Sir Cleges is a medieval English verse chivalric romance written in tail-rhyme stanzas in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. It is clearly a minstrel tale, praising giving gifts to minstrels, and punishing the servants who might make it impossible for a minstrel in a noble household. Corrupt officials are central to it.
Sir Cleges became poor through his generosity. He prayed that God would spare him and his wife and children. He finds cherries ripening in his yard although it is Christmas, and sets out to bring them to Uther Pendragon in hopes of a reward. To admit him, the porter, the usher, and the steward all demand a third part of his reward. The king appreciates the cherries. Sir Cleges demands twelve blows as his reward and explains about the servants. Uther has him give them each four blows and then gives him a castle and many other gifts so that he and his family can live in comfort.
The romance combined many familiar motifs, original only in their unusual combination from different genres, which many authors have found striking.
- Laura A. Hibbard, Medieval Romance in England p79 New York Burt Franklin,1963
- Head, Dominic (2006). The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (preview) (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83179-2.
- French Hale, pp. 875-
- "THE WICKED AGE: MIDDLE ENGLISH COMPLAINT LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION"
- "Sir Cleges: Introduction", Edited by Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury
- Laura A. Hibbard, Medieval Romance in England p80 New York Burt Franklin,1963
- French, Walter Hoyt; Hale, Charles Brockway, eds. (1930), "Sir Cleges", Middle English Metrical Romances (New York: Prentice-Hall): 875–
- Treichel, Adolf (1896). Sir Cleges: eine mittelenglische Romanze (google). Altenburg: Pierer'sche Hofbuchdruckerei, Stephan Geibel & Co.(dissertation)
- Treichel, Adolf (1896). "'Sir Cleges: Eine mittelenglische Romanze". Englische Studien 22: 345–389.