Deeds of Arms

A Collection of Accounts
of Formal Deeds of Arms of the Fourteenth Century

edited by Steven Muhlberger
stevem@nipissingu.ca

Excerpts the poetry of Eustache Deschamps.   Text and translation of "Du Tournoi lieu a Saint-Denis" from W.C. Meller, A Knight’s Life in the Days of Chivalry(New York, 1924. Text of "Proclamation d’un tournoi a Paris" from Eustache Deschamps, Oeuvres Completes, 11 vols. (Paris, 1882); translation of the "Proclamation" by Will McLean.

These balades seem to be poetic advertisements for the two big royally-sponsored jousts of 1389.

Translated by Will McLean.  Translation copyright 2002

Deeds of Arms Index -- Historical Materials on Knighthood and Chivalry -- KCT Library


Meller, A Knight’s Life in the Days of Chivalry (New York, 1924)  pp. 128-129

DU TOURNOI LIEU A SAINT DENIS

Armes, amours, déduit, joye et plaisance
Espoir, desir, souvenir, hardement,
Jeunesce aussi, manière et contenance,
Humble regart trait amoureusement,
Genz corps joliz, parez très richement,
Avisez bien ceste saison nouvelle.
Ce jour de may, ceste grant feste est belle
Qui par le Roy se fait à Saint Denys;
A bien joustes gardez vostre querelle
Et vous serez honnorez et chéris.

Car la sera la grant biauté de France
Vint Chevaliers, vint Dames ensement,
Qui les mettront armez par ordenance
Sur la place toutes d'un parement,
Le premier jour; et puis secondement
Vint escuiers, chascun sa damoiselle,
D'uns paremens, joye se renouvelle ;
Et la feront les heraulx pluseurs cris
Aux bien joustans; tenez fort vostre selle,
Et vous serez honnorez et chéris.

Or y perra qui bien ferra de lance,
Et qui sera de beau gouvernement
Pour acquerir d'armour la bienvueillance,
Et qui durra ou harnois longuement;
Cilz ara los, doulz regart proprement
Le monstrera; Amour, qui ne chancelle,
L'enflambera d'amoureuse estincelle.
Honneur donrra aux mieulx faisans les pris;
Avisez tous ceste doulce nouvelle,
Et vous serez honnorez et chéris.

ENVOY

Servans d'amours, regardez doulcement
Aux eschaffaux anges de paradis,
Lors jousterés fort et joyeusement,
Et vous serez honnorez et chéris.


Translation by W.C. Meller, A Knight’s Life in the Days of Chivalry (New York, 1924)  pp. 128-129

THE TOURNEY AT ST. DENIS

Arms, Amours, joy and pleasure,
Hope, desire, remembrance, hardiness,
Youth also, manners and bearing
Humble glances cast lovingly
Fine persons and fair, adorned richly
Bethink ye of this new-come season
This May-day, this great and beautiful feast,
Which by the king is held at St. Denys,
Joust well and maintain your cause,
Thus will ye be honoured and held dear .

For there will be the great beauty of France,
Knights are coming and ladies also
Who will present themselves armed as is ordained
At the proper place all in gala array
The first day; and on the second
Come the squires with each his demoiselle
In tournament array and the joy is renewed,
And there will the heralds utter many shouts
To those who joust well, "keep firm in your saddles
And ye will be honoured and held dear."

Now there may be those who wield well the lance
And who manoeuvre skilfully
To gain Love's favour
And who will bear harness a long time
These shall have praise and fair looks;
Rightly shall such be shown them;
Love who wavers not shall enflame them with amorous aspirations,
Honour shall be given them (and), to those who do best, the prizes,
Take heed, all, of this sweet new thing
And ye shall be honoured and held dear.

ENVOY

Servants of love! look longingly
On the angelic Beauties of Paradise.
Then joust manfully and joyously
And ye shall be honoured and held dear.



Eustache Deschamps, Oeuvres Completes, 11 vols. (Paris, 1882) 2: 89-91 (Oeuvre CCCLVII)

PROCLAMATION D'UN TOURNOI A PARIS

Tuit Chevalier et escuier estrange
Et tous autres qui tendez à renon
Oez, oez l'oneur et la louenge,
Et des armes grantdisime pardon;
C'est de par le chevalier
A l' Aigle d'or, lui trentième à destrier
D'uns paremens, joustans en sa compaigne
Et delivrans tous ceuls de leur mestier
A lendemain du jour de Magdelaine.

A la noble cité, ainsi l'entenge,
Qui de Paris porte le propre nom,
Royne y aura parée comme un ange
Trente Dames d'uns habiz et façon.
D'Isle Celée nuncier
Vous fait son nom; le dimanche dancier,
Et le lundi jouster à bonne estraine
Tant de lances c'om vouldra emploier
Au lendemain du jour de Magdelaine.

Le mieulx joustant dehors, sanz faire change
Aura pour pris chapel d'or bel et bon,
Et de dedenz dyamant en losange
Dont la Roine fera présent et don
Et si auront estrangier
Quinzaine avant et quinz à repairier
Bon sauf-conduit hors traison villaine;
Ainsi le fait l'Aigle d'or publier
Au lendemain du jour de Magdelaine.

Après ce jour tuit escuier se range;
Car le mardi autres joustes raron
D'un escuier, lui trentième en sa range;
D'uns paremens seront li compaignon,
Pour les rans faire et drecier,
Et damoiselle au gent corps et legier,
Soy trentième d'uns habiz et demaine,
Pour les joustes veoir et adviser
Au lendemain du jour de Magdelaine.

Le mieulx joustant dehors n'aura pas lange,
Mais d'argent fin chapel à son bandon,
Et de dedenz fezmail d'or sanz meschange
La Damoiselle leur donna, ce dit-on.
L'Aigle d'or donrra à mangier
Lundi au soir et vouldra festoier;
Le noble Roy de France aura court plaine
Mardi au soir; la feste a fait crier
Au lendemain de jour de Magdelaine.

ENVOY

Princes, qui veult les grans fais esploitier
A telz festes se doit lors conseillier
Aux Chevaliers; lors est temps qu'on empraingne
Grosses choses qui a à guerrier;
Pour ce vueillez sur ces poins advisier
Au lendemain du jour de Magdelaine.



Translation by Will McLean

PROCLAMATION OF A TOURNEY AT PARIS

Let every foreign knight and squire
And everyone that seeks renown
Hark, hark to the honor and the praise
Of the great festival of arms
It is decreed by the noble knight
Of the Eagle of Gold, that his company
On thirty destriers ready to joust
And dressed alike in one livery
Shall deliver all of their own profession
Just after the day of Magdalene.

In the noble city, that as you know
Bears Paris as its proper name
There shall be a queen dressed like an angel
And thirty ladies in like array.
The Secret Isle will be revealed,
You’ll learn its name. On Sunday dance,
On Monday joust for noble gifts
As many lances as you desire
Just after the day of Magdalene.

Who jousts best from without, without exchange
shall win a chaplet of fine good gold
From within, a diamond lozenge-set
From the hand of the Queen to have and hold.
And those that come from foreign lands
Fifteen days to come and as many away
Safe conduct shall have, with no treachery
So the Eagle of Gold shall proclaim
Just after the day of Magdalene.

On the following day the squires will come
For Tuesday’s joust will be arranged
A squire, and thirty more in ranks
Clothed alike in one livery
Shall dress themselves full readily.
A damsel of body lightsome and fine
And thirty more dressed like she
Will consider and view the noble jousts
Just after the day of Magdalene.

The best jouster without will not win wool
But a chaplet of silver as diadem
Within: a clasp of purest gold
The damsel will give it, so they say.
The Eagle of Gold will give a feast
On Monday night if you wish to stay
The King of France will hold his court.
On Tuesday night, it is proclaimed
Just after the day of Magdalene.

ENVOY

Princes who wish to do great deeds
We counsel you: attend that day.
Knights, a warrior will understand
The time for big things is not far away.
Hear our advice. Mark what we say.
Just after the day of Magdalene.