Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Garnier: Becket's Return from Exile, December 1170

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (1922). Emmanuel Walberg, ed. La vie de saint Thomas Becket. C.W.K. Gleerup. pp. 158–.
https://archive.org/stream/laviedesaintthom00gueruoft#page/158/mode/1up


943 La pais le rei Henri ot saint Thomas seüre
De raler el païs, de raveir sa dreiture.
Mais s'ele fust bien clere e senz nule emposture,
N'eüssent fait as suens desonur ne enjure ;
Mais conuistre i pout l'un mult tost l'encloeüre. 4715

944 Sainz Thomas l'endemain en sa nef en entra.
Deus li dona boen vent ; a Sanwiz ariva.
Car l'ariver de Dovre pur l'aguait eschiwa,
E a Sanwiz, qui suen esteit, se herberga.
Mult granz pueples des suens encontre li ala. 4720

945 Mais quant as treis reals fu mustré e nuncié
Qu'il esteit arivez, mult en furent haitié.
Od lur hummes se sunt d'armes apareillié,
Si cum li trei prelat lur orent conseillié.
Dreit vers l'arcevesque unt lur chemin adrescié. 4725

946 Johans d'Oxeneford, quant il les vit armez
Venir vers l'arcevesque, mult en fu trespensez.
Car bien sout que fols fu e malveis lur pensez,
E sout bien que li reis en sereit mult blasmez,
Se Thomas l'arcevesque i fust point mesmenez. 4730

947 Dunc est alez a els, qu'il n'en fist targeisun,
E mustra lur l'acorde del rei e del barun.
Dist lur de part lu rei e comanda par nun
Que il ne li fesissent, ne as suens, se bien nun ;
Car li reis en sereit retez de traïsun. 4735

948 Dist lur que il alassent a lui tut desarmé.
Il mistrent jus lur armes, quant ço lur out mustré ;
Vindrent a l'arcevesque, si l'unt araisuné :
Dient que l'enemi al rei ad amené,
E l'establissement le rei ad trespassé. 4740

949 Pur dan Simon l'unt dit, qui esteit nez de Senz,
Sin ert arcediachenes, uns halz, uns beaus e genz,
E esteit alez la pur veer ses parenz.
De lui volent aveir li real seremenz
Qu'a lur rei se tendra encontre tutes genz. 4745

950 N'en unt pas l'apostolie ne nul altre sevré.
Mais sainz Thomas ne volt qu'il fesist feelté,
Qu'altretel ne fesissent tuit li clerc del regné.
Ne li poeient faire rien encontre sun gré,
Car des suens out od li mult grant pueple asemblé. 4750

951 Ne volt rien pur els faire. Dunc s'en sunt returné.
E li sainz arcevesques ala a sa cité ;
Volentiers i ala, car mult l'out desiré.
Li muine e la gent l'unt reçu a grant chierté ;
A grant processiun sunt contre lui alé. - 4755

952 Tant cum il vesqui puis, sainte vie mena ;
De servir sun Seignur quanqu'il pout se pena.
Vedves e orphenins e povres guverna,
Dras, viande e sollers e deniers lur dona ;
E trop poi en veneient a lui, ço li sembla. 4760

953 Ne nuls huem de justise deveier nel poeit.
Neïs as clers le rei les iglises toleit [p. 147]
Quis aveient purprises, e a cels les rendeit
Quis aveient perdues ; e al dreit se teneit.
Bien sout que pur justise murir li covendreit. 4765




Translation


943 The peace that king Henry had guaranteed St. Thomas was a surety to be able to return [home] to [his] country  [England] and recover his rightful [lawful] claims. But if the guarantee had been sincere and made without deceit his [St. Thomas'] men would not have been subjected to dishonour and injury. But he was to learn quickly of the true nature [of the peace agreement].

944 St Thomas the next morning boarded his ship [nef/barque]. God gave him a fair wind; he arrived at Sandwich in order to avoid those lying in wait for him at Dover.. Besides Sandwich was his, his own town [manor]. A great number of his people came to meet him there.

945 But when the king's three supporters learned and told that he had landed they were glad. Together with their men dressed in their arms they set out along the road straight to the archbishop. 

946 When John of Oxford saw the armed me come towards the archbishop he was much troubled for well he knew that their intent was both wrong and crazy, and well that the king would be very much blamed for it if Thomas, the archbishop, was harmed by them.

947 He went straight up to them and without demurring he showed them the accord between the king and our good man. He told them on behalf of the king not to do any harm to him [Becket] and his men as the king would accuse them of treason if they did so.

948 These words having been spoken they laid down their arms, And approaching the archbishop, they called out to him and reproached him for having brought an enemy of the king with him and thus transgressing the king's ordinance.


950 Nor would they treat anyone else differently, not even the Pope, but St. Thomas did not want him to do [homage and swear] fealty lest [all] the clerics of the kingdom might be made to do likewise.  Nor could they make him do anything against his will as a large crowd of his people had gathered around him. 4750


951 Neither did he want to do anything else for them, then they turned around [and left], and the saintly archbishop went on to his city [Canterbury]. Willingly they [the people] went [ along with him] there because they very much desired to. The monks and people welcomed him with joy, and approached him in a long cortège..4755


952 Whilst he still lived, he led a holy life; in the service of his Lord; in whatsoever he could, by the mortification of his flesh. by taking care of  widows and orphans, and the poor, by giving them clothing, food, and shoes and money, though it seemed to him too few sought his help. 4760


953 No one could deviate him from the path of virtue: and he even took back the churches which had been forcibly been seized  by the king's clerks, so as to give them back to those who had lost them, and by right should be held by them. Well he knew that he would come to die in a just cause. 4765



References


Thomas Becket (st., abp. of Canterbury.) (1838). Leben des h. Thomas von Canterbury, altfranzösisch, herausg. von I. Bekker. pp. 121–.


Emanuel Walberg; Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence.) (1922). La Vie de Saint Thomas le Martyr par Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence: Poème historique du XIIme siècle 1172-1174. pp. 158-




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