Sir Orfeo (lines 101-200)
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And bi-held, and seyd wit` grete pité,
"O lef liif, what is te,
T`at ever y`ete hast ben so stille
And now gredest wonder schille?
T`y bodi, t`at was so white y-core,
Wit` t`ine nailes is all to-tore.
Allas! t`y rode, t`at was so red,
Is al wan, as t`ou were ded;
And also t`ine fingres smale
Bet` al blodi and al pale.
Allas! t`y lovesum eyy`en to
Loket` so man dot` on his fo!
A, dame, ich biseche, merci!
Lete ben al t`is reweful cri,
And tel me what t`e is, and hou,
And what t`ing may t`e help now."
T`o lay sche stille atte last
And gan to wepe swit`e fast,
And seyd t`us t`e King to:
"Allas, mi lord, Sir Orfeo!
Set`en we first togider were,
Ones wrot` never we nere;
Bot ever ich have yloved t`e
As mi liif and so t`ou me;
Ac now we mot delen ato;
Do t`i best, for y mot go."
"Allas!" quat` he, "forlorn icham!
Whider wiltow go, and to wham?
Whider t`ou gost, ichil wit` t`e,
And whider y go, t`ou schalt wit` me."
"Nay, nay, Sir, t`at nouy`t nis!
Ichil t`e telle al hou it is:
As ich lay t`is undertide
And slepe under our orchardside,
T`er come to me to fair kniy`tes,
Wele y-armed al to riy`tes,
And bad me comen an heiy`ing
And speke wit` her lord t`e king.
And ich answerd at wordes bold,
Y durst nouy`t, no y nold.
T`ai priked oy`ain as t`ai miy`t drive;
T`o com her king, also blive,
Wit` an hundred kniy`tes and mo,
And damisels an hundred also,
Al on snowe-white stedes;
As white as milke were her wedes.
Y no seiy`e never y`ete bifore
So fair creatours y-core.
T`e king hadde a croun on hed;
It nas of silver, no of gold red,
Ac it was of a precious ston -
As briy`t as t`e sonne it schon.
And as son as he to me cam,
Wold ich, nold ich, he me nam,
And made me wit` him ride
Opon a palfray bi his side;
And brouy`t me to his palays,
Wele atird in ich ways,
And schewed me castels and tours,
Rivers, forestes, frit` wit` flours,
And his riche stedes ichon.
And set`en me brouy`t oy`ain hom
Into our owhen orchard,
And said to me t`us afterward,
"'Loke, dame, tomorwe t`atow be
Riy`t here under t`is ympe-tre,
And t`an t`ou schalt wit` ous go
And live wit` ous evermo.
And y`if t`ou makest ous y-let,
Whar t`ou be, t`ou worst y-fet,
And totore t`ine limes al
T`at not`ing help t`e no schal;
And t`ei t`ou best so totorn,
Yete t`ou worst wit` ous y-born."'
When King Orfeo herd t`is cas,
"O we!" quat` he, "Allas, allas!
Lever me were to lete mi liif
T`an t`us to lese t`e quen, mi wiif!"
He asked conseyl at ich man,
Ac no man him help no can.
Amorwe t`e undertide is come
And Orfeo hat` his armes y-nome,
And wele ten hundred kniy`tes wit` him,
Ich y-armed, stout and grim;
And wit` t`e quen wenten he
Riy`t unto t`at ympe-tre.
T`ai made scheltrom in ich a side
And sayd t`ai wold t`ere abide
And dye t`er everichon,
Er t`e quen schuld fram hem gon.
Ac y`ete amiddes hem ful riy`t
T`e quen was oway y-twiy`t,
Wit` fairi fort` y-nome.
Men wist never wher sche was bicome.
T`o was t`er criing, wepe and wo!
T`e king into his chaumber is go,
And oft swoned opon t`e ston,
And made swiche diol and swiche mon
T`at neiy`e his liif was y-spent -
T`er was non amendement.