Medieval Romance

King Horn

13th century Middle English, three manuscripts dating to the 13th and 14th century, London, Cambridge.

‘Cutberd is my name,’ said Horn.

Horn took his leave; he could stay no longer. He embraced his brother Athulf around the neck. ‘My faithful knight, look after my love, watch over Rymenhild for me,’ he said. ‘You have never let me down. Please look after her for me now.’ Then he mounted his horse and rode off.

Horn went to the harbour and found a good ship to take passage westwards, to a western land. Athulf wept as he left, and so did many others.

The wind carried Horn to Ireland. He disembarked, put his feet into the stirrups again and soon came across two king’s sons; one was called Berild and the other, Harold. Berild asked Horn what his name was and what he was doing there.

‘Cutberd is my name,’ said Horn. ‘I have just left a boat and come ashore. I’ve arrived from far in the west to seek my fortune.’

Story fragment retold in Modern English from: Herzman, Ronald B, Drake, Graham and Salisbury, Eve (Eds), 1997. Four Romances of England: King Horn, Havelok the Dane, Bevis of Hampton, Athelston. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS. The Middle English text of KING HORN from University of Cambridge Library MS Gg.4.27.2, with reference to Laud Misc MS 108 and Harley MS 2253 where 'emendations seemed appropriate', lines 745–76.

See for yourself

King Horn – TEAMS Medieval text, Middle English with an introduction.

King Horn – Wikipedia

Four Romances of England – edited by Ronald B. Herzman, Graham Drake and Eve Salisbury, including the Middle English text of Havelok the Dane, with an introduction

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