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That juel thenne in gemmez gente 1
Vered up her vyse 2 with yghen : graye,
Set on hyr coroun of perle orient,
And soberly after thenne con ho say: 4
“Syr, ye haf your tale myse-tente,
To say your perle is al awaye,
That is in cofer, so comly clente,
As in this gardyn gracios gaye,

260 Here-inne to lenge 7 for-ever and play, Ther mys nee mornyng & com never

Her were a forser for the, in faye,
If thou were a gentyl jueler.

That jewel in gems so wondrous wrought
Up lifted her face with eyes of grey,
Set on her crown of pearls far-sought,
And soberly after began to say:
"Oh, sir, your mind is all distraught
To say that your pearl hath passed away,
That into so comely a coffer is brought
As in this garden gracious-gay,

260 Herein to dwell for ever and play, Where moan or mourning none shall

Here were a casket for thee, in fay,
If thou, my jeweller, wert kind.

XXIII "Bot, jueler gente, if thou schal lose Thy joy for a gemme that the wacz lef,10 Me thynk the put 11 in a mad porpose, And busyez the aboute a raysoun bref ; 12 For that thou lestez 13 wacz bot a rose, That flowred and fayled as kynde 14 hit gef; Now thurgh kynde 14 of the kyste 15 that hyt con 16 close,

271 To a perle of prys hit is put in pref; 17

And thou hacz called thy wyrde 18 a thef,
That oght of noght hacz mad the cler; 19
Thou blamez the bote 20 of thy meschef,
Thou art no kynde jueler.”

“But, jeweller gentle, if thus is crossed
Thy joy for a gem that was dear to thee,
Methinks thou art by madness tossed,
O’er a trifle to fret so busily;
It was only a rose that thou hast lost,
Which flowered and faded naturally; 270
By charm of the chest that it embossed
It was changed to a pearl of price, dost see?

Thou callest a thief thy destiny,
That aught of naught has made thee.

Thou blam'st of thy hurt the remedy;
My jeweller, thou art not kind !”

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“O maskelez 21 perle, in perlez pure,
That berez," quod I, "the perle of prys,
Quo 22 formed the thy fayre fygure?
That wroght thy wede,23 he wacz ful wys;
Thy beaute com never of nature;
Pymalyon paynted never thy vys; 24 750
Ne Arystotel nawther by hys lettrure
Of carped the kynde these propertez.25

Thy colour passez the flour-de-lys,
Thyn angel-havynge so clene cortez ; 26
Breve 27 me, bryght, quat-kyn offys
Berez the perle so maskellez."

LXIII “O spotless pearl, in pearls so pure, That the priceless pearl," quoth I, dost bear, Who formed for thee thy beauty's lure, Or wrought thee the weeds that thou dost wear? Nature was never so cunning, sure; Pygmalion to paint thee would never dare; Aristotle, for all his literature,

751 Could never recount thy virtues rare;

Than the fleur de lys thou art more fair,
In gracious bearing the angels' mate.
Tell me what troth in heaven there
Is pledged to the pearl immaculate?”


beautiful 2 lifted her face 3 eyes 4 she said 5 distorted 6 set ? remain & where lack nor mourning jewel-box 10 was dear to thee 11 I regard thee as put 12 small affair 13 didst lose 14 nature 15 chest 1e did 17 put in proof = turned 18 fate 19 that has

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"My maskelez Lambe that al may bete,"1
Quod scho, 2 "my dere destyne,
Me ches 3 to hys make,4 al-thagh unmete.
Sum tyme semed that assemble,

760 When I wente fro yor worlde wete; 5 He calde me to hys bonerte: 6 ‘Cum hyder to me, my lemman ? swete, For mote ne spot is non in the.'

He yef 8 me myght and also bewte;
In hys blod he wesch my wede 10
And coronde clene in vergynte,
And pyght me in perlez maskellez."

"My spotless Lamb, who far and wide
Heals all — my Master dear," quoth she,
"Me all unworthy chose for his bride;
Oh! long that waiting seemed to me,
When I from your damp world did glide!
He called me to his charity:
'Come hither, sweetheart, to my side,
For mote or spot is none in thee.'

Beauty and strength he gave to me,
In his blood he washed me, with sin

He crowned me clean in virginity,
And decked me with pearls immacu-



dese, 11


LXXXI “Motelez 12 may, so meke and mylde," Then sayde I to that lufly flor,13

962 "Bryng me to that bygly bylde, 14 And let me se thy blysful bor.” 15 That schene 16 sayde, that 17 God wyl

“Thou may not enter with-inne hys tor, 18
Bot of the Lombe I have the 19 aquylde 20
For a syght ther-of thurgh gret favor.

Ut-wyth 21 to se that clene cloystor,
Thou may; bot in-wyth 22 not a fote,
To strech in the strete thou hacz no

971 Bot thou wer clene with-outen mote.”

LXXXI "Spotless maid, so mild and meek," Then said I to that flower bright,

962 “Me to thy palace bring, and eke Of thy blissful bower give me sight.” Sweetly — God shield her! — did she speak: “That tower may enter no earthly wight; But of the Lamb did I favour seek That thou from afar shouldst see its light;

From without that cloister see aright
Thou mayest indeed; but within,

step not;
To walk in the street thou hast no

might, Unless thou wert clean, without a spot."



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XCVI The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene; Thagh he were hurt and wounde hade, In his sembelaunt 24 wacz never sene; So wern his glentez 25 gloryous glade. I loked among his meyny schene,26 How thay wyth lyf wern laste and lade, Then sagh I ther my lyttel quene, That I wende 2% had standen by me in sclade. 29

Lorde ! much of mirthe wacz that ho 30

Among her ferez 31 that wacz so quyt ! 32
That syght me gart 33 to think to wade,
For luf-longyng in gret delyt. 1152

XCVI The Lamb lacked no delight, I ween; I141 Hurt though he was, by wounds betrayed, In his semblance this was no whit seen; So did his glorious looks persuade. I looked among his comrades clean, How brimming life upon them he laid. Then saw I there my little queen, That I thought stood near me in the glade.

Lord ! much of mirth was that she

made, Among her sisters all so white ! That vision moved me to think to wade,

For love-longing in great delight. 1152 tained 21 from without 22 within 23 wished to doubt

appearance 25 looks 26 beautiful company supplied and laden 28 thought 29 valley 30 she companions 32 white 33 caused




1 amend 2 said she 3 chose * mate 5 wet goodness 7 sweetheart 8 gave also 10 garment dais 12 spotless

flower great building 16 beautiful one 17 whom 18 tower 19 for thee 20 ob



15 bower



XCVII Delyt me drof in yghel and ere; My manez ? mynde to maddyng malte.3 Quen I segh my frely, I wolde be there, By-yonde the water thagh ho 6 were walte.? I thoght that no-thyng myght me dere, To fech me bur and take me halte; o And to start in the strem schulde non me

stere, 10 To swymme the remnaunt, thagh I ther

swalte; 11 Bot of that munt 12 I wacz bi-talt ;13 1161 When I schulde start in the strem

astraye, Out of that caste 14 I wacz by-calt; 15 Hit wacz not at my pryncez paye. 16

Hit payed 17 hym not that I' so flonc 18
Over mervelous merez,19 so mad arayde;
Of raas 20 thagh I were rasch and ronk, 21
Yet rapely 22 ther-inne I wacz restayed;
For ryght as I sparred un-to the bonc,
That bratthe 23 out of my drem me brayde;
Then wakned I in that erber wlonk, 25 1171
My hede upon that hylle wacz layde

Ther as my perle to grounde strayd;
I raxled 26 and fel in gret affray, 27
And sykyng 2 to myself I sayd :
“Now al be to that pryncez paye."

XCVII Delight me drove in eye and ear; My earthly mind was maddened nigh. When I saw my darling, I would be near, Beyond the water that she stood by: “Nothing," methought, "can harm me here, Deal me a blow and low make lie; To wade the stream have I no fear, Or to swim the deeps, though I should die."

But from that purpose withheld was I;
As unto the stream I started still,
Clean from that plan I was turned

It was not at my Prince's will.


XCVIII It pleased him not I should pass quite, O'er marvellous meres, so mad arrayed; Though in my rush I had strength and might, Yet hastily therein I was stayed; For as I strove to the bank aright, My haste me of my dream betrayed; 1170 Then waked I in that arbor bright, My head upon that mound was laid

Where my own pearl to ground had

strayed. I roused me, with many a fear a-thrill, And sighing to myself I said: “Now all be at that Prince's will."



JOHN GOWER (1325 ?-1408)


Jason, which sih 4 his fader old,
Upon Medea made him bold
Of art magique, which sche couthe,29
And preith hire that his fader 30 youthe
Sche wolde make ayeinward 31 newe.
And sche, that was toward him trewe, 3950
Behihte 32 him that sche wolde it do
Whan that sche time sawh * therto.
Bot 33 what sche dede in that matiere
It is a wonder thing to hiere,
Bot yit for the novellerie 34
I thenke tellen a partie. 35

1 eye 2 man's 3 melted 4 saw 5 gracious one 6 she 7 kept & injure 9 to fetch me an assault and take me lame 19 prevent 11 perished 12 purpose 13 shaken 14 intention 15 recalled 16 pleasure 17 pleased

Jason, who saw his father old,
Upon Medea made so bold
Of magic art she knew, in sooth-
And prays her that his father's youth
She would bring back again as new.
And she, that was to him full true,
Promised him that she would it do
When that she saw her time thereto.
But how she wrought this for his cheer
It is a wondrous thing to hear,
Yet for the novelty of it
I think to tell you just a bit.

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23 haste



18 should fling 19 waters onset strong 22 quickly

moved 25 fair 26 roused fear 23 sighing 29 knew 30 father's 31 again 52 promised but 34 novelty 35 part





Thus it befell upon a nyht Whan ther was noght bot sterreliht, Sche was vanyssht riht as hir liste, 2 That no wyht bot hirself it wiste, And that was ate 3 mydnyht tyde. The world was stille on every side; With open 4 hed and fot al bare, Hir her tosprad, sche gan to fare; Upon hir clothes gertsche was; Al specheles and on the gras Sche glod & forth as an addre doth Non otherwise sche ne goth Til sche cam to the freisshe flod, And there a while sche withstod.' 3970 Thries sche torned hire aboute, And thries ek sche gan doun loute 10 And in the flod sche wette hir her, And thries on the water ther Sche gaspeth with a drecchinge 11 onde,12 And tho 13 sche tok hir speche on honde. Ferst sche began to clepe 14 and calle Upward unto

the sterres alle, To Wynd, to Air, to See, to Lond Sche preide, and ek hield up hir hond To Echates 15 and gan to crie, Which is godesse of sorcerie. Sche seide, "Helpeth at this nede, And as ye maden me to spede,16 Whan Jason cam the Flees 17 to seche, So help me nou, I you beseche." With that sche loketh and was war, Doun fro the sky ther cam a char,19 The which dragouns aboute drowe. And tho 13 sche gan hir hed doun bowe, And up sche styh,20 and faire and wel 3991 Sche drof forth bothe char and whel Above in thair 21 among the skyes.22 The lond of Crete and tho parties 23 Sche soughte, and faste gan hire hye,24 And there upon the hulles 25 hyhe Of Othrin and Olimpe also, And ek of othre hulles mo, Sche fond and gadreth herbes suote. 26 Sche pulleth up som be the rote, 4000 And manye with a knyf sche scherth,27 And alle into hir char sche berth.28

Thus it befell upon a night,
When there was nought but starry light,
She stole away right as she list,
So that none but herself it wist,
And that was at the midnight tide,
The world was still on every side.
With head uncovered, feet all bare,
Her hair unbound, she gan to fare;
High up her clothes she girded has;
And, speechless, forth upon the

She glided as an adder does
And in no other wise she goes -
Till she came to the flowing flood,
And there a while full still she stood.

Three times about she turned her now,
And thrice also she low did bow,
And in the flood she wet her hair,
And thrice upon the water there
She with a troubling breath blew fast,
And then unto her speech she passed.
First she began to cry and call
Unto the stars of heaven all;
To Wind, to Air, to Sea, to Land
She prayed there, holding up her hand, 3980
And unto Hecate did she cry,
Who goddess is of sorcery.
She said: “Oh, help me in this need,
And as ye once made me to speed,
When Jason came, the Fleece to seek,
So now your aid I do bespeak.”
With that she looked and saw on high
A chariot gliding from the sky,
Which, dragons drawing, downward sped,
And then she bowed adown her head, 3990
And up she rose, drove well and fair
Both car and wheel on through the air,
Above and through the clouds of sky.
The land of Crete and parts near by
She sought, and fast began her hie;
And there upon the mountains high
Of Othrim and Olympus too,
And other mountains eke thereto,
She found and gathers herbs of boot.
She pulleth some up by the root, 4000
And many with a knife she shears,
And all unto her car she bears.
Thus when she hath the mountains sought,
The rivers there forgot she not;
Eridian and Amphrisos,



Thus whan sche hath the hulles sought, The flodes 29 ther forgat 30 sche nought, Eridian and Amphrisos,

1 starlight ? as it pleased her 3 at the 4 uncovered 5 her hair unbound girded ? Gower often gives and a strange position in the sentence; we should place it before al. 8 glided stood still

10 bow 11 troubling 12 breath 13 then 14 cry Hecate 16 succeed 17 fleece 18 aware 19 chariot 20 rose 21 the air 22 clouds 23 those parts 24 hasten 25 hills 26 sweet 27 cuts 28 bears, carries 29 rivers 30 forgot

Peneie and ek Spercheidos.
To hem sche wente and ther sche nom 1
Bothe of the water and the fom,
The sond and ek the smale stones,
Whiche-as sche ches 2 out for the nones ; 3
And of the Rede See a part

That was behovelich to hire art
Sche tok, and after that aboute
Sche soughte sondri sedes oute
In feldes and in many greves,
And ek a part sche tok of leves;
Bot thing which mihte hire most availe
Sche fond in Crete and in Thessaile.

In daies and in nyhtes nyne, With gret travaile and with gret pyne, 4020 Sche was pourveid of every piece, And torneth homward into Grece. Before the gates of Eson Hir char sche let awai to gon, And tok out ferst that was therinne; For tho sche thoghte to beginne Suche thing as semeth impossible, And made hirselven invisible, As sche that was with air enclosed And mihte of noman be desclosed. 4030 Sche tok up turves of the lond Withoute helpe of mannes hond, Al heled 5 with the grene gras, Of which an alter mad ther was Unto Echates, the goddesse Of art magique and the maistresse, And eft & an other to Juvente, As sche which dede hir hole entente.? Tho tok sche fieldwode and verveyne Of herbes ben noght betre tueine; 8 4040 Of which anon withoute let These alters ben aboute set. Tuo sondri puttes ! faste by Sche made, and with that hastely A wether which was blak sche slouh,10 And out ther-of the blod sche drouh 11 And dede 12 into the pettes ' tuo; Warm melk sche putte also therto With hony meynd ; 13 and in such wise Sche gan to make hir sacrifice.

4050 And cride and preide forth withal To Pluto, the god infernal, And to the queene Proserpine. And so sche soghte out al the line Of hem that longen to that craft, Behinde was no name laft,14

Peneie and eke Spercheidos.
To them she went and there took some
Both of the water and the foam,
The sand and eke the little stones,
Whereof she chose out special ones; 4010
And of the Red Sea too a part
That was behooveful for her art
She took, and, after that, about
She sought there sundry seeds then out
In many a wood and many a field;
Their leaves she made the trees to yield;
But that which best her need did meet
She found in Thessaly and Crete.'

Nine days and nights had passed before,
With labour great and pain full sore, 4020
She was purveyed with every piece,
And turneth homeward unto Greece.
At Eson's gates then did she stay,
And let her chariot go away;
But took out first what was therein,
For then her plan was to begin
Such things as seemed impossible,
And made herself invisible,
As she that was with air enclosed
And might to no man be disclosed.

4030 She took up turfs from off the land, Without the help of human hand, All covered with the growing grass, Of which an altar made she has To Hecate, who was the goddess Of magic art and the mistress, And still another to Juvente, As one fulfilling her intent. Then took she wormwood and vervain Of herbs there be no better twain; 4040 With which anon, without delay, She set these altars in array. Two sundry pits quite near thereby She made, and with that hastily, A wether which was black she slew, And out thereof the blood she drew, And cast in the pits without ado; And warm milk added she thereto With honey mixed; and in such wise Began to make her sacrifice.

4050 And cried and prayed aloud also To Pluto, god of all below, And to the queen's self, Proserpine. And so she sought out all the line Of those that to that craft belong Forgot she none of all the throng

10 slew 11 drew 12 put 13 mixed 14 left

1 took 2 chose 3 for the purpose 4 groves 5 covered 6 again ? entire purpose 8 twain, two 'pits


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