche ble,
The lytyll chylde her wyth;
And lette her have no spendyng,
For no mete ny for drynke,
But lede her out of that kyth.
'Upon payn of chylde and wyfe
And also upon your owene lyfe, 5
Lette her have no gryght!'
The messenger knewe no gyle,
But rode hom mony a myle,
By forest and by fryght.

And when the messenger come home,
The steward toke the lettur sone,
And bygan to rede.
Sore he syght and sayde, 'Alas,
Sertes thys ys a fowle case,
And a delfull dede!'
And as he stode yn redyng,
He fell downe yn swonygne;
For sorow hys hert gan blede.
Ther was nothur olde ny yynge,
That myghte forbere of wepynge
For that worthy unthur wede.

The lady herde gret dele yn halle;
On the steward gan she calle,
And sayde, 'What may thys be?'
Yyf anythyng be amys,
Tell me what that hyt ys,
And lette not for me.'
Then sayde the steward, verament,
'Lo, her a lettur my lord hath sente,
And therfore woo ys me!'
She toke the lettur and bygan to rede;
Then fonde she wryten all the dede,
How she moste ynto the see.

'Be stylle, syr,' sayde the qwene,
'Lette syche mornynge bene;
For me have thou no kare.
Loke thou be not shente,
But do my lordes commaundement,
God forbede thou spare.
For he weddede so porely
On me, a sympull lady,
He ys ashamed sore.
Grete well my lord fro me,
So gentyll of blode yn Cristyanté,
Gete he nevur more!'

Then was ther sorow and myche woo,
When the lady to shype shulde go;
They wepte and wronge her hondus.
The lady that was meke and mylde,
In her arme she bar her chylde,
And toke leve of the londe.
When she wente ynto the see
In that robe of ryche ble,
Men sowened on the sonde.
Sore they wepte and sayde, 'Alas,
Certys thys ys a wykked kase!
Wo worth dedes wronge!'

The lady and the lytyll chylde
Fleted forth on the watur wylde,
Wyth full harde happes.
Her surkote that was large and wyde,
Therwyth her vysage she gan hyde,
Wyth the hynthur lappes;
She was aferde of the see,
And layde her gruf uponn a tre,
The chylde to her pappes.
The wawes that were grete and strong,
On the bote faste they thonge,
Wyth mony unsemely rappes.

And when the chyld gan to wepe,
Wyth sory herte she songe hyt aslepe,
And putte the pappe yn hys mowth,
And sayde, 'Myghth y onus gete lond,
Of the watur that ys so stronge,
By northe or by sowthe,
Wele owth y to warye the, see,
I have myche shame yn the!'
And evur she lay and growht;
Then she made her prayer
To Jhesu and Hys modur dere,
In all that she kowthe.

Now thys lady dwelled thore
A full sevene nyght and more,
As hyt was Goddys wylle;
Wyth karefull herte and sykyng sore,
Such sorow was her yarked yore,
And she lay full stylle.
She was dryven toward Rome,
Thorow the grace of God yn trone,
That all thyng may fulfylle.
On the see she was so harde bestadde,
For hungur and thurste allmost madde,
Wo worth chawnses ylle!

A marchaunte dwelled yn that cyté,
A ryche mon of golde and fee,
Jurdan was hys name.
Every day wolde he
Go to playe hym by the see,
The eyer forto tane.
He wente forth yn that tyde,
Walkynge by the see syde,
All hymselfe alone.
A bote he fonde by the brymme
And a fayr lady therynne,
That was ryght wo-bygone.

The cloth on her shon so bryght,
He was aferde of that syght,
For glysteryng of that wede;
And yn hys herte he thowghth ryght
That she was non erthyly wyght;
He sawe nevur non such yn leede. 6
He sayde, 'What hette ye, fayr ladye?'
'Lord,' she sayde, 'y hette Egarye,
That lye her, yn drede.'
Up he toke that fayre ladye
And the yonge chylde her by,
And hom he gan hem lede.

When he come to hys byggynge,
He welcomed fayr that lady yynge
That was fayr and bryght;
And badde hys wyf yn all thynge,
Mete and drynke forto brynge
To the lady ryght.
'What that she wyll crave,
And her mowth wyll hyt have,
Loke hyt be redy dyght.
She hath so longe meteles be,
That me thynketh grette pyté;
Conforte her yyf thou myght.'

Now the lady dwelles ther,
Wyth alle metes that gode were,
She hedde at her wylle.
She was curteys yn all thyng,
Bothe to olde and to yynge;
Her loved bothe gode and ylle.
The chylde bygan forto thryfe;
He wax the fayrest chyld on lyfe,
Whyte as flour on hylle.
And she sewed sylke werk yn bour,
And tawghte her sone nortowre,
But evyr she mornede stylle.

When the chylde was seven yer olde,
He was bothe wyse and bolde,
And wele made of flesh and bone;
He was worthy unthur wede
And ryght well kowthe pryke a stede;
So curtays a chylde was none.
All men lovede Segramowre,
Bothe yn halle and yn bowre,
Whersoevur he gan gone.
Leve we at the lady clere of vyce,
And speke of the kyng of Galys,
Fro the sege when he come home.

Now the sege broken ys,
The kyng come home to Galys,
Wyth mykyll myrthe and pryde;
Dukes and erles of ryche asyce,
Barones and knyghtes of mykyll pryse,
Come rydynge be hys syde.
Syr Kadore, hys steward thanne,
Ayeyn hym rode wyth mony a man,
As faste as he myght ryde.
He tolde the kyng aventowres
Of hys halles and hys bowres,
And of hys londys wyde.

The kyng sayde, 'By Goddys name,
Syr Kadore, thou art to blame
For thy fyrst tellynge!
Thow sholdest fyrst have tolde me
Of my lady Egaré,
I love most of all thyng!'
Then was the stewardes herte wo,
And sayde, 'Lorde, why sayst thou so?
Art not thou a trewe kynge?
Lo her, the lettur ye sente me,
Yowr owene self the sothe may se;
I have don your byddynge.'

The kyng toke the lettur to rede,
And when he sawe that ylke dede,
He wax all pale and wanne.
Sore he grette and sayde, 'Alas,
That evur born y was,
Or evur was made manne!
Syr Kadore, so mot y the,
Thys lettur come nevur fro me;
I telle the her anone!'
Bothe they wepte and yaf hem ylle.
'Alas!' he sayde, 'Saf Goddys wylle!'
And both they sowened then.

Grete lordes stode by,
And toke up the kyng hastyly;
Of hem was grete pyté;
And when they both kevered were,
The kyng toke hym the letter ther
Of the heddys thre.
'A, lord,' he sayde, 'be Goddus grace,
I sawe nevur thys lettur yn place!
Alas, how may thys be?'
Aftur the messenger ther they sente,
The kyng askede what way he went:
'Lord, be your modur fre.'

'Alas!' then sayde the kynge,
'Whethur my modur wer so unhende
To make thys treson?
By my krowne she shall be brent,
Wythowten any othur jugement;
That thenketh me best reson!'
Grete lordes toke hem betwene
That they wolde exyle the qwene
And berefe her hyr renowne.
Thus they exiled the false qwene
And byrafte her hyr lyflothe clene:
Castell, towre and towne.

When she was fled ovur the see fome,
The nobull kyng dwelled at hom,
Wyth full hevy chere;
Wyth karefull hert and drury mone,
Sykynges made he many on
For Egarye the clere.
And when he sawe chylderen play,
He wepte and sayde, 'Wellawey,
For my sone so dere!'
Such lyf he lyved mony a day,
That no mon hym stynte may,
Fully seven yere.

Tyll a thowght yn hys herte come,
How hys lady whyte as fome,
Was drowned for hys sake.
'Thorow the grace of God yn trone,
I woll to the Pope of Rome,
My penans for to take!'
He lette ordeyne shypus fele
And fylled hem full of wordes wele,
Hys men mery wyth to make.
Dolys he lette dyghth and dele,
For to wynnen hym sowles hele;
To the shyp he toke the gate.

Shypmen that wer so mykyll of pryce,
Dyght her takull on ryche acyse,
That was fayr and fre.
They drowgh up sayl and leyd out ore;
The wynde stode as her lust wore,
The wethur was lythe on le.
They sayled over the salt fome,
Thorow the grace of God in trone,
That most ys of powsté.
To that cyté, when they come,
At the burgeys hous hys yn he nome,
Theras woned Emarye.

Emaré called her sone
Hastely to here come
Wythoute ony lettynge,
And sayde, 'My dere sone so fre,
Do a lytull aftur me,
And thou shalt have my blessynge.
Tomorowe thou shall serve yn halle,
In a kurtyll of ryche palle,
Byfore thys nobull kyng.
Loke, sone, so curtays thou be,
That no mon fynde chalange to the
In no manere thynge!

When the kyng ys served of spycerye,
Knele thou downe hastylye,
And take hys hond yn thyn.
And when thou hast so done,
Take the kuppe of golde sone,
And serve hym of the wyne.
And what that he speketh to the,
Cum anon and tell me,
On Goddus blessyng and myne!'
The chylde wente ynto the hall,
Among the lordes grete and small,
That lufsumme wer unthur lyne.

Then the lordes that wer grete,
Wysh and wente to her mete;
Menstrelles browght yn the kowrs.
The chylde hem served so curteysly,
All hym loved that hym sy,
And spake hym gret honowres.
Then sayde all that loked hym upon,
So curteys a chylde sawe they nevur non,
In halle ny yn bowres.
The kynge sayde to hym yn game,
'Swete sone, what ys thy name?'
'Lorde,' he seyd, 'y hyghth Segramowres.'

Then that nobull kyng
Toke up a grete sykynge,
For hys sone hyght so;
Certys, wythowten lesynge,
The teres out of hys yen gan wryng;
In herte he was full woo.
Neverthelese, he lette be,
And loked on the chylde so fre,
And mykell he lovede hym thoo.
The kyng sayde to the burgeys anon,
'Swete syr, ys thys thy sone?'
The burgeys sayde, 'Yoo.'

Then the lordes that wer grete
Whesshen ayeyn aftyr mete,
And then come spycerye.
The chylde that was of chere swete,
On hys kne downe he sete,
And served hym curteyslye.
The kynge called the burgeys hym tyll,
And sayde, 'Syr, yf hyt be thy wyll,
Yyf me thys lytyll body!
I shall hym make lorde of town and towr;
Of hye halles and of bowre,
I love hym specyally.'

When he had served the kyng at wylle,
Fayr he wente hys modyr tyll
And tellys her how hyt ys.
'Soone, when he shall to chambur wende,
Take hys hond at the grete ende,
For he ys thy fadur, ywysse;
And byd hym come speke wyth Emaré,
That changed her name to Egaré,
In the londe of Galys.'
The chylde wente ayeyn to halle,
Amonge the grete lordes alle,
And served on ryche asyse.

When they wer well at ese afyne,
Bothe of brede, ale and wyne,
They rose up, more and myn.
When the kyng shulde to chambur wende,
He toke hys hond at the grete ende,
And fayre he helpe hym yn;
And sayde, 'Syr, yf your wyll be,
Take me your honde and go wyth me,
For y am of yowr kynne!
Ye shull come speke wyth Emaré
That chaunged her nome to Egaré,
That berys the whyte chynne.'

The kyng yn herte was full woo
When he herd mynge tho
Of her that was hys qwene;
And sayde, 'Sone, why sayst thou so?
Wherto umbraydest thou me of my wo?
That may never bene!'
Nevurtheles wyth hym he wente;
Ayeyn hem come the lady gent,
In the robe bryght and shene.
He toke her yn hys armes two,
For joye they sowened, both to,
Such love was hem bytwene.

A joyfull metyng was ther thore,
Of that lady, goodly unthur gore,
Frely in armes to folde.
Lorde, gladde was Syr Kadore,
And othur lordes that ther wore,
Semely to beholde.
Of the lady that was put yn the see,
Thorow grace of God in Trinité,
That was kevered of cares colde.
Leve we at the lady whyte as flour,
And speke we of her fadur the emperour,
That fyrste thys tale of ytolde.

The Emperour her fadyr then
Was woxen an olde man,
And thowght on hys synne:
Of hys thowghtyr Emaré
That was putte ynto the see,
That was so bryght of skynne.
He thowght that he wolde go,
For hys penance to the Pope tho
And heven for to wynne.
Messengeres he sente forth sone,
And they come to the kowrt of Rome
To take her lordes inne.

Emaré prayde her lord, the kyng,
'Syr, abyde that lordys komyng
That ys so fayr and fre.
And, swete syr, yn all thyng,
Aqweynte you wyth that lordyng,
Hyt ys worshyp to the.'
The kyng of Galys seyde than,
'So grete a lord ys ther non,
Yn all Crystyanté.'
'Now, swete syr, whatevur betyde,
Ayayn that grete lord ye ryde,
And all thy knyghtys wyth the.'

Emaré tawghte her sone yynge,
Ayeyn the Emperour komynge,
How that he sholde done:
'Swete sone, yn all thyng
Be redy wyth my lord the kyng,
And be my swete sone!
When the Emperour kysseth thy fadur so fre,
Loke yyf he wyll kysse the,
Abowe the to hym sone;
And bydde hym come speke wyth Emaré,
That was putte ynto the see,
Hymself yaf the dome.'

Now kometh the Emperour of pryse;
Ayeyn hym rode the kyng of Galys,
Wyth full mykull pryde.
The chyld was worthy unthur wede,
A satte upon a nobyll stede,
By hys fadyr syde;
And when he mette the Emperour,
He valed hys hode wyth gret honour
And kyssed hym yn that tyde;
And othur lordys of gret valowre,
They also kessed Segramowre;
In herte ys not to hyde.

The Emperours hert anamered gretlye
Of the chylde that rode hym by
Wyth so lovely chere.
Segramowre he stayde hys stede;
Hys owene fadur toke good hede,
And othur lordys that ther were.
The chylde spake to the Emperour,
And sayde, 'Lord, for thyn honour,
My worde that thou wyll here:
Ye shull come speke wyth Emaré
That changede her name to Egaré,
That was thy thowghthur dere.'

The Emperour wax all pale,
And sayde, 'Sone, why umbraydest me of bale,
And thou may se no bote?'
'Syr, and ye wyll go wyth me,
I shall the brynge wyth that lady fre,
That ys lovesom on to loke.'
Nevurthelesse, wyth hym he wente;
Ayeyn hym come that lady gent,
Walkynge on her fote.
And the Emperour alyghte tho,
And toke her yn hys armes two,
And clypte and kyssed her sote.

Ther was a joyfull metynge
Of the Emperour and of the Kynge,
And also of Emaré;
And so ther was of Syr Segramour,
That aftyr was emperour:
A full gode man was he.
A grette feste ther was holde,
Of erles and barones bolde,
As testymonyeth thys story.
Thys ys on of Brytayne layes
That was used by olde dayes,
Men callys 'Playn d'Egarye.'
Jhesus, that settes yn Thy trone,
So graunte us wyth The to wone
In thy perpetuall glorye! Amen.

Form: Lay


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poem Edited: Friday, May 20, 2016


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