Author unknown; written in Northeast Midlands English around 1285 AD.

Translated by Ken Eckert 

Middle English text from Herzman, Drake & Salisbury's Four Romances of England (1999), Kalamazoo, MI

For educational use only.

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[A page is missing from the manuscript. An earlier Anglo-French version of the story tells us what probably happened on that page.]

 

 

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"With swilk als ich byen shal.
Ther of biseche you now leve
Wile ich speke with non other reve
But with thee, that justise are,
That I mithe seken mi ware
In gode borwes up and doun,
And faren ich wile fro tun to tun."
A gold ring drow he forth anon -
An hundred pund was worth the ston -
And yaf it Ubbe for to spede.
He was ful wis that first yaf mede;
And so was Havelok ful wis here:
He solde his gold ring ful dere -
Was nevere non so dere sold
Fro chapmen, neyther yung ne old.
That sholen ye forthward ful wel heren,
Yif that ye wile the storie heren.
 Hwan Ubbe havede the gold ring,
Havede he yovenet for no thing,
Nouth for the borw evere ilk del.
Havelok bihel he swithe wel,
Hw he was wel of bones maked,
Brod in the sholdres, ful wel schaped,
Thicke in the brest, of bodi long -
He semede wel to ben wel strong.
"Deus!" hwat Ubbe, "Qui ne were he knith?
I woth that he is swithe with!
Betere semede him to bere
Helm on heved, sheld and spere,
Thanne to beye and selle ware -
Allas, that he shal therwith fare!
Goddot! Wile he trowe me,
Chaffare shal he late be."
Netheles he seyde sone:
"Havelok, have thi bone!
And I ful wel rede thee
That thou come and ete with me
Today, thou and thi fayre wif
That thou lovest al so thi lif.
And have thou of hire no drede -
Shal hire no man shame bede.
Bi the fey that I owe to thee,
Ther of shal I me self borw be."
 Havelok herde that he bad,
And thow was he ful sore drad
With him to ete, for hise wif;
For him wore levere that his lif
Him wore reft, than she in blame
Felle or lauthe ani shame.
Hwanne he havede his wille yat,
The stede that he onne sat
Smot Ubbe with spures faste,
And forth awey, but at the laste,
Or he fro him ferde,
Seyde he, that his folk herde:
"Loke that ye comen bethe,
For ich it wile and ich it rede."
Havelok ne durste, the he were adrad,
Nouth withsitten that Ubbe bad.
His wif he dide with him lede -
Unto the heye curt he yede.
Roberd hire ledde, that was red,
That havede tholed for hire the ded
Or ani havede hire misseyd,
Or hand with ivele onne leyd.
Willam Wendut was that other
That hire ledde, Roberdes brother,
That was with at alle nedes.
Wel is him that god man fedes!
Than he weren comen to the halle,
Biforen Ubbe and hise men alle,
Ubbe stirte hem ageyn,
And mani a knith and mani a sweyn,
Hem for to se and for to shewe.
Tho stod Havelok als a lowe
Aboven that ther inne wore,
Rith al bi the heved more
Thanne ani that ther inne stod.
Tho was Ubbe blithe of mod
That he saw him so fayr and hende;
Fro him ne mithe his herte wende,
Ne fro him, ne fro his wif -
He lovede hem sone so his lif.
Weren non in Denemark that him thouthe
That he so mikel love mouthe.
More he lovede Havelok one
Than al Denemark, bi mine wone.
Loke now, hw God helpen kan
O mani wise wif and man!
 Hwan it was comen time to ete,
Hise wif dede Ubbe sone in fete,
And til hire seyde al on gamen,
"Dame, thou and Havelok shulen ete samen,
And Goldeboru shal ete wit me,
That is so fayr so flour on tre.
In al Denemark is wimman non
So fayr so sche, by Seint Johan."
Thanne were set and bord leyd,
And the beneysun was seyd,
Biforn hem com the beste mete
That king or cayser wolde ete:
Kranes, swannes, veneysun,
Lax, lampreys, and god sturgun,
Pyment to drinke and god claré,
Win hwit and red, ful god plenté -
Was ther inne no page so lite
That evere wolde ale bite.
Of the mete forto telle
Ne of the win bidde I nout dwelle;
That is the storie for to lenge -
It wolde anuye this fayre genge.
But hwan he haveden the kilthing deyled
And fele sithe haveden wosseyled,
With gode drinkes seten longe,
And it was time for to gonge,
Ilk man to ther he cam fro,
Thouthe Ubbe, "If I late hem go,
Thus one foure, withuten mo,
So mote ich brouke finger or to,
For this wimman bes mikel wo!
For hire shal men hire louerd slo."
He tok sone knithes ten,
And wel sixti other men
Wit gode bowes and with gleives,
And sende hem unto the greyves,
The beste man of al the toun,
That was named Bernard Brun -
And bad him als he lovede his lif,
Havelok wel yemen and his wif,
And wel do wayten al the nith
Til the other day that it were lith.
Bernard was trewe and swithe with,
In al the borw ne was no knith
That betere couthe on stede riden,
Helm on heved ne swerd bi side.
Havelok he gladlike understod
With mikel love and herte god,
And dide greythe a super riche
Al so he was no with chinche
To his bihove everil del,
That he mithe supe swithe wel.
Al so he seten and sholde soupe,
So comes a ladde in a joupe,
And with him sixti other stronge
With swerdes drawen and knives longe,
Ilkan in hande a ful god gleive,
And seyde, "Undo, Bernard the greyve!
Undo swithe and lat us in,
Or thu art ded, bi Seint Austin!"
Bernard stirt up, that was ful big,
And caste a brinie upon his rig,
And grop an ax that was ful god -
Lep to the dore so he wore wod,
And seyde, "Hwat are ye, that ar ther-oute,
That thus biginnen for to stroute?
Goth henne swithe, fule theves,
For, bi the Louerd that man on leves,
Shol ich casten the dore open,
Summe of you shal ich drepen,
And the othre shal ich kesten
In feteres and ful faste festen!
"Hwat have ye seid?" quoth a ladde,
"Wenestu that we ben adradde?
We shole at this dore gonge
Maugre thin, carl, or outh longe."
He gripen sone a bulder ston
And let it fleye, ful god won,
Agen the dore, that it to-rof.
Avelok it saw, and thider drof
And the barre sone ut drow,
That was unride and gret ynow,
And caste the dore open wide
And seide, "Her shal I now abide!
Comes swithe unto me -
Datheyt hwo you henne fle!"
"No," quodh on, "that shaltou coupe;"
And bigan til him to loupe,
In his hond his swerd ut drawe,
Havelok he wende thore have slawe,
And with him comen other two
That him wolde of live have do.
Havelok lifte up the dore tre
And at a dint he slow hem thre.
Was non of hem that hise hernes
Ne lay ther ute ageyn the sternes.
The ferthe that he sithen mette
Wit the barre so he him grette
Bifor the heved that the rith eye
Ut of the hole made he fleye,
And sithe clapte him on the crune
So that he stan ded fel thor dune.
The fifte that he overtok
Gaf he a ful sor dint ok,
Bitween the sholdres ther he stod,
That he spen his herte blod.
The sixte wende for to fle,
And he clapte him with the tre
Rith in the fule necke so
That he smot hise necke on to.
Thanne the sixe weren doun feld,
The seventhe brayd ut his swerd
And wolde Havelok riht in the eye;
And Havelok let the barre fleye
And smot him sone agheyn the brest,
That havede he nevere schrifte of prest
For he was ded on lesse hwile
Than men mouthe renne a mile.
Alle the othere weren ful kene;
A red they taken hem bitwene
That he sholde him bihalve,
And brisen so that wit no salve
Ne sholde him helen leche non.
They drowen ut swerdes, ful god won,
And shoten on him so don on bere
Dogges that wolden him to-tere,
Thanne men doth the bere beyte.
The laddes were kaske and teyte
And umbiyeden him ilkon.
Sum smot with tre and sum wit ston,
Summe putten with gleyve in bac and side
And yeven wundes longe and wide
In twenti stedes and wel mo,
Fro the croune til the to.
Hwan he saw that, he was wod
And was it ferlik hw he stod!
For the blod ran of his sides
So water that fro the welle glides.
But thanne bigan he for to mowe
With the barre, and let hem shewe
Hw he couthe sore smite;
For was ther non, long ne lite,
That he mouthe overtake,
That he ne garte his croune krake,
So that on a litel stund,
Felde he twenti to the grund.
 Tho bigan gret dine to rise,
For the laddes on ilke wise
Him asayleden with grete dintes,
Fro fer he sto[n]den him with flintes,
And gleyves schoten him fro ferne,
For drepen him he wolden yerne;
But dursten he newhen him nomore
Thanne he bor or leun wore.
 Huwe Raven that dine herde,
And thowthe wel that men misferde
With his louerd for his wif
And grop an ore and a long knif,
And thider drof al so an hert,
And cham ther on a litel stert
And saw how the laddes wode
Havelok his louerd umbistode,
And beten on him so doth the smith
With the hamer on the stith.
"Allas!" hwat Hwe, "that I was boren!
That evere et ich bred of koren!
That ich here this sorwe se!
Roberd! Willam! Hware ar ye?
Gripeth ether unker a god tre
And late we nouth thise doges fle
Til ure louerd wreke be.
Cometh swithe, and folwes me:
Ich have in honde a ful god ore -
Datheit wo ne smite sore!"
"Ya! leve, ya!" quod Roberd sone,
"We haven ful god lith of the mone."
Roberd grop a staf strong and gret,
That mouthe ful wel bere a net,
And Willam Wendut grop a tre
Mikel grettere than his the,
And Bernard held his ax ful faste
I seye was he nouthe the laste!
And lopen forth so he weren wode
To the laddes ther he stode,
And yaf hem wundes swithe grete;
Ther mithe men wel se boyes bete,
And ribbes in here sides breke
And Havelok on hem wel wreke.
He broken armes, he broken knes,
He broken shankes, he broken thes.
He dide the blod there renne dune
To the fet rith fro the crune,
For was ther spared heved non.
He leyden on hevedes ful god won,
And made croune breke and crake
Of the broune and of the blake.
He maden here backes al so bloute
Als here wombes and made hem rowte
Als he weren kradelbarnes -
So dos the child that moder tharnes.
 Datheit the recke! For he it servede.
Hwat dide he thore? Weren he werewed.
So longe haveden he but and bet
With neves under hernes set
That of tho sixti men and on
Ne wente ther awey lives non.
 On the morwen, hwan it was day,
Ilc on other wirwed lay
Als it were dogges that weren henged;
And summe leye in dikes slenget,
And summe in gripes bi the her
Drawen ware and laten ther.
Sket cam tiding intil Ubbe
That Havelok havede with a clubbe
Of hise slawen sixti and on
Sergaunz, the beste that mihten gon.
"Deus," quoth Ubbe, "Hwat may this be?
Betere is I nime miself and se
That this baret on hwat is wold
Thanne I sende yunge or old;
For yif I sende him unto,
I wene men sholde him shame do,
And that ne wolde ich for no thing.
I love him wel, bi Heveneking -
Me wore levere I wore lame
Thanne men dide him ani shame
Or tok or onne handes leyde
Unornelike or shame seyde."
He lep up on a stede lith,
And with him mani a noble knith,
And ferde forth unto the tun,
And dide calle Bernard Brun
Ut of his hus wan he ther cam;
And Bernard sone ageyn nam,
Al to-tused and al to-torn,
Ner al so naked so he was born
And al to-brised, bac and the.
Quoth Ubbe, "Bernard, hwat is thee?
Hwo haves thee thus ille maked,
Thus to-riven and al mad naked?"
"Louerd, merci," quot he sone,
"Tonicht, al so ros the mone,
Comen her mo than sixti theves
With lokene copes and wide sleves,
Me for to robben and to pine,
And for to drepe me and mine.
Mi dore he broken up ful sket,
And wolde me binden hond and fet.
Wan the godemen that sawe,
Havelok and he that bi the wowe
Leye, he stirten up sone onon
And summe grop tre and sum grop ston
And drive hem ut, thei he weren crus,
So dogges ut of milne-hous.
Havelok grop the dore-tre,
And a dint he slow hem thre.
He is the beste man at nede
That everemar shal ride stede -
Als helpe God, bi mine wone
A thousend men his he worth one!
Yif he ne were, ich were now ded -
So have ich don mi soule red!
But it is of him mikel sinne:
He maden him swilke woundes thrinne
That of the altherleste wounde
Were a stede brouht to grunde.
He haves a wunde in the side
With a gleyve ful unride;
And he haves on thoru his arum
Ther of is full mikel harum;
And he haves on thoru his the -
The unrideste that men may se.
And othe wundes haves he stronge,
Mo than twenti, swithe longe.
But sithen he havede lauth the sor
Of the wundes, was nevere bor
That so fauth, so he fauth thanne!
Was non that havede the hernepanne
So hard that he ne dede al to-cruhsse
And al to-shivere and al to-frusshe.
He folwede hem so hund dos hare -
Datheyt on he wolde spare,
That ne made hem everilkon
Ligge stille so doth the ston.
And ther nis he nouth to frie
For other sholde he make hem lye

[Havelock and his stepbrothers sell their possessions and fit out their fishing boat to sail to Denmark. There they buy horses and carts and disguise themselves as merchants. Havelock meets a Danish earl, Ubbe, a friend of the late king who opposes Godard's tyranny. Havelock offers
him an expensive gold ring as a gift to gain permission to trade there.]

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Havelock said, "I will trade such things as this,
And so I ask your permission now.
I will deal with no lower official
But you, as you are a justice,
So that I might search for my wares
In good boroughs up and down,
As I travel from town to town."
He then drew out a gold ring—
The stone was worth a hundred pounds—
And gave it to Ubbe for good luck.
He is a wise man who gives a gift first,
And so Havelock was shrewd here.
He gave his gold ring very dearly;
There was never anything so precious given
By a merchant, neither young nor old.
That you will hear more about,
If you wish to listen to the story.
When Ubbe had the gold ring,
He wouldn't have given it up for anything,
Not for every part of the county.
He looked over Havelock well,
How he was powerfully built,
Broad in the shoulders, well-shaped,
With a thick chest and a tall body;
He appeared to be very strong.
"Good Lord!" marveled Ubbe, "Why isn't he a knight?
I can tell that he is very manly!
It would be more fitting for him to wear
A helmet on his head with a shield and spear,
Rather than buying and selling wares.
A shame that he should succeed at that!
God knows if he trusted my advice
He would let go of trading."
Nevertheless, he soon replied,
"Havelock, you have your request,
And I strongly advise you
That you come and dine with me
Today, you and your lovely wife
That you love as much as your life.
And have no fear for her.
No man will attempt to shame her.
By the faith that I owe to you,
I will myself be your guarantor."
Havelock heard what Ubbe offered,
Though he was sorely afraid
To eat with him because of his wife,
For he would have rather had his life
Taken away than see her name ruined
Or have her experience any shame.
When Havelock had given his consent,
Ubbe urged the steed that he sat on
With taut spurs and he departed.
But at the last moment,
Before he had traveled far
He called so that Havelock's family heard,
"See that you both come,
For it's both my desire and my advice!"
Though he was anxious, Havelock did not
Dare oppose what Ubbe asked.
He had his wife follow with him,
And they went into the high court.
Robert led her, who was well-advised
And would have suffered death for her
Before anyone shamed her
Or laid a hand on her in evil.
William Wendut, Robert's brother,
Was the other who accompanied her,
Who was bold in all times of need.
Fortunate is he who keeps good men!
When they had come to the hall
Before Ubbe and all his men,
Ubbe went up to them,
Along with many a knight and servant,
In order to see and to inspect them.
Havelock stood like a hill then
Above those who were present,
A good head above
Any others who stood inside there.
Then Ubbe was in a glad mood
When he saw him so handsome and noble.
He could not turn his heart away,
Not from him, nor from his wife;
He loved him as much as his life.
There was no one in Denmark he thought
He might have loved more.
He had more affection for Havelock alone
Than for all Denmark, by my word.
See now how God can help
Many a prudent woman and man!
When the time to eat had come,
Ubbe fetched his own wife inside,
And said to her in joking,
"My lady, you and Havelock will eat together,
And I will dine with Goldeboro,
Who is as beautiful as a flower on a tree.
In all of Denmark there's no woman
As pretty as her, by Saint John!"
When the table was laid and set,
And the blessing was said,
Before them came the best dinner
That a king or emperor could eat—
Cranes, swans, venison,
Salmon, lamprey, and fine sturgeon,
Spiced wine, and wine with honey,
And white and red wine in plenty.
There was no page there so low
That he had to bite down ale once.
But as for the food served,
Or the wine offered, I won't dwell on it;
That will make the story far too long
And it would annoy this fine gathering.
But when they had shared every thing,
And had made toasts many times,
Sitting a long time with fine drinks,
It was time for each man
To go back where he came from.
Ubbe thought, "If I let these four go
On their own, with no more,
As sure as I have fingers and toes
This woman will cause great trouble!
For her, men will slay her lords."
At once he gathered ten knights,
And a good sixty other men
With strong bows and with spears,
And sent them to the watchman's place
With the best man of all the town,
Who was named Bernard Brown.
And he ordered him, as he loved his life,
To guard Havelock and his wife well,
And to keep watch all the night
Until the next day when it was light.
Bernard was loyal and powerfully strong.
In all the area there was no knight
Who could better ride a steed,
Helmet on head, with a sword by his side.
He gladly took charge of Havelock
With great love and kind heart,
And prepared a lavish supper,
As he was in no way stingy
In taking care of Havelock's every need
So that they might dine finely.
As they were sitting and eating,
Along came a youth in an outlaw's jacket,
And with him sixty others strong,
With swords drawn and long knives,
Each one with a firm lance in hand.
And he said, "Open up, watchman Bernard!
Open up quick and let us in,
Or by Saint Augustine, you're dead!"
Bernard, who was very big, started up
And threw a coat of mail on his back
And grabbed a good, strong ax.
He leaped to the door as if he were mad,
And shouted, "Who are you
Who are out there making such a noise?
Get out of here fast, dirty thieves!
By the Lord who men believe in,
If I have to throw the door open,
Some of you I will drop dead,
And the rest I will throw
In fetters and bind up tightly!"
"What did you say?" said one lad.
"Do you think that we're afraid?
We will go through this door
Before long, you oaf, in spite of you!"
At once he gripped a giant stone
And let it fly with great force
Against the door, breaking it apart.
Havelock saw that, and ran up
And soon drew out the door bar,
Which was huge and rough enough,
And flung the door open wide
And said, "Here I stand waiting now!
Come to me fast!
Damn any of you who runs away!"
"No!" said one. "You will pay for that!"
And he began to run toward Havelock,
And drew out his sword in his hand,
Thinking to slay him there.
And with him came two others
Who would have ended his life.
Havelock lifted up the door bar,
And with one blow he killed all three.
There were none of them whose brains
Did not lie there under the stars.
The fourth one that he met next
He greeted with the bar against his head,
So that he made the right eye
Fly out of the socket,
And then clapped him on the head
So that he fell down stone dead.
The fifth that he overtook
He gave a painful blow as well,
Between the shoulders where he stood,
So that his heart's blood was spent.
The sixth turned to run away,
And he slapped him with the bar
Right on the full shoulder,
So that he broke his neck in two.
When the sixth was brought down,
The seventh whipped out his sword,
Wanting to strike Havelock right in the eye,
And Havelock sent the bar flying
And hit him at once against the chest.
He had no time for a priest's rites,
For he was dead in less time
Than men might run a mile.
All the others were very determined.
They made a plan among themselves
That they would surround him
And batter him, so that no salve
Of a doctor's would heal him.
They drew out swords, a large number,
And rushed on him just like dogs
That intend to tear apart a bear
When men watch bear-baiting.
The thugs were keen and quick,
And each one surrounded him.
Some struck with branches and some with stones.
Some put knives in his back and sides
And inflicted wounds long and wide
In twenty places and many more,
From the head to the toe.
When Havelock saw that, he was made mad,
And it was a miracle how he stood!
For the blood ran down his sides
Like water flowing from the well.
But then he began to mow them down
With the bar, and to show them
How he could strike painfully.
For there were none, tall or short,
That he might overtake
Who did not have their heads cracked,
So that within a little while
He dropped twenty to the ground.
Then a great din began to rise,
For the lads attacked him
In every way with great blows.
From a distance they stood and flung
Flintstones and knives at him,
For they were eager to kill him,
But they dared not get any nearer him
Than if he were a boar or a lion.
Hugh Raven heard that clamor
And knew full well that men were
Acting wrongly against his lord for his wife.
He grabbed an oar and a long knife,
And rushed out like a stag deer
And arrived there in a short moment,
And saw how the crazed outlaws
Surrounded his lord Havelock
And beat on him like the smith
Does with the hammer on the anvil.
"Alas," cried Hugh, "that I was ever born
And ever ate bread from grain,
To see this sorrow here!
Robert, William, where are you?
Both of you, grab a good club
And we will not let these dogs escape
Until our lord is avenged!
Come quickly, and follow me.
I have a good strong oar in my hand;
Damn anyone who isn't hit hard!"
"Here! Brother, here!" said Robert quickly,
"We have a good light from the moon."
Robert seized a staff, strong and huge,
Which might well have carried a cow,
And William Wendut grabbed a club
Much thicker than his own thigh,
And Bernard held his ax firmly.
I say he wasn't the last out!
And they leaped forth, as if they were berserk,
Toward the attackers where they stood,
And gave them harsh wounds.
There one could see the thieves beaten,
And the ribs in their sides broken,
And Havelock avenged on them well.
They broke arms, they broke knees,
They broke legs, they broke thighs;
They made the blood run down
Right from their foreheads to their feet,
For not one head was spared.
They laid on a great number of men,
And made skulls break and crack
On every kind of fighter.
They beat their backs as soft
As their insides and made them roar
Like they were babies in cradles,
Like the child that loses its mother.
Damn whoever cares! They deserved it!
What business had they there? They were mauled!
They battered and beat them,
With fists set on their brains,
For so long that of the sixty-one men,
None went their way alive.
In the morning, when it was day
Each lay mangled on the other
As if they were dogs that were hanged.
And some lay slung in ditches,
And some in trenches,
Dragged by their hair and left there.
The news came fast to Ubbe
That Havelock had, with a club,
Slain sixty-one of his retinue—
Sergeants, the best that might serve.
"My God," said Ubbe, "what is this about?
It would be better to go myself, and see
What this trouble is about,
Than to send someone, young or old.
For if I send him to Havelock,
I expect men would take revenge,
And I would not have that for anything.
I love him well, by Heaven's king!
I would rather be crippled
Than have men do him any shame,
Or seize or lay hands on him rudely,
Or speak abuse to him."
He leaped upon a nimble horse,
Along with many a noble knight,
And journeyed forth into the town.
He called Bernard Brown
Out of his house when he came there,
And Bernard soon appeared.
He was all cut up and torn to pieces,
Nearly as naked as when he was born,
And all bruised on the back and thighs.
Ubbe said, "Bernard, what's wrong with you?
Who has hurt you so foully,
To be ripped apart and almost naked?"
"Mercy, my lord!" he answered at once.
"Last night, as the moon rose,
More than sixty thieves showed up here,
With fastened cloaks and wide sleeves,
To rob and torment me,
And to slay me and my family!
They broke apart my door in a rush,
And would have bound me hand and foot.
When those gentlemen saw that,
Havelock, and those lying by the wall,
They got up right away,
And some grabbed trees, and some took stones,
And though they were fierce, they drove them out
Like dogs out of a mill-house.
Havelock gripped the door bar,
And with one blow he killed three of them.
He is the best man in need
Who will ever ride a steed!
So help me God, by my word,
He is worth a thousand men!
If not for him I would be dead now,
As sure as I trust my own soul.
But as for him, it is a great sin.
They gave him three wounds so harsh
That the very least of them
Would bring a horse to the ground.
He has an ugly gash in his side
From a lance,
And he has a wound through the arm
Which has caused him great harm,
And he has one through his thigh,
The most horrible that men might see.
And he has other serious injuries,
More than twenty, just as severe.
But after he felt the pain of the wounds,
There was never a wild boar
That fought as he fought then!
There was none who heaved on skulls
So hard as he completely crushed,
Shattered, and smashed them.
To Hell with anyone he might spare!
He chased them like a hound does a hare,
So that he made each one of them
Lie still like a stone.
And there is nothing to blame him for,
For they either had to lie dead by his hand

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Ded, or thei him havede slawen,
Or al to-hewen or al to-drawen.
 "Louerd, havi nomore plith
Of that ich was grethed tonith.
Thus wolde the theves me have reft;
But, God thank, he havenet sure keft!
But it is of him mikel scathe -
I woth that he bes ded ful rathe."
 Quoth Ubbe, "Bernard, seyst thou soth?"
"Ya, sire, that I ne leye o tooth!
Yif I, louerd, a word leye,
Tomorwen do me hengen heye."
The burgeys that ther bi stode thore
Grundlike and grete othes swore,
Litle and mikle, yunge and holde,
That was soth that Bernard tolde -
Soth was that he wolden him bynde,
And trusse al that he mithen fynde
Of hise in arke or in kiste
That he mouthe in seckes thriste.
"Louerd, he haveden al awey born
His thing, and himself al to-torn,
But als God self barw him wel,
That he ne tinte no catel.
Hwo mithe so mani stonde ageyn
Bi nither-tale, knith or swein?
He weren bi tale sixti and ten -
Starke laddes, stalworthi men,
And on the mayster of hem alle,
That was the name Griffin Galle.
Hwo mouthe ageyn so mani stonde,
But als this man of ferne londe
Haveth hem slawen with a tre?
Mikel joie have he!
God yeve him mikel god to welde,
Bothe in tun and ek in felde:
Wel is set the mete he etes."
Quoth Ubbe, "Doth him swithe fete,
That I mouthe his woundes se,
If that he mouthen holed be;
For if he mouthe covere yet
And gangen wel upon hise fet,
Miself shal dubben him to knith,
Forthi that he is so with.
And yif he livede, tho foule theves,
That weren of Kaym kin and Eves,
He sholden hange bi the necke -
Of here ded datheit wo recke,
Hwan he yeden thus on nithes
Tobinde bothe burgmen and knithes!
For bynderes love ich neveremo -
Of hem ne yeve ich nouht a slo."
 Havelok was bifore Ubbe browth,
That havede for him ful mikel thouth
And mikel sorwe in his herte
For hise wundes, that we so smerte.
 But hwan his wundes weren shewed,
And a leche havede knawed
That he hem mouthe ful wel hele,
Wel make him gange and ful wel mele,
And wel a palefrey bistride,
And wel upon a stede ride,
Tho let Ubbe al his care
And al his sorwe over fare,
And seyde, "Cum now forth with me,
And Goldeboru, thi wif, with thee,
And thine serjaunz alle thre,
For now wile I youre warant be:
Wile I non of here frend
That thu slowe with thin hend
Moucte wayte thee to slo
Also thou gange to and fro.
I shal lene thee a bowr
That is up in the heye tour,
Til thou mowe ful wel go
And wel ben hol of al thi wo.
It ne shal nothing ben bitwene
Thi bowr and min, al so I wene,
But a fayr firrene wowe -
Speke I loude or spek I lowe,
Thou shalt ful wel heren me,
And than thu wilt thou shalt me se.
A rof shal hile us bothe o nith,
That none of mine, clerk ne knith,
No sholen thi wif no shame bede
No more than min, so God me rede!"
 He dide unto the borw bringe
Sone anon, al with joiinge,
His wif and his sergaunz thre,
The beste men that mouthe be.
The first nith he lay ther inne,
Hise wif and his serganz thrinne,
Aboute the middel of the nith
Wok Ubbe and saw a mikel lith
In the bowr thar Havelok lay
Al so brith so it were day.
 "Deus!" quoth Ubbe, "Hwat may this be?
Betere is I go miself and se
Hwether he sitten now and wesseylen,
Or ani sotshipe to deyle,
This tid nithes also foles;
Than birthe men casten hem in poles
Or in a grip, or in the fen -
Now ne sitten none but wicke men,
Glotuns, revres, or wicke theves,
Bi Crist that alle folk onne leves!"
 He stod and totede in at a bord
Her he spak anilepi word
And saw hem slepen faste ilkon
And lye stille so the ston;
And saw al that mikel lith
Fro Havelok cam that was so brith.
Of his mouth it com il del -
That was he war ful swithe wel.
"Deus," quoth he, "Hwat may this mene!"
He calde bothe arwe men and kene,
Knithes and serganz swithe sleie,
Mo than an hundred, withuten leye,
And bad hem alle comen and se
Hwat that selcuth mithe be.
Als the knithes were comen alle,
Ther Havelok lay ut of the halle,
So stod ut of his mouth a glem,
Rith al swilk so the sunne-bem,
That al so lith was thare, bi hevene,
So ther brenden serges sevene
And an hundred serges ok
That durste I sweren on a book!
He slepen faste, alle five,
So he weren brouth of live;
And Havelok lay on his lift side,
In his armes his brithe bride:
Bi the pappes he leyen naked -
So faire two weren nevere maked
In a bed to lyen samen.
The knithes thouth of hem god gamen,
Hem for to shewe and loken to.
Rith al so he stoden alle so,
And his bac was toward hem wend,
So weren he war of a croiz ful gent
On his right shuldre swithe brith,
Brithter than gold ageyn the lith,
So that he wiste, heye and lowe,
That it was kunrik that he sawe.
It sparkede and ful brith shon
So doth the gode charbuncle ston
That men see mouthe se by the lith
A peni chesen, so was it brith.
Thanne bihelden he him faste,
So that he knewen at the laste
That he was Birkabeynes sone,
That was here king, that was hem wone
Wel to yeme and wel were
Ageynes uten-laddes here -
"For it was nevere yet a brother
In al Denemark so lich another,
So this man, that is so fayr,
Als Birkabeyn; he is hise eyr."
 He fellen sone at hise fet.
Was non of hem that he ne gret -
Of joye he weren alle so fawen
So he him haveden of erthe drawen.
Hise fet he kisten an hundred sythes -
The tos, the nayles, and the lithes -
So that he bigan to wakne
And wit hem ful sore to blakne,
For he wende he wolden him slo,
Or elles binde him and do wo.
 Quoth Ubbe, "Louerd, ne dred thee nowth,
Me thinkes that I se thi thouth.
Dere sone, wel is me
That I thee with eyn se.
Manred, louerd, bede I thee -
Thi man auht I ful wel to be;
For thu art comen of Birkabeyn,
That havede mani knith and sweyn,
And so shalt thou, louerd, have:
Thou thou be yet a ful yung knave
Thou shalt be King of al Denemark -
Was ther inne never non so stark.
Tomorwen shaltu manrede take
Of the brune and of the blake,
Of alle that aren in this tun,
Bothe of erl and of barun,
And of dreng and of thayn
And of knith and of sweyn.
And so shaltu ben mad knith
Wit blisse, for thou art so with."
 Tho was Havelok swithe blithe,
And thankede God ful fele sithe.
On the morwen, wan it was lith,
And gon was thisternesse of the nith,
Ubbe dide upon a stede
A ladde lepe, and thider bede
Erles, barouns, drenges, theynes,
Klerkes, knithes, burgeys, sweynes,
That he sholden comen anon
Biforen him sone everilkon,
Al so he loven here lives
And here children and here wives.
His bode ne durste he non atsitte
That he ne neme for to wite,
Sone hwat wolde the justise;
And bigan anon to rise
And seyde sone, "Lithes me,
Alle samen, theu and fre,
A thing ich wile you here shauwe
That ye alle ful wel knawe.
Ye witen wel that al this lond
Was in Birkabeynes hond
The day that he was quic and ded,
And how that he, bi youre red
Bitauhte hise children thre
Godard to yeme, and al his fe.
Havelok his sone he him tauhte
And hise two douhters and al his auhte.
Alle herden ye him swere
On bok and on messe gere
That he shulde yemen hem wel,
Withuten lac, withuten tel.
 He let his oth all overgo -
Evere wurthe him yvel and wo!
For the maydnes here lif
Refte he bothen with a knif,
And him shulde ok have slawen -
The knif was at his herte drawen.
But God him wolde wel have save:
He havede rewnesse of the knave
So that he with his hend
Ne drop him nouth, that sori fend!
But sone dide he a fishere
Swithe grete othes swere,
That he sholde drenchen him
In the se, that was ful brim.
Hwan Grim saw that he was so fayr,
And wiste he was the rith eir,
Fro Denemark ful sone he fledde
Intil Englond and ther him fedde
Mani winter that til this day
Haves he ben fed and fostred ay.
Lokes hware he stondes her!
In al this werd ne haves he per -
Non so fayr, ne non so long,
Ne non so mikel, ne non so strong.
In this middelerd nis no knith
Half so strong ne half so with.
Bes of him ful glad and blithe,
And cometh alle hider swithe,
Manrede youre louerd for to make,
Bothe brune and the blake -
I shal miself do first the gamen
And ye sithen alle samen."
 O knes ful fayre he him sette -
Mouthe nothing him ther fro lette,
And bicam is man rith thare,
That alle sawen that there ware.
 After him stirt up laddes ten
And bicomen hise men,
And sithen everilk a baroun
That evere weren in al that toun,
And sithen drenges, and sithen thaynes
And sithen knithes, and sithen sweynes;
So that, or that day was gon,
In al the tun ne was nouth on
That it ne was his man bicomen -
Manrede of alle havede he nomen.
 Hwan he havede of hem alle
Manrede taken in the halle,
Grundlike dide he hem swere
That he sholden him god feyth bere
Ageynes alle that woren on live;
Ther-yen ne wolde never on strive,
That he ne maden sone that oth -
Riche and poure, lef and loth.
Hwan that was maked, sone he sende
Ubbe writes fer and hende,
After alle that castel yemede,
Burwes, tunes, sibbe an fremde
That thider sholden comen swithe
Til him and heren tithandes blithe
That he hem alle shulde telle.
Of hem ne wolde nevere on dwelle,
That he ne come sone plattinde;
Hwo hors ne havede, com gangande.
So that withinne a fourtenith
In al Denemark ne was no knith,
Ne conestable, ne shireve,
That com of Adam and of Eve,
That he ne com biforn sire Ubbe -
He dredden him so thef doth clubbe.
Hwan he haveden alle the king gret
And he weren alle dun-set,
Tho seyde Ubbe, "Lokes here
Ure louerd swithe dere,
That shal ben king of al the lond
And have us alle under hond,
For he is Birkabeynes sone,
The king that was umbe stonde wone
Us for to yemen and wel were
With sharp swerd and longe spere.
Lokes now, hw he is fayr:
Sikerlike he is hise eyr.
Falles alle to his fet -
Bicomes hise men ful sket."
He weren for Ubbe swithe adrad
And dide sone al that he bad.
And yet he deden sumdel more:
O bok ful grundlike he swore
That he sholde with him halde,
Bothe ageynes stille and bolde
That evere wolde his bodi dere.
That dide he hem o boke swere.
 Hwan he havede manrede and oth
Taken of lef and of loth,
Ubbe dubbede him to knith
With a swerd ful swithe brith,
And the folk of al the lond
Bitauhte him al in his hond,
The cunnriche everil del
And made him king heylike and wel.
Hwan he was king, ther mouthe men se
The moste joye that mouhte be -
Buttinge with sharpe speres,
Skirming with talevaces that men beres,
Wrastling with laddes, putting of ston,
Harping and piping, ful god won,
Leyk of mine, of hasard ok,
Romanz reding on the bok.
Ther mouthe men here the gestes singe,
The glewmen on the tabour dinge.
Ther moutthe men se the boles beyte,
And the bores, with hundes teyte.
Tho mouhte men se everil glew;
Ther mouthe men se hw grim grew -
Was nevere yete joye more
In al this werd than tho was thore.
Ther was so mikel yeft of clothes
That, thou I swore you grete othes,
I ne wore nouth ther of trod.
That may I ful wel swere, bi God!
There was swithe gode metes
And of wyn that men fer fetes,
Rith al so mik and gret plenté
So it were water of the se.
The feste fourti dawes sat -
So riche was nevere non so that.
The king made Roberd there knith,
That was ful strong and ful with,
And Willam Wendut hec, his brother,
And Huwe Raven, that was that other,
And made hem barouns alle thre,
And yaf hem lond and other fe,
So mikel that ilker twenti knihtes
Havede of genge, dayes and nithes.
 Hwan that feste was al don,
A thusand knihtes ful wel o bon
Withheld the king with him to lede,
That ilkan havede ful god stede,
Helm and sheld, and brinie brith,
And al the wepne that fel to knith.
With hem ek five thusand gode
Sergaunz that weren to fyht wode
Withheld he al of his genge -
Wile I namore the storie lenge.
Yet hwan he havede of al the lond
The casteles alle in his hond,
And conestables don therinne,
He swor he ne sholde never blinne
Til that he were of Godard wreken,
That ich have of ofte speken.
Half hundred knithes dede he calle,
And hise fif thusand sergaunz alle,
And dide sweren on the bok
Sone, and on the auter ok,
That he ne sholde nevere blinne,
Ne for love ne for sinne,
Til that he haveden Godard funde
And brouth biforn him faste bunde.
 Thanne he haveden swor this oth,
Ne leten he nouth, for lef ne loth,
That he foren swithe rathe
Ther he was, unto the pathe
Ther he yet on hunting for,
With mikel genge and swithe stor.
Robert, that was of all the ferd
Mayster, girt was wit a swerd,
And sat upon a ful god stede,
That under him rith wolde wede.
He was the firste that with Godard
Spak, and seyde, "Hede, cavenard!
Wat dos thu here at this pathe?
Cum to the king swithe and rathe!
That sendes he thee word and bedes,
That thu thenke what thou him dedes
Whan thu reftes with a knif
Hise sistres here lif
And sithen bede thou in the se
Drenchen him - that herde he!
He is to thee swithe grim;
Cum nu swithe unto him
That king is of this kunerike,
Thou fule man, thou wicke swike!
And he shal yelde thee thy mede,
Bi Crist that wolde on Rode blede!"
 Hwan Godard herde that he ther thrette,
With the neve he Robert sette
Biforn the teth a dint ful strong.
And Robert kipt ut a knif long
And smot him thoru the rith arum -
Ther of was ful litel harum!
 Hwan his folk that saw and herde,
Hwou Robert with here louerd ferde,
He haveden him wel ner browt of live,
Ne weren his two brethren and othre five
Slowen of here laddes ten,
Of Godardes altherbeste men.
Hwan the othre sawen that, he fledden,
And Godard swithe loude gredde:
"Mine knithes, hwat do ye?
Sule ye thusgate fro me fle?
Ich have you fed and yet shal fede -
Helpe me nw in this nede
And late ye nouth mi bodi spille,
Ne Havelok don of me hise wille!
Yif ye it do, ye do you shame
And bringeth youself in mikel blame!"
Hwan he that herden, he wenten ageyn,
And slowen a knit and a sweyn
Of the kinges oune men,
And woundeden abuten ten.
The kinges men, hwan he that sawe,
Scuten on hem, heye and lowe,
And everilk fot of hem he slowe,
But Godard one, that he flowe,
So the thef men dos henge,
Or hund men shole in dike slenge.
He bunden him ful swithe faste,
Hwil the bondes wolden laste,
That he rorede als a bole
That wore parred in an hole
With dogges forto bite and beite.
Were the bondes nouth to leite -
He bounden him so fele sore
That he gan crien Godes ore,
That he sholde of his hend plette;
Wolden he nouht ther fore lette
That he ne bounden hond and fet.
Datheit that on that ther fore let!
But dunten him so man doth bere
And keste him on a scabbed mere,
Hise nese went unto the crice.
So ledden he that ful swike
Til he biforn Havelok was brouth,
That he havede ful wo wrowht,
Bothe with hungre and with cold
Or he were twel winter old,
And with mani hevi swink,
With poure mete and feble drink,
And swithe wikke clothes,
For al hise manie grete othes.
Nu beyes he his holde blame:
Old sinne makes newe shame!
Wan he was so shamelike
Brouth biforn the king, the fule swike!
The king dede Ubbe swithe calle
Hise erles and hise barouns alle,
Dreng and thein, burgeis and knith,
And bad he sholden demen him rith,
For he knew the swike dam;
Everil del God was him gram!
He setten hem dun bi the wawe,
Riche and pouere, heye and lowe,
The helde men and ek the grom,
And made ther the rithe dom
And seyden unto the king anon,
That stille sat so the ston:
"We deme that he be al quic flawen
And sithen to the galwes drawe
At this foule mere tayl,
Thoru his fet a ful strong nayl,
And thore ben henged wit two feteres
And thare be writen thise leteres:
‘This is the swike that wende wel
The king have reft the lond ilk del,
And hise sistres with a knif
Bothe refte here lif.’
This writ shal henge bi him thare.
The dom is demd - seye we namore."
Hwan the dom was demd and give,
And he was wit the prestes shrive,
And it ne mouhte ben non other,
Ne for fader ne for brother,
But that he sholde tharne lif,
Sket cam a ladde with a knif
And bigan rith at the to
For to ritte and for to flo;
And he bigan tho for to rore
So it were grim or gore,
That men mithe thethen a mile
Here him rore, that fule file!
The ladde ne let nowith forthi,
They he criede, "Merci! Merci!"
That ne flow him everil del
With knif mad of grunden stel.
Thei garte bringe the mere sone,
Skabbed and ful ivele o bone,
And bunden him rith at hire tayl
With a rop of an old seyl
And drowen him unto the galwes,
Nouth bi the gate but over the falwes,
And henge him thore bi the hals -
Datheit hwo recke: he was fals!
Thanne he was ded, that Sathanas,
Sket was seysed al that his was
In the kinges hand ilk del -
Lond and lith and other catel -
And the king ful sone it yaf
Ubbe in the hond, wit a fayr staf,
And seyde, "Her ich sayse thee
In al the lond, in al the fe."
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Quant Haueloc est rois pussanz,
Le regne tint plus de .iiii. anz;
Merueillos tresor i auna.
Argentille li commanda
Qu’il passast en Engleterre
Pur son heritage conquerre,
Dont son oncle l’out engettée,
[Et] A grant tort desheritée.
Li rois li dist qu’il fera
Ceo qu’ele li comandera.
Sa nauie fet a-turner,
Ses genz & ses ostz mander.
En mier se met quant orré a,
Et la reyne od lui mena.
Quatre vinz & quatre cenz
Out Haueloc, pleines de genz.
Tant out nagé & siglé,
Q’en Carleflure est ariué.
Sur le hauene se herbergerent,
Par le pais viande quierent.
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Tho swor Havelok he sholde make,
Al for Grim, of monekes blake
A priorie to serven in ay
Jhesu Crist, til Domesday,
For the god he havede him don
Hwil he was pouere and ivel o bon.
And ther of held he wel his oth,
For he it made, God it woth,
In the tun ther Grim was graven,
That of Grim yet haves the name.
Of Grim bidde ich namore spelle.
But wan Godrich herde telle,
Of Cornwayle that was erl,
That fule traytour, that mixed cherl!
That Havelok King was of Denemark,
And ferde with him, strong and stark
Comen Engelond withinne,
Engelond al for to winne;
And that she that was so fayr,
That was of Engelond rith eir,
Was comen up at Grimesbi,
He was ful sorful and sori,
And seyde, "Hwat shal me to rathe?
Goddoth, I shal do slon hem bathe!
I shal don hengen hem ful heye
So mote ich brouke my rith eie,
But yif he of mi londe fle.
Hwat! Wenden he deserite me?"
He dide sone ferd ut bidde,
That al that evere mouhte o stede
Ride or helm on heved bere,
Brini on bac, and sheld and spere,
Or ani other wepne bere,
Hand-ax, sythe, gisarm, or spere,
Or aunlaz and god long knif,
That als he lovede leme or lif,
That they sholden comen him to,
With ful god wepne yboren, so
To Lincolne, ther he lay,
Of Marz the sevententhe day,
So that he couthe hem god thank;
And yif that ani were so rank
That he thanne ne come anon,
He swor bi Crist and by Seint Johan,
That he sholde maken him thral,
And al his ofspring forth withal.
The Englishe that herde that,
Was non that evere his bode sat;
For he him dredde swithe sore,
So runcy spore, and mikle more.
At the day he come sone
That he hem sette, ful wel o bone,
To Lincolne with gode stedes,
And al the wepne that knith ledes.
Hwan he wore come, sket was the erl yare
Ageynes Denshe men to fare,
And seyde, "Lythes nw alle samen!
Have ich gadred you for no gamen,
But ich wile seyen you forthi.
Lokes hware here at Grimesbi
Hise uten laddes here comen,
And haves nu the priorie numen -
Al that evere mithen he finde,
He brenne kirkes and prestes binde;
He strangleth monkes and nunnes bothe -
Wat wile ye, frend, her-offe rede?
Yif he regne thusgate longe,
He moun us alle overgange,
He moun us alle quic henge or slo,
Or thral maken and do ful wo
Or elles reve us ure lives
And ure children and ure wives.
But dos nw als ich wile you lere,
Als ye wile be with me dere.
Nimes nu swithe forth and rathe
And helpes me and yuself bathe,
And slos upo the dogges swithe.
For shal I nevere more be blithe,
Ne hoseled ben ne of prest shriven
Til that he ben of londe driven.
Nime we swithe and do hem fle
And folwes alle faste me!
For ich am he of al the ferd
That first shal slo with drawen swerd.
Datheyt hwo ne stonde faste
Bi me hwil hise armes laste!"
"Ye! lef, ye!" quoth the erl Gunter;
"Ya!" quoth the Erl of Cestre, Reyner.
And so dide alle that ther stode
And stirte forth so he were wode.
Tho mouthe men se the brinies brihte
On backes keste and lace rithe,
The helmes heye on heved sette.
To armes al so swithe plette
That thei wore on a litel stunde
Grethet als men mithe telle a pund,
And lopen on stedes sone anon;
And toward Grimesbi, ful god won,
He foren softe bi the sti
Til he come ney at Grimesbi.
 Havelok, that havede spired wel
Of here fare, everil del,
With all his ferd cam hem ageyn.
Forbar he nother knith ne sweyn:
The firste knith that he ther mette
With the swerd so he him grette,
For his heved of he plette -
Wolde he nouth for sinne lette.
Roberd saw that dint so hende -
Wolde he nevere thethen wende,
Til that he havede another slawen
With the swerd he held ut drawen.
Willam Wendut his swerd ut drow,
And the thredde so sore he slow
That he made upon the feld
His lift arm fleye with the swerd.
 Huwe Raven ne forgat nouth
The swerd he havede thider brouth.
He kipte it up, and smot ful sore
An erl that he saw priken thore
Ful noblelike upon a stede,
That with him wolde al quic wede.
He smot him on the heved so
That he the heved clef a two.
And that bi the shudre blade
The sharpe swerd let wade
Thoru the brest unto the herte;
The dint bigan ful sore to smerte,
That the erl fel dun anon
Al so ded so ani ston.
Quoth Ubbe, "Nu dwelle ich to longe!"
And let his stede sone gonge
To Godrich, with a god spere,
That he saw another bere;
And smot Godrich and Godrich him,
Hetelike with herte grim,
So that he bothe felle dune
To the erthe, first the croune.
Thanne he woren fallen dun bothen,
Grundlike here swerdes he ut drowen,
That weren swithe sharp and gode,
And fouhten so thei woren wode
That the swot ran fro the crune
To the fet right there adune.
Ther mouthe men se to knicthes bete
Ayther on other dintes grete,
So that with the altherleste dint
Were al to-shivered a flint.
So was bitwenen hem a fiht
Fro the morwen ner to the niht,
So that thei nouth ne blunne
Til that to sette bigan the sunne.
Tho yaf Godrich thorw the side
Ubbe a wunde ful unride,
So that thorw that ilke wounde
Havede ben brouth to grunde
And his heved al of slawen,
Yif God ne were and Huwe Raven,
That drow him fro Godrich awey
And barw him so that ilke day.
But er he were fro Godrich drawen,
Ther were a thousind knihtes slawen
Bi bothe halve and mo ynowe,
Ther the ferdes togidere slowe,
Ther was swilk dreping of the folk
That on the feld was nevere a polk
That it ne stod of blod so ful
That the strem ran intil the hul.
Tho tarst bigan Godrich to go
Upon the Danshe and faste to slo
And forthrith, also leun fares
That nevere kines best ne spares,
Thanne his gon, for he garte alle
The Denshe men biforn him falle.
He felde browne, he felde blake,
That he mouthe overtake.
Was nevere non that mouhte thave
Hise dintes, noyther knith ne knave,
That he felde so dos the gres
Biforn the sythe that ful sharp es.
Hwan Havelok saw his folk so brittene
And his ferd so swithe littene,
He cam drivende upon a stede,
And bigan til him to grede,
And seyde, "Godrich, wat is thee,
That thou fare thus with me
And mine gode knihtes slos?
Sikerlike, thou misgos!
Thou wost ful wel, yif thu wilt wite,
That Athelwold thee dide site
On knes and sweren on messe bok,
On caliz and on pateyn ok,
That thou hise douhter sholdest yelde,
Than she were wimman of elde,
Engelond everil del.
Godrich the erl, thou wost it wel!
Do nu wel withuten fiht
Yeld hire the lond, for that is rith.
Wile ich forgive thee the lathe,
Al mi dede and al mi wrathe,
For I se thu art so with
And of thi bodi so god knith."
"That ne wile ich neveremo,"
Quoth erl Godrich, "for ich shal slo
Thee, and hire forhenge heye.
I shal thrist ut thy rith eye
That thou lokes with on me,
But thu swithe hethen fle!"
He grop the swerd ut sone anon,
And hew on Havelok ful god won,
So that he clef his sheld on two.
Hwan Havelok saw that shame do
His bodi ther biforn his ferd,
He drow ut sone his gode swerd,
And smote him so upon the crune
That Godrich fel to the erthe adune.
But Godrich stirt up swithe sket -
Lay ne nowth longe at hise fet -
And smot him on the sholdre so
That he dide thare undo
Of his brinie ringes mo
Than that ich kan tellen fro,
And woundede him rith in the flesh,
That tendre was and swithe nesh,
So that the blod ran til his to.
Tho was Havelok swithe wo,
That he havede of him drawen
Blod and so sore him slawen.
Hertelike til him he wente
And Godrich ther fulike shente,
For his swerd he hof up heye,
And the hand he dide of fleye
That he smot him with so sore -
Hw mithe he don him shame more?
 Hwan he havede him so shamed,
His hand of plat and ivele lamed,
He tok him sone bi the necke
Als a traitour, datheit who recke!
And dide him binde and fetere wel
With gode feteres al of stel,
And to the quen he sende him,
That birde wel to him ben grim,
And bad she sholde don him gete
And that non ne sholde him bete,
Ne shame do, for he was knith,
Til knithes haveden demd him rith.
Than the Englishe men that sawe,
That thei wisten, heye and lawe,
That Goldeboru that was so fayr
Was of Engelond rith eyr,
And that the king hire havede wedded,
And haveden been samen bedded,
He comen alle to crie "Merci,"
Unto the king at one cri,
And beden him sone manrede and oth
That he ne sholden, for lef ne loth,
Neveremore ageyn him go,
Ne ride, for wel ne for wo.
 The king ne wolde nouth forsake
That he ne shulde of hem take
Manrede that he beden and ok
Hold othes sweren on the bok.
But or bad he that thider were brouth
The quen for hem swilk was his thouth
For to se and forto shawe,
Yif that he hire wolde knawe -
Thoruth hem witen wolde he
Yif that she aucte quen to be.
 Sixe erles weren sone yare
After hire for to fare.
He nomen onon and comen sone,
And brouthen hire, that under mone
In al the werd ne havede per
Of hendeleik, fer ne ner.
Hwan she was come thider, alle
The Englishe men bigunne falle
O knes, and greten swithe sore,
And seyden, "Levedi, Kristes ore
And youres! We haven misdo mikel
That we ayen you have be fikel,
For Englond auhte for to ben
Youres and we youre men.
Is non of us, yung ne old,
That he ne wot that Athelwold
Was king of this kunerike
And ye his eyr, and that the swike
Haves it halden with mikel wronge -
God leve him sone to honge!"
Quot Havelok, "Hwan that ye it wite,
Nu wile ich that ye doune site;
And after Godrich haves wrouht,
That haves in sorwe himself brouth,
Lokes that ye demen him rith,
For dom ne spareth clerk ne knith,
And sithen shal ich understonde
Of you, after lawe of londe,
Manrede and holde othes bothe,
Yif ye it wilen and ek rothe."
Anon ther dune he hem sette,
For non the dom ne durste lette
And demden him to binden faste
Upon an asse swithe unwraste,
Andelong, nouht overthwert,
His nose went unto the stert
And so to Lincolne lede,
Shamelike in wicke wede,
And, hwan he come unto the borw,
Shamelike ben led ther thoru,
Bi southe the borw unto a grene,
That thare is yet, als I wene,
And there be bunden til a stake,
Abouten him ful gret fir make,
And al to dust be brend rith there.
And yet demden he ther more,
Other swikes for to warne:
That hise children sulde tharne
Everemore that eritage
That his was, for hise utrage.
Hwan the dom was demd and seyd,
Sket was the swike on the asse leyd,
And led him til that ilke grene
And brend til asken al bidene.
Tho was Goldeboru ful blithe -
She thanked God fele sythe
That the fule swike was brend
That wende wel hire bodi have shend;
And seyde, "Nu is time to take
Manrede of brune and of blake,
That ich se ride and go,
Nu ich am wreke of mi fo."
Havelok anon manrede tok
Of alle Englishe on the bok
And dide hem grete othes swere
That he sholden him god feyth bere
Ageyn hem alle that woren lives
And that sholde ben born of wives.
Thanne he haveden sikernesse
Taken of more and of lesse,
Al at hise wille, so dide he calle
The Erl of Cestre and hise men alle,
That was yung knith withuten wif,
And seyde, "Sire erl, bi mi lif,
And thou wile mi conseyl tro,
Ful wel shal ich with thee do;
For ich shal yeve thee to wive
The fairest thing that is o live.
That is Gunnild of Grimesby,
Grimes douther, bi Seint Davy,
That me forth broute and wel fedde,
And ut of Denemark with me fledde
Me for to burwe fro mi ded.
Sikerlike, thoru his red,
Have ich lived into this day -
Blissed worthe his soule ay!
I rede that thu hire take
And spuse and curteyse make,
For she is fayr and she is fre,
And al so hende so she may be.
Ther tekene, she is wel with me;
That shal ich ful wel shewe thee.
For ich wile give thee a give
That everemore, hwil ich live,
For hire shaltu be with me dere,
That wile ich that this folc al here."
The erl ne wolde nouth ageyn
The king be, for knith ne sweyn
Ne of the spusing seyen nay,
But spusede that ilke day.
That spusinge was in god time maked,
For it ne were nevere, clad ne naked,
In a thede samened two
That cam togidere, livede so
So they diden al here live:
He geten samen sones five,
That were the beste men at nede
That mouthe riden on ani stede.
Hwan Gunnild was to Cestre brouth,
Havelok the gode ne forgat nouth
Bertram, that was the erles kok,
That he ne dide callen ok,
And seyde, "Frend, so God me rede,
Nu shaltu have riche mede,
For wissing and thi gode dede
That tu me dides in ful gret nede.
For thanne I yede in mi cuvel
And ich ne havede bred ne sowel.
Ne I ne havede no catel,
Thou feddes and claddes me ful wel.
Have nu forthi of Cornwayle
The erldom ilk del, withuten fayle,
And al the lond that Godrich held,
Bothe in towne and ek in feld;
And ther-to wile ich that thu spuse,
And fayre bring hire until huse,
Grimes douther, Levive the hende,
For thider shal she with thee wende.
Hire semes curteys for to be,
For she is fayr so flour on tre;
The hew is swilk in hire ler
So the rose in roser,
Hwan it is fayre sprad ut newe,
Ageyn the sunne brith and lewe."
And girde him sone with the swerd
Of the erldom, biforn his ferd,
And with his hond he made him knith,
And yaf him armes, for that was rith,
And dide him there sone wedde
Hire that was ful swete in bedde.
After that he spused wore,
Wolde the Erl nouth dwelle thore,
But sone nam until his lond
And seysed it al in his hond
And livede ther inne, he and his wif,
An hundred winter in god lif,
And gaten mani children samen
And liveden ay in blisse and gamen.
Hwan the maidens were spused bothe,
Havelok anon bigan ful rathe
His Denshe men to feste wel
Wit riche landes and catel,
So that he weren alle riche,
For he was large and nouth chiche.
Ther after sone, with his here,
For he to Lundone for to bere
Corune, so that it sawe
Henglishe ant Denshe, heye and lowe,
Hwou he it bar with mikel pride,
For his barnage that was unride.
The feste of his coruning
Lastede with gret joying
Fourti dawes and sumdel mo.
Tho bigunnen the Denshe to go
Unto the king to aske leve;
And he ne wolde hem nouth greve,
For he saw that he woren yare
Into Denemark for to fare;
But gaf hem leve sone anon
And bitauhte hem Seint Johan,
And bad Ubbe, his justise,
That he sholde on ilke wise
Denemark yeme and gete so
That no pleynte come him to.
Hwan he wore parted alle samen,
Havelok bilefte wit joye and gamen
In Engelond and was ther-inne
Sixti winter king with winne,
And Goldeboru Quen, that I wene
So mikel love was hem bitwene
That al the werd spak of hem two;
He lovede hir and she him so
That neyther owe mithe be
Fro other, ne no joye se
But if he were togidere bothe.
Nevere yete no weren he wrothe
For here love was ay newe -
Nevere yete wordes ne grewe
Bitwene hem hwar of ne lathe
Mithe rise ne no wrathe.
He geten children hem bitwene
Sones and doughtres rith fivetene,
Hwar-of the sones were kinges alle,
So wolde God it sholde bifalle,
And the douhtres alle quenes:
Him stondes wel that god child strenes!
Nu have ye herd the gest al thoru
Of Havelok and of Goldeboru -
Hw he weren boren and hw fedde,
And hwou he woren with wronge ledde
In here youthe with trecherie,
With tresoun, and with felounye;
And hwou the swikes haveden tiht
Reven hem that was here rith,
And hwou he weren wreken wel,
Have ich seyd you everil del.
Forthi ich wolde biseken you
That haven herd the rim nu,
That ilke of you, with gode wille,
Saye a Pater Noster stille
For him that haveth the rym maked,
And ther-fore fele nihtes waked,
That Jesu Crist his soule bringe
Biforn his Fader at his endinge.

Amen
Or they would have slain him,
Or totally hacked or ripped him apart!
My lord, I have no more trouble
From what threatened me last night.
The thieves would have robbed me,
But, thank God, they surely paid for it!
But it is a great pity about Havelock.
I believe that he will soon be dead."
Ubbe said, "Bernard, is this the truth?"
"Yes, sire, I do not make false oaths!
If I lie one word, my lord,
Tomorrow have me hanged high!"
The townspeople who stood nearby,
Low and great, young and old,
Swore great and solemn oaths
That it was true what Bernard said.
It was true that they wanted to tie him up
And carry off all they might find of his
In coffers or in chests
That they would jam into sacks.
"My lord, they would have taken
All he had, with himself torn apart,
But God Himself has preserved him well
So that he has not lost any goods.
Who could stand against so many men
In the night-time, knight or peasant?
They were seventy in count,
Strong men, rugged men,
And one was the master of them all,
Who had the name Griffin Galle.
Who could stand against so many,
Except this man from faraway lands,
Who has killed them with a door bar?
May he have great joy!
May God give him wealth to wield,
Both in town and in the fields as well.
The food he eats is well spent!"
Ubbe said, "Have him brought quickly,
So that I may see his wounds,
If he may be healed.
For if he might still recover,
And walk firm on his feet,
I myself will dub him a knight
Because of his bravery.
And if any are alive, those foul thieves
Who come from Cain and Eve's kin,
They will hang by the neck!
Curse whoever cares about their death,
Since they ran about at night
To tie up both townsmen and knights.
I have no love for outlaws;
I don't give a berry about them!"
Havelock was brought before Ubbe,
Who had great concern for him
And much sorrow in his heart
For his wounds, which were so painful.
But when his injuries were examined
And a doctor had determined
That he would be able to heal them,
To make him walk and talk with vigor,
And sit on a saddle-horse
And then ride a steed confidently,
Then Ubbe let his worries go
And his sorrow passed away.
He said, "Come back with me now,
With Goldeboro, your wife,
And your men-at-arms, all three.
For I will be your guarantor now.
I want none of the friends
Of those you killed with your hand
To be able to wait for you in ambush
As you go to and fro.
I will lend you a chamber
Which is up in the high tower
Until you can get around
And be fully healed from all your woes.
There will be nothing between
Your room and mine, I know,
But a fine fir-wood wall.
If I speak loudly or speak quietly,
You will hear me well.
And whenever you want, you will see me.
A roof will cover us both at night,
So that none of mine, priest or knight,
Will try to cause shame to your wife
Any more than mine, so God help me!"
He had Havelock brought into the chamber
Soon after, with his wife and his
Three officers, the best men
That might be, all rejoicing.
The first night that he lay in there,
With his wife and three brothers in arms,
About the middle of the night
Ubbe woke up and saw a great light
From the room where Havelock lay,
As bright as if it were day.
"Good lord!" said Ubbe, "What is this?
I had better go myself and see
Whether he is up now and drinking toasts,
Or taking part in some debauchery
Like fools do this time of night.
Men ought to throw them in pools,
Or in a ditch, or in the muddy swamp.
No one is up now but wicked men,
Gluttons, criminals, or foul thieves,
By Christ who all people believe in!"
He stood up and peered through a board
Before he spoke another word,
And saw each one of them fast asleep
And lying as still as a stone.
He saw all that great light
Coming from Havelock, which was so bright.
Every bit of it came out of his mouth;
He could see that clearly.
"My God," he said, "what can this mean?"
He called for men, both timid and bold,
His wisest knights and officers,
More than a hundred, without a lie,
And he ordered them all to come and see
What that marvel might be.
As the knights were all arriving,
There Havelock lay outside the hall.
Out of his mouth streamed a gleam,
Exactly like a sunbeam.
The light there, by Heaven,
Was as if seven tapers were burning
And a hundred more candles with it.
I would dare to swear it on a Bible!
They were fast asleep, all five,
As if they had departed from life,
And Havelock lay on his left side,
With his shining bride in his arms.
He lay naked down to the chest;
So fair a two were never created
To lie together in a bed.
The knights thought it was good fun
To look at them and examine them.
But just as they all stood there
And his back shifted toward them,
They were aware of a majestic cross
On his right shoulder, so clear,
Brighter than gold against the light,
That they realized, high and low,
It was a royal mark that they saw.
It sparkled and shone brightly
Just as a good carbuncle stone does,
So that men can pick out a penny
By its light, it was so brilliant.
Then they beheld him closely,
So that they finally understood
That he was the son of Birkabeyn,
The man who was their king, who used
To govern and protect them well
Against foreign armies:
"For there has never been a brother
In all Denmark so like another
As this man, who is so noble,
Is like Birkabeyn. He is his heir."
At once they fell at his feet;
There were none who did not hail him.
They were all as full of joy
As if he had risen from the grave.
They kissed his feet a hundred times,
The toes, the nails, and the tips,
So that he began to wake up.
On seeing them he blanched painfully,
For he thought they would slay him,
Or else tie him up and do woe.
Ubbe said, "My lord, have no fear!
I think that I know your thoughts.
Dear son, how fortunate I am
To see you with my own eyes.
Lord, I offer you homage;
I fully ought to be your man.
For you are born from Birkabeyn,
Who had many knights and servants,
And you, lord, shall have the same.
Though you are still a young man,
You will be king of all Denmark.
There was never anyone so strong here.
Tomorrow you will receive pledges
From every type of man,
From all who are in this town,
Both from earl and from baron,
And from vassal and retainer,
And from knight and bondsman.
And so you will be made a knight
With gladness, for you are so valiant."
Then Havelock was very pleased,
And thanked God many times.
In the morning, when it was light,
And the gloom of the night was gone,
Ubbe had a young messenger
Leap on a steed, and go to summon
Earls, barons, retainers, vassals,
Priests, knights, townspeople, and peasants,
That they should come quickly
Before him soon, each of them,
As much as they loved their lives
And their children and their wives.
No one dared ignore his command,
So that all came at once
To find out what the justice wanted.
Ubbe soon rose
And said, "Listen to me,
All together, bound and free!
I will relate to you a matter here
That you all know clearly.
You know well that all this land
Was in Birkabeyn's hand
The day that he was alive and dead,
And how he, by your counsel,
Entrusted his three children, and all
His property, to Godard to steward.
He committed his son Havelock to him,
And his two daughters and his holdings.
All of you heard him swear
On the Bible and on the mass garments
That he would protect them well,
Without fault, without reproach.
He forget all about his oath!
He deserves evil and woe forever!
For he deprived both of the maidens
Of their lives with a knife,
And he would have killed the boy also.
The knife was drawn at his heart,
But God wished to save him.
Godard felt regret for the boy
So that he could not kill him
With his own hand, that miserable fiend!
But he soon after forced a fisherman
To swear solemn oaths
That he would drown him
In the sea that was so wild.
When Grim saw that he was so fair,
And realized he was the rightful heir,
They quickly fled from Denmark
Into England and kept him there.
Many years until this day
He has been fed and brought up well.
Look where he stands here!
In all this world he has no peer,
None so handsome, none so tall,
Nor any so great, nor none so strong.
On this earth there is no knight
Half so mighty, nor half so valiant.
Be joyful and glad because of him,
And come forward quickly
To pledge loyalty to your lord,
Every rank of person.
I shall first do the honors myself,
And you will all follow together after."
Ubbe set himself courteously on his knees;
Nothing might prevent him from it.
And he became Havelock's man right there,
So that all who were there saw it.
After him ten lads started up
And became his men,
And after then each baron
Who was ever in that town,
And then servants, and then vassals,
And then knights, and then peasants,
So that before the day was gone,
In all the town there was no one
Who had not become his man.
They had all taken oaths of loyalty.
When he had accepted homage
From all of them in the hall,
He had them solemnly swear
That they would act in good faith
Toward all who were alive for him.
No one would ever strive against him
Who made that oath,
Rich or poor, fair or foul.
When that was done, at once he sent
Ubbe's summons far and wide
To all who ruled a castle,
City, or town, friend or stranger,
That they should come to him quickly
And hear the good news
That he would tell them.
Of them, not a one delayed
So that he did not come hurrying.
Whoever had no horse came on foot,
So that within a fortnight
In all of Denmark, there was no knight,
Constable, or sheriff
Who came from Adam and Eve
Who did not appear before Sir Ubbe;
They feared him as the thief does the club.
When they had all greeted the king
And they were all seated,
Then Ubbe said, "Behold
Our lord so dear,
Who will be king of all the land
And have us all in his hand!
For he is Birkabeyn's son,
The king who once used
To rule and protect us well
With a sharp sword and long spear.
Look now, how noble he is;
Surely he is his heir!
Everyone fall to his feet in haste
And become his man."
They were so in awe of Ubbe
That they did all he ordered at once,
And yet they did something more:
They gravely swore on the scriptures
That they would stand with him
Against both timid and bold,
Against whoever wished to harm his body.
He had them swear it on the Bible.
When he had taken homage and oaths
From fair and foul,
Ubbe dubbed him a knight
With a sword shining bright,
And the people of all the land
Entrusted everything into his hand,
Every part of the kingdom,
And made him king, fully and majestically.
When he was king, men might see
The greatest joy that could be.
There was jousting with sharp spears,
Fencing with shields that men bear,
Wrestling with the lads, shot-putting,
Harping and piping, an abundant amount,
Games of backgammon and dice as well,
And readings from books of romances.
There men could hear tales sung,
With minstrels beating on a drum.
Men could see bulls baited,
And the boars with lively dogs.
Men could see every kind of sport
And enjoy the growing excitement.
There was never more joy
In all this world than there was there.
There were so many gifts of clothes
That even if I swore you great oaths
It would never be believed.
That I may swear in full, by God!
There were costly foods and wines
That men bring from distant lands,
Just as much and in such abundance
As if it were water from the sea.
The feast lasted forty days;
There was never one so lavish as that.
The king made Robert a knight there,
Who was strong and valiant,
And William Wendut as well, his brother,
And Hugh Raven, who was the other.
He made all three of them barons,
And gave them land and other properties,
So much that each had in his retinue
Twenty knights by day and night.
When the feast was all over,
A thousand knights, fully equipped,
Escorted the king with him leading them.
Each had a strong steed,
Helmet and shield, and bright mailcoat,
And all the weapons fitting for knights.
With them were also five thousand
Good men, raring to fight,
Who filled out his company.
I will not make the story any longer.
And yet when he had, from all the land,
All the castles in his command,
And had placed officers in them,
He swore he would never rest
Until he had revenge on Godard,
Whom I have spoken often enough about.
He summoned half a hundred knights,
And all his five thousand strongmen,
And had them swear at once
On the Bible and on the altar as well,
That they would never give up,
Neither for love nor for sin,
Until they had found Godard
And brought him before him bound fast.
When they had sworn this oath,
They would not be delayed for love or hate,
So that they went forth in a rush
To where Godard was, on the path
Where he went hunting,
With a retinue that was large and proud.
Robert, who was master of the militia,
Was equipped with a sword
And sat upon a mighty steed
That would gallop mightily under him.
He was the first to speak to Godard,
And shouted, "Stop right there, rogue!
What are you doing on this path?
Come to the king quickly in haste!
He sends you word and commands
You to think on what you did to him
When you took the lives of
His sisters with a knife
And then ordered him to be drowned
In the sea—he heard all about that!
He is very displeased with you.
Now come to him immediately,
The sovereign of this kingdom,
You foul man, you wicked traitor!
And he will give you your reward,
By Christ who bled on the Cross!"
When Godard heard what he threatened,
With his fist he struck Robert
In the teeth with a good strong blow,
And Robert pulled out a long knife
And stuck him through the right arm.
There was little harm done in that!
When his company saw and heard
How Robert had acted with their lord,
They nearly would have taken his life
If not for his two brothers and five others
Who killed ten men
Of Godard's very best troops.
When the others saw that, they fled,
And Godard shouted loudly,
"My knights, what are you doing?
Will you abandon me this way?
I have kept you and will still keep you!
Help me now in this need
And do not let my blood be spilled,
Or let Havelock do his will with me!
If you do so, you shame yourselves
And bring yourselves into dishonor!"
When they heard that, they came back,
And killed a knight and a servant
Of the king's own men,
And wounded about ten others.
The king's men, when they saw this,
Rushed on them, high and low,
And slaughtered every foot of them
Except for Godard alone, whom they would flay
Like the thief that men hang,
Or a dog that men hurl into a ditch.
They tied him up tightly
While the bonds would last,
So that he roared like a bull
That was trapped in a pit
With dogs biting and goading.
The bonds were not light in weight.
They held him so painfully tight
That he began to cry for God's mercy,
That they would cut off his hands.
They did not stop for that,
Until he was bound hand and foot.
Cursed be the man who would prevent it!
They beat him like men do a bear
And threw him on a mangy mare
With his nose turned back into its behind.
They led that foul traitor in this way
Until he was brought before Havelock,
To whom he had caused so much woe,
Both with hunger and with cold
Before he was twelve years old,
And with much heavy labor,
With poor food and little drink,
And with ragged clothing,
For all his many fine oaths.
Now he paid for his earlier crime;
Old sin makes new shame!
When the foul traitor was so
Disgracefully brought before the king,
The king had Ubbe quickly call
His earls and all his barons,
Vassal and retainer, citizen and knight,
And ordered that they should judge him,
For they knew the criminal well.
God was angry with him in every way!
They seated themselves by the wall,
Rich and poor, high and low,
The old men and the young as well,
And made their judgment there.
Soon they said to the king,
Who sat as still as a stone,
"We order that he be flayed alive,
And then taken to the gallows,
Facing this foul mare's tail,
With a good strong nail through his feet,
And be hanged there on two chains,
With these letters written there:
'This is the traitor who fully intended
To rob the king of every acre of land,
And took the lives of both
His sisters with a knife.'
This writ will hang by him there.
The verdict is given. We have no more to say."
When the judgment was given and approved,
And he received rites from the priests,
There was no other course,
Not for father nor for brother,
But that he should lose his life.
A lad came swiftly with a knife
And began right at the toe
To cut and to slice,
As if it were a gown or dress,
And Godard began to roar then
So that men a mile away
Might hear him yell, that foul wretch!
The youth did not stop at all for that,
Even though he cried, "Mercy! Mercy!",
To skin every bit of him
With a knife made of ground steel.
Soon they had the mare brought,
Scabbed and sick to the bone,
And bound him right to the tail
With a rope from an old sail.
They took him to the gallows,
Not by the road but over the fields,
And hanged him there by the neck.
Damn whoever cares! He was false!
When he was dead, that devil,
All that was his was quickly seized
Into the king's hand, every bit,
Lands and tenants and other goods.
And the king immediately placed it
Into Ubbe's hand with a fine staff
And said, "I hereby invest you
With all the land, and all the properties."
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Havelock was a mighty king then,
And he reigned more than four years
And amassed marvelous treasures.
But Goldeboro urged him
To journey back to England
To conquer her heritage,
For which her uncle had exiled
And very unjustly disinherited her.
The king told her he would do
As she had asked him.
He had his fleet prepared
And sent for his men and his host.
After praying, he put to sea
And took the queen with him.
Havelock had four hundred
And eighty ships, full of men.
They sailed and steered
Until they arrived at Saltfleet.
They anchored near the harbor
And looked for provisions on land.
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Then Havelock swore that
He would establish a priory for Grim
Of Benedictine monks to serve
Jesus Christ forever, until Judgment Day,
For the kindness he had shown him
When he was poor and weak.
And he would keep his promise in full,
For he had it built, God knows,
In the town where Grim was buried,
Which still has his name.
I have no more to say about Grim.
But when Godrich,
Who was earl of Cornwall—
That foul traitor, that filthy slave—
Heard that Havelock was king of Denmark,
And that an army, strong and bold,
Had come into England,
To win all of England,
And that the beautiful Goldeboro,
Who was England's rightful heir,
Had arrived at Grimsby,
He was distraught and miserable
And said, "What shall I do?
God knows, I will have them both executed!
I will have them hanged high,
As sure as I see with my right eye,
Unless they flee my land!
What, do they think they will disinherit me?"
At once he ordered his army out,
All who could ever ride a horse
Or bear a helmet on their head,
A mailcoat on their back, shield and spear,
Or carry any other weapon,
Battle-ax, scythe, halberd, or spear,
Or dagger or a good long knife,
So that if they loved life or limb,
They should report to him,
Bearing their finest weapons,
To Lincoln, where he waited,
On the seventeenth day of March,
So that he might thank them properly.
And if any were so headstrong
That they did not come speedily,
He swore by Christ and by Saint John,
That he would make him a slave,
And all his offspring after the same.
Of the English who heard that,
There were none who refused his orders,
For they dreaded him so sorely
Like the nag fears the spur, and much more.
On the day that Godard set for them,
They promptly came, fully equipped,
To Lincoln with good warhorses
And all the weapons that knights carry.
When they had arrived, the earl was eager
To face against Danish men,
And he said, "Listen now, all together!
I have not gathered you for fun and games,
But for what I will tell you now:
Look where, there at Grimsby,
These foreigners have come,
And have now seized the priory
And all that they can find.
They burn churches and tie up priests;
They strangle both monks and nuns!
What do you, friends, advise to be done?
If they run free in this way for long,
They may overcome us all.
They may hang or slay us all alive,
Or make us slaves and do us great woe,
Or else rob us of our lives,
Along with our children and our wives!
But now do as I will instruct you,
If you wish to be faithful to me.
Let us go forth now, and in haste,
And save both me and yourselves
And strike at the dogs quickly!
For I will never be at peace,
Nor be confessed or absolved by a priest,
Until they are driven from our land.
Let's get going and make them flee,
And everyone follow me closely!
For in all the army, it is me
Who will first kill with his sword drawn.
Damn anyone who doesn't stand fast
By me while his arms last!"
"Yes, my dear lord, yes!" said Earl Gunter.
"Yes!" said the earl of Chester, Reyner.
And who stood there said the same,
And they rushed forth as if they were mad.
Then men could see bright mailcoats
Thrown on backs and laced firmly,
And helmets set high on heads.
All hurried so quickly to arms
That they were ready in the time
It takes to count out a pound.
Straightaway they leaped on steeds,
And towards Grimsby, with full force,
They lumbered along the road
Until they came near to Grimsby.
Havelock, who had inquired closely
Into their movements, every detail,
Came against them with all his forces.
He spared neither knight nor peasant.
The first knight that he met there
He charged so hard with his sword
That he sheared off his head.
He did not hesitate to inflict harm.
When Robert saw that skillful blow,
He would not turn away
Until he had slain another
With the sword he held drawn out.
William Wendut drew out his sword,
And he struck a third so hard
That he made his left arm fly off
Onto the field with his sword.
Hugh Raven did not forget to use
The sword he had brought there.
He swung it up, and struck hard
On an earl that he saw spurring there
Nobly upon a steed,
Who galloped quickly toward him.
He struck him on the head so forcefully
That he cleft the skull in two,
And near the shoulder-blade
He let the sharp sword pass
Through the breast into the heart.
The blow began to hurt so painfully
That the earl fell down at once,
As dead as any stone.
Ubbe said, "I hold back too long!",
And immediately charged his horse
Toward Godrich, with a good spear
That he saw another bear,
And the two struck at each other
Hotly with fierce hearts,
So that they both fell headfirst
Down to the earth.
When they were both fallen,
They drew out their swords violently,
Which were so sharp and hard,
And fought like they were berserk,
So that the sweat and blood ran
From their heads down to their feet.
There men could see two knights
Beat on each other with great blows
So that the least strike
Would have shattered a stone to pieces.
There was a fight between them
From the morning nearly to night,
So that they did not let up
Until the sun began to set.
Godrich had given Ubbe
An ugly wound through the side,
So that with that same injury
He would have been brought to the earth
And his head hacked off
If God and Hugh Raven were not there,
Who drew him away from Godrich
And saved him that very day.
But before he was taken from Godrich
There were a thousand knights killed
And more enough on both sides.
Where the armies clashed together
There was such slaughter of the warriors
That on the field there was no puddle
That was not so full of blood
That the stream didn't run downhill.
Then Godrich began to strike quickly
Upon the Danish again, killing swiftly
And relentlessly, as a lion pounces
Who spares no kind of prey
And then is gone, for he made all
The Danish men fall before him.
He dropped every type of warrior,
Any that he might overtake.
There was no one who might survive
His blows, neither knight nor serf,
That he cut down like the grass
Before a sharpened scythe.
When Havelock saw his men so shaken
And his forces so reduced,
He came driving up on a steed
And began to parley with him,
And said, "Godrich, why do you do this
That you act this way with me
And slay my good knights?
Surely, you do evil!
You know full well, if you recall,
That Athelwold had you swear
On your knees and on the missal,
On chalice and sacramental cloth as well,
That you would yield to his daughter,
When she was a woman of age,
Every bit of England.
Earl Godrich, you know it well!
Do it now without struggle.
Give her the land, for it is her right.
I will forgive you for your hate,
For all my dead, and all my wrath,
For I see you are valiant
And in body a good knight."
"That I will never do,"
Answered Earl Godrich, "for I will
Slay you, and hang her high!
I will thrust out your right eye
That you look at me with,
Unless you flee from here quickly!"
He straightaway gripped his sword out,
And cut down on Havelock forcefully,
So that he split his shield in two.
When Havelock saw that shame done
To his own body in front of his host,
At once he drew out his best sword
And smashed him so hard upon the head
That Godrich fell to the earth.
But Godrich got up very quickly.
He did not lay long at his feet,
And struck Havelock on the shoulder
So that he took off more
Of his mailcoat rings
Than I can count,
And wounded him right in the flesh,
Which was so tender and soft,
So that the blood ran down to his toe.
Havelock was distressed then
That Godrich had drawn blood
From him and wounded him so sorely.
With furious heart he went at him
And brought great shame to Godrich there,
For he heaved his sword up high
And struck him so harshly
That he made Godrich's hand fly off.
How could he dishonor him more?
When Havelock had disgraced him,
His hand cut off, and badly lame,
He immediately seized him by the neck
As a traitor—damn whoever cares!—
And had him bound and fettered fast
With strong chains, all of steel,
And he sent him to the queen.
That lady had cause to be stern with him,
And she ordered that he be guarded,
But that no one should beat him
Or abuse him, for he was a knight,
Until other knights had rightfully judged him.
When the English men saw that,
When they realized, high and low,
That Goldeboro, who was so fair,
Was the rightful heir of England,
And that the king had married her,
And they had bedded together,
They all came to cry, "Mercy!"
Unto the king with one voice.
At once they offered him homage and vows
That they would never,
For love or hate, oppose him again,
Or rebel, for better or for worse.
The king did not reject them
So that he should not accept
The homage that they offered, as well as
Other oaths of loyalty sworn on the Bible.
But before doing so he ordered the queen
To be brought, for such were his thoughts
To watch and to see
If they would recognize her.
Through them he would know
If she ought to be queen.
Six earls were soon ready
To set out after her.
They went at once and soon returned
Bringing her, she who had no peer
Under the moon in all the world
In gentility, near or far.
When she was coming near,
All the English men began to fall
On their knees and cried out bitterly
And said, "Our lady, Christ's mercy
And yours! We have done great evil
To be disloyal to you,
For England ought to be yours,
And we your men.
There is none of us, young or old,
Who does not know that Athelwold
Was sovereign of this kingdom
And you his heir, and that the traitor
Has held it with great injustice.
May God soon grant for him to hang!"
Havelock said, "Since you understand,
I would like you now to all sit down.
And in regard to what Godrich has caused,
Who has brought himself to calamity,
See that you judge him rightly,
For justice spares neither priest nor knight.
And after then I will accept from you,
Under the law of the land,
Both your homage and oaths of loyalty,
If you want it and recommend it as well."
They seated themselves at once,
For no one dared obstruct the verdict,
And they ordered the traitor bound tight
Upon a filthy donkey,
End to end, not across,
His nose set toward the tail,
And led to Lincoln in this manner,
Shamefully in wretched rags;
And, when he arrived in the borough,
To be dishonorably paraded through,
To south of the town onto a green field—
Which is still there, as far as I know—
And to be tied to a stake
With a great fire set around him,
And all to be burned to dust right there.
And yet they ordered more,
In order to warn other traitors:
That his children should forever lose
Their heritage of what was his
For his outrageous crime.
When the verdict was given and approved,
The traitor was quickly laid on the donkey
And he was led to that same green
And burned to ashes right away.
Then Goldeboro was at ease.
She thanked God many times
That the foul traitor who had intended
To disgrace her body was burned,
And she said, "Now is the time to take
Homage from all kinds of people
That I see riding and walking,
Now that I am avenged on my foe."
Havelock had soon received pledges
On the Bible from all the English,
And had them swear solemn oaths
That they would hold him in good faith
Toward all who were alive
And who were born of women.
When he had taken guarantees
From the great and the lesser,
With all at his will, he summoned
The earl of Chester with all his men,
Who was a young knight without a wife,
And said, "Sir Earl, by my life,
If you will trust my counsel,
I will deal with you fairly.
For I will give you as a wife
The fairest thing that is alive,
Gunnild of Grimsby,
The daughter of Grim, by Saint David,
Who brought me up and kept me well,
And fled with me out of Denmark
To rescue me from death.
Surely, through his good judgment
I have lived to this day.
May his soul be blessed forever!
I advise that you take her
And wed her, and do her courtesy,
For she is beautiful and she is noble,
And as gracious as she could be.
I will prove it to you in full that
I am well pleased with her by a token,
For I will give you a promise
That forevermore, while I live,
For her sake you shall be dear to me.
I would like all these people to witness that."
The earl did not refuse the king,
And neither knight nor servant
Said anything against the match,
But they were wedded that same day.
That marriage was made in a blessed moment,
For there were never in any land
Two who came together, clothed or naked,
Who lived in the way
That they did their whole lives.
They had five sons together,
All the best men in times of need
Who might ride on any steed.
When Gunnild was brought to Chester,
Havelock, the good man, did not forget
Bertram, who was the earl's cook.
He called him as well
And said, "Friend, so God help me,
You will have a rich reward
For your guidance and your kind deeds
That you did for me in my great need.
For then I walked in my cloak
And had neither bread nor sauce,
Nor did I have any possessions.
You fed and clothed me well.
Take now the earldom of Cornwall,
Every acre, without any doubt,
And all the land that Godrich held,
Both in town and field as well.
And with that I want you to marry
Grim's daughter, Levi the gracious,
And bring her honorably to your house
For she shall go with you there.
It is her nature to be courteous,
For she is as fair as the flower on the tree.
The color in her face
Is like the rose in a rosebush
When it has newly blossomed out
Toward the sun, bright and fresh."
And at once he fit him with the sword
Of the earldom, in front of his army,
And with his hand he made him a knight
And gave him arms, for that was proper,
And straightaway had him married
To Levi, who was so sweet in bed.
After they were married,
The earl did not wish to dwell there,
But soon made his way to his land
And received it all into his hand,
And lived there, him and his wife,
For a hundred seasons in good health.
They had many children together,
And lived forever in ease and pleasure.
When both of the maidens were married,
Havelock immediately began
To endow his Danish men well
With rich lands and properties,
So that they were all prosperous,
For he was generous and not grudging.
Soon after, he traveled with his army
To London to wear the crown,
So that all would see,
English and Danish, high and low,
How he wore it with regal pride
Before his great baronage.
The festival of his coronation
Lasted with great rejoicing
For forty days and somewhat more.
Then the Danes began to go
To the king to ask permission to leave.
He did not want to aggrieve them,
For he saw that they were anxious
To journey home to Denmark,
But gave them permission soon after
And entrusted them to Saint John,
And ordered Ubbe, his magistrate,
That he should govern and guard
Denmark in the same way,
So that no complaint would come to him.
When they had all departed together,
Havelock stayed with joy and pleasure
In England and was king there
In peace for sixty years.
And as for Queen Goldeboro, I know that
So much love was between them
That all the world spoke of the two.
He loved her and she loved him
So that neither one could be separated
From the other, nor have any happiness
Unless they were together.
They were never angry with each other,
For their love was always new.
Harsh words never grew between them
That might lead to any hostility
Or any wrath.
They had many children together,
Sons and daughters, fifteen in all,
Of whom the sons were all kings
If God should have it happen,
And the daughters all queens.
He stands well who has good children!
Now you have heard the adventure through
Of Havelock and Goldeboro,
How they were born and how they fared,
And how they were treated wrongly
In their youth with treachery,
With treason, and with felony;
And how the traitors intended
To rob them of what was their right,
And how they were well avenged.
I have told you every bit.
For that, I now ask of all of you
Who have heard the story now,
That each of you, in good faith,
Will say the Lord's Prayer quietly
For him who made this story
And stayed awake many nights for it,
That Jesus Christ would bring his soul
Before His Father at his end.

Amen.

The End
Ken's Page