By Geoffrey Chaucer
HF 1 God turne us every drem to goode!
HF 2 For hyt is wonder, be the roode,
HF 3 To my wyt, what causeth swevenes
HF 4 Eyther on morwes or on evenes,
HF 5 And why th’ effect folweth of somme,
HF 6 And of somme hit shal never come;
HF 7 Why that is an avision
HF 8 And why this a revelacion,
HF 9 Why this a drem, why that a sweven,
HF 10 And noght to every man lyche even;
HF 11 Why this a fantome, why these oracles,
HF 12 I not; but whoso of these miracles
HF 13 The causes knoweth bet then I,
HF 14 Devyne he, for I certeinly
HF 15 Ne kan hem noght, ne never thinke
HF 16 To besily my wyt to swinke
HF 17 To knowe of hir signifiaunce
HF 18 The gendres, neyther the distaunce
HF 19 Of tymes of hem, ne the causes,
HF 20 Or why this more then that cause is —
HF 21 As yf folkys complexions
HF 22 Make hem dreme of reflexions,
HF 23 Or ellys thus, as other sayn,
HF 24 For to gret feblenesse of her brayn,
HF 25 By abstinence or by seknesse,
HF 26 Prison-stewe or gret distresse,
HF 27 Or ellys by dysordynaunce
HF 28 Of naturel acustumaunce,
HF 29 That som man is to curious
HF 30 In studye, or melancolyous,
HF 31 Or thus so inly ful of drede
HF 32 That no man may hym bote bede;
HF 33 Or elles that devocion
HF 34 Of somme, and contemplacion
HF 35 Causeth suche dremes ofte;
HF 36 Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
HF 37 Which these ilke lovers leden
HF 38 That hopen over-muche or dreden,
HF 39 That purely her impressions
HF 40 Causeth hem avisions;
HF 41 Or yf that spirites have the myght
HF 42 To make folk to dreme a-nyght;
HF 43 Or yf the soule of propre kynde
HF 44 Be so parfit, as men fynde,
HF 45 That yt forwot that ys to come,
HF 46 And that hyt warneth alle and some
HF 47 Of everych of her aventures
HF 48 Be avisions or be figures,
HF 49 But that oure flessh ne hath no myght
HF 50 To understonde hyt aryght,
HF 51 For hyt is warned to derkly —
HF 52 But why the cause is, noght wot I.
HF 53 Wel worth of this thyng grete clerkys
HF 54 That trete of this and other werkes,
HF 55 For I of noon opinion
HF 56 Nyl as now make mensyon,
HF 57 But oonly that the holy roode
HF 58 Turne us every drem to goode!
HF 59 For never sith that I was born,
HF 60 Ne no man elles me beforn,
HF 61 Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
HF 62 So wonderful a drem as I
HF 63 The tenthe day now of Decembre,
HF 64 The which, as I kan now remembre,
HF 65 I wol yow tellen everydel.
HF 66 But at my gynnynge, trusteth wel,
HF 67 I wol make invocacion,
HF 68 With special devocion,
HF 69 Unto the god of slep anoon,
HF 70 That duelleth in a cave of stoon
HF 71 Upon a strem that cometh fro Lete,
HF 72 That is a flood of helle unswete,
HF 73 Besyde a folk men clepeth Cymerie —
HF 74 There slepeth ay this god unmerie
HF 75 With his slepy thousand sones,
HF 76 That alwey for to slepe hir wone is.
HF 77 And to this god that I of rede
HF 78 Prey I that he wol me spede
HF 79 My sweven for to telle aryght,
HF 80 Yf every drem stonde in his myght.
HF 81 And he that mover ys of al,
HF 82 That is and was and ever shal,
HF 83 So yive hem joye that hyt here
HF 84 Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
HF 85 And for to stonden alle in grace
HF 86 Of her loves, or in what place
HF 87 That hem were levest for to stonde,
HF 88 And shelde hem fro poverte and shonde,
HF 89 And from unhap and ech disese,
HF 90 And sende hem al that may hem plese,
HF 91 That take hit wel and skorne hyt noght,
HF 92 Ne hyt mysdemen in her thoght
HF 93 Thorgh malicious entencion.
HF 94 And whoso thorgh presumpcion,
HF 95 Or hate, or skorn, or thorgh envye,
HF 96 Dispit, or jape, or vilanye,
HF 97 Mysdeme hyt, pray I Jesus God
HF 98 That (dreme he barefot, dreme he shod),
HF 99 That every harm that any man
HF 100 Hath had syth the world began
HF 101 Befalle hym therof or he sterve,
HF 102 And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
HF 103 Lo, with such a conclusion
HF 104 As had of his avision
HF 105 Cresus, that was kyng of Lyde,
HF 106 That high upon a gebet dyde.
HF 107 This prayer shal he have of me;
HF 108 I am no bet in charyte!
HF 109 Now herkeneth, as I have yow seyd,
HF 110 What that I mette or I abreyd.
HF 111 Of Decembre the tenthe day,
HF 112 Whan hit was nyght to slepe I lay
HF 113 Ryght ther as I was wont to done,
HF 114 And fil on slepe wonder sone,
HF 115 As he that wery was forgo
HF 116 On pilgrymage myles two
HF 117 To the corseynt Leonard,
HF 118 To make lythe of that was hard.
HF 119 But as I slepte, me mette I was
HF 120 Withyn a temple ymad of glas,
HF 121 In which ther were moo ymages
HF 122 Of gold, stondynge in sondry stages,
HF 123 And moo ryche tabernacles,
HF 124 And with perre moo pynacles,
HF 125 And moo curiouse portreytures,
HF 126 And queynte maner of figures
HF 127 Of olde werk, then I saugh ever.
HF 128 For certeynly, I nyste never
HF 129 Wher that I was, but wel wyste I
HF 130 Hyt was of Venus redely,
HF 131 The temple; for in portreyture
HF 132 I sawgh anoon-ryght hir figure
HF 133 Naked fletynge in a see,
HF 134 And also on hir hed, pardee,
HF 135 Hir rose garlond whit and red,
HF 136 And hir comb to kembe hyr hed,
HF 137 Hir dowves, and daun Cupido
HF 138 Hir blynde sone, and Vulcano,
HF 139 That in his face was ful broun.
HF 140 But as I romed up and doun,
HF 141 I fond that on a wall ther was
HF 142 Thus writen on a table of bras:
HF 143 “I wol now synge, yif I kan,
HF 144 The armes and also the man
HF 145 That first cam, thurgh his destinee,
HF 146 Fugityf of Troy contree,
HF 147 In Itayle, with ful moche pyne
HF 148 Unto the strondes of Lavyne.”
HF 149 And tho began the story anoon,
HF 150 As I shal telle yow echon.
HF 151 First sawgh I the destruction
HF 152 Of Troye thurgh the Grek Synon,
HF 153 [That] with his false forswerynge,
HF 154 And his chere and his lesynge,
HF 155 Made the hors broght into Troye,
HF 156 Thorgh which Troyens loste al her joye.
HF 157 And aftir this was grave, allas,
HF 158 How Ilyon assayled was
HF 159 And wonne, and kyng Priam yslayn
HF 160 And Polytes his sone, certayn,
HF 161 Dispitously, of daun Pirrus.
HF 162 And next that sawgh I how Venus,
HF 163 Whan that she sawgh the castel brende,
HF 164 Doun fro the heven gan descende,
HF 165 And bad hir sone Eneas flee;
HF 166 And how he fledde, and how that he
HF 167 Escaped was from al the pres,
HF 168 And took his fader Anchises,
HF 169 And bar hym on hys bak away,
HF 170 Cryinge, “Allas, and welaway!”
HF 171 The whiche Anchises in hys hond
HF 172 Bar the goddes of the lond,
HF 173 Thilke that unbrende were.
HF 174 And I saugh next, in al thys fere,
HF 175 How Creusa, daun Eneas wif,
HF 176 Which that he lovede as hys lyf,
HF 177 And hir yonge sone Iulo,
HF 178 And eke Askanius also,
HF 179 Fledden eke with drery chere,
HF 180 That hyt was pitee for to here;
HF 181 And in a forest as they wente,
HF 182 At a turnynge of a wente,
HF 183 How Creusa was ylost, allas,
HF 184 That ded, not I how, she was;
HF 185 How he hir soughte, and how hir gost
HF 186 Bad hym to flee the Grekes host,
HF 187 And seyde he moste unto Itayle,
HF 188 As was hys destinee, sauns faille;
HF 189 That hyt was pitee for to here,
HF 190 When hir spirit gan appere,
HF 191 The wordes that she to hym seyde,
HF 192 And for to kepe hir sone hym preyde.
HF 193 Ther sawgh I graven eke how he,
HF 194 Hys fader eke, and his meynee,
HF 195 With hys shippes gan to saylle
HF 196 Towardes the contree of Itaylle
HF 197 As streight as that they myghte goo.
HF 198 Ther saugh I thee, cruel Juno,
HF 199 That art daun Jupiteres wif,
HF 200 That hast yhated al thy lyf
HF 201 Al the Troianysshe blood,
HF 202 Renne and crye as thou were wood
HF 203 On Eolus, the god of wyndes,
HF 204 To blowen oute, of alle kyndes,
HF 205 So lowde that he shulde drenche
HF 206 Lord and lady, grom and wenche,
HF 207 Of al the Troian nacion,
HF 208 Withoute any savacion.
HF 209 Ther saugh I such tempeste aryse
HF 210 That every herte myght agryse
HF 211 To see hyt peynted on the wal.
HF 212 Ther saugh I graven eke withal,
HF 213 Venus, how ye, my lady dere,
HF 214 Wepynge with ful woful chere,
HF 215 Prayen Jupiter on hye
HF 216 To save and kepe that navye
HF 217 Of the Troian Eneas,
HF 218 Syth that he hir sone was.
HF 219 Ther saugh I Joves Venus kysse,
HF 220 And graunted of the tempest lysse.
HF 221 Ther saugh I how the tempest stente,
HF 222 And how with alle pyne he wente,
HF 223 And prively tok arryvage
HF 224 In the contree of Cartage;
HF 225 And on the morwe, how that he
HF 226 And a knyght highte Achate
HF 227 Mette with Venus that day,
HF 228 Goynge in a queynt array
HF 229 As she had ben an hunteresse,
HF 230 With wynd blowynge upon hir tresse;
HF 231 How Eneas gan hym to pleyne,
HF 232 When that he knew hir, of his peyne;
HF 233 And how his shippes dreynte were,
HF 234 Or elles lost, he nyste where;
HF 235 How she gan hym comforte thoo,
HF 236 And bad hym to Cartage goo,
HF 237 And ther he shulde his folk fynde,
HF 238 That in the see were left behynde.
HF 239 And, shortly of this thyng to pace,
HF 240 She made Eneas so in grace
HF 241 Of Dido, quene of that contree,
HF 242 That, shortly for to tellen, she
HF 243 Becam hys love and let him doo
HF 244 Al that weddynge longeth too.
HF 245 What shulde I speke more queynte,
HF 246 Or peyne me my wordes peynte
HF 247 To speke of love? Hyt wol not be;
HF 248 I kan not of that faculte.
HF 249 And eke to telle the manere
HF 250 How they aqueynteden in fere,
HF 251 Hyt were a long proces to telle,
HF 252 And over-long for yow to dwelle.
HF 253 Ther sawgh I grave how Eneas
HF 254 Tolde Dido every caas
HF 255 That hym was tyd upon the see.
HF 256 And after grave was how shee
HF 257 Made of hym shortly at oo word
HF 258 Hyr lyf, hir love, hir lust, hir lord,
HF 259 And dide hym al the reverence
HF 260 And leyde on hym al the dispence
HF 261 That any woman myghte do,
HF 262 Wenynge hyt had al be so
HF 263 As he hir swor; and herby demed
HF 264 That he was good, for he such semed.
HF 265 Allas! what harm doth apparence,
HF 266 Whan hit is fals in existence!
HF 267 For he to hir a traytour was;
HF 268 Wherfore she slow hirself, allas!
HF 269 Loo, how a woman doth amys
HF 270 To love hym that unknowen ys.
HF 271 For, be Cryste, lo, thus yt fareth.
HF 272 “Hyt is not al gold that glareth.”
HF 273 For also browke I wel myn hed,
HF 274 Ther may be under godlyhed
HF 275 Kevered many a shrewed vice.
HF 276 Therfore be no wyght so nyce
HF 277 To take a love oonly for chere,
HF 278 Or speche, or for frendly manere,
HF 279 For this shal every woman fynde,
HF 280 That som man, of his pure kynde,
HF 281 Wol shewen outward the fayreste,
HF 282 Tyl he have caught that what him leste;
HF 283 And thanne wol he causes fynde
HF 284 And swere how that she ys unkynde,
HF 285 Or fals, or privy, or double was.
HF 286 Al this seye I be Eneas
HF 287 And Dido, and hir nyce lest,
HF 288 That loved al to sone a gest;
HF 289 Therfore I wol seye a proverbe,
HF 290 That “he that fully knoweth th’ erbe
HF 291 May saufly leye hyt to his ye” —
HF 292 Withoute drede, this ys no lye.
HF 293 But let us speke of Eneas,
HF 294 How he betrayed hir, allas,
HF 295 And lefte hir ful unkyndely.
HF 296 So when she saw al utterly
HF 297 That he wolde hir of trouthe fayle,
HF 298 And wende fro hir to Itayle,
HF 299 She gan to wringe hir hondes two.
HF 300 “Allas,” quod she, “what me ys woo!
HF 301 Allas, is every man thus trewe,
HF 302 That every yer wolde have a newe,
HF 303 Yf hit so longe tyme dure,
HF 304 Or elles three, peraventure?
HF 305 As thus: of oon he wolde have fame
HF 306 In magnyfyinge of hys name;
HF 307 Another for frendshippe, seyth he;
HF 308 And yet ther shal the thridde be
HF 309 That shal be take for delyt,
HF 310 Loo, or for synguler profit””
HF 311 In suche wordes gan to pleyne
HF 312 Dydo of hir grete peyne,
HF 313 As me mette redely —
HF 314 Non other auctour alegge I.
HF 315 “Allas!” quod she, “my swete herte,
HF 316 Have pitee on my sorwes smerte,
HF 317 And slee mee not! Goo noght awey!
HF 318 O woful Dido, wel-away!”
HF 319 Quod she to hirselve thoo.
HF 320 “O Eneas, what wol ye doo?
HF 321 O that your love, ne your bond
HF 322 That ye have sworn with your ryght hond,
HF 323 Ne my crewel deth,” quod she,
HF 324 “May holde yow stille here with me!
HF 325 O haveth of my deth pitee!
HF 326 Iwys, my dere herte, ye
HF 327 Knowen ful wel that never yit,
HF 328 As ferforth as I hadde wyt,
HF 329 Agylte [I] yow in thoght ne dede.
HF 330 O, have ye men such godlyhede
HF 331 In speche, and never a del of trouthe?
HF 332 Allas, that ever hadde routhe
HF 333 Any woman on any man!
HF 334 Now see I wel, and telle kan,
HF 335 We wrechched wymmen konne noon art;
HF 336 For certeyn, for the more part,
HF 337 Thus we be served everychone.
HF 338 How sore that ye men konne groone,
HF 339 Anoon as we have yow receyved,
HF 340 Certaynly we ben deceyvyd!
HF 341 For, though your love laste a seson,
HF 342 Wayte upon the conclusyon,
HF 343 And eke how that ye determynen,
HF 344 And for the more part diffynen.
HF 345 “O wel-awey that I was born!
HF 346 For thorgh yow is my name lorn,
HF 347 And alle myn actes red and songe
HF 348 Over al thys lond, on every tonge.
HF 349 O wikke Fame! — for ther nys
HF 350 Nothing so swift, lo, as she is.
HF 351 O, soth ys, every thing ys wyst,
HF 352 Though hit be kevered with the myst.
HF 353 Eke, though I myghte duren ever,
HF 354 That I have don rekever I never,
HF 355 That I ne shal be seyd, allas,
HF 356 Yshamed be thourgh Eneas,
HF 357 And that I shal thus juged be:
Loo, ryght as she hath don, now she
HF 359 Wol doo eft-sones, hardely' --
HF 360 Thus seyth the peple prively."
HF 361 But that is don, is not to done;
HF 362 Al hir compleynt ne al hir moone,
HF 363 Certeyn, avayleth hir not a stre.
HF 364 And when she wiste sothly he
HF 365 Was forth unto his shippes goon,
HF 366 She into hir chambre wente anoon,
HF 367 And called on hir suster Anne,
HF 368 And gan hir to compleyne thanne,
HF 369 And seyde that she cause was
HF 370 That she first loved him, allas,
HF 371 And thus counseylled hir thertoo.
HF 372 But what! When this was seyd and doo,
HF 373 She rof hirselve to the herte
HF 374 And deyde thorgh the wounde smerte.
HF 375 And al the maner how she deyde,
HF 376 And alle the wordes that she seyde,
HF 377 Whoso to knowe hit hath purpos,
HF 378 Rede Virgile in Eneydos
HF 379 Or the Epistle of Ovyde,
HF 380 What that she wrot or that she dyde;
HF 381 And nere hyt to long to endyte,
HF 382 Be God, I wolde hyt here write.
HF 383 But wel-away, the harm, the routhe,
HF 384 That hath betyd for such untrouthe,
HF 385 As men may ofte in bokes rede,
HF 386 And al day sen hyt yet in dede,
HF 387 That for to thynken hyt, a tene is.
HF 388 Loo Demophon, duk of Athenys,
HF 389 How he forswor hym ful falsly,
HF 390 And traysed Phillis wikkidly,
HF 391 That kynges doghtre was of Trace,
HF 392 And falsly gan hys terme pace;
HF 393 And when she wiste that he was fals,
HF 394 She heng hirself ryght be the hals,
HF 395 For he had doon hir such untrouthe.
HF 396 Loo, was not this a woo and routhe?
HF 397 Eke lo how fals and reccheles
HF 398 Was to Breseyda Achilles,
HF 399 And Paris to Oenone,
HF 400 And Jason to Isiphile,
HF 401 And eft Jason to Medea,
HF 402 And Ercules to Dyanira,
HF 403 For he left hir for Yole,
HF 404 That made hym cache his deth, parde.
HF 405 How fals eke was he Theseus,
HF 406 That, as the story telleth us,
HF 407 How he betrayed Adriane --
HF 408 The devel be hys soules bane!
HF 409 For had he lawghed, had he loured,
HF 410 He moste have ben al devoured,
HF 411 Yf Adriane ne had ybe.
HF 412 And for she had of hym pite,
HF 413 She made hym fro the deth escape,
HF 414 And he made hir a ful fals jape;
HF 415 For aftir this, withyn a while,
HF 416 He lefte hir slepynge in an ile
HF 417 Desert allone, ryght in the se,
HF 418 And stal away and let hir be,
HF 419 And took hir suster Phedra thoo
HF 420 With him, and gan to shippe goo.
HF 421 And yet he had yswore to here
HF 422 On al that ever he myghte swere
HF 423 That, so she saved hym hys lyf,
HF 424 He wolde have take hir to hys wif;
HF 425 For she desired nothing ellis,
HF 426 In certeyn, as the book us tellis.
HF 427 But to excusen Eneas
HF 428 Fullyche of al his grete trespas,
HF 429 The book seyth Mercurie, sauns fayle,
HF 430 Bad hym goo into Itayle,
HF 431 And leve Auffrikes regioun,
HF 432 And Dido and hir faire toun.
HF 433 Thoo sawgh I grave how to Itayle
HF 434 Daun Eneas is goo to sayle;
HF 435 And how the tempest al began,
HF 436 And how he loste hys sterisman,
HF 437 Which that the stere, or he tok kep,
HF 438 Smot over bord, loo, as he slep.
HF 439 And also sawgh I how Sybile
HF 440 And Eneas, besyde an yle,
HF 441 To helle wente for to see
HF 442 His fader, Anchyses the free;
HF 443 How he ther fond Palinurus,
HF 444 And Dido, and eke Deiphebus;
HF 445 And every turment eke in helle
HF 446 Saugh he, which is longe to telle;
HF 447 Which whoso willeth for to knowe,
HF 448 He moste rede many a rowe
HF 449 On Virgile or on Claudian,
HF 450 Or Daunte, that hit telle kan.
HF 451 Tho saugh I grave al the aryvayle
HF 452 That Eneas had in Itayle;
HF 453 And with kyng Latyne hys tretee
HF 454 And alle the batayles that hee
HF 455 Was at hymself, and eke hys knyghtis,
HF 456 Or he had al ywonne his ryghtis;
HF 457 And how he Turnus reft his lyf,
HF 458 And wan Lavina to his wif;
HF 459 And alle the mervelous signals
HF 460 Of the goddys celestials;
HF 461 How, mawgree Juno, Eneas,
HF 462 For al hir sleight and hir compas,
HF 463 Acheved al his aventure,
HF 464 For Jupiter took of hym cure
HF 465 At the prayer of Venus --
HF 466 The whiche I preye alwey save us,
HF 467 And us ay of oure sorwes lyghte!
HF 468 When I had seen al this syghte
HF 469 In this noble temple thus,
HF 470 "A, Lord," thoughte I, "that madest us,
HF 471 Yet sawgh I never such noblesse
HF 472 Of ymages, ne such richesse,
HF 473 As I saugh graven in this chirche;
HF 474 But not wot I whoo did hem wirche,
HF 475 Ne where I am, ne in what contree.
HF 476 But now wol I goo out and see,
HF 477 Ryght at the wiket, yf y kan
HF 478 See owhere any stiryng man
HF 479 That may me telle where I am."
HF 480 When I out at the dores cam,
HF 481 I faste aboute me beheld.
HF 482 Then sawgh I but a large feld,
HF 483 As fer as that I myghte see,
HF 484 Withouten toun, or hous, or tree,
HF 485 Or bush, or grass, or eryd lond;
HF 486 For al the feld nas but of sond
HF 487 As smal as man may se yet lye
HF 488 In the desert of Lybye.
HF 489 Ne no maner creature
HF 490 That ys yformed be Nature
HF 491 Ne sawgh I, me to rede or wisse.
HF 492 "O Crist," thoughte I, "that art in blysse,
HF 493 Fro fantome and illusion
HF 494 Me save!" And with devocion
HF 495 Myn eyen to the hevene I caste.
HF 496 Thoo was I war, lo, at the laste,
HF 497 That faste be the sonne, as hye
HF 498 As kenne myghte I with myn ye,
HF 499 Me thoughte I sawgh an egle sore,
HF 500 But that hit semed moche more
HF 501 Then I had any egle seyn.
HF 502 But this as sooth as deth, certeyn,
HF 503 Hyt was of gold, and shon so bryghte
HF 504 That never sawe men such a syghte,
HF 505 But yf the heven had ywonne
HF 506 Al newe of gold another sonne;
HF 507 So shone the egles fethers bryghte,
HF 508 And somwhat dounward gan hyt lyghte.
HF 509 Now herkeneth every maner man
HF 510 That Englissh understonde kan
HF 511 And [listeth. of my drem to lere,
HF 512 For now at erste shul ye here
HF 513 So sely an avisyon,
HF 514 That Isaye, ne Scipion,
HF 515 Ne kyng Nabugodonosor,
HF 516 Pharoo, Turnus, ne Elcanor,
HF 517 Ne mette such a drem as this.
HF 518 Now faire blisfull, O Cipris,
HF 519 So be my favour at this tyme!
HF 520 And ye, me to endite and ryme
HF 521 Helpeth, that on Parnaso duelle,
HF 522 Be Elicon, the clere welle.
HF 523 O Thought, that wrot al that I mette,
HF 524 And in the tresorye hyt shette
HF 525 Of my brayn, now shal men se
HF 526 Yf any vertu in the be
HF 527 To tellen al my drem aryght.
HF 528 Now kythe thyn engyn and myght!
HF 529 This egle, of which I have yow told,
HF 530 That shon with fethres as of gold,
HF 531 Which that so hye gan to sore,
HF 532 I gan beholde more and more
HF 533 To se the beaute and the wonder;
HF 534 But never was ther dynt of thonder,
HF 535 Ne that thyng that men calle fouder,
HF 536 That smot somtyme a tour to powder
HF 537 And in his swifte comynge brende,
HF 538 That so swithe gan descende
HF 539 As this foul, when hyt beheld
HF 540 That I a-roume was in the feld.
HF 541 And with hys grymme pawes stronge,
HF 542 Withyn hys sharpe nayles longe,
HF 543 Me, fleynge, in a swap he hente,
HF 544 And with hys sours ayen up wente,
HF 545 Me caryinge in his clawes starke
HF 546 As lyghtly as I were a larke,
HF 547 How high, I can not telle yow,
HF 548 For I cam up, y nyste how.
HF 549 For so astonyed and asweved
HF 550 Was every vertu in my heved,
HF 551 What with his sours and with my drede,
HF 552 That al my felynge gan to dede,
HF 553 For-whi hit was to gret affray.
HF 554 Thus I longe in hys clawes lay,
HF 555 Til at the laste he to me spak
HF 556 In mannes vois, and seyde, "Awak!
HF 557 And be not agast so, for shame!"
HF 558 And called me tho by my name,
HF 559 And for I shulde the bet abreyde,
HF 560 Me mette "Awak," to me he seyde
HF 561 Ryght in the same vois and stevene
HF 562 That useth oon I koude nevene;
HF 563 And with that vois, soth for to seyn,
HF 564 My mynde cam to me ageyn,
HF 565 For hyt was goodly seyd to me,
HF 566 So nas hyt never wont to be.
HF 567 And here-withal I gan to stere,
HF 568 And he me in his fet to bere,
HF 569 Til that he felte that I had hete,
HF 570 And felte eke tho myn herte bete.
HF 571 And thoo gan he me to disporte,
HF 572 And with wordes to comforte,
HF 573 And sayde twyes, "Seynte Marye,
HF 574 Thou art noyous for to carye!
HF 575 And nothyng nedeth it, pardee,
HF 576 For also wis God helpe me,
HF 577 As thou noon harm shalt have of this;
HF 578 And this caas that betyd the is,
HF 579 Is for thy lore and for thy prow.
HF 580 Let see! Darst thou yet loke now?
HF 581 Be ful assured, boldely,
HF 582 I am thy frend." And therwith I
HF 583 Gan for to wondren in my mynde.
HF 584 "O God," thoughte I, "that madest kynde,
HF 585 Shal I noon other weyes dye?
HF 586 Wher Joves wol me stellyfye,
HF 587 Or what thing may this sygnifye?
HF 588 I neyther am Ennok, ne Elye,
HF 589 Ne Romulus, ne Ganymede,
HF 590 That was ybore up, as men rede,
HF 591 To hevene with daun Jupiter,
HF 592 And mad the goddys botiller."
HF 593 Loo, this was thoo my fantasye.
HF 594 But he that bar me gan espye
HF 595 That I so thoughte, and seyde this:
HF 596 "Thow demest of thyself amys,
HF 597 For Joves ys not theraboute --
HF 598 I dar wel putte the out of doute --
HF 599 To make of the as yet a sterre;
HF 600 But er I bere the moche ferre,
HF 601 I wol the telle what I am,
HF 602 And whider thou shalt, and why I cam
HF 603 To do thys, so that thou take
HF 604 Good herte, and not for fere quake."
HF 605 "Gladly," quod I. "Now wel," quod he,
HF 606 "First, I, that in my fet have the,
HF 607 Of which thou hast a fere and wonder,
HF 608 Am dwellynge with the god of thonder,
HF 609 Which that men callen Jupiter,
HF 610 That dooth me flee ful ofte fer
HF 611 To do al hys comaundement.
HF 612 And for this cause he hath me sent
HF 613 To the. Now herke, be thy trouthe:
HF 614 Certeyn, he hath of the routhe
HF 615 That thou so longe trewely
HF 616 Hast served so ententyfly
HF 617 Hys blynde nevew Cupido,
HF 618 And faire Venus also,
HF 619 Withoute guerdon ever yit,
HF 620 And never-the-lesse hast set thy wit --
HF 621 Although that in thy hed ful lyte is --
HF 622 To make bookys, songes, dytees,
HF 623 In ryme or elles in cadence,
HF 624 As thou best canst, in reverence
HF 625 Of Love and of hys servantes eke,
HF 626 That have hys servyse soght, and seke;
HF 627 And peynest the to preyse hys art,
HF 628 Although thou haddest never part.
HF 629 Wherfore, also God me blesse,
HF 630 Joves halt hyt gret humblesse
HF 631 And vertu eke, that thou wolt make
HF 632 A-nyght ful ofte thyn hed to ake
HF 633 In thy studye, so thou writest,
HF 634 And ever mo of love enditest,
HF 635 In honour of hym and in preysynges,
HF 636 And in his folkes furtherynges,
HF 637 And in hir matere al devisest,
HF 638 And noght hym nor his folk dispisest,
HF 639 Although thou maist goo in the daunce
HF 640 Of hem that hym lyst not avaunce.
HF 641 "Wherfore, as I seyde, ywys,
HF 642 Jupiter considereth this,
HF 643 And also, beau sir, other thynges:
HF 644 That is, that thou hast no tydynges
HF 645 Of Loves folk yf they be glade,
HF 646 Ne of noght elles that God made;
HF 647 And noght oonly fro fer contree
HF 648 That ther no tydynge cometh to thee,
HF 649 But of thy verray neyghebores,
HF 650 That duellen almost at thy dores,
HF 651 Thou herist neyther that ne this;
HF 652 For when thy labour doon al ys,
HF 653 And hast mad alle thy rekenynges,
HF 654 In stede of reste and newe thynges
HF 655 Thou goost hom to thy hous anoon,
HF 656 And, also domb as any stoon,
HF 657 Thou sittest at another book
HF 658 Tyl fully daswed ys thy look;
HF 659 And lyvest thus as an heremyte,
HF 660 Although thyn abstynence ys lyte.
HF 661 "And therfore Joves, thorgh hys grace,
HF 662 Wol that I bere the to a place
HF 663 Which that hight the Hous of Fame,
HF 664 To do the som disport and game,
HF 665 In som recompensacion
HF 666 Of labour and devocion
HF 667 That thou hast had, loo causeles,
HF 668 To Cupido the rechcheles.
HF 669 And thus this god, thorgh his merite,
HF 670 Wol with som maner thing the quyte,
HF 671 So that thou wolt be of good chere.
HF 672 For truste wel that thou shalt here,
HF 673 When we be come there I seye,
HF 674 Mo wonder thynges, dar I leye,
HF 675 And of Loves folk moo tydynges,
HF 676 Both sothe sawes and lesinges,
HF 677 And moo loves newe begonne,
HF 678 And longe yserved loves wonne,
HF 679 And moo loves casuelly
HF 680 That ben betyd, no man wot why,
HF 681 But as a blynd man stert an hare;
HF 682 And more jolytee and fare
HF 683 While that they fynde love of stel,
HF 684 As thinketh hem, and over-al wel;
HF 685 Mo discordes, moo jelousies,
HF 686 Mo murmures and moo novelries,
HF 687 And moo dissymulacions,
HF 688 And feyned reparacions,
HF 689 And moo berdys in two houres
HF 690 Withoute rasour or sisoures
HF 691 Ymad then greynes be of sondes;
HF 692 And eke moo holdynge in hondes,
HF 693 And also moo renovelaunces
HF 694 Of olde forleten aqueyntaunces;
HF 695 Mo love-dayes and acordes
HF 696 Then on instrumentes be cordes;
HF 697 And eke of loves moo eschaunges
HF 698 Then ever cornes were in graunges --
HF 699 Unnethe maistow trowen this?"
HF 700 Quod he. "Noo, helpe me God so wys,"
HF 701 Quod I. "Noo? why?" quod he. "For hyt
HF 702 Were impossible, to my wit,
HF 703 Though that Fame had alle the pies
HF 704 In al a realme, and alle the spies,
HF 705 How that yet she shulde here al this,
HF 706 Or they espie hyt." "O yis, yis!"
HF 707 Quod he to me, "that kan I preve
HF 708 Be reson worthy for to leve,
HF 709 So that thou yeve thyn advertence
HF 710 To understonde my sentence.
HF 711 "First shalt thou here where she duelleth,
HF 712 And so thyn oune bok hyt tellith.
HF 713 Hir paleys stant, as I shal seye,
HF 714 Ryght even in myddes of the weye
HF 715 Betwixen hevene and erthe and see,
HF 716 That what so ever in al these three
HF 717 Is spoken, either privy or apert,
HF 718 The way therto ys so overt,
HF 719 And stant eke in so juste a place
HF 720 That every soun mot to hyt pace;
HF 721 Or what so cometh from any tonge,
HF 722 Be hyt rouned, red, or songe,
HF 723 Or spoke in suerte or in drede,
HF 724 Certeyn, hyt moste thider nede.
HF 725 "Now herkene wel, for-why I wille
HF 726 Tellen the a propre skille
HF 727 And a worthy demonstracion
HF 728 In myn ymagynacion.
HF 729 "Geffrey, thou wost ryght wel this,
HF 730 That every kyndely thyng that is
HF 731 Hath a kyndely stede ther he
HF 732 May best in hyt conserved be;
HF 733 Unto which place every thyng
HF 734 Thorgh his kyndely enclynyng
HF 735 Moveth for to come to
HF 736 Whan that hyt is awey therfro;
HF 737 As thus: loo, thou maist alday se
HF 738 That any thing that hevy be,
HF 739 As stoon, or led, or thyng of wighte,
HF 740 And bere hyt never so hye on highte,
HF 741 Lat goo thyn hand, hit falleth doun.
HF 742 Ryght so seye I be fyr or soun,
HF 743 Or smoke or other thynges lyghte;
HF 744 Alwey they seke upward on highte,
HF 745 While ech of hem is at his large:
HF 746 Lyght thing upward, and dounward charge.
HF 747 And for this cause mayst thou see
HF 748 That every ryver to the see
HF 749 Enclyned ys to goo by kynde,
HF 750 And by these skilles, as I fynde,
HF 751 Hath fyssh duellynge in flood and see,
HF 752 And trees eke in erthe bee.
HF 753 Thus every thing, by thys reson,
HF 754 Hath his propre mansyon
HF 755 To which hit seketh to repaire,
HF 756 Ther-as hit shulde not apaire.
HF 757 Loo, this sentence ys knowen kouth
HF 758 Of every philosophres mouth,
HF 759 As Aristotle and daun Platon,
HF 760 And other clerkys many oon;
HF 761 And to confirme my resoun,
HF 762 Thou wost wel this, that spech is soun,
HF 763 Or elles no man myghte hyt here;
HF 764 Now herke what y wol the lere.
HF 765 "Soun ys noght but eyr ybroken;
HF 766 And every speche that ys spoken,
HF 767 Lowd or pryvee, foul or fair,
HF 768 In his substaunce ys but air;
HF 769 For as flaumbe ys but lyghted smoke,
HF 770 Ryght soo soun ys air ybroke.
HF 771 But this may be in many wyse,
HF 772 Of which I wil the twoo devyse,
HF 773 As soun that cometh of pipe or harpe.
HF 774 For whan a pipe is blowen sharpe
HF 775 The air ys twyst with violence
HF 776 And rent -- loo, thys ys my sentence.
HF 777 Eke whan men harpe-strynges smyte,
HF 778 Whether hyt be moche or lyte,
HF 779 Loo, with the strok the ayr tobreketh.
HF 780 And ryght so breketh it when men speketh.
HF 781 Thus wost thou wel what thing is speche.
HF 782 "Now hennesforth y wol the teche
HF 783 How every speche, or noyse, or soun,
HF 784 Thurgh hys multiplicacioun,
HF 785 Thogh hyt were piped of a mous,
HF 786 Mot nede come to Fames Hous.
HF 787 I preve hyt thus -- take hede now --
HF 788 Be experience; for yf that thow
HF 789 Throwe on water now a stoon,
HF 790 Wel wost thou hyt wol make anoon
HF 791 A litel roundell as a sercle,
HF 792 Paraunter brod as a covercle;
HF 793 And ryght anoon thow shalt see wel
HF 794 That whel wol cause another whel,
HF 795 And that the thridde, and so forth, brother,
HF 796 Every sercle causynge other
HF 797 Wydder than hymselve was;
HF 798 And thus fro roundel to compas,
HF 799 Ech aboute other goynge
HF 800 Causeth of othres sterynge
HF 801 And multiplyinge ever moo,
HF 802 Til that hyt be so fer ygoo
HF 803 That hyt at bothe brynkes bee.
HF 804 Although thou mowe hyt not ysee
HF 805 Above, hyt gooth yet alway under,
HF 806 Although thou thenke hyt a gret wonder.
HF 807 And whoso seyth of trouthe I varye,
HF 808 Bid hym proven the contrarye.
HF 809 And ryght thus every word, ywys,
HF 810 That lowd or pryvee spoken ys,
HF 811 Moveth first an ayr aboute,
HF 812 And of thys movynge, out of doute,
HF 813 Another ayr anoon ys meved;
HF 814 As I have of the watir preved,
HF 815 That every cercle causeth other,
HF 816 Ryght so of ayr, my leve brother:
HF 817 Everych ayr another stereth
HF 818 More and more, and speche up bereth,
HF 819 Or voys, or noyse, or word, or soun,
HF 820 Ay through multiplicacioun,
HF 821 Til hyt be atte Hous of Fame --
HF 822 Take yt in ernest or in game.
HF 823 "Now have I told, yf thou have mynde,
HF 824 How speche or soun, of pure kynde,
HF 825 Enclyned ys upward to meve --
HF 826 This mayst thou fele wel I preve --
HF 827 And that same place, ywys,
HF 828 That every thyng enclyned to ys
HF 829 Hath his kyndelyche stede:
HF 830 That sheweth hyt, withouten drede,
HF 831 That kyndely the mansioun
HF 832 Of every speche, of every soun,
HF 833 Be hyt eyther foul or fair,
HF 834 Hath hys kynde place in ayr.
HF 835 And syn that every thyng that is
HF 836 Out of hys kynde place, ywys,
HF 837 Moveth thidder for to goo,
HF 838 Yif hyt aweye be therfroo --
HF 839 As I have before preved the --
HF 840 Hyt seweth, every soun, parde,
HF 841 Moveth kyndely to pace
HF 842 Al up into his kyndely place.
HF 843 And this place of which I telle,
HF 844 Ther as Fame lyst to duelle,
HF 845 Ys set amyddys of these three,
HF 846 Heven, erthe, and eke the see,
HF 847 As most conservatyf the soun.
HF 848 Than ys this the conclusyoun:
HF 849 That every speche of every man,
HF 850 As y the telle first began,
HF 851 Moveth up on high to pace
HF 852 Kyndely to Fames place.
HF 853 "Telle me this now feythfully,
HF 854 Have y not preved thus symply,
HF 855 Withoute any subtilite
HF 856 Of speche, or gret prolixite
HF 857 Of termes of philosophie,
HF 858 Of figures of poetrie,
HF 859 Or colours of rethorike?
HF 860 Pardee, hit oughte the to lyke,
HF 861 For hard langage and hard matere
HF 862 Ys encombrous for to here
HF 863 Attones; wost thou not wel this?"
HF 864 And y answered and seyde, "Yis."
HF 865 "A ha," quod he, "lo, so I can
HF 866 Lewedly to a lewed man
HF 867 Speke, and shewe hym swyche skiles
HF 868 That he may shake hem be the biles,
HF 869 So palpable they shulden be.
HF 870 But telle me this, now praye y the,
HF 871 How thinketh the my conclusyon?"
HF 872 [Quod he]. "A good persuasion,"
HF 873 Quod I, "hyt is, and lyk to be
HF 874 Ryght so as thou hast preved me."
HF 875 "Be God," quod he, "and as I leve,
HF 876 Thou shalt have yet, or hit be eve,
HF 877 Of every word of thys sentence
HF 878 A preve by experience,
HF 879 And with thyne eres heren wel,
HF 880 Top and tayl and everydel,
HF 881 That every word that spoken ys
HF 882 Cometh into Fames Hous, ywys,
HF 883 As I have seyd; what wilt thou more?"
HF 884 And with this word upper to sore
HF 885 He gan, and seyde, "Be Seynt Jame,
HF 886 Now wil we speken al of game!"
HF 887 "How farest thou?" quod he to me.
HF 888 "Wel," quod I. "Now see," quod he,
HF 889 "By thy trouthe, yond adoun,
HF 890 Wher that thou knowest any toun,
HF 891 Or hous, or any other thing.
HF 892 And whan thou hast of ought knowyng,
HF 893 Looke that thou warne me,
HF 894 And y anoon shal telle the
HF 895 How fer that thou art now therfro."
HF 896 And y adoun gan loken thoo,
HF 897 And beheld feldes and playnes,
HF 898 And now hilles, and now mountaynes,
HF 899 Now valeyes, now forestes,
HF 900 And now unnethes grete bestes,
HF 901 Now ryveres, now citees,
HF 902 Now tounes, and now grete trees,
HF 903 Now shippes seyllynge in the see.
HF 904 But thus sone in a while he
HF 905 Was flowen fro the ground so hye
HF 906 That al the world, as to myn ye,
HF 907 No more semed than a prikke;
HF 908 Or elles was the air so thikke
HF 909 That y ne myghte not discerne.
HF 910 With that he spak to me as yerne,
HF 911 And seyde, "Seest thou any [toun]
HF 912 Or ought thou knowest yonder doun?"
HF 913 I sayde, "Nay." "No wonder nys,"
HF 914 Quod he, "for half so high as this
HF 915 Nas Alixandre Macedo;
HF 916 Ne the kyng, Daun Scipio,
HF 917 That saw in drem, at poynt devys,
HF 918 Helle and erthe and paradys;
HF 919 Ne eke the wrechche Dedalus,
HF 920 Ne his child, nyce Ykarus,
HF 921 That fleigh so highe that the hete
HF 922 Hys wynges malt, and he fel wete
HF 923 In myd the see, and ther he dreynte,
HF 924 For whom was maked moch compleynte.
HF 925 "Now turn upward," quod he, "thy face,
HF 926 And behold this large space,
HF 927 This eyr, but loke thou ne be
HF 928 Adrad of hem that thou shalt se,
HF 929 For in this region, certeyn,
HF 930 Duelleth many a citezeyn,
HF 931 Of which that speketh Daun Plato;
HF 932 These ben the eyryssh bestes, lo!"
HF 933 And so saw y all that meynee
HF 934 Boothe goon and also flee.
HF 935 "Now," quod he thoo, "cast up thyn ye.
HF 936 Se yonder, loo, the Galaxie,
HF 937 Which men clepeth the Milky Wey
HF 938 For hit ys whit (and somme, parfey,
HF 939 Kallen hyt Watlynge Strete),
HF 940 That ones was ybrent with hete,
HF 941 Whan the sonnes sone the rede,
HF 942 That highte Pheton, wolde lede
HF 943 Algate hys fader carte, and gye.
HF 944 The carte-hors gonne wel espye
HF 945 That he koude no governaunce,
HF 946 And gonne for to lepe and launce,
HF 947 And beren hym now up, now doun,
HF 948 Til that he sey the Scorpioun,
HF 949 Which that in heven a sygne is yit.
HF 950 And he for ferde loste hys wyt
HF 951 Of that, and let the reynes gon
HF 952 Of his hors; and they anoon
HF 953 Gonne up to mounte and doun descende,
HF 954 Til bothe the eyr and erthe brende,
HF 955 Til Jupiter, loo, atte laste,
HF 956 Hym slow, and fro the carte caste.
HF 957 Loo, ys it not a gret myschaunce
HF 958 To lete a fool han governaunce
HF 959 Of thing that he can not demeyne?"
HF 960 And with this word, soth for to seyne,
HF 961 He gan alway upper to sore,
HF 962 And gladded me ay more and more,
HF 963 So feythfully to me spak he.
HF 964 Tho gan y loken under me
HF 965 And beheld the ayerissh bestes,
HF 966 Cloudes, mystes, and tempestes,
HF 967 Snowes, hayles, reynes, wyndes,
HF 968 And th' engendrynge in hir kyndes,
HF 969 All the wey thrugh which I cam.
HF 970 "O God," quod y, "that made Adam,
HF 971 Moche ys thy myght and thy noblesse!"
HF 972 And thoo thoughte y upon Boece,
HF 973 That writ, "A thought may flee so hye
HF 974 Wyth fetheres of Philosophye,
HF 975 To passen everych element,
HF 976 And whan he hath so fer ywent,
HF 977 Than may be seen behynde hys bak
HF 978 Cloude" -- and al that y of spak.
HF 979 Thoo gan y wexen in a were,
HF 980 And seyde, "Y wot wel y am here,
HF 981 But wher in body or in gost
HF 982 I not, ywys, but God, thou wost,"
HF 983 For more clere entendement
HF 984 Nas me never yit ysent.
HF 985 And than thoughte y on Marcian,
HF 986 And eke on Anteclaudian,
HF 987 That sooth was her descripsion
HF 988 Of alle the hevenes region,
HF 989 As fer as that y sey the preve;
HF 990 Therfore y kan hem now beleve.
HF 991 With that this egle gan to crye,
HF 992 "Lat be," quod he, "thy fantasye!
HF 993 Wilt thou lere of sterres aught?"
HF 994 "Nay, certeynly," quod y, "ryght naught."
HF 995 "And why?" "For y am now to old."
HF 996 "Elles I wolde the have told,"
HF 997 Quod he, "the sterres names, lo,
HF 998 And al the hevenes sygnes therto,
HF 999 And which they ben." "No fors," quod y.
HF 1000 "Yis, pardee," quod he; "wostow why?
HF 1001 For when thou redest poetrie,
HF 1002 How goddes gonne stellifye
HF 1003 Bridd, fissh, best, or him or here,
HF 1004 As the Raven or eyther Bere,
HF 1005 Or Arionis harpe fyn,
HF 1006 Castor, Pollux, or Delphyn,
HF 1007 Or Athalantes doughtres sevene,
HF 1008 How alle these arn set in hevene;
HF 1009 For though thou have hem ofte on honde,
HF 1010 Yet nostow not wher that they stonde."
HF 1011 "No fors," quod y, "hyt is no nede.
HF 1012 I leve as wel, so God me spede,
HF 1013 Hem that write of this matere,
HF 1014 As though I knew her places here;
HF 1015 And eke they shynen here so bryghte,
HF 1016 Hyt shulde shenden al my syghte
HF 1017 To loke on hem." "That may wel be,"
HF 1018 Quod he. And so forth bar he me
HF 1019 A while, and than he gan to crye,
HF 1020 That never herde I thing so hye,
HF 1021 "Now up the hed, for al ys wel;
HF 1022 Seynt Julyan, loo, bon hostel!
HF 1023 Se here the Hous of Fame, lo!
HF 1024 Maistow not heren that I do?"
HF 1025 "What?" quod I. "The grete soun,"
HF 1026 Quod he, "that rumbleth up and doun
HF 1027 In Fames Hous, full of tydynges,
HF 1028 Bothe of feir speche and chidynges,
HF 1029 And of fals and soth compouned.
HF 1030 Herke wel; hyt is not rouned.
HF 1031 Herestow not the grete swogh?"
HF 1032 "Yis, parde," quod y, "wel ynogh."
HF 1033 "And what soun is it lyk?" quod hee.
HF 1034 "Peter, lyk betynge of the see,"
HF 1035 Quod y, "ayen the roches holowe,
HF 1036 Whan tempest doth the shippes swalowe,
HF 1037 And lat a man stonde, out of doute,
HF 1038 A myle thens, and here hyt route;
HF 1039 Or elles lyk the last humblynge
HF 1040 After the clappe of a thundringe,
HF 1041 Whan Joves hath the air ybete.
HF 1042 But yt doth me for fere swete."
HF 1043 "Nay, dred the not therof," quod he;
HF 1044 "Hyt is nothing will byten the;
HF 1045 Thou shalt non harm have trewely."
HF 1046 And with this word both he and y
HF 1047 As nygh the place arryved were
HF 1048 As men may casten with a spere.
HF 1049 Y nyste how, but in a strete
HF 1050 He sette me fair on my fete,
HF 1051 And seyde, "Walke forth a pas,
HF 1052 And tak thyn aventure or cas
HF 1053 That thou shalt fynde in Fames place."
HF 1054 "Now," quod I, "while we han space
HF 1055 To speke, or that I goo fro the,
HF 1056 For the love of God, telle me --
HF 1057 In sooth, that wil I of the lere --
HF 1058 Yf thys noyse that I here
HF 1059 Be, as I have herd the tellen,
HF 1060 Of folk that doun in erthe duellen,
HF 1061 And cometh here in the same wyse
HF 1062 As I the herde or this devyse;
HF 1063 And that there lives body nys
HF 1064 In al that hous that yonder ys,
HF 1065 That maketh al this loude fare."
HF 1066 "Noo," quod he, "by Seynte Clare,
HF 1067 And also wis God rede me;
HF 1068 But o thing y will warne the,
HF 1069 Of the whiche thou wolt have wonder.
HF 1070 Loo, to the Hous of Fame yonder,
HF 1071 Thou wost now how, cometh every speche --
HF 1072 Hyt nedeth noght eft the to teche.
HF 1073 But understond now ryght wel this:
HF 1074 Whan any speche ycomen ys
HF 1075 Up to the paleys, anon-ryght
HF 1076 Hyt wexeth lyk the same wight
HF 1077 Which that the word in erthe spak,
HF 1078 Be hyt clothed red or blak;
HF 1079 And hath so verray hys lyknesse
HF 1080 That spak the word, that thou wilt gesse
HF 1081 That it the same body be,
HF 1082 Man or woman, he or she.
HF 1083 And ys not this a wonder thyng?"
HF 1084 "Yis," quod I tho, "by heven kyng!"
HF 1085 And with this word, "Farewel," quod he,
HF 1086 "And here I wol abyden the;
HF 1087 And God of heven sende the grace
HF 1088 Some good to lernen in this place."
HF 1089 And I of him tok leve anon,
HF 1090 And gan forth to the paleys gon.
HF 1091 O God of science and of lyght,
HF 1092 Appollo, thurgh thy grete myght,
HF 1093 This lytel laste bok thou gye!
HF 1094 Nat that I wilne, for maistrye,
HF 1095 Here art poetical be shewed,
HF 1096 But for the rym ys lyght and lewed,
HF 1097 Yit make hyt sumwhat agreable,
HF 1098 Though som vers fayle in a sillable;
HF 1099 And that I do no diligence
HF 1100 To shewe craft, but o sentence.
HF 1101 And yif, devyne vertu, thow
HF 1102 Wilt helpe me to shewe now
HF 1103 That in myn hed ymarked ys --
HF 1104 Loo, that is for to menen this,
HF 1105 The Hous of Fame for to descryve --
HF 1106 Thou shalt se me go as blyve
HF 1107 Unto the nexte laure y see,
HF 1108 And kysse yt, for hyt is thy tree.
HF 1109 Now entre in my brest anoon!
HF 1110 Whan I was fro thys egle goon,
HF 1111 I gan beholde upon this place.
HF 1112 And certein, or I ferther pace,
HF 1113 I wol yow al the shap devyse
HF 1114 Of hous and [site], and al the wyse
HF 1115 How I gan to thys place aproche
HF 1116 That stood upon so hygh a roche,
HF 1117 Hier stant ther non in Spayne.
HF 1118 But up I clomb with alle payne,
HF 1119 And though to clymbe it greved me,
HF 1120 Yit I ententyf was to see,
HF 1121 And for to powren wonder lowe,
HF 1122 Yf I koude any weyes knowe
HF 1123 What maner stoon this roche was.
HF 1124 For hyt was lyk alum de glas,
HF 1125 But that hyt shoon ful more clere;
HF 1126 But of what congeled matere
HF 1127 Hyt was, I nyste redely.
HF 1128 But at the laste aspied I,
HF 1129 And found that hit was every del
HF 1130 A roche of yse, and not of stel.
HF 1131 Thoughte I, "By Seynt Thomas of Kent,
HF 1132 This were a feble fundament
HF 1133 To bilden on a place hye.
HF 1134 He ought him lytel glorifye
HF 1135 That hereon bilt, God so me save!"
HF 1136 Tho sawgh I al the half ygrave
HF 1137 With famous folkes names fele,
HF 1138 That had iben in mochel wele,
HF 1139 And her fames wide yblowe.
HF 1140 But wel unnethes koude I knowe
HF 1141 Any lettres for to rede
HF 1142 Hir names by; for, out of drede,
HF 1143 They were almost ofthowed so
HF 1144 That of the lettres oon or two
HF 1145 Was molte away of every name,
HF 1146 So unfamous was woxe hir fame.
HF 1147 But men seyn, "What may ever laste?"
HF 1148 Thoo gan I in myn herte caste
HF 1149 That they were molte awey with hete,
HF 1150 And not awey with stormes bete.
HF 1151 For on that other syde I say
HF 1152 Of this hil, that northward lay,
HF 1153 How hit was writen ful of names
HF 1154 Of folkes that hadden grete fames
HF 1155 Of olde tyme, and yet they were
HF 1156 As fressh as men had writen hem here
HF 1157 The selve day ryght, or that houre
HF 1158 That I upon hem gan to poure.
HF 1159 But wel I wiste what yt made;
HF 1160 Hyt was conserved with the shade
HF 1161 Of a castel that stood on high --
HF 1162 Al this writynge that I sigh --
HF 1163 And stood eke on so cold a place
HF 1164 That hete myghte hit not deface.
HF 1165 Thoo gan I up the hil to goon,
HF 1166 And fond upon the cop a woon,
HF 1167 That al the men that ben on lyve
HF 1168 Ne han the kunnynge to descrive
HF 1169 The beaute of that ylke place,
HF 1170 Ne coude casten no compace
HF 1171 Swich another for to make,
HF 1172 That myght of beaute ben hys make,
HF 1173 Ne so wonderlych ywrought;
HF 1174 That hit astonyeth yit my thought,
HF 1175 And maketh al my wyt to swynke,
HF 1176 On this castel to bethynke,
HF 1177 So that the grete craft, beaute,
HF 1178 The cast, the curiosite
HF 1179 Ne kan I not to yow devyse;
HF 1180 My wit ne may me not suffise.
HF 1181 But natheles al the substance
HF 1182 I have yit in my remembrance;
HF 1183 For whi me thoughte, be Seynt Gyle,
HF 1184 Al was of ston of beryle,
HF 1185 Bothe the castel and the tour,
HF 1186 And eke the halle and every bour,
HF 1187 Wythouten peces or joynynges.
HF 1188 But many subtil compassinges,
HF 1189 [Babewynnes] and pynacles,
HF 1190 Ymageries and tabernacles
HF 1191 I say; and ful eke of wyndowes
HF 1192 As flakes falle in grete snowes.
HF 1193 And eke in ech of the pynacles
HF 1194 Weren sondry habitacles,
HF 1195 In which stoden, al withoute --
HF 1196 Ful the castel, al aboute --
HF 1197 Of alle maner of mynstralles
HF 1198 And gestiours that tellen tales
HF 1199 Both of wepinge and of game,
HF 1200 Of al that longeth unto Fame.
HF 1201 Ther herde I pleyen on an harpe,
HF 1202 That sowned bothe wel and sharpe,
HF 1203 Orpheus ful craftely,
HF 1204 And on his syde, faste by,
HF 1205 Sat the harper Orion,
HF 1206 And Eacides Chiron,
HF 1207 And other harpers many oon,
HF 1208 And the Bret Glascurion;
HF 1209 And smale harpers with her glees
HF 1210 Sate under hem in dyvers sees,
HF 1211 And gunne on hem upward to gape,
HF 1212 And countrefete hem as an ape,
HF 1213 Or as craft countrefeteth kynde.
HF 1214 Tho saugh I stonden hem behynde,
HF 1215 Afer fro hem, al be hemselve,
HF 1216 Many thousand tymes twelve,
HF 1217 That maden lowde mynstralcies
HF 1218 In cornemuse and shalemyes,
HF 1219 And many other maner pipe,
HF 1220 That craftely begunne to pipe,
HF 1221 Bothe in doucet and in rede,
HF 1222 That ben at festes with the brede;
HF 1223 And many flowte and liltyng horn,
HF 1224 And pipes made of grene corn,
HF 1225 As han thise lytel herde-gromes
HF 1226 That kepen bestis in the bromes.
HF 1227 Ther saugh I than Atiteris,
HF 1228 And of Athenes daun Pseustis,
HF 1229 And Marcia that loste her skyn,
HF 1230 Bothe in face, body, and chyn,
HF 1231 For that she wolde envien, loo,
HF 1232 To pipen bet than Appolloo.
HF 1233 Ther saugh I famous, olde and yonge,
HF 1234 Pipers of the Duche tonge,
HF 1235 To lerne love-daunces, sprynges,
HF 1236 Reyes, and these straunge thynges.
HF 1237 Tho saugh I in an other place
HF 1238 Stonden in a large space,
HF 1239 Of hem that maken blody soun
HF 1240 In trumpe, beme, and claryoun;
HF 1241 For in fight and blod-shedynge
HF 1242 Ys used gladly clarionynge.
HF 1243 Ther herde I trumpen Messenus,
HF 1244 Of whom that speketh Virgilius.
HF 1245 There herde I trumpe Joab also,
HF 1246 Theodomas, and other mo;
HF 1247 And alle that used clarion
HF 1248 In Cataloigne and Aragon,
HF 1249 That in her tyme famous were
HF 1250 To lerne, saugh I trumpe there.
HF 1251 There saugh I sitte in other sees,
HF 1252 Pleyinge upon sondry glees,
HF 1253 Whiche that I kan not nevene,
HF 1254 Moo than sterres ben in hevene,
HF 1255 Of whiche I nyl as now not ryme,
HF 1256 For ese of yow and los of tyme.
HF 1257 For tyme ylost, this knowen ye,
HF 1258 Be no way may recovered be.
HF 1259 Ther saugh I pleye jugelours,
HF 1260 Magiciens, and tregetours,
HF 1261 And Phitonesses, charmeresses,
HF 1262 Olde wicches, sorceresses,
HF 1263 That use exorsisacions,
HF 1264 And eke these fumygacions;
HF 1265 And clerkes eke, which konne wel
HF 1266 Al this magik naturel,
HF 1267 That craftely doon her ententes
HF 1268 To make, in certeyn ascendentes,
HF 1269 Ymages, lo, thrugh which magik
HF 1270 To make a man ben hool or syk.
HF 1271 Ther saugh I the, quene Medea,
HF 1272 And Circes eke, and Calipsa;
HF 1273 Ther saugh I Hermes Ballenus,
HF 1274 Limote, and eke Symon Magus.
HF 1275 There saugh I, and knew hem by name,
HF 1276 That by such art don men han fame.
HF 1277 Ther saugh I Colle tregetour
HF 1278 Upon a table of sycamour
HF 1279 Pleye an uncouth thyng to telle --
HF 1280 Y saugh him carien a wynd-melle
HF 1281 Under a walsh-note shale.
HF 1282 What shuld I make lenger tale
HF 1283 Of alle the pepil y ther say,
HF 1284 Fro hennes into domes day?
HF 1285 Whan I had al this folk beholde,
HF 1286 And fond me lous and nought yholde,
HF 1287 And eft imused longe while
HF 1288 Upon these walles of berile,
HF 1289 That shoone ful lyghter than a glas
HF 1290 And made wel more than hit was
HF 1291 To semen every thing, ywis,
HF 1292 As kynde thyng of Fames is,
HF 1293 I gan forth romen til I fond
HF 1294 The castel-yate on my ryght hond,
HF 1295 Which that so wel corven was
HF 1296 That never such another nas;
HF 1297 And yit it was be aventure
HF 1298 Iwrought, as often as be cure.
HF 1299 Hyt nedeth noght yow more to tellen,
HF 1300 To make yow to longe duellen,
HF 1301 Of this yates florisshinges,
HF 1302 Ne of compasses, ne of kervynges,
HF 1303 Ne how they hatte in masoneries,
HF 1304 As corbetz, ful of ymageries.
HF 1305 But Lord, so fair yt was to shewe,
HF 1306 For hit was al with gold behewe.
HF 1307 But in I wente, and that anoon.
HF 1308 Ther mette I cryinge many oon,
HF 1309 "A larges, larges, hold up wel!
HF 1310 God save the lady of thys pel,
HF 1311 Our oune gentil lady Fame,
HF 1312 And hem that wilnen to have name
HF 1313 Of us!" Thus herde y crien alle,
HF 1314 And faste comen out of halle
HF 1315 And shoken nobles and sterlynges.
HF 1316 And somme corouned were as kynges,
HF 1317 With corounes wroght ful of losenges;
HF 1318 And many ryban and many frenges
HF 1319 Were on her clothes trewely.
HF 1320 Thoo atte last aspyed y
HF 1321 That pursevantes and heraudes,
HF 1322 That crien ryche folkes laudes,
HF 1323 Hyt weren alle; and every man
HF 1324 Of hem, as y yow tellen can,
HF 1325 Had on him throwen a vesture
HF 1326 Which that men clepe a cote-armure,
HF 1327 Enbrowded wonderliche ryche,
HF 1328 Although they nere nought ylyche.
HF 1329 But noght nyl I, so mote y thryve,
HF 1330 Ben aboute to dyscryve
HF 1331 Alle these armes that ther weren,
HF 1332 That they thus on her cotes beren,
HF 1333 For hyt to me were impossible;
HF 1334 Men myghte make of hem a bible
HF 1335 Twenty foot thykke, as y trowe.
HF 1336 For certeyn, whoso koude iknowe
HF 1337 Myghte ther alle the armes seen
HF 1338 Of famous folk that han ybeen
HF 1339 In Auffrike, Europe, and Asye,
HF 1340 Syth first began the chevalrie.
HF 1341 Loo, how shulde I now telle al thys?
HF 1342 Ne of the halle eke what nede is
HF 1343 To tellen yow that every wal
HF 1344 Of hit, and flor, and roof, and al
HF 1345 Was plated half a foote thikke
HF 1346 Of gold, and that nas nothyng wikke,
HF 1347 But for to prove in alle wyse,
HF 1348 As fyn as ducat in Venyse,
HF 1349 Of which to lite al in my pouche is.
HF 1350 And they were set as thik of nouchis
HF 1351 Ful of the fynest stones faire
HF 1352 That men rede in the Lapidaire,
HF 1353 As grasses growen in a mede.
HF 1354 But hit were al to longe to rede
HF 1355 The names, and therfore I pace.
HF 1356 But in this lusty and ryche place
HF 1357 That Fames halle called was,
HF 1358 Ful moche prees of folk ther nas,
HF 1359 Ne crowdyng for to mochil prees.
HF 1360 But al on hye, above a dees,
HF 1361 Sitte in a see imperiall,
HF 1362 That mad was of a rubee all,
HF 1363 Which that a carbuncle ys ycalled,
HF 1364 Y saugh, perpetually ystalled,
HF 1365 A femynyne creature,
HF 1366 That never formed by Nature
HF 1367 Nas such another thing yseye.
HF 1368 For alther-first, soth for to seye,
HF 1369 Me thoughte that she was so lyte
HF 1370 That the lengthe of a cubite
HF 1371 Was lengere than she semed be.
HF 1372 But thus sone in a whyle she
HF 1373 Hir tho so wonderliche streighte
HF 1374 That with hir fet she erthe reighte,
HF 1375 And with hir hed she touched hevene,
HF 1376 Ther as shynen sterres sevene,
HF 1377 And therto eke, as to my wit,
HF 1378 I saugh a gretter wonder yit,
HF 1379 Upon her eyen to beholde;
HF 1380 But certeyn y hem never tolde,
HF 1381 For as feele eyen hadde she
HF 1382 As fetheres upon foules be,
HF 1383 Or weren on the bestes foure
HF 1384 That Goddis trone gunne honoure,
HF 1385 As John writ in th' Apocalips.
HF 1386 Hir heer, that oundy was and crips,
HF 1387 As burned gold hyt shoon to see;
HF 1388 And soth to tellen, also she
HF 1389 Had also fele upstondyng eres
HF 1390 And tonges, as on bestes heres;
HF 1391 And on hir fet woxen saugh Y
HF 1392 Partriches wynges redely.
HF 1393 But Lord, the perry and the richesse
HF 1394 I saugh sittyng on this godesse!
HF 1395 And Lord, the hevenyssh melodye
HF 1396 Of songes ful of armonye
HF 1397 I herde aboute her trone ysonge,
HF 1398 That al the paleys-walles ronge.
HF 1399 So song the myghty Muse, she
HF 1400 That cleped ys Caliope,
HF 1401 And hir eighte sustren eke,
HF 1402 That in her face semen meke;
HF 1403 And ever mo, eternally,
HF 1404 They songe of Fame, as thoo herd y:
HF 1405 "Heryed be thou and thy name,
HF 1406 Goddesse of Renoun or of Fame!"
HF 1407 Tho was I war, loo, atte laste,
HF 1408 As I myne eyen gan up caste,
HF 1409 That thys ylke noble quene
HF 1410 On her shuldres gan sustene
HF 1411 Bothe th' armes and the name
HF 1412 Of thoo that hadde large fame:
HF 1413 Alexander and Hercules,
HF 1414 That with a sherte hys lyf les.
HF 1415 And thus fond y syttynge this goddesse
HF 1416 In nobley, honour, and rychesse;
HF 1417 Of which I stynte a while now,
HF 1418 Other thing to tellen yow.
HF 1419 Tho saugh I stonde on eyther syde,
HF 1420 Streight doun to the dores wide,
HF 1421 Fro the dees, many a peler
HF 1422 Of metal that shoon not ful cler;
HF 1423 But though they nere of no rychesse,
HF 1424 Yet they were mad for gret noblesse,
HF 1425 And in hem hy and gret sentence;
HF 1426 And folk of digne reverence,
HF 1427 Of which I wil yow telle fonde,
HF 1428 Upon the piler saugh I stonde.
HF 1429 Alderfirst, loo, ther I sigh
HF 1430 Upon a piler stonde on high,
HF 1431 That was of led and yren fyn,
HF 1432 Hym of secte saturnyn,
HF 1433 The Ebrayk Josephus the olde,
HF 1434 That of Jewes gestes tolde;
HF 1435 And he bar on hys shuldres hye
HF 1436 The fame up of the Jewerye.
HF 1437 And by hym stoden other sevene,
HF 1438 Wise and worthy for to nevene,
HF 1439 To helpen him bere up the charge,
HF 1440 Hyt was so hevy and so large.
HF 1441 And for they writen of batayles,
HF 1442 As wel as other olde mervayles,
HF 1443 Therfor was, loo, thys piler
HF 1444 Of which that I yow telle her,
HF 1445 Of led and yren bothe, ywys,
HF 1446 For yren Martes metal ys,
HF 1447 Which that god is of bataylle;
HF 1448 And the led, withouten faille,
HF 1449 Ys, loo, the metal of Saturne,
HF 1450 That hath a ful large whel to turne.
HF 1451 Thoo stoden forth on every rowe
HF 1452 Of hem which that I koude knowe,
HF 1453 Though I hem noght be ordre telle,
HF 1454 To make yow to longe to duelle,
HF 1455 These of whiche I gynne rede.
HF 1456 There saugh I stonden, out of drede,
HF 1457 Upon an yren piler strong
HF 1458 That peynted was al endelong
HF 1459 With tigres blod in every place,
HF 1460 The Tholosan that highte Stace,
HF 1461 That bar of Thebes up the fame
HF 1462 Upon his shuldres, and the name
HF 1463 Also of cruel Achilles.
HF 1464 And by him stood, withouten les,
HF 1465 Ful wonder hy on a piler
HF 1466 Of yren, he, the gret Omer;
HF 1467 And with him Dares and Tytus
HF 1468 Before, and eke he Lollius,
HF 1469 And Guydo eke de Columpnis,
HF 1470 And Englyssh Gaufride eke, ywis;
HF 1471 And ech of these, as have I joye,
HF 1472 Was besy for to bere up Troye.
HF 1473 So hevy therof was the fame
HF 1474 That for to bere hyt was no game.
HF 1475 But yet I gan ful wel espie,
HF 1476 Betwex hem was a litil envye.
HF 1477 Oon seyde that Omer made lyes,
HF 1478 Feynynge in hys poetries,
HF 1479 And was to Grekes favorable;
HF 1480 Therfor held he hyt but fable.
HF 1481 Tho saugh I stonde on a piler,
HF 1482 That was of tynned yren cler,
HF 1483 The Latyn poete Virgile,
HF 1484 That bore hath up a longe while
HF 1485 The fame of Pius Eneas.
HF 1486 And next hym on a piler was,
HF 1487 Of coper, Venus clerk Ovide,
HF 1488 That hath ysowen wonder wide
HF 1489 The grete god of Loves name.
HF 1490 And ther he bar up wel hys fame
HF 1491 Upon this piler, also hye
HF 1492 As I myghte see hyt with myn ye;
HF 1493 For-why this halle, of which I rede,
HF 1494 Was woxen on highte, length, and brede,
HF 1495 Wel more be a thousand del
HF 1496 Than hyt was erst, that saugh I wel.
HF 1497 Thoo saugh I on a piler by,
HF 1498 Of yren wroght ful sternely,
HF 1499 The grete poete daun Lucan,
HF 1500 And on hys shuldres bar up than,
HF 1501 As high as that y myghte see,
HF 1502 The fame of Julius and Pompe.
HF 1503 And by him stoden alle these clerkes
HF 1504 That writen of Romes myghty werkes,
HF 1505 That yf y wolde her names telle,
HF 1506 Al to longe most I dwelle.
HF 1507 And next him on a piler stood
HF 1508 Of soulfre, lyk as he were wood,
HF 1509 Daun Claudian, the sothe to telle,
HF 1510 That bar up al the fame of helle,
HF 1511 Of Pluto, and of Proserpyne,
HF 1512 That quene ys of the derke pyne.
HF 1513 What shulde y more telle of this?
HF 1514 The halle was al ful, ywys,
HF 1515 Of hem that writen olde gestes
HF 1516 As ben on trees rokes nestes;
HF 1517 But hit a ful confus matere
HF 1518 Were alle the gestes for to here
HF 1519 That they of write, or how they highte.
HF 1520 But while that y beheld thys syghte,
HF 1521 I herde a noyse aprochen blyve,
HF 1522 That ferde as been don in an hive
HF 1523 Ayen her tyme of out-fleynge;
HF 1524 Ryght such a maner murmurynge,
HF 1525 For al the world, hyt semed me.
HF 1526 Tho gan I loke aboute and see
HF 1527 That ther come entryng into the halle
HF 1528 A ryght gret companye withalle,
HF 1529 And that of sondry regiouns,
HF 1530 Of alleskynnes condiciouns
HF 1531 That dwelle in erthe under the mone,
HF 1532 Pore and ryche. And also sone
HF 1533 As they were come in to the halle,
HF 1534 They gonne doun on knees falle
HF 1535 Before this ilke noble quene,
HF 1536 And seyde, "Graunte us, lady shene,
HF 1537 Ech of us of thy grace a bone!"
HF 1538 And somme of hem she graunted sone,
HF 1539 And somme she werned wel and faire,
HF 1540 And some she graunted the contraire
HF 1541 Of her axyng outterly.
HF 1542 But thus I seye yow, trewely,
HF 1543 What her cause was, y nyste.
HF 1544 For of this folk ful wel y wiste
HF 1545 They hadde good fame ech deserved,
HF 1546 Although they were dyversly served;
HF 1547 Ryght as her suster, dame Fortune,
HF 1548 Ys wont to serven in comune.
HF 1549 Now herke how she gan to paye
HF 1550 That gonne her of her grace praye;
HF 1551 And yit, lo, al this companye
HF 1552 Seyden sooth, and noght a lye.
HF 1553 "Madame," seyde they, "we be
HF 1554 Folk that here besechen the
HF 1555 That thou graunte us now good fame,
HF 1556 And let our werkes han that name.
HF 1557 In ful recompensacioun
HF 1558 Of good werkes, yive us good renoun."
HF 1559 "I werne yow hit," quod she anon;
HF 1560 "Ye gete of me good fame non,
HF 1561 Be God, and therfore goo your wey."
HF 1562 "Allas," quod they, "and welaway!
HF 1563 Telle us what may your cause be."
HF 1564 "For me lyst hyt noght," quod she;
HF 1565 "No wyght shal speke of yow, ywis,
HF 1566 Good ne harm, ne that ne this."
HF 1567 And with that word she gan to calle
HF 1568 Her messager, that was in halle,
HF 1569 And bad that he shulde faste goon,
HF 1570 Upon peyne to be blynd anon,
HF 1571 For Eolus the god of wynde --
HF 1572 "In Trace, ther ye shal him fynde,
HF 1573 And bid him bringe his clarioun,
HF 1574 That is ful dyvers of his soun,
HF 1575 And hyt is cleped Clere Laude,
HF 1576 With which he wont is to heraude
HF 1577 Hem that me list ypreised be.
HF 1578 And also bid him how that he
HF 1579 Brynge his other clarioun,
HF 1580 That highte Sklaundre in every toun,
HF 1581 With which he wont is to diffame
HF 1582 Hem that me liste, and do hem shame."
HF 1583 This messager gan faste goon,
HF 1584 And found where in a cave of ston,
HF 1585 In a contree that highte Trace,
HF 1586 This Eolus, with harde grace,
HF 1587 Held the wyndes in distresse,
HF 1588 And gan hem under him to presse,
HF 1589 That they gonne as beres rore,
HF 1590 He bond and pressed hem so sore.
HF 1591 This messager gan faste crie,
HF 1592 "Rys up," quod he, "and faste hye,
HF 1593 Til thou at my lady be;
HF 1594 And tak thy clariouns eke with the,
HF 1595 And sped the forth." And he anon
HF 1596 Tok to a man that highte Triton
HF 1597 Hys clarions to bere thoo,
HF 1598 And let a certeyn wynd to goo,
HF 1599 That blew so hydously and hye
HF 1600 That hyt ne lefte not a skye
HF 1601 In alle the welken long and brod.
HF 1602 This Eolus nowhere abod
HF 1603 Til he was come to Fames fet,
HF 1604 And eke the man that Triton het;
HF 1605 And ther he stod, as stille as stoon.
HF 1606 And her-withal ther come anoon
HF 1607 Another huge companye
HF 1608 Of goode folk, and gunne crie,
HF 1609 "Lady, graunte us now good fame,
HF 1610 And lat oure werkes han that name
HF 1611 Now in honour of gentilesse,
HF 1612 And also God your soule blesse!
HF 1613 For we han wel deserved hyt,
HF 1614 Therfore is ryght that we ben quyt."
HF 1615 "As thryve I," quod she, "ye shal faylle!
HF 1616 Good werkes shal yow noght availle
HF 1617 To have of me good fame as now.
HF 1618 But wite ye what? Y graunte yow
HF 1619 That ye shal have a shrewed fame,
HF 1620 And wikkyd loos, and worse name,
HF 1621 Though ye good loos have wel deserved.
HF 1622 Now goo your wey, for ye be served.
HF 1623 And thou, dan Eolus, let see,
HF 1624 Tak forth thy trumpe anon," quod she,
HF 1625 "That is ycleped Sklaundre lyght,
HF 1626 And blow her loos, that every wight
HF 1627 Speke of hem harm and shrewednesse
HF 1628 In stede of good and worthynesse.
HF 1629 For thou shalt trumpe alle the contrayre
HF 1630 Of that they han don wel or fayre."
HF 1631 "Allas," thoughte I, "what aventures
HF 1632 Han these sory creatures!
HF 1633 For they, amonges al the pres,
HF 1634 Shul thus be shamed gilteles.
HF 1635 But what, hyt moste nedes be."
HF 1636 What dide this Eolus, but he
HF 1637 Tok out hys blake trumpe of bras,
HF 1638 That fouler than the devel was,
HF 1639 And gan this trumpe for to blowe,
HF 1640 As al the world shulde overthrowe,
HF 1641 That thrughout every regioun
HF 1642 Wente this foule trumpes soun,
HF 1643 As swifte as pelet out of gonne
HF 1644 Whan fyr is in the poudre ronne.
HF 1645 And such a smoke gan out wende
HF 1646 Out of his foule trumpes ende,
HF 1647 Blak, bloo, grenyssh, swartish red,
HF 1648 As doth where that men melte led,
HF 1649 Loo, al on high fro the tuel.
HF 1650 And therto oo thing saugh I wel,
HF 1651 That the ferther that hit ran,
HF 1652 The gretter wexen hit began,
HF 1653 As dooth the ryver from a welle,
HF 1654 And hyt stank as the pit of helle.
HF 1655 Allas, thus was her shame yronge,
HF 1656 And gilteles, on every tonge!
HF 1657 Tho come the thridde companye,
HF 1658 And gunne up to the dees to hye,
HF 1659 And doun on knes they fille anon,
HF 1660 And seyde, "We ben everychon
HF 1661 Folk that han ful trewely
HF 1662 Deserved fame ryghtfully,
HF 1663 And praye yow, hit mote be knowe
HF 1664 Ryght as hit is, and forth yblowe."
HF 1665 "I graunte," quod she, "for me list
HF 1666 That now your goode werkes be wist,
HF 1667 And yet ye shul han better loos,
HF 1668 Right in dispit of alle your foos,
HF 1669 Than worthy is, and that anoon.
HF 1670 Lat now," quod she, "thy trumpe goon,
HF 1671 Thou Eolus, that is so blak;
HF 1672 And out thyn other trumpe tak
HF 1673 That highte Laude, and blow yt soo
HF 1674 That thrugh the world her fame goo
HF 1675 Al esely, and not to faste,
HF 1676 That hyt be knowen atte laste."
HF 1677 "Ful gladly, lady myn," he seyde;
HF 1678 And out hys trumpe of gold he brayde
HF 1679 Anon, and sette hyt to his mouth,
HF 1680 And blew it est, and west, and south,
HF 1681 And north, as lowde as any thunder,
HF 1682 That every wight hath of hit wonder,
HF 1683 So brode hyt ran or than hit stente.
HF 1684 And, certes, al the breth that wente
HF 1685 Out of his trumpes mouth it smelde
HF 1686 As men a pot of bawme helde
HF 1687 Among a basket ful of roses.
HF 1688 This favour dide he til her loses.
HF 1689 And ryght with this y gan aspye,
HF 1690 Ther come the ferthe companye --
HF 1691 But certeyn they were wonder fewe --
HF 1692 And gunne stonden in a rewe,
HF 1693 And seyden, "Certes, lady bryght,
HF 1694 We han don wel with al our myght,
HF 1695 But we ne kepen have no fame.
HF 1696 Hyde our werkes and our name,
HF 1697 For Goddys love; for certes we
HF 1698 Han certeyn doon hyt for bounte,
HF 1699 And for no maner other thing."
HF 1700 "I graunte yow alle your askyng,"
HF 1701 Quod she; "let your werkes be ded."
HF 1702 With that aboute y clew myn hed,
HF 1703 And saugh anoon the fifte route
HF 1704 That to this lady gunne loute,
HF 1705 And doun on knes anoon to falle;
HF 1706 And to hir thoo besoughten alle
HF 1707 To hide her goode werkes ek,
HF 1708 And seyden they yeven noght a lek
HF 1709 For fame ne for such renoun;
HF 1710 For they for contemplacioun
HF 1711 And Goddes love hadde ywrought,
HF 1712 Ne of fame wolde they nought.
HF 1713 "What?" quod she, "and be ye wood?
HF 1714 And wene ye for to doo good,
HF 1715 And for to have of that no fame?
HF 1716 Have ye dispit to have my name?
HF 1717 Nay, ye shul lyven everychon!
HF 1718 Blow thy trumpes, and that anon,"
HF 1719 Quod she, "thou Eolus, y hote,
HF 1720 And ryng this folkes werk be note,
HF 1721 That al the world may of hyt here."
HF 1722 And he gan blowe her loos so clere
HF 1723 In his golden clarioun
HF 1724 That thrugh the world wente the soun
HF 1725 Also kenely and eke so softe;
HF 1726 But atte last hyt was on-lofte.
HF 1727 Thoo come the sexte companye,
HF 1728 And gunne faste on Fame crie.
HF 1729 Ryght verraily in this manere
HF 1730 They seyden: "Mercy, lady dere!
HF 1731 To tellen certeyn as hyt is,
HF 1732 We han don neither that ne this,
HF 1733 But ydel al oure lyf ybe.
HF 1734 But natheles yet preye we
HF 1735 That we mowe han as good a fame,
HF 1736 And gret renoun and knowen name,
HF 1737 As they that han doon noble gestes,
HF 1738 And acheved alle her lestes,
HF 1739 As wel of love as other thyng.
HF 1740 Al was us never broche ne ryng,
HF 1741 Ne elles noght, from wymmen sent,
HF 1742 Ne ones in her herte yment
HF 1743 To make us oonly frendly chere,
HF 1744 But myghten temen us upon bere;
HF 1745 Yet lat us to the peple seme
HF 1746 Suche as the world may of us deme
HF 1747 That wommen loven us for wod.
HF 1748 Hyt shal doon us as moche good,
HF 1749 And to oure herte as moche avaylle
HF 1750 To countrepese ese and travaylle,
HF 1751 As we had wonne hyt with labour;
HF 1752 For that is dere boght honour
HF 1753 At regard of oure grete ese.
HF 1754 And yet thou most us more plese:
HF 1755 Let us be holden eke therto
HF 1756 Worthy, wise, and goode also,
HF 1757 And riche, and happy unto love.
HF 1758 For Goddes love, that sit above,
HF 1759 Thogh we may not the body have
HF 1760 Of wymmen, yet, so God yow save,
HF 1761 Leet men gliwe on us the name --
HF 1762 Sufficeth that we han the fame."
HF 1763 "I graunte," quod she, "be my trouthe!
HF 1764 Now, Eolus, withouten slouthe,
HF 1765 Tak out thy trumpe of gold, let se,
HF 1766 And blow as they han axed me,
HF 1767 That every man wene hem at ese,
HF 1768 Though they goon in ful badde lese."
HF 1769 This Eolus gan hit so blowe
HF 1770 That thrugh the world hyt was yknowe.
HF 1771 Thoo come the seventh route anoon,
HF 1772 And fel on knees everychoon,
HF 1773 And seyde, "Lady, graunte us sone
HF 1774 The same thing, the same bone,
HF 1775 That [ye] this nexte folk han doon."
HF 1776 "Fy on yow," quod she, "everychon!
HF 1777 Ye masty swyn, ye ydel wrechches,
HF 1778 Ful of roten, slowe techches!
HF 1779 What? False theves! Wher ye wolde
HF 1780 Be famous good, and nothing nolde
HF 1781 Deserve why, ne never ye roughte?
HF 1782 Men rather yow to hangen oughte!
HF 1783 For ye be lyke the sweynte cat
HF 1784 That wolde have fissh; but wostow what?
HF 1785 He wolde nothing wete his clowes.
HF 1786 Yvel thrift come to your jowes,
HF 1787 And eke to myn, if I hit graunte,
HF 1788 Or do yow favour, yow to avaunte!
HF 1789 Thou Eolus, thou kyng of Trace,
HF 1790 Goo blowe this folk a sory grace,"
HF 1791 Quod she, "anon; and wostow how?
HF 1792 As I shal telle thee ryght now.
HF 1793 Sey:These ben they that wolde honour
HF 1794 Have, and do noskynnes labour,
HF 1795 Ne doo no good, and yet han lawde;
HF 1796 And that men wende that bele Isawde
HF 1797 Ne coude hem noght of love werne,
HF 1798 And yet she that grynt at a querne
HF 1799 Ys al to good to ese her herte.'”
HF 1800 This Eolus anon up sterte,
HF 1801 And with his blake clarioun
HF 1802 He gan to blasen out a soun
HF 1803 As lowde as beloweth wynd in helle;
HF 1804 And eke therwith, soth to telle,
HF 1805 This soun was so ful of japes,
HF 1806 As ever mowes were in apes.
HF 1807 And that wente al the world aboute,
HF 1808 That every wight gan on hem shoute
HF 1809 And for to lawghe as they were wod,
HF 1810 Such game fonde they in her hod.
HF 1811 Tho come another companye,
HF 1812 That had ydoon the trayterye,
HF 1813 The harm, the grettest wikkednesse
HF 1814 That any herte kouth. gesse;
HF 1815 And prayed her to han good fame,
HF 1816 And that she nolde doon hem no shame,
HF 1817 But yeve hem loos and good renoun,
HF 1818 And do hyt blowe in a clarioun.
HF 1819 “Nay, wis,” quod she, “hyt were a vice.
HF 1820 Al be ther in me no justice,
HF 1821 Me lyste not to doo hyt now,
HF 1822 Ne this nyl I not graunte yow.”
HF 1823 Tho come ther lepynge in a route,
HF 1824 And gunne choppen al aboute
HF 1825 Every man upon the crowne,
HF 1826 That al the halle gan to sowne,
HF 1827 And seyden: “Lady, leef and dere,
HF 1828 We ben suche folk as ye mowe here.
HF 1829 To tellen al the tale aryght,
HF 1830 We ben shrewes, every wyght,
HF 1831 And han delyt in wikkednesse,
HF 1832 As goode folk han in godnesse;
HF 1833 And joye to be knowen shrewes,
HF 1834 And ful of vice and wikked thewes;
HF 1835 Wherefore we praye yow, a-rowe,
HF 1836 That oure fame such be knowe
HF 1837 In alle thing ryght as hit ys.”
HF 1838 “Y graunte hyt yow,” quod she, “ywis.
HF 1839 But what art thow that seyst this tale,
HF 1840 That werest on thy hose a pale,
HF 1841 And on thy tipet such a belle?”
HF 1842 “Madame,” quod he, “soth to telle,
HF 1843 I am that ylke shrewe, ywis,
HF 1844 That brende the temple of Ysidis
HF 1845 In Athenes, loo, that citee.”
HF 1846 “And wherfor didest thou so?” quod she.
HF 1847 “By my thrift,” quod he, “madame,
HF 1848 I wolde fayn han had a fame,
HF 1849 As other folk hadde in the toun,
HF 1850 Although they were of gret renoun
HF 1851 For her vertu and for her thewes.
HF 1852 Thoughte y, as gret a fame han shrewes,
HF 1853 Though hit be for shrewednesse,
HF 1854 As goode folk han for godnesse;
HF 1855 And sith y may not have that oon,
HF 1856 That other nyl y noght forgoon.
HF 1857 And for to gette of Fames hire,
HF 1858 The temple sette y al afire.
HF 1859 Now do our loos be blowen swithe,
HF 1860 As wisly be thou ever blythe!”
HF 1861 “Gladly,” quod she; “thow Eolus,
HF 1862 Herestow not what they prayen us?”
HF 1863 “Madame, yis, ful wel,” quod he,
HF 1864 “And I wil trumpen it, parde!”
HF 1865 And tok his blake trumpe faste,
HF 1866 And gan to puffen and to blaste,
HF 1867 Til hyt was at the worldes ende.
HF 1868 With that y gan aboute wende,
HF 1869 For oon that stood ryght at my bak,
HF 1870 Me thoughte, goodly to me spak,
HF 1871 And seyde, “Frend, what is thy name?
HF 1872 Artow come hider to han fame?”
HF 1873 “Nay, for sothe, frend,” quod y;
HF 1874 “I cam noght hyder, graunt mercy,
HF 1875 For no such cause, by my hed!
HF 1876 Sufficeth me, as I were ded,
HF 1877 That no wight have my name in honde.
HF 1878 I wot myself best how y stonde;
HF 1879 For what I drye, or what I thynke,
HF 1880 I wil myselven al hyt drynke,
HF 1881 Certeyn, for the more part,
HF 1882 As fer forth as I kan myn art.”
HF 1883 “But what doost thou here than?” quod he.
HF 1884 Quod y, “That wyl y tellen the,
HF 1885 The cause why y stonde here:
HF 1886 Somme newe tydynges for to lere,
HF 1887 Somme newe thinges, y not what,
HF 1888 Tydynges, other this or that,
HF 1889 Of love or suche thynges glade.
HF 1890 For certeynly, he that me made
HF 1891 To comen hyder, seyde me,
HF 1892 Y shulde bothe here and se
HF 1893 In this place wonder thynges;
HF 1894 But these be no suche tydynges
HF 1895 As I mene of.” “Noo?” quod he.
HF 1896 And I answered, “Noo, parde!
HF 1897 For wel y wiste ever yit,
HF 1898 Sith that first y hadde wit,
HF 1899 That somme folk han desired fame
HF 1900 Diversly, and loos, and name.
HF 1901 But certeynly, y nyste how
HF 1902 Ne where that Fame duelled, er now,
HF 1903 And eke of her descripcioun,
HF 1904 Ne also her condicioun,
HF 1905 Ne the ordre of her dom,
HF 1906 Unto the tyme y hidder com.”
HF 1907 “[Whych] than be, loo, these tydynges,
HF 1908 That thou now [thus] hider brynges,
HF 1909 That thou hast herd?” quod he to me;
HF 1910 “But now no fors, for wel y se
HF 1911 What thou desirest for to here.
HF 1912 Com forth and stond no lenger here,
HF 1913 And y wil thee, withouten drede,
HF 1914 In such another place lede
HF 1915 Ther thou shalt here many oon.”
HF 1916 Tho gan I forth with hym to goon
HF 1917 Out of the castel, soth to seye.
HF 1918 Tho saugh y stonde in a valeye,
HF 1919 Under the castel, faste by,
HF 1920 An hous, that Domus Dedaly,
HF 1921 That Laboryntus cleped ys,
HF 1922 Nas mad so wonderlych, ywis,
HF 1923 Ne half so queyntelych ywrought.
HF 1924 And ever mo, as swyft as thought,
HF 1925 This queynte hous aboute wente,
HF 1926 That never mo hyt stille stente.
HF 1927 And therout com so gret a noyse
HF 1928 That, had hyt stonden upon Oyse,
HF 1929 Men myghte hyt han herd esely
HF 1930 To Rome, y trowe sikerly.
HF 1931 And the noyse which that I herde,
HF 1932 For al the world ryght so hyt ferde
HF 1933 As dooth the rowtynge of the ston
HF 1934 That from th’ engyn ys leten gon.
HF 1935 And al thys hous of which y rede
HF 1936 Was mad of twigges, falwe, rede,
HF 1937 And grene eke, and somme weren white,
HF 1938 Swiche as men to these cages thwite,
HF 1939 Or maken of these panyers,
HF 1940 Or elles [hottes] or dossers;
HF 1941 That, for the swough and for the twygges,
HF 1942 This hous was also ful of gygges,
HF 1943 And also ful eke of chirkynges,
HF 1944 And of many other werkynges;
HF 1945 And eke this hous hath of entrees
HF 1946 As fele as of leves ben in trees
HF 1947 In somer, whan they grene been;
HF 1948 And on the roof men may yet seen
HF 1949 A thousand holes, and wel moo,
HF 1950 To leten wel the soun out goo.
HF 1951 And be day, in every tyde,
HF 1952 Been al the dores opened wide,
HF 1953 And be nyght echon unshette;
HF 1954 Ne porter ther is noon to lette
HF 1955 No maner tydynges in to pace.
HF 1956 Ne never rest is in that place
HF 1957 That hit nys fild ful of tydynges,
HF 1958 Other loude or of whisprynges;
HF 1959 And over alle the houses angles
HF 1960 Ys ful of rounynges and of jangles
HF 1961 Of werres, of pes, of mariages,
HF 1962 Of reste, of labour, of viages,
HF 1963 Of abood, of deeth, of lyf,
HF 1964 Of love, of hate, acord, of stryf,
HF 1965 Of loos, of lore, and of wynnynges,
HF 1966 Of hele, of seknesse, of bildynges,
HF 1967 Of faire wyndes, and of tempestes,
HF 1968 Of qwalm of folk, and eke of bestes;
HF 1969 Of dyvers transmutacions
HF 1970 Of estats, and eke of regions;
HF 1971 Of trust, of drede, of jelousye,
HF 1972 Of wit, of wynnynge, of folye;
HF 1973 Of plente, and of gret famyne,
HF 1974 Of chepe, of derthe, and of ruyne;
HF 1975 Of good or mys governement,
HF 1976 Of fyr, and of dyvers accident.
HF 1977 And loo, thys hous, of which I write,
HF 1978 Syker be ye, hit nas not lyte,
HF 1979 For hyt was sixty myle of lengthe.
HF 1980 Al was the tymber of no strengthe,
HF 1981 Yet hit is founded to endure
HF 1982 While that hit lyst to Aventure,
HF 1983 That is the moder of tydynges,
HF 1984 As the see of welles and of sprynges;
HF 1985 And hyt was shapen lyk a cage.
HF 1986 “Certys,” quod y, “in al myn age,
HF 1987 Ne saugh y such an hous as this.”
HF 1988 And as y wondred me, ywys,
HF 1989 Upon this hous, tho war was y
HF 1990 How that myn egle faste by
HF 1991 Was perched hye upon a stoon;
HF 1992 And I gan streghte to hym gon,
HF 1993 And seyde thus: “Y preye the
HF 1994 That thou a while abide me,
HF 1995 For Goddis love, and lete me seen
HF 1996 What wondres in this place been;
HF 1997 For yit, paraunter, y may lere
HF 1998 Som good theron, or sumwhat here
HF 1999 That leef me were, or that y wente.”
HF 2000 “Petre, that is myn entente,”
HF 2001 Quod he to me; “therfore y duelle.
HF 2002 But certeyn, oon thyng I the telle,
HF 2003 That but I bringe the therinne,
HF 2004 Ne shalt thou never kunne gynne
HF 2005 To come into hyt, out of doute,
HF 2006 So faste hit whirleth, lo, aboute.
HF 2007 But sith that Joves, of his grace,
HF 2008 As I have seyd, wol the solace
HF 2009 Fynally with these thinges,
HF 2010 Unkouthe syghtes and tydynges,
HF 2011 To passe with thyn hevynesse,
HF 2012 Such routhe hath he of thy distresse,
HF 2013 That thou suffrest debonairly —
HF 2014 And wost thyselven outtirly
HF 2015 Disesperat of alle blys,
HF 2016 Syth that Fortune hath mad amys
HF 2017 The [fruit] of al thyn hertys reste
HF 2018 Languisshe and eke in poynt to breste —
HF 2019 That he, thrugh hys myghty merite,
HF 2020 Wol do the an ese, al be hyt lyte,
HF 2021 And yaf in expres commaundement,
HF 2022 To which I am obedient,
HF 2023 To further the with al my myght,
HF 2024 And wisse and teche the aryght
HF 2025 Where thou maist most tidynges here.
HF 2026 Shaltow here anoon many oon lere.”
HF 2027 With this word he ryght anoon
HF 2028 Hente me up bytweene hys toon,
HF 2029 And at a wyndowe yn me broghte,
HF 2030 That in this hous was, as me thoghte —
HF 2031 And therwithalle, me thoughte hit stente,
HF 2032 And nothing hyt aboute wente —
HF 2033 And me sette in the flor adoun.
HF 2034 But which a congregacioun
HF 2035 Of folk, as I saugh rome aboute,
HF 2036 Some wythin and some wythoute,
HF 2037 Nas never seen, ne shal ben eft;
HF 2038 That, certys, in the world nys left
HF 2039 So many formed be Nature,
HF 2040 Ne ded so many a creature;
HF 2041 That wel unnethe in that place
HF 2042 Hadde y a fote-brede of space.
HF 2043 And every wight that I saugh there
HF 2044 Rouned everych in others ere
HF 2045 A newe tydynge prively,
HF 2046 Or elles tolde al openly
HF 2047 Ryght thus, and seyde: “Nost not thou
HF 2048 That ys betyd, lo, late or now?”
HF 2049 “No,” quod he, “telle me what.”
HF 2050 And than he tolde hym this and that,
HF 2051 And swor therto that hit was soth —
HF 2052 “Thus hath he sayd,” and “Thus he doth,”
HF 2053 “Thus shal hit be,” “Thus herde y seye,”
HF 2054 “That shal be founde,” “That dar I leye” —
HF 2055 That al the folk that ys alyve
HF 2056 Ne han the kunnynge to discryve
HF 2057 The thinges that I herde there,
HF 2058 What aloude, and what in ere.
HF 2059 But al the wondermost was this:
HF 2060 Whan oon had herd a thing, ywis,
HF 2061 He com forth ryght to another wight,
HF 2062 And gan him tellen anon-ryght
HF 2063 The same that to him was told,
HF 2064 Or hyt a forlong way was old,
HF 2065 But gan somwhat for to eche
HF 2066 To this tydynge in this speche
HF 2067 More than hit ever was.
HF 2068 And nat so sone departed nas
HF 2069 Tho fro him, that he ne mette
HF 2070 With the thridde; and or he lette
HF 2071 Any stounde, he told him als;
HF 2072 Were the tydynge soth or fals,
HF 2073 Yit wolde he telle hyt natheles,
HF 2074 And evermo with more encres
HF 2075 Than yt was erst. Thus north and south
HF 2076 Wente every tydyng fro mouth to mouth,
HF 2077 And that encresing ever moo,
HF 2078 As fyr ys wont to quyke and goo
HF 2079 From a sparke spronge amys,
HF 2080 Til al a citee brent up ys.
HF 2081 And whan that was ful yspronge,
HF 2082 And woxen more on every tonge
HF 2083 Than ever hit was, [hit] wente anoon
HF 2084 Up to a wyndowe out to goon;
HF 2085 Or, but hit myghte out there pace,
HF 2086 Hyt gan out crepe at som crevace,
HF 2087 And flygh forth faste for the nones.
HF 2088 And somtyme saugh I thoo at ones
HF 2089 A lesyng and a sad soth sawe,
HF 2090 That gonne of aventure drawe
HF 2091 Out at a wyndowe for to pace;
HF 2092 And, when they metten in that place,
HF 2093 They were achekked bothe two,
HF 2094 And neyther of hem moste out goo
HF 2095 For other, so they gonne crowde,
HF 2096 Til ech of hem gan crien lowde,
HF 2097 “Lat me go first!” “Nay, but let me!
HF 2098 And here I wol ensuren the,
HF 2099 Wyth the nones that thou wolt do so,
HF 2100 That I shal never fro the go,
HF 2101 But be thyn owne sworen brother!
HF 2102 We wil medle us ech with other,
HF 2103 That no man, be they never so wrothe,
HF 2104 Shal han on [of us] two, but bothe
HF 2105 At ones, al besyde his leve,
HF 2106 Come we a-morwe or on eve,
HF 2107 Be we cried or stille yrouned.”
HF 2108 Thus saugh I fals and soth compouned
HF 2109 Togeder fle for oo tydynge.
HF 2110 Thus out at holes gunne wringe
HF 2111 Every tydynge streght to Fame,
HF 2112 And she gan yeven ech hys name,
HF 2113 After hir disposicioun,
HF 2114 And yaf hem eke duracioun,
HF 2115 Somme to wexe and wane sone,
HF 2116 As doth the faire white mone,
HF 2117 And let hem goon. Ther myghte y seen
HF 2118 Wynged wondres faste fleen,
HF 2119 Twenty thousand in a route,
HF 2120 As Eolus hem blew aboute.
HF 2121 And, Lord, this hous in alle tymes
HF 2122 Was ful of shipmen and pilgrimes,
HF 2123 With scrippes bret-ful of lesinges,
HF 2124 Entremedled with tydynges,
HF 2125 And eek allone be hemselve.
HF 2126 O, many a thousand tymes twelve
HF 2127 Saugh I eke of these pardoners,
HF 2128 Currours, and eke messagers,
HF 2129 With boystes crammed ful of lyes
HF 2130 As ever vessel was with lyes.
HF 2131 And as I alther-fastest wente
HF 2132 About, and dide al myn entente
HF 2133 Me for to pleyen and for to lere,
HF 2134 And eke a tydynge for to here,
HF 2135 That I had herd of som contre
HF 2136 That shal not now be told for me —
HF 2137 For hit no nede is, redely;
HF 2138 Folk kan synge hit bet than I;
HF 2139 For al mot out, other late or rathe,
HF 2140 Alle the sheves in the lathe —
HF 2141 I herde a gret noyse withalle
HF 2142 In a corner of the halle,
HF 2143 Ther men of love-tydynges tolde,
HF 2144 And I gan thiderward beholde;
HF 2145 For I saugh rennynge every wight
HF 2146 As faste as that they hadden myght,
HF 2147 And everych cried, “What thing is that?”
HF 2148 And somme sayde, “I not never what.”
HF 2149 And whan they were alle on an hepe,
HF 2150 Tho behynde begunne up lepe,
HF 2151 And clamben up on other faste,
HF 2152 And up the nose and yen kaste,
HF 2153 And troden fast on others heles,
HF 2154 And stampen, as men doon aftir eles.
HF 2155 Atte laste y saugh a man,
HF 2156 Which that y [nevene] nat ne kan;
HF 2157 But he semed for to be
HF 2158 A man of gret auctorite. . . .