Havelok the Dane

Middle English romance

Havelok the Dane, sometimes called The Lay of Havelok the Dane, is one of the oldest Middle English romances. It was written by an unnamed poet around 1280 or 1290.

Middle English quotations are cited from the edition by Ronald B. Herzman et al.; Modern English translations from Roger Sherman Loomis and Laura Hibbard Loomis (eds.) Medieval Romances (New York: Modern Library, 1957), to which page-numbers also refer.

  • Hope maketh fol man ofte blenkes.
    • Hope often tricks a fool.
    • Line 307; p. 290.

  • Ther God wile helpen, nouth ne dereth.
    • Whom God will help, nothing can harm.
    • Line 649; p. 292.

  • Lith and selthe felawes are.
    • Speed companions success.
    • Line 1339; p. 298.

  • Dwelling haveth ofte scathe wrouth.
    • Delay has often done harm.
    • Line 1353; p. 298.

  • He was ful wis that first yaf mede.
    • Wise was he who first gave meed.
    • Line 1635; p. 299.

  • Old sinne makes newe shame.
    • Old sin makes new shame.
    • Line 2461; p. 305.
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