Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

The Tale of Gamelyn


1Gamelyne stood on a day in his brotheres yerde,
And byganne with his hond to handel his berde.
He thought on his landes that lay unsowe,
And his fare okes that doune were ydrawe;
5His parkes were broken and his deer reved;
Of alle his good stedes noon was hym byleved;
His hous were unhilled and ful evell dight.
Tho thought Gamelyne it went not aright.
Afterward come his brother walking thare,
10And seide to Gamelyne, "Is our mete yare?"
Tho wrathed him Gamelyne and swore by Goddys boke:
"Thow schalt go bake thi self. I wil not be thi coke!"
"What, brother Gamelyne? Howe answerst thou nowe?
Thou spekest nevere such a worde as thou dost nowe."
15"By feithe," seide Gamelyne, "now me thenketh nede;
Of al the harmes that I have I toke never yit hede.
My parkes bene broken and my dere reved;
Of myn armes ne my stedes nought is byleved;
Alle that my fader me byquathe al goth to shame,
20And therfor have thou Goddes curs, brother, be thi name!"
Than spake his brother, that rape was and rees:
"Stond stille, gadlynge, and holde thi pees.
Thou shalt be fayn to have thi mete and thi wede.
What spekest thow, gadelinge, of londe or of lede?"
25Than seide Gamelyne, the child so yinge,
"Cristes curs mote he have that me clepeth gadelinge!
I am no wors gadeling ne no wors wight,
But born of a lady and gete of a knyght."
Ne dorst he not to Gamelyn never a foot goo,
30But cleped to hym his men and seide to hem thoo,
"Goth and beteth this boye and reveth hym his witte,
And lat him lerne another tyme to answere me bette."
Than seide the childe, yonge Gamelyne,
"Cristes curs mote thou have, brother art thou myne!
35And if I shal algates be beten anoon,
Cristes curs mote thou have but thou be that oon!"
And anon his brother in that grete hete
Made his men to fette staves Gamelyn to bete.
Whan every of hem had a staf ynomen,
40Gamelyn was werre whan he segh hem comen.
Whan Gamelyne segh hem comen, he loked overall,
And was ware of a pestel stode under the wall.
Gamelyn was light, and thider gan he lepe,
And droof alle his brotheres men right sone on an hepe,
45And loked as a wilde lyon, and leide on good wone.
And whan his brother segh that he byganne to gon,
He fley up into a loft and shette the door fast.
Thus Gamelyn with his pestel made hem al agast.
Some for Gamelyns love, and some for eye,
50Alle they droughen hem to halves whan he gan to pleye.
"What now!" seyde Gamelyne. "Evel mot ye the!
Wil ye bygynne contecte and so sone flee?"
Gamelyn sought his brother whider he was flowe,
And seghe where he loked out a wyndowe.
55"Brother," sayde Gamelyne "com a litel nere,
And I wil teche thee a play at the bokelere."
His brother him answerde and seide, "By Seint Richere,
The while that pestel is in thine honde I wil come no nere.
Brother, I will make thi pees, I swer by Cristes oore;
60Cast away the pestel and wrethe the no more."
"I most nede," seide Gamelyn, "wreth me at onys,
For thou wold make thi men to breke my bonys.
Ne had I hadde mayn and myght in myn armes
To han hem fro me, thei wold have done me harmes."
65"Gamelyn," seide his brother, "be thou not wroth,
For to sene the han harme me were right loth.
I ne did it not, brother, but for a fondinge,
For to loken wher thou art stronge and art so yenge."
"Come adoune than to me and graunt me my bone.
70Of oon thing I wil the axe and we shal saught sone."