The Text      

LGW F 1 A thousand tymes have I herd men telle
LGW F 2 That ther ys joy in hevene and peyne in helle,
LGW F 3 And I acorde wel that it ys so;
LGW F 4 But, natheles, yet wot I wel also
LGW F 5 That ther nis noon dwellyng in this contree
LGW F 6 That eyther hath in hevene or helle ybe,
LGW F 7 Ne may of hit noon other weyes witen
LGW F 8 But as he hath herd seyd or founde it writen;
LGW F 9 For by assay ther may no man it preve.
LGW F 10 But God forbede but men shulde leve
LGW F 11 Wel more thing than men han seen with ye!
LGW F 12 Men shal not wenen every thing a lye
LGW F 13 But yf himself yt seeth or elles dooth.
LGW F 14 For, God wot, thing is never the lasse sooth,
LGW F 15 Thogh every wight ne may it nat ysee.
LGW F 16 Bernard the monk ne saugh nat all, pardee!
LGW F 17 Than mote we to bokes that we fynde,
LGW F 18 Thurgh whiche that olde thinges ben in mynde,
LGW F 19 And to the doctrine of these olde wyse,
LGW F 20 Yeve credence, in every skylful wise,
LGW F 21 That tellen of these olde appreved stories
LGW F 22 Of holynesse, of regnes, of victories,
LGW F 23 Of love, of hate, of other sondry thynges,
LGW F 24 Of whiche I may not maken rehersynges.
LGW F 25 And yf that olde bokes were aweye,
LGW F 26 Yloren were of remembraunce the keye.
LGW F 27 Wel ought us thanne honouren and beleve
LGW F 28 These bokes, there we han noon other preve.
LGW F 29 And as for me, though that I konne but lyte,
LGW F 30 On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
LGW F 31 And to hem yive I feyth and ful credence,
LGW F 32 And in myn herte have hem in reverence
LGW F 33 So hertely, that ther is game noon
LGW F 34 That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
LGW F 35 But yt be seldom on the holyday,
LGW F 36 Save, certeynly, whan that the month of May
LGW F 37 Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
LGW F 38 And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
LGW F 39 Farewel my bok and my devocioun!
LGW F 40 Now have I thanne eek this condicioun,
LGW F 41 That, of al the floures in the mede,
LGW F 42 Thanne love I most thise floures white and rede,
LGW F 43 Swiche as men callen daysyes in our toun.
LGW F 44 To hem have I so gret affeccioun,
LGW F 45 As I seyde erst, whanne comen is the May,
LGW F 46 That in my bed ther daweth me no day
LGW F 47 That I nam up and walkyng in the mede
LGW F 48 To seen this flour ayein the sonne sprede,
LGW F 49 Whan it upryseth erly by the morwe.
LGW F 50 That blisful sighte softneth al my sorwe,
LGW F 51 So glad am I, whan that I have presence
LGW F 52 Of it, to doon it alle reverence,
LGW F 53 As she that is of alle floures flour,
LGW F 54 Fulfilled of al vertu and honour,
LGW F 55 And evere ilyke faire and fressh of hewe;
LGW F 56 And I love it, and ever ylike newe,
LGW F 57 And evere shal, til that myn herte dye.
LGW F 58 Al swere I nat, of this I wol nat lye;
LGW F 59 Ther loved no wight hotter in his lyve.
LGW F 60 And whan that hit ys eve, I renne blyve,
LGW F 61 As sone as evere the sonne gynneth weste,
LGW F 62 To seen this flour, how it wol go to reste,
LGW F 63 For fere of nyght, so hateth she derknesse.
LGW F 64 Hire chere is pleynly sprad in the brightnesse
LGW F 65 Of the sonne, for ther yt wol unclose.
LGW F 66 Allas, that I ne had Englyssh, ryme or prose,
LGW F 67 Suffisant this flour to preyse aryght!
LGW F 68 But helpeth, ye that han konnyng and myght,
LGW F 69 Ye lovers that kan make of sentement;
LGW F 70 In this cas oghte ye be diligent
LGW F 71 To forthren me somwhat in my labour,
LGW F 72 Whethir ye ben with the leef or with the flour.
LGW F 73 For wel I wot that ye han her-biforn
LGW F 74 Of makyng ropen, and lad awey the corn,
LGW F 75 And I come after, glenyng here and there,
LGW F 76 And am ful glad yf I may fynde an ere
LGW F 77 Of any goodly word that ye han left.
LGW F 78 And thogh it happen me rehercen eft
LGW F 79 That ye han in your fresshe songes sayd,
LGW F 80 Forbereth me, and beth nat evele apayd,
LGW F 81 Syn that ye see I do yt in the honour
LGW F 82 Of love, and eke in service of the flour
LGW F 83 Whom that I serve as I have wit or myght.
LGW F 84 She is the clernesse and the verray lyght
LGW F 85 That in this derke world me wynt and ledeth.
LGW F 86 The hert in-with my sorwfull brest yow dredeth
LGW F 87 And loveth so sore that ye ben verrayly
LGW F 88 The maistresse of my wit, and nothing I.
LGW F 89 My word, my werk ys knyt so in youre bond
LGW F 90 That, as an harpe obeieth to the hond
LGW F 91 And maketh it soune after his fyngerynge,
LGW F 92 Ryght so mowe ye oute of myn herte bringe
LGW F 93 Swich vois, ryght as yow lyst, to laughe or pleyne.
LGW F 94 Be ye my gide and lady sovereyne!
LGW F 95 As to myn erthly god to yow I calle,
LGW F 96 Bothe in this werk and in my sorwes alle.
LGW F 97 But wherfore that I spak, to yive credence
LGW F 98 To olde stories and doon hem reverence,
LGW F 99 And that men mosten more thyng beleve
LGW F 100 Then men may seen at eye, or elles preve --
LGW F 101 That shal I seyn, whanne that I see my tyme;
LGW F 102 I may not al at-ones speke in ryme.
LGW F 103 My besy gost, that thursteth alwey newe
LGW F 104 To seen this flour so yong, so fressh of hewe,
LGW F 105 Constreyned me with so gledy desir
LGW F 106 That in myn herte I feele yet the fir
LGW F 107 That made me to ryse er yt were day --
LGW F 108 And this was now the firste morwe of May --
LGW F 109 With dredful hert and glad devocioun,
LGW F 110 For to ben at the resureccioun
LGW F 111 Of this flour, whan that yt shulde unclose
LGW F 112 Agayn the sonne, that roos as red as rose,
LGW F 113 That in the brest was of the beste, that day,
LGW F 114 That Agenores doghtre ladde away.
LGW F 115 And doun on knes anoon-ryght I me sette,
LGW F 116 And, as I koude, this fresshe flour I grette,
LGW F 117 Knelyng alwey, til it unclosed was,
LGW F 118 Upon the smale, softe, swote gras,
LGW F 119 That was with floures swote enbrouded al,
LGW F 120 Of swich swetnesse and swich odour overal,
LGW F 121 That, for to speke of gomme, or herbe, or tree,
LGW F 122 Comparisoun may noon ymaked bee;
LGW F 123 For yt surmounteth pleynly alle odoures,
LGW F 124 And of riche beaute alle floures.
LGW F 125 Forgeten hadde the erthe his pore estat
LGW F 126 Of wynter, that hym naked made and mat,
LGW F 127 And with his swerd of cold so sore greved;
LGW F 128 Now hath th' atempre sonne all that releved,
LGW F 129 That naked was, and clad him new agayn.
LGW F 130 The smale foules, of the sesoun fayn,
LGW F 131 That from the panter and the net ben scaped,
LGW F 132 Upon the foweler, that hem made awhaped
LGW F 133 In wynter, and distroyed hadde hire brood,
LGW F 134 In his dispit hem thoghte yt did hem good
LGW F 135 To synge of hym, and in hir song despise
LGW F 136 The foule cherl that, for his coveytise,
LGW F 137 Had hem betrayed with his sophistrye.
LGW F 138 This was hire song: " The foweler we deffye,
LGW F 139 And al his craft. " And somme songen clere
LGW F 140 Layes of love, that joye it was to here,
LGW F 141 In worship and in preysinge of hir make;
LGW F 142 And for the newe blisful somers sake,
LGW F 143 Upon the braunches ful of blosmes softe,
LGW F 144 In hire delyt they turned hem ful ofte,
LGW F 145 And songen, " Blessed be Seynt Valentyn,
LGW F 146 For on his day I chees yow to be myn,
LGW F 147 Withouten repentyng, myn herte swete! "
LGW F 148 And therwithalle hire bekes gonnen meete,
LGW F 149 Yeldyng honour and humble obeysaunces
LGW F 150 To love, and diden hire other observaunces
LGW F 151 That longeth onto love and to nature;
LGW F 152 Construeth that as yow lyst, I do no cure.
LGW F 153 And thoo that hadde doon unkyndenesse --
LGW F 154 As dooth the tydif, for newfangelnesse --
LGW F 155 Besoghte mercy of hir trespassynge,
LGW F 156 And humblely songen hire repentynge,
LGW F 157 And sworen on the blosmes to be trewe
LGW F 158 So that hire makes wolde upon hem rewe,
LGW F 159 And at the laste maden hire acord.
LGW F 160 Al founde they Daunger for a tyme a lord,
LGW F 161 Yet Pitee, thurgh his stronge gentil myght,
LGW F 162 Forgaf, and made Mercy passen Ryght,
LGW F 163 Thurgh innocence and ruled Curtesye.
LGW F 164 But I ne clepe nat innocence folye,
LGW F 165 Ne fals pitee, for vertu is the mene,
LGW F 166 As Etik seith. in swich maner I mene.
LGW F 167 And thus thise foweles, voide of al malice,
LGW F 168 Acordeden to love, and laften vice
LGW F 169 Of hate, and songen alle of oon acord,
LGW F 170 " Welcome, somer, oure governour and lord! "
LGW F 171 And Zepherus and Flora gentilly
LGW F 172 Yaf to the floures, softe and tenderly,
LGW F 173 Hire swoote breth, and made hem for to sprede,
LGW F 174 As god and goddesse of the floury mede;
LGW F 175 In which me thoghte I myghte, day by day,
LGW F 176 Duellen alwey, the joly month of May,
LGW F 177 Withouten slep, withouten mete or drynke.
LGW F 178 Adoun ful softely I gan to synke,
LGW F 179 And, lenynge on myn elbowe and my syde,
LGW F 180 The longe day I shoop me for t' abide
LGW F 181 For nothing elles, and I shal nat lye,
LGW F 182 But for to loke upon the dayesie,
LGW F 183 That wel by reson men it calle may
LGW F 184 The " dayesye, " or elles the " ye of day, "
LGW F 185 The emperice and flour of floures alle.
LGW F 186 I pray to God that faire mote she falle,
LGW F 187 And alle that loven floures, for hire sake!
LGW F 188 But natheles, ne wene nat that I make
LGW F 189 In preysing of the flour agayn the leef,
LGW F 190 No more than of the corn agayn the sheef;
LGW F 191 For, as to me, nys lever noon ne lother.
LGW F 192 I nam withholden yit with never nother;
LGW F 193 Ne I not who serveth leef ne who the flour.
LGW F 194 Wel browken they her service or labour;
LGW F 195 For this thing is al of another tonne,
LGW F 196 Of olde storye, er swich stryf was begonne.
LGW F 197 Whan that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
LGW F 198 And that this flour gan close and goon to reste
LGW F 199 For derknesse of the nyght, the which she dredde,
LGW F 200 Hom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde
LGW F 201 To goon to reste, and erly for to ryse,
LGW F 202 To seen this flour to sprede, as I devyse.
LGW F 203 And in a litel herber that I have,
LGW F 204 That benched was on turves fressh ygrave,
LGW F 205 I bad men sholde me my couche make;
LGW F 206 For deyntee of the newe someres sake,
LGW F 207 I bad hem strawen floures on my bed.
LGW F 208 Whan I was leyd and had myn eyen hed,
LGW F 209 I fel on slepe within an houre or twoo.
LGW F 210 Me mette how I lay in the medewe thoo,
LGW F 211 To seen this flour that I so love and drede;
LGW F 212 And from afer com walkyng in the mede
LGW F 213 The god of Love, and in his hand a quene,
LGW F 214 And she was clad in real habit grene.
LGW F 215 A fret of gold she hadde next her heer,
LGW F 216 And upon that a whit corowne she beer
LGW F 217 With flourouns smale, and I shal nat lye;
LGW F 218 For al the world, ryght as a dayesye
LGW F 219 Ycorouned ys with white leves lyte,
LGW F 220 So were the flowrouns of hire coroune white.
LGW F 221 For of o perle fyn, oriental,
LGW F 222 Hire white coroune was ymaked al;
LGW F 223 For which the white coroune above the grene
LGW F 224 Made hire lyk a daysie for to sene,
LGW F 225 Considered eke hir fret of gold above.
LGW F 226 Yclothed was this myghty god of Love
LGW F 227 In silk, enbrouded ful of grene greves,
LGW F 228 In-with a fret of rede rose-leves,
LGW F 229 The fresshest syn the world was first bygonne.
LGW F 230 His gilte heer was corowned with a sonne
LGW F 231 Instede of gold, for hevynesse and wyghte.
LGW F 232 Therwith me thoghte his face shoon so bryghte
LGW F 233 That wel unnethes myghte I him beholde;
LGW F 234 And in his hand me thoghte I saugh him holde
LGW F 235 Twoo firy dartes as the gledes rede,
LGW F 236 And aungelyke hys wynges saugh I sprede.
LGW F 237 And al be that men seyn that blynd ys he,
LGW F 238 Algate me thoghte that he myghte se;
LGW F 239 For sternely on me he gan byholde,
LGW F 240 So that his loking dooth myn herte colde.
LGW F 241 And by the hand he held this noble quene
LGW F 242 Corowned with whit and clothed al in grene,
LGW F 243 So womanly, so benigne, and so meke,
LGW F 244 That in this world, thogh that men wolde seke,
LGW F 245 Half hire beaute shulde men nat fynde
LGW F 246 In creature that formed ys by kynde.
LGW F 247 And therfore may I seyn, as thynketh me,
LGW F 248 This song in preysyng of this lady fre:
LGW F 249 Hyd, Absolon, thy gilte tresses clere;
LGW F 250 Ester, ley thou thy meknesse al adown;
LGW F 251 Hyd, Jonathas, al thy frendly manere;
LGW F 252 Penalopee and Marcia Catoun,
LGW F 253 Make of youre wifhod no comparysoun;
LGW F 254 Hyde ye youre beautes, Ysoude and Eleyne:
LGW F 255 My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.
LGW F 256 Thy faire body, lat yt nat appere,
LGW F 257 Lavyne; and thou, Lucresse of Rome toun,
LGW F 258 And Polixene, that boghten love so dere,
LGW F 259 And Cleopatre, with al thy passyoun,
LGW F 260 Hyde ye your trouthe of love and your renoun;
LGW F 261 And thou, Tisbe, that hast for love swich peyne:
LGW F 262 My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.
LGW F 263 Herro, Dido, Laudomia, alle yfere,
LGW F 264 And Phillis, hangyng for thy Demophoun,
LGW F 265 And Canace, espied by thy chere,
LGW F 266 Ysiphile, betrayed with Jasoun,
LGW F 267 Maketh of your trouthe neythir boost ne soun;
LGW F 268 Nor Ypermystre or Adriane, ye tweyne:
LGW F 269 My lady cometh, that al this may dysteyne.
LGW F 270 This balade may ful wel ysongen be,
LGW F 271 As I have seyd erst, by my lady free;
LGW F 272 For certeynly al thise mowe nat suffise
LGW F 273 To apperen wyth my lady in no wyse.
LGW F 274 For as the sonne wole the fyr disteyne,
LGW F 275 So passeth al my lady sovereyne,
LGW F 276 That ys so good, so faire, so debonayre,
LGW F 277 I prey to God that ever falle hire faire!
LGW F 278 For, nadde comfort ben of hire presence,
LGW F 279 I hadde ben ded, withouten any defence,
LGW F 280 For drede of Loves wordes and his chere,
LGW F 281 As, when tyme ys, herafter ye shal here.
LGW F 282 Behynde this god of Love, upon the grene,
LGW F 283 I saugh comyng of ladyes nyntene,
LGW F 284 In real habit, a ful esy paas,
LGW F 285 And after hem coome of wymen swich a traas
LGW F 286 That, syn that God Adam hadde mad of erthe,
LGW F 287 The thridde part, of mankynde, or the ferthe,
LGW F 288 Ne wende I not by possibilitee
LGW F 289 Had ever in this wide world ybee;
LGW F 290 And trewe of love thise women were echon.
LGW F 291 Now wheither was that a wonder thing or non,
LGW F 292 That ryght anoon as that they gonne espye
LGW F 293 Thys flour which that I clepe the dayesie,
LGW F 294 Ful sodeynly they stynten al attones,
LGW F 295 And kneled doun, as it were for the nones,
LGW F 296 And songen with o vois, " Heel and honour
LGW F 297 To trouthe of womanhede, and to this flour
LGW F 298 That bereth our alder pris in figurynge!
LGW F 299 Hire white corowne bereth the witnessynge. "
LGW F 300 And with that word, a-compas enviroun,
LGW F 301 They setten hem ful softely adoun.
LGW F 302 First sat the god of Love, and syth his quene
LGW F 303 With the white corowne, clad in grene,
LGW F 304 And sithen al the remenaunt by and by,
LGW F 305 As they were of estaat, ful curteysly;
LGW F 306 Ne nat a word was spoken in the place
LGW F 307 The mountaunce of a furlong wey of space.
LGW F 308 I, knelying by this flour, in good entente,
LGW F 309 Abood to knowen what this peple mente,
LGW F 310 As stille as any ston; til at the laste
LGW F 311 This god of Love on me hys eyen caste,
LGW F 312 And seyde, " Who kneleth there? " And I answerde
LGW F 313 Unto his askynge, whan that I it herde,
LGW F 314 And seyde, " Sir, it am I, " and com him ner,
LGW F 315 And salwed him. Quod he, " What dostow her
LGW F 316 So nygh myn oune floure, so boldely?
LGW F 317 Yt were better worthy, trewely,
LGW F 318 A worm to neghen ner my flour than thow. "
LGW F 319 " And why, sire, " quod I, " and yt lyke yow? "
LGW F 320 " For thow, " quod he, " art therto nothing able.
LGW F 321 Yt is my relyke, digne and delytable,
LGW F 322 And thow my foo, and al my folk werreyest,
LGW F 323 And of myn olde servauntes thow mysseyest,
LGW F 324 And hynderest hem with thy translacioun,
LGW F 325 And lettest folk from hire devocioun
LGW F 326 To serve me, and holdest it folye
LGW F 327 To serve Love. Thou maist yt nat denye,
LGW F 328 For in pleyn text, withouten nede of glose,
LGW F 329 Thou hast translated the Romaunce of the Rose,
LGW F 330 That is an heresye ayeins my lawe,
LGW F 331 And makest wise folk fro me withdrawe;
LGW F 332 And of Creseyde thou hast seyd as the lyste,
LGW F 333 That maketh men to wommen lasse triste,
LGW F 334 That ben as trewe as ever was any steel.
LGW F 335 Of thyn answere avise the ryght weel;
LGW F 336 For thogh thou reneyed hast my lay,
LGW F 337 As other wrecches han doon many a day,
LGW F 338 By Seynt Venus that my moder ys,
LGW F 339 If that thou lyve, thou shalt repenten this
LGW F 340 So cruelly that it shal wel be sene! "
LGW F 341 Thoo spak this lady, clothed al in grene,
LGW F 342 And seyde, " God, ryght of youre curtesye,
LGW F 343 Ye moten herken yf he can replye
LGW F 344 Agayns al this that ye have to him meved.
LGW F 345 A god ne sholde nat thus be agreved,
LGW F 346 But of hys deitee he shal be stable,
LGW F 347 And therto gracious and merciable.
LGW F 348 And yf ye nere a god, that knowen al,
LGW F 349 Thanne myght yt be as I yow tellen shal:
LGW F 350 This man to yow may falsly ben accused
LGW F 351 That as by right him oughte ben excused.
LGW F 352 For in youre court ys many a losengeour,
LGW F 353 And many a queynte totelere accusour,
LGW F 354 That tabouren in youre eres many a sown,
LGW F 355 Ryght after hire ymagynacioun,
LGW F 356 To have youre daliance, and for envie.
LGW F 357 Thise ben the causes, and I shal not lye.
LGW F 358 Envie ys lavendere of the court alway,
LGW F 359 For she ne parteth, neither nyght ne day,
LGW F 360 Out of the hous of Cesar; thus seith Dante;
LGW F 361 Whoso that gooth, algate she wol nat wante.
LGW F 362 And eke, peraunter, for this man ys nyce,
LGW F 363 He myghte doon yt, gessyng no malice,
LGW F 364 But for he useth thynges for to make;
LGW F 365 Hym rekketh noght of what matere he take.
LGW F 366 Or him was boden maken thilke tweye
LGW F 367 Of som persone, and durste yt nat withseye;
LGW F 368 Or him repenteth outrely of this.
LGW F 369 He ne hath nat doon so grevously amys
LGW F 370 To translaten that olde clerkes writen,
LGW F 371 As thogh that he of malice wolde enditen
LGW F 372 Despit of love, and had himself yt wroght.
LGW F 373 This shoolde a ryghtwis lord have in his thoght,
LGW F 374 And nat be lyk tirauntz of Lumbardye,
LGW F 375 That han no reward but at tyrannye.
LGW F 376 For he that kynge or lord ys naturel,
LGW F 377 Hym oghte nat be tiraunt ne crewel
LGW F 378 As is a fermour, to doon the harm he kan.
LGW F 379 He moste thinke yt is his lige man,
LGW F 380 And is his tresour and his gold in cofre.
LGW F 381 This is the sentence of the Philosophre,
LGW F 382 A kyng to kepe his liges in justice;
LGW F 383 Withouten doute, that is his office.
LGW F 384 Al wol he kepe his lordes hire degree,
LGW F 385 As it ys ryght and skilful that they bee
LGW F 386 Enhaunced and honoured, and most dere --
LGW F 387 For they ben half-goddes in this world here --
LGW F 388 Yit mot he doon bothe ryght, to poore and ryche,
LGW F 389 Al be that hire estaat be nat yliche,
LGW F 390 And han of poore folk compassyoun.
LGW F 391 For loo, the gentil kynde of the lyoun:
LGW F 392 For whan a flye offendeth him or biteth,
LGW F 393 He with his tayl awey the flye smyteth
LGW F 394 Al esely; for, of hys genterye,
LGW F 395 Hym deyneth not to wreke hym on a flye,
LGW F 396 As dooth a curre, or elles another best.
LGW F 397 In noble corage ought ben arest,
LGW F 398 And weyen every thing by equytee,
LGW F 399 And ever have reward to his owen degree.
LGW F 400 For, syr, yt is no maistrye for a lord
LGW F 401 To dampne a man without answere of word,
LGW F 402 And for a lord that is ful foul to use.
LGW F 403 And if so be he may hym nat excuse,
LGW F 404 But asketh mercy with a dredeful herte,
LGW F 405 And profereth him, ryght in his bare sherte,
LGW F 406 To ben ryght at your owen jugement,
LGW F 407 Than oght a god by short avysement
LGW F 408 Consydre his owne honour and hys trespas.
LGW F 409 For, syth no cause of deth lyeth in this caas,
LGW F 410 Yow oghte to ben the lyghter merciable;
LGW F 411 Leteth youre ire, and beth sumwhat tretable.
LGW F 412 The man hath served yow of his kunnynge,
LGW F 413 And furthred wel youre lawe in his makynge.
LGW F 414 Al be hit that he kan nat wel endite,
LGW F 415 Yet hath he maked lewed folk delyte
LGW F 416 To serve yow, in preysinge of your name.
LGW F 417 He made the book that hight the Hous of Fame,
LGW F 418 And eke the Deeth of Blaunche the Duchesse,
LGW F 419 And the Parlement of Foules, as I gesse,
LGW F 420 And al the love of Palamon and Arcite
LGW F 421 Of Thebes, thogh the storye ys knowen lyte;
LGW F 422 And many an ympne for your halydayes,
LGW F 423 That highten balades, roundels, virelayes;
LGW F 424 And, for to speke of other holynesse,
LGW F 425 He hath in prose translated Boece,
LGW F 426 And maad the lyf also of Seynt Cecile.
LGW F 427 He made also, goon ys a gret while,
LGW F 428 Origenes upon the Maudeleyne.
LGW F 429 Hym oughte now to have the lesse peyne;
LGW F 430 He hath maad many a lay and many a thing.
LGW F 431 Now as ye be a god and eke a kyng,
LGW F 432 I, your Alceste, whilom quene of Trace,
LGW F 433 Y aske yow this man, ryght of your grace,
LGW F 434 That ye him never hurte in al his lyve;
LGW F 435 And he shal swere to yow, and that as blyve,
LGW F 436 He shal no more agilten in this wyse,
LGW F 437 But he shal maken, as ye wol devyse,
LGW F 438 Of wommen trewe in lovyng al hire lyve,
LGW F 439 Wherso ye wol, of mayden or of wyve,
LGW F 440 And forthren yow as muche as he mysseyde
LGW F 441 Or in the Rose or elles in Creseyde. "
LGW F 442 The god of Love answerede hire thus anoon:
LGW F 443 " Madame, " quod he, " it is so long agoon
LGW F 444 That I yow knew so charitable and trewe,
LGW F 445 That never yit syn that the world was newe
LGW F 446 To me ne fond y better noon than yee.
LGW F 447 If that I wol save my degree,
LGW F 448 I may, ne wol, nat werne your requeste.
LGW F 449 Al lyeth in yow, dooth wyth hym what yow leste.
LGW F 450 I al foryeve, withouten lenger space;
LGW F 451 For whoso yeveth a yifte or dooth a grace,
LGW F 452 Do it by tyme, his thank ys wel the more.
LGW F 453 And demeth ye what he shal doo therfore.
LGW F 454 Goo thanke now my lady here, " quod he.
LGW F 455 I roos, and doun I sette me on my knee,
LGW F 456 And seyde thus: " Madame, the God above
LGW F 457 Foryelde yow that ye the god of Love
LGW F 458 Han maked me his wrathe to foryive,
LGW F 459 And yeve me grace so longe for to lyve
LGW F 460 That I may knowe soothly what ye bee
LGW F 461 That han me holpe and put in this degree.
LGW F 462 But trewly I wende, as in this cas,
LGW F 463 Naught have agilt, ne doon to love trespas.
LGW F 464 For-why a trewe man, withouten drede,
LGW F 465 Hath nat to parten with a theves dede;
LGW F 466 Ne a trewe lover oght me not to blame
LGW F 467 Thogh that I speke a fals lovere som shame.
LGW F 468 They oghte rather with me for to holde
LGW F 469 For that I of Creseyde wroot or tolde,
LGW F 470 Or of the Rose; what so myn auctour mente,
LGW F 471 Algate, God woot, yt was myn entente
LGW F 472 To forthren trouthe in love and yt cheryce,
LGW F 473 And to ben war fro falsnesse and fro vice
LGW F 474 By swich ensample; this was my menynge. "
LGW F 475 And she answerde, " Lat be thyn arguynge,
LGW F 476 For Love ne wol nat countrepleted be
LGW F 477 In ryght ne wrong; and lerne that at me!
LGW F 478 Thow hast thy grace, and hold the ryght therto.
LGW F 479 Now wol I seyn what penance thou shalt do
LGW F 480 For thy trespas. Understonde yt here:
LGW F 481 Thow shalt, while that thou lyvest, yer by yere,
LGW F 482 The moste partye of thy tyme spende
LGW F 483 In makyng of a glorious legende
LGW F 484 Of goode wymmen, maydenes and wyves,
LGW F 485 That weren trewe in lovyng al hire lyves;
LGW F 486 And telle of false men that hem bytraien,
LGW F 487 That al hir lyf ne don nat but assayen
LGW F 488 How many women they may doon a shame;
LGW F 489 For in youre world that is now holde a game.
LGW F 490 And thogh the lyke nat a lovere bee,
LGW F 491 Speke wel of love; this penance yive I thee.
LGW F 492 And to the god of Love I shal so preye
LGW F 493 That he shal charge his servantz by any weye
LGW F 494 To forthren thee, and wel thy labour quyte.
LGW F 495 Goo now thy wey, this penaunce ys but lyte.
LGW F 496 And whan this book ys maad, yive it the quene,
LGW F 497 On my byhalf, at Eltham or at Sheene. "
LGW F 498 The god of Love gan smyle, and than he sayde:
LGW F 499 " Wostow, " quod he, " wher this be wyf or mayde,
LGW F 500 Or queene, or countesse, or of what degre,
LGW F 501 That hath so lytel penance yiven thee,
LGW F 502 That hast deserved sorer for to smerte?
LGW F 503 But pite renneth soone in gentil herte;
LGW F 504 That maistow seen; she kytheth what she ys. "
LGW F 505 And I answered, " Nay, sire, so have I blys,
LGW F 506 No moore but that I see wel she is good. "
LGW F 507 " That is a trewe tale, by myn hood! "
LGW F 508 Quod Love; " And that thou knowest wel, pardee,
LGW F 509 If yt be so that thou avise the.
LGW F 510 Hastow nat in a book, lyth in thy cheste,
LGW F 511 The grete goodnesse of the quene Alceste,
LGW F 512 That turned was into a dayesye;
LGW F 513 She that for hire housbonde chees to dye,
LGW F 514 And eke to goon to helle, rather than he,
LGW F 515 And Ercules rescowed hire, parde,
LGW F 516 And broght hir out of helle agayn to blys? "
LGW F 517 And I answerd ageyn, and sayde, " Yis,
LGW F 518 Now knowe I hire. And is this good Alceste,
LGW F 519 The dayesie, and myn owene hertes reste?
LGW F 520 Now fele I weel the goodnesse of this wyf,
LGW F 521 That both aftir hir deth and in hir lyf
LGW F 522 Hir grete bounte doubleth hire renoun.
LGW F 523 Wel hath she quyt me myn affeccioun
LGW F 524 That I have to hire flour, the dayesye.
LGW F 525 No wonder ys thogh Jove hire stellyfye,
LGW F 526 As telleth Agaton, for hire goodnesse!
LGW F 527 Hire white corowne berith of hyt witnesse;
LGW F 528 For also many vertues hadde shee
LGW F 529 As smale florouns in hire corowne bee.
LGW F 530 In remembraunce of hire and in honour
LGW F 531 Cibella maade the daysye and the flour
LGW F 532 Ycrowned al with whit, as men may see;
LGW F 533 And Mars yaf to hire corowne reed, pardee,
LGW F 534 In stede of rubyes, sette among the white. "
LGW F 535 Therwith this queene wex reed for shame a lyte
LGW F 536 Whan she was preysed so in hire presence.
LGW F 537 Thanne seyde Love, " A ful gret necligence
LGW F 538 Was yt to the, that ylke tyme thou made
LGW F 539 `Hyd, Absolon, thy tresses,' in balade,
LGW F 540 That thou forgate hire in thi song to sette,
LGW F 541 Syn that thou art so gretly in hire dette,
LGW F 542 And wost so wel that kalender ys shee
LGW F 543 To any woman that wol lover bee.
LGW F 544 For she taught al the craft of fyn lovynge,
LGW F 545 And namely of wyfhod the lyvynge,
LGW F 546 And al the boundes that she oghte kepe.
LGW F 547 Thy litel wit was thilke tyme aslepe.
LGW F 548 But now I charge the upon thy lyf
LGW F 549 That in thy legende thou make of thys wyf
LGW F 550 Whan thou hast other smale ymaad before;
LGW F 551 And far now wel, I charge the namore.
LGW F 552 But er I goo, thus muche I wol the telle:
LGW F 553 Ne shal no trewe lover come in helle.
LGW F 554 Thise other ladies sittynge here arowe
LGW F 555 Ben in thy balade, yf thou kanst hem knowe,
LGW F 556 And in thy bookes alle thou shalt hem fynde.
LGW F 557 Have hem now in thy legende al in mynde;
LGW F 558 I mene of hem that ben in thy knowynge.
LGW F 559 For here ben twenty thousand moo sittynge
LGW F 560 Than thou knowest, goode wommen alle,
LGW F 561 And trewe of love for oght that may byfalle.
LGW F 562 Make the metres of hem as the lest --
LGW F 563 I mot goon hom (the sonne draweth west)
LGW F 564 To paradys, with al this companye --
LGW F 565 And serve alwey the fresshe dayesye.
LGW F 566 At Cleopatre I wol that thou begynne,
LGW F 567 And so forth, and my love so shal thou wynne.
LGW F 568 For lat see now what man that lover be,
LGW F 569 Wol doon so strong a peyne for love as she.
LGW F 570 I wot wel that thou maist nat al yt ryme
LGW F 571 That swiche lovers diden in hire tyme;
LGW F 572 It were to long to reden and to here.
LGW F 573 Suffiseth me thou make in this manere:
LGW F 574 That thou reherce of al hir lyf the grete,
LGW F 575 After thise olde auctours lysten for to trete.
LGW F 576 For whoso shal so many a storye telle,
LGW F 577 Sey shortly, or he shal to longe dwelle. "
LGW F 578 And with that word my bokes gan I take,
LGW F 579 And ryght thus on my Legende gan I make.
LGW G 1 A thousand sythes have I herd men telle
LGW G 2 That there is joye in hevene and peyne in helle,
LGW G 3 And I acorde wel that it be so;
LGW G 4 But natheles, this wot I wel also,
LGW G 5 That there ne is non that dwelleth in this contre
LGW G 6 That eyther hath in helle or hevene ybe,
LGW G 7 Ne may of it non other weyes witen
LGW G 8 But as he hath herd seyd or founde it writen;
LGW G 9 For by assay there may no man it preve.
LGW G 10 But Goddes forbode but men shulde leve
LGW G 11 Wel more thyng than men han seyn with ye!
LGW G 12 Men shal nat wenen every thyng a lye
LGW G 13 For that he say it nat of yore ago.
LGW G 14 God wot a thyng is nevere the lesse so
LGW G 15 Thow every wyght ne may it nat yse.
LGW G 16 Bernard the monk ne say nat al, parde!
LGW G 17 Thanne mote we to bokes that we fynde,
LGW G 18 Thourgh whiche that olde thynges ben in mynde,
LGW G 19 And to the doctryne of these olde wyse
LGW G 20 Yeven credence, in every skylful wyse,
LGW G 21 And trowen on these olde aproved storyes
LGW G 22 Of holynesse, of regnes, of victoryes,
LGW G 23 Of love, of hate, of othere sondry thynges,
LGW G 24 Of which I may nat make rehersynges.
LGW G 25 And if that olde bokes weren aweye,
LGW G 26 Yloren were of remembrance the keye.
LGW G 27 Wel oughte us thanne on olde bokes leve,
LGW G 28 There as there is non other assay by preve.
LGW G 29 And as for me, though that my wit be lite,
LGW G 30 On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
LGW G 31 And in myn herte have hem in reverence,
LGW G 32 And to hem yeve swich lust and swich credence
LGW G 33 That there is wel unethe game non
LGW G 34 That fro my bokes make me to gon,
LGW G 35 But it be other upon the halyday,
LGW G 36 Or ellis in the joly tyme of May,
LGW G 37 Whan that I here the smale foules synge,
LGW G 38 And that the floures gynne for to sprynge.
LGW G 39 Farwel my stodye, as lastynge that sesoun!
LGW G 40 Now have I therto this condicioun,
LGW G 41 That, of alle the floures in the mede,
LGW G 42 Thanne love I most these floures white and rede,
LGW G 43 Swyche as men calle dayesyes in oure toun.
LGW G 44 To hem have I so gret affeccioun,
LGW G 45 As I seyde erst, whan comen is the May,
LGW G 46 That in my bed there daweth me no day
LGW G 47 That I n' am up and walkynge in the mede
LGW G 48 To sen these floures agen the sonne sprede
LGW G 49 Whan it up ryseth by the morwe shene,
LGW G 50 The longe day thus walkynge in the grene.
LGW G 51 And whan the sonne gynneth for to weste,
LGW G 52 Thanne closeth it, and draweth it to reste,
LGW G 53 So sore it is afered of the nyght,
LGW G 54 Til on the morwe that it is dayes lyght.
LGW G 55 This dayesye, of alle floures flour,
LGW G 56 Fulfyld of vertu and of alle honour,
LGW G 57 And evere ylike fayr and fresh of hewe,
LGW G 58 As wel in wynter as in somer newe,
LGW G 59 Fayn wolde I preysen, if I coude aryght;
LGW G 60 But wo is me, it lyth nat in my myght.
LGW G 61 For wel I wot that folk han here-beforn
LGW G 62 Of makyng ropen, and lad awey the corn;
LGW G 63 [And] I come after, glenynge here and there,
LGW G 64 And am ful glad if I may fynde an ere
LGW G 65 Of any goodly word that they han left.
LGW G 66 And if it happe me rehersen eft
LGW G 67 That they han in here freshe songes said,
LGW G 68 I hope that they wole nat ben evele apayd,
LGW G 69 Sith it is seyd in fortheryng and honour
LGW G 70 Of hem that eyther serven lef or flour.
LGW G 71 For trusteth wel, I ne have nat undertake
LGW G 72 As of the lef agayn the flour to make,
LGW G 73 Ne of the flour to make ageyn the lef,
LGW G 74 No more than of the corn agen the shef;
LGW G 75 For, as to me, is lefer non, ne lother.
LGW G 76 I am witholde yit with never nother;
LGW G 77 I not who serveth lef ne who the flour.
LGW G 78 That nys nothyng the entent of my labour.
LGW G 79 For this werk is al of another tonne,
LGW G 80 Of olde story, er swich strif was begonne.
LGW G 81 But wherfore that I spak, to yeve credence
LGW G 82 To bokes olde and don hem reverence,
LGW G 83 Is for men shulde autoritees beleve,
LGW G 84 There as there lyth non other assay by preve.
LGW G 85 For myn entent is, or I fro yow fare,
LGW G 86 The naked text in English to declare
LGW G 87 Of many a story, or elles of many a geste,
LGW G 88 As autours seyn; leveth hem if yow leste.
LGW G 89 Whan passed was almost the month of May,
LGW G 90 And I hadde romed, al the someres day,
LGW G 91 The grene medewe, of which that I yow tolde,
LGW G 92 Upon the freshe dayseie to beholde,
LGW G 93 And that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
LGW G 94 And closed was the flour and gon to reste,
LGW G 95 For derknesse of the nyght, of which she dredde,
LGW G 96 Hom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde,
LGW G 97 And in a lytel herber that I have,
LGW G 98 Ybenched newe with turves fresshe ygrave,
LGW G 99 I bad men shulde me my couche make;
LGW G 100 For deynte of the newe someres sake,
LGW G 101 I bad hem strowe floures on my bed.
LGW G 102 Whan I was layd, and hadde myn eyen hed,
LGW G 103 I fel aslepe withinne an hour or two.
LGW G 104 Me mette how I was in the medewe tho,
LGW G 105 And that I romede in that same gyse,
LGW G 106 To sen that flour, as ye han herd devyse.
LGW G 107 Fayr was this medewe, as thoughte me, overal;
LGW G 108 With floures sote enbrouded was it al.
LGW G 109 As for to speke of gomme, or herbe, or tre,
LGW G 110 Comparisoun may non ymaked be;
LGW G 111 For it surmountede pleynly alle odoures,
LGW G 112 And of ryche beaute alle floures.
LGW G 113 Forgeten hadde the erthe his pore estat
LGW G 114 Of wynter, that hym naked made and mat,
LGW G 115 And with his swerd of cold so sore hadde greved.
LGW G 116 Now hadde th' atempre sonne al that releved,
LGW G 117 And clothed hym in grene al newe ageyn.
LGW G 118 The smale foules, of the seson fayn,
LGW G 119 That from the panter and the net ben skaped,
LGW G 120 Upon the foulere, that hem made awhaped
LGW G 121 In wynter, and distroyed hadde hire brod,
LGW G 122 In his dispit hem thoughte it dide hem good
LGW G 123 To synge of hym, and in here song despise
LGW G 124 The foule cherl that for his coveytyse
LGW G 125 Hadde hem betrayed with his sophistrye.
LGW G 126 This was here song, " The foulere we defye,
LGW G 127 [And] [al] [his] [craft]. " [And] [some] [songen] [clere]
LGW G 128 [Layes] of love that joye it was to here,
LGW G 129 In worshipe and in preysyng of hire make;
LGW G 130 And [for] the newe blysful somers sake,
LGW G 131 [They] sungen, " Blyssed be Seynt Valentyn!
LGW G 132 [For] [on] his day I ches yow to be myn,
LGW G 133 Withoute repentynge, myn herte swete! "
LGW G 134 And therwithal here bekes gonne mete,
LGW G 135 [Yelding] honour and humble obeysaunces;
LGW G 136 And after diden othere observaunces
LGW G 137 Ryht [longing] onto love and to nature;
LGW G 138 So ech of hem [doth] [wel] to creature.
LGW G 139 This song to herkenen I dide al myn entente,
LGW G 140 For-why I mette I wiste what they mente,
LGW G 141 Tyl at the laste a larke son above:
LGW G 142 " I se, " quod she, " the myghty god of Love.
LGW G 143 Lo! yond he cometh! I se his wynges sprede. "
LGW G 144 Tho gan I loken endelong the mede
LGW G 145 And saw hym come, and in his hond a quene
LGW G 146 Clothed in real habyt al of grene.
LGW G 147 A fret of goold she hadde next hyre her
LGW G 148 And upon that a whit corone she ber
LGW G 149 With many floures, and I shal nat lye;
LGW G 150 For al the world, ryght as the dayesye
LGW G 151 Ycorouned is with white leves lite,
LGW G 152 Swiche were the floures of hire coroune white.
LGW G 153 For of o perle fyn and oryental
LGW G 154 Hyre white coroun was ymaked al;
LGW G 155 For which the white coroun above the grene
LGW G 156 Made hire lyk a dayesye for to sene,
LGW G 157 Considered ek the fret of gold above.
LGW G 158 Yclothed was this myghty god of Love
LGW G 159 Of silk, ybrouded ful of grene greves,
LGW G 160 A garlond on his hed of rose-leves
LGW G 161 Stiked al with lylye floures newe.
LGW G 162 But of his face I can not seyn the hewe,
LGW G 163 For sikerly his face shon so bryghte
LGW G 164 That with the glem astoned was the syghte;
LGW G 165 A furlong-wey I myhte hym not beholde.
LGW G 166 But at the laste in hande I saw hym holde
LGW G 167 Two firy dartes as the gleedes rede,
LGW G 168 And aungellych hys winges gan he sprede.
LGW G 169 And al be that men seyn that blynd is he,
LGW G 170 Algate me thoughte he myghte wel yse;
LGW G 171 For sternely on me he gan beholde,
LGW G 172 So that his lokynge doth myn herte colde.
LGW G 173 And by the hond he held the noble quene
LGW G 174 Corouned with whit and clothed al in grene,
LGW G 175 So womanly, so benygne, and so meke,
LGW G 176 That in this world, thogh that men wolde seke,
LGW G 177 Half hire beaute shulde men nat fynde
LGW G 178 In creature that formed is by kynde.
LGW G 179 Hire name was Alceste the debonayre.
LGW G 180 I preye to God that evere falle she fayre,
LGW G 181 For ne hadde confort been of hire presence,
LGW G 182 I hadde be ded, withouten any defence,
LGW G 183 For dred of Loves wordes and his chere,
LGW G 184 As, whan tyme is, hereafter ye shal here.
LGW G 185 Byhynde this god of Love, upon this grene,
LGW G 186 I saw comynge of ladyes nyntene
LGW G 187 In real habyt, a ful esy pas,
LGW G 188 And after hem come of wemen swich a tras
LGW G 189 That, syn that God Adam [had] mad of erthe,
LGW G 190 The thridde part of wemen, ne the ferthe,
LGW G 191 Ne wende I not by possibilite
LGW G 192 Hadden evere in this [wyde] world ybe;
LGW G 193 And trewe of love these wemen were echon.
LGW G 194 Now whether was that a wonder thyng or non,
LGW G 195 That ryght anon as that they gonne espye
LGW G 196 This flour, which that I clepe the dayesye,
LGW G 197 Ful sodeynly they stynten alle atones,
LGW G 198 And knelede adoun, as it were for the nones.
LGW G 199 And after that they wenten in compas,
LGW G 200 Daunsynge aboute this flour an esy pas,
LGW G 201 And songen, as it were in carole-wyse,
LGW G 202 This balade, which that I shal yow devyse.
LGW G 203 Hyd, Absalon, thy gilte tresses clere;
LGW G 204 Ester, ley thow thy meknesse al adoun;
LGW G 205 Hyd, Jonathas, al thyn frendly manere;
LGW G 206 Penelope and Marcia Catoun,
LGW G 207 Mak of youre wyfhod no comparisoun;
LGW G 208 Hyde ye youre beautes, Ysoude and Eleyne:
LGW G 209 Alceste is here, that al that may desteyne.
LGW G 210 Thy fayre body, lat it nat apeere,
LGW G 211 Laveyne; and thow, Lucresse of Rome toun,
LGW G 212 And Polixene, that boughte love so dere,
LGW G 213 Ek Cleopatre, with al thy passioun,
LGW G 214 Hide ye youre trouth in love and youre renoun;
LGW G 215 And thow, Tysbe, that hast for love swich peyne:
LGW G 216 Alceste is here, that al that may desteyne.
LGW G 217 Herro, Dido, Laodomya, alle in-fere,
LGW G 218 Ek Phillis, hangynge for thy Demophoun,
LGW G 219 And Canace, espied by thy chere,
LGW G 220 Ysiphile, betrayed with Jasoun,
LGW G 221 Mak of youre trouthe in love no bost ne soun;
LGW G 222 Nor Ypermystre or Adriane, ne pleyne
LGW G 223 Alceste is here, that al that may disteyne.
LGW G 224 Whan that this balade al ysongen was,
LGW G 225 Upon the softe and sote grene gras
LGW G 226 They setten hem ful softely adoun,
LGW G 227 By order alle in compas, enveroun.
LGW G 228 Fyrst sat the god of Love, and thanne this queene
LGW G 229 With the white corone, clad in grene,
LGW G 230 And sithen al the remenant by and by,
LGW G 231 As they were of degre, ful curteysly;
LGW G 232 Ne nat a word was spoken in that place
LGW G 233 The mountaunce of a furlong-wey of space.
LGW G 234 I, lenynge faste by under a bente,
LGW G 235 Abod to knowe what this peple mente,
LGW G 236 As stille as any ston, til at the laste
LGW G 237 The god of Love on me his eye caste
LGW G 238 And seyde, " Who restith there? " And I answerde
LGW G 239 Unto his axynge, whan that I hym herde,
LGW G 240 And seyde, " Sire, it am I, " and cam hym ner,
LGW G 241 And salewede hym. Quod he, " What dost thow her
LGW G 242 In my presence, and that so boldely?
LGW G 243 For it were better worthi, trewely,
LGW G 244 A worm to comen in my syght than thow. "
LGW G 245 " And why, sire, " quod I, " and it lyke yow? "
LGW G 246 " For thow, " quod he, " art therto nothyng able.
LGW G 247 My servaunts ben alle wyse and honourable.
LGW G 248 Thow art my mortal fo and me werreyest,
LGW G 249 And of myne olde servauntes thow mysseyest,
LGW G 250 And hynderest hem with thy translacyoun,
LGW G 251 And lettest folk to han devocyoun
LGW G 252 To serven me, and holdest it folye
LGW G 253 To truste on me. Thow mayst it nat denye,
LGW G 254 For in pleyn text, it nedeth nat to glose,
LGW G 255 Thow hast translated the Romauns of the Rose,
LGW G 256 That is an heresye ageyns my lawe,
LGW G 257 And makest wise folk fro me withdrawe;
LGW G 258 And thynkest in thy wit, that is ful col,
LGW G 259 That he nys but a verray propre fol
LGW G 260 That loveth paramours to harde and hote.
LGW G 261 Wel wot I therby thow begynnyst dote,
LGW G 262 As olde foles whan here spiryt fayleth;
LGW G 263 Thanne blame they folk, and wite nat what hem ayleth.
LGW G 264 Hast thow nat mad in Englysh ek the bok
LGW G 265 How that Crisseyde Troylus forsok,
LGW G 266 In shewynge how that wemen han don mis?
LGW G 267 But natheles, answere me now to this;
LGW G 268 Why noldest thow as wel [han] seyd goodnesse
LGW G 269 Of wemen, as thow hast seyd wikednesse?
LGW G 270 Was there no good matere in thy mynde,
LGW G 271 Ne in alle thy bokes ne coudest thow nat fynde
LGW G 272 Som story of wemen that were goode and trewe?
LGW G 273 Yis, God wot, sixty bokes olde and newe
LGW G 274 Hast thow thyself, alle ful of storyes grete,
LGW G 275 That bothe Romayns and ek Grekes trete
LGW G 276 Of sundry wemen, which lyf that they ladde,
LGW G 277 And evere an hundred goode ageyn oon badde.
LGW G 278 This knoweth God, and alle clerkes eke
LGW G 279 That usen swiche materes for to seke.
LGW G 280 What seith Valerye, Titus, or Claudyan?
LGW G 281 What seith Jerome agayns Jovynyan?
LGW G 282 How clene maydenes and how trewe wyves,
LGW G 283 How stedefaste widewes durynge alle here lyves,
LGW G 284 Telleth Jerome, and that nat of a fewe,
LGW G 285 But, I dar seyn, an hundred on a rewe,
LGW G 286 That it is pite for to rede, and routhe,
LGW G 287 The wo that they endure for here trouthe
LGW G 288 For to hyre love were they so trewe
LGW G 289 That, rathere than they wolde take a newe,
LGW G 290 They chose to be ded in sondry wyse,
LGW G 291 And deiden, as the story wol devyse;
LGW G 292 And some were brend, and some were cut the hals,
LGW G 293 And some dreynt for they wolden not be fals;
LGW G 294 For alle keped they here maydenhede,
LGW G 295 Or elles wedlok, or here widewehede.
LGW G 296 And this thing was nat kept for holynesse,
LGW G 297 But al for verray vertu and clennesse,
LGW G 298 And for men schulde sette on hem no lak;
LGW G 299 And yit they were hethene, al the pak,
LGW G 300 That were so sore adrad of alle shame.
LGW G 301 These olde wemen kepte so here name
LGW G 302 That in this world I trowe men shal nat fynde
LGW G 303 A man that coude be so trewe and kynde
LGW G 304 As was the leste woman in that tyde.
LGW G 305 What seyth also the epistel of Ovyde
LGW G 306 Of trewe wyves and of here labour?
LGW G 307 What Vincent in his Estoryal Myrour?
LGW G 308 Ek al the world of autours maystow here,
LGW G 309 Cristene and hethene, trete of swich matere;
LGW G 310 It nedeth nat al day thus for to endite.
LGW G 311 But yit, I seye, what eyleth the to wryte
LGW G 312 The draf of storyes, and forgete the corn?
LGW G 313 By Seynt Venus, of whom that I was born,
LGW G 314 Althogh thow reneyed hast my lay,
LGW G 315 As othere olde foles many a day,
LGW G 316 Thow shalt repente it, so that it shal be sene! "
LGW G 317 Thanne spak Alceste, the worthyeste queene,
LGW G 318 And seyde, " God, ryght of youre curteysye,
LGW G 319 Ye moten herkenen if he can replye
LGW G 320 Ageyns these poynts that ye han to hym meved.
LGW G 321 A god ne sholde not thus been agreved,
LGW G 322 But of his deite he shal be stable,
LGW G 323 And therto ryghtful, and ek mercyable.
LGW G 324 He shal nat ryghtfully his yre wreke
LGW G 325 Or he have herd the tother partye speke.
LGW G 326 Al ne is nat gospel that is to yow pleyned;
LGW G 327 The god of Love hereth many a tale yfeyned.
LGW G 328 For in youre court is many a losengeour,
LGW G 329 And many a queynte totelere accusour,
LGW G 330 That tabouren in youre eres many a thyng
LGW G 331 For hate, or for jelous ymagynyng,
LGW G 332 And for to han with you som dalyaunce.
LGW G 333 Envye -- I preye to God yeve hire myschaunce! --
LGW G 334 Is lavender in the grete court alway,
LGW G 335 For she ne parteth, neyther nyght ne day,
LGW G 336 Out of the hous of Cesar; thus seyth Dante;
LGW G 337 Whoso that goth, alwey she mot [nat] wante.
LGW G 338 This man to yow may wrongly ben acused,
LGW G 339 There as by ryght hym oughte ben excusid.
LGW G 340 Or elles, sire, for that this man is nyce,
LGW G 341 He may translate a thyng in no malyce,
LGW G 342 But for he useth bokes for to make,
LGW G 343 And taketh non hed of what matere he take,
LGW G 344 Therfore he wrot the Rose and ek Crisseyde
LGW G 345 Of innocence, and nyste what he seyde.
LGW G 346 Or hym was boden make thilke tweye
LGW G 347 Of som persone, and durste it not withseye;
LGW G 348 For he hath write many a bok er this.
LGW G 349 He ne hath not don so grevously amys
LGW G 350 To translate that olde clerkes wryte,
LGW G 351 As thogh that he of maleys wolde endyte
LGW G 352 Despit of love, and hadde hymself ywrought.
LGW G 353 This shulde a ryghtwys lord han in his thought,
LGW G 354 And not ben lyk tyraunts of Lumbardye,
LGW G 355 That usen wilfulhed and tyrannye.
LGW G 356 For he that kyng or lord is naturel,
LGW G 357 Hym oughte nat be tyraunt and crewel
LGW G 358 As is a fermour, to don the harm he can.
LGW G 359 He moste thynke it is his lige man,
LGW G 360 And that hym oweth, of verray duetee,
LGW G 361 Shewen his peple pleyn benygnete,
LGW G 362 And wel to heren here excusacyouns,
LGW G 363 And here compleyntes and petyciouns,
LGW G 364 In duewe tyme, whan they shal it profre.
LGW G 365 This is the sentence of the Philosophre,
LGW G 366 A kyng to kepe his lyges in justice;
LGW G 367 Withouten doute, that is his office.
LGW G 368 And therto is a kyng ful depe ysworn
LGW G 369 Ful many an hundred wynter herebeforn;
LGW G 370 And for to kepe his lordes hir degre,
LGW G 371 As it is ryght and skylful that they be
LGW G 372 Enhaunsed and honoured, [and] most dere --
LGW G 373 For they ben half-goddes in this world here --
LGW G 374 This shal he don bothe to pore [and] ryche,
LGW G 375 Al be that her estat be nat alyche,
LGW G 376 And han of pore folk compassioun.
LGW G 377 For lo, the gentyl kynde of the lyoun:
LGW G 378 For whan a flye offendeth hym or byteth,
LGW G 379 He with his tayl awey the flye smyteth
LGW G 380 Al esyly; for, of his genterye,
LGW G 381 Hym deyneth nat to wreke hym on a flye,
LGW G 382 As doth a curre, or elles another best.
LGW G 383 In noble corage oughte ben arest,
LGW G 384 And weyen every thing by equite,
LGW G 385 And evere han reward to his owen degre.
LGW G 386 For, sire, it is no maystrye for a lord
LGW G 387 To dampne a man withoute answere or word,
LGW G 388 And, for a lord, that is ful foul to use.
LGW G 389 And if so be he may hym nat excuse,
LGW G 390 [But] axeth mercy with a sorweful herte,
LGW G 391 And profereth hym, ryght in his bare sherte,
LGW G 392 To been ryght at youre owene jugement,
LGW G 393 Than ought a god, by short avisement,
LGW G 394 Considere his owene honour and his trespas.
LGW G 395 For syth no cause of deth lyth in this cas,
LGW G 396 Yow oughte to ben the lyghter merciable;
LGW G 397 Leteth youre yre, and beth somwhat tretable.
LGW G 398 The man hath served yow of his konnynge,
LGW G 399 And forthered [wel] youre lawe with his makynge.
LGW G 400 Whil he was yong, he kepte youre estat;
LGW G 401 I not wher he be now a renegat.
LGW G 402 But wel I wot, with that he can endyte
LGW G 403 He hath maked lewed folk to delyte
LGW G 404 To serven yow, in preysynge of youre name.
LGW G 405 He made the bok that highte the Hous of Fame,
LGW G 406 And ek the Deth of Blaunche the Duchesse,
LGW G 407 And the Parlement of Foules, as I gesse,
LGW G 408 And al the love of Palamon and Arcite
LGW G 409 Of Thebes, thogh the storye is knowen lite;
LGW G 410 And many an ympne for your halydayes,
LGW G 411 That highten balades, roundeles, vyrelayes;
LGW G 412 And, for to speke of other besynesse,
LGW G 413 He hath in prose translated Boece,
LGW G 414 And Of the Wreched Engendrynge of Mankynde,
LGW G 415 As man may in Pope Innocent yfynde;
LGW G 416 And mad the lyf also of Seynt Cecile.
LGW G 417 He made also, gon is a gret while,
LGW G 418 Orygenes upon the Maudeleyne.
LGW G 419 Hym oughte now to have the lesse peyne;
LGW G 420 He hath mad many a lay and many a thyng.
LGW G 421 Now as ye ben a god and ek a kyng,
LGW G 422 I, youre Alceste, whilom quene of Trace,
LGW G 423 I axe yow this man, ryght of youre grace,
LGW G 424 That ye hym nevere hurte in al his lyve;
LGW G 425 And he shal swere to yow, and that as blyve,
LGW G 426 He shal no more agilten in this wyse,
LGW G 427 But he shal maken, as ye wol devyse,
LGW G 428 Of women trewe in lovynge al here lyve,
LGW G 429 Wherso ye wol, of mayden or of wyve,
LGW G 430 And fortheren yow as muche as he mysseyde
LGW G 431 Or in the Rose or elles in Crisseyde. "
LGW G 432 The god of Love answerede hire thus anon:
LGW G 433 " Madame, " quod he, " it is so longe agon
LGW G 434 That I yow knew so charytable and trewe,
LGW G 435 That nevere yit sith that the world was newe
LGW G 436 To me ne fond I betere non than ye;
LGW G 437 That, if that I wol save my degre,
LGW G 438 I may, ne wol, not warne youre requeste.
LGW G 439 Al lyth in yow, doth with hym what yow leste;
LGW G 440 And al foryeve, withoute lenger space.
LGW G 441 For whoso yeveth a yifte or doth a grace,
LGW G 442 Do it by tyme, his thank is wel the more.
LGW G 443 And demeth ye what he shal do therfore.
LGW G 444 Go thanke now my lady here, " quod he.
LGW G 445 I ros, and doun I sette me on my kne,
LGW G 446 And seyde thus, " Madame, the God above
LGW G 447 Foryelde yow that ye the god of Love
LGW G 448 Han maked me his wrathe to foryive,
LGW G 449 And yeve me grace so longe for to live
LGW G 450 That I may knowe sothly what ye be
LGW G 451 That han me holpen and put in swich degre.
LGW G 452 But trewely I wende, as in this cas,
LGW G 453 Naught have agilt, ne don to love trespas.
LGW G 454 For-why a trewe man, withoute drede,
LGW G 455 Hath nat to parte with a theves dede;
LGW G 456 Ne a trewe lovere oghte me nat to blame
LGW G 457 Thogh that I speke a fals lovere som shame.
LGW G 458 They oughte rathere with me for to holde
LGW G 459 For that I of Criseyde wrot or tolde,
LGW G 460 Or of the Rose; what so myn auctour mente,
LGW G 461 Algate, God wot, it was myn entente
LGW G 462 To forthere trouthe in love and it cheryce,
LGW G 463 And to be war fro falsnesse and fro vice
LGW G 464 By swich ensaumple; this was my menynge. "
LGW G 465 And she answerde, " Lat be thyn arguynge,
LGW G 466 For Love ne wol nat counterpletyd be
LGW G 467 In ryght ne wrong; and lerne this at me!
LGW G 468 Thow hast thy grace, and hold the ryght therto.
LGW G 469 Now wol I seyn what penaunce thow shalt do
LGW G 470 For thy trespas, and understond it here:
LGW G 471 Thow shalt, whil that thow livest, yer by yere,
LGW G 472 The moste partye of thy tyme spende
LGW G 473 In makynge of a gloryous legende
LGW G 474 Of goode women, maydenes and wyves,
LGW G 475 That were trewe in lovynge al here lyves;
LGW G 476 And telle of false men that hem betrayen,
LGW G 477 That al here lyf ne don nat but assayen
LGW G 478 How manye wemen they may don a shame;
LGW G 479 For in youre world that is now holden game.
LGW G 480 And thogh the lesteth nat a lovere be,
LGW G 481 Spek wel of love; this penaunce yeve I thee.
LGW G 482 And to the god of Love I shal so preye
LGW G 483 That he shal charge his servaunts by any weye
LGW G 484 To fortheren the, and wel thy labour quite.
LGW G 485 Go now thy wey, thy penaunce is but lyte. "
LGW G 486 The god of Love gan smyle, and thanne he seyde:
LGW G 487 " Wostow, " quod he, " wher this be wif or mayde,
LGW G 488 Or queen, or countesse, or of what degre,
LGW G 489 That hath so lytel penaunce yiven the,
LGW G 490 That hast deserved sorer for to smerte?
LGW G 491 But pite renneth sone in gentil herte;
LGW G 492 That mayst thow sen; she kytheth what she is. "
LGW G 493 And I answerde, " Nay, sire, so have I blys,
LGW G 494 No more but that I se wel she is good. "
LGW G 495 " That is a trewe tale, by myn hood! "
LGW G 496 Quod Love, " and that thow knowest wel, parde,
LGW G 497 Yif it be so that thow avise the.
LGW G 498 Hast thow nat in a bok, lyth in thy cheste,
LGW G 499 The grete goodnesse of the queene Alceste,
LGW G 500 That turned was into a dayesye;
LGW G 501 She that for hire husbonde ches to dye,
LGW G 502 And ek to gon to helle rather than he,
LGW G 503 And Ercules rescued hire, parde,
LGW G 504 And broughte hyre out of helle ageyn to blys? "
LGW G 505 And I answerde ayen, and seyde, " Yis,
LGW G 506 Now knowe I hire. And is this goode Alceste,
LGW G 507 The dayesye, and myn owene hertes reste?
LGW G 508 Now fele I wel the goodnesse of this wif,
LGW G 509 That bothe after hire deth and in hire lyf
LGW G 510 Hire grete bounte doubleth hire renoun.
LGW G 511 Wel hath she quit me myn affeccioun
LGW G 512 That I have to hire flour, the dayesye.
LGW G 513 No wonder is thogh Jove hire stellifye,
LGW G 514 As telleth Agaton, for hyre goodnesse!
LGW G 515 Hire white coroun bereth of it witnesse;
LGW G 516 For also manye vertues hadde she
LGW G 517 As smale flourys in hyre coroun be.
LGW G 518 In remembraunce of hire and in honour
LGW G 519 Cibella made the dayesye and the flour
LGW G 520 Ycoroned al with whit, as men may se;
LGW G 521 And Mars yaf to hire corone red, parde,
LGW G 522 In stede of rubies, set among the white. "
LGW G 523 Therwith this queene wex red for shame a lyte
LGW G 524 Whan she was preysed so in hire presence.
LGW G 525 Thanne seyde Love, " A ful gret neglygence
LGW G 526 Was it to the, to write unstedefastnesse
LGW G 527 Of women, sith thow knowest here goodnesse
LGW G 528 By pref, and ek by storyes herebyforn.
LGW G 529 Let be the chaf, and writ wel of the corn.
LGW G 530 Why noldest thow han writen of Alceste,
LGW G 531 And laten Criseide ben aslepe and reste?
LGW G 532 For of Alceste shulde thy wrytynge be,
LGW G 533 Syn that thow wost that calandier is she
LGW G 534 Of goodnesse, for she taughte of fyn lovynge,
LGW G 535 And namely of wifhod the lyvynge,
LGW G 536 And alle the boundes that she oughte kepe.
LGW G 537 Thy litel wit was thilke tyme aslepe.
LGW G 538 But now I charge the upon thy lyf
LGW G 539 That in thy legende thow make of this wif
LGW G 540 Whan thow hast othere smale mad byfore;
LGW G 541 And far now wel, I charge the no more.
LGW G 542 At Cleopatre I wol that thow begynne,
LGW G 543 And so forth, and my love so shalt thow wynne. "
LGW G 544 And with that word, of slep I gan awake,
LGW G 545 And ryght thus on my Legende gan I make.
LGW 1 580 After the deth of Tholome the kyng,
LGW 1 581 That al Egipt hadde in his governyng,
LGW 1 582 Regned his queene Cleopataras;
LGW 1 583 Tyl on a tyme befel there swich a cas
LGW 1 584 That out of Rome was sent a senatour
LGW 1 585 For to conqueren regnes and honour
LGW 1 586 Unto the toun of Rome, as was usaunce,
LGW 1 587 To han the world at hire obesaunce,
LGW 1 588 And soth to seyne, Antonius was his name.
LGW 1 589 So fil it, as Fortune hym oughte a shame,
LGW 1 590 Whan he was fallen in prosperite
LGW 1 591 Rebel unto the toun of Rome is he.
LGW 1 592 And over al this, the suster of Cesar,
LGW 1 593 He lafte hire falsly, or that she was war,
LGW 1 594 And wolde algates han another wyf,
LGW 1 595 For which he tok with Rome and Cesar stryf.
LGW 1 596 Natheles, for sothe, this ilke senatour
LGW 1 597 Was a ful worthy gentil werreyour,
LGW 1 598 And of his deth it was ful gret damage.
LGW 1 599 But love hadde brought this man in swich a rage
LGW 1 600 And hym so narwe bounden in his las,
LGW 1 601 Al for the love of Cleopataras,
LGW 1 602 That al the world he sette at no value.
LGW 1 603 Hym thoughte there nas nothyng to hym so due
LGW 1 604 As Cleopatras for to love and serve;
LGW 1 605 Hym roughte nat in armes for to sterve
LGW 1 606 In the defence of hyre and of hire ryght.
LGW 1 607 This noble queene ek lovede so this knyght,
LGW 1 608 Thourgh his desert, and for his chyvalrye;
LGW 1 609 As certeynly, but if that bokes lye,
LGW 1 610 He was, of persone and of gentillesse,
LGW 1 611 And of discrecioun and hardynesse,
LGW 1 612 Worthi to any wyght that liven may;
LGW 1 613 And she was fayr as is the rose in May.
LGW 1 614 And, for to make shortly is the beste,
LGW 1 615 She wax his wif, and hadde hym as hire leste.
LGW 1 616 The weddynge and the feste to devyse,
LGW 1 617 To me, that have ytake swich empryse
LGW 1 618 Of so many a story for to make,
LGW 1 619 It were to longe, lest that I shulde slake
LGW 1 620 Of thyng that bereth more effect and charge;
LGW 1 621 For men may overlade a ship or barge.
LGW 1 622 And forthy to th' effect thanne wol I skyppe,
LGW 1 623 And al the remenaunt, I wol lete it slippe.
LGW 1 624 Octovyan, that wod was of this dede,
LGW 1 625 Shop hym an ost on Antony to lede
LGW 1 626 Al uterly for his destruccioun,
LGW 1 627 With stoute Romeyns, crewel as lyoun;
LGW 1 628 To ship they wente, and thus I lat hem sayle.
LGW 1 629 Antonius was war, and wol nat fayle
LGW 1 630 To meten with these Romeyns, if he may;
LGW 1 631 Tok ek his red, and bothe, upon a day,
LGW 1 632 His wif and he, and al his ost, forth wente
LGW 1 633 To shipe anon, no lengere they ne stente;
LGW 1 634 And in the se it happede hem to mete.
LGW 1 635 Up goth the trompe, and for to shoute and shete,
LGW 1 636 And peynen hem to sette on with the sunne.
LGW 1 637 With grysely soun out goth the grete gonne,
LGW 1 638 And heterly they hurtelen al atones,
LGW 1 639 And from the top doun come the grete stones.
LGW 1 640 In goth the grapenel, so ful of crokes;
LGW 1 641 Among the ropes renne the sherynge-hokes.
LGW 1 642 In with the polax preseth he and he;
LGW 1 643 Byhynde the mast begynnyth he to fle,
LGW 1 644 And out ageyn, and dryveth hym overbord;
LGW 1 645 He styngeth hym upon his speres ord;
LGW 1 646 He rent the seyl with hokes lyke a sithe;
LGW 1 647 He bryngeth the cuppe and biddeth hem be blythe;
LGW 1 648 He poureth pesen upon the haches slidere;
LGW 1 649 With pottes ful of lyme they gon togidere;
LGW 1 650 And thus the longe day in fyght they spende,
LGW 1 651 Tyl at the laste, as every thyng hath ende,
LGW 1 652 Antony is schent and put hym to the flyghte,
LGW 1 653 And al his folk to-go that best go myghte.
LGW 1 654 Fleth ek the queen, with al hire purpre sayl,
LGW 1 655 For strokes, whiche that wente as thikke as hayl;
LGW 1 656 No wonder was she myghte it nat endure.
LGW 1 657 And whan that Antony saw that aventure,
LGW 1 658 " Allas, " quod he, " the day that I was born!
LGW 1 659 My worshipe in this day thus have I lorn. "
LGW 1 660 And for dispeyr out of his wit he sterte
LGW 1 661 And rof hymself anon thourghout the herte
LGW 1 662 Or that he ferther wente out of the place.
LGW 1 663 His wif, that coude of Cesar have no grace,
LGW 1 664 To Egipt is fled for drede and for destresse.
LGW 1 665 But herkeneth, ye that speken of kyndenesse,
LGW 1 666 Ye men that falsly sweren many an oth
LGW 1 667 That ye wol deye if that youre love be wroth,
LGW 1 668 Here may ye sen of wemen which a trouthe!
LGW 1 669 This woful Cleopatre hath mad swich routhe
LGW 1 670 That ther is tonge non that may it telle.
LGW 1 671 But on the morwe she wolde no lengere dwelle,
LGW 1 672 But made hire subtyl werkmen make a shryne
LGW 1 673 Of alle the rubyes and the stones fyne
LGW 1 674 In al Egypte that she coude espie,
LGW 1 675 And putte ful the shryne of spicerye,
LGW 1 676 And let the cors enbaume, and forth she fette
LGW 1 677 This dede cors, and in the shryne it shette.
LGW 1 678 And next the shryne a pit thanne doth she grave,
LGW 1 679 And alle the serpentes that she myghte have,
LGW 1 680 She putte hem in that grave, and thus she seyde:
LGW 1 681 " Now, love, to whom my sorweful herte obeyde
LGW 1 682 So ferforthly that from that blisful houre
LGW 1 683 That I yow swor to ben al frely youre --
LGW 1 684 I mene yow, Antonius, my knyght --
LGW 1 685 That nevere wakynge, in the day or nyght,
LGW 1 686 Ye nere out of myn hertes remembraunce,
LGW 1 687 For wel or wo, for carole or for daunce;
LGW 1 688 And in myself this covenaunt made I tho,
LGW 1 689 That ryght swich as ye felten, wel or wo,
LGW 1 690 As fer forth as it in my power lay,
LGW 1 691 Unreprovable unto my wyfhod ay,
LGW 1 692 The same wolde I fele, lyf or deth --
LGW 1 693 And thilke covenant whil me lasteth breth
LGW 1 694 I wol fulfille; and that shal ben wel sene,
LGW 1 695 Was nevere unto hire love a trewer quene. "
LGW 1 696 And with that word, naked, with ful good herte,
LGW 1 697 Among the serpents in the pit she sterte,
LGW 1 698 And there she ches to have hire buryinge.
LGW 1 699 Anon the nadderes gonne hire for to stynge,
LGW 1 700 And she hire deth receyveth with good cheere
LGW 1 701 For love of Antony that was hire so dere.
LGW 1 702 And this is storyal soth, it is no fable.
LGW 1 703 Now, or I fynde a man thus trewe and stable,
LGW 1 704 And wol for love his deth so frely take,
LGW 1 705 I preye God let oure hedes nevere ake! Amen.
LGW 2 706 At Babiloyne whylom fil it thus,
LGW 2 707 The whyche toun the queen Semyramus
LGW 2 708 Let dychen al aboute and walles make
LGW 2 709 Ful hye, of hard tiles wel ybake:
LGW 2 710 There were dwellyng in this noble toun
LGW 2 711 Two lordes, whiche that were of gret renoun,
LGW 2 712 And woneden so nygh, upon a grene,
LGW 2 713 That there nas but a ston-wal hem betweene,
LGW 2 714 As ofte in grete tounes is the wone.
LGW 2 715 And soth to seyne, that o man hadde a sone,
LGW 2 716 Of al that lond oon of the lustyeste.
LGW 2 717 That other hadde a doughter, the fayreste
LGW 2 718 That estward in the world was tho dwellynge.
LGW 2 719 The name of everych gan to other sprynge
LGW 2 720 By women that were neighebores aboute.
LGW 2 721 For in that contre yit, withouten doute,
LGW 2 722 Maydenes been ykept, for jelosye,
LGW 2 723 Ful streyte, lest they diden som folye.
LGW 2 724 This yonge man was called Piramus,
LGW 2 725 Tysbe hight the maide, Naso seyth thus;
LGW 2 726 And thus by report was hire name yshove
LGW 2 727 That, as they wex in age, wex here love.
LGW 2 728 And certeyn, as by resoun of hire age,
LGW 2 729 There myghte have ben bytwixe hem maryage,
LGW 2 730 But that here fadres nolde it nat assente;
LGW 2 731 And bothe in love ylyke sore they brente,
LGW 2 732 That non of alle hyre frendes myght it lette,
LGW 2 733 But pryvyly som tyme yit they mette
LGW 2 734 By sleyghte, and spoken som of here desyr;
LGW 2 735 As wry the glede and hotter is the fyr,
LGW 2 736 Forbede a love, and it is ten so wod.
LGW 2 737 This wal, which that bitwixe hem bothe stod,
LGW 2 738 Was clove a-two, ryght from the cop adoun,
LGW 2 739 Of olde tyme of his fundacioun;
LGW 2 740 But yit this clyfte was so narw and lyte
LGW 2 741 It nas nat sene, deere ynogh a myte.
LGW 2 742 But what is that that love can nat espye?
LGW 2 743 Ye loveres two, if that I shal nat lye,
LGW 2 744 Ye founden first this litel narwe clifte;
LGW 2 745 And with a soun as softe as any shryfte,
LGW 2 746 They lete here wordes thourgh the clifte pace,
LGW 2 747 And tolden, whil that they stode in the place,
LGW 2 748 Al here compleynt of love and al here wo,
LGW 2 749 At every tyme whan they durste so.
LGW 2 750 Upon that o syde of the wal stod he,
LGW 2 751 And on that other side stod Thesbe,
LGW 2 752 The swote soun of other to receyve.
LGW 2 753 And thus here wardeyns wolde they deceyve,
LGW 2 754 And every day this wal they wolde threte,
LGW 2 755 And wisshe to God that it were doun ybete.
LGW 2 756 Thus wolde they seyn: " Alas, thow wikkede wal!
LGW 2 757 Thorgh thyn envye thow us lettest al.
LGW 2 758 Why nylt thow cleve or fallen al a-two?
LGW 2 759 Or at the leste, but thou woldist so,
LGW 2 760 Yit woldest thow but ones lat us mete,
LGW 2 761 Or ones that we myghte kyssen swete,
LGW 2 762 Thanne were we covered of oure cares colde.
LGW 2 763 But, natheles, yit be we to thee holde,
LGW 2 764 In as muche as thow sufferest for to gon
LGW 2 765 Oure wordes thourgh thy lym and ek thy ston.
LGW 2 766 Yit oughte we with the been wel apayd. "
LGW 2 767 And whan these ydele wordes weren sayd,
LGW 2 768 The colde wal they wolden kysse of ston,
LGW 2 769 And take here leve and forth they wolden gon.
LGW 2 770 And this was gladly in the eve-tyde,
LGW 2 771 Or wonder erly, lest men it espyde.
LGW 2 772 And longe tyme they wroughte in this manere,
LGW 2 773 Tyl on a day, whan Phebus gan to cleere --
LGW 2 774 Aurora with the stremes of hire hete
LGW 2 775 Hadde dreyed up the dew of herbes wete --
LGW 2 776 Unto this clyft, as it was wont to be,
LGW 2 777 Com Piramus, and after com Thysbe,
LGW 2 778 And plyghten trouthe fully in here fey
LGW 2 779 That ilke same nyght to stele awey,
LGW 2 780 And to begile here wardeyns everichon,
LGW 2 781 And forth out of the cite for to goon;
LGW 2 782 And, for the feldes ben so brode and wide,
LGW 2 783 For to mete in o place at o tyde,
LGW 2 784 They sette mark here metynge sholde be
LGW 2 785 There kyng Nynus was grave under a tre --
LGW 2 786 For olde payens that idoles heryed
LGW 2 787 Useden tho in feldes to ben beryed --
LGW 2 788 And faste by this grave was a welle.
LGW 2 789 And shortly of this tale for to telle,
LGW 2 790 This covenaunt was affermed wonder faste;
LGW 2 791 And longe hem thoughte that the sonne laste,
LGW 2 792 That it nere gon under the se adoun.
LGW 2 793 This Tisbe hath so gret affeccioun
LGW 2 794 And so gret lykinge Piramus to se,
LGW 2 795 That whan she say hire tyme myghte be,
LGW 2 796 At nyght she stal awey ful pryvyly,
LGW 2 797 With hire face ywympled subtyly;
LGW 2 798 For alle hire frendes -- for to save hire trouthe --
LGW 2 799 She hath forsake; allas, and that is routhe
LGW 2 800 That evere woman wolde ben so trewe
LGW 2 801 To truste man, but she the bet hym knewe.
LGW 2 802 And to the tre she goth a ful good pas,
LGW 2 803 For love made hire so hardy in this cas,
LGW 2 804 And by the welle adoun she gan hyre dresse.
LGW 2 805 Allas! Than cometh a wilde lyonesse
LGW 2 806 Out of the wode, withoute more arest,
LGW 2 807 With blody mouth, of strangelynge of a best,
LGW 2 808 To drynken of the welle there as she sat.
LGW 2 809 And whan that Tisbe hadde espyed that,
LGW 2 810 She rist hire up, with a ful drery herte,
LGW 2 811 And in a cave with dredful fot she sterte,
LGW 2 812 For by the mone she say it wel withalle.
LGW 2 813 And as she ran hire wympel let she falle
LGW 2 814 And tok non hed, so sore she was awhaped,
LGW 2 815 And ek so glad that that she was escaped;
LGW 2 816 And thus she sit and darketh wonder stylle.
LGW 2 817 Whan that this lyonesse hath dronke hire fille,
LGW 2 818 Aboute the welle gan she for to wynde,
LGW 2 819 And ryght anon the wympel gan she fynde,
LGW 2 820 And with hire blody mouth it al torente.
LGW 2 821 Whan this was don, no lengere she ne stente,
LGW 2 822 But to the wode hire weye thanne hath she nome.
LGW 2 823 And at the laste this Piramus is come;
LGW 2 824 But al to longe, allas, at hom was he!
LGW 2 825 The mone shon, and he myghte wel yse,
LGW 2 826 And in his wey, as that he com ful faste.
LGW 2 827 His eyen to the ground adoun he caste,
LGW 2 828 And in the sond, as he byheld adoun,
LGW 2 829 He sey the steppes brode of a lyoun,
LGW 2 830 And in his herte he sodeynly agros,
LGW 2 831 And pale he wex; therwith his heer aros,
LGW 2 832 And ner he com, and fond the wimpel torn.
LGW 2 833 " Allas, " quod he, " the day that I was born!
LGW 2 834 This o nyght wol us lovers bothe sle!
LGW 2 835 How shulde I axe mercy of Tisbe,
LGW 2 836 Whan I am he that have yow slayn, allas!
LGW 2 837 My biddyng hath yow slayn, as in this cas.
LGW 2 838 Allas, to bidde a woman gon by nyghte
LGW 2 839 In place there as peril falle myghte!
LGW 2 840 And I so slow! Allas, I ne hadde be
LGW 2 841 Here in this place a furlong wey or ye!
LGW 2 842 Now what lyoun that be in this forest,
LGW 2 843 My body mote he renten, or what best
LGW 2 844 That wilde is, gnawe mote he now myn herte! "
LGW 2 845 And with that word he to the wympel sterte,
LGW 2 846 And kiste it ofte, and wep on it ful sore,
LGW 2 847 And seyde, " Wympel, allas! There is no more
LGW 2 848 But thow shalt feele as wel the blod of me
LGW 2 849 As thow hast felt the bledyng of Thisbe! "
LGW 2 850 And with that word he smot hym to the herte.
LGW 2 851 The blod out of the wounde as brode sterte
LGW 2 852 As water whan the condit broken is.
LGW 2 853 Now Tisbe, which that wiste nat of this,
LGW 2 854 But sittynge in hire drede, she thoughte thus:
LGW 2 855 " If it so falle that my Piramus
LGW 2 856 Be comen hider, and may me not yfynde,
LGW 2 857 He may me holde fals and ek unkynde. "
LGW 2 858 And out she cometh and after hym gan espien,
LGW 2 859 Bothe with hire herte and with hire yen,
LGW 2 860 And thoughte, " I wol hym tellen of my drede,
LGW 2 861 Bothe of the lyonesse and al my deede. "
LGW 2 862 And at the laste hire love thanne hath she founde,
LGW 2 863 Betynge with his heles on the grounde,
LGW 2 864 Al blody, and therwithal a-bak she sterte,
LGW 2 865 And lik the wawes quappe gan hire herte,
LGW 2 866 And pale as box she was, and in a throwe
LGW 2 867 Avisede hire, and gan hym wel to knowe,
LGW 2 868 That it was Piramus, hire herte deere.
LGW 2 869 Who coude wryte which a dedly cheere
LGW 2 870 Hath Thisbe now, and how hire heer she rente,
LGW 2 871 And how she gan hireselve to turmente,
LGW 2 872 And how she lyth and swouneth on the grounde,
LGW 2 873 And how she wep of teres ful his wounde;
LGW 2 874 How medeleth she his blod with hire compleynte;
LGW 2 875 How with his blod hireselve gan she peynte;
LGW 2 876 How clyppeth she the deede cors, allas!
LGW 2 877 How doth this woful Tisbe in this cas!
LGW 2 878 How kysseth she his frosty mouth so cold!
LGW 2 879 " Who hath don this, and who hath been so bold
LGW 2 880 To sle my leef? O spek, my Piramus!
LGW 2 881 I am thy Tisbe, that the calleth thus. "
LGW 2 882 And therwithal she lifteth up his hed.
LGW 2 883 This woful man, that was nat fully ded,
LGW 2 884 Whan that he herde the name of Tisbe cryen,
LGW 2 885 On hire he caste his hevy, dedly yen,
LGW 2 886 And doun agayn, and yeldeth up the gost.
LGW 2 887 Tysbe ryst up withouten noyse or bost,
LGW 2 888 And saw hire wympel and his empty shethe,
LGW 2 889 And ek his swerd that hym hath don to dethe.
LGW 2 890 Thanne spak she thus: " My woful hand, " quod she,
LGW 2 891 " Is strong ynogh in swich a werk to me;
LGW 2 892 For love shal yeve me strengthe and hardynesse
LGW 2 893 To make my wounde large ynogh, I gesse.
LGW 2 894 I wol thee folwe ded, and I wol be
LGW 2 895 Felawe and cause ek of thy deth, " quod she.
LGW 2 896 " And thogh that nothing, save the deth only,
LGW 2 897 Mighte thee fro me departe trewely,
LGW 2 898 Thow shalt no more departe now fro me
LGW 2 899 Than fro the deth, for I wol go with thee.
LGW 2 900 And now, ye wrechede jelos fadres oure,
LGW 2 901 We that whilom were children youre,
LGW 2 902 We preyen yow, withouten more envye,
LGW 2 903 That in o grave yfere we moten lye,
LGW 2 904 Sith love hath brought us to this pitous ende.
LGW 2 905 And ryghtwis God to every lovere sende,
LGW 2 906 That loveth trewely, more prosperite
LGW 2 907 Than evere yit had Piramus and Tisbe!
LGW 2 908 And lat no gentil woman hyre assure
LGW 2 909 To putten hire in swich an aventure.
LGW 2 910 But God forbede but a woman can
LGW 2 911 Ben as trewe in lovynge as a man!
LGW 2 912 And for my part, I shal anon it kythe. "
LGW 2 913 And with that word his swerd she tok as swythe,
LGW 2 914 That warm was of hire loves blod, and hot,
LGW 2 915 And to the herte she hireselven smot.
LGW 2 916 And thus are Tisbe and Piramus ygo.
LGW 2 917 Of trewe men I fynde but fewe mo
LGW 2 918 In alle my bokes, save this Piramus,
LGW 2 919 And therfore have I spoken of hym thus.
LGW 2 920 For it is deynte to us men to fynde
LGW 2 921 A man that can in love been trewe and kynde.
LGW 2 922 Here may ye se, what lovere so he be,
LGW 2 923 A woman dar and can as wel as he.
LGW 3 924 Glorye and honour, Virgil Mantoan,
LGW 3 925 Be to thy name! and I shal, as I can,
LGW 3 926 Folwe thy lanterne, as thow gost byforn,
LGW 3 927 How Eneas to Dido was forsworn.
LGW 3 928 In thyn Eneyde and Naso wol I take
LGW 3 929 The tenor, and the grete effectes make.
LGW 3 930 Whan Troye brought was to destruccioun
LGW 3 931 By Grekes sleyghte, and namely by Synoun,
LGW 3 932 Feynynge the hors offered unto Mynerve,
LGW 3 933 Thourgh which that many a Troyan moste sterve;
LGW 3 934 And Ector hadde, after his deth, apeered;
LGW 3 935 And fyr so wod it myghte nat been steered
LGW 3 936 In al the noble tour of Ylioun,
LGW 3 937 That of the cite was the chef dongeoun;
LGW 3 938 And al the contre was so lowe ybrought,
LGW 3 939 And Priamus the kyng fordon and nought;
LGW 3 940 And Enyas was charged by Venus
LGW 3 941 To fleen awey, he tok Ascanius,
LGW 3 942 That was his sone, in his ryght hand and fledde;
LGW 3 943 And on his bak he bar and with hym ledde
LGW 3 944 His olde fader cleped Anchises,
LGW 3 945 And by the weye his wif Creusa he les.
LGW 3 946 And moche sorwe hadde he in his mynde,
LGW 3 947 Or that he coude his felaweshipe fynde.
LGW 3 948 But at the laste, whan he hadde hem founde,
LGW 3 949 He made hym redy in a certeyn stounde,
LGW 3 950 And to the se ful faste he gan him hye,
LGW 3 951 And sayleth forth with al his companye
LGW 3 952 Toward Ytayle, as wolde his destinee.
LGW 3 953 But of his aventures in the se
LGW 3 954 Nis nat to purpos for to speke of here,
LGW 3 955 For it acordeth nat to my matere.
LGW 3 956 But, as I seyde, of hym and of Dido
LGW 3 957 Shal be my tale, til that I have do.
LGW 3 958 So longe he saylede in the salte se
LGW 3 959 Tyl in Libie unnethe aryvede he
LGW 3 960 With shipes sevene and with no more navye;
LGW 3 961 And glad was he to londe for to hye,
LGW 3 962 So was he with the tempest al toshake.
LGW 3 963 And whan that he the haven hadde ytake,
LGW 3 964 He hadde a knyght, was called Achates,
LGW 3 965 And hym of al his felawshipe he ches
LGW 3 966 To gon with hym, the cuntre for t' espie.
LGW 3 967 He tok with hym no more companye,
LGW 3 968 But forth they gon, and lafte his shipes ryde,
LGW 3 969 His fere and he, withouten any gyde.
LGW 3 970 So longe he walketh in this wildernesse,
LGW 3 971 Til at the laste he mette an hunteresse.
LGW 3 972 A bowe in hande and arwes hadde she;
LGW 3 973 Hire clothes cutted were unto the kne.
LGW 3 974 But she was yit the fayreste creature
LGW 3 975 That evere was yformed by Nature;
LGW 3 976 And Eneas and Achates she grette,
LGW 3 977 And thus she to hem spak whan she hem mette:
LGW 3 978 " Saw ye, " quod she, " as ye han walked wyde,
LGW 3 979 Any of my sustren walke yow besyde
LGW 3 980 With any wilde bor or other best,
LGW 3 981 That they han hunted to, in this forest,
LGW 3 982 Ytukked up, with arwes in hire cas? "
LGW 3 983 " Nay, sothly, lady, " quod this Eneas;
LGW 3 984 " But by thy beaute, as it thynketh me,
LGW 3 985 Thow myghtest nevere erthly woman be,
LGW 3 986 But Phebus syster art thow, as I gesse.
LGW 3 987 And if so be that thow be a goddesse,
LGW 3 988 Have mercy on oure labour and oure wo. "
LGW 3 989 " I n' am no goddesse, sothly, " quod she tho;
LGW 3 990 " For maydens walken in this contre here,
LGW 3 991 With arwes and with bowe, in this manere.
LGW 3 992 This is the reyne of Libie there ye ben,
LGW 3 993 Of which that Dido lady is and queen " --
LGW 3 994 And shortly tolde hym al the occasyoun
LGW 3 995 Why Dido cam into that regioun,
LGW 3 996 Of which as now me lesteth nat to ryme;
LGW 3 997 It nedeth nat, it were but los of tyme.
LGW 3 998 For this is al and som, it was Venus,
LGW 3 999 His owene moder, that spak with him thus,
LGW 3 1000 And to Cartage she bad he sholde hym dighte,
LGW 3 1001 And vanyshed anon out of his syghte.
LGW 3 1002 I coude folwe, word for word, Virgile,
LGW 3 1003 But it wolde lasten al to longe while.
LGW 3 1004 This noble queen that cleped was Dido,
LGW 3 1005 That whilom was the wif of Sytheo,
LGW 3 1006 That fayrer was than is the bryghte sonne,
LGW 3 1007 This noble toun of Cartage hath bigonne;
LGW 3 1008 In which she regneth in so gret honour
LGW 3 1009 That she was holden of alle queenes flour
LGW 3 1010 Of gentillesse, of fredom, of beaute,
LGW 3 1011 That wel was hym that myghte hire ones se;
LGW 3 1012 Of kynges and of lordes so desyred
LGW 3 1013 That al the world hire beaute hadde yfyred,
LGW 3 1014 She stod so wel in every wightes grace.
LGW 3 1015 Whan Eneas was come unto that place,
LGW 3 1016 Unto the mayster temple of al the toun
LGW 3 1017 Ther Dido was in hire devocyoun,
LGW 3 1018 Ful pryvyly his weye than hath he nome.
LGW 3 1019 Whan he was in the large temple come,
LGW 3 1020 I can nat seyn if that it be possible,
LGW 3 1021 But Venus hadde hym maked invysible --
LGW 3 1022 Thus seyth the bok, withouten any les.
LGW 3 1023 And whan this Eneas and Achates
LGW 3 1024 Hadden in this temple ben overal,
LGW 3 1025 Thanne founde they, depeynted on a wal,
LGW 3 1026 How Troye and al the lond destroyed was.
LGW 3 1027 " Allas, that I was born! " quod Eneas;
LGW 3 1028 " Thourghout the world oure shame is kid so wyde,
LGW 3 1029 Now it is peynted upon every syde.
LGW 3 1030 We, that weren in prosperite,
LGW 3 1031 Been now desclandred, and in swich degre,
LGW 3 1032 No lenger for to lyven I ne kepe. "
LGW 3 1033 And with that word he brast out for to wepe
LGW 3 1034 So tenderly that routhe it was to sene.
LGW 3 1035 This fresshe lady, of the cite queene,
LGW 3 1036 Stod in the temple in hire estat real,
LGW 3 1037 So rychely and ek so fayr withal,
LGW 3 1038 So yong, so lusty, with hire eyen glade,
LGW 3 1039 That, if that God, that hevene and erthe made,
LGW 3 1040 Wolde han a love, for beaute and goodnesse,
LGW 3 1041 And womanhod, and trouthe, and semelynesse,
LGW 3 1042 Whom shulde he loven but this lady swete?
LGW 3 1043 Ther nys no woman to hym half so mete.
LGW 3 1044 Fortune, that hath the world in governaunce,
LGW 3 1045 Hath sodeynly brought in so newe a chaunce
LGW 3 1046 That nevere was ther yit so fremde a cas.
LGW 3 1047 For al the companye of Eneas,
LGW 3 1048 Which that he wende han loren in the se,
LGW 3 1049 Aryved is nat fer from that cite;
LGW 3 1050 For which the gretteste of his lordes some
LGW 3 1051 By aventure ben to the cite come,
LGW 3 1052 Unto that same temple, for to seke
LGW 3 1053 The queene, and of hire socour to beseke,
LGW 3 1054 Swich renoun was there sprongen of hire goodnesse.
LGW 3 1055 And whan they hadden told al here distresse,
LGW 3 1056 And al here tempest and here harde cas,
LGW 3 1057 Unto the queen apeered Eneas,
LGW 3 1058 And openly biknew that it was he.
LGW 3 1059 Who hadde joye thanne but his meyne,
LGW 3 1060 That hadde founde here lord, here governour?
LGW 3 1061 The queen saugh that they dide hym swych honour,
LGW 3 1062 And hadde herd ofte of Eneas er tho,
LGW 3 1063 And in hire herte she hadde routhe and wo
LGW 3 1064 That evere swich a noble man as he
LGW 3 1065 Shal ben disherited in swich degre;
LGW 3 1066 And saw the man, that he was lyk a knyght,
LGW 3 1067 And suffisaunt of persone and of myght,
LGW 3 1068 And lyk to been a verray gentil man;
LGW 3 1069 And wel his wordes he besette can,
LGW 3 1070 And hadde a noble visage for the nones,
LGW 3 1071 And formed wel of braunes and of bones.
LGW 3 1072 For after Venus hadde he swich fayrnesse
LGW 3 1073 That no man myghte be half so fayr, I gesse;
LGW 3 1074 And wel a lord he semede for to be.
LGW 3 1075 And, for he was a straunger, somwhat she
LGW 3 1076 Likede hym the bet, as, God do bote,
LGW 3 1077 To som folk ofte newe thyng is sote.
LGW 3 1078 Anon hire herte hath pite of his wo,
LGW 3 1079 And with that pite love com in also;
LGW 3 1080 And thus, for pite and for gentillesse,
LGW 3 1081 Refreshed moste he been of his distresse.
LGW 3 1082 She seyde, certes, that she sory was
LGW 3 1083 That he hath had swych peryl and swich cas;
LGW 3 1084 And, in hire frendly speche, in this manere
LGW 3 1085 She to hym spak, and seyde as ye may here:
LGW 3 1086 " Be ye nat Venus sone and Anchises?
LGW 3 1087 In good feyth, al the worshipe and encres
LGW 3 1088 That I may goodly don yow, ye shal have.
LGW 3 1089 Youre shipes and youre meyne shal I save. "
LGW 3 1090 And many a gentil word she spak hym to,
LGW 3 1091 And comaunded hire messageres to go
LGW 3 1092 The same day, withouten any fayle,
LGW 3 1093 His shippes for to seke, and hem vitayle.
LGW 3 1094 Ful many a beste she to the shippes sente,
LGW 3 1095 And with the wyn she gan hem to presente,
LGW 3 1096 And to hire royal paleys she hire spedde,
LGW 3 1097 And Eneas alwey with hire she ledde.
LGW 3 1098 What nedeth yow the feste to descrive?
LGW 3 1099 He nevere beter at ese was in his lyve.
LGW 3 1100 Ful was the feste of deyntees and rychesse,
LGW 3 1101 Of instruments, of song, and of gladnesse,
LGW 3 1102 Of many an amorous lokyng and devys.
LGW 3 1103 This Eneas is come to paradys
LGW 3 1104 Out of the swolow of helle, and thus in joye
LGW 3 1105 Remembreth hym of his estat in Troye.
LGW 3 1106 To daunsynge chaumberes ful of paramentes,
LGW 3 1107 Of riche beddes, and of ornementes,
LGW 3 1108 This Eneas is led after the mete.
LGW 3 1109 And with the quene, whan that he hadde sete,
LGW 3 1110 And spices parted, and the wyn agon,
LGW 3 1111 Unto his chambres was he led anon
LGW 3 1112 To take his ese and for to have his reste,
LGW 3 1113 With al his folk, to don what so hem leste.
LGW 3 1114 There nas courser wel ybrydeled non,
LGW 3 1115 Ne stede, for the justing wel to gon,
LGW 3 1116 Ne large palfrey, esy for the nones,
LGW 3 1117 Ne jewel, fretted ful of ryche stones,
LGW 3 1118 Ne sakkes ful of gold, of large wyghte,
LGW 3 1119 Ne ruby non, that shynede by nyghte,
LGW 3 1120 Ne gentil hawtein faucoun heroner,
LGW 3 1121 Ne hound for hert or wilde bor or der,
LGW 3 1122 Ne coupe of gold, with floreyns newe ybete,
LGW 3 1123 That in the land of Libie may be gete,
LGW 3 1124 That Dido ne hath it Eneas ysent;
LGW 3 1125 And al is payed, what that he hath spent.
LGW 3 1126 Thus can this quene honurable hire gestes calle,
LGW 3 1127 As she that can in fredom passen alle.
LGW 3 1128 Eneas sothly ek, withouten les,
LGW 3 1129 Hadde sent unto his ship by Achates
LGW 3 1130 After his sone, and after riche thynges,
LGW 3 1131 Bothe sceptre, clothes, broches, and ek rynges,
LGW 3 1132 Some for to were, and some for to presente
LGW 3 1133 To hire that alle thise noble thynges hym sente;
LGW 3 1134 And bad his sone how that he shulde make
LGW 3 1135 The presenting, and to the queen it take.
LGW 3 1136 Repeyred is this Achates agayn,
LGW 3 1137 And Eneas ful blysful is and fayn
LGW 3 1138 To sen his yonge sone Ascanyus.
LGW 3 1139 But natheles, oure autour telleth us,
LGW 3 1140 That Cupido, that is the god of love,
LGW 3 1141 At preyere of his moder hye above,
LGW 3 1142 Hadde the liknesse of the child ytake,
LGW 3 1143 This noble queen enamored to make
LGW 3 1144 On Eneas; but, as of that scripture,
LGW 3 1145 Be as be may, I take of it no cure.
LGW 3 1146 But soth is this, the queen hath mad swich chere
LGW 3 1147 Unto this child, that wonder is to here;
LGW 3 1148 And of the present that his fader sente
LGW 3 1149 She thanked hym ful ofte, in good entente.
LGW 3 1150 Thus is this queen in plesaunce and in joye,
LGW 3 1151 With alle these newe lusty folk of Troye.
LGW 3 1152 And of the dedes hath she more enquered
LGW 3 1153 Of Eneas, and al the story lered
LGW 3 1154 Of Troye, and al the longe day they tweye
LGW 3 1155 Entendeden to speken and to pleye;
LGW 3 1156 Of which ther gan to breden swich a fyr
LGW 3 1157 That sely Dido hath now swich desyr
LGW 3 1158 With Eneas, hire newe gest, to dele,
LGW 3 1159 That she hath lost hire hewe and ek hire hele.
LGW 3 1160 Now to th' effect, now to the fruyt of al,
LGW 3 1161 Whi I have told this story, and telle shal.
LGW 3 1162 Thus I begynne: it fil upon a nyght,
LGW 3 1163 Whan that the mone up reysed hadde his lyght,
LGW 3 1164 This noble queene unto hire reste wente.
LGW 3 1165 She siketh sore, and gan hyreself turmente;
LGW 3 1166 She waketh, walweth, maketh many a breyd,
LGW 3 1167 As don these lovers, as I have herd seyd.
LGW 3 1168 And at the laste, unto hire syster Anne
LGW 3 1169 She made hire mone, and ryght thus spak she thanne:
LGW 3 1170 " Now, dere sister myn, what may it be
LGW 3 1171 That me agasteth in my drem? " quod she.
LGW 3 1172 " This newe Troyan is so in my thought,
LGW 3 1173 For that me thynketh he is so wel ywrought,
LGW 3 1174 And ek so likly for to ben a man,
LGW 3 1175 And therwithal so moche good he can,
LGW 3 1176 That al my love and lyf lyth in his cure.
LGW 3 1177 Have ye nat herd him telle his aventure?
LGW 3 1178 Now certes, Anne, if that ye rede it me,
LGW 3 1179 I wolde fayn to hym ywedded be;
LGW 3 1180 This is th' effect; what sholde I more seye?
LGW 3 1181 In hym lyth al, to do me live or deye. "
LGW 3 1182 Hyre syster Anne, as she that coude hire good,
LGW 3 1183 Seyde as hire thoughte, and somdel it withstod.
LGW 3 1184 But herof was so long a sermounynge
LGW 3 1185 It were to long to make rehersynge.
LGW 3 1186 But finaly, it may nat ben withstonde;
LGW 3 1187 Love wol love, for nothing wol it wonde.
LGW 3 1188 The dawenyng up-rist out of the se.
LGW 3 1189 This amorous queene chargeth hire meyne
LGW 3 1190 The nettes dresse, and speres brode and kene;
LGW 3 1191 An huntyng wol this lusty freshe queene,
LGW 3 1192 So priketh hire this newe joly wo.
LGW 3 1193 To hors is al hir lusty folk ygo;
LGW 3 1194 Into the court the houndes been ybrought;
LGW 3 1195 And upon coursers swift as any thought
LGW 3 1196 Hire yonge knyghtes hoven al aboute,
LGW 3 1197 And of hire women ek an huge route.
LGW 3 1198 Upon a thikke palfrey, paper-whit,
LGW 3 1199 With sadel red, enbrouded with delyt,
LGW 3 1200 Of gold the barres up enbosede hye,
LGW 3 1201 Sit Dido, al in gold and perre wrye;
LGW 3 1202 And she as fair as is the bryghte morwe,
LGW 3 1203 That heleth syke folk of nyghtes sorwe.
LGW 3 1204 Upon a courser stertlynge as the fyr --
LGW 3 1205 Men myghte turne hym with a litel wyr --
LGW 3 1206 Sit Eneas, lik Phebus to devyse,
LGW 3 1207 So was he fressh arayed in his wyse.
LGW 3 1208 The fomy brydel with the bit of gold
LGW 3 1209 Governeth he ryght as hymself hath wold.
LGW 3 1210 And forth this noble queen thus lat I ride
LGW 3 1211 On huntynge, with this Troyan by hyre side.
LGW 3 1212 The herde of hertes founden is anon,
LGW 3 1213 With " Hay! Go bet! Pryke thow! Lat gon, lat gon!
LGW 3 1214 Why nyl the leoun comen, or the bere,
LGW 3 1215 That I myghte ones mete hym with this spere? "
LGW 3 1216 Thus seyn these yonge folk, and up they kylle
LGW 3 1217 These bestes wilde, and han hem at here wille.
LGW 3 1218 Among al this to rumbelen gan the hevene;
LGW 3 1219 The thunder rored with a grisely stevene;
LGW 3 1220 Doun cam the reyn with hayl and slet so faste,
LGW 3 1221 With hevenes fyr, that it so sore agaste
LGW 3 1222 This noble queen, and also hire meyne,
LGW 3 1223 That ech of hem was glad awey to fle.
LGW 3 1224 And shortly, from the tempest hire to save,
LGW 3 1225 She fledde hireself into a litel cave,
LGW 3 1226 And with hire wente this Eneas also.
LGW 3 1227 I not, with hem if there wente any mo;
LGW 3 1228 The autour maketh of it no mencioun.
LGW 3 1229 And here began the depe affeccioun
LGW 3 1230 Betwixe hem two; this was the firste morwe
LGW 3 1231 Of hire gladnesse, and gynning of hire sorwe.
LGW 3 1232 For there hath Eneas ykneled so,
LGW 3 1233 And told hire al his herte and al his wo,
LGW 3 1234 And swore so depe to hire to be trewe
LGW 3 1235 For wel or wo and chaunge hire for no newe;
LGW 3 1236 And as a fals lovere so wel can pleyne,
LGW 3 1237 That sely Dido rewede on his peyne,
LGW 3 1238 And tok hym for husbonde and becom his wyf
LGW 3 1239 For everemo, whil that hem laste lyf.
LGW 3 1240 And after this, whan that the tempest stente,
LGW 3 1241 With myrthe out as they comen, hom they wente.
LGW 3 1242 The wikke fame upros, and that anon,
LGW 3 1243 How Eneas hath with the queen ygon
LGW 3 1244 Into the cave; and demede as hem liste.
LGW 3 1245 And whan the kyng that Yarbas highte it wiste,
LGW 3 1246 As he that hadde hir loved evere his lyf,
LGW 3 1247 And wowede hyre, to han hire to his wyf,
LGW 3 1248 Swich sorwe as he hath maked, and swich cheere,
LGW 3 1249 It is a routhe and pite for to here.
LGW 3 1250 But as in love, alday it happeth so
LGW 3 1251 That oon shal laughen at anothers wo.
LGW 3 1252 Now laugheth Eneas and is in joye
LGW 3 1253 And more richesse than evere he was in Troye.
LGW 3 1254 O sely wemen, ful of innocence,
LGW 3 1255 Ful of pite, of trouthe and conscience,
LGW 3 1256 What maketh yow to men to truste so?
LGW 3 1257 Have ye swych routhe upon hyre feyned wo,
LGW 3 1258 And han swich olde ensaumples yow beforn?
LGW 3 1259 Se ye nat alle how they ben forsworn?
LGW 3 1260 Where sen ye oon that he ne hath laft his leef,
LGW 3 1261 Or ben unkynde, or don hire som myscheef,
LGW 3 1262 Or piled hire, or bosted of his dede?
LGW 3 1263 Ye may as wel it sen as ye may rede.
LGW 3 1264 Tak hede now of this grete gentil-man,
LGW 3 1265 This Troyan, that so wel hire plesen can,
LGW 3 1266 That feyneth hym so trewe and obeysynge,
LGW 3 1267 So gentil, and so privy of his doinge,
LGW 3 1268 And can so wel don alle his obeysaunces,
LGW 3 1269 And wayten hire at festes and at daunces,
LGW 3 1270 And whan she goth to temple and hom ageyn,
LGW 3 1271 And fasten til he hath his lady seyn,
LGW 3 1272 And beren in his devyses, for hire sake,
LGW 3 1273 Not I not what; and songes wolde he make,
LGW 3 1274 Justen, and don of armes many thynges,
LGW 3 1275 Sende hire lettres, tokens, broches, rynges --
LGW 3 1276 Now herkneth how he shal his lady serve!
LGW 3 1277 There as he was in peril for to sterve
LGW 3 1278 For hunger, and for myschef in the se,
LGW 3 1279 And desolat, and fled from his cuntre,
LGW 3 1280 And al his folk with tempest al todryven,
LGW 3 1281 She hath hire body and ek hire reame yiven
LGW 3 1282 Into his hand, there as she myghte have been
LGW 3 1283 Of othere land than of Cartage a queen,
LGW 3 1284 And lyved in joye ynogh; what wole ye more?
LGW 3 1285 This Eneas, that hath so depe yswore,
LGW 3 1286 Is wery of his craft withinne a throwe;
LGW 3 1287 The hote ernest is al overblowe.
LGW 3 1288 And pryvyly he doth his shipes dyghte,
LGW 3 1289 And shapeth hym to stele awey by nyghte.
LGW 3 1290 This Dido hath suspecioun of this,
LGW 3 1291 And thoughte wel that it was al amys.
LGW 3 1292 For in hir bed he lyth a-nyght and syketh.
LGW 3 1293 She axeth hym anon what hym myslyketh --
LGW 3 1294 " My dere herte, which that I love most? "
LGW 3 1295 " Certes, " quod he, " this nyght my faderes gost
LGW 3 1296 Hath in my slep so sore me tormented,
LGW 3 1297 And ek Mercurye his message hath presented,
LGW 3 1298 That nedes to the conquest of Ytayle
LGW 3 1299 My destine is sone for to sayle;
LGW 3 1300 For which, me thynketh, brosten is myn herte! "
LGW 3 1301 Therwith his false teres out they sterte,
LGW 3 1302 And taketh hire withinne his armes two.
LGW 3 1303 " Is that in ernest? " quod she; " Wole ye so?
LGW 3 1304 Have ye nat sworn to wyve me to take?
LGW 3 1305 Allas, what woman wole ye of me make?
LGW 3 1306 I am a gentil woman and a queen.
LGW 3 1307 Ye wole nat from youre wif thus foule fleen?
LGW 3 1308 That I was born, allas! What shal I do? "
LGW 3 1309 To telle in short, this noble quen Dydo,
LGW 3 1310 She seketh halwes and doth sacryfise;
LGW 3 1311 She kneleth, cryeth, that routhe is to devyse;
LGW 3 1312 Conjureth hym, and profereth hym to be
LGW 3 1313 His thral, his servant in the leste degre;
LGW 3 1314 She falleth hym to fote and swouneth ther,
LGW 3 1315 Dischevele, with hire bryghte gilte her,
LGW 3 1316 And seyth, " Have mercy; let me with yow ryde!
LGW 3 1317 These lordes, which that wonen me besyde,
LGW 3 1318 Wole me distroyen only for youre sake.
LGW 3 1319 And, so ye wole me now to wive take,
LGW 3 1320 As ye han sworn, thanne wol I yeve yow leve
LGW 3 1321 To slen me with youre swerd now sone at eve!
LGW 3 1322 For thanne yit shal I deyen as youre wif.
LGW 3 1323 I am with childe, and yeve my child his lyf!
LGW 3 1324 Mercy, lord! Have pite in youre thought! "
LGW 3 1325 But al this thing avayleth hire ryght nought,
LGW 3 1326 For on a nyght, slepynge he let hire lye,
LGW 3 1327 And stal awey unto his companye,
LGW 3 1328 And as a traytour forth he gan to sayle
LGW 3 1329 Toward the large contre of Ytayle.
LGW 3 1330 Thus he hath laft Dido in wo and pyne,
LGW 3 1331 And wedded ther a lady hyghte Lavyne.
LGW 3 1332 A cloth he lafte, and ek his swerd stondynge,
LGW 3 1333 Whan he from Dido stal in hire slepynge,
LGW 3 1334 Ryght at hire beddes hed, so gan he hie,
LGW 3 1335 Whan that he stal awey to his navye;
LGW 3 1336 Which cloth, whan sely Dido gan awake,
LGW 3 1337 She hath it kyst ful ofte for his sake,
LGW 3 1338 And seyde, " O swete cloth, whil Juppiter it leste,
LGW 3 1339 Tak now my soule, unbynd me of this unreste!
LGW 3 1340 I have fulfild of fortune al the cours. "
LGW 3 1341 And thus, allas, withouten his socours,
LGW 3 1342 Twenty tyme yswouned hath she thanne.
LGW 3 1343 And whanne that she unto hire syster Anne
LGW 3 1344 Compleyned hadde -- of which I may nat wryte,
LGW 3 1345 So gret a routhe I have it for t' endite --
LGW 3 1346 And bad hire norice and hire sister gon
LGW 3 1347 To fechen fyr and other thyng anon,
LGW 3 1348 And seyde that she wolde sacryfye --
LGW 3 1349 And whan she myghte hire tyme wel espie,
LGW 3 1350 Upon the fir of sacryfice she sterte,
LGW 3 1351 And with his swerd she rof hyre to the herte.
LGW 3 1352 But, as myn auctour seith, yit thus she seyde;
LGW 3 1353 Or she was hurt, byforen or she deyde,
LGW 3 1354 She wrot a lettre anon that thus began:
LGW 3 1355 " Ryght so, " quod she, " as that the white swan
LGW 3 1356 Ayens his deth begynnyth for to synge,
LGW 3 1357 Right so to yow make I my compleynynge.
LGW 3 1358 Not that I trowe to geten yow ageyn,
LGW 3 1359 For wel I wot that it is al in veyn,
LGW 3 1360 Syn that the goddes been contraire to me.
LGW 3 1361 But syn my name is lost thourgh yow, " quod she,
LGW 3 1362 " I may wel lese on yow a word or letter,
LGW 3 1363 Al be it that I shal ben nevere the better;
LGW 3 1364 For thilke wynd that blew youre ship awey,
LGW 3 1365 The same wynd hath blowe awey youre fey. "
LGW 3 1366 But who wol al this letter have in mynde,
LGW 3 1367 Rede Ovyde, and in hym he shal it fynde.
LGW 4 1368 Thow rote of false lovers, Duc Jasoun,
LGW 4 1369 Thow sly devourere and confusioun
LGW 4 1370 Of gentil wemen, tendre creatures,
LGW 4 1371 Thow madest thy recleymyng and thy lures
LGW 4 1372 To ladyes of thy statly aparaunce,
LGW 4 1373 And of thy wordes farced with plesaunce,
LGW 4 1374 And of thy feyned trouthe and thy manere,
LGW 4 1375 With thyn obesaunce and humble cheere,
LGW 4 1376 And with thy contrefeted peyne and wo.
LGW 4 1377 There othere falsen oon, thow falsest two!
LGW 4 1378 O, often swore thow that thow woldest dye
LGW 4 1379 For love, whan thow ne feltest maladye
LGW 4 1380 Save foul delyt, which that thow callest love!
LGW 4 1381 Yif that I live, thy name shal be shove
LGW 4 1382 In English that thy sekte shal be knowe!
LGW 4 1383 Have at thee, Jason! Now thyn horn is blowe!
LGW 4 1384 But certes, it is bothe routhe and wo
LGW 4 1385 That love with false loveres werketh so;
LGW 4 1386 For they shal have wel betere love and chere
LGW 4 1387 Than he that hath abought his love ful dere,
LGW 4 1388 Or hadde in armes many a blody box.
LGW 4 1389 For evere as tendre a capoun et the fox,
LGW 4 1390 Thow he be fals and hath the foul betrayed,
LGW 4 1391 As shal the good-man that therfore hath payed.
LGW 4 1392 Al have he to the capoun skille and ryght,
LGW 4 1393 The false fox wol have his part at nyght.
LGW 4 1394 On Jason this ensaumple is wel ysene
LGW 4 1395 By Isiphile and Medea the queene.
LGW 4 1396 In Tessalie, as Guido tellith us,
LGW 4 1397 There was a kyng that highte Pelleus,
LGW 4 1398 That hadde a brother which that highte Eson;
LGW 4 1399 And whan for age he myghte unnethes gon,
LGW 4 1400 He yaf to Pelleus the governyng
LGW 4 1401 Of al his regne and made hym lord and kyng.
LGW 4 1402 Of which Eson this Jason geten was,
LGW 4 1403 That in his tyme in al that land there nas
LGW 4 1404 Nat swich a famous knyght of gentilesse,
LGW 4 1405 Of fredom, and of strengthe and lustynesse.
LGW 4 1406 After his fadres deth he bar hym so
LGW 4 1407 That there nas non that liste ben his fo,
LGW 4 1408 But dide hym al honour and companye.
LGW 4 1409 Of which this Pelleus hadde gret envye,
LGW 4 1410 Imagynynge that Jason myghte be
LGW 4 1411 Enhaunsed so and put in swich degre
LGW 4 1412 With love of lordes of his regioun,
LGW 4 1413 That from his regne he may ben put adoun.
LGW 4 1414 And in his wit a-nyght compassed he
LGW 4 1415 How Jason myghte best distroyed be
LGW 4 1416 Withoute sclaunder of his compassement,
LGW 4 1417 And at the last he tok avysement
LGW 4 1418 To senden hym into som fer contre,
LGW 4 1419 There as this Jason may destroyed be.
LGW 4 1420 This was his wit, al made he to Jasoun
LGW 4 1421 Gret chere of love and of affeccioun,
LGW 4 1422 For drede lest his lordes it espide.
LGW 4 1423 So fyl it, so as fame renneth wide,
LGW 4 1424 There was swich tydyng overal and swich loos,
LGW 4 1425 That in an yle that called was Colcos,
LGW 4 1426 Beyonde Troye, estward in the se,
LGW 4 1427 That therin was a ram that men mighte se
LGW 4 1428 That hadde a fles of gold that shon so bryghte
LGW 4 1429 That nowher was ther swich anothir syghte;
LGW 4 1430 But it was kept alwey with a dragoun,
LGW 4 1431 And many other merveyles, up and doun,
LGW 4 1432 And with two boles maked al of bras,
LGW 4 1433 That spitten fyr, and moche thyng there was.
LGW 4 1434 But this was ek the tale, natheles,
LGW 4 1435 That whoso wolde wynne thylke fles,
LGW 4 1436 He moste bothe, or he it wynne myghte,
LGW 4 1437 With the boles and the dragoun fyghte.
LGW 4 1438 And kyng Oetes lord was of that yle.
LGW 4 1439 This Pelleus bethoughte upon this wile,
LGW 4 1440 That he his neveu Jason wolde enhorte
LGW 4 1441 To saylen to that lond, hym to disporte,
LGW 4 1442 And seyde, " Nevew, if it myghte be
LGW 4 1443 That swich a worshipe myghte fallen the,
LGW 4 1444 That thow this famous tresor myghtest wynne,
LGW 4 1445 And bryngen it my regioun withinne,
LGW 4 1446 It were to me gret plesaunce and honour.
LGW 4 1447 Thanne were I holde to quyte thy labour;
LGW 4 1448 And al the cost I wol myselven make.
LGW 4 1449 And chees what folk that thow wilt with the take;
LGW 4 1450 Lat sen now, darst thow take this viage? "
LGW 4 1451 Jason was yong, and lusty of corage,
LGW 4 1452 And undertok to don this ilke empryse.
LGW 4 1453 Anon Argus his shipes gan devyse;
LGW 4 1454 With Jason wente the stronge Ercules,
LGW 4 1455 And many another that he with hym ches.
LGW 4 1456 But whoso axeth who is with hym gon,
LGW 4 1457 Lat hym go rede Argonautycon,
LGW 4 1458 For he wole telle a tale long ynogh.
LGW 4 1459 Philotetes anon the sayl up drogh,
LGW 4 1460 Whan that the wynd was good, and gan hym hye
LGW 4 1461 Out of his contre called Thessalye.
LGW 4 1462 So longe he seyled in the salte se,
LGW 4 1463 Til in the yle of Lemnon aryvede he --
LGW 4 1464 Al be this nat rehersed of Guido,
LGW 4 1465 Yit seyth Ovyde in his Epistels so --
LGW 4 1466 And of this ile lady was and quene
LGW 4 1467 The fayre yonge Ysiphele, the shene,
LGW 4 1468 That whylom Thoas doughter was, the kyng.
LGW 4 1469 Isiphile was gon in hire pleying,
LGW 4 1470 And, romynge on the clyves by the se,
LGW 4 1471 Under a banke anon aspied she
LGW 4 1472 Where that the ship of Jason gan aryve.
LGW 4 1473 Of hire goodnesse adoun she sendeth blyve
LGW 4 1474 To witen if that any straunge wight
LGW 4 1475 With tempest thider were yblowe a-nyght,
LGW 4 1476 To don him socour, as was hire usaunce
LGW 4 1477 To fortheren every wight, and don plesaunce
LGW 4 1478 Of verrey bounte and of curteysye.
LGW 4 1479 This messangeer adoun hym gan to hye,
LGW 4 1480 And fond Jason and Ercules also,
LGW 4 1481 That in a cog to londe were ygo,
LGW 4 1482 Hem to refreshen and to take the eyr.
LGW 4 1483 The morwenynge attempre was and fayr,
LGW 4 1484 And in his weye this messanger hem mette.
LGW 4 1485 Ful cunnyngly these lordes two he grette,
LGW 4 1486 And dide his message, axinge hem anon
LGW 4 1487 If they were broken, or ought wo begon,
LGW 4 1488 Or hadden nede of lodman or vitayle;
LGW 4 1489 For of socour they sholde nothyng fayle,
LGW 4 1490 For it was outrely the quenes wille.
LGW 4 1491 Jason answerde mekely and stylle:
LGW 4 1492 " My lady, " quod he, " thanke I hertely
LGW 4 1493 Of hire goodnesse; us nedeth, trewely,
LGW 4 1494 Nothyng as now, but that we wery be,
LGW 4 1495 And come for to pleye out of the se
LGW 4 1496 Tyl that the wynd be better in oure weye. "
LGW 4 1497 This lady rometh by the clyf to pleye,
LGW 4 1498 With hire meyne, endelong the stronde,
LGW 4 1499 And fynt this Jason and this other stonde
LGW 4 1500 In spekynge of this thyng, as I yow tolde.
LGW 4 1501 This Ercules and Jason gan beholde
LGW 4 1502 How that the queen it was, and fayre hire grette
LGW 4 1503 Anon-ryght as they with this lady mette;
LGW 4 1504 And she tok hed, and knew by hyre manere,
LGW 4 1505 By hire aray, by wordes, and by chere,
LGW 4 1506 That it were gentil-men of gret degre,
LGW 4 1507 And to the castel with hire ledeth she
LGW 4 1508 These straunge folk and doth hem gret honour,
LGW 4 1509 And axeth hem of travayle and labour
LGW 4 1510 That they han suffered in the salte se;
LGW 4 1511 So that, withinne a day, or two, or thre,
LGW 4 1512 She knew, by folk that in his shipes be,
LGW 4 1513 That it was Jason, ful of renone,
LGW 4 1514 And Ercules, that hadde the grete los,
LGW 4 1515 That soughten the aventures of Colcos;
LGW 4 1516 And dide hem honour more than before,
LGW 4 1517 And with hem deled evere lenger the more,
LGW 4 1518 For they ben worthy folk, withouten les.
LGW 4 1519 And namely, most she spak with Ercules;
LGW 4 1520 To hym hire herte bar, he shulde be
LGW 4 1521 Sad, wys, and trewe, of wordes avyse,
LGW 4 1522 Withouten any other affeccioun
LGW 4 1523 Of love, or evyl ymagynacyoun.
LGW 4 1524 This Ercules hath so this Jason preysed
LGW 4 1525 That to the sonne he hath hym up areysed,
LGW 4 1526 That half so trewe a man there nas of love
LGW 4 1527 Under the cope of heven that is above;
LGW 4 1528 And he was wis, hardy, secre, and ryche.
LGW 4 1529 Of these thre poyntes there nas non hym liche:
LGW 4 1530 Of fredom passede he, and lustyhede,
LGW 4 1531 Alle tho that lyven or been dede;
LGW 4 1532 Therto so gret a gentilman was he,
LGW 4 1533 And of Thessalye likly kyng to be.
LGW 4 1534 There nas no lak, but that he was agast
LGW 4 1535 To love, and for to speke shamefast.
LGW 4 1536 He hadde lever hymself to morder, and dye,
LGW 4 1537 Than that men shulde a lovere hym espye.
LGW 4 1538 " As wolde God that I hadde yive
LGW 4 1539 My blod and flesh, so that I myghte live,
LGW 4 1540 With the nones that he hadde owher a wif
LGW 4 1541 For hys estat; for swich a lusty lyf
LGW 4 1542 She shulde lede with this lusty knyght! "
LGW 4 1543 And al this was compassed on the nyght
LGW 4 1544 Bytwixe hym Jason and this Ercules.
LGW 4 1545 Of these two here was a shrewed lees,
LGW 4 1546 To come to hous upon an innocent!
LGW 4 1547 For to bedote this queen was here assent.
LGW 4 1548 And Jason is as coy as is a mayde;
LGW 4 1549 He loketh pitously, but nought he sayde,
LGW 4 1550 But frely yaf he to hire conseyleres
LGW 4 1551 Yiftes grete, and to hire officeres.
LGW 4 1552 As wolde God I leyser hadde and tyme
LGW 4 1553 By proces al his wowyng for to ryme!
LGW 4 1554 But in this hous if any fals lovere be,
LGW 4 1555 Ryght as hymself now doth, ryght so dide he,
LGW 4 1556 With feynynge, and with every subtil dede.
LGW 4 1557 Ye gete namore of me, but ye wole rede
LGW 4 1558 Th' origynal, that telleth al the cas.
LGW 4 1559 The somme is this: that Jason wedded was
LGW 4 1560 Unto this queen and tok of hir substaunce
LGW 4 1561 What so hym leste unto his purveyaunce;
LGW 4 1562 And upon hire begat he children two,
LGW 4 1563 And drogh his sayl and saw hir nevere mo.
LGW 4 1564 A letter sente she to hym, certeyn,
LGW 4 1565 Which were to longe to wryten and to sen,
LGW 4 1566 And hym reprevith of his grete untrouthe,
LGW 4 1567 And preyeth him on hire to have som routhe.
LGW 4 1568 And of his children two she seyde hym this:
LGW 4 1569 That they ben lyk of alle thyng, ywis,
LGW 4 1570 To Jason, save they coude nat begile;
LGW 4 1571 And preyede God, or it were longe while,
LGW 4 1572 That she that hadde his herte yraft hire fro
LGW 4 1573 Moste fynden hym untrewe to hir also,
LGW 4 1574 And that she moste bothe hire chyldren spylle,
LGW 4 1575 And alle tho that sufferede hym his wille.
LGW 4 1576 And trewe to Jason was she al hire lyf,
LGW 4 1577 And evere kepte hire chast, as for his wif;
LGW 4 1578 Ne nevere hadde she joye at hire herte,
LGW 4 1579 But deyede for his love, of sorwes smerte.
LGW 4 1580 To Colcos comen is this duc Jasoun,
LGW 4 1581 That is of love devourer and dragoun.
LGW 4 1582 As mater apetiteth forme alwey
LGW 4 1583 And from forme into forme it passen may,
LGW 4 1584 Or as a welle that were botomles,
LGW 4 1585 Ryght so can false Jason have no pes.
LGW 4 1586 For to desyren thourgh his apetit
LGW 4 1587 To don with gentil women his delyt,
LGW 4 1588 This is his lust and his felicite.
LGW 4 1589 Jason is romed forth to the cyte
LGW 4 1590 That whilom cleped was Jaconitos,
LGW 4 1591 That was the mayster-toun of al Colcos,
LGW 4 1592 And hath ytold the cause of his comyng
LGW 4 1593 Unto Oetes, of that contre kyng,
LGW 4 1594 Preyinge hym that he moste don his assay
LGW 4 1595 To gete the fles of gold if that he may;
LGW 4 1596 Of which the kyng assenteth to his bone,
LGW 4 1597 And doth hym honour, as it was to done,
LGW 4 1598 So fer forth that his doughter and his eyr,
LGW 4 1599 Medea, which that was so wis and fayr
LGW 4 1600 That fayrer say there nevere man with ye,
LGW 4 1601 He made hire don to Jason companye
LGW 4 1602 At mete, and sitte by hym in the halle.
LGW 4 1603 Now was Jason a semely man withalle,
LGW 4 1604 And lyk a lord, and hadde a gret renoun,
LGW 4 1605 And of his lok as real as a leoun,
LGW 4 1606 And goodly of his speche, and familer,
LGW 4 1607 And coude of love al craft and art pleyner
LGW 4 1608 Withoute bok, with everych observaunce.
LGW 4 1609 And, as Fortune hire oughte a foul myschaunce,
LGW 4 1610 She wex enamoured upon this man.
LGW 4 1611 " Jason, " quod she, " for ought I se or can,
LGW 4 1612 As of this thyng the whiche ye ben aboute,
LGW 4 1613 Ye han youreself yput in moche doute.
LGW 4 1614 For whoso wol this aventure acheve,
LGW 4 1615 He may nat wel asterten, as I leve,
LGW 4 1616 Withouten deth, but I his helpe be.
LGW 4 1617 But natheles, it is my wylle, " quod she,
LGW 4 1618 " To fortheren yow so that ye shal nat die,
LGW 4 1619 But turnen sound hom to youre Tessalye. "
LGW 4 1620 " My ryghte lady, " quod this Jason tho,
LGW 4 1621 " That ye han of my deth or of my wo
LGW 4 1622 Any reward, and don me this honour,
LGW 4 1623 I wot wel that my myght ne my labour
LGW 4 1624 May nat disserve it in my lyves day.
LGW 4 1625 God thanke yow there I ne can ne may!
LGW 4 1626 Youre man I am, and lowely yow beseche
LGW 4 1627 To ben my helpe, withoute more speche;
LGW 4 1628 But, certes, for my deth shal I nat spare. "
LGW 4 1629 Tho gan this Medea to hym declare
LGW 4 1630 The peril of this cas from poynt to poynt,
LGW 4 1631 And of his batayle, and in what disjoynt
LGW 4 1632 He mote stonde, of which no creature
LGW 4 1633 Save only she ne myghte his lyf assure.
LGW 4 1634 And shortly to the poynt ryght for to go,
LGW 4 1635 They been acorded ful bytwixe hem two
LGW 4 1636 That Jason shal hire wedde, as trewe knyght;
LGW 4 1637 And terme set to come sone at nyght
LGW 4 1638 Unto hire chamber and make there his oth
LGW 4 1639 Upon the goddes, that he for lef or loth
LGW 4 1640 Ne sholde nevere hire false, nyght ne day,
LGW 4 1641 To ben hire husbonde whil he lyve may,
LGW 4 1642 As she that from his deth hym saved here.
LGW 4 1643 And hereupon at nyght they mette in-feere,
LGW 4 1644 And doth his oth, and goth with hire to bedde;
LGW 4 1645 And on the morwe upward he hym spedde,
LGW 4 1646 For she hath taught hym how he shal nat fayle
LGW 4 1647 The fles to wynne and stynten his batayle;
LGW 4 1648 And saved hym his lyf and his honour;
LGW 4 1649 And gat hym a name ryght as a conquerour,
LGW 4 1650 Ryght thourgh the sleyghte of hire enchauntement.
LGW 4 1651 Now hath Jason the fles, and hom is went
LGW 4 1652 With Medea, and tresor ful gret won;
LGW 4 1653 But unwist of hire fader is she gon
LGW 4 1654 To Tessaly with Duk Jason hire lef,
LGW 4 1655 That afterward hath brought hire to myschef.
LGW 4 1656 For as a traytour he is from hire go,
LGW 4 1657 And with hire lafte his yonge children two,
LGW 4 1658 And falsly hath betraysed hire, allas,
LGW 4 1659 As evere in love a chef traytour he was;
LGW 4 1660 And wedded yit the thridde wif anon,
LGW 4 1661 That was the doughter of the kyng Creon.
LGW 4 1662 This is the mede of lovynge and guerdoun
LGW 4 1663 That Medea receyved of Jasoun
LGW 4 1664 Ryght for hire trouthe and for hire kyndenesse,
LGW 4 1665 That lovede hym beter than hireself, I gesse,
LGW 4 1666 And lafte hire fader and hire herytage.
LGW 4 1667 And of Jason this is the vassellage,
LGW 4 1668 That in his dayes nas ther non yfounde
LGW 4 1669 So fals a lovere goinge on the grounde.
LGW 4 1670 And therfore in hire letter thus she seyde
LGW 4 1671 Fyrst, whan she of his falsnesse hym upbreyde:
LGW 4 1672 " Whi lykede me thy yelwe her to se
LGW 4 1673 More than the boundes of myn honeste?
LGW 4 1674 Why lykede me thy youthe and thy fayrnesse,
LGW 4 1675 And of thy tonge, the infynyt graciousnesse?
LGW 4 1676 O, haddest thow in thy conquest ded ybe,
LGW 4 1677 Ful mikel untrouthe hadde ther deyd with the! "
LGW 4 1678 Wel can Ovyde hire letter in vers endyte,
LGW 4 1679 Which were as now to long for me to wryte.
LGW 5 1680 Now mot I seyn the exilynge of kynges
LGW 5 1681 Of Rome, for here horible doinges,
LGW 5 1682 And of the laste kyng Tarquinius,
LGW 5 1683 As seyth Ovyde and Titus Lyvius.
LGW 5 1684 But for that cause telle I nat this storye,
LGW 5 1685 But for to preyse and drawe to memorye
LGW 5 1686 The verray wif, the verray trewe Lucresse,
LGW 5 1687 That for hyre wifhod and hire stedefastnesse
LGW 5 1688 Nat only that these payens hire comende,
LGW 5 1689 But he that cleped is in oure legende
LGW 5 1690 The grete Austyn hath gret compassioun
LGW 5 1691 Of this Lucresse, that starf at Rome toun;
LGW 5 1692 And in what wise, I wol but shortly trete,
LGW 5 1693 And of this thyng I touche but the grete.
LGW 5 1694 Whan Ardea beseged was aboute
LGW 5 1695 With Romeyns, that ful sterne were and stoute,
LGW 5 1696 Ful longe lay the sege and lytel wroughten,
LGW 5 1697 So that they were half idel, as hem thoughten;
LGW 5 1698 And in his pley Tarquinius the yonge
LGW 5 1699 Gan for to jape, for he was lyght of tonge,
LGW 5 1700 And seyde that it was an ydel lyf;
LGW 5 1701 No man dide there no more than his wif.
LGW 5 1702 " And lat us speke of wyves, that is best;
LGW 5 1703 Preyse every man his owene as hym lest,
LGW 5 1704 And with oure speche lat us ese oure herte. "
LGW 5 1705 A knyght that highte Colatyn up sterte,
LGW 5 1706 And seyde thus: " Nay, sire, it is no nede
LGW 5 1707 To trowen on the word, but on the dede.
LGW 5 1708 I have a wif, " quod he, " that, as I trowe,
LGW 5 1709 Is holden good of alle that evere hire knowe.
LGW 5 1710 Go we to-nyght to Rome, and we shal se. "
LGW 5 1711 Tarquinius answerde, " That liketh me. "
LGW 5 1712 To Rome be they come, and faste hem dyghte
LGW 5 1713 To Colatynes hous and doun they lyghte,
LGW 5 1714 Tarquinius and ek this Colatyn.
LGW 5 1715 The husbonde knew the estris wel and fyn,
LGW 5 1716 And prively into the hous they gon,
LGW 5 1717 Nor at the yate porter nas there non,
LGW 5 1718 And at the chambre-dore they abyde.
LGW 5 1719 This noble wif sat by hire beddes side
LGW 5 1720 Dischevele, for no malyce she ne thoughte;
LGW 5 1721 And softe wolle oure bok seyth that she wroughte
LGW 5 1722 To kepen hire from slouthe and idelnesse;
LGW 5 1723 And bad hire servaunts don hire besynesse,
LGW 5 1724 And axeth hem, " What tydyngs heren ye?
LGW 5 1725 How seyth men of the sege, how shal it be?
LGW 5 1726 God wolde the walles were falle adoun!
LGW 5 1727 Myn husbonde is to longe out of this toun,
LGW 5 1728 For which the drede doth me so to smerte
LGW 5 1729 That with a swerd it stingeth to myn herte
LGW 5 1730 Whan I thynke on the sege or on that place.
LGW 5 1731 God save my lord, I preye hym for his grace! "
LGW 5 1732 And therwithal ful tenderly she wep,
LGW 5 1733 And of hire werk she tok no more kep,
LGW 5 1734 And mekely she let hyre eyen falle;
LGW 5 1735 And thilke semblaunt sat hire wel withalle.
LGW 5 1736 And eek hire teres, ful of honeste,
LGW 5 1737 Embelished hire wifly chastite;
LGW 5 1738 Hyre contenaunce is to hire herte dygne,
LGW 5 1739 For they acorde bothe in dede and sygne.
LGW 5 1740 And with that word hire husbonde Colatyn,
LGW 5 1741 Or she of him was war, com stertynge in
LGW 5 1742 And seyde, " Drede the nat, for I am here! "
LGW 5 1743 And she anon up ros with blysful chere
LGW 5 1744 And kiste hym, as of wives is the wone.
LGW 5 1745 Tarquinius, this proude kynges sone,
LGW 5 1746 Conceyved hath hire beaute and hyre cheere,
LGW 5 1747 Hire yelwe her, hire shap, and hire manere,
LGW 5 1748 Hire hew, hire wordes, that she hath compleyned
LGW 5 1749 (And by no craft hire beaute nas nat feyned),
LGW 5 1750 And caughte to this lady swich desyr
LGW 5 1751 That in his herte brende as any fyr,
LGW 5 1752 So wodly that his wit was al forgeten.
LGW 5 1753 For wel thoghte he she wolde nat ben geten;
LGW 5 1754 And ay the more that he was in dispayr,
LGW 5 1755 The more he coveyteth and thoughte hire fayr.
LGW 5 1756 His blynde lust was al his coveytynge.
LGW 5 1757 A-morwe, whan the brid began to synge,
LGW 5 1758 Unto the sege he cometh ful privily,
LGW 5 1759 And by hymself he walketh soberly,
LGW 5 1760 Th' ymage of hire recordynge alwey newe:
LGW 5 1761 " Thus lay hire her, and thus fresh was hyre hewe;
LGW 5 1762 Thus sat, thus spak, thus span; this was hire chere;
LGW 5 1763 Thus fayr she was, and this was hire manere. "
LGW 5 1764 Al this conseit hys herte hath newe ytake.
LGW 5 1765 And as the se, with tempest al toshake,
LGW 5 1766 That after, whan the storm is al ago,
LGW 5 1767 Yit wol the water quappe a day or two,
LGW 5 1768 Ryght so, thogh that hire forme were absent,
LGW 5 1769 The plesaunce of hire forme was present;
LGW 5 1770 But natheles, nat plesaunce but delit,
LGW 5 1771 Or an unrightful talent, with dispit --
LGW 5 1772 " For, maugre hyre, she shal my leman be!
LGW 5 1773 Hap helpeth hardy man alday, " quod he;
LGW 5 1774 " What ende that I make, it shal be so. "
LGW 5 1775 And girte hym with his swerd and gan to go,
LGW 5 1776 And forth he rit til he to Rome is come,
LGW 5 1777 And al alone his wey than hath he nome
LGW 5 1778 Unto the hous of Colatyn ful ryght.
LGW 5 1779 Doun was the sonne and day hath lost his lyght;
LGW 5 1780 And in he cometh into a prive halke,
LGW 5 1781 And in the nyght ful thefly gan he stalke,
LGW 5 1782 Whan every wight was to his reste brought,
LGW 5 1783 Ne no wight hadde of tresoun swich a thought.
LGW 5 1784 Were it by wyndow or by other gyn,
LGW 5 1785 With swerd ydrawe shortly he com in
LGW 5 1786 There as she lay, this noble wif Lucresse.
LGW 5 1787 And as she wok, hire bed she felte presse.
LGW 5 1788 " What beste is that, " quod she, " that weyeth thus? "
LGW 5 1789 " I am the kynges sone, Tarquinius, "
LGW 5 1790 Quod he, " but, and thow crye or noyse make,
LGW 5 1791 Or if there any creature awake,
LGW 5 1792 By thilke God that formed man alyve,
LGW 5 1793 This swerd thourghout thyn herte shal I ryve. "
LGW 5 1794 And therwithal unto hire throte he sterte,
LGW 5 1795 And sette the poynt al sharp upon hire herte.
LGW 5 1796 No word she spak, she hath no myght therto.
LGW 5 1797 What shal she seyn? Hire wit is al ago.
LGW 5 1798 Ryght as a wolf that fynt a lomb alone,
LGW 5 1799 To whom shal she compleyne or make mone?
LGW 5 1800 What, shal she fyghte with an hardy knyght?
LGW 5 1801 Wel wot men that a woman hath no myght.
LGW 5 1802 What, shal she crye, or how shal she asterte
LGW 5 1803 That hath hire by the throte with swerd at herte?
LGW 5 1804 She axeth grace, and seyth al that she can.
LGW 5 1805 " Ne wilt thow nat, " quod he, this crewel man,
LGW 5 1806 " As wisly Jupiter my soule save,
LGW 5 1807 As I shal in the stable slen thy knave,
LGW 5 1808 And ley hym in thy bed, and loude crye
LGW 5 1809 That I the fynde in swich avouterye.
LGW 5 1810 And thus thow shalt be ded and also lese
LGW 5 1811 Thy name, for thow shalt non other chese. "
LGW 5 1812 These Romeyns wyves lovede so here name
LGW 5 1813 At thilke tyme, and dredde so the shame,
LGW 5 1814 That, what for fer of sclaunder and drede of deth,
LGW 5 1815 She loste bothe at ones wit and breth,
LGW 5 1816 And in a swogh she lay, and wex so ded
LGW 5 1817 Men myghte smyten of hire arm or hed;
LGW 5 1818 She feleth no thyng, neyther foul ne fayr.
LGW 5 1819 Tarquinius, that art a kynges eyr,
LGW 5 1820 And sholdest, as by lynage and by ryght,
LGW 5 1821 Don as a lord and as a verray knyght,
LGW 5 1822 Whi hastow don dispit to chivalrye?
LGW 5 1823 Whi hastow don this lady vilanye?
LGW 5 1824 Allas, of the this was a vileyns dede!
LGW 5 1825 But now to purpos; in the story I rede,
LGW 5 1826 Whan he was gon and this myschaunce is falle,
LGW 5 1827 This lady sente after hire frendes alle,
LGW 5 1828 Fader, moder, husbonde, alle yfeere;
LGW 5 1829 And al dischevele, with hire heres cleere,
LGW 5 1830 In habit swich as women used tho
LGW 5 1831 Unto the buryinge of hire frendes go,
LGW 5 1832 She sit in halle with a sorweful sighte.
LGW 5 1833 Hyre frendes axen what hire eylen myghte,
LGW 5 1834 And who was ded; and she sit ay wepynge;
LGW 5 1835 A word, for shame, forth ne myght she brynge,
LGW 5 1836 Ne upon hem she durste nat beholde.
LGW 5 1837 But atte last of Tarquyny she hem tolde
LGW 5 1838 This rewful cas and al thys thing horryble.
LGW 5 1839 The woo to tellen were an impossible,
LGW 5 1840 That she and al hir frendes made attones.
LGW 5 1841 Al hadde folkes hertes ben of stones,
LGW 5 1842 Hyt myght have maked hem upon hir rewe,
LGW 5 1843 Hir herte was so wyfly and so trewe.
LGW 5 1844 She sayde that, for hir gylt ne for hir blame,
LGW 5 1845 Hir husbonde shulde nat have the foule name,
LGW 5 1846 That wolde she nat suffre by no wey.
LGW 5 1847 And they answerden alle, upon hir fey,
LGW 5 1848 That they forgave yt hyr, for yt was ryght;
LGW 5 1849 It was no gilt, it lay not in hir myght;
LGW 5 1850 And seyden hir ensamples many oon.
LGW 5 1851 But al for noght; for thus she seyde anoon:
LGW 5 1852 " Be as be may, " quod she, " of forgyvyng,
LGW 5 1853 I wol not have noo forgyft for nothing. "
LGW 5 1854 But pryvely she kaughte forth a knyf,
LGW 5 1855 And therwithal she rafte hirself hir lyf;
LGW 5 1856 And as she fel adoun, she kaste hir lok,
LGW 5 1857 And of hir clothes yet she hede tok.
LGW 5 1858 For in hir fallynge yet she had a care,
LGW 5 1859 Lest that hir fet or suche thyng lay bare;
LGW 5 1860 So wel she loved clennesse and eke trouthe.
LGW 5 1861 Of hir had al the toun of Rome routhe,
LGW 5 1862 And Brutus by hir chaste blood hath swore
LGW 5 1863 That Tarquyn shulde ybanysshed be therfore,
LGW 5 1864 And al hys kyn; and let the peple calle,
LGW 5 1865 And openly the tale he tolde hem alle,
LGW 5 1866 And openly let cary her on a bere
LGW 5 1867 Thurgh al the toun, that men may see and here
LGW 5 1868 The horryble dede of hir oppressyoun,
LGW 5 1869 Ne never was ther kyng in Rome toun
LGW 5 1870 Syn thilke day; and she was holden there
LGW 5 1871 A seynt, and ever hir day yhalwed dere
LGW 5 1872 As in hir lawe; and thus endeth Lucresse,
LGW 5 1873 The noble wyf, as Tytus bereth witnesse.
LGW 5 1874 I telle hyt for she was of love so trewe,
LGW 5 1875 Ne in hir wille she chaunged for no newe;
LGW 5 1876 And for the stable herte, sadde and kynde,
LGW 5 1877 That in these wymmen men may alday fynde.
LGW 5 1878 Ther as they kaste hir herte, there it dwelleth.
LGW 5 1879 For wel I wot that Crist himselve telleth
LGW 5 1880 That in Israel, as wyd as is the lond,
LGW 5 1881 That so gret feyth in al that he ne fond
LGW 5 1882 As in a woman; and this is no lye.
LGW 5 1883 And as of men, loke ye which tirannye
LGW 5 1884 They doon alday; assay hem whoso lyste,
LGW 5 1885 The trewest ys ful brotel for to triste.
LGW 6 1886 Juge infernal, Mynos, of Crete kyng,
LGW 6 1887 Now cometh thy lot, now comestow on the ryng.
LGW 6 1888 Nat for thy sake oonly write I this storye,
LGW 6 1889 But for to clepe ageyn unto memorye
LGW 6 1890 Of Theseus the grete untrouthe of love;
LGW 6 1891 For which the goddes of the heven above
LGW 6 1892 Ben wrothe, and wreche han take for thy synne.
LGW 6 1893 Be red for shame! Now I thy lyf begynne.
LGW 6 1894 Mynos, that was the myghty kyng of Crete,
LGW 6 1895 That hadde an hundred citees stronge and grete,
LGW 6 1896 To scole hath sent hys sone Androgeus,
LGW 6 1897 To Athenes; of the which hyt happed thus,
LGW 6 1898 That he was slayn, lernynge philosophie,
LGW 6 1899 Ryght in that citee, nat but for envye.
LGW 6 1900 The grete Mynos, of the which I speke,
LGW 6 1901 Hys sones deth ys come for to wreke.
LGW 6 1902 Alcathoe he besegeth harde and longe;
LGW 6 1903 But natheles, the walles be so stronge,
LGW 6 1904 And Nysus, that was kyng of that citee,
LGW 6 1905 So chevalrous, that lytel dredeth he;
LGW 6 1906 Of Mynos or hys ost tok he no cure,
LGW 6 1907 Til on a day befel an aventure,
LGW 6 1908 That Nysus doughter stod upon the wal,
LGW 6 1909 And of the sege saw the maner al.
LGW 6 1910 So happed it that at a scarmishyng
LGW 6 1911 She caste hire herte upon Mynos the kyng,
LGW 6 1912 For his beaute and for his chyvalrye,
LGW 6 1913 So sore that she wende for to dye.
LGW 6 1914 And, shortly of this proces for to pace,
LGW 6 1915 She made Mynos wynnen thilke place,
LGW 6 1916 So that the cite was al at his wille,
LGW 6 1917 To saven whom hym leste or elles spille.
LGW 6 1918 But wikkedly he quitte hire kyndenesse,
LGW 6 1919 And let hire drenche in sorwe and distresse,
LGW 6 1920 Nere that the goddes hadde of hire pite;
LGW 6 1921 But that tale were to long as now for me.
LGW 6 1922 Athenes wan thys kyng Mynos also,
LGW 6 1923 As Alcathoe, and other tounes mo.
LGW 6 1924 And this th' effect, that Mynos hath so driven
LGW 6 1925 Hem of Athenes that they mote hym yiven
LGW 6 1926 From yer to yer hire owene children dere
LGW 6 1927 For to be slayne right as ye shal here.
LGW 6 1928 This Mynos hadde a monstre, a wiked best,
LGW 6 1929 That was so crewel that, withoute arest,
LGW 6 1930 Whan that a man was brought in his presence,
LGW 6 1931 He wolde hym ete; ther helpeth no defence.
LGW 6 1932 And every thridde yeer, withouten doute,
LGW 6 1933 They caste lot, and as it com aboute
LGW 6 1934 On riche, on pore, he moste his sone take,
LGW 6 1935 And of his child he moste present make
LGW 6 1936 Unto Minos, to save hym or to spylle,
LGW 6 1937 Or lete his best devoure hym at his wille.
LGW 6 1938 And this hath Mynos don, ryght in dispit;
LGW 6 1939 To wreke his sone was set al his delyt,
LGW 6 1940 And maken hem of Athenes his thral
LGW 6 1941 From yer to yer, whil that he liven shal;
LGW 6 1942 And hom he sayleth whan this toun is wonne.
LGW 6 1943 This wiked custom is so longe yronne,
LGW 6 1944 Til that of Athenes kyng Egeus
LGW 6 1945 Mot senden his owene sone, Theseus,
LGW 6 1946 Sith that the lot is fallen hym upon,
LGW 6 1947 To ben devoured, for grace is there non.
LGW 6 1948 And forth is lad this woful yonge knyght
LGW 6 1949 Unto the court of kyng Mynos ful ryght,
LGW 6 1950 And into a prysoun, fetered, cast is he
LGW 6 1951 Tyl thilke tyme he sholde freten be.
LGW 6 1952 Wel maystow wepe, O woful Theseus,
LGW 6 1953 That art a kynges sone, and dampned thus.
LGW 6 1954 Me thynketh this, that thow were depe yholde
LGW 6 1955 To whom that savede thee from cares colde!
LGW 6 1956 And if now any woman helpe the,
LGW 6 1957 Wel oughtestow hire servaunt for to be,
LGW 6 1958 And ben hire trewe lovere yer be yere!
LGW 6 1959 But now to come ageyn to my matere.
LGW 6 1960 The tour there as this Theseus is throwe
LGW 6 1961 Doun in the botom derk and wonder lowe,
LGW 6 1962 Was joynynge in the wal to a foreyne;
LGW 6 1963 And it was longynge to the doughtren tweyne
LGW 6 1964 Of Mynos, that in hire chaumbers grete
LGW 6 1965 Dwellten above, toward the mayster-strete
LGW 6 1966 Of Athenes, in joye and in solas.
LGW 6 1967 Noot I not how, it happede par cas,
LGW 6 1968 As Theseus compleynede hym by nyghte,
LGW 6 1969 The kynges doughter, Adryane that highte,
LGW 6 1970 And ek hire syster Phedra, herden al
LGW 6 1971 His compleynynge as they stode on the wal
LGW 6 1972 And lokeden upon the bryghte mone.
LGW 6 1973 Hem leste nat to go to bedde so sone;
LGW 6 1974 And of his wo they hadde compassioun.
LGW 6 1975 A kynges sone to ben in swich prysoun,
LGW 6 1976 And ben devoured, thoughte hem gret pite.
LGW 6 1977 This Adryane spak to hire syster fre,
LGW 6 1978 And seyde, " Phedra, leve syster dere,
LGW 6 1979 This woful lordes sone may ye nat here,
LGW 6 1980 How pitously compleyneth he his kyn,
LGW 6 1981 And ek his povre estat that he is in,
LGW 6 1982 And gilteles? Now, certes, it is routhe!
LGW 6 1983 And if ye wol assenten, by my trouthe,
LGW 6 1984 He shal ben holpen, how so that we do. "
LGW 6 1985 Phedra answerde, " Ywis, me is as wo
LGW 6 1986 For hym as evere I was for any man;
LGW 6 1987 And, to his help, the beste red I can
LGW 6 1988 Is that we do the gayler prively
LGW 6 1989 To come and speke with us hastily,
LGW 6 1990 And don this woful man with hym to come.
LGW 6 1991 For if he may this monstre overcome,
LGW 6 1992 Thanne were he quyt; ther is non other bote.
LGW 6 1993 Lat us wel taste hym at his herte-rote,
LGW 6 1994 That if so be that he a wepen have,
LGW 6 1995 Wher that he dar, his lyf to kepe and save,
LGW 6 1996 Fyghten with the fend, and hym defende.
LGW 6 1997 For in the prysoun ther he shal descende,
LGW 6 1998 Ye wote wel that the beste is in a place
LGW 6 1999 That nys nat derk, and hath roum eek and space
LGW 6 2000 To welde an ax, or swerd, or staf, or knyf;
LGW 6 2001 So that, me thynketh, he shulde save his lyf.
LGW 6 2002 If that he be a man, he shal do so.
LGW 6 2003 And we shul make hym balles ek also
LGW 6 2004 Of wex and tow, that whan he gapeth faste,
LGW 6 2005 Into the bestes throte he shal hem caste
LGW 6 2006 To slake his hunger and encombre his teth;
LGW 6 2007 And right anon, whan that Theseus seth
LGW 6 2008 The beste achoked, he shal on hym lepe
LGW 6 2009 To slen hym or they comen more to-hepe.
LGW 6 2010 This wepen shal the gayler, or that tyde,
LGW 6 2011 Ful prively withinne the prysoun hyde;
LGW 6 2012 And for the hous is krynkeled to and fro,
LGW 6 2013 And hath so queynte weyes for to go --
LGW 6 2014 For it is shapen as the mase is wrought --
LGW 6 2015 Therto have I a remedye in my thought,
LGW 6 2016 That, by a clewe of twyn, as he hath gon,
LGW 6 2017 The same weye he may returne anon,
LGW 6 2018 Folwynge alwey the thred as he hath come.
LGW 6 2019 And whan that he this beste hath overcome,
LGW 6 2020 Thanne may he flen awey out of this drede,
LGW 6 2021 And ek the gayler may he with hym lede,
LGW 6 2022 And hym avaunce at hom in his cuntre,
LGW 6 2023 Syn that so gret a lordes sone is he.
LGW 6 2024 This is my red, if that he dar it take. "
LGW 6 2025 What sholde I lenger sarmoun of it make?
LGW 6 2026 This gayler cometh, and with hym Theseus.
LGW 6 2027 Whan these thynges ben acorded thus,
LGW 6 2028 Adoun sit Theseus upon his kne --
LGW 6 2029 " The ryghte lady of my lyf, " quod he,
LGW 6 2030 " I, sorweful man, ydampned to the deth,
LGW 6 2031 Fro yow, whil that me lasteth lyf or breth,
LGW 6 2032 I wol nat twynne, after this aventure,
LGW 6 2033 But in youre servise thus I wol endure,
LGW 6 2034 That, as a wreche unknowe, I wol yow serve
LGW 6 2035 For everemo, til that myn herte sterve.
LGW 6 2036 Forsake I wol at hom myn herytage,
LGW 6 2037 And, as I seyde, ben of youre court a page,
LGW 6 2038 If that ye vouche-sauf that in this place
LGW 6 2039 Ye graunte me to han so gret a grace
LGW 6 2040 That I may han nat but my mete and drynke.
LGW 6 2041 And for my sustenaunce yit wol I swynke,
LGW 6 2042 Ryght as yow leste, that Mynos ne no wight --
LGW 6 2043 Syn that he saw me nevere with eyen syght --
LGW 6 2044 Ne no man elles, shal me conne espye;
LGW 6 2045 So slyly and so wel I shal me gye,
LGW 6 2046 And me so wel disfigure and so lowe,
LGW 6 2047 That in this world ther shal no man me knowe,
LGW 6 2048 To han my lyf, and for to han presence
LGW 6 2049 Of yow, that don to me this excellence.
LGW 6 2050 And to my fader shal I sende here
LGW 6 2051 This worthy man that is now youre gaylere,
LGW 6 2052 And hym so gwerdone that he shal wel be
LGW 6 2053 Oon of the gretteste men of my cuntre.
LGW 6 2054 And if I durste seyn, my lady bryght,
LGW 6 2055 I am a kynges sone and ek a knyght.
LGW 6 2056 As wolde God, if that it myghte be
LGW 6 2057 Ye weren in my cuntre, alle thre,
LGW 6 2058 And I with yow to bere yow compaignye,
LGW 6 2059 Thanne shulde ye se if that I therof lye.
LGW 6 2060 And if I profre yow in low manere
LGW 6 2061 To ben youre page and serven yow ryght here,
LGW 6 2062 But I yow serve as lowly in that place,
LGW 6 2063 I preye to Mars to yeve me swich a grace
LGW 6 2064 That shames deth on me ther mote falle,
LGW 6 2065 And deth and poverte to my frendes alle;
LGW 6 2066 And that my spirit by nyghte mote go,
LGW 6 2067 After my deth, and walke to and fro,
LGW 6 2068 That I mote of traytour have a name,
LGW 6 2069 For which my spirit go, to do me shame!
LGW 6 2070 And if I evere cleyme other degre,
LGW 6 2071 But if ye vouche-sauf to yeve it me,
LGW 6 2072 As I have seyd, of shames deth I deye!
LGW 6 2073 And mercy, lady! I can nat elles seye. "
LGW 6 2074 A semely knyght was Theseus to se,
LGW 6 2075 And yong, but of a twenty yer and thre.
LGW 6 2076 But whoso hadde seyn his contenaunce,
LGW 6 2077 He wolde have wept for routhe of his penaunce;
LGW 6 2078 For which this Adryane in this manere
LGW 6 2079 Answerde hym to his profre and to his chere:
LGW 6 2080 " A kynges sone, and ek a knyght, " quod she,
LGW 6 2081 " To ben my servaunt in so low degre,
LGW 6 2082 God shilde it, for the shame of wemen alle,
LGW 6 2083 And lene me nevere swich a cas befalle!
LGW 6 2084 But sende yow grace of herte and sleyghte also,
LGW 6 2085 Yow to defende and knyghtly slen youre fo,
LGW 6 2086 And leve hereafter that I may yow fynde
LGW 6 2087 To me and to my syster here so kynde,
LGW 6 2088 That I repente nat to yeve yow lyf!
LGW 6 2089 Yit were it betere that I were youre wyf,
LGW 6 2090 Syn that ye ben as gentil born as I,
LGW 6 2091 And have a reaume, nat but faste by,
LGW 6 2092 Than that I suffered, gilteles, yow sterve,
LGW 6 2093 Or that I let yow as a page serve.
LGW 6 2094 It nys no profre as unto youre kynrede;
LGW 6 2095 But what is that that man nyl don for drede?
LGW 6 2096 And to my syster, syn that it is so
LGW 6 2097 That she mot gon with me, if that I go,
LGW 6 2098 Or elles suffre deth as wel as I,
LGW 6 2099 That ye unto youre sone as trewely
LGW 6 2100 Don hire ben wedded at youre hom-comyng.
LGW 6 2101 This is the final ende of al this thyng;
LGW 6 2102 Ye swere it here, upon al that may be sworn. "
LGW 6 2103 " Ye, lady myn, " quod he, " or ellis torn
LGW 6 2104 Mote I be with the Mynotaur to-morwe!
LGW 6 2105 And haveth hereof myn herte blod to borwe,
LGW 6 2106 If that ye wole; if I hadde knyf or spere,
LGW 6 2107 I wolde it laten out, and theron swere,
LGW 6 2108 For thanne at erst I wot ye wole me leve.
LGW 6 2109 By Mars, that is the chef of my beleve,
LGW 6 2110 So that I myghte liven and nat fayle
LGW 6 2111 To-morwe for t' acheve my batayle,
LGW 6 2112 I wolde nevere from this place fle,
LGW 6 2113 Til that ye shulde the verray preve se.
LGW 6 2114 For now, if that the sothe I shal yow say,
LGW 6 2115 I have yloved yow ful many a day,
LGW 6 2116 Thogh ye ne wiste it nat, in my cuntre,
LGW 6 2117 And aldermost desired yow to se
LGW 6 2118 Of any erthly livynge creature.
LGW 6 2119 Upon my trouthe I swere and yow assure,
LGW 6 2120 This sevene yer I have youre servaunt be.
LGW 6 2121 Now have I yow, and also have ye me,
LGW 6 2122 My dere herte, of Athenes duchesse! "
LGW 6 2123 This lady smyleth at his stedefastnesse,
LGW 6 2124 And at his hertely wordes and his chere,
LGW 6 2125 And to hyre sister seyde in this manere,
LGW 6 2126 Al softely: " Now, syster myn, " quod she,
LGW 6 2127 " Now be we duchesses, bothe I and ye,
LGW 6 2128 And sekered to the regals of Athenes,
LGW 6 2129 And bothe hereafter likly to ben quenes;
LGW 6 2130 And saved from his deth a kynges sone,
LGW 6 2131 As evere of gentil women is the wone
LGW 6 2132 To save a gentyl man, emforth hire myght,
LGW 6 2133 In honest cause, and namely in his ryght.
LGW 6 2134 Me thynketh no wight oughte us herof blame,
LGW 6 2135 Ne beren us therfore an evil name. "
LGW 6 2136 And shortly of this mater for to make,
LGW 6 2137 This Theseus of hire hath leve take,
LGW 6 2138 And every poynt was performed in dede
LGW 6 2139 As ye han in this covenaunt herd me rede.
LGW 6 2140 His wepne, his clewe, his thyng, that I have sayd,
LGW 6 2141 Was by the gayler in the hous yleyd,
LGW 6 2142 Ther as the Mynotaur hath his dwellynge,
LGW 6 2143 Ryght faste by the dore, at his entrynge.
LGW 6 2144 And Theseus is lad unto his deth,
LGW 6 2145 And forth unto this Mynotaur he geth,
LGW 6 2146 And by the techynge of this Adryane
LGW 6 2147 He overcom this beste and was his bane;
LGW 6 2148 And out he cometh by the clewe agayn
LGW 6 2149 Ful prively, whan he this beste hath slayn;
LGW 6 2150 And by the gayler geten hath a barge,
LGW 6 2151 And of his wyves tresor gan it charge,
LGW 6 2152 And tok his wif, and ek hire sister fre,
LGW 6 2153 And ek the gayler, and with hem alle thre
LGW 6 2154 Is stole awey out of the lond by nyghte,
LGW 6 2155 And to the contre of Ennopye hym dyghte
LGW 6 2156 There as he hadde a frend of his knowynge.
LGW 6 2157 There feste they, there daunce they and synge;
LGW 6 2158 And in his armes hath this Adryane,
LGW 6 2159 That of the beste hath kept hym from his bane;
LGW 6 2160 And gat hym there a newe barge anon,
LGW 6 2161 And of his contre-folk a ful gret won,
LGW 6 2162 And taketh his leve, and homward sayleth he.
LGW 6 2163 And in an yle amyd the wilde se,
LGW 6 2164 Ther as there dwelled creature non
LGW 6 2165 Save wilde bestes, and that ful many oon,
LGW 6 2166 He made his ship a-londe for to sette;
LGW 6 2167 And in that yle half a day he lette,
LGW 6 2168 And seyde that on the lond he moste hym reste.
LGW 6 2169 His maryners han don ryght as hym leste;
LGW 6 2170 And, for to tellen shortly in this cas,
LGW 6 2171 Whan Adryane his wif aslepe was,
LGW 6 2172 For that hire syster fayrer was than she,
LGW 6 2173 He taketh hire in his hond and forth goth he
LGW 6 2174 To shipe, and as a traytour stal his wey,
LGW 6 2175 Whil that this Adryane aslepe lay,
LGW 6 2176 And to his contre-ward he sayleth blyve --
LGW 6 2177 A twenty devel-wey the wynd hym dryve! --
LGW 6 2178 And fond his fader drenched in the se.
LGW 6 2179 Me lest no more to speke of hym, parde.
LGW 6 2180 These false lovers, poysoun be here bane!
LGW 6 2181 But I wol turne ageyn to Adryane,
LGW 6 2182 That is with slep for werynesse atake.
LGW 6 2183 Ful sorwefully hire herte may awake.
LGW 6 2184 Allas, for thee myn herte hath now pite!
LGW 6 2185 Ryght in the dawenyng awaketh she,
LGW 6 2186 And gropeth in the bed, and fond ryght nought.
LGW 6 2187 " Allas, " quod she, " that evere I was wrought!
LGW 6 2188 I am betrayed! " and hire her torente,
LGW 6 2189 And to the stronde barefot faste she wente,
LGW 6 2190 And cryed, " Theseus, myn herte swete!
LGW 6 2191 Where be ye, that I may nat with yow mete,
LGW 6 2192 And myghte thus with bestes ben yslayn? "
LGW 6 2193 The holwe rokkes answerde hire agayn.
LGW 6 2194 No man she saw, and yit shyned the mone,
LGW 6 2195 And hye upon a rokke she wente sone,
LGW 6 2196 And saw his barge saylynge in the se.
LGW 6 2197 Cold wex hire herte, and ryght thus seyde she:
LGW 6 2198 " Meker than ye fynde I the bestes wilde! "
LGW 6 2199 Hadde he nat synne that hire thus begylde?
LGW 6 2200 She cryed, " O turn ageyn, for routhe and synne!
LGW 6 2201 Thy barge hath nat al his meyne inne! "
LGW 6 2202 Hire coverchef on a pole up steked she,
LGW 6 2203 Ascaunce that he shulde it wel yse,
LGW 6 2204 And hym remembre that she was behynde,
LGW 6 2205 And turne ageyn, and on the stronde hire fynde.
LGW 6 2206 But al for nought; his wey he is ygon.
LGW 6 2207 Adoun she fyl aswoune upon a ston;
LGW 6 2208 And up she rist, and kyssed, in al hire care,
LGW 6 2209 The steppes of his fet ther he hath fare,
LGW 6 2210 And to hire bed ryght thus she speketh tho:
LGW 6 2211 " Thow bed, " quod she, " that hast receyved two,
LGW 6 2212 Thow shalt answere of two, and nat of oon!
LGW 6 2213 Where is thy gretter part awey ygon?
LGW 6 2214 Allas! Where shal I, wreche wight, become?
LGW 6 2215 For thogh so be that ship or boot here come,
LGW 6 2216 Hom to my contre dar I nat for drede.
LGW 6 2217 I can myselven in this cas nat rede. "
LGW 6 2218 What shulde I more telle hire compleynyng?
LGW 6 2219 It is so long, it were an hevy thyng.
LGW 6 2220 In hire Epistel Naso telleth al;
LGW 6 2221 But shortly to the ende I telle shal.
LGW 6 2222 The goddes han hire holpen for pite,
LGW 6 2223 And in the signe of Taurus men may se
LGW 6 2224 The stones of hire corone shyne clere.
LGW 6 2225 I wol no more speke of this mateere;
LGW 6 2226 But thus this false lovere can begyle
LGW 6 2227 His trewe love, the devel quyte hym his while!
LGW 7 2228 Thow yevere of the formes, that hast wrought
LGW 7 2229 This fayre world and bar it in thy thought
LGW 7 2230 Eternaly er thow thy werk began,
LGW 7 2231 Why madest thow, unto the slaunder of man,
LGW 7 2232 Or, al be that it was nat thy doing,
LGW 7 2233 As for that fyn, to make swich a thyng,
LGW 7 2234 Whi sufferest thow that Tereus was bore,
LGW 7 2235 That is in love so fals and so forswore,
LGW 7 2236 That fro this world up to the firste hevene
LGW 7 2237 Corrumpeth whan that folk his name nevene?
LGW 7 2238 And, as to me, so grisely was his dede
LGW 7 2239 That, whan that I his foule storye rede,
LGW 7 2240 Myne eyen wexe foule and sore also.
LGW 7 2241 Yit last the venym of so longe ago,
LGW 7 2242 That it enfecteth hym that wol beholde
LGW 7 2243 The storye of Tereus, of which I tolde.
LGW 7 2244 Of Trace was he lord, and kyn to Marte,
LGW 7 2245 The crewel god that stant with blody darte;
LGW 7 2246 And wedded hadde he, with a blysful cheere,
LGW 7 2247 Kyng Pandiones fayre doughter dere,
LGW 7 2248 That highte Progne, flour of hire cuntre,
LGW 7 2249 Thogh Juno lyst nat at the feste to be,
LGW 7 2250 Ne Imeneus that god of wedyng is.
LGW 7 2251 But at the feste redy ben, ywis,
LGW 7 2252 The Furies thre with al here mortal brond.
LGW 7 2253 The oule al nyght aboute the balkes wond,
LGW 7 2254 That prophete is of wo and of myschaunce.
LGW 7 2255 This revel, ful of song and ek of daunce,
LGW 7 2256 Laste a fortenyght, or lytel lasse.
LGW 7 2257 But shortly of this story for to passe,
LGW 7 2258 For I am wery of hym for to telle,
LGW 7 2259 Fyve yer his wif and he togeder dwelle,
LGW 7 2260 Til on a day she gan so sore longe
LGW 7 2261 To sen hire sister that she say nat longe,
LGW 7 2262 That for desyr she nyste what to seye.
LGW 7 2263 But to hire husbonde gan she for to preye,
LGW 7 2264 For Godes love, that she moste ones gon
LGW 7 2265 Hyre syster for to sen, and come anon,
LGW 7 2266 Or elles, but she moste to hire wende,
LGW 7 2267 She preyde hym that he wolde after hire sende;
LGW 7 2268 And this was day by day al hire preyere,
LGW 7 2269 With al humblesse of wifhod, word and chere.
LGW 7 2270 This Tereus let make his shipes yare,
LGW 7 2271 And into Grece hymself is forth yfare.
LGW 7 2272 Unto his fadyr-in-lawe gan he preye
LGW 7 2273 To vouche-sauf that for a month or tweye
LGW 7 2274 That Philomene, his wyves syster, myghte
LGW 7 2275 On Progne his wyf but ones han a syghte --
LGW 7 2276 " And she shal come to yow ageyn anon.
LGW 7 2277 Myself with hyre wol bothe come and gon,
LGW 7 2278 And as myn hertes lyf I wol hire kepe. "
LGW 7 2279 This olde Pandion, this kyng, gan wepe
LGW 7 2280 For tendernesse of herte for to leve
LGW 7 2281 His doughter gon, and for to yeve hire leve;
LGW 7 2282 Of al this world he loveth nothyng so;
LGW 7 2283 But at the laste leve hath she to go.
LGW 7 2284 For Philomene with salte teres eke
LGW 7 2285 Gan of hire fader grace to beseke
LGW 7 2286 To sen hire syster that she loveth so,
LGW 7 2287 And hym embraseth with hire armes two.
LGW 7 2288 And therwithal so yong and fayr was she
LGW 7 2289 That, whan that Tereus saw hire beaute,
LGW 7 2290 And of aray that there was non hire lyche,
LGW 7 2291 And yit of beaute was she two so ryche,
LGW 7 2292 He caste his fyry herte upon hyre so
LGW 7 2293 That he wol have hir, how so that it go;
LGW 7 2294 And with his wiles kneled and so preyde,
LGW 7 2295 Tyl at the laste Pandyon thus seyde:
LGW 7 2296 " Now, sone, " quod he, " that art to me so dere,
LGW 7 2297 I the betake my yonge doughter here
LGW 7 2298 That bereth the keye of al myn hertes lyf.
LGW 7 2299 And gret me wel my doughter and thy wif,
LGW 7 2300 And yif hire leve somtyme for to pleye,
LGW 7 2301 That she may sen me ones er I deye. "
LGW 7 2302 And sothly, he hath mad hym riche feste,
LGW 7 2303 And to his folk, the moste and ek the leste,
LGW 7 2304 That with hym com; and yaf hym yiftes grete,
LGW 7 2305 And hym conveyeth thourgh the mayster-strete
LGW 7 2306 Of Athenes, and to the se hym broughte,
LGW 7 2307 And turneth hom; no malyce he ne thoughte.
LGW 7 2308 The ores pullen forth the vessel faste,
LGW 7 2309 And into Trace aryveth at the laste,
LGW 7 2310 And up into a forest he hire ledde,
LGW 7 2311 And to a cave pryvely hym spedde;
LGW 7 2312 And in this derke cave, yif hir leste,
LGW 7 2313 Or leste nat, he bad hire for to reste;
LGW 7 2314 Of which hire herte agros, and seyde thus:
LGW 7 2315 " Where is my sister, brother Tereus? "
LGW 7 2316 And therwithal she wepte tenderly
LGW 7 2317 And quok for fere, pale and pitously,
LGW 7 2318 Ryght as the lamb that of the wolf is biten;
LGW 7 2319 Or as the culver that of the egle is smiten,
LGW 7 2320 And is out of his clawes forth escaped,
LGW 7 2321 Yit it is afered and awhaped,
LGW 7 2322 Lest it be hent eft-sones; so sat she.
LGW 7 2323 But utterly it may non other be.
LGW 7 2324 By force hath this traytour don a dede,
LGW 7 2325 That he hath reft hire of hire maydenhede,
LGW 7 2326 Maugre hire hed, by strengthe and by his myght.
LGW 7 2327 Lo! here a dede of men, and that a ryght!
LGW 7 2328 She cryeth " Syster! " with ful loud a stevene,
LGW 7 2329 And " Fader dere! " and " Help me, God in hevene! "
LGW 7 2330 Al helpeth nat; and yit this false thef
LGW 7 2331 Hath don this lady yit a more myschef,
LGW 7 2332 For fere lest she shulde his shame crye
LGW 7 2333 And don hym openly a vilenye,
LGW 7 2334 And with his swerd hire tonge of kerveth he,
LGW 7 2335 And in a castel made hire for to be
LGW 7 2336 Ful pryvely in prisoun everemore,
LGW 7 2337 And kepte hire to his usage and his store,
LGW 7 2338 So that she myghte hym neveremore asterte.
LGW 7 2339 O sely Philomene, wo is thyn herte!
LGW 7 2340 God wreke thee, and sende the thy bone!
LGW 7 2341 Now is it tyme I make an ende sone.
LGW 7 2342 This Tereus is to his wif ycome,
LGW 7 2343 And in his armes hath his wif ynome,
LGW 7 2344 And pitously he wep and shok his hed,
LGW 7 2345 And swor hir that he fond hir sister ded;
LGW 7 2346 For which this sely Progne hath swich wo
LGW 7 2347 That nygh hire sorweful herte brak a-two.
LGW 7 2348 And thus in terys lete I Progne dwelle,
LGW 7 2349 And of hire sister forth I wol yow telle.
LGW 7 2350 This woful lady lerned hadde in youthe
LGW 7 2351 So that she werken and enbroude couthe,
LGW 7 2352 And weven in hire stol the radevore
LGW 7 2353 As it of wemen hath be woned yore.
LGW 7 2354 And, sothly for to seyne, she hadde hire fille
LGW 7 2355 Of mete and drynk, and clothyng at hire wille.
LGW 7 2356 She coude eek rede and wel ynow endyte,
LGW 7 2357 But with a penne coude she nat wryte.
LGW 7 2358 But letters can she weve to and fro,
LGW 7 2359 So that, by that the yer was al ago,
LGW 7 2360 She hadde ywoven in a stamyn large
LGW 7 2361 How she was brought from Athenes in a barge,
LGW 7 2362 And in a cave how that she was brought;
LGW 7 2363 And al the thyng that Tereus hath wrought,
LGW 7 2364 She waf it wel, and wrot the storye above,
LGW 7 2365 How she was served for hire systers love.
LGW 7 2366 And to a knave a ryng she yaf anon,
LGW 7 2367 And preyed hym by signes for to gon
LGW 7 2368 Unto the queen, and beren hir that cloth,
LGW 7 2369 And by signes swor hym many an oth
LGW 7 2370 She wolde hym yeven what she geten myghte.
LGW 7 2371 This knave anon unto the quene hym dyghte,
LGW 7 2372 And tok it hire, and al the maner tolde.
LGW 7 2373 And whan that Progne hath this thing beholde,
LGW 7 2374 No word she spak, for sorwe and ek for rage,
LGW 7 2375 But feynede hire to gon on pilgrymage
LGW 7 2376 To Bacus temple; and in a litel stounde
LGW 7 2377 Hire dombe sister sittynge hath she founde,
LGW 7 2378 Wepynge in the castel, here alone.
LGW 7 2379 Allas! The wo, the compleynt, and the mone
LGW 7 2380 That Progne upon hire doumbe syster maketh.
LGW 7 2381 In armes everych of hem other taketh,
LGW 7 2382 And thus I late hem in here sorwe dwelle.
LGW 7 2383 The remenaunt is no charge for to telle,
LGW 7 2384 For this is al and som: thus was she served,
LGW 7 2385 That nevere harm agilte ne deserved
LGW 7 2386 Unto this crewel man, that she of wiste.
LGW 7 2387 Ye may be war of men, if that yow liste.
LGW 7 2388 For al be it that he wol nat, for shame,
LGW 7 2389 Don as Tereus, to lese his name,
LGW 7 2390 Ne serve yow as a morderour or a knave,
LGW 7 2391 Ful lytel while shal ye trewe hym have --
LGW 7 2392 That wol I seyn, al were he now my brother --
LGW 7 2393 But it so be that he may have non other.
LGW 8 2394 By preve as wel as by autorite,
LGW 8 2395 That wiked fruit cometh of a wiked tre,
LGW 8 2396 That may ye fynde, if that it like yow.
LGW 8 2397 But for this ende I speke this as now,
LGW 8 2398 To tellen yow of false Demophon.
LGW 8 2399 In love a falser herde I nevere non,
LGW 8 2400 But if it were his fader Theseus.
LGW 8 2401 " God, for his grace, fro swich oon kepe us! "
LGW 8 2402 Thus may these women preyen that it here.
LGW 8 2403 Now to the effect turne I of my matere.
LGW 8 2404 Destroyed is of Troye the cite;
LGW 8 2405 This Demophon com seylynge in the se
LGW 8 2406 Toward Athenes, to his paleys large.
LGW 8 2407 With hym com many a ship and many a barge
LGW 8 2408 Ful of his folk, of whiche ful many oon
LGW 8 2409 Is wounded sore, and sek, and wo begon,
LGW 8 2410 As they han at th' asege longe yleyn.
LGW 8 2411 Byhynde hym com a wynd and ek a reyn
LGW 8 2412 That shof so sore his sayl ne myghte stonde;
LGW 8 2413 Hym were levere than al the world a-londe,
LGW 8 2414 So hunteth hym the tempest to and fro.
LGW 8 2415 So derk it was, he coude nowher go;
LGW 8 2416 And with a wawe brosten was his stere.
LGW 8 2417 His ship was rent so lowe, in swich manere,
LGW 8 2418 That carpenter ne coude it nat amende.
LGW 8 2419 The se, by nyghte, as any torche it brende
LGW 8 2420 For wod, and possith hym now up, now doun,
LGW 8 2421 Til Neptune hath of hym compassioun,
LGW 8 2422 And Thetis, Thorus, Triton, and they alle,
LGW 8 2423 And maden hym upon a lond to falle,
LGW 8 2424 Wherof that Phillis lady was and queene,
LGW 8 2425 Ligurges doughter, fayrer on to sene
LGW 8 2426 Than is the flour ageyn the bryghte sonne.
LGW 8 2427 Unnethe is Demophon to londe ywonne,
LGW 8 2428 Wayk, and ek wery, and his folk forpyned
LGW 8 2429 Of werynesse, and also enfamyned,
LGW 8 2430 That to the deth he almost was ydriven.
LGW 8 2431 His wise folk to conseyl han hym yiven
LGW 8 2432 To seken help and socour of the queen,
LGW 8 2433 And loke what his grace myghte been,
LGW 8 2434 And maken in that lond som chevysaunce,
LGW 8 2435 To kepen hym fro wo and fro myschaunce.
LGW 8 2436 For syk he was, and almost at the deth;
LGW 8 2437 Unnethe myghte he speke or drawe his breth,
LGW 8 2438 And lyth in Rodopeya hym for to reste.
LGW 8 2439 Whan he may walke, hym thoughte it was the beste
LGW 8 2440 Unto the court to seken for socour.
LGW 8 2441 Men knewen hym wel and diden hym honour;
LGW 8 2442 For of Athenes duk and lord was he,
LGW 8 2443 As Theseus his fader hadde be,
LGW 8 2444 That in his tyme was of gret renoun,
LGW 8 2445 No man so gret in al the regyoun,
LGW 8 2446 And lyk his fader of face and of stature,
LGW 8 2447 And fals of love; it com hym of nature.
LGW 8 2448 As doth the fox Renard, the foxes sone,
LGW 8 2449 Of kynde he coude his olde faders wone
LGW 8 2450 Withoute lore, as can a drake swimme
LGW 8 2451 Whan it is caught and caryed to the brymme.
LGW 8 2452 This honurable Phillis doth hym chere;
LGW 8 2453 Hire liketh wel his port and his manere.
LGW 8 2454 But, for I am agroted herebyforn
LGW 8 2455 To wryte of hem that ben in love forsworn,
LGW 8 2456 And ek to haste me in my legende,
LGW 8 2457 (Which to performe God me grace sende)
LGW 8 2458 Therfore I passe shortly in this wyse.
LGW 8 2459 Ye han wel herd of Theseus devyse
LGW 8 2460 In the betraysynge of fayre Adryane
LGW 8 2461 That of hire pite kepte him from his bane.
LGW 8 2462 At shorte wordes, ryght so Demophon
LGW 8 2463 The same wey, the same path hath gon,
LGW 8 2464 That dide his false fader Theseus.
LGW 8 2465 For unto Phillis hath he sworen thus,
LGW 8 2466 To wedden hire, and hire his trouthe plyghte,
LGW 8 2467 And piked of hire al the good he myghte,
LGW 8 2468 Whan he was hol and sound, and hadde his reste;
LGW 8 2469 And doth with Phillis what so that hym leste,
LGW 8 2470 As wel coude I, if that me leste so,
LGW 8 2471 Tellen al his doynge to and fro.
LGW 8 2472 He seyde unto his contre moste he sayle,
LGW 8 2473 For there he wolde hire weddynge aparayle,
LGW 8 2474 As fel to hire honour and his also.
LGW 8 2475 And openly he tok his leve tho,
LGW 8 2476 And hath hire sworn he wolde nat sojorne,
LGW 8 2477 But in a month he wolde ageyn retorne;
LGW 8 2478 And in that lond let make his ordenaunce
LGW 8 2479 As verray lord, and tok the obeysaunce
LGW 8 2480 Wel and homly, and let his shipes dighte,
LGW 8 2481 And hom he goth the nexte wey he myghte.
LGW 8 2482 For unto Phillis yit ne com he nought,
LGW 8 2483 And that hath she so harde and sore abought --
LGW 8 2484 Allas! -- that, as the storyes us recorde,
LGW 8 2485 She was hire owene deth ryght with a corde,
LGW 8 2486 Whan that she saw that Demophon hire trayed.
LGW 8 2487 But to hym first she wrot, and faste him prayed
LGW 8 2488 He wolde come and hire delyvere of peyne,
LGW 8 2489 As I reherce shal a word or tweyne.
LGW 8 2490 Me lyste nat vouche-sauf on hym to swynke,
LGW 8 2491 Ne spende on hym a penne ful of ynke,
LGW 8 2492 For fals in love was he, ryght as his syre.
LGW 8 2493 The devil sette here soules bothe afyre!
LGW 8 2494 But of the letter of Phillis wol I wryte
LGW 8 2495 A word or two, althogh it be but lyte.
LGW 8 2496 " Thyn hostesse, " quod she, " O Demophon,
LGW 8 2497 Thy Phillis, which that is so wo begon,
LGW 8 2498 Of Rodopeye, upon yow mot compleyne
LGW 8 2499 Over the terme set bytwixe us tweyne,
LGW 8 2500 That ye ne holde forward, as ye seyde.
LGW 8 2501 Youre anker, which ye in oure haven leyde,
LGW 8 2502 Hyghte us that ye wolde comen, out of doute,
LGW 8 2503 Or that the mone wente ones aboute.
LGW 8 2504 But tymes foure the mone hath hid hire face,
LGW 8 2505 Syn thilke day ye wente from this place,
LGW 8 2506 And foure tymes lyghte the world ageyn.
LGW 8 2507 But for al that, yif I shal soothly seyn,
LGW 8 2508 Yit hath the strem of Sytho nat ybrought
LGW 8 2509 From Athenes the ship; yit cometh it noght.
LGW 8 2510 And if that ye the terme rekene wolde
LGW 8 2511 As I or as a trewe lovere shulde,
LGW 8 2512 I pleyne nat, God wot, byforn my day. "
LGW 8 2513 But al hire letter wryten I ne may
LGW 8 2514 By order, for it were to me a charge;
LGW 8 2515 Hire letter was ryght long and therto large.
LGW 8 2516 But here and ther in rym I have it layd,
LGW 8 2517 There as me thoughte that she wel hath sayd.
LGW 8 2518 She seyde, " Thy sayles come nat agen,
LGW 8 2519 Ne to thy word there is no fey certeyn;
LGW 8 2520 But I wot why ye come nat, " quod she,
LGW 8 2521 " For I was of my love to yow to fre.
LGW 8 2522 And of the goddes that ye han forswore,
LGW 8 2523 Yif hire vengeaunce falle on yow therfore,
LGW 8 2524 Ye be nat suffisaunt to bere the peyne.
LGW 8 2525 To moche trusted I, wel may I pleyne,
LGW 8 2526 Upon youre lynage and youre fayre tonge,
LGW 8 2527 And on youre teres falsly out yronge.
LGW 8 2528 How coude ye wepe so by craft? " quod she.
LGW 8 2529 " May there swiche teres feyned be?
LGW 8 2530 Now certes, yif ye wol have in memorye,
LGW 8 2531 It oughte be to yow but lyte glorye
LGW 8 2532 To han a sely mayde thus betrayed!
LGW 8 2533 To God, " quod she, " preye I, and ofte have prayed,
LGW 8 2534 That it mot be the grettest prys of alle
LGW 8 2535 And most honour that evere the shal befalle!
LGW 8 2536 And whan thyne olde auncestres peynted be,
LGW 8 2537 In which men may here worthynesse se,
LGW 8 2538 Thanne preye I God thow peynted be also
LGW 8 2539 That folk may rede forby as they go,
LGW 8 2540 `Lo! this is he that with his flaterye
LGW 8 2541 Bytraised hath and don hire vilenye
LGW 8 2542 That was his trewe love in thought and dede!'
LGW 8 2543 But sothly, of oo poynt yit may they rede,
LGW 8 2544 That ye ben lyk youre fader as in this,
LGW 8 2545 For he begiled Adriane, ywis,
LGW 8 2546 With swich an art and with swich subtilte
LGW 8 2547 As thow thyselven hast begyled me.
LGW 8 2548 As in that poynt, althogh it be nat fayr,
LGW 8 2549 Thow folwest hym, certayn, and art his ayr.
LGW 8 2550 But syn thus synfully ye me begile,
LGW 8 2551 My body mote ye se withinne a while,
LGW 8 2552 Ryght in the haven of Athenes fletynge,
LGW 8 2553 Withoute sepulture and buryinge,
LGW 8 2554 Thogh ye ben harder than is any ston. "
LGW 8 2555 And whan this letter was forth sent anon,
LGW 8 2556 And knew how brotel and how fals he was,
LGW 8 2557 She for dispeyr fordide hyreself, allas.
LGW 8 2558 Swych sorwe hath she, for she besette hire so.
LGW 8 2559 Be war, ye wemen, of youre subtyl fo,
LGW 8 2560 Syn yit this day men may ensaumple se;
LGW 8 2561 And trusteth, as in love, no man but me.
LGW 9 2562 In Grece whilom weren brethren two,
LGW 9 2563 Of whiche that oon was called Danao,
LGW 9 2564 That many a sone hath of his body wonne,
LGW 9 2565 As swiche false lovers ofte conne.
LGW 9 2566 Among his sones alle there was oon
LGW 9 2567 That aldermost he lovede of everychoon.
LGW 9 2568 And whan this child was born, this Danao
LGW 9 2569 Shop hym a name and callede hym Lyno.
LGW 9 2570 That other brother called was Egiste,
LGW 9 2571 That was of love as fals as evere hym liste,
LGW 9 2572 And many a doughter gat he in his lyf;
LGW 9 2573 Of whiche he gat upon his ryghte wyf
LGW 9 2574 A doughter dere, and dide hire for to calle
LGW 9 2575 Ypermystra, yongeste of hem alle.
LGW 9 2576 The whiche child of hire natyvyte
LGW 9 2577 To alle thewes goode yborn was she,
LGW 9 2578 As likede to the goddes er she was born,
LGW 9 2579 That of the shef she sholde be the corn.
LGW 9 2580 The Wirdes, that we clepen Destine,
LGW 9 2581 Hath shapen hire that she mot nedes be
LGW 9 2582 Pyetous, sad, wis, and trewe as stel,
LGW 9 2583 As to these wemen it acordeth wel.
LGW 9 2584 For thogh that Venus yaf hire gret beaute,
LGW 9 2585 With Jupiter compouned so was she
LGW 9 2586 That conscience, trouthe, and drede of shame,
LGW 9 2587 And of hyre wifhod for to kepe hire name,
LGW 9 2588 This, thoughte hire, was felycite as here.
LGW 9 2589 The rede Mars was that tyme of the yeere
LGW 9 2590 So feble that his malyce is hym raft;
LGW 9 2591 Repressed hath Venus his crewel craft,
LGW 9 2592 That, what with Venus and other oppressioun
LGW 9 2593 Of houses, Mars his venim is adoun,
LGW 9 2594 That Ypermystra dar nat handle a knyf
LGW 9 2595 In malyce, thogh she shulde lese hire lyf.
LGW 9 2596 But natheles, as hevene gan tho turne,
LGW 9 2597 To badde aspectes hath she of Saturne,
LGW 9 2598 That made hire for to deyen in prisoun,
LGW 9 2599 As I shal after make mencioun.
LGW 9 2600 To Danao and Egistes also,
LGW 9 2601 Althogh so be that they were brethren two --
LGW 9 2602 For thilke tyme was spared no lynage --
LGW 9 2603 It lykede hem to make a maryage
LGW 9 2604 Bytwixen Ypermystre and hym Lyno,
LGW 9 2605 And casten swich a day it shal be so,
LGW 9 2606 And ful acorded was it utterly;
LGW 9 2607 The aray is wrought, the tyme is faste by.
LGW 9 2608 And thus Lyno hath of his faders brother
LGW 9 2609 The doughter wedded, and ech of hem hath other.
LGW 9 2610 The torches brennen, and the laumpes bryghte;
LGW 9 2611 The sacryfices ben ful redy dighte;
LGW 9 2612 Th' encens out of the fyre reketh sote;
LGW 9 2613 The flour, the lef is rent up by the rote
LGW 9 2614 To maken garlondes and crounes hye.
LGW 9 2615 Ful is the place of soun of minstralsye,
LGW 9 2616 Of songes amorous of maryage,
LGW 9 2617 As thylke tyme was the pleyne usage.
LGW 9 2618 And this was in the paleys of Egiste,
LGW 9 2619 That in his hous was lord, ryght as hym lyste.
LGW 9 2620 And thus the day they dryve to an ende;
LGW 9 2621 The frendes taken leve, and hom they wende;
LGW 9 2622 The nyght is come, the bryd shal go to bedde.
LGW 9 2623 Egistus to his chamber faste hym spedde,
LGW 9 2624 And prively he let his doughter calle.
LGW 9 2625 Whan that the hous was voyded of hem alle,
LGW 9 2626 He loketh on his doughter with glad chere
LGW 9 2627 And to hire spak, as ye shal after here:
LGW 9 2628 " My ryghte doughter, tresor of myn herte,
LGW 9 2629 Syn fyrst that day that shapen was my sherte,
LGW 9 2630 Or by the fatal systren had my dom,
LGW 9 2631 So nygh myn herte nevere thyng ne com
LGW 9 2632 As thow, myn Ypermystre, doughter dere.
LGW 9 2633 Tak hed what I, thy fader, seye the here,
LGW 9 2634 And werk after thy wiser evere mo.
LGW 9 2635 For alderfirst, doughter, I love the so
LGW 9 2636 That al the world to me nis half so lef;
LGW 9 2637 Ne I nolde rede the to thy myschef
LGW 9 2638 For al the good under the colde mone.
LGW 9 2639 And what I mene, it shal be seyd right sone,
LGW 9 2640 With protestacioun, as in this wyse,
LGW 9 2641 That, but thow do as I shal the devyse,
LGW 9 2642 Thow shalt be ded, by hym that al hath wrought!
LGW 9 2643 At shorte wordes, thow ne scapest nought
LGW 9 2644 Out of my paleys or that thow be ded,
LGW 9 2645 But thow consente and werke after my red;
LGW 9 2646 Tak this to thee for ful conclusioun. "
LGW 9 2647 This Ypermystre caste hire eyen doun,
LGW 9 2648 And quok as doth the lef of aspe grene.
LGW 9 2649 Ded wex hire hew, and lyk an ash to sene,
LGW 9 2650 And seyde, " Lord and fader, al youre wille,
LGW 9 2651 After my myght, God wot, I shal fulfille,
LGW 9 2652 So it to me be no confusioun. "
LGW 9 2653 " I nele, " quod he, " have non excepcioun " ;
LGW 9 2654 And out he caught a knyf, as rasour kene.
LGW 9 2655 " Hyd this, " quod he, " that it be nat ysene;
LGW 9 2656 And whan thyn husbonde is to bedde go,
LGW 9 2657 Whil that he slepeth, kit his throte atwo.
LGW 9 2658 For in my dremes it is warned me
LGW 9 2659 How that my nevew shal my bane be,
LGW 9 2660 But which I noot, wherfore I wol be siker.
LGW 9 2661 If thow sey nay, we two shul have a biker,
LGW 9 2662 As I have seyd, by hym that I have sworn! "
LGW 9 2663 This Ipermystre hath nygh hire wit forlorn;
LGW 9 2664 And, for to passen harmles of that place,
LGW 9 2665 She graunteth hym; ther is non other grace.
LGW 9 2666 And therwithal a costret taketh he,
LGW 9 2667 And seyde, " Herof a draught, or two, or thre,
LGW 9 2668 Yif hym to drynke, whan he goth to reste,
LGW 9 2669 And he shal slepe as longe as evere thee leste,
LGW 9 2670 The narcotyks and opies ben so stronge.
LGW 9 2671 And go thy wey, lest that him thynke longe. "
LGW 9 2672 Out cometh the bryd, and with ful sobre cheere,
LGW 9 2673 As is of maydens ofte the manere,
LGW 9 2674 To chaumbre is brought with revel and with song.
LGW 9 2675 And shortly, lest this tale be to long,
LGW 9 2676 This Lyno and she ben brought to bedde,
LGW 9 2677 And every wight out at the dore hym spedde.
LGW 9 2678 The nyght is wasted, and he fyl aslepe.
LGW 9 2679 Ful tenderly begynneth she to wepe;
LGW 9 2680 She rist hire up, and dredfully she quaketh,
LGW 9 2681 As doth the braunche that Zepherus shaketh,
LGW 9 2682 And hust were alle in Argon that cite.
LGW 9 2683 As cold as any frost now waxeth she;
LGW 9 2684 For pite by the herte hire streyneth so,
LGW 9 2685 And drede of deth doth hire so moche wo,
LGW 9 2686 That thryes doun she fyl in swich a were.
LGW 9 2687 She rist yit up, and stakereth her and there,
LGW 9 2688 And on hire hondes faste loketh she.
LGW 9 2689 " Allas! and shal myne hondes blody be?
LGW 9 2690 I am a mayde, and, as by my nature,
LGW 9 2691 And bi my semblaunt and by my vesture,
LGW 9 2692 Myne handes ben nat shapen for a knyf,
LGW 9 2693 As for to reve no man fro his lyf.
LGW 9 2694 What devel have I with the knyf to do?
LGW 9 2695 And shal I have my throte korve a-two?
LGW 9 2696 Thanne shal I blede, allas, and me beshende!
LGW 9 2697 And nedes-cost this thyng moste have an ende;
LGW 9 2698 Or he or I mot nedes lese oure lyf.
LGW 9 2699 Now certes, " quod she, " syn I am his wif,
LGW 9 2700 And hath my feyth, yit is it bet for me
LGW 9 2701 For to be ded in wifly honeste
LGW 9 2702 Than ben a traytour lyvynge in my shame.
LGW 9 2703 Be as be may, for ernest or for game,
LGW 9 2704 He shal awake, and ryse, and gon his way,
LGW 9 2705 Out at this goter, or that it be day " --
LGW 9 2706 And wep ful tenderly upon his face,
LGW 9 2707 And in hyre armes gan hym to enbrace,
LGW 9 2708 And hym she roggeth and awaketh softe.
LGW 9 2709 And at a wyndow lep he fro the lofte,
LGW 9 2710 Whan she hath warned hym, and don hym bote.
LGW 9 2711 This Lyno swift was, and lyght of fote,
LGW 9 2712 And from his wif he ran a ful good pas.
LGW 9 2713 This sely woman is so weik -- Allas! --
LGW 9 2714 And helples, so that or that she fer wente,
LGW 9 2715 Hire crewel fader dide hire for to hente.
LGW 9 2716 Allas, Lyno, whi art thow so unkynde?
LGW 9 2717 Why ne haddest thow remembred in thy mynde
LGW 9 2718 To taken hire, and lad hire forth with the?
LGW 9 2719 For whan she saw that gon awey was he,
LGW 9 2720 And that she myghte nat so faste go,
LGW 9 2721 Ne folwen hym, she sat hire doun ryght tho,
LGW 9 2722 Til she was caught and fetered in prysoun.
LGW 9 2723 This tale is seyd for this conclusioun --


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