Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William of Cloudesly
No: 116; variant: 116A
- MERY it was in grene forest,
Amonge the leues grene,
Where that men walke both east and west,
Wyth bowes and arrowes kene,
- To ryse the dere out of theyr denne;
Suche sightes as hath ofte bene sene,
As by th[r]e yemen of the north countrey,
By them it is as I meane.
- The one of them hight Adam Bel,
The other Clym of the Clough,
The thyrd was William of Cloudesly,
An archer good ynough.
- They were outlawed for venyson,
These thre yemen euerechone;
They swore them brethen vpon a day,
To Englysshe-wood for to gone.
- Now lith and lysten, gentylmen,
And that of myrthes loueth to here:
Two of them were single men,
The third had a wedded fere.
- Wyllyam was the wedded man,
Muche more then was hys care:
He sayde to hys brethen vpon a day,
To carelel he would fare,
- For to speke with fayre Alse hys wife,
And with hys chyldren thre:
‘By my trouth,’ sayde Adam Bel,
‘Not by the counsell of me.
- ‘For if ye go to Caerlel, brother,
And from thys wylde wode wende,
If the justice mai you take,
Your lyfe were at an ende.’
- ‘If that I come not to morowe, brother,
By pryme to you agayne,
Truste not els but that I am take,
Or else that I am slayne.’
- He toke hys leaue of hys brethen two,
And to Carlel he is gone;
There he knocked at hys owne wyndowe,
Shortlye and anone.
- ‘Wher be you, fayre Alyce, my wyfe,
And my chyldren three?
Lyghtly let in thyne husbande,
Wyllyam of Cloudesle.’
- ‘Alas!’ then sayde fayre Alyce,
And syghed wonderous sore,
‘Thys place hath ben besette for you
Thys halfe yere and more.’
- ‘Now am I here,’ sayde Cloudesle,
‘I woulde that I in were;
Now feche vs meate and drynke ynoughe,
And let vs make good chere.’
- She feched him meat and drynke plenty,
Lyke a true wedded wyfe,
And pleased hym with that she had,
Whome she loued as her lyfe.
- There lay an old wyfe in that place,
A lytle besyde the fyre,
Whych Wyllyam had found, of cherytye,
More then seuen yere.
- Up she rose, and walked full styll,
Euel mote she spede therefoore!
For she had not set no fote on ground
In seuen yere before.
- She went vnto the justice hall,
As fast as she could hye:
‘Thys nyght is come vn to thys town
Wyllyam of Cloudesle.’
- Thereof the iustice was full fayne,
And so was the shirife also:
‘Thou shalt not trauaile hether, dame, for nought;
Thy meed thou shalt haue or thou go.’
- They gaue to her a ryght good goune,
Of scarlat it was, as I heard say[n]e;
She toke the gyft, and home she wente,
And couched her doune agayne.
- They rysed the towne of mery Carlel,
In all the hast that they can,
And came thronging to Wyllyames house,
As fast [as] they might gone.
- Theyr they besette that good yeman,
Round about on euery syde;
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folkes,
That heytherward they hyed.
- Alyce opened a shot-wyndow,
And loked all about;
She was ware of the justice and the shrife bothe,
Wyth a full great route.
- ‘Alas! treason,’ cryed Alyce,
‘Euer wo may thou be!
Go into my chambre, my husband,’ she sayd,
‘Swete Wyllyam of Cloudesle.’
- He toke hys sweard and hys bucler,
Hys bow and hy[s] chyldren thre,
And wente into hys strongest chamber,
Where he thought surest to be.
- Fayre Alice folowed him as a louer true,
With a pollaxe in her hande:
‘He shalbe deade that here cometh in
Thys dore, whyle I may stand.’
- Cloudesle bent a wel good bowe,
That was of trusty tre,
He smot the justise on the brest,
That hys arrowe brest in thre.
- ‘God’s curse on his hartt,’ saide William,
‘Thys day thy cote dyd on;
If it had ben no better then myne,
It had gone nere thy bone.’
- ‘Yelde the, Cloudesle,’ sayd the justise,
‘And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro:’
‘Gods curse on hys hart,’ sayde fair Al[i]ce,
‘That my husband councelleth so.’
- ‘Set fyre on the house,’ saide the sherife,
‘Syth it wyll no better be,
And brenne we therin William,’ he saide,
‘Hys wyfe and chyldren thre.’
- They fyred the house in many a place,
The fyre flew vpon hye;
‘Alas!’ than cryed fayr Alice,
‘I se we shall here dy.’
- William openyd hys backe wyndow,
That was in hys chambre on hye,
And wyth shetes let hys wyfe downe,
And hys chyldren thre.
- ‘Haue here my treasure,’ sayde William,
‘My wyfe and my chyldren thre;
For Christes loue do them no harme,
But wreke you all on me.’
- Wyllyam shot so wonderous well,
Tyll hys arrowes were all go,
And the fyre so fast vpon hym fell,
That hys bo[w]stryng brent in two.
- The spercles brent and fell hym on,
Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle;
But than was he a wofull man, and sayde,
Thys is a cowardes death to me.
- ‘Leuer I had,’ sayde Wyllyam,
‘With my sworde in the route to renne,
Then here among myne ennemyes wode
Thus cruelly to bren.’
- He toke hys sweard and hys buckler,
And among them all he ran;
Where the people were most in prece,
He smot downe many a man.
- There myght no man stand hys stroke,
So fersly on them he ran;
Then they threw wyndowes and dores on him,
And so toke that good yeman.
- There they hym bounde both hand and fote,
And in depe dongeon hym cast;
‘Now, Cloudesle,’ sayde the hye justice,
‘Thou shalt be hanged in hast.’
- ‘One vow shal I make,’ sayde the sherife,
‘A payre of new galowes shall I for the make,
And al the gates of Caerlel shalbe shutte,
There shall no man come in therat.
- ‘Then shall not helpe Clim of the Cloughe,
Nor yet Adam Bell,
Though they came with a thousand mo,
Nor all the deuels in hell.’
- Early in the mornyng the justice vprose,
To the gates fast gan he gon,
And commaunded to be shut full cloce
- Then went he to the market-place,
As fast as he coulde hye;
A payre of new gallous there dyd he vp set,
Besyde the pyllory.
- A lytle boy stod them amonge,
And asked what meaned that gallow-tre;
They sayde, To hange a good yeaman,
Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle.
- That lytle boye was the towne swyne-heard,
And kept fayre Alyce swyne;
Full oft he had sene Cloudesle in the wodde,
And geuen hym there to dyne.
- He went out of a creues in the wall,
And lightly to the woode dyd gone;
There met he with these wyght yonge men,
Shortly and anone.
- ‘Alas!’ then sayde that lytle boye,
‘Ye tary here all to longe;
Cloudesle is taken and dampned to death,
All readye for to honge.’
- ‘Alas!’ then sayde good Adam Bell,
‘That euer we see thys daye!
He myght her with vs haue dwelled,
So ofte as we dyd him praye.
- ‘He myght haue taryed in grene foreste,
Under the shadowes sheene,
And haue kepte both hym and vs in reaste,
Out of trouble and teene.’
- Adam bent a ryght good bow,
A great hart sone had he slayne;
‘Take that, chylde,’ he sayde, ‘To thy dynner,
And bryng me myne arrowe agayne.’
- ‘Now go we hence,’ sayed these wight yong men,
‘Tary we no longer here;
We shall hym borowe, by Gods grace,
Though we bye it full dere.’
- To Caerlel went these good yemen,
In a mery mornyng of Maye:
Her is a fyt of Cloudesli,
And another is for to saye.
- And when they came to mery Caerlell,
In a fayre mornyng-tyde,
They founde the gates shut them vntyll,
Round about on euery syde.
- ‘Alas!’ than sayd good Adam Bell,
‘That euer we were made men!
These gates be shyt so wonderly well,
That we may not come here in.’
- Than spake Clymme of the Cloughe:
With a wyle we wyll vs in brynge;
Let vs say we be messengers,
Streyght comen from oure kynge.
- Adam sayd, I haue a lettre wryten wele,
Now let vs wysely werke;
We wyll say we haue the kynges seale,
I holde the porter no clerke.
- Than Adam Bell bete on the gate,
With str’okes greate and stronge;
The porter herde suche a noyse therate,
And to the gate faste he thronge.
- ‘Who is there nowe,’ sayd the porter,
‘That maketh all this knockynge?
‘We be two messengers,’ sayd Clymme of the Clo[ughe],
‘Be comen streyght frome oure kynge.’
- ‘We haue a lettre,’ sayd Adam Bell,
‘To the justyce we must it brynge;
Let vs in, oure message to do,
That we were agayne to our kynge.’
- ‘Here cometh no man in,’ sayd the porter,
‘By hym that dyed on a tre,
Tyll a false thefe be hanged,
Called Wyllyam of Clowdysle.’
- Than spake that good [yeman Clym of the Cloughe,
And swore by Mary fre,
If that we stande long wythout,
Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be.]
- [Lo here] we haue got the kynges seale;
[What! l]ordane, arte thou wode?
[The p]orter had wende it had been so,
[And l]yghtly dyd of his hode.
- ‘[Welco]me be my lordes seale,’ sayd he,
‘[For] that shall ye come in:’
[He] opened the gate ryght shortly,
[An] euyll openynge for hym!
- ‘[N]owe we are in,’ sayd Adam Bell,
‘[T]herof we are full fayne;
[But] Cryst knoweth that herowed hell,
[H]ow we shall come oute agayne.’
- ‘[Had] we the keys,’ sayd Clym of the Clowgh,
‘Ryght well than sholde we spede;
[Than] myght we come out well ynough,
[Whan] we se tyme and nede.’
- [They] called the porter to a councell,
[And] wronge hys necke in two,
[And] kest hym in a depe dongeon,
[And] toke the keys hym fro.
- ‘[N]ow am I porter,’ sayd Adam Bell;
‘[Se], broder, the keys haue we here;
[The] worste porter to mery Carlell,
[That ye] had this hondreth yere.
- ‘[Now] wyll we oure bowe:s bende,
[Into the t]owne wyll we go,
[For to delyuer our dere] broder,
[Where he lyeth in care and wo.’
- Then they bent theyr good yew bowes,
And loked theyr stringes were round;]
The market-place of mery Carlyll,
They beset in that stounde.
- And as they loked them besyde,
A payre of newe galowes there they se,
And the iustyce, with a quest of swerers,
That had iuged Clowdysle there hanged to be.
- And Clowdysle hymselfe lay redy in a carte,
Fast bounde bothe fote and hande,
And a strong rope aboute his necke,
All redy for to be hangde.
- The iustyce called to hym a ladde;
Clowdysles clothes sholde he haue,
To take the mesure of that good yoman,
And therafter to make his graue.
- ‘I haue sene as greate a merueyll,’ sayd Clowd[esle],
‘As bytwene this and pryme,
He that maketh thys graue for me,
Hymselfe may lye therin.’
- ‘Thou spekest proudely,’ sayd the iustyce;
‘I shall hange the with my hande:’
Full well that herde his bretheren two,
There styll as they dyd stande.
- Than Clowdysle cast hys eyen asyde,
And sawe hys bretheren stande,
At a corner of the market-place,
With theyr good bowes bent in theyr hand,
Redy the iustyce for to chase.
- ‘I se good comforte,’ sayd Clowdysle,
‘Yet hope I well to fare;
If I myght haue my handes at wyll,
[Ryght l]ytell wolde I care.’
- [Than b]espake good Adam Bell,
[To Clym]me of the Clowgh so fre;
[Broder], se ye marke the iustyce well;
[Lo yon]der ye may him se.
- [And at] the sheryf shote I wyll,
[Stron]gly with an arowe kene;
[A better] shotte in mery Carlyll,
[Thys se]uen yere was not sene.
- [They lo]used theyr arowes bothe at ones,
[Of no] man had they drede;
[The one] hyt the iustyce, the other the sheryf,
[That b]othe theyr sydes gan blede.
- [All men] voyded, that them stode nye,
[Whan] the iustyce fell to the grounde,
[And the] sheryf fell nyghe hym by;
[Eyther] had his dethe:s wounde.
- [All the c]ytezeyns fast gan fle,
[They du]rste no lenger abyde;
[There ly]ghtly they loused Clowdysle,
[Where he] with ropes lay tyde.
- [Wyllyam] sterte to an offycer of the towne,
[Hys axe] out his hande he wronge;
[On eche] syde he smote them downe,
[Hym tho]ught he had taryed to longe.
- [Wyllyam] sayd to his bretheren two,
[Thys daye] let vs togyder lyue and deye;
[If euer you] haue nede as I haue nowe,
[The same] shall ye fynde by me.
- [They] shyt so well in that tyde,
For theyr strynges were of sylke full sure,
That they kepte the stretes on euery syde;
That batayll dyd longe endure.
- They fought togyder as bretheren true,
Lyke hardy men and bolde;
Many a man to the grounde they threwe,
And made many an herte: colde.
- But whan theyr arowes were all gone,
Men presyd on them full fast;
They drewe theyr swerde:s than anone,
And theyr bowe:s from them caste.
- They wente lyghtly on theyr waye,
With swerdes and buckelers rounde;
By that it was the myddes of the daye,
They had made many a wounde.
- There was many a noute-horne in Carlyll blowen,
And the belles backwarde dyd they rynge;
Many a woman sayd alas,
And many theyr handes dyd wrynge.
- The mayre of Carlyll forth come was,
And with hym a full grete route;
These thre yomen dredde hym full sore,
For theyr lyue:s stode in doubte.
- The mayre came armed, a full greate pace,
With a polaxe in his hande;
Many a stronge man with hym was,
There in that stoure to stande.
- The mayre smote at Clowdysle with his byll,
His buckeler he brast in two;
Full many a yoman with grete yll,
‘[Al]as, treason!’ they cryed for wo.
‘[Ke]pe we the gates fast,’ they bad,
‘[T]hat these traytours theroute not go.’
- But all for nought was that they wrought,
For so fast they downe were layde
Tyll they all thre, that so manfully fought,
Were goten without at a brayde.
- ‘Haue here your keys,’ sayd Adam Bell,
‘Myne offyce I here forsake;
Yf ye do by my councell,
A newe: porter ye make.’
- He threwe the keys there at theyr hedes,
And bad them evyll to thryue,
And all that letteth ony good yoman
To come and comforte his wyue.
- Thus be these good yomen gone to the wode,
As lyght as lefe on lynde;
They laughe and be mery in theyr mode,
Theyr enemyes were farre behynde.
- Whan they came to Inglyswode,
Under theyr trysty-tre,
There they founde bowe:s full gode,
And arowe:s greate plente:.
- ‘So helpe me God,’ sayd Adam Bell,
And Clymme of the Clowgh so fre,
‘I wolde we were nowe in mery Carlell,
[Be]fore that fayre meyne:.’
- They set them downe and made good chere,
And eate an[d dr]anke full well:
Here is a fytte [of] these wyght yongemen,
And another I shall you tell.
- As they sat in Inglyswode,
Under theyr trysty-tre,
Them thought they herde a woman [wepe],
But her they myght not se.
- Sore syghed there fayre Alyce, and sayd,
Alas that euer I se this daye!
For now is my dere husbonde slayne,
Alas and welawaye!
- Myght I haue spoken wyth hys dere breth[eren],
With eyther of them twayne,
[To shew to them what him befell]
My herte were out of payne.
- Clowdysle walked a lytell besyde,
And loked vnder the grene wodde lynde;
He was ware of his wyfe and his chyldre[n thre],
Full wo in herte and mynde.
- ‘Welcome, wyfe,’ than sayd Wyllyam,
‘Unto this trysty-tre;
I had wende yesterdaye, by swete Sai[nt John],
Thou sholde me neuer haue se.’
- ‘Now wele is me,’ she sayd, ‘That [ye be here],
My herte is out of wo:’
‘Dame,’ he sayd, ‘Be mery and glad,
And thanke my bretheren two.’
- ‘Here of to speke,’ sayd Ad[am] Bell,
‘I-wys it [is no bote];
The me[at that we must supp withall,
It runneth yet fast on fote.’
- Then went they down into a launde,
These noble archares all thre,
Eche of the]m slewe a harte of grece,
[The best t[hey coude there se.
- ‘[Haue here the] best, Alyce my wyfe,’
[Sayde Wyllya]m of Clowdysle,
‘[By cause ye so] boldely stode me by,
[Whan I w]as slayne full nye.’
- [Than they] wente to theyr souper,
[Wyth suc]he mete as they had,
[And than]ked God of theyr fortune;
[They we]re bothe mery and glad.
- [And whan] they had souped well,
[Certayne] withouten leace,
[Clowdysle] sayde, We wyll to oure kynge,
[To get v]s a chartre of peace.
- [Alyce shal] be a soiournynge,
[In a nunry] here besyde;
[My tow sonn]es shall with her go,
[And ther the]y shall abyde.
- [Myne eldest so]ne shall go with me,
[For hym haue I] no care,
[And he shall breng] you worde agayne
[How that we do fare.
- Thus be these wig]ht men to London gone,
[As fast as they ma]ye hye,
[Tyll they came to the kynges] palays,
There they woulde nede:s be.
- And whan they came to the kynge:s courte,
Unto the pallace gate,
Of no man wold they aske leue,
But boldly went in therat.
- They preced prestly into the hall,
Of no man had they dreade;
The porter came after and dyd them call,
And with them began to [chyde.]
- The vssher sayd, Yemen, what wolde ye haue?
I praye you tell me;
Ye myght thus make offycers shent:
Good syrs, of whens be ye?
- ‘Syr, we be outlawes of the forest,
Certayne withouten leace,
And hyther we be come to our kynge,
To get vs a charter of peace.’
- And whan they came before our kynge,
As it was the lawe of the lande,
They kneled downe without lettynge,
And eche helde vp his hande.
- They sayd, Lorde, we beseche you here,
That ye wyll graunte vs grace,
For we haue slayne your fatte falowe dere,
In many a sondry place.
- ‘What is your names?’ than sayd our kynge,
‘Anone that you tell me:’
They sayd, Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough,
And Wylliam of Clowdesle.
- ‘Be ye those theues,’ than sayd our kynge,
‘That men haue told of to me?
Here to God I make a vowe,
Ye shall be hanged all thre.
- ‘Ye shall be dead without mercy,
As I am kynge of this lande:’
He commanded his officers euerichone
Fast on them to lay hand.
- There they toke these good yemen,
And arested them all thre:
‘So may I thryue,’ sayd Adam Bell,
‘Thys game lyketh not me.
- ‘But, good lorde, we beseche you nowe,
That ye wyll graunte vs grace,
In so moche as we be to you commen;
Or elles that we may fro you passe,
- ‘With suche weapons as we haue here,
Tyll we be out of your place;
And yf we lyue this hondred yere,
We wyll aske you no grace.’
- ‘Ye speke proudly,’ sayd the kynge,
‘Ye shall be hanged all thre:’
‘That were great pity,’ sayd the quene,
‘If any grace myght be.
- ‘My lorde, whan I came fyrst in to this lande,
To be your wedded wyfe,
The fyrst bone that I wolde aske,
Ye wolde graunte me belyfe.
- ‘And I asked you neuer none tyll nowe,
Therfore, good lorde, graunte it me:’
‘Nowe aske it, madame,’ sayd the kynge,
‘And graunted shall it be.’
- ‘Than, good lorde, I you beseche,
The yemen graunte you me:’
‘Madame, ye myght haue asked a bone
That sholde haue ben worthe them thre.
- ‘Ye myght haue asked towres and towne[s],
Parkes and forestes plentie:’
‘None so pleasaunt to mi pay,’ she said,
‘Nor none so lefe to me.’
- ‘Madame, sith it is your desyre,
Your asking graunted shalbe;
But I had leuer haue geuen you
Good market-towne:s thre.’
- The quene was a glad woman,
And sayd, Lord, gramarcy;
I dare vndertake for them
That true men shall they be.
- But, good lord, speke som mery word,
That comfort they may se:
‘I graunt you grace,’ then said our king,
‘Wasshe, folos, and to meate go ye.’
- They had not setten but a whyle,
Certayne without lesynge,
There came messengers out of the north,
With letters to our kyng.
- And whan the came before the kynge,
The kneled downe vpon theyr kne,
And sayd, Lord, your offycers grete you wel,
Of Caerlel in the north cuntre.
- ‘How fare[th] my justice,’ sayd the kyng,
‘And my sherife also?’
‘Syr, they be slayne, without leasynge,
And many an officer mo.’
- ‘Who hath them slayne?’ sayd the kyng,
‘Anone thou tell me:’
‘Adam Bel, and Clime of the Clough,
And wyllyam of Cloudesle.’
- ‘Alas for rewth!’ then sayd our kynge,
‘My hart is wonderous sore;
I had leuer [th]an a thousand pounde
I had knowne of thys before.
- ‘For I haue y-graunted them grace,
And that forthynketh me;
But had I knowne all thys before,
They had ben hanged all thre.’
- The kyng opened the letter anone,
Hym selfe he red it tho,
And founde how these thre outlawes had slaine
Thre hundred men and mo.
- Fyrst the justice and the sheryfe,
And the mayre of Caerlel towne;
Of all the constables and catchipolles
Alyue were left not one.
- The baylyes and the bedyls both,
And the sergeauntes of the law,
And forty fosters of the fe
These outlawes had y-slaw;
- And broken his parks, and slaine his dere;
Ouer all they chose the best;
So perelous outlawes as they were
Walked not by easte nor west.
- When the kynge this letter had red,
In hys harte he syghed sore;
‘Take vp the table,’ anone he bad,
‘For I may eate no more.’
- The kyng called hys best archars,
To the buttes with hym to go;
‘I wyll se these felowes shote,’ he sayd,
‘That in the north haue wrought this wo.’
- The kynges bowmen buske them blyue,
And the quenes archers also,
So dyd these thre wyght yemen,
Wyth them they thought to go.
- There twyse or thryse they shote about,
For to assay theyr hande;
There was no shote these thre yemen shot
That any prycke might them stand.
- Then spake Wyllyam of Cloudesle;
By God that for me dyed,
I hold hym neuer no good archar
That shuteth at buttes so wyde.
- ‘Wherat?’ then sayd our kyng,
‘I pray thee tell me:’
‘At suche a but, syr,’ he sayd,
‘As men vse in my countree.’
- Wyllyam wente into a fyeld,
And his to brothren with him;
There they set vp to hasell roddes,
Twenty score paces betwene.
- ‘I hold him an archar,’ said Cloudesle,
‘That yonder wande cleueth in two:’
‘Here is none suche,’ sayd the kyng,
‘Nor none that can so do.’
- ‘I shall assaye, syr,’ sayd Cloudesle,
‘Or that I farther go:’
Cloudesle, with a bearyng arow,
Claue the wand in to.
- ‘Thou art the best archer,’ then said the king,
‘Forsothe that euer I se:’
‘And yet for your loue,’ sayd Wylliam,
‘I wyll do more maystry.
- ‘I haue a sonne is seuen yere olde;
He is to me full deare;
I wyll hym tye to a stake,
All shall se that be here;
- ‘And lay an apple vpon hys head,
And go syxe score paces hym fro,
And I my selfe, with a brode arow,
Shall cleue the apple in two.’
- ‘Now hast the,’ then sayd the kyng;
‘By him that dyed on a tre,
But yf thou do not as thou hest sayde,
Hanged shalt thou be.
- ‘And thou touche his head or gowne,
In syght that men may se,
By all the sayntes that be in heaven,
I shall hange you all thre.’
- ‘That I haue promised,’ said William,
‘I wyl it neuer forsake;’
And there euen before the kynge,
In the earth he droue a stake;
- And bound therto his eldest sonne,
And bade hym stande styll therat,
And turned the childes face fro him,
Because he shuld not sterte.
- An apple vpon his head he set,
And then his bowe he bent;
Syxe score paces they were outmet,
And thether Cloudesle went.
- There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe;
Hys bowe was great and longe;
He set that arrowe in his bowe,
That was both styffe and stronge.
- He prayed the people that was there
That they would styll stande;
‘For he that shooteth for such a wager,
Behoueth a stedfast hand.’
- Muche people prayed for Cloudesle,
That hys lyfe saued myght be,
And whan he made hym redy to shote,
There was many a wepynge eye.
- Thus Clowdesle clefte the apple in two,
That many a man it se;
‘Ouer goddes forbode,’ sayd the kynge,
‘That thou sholdest shote at me!
- ‘I gyue the .xviii. pens a daye,
And my bowe shalte thou bere,
And ouer all the north countree
I make the chefe rydere.’
- ‘And I gyue the .xii. pens a day,’ sayd the que[ne],
‘By God and by my faye;
Come fetche thy payment whan thou wylt,
No man shall say the naye.
- ‘Wyllyam, I make the gentylman
Of clothynge and of fee,
And thy two brethren yemen of my chambr[e],
For they are so semely to se.
- ‘Your sone, for he is tendre of age,
Of my wine-seller shall he be,
And whan he commeth to manne:s state,
Better auaunced shall he be.
- ‘And, Wylliam, brynge me your wyfe,’ sayd th[e quene];
Me longeth sore here to se;
She shall be my chefe gentylwoman,
And gouerne my nursery.’
- The yemen thanked them full courteysly,
And sayd, To Rome streyght wyll we wende,
[Of all the synnes that we haue done
To be assoyled of his hand.
- So forth]e be gone these good yemen,
[As fast a]s they myght hye,
[And aft]er came and dwelled with the kynge,
[And dye]d good men all thre.
- [Thus e]ndeth the lyues of these good yemen,
[God sen]de them eternall blysse,
[And all] that with hande-bowe shoteth,
[That of] heuen they may neuer mysse!