Sir Gowther selected in The Middle English Breton Lays

主題 Topic Wishful child, monstrous child, demonic conception, penitence, miracle
書刊名 TitleSir Gowther selected in The Middle English Breton Lays
作者 AuthorAnne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury (eds)
出版社 PublisherTEAMS Middle English Texts: Medieval Institute Publications
出版年 Year1995
語言 LanguageEnglish
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages456
(10 / 13)
Bibliography Reference  (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
Web Link
撰寫日期 Date2016. 08.30

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)

        流傳於英國十四世紀末至十五世紀初的敘述詩《高瑟爵士》(Sir Gowther)以英格蘭東北部方言(Northeast dialect)寫成,是一首英語短歌(Breton lay),詩體本身押尾韻(tail rhyme),十二行為一段落。故事架構於一個中世紀英國文學作品基調 (motif): 「希望之子」(wishful child)或者「惡魔之子/ 惡魔受孕」(demonic child/ demonic conception)。內容講述一位少女/少婦受惡魔變形矇騙與之交媾因而產下天賦異稟的孩子。英國文學作品如亞瑟王傳奇中的預言家梅林、英國短歌《戴高瑞爵士》(Sir Degaré)都屬於此類故事。《高瑟爵士》中高瑟爵士這位天賦異稟的惡魔之子卻濫用其一身武力到處燒殺擄掠作姦犯科。本詩描述高瑟爵士許多暴行,其中最令人不寒而慄的是高瑟爵士帶領一幫騎士包圍一座女修道院,姦淫其中所有的修女並燒毀修女院;此橋段因太過驚悚不堪,在寫給皇室的手抄本 Royal MS 17.B.43版本中被刪除。本詩屬懺悔文,著重於高瑟爵士後來如何為自己的暴行做了一系列贖罪的事跡,以抦棄自己惡魔之子身份,如沈默不語、不食人類食物而只揀拾狗嘴吃剩的殘渣等非常人之舉,佐以誠心懺悔禱告,從軍討伐異教徒薩拉遜人、戰勝異教徒等英勇事蹟。最終,高瑟爵士在被自己曾經摧毀的修女院遺址蓋起一座新的修院,自己死後埋骨於修院中。其墓地後來亦發生許多奇蹟。高瑟爵士由惡魔之子轉變為希望之子的故事結構蘊含由恐懼到希望的轉變,也因此此短歌被賦予深厚宗教勸戒寓意。

B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

Lines 1-12
God, that art of myghtis most,
Fader and Sone and Holy Gost,
   That bought man on Rode so dere,
Shilde us from the fowle fende,
That is about mannys sowle to shende
   All tymes of the yere!
Sumtyme the fende hadde postee
For to dele with ladies free
   In liknesse of here fere,
So that he bigat Merlyng and mo,
And wrought ladies so mikil wo
   That ferly it is to here.
Lines 13-24                           
A selcowgh thyng that is to here,
That fend nyeght wemen nere
   And makyd hom with chyld;
Tho kynde of men wher thei hit tane, 1
For of hom selfe had thei nan,
   Be meydon Maré mylde,
Therof seyus clerkus, y wotte how;
That schall not be rehersyd now,
   As Cryst fro schame me schyld.
Bot y schall tell yow of a warlocke greytt,
What sorow at his modur hart he seyt
   With his warcus wylde.
Lines 25-36
Jesu Cryst, that barne blythe,
Gyff hom joy, that lovus to lythe
   Of ferlys that befell.
A law of Breyten long y soghht,
And owt ther of a tale ybroghht,
   That lufly is to tell.
Ther wonde a Duke in Estryke,
He weddyt a ladé non hur lyke
   For comly undur kell;
To tho lyly was likened that lady clere,
Hur rod reyde as blosmes on brere,
   That ylke dere damsell.
Lines 37-48
When he had weddyd that meydyn schene
And sche Duches withowt wene,
   A mangere con thei make;
Knyghtus of honowr tho furst dey
Justyd gently hom to pley
   Here shaftes gan thei shake.
On the morow the lordes gente
Made a riall tournement
   For that lady sake;
Tho Duke hym selfe wan stedys ten.
And bare don full doghty men,
   And mony a cron con crake.
Lines 49-60
When this turment was y-ses,
Tho ryche Duke and tho Duches
   Lad hor lyfe with wyn;
Ten yer and sum dele mare
He chylde non geyt ne sche non bare,
   Ther joy began to tyne;
To is ladé sone con he seyn,
"Y tro thu be sum baryn,
   Hit is gud that we twyn;
Y do bot wast my tyme on the,
Eireles mon owre londys bee";
   For gretyng he con not blyn.
Lines 61-72
Tho ladé sykud and made yll chere
That all feylyd hur whyte lere,
   For scho conseyvyd noght;
Scho preyd to God and Maré mylde
Schuld gyffe hur grace to have a chyld,
   On what maner scho ne roghth.
In hur orchard apon a day
Ho meyt a mon, tho sothe to say,
   That hur of luffe besoghth,
As lyke hur lorde as he myght be;
He leyd hur down undur a tre,
   With hur is wyll he wroghtth.
Lines 73-84
When he had is wylle all don
A felturd fende he start up son,
   And stode and hur beheld;
He seyd, "Y have geyton a chylde on the
That in is yothe full wylde schall bee,
   And weppons wyghtly weld."
Sche blessyd hur and fro hym ran,
Into hur chambur fast ho wan,
   That was so bygly byld.
Scho seyd to hur lord, that ladé myld,
"Tonyght we mon geyt a chyld
   That schall owre londus weld."
Lines 85-96
"A nangell com fro hevon bryght
And told me so this same nyght,
   Y hope was Godus sond;
Then wyll that stynt all owr stryfe."
Be tho lappe he laght his wyfe
   And seyd, "Dame, we schall fonde."
At evon to beyd thei hom ches,
Tho ryche Duke and tho Duches,
   And wold no lengur wonde;
He pleyd hym with that ladé hende,
And ei yode scho bownden with tho fende,
   To God wold losse hur bonde.
Lines 97-108
This chyld within hur was no nodur,
Bot eyvon Marlyon halfe brodur,
   For won fynd gatte hom bothe;
Thei sarvyd never of odyr thyng
But for to tempe wemen yon.
   To deyle with hom was wothe.
Ylke a day scho grette fast
And was delyverid at tho last
   Of won that coth do skathe;
Tho Duke hym gard to kyrke beyre,
Crystond hym and cald hym Gwother,
   That sythyn wax breme and brathe.
Lines 109-120
Tho Duke comford that Duches heynde,
And aftur melche wemen he sende,
   Tho best in that cuntré,
That was full gud knyghttys wyffys.
He sowkyd hom so thei lost ther lyvys,
   Sone had he sleyne three!
Tho chyld was yong and fast he wex -
The Duke gard prycke aftur sex -
   Hende harkons yee:
Be twelfe monethys was gon
Nine norsus had he slon
   Of ladys feyr and fre.
Lines 121-132
Knyghtus of that cuntré geydyrd hom samun
And seyd to tho Duke hit was no gamun
   To lose hor wyffus soo;
Thei badde hym orden for is son
He geytys no more is olde won,
   Norsus now no moo.
His modur fell afowle unhappe,
Upon a day bad hym tho pappe,
   He snaffulld to hit soo
He rofe tho hed fro tho brest -
Scho fell backeward and cald a prest,
   To chambur fled hym froo.
Lines 133-144
Lechus helud that ladé yare,
Wemen durst gyffe hym souke no mare,
   That yong chyld Gowther,
Bot fed hym up with rych fode
And that full mych as hym behovyd,
   Full safly mey y sweyre.
Be that he was fifteen yere of eld
He made a wepon that he schuld weld,
   No nodur mon myght hit beyr;
A fachon bothe of stylle and yron,
Wytte yow wyll he wex full styron
   And fell folke con he feyr.
Lines 145-156
In a twelmond more he wex
Then odur chyldur in seyvon or sex,
   Hym semyd full well to ryde;
He was so wekyd in all kyn wyse
Tho Duke hym myght not chastyse,
   Bot made hym knyght that tyde,
With cold brade bronde;
Ther was non in that londe
   That dynt of hym durst byde.
For sorro tho Duke fell don ded;
His modur was so wo of red
   Hur care scho myght not hyde.