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To God thi Sone make a mocion

How he thi servaunt was, Mayden Marie, And lat his love floure and fructifie! 4991

Al-thogh his lyfe be queynt,' the resemblance
Of him hath in me so fressh lyflynesse,
That, to putte othir men in rémembraunce
Of his persone, I have heere his lyknesse
Do make, to this ende, in sothfastnesse,
That thei that have of him lest thought
and mynde,
4997

By this peynture may ageyn him fynde.

JOHN LYDGATE (1370?-1451?)

FROM THE STORY OF THEBES HOW FALSLY ETHYOCLES LEYDE A BUSSHEMENT 3 IN THE WAY TO HAVE SLAYN TYDEUS

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At a posterne forth they gan to ryde
By a geyn path, that ley oute a-side,
Secrely, that no man hem espie,
Only of 5 tresoun and of felonye.
They haste hem forth al the longe day,
Of cruel malys, forto stoppe his way,
Thorgh a forest, alle of oon assent,
Ful covartly to leyn a busshement
Under an hille, at a streite passage,
To falle on hym at mor avantage,6
The same way that Tydeus gan drawe
At thylke mount wher that Spynx was slawe.8
He, nothing war in his
opynyoun
Of this compassed 10 conspiracioun,
But innocent and lich 11 a gentyl knyght,
Rood ay forth to 12 that it drowe 13 to nyght,
Sool by hym-silf, with-oute companye,
Havyng no man to wisse "hym or to gye.15
But at the last, lifting up his hede,
Toward eve, he gan taken hede;
Mid of his waye, right as eny lyne,
Thoght he saugh, ageyn the mone shyne,
Sheldes fresshe and plates borned 16 bright,
The which environ 17 casten a gret lyght;
Ymagynyng in his fantasye
Ther was treson and conspiracye
Wrought by the kyng, his journe 18 forto lette.19
And of al that he no-thyng ne sette,20

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1 quenched 2 had made ambush convenient

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purely because of greater advantage the same 8 slain not at all aware in his thought 10 ar11 like 12 till 13 drew 14 direct ranged, formed 15 guide 16 burnished 17 around 18 journey 19 hinder 20 he cared nothing for all that

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But wel assured in his manly herte,
List1 nat onys a-syde to dyverte,
But kepte his way, his sheld upon his brest,
And cast his spere manly in the rest,
And the first platly 2 that he mette
Thorgh the body proudely he hym smette,
That he fille ded, chief mayster of hem alle;
And than at onys they upon hym falle
On every part, be 3 compas envyroun.
But Tydeus, thorgh his hegh renoun,
His blody swerde lete about hym glyde,
Sleth and kylleth upon every side
In his ire and his mortal tene; +
That mervaile was he myght so sustene
Ageyn hem alle, in every half besette; 5
But his swerde was so sharpe whette
That his foomen founde ful unsoote."
But he, allas! was mad light a foote,7
Be force grounded, in ful gret distresse;
But of knyghthod and of gret prouesse
Up he roos, maugre 10 alle his foon,11
And as they cam, he slogh 12 hem oon be oon,
Lik a lyoun rampaunt in his rage, 1151
And on this hille he fond a narow passage,
Which that he took of ful high prudence;
And liche 13 a boor, stondyng at his diffence,
As his foomen proudly hym assaylle,
Upon the pleyn he made her blode to raylle 14
Al enviroun, that the soyl wex rede,
Now her, now ther, as they fille dede,
That her lay on, and ther lay two or thre,
So mercyles, in his cruelte,

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Thilke day he was upon hem founde;
And, attonys 15 his enemyes to confounde,
Wher-as he stood, this myghty champioun,
Be-side he saugh, with water turned doun,
An huge stoon large, rounde, and squar;
And sodeynly, er that thei wer war,
As 16 it hadde leyn ther for the nonys,"
Upon his foon he rolled it at onys,
That ten of hem 18 wenten unto wrak,
And the remnaunt amased drogh 19 a-bak;
For on by on they wente to meschaunce.20
And fynaly he broght to outraunce
Hem everychoon, Tydeus, as blyve,22
That non but on left 23 of ham 18 alyve:
Hym-silf yhurt, and ywounded kene,24
Thurgh his harneys bledyng on the grene;

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1 wished 3 absolutely by pain 5 beset on every side unsweet, bitter made to alight on foot brought to ground prowess 10 in spite of slew like 14 flow foes 12 at once as if 17 for them 19 the purpose drew 20 defeat 21 destruction remained 24 sorely

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quickly

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The Theban knyghtes in compas rounde aboute

In the vale lay slayne, alle the hoole route,1
Which pitously ageyn the mone2 gape;
For non of hem, shortly,3 myght eskape, 1180
But dede echon as thei han deserved,
Save oon excepte, the which was reserved
By Tydeus, of intencioun,

To the kyng to make relacioun

How his knyghtes han on her journe spedde,5

Everich of hem his lyf left for a wedde,6 -
And at the metyng how they han hem born;
To tellen al he sured 7 was and sworn
To Tydeus, ful lowly on his kne.

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