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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
Unto 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 That dwelleth other in wood, or in forest,
As wel by werke as by auctoritee, That n'olde han wept, if that he wepen coude, For gentil herte kitheth gentilesse. For sorwe of hire, she shright alway so loude. I se wel that ye have on my distresse For ther was never yet no man on live,
Compassion, my faire Canace! If that he coude a faucon wel descrive,
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,
a This faire kinges daughter Canace,
Min harme I wol confessen er 1 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 hire 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, Lato 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, Far 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 harme 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. Mote 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, Ot what may be your helpe? for west ne est, And in this wise he served his entent, Ne saw I never, er now, no brid ne best,
That, save the fend, non wiste what he ment;
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,
In which were peinted all thise false foules, Right so fare I; and, therfore, I you pray
Gideth my song that I shal of you say."
Ther was in Asie, in a gret citee,
Amonges Cristen folk a Jewerie, I wol no more, as now, speke of hire ring,
Sustened by a lord (of that contree) Til it come eft to purpos for to sain,
For foul usure and lucre of vilanie, How that this faucon gat hire love again
Hateful to Crist and to his compagnie, Repentant, as the story telleth us,
And thurgh the strete men mighten ride and wende, By mediation of Camballus,
For it was free, and open at eyther ende. The kinges sone, of which that I you told.
A litel scole of Cristen folk there stood But hennesforth I wol my processe hold
Doun at the ferther end, in which ther were To speke of avantures, and of batailles,
Children an hepe, comen of Cristen blood, That yet was never herd so gret mervailles. That lerned in that scole yere by yere First, wol I tellen you of Cambuscan,
Swiche manere doctrine as men used there; That in his time many a citee wan:
This is to say, to singen and to rede, And, after, wol I speke of Algarsif,
As smale children don in hir childhede. How that he wan Theodora to his wif;
Among thise children was a widewes sone, For whom ful oft in gret peril he was,
A litel clergion, sevene yere of age, Ne had he ben holpen by the hors of bras:
That day by day to scole was his wone;
And, eke also, wheras he sey the image
As him was taught, to knele adoun, and say
Ave Marie as he goth by the way.
Our blissful Lady, Cristes moder dere,
For sely childe wol alway sone lere.
But, ay, whan I remembre on this matere, * O Lord our Lord! thy name how merveillous
Saint Nicholas stant ever in my presence, Is in this large world yspread!" (quod she)
For he so yong to Crist did reverence. * For, not al only, thy laude precious
This litel childe his litel book lerning, Parfourmed is by men of dignitee;
As he sate in the scole at his primere, But by the mouth of children thy bountee
He Alma Redemptoris herde sing Parfourmed is, for on the brest souking
As children lered hir antiphonere: Somtime shewen they thin herying.
And as he dorst, he drew him nere and nere, “ Wherfore in laude, as I can best and may,
And herkened, ay, the wordes and the note, Of thee and of the white lily flour
Til he the firste vers coude al by rote. Which that thee bare, and is a maide alway
Nought wist he what this Latin was to say, To tell a storie I wol do my labour;
For he so yonge and tendre was of age;
But on a day his felaw gan he pray
To expounden him this song in his langage,
Or telle him why this song was in usage:
This prayde he him to construe and declare,
His felaw, which that elder was than he,
Was maked of our blissful Lady fre,
Hire to salue, and eke hire for to pray
To ben our help, and socour, whan we dey.
I can no more expound in this matere;
I lerne song; I can but smal gramere."
“ And is this song maked in reverence
Of Cristes moder?" said this innocent;
“ Now, certes, I wil don my diligence
To conne it all, or Cristemasse be went,
Though that I for my primer shal be shent,
And shal be beten thries in an houre,
I wol it conne our Ladie for to honoure.”
His felaw taught him homeward, prively,
Fro day to day, til he coude it by rote,
And than he song it, wel and boldely,
Fro word to word according with the note:
As I have said, thurghout the Jewerie
Our firste fo, the serpent Sathanas,
From thennesforth the Jewes han conspired,
I say that in a wardrope they him threwe,
O martyr souded in virginitee!
This poure widewe awaiteth al that night
With modres pitee in hire brest enclosed
She freyneth, and she praieth pitously
O grete God, that parformest thy laude
of chastitee, this emeraude,
The Cristen folk that thurgh the strete wente,
This child with pitous lamentation
With turment, and with shameful deth, eche on This provost doth thise Jewes for to sterve, That of this morder wiste; and that anon: He n'olde no swiche cursednesse observe: Evil shal he have, that evil wol deserve. Therfore, with wilde hors he did hem drawe; And, after that, he heng hem by the lawe.
Upon his bere ay lith this innocent
This abbot, which that was an holy man,
“ My throte is cut unto my nekke bon;"
“ This welle of mercie, Cristes moder swete,
" Wherfore I sing; and sing I mote, certain,
This holy monk, this abbot him mene I,
His tonge out caught, and toke away
Which (as me thought) was a right pleasaunt sight; And he yave up the gost ful softely.
And eke the birdes songes for to here, And whan this abbot had this wonder sein,
Would have rejoiced any erthly wight, His salte teres trilled adoun as reyne:
And I, that couth not yet in no manere And groff he fell, al platte upon the ground; Heare the nightingale of all the yere, And still he lay, as he had ben y bound.
Full busily herkned, with hert and ere,
If I her voice perceve coud any where.
I found, that gretly had not used be ;
For it forgrowen was with gras and wede, Enclosed they his litel body swete.
That well unnethes a wight might it se; Ther he is now, God lene us for to mete.
Thought I, this path some whider goth, parde ; Oyonge Hew of Lincoln! slain also
And so I followed, till it me brought
To a right pleasaunt herber wel ywrought,
Which that benched was, and with turfes new That of his mercy God so merciable
Freshly turved; whereof the grene gras, On us his grete mercie multiplie
So small, so thick, so short, so fresh of hew,
That most like to grene woll, wot I, it was.
With sicamor was set, and eglatere
That every braunch and lefe grew by mesure
Plain as a bord, of an height by and by ;When shoures sote of raine descended soft,
I se never a thing (I you ensure) Causing the ground, fele times and oft,
So well ydone; for he that toke the cure Up for to give many an wholesome air;
It for to make, (I trowe) did all his peine And every plain was yclothed faire
To make it pass all tho that men have seine.With newe grene; and maketh smale flours
And shapen was this herber, rofe and all, To springen here and there in field and mede,
As is a pretty parlour; and also, So very gode and wholesom be the shoures,
The hegge as thick as is a castel wall, That they renewen that was old and dede
That who that list, without, to stand or go, In winter time; and out of every sede
Thogh he wold all day pryen to and fro, Springeth the herbe; so that every wight
He should not se if there were any wight Of this seson wexeth right glad and light.
Within or not; but one within, wel might And I so glade of the seson swete;
Perceve all tho that yeden there without Was happid thus: Upon a certain night
Into the field, that was, on every side, As I lay in my bed, slepe full unmete
Covered with corn and grass, that, out of doubt, Was unto me,,but why that I ne might
Tho one would seken all the worlde wide, Rest, I ne wist; for there n'as erthly wight
So rich a felde could not be espyde, (As I suppose) had more of hertes ese
Upon no cost, as of the quantity; Than I, for I n'ad sicknesse nor disese ;
For of alle gode thing there was plenty. Wherefore I mervaile gretly of my self,
And I, that all this pleasaunt sighte se, That I so long withouten slepe lay,
Thought sodainly I felt so swete an air And up I rose thre houres after twelfe,
Of the eglentere; that, certainly, About the springing of the gladsome day,
There is no hert (I deme) in such dispair; And on I put my gear, and mine array,
Ne yet with thoughtes froward and contraire And to a pleasaunt grove I gan to pas,
So overlaid, but it should sone have bote, Long or the bright sonne uprisen was,
If it had ones felt this savour sote.
And as I stode, and cast aside mine eye,
As full of blossomes as it might be ;
Fro bough to bough, and, as him list, he ete Some very rede, and some a glad light grene.
Here and there of buddes and floures swete.