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Mercy, he feyde, gode madam !
Wele y wott y am to blame,

Therfore myn herte ys woo;
Lady, let me not be spylte,
Y aske mercy of my gylte,

On lyve ye let me goo.
The lady seyde, Y graunte wele
Hyt schall be counseyle every dele,

But do no more foo.

670

Now the knyght forthe yede,
And seyde, Felowe, y may not fpede,

What ys thy befte redd ?
Yfsche telle my lorde of thys,
We be but dedd, so have y blys,

Wyth hym be we not fedd : Womans tongue ys evell to tryste, Certys and my lorde hyt wyste,

Etyn were all owre bredd. Felow, fo mote y ryde or goo, Or fche wayte us wyth that woo,

Hur selfe schall be dedd.

680

How myght that be? that othur sayde,
Yn herte y wolde be wele payde,

Myght we do that dede.

Yys, fyr, he seyde, so have y roo,
Y schall brynge hur wele thertoo,

Therof have thou no drede ;
Or hyt passe dayes three
In mekyll forowe schall fche bee,

Thus y schall qwyte hur hur mede.
Now are they bothe at oon assente,
In sorow to brynge that lady gente ;

The devell mote them spede !

690

Sone hyt drowe toward nyght,
To foper they can them dyght.

The emperes and they all.
The two knyghtys grete yapys made,
For to make the lady glade,

That was bothe gentyll and small;
When the soper-tyme was done,

700 To the chaumbyr they went foone,

Knyghtys cladd in palle.
They daunsed and revelyd os they noght dredd
To brynge the lady to hur bedde,

There foule mufte them falle.

That oon thefe callyd a knyght,
That was carver to that lady bryght,

An erleys fone was hee,

710

He was a feyre chylde, and a bolde,
Twenty wyntur he was oolde,

In londe was none so free.
“ Syr, wylt thou do os we the fay?
And we schall ordeygne us a play,

That my lady may fee;
Thou schalt make hur to lagh foo,
Thogh sche were gretly thy foo,

Thy frende schuld fche bee."

720

The chylde answeryd anon ryght,
Be the ordur y bere of knyght,

Therof wolde y be fayne ;
And hyt wolde my lady plese,
Thogh hyt wolde me dysese,

To renne yn wynde and rayne.
“ Syr, make the nakyd, save thy breke,
And behynde the yondur curtayn thou crepe,

And do os y schall fayne ;
Then schalt thou see a yoly play.”
Y graunte, thys yonge knyght can say,

Be god and seynte Jermayne.

730

Thys chylde thoght on no ylle,
Of he caste hys clothys stylle,

And behynde the curtayn he went;

They seyde to hym, what so befalle,
Come not owt tyll we thee calle;

And he seyde, Syrs, y assente.
They revelyd forthe a grete whyle,
No man wyste of ther gyle,

Save they two veramente s
They voyded the chaumber fone anon,
The chylde they lafte syttyng alone,

And that lady gente.

740

Thys lady lay in bedd on slepe,
Of treson toke fche no kepe,

For therof wyfte fche noght;
Thys chylde had wonder ever among
Why these knyghtys were so longe,

He was in many a thoght:
Lorde, mercy, how may thys bee !
Y trowe they have forgeton me

That me hedur broght;
Yfy them calle sche wyll be adredd,
My lady lyeth here in hur bedde,

Be hym that all hath wroght.

750

Thus ne fate stylle as any stone,
He durft not store, nor make no mone,

To make the lady afryght;

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Thes false men, ay worthe them woo!
To hur chaumbur can they goo,

And armyd them full ryght.
Lordys owte of bedd can they calle,
And badd arme them grete and smalle:

“ Anone that ye were dyght ; And helpe to take a false traytour, That with my lady, in hur boure,

Hath playde hym all thys nyght.”

770

Sone they armyd everychone,
Ànd with these traytours can they gone,

The lordys that there wore;
To the emperes chaumber they cam ryght,
Wyth torchys and with swerdys bryght,

Brennyng them before.
Behynde the curtayne they wente,
The yonge knyght, verrament,

Nakyd founde they thore;
That oon thefe wyth a swerde of were
Thorow the body he can hym bere,

That worde spake he no more.

The lady woke, and was afryght,
Whan (che fawe the grete lyght,

Before hur beddys syde.

780

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