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And every gras that groweth upon rote
It were right good that al swiche thing were know.” She shal eke know; and whom it wol do bote, Another rowned to his felaw low, Al be his woundes never so depe and wide. And sayd: "He lieth, for it is rather like
“ This naked swerd, that hangeth by my side, An apparence ymade by some magike, Swiche vertue hath, that what man that it smite As jogelours plaien at thise festes grete." Thurghout his armure it wol kerve and bite, Of sondry doutes thus they jangle and trete, Were it as thick as is a braunched oke;
As lewed peple demen comunly
Than they can in hir lewednesse comprehende,
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 answerd 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 laft
And saiden all, that swiche a wonder thing Til that the knight hath taught hem the manere
Of craft of ringes herd they never non,To 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. For it so high was, 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 says it was ylike the Pegasee,
Til he come to his 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, Myn herte," quod on,“ is evermore in drede; And loketh on hem with a frendly eye, 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,
And on the daunce he goth with Canace.
Repaireth to his revel, as beforne, Here is the revell and the jolitee,
The bridel is in to the tour y borne, That is not able a dull man to devise:
And kept among his jewels lefe and dere: He must han knowen Love and his service,
The hors vanisht, I n'ot in what manere, And ben a festlich man, as fresh as May,
Out of hir sight: ye get no more of me; That shulde you devisen swiche array.
But thus I lete, in lust and jolitee,
Til that wel nigh the day began to spring.
The norice of digestion, the slepe, Therfore I passe over all this lustyhed;
Gan on hem winke, and bad hem taken kepe I say no more, but in this jolinesse
That mochel drinke and labour wol have rest, I lete hem, til men to the souper hem dresse. And with a galping mouth hem all he kest The steward bit the spices for to bie,
And said that it was time to lie adoun, And eke the win, in all this melodie;
For blood was in his dominatioun: The ushers and the squierie ben gon;
Cherisheth blood, nature's frend, quod he. The spices and the win is come anon:
They thanken him galping, by two, by three; They ete and drinke, and whan this had an end And every wight gan drawe him to his rest, Unto the temple, as reson was, they wend:
As slepe him bade; they take it for the best. The service don, they soupen all by day.
Hir dremes shul not now be told for me; What nedeth you rehersen hir array ?
Ful were hir hedes of fumositee, Eche man wot wel that at a kinges feste
That causeth dreme, of which ther is no charge : Is plentee, to the most and to the lest,
They slepen, til that it was prime large, And deintees mo than ben in my knowing.
The moste parte, but it were Canace; At after souper goth this noble king
She was ful mesurable as women be. To seen the hors of bras, with all a route
For of hire father had she taken hire leve Of lordes and of ladies him aboute.
To gon to rest, sone after it was eve; Swiche wondring was ther on this hors of bras, Hire liste not appalled for to be, That sin the gret assege of Troye was,
Nor on the morwe unfestliche for to see, Ther as men wondred on an hors also,
And slept hire firste slepe and than awoke. Ne was ther swiche a wondring, as was,
For swiche a joy she in her herte toke But, finally, the king asketh the knight
Both of hire queinte ring, and of hire mirrour, The vertue of this courser, and the might,
That twenty time she chaunged hire colour; And praied him to tell his governaunce.
And in hire slepe right for the impression This hors, anon, gan for to trip and daunce, Of hire mirrour she had a vision ;Whan that the knight laid hond upon his rein; Wherfore, or that the sonne gan up glide, And said, “ Sire! ther n'is no more to sain, She clepeth upon hire maistresse hire beside, But whan you list to riden any where,
And saide that hire luste for to arise. Ye moten trill a pin, stant in his ere,
Thise olde women that ben gladly wise, Which I shal tellen you betwixt us two,
As is hire maistresse, answerd hire anon; Ye moten nempne him to what place also
And said: “ Madam! whider wol ye gon Or to what contree, that you list to ride.
Thus erly? for the folk ben all in rest.' “ And whan ye come ther as you list abide,
“I wol," quod she," arisen (for me lest Bid him descend, and trill another pin,
No longer for to slepe) and walken aboute.” (For therin tieth the effect of all the gin,)
Hire maistresse clepeth women a gret route, And he wol doun descend and don your will, And up they risen, wel a ten or twelve; And in that place he wol abiden still:
Up riseth freshe Canace hireselve, Though al the world had the contrary swore,
As rody and bright, as the yonge sonne, He shal not thennes be drawe ne be bore.
That in the Ram is four degrees yronne; Or if you list to bid him thennes gon,
No higher was he whan she redy was: Trille this pin, and he wol vanish anon
And forth she walketh esily a pas, Out of the sight of every maner wight,
Arrayed after the lusty seson sote And come agen, be it day or night,
Lightely for to playe, and walken on fote, Whan that you list to clepen him, again,
Nought but with five or sixe of hire meinie; In swiche a guise as I shal to you sain
And in a trenche forth in the park goth she. Betwixen you and me, and that ful sone.
The vapour, which that fro the erthe glode, Ride whan you list, ther n'is no more to done.” Maketh the sonne to seme rody and brode:
Enfourmed whan the king was of the knight, But, natheles, it was so faire a sight, And hath conceived in his wit aright
That it made all hir hertes for to light, The maner and the forme of all this thing,
What for the seson and the morwening Ful glad and blith, this noble doughty king
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
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, And many a yere his service to me fained, Til that min herte, to pitous and to nice, Al innocent of his crowned malice, For-fered of his deth, as thoughte me,Upon his othes, and his seuretee, Graunted him love on this conditioun, That evermo min honour and renoun . Were saved, both privee and apert;
This is to say, that after his desert,
I yave him all min herte and all my thought,
"This lasteth lenger than a yere or two, That I supposed of him nought but good; But finally, thus at the last it stood, That Fortune wolde that he muste twin Out of that place, which that I was in. Wher me was wo, it is no question; I cannot make of it description. For o thing dare I tellen boldely, I know what is the peine of deth therby; Swiche harme I felt, for he ne might byleve. "So on a day of me he toke his leve,
So sorweful eke, that I wend veraily,
As I best might I hid from him my sorwe,
"What he answerd, it nedeth not reherse; Who can say bet than he? who can Do werse? Whan he hath al well said, than hath he done. Therfore, behoveth him a full long spone That shal ete with a fend; thus herd I say.
"So at the last, he muste forth his way; And forth he fleeth, til he com ther him lest. Whan it came him to purpos for to rest, I trow that he had thilke text in mind, That alle thing repairing to his kind Gladeth himself; thus sain men, as I Men loven of propre kind newefangelnesse, As briddes don, that mer, in cages fede. For though thou night and day take of hem hede And strew hir cage faire and soft as silke, And give hem sugre, hony, bred, and milke,— Yet, right anon as that his dore is up, He with his feet wol spurnen doun his cup, And to the wood he wol, and wormes ete; So newefangel ben they of hir mete, And loven noveltees of propre kind; No gentillesse of blood ne may hem bind. "So ferd this tercelet, alas the day! Though he were gentil borne, and fresh, and gay, And goodly for to seen, and humble, and free. He sawe upon a time a kite flee; And, sodenly, he loved this kite so That all his love is clene from me ago; And hath his trouthe falsed in this wise, Thus hath the kite my love in her service, And I am lorn withouten remedy."
And with that word this faucon gan to cry, And swouneth eft in Canacees barme. Gret was the sorwe for that haukes harme, That Canace and all hire women made; They n'isten how they might the faucon glade. But Canace home bereth hire in hire lap, And softely in plastres gan hire wrap, Ther as she with hire bek had hurt hireselve. Now cannot Canace but herbes delve Out of the ground; and maken salves newe Of herbes precious and fine of hewe; To helen with this hauk, fro day to night She doth hire besinesse and all hire might. And by hire beddes hed, she made a mew, And covered it with velouettes blew, In signe of trouthe that is in woman sene; 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,