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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 word, 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 bertes 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
The goldfinch, eke, that fro the medlar tre
“ Now, fair Madam!” (quod 1) “ yet woud I pray
Sith your desire is gode and debonaire:
I drest me forth; and happed mete, anon,
“ Madame!” (quoth I) “ if that I durst enquere
“ Eke there be Knightes old of the Garter,
“ For one Lefe given of that noble tre
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, Into hire hond the branch she beareth this, That agnus castus men call properly; And all the ladies, in hire company, * 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, in hir time, that no one might hem withstonde.
“ And as for hire that crouned is in grene,
“ And for the great delite, and the plesaunce,
“ 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." 6 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 ersmetrike 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,
But yet had I foryetten to devise
First in the temple of Venus maist thou see
6 For here I may no lenger now abide,
And put all that I had sene in writing,
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. 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 fiers corage,
The naile ydriven in the shode on hight, The riche Cresus caitis 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, 151 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 last. 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, Upon his shoulders winges had he two;
That forgeth sharpe swerdes on his stith.
And all above depeinted in a tour
Why shulde I not as wel eke tell you all With thilke sharp swerd over his hed
Yhanging by a subtil twined thred.
All be that thilke time they were unborne,
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 loked grim as he were wood, And dounward from an hill under a bent,
And over his hed ther shinen two figures
Of sterres, that ben eleped in scriptures,
With eyen red, and of a man he ete:
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, Yclenched 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 shene.
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 pikepurse, and eke the pale drede;
Thus was it peinted, I can say no ferre;
Hire sone is eke a sterre as men may see.
I mene not hire the goddesse Diane,
Ther saw I Atteon an hart ymaked,
Everich after his opinion. For vengeance that he saw Diane all naked:
There maist thou se coming with Palamon I saw how that his houndes have him caught, Licurge himself, the grete king of Trace: And freten him, for that they knew him naught. Blake was his berd, and manly was his face. Yet peinted was a litel forthermore,
The cercles of his eyen in his hed Ilow Athalante hunted the wilde bore,
They gloweden betwixen yelwe and red,
And like a griffon loked he about.
His limmes gret, his braunes hard and stronge, The which me liste not drawen to memorie.
His shouldres brode, his armes round and longe. This goddesse on an hart ful heye sete,
And as the guise was in his contree, With smale houndes all about hire fete,
Ful highe upon a char of gold stood he, And undernethe hire feet she hadde a mone,
With four white bolles in the trais. Wexing it was, and shulde wanen sone.
Instede of cote-armure on his harnais, In gaudy grene hire statue clothed was,
With nayles yelwe, and bright as any gold, With bow in hond, and arwes in a cas.
He hadde a beres skin, cole-blake for old. Hire eyen caste she ful low adoun,
His longe here was kempt behind his bak, Ther Pluto hath his derke regioun.
As any ravenes fether it shone for blake. A woman travailling was hire beforne,
A wreth of gold arın-gret, of huge weight, But for hire childe so long was unborno
Upon his hed sate full of stones bright,
Of fine rubins and of diamants.
Twenty and mo, as gret as any stere,
To hunten at the leon or the dere, Now hen these listes made, and Theseus
And folwed him, with mosel fast ybound, That at his grete cost arraied thus
Colered with gold, and torettes filed round. The temples, and the theatre everidel,
An hundred lordes had he in his route Whan it was don, him liked wonder wel.
Armed ful wel, with hertes sterne and stoute. But stint I wol of Theseus a lite,
With Arcita, in stories as men find, And speke of Palamon and of Arcite.
The gret Emetrius the king of Inde, The day approcheth of hir returning,
Upon a stede bay, trapped in stele, That everich shuld an hundred knightes bring,
Covered with cloth of gold diapred wele, The bataille to darreine, as I you told;
Came riding like the god of armes Mars. And til Athenes, hir covenant for to hold,
His cote-armure was of a cloth of Tars, Ilath everich of hem brought an hundred knightes,
Couched with perles, white, and round and grete. Wel armed for the werre at alle rightes.
His sadel was of brent gold new ybete; And sikerly ther trowed many a man,
A mantelet upon his shouldres hanging That neyer, sithen that the world began,
Bret-ful of rubies red, as fire sparkling. As for to speke of knighthood of hir hond,
His crispe here like ringes was yronne, As fer as God hath maked see and lond,
And that was yelwe, and glitered as the Sonne. N'as, of so fewe, so noble a compagnie.
His nose was high, his eyen bright citrin, For every wight that loved chevalrie,
His lippes round, his colour was sanguin,
A fewe fraknes in his face ysprent,
And as a leon he his loking caste.
Of five and twenty yere his age I caste. Ye knowen wel, that every lusty hnight,
His berd was wel begonnen for to spring; That loveth par amour, and hath his might, His vois was as a trompe thondering. Were it in Englelond, or elleswher,
Upon his hed he wered of laurer grene They wold, hir thankes, willen to be ther,
A gerlond freshe and lusty for to sene. To fight for a lady, a! benedicite,
Upon his hond he bare for his deduit It were a lusty sighte for to se.
An egle tame, as any lily whit. And right so ferden they with Palamon.
An hundred lordes had he with him there, With him ther wenten knightes many on.
All armed save hir hedes in all hire gere, Som wel ben armed in an habergeon,
Ful richely in alle manere thinges. And in a brest plate, and in a gipon ;
For trusteth wel, that erles, dukes, kinges, And som wol have a pair of plates large;
Were gathered in this noble compagnie, And som wol have a Pruce shield, or a targe; For love, and for encrease of chevalrie. Some wol ben armed on his legges wele,
About this king ther ran on every part And have an axe, and som a mace of stele.
Ful many a tame leon and leopart. Ther n'is no newe guise, that it n'as old.
And in this wise, these lordes all and some Armed they weren, as I have you told,
Ben on the Sonday to the citce come
Abouten prime, and in the town alight.
This Theseus, this duk, this worthy knight, Whan he had brought hem into his citce, And inned hem, everich at his degree, He festeth hem, and doth so gret labour To esen hem, and don hem all honour, That yet men wenen that no mannes wit Of non estat ne coud amenden it. The minstralcie, the service at the feste, The grete yeftes to the most and leste, The riche array of Theseus paleis, Ne who sate first, ne last upon the deis, What ladies fayrest ben or best dancing, Or which of hem can carole best or sing, Ne who most felingly speketh of love; What haukes sitten on the perche above, What houndes liggen on the floor adoun, Of all this now make I no mentioun ; But of the effect; that thinketh me the beste; Now cometh the point, and herkeneth if you leste. The Sonday night, or day began to spring, Whan Palamon the larke herde sing, Although it n'ere not day by houres two, Yet sang the larke, and Palamon right tho With holy herte, and with an high corage He rose, to wenden on his pilgrimage Unto the blissful Citherea benigne, I mene Venus, honourable and digne. And in hire houre, he walketh forth a pas Unto the listes, ther hire temple was. And doun he kneleth, and with humble chere And herte sore, he sayde as ye shul here. “Fayrest of fayre, o lady min Venus, Daughter to Jove, and of Vulcanus, spouse Thou glader of the mount of Citheron, For thilke love thou haddest to Adon Have pitee on my bitter teres smert, And take myn humble praier at thin herte.
"Alas! I ne have no langage to tell The effecte, ne the torment of min Hell; Min herte may min harmes not bewrey: I am so confuse, that I cannot say. But mercy, lady bright, that knowest wele My thought, and seest what harmes that I fele, Consider all this, and rue upon my sore, As wisly as I shall for evermore Emforth my might thy trewe servant be, And holden werre alway with chastite: That make I min avow, so ye me helpe. I kepe nought of armes for to yelpe, Ne axe I nat to-morwe to have victorie, Ne renoun in this cas, ne vaine glorie Of pris of armes, blowen up and doun, But I wold have fully possessioun
Of Emelie, and die in hire servise;
Thy temple wol I worship evermo,
Up rose the Sonne, and up rose Emelie,
Th' encense, the clothes, and the remenant all
And yet it were a game to heren all;
Upon hire hed was set ful fayre and mete.
Whan kindled was the fire, with pitous chere Unto Diane she spake, as ye may here.
"O chaste goddesse of the wodes grene, To whom both Heven and erthe and see is sene, Quene of the regne of Pluto, derke and lowe, Goddesse of maydens, that min herte hast knowe Ful many a yere, and wost what I desire, As kepe me fro thy vengeance and thin ire, That Atteon aboughte cruelly: Chaste goddesse, wel wotest thou that I Desire to ben a mayden all my lif, Ne never wol I be no love ne wif. I am (thou wost) yet of thy compagnie, A mayde, and love hunting and venerie, And for to walken in the wodes wilde, And not to ben a wif, and be with childe, Nought wol I knowen compagnie of man. Now help me, lady, sith ye may and can,