Imágenes de páginas

And, after that, to all hire company

“ And tho that were chapelets, on hir hede,
She made to purvey horse, and every thing

Of fresh wodebind, be such as never were
That they neded; and then, full hastily,

To Love untrue, in wordi, in thought, ne dede;
Even by the herber, where I was sitting,

But ay stedfast; ne for plesance ne fere,
They passed all, so merrily singing

Tho that they shulde hir hertes all to tere,
That it would have comforted any wight.

Woud never flit, but ever were stedfast,
--But then I se a passing wonder sight;

Till that hir lives there asunder brast."

For then the nightingale, that all the day
Had in the laurer sate, and did hire might
The whole service to sing longing to May ;
All sodainly began to take hire flight;
And to the lady of the Lefe forthright,
She flew, and set hire on hire hand softly;
Which was a thing I mervail'd at gretly.

“ Now, fair Madam!” (quod 1,) yet woud I pray
Your ladiship, (if that it mighten be,)
That I might knowe, by some maner of way,
(Sithen that it hath liked your beaute
The trouth of these ladies for to tell me,)
What that these knightes be in rich armour,
And what tho be in grene and were the Flour :

The goldfinch, eke, that fro the medlar tre
Was fled, for hete, unto the bushes cold,
l'nto the lady of the Flowre gan fle,
And on hire hond he set him, as he wold;
And plesauntly his winges gan to fold.
And for to sing they peine hem both as sore,
As they had do of all the day before.

“ And why that some did rev’rence to the tre,
And some unto the plot of foures faire?" [she)

With right gode will, my daughter fair!” (quod
* Sith your desire is gode and debonaire:
The nine, crouned, be very exemplaire
Of all honour longing to chivalry;
And those, certain, be clept the Nine Worthy,
“ Which that ye may se riding all before,
That in hir time did many a noble dede,
And for hir worthiness full oft have bore
The crown of laurer leves on hir hede,
As ye may in your olde bokes rede;
And how that he, that was a conqueror,
Ilad by laurer alway his most honour.

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* And tho that baren bowes in hir hond,
Of the precious laurer, so notable,
Be such as were (I woll ye understond)
Most noble Knightes of the Round Table,
And eke the Dousepares honourable;
Which they bere in the sign of victory,
As witness of hir dedes mightily.

I drest me forth ; and happed mete, anon,
A right fair lady, I do you ensure;
And she came riding by hireself, alone,
Alle in white, with semblaunce full demure.
Thire salued, bad hire gode aventure
Mote hire befall, as I coud most humbly.
And she answered, “ My daughter! gramercy!"
“ Madame!" (quoth I) « if that I durst enquere
Of you, I wold, fain, of that company
Wit what they be that passed by this herbere.”
And she ayen answered, right frendly:
* My daughter! all tho, that passed hereby,
In white clothing, be servants everichone,
l'nto the Lefe, and I myself am one.

“ Eke there be Knightes old of the Garter,
That in hir times did right worthily:
And the honour they did to the laurer
Is, for by it they have hir laud wholly,
Hir triumph eke and martial glory:
Which unto himn is more perfite riches
That any wight imagin can or gesse.

* Se ye not hire that crowned is” (quod she)
* Alle in white;" * Madame!" (then quod I)“yes.
* That is Dian, goddess of Chastity,
And, for because that she a maiden is,
Isto hire hond the branch she beareth this,

agnus castus men call properly; And all the ladies, in hire company,

" For one Lefe given of that noble tre
To any wight, that hath done worthily,
(An it be done so as it ought to be,)
Is more honour than any thing erthly;
Witness of Rome, that founder was, truly,
Of all knighthode and dedes marvelous;
Record I take of Titus Livius.

* Which

ye se of that herbe chaplets were, Be such as han alway kept maidenhede. And all they that of laurer chaplets bere, Be such as hardy were in manly dede, Victorious names which never may be dede; And all they were so worthy of hir honde, la bir time, that no one might hem withistonde.

* And as for hire that crouned is in grene,
It is Flora, of these floures goddesse.
And all that here, on hire awaiting, bene,
It are such folk that loved idlenesse,
And not delite in no kind besinesse
But for to hunt, aud hawke, and play in medes,
And many other such like idle dedes,

" And for the great delite, and the plesaunce, They have to the Flour, and so reverently They unto it doen such obeisaunce, As ye may se." “ Now, fair Madame!" (quod I,) “ If I durst ask what is the cause, and why, That knightes have the enseigne of honour Rather by the Lefe than by the Flour?"

“Sothly, doughter,” (quod she) “ this is the trouth;
For knightes, ever, should be persevering
To seke honour, without feintise or slouth,
Fro wele to better in all maner thing;
In sign of which, with leves ay lasting
They be rewarded, after hir degre,
Whose lusty grene may not apaired be,
“ But ay keeping hir beauty fresh and gre
For ther n'is no storme that may hem deface,
Ne hail nor snowe, ne wind nor frostes kene;
Wherfore they have this property and grace.
And, for the Flour, within a litel space,
Wollen be lost, so simple of nature
They be that they no grevaunce may endure:

" And every storme woll blawe hem sone away, Ne they laste not but for a seson, That is the cause (the very trouth to say) That they may not, by no way of reson, Be put to no such occupation." “Madame!" (quod I)" with all mine whole servise I thank you now in my most humble wise; « For now I am ascertain'd thoroughly Of every thing I desired to knowe.” “ I am right glad that I have said, sothly, Ought to your plesure, if ye will me trow.” (Quod she ayen.) “ But to whom do ye owe Your service, and which wollen ye honour (Pray tell me) this year, the Lefe or the Flour)" “ Madam!" (quod I) “ although I lest worthy, Unto the Lefe I ow mine observaunce." “ That is,” (quod she)“ right well done, certainly; And I pray God to honour you advance, And kepe you fro the wicked remembraunce Of Malebouch, and all his crueltie; And all that gode and well conditioned be.

PART OF THE KNIGHTES TALE. I trowe men wolde deme it negligence, If I foryette to tellen the dispence Of Theseus, that got so besily To maken up the listes really, That swiche a noble theatre as it was, I dare wel sayn, in all this world ther n'as. The circuite a mile was about, Walled of stone, and diched all withoute. Round was the shape, in manere of a compas Ful of degrees, the hight of sixty pas, That whan a man was set on o degree He letted not his felaw for to see. Estward ther stood a gate of marbel white, Westward right swiche another in th' opposite. And shortly to concluden, swiche a place Was never in erthe, in so litel a space, For in the lond ther n'as no craftes man, That geometrie, or arsmetrike can, Ne portreiour, ne kerver of images, That Theseus ne yaf him mete and wages The theatre for to maken and devise.

And for to don his rite and sacrifice,
He estward hath upon the gate above,
In worship of Venus goddesse of love,
Don make an auter and an oratorie;
And westward in the minde and in memorie
Of Mars he maked hath right swiche another,
That coste largely of gold a fother.
And northward, in a touret on the wall,
Of alabastre white and red corall
An oratorie riche for to see,
In worship of Diane of chastitee,
Hath Theseus dọn wrought in noble wise.

But yet had I foryetten to devise
The noble kerving, and the portreitures,
The shape, the countenance of the figures
That weren in these oratories three.

First in the temple of Venus maist thou see
Wrought on the wall, ful pitous to beholde,
The broken slepes, and the sikes colde,
The sacred teres, and the waimentinges,
The firy strokes of the desiringes,
That Loves servants in this lif enduren;
The othes, that hir covenants assuren.
Plesance and hope, desire, foolhardinesse,
Beaute and youthe, baudrie and richesse,
Charmes and force, lesinges and flaterie,
Dispence, besinesse, and jalousie,
That wered of yelwe goldes a gerlond,
And hadde a cuckow sitting on hire hond,
Festes, instruments, and caroles and dances,
Lust and array, and all the circumstances
Of love, which that I reken and reken shall,
By ordre weren peinted on the wall,
And mo than I can make of mention.
For sothly all the mount of Citheron,
Ther Venus hath hire principal dwelling,
Was shewed on the wall in purtreying,
With all the gardin, and the lustinesse.
Nought was foryetten the porter Idelnesse,

“ For here I may no lenger now abide,
But I must follow the grete company
That ye may se yonder before you ride."
And forthwith, as I couth, most humily
I take my leve of hire. And she gan hie
After hem as fast as ever she might,
And I drew homeward, for it was nigh night,

And put all that I had sene in writing,
Under support of hem that lust it rede.
O little boke! thou art so unconning,
How darst thou put thyself in prees for drede ?
It is wonder that thou wexest not rede,
Sith that thou wost full lite who shall behold
Thy rude langage full boistrously unfold.

Ne Narcissus the fayre of yore agon,

Conteke with blody knif, and sharp manace : Ne yet the folie of king Salomon,

All full of chirking was that sory place. Ne yet the grete strengthe of Hercules,

The sleer of himself yet saw I there, Th'enchantment of Medea and Circes,

His herte-blood hath bathed all his here: Ne of Turnus the hardy ffers corage,

The naile ydriven in the shode on hight, The riche Cresus caitif in servage.

The colde deth, with mouth gaping upright, Thus may ye seen, that wisdom ne richesse, Amiddes of the temple sate mischance, Beaute ne sleighte, strengthe ne hardinesse, With discomfort and sory countenance. Ne may with Venus holden champartie,

Yet saw I woodnesse laughing in his rage. For as hire liste the world may she gie.

Armed complaint, outhees, and fiers outrage; Lo, all these folk so caught were in hire las The carraine in the bush, with throte ycorven, Til they for wo ful often said Alas.

A thousand slain, and not of qualme ystorven; Sufficeth here ensamples on or two,

The tirant, with the prey by force yraft; And yet I coude reken a thousand mo.

The toun destroied, ther was nothing laft. The statue of Venus glorious for to see,

Yet saw I brent the shippes hoppesteres, Was naked fleeting in the large see.

The hunte ystrangled with the wilde beres: And fro the navel doun all covered was

The sow freting the child right in the cradel; With waves grene, and bright as any glas.. The coke yscalled, for all his long ladel. A citole in hire right hond hadde she,

Nought was foryete by th' infortune of Marte And on hire hed, ful semely for to see,

The carter overridden with his carte; A rose gerlond fresh, and wel smelling,

Under the wheel ful low he lay adoun. Above hire hed hire doves fleckering.

Ther were also of Martes division, Before hire stood hire sone Cupido,

Th’armerer, and the bowyer, and the smith, l'pon his shoulders winges had he two;

That forgeth sharpe swerdes on his stith. And blind he was, as it is often sene ;

And all above depeinted in a tour
A bow he bare and arwes bright and kene. Saw I conquest, sitting in gret honour.

Why shulde I not as wel eke tell you all With thilke sharp swerd over his hed
The purtreiture, that was upon the wall

Yhanging by a subtil twined thred.
Within the temple of mighty Mars the rede? Depeinted was the slaughter of Julius,
All peinted was the wall in length and brede- Of gret Nero, and of Antonius:
Like to the estres of the grisly place,

All be that thilke time they were unborne,
That highte the gret temple of Mars in Trace, Yet was hir deth depeinted therbesorne,
In thilke colde and frosty regiou,

By manacing of Mars, right by figure, Ther as Mars hath his sovereine mansion.

So was it shewed in that purtreiture
First on the wall was peinted a forest,

As is depeinted in the cercles above,
In which ther wonneth neyther man ne best, Who shal be slaine or elles ded for love.
With knotty knarry barrein trees old

Sufficeth on ensample in stories olde,
Of stubbes sharp and hidous to behold;

I may not reken hem alle, though I wolde. In which ther ran a romble and a swough,

The statue of Mars upon a carte stood As though a storme shuld bresten every bough:

Armed, and toked grim as he were wood, And dounward from an hill under a bent,

And over his hed ther shinen two figures Ther stood the temple of Mars armipotent,

Of sterres, that ben eleped in scriptures,
Wrought all of burned stele, of which th' entree That on Puella, that other Rubeus.
Was longe and streite, and gastly for to see. This god of armes was arraied thus:
And therout came a rage and swiche a vise, A wolf ther stood beforne him at his fete
That it made all the gates for to rise.

With eyen red, and of a man he ete:
The northern light in at the dore słone,

With subtil pensil peinted was this storie, For window on the wall ne was ther none,

In redouting of Mars and of his glorie. Thurgh which men mighten any light discerne. Now to the temple of Diane the chaste The dore was all of athamant eterne,

As shortly as I can I wol me haste,
Yelenched overthwart and endelong

To tellen you of the descriptioun,
With yren tough, and for to make it strong, Depeinted by the walles up and doun,
Every piler the temple to sustene

Of hunting and of shamefast chastitee.
Was tonne-gret, of yren bright and skene.

Ther saw I how woful Calistope, Ther saw I first the derke imagining

Whan that Diane agreved was with here, Of felonie, aud alle the compassing:

Was turned from a woman til a bere, The cruel ire, red as any glede,

And after was she made the lodesterre: The pihepurse, and eke the pale drede;

Thus was it peinted, I can say no ferre;
The smiler with the knifunder the cloke,

Hire sone is eke a sterre as men may see.
The shepen brenning with the blake smoke; Ther saw I Dane yturned til a tree,
The treson of the mordring in the bedde,

I mene not hire the goddesse Diane,
The open werre, with woundes all bebledde ; But Peneus davghter, which that highte Dane
Ther saw I Atteon an hart ymaked,

vengeance that he saw Diane all naked
I saw how that his houndes have lim caught,
And freten him, for that they knew him naught.
Yet peinted was a litel forthermore,
Ilow Athalante hunted the wilde bore,
And Meleagre, and many another mo,
For which Diane wroughte hem care and wo.
Ther saw I many another wonder storie,
The which me liste not drawen to memorie.

This goddesse on an hart ful heye sete,
With smale houndes all about hire fete,
And undernethe hire feet she hadde a mone,
Wexing it was, and shulde wanen sone.
In gaudy grene hire statue clothed was,
With bow in hond, and arwes in a cas.
Hire eyen caste she ful low adoun,
Ther Pluto hath his derke regioun,
A woman travailling was hire beforne,
But for hire childe so long was unborno
Ful pitously Lucina gan she call,
And sayed; “ Helpe, for thou mayst beste of all.”
Wel coude he peinten lifly that it wrought,
With many a florein he the hewes bought.

Now ben these listes made, and Theseus
That at his grete cost arraied thus
The temples, and the theatre everidel,
Whan it was don, him liked wonder wel.
But stint I wol of Theseus a lite,
And speke of Palamon and of Arcite.

The day approcheth of hir returning,
That everich shuld an lundred knightes bring,
The bataille to darreine, as I you told;
And til Athenes, bir covenant for to hold,
llath everich of hem brought an hundred knightes,
Wel armed for the werre at alle rightes.
And sikerly ther trowed many a man,
That never, sithen that the world began,
As for to speke of knighthood of hir hond,
As fer as God hath maked see and lond,
N'as, of so fewe, so noble a compagnie.
For every wight that loved chevalrie,
And wold, his thankes, han a passant name,
Hath praied, that he might ben of that game,
And wel was him, that therto chosen was.
For if ther fell to-morwe swiche a cas,
Ye knowen wel, that every lusty knight,
That loveth par amour, and hath his might,
Were it in Englelond, or elleswher,
They wold, hir thankes, willen to be ther,
To fight for a lady, a! benedicite,
It were a lusty sighte for to se.

And right so ferden they with Palamon.
With him ther wenten knightes many on.
Som wel ben armed in an habergeon,
And in a brest plate, and in a gipon;
And som wol have a pair of plates large;
And som wol have a Pruce shield, or a targe;
Some wol ben armed on his legges wele,
And have an axe, and som a mace of stele.
Ther n'is no newe guise, that it n'as old.
Armed they weren, as I have you told,

Everich after his opinion.

There maist thou se coming with Palamon
Licurge himself, the grete king of Trace:
Blake was his berd, and manly was his face.
The cercles of his eyen in his hed
They gloweden betwixen yelwe and red,
And like a griffon loked he about.
With kemped heres on his browes stouts
His limmes gret, his braunes hard and stronge,
His shouldres brode, his armes round and longe.
And as the guise was in his contree,
Ful highe upon a char of gold stood he,
With four white bolles in the trais.
Instede of cote-armure on his harnais,
With nayles yelwe, and bright as any gold,
He hadde a beres skin, cole-blake for old.
His longe here was kempt behind his bak,
As any ravenes fether it shone for blake.
A wreth of gold arm-gret, of huge weight,
Upon his hed sate full of stones bright,
Of fine rubins and of diamants.
About his char ther wenten white alauns,
Twenty and mo, as gret as any stere,
To hunten at the leon or the dere,
And folwed him, with mosel fast ybound,
Colered with gold, and torettes filed round.
An hundred lordes had he in his route
Armed ful wel, with hertes sterne and stoute.

With Arcita, in stories as men find,
The gret Emetrius the king of Inde,
Upon a stede bay, trapped in stele,
Covered with cloth of gold diapred wele,
Came riding like the god of arines Mars.
His cote-arinure was of a cloth of Tars,
Couched with perles, white, and round and grete.
His sadel was of brent gold new ybete ;
A mantelet upon his shouldres hanging
Bret-ful of rubies red, as fire sparkling.
His crispe here like ringes was yronne,
And that was yelwe, and glitered as the Sonne.
His nose was high, his eyen bright citrin,
His lippes round, his colour was sanguin,
A fewe fraknes in his face ysprent,
Betwixen yelwe and blake somdel ymeint,
And as a leon he his loking caste.
Of five and twenty yere his age I caste.
His berd was wel begonnen for to spring;
His vois was as a trompe thondering.
Upon his hed he wered of laurer grene
A gerlond freshe and lusty for to sene.
Upon his hond he bare for his deduit
An egle tame, as any lily whit.
An hundred lordes had he with him there,
All armed save hir hedes in all hire gere,
Ful richely in alle manere thinges.
For trusteth wel, that erles, dukes, kinges,
Were gathered in this noble compagnie,
For love, and for encrease of chevalrie.
About this king ther ran on every part
Ful many a tame leon and leopart.

And in this wise, these lordes all and some
Ben on the Sonday to the citce come

Abouten primo, and in the town alight.

Thy tomple wol I worship everno, This Theseus, this duk, this worthy knight, And on thin auter, wher I ride or go, Whan he had brought hem into his citce,

I wol don sacrifice, and fires bete. And inned hem, everich at his degree,

And if ye wol not so, my lady swete, He festeth hem, and doth so gret labour

Than pray I you, to-morwe with a spere To esen hem, and don hem all honour,

That Arcita me thurgh the herte bere. That yet men wenen that no mannes wit

Than rekke I not, whan I have lost my lif, Of non estat ne coud amenden it.

Though that Arcita win hire to his wif. The minstralcie, the service at the feste,

This is the effecte and ende of my praiere; The grete yeftes to the most and leste,

Yeve me my love, thou blissful lady dere." The riche array of Theseus paleis,

Whan the orison was don of Palamon, Ne who sate first, ne last upon the deis,

His sacrifice he did, and that anon, What ladies fayrest ben or best dancing,

Full pitously, with alle circumstances, Or which of hem can carole best or sing,

All tell I not as now his observances. Ne who most felingly speketh of love;

But at the last the statue of Venus shoke, What haukes sitten on the perche above,

And made a signe, wherby that he toke, What houndes liggen on the floor adoun,

That his praiere accepted was that day. Of all this now make I no mentioun;

For though the signe shewed a delay, But of the effect; that thinketh me the beste ; Yet wist he wel that granted was his bone; Now cometh the point, and herkeneth if you leste. And with glad herte he went him home ful sone. The Sonday night, or day began to spring,

The thridde houre inequal that Palamon Whan Palamon the larke herde sing,

Began to Venus temple for to gon, Although it n'ere not day by loures two,

Up rose the Sonne, and up rose Emelie, Yet sang the larke, and Palamon right tho

And to the temple of Diane gan hie. With holy herte, and with an high corage

Hire maydens, that she thider with hire ladde, He rose, to wenden on his pilgrimage

Ful redily with hem the fire they hadde, Unto the blissful Citherea benigne,

Th'encense, the clothes, and the remenant all I mene Venus, honourable and digne.

That to the sacrifice longen shall, And in bire houre, he walketh forth a pas

The hornes ful of mede, as was the gise, l'nto the listes, ther hire temple was.

Ther lahked nought to don hire sacrifise. And doun he kneleth, and with humble chero Smoking the temple, ful of clothes fayro, And herte core, he sayde as ye shul here.

This Emelie with herte debonaire " Fayrest of fayre, o lady inin Venus,

Hire body wesshe with water of a well. Daughter to Jove, and spouse of Vulcanus,

But how she did hire rite I dare not tell; Thou glader of the mount of Citheron,

But it be any thing in general; For thilke love thou haddest to Adon

And yet it were a game to heren all; Have pitee on my bitter teres smert,

To him that meneth wel it n'cre no charge: And take myn humble prajer at thin herte. But it is good a man to ben at large. - Alas! I pe have no langage to tell

Hire bright here kembed was, untressed all. The effecte, ne the torment of inin Hell;

A coroune of a grene oke cerial Min herte may min harmes not bewrey:

Upon hire hed was set ful fayre and mete.
I am so confuse, that I cannot say.

Two fires on the auter gan she bete,
But mercy, lady bright, that knowest wele And did hire thinges, as men may behold
My thought, and seest what harmes that I felc, In Stace of Thebes, and these bokes old.
Consider all this, and rue upon my sore,

Whan kindled was the fire, with pitous chere As wisly as I shall for evermore

Unto Diane she spake, as ye may here. Emforth my might thy trewe servant be,

“O chaste goddesse of the wodes grene, And holden werre alway with chastite:

To whom both Heven and erthe and see is bene, That make I min avow, so ye me helpe.

Quene of the regne of Pluto, derke and lowe, I kepe nought of armes for to yelpe,

Goddesse of maydens, that min herte hast knowe Ne axe I nat to-morwe to have victorie,

Ful many a yere, and wost what I desire, Ne renoun in this cas, ne vaine glorie

As kepe me fro thy vengeance and thin ire, Of pris of armes, blowen up and doun,

That Atteon aboughte cruelly: But I wold have fully possessioun

Chaste goddesse, wel wotest thou that I
Of Emelie, and die in hire servise;

Desire to ben a mayden all my lif,
Find thou the manere how, and in what wise. Ne never wol I be no love ne wif.
I rekke not, but it may better be,

I am (thou wost) yet of thy compagnie,
To have victorie of hem, or they of me,

A mayde, and love hunting and venerie, So that I have my lady in min armes.

And for to walken in the wodes wilde, For though so be that Mars is god of armes, And not to ben a wif, and be with childe, Your vertue is so grete in lleven above,

Nought wol I knowen compagnie of man. That if you like, I shal wel have my love.

Now help inc, lady, sith ye may and can,

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