Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

The Tale of Gamelyn


Doune than come his brother that fikel was and felle,
And was swith sore afeerd of the pestelle.
He seide, "Brother Gamelyn, axe me thi bone ,
And loke thou me blame but I it graunte sone."
75Than seide Gamelyn "Brother, iwys,
And we shul be at one, thou most graunte me this:
Alle that my fader me byquath whilst he was alyve,
Thow most do me it have, if we shul not strive."
"That shalt thou have, Gamelyn, I swere be Cristes oore,
80Al that thi fadere the byquathe, though thou wolde have more;
Thy londe that lith ley, wel it shal be sawe,
And thine houses reised up that bene leide ful lawe."
Thus seide the knyght to Gamelyn with mouthe,
And thought on falsnes as he wel couthe.
85The knyght thought on tresoun and Gamelyn on noon,
And wente and kissed his brother. And whan thei were at oon,
Alas, yonge Gamelyne no thinge he ne wist
With such false tresoun his brother him kist!
90Lytheneth, and listeneth, and holdeth your tonge,
And ye shul here talking of Gamelyn the yonge.
Ther was there bisiden cride a wrastelinge,
And therfore ther was sette a ramme and a ringe;
And Gamelyn was in wille to wende therto,
95Forto preven his myght, what he coude doo.
"Brothere," seide Gamelyn, "by Seint Richere,
Thow most lene me tonyght a litel coursere
That is fresshe for the spore on forto ride;
I moste on an erande a litel here beside."
100"By God!" seide his brothere. "Of stedes in my stalle
Goo and chese the the best; spare noon of hem alle
Of stedes and of coursers that stoden hem byside;
And telle me, good brother, whider thou wilt ride."
"Here beside, brother, is cried a wrastelinge,
105And therfore shal be sette a ram and a ringe.
Moche worschip it were, brother, to us alle,
Might I the ram and the ringe bringe home to this halle."
A stede ther was sadeled smertly and skete.
Gamelyn did a peire spores fast on his fete.
110He sette his foote in the stirop the stede he bistrode,
And towardes the wrastelinge the yonge childe rode.
Whan Gamelyn the yonge was riden out atte gate,
The fals knyght his brother loked yit after thate,
And bysought Jesu Crist, that is hevene kinge,
115He myghte breke his necke in the wrestelinge.
As sone as Gamelyn come ther the place was,
He lighte doune of his stede and stood on the gras,
And ther he herde a frankeleyn "Weiloway" singe,
And bygonne bitterly his hondes forto wringe.
120"Good man," seide Gamelyn, "whi mast thou this fare?
Is ther no man that may you helpen out of care?"
"Allas!" seide this frankeleyn, "that ever was I bore!
For twey stalworth sones, I wene,that I have lore.
A champion is in the place that hath wrought me sorowe,
125For he hath sclayn my two sones but if God hem borowe.
I will yeve ten pound, by Jesu Christ, and more,
With the nones I fonde a man wolde handel hym sore."
"Good man," seide Gamelyn, "wilt thou wele doon,
Holde my hors the whiles my man drowe of my shoon,
130And helpe my man to kepe my clothes and my stede,
And I wil to place gon to loke if I may spede."
"By God," seide the frankleyn, "it shal be doon;
I wil myself be thi man to drowe of thi shoon,
And wende thou into place, Jesu Crist the spede,
135And drede not of thi clothes ne of thi good stede."
Barefoot and ungirt, Gamelyn inne came.
Alle that were in the place hede of him nam,
Howe he durst aventure him to doon his myght
That was so doghty a champion in wrasteling and in fight.
140Up stert the champioun rapely anon,
And toward yonge Gamelyn byganne to gon,
And seide, "Who is thi fadere and who is thi sire?
For sothe thou art a grete fool that thou come hire!"
Gamelyn answerde the champioun tho:
145"Thowe knewe wel my fadere while he myght goo,
The whiles he was alyve, by Seynt Martyn!
Sir John of Boundes was his name, and I am Gamelyne."
"Felawe," sayde the champion, "so mot I thrive,
I knewe wel thi fadere the whiles he was alyve;
150And thi silf, Gamelyn, I wil that thou it here;
While thou were a yonge boy, a moche shrewe thou were."
Than seide Gamelyn, and swore by Cristes ore:
"Now I am older wexe thou shalt finde me a more!"
"By God," seide the champion "welcome mote thou be!
155Come thow onys in myn honde thou shalt nevere the."