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But on a booke yf ye wyll fwere
That ye schull not me dyskere,

Then were hyt possybyll.
Then seyde the lady, How may that bee,
That thou durfte not tryste to mee?

Hyt ys full orybylle :
Here my trowthe to the y plyght,
Y schall heyle the day and nyght,

Al fo trewe as boke or belle.


“ Lady, in yow ys all my tryste,
Inwardely y wolde ye wyste,

What payne y suffur you fore;
Y drowpe, y dare, nyght and day,
My wele, my wytt, ys all away,

But ye lene on my lore.
Y have yow lovyd many a day,
But to yow durste y nevyr say,

My mornyng ys the more;
But ye do aftur my rede,
Certenly y am but dede,

Of my lyfe ys no store."


Than answeryd that lovely lyfe,
Syr, wele thou wottyft y am a wyfe,

My lorde ys emperoure,

He chase the for a trewe knyght,
To kepe me bothe day and nyght,

Undur thy socowre.
To do that dede yf y assente
Y were worthy to be brente,

And broght in grete doloure;
Thou art a traytour in thy fawe,
Worthy to be hanged and to-drawe,

Be Mary that swete floure.

- 570

A, madam, seyde the knyght,
For the love of god almyght,

Hereon take no hede,
Yn me ye may full wele tryste ay,
Y dud nothyng but yow to affray,

Al fo god me spede.
Thynke, madam, your trowthe ys plyght,
To holde counsayle, bothe day and nyght,

Fully wythowte drede ;
Y aske mercy for goddys ore,
Hereof yf y carpe more

Let drawe me wyth a stede.


The lady seyde, Y the forgeve,
Al so longe os y leve,

Counsayle schall hyt bee;


Loke thou be a trewe man,
In all thyng that thou can,

To my lorde so free.
“ Yys, lady, ellys dyd y wronge,
For y have servyd hym longe,

And wele he hath qwytt mee.”
Here of spake he no mare,
But to hys felowe can he fare,

There evyll must they the.


Thus to hys felowe ys he gon,
And he hym frayned anon,

Syr, how haste thou spedd ?
Ryght noght, feyde that othyr,
Syth y was borne, lefe brothyr,

Was y nevyr fo adredd.
Certys hyt ys a boteles bale
To hur to touche foche a tale,

At borde or at bedde.
Then fayde that odur, Thy wytt ys thynne,
Y myselfe schall hur wynne,

Y lay my hedd to wedde.


Thus hyt pafsyd ovyr, os y you say,
Tyl aftur, on the thrydde day,

Thys knyght hym bethoght,

Certys, spede os y may,
My ladyes wylle that ys so gay,

Hyt schalle be thorowly foght.
When he fawe hur in beste mode,
Sore fyghyng to hur he yode,

Of lyfe os he ne roght: · Lady, he feyde, wythowte fayle, But ye helpe me wyth yowre counsayle,

Yn bale am y broght.


Sche answeryd full curtesly,
My counsayle fchall be redy,

Telle me how hyt ysé
When y wott worde and ende,
Yf my counfayle may hyt mende,

Hyt fchall, so have y blysse.
· Lady, he seyde, y undurstonde
Ye mufte holde up yowre honde

To holde counsayle, y wys.
Yys, seyde the lady free,
Thereto my trouthe here to the,

And ellys y dude amys.


Madam, he feyde, now y am in tryfte,
All my lyfe thogh ye wyste,

Ye wolde me not dyskere ;


For you y am in so grete thoght,
Yn moche bale y am broght,

Wythowté othe y swere:
And ye may full wele fee
How pale y am of blee,

Y dye nere for dere ;
Dere lady, graunt me youre love,
For the love of god that sytteth above,

That stongen was wyth a spere.


Syr, sche seyde, ys that youre wylle ?
Yf hyt were myne then dyd y ylle ;

What woman holdyst thou me?
Yn thy kepeyng y have ben,
What haste thou herde be me or sene

That touchyth to any velanye?
That thou in herte art so bolde,
Os y were a hore, or a scolde :

Nay that schall nevyr bee.
Had y not hyght to holde counsayle,
Thou schouldest be honged, wythowt fayle,

Upon a galowe-tree.

The knyght was never fo fore aferde,
Syth he was borne into myddyllerd,

Certys os he was thoo :


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