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The Laud Troy Book
, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 595
[139. They [the Greeks] set Watches and kindle Fires ; in the Morning they take up Arms.]
… Mules & hors bene put to cracche,
And afftir that thei sette here wacche
With sicur men that wolde not slepe,
On euery a side that ost to kepe;
Thei dede falle bothe oke and plane
And made fir In euery a lane,
That men myght se bothe ner and ferre
Our-al a-boute In eueryche a corner;
The fires ^euen a gret lyght,
As of hit hadde ben day-lyght.
Mynstralles her pipes hente
And alle other of Instrumente,
Thei nakered, piped, and blew,
Vnto that the Cokkes crew.
And thus was thanne the sege be-gonne,
That laste ten 3er, or Troye was wonne;
git was it neuere wonne with fyght,
With the Gregeis, ne with ther myght;
Hit was be-trayed falsly Alas !
With Antenor and Eueas.
[They anchor their ships.]
Hit is day, the Cok hath crowen,
Many an horn thanne was blowen,
Many an horn and many a pipe;
Thei be-gan her Armure gripe
Bothe In feld and In toun;
Thei rered many a gomfanoun,
Baneres brode of fyne asure,
Grene, and white, of purpur pure,
Some were rede as vermyloun,
With pelotes, daunse, and Cheueroun,
Some with sauters engrele,
And some with bastouw wouerle,
Off sable some, of siluer fyn,
And some of hem began to schyn.
[218 Hector kills Octomene. A Fight between Dwmedes and Antipe.]
Diodemes and kyng Antipe,
With-oute trompe or pipe
Or any other Melodye,
Thei redyn to-geder with gret envye;
Here speres brast In splentes,
But thei fel not with here dentes,
With that lustyng ne that lornay.
But thei jede not quyte a-way:
Thei drow here swerdes of here scauberkis
And smot on scheldes and hauberkes,
The rynges barst, the nayles out,
Thei were strawed al a-bout;
Her woundes bledde, her flescfi was tamet,
The holest of hem ful sore was lamet.
But at the laste be-tydde it so,
That Diodemes smot In-two
[242 Both Trojans and Greeks are glad of the Truce: they make merry.]
These lordes toke leue of the kyng
And wente horn al hying;
And to the Gregais horn he brynges
Off his trewis gode tydynges
That thei of Troie hath graunt the trewes.
Then myjt men here many glewes,
Pipe and Trompe, and many nakeres,
Synfan, lute, and Citoleres;
Ther was so many a daunce.
Thei made tho gret puruyaunce
Off corn and hay, of wyn and otes,
And thei songen wel merie notes;
Thei hele her woundes In gret quiete,
With mochel loye thei dronke and ete.
And thei of Troye were as fayn
Off here reste, bothe knyjt & swayn.
The Laud Troy Book
is a substantial poem about the siege of Troy which survives uniquely in this manuscript. It was amongst the manuscripts given to the Bodleian Library by its 17th-century owner, Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645), from his extensive collection.
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