Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

The Tale of Gamelyn


It was wel within the nyght, and the mone shone,
Whan Gamelyn and the champioun togider gon gone.
The champion cast turnes to Gamelyne, that was prest,
And Gamelyn stode and bad hym doon his best.
160Than seide Gamelyn to the champioun:
"Thowe art fast aboute to bringe me adoun;
Now I have proved mony tornes of thine,
Thow most," he seide, "oon or two of myne."
Gamelyn to the champioun yede smertely anoon;
165Of all the turnes that he couthe he shewed him but oon,
And cast him on the lift side, that thre ribbes to-brake,
And therto his owne arme, that yaf a grete crake.
Than seide Gamelyn smertly anon,
"Shal it bi hold for a cast or ellis for non?"
170"By God!" seide the champion, "whedere it be,
He that cometh ones in thi honde shal he never the!"
Than seide the frankeleyn that had the sones there,
"Blessed be thou, Gamelyn, that ever thou bore were!"
The frankleyn seide to the champioun on hym stode hym noon eye,
175"This is yonge Gamelyne that taught the this pleye."
Agein answerd the champioun that liketh no thing wel,
"He is alther maister and his pley is right felle.
Sithen I wrasteled first it is goon yore,
But I was nevere in my lif handeled so sore."
180Gamelyn stode in the place anon without serk,
And seide, "Yif ther be moo, lat hem come to werk;
The champion that pyned him to worch sore,
It semeth by his countenance that he wil no more."
Gamelyn in the place stode stille as stone
185For to abide wrastelinge, but ther come none;
Ther was noon with Gamelyn that wold wrastel more,
For he handeled the champioun so wonderly sore.
Two gentile men that yemed the place
Come to Gamelyn -- God yeve him goode grace! --
190And seide to him, "Do on thi hosen and thi shoon.
For soth at this tyme this fare is doon."
And than seide Gamelyn, "so mot I wel fare,
I have not yete halvendele sold my ware."
Thoo seide the champioun, "so broke I my swere,
195He is a fool that therof bieth thou selleth it so dere."
Tho seide the frankeleyne that was in moche care,
"Felawe," he saide, "whi lackest thou this ware?
By Seynt Jame of Gales, that mony man hath sought,
Yit is it to good chepe that thou hast bought."
200Thoo that wardeynes were of that wrastelinge
Come and brought Gamelyn the ramme and the rynge,
And Gamelyn bithought him it was a faire thinge,
And wente with moche joye home in the mornynge.
His brother see wher he came with the grete route,
205And bad shitt the gate and holde hym withoute.
The porter of his lord was soor agaast,
And stert anoon to the gate and lokked it fast.