Percy's Reliques - The Legend of King Arthur.

The Legend of King Arthur.

ááááááááááá We have here a short summary of King Arthur's History as given by Jeff. of Monmouth and the old Chronicles, with the addition of a few circumstances from the romance Morte Arthur. The ancient Chronicle of Ger. de Leew (quoted above) seems to have been chiefly followed: upon the authority of which we have restored some of the names which were corrupted in the manuscript, and have transposed one stanza, which appeared to be misplaced, [viz, that beginning at v. 49, which in the manuscript followed v. 36.]

ááááááááááá Printed from the Editor's ancient folio MS.

OF Brutus blood, in Brittaine borne,
King Arthur I am to name;
Through Christendome, and Heathynesse,
Well knowne is my worthy fame.

In Jesus Christ I doe beleeve;
I am a christyan bore:
The Father, Sone, and Holy Gost
One God,I doe adore.

In the four hundred ninetieth yeere,[ 1]
Over Brittaine I did rayne,
After my savior Christ his byrth:
What time I did maintaine

The fellowshipp of the table round,
Soe famous in those dayes;
Whereatt a hundred noble knights,
And thirty sat alwayes:

Who for their deeds and martiall feates,
As bookes done yett record,
Amongst all other nations
Wer feared throwgh the world.

And in the castle off Tyntagill
King Uther mee begate
Of Agyana[ 2] a bewtyous ladye,
And come of hie estate.

And when I was fifteen yeere old,
Then was I crowned kinge:
All Brittaine that was att an upr˛re,
I did to quiett bringe.

And drove the Saxons from the realme,
Who had opprest this land;
All Scotland then throughe manly feats
I conquered with my hand.

Ireland, Denmarke, Norway,
These countryes wan I all;
Iseland, Gotheland, and Swethland;
And made their kings my thrall.

I conquered all Gallya,
That now is called France;
And slew the hardye Froll in field[ 3]
My honor to advance.

And the ugly gyant Dynabus
Soe terrible to vewe,
That in Saint Barnards mount did lye,
By force of armes I slew:

And Lucyus the emperour of Rome
I brought to deadly wracke;
And a thousand more of noble knightes
For feare did turne their backe:

Five kinges of paynims I did kill
Amidst that bloody strife;
Besides the Grecian emperour
Who alsoe lost his life.

Whose carcasse I did send to Rome
Cladd poorlye on a beere;
And afterward I past Mount-Joye
The next approaching yeere.

Then I came to Rome, where I was mett
Right as a conquerour,
And by all the cardinalls solempnelye
I was crowned an emperour.

One winter there I made abode:
Then word to mee was brought
Howe Mordred had oppressd the crowne:
What treason he had wrought

Att home in Brittaine with my queene;
Therfore I came with speede
To Brittaine backe, with all my power,
To quitt that traiterous deede:

And soone at Sandwiche I arrivde,
Where Mordred me withstoode:
But yett at last I landed there,
With effusion of much blood.

For there my nephew Sir Gawaine dyed,
Being wounded in that sore,
The whiche Sir Lancelot in fight
Had given him before.

Thence chased I Mordered away,
Who fledd to London right,
From London to Winchester, and
To Cornewalle tooke his flyght.

And still I him pursued with speed
Till at the last wee mett:
Wherby an appointed day of fight
Was there agreed and sett.

Where we did fight, of mortal life
Eche other to deprive,
Till of a hundred thousand men
Scarce one was left alive.

There all the noble chivalrye
Of Brittaine tooke their end.
O see how fickle is their state
That doe on fates depend!

There all the traiterous men were slaine,
Not one escapte away;
And there dyed all my vallyant knightes.
Alas! that woefull day!

Two and twenty yeere I ware the crowne
In honor and great fame;
And thus by death was suddenlye
Deprived of the same.

NOTES

1. He began his reign A.D. 515, according to the Chronicles.

2. She is named Igerna in the old Chronicles.

3. Froll, according to the Chronicles, was a Roman knight, governor of Gaul.

 

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