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Sir Orfeo (lines 101-200)

in a normalised Early Middle English (East Midland dialect c 1200)

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And be`he_ld, and seyd with greate pite,
"O le_f' li_f, hwat is the_,
That eafer ye_te hafest be_n swa_ stille
And nu_ greadest wunder scille?
Thi_n bodiy, that was swa_ hwi_te y`coren, 105
With thi_ne nayles is al to_`toren.
Allas! thi_ rude, that was swa_ read,
Is al wan, als thu_ weare dead;
And alswa_ thi_ne fingeres smale
Be_n al blo_diy and al pale. 110
Allas! thi_ lufe`sum e_gen to_
Lo_ken swa_ man do_th on his fa_!
A, dame, ic be`se_ce, merci!
Leate be_n al this re_weful cri,
And tell me_ hwat the_ is, and hu_, 115
And hwat thing may the_ helpen nu_."
Tha_ lay sce_ stille at latest
And gan to_ we_pen swi_the fast,
And seyd thus the King to_:
"Allas, mi_ la_ferd, Sir Orfeo! 120
Sithen we_ first to_`gader' wearen,
A_nes wra_th neafer' we_ nearen;
Bu_t' eafer' ic hafe y`lufed the_
Als mi_ li_f and swa_ thu_ me_;
Ak nu_ we_ mo_ten dealen a`twa_; 125
Do_ thi_ best, for i_ mo_t ga_n."
"Allas!" cwath he_, "for`loren ic am!
Hwider wilt thu_ ga_n, and to_ hwam?
Hwider thu_ ga_st, ic will' with the_,
And hwider i_ ga_, thu_ scalt with me_." 130
"Nay, nay, Sir, that noht nis!
Ic will' the_ tellen al hu_ it is:
Als ic lay this under`ti_de
And sle_p under u_r' ort`yard`si_de,
Thear com to_ me_ twa_ fayere cnihtes 135,
Wel y`armed al to_ rihtes,
And bad me_ cumen on hi_ging
And speken with her' la_ferd the king.
And ic andswered' at wordes ba_ld,
I_ durst noht, na_ i_ nold'. 140
They prikeden on`yean als they mihten dri_fen;
Tha_ com her' king, alswa_ bi_`li_fe,
With an hundred cnihtes and ma_,
And damisels an hundred alswa_,
Al on sna_we-hwi_te ste_des; 145
Als hwi_te als milke wearen her' weades.
I_ na_ sah neafer' ye_te be`foren
Swa_ fayere creatours y`coren.
The king hadde a cru_n on heafed;
It nas of silfer, na_ of gold read, 150
Ak it was of a precious sta_n,
Als briht als the sunne it sca_n.
And als so_n' als he_ to_ me_ com,
Wold' ic, nold' ic, he_ me_ nam,
And mak'de me_ with him ri_den 155
Upon a palfrey bi_ his si_de;
And broht me_ to_ his palays,
Wel atird in ealc weys,
And sceawed' me_ castels and tu_rs,
Rivers, forestes, firhth' with flours, 160
And his ri_ce stedes ealc a_n.
And sithen me_ broht on`yean ha_m
Into_ u_r' a_gen ort`yard,
And sayd' to_ me_ thus after`ward,
"'Lo_ke, dame, to_`morgen that thu_ be_ 165
Riht he_re under this impe-tre_,
And thann' thu_ scalt with u_s ga_n
And lifen with u_s eafer`ma_.
And yif thu_ makest u_s y`lett,
Hwear thu_ be_, thu_ werthest y`fett, 170
And to_`toren thi_ne limes al
That na_`thing helpen the_ na_ scal;
And theah thu_ be_st swa_ to_`toren,
Ye_te thu_ werthest with u_s y`boren."'
Hwann' King Orfeo he_rd' this cas, 175
"O wa_!" cwath he_, "Allas, allas!
Le_fer me_ weare to_ leaten mi_ li_f
Than thus to_ le_sen the cwe_n, mi_ wi_f!"
He_ asked' conseyl at ealc man,
Ak na_ man him helpen na_ can. 180
A`morgen the under`ti_de is cumen
And Orfeo hafeth his armes y`numen,
And wel te_n hundred cnihtes with him,
Ealc y`armed, stout and grim;
And with the cwe_n wenten hi_ 185
Riht un`til that impe-tre_.
They mak'de sce_ld-trume in ealc a si_de
And sayden they wolden thear a`bi_den
And deyen thear eafric a_n,
Ear the cwe_n scolde fram hem ga_n. 190
Ak ye_te a`middes hem ful riht
The cwe_n was a`wey y`twiht,
With fairy forth y`numen.
Men wisten neafer hwear sce_ was be`cumen.
Tha_ was thear criing, we_pen and wa_! 195
The king into_ his chaumber is ga_n,
And oft y`swo_gen upon the sta_n,
And mak'de swilce diol and swilce ma_n
That ne_h his li_f was y`spent -
Thear was na_n amendement. 200