Original Text

Modern Text

And so bifel, that, longe er it were day,
This man mette in his bed, ther-as he lay,
How that his felawe gan upon him calle,
And seyde, ‘allas! for in an oxes stalle
This night I shal be mordred ther I lye.
Now help me, dere brother, er I dye;
In alle haste com to me,’ he sayde.
This man out of his sleep for fere abrayde;
But whan that he was wakned of his sleep,
190He turned him, and took of this no keep;
Him thoughte his dreem nas but a vanitee.
Thus twyës in his sleping dremed he.
And atte thridde tyme yet his felawe
Cam, as him thoughte, and seide, ‘I am now slawe;
Bihold my blody woundes, depe and wyde!
Arys up erly in the morwe-tyde,
And at the west gate of the toun,’ quod he,
‘A carte ful of donge ther shaltow see,
In which my body is hid ful prively;
200Do thilke carte aresten boldely.
My gold caused my mordre, sooth to sayn;’
And tolde him every poynt how he was slayn,
With a ful pitous face, pale of hewe.
And truste wel, his dreem he fond ful trewe;
For on the morwe, as sone as it was day,
To his felawes in he took the way;
And whan that he cam to this oxes stalle,
After his felawe he bigan to calle.
“Now, it just so happened that the second man had a dream about his companion in the middle of the night. His friend called to him in the dream and said, ‘I’m going to be murdered tonight while I’m sleeping in the barn. Hurry up and help me, dear brother, and save my life!’ The second man jolted awake from the nightmare, but he quickly rolled over and fell back asleep because he thought the dream was nothing but nonsense. He had this same dream again, woke with a start, and went back to sleep again. On the third time, however, his friend appeared to him and said, ‘I have been killed. Just look at the bloody wounds and gashes on my body! I was murdered for my money. Get up early tomorrow morning and go to the west gate of the town. There you’ll find a cart full of dung in which my body has been secretly hidden.’ And with a pale and pitiful face he told his friend all about how he was robbed and murdered. And wouldn’t you know, everything in the dream turned out to be true. When the second man woke up in the morning, he set out for the oxen barn where his friend had stayed. When he got there, he began looking for his friend and calling out his name.