Amis and Amiloun

So it bifel opon a night,
As Sir Amis, that gentil knight,
In slepe thought as he lay,
An angel com fram heven bright
And stode biforn his bed ful right
And to him thus gan say:
Yif he wald rise on Cristes morn,
Swiche time as Jhesu Crist was born,
And slen his children tvay,
And alien his (brother) with the blode,
Thurch godes grace, that is so gode,
His wo schuld wende oway.

Thus him thought al tho thre night
An angel out of heven bright
Warned him ever more
Yif he wald do as he him hight,
His brother schuld ben as fair a knight
As ever he was biforn.
Ful blithe was Sir Amis tho,
Ac for his childer him as ful wo,
For fairer ner non born.
Wel loth him was his childer to slo,
And wel lother his brother forgo,
That is so kinde ycorn.

Sir Amiloun met that night also
That an angel warned him tho,
And seyd to him ful yare,
Yif his brother wald his childer slo,
The hert blod of hem to
Might bring him out of care.
Amorwe Sir Amis was ful hende
And to his brother he gan wende
And asked him of his fare;
And he him answered ogain ful stille,
" Brother, Ich abide her godes wille,
For Y may do na mare."

Al so thai sete togider thare
And speke of aventours, as it ware,
Tho knightes hende and fre,
Than seyd Sir Amiloun ful yare,
" Brother, Y nil nought spare
To tel the in privite,
Me thought tonight in mi sweven
That an angel com fram heven;
For sothe, he told me
That thurch the blod of [thin] children to
Y might aschape out of mi wo,
Al hayl and hole to be!"

Than thought the douk, withouten lesing,
For to slen his childer so ying,
It were a dedli sinne;
And than thought he, bi heven king,
His brother out of sorwe bring,
For that nold he nought blinne.
So it bifel on Cristes night,
Swiche time as Jhesu, ful of might,
Was born to save mankunne,
To chirche to wende, al that ther wes,
Thai dighten him, withouten les,
With joie and worldes winne.

Than thai were redi for to fare,
The douk bad al that ther ware,
To chirche thai schuld wende,
Litel and michel, lasse and mare,
That non bileft in chaumber thare,
As thai wald ben his frende,
And seyd he wald himselve that night
Kepe his brother, that gentil knight,
That was so god and kende.
Than was ther non that durst say nay;
To chirche thai went in her way,
At hom bileft tho hende.

The douke wel fast gan aspie
The kays of the noricerie,
Er than thai schuld gon.
And priveliche he cast his eighe
And aparceived ful witterlye
Where that thai hadde hem don.
And when thai were to chirche went,
Than Sir Amis, verrament,
Was bileft alon.
He tok a candel fair and bright
And to the kays he went ful right
And tok hem oway ichon.

Alon himself, withouten mo,
Into the chaumber he gan to go,
Ther that his childer were,
And biheld hem bothe to,
Hou fair thai lay togider tho
And slepe both yfere.
Than seyd himselve, " Bi Seyn Jon,
It were gret rewethe you to slon
That God hath bought so dere!"
His kniif he had drawen that tide,
For sorwe he sleynt oway biside
And wepe with reweful chere.

Than he hadde wopen ther he stode,
Anon he turned ogain his mode
And sayd withouten delay,
" Mi brother was so kinde and gode,
With grimly wounde he schad his blod
For mi love opon a day;
Whi schuld Y than mi childer spare,
To bring mi brother out of care?
O certes," he seyd, " nay!
To help mi brother now at this nede,
God graunt me thereto wele to spede,
And Mari, that best may!"

No lenger stint he no stode,
Bot hent his kniif with dreri mode
And tok his children tho;
For he nold nought spille her blode,
Over a bacine fair and gode
Her throtes he schar atvo.
And when he hadde hem both slain,
He laid hem in her bed ogaine —
No wonder thei him were wo —
And hilde hem, that no wight schuld se,
As noman hadde at hem be;
Out of chaumber he gan go.

And when he was out of chaumber gon,
The dor he steked stille anon
As fast as it was biforn;
The kays he hidde under a ston
And thought thai schulde wene ichon
That thai hadde ben forlorn.
To his brother he went him than,
And seyd to that careful man,
" Swiche time as God was born,
Ich have the brought mi childer blod,
Ich hope it shal do the gode
As the angel seyd biforn."

" Brother," Sir Amiloun gan to say,
" Hastow slayn thine children tvay?
Allas, whi destow so?"
He wepe and seyd, " Wailaway!
Ich had lever til domesday
Have lived in care and wo!"
Than seyd Sir Amis, " Be now still;
Jhesu, when it is his wille,
May send me childer mo.
For me of blis thou art al bare;
Ywis, mi liif wil Y nought spare,
To help the now therfro."

He tok that blode, that was so bright,
And alied that gentil knight,
That er was hend in hale,
And sethen in bed him dight
And wreighe him wel warm, aplight,
With clothes riche and fale.
" Brother," he seyd, " ly now stille
And falle on slepe thurch Godes wille,
As the angel told in tale;
And Ich hope wele withouten lesing
Jhesu, that is heven king,
Schal bote the of thi bale."

Sir Amis let him ly alon
And into his chapel he went anon,
In gest as ye may here,
And for his childer, that he hadde slon,
To God of heven he made his mon
And preyd with rewely chere,
Schuld save him fram schame that day,
And Mari, His moder, that best may,
That was Him leve and dere;
And Jhesu Crist, in that stede,
Ful wele he herd that knightes bede
And graunt him his praiere.

Amorwe astite as it was day,
The levedi com home al with play
With knightes ten and five;
Thai sought the kays ther thei lay;
Thai founde hem nought, thai were oway,
Wel wo was hem o live.
The douk bad al that ther was
Thai schuld hold hem still in pes,
And stint of her strive,
And seyd he hadde the keys nome,
Schuld noman in the chaumber come
Bot himself and his wive.
Anon he tok his levedi than
And seyd to hir, " Leve leman,
Be blithe and glad of mode;
For bi Him that this world wan,
Bothe mi childer Ich have slan,
That were so hende and gode;
For me thought in mi sweven
That an angel com fram heven
And seyd me, thurch her blode
Mi brother schuld pass out of his woe;
Therfore Y slough hem bothe to,
To hele that frely fode."

Than was the levedi ferly wo
And seigh hir lord was also;
Sche comfort him ful yare;
" O lef liif," sche seyd tho,
" God may sende ous childer mo,
Of hem have thou no care.
Yif it ware at min hert rote,
For to bring thi brother bote,
[My lyf Y wold not spare.
Shal noman oure children see,
Tomorrow shal they beryed bee
As they faire ded ware!"

Thus the lady faire and bryght
Comfort hur lord with all hur myght,
As ye mow understonde;
And seth they went both ful ryght
To Sir Amylion, that gentyl knyght,
That ere was free to fonde.
When Sir Amylion wakyd thoo,
Al his fowlehed was agoo
Through grace of Goddes sonde;
Than was he as feire a man
As ever he was yet or than,
Seth he was born in londe.

Than were they al blith,
Her joy couth noman kyth,
They thonked God that day.
As ye mow listen and lyth,
Into a chamber they went swyth,
Ther the children lay;
Without wemme and wound,
Hool and sound the children found,
And layen togeder and play.
For joye they wept, there they stood,
And thanked God with myld mood,
Her care was al away.]
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