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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 maken of hire walking sone an ende.

And herbes shal I, right ynough, yfind,
Amidde a tree for-dry, as white as chalk, To helen with your hurtes, hastily.”
As Canace was playing in hire walk,

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,
And on this faucon loketh pitously,

I ne wist not what was adversitee,
And held hire lap abrode; for wel she wist Til I coud flee ful high under the skie.
The faucon muste fallen from the twist

“ Tho dwelled a tercelet me faste by.
Whan that she swouned next, for faute of blood. That semed welle of alle gentilesse,
A longe while to waiten hire she stode.

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,
And many a yere his service to me fained,

That he had felt as mochel harme as I,
Til that min herte, to pitous and to nice,

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,
This is to say, that after his desert,

And toke it wel, sin that it muste be.
I yave him all min herte and all my thought, As I best might I hid from him my sorwe,
God wote, and in none other wise nought;

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;
Ther doublenesse of faining shuld approche, So newefangel ben they of hir mete,
Ne coude so thanke a wight, as he did me,

And loven noveltees of propre kind;
His maner was an heven for to see

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
As ben thise tidises, tercelettes, and owles;

Gideth my song that I shal of you say."
And pies, on hem for to cry and chide,
Right for despit, were peinted hem beside.

Ther was in Asie, in a gret citee,
Thus lete I Canace hire hauk keping.

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 after wol I speke of Camballo,

And, eke also, wheras he sey the image
That fought in listes, with the brethren two Of Cristes moder, had he in usage,
For Canace er that he might hire winne;

As him was taught, to knele adoun, and say
And ther I left, I wol again beginne.

Ave Marie as he goth by the way.
[The rest is wanting. Thus hath this widewe hire litel sone ytaught

Our blissful Lady, Cristes moder dere,
To worship ay; and he forgate it nought;

For sely childe wol alway sone lere.
THE PRIORESSES TALE.

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;
Not that I may encresen hire honour,

But on a day his felaw gan he pray
For she, hireselven, is honour and rote

To expounden him this song in his langage,
Of bountee, next hire sone; and soules bote.

Or telle him why this song was in usage:
* O mother maide! O maide and mother fre!

This prayde he him to construe and declare,
O bushe unbrent! brenning in Moyses sight, • Ful often time upon his knees bare.
That ravishedst doun fro the deitee,

His felaw, which that elder was than he,
Thurgh thin humblesse, the gost that in thee alight: Answer'd him thus ; “ This song, I have herd say,
Of whos vertue, whan he thin herte light,

Was maked of our blissful Lady fre,
Conceived was the fathers sapience;

Hire to salue, and eke hire for to pray
Helpe me to tell it in thy reverence.

To ben our help, and socour, whan we dey.
“ Lady! thy bountee, thy magnificence,

I can no more expound in this matere;
Thy vertue, and thy gret humilitee,

I lerne song; I can but smal gramere."
Ther may no tonge expresse in no science;

“ And is this song maked in reverence
For somtime, Lady! or men pray to thee,

Of Cristes moder?" said this innocent;
Thou gost beforn of thy benignitee,

“ Now, certes, I wil don my diligence
And getest us the light of thy prayere,

To conne it all, or Cristemasse be went,
To giden us unto thy sone so dere.

Though that I for my primer shal be shent,
“ My couning is so weke, O blissful Quene!

And shal be beten thries in an houre,
For to declare thy grete worthinesse,

I wol it conne our Ladie for to honoure.”
That I ne may the weighte not sustene;

His felaw taught him homeward, prively,
But as a child of twelf moneth old or lesse,

Fro day to day, til he coude it by rote,
That can unnethes any word expresse,

And than he song it, wel and boldely,

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Fro word to word according with the note:
Twies a day it passed thurgh his throte,
To scoleward and homeward whan he wente:
On Cristes moder set was his entente.

As I have said, thurghout the Jewerie
This litel child, as he came to and fro,
Ful merily than wold he sing and crie,
• O Alma Redemptoris!' ever mo.
The swetenesse hath his herte persed so
Or Cristes moder; that to hire to pray,
He cannot stint of singing by the way.

Our firste fo, the serpent Sathanas,
That hath in Jewes herte his waspes nest,
Up swale and said ; “ O Ebraike peple, alas !
Is this to you a thing that is honest,
That swiche a boy shal walken as him leste
In your despit, and sing of swiche sentence,
Which is again our lawes reverence?”.

From thennesforth the Jewes han conspired,
This innocent out of this world to chace:
An homicide therto han they hired,
That in an aleye had a privee place;
And as the child gan forthby for to pace,
This cursed Jew him hent and held him fast,
And cut his throte, and in a pit him cast.

I say that in a wardrope they him threwe,
Wher as thise Jewes purgen hir entraille.
O cursed folk of Herodes alle-newe,
What may your evil entente you availle?
Mordre wol out; certein it wol not faille;
And namely, ther, the honour of God shal sprede;
The blood out crieth on your cursed dede.

O martyr souded in virginitee!
Now maist thou singe and folwen, ever in on,
The white Lamb celestial, quod she,
Of which the gret evangelist Seint John
In Pathmos wrote,—which sayth that they that gon
Beforn this Lamb, and singe a song al newe,
That never feshly woman they ne knewe.

This poure widewe awaiteth al that night
After hire litel childe, and he came nought;
For which as sone as it was dayes light,
With face pale of drede and besy thought,
She hath, at scole and elles wher, him sought,
Til finally she gan so fer aspie,
That he last seen was in the Jewerie.

With modres pitee in hire brest enclosed
She goth, as she were half out of hire minde,
To every place, wher she had supposed
By likelihed hire litel childe to find;
And ever on Cristes moder meke and kinde
She cried; and, at the laste, thus, she wrought,-
Among the cursed Jewes she him sought.

She freyneth, and she praieth pitously
To every Jew that dwelled in thilke place,
To telle hire, if hire child went out forth by;
They sayden Nay; but Jesu, of his grace,
Yave in hire thought, within a litel space,
That in that place after hire sone she cride,
Ther he was casten in a pit beside.

O grete God, that parformest thy laude
By mouth of innocentes, lo here thy might!

This
gem

of chastitee, this emeraude,
And, eke, of martirdome the rubie bright,-
Ther he with throte ycorven lay upright,
He Alma Redemptoris gan to singe
So loude, that all the place gan to ringe.

The Cristen folk that thurgh the strete wente,
In comen, for to wondre upon this thing,
And hastifly they for the provost sente.
He came, anon, withouten tarying,
And herieth Crist, that is of heven king,
And, eke, his moder, honour of mankind;
And, after that, the Jewes let he binde.

This child with pitous lamentation
Was taken up, singing his song alway:
And with honour and gret procession,
They carien him unto the next abbey;
His moder, swouning, by the bere lay:
Unnethes might the peple that was there
This newe Rachel bringen fro his bere.

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
Beforn the auter while the masse last.
And, after that, the abbot with his covent
Han spedde hem for to berie him ful fast;
And whan they holy water on him cast, [water,
Yet spake this child, whan spreint was the holy
And sang 0 Alma Redemptoris Mater!

This abbot, which that was an holy man,
As monkes ben, or elles ought to be,
This yonge child to conjure he began,
And said; “ O dere child! I halse thee,
In vertue of the Holy Trinitee,
Tell me what is thy cause for to sing,
Sith that thy throte is cut to my seming?"

“ My throte is cut unto my nekke bon;"
Saide this child; " and as, by way of kinde,
I shuld have deyd, ye longe time agon:
But Jesu Crist, as ye in bookes finde,
Wol that his glory last and be in minde;
And for the worship of his moder dere,
Yet may I sing ( Alma loude and clere.

“ This welle of mercie, Cristes moder swete,
I loved alway, as after my conning ;
And whan that I my life shulde forlete,
To me she came, and bad me for to sing
This antem veraily in my dying,
As ye han herde; and, whan that I had songe,
Me thought she laid a grain upon my tonge.

" Wherfore I sing; and sing I mote, certain,
In honour of that blissful maiden free,
Til fro my tonge of taken is the grain,
And, after that, thus saide she to me:
My litel childe, than wol I fetchen thee,
Whan that the grain is fro thy tonge ytake:
Be not agaste, I wol thee not forsake.”

This holy monk, this abbot him mene I,

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the grain;

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,
The covent lay, eke, upon the pavement,

If I her voice perceve coud any where.
Weping, and herying Cristes moder dere.
And, after that, they risen, and forth ben went And, at the last, a path of litel brede,
And toke away this martir fro his bere;

I found, that gretly had not used be ;
And in a tombe of marble stones clere

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
With cursed Jewes, as it is notable,

To a right pleasaunt herber wel ywrought,
For it n'is but a litel while ago,-
Pray eke for us, we sinful folk unstable,

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,
For reverence of his moder Marie.

That most like to grene woll, wot I, it was.
The hegge also—that yeden in compass,
And closed in alle the grene herbere-

With sicamor was set, and eglatere
THE FLOURE AND THE LEAFE.
Waen that Phæbus his chair of gold so hie Wrethen in fere so well and cunningly,
Had whirled up the sterrie sky aloft,

That every braunch and lefe grew by mesure
And in the Bole was entred certainly;

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.
In which were okes grete, streight as a line,

And as I stode, and cast aside mine eye,
Under the which the grass, so freshe of hew, I was ware of the fairest medlar tre
Was newly sprong; and, an eight foot or nine, That ever yét in all my life I se,
Every tre well fro his fellow grew,

As full of blossomes as it might be ;
With braunches brode, laden with leves new, Therein a goldfinch leping pretily
That sprangen out agen the sonne shene,-

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.

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