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For we reneied Mahound our creance? 4 760

BDt,JLorde», woi yc n-.aken assurance,
As I shal fay, assenting to my lore?
And I slial make us sauf for evermore.

They fwerenand assented every man
To live with hire and die, and by hire ilor.d; 4765
And everich on, in the best wise he can,
To strengthen hire shal all his frendes fond.
And (he hath this emprise y taken in liond
Which yc stvull hcren that 1 shal devise,
And to hem all she spake right in this wife. 477«

We fhul first seine us Cristendom to take; Cold water ihal not greve us but a lite j And 1 shal lwiche a feste and revel make That, as I trow, I lhal the Soudan quite: Tor tho his wifbe cristened never so white 4775 She shal have nede to wash away the rede Though she a font of water with hire lede.

O Soudannesse, rote of iniejuitee,
Virago thou Semyramee the second,
O serpent under femininitee, 47&0

Like to the serpent depe in helle ybound,
O seined woman! all that may confound
Virtue and innocence, thurgh thy malice
Is bred in thee, as nest of every vice.

O Sathan envious! sin thilke day 4785

That thou were chased from our heritage,
Wd knowest thou to woniaa the olde way:

Thou mailed Era bring us in servage,

Thou wolt fordon this Cristen manage:

Thin instrument so (wall wa the while!) 47<?o

Makest thou of women whan thou wolt begile.

This Soudanneffe, whom I thus blame and warrie,
Let prively hire conseil gon hir way:
What fhuld I in this Tale longer tarie?
She rideth to the Soudan on a day, 4795

And sayd him that {he wold reneie hire lay,
And Cristendom of preltes hondes song,
Repenting hire she Hethen was so long;

Bescching him to don hire that honour
That stie might han the Cristen folk to fest; 48CO
To plefen hem 1 wol do my labour.
The Soudan faith, ( wol don at your hest,
And kneling thanked hire of that request;
So glad he was ne n'iste not what to fay,
bhe kist hire lone, and home she goth hire way.

Arrived ben these Cristen folk to land 4806

In Surrie, with a gret folempne route,
And hastily this Soudan sent his fond
First to his mother and all the regne aboute,
And sayd his wif was comen out of doute, 4810
And praide hem for to riden again the quene,
The honour of his regne to iustene.

Gret was the presse, and riche was th' array
Of Surriensand Romanes met in fere.
The mother of the Soudan riche and gay 4815

Volume II. U

Received hire with all so glad a chere
As any mother might hire doughter dcre;
And to the nexte citee ther beside
A softe pas solempnely they ride.

Nought trow I the triumph of Julius, 4820

Of which that Lucan maketh swiche a host,
Was reallcr or more curious
Than was th' aiTemblee of this blisful host;
Butte this scorpion, this wicked gost,
The Soudannefie, for all hire flattering A%*S

Cast, under this ful mortally to sting.

The Soudan cometh himself sone aster this So really,: that wonder is to tell, And welcometh hire with alle joyeand blis. And thus in milth and joye 1 let hem dwell; 4830 The fruit of this matere is that 1 tell. Whan time came, men thought it for the best That revel flint, and men go to hir rest.

The time come is this olde Sondannesie
Ordeined hath the feste cf which 1 toldc, 483J

And to the festc Cristen folk hem drefse
In general, ya, bothe yonge and olde.
Ther may men fest and realtee beholde,
And deintees mo than I can you devise;
But all to dere they bought it or they rise. 4840

O soden wo, that ever art successour
To wordly blis! spreint is with bitterneffe

^■. 4S41. O/odc-n we] I shall transcribe the following passage from the margin of ;nl". C. 1, though I know not from what author It is borrowed, as it confirms the readings adopted in Th' cnde of the joye of our worldly labour:

Wo occupieth the fyn of our gladnesse.

Herkcn this confeil for thy sikernesse, 4845

Upon thy glade day have in thy minde

The unware wo of harm that cometh behindc.

For shortly for to tellcn at a word,
The Soudan and the Cristen everich on
Ben all to-hewe and (liked at the hord 485O

But it were oidy Dame Custance alone.
This olde Soudanneffe, this cursed crone,
Hath with hire frendes don this cursed dede,
For she hireself wold all the contree lede.

Ne ther was Surrien non that was converted, That of the confeil of the Soudan wot, 4836

That he n'as all to-hewe er he asserted;
And Custance han they taken anon sote-hot,
And in a ship all stereles (God wot)
They han hire set, and bidden hire lernc sayle 4860
Out of Surrie againward to Itaille.

the text; M Semper munrlanæ lætitiæ tristitia repentina suc•' cedit. Mundana igitur felicitas multis amaritttdimbus eft re* spersa. Extrema gaudii ludus occupat. Audi ergo salubre *' consilium ; in die Ixmorum nc immcinoT sia malorum." The editt. read,O/omlan-wo, life.

t-. 4H5B.siM-hol"] Hastily, with all expedition. See Gmvtr, Cons. Amant. sol. 8llS;

And forth with all anon/oM bate
lie (talc the cowe—

See also *. K. 3827, " Hjut le pied," In French, has the fame signification. Cotgra-jc, in v.; so that I Ihould suspect katt In •ur phrase, to be a corruption ofbaut.

A certain tresor that she thither ladde,
Andsoth to sayn vitaille gre» plentee,
They han hire yeven, and clothes eke Die hadde.
And forth she sayleth in the salte see. 486j

O my Cuslance! sul of benignitee,
O Emperoures yonge doughter dere!
He that is Lord of fortune be thy stere.

She blesseth hire, and with ful pitous voie
Unto the crois of Crist thus sayde she: 4870

O clere, o weleful auter, holy crois!
Red of the Lambes blood ful of pitee,
That wesh the world fro the old iniquitee,
Me fro the fende and fro his clawes kepe
That day that I dial drenchen in the depe. 4875

Victorious tree, protection of trewe,
That only worthy were for to bere
The King of htven with his woundes newe,
The white Lamb, that hurt was with a spere;
Flemcr of fendes out of him and here 4 880

On which thy Iimmcs faithfully extenden,
Me kepe, and yeve me might my lif to amen Jen.

Yeres and dayes fleet this creature
Thurghout the sec of Grece, unto the Straite
Of Maroc, an it was hire aventure: 4885

On many a sory mele now may she haite;
After hire deth ful often may she waite,
Or that the wilde waves wol hire drive
Unto the place ther as she shal arive.

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