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And every gras that groweth upon rote
It were right good that al swiche thing were know.”
* This naked swerd, that hangeth by my side, An apparence ymade by some magike,
As lewed peple demen comunly
And som of hem wondred on the mirrour Ye moten, with the platte swerd, again
That born was up in to the maister tour, Stroken him in the wound, and it wol close. How men mighte in it swiche thinges see. This is the veray soth withouten glose:
Another answers and sayd: “ It might wel be It failleth not while it is in your hold.”
Naturelly by compositions
And sayd, that in Rome was swiche on.
And Aristotle; that writen, in hir lives, This knight is to his chambre ladde, anon, Of queinte mirrours and of prospectives, And is unarmed, and to the mete ysette.
As knowen they that han hir bookes herd. Thise presents ben, ful richelich yfette,
And other folk han wondred on the swerd This is to sain, the swerd and the mirrour;
That wolde percen thurghout every thing, And borne, anon, into the highe tour
And fell in speche of Telephus the king, With certain officers ordained therfore;
And of Achilles for his queinte spere, And unto Canace the ring is bore
For he coude with it bothe hele and dere, Solempnely, ther she sat at the table.
Right in swiche wise as men may with the swerd But, sikerly, withouten any fable,
Of which, right now, ye have yourselven herd. The hors of bras, that may not be remued ;
They speken of sondry harding of metall, It stant as it were to the ground yglued:
And speken of medicines therwithall, Ther may no man out of the place it drive
And how and whan it shuld yharded be, For non engine, of windas or polive;
Which is unknow algates unto me. And cause why, for they con not the craft,
Tho, speken they of Canacees ring, And therfore in the place they han it last
And saiden all, that swiche a wonder thing Til that the knight hath taught hem the manere
Of craft of ringes herd they never nonTo voiden him, as ye shul after here.
Save that he Moises, and King Salomon, Gret was the prees that swarmed to and fro
Hadden a name of conning in swiche art. To gauren on this hors that stondeth so;
Thus sain the peple, and drawen hem apart. and so brod and long,
But, natheles, som saiden that it was So wel proportioned for to be strong,
Wonder to maken of ferne ashen glas, Right as it were a stede of Lumbardie;
And yet is glas nought like ashen of ferne, Therwith so horsly, and so quik of eye,
But for they han yknowen it so, ferne, As it a gentil Poileis courser were;
Therforth ceseth hir jangling and hir wonder. For certes fro his tayl unto his ere
As sore wondren som on cause of thunder, Nature ne art ne coud him not amend
On ebbe and floud, on gossomer and on mist, In no degree, as all the peple wend.
And on all thing, til that the cause is wist. But evermore hir moste wonder was
Thus janglen they, and demen and devise, How that it coude gon, and was of bras;
Til that the king gan fro his bord arise. It was of Faerie, as the peple semed.
Phæbus hath left the angle meridional, Diverse folk diversely han demed ;
And yet ascending was the beste real, As many heds, as many wittes ben.
The gentil Leon, with his Aldrian, They murmured as doth a swarme of been,
Whan that this Tartre king, this Cambuscan, And maden skilles after hir fantasies,
Rose from his bord, ther as he sat ful hie: Rehersing of the olde poetries.
Beforne him goth the loude minstralcie, And sayd it was ylike the Pegasee,
Til he come to bis chambre of parements, The hors that hadde winges for to flee ;
Ther as they sounden divers instruments, Or, elles, it was the Grekes hors Sinon,
That it is like an heven for to here. That broughte Troye to destruction,
Now dauncen lusty Venus children dere ; As men moun in thise olde gestes rede.
For in the Fish hir lady set ful hie,
And loketh on hem with a frendly eye. “Myn herte," quod on, « is evermore in drede; I trow some men of armes ben therin,
This noble king is set upon his trone ; That shapen hem this citee for to win:
This straunge knight is fet to him, ful sone,
For it so high was,
Repaireth to his revel, as beforne,
And on the daunce he goth with Canace.
Here is the revell and the jolitee,
Who coude tellen you the forme of daunces
The steward bit the spices for to hie,
What nedeth you rehersen hir array ?
At after souper goth this noble king
This hors, anon, gan for to trip and daunce, Whan that the knight laid hond upon his rein; And said, “ Sire! ther n'is no more to sain, But whan you list to riden any where, Ye moten trill a pin, stant in his ere, Which I shal tellen you betwixt us two, Ye moten nempne him to what place also Or to what contree, that you list to ride.
“ And whan ye come ther as you list abide, Bid him descend, and trill another pin, (For therin lieth the effect of all the gin,) And he wol doun descend and don your will, And in that place he wol abiden still: Though al the world had the contrary swore, He shal not thennes be drawe ne be bore. Or if you list to bid him thennes gon, Trille this pin, and he wol vanish anon Out of the sight of every maner wight, And come agen, be it day or night, Whan that you list to clepen him, again, In swiche a guise as I shal to you sain Betwixen you and me,
and that ful sone. Ride whan you list, ther n'is no more to done."
Enfourmed whan the king was of the knight, And hath conceived in his wit aright The maner and the forme of all this thing, Ful glad and blith, this noble doughty king
They thanken him galping, by two, by three;
Hir dremes shul not now be told for me; Ful were hir hedes of fumositee, That causeth dreme, of which ther is no charge: They slepen, til that it was prime large, The moste parte, but it were Canace; She was ful mesurable as women be. For of hire father had she taken hire leve To gon to rest, sone after it was eve; Hire liste not appalled for to be, Nor on ihe morwe unfestliche for to see, And slept hire firste slepe and than awoke. For swiche a joy she in her herte toke Both of hire queinte ring, and of hire mirrour, That twenty time she chaunged hire colour; And in hire slepe right for the impression Of hire mirrour she had a vision ;Wherfore, or that the sonne gan up glide, She clepeth upon hire maistresse hire beside, And saide that hire luste for to arise.
bise olde women that ben gladly wise, As is hire maistresse, answerd hire anon; And said: “ Madam! whider wol ye gon Thus erly? for the folk ben all in rest.”
I wol,” quod she,“ arisen (for me lest No longer for to slepe) and walken aboute."
Hire maistresse clepeth women a gret route, And up they risen, wel a ten or twelve; Up riseth freshe Canace hireselve, As rody and bright, as the yonge sonne, That in the Ram is four degrees yronne; No higher was he whan she redy was: And forth she walketh esily a pas, Arrayed after the lusty seson sote Lightely for to playe, and walken on fote, Nought but with five or sixe of hire meinie; Aud in a trenche forth in the park goth she.
The vapour, which that fro the erthe glode, Maketh the sonne to seme rody and brode: But, natheles, it was so faire a sight, That it made all hir hertes for to light, What for the seson and the morwening And for the foules that she herd sing.
For, right anon, she wiste what they ment
That ferde with himself so pitously. Right by hir song, and knew all hir entent.
Ye sle me with your sorwe veraily, The knotte why that every tale is tolde
I have of you so gret compassioun. If it be taried til the lust be colde
For Goddes love, come fro the tree adoun, Of hem, that han it herkened after yore,
And as I am a kinges daughter trewe The savour passeth, ever lenger the more,
If that I veraily the causes knewe For fulsomnesse of the prolixitee;
Of your disese, if it lay in my might And, by that same reson, thinketh me
I wold amend it, or that it were night, I shuld unto the knotte condescende,
As wisly help me the gret God of kind.
And herbes shal I, right ynough, yfind,
Tho shright this faucon yet more pitously Ther sat a faucon over hir hed ful hie,
Than ever she did, and fell to ground, anon, That with a pitous vois so gan to crie,
And lithe aswoune, as ded as lith a ston, That all the wood resouned of hire cry,
Til Canace hath in hire lappe hire take And beten had hireself so pitously
C'nto that time she gan of swoune awake; With both hire winges, til the rede blood
And after that she out of swoune abraide, Ran endelong the tree ther as she stood;
Right, in hire haukes leden, thus she sayde: And ever in on, alway she cried and shright; “ That pitee renneth sone in gentil herte, And with hire bek hireselven she so twight; (Feling his similitude in peines smerte,) That ther n'is tigre, ne no cruel best,
Is proved alle day, as men may see
As wel by werke as by auctoritee,
Compassion, my faire Canace!
Of veray womanly benignitee, That herd of swiche another, of fayrenesse
That Nature in your principles hath set. As wel of plumage as of gentilesse,
But, for non hope for to fare the bet, Of shape; of all that might yrekened be.
But, for to obey unto your herte free, A faucon peregrine semed she
And for to maken other yware by me, Of fremde londe; and, ever, as she stood,
As by the whelpe chastised is the leon, She swouned, now and now, for lack of blood, Right for that cause and that conclusion, Til wel neigh is she fallen fro the tree.
While that I have a leiser and a space, This faire kinges daughter Canace,
Min harme I wol confessen er I pace.” That on hire finger bare the queinte ring,
And, ever, while that on hire sorwe told, Thurgh which she understood wel every thing That other wept, as she to water wold, That any foule may in his leden sain,
Til that the faucon bad hire to be still; And coude answere him in his leden again,
And, with a sike, right thus she said bire till: Hath understonden what this faucon seyd,
“ Ther I was bred, (alas that ilke day!) And wel neigh, for the routhe, almost she deyd; And fostred in a rocke of marble gray, And to the tree she goth ful hastily,
So tendrely, that nothing ailed me,
I ne wist not what was adversitee,
“ Tho dwelled a tercelet me faste by.
Al were he ful of treson and falsenesse. Til at the last she spake in this manere
It was so wrapped under humble chere, Unto the hauk, as ye shul after here.
And under hew of trouth in swiche manere, What is the cause if it be for to tell,
Under plesance, and under besy peine, That ye ben in this furial peine of hell ?"
That no wight coud have wend he coude feine; Quod Canace unto this hauk above;
So depe in greyn he died his coloures, "Is this for sorwe of deth, or losse of love?
Right as a serpent hideth him under floures, Par as I trow, thise be the causes two,
Til he may see his time for to bite; That causen most a gentil herte wo.
Right so, this god of loves hypocrite of other harine it nedeth not to speke,
Doth so his ceremonies and obeisance, Per ye yourself upon yourself awreke,
And kepeth in semblaunt alle his observance, Which preveth wel that other ire or drede
That souneth unto gentillesse of love. Mate ben enchesen of your cruel dede,
As on a tombe is all the faire above, Sin that I se non other wight you chace.
And under is the corps, swiche as ye wote, For the love of God, as doth yourselven grace;
Swiche was this hypocrite both cold and hote,
And in this wise he served his entent,
That, save the fend, non wiste what he meat;
Till he so long had weped and complained, So sorweful eke, that I wend veraily,
That he had felt as mochel harme as I,
Whan that I herd him speke and sawe his hewe: Al innocent of his crowned malice,
But, nathelesse, I thought he was so trewe, For-fered of his deth, as thoughte me,
And eke that he repairen shuld again, Upon his othes, and his seuretee,
Within a litel while, soth to sain,Graunted him love on this conditioun,
And reson wold, eke, that he muste go That evermo min honour and renoun
For his honour, as often happeth so,. Were saved, both privee and apert;
That I made vertue of necessitee,
And toke it wel, sin that it muste be.
And toke him by the hand, Seint John to borwe, And toke his herte in chaunge of min, for ay.
And said him thus: • Lo, I am youres all But soth is said, gon sithen is many a day,
Both swiche as I have ben to you and shall.' A trewe wight, and a theef, thinken not on.
“ What he answerd, it nedeth not reherse; “ And whan he saw the thing so fer ygon, Who can Say bet than he ? who can Do werse? That I had granted him fully my love,
Whan he hath al well said, than hath he done. In swiche a guise, as I have said above,
Therfore, behoveth him a full long spone And yeven him my trewe herte as free
That shal ete with a fend; thus herd I say. As he swore that he yaf his herte to me;
“ So at the last, he muste forth his way; Anon this tigre, ful of doublenesse,
And forth he fleeth, til he com ther him lest. Fell on his knees, with so gret humblesse,
Whan it came him to purpos for to rest, With so high reverence, as by his chere,
I trow that he had thilke text in mind, So like a gentil lover of manere,
That alle thing repairing to his kind So ravished, as it semed, for the joye,
Gladeth himself; thus sain men, as I gesse: That never Jason ne Paris of Troye,
Men loven of propre kind newefangelnesse, Jason! certes, ne never other man
As briddes don, that mer, in cages fede. Sin Lamech was, that alderfirst began
For though thou night and day take of hem hede To loven two, as writen folk beforne;
And strew hir cage faire and soft as silke, Ne never, sithen the first man was borne,
And give hem sugre, hony, bred, and milke,Ne coude man by twenty thousand part
Yet, right anon as that his dore is up, Contrefete the sophimes of his art;
He with his feet wol spurnen doun his cup, Ne were worthy to unbocle his galoche,
And to the wood he wol, and wormes ete;
And loven noveltees of propre kind;
No gentillesse of blood ne may hem bind. To any woman, were she never so wise,
“ So ferd this tercelet, alas the day! So painted he, and kempt at point devise,
Though he were gentil borne, and fresh, and gay, As wel his wordes, as his contenance:
And goodly for to seen, and humble, and free. And I so loved him for his obeisance,
He sawe upon a time a kite flee; And for the trouthe I demed in his herte,
And, sodenly, he loved this kite so That if so were that any thing him smerte,
That all his love is clene from me ago; Al were it never so lite, and I it wist,
And hath his trouthe falsed in this wise, Me thought I felt deth at myn herte twist.
Thus hath the kite my love in her service, And, shortly, so ferforth this thing is went,
And I am lorn withouten remedy." That my will was his willes instrument;
And with that word this faucon gan to cry, This is to say, my will obeid his will
And swouneth eft in Canacees barme. In alle thing, as fer as reson fill,
Gret was the sorwe for that haukes harme, Képing the boundes of my worship ever:
That Canace and all hire women made; Ne never had I thing so lefe, ne lever,
They n'isten how they might the faucon glade. As him, God wot, ne never shal no mo.
But Canace home bereth hire in hire lap, “ This lasteth lenger than a yere or two,
And softely in plastres gan hire wrap, That I supposed of him nought but good;
Ther as she with hire bek had hurt hireselve. But finally, thus at the last it stood,
Now cannot Canace but herbes delve That Fortune wolde that he muste twin
Out of the ground; and maken salves newe Out of that place, which that I was in.
Of herbes precious and fine of hewe; Wher me was wo, it is no question ;
To helen with this hauk, fro day to night I cannot make of it description.
She doth bire besinesse and all hire might. For o thing dare 1 tellen boldely,
And by hire beddes hed, she made a mew, I know what is the peine of deth therby;
And covered it with velouettes blew, Swiche harme I felt, for he ne might byleve. In signe of trouthe that is in woman sene ; " So on a day of me he toke his leve,
And, all without, the mew is peinted grene,
Right so fare l; and, therfore, I you pray Gideth my song that I shal of ychu say.”
In which were peinted all thise false foules,
Thus lete I Canace hire hauk keping.
First, wol I tellen you of Cambuscan,
[The rest is wanting.
THE PRIORESSES TALE.
“ Wherfore in laude, as I can best and may,
“O mother maide! O maide and mother fre!
- Lady! thy bountee, thy magnificence,
“ My couning is so weke, O blissful Quene!
Ther was in Asie, in a gret citee,
A litel scole of Cristen folk there stood
Among thise children was a widewes sone,
Thus hath this widewe hire litel sone ytaught
This litel childe his litel book lerning,
Nought wist he what this Latin was to say,
His felaw, which that elder was than he,
“ And is this song maked in reverence
His felaw taught him homeward, prively,