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His merie men comanded he
To make him bothe game and glee,
130    For nedes moste he fighte
With a geaunt with hevedes three,
For paramour and Iolitee
Of oon that shoon ful brighte.
He gathered an enormous crowd,
Which gave him cheers so very loud,
    To prepare him for the fight.
“I’ll kill a giant with three heads!” he vowed,
“For love and honor—to make you proud!”
    They rallied all through the night.
‘Do come,’ he seyde, ‘my minstrales,
And gestours, for to tellen tales
    Anon in myn arminge;
Of romances that been royales,
Of popes and of cardinales,
    And eek of love-lykinge.’
He called for his faithful pages,
To tell him stories from the ages,
    While he put his armor on,
Of love and romance that engages,
Popes and kings and other sages,
    And tales woebegone.
140They fette him first the swete wyn,
And mede eek in a maselyn,
And royal spicerye;
Of gingebreed that was ful fyn,
And lycorys, and eek comyn,
With sugre that is so trye.
His servants brought him mead and wine,
In wooden goblets made of pine,
And royal spices to bake
The gingerbread that was so fine
Licorice, cumin, with such refine
And sugar of truest make.