Sir Gowther - Poem by Anonymous
God, that art of myghtis most,
Fader and Sone and Holy Gost,
That bought man on Rode so dere,
Shilde us from the fowle fende,
That is about mannys sowle to shende
All tymes of the yere!
Sumtyme the fende hadde postee
For to dele with ladies free
In liknesse of here fere,
So that he bigat Merlyng and mo,
And wrought ladies so mikil wo
That ferly it is to here.
A selcowgh thyng that is to here,
That fend nyeght wemen nere
And makyd hom with chyld;
Tho kynde of men wher thei hit tane, 1
For of hom selfe had thei nan,
Be meydon Maré mylde,
Therof seyus clerkus, y wotte how;
That schall not be rehersyd now,
As Cryst fro schame me schyld.
Bot y schall tell yow of a warlocke greytt,
What sorow at his modur hart he seyt
With his warcus wylde.
Jesu Cryst, that barne blythe,
Gyff hom joy, that lovus to lythe
Of ferlys that befell.
A law of Breyten long y soghht,
And owt ther of a tale ybroghht,
That lufly is to tell.
Ther wonde a Duke in Estryke,
He weddyt a ladé non hur lyke
For comly undur kell;
To tho lyly was likened that lady clere,
Hur rod reyde as blosmes on brere,
That ylke dere damsell.
When he had weddyd that meydyn schene
And sche Duches withowt wene,
A mangere con thei make;
Knyghtus of honowr tho furst dey
Justyd gently hom to pley
Here shaftes gan thei shake.
On the morow the lordes gente
Made a riall tournement
For that lady sake;
Tho Duke hym selfe wan stedys ten.
And bare don full doghty men,
And mony a cron con crake.
When this turment was y-ses,
Tho ryche Duke and tho Duches
Lad hor lyfe with wyn;
Ten yer and sum dele mare
He chylde non geyt ne sche non bare,
Ther joy began to tyne;
To is ladé sone con he seyn,
'Y tro thu be sum baryn,
Hit is gud that we twyn;
Y do bot wast my tyme on the,
Eireles mon owre londys bee';
For gretyng he con not blyn.
Tho ladé sykud and made yll chere
That all feylyd hur whyte lere,
For scho conseyvyd noght;
Scho preyd to God and Maré mylde
Schuld gyffe hur grace to have a chyld,
On what maner scho ne roghth.
In hur orchard apon a day
Ho meyt a mon, tho sothe to say,
That hur of luffe besoghth,
As lyke hur lorde as he myght be;
He leyd hur down undur a tre,
With hur is wyll he wroghtth.
When he had is wylle all don
A felturd fende he start up son,
And stode and hur beheld;
He seyd, 'Y have geyton a chylde on the
That in is yothe full wylde schall bee,
And weppons wyghtly weld.'
Sche blessyd hur and fro hym ran,
Into hur chambur fast ho wan,
That was so bygly byld.
Scho seyd to hur lord, that ladé myld,
'Tonyght we mon geyt a chyld
That schall owre londus weld.'
'A nangell com fro hevon bryght
And told me so this same nyght,
Y hope was Godus sond;
Then wyll that stynt all owr stryfe.'
Be tho lappe he laght his wyfe
And seyd, 'Dame, we schall fonde.'
At evon to beyd thei hom ches,
Tho ryche Duke and tho Duches,
And wold no lengur wonde;
He pleyd hym with that ladé hende,
And ei yode scho bownden with tho fende,
To God wold losse hur bonde.
This chyld within hur was no nodur,
Bot eyvon Marlyon halfe brodur,
For won fynd gatte hom bothe;
Thei sarvyd never of odyr thyng
But for to tempe wemen yon.
To deyle with hom was wothe.
Ylke a day scho grette fast
And was delyverid at tho last
Of won that coth do skathe;
Tho Duke hym gard to kyrke beyre,
Crystond hym and cald hym Gwother,
That sythyn wax breme and brathe.
Tho Duke comford that Duches heynde,
And aftur melche wemen he sende,
Tho best in that cuntré,
That was full gud knyghttys wyffys.
He sowkyd hom so thei lost ther lyvys,
Sone had he sleyne three!
Tho chyld was yong and fast he wex -
The Duke gard prycke aftur sex -
Hende harkons yee:
Be twelfe monethys was gon
Nine norsus had he slon
Of ladys feyr and fre.
Knyghtus of that cuntré geydyrd hom samun
And seyd to tho Duke hit was no gamun
To lose hor wyffus soo;
Thei badde hym orden for is son
He geytys no more is olde won,
Norsus now no moo.
His modur fell afowle unhappe,
Upon a day bad hym tho pappe,
He snaffulld to hit soo
He rofe tho hed fro tho brest -
Scho fell backeward and cald a prest,
To chambur fled hym froo.
Lechus helud that ladé yare,
Wemen durst gyffe hym souke no mare,
That yong chyld Gowther,
Bot fed hym up with rych fode
And that full mych as hym behovyd,
Full safly mey y sweyre.
Be that he was fifteen yere of eld
He made a wepon that he schuld weld,
No nodur mon myght hit beyr;
A fachon bothe of stylle and yron,
Wytte yow wyll he wex full styron
And fell folke con he feyr.
In a twelmond more he wex
Then odur chyldur in seyvon or sex,
Hym semyd full well to ryde;
He was so wekyd in all kyn wyse
Tho Duke hym myght not chastyse,
Bot made hym knyght that tyde,
With cold brade bronde;
Ther was non in that londe
That dynt of hym durst byde.
For sorro tho Duke fell don ded;
His modur was so wo of red
Hur care scho myght not hyde.
Mor sorro for hym sche myght have non,
Bot to a castyll of lyme and ston
Frely then scho fled;
Scho made hit strong and held hur thare,
Hor men myght tell of sorro and care,
Evyll thei wer bested,
For wher he meyt hom be tho way,
'Evyll heyle!' myght thei say
That ever modur hom fed;
For with his fachon he wold hom slo
And gurde hor horssus backus in too -
All seche parellys thei dred.
Now is he Duke of greyt renown,
And men of holy kyrke dynggus down
Wher he myght hom mete.
Masse ne matens wold he non here
Nor no prechyng of no frere,
That dar I heyly hette;
Erly and late, lowde and styll,
He wold wyrke is fadur wyll
Wher he stod or sete.
Hontyng lufde he aldur best,
Parke, wodd and wylde forest,
Bothe be weyus and strete.
He went to honte apon a day,
He see a nonry be tho way
And thedur con he ryde;
Tho pryorys and hur covent
With presescion ageyn hym went
Full hastely that tyde;
Thei wer full ferd of his body,
For he and is men bothe leyn hom by -
Tho sothe why schuld y hyde?
And sythyn he spard hom in hor kyrke
And brend hom up, thus con he werke;
Then went his name full wyde.
All that ever on Cryst con lefe,
Yong and old, he con hom greve
In all that he myght doo:
Meydyns maryage wolde he spyll
And take wyffus ageyn hor wyll,
And sley hor husbondus too,
And make frerus to leype at kraggus
And parsons for to heng on knaggus,
And odur prestys sloo;
To bren armettys was is dyssyre,
A powre wedow to seyt on fyre,
And werke hom mykyll woo.
A nolde erle of that cuntré
Unto tho Duke then rydys hee
And seyd, 'Syr, why dose thu soo?
We howpe thu come never of Cryston stryn,
Bot art sum fendys son, we weyn,
That werkus hus this woo.
Thu dose never gud, bot ey tho ylle -
We hope thu be full syb tho deyll.'
Syr Gowther wex then throo;
Hee seyd, 'Syr, and thu ly on mee,
Hongud and drawon schall thu bee
And never qwycke heythyn goo.'
He gard to putte tho erle in hold
And to his modur castyll he wold
As fast as he myght ryde;
He seyd, 'Dame, tell me in hye,
Who was my fadur, withowt lye,
Or this schall thoro the glyde';
He sette his fachon to hur hart:
'Have done, yf thu lufe thi qwart!'
Ho onswarde hym that tyde -
'My lord,' scho seyd, 'that dyed last.'
'Y hope,' he seyd, 'thou lyus full fast';
Tho teyrus he lett don glyde.
'Son, sython y schall tho sothe say:
In owre orcharde apon a day
A fende gat the thare,
As lyke my lorde as he myght be,
Undurneyth a cheston tre';
Then weppyd thei bothe full sare.
'Go schryfe the, modur, and do tho best,
For y wyll to Rome or that y rest
To lerne anodur lare.'
This thoght come on hym sodenly:
'Lorde, mercy!' con he cry
To God that Maré bare,
To save hym fro is fadur tho fynde;
He preyd to God and Maré hynde,
That most is of posté,
To bryng is sowle to tho blys
That He boght to all His
Apon tho Rode tre.
Sythyn he went hym hom ageyn
And seyd to tho erle, withowt leyn,
Tho sothe tale tolde thu mee;
Y wyll to Rome to tho apostyll,
That he mey schryfe me and asoyll;
Kepe thu my castyll free.'
This old erle laft he theyr
For to be is stydfast heyre,
Syr Gwother forthe con glyde;
Toward Rome he radly ranne,
Wold he nowdur hors ne man
With hym to ren ne ryde;
His fauchon con he with hym take,
He laft hit not for weyle ne wrake,
Hyt hong ei be his syde.
Toward Rome cety con hee seche;
Or he come to tho Powpe speche
Full long he con abyde.
As sone has he the Pope con see,
He knelys adown apon is kne
And heylst hym full sone;
He preyd hym with mylde devocyon
Bothe of schryfte and absolyscion;
He granttyd hym is bone.
'Whethon art thu and of what cuntré?'
'Duke of Estryke, lorde,' quod hee,
'Be tru God in trone;
Ther was y geyton with a feynde
And borne of a Duches hende;
My fadur has frenchypus fone.'
'Y wyll gladly, be my fey!
Art thou Crystond?' He seyd, 'Yey,
My name it is Gwother;
Now y lowve God.' 'Thu art commun hedur,
For ellus y most a traveld thedur
Apon the for to weyre,
For thu hast Holy Kyrke destryed.'
'Nay, holy fadur, be thu noght agrevyd,
Y schall the truly swere
At thi byddyng beyn to be,
And hald tho penans that thu leys to me,
And never Cryston deyre.'
'Lye down thi fachon then the fro;
Thou schallt be screvon or y goo,
And asoylyd or y blyn.'
'Nay, holy fadur,' seyd Gwother,
'This bous me nedus with mee beyr,
My frendys ar full thyn.'
'Wherser thu travellys, be northe or soth,
Thu eyt no meyt bot that thu revus of howndus mothe
Cum thy body within;
Ne no worde speke for evyll ne gud,
Or thu reyde tokyn have fro God,
That forgyfyn is thi syn.'
He knelyd down befor tho Pope stole,
And solemly he con hym asoyle,
Tho sarten sothe to sey.
Meyte in Rome gatte he non
Bot of a dog mothe a bon,
And wyghttly went is wey;
He went owt of that ceté
Into anodur far cuntré,
Tho testamentys thus thei sey;
He seyt hym down undur a hyll,
A greyhownde broght hym meyt untyll
Or evon yche a dey.
Thre neythtys ther he ley:
Tho grwhownd ylke a dey
A whyte lofe he hym broghht;
On tho fort day come hym non,
Up he start and forthe con gon,
And lovyd God in his thoght.
Besyde ther was a casstell,
Therein an emperowr con dwell,
And thedurwarde he soghht;
He seyt hym down withowt the yate
And durst not entur in ther atte,
Thof he wer well wroght.
Tho weytus blu apon tho wall,
Knyghttus geydert into tho hall,
Tho lord buskyd to his saytte;
Syr Gwother up and in con gwon,
At tho dor uschear fond he non,
Ne porter at tho yatte,
Bot gwosse prystely thoro tho pres,
Unto tho hye bord he chesse,
Ther undur he made is seytt.
Tho styward come with yarde in honde,
To geyt hym thethyn fast con he fonde
And throly hym con threyt
To beyt hym, bot he wende awey.
'What is that?' tho Emperour con sey.
'My lord,' he seyd, 'a mon,
And that tho feyryst that ever y sye;
Cum loke on hym, it is no lye,'
And thedur wyghtly he wan.
Won word of hym he myght not geyt;
Thei lette hym sytt and gafe hym meyt.
'Full lytyll gud he can,
And yett mey happon thoro sum chans
That it wer gyffon hym in penans,'
Tho lord thus onsward than.
When tho Emperowr was seyt and sarvyd
And knyghttus had is breyd karvyd,
He sent tho dompmon parte;
He lette hit stond and wold ryght non.
Ther come a spanyell with a bon,
In his mothe he hit bare,
Syr Gwother hit fro hym droghhe,
And gredely on hit he gnofe,
He wold nowdur curlu ne tartte.
Boddely sustynans wold he non
Bot what so he fro tho howndus wan,
If it wer gnaffyd or mard.
Tho Emperowre and tho Emperrys
And knyghttys and ladys at tho des
Seyt and hym behelld;
Thei gaffe tho hondus meyt ynoghhe,
Tho dompe Duke to hom he droghhe,
That was is best beld.
Among tho howndys thus was he fed,
At evon to a lytyll chambur led
And hyllyd undur teld;
At none come into tho hall,
Hob hor fole thei con hym call;
To God he hym con yelde.
But now this ylke Emperowre
Had a doghtur whyte as flowre,
Was too soo dompe as hee;
Scho wold have spokyn and myght noght.
That meydon was worthely wroght,
Bothe feyr, curteys and free.
A messynger come apon a dey,
Tyll her fadur con he sey,
'My lord wele gretys the;
Tho Sawdyn, that is of mykyll myght
Wyll wer apon the dey and nyghtt
And bren thi bowrus free,
And sley thi men bot thu hym sende
Thi doghttur that is so feyr and heynde,
That he mey hur wedde.'
Tho Emperowr seyd, 'Y have bot won,
And that is dompe as any ston,
Feyrur thar non be feyd;
And y wyll not, be Cryst wonde,
Gyffe hor to no hethon hownde,
Then wer my bale bredde.
Yet mey God thoro Is myght
Ageyn to geyt hur spech ryght.'
Tho messynger ageyn hym spedde
To tho Sadyn and told hym soo.
Then wakynd ey more wo and wo,
He toke is oste and come nere.
Tho Emperowr, doghtty undur schyld,
With anodur kepped hym in tho fyld,
Eydur had batell sere.
Syr Gwother went to a chambur smart,
And preyd to God in his hart
On Rode that boghtt Hym dere,
Schuld sende hym armur, schyld and speyr,
And hors to helpe is lord in weyr
That wyll susstand hym thare.
He had no ner is preyr made,
Bot hors and armur bothe he hade,
Stode at his chambur dor;
His armur, is sted was blacke color;
He leypus on hors, that stythe in stowr,
That stalworthe was and store;
His scheld apon his schuldur hong,
He toke his speyre was large and long
And spard nodur myre ne more;
Forthe at tho yatus on hors he went,
Non hym knew bot that meydyn gent,
And aftur hur fadur he fore.
Tho Emperour had a batell kene,
Tho Sawden anodur, withowt wene,
Assemuld, as was hor kast;
Bot fro Syr Gwother comun were,
Mony a crone con he stere
And hew apon full fast;
He gard stedus for to stakur
And knyghttus hartys for to flakur
When blod and brenus con brast;
And mony a heython hed of smott,
And owt of hor sadyls, wylle y wott,
Thei tombull at tho last.
He putte tho Sawden to tho flyghth
And made tho chasse to it was nyghth,
And sluye tho Sarsyns kene;
Sython rode before tho Emperowr.
Non hym knew bot that bryghtt in bowr,
Tho dompe meydon schene.
To chambur he went, dysharnest hym sone,
His hors, is armur awey wer done,
He ne wyst wher hit myght bene.
In hall he fond his lorde at meyt;
He seytt hym down and made is seytt
Too small raches betwene.
Tho meydon toke too gruhowndus fyn
And waschyd hor mowthus cleyn with wyn
And putte a lofe in tho ton;
And in tho todur flesch full gud;
He raft bothe owt with eyggur mode,
That doghty of body and bon.
He seytt, made hym wyll at es,
Sythyn to chambur con he ches,
In that worthely won.
On tho morne cum a messengere
Fro tho Sawdyn with store chere,
To tho Emperowr sone he come;
He seyd: 'Syr, y bryng yow a lettur:
My lord is commun, wyll take hym bettur,
Yesturdey ye slo his men;
Todey he is commun into tho feyld
With knyghtys that beyrus speyr and schyld,
Thowsandus mo then ten;
On the he will avenied be.'
'Hors and armour,' than said he,
'Hastly had we thenne.'
God sende Syr Gwother thro Is myghth
A reyd hors and armur bryght,
He fowlyd thro frythe and fen.
When bothe batels wer areyd,
Truly, as tho romandys seyd,
Syr Gwother rode betwene;
Mony a sturdy gard he stombull,
Toppe over teyle hor horssus to tombull,
For to wytte withowt wene;
He hewde insondur helme and schelde,
He feld tho baner in tho feld
That schon so bryght and schene;
He leyd apon tho Sarsyns blake
And gard hor basnettus in too crake;
He kyd that he was kene.
'A, Lord God!' seyd tho Emperowre,
'What knyght is yondur so styffe in stowr
And all areyd in red,
Bothe his armur and his sted,
Mony a hethon he gars to bled
And dynggus hom to tho deyd,
And hedur come to helpe me?
Anodur in blacke yesturdey had we
That styrd hym wyll in this styd,
Dyscomfytt the Sawden and mony a Sarsyn;
So wyll yondur do, as y wene,
His dyntys ar heyve as leyde;
His fochon is full styffe of stele -
Loke, he warus his dyntus full wele,
And wastus of hom never won.'
Tho Emperowr pryckus into tho pres,
Tho doghtty knyght with hym he ches,
And byrkons hom flesche and bon.
Tho Sawdyn to a forest fled,
And his ost with hym he led
That laft wer onslon.
Syr Gwother turnyd is brydyll bryght
And rode befor is lorde full ryghtt,
To chambur then he hym cheys.
When his armur of wer don,
His hors and hit away wer son,
That he wyst not whare.
When he come into tho hall,
He fond tho Emperour and is men all
To meyt was gwon full yare;
Among tho howndus down he hym seytt,
Tho meydon forthe tho greyhondus feytt,
And leytt as noghtt ware;
Fedde Hob tho fole, for sothe to sey
Lyke as sche dyd tho forme dey;
To chambur sython con fare.
Tho Emperour thonkud God of hevun,
That schope tho nyght and tho deyus seyvun,
That he had soo sped;
Dyscomfyd tho Sawdyn thwys,
And slen is men most of prys,
Save thos that with hym fled.
'Anturus knyghtus come us too,
Aydur dey won of thoo,
Y ne wyst wher thei wer bred;
Tho ton in reyd, tho todur in blacke -
Had eydur of hom byn to lacke
Full evyll we had ben steyd.'
They pypud and trompud in tho hall,
Knyghtus and ladys dancyd all
Befor that mynstralsy;
Syr Gwother in his chambur ley,
He lyst nowdur dance ne pley,
For he was full wery,
Bryssud for strokus that he had laghtth
When he in tho batell faghtth,
Amonghe that carefull cry.
He had no thoght bot of is syn,
And how he myght is soule wyn
To tho blys that God con hym by.
Thes lordys to bed con hom bown,
And knyghttys and ladys of renown,
Thus this romans told.
On tho morne come a messynger
And seyd to tho Emperour, 'Now is wer,
Thi care mey be full cold;
My lord is comun with his powyr,
Bot yf thu gyff hym thi doghttur dere
He wyll hampur the in hold,
And byrkon the bothe blod and bon,
And leyve on lyfe noght won
Off all thi barons bold.'
'Y count hym noght,' quod tho Emperour;
'Y schall gare sembull as styff in stour,
And meyt hym yf y mey.'
Tho doghtty men that to hym dyd long
Anon wer armyd, old and yong,
Be undur of tho dey.
Thei leype on hors, toke schyld and speyr,
Then tho gud knyght Gwotheyr
To God in hart con prey,
Schulde sende hym hors and armur tyte;
Sone he had bothe, mylke whyte,
And rod aftur in gud arey.
Hys to commyngus tho dompe meydon had sene,
And to tho thryd went with wene,
No mon hit knew bot God,
For he fard nodur with brag ne bost,
Bot preystely pryckys aftur tho ost,
And foloud on hor trowd.
Tho Emperour was in tho voward,
And Gowther rode befor is lord,
Of knyghttys was he odde.
Tho berons wer to tho dethe dongon
And baners bryght in sladus slongon,
With strokus greyt and lowd.
Tho Sawdyn bare in sabull blacke,
Three lyons rampand, withowt lacke,
That all of silver schon;
Won was corvon with golys redde,
Anodur with gold in that steyd,
Tho thryde with aser, y wene;
And his helmyt full rychely frett,
With charbuckolus stonus suryly sett
And dyamondus betwene;
And his batell wele areyd,
And his baner brodly dyspleyd;
Sone aftur tyde hom tene.
Tho gud knyght, Syr Gowtheyr,
He styrd hym styfly in his geyr,
Ther levyd non doghttear, y wene;
Ylke a dyntte that he smotte
Throowt steyll helmus it boott,
He felld bothe hors and mon,
And made hom tombull to tho gronde;
Tho fote men on tho feld con stonde
And then ward radly ranne.
Tho Sawdyn for tho Emperourus doghttur
Gard Cryston and hethon to dye in slaghttur:
That tyme hym burd wele ban.
To whyle Syr Gwother freschely faghtte
Mony a doghtté hors is deythe ther kaghtte,
That he myghtte over reche;
All that he with his fawchon hytte
Thei fell to tho ground and ross not yette,
Nor lokyd aftur no leyche.
Bot he wold not for yre ne tene
No worde speyke, withowt wene,
For dowtte of Godus wreke;
If all he hongurt, noght he dyd eytte
Bot what he myght fro tho howndus geyt;
He dyd as tho Pwope con hym teche.
Syr Gwother, that stythe in stowre,
Rydys ey with tho Emperour
And weyrus hym fro wothe;
Ther was no Sarsyn so mykull of strenthe,
That durst come within is speyre lenthe,
So doghttey wer thei bothe.
With his fachon large and long
Syche dyntus on them he dong
Hor lyfus myghtte thei lothe;
All that ever abode that becur
Of hor deythus meghtt be secur,
He styrd his hondus so rathe.
That dey he tent noght bot is fyght;
Tho Emperour faght with all his myght,
Bot radly was he takon,
And with tho Sawdyn awey was led;
Tho dompe Duke gard hym ley a wed,
Stroke of his hed anon,
Rescowyd is lord, broght hym ageyn,
Lovyd be God in hart was ful feyn,
That formod bothe blod and bon.
Ther come a Sarsyn with a speyre,
Thro tho scholdur smott Gotheyr.
Then made the dompe meydon mon;
For sorro fell owt of hur toure,
Tho doghtur of tho Emperour,
To whyte withowt wene.
A doghtty sqwyer in hur bare;
Of all too deyus hoo styrd no mare
Then ho deyd had ben.
Tho lord come hom, to meyt was seytt,
And tho doghtty knyght, withowt leytt,
That had in tho batell byn,
To chambur he went, dyd of is geyre,
This gud knyght Syr Gwothere,
Then myssyd he that meydon schene.
Emong tho howndus is meyt he wan;
Tho Emperour was a drury man
For his doghttur gent;
He gard erlys and barons go to Rome
Aftur tho Pope, and he come sone
To hur enterment,
And cardynals to tho beryng
To assoyle that swett thyng.
Syche grace God hur sentt
That scho raxeld hur and rase,
And spake wordus that wyse was
To Syr Gwother, varement.
Ho seyd, 'My lord of heyvon gretys the well,
And forgyffeus the thi syn yche a dell,
And grantys the tho blys;
And byddus the speyke on hardely,
Eyte and drynke and make mery;
Thu schallt be won of His.'
Scho seyd to hur fadur, 'This is he
That faght for yow deys thre
In strong batell, ywys.'
Tho Pope had schryvon Syr Gother -
He lovyd God and Maré ther -
And radly hym con kys,
And seyd, 'Now art thu Goddus chyld;
The thar not dowt tho warlocke wyld,
Ther waryd mot he bee.'
Thro tho Pope and tho Emperour asent
Ther he weyd that meydyn gent,
That curtesse was and fre.
And scho a lady gud and feyr,
Of all hur fadur londus eyr;
Beyttur thurte non bee.
Tho Pope toke his leyfe to weynde,
With tham he laft his blessyng,
Ageyn to Rome went hee.
When this mangeyre was broght to ende,
Syr Gwother con to Estryke wende
And gaff tho old erle all;
Made hym Duke of that cuntré,
And lett hym wed his modur fre,
That ladé gent and small;
And ther he made an abbey
And gaff therto rent for ey,
'And here lye y schall';
And putte therin monkus blake
To rede and syng for Godys sake,
And closyd hit with gud wall.
All yf tho Pope had hym schryvyn
And God is synnus clene forgevon,
Yett was his hart full sare
That ever he schuld so yll wyrke
To bren tho nunnus in hor kyrke,
And made hor plasse so bare.
For hom gard he make that abbey
And a covent therin for ey
That mekull cowde of lare,
For them unto tho wordus end
For hor soulus that he had brend
And all that Cryston ware.
And then he went hym hom ageyn,
And be that he come in Allmeyn
His fadur tho Emperour was deyd,
And he lord and emperowr,
Of all Cryston knyghttus tho flowre,
And with tho Sarsyns dredde.
What mon so bydus hym for Godys loffe doo
He was ey redy bown thertoo,
And stod pore folke in styd,
And ryche men in hor ryght,
And halpe holy kyrke in all is myght;
Thus toke he bettur reyd.
Furst he reynod mony a yere,
An emperour of greyt power,
And whysyle con he wake;
And when he dyed, tho sothe to sey,
Was beryd at tho same abbey
That hymselfe gart make;
And he is a varré corsent parfett,
And with Cryston pepull wele belovyd;
God hase done for his sake
Myrrakull, for he has hym hold;
Ther he lyse in schryne of gold
That suffurd for Goddus sake.
Who so sechys Hym with hart fre,
Of hor bale bote mey bee,
For so God hase hym hyght;
Thes wordus of hym thar no mon wast,
For he is inspyryd with tho Holy Gost,
That was tho cursod knyght;
For he garus tho blynd to see
And tho dompe to speyke, pardé,
And makus tho crokyd ryght,
And gyffus to tho mad hor wytte,
And mony odur meracullus yette,
Thoro tho grace of God allmyght.
Thus Syr Gwother coverys is care,
That fyrst was ryche and sython bare,
And effte was ryche ageyn,
And geyton with a felteryd feynd;
Grace he had to make that eynd
That God was of hym feyn.
This is wreton in parchemeyn,
A story bothe gud and fyn
Owt off a law of Breyteyn.
Jesu Cryst, Goddys son,
Gyff us myght with Hym to won,
That Lord that is most of meyn. Amen
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