The Rowley Poems - Ælla, A Tragycal Enterlude.

Ælla, A Tragycal Enterlude.

ACT I. SCENE I.

CELMONDE, att BRYSTOWE.

Before yonne roddie sonne has droove hys wayne Throwe halfe hys joornie, dyghte yn gites <1> of goulde, Mee, happeless mee, hee wylle a wretche behoulde, Mieselfe, and al that's myne, bounde ynn myschaunces chayne.

Ah! Birtha, whie dydde Nature frame thee fayre? Whie art thou all thatt poyntelle <2> canne bewreene <3>? Whie art thou nott as coarse as odhers are?-- Butte thenn thie soughle woulde throwe thy vysage sheene, Yatt shemres onn thie comelie semlykeene, <4> Lyche nottebrowne cloudes, whann bie the sonne made redde, 10 Orr scarlette, wythe waylde lynnen clothe ywreene <5>, Syke <6> would thie spryte uponn thie vysage spredde. Thys daie brave Ælla dothe thyne honde and harte Clayme as hys owne to be, whyche nee from hys moste parte.

And cann I lyve to see herr wythe anere? <7> Ytt cannotte, muste nott, naie, ytt shalle not bee. Thys nyghte I'll putte stronge poysonn ynn the beere, And hymm, herr, and myselfe, attenes <8> wyll slea. Assyst mee, Helle! lett Devylles rounde mee tende, To slea mieself, mie love, & eke mie doughtie <9> friende. 20

 

SCENE II. ÆLLA, BIRTHA.

ÆLLA.

Notte, whanne the hallie prieste dyd make me knyghte, Blessynge the weaponne, tellynge future dede, Howe bie mie honde the prevyd <10> Dane should blede, Howe I schulde often bee, and often wynne, ynn fyghte; Notte, whann I fyrste behelde thie beauteous hue, Whyche strooke mie mynde, and rouzed mie softer soule; Nott, whann from the barbed horse yn fyghte dyd viewe The flying Dacians oere the wyde playne roule, Whan all the troopes of Denmarque made grete dole, Dydd I fele joie wyth syke reddoure <11> as nowe, 30 Whan hallie preest, the lechemanne of the soule, Dydd knytte us both ynn a caytysnede <12> vowe: Now hallie Ælla's selynesse ys grate; Shap <13> haveth nowe ymade hys woes for to emmate <14>.

BIRTHA.

Mie lorde, and husbande, syke a joie ys myne; Botte mayden modestie moste ne soe saie, Albeytte thou mayest rede ytt ynn myne eyne, Or ynn myne harte, where thou shalte be for aie; Inne sothe, I have butte meeded oute thie faie; <15> For twelve tymes twelve the mone hathe bin yblente, <16> 40 As manie tymes hathe vyed the Godde of daie, And on the grasse her lemes <17> of sylverr sente, Sythe thou dydst cheese mee for thie swote to bee, Enactynge ynn the same moste faiefullie to mee.

Ofte have I scene thee atte the none-daie feaste, Whanne deysde bie thieselfe, for want of pheeres, <18> Awhylst thie merryemen dydde laughe and jeaste, Onn mee thou semest all eyne, to mee all eares, Thou wardest mee as gyff ynn hondred feeres, Alest a daygnous <19> looke to thee be sente, 50 And offrendes <20> made mee, moe thann yie compheeres, Offe scarpes <21> of scarlette, and fyne paramente <22>; All thie yntente to please was lyssed <23> to mee, I saie ytt, I moste streve thatt you ameded bee.

ÆLLA.

Mie lyttel kyndnesses whyche I dydd doe, Thie gentleness doth corven them so grete, Lyche bawsyn <24> olyphauntes <25> mie gnattes doe shewe; Thou doest mie thoughtes of paying love amate <26>; Butte hann mie actyonns straughte <27> the rolle of fate, Pyghte thee fromm Hell, or broughte Heaven down to thee, 60 Layde the whol worlde a falldstole atte thie feete, On smyle would be suffycyll mede for mee. I amm Loves borro'r, and canne never paie, Botte be hys borrower stylle, and thyne, mie swete, for aie.

BIRTHA.

Love, doe notte rate your achevmentes <28> soe small; As I to you, syke love untoe mee beare; For nothynge paste wille Birtha ever call, Ne on a foode from Heaven thynke to cheere. As farr as thys frayle brutylle flesch wyll spere, Syke, and ne fardher I expecte of you; 70 Be notte toe slacke yn love, ne overdeare; A smalle fyre, yan a loude flame, proves more true.

AELLA.

Thie gentle wordis doe thie volunde <29> kenne To bee moe clergionde thann ys ynn meyncte of menne.

 

SCENE III. ÆLLA, BIRTHA, CELMONDE, MYNSTRELLES.

CELMONDE.

Alle blessynges showre on gentle Ælla's hedde! Oft maie the moon, yn sylverr sheenynge lyghte, Inn varied chaunges varyed blessynges shedde, Besprengeynge far abrode mischaunces nyghte; And thou, fayre Birtha! thou, fayre Dame, so bryghte, Long mayest thou wyth Ælla fynde much peace, 80 Wythe selynesse, as wyth a roabe, be dyghte, Wyth everych chaungynge mone new joies encrease! I, as a token of mie love to speak, Have brought you jubbes of ale, at nyghte youre brayne to breake.

ÆLLA.

Whan sopperes paste we'll drenche youre ale soe stronge, Tyde lyfe, tyde death.

CELMONDE.

Ye Mynstrelles, chaunt your songe.

Mynstrelles Songe, bie a Manne and Womanne.

MANNE.

Tourne thee to thie Shepsterr <30> swayne; Bryghte sonne has ne droncke the dewe From the floures of yellowe hue; Tourne thee, Alyce, back again. 90

WOMANNE.

No, bestoikerre, <31> I wylle goe Softlie tryppynge o'ere the mees, <32> Lyche the sylver-footed doe, Seekeynge shelterr yn grene trees.

MANNE.

See the moss growne daisey'd banke, Pereynge ynne the streme belowe; Here we'lle sytte, yn dewie danke; Tourne thee, Alyce, do notte goe.

WOMANNE.

I've hearde erste mie grandame saie, Yonge damoyselles schulde ne bee, 100 Inne the swotie monthe of Maie, Wythe yonge menne bie the grene wode tree.

MANNE

Sytte thee, Alyce, sytte, and harke, Howe the ouzle <33> chauntes hys noate, The chelandree, <34> greie morn larke, Chauntynge from theyre lyttel throate;

WOMANNE

I heare them from eche grene wode tree, Chauntynge owte so blatauntlie, <35> Tellynge lecturnyes <36> to mee, Myscheefe ys whanne you are nygh. 110

MANNE.

See alonge the mees so grene Pied daisies, kynge-coppes swote; Alle we see, bie non bee seene, Nete botte shepe settes here a fote.

WOMANNE.

Shepster swayne,you tare mie gratche. <37> Oute uponne ye! lette me goe. Leave me swythe, or I'lle alatche. Robynne, thys youre dame shall knowe.

MANNE.

See! the crokynge brionie Rounde the popler twyste hys spraie; 120 Rounde the oake the greene ivie Florryshcethe and lyveth aie.

Lette us seate us bie thys tree, Laughe, and synge to lovynge ayres; Comme, and doe notte coyen bee; Nature made all thynges bie payres.

Drooried cattes wylle after kynde; Gentle doves wylle kyss and coe:

WOMANNE.

Botte manne, hee moste be ywrynde, Tylle syr preeste make on of two. 130

Tempte me ne to the foule thynge; I wylle no mannes lemanne be; Tyll syr preeste hys songe doethe synge, Thou shalt neere fynde aught of mee.

MANNE.

Bie our ladie her yborne, To-morrowe, soone as ytte ys daie, I'lle make thee wyfe, ne bee forsworne, So tyde me lyfe or dethe for aie.

WOMANNE.

Whatt dothe lette, botte thatte nowe Wee attenes <38>, thos honde yn honde, 140 Unto divinstre <39> goe, And bee lyncked yn wedlocke bonde?

MANNE.

I agree, and thus I plyghte Honde, and harte, and all that's myne; Goode syr Rogerr, do us ryghte, Make us one, at Cothbertes shryne.

BOTHE.

We wylle ynn a bordelle <40> lyve, Hailie, thoughe of no estate; Everyche clocke moe love shall gyve; Wee ynn godenesse wylle be greate. 150

ÆLLA.

I lyche thys songe, I lyche ytt myckle well; And there ys monie for yer syngeynge nowe; Butte have you noone thatt marriage-blessynges telle?

CELMONDE.

In marriage, blessynges are botte fewe, I trowe.

MYNSTRELLES.

Laverde <41>, wee have; and, gyff you please, wille synge, As well as owre choughe-voices wylle permytte.

ÆLLA.

Comme then, and see you swotelie tune the strynge, And stret, <42> and engyne all the human wytte, Toe please mie dame.

MYNSTRELLES.

We'lle strayne owre wytte and synge.

Mynstrelles Songe.

FIRST MYNSTRELLE.

The boddynge flourettes bloshes atte the lyghte; 160 The mees be sprenged wyth the yellowe hue; Ynn daiseyd mantels ys the mountayne dyghte; The nesh <43> yonge coweslepe bendethe wyth the dewe; The trees enlefed, yntoe Heavenne straughte, Whenn gentle wyndes doe blowe, to whestlyng dynne ys brought.

The evenynge commes, and brynges the dewe alonge, The roddie welkynne sheeneth to the eyne; Arounde the alestake Mynstrells synge the songe; Yonge ivie rounde the doore poste do entwyne; I laie mee onn the grasse; yette, to mie wylle, 170 Albeytte alle ys fayre, there lackethe somethynge stylle.

SECOND MYNSTRELLE.

So Adam thoughtenne, whann, ynn Paradyse, All Heavenn and Erthe dyd hommage to hys mynde; Ynn Womman alleyne mannes pleasaunce lyes; As Instrumentes of joie were made the kynde. Go, take a wyfe unto thie armes, and see Wynter, and brownie hylles, wyll have a charme for thee.

THIRD MYNSTRELLE.

Whanne Autumpne blake <44> and sonne-brente doe appere, With hys goulde honde guylteynge the falleynge lefe, Bryngeynge oppe Wynterr to folfylle the yere, 180 Beerynge uponne hys backe the riped shefe; Whan al the hyls wythe woddie sede ys whyte; Whanne levynne-fyres and lemes do mete from far the syghte;

Whann the fayre apple, rudde as even skie, Do bende the tree unto the fructyle grounde, When joicie peres, and berries of blacke die, Doe daunce yn ayre, and call the eyne arounde; Thann, bee the even foule, or even fayre, Meethynckes mie hartys joie ys steynced wyth some care.

SECOND MYNSTRELLE

Angelles bee wrogte to bee of neidher kynde; 190 Angelles alleyne fromme chafe <45> desyre bee free; Dherre ys a somewhatte evere yn the mynde, Yatte, wythout wommanne, cannot stylled bee; Ne seyncte yn celles, botte, havynge blodde and tere, <46> Do fynde the spryte to joie on fyghte of womanne fayre.

Wommen bee made, notte for hemselves, botte manne, Bone of hys bone, and chyld of hys desire; Fromme an ynutyle membere fyrste beganne, Yrwoghte with moche of water, lyttele fyre; Therefore theie seke the fyre of love, to hete 200 The milkyness of kynde, and make hemselfes complete.

Albeytte, wythout wommen, menne were pheeres To salvage kynde, and wulde botte lyve to slea, Botte wommenne efte the spryghte of peace so cheres, Tochelod yn Angel joie heie Angeles bee; Go, take thee swythyn <47> to thie bedde a wyfe, Bee bante or blessed hie, yn proovynge marryage lyfe.

Anodher Mynstrelles Songe, bie Syr Thybbot Gorges.

As Elynour bie the green lesselle was syttynge, As from the sones hete she harried, 210 She sayde, as herr whytte hondes whyte hosen was knyttynge, Whatte pleasure ytt ys to be married!

Mie husbande, Lorde Thomas, a forrester boulde, As ever clove pynne, or the baskette, Does no cherysauncys from Elynour houlde, I have ytte as soone as I aske ytte.

Whann I lyved wyth mie fadre yn merrie Clowd-dell, Tho' twas at my liefe to mynde spynnynge, I stylle wanted somethynge, botte whatte ne coulde telle, Mie lorde fadres barbde haulle han ne wynnynge. 220

Eche mornynge I ryse, doe I sette mie maydennes, Somme to spynn, somme to curdell, somme bleachynge, Gyff any new entered doe aske for mie aidens, Thann swythynne you fynde mee a teachynge.

Lorde Walterre, mie fadre, he loved me welle, And nothynge unto mee was nedeynge, Botte schulde I agen goe to merrie Cloud-dell, In sothen twoulde bee wythoute redeynge.

Shee sayde, and lorde Thomas came over the lea, As hee the fatte derkynnes was chacynge, 230 Shee putte uppe her knyttynge, and to hym wente shee; So wee leave hem bothe kyndelie embracynge.

ÆLLA.

I lyche eke thys; goe ynnn untoe the feaste; Wee wylle permytte you antecedente bee; There swotelie synge eche carolle, and yaped <48> jeaste; And there ys monnie, that you merrie bee; Comme, gentle love, wee wylle toe spouse-feaste goe, And there ynn ale and wyne bee dreyncted <49> everych woe.

Ælla, the Danes ar thondrynge onn our coaste; Lyche scolles of locusts, caste oppe bie the sea, 240 Magnus and Hurra, wythe a doughtie hoaste, Are ragyng, to be quansed <50> bie none botte thee; Haste, swyfte as Levynne to these royners flee: Thie dogges alleyne can tame thys ragynge bulle. Haste swythyn, fore anieghe the towne theie bee, And Wedecesterres rolle of dome bee fulle. Haste, haste, O Ælla, to the byker flie, For yn a momentes space tenne thousand menne maie die.

ÆLLA.

Beshrew thee for thie newes! I moste be gon. Was ever lockless dome so hard as myne! 250 Thos from dysportysmente to warr to ron, To chaunge the selke veste for the gaberdyne!

BIRTHA.

O! lyche a nedere, lette me rounde thee twyne, And hylte thie boddie from the schaftes of warre. Thou shalte nott, must not, from thie Birtha ryne, Botte kenn the dynne of slughornes from afarre.

ÆLLA.

O love, was thys thie joie, to shewe the treate, Than groffyshe to forbydde thie hungred guestes to eate?

O mie upswalynge <51> harte, whatt wordes can saie The peynes, thatte passethe ynn mie soule ybrente? 260 Thos to bee torne uponne mie spousalle daie, O! 'tys a peyne beyond entendemente. Yee mychtie Goddes, and is yor favoures sente As thous faste dented to a load of peyne? Moste we ale holde yn chace the shade content, And for a bodykin <52> a swarthe obteyne?

O whie, yee seynctes, oppress yee thos mie sowle? How shalle I speke mie woe, mie freme, mie dreerie dole?

CELMONDE.

Sometyme the wyseste lacketh pore mans rede. Reasonne and counynge wytte efte flees awaie. 270 Thann, loverde, lett me saie, wyth hommaged drede (Bieneth your fote ylayn) mie counselle saie; Gyff thos we lett the matter lethlen <53> laie, The foemenn, everych honde-poyncte, getteth fote. Mie loverde, lett the speere-menne, dyghte for fraie, And all the sabbataners goe aboute. I speke, mie loverde, alleyne to upryse Youre wytte from marvelle, and the warriour to alyse.

ÆELLA.

Ah! nowe thou pottest takells <54> yn mie harte; Mie soulghe dothe nowe begynne to see herselle; 280 I wylle upryse mie myghte, and doe mie parte, To slea the foemenne yn mie furie felle. Botte howe canne tynge mie rampynge fourie telle, Whyche ryseth from mie love to Birtha fayre? Ne could the queede, and ale the myghte of Helle, Founde out impleasaunce of syke blacke a geare. Yet I wylle bee mieselfe, and rouze mie spryte To act wythe rennome, and goe meet the bloddie fyghte.

BIRTHA.

No, thou schalte never leave thie Birtha's syde; Ne schall the wynde uponne us blowe alleyne; 290 I, lyche a nedre, wylle untoe thee byde; Tyde lyfe, tyde deathe, ytte shall behoulde us twayne. I have mie parte of drierie dole and peyne; Itte brasteth from mee atte the holtred eyne; Ynne tydes of teares mie swarthynge spryte wylle drayne, Gyff drerie dole ys thyne, tys twa tymes myne. Goe notte, O Ælla; wythe thie Birtha staie; For wyth thie semmlykeed mie spryte wyll goe awaie.

ÆLLA.

O! tys for thee, for thee alleyne I fele; Yett I muste bee mieselfe; with valoures gear 300 I'lle dyghte mie hearte, and notte mie lymbes yn stele, And thake the bloddie swerde and steyned spere.

BIRTHA.

Can Ælla from hys breaste hys Birtha teare? Is shee so rou and ugsomme <53> to hys syghte? Entrykeynge wyght! ys leathall warre so deare? Thou pryzest mee belowe the joies of fyghte. Thou scalte notte leave mee, albeytte the erthe Hang pendaunte bie thie swerde, and craved for thy morthe.

ÆLLA.

Dyddest thou kenne howe mie woes, as starres ybrente, Headed bie these thie wordes doe onn mee falle, 310 Thou woulde stryve to gyve mie harte contente, Wakyng mie slepynge mynde to honnoures calle. Of selynesse I pryze thee moe yan all Heaven can mee sende, or counynge wytt acquyre, Yette I wylle leave thee, onne the foe to falle, Retournynge to thie eyne with double fyre.

BIRTHA.

Moste Birtha boon requeste and bee denyd? Receyve attenes a darte yn selynesse and pryde? Doe staie, att leaste tylle morrowes sonne apperes.

ÆLLLA.

Thou kenneste welle the Dacyannes myttee powere; 320 Wythe them a mynnute wurchethe bane for yeares; Theie undoe reaulmes wythyn a syngle hower, Rouze all thie honnoure, Birtha; look attoure Thie bledeynge countrie, whych for hastie dede Calls, for the rodeynge of some doughtie power, To royn yttes royners, make yttes foemenne blede.

BIRTHA.

Rouze all thie love; false and entrykyng wyghte! Ne leave thie Birtha thos uponne pretence of fyghte.

Thou nedest notte goe, untyll thou haste command Under the sygnette of oure lorde the kynge. 330

ÆLLA.

And wouldest thou make me then a recreande? Hollie Seyncte Marie, keepe mee from the thynge! Heere, Birtha, thou hast potte a double stynge, One for thie love, anodher for thie mynde.

BIRTHA.

Agylted <56> Ælla, thie abredynge <57> blynge <58>. Twas love of thee thatte foule intente ywrynde. Yette heare mie supplycate, to mee attende, Hear from mie groted <59> harte the lover and the friende.

Lett Celmonde yn thie armour-brace be dyghte; And yn thie stead unto the battle goe; 340 Thie name alleyne wylle putte the Danes to flyghte, The ayre thatt beares ytt woulde presse downe the foe.

ÆLLLA.

Birtha, yn vayne thou wouldste mee recreand doe; I moste, I wylle, fyghte for mie countries wele, And leave thee for ytt. Celmonde, sweftlie goe, Telle mie Brystowans to bedyghte yn stele; Tell hem I scorne to kenne hem from afar, Botte leave the vyrgyn brydall bedde for bedde of warre.

BIRTHA.

And thou wylt goe; O mie agroted harte!

ÆLLA.

Mie countrie waites mie marche; I muste awaie; 350 Albeytte I schulde goe to mete the darte Of certen Dethe, yette here I woulde notte staie. Botte thos to leave thee, Birtha, dothe asswaie Moe torturynge peynes yanne canne be sedde bie tyngue, Yette rouze thie honoure uppe, and, wayte the daie, Whan rounde aboute mee songe of warre heie synge. O Birtha, strev mie agreeme <60> to accaie <61> And joyous see mie armes, dyghte oute ynn warre arraie.

BIRTHA.

Difficile <62> ys the pennaunce, yette I'lle strev To keepe mie woe behyltren yn mie breaste. 360 Albeytte nete maye to mee pleasaunce yev, Lyche thee, I'lle strev to sette mie mynde atte reste. Yett oh! forgeve, yff I have thee dystreste; Love, doughtie love, wylle beare no odher swaie. Juste as I was wythe Ælla to be bleste, Shappe foullie thos hathe snatched hym awaie. It was a tene too doughtie to bee borne, Wydhoute an ounde of teares and breaste wyth syghes ytorne.

ÆLLLA.

Thie mynde ys now thie selfe; why wylte thou bee All blanch; al kyngelie, all soe wyse yn mynde, 370 Alleyne to lett pore wretched Ælla see, Whatte wondrous bighes <63> he nowe muste leave behynde?

O Birtha fayre, warde everyche commynge wynde, On everych wynde I wylle a token sende; Onn mie longe shielde ycorne thie name thoul't fynde. Butte here commes Celmonde, wordhie knyghte and friende.

CELMONDE.

The Brystowe knyghtes for thie forth-comynge lynge <64> Echone athwarte hys backe hys longe warre-shield dothe flynge.

ÆLLA.

Birtha, adieu; but yette I cannotte goe.

BIRTHA.

Lyfe of mie spryte, mie gentle Ælla staie, 380 Engyne mee notte wyth syke a drierie woe.

ÆLLA.

I muste, I wylle; tys honnoure cals awaie.

BIRTHA.

O mie agroted harte, braste, braste ynn twaie. Ælla, for honnoure, flyes awaie from mee.

ÆLLA.

Birtha, adieu; I maie notte here obaie. I'm flyynge from mieselfe yn flying thee.

BIRTHA.

O Ælla, housband, friend, and loverde, staie. He's gon, he's gone, alass! percase he's gone for aie.

CELMONDE.

Hope, hallie suster, sweepeynge thro' the skie, In crowne of goulde, and robe of lillie whyte, 390 Whych farre abrode ynne gentle ayre do flie, Meetynge from distaunce the enjoyous fyghte, Albeytte efte thou taken thie hie flyghte Hecket <65> ynne a myste, and wyth thyne eyne yblente, Nowe commest thou to mee wythe starrie lyghte; Ontoe thie veste the rodde sonne ys adente <66>; The Sommer tyde, the month of Maie appere, Depycte wythe skyledd honde uponn thie wyde aumere.

I from a nete of hopelen am adawed, Awhaped <67> atte the fetyveness of daie; 400 Ælla, bie nete moe thann hys myndbruche awed, Is gone, and I moste followe, toe the fraie. Celmonde canne ne'er from anie byker staie. Dothe warre begynne? theres Celmonde yn the place. Bone whanne the warre ys donne, I'll haste awaie. The reste from nethe tymes masque must shew yttes face. I see onnombered joies around mee ryse; Blake <68> stondethe future doome, and joie dothe mee alyse.

O honnoure, honnoure, whatt ys bie thee hanne? Hallie the robber and the bordelyer, 410 Who kens ne thee, or ys to thee bestanne, And nothynge does thie myckle gastness fere. Faygne would I from mie bosomme alle thee tare. Thou there dysperpellest <69> thie levynne-bronde; Whyllest mie soulgh's forwyned, thou art the gare; Sleene ys mie comforte bie thie ferie honde; As somme talle hylle, whann wynds doe shake the ground, Itte kerveth all abroade, bie brasteynge hyltren wounde.

Honnoure, whatt bee ytte? tys a shadowes shade, A thynge of wychencref, an idle dreme; 420 On of the fonnis whych the clerche have made Menne wydhoute sprytes, and wommen for to fleme; Knyghtes, who efte kenne the loude dynne of the beme, Schulde be forgarde to syke enfeeblynge waies, Make everych acte, alyche theyr soules, be breme, And for theyre chyvalrie alleyne have prayse. O thou, whatteer thie name, Or Zabalus or Queed, Comme, steel mie sable spryte, For fremde <70> and dolefulle dede. 430

ACT II

SCENE I MAGNUS, HURRA, and HIE PREESTE, wyth the ARMIE, neare Watchette.

MAGNUS.

Swythe <71> lette the offrendes <72> to the Goddes begynne, To knowe of hem the issue of the fyghte. Potte the blodde-steyned sword and pavyes ynne; Spreade swythyn all arounde the hallie lyghte.

HIE PREESTE syngeth.

Yee, who hie yn mokie ayre Delethe seasonnes foule or fayre, Yee, who, whanne yee weere agguylte, The mone yn bloddie gytelles <73> hylte, Mooved the starres, and dyd unbynde Everyche barriere to the wynde; 440 Whanne the oundynge waves dystreste, Storven to be overest, Sockeynge yn the spyre-gyrte towne, Swolterynge wole natyons down; Sendynge dethe, on plagues astrodde, Moovynge lyke the erthys Godde; To mee send your heste dyvyne, Lyghte eletten <74> all myne eyne, Thatt I maie now undevyse All the actyonnes of th'emprize. 450

Thus sayethe the Goddes; goe, yssue to the playne; Forr there shall meynte of mytte menn be slayne.

MAGNUS.

Whie, soe there evere was, whanne Magnus foughte. Efte have I treynted noyance throughe the hoaste, Athorowe swerdes, alyche the Queed dystraughte, Have Magnus pressynge wroghte hys foemen loaste. As whanne a tempeste vexethe soare the coaste, The dyngeynge ounde the sandeie stronde doe tare, So dyd I inne the warre the javlynne toste, Full meynte a champyonnes breaste received mie spear. Mie sheelde, lyche sommere morie gronfer droke, Mie lethalle speere, alych a levyn-mylted oke.

Thus sayethe the Goddes; goe, yssue to the playne; Forr there shall meynte of mytte menn be slayne.

MAGNUS.

Whie, soe there evere was, whanne Magnus foughte. Efte have I treynted noyance throughe the hoaste, Athorowe swerdes, alyche the Queed dystraughte, Have Magnus pressynge wroghte hys foemen loaste. As whanne a tempeste vexethe soare the coaste, The dyngeynge ounde the sandeie stronde doe tare, So dyd I inne the warre the javlynne toste, Full meynte a champyonnes breaste received mie spear. 460 Mie sheelde, lyche sommere morie gronfer droke, Mie lethalle speere, alych a levyn-mylted oke.

HURRA.

Thie wordes are greate, full of hyghe sound, and eeke Lyche thonderre, to the whych dothe comme no rayne. Itte lacketh notte a doughtie honde to speke; The cocke saiethe drefte <75>, yett armed ys he alleyne. Certis thie wordes maie, thou motest have sayne Of mee, and meynte of woe, who eke canne fyghte, Who haveth trodden downe the adventayle, And tore the heaulmes from heades of myckle myghte. 470 Sythence syke myghte ys placed yn thie honde, Lette blowes thie actyons speeke, and bie thie corrage stonde.

MAGNUS.

Thou are a warrioure, Hurra, thatte I kenne, And myckle famed for thie handie dede. Thou fyghtest anente <76> maydens and ne menne, Nor aie thou makest armed hartes to blede. Efte I, caparyson'd on bloddie stede, Havethe thee seene binethe mee ynn the fyghte, Wythe corses I investynge everich mede, And thou aston, and wondrynge at mie myghte. 480 Thanne wouldest thou comme yn for mie renome, Albeytte thou wouldst reyne awaie from bloddie dome?

HURRA.

How! butte bee bourne mie rage. I kenne aryghte Bothe thee and thyne maie ne bee wordhye peene. Eftsoones I hope wee scalle engage yn fyghte; Thanne to the souldyers all thou wylte bewreene. I'll prove mie courage onne the burled greene; Tys there alleyne I'll telle thee whatte I bee. Gyf I weelde notte the deadlie sphere adeene, Thanne lett mie name be fulle as lowe as thee. 490 Thys mie adented shielde, thys mie warre-speare, Schalle telle the falleynge foe gyf Hurra's harte can feare.

MAGNUS.

Magnus woulde speke, butte thatte hys noble spryte Dothe soe enrage, he knowes notte whatte to saie. He'dde speke yn blowes, yn gottes of blodde he'd wryte, And on thie heafod peyncte hys myghte for aie Gyf thou anent an wolfynnes rage wouldest staie, 'Tys here to meet ytt; botte gyff nott, bee goe; Lest I in furrie shulde mie armes dysplaie, Whyche to thie boddie wylle wurche <77> myckle woe. 500 Oh! I bee madde, dystraughte wyth brendyng rage; Ne seas of smethynge gore wylle mie chafed harte asswage.

HURRA.

I kenne thee, Magnus, welle; a wyghte thou art That doest aslee alonge ynn doled dystresse, Strynge bulle yn boddie, lyoncelle yn harte, I almost wysche thie prowes were made lesse. Whan Ælla (name drest uppe yn ugsomness <78> To thee and recreandes <79>) thondered on the playne, Howe dydste thou thorowe fyrste of fleers presse! Swefter thanne federed takelle dydste thou reyne. 510 A ronnynge pryze onn seyncte daie to ordayne, Magnus, and none botte hee, the ronnynge pryze wylle gayne.

MAGNUS.

Eternalie plagues devour thie baned tyngue! Myriades of neders pre upponne thie spryte! Maiest thou fele all the peynes of age whylst yynge, Unmanned, uneyned, exclooded aie the lyghte, Thie senses, lyche thieselfe, enwrapped yn nyghte, A scoff to foemen & to beastes a pheere; Maie furched levynne onne thie head alyghte, Maie on thee falle the fhuyr of the unweere; 520 Fen vaipoures blaste thie everiche manlie powere, Maie thie bante boddie quycke the wolsome peenes devoure.

Faygne woulde I curse thee further, botte mie tyngue Denies mie harte the favoure soe toe doe.

HURRA.

Nowe bie the Dacyanne goddes, & Welkyns kynge, Wythe fhurie, as thou dydste begynne, persue; Calle on mie heade all tortures that bee rou, Bane onne, tylle thie owne tongue thie curses fele. Sende onne mie heade the blyghteynge levynne blewe, The thonder loude, the swellynge azure rele <80>. 530 Thie wordes be hie of dynne, botte nete besyde; Bane on, good chieftayn, fyghte wythe wordes of myckle pryde.

Botte doe notte waste thie breath, lest Ælla come.

MAGNUS.

Ælla & thee togyder synke toe helle! Bee youre names blasted from the rolle of dome! I feere noe Ælla, thatte thou kennest welle. Unlydgefulle traytoure, wylt thou nowe rebelle? 'Tys knowen, thatte yie menn bee lyncked to myne, Bothe sente, as troopes of wolves, to sletre felle; Botte nowe thou lackest hem to be all yyne. 540 Now; bie the goddes yatte reule the Dccyanne state, Speacke thou yn rage once moe, I wyll thee dysregate.

HURRA.

I pryze thie threattes joste as I doe thie banes, The sede of malyce and recendize al. Thou arte a steyne unto the name of Danes; Thou alleyne to thie tyngue for proose canst calle. Thou beest a worme so groffile and so smal, I wythe thie bloude woulde scorne to foul mie sworde, Botte wythe thie weaponnes woulde upon thee fall; Alyche thie owne feare, slea thee wythe a worde 550 I Hurra amme miesel, & aie wylle bee, As greate yn valourous actes, & yn commande as thee.

MESSENGERE.

Blynne your contekions <81> chiefs; for, as I stode Uponne mie watche, I spiede an armie commynge, Notte lyche ann handfulle of a fremded <82> foe, Botte blacke wythe armoure, movynge ugsomlie, Lyche a blacke fulle cloude, thatte dothe goe alonge To droppe yn hayle, & hele the thonder storme.

MAGNUS.

Ar there meynte of them?

MESSENGERR.

Thycke as the ante-flyes ynne a sommer's none, 560 Seemynge as tho' theie stynge as persante too.

HURRA.

Whatte matters thatte? lettes sette oure warr-arraie. Goe, sounde the beme, lette champyons prepare Ne doubtynge, we wylle stynghe as faste as heie. Whatte? doest forgard <83> thie blodde? ys ytte for feare? Wouldest thou gayne the towne, & castle-stere, And yette ne byker wythe the soldyer guarde? Go, hyde thee ynn mie tente annethe the lere; I of thie boddie wylle keepe watche & warde.

MAGNUS.

Oure goddes of Denmarke know mie harte ys goode. 570

HURRA.

For nete uppon the erthe, botte to be choughens foode.

SECONDE MESSENGERRE.

As from mie towre I kende the commynge foe, I spied the crossed shielde, & bloddie swerde,

The furyous Ælla's banner; wythynne kenne The armie ys. Dysorder throughe oure hoaste Is fleynge, borne onne wynges of Ælla's name; Styr, styr, mie lordes!

MAGNUS.

What? Ælla? & soe neare? Thenne Denmarques roiend; oh mie rysynge feare!

HURRA.

What doeste thou mene? thys Ælla's botte a manne. Nowe bie mie sworde, thou arte a verie berne <84>. 580 Of late I dyd thie creand valoure scanne, Whanne thou dydst boaste soe moche of actyon derne. Botte I toe warr mie doeynges moste atturne, To cheere the Sabbataneres to deere dede.

MAGNUS.

I to the knyghtes onne everyche syde wylle burne, Telleynge 'hem alle to make her foemen blede; Sythe shame or deathe onne eidher syde wylle bee, Mie harte I wylle upryse, & inne the battelle slea.

 

SCENE II. ÆLLA, CELMONDE, & ARMIE near WATCHETTE.

ÆLLA.

NOW havynge done oure mattynes & oure vowes, Lette us for the intended fyghte be boune, 590 And everyche champyone potte the joyous crowne Of certane masterschyppe upon hys glestreynge browes.

As for mie harte, I owne ytt ys, as ere Itte has beene ynne the sommer-sheene of fate, Unknowen to the ugsomme gratche of fere; Mie blodde emboilen, wythe masterie elate, Boyles ynne mie veynes, & rolles ynn rapyd state, Impatyente forr to mete the persante stele, And telle the worlde, thatte Ælla dyed as greate As anie knyghte who foughte for Englondes weale. 600 Friends, kynne, & soldyerres, ynne blacke armore drere, Mie actyons ymytate, mie presente redynge here.

There ys ne house, athrow thys shap-scurged <85> isle, Thatte has ne loste a kynne yn these fell fyghtes, Fatte blodde has sorfeeted the hongerde soyle, And townes enlowed <86> lemed <87> oppe the nyghtes. Inne gyte of fyre oure hallie churche dheie dyghtes; Oure sonnes lie storven <88> ynne theyre smethynge gore; Oppe bie the rootes oure tree of lyfe dheie pyghtes, Vexynge oure coaste, as byllowes doe the shore. 610 Yet menne, gyf ye are menne, displaie yor name, Ybrende yer tropes, alyche the roarynge tempest flame.

Ye Chrystyans, doe as wordhie of the name; These roynerres of oure hallie houses slea; Braste, lyke a cloude, from whence doth come the flame. Lyche torrentes, gushynge downe the mountaines, bee. And whanne alonge the grene yer champyons flee, Swefte as the rodde for-weltrynge <89> levyn-bronde, Yatte hauntes the flyinge mortherer oere the lea, Soe flie oponne these royners of the londe. 620 Lette those yatte are unto yer battayles fledde, Take slepe eterne uponne a feerie lowynge bedde.

Let cowarde Londonne see herre towne onn fyre, And strev wythe goulde to staie the royners honde, Ælla & Brystowe havethe thoughtes thattes hygher, Wee fyghte notte forr ourselves, botte all the londe. As Severnes hyger lyghethe banckes of sonde, Pressynge ytte downe binethe the reynynge streme, Wythe dreerie dynn enswolters <90> the hyghe stronde, Beerynge the rockes alonge ynn fhurye breme, 630 Soe wylle wee beere the Dacyanne armie downe, And throughe a storme of blodde wyll reache the champyon crowne.

Gyff ynn thys battelle locke ne wayte oure gare, To Brystowe dheie wylle tourne yeyre fhuyrie dyre; Brystowe, & alle her joies, wylle synke toe ayre, Brendeynge perforce wythe unenhantende <91> fyre: Thenne lette oure safetie doublie moove oure ire, Lyche wolfyns, rovynge for the evnynge pre, the lambe & shepsterr nere the brire, Doth th'one forr safetie, th'one for hongre slea; 640 Thanne, whanne the ravenne crokes uponne the playne, Oh! lette ytte bee the knelle to myghtie Dacyanns slayne.

Lyche a rodde gronfer, shalle mie anlace sheene, Lyche a strynge lyoncelle I'lle bee ynne fyghte, Lyche fallynge leaves the Dacyannes shalle bee sleene, loud dynnynge streeme scalle be mie myghte. Ye menne, who woulde deserve the name of knyghte, Lette bloddie teares bie all your paves be wepte; To commynge tymes no poyntelle shalle ywrite, Whanne Englonde han her foemenn, Brystow slepte. 650 Yourselfses, youre chyldren, & youre fellowes crie, Go, fyghte ynne rennomes gare, be brave, & wynne or die.

I saie ne moe; youre spryte the reste wylle saie; Youre spryte wylle wrynne, thatte Brystow ys yer place; To honoures house I nede notte marcke the waie; Inne youre owne hartes you maie the foote-pathe trace. 'Twexte shappe & us there ys botte lyttelle space; The tyme ys nowe to proove yourselves bee menne; Drawe forthe the bornyshed bylle wythe fetyve grace, Rouze, lyche a wolfynne rouzing from hys denne. 660 Thus I enrone mie anlace; goe thou shethe; I'lle potte ytt ne ynn place, tyll ytte ys sycke wythe deathe.

SOLDYERS.

Onn, Ælla, onn; we longe for bloddie fraie; Wee longe to here the raven synge yn vayne; Onn, Ælla, onn; we certys gayne the daie, Whanne thou doste leade us to the leathal playne.

CELMONDE.

Thie speche, O Loverde, fyrethe the whole trayne; Theie pancte for war, as honted wolves for breathe; Go, & sytte crowned on corses of the slayne; Go, & ywielde the massie swerde of deathe. 670

SOLDYERRES.

From thee, O Ælla, alle oure courage reygnes; Echone yn phantasie do lede the Danes ynne chaynes.

ÆLLA.

Mie countrymenne, mie friendes, your noble sprytes Speke yn youre eyne, & doe yer master telle. Swefte as the rayne-storme toe the erthe alyghtes, Soe wylle we fall upon these royners felle. Oure mowynge swerdes shalle plonge hem downe to helle; Theyre throngynge corses shall onlyghte the starres; The barrowes brastynge wythe the sleene schall swelle, Brynnynge <92> to commynge tymes our famous warres; 680 Inne everie eyne I kenne the lowe of myghte, Sheenynge abrode, alyche a hylle-fyre ynne the nyghte.

Whanne poyntelles of oure famous fyghte shall saie, Echone wylle marvelle atte the dernie dede, Echone wylle wyssen hee hanne seene the daie, And bravelie holped to make the foemenn blede; Botte for yer holpe oure battelle wylle notte nede; Oure force ys force enowe to staie theyre honde; Wee wylle retourne unto thys grened mede, Oer corses of the foemen of the londe. 690 Nowe to the warre lette all the slughornes sounde, The Dacyanne troopes appere on yinder rysynge grounde.

Chiefes, heade youre bandes, and leade.

 

SCENE III. DANES flyinge, neare WATCHETTE.

FYRSTE DANE.

FLY, fly, ye Danes; Magnus, the chiefe, ys sleene; The Saxonnes comme wythe Ælla atte theyre heade; Lette's strev to gette awaie to yinder greene; Flie, flie; thys ys the kyngdomme of the deadde.

SECONDE DANE.

O goddes! have thousandes bie mie anlace bledde, And muste I nowe for safetie flie awaie? See! farre besprenged alle oure troopes are spreade, 700 Yette I wylle synglie dare the bloddie fraie. Botte ne; I'lle flie, & morther yn retrete; Deathe, blodde, & fyre, scalle <93> marke the goeynge of my feete.

THYRDE DANE.

Enthoghteynge forr to scape the brondeynge foe, As nere unto the byllowd beche I came, Farr offe I spied a syghte of myckle woe, Oure spyrynge battayles wrapte ynn sayles of flame. The burled Dacyannes, who were ynne the same, Fro syde to syde fledde the pursuyte of deathe; The swelleynge fyre yer corrage doe enflame, 710 Theie lepe ynto the sea, & bobbiynge yield yer breathe; Whylest those thatt bee uponne the bloddie playne, Bee deathe-doomed captyves taene, or yn the battle slayne.

HURRA.

Nowe bie the goddes, Magnus, dyscourteous knyghte, Bie cravente <94> havyoure havethe don oure woe, Dyspendynge all the talle menne yn the fyghte, And placeyng valourous menne where draffs mote goe. Sythence oure fourtunie havethe tourned soe, Gader the souldyers lefte to future shappe, To somme newe place for safetie wee wylle goe, 720 Inne future daie wee wylle have better happe. Sounde the loude slughorne for a quicke forloyne <95>; Lette alle the Dacyannes swythe untoe oure banner joyne.

Throw hamlettes wee wylle sprenge sadde dethe & dole, Bathe yn hotte gore, & wasch oureselves thereynne; Goddes! here the Saxonnes lyche a byllowe rolle. I heere the anlacis detested dynne. Awaie, awaie, ye Danes, to yonder penne; Wee now wylle make forloyne yn tyme to fyghte agenne.

SCENE IV. CELMONDE, near WATCHETTE.

O forr a spryte al feere! to telle the daie, 730 The daie whyche scal astounde the herers rede, Makeynge oure foemennes envyynge hartes to blede, Ybereynge thro the worlde oure rennomde name for aie.

Bryghte sonne han ynne hys roddie robes byn dyghte, From the rodde Easte he flytted wythe hys trayne, The howers drewe awaie the geete of nyghte, Her sable tapistrie was rente yn twayne. The dauncynge streakes bedecked heavennes playne, And on the dewe dyd smyle wythe shemrynge eie, Lyche gottes of blodde whyche doe blacke armoure steyne, 740 Sheenynge upon the borne <96> whyche stondeth bie; The souldyers stoode uponne the hillis syde, Lyche yonge enlefed trees whyche yn a forreste byde.

Ælla rose lyche the tree besette wyth brieres; Hys talle speere sheenynge as the starres at nyghte, Hys eyne ensemeynge as a lowe of fyre; Whanne he encheered everie manne to fyghte, Hys gentle wordes dyd moove eche valourous knyghte; Itte moovethe 'hem, as honterres lyoncelle; In trebled armoure ys theyre courage dyghte; 750 Eche warrynge harte forr prayse & rennome swelles; Lyche slowelie dynnynge of the croucheynge streme, Syche dyd the mormrynge sounde of the whol armie seme.

Hee ledes 'hem onne to fyghte; oh! thenne to saie How Ælla loked, and lokyng dyd encheere, Moovynge alyche a mountayne yn affraie, Whanne a lowde whyrlevynde doe yttes boesomme tare, To telle howe everie loke wulde banyshe feere, Woulde aske an angelles poyntelle or hys tyngue. Lyche a talle rocke yatte ryseth heaven-were, 760 Lyche a yonge wolfynne brondeous & strynge, Soe dydde he goe, & myghtie warriours hedde; Wythe gore-depycted wynges masterie arounde hym fledde.

The battelle jyned; swerdes uponne swerdes dyd rynge; Ælla was chafed, as lyonns madded bee; Lyche fallynge starres, he dydde the javlynn flynge; Hys mightie anlace mightie menne dyd slea; Where he dydde comme, the flemed <97> foe dydde flee, Or felle benethe hys honde, as fallynge rayne, Wythe sythe a fhuyrie he dydde onn 'hemm dree, 770 Hylles of yer bowkes dyd ryse opponne the playne; Ælla, thou arte -- botte staie, mie tynge; saie nee; Howe greate I hymme maye make, stylle greater hee wylle bee.

Nor dydde hys souldyerres see hys actes yn vayne. Heere a stoute Dane uponne hys compheere felle; Heere lorde & hyndlette sonke uponne the playne; Heere sonne & fadre trembled ynto helle. Chief Magnus sought hys waie, &, shame to telle! Hee soughte hys waie for flyghte; botte Ælla's speere Uponne the flyynge Dacyannes schoulder felle, 780 Quyte throwe hys boddie, & hys harte ytte tare, He groned, & sonke uponne the gorie greene, And wythe hys corse encreased the pyles of Dacyannes sleene.

Spente wythe the fyghte, the Danyshe champyons stonde, Lyche bulles, whose strengthe & wondrous myghte ys fledde; Ælla, a javelynne grypped yn eyther honde, Flyes to the thronge, & doomes two Dacyannes deadde. After hys acte, the armie all yspedde; Fromm everich on unmyssynge javlynnes flewe; Theie straughte yer doughtie swerdes; the foemenn bledde; 790 Fulle three of foure of myghtie Danes dheie slewe; The Danes, wythe terroure rulynge att their head, Threwe downe theyr bannere talle, & lyche a ravenne fledde.

The soldyerres followed wythe a myghtie crie, Cryes, yatte welle myghte the stouteste hartes affraie. Swefte, as yer shyppes, the vanquyshed Dacyannes flie; Swefte, as the rayne uponne an Aprylie daie, Pressynge behynde, the Englysche soldyerres slaie. Botte halfe the tythes of Danyshe menne remayne; Ælla commaundes 'heie thoulde the sleetre staie, 800 Botte bynde 'hem prysonners on the bloddie playne. The fyghtynge beynge done, I came awaie, In odher fieldes to fyghte a moe unequalle fraie. Mie servant squyre!

CELMONDE.

Prepare a fleing horse, Whose feete are wynges, whose pace ys lycke the wynde, Whoe wylle outestreppe the morneynge lyghte yn course, Leaveynge the gyttelles of the merke behynde. Somme hyltren matters doe mie presence fynde. Gyv oute to alle yatte I was sleene ynne fyghte. Gyff ynne thys gare thou doest mie order mynde, 810 Whanne I returne, thou shalte be made a knyghte; Flie, flie, be gon; an howerre ys a daie; Quycke dyghte mie best of stedes, and brynge hymm heere -- awaie!

CELMONDE.

Ælla ys woundedd sore, and ynne the toune He waytethe, tylle hys woundes be broghte to ethe. And shalle I from hys browes plocke off the croune, Makynge the victore yn hys vyctorie blethe? O no! fulle sooner schulde mie hartes blodde smethe, Fulle soonere woulde I tortured bee to deathe; Botte -- Birtha ys the pryze; ahe! ytte were ethe 820 To gayne so gayne a pryze wythe losse of breathe; Botte thanne rennome æterne <98> - ytte ys botte ayre; Bredde ynne the phantasie, and alleyn lyvynge there.

Albeytte everyche thynge yn lyfe conspyre To telle me of the faulte I nowe schulde doe, Yette woulde I battentlie assuage mie fyre, And the same menes, as I scall nowe, pursue. The qualytyes I fro mie parentes drewe, Were blodde, & morther, masterie, and warre; Thie I wylie holde to now, & hede ne moe 830 A wounde yn rennome, yanne a boddie scarre. Nowe, Ælla, nowe Ime plantynge of a thorne, Bie whyche thie peace, thie love, & glorie shall be torne.

 

ACT III. SCENE I. BRISTOWE.

BIRTHA.

Gentle Egwina, do notte preche me joie; I cannotte joie ynne anie thynge botte weere <99>. Oh! yatte aughte schulde oure selynesse destroie, Floddynge the face wythe woe, and brynie teare!

EGWINA.

You muste, you muste endeavour for to cheere Youre harte unto somme cherisaunied reste. Youre loverde from the battelle wylle appere, 840 Ynne honnoure, and a greater love, be dreste: Botte I wylle call the mynstrelles roundelaie; Perchaunce the swotie sounde maie chase your wiere <99> awaie.

MYNSTRELLES SONGE.

O! synge untoe mie roundelaie, O! droppe the blynie teare wythe mee, Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie, Lycke a reyneynge <100> ryver bee; Mie love ys dedde, Gon to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree. 850

Blacke hys cryne <101> as the wynter nyghte, Whyte hys rode <102> as the sommer snowe, Rodde hys face as the morning lyghte, Cale he lyes ynne the grave belowe; Mie love ys dedde, Gon to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

Swote hys tynge as the throstles note, Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee, Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote, 860 O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree: Mie love ys dedde, Gonne to hys deathe-bedde, Alle underre the wyllowe tree.

Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge, In the briered delle belowe; Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge, To the nyghte-mares as heie goe; Mie love ys dedde, Gonne to hys deathe-bedde, 870 Al under the wyllowe tree.

See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie; Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude; Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie, Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude; Mie love ys dedde, Gon to hys deathe-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

Here, uponne mie true loves grave, Schalle the baren fleurs be layde, 880 Nee one hallie Seyncte to save Al the celness of a mayde. Mie love ys dedde, Gonne to hys death-bedde, Alle under the wyllowe tree.

Wythe mie hondes I'lle dente the brieres Rounde his hallie corse to gre, Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres, Heere mie boddie stylle schalle bee. Mie love ys dedde, 890 Gon to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne, Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie; Lyfe and all yttes goode I scorne, Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie. My love ys dedde, Gon to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes, <103> 900 Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde. I die; I comme; mie true love waytes. Thos the damselle spake, and dyed.

BIRTHA.

Thys syngeyng haveth whatte coulde make ytte please; Butte mie uncourtlie shappe benymmes mee of all ease.

 

SCENE II. ÆLLA, atte WATCHETTE.

CURSE onne mie tardie woundes! brynge mee a stede! I wylle awaie to Birtha bie thys nyghte; Albeytte fro mie woundes mie soul doe blede, I wylle awaie, & die wythynne her syghte. Brynge mee a stede, wythe eagle-wynges for flyghte; 910 Swefte as mie wyshe, &, as mie love ys, stronge. The Danes have wroughte mee myckle woe ynne fyghte, Inne kepeynge mee from Birtha's armes so longe. O! whatte a dome was myne, sythe masterie Canne yeve ne pleasaunce, nor mie londes goode leme myne eie!

Yee goddes, howe ys a loverres temper formed! Sometymes the samme thynge wylle bothe bane, & blesse; On tyme encalede <104> yanne bie the same thynge warmd, Estroughted foorthe, and yanne ybrogten less. 'Tys Birtha's loss whyche doe mie thoughtes possesse; 920 I wylle, I muste awaie: whie staies mie stede? Mie huscarles, hyther haste; prepare a dresse, Whyche couracyers <105> yn hastie journies nede. O heavens! I I moste awaie to Byrtha eyne, For yn her lookes I fynde mie beynge doe entwyne.

 

SCENE III. CELMONDE, atte BRYSTOWE.

The worlde ys darke wythe nyghte; the wyndes are stylle; Fayntelie the mone her palyde lyght makes gleme; The upryste <106> sprytes the sylente letten <107> fylle, Wythe ouphant faeryes joynyng ynne the dreme; 930 The forreste sheenethe wythe the sylver leme; Now maie mie love be sated ynn yttes treate; Uponne the lynche of somme swefte reynyng streme, Att the swote banquette I wylle swotelie eate. Thys ys the howse; yee hyndes, swythyn appere.

CELMONDE.

Go telle to Birtha strayte, a straungerr waytethe here.

BIRTHA.

Celmonde! yee seynctes! I hope thou haste goode newes.

CELMONDE.

The hope ys loste; for heavie newes prepare.

BIRTHA.

Is Ælla welle?

CELMONDE.

Hee lyves; and stylle maie use The behylte <108> blessynges of a future yeare.

BIRTHA.

Whatte heavie tydynge thenne have I to feare? 940 Of whatte mischaunce dydste thou so latelie saie?

CELMONDE.

For heavie tydynges swythyn nowe prepare. Ælla sore wounded ys, yn bykerous fraie; In Wedecester's wallid toune he lyes.

BIRTHA.

O mie agroted breast!

CELMONDE.

Wythoute your syghte, he dyes.

BIRTHA.

Wylle Birtha's presence ethe herr Ælla's payne? I flie; newe wynges doe from mie schoulders sprynge.

CELMONDE.

Mit stede wydhoute wylle deftlie beere us twayne.

BIRTHA.

Oh! I wyll flie as wynde, and no waie lynge; Sweftlie caparisons for rydynge brynge; 950 I have a mynde wynged wythe the levyne ploome. O Ælla, Ælla! dydste thou kenne the stynge, The whyche doeth canker ynne mie hartys roome, Thou wouldste see playne thieself the gare to bee; Aryse, uponne thie love, and flie to meeten mee.

CELMONDE.

The stede, on whyche I came, ys swefte as ayre; Mie servytoures doe wayte mee nere the wode; Swythynne wythe mee unto the place repayre; To Ælla I wylle gev you conducte goode. Youre eyne, alyche a baulme, wylle staunche hys bloode, 960 Holpe oppe hys woundes, and yev hys harte alle cheere; Uponne your eyne he holdes hys lyvelyhode <109>; You doe hys spryte, and alle hys pleasaunce bere. Comme, lette's awaie, albeytte ytte ys moke, Yette love wille bee a tore to tourne to feere nyghtes smoke.

BIRTHA.

Albeytte unwears dyd the welkynn rende, Reyne, alyche fallynge ryvers, dyd ferse bee, Erthe wythe the ayre enchased dyd contende, Everychone breathe of wynde wythe plagues dyd slee, Yette I to Ælla's eyne eftsoones woulde slee; 970 Albeytte hawethornes dyd mie fleshe enseme, Owlettes, wythe scrychynge, shakeynge everyche tree, And water-neders wrygglynge yn eche streme, Yette woulde I flie, ne under coverte staie, Botte seke mie Ælla owte; brave Celmonde, leade the waie.

 

SCENE III. A WODE. HURRA, DANES.

HURRA.

HEERE ynn yis forreste lette us watche for pree, Bewreckeynge on oure foemenne oure ylle warre; Whatteverre schalle be Englysch wee wylle slea, Spreddynge our ugsomme rennome to afarre. Ye Dacyanne menne, gyff Dacyanne menne yee are, 980 Lette nete botte blodde suffycyle for yee bee; On everich breaste yn gorie letteres scarre, Whatt sprytes you have, & howe those sprytes maie dree. And gyf yee gette awaie to Denmarkes shore, Eftesoones we will retourne, & vanquished bee ne moere.

The battelle loste, a battelle was yndede; Note queedes hemselfes culde stonde so harde a fraie; Oure verie armoure, & oure heaulmes dyd blede, The Dacyannes, sprytes, lyche dewe drops, fledde awaie, Ytte was an Ælla dyd commaunde the daie; 990 Ynn spyte of foemanne, I moste saie hys myghte; Botte wee ynn hynd-lettes blodde the loss wylle paie, Brynnynge, thatte we knowe howe to wynne yn fyghte; Wee wylle, lyke wylfes enloosed from chaynes, destroie;-- Oure armoures -- wynter nyghte shotte oute the daie of joie.

Whene swefte-sote tyme doe rolle the daie alonge, Somme hamlette scalle onto oure fhuyrie brende; Brastynge alyche a rocke, or mountayne stronge, The talle chyrche-spyre upon the grene shalle bende; Wee wylle the walles, & auntyante tourrettes rende, 1000 Pete everych tree whych goldyn fruyte doe beere, Downe to the goddes the ownerrs dhereof sende, Besprengynge alle abrode sadde warre & bloddie weere. Botte fyrste to yynder oke-tree wee wylle flie; And thence wylle yssue owte onne all yatte commeth bie.

 

SCENE IV. ANODHER PARTE OF THE WOODE. CELMONDE, BIRTHA.

BIRTHA.

Thys merkness doe affraie mie wommanns breaste. Howe sable ys the spreddynge skie arrayde! Hallie the bordeleire, who lyves to reste, Ne ys att nyghtys flemynge hue dysmayde; The starres doe scantillie <110> the sable brayde; 1010 Wyde ys the sylver lemes of comforte wove; Speke, Celmonde, does ytte make thee notte afrayde?

CELMONDE.

Merker the nyghte, the fitter tyde for love.

BIRTHA.

Saiest thou for love? ah! love is far awaie. Faygne would I see once moe the roddie lemes of daie.

CELMONDE.

Love maie bee nie, woulde Birtha calle ytte here.

BERTHA.

How, Celmonde, dothe thou mene?

CELMONDE.

Thys Celmonde menes. No leme, no eyne, ne mortalle manne appere, Ne lyghte, an acte of love for to bewreene; Nete in thys forreste, botte thys tore <111>, dothe sheene, 1020 Wych, potte oute, do leave the whole yn nyghte; See! howe the brauncynge trees doe here entwyne, Makeynge thys bower so pleasynge to the syghte; Thys was for love fyrste made, and heere ytt stondes, Thatte hereynne lovers maie enlyncke yn true loves bondes.

BIRTHA.

Celmonde, speake whatte thou menest, or alse mie thoughtes Perchance maie robbe thie honestie so fayre.

CELMONDE.

Then here, and knowe, hereto I have you broughte, Mie longe hydde love unto you to make clere.

BIRTHA.

Oh heaven and earthe! whatte ys ytt I doe heare? 1030 Am I betraste <112>? where ys mie Ælla, saie!

CELMONDE.

O! do nete nowe to Ælla syke love bere, Botte geven some onn Celmondes hedde.

BIRTHA.

Awaie! I wylle be gone, and groape mie passage out; Albeytte neders stynges mie legs do twyne aboute.

CELMONDE.

Nowe bie the seynctes I wylle notte lette thee goe, Ontylle thou doeste mie brendynge love amate. Those eyne have caused Celmonde myckle woe, Yenne lette yer smyle fyrst take hymm yn regrate. O! didst thou see mie breastis troblous state, 1040

There love doth harrie up mie joie, and ethe! I wretched bee, beyond the hele of fate, Gyff Birtha stylle wylle make mie harte-veynes blethe. Softe as the sommer flowreets, Birtha, looke, Fulle ylle I canne thie frownes and harde dyspleasaunce brooke.

BIRTHA.

Thie love ys foule; I woulde bee deafe for aie, Radher thanne heere syche deslavatie <113> sedde. Swythynne flie from mee, and ne further saie; Radher thanne heare thie love, I woulde bee dead. Yee seynctes! and shal I wronge mie Ælla's bedde, 1050 And wouldst thou, Celmonde, tempte me to the thynge? Lett mee be gone -- alle curses onne thie hedde! Was ytte for thys thou dydste a message brynge! Lette mee be gone, thou manne of sable harte! Or welkyn <114> and her starres will take a maydens parte.

CELMONDE.

Sythence you wylle notte lette mie suyte avele, Mie love wylle have yttes joie, altho wythe guylte; Youre lymbes shall bende, albeytte strynge as stele; The merkye seesonne wylle your bloshes hylte <115>.

BIRTHA.

Holpe, holpe, yee seynctes! oh thatte mie blodde was spylte! 1060

CELMONDE.

The seynctes att distaunce stonde ynn tyme of nede. Strev notte to goe; thou canste notte, gyff thou wylle. Untoe mie wysche bee kinde, and nete alse hede.

BIRTHA.

No, foule bestoykerre, I wylle rende the ayre, Tylle dethe do staie mie dynne, or somme kynde roder heare. Holpe! holpe! oh Godde!

HURRA.

Ah! thatt's a wommanne cries. I kenn hem; saie, who are you, yatte bee theere?

CELMONDE.

Yee hyndes, awaie! orre bie thys swerde yee dies.

HURRA.

Thie wordes wylle ne mie hartis sete affere.

BIRTHA.

Save mee, oh! save mee from thys royner heere! 1070

HURRA.

Stonde thou bie mee; nowe saie thie name and londe; Or swythyne schall mie swerde thie boddie tare.

CELMONDE.

Bothe I wylle shewe thee bie mie brondeous <116> honde.

HURRA.

Besette hym rounde, yee Danes.

CELMONDE.

Comme onne, and see Gyff mie strynge anlace maie bewryen whatte I bee.

Oh! I forslagen <117> be! ye Danes, now kenne, I amme yatte Celmonde, seconde yn the fyghte, Who dydd, atte Watchette, so forslege youre menne; I fele myne eyne to swymme yn eterne nyghte;-- To her be kynde.

HURRA.

Thenne felle a wordhie knyghte. 1080 Saie, who bee you?

BIRTHA.

I am greate Ælla's wyfe.

HURRA.

Ah!

BIRTHA.

Gyff anenste hym you harboure soule despyte, Nowe wythe the lethal anlace take mie lyfe, Mie thankes I ever onne you wylle bestowe, From ewbryce <118> you mee pyghte, the worste of mortal woe.

HURRA.

I wylle; ytte scalle bee soe: yee Dacyans, heere. Thys Ælla havethe been oure foe for aie. Thorrowe the battelle he dyd brondeous teare, Beyng the lyfe and head of everych fraie; From everych Dacyanne power he won the daie, 1090 Forslagen Magnus, all oure schippes ybrente; Bie hys felle arme wee now are made to straie; The speere of Dacya he ynne pieces shente; Whanne hantoned barckes unto our londe dyd comme, Ælla the gare dheie sed, & wysched hym bytter dome.

BIRTHA.

Mercie!

HURRA.

Bee stylle. Botte yette he ys a foemanne goode and fayre; Whanne wee are spente, he soundethe the forloyne; The captyves chayne he tosseth ynne the ayre, Cheered the wounded bothe wythe bredde & wyne; Has hee notte untoe somme of you bynn dygne? 1100 You would have smethd onne Wedecestrian fielde, Botte hee behylte the slughorne for to cleyne, Throwynge onne hys wyde backe, hys wyder spreddynge shielde. Whanne you, as caytysned, yn fielde dyd bee, Hee oathed you to bee stylle, & strayte dydd sette you free.

Scalle wee forslege <119> hys wyfe, because he's brave? Bicaus hee syghteth for hys countryes gare? Wylle hee, who havith bynne yis Ælla's slave, Robbe hym of whatte percase he holdith deere? Or scalle we menne of mennys sprytes appere, 1110 Doeynge hym favoure for hys favoure donne, Swefte to hys pallace thys damoiselle bere, Bewrynne oure case, and to oure waie be gonne?

The last you do approve; so lette ytte bee; Damoyselle, comme awaie; you safe scalle bee wythe mee.

BIRTHA.

Al blessynges maie the seynctes unto yee gyve! Al pleasaunce maie youre longe-straughte livynges bee! Ælla, whanne knowynge thatte bie you I lyve, Wylle thyncke too smalle a guyfte the londe & lea. O Celmonde! I maie deftlie rede bie the; 1120 Whatte ille betydethe the enfouled kynde; Maie ne thie cross-stone <120> of thie cryme bewree! Maie alle menne ken thie valoure, fewe thie mynde! Soldyer! for syke thou arte ynn noble fraie, I wylle thie goinges 'tende, & doe thou lede the waie.

HURRA.

The mornynge 'gyns alonge the Easte to sheene; Darklinge the lyghte doe onne the waters plaie; The seynte rodde leme slowe creepeth oere the green; Toe chase the merkyness of nyghte awaie; Swifte flies the howers thatte wylle brynge oute the daie; 1130 The softe dewe falleth onne the greeynge grasse; The shepster mayden, dyghtynge her arraie, Scante <121> sees her vysage yn the wavie glasse; Bie the fulle daylieghte wee scalle Ælla see, Or Brystowes wallyd towne; damoyselle, followe mee.

 

ACT IV. SCENE I. AT BRYSTOWE.

ÆLLA AND SERVITOURES.

AELLA.

TYS nowe fulle morne; I thoughten, bie laste nyghte To have been heere; mie stede han notte mie love; Thys ys mie pallace; lette mie hyndes alyghte, Whylste I goe oppe, & wake mie slepeynge dove. Staie here, mie hyndlettes; I shal goe above. 1140

Nowe, Birtha, wyll thie loke enhele mie spryte, Thie smyles unto mie woundes a baulme wylle prove; Mie ledanne boddie wylle bee sette aryghte. Egwina, haste, & ope the portalle door; Yatte I on Birtha's breste maie thynke of ware nemore.

EGWINA.

Oh Ælla!

ÆLLA.

Ah! that semmlykeene to mee Speeketh a legendary tale of woe.

EGWINA.

Birtha is --

ÆLLA.

Whatt? where? how? saie, whatte of shee?

EGWINA

Gone --

ÆLLA.

Gone! ye goddes!

EGWINA.

Alas! ytte ys toe true. Yee seynctes, hee dies awaie wythe myckle woe! 1150 Ælla! what? Ælla! oh! hee lyves agen.

ÆLLA.

Cal mee notte Ælla; I am hymme ne moe. Where ys shee gon awaie? ah! speake! how? when?

EGWINA.

I will.

ÆLLA.

Caparyson a score of stedes; flie, flie. Where ys shee? swythynne speeke, or instante thou shalte die.

EGWINA.

Stylle thie loud rage, & here thou whatte I knowe.

ÆLLA.

Oh! speek.

EGWINA.

Lyche prymrose, droopynge wythe the heavie rayne, Laste nyghte I lefte her, droopynge wythe her wiere, Her love the gare, thatte gave her harte syke peyne --

ÆLLA.

Her love! to whomme?

EGWINA.

To thee, her spouse alleyne <122>. 1160 As ys mie hentylle everyche morne to goe, I wente, and oped her chamber doore ynn twayne, Botte found her notte, as I was wont to doe; Thanne alle arounde the pallace I dyd seere <123> Botte culde (to mie hartes woe) ne fynde her aniewheere.

ÆLLA.

Thou lyest, foul hagge! thou lyest; thou art her ayde To chere her louste; -- botte noe; ytte cannotte bee.

EGWINA.

Gyff trouthe appear notte inne whatte I have sayde, Drawe forthe thie anlace swythyn, thanne mee slea.

ÆLLA.

Botte yette ytte muste, ytte muste bee soe; I see, 1170 Shee wythe somme loustie paramoure ys gone; Itte moste bee soe -- oh! how ytte wracketh mee! Mie race of love, mie race of lyfe ys ronne; Nowe rage, & brondeous storm, & tempeste comme; Nete lyvynge upon erthe can now enswote mie domme.

SERVYTOURE.

Loverde! I am aboute the trouthe to saie. Laste nyghte, fulle late I dydde retourne to reste. As to mie chamber I dydde betide mie waie, To Birtha onne hys name and place addreste; Downe to hym camme shee; butte thereof the reste 1180 I ken ne matter; so, mie hommage made--

ÆLLA.

O! speake ne moe; mie harte flames yn yttes heste; I once was Ælla; nowe bee notte yttes shade. Hanne alle the fuirie of mysfortunes wylle Fallen mine mie benned <124> headde I hanne been Ælla stylle.

Thys alleyn was unburled <125> of alle mie spryte; Mie honnoure, honnoure, frownd on the dolce <126> wynde, Thatte steeked on ytte; nowe wyth rage Im pyghte; A brondeous unweere ys mie engyned mynde. Mie hommeur yette somme drybblet joie maie fynde, To the Danes woundes I wylle another yeve; Whanne thos mie rennome <127> and mie peace ys rynde, Itte were a recrandize to thyncke toe live; Mie huscarles, untoe everie asker telle, Gyffe noblie Ælla lyved, as noblie Ælla felle.

SERVYTOURE.

Ælla ys sleene; the flower of Englond's marrde!

ÆLLA.

Be stylle; stythe lette the chyrches rynge mie knelle. Call hyther brave Coernyke; he, as warde Of thys mie Brystowe castle, wyll doe welle.

ÆLLA.

Thee I ordeyne the warde; so alle maie telle. 1200 I have botte lyttel tym to dragge thys lyfe; Mie lethal tale, alyche a lethalle belle, Dynne yn the eares of her I wyschd mie wyfe! Botte ah! shee maie be fayre.

EGWINA.

Yatte shee moste bee.

ÆLLA.

Ah! saie notte soe; yatte worde woulde Ælla dobblie slee.

ÆLLA.

Ah! Birtha here!

BIRTHA.

Whatte dynne ys thys? Whatte merits yis leathalle knelle? Where ys mie Ælla? speeke; where? howe ys hee? Oh Ælla! art thou yanne alyve and well!

ÆLLA.

I lyve yndeed; botte doe notte lyve for thee.

BIRTHA.

Whatte menes mie Ælla?

ÆLLA.

Here mie meneynge see. 1210 Thie foulness urged mie honde to gyve thys wounde, Ytte mee unsprytes. <128>

BIRTHA.

Ytte hathe unspryted mee.

ÆLLA.

Ah heavens! mie Birtha fallethe to the grounde! Botte yette I am a manne, and so wylle bee.

HURRA.

Ælla! I amme a Dane; botte yette a friende to thee.

Thys damoyselle I founde wythynne a woode, Strevynge fulle harde anenste a burled swayne; I sente hym myrynge ynne mie compheeres blodde, Celmonde hys name, chief of thie warrynge trayne. Yis damoiselle soughte to be here agayne; 1220 The whyche, albeytte foemen, wee dydd wylle; So here wee broughte her wythe you to remayne.

COERNYKE.

Yee nobyile Danes! wythe goulde I wyll you fylle.

ÆLLA.

Birtha, mie lyfe! mie love! oh! she ys fayre. Whatte faultes could Birtha have, whatte faultes could Ælla feare?

BIRTHA.

Amm I yenne thyne? I cannotte blame thie feere. Botte doe reste mee uponne mie Ælla's breaste; I wylle to thee bewryen the woefulle gare. Celmonde dyd comme to mee at tyme of reste, Wordeynge for mee to flie, att your requeste, 1230 To Watchette towne, where you deceasynge laie; I wyth hym fledde; thro' a murke wode we preste, Where hee foule love unto mie eares dyd saie; The Danes --

ÆLLA.

Oh! I die content. --

BIRTHA.

Oh! ys mie Ælla dedde? O! I will make hys grave mie vyrgyn spousal bedde.

COERNYKE.

Whatt? Ælla deadde! and Birtha dyynge toe! Soe falles the fayrest flourettes of the playne. Who canne unplyte the wurchys heaven can doe? Or who untweste the role of shappe yn twayne? Ælla, the rennome was thie onlie gayne; For yatte, thie pleasaunce, & thie joie was loste. Thie countrymen shall rere thee, on the playne, A pyle of carnes, as anie grave can boaste; Further, a just amede to thee to bee, Inne heaven thou synge of Godde, on erthe we'lle synge of thee.

The Ende.

 

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