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They loovyd god bothe more and lesse,
That they had getyn the emperes,

That longe had bene awaye.

Soche a brydale as there was oon
In that lande was nevyr noon,

To wytt wythowten wene ;
There was grete myrthe of mynftrals stevyn,
And nobull gyftys also gevyn,

Bothe golde and robys schene; .
Soone aftur, on the fowretenyth day,
They toke ther leve and went ther way,

And thankyd kynge and quene.
They loovyd god wyth myght and mayne
That the lady was comyn agayne,

And kept hur chaste and clene,

160

They gate a chylde the furste nyght,
A fone that fyr Otes hyght,

As the boke makyth mynde;
A nobull knyght, and a stronge in stowre,
That aftur hym was emperowre,

As hyt was full gode kynde.
Then the emperowre and hys wyfe,
In yoye and blyfse they lad ther lyfe,

That were comyn of gentyl strynde.

2170

Pope Symonde thys story wrate,
In the cronykyls of Rome ys the date,

Who sekyth there he may hyt fynde.

2180

For thy schulde men and women als
Them bethynke or they be false,

Hyt makyth fo fowle an ende.
Be hyt nevyr fo nylye caste,
Yyt hyt schamyth the maystyr at the laste,

In what londe that ever they lende.
I meene be thes four fekyll,
That harmed feyre Florence so mykyll,

The trewest that men kende :
And thus endyth thys romance gode.
Jhesu, that boght us on the rode,

Unto hys blysse us fende.

THE ERLE OF TOLOUS,

JHESU Cryste, yn trynytė,
Oonly god and persons thre,

Graunt us wele to spede,
And gyf us grace so to do,
That we may come thy blys unto,

On rode as thou can blede !
Leve lordys, y schall you telle,
Of a tale some tyme befelle,

Farre yn unkowthe lede ;
How a lady had grete myschefe,
And how sche covyrd of hur grefe ;

Y pray you take hede.

10

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Syr Dyaclysyon he hyght;
He was a bolde man and a stowte,
All Crystendome of hym had dowte,

So stronge he was yn fyght.
He dysheryted many a man,
And falsely ther londys wan,

Wyth maystry and wyth myght;
Tyll hyt be felle, upon a day,
A warre wakenyd, as y yow say,

Betwene hym and a knyght;

30

The erle of Tollous, fyr Barnard,
The emperrour wyth hym was harde,

And gretly was hys foo; ,
He had rafte owt of hys honde,
Thre hundurd poundys worth be yere of londe,

Therfore hys herte was woo.
He was an hardy man and a stronge,
And sawe the emperour dyd hym wronge,

And other men allo;
He ordeyned hym for batayle,
Into the emperours londe faunfayle,
. And there he began to brenne and floo.

woo

[graphic]

Thys emperour had a wyfe,
The fayrest oon that evyr bare lyfe,

Save Mary mekyll of myghts
And therto gode in all thynge,
. Of almesdede and gode berynge,

Be day, and eke be nyght.
Of hyr body sehe was trewe,
As evyr was lady that men knewe,

And therto mooft bryght;
To the emperour fche can say,
My dere lorde, y you pray,

Delyvyr the erle hys ryght.

Dame, he feyde, let that bee,
That day schalt thou nevyr fee,

Yf y may ryde on ryght;
That he schall have hys londe agayne,
Fyrste schall y breke hys brayne,

Os y am trewe knyght.
• He warryth faste on my londe,
I schall be redy at hys honde,

Wythyn thys fowretenyght.
He sent abowte every whare
That all men schulde make them yare,

Agayne the erle to fyght.

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