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Title: Chaucer's Works, Volume 1 (of 7) — Romaunt of the Rose; Minor Poems
Author: Chaucer, Geoffrey, 1343?-1400
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chaucer's Works, Volume 1 (of 7) — Romaunt of the Rose; Minor Poems" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are listed at the end of the text.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this text [*e] represents the "schwa" or obscure vowel, printed as
inverted-e, and [gh] represents the Middle English letter "yogh", similar
to the numeral 3. [=a] signifies "a macron", and so forth.

Parallel bilingual texts are marked with << for Chaucer's text, >> for the
original, in blocks as printed page by page.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Vol. I. _Frontispiece._


       *       *       *       *       *






LITT.D., LL.D., D.C.L., PH.D.




                      ----'blanda sonantibus
                      Chordis carmina temperans.'
                              BOETHIUS, _De Cons. Phil._ Lib. III. Met. 12.

 'He temprede hise blaundisshinge songes by resowninge strenges.'
                                             _Chaucer's Translation._





       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


*** The Portrait of Chaucer in the frontispiece is noticed at p. lix.

  GENERAL INTRODUCTION                                                  vii

  LIFE OF CHAUCER                                                        ix

  LIST OF CHAUCER'S WORKS                                              lxii

  ERRATA AND ADDENDA                                                   lxiv

  INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAUNT OF THE ROSE.--§ 1. Why (the chief part
  of) the Romaunt of the Rose is not Chaucer's. § 2. The English
  Version of the Romaunt. § 3. Internal evidence. § 4. Dr. Lidner's
  opinion. § 5. Dr. Kaluza's opinion. The three Fragments. § 6.
  Discussion of Fragment B. Test. I.--Proportion of English to
  French. § 7. Test II.--Dialect. § 8. Test III.--The Riming of
  _-y_ with _-yë_. § 9. Test IV.--Assonant Rimes. § 10.
  Result: Fragment B is not by Chaucer. § 11. Discussion of Fragment
  C. § 12. Rime-tests. § 13. Further considerations. § 14. Result:
  Fragment C is not by the author of Fragment B, and perhaps not by
  Chaucer. § 15. Discussion of Fragment A. (1) Rimes in _-y._
  (2) Rimes in _-yë_ § 16. No false rimes. § 17. The three
  Fragments seem to be all distinct. § 18. Fragment A is probably
  Chaucer's. § 19. Summary. § 20. Probability of the results. § 21.
  The external evidence. § 22. The Glasgow MS. § 23. Th.--Thynne's
  Edition; 1532. § 24. Reprints. § 25. The Present Edition. § 26.
  Some corrections. § 27. The French Text. §§ 28, 29. Brief Analysis
  of the French Poem: G. de Lorris. § 30. Jean de Meun; to the end
  of Fragment B. § 31. Gap in the Translation. § 32. Fragment C.
  § 33. Chaucer's use of 'Le Roman.' § 34. Méon's French text             1

  INTRODUCTION TO THE MINOR POEMS.--§ 1. Principles of selection.
  § 2. Testimony of Chaucer regarding his Works. § 3. Lydgate's
  List. § 4. Testimony of Shirley. § 5. Testimony of Scribes.
  § 6. Testimony of Caxton. § 7. Early Editions of Chaucer.
  § 8. Contents of Stowe's Edition (1561): Part I.--Reprinted
  Matter. § 9. Part II.--Additions by Stowe. § 10. Part I. discussed.
  § 11. Part II. discussed. § 12. Poems added by Speght.
  § 13. Poems added by Morris. § 14. Description of the MSS.
  List of the MSS. § 15. Remarks on the MSS. at Oxford.
  § 16. MSS. at Cambridge. § 17. London MSS. § 18. I.--A. B. C.
  § 19. II.--The Compleynt unto Pitè. § 20. III.--The Book of
  the Duchesse. § 21. IV.--The Compleynt of Mars. § 22. V.--The
  Parlement of Foules. § 23. VI.--A Compleint to his Lady.
  § 24. VII.--Anelida and Arcite. § 25. VIII. Chaucers Wordes
  unto Adam. § 26. IX.--The Former Age. § 27. X.--Fortune.
  § 28. XI.--Merciless Beauty. § 29. XII.--To Rosemounde.
  § 30. XIII.--Truth. § 31. XIV.--Gentilesse. § 32. XV.--Lak
  of Stedfastnesse. § 33. XVI--Lenvoy to Scogan. § 34.
  XVII.--Lenvoy to Bukton. § 35. XVIII.--Compleynt of Venus.
  § 36. XIX.--The Compleint to his Purse. § 37. XX.--Proverbs.
  § 38. XXI.--Against Women Unconstaunt. § 39. XXII.--An
  Amorous Complaint. § 40. XXIII.--Balade of Compleynt. § 41.
  Concluding Remarks                                                     20

  FRAGMENT A. (with the French Text)                                     93
  FRAGMENT B. (containing Northern forms)                               164
  FRAGMENT C.                                                           229

      I. An A. B. C. (with the French original)                         261
     II. The Compleynte unto Pitè                                       272
    III. The Book of the Duchesse                                       277
     IV. The Compleynt of Mars                                          323
      V. The Parlement of Foules                                        335
     VI. A Compleint to his Lady                                        360
    VII. Anelida and Arcite                                             365
   VIII. Chaucers Wordes unto Adam                                      379
     IX. The Former Age                                                 380
      X. Fortune                                                        383
     XI. Merciles Beautè                                                387
    XII. Balade to Rosemounde                                           389
   XIII. Truth                                                          390
    XIV. Gentilesse                                                     392
     XV. Lak of Stedfastnesse                                           394
    XVI. Lenvoy to Scogan                                               396
   XVII. Lenvoy to Bukton                                               398
  XVIII. The Compleynt of Venus (with the French original)              400
    XIX. The Compleint of Chaucer to his empty Purse                    405
     XX. Proverbs of Chaucer                                            407
    XXI. APPENDIX: Against Women Unconstaunt                            409
   XXII. An Amorous Complaint                                           411
  XXIII. A Balade of Compleynt                                          415

  NOTES TO THE ROMAUNT OF THE ROSE                                      417

  NOTES TO THE MINOR POEMS                                              452

       *       *       *       *       *


The present edition of Chaucer contains an entirely new Text, founded
solely on the manuscripts and on the earliest accessible printed editions.
For correct copies of the manuscripts, I am indebted, except in a few rare
instances, to the admirable texts published by the Chaucer Society.

In each case, the best copy has been selected as the basis of the text, and
has only been departed from where other copies afforded a better reading.
All such variations, as regards the wording of the text, are invariably
recorded in the footnotes at the bottom of each page; or, in the case of
the Treatise on the Astrolabe, in Critical Notes immediately following the
text. Variations in the spelling are also recorded, wherever they can be
said to be of consequence. But I have purposely abstained from recording
variations of reading that are certainly inferior to the reading given in
the text.

The requirements of metre and grammar have been carefully considered
throughout. Beside these, the phonology and spelling of every word have
received particular attention. With the exception of reasonable and
intelligible variations, the spelling is uniform throughout, and consistent
with the highly phonetic system employed by the scribe of the very valuable
Ellesmere MS. of the Canterbury Tales. The old reproach, that Chaucer's
works are chiefly remarkable for bad spelling, can no longer be fairly
made; since the spelling here given is a fair guide to the old
pronunciation of nearly every word. For further particulars, see the
Introduction to vol. iv. and the remarks on Chaucer's language in vol. v.

The present edition comprises the whole of Chaucer's Works, whether in
verse or prose, together with a commentary (contained in the Notes) upon
every passage which seems to present any difficulty or to require
illustration. It is arranged in six volumes, as follows.

Vol. I. commences with a Life of Chaucer, containing all the known facts
and incidents that have been recorded, with authorities for the same, and
dates. It also contains the Romaunt of the Rose and the Minor Poems, with a
special Introduction and illustrative Notes. The Introduction discusses the
genuineness of the poems here given, and explains why certain poems,
formerly ascribed to Chaucer with more rashness than knowledge, are here

The attempt to construct a reasonably good text of the Romaunt has involved
great labour; all previous texts abound with corruptions, many of which
have now for the first time been amended, partly by help of diligent
collation of the two authorities, and partly by help of the French

Vol. II. contains Boethius and Troilus, each with a special Introduction.
The text of Boethius is much more correct than in any previous edition, and
appears for the first time with modern punctuation. The Notes are nearly
all new, at any rate as regards the English version.

The text of Troilus is also a new one. The valuable 'Corpus MS.' has been
collated for the first time; and several curious words, which have been
hitherto suppressed because they were not understood, have been restored to
the text, as explained in the Introduction. Most of the explanatory Notes
are new; others have appeared in Bell's edition.

Vol. III. contains The House of Fame, the Legend of Good Women, and the
Treatise on the Astrolabe; with special Introductions. All these have been
previously edited by myself, with Notes. Both the text and the Notes have
been carefully revised, and contain several corrections and additions. The
latter part of the volume contains a discussion of the Sources of the
Canterbury Tales.

Vol. IV. contains the Canterbury Tales, with the Tale of Gamelyn appended.
The MSS. of the Canterbury Tales, and the mode of printing them, are
discussed in the Introduction.

Vol. V. contains a full Commentary on the Canterbury Tales, in the form of
Notes. Such as have appeared before have been carefully revised; whilst
many of them appear for the first time. The volume further includes all
necessary helps for the study of Chaucer, such as remarks on the
pronunciation, grammar, and scansion.

Vol. VI. contains a Glossarial Index and an Index of Names.

       *       *       *       *       *


*** Many of the documents referred to in the foot-notes are printed _at
length_ in Godwin's Life of Chaucer, 2nd ed. 1804 (vol. iv), or in the Life
by Sir H. Nicolas. The former set are marked (G.); the latter set are
denoted by a reference to 'Note A,' or 'Note B'; &c.

§ 1. The name CHAUCER, like many others in England in olden times, was
originally significant of an occupation. The Old French _chaucier_ (for
which see Godefroy's Old French Dictionary) signified rather 'a hosier'
than 'a shoemaker,' though it was also sometimes used in the latter sense.
The modern French _chausse_ represents a Low Latin _calcia_, fem. sb., a
kind of hose, closely allied to the Latin _calceus_, a shoe. See _Chausses,
Chaussure_, in the New English Dictionary.

It is probable that the Chaucer family came originally from East Anglia.
Henry le Chaucier is mentioned as a citizen of Norfolk in 1275; and Walter
le Chaucer as the same, in 1292[1]. But Gerard le Chaucer, in 1296, and
Bartholomew le Chaucer, in 1312-3, seem to have lived near Colchester[2].

In several early instances, the name occurs in connexion with Cordwainer
Street, or with the small Ward of the City of London bearing the same name.
Thus, Baldwin le Chaucer dwelt in 'Cordewanerstrete' in 1307; Elyas le
Chaucer in the same, in 1318-9; Nicholas Chaucer in the same, in 1356; and
Henry Chaucer was a man-at-arms provided for the king's service by
Cordwanerstrete Ward[3]. This is worthy of remark, because, as we shall see
presently, both Chaucer's father and his grandmother once resided in the
same street, the northern end of which is now called Bow Lane, the southern
end extending to Garlick Hithe. (See the article on Cordwainer Street Ward
in Stowe's Survey of London.)

§ 2. ROBERT LE CHAUCER. The earliest relative with whom we can certainly
connect the poet is his grandfather Robert, who is first mentioned,
together with Mary his wife, in 1307, when they sold ten acres of land in
Edmonton to Ralph le Clerk, for 100s.[4] On Aug. 2, 1310, Robert le Chaucer
was appointed 'one of the collectors in the port of London of the new
customs upon wines granted by the merchants of Aquitaine[5].' It is also
recorded that he was possessed of one messuage, with its appurtenances, in
Ipswich[6]; and it was alleged, in the course of some law-proceedings (of
which I have more to say below), that the said estate was only worth 20
shillings a year. He is probably the Robert Chaucer who is mentioned under
the date 1310, in the Early Letter-books of the City of London[7].

Robert Chaucer was married, in or before 1307 (see above), to a widow named
Maria or Mary Heyroun[8], whose maiden name was probably Stace[9]; and the
only child of whom we find any mention was his son and heir, named John,
who was the poet's father. At the same time, it is necessary to observe
that Maria had a son still living, named Thomas Heyroun, who died in

John Chaucer was born, as will be shewn, in 1312; and his father Robert
died before 1316 (Close Rolls, 9 Edw. II., p. 318).

§ 3. RICHARD LE CHAUCER. Some years after Robert's death, namely in
1323[11], his widow married for the third time. Her third husband was
probably a relative (perhaps a cousin) of her second, his name being
Richard le Chaucer, a vintner residing in the Ward of Cordwainer Street;
respecting whom several particulars are known.

Richard le Chaucer was 'one of the vintners sworn at St. Martin's, Vintry,
in 1320, to make proper scrutiny of wines[12]'; so that he was necessarily
brought into business relations with Robert, whose widow he married in
1323, as already stated.

A plea held at Norwich in 1326, and entered on mem. 13 of the Coram Rege
Roll of Hilary 19 Edw. II.[13], is, for the present purpose, so important
that I here quote Mr. Rye's translation of the more material portions of it
from the Life-Records of Chaucer (Chaucer Soc.), p. 125:--

    'London.--Agnes, the widow of Walter de Westhale, Thomas Stace,
    Geoffrey Stace, and Laurence 'Geffreyesman Stace[14],' were attached to
    answer _Richard le Chaucer of London and Mary his wife_ on a plea that
    whereas the custody of the heir and land of _Robert le Chaucer_, until
    the same heir became of full age, belonged to the said Richard and Mary
    (because the said Robert held his land in socage, and _the said Mary is
    nearer in relationship to the heir of the said Robert_,) and whereas
    the said Richard and Mary long remained in full and peaceful seizin of
    such wardship, the said Agnes, Thomas, Geoffrey, and Laurence by force
    and arms took away _John, the son and heir of the said Robert_, who was
    _under age_ and in the custody of the said Richard and Mary, and
    married him[15] against the will of the said R. and M. and of the said
    heir, and also did other unlawful acts against the said R. and M., to
    the grave injury of the said R. and M., and against the peace.

    'And therefore the said R. and M. complain that, whereas the custody of
    the land and heir of the said Robert, viz. of _one messuage with its
    appurtenances in Ipswich_, until the full age of, &c., belonged, &c.,
    ... because the said Robert held the said messuage in socage, and the
    said Mary _is nearer in relationship to the said Robert,_ viz. _mother
    of the said heir, and formerly_ _the wife of the said Robert_, and
    (whereas) the said R. and M. remained in full and peaceful seizin of
    _the said wardship_ for a long while, viz. _for one year_; they, the
    said Agnes, T., G., and L., on the _Monday_ [Dec. 3] _before the feast
    of St. Nicholas, in the eighteenth year of the present king_ [1324],
    ... stole and took away by force and arms ... the said John, _son and
    heir of the said Robert_, who was under age, viz. _under the age of
    fourteen years_, and then in the wardship of the said R. and M. _at
    London_, viz. _in the Ward of Cordwanerstrete_, and married him to one
    _Joan, the daughter of Walter de Esthale_ [error for _Westhale_], and
    committed other unlawful acts, &c.

    'Wherefore they say they are injured, and have suffered damage to the
    extent of 300l.'

The defence put in was--

    'That, _according to the customs of the borough of Ipswich_ ... any
    heir under age when his heirship shall descend to him shall remain in
    the charge of the nearest of his blood, but that his inheritance shall
    not descend to him _till he has completed the age of twelve years_ ...
    and they say that the said heir of the said Robert _completed the age
    of twelve years_ before the suing out of the said writ[16].'

And it was further alleged that the said Agnes, T., G., and L. _did not
cause the said heir to be married_.

'Most of the rest of the membrane,' adds Mr. Rye, 'is taken up with a long
technical dispute as to jurisdiction, of which the mayor and citizens of
London apparently got the best; for the trial came on before R. Baynard and
Hamo de Chikewell [Chigwell] and Nicholas de Farndon (the two latter
sitting on behalf of the City) at St. Martin's the Great (le Grand),
London, on the Sunday [Sept. 7, 1326] next before the Nativity of the
B.V.M. [Sept. 8]; when, the defendants making default, a verdict was
entered for the plaintiffs for 250l. damages.'

Further information as to this affair is given in the Liber Albus, ed.
Riley, 1859, vol. i. pp. 437-444. A translation of this passage is given at
pp. 376-381 of the English edition of the same work, published by the same
editor in 1861. We hence learn that the Staces, being much dissatisfied
with the heavy damages which they were thus called upon to pay, attainted
Richard le Chaucer and his wife, in November, 1328, of committing perjury
in the above-mentioned trial. But it was decided that attaint does not lie
as to the verdict of a jury in London; a decision so important that the
full particulars of the trial and of this appeal were carefully preserved
among the city records.

Mr. Rye goes on to give some information as to a third document relating to
the same affair. It appears that Geoffrey Stace next 'presented a petition
to parliament (2 Edw. III., 1328, no. 6), praying for relief against the
damages of 250l., which he alleged were excessive, on the ground that the
heir's estate was only worth 20s. a year[17]. This petition sets out all
the proceedings, referring to John as "fuiz [fiz] et heire Robert le
Chaucier," but puts the finding of the jury thus: "et trove fu qu'ils
avoient ravi le dit heire, _mes ne mie mariee_," and alleges that "le dit
heire est al large et ove [_with_] les avantditz Richard et Marie demourant
et _unkore dismarie_."' The result of this petition is unknown.

From the above particulars I draw the following inferences.

The fact that Mary le Chaucer claimed to be _nearer in relationship_ to the
heir (being, in fact, his mother) than the Staces, clearly shews that they
also were very near relations. We can hardly doubt that the maiden name of
Mary le Chaucer was Stace, and that she was sister to Thomas and Geoffrey

In Dec. 1324, John le Chaucer was, according to his mother's statement,
'under age'; i. e. less than fourteen years old. According to the Staces,
he had 'completed the age of twelve before the suing out, &c.' We may
safely infer that John was still under twelve when the Staces carried him
off, on Dec. 3, 1324. Hence he was born in 1312, and we have seen that his
father Robert married the widow Maria Heyroun not later than 1307 (§ 2).
She was married to Richard in 1323 (_one year_ before 1324), and she died
before 1349, as Richard was then a widower.

The attempt to marry John to Joan de Westhale (probably his cousin) was
unsuccessful. He was still unmarried in Nov. 1328, and still only sixteen
years old. This disposes at once of an old tradition, for which no
authority has ever been discovered, that the poet was born in 1328. The
_earliest_ date that can fairly be postulated for the birth of Geoffrey is
1330; and even then his father was only eighteen years old.

We further learn from Riley's Memorials of London (Pref. p. xxxiii), that
Richard Chaucer was a man of some wealth. He was assessed, in 1340, to lend
10l. towards the expenses of the French war; and again, in 1346, for 6l.
and 1 mark towards the 3,000l. given to the king. In 1345, he was witness
to a conveyance of a shop situated next his own tenement and tavern in La
Reole or Royal Street, near Upper Thames Street.

The last extant document relative to Richard Chaucer is his will. Sir H.
Nicolas (Life of Chaucer, Note A) says that the will of Richard Chaucer,
vintner, of London, dated on Easter-day (Apr. 12), 1349, was proved in the
Hustings Court of the City of London by Simon Chamberlain and Richard
Litlebury, on the feast of St. Margaret (July 20), in the same year. He
bequeathed his tenement and tavern, &c., in the street called La Reole, to
the Church of St. Aldermary in Bow Lane, where he was buried; and left
other property to pious uses. The will mentions only his deceased wife Mary
and her son Thomas Heyroun; and appointed Henry at Strete and Richard
Mallyns his executors[18]. From this we may infer that his stepson John
was, by this time, a prosperous citizen, and already provided for.

The will of Thomas Heyroun (see the same Note A) was dated just five days
earlier, April 7, 1349, and was also proved in the Hustings Court. He
appointed his half-brother, John Chaucer, his executor; and on Monday after
the Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr[19] in the same year, John Chaucer, by
the description of 'citizen and vintner, executor of the will of my brother
Thomas Heyroun,' executed a deed relating to some lands. (Records of the
Hustings Court, 23 Edw. III.)

It thus appears that Richard Chaucer and Thomas Heyroun both died in 1349,
the year of the first and the most fatal pestilence.

§ 4. JOHN CHAUCER. Of John Chaucer, the poet's father, not many particulars
are known. He was born, as we have seen, about 1312, and was not married
till 1329, or somewhat later. His wife's name was Agnes, described in 1369
as the kinswoman (consanguinea) and heiress of the city moneyer, Hamo de
Copton, who is known to have owned property in Aldgate[20]. He was a
citizen and vintner of London, and owned a house in Thames Street[21],
close to Walbrook, a stream now flowing underground beneath Walbrook
Street[22]; so that it must have been near the spot where the arrival
platform of the South-Eastern railway (at Cannon Street) now crosses Thames
Street. In this house, in all probability, Chaucer was born; at any rate,
it became his own property, as he parted with it in 1380. It is further
known that John and Agnes Chaucer were possessed of a certain annual
quit-rent of 40d. sterling, arising out of a tenement in the parish of St.

In 1338 (on June 12), John Chaucer obtained letters of protection, being
then on an expedition to Flanders, in attendance on the king[24]. Ten years
later, in the months of February and November, 1348, he is referred to as
being deputy to the king's butler in the port of Southampton[25]. In 1349,
as we have seen, he was executor to the will of his half-brother, Thomas
Heyroun. There is a mention of him in 1352[26]. His name appears, together
with that of his wife Agnes, in a conveyance of property dated Jan. 16,
1366[27]; but he died shortly afterwards, aged about fifty-four. His widow
married again in the course of a few months; for she is described in a deed
dated May 6, 1367, as being then the wife of Bartholomew atte Chapel,
citizen and vintner of London, and lately wife of John Chaucer, citizen and
vintner[28]. The date of her death is not known.

§ 5. CHAUCER'S EARLY YEARS. The exact date of Geoffrey's birth is not
known, and will probably always remain a subject of dispute. It cannot, as
we have seen, have been earlier than 1330; and it can hardly have been
later than 1340. That it was nearer to 1340 than 1330, is the solution
which best suits all the circumstances of the case. Those who argue for an
early date do so solely because the poet sometimes refers to his 'old age';
as for example in the Envoy to Scogan, 35-42, written probably in 1393; and
still earlier, probably in 1385, Gower speaks, in the epilogue to the
former edition of his Confessio Amantis, of the 'later age' of Chaucer, and
of his 'dayes olde'; whereas, if Chaucer was born in 1340, he was, at that
time, only forty-five years old. But it is essential to observe that Gower
is speaking comparatively; he contrasts Chaucer's 'later age' with 'the
floures of his youth,' when he 'fulfild the land,' in sundry wise, 'of
ditees and of songes glade.' And, in spite of all the needless stress that
has been laid upon such references as the above, we must, if we really wish
to ascertain the truth without prejudice, try to bear in mind the fact
that, in the fourteenth century, men were deemed old at an age which we
should now esteem as almost young. Chaucer's pupil, Hoccleve, describes
himself as worn out with old age, and ready to die, at the age of
_fifty-three_; all that he can look forward to is making a translation of a
treatise on 'learning to die.'

 'Of age am I fifty winter and thre;
  Ripeness of dethe fast vpon me hasteth.'
                    Hoccleve's Poems, ed. Furnivall, p. 119[29].

And further, if, in order to make out that Chaucer died at the age of
nearly 70, we place his birth near the year 1330, we are at once confronted
with the extraordinary difficulty, that the poet was already nearly 39 when
he wrote 'The Book of the Duchesse,' certainly one of the earliest of his
poems that have been preserved, and hardly to be esteemed as a highly
satisfactory performance. But as the exact date still remains uncertain, I
can only say that we must place it between 1330 and 1340. The reader can
incline to whichever end of the decade best pleases him. I merely record my
opinion, for what it is worth, that 'shortly before 1340' fits in best with
_all_ the facts.

The earliest notice of Geoffrey Chaucer, on which we can rely, refers to
the year 1357. This discovery is due to Mr. (now Dr.) E. A. Bond, who, in
1851, found some fragments of an old household account which had been used
to line the covers of a MS. containing Lydgate's Storie of Thebes and
Hoccleve's De Regimine Principum, and now known as MS. Addit. 18,632 in the
British Museum. They proved to form a part of the Household Accounts of
Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster, wife of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the third
son of King Edward III., for the years 1356-9[30]. These Accounts shew
that, in April, 1357, when the Countess was in London, an entire suit of
clothes, consisting of a paltock or short cloak, a pair of red and black
breeches, and shoes, was provided for Geoffrey Chaucer at a cost of 7s.,
equal to about 5l. of our present money. On the 20th of May another article
of dress was purchased for him in London. In December of the same year
(1357), when the Countess was at Hatfield (near Doncaster) in Yorkshire,
her principal place of residence, we find a note of a donation of 2s. 6d.
to Geoffrey Chaucer for necessaries at Christmas. It further appears that
John of Gaunt, the Countess's brother-in-law, was a visitor at Hatfield at
the same period; which indicates the probable origin of the interest in the
poet's fortunes which that illustrious prince so frequently manifested,
during a long period of years.

It is further worthy of remark that, on several occasions, a female
attendant on the Countess is designated as 'Philippa Pan', which is
supposed to be the contracted form of Panetaria, i. e. mistress of the
pantry. 'Speculations suggest themselves,' says Dr. Bond, 'that the
Countess's attendant Philippa may have been Chaucer's future wife.... The
Countess died in 1363, ... and nothing would be more likely than that the
principal lady of her household should have found shelter after her death
in the family of her husband's mother,' i. e. Queen Philippa. It is quite
possible; it is even probable.

Perhaps it was at Hatfield that Chaucer picked up some knowledge of the
Northern dialect, as employed by him in the Reves Tale. The fact that the
non-Chaucerian Fragment B of the Romaunt of the Rose exhibits traces of a
Northern dialect is quite a different matter; for Fragment A, which is
certainly Chaucer's, shews no trace of anything of the kind. What was
Chaucer's exact position in the Countess of Ulster's household, we are not
informed. If he was born about 1340, we may suppose that he was a page; if
several years earlier, he would, in 1357, have been too old for such
service. We only know that he was attached to the service of Lionel, duke
of Clarence, and of the Countess of Ulster his wife, as early as the
beginning of 1357, and was at that time at Hatfield, in Yorkshire. 'He was
present,' says Dr. Bond, 'at the celebration of the feast of St. George, at
Edward III's court, in attendance on the Countess, in April of that year;
he followed the court to Woodstock; and he was again at Hatfield, probably
from September, 1357, to the end of March, 1358, and would have witnessed
there the reception of John of Ghent, then Earl of Richmond.' We may well
believe that he accompanied the Countess when she attended the funeral of
Queen Isabella (king Edward's mother), which took place at the Church of
the Friars Minors, in Newgate Street, on Nov. 27, 1358.

§ 6. CHAUCER'S FIRST EXPEDITION. 1359-60. A year later, in November, 1359,
Chaucer joined the great expedition of Edward III. to France. 'There was
not knight, squire, or man of honour, from the age of twenty to sixty
years, that did not go[31].' The king of England was 'attended by the
prince of Wales and three other sons,' including 'Lionel, earl of
Ulster[32]'; and we may be sure that Chaucer accompanied his master prince
Lionel. The march of the troops lay through Artois, past Arras to Bapaume;
then through Picardy, past Peronne and St. Quentin, to Rheims, which
Edward, with his whole army, ineffectually besieged for seven weeks. It is
interesting to note that the army must, on this occasion, have crossed the
Oise, somewhere near Chauny and La-Fère, which easily accounts for the
mention of that river in the House of Fame (l. 1928); and shews the
uselessness of Warton's suggestion, that Chaucer learnt the name of that
river by studying Provençal poetry! In one of the numerous skirmishes that
took place, Chaucer had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. This appears
from his own evidence, in the 'Scrope and Grosvenor' trial, referred to
below under the date of 1386; he then testified that he had seen Sir
Richard Scrope wearing arms described as 'azure, a bend or,' before the
town of 'Retters,' an obvious error for Rethel[33], not far from Rheims;
and he added that he 'had seen him so armed during the whole expedition,
until he (the said Geoffrey) was taken.' See the evidence as quoted at
length at p. xxxvi. But he was soon ransomed, viz. on March 1, 1360; and
the King himself contributed to his ransom the sum of 16l.[34] According to
Froissart, Edward was at this time in the neighbourhood of Auxerre[35].

After a short and ineffectual siege of Paris, the English army suffered
severely from thunder-storms during a retreat towards Chartres, and Edward
was glad to make peace; articles of peace were accordingly concluded, on
May 8, 1360, at Bretigny, near Chartres. King John of France was set at
liberty, leaving Eltham on Wednesday, July 1; and after stopping for three
nights on the road, viz. at Dartford, Rochester, and Ospringe, he arrived
at Canterbury on the Saturday[36]. On the Monday he came to Dover, and
thence proceeded to Calais. And surely Chaucer must have been present
during the fifteen days of October which the two kings spent at Calais in
each other's company; the Prince of Wales and his two brothers, _Lionel_
and Edmund, being also present[37]. On leaving Calais, King John and the
English princes 'went on foot to the church of our Lady of Boulogne, where
they made their offerings most devoutly, and afterward returned to the
abbey at Boulogne, which had been prepared for the reception of the King of
France and the princes of England[38].'

On July 1, 1361, prince Lionel was appointed lieutenant of Ireland,
probably because he already bore the title of Earl of Ulster. It does not
appear that Chaucer remained in his service much longer; for he must have
been attached to the royal household not long after the return of the
English army from France. In the Schedule of names of those employed in the
Royal Household, for whom robes for Christmas were to be provided,
Chaucer's name occurs as seventeenth in the list of thirty-seven esquires.
The list is not dated, but is marked by the Record Office '? 40 Edw. III,'
i. e. 1366[39]. However, Mr. Selby thinks the right date of this document
is 1368.

§ 7. CHAUCER'S MARRIAGE: PHILIPPA CHAUCER. In 1366, we find Chaucer already
married. On Sept. 12, in that year, Philippa Chaucer received from the
queen, after whom she was doubtless named, a pension of ten marks (or 6l.
13s. 4d.) annually for life, perhaps on the occasion of her marriage; and
we find her described as 'una domicellarum camerae Philippae Reginae
Angliae[40].' The first known payment on behalf of this pension is dated
Feb. 19, 1368[41]. Nicolas tells us that her pension 'was confirmed by
Richard the Second; and she apparently received it (except between 1370[42]
and 1373, in 1378, and in 1385, the reason of which omissions does not
appear) from 1366 until June 18, 1387. The money was usually paid to her
through her husband; but in November, 1374, by the hands of John de
Hermesthorpe, and in June, 1377 (the Poet being then on his mission in
France), by Sir Roger de Trumpington, whose wife, Lady Blanche de
Trumpington, was [then], like herself[43], in the service of the Duchess of
Lancaster.' As no payment appears after June, 1387, we may conclude that
she died towards the end of that year[44].

Philippa's maiden name is not known. She cannot be identified with Philippa
Picard, because both names, viz. Philippa Chaucer and Philippa Picard,
occur in the same document[45]. Another supposition identifies her with
Philippa Roet, on the assumption that Thomas Chaucer, on whose tomb appear
the arms of Roet, was her son. This, as will be shewn hereafter, is highly
probable, though not quite certain.

It is possible that she was the same person as Philippa, the 'lady of the
pantry,' who has been already mentioned as belonging to the household of
the Countess of Ulster. If so, she doubtless entered the royal household on
the Countess's death in 1363, and was married in 1366, or earlier. After
the death of the queen in 1369 (Aug. 15), we find that (on Sept. 1) the
king gave Chaucer, as being one of his squires of lesser degree, three ells
of cloth for mourning; and, at the same time, six ells of cloth, for the
same, to Philippa Chaucer[46].

In 1372, John of Gaunt married (as his second wife) Constance, elder
daughter of Pedro, king of Castile; and in the same year (Aug. 30), he
granted Philippa Chaucer a pension of 10l. per annum, in consideration of
her past and future services to his dearest wife, the queen of Castile[47].
Under the name of Philippa Chaucy (as the name is also written in this
volume), the duke presented her with a 'botoner,' apparently a button-hook,
and six silver-gilt buttons as a New Year's gift for the year 1373[48]. In
1374, on June 13, he granted 10l. per annum to his well-loved Geoffrey
Chaucer and his well-beloved Philippa, for their service to Queen Philippa
and to his wife the queen [i. e. of Castile], to be received at the duke's
manor of the Savoy[49]. In 1377, on May 31, payments were made to Geoffrey
Chaucer, varlet, of an annuity of 20 marks that day granted, and of 10
marks to Philippa Chaucer (granted to her for life) as being one of the
damsels of the chamber to the late queen, by the hands of Geoffrey Chaucer,
her husband[50]. In 1380, the duke gave Philippa a silver hanap (or cup)
with its cover, as his New Year's gift; and a similar gift in 1381 and
1382[51]. A payment of 5l. to Geoffrey 'Chaucy' is recorded soon after the
first of these gifts. In 1384, the sum of 13l. 6s. 8d. (20 marks) is
transmitted to Philippa Chaucer by John Hinesthorp, chamberlain[52]. The
last recorded payment of a pension to Philippa Chaucer is on June 18, 1387;
and it is probable, as said above, that she died very shortly afterwards.

Sir H. Nicolas mentions that, in 1380-2, Philippa Chaucer was one of the
three ladies in attendance on the Duchess of Lancaster, the two others
being Lady Senche Blount and Lady Blanche de Trompington; and that in June,
1377, as mentioned above, her pension was paid to Sir Roger de Trumpington,
who was Lady Blanche's husband. This is worth a passing notice; for it
clearly shews that the poet was familiar with the name of Trumpington, and
must have known of its situation near Cambridge. And this may account for
his laying the scene of the Reves Tale in that village, without
necessitating the inference that he must have visited Cambridge himself.
For indeed, it is not easy to see why the two 'clerks' should have been
benighted there; the distance from Cambridge is so slight that, even in
those days of bad roads, they could soon have returned home after dark
without any insuperable difficulty.

§ 8. 1367. To return to Chaucer. In 1367, we find him 'a valet of the
king's household'; and by the title of 'dilectus valettus noster,' the
king, in consideration of his _former_ and his future services, granted
him, on June 20, an annual salary of 20 marks (13l. 6s. 8d.) for life, or
until he should be otherwise provided for[53]. Memoranda are found of the
payment of this pension, in half-yearly instalments, on November 6, 1367,
and May 25, 1368[54]; but not in November, 1368, or May, 1369. The next
entry as to its payment is dated October, 1369[55]. As to the duties of a
valet in the royal household, see Life-Records of Chaucer, part ii. p. xi.
Amongst other things, he was expected to make beds, hold torches, set
boards (i. e. lay the tables for dinner), and perform various menial

§ 9. 1368. The note that he received his pension, in 1368, on May 25, is of
some importance. It renders improbable a suggestion of Speght, that he
accompanied his former master, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, to Italy in this
year. Lionel set off with an unusually large retinue, about the 10th of
May[56], and passed through France on his way to Italy, where he was
shortly afterwards married, for the second time, to Violante, daughter of
Galeazzo Visconti. But his married life was of short duration; he died on
Oct. 17 of the same year, not without suspicion of poison. His will, dated
Oct. 3, 1368, is given in Testamenta Vetusta, ed. Nicolas, p. 70. It does
not appear that Chaucer went to Italy before 1372-3; but it is interesting
to observe that, on his second journey there in 1378, he was sent to treat
with Barnabo Visconti, Galeazzo's brother, as noted at p. xxxii.

§ 10. 1369. In this year, Chaucer was again campaigning in France. An
advance of 10l. is recorded as having been made to him by Henry de
Wakefeld, the Keeper of the King's Wardrobe; and he is described as
'equitanti de guerre (_sic_) in partibus Francie[57].' In the same year,
there is a note that Chaucer was to have 20s. for summer clothes[58].

This year is memorable for the last of the three great pestilences which
afflicted England, as well as other countries, in the fourteenth century.
Queen Philippa died at Windsor on Aug. 15; and we find an entry, dated
Sept. 1, that Geoffrey Chaucer, a squire of less estate, and his wife
Philippa, were to have an allowance for mourning[59], as stated above. Less
than a month later, the Duchess Blaunche died, on Sept. 12; and her death
was commemorated by the poet in one of the earliest of his extant poems,
the Book of the Duchesse (see p. 277).

§ 11. 1370-1372. In the course of the next ten years (1370-80), the poet
was attached to the court, and employed in no less than seven diplomatic
services. The first of these occasions was during the summer of 1370, when
he obtained the usual letters of protection, dated June 10, to remain in
force till the ensuing Michaelmas[60]. That he returned immediately
afterwards, appears from the fact that he received his half-yearly pension
in person on Tuesday, the 8th of October[61]; though on the preceding
occasion (Thursday, April 25), it was paid to Walter Walssh instead of to

In 1371 and 1372, he received his pension himself[63]. In 1372 and 1373 he
received 2l. for his clothes each year. This was probably a customary
annual allowance to squires[64]. A like payment is again recorded in 1377.

Towards the end of the latter year, on Nov. 12, 1372, Chaucer, being then
'scutifer,' or one of the king's esquires, was joined in a commission with
James Provan and John de Mari, the latter of whom is described as a citizen
of Genoa, to treat with the duke, citizens, and merchants of Genoa, for the
purpose of choosing an English port where the Genoese might form a
commercial establishment[65]. On Dec. 1, he received an advance of 66l.
13s. 4d. towards his expenses[66]; and probably left England before the
close of the year.

§ 12. 1373. CHAUCER'S FIRST VISIT TO ITALY. All that is known of this
mission is that he visited Florence as well as Genoa, and that he returned
before Nov. 22, 1373, on which day he received his pension in person[67].
It further appears that his expenses finally exceeded the money advanced to
him; for on Feb. 4, 1374, a further sum was paid to him, on this account,
of 25l. 6s. 8d.[68] It was probably on this occasion that Chaucer met
Petrarch at Padua, and learnt from him the story of Griselda, reproduced in
the Clerkes Tale. Some critics prefer to think that Chaucer's assertions on
this point are to be taken as imaginative, and that it was the Clerk, and
not himself, who went to Padua; but it is clear that in writing the Clerkes
Tale, Chaucer actually had a copy of Petrarch's Latin version before him;
and it is difficult to see how he came by it unless he obtained it from
Petrarch himself or by Petrarch's assistance. For further discussion of
this point, see remarks on the Sources of the Clerkes Tale, in vol. iii.,
and the notes in vol. v.[69] We must, in any case, bear in mind the
important influence which this mission to Italy, and a later one in 1378-9
to the same country, produced upon the development of his poetical

It may be convenient to note here that Petrarch resided chiefly at Arquà,
within easy reach of Padua, in 1370-4. His death took place there on July
18, 1374, soon after Chaucer had returned home.

§ 13. 1374. We may fairly infer that Chaucer's execution of this important
mission was satisfactorily performed; for we find that on the 23rd of
April, 1374, on the celebration at Windsor of the festival of St. George,
the king made him a grant of a pitcher of wine daily, to be received in the
port of London from the king's butler[70]. This was, doubtless, found to be
rather a troublesome gift; accordingly, it was commuted, in 1378 (April
18), for the annual sum of 20 marks (13l. 6s. 8d.)[71]. The original grant
was made 'dilecto Armigero nostro, Galfrido Chaucer.'

On May 10, in the same year, the corporation of London granted Chaucer a
lease for his life of the dwelling-house situate above the city-gate of
Aldgate, on condition that he kept the same in good repair; he seems to
have made this his usual residence till 1385, and we know that he retained
possession of it till October, 1386[72].

Four weeks later, on June 8, 1374, he was appointed Comptroller of the
Customs and Subsidy of wools, skins, and tanned hides in the Port of
London, with the usual fees. Like his predecessors, he was to write the
rolls of his office with his own hand, to be continually present, and to
perform his duties personally (except, of course, when employed on the
King's service elsewhere); and the other part of the seal called the
'coket' (quod dicitur _coket_) was to remain in his custody[73]. The
warrant by which, on June 13, 1374, the Duke of Lancaster granted him 10l.
for life, in consideration of the services of himself and his wife, has
been mentioned at p. xxi. In the same year, he received his half-yearly
pension of 10 marks as usual; and again in 1375.

§ 14. 1375. On Nov. 8, 1375, his income was, for a time, considerably
increased. He received from the crown a grant of the custody of the lands
and person of Edmond, son and heir of Edmond Staplegate of Kent[74], who
had died in 1372[75]; this he retained for three years, during which he
received in all, for his wardship and on Edmond's marriage, the sum of
104l. This is ascertained from the petition presented by Edmond de
Staplegate to Richard II. at his coronation, in which he laid claim to be
permitted to exercise the office of chief butler to the king[76]. And
further, on Dec. 28, 1375, he received a grant from the king of the custody
of five 'solidates' of rent for land at Soles, in Kent, during the minority
of William de Solys, then an infant aged 1 year, son and heir of John
Solys, deceased; together with a fee due on the marriage of the said
heir[77]. But the value of this grant cannot have been large.

§15. 1376. In 1376, on May 31, he received at the exchequer his own
half-yearly pension of ten marks and his wife's of five marks, or 10l. in
all (see Notes and Queries, 3rd Ser. viii. 63); and in October he received
an advance from the exchequer of 50s. on account of his pension[78]. He
also duly received his annuity of 10l. from the duke of Lancaster (Oct. 18,
1376, and June 12, 1377)[79].

In the same year, we also meet with the only known record connected with
Chaucer's exercise of the Office of Comptroller of the Customs. On July 12,
1376, the King granted him the sum of 71l. 4s. 6d., being the value of a
fine paid by John Kent, of London, for shipping wool to Dordrecht without
having paid the duty thereon[80].

Towards the end of this year, Sir John Burley and Geoffrey Chaucer were
employed together on some secret service (in secretis negociis domini
Regis), the nature of which is unknown; for on Dec. 23, 1376, Sir John 'de
Burlee' received 13l. 6s. 8d., and Chaucer half that sum, for the business
upon which they had been employed[81].

§16. 1377. On Feb. 12, 1377, Chaucer was associated with Sir Thomas Percy
(afterwards Earl of Worcester) in a secret mission to Flanders, the nature
of which remains unknown; and on this occasion Chaucer received letters of
protection during his mission, to be in force till Michaelmas in the same
year[82]. Five days later, on Feb. 17, the sum of 33l. 6s. 8d. was advanced
to Sir Thomas, and 10l. to Chaucer, for their expenses[83]. They started
immediately, and the business was transacted by March 25; and on April 11
Chaucer himself received at the exchequer the sum of 20l. as a reward from
the king for the various journeys which he had made abroad upon the king's
service (pro regardo suo causâ diuersorum viagiorum per ipsum Galfridum
factorum, eundo ad diuersas partes transmarinas ex precepto domini Regis in
obsequio ipsius domini Regis)[84].

While Sir Thomas Percy and Chaucer were absent in Flanders, viz. on Feb.
20, 1377, the Bishop of Hereford, Lord Cobham, Sir John Montacu (i. e.
Montague), and Dr. Shepeye were empowered to treat for peace with the
French King[85]. Their endeavours must have been ineffectual; for soon
after Chaucer's return, viz. on April 26, 1377, Sir Guichard d'Angle and
several others were also appointed to negotiate a peace with France[86].
Though Chaucer's name does not expressly appear in this commission, he was
clearly in some way associated with it; for only six days previously (Apr.
20), letters of protection were issued to him, to continue till Aug. 1,
whilst he was on the king's service abroad[87]; and on April 30, he was
paid the sum of 26l. 13s. 4d. for his wages on this occasion[88]. We
further find, from an entry in the Issue Roll for March 6, 1381 (noticed
again at p. xxix), that he was sent to Moustrell (Montreuil) and Paris, and
that he was instructed to treat for peace.

This is clearly the occasion to which Froissart refers in the following
passage. 'About Shrovetide[89], a secret treaty was formed between the two
kings for their ambassadors to meet at Montreuil-sur-Mer; and the king of
England sent to Calais sir Guiscard d'Angle, Sir Richard Sturey, and sir
Geoffrey Chaucer. On the part of the French were the lords de Coucy and de
la Rivieres, sir Nicholas Bragues and Nicholas Bracier. They for a long
time discussed the subject of the above marriage [the marriage of the
French princess with Richard, prince of Wales]; and the French, _as I was
informed_, made some offers, but the others demanded different terms, or
refused treating. These lords returned therefore, with their treaties, to
their sovereigns; and the truces were prolonged to the first of
May.'--Johnes, tr. of Froissart, bk. i. c. 326.

I think Sir H. Nicolas has not given Froissart's meaning correctly.
According to him, 'Froissart states that, in Feb. 1377, Chaucer was joined
with Sir Guichard d'Angle, &c., to negociate a secret treaty for the
marriage of Richard, prince of Wales, with Mary, daughter of the king of
France,' &c.; and that the truce was prolonged till the first of May. And
he concludes that Froissart has confused two occasions, because there
really was an attempt at a treaty about this marriage in 1378 (see below).
It does not appear that Froissart is wrong. He merely gives the date of
about Shrovetide (Feb. 10) as the time when 'a secret treaty was formed';
and this must refer to the ineffectual commission of Feb. 20, 1377. After
this 'the king of England' really sent 'Sir Guiscard d'Angle' in April; and
Chaucer either went with the rest or joined them at Montreuil. Neither does
it appear that discussion of the subject of the marriage arose on the
English side; it was the French who proposed it, but the English who
declined it, for the reason that they had received no instructions to that
effect. On the other hand, the English ambassadors, having been instructed
to treat for peace, procured, at any rate, a short truce. This explanation
seems to me sufficient, especially as Froissart merely wrote what he had
been informed; he was not present himself. The very fact that the marriage
was proposed by the French on this occasion explains how the English came
to consider this proposal seriously in the following year.

Fortunately, the matter is entirely cleared up by the express language
employed in the Issue Roll of 4 Ric. II., under the date Mar. 6, as printed
in Nicolas, Note R; where the object of the deliberations at Montreuil is
definitely restricted to a treaty for peace, whilst the proposal of
marriage (from the _English_ side) is definitely dated as having been made
in the reign of Richard, not of Edward III. The words are: 'tam tempore
regis Edwardi ... in nuncium eiusdem ... versus Moustrell' et Parys ...
causa tractatus pacis ... quam tempore domini regis nunc, causa locutionis
habite de maritagio inter ipsum dominum regem nunc et filiam eiusdem
aduersarii sui Francie.'

The princess Marie, fifth daughter of Charles V., was born in 1370 (N. and
Q., 3 S. vii. 470), and was therefore only seven years old in 1377; and
died in the same year. It is remarkable that Richard married Isabella,
daughter of Charles VI., in 1396, when she was only eight.

It is worth notice that Stowe, in his Annales, p. 437, alludes to the same
mission. He mentions, as being among the ambassadors, 'the Earle of
Salisbury and Sir Richard Anglisison a Poyton [can this be Sir Guiscard
D'Angle?], the Bishop of Saint Dauids, the Bishop of Hereford, [and]
Geffrey Chaucer, the famous Poet of England.' See Life-Records of Chaucer,
p. 133, note 3.

The payments made to Chaucer by John of Gaunt on May 31 of this year have
been noticed above in § 7, at p. xxi.

The long reign of Edward III. terminated on June 21, 1377, during which
Chaucer had received many favours from the king and the Duke of Lancaster,
and some, doubtless, from Lionel, Duke of Clarence. At the same time, his
wife was in favour with the queen, till her death in August, 1369; and
afterwards, with the second duchess of Lancaster. The poet was evidently,
at this time, in easy circumstances; and it is not unlikely that he was
somewhat lavish in his expenditure. The accession of Richard, at the early
age of eleven, made no difference to his position for some nine years; but
in 1386, the adverse supremacy of Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, caused him
much pecuniary loss and embarrassment for some time, and he frequently
suffered from distress during the later period of his life.

that not much of Chaucer's extant poetry can be referred to the reign of
Edward III. At the same time, it is likely that he wrote many short pieces,
in the form of ballads, complaints, virelayes, and roundels, which have not
been preserved; perhaps some of them were occasional pieces, and chiefly of
interest at the time of writing them. Amongst the lost works we may
certainly include his translation of 'Origenes upon the Maudelayne,' 'The
Book of the Lion,' all but a few stanzas (preserved in the Man of Lawes
Tale) of his translation of Pope Innocent's 'Wrecched Engendring of
Mankinde,' and all but the first 1705 lines of his translation of Le Roman
de la Rose. His early work entitled 'Ceyx and Alcioun' is partly preserved
in the Book of the Duchesse, written in 1369-70. His A. B. C. is, perhaps,
his earliest extant complete poem.

It seems reasonable to date the poems which show a strong Italian influence
after Chaucer's visit to Italy in 1373. The Compleint to his Lady is,
perhaps, one of the earliest of these; and the Amorous Complaint bears so
strong a resemblance to it that it may have been composed nearly at the
same time. The Complaint to Pity seems to belong to the same period, rather
than, as assumed in the text, to a time preceding the Book of the Duchesse.
The original form of the Life of St. Cecily (afterwards the Second Nonnes
Tale) is also somewhat early, as well as the original Palamon and Arcite,
and Anelida. I should also include, amongst the earlier works, the original
form of the Man of Lawes Tale (from Anglo-French), of the Clerkes Tale
(from Petrarch's Latin), and some parts of the Monkes Tale. But the great
bulk of his poetry almost certainly belongs to the reign of Richard II. See
the List of Works at p. lxii.

§ 18. 1377. (CONTINUED). In the commencement of the new reign, Chaucer was
twice paid 40s. by the keeper of the king's Wardrobe, for his half-yearly
allowance for robes as one of the (late) king's esquires[90]. He also
received 7l. 2s. 6½d. on account of his daily allowance of a pitcher of
wine, calculated from October 27, 1376, to June 21, 1377, the day of king
Edward's death[91].

§ 19. 1378. In 1378, on Jan. 16, Chaucer was again associated with Sir
Guichard d'Angle (created Earl of Huntingdon at the coronation of the new
king), with Sir Hugh Segrave, and Dr. Skirlawe, in a mission to France to
negotiate for the king's marriage with a daughter of the king of
France[92]; this is in accordance with a suggestion which, as noted at p.
xxix., originated with the French. The negotiations came, however, to no

On Mar. 9, 1378, Geoffrey Chaucer and John Beauchamp are mentioned as
sureties for William de Beauchamp, Knight, in a business having respect to
Pembroke Castle[93].

On Mar. 23, 1378, Chaucer's previous annuity of 20 marks was confirmed to
him by letters patent[94]; on April 18, his previous grant of a pitcher of
wine was commuted for an annual sum of twenty marks[95]; and, on May 14, he
received 20l. for the arrears of his pension, and 26s. 8d. in advance, for
the current half-year[96].

received letters of protection, till Christmas[97]; on May 21, he procured
letters of general attorney, allowing John Gower (the poet) and Richard
Forrester to act for him during his absence from England[98]; and on May
28, he received 66l. 13s. 4d. for his wages and the expenses of his
journey, which lasted till the 19th of September[99]. All these entries
refer to the same matter, viz. his second visit to Italy. On this occasion,
he was sent to Lombardy with Sir Edward Berkeley, to treat with Barnabo
Visconti, lord of Milan, and the famous free-lance Sir John Hawkwood, on
certain matters touching the king's expedition of war (pro certis negociis
expeditionem guerre regis tangentibus); a phrase of uncertain import. This
is the Barnabo Visconti, whose death, in 1385, is commemorated by a stanza
in the Monkes Tale, B 3589-3596. Of Sir John Hawkwood, a soldier of
fortune, and the most skilful general of his age, a memoir is given in the
Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, vol. vi. pp. 1-35. The appointment of
Gower as Chaucer's attorney during his absence is of interest, and shews
the amicable relations between the two poets at this time. For a discussion
of their subsequent relations, see Sources of the Canterbury Tales, vol.
iii. § 38, p. 413.

§ 20. 1379-80. In 1379 and 1380, the notices of Chaucer refer chiefly to
the payment of his pensions. In 1379, he received 12l. 13s. 4d. _with his
own hands_ on Feb. 3[100]; on May 24, he received the sums of 26s. 4d. and
13l. 6s. 4d. (the latter on account of the original grant of a pitcher of
wine), both _by assignment_[101], which indicates his absence from London
at the time; and on Dec. 9 he received, _with his own hands_, two sums of
6l. 13s. 4d. each on account of his two pensions[102]. In 1380, on July 3,
he received the same _by assignment_[103]; and on Nov. 28, he received the
same _with his own hands_[104], together with a sum of 14l. for wages and
expenses in connexion with his mission to Lombardy in 1378[104], in
addition to the 66l. 13s. 4d. paid to him on May 28 of that year. He also
received 5l. from the Duke of Lancaster on May 11 (N. and Q., 7 S. v. 290).

By a deed dated May 1, 1380, a certain Cecilia Chaumpaigne, daughter of the
late William Chaumpaigne and Agnes his wife, released to Chaucer all her
rights of action against him 'de raptu meo[105].' We have no means of
ascertaining either the meaning of the phrase, or the circumstances
referred to. It may mean that Chaucer was accessory to her abduction, much
as Geoffrey Stace and others were concerned in the abduction of the poet's
father; or it may be connected with the fact that his 'little son Lowis'
was ten years old in 1391, as we learn from the Prologue to the Treatise on
the Astrolabe.

§ 21. 1381. On March 6, Chaucer received 22l. for his services in going to
Montreuil and Paris in the time of the late king, i. e. in 1377, in order
to treat for peace; as well as for his journey to France in 1378 to treat
for a marriage between king Richard and the daughter of his adversary
(adversarii sui)[106]. The Treasury must, at this time, have been slack in
paying its just debts. On May 24, he and his wife received their usual
half-yearly pensions[107].

By a deed dated June 19, 1380, but preserved in the Hustings Roll, no. 110,
at the Guildhall, and there dated 5 Ric. II. (1381-2), Chaucer released his
interest in his father's house to Henry Herbury, vintner, in whose
occupation it then was; and it is here that he describes himself as 'me
Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Vinetarii Londonie [108].' This
is the best authority for ascertaining his father's name, occupation, and
abode. Towards the close of the year we find the following payments to him;
viz. on Nov. 16, sums of 6l. 13s. 4d. and 6_s_. 8d.; on Nov. 28, the large
sum of 46l. 13s. 4d., paid to Nicholas Brembre and John Philipot,
Collectors of Customs, and to Geoffrey Chaucer, Comptroller of the Customs;
and on Dec. 31, certain sums to himself and his wife[109].

§ 22. 1382. We have seen that, in 1378, an ineffectual attempt was made to
bring about a marriage between the king and a French princess. In 1382, the
matter was settled by his marriage with Anne of Bohemia, who exerted
herself to calm the animosities which were continually arising in the
court, and thus earned the title of the 'good queen Anne.' It was to her
that Chaucer was doubtless indebted for some relaxation of his official
duties in February, 1385, as noted below.

On May 8, 1382, Chaucer's income was further increased. Whilst retaining
his office of Comptroller of the Customs of Wools, the duties of which he
discharged personally, he was further appointed Comptroller of the Petty
Customs in the Port of London, and was allowed to discharge the duties of
the office by a sufficient deputy[110]. The usual payments of his own and
his wife's pensions were made, in this year, on July 22 and Nov. 11. On
Dec. 10, a payment to him is recorded, in respect of his office as
Comptroller of the Customs [111].

§ 23. 1383. In 1383, the recorded payments are: on Feb. 27, 6s. 8d.; on May
5, his own and his wife's pensions; and on Oct. 24, 6l. 13s. 4d. for his
own pension[112]. Besides these, is the following entry for Nov. 23: 'To
Nicholas Brembre and John Philipot, Collectors of Customs, and Geoffrey
Chaucer, Comptroller; money delivered to them this day in regard of the
assiduity, labour, and diligence brought to bear by them on the duties of
their office, for the year late elapsed, 46l. 13s. 4d.'; being the same
amount as in 1381[113]. It is possible that the date Dec. 10, on which he
tells us that he began his House of Fame, refers to this year.

§ 24. 1384. In 1384, on Apr. 30, he received his own and his wife's
pensions[114]. On Nov. 25, he was allowed to absent himself from his duties
for one month, on account of his own urgent affairs; and the Collectors of
the Customs were commanded to swear in his deputy[115]. On Dec. 9, one
_Philip_ Chaucer is referred to as Comptroller of the Customs, but Philip
is here an error for Geoffrey, as shewn by Mr. Selby[116].

§ 25. 1385. In 1385, a stroke of good fortune befell him, which evidently
gave him much relief and pleasure. It appears that Chaucer had asked the
king to allow him to have a sufficient deputy in his office as Comptroller
at the Wool Quay (in French, _Wolkee_) of London[117]. And on Feb. 17, he
was released from the somewhat severe pressure of his official duties (of
which he complains feelingly in the House of Fame, 652-660) by being
allowed to appoint a permanent deputy[118]. He seems to have revelled in
his newly-found leisure; and we may fairly infer from the Prologue to the
Legend of Good Women, which seems to have been begun shortly afterwards,
that he was chiefly indebted for this favour to the good queen Anne. (See
the Introduction to vol. iii. p. xix.) On April 24, he received his own
pensions as usual, in two sums of 6l. 13s. 4d. each; and, on account of his
wife's pension, 3l. 6s. 8d.[119]

§ 26. 1386. In 1386, as shewn by the Issue Rolls, he received his pensions
as usual. In other respects, the year was eventful. Chaucer was elected a
knight of the shire[120] for the county of Kent, with which he would
therefore seem to have had some connexion, perhaps by the circumstance of
residing at Greenwich (see § 32). He sat accordingly in the parliament
which met at Westminster on Oct. 1, and continued its sittings till Nov. 1.
He and his colleague, William Betenham, were allowed 24l. 8s. for their
expenses in coming to and returning from the parliament, and for attendance
at the same; at the rate of 8s. a day for 61 days[121]. The poet was thus
an unwilling contributor to his own misfortunes; for the proceedings of
this parliament were chiefly directed against the party of the duke of
Lancaster, his patron, and on Nov. 19 the king was obliged to grant a
patent by which he was practically deprived of all power. A council of
regency of eleven persons was formed, with the duke of Gloucester at their
head; and the partisans of John of Gaunt found themselves in an unenviable
position. Among the very few persons who still adhered to the king was Sir
Nicholas Brembre[122], Chaucer's associate in the Customs (see note above,
Nov. 23, 1383); and we may feel confident that Chaucer's sympathies were on
the same side. We shall presently see that, when the king regained his
power in 1389, Chaucer almost immediately received a valuable appointment.

It was during the sitting of this parliament, viz. on Oct. 15, that Chaucer
was examined at Westminster in the case of Richard, lord Scrope, against
the claim of Sir Robert Grosvenor, as to the right of bearing the coat of
arms described as 'azure, a bend or.' The account of Chaucer's evidence is
given in French[123]; the following is a translation of it, chiefly in the
words of Sir H. Nicolas:--

    'Geoffrey Chaucer, Esquire, of the age of 40 years and upwards, armed
    for 27 years, produced on behalf of Sir Richard Scrope, sworn and

    'Asked, whether the arms, "azure, a bend or," belonged or ought to
    belong to the said Sir Richard of right and heritage? Said--Yes, for he
    had seen them armed in France before the town of Retters[124], and Sir
    Henry Scrope armed in the same arms with a white label, and with a
    banner, and the said Sir Richard armed in the entire arms, Azure, a
    bend Or, and he had so seen them armed during the whole expedition,
    till the said Geoffrey was taken.

    'Asked, how he knew that the said arms appertained to the said Sir
    Richard? Said--by hearsay from old knights and squires, and that they
    had always continued their possession of the said arms; and that they
    had always been reputed to be their arms, as the common fame and the
    public voice testifies and had testified; and he also said, that when
    he had seen the said arms in banners, glass, paintings, and vestments,
    they were commonly called the arms of Scrope.

    'Asked, if he had ever heard say who was the first ancestor of the said
    Sir Richard who first bore the said arms? Said--No; nor had he ever
    heard otherwise than that they were come of old ancestry and of old
    gentry, and that they had used the said arms.

    'Asked, if he had ever heard say how long a time the ancestors of the
    said Sir Richard had used the said arms? Said--No; but he had heard say
    that it passed the memory of man.

    'Asked, if he had ever heard of any interruption or claim made by Sir
    Robert Grosvenor or by his ancestors or by any one in his name, against
    the said Sir Richard or any of his ancestors? Said--No; but said, that
    he was once in Friday Street, London, and, as he was walking in the
    street, he saw a new sign, made of the said arms, hanging out; and he
    asked what inn it was that had hung out these arms of Scrope? And one
    answered him and said--No, sir; they are not hung out as the arms of
    Scrope, nor painted for those arms; but they are painted and put there
    by a knight of the county of Chester, whom men call Sir Robert
    Grosvenor; and that was the first time that he had ever heard speak of
    Sir Robert Grosvenor, or of his ancestors, or of any one bearing the
    name of Grosvenor.'

The statement that Chaucer was, at this time, of the age of 'forty and
upwards' (xl. ans et plus) ought to be of assistance in determining the
date of his birth; but it has been frequently discredited on the ground
that similar statements made, in the same account, respecting other
persons, can easily be shewn to be incorrect. It can hardly be regarded as
more than a mere phrase, expressing that the witness was old enough to give
material evidence. But the testimony that the witness had borne arms for
twenty-seven years (xxvii. ans) is more explicit, and happens to tally
exactly with the evidence actually given concerning the campaign of 1359; a
campaign which we may at once admit, on his own shewing, to have been his
first. Taken in connexion with his service in the household of the Countess
of Ulster, where his position was probably that of page, we should expect
that, in 1359, he was somewhere near 20 years of age, and born not long
before 1340. It is needless to discuss the point further, as nothing will
convince those who are determined to make much of Chaucer's allusions to
his 'old age' (which is, after all, a personal affair), and who cannot
understand why Hoccleve should speak of himself as 'ripe for death' when he
was only fifty-three.

It was during the session of this same parliament (Oct. 1386) that Chaucer
gave up the house in Aldgate which he had occupied since May, 1374; and the
premises were granted by the corporation to one Richard Forster, possibly
the same person as the Richard Forrester who had been his proxy in
1378[125]. In this house he must have composed several of his poems; and,
in particular, The Parlement of Foules, The House of Fame, and Troilus,
besides making his translation of Boethius. The remarks about 'my house' in
the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women, 282, are inconsistent with the
position of a house above a city-gate. If, as is probable, they have
reference to facts, we may suppose that he had already practically resigned
his house to his friend in 1385, when he was no longer expected to perform
his official duties personally.

Meanwhile, the duke of Gloucester was daily gaining ascendancy; and Chaucer
was soon to feel the resentment of his party. On Dec. 4, 1386, he was
deprived of his more important office, that of Comptroller of the Customs
of Wool, and Adam Yerdeley was appointed in his stead. Only ten days later,
on Dec. 14, he lost his other office likewise, and Henry Gisors became
Comptroller of the Petty Customs[126]. This must have been a heavy loss to
one who had previously been in good circumstances, and who seems to have
spent his money rather freely[127]. He was suffered, however, to retain his
own and his wife's pensions, as there was no pretence for depriving him of

§ 27. 1387. In 1387, the payment of his wife's pension, on June 18, appears
for the last time[128]. It cannot be doubted that she died during the
latter part of this year. In the same year, and in the spring of 1388, he
received his own pensions, as usual[129]; but his wife's pension ceased at
her death, at a time when his own income was seriously reduced.

§ 28. 1388. In 1388, on May 1, the grants of his two annual pensions, of 20
marks each, were cancelled at his own request, and assigned, in his stead,
to John Scalby[130]. The only probable interpretation of this act is that
he was then hard pressed for money, and adopted this ready but rather rash
method for obtaining a considerable sum at once. He retained, however, the
pension of 10l. per annum, granted him by the duke of Lancaster in 1374.
Chaucer was evidently a hard worker and a practical man. We have every
reason for believing that he performed his duties assiduously, as he
himself asserts; and the loss of his offices in Dec. 1386 must have
occasioned a good deal of enforced leisure. This explains at once why the
years 1387 and 1388 were, as appears from other considerations, the most
active time of his poetical career; he was then hard at work on his
Canterbury Tales. And though the loss of his wife, at the close of 1387,
must have caused a sad interruption in his congenial task, we can hardly
wonder if, after a reasonable interval, he resumed it; it was perhaps the
best thing that he could do.

§ 29. 1389. This period of almost complete leisure came to an end in July,
1389; owing, probably, to the fact that the king, on May 3 in that year,
suddenly took the government into his own hands. The influence of the duke
of Gloucester was on the wane; the duke of Lancaster returned to England;
and the cloud that had lain over Chaucer's fortunes was once more
dispersed. His public work required some attention, though he was allowed
to have a deputy, and the time devoted to the Canterbury Tales was
diminished. It is doubtful whether, with the exception of a few occasional
pieces, Chaucer wrote much new poetry during the last ten years of his

On July 12, Chaucer received the valuable appointment of Clerk of the
King's Works at the palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, the Mews at
Charing Cross, and other places. Among them are mentioned the Castle of
Berkhemsted (Berkhamstead, Herts.), the King's manors of Kennington (now in
London), Eltham (Kent), Clarendon (near Salisbury), Sheen (now Richmond,
Surrey)[131], Byfleet (Surrey), Childern Langley (i. e. King's Langley,
Hertfordshire), and Feckenham (Worcestershire); also the Royal lodge of
Hatherbergh in the New Forest, and the lodges in the parks of Clarendon,
Childern Langley, and Feckenham. He was permitted to execute his duties by
deputy, and his salary was 2s. per day, or 36l. 10s. annually, a
considerable sum[132]. A payment to Chaucer, as Clerk of the Works, is
recorded only ten days later (July 22); and we find that, about this time,
he issued a commission to one Hugh Swayn to provide materials for the
king's works at Westminster, Sheen, and elsewhere[133].

§ 30. 1390. In 1390, on March 13, Chaucer was appointed on a commission,
with five others, to repair the banks of the Thames between Woolwich and
Greenwich (at that time, probably, his place of residence); but was
superseded in 1391[134].

In the same year, Chaucer was entrusted with the task of putting up
scaffolds in Smithfield for the king and queen to see the jousts which took
place there in the month of May; this notice is particularly interesting in
connexion with the Knightes Tale (A 1881-92). The cost of doing this,
amounting to 8l. 12s. 6d., was allowed him in a writ dated July 1, 1390;
and he received further payment at the rate of 2s. a day[135].

About this time, in the 14th year of king Richard (June 22, 1390-June 21,
1391), he was appointed joint forester, with Richard Brittle, of North
Petherton Park, in Somersetshire, by the earl of March, the grandson of his
first patron, Prince Lionel. Perhaps in consequence of the death of Richard
Brittle, he was made sole forester in 21 Ric. II. (1397-8) by the countess
of March; and he probably held the appointment till his death in 1400. No
appointment, however, is known to have been then made, and we find that the
next forester, appointed in 4 Hen. V. (1416-17), was no other than Thomas
Chaucer, who may have been his son[136]. It is perhaps worthy of remark
that some of the land in North Petherton, as shewn by Collinson, descended
to Emma, third daughter of William de Placetis, which William had the same
office of 'forester of North Petherton' till his death in 1274; and this
Emma married John Heyron, who died in 1326-7, seised of lands at Enfield,
Middlesex, and at Newton, Exton, and North Petherton, in the county of
Somerset (Calend. Inquis. post Mortem, 1806, vol. i. p. 333; col. 1). If
this John Heyron was related to the Maria Heyron who was Chaucer's
grandmother, there was perhaps a special reason for appointing Chaucer to
this particular office.

On July 12, 1390, he was ordered to procure workmen and materials for the
repair of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, then in a ruinous condition; this
furnishes a very interesting association[137].

On Sept. 6, 1390, a curious misfortune befell the poet. He was robbed twice
on the same day, by the same gang of robbers; once of 10l. of the king's
money, at Westminster, and again of 9l. 3s. 2d., of his horse, and of other
property, near the 'foul oak' (_foule ok_) at Hatcham, Surrey (now a part
of London, approached by the Old Kent Road, and not far from Deptford and
Greenwich). One of the gang confessed the robberies; and Chaucer was
forgiven the repayment of the money[138].

§ 31. 1391. In 1391, on Jan. 22, Chaucer appointed John Elmhurst as his
deputy, for superintending repairs at the palace of Westminster and the
tower of London; this appointment was confirmed by the king[139]. It was in
this year that he wrote his Treatise on the Astrolabe, for the use of his
son Lowis. By this time, the Canterbury Tales had ceased to make much
progress. For some unknown reason, Chaucer lost his appointment in the
summer; for on June 17, a writ was issued, commanding him to give up to
John Gedney[140] all his rolls, &c. connected with his office[141]; and on
Sept. 16, we find, accordingly, that the office was held by John
Gedney[142]; nevertheless, payments to Chaucer as 'late Clerk of the Works'
occur on Dec. 16, 1391, Mar. 4 and July 13, 1392, and even as late as in

§ 32. 1392-3. Chaucer was now once more without public employment. No doubt
the Canterbury Tales received some attention, and perhaps we may assign to
this period various alterations in the original plan of the poem. The
author must by this time have seen the necessity of limiting each of his
characters to the telling of _one_ Tale only. The Envoy to Scogan and the
Complaint of Venus were probably written in 1393. According to a note
written opposite l. 45 of the former poem, Chaucer was then residing at
Greenwich, a most convenient position for frequent observation of pilgrims
on the road to Canterbury. See §§ 26 and 30.

§ 33. 1394. Chaucer was once more a poor man, although, as a widower, his
expenses may have been less. Probably he endeavoured to draw attention to
his reduced circumstances, or Henry Scogan may have done so for him, in
accordance with the poet's suggestion in l. 48 of the Envoy just mentioned.
In 1394, on Feb. 28, he obtained from the king a grant of 20l. per annum
for life, payable half-yearly at Easter and Michaelmas, being 6l. 13s. 8d.
less than the pensions which he had disposed of in 1388[144]; but the first
payment was not made till Dec. 20, when he received 10l. for the half-year
from Easter to Michaelmas, and the proportional sum of 1l. 16s. 7d. for the
month of March[145].

§ 34. 1395. The difficulties which Chaucer experienced at this time, as to
money matters, are clearly illustrated during the year 1395. In this year
he applied for a loan from the exchequer, in advance of his pension, no
less than four times. In this way he borrowed 10l. on April 1; 10l. on June
25; 1l. 6s. 8d. on Sept. 9; and 8l. 6s. 8d. on Nov. 27. He repaid the first
of these loans on May 28; and the second was covered by his allowance at
Michaelmas. He must also have repaid the small third loan, as the account
was squared by his receipt of the balance of 1l. 13s. 4d. (instead of 10l.)
on March 1, 1396[146]. All the sums were paid into his own hands, so that
he was not far from home in 1395. The fact that he borrowed so small a sum
as 1l. 6s. 8d. is significant and saddening.

In 19 Ric. II. (June, 1395-June, 1396), Chaucer was one of the attorneys of
Gregory Ballard, to receive seizin of the manor of Spitalcombe, and of
other lands in Kent[147].

§ 35. 1396. In 1396, as noted above, he received the balance of his first
half-year's pension on March 1. The second half-year's pension was not paid
till Dec. 25[148]. The Balades of Truth, Gentilesse, and Lak of
Stedfastnesse possibly belong to this period, but some critics would place
the last of these somewhat earlier.

§ 36. 1397. In 1397, the payment of the pension was again behindhand; there
seems to have been some difficulty in obtaining it, due, probably, to the
lavish extravagance of the king. Instead of receiving his half-yearly
pension at Easter, Chaucer received it much later, and in two instalments;
viz. 5l. on July 2, and 5l. on Aug. 9. But after this, things mended; for
his Michaelmas pension was paid in full, viz. 10l., on Oct 26[149]. It was
received for him by John Walden, and it is probable that at this time he
was in infirm health.

§ 37. 1398. We may certainly infer that, at this time, Chaucer was once
more in great distress for money, and considerably in debt. It is also
probable that he was becoming infirm; for indeed, his death was now
approaching. In the Easter term of 1398 (Apr. 24-May 20), one Isabella
Buckholt sued him for the sum of 14l. 1s. 11d. He did not, however, put in
an appearance; for the sheriff's return, in the Michaelmas term (Oct.
9-Nov. 28), was--'non est inventus'; and a similar return was again made in
the Trinity term of 1399 (June 4-25)[150].

We are tempted to suspect that the sheriff was not particularly diligent in
his search after the debtor. That Chaucer was well aware of the awkwardness
of his position, is shewn by the fact that on May 4, 1398, just at the very
time when the suit was brought, he applied for, and obtained, letters of
protection from the king against his enemies, forbidding any one to sue or
arrest him on any plea, except it were connected with land, for the term of
two years[151]. This furnishes an additional reason why the sheriff did not
'find' him. When the two years terminated, in May, 1400, he had not half a
year to live.

On June 3, 1398, Chaucer was again unable to receive his pension himself,
but it was conveyed to him by William Waxcombe[152]. At the close of the
next month, he was reduced to such pitiable straits that we find him
applying _personally_ to the exchequer, for such a trifling advance as 6s.
8d., on July 24; and for the same sum only a week later, on July 31[152].

On Aug. 23, he personally received a further advance of 5l. 6s. 8d.[152]

In his distress, he determined to send in a petition to the king. A copy of
this, in French, is still preserved. On Oct. 13, 1398, he prayed to be
allowed a hogshead of wine (tonel de vin), to be given him by the king's
butler[153]; he even asked this favour 'for God's sake and as a work of
charity' (pur Dieu et en oeure de charitee). It is satisfactory to find
that his request met with a prompt response; for only two days afterwards,
on Oct. 15, the king made him a grant of a tun of wine annually for life,
from the king's butler or his deputy; Sir H. Nicolas computes the value of
this grant at about 5l. a year. Moreover, the grant was made to date as
from Dec. 1, 1397; so that he necessarily received from it some immediate
benefit[154]. He also received from the exchequer, with his own hands, the
sum of 10l. on Oct. 28[155].

§ 38. 1399. In 1399, the great change in political affairs practically
brought his distress to an end; and it is pleasant to think that, as far as
money matters were concerned, he ended his days in comparative ease. Henry
of Lancaster was declared king on Sept. 30; and Chaucer lost no time in
laying his case before him. This he did by sending in a copy of his
'Compleint to his Empty Purse,' a poem which seems to have been originally
written on some other occasion. He added to it, however, an Envoy of five
lines, which, like a postscript to some letters, contained the pith of the

 'O conquerour of Brutes Albioun,
  Which that by lyne and free eleccioun
  Ben verray king, this song to you I sende;
  And ye, that mowen al our harm amende,
  Have mind upon my supplicacioun!'

The king was prompt to reply; it must have given him real satisfaction to
be able to assist the old poet, with whom he must have been on familiar
terms. On Oct. 3, only the fourth day after the king's accession, the
answer came. He was to receive 40 marks yearly (26l. 13s. 4d.), in addition
to the annuity of 20l. which king Richard had granted him; so that his
income was more than doubled. Even then, he met with a slight misfortune,
in losing his letters patent; but, having made oath in Chancery, that the
letters patent of Feb. 28, 1394 (referring to king Richard's grant of
20l.), and the new letters patent of Oct. 3, 1399, had been accidentally
lost, he procured, on Oct. 13, exemplifications of these records[156].
These grants were finally confirmed by the king on Oct. 21[157].

On Christmas eve, 1399, he covenanted for a lease of 53 years (a long term
for one at his age to contemplate) of a house situate in the garden of the
Chapel of St. Mary, Westminster, near Westminster Abbey, at the annual rent
of 2l. 13s. 4d. This lease, from the Custos Capellae Beatae Mariae to
Geoffrey Chaucer, dated Dec. 24, 1399, is in the Muniment Room of
Westminster Abbey. The house stood on or near the spot now occupied by
Henry the Seventh's Chapel[158]. We find, however, that he had only a
life-interest in the lease, as the premises were to revert to the Custos
Capellae if the tenant died within the term.

§ 39. 1400. In 1400, payments to him are recorded on Feb. 21, of the
pension of 20l. granted by king Richard[159], in respect of the half-year
ending at Michaelmas, 1399; and on June 5, the sum of 5l., being part of a
sum of 8l. 13s. 5d. due for a portion of the next half-year, calculated as
commencing on Oct. 21, 1399, and terminating on the last day of March,
1400, was sent him by the hands of Henry Somere[160].

We should notice that this Henry Somere was, at the time, the Clerk of the
Receipt of the Exchequer; he was afterwards Under Treasurer, at which time
Hoccleve addressed to him a Balade, printed in Furnivall's edition of
Hoccleve's Works, at p. 59, followed by a Roundel containing a pun upon his
name; as well as a second Balade, addressed to him after he had been made a
Baron, and promoted to be Chancellor (see the same, p. 64). Perhaps he was
related to John Somere, the Frere, mentioned in the Treatise on the
Astrolabe (Prol. 62).

Chaucer died on Oct. 25, 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. The
date of his death is only known from an inscription on the tomb of gray
marble erected near his grave, in 1556, by Nicholas Brigham, a man of
letters, and an admirer of the poet's writings; but it is probably correct,
and may have rested on tradition[161]. We have no note of him after June 5,
and no record of a payment of the pension in October. According to Stowe,
Chaucer's grave is in the cloister, where also lies the body of 'Henrie
Scogan, a learned poet,' i. e. the Scogan who was Chaucer's friend.

§ 40. CHAUCER'S ARMS AND TOMB. 'In front of the tomb,' says Sir. H.
Nicolas, 'are three panelled divisions of starred quarterfoils (_sic_),
containing shields with the Arms of Chaucer, viz. Per pale argent and
gules, a bend counterchanged; and the same Arms also occur in an oblong
compartment at the back of the recess, where the following inscription was
placed, but which is now almost obliterated, from the partial decomposition
and crumbling state of the marble. A small whole-length portrait of Chaucer
was delineated _in plano_ on the north side of the inscription, but not a
vestige of it is left; and the whole of the recess and canopy has recently
been coloured black.

  Qui fuit Anglorum Vates ter maximus olim,
    Galfridus Chaucer conditur hoc tumulo:
  Annum si quaeras domini, si tempora vitae,
    Ecce notae subsunt, quae tibi cuncta notant.
                 25 Octobris 1400.
            Ærumnarum requies mors.
  N. Brigham hos fecit musarum nomine sumptus

On the ledge of the tomb the following verses were engraved:--

 'Si rogites quis eram, forsan te fama docebit:
  Quod si fama negat, mundi quia gloria transit,
  Haec monumenta lege.'

We learn from an interesting note at the end of Caxton's edition of
Boethius, that the good printer was not satisfied with printing some of
Chaucer's works, but further endeavoured to perpetuate the poet's memory by
raising a pillar near his tomb, to support a tablet containing an epitaph
consisting of 34 Latin verses. This epitaph was composed by Stephanus
Surigonus of Milan, licentiate in decrees, and is reprinted in Stowe's
edition of Chaucer's Works (1561), at fol. 355, back. The last four lines
refer to Caxton's pious care:--

 'Post obitum Caxton voluit te viuere cura
    Willelmi, Chaucer, clare poeta, tui.
  Nam tua non solum compressit opuscula formis,
    Has quoque sed laudes iussit hic esse tuas.'

A description, by Dean Stanley, of the Chaucer window in Westminster Abbey,
completed in 1868, is given in Furnivall's Temporary Preface (Ch. Soc.), p.
133. Some of the subjects in the window are taken from the poem entitled
'The Flower and the Leaf,' which he did not write.

It will be observed that Sir H. Nicolas speaks, just above, of 'the arms of
Chaucer,' which he describes. But it should be remembered that this is,
practically, an assumption, which at once launches us into an uncertain and
debateable position. These arms certainly belonged to _Thomas_ Chaucer, for
they occur on a seal of his of which a drawing is given in MS. Julius C 7,
fol. 153; an accurate copy of which is given by Sir H. Nicolas. It is
therefore quite possible that the same arms were assigned to the poet in
1556, only because it was then assumed that Thomas was Geoffrey's son; the
fact being that the relationship of Thomas to Geoffrey is open to doubt,
and the case requires to be stated with great care.

§ 41. THOMAS CHAUCER. Few things are more remarkable than the utter absence
of unequivocal early evidence as to the above-mentioned point. That
Geoffrey Chaucer was a famous man, even in his own day, cannot be doubted;
and it is equally certain that Thomas Chaucer was a man of great wealth and
of some consequence. Sir H. Nicolas has collected the principal facts
relating to him, the most important being the following. On Oct. 26, 1399,
Henry IV. granted him the offices of Constable of Wallingford Castle and
Steward of the Honours of Wallingford and St. Valery and of the Chiltern
Hundreds for life, receiving therefrom 40l. a year, with 10l. additional
for his deputy[162]. On Nov. 5, 1402, he was appointed Chief Butler for
life to King Henry IV.[163]; and there is a note that he had previously
been Chief Butler to Richard II.[164], but the date of that appointment has
not been ascertained. He was also Chief Butler to Henry V. until March,
1418, when he was superseded[165]; but was again appointed Chief Butler to
Henry VI. after his accession. He represented Oxfordshire in Parliament in
1402, 1408, 1409, 1412, 1414, 1423, 1427, and 1429; and was Speaker of the
House of Commons in 1414[166], and in other years. 'He was employed on many
occasions of trust and importance during the reigns of Henry IV., Henry V.,
and Henry VI.;' to which Sir H. Nicolas adds, that he 'never attained a
higher rank than that of esquire.'

His wealth, at his death in 1434, was unusually great, as shewn by the long
list of his landed possessions in the Inquisitiones post Mortem. This
wealth he doubtless acquired by his marriage with an heiress, viz. Matilda,
second daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Burghersh, who died Sept. 21,
1391, when Matilda was 12 years old. Unfortunately, the date of this
marriage is uncertain, though Sir H. Nicolas shews that it was probably
earlier than 1403. The exact date would be very useful; for if it took
place before 1399, it becomes difficult to understand why the poet was left
so poor, whilst his son had vast possessions.

It should be noticed that there is but little to connect even Thomas
Chaucer (still less Geoffrey) with Woodstock, until 1411; when the Queen
(Joan of Navarre) granted Thomas the farm of the manors of Woodstock,
Hanburgh, Wotton, and Stonfield, which, by the king's assignment, he
enjoyed for life[167]. That the poet visited Woodstock in 1357, when in the
service of Prince Lionel, is almost certain; but beyond this, we have no
sure information on the matter. It is true that 'Wodestok' is mentioned in
the last line of the Cuckow and the Nightingale, but this supposed
connecting link is at once broken, when we find that the said poem was
certainly not of his writing[168]. The suggested reference to Woodstock in
the Parliament of Foules, l. 122, is discussed below, at p. 510.

The only child of Thomas and Matilda Chaucer was Alice, whose third husband
was no less a person than William de la Pole, then Earl and afterwards Duke
of Suffolk, who was beheaded in 1450. Their eldest son was John de la Pole,
Duke of Suffolk, who married Elizabeth, sister of King Edward IV. Their
eldest son bore the same name, and was not only created Earl of Lincoln,
but was actually declared heir-apparent to the throne by Richard III; so
that there was, at one time, a probability that Thomas Chaucer's
great-grandson would succeed to the throne. But the battle of Bosworth, in
1485, set this arrangement aside; and the Earl of Lincoln was himself
killed two years later, in the battle of Stoke.

eminence of these two men, the almost total silence of early evidence,
establishing a connexion between them, is in a high degree remarkable.

The earliest connecting link is the fact that a deed by Thomas Chaucer
still exists, written (in English) at Ewelme, and dated May 20, 1409, to
which a seal is appended. This seal exhibits the arms which were certainly
borne by Thomas Chaucer (viz. party per pale, argent and gules, a bend
counterchanged); but the legend, though somewhat indistinct, can only be
read as: 'S' Ghofrai Chaucier[169]'; where S' signifies 'Sigillum.'

The spelling 'Ghofrai' is hardly satisfactory; but if Geoffrey be really
meant, we gain a piece of evidence of high importance. It proves that
Geoffrey bore the same arms as Thomas, and _not_ the same arms as his
father John; whose seal displays a shield ermine, on a chief, three birds'
heads issuant (The Academy, Oct. 13, 1877, p. 364). Moreover, the use of
Geoffrey's seal by Thomas goes far to establish that the latter was the son
of the former.

The next link is that Geoffrey Chaucer was succeeded by Thomas Chaucer in
the office of forester of North Petherton in Somersetshire; but even here
there is a gap in the succession, as Thomas was not appointed till 1416-7,
the fourth year of Henry V.[170]

It is not till the reign of Henry VI. that we at last obtain an unequivocal
statement. Thomas Gascoigne, who died in 1458, wrote a Theological
Dictionary, which still exists, in MS., in the Library of Lincoln College,
Oxford. He tells us that Chaucer, in his last hours, frequently lamented
the wickedness of his writings, though it is transparent that he here
merely repeats, in a varied form, the general tenour of the well-known
final paragraph of the Persones Tale. But he adds this important sentence:
'Fuit idem Chawserus pater Thomae Chawserus, armigeri, qui Thomas sepelitur
in Nuhelm iuxta Oxoniam[171].' The statement is the more important because
Gascoigne ought to have known the exact truth. He was Chancellor of Oxford,
and Thomas Chaucer held the manor of Ewelme, at no great distance, at the
same date. As he mentions Thomas's sepulture, he wrote later than 1434, yet
before 1458. Even in the case of this decisive statement, it were to be
wished that he had shewn greater accuracy in the context; surely he gives a
quite unfair turn to the poet's own words.

On the whole, I can only admit at present, that there is a high probability
that Thomas was really Geoffrey's son. Perhaps we shall some day know the
certainty of the matter.

§ 43. THOMAS'S MOTHER. The chief reason why it is so desirable to know the
exact truth as to the relationship of Thomas to Geoffrey, is that a good
deal depends upon it. If such was the case, it follows that Philippa
Chaucer was Thomas's mother; in which case, we may feel tolerably confident
that her maiden name was Roet or Rouet. This has been inferred from the
fact that the arms (apparently) of Roet 'occur repeatedly on Thomas
Chaucer's tomb, as his paternal coat, instead of the arms usually
attributed to him and to the poet.' These arms bore 'three wheels,
evidently in allusion to the name[172].' Having thus assigned to Philippa
Chaucer the name of Roet, the next step (usually accepted, yet not
absolutely proved) is to assume that she was the sister of the Katherine de
Roet of Hainault[173], who married Sir Hugh Swynford, and afterwards became
the mistress, and, in 1396, the third wife of John of Gaunt. Her father is
supposed to have been Sir Payne Roet, of Hainault, upon the evidence of his
epitaph, which (in Weever's Funeral Monuments, p. 413) is thus given:--'Hic
jacet Paganus Roet, Miles, Guyenne Rex Armorum, Pater Catherine Ducisse
Lancastriae[174].' It is obvious that, if all the inferences are correct,
they clearly establish an important and close connexion between the poet
and John of Gaunt. Further arguments, whether in favour of or against this
connexion, need hardly be repeated here. They may be found in Nicolas's
Life of Chaucer, and in Lounsbury's Studies in Chaucer, vol. i.

Thynne has the following remark in his Animadversions, &c. (ed. Furnivall,
p. 22): 'Althoughe I fynde a recorde of the _pellis exitus_, in the tyme of
Edwarde the thirde, of a yerely stypende to Elizabethe Chawcer, _Domicelle
regine Philippe_, whiche _Domicella_ dothe signyfye one of her weytinge
gentlewomen: yet I cannott ... thinke this was his wyfe, but rather his
sister or kinneswoman, who, after the deathe of her mystresse Quene
Philippe, did forsake the worlde and became a nonne at Seinte Heleins in
London.' And we find, accordingly (as Nicolas shews), that 'on July 27,
1377, the King exercised his right to nominate a Nun in the Priory of St.
Helen's, London, after the coronation, in favour of Elizabeth Chausier.'
Another Elizabeth Chaucy (who may have been the poet's daughter) is also
noticed by Nicolas, for whose noviciate, in the Abbey of Berking in Essex,
John of Gaunt paid 51l. 8s. 2d., on May 12, 1381. But these are mere
matters for conjecture.

§ 44. The preceding sections include all the most material facts that have
been ascertained with respect to Geoffrey Chaucer, and it is fortunate
that, owing to his connexion with public business, they are so numerous and
so authentic. At the same time, it will doubtless be considered that such
dry details, however useful, tell us very little about the man himself;
though they clearly shew the versatility of his talents, and exhibit him as
a page, a soldier, a valet and esquire of the royal household, an envoy, a
comptroller of customs, a clerk of works, and a member of Parliament. In
the truest sense, his own works best exhibit his thoughts and character;
though we must not always accept all his expressions as if they were all
his own. We have to deal with a writer in whom the dramatic faculty was
highly developed, and I prefer to leave the reader to draw his own
inferences, even from those passages which are most relied upon to support
the theory that his domestic life may have been unhappy, and others of the
like kind. We can hardly doubt, for example, that he refers to his wife as
'oon that I coude nevene,' i. e. one that I could name, in the Hous of
Fame, 562; and he plainly says that the eagle spoke something to him in a
kindly tone, such as he never heard from his wife. But when we notice that
the something said was the word 'awake,' in order that he should 'the bet
abrayde,' i. e. the sooner recover from his dazed state, it is possible
that a sentence which at first seems decidedly spiteful is no more than a
mild and gentle jest.

§ 45. PERSONAL ALLUSIONS IN CHAUCER'S WORKS. Instead of drawing my own
inferences, which may easily be wrong, from various passages in Chaucer's
Works, I prefer the humbler task of giving the more important references,
from which the reader may perform the task for himself, to his greater
satisfaction. I will only say that when a poet complains of hopeless love,
or expresses his despair, or tells us (on the other hand) that he has no
idea as to what love means, we are surely free to believe, in each case,
just as little or as much as we please. It is a very sandy foundation on
which to build up a serious autobiographical structure.

The only remark which I feel justified in making is, that I believe his
wife's death to have been a serious loss to him in one respect at least.
Most of his early works are reasonably free from coarseness; whereas such
Tales as those of the Miller, the Reeve, the Shipman, the Merchant, and the
Prologue to the Wife's Tale, can hardly be defended. All these may
confidently be dated after the year 1387.

I have also to add one caution. We must not draw inferences as to Chaucer's
life from poems or works with which he had nothing to do. Even Sir H.
Nicolas, with all his carefulness, has not avoided this. He quotes the
'Cuckoo and Nightingale' as mentioning Woodstock; and he only distrusts the
'Testament of Love' because it is 'an allegorical composition[175].' As to
the numerous fables that have been imported into the early Lives of
Chaucer, see the excellent chapter in Lounsbury's Studies in Chaucer,
entitled 'The Chaucer Legend.'

§ 46. REFERENCES. I here use the following abbreviations. Ast. (Treatise on
the Astrolabe); B. D. (Book of the Duchesse); C. T. (Canterbury Tales);
H. F. (Hous of Fame); L. G. W. (Legend of Good Women); T. (Troilus and

1. PERSONAL ALLUSIONS. The poet's name is Geffrey, H. F. 729; and his
surname, Chaucer, C. T., B 47. He describes himself, C. T., B 1886; Envoy
to Scogan, 31. His poverty, H. F. 1349; Envoy to Scogan, 45; Compl. to his
Purse. Refers to the sale of wine (his father being a vintner), C. T., C
564. Is despondent in love, Compl. unto Pity; B. D. 1-43; T. i. 15-18. His
Complaints, viz. unto Pity; to his Lady; and an Amorous Complaint. Has long
served Cupid and Venus; H. F. 616. Is no longer a lover, P. F. 158-166;
H. F. 639; T. ii. 19-21; L. G. W. 490. Is love's clerk, T. iii. 41. Is
love's foe, L. G. W. 323. His misery, H. F. 2012-8. His religious feeling,
A. B. C., Second Nun's Tale, Prioress's Tale, &c. Refers to his work when
Comptroller of the Customs, H. F. 652. Is unambitious of fame, H. F.
1870-900; and has but little in his head, ib. 621. Is sometimes a mere
compiler, Ast. prol. 43. Addresses his little son Lowis, Ast. prol.
1-45[176]. Expresses his gratitude to the queen, L. G. W. 84-96, 445-461,
496. His old age, L. G. W., A 262, A 315; Envoy to Scogan, 31-42; Compl. of
Venus, 76[177]. He will not marry a second time, Envoy to Bukton, 8. He
exhibits his knowledge of the Northern dialect in the Reeve's Tale. The
whole of the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women deserves particular

Chaucer mentions several friends, viz. Gower the poet, T. v. 1856; Strode,
T. v. 1857 (cf. the colophon to Ast. pt. ii. § 40); and a lady named
Rosemounde, in the Balade addressed to her. He also addresses Envoys to
Henry Scogan and to Bukton. The Envoy to the Compleint to his Purse is
addressed to king Henry IV.

He is fond of books and of reading, P. F. 15; H. F. 657; L. G. W. 17-35;
and even reads in bed, B. D. 50, 274, 1326. For a full account of the books
which he quotes, see vol. vi. I may just notice here the lists in C. T., B
2088; L. G. W., A 272-307; and his references to his own works in L. G. W.
329, 332, 417-28; C. T., B 57-76; C. T., I 1086[178]. His love of nature
appears in several excellent descriptions; we may particularly notice his
lines upon the sunrise, C. T., A 1491, F 385; on the golden-tressed
Phoebus, T. v. 8; on the daisy, L. G. W. 41; his description of the birds,
P. F. 330; of a blooming garden, P. F. 182; of the golden age, The Former
Age; of fine weather for hunting, B. D. 336, and of the chase itself, B. D.
360, L. G. W. 1188. He frequently mentions the fair month of May, L. G. W.
36, 45, 108, 176, T. ii. 50, C. T. A 1500, 1510; and St. Valentine's day,
Compl. of Mars, 13; P. F. 309, 322, 386, 683; Amorous Compleint, 85.

He was our first great metrist, and has frequent references to his poetical
art. He never slept on Parnassus, C. T., F 721; and the Host (in the C. T.)
even accused him of writing 'dogerel,' B 2115. He cannot write alliterative
verse, C. T., I 43. He admits that his rime is 'light and lewed,' and that
some lines fail in a syllable, H. F., 1096-8. Yet he hopes that none will
'mismetre' him, T. v. 1796. He writes books, songs, and ditties in rime or
'cadence,' H. F. 622; also hymns, balades, roundels, and virelays, L. G. W.
422; and complaints, such as the Complaint to Pity, to his Lady, to his
Purse, the Complaints of Mars, Anelida, and Venus, and the Complaint
D'amours (or Amorous Complaint). Specimens of his graphic and dramatic
power, of his skill in story and metre, of his tenderness and his humour,
need not be here specified. He is fond of astronomy, as shewn by his
Treatise on the Astrolabe; and, though he has but little faith in astrology
(Ast. ii. 4. 37), he frequently refers to it as well as to astronomy; see
B. D. 1206; Compl. Mars, 29, 54, 69, 79, 86, 113, 120, 129, 139, 145; P.
F., 56, 59, 67, 117; Envoy to Scogan, 3, 9; H. F. 932, 936, 965, 993-1017;
T. ii. 50, iii. 2, 618, 625, 716, iv. 1592, v. 1809; L. G. W. 113, 2223,
2585-99; C. T., A 7, 1087, 1328, 1463, 1537, 1566, 1850, 2021, 2035, 2059,
2217, 2271, 2367, 2454-69, 3192, 3209, 3516; B 1-14, 191, 308, 312, 4045-8,
4378-89; D 613, 704; E 1795, 1969, 2132, 2222; F 47-51, 263-5, 386, 906,
1032-5, 1045-59, 1130, 1245-9, 1261-6, 1273-96; I 2-12. Even his alchemy
has some reference to astrology; C. T., G 826-9; cf. H. F. 1430-1512.

He refers to optics, C. T., F 228-235; to Boethius on music, C. T., B 4484,
H. F. 788-818; and to magical arts, H. F. 1259-81, C. T., F 115, 132, 146,
156, 219, 250, 1142-51, 1157-62, 1189-1208.

2. HISTORICAL ALLUSIONS. The references to contemporary history are but
few. The death of the Lady Blaunche is commemorated in the Book of the
Duchesse. He refers to good queen Anne, L. G. W. 255, 275, 496; to the
archbishop of Canterbury, C. T., B 4635; to 'this pestilence,' C 679; to
Tyler's rebellion, A 2459; and Jack Straw, B 4584. Perhaps the Complaints
of Mars and Venus refer to real personages; see the Notes to those poems.
He mentions Dante, H. F. 450, L. G. W. 360, C. T. B 3651, D 1126; Petrarch,
C. T., E 31, 1147; Pedro the Cruel, king of Spain, C. T., B 3565, Bertrand
du Gueschlin, 3573, and Sir Oliver Mauny, 3576; Peter, king of Cyprus,
3581; Bernabo Visconti, duke of Milan, 3589, and the 'tyrants' of Lombardy,
L. G. W. 374; Ugolino of Pisa and the archbishop Ruggieri, C. T., B 3597,
3606. There are several allusions to recent events in the Prologue, A
51-66, 86, 276, 399; and perhaps in C. T., E 995-1001.

His literary allusions are too numerous to be here recited. The reader can
consult the Index in vol. vi.

§ 47. ALLUSIONS TO CHAUCER. One of the earliest allusions to Chaucer as a
poet occurs in the works of Eustache Deschamps, a contemporary poet of
France. It is remarkable that he chiefly praises him as being 'a great
translator.' Perhaps this was before his longest poems were written; there
is express reference to his translation of Le Roman de la Rose, and,
possibly, to Boethius. The poem tells us that Deschamps had sent Chaucer a
copy of some of his poems by a friend named Clifford, and he hopes to
receive something of Chaucer's in return. The poem is here quoted entire,
from the edition of Deschamps by le Marquis de Queux de Saint-Hilaire,
published for the Société des Anciens Textes Français, t. ii. p. 138:--

 'O Socrates plains de philosophie,
  Seneque en meurs et Anglux en pratique,
  Ovides grans en ta poeterie,
  Bries en parler, saiges en rethorique,
  Aigles treshaulz, qui par ta theorique
  Enlumines le regne d'Eneas,
  L'Isle aux Geans, ceuls de Bruth, et qui as
  Semé les fleurs et planté le rosier,
  Aux ignorans de la langue pandras,
  Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier.

  Tu es d'amours mondains Dieux en Albie:
  Et de la Rose, en la terre Angelique,
  Qui d'Angela saxonne, est puis flourie
  Angleterre, d'elle ce nom s'applique
  Le derrenier en l'ethimologique;
  En bon anglès le livre translatas;
  Et un vergier ou du plant demandas
  De ceuls qui font pour eulx autorisier,
  A ja longtemps que tu edifias,
  Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier.

  A toy pour ce de la fontaine Helye
  Requier avoir un buvraige autentique,
  Dont la doys est du tout en ta baillie,
  Pour rafrener d'elle ma soif ethique,
  Qui en Gaule seray paralitique
  Jusques a ce que tu m'abuveras.
  Eustaces sui, qui de mon plant aras:
  Mais pran en gré les euvres d'escolier
  Que par Clifford de moy avoir pourras,
  Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier.


  Poete hault, loenge destruye,
  En ton jardin ne seroye qu'ortie:
  Consideré ce que j'ay dit premier
  Ton noble plant, ta douce mélodie,
  Mais pour sçavoir, de rescripre te prie,
  Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier.'

Gower alludes to Chaucer in the first edition of the Confessio Amantis; see
the passage discussed in vol. iii. p. 414.

Henry Scogan wrote 'a moral balade' in twenty-one 8-line stanzas, in which
he not only refers to Chaucer's poetical skill, but quotes the whole of his
Balade on Gentilesse; see vol. i. p. 83.

Hoccleve frequently refers to Chaucer as his 'maister,' i. e. his teacher,
with great affection; and, if he learnt but little more, he certainly
learnt the true method of scansion of his master's lines, and imitates his
metres and rimes with great exactness. The passages relating to Chaucer are
as follows[179].

(1) From the Governail of Princes, or De Regimine Principum (ed. Wright, p.
67, st. 267):--

 'Thou were acqueynted with Chaucer, pardee--
  God save his soule--best of any wight.'

(2) From the same, p. 75, stanzas 280, 281-283, 297-299, 301:--

 'But weylawey! so is myn herte wo
  That the honour of English tonge is deed,
  Of which I wont was han conseil and reed.

  O maister dere and fader reverent,
  My maister Chaucer, flour of eloquence,
  Mirour of fructuous entendement,
  O universel fader in science,
  Allas! that thou thyn excellent prudence
  In thy bed mortel mightest not bequethe!
  What eyled Deeth? Allas! why wolde he slee thee?

  O Deeth! thou didest not harm singuler
  In slaghtre of him, but al this land it smerteth!
  But nathelees, yit hast thou no powèr
  His name slee; his hy vertu asterteth
  Unslayn fro thee, which ay us lyfly herteth
  With bokes of his ornat endyting,
  That is to al this land enlumining....

  My dere maister--God his soule quyte--
  and fader, Chaucer, fayn wolde han me taught;
  But I was dul, and lernede right naught[180].

  Allas! my worthy maister honorable,
  This landes verray tresor and richesse!
  Deeth, by thy deeth, hath harm irreparable
  Unto us doon; hir vengeable duresse
  Despoiled hath this land of the swetnesse
  Of rethoryk; for unto[181] Tullius
  Was never man so lyk amonges us.

  Also who was heyr[182] in philosophye
  To Aristotle, in our tonge, but thou?
  The steppes of Virgyle in poesye
  Thou folwedest eek, men wot wel y-now.
  That combre-world, that thee (my maister) slow--
  Wolde I slayn werë--Deeth, was to hastyf
  To renne on thee, and reve thee thy lyf....

  She mighte han taried hir vengeance a whyle
  Til that som man had egal to thee be;
  Nay, lat be that! she knew wel that this yle
  May never man forth bringe lyk to thee,
  And hir offyce nedes do mot she:
  God bad hir so, I truste as for the beste;
  O maister, maister, God thy soule reste!

(3) From the same, p. 179, stanzas 712-4:--

  The firste finder of our fair langage
  Hath seyd in caas semblable, and othere mo,
  So hyly wel, that it is my dotage
  For to expresse or touche any of tho.
  Allas! my fader fro the worlde is go,
  My worthy maister Chaucer, him I mene:
  Be thou advóket for him, hevenes quene?

  As thou wel knowest, O blessèd virgyne,
  With loving herte and hy devocioun
  In thyn honour he wroot ful many a lyne.
  O, now thy help and thy promocioun!
  To God, thy Sonë, mak a mocioun
  How he thy servaunt was, mayden Marië,
  And lat his lovë floure and fructifyë.

  Al-thogh his lyf be queynt, the résemblaunce
  Of him hath in me so fresh lyflinesse
  That, to putte othere men in rémembraunce
  Of his persone, I have heer his lyknesse
  Do makë, to this ende, in sothfastnesse,
  That they, that have of him lest thought and minde,
  By this peynturë may ageyn him finde.'

Here is given, in the margin of the MS., the famous portrait of Chaucer
which is believed to be the best, and probably the only one that can be
accepted as authentic. A copy of it is prefixed to the present volume, and
to Furnivall's Trial-Forewords, Chaucer Soc., 1871; and an enlarged copy
accompanies the Life-Records of Chaucer, part 2. It is thus described by
Sir H. Nicolas:--'The figure, which is half-length, has a back-ground of
green tapestry. He is represented with grey hair and beard, which is
biforked; he wears a dark-coloured dress and hood; his right hand is
extended, and in his left he holds a string of beads. From his vest a black
case is suspended, which appears to contain a knife, or possibly a
'penner,' or pen-case[183]. The expression of the countenance is
intelligent; but the fire of the eye seems quenched, and evident marks of
advanced age appear on the countenance.' Hoccleve did not paint this
portrait himself, as is often erroneously said; he 'leet do make it,' i. e.
had it made. It thus became the business of the scribe, and the portraits
in different copies of Hoccleve's works vary accordingly. There is a
full-length portrait in MS. Reg. 17 D. vi, marked as 'Chaucers ymage'; and
another in a MS. copy once in the possession of Mr. Tyson, which was
engraved in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1792, vol. lxii. p. 614; perhaps
the latter is the copy which is now MS. Phillipps 1099. A representation of
Chaucer on horseback, as one of the pilgrims, occurs in the Ellesmere MS.;
an engraving of it appears as a frontispiece to Todd's Illustrations of
Chaucer. A small full-length picture of Chaucer occurs in the initial
letter of the Canterbury Tales, in MS. Lansdowne 851. Other portraits, such
as that in MS. Addit. (or Sloane) 5141, the painting upon wood in the
Bodleian Library, and the like, are of much later date, and cannot pretend
to any authenticity.

Lydgate has frequent references to his 'maister Chaucer.' The most
important is that in the Prologue to his Fall of Princes, which begins

 'My maister Chaucer, with his fresh comédies,
  Is deed, allas! cheef poete of Bretayne,
  That somtym made ful pitous tragédies;
  The "fall of princes" he dide also compleyne,
  As he that was of making soverayne,
  Whom al this land of right[e] ought preferre,
  Sith of our langage he was the loodsterre.'

The 'fall of princes' refers to the Monkes Tale, as explained in vol. iii.
p. 431. He next refers to 'Troilus' as being a translation of a book 'which
called is Trophe' (see vol. ii. p. liv.); and to the Translation of
Boethius and the Treatise of the Astrolabe. He then mentions many of the
Minor Poems (in the stanzas quoted below, p. 23), the Legend of Good Women
(see vol. iii. p. xx.), and the Canterbury Tales; and concludes thus:--

 'This sayd poete, my maister, in his dayes
  Made and composed ful many a fresh ditee,
  Complaintes, balades, roundels, virelayes,
  Ful delectable to heren and to see;
  For which men shulde, of right and equitee,
  Sith he of English in making was the beste,
  Praye unto God to yeve his soule reste.'

So also, in his Siege of Troye, fol. K 2:--

 'Noble Galfryde, chefe Poete of Brytayne,
  Among our English that caused first to rayne
  The golden droppes of Rethorike so fyne,
  Our rudë language onely t'enlumine,' &c.

And again, in the same, fol. R 2, back:--

 'For he our English gilt[e] with his layes,
  Rude and boystous first, by oldë dayes,
  That was ful fer from al perfeccioun
  And but of lytel reputacioun,
  Til that he cam, and with his poetrye
  Gan our tungë first to magnifye,
  And adourne it with his eloquence'; &c.

And yet again, at fol. Ee 2:--

 'And, if I shal shortly him discryve,
  Was never noon [un]to this day alyve,
  To reken all[e], bothe of yonge and olde,
  That worthy was his inkhorn for to holde.'

Similar passages occur in some of his other works, and shew that he
regarded Chaucer with affectionate reverence.

Allusions in later authors have only a literary value, and need not be
cited in a Life of Chaucer.

       *       *       *       *       *

I subjoin (on p. lxii.) a List of Chaucer's genuine works, arranged, as
nearly as I can conjecture, in their chronological order. Of his poetical
excellence it is superfluous to speak; Lowell's essay on 'Chaucer' in My
Study Windows gives a just estimate of his powers.


The following list is arranged, _conjecturally_, in chronological order. It
will be understood that much of the arrangement and some of the dates are
due to guesswork; on a few points scholars are agreed. See further in pp.
20-91 below, &c. Of the Poems marked (a), there seem to have been _two_
editions, (a) being the earlier. The letters and numbers appended at the
end denote the _metres_, according to the following scheme.

A = octosyllabic metre; B = ballad metre, in Sir Thopas; C = 4-line stanza,
in the Proverbes; P = Prose.

The following sixteen metres are original (i. e. in _English_); viz. 1 =
8-line stanza, _ababbcbc_; 1 b = the same, thrice, with refrain. 2 = 7-line
stanza, _ababbcc_; 2 b = the same, thrice, with refrain; 2 _c_ = 7-line
stanza, _ababbab_. 3 = terza rima. 4 = 10-line stanza, _aabaabcddc_. 5 =
9-line stanza, _aabaabbab_; 5 b = the same, with internal rimes. 6 =
virelai of 16 lines. 7 = 9-line stanza, _aabaabbcc_. 8 = roundel. 9 =
heroic couplet. 10 = 6-line stanza, _ababcb_, repeated six times. 11 =
10-line stanza, _aabaabbaab_. 12 = 5-line stanza, _aabba_.

*** C. T. = Canterbury Tales; L. G. W. = Legend of Good Women; M. P. =
Minor Poems.

              Origenes upon the Maudeleyne (See L. G. W., A 418; lost.)
              Book of the Leoun (C. T., I. 1087; lost).
              (a) Ceys and Alcion (C. T., B. 57; Bk. Duch. 62-214).--A.
              Romaunt of the Rose, ll. 1-1705; rest lost.--A.
              A. B. C.; in M. P. I.--1.
  1369.       Book of the Duchesse; M. P. III.--A.
              (a) Lyf of Seynt Cecyle (L. G. W., B 426; C. T.,
                  G. 1-553).--2[184].
              (a) Monkes Tale (parts of); except B. 3565-3652.--1.
  ab. 1372-3. (a) Clerkes Tale; except E. 995-1008, and the Envoy.--2.
              (a) Palamon and Arcite (scraps preserved).--2.
              Compleint to his Lady; M. P. VI.--2. 3. 4.
              An Amorous Compleint, made at Windsor; M. P. XXII.--2.
              Compleint unto Pitè; M. P. II.--2.
              Anelida and Arcite (10 stt. from Palamon); M. P. VII.--
                  2. 5. 6. 5 b.
              (a) The Tale of Melibeus.--P.
              (a) The Persones Tale.--P.
              (a) Of the Wreched Engendring of Mankinde (L. G. W., A. 414;
                  cf. C. T., B. 99-121, &c.)--2.
              (a) Man of Lawes Tale; amplified in C. T.--2.
  1377-81.    Translation of Boethius.--P.
  1379?       Compleint of Mars; M. P. IV.--2. 7.
  1379-83.    Troilus and Criseyde (3 stt. from Palamon).--2.
              Wordes to Adam (concerning Boece and Troilus);
                  M. P. VIII.--2.
              The Former Age (from Boece); M. P. IX.--1.
              Fortune (hints from Boece); M. P. X.--1 b. 2 c.
  1382.       Parlement of Foules (16 stt. from Palamon); M. P. V.--2. 8.
  1383-4.     House of Fame.--A.
  1385-6.     Legend of Good Women.--9.
  1386.       Canterbury Tales begun.
  1387-8.     Central period of the Canterbury Tales.
  1389, &c.   The Tales continued.--B. 1. 2. 9. 10. P.
  1391.       Treatise on the Astrolabe.--P.
  1393?       Compleint of Venus; M. P. XVIII.--1 b. 11.
  1393.       Lenvoy to Scogan; M. P. XVI.--2.
  1396.       Lenvoy to Bukton; M. P. XVII.--1.
  1399.       Envoy to Compleint to his Purse; M. P. XIX.--12.

The following occasional triple roundel and balades _may_ have been
composed between 1380 and 1396:--

  Merciless Beautè; M. P. XI--8.
  Balade to Rosamounde; M. P. XII.--1 b.
  Against Women Unconstaunt; M. P. XXI--2 b.
  (_a_) Compleint to his Purse; M. P. XIX.--2 b.
  Lak of Stedfastnesse; M. P. XV.--2 b.
  Gentilesse; M. P. XIV.--2 b.
  Truth; M. P. XIII.--2 b.
  Proverbes of Chaucer; M. P. XX.--C.

       *       *       *       *       *


    P. 95: l. 47. Insert a comma after 'oughte'

    P. 98: l. 114. Omit the comma at the end of the line.

    P. 123: l. 705. It would be better to read 'Withoute.' The scansion
    then is:

      Without | e fabl' | I wol | descryve.

    P. 126: l. 793. Delete the comma at the end of the line.

    P. 127: l. 806. Delete the comma at the end of the line.

    P. 135: l. 997. _For_ shall _read_ shal

    P. 136: ll. 1015-6. Improve the punctuation thus:--

      As whyt as lilie or rose in rys
      Hir face, gentil and tretys.

    P. 136: l. 1021. Delete the comma after 'yelowe'

    P. 141: l. 1154. Delete the comma after 'seide'

    P. 168: l. 1962. _For_ Bu -if _read_ But-if

    P. 176: l. 2456. _For_ joy _read_ Ioy

    P. 201: l. 4035. For the comma substitute a semicolon.

    P. 249: l. 7087. _For_ echerye _read_ trecherye

    P. 253: l. 7324. _For_ weary _read_ wery

    P. 255: l. 7437. Supply a comma at the end of the line.

    P. 258: l. 7665. Insert a comma after 'helle'

    P. 269: l. 145. The stop at the end should be a comma.

    P. 278: l. 49. _For_ aud _read_ and

    P. 282: l. 145. _For_ Aud _read_ And

    P. 301: l. 716. The comma should perhaps be a semicolon or a full stop.

    P. 313: l. 1069. For 'Antilegius,' a better form would be 'Antilogus,'
    a French form of Antilochus.

    P. 326: l. 74. Perhaps 'let' should be 'lete'

    P. 330: l. 206. _For_ folke _read_ folk

    P. 338: l. 91. _For_ Aud _read_ And

    P. 340: l. 133. _For_ the _read_ thee

    P. 362: l. 76. The final stop should be a comma.

    P. 374: ll. 243, 248. _For_ desteny _and_ ful _better forms are_
    destinee _and_ fulle

    P. 377: l. 328. _For_ furlong wey _read_ furlong-wey

       *       *       *       *       *



§ 1. In the Third Edition of my volume of Chaucer Selections, containing
the Prioress's Tale, &c., published by the Clarendon Press in 1880, I
included an essay to shew 'why the Romaunt of the Rose is not Chaucer's,'
meaning thereby the particular English version of Le Roman de la Rose which
happens to be preserved. I have since seen reason to modify this opinion as
regards a comparatively short portion of it at the beginning (here printed
in large type), but the arguments then put forward remain as valid as ever
as regards the main part of it (here printed in smaller type, and in double
columns). Some of these arguments had been previously put forward by me in
a letter to the Academy, Aug. 10, 1878, p. 143. I ought to add that the
chief of them are not original, but borrowed from Mr. Henry Bradshaw, whose
profound knowledge of all matters relating to Chaucer has been acknowledged
by all students.

§ 2. That Chaucer translated the French poem called Le Roman de la Rose, or
at least some part of it[185], no one doubts; for he tells us so himself in
the Prologue of his Legend of Good Women (A 255, B 329), and the very
frequent references to it, in many of his poems, shew that many parts of it
were familiarly known to him. Nevertheless, it does not follow that the
particular version of it which happens to be preserved, is the very one
which he made; for it was a poem familiar to many others besides him, and
it is extremely probable that Middle English versions of it were numerous.
In fact, it will presently appear that the English version printed in this
volume actually consists of _three_ separate fragments, _all by different

The English version, which I shall here, for brevity, call 'the
translation,' has far less claim to be considered as Chaucer's than
unthinking people imagine. Modern readers find it included in many editions
of his Works, and fancy that such a fact is conclusive; but it is the
merest prudence to enquire how it came there. The answer is, that it first
appeared in Thynne's edition of 1532, a collection of Chaucer's (supposed)
works made more than _a hundred and thirty years_ after his death. Such an
attribution is obviously valueless; we must examine the matter for
ourselves, and on independent grounds.

§ 3. A critical examination of the internal evidence at once shews that by
far the larger part of 'the translation' cannot possibly be Chaucer's; for
the language of it contradicts most of his habits, and presents
peculiarities such as we never find in his genuine poems. I shewed this in
my 'Essay' by the use of several unfailing tests, the nature of which I
shall explain presently. The only weak point in my argument was, that I
then considered 'the translation' as being the production of _one_ author,
and thought it sufficient to draw my examples (as I unconsciously, for the
most part, did) from the central portion of the whole.

§ 4. The next step in this investigation was made by Dr. Lindner. In a
painstaking article printed in _Englische Studien_, xi. 163, he made it
appear highly probable that at least _two_ fragments of 'the translation'
are _by different hands_. That there are two fragments, _at least_, is
easily discerned; for after l. 5810 there is a great gap, equivalent to an
omission of more than 5000 lines.

§ 5. Still more recently, Dr. Max Kaluza has pointed out that there is
another distinct break in the poem near l. 1700. The style of translation,
not to speak of its accuracy, is much better in the first 1700 lines than
in the subsequent portions. We may notice, in particular, that the French
word _boutons_ is translated by _knoppes_ in ll. 1675, 1683, 1685, 1691,
1702, whilst, in l. 1721 and subsequent passages, the same word is merely
Englished by _botoun_ or _botouns_. A closer study of the passage extending
from l. 1702 to l. 1721 shews that there is a very marked break at the end
of l. 1705. Here the French text has (ed. Méon, l. 1676):--

 'L'odor de lui entor s'espent;
  La soatime qui en ist
  Toute la place replenist.'

The English version has:--

 'The swote smelle sprong so wyde
  That it dide al the place aboute'--

followed by:--

 'Whan I had smelled the savour swote,
  No wille hadde I fro thens yit go'; &c.

It will be observed that the sentence in the two former lines is
incomplete; _dide_ is a mere auxiliary verb, and the real verb of the
sentence is lost; whilst the two latter lines lead off with a new sentence
altogether. It is still more interesting to observe that, at this very
point, we come upon a false rime. The word _aboute_ was then pronounced
(abuu·t[*e]), where (uu) denotes the sound of _ou_ in _soup_, and ([*e])
denotes an obscure vowel, like the _a_ in _China_. But the vowel _o_ in
_swote_ was then pronounced like the German _o_ in G. _so_ (nearly E. _o_
in _so_), so that it was quite unlike the M.E. _ou_; and the rime is no
better than if we were to rime the mod. E. _boot_ with the mod. E. _goat_.
It is clear that there has been a _join_ here, and a rather clumsy one. The
supply of 'copy' of the first translation ran short, perhaps because the
rest of it had been torn away and lost, and the missing matter was supplied
from some other source. We thus obtain, as the result to be tested, the
following arrangement:--

Fragment A.--Lines 1-1705. French text, 1-1678.

Fragment B.--Lines 1706-5810. French text, 1679-5169.

Fragment C.--Lines 5811-7698. French text, 10716-12564.

It should be noted, further, that l. 7698 by no means reaches to the _end_.
It merely corresponds to l. 12564 of the French text, leaving 9510 lines
untouched towards the end, besides the gap of 5547 lines between Fragments
B and C. In fact, the three fragments, conjointly, only represent 7018
lines of the original, leaving 15056 lines (more than double that number)
wholly untranslated.


TEST I.--PROPORTION OF ENGLISH TO FRENCH.--As regards these fragments, one
thing strikes us at once, viz. the much greater _diffuseness_ of the
translation in fragment B, as may be seen from the following table:--

A.--English, 1705 lines; French, 1678; as 101.6 to 100.

B.--English, 4105 lines; French, 3491; as 117.5 to 100.

C.--English, 1888 lines; French, 1849; as 102.1 to 100.

Thus, in A and C, the translation runs nearly line for line; but in B, the
translator employs, on an average, 11 lines and three-quarters for every 10
of the original.

§ 7. TEST II.--DIALECT.--But the striking characteristic of Fragment B is
the use in it of a Northern dialect. That this is due to the author, and
not merely to the scribe, is obvious from the employment of Northern forms
in rimes, where any change would destroy the rime altogether. This may be
called the Dialect-test. Examples abound, and I only mention some of the
most striking.

1. Use of the Northern pres. part. in _-and_. In l. 2263, we have _wel
sittand_ (for _wel sitting_), riming with _hand_. In l. 2708, we have _wel
doand_ (for _wel doing_), riming with _fand_. Even _fand_ is a Northern
form. Chaucer uses _fond_, riming with _hond_ (Cant. Ta. A 4116, 4221,
&c.), _lond_ (A 702, &c.); cf. the subj. form _fond-e_, riming with
_hond-e_, _lond-e_, _bond-e_ (B 3521).

2. In l. 1853, we have the rimes _thar_, _mar_ (though miswritten _thore_,
_more_ in MS. G.), where the Chaucerian forms _there_, _more_, would not
rime at all. These are well-known Northern forms, as in Barbour's Bruce. So
again, in l. 2215, we find _mar_, _ar_ (though _mar_ is written as _more_
in MS. G.). In l. 2397, we find _stat_, _hat_; where _hat_ is the Northern
form of Chaucer's _hoot_, adj., 'hot.' So also, in 5399, we have North.
_wat_ instead of Ch. _wot_ or _woot_, riming with _estat_. In l. 5542, we
find the Northern _certis_ (in place of Chaucer's _certes_), riming with

3. Chaucer (or his scribes) admit the use of the Northern _til_, in place
of the Southern _to_, very sparingly; it occurs, e.g. in Cant. Ta. A 1478,
before a vowel. But it never occurs after its case, nor at the end of a
line. Yet, in fragment B, we twice find _him til_ used finally, 4594, 4852.

4. The use of _ado_ (for _at do_), in the sense of 'to do,' is also
Northern; see the New E. Dict. It occurs in l. 5080, riming with _go_.

5. The dropping of the inflexional _e_, in the infin. mood or gerund, is
also Northern. In fragment B, this is very common; as examples, take the
rimes _lyf_, _dryf_, 1873; _feet_, _lete_ (= _leet_), 1981; _sit_, _flit_,
2371; _may_, _convay_, 2427; _may_, _assay_, 2453; _set_, _get_, 2615;
_spring_, _thing_, 2627; _ly_, _by_, 2629; _ly_, _erly_, 2645; &c. The
Chaucerian forms are _dryv-e_, _let-e_, _flit-te_, _convey-e_, _assay-e_,
_get-e_, _spring-e_, _ly-e_. That the Northern forms are not due to the
scribe, is obvious; for he usually avoids them where he can. Thus in l.
2309, he writes _sitting_ instead of _sittand_; but in l. 2263, he could
not avoid the form _sittand_, because of the rime.

§ 8. TEST III.--THE RIMING OF -y WITH -y-ë.--With two intentional
exceptions (both in the ballad metre of Sir Thopas, see note to Cant. Ta. B
2092), Chaucer _never_ allows such a word as _trewely_ (which
etymologically ends in _-y_) to rime with French substantives in _-y-ë_,
such as _fol-y-ë_, _Ielos-y-ë_ (Ital. _follia_, _gelosia_). But in fragment
B, examples abound; e. g. _I_, _malady(e)_[186], 1849; _hastily_,
_company(e)_, 1861; _generally_, _vilany(e)_, 2179; _worthy_, _curtesy(e)_,
2209; _foly(e)_, _by_, 2493, 2521; _curtesy(e)_, _gladly_, 2985; _foly(e)_,
_utterly_, 3171; _foly(e)_, _hastily_, 3241; and many more.

This famous test, first proposed by Mr. Bradshaw, is a very simple but
effective one; it separates the spurious from the genuine works of Chaucer
with ease and certainty in all but a few cases, viz. cases wherein a
spurious poem happens to satisfy the test; and these are rare indeed.

§ 9. TEST IV.--ASSONANT RIMES. Those who know nothing about the
pronunciation of Middle English, and require an easy test, appreciable by
any child who has a good ear, may observe this. Chaucer does not employ
mere assonances, i. e. rimes in which only the vowel-sounds correspond. He
does not rime _take_ with _shape_, nor _fame_ with _lane_. But the author
of fragment B had no ear for this. He actually has such rimes as these:
_kepe_, _eke_, 2125; _shape_, _make_, 2259; _escape_, _make_, 2753; _take_,
_scape_, 3165; _storm_, _corn_, 4343; _doun_, _tourn_, 5469.

OTHER STRANGE RIMES.--Other rimes which occur here, but not in Chaucer, are
these and others like them: _aboute_, _swote_, 1705 (already noticed);
_desyre_, _nere_, 1785, 2441; _thar_ (Ch. _there_), _to-shar_, 1857;
_Ioynt_, _queynt_[187], 2037; _soon_ (Ch. _son-e_), _doon_, 2377; _abrede_,
_forweried_, 2563; _anney_ (Ch. _annoy_), _awey_, 2675; _desyre_, _manere_,
2779; _Ioye_, _convoye_ (Ch. _conveye_), 2915, &c. It is needless to
multiply instances.

§ 10. It would be easy to employ further tests; we might, for example, make
a minute critical examination of the method in which the final _-e_ is
grammatically employed. But the results are always the same. We shall
always find irrefragable proof that fragment B exhibits usages far
different from those which occur in the undoubted works of Chaucer, and
cannot possibly have proceeded from his pen. Repeated investigations, made
by me during the past thirteen years, have always come round to this
result, and it is not possible for future criticism to alter it.

Hence our first result is this. Fragment B, consisting of ll. 1706-5810
(4105 lines), containing more than fragments A and C together, and
therefore more than half of 'the translation,' _is not Chaucer's, but was
composed by an author who, to say the least, frequently employed Northern
English forms and phrases. Moreover, his translation is too diffuse; and,
though spirited, it is not always accurate._


I shall now speak of fragment C. The first noticeable point about it is,
that it does _not_ exhibit many of the peculiarities of B. There is nothing
to indicate, with any certainty, a Northern origin, nor to connect it with
B. In fact, we may readily conclude that B and C are by different authors.
The sole question that remains, as far as we are now concerned, is this.
Can we attribute it to Chaucer?

The answer, in this case, is not quite so easily given, because the
differences between it and Chaucer's genuine works are less glaring and
obvious than in the case above. Nevertheless, we at once find some good
reasons for refraining to attribute it to our author.

§ 12. RIME-TESTS.--If, for instance, we apply the simple but effective test
of the rimes of words ending in _-y_ with those ending in _-y-e_, we at
once find that this fragment fails to satisfy the text.

Examples: _covertly_, _Ipocrisy(e)_, 6112; _company(e)_, _outerly_, 6301;
_loteby_, _company(e)_, 6339; _why_, _tregetry(e)_, 6373; _company(e)_,
_I_, 6875; _mekely_, _trechery(e)_, 7319. These six instances, in less than
1900 lines, ought to make us hesitate.

If we look a little more closely, we find other indications which should
make us hesitate still more. At l. 5919, we find _hors_ (horse) riming with
_wors_ (worse); but Chaucer rimes _wors_ with _curs_ (Cant. Ta. A 4349),
and with _pervers_ (Book Duch. 813). At l. 6045, we find _fare_, _are_; but
Chaucer never uses _are_ at the end of a line; he always uses _been_. At l.
6105, we find _atte last_, _agast_; but Chaucer only has _atte last-e_
(which is never monosyllabic). At l. 6429, we find _paci-ence_,
_venge-aunce_, a false rime which it would be libellous to attribute to
Chaucer; and, at l. 6469, we find _force_, _croce_, which is still worse,
and makes it doubtful whether it is worth while to go on. However, if we go
a little further, we find the pl. form _wrought_ riming with _nought_,
6565; but Chaucer usually has _wrought-e_, which would destroy the rime.
This, however, is not decisive, since Chaucer has _bisought_ for
_bisoughte_, Cant. Ta. A. 4117, and _brought_ for _broughte_, id. F. 1273.
But when, at l. 6679, we find _preched_ riming with _teched_, we feel at
once that this is nothing in which Chaucer had a hand, for he certainly
uses the form _taughte_ (Prologue, 497), and as certainly does _not_ invent
such a form as _praughte_ to rime with it. Another unpleasant feature is
the use of the form _Abstinaunce_ in l. 7483, to gain a rime to _penaunce_,
whilst in l. 7505, only 22 lines lower down, we find _Abstinence_, to rime
with _sentence_; but the original has similar variations.

§ 13. I will just mention, in conclusion, one more peculiarity to be found
in fragment C. In the Cant. Tales, B 480 (and elsewhere), Chaucer uses such
rimes as _clerkes_, _derk is_, and the like; but not very frequently. The
author of fragment C was evidently much taken with this peculiarity, and
gives us plenty of examples of it. Such are: _requestis_, _honést is_,
6039; _places_, _place is_, 6119; _nede is_, _dedis_, 6659; _apert is_,
_certis_, 6799; _chaieris_, _dere is_, 6915; _enquestes_, _honést is_,
6977; _prophetis_, _prophete is_, 7093; _ypocritis_, _spite is_, 7253. Here
are eight instances in less than 1900 lines. However, there are five
examples (at ll. 19, 75, 387, 621, 1349) in the Hous of Fame, which
contains 2158 lines in the same metre as our 'translation'; and there are
19 instances in the Cant. Tales.

We should also notice that the character called _Bialacoil_ throughout
Fragment B is invariably called _Fair-Welcoming_ in C.

We should also remark how Dr. Lindner (_Engl. Studien_, xi. 172) came to
the conclusion that Chaucer certainly never wrote fragment C. As to the
rest he doubted, and with some reason; for he had not before him the idea
of splitting lines 1-5810 into two fragments.

§ 14. A consideration of the above-mentioned facts, and of others similar
to them, leads us to our second result, which is this. Fragment C,
containing 1888 lines, and corresponding to ll. 12564 of the French
original, is _neither by the author of fragment B, nor by Chaucer, but is
not so glaringly unlike Chaucer's work as in the case of fragment B_.


It remains to consider fragment A. The first test to apply is that of rimes
in _-y_ and _-y-e_; and, when we remember how indiscriminately these are
used in fragments B and C, it is at least instructive to observe the
perfect regularity with which they are employed in fragment A. The student
who is unacquainted with the subtle distinctions which this test
introduces, and who probably is, on that account, predisposed to ignore it,
may learn something new by the mere perusal of the examples here given.

1. Words that should, etymologically, end in _-y_ (and not in _-y-e_) are
here found riming together, and never rime with a word of the other class.

Examples: _covertly_, _openly_, 19; _redily_, _erly_, 93; _by_, _I_, 111;
_bisily_, _redily_, 143; _by_, _I_, 163; _I_, _by_, 207; _povrely_,
_courtepy_[188], 219; _beggarly_, _by_, 223; _enemy_, _hardily_, 269;
_awry_[189], _baggingly_, 291; _certeinly_, _tenderly_, 331; _prively_,
_sikerly_, 371; _redily_, _by_, 379; _Pope-holy_, _prively_, 415; _I_,
_openly_, 501; _queyntely_, _fetisly_, 569; _fetisly_, _richely_, 577;
_only_, _uncouthly_, 583; _I_, _namely_, 595; _sikerly_, _erthely_, 647;
_lustily_, _semely_, 747; _parfitly_, _sotilly_, 771; _queyntely_,
_prively_, 783; _fetisly_, _richely_, 837; _sotilly_, _I_, 1119;
_enemy_[190], _tristely_, 1165; _sotilly_, _therby_, 1183; _newely_, _by_,
1205; _fetisly_, _trewely_, 1235; _I_, _by_, 1273; _trewely_, _comunly_,
1307; _lustily_, _sikerly_, 1319; _merily_, _hastely_, 1329; _I_,
_sikerly_, 1549; _I_, _craftely_, 1567; _openly_, _therby_, 1585;
_diversely_, _verily_, 1629; _openly_, _by_, 1637. Thirty-eight examples.

We here notice how frequently words in _-ly_ rime together; but this
peculiarity is Chaucerian; cf. _semely_, _fetisly_, C. T. prol. A 123, &c.

2. Words that, etymologically, should end in _-y-e_, rime together. These
are of two sorts: (_a_) French substantives; and (_b_) words in _-y_, with
an inflexional _-e_ added.

Examples: (_a_) _felony-e_, _vilany-e_, 165; _envy-e_, _masonry-e_, 301;
_company-e_, _curtesy-e_, 639; _melody-e_, _reverdy-e_, 719; _curtesy-e_,
_company-e_, 957; _vilany-e_, _felony-e_, 977; _envy-e_, _company-e_, 1069;
_chivalry-e_, _maistry-e_, 1207; _villany-e_, _sukkeny-e_, 1231; _envye_,
_Pavie_, 1653.

(_b_) _dy-e_, infin. mood, _dry-e_, dissyllabic adj. (A. S. _dr[=y]ge_),

(_a_) and (_b_) mixed: _melody-e_, F. sb., _dy-e_, infin. mood, 675;
_espy-e_, gerund, _curtesy-e_, F. sb., 795; _hy-e_, dat. adj., _maistry-e_,
841; _dy-e_, gerund, _flatery-e_, F. sb., 1063; _curtesy-e_, F. sb.,
_hy-e_, dat. case, pl. adj., 1251; _dy-e_, infin. mood, _remedy-e_, F. sb.,
1479. Seventeen examples. (In all, fifty-five examples.)

Thus, in more than fifty cases, the Chaucerian habit is maintained, and
there is _no_ instance to the contrary. Even the least trained reader may
now fairly begin to believe that there is some value in this proposed test,
and may see one reason for supposing that fragment A may be genuine.

§ 16. A still closer examination of other rimes tends to confirm this.
There are no Northern forms (as in B), no merely assonant rimes (as in B),
nor any false or bad or un-Chaucerian rimes (as in both B and C), except
such as can be accounted for. The last remark refers to the fact that the
scribe or the printer of Thynne's edition frequently misspells words so as
to obscure the rime, whereas they rime perfectly when properly spelt; a
fact which tells remarkably in favour of the possible genuineness of the
fragment. Thus, at l. 29, Thynne prints _befal_, and at l. 30, _al_. Both
forms are wrong; read _befalle_, _alle_. Here Thynne has, however,
preserved the rime by making a _double_ mistake; as in several other
places. A more important instance is at l. 249, where the Glasgow MS. has
_farede_, _herede_, a bad rime; but Thynne correctly has _ferde_, _herde_,
as in Chaucer, Cant. Ta. A 1371. So again, at ll. 499, 673, where the
Glasgow MS. is right (except in putting _herd_ for _herde_ in l. 673).

At l. 505, there is a false rime; but it is clearly due to a misreading, as
explained in the notes. A similar difficulty, at l. 1341, is explicable in
the same way.

§ 17. So far, there is no reason why fragment A may not be Chaucer's; and
the more closely we examine it, the more probable does this supposition
become. Dr. Kaluza has noticed, for instance, that the style of translation
in fragment A is distinctly better, clearer, and more accurate than in
fragment B. I find also another significant fact, viz. that in my essay
written to shew that 'the translation' is not Chaucer's (written at a time
when I unfortunately regarded the whole translation as being the work of
_one_ writer, a position which is no longer tenable), nearly all my
arguments were drawn from certain peculiarities contained in fragments B
and C, especially the former. I have therefore nothing, of any consequence,
to retract; nor do I even now find that I made any serious mistake.

§ 18. The third result may, accordingly, be arrived at thus. Seeing that
Chaucer really translated the 'Roman de la Rose,' and that three fragments
of English translations have come down to us, of which two cannot be his,
whilst the third may be, _we may provisionally accept fragment A as
genuine; and we find that, the more closely we examine it, the more
probable does its genuineness become_.

§ 19. SUMMARY.--Having now discussed the three fragments A, B, C,
successively and separately (though in a different order), we may
conveniently sum up the three results as follows.

1. Fragment A appears to be a real portion of Chaucer's own translation.
Its occurrence, at the _beginning_, is, after all, just what we should
expect. The scribe or editor would naturally follow it as far as it was
extant; and when it failed, would as naturally piece it out with any other
translation or translations to which he could gain access. This fragment
ceases suddenly, at the end of l. 1705, in the middle of an incomplete
sentence. The junction with the succeeding portion is clumsily managed, for
it falsely assumes that the previous sentence is complete, and leads off
with a false rime.

2. Fragment B is obviously from some other source, and is at once
dissociated from both the other fragments by the facts (_a_) that it was
_originally_ written in a Northumbrian dialect, though this is somewhat
concealed by the manipulation of the spelling by a later scribe; (_b_) that
it was written in a more _diffuse_ style, the matter being expanded to the
extent, on an average, of nearly twelve lines to ten; (_c_) that many
licences appear in the rimes, which sometimes degenerate into mere
assonances; and (_d_) that it is less exact and less correct in its method
of rendering the original.

3. After fragment B, there is a large gap in the story, more than 5000
lines of the original being missing. Hence Fragment C is from yet a third
source, not much of which seems to have been accessible. It neither joins
on to Fragment B, nor carries the story much further; and it comes to an
end somewhat suddenly, at a point more than 9000 lines from the end of the
original. It is, however, both more correct than Fragment B, and more in
Chaucer's style; though, at the same time, I cannot accept it as his.

§ 20. There is little that is surprising in this result. That translations
of this then famous and popular French poem should have been attempted by
many hands, is just what we should expect. At the same time, the enormous
length of the original may very well have deterred even the most
persevering of the translators from ever arriving at the far end of it.
Chaucer's translation was evidently the work of his younger years, and the
frequent use which he made of the French poem in his later works may have
made him careless of his own version, if indeed he ever finished it, which
may be doubted. All this, however, is mere speculation, and all that
concerns us now is the net result. It is clear, that, in the 1705 lines
here printed in the larger type, we have recovered all of Chaucer's work
that we can ever hope to recover. With this we must needs rest satisfied,
and it is a great gain to have even so much of it; the more so, when we
remember how much reason there was to fear that the whole of Chaucer's work
was lost. It was not until Dr. Kaluza happily hit upon the resolution of
lines 1-5810 into two fragments, that Chaucer's portion was at last


In what has preceded, we have drawn our conclusions from the most helpful
form of evidence--the internal evidence. It remains to look at the external
form of the poem, and to enquire how it has come down to us.

The apparent sources are _two_, viz. Thynne's edition of 1532 (reprinted in
1542, 1550, 1561, and at later dates), and a MS. in the Hunterian
collection at Glasgow. But a very slight examination shews that these are
nearly duplicate copies, both borrowed from one and the same original,
which is now no longer extant. I shall denote these sources, for
convenience, by the symbols Th., G., and O., meaning, respectively, Thynne,
Glasgow MS., and the (lost) Original.

The resemblance of Th. and G. is very close; however, each sometimes
corrects _small_ faults in the other, and the collation of them is, on this
account, frequently helpful. Both are remarkable for an extraordinary
misarrangement of the material, in which respect they closely agree; and we
are enabled, from this circumstance, to say, definitely, that the C-portion
of O. (i. e. their common original) was written (doubtless on vellum) in
quires containing 8 leaves (or 16 pages) each, there being, on an average,
24 lines upon every page. Of these quires, the fourth had its leaves
transposed, by mistake, when the MS. was bound, in such a manner that the
_middle_ pair of leaves of this quire was displaced, so as to come next the
two _outer_ pair of leaves; and this displacement was never suspected till
of late years, nor ever (so far as I am aware[191]) fully appreciated and
explained till now[192]. This displacement of the material was first
noticed in Bell's edition, where the editor found it out by the simple
process of comparing the English 'translation' with the French 'Roman'; but
he gives no account of how it came about. But a closer investigation is
useful as showing how exactly 'Th.' and 'G.' agree in following an original
displacement in 'O.', or rather in the still older MS. from which the
C-portion of O. was copied.

In the fourth sheet (as said above), the pair of middle leaves, containing
its 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th pages (G, H, I, K, with the contents recorded
in note 2 below) was subtracted from the middle of the quire, and placed so
that the 7th page (G) followed the 2nd (B), whilst at the same time, the
10th page (K) came to precede the 15th page (P). The resulting order of
pages was, necessarily, A, B, G, H, C, D, E, F, L, M, N, O, I, K, P, Q; as
is easily seen by help of a small paper model. And the resulting order of
the lines was, accordingly, 6965-6988, 6989-7012, 7109-7133, 7134-7158,
7013-7036, 7037-60, 7061-84, 7085-7108, 7209-7232, 7233-7256, 7257-7280,
7281-7304, 7159-7183, 7184-7208, 7305-7328, 7329-7352; or, collecting the
successive numbers, ... -7012, 7109-7158, 7013-7108, 7209-7304, 7159-7208,
7305, &c. And this is precisely the order found, both in Th. and G.

We see further that the fourth and last quire of this C-portion of O.
consisted of 7 leaves only, the rest being torn away. For 7 leaves
containing 48 lines apiece give a total of 336 lines, which, added to 7352,
make up 7688 lines; and, as 10 of the pages seem to have had 25 lines, we
thus obtain 7698 lines as the number found in O.

The A-portion of O. was probably copied from a MS. containing usually 25
lines on a page, and occasionally 26. Four quires at 50 lines to the leaf
give 32 × 50, or 1600 lines; and 2 leaves more give 100 lines, or 1700
lines in all. If 5 of the pages had 26 lines, we should thus make up the
number, viz. 1705. Of the B-portion we can tell nothing, as we do not know
how it was made to join on.

As O. was necessarily older than G., and G. is judged by experts[193] to be
hardly later than 1440, it is probable that O. was written out not much
later than 1430; we cannot say how much earlier, if earlier it was.

§ 22. G. (the Glasgow MS.) is a well-written MS., on vellum; the size of
each page being about 11 inches by 7½, with wide margins, especially at the
bottom. Each page contains about 24 lines, and each quire contains 8
leaves. The first quire is imperfect, the 1st leaf (ll. 1-44) and the 8th
(ll. 333-380) being lost. Nine other leaves are also lost, containing ll.
1387-1482, 2395-2442, 3595-3690, and 7385-7576; for the contents of which
(as of the former two) Th. remains the sole authority. The date of the MS.
is about 1440; and its class-mark is V. 3. 7.

It begins at l. 45--'So mochel pris,' &c. At the top of the first extant
leaf is the name of Thomas Griggs, a former owner. On a slip of parchment
at the beginning is a note by A. Askew (from whom Hunter bought the MS.) to
this effect:--'Tho. Martin_us_. Ex dono dom' Iacobi Sturgeon de Bury sc[=i]
Edmundi in agro Suffolc: Artis Chirurgicæ Periti. Nov. 9, 1720.' It ends
very abruptly in the following manner:--

 'Ne half so lettred as am I
  I am licenced boldely
  To Reden in diuinite
  And longe haue red

The third of these lines is incorrect, and the fourth is corrupt and
imperfect; moreover, Thynne's copy gives four more lines after them. It
would thus appear that G. was copied from O. at a later period than the MS.
used by Thynne and now lost, viz. at a period when O. was somewhat damaged
or torn at the end of its last page. A careful and exact copy of this MS.
is now (in 1891) being printed for the Chaucer Society, edited by Dr.

§ 23. TH.--The version printed in Thynne's edition, 1532, and reprinted in
1542, 1550, 1561, &c. The first four editions, at least, are very much
alike. The particular edition at first used by me for constructing the
present text is that which I call the edition of 1550. (It is really
undated, but that is about the date of it.) Its variations from the earlier
editions are trifling, and I afterwards reduced all the readings to the
standard of the _first_ edition (1532). The MS. used by Thynne was
obviously a copy of 'O.', as explained above; and it shews indications of
being copied at an earlier date than 'G.', i. e. before 1440. On the whole,
'Th.' appears to me more correct than 'G.', and I have found it very
serviceable. We learn from it, for example, that the scribe of 'G.'
frequently dropped the prefix _y-_ in past participles, giving l. 890 in
the form 'For nought _clad_ in silk was he,' instead of _y-clad_. Cf. ll.
892, 897, 900, &c.; see the foot-notes.

'Th.' supplies the deficiencies in G., viz. ll. 1-44, 333-380, &c., as well
as four lines at the end; and suggests numerous corrections.

§ 24. The various later reprints of the 'Romaunt,' as in Speght (1598) and
other editions, are merely less correct copies of 'Th.', and are not worth
consulting. The only exceptions are the editions by Bell and Morris. Bell's
text was the first for which 'G.' was consulted, and he follows the MS. as
his general guide, filling up the deficiencies from Speght's edition, which
he describes as 'corrupt and half-modernised.' Why he chose Speght in
preference to Thynne, he does not tell us. In consequence, he has left
lines incomplete in a large number of instances, owing to putting too much
faith in the MS., and neglecting the better printed sources. Thus, in l.
890, he gives us 'clad' instead of '_y_-clad'; where any of the printed
texts would have set him right.

Morris's edition is 'printed from the unique MS. in the Hunterian Museum,
Glasgow'; but contains numerous corrections, apparently from Thynne. Thus,
in l. 890, he reads '_y_-clad'; the _y-_ being printed in italics to shew
that it is not in the MS.


The present edition principally follows 'G.', but it has been collated with
'Th.' throughout. Besides this, a large number of spellings in Fragment A.
have been slightly amended on definite principles, the rejected spellings
being given in the footnotes, whenever they are of the slightest interest
or importance. Silent alterations are changes such as _i_ for _y_ in _king_
for _kyng_ (l. 10), and _whylom_ for _whilom_ (in the same line), to
distinguish vowel-length; the use of _v_ for consonantal _u_ in _avisioun_
for _auisioun_ (l. 9); the use of _ee_ for (long) _e_ in _Iolitee_ for
_Iolite_ (l. 52) for the sake of clearness; and a few other alterations of
the like kind, which make the text easier to read without at all affecting
its accuracy. I have also altered the suffix _-is_ into _-es_ in such words
as _hertes_ for _hertis_ (l. 76); and changed the suffixes _-id_ and _-ith_
into the more usual _-ed_ and _-eth_, both of which are common in the MS.,
usually giving notice; and in other similar minute ways have made the text
more like the usual texts of Chaucer in appearance. But in Fragments B and
C such changes have been made more sparingly.

I have also corrected numerous absolute blunders, especially in the use of
the final e. For example, in l. 125, I have no hesitation in printing
_wissh_ for _wysshe_, because the use of final _e_ at the end of a strong
past tense, in the first person singular, is obviously absurd. Owing to the
care with which the two authorities, 'G.' and 'Th.', have been collated,
and my constant reference to the French original, I have no hesitation in
saying that the present edition, if fairly judged, will be found to be more
correct than its predecessors. For Dr. Kaluza's help I am most grateful.

§ 26. For example, in l. 1188, all the editions have _sarlynysh_, there
being no such word. It is an obvious error for _Sarsinesshe_ (riming with
_fresshe_); for the F. text has _Sarrazinesche_, i. e. Saracenic.

In l. 1201, the authorities and Bell have _gousfaucoun_, which Morris
alters to _gounfaucoun_ in his text, and to _gownfaucoun_ in his glossary.
But all of these are 'ghost-words,' i. e. non-existent. Seeing that the
original has _gonfanon_, it is clear that Chaucer wrote _gonfanoun_, riming
with _renoun_.

In l. 1379, late editions have _lorey_; in l. 1313, Bell has _loreryes_,
which Morris alters to _loreyes_. There is no such word as _lorey_. Thynne
has _laurer_, _laurelles_. Considering that _loreres_ rimes with
_oliveres_, it is obvious that the right forms are _lorer_ and _loreres_
(French, _loriers_); see _laurer_ in Stratmann.

In l. 1420, where the authorities have _veluet_, the modern editions have
_velvet_. But the _u_ (also written _ou_) was at that time a vowel, and
_velu-et_ (or _velou-et_) was trisyllabic, as the rhythm shews. The modern
_velvet_ seems to have arisen from a mistake.

Several other restorations of the text are pointed out in the notes, and I
need not say more about them here.

    N.B. After l. 4658, the lines in Morris's edition are misnumbered. His
    l. 4670 is really l. 4667; and so on. Also, 5700 is printed in the
    wrong place; and so is 6010; but without throwing out the numbering.
    Also, 6210 is only _nine_ lines after 6200, throwing out the subsequent
    numbering, so that his l. 6220 is really 6216. At his l. 6232, 6231 is
    printed, and so counted; thus, his 6240 is really 6237. His 6380 is
    _eleven_ lines after 6370, and is really 6378. After l. 7172, I insert
    two lines by translation, to fill up a slight gap. This makes his l.
    7180 agree with my l. 7180, and brings his numbering right again.

For a few of the Notes, I am indebted to Bell's edition; but most of the
work in them is my own.


For some account of the famous French poem entitled 'Le Roman de la Rose,'
see Morley's English Writers, 1889, iv. 1. It was commenced by Guillaume de
Lorris, born at Lorris, in the valley of the Loire, who wrote it at the age
of five-and-twenty, probably between the years 1200 and 1230[194]. He must
have died young, as he left the poem incomplete, though it then extended to
4070 lines. It was continued, a little more than 40 years after Guillaume's
death, by Jean de Meun (or Meung), born (as he tells us) at
Meung-sur-Loire, and surnamed _le Clopinel_ (i. e. the hobbler, the lame).
See, for these facts, the French text, ll. 10601, 10603, 10626. He added
18004 lines, so that the whole poem finally extended to the enormous length
of 22074 lines.

Jean de Meun was a man of a very different temperament from his
predecessor. Guillaume de Lorris merely planned a fanciful allegorical
love-poem, in which the loved one was represented as a Rose in a beautiful
garden, and the lover as one who desired to pluck it, but was hindered by
various allegorical personages, such as Danger, Shame, Jealousy, and Fear,
though assisted by others, such as _Bel Accueil_ (Fair Reception),
Frankness, Pity, and the like. But Jean de Meun took up the subject in a
keener and more earnest spirit, inserting some powerful pieces of satire
against the degraded state of many women of the day and against various
corruptions of the church. This infused a newer life into the poem, and
made it extremely popular and successful. We may look upon the former part,
down to l. 4432 of the translation, as a pretty and courtly description of
a fanciful dream, whilst the remaining portion intersperses with the
general description many forcible remarks, of a satirical nature, on the
manners of the time, and affords numerous specimens of the author's
erudition. Jean de Meun was the author of several other pieces, including a
poem which he called his 'Testament.' He probably lived into the beginning
of the fourteenth century, and died about 1318.

§ 28. Professor Morley gives a brief analysis of the whole poem, which will
be found to be a useful guide through the labyrinth of this rambling poem.
The chief points in it are the following.

The poet's dream begins, after a brief introduction, with a description of
allegorical personages, as seen painted on the outside of the walls of a
garden, viz. Hate and Felony, Covetousness, &c.; ll. 147-474 of the

We may next note a description of Idleness, the young girl who opens the
door of the garden (531-599); of Sir Mirth (600-644); of the garden itself
(645-732); again, of Sir Mirth, the lady Gladness, Cupid, or the God of
Love, with his two bows and ten arrows, and his bachelor, named
Sweet-looking (733-998). Next comes a company of dancers, such as Beauty,
Riches, Largesse (Bounty), Frankness, Courtesy, and Idleness again
(999-1308). The poet next describes the trees in the garden (1349-1408),
and the wells in the same (1409-1454); especially the well of Narcissus,
whose story is duly told (1455-1648). THE ROSE-TREE (1649-1690). THE
ROSE-BUD (1691-1714).

At 1. 1705, Fragment A ends.

§ 29. Just at this point, the descriptions cease for a while, and the
action, so to speak, begins. The God of Love seeks to wound the poet, or
lover, with his arrows, and succeeds in doing so; after which he calls upon
the lover to yield himself up as a prisoner, which he does (1715-2086).
Love locks up the lover's heart, and gives him full instructions for his
behaviour (2087-2950); after which Love vanishes (2951-2966). The Rose-tree
is defended by a hedge; the lover seeks the assistance of Bialacoil or
Belacoil (i. e. Fair-Reception), but is warned off by Danger,
Wicked-Tongue, and Shame (2967-3166); and at last, Fair-Reception flees
away (3167-3188). At this juncture, Reason comes to the lover, and gives
him good advice; but he rejects it, and she leaves him to himself

He now seeks the help of a Friend, and Danger allows him to come a little
nearer, but tells him he must not pass within the hedge (3335-3498).
Frankness and Pity now assist him, and he enters the garden, rejoined by
Fair-Reception (3499-3626). THE ROSE appears more beautiful than ever, and
the lover, aided by Venus, kisses it (3627-3772). This leads to trouble;
Wicked-tongue and Jealousy raise opposition, Danger is reproved, and
becomes more watchful than before (3773-4144). Jealousy builds a strong
tower of stone, to guard the Rose-tree; the gates of the tower are guarded
by Danger, Shame, Dread, and Wicked-tongue (4145-4276); and Fair-Reception
is imprisoned within it (4277-4314). The lover mourns, and is inclined to
despair (4315-4432).

§ 30. At this point, the work of G. de Lorris ceases, and Jean de Meun
begins by echoing the word 'despair,' and declaring that he will have none
of it. The lover reconsiders his position (4433-4614). Reason (in somewhat
of a new character) revisits the lover, and again instructs him, declaring
how love is made up of contrarieties, and discussing the folly of youth and
the self-restraint of old-age (4615-5134). The lover again rejects Reason's
advice, who continues her argument, gives a definition of Friendship, and
discusses the variability of Fortune (5135-5560), the value of Poverty
(5561-5696), and the vanity of Covetousness (5697-5810).

§ 31. Here ends Fragment B, and a large gap occurs in the translation. The
omitted portion of the French text continues the discourse of Reason, with
examples from the stories of Virginia, Nero, and Croesus, and references to
the fall of Manfred (conquered by Charles of Anjou) and the fate of
Conradin. But all this is wasted on the lover, whom Reason quits once more.
The lover applies a second time to his Friend, who recommends bounty or
bribery. Here Jean de Meun discourses on prodigality, on women who take
presents, on the Age of Gold, and on jealous husbands, with much satire
interspersed, and many allusions, as for example, to Penelope, Lucretia,
Abelard, Hercules, and others.

At last Love pities the lover, and descends to help him; and, with the
further assistance of Bounty, Honour, and other barons of Love's court,
proceeds to lay siege to the castle in which Jealousy has imprisoned

§ 32. Here begins Fragment C; in which the ranks of the besiegers are
joined by other assistants of a doubtful and treacherous character, viz.
False-Semblant and Constrained-Abstinence (5811-5876). Love discusses
buying and selling, and the use of bounty and riches (5877-6016). Love's
Barons ask Love to take False-Semblant and Constrained-Abstinence into his
service (6017-6057). Love consents, but bids False-Semblant confess his
true character (6058-6081). False-Semblant replies by truly exposing his
own hypocrisy, with keen attacks upon religious hypocrites (6082-7334).
Love now begins the assault upon the castle of Jealousy (7335-7352). A
digression follows, regarding the outward appearance of False-Semblant and
Constrained-Abstinence (7353-7420). The assailants advance to the gate
guarded by Wicked-Tongue, who is harangued by Constrained-Abstinence
(7421-7605), and by False-Semblant (7606-7696). And here the English
version ends.

The above sketch gives a sufficient notion of the general contents of the
poem. Of course the lover is ultimately successful, and carries off the
Rose in triumph.

§ 33. It deserves to be noted, in conclusion, that, as the three Fragments
of the English version, all taken together, represent less than a third of
the French poem, we must not be surprised to find, as we do, that Chaucer's
numerous allusions to, and citations from, the French poem, usually lie
outside that part of it that happens to be translated. Still more often,
they lie outside the part of it translated in Fragment A. Hence it seldom
happens that we can compare his quotations with his own translation. In the
chief instances where we can do so, we find that he has not repeated his
own version _verbatim_, but has somewhat varied his expressions. I refer,
in particular, to the Book of the Duchess, 284-6, as compared with Rom.
Rose, 7-10; the same, 340-1, beside R.R., 130-1; the same, 410-2, beside
R.R., 61-2; and the same, 419-426, 429-432, beside R.R., 1391-1403.

§ 34. In the present edition I have supplied the original French text, in
the lower part of each page, as far as the end of Fragment A, where
Chaucer's work ends. This text is exactly copied from the edition by M.
Méon, published at Paris in four volumes in 1813[195]. I omit, however, the
occasional versified headings, which appear as summaries and are of no
consequence. Throughout the notes I refer to the lines as numbered in this
edition. The later edition by M. Michel is practically useless for the
purpose of reference, as the numbering of the lines in it is strangely
incorrect. For example, line 3408 is called 4008, and the whole number of
lines is made out to be 22817, which is largely in excess of the truth.

Fragments B and C are printed in smaller type, to mark their distinction
from Fragment A; and the corresponding French text is omitted, to save

       *       *       *       *       *


§ 1. It has been usual, in editions of Chaucer's Works, to mingle with
those which he is known to have written, a heterogeneous jumble of poems by
Gower, Lydgate, Hoccleve, Henrysoun, and various anonymous writers (some of
quite late date), and then to accept a quotation from any one of them as
being a quotation 'from Chaucer.' Some principle of selection is obviously
desirable; and the first question that arises is, naturally, this: which of
the Minor Poems are genuine? The list here given partly coincides with that
adopted by Dr. Furnivall in the publications of the Chaucer Society. I
have, however, added six, here numbered VI, XI, XII, XXI, XXII, and XXIII;
my reasons for doing so are given below, where each poem is discussed
separately. At the same time, I have omitted the poem entitled 'The Mother
of God,' which is known to have been written by Hoccleve. The only known
copy of it is in a MS. now in the library of the late Sir Thomas Phillipps,
which contains sixteen poems, all of which are by the same hand, viz. that
of Hoccleve. After all, it is only a translation; still, it is well and
carefully written, and the imitation of Chaucer's style is good. In
determining which poems have the best right to be reckoned as Chaucer's, we
have to consider both the external and the internal evidence.

We will therefore consider, in the first place, the external evidence


The most important evidence is that afforded by the poet himself. In an
Introduction prefixed to the Man of Law's Prologue (Cant. Tales, B 57), he

 'In youth he made of _Ceys and Alcion_'--

a story which is preserved at the beginning of the Book of the Duchesse.

In the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women (see vol. iii.), he refers to
his translation of the Romaunce of the Rose, and to his Troilus; and,
according to MS. Fairfax 16, ll. 417-423, he says--

 'He made the book that hight the _Hous of Fame_,
  And eke the Deeth of _Blaunche the Duchesse_,
  And the _Parlement of Foules_, as I gesse,
  And al the love of Palamon and Arcite
  Of Thebes, thogh the story ys knowen lyte,
  And many an ympne for your halydayes
  That highten Balades, Roundels, Virelayes,' &c.

The rest of the passage does not immediately concern us, excepting ll. 427,
428, where we find--

 'He made also, goon ys a grete while,
  _Origenes vpon the Maudeleyne_.'

In the copy of the same Prologue, as extant in MS. Gg. 4. 27, in the
Cambridge University Library, there are two additional lines, doubtless
genuine, to this effect--

 'And of the _wrechede engendrynge of mankynde_,
  As man may in pope Innocent I-fynde.'

There is also a remarkable passage at the end of his Persones Tale, the
genuineness of which has been doubted by some, but it appears in the MSS.,
and I do not know of any sound reason for rejecting it. According to the
Ellesmere MS., he here mentions--'the book of Troilus, the book also of
Fame, the book of the xxv. Ladies[196], the book of the Duchesse, the book
of seint Valentynes day of the parlement of briddes ... the book of the
Leoun ... and many a song,' &c.

Besides this, in the House of Fame, l. 729, he mentions his own name, viz.
'Geffrey.' We thus may be quite certain as to the genuineness of this poem,
the longest and most important of all the Minor Poems[197], and we may at
once add to the list the Book of the Duchesse, the next in order of length,
and the Parliament of Foules, which is the third in the same order.

We also learn that he composed some poems which have not come down to us,
concerning which a few words may be useful.

1. 'Origines vpon the Maudeleyne' must have been a translation from a piece
attributed to Origen. In consequence, probably, of this remark of the poet,
the old editions insert a piece called the 'Lamentacion of Marie
Magdaleine,' which has no pretence to be considered Chaucer's, and may be
summarily dismissed. It is sufficient to notice that it contains a
considerable number of rimes such as are never found in his genuine works,
as, for example, the dissyllabic _dy-e_[198] riming with _why_ (st. 13);
the plural adjective _ken-e_ riming with _y-ën_, i. e. eyes, which would,
with this Chaucerian pronunciation, be no rime at all (st. 19); and
thirdly, _disgised_ riming with _rived_, which is a mere assonance, and
saves us from the trouble of further investigation (st. 25). See below, p.

2. 'The wrechede engendrynge of mankynde' is obviously meant to describe a
translation or imitation of the treatise by Pope Innocent III, entitled _De
Miseria Conditionis Humanae_. The same treatise is referred to by Richard
Rolle de Hampole, in his Pricke of Conscience, l. 498. It should be noted,
however, that a few stanzas of this work have been preserved, by being
incorporated (as quotations) in the Canterbury Tales, viz. in B 99-121,
421-7, 771-7, 925-31, 1135-8; cf. C 537-40, 551-2. See notes to these

3. 'The book of the Leoun,' i. e. of the lion, was probably a translation
of the poem called _Le Dit du Lion_ by Machault; see the note to l. 1024 of
the Book of the Duchesse in the present volume.


The next piece of evidence is that given in what is known as 'Lydgate's
list.' This is contained in a long passage in the prologue to his poem
known as the 'Fall of Princes,' translated from the French version (by
Laurens de Premierfait) of the Latin book by Boccaccio, entitled 'De
Casibus Virorum Illustrium[199].' In this Lydgate commends his 'maister
Chaucer,' and mentions many of his works, as, e. g. Troilus and Creseide,
the translation of Boethius' _De Consolatione Philosophiae_, the treatise
on the Astrolabe addressed to his 'sonne that called was Lowys,' the Legend
of Good Women, and the Canterbury Tales. The whole passage is given in
Morris's edition of Chaucer, vol. i. pp. 79-81; but I shall only cite so
much of it as refers to the Minor Poems, and I take the opportunity of
doing so directly, from an undated black-letter edition published by John

 'He wrote also full many a day agone
  _Dant in English_, him-selfe doth so expresse,
  The piteous story of _Ceix and Alcion_:
  And the death also of _Blaunche the duches_:
  And notably [he] did his businesse
  By great auise his wittes to dispose,
  To translate the _Romaynt of the Rose_.

 'Thus in vertue he set all his entent,
  Idelnes and vyces for to fle:
  Of _fowles_ also he wrote _the parliament_,
  Therein remembring of royall Eagles thre,
  Howe in their choyse they felt aduersitye,
  To-fore nature profered the battayle,
  Eche for his partye, if it woulde auayle.

 'He did also his diligence and payne
  In our vulgare to translate and endite
  _Orygene upon the Maudelayn_:
  And of _the Lyon a boke_ he did write.
  _Of Annelida and of false Arcite_
  He made _a complaynt_ dolefull and piteous;
  And of _the broche which that Uulcanus_

 '_At Thebes_ wrought, ful diuers of nature.
  Ouide[200] writeth: who-so thereof had a syght,
  For high desire, he shoulde not endure
  But he it had, neuer be glad ne light:
  And if he had it once in his myght,
  Like as my master sayth & writeth in dede,
  It to conserue he shoulde euer liue in dred.'

It is clear to me that Lydgate is, _at first_, simply repeating the
information which we have already had upon Chaucer's own authority; he
begins by merely following Chaucer's own language in the extracts above
cited. Possibly he knew no more than we do of 'Orygene vpon the Maudelayn,'
and of the 'boke of the Lyon.' At any rate, he tells us no more about them.
Naturally, in speaking of the Minor Poems, we should expect to find him
following, as regards the three chief poems, the order of length; that is,
we should expect to find here a notice of (1) the House of Fame; (2) the
Book of the Duchesse; and (3) the Parliament of Foules. We are naturally
disposed to exclaim with Ten Brink (_Studien_, p. 152)--'Why did he leave
out the House of Fame?' But we need not say with him, that 'to this
question I know of no answer.' For it is perfectly clear to me, though I
cannot find that any one else seems to have thought of it, that 'Dant in
English' and 'The House of Fame' are one and the same poem, described in
the same position and connexion. If anything about the House of Fame is
clear at all, it is that (as Ten Brink so clearly points out, in his
_Studien_, p. 89) the influence of Dante is more obvious in this poem than
in any other. I would even go further and say that it is the _only_ poem
which owes its chief inspiration to Dante in the whole of English
literature during, at least, the Middle-English period. There is absolutely
nothing else to which such a name as 'Dante in English' can with any
fitness be applied. The phrase 'himselfe doth so expresse' is rather
dubious; but I take it to mean: '(I give it that name, for) he, i. e.
Chaucer, expresses himself like Dante (therein).' In any case, I refuse to
take any other view until some competent critic will undertake to tell me,
what poem of Chaucer's, other than the House of Fame, can possibly be

To which argument I have to add a second, viz. that Lydgate mentions the
House of Fame in yet another way; for he refers to it at least three times,
in clear terms, in other passages of the same poem, i. e. of the Fall of

 'Fame in her palice hath tru_m_pes mo than one,
  Some of golde, that geueth a freshe soun'; &c.--Book I. cap. 14.

 'Within my house called the house of Fame
  The golden trumpet w_i_t_h_ blastes of good name
  Enhaunceth on to ful hie parties,
  Wher Iupiter sytteth amo_n_g the heue_n_ly skies.

 'Another tru_m_pet of sownes ful vengeable
  Which bloweth vp at feastes funerall,
  Nothinge bright, but of colour sable'; &c.--Prol. to Book VI.

 'The golden trumpe of the house of Fame[201]
  Through the world blew abrode his name.'--Book VI. cap. 15.

Lydgate describes the Parliament of Foules in terms which clearly shew that
he had read it. He also enables us to add to our list the Complaint of
Anelida and the Complaint of Mars; for it is the latter poem which contains
the story of the _broche_ of Thebes. We have, accordingly, complete
authority for the genuineness of the House of Fame and the four longest of
the Minor Poems, which, as arranged in order of length, are these: The
House of Fame (2158 lines); Book of the Duchesse (1334 lines); Parliament
of Foules (699 lines); Anelida and Arcite (357 lines); and Complaint of
Mars (298 lines). This gives us a total of 4846 lines, furnishing a very
fair standard of comparison whereby to consider the claims to genuineness
of other poems. Lydgate further tells us that Chaucer

 'Made and compiled many a freshe dittie,
  Complaynts, ballades, rou_n_dels, vyrelaies.'


The next best evidence is that afforded by notes in the existing MSS.; and
here, in particular, we should first consider the remarks by Chaucer's
great admirer, John Shirley, who took considerable pains to copy out and
preserve his poems, and is said by Stowe to have died Oct. 21, 1456, at the
great age of ninety, so that he was born more than 30 years before Chaucer
died. On his authority, we may attribute to Chaucer the A. B. C.; the
Complaint to Pity; the Complaint of Mars (according to a heading in MS.
T.); the Complaint of Anelida (according to a heading in MS. Addit. 16165);
the Lines to Adam, called in MS. T. 'Chauciers Wordes a. Geffrey vn-to Adam
his owen scryveyne'; Fortune; Truth; Gentilesse; Lak of Stedfastnesse; the
Compleint of Venus; and the Compleint to his Empty Purse. The MSS. due to
Shirley are the Sion College MS., Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 20, Addit. 16165,
Ashmole 59, Harl. 78, Harl. 2251, and Harl. 7333. See also § 23, p. 75.


The Fairfax MS. 16, a very fair MS. of the fifteenth century, contains
several of the Minor Poems; and in this the name of Chaucer is written at
the end of the poem on Truth and of the Compleint to his Purse; it also
appears in the title of Lenvoy de _Chaucer_ a Scogan; in that of Lenvoy de
_Chaucer_ a Bukton; in that of the Compleint of _Chaucer_ to his empty
Purse, and in that of 'Proverbe of _Chaucer_.'

Again, the Pepys MS. no. 2006 attributes to Chaucer the A. B. C., the title
there given being 'Pryer a nostre Dame, per Chaucer'; as well as the
Compleint to his Purse, the title being 'La Compleint de Chaucer a sa
Bourse Voide.' It also has the title 'Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan.' See also
p. 80, note 2.

The 'Former Age' is entitled 'Chawcer vp-on this fyfte metur of the second
book' in the Cambridge MS. Ii. 3. 21; and at the end of the same poem is
written 'Finit etas prima. Chaucers' in the Cambridge MS. Hh. 4. 12. The
poem on Fortune is also marked 'Causer' in the former of these MSS.;
indeed, these two poems practically belong to Chaucer's translation of
Boethius, though probably written at a somewhat later period. After all,
the most striking testimony to their authenticity is the fact that, in MS.
Ii. 3. 21, these two poems are inserted in the very midst of the prose text
of 'Boethius,' between the fifth metre and the sixth prose of Book II.

The Cambridge MS. Gg. 4. 27, which contains an excellent copy of the
Canterbury Tales, attributes to Chaucer the Parliament of Foules; and gives
us the title 'Litera directa de Scogon per G. C.' Of course 'G. C.' is
Geoffrey Chaucer.

From Furnivall's _Trial Forewords_, p. 13, we learn that there is a verse
translation of De Deguileville's _Pèlerinage do la Vie Humaine_, attributed
to Lydgate, in MS. Cotton, Vitellius C. XIII. (leaf 256), in which the 'A.
B. C.' is distinctly attributed to Chaucer[202].

The Balade 'To Rosamounde' is assigned to Chaucer in the unique copy of it
in the Rawlinson MS. 'A Compleint to his Lady' is assigned to Chaucer in
the only _complete_ copy of it.

We ought also to assign _some_ value to the manner in which the poems
appear in the MS. copies. This can only be appreciated by inspection of the
MSS. themselves. Any one who will _look for himself_ at the copies of
Gentilesse, Lak of Stedfastnesse, Truth, and Against Women Inconstaunt in
MS. Cotton, Cleop. D. 7, will see that the scribe clearly regarded the last
of these as genuine, as well as the rest. And the same may be said of some
other poems which are not absolutely marked with Chaucer's name. This
important argument is easily derided by those who cannot read MSS., but it
remains valuable all the same.


At p. 116 of the same _Trial Forewords_ is a description by Mr. Bradshaw of
a very rare edition by Caxton of some of Chaucer's Minor Poems. It
contains: (1) Parliament of Foules; (2) a treatise by Scogan, in which
Chaucer's 'Gentilesse' is introduced; (3) a single stanza of 7 lines,
beginning--'Wyth empty honde men may no hawkes lure'; (4) Chaucer's
'Truth,' entitled--'The good counceyl of Chawcer'; (5) the poem on
'Fortune'; and (6) part of Lenvoy to Scogan, viz. the first three stanzas.
The volume is imperfect at the end. As to the article No. 3, it was
probably included because the first line of it is quoted from l. 415 of the
Wyf of Bathes Prologue (Cant. Ta. 5997, vol. iv. p. 332).

At p. 118 of the same is another description, also by Mr. Bradshaw, of a
small quarto volume printed by Caxton, consisting of only ten leaves. It
contains, according to him: (1) Anelida and Arcite, ll. 1-210; (2) The
Compleint of Anelida, being the continuation of the former, ll. 211-350,
where the poem ends; (3) The Compleint of Chaucer vnto his empty purse,
with an Envoy headed--'Thenuoye of Chaucer vnto the kynge'; (4) Three[203]
couplets, beginning--'Whan feyth failleth in prestes sawes,' and
ending--'Be brought to grete confusio_u_n'; (5) Two couplets,
beginning--'Hit falleth for euery gentilman,' and ending--'And the soth in
his presence'; (6) Two couplets, beginning--'Hit cometh by kynde of gentil
blode,' and ending--'The werk of wisedom berith witnes'; followed by--'Et
sic est finis.' The last three articles only make fourteen lines in all,
and are of little importance[204].


The first collected edition of Chaucer's Works is that edited by W. Thynne
in 1532, but there were earlier editions of his separate poems. The best
account of these is that which I here copy from a note on p. 70 of
Furnivall's edition of F. Thynne's 'Animaduersions vpon the Annotacions and
Corrections of some imperfections of impressiones of Chaucer's Workes';
published for the Chaucer Society in 1875.

Only one edition of Chaucer's _Works_ had been published before the date of
Thynne's, 1532, and that was Pynson's in 1526, without a general title, but
containing three parts, with separate signatures, and seemingly intended to
sell separately; 1. the boke of Caunterbury tales; 2. the boke of Fame ...
with dyuers other of his workes [i. e. Assemble of Foules[205], La Belle
Dame[206], Morall Prouerbes]; 3. the boke of Troylus and Cryseyde. But of
separate works of Chaucer before 1532, the following had been published:--

    _Canterbury Tales._ 1. Caxton, about 1477-8, from a poor MS.; 2.
    Caxton, ab. 1483, from a better MS.; 3. Pynson, ab. 1493; 4. Wynkyn de
    Worde, 1498; 5. Pynson, 1526.

    _Book of Fame._ 1. Caxton, ab. 1483; 2. Pynson, 1526.

    _Troylus._ 1. Caxton, ab. 1483; 2. Wynkyn de Worde, 1517; 3. Pynson,

    _Parliament of Foules[207]._ 1. Caxton, ab. 1477-8; 2. Pynson, 1526; 3.
    Wynkyn de Worde, 1530.

    _Gentilnesse_[207] (in Scogan's poem). 1. Caxton, ab. 1477-8.

    _Truth[207]._ (The good counceyl of chawcer.) 1. Caxton, ab. 1477-8.

    _Fortune[207]._ (Balade of the vilage (_sic_) without peyntyng.) 1.
    Caxton, ab. 1477-8.

    _Envoy to Skogan[207]._ 1. Caxton, ab. 1477-8 (all lost, after the
    third stanza).

    _Anelida and Arcyte[208]._ 1. Caxton, ab. 1477-8.

    _Purse[208]._ (The compleynt of Chaucer vnto his empty purse.) 1.
    Caxton, ab. 1477-8.

    _Mars_; _Venus_; _Marriage_ (Lenvoy to Bukton). 1. Julian Notary,

After Thynne's first edition of the _Works_ in 1532 (printed by Thomas
Godfray), came his second in 1542 (for John Reynes and Wyllyam Bonham), to
which he added 'The Plowman's Tale' _after_ the Parson's Tale, i. e. at the

Then came a reprint for the booksellers (Wm. Bonham, R. Kele, T. Petit,
Robert Toye), about 1550, which put the Plowman's Tale _before_ the
Parson's. This was followed by an edition in 1561 for the booksellers (Ihon
Kyngston, Henry Bradsha, citizen and grocer of London, &c.), to which, when
more than half printed, Stowe contributed some fresh pieces, the spurious
_Court of Love_, Lydgate's _Sege of Thebes_, and other poems. Next came
Speght's edition of 1598--on which William Thynne comments in his
_Animadversions_--which added the spurious 'Dreme,' and 'Flower and Leaf.'
This was followed by Speght's second edition, in 1602, in which Francis
Thynne helped him, and to which were added Chaucer's 'A. B. C.', and the
spurious 'Jack Upland[209].' Jack Upland had been before printed, with
Chaucer's name on the title-page, about 1536-40 (London, J. Gough, no date,

In an Appendix to the Preface to Tyrwhitt's edition of the Canterbury
Tales, there is a similar account of the early editions of Chaucer, to
which the reader may refer. He quotes the whole of Caxton's preface to his
second edition of the Canterbury Tales, shewing how Caxton reprinted the
book because he had meanwhile come upon a more correct MS. than that which
he had first followed.

If we now briefly consider all the earlier editions, we find that they may
be thus tabulated.

SEPARATE WORKS. Various editions before 1532; see the list above, on p. 28.

COLLECTED WORKS. Pynson's edition of 1526, containing only a portion, as
above; _La Belle Dame_ being spurious. Also the following:--

1. Ed. by Wm. Thynne; London, 1532. Folio. Pr. by Godfray.

2. Reprinted, with additional matter; London, 1542. Folio.

The chief addition is the spurious Plowman's Tale.

3. Reprinted, with the matter rearranged; London, no date, about 1550.
Folio. (Of this edition I possess a copy.)

Here the Plowman's Tale is put before the Parson's. Moreover, the three
pieces numbered 66-68 below (p. 45), are inserted at the end of the Table
of Contents.

4. Reprinted, with large additions by John Stowe. London, 1561. Folio. (See
further below, p. 31). I possess a copy.

5. Reprinted, with additions and alterations by Thomas Speght; London,
1598. Folio.

Here, for the first time, appear 'Chaucer's Dream' and 'The Flower and the
Leaf'; both are spurious.

6. Reprinted, with further additions and alterations by Thomas Speght;
London, 1602. Folio.

Here, for the first time, appear the spurious Jack Upland[210] and the
genuine A. B. C.

7. Reprinted, with slight additions; London, 1687. Folio.

8. Reprinted, with additions and great alterations in spelling, by John
Urry; London, 1721. Folio.

This edition is the worst that has appeared. It is not necessary for our
purpose to enumerate the numerous later editions. An entirely new edition
of the Canterbury Tales was produced by Thomas Tyrwhitt in 1775-8, in 5
vols., 8vo.; to which all later editions have been much indebted[211].

The manner in which these editions were copied one from the other renders
it no very difficult task to describe the whole contents of them
accurately. The only important addition in the editions of 1542 and 1550 is
the spurious Plowman's Tale, which in no way concerns us. Again, the only
important additional poems after 1561 are the spurious _Chaucer's Dream_,
_The Flower and the Leaf_, and the genuine _A. B. C._ The two
representative editions are really those of 1532 and 1561. Now the edition
of 1561 consists of two parts; the former consists of a reprint from former
editions, and so differs but little from the edition of 1532; whilst the
latter part consists of additional matter furnished by John Stowe. Hence a
careful examination of the edition of 1561 is, practically, nearly
sufficient to give us all the information which we need. I shall therefore
give a complete table of the contents of this edition.



1. Caunterburie Tales. (The Prologue begins on a page with the signature A
2, the first quire of six leaves not being numbered; the Knightes Tale
begins on a page with the signature B ii., and marked Fol. i. The spurious
Plowman's Tale precedes the Parson's Tale.)

2. _The Romaunt of the Rose[213]._ Fol. cxvi.

3. Troilus and Creseide. Fol. cli., back.

4. _The testament of Creseide._ [By Robert Henryson.] Fol. cxciiii.
Followed by its continuation, called _The Complaint of Creseide_; by the

5. The Legende of Good Women. Fol. cxcvij.

6. _A goodlie balade of Chaucer_; beginning--'Mother of norture, best
beloued of all.' Fol. ccx.

7. Boecius de Consolatione Philosophie. Fol. ccx., back.

8. The dreame of Chaucer. [The Book of the Duchesse.] Fol. ccxliiij.

9. Begins--'My master. &c. Whe_n_ of Christ our kyng.' [Lenvoy to Buckton.]
Fol. ccxliiii[214].

10. The assemble of Foules. [Parlement of Foules.] Fol. ccxliiii., back.

11. _The Floure of Curtesie, made by Ihon lidgate._ Fol. ccxlviij. Followed
by a Balade, which forms part of it.

12. How pyte is deed, etc. [Complaint unto Pite.] Fol. ccxlix., back.

13. _La belle Dame sans Mercy._ [By Sir R. Ros.] Fol. ccl.

14. Of Quene Annelida and false Arcite. Fol. cclv.

15. _The assemble of ladies._ Fol. ccxlvij.

16. The conclucions of the Astrolabie. Fol. cclxi.

17. _The complaint of the blacke Knight._ [By Lydgate; see p. 35, note 3.]
Fol. cclxx.

18. _A praise of Women._ Begins--'Al tho the lyste of women euill to
speke.' Fol. cclxxiii.[215], back.

19. The House of Fame. Fol. cclxxiiij., back.

20. _The Testament of Loue_ (in prose). Fol. cclxxxiiij., back.

21. _The lamentacion of Marie Magdaleine._ Fol. cccxviij.

22. _The remedie of Loue._ Fol. cccxxj., back.

23, 24. The complaint of Mars and Venus. Fol. cccxxiiij., back. (Printed as
_one_ poem; but there is a new title--The complaint of Venus--at the
beginning of the latter.)

25. _The letter of Cupide._ [By Hoccleve; _dated_ 1402.] Fol. cccxxvj.,

26. _A Ballade in commendacion of our Ladie._ Fol. cccxxix. [By Lydgate;
see p. 38.]

27. _Ihon Gower vnto the noble King Henry the .iiij._ Fol. cccxxx., back.
[By Gower.]

28. _A saiyng of dan Ihon._ [By Lydgate.] Fol. cccxxxii., back[216].

29. _Yet of the same._ [By Lydgate.] On the same page.

30. _Balade de bon consail._ Begins--If it be fall that God the list
visite. (Only 7 lines.) On the same page.

31. _Of the Cuckowe and the Nightingale._ Fol. cccxxxiij. [By Hoccleve?]

32. _Balade with Envoy_ (no title). Begins--'O leude booke w_i_t_h_ thy
foule rudenesse.' Fol. cccxxxiiij., back.

33. _Scogan, vnto the Lordes and Gentilmen of the Kinges house._ (This
poem, by H. Scogan, quotes Chaucer's 'Gentilesse' in full.) Fol.
cccxxxiiij., back.

34. Begins--'Somtyme the worlde so stedfast was and stable.' [Lak of
Stedfastnesse.] Fol. cccxxxv., back.

35. Good counsail of Chaucer. [Truth.] Same page.

36. Balade of the village (_sic_) without paintyng. [Fortune.] Fol.

37. Begins--'Tobroken been the statutes hie in heauen'; headed _Lenuoye_.
[Lenvoy to Scogan.] Fol. cccxxxvj., back.

38. _Poem in two stanzas of seven lines each._ Begins--'Go foorthe kyng,
rule thee by Sapience.' Same page.

39. Chaucer to his emptie purse. Same page.

40. _A balade of good counseile translated out of Latin verses in-to
Englishe, by Dan Ihon lidgat cleped the monke of Buri._ Begins--'COnsyder
well euery circumstaunce.' Fol. cccxxxvij.

41. _A balade in the Praise and commendacion of master Geffray Chauser for
his golden eloquence._ (Only 7 lines.) Same leaf, back. [See p. 56.]


At the top of fol. cccxl. is the following remark:--

¶ Here foloweth certaine woorkes of Geffray Chauser, whiche hath not
heretofore been printed, and are gathered and added to this booke by Ihon

42. A balade made by Chaucer, teching what is gentilnes[217]. [Gentilesse.]
Fol. cccxl.

43. A Prouerbe [_read_ Prouerbs] agaynst couitise and negligence.
[Proverbs.] Same page.

44. A balade which Chaucer made agaynst women vnconstaunt. Same page.
[Certainly genuine, in my opinion; but here relegated to an Appendix, to
appease such as cannot readily apprehend my reasons. Cf. p. 26.]

45. _A balade which Chaucer made in the praise or rather dispraise, of
women for their doublenes._ [By Lydgate.] Begins--'This world is full of
variaunce.' Same page.

46. _This werke folowinge was compiled by Chaucer, and is caled the craft
of louers._ Fol. cccxli. [Written in 1448.]

47. _A Balade._ Begins--'Of their nature they greatly the_m_ delite.' Fol.
cccxli., back. [Quotes from no. 56.]

48. _The .x. Commaundementes of Loue._ Fol. cccxlij.

49. The _.ix. Ladies worthie_. Fol. cccxlij., back.

50. [_Virelai; no title._] Begins--'Alone walkyng.' Fol. cccxliij.

51. _A Ballade._ Begins--'In the season of Feuerere when it was full
colde.' Same page.

52. _A Ballade._ Begins--'O Mercifull and o merciable.' Fol. cccxliij.,
back. [Made up of scraps from late poems; see p. 57.]

53. _Here foloweth how Mercurie with Pallas, Venus and Minarua, appered to
Paris of Troie, he slepyng by a fountain._ Fol. cccxliiij.

54. _A balade pleasaunte._ Begins--'I haue a Ladie where so she bee.' Same
page. At the end--'Explicit the discriuyng of a faire Ladie.'

55. _An other Balade._ Begins--'O Mossie Quince, hangyng by your stalke.'
Fol. cccxliiij., back.

56. _A balade, warnyng men to beware of deceitptfnll women (sic)._
Begins--'LOke well aboute ye that louers bee.' Same page. [By Lydgate.]

57. These verses next folowing were compiled by Geffray Chauser, and in the
writen copies foloweth at the ende of the complainte of petee. Begins--'THe
long nyghtes when euery [c]reature.' [This is the 'Compleint to his Lady,'
as I venture to call it.] Fol. cccxlv[218].

58. _A balade declaring that wemens chastite Doeth moche excel all treasure
worldly._ Begins--'IN womanhede as auctours al write.' Back of same leaf.

59. _The Court of Loue._ Begins--'WIth temerous herte, and tre_m_bling hand
of drede.' Fol. cccxlviij.

60. Chaucers woordes vnto his owne Scriuener[219]. Fol. ccclv., back. _At
the end_--Thus endeth the workes of Geffray Chaucer. (This is followed by
34 Latin verses, entitled _Epitaphium Galfridi Chaucer_, &c.)

61. _The Storie of Thebes._ [By Lydgate.] Fol. ccclvj.


Of the 41 pieces in Part I. of the above, we must of course accept as
Chaucer's the four poems entitled Canterbury Tales, Troilus, Legend of Good
Women, and House of Fame; also the prose translation of Boethius, and the
prose treatise on the Astrolabie. The remaining number of Minor Poems
(excluding the Romaunt of the Rose) is 34; out of which number I accept the
13 numbered above with the numbers 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 23, 24, 33 (so far as
it quotes Chaucer), 34, 35, 36, 37, and 39. Every one of these has already
been shewn to be genuine on sufficient external evidence, and it is not
likely that their genuineness will be doubted. In the present volume they
appear, respectively, as nos. III, XVII, V, II, VII, IV, XVIII, XIV, XV,
XIII, X, XVI, XIX. Of the remaining 21, several may be dismissed in a few
words. No. 4 is well known to have been written by Robert Henryson. Nos.
11, 28, 29, and 40 are distinctly claimed for Lydgate in all the editions;
and no. 27 is similarly claimed for Gower. No. 25 was written by
Hoccleve[220]; and the last line gives the date--'A thousande, foure
hundred and seconde,' i. e. 1402, or two years after Chaucer's death. No.
13 is translated from Alain Chartier, who was only four years old when
Chaucer died; see p. 28, note 2. Tyrwhitt remarks that, in MS. Harl. 372,
this poem is expressly attributed to a Sir Richard Ros[221]. No one can
suppose that no. 41 is by Chaucer, seeing that the first line is--'Maister
Geffray Chauser, that now lithe in graue.' Mr. Bradshaw once assured me
that no. 17 is ascribed, on MS. authority, to Lydgate; and no one who reads
it with care can doubt that this is correct[222]. It is, in a measure, an
imitation of the Book of the Duchesse; and it contains some interesting
references to Chaucer, as in the lines--'Of Arcite, or of him Palemoun,'
and 'Of Thebes eke the false Arcite.' No. 20, i. e. the Testament of Love,
is _in prose_, and does not here concern us; still it is worth pointing out
that it contains a passage (near the end) such as we cannot suppose that
Chaucer would have written concerning himself[223].

After thus removing from consideration nos. 4, 11, 13, 17, 20, 25, 27, 28,
29, 40, and 41, half of the remaining 21 pieces have been considered. The
only ones left over for consideration are nos. 6, 15, 18, 21, 22, 26, 30,
31, 32, 38. As to no. 6, there is some external evidence in its favour,
which will be duly considered; but as to the rest, there is absolutely
nothing to connect them with Chaucer beyond their almost accidental
appearance in an edition by Wm. Thynne, published in 1532, i. e. _one
hundred and thirty-two years after Chaucer's death_; and it has just been
demonstrated that Thynne is obviously wrong in at least _eleven_ instances,
and that he wittingly and purposely chose to throw into his edition poems
which he _knew_ to have been written by Lydgate or by Gower! It is
ridiculous to attach much importance to such testimony as this. And now let
me discuss, as briefly as I can, the above-named poems separately.

6. _A goodlie balade of Chaucer_; begins--'Mother of norture, best beloued
of all'; printed in Morris's edition, vi. 275; and in Bell's edition, iii.
413. I have little to say against this poem; yet the rime of _supposeth_
with _riseth_ (st. 8) is somewhat startling. It is clearly addressed to a
lady named _Margaret_[224], as appears from her being likened to the daisy,
and called the sun's daughter. I suspect it was merely attributed to
Chaucer by association with the opening lines of the Legend of Good Women.
The suggestion, in Bell's Chaucer, that it possibly refers to the Countess
of Pembroke, is one of those bad guesses which are discreditable. Tyrwhitt
shews, in note _n_ to his 'Appendix to the Preface,' that she must have
died not later than 1370, whereas this Balade must be much later than that
date; and I agree with him in supposing that _le Dit de la fleur de lis et
de la Marguerite_, by Guillaume de Machault (printed in Tarbé's edition,
1849, p. 123), and the _Dittié de la flour de la Margherite_, by Froissart,
may furnish us with the true key to those mystical compliments which
Chaucer and others were accustomed to pay to the daisy.

I wish to add that I am convinced that one stanza, probably the sixth is
missing. It ought to form a triple Balade, i. e. three Balades of 21 lines
each, each with its own refrain; but the second is imperfect. There seems
to be some affectation about the letters beginning the stanzas which I
cannot solve; these are _M_, _M_, _M_ (probably for Margaret) in the first
Balade; _D_, _D_ in the second; and _J_, _C_, _Q_ in the third. The poet
goes out of his way to bring in these letters. The result looks like
_Margaret de Jacques_; but this guess does not help us.

The poem is rather artificial, especially in such inversions as _It
receyve_, _Cauteles whoso useth_, and _Quaketh my penne_; these things are
not in Chaucer's manner. In the second stanza there is a faulty rime; for
we there find _shal_, _smal_, answering to the dissyllabic rimes _alle_,
_calle_, _appalle_, _befalle_, in stanzas 1 and 3. Lydgate has: 'My pen
quake,' &c.; Troy Book, ch. x., fol. F2, back.

15. _The assemble of Ladies._ This poem Tyrwhitt decisively rejects. There
is absolutely _nothing_ to connect it with Chaucer. It purports to have
been written by 'a gentlewoman'; and perhaps it was. It ends with the rime
of _done_, pp., with _sone_ (soon); which in Chaucer are spelt _doon_ and
_son-e_ respectively, and never rime. Most of the later editions omit this
poem. It is conveniently printed in Chalmers' English Poets, vol. i. p.
526; and consists of 108 7-line stanzas. For further remarks, see notes on
_The Flower and the Leaf_ (p. 44).

At p. 203 of the Ryme-Index to Chaucer's Minor Poems (Chaucer Society), I
have printed a Ryme-Index to this poem, shewing that the number of
non-Chaucerian rimes in it is about 60.

18. _A praise of Women._ In no way connected with Chaucer. Rejected by
Tyrwhitt. Printed in Bell's edition, iv. 416, and in Chalmers' English
Poets, vol. i. p. 344; also in Morris's Aldine edition, vol. vi. p. 278. In
twenty-five 7-line stanzas. The rime of _lie_ (to tell a lie) with _sie_ (I
saw), in st. 20, is suspicious; Chaucer has _ly-e_, _sy_. The rime of
_queen-e_ (usually dissyllabic in Chaucer) with _beene_ (miswritten for
_been_, they be, st. 23) is also suspicious. It contains the adjective
_sere_, i. e. various (st. 11), which Chaucer never uses.

21. _The lamentacion of Marie Magdaleine._ Printed in Bell's Chaucer, iv.
395; and in Chalmers, i. 532. Tyrwhitt's remarks are admirable. He says, in
his Glossary, s. v. _Origenes_:--'In the list of Chaucer's Works, in Legend
of Good Women, l. 427, he says of himself:--

 "He made also, gon is a grete while,
  _Origenes upon the Maudeleine_"--

meaning, I suppose, a translation, into prose or verse, of the Homily _de
Maria Magdalena_, which has been commonly, though falsely, attributed to
Origen; v. Opp. Origenis, T. ii. p. 291, ed. Paris, 1604. I cannot believe
that the poem entitled _The Lamentation of Marie Magdaleine_, which is in
all the [older] editions of Chaucer, is really that work of his. It can
hardly be considered as a translation, or even as an imitation, of the
Homily; and the composition, in every respect, is infinitely meaner than
the worst of his genuine pieces.' To those who are interested in Chaucer's
rimes I will merely point out the following: _die_, _why_ (Ch. _dy-e_,
_why_); _kene_, _iyen_ (Ch. _ken-e_, _y-ën_); _disguised_, _to-rived_, a
mere assonance; _crie_, _incessauntly_ (Ch. _cry-ë_, _incessauntly_);
_slaine_, _paine_ (Ch. _slein_, _pein-e_); _y-fet_, _let_ (Ch. _y-fet_,
_let-te_); _accept_, _bewept_ (Ch. _accept-e_, _bewept_); _die_, _mihi_
(Ch. _dy-e_, _mihi_). To those interested in Chaucer's language, let me
point out 'dogges rabiate'--'embesile his presence'--'my woful herte is
inflamed so huge'--'my soveraine and very gentilman.' See st. 34, 39, 54,

22. _The remedie of Loue._ Printed in Chalmers' British Poets, i. 539. In
sixty-two 7-line stanzas. Rejected by Tyrwhitt. The language is extremely
late; it seems to have been written in the 16th century. It contains such
words as _incongruitie_, _deduction_, _allective_, _can't_ (for _cannot_),
_scribable_ (fit for writing on), _olibane_, _pant_, _babé_ (baby),
_cokold_ (which Chaucer spells _cokewold_), _ortographie_, _ethimologie_,
_ethimologise_ (verb). The provincial word _lait_, to search for, is well
known to belong to the Northern dialect. Dr. Murray, s. v. _allective_,
dates this piece about A.D. 1560; but it must be somewhat earlier than
this, as it was printed in 1532. I should date it about 1530.

26. _A Ballade in commendacion of our Ladie._ Tyrwhitt remarks that 'a poem
with the same beginning is ascribed to Lydgate, under the title of
_Invocation to our Lady_; see Tanner, s. v. Lydgate.' The poem consists of
thirty-five 7-line stanzas. It has all the marks of Lydgate's style, and
imitates Chaucer's language. Thus the line--'I have none English conuenient
and digne' is an echo of the Man of Law's Tale, l. 778--'O Donegild, I ne
haue noon English digne.' Some of the lines imitate Chaucer's A. B. C. But
the most remarkable thing is his quotation of the first line of Chaucer's
Merciless Beauty, which he applies to the Virgin Mary! See note to that
poem, l. 1.

A poem called an 'Invocation to our Lady' is ascribed to Lydgate in MS.
Ashmole 59, fol. 39, back. It agrees with the present Ballade; which
settles the question.

30. _Balade de bon consail._ Not in previous editions. Printed in Chalmers,
i. 552. Only 7 lines, and here they are, duly edited:--

 'If it befall that God thee list visite
  With any tourment or adversitee,
  Thank first the Lord, and [fond] thy-self to quite;
  Upon suffraunce and humilitee
  Found thou thy quarel, what ever that it be;
  Mak thy defence, and thou shalt have no losse,
  The remembraunce of Christ and of his crosse.'

In l. 1, ed. 1561 has _the_; 2. _aduersite_; 3. _Thanke_; _lorde_; I supply
_fond_, i. e. endeavour; _thy-selfe_; 4. (scans ill); 5. _Founde_; 6.

31. _Of the Cuckowe and the Nightingale._ Printed in Bell's Chaucer, iv.
334; and in Morris's Chaucer, iv. 75. Not uncommon in MSS.; there is a copy
in MS. Ff. 1. 6 in the Cambridge University Library; another in MS. Fairfax
16; another in MS. Bodley 638; another in MS. Tanner 346; and a fifth
(imperfect) in MS. Arch. Selden B. 24, in the Bodleian Library. A sixth is
in MS. Harl. 7333, in the British Museum. From some of these, Morris's
better text was constructed; see his edition, pref. p. ix.

It is worth a note, by the way, that it is _not_ the same poem as one
entitled _The Nightingale_, extant in MS. no. 203 in Corpus Christi
College, Oxford, and in MS. Cotton, Calig. A. ii., fol. 59, and attributed
to Lydgate.

That the first two lines are by Chaucer, we cannot doubt, for they are
quoted from the Knightes Tale, ll. 927, 928. Chaucer often quotes his own
lines, but it is not likely that he would take them as the subject of a new
poem. On the other hand, this is just what we should expect one of his
imitators to do. The present poem is a very fair imitation of Chaucer's
style, and follows his peculiarities of metre far more closely than is
usually the case with Lydgate. The notion, near the end, of holding a
parliament of birds, with the Eagle for lord, is evidently borrowed from
Chaucer's Parliament of Foules. Whilst admitting that the present poem is
more worthy of Chaucer than most of the others with which it has been
proposed to burden his reputation, I can see no sufficient reason for
connecting him with it; and the external evidence connects it, in fact,
with Hoccleve. For the copy in MS. Bodley 638 calls it 'The boke of Cupide
god of loue,' at fol. 11, back; whilst Hoccleve's _Letter of Cupid_ is
called 'The lettre of Cupide god of loue' in the same, fol. 38, back. The
copy in the Fairfax MS. ends with the colophon--_Explicit liber Cupidinis_.
The rimes are mostly Chaucerian; but the rime of _day_ with the gerund _to
assay-e_ in st. 11 is suspicious; so also is that of _now_ with the gerund
_to rescow-e_ in st. 46. In st. 13, _grene_ rimes with _been_, whereas
_gren-e_, in Chaucer, is always dissyllabic. Chaucer's biographers have
been anxious to father this poem upon him, merely because it mentions
Woodstock in l. 285.

One point about this poem is its very peculiar metre; the 5-line stanza,
riming _a a b b a_, is certainly rare. If the question arises, whence is it
copied, the answer is clear, viz. from Chaucer's Envoy to his Compleint to
his Purse. This is a further reason for dating it later than 1399.

32. _Balade with envoy_; 'O leude book,' &c. Printed in Bell's Chaucer, iv.
347, and in Morris's Chaucer, iv. 85, as if it were part of The Cuckoo and
the Nightingale; but obviously unconnected with it. A Balade in the usual
form, viz. three 7-line stanzas, with a refrain; the refrain is--'For of
all good she is the best living.' The envoy consists of only six lines,
instead of seven, rimed _a b a b c c_, and that for a sufficient reason,
which has not been hitherto observed. The initial letters of the lines
form, in fact, an anagram on the name ALISON; which is therefore the name
of the lady to whom the Balade is addressed. There is a copy of this poem
in MS. Fairfax 16, and another in MS. Tanner 346. It is therefore as old as
the 15th century. But to attribute to Chaucer the fourth line of the Envoy
seems hazardous. It runs thus--'Suspiries whiche I effunde in silence.'
Perhaps it is Hoccleve's.

38. _Poem in two 7-line stanzas._ There is nothing to connect this with
Chaucer; and it is utterly unworthy of him. I now quote the whole poem,
just as it stands in the edition of 1561:--

 'Go foorthe king, rule thee by Sapience,
  Bishoppe, be able to minister doctrine,
  Lorde, to true counsale yeue audience,
  Womanhode, to chastitie euer encline;
  Knight, let thy deedes worship determine;
  Be righteous, Iudge, in sauyng thy name;
  Rich, do almose, lest thou lese blisse w_i_t_h_ shame.

 'People, obeie your kyng and the lawe;
  Age, be ruled by good religion;
  True seruaunt, be dredfull & kepe the vnder awe;
  And, thou poore, fie on presumpcion;
  Inobedience to youth is vtter destruccion;
  Remembre you, how God hath set you, lo!
  And doe your parte, as ye be ordained to.'

In l. 7, ed. 1532 has _almesse_ instead of _almose_. Surely it must be
Lydgate's. Many of his poems exhibit similar catalogues, if I may so term

I have now gone through all the poems published in 1532 and copied into the
later editions (with the exception of nos. 66-68, for which see p. 45); and
I see no way of augmenting the list of Chaucer's Minor Poems any further
from this source.


It is hardly worth while to discuss at length all the poems which it
pleased John Stowe to fling together into the edition of 1561. But a few
remarks may be useful.

Nos. 42, 43, and 60 are admittedly genuine; and are printed below, nos.
XIV., XX., and VIII. I believe nos. 44 and 57 to be so also[225]; they are
discussed below, and are printed as nos. XXI. and VI. No. 61 is, of course,
Lydgate's. Besides this, no. 45 is correctly ascribed to Lydgate in the
MSS.; there are copies of it in MS. Fairfax 16 and in MS. Ashmole 59. No.
56 is also Lydgate's, and is so marked in MS. Harl. 2251. As to no. 46,
called the Craft of Lovers, it is dated by help of two lines in the last
stanza, which are thus printed by Stowe:--

 'In the yere of our lorde a .M. by rekeninge
  CCCXL. .&. UIII. yere folowing.'

This _seems_ to give the date as 1348; whereas the language is palpably
that of the fifteenth century. Whether Stowe or his printer thought fit to
alter the date intentionally, I cannot say. Still, the fact is, that in the
MS. marked R. 3. 19 in Trinity College Library, at fol. 156, the reading is
'CCCCXL & VIII yere,' so that the true date is rather 1448, or nearly half
a century after Chaucer's death[226]. The same MS., which I suppose
belonged to Stowe, contains several other of these pieces, viz. nos. 48,
49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, and perhaps others. The language and, in some
cases, the ruggedness of the metre, forbid us to suppose that Chaucer can
have had anything to do with them, and some are palpably of a much later
date; one or more of these considerations at once exclude all the rest of
Stowe's additions. It may, however, be noted that no. 47 quotes the line
'Beware alwaye, the blind eats many a fly,' which occurs as a refrain in
no. 56, and it is therefore later than the time of Lydgate. The author of
no. 48 says he is 'a man vnknowne.' Many lines in no. 49 are of abnormal
length; it begins with--'Profulgent in preciousnes, O Sinope the queen.'
The same is true of no. 51, which is addressed to a Margaret, and begins
with--'In the season of Feuerere when it was full colde.' Of no. 52,
Tyrwhitt says that the four first stanzas are found in different parts of
an imperfect poem upon the _Fall of Man_, in MS. Harl. 2251; whilst the
11th stanza makes part of an _Envoy_, which in the same MS. is annexed to
the poem entitled the _Craft of Lovers_. No. 53 is a poor affair. No. 54,
called a _Balade Pleasaunte_, is very unpleasant and scurrilous, and
alludes to the wedding of 'queene Iane[227]' as a circumstance that
happened many years ago. No. 55 is scurrilous, odious, and stupid. I doubt
if no. 58 is good enough for Lydgate. No. 59 belongs to the sixteenth

All the poems here rejected were rejected by Tyrwhitt, with two strange
exceptions, viz. nos. 50 and 59, the Virelai and the Court of Love. Of both
of these, the language is quite late. The _Virelai_ is interesting from a
metrical point of view, because such poems are scarce; the only similar
poem that I can call to mind is the _Balet_ (or rather _Virelai_) composed
by Lord Rivers during his imprisonment in 1483, and printed by Percy in his
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Percy says that Lord Rivers copies the
_Virelai_ mentioned above, which he assumes to be Chaucer's; but it is
quite as likely that the copying was in the other direction, and that Lord
Rivers copied some genuine _Virelai_ (either Chaucer's or in French) that
is now lost[228]. The final rime of _end_ with _find_, is bad enough; but
the supposition that the language is of the 14th century is ridiculous.
Still the _Virelai_ is good in its way, though it can hardly be older than
1500, and may be still later.

Of all poems that have been falsely ascribed to Chaucer, I know of none
more amazing than _The Court of Love_. The language is palpably that of the
16th century, and there are absolutely _no_ examples of the occurrence in
it of a final _-e_ that is fully pronounced, and forms a syllable! Yet
there are critics who lose their heads over it, and will not give it up.
Tyrwhitt says--'I am induced by the internal evidence (!) to consider it as
one of Chaucer's genuine productions.' As if the 'internal evidence' of a
poem containing no sonant final _-e_ is not enough to condemn it at once.
The original MS. copy exists in MS. R. 3. 19 in Trinity College, and the
writing is later than 1500. The poem itself has all the smoothness of the
Tudor period[229]; it excels the style of Hawes, and would do credit to
Sackville. One reference is too interesting to be passed over. In the
second stanza, the poet regrets that he has neither the eloquence of Tully,
the power of Virgil, nor the 'craft of _Galfride_.' Tyrwhitt explains
_Galfride_ as 'Geoffrey of Monmouth,' though it is difficult to understand
on what ground he could have been here thought of. Bell's 'Chaucer'
explains _Galfride_ as 'Geoffrey of Vinsauf,' which is still more curious;
for Geoffrey of Vinsauf is the very _Gaufride_ whom Chaucer holds up to
eternal ridicule in the Nonne Prestes Tale (l. 526).

I have no doubt at all that the _Galfrid_ here referred to is no other than
Geoffrey Chaucer, who was called, indifferently, _Galfrid_ or _Geoffrey_.
This appears from the testimony of Lydgate, who speaks, in his 'Troy-book,'
of 'Noble Galfryde, chefe Poete of Brytayne,' and again, of 'My mayster
Galfride'; see Lydgate's Siege of Troye, bk. ii. ch. 15, and bk. iii. ch.
25; ed. 1557, fol. K 2, col. 1, and fol. R 2, back, col. 2. Hence we are
not surprised to find that the author makes frequent reference to Chaucer's
Works, viz. to Anelida (l. 235), the Death of Pity (701), Troilus (872),
the Legend of Good Women (104, 873), and the Parl. of Foules (near the
end). The two allusions to the Legend of Good Women at once make the poem
later than 1385; and in fact, it must be quite a century later than that
date. There are more than 70 rimes that differ from those employed by
Chaucer. The Poet introduces to our notice personages named _Philogenet_,
_Philobone_, and _Rosial_. Of these, at least the two former savour of the
time of the Renaissance; for, although Chaucer uses the name Philostrate in
the Knightes Tale (A 1428, 1558, 1728), he merely _copies_ this name from
Boccaccio; and it is amusing to find that Boccaccio himself did not
understand it.[230]


We have now to consider the additions made by Speght in 1598. These were
only two, viz. _Chaucer's Dream_ and _The Flower and the Leaf_.

62. _Chaucer's Dream._ A long poem of 2206 short lines, in metre similar to
that of The House of Fame; accepted by Tyrwhitt, and in all the editions.
But there is no early trace of it; and we are not bound to accept as
Chaucer's a poem first ascribed to him in 1598, and of which the MS. (at
Longleat) was written about 1550. The language is of late date, and the
sonant final _-e_ is decidedly scarce. The poem is badly named, and may
have been so named by Speght; the proper title is 'The Isle of Ladies.' We
find such rimes as _be_, _companie_ (Ch. _be_, _company-e_); _know_, _low_,
i. e. law (Ch. _know-e_, _law-e_); _grene_, _yene_, i. e. eyes (Ch.
_gren-e_, _y-ën_); _plesaunce_, _fesaunce_ (Ch. _plesaunc-e_, _fesaunts_);
_ywis_, _kisse_ (Ch. _ywis_, _kis-se_); and when we come to _destroied_
riming with _conclude_, it is time to stop. The tediousness of this poem is

63. _The Flower and the Leaf._ This is rather a pretty poem, in 7-line
stanzas. The language is that of the fifteenth century. It professes to be
written by a gentlewoman, like the Assemble of Ladies; and perhaps it
was[232]. Very likely, the same 'gentlewoman' wrote both these poems. If
so, the Flower and the Leaf is the better finished, and probably the later
of the two. It contains the word _henchman_, for which the earliest dated
quotation which I have yet found is 1415 (Royal Wills, ed. Nichols, p.
220). An interesting reference is given in the lines--

 'Eke there be knightes old of the garter
  That in hir time did right worthily.'

The order of the Garter was established in 1349; and we should expect that
more than half a century would elapse before it would be natural to refer
to the Knights as _old_ knights, who did worthily _in their time_. Of
course the poem cannot be Chaucer's, and it is hardly necessary to look for
rimes such as he never uses; yet such may easily be found, such as _grew_,
pt. t. sing., riming with the dissyllabic _hew-e_, _new-e_; _sid-e_ with
_espide_, pp. (Ch. _espy-ed_); _eie_, eye (Ch. _y-ë_) with _sie_, saw (Ch.
_sy_); and _plesure_[233] with _desire_; after which we may stop.

In 1602, Speght issued another edition, in which, according to Bonn's
edition of Lowndes' _Bibliographer's Manual_, two more pieces were added,
viz. the prose treatise against Friars called _Jack Upland_, and the
genuine poem entitled 'A. B. C.' But this is not all; for I find, in a
still later edition, that of 1687, which is said to be a 'reimpression of
Speght's edition of 1602,' that, at the very end of all the prefatory
matter, on what was probably a spare blank leaf, three more poems appear,
which might as well have been consigned to oblivion. But the editors of
Chaucer evidently thought that a thing once added must be added for ever,
and so these three productions are retained in Bell's Chaucer, and must
therefore be noticed with the rest. I find, however, that they had been
printed previously, viz. at the end of the Table of Contents in ed. 1542
and ed. 1550, where they are introduced quite casually, without a word of
explanation. Moreover, they are copied from MS. Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 15,
a MS. which also contains the Canterbury Tales; and no doubt, this fact
suggested their insertion. See Todd's Illustrations of Chaucer, p. 120.

64. _Jack Upland._ An invective against friars, in prose, worth printing,
but obviously not Chaucer's.

65. Chaucer's A. B. C. Genuine; here printed as poem no. I.

66. _Eight goodly questions with their answers_; printed in Bell's Chaucer,
vol. iv. p. 421; nine 7-line stanzas. In st. 3, _tree_ rimes with _profer_;
but _tree_ is an obvious misprint for _cofer_! In st. 5, the gerund _to
lie_ (Ch. _ly-e_) rimes with _honestie_ (Ch. _honestee_). This is quite
enough to condemn it. But it may be Lydgate's.

67. _To the Kings most noble Grace, and to the Lords and Knights of the
Garter_; pr. as above, p. 424; eight 8-line stanzas. In MS. Phillipps 8151,
and written by Hoccleve; it much resembles his poem printed in _Anglia_, v.
23. The date may be 1416. The 'King' is Henry V.

68. _Sayings._ Really three separate pieces. They are all found on the
fly-leaf of the small quarto edition of Caxton, described above, p. 27.
When Caxton printed Chaucer's _Anelida_ and _Purse_ on a quire of ten
leaves, it so happened that he only filled up nine of them. But, after
adding _explicit_ at the bottom of the ninth leaf, to shew that he had come
to the end of his Chaucer, he thought it a pity to waste space, and so
added three popular sayings on the front of leaf 10, leaving the back of it
still blank. Here is what he printed:--

 'Whan feyth failleth in prestes sawes
  And lordes hestes ar holden for lawes
  And robbery is holden purchas
  And lechery is holden solas
  Than shal the lond of albyon
  Be brought to grete confusio_u_n.

  Hit falleth for euery gentilman
  To saye the best that he can
  In mannes absence
  And the soth in his presence.

 'Hit cometh by kynde of gentil blode
  To cast away al heuynes
  And gadre to-gidre wordes good
  The werk of wisedom berith witnes
        Et sic est finis ****.'

The first of these sayings was probably a bit of popular rime, of the
character quoted in Shakespeare's _King Lear_, iii. 2. 81. Shakespeare
calls his lines _Merlin's_ prophecy; and it has pleased the editors of
Chaucer to call the first six lines _Chaucer's_ Prophecy[234]. They appear
in Bell's Chaucer, vol. iii. p. 427, in an 'improved' form, not worth
discussing; and the last eight lines are also printed in the same, vol. iv.
p. 426. Why they are separated, is mysterious. Those who think them genuine
may thank me for giving them Caxton's spelling instead of Speght's.


In Morris's edition are some pieces which either do not appear in previous
editions, or were first printed later than 1700.

69. Roundel; pr. in vol. vi. p. 304. The same as Merciless Beaute; here
printed as no. XI. It first appeared, however, in Percy's Reliques of
English Poetry. See p. 80 below.

70. The Former Age; pr. in vol. vi. p. 300, for the first time. Here
printed as no. IX. See p. 78.

71. _Prosperity_; pr. in vol. vi. p. 296, for the first time. This is taken
from MS. Arch. Selden B. 24, fol. 119, where it follows Chaucer's Poem on
'Truth.' It has but one stanza of eight lines, and I here give it precisely
as it stands in this Scottish MS.:--

 'Richt as pou_er_t causith sobirnes,
  And febilnes enforcith contenence,
  Ry_ch_t so prosperitee and grete riches
  The moder is of vice and negligence;
  And powere also causith Insolence;
  And hono_ur_ oftsiss changith gude thewis;
  Thare is no more p_er_ilouss pestilence
  Than hie estate geven vnto schrewis.
                                Q_uo_d Chaucere.'

I have no belief in the genuineness of this piece, though it is not ill
written. In general, the ascription of a piece to Chaucer in a MS. is
valuable. But the scribe of this particular MS. was reckless. It is he who
made the mistake of marking Hoccleve's 'Mother of God' with the misleading
remark--'Explicit or_aci_o Galfridi Chaucere.' At fol. 119, back, he gives
us a poem beginning 'Deuise prowes and eke humylitee' in seven 7-line
stanzas, and here again at the end is the absurd remark--'Q_uo_d Chaucer
quhen he was ry_ch_t auisit.' But he was himself quite 'wrongly advised';
for it is plainly not Chaucer's at all. His next feat is to mark Lydgate's
Complaynt of the Black Knight by saying--'Here endith the Maying and
disporte of Chaucere'; which shews how the editors were misled as to this
poem. Nor is this all; for he gives us, at fol. 137, back, another poem in
six 8-line stanzas, beginning 'O hie Emperice and quene celestial'; and
here again at the end is his stupid--'Q_uo_d Chaucere.' The date of this
MS. appears to be 1472; so it is of no high authority; and, unless we make
some verbal alteration, we shall have to explain how Chaucer came to write
_oftsiss_ in two syllables instead of _ofte sythe_ in four; see his Can.
Yem. Tale, Group G, l. 1031.

72. _Leaulte vault Richesse_; pr. in vol. vi. p. 302, for the first time.
This is from the same MS., fol. 138, and is as follows:--

 'This warldly Ioy is onely fantasy,
  Of quhich non erdly wicht ca_n_ be _con_tent;
  Quho most has wit, leste suld In It affy,
  Quho taist_is_ It most, most sall him repent;
  Quhat valis all this richess and this rent,
  Sen no ma_n_ wate quho sall his tresour haue?
  P_re_sume no_ch_t gevin th_a_t god has done but lent,
  Within schort tyme the quhiche he think_is_ to craue.
                       _Leaulte vault richess._'

On this poem, I have three remarks to make. The first is that not even the
reckless Scottish scribe attributes it to Chaucer. The second is that
Chaucer's forms are _content_ and _lent_ without a final _e_, and
_repent-e_ and _rent-e_ with a final _-e_, so that the poem cannot be his;
although _content_, _repent_, _rent_, and _lent_ rime well enough in the
Northern dialect. The third is that if I could be sure that the above lines
were by a well-known author, I should at once ascribe them to King James
I., who might very well have written these and the lines called
_Prosperity_ above. It is somewhat of a coincidence that the very MS. here
discussed is that in which the unique copy of the _Kingis Quair_ is

73. _Proverbs of Chaucer_; printed in vol. vi. p. 303. The first eight
lines are genuine; here printed as no. XX. But two 7-line stanzas are
added, which are spurious. In MS. Addit. 16165, Shirley tells us that they
were 'made by Halsham Esquyer'; but they seem to be Lydgate's, unless he
_added_ to them. See Lydgate's Minor Poems (Percy Soc. 1840), pp. 193 and
74. And see pp. 52, 57.

It thus appears that, of the 73 pieces formerly attributed to Chaucer, not
more than 26, and a part of a 27th, can be genuine. These are: _Canterbury
Tales_, _Troilus_, _Legend of Good Women_, _House of Fame_, about a quarter
of _The Romaunt of the Rose_, the _Minor Poems_ printed in the present
volume and numbered I-XI, XIII-XXI, and two pieces in prose.


After the preceding somewhat tedious, but necessary discussion of the
contents of the black-letter and other editions (in many of which poems
were as recklessly attributed to Chaucer as medieval proverbs used to be to
King Solomon), it is some relief to turn to the manuscripts, which usually
afford much better texts, and are altogether more trustworthy.

The following is a list of the MSS. which have been followed. I must here
acknowledge my great debt to Dr. Furnivall, whose excellent, careful, and
exact reproduction in print of the various MSS. leaves nothing to be
desired, and is a great boon to all Chaucer scholars. They are nearly
all[235] printed among the Chaucer Society's publications. At the same
time, I desire to say that I have myself consulted most of the MSS., and
have thus gleaned a few hints which could hardly have been otherwise
acquired; it was by this process that I became acquainted with the poems
numbered XXII. and XXIII., which are probably genuine, and with the poem
numbered XII., which is certainly so. An editor should always look at the
MSS. for himself, if he can possibly contrive to do so.


N.B. The roman numbers following the name of each MS. denote the numbers of
the poems in the present edition.

A.--Ashmole 59, Bodleian Library (Shirley's).--X. XIV. XVIII.

Ad.--Addit. 16165, British Museum.--VII. XX. XXIII.

Add.--Addit. 22139, British Museum.--XIII. XIV. XV. XIX.

Ar.--Arch. Selden B. 24, Bodleian Library.--IV. V. XIII. XVIII.

Arch.--Arch. Selden B. 10, Bodleian Library.--X. XIII.

At.--Addit. 10340, British Museum.--XIII.

B.--Bodley 638 (Oxford).--I. II. III. V. VII. X. XXII.

Bannatyne MS. 1568, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow.--XV.

Bedford MS. (Bedford Library).--I.

C.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Ff. 5. 30.--I.

Corpus.--Corpus Chr. Coll., Oxford, 203.--XIII.

Ct.--Cotton, Cleopatra D. 7; Brit. Mus.--XIII. XIV. XV. XXI.

Cx.--Caxton's editions; see above (p. 27).--V. VII. X. XIII. XIV. XVI.
(part); XIX.

D.--Digby 181, Bodleian Library.--V. VII.

E.--Ellesmere MS. (also has the Cant. Tales).--XIII.

ed. 1561.--Stowe's edition, 1561.--VI. VIII. XX. XXI., &c.

F.--Fairfax 16, Bodleian Library.--I. II. III. IV. V. VII. X. XIII. (two

Ff.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Ff. 1. 6.--II. V. VII. (part); XVIII. XIX.

Gg.[236]--Cambridge Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27.--I. V. XIII. XVI.

Gl.--Glasgow, Hunterian Museum, Q. 2. 25.--I.

H.--Harleian 2251, Brit. Mus.--I. X. XIV. XIX.

Ha.--Harleian 7578, Brit. Mus.--I. II. XIV. XV. XX. XXI.

Harl.--Harleian 7333, Brit. Mus.--IV. V. VII. XIII. XIV. XV. XIX. XXII.

Harleian 78, Brit. Mus. (Shirley's). _See_ Sh. _below._

Harleian 372, Brit. Mus.--VII.

Hat.--Hatton 73, Bodleian Library.--XIII. XV.

Hh.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Hh. 4. 12.--V (part); IX.

I.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Ii. 3. 21.--IX. X.

Jo.--St. John's College, Cambridge, G. 21.--I.

Ju.--Julian Notary's edition (see p. 28).--IV. XVII. XVIII.

Kk.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Kk. 1. 5.--XIII.

L.--Laud 740, Bodleian Library.--I.

Lansdowne 699, Brit. Mus.--X. XIII.

Laud.--Laud 416, Bodleian Library.--V (part).

Lt.--Longleat MS. 258 (Marquis of Bath).--II. IV. V. VII.

O.--St. John's College, Oxford (no. lvii.); fol. 22, bk.--V.

P.--Pepys 2006, Magd. Coll., Cambridge.--I. (two copies); IV. V. VII
(part); X. XI. XIII. XVI. XVIII. (two copies); XIX.

Ph.--Phillipps 9053 (Cheltenham).--II. VI. VII. (part); XIX.

Phil.--Phillipps 8299 (Cheltenham).--XIII.

R.--Rawlinson Poet. 163, Bodleian Library.--XII.

Sh.--Shirley's MS. Harl. 78, Brit. Mus.--II. VI.

Sion College MS. (Shirley's).--I.

T.--Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3. 20.--IV. VII (part); VIII. X. XIII.
(two copies); XIV. XV. XVIII.

Th.--W. Thynne's edition, 1532.--III. XV. XVII., &c.

Tn.--Tanner 346, Bodleian Library.--II. III. IV. V. VII. XVIII.

Trin.--Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3. 19.--II. V.

Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 14. 51.--XIV. XV.

Conversely, I here give a list of the Poems in the present volume, shewing
from which MSS. each one is derived. I mention first the MSS. of most
importance. I also note the number of lines in each piece.

I. _A. B. C._ (184 lines).--C. Jo. Gl. L. Gg. F.; _other copies in_ H.
P.[237] Bedford. Ha. Sion. B.[238]

II. _Pite_ (119).--Tn. F. B. Sh. Ff. Trin.; _also_ Ha. Lt. Ph.

III. _Duchess_ (1334).--F. Tn. B. Th.

IV. _Mars_ (298).--F. Tn. Ju. Harl. T. Ar.; also P.[237] Lt.

V. _Parl. Foules_ (699).--F. Gg. Trin. Cx. Harl. O. Ff. Tn. D.; _also_ Ar.
B. Lt. P.; Hh. (365 lines); Laud (142 lines).

VI. _Compleint to his Lady_ (133).--Ph. Sh.; ed. 1561.

VII. _Anelida_ (357).--Harl. F. Tn. D. Cx.; _also_ B. Lt. Ad.; Harl. 372;
_partly in_ T. Ff. P. Ph.

VIII. _Lines to Adam_ (7).--T.; ed. 1561.

IX. _Former Age_ (64).--I. Hh.

X. _Fortune_ (79).--I. A. T. F. B. H.; _also_ P. Cx.; Arch.; Lansd. 699.

XI. _Merciless Beaute_ (39).--P.

XII. _To Rosemounde_ (24).--R.

XIII. _Truth_ (28).--At. Gg. E. Ct. T.[239]; _also_ Arch. Harl. Hat. P.
F.[240] Add. Cx.; Ar. Kk. Corpus; Lansd. 699; Phil.

XIV. _Gentilesse_ (21).--A. T. Harl. Ct. Ha. Add. Cx; _also_ H. _and_

XV. _Lak of Stedfastnesse_ (28).--Harl. T. Ct. F. Add.; _also_ Th. Ha.;
Hat., Trinity, _and_ Bannatyne.

XVI. _To Scogan_ (49).--Gg. F. P.; _also_ Cx. (21 lines).

XVII. _To Bukton_ (32).--F. Th.; _also_ Ju.

XVIII. _Venus_ (82).--T. A. Tn. F. Ff.; _also_ Ar. Ju. P.[241]

XIX. _Purse_ (26).--F. Harl. Ff. P. Add.; _also_ H. Cx. Ph.

XX. _Proverbs_ (8).--F. Ha. Ad.; ed. 1561.

XXI. _Against Women Unconstaunt_ (21).--Ct. F. Ha.; ed. 1561.

XXII. _An Amorous Complaint_ (91).--Harl. F. B.

XXIII. _Balade of Complaint_ (21).--Ad.


Some of these MSS. deserve a few special remarks.

Shirley's MSS. are--A. Ad. H. Harl. Sh. Sion, _and_ T.

MSS. in Scottish spelling are--Ar. Bannatyne. Kk.; L. shews Northern


F. (Fairfax 16) is a valuable MS.; not only does it contain as many as
sixteen of these Minor Poems, but it is a fairly written MS. of the
fifteenth century. The spelling does not very materially differ from that
of such an excellent MS. as the Ellesmere MS. of the Canterbury Tales,
excepting in the fact that a great number of final _e_'s are added in wrong
places, and are dropped where they are required. This is a matter that can
be to a large extent rectified, and I have endeavoured to do so, taking it
in many instances as the standard text. Next to this misuse of final _e_'s,
which is merely due to the fact that it was written out at a time when the
true use of them was already lost, its most remarkable characteristic is
the scribe's excessive love of the letter _y_ in place of _i_; he writes
_hyt ys_ instead of _hit is_, and the like. In a great number of instances
I have restored _i_, where the vowel is short. When the text of the Fairfax
MS. is thus restored, it is by no means a bad one. It also contains fair
copies of many poems by Hoccleve and Lydgate, such as the former's _Letter
of Cupide_[242], and the latter's _Complaint of the Black Knight_, _Temple
of Glass_, and _Balade against Women's Doubleness_, being the very piece
which is introduced into Stowe's edition, and is numbered 45 above (see p.
33). We are also enabled, by comparing this MS. with MS. Harl. 7578, to
solve another riddle, viz. why it is that Chaucer's Proverbs, as printed in
Morris's and Bell's editions, are followed by two 7-line stanzas which have
nothing whatever to do with them. In MS. Harl. 7578 these two stanzas
immediately _follow_, and MS. F. immediately _precede_ Chaucer's Proverbs,
and therefore were near enough to them to give an excuse for throwing them
in together. However, both these stanzas are by Lydgate, and are mere
fragments[243]. The former of them, beginning 'The worlde so wide, thaire
so remuable,' really belongs to a poem of 18 stanzas, printed in
Halliwell's edition of Lydgate's Minor Poems (Percy Soc.), p. 193. The
latter of them, beginning 'The more I goo, the ferther I am behinde,'
belongs to a poem of 11 stanzas, printed in the same, p. 74. Perhaps this
will serve as a hint to future editors of Chaucer, from whose works it is
high time to exclude poems _known_ to be by some other hand.

In this MS. there is also a curious and rather long poem upon the game of
chess; the board is called the _cheker_, and the pieces are the _kyng_, the
_quene or the fers_ (described on fol. 294), the _rokys_ (_duo_ _Roci_),
the _knyghtys_, the _Awfyns_ (_duo alfini_), and the _povnys_ (_pedini_).
This is interesting in connection with the _Book of the Duchess_; see note
to l. 654 of that poem. The author tells us how 'he plaid at the chesse,'
and 'was mated of a Ferse.'

B. (Bodley 638) is very closely related to MS. F.; in the case of some of
the poems, both must have been drawn from a common source. MS. B. is not a
mere copy of F., for it sometimes has the correct reading where F. is
wrong; as, e.g. in the case of the reading _Bret_ in the _House of Fame_,
l. 1208. It contains seven of these Minor Poems, as well as _The boke of
Cupide god of loue_ (_Cuckoo and Nightingale_), Hoccleve's _Lettre of
Cupide god of loue_, Lydgate's _Temple of Glass_ (oddly called _Temple of
Bras_ (!), a mistake which occurs in MS. F. also), his _Ordre of Folys_,
printed in Halliwell's Minor Poems of Lydgate, p. 164, and his _Complaint
of the Black Knight_, imperfect at the beginning.

A. (Shirley's MS. Ashmole 59) is remarkable for containing a large number
of pieces by Lydgate, most of which are marked as his. It corroborates the
statement in MS. F. that he wrote the _Balade against Women's Doubleness_.
It contains the whole of Scogan's poem in which Chaucer's _Gentilesse_ is
quoted: see the complete print of it, from this MS., in the Chaucer
Society's publications.

Another poem in this MS. requires a few words. At the back of leaf 38 is a
poem entitled 'The Cronycle made by Chaucier,' with a second title to this
effect:--'Here nowe folowe the names of the nyene worshipfullest Ladyes
that in alle cronycles and storyal bokes haue beo founden of trouthe of
constaunce and vertuous or reproched (_sic_) womanhode by Chaucier.' The
poem consists of nine stanzas of eight lines (in the ordinary heroic
metre), and is printed in Furnivall's Odd Text of Chaucer's Minor Poems,
Part I. It would be a gross libel to ascribe this poem to Chaucer, as it is
very poor, and contains execrable rimes (such as _prysoun_, _bycome_;
_apply-e_, _pyte_; _thee_, _dy-e_). But we may easily see that the title is
likely to give rise to a misconception. It does not really mean that the
_poem itself_ is by Chaucer, but that it gives a brief epitome of the
'Cronicle made by Chaucier' of 'the nyene worshipfullest Ladyes.' And, in
fact, it does this. Each stanza briefly describes one of the nine women
celebrated in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. It is sufficient to add that
the author makes a ludicrous mistake, which is quite enough to acquit
Chaucer of having had any hand in this wholly valueless production; for he
actually addresses 'quene Alceste' as sorrowing for 'Seyse her husbande.'
_Seyse_ is Chaucer's _Ceyx_, and _Alceste_ is the author's comic
substitution for _Alcyone_; see Book of the Duchess, l. 220. This is not a
fault of the scribe; for _Alceste_ rimes with _byheste_, whereas _Alcione_
does not. I much suspect that Shirley wrote this poem _himself_. His
verses, in MS. Addit. 16165, are very poor.

TN. (Tanner 346) is a fair MS. of the 15th century, and contains, besides
six of the Minor Poems, the _Legend of Good Women_, Hoccleve's _Letter of
Cupid_ (called _litera Cupidinis dei Amoris directa subditis suis
Amatoribus_), the _Cuckoo and Nightingale_ (called the _god of loue_),
Lydgate's _Temple of Glas_ and _Black Knight_, &c. One of them is the
Ballad no. 32 discussed above (p. 40). At fol. 73 is a poem in thirteen
8-line stanzas, beginning 'As ofte as syghes ben in herte trewe.' One
stanza begins with these lines:--

 'As ofte tymes as Penelapye
  Renewed her werk in the _raduore_,' &c.

I quote this for the sake of the extremely rare Chaucerian word spelt
_radevore_ in the Legend of Good Women. The same line occurs in another
copy of the same poem in MS. Ff., fol. 12, back.

AR. (Arch. Seld. B. 24) is a Scottish MS., apparently written in 1472, and
contains, amongst other things, the unique copy of the _Kingis Quair_, by
James I. of Scotland. This is the MS. wherein the scribe attributes pieces
to Chaucer quite recklessly: see p. 47. It is also the authority for the
pieces called _Prosperity_ and _Leaulte vault Richesse_. Here, once more,
we find the _Letter of Cupid_ and the _Cuckoo and Nightingale_; it is
remarkable how often these poems occur in the same MS. It also contains
_Troilus_ and the _Legend of Good Women_.

D. (Digby 181) contains, besides two of the Minor Poems, an imperfect copy
of Troilus; also the _Letter of Cupid_ and _Complaint of the Black Knight_.
At fol. 52 is a piece entitled 'Here Bochas rep_re_uyth hem that yeue hasti
credence to eu_er_y reporte or tale'; and it begins--'All-though so be in
eu_er_y maner age'; in nineteen 7-line stanzas. This is doubtless a part of
chapter 13 of Book I. of Lydgate's _Fall of Princes_.

R. (Rawlinson, Poet. 163) contains a copy of Chaucer's _Troilus_, followed
by the _Balade to Rosemounde_. Both pieces are marked 'Tregentyll' or
'Tregentil' to the left hand, and 'Chaucer' to the right.


FF. (Ff. 1. 6) contains, besides five of the Minor Poems, many other
pieces. One is a copy of _Pyramus and Thisbe_, being part of the Legend of
Good Women. There are four extracts from various parts of Gower's
_Confessio Amantis_; the _Cuckoo and Nightingale_ and _Letter of Cupid_;
the Romance of _Sir Degrevaunt_; _La Belle Dame sans Merci_. Some pieces
from this MS. are printed in Reliquiae Antiquae, i. 23, 169, 202; and two
more, called _The Parliament of Love_ and _The Seven Deadly Sins_, are
printed in Political, Religious, and Love Poems, ed. Furnivall (E. E. T.
S.), pp. 48, 215. We also find here a copy of Lydgate's _Ballad of Good
Counsail_, printed in the old editions of Chaucer (piece no. 40; see above,
p. 33).

GG. (Gg. 4. 27) is the MS. which contains so excellent a copy of the
Canterbury Tales, printed as the 'Cambridge MS.' in the Chaucer Society's
publications. Four leaves are lost at the beginning. On leaf 5 is Chaucer's
_A. B. C._; on leaf 7, back, the _Envoy to Scogan_; and on leaf 8, back,
Chaucer's _Truth_, entitled _Balade de bone conseyl_. This is followed by a
rather pretty poem, in 15 8-line stanzas, which is interesting as quoting
from Chaucer's _Parliament of Foules_. Examples are: '_Qui bien ayme tard
oublye_' (l. 32; cf. P. F. 679): 'The fesaunt, scornere of the cok Be
nihter-tyme in frostis colde' (ll. 49, 50; cf. P. F. 357); 'Than spak the
frosty feldefare' (l. 89; cf. P. F. 364). Line 41 runs--'Robert redbrest
and the wrenne'; which throws some light on the etymology of _robin_. This
valuable MS. also contains _Troilus_ and the _Legend of Good Women_, with
the unique earlier form of the Prologue; _The Parlement of Foules_; and
Lydgate's _Temple of Glas_. At fol. 467 is a _Supplicacio amantis_, a long
piece of no great value, but the first four lines give pretty clear
evidence that the author was well acquainted with Chaucer's Anelida, and
aspired to imitate it.

 'Redresse of sorweful, O Cytherea,
  That w_i_t_h_ the stremys of thy plesau_n_t hete
  Gladist the cuntreis of al Cirrea,
  Wher thou hast chosyn thy paleys and thy sete.'

It seems to be a continuation of the _Temple of Glas_, and is probably
Lydgate's own.

HH. (Camb. Univ. Lib. Hh. 4. 12) contains much of Lydgate, and is fully
described in the Catalogue.

P. (Pepys 2006) consists of 391 pages, and contains Lydgate's _Complaint of
the Black Knight_, and _Temple of Glass_, part of the _Legend of Good
Women_, the _A. B. C._, _House of Fame_, _Mars and Venus_ (two copies),
_Fortune_, _Parlement of Foules_, _The Legend of the Three Kings of
Cologne_, _The War between Caesar and Pompey_, _a Translation of parts of
Cato_, _the Tale of Melibeus_ and _Parson's Tale_, _Anelida_, _Envoy to
Scogan_, _A. B. C._ (again), _Purse_, _Truth_, and _Merciless Beauty_.

TRIN. (Trin. Coll. Camb. R. 3. 19) not only contains two of the Minor
Poems, but a large number of other pieces, including the _Legend of Good
Women_ and many of Lydgate's Poems. In particular, it is the source of most
of Stowe's additions to Chaucer: I may mention _The Craft of Lovers_, dated
1448 in the MS. (fol. 156), but 1348 in Stowe; the _Ten Commandments of
Love_, _Nine Ladies worthy_, _Virelai_ (fol. 160), _Balade_ beginning _In
the seson of Feuerer_ (fol. 160), _Goddesses and Paris_ (fol. 161, back),
_A balade plesaunte_ (fol. 205), _O Mossie Quince_ (fol. 205), _Balade_
beginning _Loke well aboute_ (fol. 207); and _The Court of Love_; see the
pieces numbered 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, (p. 33). The piece
numbered 41 also occurs here, at the end of the _Parliament of Foules_, and
is headed 'Verba translatoris.' One poem, by G. Ashby, is dated 1463, and I
suppose most of the pieces are in a handwriting of a later date, not far
from 1500. It is clear that Stowe had no better reason for inserting pieces
in his edition of Chaucer than their occurrence in this MS. to which he had
access. If he had had access to any other MS. of the same character, the
additions in his book would have been different, and _The Court of Love_
would never have been 'Chaucer's.' Yet this is the sort of evidence which
some accept as being quite sufficient to prove that Chaucer learnt the
language of a century after his own date, in order to qualify himself for
writing that poem.


AD. (MS. Addit. 16165). One of Shirley's MSS., marked with his name in
large letters. It contains a copy of Chaucer's _Boethius_; Trevisa's
translation of the gospel of _Nichodemus_; the _Maistre of the game_ (on
hunting); the _Compleint of the Black Knight_ and the _Dreme of a Lover_,
both by Lydgate. The latter is the same poem, I suppose, as _The Temple of
Glas_. It is here we learn from Shirley that the _Complaint of the Black
Knight_ is Lydgate's. Not only is it headed, on some pages, as 'The
complaynte of a knight made by Lidegate,' but on fol. 3 he refers to the
same poem, speaking of it as being a complaint--

           'al in balade[244],
  That daun Iohan of Bury made,
  Lydgate the Munk clothed in blakke.'

Here also we find two separate fragments of _Anelida_[245]; the two stanzas
mentioned above (p. 52, l. 20), called by Shirley 'two verses made in wyse
of balade by Halsham, Esquyer'; Chaucer's _Proverbs_; the poem no. 45 above
(p. 33), attributed in this MS. to Lydgate; &c. At fol. 256, back, is the
_Balade of compleynte_ printed in this volume as poem no. XXIII.

ADD. (MS. Addit. 22139). This is a fine folio MS., containing Gower's
_Confessio Amantis_. At fol. 138 are Chaucer's _Purse_, _Gentilesse_, _Lak
of Stedfastnesse_, and _Truth_.

AT. (MS. Addit. 10340). Contains Chaucer's _Boethius_ (foll. 1-40); also
_Truth_, with the unique _envoy_, and the description of the 'Persone,'
from the Canterbury Tales, on fol. 41, recto[246].

CT. (MS. Cotton, Cleopatra, D. 7). The Chaucer poems are all on leaves 188,
189. They are all ballads, viz. _Gentilesse_, _Lak of Stedfastness_,
_Truth_, and _Against Women Unconstaunt_. All four are in the same hand;
and we may remark that the last of the four is thus, in a manner, linked
with the rest; see p. 58, l. 5, p. 26, l. 29.

H. (MS. Harl. 2251). Shirley's MS. contains a large number of pieces,
chiefly by Lydgate. Also Chaucer's _Prioresses Tale_, _Fortune_ (fol. 46),
_Gentilesse_ (fol. 48, back), _A. B. C._ (fol. 49), and _Purse_ (fol. 271).
The _Craft of Lovers_ also occurs, and is dated 1459 in this copy. Poem no.
56 (p. 34) also occurs here, and is marked as Lydgate's. We also see from
this MS. that the first four stanzas of no. 52 (p. 33) form part of a poem
on the _Fall of Man_, in which _Truth_, _Mercy_, _Righteousness_, and
_Peace_ are introduced as allegorical personages. The four stanzas form
part of Mercy's plea, and this is why the word _mercy_ occurs ten times. At
fol. 153, back (formerly 158, back), we actually find a copy of Henry
Scogan's poem in which Chaucer's _Gentilesse_ is _not_ quoted, the
requisite stanzas being entirely omitted. At fol. 249, back, Lydgate quotes
the line 'this world is a thurghfare ful of woo,' and says it is from
Chaucer's 'tragedyes.' It is from the Knightes Tale, l. 1989 (A 2847).

HA. (Harl. 7578). Contains Lydgate's _Proverbs_; Chaucer's _Pite_ (fol. 13,
back), _Gentilesse_ and _Lak of Stedfastnesse_ (fol. 17), immediately
followed by the _Balade against Women unconstaunt_, precisely in the place
where we should expect to find it; also Chaucer's _Proverbs_, immediately
followed by the wholly unconnected stanzas discussed above; p. 52, l. 20.
At fol. 20, back, are six stanzas of Chaucer's _A. B. C._

HARL. (MS. Harl. 7333). This is a fine folio MS., and contains numerous
pieces. At fol. 37, recto, begins a copy of the Canterbury Tales, with a
short prose Proem by Shirley; this page has been reproduced in facsimile
for the Chaucer Society. At fol. 129, back, begins the _Parliament of
Foules_, at the end of which is the stanza which appears as poem no. 41 in
Stowe's edition (see p. 33). Then follow the _Broche of Thebes_, i. e. the
_Complaint of Mars_, and _Anelida_. It also contains some of the _Gesta
Romanorum_ and of Hoccleve's _De Regimine Principum_. But the most
remarkable thing in this MS. is the occurrence, at fol. 136, of a poem
hitherto (as I believe) unprinted, yet obviously (in my opinion) written by
Chaucer; see no. XXII. in the present volume. Other copies occur in F. and

SH. (MS. Harl. 78; one of Shirley's MSS.). At fol. 80 begins the _Complaint
to Pity_; on fol. 82 the last stanza of this poem is immediately followed
by the poem here printed as no. VI; the only mark of separation is a
star-like mark placed upon the line which is drawn to separate one stanza
from another. At the end of fol. 83, back, l. 123 of the poem occurs at the
bottom of the page, and fol. 84 is gone; so that the last stanza of 10
lines and the ascription to Chaucer in the colophon do not appear in this

MS. Harl. 372. This MS. contains many poems by Lydgate. Also a copy of
_Anelida_; followed by _La Belle Dame sans mercy_, 'translatid out of
Frenche by Sir Richard Ros,' &c.

MS. Lansdowne 699. This MS. contains numerous poems by Lydgate, such as
_Guy of Warwick_, the _Dance of Macabre_, the _Horse, Sheep, and Goose_,
&c.; and copies of Chaucer's _Fortune_ and _Truth_.

§ 18. I.  A. B. C.

This piece was first printed in Speght's edition of 1602, with this title:
'Chaucer's A. B. C. called _La Priere de Nostre Dame_: made, as some say,
at the Request of Blanch, Duchesse of Lancaster, as a praier for her priuat
vse, being a woman in her religion very deuout.' This is probably a mere
guess, founded on the fact that Chaucer wrote the Book of the Duchess. It
cannot be literally true, because it is not strictly 'made,' or composed,
but only translated. Still, it is just possible that it was _translated_
for her pleasure (rather than use); and if so, must have been written
between 1359 and 1369. A probable date is about 1366. In any case, it may
well stand first in chronological order, being a translation just of that
unambitious character which requires no great experience. Indeed, the
translation shews one mark of want of skill; each stanza begins by
following the original for a line or two, after which the stanza is
completed rather according to the requirements of rime than with an
endeavour to render the original at all closely. There are no less than
thirteen MS. copies of it; and its genuineness is attested both by Lydgate
and Shirley.[247] The latter marks it with Chaucer's name in the Sion
College MS. Lydgate's testimony is curious, and requires a few words of

Guillaume De Deguilleville, a Cistercian monk in the royal abbey of
Chalis[248], in the year 1330 or 1331[249], wrote a poem entitled
_Pèlerinage de la Vie humaine_. Of this there are two extant English
translations, one in prose and one in verse, the latter being attributed to
Lydgate. Of the prose translation[250] four copies exist, viz. in the MSS.
which I call C., Gl., Jo., and L. In all of these, Chaucer's A. B. C. is
inserted, in order to give a verse rendering of a similar prayer in verse
in the original. Of Lydgate's verse translation there is a copy in MS.
Cotton, Vitell. C. xiii. (see foll. 255, 256); and when he comes to the
place where the verse prayer occurs in his original, he says that, instead
of translating the prayer himself, he will quote Chaucer's translation,

 'My mayster Chaucer, in hys tyme,
  Affter the Frenchs he dyde yt ryme.'

Curiously enough, he does not do so; a blank space was left in the MS. for
the scribe to copy it out, but it was never filled in[251]. However, it
places the genuineness of the poem beyond doubt; and the internal evidence
confirms it; though it was probably, as was said, quite an early work.

In order to illustrate the poem fully, I print beneath it the French
original, which I copy from the print of it in Furnivall's _One-text Print
of Chaucer's Minor Poems_, Part I. p. 84.

It is taken from Guillaume De Deguilleville's _Pèlerinage de l'Ame_, Part
I, _Le Pèlerinage de la Vie humaine_. Edited from the MS. 1645, Fonds
Français, in the National Library, Paris (A), and collated with the MSS.
1649 (B), 376 (C), and 377 (D), in the same collection, by Paul Meyer. I
omit, however, the collations; the reader only wants a good text.

Chaucer did not translate the last two stanzas. I therefore give them

 'Ethiques[252] s'avoie leü,
  Tout recordé et tout sceü,
  Et après riens n'en ouvrasse
  Du tout seroie deceü.                 280
  Aussi con cil qui est cheü,
  En sa rois et en sa nasse.
  Vierge, m'ame je claim lasse,
  Quar en toy priant se lasse
  Et si ne fait point son deü.
  Pou vault chose que je amasse;
  Ma priere n'est que quasse
  S'a bien je ne sui esmeü.

 'Contre[253] moy doubt que ne prie
  Ou que en vain merci ne crie.         290
  Je te promet amandement;
  Et pour ce que je ne nie
  Ma promesse, je t'en lie
  L'ame de moy en gaigement;
  Puis si te pri finablement
  Que quant sera mon finement
  Tu ne me defailles mie:
  Pour moy soies au jugement
  Afin que hereditablement
  J'aie pardurable vie. AMEN.'          300

MS. C. affords, on the whole, the best text, and is therefore followed, all
variations from it being duly noted in the footnotes, except (occasionally)
when _i_ is put for _y_, or _y_ for _i_. The scribes are very capricious in
the use of these letters, using them indifferently; but it is best to use
_i_ when the vowel is short (as a general rule), and _y_ when it is long.
Thus, _it is_ is better than _yt ys_, and _wyse_ than _wise_, in order to
shew that the vowel is long in the latter case. I also use _y_ at the end
of a word, as usual; as in _lady_, _my_. When the spelling of the MS. is
thus slightly amended, it gives a fair text, which can easily be read with
the old and true pronunciation.

We may roughly divide the better MSS. into two sets, thus: (_a_) C. Gl. L.
Jo.; (_b_) F. B. Gg. The rest I have not collated. See Koch, in Anglia, iv.
b. 100.

The metre of this poem is worthy of notice. Chaucer uses it again, in the
_Former Age_ (IX), _Lenvoy to Bukton_ (XVII), and in the _Monkes Tale_.
More complex examples of it, with repeated rimes, are seen in the _Balade
to Rosemounde_ (XII), _Fortune_ (X), and _Venus_ (XVIII). See also the two
stanzas on p. 47.


The word _compleynt_ answers to the O. F. _complaint_, sb. masc., as
distinguished from O. F. _complainte_, sb. fem., and was the technical
name, as it were, for a love-poem of a mournful tone, usually addressed to
the unpitying loved one. See Godefroy's Old French Dictionary[254]. Dr.
Furnivall's account of this poem begins as follows: 'In seventeen 7-line
stanzas: 1 of Proem, 7 of Story, and 9 of Complaint, arranged in three
Terns [sets of three] of stanzas; first printed by Thynne in 1532.... The
poem looks not easy to construe; but it is clearly a Complaint _to_ Pity,
as 5 MSS. read, and not _of_ Pity, as Shirley reads in MS. Harl. 78. This
Pity once lived in the heart of the loved-one of the poet.... But in his
mistress's heart dwells also Pity's rival, Cruelty; and when the poet,
after waiting many years[255], seeks to declare his love, even before he
can do so, he finds that Pity for him is dead in his mistress's heart,
Cruelty has prevailed, and deprived him of her.' His theory is, that this
poem is Chaucer's earliest original work, and relates to his own feelings
of hopeless love; also, that Chaucer was not married till 1374, when he
married his namesake Philippa Chaucer[256]. If this be so, a probable
conjectural date for this poem is about 1367. I have remarked, in the note
to l. 14, that the allegory of the poem is somewhat confused; and this
implies a certain want of skill and clearness, which makes the supposition
of its being an early work the more probable[257]. It is extremely
difficult to determine to what extent the sentiments are artificial. If a
French poem of a similar character should one day be found, it would not be
very surprising. Meanwhile, it is worth observing that the notion of
personifying _Pity_ is taken from Chaucer's favourite author Statius; see
the _Thebaid_, bk. xi. 458-496, and compare the context, ll. 1-457. It is
this which enables us to explain the word _Herenus_ in l. 92, which is an
error for _Herines_, the form used by Chaucer to denote the _Erinnyes_ or
Furies[258]. The _Erinnyes_ are mentioned in Statius, _Theb._ xi. 345 (cf.
ll. 58, 60, 383); and Statius leads up to the point of the story where it
is an even chance whether there will be peace or war. The Furies urge on
the combatants to war; and at this crisis, the only power who can overrule
them is _Pietas_, personified by Statius for this express purpose (ll. 458,
465, 466). The struggle between Pity and Cruelty in Chaucer's poem is
parallel to the struggle between Pietas and the fury Tisiphone as told in
Statius. Pity is called _Herines quene_, or queen of the Furies, because
she alone is supposed to be able to control them. See my notes to ll. 57,
64, and 92.

The poem is extant in nine MSS. It is attributed to Chaucer by Shirley in
MS. 'Sh.,' and the internal evidence confirms this. There is a fairly good
copy in MS. F., on which my edition of it is based. There is, further, an
excellent _critical edition_ of this poem by Prof. Ten Brink, in _Essays on
Chaucer_, Part II, p. 170 (Chaucer Soc.); this I carefully consulted after
making my own copy, and I found that the differences were very slight. The
least valuable MSS. seem to be Ff., Ph., and Lt. Omitting these, the MSS.
may be divided into three sets, viz. A, Ba, and Bb, the two last going back
to a common source B. These are: (A.)--Sh. Ha.; (Ba.)--F. B.; (Bb.)--Tn.
Trin. See Koch, in Anglia, iv. b. 96.

In this poem we have the earliest example, in English, of the famous 7-line


Here we are on firm ground. The genuineness of this poem has never been
doubted. It is agreed that the word _Whyte_ in l. 948, which is given as
the name of the lady lately dead, is a translation of _Blanche_, and that
the reference is to the wife of the Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt), who
died Sept. 12, 1369, at the age of twenty-nine, her husband being then of
the same age. As the poem would naturally be written soon after this event,
the date must be near the end of 1369. In fact, John of Gaunt married again
in 1372, whereas he is represented in the poem as being inconsolable.
Chaucer's own testimony, in the Legend of Good Women, l. 418, is that he
made 'the deeth of Blaunche the Duchesse'; and again, in the Introduction
to the Man of Law's Prologue, l. 57, that 'In youthe he made of Ceys and
Alcion.' In 1369, Chaucer was already twenty-nine years of age (taking the
year of his birth to be 1340, not 1328), which is rather past the period of
youth; and the fact that he thus mentions 'Ceys and Alcion' as if it were
the name of an independent poem, renders it almost certain that such was
once the case. He clearly thought it too good to be lost, and so took the
opportunity of inserting it in a more ambitious effort. The original 'Ceys
and Alcion' evidently ended at l. 220; where it began, we cannot say, for
the poem was doubtless revised and somewhat altered. Ll. 215, 216 hint that
a part of it was suppressed. The two subjects were easily connected, the
sorrow of Alcyone for the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband being
the counterpart of the sorrow of the duke for the loss of his wife. The
poem of 'Ceys and Alcion' shews Chaucer under the influence of Ovid, just
as part of his Complaint to Pity was suggested by Statius; but in the later
part of the poem of the Book of the Duchesse we see him strongly influenced
by French authors, chiefly Guillaume de Machault and the authors of Le
Roman de la Rose. His familiarity with the latter poem (as pointed out in
the notes) is such as to prove that he had already been previously employed
in making his translation of that extremely lengthy work, and possibly
quotes lines from his own translation[259].

The relationship between the MSS. and Thynne's edition has been
investigated by Koch, in _Anglia_, vol. iv. Anzeiger, p. 95, and by Max
Lange, in his excellent dissertation entitled _Untersuchungen über
Chaucer's Boke of the Duchesse_, Halle, 1883. They both agree in
representing the scheme of relationship so as to give the following result:

               { [beta] ----   Thynne.
  [alpha] ---- {
               { [gamma] ---- { Tanner MS.
                              {              { Fairfax MS.
                              { [delta] ---- {
                                             { Bodley MS.

Here [alpha] represents a lost original MS., and [beta] and [gamma] are
lost MSS. derived from it. Thynne follows [beta]; whilst [gamma] is
followed by the Tanner MS. and a lost MS. [delta]. The Fairfax and Bodley
MSS., which are much alike, are copies of [delta]. The MS. [gamma] had lost
a leaf, containing ll. 31-96; hence the same omission occurs in the three
MSS. derived from it. However, a much later hand has filled in the gap in
MS. F, though it remains blank in the other two MSS. On the whole, the
authorities for this poem are almost unusually poor; I have, in general,
followed MS. F, but have carefully amended it where the other copies seemed
to give a better result. Lange gives a useful set of 'Konjecturen,' many of
which I have adopted. I have also adopted, thankfully, some suggestions
made by Koch and Ten Brink; others I decline, with thanks.

This poem is written in the common metre of four accents, which was already
in use before Chaucer's time, as in the poem of Havelok the Dane, Robert of
Brunne's Handling Synne, Hampole's Pricke of Conscience, &c. Chaucer only
used it once afterwards, viz. in his House of Fame. It is the metre
employed also in his translation (as far as we have it) of the French
_Roman de la Rose_.


Lydgate tells us that this poem is Chaucer's, referring to it as containing
the story of 'the broche which that Vulcanus At Thebes wrought,' &c.
Internal evidence clearly shews that it was written by the author of the
_Treatise on the Astrolabie_. In MS. Harl. 7333, Shirley gives it the title
'The broche of Thebes, as of the love of Mars and Venus.' Bale oddly refers
to this poem as _De Vulcani veru_, but _broche_ is here an ornament, not a
spit. With the exception of two lines and a half (ll. 13-15), the whole
poem is supposed to be sung by a bird, and upon St. Valentine's day. Such a
contrivance shews a certain lack of skill, and is an indication of a
comparatively early date. The poem begins in the ordinary 7-line stanza,
rimed _a b a b b c c_; but the Complaint itself is in 9-line stanzas, rimed
_a a b a a b b c c_, and exhibits a considerable advance in rhythmical
skill. This stanza, unique in Chaucer, was copied by Douglas (_Palace of
Honour_, part 3), and by Sir D. Lyndesay (_Prol. to Testament of Papyngo_).

At the end of the copy of this poem in MS. T., Shirley appends the
following note:--'Thus eondethe here this complaint, whiche some men sayne
was made by [i. e. with respect to] my lady of York, doughter to the kyng
of Spaygne, and my lord huntingdon, some tyme Duc of Excestre.' This
tradition may be correct, but the intrigue between them was discreditable
enough, and would have been better passed over in silence than celebrated
in a poem, in which Mars and Venus fitly represent them. In the heading to
the poem in the same MS., Shirley tells us further, that it was written to
please John of Gaunt. The heading is:--'Loo, yee louers, gladethe and
comfortethe you of thallyance etrayted[260] bytwene the hardy and furyous
Mars the god of armes and Venus the double [i. e. fickle] goddesse of loue;
made by Geffrey Chaucier, at the comandement of the reno_m_med and
excellent Prynce my lord the Duc Iohn of Lancastre.' The lady was John of
Gaunt's sister-in-law. John of Gaunt married, as his second wife, in 1372,
Constance, elder daughter of Pedro, king of Castile; whilst his brother
Edmund, afterwards duke of York, married Isabel, her sister. In Dugdale's
Baronage, ii. 154, we read that this Isabel, 'having been somewhat wanton
in her younger years, at length became a hearty penitent; and departing
this life in 1394, was buried in the Friers Preachers at Langele,' i. e.
King's Langley in Hertfordshire; cf. Chauncy's _Hertfordshire_, p. 455;
Camden's _Anglica_, p. 350. It is possible that Chaucer addressed his Envoy
to the Complaint of Venus to the same lady, as he calls her 'Princess.'

Mars is, accordingly, intended to represent John Holande, half-brother to
Richard II, Earl of Huntingdon, and afterwards Duke of Exeter. He actually
married John of Gaunt's daughter, Elizabeth, whose mother was the Blaunche
celebrated in the Book of the Duchess.

If this tradition be true, the date of the poem must be not very many years
after 1372, when the Princess Isabel came to England. We may date it,
conjecturally, about 1374. See further in Furnivall's _Trial Forewords_,
pp. 78-90. I may add that an attempt has been made to solve the problem of
the date of this poem by astronomy (see _Anglia_, ix. 582). It is said that
Mars and Venus were in conjunction on April 14, 1379. This is not wholly
satisfactory; for Chaucer seems to refer to the 12th of April as the time
of conjunction. If we accept this result, then the year was 1379. The date
1373-9 is near enough.

The poem is remarkable for its astronomical allusions, which are fully
explained in the notes. The story of Mars and Venus was doubtless taken
from Ovid, _Metam._ iv. 170-189. The story of the brooch of Thebes is from
Statius, ii. 265, &c.; see note to l. 245.

I shall here add a guess of mine which possibly throws some light on
Chaucer's reason for referring to the brooch of Thebes. It is somewhat
curious that the Princess Isabel, in a will made twelve years before her
death, and dated Dec. 6, 1382, left, amongst other legacies, 'to the Duke
of Lancaster, a _Tablet of Jasper which the King of Armonie gave her_'; see
Furnivall's _Trial Forewords_, p. 82. Here _Armonie_ means, of course,
Armenia; but it is also suggestive of _Harmonia_, the name of the first
owner of the brooch of Thebes. It seems just possible that the brooch of
Thebes was intended to refer to this tablet of jasper, which was doubtless
of considerable value and may have been talked about as being a curiosity.

MSS. F. Tn. and Lt. are much alike; the rest vary. I follow F. mainly, in
constructing the text.


This poem is undoubtedly genuine; both Chaucer and Lydgate mention it. It
is remarkable as being the first of the Minor Poems which exhibits the
influence upon Chaucer of Italian literature, and was therefore probably
written somewhat later than the Complaint of Mars. It is also the first of
the Minor Poems in which touches of true humour occur; see ll. 498-500,
508, 514-6, 563-575, 589-616. Dr. Furnivall (_Trial Forewords_, p. 53)
notes that the MSS. fall into two principal groups; in the first he places
Gg., Trin., Cx., Harl., O., the former part of Ff., (part of) Ar., and the
fragments in Hh. and Laud 416; in the second he places F., Tn., D., and the
latter part of Ff. Lt. also belongs to the second group. See further in
_Anglia_, vol. iv. Anzeiger, p. 97. The whole poem, except the Roundel in
ll. 680-692, is in Chaucer's favourite 7-line stanza, often called the
ballad-stanza, or simply _balade_ in the MSS.

The poem itself may be roughly divided into four parts. The first part, ll.
1-84, is mainly occupied with an epitome of the general contents of
Cicero's Somnium Scipionis. The second part, ll. 85-175, shews several
instances of the influence of Dante, though the stanza containing ll.
99-105 is translated from Claudian. The third part, ll. 176-294, is almost
wholly translated or imitated from Boccaccio's Teseide. And the fourth
part, ll. 295 to the end, is occupied with the real subject of the poem,
the main idea being taken, as Chaucer himself tells us, from Alanus de
Insulis. The passages relating to the _Somnium Scipionis_ are duly pointed
out in the notes; and so are the references to Dante and Claudian. The
history of the third and fourth parts requires further explanation.

We have already seen that Chaucer himself tells us, in the Prol. to the
Legend, 420, that he made--'al the love of Palamon and Arcyte Of Thebes,
thogh the story is knowen lyte.' (N.B. This does not mean that _Chaucer's_
version of the story was 'little known,' but that _Boccaccio_ speaks of the
story as being little known--'che Latino autor non par ne dica'; see note
to Anelida, l. 8.) Now, in the first note on _Anelida and Arcite_, it is
explained how this story of Palamon and Arcite was necessarily translated,
more or less closely, from Boccaccio's Teseide, and was doubtless written
in the 7-line stanza; also that fragments of it are preserved to us (1) in
sixteen stanzas of the Parliament of Foules, (2) in the first ten stanzas
of Anelida, and (3) in three stanzas of Troilus. At a later period, the
whole poem was re-written in a different metre, and now forms the Knightes
Tale. The sixteen stanzas here referred to begin at l. 183 (the previous
stanza being also imitated from a different part of the _Teseide_, bk. xi.
st. 24), and end at l. 294. Chaucer has somewhat altered the order; see
note to l. 183. I here quote, from Furnivall's _Trial Forewords_, pp.
60-66, a translation by Mr. W. M. Rossetti, of Boccaccio's _Teseide_, bk.
vii. stanzas 51-66; and I give, beneath it, the Italian text, from an
edition published at Milan in 1819. This passage can be compared with
Chaucer's imitation of it at the reader's leisure.

I note, beforehand, that, in the first line of this translation, the word
_whom_ refers to _Vaghezza_, i. e. Grace, Allurement; whilst _she_ is the
prayer of Palemo, personified.

_Tes._ vii. stanzas 51-60; cf. _Parl. Foules_, ll. 183-259.

 'With whom going forward, she saw that [i. e. Mount Cithaeron]
  In every view suave and charming;
  In guise of a garden bosky and beautiful,
  And greenest, full of plants,
  Of fresh grass, and every new flower;
  And therein rose fountains living and clear;
  And, among the other plants it abounded in,
  Myrtle seemed to her more than other.
      Colla quale oltre andando vide quello
      Per ogni vista soave ed ameno,
      A guisa d'un giardin fronzuto e bello
      E di piante verdissimo ripieno,
      D'erbetta fresca e d'ogni fior novello;
      E fonti vive e chiare vi surgieno,
      E in fra l'altre piante, onde abbondava,
      Mortine più che altro le sembrava.

 'Here she heard amid the branches sweetly                P. F. 190.
  Birds singing of almost all kinds:
  Upon which [branches] also in like wise
  She saw them with delight making their nests.
  Next among the fresh shadows quickly
  She saw rabbits go hither and thither,
  And timid deer and fawns,
  And many other dearest little beasts.

      Quivi sentì pe' rami dolcemente
      Quasi d'ogni maniera ucce' cantare,
      Sopra de' quali ancor similemente
      Gli vide con diletto i nidi a fare:
      Poscia fra l'ombre fresche prestamente
      Vidi conigli in qua e in là andare,
      E timidenti cervi e cavrioli,
      E molti altri carissimi bestiuoli.

 'In like wise here every instrument                      P. F. 197.
  She seemed to hear, and delightful chaunt:
  Wherefore passing with pace not slow,
  And looking about, somewhat within herself suspended
  At the lofty place and beautiful adornment
  She saw it replete in almost every corner
  With spiritlings which, flying here and there,
  Went to their bourne. Which she looking at,

      Similemente quivi ogni stromento
      Le parve udire e dilettoso canto;
      Onde passando con passo non lento,
      E rimirando, in sè sospesa alquanto
      Dell' alto loco e del bell' ornamento;
      Ripieno il vide quasi in ogni canto
      Di spirite', che qua e là volando
      Gieno a lor posta; a' quali essa guardando,

 'Among the bushes beside a fountain                      P. F. 211.
  Saw Cupid forging arrows--
  He having the bow set down by his feet;
  Which [arrows when] selected his daughter Voluptas
  Tempered in the waves. And settled down
  With them was Ease [_Ozio_, Otium]; whom she saw
  That he, with Memory, steeled his darts
  With the steel that she [Voluptas] first tempered.

      Tra gli albuscelli ad una fonta allato
      Vide Cupido a fabbricar saette,
      Avendo egli a' suoi piè l'arco posato,
      Le qua' sua figlia Voluttade elette
      Nell' onde temperava, ed assettato
      Con lor s'era Ozio, il quale ella vedette,
      Che con Memoria l'aste sue ferrava
      De' ferri ch' ella prima temperava.

 'And then she saw in that pass Grace [_Leggiadria_],     P. F. 218.
  With Adorning [_Adornezza_] and Affability,
  And the wholly estrayed Courtesy;
  And she saw the Arts that have power
  To make others perforce do folly,
  In their aspect much disfigured.
  The Vain Delight of our form
  She saw standing alone with Gentilesse.

      E poi vide in quel passo Leggiadria
      Con Adornezza ed Affabilitate,
      E la ismarrita in tutto Cortesia,
      E vide l'Arti ch' hanno potestate
      Di fare altrui a forza far follia,
      Nel loro aspetto molto isfigurate:
      Delia immagine nostra il van Diletto
      Con Gentilezza vide star soletto.

 'Then she saw Beauty pass her by,                        P. F. 225.
  Without any ornament, gazing on herself;
  And with her she saw Attraction [_Piacevolezza_] go,--
  She [the prayer] commending to herself both one and other.
  With them she saw standing Youth,
  Lively and adorned, making great feast:
  And on the other side she saw madcap Audacity
  Going along with Glozings and Pimps.

      Poi vide appresso a sè passar Bellezza
      Sanz' ornamento alcun sè riguardando,
      E vide gir con lei Piacevolezza,
      E l'una e l'altra seco commendando,
      Vide con loro starsi Giovinezza
      Destra ed adorna, molto festeggiando:
      E d'altra parte vide il folle Ardire
      Con Lusinghe e Ruffiani insieme gire.

 'In mid the place, on lofty columns,                     P. F. 232.
  She saw a temple of copper; round which
  She saw youths dancing and women--
  This one of them beautiful, and that one in fine raiment,
  Ungirdled, barefoot, only in their hair and gowns,
  Who spent the day in this alone.
  Then over the temple she saw doves hover
  And settle and coo.

      In mezzo il loco sur alte colonne
      Di rame vide un tempio, al qual d'intorno
      Danzanti giovinetti vide e donne,
      Qual d'esse bella, e qual d'abito adorno,
      Iscinte, iscalze, in capei soli e'n gonne,
      Che in questo solo disponeano il giorno:
      Poi sopra il tempio vide volitare
      E posarsi colombe e mormorare.

 'And near to the entry of the temple                     P. F. 239.
  She saw that there sat quietly
  My lady Peace, who a curtain
  Moved lightly before the door.
  Next her, very subdued in aspect,
  Sat Patience discreetly,
  Pallid in look; and on all sides
  Around her she saw artful Promises.

      E all'entrata del tempio vicina
      Vide che si sedava pianamente
      Monna Pace, la quale una cortina
      Movea innanzi alla porta lievemente;
      Appresso a lei in vista assai tapina
      Pacienza sedea discretamente;
      Pallida nell' aspetto, e d'ogni parte
      Intorno a lei vide Promesse ad arte.

 'Then entering the temple, of Sighs                      P. F. 246.
  She felt there an earthquake, which whirled
  All fiery with hot desires.
  This lit up all the altars
  With new flames born of pangs;
  Each of which dripped with tears
  Produced by a woman cruel and fell
  Whom she there saw, called Jealousy

      Poi dentro al tempio entrata, di sospiri
      Vi senti un terremoto, che girava
      Focoso tutto di caldi disiri:
      Questi gli altari tutti alluminava
      Di nuove fiamme nate di martiri,
      De' qua' ciascun di lagrime grondava,
      Mosse da una donna cruda e ria,
      Che vide lì, chiamata Gelosia:

 'And in that [temple] she saw Priapus hold               P. F. 253.
  The highest place--in habit just such as
  Whoever would at night see him
  Could [do] when, braying, the animal
  Dullest of all awoke Vesta, who to his mind
  Was not a little--towards whom he in like guise
  Went: and likewise throughout the great temple
  She saw many garlands of diverse flowers.'

      Ed in quel vide Priapo tenere
      Più sommo loco, in abito tal quale
      Chiunque il volle la notte vedere
      Potè, quando ragghiando l'animale
      Più pigro destò Vesta, che in calere
      Non poco gli era, in vêr di cui cotale
      Andava; e simil per lo tempio grande
      Di fior diversi assai vide grillande.

      _Tes._ vii. 61, 62; cf. _P. F._ 281-294.

 'Here many bows of the Chorus of Diana                   P. F. 281.
  She saw hung up and broken; among which was
  That of Callisto, become the Arctic
  Bear. The apples were there of haughty
  Atalanta, who was sovereign in racing;
  And also the arms of that other proud one
  Who brought forth Parthenopaeus,
  Grandson to the Calydonian King Oeneus.

      Quivi molti archi a' Cori di Diana
      Vide appiccati e rotti, in tra quali era
      Quel di Callisto fatta tramontana
      Orsa; le pome v'eran della fiera
      Atalanta che 'n correr fu sovrana;
      Ed ancor l'armi di quell' altra altiera
      Che partorì il bel Partenopeo
      Nipote al calidonio Re Eneo.

 'She saw there histories painted all about;              P. F. 288.
  Among which with finer work
  Of the spouse of Ninus she there
  Saw all the doings distinguished; and at foot of the mulberry-tree
  Pyramus and Thisbe, and the mulberries already distained;
  And she saw among these the great Hercules
  In the lap of Iole, and woeful Biblis
  Going piteous, soliciting Caunus.'

      Videvi storie per tutto dipinte,
      In tra le qua' con più alto lavoro
      Della sposa di Nino ivi distinte
      L'opere tutte vide; e a piè del moro
      Piramo e Tisbe, e già le gelse tinte:
      E'l grand' Ercole vide tra costoro
      In grembo a Jole, e Bibli dolorosa
      Andar pregando Cauno pietosa.

      _Tes._ vii. 63-66; cf. _P. F._ 260-280.

 'But, as she saw not Venus, it was told her              P. F. 260.
  (Nor knew she by whom)--"In secreter
  Part of the temple stays she delighting.
  If thou wantest her, through that door quietly
  Enter." Wherefore she, without further demur,
  Meek of manner as she was,
  Approached thither to enter within,
  And do the embassy to her committed.

      Ma non vedendo Vener, le fu detto,
      Nè conobbe da cui: 'In più sagreta
      Parte del tempio stassi ella a diletto:
      Se tu la vuoi, per quella porta, cheta
      Te n'entra': ond' essa, sanza altro rispetto,
      In abito qual era mansueta,
      Là si appressò per entrar dentro ad essa,
      E l'ambasciata fare a lei commessa.

 'But there she, at her first coming,                     P. F. 261.
  Found Riches guarding the portal--
  Who seemed to her much to be reverenced:
  And, being by her allowed to enter there,
  The place was dark to her at first going.
  But afterwards, by staying, a little light
  She gained there; and saw her lying naked
  On a great bed very fair to see.

      Ma essa lì nel primo suo venire
      Trovò Richezza la porta guardare;
      La qual le parve assai da riverire;
      E lasciata da lei quiv'entro entrare,
      Oscuro le fu il loco al primo gire;
      Ma poca luce poscia nello stare
      Lì prese, e vide lei nuda giacere
      Sopra un gran letto assai bella a vedere.

 'But she had hair of gold, and shining                   P. F. 267.
  Round her head without any tress.
  Her face was such that most people
  Have in comparison no beauty at all.
  The arms, breast, and outstanding apples,
  Were all seen; and every other part with a
  Texture so thin was covered
  That it shewed forth almost as [if] naked.

      Ma avie d'oro i crini e rilucenti
      Intorno al capo sanza treccia alcuna:
      Il suo viso era tal che le più genti
      Hanno a rispetto bellezza nissuna:
      Le braccia, il petto e le poma eminenti
      Si vedien tutte, e ogni altra parte d'una
      Testa tanto sottil si ricopria,
      Che quasimente nuda comparia.

 'The neck was fragrant with full a thousand odours.      P. F. 274.
  At one of her sides Bacchus was seated,
  At the other Ceres with her savours.
  And she in her hands held the apple,
  Delighting herself, which, to her sisters
  Preferred, she won in the Idean vale.
  And, having seen all this, she [the prayer] made her request,
  Which was conceded without denial.'

      Olíva il collo ben di mille odori:
      Dall' un de' lati Bacco le sedea,
      Dall' altro Ceres cogli suoi savori:
      Ed essa il pomo per le man tenea,
      Sè dilettando, il quale alle sorori
      Prelata vinse nella valle Idea:
      E tutto ciò veduto posse il prego,
      Il qual fu conceduto senza niego.

At l. 298 we are introduced to a queen, who in l. 303 is said to be the
noble goddess Nature. The general idea is taken from Aleyn's _Pleynt of
Kynde_ (l. 316), i. e. from the _Planctus Naturae_ of Alanus de Insulis;
see note to l. 298 of the poem. I here quote the most essential passage
from the Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, ed. T. Wright, ii. 437. It describes
the garment worn by the goddess Nature, on which various birds were
represented. The phrase _animalium_ _concilium_ may have suggested the name
given by Chaucer to our poem. But see the remark on p. 75, l. 21.

    'Haec autem [vestis] nimis subtilizata, subterfugiens oculorum
    indaginem, ad tantam materiae tenuitatem advenerat, ut ejus aerisque
    eandem crederes esse naturam, in qua, prout oculis pictura
    imaginabatur, _animalium_ celebratur _concilium_. Illic _aquila_, primo
    juvenem, secundo senem, induens, tertio iterum reciprocata priorem, in
    Adonidem revertebatur a Nestore. Illic _ancipiter_ (_sic_), civitatis
    praefectus aeriae, violenta tyrannide a subditis redditus exposcebat.
    Illic _milvus_, venatoris induens personam, venatione furtiva larvam
    gerebat ancipitris. Illic _falco_ in _ardeam_ bellum excitabat civile,
    non tamen aequali lance divisum. Non enim illud pugnae debet
    appellatione censeri, ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum. Illic
    _struthio_, vita seculari postposita, vitam solitariam agens, quasi
    heremita factus, desertarum solitudines incolebat. Illic _olor_, sui
    funeris praeco, mellitae citherizationis organo vitae prophetabat
    apocopam. Illic in _pavone_ tantum pulcritudinis compluit Natura
    thesaurum, ut eam postea crederes mendicasse. Illic _phoenix_, in se
    mortuus, redivivus in alio, quodam Naturae miraculo, se sua morte a
    mortuis suscitabat. Illic _avis concordiae_ (_ciconia_) prolem
    decimando Naturae persolvebat tributum. Illic _passeres_ in atomum
    pygmeae humilitatis relegati degebant, _grus_ ex opposito in giganteae
    quantitatis evadebat excessum.

    'Illic _phasianus_, natalis insulae perpessus angustias, principum
    futurus deliciae, nostros evolabat in orbes. Illic _gallus_, tanquam
    vulgaris astrologus, suae vocis horologio horarum loquebatur
    discrimina. Illic _gallus silvestris_, privatioris galli deridens
    desidiam, peregre proficiscens, nemorales peragrabat provincias. Illic
    _bubo_, propheta miseriae, psalmodias funereae lamentationis
    praecinebat. Illic _noctua_ tantae deformitatis sterquilinio
    sordescebat, ut in ejus formatione Naturam crederes fuisse somnolentam.
    Illic _cornix_, ventura prognosticans, nugatorio concitabatur garritu.
    Illic _pica_, dubio picturata colore, curam logices perennebat
    insomnem. Illic _monedula_, latrocinio laudabili reculas thesaurizans,
    innatae avaritiae argumenta monstrabat. Illic _columba_, dulci malo
    inebriata Diones, laborabat Cypridis in palaestra. Illic _corvus_,
    zelotypiae abhorrens dedecus, suos foetus non sua esse pignora
    fatebatur, usque dum comperto nigri argumento coloris, hoc quasi secum
    disputans comprobat. Illic _perdix_ nunc aeriae potestatis insultus,
    nunc venatorum sophismata, nunc canum latratus propheticos abhorrebat.
    Illic _anas_ cum _ansere_, sub eodem jure vivendi, hiemabat in patria
    fluviali. Illic _turtur_, suo viduata consorte, amorem epilogare
    dedignans, in altero bigamiae refutabat solatia. Illic _psittacus_ cum
    sui gutturis incude vocis monetam fabricabat humanae. Illic
    _coturnicem_, figurae draconis ignorantem fallaciam, imaginariae vocis
    decipiebant sophismata. Illic _picus_, propriae architectus domunculae,
    sui rostri dolabro clausulam fabricabat in ilice. Illic _curruca_,
    novercam exuens, materno pietatis ubere alienam cuculi prolem adoptabat
    in filium; quae tamen capitali praemiata stipendio, privignum
    agnoscens, filium ignorabat. Illic _hirundo_, a sua peregrinatione
    reversa, sub trabe nidi lutabat hospitium. Illic _philomena_,
    deflorationis querelam reintegrans, harmoniaca tympanizans dulcedine,
    puritatis dedecus excusabat. Illic _alauda_, quasi nobilis citharista,
    non studii artificio, sed Naturae magisterio, musicae praedocta
    scientiam, citharam praesentabat in ore.... Haec animalia, quamvis
    illic quasi allegorice viverent, ibi tamen esse videbantur ad

As to the date of this poem, Ten Brink (_Studien_, p. 127) shews that it
must have been written later than 1373; and further, that it was probably
written earlier than Troilus, which seems to have been finished in 1383. It
may therefore have been written in 1382, in which case it may very well
refer to the betrothal (in 1381) of King Richard II to Queen Anne of
Bohemia. See, on this subject, Dr. Koch's discussion of the question in
Essays on Chaucer, p. 407, published by the Chaucer Society. Prof. Ward
(who follows Koch) in his Life of Chaucer, p. 86, says:--'Anne of Bohemia,
daughter of the great Emperor Charles IV., and sister of King Wenceslas,
had been successively betrothed to a Bavarian prince and to a Margrave of
Meissen, before--after negotiations which, according to Froissart, lasted a
year[261]--her hand was given to young King Richard II. of England. This
sufficiently explains the general scope of the _Assembly of Fowls_, an
allegorical poem written on or about St. Valentine's Day, 1381[262]--eleven
months or nearly a year after which date the marriage took place[263].'

I here note that Lydgate's _Flour of Curtesie_ is a palpable imitation of
the _Parliament of Foules_; so also is the earlier part of his _Complaint
of the Black Knight_.

On the other hand, it is interesting to find, in the Poésies de Marie de
France, ed. Roquefort, Paris, 1820, that Fable 22 (vol. i. p. 130) is
entitled:--'Li parlemens des Oiseax por faire Roi.' In this fable, the
Birds reject the Cuckoo, and choose the Eagle as king.


We may fairly say that this poem is attributed to Chaucer by Shirley, since
in MS. Harl. 78 it is copied out by him as if it were a continuation of the
Complaint to Pity, and the pages are, throughout, headed with the
words--'The Balade of Pytee. By Chauciers.' Stowe implies that he had seen
more than one MS. copy of this poem, and says that 'these verses were
compiled by Geffray Chauser,' for which he may have found authority in the
MSS.[264] Moreover, the internal evidence settles the matter. It is evident
that we have here a succession of metrical experiments, the last of which
exhibits a ten-line stanza resembling the nine-line stanza of his Anelida;
in fact, we here have that Complaint in a crude form, which was afterwards
elaborated; see the references, in the Notes, to the corresponding passages
in that poem. But a very great and unique interest is attached to lines 16
to 43. For here we have the _sole_ example, in English literature of that
period, of the use of _terza rima_, obviously copied from Dante; and
Chaucer was the only writer who then had a real acquaintance with that
author. I know of no other example of the use of this metre before the time
of Lord Surrey and Sir Thomas Wiat, when Englishmen once more sought
acquaintance with Italian poetry. Consequently, we have here the pleasure
of seeing how Chaucer handled Dante's metre; and the two fragments here
preserved shew that he might have handled it quite successfully if he had
persevered in doing so.

It is to be regretted that Shirley's spelling is so indifferent; he was
rather an amateur than a professional scribe. Some of his peculiarities may
be noticed, as they occur not only here, but also in the two last pieces,
nos. XXII. and XXIII. He constantly adds a final _e_ in the wrong place,
producing such forms _fallethe_, _howe_, _frome_, and the like, and drops
it where it is necessary, as in _hert_ (for _herte_). He is fond of _eo_
for _ee_ or long _e_, as in _beo_, _neodethe_. He writes _ellas_ for
_allas_; also _e_ in place of the prefix _y-_, as in _eknytte_ for
_y-knit_. This last peculiarity is extremely uncommon. I have removed the
odd effect which these vagaries produce, and I adopt the ordinary spelling
of MSS. that resemble in type the Ellesmere MS. of the Canterbury Tales.

This piece exhibits three distinct metres, viz. the 7-line stanza, terza
rima, and the 10-line stanza. Of the last, which is extremely rare, we have
here the earliest example. Lines 56 and 59 are lost, and some others are


The genuineness of this poem is obvious enough, and is vouched for both by
Lydgate and Shirley, as shewn above. It is further discussed in the Notes.
I may add that Lydgate incidentally refers to it in his _Complaint of the
Black Knight_, l. 379:--'Of Thebes eke the false Arcite.' Much later
allusions are the following:--

 'There was also Annelida the queene,
  Upon Arcite how sore she did complaine';
                               _Assembly of Ladies_, l. 465.

      ...... 'and the weimenting
  Of her Annelida, true as turtle-dove
  To Arcite fals.'
                                    _Court of Love_, l. 233.

The first three stanzas are from Boccaccio's _Teseide_, as shewn in the
Notes; so also are stanzas 8, 9, and 10. Stanzas 4-7 are partly from
Statius. The origin of ll. 71-210 is at present unknown. It is difficult to
date this poem, but it must be placed after 1373, because of its quotations
from the _Teseide_, or rather from Chaucer's own _Palamon and Arcite_. The
mention of 'the quene of Ermony' in l. 72 suggests that Chaucer's thoughts
may have been turned towards Armenia by the curious fact that, in 1384, the
King of Armenia came to England about Christmas time, stayed two months,
and was hospitably entertained by King Richard at Eltham; see Fabyan's
_Chronicles_, ed. Ellis, p. 532. At an earlier time, viz. in 1362,
Walsingham says that some knights of Armenia appeared at a tournament in
Smithfield. In the Transactions of the Cambridge Philological Society, May
13, 1886, there is a short paper by Prof. Cowell, from which we learn that
Mr. Bradshaw believed the name of _Anelida_ to be identical 'with Anáhita
([Greek: Anaitis]), the ancient goddess of Persia and Armenia.... He
supposed that Chaucer got the name _Anelida_ from a misreading of the name
_Anaetidem_ or _Anaetida_ in some Latin MS., the _t_ being mistaken for
_l_.' We must remember that _Creseide_ represents a Greek _accusative_ form
[Greek: Chrusêida], of which the gen. [Greek: Chrusêidos] occurs in Homer,
_Il._ i. 111; and perhaps the form _Dalida_ (for Dalilah) in the Septuagint
is also due to association with Greek accusatives in [Greek: -ida]. The
genitive _Anaetidos_ occurs in Pliny, xxxiii. 4; in Holland's translation
of Pliny, ii. 470, she appears as 'the goddesse _Diana_ syrnamed
_Anaitis_.' It may be as well to explain to those who are unaccustomed to
MSS. of the fourteenth century, that it was then usual to write _e_ in
place of _ae_ or _æ_, so that the name would usually be written, in the
accusative case, _Anetida_. This suggests that _Anelida_ should be spelt
with but one _n_; and such is the practice of all the better MSS.

It remains to be added that one source of the part of the poem called the
_Complaint_ (ll. 211-350) is the piece printed in this volume as no. VI.
That piece is, in fact, a kind of exercise in metrical experiments, and
exhibits specimens of a 10-line stanza, resembling the nine-line stanza of
this Complaint. Chaucer seems to have elaborated this into a longer
Complaint, with additional varieties in the metre; and then to have written
the preceding story by way of introduction. One line (vi. 50) is repeated
without alteration (vii. 237); another (vi. 35) is only altered in the
first and last words (vii. 222). Other resemblances are pointed out in the

It is also worth while to notice how the character of the speaking falcon
in the second part of the Squire's Tale is precisely that of Anelida. The
parallel lines are pointed out in the Notes. The principal MSS. may be thus
grouped: Aa.--F. B. Ab.--Tn. D. Lt. B.--Harl. Cx. Here A and B are two
groups, of which the former is subdivided into A_a_ and A_b._ See Koch, in
_Anglia_, iv. b. 102.


This is evidently a genuine poem, written by the author of the translation
of Boethius and of the story of Troilus.


First printed in 1866, in Morris's Chaucer, from a transcript made by Mr.
Bradshaw, who pointed out its genuineness. It is ascribed to Chaucer in
both MSS., and belongs, in fact, to his translation of Boethius, though
probably written at a later date. In MS. I. the poem is headed:--'Chawc_er_
vp-on this fyfte met_ur_ of the second book.' In MS. Hh., the colophon is:
'Finit Etas prima: Chaucers.' Dr. Koch thinks that the five poems here
numbered IX. X. XIII-XV. 'form a cyclus, as it were, being free
transcriptions of different passages in Boethius' _Consolatio
Philosophiae_.' There is, in fact, a probability that these were all
written at about the same period, and that rather a late one, some years
after the prose translation of Boethius had been completed; and a probable
date for this completion is somewhere about 1380.

Both MS. copies are from the same source, as both of them omit the same
line, viz. l. 56; which I have had to supply by conjecture. Neither of the
MSS. are well spelt, nor are they very satisfactory. The mistake in riming
l. 47 with l. 43 instead of l. 45 may very well have been due to an
oversight on the part of the poet himself. But the poem is a beautiful one,
and admirably expressed; and its inclusion among the Minor Poems is a
considerable gain.

Dr. Furnivall has printed the Latin text of Boethius, lib. ii. met. 5, from
MS. I., as well as Chaucer's prose version of the same, for the sake of
comparison with the text of the poem. The likeness hardly extends beyond
the first four stanzas. I here transcribe that part of the prose version
which is parallel to the poem, omitting a few sentences which do not appear
there at all; for the complete text, see vol. ii.

'Blisful was the first age of men. They helden hem apayed with the metes
that the trewe feldes broughten furthe. They ne distroyede nor deceivede
not hem-self with outrage. They weren wont lightly to slaken hir hunger at
even with acornes of okes. [_Stanza 2._] They ne coude nat medly[265] the
yifte of Bachus to the clere hony; that is to seyn, they coude make no
piment nor clarree. [_Stanza 3._] ... they coude nat deyen whyte
fleeses[266] of Serien contree with the blode of a maner shelfisshe that
men finden in Tyrie, with whiche blode men deyen purpur. [_Stanza 6._] They
slepen hoolsum slepes upon the gras, and dronken of the renninge wateres
[_cf._ l. 8]; and layen under the shadwes of the heye pyn-trees. [_Stanza
3, continued._] Ne no gest ne no straungere ne carf yit the heye see with
ores or with shippes; ne they ne hadde seyn yit none newe strondes, to
leden marchaundyse in-to dyverse contrees. Tho weren the cruel clariouns
ful hust[267] and ful stille.... [_Stanza 4._] For wherto or whiche
woodnesse of enemys wolde first moeven armes, whan they seyen cruel
woundes, ne none medes[268] be of blood y-shad[269]?... Allas! what was he
that first dalf[270] up the gobetes[271] or the weightes of gold covered
under erthe, and the precious stones that wolden han ben hid? He dalf up
precious perils; ... for the preciousnesse of swiche thinge, hath many man
ben in peril.'

The metre is the same as that of the ABC.

§ 27. X. FORTUNE.

Attributed to Chaucer by Shirley in MSS. A. and T.; also marked as
Chaucer's in MSS. F. and I. In MS. I., this poem and the preceding are
actually introduced into Chaucer's translation of Boethius, between the
fifth metre and the sixth prose of the second book, as has been already
said. The metre is the same as that of the ABC and The Former Age, but the
same rimes run through three stanzas. The Envoy forms a 7-line stanza, but
has only two rimes; the formula is _ababbab_. For further remarks, see the


The unique copy of this poem is in MS. P[272]. It is the last poem in the
MS., and is in excellent company, as it immediately follows several other
of Chaucer's genuine poems[273]. This is probably why Bp. Percy attributed
it to Chaucer, who himself tells us that he wrote 'balades, _roundels_,
virelayes.' It is significant that Mätzner, in his _Altenglische
Sprachproben_, i. 347, chose this poem alone as a specimen of the Minor
Poems. It is, in fact, most happily expressed, and the internal evidence
places its authenticity beyond question. The three roundels express three
'movements,' in the poet's usual manner; and his mastery of metre is shewn
in the use of the same rime in _-en-e_ in the first and third roundels,
requiring no less than _ten_ different words for the purpose; whilst in the
second roundel the corresponding lines end in _-eyn-e_, producing much the
same effect, if (as is probable) the old sounds of _e_ and _ey_ were not
very different. We at once recognise the Chaucerian phrases _I do no fors_
(see Cant. Ta. D 1234, 1512), and _I counte him not a bene_ (see Troil. v.

Very characteristic is the use of the dissyllabic word _sen-e_ (l. 10),
which is an adjective, and means 'manifest,' from the A. S. _geséne_,
(_gesýne_), and not the past participle, which is _y-seen_. Chaucer rimes
it with _clen-e_ (Prol. to C. T. 134), and with _gren-e_ (Kn. Tale, A
2298). The phrase _though he sterve for the peyne_ (l. 23) reminds us of
_for to dyen in the peyne_ (Kn. Ta. A 1133).

But the most curious thing about this poem is the incidental testimony of
Lydgate, in his Ballade in Commendacion of our Ladie; see poem no. 26
above, discussed at p. 38. I here quote st. 22 in full, from ed. 1561, fol.

 'Where might I loue euer better beset
  Then in this Lilie, likyng to beholde?
  That lace of loue, the bonde so well thou knit,
  That I maie see thee, or myne harte colde,
  And or I passe out of my daies olde,
  Tofore [thee] syngyng euermore vtterly--
  _Your iyen twoo woll slea me sodainly_.'

I ought to add that this poem is the only one which I have admitted into
the set of Minor Poems (nos. I-XX) with incomplete external evidence. If it
is not Chaucer's, it is by some one who contrived to surpass him in his own
style. And this is sufficient excuse for its appearance here.

Moreover, Lydgate's testimony _is_ external evidence, in a high degree.
Even the allusion in l. 27 to the Roman de la Rose points in the same
direction; and so does Chaucer's statement that he wrote roundels.
Excepting that in the Parl. of Foules, ll. 680-692, and the three here
given, no roundels of his have ever been found[274].


This poem was discovered by me in the Bodleian Library on the 2nd of April,
1891. It is written on a fly-leaf at the end of MS. Rawlinson Poet. 163,
which also contains a copy of Chaucer's Troilus. At the end of the
'Troilus' is the colophon: 'Here endith the book of Troylus and of
Cresseyde.' This colophon is preceded by 'Tregentyll,' and followed by
'Chaucer.' On the next leaf (no. 114) is the Balade, without any title, at
the foot of which is 'Tregentil'----'Chaucer,' the two names being written
at a considerable distance apart. I believe 'Tregentil' to represent the
name of the scribe[275]. In any case, 'Chaucer' represents the name of the
author. It is a happy specimen of his humour.

§ 30. XIII. TRUTH.

This famous poem is attributed to Chaucer in MS. F., also (thrice) by
Shirley, who in one of the copies in MS. T. (in which it occurs _twice_)
calls it a 'Balade that Chaucier made on his deeth-bedde'; which is
probably a mere bad guess[276]. The MSS. may be divided into two groups;
the four best are in the first group, viz. At., E., Gg., Ct., and the rest
(mostly) in the second group. Those of the first group have the readings
_Tempest_ (8), _Know thy contree_ (19), and _Hold the hye wey_ (20); whilst
the rest have, in the same places, _Peyne_ (8), _Look up on hy_ (19), and
_Weyve thy lust_ (20). It is remarkable that the Envoy occurs in MS. At.
_only_. It may have been suppressed owing to a misunderstanding of the word
_vache_ (cow), the true sense of which is a little obscure. The reference
is to Boethius, bk. v. met. 5, where it is explained that quadrupeds _look
down_ upon the earth, whilst man alone _looks up_ towards heaven; cf. _lok
up_ in l. 19 of the poem. The sense is therefore, that we should cease to
look down, and learn to look up like true men; 'only the linage of man,'
says Chaucer, in his translation of Boethius, 'heveth heyeste his heye
heved[277] ... this figure amonesteth[278] thee, that axest the hevene with
thy righte visage, and hast areysed thy fore-heved to beren up a-heigh thy
corage, so that thy thoght ne be nat y-hevied[279] ne put lowe under fote.'


It is curious that this Balade not only occurs as an independent poem, as
in MSS. T., Harl., Ct., and others, but is also quoted bodily in a poem by
Henry Scogan in MS. A. It is attributed to Chaucer by Shirley in MSS. T.
and Harl.; and still more satisfactory is the account given of it by
Scogan. The title of Scogan's poem is:--'A moral balade made by Henry
Scogan squyer. Here folowethe nexst a moral balade to my lorde the Prince,
to my lord of Clarence, to my lord of Bedford, and to my lorde of
Gloucestre; by Henry Scogan, at a souper of feorthe merchande (_sic_) in
the vyntre in London, at the hous of Lowys Iohan.' It is printed in all the
old editions of Chaucer; see poem no. 33, p. 32. Scogan tells us that he
was 'fader,' i. e. tutor, to the four sons of Henry IV.
above-mentioned[280]. His ballad is in twenty-one 8-line stanzas, and he
inserts Chaucer's _Gentilesse_, distinguished by being in 7-line stanzas,
between the 13th and 14th stanzas of his own work. He refers to Chaucer in
the 9th stanza thus (in MS. A.):--

 'My maistre Chaucier, God his soule have,
  That in his langage was so curyous,
  He saide that the fader, nowe dede and grave,
  Beqwathe no-thing his vertue with his hous
  Un-to his sone.'

This is a reference to ll. 16, 17 of Chaucer's poem. Again, in his 13th
stanza, he says:--

 'By auncetrye thus may yee no-thing clayme,
  As that my maistre Chaucier dothe expresse,
  But temporell thing, that man may hurte and mayme;
  Thane is gode stocke of vertuous noblesse;
  And, sithe that he is lord of blessednesse
  That made us alle, and for mankynde that dyed,
  Folowe his vertue with full besynesse;
  And of this thinge herke howe my maistre seyde.'

He here refers to lines 15-17, and lines 1-4 of Chaucer's poem; and then
proceeds to quote it in full. Having done so, he adds:--

 'Loo, here this noble poete of Brettayne
  Howe hyely he, in vertuouse sentence,
  The losse [MS. lesse] in youthe of vertue can compleyne.'

Scogan's advice is all good; and, though he accuses himself of having
misspent his youth, this may very well mean no more than such an expression
means in the mouth of a good man. He is doubtless the very person to whom
Chaucer's 'Lenvoy a Scogan' was addressed, and Chaucer (l. 21) there gives
him an excellent character for wisdom of speech. Accordingly, he is not to
be confused with the Thomas Scogan or Scogin to whom is attributed an idle
book called 'Scoggins Iests,' which were said to have been 'gathered' by
Andrew Boord or Borde, author of the Introduction of Knowledge[281]. When
Shakespeare, in 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 33, says that Sir John Falstaff broke
Scogan's head, he was no doubt thinking of the supposed author of the
jest-book, and may have been led, by observation of the name in a
black-letter edition of Chaucer, to suppose that he lived in the time of
Henry IV. This was quite enough for his purpose, though it is probable that
the jester lived in the time of Edward IV.; see Tyrwhitt's note on the
Envoy to Scogan. On the other hand, we find Ben Jonson taking his ideas
about Scogan solely from Henry Scogan's poem and Chaucer's Envoy, without
any reference to the jester. See his Masque of the Fortunate Isles, in
which Scogan is first described and afterwards introduced. The description
tells us nothing more than we know already.

As for Lewis John (p. 82), Tyrwhitt says he was a Welshman, 'who was
naturalised by Act of Parliament, 2 Hen. V., and who was concerned with
Thomas Chaucer in the execution of the office of chief butler; _Rot. Parl._
2 Hen. V. n. 18.'

Caxton's printed edition of this poem seems to follow a better source than
any of the MSS.


Attributed to Chaucer by Shirley in MSS. Harl. and T., and sent to King
Richard at Windsor, according to the same authority. The general idea of it
is from Boethius; see the Notes. Shirley refers it to the last years of
Richard II., say 1397-9. We find something very like it in Piers Plowman,
C. iv. 203-210, where Richard is told that bribery and wicked connivance at
extortion have almost brought it about--

 'That no lond loveth the, and yut leest thyn owene.'

In any case, the date can hardly vary between wider limits than between
1393 and 1399. Richard held a tournament at Windsor in 1399[282], which was
but thinly attended; 'the greater part of the knights and squires of
England were disgusted with the king.'

Of this poem, MS. Ct. seems to give the best text.


This piece is attributed to Chaucer in all three MSS., viz. F., P., and
Gg.; and is obviously genuine. The probable date of it is towards the end
of 1393; see the Notes.

For some account of Scogan, see above (p. 83).


This piece is certainly genuine. In MS. F., the title is--'Lenvoy de
Chaucer a Bukton.' In Julian Notary's edition it is--'Here foloweth the
counceyll of Chaucer touching Maryag, &c. whiche was sente te (_sic_)
Bucketon, &c.' In all the other early printed editions it is inserted
_without any title_ immediately after the Book of the Duchess.

The poem is one of Chaucer's latest productions, and may safely be dated
about the end of the year 1396. This appears from the reference, in l. 23,
to the great misfortune it would be to any Englishmen 'to be take in
Fryse,' i. e. to be taken prisoner in Friesland. There is but one occasion
on which this reference could have had any point, viz. during or just after
the expedition of William of Hainault to Friesland, as narrated by
Froissart in his Chronicles, bk. iv. capp. 78, 79. He tells that William of
Hainault applied to Richard II. for assistance, who sent him 'some
men-at-arms and two hundred archers, under the command of three English
lords[283].' The expedition set out in August, 1396, and stayed in
Friesland about five weeks, till the beginning of October, when 'the
weather began to be very cold and to rain almost daily.' The great danger
of being taken prisoner in Friesland was because the Frieslanders fought so
desperately that they were seldom taken prisoners themselves. Then 'the
Frieslanders offered their prisoners in exchange, man for man; but, when
their enemies had none to give in return, they put them to death.' Besides
this, the prisoners had to endure all the miseries of a bad and cold
season, in an inclement climate. Hence the propriety of Chaucer's allusion
fully appears. From l. 8, we learn that Chaucer was now a widower; for the
word _eft_ means 'again.' His wife is presumed to have died in the latter
part of 1387. We should also observe the allusion to the Wife of Bath's
Tale in l. 29.


This poem is usually printed as if it formed part of the Complaint of Mars;
but it is really distinct. It is attributed to Chaucer by Shirley both in
MS. T. and in MS. A. It is not original, but translated from the French, as
appears from l. 82. Shirley tells us that the author of the French poem was
Sir Otes de Graunson, a worthy knight of Savoy. He is mentioned as
receiving from King Richard the grant of an annuity of 126l. 13s. 4d. on 17
Nov. 1393; see Furnivall's _Trial Forewords_, p. 123. The association of
this poem with the Complaint of Mars renders it probable that the Venus of
this poem is the same as the Venus of the other, i. e. the Princess Isabel
of Spain, and Duchess of York. This fits well with the word _Princess_ at
the beginning of the Envoy; and as she died in 1394, whilst Chaucer, on the
other hand, complains of his advancing years, we must date the poem about
1393, i. e. just about the time when Graunson received his annuity.
Chaucer, if born about 1340, was not really more than 53, but we must
remember that, in those days, men often aged quickly. John of Gaunt, who is
represented by Shakespeare as a very old man, only lived to the age of 59;
and the Black Prince died quite worn out, at the age of 46. Compare the
notes to ll. 73, 76, 79, and 82.

Much new light has lately been thrown upon this poem by Dr. A. Piaget, who
contributed an article to _Romania_, tome xix., on 'Oton de Granson et ses
Poésies,' in 1890. The author succeeded in discovering a large number of
Granson's poems, including, to our great gain, the three Balades of which
Chaucer's 'Compleynt of Venus' is a translation. I am thus enabled to give
the original French beneath the English version, for the sake of

He has also given us an interesting account of Granson himself, for which I
must refer my readers to his article. It appears that Froissart mentions
Granson at least four times (twice in bk. i. c. 303, A.D. 1372, once in c.
305, and once in c. 331, A.D. 1379), as fighting on the side of the
English; see Johnes' translation. He was in Savoy from 1389 to 1391; but,
in the latter year, was accused of being concerned in the death of Amadeus
VII., count of Savoy, in consequence of which he returned to England, and
in 1393 his estates in Savoy were confiscated. It was on this occasion that
Richard II. assigned to him the pension above mentioned. With the hope of
clearing himself from the serious charge laid against him, Granson fought a
judicial duel, at Bourg-en-Bresse, on Aug. 7, 1397, in which, however, he
was slain.

Now that we have the original before us, we can see clearly, as Dr. Piaget
says, that Chaucer has certainly not translated the original Balades 'word
for word' throughout. He does so sometimes, as in ll. 27, 28, 30, 31, in
which the closeness of the translation is marvellous; but, usually, he
paraphrases the original to a considerable extent. In the first Balade, he
has even altered the general motive; in the original, Granson sings the
praises of his lady; in Chaucer, it is a lady who praises the worthiness of
her lover.

It also becomes probable that the title 'The Compleynt of Venus,' which
seems to have been suggested by Shirley, is by no means a fitting one. It
is not suitable for Venus, unless the 'Venus' be a mortal; neither is it a
continuous 'Compleynt,' being simply a linking together of three separate
and distinct Balades.

It is clear to me that, when Chaucer added his Envoy, he made the
difficulties of following the original 'word by word' and of preserving the
original metre his excuse; and that what really troubled him was the
difficulty of adapting the French, especially Balade I., so as to be
acceptable to the 'Princess' who enjoined him to translate these Balades.
In particular, he evidently aimed at giving them a sort of connection, so
that one should follow the other naturally; which accounts for the changes
in the first of them. It is significant, perhaps, that the allusion to
'youth' (F. _jeunesce_) in l. 70 is entirely dropped.

On the whole, I think we may still accept the theory that this poem was
written at the request (practically, the command) of Isabel, duchess of
York, the probable 'Venus' of the 'Compleynt of Mars.' Chaucer seems to
have thrown the three Balades together, linking them so as to express a
lady's constancy in love, and choosing such language as he deemed would be
most acceptable to the princess. He then ingeniously, and not without some
humour, protests that any apparent alterations are due to his own dulness
and the difficulties of translating 'word for word,' and of preserving the

In l. 31, the F. text shews us that we must read _Pleyne_, not _Pleye_ (as
in the MSS.). This was pointed out by Mr. Paget Toynbee.


Attributed to Chaucer by Shirley, in MS. Harl. 7333; by Caxton; by the
scribes of MSS. F., P., and Ff.; and by early editors. I do not know on
what grounds Speght removed Chaucer's name, and substituted that of T.
Occleve; there seems to be no authority for this change. I think it highly
probable that the poem itself is older than the Envoy; see note to l. 17.
In any case, the Envoy is almost certainly Chaucer's latest extant


Attributed to Chaucer in MSS. F. and Ha.; see further in the Notes. From
the nature of the case, we cannot assign any probable date to this
composition. Yet it was, perhaps, written after, rather than before, the
Tale of Melibeus.


For the genuineness of this Balade, we have chiefly the internal evidence
to trust to; but this seems to me to be sufficiently strong. The Balade is
perfect in construction, having but three rimes (_-esse_, _-ace_, _-ene_),
and a refrain. The 'mood' of it strongly resembles that of Lak of
Stedfastnesse; the lines run with perfect smoothness, and the rimes are all
Chaucerian. It is difficult to suppose that Lydgate, or even Hoccleve, who
was a better metrician, could have produced so good an imitation of
Chaucer's style. But we are not without strong external evidence; for the
general idea of the poem, and what is more important, the whole of the
refrain, are taken from Chaucer's favourite author Machault (ed. Tarbé, p.
56); whose refrain is--'En lieu de bleu, Damë, vous vestez vert.' Again,
the poem is only found in company with other poems by Chaucer. Such
collocation frequently means nothing, but those who actually consult[284]
MSS. Ct. and Ha. will see how close is its association with the Chaucerian
poems in those MSS. I have said that it occurs in MSS. F., Ct., and Ha. Now
in MS. Ct. we find, on the back of fol. 188 and on fol. 189, just four
poems in the same hand. These are (1) Gentilesse; (2) Lak of Stedfastnesse;
(3) Truth; and (4) Against Women Unconstaunt. As three of these are
admittedly genuine, there is evidence that the fourth is the same. We may
also notice that, in this MS., the poems on Lak of Stedfastnesse and
Against Women Unconstaunt are not far apart. On searching MS. Ha. (Harl.
7578), I again found three of these poems in company, viz. (1) Gentilesse;
(2) Lak of Stedfastnesse; and (3) Against Women Unconstaunt; the last
being, in my view, precisely in its right place. (This copy of the poem was
unknown to me in 1887.)


Whilst searching through the various MSS. containing Minor Poems by Chaucer
in the British Museum, my attention was arrested by this piece, which, as
far as I know, has never before been printed. It is in Shirley's
handwriting, but he does not claim it for Chaucer. However, the internal
evidence seems to me irresistible; the melody is Chaucer's, and his
peculiar touches appear in it over and over again. There is, moreover, in
the last stanza, a direct reference to the Parliament of Foules[285].

I cannot explain the oracular notice of time in the heading; even if we
alter _May_ to _day_, it contradicts l. 85, which mentions 'seint
Valentines day.' The heading is--'And next folowyng begynnith an amerowse
compleynte made at wyndesore in the laste May tofore Nouembre' (_sic_). The
date is inexplicable[286]; but the mention of locality is interesting.
Chaucer became a 'valet of the king's chamber' in 1367, and must frequently
have been at Windsor, where the institution of the Order of the Garter was
annually celebrated on St. George's Day (April 23). Some of the
parallelisms in expression between the present poem and other passages in
Chaucer's Works are pointed out in the Notes.

This Complaint should be compared with the complaint uttered by Dorigen in
the Cant. Tales, F. 1311-1325, which is little else than the same thing in
a compressed form. There is also much resemblance to the 'complaints' in
Troilus; see the references in the Notes.

Since first printing the text in 1888, I found that it is precisely the
same poem as one extant in MSS. F. and B., with the title 'Complaynt
Damours.' I had noticed the latter some time previously, and had made a
note that it ought to be closely examined; but unfortunately I forgot to do
so, or I should have seen at once that it had strong claims to being
considered genuine. These claims are considerably strengthened by the fact
of the appearance of the poem in these two Chaucerian MSS., the former of
which contains no less than _sixteen_, and the latter _seven_ of the Minor
Poems, besides the Legend and the Hous of Fame.

In reprinting the text in the present volume, I take occasion to give all
the more important results of a collation of the text with these MSS. In
most places, their readings are inferior to those in the text; but in other
places they suggest corrections.

In MS. F. the fourth stanza is mutilated; the latter half of lines 24-28 is

In B., below the word _Explicit_, another and later hand has scrawled 'be
me Humfrey Flemy_ng_.' 'Be me' merely means--'this signature is mine.' It
is a mere scribble, and does not necessarily relate to the poem at all.

The readings of F. and B. do not help us much; for the text in Harl., on
the whole, is better.

It is not at all improbable that a better copy of this poem may yet be


This poem, which has not been printed before, as far as I am aware, occurs
in Shirley's MS. Addit. 16165, at fol. 256, back. It is merely headed
'Balade of compleynte,' without any note of its being Chaucer's. But I had
not read more than four lines of it before I at once recognised the
well-known melodious flow which Chaucer's imitators (except sometimes
Hoccleve) so seldom succeed in reproducing. And when I had only finished
reading the first stanza, I decided at once to copy it out, not doubting
that it would fulfil all the usual tests of metre, rime, and language;
which it certainly does. It is far more correct in wording than the
preceding poem, and does not require that we should either omit or supply a
single word. But in l. 20 the last word should surely be _dere_ rather than
_here_; and the last word in l. 11 is indistinct. I read it as _reewe_
afterwards altered to _newe_; and _newe_ makes very good sense. I may
notice that Shirley's _n_'s are very peculiar: the first upstroke is very
long, commencing below the line; and this peculiarity renders the reading
tolerably certain. Some lines resemble lines in no. VI., as is pointed out
in the Notes. Altogether, it is a beautiful poem, and its recovery is a
clear gain.


I regret that this Introduction has run to so great a length; but it was
incumbent on me to shew reasons for the rejection or acceptance of the very
large number of pieces which have hitherto been included in editions of
Chaucer's Works. I have now only to add that I have, of course, been
greatly indebted to the works of others; so much so indeed that I can
hardly particularise them. I must, however, mention very gratefully the
names of Dr. Furnivall, Professor Ten Brink, Dr. Koch, Dr. Willert, Max
Lange, Rambeau, and various contributors to the publications of the Chaucer
Society; and though I have consulted for myself such books as Le Roman de
la Rose, the Teseide, the Thebaid of Statius, the poems of Machault, and a
great many more, and have inserted in the Notes a large number of
references which I discovered, or re-discovered, for myself, I beg leave
distinctly to disclaim any merit, not doubting that most of what I have
said may very likely have been said by others, and said better. Want of
leisure renders it impossible for me to give to others their due meed of
recognition in many instances; for I have often found it less troublesome
to consult original authorities for myself than to hunt up what others have
said relative to the passage under consideration.

I have relegated Poems no. XXI., XXII., and XXIII. to an Appendix, because
they are not expressly attributed to Chaucer in the MSS. Such evidence has
its value, but it is possible to make too much of it; and I agree with Dr.
Koch, that, despite the MSS., the genuineness of no XX. is doubtful; for
the rime of _compas_ with _embrace_ is suspicious. It is constantly the
case that poems, well known to be Chaucer's, are not marked as his in the
MS. copies; and we must really depend upon a prolonged and intelligent
study of the internal evidence. This is why I admit poems nos. XXI-XXIII
into the collection; and I hope it will be conceded that I am free from
recklessness in this matter. Certainly my methods differ from those of John
Stowe, and I believe them to be more worthy of respect.

       *       *       *       *       *


           FRAGMENT A.

  Many men seyn that in sweveninges
  Ther nis but fables and lesinges;
  But men may somme swevenes seen,
  Which hardely ne false been,
  But afterward ben apparaunte.                   5
  This may I drawe to waraunte
  An authour, that hight Macrobes,
  That halt not dremes false ne lees,
  But undoth us the avisioun
  That whylom mette king Cipioun.                10
    And who-so sayth, or weneth it be
  A Iape, or elles [a] nycetee
  To wene that dremes after falle,
  Let who-so liste a fool me calle.

          LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE.

      Maintes gens dient que en songes
      N'a se fables non et mençonges;
      Mais l'en puet tiex songes songier
      Qui ne sunt mie mençongier;
      Ains sunt après bien apparant.
      Si en puis bien trere à garant
      Ung acteur qui ot non Macrobes,
      Qui ne tint pas songes à lobes;
      Ainçois escrist la vision
      Qui avint au roi Cipion.                    10
      Quiconques cuide ne qui die
      Que soit folor ou musardie
      De croire que songes aviengne,
      Qui ce voldra, pour fol m'en tiengne;

  For this trowe I, and say for me,               15
  That dremes signifiaunce be
  Of good and harme to many wightes,
  That dremen in her slepe a-nightes
  Ful many thinges covertly,
  That fallen after al openly.                    20
    Within my twenty yere of age,         THE DREAM.
  Whan that Love taketh his corage
  Of yonge folk, I wente sone
  To bedde, as I was wont to done,
  And fast I sleep; and in sleping,               25
  Me mette swiche a swevening,
  That lykede me wonders wel;
  But in that sweven is never a del
  That it nis afterward befalle,
  Right as this dreem wol telle us alle.          30
  Now this dreem wol I ryme aright,
  To make your hertes gaye and light;
  For Love it prayeth, and also
  Commaundeth me that it be so
  And if ther any aske me,                        35
  Whether that it be he or she,
  How [that] this book [the] which is here
  Shal hote, that I rede you here;

      Car endroit moi ai-je fiance
      Que songe soit senefiance
      Des biens as gens et des anuiz,
      Car li plusors songent de nuitz
      Maintes choses couvertement
      Que l'en voit puis apertement.              20
        Où vintiesme an de mon aage,
      Où point qu'Amors prend le paage
      Des jones gens, couchiez estoie
      Une nuit, si cum je souloie,
      Et me dormoie moult forment,
      Si vi ung songe en mon dormant,
      Qui moult fut biax, et moult me plot,
      Mès onques riens où songe n'ot
      Qui avenu trestout ne soit,
      Si cum li songes recontoit.                 30
      Or veil cel songe rimaier,
      Por vos cuers plus fere esgaier,
      Qu'Amors le me prie et commande;
      Et se nus ne nule demande
      Comment ge voil que cilz Rommanz
      Soit apelez, que ge commanz:

  It is the Romance of the Rose,
  In which al the art of love I close.            40
    The mater fair is of to make;
  God graunte in gree that she it take
  For whom that it begonnen is!
  And that is she that hath, y-wis,
  So mochel prys; and ther-to she                 45
  So worthy is biloved be,
  That she wel oughte of prys and right,
  Be cleped Rose of every wight.
    That it was May me thoughte tho,
  It is fyve yere or more ago;                    50
  That it was May, thus dremed me,
  In tyme of love and Iolitee,
  That al thing ginneth waxen gay,
  For ther is neither busk nor hay
  In May, that it nil shrouded been,              55
  And it with newe leves wreen.
  These wodes eek recoveren grene,
  That drye in winter been to sene;
  And the erthe wexeth proud withalle,
  For swote dewes that on it falle,               60
  And [al] the pore estat forget
  In which that winter hadde it set,

      Ce est li Rommanz de la Rose,
      Où l'art d'Amors est tote enclose.
      La matire en est bone et noeve:
      Or doint Diez qu'en gré le reçoeve          40
      Cele por qui ge l'ai empris.
      C'est cele qui tant a de pris,
      Et tant est digne d'estre amée,
      Qu'el doit estre Rose clamée.
        Avis m'iere qu'il estoit mains,
      Il a jà bien cincq ans, au mains,
      En Mai estoie, ce songoie,
      El tems amoreus plain de joie,
      El tens où tote riens s'esgaie,
      Que l'en ne voit boisson ne haie            50
      Qui en Mai parer ne se voille,
      Et covrir de novele foille;
      Li bois recovrent lor verdure,
      Qui sunt sec tant cum yver dure,
      La terre méisme s'orgoille
      Por la rousée qui la moille,
      Et oblie la poverté
      Où ele a tot l'yver esté.

  And than bicometh the ground so proud
  That it wol have a newe shroud,
  And maketh so queynt his robe and fayr          65
  That it hath hewes an hundred payr
  Of gras and floures, inde and pers,
  And many hewes ful dyvers:
  That is the robe I mene, y-wis,
  Through which the ground to preisen is.         70
    The briddes, that han left hir song,
  Whyl they han suffred cold so strong
  In wedres grille, and derk to sighte,
  Ben in May, for the sonne brighte,
  So glade, that they shewe in singing,           75
  That in hir herte is swich lyking,
  That they mote singen and be light.
  Than doth the nightingale hir might
  To make noyse, and singen blythe.
  Than is blisful, many a sythe,                  80
  The chelaundre and the papingay.
  Than yonge folk entenden ay
  For to ben gay and amorous,
  The tyme is than so savorous.
  Hard is his herte that loveth nought            85
  In May, whan al this mirth is wrought;

      Lors devient la terre si gobe,
      Qu'ele volt avoir novele robe;              60
      Si scet si cointe robe faire,
      Que de colors i a cent paire,
      D'erbes, de flors indes et perses,
      Et de maintes colors diverses.
      C'est la robe que ge devise,
      Por quoi la terre miex se prise.
        Li oisel, qui se sunt téu
      Tant cum il ont le froit éu,
      Et le tens divers et frarin,
      Sunt en Mai, por le tens serin,             70
      Si lié qu'il monstrent en chantant
      Qu'en lor cuer a de joie tant,
      Qu'il lor estuet chanter par force.
      Li rossignos lores s'efforce
      De chanter et de faire noise;
      Lors s'esvertue, et lors s'envoise
      Li papegaus et la kalandre:
      Lors estuet jones gens entendre
      A estre gais et amoreus
      Por le tens bel et doucereus.               80
      Moult a dur cuer qui en Mai n'aime,

  Whan he may on these braunches here
  The smale briddes singen clere
  Hir blisful swete song pitous;
  And in this sesoun delytous,                    90
  Whan love affrayeth alle thing,
  Me thoughte a-night, in my sleping,
  Right in my bed, ful redily,
  That it was by the morowe erly,
  And up I roos, and gan me clothe;               95
  Anoon I wissh myn hondes bothe;
  A sylvre nedle forth I drogh
  Out of an aguiler queynt y-nogh,
  And gan this nedle threde anon;
  For out of toun me list to gon                 100
  The sowne of briddes for to here,
  That on thise busshes singen clere.
  And in the swete sesoun that leef is,
  With a threde basting my slevis,
  Aloon I wente in my playing,                   105
  The smale foules song harkning;
  That peyned hem ful many a payre
  To singe on bowes blosmed fayre.
  Iolif and gay, ful of gladnesse,

      Quant il ot chanter sus la raime
      As oisiaus les dous chans piteus.
      En iceli tens déliteus,
      Que tote riens d'amer s'effroie,
      Sonjai une nuit que j'estoie,
      Ce m'iert avis en mon dormant,
      Qu'il estoit matin durement;
      De mon lit tantost me levai,
      Chauçai moi et mes mains lavai.             90
      Lors trais une aguille d'argent
      D'un aguiller mignot et gent,
      Si pris l'aguille à enfiler.
      Hors de vile oi talent d'aler,
      Por oïr des oisiaus les sons
      Qui chantoient par ces boissons.
      En icele saison novele,
      Cousant mes manches à videle,
      M'en alai tot seus esbatant,
      Et les oiselés escoutant,                  100
      Qui de chanter moult s'engoissoient
      Par ces vergiers qui florissoient.
      Jolis, gais et plains de léesce,

  Toward a river I gan me dresse,                110
  That I herde renne faste by;
  For fairer playing non saugh I
  Than playen me by that riveer,
  For from an hille that stood ther neer,
  Cam doun the streem ful stif and bold.         115
  Cleer was the water, and as cold
  As any welle is, sooth to seyne;
  And somdel lasse it was than Seine,
  But it was straighter wel away.
  And never saugh I, er that day,                120
  The water that so wel lyked me;
  And wonder glad was I to see
  That lusty place, and that riveer;
  And with that water that ran so cleer
  My face I wissh. Tho saugh I wel               125
  The botme paved everydel
  With gravel, ful of stones shene.
  The medewe softe, swote, and grene,
  Beet right on the water-syde.
  Ful cleer was than the morow-tyde,             130
  And ful attempre, out of drede.
  Tho gan I walke through the mede,
  Dounward ay in my pleying,

      Vers une riviere m'adresce.
      Que j'oi près d'ilecques bruire;
      Car ne me soi aillors déduire
      Plus bel que sus cele riviere.
      D'ung tertre qui près d'iluec iere
      Descendoit l'iaue grant et roide,
      Clere, bruiant, et aussi froide            110
      Comme puiz, ou comme fontaine,
      Et estoit poi mendre de Saine,
      Mès qu'ele iere plus espanduë.
      Onques mès n'avoie véuë
      Cele iaue qui si bien coroit:
      Moult m'abelissoit et séoit
      A regarder le leu plaisant.
      De l'iaue clere et reluisant
      Mon vis rafreschi et lavé.
      Si vi tot covert et pavé                   120
      Le fons de l'iaue de gravele;
      La praérie grant et bele
      Très au pié de l'iaue batoit.
      Clere et serie et bele estoit
      La matinée et atrempeé;
      Lors m'en alai parmi la prée
      Contre val l'iaue esbanoiant,

  The river-syde costeying.
    And whan I had a whyle goon,                 135
  I saugh a GARDIN right anoon,          THE GARDEN.
  Ful long and brood, and everydel
  Enclos it was, and walled wel,
  With hye walles enbatailled,
  Portrayed without, and wel entailled           140
  With many riche portraitures;
  And bothe images and peyntures
  Gan I biholde bisily.
  And I wol telle you, redily,
  Of thilke images the semblaunce,               145
  As fer as I have remembraunce.
    A-midde saugh I HATE stonde,               HATE.
  That for hir wrathe, ire, and onde,
  Semed to been a moveresse,
  An angry wight, a chideresse;                  150
  And ful of gyle, and fel corage,
  By semblaunt was that ilke image.
  And she was no-thing wel arrayed,
  But lyk a wood womman afrayed;
  Y-frounced foule was hir visage,               155
  And grenning for dispitous rage;
  Hir nose snorted up for tene.

      Tot le rivage costoiant.
        Quant j'oi ung poi avant alé,
      Si vi ung vergier grant et lé,             130
      Tot clos d'ung haut mur bataillié,
      Portrait defors et entaillié
      A maintes riches escritures.
      Les ymages et les paintures
      Ai moult volentiers remiré:
      Si vous conteré et diré
      De ces ymages la semblance,
      Si cum moi vient à remembrance.
      Ens où milieu je vi HAÏNE               HAÏNE.
      Qui de corrous et d'ataïne                 140
      Sembloit bien estre moverresse,
      Et correceuse et tencerresse,
      Et plaine de grant cuvertage
      Estoit par semblant cele ymage.
      Si n'estoit pas bien atornée,
      Ains sembloit estre forcenée,
      Rechignie avoit et froncié
      Le vis, et le nés secorcié.

  Ful hidous was she for to sene,
  Ful foul and rusty was she, this.
  Hir heed y-writhen was, y-wis,                 160
  Ful grimly with a greet towayle.
    An image of another entayle,            FELONYE.
  A lift half, was hir faste by;
  Hir name above hir heed saugh I,
  And she was called FELONYE.                    165
    Another image, that VILANYE             VILANYE.
  Y-cleped was, saugh I and fond
  Upon the walle on hir right hond.
  Vilanye was lyk somdel
  That other image; and, trusteth wel,           170
  She semed a wikked creature.
  By countenaunce, in portrayture,
  She semed be ful despitous,
  And eek ful proud and outrageous.
  Wel coude he peynte, I undertake,              175
  That swiche image coude make.
  Ful foul and cherlish semed she,
  And eek vilaynous for to be,
  And litel coude of norture,
  To worshipe any creature.                      180

      Par grant hideur fu soutilliée,
      Et si estoit entortillée                   150
      Hideusement d'une toaille.
      Une autre ymage d'autel taille       FELONNIE.
      A senestre vi delez lui;
      Son non desus sa teste lui;
      Apellée estoit FELONNIE.
      Une ymage qui VILONIE                VILENNIE.
      Avoit non, revi devers destre,
      Qui estoit auques d'autel estre
      Cum ces deus et d'autel féture;
      Bien sembloit male créature,               160
      Et despiteuse et orguilleuse,
      Et mesdisant et ramponeuse.
      Moult sot bien paindre et bien portraire
      Cil qui tiex ymages sot faire:
      Car bien sembloit chose vilaine,
      De dolor et de despit plaine;
      Et fame qui petit séust
      D'honorer ceus qu'ele déust.

    And next was peynted COVEITYSE,       COVEITYSE.
  That eggeth folk, in many gyse,
  To take and yeve right nought ageyn,
  And grete tresours up to leyn.
  And that is she that for usure                 185
  Leneth to many a creature
  The lasse for the more winning,
  So coveitous is her brenning.
  And that is she, for penyes fele,
  That techeth for to robbe and stele            190
  These theves, and these smale harlotes;
  And that is routhe, for by hir throtes
  Ful many oon hangeth at the laste.
  She maketh folk compasse and caste
  To taken other folkes thing,                   195
  Through robberie, or miscounting.
  And that is she that maketh trechoures;
  And she [that] maketh false pledoures,
  That with hir termes and hir domes
  Doon maydens, children, and eek gromes         200
  Hir heritage to forgo.
  Ful croked were hir hondes two;
  For Coveityse is ever wood

      Après fu painte COVEITISE:         COUVOITISE.
      C'est cele qui les gens atise              170
      De prendre et de noient donner,
      Et les grans avoirs aüner.
      C'est cele qui fait à usure
      Prester mains por la grant ardure
      D'avoir conquerre et assembler.
      C'est cele qui semont d'embler
      Les larrons et les ribaudiaus;
      Si est grans pechiés et grans diaus
      Qu'en la fin en estuet mains pendre.
      C'est cele qui fait l'autrui prendre,      180
      Rober, tolir et bareter,
      Et bescochier et mesconter;
      C'est cele qui les trichéors
      Fait tous et les faus pledéors,
      Qui maintes fois par lor faveles
      Ont as valés et as puceles
      Lor droites herites toluës.
      Recorbillies et croçües
      Avoit les mains icele ymage;
      Ce fu drois: car toz jors esrage           190
      Coveitise de l'autrui prendre.

  To grypen other folkes good.
  Coveityse, for hir winning,                    205
  Ful leef hath other mennes thing.
    Another image set saugh I               AVARICE.
  Next Coveityse faste by,
  And she was cleped AVARICE.
  Ful foul in peynting was that vice;            210
  Ful sad and caytif was she eek,
  And al-so grene as any leek.
  So yvel hewed was hir colour,
  Hir semed have lived in langour.
  She was lyk thing for hungre deed,             215
  That ladde hir lyf only by breed
  Kneden with eisel strong and egre;
  And therto she was lene and megre.
  And she was clad ful povrely,
  Al in an old torn courtepy,                    220
  As she were al with dogges torn;
  And bothe bihinde and eek biforn
  Clouted was she beggarly.
  A mantel heng hir faste by,
  Upon a perche, weyke and smalle;               225
  A burnet cote heng therwithalle,
  Furred with no menivere,

      Coveitise ne set entendre
      A riens qu'à l'autrui acrochier;
      Coveitise à l'autrui trop chier.
      Une autre ymage y ot assise           AVARICE.
      Coste à coste de Coveitise,
      AVARICE estoit apelée:
      Lede estoit et sale et foulée
      Cele ymage, et megre et chetive,
      Et aussi vert cum une cive.                200
      Tant par estoit descolorée
      Qu'el sembloit estre enlangorée;
      Chose sembloit morte de fain,
      Qui ne vesquit fors que de pain
      Petri à lessu fort et aigre;
      Et avec ce qu'ele iere maigre,
      Iert-ele povrement vestuë,
      Cote avoit viés et desrumpuë,
      Comme s'el fust as chiens remese;
      Povre iert moult la cote et esrese,        210
      Et plaine de viés palestiaus.
      Delez li pendoit ung mantiaus
      A une perche moult greslete,
      Et une cote de brunete;
      Où mantiau n'ot pas penne vaire,

  But with a furre rough of here,
  Of lambe-skinnes hevy and blake;
  It was ful old, I undertake.                   230
  For Avarice to clothe hir wel
  Ne hasteth hir, never a del;
  For certeynly it were hir loth
  To weren ofte that ilke cloth;
  And if it were forwered, she                   235
  Wolde have ful greet necessitee
  Of clothing, er she boughte hir newe,
  Al were it bad of wolle and hewe.
  This Avarice held in hir hande
  A purs, that heng [doun] by a bande;           240
  And that she hidde and bond so stronge,
  Men must abyde wonder longe
  Out of that purs er ther come ought,
  For that ne cometh not in hir thought;
  It was not, certein, hir entente               245
  That fro that purs a peny wente.
    And by that image, nygh y-nough,          ENVYE.
  Was peynt ENVYE, that never lough,
  Nor never wel in herte ferde
  But-if she outher saugh or herde               250

      Mes moult viés et de povre afaire,
      D'agniaus noirs velus et pesans.
      Bien avoit la robe vingt ans;
      Mès Avarice du vestir
      Se sot moult à tart aatir:                 220
      Car sachiés que moult li pesast
      Se cele robe point usast;
      Car s'el fust usée et mauvese,
      Avarice éust grant mesese
      De noeve robe et grant disete,
      Avant qu'ele éust autre fete.
      Avarice en sa main tenoit
      Une borse qu'el reponnoit,
      Et la nooit si durement,
      Que demorast moult longuement              230
      Ainçois qu'el en péust riens traire,
      Mès el n'avoit de ce que faire.
      El n'aloit pas à ce béant
      Que de la borse ostat néant.
      Après refu portrete ENVIE,              ENVIE.
      Qui ne rist oncques en sa vie,
      N'oncques de riens ne s'esjoï,
      S'ele ne vit, ou s'el n'oï

  Som greet mischaunce, or greet disese.
  No-thing may so moch hir plese
  As mischef and misaventure;
  Or whan she seeth discomfiture
  Upon any worthy man falle,                     255
  Than lyketh hir [ful] wel withalle.
  She is ful glad in hir corage,
  If she see any greet linage
  Be brought to nought in shamful wyse.
  And if a man in honour ryse,                   260
  Or by his witte, or by prowesse,
  Of that hath she gret hevinesse;
  For, trusteth wel, she goth nigh wood
  Whan any chaunce happeth good.
  Envye is of swich crueltee,                    265
  That feith ne trouthe holdeth she
  To freend ne felawe, bad or good.
  Ne she hath kin noon of hir blood,
  That she nis ful hir enemy;
  She nolde, I dar seyn hardely,                 270
  Hir owne fader ferde wel.
  And sore abyeth she everydel
  Hir malice, and hir maltalent:

      Aucun grant domage retrere.
      Nule riens ne li puet tant plere           240
      Cum mefet et mesaventure;
      Quant el voit grant desconfiture
      Sor aucun prodomme chéoir,
      Ice li plest moult à véoir.
      Ele est trop lie en son corage
      Quant el voit aucun grant lignage
      Dechéoir et aler à honte;
      Et quant aucuns à honor monte
      Par son sens ou par sa proéce,
      C'est la chose qui plus la bléce.          250
      Car sachiés que moult la convient
      Estre irée quant biens avient.
      Envie est de tel cruauté,
      Qu'ele ne porte léauté
      A compaignon, ne à compaigne;
      N'ele n'a parent, tant li tiengne,
      A cui el ne soit anemie:
      Car certes el ne vorroit mie
      Que biens venist, neis à son pere.
      Mès bien sachiés qu'ele compere            260
      Sa malice trop ledement:

  For she is in so greet turment
  And hath such [wo], whan folk doth good,       275
  That nigh she melteth for pure wood;
  Hir herte kerveth and to-breketh
  That god the peple wel awreketh.
  Envye, y-wis, shal never lette
  Som blame upon the folk to sette.              280
  I trowe that if Envye, y-wis,
  Knewe the beste man that is
  On this syde or biyond the see,
  Yit somwhat lakken him wolde she.
  And if he were so hende and wys,               285
  That she ne mighte al abate his prys,
  Yit wolde she blame his worthinesse,
  Or by hir wordes make it lesse.
  I saugh Envye, in that peynting,
  Hadde a wonderful loking;                      290
  For she ne loked but awry,
  Or overthwart, al baggingly.
  And she hadde [eek] a foul usage;
  She mighte loke in no visage
  Of man or womman forth-right pleyn,            295
  But shette oon yë for disdeyn;

      Car ele est en si grant torment,
      Et a tel duel quant gens bien font,
      Par ung petit qu'ele ne font.
      Ses felons cuers l'art et detrenche,
      Qui de li Diex et la gent venche.
      Envie ne fine nule hore
      D'aucun blasme as gens metre sore;
      Je cuit que s'ele cognoissoit
      Tot le plus prodome qui soit               270
      Ne deçà mer, ne delà mer,
      Si le vorroit-ele blasmer;
      Et s'il iere si bien apris
      Qu'el ne péust de tot son pris
      Rien abatre ne deprisier,
      Si vorroit-ele apetisier
      Sa proéce au mains, et s'onor
      Par parole faire menor.
        Lors vi qu'Envie en la painture
      Avoit trop lede esgardéure;                280
      Ele ne regardast noient
      Fors de travers en borgnoiant;
      Ele avoit ung mauvès usage,
      Qu'ele ne pooit où visage
      Regarder reins de plain en plaing,
      Ains clooit ung oel par desdaing,

  So for envye brenned she
  Whan she mighte any man [y]-see,
  That fair, or worthy were, or wys,
  Or elles stood in folkes prys.                 300
    SOROWE was peynted next Envye            SOROWE.
  Upon that walle of masonrye.
  But wel was seen in hir colour
  That she hadde lived in langour;
  Hir semed have the Iaunyce.                    305
  Nought half so pale was Avaryce,
  Nor no-thing lyk, [as] of lenesse;
  For sorowe, thought, and greet distresse,
  That she hadde suffred day and night
  Made hir ful yelwe, and no-thing bright,       310
  Ful fade, pale, and megre also.
  Was never wight yit half so wo
  As that hir semed for to be,
  Nor so fulfilled of ire as she.
  I trowe that no wight mighte hir plese,        315
  Nor do that thing that mighte hir ese;
  Nor she ne wolde hir sorowe slake,
  Nor comfort noon unto hir take;

      Qu'ele fondoit d'ire et ardoit,
      Quant aucuns qu'ele regardoit,
      Estoit ou preus, ou biaus, ou gens,
      Ou amés, ou loés de gens.                  290
      Delez Envie auques près iere        TRISTESSE.
      TRISTECE painte en la maisiere;
      Mès bien paroit à sa color
      Qu'ele avoit au cuer grant dolor,
      Et sembloit avoir la jaunice.
      Si n'i feïst riens Avarice
      Ne de paleur, ne de mégrece,
      Car li soucis et la destrece,
      Et la pesance et les ennuis
      Qu'el soffroit de jors et de nuis,         300
      L'avoient moult fete jaunir,
      Et megre et pale devenir.
      Oncques mès nus en tel martire
      Ne fu, ne n'ot ausinc grant ire
      Cum il sembloit que ele éust:
      Je cuit que nus ne li séust
      Faire riens qui li péust plaire:
      N'el ne se vosist pas retraire,
      Ne réconforter à nul fuer
      Du duel qu'ele avoit à son cuer.           310

  So depe was hir wo bigonnen,
  And eek hir herte in angre ronnen,             320
  A sorowful thing wel semed she.
  Nor she hadde no-thing slowe be
  For to forcracchen al hir face,
  And for to rende in many place
  Hir clothes, and for to tere hir swire,        325
  As she that was fulfilled of ire;
  And al to-torn lay eek hir here
  Aboute hir shuldres, here and there,
  As she that hadde it al to-rent
  For angre and for maltalent.                   330
  And eek I telle you certeynly
  How that she weep ful tenderly.
  In world nis wight so hard of herte
  That hadde seen hir sorowes smerte,
  That nolde have had of hir pitee,              335
  So wo-bigoon a thing was she.
  She al to-dasshte hir-self for wo,
  And smoot togider her handes two.
  To sorwe was she ful ententyf,
  That woful recchelees caityf;                  340
  Hir roughte litel of pleying,
  Or of clipping or [of] kissing;
  For who-so sorweful is in herte

      Trop avoit son cuer correcié,
      Et son duel parfont commencié.
      Moult sembloit bien qu'el fust dolente,
      Qu'ele n'avoit mie esté lente
      D'esgratiner tote sa chiere;
      N'ele n'avoit pas sa robe chiere,
      Ains l'ot en mains leus descirée
      Cum cele qui moult iert irée.
      Si cheveul tuit destrecié furent,
      Et espandu par son col jurent,             320
      Que les avoit trestous desrous
      De maltalent et de corrous.
      Et sachiés bien veritelment
      Qu'ele ploroit profondément:
      Nus, tant fust durs, ne la véist,
      A cui grant pitié n'en préist,
      Qu'el se desrompoit et batoit,
      Et ses poins ensemble hurtoit.
      Moult iert à duel fere ententive
      La dolereuse, la chetive;                  330
      Il ne li tenoit d'envoisier,
      Ne d'acoler, ne de baisier:
      Car cil qui a le cuer dolent,

  Him liste not to pleye ne sterte,
  Nor for to daunsen, ne to singe,               345
  Ne may his herte in temper bringe
  To make Ioye on even or morowe;
  For Ioye is contraire unto sorowe.
    ELDE was peynted after this,               ELDE.
  That shorter was a foot, ywis,                 350
  Than she was wont in her yonghede.
  Unnethe hir-self she mighte fede;
  So feble and eek so old was she
  That faded was al hir beautee.
  Ful salowe was waxen hir colour,               355
  Hir heed for-hoor was, whyt as flour.
  Y-wis, gret qualm ne were it noon,
  Ne sinne, although hir lyf were gon.
  Al woxen was hir body unwelde,
  And drye, and dwyned al for elde.              360
  A foul forwelked thing was she
  That whylom round and softe had be.
  Hir eres shoken fast withalle,
  As from her heed they wolde falle.
  Hir face frounced and forpyned,                365
  And bothe hir hondes lorn, fordwyned.

      Sachiés de voir, il n'a talent
      De dancier, ne de karoler,
      Ne nus ne se porroit moller
      Qui duel éust, à joie faire,
      Car duel et joie sont contraire.
      Après fu VIELLECE portraite,       VIEILLESSE.
      Qui estoit bien ung pié retraite           340
      De tele cum el soloit estre;
      A paine se pooit-el pestre,
      Tant estoit vielle et radotée.
      Bien estoit si biauté gastée,
      Et moult ert lede devenuë.
      Toute sa teste estoit chenuë,
      Et blanche cum s'el fust florie.
      Ce ne fut mie grant morie
      S'ele morust, ne grans pechiés,
      Car tous ses cors estoit sechiés           350
      De viellece et anoiantis:
      Moult estoit jà ses vis fletris,
      Qui jadis fut soef et plains;
      Mès or est tous de fronces plains,
      Les oreilles avoit mossues,
      Et trestotes les dents perdues,
      Si qu'ele n'en avoit neis une.
      Tant par estoit de grant viellune,

  So old she was that she ne wente
  A foot, but it were by potente.
    The TYME, that passeth night and day,      TIME.
  And restelees travayleth ay,                   370
  And steleth from us so prively,
  That to us seemeth sikerly
  That it in oon point dwelleth ever,
  And certes, it ne resteth never,
  But goth so faste, and passeth ay,             375
  That ther nis man that thinke may
  What tyme that now present is:
  Asketh at these clerkes this;
  For [er] men thinke it redily,
  Three tymes been y-passed by.                  380
  The tyme, that may not soiourne,
  But goth, and never may retourne,
  As water that doun renneth ay,
  But never drope retourne may;
  Ther may no-thing as tyme endure,              385
  Metal, nor erthely creature;
  For alle thing it fret and shal:
  The tyme eek, that chaungeth al,
  And al doth waxe and fostred be,
  And alle thing distroyeth he:                  390

      Qu'el n'alast mie la montance
      De quatre toises sans potance.             360
        Li tens qui s'en va nuit et jor,
      Sans repos prendre et sans sejor,
      Et qui de nous se part et emble
      Si celéement, qu'il nous semble
      Qu'il s'arreste adés en ung point,
      Et il ne s'i arreste point,
      Ains ne fine de trepasser,
      Que nus ne puet néis penser
      Quex tens ce est qui est présens;
      Sel' demandés as clers lisans,             370
      Ainçois que l'en l'éust pensé,
      Seroit-il jà trois tens passé.
      Li tens qui ne puet sejourner,
      Ains vait tous jors sans retorner,
      Cum l'iaue qui s'avale toute,
      N'il n'en retorne arriere goute:
      Li tens vers qui noient ne dure,
      Ne fer ne chose tant soit dure,
      Car il gaste tout et menjue;
      Li tens qui tote chose mue,                380
      Qui tout fait croistre et tout norist,
      Et qui tout use et tout porrist;

  The tyme, that eldeth our auncessours
  And eldeth kinges and emperours,
  And that us alle shal overcomen
  Er that deeth us shal have nomen:
  The tyme, that hath al in welde                395
  To elden folk, had maad hir elde
  So inly, that, to my witing,
  She mighte helpe hir-self no-thing,
  But turned ageyn unto childhede;
  She had no-thing hir-self to lede,             400
  Ne wit ne pith in[with] hir holde
  More than a child of two yeer olde.
  But natheles, I trowe that she
  Was fair sumtyme, and fresh to see,
  Whan she was in hir rightful age:              405
  But she was past al that passage
  And was a doted thing bicomen.
  A furred cope on had she nomen;
  Wel had she clad hir-self and warm,
  For cold mighte elles doon hir harm.           410
  These olde folk have alwey colde,
  Hir kinde is swiche, whan they ben olde.
    Another thing was doon ther write,    POPE-HOLY.
  That semede lyk an ipocrite,

      Li tens qui enviellist nos peres,
      Et viellist roys et emperieres,
      Et qui tous nous enviellira,
      Ou mort nous desavancera;
      Li tens qui toute a la baillie
      Des gens viellir, l'avoit viellie
      Si durement, qu'au mien cuidier
      El ne se pooit mès aidier,                 390
      Ains retornoit jà en enfance,
      Car certes el n'avoit poissance,
      Ce cuit-je, ne force, ne sens
      Ne plus c'un enfés de deus ans.
      Ne porquant, au mien escient,
      Ele avoit esté sage et gent,
      Quant ele iert en son droit aage;
      Mais ge cuit qu'el n'iere mès sage,
      Ains iert trestote rassotée.
      Si ot d'une chape forrée                   400
      Moult bien, si cum je me recors,
      Abrié et vestu son corps:
      Bien fu vestue et chaudement,
      Car el éust froit autrement.
      Les vielles gens ont tost froidure;
      Bien savés que c'est lor nature.
      Une ymage ot emprès escrite,       PAPELARDIE.
      Qui sembloit bien estre ypocrite;

  And it was cleped POPE-HOLY.                   415
  That ilke is she that prively
  Ne spareth never a wikked dede,
  Whan men of hir taken non hede;
  And maketh hir outward precious,
  With pale visage and pitous,                   420
  And semeth a simple creature;
  But ther nis no misaventure
  That she ne thenketh in hir corage.
  Ful lyk to hir was that image,
  That maked was lyk hir semblaunce.             425
  She was ful simple of countenaunce,
  And she was clothed and eek shod,
  As she were, for the love of god,
  Yolden to religioun,
  Swich semed hir devocioun.                     430
  A sauter held she faste in honde,
  And bisily she gan to fonde
  To make many a feynt prayere
  To god, and to his seyntes dere.
  Ne she was gay, fresh, ne Iolyf,               435
  But semed be ful ententyf
  To gode werkes, and to faire,
  And therto she had on an haire.
  Ne certes, she was fat no-thing,

      PAPELARDIE ert apelée.
      C'est cele qui en recelée,                 410
      Quant nus ne s'en puet prendre garde,
      De nul mal faire ne se tarde.
      El fait dehors le marmiteus,
      Si a le vis simple et piteus,
      Et semble sainte créature;
      Mais sous ciel n'a male aventure
      Qu'ele ne pense en son corage.
      Moult la ressembloit bien l'ymage
      Qui faite fu à sa semblance,
      Qu'el fu de simple contenance;             420
      Et si fu chaucie et vestue
      Tout ainsinc cum fame rendue.
      En sa main ung sautier tenoit,
      Et sachiés que moult se penoit
      De faire à Dieu prieres faintes,
      Et d'appeler et sains et saintes.
      El ne fu gaie, ne jolive,
      Ains fu par semblant ententive
      Du tout à bonnes ovres faire;
      Et si avoit vestu la haire.                430
      Et sachiés que n'iere pas grasse,

  But semed wery for fasting;                    440
  Of colour pale and deed was she.
  From hir the gate [shal] werned be
  Of paradys, that blisful place;
  For swich folk maketh lene hir face,
  As Crist seith in his evangyle,                445
  To gete hem prys in toun a whyle;
  And for a litel glorie veine
  They lesen god and eek his reine.
    And alderlast of everichoon,             POVERT.
  Was peynted POVERT al aloon,                   450
  That not a peny hadde in wolde,
  Al-though [that] she hir clothes solde,
  And though she shulde anhonged be;
  For naked as a worm was she.
  And if the weder stormy were,                  455
  For colde she shulde have deyed there.
  She nadde on but a streit old sak,
  And many a clout on it ther stak;
  This was hir cote and hir mantel,
  No more was there, never a del,                460
  To clothe her with; I undertake,
  Gret leyser hadde she to quake.

      De jeuner sembloit estre lasse,
      S'avoit la color pale et morte.
      A li et as siens ert la porte
      Dévéée de Paradis;
      Car icel gent si font lor vis
      Amegrir, ce dit l'Evangile,
      Por avoir loz parmi la ville,
      Et por un poi de gloire vaine
      Qui lor toldra Dieu et son raine.          440
      Portraite fu au darrenier             POVRETÉ.
      POVRETÉ, qui ung seul denier
      N'éust pas, s'el se déust pendre,
      Tant séust bien sa robe vendre;
      Qu'ele iere nuë comme vers:
      Se li tens fust ung poi divers,
      Je cuit qu'ele acorast de froit,
      Qu'el n'avoit c'ung vié sac estroit
      Tout plain de mavès palestiaus;
      Ce iert sa robe et ses mantiaus.           450
      El n'avoit plus que afubler,
      Grant loisir avoit de trembler.

  And she was put, that I of talke,
  Fer fro these other, up in an halke;
  There lurked and there coured she,             465
  For povre thing, wher-so it be,
  Is shamfast, and despysed ay.
  Acursed may wel be that day,
  That povre man conceyved is;
  For god wot, al to selde, y-wis,               470
  Is any povre man wel fed,
  Or wel arayed or y-cled,
  Or wel biloved, in swich wyse
  In honour that he may aryse.
    Alle these thinges, wel avysed,              475
  As I have you er this devysed,
  With gold and asure over alle
  Depeynted were upon the walle.
  Squar was the wal, and high somdel;
  Enclosed, and y-barred wel,                    480
  In stede of hegge, was that gardin;
  Com never shepherde therin.
  Into that gardyn, wel [y-]wrought,
  Who-so that me coude have brought,
  By laddre, or elles by degree,                 485
  It wolde wel have lyked me.

      Des autres fu un poi loignet;
      Cum chien honteus en ung coignet
      Se cropoit et s'atapissoit,
      Car povre chose, où qu'ele soit,
      Est adès boutée et despite.
      L'eure soit ore la maudite,
      Que povres homs fu concéus!
      Qu'il ne sera jà bien péus,                460
      Ne bien vestus, ne bien chauciés,
      Néis amés, ne essauciés.
        Ces ymages bien avisé,
      Qui, si comme j'ai devisé,
      Furent à or et à asur
      De toutes pars paintes où mur.
      Haut fu li mur et tous quarrés,
      Si en fu bien clos et barrés,
      En leu de haies, uns vergiers,
      Où onc n'avoit entré bergiers.             470
      Cis vergiers en trop bel leu sist:
      Qui dedens mener me vousist
      Ou par échiele ou par degré,
      Je l'en séusse moult bon gré;

  For swich solace, swich Ioye, and play,
  I trowe that never man ne say,
  As in that place delitous.
  The gardin was not daungerous                  490
  To herberwe briddes many oon.
  So riche a yerd was never noon
  Of briddes songe, and braunches grene.
  Therin were briddes mo, I wene,
  Than been in alle the rewme of Fraunce.        495
  Ful blisful was the accordaunce
  Of swete and pitous songe they made,
  For al this world it oughte glade.
  And I my-self so mery ferde,
  Whan I hir blisful songes herde,               500
  That for an hundred pound nolde I,--
  If that the passage openly
  Hadde been unto me free--
  That I nolde entren for to see
  Thassemblee, god [it kepe and were!]--         505
  Of briddes, whiche therinne were,
  That songen, through hir mery throtes,
  Daunces of love, and mery notes.
    Whan I thus herde foules singe,
  I fel faste in a weymentinge,                  510

      Car tel joie ne tel déduit
      Ne vit nus hons, si cum ge cuit,
      Cum il avoit en ce vergier:
      Car li leus d'oisiaus herbergier
      N'estoit ne dangereux ne chiches.
      Onc mès ne fu nus leus si riches           480
      D'arbres, ne d'oisillons chantans:
      Qu'il i avoit d'oisiaus trois tans
      Qu'en tout le remanant de France.
      Moult estoit bele l'acordance
      De lor piteus chant à oïr:
      Tous li mons s'en dust esjoïr.
      Je endroit moi m'en esjoï
      Si durement, quant les oï,
      Que n'en préisse pas cent livres,
      Se li passages fust delivres,              490
      Que ge n'entrasse ens et véisse
      L'assemblée (que Diex garisse!)
      Des oisiaus qui léens estoient,
      Qui envoisiement chantoient
      Les dances d'amors et les notes
      Plesans, cortoises et mignotes.
        Quant j'oï les oisiaus chanter,
      Forment me pris à dementer

  By which art, or by what engyn
  I mighte come in that gardyn;
  But way I couthe finde noon
  Into that gardin for to goon.
  Ne nought wiste I if that ther were            515
  Eyther hole or place [o]-where,
  By which I mighte have entree;
  Ne ther was noon to teche me;
  For I was al aloon, y-wis,
  Ful wo and anguissous of this.                 520
  Til atte laste bithoughte I me,
  That by no weye ne mighte it be;
  That ther nas laddre or wey to passe,
  Or hole, into so fair a place.
    Tho gan I go a ful gret pas                  525
  Envyroning even in compas
  The closing of the square wal,
  Til that I fond a wiket smal
  So shet, that I ne mighte in goon,
  And other entree was ther noon.                530
    Upon this dore I gan to smyte,         THE DOOR.
  That was [so] fetys and so lyte;
  For other wey coude I not seke.
  Ful long I shoof, and knokked eke,

      Par quel art ne par quel engin
      Je porroie entrer où jardin;               500
      Mès ge ne poi onques trouver
      Leu par où g'i péusse entrer.
      Et sachiés que ge ne savoie
      S'il i avoït partuis ne voie,
      Ne leu par où l'en i entrast,
      Ne hons nés qui le me monstrast
      N'iert illec, que g'iere tot seus,
      Moult destroit et moult angoisseus;
      Tant qu'au darrenier me sovint
      C'oncques à nul jor ce n'avint             510
      Qu'en si biau vergier n'éust huis,
      Ou eschiele ou aucun partuis.
        Lors m'en alai grant aléure
      Açaignant la compasséure
      Et la cloison du mur quarré,
      Tant que ung guichet bien barré
      Trovai petitet et estroit;
      Par autre leu l'en n'i entroit.
      A l'uis commençai à ferir,
      Autre entrée n'i soi querir.               520
        Assez i feri et boutai,
      Et par maintes fois escoutai

  And stood ful long and of[t] herkning         535
  If that I herde a wight coming;
  Til that the dore of thilke entree
  A mayden curteys opened me.             YDELNESSE.
  Hir heer was as yelowe of hewe
  As any basin scoured newe.                     540
  Hir flesh [as] tendre as is a chike,
  With bente browes, smothe and slike;
  And by mesure large were
  The opening of hir yën clere.
  Hir nose of good proporcioun,                  545
  Hir yën greye as a faucoun,
  With swete breeth and wel savoured.
  Hir face whyt and wel coloured,
  With litel mouth, and round to see;
  A clove chin eek hadde she.                    550
  Hir nekke was of good fasoun
  In lengthe and gretnesse, by resoun,
  Withoute bleyne, scabbe, or royne.
  Fro Ierusalem unto Burgoyne
  Ther nis a fairer nekke, y-wis,                555
  To fele how smothe and softe it is.
  Hir throte, al-so whyt of hewe
  As snow on braunche snowed newe.

      Se j'orroie venir nulle arme.
      Le guichet, qui estoit de charme,
      M'ovrit une noble pucele
      Qui moult estoit et gente et bele.
      Cheveus ot blons cum uns bacins,
      La char plus tendre qu'uns pocins,
      Front reluisant, sorcis votis.
      Son entr'oil ne fu pas petis,              530
      Ains iert assez grans par mesure;
      Le nés ot bien fait à droiture,
      Les yex ot plus vairs c'uns faucons,
      Por faire envie à ces bricons.
      Douce alene ot et savorée,
      La face blanche et colorée,
      La bouche petite et grocete,
      S'ot où menton une fossete.
      Le col fu de bonne moison,
      Gros assez et lons par raison,             540
      Si n'i ot bube ne malen.
      N'avoit jusqu'en Jherusalen
      Fame qui plus biau col portast,
      Polis iert et soef au tast.
      La gorgete ot autresi blanche
      Cum est la noif desus la branche

  Of body ful wel wrought was she
  Men neded not, in no cuntree,                  560
  A fairer body for to seke.
  And of fyn orfrays had she eke
  A chapelet: so semly oon
  Ne wered never mayde upon;....
  And faire above that chapelet                  565
  A rose gerland had she set.
  She hadde [in honde] a gay mirour,
  And with a riche gold tressour
  Hir heed was tressed queyntely;
  Hir sleves sewed fetisly.                      570
  And for to kepe hir hondes faire
  Of gloves whyte she hadde a paire.
  And she hadde on a cote of grene
  Of cloth of Gaunt; withouten wene,
  Wel semed by hir apparayle                     575
  She was not wont to greet travayle.
  For whan she kempt was fetisly,
  And wel arayed and richely,
  Thanne had she doon al hir Iournee;
  For mery and wel bigoon was she.               580

      Quant il a freschement negié.
      Le cors ot bien fait et dougié,
      L'en ne séust en nule terre
      Nul plus bel cors de fame querre.          550
      D'orfrois ot un chapel mignot;
      Onques nule pucele n'ot
      Plus cointe ne plus desguisié,
      Ne l'aroie adroit devisié
      En trestous les jors de ma vie.
      Robe avoit moult bien entaillie;
      Ung chapel de roses tout frais
      Ot dessus le chapel d'orfrais:
      En sa main tint ung miroër,
      Si ot d'ung riche treçoër                  560
      Son chief trecié moult richement,
      Bien et bel et estroitement
      Ot ambdeus cousues ses manches;
      Et por garder que ses mains blanches
      Ne halaissent, ot uns blans gans.
      Cote ot d'ung riche vert de gans,
      Cousue à lignel tout entour.
      Il paroit bien à son atour
      Qu'ele iere poi embesoignie.
      Quant ele s'iere bien pignie,              570
      Et bien parée et atornée,
      Ele avoit faite sa jornée.

  She ladde a lusty lyf in May,
  She hadde no thought, by night ne day,
  Of no-thing, but it were oonly
  To graythe hit wel and uncouthly.
    Whan that this dore hadde opened me          585
  This mayden, semely for to see,
  I thanked hir as I best mighte,
  And axede hir how that she highte,
  And what she was, I axede eke.
  And she to me was nought unmeke,               590
  Ne of hir answer daungerous,
  But faire answerde, and seide thus:--
  Lo, sir, my name is YDELNESSE;
  So clepe men me, more and lesse.
  Ful mighty and ful riche am I,                 595
  And that of oon thing, namely;
  For I entende to no-thing
  But to my Ioye, and my pleying,
  And for to kembe and tresse me.
  Aqueynted am I, and privee                     600
  With Mirthe, lord of this gardyn,
  That fro the lande of Alexandryn
  Made the trees be hider fet,
  That in this gardin been y-set.

      Moult avoit bon tems et bon May,
      Qu'el n'avoït soussi ne esmay
      De nule riens, fors solement
      De soi atorner noblement.
        Quant ainsinc m'ot l'uis deffermé
      La pucele au cors acesmé,
      Je l'en merciai doucement,
      Et si li demandai comment                  580
      Ele avoit non, et qui ele iere.
      Ele ne fu pas envers moi fiere,
      Ne de respondre desdaigneuse:
      Je me fais apeler Oiseuse,'
      Dist-ele, 'à tous mes congnoissans;
      Si sui riche fame et poissans.
      S'ai d'une chose moult bon tens,
      Car à nule riens je ne pens
      Qu'à moi joer et solacier,
      Et mon chief pignier et trecier:           590
      Quant sui pignée et atornée,
      Adonc est fete ma jornée.
      Privée sui moult et acointe
      De Déduit le mignot, le cointe;
      C'est cil cui est cest biax jardins,
      Qui de la terre as Sarradins
      Fist çà ces arbres aporter,
      Qu'il fist par ce vergier planter.

  And whan the trees were woxen on highte,       605
  This wal, that slant here in thy sighte,
  Dide Mirthe enclosen al aboute;
  And these images, al withoute,
  He dide hem bothe entaile and peynte,
  That neither ben Iolyf ne queynte,             610
  But they ben ful of sorowe and wo,
  As thou hast seen a whyle ago.
   'And ofte tyme, him to solace,
  Sir Mirthe cometh into this place,
  And eek with him cometh his meynee,            615
  That liven in lust and Iolitee.
  And now is Mirthe therin, to here
  The briddes, how they singen clere,
  The mavis and the nightingale,
  And other Ioly briddes smale.                  620
  And thus he walketh to solace
  Him and his folk; for swetter place
  To pleyen in he may not finde,
  Although he soughte oon in-til Inde.
  The alther-fairest folk to see                 625
  That in this world may founde be
  Hath Mirthe with him in his route,
  That folowen him alwayes aboute.'

      Quant li arbres furent créu,
      Le mur que vous avez véu,                  600
      Fist lors Deduit tout entor faire,
      Et si fist au dehors portraire
      Les ymages qui i sunt paintes,
      Que ne sunt mignotes ne cointes;
      Ains sunt dolereuses et tristes,
      Si cum vous orendroit véistes.
        Maintes fois por esbanoier
      Se vient en cest leu umbroier
      Déduit et les gens qui le sivent,
      Qui en joie et en solas vivent.            610
      Encores est léens, sans doute,
      Déduit orendroit qui escoute
      A chanter gais rossignolés,
      Mauvis et autres oiselés.
      Il s'esbat iluec et solace
      O ses gens, car plus bele place
      Ne plus biau leu por soi joer
      Ne porroit-il mie trover;
      Les plus beles gens, ce sachiés,
      Que vous jamès nul leu truissiés,          620
      Si sunt li compaignon Déduit
      Qu'il maine avec li et conduit.'

    When Ydelnesse had told al this,
  And I hadde herkned wel, y-wis,                630
  Than seide I to dame Ydelnesse,
  Now al-so wisly god me blesse,
  Sith Mirthe, that is so fair and free,
  Is in this yerde with his meynee,
  Fro thilke assemblee, if I may,                635
  Shal no man werne me to-day,
  That I this night ne mote it see.
  For, wel wene I, ther with him be
  A fair and Ioly companye
  Fulfilled of alle curtesye.'                   640
  And forth, withoute wordes mo,
  In at the wiket wente I tho,
  That Ydelnesse hadde opened me,
  Into that gardin fair to see.
    And whan I was [ther]in, y-wis,              645
  Myn herte was ful glad of this.        THE GARDEN.
  For wel wende I ful sikerly
  Have been in paradys erth[e]ly;
  So fair it was, that, trusteth wel,
  It semed a place espirituel.                   650
  For certes, as at my devys,
  Ther is no place in paradys
  So good in for to dwelle or be
  As in that GARDIN, thoughte me;

        Quant Oiseuse m'ot ce conté,
      Et j'oi moult bien tout escouté,
      Je li dis lores: 'Dame Oiseuse,
      Jà de ce ne soyés douteuse,
      Puis que Déduit li biaus, li gens
      Est orendroit avec ses gens
      En cest vergier, ceste assemblée
      Ne m'iert pas, se je puis, emblée,         630
      Que ne la voie encore ennuit;
      Véoir la m'estuet, car ge cuit
      Que bele est cele compaignie,
      Et cortoise et bien enseignie.'
      Lors m'en entrai, ne dis puis mot,
      Par l'uis que Oiseuse overt m'ot,
      Où vergier; et quant je fui ens
      Je fui liés et baus et joiens.
      Et sachiés que je cuidai estre
      Por voir en Paradis terrestre,             640
      Tant estoit li leu delitables,
      Qu'il sembloit estre esperitables:
      Car si cum il m'iert lors avis,
      Ne féist en nul Paradis
      Si bon estre, cum il faisoit
      Où vergier qui tant me plaisoit.

  For there was many a brid singing,             655
  Throughout the yerde al thringing.
  In many places were nightingales,
  Alpes, finches, and wodewales,
  That in her swete song delyten
  In thilke place as they habyten.               660
  Ther mighte men see many flokkes
  Of turtles and [of] laverokkes.
  Chalaundres fele saw I there,
  That wery, nigh forsongen were.
  And thrustles, terins, and mavys,              665
  That songen for to winne hem prys,
  And eek to sormounte in hir song
  These other briddes hem among.
  By note made fair servyse
  These briddes, that I you devyse;              670
  They songe hir song as faire and wel
  As angels doon espirituel.
  And, trusteth wel, whan I hem herde,
  Full lustily and wel I ferde;
  For never yit swich melodye                    675
  Was herd of man that mighte dye.

      D'oisiaus chantans avoit assés
      Par tout le vergier amassés;
      En ung leu avoit rossigniaus,
      En l'autre gais et estorniaus;             650
      Si r'avoit aillors grans escoles
      De roietiaus et torteroles,
      De chardonnereaus, d'arondeles,
      D'aloes et de lardereles;
      Calendres i ot amassées
      En ung autre leu, qui lassées
      De chanter furent à envis:
      Melles y avoit et mauvis
      Qui baoient à sormonter
      Ces autres oisiaus par chanter.            660
      Il r'avoit aillors papegaus,
      Et mains oisiaus qui par ces gaus
      Et par ces bois où il habitent,
      En lor biau chanter se délitent.
      Trop parfesoient bel servise
      Cil oisel que je vous devise;
      Il chantoient ung chant itel
      Cum s'il fussent esperitel.
      De voir sachiés, quant les oï,
      Moult durement m'en esjoï:                 670
      Que mès si douce mélodie
      Ne fu d'omme mortel oïe.

  Swich swete song was hem among,
  That me thoughte it no briddes song,
  But it was wonder lyk to be
  Song of mermaydens of the see;                 680
  That, for her singing is so clere,
  Though we mermaydens clepe hem here
  In English, as in our usaunce,
  Men clepen hem sereyns in Fraunce.
    Ententif weren for to singe                  685
  These briddes, that nought unkunninge
  Were of hir craft, and apprentys,
  But of [hir] song sotyl and wys.
  And certes, whan I herde hir song,
  And saw the grene place among,                 690
  In herte I wex so wonder gay,
  That I was never erst, er that day,
  So Iolyf, nor so wel bigo,
  Ne mery in herte, as I was tho.
  And than wiste I, and saw ful wel,             695
  That Ydelnesse me served wel,
  That me putte in swich Iolitee.
  Hir freend wel oughte I for to be,
  Sith she the dore of that gardyn
  Hadde opened, and me leten in.                 700

      Tant estoit cil chans dous et biaus,
      Qu'il ne sombloit pas chans d'oisiaus,
      Ains le péust l'en aesmer
      A chant de seraines de mer,
      Qui par lor vois, qu'eles ont saines
      Et series, ont non seraines.
        A chanter furent ententis
      Li oisillon qui aprenti                    680
      Ne furent pas ne non sachant;
      Et sachiés quant j'oï lor chant,
      Et je vi le leu verdaier,
      Je me pris moult à esgaier;
      Que n'avoie encor esté onques
      Si jolif cum je fui adonques;
      Por la grant délitableté
      Fui plains de grant jolieté.
      Et lores soi-je bien et vi
      Que Oiseuse m'ot bien servi,               690
      Qui m'avoit en tel déduit mis:
      Bien déusse estre ses amis,
      Quant ele m'avoit deffermé
      Le guichet du vergier ramé.

    From hennesforth how that I wroughte,
  I shal you tellen, as me thoughte.
  First, whereof Mirthe served there,
  And eek what folk ther with him were,
  Withoute fable I wol descryve.                 705
  And of that gardin eek as blyve
  I wol you tellen after this.
  The faire fasoun al, y-wis,
  That wel [y-]wrought was for the nones,
  I may not telle you al at ones:                710
  But as I may and can, I shal
  By ordre tellen you it al.
    Ful fair servyse and eek ful swete
  These briddes maden as they sete.
  Layes of love, ful wel sowning                 715
  They songen in hir Iargoning;
  Summe highe and summe eek lowe songe
  Upon the braunches grene y-spronge.
  The sweetnesse of hir melodye
  Made al myn herte in reverdye.                 720
  And whan that I hadde herd, I trowe,
  These briddes singing on a rowe,
  Than mighte I not withholde me
  That I ne wente in for to see

        Dès ore si cum je sauré,
      Vous conterai comment j'ovré.
      Primes de quoi Déduit servoit,
      Et quel compaignie il avoit
      Sans longue fable vous veil dire,
      Et du vergier tretout à tire               700
      La façon vous redirai puis.
      Tout ensemble dire ne puis,
      Mès tout vous conteré par ordre,
      Que l'en n'i sache que remordre.
        Grant servise et dous et plaisant
      Aloient cil oisel faisant;
      Lais d'amors et sonnés cortois
      Chantoit chascun en son patois,
      Li uns en haut, li autre en bas;
      De lor chant n'estoit mie gas.             710
      La douçor et la mélodie
      Me mist où cuer grant reverdie;
      Mès quant j'oi escouté ung poi
      Les oisiaus, tenir ne me poi
      Que dant Déduit véoir n'alasse;
      Car à savoir moult desirasse

  Sir Mirthe; for my desiring                    725
  Was him to seen, over alle thing,
  His countenaunce and his manere:
  That sighte was to me ful dere.
    Tho wente I forth on my right hond
  Doun by a litel path I fond                    730
  Of mentes ful, and fenel grene;
  And faste by, withoute wene,
  SIR MIRTHE I fond; and right anoon     SIR MIRTHE.
  Unto sir Mirthe gan I goon,
  Ther-as he was, him to solace.                 735
  And with him, in that lusty place,
  So fair folk and so fresh hadde he,
  That whan I saw, I wondred me
  Fro whennes swich folk mighte come,
  So faire they weren, alle and some;            740
  For they were lyk, as to my sighte,
  To angels, that ben fethered brighte.
    This folk, of which I telle you so,
  Upon a carole wenten tho.
  A lady caroled hem, that highte                745
  GLADNES, [the] blisful and the lighte;  GLADNESSE.
  Wel coude she singe and lustily,
  Non half so wel and semely,
  And make in song swich refreininge,
  It sat hir wonder wel to singe.                750

      Son contenement et son estre.
        Lors m'en alai tout droit à destre,
      Par une petitete sente
      Plaine de fenoil et de mente;              720
      Mès auques près trové Déduit,
      Car maintenant en ung réduit
      M'en entré où Déduit estoit.
      Déduit ilueques s'esbatoit;
      S'avoit si bele gent o soi,
      Que quant je les vi, je ne soi
      Dont si tres beles gens pooient
      Estre venu; car il sembloient
      Tout por voir anges empennés,
      Si beles gens ne vit homs nés.             730
        Ceste gent dont je vous parole,
      S'estoient pris à la carole,
      Et une dame lor chantoit,
      Qui Léesce apelée estoit:
      Bien sot chanter et plesamment,
      Ne nule plus avenaument,
      Ne plus bel ses refrains ne fist,
      A chanter merveilles li sist;

  Hir vois ful cleer was and ful swete.
  She was nought rude ne unmete,
  But couthe y-now of swich doing
  As longeth unto caroling:
  For she was wont in every place                755
  To singen first, folk to solace;
  For singing most she gaf hir to;
  No craft had she so leef to do.
    Tho mightest thou caroles seen,
  And folk [ther] daunce and mery been,          760
  And make many a fair tourning
  Upon the grene gras springing.
  Ther mightest thou see these floutours,
  Minstrales, and eek Iogelours,
  That wel to singe dide hir peyne.              765
  Somme songe songes of Loreyne;
  For in Loreyne hir notes be
  Ful swetter than in this contree.
  Ther was many a timbestere,
  And saylours, that I dar wel swere             770
  Couthe hir craft ful parfitly.
  The timbres up ful sotilly
  They caste, and henten [hem] ful ofte
  Upon a finger faire and softe,

      Qu'ele avoit la vois clere et saine;
      Et si n'estoit mie vilaine;                740
      Ains se savoit bien desbrisier,
      Ferir du pié et renvoisier.
      Ele estoit adès coustumiere
      De chanter en tous leus premiere:
      Car chanter estoit li mestiers
      Qu'ele faisoit plus volentiers.
        Lors véissiés carole aler,
      Et gens mignotement baler,
      Et faire mainte bele tresche,
      Et maint biau tor sor l'erbe fresche.      750
      Là véissiés fléutéors,
      Menesterez et jougléors;
      Si chantent li uns rotruenges,
      Li autres notes Loherenges,
      Por ce qu'en set en Loheregne
      Plus cointes notes qu'en nul regne.
      Assez i ot tableterresses
      Ilec entor, et tymberresses
      Qui moult savoient bien joer,
      Et ne finoient de ruer                     760
      Le tymbre en haut, si recuilloient
      Sor ung doi, c'onques n'i failloient.

  That they [ne] fayled never-mo.                775
  Ful fetis damiselles two,
  Right yonge, and fulle of semlihede,
  In kirtles, and non other wede,
  And faire tressed every tresse,
  Hadde Mirthe doon, for his noblesse,           780
  Amidde the carole for to daunce;
  But her-of lyth no remembraunce,
  How that they daunced queyntely.
  That oon wolde come al prively
  Agayn that other: and whan they were           785
  Togidre almost, they threwe y-fere
  Hir mouthes so, that through hir play
  It semed as they kiste alway;
  To dauncen wel coude they the gyse;
  What shulde I more to you devyse?              790
  Ne bede I never thennes go,
  Whyles that I saw hem daunce so.
    Upon the carole wonder faste,
  I gan biholde; til atte laste
  A lady gan me for to espye,                    795
  And she was cleped CURTESYE,             CURTESYE.
  The worshipful, the debonaire;
  I pray god ever falle hir faire!

      Deus damoiseles moult mignotes,
      Qui estoient en pures cotes,
      Et trecies à une tresce,
      Faisoient Déduit par noblesce
      Enmi la karole baler;
      Mès de ce ne fait à parler
      Comme el baloient cointement.
      L'une venoit tout belement                 770
      Contre l'autre; et quant el estoient
      Près à près, si s'entregetoient
      Les bouches, qu'il vous fust avis
      Que s'entrebaisassent où vis:
      Bien se savoient desbrisier.
      Ne vous en sai que devisier;
      Mès à nul jor ne me quéisse
      Remuer, tant que ge véisse
      Ceste gent ainsine efforcier
      De caroler et de dancier.                  780
        La karole tout en estant
      Regardai iluec jusqu'à tant
      C'une dame bien enseignie
      Me tresvit: ce fu Cortoisie
      La vaillant et la debonnaire,
      Que Diex deffende de contraire.

  Ful curteisly she called me,
 'What do ye there, beau sire?' quod she,        800
  Come [neer], and if it lyke yow
  To dauncen, daunceth with us now.'
  And I, withoute tarying,
  Wente into the caroling.
  I was abasshed never a del,                    805
  But it me lykede right wel,
  That Curtesye me cleped so,
  And bad me on the daunce go.
  For if I hadde durst, certeyn
  I wolde have caroled right fayn,               810
  As man that was to daunce blythe.
  Than gan I loken ofte sythe
  The shap, the bodies, and the cheres,
  The countenaunce and the maneres
  Of alle the folk that daunced there,           815
  And I shal telle what they were.
    Ful fair was MIRTHE, ful long and high;  MIRTHE.
  A fairer man I never sigh.
  As round as appel was his face,
  Ful rody and whyt in every place.              820
  Fetys he was and wel beseye,
  With metely mouth and yën greye;

      Cortoisie lors m'apela:
      Biaus amis, que faites-vous là?'
      Fait Cortoisie, 'ça venez,
      Et avecque nous vous prenez                790
      A la karole, s'il vous plest.'
      Sans demorance et sans arrest
      A la karole me sui pris,
      Si n'en fui pas trop entrepris,
      Et sachiés que moult m'agréa
      Quant Cortoisie m'en pria,
      Et me dist que je karolasse;
      Car de karoler, se j'osasse,
      Estoie envieus et sorpris.
      A regarder lores me pris                   800
      Les cors, les façons et les chieres,
      Les semblances et les manieres
      Des gens qui ilec karoloient:
      Si vous dirai quex il estoient.
        Déduit fu biaus et lons et drois,
      Jamés en terre ne venrois
      Où vous truissiés nul plus bel homme:
      La face avoit cum une pomme,
      Vermoille et blanche tout entour,
      Cointes fu et de bel atour.                810

  His nose by mesure wrought ful right;
  Crisp was his heer, and eek ful bright.
  His shuldres of a large brede,                 825
  And smalish in the girdilstede.
  He semed lyk a portreiture,
  So noble he was of his stature,
  So fair, so Ioly, and so fetys,
  With limes wrought at poynt devys,             830
  Deliver, smert, and of gret might;
  Ne sawe thou never man so light.
  Of berde unnethe hadde he no-thing,
  For it was in the firste spring.
  Ful yong he was, and mery of thought,          835
  And in samyt, with briddes wrought,
  And with gold beten fetisly,
  His body was clad ful richely.
  Wrought was his robe in straunge gyse,
  And al to-slitered for queyntyse               840
  In many a place, lowe and hye.
  And shod he was with greet maistrye,
  With shoon decoped, and with laas.
  By druerye, and by solas,
  His leef a rosen chapelet                      845
  Had maad, and on his heed it set.

      Les yex ot vairs, la bouche gente,
      Et le nez fait par grant entente;
      Cheveus ot blons, recercelés,
      Par espaules fu auques lés,
      Et gresles parmi la ceinture:
      Il resembloit une painture,
      Tant ere biaus et acesmés,
      Et de tous membres bien formés.
      Remuans fu, et preus, et vistes,
      Plus legier homme ne véistes;              820
      Si n'avoit barbe, ne grenon,
      Se petiz peus folages non,
      Car il ert jones damoisiaus.
      D'un samit portret à oysiaus,
      Qui ere tout à or batus,
      Fu ses cors richement vestus.
      Moult iert sa robe desguisée,
      Et fu moult riche et encisée,
      Et décopée par cointise;
      Chauciés refu par grant mestrise           830
      D'uns solers décopés à las;
      Par druerie et par solas
      Li ot s'amie fet chapel
      De roses qui moult li sist bel.

    And wite ye who was his leef?
  Dame GLADNES ther was him so leef,      GLADNESSE.
  That singeth so wel with glad corage,
  That from she was twelve yeer of age,          850
  She of hir love graunt him made.
  Sir Mirthe hir by the finger hadde
  [In] daunsing, and she him also;
  Gret love was atwixe hem two.
  Bothe were they faire and brighte of hewe;     855
  She semede lyk a rose newe
  Of colour, and hir flesh so tendre,
  That with a brere smale and slendre
  Men mighte it cleve, I dar wel sayn.
  Hir forheed, frounceles al playn.              860
  Bente were hir browes two,
  Hir yën greye, and gladde also,
  That laughede ay in hir semblaunt,
  First or the mouth, by covenaunt.
  I not what of hir nose descryve;               865
  So fair hath no womman alyve....
  Hir heer was yelowe, and cleer shyning,
  I wot no lady so lyking.

        Savés-vous qui estoit s'amie?
      Léesce qui nel' haoit mie,
      L'envoisie, la bien chantans,
      Qui dès lors qu'el n'ot que sept ans
      De s'amor li donna l'otroi;
      Déduit la tint parmi le doi                840
      A la karole, et ele lui,
      Bien s'entr'amoient ambedui:
      Car il iert biaus, et ele bele,
      Bien resembloit rose novele
      De sa color. S'ot la char tendre,
      Qu'en la li péust toute fendre
      A une petitete ronce.
      Le front ot blanc, poli, sans fronce,
      Les sorcis bruns et enarchiés,
      Les yex gros et si envoisiés,              850
      Qu'il rioient tousjors avant
      Que la bouchete par convant.
      Je ne vous sai du nés que dire,
      L'en nel' féist pas miex de cire.
      Ele ot la bouche petitete,
      Et por baisier son ami, preste;
      Le chief ot blons et reluisant.
      Que vous iroie-je disant?
      Bele fu et bien atornée;
      D'ung fil d'or ere galonnée,               860
      S'ot ung chapel d'orfrois tout nuef;
      Je qu'en oi véu vint et nuef,

  Of orfrays fresh was hir gerland;
  I, whiche seen have a thousand,                870
  Saugh never, y-wis, no gerlond yit,
  So wel [y]-wrought of silk as it.
  And in an over-gilt samyt
  Clad she was, by gret delyt,
  Of which hir leef a robe werde,                875
  The myrier she in herte ferde.
    And next hir wente, on hir other syde,   CUPIDE.
  The god of Love, that can devyde
  Love, as him lyketh it [to] be.
  But he can cherles daunten, he,                880
  And maken folkes pryde fallen.
  And he can wel these lordes thrallen,
  And ladies putte at lowe degree,
  Whan he may hem to proude see.
    This God of Love of his fasoun               885
  Was lyk no knave, ne quistroun;
  His beautee gretly was to pryse.
  But of his robe to devyse
  I drede encombred for to be.
  For nought y-clad in silk was he,              890
  But al in floures and flourettes,
  Y-painted al with amorettes;

      A nul jor mès véu n'avoie
      Chapel si bien ouvré de soie.
      D'un samit qui ert tous dorés
      Fu ses cors richement parés,
      De quoi son ami avoit robe,
      Si en estoit assés plus gobe.
        A li se tint de l'autre part
      Li Diex d'Amors, cil qui départ            870
      Amoretes à sa devise.
      C'est cil qui les amans justise,
      Et qui abat l'orguel des gens,
      Et si fait des seignors sergens,
      Et des dames refait bajesses,
      Quant il les trove trop engresses.
        Li Diex d'Amors, de la façon,
      Ne resembloit mie garçon:
      De beaulté fist moult à prisier,
      Mes de sa robe devisier                    880
      Criens durement qu'encombré soie.
      Il n'avoit pas robe de soie,
      Ains avoit robe de floretes,
      Fete par fines amoretes

  And with losenges and scochouns,
  With briddes, libardes, and lyouns,
  And other beestes wrought ful wel.             895
  His garnement was everydel
  Y-portreyd and y-wrought with floures,
  By dyvers medling of coloures.
  Floures ther were of many gyse
  Y-set by compas in assyse;                     900
  Ther lakked no flour, to my dome,
  Ne nought so muche as flour of brome,
  Ne violete, ne eck pervenke,
  Ne flour non, that man can on thenke,
  And many a rose-leef ful long                  905
  Was entermedled ther-among:
  And also on his heed was set
  Of roses rede a chapelet.
  But nightingales, a ful gret route,
  That flyen over his heed aboute,               910
  The leves felden as they flyen;
  And he was al with briddes wryen,
  With popiniay, with nightingale,
  With chalaundre, and with wodewale,
  With finch, with lark, and with archaungel.    915
  He semede as he were an aungel

      A losenges, à escuciaus,
      A oiselés, à lionciaus,
      Et à bestes et à liépars;
      Fu la robe de toutes pars
      Portraite, et ovrée de flors
      Par diverseté de colors.                   890
      Flors i avoit de maintes guises
      Qui furent par grant sens assises;
      Nulle flor en esté ne nest
      Qui n'i soit, neis flor de genest,
      Ne violete, ne parvanche,
      Ne fleur inde, jaune ne blanche;
      Si ot par leus entremeslées
      Foilles de roses grans et lées.
      Il ot où chief ung chapelet
      De roses; mès rossignolet                  900
      Qui entor son chief voletoient,
      Les foilles jus en abatoient:
      Car il iert tout covers d'oisiaus,
      De papegaus, de rossignaus,
      De calandres et de mesanges;
      Il sembloit que ce fust uns anges

  That doun were comen fro hevene clere.
    Love hadde with him a bachelere,
  That he made alweyes with him be;
  SWETE-LOKING cleped was he.                    920
  This bachelere stood biholding       SWETE-LOKING.
  The daunce, and in his honde holding
  Turke bowes two hadde he.
  That oon of hem was of a tree
  That bereth a fruyt of savour wikke;           925
  Ful croked was that foule stikke,
  And knotty here and there also,
  And blak as bery, or any slo.
  That other bowe was of a plante
  Withoute wem, I dar warante,                   930
  Ful even, and by proporcioun
  Tretys and long, of good fasoun.
  And it was peynted wel and thwiten,
  And over-al diapred and writen
  With ladies and with bacheleres,               935
  Ful lightsom and [ful] glad of cheres.
  These bowes two held Swete-Loking,
  That semed lyk no gadeling.
  And ten brode arowes held he there,
  Of which five in his right hond were.          940

      Qui fust tantost venus du ciau.
        Amors avoit ung jovenciau
      Qu'il faisoit estre iluec delés;
      Douz-Regard estoit apelés.                 910
      Ici bachelers regardoit
      Les caroles, et si gardoit
      Au Diex d'Amors deux ars turquois.
      Li uns des ars si fu d'un bois
      Dont li fruit iert mal savorés;
      Tous plains de nouz et bocerés
      Fu li ars dessous et dessore,
      Et si estoit plus noirs que mores.
      Li autres ars fu d'un plançon
      Longuet et de gente façon;                 920
      Si fu bien fait et bien dolés,
      Et si fu moult bien pipelés.
      Dames i ot de tous sens pointes,
      Et valés envoisiés et cointes.
      Ices deux ars tint Dous-Regars
      Qui ne sembloit mie estre gars,
      Avec dix des floiches son mestre.
      Il en tint cinq en sa main destre;

  But they were shaven wel and dight,
  Nokked and fethered a-right;
  And al they were with gold bigoon,
  And stronge poynted everichoon,
  And sharpe for to kerven weel.                 945
  But iren was ther noon ne steel;
  For al was gold, men mighte it see,
  Out-take the fetheres and the tree.
    The swiftest of these arowes fyve
  Out of a bowe for to dryve,                    950
  And best [y]-fethered for to flee,
  And fairest eek, was cleped BEAUTEE.      BEAUTEE.
  That other arowe, that hurteth lesse,
  Was cleped, as I trowe, SIMPLESSE.      SIMPLESSE.
  The thridde cleped was FRAUNCHYSE,             955
  That fethered was, in noble wyse,      FRAUNCHYSE.
  With valour and with curtesye.
  The fourthe was cleped COMPANYE          COMPANYE.
  That hevy for to sheten is;
  But who-so sheteth right, y-wis,               960
  May therwith doon gret harm and wo.
  The fifte of these, and laste also,

      Mès moult orent ices cinq floiches
      Les penons bien fais, et les coiches:      930
      Si furent toutes à or pointes,
      Fors et tranchans orent les pointes,
      Et aguës por bien percier,
      Et si n'i ot fer ne acier;
      Onc n'i ot riens qui d'or ne fust,
      Fors que les penons et le fust:
      Car el furent encarrelées
      De sajetes d'or barbelées.
        La meillore et la plus isnele
      De ces floiches, et la plus bele,          940
      Et cele où li meillor penon
      Furent entés, Biautes ot non.
      Une d'eles qui le mains blece,
      Ot non, ce m'est avis, Simplece.
      Une autre en i ot apelée
      Franchise; cele iert empenée
      De Valor et de Cortoisie.
      La quarte avoit non Compaignie:
      En cele ot moult pesant sajete.
      Ele n'iert pas d'aler loing preste;        950
      Mès qui de près en vosist traire,
      Il en péust assez mal faire.

  FAIR-SEMBLAUNT men that arowe calle,         FAIR-
  The leeste grevous of hem alle;         SEMBLAUNT.
  Yit can it make a ful gret wounde,             965
  But he may hope his sores sounde,
  That hurt is with that arowe, y-wis;
  His wo the bet bistowed is.
  For he may soner have gladnesse,
  His langour oughte be the lesse.               970
    Fyve arowes were of other gyse,
  That been ful foule to devyse;
  For shaft and ende, sooth to telle,
  Were al-so blak as feend in helle.
    The first of hem is called PRYDE;     PRYDE. 975
  That other arowe next him bisyde,
  It was [y]-cleped VILANYE;                VILANYE.
  That arowe was as with felonye
  Envenimed, and with spitous blame.
  The thridde of hem was cleped SHAME.    SHAME. 980
  The fourthe, WANHOPE cleped is,           WANHOPE.
  The fifte, the NEWE-THOUGHT, y-wis.          NEWE-
    These arowes that I speke of here,      THOUGHT.
  Were alle fyve of oon manere,
  And alle were they resemblable.                985
  To hem was wel sitting and able

      La quinte avoit non Biau-Semblant,
      Ce fut toute la mains grévant.
      Ne porquant el fait moult grant plaie;
      Mès cis atent bonne menaie,
      Qui de cele floiche est plaiés,
      Ses maus en est mielx emplaiés;
      Car il puet tost santé atendre,
      S'en doit estre sa dolor mendre.           960
        Cinq floiches i ot d'autre guise,
      Qui furent lédes à devise:
      Li fust estoient et li fer
      Plus noirs que déables d'enfer.
      La premiere avoit non Orguex,
      L'autre qui ne valoit pas miex,
      Fu apelée Vilenie;
      Icele fu de felonie
      Toute tainte et envenimée.
      La tierce fu Honte clamée,                 970
      Et la quarte Desesperance:
      Novel-Penser fu sans doutance
      Apelée la darreniere.
        Ces cinq floiches d'une maniere
      Furent, et moult bien resemblables;
      Moult par lor estoit convenables

  The foule croked bowe hidous,
  That knotty was, and al roynous.
  That bowe semede wel to shete
  These arowes fyve, that been unmete,           990
  Contrarie to that other fyve.
  But though I telle not as blyve
  Of hir power, ne of hir might,
  Her-after shal I tellen right
  The sothe, and eek signifiaunce,               995
  As fer as I have remembraunce:
  Al shall be seid, I undertake,
  Er of this boke an ende I make.
    Now come I to my tale ageyn.
  But alderfirst, I wol you seyn                1000
  The fasoun and the countenaunces
  Of al the folk that on the daunce is.
  The God of Love, Iolyf and light,
  Ladde on his honde a lady bright,
  Of high prys, and of greet degree.            1005
  This lady called was BEAUTEE,             BEAUTEE.
  [As was] an arowe, of which I tolde.
  Ful wel [y]-thewed was she holde;
  Ne she was derk ne broun, but bright,
  And cleer as [is] the mone-light,             1010

      Li uns des arcs qui fu hideus,
      Et plains de neus, et eschardeus;
      Il devoit bien tiex floiches traire,
      Car el erent force et contraire            980
      As autres cinq floiches sans doute.
      Mès ne diré pas ore toute
      Lor forces, ne lor poestés.
      Bien vous sera la verités
      Contée, et la sénefiance
      Nel'metré mie en obliance;
      Ains vous dirai que tout ce monte,
      Ainçois que je fine mon conte.
        Or revendrai à ma parole:
      Des nobles gens de la karole               990
      M'estuet dire les contenances,
      Et les façons et les semblances.
      Li Diex d'Amors se fu bien pris
      A une dame de haut pris,
      Et delez lui iert ajoustés:
      Icele dame ot non Biautés,
      Ainsinc cum une des cinq fleches.
      En li ot maintes bonnes teches:
      El ne fu oscure, ne brune,
      Ains fu clere comme la lune,              1000

  Ageyn whom alle the sterres semen
  But smale candels, as we demen.
  Hir flesh was tendre as dewe of flour,
  Hir chere was simple as byrde in bour;
  As whyt as lilie or rose in rys,              1015
  Hir face gentil and tretys.
  Fetys she was, and smal to see;
  No windred browes hadde she,
  Ne popped hir, for it neded nought
  To windre hir, or to peynte hir ought.        1020
  Hir tresses yelowe, and longe straughten,
  Unto hir heles doun they raughten:
  Hir nose, hir mouth, and eye and cheke
  Wel wrought, and al the remenaunt eke.
  A ful gret savour and a swote                 1025
  Me thinketh in myn herte rote,
  As helpe me god, whan I remembre
  Of the fasoun of every membre!
  In world is noon so fair a wight;
  For yong she was, and hewed bright,           1030
  [Wys], plesaunt, and fetys withalle,
  Gente, and in hir middel smalle.
    Bisyde Beaute yede RICHESSE,           RICHESSE.
  An high lady of greet noblesse,

      Envers qui les autres estoiles
      Resemblent petites chandoiles.
      Tendre ot la char comme rousée,
      Simple fu cum une espousée,
      Et blanche comme flor de lis;
      Si ot le vis cler et alis,
      Et fu greslete et alignie;
      Ne fu fardée ne guignie:
      Car el n'avoit mie mestier
      De soi tifer ne d'afetier.                1010
      Les cheveus ot blons et si lons
      Qu'il li batoient as talons;
      Nez ot bien fait, et yelx et bouche.
      Moult grant douçor au cuer me touche,
      Si m'aïst Diex, quant il me membre
      De la façon de chascun membre
      Qu'il n'ot si bele fame où monde.
      Briément el fu jonete et blonde,
      Sade, plaisant, aperte et cointe,
      Grassete et grele, gente et jointe.       1020
        Près de Biauté se tint Richece,
      Une dame de grant hautece,

  And greet of prys in every place.             1035
  But who-so durste to hir trespace,
  Or til hir folk, in worde or dede,
  He were ful hardy, out of drede;
  For bothe she helpe and hindre may:
  And that is nought of yisterday               1040
  That riche folk have ful gret might
  To helpe, and eek to greve a wight.
  The beste and grettest of valour
  Diden Richesse ful gret honour,
  And besy weren hir to serve;                  1045
  For that they wolde hir love deserve,
  They cleped hir 'Lady,' grete and smalle;
  This wyde world hir dredeth alle;
  This world is al in hir daungere.
  Hir court hath many a losengere,              1050
  And many a traytour envious,
  That been ful besy and curious
  For to dispreisen, and to blame
  That best deserven love and name.
  Bifore the folk, hem to bigylen,              1055
  These losengeres hem preyse, and smylen,
  And thus the world with word anoynten;
  But afterward they [prikke] and poynten

      De grant pris et de grant affaire.
      Qui à li ne as siens meffaire
      Osast riens par fais, ou par dis,
      Il fust moult fiers et moult hardis;
      Qu'ele puet moult nuire et aidier.
      Ce n'est mie ne d'ui ne d'ier
      Que riches gens out grant poissance
      De faire ou aïde, ou grévance.            1030
      Tuit li greignor et li menor
      Portoient à Richece honor:
      Tuit baoient à li servir,
      Por l'amor de li deservir;
      Chascuns sa dame la clamoit,
      Car tous li mondes la cremoit;
      Tous li mons iert en son dangier.
      En sa cort ot maint losengier,
      Maint traïtor, maint envieus:
      Ce sunt cil qui sunt curieus              1040
      De desprisier et de blasmer
      Tous ceus qui font miex à amer.
      Par devant, por eus losengier,
      Loent les gens li losengier;
      Tout le monde par parole oignent,
      Mès lor losenges les gens poignent

  The folk right to the bare boon,
  Bihinde her bak whan they ben goon,           1060
  And foule abate the folkes prys.
  Ful many a worthy man and wys,
  An hundred, have [they] don to dye,
  These losengeres, through flaterye;
  And maketh folk ful straunge be,              1065
  Ther-as hem oughte be prive.
  Wel yvel mote they thryve and thee,
  And yvel aryved mote they be,
  These losengeres, ful of envye!
  No good man loveth hir companye.              1070
    Richesse a robe of purpre on hadde,
  Ne trowe not that I lye or madde;
  For in this world is noon it liche,
  Ne by a thousand deel so riche,
  Ne noon so fair; for it ful wel               1075
  With orfrays leyd was everydel,
  And portrayed in the ribaninges
  Of dukes stories, and of kinges.
  And with a bend of gold tasseled,
  And knoppes fyne of gold ameled.              1080
  Aboute hir nekke of gentil entaile
  Was shet the riche chevesaile,

      Par derriere dusques as os,
      Qu'il abaissent des bons les los,
      Et desloent les aloés,
      Et si loent les desloés.                  1050
      Maint prodommes ont encusés,
      Et de lor honnor reculés
      Li losengier par lor losenges;
      Car il font ceus des cors estranges
      Qui déussent estre privés:
      Mal puissent-il estre arivés
      Icil losengier plain d'envie!
      Car nus prodons n'aime lor vie.
        Richece ot une porpre robe,
      Ice ne tenés mie à lobe,                  1060
      Que je vous di bien et afiche
      Qu'il n'ot si bele, ne si riche
      Où monde, ne si envoisie.
      La porpre fu toute orfroisie;
      Si ot portraites à orfrois
      Estoires de dus et de rois.
      Si estoit au col bien orlée
      D'une bende d'or néélée
      Moult richement, sachiés sans faille.
      Si i avoit tretout à taille               1070

  In which ther was ful gret plentee
  Of stones clere and bright to see.
    Rychesse a girdel hadde upon,               1085
  The bokel of it was of a stoon
  Of vertu greet, and mochel of might;
  For who-so bar the stoon so bright,
  Of venim [thurte] him no-thing doute,
  While he the stoon hadde him aboute.          1090
  That stoon was greetly for to love,
  And til a riche mannes bihove
  Worth al the gold in Rome and Fryse.
  The mourdaunt, wrought in noble wyse,
  Was of a stoon ful precious,                  1095
  That was so fyn and vertuous,
  That hool a man it coude make
  Of palasye, and of tooth-ake.
  And yit the stoon hadde suche a grace,
  That he was siker in every place,             1100
  Al thilke day, not blind to been,
  That fasting mighte that stoon seen.
  The barres were of gold ful fyne,
  Upon a tissu of satyne,
  Ful hevy, greet, and no-thing light,          1105
  In everich was a besaunt-wight.
    Upon the tresses of Richesse
  Was set a cercle, for noblesse,

      De riches pierres grant plenté
      Qui moult rendoient grant clarté.
        Richece ot ung moult riche ceint
      Par desus cele porpre ceint;
      La boucle d'une pierre fu
      Qui ot grant force et grant vertu:
      Car cis qui sor soi la portoit,
      Nes uns venins ne redotoit:
      Nus nel pooit envenimer,
      Moult faisoit la pierre à aimer.          1080
      Ele vausist à ung prodomme
      Miex que trestous li ors de Romme.
      D'une pierre fu li mordens,
      Qui garissoit du mal des dens;
      Et si avoit ung tel éur,
      Que cis pooit estre asséur
      Tretous les jors de sa véue,
      Qui à géun l'avoit véue.
      Li clou furent d'or esmeré,
      Qui erent el tissu doré;                  1090
      Si estoient gros et pesant,
      En chascun ot bien ung besant.
        Richece ot sus ses treces sores
      Ung cercle d'or; onques encores

  Of brend gold, that ful lighte shoon;
  So fair, trowe I, was never noon.             1110
  But he were cunning, for the nones,
  That coude devysen alle the stones
  That in that cercle shewen clere;
  It is a wonder thing to here.
  For no man coude preyse or gesse              1115
  Of hem the valewe or richesse.
  Rubyes there were, saphyres, iagounces,
  And emeraudes, more than two ounces.
  But al bifore, ful sotilly,
  A fyn carboucle set saugh I.                  1120
  The stoon so cleer was and so bright,
  That, al-so sone as it was night,
  Men mighte seen to go, for nede,
  A myle or two, in lengthe and brede.
  Swich light [tho] sprang out of the stoon,    1125
  That Richesse wonder brighte shoon,
  Bothe hir heed, and al hir face,
  And eke aboute hir al the place.
    Dame Richesse on hir hond gan lede
  A yong man ful of semelihede,                 1130
  That she best loved of any thing;
  His lust was muche in housholding.

      Ne fu si biaus véus, ce cuit,
      Car il fu tout d'or fin recuit;
      Mès cis seroit bons devisierres
      Qui vous sauroit toutes les pierres,
      Qui i estoient, devisier,
      Car l'en ne porroit pas prisier           1100
      L'avoir que les pierres valoient,
      Qui en l'or assises estoient.
      Rubis i ot, saphirs, jagonces,
      Esmeraudes plus de dix onces.
      Mais devant ot, par grant mestrise,
      Une escharboucle où cercle assise,
      Et la pierre si clere estoit,
      Que maintenant qu'il anuitoit,
      L'en s'en véist bien au besoing
      Conduire d'une liue loing.                1110
      Tel clarté de la pierre yssoit,
      Que Richece en resplendissoit
      Durement le vis et la face,
      Et entor li toute la place.
        Richece tint parmi la main
      Ung valet de grant biauté plain,
      Qui fu ses amis veritiez.
      C'est uns hons qui en biaus ostiez

  In clothing was he ful fetys,
  And lovede wel have hors of prys.
  He wende to have reproved be                  1135
  Of thefte or mordre, if that he
  Hadde in his stable an hakeney.
  And therfore he desyred ay
  To been aqueynted with Richesse;
  For al his purpos, as I gesse,                1140
  Was for to make greet dispense,
  Withoute werning or defence.
  And Richesse mighte it wel sustene,
  And hir dispenses wel mayntene,
  And him alwey swich plentee sende             1145
  Of gold and silver for to spende
  Withoute lakking or daungere,
  As it were poured in a garnere.
    And after on the daunce wente          LARGESSE.
  LARGESSE, that sette al hir entente           1150
  For to be honourable and free;
  Of Alexandres kin was she;
  Hir moste Ioye was, y-wis,
  Whan that she yaf, and seide, 'have this.'
  Not Avarice, the foule caytyf,                1155
  Was half to grype so ententyf,

      Maintenir moult se délitoit.
      Cis se chauçoit bien et vestoit,          1120
      Si avoit les chevaus de pris;
      Cis cuidast bien estre repris
      Ou de murtre, ou de larrecin,
      S'en s'estable éust ung roucin.
      Por ce amoit-il moult l'acointance
      De Richece et la bien-voillance,
      Qu'il avoit tous jors en porpens
      De demener les grans despens,
      Et el les pooit bien soffrir,
      Et tous ses despens maintenir;            1130
      El li donnoit autant deniers
      Cum s'el les puisast en greniers.
        Après refu Largece assise,
      Qui fu bien duite et bien aprise
      De faire honor, et de despendre:
      El fu du linage Alexandre;
      Si n'avoit-el joie de rien
      Cum quant el pooit dire, 'tien.'
      Neis Avarice la chétive
      N'ert pas si à prendre ententive          1140

  As Largesse is to yeve and spende.
  And god y-nough alwey hir sende,
  So that the more she yaf awey,
  The more, y-wis, she hadde alwey.             1160
  Gret loos hath Largesse, and gret prys;
  For bothe wys folk and unwys
  Were hoolly to hir baundon brought,
  So wel with yiftes hath she wrought.
  And if she hadde an enemy,                    1165
  I trowe, that she coude craftily
  Make him ful sone hir freend to be,
  So large of yift and free was she;
  Therfore she stood in love and grace
  Of riche and povre in every place.            1170
  A ful gret fool is he, y-wis,
  That bothe riche and nigard is.
  A lord may have no maner vice
  That greveth more than avarice.
  For nigard never with strengthe of hond       1175
  May winne him greet lordship or lond.
  For freendes al to fewe hath he
  To doon his wil perfourmed be.
  And who-so wol have freendes here,
  He may not holde his tresour dere.            1180
  For by ensample I telle this,
  Right as an adamaunt, y-wis,

      Cum Largece ere de donner;
      Et Diex li fesoit foisonner
      Ses biens si qu'ele ne savoit
      Tant donner, cum el plus avoit.
      Moult a Largece pris et los;
      Ele a les sages et les fos
      Outréement à son bandon,
      Car ele savoit fere biau don;
      S'ainsinc fust qu'aucuns la haïst,
      Si cuit-ge que de ceus féist              1150
      Ses amis par son biau servise;
      Et por ce ot-ele à devise
      L'amor des povres et des riches.
      Moult est fos haus homs qui est chiches!
      Haus homs ne puet avoir nul vice,
      Qui tant li griet cum avarice:
      Car hons avers ne puet conquerre
      Ne seignorie ne grant terre;
      Car il n'a pas d'amis plenté,
      Dont il face sa volenté.                  1160
      Mès qui amis vodra avoir
      Si n'ait mie chier son avoir,
      Ains par biaus dons amis acquiere:
      Car tout en autretel maniere

  Can drawen to him sotilly
  The yren, that is leyd therby,
  So draweth folkes hertes, y-wis,              1185
  Silver and gold that yeven is.
    Largesse hadde on a robe fresshe
  Of riche purpur Sarsinesshe.
  Wel fourmed was hir face and clere,
  And opened had she hir colere;                1190
  For she right there hadde in present
  Unto a lady maad present
  Of a gold broche, ful wel wrought.
  And certes, it missat hir nought;
  For through hir smokke, wrought with silk,    1195
  The flesh was seen, as whyt as milk.
  Largesse, that worthy was and wys,
  Held by the honde a knight of prys,
  Was sib to Arthour of Bretaigne.
  And that was he that bar the enseigne         1200
  Of worship, and the gonfanoun.
  And yit he is of swich renoun,
  That men of him seye faire thinges
  Bifore barouns, erles, and kinges.
  This knight was comen al newely               1205
  Fro tourneyinge faste by;

      Cum la pierre de l'aïment
      Trait à soi le fer soutilment,
      Ainsinc atrait les cuers des gens
      Li ors qu'en donne et li argens.
        Largece ot robe toute fresche
      D'une porpre Sarrazinesche;               1170
      S'ot le vis bel et bien formé;
      Mès el ot son col deffermé,
      Qu'el avoit iluec en présent
      A une dame fet présent,
      N'avoit gueres, de son fermal,
      Et ce ne li séoit pas mal,
      Que sa cheveçaille iert overte,
      Et sa gorge si descoverte,
      Que parmi outre la chemise
      Li blanchoioit sa char alise.             1180
      Largece la vaillant, la sage,
      Tint ung chevalier du linage
      Au bon roy Artus de Bretaigne;
      Ce fu cil qui porta l'enseigne
      De Valor et le gonfanon.
      Encor est-il de tel renom,
      Que l'en conte de li les contes
      Et devant rois et devant contes.
      Cil chevalier novelement
      Fu venus d'ung tornoiement,               1190

  Ther hadde he doon gret chivalrye
  Through his vertu and his maistrye;
  And for the love of his lemman
  [Had] cast doun many a doughty man.           1210
    And next him daunced dame FRAUNCHYSE,
  Arrayed in ful noble gyse.             FRAUNCHYSE.
  She was not broun ne dun of hewe,
  But whyt as snowe y-fallen newe.
  Hir nose was wrought at poynt devys,          1215
  For it was gentil and tretys;
  With eyen gladde, and browes bente;
  Hir heer doun to hir heles wente.
  And she was simple as dowve on tree,
  Ful debonaire of herte was she.               1220
  She durste never seyn ne do
  But that [thing] that hir longed to.
  And if a man were in distresse,
  And for hir love in hevinesse,
  Hir herte wolde have ful greet pitee,         1225
  She was so amiable and free.
  For were a man for hir bistad,
  She wolde ben right sore adrad
  That she dide over greet outrage,
  But she him holpe his harm to aswage;         1230

      Où il ot faite por s'amie
      Mainte jouste et mainte envaïe,
      Et percié maint escu bouclé,
      Maint hiaume i avoit desserclé,
      Et maint chevalier abatu,
      Et pris par force et par vertu.
        Après tous ceus se tint Franchise,
      Qui ne fu ne brune ne bise,
      Ains ere blanche comme nois;
      Et si n'ot pas nés d'Orlenois,            1200
      Ainçois l'avoit lonc et traitis,
      Iex vairs rians, sorcis votis:
      S'ot les chevous et blons, et lons,
      Et fu simple comme uns coulons.
      Le cuer ot dous et debonnaire:
      Ele n'osast dire ne faire
      A nuli riens qu'el ne déust;
      Et s'ele ung homme cognéust
      Qui fust destrois por s'amitié,
      Tantost éust de li pitié,                 1210
      Qu'ele ot le cuer si pitéable,
      Et si dous et si amiable,
      Que se nus por li mal traisist,
      S'el ne li aidast, el crainsist
      Qu'el féïst trop grant vilonnie.
      Vestue ot une sorquanie,

  Hir thoughte it elles a vilanye.
  And she hadde on a sukkenye,
  That not of hempen herdes was;
  So fair was noon in alle Arras.
  Lord, it was rideled fetysly!                 1235
  Ther nas nat oo poynt, trewely,
  That it nas in his right assyse.
  Ful wel y-clothed was Fraunchyse;
  For ther is no cloth sitteth bet
  On damiselle, than doth roket.                1240
  A womman wel more fetys is
  In roket than in cote, y-wis.
  The whyte roket, rideled faire,
  Bitokened, that ful debonaire
  And swete was she that it bere.               1245
    By hir daunced a bachelere;
  I can not telle you what he highte,
  But fair he was, and of good highte,
  Al hadde he be, I sey no more,
  The lordes sone of Windesore.                 1250
    And next that daunced CURTESYE,        CURTESYE.
  That preised was of lowe and hye,
  For neither proud ne fool was she.
  She for to daunce called me,

      Qui ne fu mie de borras:
      N'ot si bele jusqu'à Arras;
      Car el fu si coillie et jointe,
      Qu'il n'i ot une seule pointe             1220
      Qui à son droit ne fust assise.
      Moult fu bien vestue Franchise;
      Car nule robe n'est si bele
      Que sorquanie à damoisele.
      Fame est plus cointe et plus mignote
      En sorquanie que en cote:
      La sorquanie qui fu blanche,
      Senefioit que douce et franche
      Estoit cele qui la vestoit.
      Uns bachelers jones s'estoit              1230
      Pris à Franchise lez à lez,
      Ne soi comment ert apelé,
      Mès biaus estoit, se il fust ores
      Fiex au seignor de Gundesores.
        Après se tenoit Courtoisie,
      Qui moult estoit de tous prisie,
      Si n'ere orguilleuse ne fole.
      C'est cele qui à la karole

  (I pray god yeve hir right good grace!)       1255
  Whan I com first into the place.
  She was not nyce, ne outrageous,
  But wys and war, and vertuous,
  Of faire speche, and faire answere;
  Was never wight misseid of here;              1260
  She bar no rancour to no wight.
  Cleer broun she was, and therto bright
  Of face, of body avenaunt;
  I wot no lady so plesaunt.
  She were worthy for to bene                   1265
  An emperesse or crouned quene.
    And by hir wente a knight dauncing
  That worthy was and wel speking,
  And ful wel coude he doon honour.
  The knight was fair and stif in stour,        1270
  And in armure a semely man,
  And wel biloved of his lemman.
    Fair YDELNESSE than saugh I,          YDELNESSE.
  That alwey was me faste by.
  Of hir have I, withouten fayle,               1275
  Told yow the shap and apparayle
  For (as I seide) lo, that was she
  That dide me so greet bountee,

      La soe merci m'apela
      Ains que nule, quant je vins là.          1240
      El ne fu ne nice, n'umbrage,
      Mès sages auques sans outrage,
      De biaus respons et de biaus dis,
      Onc nus ne fu par li laidis,
      Ne ne porta nului rancune.
      El fu clere comme la lune
      Est avers les autres estoiles
      Qui ne resemblent que chandoiles.
      Faitisse estoit et avenant,
      Je ne sai fame plus plaisant.             1250
      Ele ere entoutes cors bien digne
      D'estre emperieris, ou roïne.
        A li se tint uns chevaliers
      Acointables et biaus parliers,
      Qui sot bien faire honor as gens.
      Li chevaliers fu biaus et gens,
      Et as armes bien acesmés,
      Et de s'amie bien amés.
        La bele Oiseuse vint après,
      Qui se tint de moi assés près.            1260
      De cele vous ai dit sans faille
      Toute la façon et la taille;
      Jà plus ne vous en iert conté,
      Car c'est cele qui la bonté

  That she the gate of the gardin
  Undide, and leet me passen in.                1280
    And after daunced, as I gesse,           YOUTHE.
  [YOUTHE], fulfild of lustinesse,
  That nas not yit twelve yeer of age,
  With herte wilde, and thought volage;
  Nyce she was, but she ne mente                1285
  Noon harm ne slight in hir entente,
  But only lust and Iolitee.
  For yonge folk, wel witen ye,
  Have litel thought but on hir play.
  Hir lemman was bisyde alway,                  1290
  In swich a gyse, that he hir kiste
  At alle tymes that him liste,
  That al the daunce mighte it see;
  They make no force of privetee;
  For who spak of hem yvel or wel,              1295
  They were ashamed never-a-del,
  But men mighte seen hem kisse there,
  As it two yonge douves were.
  For yong was thilke bachelere,
  Of beaute wot I noon his pere;                1300
  And he was right of swich an age
  As Youthe his leef, and swich corage.
    The lusty folk thus daunced there,
  And also other that with hem were,

      Me fist si grant qu'ele m'ovri
      Le guichet del vergier flori.
        Après se tint mien esciant,
      Jonesce, au vis cler et luisant,
      Qui n'avoit encores passés,
      Si cum je cuit, douze ans d'assés.        1270
      Nicete fu, si ne pensoit
      Nul mal, ne nul engin qui soit;
      Mès moult iert envoisie et gaie,
      Car jone chose ne s'esmaie
      Fors de joer, bien le savés.
      Ses amis iert de li privés
      En tel guise, qu'il la besoit
      Toutes les fois que li plesoit,
      Voians tous ceus de la karole:
      Car qui d'aus deus tenist parole,         1280
      Il n'en fussent jà vergondeus,
      Ains les véissiés entre aus deus
      Baisier comme deus columbiaus.
      Le valés fu jones et biaus,
      Si estoit bien d'autel aage
      Cum s'amie, et d'autel corage.
        Ainsi karoloient ilecques,
      Ceste gens, et autres avecques,

  That weren alle of hir meynee;                1305
  Ful hende folk, and wys, and free,
  And folk of fair port, trewely,
  Ther weren alle comunly.
    Whan I hadde seen the countenaunces
  Of hem that ladden thus these daunces,        1310
  Than hadde I wil to goon and see
  The gardin that so lyked me,
  And loken on these faire loreres,
  On pyn-trees, cedres, and oliveres.
  The daunces than y-ended were;                1315
  For many of hem that daunced there
  Were with hir loves went awey
  Under the trees to have hir pley.
    A, lord! they lived lustily!
  A gret fool were he, sikerly,                 1320
  That nolde, his thankes, swich lyf lede!
  For this dar I seyn, out of drede,
  That who-so mighte so wel fare,
  For better lyf [thurte] him not care;
  For ther nis so good paradys                  1325
  As have a love at his devys.
    Out of that place wente I tho,
  And in that gardin gan I go,

      Qui estoient de lor mesnies,
      Franches gens et bien enseignies,         1290
      Et gens de bel afetement
      Estoient tuit communément.
        Quant j'oi véues les semblances
      De ceus qui menoient les dances,
      J'oi lors talent que le vergier
      Alasse véoir et cerchier,
      Et remirer ces biaus moriers,
      Ces pins, ces codres, ces loriers.
      Les karoles jà remanoient,
      Car tuit li plusors s'en aloient          1300
      O lor amies umbroier
      Sous ces arbres por dosnoier.
        Diex, cum menoient bonne vie!
      Fox est qui n'a de tel envie;
      Qui autel vie avoir porroit,
      De mieudre bien se sofferroit,
      Qu'il n'est nul greignor paradis
      Qu'avoir amie à son devis.
        D'ilecques me parti atant,
      Si m'en alai seus esbatant                1310

  Pleying along ful merily.
  The God of Love ful hastely                   1330
  Unto him Swete-Loking clepte,
  No lenger wolde he that he kepte
  His bowe of golde, that shoon so bright.
  He [bad] him [bende it] anon-right;
  And he ful sone [it] sette on ende,           1335
  And at a braid he gan it bende,
  And took him of his arowes fyve,
  Ful sharpe and redy for to dryve.
  Now god that sit in magestee
  Fro deedly woundes kepe me,                   1340
  If so be that he [wol] me shete;
  For if I with his arowe mete,
  It [wol me greven] sore, y-wis!
  But I, that no-thing wiste of this,
  Wente up and doun ful many a wey,             1345
  And he me folwed faste alwey;
  But no-wher wolde I reste me,
  Til I hadde al the [yerde in] be.
    The gardin was, by mesuring,
  Right even and squar in compassing;           1350
  It was as long as it was large.
  Of fruyt hadde every tree his charge,    THE TREES.

      Par le vergier de çà en là;
      Et li Diex d'Amors apela
      Tretout maintenant Dous-Regart:
      N'a or plus cure qu'il li gart
      Son arc:  donques sans plus atendre
      L'arc li a commandé à tendre,
      Et cis gaires n'i atendi,
      Tout maintenant l'arc li tendi,
      Si li bailla et cinq sajetes
      Fors et poissans, d'aler loing prestes.   1320
      Li Diex d'Amors tantost de loing
      Me prist à suivir, l'arc où poing.
      Or me gart Diex de mortel plaie!
      Se il fait tant que à moi traie,
      Il me grevera moult forment.
      Je qui de ce ne soi noient,
      Vois par la vergier à délivre,
      Et cil pensa bien de moi sivre;
      Mès en nul leu ne m'arresté,
      Devant que j'oi par tout esté.            1330
        Li vergiers par compasséure
      Si fu de droite quarréure,
      S'ot de lonc autant cum de large;
      Nus arbres qui soit qui fruit charge,

  But it were any hidous tree
  Of which ther were two or three.
  Ther were, and that wot I ful wel,            1355
  Of pomgarnettes a ful gret del;
  That is a fruyt ful wel to lyke,
  Namely to folk whan they ben syke.
  And trees ther were, greet foisoun,
  That baren notes in hir sesoun,               1360
  Such as men notemigges calle,
  That swote of savour been withalle.
  And alemandres greet plentee,
  Figes, and many a date-tree
  Ther weren, if men hadde nede,                1365
  Through the gardin in length and brede.
  Ther was eek wexing many a spyce,
  As clow-gelofre, and licoryce,
  Gingere, and greyn de paradys,
  Canelle, and setewale of prys,                1370
  And many a spyce delitable,
  To eten whan men ryse fro table.
  And many hoomly trees ther were,
  That peches, coynes, and apples bere,
  Medlers, ploumes, peres, chesteynes,          1375
  Cheryse, of whiche many on fayn is,

      Se n'est aucuns arbres hideus,
      Dont il n'i ait ou ung, ou deus
      Où vergier, ou plus, s'il avient.
      Pomiers i ot, bien m'en sovient,
      Qui chargoient pomes grenades,
      C'est uns fruis moult bons à malades;     1340
      De noiers i ot grant foison,
      Qui chargoient en la saison
      Itel fruit cum sunt nois mugades,
      Qui ne sunt ameres, ne fades;
      Alemandiers y ot planté,
      Et si ot où vergier planté
      Maint figuier, et maint biau datier;
      Si trovast qu'en éust mestier,
      Où vergier mainte bone espice,
      Cloz de girofle et requelice,             1350
      Graine de paradis novele,
      Citoal, anis, et canele,
      Et mainte espice délitable,
      Que bon mengier fait après table.
      Où vergier ot arbres domesches,
      Qui chargoient et coins et pesches,
      Chataignes, nois, pommes et poires,
      Nefles, prunes blanches et noires,

  Notes, aleys, and bolas,
  That for to seen it was solas;
  With many high lorer and pyn
  Was renged clene al that gardyn;              1380
  With cipres, and with oliveres,
  Of which that nigh no plente here is.
  Ther were elmes grete and stronge,
  Maples, asshe, ook, asp, planes longe,
  Fyn ew, popler, and lindes faire,             1385
  And othere trees ful many a payre.
    What sholde I telle you more of it?
  Ther were so many treës yit,
  That I sholde al encombred be
  Er I had rekened every tree.                  1390
    These trees were set, that I devyse,
  Oon from another, in assyse,
  Five fadome or sixe, I trowe so,
  But they were hye and grete also:
  And for to kepe out wel the sonne,            1395
  The croppes were so thikke y-ronne,
  And every braunch in other knet,
  And ful of grene leves set,
  That sonne mighte noon descende,
  Lest [it] the tendre grasses shende.          1400

      Cerises fresches vermeilletes,
      Cormes, alies et noisetes;                1360
      De haus loriers et de haus pins
      Refu tous pueplés li jardin,
      Et d'oliviers et de ciprés,
      Dont il n'a gaires ici prés;
      Ormes y ot branchus et gros,
      Et avec ce charmes et fos,
      Codres droites, trembles et chesnes,
      Erables haus, sapins et fresnes.
        Que vous iroie-je notant?
      De divers arbres i ot tant,               1370
      Que moult en seroie encombrés,
      Ains que les éusse nombrés.
        Sachiés por voir, li arbres furent
      Si loing à loing cum estre durent.
      Li ung fu loing de l'autre assis
      Plus de cinq toises, ou de sis:
      Mès li rain furent lonc et haut,
      Et por le leu garder de chaut,
      Furent si espés par deseure,
      Que li solaus en nesune eure              1380
      Ne pooit à terre descendre,
      Ne faire mal à l'erbe tendre.

  Ther mighte men does and roes y-see,
  And of squirels ful greet plentee,
  From bough to bough alwey leping.
  Conies ther were also playing,
  That comen out of hir claperes                1405
  Of sondry colours and maneres,
  And maden many a turneying
  Upon the fresshe gras springing.
    In places saw I WELLES there,        THE WELLES.
  In whiche ther no frogges were,               1410
  And fair in shadwe was every welle;
  But I ne can the nombre telle
  Of stremes smale, that by devys
  Mirthe had don come through condys,
  Of which the water, in renning,               1415
  Gan make a noyse ful lyking.
    About the brinkes of thise welles,
  And by the stremes over-al elles
  Sprang up the gras, as thikke y-set
  And softe as any veluët,                      1420
  On which men mighte his lemman leye,
  As on a fetherbed, to pleye,
  For therthe was ful softe and swete.
  Through moisture of the welle wete

        Où vergier ot daims et chevrions,
      Et moult grant plenté d'escoirions,
      Qui par ces arbres gravissoient;
      Connins i avoit qui issoient
      Toute jor hors de lor tesnieres,
      Et en plus de trente manieres
      Aloient entr'eus tornoiant
      Sor l'erbe fresche verdoiant.             1390
        Il ot par leus cleres fontaines,
      Sans barbelotes et sans raines,
      Cui li arbres fesoient umbre;
      Mès n'en sai pas dire le numbre.
      Par petis tuiaus que Déduis
      Y ot fet fere, et par conduis
      S'en aloit l'iaue aval, fesant
      Une noise douce et plesant.
        Entor les ruissiaus et les rives
      Des fontaines cleres et vives,            1400
      Poignoit l'erbe freschete et drue;
      Ausinc y poïst-l'en sa drue
      Couchier comme sur une coite,
      Car la terre estoit douce et moite
      Por la fontaine, et i venoit
      Tant d'erbe cum il convenoit.

  Sprang up the sote grene gras,                1425
  As fair, as thikke, as mister was.
  But muche amended it the place,
  That therthe was of swich a grace
  That it of floures had plente,
  That both in somer and winter be.             1430
    Ther sprang the violete al newe,
  And fresshe pervinke, riche of hewe,
  And floures yelowe, whyte, and rede;
  Swich plentee grew ther never in mede.
  Ful gay was al the ground, and queynt,        1435
  And poudred, as men had it peynt,
  With many a fresh and sondry flour,
  That casten up ful good savour.
    I wol not longe holde you in fable
  Of al this gardin delitable.                  1440
  I moot my tonge stinten nede,
  For I ne may, withouten drede,
  Naught tellen you the beautee al,
  Ne half the bountee therewithal.
    I wente on right honde and on left          1445
  Aboute the place; it was not left,
  Til I hadde al the [yerde in] been,
  In the estres that men mighte seen.

      Mès moult embelissoit l'afaire
      Li leus qui ere de tel aire,
      Qu'il i avoit tous jours plenté
      De flors et yver et esté.                 1410
        Violete y avoit trop bele,
      Et parvenche fresche et novele;
      Flors y ot blanches et vermeilles,
      De jaunes en i ot merveilles.
      Trop par estoit la terre cointe,
      Qu'ele ere piolée et pointe
      De flors de diverses colors,
      Dont moult sunt bonnes les odors.
        Ne vous tenrai jà longue fable
      Du leu plesant et délitable;              1420
      Orendroit m'en convenra taire,
      Que ge ne porroie retraire
      Du vergier toute la biauté,
      Ne la grant délitableté.
        Tant fui à destre et à senestre,
      Que j'oi tout l'afere et tout l'estre
      Du vergier cerchié et véu;
      Et li Diex d'Amors m'a séu

  And thus whyle I wente in my pley,
  The God of Love me folowed ay,                1450
  Right as an hunter can abyde
  The beste, til he seeth his tyde
  To shete, at good mes, to the dere,
  Whan that him nedeth go no nere.
    And so befil, I rested me                   1455
  Besyde a welle, under a tree,
  Which tree in Fraunce men calle a pyn.
  But, sith the tyme of king Pepyn,
  Ne grew ther tree in mannes sighte
  So fair, ne so wel woxe in highte;            1460
  In al that yerde so high was noon.
  And springing in a marble-stoon
  Had nature set, the sothe to telle,
  Under that pyn-tree a welle.
  And on the border, al withoute,               1465
  Was writen, in the stone aboute,
  Lettres smale, that seyden thus,
  Here starf the faire Narcisus.'
    NARCISUS was a bachelere,              NARCISUS.
  That Love had caught in his daungere,         1470
  And in his net gan him so streyne,
  And dide him so to wepe and pleyne,
  That nede him muste his lyf forgo.
  For a fair lady, hight Echo,

      Endementiers en agaitant,
      Cum li venieres qui atant                 1430
      Que la beste en bel leu se mete
      Por lessier aler la sajete.
        En ung trop biau leu arrivé,
      Au darrenier, où je trouvé
      Une fontaine sous ung pin;
      Mais puis Karles le fils Pepin,
      Ne fu ausinc biau pin véus,
      Et si estoit si haut créus,
      Qu'où vergier n'ot nul si bel arbre.
      Dedens une pierre de marbre               1440
      Ot nature par grant mestrise
      Sous le pin la fontaine assise:
      Si ot dedens la pierre escrites
      Où bort amont letres petites
      Qui disoient: 'ici desus
      Se mori li biaus Narcisus.'
        Narcisus fu uns damoisiaus
      Que Amors tint en ses roisiaus,
      Et tant le sot Amors destraindre,
      Et tant le fist plorer et plaindre,       1450
      Que li estuet à rendre l'ame:
      Car Equo, une haute dame,

  Him loved over any creature,                  1475
  And gan for him swich peyne endure,
  That on a tyme she him tolde,
  That, if he hir loven nolde,
  That hir behoved nedes dye,
  Ther lay non other remedye.                   1480
  But natheles, for his beautee,
  So fiers and daungerous was he,
  That he nolde graunten hir asking,
  For weping, ne for fair praying.
  And whan she herde him werne hir so,          1485
  She hadde in herte so gret wo,
  And took it in so gret dispyt,
  That she, withoute more respyt,
  Was deed anoon. But, er she deyde,
  Ful pitously to god she preyde,               1490
  That proude-herted Narcisus,
  That was in love so daungerous,
  Mighte on a day ben hampred so
  For love, and been so hoot for wo,
  That never he mighte Ioye atteyne;            1495
  Than shulde he fele in every veyne
  What sorowe trewe lovers maken,
  That been so vilaynsly forsaken.

      L'avoit amé plus que riens née.
      El fu par lui si mal menée
      Qu'ele li dist qu'il li donroit
      S'amor, ou ele se morroit.
      Mès cis fu por sa grant biauté
      Plains de desdaing et de fierté,
      Si ne la li volt otroier,
      Ne por chuer, ne por proier.              1460
      Quant ele s'oï escondire,
      Si en ot tel duel et tel ire,
      Et le tint en si grant despit,
      Que morte en fu sans lonc respit;
      Mès ainçois qu'ele se morist,
      Ele pria Diex et requist
      Que Narcisus au cuer ferasche,
      Qu'ele ot trové d'amors si flasche,
      Fust asproiés encore ung jor,
      Et eschaufés d'autel amor                 1470
      Dont il ne péust joie atendre;
      Si porroit savoir et entendre
      Quel duel ont li loial amant
      Que l'en refuse si vilment.

    This prayer was but resonable,
  Therefor god held it ferme and stable:        1500
  For Narcisus, shortly to telle,
  By aventure com to that welle
  To reste him in that shadowing
  A day, whan he com fro hunting.
  This Narcisus had suffred paynes              1505
  For renning alday in the playnes,
  And was for thurst in greet distresse
  Of hete, and of his werinesse
  That hadde his breeth almost binomen.
  Whan he was to that welle y-comen,            1510
  That shadwed was with braunches grene,
  He thoughte of thilke water shene
  To drinke and fresshe him wel withalle;
  And doun on knees he gan to falle,
  And forth his heed and nekke out-straughte    1515
  To drinken of that welle a draughte
  And in the water anoon was sene
  His nose, his mouth, his yën shene,
  And he ther-of was al abasshed;
  His owne shadowe had him bitrasshed.          1520
  For wel wende he the forme see
  Of a child of greet beautee.

        Cele proiere fu resnable,
      Et por ce la fist Diex estable,
      Que Narcisus, par aventure,
      A la fontaine clere et pure
      Se vint sous le pin umbroier,
      Ung jour qu'il venoit d'archoier,         1480
      Et avoit soffert grant travail
      De corre et amont et aval,
      Tant qu'il ot soif por l'aspreté
      Du chault, et por la lasseté
      Qui li ot tolue l'alaine.
      Et quant il vint à la fontaine
      Que li pins de ses rains covroit,
      Il se pensa que il bevroit:
      Sus la fontaine, tout adens
      Se mist lors por boivre dedans.           1490
      Si vit en l'iaue clere et nete
      Son vis, son nés et sa bouchete,
      Et cis maintenant s'esbahi;
      Car ses umbres l'ot si trahi,
      Que cuida véoir la figure
      D'ung enfant bel à desmesure.

  Wel couthe Love him wreke tho
  Of daunger and of pryde also,
  That Narcisus somtyme him bere.               1525
  He quitte him wel his guerdon there;
  For he so musede in the welle,
  That, shortly al the sothe to telle,
  He lovede his owne shadowe so,
  That atte laste he starf for wo.              1530
  For whan he saugh that he his wille
  Mighte in no maner wey fulfille,
  And that he was so faste caught
  That he him couthe comfort naught,
  He loste his wit right in that place,         1535
  And deyde within a litel space.
  And thus his warisoun he took
  For the lady that he forsook.
    Ladyes, I preye ensample taketh,
  Ye that ayeins your love mistaketh:           1540
  For if hir deeth be yow to wyte,
  God can ful wel your whyle quyte.
    Whan that this lettre, of whiche I telle,
  Had taught me that it was the welle
  Of Narcisus in his beautee,                   1545
  I gan anoon withdrawe me,

      Lors se sot bien Amors vengier
      Du grant orguel et du dangier
      Que Narcisus li ot mené.
      Lors li fu bien guerredoné,               1500
      Qu'il musa tant à la fontaine,
      Qu'il ama son umbre demaine,
      Si en fu mors à la parclose.
      Ce est la somme de la chose:
      Car quant il vit qu'il ne porroit
      Acomplir ce qu'il desirroit,
      Et qu'il i fu si pris par sort,
      Qu'il n'en pooit avoir confort
      En nule guise, n'en nul sens,
      Il perdi d'ire tout le sens,              1510
      Et fu mors en poi de termine.
      Ainsinc si ot de la meschine
      Qu'il avoit d'amors escondite,
      Son guerredon et sa merite.
        Dames, cest exemple aprenés,
      Qui vers vos amis mesprenés;
      Car se vous les lessiés morir,
      Diex le vous sara bien merir.
        Quant li escris m'ot fait savoir
      Que ce estoit tretout por voir            1520
      La fontaine au biau Narcisus,
      Je m'en trais lors ung poi en sus,

  Whan it fel in my remembraunce,
  That him bitidde swich mischaunce.
  But at the laste than thoughte I,
  That scatheles, ful sikerly,                  1550
  I mighte unto THE WELLE go.             THE WELLE.
  Wherof shulde I abasshen so?
  Unto the welle than wente I me,
  And doun I louted for to see
  The clere water in the stoon,                 1555
  And eek the gravel, which that shoon
  Down in the botme, as silver fyn;
  For of the welle, this is the fyn,
  In world is noon so cleer of hewe.
  The water is ever fresh and newe              1560
  That welmeth up with wawes brighte
  The mountance of two finger highte.
  Abouten it is gras springing,
  For moiste so thikke and wel lyking,
  That it ne may in winter dye,                 1565
  No more than may the see be drye.
    Down at the botme set saw I
  Two cristal stones craftely
  In thilke fresshe and faire welle.
  But o thing soothly dar I telle,              1570

      Que dedens n'osai regarder,
      Ains commençai à coarder,
      Quant de Narcisus me sovint,
      Cui malement en mesavint;
      Mès ge me pensai qu'asséur,
      Sans paor de mavés éur,
      A la fontaine aler pooie,
      Por folie m'en esmaioie.                  1530
      De la fontaine m'apressai,
      Quant ge fui près, si m'abessai
      Por véoir l'iaue qui coroit,
      Et la gravele qui paroit
      Au fons plus clere qu'argens fins,
      De la fontaine c'est la fins.
      En tout le monde n'ot si bele,
      L'iaue est tousdis fresche et novele,
      Qui nuit et jor sourt à grans ondes
      Par deux doiz creuses et parfondes.       1540
      Tout entour point l'erbe menue,
      Qui vient por l'iaue espesse et drue,
      Et en iver ne puet morir
      Ne que l'iaue ne puet tarir.
        Où fons de la fontaine aval
      Avoit deux pierres de cristal
      Qu'à grande entente remirai,
      Et une chose vous dirai,

  That ye wol holde a greet mervayle
  Whan it is told, withouten fayle.
  For whan the sonne, cleer in sighte,
  Cast in that welle his bemes brighte,
  And that the heet descended is,               1575
  Than taketh the cristal stoon, y-wis,
  Agayn the sonne an hundred hewes,
  Blewe, yelowe, and rede, that fresh and newe is.
  Yit hath the merveilous cristal
  Swich strengthe, that the place overal,       1580
  Bothe fowl and tree, and leves grene,
  And al the yerd in it is sene.
  And for to doon you understonde,
  To make ensample wol I fonde;
  Right as a mirour openly                      1585
  Sheweth al thing that stant therby,
  As wel the colour as the figure,
  Withouten any coverture;
  Right so the cristal stoon, shyning,
  Withouten any disceyving,                     1590
  The estres of the yerde accuseth
  To him that in the water museth;
  For ever, in which half that he be,
  He may wel half the gardin see;

      Qu'à merveilles, ce cuit, tenrés
      Tout maintenant que vous l'orrés.         1550
      Quant li solaus qui tout aguete,
      Ses rais en la fontaine giete,
      Et la clartés aval descent,
      Lors perent colors plus de cent
      Où cristal, qui por le soleil
      Devient ynde, jaune et vermeil:
      Si ot le cristal merveilleus
      Itel force que tous li leus,
      Arbres et flors et quanqu'aorne
      Li vergiers, i pert tout aorne;           1560
      Et por faire la chose entendre,
      Un essample vous veil aprendre.
      Ainsinc cum li miréors montre
      Les choses qui li sunt encontre,
      Et y voit-l'en sans coverture
      Et lor color, et lor figure;
      Tretout ausinc vous dis por voir,
      Que li cristal, sans décevoir,
      Tout l'estre du vergier accusent
      A ceus qui dedens l'iaue musent:          1570
      Car tous jours quelque part qu'il soient,
      L'une moitié du vergier voient;

  And if he turne, he may right wel             1595
  Seen the remenaunt everydel.
  For ther is noon so litel thing
  So hid, ne closed with shitting,
  That it ne is sene, as though it were
  Peynted in the cristal there.                 1600
    This is the mirour perilous,
  In which the proude Narcisus
  Saw al his face fair and bright,
  That made him sith to lye upright.
  For who-so loke in that mirour,               1605
  Ther may no-thing ben his socour
  That he ne shal ther seen som thing
  That shal him lede into [loving].
  Ful many a worthy man hath it
  Y-blent; for folk of grettest wit             1610
  Ben sone caught here and awayted;
  Withouten respyt been they bayted.
  Heer comth to folk of-newe rage,
  Heer chaungeth many wight corage;
  Heer lyth no reed ne wit therto;              1615
  For Venus sone, daun Cupido,
  Hath sowen there of love the seed,
  That help ne lyth ther noon, ne reed,

      Et s'il se tornent maintenant,
      Pueent véoir le remenant.
      Si n'i a si petite chose,
      Tant reposte, ne tant enclose,
      Dont démonstrance n'i soit faite,
      Cum s'ele iert es cristaus portraite.
        C'est li miréoirs périlleus,
      Où Narcisus li orguilleus                 1580
      Mira sa face et ses yex vers,
      Dont il jut puis mors tout envers.
      Qui en cel miréor se mire,
      Ne puet avoir garant de mire,
      Que tel chose à ses yex ne voie,
      Qui d'amer l'a tost mis en voie.
      Maint vaillant homme a mis à glaive
      Cis miréors, car li plus saive,
      Li plus preus, li miex afetié
      I sunt tost pris et aguetié.              1590
      Ci sourt as gens novele rage,
      Ici se changent li corage;
      Ci n'a mestier sens, ne mesure,
      Ci est d'amer volenté pure;
      Ci ne se set conseiller nus;
      Car Cupido, li fils Venus,

  So cercleth it the welle aboute.
  His ginnes hath he set withoute               1620
  Right for to cacche in his panteres
  These damoysels and bacheleres.
  Love wil noon other bridde cacche,
  Though he sette either net or lacche.
  And for the seed that heer was sowen,         1625
  This welle is cleped, as wel is knowen,
  The Welle of Love, of verray right,
  Of which ther hath ful many a wight
  Spoke in bokes dyversely.
  But they shulle never so verily               1630
  Descripcioun of the welle here,
  Ne eek the sothe of this matere,
  As ye shulle, whan I have undo
  The craft that hir bilongeth to.
    Alway me lyked for to dwelle,               1635
  To seen the cristal in the welle,
  That shewed me ful openly
  A thousand thinges faste by.
  But I may saye, in sory houre
  Stood I to loken or to poure;                 1640
  For sithen [have] I sore syked,
  That mirour hath me now entryked.

      Sema ici d'Amors la graine
      Qui toute a çainte la fontaine;
      Et fist ses las environ tendre,
      Et ses engins i mist por prendre          1600
      Damoiseles et Damoisiaus;
      Qu'Amors ne velt autres oisiaus.
      Por la graine qui fu semée,
      Fu cele fontaine clamée
      La Fontaine d'Amors par droit,
      Dont plusors ont en maint endroit
      Parlé, en romans et en livre;
      Mais jamès n'orrez miex descrivre
      La verité de la matere,
      Cum ge la vous vodré retrere.             1610
        Adès me plot à demorer
      A la fontaine, et remirer
      Les deus cristaus qui me monstroient
      Mil choses qui ilec estoient.
      Mès de fort hore m'i miré:
      Las! tant en ai puis souspiré!
      Cis miréors m'a decéu;
      Se j'éusse avant cognéu

  But hadde I first knowen in my wit
  The vertue and [the] strengthe of it,
  I nolde not have mused there;                 1645
  Me hadde bet ben elles-where;
  For in the snare I fel anoon,
  That hath bitraisshed many oon.
    In thilke mirour saw I tho,
  Among a thousand thinges mo,                  1650
  A ROSER charged ful of roses,           THE ROSER.
  That with an hegge aboute enclos is.
  Tho had I swich lust and envye,
  That, for Parys ne for Pavye,
  Nolde I have left to goon and see             1655
  Ther grettest hepe of roses be.
  Whan I was with this rage hent,
  That caught hath many a man and shent,
  Toward the roser gan I go.
  And whan I was not fer therfro,               1660
  The savour of the roses swote
  Me smoot right to the herte rote,
  As I hadde al embawmed [be.]
  And if I ne hadde endouted me
  To have ben hated or assailed,                1665
  My thankes, wolde I not have failed

      Quex sa force ert et sa vertu,
      Ne m'i fusse jà embatu:                   1620
      Car meintenant où las chaï
      Qui meint homme ont pris et traï.
        Où miroer entre mil choses,
      Choisi rosiers chargiés de roses,
      Qui estoient en ung détor
      D'une haie clos tout entor:
      Adont m'en prist si grant envie,
      Que ne laissasse por Pavie,
      Ne por Paris, que ge n'alasse
      Là où ge vi la greignor masse.            1630
      Quant cele rage m'ot si pris,
      Dont maint ont esté entrepris,
      Vers les rosiers tantost me très;
      Et sachiés que quant g'en fui près,
      L'oudor des roses savorées
      M'entra ens jusques es corées,
      Que por noient fusse embasmés:
      Se assailli ou mesamés

  To pulle a rose of al that route
  To beren in myn honde aboute,
  And smellen to it wher I wente;
  But ever I dredde me to repente,              1670
  And lest it greved or for-thoughte
  The lord that thilke gardyn wroughte.
  Of roses were ther gret woon,
  So faire wexe never in roon.
  Of knoppes clos, some saw I there,            1675
  And some wel beter woxen were;
  And some ther been of other moysoun,
  That drowe nigh to hir sesoun,
  And spedde hem faste for to sprede;
  I love wel swiche roses rede;                 1680
  For brode roses, and open also,
  Ben passed in a day or two;
  But knoppes wilen fresshe be
  Two dayes atte leest, or three.
  The knoppes gretly lyked me,                  1685
  For fairer may ther no man see.
  Who-so mighte haven oon of alle,
  It oughte him been ful leef withalle.
  Mighte I [a] gerlond of hem geten,
  For no richesse I wolde it leten.             1690

      Ne cremisse estre, g'en cuillisse,
      Au mains une que ge tenisse               1640
      En ma main, por l'odor sentir;
      Mès paor oi du repentir:
      Car il en péust de legier
      Peser au seignor du vergier.
      Des roses i ot grans monciaus,
      Si beles ne vit homs sous ciaus;
      Boutons i ot petit et clos,
      Et tiex qui sunt ung poi plus gros.
      Si en i ot d'autre moison
      Qui se traient à lor soison,              1650
      Et s'aprestoient d'espanir,
      Et cil ne font pas à haïr.
      Les roses overtes et lées
      Sunt en ung jor toutes alées;
      Mès li bouton durent trois frois
      A tout le mains deux jors ou trois.
      Icil bouton forment me plurent,
      Oncques plus bel nul leu ne crurent.
      Qui en porroit ung acroichier,
      Il le devroit avoir moult chier;          1660
      S'ung chapel en péusse avoir,
      Je n'en préisse nul avoir.

    Among THE KNOPPES I chees oon        THE KNOPPE.
  So fair, that of the remenaunt noon
  Ne preyse I half so wel as it,
  Whan I avyse it in my wit.
  For it so wel was enlumyned                   1695
  With colour reed, as wel [y]-fyned
  As nature couthe it make faire.
  And it had leves wel foure paire,
  That Kinde had set through his knowing
  Aboute the rede rose springing.               1700
  The stalke was as risshe right,
  And theron stood the knoppe upright,
  That it ne bowed upon no syde.
  The swote smelle sprong so wyde
  That it dide al the place aboute--            1705

      Entre ces boutons en eslui
      Ung si très-bel, qu'envers celui
      Nus des autres riens ne prisié,
      Puis que ge l'oi bien avisié:
      Car une color l'enlumine,
      Qui est si vermeille et si fine,
      Com Nature la pot plus faire.
      Des foilles i ot quatre paire             1670
      Que Nature par grant mestire
      I ot assises tire à tire.
      La coe ot droite comme jons,
      Et par dessus siet li boutons,
      Si qu'il ne cline, ne ne pent.
      L'odor de lui entor s'espent;
      La soatime qui en ist
      Toute la place replenist.                 1678

G. = Glasgow MS.; Th. = Thynne's ed. (1532).

1-44. _Lost in_ G.; _from_ Th. 3. Th. some sweuen; _but the pl. is
required_. 4. Th. that false ne bene. 5. Th. apparaunt. 6. Th. warraunt.
12. Th. els; _om._ a. 13, 14. Th. fal, cal; fole.

23. Th. folke; went. 25. Th. slepte. 26. Th. suche. 27. Th. lyked; wele.
28. Th. dele. 29. Th. afterwarde befal. 30. Th. dreme; tel; al. 31. Th.
Nowe; dreme. 35. Th. there. 37. Th. Howe; _om._ that _and_ the. 38. Th.
hatte; _read_ hote.

39. Ed. 1550, Romaunte. 40. Th. arte. 42. Th. graunt me in; _omit_ me. 45.
_Here begins_ G. 46. Th. to be; G. _torn_. 47. Th. G. ought. 49. G. Th.
thought. 55. G. Th. bene. 56. G. Th. wrene. 59. G. erth. G. Th. proude. 61.
G. Th. forgette. 62. G. Th. had; sette.

66. G. Th. had. 69-72. _Imperfect in_ G. 72. G. so; Th. ful. 73. Th.
grylle; G. gryl. 73, 74. G. Th. sight, bright. 76. Th. herte; G. hertis. G.
sich. 80. G. _om._ a. 81. G. _om._ the. 82. Th. yonge; G. yong. 84. Th.
sauorous; G. sauerous. 85. Th. his herte; G. the hert.

89. G. blesful; Th. blysful. 91. G. affraieth; Th. affirmeth. G. Th. al.
96. G. wisshe; hondis. 97. Th. nedyl. G. droughe; Th. drowe. 98. Th.
aguyler; G. Aguler. G. ynoughe; Th. ynowe. 101. Th. sowne; G. song. 102.
Th. on; G. in. _Both_ buskes. 103. G. _om._ the. G. swete; Th. lefe. 107.
Th. That; G. They. G. _om._ a. 109. Th. Iolyfe; G. Ioly.

110. _Both_ gan I. 111. G. herd; fast. 113. _Both_ ryuere. 114. _Both_
nere. 117-120. _Imperfect in_ G. 121. _Perhaps om._ that. 123, 4. G. Th.
ryuere, clere. 126. Th. botome ypaued. 132. G. walk thorough.

138. G. Th. Enclosed was; _see_ l. 1652. 139. Th. hye; G. high. 142. G. the
ymages and the peyntures; Th. the ymages and peyntures. 146. G. haue in;
Th. _om._ in. 147. Th. Amydde; G. Amyd. 149. _Both_ mynoresse; _French_,
moverresse. 154. _Both_ wode. 155. G. _om._ Y-.

160. Th. ywrithen; G. writhen. 163. G. _om._ faste. 165, 6. _Both_ Felony,
Vil(l)any. 167. Th. Ycleped; G. Clepid. _Both_ fonde. 168. G. wal; Th.
wall. _Both_ honde. 174. _Both_ outragious. 176. Th. suche an ymage.

184. G. gret tresouris; Th. gret treasours. G. leyne; Th. layne. 185. G.
_om._ she. 188. Th. couetous; G. coueitise. 189. G. _om._ she. Th. for; G.
that. 196. _Both_ myscoueiting. 198. _Both om._ that. 203. _Both_ wode.

204. _Both_ gode. 208. _Both_ fast. 212. Th. any; G. ony. 214. _Both_ semed
to haue. 219. G. porely; Th. poorely. 220. _Both_ courtpy. 224. Th. mantel;
G. mantyl. _Both_ fast.

234. Th. ilke; G. ilk. 239. Th. helde; G. hilde. 240. _Both om._ doun. 241,
2. Th. stronge, longe; G. strong, long. 245, 6. _Both_ entent, went. 248.
_Both_ peynted. 249, 250. _Both_ in hir herte. G. farede, herede; Th.
ferde, herde.

255. _Perhaps read_ On ... to falle. 256. _Both om._ ful. 259. Th. shamful;
G. shynful. 261. _Both_ or by his prowesse. 264. Th. chaunce; G. chaunge.
266. G. trouth. 271. G. farede; Th. fared. 273. _Both_ male talent; _see_

275. G. hath; Th. hate. _I supply_ wo. 276. _Read_ melt'th _or_ melt. 277.
_Both_ so (_for_ to-). 278. Th. people; G. puple. 282. _Both_ best. 291. G.
Th. awrie. 292. G. -thart; Th. -twharte, _misprint for_ -thwart. 293. _I
supply_ eek. G. _om._ a foul. 296. G. hir eien; Th. her one eye.

298. _Both_ se. 299. _So_ Th.; G. fairer or worthier. 303. G. seyn; Th.
sene. 305. _Both_ to haue; _read_ hav-ë. Th. iaundice. 307. _I supply_ as.
310. Th. yelowe; G. yolare.

324. _Both_ rent. 333-380. _Lost in_ G; _from_ Th. 334. Th. had sene. 340.
Th. rechelesse. 341. Th. rought. 342. _I supply_ of.

344. Th. luste; play. 349. Th. contrarie. 352. Th. might. 356. Th. for

367, 368. Th. went, potent. 370. Th. restlesse. 379. _Supply_ er (Kaluza).
381. G. _begins again_. 382. _Both_ may neuer. 387. _Both_ frette. Th.
shal; G. shalle. 388. Th. al; G. alle. 389. Th. al; G. alle. 390. _Both_

398. _Both_ myght. 401. _Both_ witte; pithe; in. 404. _Both_ faire. 408.
Th. cappe.

421. Th. symple; G. semely. 435. G. ne fresh; Th. _om._ ne. 436. _Both_ to

442. _Both_ ay (_giving no sense_); _read_ shal. 444. _Both_ grace (_for_
face). 446. G. _om._ hem. 448. G. _om._ eek. 452. _I supply_ that. 455. G.
wedir; Th. wether. 456. G. deyd; Th. dyed. 462. _Both_ had.

466. G. pouer. 467. G. shamefast; dispised. 471. G. ony pouere; fedde. Th.
yfedde. 472. G. cledde; Th. ycledde. 478. Th. were; G. newe. 479. _Both_
Square. 480. Th. ybarred; G. barred. 483. _Both_ wrought. 485. G. laddris;
Th. ladders; _read_ laddre; _see_ 523.

489. _Both_ As was in. 492. G. yeer; Th. yere; _read_ yerd; _see_ 656. 494.
Th. Therin; G. Therynne. 498. _Both_ ought. 501. Th. hundred; G. hundreth.
_Both_ wolde (_by confusion_). 503. _Both_ be. 505. _Both_ kepe it fro
care; _a false rime_. 506. _Both_ ware; _a false spelling_. 510. _Both_

512. _Both_ into. 516. _Both_ where; _read_ o-where. 517. _Both_ myght.
520. _Both_ For; _read_ Ful. G. angwishis; _see_ F. text. 532. _I supply
1st_ so.

535. G. and of herknyng; Th. al herkenyng. 536. G. ony; Th. any; _read_ a.
537. G. _om._ the. 540. G. ony; Th. any. 541. _I supply 1st_ as. 542.
_Both_ bent. 546. _Both_ as is a; _omit_ is _or_ a. 558. G. snawe; Th.
snowe. G. snawed; Th. snowed.

560. G. neded; Th. neden. 564. _Some lines lost?_ 567. _I supply_ in honde.
568. Th. tressour; G. tresour; (_cf._ Gawain, 1739). 569. _Both_ queyntly;
_see_ l. 783. 570. _Both_ fetously; _see_ l. 577.

583. _Both_ but if; _om._ if. 586. _Both_ may; _see_ l. 538. 587, 588.
_Both_ myght, hyght. 592. G. answeride; Th. answerde. 603. G. hidre be; Th.
hyther be. _Both_ fette. 604. G. sette; Th. ysette.

605. _Both_ hight. 606. _Both_ sight. 617. Th. therin; G. therynne. 623.
Th. playen in; G. pleyn ynne.

631. Th. Than; G. Thanne. 645, 653. Th. in; G. Inne. 654. _Both_ thought.

655. Th. byrde; G. bridde; _read_ brid. 660. _Both_ places (_badly_). 661.
_Both_ might. 668. _Both_ That (_for_ These). 673. Th. whan; G. that. Th.
herde; G. herd. 676. _Both_ myght.

684. _Both_ clepe. 688. Th. But; G. For. _Both om._ hir. 699. Th. gardyn;
G. gardyne. 700. G. inne; Th. in.

701. G. hens-; wrought. 702. _Both_ thought. 709. _Both_ wrought. 716. Th.
her; G. their. Th. iargonyng; G. yarkonyng. 718. Th. ispronge; G. spronge.
720. Th. reuelrye; G. reuerye; _see_ French. 724. Th. in; G. inne.

728. _Both_ sight (_wrongly_). 732. Th. faste; G. fast. _Both_ without.
739. Th. whence; G. whenne. _Both_ might. 741, 2. _Both_ sight, bright.
743. Th. These; G. This. 745. _Both_ hyght. 746. _Both_ blisfull. Th. and
lyght; G. and the light; _see_ 797. 749. _Both add_ couthe _before_ make.

760. _I supply_ ther. 761. _Both_ made (_for_ make). 770. Th. saylours; G.
saillouris. 773. _Both_, hente; _I supply_ hem.

776. G. damysels; Th. damosels. 782. _Both_ lieth. 783. _Both_ queyntly;
_see_ l. 569. 791. _Both_ bode; _read_ bede; _see_ note. 798. _Both_ pray
to God.

801. _I supply_ neer. 806. _Both_ it to me liked. 811. _Both_ right blythe;
_om._ right. 812. Th. Than; G. Thanne. 819. Th. appel; G. appille.

834. _Both_ first. 836. _Both_ samette. 837. _Both_ beten ful; _om._ ful.
844. _Both_ drury. 845. Th. rosen; G. rosyn.

848. _Both_ gladnesse. 859. G. seye; Th. sey (_for_ say_n_). 860. G. pleye;
Th. pley (_for_ pley_n_). 861. _Both_ Bent. 863. _Both_ laugheden. 865.
_Both_ I wot not what of hir nose I shal descryve (_eleven syllables_).
866. _Two lines lost._

869. Th. orfrayes. 870. Th. whiche; G. which. Th. sene; G. seyen. 873. Th.
samyte; G. samet. 875, 6. Th. werde, ferde; G. werede, ferede. _Both ins._
hir _bef._ herte. 877. Th. on; G. in. 879. _Both_ Love, and as hym likith
it be. 887. Th. prise; G. preyse. 890. Th. ycladde; G. clad. 891. G. and
in; Th. _om._ in. 892. _From_ Th.; G. _om._

893. Th. losenges; G. losynges. 897. Th. Ypurtrayed; G. Portreied. Th.
ywrought; G. wrought. 900. Th. Yset; G. Sett. 902. Th. moche; G. mych. 903,
4. _Both_ peruynke, thynke. 906. G. -melled; Th. -medled; _see_ l. 898.

923. _Both_ Turke bowes two, full wel deuysed had he (_too long_). 928. Th.
any; G. ony. 929, 930. Th. plante, warante; G. plant, warant. _Both_
Without. 932. G. Treitys; Th. Trectes. _Both ins._ ful _after_ of. 933. G.
twythen; Th. thwitten (_printed_ twhitten). 936. _I supply_ ful. 939. Th.
helde; G. hilde.

942. Th. aryght; G. right. 944. G. peynted (!). 945. Th. sharpe; G. sharp.
Th. wele; G. welle. 946. Th. stele; G. steelle. 948. Th. Out take; G.
Outake. 953. G. lasse; Th. lesse. 958. Th. companye; G. compaigny. 959.
_Both_ shoten; _see_ l. 989. 960. _For_ right _read_ nigh (K.).

964. _Both_ leest. 969. Th. soner; G. sonner. 970. Th. Hys; G. Hir. Th.
ought be; G. ought to be. 973. _Both_ for to telle. 984. _Both_ on; _read_
of (K.).

991. _Both_ And contrarye. 998. Th. booke; G. book. 1007. G. Th. And;
_read_ As was; F. _Ainsinc cum_. 1010. _I supply_ is.

1015. _For_ As _read_ And (K.). 1017. _Both_ smale. 1018. _Both_ wyntred;
_see_ l. 1020. 1026. _Both_ thought; _read_ thinketh (K.). 1031. _Both_
Sore (!); _read_ Wys (?). 1034. _Both_ And hight (!).

1037. _Both_ in werk (!). 1043. G. and the; Th. _om._ the. 1045. Th. weren;
G. were. 1058. Th. But; G. And. Th. prill; G. prile; _prob. error for_
prike, _or_ prikke.

1062. Th. and wyse; G. ywys. 1063. G. haue do; Th. and ydon. 1065. Th. And
maketh; G. Haue maad. 1066. G. _om._ as. _Both_ ought. 1068. Th. aryued; G.
achyued. 1071. G. purpur; Th. purple. 1073. Th. it; G. hir. 1080. Th.
amyled; Speght, ameled; G. enameled. 1082. G. shete; Th. shette.

1089. _Both_ durst (!); _read_ thurte _or_ thurfte. 1092. Th. mannes; G.
man. 1098. G. _om._ of. _Both_ tothe. 1101. Th. thylke; G. thilk. 1102.
_Both_ myght.

1109. _Both_ light. 1111. Th. he; G. she. 1112. _Both_ deuyse. 1116. Th.
the; G. that. 1117. _Both_ ragounces (!). 1125. Morris _supplies_ tho.
1132. G. mych.

1134. Th. loued wel to haue; G. loued to haue well. 1137. Th. an; G. ony.
1139. Th. ben; G. be. 1141. Th. Was; G. And. 1142. Th. or defence; G. of
diffense. 1144. Th. dispences; G. dispence. 1146. Th. for to spende; G. for
to dispende; _see_ 1157. 1147. Th. lackynge; G. lakke. 1150. Th. sette; G.

1162. G. _om._ wys. 1166. Th. craftely; G. tristely. 1172. Th. nygarde; G.
nygart. 1176. G. _om._ him. 1178. Th. wyl; G. wille. 1182. Th. adamant; G.

1187. Th. fresshe; G. fresh. 1188. G. sarlynysh; Th. Sarlynyssche. 1199.
_Both_ sibbe. Th. Arthour; G. Artour. Th. Breteigne; G. Britaigne. 1200.
Th. enseigne; G, ensaigne. 1201. _Both_ gousfaucoun. 1205. _Both_ newly.
1206. Th. tourneyeng; G. tourneryng.

1207. Th. There; G. The. 1210. _Both_ He caste. 1214. Th. yfallen; G.
falle. 1219. Th. on; G. of. 1221. _Both_ durst. 1227, 8. _Both_ bistadde,
adradde. 1230. Th. taswage.

1233. Th. hempe; G. hempe ne (_for_ hempene). 1235. G. ridled; Th.
ryddeled. 1236. G. _om._ nat. _Both_ a; _read_ oo. 1238. Th. yclothed; G.
clothed. 1243; _see_ 1235. 1244. _Both_ Bitokeneth. 1247, 8. _Both_ hight.

1255. Th. _om._ right. 1259. G. and of; Th. _om._ of. 1261. G. _om. 1st_
no. 1263. G. wenaunt (!). 1265. G. _om._ were. 1274. _Both_ fast. 1275.
_Both_ without.

1282. _Both_ And she; _read_ Youthe; _see_ 1302. 1288. Th. yonge; G. yong.
Th. wel; G. wole. 1303. _Both_ that; _read_ thus; _see_ 1310.

1307. _Both_ faire; truly (truely). 1308. _Both_ were. 1313. G. loreyes;
Th. Laurelles. 1315. Th. ended; G. eended (=y-ended?). 1323. _Both_ myght.
1324. _Both_ durst (_for_ thurte). 1326. _Both_ As to haue.

1332. _Both_ she (_for 2nd_ he). 1334. _Both_ hadde (_for_ bad); bent;
_om._ it. 1335. _I supply_ it. _Both_ an (_for_ on). 1339. _Both_ sittith.
1340. _Both_ he kepe me; (_om._ he). 1341. G. hadde me shette; Th. had me
shete. 1342. G. mette; Th. mete. 1343. _Both_ had me greued. 1348. _Both_
hadde in all the gardyn be.

1359. G. of gret; Th. _om._ of. 1360. Th. nuttes. 1363. _Both_ almandres.
1365. Th. weren; G. wexen. 1366. _Read_ Throughout the yerd? 1369. Th.
Gyngere; G. Gyngevre. _Both_ Parys (!). 1375. Th. plommes. Th. chesteynis;
G. chesteyns. 1376. G. Cherys; Th. Cheryse. G. which.

1379. Th. laurer; G. lorey (!). 1381. G. olyuers; Th. olyueris. 1384.
_Both_ oke. 1386-1482. _Lost in_ G. 1397, 8. Th. knytte, sytte; _see_ Parl.
Fo. 628. 1399. Th. myght there noon. 1400. _I supply_ it.

1403. Th. bowe; Speght, bough (_twice_). 1404. Th. Connes. 1405, 6. Th.
clapers, maners. 1411, 2. Th. wel, tel. 1413, 4. Th. deuyse, condyse 1423.
Th. the erthe; _see_ 1428. 1424. Th. wel.

1425. Th. Spronge; _see_ l. 1419. 1428. Th. suche. 1429. Th. hath. 1431.
Th. vyolet. 1440. Th. dilectable. 1445, 6. Th. lefte. 1447. Th. garden;
_read_ yerde in (K.); cf. 1366 (note). 1448. Th. efters (!).

1452. Th. beest. 1453. Th. shoten; _read_ shete. 1453. Th. goodmesse; _see_
3462. 1456. Th. Besydes. 1474. Th. that hight; (_om._ that).

1482. Th. feirs. 1483. G. _begins again_. 1485. G. _om._ hir. 1486. Th.
hert. 1488. Th. without. 1489. Th. deyde; G. dide. 1495. _Both_ might to;
_I omit_ to. 1496. Th. Than; G. And that. Th. shulde he; G. he shulde.
1498. G. velaynesly; Th. vilaynously.

1500. Th. ferme; G. forme. 1503. G. resten; Th. rest. G. that; Th. the.
1508. G. heet; Th. herte (_for_ heete). 1510. _Both_ wel. Th. y-comen; G.
comen. 1515. G. he straught; Th. out-straught. 1516. _Both_ draught. 1517,
8. G. seen, sheen; Th. sene, shene. 1520. Th. had; G. was.

1527. _Both_ musede so. 1528. Th. _om._ al. 1534: _Both_ comforte.

1550. G. scathles; Th. scathlesse. 1552. Th. abasshen; G. abaisshen. 1553.
_From_ Th.; _not in_ G. 1561, 2. _Both_ bright, hight. 1563. _Both_ Aboute.

1573, 4. _Both_ sight, bright. 1581. _Both_ foule. 1583. _Both_ you to; _I
omit_ to. 1585. _Both_ mirrour. 1586. G. stondith; Th. stondeth. 1591.
_Both_ entrees. 1593, 4. _Both_ ye (_for_ he).

1601, 1605. _Both_ mirrour. 1604. _So_ Th.; G. swithe to ligge. 1605. Th.
loke; G. loketh. 1608. _Both_ laughyng (!); _read_ loving. 1609. G. _om._
a. 1610. Th. Y-blent; G. Blent. 1617. Th. sowen; G. sowne.

1621, 2. _Both_ panters, bachelers. 1638. G. fast; Th. faste. 1641. _I
supply_ have. _Both_ sighed (_for_ syked). 1642, 9. _Both_ mirrour.

1644. Th. vertue; G. vertues. _I supply_ the. _Both_ strengthes; _read_
strengthe. 1646. _Both_ had. 1648. G. bitrisshed; Th. bytresshed. 1649. Th.
thylke; G. thilk. 1652. Th. enclos; G. enclosid. 1655. G. att (_for_ and).
1663. Th. G. me; _read_ be (F. _fusse_). 1666. _So_ Th.; G. Me thankis. G.
wole; Th. wol; _read_ wolde.

1668. _Both_ bere. 1671, 2. _Both_ -thought, wrought. 1673. _Both_ ther
were; _both_ wone. 1674. Th. ware; G. waxe; _both_ Rone. 1679. Th. faste;
G. fast. 1683. G. will_e_; Th. wyl. Th. fresshe; G. fresh. 1687. _Both_
myght haue. 1688. G. lief; Th. lefe. 1689. _I supply_ a.

1694. G. it in; Th. _om._ it. 1695. G. enlomyned. 1698. _Both_ hath; _om._
wel? 1700. _Both_ roses. 1701. Th. rysshe; G. rish. 1705. Th. dyed (_for_
dide; _wrongly_). 1705, 6. _A false rime_; l. 1705 _is incomplete in sense,
as the sentence has no verb. Here the genuine portion ends._ L. 1706 _is by
another hand_.

          FRAGMENT B.

  Whan I had smelled the savour swote,
  No wille hadde I fro thens yit go,
  But somdel neer it wente I tho,
  To take it; but myn hond, for drede,
  Ne dorste I to the rose bede,                     1710
  For thistels sharpe, of many maneres,
  Netles, thornes, and hoked breres;
  [Ful] muche they distourbled me,
  For sore I dradde to harmed be.
    The God of Love, with bowe bent,                1715
  That al day set hadde his talent
  To pursuen and to spyen me,
  Was stonding by a fige-tree.
  And whan he sawe how that I
  Had chosen so ententifly                          1720
  The botoun, more unto my pay
  Than any other that I say,
  He took an arowe ful sharply whet,
  And in his bowe whan it was set,
  He streight up to his ere drough                  1725
  The stronge bowe, that was so tough,
  And shet at me so wonder smerte,
  That through myn eye unto myn herte
  The takel smoot, and depe it wente.
  And ther-with-al such cold me hente,              1730
  That, under clothes warme and softe,
  Sith that day I have chevered ofte.
    Whan I was hurt thus in [that] stounde,
  I fel doun plat unto the grounde.
  Myn herte failed and feynted ay,                  1735
  And long tyme [ther] a-swone I lay.
  But whan I com out of swoning,
  And hadde wit, and my feling,
  I was al maat, and wende ful wel
  Of blood have loren a ful gret del.               1740
  But certes, the arowe that in me stood
  Of me ne drew no drope of blood,
  For-why I found my wounde al dreye.
  Than took I with myn hondis tweye
  The arowe, and ful fast out it plight,            1745
  And in the pulling sore I sight.
  So at the last the shaft of tree
  I drough out, with the fethers three.
  But yet the hoked heed, y-wis,
  The whiche Beautee callid is,                     1750
  Gan so depe in myn herte passe,
  That I it mighte nought arace;
  But in myn herte stille it stood,
  Al bledde I not a drope of blood.
  I was bothe anguissous and trouble                1755
  For the peril that I saw double;
  I niste what to seye or do,
  Ne gete a leche my woundis to;
  For neithir thurgh gras ne rote,
  Ne hadde I help of hope ne bote.                  1760
  But to the botoun ever-mo
  Myn herte drew; for al my wo,
  My thought was in non other thing.
  For hadde it been in my keping,
  It wolde have brought my lyf agayn.               1765
  For certeinly, I dar wel seyn,
  The sight only, and the savour,
  Alegged muche of my langour.
    Than gan I for to drawe me
  Toward the botoun fair to see;                    1770
  And Love hadde gete him, in [a] throwe,
  Another arowe into his bowe,
  And for to shete gan him dresse;
  The arowis name was Simplesse.
  And whan that Love gan nyghe me nere,             1775
  He drow it up, withouten were,
  And shet at me with al his might,
  So that this arowe anon-right
  Thourghout [myn] eigh, as it was founde,
  Into myn herte hath maad a wounde.                1780
  Thanne I anoon dide al my crafte
  For to drawen out the shafte,
  And ther-with-al I sighed eft.
  But in myn herte the heed was left,
  Which ay encresid my desyre,                      1785
  Unto the botoun drawe nere;
  And ever, mo that me was wo,
  The more desyr hadde I to go
  Unto the roser, where that grew
  The fresshe botoun so bright of hewe.             1790
  Betir me were have leten be;
  But it bihoved nedes me
  To don right as myn herte bad.
  For ever the body must be lad
  Aftir the herte; in wele and wo,                  1795
  Of force togidre they must go.
  But never this archer wolde fyne
  To shete at me with alle his pyne,
  And for to make me to him mete.
    The thridde arowe he gan to shete,              1800
  Whan best his tyme he mighte espye,
  The which was named Curtesye;
  Into myn herte it dide avale.
  A-swone I fel, bothe deed and pale;
  Long tyme I lay, and stired nought,               1805
  Til I abraid out of my thought.
  And faste than I avysed me
  To drawen out the shafte of tree;
  But ever the heed was left bihinde
  For ought I couthe pulle or winde.                1810
  So sore it stikid whan I was hit,
  That by no craft I might it flit;
  But anguissous and ful of thought,
  I felte such wo, my wounde ay wrought,
  That somoned me alway to go                       1815
  Toward the rose, that plesed me so;
  But I ne durste in no manere,
  Bicause the archer was so nere.
  For evermore gladly, as I rede,
  Brent child of fyr hath muche drede.              1820
  And, certis yit, for al my peyne,
  Though that I sigh yit arwis reyne,
  And grounde quarels sharpe of stele,
  Ne for no payne that I might fele,
  Yit might I not my-silf withholde                 1825
  The faire roser to biholde;
  For Love me yaf sich hardement
  For to fulfille his comaundement.
  Upon my feet I roos up than
  Feble, as a forwoundid man;                       1830
  And forth to gon [my] might I sette,
  And for the archer nolde I lette.
  Toward the roser fast I drow;
  But thornes sharpe mo than y-now
  Ther were, and also thistels thikke,              1835
  And breres, brimme for to prikke,
  That I ne mighte gete grace
  The rowe thornes for to passe,
  To sene the roses fresshe of hewe.
  I must abide, though it me rewe,                  1840
  The hegge aboute so thikke was,
  That closid the roses in compas.
    But o thing lyked me right wele;
  I was so nygh, I mighte fele
  Of the botoun the swote odour,                    1845
  And also see the fresshe colour;
  And that right gretly lyked me,
  That I so neer it mighte see.
  Sich Ioye anoon therof hadde I,
  That I forgat my malady.                          1850
  To sene [it] hadde I sich delyt,
  Of sorwe and angre I was al quit,
  And of my woundes that I had thar;
  For no-thing lyken me might mar
  Than dwellen by the roser ay,                     1855
  And thennes never to passe away.
    But whan a whyle I had be thar,
  The God of Love, which al to-shar
  Myn herte with his arwis kene,
  Caste him to yeve me woundis grene.               1860
  He shet at me ful hastily
  An arwe named Company,
  The whiche takel is ful able
  To make these ladies merciable.
  Than I anoon gan chaungen hewe                    1865
  For grevaunce of my wounde newe,
  That I agayn fel in swoning,
  And sighed sore in compleyning.
  Sore I compleyned that my sore
  On me gan greven more and more.                   1870
  I had non hope of allegeaunce;
  So nigh I drow to desperaunce,
  I rought of dethe ne of lyf,
  Whither that love wolde me dryf.
  If me a martir wolde he make,                     1875
  I might his power nought forsake.
  And whyl for anger thus I wook,
  The God of Love an arowe took;
  Ful sharp it was and [ful] pugnaunt,
  And it was callid Fair-Semblaunt,                 1880
  The which in no wys wol consente,
  That any lover him repente
  To serve his love with herte and alle,
  For any peril that may bifalle.
  But though this arwe was kene grounde             1885
  As any rasour that is founde,
  To cutte and kerve, at the poynt,
  The God of Love it hadde anoynt
  With a precious oynement,
  Somdel to yeve aleggement                         1890
  Upon the woundes that he had
  Through the body in my herte maad,
  To helpe hir sores, and to cure,
  And that they may the bet endure.
  But yit this arwe, withoute more,                 1895
  Made in myn herte a large sore,
  That in ful gret peyne I abood.
  But ay the oynement wente abrood;
  Throughout my woundes large and wyde
  It spredde aboute in every syde;                  1900
  Through whos vertu and whos might
  Myn herte Ioyful was and light.
  I had ben deed and al to-shent
  But for the precious oynement.
  The shaft I drow out of the arwe,                 1905
  Roking for wo right wondir narwe;
  But the heed, which made me smerte,
  Lefte bihinde in myn herte
  With other foure, I dar wel say,
  That never wol be take away;                      1910
  But the oynement halp me wele.
  And yit sich sorwe dide I fele,
  That al-day I chaunged hewe,
  Of my woundes fresshe and newe,
  As men might see in my visage.                    1915
  The arwis were so fulle of rage,
  So variaunt of diversitee,
  That men in everich mighte see
  Bothe gret anoy and eek swetnesse,
  And Ioye meynt with bittirnesse.                  1920
  Now were they esy, now were they wood,
  In hem I felte bothe harm and good;
  Now sore without aleggement,
  Now softening with oynement;
  It softned here, and prikked there,               1925
  Thus ese and anger togider were.
    The God of Love deliverly
  Com lepand to me hastily,
  And seide to me, in gret rape,
 'Yeld thee, for thou may not escape!               1930
  May no defence availe thee here;
  Therfore I rede mak no daungere.
  If thou wolt yelde thee hastily,
  Thou shalt [the] rather have mercy.
  He is a fool in sikernesse,                       1935
  That with daunger or stoutnesse
  Rebellith ther that he shulde plese;
  In such folye is litel ese.
  Be meek, wher thou must nedis bowe;
  To stryve ageyn is nought thy prowe.              1940
  Come at ones, and have y-do,
  For I wol that it be so.
  Than yeld thee here debonairly.'
  And I answerid ful humbly,
 'Gladly, sir; at your bidding,                     1945
  I wol me yelde in alle thing.
  To your servyse I wol me take;
  For god defende that I shulde make
  Ageyn your bidding resistence;
  I wol not doon so gret offence;                   1950
  For if I dide, it were no skile.
  Ye may do with me what ye wile,
  Save or spille, and also sloo;
  Fro you in no wyse may I go.
  My lyf, my deth, is in your honde,                1955
  I may not laste out of your bonde.
  Pleyn at your list I yelde me,
  Hoping in herte, that sumtyme ye
  Comfort and ese shulle me sende;
  Or ellis shortly, this is the ende,               1960
  Withouten helthe I moot ay dure,
  But-if ye take me to your cure.
  Comfort or helthe how shuld I have,
  Sith ye me hurte, but ye me save?
  The helthe of lovers moot be founde               1965
  Wher-as they token firste hir wounde.
  And if ye list of me to make
  Your prisoner, I wol it take
  Of herte and wil, fully at gree.
  Hoolly and pleyn I yelde me,                      1970
  Withoute feyning or feyntyse,
  To be governed by your empryse.
  Of you I here so much prys,
  I wol ben hool at your devys
  For to fulfille your lyking                       1975
  And repente for no-thing,
  Hoping to have yit in som tyde
  Mercy, of that [that] I abyde.'
  And with that covenaunt yeld I me,
  Anoon doun kneling upon my knee,                  1980
  Profering for to kisse his feet;
  But for no-thing he wolde me lete,
  And seide, 'I love thee bothe and preyse,
  Sen that thyn answer doth me ese,
  For thou answerid so curteisly.                   1985
  For now I wot wel uttirly,
  That thou art gentil, by thy speche.
  For though a man fer wolde seche,
  He shulde not finden, in certeyn,
  No sich answer of no vileyn;                      1990
  For sich a word ne mighte nought
  Isse out of a vilayns thought.
  Thou shalt not lesen of thy speche,
  For [to] thy helping wol I eche,
  And eek encresen that I may.                      1995
  But first I wol that thou obay
  Fully, for thyn avauntage,
  Anon to do me here homage.
  And sithen kisse thou shalt my mouth,
  Which to no vilayn was never couth                2000
  For to aproche it, ne for to touche;
  For sauf of cherlis I ne vouche
  That they shulle never neigh it nere.
  For curteys, and of fair manere,
  Wel taught, and ful of gentilnesse                2005
  He muste ben, that shal me kisse,
  And also of ful high fraunchyse,
  That shal atteyne to that empryse.
    And first of o thing warne I thee,
  That peyne and gret adversitee                    2010
  He mot endure, and eek travaile,
  That shal me serve, withoute faile.
  But ther-ageyns, thee to comforte,
  And with thy servise to desporte,
  Thou mayst ful glad and Ioyful be                 2015
  So good a maister to have as me,
  And lord of so high renoun.
  I bere of Love the gonfanoun,
  Of Curtesye the banere;
  For I am of the silf manere,                      2020
  Gentil, curteys, meek and free;
  That who [so] ever ententif be
  Me to honoure, doute, and serve,
  And also that he him observe
  Fro trespas and fro vilanye,                      2025
  And him governe in curtesye
  With wil and with entencioun;
  For whan he first in my prisoun
  Is caught, than muste he uttirly,
  Fro thennes-forth ful bisily,                     2030
  Caste him gentil for to be,
  If he desyre helpe of me.'
    Anoon withouten more delay,
  Withouten daunger or affray,
  I bicom his man anoon,                            2035
  And gave him thankes many a oon,
  And kneled doun with hondis Ioynt,
  And made it in my port ful queynt;
  The Ioye wente to myn herte rote.
  Whan I had kissed his mouth so swote,             2040
  I had sich mirthe and sich lyking,
  It cured me of languisshing.
  He askid of me than hostages:--
  I have,' he seide, 'taken fele homages
  Of oon and other, where I have been               2045
  Disceyved ofte, withouten wene.
  These felouns, fulle of falsitee,
  Have many sythes bigyled me,
  And through falshede hir lust acheved,
  Wherof I repente and am agreved.                  2050
  And I hem gete in my daungere,
  Hir falshed shulie they bye ful dere.
  But for I love thee, I seye thee pleyn,
  I wol of thee be more certeyn;
  For thee so sore I wol now binde,                 2055
  That thou away ne shalt not winde
  For to denyen the covenaunt,
  Or doon that is not avenaunt.
  That thou were fals it were gret reuthe,
  Sith thou semest so ful of treuthe.'              2060
   'Sire, if thee list to undirstande,
  I merveile thee asking this demande.
  For-why or wherfore shulde ye
  Ostages or borwis aske of me,
  Or any other sikirnesse,                          2065
  Sith ye wote, in sothfastnesse,
  That ye have me surprysed so,
  And hool myn herte taken me fro,
  That it wol do for me no-thing
  But-if it be at your bidding?                     2070
  Myn herte is yours, and myn right nought,
  As it bihoveth, in dede and thought,
  Redy in alle to worche your wille,
  Whether so [it] turne to good or ille.
  So sore it lustith you to plese,                  2075
  No man therof may you disseise.
  Ye have theron set sich Iustise,
  That it is werreyd in many wise.
  And if ye doute it nolde obeye,
  Ye may therof do make a keye,                     2080
  And holde it with you for ostage.'
  Now certis, this is noon outrage,'
  Quoth Love, 'and fully I accord;
  For of the body he is ful lord
  That hath the herte in his tresor;                2085
  Outrage it were to asken more.'
    Than of his aumener he drough
  A litel keye, fetys y-nough,
  Which was of gold polisshed clere,
  And seide to me, 'With this keye here             2090
  Thyn herte to me now wol I shette;
  For al my Iowellis loke and knette
  I binde under this litel keye,
  That no wight may carye aweye;
  This keye is ful of gret poeste.'                 2095
  With which anoon he touchid me
  Undir the syde ful softely,
  That he myn herte sodeynly
  Without [al] anoy had spered,
  That yit right nought it hath me dered.           2100
  Whan he had doon his wil al-out,
  And I had put him out of dout,
  Sire,' I seide, 'I have right gret wille
  Your lust and plesaunce to fulfille.
  Loke ye my servise take at gree,                  2105
  By thilke feith ye owe to me.
  I seye nought for recreaundyse,
  For I nought doute of your servyse.
  But the servaunt traveileth in vayne,
  That for to serven doth his payne                 2110
  Unto that lord, which in no wyse
  Can him no thank for his servyse.'
    Love seide, 'Dismaye thee nought,
  Sin thou for sucour hast me sought,
  In thank thy servise wol I take,                  2115
  And high of degree I wol thee make,
  If wikkidnesse ne hindre thee;
  But, as I hope, it shal nought be.
  To worship no wight by aventure
  May come, but-if he peyne endure.                 2120
  Abyde and suffre thy distresse;
  That hurtith now, it shal be lesse;
  I wot my-silf what may thee save,
  What medicyne thou woldist have.
  And if thy trouthe to me thou kepe,               2125
  I shal unto thyn helping eke,
  To cure thy woundes and make hem clene,
  Wher-so they be olde or grene;
  Thou shalt be holpen, at wordis fewe.
  For certeynly thou shalt wel shewe                2130
  Wher that thou servest with good wille,
  For to complisshen and fulfille
  My comaundementis, day and night,
  Whiche I to lovers yeve of right.'
   'Ah, sire, for goddis love,' seide I,            2135
  Er ye passe hens, ententifly
  Your comaundementis to me ye say,
  And I shal kepe hem, if I may;
  For hem to kepen is al my thought.
  And if so be I wot hem nought,                    2140
  Than may I [sinne] unwitingly.
  Wherfore I pray you enterely,
  With al myn herte, me to lere,
  That I trespasse in no manere.'
    The god of love than chargid me                 2145
  Anoon, as ye shal here and see,
  Word by word, by right empryse,
  So as the Romance shal devyse.
    The maister lesith his tyme to lere,
  Whan the disciple wol not here.                   2150
  It is but veyn on him to swinke,
  That on his lerning wol not thinke.
  Who-so lust love, let him entende,
  For now the Romance ginneth amende.
  Now is good to here, in fay,                      2155
  If any be that can it say,
  And poynte it as the resoun is
  Set; for other-gate, y-wis,
  It shal nought wel in alle thing
  Be brought to good undirstonding:                 2160
  For a reder that poyntith ille
  A good sentence may ofte spille.
  The book is good at the ending,
  Maad of newe and lusty thing;
  For who-so wol the ending here,                   2165
  The crafte of love he shal now lere,
  If that he wol so long abyde,
  Til I this Romance may unhyde,
  And undo the signifiaunce
  Of this dreme into Romaunce.                      2170
  The sothfastnesse that now is hid,
  Without coverture shal be kid,
  Whan I undon have this dreming,
  Wherin no word is of lesing.
   'Vilany, at the biginning,                       2175
  I wol,' sayd Love, 'over alle thing,
  Thou leve, if thou wolt [not] be
  Fals, and trespasse ageynes me.
  I curse and blame generally
  Alle hem that loven vilany;                       2180
  For vilany makith vilayn,
  And by his dedis a cherle is seyn.
  Thise vilayns arn without pitee,
  Frendshipe, love, and al bounte.
  I nil receyve to my servyse                       2185
  Hem that ben vilayns of empryse.
   'But undirstonde in thyn entent,
  That this is not myn entendement,
  To clepe no wight in no ages
  Only gentil for his linages.                      2190
  But who-so [that] is vertuous,
  And in his port nought outrageous,
  Whan sich oon thou seest thee biforn,
  Though he be not gentil born,
  Thou mayst wel seyn, this is a soth,              2195
  That he is gentil, bicause he doth
  As longeth to a gentilman;
  Of hem non other deme I can.
  For certeynly, withouten drede,
  A cherl is demed by his dede,                     2200
  Of hye or lowe, as ye may see,
  Or of what kinrede that he be.
  Ne say nought, for noon yvel wille,
  Thing that is to holden stille;
  It is no worship to misseye.                      2205
  Thou mayst ensample take of Keye,
  That was somtyme, for misseying,
  Hated bothe of olde and ying;
  As fer as Gaweyn, the worthy,
  Was preysed for his curtesy,                      2210
  Keye was hated, for he was fel,
  Of word dispitous and cruel.
  Wherfore be wyse and aqueyntable,
  Goodly of word, and resonable
  Bothe to lesse and eek to mar.                    2215
  And whan thou comest ther men ar,
  Loke that thou have in custom ay
  First to salue hem, if thou may:
  And if it falle, that of hem som
  Salue thee first, be not dom,                     2220
  But quyte him curteisly anoon
  Without abiding, er they goon.
   'For no-thing eek thy tunge applye
  To speke wordis of ribaudye.
  To vilayn speche in no degree                     2225
  Lat never thy lippe unbounden be.
  For I nought holde him, in good feith,
  Curteys, that foule wordis seith.
  And alle wimmen serve and preyse,
  And to thy power hir honour reyse.                2230
  And if that any missayere
  Dispyse wimmen, that thou mayst here,
  Blame him, and bidde him holde him stille.
  And set thy might and al thy wille
  Wimmen and ladies for to plese,                   2235
  And to do thing that may hem ese,
  That they ever speke good of thee,
  For so thou mayst best preysed be.
   'Loke fro pryde thou kepe thee wele;
  For thou mayst bothe perceyve and fele,           2240
  That pryde is bothe foly and sinne;
  And he that pryde hath, him withinne,
  Ne may his herte, in no wyse,
  Meken ne souplen to servyse.
  For pryde is founde, in every part,               2245
  Contrarie unto Loves art.
  And he that loveth trewely
  Shulde him contene Iolily,
  Withouten pryde in sondry wyse,
  And him disgysen in queyntyse.                    2250
  For queynt array, withouten drede,
  Is no-thing proud, who takith hede;
  For fresh array, as men may see,
  Withouten pryde may ofte be.
   'Mayntene thy-silf aftir thy rent,               2255
  Of robe and eek of garnement;
  For many sythe fair clothing
  A man amendith in mich thing.
  And loke alwey that they be shape,
  What garnement that thou shalt make,              2260
  Of him that can [hem] beste do,
  With al that perteyneth therto.
  Poyntis and sleves be wel sittand,
  Right and streight upon the hand.
  Of shoon and botes, newe and faire,               2265
  Loke at the leest thou have a paire;
  And that they sitte so fetisly,
  That these rude may uttirly
  Merveyle, sith that they sitte so pleyn,
  How they come on or of ageyn.                     2270
  Were streite gloves, with aumenere
  Of silk; and alwey with good chere
  Thou yeve, if thou have richesse;
  And if thou have nought, spend the lesse.
  Alwey be mery, if thou may,                       2275
  But waste not thy good alway.
  Have hat of floures fresh as May,
  Chapelet of roses of Whitsonday;
  For sich array ne cost but lyte.
  Thyn hondis wasshe, thy teeth make whyte,         2280
  And let no filthe upon thee be.
  Thy nailes blak if thou mayst see,
  Voide it awey deliverly,
  And kembe thyn heed right Iolily.
  [Fard] not thy visage in no wyse,                 2285
  For that of love is not thempryse;
  For love doth haten, as I finde,
  A beaute that cometh not of kinde.
  Alwey in herte I rede thee
  Glad and mery for to be,                          2290
  And be as Ioyful as thou can;
  Love hath no Ioye of sorowful man.
  That yvel is ful of curtesye
  That [lauhwith] in his maladye;
  For ever of love the siknesse                     2295
  Is meynd with swete and bitternesse.
  The sore of love is merveilous;
  For now the lover [is] Ioyous,
  Now can he pleyne, now can he grone,
  Now can he singen, now maken mone.                2300
  To-day he pleyneth for hevinesse,
  To-morowe he pleyeth for Iolynesse.
  The lyf of love is ful contrarie,
  Which stoundemele can ofte varie.
  But if thou canst [som] mirthis make,             2305
  That men in gree wole gladly take,
  Do it goodly, I comaunde thee;
  For men sholde, wher-so-ever they be,
  Do thing that hem [best] sitting is,
  For therof cometh good loos and pris.             2310
  Wher-of that thou be vertuous,
  Ne be not straunge ne daungerous.
  For if that thou good rider be,
  Prike gladly, that men may se.
  In armes also if thou conne,                      2315
  Pursue, til thou a name hast wonne.
  And if thy voice be fair and clere,
  Thou shalt maken no gret daungere
  Whan to singe they goodly preye;
  It is thy worship for to obeye.                   2320
  Also to you it longith ay
  To harpe and giterne, daunce and play;
  For if he can wel foote and daunce,
  It may him greetly do avaunce.
  Among eek, for thy lady sake,                     2325
  Songes and complayntes that thou make;
  For that wol meve [hem] in hir herte,
  Whan they reden of thy smerte.
  Loke that no man for scarce thee holde,
  For that may greve thee manyfolde.                2330
  Resoun wol that a lover be
  In his yiftes more large and free
  Than cherles that been not of loving.
  For who ther-of can any thing,
  He shal be leef ay for to yeve,                   2335
  In [Loves] lore who so wolde leve;
  For he that, through a sodeyn sight,
  Or for a kissing, anon-right
  Yaf hool his herte in wille and thought,
  And to him-silf kepith right nought,              2340
  Aftir [swich yift], is good resoun,
  He yeve his good in abandoun.
   'Now wol I shortly here reherce,
  Of that [that] I have seid in verse,
  Al the sentence by and by,                        2345
  In wordis fewe compendiously,
  That thou the bet mayst on hem thinke,
  Whether-so it be thou wake or winke;
  For [that] the wordis litel greve
  A man to kepe, whanne it is breve.                2350
   'Who-so with Love wol goon or ryde
  He mot be curteys, and void of pryde,
  Mery and fulle of Iolite,
  And of largesse alosed be.
   'First I Ioyne thee, here in penaunce,           2355
  That ever, withoute repentaunce,
  Thou set thy thought in thy loving,
  To laste withoute repenting;
  And thenke upon thy mirthis swete,
  That shal folowe aftir whan ye mete.              2360
   'And for thou trewe to love shalt be,
  I wol, and [eek] comaunde thee,
  That in oo place thou sette, al hool,
  Thyn herte, withouten halfen dool,
  For trecherie, [in] sikernesse;                   2365
  For I lovede never doublenesse.
  To many his herte that wol depart,
  Everiche shal have but litel part.
  But of him drede I me right nought,
  That in oo place settith his thought.             2370
  Therfore in oo place it sette,
  And lat it never thennes flette.
  For if thou yevest it in lening,
  I holde it but a wrecchid thing:
  Therfore yeve it hool and quyte,                  2375
  And thou shalt have the more merite.
  If it be lent, than aftir soon,
  The bountee and the thank is doon;
  But, in love, free yeven thing
  Requyrith a gret guerdoning.                      2380
  Yeve it in yift al quit fully,
  And make thy yift debonairly;
  For men that yift [wol] holde more dere
  That yeven is with gladsome chere.
  That yift nought to preisen is                    2385
  That man yeveth, maugre his.
  Whan thou hast yeven thyn herte, as I
  Have seid thee here [al] openly,
  Than aventures shulle thee falle,
  Which harde and hevy been withalle.               2390
  For ofte whan thou bithenkist thee
  Of thy loving, wher-so thou be,
  Fro folk thou must depart in hy,
  That noon perceyve thy malady,
  But hyde thyn harm thou must alone,               2395
  And go forth sole, and make thy mone.
  Thou shalt no whyl be in oo stat,
  But whylom cold and whylom hat;
  Now reed as rose, now yelowe and fade.
  Such sorowe, I trowe, thou never hade;            2400
  Cotidien, ne [yit] quarteyne,
  It is nat so ful of peyne.
  For ofte tymes it shal falle
  In love, among thy peynes alle,
  That thou thy-self, al hoolly,                    2405
  Foryeten shalt so utterly,
  That many tymes thou shalt be
  Stille as an image of tree,
  Dom as a stoon, without stering
  Of foot or hond, without speking.                 2410
  Than, sone after al thy peyne,
  To memorie shalt thou come ageyn,
  As man abasshed wondre sore,
  And after sighen more and more.
  For wit thou wel, withouten wene,                 2415
  In swich astat ful oft have been
  That have the yvel of love assayd,
  Wher-through thou art so dismayd.
   'After, a thought shal take thee so,
  That thy love is to fer thee fro:                 2420
  Thou shalt say, "God, what may this be,
  That I ne may my lady see?
  Myne herte aloon is to her go,
  And I abyde al sole in wo,
  Departed fro myn owne thought,                    2425
  And with myne eyen see right nought.
   '"Alas, myn eyen sende I ne may,
  My careful herte to convay!
  Myn hertes gyde but they be,
  I praise no-thing what ever they see.             2430
  Shul they abyde thanne? nay;
  But goon visyte without delay
  That myn herte desyreth so.
  For certeynly, but-if they go,
  A fool my-self I may wel holde,                   2435
  Whan I ne see what myn herte wolde.
  Wherfore I wol gon her to seen,
  Or esed shal I never been,
  But I have som tokening."
  Then gost thou forth without dwelling;            2440
  But ofte thou faylest of thy desyre,
  Er thou mayst come hir any nere,
  And wastest in vayn thy passage.
  Than fallest thou in a newe rage;
  For want of sight thou ginnest morne,             2445
  And homward pensif dost retorne.
  In greet mischeef than shall thou be,
  For than agayn shal come to thee
  Sighes and pleyntes, with newe wo,
  That no icching prikketh so.                      2450
  Who wot it nought, he may go lere
  Of hem that byen love so dere.
   'No-thing thyn herte appesen may,
  That oft thou wolt goon and assay,
  If thou mayst seen, by aventure,                  2455
  Thy lyves joy, thyn hertis cure;
  So that, by grace if thou might
  Atteyne of hir to have a sight,
  Than shall thou doon non other dede
  But with that sight thyn eyen fede.               2460
  That faire fresh whan thou mayst see,
  Thyn herte shal so ravisshed be,
  That never thou woldest, thy thankis, lete,
  Ne remove, for to see that swete.
  The more thou seest in sothfastnesse,             2465
  The more thou coveytest of that swetnesse;
  The more thyn herte brenneth in fyr,
  The more thyn herte is in desyr.
  For who considreth every del,
  It may be lykned wondir wel,                      2470
  The peyne of love, unto a fere;
  For ever [the] more thou neighest nere
  Thought, or who-so that it be,
  For verray sothe I telle it thee,
  The hatter ever shal thou brenne,                 2475
  As experience shal thee kenne.
  Wher-so [thou] comest in any cost,
  Who is next fyr, he brenneth most.
  And yit forsothe, for al thyn hete,
  Though thou for love swelte and swete,            2480
  Ne for no-thing thou felen may,
  Thou shalt not willen to passe away.
  And though thou go, yet must thee nede
  Thenke al-day on hir fairhede,
  Whom thou bihelde with so good wille;             2485
  And holde thysilf bigyled ille,
  That thou ne haddest non hardement
  To shewe hir ought of thyn entent.
  Thyn herte ful sore thou wolt dispyse,
  And eek repreve of cowardyse,                     2490
  That thou, so dulle in every thing,
  Were dom for drede, without speking.
  Thou shalt eek thenke thou didest foly,
  That thou were hir so faste by,
  And durst not auntre thee to say                  2495
  Som-thing, er thou cam away;
  For thou haddist no more wonne,
  To speke of hir whan thou bigonne:
  But yif she wolde, for thy sake,
  In armes goodly thee have take,                   2500
  It shulde have be more worth to thee
  Than of tresour greet plentee.
   'Thus shalt thou morne and eek compleyn,
  And gete enchesoun to goon ageyn
  Unto thy walk, or to thy place,                   2505
  Where thou biheld hir fleshly face.
  And never, for fals suspeccioun,
  Thou woldest finde occasioun
  For to gon unto hir hous.
  So art thou thanne desirous                       2510
  A sight of hir for to have,
  If thou thine honour mightest save,
  Or any erand mightist make
  Thider, for thy loves sake;
  Ful fayn thou woldist, but for drede              2515
  Thou gost not, lest that men take hede.
  Wherfore I rede, in thy going,
  And also in thyn ageyn-coming,
  Thou be wel war that men ne wit;
  Feyne thee other cause than it                    2520
  To go that weye, or faste by;
  To hele wel is no folye.
  And if so be it happe thee
  That thou thy love ther mayst see,
  In siker wyse thou hir salewe,                    2525
  Wherwith thy colour wol transmewe,
  And eke thy blood shal al to-quake,
  Thyn hewe eek chaungen for hir sake.
  But word and wit, with chere ful pale,
  Shul wante for to telle thy tale.                 2530
  And if thou mayst so fer-forth winne,
  That thou [thy] resoun durst biginne,
  And woldist seyn three thingis or mo,
  Thou shalt ful scarsly seyn the two.
  Though thou bithenke thee never so wel,           2535
  Thou shalt foryete yit somdel,
  But-if thou dele with trecherye.
  For fals lovers mowe al folye
  Seyn, what hem lust, withouten drede,
  They be so double in hir falshede;                2540
  For they in herte cunne thenke a thing
  And seyn another, in hir speking.
  And whan thy speche is endid al,
  Right thus to thee it shal bifal;
  If any word than come to minde,                   2545
  That thou to seye hast left bihinde,
  Than thou shalt brenne in greet martyr;
  For thou shalt brenne as any fyr.
  This is the stryf and eke the affray,
  And the batail that lastith ay.                   2550
  This bargeyn ende may never take,
  But-if that she thy pees wil make.
   'And whan the night is comen, anon
  A thousand angres shal come upon.
  To bedde as fast thou wolt thee dight,            2555
  Where thou shalt have but smal delyt;
  For whan thou wenest for to slepe,
  So ful of peyne shalt thou crepe,
  Sterte in thy bedde aboute ful wyde,
  And turne ful ofte on every syde;                 2560
  Now dounward groffe, and now upright,
  And walowe in wo the longe night,
  Thyne armis shalt thou sprede a-brede,
  As man in werre were forwerreyd.
  Than shal thee come a remembraunce                2565
  Of hir shape and hir semblaunce,
  Wherto non other may be pere.
  And wite thou wel, withoute were,
  That thee shal [seme], somtyme that night,
  That thou hast hir, that is so bright,            2570
  Naked bitwene thyn armes there,
  Al sothfastnesse as though it were.
  Thou shalt make castels than in Spayne,
  And dreme of Ioye, al but in vayne,
  And thee delyten of right nought,                 2575
  Whyl thou so slomrest in that thought,
  That is so swete and delitable,
  The which, in soth, nis but a fable,
  For it ne shal no whyle laste.
  Than shalt thou sighe and wepe faste,             2580
  And say, "Dere god, what thing is this?
  My dreme is turned al amis,
  Which was ful swete and apparent,
  But now I wake, it is al shent!
  Now yede this mery thought away!                  2585
  Twenty tymes upon a day
  I wolde this thought wolde come ageyn,
  For it alleggith wel my peyn.
  It makith me ful of Ioyful thought,
  It sleeth me, that it lastith noght.              2590
  A, lord! why nil ye me socoure,
  The Ioye, I trowe, that I langoure?
  The deth I wolde me shulde slo
  Whyl I lye in hir armes two.
  Myn harm is hard, withouten wene,                 2595
  My greet unese ful ofte I mene.
  But wolde Love do so I might
  Have fully Ioye of hir so bright,
  My peyne were quit me richely.
  Allas, to greet a thing aske I!                   2600
  It is but foly, and wrong wening,
  To aske so outrageous a thing.
  And who-so askith folily,
  He moot be warned hastily;
  And I ne wot what I may say,                      2605
  I am so fer out of the way;
  For I wolde have ful gret lyking
  And ful gret Ioye of lasse thing.
  For wolde she, of hir gentilnesse,
  Withouten more, me onis kesse,                    2610
  It were to me a greet guerdoun,
  Relees of al my passioun.
  But it is hard to come therto;
  Al is but foly that I do,
  So high I have myn herte set,                     2615
  Where I may no comfort get.
  I noot wher I sey wel or nought;
  But this I wot wel in my thought,
  That it were bet of hir aloon,
  For to stinte my wo and moon,                     2620
  A loke on [me] y-cast goodly,
  [Than] for to have, al utterly,
  Of another al hool the pley.
  A! lord! wher I shal byde the day
  That ever she shal my lady be?                    2625
  He is ful cured that may hir see.
  A! god! whan shal the dawning spring?
  To ly thus is an angry thing;
  I have no Ioye thus here to ly
  Whan that my love is not me by.                   2630
  A man to lyen hath gret disese,
  Which may not slepe ne reste in ese.
  I wolde it dawed, and were now day,
  And that the night were went away;
  For were it day, I wolde upryse.                  2635
  A! slowe sonne, shew thyn enpryse!
  Speed thee to sprede thy bemis bright,
  And chace the derknesse of the night,
  To putte away the stoundes stronge,
  Which in me lasten al to longe."                  2640
   'The night shalt thou contene so,
  Withoute rest, in peyne and wo;
  If ever thou knewe of love distresse,
  Thou shalt mowe lerne in that siknesse.
  And thus enduring shalt thou ly,                  2645
  And ryse on morwe up erly
  Out of thy bedde, and harneys thee
  Er ever dawning thou mayst see.
  Al privily than shalt thou goon,
  What [weder] it be, thy-silf aloon,               2650
  For reyn, or hayl, for snow, for slete,
  Thider she dwellith that is so swete,
  The which may falle aslepe be,
  And thenkith but litel upon thee.
  Than shalt thou goon, ful foule aferd;            2655
  Loke if the gate be unsperd,
  And waite without in wo and peyn,
  Ful yvel a-cold in winde and reyn.
  Than shal thou go the dore bifore,
  If thou maist fynde any score,                    2660
  Or hole, or reft, what ever it were;
  Than shalt thou stoupe, and lay to ere,
  If they within a-slepe be;
  I mene, alle save thy lady free.
  Whom waking if thou mayst aspye,                  2665
  Go put thy-silf in Iupartye,
  To aske grace, and thee bimene,
  That she may wite, withouten wene,
  That thou [a]night no rest hast had,
  So sore for hir thou were bistad.                 2670
  Wommen wel ought pite to take
  Of hem that sorwen for hir sake.
  And loke, for love of that relyke,
  That thou thenke non other lyke,
  For [whom] thou hast so greet annoy,              2675
  Shal kisse thee er thou go away,
  And hold that in ful gret deyntee.
  And, for that no man shal thee see
  Bifore the hous, ne in the way,
  Loke thou be goon ageyn er day.                   2680
  Suche coming, and such going,
  Such hevinesse, and such walking,
  Makith lovers, withouten wene,
  Under hir clothes pale and lene,
  For Love leveth colour ne cleernesse;             2685
  Who loveth trewe hath no fatnesse.
  Thou shalt wel by thy-selfe see
  That thou must nedis assayed be.
  For men that shape hem other wey
  Falsly her ladies to bitray,                      2690
  It is no wonder though they be fat;
  With false othes hir loves they gat;
  For oft I see suche losengeours
  Fatter than abbatis or priours.
   'Yet with o thing I thee charge,                 2695
  That is to seye, that thou be large
  Unto the mayd that hir doth serve,
  So best hir thank thou shalt deserve.
  Yeve hir yiftes, and get hir grace,
  For so thou may [hir] thank purchace,             2700
  That she thee worthy holde and free,
  Thy lady, and alle that may thee see.
  Also hir servauntes worshipe ay,
  And plese as muche as thou may;
  Gret good through hem may come to thee,           2705
  Bicause with hir they been prive.
  They shal hir telle how they thee fand
  Curteis and wys, and wel doand,
  And she shal preyse [thee] wel the mare.
  Loke out of londe thou be not fare;               2710
  And if such cause thou have, that thee
  Bihoveth to gon out of contree,
  Leve hool thyn herte in hostage,
  Til thou ageyn make thy passage.
  Thenk long to see the swete thing                 2715
  That hath thyn herte in hir keping.
   'Now have I told thee, in what wyse
  A lover shal do me servyse.
  Do it than, if thou wolt have
  The mede that thou aftir crave.'                  2720
    Whan Love al this had boden me,
  I seide him:--'Sire, how may it be
  That lovers may in such manere
  Endure the peyne ye have seid here?
  I merveyle me wonder faste,                       2725
  How any man may live or laste
  In such peyne, and such brenning,
  In sorwe and thought, and such sighing,
  Ay unrelesed wo to make,
  Whether so it be they slepe or wake.              2730
  In such annoy continuely,
  As helpe me god, this merveile I,
  How man, but he were maad of stele,
  Might live a month, such peynes to fele.'
    The God of Love than seide me,                  2735
  Freend, by the feith I owe to thee,
  May no man have good, but he it by.
  A man loveth more tendirly
  The thing that he hath bought most dere.
  For wite thou wel, withouten were,                2740
  In thank that thing is taken more,
  For which a man hath suffred sore.
  Certis, no wo ne may atteyne
  Unto the sore of loves peyne.
  Non yvel therto ne may amounte,                   2745
  No more than a man [may] counte
  The dropes that of the water be.
  For drye as wel the grete see
  Thou mightist, as the harmes telle
  Of hem that with Love dwelle                      2750
  In servyse; for peyne hem sleeth,
  And that ech man wolde flee the deeth,
  And trowe they shulde never escape,
  Nere that hope couthe hem make
  Glad as man in prisoun set,                       2755
  And may not geten for to et
  But barly-breed, and watir pure,
  And lyeth in vermin and in ordure;
  With alle this, yit can he live,
  Good hope such comfort hath him yive,             2760
  Which maketh wene that he shal be
  Delivered and come to liberte;
  In fortune is [his] fulle trust.
  Though he lye in strawe or dust,
  In hope is al his susteyning.                     2765
  And so for lovers, in hir wening,
  Whiche Love hath shit in his prisoun;
  Good-Hope is hir salvacioun.
  Good-Hope, how sore that they smerte,
  Yeveth hem bothe wille and herte                  2770
  To profre hir body to martyre;
  For Hope so sore doth hem desyre
  To suffre ech harm that men devyse,
  For Ioye that aftir shal aryse.
    Hope, in desire [to] cacche victorie;           2775
  In Hope, of love is al the glorie,
  For Hope is al that love may yive;
  Nere Hope, ther shulde no lover live.
  Blessid be Hope, which with desyre
  Avaunceth lovers in such manere.                  2780
  Good-Hope is curteis for to plese,
  To kepe lovers from al disese.
  Hope kepith his lond, and wol abyde,
  For any peril that may betyde;
  For Hope to lovers, as most cheef,                2785
  Doth hem enduren al mischeef;
  Hope is her help, whan mister is.
  And I shal yeve thee eek, y-wis,
  Three other thingis, that greet solas
  Doth to hem that be in my las.                    2790
   'The firste good that may be founde,
  To hem that in my lace be bounde,
  Is Swete-Thought, for to recorde
  Thing wherwith thou canst accorde
  Best in thyn herte, wher she be;                  2795
  Thought in absence is good to thee.
  Whan any lover doth compleyne,
  And liveth in distresse and peyne,
  Than Swete-Thought shal come, as blyve,
  Awey his angre for to dryve.                      2800
  It makith lovers have remembraunce
  Of comfort, and of high plesaunce,
  That Hope hath hight him for to winne.
  For Thought anoon than shal biginne,
  As fer, god wot, as he can finde,                 2805
  To make a mirrour of his minde;
  For to biholde he wol not lette.
  Hir person he shal afore him sette,
  Hir laughing eyen, persaunt and clere,
  Hir shape, hir fourme, hir goodly chere,          2810
  Hir mouth that is so gracious,
  So swete, and eek so saverous;
  Of alle hir fetures he shal take heede,
  His eyen with alle hir limes fede.
   'Thus Swete-Thenking shal aswage                 2815
  The peyne of lovers, and hir rage.
  Thy Ioye shal double, withoute gesse,
  Whan thou thenkist on hir semlinesse,
  Or of hir laughing, or of hir chere,
  That to thee made thy lady dere.                  2820
  This comfort wol I that thou take;
  And if the next thou wolt forsake
  Which is not lesse saverous,
  Thou shuldist been to daungerous.
   'The secounde shal be Swete-Speche,              2825
  That hath to many oon be leche,
  To bringe hem out of wo and were,
  And helpe many a bachilere;
  And many a lady sent socoure,
  That have loved par-amour,                        2830
  Through speking, whan they mighten here
  Of hir lovers, to hem so dere.
  To [hem] it voidith al hir smerte,
  The which is closed in hir herte.
  In herte it makith hem glad and light,            2835
  Speche, whan they mowe have sight.
  And therfore now it cometh to minde,
  In olde dawes, as I finde,
  That clerkis writen that hir knewe
  Ther was a lady fresh of hewe,                    2840
  Which of hir love made a song
  On him for to remembre among,
  In which she seide, "Whan that I here
  Speken of him that is so dere,
  To me it voidith al [my] smerte,                  2845
  Y-wis, he sit so nere myn herte.
  To speke of him, at eve or morwe,
  It cureth me of al my sorwe.
  To me is noon so high plesaunce
  As of his persone daliaunce."                     2850
  She wist ful wel that Swete-Speking
  Comfortith in ful muche thing.
  Hir love she had ful wel assayed,
  Of him she was ful wel apayed;
  To speke of him hir Ioye was set.                 2855
  Therfore I rede thee that thou get
  A felowe that can wel concele
  And kepe thy counsel, and wel hele,
  To whom go shewe hoolly thyn herte,
  Bothe wele and wo, Ioye and smerte:               2860
  To gete comfort to him thou go,
  And privily, bitween yow two,
  Ye shal speke of that goodly thing,
  That hath thyn herte in hir keping;
  Of hir beaute and hir semblaunce,                 2865
  And of hir goodly countenaunce.
  Of al thy state thou shalt him sey,
  And aske him counseil how thou may
  Do any thing that may hir plese;
  For it to thee shal do gret ese,                  2870
  That he may wite thou trust him so,
  Bothe of thy wele and of thy wo.
  And if his herte to love be set,
  His companye is muche the bet,
  For resoun wol, he shewe to thee                  2875
  Al uttirly his privite;
  And what she is he loveth so,
  To thee pleynly he shal undo,
  Withoute drede of any shame,
  Bothe telle hir renoun and hir name.              2880
  Than shal he forther, ferre and nere,
  And namely to thy lady dere,
  In siker wyse; ye, every other
  Shal helpen as his owne brother,
  In trouthe withoute doublenesse,                  2885
  And kepen cloos in sikernesse.
  For it is noble thing, in fay,
  To have a man thou darst say
  Thy prive counsel every del;
  For that wol comfort thee right wel,              2890
  And thou shall holde thee wel apayed,
  Whan such a freend thou hast assayed.
   'The thridde good of greet comfort
  That yeveth to lovers most disport,
  Comith of sight and biholding,                    2895
  That clepid is Swete-Loking,
  The whiche may noon ese do,
  Whan thou art fer thy lady fro;
  Wherfore thou prese alwey to be
  In place, where thou mayst hir se.                2900
  For it is thing most amerous,
  Most delitable and saverous,
  For to aswage a mannes sorowe,
  To sene his lady by the morowe.
  For it is a ful noble thing                       2905
  Whan thyn eyen have meting
  With that relyke precious,
  Wherof they be so desirous.
  But al day after, soth it is,
  They have no drede to faren amis,                 2910
  They dreden neither wind ne reyn,
  Ne [yit] non other maner peyn.
  For whan thyn eyen were thus in blis,
  Yit of hir curtesye, y-wis,
  Aloon they can not have hir Ioye,                 2915
  But to the herte they [it] convoye;
  Part of hir blis to him [they] sende,
  Of al this harm to make an ende.
  The eye is a good messangere,
  Which can to the herte in such manere             2920
  Tidyngis sende, that [he] hath seen,
  To voide him of his peynes cleen.
  Wherof the herte reioyseth so
  That a gret party of his wo
  Is voided, and put awey to flight.                2925
  Right as the derknesse of the night
  Is chased with clerenesse of the mone,
  Right so is al his wo ful sone
  Devoided clene, whan that the sight
  Biholden may that fresshe wight                   2930
  That the herte desyreth so,
  That al his derknesse is ago;
  For than the herte is al at ese,
  Whan they seen that [that] may hem plese.
   'Now have I thee declared alout,                 2935
  Of that thou were in drede and dout;
  For I have told thee feithfully
  What thee may curen utterly,
  And alle lovers that wole be
  Feithful, and ful of stabilite.                   2940
  Good-Hope alwey kepe by thy syde,
  And Swete-Thought make eek abyde,
  Swete-Loking and Swete-Speche;
  Of alle thyn harmes they shal be leche.
  Of every thou shalt have greet plesaunce;         2945
  If thou canst byde in sufferaunce,
  And serve wel without feyntyse,
  Thou shalt be quit of thyn empryse,
  With more guerdoun, if that thou live;
  But al this tyme this I thee yive.'               2950
    The God of Love whan al the day
  Had taught me, as ye have herd say,
  And enfourmed compendiously,
  He vanished awey al sodeynly,
  And I alone lefte, al sole,                       2955
  So ful of compleynt and of dole,
  For I saw no man ther me by.
  My woundes me greved wondirly;
  Me for to curen no-thing I knew,
  Save the botoun bright of hew,                    2960
  Wheron was set hoolly my thought;
  Of other comfort knew I nought,
  But it were through the God of Love;
  I knew nat elles to my bihove
  That might me ese or comfort gete,                2965
  But-if he wolde him entermete.
    The roser was, withoute doute,
  Closed with an hegge withoute,
  As ye to-forn have herd me seyn;
  And fast I bisied, and wolde fayn                 2970
  Have passed the haye, if I might
  Have geten in by any slight
  Unto the botoun so fair to see.
  But ever I dradde blamed to be,
  If men wolde have suspeccioun                     2975
  That I wolde of entencioun
  Have stole the roses that ther were;
  Therfore to entre I was in fere.
  But at the last, as I bithought
  Whether I sholde passe or nought,                 2980
  I saw come with a gladde chere
  To me, a lusty bachelere,
  Of good stature, and of good hight,
  And Bialacoil forsothe he hight.
  Sone he was to Curtesy,                           2985
  And he me graunted ful gladly
  The passage of the outer hay,
  And seide:--'Sir, how that ye may
  Passe, if [it] your wille be,
  The fresshe roser for to see,                     2990
  And ye the swete savour fele.
  Your warrant may [I be] right wele;
  So thou thee kepe fro folye,
  Shal no man do thee vilanye.
  If I may helpe you in ought,                      2995
  I shal not feyne, dredeth nought;
  For I am bounde to your servyse,
  Fully devoide of feyntyse.'
  Than unto Bialacoil saide I,
 'I thank you, sir, ful hertely,                    3000
  And your biheest [I] take at gree,
  That ye so goodly prefer me;
  To you it cometh of greet fraunchyse,
  That ye me prefer your servyse.'
  Than aftir, ful deliverly,                        3005
  Through the breres anoon wente I,
  Wherof encombred was the hay.
  I was wel plesed, the soth to say,
  To see the botoun fair and swote,
  So fresshe spronge out of the rote.               3010
    And Bialacoil me served wel,
  Whan I so nygh me mighte fele
  Of the botoun the swete odour,
  And so lusty hewed of colour.
  But than a cherl (foule him bityde!)              3015
  Bisyde the roses gan him hyde,
  To kepe the roses of that roser,
  Of whom the name was Daunger.
  This cherl was hid there in the greves,
  Covered with grasse and with leves,               3020
  To spye and take whom that he fond
  Unto that roser putte an hond.
  He was not sole, for ther was mo;
  For with him were other two
  Of wikkid maners, and yvel fame.                  3025
  That oon was clepid, by his name,
  Wikked-Tonge, god yeve him sorwe!
  For neither at eve, ne at morwe,
  He can of no man [no] good speke;
  On many a Iust man doth he wreke.                 3030
  Ther was a womman eek, that hight
  Shame, that, who can reken right,
  Trespas was hir fadir name,
  Hir moder Resoun; and thus was Shame
  [On lyve] brought of these ilk two.               3035
  And yit had Trespas never ado
  With Resoun, ne never ley hir by,
  He was so hidous and ugly,
  I mene, this that Trespas hight;
  But Resoun conceyveth, of a sight,                3040
  Shame, of that I spak aforn.
  And whan that Shame was thus born,
  It was ordeyned, that Chastitee
  Shulde of the roser lady be,
  Which, of the botouns more and las,               3045
  With sondry folk assailed was,
  That she ne wiste what to do.
  For Venus hir assailith so,
  That night and day from hir she stal
  Botouns and roses over-al.                        3050
  To Resoun than prayeth Chastitee,
  Whom Venus flemed over the see,
  That she hir doughter wolde hir lene,
  To kepe the roser fresh and grene.
  Anoon Resoun to Chastitee                         3055
  Is fully assented that it be,
  And grauntid hir, at hir request,
  That Shame, bicause she is honest,
  Shal keper of the roser be.
  And thus to kepe it ther were three,              3060
  That noon shulde hardy be ne bold
  (Were he yong, or were he old)
  Ageyn hir wille awey to bere
  Botouns ne roses, that ther were.
  I had wel sped, had I not been                    3065
  Awayted with these three, and seen.
  For Bialacoil, that was so fair,
  So gracious and debonair,
  Quitte him to me ful curteisly,
  And, me to plese, bad that I                      3070
  Shuld drawe me to the botoun nere;
  Prese in, to touche the rosere
  Which bar the roses, he yaf me leve;
  This graunt ne might but litel greve.
  And for he saw it lyked me,                       3075
  Right nygh the botoun pullede he
  A leef al grene, and yaf me that,
  The which ful nygh the botoun sat;
  I made [me] of that leef ful queynt.
  And whan I felte I was aqueynt                    3080
  With Bialacoil, and so prive,
  I wende al at my wille had be.
  Than wex I hardy for to tel
  To Bialacoil how me bifel
  Of Love, that took and wounded me,                3085
  And seide: 'Sir, so mote I thee,
  I may no loye have in no wyse,
  Upon no syde, but it ryse;
  For sithe (if I shal not feyne)
  In herte I have had so gret peyne,                3090
  So gret annoy, and such affray,
  That I ne wot what I shal say;
  I drede your wrath to disserve.
  Lever me were, that knyves kerve
  My body shulde in pecis smalle,                   3095
  Than in any wyse it shulde falle
  That ye wratthed shulde been with me.'
  Sey boldely thy wille,' quod he,
  I nil be wroth, if that I may,
  For nought that thou shalt to me say.'            3100
    Thanne seide I, 'Sir, not you displese
  To knowen of my greet unese,
  In which only love hath me brought;
  For peynes greet, disese and thought,
  Fro day to day he doth me drye;                   3105
  Supposeth not, sir, that I lye.
  In me fyve woundes dide he make,
  The sore of whiche shal never slake
  But ye the botoun graunte me,
  Which is most passaunt of beautee,                3110
  My lyf, my deth, and my martyre,
  And tresour that I most desyre.'
    Than Bialacoil, affrayed all,
  Seyde, 'Sir, it may not fall;
  That ye desire, it may not ryse.                  3115
  What? wolde ye shende me in this wyse?
  A mochel foole than I were,
  If I suffrid you awey to bere
  The fresh botoun, so fair of sight.
  For it were neither skile ne right                3120
  Of the roser ye broke the rind,
  Or take the rose aforn his kind;
  Ye ar not courteys to aske it.
  Lat it stil on the roser sit,
  And growe til it amended be,                      3125
  And parfitly come to beaute.
  I nolde not that it pulled wer
  Fro the roser that it ber,
  To me it is so leef and dere.'
    With that sterte out anoon Daungere,            3130
  Out of the place where he was hid.
  His malice in his chere was kid;
  Ful greet he was, and blak of hewe,
  Sturdy and hidous, who-so him knewe;
  Like sharp urchouns his here was growe,           3135
  His eyes rede as the fire-glow;
  His nose frounced ful kirked stood,
  He com criand as he were wood,
  And seide, 'Bialacoil, tel me why
  Thou bringest hider so boldly                     3140
  Him that so nygh [is] the roser?
  Thou worchist in a wrong maner;
  He thenkith to dishonour thee,
  Thou art wel worthy to have maugree
  To late him of the roser wit;                     3145
  Who serveth a feloun is yvel quit.
  Thou woldist have doon greet bountee,
  And he with shame wolde quyte thee.
  Flee hennes, felowe! I rede thee go!
  It wanteth litel I wol thee slo;                  3150
  For Bialacoil ne knew thee nought,
  Whan thee to serve he sette his thought;
  For thou wolt shame him, if thou might,
  Bothe ageyn resoun and right.
  I wol no more in thee affye,                      3155
  That comest so slyghly for tespye;
  For it preveth wonder wel,
  Thy slight and tresoun every del.'
    I durst no more ther make abode,
  For the cherl, he was so wode;                    3160
  So gan he threten and manace,
  And thurgh the haye he did me chace.
  For feer of him I tremblid and quook,
  So cherlishly his heed he shook;
  And seide, if eft he might me take,               3165
  I shulde not from his hondis scape.
    Than Bialacoil is fled and mate,
  And I al sole, disconsolate,
  Was left aloon in peyne and thought;
  For shame, to deth I was nygh brought.            3170
  Than thought I on myn high foly,
  How that my body, utterly,
  Was yeve to peyne and to martyre;
  And therto hadde I so gret yre,
  That I ne durst the hayes passe;                  3175
  There was non hope, there was no grace.
  I trowe never man wiste of peyne,
  But he were laced in Loves cheyne;
  Ne no man [wot], and sooth it is,
  But-if he love, what anger is.                    3180
  Love holdith his heest to me right wele,
  Whan peyne he seide I shulde fele.
  Non herte may thenke, ne tunge seyne,
  A quarter of my wo and peyne.
  I might not with the anger laste;                 3185
  Myn herte in poynt was for to braste,
  Whan I thought on the rose, that so
  Was through Daunger cast me froo.
    A long whyl stood I in that state,
  Til that me saugh so mad and mate                 3190
  The lady of the highe ward,
  Which from hir tour lokid thiderward.
  Resoun men clepe that lady,
  Which from hir tour deliverly
  Come doun to me withouten more.                   3195
  But she was neither yong, ne hore,
  Ne high ne low, ne fat ne lene,
  But best, as it were in a mene.
  Hir eyen two were cleer and light
  As any candel that brenneth bright;               3200
  And on hir heed she hadde a crown.
  Hir semede wel an high persoun;
  For rounde enviroun, hir crownet
  Was ful of riche stonis fret.
  Hir goodly semblaunt, by devys,                   3205
  I trowe were maad in paradys;
  Nature had never such a grace,
  To forge a werk of such compace.
  For certeyn, but the letter lye,
  God him-silf, that is so high,                    3210
  Made hir aftir his image,
  And yaf hir sith sich avauntage,
  That she hath might and seignorye
  To kepe men from al folye;
  Who-so wole trowe hir lore,                       3215
  Ne may offenden nevermore.
    And whyl I stood thus derk and pale,
  Resoun bigan to me hir tale;
  She seide: 'Al hayl, my swete frend!
  Foly and childhood wol thee shend,                3220
  Which thee have put in greet affray;
  Thou hast bought dere the tyme of May,
  That made thyn herte mery to be.
  In yvel tyme thou wentist to see
  The gardin, wherof Ydilnesse                      3225
  Bar the keye, and was maistresse
  Whan thou yedest in the daunce
  With hir, and haddest aqueyntaunce:
  Hir aqueyntaunce is perilous,
  First softe, and aftir[ward] noyous;              3230
  She hath [thee] trasshed, withoute ween;
  The God of Love had thee not seen,
  Ne hadde Ydilnesse thee conveyed
  In the verger where Mirthe him pleyed.
  If Foly have supprised thee,                      3235
  Do so that it recovered be;
  And be wel war to take no more
  Counsel, that greveth aftir sore;
  He is wys that wol himsilf chastyse.
  And though a young man in any wyse                3240
  Trespace among, and do foly,
  Lat him not tarye, but hastily
  Lat him amende what so be mis.
  And eek I counseile thee, y-wis,
  The God of Love hoolly foryet,                    3245
  That hath thee in sich peyne set,
  And thee in herte tormented so.
  I can nat seen how thou mayst go
  Other weyes to garisoun;
  For Daunger, that is so feloun,                   3250
  Felly purposith thee to werrey,
  Which is ful cruel, the soth to sey.
   'And yit of Daunger cometh no blame,
  In reward of my doughter Shame,
  Which hath the roses in hir warde,                3255
  As she that may be no musarde.
  And Wikked-Tunge is with these two,
  That suffrith no man thider go;
  For er a thing be do, he shal,
  Where that he cometh, over-al,                    3260
  In fourty places, if it be sought,
  Seye thing that never was doon ne wrought;
  So moche tresoun is in his male,
  Of falsnesse for to [feyne] a tale.
  Thou delest with angry folk, y-wis;               3265
  Wherfor to thee [it] bettir is
  From these folk awey to fare,
  For they wol make thee live in care.
  This is the yvel that Love they calle,
  Wherin ther is but foly alle,                     3270
  For love is foly everydel;
  Who loveth, in no wyse may do wel,
  Ne sette his thought on no good werk.
  His scole he lesith, if he be clerk;
  Of other craft eek if he be,                      3275
  He shal not thryve therin; for he
  In love shal have more passioun
  Than monke, hermyte, or chanoun.
  The peyne is hard, out of mesure,
  The Ioye may eek no whyl endure;                  3280
  And in the possessioun
  Is muche tribulacioun;
  The Ioye it is so short-lasting,
  And but in happe is the geting;
  For I see ther many in travaille,                 3285
  That atte laste foule fayle.
  I was no-thing thy counseler,
  Whan thou were maad the homager
  Of God of Love to hastily;
  Ther was no wisdom, but foly.                     3290
  Thyn herte was Ioly, but not sage,
  Whan thou were brought in sich a rage,
  To yelde thee so redily,
  And to Love, of his gret maistry.
   'I rede thee Love awey to dryve,                 3295
  That makith thee recche not of thy lyve.
  The foly more fro day to day
  Shal growe, but thou it putte away.
  Take with thy teeth the bridel faste,
  To daunte thyn herte; and eek thee caste,         3300
  If that thou mayst, to gete defence
  For to redresse thy first offence.
  Who-so his herte alwey wol leve,
  Shal finde among that shal him greve'
    Whan I hir herd thus me chastyse,               3305
  I answerd in ful angry wyse.
  I prayed hir cessen of hir speche,
  Outher to chastyse me or teche,
  To bidde me my thought refreyne,
  Which Love hath caught in his demeyne:--          3310
  What? wene ye Love wol consent,
  That me assailith with bowe bent,
  To draw myn herte out of his honde,
  Which is so quikly in his bonde?
  That ye counsayle, may never be;                  3315
  For whan he first arested me,
  He took myn herte so hool him til,
  That it is no-thing at my wil;
  He [taughte] it so him for to obey,
  That he it sparred with a key.                    3320
  I pray yow lat me be al stille.
  For ye may wel, if that ye wille,
  Your wordis waste in idilnesse;
  For utterly, withouten gesse,
  Al that ye seyn is but in veyne.                  3325
  Me were lever dye in the peyne,
  Than Love to me-ward shulde arette
  Falsheed, or tresoun on me sette.
  I wol me gete prys or blame,
  And love trewe, to save my name;                  3330
  Who me chastysith, I him hate.'
    With that word Resoun wente hir gate,
  Whan she saugh for no sermoning
  She might me fro my foly bring.
  Than dismayed, I lefte al sool,                   3335
  Forwery, forwandred as a fool,
  For I ne knew no chevisaunce.
  Than fel into my remembraunce,
  How Love bade me to purveye
  A felowe, to whom I mighte seye                   3340
  My counsel and my privete,
  For that shulde muche availe me.
  With that bithought I me, that I
  Hadde a felowe faste by,
  Trewe and siker, curteys, and hend,               3345
  And he was called by name a Freend;
  A trewer felowe was no-wher noon.
  In haste to him I wente anoon,
  And to him al my wo I tolde,
  Fro him right nought I wold withholde.            3350
  I tolde him al withoute were,
  And made my compleynt on Daungere,
  How for to see he was hidous,
  And to-me-ward contrarious;
  The whiche through his cruelte                    3355
  Was in poynt to have meygned me;
  With Bialacoil whan he me sey
  Within the gardyn walke and pley,
  Fro me he made him for to go,
  And I bilefte aloon in wo;                        3360
  I durst no lenger with him speke,
  For Daunger seide he wolde be wreke,
  Whan that he sawe how I wente
  The fresshe botoun for to hente,
  If I were hardy to come neer                      3365
  Bitwene the hay and the roser.
    This Freend, whan he wiste of my thought,
  He discomforted me right nought,
  But seide, 'Felowe, be not so mad,
  Ne so abaysshed nor bistad.                       3370
  My-silf I knowe ful wel Daungere,
  And how he is feers of his chere,
  At prime temps, Love to manace;
  Ful ofte I have ben in his caas.
  A feloun first though that he be,                 3375
  Aftir thou shalt him souple see.
  Of long passed I knew him wele;
  Ungoodly first though men him fele,
  He wol meek aftir, in his bering,
  Been, for service and obeysshing.                 3380
  I shal thee telle what thou shalt do.--
  Mekely I rede thou go him to,
  Of herte pray him specialy
  Of thy trespace to have mercy,
  And hote him wel, [him] here to plese,            3385
  That thou shalt nevermore him displese.
  Who can best serve of flatery,
  Shal plese Daunger most uttirly.'
    My Freend hath seid to me so wel,
  That he me esid hath somdel,                      3390
  And eek allegged of my torment;
  For through him had I hardement
  Agayn to Daunger for to go,
  To preve if I might meke him so.
    To Daunger cam I, al ashamed,                   3395
  The which aforn me hadde blamed,
  Desyring for to pese my wo;
  But over hegge durst I not go,
  For he forbad me the passage.
  I fond him cruel in his rage,                     3400
  And in his hond a gret burdoun.
  To him I knelid lowe adoun,
  Ful meke of port, and simple of chere,
  And seide, 'Sir, I am comen here
  Only to aske of you mercy.                        3405
  That greveth me, [sir], ful gretly
  That ever my lyf I wratthed you,
  But for to amende I am come now,
  With al my might, bothe loude and stille,
  To doon right at your owne wille;                 3410
  For Love made me for to do
  That I have trespassed hidirto;
  Fro whom I ne may withdrawe myn herte;
  Yit shal I never, for Ioy ne smerte,
  What so bifalle, good or ille,                    3415
  Offende more ageyn your wille.
  Lever I have endure disese
  Than do that shulde you displese.
   'I you require and pray, that ye
  Of me have mercy and pitee,                       3420
  To stinte your yre that greveth so,
  That I wol swere for evermo
  To be redressid at your lyking,
  If I trespasse in any thing;
  Save that I pray thee graunte me                  3425
  A thing that may nat warned be,
  That I may love, al only;
  Non other thing of you aske I.
  I shal doon elles wel, y-wis,
  If of your grace ye graunte me this.              3430
  And ye [ne] may not letten me,
  For wel wot ye that love is free,
  And I shal loven, [sith] that I wil,
  Who-ever lyke it wel or il;
  And yit ne wold I, for al Fraunce,                3435
  Do thing to do you displesaunce.'
    Than Daunger fil in his entent
  For to foryeve his maltalent;
  But al his wratthe yit at laste
  He hath relesed, I preyde so faste:               3440
  Shortly he seide, 'Thy request
  Is not to mochel dishonest;
  Ne I wol not werne it thee,
  For yit no-thing engreveth me.
  For though thou love thus evermore,               3445
  To me is neither softe ne sore.
  Love wher thee list; what recchith me,
  So [thou] fer fro my roses be?
  Trust not on me, for noon assay,
  In any tyme to passe the hay.'                    3450
  Thus hath he graunted my prayere.
    Than wente I forth, withouten were,
  Unto my Freend, and tolde him al,
  Which was right Ioyful of my tale.
  He seide, 'Now goth wel thyn affaire,             3455
  He shal to thee be debonaire.
  Though he aforn was dispitous,
  He shal heeraftir be gracious.
  If he were touchid on som good veyne,
  He shuld yit rewen on thy peyne.                  3460
  Suffire, I rede, and no boost make,
  Til thou at good mes mayst him take.
  By suffraunce, and [by] wordis softe,
  A man may overcomen ofte
  Him that aforn he hadde in drede,                 3465
  In bookis sothly as I rede.'
    Thus hath my Freend with gret comfort
  Avaunced me with high disport,
  Which wolde me good as mich as I.
  And thanne anoon ful sodeynly                     3470
  I took my leve, and streight I went
  Unto the hay; for gret talent
  I had to seen the fresh botoun,
  Wherin lay my salvacioun;
  And Daunger took kepe, if that I                  3475
  Kepe him covenaunt trewly.
  So sore I dradde his manasing,
  I durst not breke[n] his bidding;
  For, lest that I were of him shent,
  I brak not his comaundement,                      3480
  For to purchase his good wil.
  It was [hard] for to come ther-til,
  His mercy was to fer bihinde;
  I wepte, for I ne might it finde.
  I compleyned and sighed sore,                     3485
  And languisshed evermore,
  For I durst not over go
  Unto the rose I loved so.
  Thurghout my deming outerly,
  [Than] had he knowlege certeinly,                 3490
  [That] Love me ladde in sich a wyse,
  That in me ther was no feyntyse,
  Falsheed, ne no trecherye.
  And yit he, ful of vilanye,
  Of disdeyne, and cruelte,                         3495
  On me ne wolde have pite,
  His cruel wil for to refreyne,
  Though I wepe alwey, and compleyne.
    And while I was in this torment,
  Were come of grace, by god sent,                  3500
  Fraunchyse, and with hir Pite
  Fulfild the botoun of bountee.
  They go to Daunger anon-right
  To forther me with al hir might,
  And helpe in worde and in dede,                   3505
  For wel they saugh that it was nede.
  First, of hir grace, dame Fraunchyse
  Hath taken [word] of this empryse:
  She seide, 'Daunger, gret wrong ye do
  To worche this man so muche wo,                   3510
  Or pynen him so angerly;
  It is to you gret vilany.
  I can not see why, ne how,
  That he hath trespassed ageyn you,
  Save that he loveth; wherfore ye shulde           3515
  The more in cherete of him holde.
  The force of love makith him do this;
  Who wolde him blame he dide amis?
  He leseth more than ye may do;
  His peyne is hard, ye may see, lo!                3520
  And Love in no wyse wolde consente
  That [he] have power to repente;
  For though that quik ye wolde him sloo,
  Fro Love his herte may not go.
  Now, swete sir, is it your ese                    3525
  Him for to angre or disese?
  Allas, what may it you avaunce
  To doon to him so greet grevaunce?
  What worship is it agayn him take,
  Or on your man a werre make,                      3530
  Sith he so lowly every wyse
  Is redy, as ye lust devyse?
  If Love hath caught him in his lace,
  You for tobeye in every caas,
  And been your suget at your wille,                3535
  Shulde ye therfore willen him ille?
  Ye shulde him spare more, al-out,
  Than him that is bothe proud and stout.
  Curtesye wol that ye socour
  Hem that ben meke undir your cure.                3540
  His herte is hard, that wole not meke,
  Whan men of mekenesse him biseke.'
   'That is certeyn,' seide Pite;
  We see ofte that humilitee
  Bothe ire, and also felonye                       3545
  Venquissheth, and also melancolye;
  To stonde forth in such duresse,
  This crueltee and wikkednesse.
  Wherfore I pray you, sir Daungere,
  For to mayntene  no lenger here                   3550
  Such cruel werre agayn your man,
  As hoolly youres as ever he can;
  Nor that ye worchen no more wo
  On this caytif that languisshith so,
  Which wol no more to you trespasse,               3555
  But put him hoolly in your grace.
  His offense ne was but lyte;
  The God of Love it was to wyte,
  That he your thral so gretly is,
  And if ye harm him, ye doon amis;                 3560
  For he hath had ful hard penaunce,
  Sith that ye refte him thaqueyntaunce
  Of Bialacoil, his moste Ioye,
  Which alle his peynes might acoye.
  He was biforn anoyed sore,                        3565
  But than ye doubled him wel more;
  For he of blis hath ben ful bare,
  Sith Bialacoil was fro him fare.
  Love hath to him do greet distresse,
  He hath no nede of more duresse.                  3570
  Voideth from him your ire, I rede;
  Ye may not winnen in this dede.
  Makith Bialacoil repeire ageyn,
  And haveth pite upon his peyn;
  For Fraunchise wol, and I, Pite,                  3575
  That merciful to him ye be;
  And sith that she and I accorde,
  Have upon him misericorde;
  For I you pray, and eek moneste,
  Nought to refusen our requeste;                   3580
  For he is hard and fel of thought,
  That for us two wol do right nought.'
    Daunger ne might no more endure,
  He meked him unto mesure.
   'I wol in no wyse,' seith Daungere,              3585
  Denye that ye have asked here;
  It were to greet uncurtesye.
  I wol ye have the companye
  Of Bialacoil, as ye devyse;
  I wol him letten in no wyse.'                     3590
    To Bialacoil than wente in hy
  Fraunchyse, and seide ful curteisly:--
  Ye have to longe be deignous
  Unto this lover, and daungerous,
  Fro him to withdrawe your presence,               3595
  Which hath do to him grete offence,
  That ye not wolde upon him see;
  Wherfore a sorowful man is he.
  Shape ye to paye him, and to plese,
  Of my love if ye wol have ese.                    3600
  Fulfil his wil, sith that ye knowe
  Daunger is daunted and brought lowe
  Thurgh help of me and of Pite;
  You [thar] no more afered be.'
   'I shal do right as ye wil,'                     3605
  Saith Bialacoil, 'for it is skil,
  Sith Daunger wol that it so be.'
  Than Fraunchise hath him sent to me.
    Bialacoil at the biginning
  Salued me in his coming.                          3610
  No straungenes was in him seen,
  No more than he ne had wrathed been.
  As faire semblaunt than shewed he me,
  And goodly, as aforn did he;
  And by the honde, withouten doute,                3615
  Within the haye, right al aboute
  He ladde me, with right good chere,
  Al environ the vergere,
  That Daunger had me chased fro.
  Now have I leve over-al to go;                    3620
  Now am I raised, at my devys,
  Fro helle unto paradys.
  Thus Bialacoil, of gentilnesse,
  With alle his peyne and besinesse,
  Hath shewed me, only of grace,                    3625
  The estres of the swote place.
    I saw the rose, whan I was nigh,
  Was gretter woxen, and more high,
  Fresh, rody, and fair of hewe,
  Of colour ever yliche newe.                       3630
  And whan I had it longe seen,
  I saugh that through the leves grene
  The rose spredde to spanishing;
  To sene it was a goodly thing.
  But it ne was so spred on brede,                  3635
  That men within might knowe the sede;
  For it covert was and [en]close
  Bothe with the leves and with the rose.
  The stalk was even and grene upright,
  It was theron a goodly sight;                     3640
  And wel the better, withouten wene,
  For the seed was not [y]-sene.
  Ful faire it spradde, [god it] blesse!
  For suche another, as I gesse,
  Aforn ne was, ne more vermayle.                   3645
  I was abawed for merveyle,
  For ever, the fairer that it was,
  The more I am bounden in Loves laas.
    Longe I abood there, soth to saye,
  Til Bialacoil I gan to praye,                     3650
  Whan that I saw him in no wyse
  To me warnen his servyse,
  That he me wolde graunte a thing,
  Which to remembre is wel sitting;
  This is to sayne, that of his grace               3655
  He wolde me yeve leyser and space
  To me that was so desirous
  To have a kissing precious
  Of the goodly freshe rose,
  That swetely smelleth in my nose;                 3660
  For if it you displesed nought,
  I wolde gladly, as I have sought,
  Have a cos therof freely
  Of your yeft; for certainly
  I wol non have but by your leve,                  3665
  So loth me were you for to greve.'
    He sayde, 'Frend, so god me spede,
  Of Chastite I have suche drede,
  Thou shuldest not warned be for me,
  But I dar not, for Chastite.                      3670
  Agayn hir dar I not misdo,
  For alwey biddeth she me so
  To yeve no lover leve to kisse;
  For who therto may winnen, y-wis,
  He of the surplus of the pray                     3675
  May live in hope to get som day.
  For who so kissing may attayne,
  Of loves peyne hath, soth to sayne,
  The beste and most avenaunt,
  And ernest of the remenaunt.'                     3680
    Of his answere I syghed sore;
  I durst assaye him tho no more,
  I had such drede to greve him ay.
  A man shulde not to muche assaye
  To chafe his frend out of mesure,                 3685
  Nor put his lyf in aventure;
  For no man at the firste stroke
  Ne may nat felle doun an oke;
  Nor of the reisins have the wyne,
  Til grapes rype and wel afyne                     3690
  Be sore empressid, I you ensure,
  And drawen out of the pressure.
  But I, forpeyned wonder stronge,
  [Thought] that I abood right longe
  Aftir the kis, in peyne and wo,                   3695
  Sith I to kis desyred so:
  Til that, [rewing] on my distresse,
  Ther [to me] Venus the goddesse,
  Which ay werreyeth Chastite,
  Came of hir grace, to socoure me,                 3700
  Whos might is knowe fer and wyde,
  For she is modir of Cupyde,
  The God of Love, blinde as stoon,
  That helpith lovers many oon.
  This lady brought in hir right hond               3705
  Of brenning fyr a blasing brond;
  Wherof the flawme and hote fyr
  Hath many a lady in desyr
  Of love brought, and sore het,
  And in hir servise hir hertes set.                3710
  This lady was of good entayle,
  Right wondirful of apparayle;
  By hir atyre so bright and shene,
  Men might perceyve wel, and seen,
  She was not of religioun.                         3715
  Nor I nil make mencioun
  Nor of [hir] robe, nor of tresour,
  Of broche, [nor] of hir riche attour;
  Ne of hir girdil aboute hir syde,
  For that I nil not long abyde.                    3720
  But knowith wel, that certeynly
  She was arayed richely.
  Devoyd of pryde certeyn she was;
  To Bialacoil she wente a pas,
  And  to  him shortly, in a clause,                3725
  She seide: 'Sir, what is the cause
  Ye been of port so daungerous
  Unto this lover, and deynous,
  To graunte him no-thing but a kis?
  To werne it him ye doon amis;                     3730
  Sith wel ye wote, how that he
  Is Loves servaunt, as ye may see,
  And hath beaute, wher-through [he] is
  Worthy of love to have the blis.
  How he is semely, biholde and see,                3735
  How he is fair, how he is free,
  How he is swote and debonair,
  Of age yong, lusty, and fair.
  Ther is no lady so hauteyne,
  Duchesse, countesse, ne chasteleyne,              3740
  That I nolde holde hir ungoodly
  For to refuse him outerly.
  His breeth is also good and swete,
  And eke his lippis rody, and mete
  Only to pleyen, and to kisse.                     3745
  Graunte him a kis, of gentilnesse!
  His teeth arn also whyte and clene;
  Me thinkith wrong, withouten wene,
  If ye now werne him, trustith me,
  To graunte that a kis have he;                    3750
  The lasse [to] helpe him that ye haste,
  The more tyme shul ye waste.'
    Whan the flawme of the verry brond,
  That Venus brought in hir right hond,
  Had Bialacoil with hete smete,                    3755
  Anoon he bad, withouten lette,
  Graunte to me the rose kisse.
  Than of my peyne I gan to lisse,
  And to the rose anoon wente I,
  And kissid it ful feithfully.                     3760
  Thar no man aske if I was blythe,
  Whan the savour soft and lythe
  Strook to myn herte withoute more,
  And me alegged of my sore,
  So was I ful of Ioye and blisse.                  3765
  It is fair sich a flour to kisse,
  It was so swote and saverous.
  I might not be so anguisshous,
  That I mote glad and Ioly be,
  Whan that I remembre me.                          3770
  Yit ever among, sothly to seyn,
  I suffre noye and moche peyn.
    The see may never be so stil,
  That with a litel winde it [nil]
  Overwhelme and turne also,                        3775
  As it were wood, in wawis go.
  Aftir the calm the trouble sone
  Mot folowe, and chaunge as the mone.
  Right so farith Love, that selde in oon
  Holdith his anker; for right anoon                3780
  Whan they in ese wene best to live,
  They been with tempest al fordrive.
  Who serveth Love, can telle of wo;
  The stoundemele Ioye mot overgo.
  Now he hurteth, and now he cureth,                3785
  For selde in oo poynt Love endureth.
    Now is it right me to procede,
  How Shame gan medle and take hede,
  Thurgh whom felle angres I have had;
  And how the stronge wal was maad,                 3790
  And the castell of brede and lengthe,
  That God of Love wan with his strengthe.
  Al this in romance wil I sette,
  And for no-thing ne wil I lette,
  So that it lyking to hir be,                      3795
  That is the flour of beaute;
  For she may best my labour quyte,
  That I for hir love shal endyte.
    Wikkid-Tunge, that the covyne
  Of every lover can devyne                         3800
  Worst, and addith more somdel,
  (For Wikkid-Tunge seith never wel),
  To me-ward bar he right gret hate,
  Espying me erly and late,
  Til he hath seen the grete chere                  3805
  Of Bialacoil and me y-fere.
  He mighte not his tunge withstonde
  Worse to reporte than he fonde,
  He was so ful of cursed rage;
  It sat him wel of his linage,                     3810
  For him an Irish womman bar.
  His tunge was fyled sharp, and squar,
  Poignaunt and right kerving,
  And wonder bitter in speking.
  For whan that he me gan espye,                    3815
  He swoor, afferming sikirly,
  Bitwene Bialacoil and me
  Was yvel aquayntaunce and privee.
  He spak therof so folily,
  That he awakid Ielousy;                           3820
  Which, al afrayed in his rysing,
  Whan that he herde [him] Iangling,
  He ran anoon, as he were wood,
  To Bialacoil ther that he stood;
  Which hadde lever in this caas                    3825
  Have been at Reynes or Amyas;
  For foot-hoot, in his felonye
  To him thus seide Ielousye:--
  Why hast thou been so necligent,
  To kepen, whan I was absent,                      3830
  This verger here left in thy ward?
  To me thou haddist no reward,
  To truste (to thy confusioun)
  Him thus, to whom suspeccioun
  I have right greet, for it is nede;               3835
  It is wel shewed by the dede.
  Greet faute in thee now have I founde;
  By god, anoon thou shalt be bounde,
  And faste loken in a tour,
  Withoute refuyt or socour.                        3840
  For Shame to long hath be thee fro;
  Over sone she was agoo.
  Whan thou hast lost bothe drede and fere,
  It semed wel she was not here.
  She was [not] bisy, in no wyse,                   3845
  To kepe thee and [to] chastyse,
  And for to helpen Chastitee
  To kepe the roser, as thinkith me.
  For than this boy-knave so boldely
  Ne sholde not have be hardy,                      3850
  [Ne] in this verger had such game,
  Which now me turneth to gret shame.'
    Bialacoil nist what to sey;
  Ful fayn he wolde have fled awey,
  For fere han hid, nere that he                    3855
  Al sodeynly took him with me.
  And whan I saugh he hadde so,
  This Ielousye, take us two,
  I was astoned, and knew no rede,
  But fledde awey for verrey drede.                 3860
    Than Shame cam forth ful simply;
  She wende have trespaced ful gretly;
  Humble of hir port, and made it simple,
  Wering a vayle in stede of wimple,
  As nonnis doon in hir abbey.                      3865
  Bicause hir herte was in affray,
  She gan to speke, within a throwe,
  To Ielousye, right wonder lowe.
  First of his grace she bisought,
  And seide:--'Sire, ne leveth nought               3870
  Wikkid-Tunge, that fals espye,
  Which is so glad to feyne and lye.
  He hath you maad, thurgh flatering,
  On Bialacoil a fals lesing.
  His falsnesse is not now anew,                    3875
  It is to long that he him knew.
  This is not the firste day;
  For Wikkid-Tunge hath custom ay
  Yongé folkis to bewreye,
  And false lesinges on hem leye.                   3880
   'Yit nevertheles I see among,
  That the loigne it is so longe
  Of Bialacoil, hertis to lure,
  In Loves servise for to endure,
  Drawing suche folk him to,                        3885
  That he had no-thing with to do;
  But in sothnesse I trowe nought,
  That Bialacoil hadde ever in thought
  To do trespace or vilanye;
  But, for his modir Curtesye                       3890
  Hath taught him ever [for] to be
  Good of aqueyntaunce and privee;
  For he loveth non hevinesse,
  But mirthe and pley, and al gladnesse;
  He hateth alle [trecherous],                      3895
  Soleyn folk and envious;
  For [wel] ye witen how that he
  Wol ever glad and Ioyful be
  Honestly with folk to pley.
  I have be negligent, in good fey,                 3900
  To chastise him; therfore now I
  Of herte crye you here mercy,
  That I have been so recheles
  To tamen him, withouten lees.
  Of my foly I me repente;                          3905
  Now wol I hool sette myn entente
  To kepe, bothe [loude] and stille,
  Bialacoil to do your wille.'
   'Shame, Shame,' seyde Ielousy,
 'To be bitrasshed gret drede have I.               3910
  Lecherye hath clombe so hye,
  That almost blered is myn ye;
  No wonder is, if that drede have I.
  Over-al regnith Lechery,
  Whos might [yit] growith night and day.           3915
  Bothe in cloistre and in abbey
  Chastite is werreyed over-al.
  Therfore I wol with siker wal
  Close bothe roses and roser.
  I have to longe in this maner                     3920
  Left hem unclosid wilfully;
  Wherfore I am right inwardly
  Sorowful and repente me.
  But now they shal no lenger be
  Unclosid; and yit I drede sore,                   3925
  I shal repente ferthermore,
  For the game goth al amis.
  Counsel I [mot take] newe, y-wis.
  I have to longe tristed thee,
  But now it shal no lenger be;                     3930
  For he may best, in every cost,
  Disceyve, that men tristen most.
  I see wel that I am nygh shent,
  But-if I sette my ful entent
  Remedye to purveye.                               3935
  Therfore close I shal the weye
  Fro hem that wol the rose espye,
  And come to wayte me vilanye,
  For, in good feith and in trouthe,
  I wol not lette, for no slouthe,                  3940
  To live the more in sikirnesse,
  [To] make anoon a forteresse,
  [To enclose] the roses of good savour.
  In middis shal I make a tour
  To putte Bialacoil in prisoun,                    3945
  For ever I drede me of tresoun.
  I trowe I shal him kepe so,
  That he shal have no might to go
  Aboute to make companye
  To hem that thenke of vilanye;                    3950
  Ne to no such as hath ben here
  Aforn, and founde in him good chere,
  Which han assailed him to shende,
  And with hir trowandyse to blende.
  A fool is eyth [for] to bigyle;                   3955
  But may I lyve a litel while,
  He shal forthenke his fair semblaunt.'
    And with that word cam Drede avaunt,
  Which was abasshed, and in gret fere,
  Whan he wiste Ielousye was there.                 3960
  He was for drede in such affray,
  That not a word durste he say,
  But quaking stood ful stille aloon,
  Til Ielousye his wey was goon,
  Save Shame, that him not forsook;                 3965
  Bothe Drede and she ful sore quook;
  [Til] that at laste Drede abreyde,
  And to his cosin Shame seyde:
  Shame,' he seide, 'in sothfastnesse,
  To me it is gret hevinesse,                       3970
  That the noyse so fer is go,
  And the sclaundre of us two.
  But sith that it is [so] bifalle,
  We may it not ageyn [do] calle,
  Whan onis sprongen is a fame.                     3975
  For many a yeer withouten blame
  We han been, and many a day;
  For many an April and many a May
  We han [y]-passed, not [a]shamed,
  Til Ielousye hath us blamed                       3980
  Of mistrust and suspecioun
  Causeles, withouten enchesoun.
  Go we to Daunger hastily,
  And late us shewe him openly,
  That he hath not aright [y]-wrought,             3985
  Whan that he sette nought his thought
  To kepe better the purpryse;
  In his doing he is not wyse.
  He hath to us [y]-do gret wrong,
  That hath suffred now so long                     3990
  Bialacoil to have his wille,
  Alle his lustes to fulfille.
  He must amende it utterly,
  Or ellis shal he vilaynsly
  Exyled be out of this londe;                      3995
  For he the werre may not withstonde
  Of Ielousye, nor the greef,
  Sith Bialacoil is at mischeef.'
    To Daunger, Shame and Drede anoon
  The righte wey ben [bothe a]-goon.                4000
  The cherl they founden hem aforn
  Ligging undir an hawethorn.
  Undir his heed no pilowe was,
  But in the stede a trusse of gras.
  He slombred, and a nappe he took,                 4005
  Til Shame pitously him shook,
  And greet manace on him gan make.
  Why slepist thou whan thou shulde wake?'
  Quod Shame; 'thou dost us vilanye!
  Who tristith thee, he doth folye,                 4010
  To kepe roses or botouns,
  Whan they ben faire in hir sesouns.
  Thou art woxe to familiere
  Where thou shulde be straunge of chere,
  Stout of thy port, redy to greve.                 4015
  Thou dost gret foly for to leve
  Bialacoil here-in, to calle
  The yonder man to shenden us alle.
  Though that thou slepe, we may here
  Of Ielousie gret noyse here.                      4020
  Art thou now late? ryse up [in hy],
  And stoppe sone and deliverly
  Alle the gappis of the hay;
  Do no favour, I thee pray.
  It fallith no-thing to thy name                   4025
  Make fair semblaunt, where thou maist blame.
   'If Bialacoil be swete and free,
  Dogged and fel thou shuldist be;
  Froward and outrageous, y-wis;
  A cherl chaungeth that curteis is.                4030
  This have I herd ofte in seying,
  That man [ne] may, for no daunting,
  Make a sperhauke of a bosarde.
  Alle men wole holde thee for musarde,
  That debonair have founden thee,                  4035
  It sit thee nought curteis to be;
  To do men plesaunce or servyse,
  In thee it is recreaundyse.
  Let thy werkis, fer and nere,
  Be lyke thy name, which is Daungere.'             4040
    Than, al abawid in shewing,
  Anoon spak Dreed, right thus seying,
  And seide, 'Daunger, I drede me
  That thou ne wolt [not] bisy be
  To kepe that thou hast to kepe;                   4045
  Whan thou shuldist wake, thou art aslepe.
  Thou shalt be greved certeynly,
  If thee aspye Ielousy,
  Or if he finde thee in blame.
  He hath to-day assailed Shame,                    4050
  And chased awey, with gret manace,
  Bialacoil out of this place,
  And swereth shortly that he shal
  Enclose him in a sturdy wal;
  And al is for thy wikkednesse,                    4055
  For that thee faileth straungenesse.
  Thyn herte, I trowe, be failed al;
  Thou shalt repente in special,
  If Ielousye the sothe knewe;
  Thou shalt forthenke, and sore rewe.'             4060
    With that the cherl his clubbe gan shake,
  Frouning his eyen gan to make,
  And hidous chere; as man in rage,
  For ire he brente in his visage.
  Whan that he herde him blamed so,                 4065
  He seide, 'Out of my wit I go;
  To be discomfit I have gret wrong.
  Certis, I have now lived to long,
  Sith I may not this closer kepe;
  Al quik I wolde be dolven depe,                   4070
  If any man shal more repeire
  Into this garden, for foule or faire.
  Myn herte for ire goth a-fere,
  That I lete any entre here.
  I have do foly, now I see,                        4075
  But now it shal amended bee.
  Who settith foot here any more,
  Truly, he shal repente it sore;
  For no man mo into this place
  Of me to entre shal have grace.                   4080
  Lever I hadde, with swerdis tweyne,
  Thurgh-out myn herte, in every veyne
  Perced to be, with many a wounde,
  Than slouthe shulde in me be founde.
  From hennesforth, by night or day,                4085
  I shal defende it, if I may,
  Withouten any excepcioun
  Of ech maner condicioun;
  And if I any man it graunte,
  Holdeth me for recreaunte.'                       4090
    Than Daunger on his feet gan stonde,
  And hente a burdoun in his honde.
  Wroth in his ire, ne lefte he nought,
  But thurgh the verger he hath sought.
  If he might finde hole or trace,                  4095
  Wher-thurgh that men mot forth-by pace,
  Or any gappe, he dide it close,
  That no man mighte touche a rose
  Of the roser al aboute;
  He shitteth every man withoute.                   4100
    Thus day by day Daunger is wers,
  More wondirful and more divers,
  And feller eek than ever he was;
  For him ful oft I singe 'allas!'
  For I ne may nought, thurgh his ire,              4105
  Recover that I most desire.
  Myn herte, allas, wol brest a-two,
  For Bialacoil I wratthed so.
  For certeynly, in every membre
  I quake, whan I me remembre                       4110
  Of the botoun, which [that] I wolde
  Fulle ofte a day seen and biholde.
  And whan I thenke upon the kisse,
  And how muche Ioye and blisse
  I hadde thurgh the savour swete,                  4115
  For wante of it I grone and grete.
  Me thenkith I fele yit in my nose
  The swete savour of the rose.
  And now I woot that I mot go
  So fer the fresshe floures fro,                   4120
  To me ful welcome were the deeth;
  Absens therof, allas, me sleeth!
  For whylom with this rose, allas,
  I touched nose, mouth, and face;
  But now the deeth I must abyde.                   4125
  But Love consente, another tyde,
  That onis I touche may and kisse,
  I trowe my peyne shal never lisse.
  Theron is al my coveityse,
  Which brent myn herte in many wyse.               4130
  Now shal repaire agayn sighinge,
  Long wacche on nightis, and no slepinge;
  Thought in wisshing, torment, and wo,
  With many a turning to and fro,
  That half my peyne I can not telle.               4135
  For I am fallen into helle
  From paradys and welthe, the more
  My turment greveth; more and more
  Anoyeth now the bittirnesse,
  That I toforn have felt swetnesse.                4140
  And Wikkid-Tunge, thurgh his falshede,
  Causeth al my wo and drede.
  On me he leyeth a pitous charge,
  Bicause his tunge was to large.
    Now it is tyme, shortly that I                  4145
  Telle you som-thing of Ielousy,
  That was in gret suspecioun.
  Aboute him lefte he no masoun,
  That stoon coude leye, ne querrour;
  He hired hem to make a tour.                      4150
  And first, the roses for to kepe,
  Aboute hem made he a diche depe,
  Right wondir large, and also brood;
  Upon the whiche also stood
  Of squared stoon a sturdy wal,                    4155
  Which on a cragge was founded al,
  And right gret thikkenesse eek it bar.
  Abouten, it was founded squar,
  An hundred fadome on every syde,
  It was al liche longe and wyde.                   4160
  Lest any tyme it were assayled,
  Ful wel aboute it was batayled;
  And rounde enviroun eek were set
  Ful many a riche and fair touret.
  At every corner of this wal                       4165
  Was set a tour ful principal;
  And everich hadde, withoute fable,
  A porte-colys defensable
  To kepe of enemies, and to greve,
  That there hir force wolde preve.                 4170
  And eek amidde this purpryse
  Was maad a tour of gret maistryse;
  A fairer saugh no man with sight,
  Large and wyde, and of gret might.
  They [ne] dredde noon assaut                      4175
  Of ginne, gunne, nor skaffaut.
  [For] the temprure of the mortere
  Was maad of licour wonder dere;
  Of quikke lyme persant and egre,
  The which was tempred with vinegre.               4180
  The stoon was hard [as] ademant,
  Wherof they made the foundement.
  The tour was rounde, maad in compas;
  In al this world no richer was,
  Ne better ordeigned therwithal.                   4185
  Aboute the tour was maad a wal,
  So that, bitwixt that and the tour,
  Rosers were set of swete savour,
  With many roses that they bere.
  And eek within the castel were                    4190
  Springoldes, gunnes, bows, archers;
  And eek above, atte corners,
  Men seyn over the walle stonde
  Grete engynes, [whiche] were nigh honde;
  And in the kernels, here and there,               4195
  Of arblasters gret plentee were.
  Noon armure might hir stroke withstonde,
  It were foly to prece to honde.
  Without the diche were listes made,
  With walles batayled large and brade,             4200
  For men and hors shulde not atteyne
  To neigh the diche over the pleyne.
  Thus Ielousye hath enviroun
  Set aboute his garnisoun
  With walles rounde, and diche depe,               4205
  Only the roser for to kepe.
  And Daunger [eek], erly and late
  The keyes kepte of the utter gate,
  The which openeth toward the eest.
  And he hadde with him atte leest                  4210
  Thritty servauntes, echon by name.
    That other gate kepte Shame,
  Which openede, as it was couth,
  Toward the parte of the south.
  Sergeauntes assigned were hir to                  4215
  Ful many, hir wille for to do.
    Than Drede hadde in hir baillye
  The keping of the conestablerye,
  Toward the north, I undirstonde,
  That opened upon the left honde,                  4220
  The which for no-thing may be sure,
  But-if she do [hir] bisy cure
  Erly on morowe and also late,
  Strongly to shette and barre the gate.
  Of every thing that she may see                   4225
  Drede is aferd, wher-so she be;
  For with a puff of litel winde
  Drede is astonied in hir minde.
  Therfore, for stelinge of the rose,
  I rede hir nought the yate unclose.               4230
  A foulis flight wol make hir flee,
  And eek a shadowe, if she it see.
    Thanne Wikked-Tunge, ful of envye,
  With soudiours of Normandye,
  As he that causeth al the bate,                   4235
  Was keper of the fourthe gate,
  And also to the tother three
  He went ful ofte, for to see.
  Whan his lot was to wake a-night,
  His instrumentis wolde he dight,                  4240
  For to blowe and make soun,
  Ofter than he hath enchesoun;
  And walken oft upon the wal,
  Corners and wikettis over-al
  Ful narwe serchen and espye;                      4245
  Though he nought fond, yit wolde he lye.
  Discordaunt ever fro armonye,
  And distoned from melodye,
  Controve he wolde, and foule fayle,
  With hornpypes of Cornewayle.                     4250
  In floytes made he discordaunce,
  And in his musik, with mischaunce,
  He wolde seyn, with notes newe,
  That he [ne] fond no womman trewe,
  Ne that he saugh never, in his lyf,               4255
  Unto hir husbonde a trewe wyf;
  Ne noon so ful of honestee,
  That she nil laughe and mery be
  Whan that she hereth, or may espye,
  A man speken of lecherye.                         4260
  Everich of hem hath somme vyce;
  Oon is dishonest, another is nyce;
  If oon be ful of vilanye,
  Another hath a likerous ye;
  If oon be ful of wantonesse,                      4265
  Another is a chideresse.
    Thus Wikked-Tunge (god yeve him shame!)
  Can putte hem everichone in blame
  Withoute desert and causeles;
  He lyeth, though they been giltles.               4270
  I have pite to seen the sorwe,
  That waketh bothe eve and morwe,
  To innocents doth such grevaunce;
  I pray god yeve him evel chaunce,
  That he ever so bisy is                           4275
  Of any womman to seyn amis!
    Eek Ielousye god confounde,
  That hath [y]-maad a tour so rounde,
  And made aboute a garisoun
  To sette Bialacoil in prisoun;                    4280
  The which is shet there in the tour,
  Ful longe to holde there soiour,
  There for to liven in penaunce.
  And for to do him more grevaunce,
  [Ther] hath ordeyned Ielousye                     4285
  An olde vekke, for to espye
  The maner of his governaunce;
  The whiche devel, in hir enfaunce,
  Had lerned [muche] of Loves art,
  And of his pleyes took hir part;                  4290
  She was [expert] in his servyse.
  She knew ech wrenche and every gyse
  Of love, and every [loveres] wyle,
  It was [the] harder hir to gyle.
  Of Bialacoil she took ay hede,                    4295
  That ever he liveth in wo and drede.
  He kepte him coy and eek privee,
  Lest in him she hadde see
  Any foly countenaunce,
  For she knew al the olde daunce.                  4300
  And aftir this, whan Ielousye
  Had Bialacoil in his baillye,
  And shette him up that was so free,
  For seure of him he wolde be,
  He trusteth sore in his castel;                   4305
  The stronge werk him lyketh wel.
  He dradde nat that no glotouns
  Shulde stele his roses or botouns.
  The roses weren assured alle,
  Defenced with the stronge walle.                  4310
  Now Ielousye ful wel may be
  Of drede devoid, in libertee,
  Whether that he slepe or wake;
  For of his roses may noon be take.
    But I, allas, now morne shal;                   4315
  Bicause I was without the wal,
  Ful moche dole and mone I made.
  Who hadde wist what wo I hadde,
  I trowe he wolde have had pitee.
  Love to deere had sold to me                      4320
  The good that of his love hadde I.
  I [wende a bought] it al queyntly;
  But now, thurgh doubling of my peyn,
  I see he wolde it selle ageyn,
  And me a newe bargeyn lere,                       4325
  The which al-out the more is dere,
  For the solace that I have lorn,
  Than I hadde it never aforn.
  Certayn I am ful lyk, indeed,
  To him that cast in erthe his seed;               4330
  And hath Ioie of the newe spring,
  Whan it greneth in the ginning,
  And is also fair and fresh of flour,
  Lusty to seen, swote of odour;
  But er he it in sheves shere,                     4335
  May falle a weder that shal it dere,
  And maken it to fade and falle,
  The stalk, the greyn, and floures alle;
  That to the tilier is fordone
  The hope that he hadde to sone.                   4340
  I drede, certeyn, that so fare I;
  For hope and travaile sikerly
  Ben me biraft al with a storm;
  The floure nil seden of my corn.
  For Love hath so avaunced me,                     4345
  Whan I bigan my privitee
  To Bialacoil al for to telle,
  Whom I ne fond froward ne felle,
  But took a-gree al hool my play.
  But Love is of so hard assay,                     4350
  That al at onis he reved me,
  Whan I wend best aboven have be.
  It is of Love, as of Fortune,
  That chaungeth ofte, and nil contune;
  Which whylom wol on folke smyle,                  4355
  And gloumbe on hem another whyle;
  Now freend, now foo, [thou] shalt hir fele,
  For [in] a twinkling tourneth hir wheel.
  She can wrythe hir heed awey,
  This is the concours of hir pley;                 4360
  She can areyse that doth morne,
  And whirle adown, and overturne
  Who sittith hieghst, [al] as hir list;
  A fool is he that wol hir trist.
  For it [am] I that am com doun                    4365
  Thurgh change and revolucioun!
  Sith Bialacoil mot fro me twinne,
  Shet in the prisoun yond withinne,
  His absence at myn herte I fele;
  For al my Ioye and al myn hele                    4370
  Was in him and in the rose,
  That but yon [wal], which him doth close,
  Open, that I may him see,
  Love nil not that I cured be
  Of the peynes that I endure,                      4375
  Nor of my cruel aventure.
    A, Bialacoil, myn owne dere!
  Though thou be now a prisonere,
  Kepe atte leste thyn herte to me,
  And suffre not that it daunted be;                4380
  Ne lat not Ielousye, in his rage,
  Putten thyn herte in no servage.
  Although he chastice thee withoute,
  And make thy body unto him loute,
  Have herte as hard as dyamaunt,                   4385
  Stedefast, and nought pliaunt;
  In prisoun though thy body be,
  At large kepe thyn herte free.
  A trewe herte wol not plye
  For no manace that it may drye.                   4390
  If Ielousye doth thee payne,
  Quyte him his whyle thus agayne,
  To venge thee, atte leest in thought,
  If other way thou mayest nought;
  And in this wyse sotilly                          4395
  Worche, and winne the maistry.
  But yit I am in gret affray
  Lest thou do not as I say;
  I drede thou canst me greet maugree,
  That thou emprisoned art for me;                  4400
  But that [is] not for my trespas,
  For thurgh me never discovered was
  Yit thing that oughte be secree.
  Wel more anoy [ther] is in me,
  Than is in thee, of this mischaunce;              4405
  For I endure more hard penaunce
  Than any [man] can seyn or thinke,
  That for the sorwe almost I sinke.
  Whan I remembre me of my wo,
  Ful nygh out of my wit I go.                      4410
  Inward myn herte I fele blede,
  For comfortles the deeth I drede.
  Ow I not wel to have distresse,
  Whan false, thurgh hir wikkednesse,
  And traitours, that arn envyous,                  4415
  To noyen me be so coragious?
    A, Bialacoil! ful wel I see,
  That they hem shape to disceyve thee,
  To make thee buxom to hir lawe,
  And with hir corde thee to drawe                  4420
  Wher-so hem lust, right at hir wil;
  I drede they have thee brought thertil.
  Withoute comfort, thought me sleeth;
  This game wol bringe me to my deeth.
  For if your gode wille I lese,                    4425
  I mote be deed; I may not chese.
  And if that thou foryete me,
  Myn herte shal never in lyking be;
  Nor elles-where finde solace,
  If I be put out of your grace,                    4430
  As it shal never been, I hope;
  Than shulde I fallen in wanhope.

[_Here, at_ l. 4070 _of the_ French text, _ends the work of_ G. de Lorris;
_and begins the work of_ Jean de Meun.]

    Allas, in wanhope?--nay, pardee!
  For I wol never dispeired be.
  If Hope me faile, than am I                       4435
  Ungracious and unworthy;
  In Hope I wol comforted be,
  For Love, whan he bitaught hir me,
  Seide, that Hope, wher-so I go,
  Shulde ay be relees to my wo.                     4440
    But what and she my balis bete,
  And be to me curteis and swete?
  She is in no-thing ful certeyn.
  Lovers she put in ful gret peyn,
  And makith hem with wo to dele.                   4445
  Hir fair biheest disceyveth fele,
  For she wol bihote, sikirly,
  And failen aftir outrely.
  A! that is a ful noyous thing!
  For many a lover, in loving,                      4450
  Hangeth upon hir, and trusteth fast,
  Whiche lese hir travel at the last.
  Of thing to comen she woot right nought;
  Therfore, if it be wysly sought,
  Hir counseille, foly is to take.                  4455
  For many tymes, whan she wol make
  A ful good silogisme, I drede
  That aftirward ther shal in dede
  Folwe an evel conclusioun;
  This put me in confusioun.                        4460
  For many tymes I have it seen,
  That many have bigyled been,
  For trust that they have set in Hope,
  Which fel hem aftirward a-slope.
    But natheles yit, gladly she wolde,             4465
  That he, that wol him with hir holde,
  Hadde alle tymes [his] purpos clere,
  Withoute deceyte, or any were.
  That she desireth sikirly;
  Whan I hir blamed, I did foly.                    4470
  But what avayleth hir good wille,
  Whan she ne may staunche my stounde ille?
  That helpith litel, that she may do,
  Outake biheest unto my wo.
  And heeste certeyn, in no wyse,                   4475
  Withoute yift, is not to pryse.
    Whan heest and deed a-sundir varie,
  They doon [me have] a gret contrarie.
  Thus am I possed up and doun
  With dool, thought, and confusioun;               4480
  Of my disese ther is no noumbre.
  Daunger and Shame me encumbre,
  Drede also, and Ielousye,
  And Wikked-Tunge, ful of envye,
  Of whiche the sharpe and cruel ire                4485
  Ful oft me put in gret martire.
  They han my Ioye fully let,
  Sith Bialacoil they have bishet
  Fro me in prisoun wikkidly,
  Whom I love so entierly,                          4490
  That it wol my bane be,
  But I the soner may him see.
  And yit moreover, wurst of alle,
  Ther is set to kepe, foule hir bifalle!
  A rimpled vekke, fer ronne in age,                4495
  Frowning and yelowe in hir visage,
  Which in awayte lyth day and night,
  That noon of hem may have a sight.
  Now moot my sorwe enforced be;
  Ful soth it is, that Love yaf me                  4500
  Three wonder yiftes of his grace,
  Which I have lorn now in this place,
  Sith they ne may, withoute drede
  Helpen but litel, who taketh hede.
  For here availeth no Swete-Thought,               4505
  And Swete-Speche helpith right nought.
  The thridde was called Swete-Loking,
  That now is lorn, without lesing.
  [The] yiftes were fair, but not forthy
  They helpe me but simply,                         4510
  But Bialacoil [may] loosed be,
  To gon at large and to be free.
  For him my lyf lyth al in dout,
  But-if he come the rather out.
  Allas! I trowe it wol not been!                   4515
  For how shuld I evermore him seen?
  He may not out, and that is wrong,
  Bicause the tour is so strong.
  How shulde he out? by whos prowesse,
  Out of so strong a forteresse?                    4520
  By me, certeyn, it nil be do;
  God woot, I have no wit therto!
  But wel I woot I was in rage,
  Whan I to Love dide homage.
  Who was in cause, in sothfastnesse,               4525
  But hir-silf, dame Idelnesse,
  Which me conveyed, thurgh fair prayere,
  To entre into that fair vergere?
  She was to blame me to leve,
  The which now doth me sore greve.                 4530
  A foolis word is nought to trowe,
  Ne worth an appel for to lowe;
  Men shulde him snibbe bittirly,
  At pryme temps of his foly.
  I was a fool, and she me leved,                   4535
  Thurgh whom I am right nought releved.
  She accomplisshed al my wil,
  That now me greveth wondir il.
  Resoun me seide what shulde falle.
  A fool my-silf I may wel calle,                   4540
  That love asyde I had not leyde,
  And trowed that dame Resoun seyde.
  Resoun had bothe skile and right.
  Whan she me blamed, with al hir might,
  To medle of love, that hath me shent;             4545
  But certeyn now I wol repent.
   'And shulde I repent? Nay, parde!
  A fals traitour than shulde I be.
  The develles engins wolde me take,
  If I my [lorde] wolde forsake,                    4550
  Or Bialacoil falsly bitraye.
  Shulde I at mischeef hate him? nay,
  Sith he now, for his curtesye,
  Is in prisoun of Ielousye.
  Curtesye certeyn dide he me,                      4555
  So muche, it may not yolden be,
  Whan he the hay passen me lete,
  To kisse the rose, faire and swete;
  Shulde I therfore cunne him maugree?
  Nay, certeynly, it shal not be;                   4560
  For Love shal never, [if god wil],
  Here of me, thurgh word or wil,
  Offence or complaynt, more or lesse,
  Neither of Hope nor Idilnesse;
  For certis, it were wrong that I                  4565
  Hated hem for hir curtesye.
  Ther is not ellis, but suffre and thinke,
  And waken whan I shulde winke;
  Abyde in hope, til Love, thurgh chaunce,
  Sende me socour or allegeaunce,                   4570
  Expectant ay til I may mete
  To geten mercy of that swete.
   'Whylom I thinke how Love to me
  Seyde he wolde taken atte gree
  My servise, if unpacience                         4575
  Caused me to doon offence.
  He seyde, "In thank I shal it take,
  And high maister eek thee make,
  If wikkednesse ne reve it thee;
  But sone, I trowe, that shal not be."             4580
  These were his wordis by and by;
  It semed he loved me trewly.
  Now is ther not but serve him wele,
  If that I thinke his thank to fele.
  My good, myn harm, lyth hool in me;               4585
  In Love may no defaute be;
  For trewe Love ne failid never man.
  Sothly, the faute mot nedis than
  (As God forbede!) be founde in me,
  And how it cometh, I can not see.                 4590
  Now lat it goon as it may go;
  Whether Love wol socoure me or slo,
  He may do hool on me his wil.
  I am so sore bounde him til,
  From his servyse I may not fleen;                 4595
  For lyf and deth, withouten wene,
  Is in his hand; I may not chese;
  He may me do bothe winne and lese.
  And sith so sore he doth me greve,
  Yit, if my lust he wolde acheve                   4600
  To Bialacoil goodly to be,
  I yeve no force what felle on me.
  For though I dye, as I mot nede,
  I praye Love, of his goodlihede,
  To Bialacoil do gentilnesse,                      4605
  For whom I live in such distresse,
  That I mote deyen for penaunce.
  But first, withoute repentaunce,
  I wol me confesse in good entent,
  And make in haste my testament,                   4610
  As lovers doon that felen smerte:--
  To Bialacoil leve I myn herte
  Al hool, withoute departing,
  Or doublenesse of repenting.'


    Thus as I made my passage                       4615
  In compleynt, and in cruel rage,
  And I not wher to finde a leche
  That couthe unto myn helping eche,
  Sodeynly agayn comen doun
  Out of hir tour I saugh Resoun,                   4620
  Discrete and wys, and ful plesaunt,
  And of hir porte ful avenaunt.
  The righte wey she took to me,
  Which stood in greet perplexite,
  That was posshed in every side,                   4625
  That I nist where I might abyde,
  Til she, demurely sad of chere,
  Seide to me as she com nere:--
   'Myn owne freend, art thou yit greved?
  How is this quarel yit acheved                    4630
  Of Loves syde? Anoon me telle;
  Hast thou not yit of love thy fille?
  Art thou not wery of thy servyse
  That thee hath [pyned] in sich wyse?
  What Ioye hast thou in thy loving?                4635
  Is it swete or bitter thing?
  Canst thou yit chese, lat me see,
  What best thy socour mighte be?
   'Thou servest a ful noble lord,
  That maketh thee thral for thy reward,            4640
  Which ay renewith thy turment,
  With foly so he hath thee blent.
  Thou felle in mischeef thilke day,
  Whan thou didest, the sothe to say,
  Obeysaunce and eek homage;                        4645
  Thou wroughtest no-thing as the sage.
  Whan thou bicam his liege man,
  Thou didist a gret foly than;
  Thou wistest not what fel therto,
  With what lord thou haddist to do.                4650
  If thou haddist him wel knowe,
  Thou haddist nought be brought so lowe;
  For if thou wistest what it were,
  Thou noldist serve him half a yeer,
  Not a weke, nor half a day,                       4655
  Ne yit an hour withoute delay,
  Ne never [han] loved paramours,
  His lordship is so ful of shoures.
  Knowest him ought?'
    _L'Amaunt._  'Ye, dame, parde!'
    _Raisoun._  'Nay, nay.'
    _L'Amaunt._        'Yes, I.'
    _Raisoun._              'Wherof, lat see?'      4660
    _L'Amaunt._  'Of that he seyde I shulde be
  Glad to have sich lord as he,
  And maister of sich seignory.'
    _Raisoun._  'Knowist him no more?'
    _L'Amaunt._        'Nay, certis, I,
  Save that he yaf me rewles there,                 4665
  And wente his wey, I niste where,
  And I abood bounde in balaunce.'
    _Raisoun._ 'Lo, there a noble conisaunce!
  But I wil that thou knowe him now
  Ginning and ende, sith that thou                  4670
  Art so anguisshous and mate,
  Disfigured out of astate;
  Ther may no wrecche have more of wo,
  Ne caitif noon enduren so.
  It were to every man sitting                      4675
  Of his lord have knowleching.
  For if thou knewe him, out of dout,
  Lightly thou shulde escapen out
  Of the prisoun that marreth thee.'
    _L'Amaunt._ 'Ye, dame! sith my lord is he,      4680
  And I his man, maad with myn honde,
  I wolde right fayn undirstonde
  To knowen of what kinde he be,
  If any wolde enferme me.'
    _Raisoun._ 'I wolde,' seid Resoun, 'thee lere,  4685
  Sith thou to lerne hast sich desire,
  And shewe thee, withouten fable,
  A thing that is not demonstrable.
  Thou shalt [here lerne] without science,
  And  knowe, withoute experience,                  4690
  The thing that may not knowen be,
  Ne wist ne shewid in no degree.
  Thou mayst the sothe of it not witen,
  Though in thee it were writen.
  Thou shalt not knowe therof more                  4695
  Whyle thou art reuled by his lore;
  But unto him that love wol flee,
  The knotte may unclosed be,
  Which hath to thee, as it is founde,
  So long be knet and not unbounde.                 4700
  Now sette wel thyn entencioun,
  To here of love discripcioun.
   'Love, it is an hateful pees,
  A free acquitaunce, without relees,
  [A trouthe], fret full of falshede,               4705
  A sikernesse, al set in drede;
  In herte is a dispeiring hope,
  And fulle of hope, it is wanhope;
  Wyse woodnesse, and wood resoun,
  A swete peril, in to droune,                      4710
  An hevy birthen, light to bere,
  A wikked wawe awey to were.
  It is Caribdis perilous,
  Disagreable and gracious.
  It is discordaunce that can accorde,              4715
  And accordaunce to discorde.
  It is cunning withoute science,
  Wisdom withoute sapience,
  Wit withoute discrecioun,
  Havoir, withoute possessioun.                     4720
  It is sike hele and hool siknesse,
  A thrust drowned [in] dronkenesse,
  An helthe ful of maladye,
  And charitee ful of envye,
  An [hunger] ful of habundaunce,                   4725
  And a gredy suffisaunce;
  Delyt right ful of hevinesse,
  And drerihed ful of gladnesse;
  Bitter swetnesse and swete errour,
  Right evel savoured good savour;                  4730
  Sinne that pardoun hath withinne,
  And pardoun spotted without [with] sinne;
  A peyne also it is, Ioyous,
  And felonye right pitous;
  Also pley that selde is stable,                   4735
  And stedefast [stat], right mevable;
  A strengthe, weyked to stonde upright,
  And feblenesse, ful of might;
  Wit unavysed, sage folye,
  And Ioye ful of turmentrye;                       4740
  A laughter it is, weping ay,
  Rest, that traveyleth night and day;
  Also a swete helle it is,
  And a sorowful Paradys;
  A plesaunt gayl and esy prisoun,                  4745
  And, ful of froste, somer sesoun;
  Pryme temps, ful of frostes whyte,
  And May, devoide of al delyte,
  With seer braunches, blossoms ungrene;
  And newe fruyt, fillid with winter tene.          4750
  It is a slowe, may not forbere
  Ragges, ribaned with gold, to were;
  For al-so wel wol love be set
  Under ragges as riche rochet;
  And eek as wel be amourettes                      4755
  In mourning blak, as bright burnettes.
  For noon is of so mochel prys,
  Ne no man founden [is] so wys,
  Ne noon so high is of parage,
  Ne no man founde of wit so sage,                  4760
  No man so hardy ne so wight,
  Ne no man of so mochel might,
  Noon so fulfilled of bounte,
  [But] he with love may daunted be.
  Al the world holdith this way;                    4765
  Love makith alle to goon miswey,
  But it be they of yvel lyf,
  Whom Genius cursith, man and wyf,
  That wrongly werke ageyn nature.
  Noon suche I love, ne have no cure                4770
  Of suche as Loves servaunts been,
  And wol not by my counsel fleen.
  For I ne preyse that loving,
  Wher-thurgh man, at the laste ending,
  Shal calle hem wrecchis fulle of wo,              4775
  Love greveth hem and shendith so.
  But if thou wolt wel Love eschewe,
  For to escape out of his mewe,
  And make al hool thy sorwe to slake,
  No bettir counsel mayst thou take,                4780
  Than thinke to fleen wel, y-wis;
  May nought helpe elles; for wite thou this:--
  If thou flee it, it shal flee thee;
  Folowe it, and folowen shal it thee.'
    _L'Amaunt._ Whan I hadde herd al Resoun seyn,   4785
  Which hadde spilt hir speche in veyn:
  Dame,' seyde I, 'I dar wel sey
  Of this avaunt me wel I may
  That from your scole so deviaunt
  I am, that never the more avaunt                  4790
  Right nought am I, thurgh your doctryne;
  I dulle under your disciplyne;
  I wot no more than [I] wist [er],
  To me so contrarie and so fer
  Is every thing that ye me lere;                   4795
  And yit I can it al parcuere.
  Myn herte foryetith therof right nought,
  It is so writen in my thought;
  And depe graven it is so tendir
  That al by herte I can it rendre,                 4800
  And rede it over comunely;
  But to my-silf lewedist am I.
   'But sith ye love discreven so,
  And lakke and preise it, bothe two,
  Defyneth it into this letter,                     4805
  That I may thenke on it the better;
  For I herde never [diffyne it ere],
  And wilfully I wolde it lere.'
    _Raisoun._ 'If love be serched wel and sought,
  It is a sykenesse of the thought                  4810
  Annexed and knet bitwixe tweyne,
  [Which] male and female, with oo cheyne,
  So frely byndith, that they nil twinne,
  Whether so therof they lese or winne.
  The roote springith, thurgh hoot brenning,        4815
  Into disordinat desiring
  For to kissen and enbrace,
  And at her lust them to solace.
  Of other thing love recchith nought,
  But setteth hir herte and al hir thought          4820
  More for delectacioun
  Than any procreacioun
  Of other fruyt by engendring;
  Which love to god is not plesing;
  For of hir body fruyt to get                      4825
  They yeve no force, they are so set
  Upon delyt, to pley in-fere.
  And somme have also this manere,
  To feynen hem for love seke;
  Sich love I preise not at a leke.                 4830
  For paramours they do but feyne;
  To love truly they disdeyne.
  They falsen ladies traitoursly,
  And sweren hem othes utterly,
  With many a lesing, and many a fable,             4835
  And al they finden deceyvable.
  And, whan they her lust han geten,
  The hoote ernes they al foryeten.
  Wimmen, the harm they byen ful sore;
  But men this thenken evermore,                    4840
  That lasse harm is, so mote I thee,
  Disceyve them, than disceyved be;
  And namely, wher they ne may
  Finde non other mene wey.
  For I wot wel, in sothfastnesse,                  4845
  That [who] doth now his bisynesse
  With any womman for to dele,
  For any lust that he may fele,
  But-if it be for engendrure,
  He doth trespasse, I you ensure.                  4850
  For he shulde setten al his wil
  To geten a likly thing him til,
  And to sustene[n], if he might,
  And kepe forth, by kindes right,
  His owne lyknesse and semblable,                  4855
  For bicause al is corumpable,
  And faile shulde successioun,
  Ne were ther generacioun
  Our sectis strene for to save.
  Whan fader or moder arn in grave,                 4860
  Hir children shulde, whan they ben deede,
  Ful diligent ben, in hir steede,
  To use that werke on such a wyse,
  That oon may thurgh another ryse.
  Therfore set Kinde therin delyt,                  4865
  For men therin shulde hem delyte,
  And of that dede be not erke,
  But ofte sythes haunt that werke.
  For noon wolde drawe therof a draught
  Ne were delyt, which hath him caught.             4870
  This hadde sotil dame Nature;
  For noon goth right, I thee ensure,
  Ne hath entent hool ne parfyt;
  For hir desir is for delyt,
  The which fortened crece and eke                  4875
  The pley of love for-ofte seke,
  And thralle hem-silf, they be so nyce,
  Unto the prince of every vyce.
  For of ech sinne it is the rote,
  Unlefulle lust, though it be sote,                4880
  And of al yvel the racyne,
  As Tullius can determyne,
  Which in his tyme was ful sage,
  In a boke he made of Age,
  Wher that more he preyseth Elde,                  4885
  Though he be croked and unwelde,
  And more of commendacioun,
  Than Youthe in his discripcioun.
  For Youthe set bothe man and wyf
  In al perel of soule and lyf;                     4890
  And perel is, but men have grace,
  The [tyme] of youthe for to pace,
  Withoute any deth or distresse,
  It is so ful of wildenesse;
  So ofte it doth shame or damage                   4895
  To him or to his linage.
  It ledith man now up, now doun,
  In mochel dissolucioun,
  And makith him love yvel company,
  And lede his lyf disrewlily,                      4900
  And halt him payed with noon estate.
  Within him-silf is such debate,
  He chaungith purpos and entent,
  And yalt [him] into som covent,
  To liven aftir her empryse,                       4905
  And lesith fredom and fraunchyse,
  That Nature in him hadde set,
  The which ageyn he may not get,
  If he there make his mansioun
  For to abyde professioun.                         4910
  Though for a tyme his herte absente,
  It may not fayle, he shal repente,
  And eke abyde thilke day
  To leve his abit, and goon his way,
  And lesith his worship and his name,              4915
  And dar not come ageyn for shame;
  But al his lyf he doth so mourne,
  Bicause he dar not hoom retourne.
  Fredom of kinde so lost hath he
  That never may recured be,                        4920
  But-if that god him graunte grace
  That he may, er he hennes pace,
  Conteyne undir obedience
  Thurgh the vertu of pacience.
  For Youthe set man in al folye,                   4925
  In unthrift and in ribaudye,
  In leccherye, and in outrage,
  So ofte it chaungith of corage.
  Youthe ginneth ofte sich bargeyn,
  That may not ende withouten peyn.                 4930
  In gret perel is set youth-hede,
  Delyt so doth his bridil lede.
  Delyt thus hangith, drede thee nought,
  Bothe mannis body and his thought,
  Only thurgh Youthe, his chamberere,               4935
  That to don yvel is customere,
  And of nought elles taketh hede
  But only folkes for to lede
  Into disporte and wildenesse,
  So is [she] froward from sadnesse.                4940
   'But Elde drawith hem therfro;
  Who wot it nought, he may wel go
  [Demand] of hem that now arn olde,
  That whylom Youthe hadde in holde,
  Which yit remembre of tendir age,                 4945
  How it hem brought in many a rage,
  And many a foly therin wrought.
  But now that Elde hath hem thurghsought,
  They repente hem of her folye,
  That Youthe hem putte in Iupardye,                4950
  In perel and in muche wo,
  And made hem ofte amis to do,
  And suen yvel companye,
  Riot and avouterye.
   'But Elde [can] ageyn restreyne                  4955
  From suche foly, and refreyne,
  And set men, by hir ordinaunce,
  In good reule and in governaunce.
  But yvel she spendith hir servyse,
  For no man wol hir love, ne pryse;                4960
  She is hated, this wot I wele.
  Hir acqueyntaunce wolde no man fele,
  Ne han of Elde companye,
  Men hate to be of hir alye.
  For no man wolde bicomen olde,                    4965
  Ne dye, whan he is yong and bolde.
  And Elde merveilith right gretly,
  Whan they remembre hem inwardly
  Of many a perelous empryse,
  Whiche that they wrought in sondry wyse,          4970
  How ever they might, withoute blame,
  Escape awey withoute shame,
  In youthe, withoute[n] damage
  Or repreef of her linage,
  Losse of membre, sheding of blode,                4975
  Perel of deth, or losse of good.
   'Wost thou nought where Youthe abit,
  That men so preisen in her wit?
  With Delyt she halt soiour,
  For bothe they dwellen in oo tour.                4980
  As longe as Youthe is in sesoun,
  They dwellen in oon mansioun.
  Delyt of Youthe wol have servyse
  To do what so he wol devyse;
  And Youthe is redy evermore                       4985
  For to obey, for smerte of sore,
  Unto Delyt, and him to yive
  Hir servise, whyl that she may live.
   'Where Elde abit, I wol thee telle
  Shortly, and no whyle dwelle,                     4990
  For thider bihoveth thee to go.
  If Deth in youthe thee not slo,
  Of this journey thou maist not faile.
  With hir Labour and Travaile
  Logged been, with Sorwe and Wo,                   4995
  That never out of hir courte go.
  Peyne and Distresse, Syknesse and Ire,
  And Malencoly, that angry sire,
  Ben of hir paleys senatours;
  Groning and Grucching, hir herbergeours,          5000
  The day and night, hir to turment,
  With cruel Deth they hir present,
  And tellen hir, erliche and late,
  That Deth stant armed at hir gate.
  Than bringe they to hir remembraunce              5005
  The foly dedis of hir infaunce,
  Which causen hir to mourne in wo
  That Youthe hath hir bigiled so,
  Which sodeynly awey is hasted.
  She wepeth the tyme that she hath wasted,         5010
  Compleyning of the preterit,
  And the present, that not abit,
  And of hir olde vanitee,
  That, but aforn hir she may see
  In the future som socour,                         5015
  To leggen hir of hir dolour,
  To graunt hir tyme of repentaunce,
  For hir sinnes to do penaunce,
  And at the laste so hir governe
  To winne the Ioy that is eterne,                  5020
  Fro which go bakward Youthe [hir] made,
  In vanitee to droune and wade.
  For present tyme abidith nought,
  It is more swift than any thought;
  So litel whyle it doth endure                     5025
  That ther nis compte ne mesure.
   'But how that ever the game go,
  Who list [have] Ioye and mirth also
  Of love, be it he or she,
  High or lowe, who[so] it be,                      5030
  In fruyt they shulde hem delyte;
  Her part they may not elles quyte,
  To save hem-silf in honestee.
  And yit ful many oon I see
  Of wimmen, sothly for to seyne,                   5035
  That [ay] desire and wolde fayne
  The pley of love, they be so wilde,
  And not coveite to go with childe.
  And if with child they be perchaunce,
  They wole it holde a gret mischaunce;             5040
  But what-som-ever wo they fele,
  They wol not pleyne, but concele;
  But-if it be any fool or nyce,
  In whom that shame hath no Iustyce.
  For to delyt echon they drawe,                    5045
  That haunte this werk, bothe high and lawe,
  Save sich that ar[e]n worth right nought,
  That for money wol be bought.
  Such love I preise in no wyse,
  Whan it is given for coveitise.                   5050
  I preise no womman, though [she] be wood,
  That yeveth hir-silf for any good.
  For litel shulde a man telle
  Of hir, that wol hir body selle,
  Be she mayde, be she wyf,                         5055
  That quik wol selle hir, by hir lyf.
  How faire chere that ever she make,
  He is a wrecche, I undirtake,
  That loveth such one, for swete or sour,
  Though she him calle hir paramour,                5060
  And laugheth on him, and makith him feeste.
  For certeynly no suche [a] beeste
  To be loved is not worthy,
  Or bere the name of druery.
  Noon shulde hir please, but he were wood,         5065
  That wol dispoile him of his good.
  Yit nevertheles, I wol not sey
  [But] she, for solace and for pley,
  May a Iewel or other thing
  Take of her loves free yeving;                    5070
  But that she aske it in no wyse,
  For drede of shame of coveityse.
  And she of hirs may him, certeyn,
  Withoute sclaundre, yeven ageyn,
  And ioyne her hertes togidre so                   5075
  In love, and take and yeve also.
  Trowe not that I wolde hem twinne,
  Whan in her love ther is no sinne;
  I wol that they togedre go,
  And doon al that they han ado,                    5080
  As curteis shulde and debonaire,
  And in her love beren hem faire,
  Withoute vyce, bothe he and she;
  So that alwey, in honestee,
  Fro foly love [they] kepe hem clere               5085
  That brenneth hertis with his fere;
  And that her love, in any wyse,
  Be devoid of coveityse.
  Good love shulde engendrid be
  Of trewe herte, iust, and secree,                 5090
  And not of such as sette her thought
  To have her lust, and ellis nought,
  So are they caught in Loves lace,
  Truly, for bodily solace.
  Fleshly delyt is so present                       5095
  With thee, that sette al thyn entent,
  Withoute more (what shulde I glose?)
  For to gete and have the Rose;
  Which makith thee so mate and wood
  That thou desirest noon other good.               5100
  But thou art not an inche the nerre,
  But ever abydest in sorwe and werre,
  As in thy face it is sene;
  It makith thee bothe pale and lene;
  Thy might, thy vertu goth away.                   5105
  A sory gest, in goode fay,
  Thou [herberedest than] in thyn inne,
  The God of Love whan thou let inne!
  Wherfore I rede, thou shette him out,
  Or he shal greve thee, out of doute;              5110
  For to thy profit it wol turne,
  If he nomore with thee soiourne.
  In gret mischeef and sorwe sonken
  Ben hertis, that of love arn dronken,
  As thou peraventure knowen shal,                  5115
  Whan thou hast lost [thy] tyme al,
  And spent [thy youthe] in ydilnesse,
  In waste, and woful lustinesse;
  If thou maist live the tyme to see
  Of love for to delivered be,                      5120
  Thy tyme thou shall biwepe sore
  The whiche never thou maist restore.
  (For tyme lost, as men may see,
  For no-thing may recured be).
  And if thou scape yit, atte laste,                5125
  Fro Love, that hath thee so faste
  Knit and bounden in his lace,
  Certeyn, I holde it but a grace.
  For many oon, as it is seyn,
  Have lost, and spent also in veyn,                5130
  In his servyse, withoute socour,
  Body and soule, good, and tresour,
  Wit, and strengthe, and eek richesse,
  Of which they hadde never redresse.'
    Thus taught and preched hath Resoun,            5135
  But Love spilte hir sermoun,
  That was so imped in my thought,
  That hir doctrine I sette at nought.
  And yit ne seide she never a dele,
  That I ne understode it wele,                     5140
  Word by word, the mater al.
  But unto Love I was so thral,
  Which callith over-al his pray,
  He chasith so my thought [alway],
  And holdith myn herte undir his sele,             5145
  As trust and trew as any stele;
  So that no devocioun
  Ne hadde I in the sermoun
  Of dame Resoun, ne of hir rede;
  It toke no soiour in myn hede.                    5150
  For alle yede out at oon ere
  That in that other she dide lere;
  Fully on me she lost hir lore,
  Hir speche me greved wondir sore.
    [Than] unto hir for ire I seide,                5155
  For anger, as I dide abraide:
  Dame, and is it your wille algate,
  That I not love, but that I hate
  Alle men, as ye me teche?
  For if I do aftir your speche,                    5160
  Sith that ye seyn love is not good,
  Than must I nedis say with mood,
  If I it leve, in hatrede ay
  Liven, and voide love away
  From me, [and been] a sinful wrecche,             5165
  Hated of all that [love that] tecche.
  I may not go noon other gate,
  For either must I love or hate.
  And if I hate men of-newe
  More than love, it wol me rewe,                   5170
  As by your preching semeth me,
  For Love no-thing ne preisith thee.
  Ye yeve good counseil, sikirly,
  That prechith me al-day, that I
  Shulde not Loves lore alowe;                      5175
  He were a fool, wolde you not trowe!
  In speche also ye han me taught
  Another love, that knowen is naught,
  Which I have herd you not repreve,
  To love ech other; by your leve,                  5180
  If ye wolde diffyne it me,
  I wolde gladly here, to see,
  At the leest, if I may lere
  Of sondry loves the manere.'
    _Raison._ 'Certis, freend, a fool art thou      5185
  Whan that thou no-thing wolt allowe
  That I [thee] for thy profit say.
  Yit wol I sey thee more, in fay;
  For I am redy, at the leste,
  To accomplisshe thy requeste,                     5190
  But I not wher it wol avayle;
  In veyne, perauntre, I shal travayle.
  Love ther is in sondry wyse,
  As I shal thee here devyse.
  For som love leful is and good;                   5195
  I mene not that which makith thee wood,
  And bringith thee in many a fit,
  And ravisshith fro thee al thy wit,
  It is so merveilous and queynt;
  With such love be no more aqueynt.                5200


   'Love of Frendshipe also ther is,
  Which makith no man doon amis,
  Of wille knit bitwixe two,
  That wol not breke for wele ne wo;
  Which long is lykly to contune,                   5205
  Whan wille and goodis ben in comune;
  Grounded by goddis ordinaunce,
  Hool, withoute discordaunce;
  With hem holding comuntee
  Of al her goode in charitee,                      5210
  That ther be noon excepcioun
  Thurgh chaunging of entencioun;
  That ech helpe other at hir neede,
  And wysly hele bothe word and dede;
  Trewe of mening, devoid of slouthe,               5215
  For wit is nought withoute trouthe;
  So that the ton dar al his thought
  Seyn to his freend, and spare nought,
  As to him-silf, without dreding
  To be discovered by wreying.                      5220
  For glad is that coniunccioun,
  Whan ther is noon suspecioun
  [Ne lak in hem], whom they wolde prove
  That trew and parfit weren in love.
  For no man may be amiable,                        5225
  But-if he be so ferme and stable,
  That fortune chaunge him not, ne blinde,
  But that his freend alwey him finde,
  Bothe pore and riche, in oon [e]state.
  For if his freend, thurgh any gate,               5230
  Wol compleyne of his povertee,
  He shulde not byde so long, til he
  Of his helping him requere;
  For good deed, done [but] thurgh prayere,
  Is sold, and bought to dere, y-wis,               5235
  To hert that of gret valour is.
  For hert fulfilled of gentilnesse
  Can yvel demene his distresse.
  And man that worthy is of name
  To asken often hath gret shame.                   5240
  A good man brenneth in his thought
  For shame, whan he axeth ought.
  He hath gret thought, and dredith ay
  For his disese, whan he shal pray
  His freend, lest that he warned be,               5245
  Til that he preve his stabiltee.
  But whan that he hath founden oon
  That trusty is and trew as stone,
  And [hath] assayed him at al,
  And found him stedefast as a wal,                 5250
  And of his freendship be certeyne,
  He shal him shewe bothe Ioye and peyne,
  And al that [he] dar thinke or sey,
  Withoute shame, as he wel may.
  For how shulde he ashamed be                      5255
  Of sich oon as I tolde thee?
  For whan he woot his secree thought,
  The thridde shal knowe ther-of right nought;
  For tweyn in nombre is bet than three
  In every counsel and secree.                      5260
  Repreve he dredeth never a del,
  Who that biset his wordis wel;
  For every wys man, out of drede,
  Can kepe his tunge til he see nede;
  And fooles can not holde hir tunge;               5265
  A fooles belle is sone runge.
  Yit shal a trewe freend do more
  To helpe his felowe of his sore,
  And socoure him, whan he hath nede,
  In al that he may doon in dede;                   5270
  And gladder [be] that he him plesith
  Than [is] his felowe that he esith.
  And if he do not his requeste,
  He shal as mochel him moleste
  As his felow, for that he                         5275
  May not fulfille his voluntee
  [As] fully as he hath requered.
  If bothe the hertis Love hath fered,
  Joy and wo they shul depart,
  And take evenly ech his part.                     5280
  Half his anoy he shal have ay,
  And comfort [him] what that he may;
  And of his blisse parte shal he,
  If love wol departed be.
   'And whilom of this [amitee]                     5285
  Spak Tullius in a ditee;
  ["A man] shulde maken his request
  Unto his freend, that is honest;
  And he goodly shulde it fulfille,
  But it the more were out of skile,                5290
  And otherwise not graunt therto,
  Except only in [cases] two:
  If men his freend to deth wolde dryve,
  Lat him be bisy to save his lyve.
  Also if men wolen him assayle,                    5295
  Of his wurship to make him faile,
  And hindren him of his renoun,
  Lat him, with ful entencioun,
  His dever doon in ech degree
  That his freend ne shamed be,                     5300
  In this two [cases] with his might,
  Taking no kepe to skile nor right,
  As ferre as love may him excuse;
  This oughte no man to refuse."
  This love that I have told to thee                5305
  Is no-thing contrarie to me;
  This wol I that thou folowe wel,
  And leve the tother everydel.
  This love to vertu al attendith,
  The tothir fooles blent and shendith.             5310
   'Another love also there is,
  That is contrarie unto this,
  Which desyre is so constreyned
  That [it] is but wille feyned;
  Awey fro trouthe it doth so varie,                5315
  That to good love it is contrarie;
  For it maymeth, in many wyse,
  Syke hertis with coveityse;
  Al in winning and in profyt
  Sich love settith his delyt.                      5320
  This love so hangeth in balaunce
  That, if it lese his hope, perchaunce,
  Of lucre, that he is set upon,
  It wol faile, and quenche anon;
  For no man may be amorous,                        5325
  Ne in his living vertuous,
  But-[if] he love more, in mood,
  Men for hem-silf than for hir good.
  For love that profit doth abyde
  Is fals, and bit not in no tyde.                  5330
  [This] love cometh of dame Fortune,
  That litel whyle wol contune;
  For it shal chaungen wonder sone,
  And take eclips right as the mone,
  Whan she is from us [y]-let                       5335
  Thurgh erthe, that bitwixe is set
  The sonne and hir, as it may falle,
  Be it in party, or in alle;
  The shadowe maketh her bemis merke,
  And hir hornes to shewe derke,                    5340
  That part where she hath lost hir lyght
  Of Phebus fully, and the sight;
  Til, whan the shadowe is overpast,
  She is enlumined ageyn as faste,
  Thurgh brightnesse of the sonne bemes             5345
  That yeveth to hir ageyn hir lemes.
  That love is right of sich nature;
  Now is [it] fair, and now obscure.
  Now bright, now clipsy of manere,
  And whylom dim, and whylom clere.                 5350
  As sone as Poverte ginneth take,
  With mantel and [with] wedis blake
  [It] hidith of Love the light awey,
  That into night it turneth day;
  It may not see Richesse shyne                     5355
  Til the blakke shadowes fyne.
  For, whan Richesse shyneth bright,
  Love recovereth ageyn his light;
  And whan it failith, he wol flit,
  And as she [groweth, so groweth] it.              5360
   'Of this love, here what I sey:--
  The riche men are loved ay,
  And namely tho that sparand bene,
  That wol not wasshe hir hertes clene
  Of the filthe, nor of the vyce                    5365
  Of gredy brenning avaryce.
  The riche man ful fond is, y-wis,
  That weneth that he loved is.
  If that his herte it undirstood,
  It is not he, it is his good;                     5370
  He may wel witen in his thought,
  His good is loved, and he right nought.
  For if he be a nigard eke,
  Men wole not sette by him a leke,
  But haten him; this is the soth.                  5375
  Lo, what profit his catel doth!
  Of every man that may him see,
  It geteth him nought but enmitee.
  But he amende him of that vyce,
  And knowe him-silf, he is not wys.                5380
   'Certis, he shulde ay freendly be,
  To gete him love also ben free,
  Or ellis he is not wyse ne sage
  No more than is a gote ramage.
  That he not loveth, his dede  proveth,            5385
  Whan he his richesse so wel loveth,
  That he wol hyde it ay and spare,
  His pore freendis seen forfare;
  To kepe [it ay is] his purpose,
  Til for drede his eyen close,                     5390
  And til a wikked deth him take;
  Him hadde lever asondre shake,
  And late his limes a sondre ryve,
  Than leve his richesse in his lyve.
  He thenkith parte it with no man;                 5395
  Certayn, no love is in him than.
  How shulde love within him be,
  Whan in his herte is no pite?
  That he trespasseth, wel I wat,
  For ech man knowith his estat;                    5400
  For wel him oughte be reproved
  That loveth nought, ne is not loved.
   'But sith we arn to Fortune comen,
  And [han] our sermoun of hir nomen,
  A wondir wil I telle thee now,                    5405
  Thou herdist never sich oon, I trow.
  I not wher thou me leven shal,
  Though sothfastnesse it be [in] al,
  As it is writen, and is sooth,
  That unto men more profit doth                    5410
  The froward Fortune and contraire,
  Than the swote and debonaire:
  And if thee thinke it is doutable,
  It is thurgh argument provable.
  For the debonaire and softe                       5415
  Falsith and bigylith ofte;
  For liche a moder she can cherishe
  And milken as doth a norys;
  And of hir goode to hem deles,
  And yeveth hem part of her loweles,               5420
  With grete richesse and dignitee;
  And hem she hoteth stabilitee
  In a state that is not stable,
  But chaunging ay and variable;
  And fedith hem with glorie veyne,                 5425
  And worldly blisse noncerteyne.
  Whan she hem settith on hir whele,
  Than wene they to be right wele,
  And in so stable state withalle,
  That never they wene for to falle.                5430
  And whan they set so highe be,
  They wene to have in certeintee
  Of hertly frendis [so] gret noumbre,
  That no-thing mighte her stat encombre;
  They truste hem so on every syde,                 5435
  Wening with hem they wolde abyde
  In every perel and mischaunce,
  Withoute chaunge or variaunce,
  Bothe of catel and of good;
  And also for to spende hir blood                  5440
  And alle hir membris for to spille,
  Only to fulfille hir wille.
  They maken it hole in many wyse,
  And hoten hem hir ful servyse,
  How sore that it do hem smerte,                   5445
  Into hir very naked sherte!
  Herte and al, so hole they yeve,
  For the tyme that they may live,
  So that, with her flaterye,
  They maken foolis glorifye                        5450
  Of hir wordis [greet] speking,
  And han [there]-of a reioysing,
  And trowe hem as the Evangyle;
  And it is al falsheed and gyle,
  As they shal afterwardes see,                     5455
  Whan they arn falle in povertee,
  And been of good and catel bare;
  Than shulde they seen who freendis ware.
  For of an hundred, certeynly,
  Nor of a thousand ful scarsly,                    5460
  Ne shal they fynde unnethis oon,
  Whan povertee is comen upon.
  For [this] Fortune that I of telle,
  With men whan hir lust to dwelle,
  Makith hem to lese hir conisaunce,                5465
  And nourishith hem in ignoraunce.
   'But froward Fortune and perverse,
  Whan high estatis she doth reverse,
  And maketh hem to tumble doun
  Of hir whele, with sodeyn tourn,                  5470
  And from hir richesse doth hem flee,
  And plongeth hem in povertee,
  As a stepmoder envyous,
  And leyeth a plastre dolorous
  Unto her hertis, wounded egre,                    5475
  Which is not tempred with vinegre,
  But with poverte and indigence,
  For to shewe, by experience,
  That she is Fortune verely
  In whom no man shulde affy,                       5480
  Nor in hir yeftis have fiaunce,
  She is so ful of variaunce.
  Thus can she maken high and lowe,
  Whan they from richesse ar[e]n throwe,
  Fully to knowen, withouten were,                  5485
  Freend of effect, and freend of chere;
  And which in love weren trew and stable,
  And whiche also weren variable,
  After Fortune, hir goddesse,
  In poverte, outher in richesse;                   5490
  For al [she] yeveth, out of drede,
  Unhappe bereveth it in dede;
  For Infortune lat not oon
  Of freendis, whan Fortune is goon;
  I mene tho freendis that wol flee                 5495
  Anoon as entreth povertee.
  And yit they wol not leve hem so,
  But in ech place where they go
  They calle hem "wrecche," scorne and blame,
  And of hir mishappe hem diffame,                  5500
  And, namely, siche as in richesse
  Pretendith most of stablenesse,
  Whan that they sawe him set onlofte,
  And weren of him socoured ofte,
  And most y-holpe in al hir nede:                  5505
  But now they take no maner hede,
  But seyn, in voice of flaterye,
  That now apperith hir folye,
  Over-al where-so they fare,
  And singe, "Go, farewel feldefare."               5510
  Alle suche freendis I beshrewe,
  For of [the] trewe ther be to fewe;
  But sothfast freendis, what so bityde,
  In every fortune wolen abyde;
  They han hir hertis in suche noblesse             5515
  That they nil love for no richesse;
  Nor, for that Fortune may hem sende,
  They wolen hem socoure and defende;
  And chaunge for softe ne for sore,
  For who is freend, loveth evermore.               5520
  Though men drawe swerd his freend to slo,
  He may not hewe hir love a-two.
  But, in [the] case that I shal sey,
  For pride and ire lese it he may,
  And for reprove by nycetee,                       5525
  And discovering of privitee,
  With tonge wounding, as feloun,
  Thurgh venemous detraccioun.
  Frend in this case wol gon his way,
  For no-thing greve him more ne may;               5530
  And for nought ellis wol he flee,
  If that he love in stabilitee.
  And certeyn, he is wel bigoon
  Among a thousand that fyndith oon.
  For ther may be no richesse,                      5535
  Ageyns frendship, of worthinesse;
  For it ne may so high atteigne
  As may the valoure, sooth to seyne,
  Of him that loveth trew and wel;
  Frendship is more than is catel.                  5540
  For freend in court ay better is
  Than peny in [his] purs, certis;
  And Fortune, mishapping,
  Whan upon men she is [falling],
  Thurgh misturning of hir chaunce,                 5545
  And casteth hem oute of balaunce,
  She makith, thurgh hir adversitee,
  Men ful cleerly for to see
  Him that is freend in existence
  From him that is by apparence.                    5550
  For Infortune makith anoon
  To knowe thy freendis fro thy foon,
  By experience, right as it is;
  The which is more to preyse, y-wis,
  Than [is] miche richesse and tresour;             5555
  For more [doth] profit and valour
  Poverte, and such adversitee,
  Bifore than doth prosperitee;
  For the toon yeveth conisaunce,
  And the tother ignoraunce.                        5560
   'And thus in poverte is in dede
  Trouthe declared fro falsehede;
  For feynte frendis it wol declare,
  And trewe also, what wey they fare.
  For whan he was in his richesse,                  5565
  These freendis, ful of doublenesse,
  Offrid him in many wyse
  Hert and body, and servyse.
  What wolde he than ha [yeve] to ha bought
  To knowen openly her thought,                     5570
  That he now hath so clerly seen?
  The lasse bigyled he sholde have been
  And he hadde than perceyved it,
  But richesse nold not late him wit.
  Wel more avauntage doth him than,                 5575
  Sith that it makith him a wys man,
  The greet mischeef that he [receyveth],
  Than doth richesse that him deceyveth.
  Richesse riche ne makith nought
  Him that on tresour set his thought;              5580
  For richesse stont in suffisaunce
  And no-thing in habundaunce;
  For suffisaunce al-only
  Makith men to live richely.
  For he that hath [but] miches tweyne,             5585
  Ne [more] value in his demeigne,
  Liveth more at ese, and more is riche,
  Than doth he that is [so] chiche,
  And in his bern hath, soth to seyn,
  An hundred [muwis] of whete greyn,                5590
  Though he be chapman or marchaunt,
  And have of golde many besaunt.
  For in the geting he hath such wo,
  And in the keping drede also,
  And set evermore his bisynesse                    5595
  For to encrese, and not to lesse,
  For to augment and multiply.
  And though on hepis [it] lye him by,
  Yit never shal make his richesse
  Asseth unto his gredinesse.                       5600
  But the povre that recchith nought,
  Save of his lyflode, in his thought,
  Which that he getith with his travaile,
  He dredith nought that it shal faile,
  Though he have lytel worldis good,                5605
  Mete and drinke, and esy food,
  Upon his travel and living,
  And also suffisaunt clothing.
  Or if in syknesse that he falle,
  And lothe mete and drink withalle,                5610
  Though he have nought, his mete to by,
  He shal bithinke him hastely,
  To putte him out of al daunger,
  That he of mete hath no mister;
  Or that he may with litel eke                     5615
  Be founden, whyl that he is seke;
  Or that men shul him bere in hast,
  To live, til his syknesse be past,
  To somme maysondewe bisyde;
  He cast nought what shal him bityde.              5620
  He thenkith nought that ever he shal
  Into any syknesse falle.
   'And though it falle, as it may be,
  That al betyme spare shal he
  As mochel as shal to him suffyce,                 5625
  Whyl he is syke in any wyse,
  He doth [it], for that he wol be
  Content with his povertee
  Withoute nede of any man.
  So miche in litel have he can,                    5630
  He is apayed with his fortune;
  And for he nil be importune
  Unto no wight, ne onerous,
  Nor of hir goodes coveitous;
  Therfore he spareth, it may wel been,             5635
  His pore estat for to sustene.
   'Or if him lust not for to spare,
  But suffrith forth, as nought ne ware,
  Atte last it hapneth, as it may,
  Right unto his laste day,                         5640
  And taketh the world as it wolde be;
  For ever in herte thenkith he,
  The soner that [the] deeth him slo,
  To paradys the soner go
  He shal, there for to live in blisse,             5645
  Where that he shal no good misse.
  Thider he hopith god shal him sende
  Aftir his wrecchid lyves ende.
  Pictagoras himsilf reherses,
  In a book that the Golden verses                  5650
  Is clepid, for the nobilitee
  Of the honourable ditee:--
 "Than, whan thou gost thy body fro,
  Free in the eir thou shalt up go,
  And leven al humanitee,                           5655
  And purely live in deitee."--
  He is a fool, withouten were,
  That trowith have his countre here.
 "In erthe is not our countree,"
  That may these clerkis seyn and see               5660
  In Boece of Consolacioun,
  Where it is maked mencioun
  Of our countree pleyn at the eye,
  By teching of philosophye,
  Where lewid men might lere wit,                   5665
  Who-so that wolde translaten it.
  If he be sich that can wel live
  Aftir his rente may him yive,
  And not desyreth more to have,
  That may fro povertee him save:                   5670
  A wys man seide, as we may seen,
  Is no man wrecched, but he it wene,
  Be he king, knight, or ribaud.
  And many a ribaud is mery and baud,
  That swinkith, and berith, bothe day and night,   5675
  Many a burthen of gret might,
  The whiche doth him lasse offense,
  For he suffrith in pacience.
  They laugh and daunce, trippe and singe,
  And ley not up for her living,                    5680
  But in the tavern al dispendith
  The winning that god hem sendith.
  Than goth he, fardels for to bere,
  With as good chere as he dide ere;
  To swinke and traveile he not feynith,            5685
  For for to robben he disdeynith;
  But right anoon, aftir his swinke,
  He goth to tavern for to drinke.
  Alle these ar riche in abundaunce,
  That can thus have suffisaunce                    5690
  Wel more than can an usurere,
  As god wel knowith, withoute were.
  For an usurer, so god me see,
  Shal never for richesse riche bee,
  But evermore pore and indigent,                   5695
  Scarce, and gredy in his entent.
   'For soth it is, whom it displese,
  Ther may no marchaunt live at ese,
  His herte in sich a were is set,
  That it quik brenneth [more] to get,              5700
  Ne never shal [enough have] geten;
  Though he have gold in gerners yeten,
  For to be nedy he dredith sore.
  Wherfore to geten more and more
  He set his herte and his desire;                  5705
  So hote he brennith in the fire
  Of coveitise, that makith him wood
  To purchase other mennes good.
  He undirfongith a gret peyne,
  That undirtakith to drinke up Seyne;              5710
  For the more he drinkith, ay
  The more he leveth, the soth to say.
  [This is the] thurst of fals geting,
  That last ever in coveiting,
  And the anguisshe and distresse                   5715
  With the fire of gredinesse.
  She fighteth with him ay, and stryveth,
  That his herte asondre ryveth;
  Such gredinesse him assaylith,
  That whan he most hath, most he faylith.          5720
    Phisiciens and advocates
  Gon right by the same yates;
  They selle hir science for winning,
  And haunte hir crafte for greet geting.
  Hir winning is of such swetnesse,                 5725
  That if a man falle in sikenesse,
  They are ful glad, for hir encrese;
  For by hir wille, withoute lees,
  Everiche man shulde be seke,
  And though they dye, they set not a leke.         5730
  After, whan they the gold have take,
  Ful litel care for hem they make.
  They wolde that fourty were seke at onis,
  Ye, two hundred, in flesh and bonis,
  And yit two thousand, as I gesse,                 5735
  For to encresen her richesse.
  They wol not worchen, in no wyse,
  But for lucre and coveityse;
  For fysyk ginneth first by _fy_,
  The fysycien also sothely;                        5740
  And sithen it goth fro _fy_ to _sy_;
  To truste on hem, it is foly;
  For they nil, in no maner gree,
  Do right nought for charitee.
   'Eke in the same secte are set                   5745
  Alle tho that prechen for to get
  Worshipes, honour, and richesse.
  Her hertis arn in greet distresse,
  That folk [ne] live not holily.
  But aboven al, specialy,                          5750
  Sich as prechen [for] veynglorie,
  And toward god have no memorie,
  But forth as ypocrites trace,
  And to her soules deth purchace,
  And  outward [shewen]  holynesse,                 5755
  Though they be fulle of cursidnesse.
  Not liche to the apostles twelve,
  They deceyve other and hem-selve;
  Bigyled is the gyler than.
  For preching of a cursed man,                     5760
  Though [it] to other may profyte,
  Himsilf availeth not a myte;
  For oft good predicacioun
  Cometh of evel entencioun.
  To him not vailith his preching,                  5765
  Al helpe he other with his teching;
  For where they good ensaumple take,
  There is he with veynglorie shake.
   'But lat us leven these prechoures,
  And speke of hem that in her toures               5770
  Hepe up her gold, and faste shette,
  And sore theron her herte sette.
  They neither love god, ne drede;
  They kepe more than it is nede,
  And in her bagges sore it binde,                  5775
  Out of the sonne, and of the winde;
  They putte up more than nede ware,
  Whan they seen pore folk forfare,
  For hunger dye, and for cold quake;
  God can wel vengeaunce therof take.               5780
  [Thre] gret mischeves hem assailith,
  And thus in gadring ay travaylith;
  With moche peyne they winne richesse;
  And drede hem holdith in distresse,
  To kepe that they gadre faste;                    5785
  With sorwe they leve it at the laste;
  With sorwe they bothe dye and live,
  That to richesse her hertis yive,
  And in defaute of love it is,
  As it shewith ful wel, y-wis.                     5790
  For if these gredy, the sothe to seyn,
  Loveden, and were loved ageyn,
  And good love regned over-alle,
  Such wikkidnesse ne shulde falle;
  But he shulde yeve that most good had             5795
  To hem that weren in nede bistad,
  And live withoute fals usure,
  For charitee ful clene and pure.
  If they hem yeve to goodnesse,
  Defending hem from ydelnesse,                     5800
  In al this world than pore noon
  We shulde finde, I trowe, not oon.
  But chaunged is this world unstable;
  For love is over-al vendable.
  We see that no man loveth now                     5805
  But for winning and for prow;
  And love is thralled in servage
  Whan it is sold for avauntage;
  Yit wommen wol hir bodies selle;
  Suche soules goth to the devel of helle.'         5810

    [_Here ends_ l. 5170 _of the_ F. text. _A great gap follows. The next
    line answers to_ l. 10717 _of the same_.]

1711. Th. thystels; G. thesteles. 1713. Ful] _Both_ For. Th. moche; G.

1721. G. botheum; Th. bothum; _read_ botoun. 1727. Th. shotte. 1728. G. me
nye (!) 1732. _Both_ Sithen; Th. chyuered. 1733. _I supply_ that. 1736. _I
supply_ ther; F. _iluec_. 1743. Th. drey; G. drie. 1749. Th. yet; G. atte.
1750. Th. whiche; G. which it. 1757. G. to do; Th. do. 1758. _Both_ two
(!). 1761. _Both_ bothum. 1766. _Both_ certis euenly. 1771. a] _Both_ his.

1779. _I supply_ myn. 1786. _Both_ bothom; _so in_ 1790. 1791. _Both_ were
to haue. 1797, 8. Th. fyne, pyne; G. feyne, peyne. 1806. Th. of; G. on.
1808. _Both_ drawe. 1811. Th. stycked; G. stikith. 1814. felte] _both_
lefte (!).

1845. _Both_ bothom. 1848. _Both_ mighte it. 1851. _Both_ sene I hadde.
1853, 4. _Both_ thore, more; _see_ l. 1857. 1856. G. thens; Th. thence.
1860. G. Castith; Th. Casteth. 1863. G. which. 1873. Th. dethe; G. deth.
1874. G. Whader; Th. Whether. 1879. _I supply_ ful. 1892. _So_ Th.; G. (_in
late hand_) That he hadde the body hole made. 1895. _Both_ without.

_Transpose_ 1913, 4? 1922. Th. hem; G. hym. 1924. _Both_ softyng; _see_
1925. 1925. _Both_ prikkith. 1929. Th. iape. 1933. Th. hastely; G. hastly.
1934. _I supply_ the. 1946. _Both_ al. 1965. _Both_ loue (!). 1971. _Both_

1982. G. _om._ me. 1984. Th. Sens. 1994. _Supply_ to; _see_ 2126. 1999. Th.
sythe; G. sith; _read_ sithen. 2002. _For_ of _read_ to? 2006. G. must.
_Both_ kysse. 2012. _Both_ without. 2018. _Both_ gonfenoun. 2022. _I
supply_ so. 2030. G. thens; Th. thence. 2033. _Both_ without. 2038.
_Perhaps_ quoynt. 2044. _Perhaps_ tan (_for_ taken).

2046. _Both_ Disteyned (F. _deceus_). 2049. _Both ins._ her _after_
through. 2066. G. wole; Th. wot (F. _savez_). 2067. _Both_ susprised. 2068.
_Perhaps_ tan (_for_ taken). 2074. _I supply_ it. 2076. G. disese; Th.
desese (F. _dessaisir_). 2085. Th. tresore; G. tresour. 2099. _I supply_
al. 2105. Th. at; G. atte.

2109. _Om._ But? 2116. _Read_ gree? 2132. G. compleysshen; Th.
accomplysshen. 2141. _I supply_ sinne. 2142. Th. entierly. 2150. G. Whanne
that; Th. Whan. 2154. _Both_ bigynneth to amende. 2167. Th. he; G. ye.

2176. G. say; Th. saye. 2178. G. ageyns; Th. ayenst. 2183. G. withouten;
Th. without. 2185. G. resseyue; Th. receyue. _Both_ vnto (_for_ to). 2191.
_I supply_ that. 2195. _Both_ in (_for_ a). 2208. G. yong; Th. yonge. 2215.
G. more; Th. mare. 2218. Th. hem; G. him. 2219, 20. _Both_ somme, domme.
2224. Th. rybaudye; G. rebaudrye. 2234. Th. sette; G. _om._

2247. _Both_ trewly. 2249, 2251, 2254. _Both_ Without. 2261. _I supply_
hem; _both_ best. 2264. G. streght. _Both_ on (_for_ upon). 2268. G. ruyde;
Th. rude (F. _cil vilain_). 2271. G. streit. Th. aumere; G. awmere; _see_
2087. 2278. Th. Whit-; G. wis-. 2279. _Both_ costneth (F. _couste_). 2285.
_Both_ Farce. 2294. G. knowith (!); _so_ Th. 2302. _Both_ pleyneth (!).

2305. _I supply_ som. 2309. _I supply_ best. 2316. Th. tyl; G. to. 2318. G.
_om._ no. 2327. _Both_ meuen. 2336. _Both_ londes; _read_ Loues. 2341. G.
this swiffte (_so_ Th.; F. _si riche don_). _Both_ it is; _om._ it. 2344,
9. _I supply_ that. 2347. _Both_ better. 2355. G. that heere; Th. _om._

2362. _I supply_ eek. 2365. _Both_ and (_for_ in). 2367, 8. _Both_ departe,
parte. 2371, 2. _So_ Th.; G. sitte, flitte. 2383. _I supply_ wol. 2384. G.
_om._ is. 2388. _I supply_ al. 2395-2442. _Not in_ G.; _from_ Th. 2401. _I
supply_ yit. 2403, 4. Th. fal, al. 2405. Th. holy. 2413. As] Th. A.

2427. Th. sene (F. _envoier_). 2432. Th. gone and visyten. 2437, 8. Th.
sene, bene. 2443. G. _begins again_. 2446. _Both_ thou dost; _om._ thou.
2454. _For_ wolt _read_ nilt? 2466. _Om._ of? 2472. _I supply_ the. 2473.
_For_ Thought _read_ That swete? 2477. _I supply_ thou.

2492. _Both_ do_m_me. 2494, 2521. Th. faste; G. fast. 2499. G. yitt; Th.
yet (_for_ yif). 2532. _I supply_ thy; F. _ta raison_. Th. durste; G.
derst. 2541. a] Th. o.

2550. Th. batell; G. batelle. 2563, 4. Th. a-brede, forwerede; G. abrode,
forweriede; _see_ 3251. 2569. seme] _Both_ se. 2576. Th. slombrest. 2578.
G. _om._ a.

2610. Th. Withouten; G. Without. Th. kesse; G. kysse. 2617. _Both_ I wote
not; _read_ I noot. 2619. _Both_ better. 2621. _Both_ on hir I caste. 2622.
_Both_ That (_for_ Than). 2628. _Both_ liggen. 2649. Th. shalt; G. shalle.
2650. _Both_ whider (!). 2655, 6. Th. aferde, vnsperde; G. afeerd,
unspered. 2660. Th. shore. 2664. Th. thy; G. the. 2668. _Both_ without.
2669. _Both om._ a.

2675. Th. whan; G. whanne; _read_ wham _or_ whom; F. _De qui tu ne pues
avoir aise_. 2676. _Corrupt_; F. _Au departir la porte baise_. Th. awey; G.
away. 2683. Th. _ins._ any (G. ony) _bef._ wene. 2687. Th. selfe; G. silf.
2688. Th. assayed; G. assaid. 2690. _Both_ for to (_for_ to). 2693. Th.
ofte; G. of. 2697. Th. dothe; G. doith. 2700. _I supply_ hir. 2709, 2710.
_Both_ more, fore; _read_ mare, fare. _I supply_ thee. 2712. _Perhaps omit_
to. 2729. Th. Aye; G. A-yee.

2746. _I supply_ may. 2748. Th. great; G. greet. 2752. _For_ that _read_
yet? 2755, 6. Th. sete, ete; G. sett, ete. 2760. _Both_ yeue. 2763. _I
supply_ his. Th. trust; G. trist. 2774. _Both_ aftirward. 2775. _I supply_
to. 2777. _Both_ yeue. 2786. _Both_ endure. 2789, 90. Th. solace, lace. G.
Doith. 2791. _Both_ first.

2796. G. Thenkyng; Th. Thynkyng; _see_ 2804. 2798. _Both_ and in peyne.
2801. _Both ins._ to _bef._ have. 2824. _Both_ not ben; F. _tu seroies_.
2831. _Both_ myght. 2833. _Both_ me (_for_ hem); _see_ 2845. 2845. _I
supply_ my; _see_ 2833. 2846. G. sittith; Th. sytteth. 2854. Th. him; G.
hem. Th. apayde; G. apaied; _see_ l. 2891.

2895. G. and of; Th. _om._ of. 2897. G. which. 2912. _I supply_ yit. 2916.
_I supply_ it. Th. conuoye G. conueye. 2917. they] _Both_ thou.

2921, 2. _Both_ sene, clene; _supply_ he. 2934. _I supply_ that. 2935.
_Both_ declared thee. 2946. Th. sufferaunce; G. suffraunce. 2950. _Both_
yeue. 2954. Th. vanysshed; G. vanyshide. 2960, 2973. _Both_ bothom; _read_
botoun. 2970. G. bisiede; Th. besyed. 2971. Th. haye; G. hay.

2981. Th. gladde; G. glad. 2984. F. _Bel-Acueil_. 2987. G. outter; Th.
vtter. 2990. Th. fresshe; G. fresh. 2992. _Both_ warrans; _I supply_ I be;
F. _Ge vous i puis bien garantir_. 3000. Th. hertely; G. hertly. 3001. _I
supply_ I. 3009, 3013. _Both_ bothom; _read_ botoun. 3010. Th: fresshe; G.
fresh. Th. spronge; G. sprange. 3012. _Both_ myght. 3020. Th. grasse; G.
gras. 3029. _I insert_ no. 3035. _Both_ Brought; _I supply_ On lyve (i. e.
to life). Th. ylke; G. ilk.

3038. Th. so vgly; G. so oughlye; _om._ so. 3045. _Both_ bothoms; _read_
botouns. Th. las; G. lasse. 3046. Th. sondrie; G. sondre. 3047. Th. wyste;
G. wist. 3050, 3064. _Both_ Bothoms. 3052. _Both_ Venus hath flemed. 3058.
G. _om._ is. 3071, 6, 8. _Both_ bothom. 3079. _I supply_ me; F. _me fis_.
3083. G. waxe; Th. wext.

3109. _Both_ bothom. 3115. _Both_ arise; _read_ ryse. 3125. _Both_ And late
(lette) it growe. 3127, 8. _Both_ were, bere. 3136. G. _om._ Th. His eyes
reed sparclyng as the fyre-glowe (_too long_); F. _S'ot les yex rouges
comme feus._ 3037. _Both_ kirked. 3150. I] G. it; Th. he; F. _ge_. 3154.
Th. agayne; G. ageyns.

3164. Th. he; G. it. 3179. _I supply_ wot. 3186. Th. brast; G. barste.
3188. G. That was; Th. _m._ That. Th. through; G. thurgh. 3191. Th. highe;
G. high. 3195. _Both_ without. 3201. on] G. in (!). 3207. _Both_ For
nature; _I omit_ For. 3209. _Both_ but if the. 3213. Th. seignorie; G.

3219,20. G. freende, sheende; Th. frende, shende. 3221. Th. the; G. ye.
3227. G. didest (!). 3228. Th. had; G. hadde; _read_ haddest. 3230. _I
supply_ ward. 3231,2. _Both_ wene, sene; _I supply_ thee. 3248. G. _om._
nat. 3251. Th. werrey; G. werye. 3264. _Both_ seyne; feyne _seems better_.
3266. _I supply_ it. 3274. _Both_ he be a; _I omit_ a. 3279. G. _om._ of.

3282. Th. moche; G. mych. 3292. G. arrage (!). 3301. _After_ gete, Th.
_ins._ the, _and_ G. thee. 3315. Th. counsayle; G. counsele. 3320. _Both_
thought; _read_ taughte. 3331. _Both_ Who that; _I omit_ that. 3337. _Both_
cherisaunce; F. _chevissance_. 3340. _Both_ myght. 3344. _Both_ fast.

3350. _Both_ witholde. 3355. Th. whiche; G. which. 3356. G. _om._ have. Th.
meymed. 3364. Th. fresshe; G. fresh. _Both_ bothom. 3372. Th. fiers. 3379.
Th. meke; G. make. 3385. _I supply_ him. 3399. Th. forbode; G. fobede;
_read_ forbad. 3406. _I supply_ sir. 3408. _Both_ amenden.

3414. G. _om._ I. 3418. G. you shulde. 3429. G. doon elles well_e_; Th.
done al wel; F. _Toutes vos autres volentes Ferai_. 3433. Th. suche; G.
sichen; F. _puis-qu'il me siet_. 3447. _Both_ where that the; _I omit_
that. 3448. _I supply_ thou; F. _tu_. 3454. Th. tale; G. talle. 3455. Th.
affayre; G. affere. 3462. _Both_ good mes (_sic_); F. _en bon point_; _see_
l. 1453. 3464. _Both_ -come. 3468. G. _om._ me.

3473. _Both_ bothom. 3482. Morris _supplies_ hard. 3490. _Both_ That he
had. 3491. G. Thanne; Th. Than; _read_ That; F. _Qu'Amors_. 3498. G. Thou;
Th. Tho. _Both_ and me (_for_ and). 3502. _Both_ bothom. 3508. _I supply_
word. 3510. Th. moche; G. mych. 3522. _Both_ ye (_for_ he); F. _Que il_.
3525. _Both_ it is.

3534. G. to beye; Th. to bey. 3548. _Both_ This; F. _C'est_; This = This
is. 3552. Th. he; G. ye. 3554. _Both_ Vpon (_for_ On). 3560. _Read_ mis
(_for_ amis). 3563. Th. moste; G. most. 3590. G. lette; Th. let. 3591. Th.
hye; G. high.

3595-3690. _Not in_ G.; _from_ Th. 3599, 3600. Th. please, ease. 3604. Th.
dare (_for_ thar), _wrongly_. Th. aferde. 3615. Th. without. 3619. Th.
hadde. 3620. Th. leaue. 3622. Th. hel. 3626. Th. eftres. 3633. Th.
spannysshinge. 3641. Th. without. 3642. Th. sene. 3643. Th. the god of
blesse; F. _Diex la beneie_. 3646. Th. marueyle.

3656. Th. leysar. 3660. Th. That so swetely. 3663. Th. cosse. 3667. Th.
sayd. 3670, 1. Th. dare. 3674. Th. ywisse. 3676. Th. lyfe; _read_ live.
3679. Th. best. 3687. Th. first. 3688. Th. fel downe. 3690. Th. grapes be
ripe; _om._ be. 3691. G. _begins again_. 3694. _Both_ Though. 3697. _Both_
rennyng (_for_ rewing). 3698. _Both_ come (_absurdly_); _see_ l. 3700;
_read_ to me. 3699. Th. werryeth; G. werieth; F. _guerroie_. 3707. Th.
flame. 3709. _Both_ hette. 3710. G. herte is; Th. hert is; _read_ hertis =
hertes. _Both_ sette. 3716. G. nell_e_; Th. nyl. 3718. _Both_ neithir
(_for_ nor).

3723. G. pruyde. 3730. Th. warne; G. worne. 3742. G. outterly; Th. vtterly.
3745. _Both_ pleyne (playne). 3746. _Both_ -nysse. 3748. G. thenkith. 3749.
Th. warne; G. worne. 3751. _Both_ ye helpe; _read_ to helpe. 3755. Th. with
his hete. 3756. _Both ins._ me _after_ bad. 3757. G. Grauntede; Th. Graunt.
3761. Thar] Th. There nede. 3763. _Both_ Stroke. 3774. G. it wille; Th. at
wyl. 3779. Th. selde; G. yelde.

3790. G. strong; Th. stronge. 3803, 3811. _Both_ bare. 3805. G. gret; Th.
great. 3807. _Both_ myght. 3808. G. report. 3812. _Both_ square. 3832. Th.
regarde. 3834. Th. thus; G. this. 3845. _I supply_ not. 3846. _I supply_
to. 3848. G. thenkith.

3852. _I supply_ Ne. _Both_ verge; _see_ 3234. G. hadde; Th. had. 3862. Th.
wende; G. wente. 3864. Th. vayle; G. bayle. Th. stede; G. stide. 3877.
_Both_ first. 3880. G. fals. _Both_ lye. 3885. G. such. 3889. G. vylonye.
3891. M. _supplies_ for. 3895. _Both_ trechours. 3897. _I supply_ wel.
3902. _Both_ herte I crye. 3907. _Both_ lowe. 3912. G. yhe; Th. eye. 3915.
_I supply_ yit. 3917. Th. werreyed; G. werried.

3928. Th. Counsayle. _Both_ must; _read_ mot, _and supply_ take. 3942.
_Both_ Do; _read_ To. _Both_ fortresse; F. _forteresce_. 3943. _Both_
Thanne (Than) close; F. _Qui les Roses clorra entor_. 3954. Th. blende; G.
blynde. 3955. _I supply_ for. 3967. _I supply_ Til. _Both_ last. 3971.
_Both_ ferre. 3973. _I supply_ so. 3974. _I supply_ do. 3977. Th. haue.
3979. _Both_ shamed. 3982. G. withoute; Th. without.

3985, 6. G. _om._ he. 3994. Th. vilanously; G. vilaynesly. 4000. _Both_
right. _I supply_ bothe a-. 4009, 4016. G. doist. 4011. _Both_ bothoms.
4015. _Both_ Stoute, porte. 4021. G. an high; Th. an hye; _read_ in hy.
4026. _Both_ To make. 4036. _Both_ sittith (-eth). 4044. _I supply_ not.

4059. Th. sothe; G. sooth. G. knowe. 4063. as] G. a. 4065. G. _om._ he.
4072. G. gardyne. 4073. _a-fere,_ i. e. on fire. 4089. _Both put_ it
_after_ I. 4096. _Both_ me (_for_ me_n_). 4098. _Both_ myght. 4110. Th.
quake; C. quoke. 4111. _Both_ bothom. _I supply_ that.

4114. Th. moche; G. mych. 4120. Th. fresshe; G. fresh. 4158. G. Aboute; Th.
About. 4159. G. fademe. 4175. M. _supplies_ ne. 4177. _Supply_ For (F.
_Car_). _Both_ temprure.

4181. _Both_ of; _read_ as. 4188. _Both_ Roses; _read_ Rosers; F.
_rosiers_. 4191. G. and bows; Th. bowes and. 4194. whiche] _Both_ who.
4207. _I supply_ eek. 4208. G. _om._ kepte. 4220. Th. lefte; G. lyft. 4222.
M. _supplies_ hir. 4142. Th. Ofter; G. Ofte.

4246. G. wole. 4254. M. _supplies_ ne. 4264. Th. eye; G. ighe. 4269. Th.
deserte; G. disseit. 4272. _Both_ walketh (!). 4283. _Both_ lyue. 4285.
_Both_ Which (_for_ Ther); _giving no sense_. 4288. Th. whiche; G. which.
4289. _I supply_ muche. 4291. _Both_ except. 4293. _I supply_ loveres.
4294. _I supply_ the. 4308. _Both_ bothoms.

4314. G. _om._ of. 4322. _Both_ wente aboute (a = have). 4337. _Both_ make.
4339. G. tiliers; Th. tyllers. 4344. Th. nyl; G. nel. 4352. _Both_ wente;
aboven to haue. 4355. Th. folke; G. folk. 4356. G. glowmbe; Th. glombe.
4357. M. _supplies_ thou. 4358. _I supply_ in. Th. tourneth; G. tourne.
4361. Th. areyse; G. arise. 4363. Th. hyest. _Both_ but; _read_ al. _Both_
lust. 4364. _Both_ trust. 4365. am] _Both_ is. 4366. _Both_ charge. 4372.
wal] G. wole; Th. wol.

4394. _Both_ maist. 4401. _I supply_ is. 4403. _Both_ ought. 4404. _I
supply_ ther. 4407. _I supply_ man. 4413. _Both_ Owe. 4414. Th. false; G.
fals 4425. _Both_ good. 4432. _Both_ falle.

4440. G. reles; Th. relees. 4441. G. baalis; Th. bales. 4448. Th. vtterly.
4452. Th. traueyle. 4460. Th. put; G. putte. 4465. Th. nathelesse; G.
neuertheles; _after which_ G. _has_ yit (Th. yet). 4467. _Both_ her (_for_
his). 4472. G. no; Th. ne. 4476. _Both_ preise; _read_ pryse. 4477. Th.
a-sondre; G. asundry. 4478. _I supply_ me have; F. _Avoir me lest tant de
contraires_. 4483. G. Dre (!). 4486. G. putte. 4492. G. sonner. 4495.
_Both_ ferre.

4509. _I supply_ The. 4510. _Both_ symply; _read_ simpilly? 4511. _I
supply_ may. 4513, 4. Th. dout, out; G. doute, oute. 4528. G. verger. 4537.
G. Sheo. 4541. G. assayde; G. _om._ not. 4549. Th. engyns; G. engynnes.
4550. _Both_ Loue; _read_ lorde. 4556. Th. moche that it; G. mych that.
4557. _Both_ lete = leet. 4561. _Both_ yeue good wille; F. _se Diex

4567, 4573, 4584. G. thenke. 4574. _Both_ take. G. att; Th. at. 4587. _Om._
ne? 4614. G. _om._ Or. 4615. Rubrie _in both_. 4617. _For_ not _read_ nist?
4621. G. wijs. 4623. _Both_ right. 4628. Th. came; G. come.

4634. _Both_ the. _I insert_ pyned. Th. suche. 4638. _Both_ myght. 4647.
_Both_ liege. 4657. G. I lovede; Th. I loued; _read_ han loved. 4659.
(_ends at_ parde); _misnumbered 4660 in_ M. Th. Ye; G. Yhe. 4660. Th. Yes;
G. Yhis. 4667. _misnumbered 4670 in_ M. 4672. G. a state. 4680. G. Yhe.
4683. _Both_ knowe. 4684. G. ony.

4689. _I supply_ here lerne; _both_ withouten. 4690. _Both_ withouten.
4700. G. knette; Th. knytte. 4705. _Both_ And through the; _read_ A
trouthe. _Both_ frette. 4709. G. vode (_for_ wood); Th. voyde. 4710. G.
perelle. 4712. Th. weare. 4713. G. karibdous; Th. Carybdes; F. _Caribdis_.
4721. Th. lyke; G. like; _read_ sike. Th. sickenesse; G. sekenesse. 4722.
G. trust; Th. truste; (thrust = thirst). _Both_ and (_for_ in). 4723.
_Both_ And. G. helth. 4725. _Both_ And. G. anger; Th. angre (!). 4728.
_Both_ dreried. 4731. _Both_ Sen. 4732. _Supply_ with. 4736. _Supply_ stat;
F. _Estat trop fers et trop muable_.

4755. _Both_ by (_for_ be). 4758. M _supplies_ is. 4762. G. mychel; _see_
4757. 4764. _Both_ That; _read_ But. 4771, 2. _Both_ bene, flene. 4793. _I
supply_ I. _Both_ euer; _read_ er. 4796. _Both_ al by partuere. 4799.
_Both_ greven. 4802. Th. lewdest. 4804. Th. lacke; G. lak. 4807. _Both_
diffyned here.

4811. G. kned; Th. knedde. _Both_ bitwixt. 4812. _Both_ With. 4813. _Both_
frely that; _I omit_ that. G. nylle. 4823. _Both_ engendrure; _see_ 6114.
4830. G. _om._ at. 4834. _Both_ swerne. 4837. _Both_ han her lust. 4839.
Th. _om._ they. 4846. who] _Both_ what. 4856. G. _omits_; _from_ Th. 4858.
_Both_ their; _read_ ther. 4865. _Both_ sette. 4873. G. parfight; T.

4875. Th. crease. 4878. Th. vyce; G. wise. 4882. Th. Tullyus; G. Tulius.
4889. _Both_ sette. 4892. G. p_er_ell; Th. parel; _read_ tyme. Th. youthe;
G. yougth. 4904. _Both_ yalte. _I supply_ him. 4921. _Both_ But that if.
4926. G. _om._ in. 4931. Th. youth-hede; G. youthede. 4933. thus] _Both_
this. 4935. _Both_ youthes chambre (chambere); _read_ Youthe his
chamberere; F. _Par Ionesce sa chamberiere_. 4936. G. custommere. 4940.
_Supply_ she.

4943. _Both_ And mo of (!). 4945. _Both_ remembreth. 4948. _Both_ him;
_read_ hem. 4950. Th. ieopardye. 4951. Th. moche; G. mych. 4954. G.
avoutrie; Th. avoutrye. 4955. can] _Both_ gan. 4956. Th. suche; G. sich.
4960. _Both_ neither preise. 4996. Th. courte; G. court. 5000. Th.
herbegeours; G. herbeiours. 5004. Th. stondeth; G. stondith.

5010. _Both_ weped. 5021. _Both_ he (_for_ hir). 5028. _Both_ list to loue.
5030. _Supply_ so. 5036. _Supply_ ay. 5050. _Both_ gouen. 5051. _Both_ so;
_read_ she (_or_ sho). 5059. _Both_ loued. 5062. Th. suche; G. such; _I
supply_ a. 5064. Th. Drury; G. drurie. 5068. But] _Both_ That; _cf._ 4764.

5085. they] _Both_ to. 5099. G. _om._ thee. 5107. G. herberest hem; Th.
herborest. 5111. G. profi[gh]t. 5116. thy] _Both_ the; F. _ton_. 5117.
_Both_ by thought; F. _ta Ionesce_. 5124. Th. recouered.

5144. alway] G. ay; Th. aye. 5155. _Both_ That; F. _Lors_. 5162. (say =
assay?) 5165. _I supply_ and been. 5166. _I supply_ love that. 5168. Th.
eyther; G. other. 5187. _I supply_ thee.

5223. _I supply_ Ne ... hem. 5229. _Both_ oo state; _read_ oon estate;
_see_ 5400. 5234, 49, 53. _Supply_ but, hath, he.

5259. Th. in; G. of. 5261. G. dreded. 5271, 72, 82, 5314, 27. _Supply_ be,
is, him, it, if. 5277, 8. _Supply_ As. Th. requyred, fyred. _Perhaps om._
the. 5283. his] _Both_ this. 5285. _Both_ vnyte. 5286. Th. Tullius; G.
Tulius. 5287. A man] _Both_ And. 5292. Th. causes; G. cause; _see_ 5301,
5523. 5301. G. caas; Th. case. 5304. _Both_ ought. 5325. G. amerous.

5330. Th. bydeth; G. bit. 5331, 48, 52, 53. _Supply_ This, it, with, It.
5335. _Both_ he; _read_ she; _see_ 5337, 5341. 5345. _Both_ Thurgh the; _I
omit_ the. 5356. Th. blacke; G. blak. 5360. _Both_ greueth so greueth.
5367. Th. fonde; G. fonned. 5375. _Both_ sothe. 5376. Th. his; G. this.
5379. _Both_ him silf (selfe) of. 5389. _Both_ kepen ay his; _see_ 5387.
5390. Th. eyne; G. iyen. 5393. G. alle hise lymes; Th. al his lymmes; _I
omit_ alle.

5399. Th. wate; G. wote. 5400, 1. _Both_ estate; ought to be. 5403. Th.
sithe; G. se. 5404. _Both_ hath. 5408. in] G. it; Th. _om._ 5419, 20, 25,
27, 36. _Both_ hym (!); F. _les_. 5425. G. glorie and veyne. 5431. _Both_
high. 5433. so] _Both_ to. 5446. G. _om._ very. 5451. _I supply_ greet.
5452. Th. chere (_for_ there); G. cheer (!). 5455. G. aftirward; Th.
afterwarde. 5463. _Both_ thus.

5465. Th. hem; G. men. 5470. Th. Of; G. Or with. 5478. _Read_ She sheweth,
by experience. 5485. _Both_ without. 5486. _Both_ affect; _see_ note. 5489.
Th. goddesse; G. goddes. 5491. _Both_ For al that yeueth here out of drede.
5493. Th. lette; G. late. 5503. Th. they; G. the. 5505. Th. yholpe; G. I
hope. 5510. G. feldfare. 5512. _I supply_ the.

5523, 42, 85, 86, 88. _Supply_ the, his, but, more, so. 5544. _Both_
fablyng; F. _cheans_. 5546. _Both_ caste. 5555. _Both_ in; _read_ is. 5556.
_Both_ depe (_for_ doþ). 5569. Th. haue you to haue; G. ha yow to ha. 5577.
_Both_ perceyueth.

5590. G. mavis; Th. mauys. 5597. G. aument. 5598. it] _Both_ that. 5611,
38. G. not; Th. nat. 5612. G. hastly. 5617. _Both_ berne. 5627, 43.
_Supply_ it, the. 5633. Th. wyght; G. witte. G. honerous. 5640. Th. laste;
G. last. 5641. _Both_ take. 5649. G. Pictigoras; Th. Pythagoras.

5661. G. Boice. 5668. _Both_ rent; yeue. 5675. G. wynkith (!). 5683. G.
fardeles. 5685. G. feyntith. 5686. G. disdeyntith. 5699. _Both_ where; F.
_guerre_. 5700. _I supply_ more; F. _plus_. 5701. _Both_ shal thogh he hath
geten (!). 5713. _Both_ Thus is thurst.

5727. G. ther; Th. her (=hir). 5734. G. Yhe. 5740. G. phicicien; _read_
fysycien. 5741. G. fy; Th. fye (_for_ sy); _see_ note. 5742. G. _om._ it.
5749, 51. _Supply_ ne, for. 5755. _Both_ shewing. 5761. _Supply_ it, _wh.
follows_ Himself _in_ 5762. 5763. _Both_ ofte. 5771. G. fast. 5781. _Both_
The; F. _Trois_.

5783. G. mych. 5788. _Both_ vnto. 5791. Th. these; G. this. 5793. G. goode.

          FRAGMENT C.

  Whan Love had told hem his entente,
  The baronage to councel wente;
  In many sentences they fille,
  And dyversly they seide hir wille:
  But aftir discord they accorded,                  5815
  And hir accord to Love recorded.
  Sir,' seiden they, 'we been at oon,
  By even accord of everichoon,
  Out-take Richesse al-only,
  That sworen hath ful hauteynly,                   5820
  That she the castel nil assaile,
  Ne smyte a stroke in this bataile,
  With dart, ne mace, spere, ne knyf,
  For man that speketh or bereth the lyf,
  And blameth your empryse, y-wis,                  5825
  And from our hoost departed is,
  (At leeste wey, as in this plyte,)
  So hath she this man in dispyte;
  For she seith he ne loved hir never,
  And therfor she wol hate him ever.                5830
  For he wol gadre no tresore,
  He hath hir wrath for evermore.
  He agilte hir never in other caas,
  Lo, here al hoolly his trespas!
  She seith wel, that this other day                5835
  He asked hir leve to goon the way
  That is clepid To-moche-Yeving,
  And spak ful faire in his praying;
  But whan he prayde hir, pore was he,
  Therfore she warned him the entree.               5840
  Ne yit is he not thriven so
  That he hath geten a peny or two,
  That quitly is his owne in hold.
  Thus hath Richesse us alle told;
  And whan Richesse us this recorded,               5845
  Withouten hir we been accorded.
   'And we finde in our accordaunce,
  That False-Semblant and Abstinaunce,
  With alle the folk of hir bataile,
  Shulle at the hinder gate assayle,                5850
  That Wikkid-Tunge hath in keping,
  With his Normans, fulle of langling.
  And with hem Curtesie and Largesse,
  That shulle shewe hir hardinesse
  To the olde wyf that [kepeth] so harde            5855
  Fair-Welcoming within her warde.
  Than shal Delyte and Wel-Helinge
  Fonde Shame adoun to bringe;
  With al hir hoost, erly and late,
  They shulle assailen [thilke] gate.               5860
  Agaynes Drede shal Hardinesse
  Assayle, and also Sikernesse,
  With al the folk of hir leding,
  That never wist what was fleing.
   'Fraunchyse shal fighte, and eek Pitee,          5865
  With Daunger ful of crueltee.
  Thus is your hoost ordeyned wel;
  Doun shal the castel every del,
  If everiche do his entente,
  So that Venus be presente,                        5870
  Your modir, ful of vassalage,
  That can y-nough of such usage;
  Withouten hir may no wight spede
  This werk, neither for word ne dede.
  Therfore is good ye for hir sende,                5875
  For thurgh hir may this werk amende.'
    _Amour._ 'Lordinges, my modir, the goddesse,
  That is my lady, and my maistresse,
  Nis not [at] al at my willing,
  Ne doth not al my desyring.                       5880
  Yit can she som-tyme doon labour,
  Whan that hir lust, in my socour,
  [Al my nedis] for to acheve,
  But now I thenke hir not to greve.
  My modir is she, and of childhede                 5885
  I bothe worshipe hir, and eek drede;
  For who that dredith sire ne dame
  Shal it abye in body or name.
  And, natheles, yit cunne we
  Sende aftir hir, if nede be;                      5890
  And were she nigh, she comen wolde,
  I trowe that no-thing might hir holde.
   'My modir is of greet prowesse;
  She hath tan many a forteresse,
  That cost hath many a pound er this,              5895
  Ther I nas not present, y-wis;
  And yit men seide it was my dede;
  But I come never in that stede;
  Ne me ne lykith, so mote I thee,
  Such toures take withoute me.                     5900
  For-why me thenketh that, in no wyse,
  It may ben cleped but marchandise.
   'Go bye a courser, blak or whyte,
  And pay therfor; than art thou quyte.
  The marchaunt oweth thee right nought,            5905
  Ne thou him, whan thou [hast] it bought.
  I wol not selling clepe yeving,
  For selling axeth no guerdoning;
  Here lyth no thank, ne no meryte,
  That oon goth from that other al quyte.           5910
  But this selling is not semblable;
  For, whan his hors is in the stable,
  He may it selle ageyn, pardee,
  And winne on it, such hap may be;
  Al may the man not lese, y-wis,                   5915
  For at the leest the skin is his.
  Or elles, if it so bityde
  That he wol kepe his hors to ryde,
  Yit is he lord ay of his hors.
  But thilke chaffare is wel wors,                  5920
  There Venus entremeteth nought;
  For who-so such chaffare hath bought,
  He shal not worchen so wysly,
  That he ne shal lese al outerly
  Bothe his money and his chaffare;                 5925
  But the seller of the ware
  The prys and profit have shal.
  Certeyn, the byer shal lese al;
  For he ne can so dere it bye
  To have lordship and ful maistrye,                5930
  Ne have power to make letting
  Neither for yift ne for preching,
  That of his chaffare, maugre his,
  Another shal have as moche, y-wis,
  If he wol yeve as moche as he,                    5935
  Of what contrey so that he be;
  Or for right nought, so happe may,
  If he can flater hir to hir pay.
  Ben than suche marchaunts wyse?
  No, but fooles in every wyse,                     5940
  Whan they bye such thing wilfully,
  Ther-as they lese her good [fully].
  But natheles, this dar I saye,
  My modir is not wont to paye,
  For she is neither so fool ne nyce,               5945
  To entremete hir of sich vyce.
  But truste wel, he shal paye al,
  That repente of his bargeyn shal,
  Whan Poverte put him in distresse,
  Al were he scoler to Richesse,                    5950
  That is for me in gret yerning,
  Whan she assenteth to my willing.
   'But, [by] my modir seint Venus,
  And by hir fader Saturnus,
  That hir engendrid by his lyf,                    5955
  But not upon his weddid wyf!
  Yit wol I more unto you swere,
  To make this thing the seurere;
  Now by that feith, and that leautee
  I owe to alle my brethren free,                   5960
  Of which ther nis wight under heven
  That can her fadris names neven,
  So dyvers and so many ther be
  That with my modir have be privee!
  Yit wolde I swere, for sikirnesse,                5965
  The pole of helle to my witnesse,
  Now drinke I not this yeer clarree,
  If that I lye, or forsworn be!
  (For of the goddes the usage is,
  That who-so  him forswereth amis,                 5970
  Shal that yeer drinke no clarree).
  Now have I sworn y-nough, pardee;
  If I forswere me, than am I lorn,
  But I wol never be forsworn.
  Sith Richesse hath me failed here,                5975
  She shal abye that trespas dere,
  At leeste wey, but [she] hir arme
  With swerd, or sparth, or gisarme.
  For certes, sith she loveth not me,
  Fro thilke tyme that she may see                  5980
  The castel and the tour to-shake,
  In sory tyme she shal awake.
  If I may grype a riche man,
  I shal so pulle him, if I can,
  That he shal, in a fewe stoundes,                 5985
  Lese alle his markes and his poundes.
  I shal him make his pens outslinge,
  But-[if] they in his gerner springe;
  Our maydens shal eek plukke him so,
  That him shal neden fetheres mo,                  5990
  And make him selle his lond to spende,
  But he the bet cunne him defende.
   'Pore men han maad hir lord of me;
  Although they not so mighty be,
  That they may fede me in delyt,                   5995
  I wol not have hem in despyt.
  No good man hateth hem, as I gesse,
  For chinche and feloun is Richesse,
  That so can chase hem and dispyse,
  And hem defoule in sondry wyse.                   6000
  They loven ful bet, so god me spede,
  Than doth the riche, chinchy grede,
  And been, in good feith, more stable
  And trewer, and more serviable;
  And therfore it suffysith me                      6005
  Hir goode herte, and hir leautee.
  They han on me set al hir thought,
  And therfore I forgete hem nought.
  I wolde hem bringe in greet noblesse,
  If that I were god of Richesse,                   6010
  As I am god of Love, sothly,
  Such routhe upon hir pleynt have I.
  Therfore I must his socour be,
  That peyneth him to serven me;
  For if he deyde for love of this,                 6015
  Than semeth in me no love ther is.'
   'Sir,' seide they, 'sooth is, every del,
  That ye reherce, and we wot wel
  Thilk oth to holde is resonable;
  For it is good and covenable,                     6020
  That ye on riche men han sworn.
  For, sir, this wot we wel biforn;
  If riche men doon you homage,
  That is as fooles doon outrage;
  But ye shul not forsworen be,                     6025
  Ne let therfore to drinke clarree,
  Or piment maked fresh and newe.
  Ladyes shulle hem such pepir brewe,
  If that they falle into hir laas,
  That they for we mowe seyn "Allas!"               6030
  Ladyes shuln ever so curteis be,
  That they shal quyte your oth al free.
  Ne seketh never other vicaire,
  For they shal speke with hem so faire
  That ye shal holde you payed ful wel,             6035
  Though ye you medle never a del.
  Lat ladies worche with hir thinges,
  They shal hem telle so fele tydinges,
  And moeve hem eke so many requestis
  By flatery, that not honest is,                   6040
  And therto yeve hem such thankinges,
  What with kissing, and with talkinges,
  That certes, if they trowed be,
  Shal never leve hem loud ne fee
  That it nil as the moeble fare,                   6045
  Of which they first delivered are.
  Now may ye telle us al your wille,
  And we your hestes shal fulfille.
   'But Fals-Semblant dar not, for drede
  Of you, sir, medle him of this dede,              6050
  For he seith that ye been his fo;
  He not, if ye wol worche him wo.
  Wherfore we pray you alle, beausire,
  That ye forgive him now your ire,
  And that he may dwelle, as your man,              6055
  With Abstinence, his dere lemman;
  This our accord and our wil now.'
   'Parfay,' seide Love, 'I graunte it yow;
  I wol wel holde him for my man;
  Now lat him come:' and he forth ran.              6060
  Fals-Semblant,' quod Love, 'in this wyse
  I take thee here to my servyse,
  That thou our freendis helpe alway,
  And hindre hem neithir night ne day,
  But do thy might hem to releve,                   6065
  And eek our enemies that thou greve.
  Thyn be this might, I graunt it thee,
  My king of harlotes shalt thou be;
  We wol that thou have such honour.
  Certeyn, thou art a fals traitour,                6070
  And eek a theef; sith thou were born,
  A thousand tyme thou art forsworn.
  But, natheles, in our hering,
  To putte our folk out of douting,
  I bid thee teche hem, wostow how?                 6075
  By somme general signe now,
  In what place thou shalt founden be,
  If that men had mister of thee;
  And how men shal thee best espye,
  For thee to knowe is greet maistrye;              6080
  Tel in what place is thyn haunting.'
    _F. Sem._ 'Sir, I have fele dyvers woning,
  That I kepe not rehersed be,
  So that ye wolde respyten me.
  For if that I telle you the sothe,                6085
  I may have harm and shame bothe.
  If that my felowes wisten it,
  My tales shulden me be quit;
  For certeyn, they wolde hate me,
  If ever I knewe hir cruelte;                      6090
  For they wolde over-al holde hem stille
  Of trouthe that is ageyn hir wille;
  Suche tales kepen they not here.
  I might eftsone bye it ful dere,
  If I seide of hem any thing,                      6095
  That ought displeseth to hir hering.
  For what word that hem prikke or byteth,
  In that word noon of hem delyteth,
  Al were it gospel, the evangyle,
  That wolde reprove hem of hir gyle,               6100
  For they are cruel and hauteyn.
  And this thing wot I wel, certeyn,
  If I speke ought to peire hir loos,
  Your court shal not so wel be cloos,
  That they ne shal wite it atte last.              6105
  Of good men am I nought agast,
  For they wol taken on hem nothing,
  Whan that they knowe al my mening;
  But he that wol it on him take,
  He wol himself suspecious make,                   6110
  That he his lyf let covertly,
  In Gyle and in Ipocrisy,
  That me engendred and yaf fostring.'
   'They made a ful good engendring,'
  Quod Love, 'for who-so soothly telle,             6115
  They engendred the devel of helle!
   'But nedely, how-so-ever it be,'
  Quod Love, 'I wol and charge thee,
  To telle anoon thy woning-places,
  Hering ech wight that in this place is:           6120
  And what lyf that thou livest also,
  Hyde it no lenger now; wherto?
  Thou most discover al thy wurching,
  How thou servest, and of what thing,
  Though that thou shuldest for thy soth-sawe       6125
  Ben al to-beten and to-drawe;
  And yit art thou not wont, pardee.
  But natheles, though thou beten be,
  Thou shalt not be the first, that so
  Hath for soth-sawe suffred wo.'                   6130
    _F. Sem._ 'Sir, sith that it may lyken you,
  Though that I shulde be slayn right now,
  I shal don your comaundement,
  For therto have I gret talent.'
    Withouten wordes mo, right than,                6135
  Fals-Semblant his sermon bigan,
  And seide hem thus in audience:--
  Barouns, tak hede of my sentence!
  That wight that list to have knowing
  Of Fals-Semblant, ful of flatering,               6140
  He must in worldly folk him seke,
  And, certes, in the cloistres eke;
  I wone no-where but in hem tweye;
  But not lyk even, sooth to seye;
  Shortly, I wol herberwe me                        6145
  There I hope best to hulstred be;
  And certeynly, sikerest hyding
  Is undirneth humblest clothing.
   'Religious folk ben ful covert;
  Seculer folk ben more appert.                     6150
  But natheles, I wol not blame
  Religious folk, ne hem diffame,
  In what habit that ever they go:
  Religioun humble, and trewe also,
  Wol I not blame, ne dispyse,                      6155
  But I nil love it, in no wyse.
  I mene of fals religious,
  That stoute ben, and malicious;
  That wolen in an abit go,
  And setten not hir herte therto.                  6160
   'Religious folk ben al pitous;
  Thou shalt not seen oon dispitous.
  They loven no pryde, ne no stryf,
  But humbly they wol lede hir lyf;
  With swich folk wol I never be.                   6165
  And if I dwelle, I feyne me
  I may wel in her abit go;
  But me were lever my nekke atwo,
  Than lete a purpose that I take,
  What covenaunt that ever I make.                  6170
  I dwelle with hem that proude be,
  And fulle of wyles and subtelte;
  That worship of this world coveyten,
  And grete nedes cunne espleyten;
  And goon and gadren greet pitaunces,              6175
  And purchace hem the acqueyntaunces
  Of men that mighty lyf may leden;
  And feyne hem pore, and hem-self feden
  With gode morcels delicious,
  And drinken good wyn precious,                    6180
  And preche us povert and distresse,
  And fisshen hem-self greet richesse
  With wyly nettis that they caste:
  It wol come foul out at the laste.
  They ben fro clene religioun went;                6185
  They make the world an argument
  That hath a foul conclusioun.
 "I have a robe of religioun,
  Than am I al religious:"
  This argument is al roignous;                     6190
  It is not worth a croked brere;
  Habit ne maketh monk ne frere,
  But clene lyf and devocioun
  Maketh gode men of religioun.
  Nathelesse, ther can noon answere,                6195
  How high that ever his heed he shere
  With rasour whetted never so kene,
  That Gyle in braunches cut thrittene;
  Ther can no wight distincte it so,
  That he dar sey a word therto.                    6200
   'But what herberwe that ever I take,
  Or what semblant that ever I make,
  I mene but gyle, and folowe that;
  For right no mo than Gibbe our cat
  [Fro myce and rattes went his wyle],              6205
  Ne entende I [not] but to begyle;
  Ne no wight may, by my clothing,
  Wite with what folk is my dwelling;
  Ne by my wordis yet, pardee,
  So softe and so plesaunt they be.                 6210
  Bihold the dedis that I do;
  But thou be blind, thou oughtest so;
  For, varie hir wordis fro hir dede,
  They thenke on gyle, withouten drede,
  What maner clothing that they were,               6215
  Or what estat that ever they bere,
  Lered or lewd, lord or lady,
  Knight, squier, burgeis, or bayly.'
    Right thus whyl Fals-Semblant sermoneth,
  Eftsones Love him aresoneth,                      6220
  And brak his tale in the speking
  As though he had him told lesing;
  And seide: 'What, devel, is that I here?
  What folk hast thou us nempned here?
  May men finde religioun                           6225
  In worldly habitacioun?'
    _F. Sem._ 'Ye, sir; it foloweth not that they
  Shulde lede a wikked lyf, parfey,
  Ne not therfore her soules lese,
  That hem to worldly clothes chese;                6230
  For, certis, it were gret pitee.
  Men may in seculer clothes see
  Florisshen holy religioun.
  Ful many a seynt in feeld and toun,
  With many a virgin glorious,                      6235
  Devout, and ful religious,
  Had deyed, that comun clothe ay beren,
  Yit seyntes never-the-les they weren.
  I coude reken you many a ten;
  Ye, wel nigh alle these holy wimmen,              6240
  That men in chirchis herie and seke,
  Bothe maydens, and these wyves eke,
  That baren many a fair child here,
  Wered alwey clothis seculere,
  And in the same dyden they,                       6245
  That seyntes weren, and been alwey.
  The eleven thousand maydens dere,
  That beren in heven hir ciergis clere,
  Of which men rede in chirche, and singe,
  Were take in seculer clothing,                    6250
  Whan they resseyved martirdom,
  And wonnen heven unto her hoom.
  Good herte makith the gode thought;
  The clothing yeveth ne reveth nought.
  The gode thought and the worching,                6255
  That maketh religioun flowring,
  Ther lyth the good religioun
  Aftir the right entencioun.
   'Who-so toke a wethers skin,
  And wrapped a gredy wolf therin,                  6260
  For he shulde go with lambis whyte,
  Wenest thou not he wolde hem byte?
  Yis! never-the-las, as he were wood,
  He wolde hem wery, and drinke the blood;
  And wel the rather hem disceyve,                  6265
  For, sith they coude not perceyve
  His treget and his crueltee,
  They wolde him folowe, al wolde he flee.
   'If ther be wolves of sich hewe
  Amonges these apostlis newe,                      6270
  Thou, holy chirche, thou mayst be wayled!
  Sith that thy citee is assayled
  Thourgh knightis of thyn owne table,
  God wot thy lordship is doutable!
  If they enforce [hem] it to winne,                6275
  That shulde defende it fro withinne,
  Who might defence ayens hem make?
  Withouten stroke it mot be take
  Of trepeget or mangonel;
  Without displaying of pensel.                     6280
  And if god nil don it socour,
  But lat [hem] renne in this colour,
  Thou moost thyn heestis laten be.
  Than is ther nought, but yelde thee,
  Or yeve hem tribute, doutelees,                   6285
  And holde it of hem to have pees:
  But gretter harm bityde thee,
  That they al maister of it be.
  Wel conne they scorne thee withal;
  By day stuffen they the wal,                      6290
  And al the night they mynen there.
  Nay, thou most planten elleswhere
  Thyn impes, if thou wolt fruyt have;
  Abyd not there thy-self to save.
   'But now pees! here I turne ageyn;               6295
  I wol no more of this thing seyn,
  If I may passen me herby;
  I mighte maken you wery.
  But I wol heten you alway
  To helpe your freendis what I may,                6300
  So they wollen my company;
  For they be shent al-outerly
  But-if so falle, that I be
  Oft with hem, and they with me.
  And eek my lemman mot they serve,                 6305
  Or they shul not my love deserve.
  Forsothe, I am a fals traitour;
  God iugged me for a theef trichour;
  Forsworn I am, but wel nygh non
  Wot of my gyle, til it be don.                    6310
   'Thourgh me hath many oon deth resseyved,
  That my treget never aperceyved;
  And yit resseyveth, and shal resseyve,
  That my falsnesse never aperceyve:
  But who-so doth, if he wys be,                    6315
  Him is right good be war of me.
  But so sligh is the [deceyving
  That to hard is the] aperceyving.
  For Protheus, that coude him chaunge
  In every shap, hoomly and straunge,               6320
  Coude never sich gyle ne tresoun
  As I; for I com never in toun
  Ther-as I mighte knowen be,
  Though men me bothe might here and see.
  Ful wel I can my clothis chaunge,                 6325
  Take oon, and make another straunge.
  Now am I knight, now chasteleyn;
  Now prelat, and now chapeleyn;
  Now prest, now clerk, and now forstere;
  Now am I maister, now scolere;                    6330
  Now monk, now chanoun, now baily;
  What-ever mister man am I.
  Now am I prince, now am I page,
  And can by herte every langage.
  Som-tyme am I hoor and old;                       6335
  Now am I yong, [and] stout, and bold;
  Now am I Robert, now Robyn;
  Now frere Menour, now Iacobyn;
  And with me folweth my loteby,
  To don me solas and company,                      6340
  That hight dame Abstinence-Streyned,
  In many a queynt array [y]-feyned.
  Right as it cometh to hir lyking,
  I fulfille al hir desiring.
  Somtyme a wommans cloth take I;                   6345
  Now am I mayde, now lady.
  Somtyme I am religious;
  Now lyk an anker in an hous.
  Somtyme am I prioresse,
  And now a nonne, and now abbesse;                 6350
  And go thurgh alle regiouns,
  Seking alle religiouns.
  But to what ordre that I am sworn,
  I take the strawe, and lete the corn;
  To [blynde] folk [ther] I enhabite,               6355
  I axe no-more but hir abite.
  What wol ye more? in every wyse,
  Right as me list, I me disgyse.
  Wel can I bere me under weed;
  Unlyk is my word to my deed.                      6360
  Thus make I in my trappis falle,
  Thurgh my pryvileges, alle
  That ben in Cristendom alyve.
  I may assoile, and I may shryve,
  That no prelat may lette me,                      6365
  Al folk, wher-ever they founde be:
  I noot no prelat may don so,
  But it the pope be, and no mo,
  That made thilk establisshing.
  Now is not this a propre thing?                   6370
  But, were my sleightis aperceyved,
  [Ne shulde I more been receyved]
  As I was wont; and wostow why?
  For I dide hem a tregetry;
  But therof yeve I litel tale,                     6375
  I have the silver and the male;
  So have I preched and eek shriven,
  So have I take, so have [me] yiven,
  Thurgh hir foly, husbond and wyf,
  That I lede right a Ioly lyf,                     6380
  Thurgh simplesse of the prelacye;
  They know not al my tregetrye.
   'But for as moche as man and wyf
  Shuld shewe hir paroche-prest hir lyf
  Ones a yeer, as seith the book,                   6385
  Er any wight his housel took,
  Than have I pryvilegis large,
  That may of moche thing discharge;
  For he may seye right thus, pardee:--
 "Sir Preest, in shrift I telle it thee,            6390
  That he, to whom that I am shriven,
  Hath me assoiled, and me yiven
  Penaunce soothly, for my sinne,
  Which that I fond me gilty inne;
  Ne I ne have never entencioun                     6395
  To make double confessioun,
  Ne reherce eft my shrift to thee;
  O shrift is right y-nough to me.
  This oughte thee suffyce wel,
  Ne be not rebel never-a-del;                      6400
  For certis, though thou haddest it sworn,
  I wot no prest ne prelat born
  That may to shrift eft me constreyne.
  And if they don, I wol me pleyne;
  For I wot where to pleyne wel.                    6405
  Thou shall not streyne me a del,
  Ne enforce me, ne [yit] me trouble,
  To make my confessioun double.
  Ne I have none affeccioun
  To have double absolucioun.                       6410
  The firste is right y-nough to me;
  This latter assoiling quyte I thee.
  I am unbounde; what mayst thou finde
  More of my sinnes me to unbinde?
  For he, that might hath in his hond,              6415
  Of alle my sinnes me unbond.
  And if thou wolt me thus constreyne,
  That me mot nedis on thee pleyne,
  There shal no Iugge imperial,
  Ne bisshop, ne official,                          6420
  Don Iugement on me; for I
  Shal gon and pleyne me openly
  Unto my shrift-fadir newe,
  (That hight not Frere Wolf untrewe!)
  And he shal chevise him for me,                   6425
  For I trowe he can hampre thee.
  But, lord! he wolde be wrooth withalle,
  If men him wolde Frere Wolf calle!
  For he wolde have no pacience,
  But don al cruel vengeaunce!                      6430
  He wolde his might don at the leest,
  [Ne] no-thing spare for goddis heest.
  And, god so wis be my socour,
  But thou yeve me my Saviour
  At Ester, whan it lyketh me,                      6435
  Withoute presing more on thee,
  I wol forth, and to him goon,
  And he shal housel me anoon,
  For I am out of thy grucching;
  I kepe not dele with thee nothing."               6440
  Thus may he shryve him, that forsaketh
  His paroche-prest, and to me taketh.
  And if the prest wol him refuse,
  I am ful redy him to accuse,
  And him punisshe and hampre so,                   6445
  That he his chirche shal forgo.
   'But who-so hath in his feling
  The consequence of such shryving,
  Shal seen that prest may never have might
  To knowe the conscience aright                    6450
  Of him that is under his cure.
  And this ageyns holy scripture,
  That biddeth every herde honeste
  Have verry knowing of his beste.
  But pore folk that goon by strete,                6455
  That have no gold, ne sommes grete,
  Hem wolde I lete to her prelates,
  Or lete hir prestis knowe hir states,
  For to me right nought yeve they.'
  _Amour._ 'And why is it?'
  _F. Sem._           'For they ne may.             6460
  They ben so bare, I take no keep;
  But I wol have the fatte sheep;--
  Lat parish prestis have the lene,
  I yeve not of hir harm a bene!
  And if that prelats grucchen it,                  6465
  That oughten wroth be in hir wit,
  To lese her fatte bestes so,
  I shal yeve hem a stroke or two,
  That they shal lesen with [the] force,
  Ye, bothe hir mytre and hir croce.                6470
  Thus Iape I hem, and have do longe,
  My priveleges been so stronge.'
    Fals-Semblant wolde have stinted here,
  But Love ne made him no such chere
  That he was wery of his sawe;                     6475
  But for to make him glad and fawe,
  He seide:--'Tel on more specialy,
  How that thou servest untrewly.
  Tel forth, and shame thee never a del;
  For as thyn abit shewith wel,                     6480
  Thou [semest] an holy heremyte.'
    _F. Sem._ 'Soth is, but I am an ypocryte.'
    _Amour._ 'Thou gost and prechest povertee?'
    _F. Sem._ 'Ye, sir; but richesse hath poustee.'
    _Amour._ 'Thou prechest abstinence also?'       6485
    _F. Sem._ 'Sir, I wol fillen, so mote I go,
  My paunche of gode mete and wyne,
  As shulde a maister of divyne;
  For how that I me pover feyne,
  Yit alle pore folk I disdeyne.                    6490
   'I love bet the acqueyntaunce
  Ten tymes, of the king of Fraunce,
  Than of pore man of mylde mode,
  Though that his soule be also gode.
  For whan I see beggers quaking,                   6495
  Naked on mixens al stinking,
  For hungre crye, and eek for care,
  I entremete not of hir fare.
  They been so pore, and ful of pyne,
  They might not ones yeve me dyne,                 6500
  For they have no-thing but hir lyf;
  What shulde he yeve that likketh his knyf?
  It is but foly to entremete,
  To seke in houndes nest fat mete.
  Let bere hem to the spitel anoon,                 6505
  But, for me, comfort gete they noon.
  But a riche sike usurere
  Wolde I visyte and drawe nere;
  Him wol I comforte and rehete,
  For I hope of his gold to gete.                   6510
  And if that wikked deth him have,
  I wol go with him to his grave.
  And if ther any reprove me,
  Why that I lete the pore be,
  Wostow how I [mot] ascape?                        6515
  I sey, and swerë him ful rape,
  That riche men han more tecches
  Of sinne, than han pore wrecches,
  And han of counseil more mister;
  And therfore I wol drawe hem ner.                 6520
  But as gret hurt, it may so be,
  Hath soule in right gret poverte,
  As soul in gret richesse, forsothe,
  Al-be-it that they hurten bothe.
  For richesse and mendicitees                      6525
  Ben cleped two extremitees;
  The mene is cleped suffisaunce,
  Ther lyth of vertu the aboundaunce.
  For Salamon, ful wel I woot,
  In his Parables us wroot,                         6530
  As it is knowe of many a wight,
  In his [thrittethe] chapitre right:
 "God, thou me kepe, for thy poustee,
  Fro richesse and mendicitee;
  For if a riche man him dresse                     6535
  To thenke to moche on [his] richesse,
  His herte on that so fer is set,
  That he his creatour foryet;
  And him, that [begging] wol ay greve,
  How shulde I by his word him leve?                6540
  Unnethe that he nis a micher,
  Forsworn, or elles [god is] lyer."
  Thus seith Salamones sawes;
  Ne we finde writen in no lawes,
  And namely in our Cristen lay--                   6545
  (Who seith "ye," I dar sey "nay")--
  That Crist, ne his apostlis dere,
  Whyl that they walkede in erthe here,
  Were never seen her bred begging,
  For they nolde beggen for nothing.                6550
  And right thus were men wont to teche;
  And in this wyse wolde it preche
  The maistres of divinitee
  Somtyme in Paris the citee.
   'And if men wolde ther-geyn appose               6555
  The naked text, and lete the glose,
  It mighte sone assoiled be;
  For men may wel the sothe see,
  That, parde, they mighte axe a thing
  Pleynly forth, without begging.                   6560
  For they weren goddis herdis dere,
  And cure of soules hadden here,
  They nolde no-thing begge hir fode;
  For aftir Crist was don on rode,
  With [hir] propre hondis they wrought,            6565
  And with travel, and elles nought,
  They wonnen al hir sustenaunce,
  And liveden forth in hir penaunce,
  And the remenaunt [yeve] awey
  To other pore folk alwey.                         6570
  They neither bilden tour ne halle,
  But [leye] in houses smale withalle.
  A mighty man, that can and may,
  Shulde with his honde and body alway
  Winne him his food in laboring,                   6575
  If he ne have rent or sich a thing,
  Although he be religious,
  And god to serven curious.
  Thus mote he don, or do trespas,
  But-if it be in certeyn cas,                      6580
  That I can reherce, if mister be,
  Right wel, whan the tyme I see.
   'Seke the book of Seynt Austin,
  Be it in paper or perchemin,
  There-as he writ of these worchinges,             6585
  Thou shalt seen that non excusinges
  A parfit man ne shulde seke
  By wordis, ne by dedis eke,
  Although he be religious,
  And god to serven curious,                        6590
  That he ne shal, so mote I go,
  With propre hondis and body also,
  Gete his food in laboring,
  If he ne have propretee of thing.
  Yit shulde he selle al his substaunce,            6595
  And with his swink have sustenaunce,
  If he be parfit in bountee.
  Thus han tho bookes tolde me:
  For he that wol gon ydilly,
  And useth it ay besily                            6600
  To haunten other mennes table,
  He is a trechour, ful of fable;
  Ne he ne may, by gode resoun,
  Excuse him by his orisoun.
  For men bihoveth, in som gyse,                    6605
  Som-tyme [leven] goddes servyse
  To gon and purchasen her nede.
  Men mote eten, that is no drede,
  And slepe, and eek do other thing;
  So longe may they leve praying.                   6610
  So may they eek hir prayer blinne,
  While that they werke, hir mete to winne.
  Seynt Austin wol therto accorde,
  In thilke book that I recorde.
  Justinian eek, that made lawes,                   6615
  Hath thus forboden, by olde dawes,
 "No man, up peyne to be deed,
  Mighty of body, to begge his breed,
  If he may swinke, it for to gete;
  Men shulde him rather mayme or bete,              6620
  Or doon of him apert Iustice,
  Than suffren him in such malice."
  They don not wel, so mote I go,
  That taken such almesse so,
  But if they have som privelege,                   6625
  That of the peyne hem wol allege.
  But how that is, can I not see,
  But-if the prince disseyved be;
  Ne I ne wene not, sikerly,
  That they may have it rightfully.                 6630
  But I wol not determyne
  Of princes power, ne defyne,
  Ne by my word comprende, y-wis,
  If it so fer may strecche in this.
  I wol not entremete a del;                        6635
  But I trowe that the book seith wel,
  Who that taketh almesses, that be
  Dewe to folk that men may see
  Lame, feble, wery, and bare,
  Pore, or in such maner care,                      6640
  (That conne winne hem nevermo,
  For they have no power therto),
  He eteth his owne dampning,
  But-if he lye, that made al thing.
  And if ye such a truaunt finde,                   6645
  Chastise him wel, if ye be kinde.
  But they wolde hate you, percas,
  And, if ye fillen in hir laas,
  They wolde eftsones do you scathe,
  If that they mighte, late or rathe;               6650
  For they be not ful pacient,
  That han the world thus foule blent.
  And witeth wel, [wher] that god bad
  The good man selle al that he had,
  And folowe him, and to pore it yive,              6655
  He wolde not therfore that he live
  To serven him in mendience,
  For it was never his sentence;
  But he bad wirken whan that nede is,
  And folwe him in goode dedis.                     6660
  Seynt Poule, that loved al holy chirche,
  He bade thapostles for to wirche,
  And winnen hir lyflode in that wyse,
  And hem defended truaundyse,
  And seide, "Wirketh with your honden;"            6665
  Thus shulde the thing be undirstonden.
  He nolde, y-wis, bidde hem begging,
  Ne sellen gospel, ne preching,
  Lest they berafte, with hir asking,
  Folk of hir catel or of hir thing.                6670
  For in this world is many a man
  That yeveth his good, for he ne can
  Werne it for shame, or elles he
  Wolde of the asker delivered be;
  And, for he him encombreth so,                    6675
  He yeveth him good to late him go:
  But it can him no-thing profyte,
  They lese the yift and the meryte.
  The goode folk, that Poule to preched,
  Profred him ofte, whan he hem teched,             6680
  Som of hir good in charite;
  But therof right no-thing took he;
  But of his hondwerk wolde he gete
  Clothes to wryen him, and his mete."
    _Amour._ 'Tel me than how a man may liven,      6685
  That al his good to pore hath yiven,
  And wol but only bidde his bedis,
  And never with honde laboure his nedis:
  May he do so?'
    _F. Sem._ 'Ye, sir.'
    _Amour._     'And how?'
    _F. Sem._ 'Sir, I wol gladly telle yow:--       6690
  Seynt Austin seith, a man may be
  In houses that han propretee,
  As templers and hospitelers,
  And as these chanouns regulers,
  Or whyte monkes, or these blake--                 6695
  (I wole no mo ensamplis make)--
  And take therof his sustening,
  For therinne lyth no begging;
  But other-weyes not, y-wis,
  [If] Austin gabbeth not of this.                  6700
  And yit ful many a monk laboureth,
  That god in holy chirche honoureth;
  For whan hir swinking is agoon,
  They rede and singe in chirche anoon.
   'And for ther hath ben greet discord,            6705
  As many a wight may bere record,
  Upon the estate of mendience,
  I wol shortly, in your presence,
  Telle how a man may begge at nede,
  That hath not wherwith him to fede,               6710
  Maugre his felones Iangelinges,
  For sothfastnesse wol non hidinges;
  And yit, percas, I may abey,
  That I to yow sothly thus sey.
   'Lo, here the caas especial:                     6715
  If a man be so bestial
  That he of no craft hath science,
  And nought desyreth ignorence,
  Than may he go a-begging yerne,
  Til he som maner craft can lerne,                 6720
  Thurgh which, withoute truaunding,
  He may in trouthe have his living.
  Or if he may don no labour,
  For elde, or syknesse, or langour,
  Or for his tendre age also,                       6725
  Than may he yit a-begging go.
   'Or if he have, peraventure,
  Thurgh usage of his noriture,
  Lived over deliciously,
  Than oughten good folk comunly                    6730
  Han of his mischeef som pitee,
  And suffren him also, that he
  May gon aboute and begge his breed,
  That he be not for hungur deed.
  Or if he have of craft cunning,                   6735
  And strengthe also, and desiring
  To wirken, as he hadde what,
  But he finde neither this ne that,
  Than may he begge, til that he
  Have geten his necessitee.                        6740
   'Or if his winning be so lyte,
  That his labour wol not acquyte
  Sufficiantly al his living,
  Yit may he go his breed begging;
  Fro dore to dore he may go trace,                 6745
  Til he the remenaunt may purchace.
  Or if a man wolde undirtake
  Any empryse for to make,
  In the rescous of our lay,
  And it defenden as he may,                        6750
  Be it with armes or lettrure,
  Or other covenable cure,
  If it be so he pore be,
  Than may he begge, til that he
  May finde in trouthe for to swinke,               6755
  And gete him clothes, mete, and drinke.
  Swinke he with hondis corporel,
  And not with hondis espirituel.
   'In al thise caas, and in semblables,
  If that ther ben mo resonables,                   6760
  He may begge, as I telle you here,
  And elles nought, in no manere;
  As William Seynt Amour wolde preche,
  And ofte wolde dispute and teche
  Of this matere alle openly                        6765
  At Paris ful solempnely.
  And al-so god my soule blesse,
  As he had, in this stedfastnesse,
  The accord of the universitee,
  And of the puple, as semeth me.                   6770
   'No good man oughte it to refuse,
  Ne oughte him therof to excuse,
  Be wrooth or blythe who-so be;
  For I wol speke, and telle it thee,
  Al shulde I dye, and be put doun,                 6775
  As was seynt Poul, in derk prisoun;
  Or be exiled in this caas
  With wrong, as maister William was,
  That my moder Ypocrisye
  Banisshed for hir greet envye.                    6780
   'My moder flemed him, Seynt Amour:
  This noble dide such labour
  To susteyne ever the loyaltee,
  That he to moche agilte me.
  He made a book, and leet it wryte,                6785
  Wherin his lyf he dide al wryte,
  And wolde ich reneyed begging,
  And lived by my traveyling,
  If I ne had rent ne other good.
  What? wened he that I were wood?                  6790
  For labour might me never plese,
  I have more wil to been at ese;
  And have wel lever, sooth to sey,
  Bifore the puple patre and prey,
  And wrye me in my foxerye                         6795
  Under a cope of papelardye.'
    Quod Love, 'What devel is this I here?
  What wordis tellest thou me here?'
    _F. Sem._ 'What, sir?'
    _Amour._             'Falsnesse, that apert is;
  Than dredist thou not god?'
    _F. Sem._             'No, certis:              6800
  For selde in greet thing shal he spede
  In this world, that god wol drede.
  For folk that hem to vertu yiven,
  And truly on her owne liven,
  And hem in goodnesse ay contene,                  6805
  On hem is litel thrift y-sene;
  Such folk drinken gret misese;
  That lyf [ne] may me never plese.
  But see what gold han usurers,
  And silver eek in [hir] garners,                  6810
  Taylagiers, and these monyours,
  Bailifs, bedels, provost, countours;
  These liven wel nygh by ravyne;
  The smale puple hem mote enclyne,
  And they as wolves wol hem eten.                  6815
  Upon the pore folk they geten
  Ful moche of that they spende or kepe;
  Nis none of hem that he nil strepe,
  And wryen him-self wel atte fulle;
  Withoute scalding they hem pulle.                 6820
  The stronge the feble overgoth;
  But I, that were my simple cloth,
  Robbe bothe robbed and robbours,
  And gyle gyled and gylours.
  By my treget, I gadre and threste                 6825
  The greet tresour into my cheste,
  That lyth with me so faste bounde.
  Myn highe paleys do I founde,
  And my delytes I fulfille
  With wyne at feestes at my wille,                 6830
  And tables fulle of entremees;
  I wol no lyf, but ese and pees,
  And winne gold to spende also.
  For whan the grete bagge is go,
  It cometh right with my Iapes.                    6835
  Make I not wel tumble myn apes?
  To winne is alwey myn entent;
  My purchas is better than my rent;
  For though I shulde beten be,
  Over-al I entremete me;                           6840
  Withoute me may no wight dure.
  I walke soules for to cure.
  Of al the worlde cure have I
  In brede and lengthe; boldely
  I wol bothe preche and eek counceilen;            6845
  With hondis wille I not traveilen,
  For of the pope I have the bulle;
  I ne holde not my wittes dulle.
  I wol not stinten, in my lyve,
  These emperouris for to shryve,                   6850
  Or kyngis, dukis, and lordis grete;
  But pore folk al quyte I lete.
  I love no such shryving, pardee,
  But it for other cause be.
  I rekke not of pore men,                          6855
  Hir astate is not worth an hen.
  Where fyndest thou a swinker of labour
  Have me unto his confessour?
  But emperesses, and duchesses,
  Thise quenes, and eek [thise] countesses,         6860
  Thise abbesses, and eek Bigyns,
  These grete ladyes palasyns,
  These Ioly knightes, and baillyves,
  Thise nonnes, and thise burgeis wyves,
  That riche been, and eek plesing,                 6865
  And thise maidens welfaring,
  Wher-so they clad or naked be,
  Uncounceiled goth ther noon fro me.
  And, for her soules savetee,
  At lord and lady, and hir meynee,                 6870
  I axe, whan they hem to me shryve,
  The propretee of al hir lyve,
  And make hem trowe, bothe meest and leest,
  Hir paroch-prest nis but a beest
  Ayens me and my company,                          6875
  That shrewis been as greet as I;
  For whiche I wol not hyde in hold
  No privetee that me is told,
  That I by word or signe, y-wis,
  [Nil] make hem knowe what it is,                  6880
  And they wolen also tellen me;
  They hele fro me no privitee.
  And for to make yow hem perceyven,
  That usen folk thus to disceyven,
  I wol you seyn, withouten drede,                  6885
  What men may in the gospel rede
  Of Seynt Mathew, the gospelere,
  That seith, as I shal you sey here.
   'Upon the chaire of Moyses--
  Thus is it glosed, douteles:                      6890
  That is the olde testament,
  For therby is the chaire ment--
  Sitte Scribes and Pharisen;--
  That is to seyn, the cursid men
  Whiche that we ypocritis calle--                  6895
  Doth that they preche, I rede you alle,
  But doth not as they don a del,
  That been not wery to seye wel,
  But to do wel, no wille have they;
  And they wolde binde on folk alwey,               6900
  That ben to [be] begyled able,
  Burdens that ben importable;
  On folkes shuldres thinges they couchen
  That they nil with her fingres touchen.'
    _Amour._ 'And why wol they not touche it?'
    _F. Sem._                         'Why?         6905
  For hem ne list not, sikirly;
  For sadde burdens that men taken
  Make folkes shuldres aken.
  And if they do ought that good be,
  That is for folk it shulde see:                   6910
  Her burdens larger maken they,
  And make hir hemmes wyde alwey,
  And loven setes at the table,
  The firste and most honourable;
  And for to han the first chaieris                 6915
  In synagoges, to hem ful dere is;
  And willen that folk hem loute and grete,
  Whan that they passen thurgh the strete,
  And wolen be cleped "Maister" also.
  But they ne shulde not willen so;                 6920
  The gospel is ther-ageyns, I gesse:
  That sheweth wel hir wikkidnesse.
   'Another custom use we:--
  Of hem that wol ayens us be,
  We hate hem deedly everichoon,                    6925
  And we wol werrey hem, as oon.
  Him that oon hatith, hate we alle,
  And coniecte how to doon him falle.
  And if we seen him winne honour,
  Richesse or preys, thurgh his valour,             6930
  Provende, rent, or dignitee,
  Ful fast, y-wis, compassen we
  By what ladder he is clomben so;
  And for to maken him doun to go,
  With traisoun we wole him defame,                 6935
  And doon him lese his gode name.
  Thus from his ladder we him take,
  And thus his freendis foes we make;
  But word ne wite shal he noon,
  Til alle his freendis been his foon.              6940
  For if we dide it openly,
  We might have blame redily;
  For hadde he wist of our malyce,
  He hadde him kept, but he were nyce.
   'Another is this, that, if so falle              6945
  That ther be oon among us alle
  That doth a good turn, out of drede,
  We seyn it is our alder dede.
  Ye, sikerly, though he it feyned,
  Or that him list, or that him deyned              6950
  A man thurgh him avaunced be;
  Therof alle parceners be we,
  And tellen folk, wher-so we go,
  That man thurgh us is sprongen so.
  And for to have of men preysing,                  6955
  We purchace, thurgh our flatering,
  Of riche men, of gret poustee,
  Lettres, to witnesse our bountee;
  So that man weneth, that may us see,
  That alle vertu in us be.                         6960
  And alwey pore we us feyne;
  But how so that we begge or pleyne,
  We ben the folk, without lesing,
  That al thing have without having.
  Thus be we dred of the puple, y-wis.              6965
  And gladly my purpos is this:--
  I dele with no wight, but he
  Have gold and tresour gret plentee;
  Hir acqueyntaunce wel love I;
  This is moche my desyr, shortly.                  6970
  I entremete me of brocages,
  I make pees and mariages,
  I am gladly executour,
  And many tymes procuratour;
  I am somtyme messager;                            6975
  That falleth not to my mister.
  And many tymes I make enquestes;
  For me that office not honest is;
  To dele with other mennes thing,
  That is to me a gret lyking.                      6980
  And if that ye have ought to do
  In place that I repeire to,
  I shal it speden thurgh my wit,
  As sone as ye have told me it.
  So that ye serve me to pay,                       6985
  My servyse shal be your alway.
  But who-so wol chastyse me,
  Anoon my love lost hath he;
  For I love no man in no gyse,
  That wol me repreve or chastyse;                  6990
  But I wolde al folk undirtake,
  And of no wight no teching take;
  For I, that other folk chastye,
  Wol not be taught fro my folye.
   'I love noon hermitage more;                     6995
  Alle desertes, and holtes hore,
  And grete wodes everichoon,
  I lete hem to the Baptist Iohan.
  I quethe him quyte, and him relesse
  Of Egipt al the wildirnesse;                      7000
  To fer were alle my mansiouns
  Fro alle citees and goode tounes.
  My paleis and myn hous make I
  There men may renne in openly,
  And sey that I the world forsake.                 7005
  But al amidde I bilde and make
  My hous, and swimme and pley therinne
  Bet than a fish doth with his finne.
   'Of Antecristes men am I,
  Of whiche that Crist seith openly,                7010
  They have abit of holinesse,
  And liven in such wikkednesse.
  Outward, lambren semen we,
  Fulle of goodnesse and of pitee,
  And inward we, withouten fable,                   7015
  Ben gredy wolves ravisable.
  We enviroune bothe londe and see;
  With al the world werreyen we;
  We wol ordeyne of alle thing,
  Of folkes good, and her living.                   7020
   'If ther be castel or citee
  Wherin that any bougerons be,
  Although that they of Milayne were,
  For ther-of ben they blamed there:
  Or if a wight, out of mesure,                     7025
  Wolde lene his gold, and take usure,
  For that he is so coveitous:
  Or if he be to leccherous,
  Or [thefe, or] haunte simonye;
  Or provost, ful of trecherye,                     7030
  Or prelat, living Iolily,
  Or prest that halt his quene him by;
  Or olde hores hostilers,
  Or other bawdes or bordillers,
  Or elles blamed of any vyce,                      7035
  Of whiche men shulden doon Iustyce:
  By alle the seyntes that we pray,
  But they defende hem with lamprey,
  With luce, with elis, with samons,
  With tendre gees, and with capons,                7040
  With tartes, or with cheses fat,
  With deynte flawnes, brode and flat,
  With caleweys, or with pullaille,
  With coninges, or with fyn vitaille,
  That we, undir our clothes wyde,                  7045
  Maken thurgh our golet glyde:
  Or but he wol do come in haste
  Roo-venisoun, [y]-bake in paste:
  Whether so that he loure or groine,
  He shal have of a corde a loigne,                 7050
  With whiche men shal him binde and lede,
  To brenne him for his sinful dede,
  That men shulle here him crye and rore
  A myle-wey aboute, and more.
  Or elles he shal in prisoun dye,                  7055
  But-if he wol [our] frendship bye,
  Or smerten that that he hath do,
  More than his gilt amounteth to.
  But, and he couthe thurgh his sleight
  Do maken up a tour of height,                     7060
  Nought roughte I whether of stone or tree,
  Or erthe, or turves though it be,
  Though it were of no vounde stone,
  Wrought with squyre and scantilone,
  So that the tour were stuffed wel                 7065
  With alle richesse temporel;
  And thanne, that he wolde updresse
  Engyns, bothe more and lesse,
  To caste at us, by every syde--
  To bere his goode name wyde--                     7070
  Such sleightes [as] I shal yow nevene,
  Barelles of wyne, by sixe or sevene,
  Or gold in sakkes gret plente,
  He shulde sone delivered be.
  And if he have noon sich pitaunces,               7075
  Late him study in equipolences,
  And lete lyes and fallaces,
  If that he wolde deserve our graces;
  Or we shal bere him such witnesse
  Of sinne, and of his wrecchidnesse,               7080
  And doon his loos so wyde renne,
  That al quik we shulde him brenne,
  Or elles yeve him suche penaunce,
  That is wel wors than the pitaunce.
   'For thou shalt never, for nothing,              7085
  Con knowen aright by her clothing
  The traitours fulle of trecherye,
  But thou her werkis can aspye.
  And ne hadde the good keping be
  Whylom of the universitee,                        7090
  That kepeth the key of Cristendome,
  [They] had been turmented, alle and some.
  Suche been the stinking [fals] prophetis;
  Nis non of hem, that good prophete is;
  For they, thurgh wikked entencioun,               7095
  The yeer of the incarnacioun
  A thousand and two hundred yeer,
  Fyve and fifty, ferther ne ner,
  Broughten a book, with sory grace,
  To yeven ensample in comune place,                7100
  That seide thus, though it were fable:--
 "This is the Gospel Perdurable,
  That fro the Holy Goost is sent."
  Wel were it worth to ben [y]-brent.
  Entitled was in such manere                       7105
  This book, of which I telle here.
  Ther nas no wight in al Parys,
  Biforn Our Lady, at parvys,
  That [he] ne mighte bye the book,
  To copy, if him talent took.                      7110
  Ther might he see, by greet tresoun,
  Ful many fais comparisoun:--
 "As moche as, thurgh his grete might,
  Be it of hete, or of light,
  The sunne sourmounteth the mone,                  7115
  That troubler is, and chaungeth sone,
  And the note-kernel the shelle--
  (I scorne nat that I yow telle)--
  Right so, withouten any gyle,
  Sourmounteth this noble Evangyle                  7120
  The word of any evangelist."
  And to her title they token Christ;
  And many such comparisoun,
  Of which I make no mencioun,
  Might men in that boke finde,                     7125
  Who-so coude of hem have minde.
   'The universitee, that tho was aslepe,
  Gan for to braide, and taken kepe;
  And at the noys the heed up-caste,
  Ne never sithen slepte it faste,                  7130
  But up it sterte, and armes took
  Ayens this fals horrible book,
  Al redy bateil for to make,
  And to the Iuge the book to take.
  But they that broughten the book there            7135
  Hente it anoon awey, for fere;
  They nolde shewe it more a del,
  But thenne it kepte, and kepen wil,
  Til such a tyme that they may see
  That they so stronge woxen be,                    7140
  That no wight may hem wel withstonde;
  For by that book they durst not stonde.
  Away they gonne it for to bere,
  For they ne durste not answere
  By exposicioun ne glose                           7145
  To that that clerkis wole appose
  Ayens the cursednesse, y-wis,
  That in that boke writen is.
  Now wot I not, ne I can not see
  What maner ende that there shal be                7150
  Of al this [boke] that they hyde;
  But yit algate they shal abyde
  Til that they may it bet defende;
  This trowe I best, wol be hir ende.
   'Thus Antecrist abyden we,                       7155
  For we ben alle of his meynee;
  And what man that wol not be so,
  Right sone he shal his lyf forgo.
  We wol a puple on him areyse,
  And thurgh our gyle doon him seise,               7160
  And him on sharpe speris ryve,
  Or other-weyes bringe him fro lyve,
  But-if that he wol folowe, y-wis,
  That in our boke writen is.
  Thus moche wol our book signifye,                 7165
  That whyl [that] Peter hath maistrye,
  May never lohan shewe wel his might.
   'Now have I you declared right
  The mening of the bark and rinde
  That makith the entenciouns blinde.               7170
  But now at erst I wol biginne
  To expowne you the pith withinne:--
  [And first, by Peter, as I wene,
  The Pope himself we wolden mene]
  And [eek] the seculers comprehende,               7175
  That Cristes lawe wol defende,
  And shulde it kepen and mayntenen
  Ayeines hem that al sustenen,
  And falsly to the puple techen.
  [And] Iohan bitokeneth hem [that] prechen,        7180
  That ther nis lawe covenable
  But thilke Gospel Perdurable,
  That fro the Holy Gost was sent
  To turne folk that been miswent.
  The strengthe of Iohan they undirstonde           7185
  The grace in which, they seye, they stonde,
  That doth the sinful folk converte,
  And hem to Iesus Crist reverte.
   'Ful many another horriblete
  May men in that boke see,                         7190
  That ben comaunded, douteles,
  Ayens the lawe of Rome expres;
  And alle with Antecrist they holden,
  As men may in the book biholden.
  And than comaunden they to sleen                  7195
  Alle tho that with Peter been;
  But they shal nevere have that might,
  And, god toforn, for stryf to fight,
  That they ne shal y-nough [men] finde
  That Peters lawe shal have in minde,              7200
  And ever holde, and so mayntene,
  That at the last it shal be sene
  That they shal alle come therto,
  For ought that they can speke or do.
  And  thilke  lawe  shal  not stonde,              7205
  That they by Iohan have undirstonde;
  But, maugre hem, it shal adoun,
  And been brought to confusioun.
  But I wol stinte of this matere,
  For it is wonder long to here;                    7210
  But hadde that ilke book endured,
  Of better estate I were ensured;
  And freendis have I yit, pardee,
  That han me set in greet degree.
   'Of all this world is emperour                   7215
  Gyle my fader, the trechour,
  And emperesse my moder is,
  Maugre the Holy Gost, y-wis.
  Our mighty linage and our route
  Regneth in every regne aboute;                    7220
  And wel is worth we [maistres] be,
  For al this world governe we,
  And can the folk so wel disceyve,
  That noon our gyle can perceyve;
  And though they doon, they dar not saye;          7225
  The sothe dar no wight biwreye.
  But he in Cristis wrath him ledeth,
  That more than Crist my bretheren dredeth.
  He nis no ful good champioun,
  That dredith such similacioun;                    7230
  Nor that for peyne wole refusen
  Us to correcten and accusen.
  He wol not entremete by right,
  Ne have god in his eye-sight,
  And therfore god shal him punyce;                 7235
  But me ne rekketh of no vyce,
  Sithen men us loven comunably,
  And holden us for so worthy,
  That we may folk repreve echoon,
  And we nil have repref of noon.                   7240
  Whom shulden folk worshipen so
  But us, that stinten never mo
  To patren whyl that folk us see,
  Though it not so bihinde hem be?
   'And where  is more wood folye,                  7245
  Than to enhaunce chivalrye,
  And love noble men and gay,
  That Ioly clothis weren alway?
  If they be sich folk as they semen,
  So clene, as men her clothis demen,               7250
  And that her wordis folowe her dede,
  It is gret pite, out of drede,
  For they wol be noon ypocritis!
  Of hem, me thinketh [it] gret spiteis;
  I can not love hem on no syde.                    7255
  But Beggers with these hodes wyde,
  With sleighe and pale faces lene,
  And greye clothis not ful clene,
  But fretted ful of tatarwagges,
  And highe shoes, knopped with dagges,             7260
  That frouncen lyke a quaile-pype,
  Or botes riveling as a gype;
  To such folk as I you devyse
  Shuld princes and these lordes wyse
  Take alle her londes and her thinges,             7265
  Bothe werre and pees, in governinges;
  To such folk shulde a prince him yive,
  That wolde his lyf in honour live.
  And if they be not as they seme,
  That serven thus the world to queme,              7270
  There wolde I dwelle, to disceyve
  The folk, for they shal not perceyve.
   'But I ne speke in no such wyse,
  That men shulde humble abit dispyse,
  So that no pryde ther-under be.                   7275
  No man shulde hate, as thinketh me,
  The pore man in sich clothing.
  But god ne preiseth him no-thing,
  That seith he hath the world forsake,
  And hath to worldly glorie him take,              7280
  And wol of siche delyces use;
  Who may that Begger wel excuse?
  That papelard, that him yeldeth so,
  And wol to worldly ese go,
  And seith that he the world hath left,            7285
  And gredily it grypeth eft,
  He is the hound, shame is to seyn,
  That to his casting goth ageyn.
   'But unto you dar I not lye:
  But mighte I felen or aspye,                      7290
  That ye perceyved it no-thing,
  Ye shulden have a stark lesing
  Right in your hond thus, to biginne,
  I nolde it lette for no sinne.'
    The god lough at the wonder tho,                7295
  And every wight gan laughe also,
  And seide:--'Lo here a man aright
  For to be trusty to every wight!'
   'Fals Semblant,' quod Love, 'sey to me,
  Sith  I  thus have avaunced thee,                 7300
  That in my court is thy dwelling,
  And of ribaudes shall be my king,
  Wolt thou wel holden my forwardis?'
    _F. Sem._ 'Ye, sir, from hennes forewardis;
  Hadde never your fader herebiforn                 7305
  Servaunt so trewe, sith he was born.'
    _Amour._ 'That is ayeines al nature.'
    _F. Sem._ 'Sir, put you in that aventure;
  For though ye borowes take of me,
  The sikerer shal ye never be                      7310
  For ostages, ne sikirnesse,
  Or chartres, for to bere witnesse.
  I take your-self to record here,
  That men ne may, in no manere,
  Teren the wolf out of his hyde,                   7315
  Til he be [flayn], bak and syde,
  Though men him bete and al defyle;
  What? wene ye that I wole bigyle?
  For I am clothed mekely,
  Ther-under is al my trechery;                     7320
  Myn herte chaungeth never the mo
  For noon abit, in which I go.
  Though I have chere of simplenesse,
  I am not weary of shrewednesse.
  My  lemman,  Streyned-Abstinence,                 7325
  Hath mister of my purveaunce;
  She hadde ful longe ago be deed,
  Nere my councel and my reed;
  Lete hir allone, and you and me.'
    And Love answerde, 'I truste thee               7330
  Withoute borowe, for I wol noon.'
  And Fals-Semblant, the theef, anoon,
  Right in that ilke same place,
  That hadde of tresoun al his face
  Right blak withinne, and whyt withoute,           7335
  Thanketh him, gan on his knees loute.
    Than was ther nought, but 'Every man
  Now to assaut, that sailen can,'
  Quod Love, 'and that ful hardily.'
  Than armed they hem communly                      7340
  Of sich armour as to hem fel.
  Whan they were armed, fers and fel,
  They wente hem forth, alle in a route,
  And set the castel al aboute;
  They wil nought away, for no drede,               7345
  Til it so be that they ben dede,
  Or til they have the castel take.
  And foure batels they gan make,
  And parted hem in foure anoon,
  And toke her way, and forth they goon,            7350
  The foure gates for to assaile,
  Of whiche the kepers wol not faile;
  For they ben neither syke ne dede,
  But hardy folk, and stronge in dede.
    Now wole I seyn the countenaunce                7355
  Of Fals-Semblant, and  Abstinaunce,
  That ben to Wikkid-Tonge went.
  But first they helde her parlement,
  Whether it to done were
  To maken hem  be  knowen there,                   7360
  Or elles walken forth disgysed.
  But at the laste they devysed,
  That they wold goon in tapinage,
  As it were in a pilgrimage,
  Lyk good and holy folk unfeyned.                  7365
  And Dame Abstinence-Streyned
  Took on a robe of camelyne,
  And gan hir graithe as a Begyne.
  A large coverchief of threde
  She  wrapped al aboute  hir hede,                 7370
  But she forgat not hir sautere;
  A peire of bedis eek she here
  Upon a lace, al of whyt threde,
  On which that she hir bedes bede;
  But she ne boughte hem never a del,               7375
  For they were geven her, I wot wel,
  God wot, of a ful holy frere,
  That seide he was hir fader dere,
  To whom she hadde ofter went
  Than any frere of his covent.                     7380
  And he visyted hir also,
  And many a sermoun seide hir to;
  He nolde lette, for man on lyve,
  That he ne wolde hir ofte shryve.
  And with so gret devocion                         7385
  They maden her confession,
  That they had ofte, for the nones,
  Two hedes in one hood at ones.
    Of fair shape I devyse her thee,
  But pale of face somtyme was she;                 7390
  That false traitouresse untrewe
  Was lyk that salowe hors of hewe,
  That in the Apocalips is shewed,
  That signifyeth tho folk beshrewed,
  That been al ful of trecherye,                    7395
  And pale, thurgh hypocrisye;
  For on that hors no colour is,
  But only deed and pale, y-wis.
  Of suche a colour enlangoured
  Was  Abstinence, y-wis, coloured;                 7400
  Of her estat she her repented,
  As her visage represented.
    She had a burdoun al of Thefte,
  That Gyle had yeve her of his yefte;
  And a scrippe of Fainte Distresse,                7405
  That ful was of elengenesse,
  And forth she walked sobrely:
  And False-Semblant saynt, _ie vous die_,
  [Had], as it were for such mistere,
  Don on the cope of a frere,                       7410
  With chere simple, and ful pitous;
  His looking was not disdeinous,
  Ne proud, but meke and ful pesible.
  About his nekke he bar a bible,
  And squierly forth gan he gon;                    7415
  And, for to reste his limmes upon,
  He had of Treson a potente;
  As he were feble, his way he wente.
  But in his sleve he gan to thringe
  A rasour sharp, and wel bytinge,                  7420
  That was forged in a forge,
  Which that men clepen Coupegorge.
    So longe forth hir way they nomen,
  Til they to Wicked-Tonge comen,
  That at his gate was sitting,                     7425
  And saw folk in the way passing.
  The pilgrimes saw he faste by,
  That beren hem ful mekely,
  And humblely they with him mette.
  Dame Abstinence first him grette,                 7430
  And sith him False-Semblant salued,
  And he hem; but he not remued,
  For he ne dredde hem not a-del.
  For when he saw hir faces wel,
  Alway in herte him thoughte so,                   7435
  He shulde knowe hem bothe two;
  For wel he knew Dame Abstinaunce
  But he ne knew not Constreynaunce.
  He knew nat that she was constrayned,
  Ne of her theves lyfe feyned,                     7440
  But wende she com of wil al free;
  But she com in another degree;
  And if of good wil she began,
  That wil was failed her [as] than.
    And Fals-Semblant had he seyn als,              7445
  But he knew nat that he was fals.
  Yet fals was he, but his falsnesse
  Ne coude he not espye, nor gesse;
  For semblant was so slye wrought,
  That falsnesse he ne espyed nought.               7450
  But haddest thou knowen him beforn,
  Thou woldest on a boke have sworn,
  Whan thou him saugh in thilke aray
  That he, that whylom was so gay,
  And of the daunce Ioly Robin,                     7455
  Was tho become a Iacobin.
  But sothely, what so men him calle,
  Freres Prechours been good men alle;
  Hir order wickedly they beren,
  Suche minstrelles if [that] they weren.           7460
  So been Augustins and Cordileres,
  And Carmes, and eek Sakked Freres,
  And alle freres, shodde and bare,
  (Though some of hem ben grete and square)
  Ful holy men, as I hem deme;                      7465
  Everich of hem wolde good man seme.
  But shalt thou never of apparence
  Seen conclude good consequence
  In none argument, y-wis,
  If existence al failed is.                        7470
  For men may finde alway sophyme
  The consequence to envenyme,
  Who-so that hath the subteltee
  The double sentence for to see.
    Whan the pilgrymes commen were                  7475
  To Wicked-Tonge, that dwelled there,
  Hir harneis nigh hem was algate;
  By Wicked-Tonge adoun they sate,
  That bad hem ner him for to come,
  And of tydinges telle him some,                   7480
  And sayde hem:--'What cas maketh yow
  To come into this place now?'
  Sir,' seyde Strained-Abstinaunce,
  We, for to drye our penaunce,
  With hertes pitous and devoute,                   7485
  Are commen, as pilgrimes gon aboute;
  Wel nigh on fote alway we go;
  Ful dusty been our heles two;
  And thus bothe we ben sent
  Thurghout this world that is miswent,             7490
  To yeve ensample, and preche also.
  To fisshen sinful men we go,
  For other fisshing ne fisshe we.
  And, sir, for that charitee,
  As we be wont, herberwe we crave,                 7495
  Your lyf to amende; Crist it save!
  And, so it shulde you nat displese,
  We wolden, if it were your ese,
  A short sermoun unto you seyn.'
  And Wikked-Tonge answerde ageyn,                  7500
  The hous,' quod he, 'such as ye see,
  Shal nat be warned you for me,
  Sey what you list, and I wol here.'
  Graunt mercy, swete sire dere!'
  Quod alderfirst Dame  Abstinence,                 7505
  And thus began she hir sentence:
    _Const. Abstinence._ 'Sir, the first vertue, certeyn,
  The gretest, and most sovereyn
  That may be founde in any man,
  For having, or for wit he can,                    7510
  That is, his tonge to refreyne;
  Therto ought every wight him peyne.
  For it is better stille be
  Than for to speken harm, pardee!
  And he that herkeneth it gladly,                  7515
  He is no good man, sikerly.
  And, sir, aboven al other sinne,
  In that art thou most gilty inne.
  Thou spake a Iape not long ago,
  (And, sir, that was right yvel do)                7520
  Of a yong man that here repaired,
  And never yet this place apaired.
  Thou seydest he awaited nothing
  But to disceyve Fair-Welcoming.
  Ye seyde nothing sooth of that;                   7525
  But, sir, ye lye; I tell you plat;
  He ne cometh no more, ne goth, pardee!
  I trow ye shal him never see.
  Fair-Welcoming in prison is,
  That ofte hath pleyed with you, er this,          7530
  The fairest games that he coude,
  Withoute filthe, stille or loude;
  Now dar [he] nat [him]self solace.
  Ye han also the man do chace,
  That he dar neither come ne go.                   7535
  What meveth you to hate him so
  But properly your wikked thought,
  That many a fals lesing hath thought?
  That meveth your foole eloquence,
  That iangleth ever in audience,                   7540
  And on the folk areyseth blame,
  And doth hem dishonour and shame,
  For thing that may have no preving,
  But lyklinesse, and contriving.
  For I dar seyn, that Reson demeth,                7545
  It is not al sooth thing that semeth,
  And it is sinne to controve
  Thing that is [for] to reprove;
  This wot ye wel; and, sir, therefore
  Ye arn to blame [wel] the more.                   7550
  And, nathelesse, he rekketh lyte;
  He yeveth nat now thereof a myte;
  For if he thoughte harm, parfay,
  He wolde come and gon al day;
  He coude him-selfe nat abstene.                   7555
  Now cometh he nat, and that is sene,
  For he ne taketh of it no cure,
  But-if it be through aventure,
  And lasse than other folk, algate.
  And thou here watchest at the gate,               7560
  With spere in thyne arest alway;
  There muse, musard, al the day.
  Thou wakest night and day for thought;
  Y-wis, thy traveyl is for nought.
  And Ielousye, withouten faile,                    7565
  Shal never quyte thee thy travaile.
  And scathe is, that Fair-Welcoming,
  Withouten any trespassing,
  Shal wrongfully in prison be,
  Ther wepeth and languissheth he.                  7570
  And though thou never yet, y-wis,
  Agiltest man no more but this,
  (Take not a-greef) it were worthy
  To putte thee out of this baily,
  And afterward in prison lye,                      7575
  And fettre thee til that thou dye;
  For thou shalt for this sinne dwelle
  Right in the devils ers of helle,
  But-if that thou repente thee.'
   'Ma fay, thou lyest falsly!' quod he.            7580
  What? welcome with mischaunce now!
  Have I therfore herbered you
  To seye me shame, and eek reprove?
  With sory happe, to your bihove,
  Am I to-day your herbergere!                      7585
  Go, herber you elleswhere than here,
  That han a lyer called me!
  Two tregetours art thou and he,
  That in myn hous do me this shame,
  And for my soth-sawe ye me blame.                 7590
  Is this the sermoun that ye make?
  To alle the develles I me take,
  Or elles, god, thou me confounde!
  But er men diden this castel founde,
  It passeth not ten dayes or twelve,               7595
  But it was told right to my-selve,
  And as they seide, right so tolde I,
  He kiste the Rose privily!
  Thus seide I now, and have seid yore;
  I not wher he dide any more.                      7600
  Why shulde men sey me such a thing,
  If it hadde been gabbing?
  Right so seide I, and wol seye yit;
  I trowe, I lyed not of it;
  And with my bemes I wol blowe                     7605
  To alle neighboris a-rowe,
  How he hath bothe comen and gon.'
    Tho spak Fals-Semblant right anon,
  Al is not gospel, out of doute,
  That men seyn in the toune aboute;                7610
  Ley no deef ere to my speking;
  I swere yow, sir, it is gabbing!
  I trowe ye wot wel certeynly,
  That no man loveth him tenderly
  That seith him harm, if he wot it,                7615
  Al be he never so pore of wit.
  And sooth is also sikerly,
  (This knowe ye, sir, as wel as I),
  That lovers gladly wol visyten
  The places ther hir loves habyten.                7620
  This man you loveth and eek honoureth;
  This man to serve you laboureth;
  And clepeth you his freend so dere,
  And this man maketh you good chere,
  And every-wher that [he] you meteth,              7625
  He you saleweth, and he you greteth.
  He preseth not so ofte, that ye
  Ought of his come encombred be;
  Ther presen other folk on yow
  Ful ofter than [that] he doth now.                7630
  And if his herte him streyned so
  Unto the Rose for to go,
  Ye shulde him seen so ofte nede,
  That ye shulde take him with the dede.
  He coude his coming not forbere,                  7635
  Though ye him thrilled with a spere;
  It nere not thanne as it is now.
  But trusteth wel, I swere it yow,
  That it is clene out of his thought.
  Sir, certes, he ne thenketh it nought;            7640
  No more ne doth Fair-Welcoming,
  That sore abyeth al this thing.
  And if they were of oon assent,
  Ful sone were the Rose hent;
  The maugre youres wolde be.                       7645
  And sir, of o thing herkeneth me:--
  Sith ye this man, that loveth yow,
  Han seid such harm and shame now,
  Witeth wel, if he gessed it,
  Ye may wel demen in your wit,                     7650
  He nolde no-thing love you so,
  Ne callen you his freend also,
  But night and day he [wolde] wake,
  The castel to destroye and take,
  If it were sooth as ye devyse;                    7655
  Or som man in som maner wyse
  Might it warne him everydel,
  Or by him-self perceyven wel;
  For sith he might not come and gon
  As he was whylom wont to don,                     7660
  He might it sone wite and see;
  But now al other-wyse [doth] he.
  Than have [ye], sir, al-outerly
  Deserved helle, and Iolyly
  The deth of helle douteles,                       7665
  That thrallen folk so gilteles.'
    Fals-Semblant proveth so this thing
  That he can noon answering,
  And seeth alwey such apparaunce,
  That nygh he fel in repentaunce,                  7670
  And seide him:--'Sir, it may wel be.
  Semblant, a good man semen ye;
  And, Abstinence, ful wyse ye seme;
  Of o talent you bothe I deme.
  What counceil wole ye to me yeven?'               7675
    _F. Sem._ 'Right here anoon thou shalt be shriven,
  And sey thy sinne withoute more;
  Of this shall thou repente sore;
  For I am preest, and have poustee
  To shryve folk of most dignitee                   7680
  That been, as wyde as world may dure.
  Of al this world I have the cure,
  And that had never yit persoun,
  No vicarie of no maner toun.
  And, god wot, I have of thee                      7685
  A thousand tymes more pitee
  Than hath thy preest parochial,
  Though he thy freend be special.
  I have avauntage, in o wyse,
  That your prelates ben not so wyse                7690
  Ne half so lettred as am I.
  I am licenced boldely
  In divinitee to rede,
  And to confessen, out of drede.
  If ye wol you now confesse,                       7695
  And leve your sinnes more and lesse,
  Without abood, knele doun anon,
  And you shal have absolucion.'                    7698


5814. Th. wyl; G. tille. 5820. _Both_ sworne. 5821. G. The (_for_ That).
_Both_ nyl not. 5827. Th. leest; G. lest. 5831. G. tresoure. 5836. G.

5855. _Both_ kepte; F. _qui mestrie_. 5859. G. oost. 5860. _Both_ that
ilke. 5861. G. Agayns; Th. Agaynst. 5869, 70. _Both_ entent, present. 5871.
_Both_ vesselage. 5879. _Supply_ at. 5883. _Both_ As my nede is. 5886.
_Om._ eek? 5894. G. fortresse. 5900. _Both_ That such; _om._ That. _Both_
ben take; _om._ ben.

5906, 53. _Supply_ hast, by. 5920. G. thilk. 5935. G. myche. 5939. Th.
marchauntes; G. marchauntz. 5942. _Both_ folyly. 5946. Th. vyce; G. wise.
5947. G. trust; pay. 5958. Th. surere. 5959. _Both_ beaute (!). 5960.
_Both_ That I.

5976. _Both_ ful dere. 5977. _Both_ leest; _supply_ she. 5980. Th. thylke;
G. thilk. 5983. Th. grype; G. grepe. 5988. _I supply_ if. 5997, 9. Th. hem;
G. hym. 6002. _Read_ gnede. 6006. _Both_ good; beaute (_as in_ 5959). 6009.
Th. wol; G. wole. 6025. G. shulle. _Both_ forsworne. 6026. G. lette.

6037. G. worthe. 6401. G. hym. 6048. G. heestes. 6057. This = This is.
6063. G. away. 6064. _Both_ hindreth. 6073. G. netheles; Th. nathelesse.

6143. _Both_ twey. 6144. G. sey; Th. say. 6165. _Both_ which; F. _tex_.

6169. _Both_ lette. 6172. G. subtilite. 6174. _Both_ nede; F. _besoignes_.
6183, 4. G. cast, last. 6187. G. _om._ hath. 6192. _Both_ neithir monk;
_om._ neithir. 6195. Th. Na-; G. Ne-. 6197. Th. rasour; G. resoun. 6205. _I
supply this line._ 6206. _Supply_ not. Th. begylen; G. bigilyng. 6214.
_Both_ without.

6227. G. Yhe. 6237. Th. co_m_men; G. comyn; _read_ comun. 6240. G. Yhe; G.
_om._ alle. 6243. _Both_ ful many; _om._ ful. 6245. G. dieden. 6247. _Both_
xi. 6253. G. hert; _both_ good. 6255. _Both_ good. 6256. _Both_ the
religioun; _om._ the. 6259. G. took. 6263. G. Yhis; Th. Yes. 6271. G.
biwailed (!). 6275, 82. _Supply_ hem. 6278. _Both_ Without. 6285. G.
doutlees; Th. doutles.

6292. _Both_ planten most. 6296. _Both_ feyne; F. _dire_. 6314. _Both ins._
shal _bef._ never. 6316. G. warre; Th. ware. 6317, 8. _Words supplied by_
Kaluza. 6323. _Both_ myght. 6336. _I supply_ and. 6341. _Both_ and reyned
(!) _for_ streyned; _see_ 7366. 6342. _I supply_ y-. 6346. _Both_ I a;
_om._ a.

6354. G. bete; Th. beate (_for_ lete). 6355. _Both_ Ioly (_for_ blynde); _I
supply_ ther. 6356. Th. habite. 6359. Th. beare; G. were. 6361. G. _om._
Thus _and_ I; _both_ in to (_for_ in). 6372. _Both omit; supplied as in_
Morris; F. _Si n'en sut mes si receus._ 6375. _Both_ I a.; _om._ a. 6377.
G. shreuen. 6378. _Both_ I (_for_ me); _both_ yeuen. 6386. G. ony. 6388. G.
mych. 6392. _Both_ yeuen. 6393. G. _ins._ For _bef._ Penaunce. 6399. _Both_
ought. 6407. _Both_ not; _read_ yit.

6425. G. cheueys; Th. chuse; F. _chevir_. 6426. Th. hamper. 6432. _I
supply_ Ne. 6452. Th. this is ayenst. 6453. G. heerde. 6454. G. beeste.
6460. _Both_ it is; F. _Porquoi_. 6462, 7. G. fat. 6465. G. grucche; Th.
grutche. 6466. _Both_ woth (!). 6469. _I supply_ the. 6470. G. Yhe.

6481. _Both_ seruest; F. _sembles_. 6482. _Both_ I am but an. 6484. G. Yhe.
6487. _Both_ good. 6491. _Both_ bettir; G. that queyntaunce. 6492. Th.
tymes; G. tyme. 6493. _Both_ of a pore. 6496. G. myxnes; Th. myxins. 6500.
_Both_ me a dyne. 6513. G. ony. 6515. _Both_ not. 6516. _Both_ swere. 6522.
_Both_ Hath a soule.

6531. Th. of; G. to. 6532. G. thrittene; Th. thirtene; _read_ thrittethe.
6536. G. myche. 6539. _Both_ beggith (-eth). 6542. _Both_ goddis (-es).
6543. G. Salamon; Th. Salomon. 6546. G. yhe. 6550. _Both_ nolden. 6551. G.
was. 6557. _Both_ myght. 6565. G. ther; Th. their. 6569. _Both_ yaf. 6570.
_Both_ folkis (-es). 6572. _Both_ they; _read_ leye; F. _Ains gisoient._
6581. _Perhaps om._ That.

6598. _Both_ tolde (_against grammar_). 6600. G. desily (!). 6601. Th. To;
G. Go. 6606. _Both_ Ben somtyme in; _see_ 6610. 6616. G. old; Th. olde.
6650. _Both_ myght. 6653. _I supply_ wher; F. _la ou_. 6655. _Both_ yeue.

6667. _Both_ haue bidde; (_om._ haue). 6679. _Both_ good. 6682. Th. -of; G.
-fore. 6684. _Both_ wryne. 6688. G. _omits_: Th. hondis. 6699. Th. -wayes;
G. -weys. 6700. If] _Both_ Yit. 6707. _Both_ mendiciens (-ence); _see_

6721. _Both_ without. 6728. Th. noriture; G. norture. 6737. _Both_ had.
6748. G. Ony. 6756. _Both_ clothe; _read_ clothes; _see_ 6684. 6759. _Both_
this. 6766. _Both_ solemply. 6782. Th. This; G. The. 6784. Th. agylte; G.
agilt. 6786. _So_ Th.; G. Of thyngis that he beste myghte (_in late hand_).

6792. G. wille. 6797. _Both_ this that; _om._ that. 6803. _Both_ yeuen.
6806. G. sene. 6808, 10. _Supply_ ne, hir. 6819. _Both_ wrine. _Both_ hem,
at. 6820. _Both_ Without. 6823, 4. _Both_ robbyng, gilyng. 6827. G. fast.
6828. _Both_ high. 6834. G. gret; Th. great. 6841. _Both_ Without. 6844.
_Both_ boldly. 6850. _Both_ emperours. 6851. G. _om._ and.

6860, 6901. _Supply_ thise, be. 6862. G. gret; Th. great. 6880. Th. Ne wol;
G. Wol; _read_ Nil. 6890. _Both_ doutles (-lees). 6902, 7, 11. _Both_

6925, 6. _Both_ him; _read_ hem. 6936. _Both_ good. 6939. Th. wete. 6949.
G. Yhe. 6952. Th. parceners; G. perseners. 6974. _Both_ tymes a; _om._ a.

6997. G. gret; Th. great. 7002. Th. al; G. _om._ 7012. _After this line,
both in_ Th. _and_ G., _come_ ll. 7109-7158. 7018. G. werrien; Th. werryen.
7019. _Both_ al. 7022. Th. bougerons; G. begger. 7029. _Both_ these that;
F. _lerres ou_. 7035. G. ony. 7037. we] G. me. 7038. hem] _Both_ them.
7041. G. cheffis; Th. cheffes; F. _fromages_. 7047. he] G. we. 7048. _Both_

7056. _Both_ his; _read_ our. 7059. G. sleght; Th. sleight. 7060. G. hight;
Th. heyght. 7063. _Both_ vounde. 7070. _Both_ good. 7071. G. sleghtes. _I
supply_ as. 7075. G. _om._ he have. 7092. Th. We had ben turmented al and
7093. _I supply_ fals. 7104. _Both_ brent. 7109. G. _has here_ l. 7110,
_followed by a blank line_; Th. _has_ That they [_read_ he] ne might 7110.
Th. To the copye, if hem talent toke; _after which_, Of the Euangelystes
booke (_spurious_).

7113. G. gret; Th. great. 7119, 21. G. ony. 7123. G. many a such. 7125. Th.
booke; G. book. 7127. _Perhaps omit_ that. 7133, 37, 42. G. _om._ for, it,
they. 7143. Th. Awaye; G. Alwey. 7144. G. durst. 7145. _Both_ no. 7148. Th.
booke; G. book. 7151. _Supply_ boke. 7159. _Both_ vpon. _Before this line_
G. _and_ Th. _wrongly insert_ ll. 7013-7110, 7209-7304. 7164. Th. booke; G.
book. 7165. G. mych. 7166. _I supply_ that.

7173, 4. _Supplied by conjecture_; F. _Par Pierre voil le Pape entendre._
7175, 99. _I supply_ eek, men. 7178. G. Ayens; Th. Ayenst. 7180. And]
_Both_ That. that] _Both_ to. 7189. G. orribilite; Th. horriblete. 7190.
Th. booke; G. book. 7196. G. Petre. 7200. G. Petres. 7205. G. thilk. 7209.
_See note to_ l. 7159. 7217. Th. Empresse; G. Emperis. 7221. _Both_ worthy;
_see_ 7104. _Both_ mynystres. 7234. G. iye.

7236. Th. recketh; G. rekke. 7243. _Both_ may us (_om._ may). 7244. G.
_om._ hem. 7254. Th. hem; G. hym; _supply_ it. 7255. Th. hem; G. hym. 7257.
G. steight (!). 7258. Th. graye; G. grey. 7260. G. high. 7262. Th.
ryuelyng; G. reuelyng. 7263. G. dyuyse. 7272. The] G. To. 7292. _Both_

7303. G. forwordis. 7304. G. Yhe. Th. hence; G. hens. 7307. Th. ayenst; G.
ayens. 7316. _Both_ slayn; _see_ note. 7317. G. alto defyle. 7325. G. Myn;
Th. My. G. streyneth (!). 7331. _Both_ Without. 7336. Th. Thankyng. 7355.
G. countynaunce. 7358. G. heelde. 7362. Th. laste; G. last.

7368. G. gracche; Th. gratche. G. bygynne; Th. bygyne. 7371. Th. psaltere;
G. sawter. 7380. G. ony. 7385-7576. _From_ Th.; _lost in_ G. 7386. Th.
made. 7389. Th. shappe; denysed. 7394. tho] Th. to. 7409. Had] Th. And.
7429. Th. humbly. 7432. Th. remeued.

7435. Th. thought. 7444. _I supply_ as. 7458. Th. Frere. 7460. _Supply_
that. 7463. Th. al. 7464. Th. greet. 7471, 72. Th. sopheme, enueneme; F.
_sophime_, _envenime_. 7473. Th. hath hadde the. 7488. Th. doughty (!); F.
_poudreus_; _read_ dusty. 7494. Th. herborowe.

7504. Th. sir. 7513. Th. styll. 7532. Th. styl. 7533. Th. she nat herselfe.
7546. Th. sothe. 7548, 50. _I supply_ for, wel. 7553. Th. thought harme.
7560. Th. her.

7568. Th. Without. 7577. G. _begins again_. 7582. Th. herbered; G. herberd.
7585. _Both_ herbegere. 7590. _Both_ sothe. Th. sawe; G. saugh. 7600.
_Both_ where. G. ony. 7625. _I supply_ he. 7626. G. saloweth.

7628. Th. comynge. 7630. _Supply_ that. 7637. G. I ner_er_ (!). 7653. G.
wole; Th. wol: _read_ wolde. 7662. doth] F. _fait_; _both_ wot. 7663. Th.
we (_for_ ye); G. _om._ 7666. _Both_ giltles. 7678. _Both_ repent. 7686.
Th. tymes; G. tyme.

7693. _So_ Th. (_but with_ for to _for_ to); G. To reden in diuinite. 7694.
G. And longe haue red (_wrongly_); _here_ G. _abruptly ends_. 7694-8.
_From_ Th. 7697. Th. abode. COLOPHON. G. Explicit, _following_ And longe
haue red (_see note to_ 7694); Th. Finis. Here endeth the Romaunt of the

       *       *       *       *       *


I. AN A. B. C.

_Incipit carmen secundum ordinem literarum Alphabeti._

  Almighty and al merciable quene,
  To whom that al this world fleeth for socour,
  To have relees of sinne, sorwe and tene,
  Glorious virgine, of alle floures flour,
  To thee I flee, confounded in erreur!                 5
  Help and releve, thou mighty debonaire,
  Have mercy on my perilous langour!
  Venquisshed me hath my cruel adversaire.

      A toy du monde le refui,
      Vierge glorieuse, m'en fui
      Tout confus, ne puis miex faire;
      A toy me tíen, a toy m'apuy.
      Relieve moy, abatu suy:
      Vaincu m'a mon aversaire.
      Puis qu'en toy ont tous repaire
      Bien me doy vers toy retraire
      Avant que j'aie plus d'annuy.
      N'est pas luite necessaire                       10
      A moy, se tu, debonnayre,
      Ne me sequeurs comme a autrui.

  Bountee so fix hath in thyn herte his tente,
  That wel I wot thou wolt my socour be,               10
  Thou canst not warne him that, with good entente,
  Axeth thyn help. Thyn herte is ay so free,
  Thou art largesse of pleyn felicitee,
  Haven of refut, of quiete and of reste.
  Lo, how that theves seven chasen me!                 15
  Help, lady bright, er that my ship to-breste!

  Comfort is noon, but in yow, lady dere,
  For lo, my sinne and my confusioun,
  Which oughten not in thy presence appere,
  Han take on me a grevous accioun                     20
  Of verrey right and desperacioun;
  And, as by right, they mighten wel sustene
  That I were worthy my dampnacioun,
  Nere mercy of you, blisful hevene quene.

  Doute is ther noon, thou queen of misericorde,       25
  That thou nart cause of grace and mercy here;
  God vouched sauf thurgh thee with us tacorde.
  For certes, Cristes blisful moder dere,

      Bien voy que par toy confortés
      Sera mes cuers desconfortés,
      Quer tu es de salu porte.
      Se je me suis mal tresportez
      Par .vij. larrons, pechiés mortez,
      Et erre par voie torte,
      Esperance me conforte
      Qui à toy hui me raporte                         20
      A ce que soie deportez.
      Ma povre arme je t'aporte:
      Sauve la: ne vaut que morte;
      En li sont tous biens avortez.

      Contre moy font une accion
      Ma vergoigne et confusion,
      Que devant toy ne doy venir
      Pour ma très grant transgression.
      Rayson et desperacion
      Contre moy veulent maintenir;                    30
      Mès pour ce que veil plait fenir,
      Devant toy les fès convenir
      En faisant replicacion.
      C'est que je di appartenir
      A toy du tout et convenir
      Pitié et miseracion.

      Dame es de misericorde
      Par qui Diex bien se recorde
      A sa gent estre racordé.
      Par toy vint pes et concorde,                    40

  Were now the bowe bent in swich manere,
  As it was first, of Iustice and of yre,              30
  The rightful God nolde of no mercy here;
  But thurgh thee han we grace, as we desyre.

  Ever hath myn hope of refut been in thee,
  For heer-biforn ful ofte, in many a wyse,
  Hast thou to misericorde receyved me.                35
  But mercy, lady, at the grete assyse,
  Whan we shul come bifore the hye Iustyse!
  So litel fruit shal thanne in me be founde,
  That, but thou er that day me wel chastyse,
  Of verrey right my werk me wol confounde.            40

  Fleeing, I flee for socour to thy tente
  Me for to hyde from tempest ful of drede,
  Biseching you that ye you not absente,
  Though I be wikke. O help yit at this nede!

      Et fu pour oster discorde
      L'arc de justice descordé;
      Et pour ce me sui acordé
      Toi mercier et concordé,
      Pour ce que ostas la corde;
      Quar, ainsi com j'ay recordé,
      S'encore fust l'arc encordé
      Comparé l'eust ma vie orde.

      En toy ay m'esperance eü
      Quant a merci m'as receü                         50
      Autre foys en mainte guise,
      Du bien qui ou ciel fu creü
      As ravivé et repeü
      M'ame qui estoit occise.
      Las! mès quant la grant assise
      Sera, se n'y es assise
      Pour moy mal y seray veü.
      De bien n'ay nulle reprise.
      Las m'en clain quant bien m'avise,
      Souvent en doy dire heü!                         60

      Fuiant m'en viens a ta tente
      Moy mucier pour la tormente
      Qui ou monde me tempeste.
      Pour mon pechié ne t'absente,

  Al have I been a beste in wille and dede,            45
  Yit, lady, thou me clothe with thy grace.
  Thyn enemy and myn--lady, tak hede,
  Un-to my deth in poynt is me to chace.

  Glorious mayde and moder, which that never
  Were bitter, neither in erthe nor in see,            50
  But ful of swetnesse and of mercy ever,
  Help that my fader be not wroth with me!
  Spek thou, for I ne dar not him y-see.
  So have I doon in erthe, allas ther-whyle!
  That certes, but-if thou my socour be,               55
  To stink eterne he wol my gost exyle.

  He vouched sauf, tel him, as was his wille,
  Bicome a man, to have our alliaunce,
  And with his precious blood he wroot the bille
  Up-on the crois, as general acquitaunce,             60
  To every penitent in ful creaunce;
  And therfor, lady bright, thou for us praye.
  Than shalt thou bothe stinte al his grevaunce,
  And make our foo to failen of his praye.

      A moy garder met t'entente,
      A mon besoing soiez preste.
      Se lonc temps j'ay esté beste
      A ce, Vierge, je m'arreste
      Que de ta grace me sente.
      Si te fais aussi requeste                        70
      Que ta pitié nu me veste,
      Car je n'ay nulle autre rente.

      Glorieuse vierge mere
      Qui a nul onques amere
      Ne fus en terre ne en mer,
      Ta douceur ores m'apere
      Et ne sueffres que mon pere
      De devant li me jecte puer.
      Se devant li tout vuit j'apper,
      Et par moy ne puis eschapper                     80
      Que ma faute ne compere.
      Tu devant li pour moy te per
      En li moustrant que, s'a li per
      Ne sui, si est il mon frere.

      Homme voult par sa plaisance
      Devenir, pour aliance
      Avoir a humain lignage.
      Avec li crut dès enfance
      Pitié dont j'ai esperance
      Avoir eu en mon usage.                           90
      Elle fu mise a forage
      Quant au cuer lui vint mesage
      Du cruel fer de la lance.
      Ne puet estre, se sui sage,
      Que je n'en aie avantage,
      Se tu veus et abondance.

  I wot it wel, thou wolt ben our socour,              65
  Thou art so ful of bountee, in certeyn.
  For, whan a soule falleth in errour,
  Thy pitee goth and haleth him ayeyn.
  Than makest thou his pees with his sovereyn,
  And bringest him out of the crooked strete.          70
  Who-so thee loveth he shal not love in veyn,
  That shal he finde, as he the lyf shal lete.

  Kalenderes enlumined ben they
  That in this world ben lighted with thy name,
  And who-so goth to you the righte wey,               75
  Him thar not drede in soule to be lame.
  Now, queen of comfort, sith thou art that same
  To whom I seche for my medicyne,
  Lat not my foo no more my wounde entame,
  Myn hele in-to thyn hand al I resigne.               80

  Lady, thy sorwe can I not portreye
  Under the cros, ne his grevous penaunce.
  But, for your bothes peynes, I you preye,
  Lat not our alder foo make his bobaunce,

      Ie ne truis par nulle voie
      Ou mon salut si bien voie
      Com, après Dieu, en toy le voy;
      Quar quant aucun se desvoie,                    100
      A ce que tost se ravoie,
      De ta pitié li fais convoy.
      Tu li fès lessier son desroy
      Et li refaiz sa pais au roy,
      Et remez en droite voie.
      Moult est donc cil en bon arroy,
      En bon atour, en bon conroy
      Que ta grace si conroie.

      Kalendier sont enluminé
      Et autre livre enteriné                         110
      Quant ton non les enlumine.
      A tout meschief ont resiné
      Ceus qui se sont acheminé
      A toy pour leur medicine.
      A moy donc, virge, t'encline,
      Car a toy je m'achemine
      Pour estre bien mediciné;
      Ne sueffre que de gaïnne
      Isse justice devine
      Par quoy je soye exterminé.                     120

      La douceur de toy pourtraire
      Je ne puis, a qui retraire
      Doit ton filz de ton sanc estrait;
      Pour ce a toy m'ay volu traire

  That he hath in his listes of mischaunce             85
  Convict that ye bothe have bought so dere.
  As I seide erst, thou ground of our substaunce,
  Continue on us thy pitous eyen clere!

  Moises, that saugh the bush with flaumes rede
  Brenninge, of which ther never a stikke brende,      90
  Was signe of thyn unwemmed maidenhede.
  Thou art the bush on which ther gan descende
  The Holy Gost, the which that Moises wende
  Had ben a-fyr; and this was in figure.
  Now lady, from the fyr thou us defende               95
  Which that in helle eternally shal dure.

  Noble princesse, that never haddest pere,
  Certes, if any comfort in us be,
  That cometh of thee, thou Cristes moder dere,
  We han non other melodye or glee                    100
  Us to reioyse in our adversitee,
  Ne advocat noon that wol and dar so preye
  For us, and that for litel hyre as ye,
  That helpen for an Ave-Marie or tweye.

      Afin que contre moy traire
      Ne le sueuffres nul cruel trait.
      Je recongnois bien mon mesfait
      Et qu'au colier j'ai souvent trait
      Dont l'en me devroit detraire;
      Mez se tu veus tu as l'entrait                  130
      Par quoy tantost sera retrait
      Le mehain qui m'est contraire.

      Moyses vit en figure
      Que tu, vierge nete et pure,
      Jesu le filz Dieu conceüs:
      Un bysson contre nature
      Vit qui ardoit sans arsure.
      C'es tu, n'en suis point deceüs,
      Dex est li feus qu'en toy eüs;
      Et tu, buisson des recreüz                      140
      Es, pour tremper leur ardure.
      A ce veoir, vierge, veüs
      Soie par toy et receüs,
      Oste chaussement d'ordure.

      Noble princesse du monde
      Qui n'as ne per ne seconde
      En royaume n'en enpire,
      De toy vient, de toy redonde
      Tout le bien qui nous abonde,
      N'avons autre tirelire.                         150
      En toy tout povre homme espire
      Et de toy son salu tire,
      Et en toy seule se fonde.
      Ne puet nul penser ne dire,
      Nul pourtraire ne escrire
      Ta bonté comme est parfonde.

  O verrey light of eyen that ben blinde,             105
  O verrey lust of labour and distresse,
  O tresorere of bountee to mankinde,
  Thee whom God chees to moder for humblesse!
  From his ancille he made thee maistresse
  Of hevene and erthe, our bille up for to bede.      110
  This world awaiteth ever on thy goodnesse,
  For thou ne failest never wight at nede.

  Purpos I have sum tyme for tenquere,
  Wherfore and why the Holy Gost thee soughte,
  Whan Gabrielles vois cam to thyn ere.               115
  He not to werre us swich a wonder wroughte,
  But for to save us that he sithen boughte.
  Than nedeth us no wepen us for to save,
  But only ther we did not, as us oughte,
  Do penitence, and mercy axe and have.               120

  Queen of comfort, yit whan I me bithinke
  That I agilt have bothe, him and thee,
  And that my soule is worthy for to sinke,
  Allas, I, caitif, whider may I flee?

      O Lumiere des non voians
      Et vrai repos des recreans
      Et de tout bien tresoriere,
      A toy sont toutez gens beans                    160
      Qui en la foy sont bien creans
      Et en toy ont foy entiere;
      A nul onques ne fus fiere,
      Ains toy deïs chamberiere
      Quant en toy vint li grans geans.
      Or es de Dieu chanceliere
      Et de graces aumosniere
      Et confort a tous recreans.

      Pris m'est volenté d'enquerre
      Pour savoir que Diex vint querre                170
      Quant en toy se vint enserrer;
      En toy devint vers de terre;
      Ne cuit pas que fust pour guerre
      Ne pour moy jus aterrer.
      Vierge, se ne me sens errer,
      D'armes ne me faut point ferrer
      Fors sans plus de li requerre.
      Quant pour moy se vint enterrer,
      Se il ne se veut desterrer
      Encor puis s'amour acquerre.                    180

      Quant pourpensé après me sui
      Qu'ay offendu et toy et lui,
      Et qu'a mal est m'ame duite,
      Que, fors pechié, en moi n'estui,

  Who shal un-to thy sone my mene be?                 125
  Who, but thy-self, that art of pitee welle?
  Thou hast more reuthe on our adversitee
  Than in this world mighte any tunge telle.

  Redresse me, moder, and me chastyse,
  For, certeynly, my fadres chastisinge               130
  That dar I nought abyden in no wyse:
  So hidous is his rightful rekeninge.
  Moder, of whom our mercy gan to springe,
  Beth ye my Iuge and eek my soules leche;
  For ever in you is pitee haboundinge                135
  To ech that wol of pitee you biseche.

  Soth is, that God ne graunteth no pitee
  With-oute thee; for God, of his goodnesse,
  Foryiveth noon, but it lyke un-to thee.
  He hath thee maked vicaire and maistresse           140

      Et que mal hyer et pis m'est hui,
      Tost après si me ranvite,
      Vierge douce, se pren fuite,
      Se je fui a la poursuite,
      Ou fuiray, qu'a mon refui?
      S'a nul bien je ne m'affruite                   190
      Et mas sui avant que luite,
      Plus grief encore en est l'anuy.

      Reprens moy, mere, et chastie
      Quar mon pere n'ose mie
      Attendre a mon chastiement.
      Son chastoy si fiert a hie;
      Rien n'ataint que tout n'esmie
      Quant il veut prendre vengement.
      Mere, bien doi tel batement
      Douter, quar en empirement                      200
      A tous jours esté ma vie.
      A toy dont soit le jugement,
      Car de pitié as l'oingnement,
      Mès que merci l'en te prie.

      Sans toy nul bien ne foysonne
      Et sans toy Diex riens ne donne,
      Quar de tout t'a fet maistresse.
      Quant tu veus trestout pardonne;

  Of al the world, and eek governeresse
  Of hevene, and he represseth his Iustyse
  After thy wille, and therefore in witnesse
  He hath thee crouned in so ryal wyse.

  Temple devout, ther god hath his woninge.           145
  Fro which these misbileved pryved been,
  To you my soule penitent I bringe.
  Receyve me! I can no ferther fleen!
  With thornes venimous, O hevene queen,
  For which the erthe acursed was ful yore,           150
  I am so wounded, as ye may wel seen,
  That I am lost almost;--it smert so sore.

  Virgine, that art so noble of apparaile,
  And ledest us in-to the hye tour
  Of Paradys, thou me wisse and counsaile,            155
  How I may have thy grace and thy socour;
  Al have I been in filthe and in errour.
  Lady, un-to that court thou me aiourne
  That cleped is thy bench, O fresshe flour!
  Ther-as that mercy ever shal soiourne.              160

      Et par toy est mise bonne
      A justice la mairesse;                          210
      N'est royne ne princesse
      Pour qui nul ainsi se cesse
      Et de droit se dessaisonne.
      Du monde es gouverneresse,
      Et du ciel ordeneresse;
      Sans reson n'as pas couronne.

      Temple saint ou Dieu habite
      Dont privé sont li herite
      Et a tous jours desherité,
      A toy vieng, de toy me herite,                  220
      Reçoif moy par ta merite
      Quar de toy n'ay point hesité.
      Et se je me sui herité
      Des espines d'iniquité
      Pour quoy terre fu maudite,
      Las m'en clain en verité,
      Car a ce fait m'a excité
      L'ame qui n'en est pas quite.

      Vierge de noble et haut atour,
      Qui au chastel et a la tour                     230
      De paradis nous atournes,
      Atourne moy ens et entour
      De tel atour que au retour
      De ta grace me retournes,
      Se vil sui, si me raournes.
      A toy vieng, ne te destournes,
      Quer au besoing es mon destour.
      Sequeur moy, point ne sejournes,
      Ou tu a la court m'ajournes,
      Ou ta pitié fait son sejour.                    240

  Xristus, thy sone, that in this world alighte,
  Up-on the cros to suffre his passioun,
  And eek, that Longius his herte pighte,
  And made his herte blood to renne adoun;
  And al was this for my salvacioun;                  165
  And I to him am fals and eek unkinde,
  And yit he wol not my dampnacioun--
  This thanke I you, socour of al mankinde.

  Ysaac was figure of his deeth, certeyn,
  That so fer-forth his fader wolde obeye             170
  That him ne roughte no-thing to be slayn;
  Right so thy sone list, as a lamb, to deye.
  Now lady, ful of mercy, I you preye,
  Sith he his mercy mesured so large,
  Be ye not skant; for alle we singe and seye         175
  That ye ben from vengeaunce ay our targe.

  Zacharie you clepeth the open welle
  To wasshe sinful soule out of his gilt.
  Therfore this lessoun oughte I wel to telle
  That, nere thy tender herte, we weren spilt.        180

      Xristus, ton filz, qui descendi
      En terre et en la crois pendi,
      Ot pour moy le costé fendu.
      Sa grant rigour il destendi
      Quant pour moy l'esperit rendi,
      Son corps pendant et estendu;
      Pour moy son sanc fu espandu.
      Se ceci j'ai bien entendu
      A mon salut bien entendi,
      Et pour ce, se l'ay offendu                     250
      Et il ne le m'a pas rendu,
      Merci t'en rens, graces l'en di.

      Ysaac le prefigura
      Qui de sa mort rien ne cura
      En obeïsant au pere.
      Comme .j. aignel tout endura;
      En endurant tout espura
      Par crueuse mort amere.
      O très douce vierge mere,
      Par ce fait fai que se pere                     260
      Par plour l'ame qui cuer dura;
      Fai que grace si m'apere;
      Et n'en soiez pas avere
      Quar largement la mesura.

      Zacharie de mon somme
      Me exite, et si me somme
      D'en toy ma merci atendre;
      Fontaine patent te nomme

  Now lady brighte, sith thou canst and wilt
  Ben to the seed of Adam merciable,
  So bring us to that palais that is bilt
  To penitents that ben to mercy able. Amen.          184

      Pour laver pecheür homme:
      C'est leçon bonne a aprendre.                   270
      Se tu donc as le cuer tendre
      Et m'offense n'est pas mendre
      De cil qui menga la pomme,
      Moy laver veillez entendre,
      Moy garder et moy deffendre,
      Que justice ne m'asomme.

_Explicit carmen._

_The_ MSS. _used to form this text are_: C. = MS. Ff. 5. 30 in the Camb.
Univ. Library; Jo. = MS. G. 21, in St. John's College, Cambridge; Gl. =
Glasgow MS. Q. 2. 25; L. = MS. Laud 740, in the Bodleian Library; Gg. = MS.
Gg. 4. 27 in the Camb. Univ. Library; F. = MS. Fairfax 16, in the Bodleian
Library; B = MS. Bodley 638; Sion = Sion Coll. MS. _The text closely
follows the first of these; and all variations from it are recorded_
(_except sometimes_ i _for_ y, _and_ y _for_ i).

1. C. Almihty; queene. 3. L. B. sorwe; F. Jo. sorowe; _the rest insert_ of
_before_ sorwe. 4. C. Gloriowse. 6. C. releeue; mihti. 8. Jo. Venquist; Gg.
Venquyst. _Read_ m'hath. C. cruelle.

10. C. bee. 11. F. B. werne. 12. C. helpe. 14. C. Hauene; refute. 15. C.
Loo; theeves sevene; mee. 16. C. briht. 17. C. ladi deere. 18. C. loo. 19.
C. ouhten; thi; appeere. 20. C. greevous. 21. C. riht. 22. C. riht þei
mihten; susteene. 23. C. wurthi. 24. C. queene. 25. C. Dowte. 26. C. merci
heere. 27. C. Gl. Gg. saf; Jo. saff; L. F. saufe; B. sauf. C. thoruh; L. F.
þurgh. Gl. F. B. tacorde; C. L. to accorde. 28. C. crystes; mooder deere.

29. C. maneere. 31. C. rihtful; heere. 32. C. thoruh; Jo. L. F. B. thurgh.
33. C. Euere. C. refuit; Gl. refuyt; Gg. refut; _rest_ refute. 35. C.
resceyued. 36. C. merci ladi. 37. C. shule. 39. wel _is supplied from the_
Sion MS.; _nearly all the copies give this line corruptly_; _see_ note. 40.
C. riht; wole. 41. C. Fleeinge; thi. 42. C. tempeste; dreede. 43. C.
Biseeching yow. 44. C. Thouh; neede.

45. C. ben. Jo. wille; C. wil. 46. C. thi. 47. C. Thin; ladi; heede. 49. C.
Gloriows; mooder; neuere. 50. C. eerthe. 51. C. euere. 54. C. eerthe. 55.
C. bee. 56. C. wole. 57. C. saaf; F. B. sauf; L. saufe; Jo. saffe; Gl. Gg.
saf. 58. C. Bicomen; oure. 59. C. wrot. 61. C. criaunce; Gg. cryaunce;
_rest_ creaunce. 62. C. ladi briht. 63. C. Thanne.

64, 65: C. oure. 66: C. bowntee. 69: C. Thanne. 73: C. Kalendeeres
enlumyned. 74: C. thi. 75: C. yow; rihte. 77: C. sithe. 78: C. seeche. 79:
C. vntame; Sion, vntaame (_wrongly_); _rest_ entame.] 80: C. resyne; Gl. B.
resigne. 81: C. kan. 82: C. greevous. 84: C. oure.

85. C. hise lystes. 86. C. bouht. 87. C. oure. 88. C. thi; cleere. 89. C.
sauh; F. B. saugh. C. flawmes. 93. C. holigost. 94. C. a fyir. 95. C. fyir;
Gl. fyr. C. deufende (_sic_). 96. C. eternalli. 97. C. neuere; peere. 98.
C. bee. 99. C. mooder deere. 100. C. noon ooþer. 101. C. oure. 102. C.
wole. 103. C. yee.

107. C. tresoreere. 108. F. chees; C. ches. C. mooder. 109. C. the. 110. C.
eerthe; oure; beede. 111. C. euere; thi. 112. C. neuere; neede. 113. Gg. F.
B. tenquere; C. to enquere. 114. C. whi; holi; souhte. 115. C. Sion, vn-to;
_rest_ to. 116. C. wunder wrouhte. 117. C. bouhte. 118. C. Thanne needeth;
wepene. 119. C. oonly. Jo. F. B. did; C. diden. C. ouhte. 120. C. Doo;
merci. 123. C. wurthi.

125. C. thi; bee. 126. C. thi-. 128. C. miht. 129. C. mooder. 130. F.
Fadres; B. fadrys; C. faderes; Jo. fader. 131. C. nouht. 132. Gg. F. B. is
his; _rest_ it is. C. rihful (_sic_). 133. C. Mooder; merci. 135. C. euere.
136. C. eche; wole; biseeche. 137. C. granteth; F. graunteth. 140. C.
vicair; Gg. F. vicaire; Gl. B. Sion, vicayre.

141. C. gou_er_nowresse; Gl. Gg. gouerneresse. 143. C. thi wil. 144. L.
crowned; Gg. crou_n_nyd; C. Jo. F. corowned. C. rial. 146. C. misbileeued.
Jo. L. pryued; _rest_ depriued. 148. C. Resceyve; ferþere. 149. C.
venymous. 150. C. eerthe. 151. C. (_alone_) _om._ so. 156. C. thi
(_twice_). 157. Gg. Al; B. C. All. C. ben. 158. C. Ladi. 159. Sion MS.
fresshe; Gg. frosche (_sic_); _the rest wrongly omit the final_ e. 160. C.
merci; euere.

161. C. X[=p]c (= Gk. [Greek: chrs]). 163. _All the MSS. insert_ suffred
_after_ eek, _caught from the line above_; _see_ note. 167. C. wole. 171.
C. rouhte. 172. C. Riht soo thi. C. lust; _rest_ list, liste. 173. C. ladi;
merci; yow. 174. C. Sithe; merci. 177. C. yow; opene. 179. C. ouht. 180. C.

181. C. ladi. Gg. bry[gh]t; _which the rest omit_. C. Gg. sithe; F. B.
sith. Harl. 2251 _supplies_ bothe _after_ thou. 183. Sion MS. _alone
supplies_ So; Jo. _supplies_ And. MS. Harl. 2251 _has_ un-to; _rest_ to.
184. Gl. penytentz; C. penitentes; Jo. Penitence (_for_ penitents). C.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Pite, that I have sought so yore ago,
  With herte sore, and ful of besy peyne,
  That in this world was never wight so wo
  With-oute dethe; and, if I shal not feyne,
  My purpos was, to Pite to compleyne                   5
  Upon the crueltee and tirannye
  Of Love, that for my trouthe doth me dye.

  And when that I, by lengthe of certeyn yeres,
  Had ever in oon a tyme sought to speke,
  To Pite ran I, al bespreynt with teres,              10
  To preyen hir on Crueltee me awreke.
  But, er I might with any worde out-breke,
  Or tellen any of my peynes smerte,
  I fond hir deed, and buried in an herte.

  Adoun I fel, when that I saugh the herse,            15
  Deed as a stoon, whyl that the swogh me laste;
  But up I roos, with colour ful diverse,
  And pitously on hir myn yën caste,
  And ner the corps I gan to presen faste,
  And for the soule I shoop me for to preye;           20
  I nas but lorn; ther nas no more to seye.

  Thus am I slayn, sith that Pite is deed;
  Allas! that day! that ever hit shulde falle!
  What maner man dar now holde up his heed?
  To whom shal any sorwful herte calle?                25
  Now Crueltee hath cast to sleen us alle,
  In ydel hope, folk redelees of peyne--
  Sith she is deed--to whom shul we compleyne?

  But yet encreseth me this wonder newe,
  That no wight woot that she is deed, but I;          30
  So many men as in hir tyme hir knewe,
  And yet she dyed not so sodeynly;
  For I have sought hir ever ful besily
  Sith first I hadde wit or mannes mynde;
  But she was deed, er that I coude hir fynde.         35

  Aboute hir herse ther stoden lustily,
  Withouten any wo, as thoughte me,
  Bountee parfit, wel armed and richely,
  And fresshe Beautee, Lust, and Iolitee,
  Assured Maner, Youthe, and Honestee,                 40
  Wisdom, Estaat, [and] Dreed, and Governaunce,
  Confedred bothe by bonde and alliaunce.

  A compleynt hadde I, writen, in myn hond,
  For to have put to Pite as a bille,
  But whan I al this companye ther fond,               45
  That rather wolden al my cause spille
  Than do me help, I held my pleynte stille;
  For to that folk, withouten any faile,
  Withoute Pite may no bille availe.

  Then leve I al thise virtues, sauf Pite,             50
  Keping the corps, as ye have herd me seyn,
  Confedred alle by bonde of Crueltee,
  And been assented that I shal be sleyn.
  And I have put my compleynt up ageyn;
  For to my foos my bille I dar not shewe,             55
  Theffect of which seith thus, in wordes fewe:--

              _The Bille._

  ¶ 'Humblest of herte, hyest of reverence,
  Benigne flour, coroune of vertues alle,
  Sheweth unto your rial excellence
  Your servaunt, if I durste me so calle,              60
  His mortal harm, in which he is y-falle,
  And noght al only for his evel fare,
  But for your renoun, as he shal declare.

  Hit stondeth thus: your contraire, Crueltee,
  Allyed is ageynst your regalye                       65
  Under colour of womanly Beautee,
  For men [ne] shuld not knowe hir tirannye,
  With Bountee, Gentilesse, and Curtesye,
  And hath depryved you now of your place
  That hight "Beautee, apertenant to Grace."           70

  For kyndly, by your heritage right,
  Ye been annexed ever unto Bountee;
  And verrayly ye oughte do your might
  To helpe Trouthe in his adversitee.
  Ye been also the coroune of Beautee;                 75
  And certes, if ye wanten in thise tweyne,
  The world is lore; ther nis no more to seyne.

  ¶ 'Eek what availeth Maner and Gentilesse
  Withoute you, benigne creature?
  Shal Crueltee be your governeresse?                  80
  Allas! what herte may hit longe endure?
  Wherfor, but ye the rather take cure
  To breke that perilous alliaunce,
  Ye sleen hem that ben in your obeisaunce.

 'And further over, if ye suffre this,                 85
  Your renoun is fordo than in a throwe;
  Ther shal no man wite wel what Pite is.
  Allas! that your renoun shuld be so lowe!
  Ye be than fro your heritage y-throwe
  By Crueltee, that occupieth your place;              90
  And we despeired, that seken to your grace.

  Have mercy on me, thou Herenus quene,
  That you have sought so tenderly and yore;
  Let som streem of your light on me be sene
  That love and drede you, ay lenger the more.         95
  For, sothly for to seyne, I bere the sore,
  And, though I be not cunning for to pleyne,
  For goddes love, have mercy on my peyne!

  ¶ 'My peyne is this, that what so I desire
  That have I not, ne no-thing lyk therto;            100
  And ever set Desire myn herte on fire;
  Eek on that other syde, wher-so I go,
  What maner thing that may encrese wo
  That have I redy, unsoght, everywhere;
  Me [ne] lakketh but my deth, and than my bere.      105

  What nedeth to shewe parcel of my peyne?
  Sith every wo that herte may bethinke
  I suffre, and yet I dar not to you pleyne;
  For wel I woot, al-though I wake or winke,
  Ye rekke not whether I flete or sinke.              110
  But natheles, my trouthe I shal sustene
  Unto my deth, and that shal wel be sene.

  This is to seyne, I wol be youres ever;
  Though ye me slee by Crueltee, your fo,
  Algate my spirit shal never dissever                115
  Fro your servyse, for any peyne or wo.
  Sith ye be deed--allas! that hit is so!--
  Thus for your deth I may wel wepe and pleyne
  With herte sore and ful of besy peyne.'             119

  _Here endeth the exclamacion of the Deth of Pyte._

_The_ MSS. _are_: Tn. (Tanner 346); F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley 638); Sh.
(Shirley's MS., Harl. 78); Ff. (Ff. 1. 6, in Camb. Univ. Library); T.,
_here used for_ Trin. (Trin. Coll. Camb. R. 3. 19); _also_ Ha. (Harl.
7578). _I follow_ F. _mainly, noting all variations of importance._

TITLE; _in_ B. 1. F. agoo. 2. F. hert. 3. F. worlde; woo. 5. F. purpose. 8.
F. be; B. Sh. T. by. F. certeyne. 9. Sh. Ha. a tyme sought; _rest_ sought a
tyme (_badly_). 10. F. bespreynte. 11. F. prayen. Sh. Ha. wreke; _rest_
awreke. 14. F. fonde; dede. 15. F. Adovne. Ha. _alone supplies_ that. 16.
F. Dede; stone; while. T. (_and_ Longleat) a; _rest om._ 17. F. roose;
coloure. 18. F. petously; B. pitously. B. yen; F. eyen; _after which all
but_ Sh. _and_ Ha. _insert_ I. 19. Sh. Ha. to; _which the rest omit_. 20.
Sh. shoope; _rest_ shope. F. prey; Sh. preye. 21. _For_ nas, _the_ MSS.
_wrongly have_ was; _in both places_. F. lorne; sey.

22. F. slayne; dede. 23. Tn. shulde; F. shuld. 24. F. hold; hede. 25. _All
but_ Sh. _and_ Ha. _ins._ now _bef._ any. F. eny. 26. F. caste. Sh. Ha.
sleen; F. slee. 27. F. folke redelesse. 30. F. dede. 31. F. mony. 32. F. B.
_omit_ she; _the rest have it_. _Only_ Sh. _and_ T. _retain_ so. 33. F.
besely. _For_ ever, Ten Brink _reads_ ay. 34. _Only_ Sh. _gives this line
correctly; so_ Ha. (_but with_ any _for_ mannes). F. Sith I hadde firste
witte or mynde. 35. F. dede. Sh. Ha. that; _rest omit_. 36. F. there;
lustely. 38. F. Bounte. 39. F. beaute; iolyte. 40. F. honeste. 41. F.
Wisdome. F. B. estaat; _rest_ estate; Ten Brink _rightly supplies_ and
_after_ Estat (_sic_). F. drede. 43. Ha. hadde; Sh. hade; _rest_ had. F.
honde. 44. Sh. Ha. For; _rest omit_. F. pittee. 45. F. when. F. fonde. 46.
Sh. wolden; F. wolde. 47. F. helpe; helde. Sh. Ha. compleynt; T. cause;
_rest_ pleynte _or_ pleynt.

48. F. folke. F. withoute; B. without; Ha. withouten. 49. F. pitee. Ha.
may; Sh. ne may; _rest_ ther may. 50. Sh. Ha. þanne leve I alle þees
vertues sauf pitee; F.B. Then leve we al vertues save oonly pite; Tn. Ff.
T. Then leueall vertues save onely pite. 51. F. Kepynge; herde. 52. F.
Cofedered (_sic_). Sh. alle by bonde of (Ha. _om._ alle); F. Tn. B. Ff. by
bonde and by; T. by bound and. 53. Sh. that; _rest_ when. 54. F. complaynt.
55. F. Foes; Tn. foos. 57. F. highest. 59. F. youre rialle. 60. F. Youre;
durst. 61. Sh. whiche he is Inne falle; _rest_ in which he is falle: Thynne
_has_ yfal; _read_ y-falle. 62. F. oonly. 64. _The_ MSS. _insert_ that
_after_ thus, _except_ Sh. _and_ Ha. Sh. contraire; _rest_ contrary. 65.
Sh. ageynst; F. ayenst. 66. F. beaute. 67. _The_ MSS. _omit_ ne. F. shulde.
68. F. bounte. 69. Sh. nowe; _which the rest omit_. 70. Sh. heghte (_for_
highte); Ha. hight; Tn. is hye; F. B. T. is hygh. F. beaute apertenent.
_The_ MSS. (_except_ Sh. _and_ Ha.) _insert_ your _after_ to.

71. F. kyndely; youre. 72. _Most_ MSS. be; Ha. been; _read_ been (_and in_
l. 75). 73. F. verrely; youre. 75. F. beaute. 76. Tn. Ff. Ha. wante; _rest_
want; _read_ wanten. F. these tweyn. 77. F. worlde. _For_ nis, _all have_
is. F. seyn. 78. F. Eke. 79. F. yow. 82. F. Wherfore. 86. F. fordoo. Sh.
than; _rest omit_. 87. F. wete well; _rest omit_ well; Tn. wyte. 88. F. Tn.
B. Ff. T. _insert_ euer _after_ that, _which_ Sh. _rightly omits_. Sh. Ha.
shoulde be; _rest_ is falle. 89. Sh. thanne; _rest_ also. F. youre. 90. F.
youre. 91. Sh. sechen to; B. sekyn to; Tn. Ff. T. seken; F. speken to
(_for_ seken to). 92. Tn. F. B. Ff. herenus; T. herem_us_; Sh. vertuouse
(!). 93. F. yow; tendirly. 94. B. som; F. som_m_e. F. streme. Sh. Ha.
youre; _which the rest omit_. 95. Sh. ay; _rest_ euer. Sh. Ha. _om._ the.
96. F. sothely. Sh. the hevy sore; Ha. the sore; _rest_ so sore (_which
gives no sense_).

97. F. kunnynge. 98. F. goddis. 100. F. lyke. 101. F. Sh. setteth; Ha. set;
_rest_ settith; _see_ note. F. hert. 102. F. Eke. F. sydes; _rest_ side,
syde. F. where so; goo. 103. Sh. Ha. we; _rest insert_ my _before_ wo. 104.
F. vnsoghte. 105. _All omit_ ne; _see_ note. 107. F. woo. 109. F. wote. Sh.
al-þaughe; _rest_ though, thogh. 110. F. B. where; _rest_ whether. 111.
_All but_ Sh. _and_ Ha. _needlessly insert_ yet _before_ my. 114. F. soo;
_rest_ foo, fo. 115. F. spirite. 116. F. youre; eny. 117. B. yet (_sic_) be
ded; F. Tn. Ff. T. ye be yet ded (_which will not scan_); Sh. Ha. _have a
diferent line_--Now pitee þat I haue sought so yoore agoo.

       *       *       *       *       *


              _The Proem._

  I have gret wonder, by this lighte,
  How that I live, for day ne nighte
  I may nat slepe wel nigh noght;
  I have so many an ydel thoght
  Purely for defaute of slepe,                          5
  That, by my trouthe, I take kepe
  Of no-thing, how hit cometh or goth,
  Ne me nis no-thing leef nor loth.
  Al is y-liche good to me--
  Ioye or sorowe, wherso hit be--                      10
  For I have feling in no-thing,
  But, as it were, a mased thing,
  Alway in point to falle a-doun;
  For [sory] imaginacioun
  Is alway hoolly in my minde.                         15
    And wel ye wite, agaynes kinde
  Hit were to liven in this wyse;
  For nature wolde nat suffyse
  To noon erthely creature
  Not longe tyme to endure                             20
  Withoute slepe, and been in sorwe;
  And I ne may, ne night ne morwe,
  Slepe; and thus melancolye,
  And dreed I have for to dye,
  Defaute of slepe, and hevinesse                      25
  Hath sleyn my spirit of quiknesse,
  That I have lost al lustihede.
  Suche fantasyes ben in myn hede
  So I not what is best to do.
    But men mighte axe me, why so                      30
  I may not slepe, and what me is?
  But natheles, who aske this
  Leseth his asking trewely.
  My-selven can not telle why
  The sooth; but trewely, as I gesse,                  35
  I holdë hit be a siknesse
  That I have suffred this eight yere,
  And yet my bote is never the nere;
  For ther is phisicien but oon,
  That may me hele; but that is doon.                  40
  Passe we over until eft;
  That wil not be, moot nede be left;
  Our first matere is good to kepe.
    So whan I saw I might not slepe,
  Til now late, this other night,                      45
  Upon my bedde I sat upright,
  And bad oon reche me a book,
  A romaunce, and he hit me took
  To rede and dryve the night away;
  For me thoghte it better play                        50
  Then playen either at chesse or tables.
    And in this boke were writen fables
  That clerkes hadde, in olde tyme,
  And other poets, put in ryme
  To rede, and for to be in minde                      55
  Whyl men loved the lawe of kinde.
  This book ne spak but of such thinges,
  Of quenes lyves, and of kinges,
  And many othere thinges smale.
  Amonge al this I fond a tale                         60
  That me thoughte a wonder thing.
    This was the tale: Ther was a king
  That highte Seys, and hadde a wyf,
  The beste that mighte bere lyf;
  And this quene highte Alcyone.                       65
  So hit befel, therafter sone,
  This king wolde wenden over see.
  To tellen shortly, whan that he
  Was in the see, thus in this wyse,
  Soche a tempest gan to ryse                          70
  That brak hir mast, and made it falle,
  And clefte hir ship, and dreinte hem alle,
  That never was founden, as it telles,
  Bord ne man, ne nothing elles.
  Right thus this king Seys loste his lyf.             75
    Now for to speken of his wyf:--
  This lady, that was left at home,
  Hath wonder, that the king ne come
  Hoom, for hit was a longe terme.
  Anon her herte gan to erme;                          80
  And for that hir thoughte evermo
  Hit was not wel [he dwelte] so,
  She longed so after the king
  That certes, hit were a pitous thing
  To telle hir hertely sorwful lyf                     85
  That hadde, alas! this noble wyf;
  For him she loved alderbest.
  Anon she sente bothe eest and west
  To seke him, but they founde nought.
   'Alas!' quoth she, 'that I was wrought!             90
  And wher my lord, my love, be deed?
  Certes, I nil never ete breed,
  I make a-vowe to my god here,
  But I mowe of my lorde here!'
  Such sorwe this lady to her took                     95
  That trewely I, which made this book,
  Had swich pite and swich rowthe
  To rede hir sorwe, that, by my trowthe,
  I ferde the worse al the morwe
  After, to thenken on her sorwe.                     100
    So whan [she] coude here no word
  That no man mighte fynde hir lord,
  Ful oft she swouned, and seide 'alas!'
  For sorwe ful nigh wood she was,
  Ne she coude no reed but oon;                       105
  But doun on knees she sat anoon,
  And weep, that pite was to here.
   'A! mercy! swete lady dere!'
  Quod she to Iuno, hir goddesse;
 'Help me out of this distresse,                      110
  And yeve me grace my lord to see
  Sone, or wite wher-so he be,
  Or how he fareth, or in what wyse,
  And I shal make you sacrifyse,
  And hoolly youres become I shal                     115
  With good wil, body, herte, and al;
  And but thou wilt this, lady swete,
  Send me grace to slepe, and mete
  In my slepe som certeyn sweven,
  Wher-through that I may knowen even                 120
  Whether my lord be quik or deed.'
  With that word she heng doun the heed,
  And fil a-swown as cold as ston;
  Hir women caughte her up anon,
  And broghten hir in bed al naked,                   125
  And she, forweped and forwaked,
  Was wery, and thus the dede sleep
  Fil on her, or she toke keep,
  Through Iuno, that had herd hir bone,
  That made hir [for] to slepe sone;                  130
  For as she prayde, so was don,
  In dede; for Iuno, right anon,
  Called thus her messagere
  To do her erande, and he com nere.
  Whan he was come, she bad him thus:                 135
  Go bet,' quod Iuno, 'to Morpheus,
  Thou knowest him wel, the god of sleep;
  Now understond wel, and tak keep.
  Sey thus on my halfe, that he
  Go faste into the grete see,                        140
  And bid him that, on alle thing,
  He take up Seys body the king,
  That lyth ful pale and no-thing rody.
  Bid him crepe into the body,
  Aud do it goon to Alcyone                           145
  The quene, ther she lyth alone,
  And shewe hir shortly, hit is no nay,
  How hit was dreynt this other day;
  And do the body speke so
  Right as hit was wont to do,                        150
  The whyles that hit was on lyve.
  Go now faste, and hy thee blyve!'
    This messager took leve and wente
  Upon his wey, and never ne stente
  Til he com to the derke valeye                      155
  That stant bytwene roches tweye
  Ther never yet grew corn ne gras,
  Ne tree, ne nothing that ought was,
  Beste, ne man, ne nothing elles,
  Save ther were a fewe welles                        160
  Came renning fro the cliffes adoun,
  That made a deedly sleping soun,
  And ronnen doun right by a cave
  That was under a rokke y-grave
  Amid the valey, wonder depe.                        165
  Ther thise goddes laye and slepe,
  Morpheus, and Eclympasteyre,
  That was the god of slepes heyre,
  That slepe and did non other werk.
    This cave was also as derk                        170
  As helle pit over-al aboute;
  They had good leyser for to route
  To envye, who might slepe beste;
  Some henge hir chin upon hir breste
  And slepe upright, hir heed y-hed,                  175
  And some laye naked in hir bed,
  And slepe whyles the dayes laste.
    This messager com flying faste,
  And cryed, 'O ho! awak anon!'
  Hit was for noght; ther herde him non.              180
  Awak!' quod he, 'who is, lyth there?'
  And blew his horn right in hir ere,
  And cryed 'awaketh!' wonder hyë.
  This god of slepe, with his oon yë
  Cast up, axed, 'who clepeth there?'                 185
  Hit am I,' quod this messagere;
  Iuno bad thou shuldest goon'--
  And tolde him what he shulde doon
  As I have told yow here-tofore;
  Hit is no need reherse hit more;                    190
  And wente his wey, whan he had sayd.
    Anon this god of slepe a-brayd
  Out of his slepe, and gan to goon,
  And did as he had bede him doon;
  Took up the dreynte body sone,                      195
  And bar hit forth to Alcyone,
  His wyf the quene, ther-as she lay,
  Right even a quarter before day,
  And stood right at hir beddes fete,
  And called hir, right as she hete,                  200
  By name, and seyde, 'my swete wyf,
  Awak! let be your sorwful lyf!
  For in your sorwe ther lyth no reed;
  For certes, swete, I nam but deed;
  Ye shul me never on lyve y-see.                     205
  But good swete herte, [look] that ye
  Bury my body, [at whiche] a tyde
  Ye mowe hit finde the see besyde;
  And far-wel, swete, my worldes blisse!
  I praye god your sorwe lisse;                       210
  To litel whyl our blisse lasteth!'
    With that hir eyen up she casteth,
  And saw noght; '[A]!' quod she, 'for sorwe!'
  And deyed within the thridde morwe.
  But what she sayde more in that swow                215
  I may not telle yow as now,
  Hit were to longe for to dwelle;
  My first matere I wil yow telle,
  Wherfor I have told this thing
  Of Alcione and Seys the king.                       220
    For thus moche dar I saye wel,
  I had be dolven everydel,
  And deed, right through defaute of sleep,
  If I nad red and taken keep
  Of this tale next before:                           225
  And I wol telle yow wherfore;
  For I ne might, for bote ne bale,
  Slepe, or I had red this tale
  Of this dreynte Seys the king,
  And of the goddes of sleping.                       230
  Whan I had red this tale wel,
  And over-loked hit everydel,
  Me thoughte wonder if hit were so;
  For I had never herd speke, or tho,
  Of no goddes that coude make                        235
  Men [for] to slepe, ne for to wake;
  For I ne knew never god but oon.
  And in my game I sayde anoon--
  And yet me list right evel to pleye--
 'Rather then that I shulde deye                      240
  Through defaute of sleping thus,
  I wolde yive thilke Morpheus,
  Or his goddesse, dame Iuno,
  Or som wight elles, I ne roghte who--
  To make me slepe and have som reste--               245
  I wil yive him the alder-beste
  Yift that ever he abood his lyve,
  And here on warde, right now, as blyve;
  If he wol make me slepe a lyte,
  Of downe of pure dowves whyte                       250
  I wil yive him a fether-bed,
  Rayed with golde, and right wel cled
  In fyn blak satin doutremere,
  And many a pilow, and every bere
  Of clothe of Reynes, to slepe softe;                255
  Him thar not nede to turnen ofte.
  And I wol yive him al that falles
  To a chambre; and al his halles
  I wol do peynte with pure golde,
  And tapite hem ful many folde                       260
  Of oo sute; this shal he have,
  If I wiste wher were his cave,
  If he can make me slepe sone,
  As did the goddesse Alcione.
  And thus this ilke god, Morpheus,                   265
  May winne of me mo feës thus
  Than ever he wan; and to Iuno,
  That is his goddesse, I shal so do,
  I trow that she shal holde her payd.'
    I hadde unneth that word y-sayd                   270
  Right thus as I have told hit yow,
  That sodeynly, I niste how,
  Swich a lust anoon me took
  To slepe, that right upon my book
  I fil aslepe, and therwith even                     275
  Me mette so inly swete a sweven,
  So wonderful, that never yit
  I trowe no man hadde the wit
  To conne wel my sweven rede;
  No, not Ioseph, withoute drede,                     280
  Of Egipte, he that redde so
  The kinges meting Pharao,
  No more than coude the leste of us;
  Ne nat scarsly Macrobeus,
  (He that wroot al thavisioun                        285
  That he mette, king Scipioun,
  The noble man, the Affrican--
  Swiche mervayles fortuned than)
  I trowe, a-rede my dremes even.
  Lo, thus hit was, this was my sweven.               290

              _The Dream._

  Me thoughte thus:--that hit was May,
  And in the dawning ther I lay,
  Me mette thus, in my bed al naked:--
  [I] loked forth, for I was waked
  With smale foules a gret hepe,                      295
  That had affrayed me out of slepe
  Through noyse and swetnesse of hir song;
  And, as me mette, they sate among,
  Upon my chambre-roof withoute,
  Upon the tyles, al a-boute,                         300
  And songen, everich in his wyse,
  The moste solempne servyse
  By note, that ever man, I trowe,
  Had herd; for som of hem song lowe,
  Som hye, and al of oon acorde.                      305
  To telle shortly, at oo worde,
  Was never y-herd so swete a steven,
  But hit had be a thing of heven;--
  So mery a soun, so swete entunes,
  That certes, for the toune of Tewnes,               310
  I nolde but I had herd hem singe,
  For al my chambre gan to ringe
  Through singing of hir armonye.
  For instrument nor melodye
  Was nowher herd yet half so swete,                  315
  Nor of acorde half so mete;
  For ther was noon of hem that feyned
  To singe, for ech of hem him peyned
  To finde out mery crafty notes;
  They ne spared not hir throtes.                     320
  And, sooth to seyn, my chambre was
  Ful wel depeynted, and with glas
  Were al the windowes wel y-glased,
  Ful clere, and nat an hole y-crased,
  That to beholde hit was gret Ioye.                  325
  For hoolly al the storie of Troye
  Was in the glasing y-wroght thus,
  Of Ector and king Priamus,
  Of Achilles and Lamedon,
  Of Medea and of Iason,                              330
  Of Paris, Eleyne, and Lavyne.
  And alle the walles with colours fyne
  Were peynted, bothe text and glose,
  [Of] al the Romaunce of the Rose.
  My windowes weren shet echon,                       335
  And through the glas the sunne shon
  Upon my bed with brighte bemes,
  With many glade gilden stremes;
  And eek the welken was so fair,
  Blew, bright, clere was the air,                    340
  And ful atempre, for sothe, hit was;
  For nother cold nor hoot hit nas,
  Ne in al the welken was a cloude.
    And as I lay thus, wonder loude
  Me thoughte I herde an hunte blowe                  345
  Tassaye his horn, and for to knowe
  Whether hit were clere or hors of soune.
    I herde goinge, up and doune,
  Men, hors, houndes, and other thing;
  And al men speken of hunting,                       350
  How they wolde slee the hert with strengthe,
  And how the hert had, upon lengthe,
  So moche embosed, I not now what.
  Anon-right, whan I herde that,
  How that they wolde on hunting goon,                355
  I was right glad, and up anoon;
  [I] took my hors, and forth I wente
  Out of my chambre; I never stente
  Til I com to the feld withoute.
  Ther overtook I a gret route                        360
  Of huntes and eek of foresteres,
  With many relayes and lymeres,
  And hyed hem to the forest faste,
  And I with hem;--so at the laste
  I asked oon, ladde a lymere:--                      365
  Say, felow, who shal hunten here
  Quod I; and he answerde ageyn,
  Sir, themperour Octovien,'
  Quod he, 'and is heer faste by.'
 'A goddes halfe, in good tyme,' quod I,              370
  Go we faste!' and gan to ryde.
  Whan we came to the forest-syde,
  Every man dide, right anoon,
  As to hunting fil to doon.
  The mayster-hunte anoon, fot-hoot,                  375
  With a gret horne blew three moot
  At the uncoupling of his houndes.
  Within a whyl the hert [y]-founde is,
  Y-halowed, and rechased faste
  Longe tyme; and at the laste,                       380
  This hert rused and stal away
  Fro alle the houndes a prevy way.
  The houndes had overshote hem alle,
  And were on a defaute y-falle;
  Therwith the hunte wonder faste                     385
  Blew a forloyn at the laste.
    I was go walked fro my tree,
  And as I wente, ther cam by me
  A whelp, that fauned me as I stood,
  That hadde y-folowed, and coude no good.            390
  Hit com and creep to me as lowe,
  Right as hit hadde me y-knowe,
  Hild doun his heed and Ioyned his eres,
  And leyde al smothe doun his heres.
  I wolde han caught hit, and anoon                   395
  Hit fledde, and was fro me goon;
  And I him folwed, and hit forth wente
  Doun by a floury grene wente
  Ful thikke of gras, ful softe and swete,
  With floures fele, faire under fete,                400
  And litel used, hit seemed thus;
  For bothe Flora and Zephirus,
  They two that make floures growe,
  Had mad hir dwelling ther, I trowe;
  For hit was, on to beholde,                         405
  As thogh the erthe envye wolde
  To be gayer than the heven,
  To have mo floures, swiche seven
  As in the welken sterres be.
  Hit had forgete the povertee                        410
  That winter, through his colde morwes,
  Had mad hit suffren, and his sorwes;
  Al was forgeten, and that was sene.
  For al the wode was waxen grene,
  Swetnesse of dewe had mad it waxe.                  415
    Hit is no need eek for to axe
  Wher ther were many grene greves,
  Or thikke of trees, so ful of leves;
  And every tree stood by him-selve
  Fro other wel ten foot or twelve.                   420
  So grete trees, so huge of strengthe,
  Of fourty or fifty fadme lengthe,
  Clene withoute bough or stikke,
  With croppes brode, and eek as thikke--
  They were nat an inche a-sonder--                   425
  That hit was shadwe over-al under;
  And many an hert and many an hinde
  Was both before me and bihinde.
  Of founes, soures, bukkes, doës
  Was ful the wode, and many roës,                    430
  And many squirelles, that sete
  Ful hye upon the trees, and ete,
  And in hir maner made festes.
  Shortly, hit was so ful of bestes,
  That thogh Argus, the noble countour,               435
  Sete to rekene in his countour,
  And rekened with his figures ten--
  For by tho figures mowe al ken,
  If they be crafty, rekene and noumbre,
  And telle of every thing the noumbre--              440
  Yet shulde he fayle to rekene even
  The wondres, me mette in my sweven.
    But forth they romed wonder faste
  Doun the wode; so at the laste
  I was war of a man in blak,                         445
  That sat and had y-turned his bak
  To an oke, an huge tree.
  Lord,' thoghte I, 'who may that be?
  What ayleth him to sitten here?'
  Anoon-right I wente nere;                           450
  Than fond I sitte even upright
  A wonder wel-faringe knight--
  By the maner me thoughte so--
  Of good mochel, and yong therto,
  Of the age of four and twenty yeer.                 455
  Upon his berde but litel heer,
  And he was clothed al in blakke.
  I stalked even unto his bakke,
  And ther I stood as stille as ought,
  That, sooth to saye, he saw me nought,              460
  For-why he heng his heed adoune.
  And with a deedly sorwful soune
  He made of ryme ten vers or twelve,
  Of a compleynt to him-selve,
  The moste pite, the moste rowthe,                   465
  That ever I herde; for, by my trowthe,
  Hit was gret wonder that nature
  Might suffren any creature
  To have swich sorwe, and be not deed.
  Ful pitous, pale, and nothing reed,                 470
  He sayde a lay, a maner song,
  Withoute note, withoute song,
  And hit was this; for wel I can
  Reherse hit; right thus hit began.--
  ¶ 'I have of sorwe so gret woon,                    475
  That Ioye gete I never noon,
    Now that I see my lady bright,
    Which I have loved with al my might,
  Is fro me deed, and is a-goon.                      479
  ¶ Allas, [o] deeth! what ayleth thee,               481
  That thou noldest have taken me,
    Whan that thou toke my lady swete?
  That was so fayr, so fresh, so free,
  So good, that men may wel [y]-see                   485
    Of al goodnesse she had no mete!'--
  Whan he had mad thus his complaynte,
  His sorowful herte gan faste faynte,
  And his spirites wexen dede;
  The blood was fled, for pure drede,                 490
  Doun to his herte, to make him warm--
  For wel hit feled the herte had harm--
  To wite eek why hit was a-drad
  By kinde, and for to make hit glad;
  For hit is membre principal                         495
  Of the body; and that made al
  His hewe chaunge and wexe grene
  And pale, for no blood [was] sene
  In no maner lime of his.
    Anoon therwith whan I saw this,                   500
  He ferde thus evel ther he sete,
  I wente and stood right at his fete,
  And grette him, but he spak noght,
  But argued with his owne thoght,
  And in his witte disputed faste                     505
  Why and how his lyf might laste;
  Him thoughte his sorwes were so smerte
  And lay so colde upon his herte;
  So, through his sorwe and hevy thoght,
  Made him that he ne herde me noght;                 510
  For he had wel nigh lost his minde,
  Thogh Pan, that men clepe god of kinde,
  Were for his sorwes never so wrooth.
    But at the laste, to sayn right sooth,
  He was war of me, how I stood                       515
  Before him, and dide of myn hood,
  And [grette] him, as I best coude.
  Debonairly, and no-thing loude,
  He sayde, 'I prey thee, be not wrooth,
  I herde thee not, to sayn the sooth,                520
  Ne I saw thee not, sir, trewely.'
   'A! goode sir, no fors,' quod I,
  I am right sory if I have ought
  Destroubled yow out of your thought;
  For-yive me if I have mis-take.'                    525
   'Yis, thamendes is light to make,'
  Quod he, 'for ther lyth noon ther-to;
  Ther is no-thing missayd nor do.'
    Lo! how goodly spak this knight,
  As it had been another wight;                       530
  He made it nouther tough ne queynte
  And I saw that, and gan me aqueynte
  With him, and fond him so tretable,
  Right wonder skilful and resonable,
  As me thoghte, for al his bale.                     535
  Anoon-right I gan finde a tale
  To him, to loke wher I might ought
  Have more knowing of his thought.
   'Sir,' quod I, 'this game is doon;
  I holde that this hert be goon;                     540
  Thise huntes conne him nowher see.'
   'I do no fors therof,' quod he,
  My thought is ther-on never a del.'
   'By our lord,' quod I, 'I trow yow wel,
  Right so me thinketh by your chere.                 545
  But, sir, oo thing wol ye here?
  Me thinketh, in gret sorwe I yow see;
  But certes, [good] sir, yif that ye
  Wolde ought discure me your wo,
  I wolde, as wis god helpe me so,                    550
  Amende hit, yif I can or may;
  Ye mowe preve hit by assay.
  For, by my trouthe, to make yow hool,
  I wol do al my power hool;
  And telleth me of your sorwes smerte,               555
  Paraventure hit may ese your herte,
  That semeth ful seke under your syde.'
    With that he loked on me asyde,
  As who sayth, 'nay, that wol not be.'
 'Graunt mercy, goode frend,' quod he,                560
  I thanke thee that thou woldest so,
  But hit may never the rather be do.
  No man may my sorwe glade,
  That maketh my hewe to falle and fade,
  And hath myn understonding lorn,                    565
  That me is wo that I was born!
  May noght make my sorwes slyde,
  Nought the remedies of Ovyde;
  Ne Orpheus, god of melodye,
  Ne Dedalus, with playes slye;                       570
  Ne hele me may phisicien,
  Noght Ypocras, ne Galien;
  Me is wo that I live houres twelve;
  But who so wol assaye him-selve
  Whether his herte can have pite                     575
  Of any sorwe, lat him see me.
  I wrecche, that deeth hath mad al naked
  Of alle blisse that was ever maked,
  Y-worthe worste of alle wightes,
  That hate my dayes and my nightes;                  580
  My lyf, my lustes be me lothe,
  For al welfare and I be wrothe.
  The pure deeth is so my fo,
  [Thogh] I wolde deye, hit wolde not so;
  For whan I folwe hit, hit wol flee;                 585
  I wolde have [hit], hit nil not me.
  This is my peyne withoute reed,
  Alway deying, and be not deed,
  That Sesiphus, that lyth in helle,
  May not of more sorwe telle.                        590
  And who so wiste al, by my trouthe,
  My sorwe, but he hadde routhe
  And pite of my sorwes smerte,
  That man hath a feendly herte.
  For who so seeth me first on morwe                  595
  May seyn, he hath [y]-met with sorwe;
  For I am sorwe and sorwe is I.
   'Allas! and I wol telle the why;
  My [song] is turned to pleyning,
  And al my laughter to weping,                       600
  My glade thoghtes to hevinesse,
  In travaile is myn ydelnesse
  And eek my reste; my wele is wo.
  My good is harm, and ever-mo
  In wrathe is turned my pleying,                     605
  And my delyt in-to sorwing.
  Myn hele is turned into seeknesse,
  In drede is al my sikernesse.
  To derke is turned al my light,
  My wit is foly, my day is night,                    610
  My love is hate, my sleep waking,
  My mirthe and meles is fasting,
  My countenaunce is nycete,
  And al abaved wher-so I be,
  My pees, in pleding and in werre;                   615
  Allas! how mighte I fare werre?
   'My boldnesse is turned to shame,
  For fals Fortune hath pleyd a game
  Atte ches with me, allas! the whyle!
  The trayteresse fals and ful of gyle,               620
  That al behoteth and no-thing halt,
  She goth upryght and yet she halt,
  That baggeth foule and loketh faire,
  The dispitousë debonaire,
  That scorneth many a creature!                      625
  An ydole of fals portraiture
  Is she, for she wil sone wryen;
  She is the monstres heed y-wryen,
  As filth over y-strawed with floures;
  Hir moste worship and hir [flour is]                630
  To lyen, for that is hir nature;
  Withoute feyth, lawe, or mesure
  She is fals; and ever laughinge
  With oon eye, and that other wepinge.
  That is broght up, she set al doun.                 635
  I lykne hir to the scorpioun,
  That is a fals flatering beste;
  For with his hede he maketh feste,
  But al amid his flateringe
  With his tayle he wol stinge,                       640
  And envenyme; and so wol she.
  She is thenvyous charite
  That is ay fals, and semeth wele,
  So turneth she hir false whele
  Aboute, for it is no-thing stable,                  645
  Now by the fyre, now at table;
  Ful many oon hath she thus y-blent.
  She is pley of enchauntement,
  That semeth oon and is nat so,
  The false theef! what hath she do,                  650
  Trowest thou? by our lord, I wol thee seye.
  Atte ches with me she gan to pleye;
  With hir false draughtes divers
  She stal on me, and took my fers.
  And whan I saw my fers aweye,                       655
  Alas! I couthe no lenger pleye,
  But seyde, "farwel, swete, y-wis,
  And farwel al that ever ther is!"
  Therwith Fortune seyde "chek here!"
  And "mate!" in mid pointe of the chekkere           660
  With a poune erraunt, allas!
  Ful craftier to pley she was
  Than Athalus, that made the game
  First of the ches: so was his name.
  But god wolde I had ones or twyes                   665
  Y-koud and knowe the Ieupardyes
  That coude the Grek Pithagores!
  I shulde have pleyd the bet at ches,
  And kept my fers the bet therby;
  And thogh wherto? for trewely                       670
  I hold that wish nat worth a stree!
  Hit had be never the bet for me.
  For Fortune can so many a wyle,
  Ther be but fewe can hir begyle,
  And eek she is the las to blame;                    675
  My-self I wolde have do the same,
  Before god, hadde I been as she;
  She oghte the more excused be.
  For this I say yet more therto,
  Hadde I be god and mighte have do                   680
  My wille, whan my fers she caughte,
  I wolde have drawe the same draughte.
  For, also wis god yive me reste,
  I dar wel swere she took the beste!
   'But through that draughte I have lorn             685
  My blisse; allas! that I was born!
  For evermore, I trowe trewly,
  For al my wil, my lust hoolly
  Is turned; but yet, what to done?
  By our lord, hit is to deye sone;                   690
  For no-thing I [ne] leve it noght,
  But live and deye right in this thoght.
  Ther nis planete in firmament,
  Ne in air, ne in erthe, noon element,
  That they ne yive me a yift echoon                  695
  Of weping, whan I am aloon.
  For whan that I avyse me wel,
  And bethenke me every-del,
  How that ther lyth in rekening,
  In my sorwe, for no-thing;                          700
  And how ther leveth no gladnesse
  May gladde me of my distresse,
  And how I have lost suffisance,
  And therto I have no plesance,
  Than may I say, I have right noght.                 705
  And whan al this falleth in my thoght,
  Allas! than am I overcome!
  For that is doon is not to come!
  I have more sorowe than Tantale.'
    And whan I herde him telle this tale              710
  Thus pitously, as I yow telle,
  Unnethe mighte I lenger dwelle,
  Hit dide myn herte so moche wo.
   'A! good sir!' quod I, 'say not so!
  Have som pite on your nature                        715
  That formed yow to creature,
  Remembre yow of Socrates;
  For he ne counted nat three strees
  Of noght that Fortune coude do.'
   'No,' quod he, 'I can not so.'                     720
   'Why so? good sir! parde!' quod I;
  Ne say noght so, for trewely,
  Thogh ye had lost the ferses twelve,
  And ye for sorwe mordred your-selve,
  Ye sholde be dampned in this cas                    725
  By as good right as Medea was,
  That slow hir children for Iason;
  And Phyllis als for Demophon
  Heng hir-self, so weylaway!
  For he had broke his terme-day                      730
  To come to hir. Another rage
  Had Dydo, quene eek of Cartage,
  That slow hir-self, for Eneas
  Was fals; [a!] whiche a fool she was!
  And Ecquo dyed for Narcisus                         735
  Nolde nat love hir; and right thus
  Hath many another foly don.
  And for Dalida dyed Sampson,
  That slow him-self with a pilere.
  But ther is [noon] a-lyve here                      740
  Wolde for a fers make this wo!'
   'Why so?' quod he; 'hit is nat so;
  Thou wost ful litel what thou menest;
  I have lost more than thou wenest.'
 'Lo, [sir,] how may that be?' quod I;                745
  Good sir, tel me al hoolly
  In what wyse, how, why, and wherfore
  That ye have thus your blisse lore.'
   'Blythly,' quod he, 'com sit adoun;
  I telle thee up condicioun                          750
  That thou hoolly, with al thy wit,
  Do thyn entent to herkene hit.'
  Yis, sir.' 'Swere thy trouthe ther-to.'
  Gladly.' 'Do than holde her-to!'
 'I shal right blythly, so god me save,               755
  Hoolly, with al the witte I have,
  Here yow, as wel as I can.'
   'A goddes half!' quod he, and began:--
  Sir,' quod he, 'sith first I couthe
  Have any maner wit fro youthe,                      760
  Or kyndely understonding
  To comprehende, in any thing,
  What love was, in myn owne wit,
  Dredeles, I have ever yit
  Be tributary, and yiven rente                       765
  To love hoolly with goode entente,
  And through plesaunce become his thral,
  With good wil, body, herte, and al.
  Al this I putte in his servage,
  As to my lorde, and dide homage;                    770
  And ful devoutly prayde him to,
  He shulde besette myn herte so,
  That it plesaunce to him were,
  And worship to my lady dere.
   'And this was longe, and many a yeer               775
  Or that myn herte was set o-wher,
  That I did thus, and niste why;
  I trowe hit cam me kindely.
  Paraunter I was therto most able
  As a whyt wal or a table;                           780
  For hit is redy to cacche and take
  Al that men wil therin make,
  Wher-so men wol portreye or peynte,
  Be the werkes never so queynte.
   'And thilke tyme I ferde so                        785
  I was able to have lerned tho,
  And to have coud as wel or better,
  Paraunter, other art or letter.
  But for love cam first in my thought,
  Therfore I forgat it nought.                        790
  I chees love to my firste craft,
  Therfor hit is with me [y]-laft.
  Forwhy I took hit of so yong age,
  That malice hadde my corage
  Nat that tyme turned to no-thing                    795
  Through to mochel knowleching.
  For that tyme youthe, my maistresse,
  Governed me in ydelnesse;
  For hit was in my firste youthe,
  And tho ful litel good I couthe;                    800
  For al my werkes were flittinge,
  And al my thoghtes varyinge;
  Al were to me y-liche good,
  That I knew tho; but thus hit stood.
   'Hit happed that I cam on a day                    805
  Into a place, ther I say,
  Trewly, the fayrest companyë
  Of ladies, that ever man with yë
  Had seen togedres in oo place.
  Shal I clepe hit hap other grace                    810
  That broghte me ther? nay, but Fortune,
  That is to lyen ful comune,
  The false trayteresse, pervers,
  God wolde I coude clepe hir wers!
  For now she worcheth me ful wo,                     815
  And I wol telle sone why so.
   'Among thise ladies thus echoon,
  Soth to seyn, I saw [ther] oon
  That was lyk noon of [al] the route;
  For I dar swere, withoute doute,                    820
  That as the someres sonne bright
  Is fairer, clerer, and hath more light
  Than any planete, [is] in heven,
  The mone, or the sterres seven,
  For al the worlde, so had she                       825
  Surmounted hem alle of beaute,
  Of maner and of comlinesse,
  Of stature and wel set gladnesse,
  Of goodlihede so wel beseye--
  Shortly, what shal I more seye?                     830
  By god, and by his halwes twelve,
  It was my swete, right as hir-selve!
  She had so stedfast countenaunce,
  So noble port and meyntenaunce.
  And Love, that had herd my bone,                    835
  Had espyed me thus sone,
  That she ful sone, in my thoght,
  As helpe me god, so was y-caught
  So sodenly, that I ne took
  No maner [reed] but at hir look                     840
  And at myn herte; for-why hir eyen
  So gladly, I trow, myn herte seyen,
  That purely tho myn owne thoght
  Seyde hit were [bet] serve hir for noght
  Than with another to be wel.                        845
  And hit was sooth, for, everydel,
  I wil anoon-right telle thee why.
   'I saw hir daunce so comlily,
  Carole and singe so swetely,
  Laughe and pleye so womanly,                        850
  And loke so debonairly,
  So goodly speke and so frendly,
  That certes, I trow, that evermore
  Nas seyn so blisful a tresore.
  For every heer [up]on hir hede,                     855
  Soth to seyn, hit was not rede,
  Ne nouther yelw, ne broun hit nas;
  Me thoghte, most lyk gold hit was.
  And whiche eyen my lady hadde!
  Debonair, goode, glade, and sadde,                  860
  Simple, of good mochel, noght to wyde;
  Therto hir look nas not a-syde,
  Ne overthwert, but beset so wel,
  Hit drew and took up, everydel,
  Alle that on hir gan beholde.                       865
  Hir eyen semed anoon she wolde
  Have mercy; fooles wenden so;
  But hit was never the rather do.
  Hit nas no countrefeted thing,
  It was hir owne pure loking,                        870
  That the goddesse, dame Nature,
  Had made hem opene by mesure,
  And close; for, were she never so glad,
  Hir loking was not foly sprad,
  Ne wildely, thogh that she pleyde;                  875
  But ever, me thoghte, hir eyen seyde,
 "By god, my wrathe is al for-yive!"
   'Therwith hir liste so wel to live,
  That dulnesse was of hir a-drad.
  She nas to sobre ne to glad;                        880
  In alle thinges more mesure
  Had never, I trowe, creature.
  But many oon with hir loke she herte,
  And that sat hir ful lyte at herte,
  For she knew no-thing of hir thoght;                885
  But whether she knew, or knew hit noght
  Algate she ne roghte of hem a stree!
  To gete hir love no ner nas he
  That woned at home, than he in Inde;
  The formest was alway behinde.                      890
  But goode folk, over al other,
  She loved as man may do his brother;
  Of whiche love she was wonder large,
  In skilful places that bere charge.
   'Which a visage had she ther-to!                   895
  Allas! myn herte is wonder wo
  That I ne can discryven hit!
  Me lakketh bothe English and wit
  For to undo hit at the fulle;
  And eek my spirits be so dulle                      900
  So greet a thing for to devyse.
  I have no wit that can suffyse
  To comprehenden hir beaute;
  But thus moche dar I seyn, that she
  Was rody, fresh, and lyvely hewed;                  905
  And every day hir beaute newed.
  And negh hir face was alder-best;
  For certes, Nature had swich lest
  To make that fair, that trewly she
  Was hir cheef patron of beautee,                    910
  And cheef ensample of al hir werke,
  And moustre; for, be hit never so derke,
  Me thinketh I see hir ever-mo.
  And yet more-over, thogh alle tho
  That ever lived were now a-lyve,                    915
  [They] ne sholde have founde to discryve
  In al hir face a wikked signe;
  For hit was sad, simple, and benigne.
   'And which a goodly softe speche
  Had that swete, my lyves leche!                     920
  So frendly, and so wel y-grounded,
  Up al resoun so wel y-founded,
  And so tretable to alle gode,
  That I dar swere by the rode,
  Of eloquence was never founde                       925
  So swete a sowninge facounde,
  Ne trewer tonged, ne scorned lasse,
  Ne bet coude hele; that, by the masse
  I durste swere, thogh the pope hit songe,
  That ther was never through hir tonge               930
  Man ne woman gretly harmed;
  As for hir, [ther] was al harm hid;
  Ne lasse flatering in hir worde,
  That purely, hir simple recorde
  Was founde as trewe as any bonde,                   935
  Or trouthe of any mannes honde.
  Ne chyde she coude never a del,
  That knoweth al the world ful wel.
   'But swich a fairnesse of a nekke
  Had that swete, that boon nor brekke                940
  Nas ther non sene, that mis-sat.
  Hit was whyt, smothe, streght, and flat,
  Withouten hole; [and] canel-boon,
  As by seming, had she noon.
  Hir throte, as I have now memoire,                  945
  Semed a round tour of yvoire,
  Of good gretnesse, and noght to grete.
   'And gode faire WHYTE she hete,
  That was my lady name right.
  She was bothe fair and bright,                      950
  She hadde not hir name wrong.
  Right faire shuldres, and body long
  She hadde, and armes, every lith
  Fattish, flesshy, not greet therwith;
  Right whyte handes, and nayles rede,                955
  Rounde brestes; and of good brede
  Hir hippes were, a streight flat bak.
  I knew on hir non other lak
  That al hir limmes nere sewing,
  In as fer as I had knowing.                         960
   'Therto she coude so wel pleye,
  Whan that hir liste, that I dar seye,
  That she was lyk to torche bright,
  That every man may take of light
  Ynogh, and hit hath never the lesse.                965
   'Of maner and of comlinesse
  Right so ferde my lady dere;
  For every wight of hir manere
  Might cacche ynogh, if that he wolde,
  If he had eyen hir to beholde.                      970
  For I dar sweren, if that she
  Had among ten thousand be,
  She wolde have be, at the leste,
  A cheef mirour of al the feste,
  Thogh they had stonden in a rowe,                   975
  To mennes eyen that coude have knowe.
  For wher-so men had pleyd or waked,
  Me thoghte the felawship as naked
  Withouten hir, that saw I ones,
  As a coroune withoute stones.                       980
  Trewely she was, to myn yë,
  The soleyn fenix of Arabye,
  For ther liveth never but oon;
  Ne swich as she ne knew I noon.
   'To speke of goodnesse; trewly she                 985
  Had as moche debonairte
  As ever had Hester in the bible,
  And more, if more were possible.
  And, soth to seyne, therwith-al
  She had a wit so general,                           990
  So hool enclyned to alle gode,
  That al hir wit was set, by the rode,
  Withoute malice, upon gladnesse;
  Therto I saw never yet a lesse
  Harmful, than she was in doing.                     995
  I sey nat that she ne had knowing
  What was harm; or elles she
  Had coud no good, so thinketh me.
   'And trewly, for to speke of trouthe,
  But she had had, hit had be routhe.                1000
  Therof she had so moche hir del--
  And I dar seyn and swere hit wel--
  That Trouthe him-self, over al and al,
  Had chose his maner principal
  In hir, that was his resting-place.                1005
  Ther-to she hadde the moste grace,
  To have stedfast perseveraunce,
  And esy, atempre governaunce,
  That ever I knew or wiste yit;
  So pure suffraunt was hir wit.                     1010
  And reson gladly she understood,
  Hit folowed wel she coude good.
  She used gladly to do wel;
  These were hir maners every-del.
   'Therwith she loved so wel right,                 1015
  She wrong do wolde to no wight;
  No wight might do hir no shame,
  She loved so wel hir owne name.
  Hir luste to holde no wight in honde;
  Ne, be thou siker, she nolde fonde                 1020
  To holde no wight in balaunce,
  By half word ne by countenaunce,
  But-if men wolde upon hir lye;
  Ne sende men in-to Walakye,
  To Pruyse and in-to Tartarye,                      1025
  To Alisaundre, ne in-to Turkye,
  And bidde him faste, anoon that he
  Go hoodles to the drye see,
  And come hoom by the Carrenare;
  And seye, "Sir, be now right ware                  1030
  That I may of yow here seyn
  Worship, or that ye come ageyn!"
  She ne used no suche knakkes smale.
   'But wherfor that I telle my tale?
  Right on this same, as I have seyd,                1035
  Was hoolly al my love leyd;
  For certes, she was, that swete wyf,
  My suffisaunce, my lust, my lyf,
  Myn hap, myn hele, and al my blisse,
  My worldes welfare and my [lisse],                 1040
  And I hirs hoolly, everydel.'
   'By our lord,' quod I, 'I trowe yow wel!
  Hardely, your love was wel beset,
  I not how ye mighte have do bet.'
 'Bet? ne no wight so wel!' quod he.                 1045
  I trowe hit, sir,' quod I, 'parde!'
  Nay, leve hit wel!' 'Sir, so do I;
  I leve yow wel, that trewely
  Yow thoghte, that she was the beste,
  And to beholde the alderfaireste,                  1050
  Who so had loked with your eyen.'
   'With myn? nay, alle that hir seyen
  Seyde, and sworen hit was so.
  And thogh they ne hadde, I wolde tho
  Have loved best my lady fre,                       1055
  Thogh I had had al the beautee
  That ever had Alcipyades,
  And al the strengthe of Ercules,
  And therto had the worthinesse
  Of Alisaundre, and al the richesse                 1060
  That ever was in Babiloyne,
  In Cartage, or in Macedoyne,
  Or in Rome, or in Ninive;
  And therto al-so hardy be
  As was Ector, so have I Ioye,                      1065
  That Achilles slow at Troye--
  And therfor was he slayn also
  In a temple, for bothe two
  Were slayn, he and Antilegius,
  And so seyth Dares Frigius,                        1070
  For love of [hir] Polixena--
  Or ben as wys as Minerva,
  I wolde ever, withoute drede,
  Have loved hir, for I moste nede!
 "Nede!" nay, I gabbe now,                           1075
  Noght "nede," and I wol telle how,
  For of good wille myn herte hit wolde,
  And eek to love hir I was holde
  As for the fairest and the beste.
   'She was as good, so have I reste,                1080
  As ever was Penelope of Grece,
  Or as the noble wyf Lucrece,
  That was the beste--he telleth thus,
  The Romain Tytus Livius--
  She was as good, and no-thing lyke,                1085
  Thogh hir stories be autentyke;
  Algate she was as trewe as she.
   'But wherfor that I telle thee
  Whan I first my lady sey?
  I was right yong, [the] sooth to sey,              1090
  And ful gret need I hadde to lerne;
  Whan my herte wolde yerne
  To love, it was a greet empryse.
  But as my wit coude best suffyse,
  After my yonge childly wit,                        1095
  Withoute drede, I besette hit
  To love hir in my beste wyse,
  To do hir worship and servyse
  That I tho coude, by my trouthe,
  Withoute feyning outher slouthe;                   1100
  For wonder fayn I wolde hir see.
  So mochel hit amended me,
  That, whan I saw hir first a-morwe,
  I was warished of al my sorwe
  Of al day after, til hit were eve;                 1105
  Me thoghte no-thing mighte me greve,
  Were my sorwes never so smerte.
  And yit she sit so in myn herte,
  That, by my trouthe, I nolde noght,
  For al this worlde, out of my thoght               1110
  Leve my lady; no, trewly!'
   'Now, by my trouthe, sir,' quod I,
  Me thinketh ye have such a chaunce
  As shrift withoute repentaunce.'
   'Repentaunce! nay fy,' quod he;                   1115
  Shulde I now repente me
  To love? nay, certes, than were I wel
  Wers than was Achitofel,
  Or Anthenor, so have I Ioye,
  The traytour that betraysed Troye,                 1120
  Or the false Genelon,
  He that purchased the treson
  Of Rowland and of Olivere.
  Nay, whyl I am a-lyve here
  I nil foryete hir never-mo.'                       1125
   'Now, goode sir,' quod I [right] tho,
  Ye han wel told me her-before.
  It is no need reherse hit more
  How ye sawe hir first, and where;
  But wolde ye telle me the manere,                  1130
  To hir which was your firste speche--
  Therof I wolde yow be-seche--
  And how she knewe first your thoght,
  Whether ye loved hir or noght,
  And telleth me eek what ye have lore;              1135
  I herde yow telle her-before.'
   'Ye,' seyde he, 'thou nost what thou menest;
  I have lost more than thou wenest.'
   'What los is that, [sir]?' quod I tho;
 'Nil she not love yow? is hit so?                   1140
  Or have ye oght [y-]doon amis,
  That she hath left yow? is hit this?
  For goddes love, tel me al.'
   'Before god,' quod he, 'and I shal.
  I saye right as I have seyd,                       1145
  On hir was al my love leyd;
  And yet she niste hit never a del
  Noght longe tyme, leve hit wel.
  For be right siker, I durste noght
  For al this worlde telle hir my thoght,            1150
  Ne I wolde have wratthed hir, trewly.
  For wostow why? she was lady
  Of the body; she had the herte,
  And who hath that, may not asterte.
   'But, for to kepe me fro ydelnesse,               1155
  Trewly I did my besinesse
  To make songes, as I best coude,
  And ofte tyme I song hem loude;
  And made songes a gret del,
  Al-thogh I coude not make so wel                   1160
  Songes, ne knowe the art al,
  As coude Lamekes sone Tubal,
  That fond out first the art of songe;
  For, as his brothers hamers ronge
  Upon his anvelt up and doun,                       1165
  Therof he took the firste soun;
  But Grekes seyn, Pictagoras,
  That he the firste finder was
  Of the art; Aurora telleth so,
  But therof no fors, of hem two.                    1170
  Algates songes thus I made
  Of my feling, myn herte to glade;
  And lo! this was [the] alther-firste,
  I not wher [that] hit were the werste.--
  ¶ "Lord, hit maketh myn herte light,               1175
  Whan I thenke on that swete wight
    That is so semely on to see;
    And wisshe to god hit might so be,
  That she wolde holde me for hir knight,
  My lady, that is so fair and bright!"--            1180
   'Now have I told thee, sooth to saye,
  My firste song. Upon a daye
  I bethoghte me what wo
  And sorwe that I suffred tho
  For hir, and yet she wiste hit noght,              1185
  Ne telle hir durste I nat my thoght.
 "Allas!" thoghte I, "I can no reed;
  And, but I telle hir, I nam but deed;
  And if I telle hir, to seye sooth,
  I am a-dred she wol be wrooth;                     1190
  Allas! what shal I thanne do?"
   'In this debat I was so wo,
  Me thoghte myn herte braste a-tweyn!
  So atte laste, soth to seyn,
  I me bethoghte that nature                         1195
  Ne formed never in creature
  So moche beaute, trewely,
  And bounte, withouten mercy.
   'In hope of that, my tale I tolde
  With sorwe, as that I never sholde,                1200
  For nedes; and, maugree my heed,
  I moste have told hir or be deed.
  I not wel how that I began,
  Ful evel rehersen hit I can;
  And eek, as helpe me god with-al,                  1205
  I trowe hit was in the dismal,
  That was the ten woundes of Egipte;
  For many a word I over-skipte
  In my tale, for pure fere
  Lest my wordes mis-set were.                       1210
  With sorweful herte, and woundes dede,
  Softe and quaking for pure drede
  And shame, and stinting in my tale
  For ferde, and myn hewe al pale,
  Ful ofte I wex bothe pale and reed;                1215
  Bowing to hir, I heng the heed;
  I durste nat ones loke hir on,
  For wit, manere, and al was gon.
  I seyde "mercy!" and no more;
  Hit nas no game, hit sat me sore.                  1220
   'So atte laste, sooth to seyn,
  Whan that myn herte was come ageyn,
  To telle shortly al my speche,
  With hool herte I gan hir beseche
  That she wolde be my lady swete;                   1225
  And swor, and gan hir hertely hete
  Ever to be stedfast and trewe,
  And love hir alwey freshly newe,
  And never other lady have,
  And al hir worship for to save                     1230
  As I best coude; I swor hir this--
 "For youres is al that ever ther is
  For evermore, myn herte swete!
  And never false yow, but I mete,
  I nil, as wis god helpe me so!"                    1235
   'And whan I had my tale y-do,
  God wot, she acounted nat a stree
  Of al my tale, so thoghte me.
  To telle shortly as hit is,
  Trewly hir answere, hit was this;                  1240
  I can not now wel counterfete
  Hir wordes, but this was the grete
  Of hir answere; she sayde, "nay"
  Al-outerly. Allas! that day
  The sorwe I suffred, and the wo!                   1245
  That trewly Cassandra, that so
  Bewayled the destruccioun
  Of Troye and of Ilioun,
  Had never swich sorwe as I tho.
  I durste no more say therto                        1250
  For pure fere, but stal away;
  And thus I lived ful many a day.
  That trewely, I hadde no need
  Ferther than my beddes heed
  Never a day to seche sorwe;                        1255
  I fond hit redy every morwe,
  For-why I loved hir in no gere.
   'So hit befel, another yere,
  I thoughte ones I wolde fonde
  To do hir knowe and understonde                    1260
  My wo; and she wel understood
  That I ne wilned thing but good,
  And worship, and to kepe hir name
  Over al thing, and drede hir shame,
  And was so besy hir to serve;--                    1265
  And pite were I shulde sterve,
  Sith that I wilned noon harm, y-wis.
  So whan my lady knew al this,
  My lady yaf me al hoolly
  The noble yift of hir mercy,                       1270
  Saving hir worship, by al weyes;
  Dredles, I mene noon other weyes.
  And therwith she yaf me a ring;
  I trowe hit was the firste thing;
  But if myn herte was y-waxe                        1275
  Glad, that is no need to axe!
  As helpe me god, I was as blyve,
  Reysed, as fro dethe to lyve,
  Of alle happes the alder-beste,
  The gladdest and the moste at reste.               1280
  For trewely, that swete wight,
  Whan I had wrong and she the right,
  She wolde alwey so goodely
  For-yeve me so debonairly.
  In alle my youthe, in alle chaunce,                1285
  She took me in hir governaunce.
   'Therwith she was alway so trewe,
  Our Ioye was ever y-liche newe;
  Our hertes wern so even a payre,
  That never nas that oon contrayre                  1290
  To that other, for no wo.
  For sothe, y-liche they suffred tho
  Oo blisse and eek oo sorwe bothe;
  Y-liche they were bothe gladde and wrothe;
  Al was us oon, withoute were.                      1295
  And thus we lived ful many a yere
  So wel, I can nat telle how.'
   'Sir,' quod I, 'wher is she now?'
  Now!' quod he, and stinte anoon.
    Therwith he wex as deed as stoon,                1300
  And seyde, 'allas! that I was bore!
  That was the los, that her-before
  I tolde thee, that I had lorn.
  Bethenk how I seyde her-beforn,
 "Thou wost ful litel what thou menest;              1305
  I have lost more than thou wenest"--
  God wot, allas! right that was she!'
   'Allas! sir, how? what may that be?'
  She is deed!' 'Nay!' 'Yis, by my trouthe!'
 'Is that your los? by god, hit is routhe!'          1310
    And with that worde, right anoon,
  They gan to strake forth; al was doon,
  For that tyme, the hert-hunting.
    With that, me thoghte, that this king
  Gan [quikly] hoomward for to ryde                  1315
  Unto a place ther besyde,
  Which was from us but a lyte,
  A long castel with walles whyte,
  By seynt Iohan! on a riche hil,
  As me mette; but thus it fil.                      1320
    Right thus me mette, as I yow telle,
  That in the castel was a belle,
  As hit had smiten houres twelve.--

    Therwith I awook my-selve,
  And fond me lying in my bed;                       1325
  And the book that I had red,
  Of Alcyone and Seys the king,
  And of the goddes of sleping,
  I fond it in myn honde ful even.
    Thoghte I, 'this is so queynt a sweven,          1330
  That I wol, by processe of tyme,
  Fonde to putte this sweven in ryme
  As I can best'; and that anoon.--
  This was my sweven; now hit is doon.               1334


_The_ MSS. _are_: F. (Fairfax 16); Tn. (Tanner 346); B. (Bodley 638); _the
fourth authority is_ Th. (Thynne's edition of 1532). _I follow_ F. _mainly,
and note all but very trifling variations from it_. B. _usually agrees
with_ F.

TITLE: _in_ F. 1. Tn. gret; F. grete. Th. by; F. Tn. be. 5. Tn. Th.
defaute; F. defaulte. 6. _All_ take no kepe. 8. Tn. Th. lefe (_read_ leef);
F. leve. 9. Tn. Th. good; F. goode. 10. Tn. Ioye; F. Ioy. 11, 12. F. no
thynge, thynge. 14. _All_ sorwful (_badly_); _read_ sory. 15. F. hooly. 16.
F. woote; Th. B. wote; Tn. wotte; _read_ wite. 19. _For_ To _perhaps read_
Unto. F. ertherly (_miswritten_). 21. _All_ be. 22. Th. Tn. B. ne (_2nd
time_); F. no.

23. _All_ this. 24. _All_ drede. 25. Th. Tn. Defaute; F. Defaulte. 26. Th.
slayne; Tn. slain; F. _omits_. 27. F. loste. Tn. _omits_ ll. 31-96; F. _has
them in a later hand_ (_the spelling of which I amend_). 32. F. nathles
whoe 33. F. trewly. 34. F. tell. 35. Th. sothe; F. southe (!) F. trewly.
36. F. hold it; Th. holde it; _read_ hold-ë hit. F. sicknes. 38. F. boote.
39. Th. F. For ther. (phisicien = fízishén). F. one. 40. F. heale; done.
41. F. vntill efte. 42. F. mote. Th. nede; F. nedes. F. lefte. 43. F.
mater. 44. Th. So whan; F. Soe when. F. sawe. 45. Th. Tyl nowe late: F. Til
now late; _but probably corrupt_. 46. F. sate. 47. F. bade one. F. booke.
48. F. it; Th. he it. F. toke. 50. F. thought; beter. 51. F. play; Ten
Brink _reads_ playen. 52. F. written.

53. F. had. 56. F. While. Th. of; F. in (_copied from line above_). 57. F.
boke. Th. spake; F. speake (_read_ spak). 58. F. kings. 59. Th. smale: F.
smalle. 60. Th. al; F. all. F. fonde. 61. F. thought. 62. F. There. 63. F.
hight. Th. Seys; F. Seyes. F. had. F. wife. 64. Th. beste; F. best. F.
might beare lyfe. 65. F. hight. 66. F. Soe it befill thereafter. 67. F.
woll; Th. wol. 70. _Perhaps read_ gan aryse. 71. F. brake. (hir=_their_).
F. maste; fal. 72. Th. her; F. ther (_see line above_). F. dreint; all. 73.
Th. F. founde (_error for_ founden). 74. F. Borde. 75. Th. Seys; F. Seyes.
F. life. 76. Th. F. Now for to speke of Alcyone his wyfe; _read_: Now for
to speken of his wyf. F. wife. 79. Th. F. Home; it. 80. Th. Anon; F. Anone.
Th. F. began (_error for_ gan). Th. F. yerne (_error for_ erme); see note.

81. F. thought. 82. F. It; wele; thought soe. _Both_ her thought so,
_caught from l._ 81; _read_ he dwelte (delayed). 83. F. soe. 84. F. it. 85.
F. tell. Th. hertely; F. hartely. F. life. 86. Th. F. she had; _I omit_
she, _and supply_ alas _from l._ 87. 87. Th. _and_ F. _insert_ alas _after_
him. 88. F. Anone; sent. 91. F. where. 92. Th. nyl; F. will. F. eate
breede. 94. Th. lorde; F. Lord. 95. F. toke. 96. F. trewly; booke. 97. _The
older hand recommences in_ F. F. had; Tn. I Had. F. suche (_twice_). F.
pittee. 100. F. And aftir; _but_ Th. Tn. B. _omit_ And. 101. _All_ this
lady (_for_ she; _badly_). 102. F. myght; lorde. 103. F. ofte; sayed. 104.
F. woode. 105. F. rede. 106. F. doune; sate. 107. _All_ wepte (_read_
weep). F. pittee. 109. Th. to; _which_ F. Tn. _omit_. 110. F. Helpe; B.

112. F. Soone. Tn. B. wite; F. Th. wete. 114. F. yowe. 116. Th. Tn. B. good
wyl; F. good wille (wil _is here a monosyllable_). 117. F. wilte. 118. Tn.
Send; Th. F. Sende. 119. Th. som; F. som_m_e. 120. Th. through; F. thorgh.
F. knowe. 121. F. lorde; quyke; ded. 122. F. worde; henge; hed. 123. Th.
Tn. fel; F. felle (_see_ l. 128). F. A swowne, Tn. a swowe (_for_ a-swowen
= a-swown); Th. in a swowne. F. colde; Tn. cold. 124. F. kaught; anoon.
127. Tn. dede; F. ded. _All_ slepe. 128. F. tooke. _All_ kepe. 129. Th.
Through; F. Throgh. F. herde. 130. _I supply_ for. 131. Th. Tn. prayde; F.
prayede; _after which all insert_ right (_but see next line_). 134. F.
come. 137, 138. _All_ slepe, kepe. F. vnderstonde; take.

141. Tn. B. all_e_; F. al. 142. Th. He; F. Tn. That he. F. kynge. 144. Tn.
B. Bid; F. Bud. 145. Th. Alcyone; F. Tn. Alchione. 146. Th. alone; F.
allone. 149. _After_ speke _all insert_ right (_see next line_). 150. _All_
woned. 151. Tn. on; F. a. 152. F. hye the. 153. F. toke; went. 154. Th. he
(_for_ ne). F. stent. 155. Tn. com; F. come. F. valey. 156. Th. bytwene; F.
betwex; Tn. betwix. F. twey. 157. F. corne. 158, 159. _All_ noght (_for_
nothing). F. oughte. 162. F. dedely; Th. deedly; Tn. dedli. 166. F. There
these; lay. 167. Th. F. B. Eclympasteyre (_as in text_); Tn. Etlympasteyre
(_with_ t _for_ c). 168. Tn. heir_e_; F. eyre. 169, 170. F. werke, derke.

171. Tn. pit; F. pitte. 173. F. To envye; Tn. Th. vie. 175. Tn. slepte; F.
slept; _see_ 177. Th. heed; F. hed. B. Tn. I-hid; Th. yhed; F. yhedde. 176.
_All_ lay. F. Tn. bedde. 177. F. slepe; Th. Tn. slepte. 178. F. com. Tn.
flyyng; F. fleynge; Th. rennyng. 179. F. Tn. O how; Th. ho ho. F. awake.
180. F. there. 181. F. Awake; lythe. 182. F. horne. Tn. B. ere; F. heere.
184. Tn. oon; F. on. F. ye; Th. eye; Tn. ei[gh]e. 185. Th. Tn. Cast; F.
Caste. _All ins._ and _after_ up. 191. Th. wente; F. went. F. sayede; Tn.
seide. 192. F. a-brayede; Tn. abraied. 195. F. Tooke; dreynt; _see_ Cant.
Ta. B. 69. 196. F. bare. Th. Alcione; F. Tn. Alchione. 197. F. wife. 199.
Th. her; F. Tn. hys. F. fete; _see_ note. 200. _All_ hete.

201. F. sayede; wyfe. 202. F. Awake; lyfe. 203. F. there; rede. 204. _I
put_ nam; _all have_ am. F. dede. 206. _I supply_ look, _for the sake of
sense and metre_; _read_--But good swet' hert-ë, look that ye. 207. _All_
for suche; _read_ at whiche. 210. F. pray; youre. 211. F. while oure. 213.
_All_ allas (_for_ A). 214. F. deyede; Tn. deid. 215. F. sayede. Tn. swow;
Th. B. swowe; F. sorowe (!). 216. F. nowe. 219. Tn. told; F. tolde. F.
thynge. 220. Th. Alcione; F. Tn. Alchione. F. kynge. 221. _All_ say. Tn.
wel; F. welle. 222. Tn. eueridel; F. euerydelle. 223. F. thorgh. Tn.
defaute; F. defaulte. _All_ slepe. 224. Th. F. ne had (_read_ nad); Tn.
hade. Tn. red; F. redde. _All_ take kepe. 226. F. _omits_ I (_by mistake_).
228. F. redde. 229. F. kynge. 230. Th. goddes; F. Tn. goddis.

231. Tn. red; F. redde. 233. F. thoght. 234. Tn. herd; F. herde. 235. F.
goddis. 236. _I supply the former_ for. 237. I ne = I n'. 238. F. sayede.
239. F. pley. 240. F. dey. 241. F. Thorgh defaulte. Tn. sleping; F.
slepynge. 244. Tn. sum; F. som_m_e. F. ellis. F. roght; Th. Tn. rought.
245. Tn. som; F. some. 247. F. Yifte. F. abode. 248. B. on warde; _rest_
onwarde. 251. F. yif (_see_ l. 246). Tn. fethirbed; F. feder bedde. 252.
Tn. cled; F. cledde. 253. Tn. fyn; F. fyne. Th. doutremere; Tn.
dout_er_mere; F. de owter mere. 254. Tn. pilow; F. pelowe. 257, 8. F.
fallys, hallys.

264. _All ins._ quene _after_ goddesse. Th. Alcione; F. Tn. Alchione. 267.
_All_ wanne (!). 269. F. payede. 270. Tn. woord; F. worde. F. y-sayede.
271. Th. Tn. B. as; _which_ F. _omits_. Tn. told; F. tolde. 273. Tn. lust;
F. luste. F. tooke. 274. F. booke. 275. F. evene. 276. F. swevene. 277. Tn.
[gh]it; F. yitte. 278. Th. trowe; F. trow; Tn. trov. 281. Th. Tn. B. he; F.
ho. F. red; Th. Tn. rad (_but read_ redde _or_ radde). 282. F. metynge.
283. B. leste; F. lest. 285. Tn. wrot; F. wrote. 286. F. kynge. 288. Th.
Suche meruayles fortuned than; F. Tn. B. _omit this line_.

291. F. thoght. 292. F. dawnynge. Th. there; _rest om._ 294. _All_ And
(_for_ I). 295. Tn. gret; F. grete. 296. _All insert_ my _before_ slepe;
_it is not wanted_. 297. F. Thorgh; swettenesse; songe. 298. Th. as; F. Tn.
B. al (_badly_). F. amonge. 299. F. roofe. 300. _All_ ouer al; _but omit_
ouer. 301. _All_ songe, song. 304. F. herde. Tn. B. som; F. so_m_me. Tn.
song; F. songe (_it can be singular_). 305. Tn. Som; F. Som_m_e. F. high.
306. F. att. 307. F. harde; Tn. I-herd. 308. F. thynge. 309. F. soune. Th.
Th. entunes; F. entewnes. 310. F. tewnes; Th. Tewnes; Tn. twnes. 311. F.
herde. 313. F. Thorgh syngynge. 315. F. nowhere herde; halfe. 316. F.
halfe. 318. Tn. ich; _rest_ eche.

319. F. _wrongly inserts_ of _after_ out. F. notys. 320. F. throtys. 321.
F. soothe. 323. F. y-glasyd. 324. F. hoole y-crasyd. 326. Tn. hoolly; F.
holy. Tn. storie; F. story. 327. F. glasynge. 328. _All_ and of king. 329.
_All repeat_ of king _before_ Lamedon; _the words were caught from_ l. 328.
330. _All insert_ And eke _before_ Of Medea. 331. _All_ and of (_for_ and).
332. Tn. colours; F. colouris. 334. _All_ And; _read_ Of. 335. Th. weren;
F. were. Tn. shet; F. shette. 336. F. throgh. 337. F. bryght. 338. F.
gilde; Th. B. gyldy; Tn. gilti; _read_ gilden. 339. F. eke. F. welken; Th.
Tn. welkyn. _All_ faire. 340. F. ayre. 341. Th. atempre; F. Tn. attempre.
342. _All ins._ to _bef._ cold. F. colde; hoote. Th. nas; F. Tn. was. 343.
F. welkene; Th. welkyn; Tn. walkyn. 345. F. thoght. 346. F. Tassay; horne.

347. Tn. B. hors; Th. F. horse. 348. _All insert_ And _at the beginning of
the line_; _but read_ I herd-e. F. Th. goynge; Tn. goyng; _after which all
insert_ bothe (_which is not wanted_). 350. F. Th. speke; Tn. spake; _but
read_ speken. 355. F. huntynge. 357. _I supply_ I. F. Tooke; forthe; went.
358. F. stent. 359. F. come; felde. 360. F. ouertoke; grete. 361. F. eke;
foresterys. 362. F. lymerys. 364. Th. I; _which_ F. Tn. _omit_. _For_ at
the _perhaps read_ atte. 366. F. felowe whoo. _All_ hunte (_read_ hunten).
367. _All_ answered (-id). 369. F. here fast. 370. _Read_ goddes _as_
god's. 373. F. didde. 374. F. huntynge fille. 375. F. fote hote. 376. F.
blewe; mote.

377. F. vncoupylynge; Th. vncouplynge. 378. F. Withynne; while; herte. Th.
F. founde; Tn. found; _read_ y-founde. 380. _All_ and so; _om._ so. 381. F.
Tn. B. rused; Th. roused. F. staale. 383. Th. ouer-shot; F. ouershette; Tn.
ouershet. Tn. hem; F. hym (_wrongly_). 384. Tn. on; F. vpon. Tn. defaute;
F. defaulte. 386. F. Blewe. Th. Tn. forloyn; F. forleygne. _Perhaps read_
atte _for_ at the. 388. F. went; came. 389. F. whelpe. Th. fawned; F.
Favned. F. stoode. 390. F. goode. 391. F. come. _All have_ crepte
(_wrongly_); _read_ creep. 392. Tn. hade; F. had. 393. B. Hild; F. Hylde;
Tn. Held. Th. heed; Tn. hed; F. hede. F. erys. 394. F. herys. 395. _All_
haue; _read_ han. 396. Tn. fledde; F. fled. 397. F. forthe went. 398. F.
went. 399. _All_ swete (_correctly_). 400. _All_ fete; _see_ 199. 402. Tn.
bothe; F. both. 404. _All_ made; _read_ mad _or_ maad. F dwellynge.

406. F. therthe; Th. the erthe. 408. F. moo; swche (_sic_). 409. Th.
welken; F. walkene. F. sterris. 411. F. thorgh. 412. _All_ suffre. 414. F.
woode. 415. _All_ made. 416. _All_ nede eke. 417. F. Where there. 419. F.
stoode. 420. Tn. ten; F. tene. Th. foote; F. fete; Tn. _om._ Th. or; F. Tn.
fro other (_repeated_). 422. Th. Tn. B. Of; F. Or. Th. or; _rest om._ F.
fedme; Th. fedome; Tn. fedim; _read_ fadme. 424. Th. brode; F. Tn. bothe
(_wrongly_). F. eke. 426. Tn. B. shadwe; F. shadewe. 427. Tn. hert; F.
herte. 429. Th. fawnes; F. Tn. fovnes. F. Tn. sowres; Th. sowers. 430. Tn.
wode; F. woode. 429, 430. B. doys, roys. 431. Th. squyrrels; F. sqwirels;
Tn. squirels; B. squyrellys (_three syllables_). 432. F. high. 433. F.
festys. 434. F. bestys.

435. Th. Tn. countour; F. counter (_and so in_ l. 436). 437. F. Tn. rekene;
Th. reken (_caught from above_); _read_ rekened. F. figuris. 438. F.
figuris. F. mowe; B. mow; Th. Tn. newe (_reading doubtful_). _All have_ al
ken; _see_ note. 440. B. tell_e_; _rest_ tel. F. thinge. 441. F. evene.
442. F. swevene. 443. _All ins._ right _bef._ wonder. 444. F. Doune; woode.
446. Th. sate; F. Tn. sete. Tn. Iturned; F. turned. 447. F. ooke. 448. Th.
Tn. thought; F. thogh (!). 450. F. went. 451. Tn. fond; F. founde. 452. F.
farynge. 454. _All but_ B. _insert_ ryght _before_ yong. Tn. [gh]ung; F.
Th. yonge. 455. _All_ yere; _read_ yeer. 456. _All_ heere, here; _read_
heer. 457. Th. blacke; F. blake. 458. Tn. bakke; F. bake. 459. F. stoode.
460. F. sawe. 461. Tn. heng; F. henge. Th. heed; Tn. hed; F. hede. 462. Tn.
dedly; F. dedely.

463. Th. Tn. twelue; F. twelfe. 464. Th. Tn. selue; F. selfe. 465. Tn.
pite; F. pitee. 468. _All_ suffre; _read_ suffren. 469. F. suche. Th. deed;
F. Tn. ded. 470. Tn. pitous; B. pitouse; F. petuose. Tn. nothing; F. no
thynge. Th. reed; F. Tn. red. 471. F. sayed; Tn. said. 471, 2. Tn. song; F.
songe. 473. B. _alone supplies_ it (=hit); _all insert_ ful _before_ wel.
475. F. grete; Tn. gret. _All_ wone; _read_ woon. 476. F. Ioy; none. 477,
8. _Read_ brighte, mighte? 479. Th. deed; F. ded. _After_ l. 479 Thynne
_inserts_ And thus in sorowe lefte me alone; _it is spurious_; _see_ note.
[Hence there is no l. 480.] 481. Koch _supplies_ o. Tn. deth; F. dethe.
483. Tn. that; _which_ F. Tn. _omit_. 484. F. faire. F. freshe; Tn. fressh.
485. _All_ se; _but read_ y-see. 486. F. goodenesse. 487. _All_ made. Th.
B. complaynte; F. complaynt. 488. F. sorwful. Th. herte; F. hert. Th. B.
faynte; F. faynt. 489. F. spiritis. 490. Tn. blood; F. bloode.

491. Th. herte; F. hert. _All_ warme. 492. Th. herte; F. hert. _All_ harme.
493. B. wite; F. wete. _All_ eke. 498. _All insert_ ther _before_ no. F.
noo bloode. _All_ is; _but read_ was. 499. Th. lymme; B. Tn. lyme; F.
hym(!). 500. B. saw; F. saugh. 501. F. Th. there; Tn. for. _All_ sete (fete
_is dat. pl._). 502. F. went; stoode. 503. _All_ spake (_wrongly_). 504.
Th. Tn. owne; F. ovne. 506. F. Th. lyfe; Tn. life. 507. F. thought. 509. F.
throgh. B. sorwe; Tn. sorov; F. sorwes. 511. Tn. lost; F. loste. 512. F.
_inserts_ the _before_ god; Th. Tn. _omit_. 513. F. wrothe. 514. Th. laste;
F. last. F. sothe. 515. F. stoode. 516. _All_ did. F. hoode. 517. _All_ had
ygret; Lange _proposes_ grette (_e_ unelided). 519. F. wrothe. 520. F.

521. B. saw; F. sawgh. F. trewly. 522. Tn. goode; F. good. 523, 4. F.
oughte, thoughte. 526. F. thamendys. 527. F. lyeth; Tn. lith. 528. F.
There. _All_ myssayde. 529. Th. goodly; F. goodely. _All_ spake (!). Th.
knyght; F. knyghte. 530. B. ben; _rest_ be. 531. F. towgh. 532. F. sawe;
aqueynt. 533. F. fonde. 535. F. thoght. 537. F. oughte. 538. F. knowynge;
thoughte. 541. F. These huntys konne. 543. F. there on; dele (Tn. del).
544. Tn. Bi; Th. By; F. Be. F. oure lorde; wele (Tn. wel). 545. B.
thinketh; F. thenketh. 547. F. grete. 548. _Ins._ good; see 714, 721. Th.
Tn. if; F. yif. 550. F. wys; Th. wyse; Tn. wisse.

554. Th. al; F. alle; Tn. _om._ 556. B. ese; F. ease. 560. Tn. frend; F.
frende. 564. _All_ fal. 565. F. vnderstondynge lorne. 566. F. borne. 568.
F. Th. _ins._ al (Tn. of) _before_ the. 570. _All ins._ his _after_ with.
571. _All ins._ no _after_ may. 573. Th. Tn. houres; F. oures. 574. _All_
assay. 575. B. Th. herte; F. Tn. hert. 577. F. wrechch; Tn. wrecch; Tn.
wretche (_for_ wrecche). _All_ made. 578. F. al; Th. Tn. al the; B. all_e_
(_read_ al-le). 579. B. all_e_; _rest_ al. 581. _All_ lyfe. F. loothe. 582.
F. wroothe (_it is plural_). 583. _All ins._ ful _after_ so. F. foo. 584.
_All_ That; _read_ Thogh. F. soo.

586. _For the former_ hit, _all have_ him; _but see line above_. 587. Th.
reed; F. rede. 588. F. deynge. Th. deed; F. dede. 589. F. B. Thesiphus; Tn.
Tesiphus; Th. Tesyphus. (_The two latter are miswritten for_ Cesiphus =
Sesiphus). Tn. lithe; F. Th. lyeth. 591. Th. Tn. al; F. alle. Th. by; F.
Tn. be. 592. Tn. hade; F. had. 594. Tn. feenli (_sic_); Th. F. fendely.
596. Tn. met; Th. F. mette (!); _read_ y-met. 598. B. tell_e_; _rest_ tel.
599. _For_ song, F. Th. _have_ sorowe, _and_ Tn. _has_ sorov, _which are
absurd; the reading is obviously_ song, _the_ ng _being altered to_ rowe
_by influence of_ l. 597, _which the scribes glanced at_. Tn. pleyny_n_g;
F. pleynynge. 600. Tn. laughter; F. lawghtre. Tn. weping; F. wepynge. 601.
F. thoghtys. 603. _All_ eke. 604. Th. Tn. good; F. goode. _All_ harme. 605.
Th. playeng; F. pleynge. 606. F. sorwynge. 607. Tn. sekenes; F. sekeenesse
(_sic_). 609. Tn. li[gh]t; F. lyghte; Th. syght. 610. Tn. wit; F. wytte.
Th. Tn. nyght; F. nyghte.

611. _All_ slepe. Tn. waking; F. wakynge. 612. Tn. fasting; F. fastynge.
614. Tn. abaved (_sic_); Th. F. abawed. _All_ where so. 617. Tn. boldnes;
Th. F. boldenesse. (_Perhaps read_ y-turned.) 618. F. pleyde; Th. played;
Tn. pleied. 619. F. Atte the (_wrongly_); Th. Tn. At the. Tn. ches; Th. F.
chesse. 621. Tn. halt; F. Th. halte (!). 622. Tn. goth; Th. gothe; F. gethe
(!). Th. halte; Tn. is halt; F. is halte. 627. Th. wrien; _rest_ varien
(!). 628. Th. Tn. monstres; F. Mowstres. Th. heed; F. Tn. hed. 629. B.
filth; _rest_ fylthe. Th. Tn. ystrowed. 630. F. worshippe. Th. Tn. floures;
F. B. flourys; _read_ flour is. 632. Tn. feith; F. feythe. 633. F.
lawghynge. 634. Tn. oon; Th. F. one. Th. eye; Tn. ei[gh]; F. yghe; B. ye.
F. wepynge. 635. Th. set; F. sette. 637. F. flateyrynge; Tn. flateryng.
639. Th. Tn. amyd; F. amydde. 640. Th. he; F. hyt; Tn. it.

642. F. thenvyouse; Tn. thenvious; Th. the enuyous. 644. Th. false; F. Tn.
fals. 645. F. no thynge. 647. Th. Ful; _rest_ For. F. thus she; Tn. Th. she
thus. 649. Th. nat; F. Tn. not. 650. Th. false; F. Tn. fals. Th. F. thefe;
Tn. knaue. 651. F. oure lorde; the sey. 652. _All_ At the; Atte _is
better_. Tn. ches; Th. F. chesse. F. pley. 653. Th. Tn. false; F. fals.
654. F. staale; toke. F. Tn. fers; Th. feers. 655. F. sawgh. B. a-waye;
_rest_ away. 656. B. pleye; Th. F. play; Tn. pley. 657. _All_ farewel
(farewell); _and in_ l. 658. 660. _All insert_ the _after_ in (_badly_).
661. F. povne; Tn. pou_n_; Th. paune. Tn. erraunt; F. errante. 663. Tn.
Athalaus. 664. Tn. ches; Th. F. chesse. 666. B. I-koude; Th. Tn. Iconde
(!); F. y-konde (!); _see_ l. 667. 667. Tn. Grek; F. Greke. Th. Pithagores;
F. Tn. Pictagoras. 668. Tn. pleyd; F. pleyde.

670. Tn. thogh; Th. thoughe; F. thoght (_sic_). F. trewly. 671. F. holde;
wysshe. 675. _All_ eke. B. las; F. lasse; Tn. lesse. 676. F. -selfe. 677.
Th. had I ben; F. as I be (_wrongly_). 678. F. oght. 681. _All_ she my
fers; _read_ my fers she (Koch). _All_ kaught, _read_ caughte; _and_
dranghte _in_ ll. 682, 685. 683. Tn. wis; F. wys. 684. Th. she; F. Tn. B.
he. F. tooke. 685. F. throgh; draught; lorne. 686. F. borne. 689. F. doone.
690. F. Be oure lorde; soone. 691. F. -thynge. _I supply_ ne. 693. _All_
For there (ther); _but omit_ For. 694. F. ayre. 695. F. yifte. 696. F.

699. Tn. lyth; F. lyeth. F. rekenynge. 700. Th. Tn. In; F. Inne. 701. F.
levyth noe. 702. B. Tn. glade; F. glad; _read_ gladde. 703. Th. lost; F.
loste. 710. Tn. telle; F. tel. 711. Th. Tn. Thus; F. This. 712. F. myght;
duelle. 713. Tn. dide, herte; F. dyd, hert. 714. Th. good; F. goode. 715.
Tn. som; F. so_m_me. 721. _All insert_ yis (_or_ yes) _before_ parde;
_which spoils both sense and metre_. 722. Th. say; _rest om._ F. trewly.
723. Th. lost; F. loste. 726. Th. good; F. goode. 727. Tn. slowe; F.
slowgh. 728. _All_ also; _read_ als. 729. F. Henge.

732. _All_ the quene; _omit_ the. _All_ eke. 733. Tn. slow; F. slough. F.
selfe. 734. _I supply former_ a. F. foole. 735. _All_ Ecquo. 739. Tn. slow;
F. slough. F. hym-selfe. 740. _All_ no man; _but read_ noon. 741. _Perhaps
read_ maken. 743. F. woste; menyst. 744. Th, lost; F. loste. F. thow
wenyst. 745. F. Tn. Loo she that may be; Th. Howe that may be; _here_ she
_is an error for_ sir, _and_ Howe that may be _for_ how may that be; (_ed.
1550 has_ Howe may that be). 746. _All_ sir. F. Tn. telle; Th. tel. F.
hooly. 749. F. come. Tn. sit; F. sytte. 750. F. _inserts_ hyt _after_
telle; _which_ Th. Tn. _omit_. Th. Tn. vpon a; F. vp a; _but_ vp _is
right_. 751. _All ins._ shalt _after_ thou; _omit it_ (Koch). F. hooly. Tn.
wit; Th. wyt; F. wytte. 752. Tn. hit; F. hitte (!). 754. F. Tn. here lo;
Th. here to. _Accent_ thér- _and_ hér-. 755. _Perhaps_ right _should be
omitted_. 756. F. Hooly. 758. B. half; F. halfe; (goddes = god's).

760. Tn. wit; F. wytte. 761. F. vnderstondynge. 763. Tn. wit; F. wytte.
764. Tn. yit; F. yitte. 765. Tn. youen; F. yive. 766. F. hooly. 767, 768.
Th. thral, al; F. thralle, alle. Th. wyl; F. wille. 771. _All_ deuoutely.
_All insert_ I _before_ prayde. Th. prayde; F. prayed. 772. Th. Tn. herte;
F. hert. 773. F. plesance; _see_ l. 767. 774. F. worshippe. 775, 6. _All_
yere, owhere. 778. Tn. cam; F. came. 779. F. Perauenture; _see_ l. 788.
_All insert_ moste _before_ able. 780. F. white walle. 781. F. cachche.
783. F. Tn. Whethir; Th. Whether; _read_ Wher (_contracted form_). F.
portrey or peynt; Tn. purtrey or paynte. 784. Tn. queynte; F. queynt. 785.
_All insert_ ryght _before_ so. 787. Th. Tn. conde (_for_ coude); F. kende
(_for_ kenned). 788. _All_ arte.

789. Tn. kam; F. came. 790. _All_ forgate. 791. Th. chees; Tn. chese; F.
ches. Tn. fyrste; F. first. _All_ crafte (_but it will not rime_). 792.
_All_ lafte (_wrongly_); _read_ y-laft. 793. _All_ For-why; _read_ For?
_All_ toke. _All_ yonge. 795. F. no thynge. 796. F. Thorgh. Tn.
knowlechynge; F. knowlachynge. 799. Tn. firste; F. first. 800. F. goode;
Th. good. 801. F. Tn. flyttynge. 802. _All ins._ That tyme (_see_ l. 797)
_bef._ And. Tn. thoughte_n_; _rest_ thoght. F. Tn. varyinge. 804. F. knewe;
stoode. 805. F. came. _Perhaps_ on (_or_ a) _should be omitted_. 806. _All_
ther that I; _om._ that. 808. F. euere. F. Tn. ye; Th. eye. 810. Tn. hap;
F. happe. 811. F. broght; Tn. broghte. _All_ there. 813. Tn. false; F.
fals. 816. Tn. tell_e_; F. tel. 817. F. Amonge these. 818. _I supply_ ther.

819. _All_ lyke (like). _I supply_ al. 821. Tn. bryght; F. bryghte. 822.
Th. lyght; F. lyghte. 823. _All_ any other planete in; _see_ note. F.
hevene. 824. F. sevene. 826. Th. Tn. Surmounted; F. Surmountede. Tn. B.
all_e_; F. al. 828. _All ins._ of _after_ and. F. _ins._ so _before_ wel;
_which_ Th. Tn. _omit_. Th. Tn. set; F. sette. 829. Th. goodlyhede; F.
godelyhede. _All ins._ and _before_ so, _probably caught from the line
above_. B. beseye; _rest_ besey. 830. Th. _supplies_ more; F. Tn. _omit_.
_All_ sey. 831. Th. Tn. his; F. _omits_. 832. Tn. as; Th. F. al. 833. Th.
stedfast; F. stedfaste. 835. F. Tn. had wel herd; _om._ wel. 838. F.
y-kaught; Th. I cought; Tn. I caughte. 839. _All_ toke. 840. _All_
counseyl; _I propose_ reed. _All_ loke. 841. Th. And; F. Tn. But (_caught
from_ l. 840). Th. Tn. herte; F. hest (_wrongly_). _All_ for why; _read_
for? 842. F. hert; Th. Tn. herte. 843. F. ovne; _read_ owne. 844. F. beter;
Th. better; Tn. bettyr; _read_ bet. 846. Tn. B. soth; F. Th. sothe.

848. Tn. saw; F. sawgh. F. comelely; Th. comely; Tn. comly. 850. F. Lawghe;
pley. 852. Th. goodly; F. goodely. 854. Tn. seyn; F. seyne. 855. _All_ on;
_read_ upon. 856. Tn. seyn; F. seyne. (_For_ was _probably read_ nas.) 857.
F. yelowe; broune. 858. F. Tn. thoght. Th. F. lyke; Tn. likely. Th. golde;
_which_ F. Tn. _absurdly omit_. 861. F. goode. 862. F. looke. 863. F.
ouertwert; Tn. ouyrthwerte; Th. ouertwhart (_sic_). Th. beset; Tn. biset;
F. besette. 864. F. Tn. drewh. F. tooke. _All_ enerydele. 865. Tn. B.
All_e_; F. Th. Al. 867. F. foolys; B. folys. 869. F. thynge. 870. F.
lokynge. 873. Th. close; Tn. clos; F. cloos. 874. F. lokynge. Th. folyche.
876. Tn. thoghte; F. thoght.

877. Th. By; F. Tn. Be. 882. Th. trowe; F. Tn. trow. 883. Th. herte; Tn.
hyrte; F. hert. 884. _All_ sate. B. lyte; Tn. lite; F. litel. Th. Tn.
herte; F. hert. 885. Tn. knew; F. knowe (_sic_). F. no thynge. 886. _This
line is in_ Th. _only;_ Th. _has_ knewe _(twice)._ 887. Tn. roghte; Th. F.
rought. 888. Tn. ner; F. nerre. F. was; Th. Tn. nas. 889. Th. than; Tn.
then; F. that. 891. Tn. gode; Th. F. good. _All_ folke. 893. F. wounder.
894. F. placis. 895. _All_ But which; _omit_ But. 898. Th. bothe; F. both.
900. _All_ eke. B. spyritz; F. spiritis. 901. _All_ grete a thynge. 902.
Th. wyt; Tn. F. witte. 903. Th. F. comprehende; Tn. comprehend; _read_
comprehenden. 904. Tn. seyn; F. sayn. 905. _All insert_ white _after_ Was,
_which spoils metre and story_ (_see_ l. 948). F. fressh.

908. Th. Tn. certes; F. certys. 909. _All_ faire _or_ fayre. 910, 911. B.
chief; _rest_ chefe. Th. Tn. patron; F. patrone. 913. F. thynkyth. 914. Tn.
B. all_e_; Th. F. al (_it is plural_). 916. _I supply_ They; Th. Ne wolde
haue; Tn. Ne sholde haue; F. Ne sholde ha. _The right reading is_ They ne
sholde have (They ne _being read as_ They n'). 919. Th. goodly; F. goodely.
921. Th. frendly; F. frendely. 922. F. B. Vp; Th. Tn. Vpon; _see_ l. 750.
923. Tn. B. all_e_; F. al. Tn. gode; F. goode. 924. _After_ swere _all
insert_ wel (_needlessly_). Tn. rode; F. roode. 929. Th. Tn. pope; F. Pape.
930. _All ins._ yet _after_ never. Th. through; F. throgh. 931. F. gretely.
932. Th. Tn. her; F. hit (_sic_). _I supply_ ther (_cf._ l. 930); _perhaps
omitted, because_ her _also ended in_ her. _All_ harme. 933. F. flaterynge;

937. _All_ dele. 938. _All_ worlde; wele. 939. _All_ fairenesse (fayrenes).
941. Th. Tn. B. sene; F. seen. Th. F. myssatte; Tn. missate. 942. _All
badly insert_ pure (_dissyllabic_) _before_ flat; _but_ smothe _has two
syllables_. Tn. flat; Th. F. flatte. 943. _All_ or; _I read_ and. 944. Th.
by; _rest_ be. 946. _All_ rounde. Th. tour; F. Tn. toure. 947. Th. good; E.
goode. F. gretenesse; grete. 948. B. het; _rest_ hete. 949. Th. right; F.
ryghte. 950. _All_ faire. Th. bright; F. bryghte. 951. _All_ had (_but it
is emphatic_). _All_ wronge. 952. _All_ longe. 953. _All_ had. 954. Th.
great; F. Tn. grete. 957. Tn. bak; F. bakke. 958. B. knyw; _rest_ knewe.
_All_ noon other; _perhaps read_ no maner. Tn. lak; F. lakke. 959. _All
insert_ pure (_dissyllabic_) _after_ nere; _but_ limmes _is dissyllabic_.
960. Tn. fer; F. ferre. F. knowynge. 961. Th. playe; F. pley. 962. Tn.
liste; F. list. Th. saye; F. sey.

963. _All_ lyke. 965. F. hathe. 969. Tn. cacche; F. cachche. Th. Tn. if; F.
yif (_and in_ l. 970). 971. _All_ swere wel; _read_ sweren (_omitting the
expletive_ wel). 972. _All_ thousande. 973. F. lest. 974. B. chieff; _rest_
chefe. Th. Tn. myrrour; F. meroure. Th. Tn. feste; F. fest. 975. Th. F.
stonde; _read_ stonden. 976. Th. that; _which_ Tn. F. _omit_. 977. Tn. B.
pleyd; F. pleyed. 978. F. thoght. Th. felaushyp; Tn. feliship; F.
felysshyppe. 979. Tn. saw; F. sawgh. 981. Th. F. Trewly; Tn. Truly. B. ye;
Th. F. eye (_note the rime_). 982. Th. Tn. soleyn; F. soleyne. 983. Th.
lyueth; F. levyth. 984. Tn. knew; _rest_ knowe. 985. Th. goodnesse; F.
godenesse. 988. Th. Tn. if; F. yif. 989. Tn. F. seyn; Th. sayne. F. alle.
990. Tn. wit; F. wytte. Th. general; F. generalle. 991. F. hoole. 992.
_All_ wytte.

994. _All_ And thereto; _but_ And _is needless_. F. sawgh. 995. Th.
Harmful; F. Harmeful. 996. _For_ ne had _perhaps read_ nad. 997. _I
transpose_; _all have_ What harme was (_but_ harm _is monosyllabic, and the
line is then bad_). 998. Tn. F. coude. Th. thynketh; F. thenketh. 1000. F.
had hadde hyt hadde. 1001. _All_ dele. 1002. _All_ wele. 1003. F. al and
alle. 1004. Th. principal; F. principalle. 1007. F. stedefaste. 1008. Th.
Tn. B. attempre; F. atempry. 1009. Tn. knew; F. knewe. Tn. yit; F. yitte.
1010. Tn. wit; F. wytte. 1011. F. vnderstoode. 1012. F. goode. 1016. _All_
wronge. 1019. Tn. luste; F. lust 1020. _All_ wolde not; _an error for_
nolde (Koch). 1022. _All_ halfe worde.

1025. Th. F. pruyse; Tn. pruse; B. sprewse. 1027. Th. bydde; F. bid. 1028.
Th. hoodlesse; F. hoodeles. _All_ in-to; _read_ to. 1029. B. hom; _rest_
home. Tn. Carrynare. 1030. F. Tn. sey; Th. _omits_. 1032. F. Worshyppe.
1034. F. wherfore. Tn. telle; F. tel. 1035. _All_ seyde (sayde). 1036. F.
hooly. _All_ leyde (layde). 1037. _All_ wyfe (wife). 1038. _All_ luste.
_All_ lyfe (life). 1039. Tn. F. happe; Th. hope. 1040. F. worldys. _I
substitute_ lisse _for_ goddesse; _see_ note. 1041. F. hooly hires and; Th.
Tn. holy hers and; B. hooly hyres. 1042. F. oure. 1043. Th. beset; F.
besette; Tn. yset. 1044. F. myght haue doo bette. 1045. Th. Tn. Bet; F.
Bette. F. wele. 1046. F. hit wel sir; Th. Tn. _om._ hit wel. 1047. F. sire.
1048. _All_ trewly. 1049. Th. Tn. beste; F. best. 1050. Tn. fayreste; F.
fayrest. 1051. _All ins_. her _after_ loked. 1052. Tn. B. all_e_; F. al.

1053. _All_ swore; _read_ sworen. 1054. _Perhaps read_ nadde. 1056. F. had
hadde (_better_ hadde had). 1057. _All_ Alcipyades. 1060. Th. Tn.
Alisaundre; F. Alisaunder. ? _omit_ al _or_ the. 1064. Th. therto; F. Tn.
to (_see_ 1059). Th. Tn. al so; F. also as. 1066. Tn. slow; F. slough.
1067. Tn. therfor; F. ther fore. 1069. Tn. slayn; F. slayne. Th. Tn.
Antilegius; F. Antylegyus. 1071. _I supply_ hir. 1074. Tn. moste; F. most.
1075. _All insert_ trewly _after_ nay; _we must omit it_. 1075, 6. F. nowe,
howe. 1077. Th. good; F. goode. F. hert. 1078. _All_ eke. 1081. _All ins._
was _after_ ever. Th. Penelope; F. Penelopee; Tn. penelapie; _read_
Pénelóp'. 1082. _All_ wyfe (wife).

1083: Th. beste; F. best. 1084: Tn. romayn; F. Romayne. 1088: _All_
wherfore. 1089: F. firste. Th. sey; F. say. 1090: _All_ yonge. _I supply_
the. 1091: F. grete nede. 1093: F. grete. 1094: _All_ wytte. Tn. best; F.
beste. 1095: _All_ yonge. F. childely wytte. 1097: B. beste; _rest_ best.
1098: F. worshippe. Th. F. _insert_ the _before_ servyse; _but_ Tn.
_omits_. 1099: _All_ coude tho; _read_ tho coude. Tn. by; F. be. 1100: F.
Feynynge. 1101: Tn. fayn; F. feyne. 1103: Tn. saw; F. sawgh. 1104: Th.
warysshed; F. Tn. warshed. 1106: F. thoght. 1108: Tn. sit; Th. syt; F.
sytte. Th. Tn. in; F. _om._ 1110: Th. out; Tn. F. oute. 1111: _All_ trewly.

1114. _All_ shrifte (shryfte). 1117. Tn. certes; F. certis. 1118. Tn.
Achitofell; F. Achetofel. 1120. Tn. traytour; F. traytore. Tn. F. B.
betraysed; Th. betrayed. 1121. Th. false; F. fals. _All_ Genellon. 1123.
Tn. rowland; F. Rowlande. 1124. _All_ while (whyle). 1126. F. good; Tn.
gode. _I supply_ right. 1127. _All_ tolde. B. her-; F. here-. 1128. _All_
nede. F. Th. Tn. _insert_ to _after_ need; B. _omits it_. Tn. hit; Th. it;
F. _om._ 1129. Tn. sawe; F. sawgh. Th. first; F. firste. 1130. Tn. telle;
F. tel. 1131. Tn. her; F. hire. B. firste; _rest_ first. 1133. _All_ knewe
(_subjunctive_). 1135. _All_ eke. 1136. Tn. her-; F. here-. 1137. Tn. seyde
he; F. he seyde. F. menyst. 1138. F. wenyst. 1139. Tn. los; F. losse. _I
supply_ sir. 1141. F. doon; Tn. Th. done (_read_ y-doon). 1142. F. bathe

1143. Th. tel; F. telle. Th. al; F. alle. 1144. Th. shal; F. shalle. 1145.
_All_ say. Tn. seyd; F. seyde. 1146. Tn. leyd; F. leyde. 1147. _All
needlessly insert_ not (_or_ nat) _after_ hit. 1150. F. tel. 1153. Tn.
herte; F. hert. 1154. Th. asterte; F. astert. 1155. _Omit_ But for? F.
_ins._ so _before_ fro; Tn. Th. _omit_. 1158. _All_ songe. 1159. F. Th. Tn.
_ins._ this (B. thus) _before_ a. F. grete dele. 1160. _All_ wele. 1161.
Th. Tn. ne; B. to; F. the (!). F. knowe (_infin._); Tn. know; Th. knewe
(_wrongly_). _All_ the arte; _perhaps read_ that art. 1162. Th. Lamekes; F.
lamekys. Th. Tubal; F. Tuballe; Tn. B. Tuballe. 1163. B. fonde; _rest_
founde. Th. first; F. firste. _All_ songe. 1164. Tn. brothers; F. brothres.
1165. Th. anuelt; Tn. anuelte; F. Anuelet. Tn. doun; F. doon. 1166. F.
tooke. B. fyrste; _rest_ first. Tn. soune; F. soon. 1167. Th. of
Pithagoras. 1168. Tn. fyrste; F. first. 1169. _All_ arte.

1171. F. Algatis. 1172. F. felynge; hert 1173. Th. this; F. Tn. thus. _I
supply_ the. Tn. firste; F. first. 1174. Th. werst; Tn. F. _repeat_ first.
_I supply_ that. 1175. _All_ Lorde. Tn. herte; F. hert. 1178. _All_ myght
(might). 1180. _All_ faire (fayre). 1181. _All_ tolde. Tn. soth; F. sothe.
_All_ say. 1182. Tn. firste; F. first. _All_ songe; _all_ day. 1183. Tn.
bethoghte; F. bethoght. 1185. F. wyst. 1186. Tn. tell_e_; F. tel. _All_
durst. 1187. Tn. thoghte; F. thoght. F. rede. 1188. _All_ am; _grammar
requires_ nam. F. dede. 1189. Tn. if; F. yif. _All_ sey (say), _after which
ryght is needlessly inserted; I omit it_. Tn. soth; F. sothe. 1190. Tn.
wroth; F. wrothe. 1192. _All_ debate. 1193. Tn. thoghte; F. thoght. F.
brast; Th. Tn. braste (_subj._). Tn. a tweyn; F. a tweyne. 1194. _All_ at
the; _read_ atte. Tn. seyn; F. sayne. 1195. _All_ bethoght (bethought) me.
1197. _All_ trewly _or_ truly. 1198. F. wyth oute; _read_ withouten.

1201. F. nedys; Mawgree. Th. heed; F. hede. 1202. Tn. moste; F. most. _All_
tolde. Th. deed; F. dede. 1203. Th. began; F. beganne (!). 1204. _All_
reherse _or_ reherce; _but read_ rehersen. 1205, 6. _All_ eke. Th. -al,
dismal; F. Tn. -alle, dismalle. 1208. _All_ worde. 1210. F. wordys. Tn.
mysset; F. mys sette. 1212. F. quakynge. 1213. F. styntynge. 1215. Tn. wex;
F. wexe. Th. reed; F. rede. 1216. F. Bowynge. Th. heed; F. hede. 1218. Tn.
wit; F. witte. _All_ maner. 1220. _All_ sate (!). 1221. _All_ at the;
_read_ atte. Tn. soth; F. sothe. Tn. seyn; F. seyne. 1222. Tn. herte; F.
hert. Tn. agayn; F. ageyne. 1223. Th. shortly; F. shortely. Th. al; Tn. B.
all_e_; F. at (!). 1226. _All_ swore (!). 1228. F. fresshly.

1230. F. worshippe. 1231. _All_ swore _or_ swere(!). 1232. Th. al; F. alle.
1234. _All ins._ to _before_ false. 1235. Tn. wisse; F. wysse; B. wys.
1237. _All_ wote (!). 1238. Tn. thoghte; F. thoght. 1239. _All ins._ ryght
_before_ as. 1242. F. wordys. 1244. Th. Al; F. Alle. 1248. Th. Troye; F.
Troy. 1250. Tn. durste; F. durst. 1251. F. stale. 1253. _All_ trewly. _All_
nede. 1254. _All_ hede. 1256. _All_ fonde _or_ founde.

1261. F. vnderstode. 1262. Th. thyng; F. Tn. B. no thynge; _but_ no _is not
required by idiom or metre_. _All_ goode, gode. 1263. F. worshippe. 1264.
_All_ al (_or_ alle) thynges; _but_ al thing _is the right idiom_. Th.
drede; Tn. to drede; F. dred. 1266. _For_ And _read_ That (Lange). 1267.
_All_ harme. 1268. Tn. knew; F. knewe. 1269. F. hooly. 1270. F. yifte.
1271. F. Savynge hir worshippe. 1273. _All_ rynge (!). 1274. Tn. firste; F.
first. Th. thyng; F. thynge. 1275. Tn. if; F. yif. Tn. herte; F. hert.
1276. Tn. Glad; F. Gladde. _All_ nede. 1279. Tn. all_e_; F. al. 1281. _All_
trewly (treuly). 1282. Th. Tn. B. the; _which_ F. _omits_. 1284. Th.
debonairly; F. debonairely. 1285. Tn. B. all_e_ (_first time_); _the rest_
al. B. all_e_ (_second time_); _rest_ al. 1286. F. tooke. 1289. F. Oure.
Th. F. werne; Tn. weren. Th. euen; F. evene. 1290. Th. Tn. contrayre; F.

1293. _All_ eke. 1294. _All_ glad. 1300. Tn. B. wex; F. waxe; Th. woxe. Th.
deed; F. dede. 1302. Tn. los; F. losse. 1303. F. hadde; _rest_ had. _All_
lorne (!). 1304. F. Bethenke. F. herebeforne. 1305. F. menyst. 1306. F.
wenyst. 1307. F. wote. 1309. Th. deed; F. ded. Tn. bi; F. be. 1310. F.
youre. Tn. los; F. losse. Th. by; F. be. 1312. _Read rather_ They gonne
forth straken (_or_ striken). 1313. Th. hart; F. Tn. herte (!). 1314. F.
thoght; kynge. 1315. _I supply_ quikly; _the line is too short_. 1316. _All
insert_ was _after_ place. 1318. _All_ longe. F. wallys. 1319. Th. Tn. By;
F. Be. Th. hyl; F. Tn. hille. 1320. Th. fyl; F. Tn. fille (!).

1322. F. castell. _All ins._ ther _before_ was. 1323. Th. smytte; F. Tn.
smyte; _read_ smiten (_pp._). Th. houres; F. oures. 1324. F. awooke. 1325.
_All_ fonde _or_ founde. F. lyinge. Tn. bed; F. bedde. 1326. F. booke. Tn.
had red; F. hadde redde. 1327. Th. Alcyone; F. Alchione. F. kynge. 1328. F.
goddys of slepynge. 1329. Tn. euyn; F. evene. 1330. Tn. Thoghte; F. Thoght.
Tn. sweuyn; F. sweuene. 1331. Th. by; F. be. 1332. _All_ put. Tn. sweuyn;
F. sweuene. 1334. Tn. sweuyn; F. sweuene. COLOPHON; _so in_ F. B.

       *       *       *       *       *


              _The Proem._

  Gladeth, ye foules, of the morow gray,
  Lo! Venus risen among yon rowes rede!
  And floures fresshe, honoureth ye this day;
  For when the sonne uprist, then wol ye sprede.
  But ye lovers, that lye in any drede,                 5
  Fleëth, lest wikked tonges yow espye;
  Lo! yond the sonne, the candel of Ielosye!

  With teres blewe, and with a wounded herte
  Taketh your leve; and, with seynt Iohn to borow,
  Apeseth somwhat of your sorowes smerte,              10
  Tyme cometh eft, that cese shal your sorow;
  The glade night is worth an hevy morow!'--
  (Seynte Valentyne! a foul thus herde I singe
  Upon thy day, er sonne gan up-springe).--

  Yet sang this foul--'I rede yow al a-wake,           15
  And ye, that han not chosen in humble wyse,
  Without repenting cheseth yow your make.
  And ye, that han ful chosen as I devyse,
  Yet at the leste renoveleth your servyse;
  Confermeth it perpetuely to dure,                    20
  And paciently taketh your aventure.

  And for the worship of this hye feste,
  Yet wol I, in my briddes wyse, singe
  The sentence of the compleynt, at the leste,
  That woful Mars made atte departinge                 35
  Fro fresshe Venus in a morweninge,
  Whan Phebus, with his fyry torches rede,
  Ransaked every lover in his drede.

              _The Story._

  ¶ Whylom the thridde hevenes lord above,
  As wel by hevenish revolucioun                       30
  As by desert, hath wonne Venus his love,
  And she hath take him in subieccioun,
  And as a maistresse taught him his lessoun,
  Comaunding him that never, in hir servyse,
  He nere so bold no lover to despyse.                 35

  For she forbad him Ielosye at alle,
  And cruelte, and bost, and tirannye;
  She made him at hir lust so humble and talle,
  That when hir deyned caste on him her yë,
  He took in pacience to live or dye;                  40
  And thus she brydeleth him in hir manere,
  With no-thing but with scourging of hir chere.

  Who regneth now in blisse but Venus,
  That hath this worthy knight in governaunce?
  Who singeth now but Mars, that serveth thus          45
  The faire Venus, causer of plesaunce?
  He bynt him to perpetual obeisaunce,
  And she bynt hir to loven him for ever,
  But so be that his trespas hit dissever.

  Thus be they knit, and regnen as in heven            50
  By loking most; til hit fil, on a tyde,
  That by hir bothe assent was set a steven,
  That Mars shal entre, as faste as he may glyde,
  Into hir nexte paleys, to abyde,
  Walking his cours til she had him a-take,            55
  And he preyde hir to haste hir for his sake.

  Then seyde he thus--"myn hertes lady swete,
  Ye knowe wel my mischef in that place;
  For sikerly, til that I with yow mete,
  My lyf stant ther in aventure and grace;             60
  But when I see the beaute of your face,
  Ther is no dreed of deth may do me smerte,
  For al your lust is ese to myn herte."

  She hath so gret compassion of hir knight,
  That dwelleth in solitude til she come;              65
  For hit stood so, that ilke tyme, no wight
  Counseyled him, ne seyde to him welcome,
  That nigh hir wit for wo was overcome;
  Wherfore she spedde hir as faste in hir weye,
  Almost in oon day, as he dide in tweye.              70

  The grete Ioye that was betwix hem two,
  Whan they be met, ther may no tunge telle,
  Ther is no more, but unto bed they go,
  And thus in Ioye and blisse I let hem dwelle;
  This worthy Mars, that is of knighthod welle,        75
  The flour of fairnes lappeth in his armes,
  And Venus kisseth Mars, the god of armes.

  Soiourned hath this Mars, of which I rede,
  In chambre amid the paleys prively
  A certeyn tyme, til him fel a drede,                 80
  Through Phebus, that was comen hastely
  Within the paleys-yates sturdely,
  With torche in honde, of which the stremes brighte
  On Venus chambre knokkeden ful lighte.

  The chambre, ther as lay this fresshe quene,         85
  Depeynted was with whyte boles grete,
  And by the light she knew, that shoon so shene,
  That Phebus cam to brenne hem with his hete;
  This sely Venus, dreynt in teres wete,
  Enbraceth Mars, and seyde, "alas! I dye!             90
  The torch is come, that al this world wol wrye."

  Up sterte Mars, him liste not to slepe,
  Whan he his lady herde so compleyne;
  But, for his nature was not for to wepe,
  In stede of teres, fro his eyen tweyne               95
  The fyry sparkes brosten out for peyne;
  And hente his hauberk, that lay him besyde;
  Flee wolde he not, ne mighte him-selven hyde.

  He throweth on his helm of huge wighte,
  And girt him with his swerde; and in his honde      100
  His mighty spere, as he was wont to fighte,
  He shaketh so that almost it to-wonde;
  Ful hevy he was to walken over londe;
  He may not holde with Venus companye,
  But bad hir fleen, lest Phebus hir espye.           105

  O woful Mars! alas! what mayst thou seyn,
  That in the paleys of thy disturbaunce
  Art left behinde, in peril to be sleyn?
  And yet ther-to is double thy penaunce,
  For she, that hath thyn herte in governaunce,       110
  Is passed halfe the stremes of thyn yën;
  That thou nere swift, wel mayst thou wepe and cryen.

  Now fleeth Venus un-to Cylenius tour,
  With voide cours, for fere of Phebus light.
  Alas! and ther ne hath she no socour,               115
  For she ne fond ne saw no maner wight;
  And eek as ther she had but litil might;
  Wher-for, hir-selven for to hyde and save,
  Within the gate she fledde into a cave.

  Derk was this cave, and smoking as the helle,       120
  Not but two pas within the gate hit stood;
  A naturel day in derk I lete hir dwelle.
  Now wol I speke of Mars, furious and wood;
  For sorow he wolde have seen his herte blood;
  Sith that he mighte hir don no companye,            125
  He ne roghte not a myte for to dye.

  So feble he wex, for hete and for his wo,
  That nigh he swelt, he mighte unnethe endure;
  He passeth but oo steyre in dayes two,
  But ner the les, for al his hevy armure,            130
  He foloweth hir that is his lyves cure;
  For whos departing he took gretter yre
  Thanne for al his brenning in the fyre.

  After he walketh softely a pas,
  Compleyning, that hit pite was to here.             135
  He seyde, "O lady bright, Venus! alas!
  That ever so wyde a compas is my spere!
  Alas! whan shal I mete yow, herte dere,
  This twelfte day of April I endure,
  Through Ielous Phebus, this misaventure."           140

  Now god helpe sely Venus allone!
  But, as god wolde, hit happed for to be,
  That, whyl that Venus weping made hir mone,
  Cylenius, ryding in his chevauchè,
  Fro Venus valance mighte his paleys see,            145
  And Venus he salueth, and maketh chere,
  And hir receyveth as his frend ful dere.

  Mars dwelleth forth in his adversite,
  Compleyning ever on hir departinge;
  And what his compleynt was, remembreth me;          150
  And therfore, in this lusty morweninge,
  As I best can, I wol hit seyn and singe,
  And after that I wol my leve take;
  And God yeve every wight Ioye of his make!

              The compleynt of Mars.

          _The Proem of the Compleynt._

  ¶ The ordre of compleynt requireth skilfully,       155
  That if a wight shal pleyne pitously,
    There mot be cause wherfor that men pleyne;
  Or men may deme he pleyneth folily
  And causeles; alas! that am not I!
    Wherfor the ground and cause of al my peyne,      160
    So as my troubled wit may hit ateyne,
  I wol reherse; not for to have redresse,
  But to declare my ground of hevinesse.


  ¶ The firste tyme, alas! that I was wroght,
  And for certeyn effectes hider broght               165
    By him that lordeth ech intelligence,
  I yaf my trewe servise and my thoght,
  For evermore--how dere I have hit boght!--
    To hir, that is of so gret excellence,
    That what wight that first sheweth his presence,  170
  When she is wroth and taketh of him no cure,
  He may not longe in Ioye of love endure.

  This is no feyned mater that I telle;
  My lady is the verrey sours and welle
    Of beaute, lust, fredom, and gentilnesse,         175
  Of riche aray--how dere men hit selle!--
  Of al disport in which men frendly dwelle,
    Of love and pley, and of benigne humblesse,
    Of soune of instruments of al swetnesse;
  And therto so wel fortuned and thewed,              180
  That through the world hir goodnesse is y-shewed.

  What wonder is then, thogh that I besette
  My servise on suche oon, that may me knette
    To wele or wo, sith hit lyth in hir might?
  Therfor my herte for ever I to hir hette;           185
  Ne trewly, for my dethe, I shal not lette
    To ben hir trewest servaunt and hir knight.
    I flater noght, that may wite every wight;
  For this day in hir servise shal I dye;
  But grace be, I see hir never with yë.              190

          _A Lady in fear and woe._

  ¶ To whom shal I than pleyne of my distresse?
  Who may me helpe, who may my harm redresse?
    Shal I compleyne unto my lady free?
  Nay, certes! for she hath such hevinesse,
  For fere and eek for wo, that, as I gesse,          195
    In litil tyme hit wol hir bane be.
    But were she sauf, hit wer no fors of me.
  Alas! that ever lovers mote endure,
  For love, so many a perilous aventure!

  For thogh so be that lovers be as trewe             200
  As any metal that is forged newe,
    In many a cas hem tydeth ofte sorowe.
  Somtyme hir ladies will not on hem rewe,
  Somtyme, yif that Ielosye hit knewe,
    They mighten lightly leye hir heed to borowe;     205
    Somtyme envyous folke with tunges horowe
  Depraven hem; alas! whom may they plese?
  But he be fals, no lover hath his ese.

  But what availeth suche a long sermoun
  Of aventures of love, up and doun?                  210
    I wol returne and speken of my peyne;
  The point is this of my destruccioun,
  My righte lady, my salvacioun,
    Is in affray, and not to whom to pleyne.
    O herte swete, O lady sovereyne!                  215
  For your disese, wel oghte I swoune and swelte,
  Thogh I non other harm ne drede felte.

          _Instability of Happiness._

  ¶ To what fyn made the god that sit so hye,
  Benethen him, love other companye,
    And streyneth folk to love, malgre hir hede?      220
  And then hir Ioye, for oght I can espye,
  Ne lasteth not the twinkeling of an yë,
    And somme han never Ioye til they be dede.
    What meneth this? what is this mistihede?
  Wherto constreyneth he his folk so faste            225
  Thing to desyre, but hit shulde laste?

  And thogh he made a lover love a thing,
  And maketh hit seme stedfast and during,
    Yet putteth he in hit such misaventure,
  That reste nis ther noon in his yeving.             230
  And that is wonder, that so Iust a king
    Doth such hardnesse to his creature.
    Thus, whether love breke or elles dure,
  Algates he that hath with love to done
  Hath ofter wo then changed is the mone.             235

  Hit semeth he hath to lovers enmite,
  And lyk a fissher, as men alday may see,
    Baiteth his angle-hook with som plesaunce,
  Til mony a fish is wood til that he be
  Sesed ther-with; and then at erst hath he           240
    Al his desyr, and ther-with al mischaunce;
    And thogh the lyne breke, he hath penaunce;
  For with the hoke he wounded is so sore,
  That he his wages hath for ever-more.

          _The Brooch of Thebes._

  ¶ The broche of Thebes was of suche a kinde,        245
  So ful of rubies and of stones Inde,
    That every wight, that sette on hit an yë,
  He wende anon to worthe out of his minde;
  So sore the beaute wolde his herte binde,
    Til he hit hadde, him thoghte he moste dye;       250
    And whan that hit was his, than shulde he drye
  Such wo for drede, ay whyl that he hit hadde,
  That welnigh for the fere he shulde madde.

  And whan hit was fro his possessioun,
  Than had he double wo and passioun                  255
    For he so fair a tresor had forgo;
  But yet this broche, as in conclusioun,
  Was not the cause of this confusioun;
    But he that wroghte hit enfortuned hit so,
    That every wight that had hit shuld have wo;      260
  And therfor in the worcher was the vyce,
  And in the covetour that was so nyce.

  So fareth hit by lovers and by me;
  For thogh my lady have so gret beaute,
    That I was mad til I had gete hir grace,          265
  She was not cause of myn adversite,
  But he that wroghte hir, also mot I thee,
    That putte suche a beaute in hir face,
    That made me to covete and purchace
  Myn owne deth; him wyte I that I dye,               270
  And myn unwit, that ever I clomb so hye.

          _An Appeal for Sympathy._

  ¶ But to yow, hardy knightes of renoun,
  Sin that ye be of my divisioun,
    Al be I not worthy to so grete a name,
  Yet, seyn these clerkes, I am your patroun;         275
  Ther-for ye oghte have som compassioun
    Of my disese, and take it noght a-game.
    The proudest of yow may be mad ful tame;
  Wherfor I prey yow, of your gentilesse,
  That ye compleyne for myn hevinesse.                280

  And ye, my ladies, that ben trewe and stable,
  By way of kinde, ye oghten to be able
    To have pite of folk that be in peyne:
  Now have ye cause to clothe yow in sable;
  Sith that your emperice, the honorable,             285
    Is desolat, wel oghte ye to pleyne;
    Now shuld your holy teres falle and reyne.
  Alas! your honour and your emperice,
  Nigh deed for drede, ne can hir not chevise.

  Compleyneth eek, ye lovers, al in-fere,             290
  For hir that, with unfeyned humble chere,
    Was ever redy to do yow socour;
  Compleyneth hir that ever hath had yow dere;
  Compleyneth beaute, fredom, and manere;
    Compleyneth hir that endeth your labour;          295
    Compleyneth thilke ensample of al honour,
  That never dide but al gentilesse;
  Kytheth therfor on hir som kindenesse.'             298

1. Ar. foules; Ju. fowles; T. fooles (!); Harl. floures (_see_ l. 3); F.
Tn. lovers (_wrongly_). F. Harl. on; Tn. in; _rest_ of. 2. Ar. the; F.
Harl. yow; Tn. Ju. you; T. your (_wrongly_; Thynne (1532) _has_ yon,
_which, after all, is clearly right_). 3. T. Ar. honoureth: F. Tn.
honouren. F. the (!); _rest_ ye. F. Tn. T. day; Ju. Harl. Ar. may (!) 4. F.
Harl. sunne; _rest_ sonne. Ar. vp risith. Ju. T. Ar. ye; F. they (!); Tn.
the (!); Harl. he (!!). 5. Ar. any; F. eny. 7. F. Loo yonde; sunne;
Ialosye. 8. F. blew; hert. 9. F. sent; Ar. seynt. 10. F. sum-; smert. 11.
Ar. eft; Th. efte; T. efft; F. ofte. 12. Tn. Th. glade; F. glad. 13. F.
foule; herd. 14. F. your; Ar. the; _rest_ thy. F. sunne.

15. F. sange; foule. 17-19. _in wrong order in_ F. Tn. 17. T. you; Ar.
[gh]ow; Ju. ye; _rest om._ 19. F. this fest; _rest_ the leste (lest,
leest). 22. F. high_e_; Tn. high; _rest_ hye. F. fest. 24. F. lest. 25. F.
departyng; _see_ l. 149. 26. F. morwnyng (_see_ Kn. Tale, 204). 28. F.
_ins._ hath _bef._ every; Tn. hat; Ju. had; _rest om._ 29. T. thridde; F.
thrid. 35. Ju. Ar. nere; F. T. ner. F. bolde; dispise. 38. F. (_only_)
_om._ him. F. calle (_for_ talle); Harl. talle; Ju. Ar. tall; T. tal. 39.
F. to cast; Ju. T. _rightly omit_ to. 40. F. toke. 41. F. maner. 42. Ju.
scourgyng; T. skowrging_e_; Ar. scurgeing; Tn. schouryng (_sic_); F.
stering; Th. scornyng, _and ed._ 1561 scorni_n_g (_probably a
substitution_). F. cher.

46. F. fair. 48. T. Ar. loven; _rest_ loue. 49. Tn. trespas; F. trespace.
T. Ar. disseuer; F. deseuer. 51. T. Ju. Tn. By; F. Be. 53. F. fast. 54. Tn.
nexte; F. next. 55. Ar. our_e_-take. 56. T. preyde; F. preiede. F. faste
(!); Harl. hasten; _rest_ haste. 57. F. hertis; suete. 58. F. myschefe. 59.
F. sikirly. 60. F. lyfe. 62. F. smert. 63. F. alle; hert. 64. F. grete. F.
on; _rest_ of. 66. F. stode. 67. Jn. Harl. T. Ar. _ins._ there _after 1st_
him. 68. F. nyghe; witte. F. sorowe; Tn. sorow; _rest_ wo, woo. 69. T.
spedde; F. sped. T. Ar. als; _rest_ as. F. fast; wey. 70. F. dyd; twey.

71. Ar. betuix; F. betwex; _rest_ bytwene. 72. F. When; mette; tel. 74. F.
duel. 75. F. knyghthode wel. 76. F. feyrenesse. 81. F. Throgh. 82. F.
(_alone_) _inserts_ ful _before_ sturdely. 83. F. bryght. 84. Ju. Th.
knockeden; Harl. knokkid_e_; Tn. knokked; F. knokken (_wrongly; a copy in_
MS. Pepys 2006 _rightly has_ knokkeden). 87. F. shone. 88. Tn. T. brenne;
F. bren. 89. F. cely (_for_ sely); Tn. Ju. sely. MSS. nygh dreynt; _omit_
nygh. 92. Tn. sterte; F. stert. Tn. liste; F. lust. 95. Tn. stede; F. stid.
F. twyne. 97. F. hent; hauberke; ley. 98. F. wold; myght.

99. Tn. Ju. T. throweth; F. thrwe (_badly_). F. helme; wyght. 101. F.
fyght. 102. Ar. to-wound; Harl. to-wond; _rest_ to-wonde. 103. Ar. he was;
_rest_ was he. 108. F. (_alone_) _inserts_ thou _after_ Art. 110. F. hert.
112. Tn. Ju. Th. nere; F. ner. 113. F. Tn. in to; Harl. to _rest_ vn to.
Ju. Cylenius; Harl. Cylenyus; Ar. Cilenius; T. Celenius; Tn. cilinius; F.
cilinios. F. toure. 115. Harl. T. ne; Ar. so; _rest om._ 116. F. founde;
saugh. 117. F. eke. 119. Harl. T. fledde; Tn. Ju. Ar. fled; F. fel. 120. F.
Derke; hel. 121. F. pales; _rest_ pas (pace). F. stode. 122. F. let; duel.
123. _So all._ F. wode. 124. F. wold; sene; hert blode. 125. F. myght.
Harl. done hir; Ju. doo her; T. Ar. do hir; F. Tn. haue done her; _read_
hir don. 126. Tn. roghte; Ju. Harl. Ar. rought; F. thoght (!).

128. F. myght. 129. Harl. o; T. oon; Ju. one; _rest_ a. Tn. Ju. Harl.
steyre; T. stayre; F. sterre (!). 130. F. lesse. 132. F. toke. 133. Harl.
T. Thanne; F. Then. 134. F. paas. 135. F. heree. 137. F. speree. 138. F.
hert. 139. T. twelfft (_but read_ twelfte); Ju. twelfth; Harl. Ar. twelf
(_wrongly_); F. Tn. xij. F. dayes; Tn. days; _rest_ day (_rightly_). 140.
F. Throgh Ielouse. 141. _Read_ helpe god (Koch). 143. F. while. 144. Ju.
Cylenius; F. Cilinius. Tn. Lt. cheuauche; F. cheuache. 145. F. Ju. Fro; Ar.
From; Tn. Harl. T. For. Ar. valance; Tn. valauns; F. Valaunses; Th. (ed.
1532) Valanus (_for_ Valauns?); Ju. balance; Harl. T. balaunce. 147. F.
frende. 151. F. morwnynge. 154. Ju. Th. yeue; F. yif. F. Ioy.

TITLE. _In_ F. Ar. Ju.; T. Complaint of mars. 156. F. pleyn. 157. F.
wherfore; pleyn. 158. F. Other; _rest_ Or. Ju. Ar. folily; F. folely. 160.
F. grounde; peyn. 161. F. witte; ateyn. 163. F. grounde. 164. F. first.
166. Tn. By; F. Be. 167. F. trwe; Tn. trewe. 169. F. That (_by mistake_);
_rest_ To. F. excelence. 171. F. wrothe. 175. F. fredam. 179. F.
Instrumentes. 181. F. thorow; worlde.

182. _All but_ Tn. Th. _om._ that. T. besette; F. beset. 183. T. oone; Tn.
Ar. one; F. on (_twice_). F. knet; Ar. knett; _rest_ knette. 184. F. lythe.
185. F. Therfore. F. hert. Ju. Th. hette; Ar. het; F. T. hight; Tn. set;
(Longleat MS. _has_ hette). 186. F. truly. Tn. Ju. T. shal I. F. let. 187.
F. truest; Tn. Ar. trewest. 188. Tn. wite; F. wete; T. wit; Ju. knowe. 191.
T. thane (_for_ than); _rest omit_. 192. F. harme. 193. F. compleyn. 195.
F. eke. 197. Ju. Ar. sauf; T. sauff; F. Tn. safe. 200. Tn. thogh; F. tho.
201. Tn. any; F. eny. 202. Tn. many; F. mony. T. Ar. cas; F. case. 203. F.
Somme; _rest_ Somtyme. Ju. T. Ar. lady. 204. Ar. gif; _rest_ if, yf; _read_
yif. 205. F. ley; hede. 207. Ju. T. Th. Deprauen; Ar. Depeynen; F. Tn.

209. F. longe. 210. _Read_ lov-e (e _unelided_). F. dovne. 213. Tn. righte;
F. right. F. sauacyou_n_; _rest_ saluacioun. 214. F. pleyn. 215. F. hert
suete. F. Tn. o; Ar. and; T. and my; Ju. _om._ 216. F. I oght wel; Tn. I
oghte wel; Ju. T. Ar. wel ought I. Ju. swowne; Ar. suoun; T. swoone; Tn.
swone; F. sowne. F. swelt. 217. F. none; harme; felt. 218. Ju. fyn; _rest_
fyne. F. sitte; T. sit. 219. T. Tn. Ju. him; Ar. thame; F. _om._ F. other
(= or); Tn. othyr (= or); Ju. T. or. 220. F. folke. 221. F. Ioy. 222. Tn.
ye; _rest_ eye. 223. F. Ioy. 225. F. folke; fast. 226. F. shuld last. 228.
F. stidfast. 229. Ju. put; Ar. puttis. 230. Tn. T. reste; F. rest. T. noon;
Ar. non; Ju. none; F. _om._ 231. F. Iuste.

236. Tn. enmyte; F. enemyte. 237. F. lyke. 238. Tn. Ju. Bayteth; F. Bateth.
Ju. hook; F. hoke. Tn. som; F. summe. 239. F. fissch; wode. F. to; _rest_
til. 241. F. desire. 244. F. hathe. 245. F. such. 246. F. Tn. Ar. stones
of; Jn. T. _om._ of; _see_ Rom. Rose, 67. 247. T. Th. sette; Ar. sett;
_rest_ set. 248. Tn. wende; F. wend. 249. F. wold; hert. 250. T. hade;
_rest_ had. F. thoght. Tn. moste; F. must. 251. F. Ju. _om._ that. F.
(_only_) _om._ his. F. shuld. 252. Ju. T. hadde; F. had. 253. Ju. sholde
madde; F. shuld mad. 256. F. feir; tresore (Tn. Iuel). 259. F. wroght. Tn.
Th. enfortuned; T. enfortund; F. enfortune (!). 261. F. therfore.

267. F. wroght. Ju. Ar. also; T. als; F. Tn. as. 268. F. Tn. Ju. Ar. put
(_for_ putte); T. list to putte. Tn. Ju. a; F. T. Ar. _om._ 269. T. Ar. to;
_rest om._ F. coueten; Tn. Ju. coueyten; (_but_ to covete _is better_).
270. F. ovne; Th. owne; Ju. T. Ar. owen. F. dethe. 271. F. ovne witte; Tn.
_and rest_ vnwit. F. clombe. 273. F. deuisioun. 274. _Perhaps omit_ to
(_as_ T.). 276. F. Therefore; oght; somme. 278. Tn. proudest; F. pruddest.
Ar. maid; _rest_ made (_for_ mad, _pp._). 279. F. Wherfore. 280. F. Tn.
compleyn; Ju. Ar. compleyne; T. compleynen. 281. Ar. trewe; F. true. 282.
Ar. By; F. Be. 283. F. folke; peyn. 285. Tn. emperice; F. emperise (_and
in_ l. 288). 286. Tn. oghte; F. oght; Ar. aughten. 289. F. Negh ded.

290. F. eke. 293. Tn. Compleyneth; F. Comple_n_ (_by mistake_); _see next
line_. 297. Tn. dide; Ju. dyde; _rest_ did. T. al; Ju. all; Ar. alway; F.
Tn. _om._ 298. Ar. sum; F. summe.

       *       *       *       *       *


              _The Proem._

  The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne,
  Thassay so hard, so sharp the conquering,
  The dredful Ioy, that alwey slit so yerne,
  Al this mene I by love, that my feling
  Astonyeth with his wonderful worching                 5
  So sore y-wis, that whan I on him thinke,
  Nat wot I wel wher that I wake or winke.

  For al be that I knowe not love in dede,
  Ne wot how that he quyteth folk hir hyre,
  Yet happeth me ful ofte in bokes rede                10
  Of his miracles, and his cruel yre;
  Ther rede I wel he wol be lord and syre,
  I dar not seyn, his strokes been so sore,
  But God save swich a lord! I can no more.

  Of usage, what for luste what for lore,              15
  On bokes rede I ofte, as I yow tolde.
  But wherfor that I speke al this? not yore
  Agon, hit happed me for to beholde
  Upon a boke, was write with lettres olde;
  And ther-upon, a certeyn thing to lerne,             20
  The longe day ful faste I radde and yerne.

  For out of olde feldes, as men seith,
  Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere;
  And out of olde bokes, in good feith,
  Cometh al this newe science that men lere.           25
  But now to purpos as of this matere--
  To rede forth hit gan me so delyte,
  That al the day me thoughte but a lyte.

  This book of which I make mencioun,
  Entitled was al thus, as I shal telle,               30
  Tullius of the dreme of Scipioun';
  Chapitres seven hit hadde, of hevene and helle,
  And erthe, and soules that therinne dwelle,
  Of whiche, as shortly as I can hit trete,
  Of his sentence I wol you seyn the grete.            35

  First telleth hit, whan Scipioun was come
  In Afrik, how he mette Massinisse,
  That him for Ioye in armes hath y nome.
  Than telleth [hit] hir speche and al the blisse
  That was betwix hem, til the day gan misse;          40
  And how his auncestre, African so dere,
  Gan in his slepe that night to him appere.

  Than telleth hit that, fro a sterry place,
  How African hath him Cartage shewed,
  And warned him before of al his grace,               45
  And seyde him, what man, lered other lewed,
  That loveth comun profit, wel y-thewed,
  He shal unto a blisful place wende,
  Ther as Ioye is that last withouten ende.

  Than asked he, if folk that heer be dede             50
  Have lyf and dwelling in another place;
  And African seyde, 'ye, withoute drede,'
  And that our present worldes lyves space
  Nis but a maner deth, what wey we trace,
  And rightful folk shal go, after they dye,           55
  To heven; and shewed him the galaxye.

  Than shewed he him the litel erthe, that heer is,
  At regard of the hevenes quantite;
  And after shewed he him the nyne speres,
  And after that the melodye herde he                  60
  That cometh of thilke speres thryes three,
  That welle is of musyke and melodye
  In this world heer, and cause of armonye.

  Than bad he him, sin erthe was so lyte,
  And ful of torment and of harde grace,               65
  That he ne shulde him in the world delyte.
  Than tolde he him, in certeyn yeres space,
  That every sterre shulde come into his place
  Ther hit was first; and al shulde out of minde
  That in this worlde is don of al mankinde.           70

  Than prayde him Scipioun to telle him al
  The wey to come un-to that hevene blisse;
  And he seyde, 'know thy-self first immortal,
  And loke ay besily thou werke and wisse
  To comun profit, and thou shalt nat misse            75
  To comen swiftly to that place dere,
  That ful of blisse is and of soules clere.

  But brekers of the lawe, soth to seyne,
  And lecherous folk, after that they be dede,
  Shul alwey whirle aboute therthe in peyne,           80
  Til many a world be passed, out of drede,
  And than, for-yeven alle hir wikked dede,
  Than shul they come unto that blisful place,
  To which to comen god thee sende his grace!'--

  The day gan failen, and the derke night,             85
  That reveth bestes from hir besinesse,
  Berafte me my book for lakke of light,
  And to my bedde I gan me for to dresse,
  Fulfild of thought and besy hevinesse;
  For bothe I hadde thing which that I nolde,          90
  And eek I ne hadde that thing that I wolde.

  But fynally my spirit, at the laste,
  For-wery of my labour al the day,
  Took rest, that made me to slepe faste,
  And in my slepe I mette, as I lay,                   95
  How African, right in that selfe aray
  That Scipioun him saw before that tyde,
  Was comen, and stood right at my beddes syde.

  The wery hunter, slepinge in his bed,
  To wode ayein his minde goth anoon;                 100
  The Iuge dremeth how his plees ben sped;
  The carter dremeth how his cartes goon;
  The riche, of gold; the knight fight with his foon,
  The seke met he drinketh of the tonne;
  The lover met he hath his lady wonne.               105

  Can I nat seyn if that the cause were
  For I had red of African beforn,
  That made me to mete that he stood there;
  But thus seyde he, 'thou hast thee so wel born
  In loking of myn olde book to-torn,                 110
  Of which Macrobie roghte nat a lyte,
  That somdel of thy labour wolde I quyte!'--

  Citherea! thou blisful lady swete,
  That with thy fyr-brand dauntest whom thee lest,
  And madest me this sweven for to mete,              115
  Be thou my help in this, for thou mayst best;
  As wisly as I saw thee north-north-west,
  When I began my sweven for to wryte,
  So yif me might to ryme hit and endyte!

              _The Story._

  This forseid African me hente anoon,                120
  And forth with him unto a gate broghte
  Right of a parke, walled with grene stoon;
  And over the gate, with lettres large y-wroghte,
  Ther weren vers y-writen, as me thoghte,
  On eyther halfe, of ful gret difference,            125
  Of which I shal yow sey the pleyn sentence.

  Thorgh me men goon in-to that blisful place
  Of hertes hele and dedly woundes cure;
  Thorgh me men goon unto the welle of Grace,
  Ther grene and lusty May shal ever endure;          130
  This is the wey to al good aventure;
  Be glad, thou reder, and thy sorwe of-caste,
  Al open am I; passe in, and hy the faste!'

  Thorgh me men goon,' than spak that other syde,
 'Unto the mortal strokes of the spere,               135
  Of which Disdayn and Daunger is the gyde,
  Ther tree shal never fruyt ne leves bere.
  This streem you ledeth to the sorwful were,
  Ther as the fish in prison is al drye;
  Theschewing is only the remedye.'                   140

  Thise vers of gold and blak y-writen were,
  The whiche I gan a stounde to beholde,
  For with that oon encresed ay my fere,
  And with that other gan myn herte bolde;
  That oon me hette, that other did me colde,         145
  No wit had I, for errour, for to chese,
  To entre or flee, or me to save or lese.

  Right as, betwixen adamauntes two
  Of even might, a pece of iren y-set,
  That hath no might to meve to ne fro--              150
  For what that on may hale, that other let--
  Ferde I, that niste whether me was bet,
  To entre or leve, til African my gyde
  Me hente, and shoof in at the gates wyde,

  And seyde, 'hit stondeth writen in thy face,        155
  Thyn errour, though thou telle it not to me;
  But dred thee nat to come in-to this place,
  For this wryting is no-thing ment by thee,
  Ne by noon, but he Loves servant be;
  For thou of love hast lost thy tast, I gesse,       160
  As seek man hath of swete and bitternesse.

  But natheles, al-though that thou be dulle,
  Yit that thou canst not do, yit mayst thou see;
  For many a man that may not stonde a pulle,
  Yit lyketh him at the wrastling for to be,          165
  And demeth yit wher he do bet or he;
  And if thou haddest cunning for tendyte,
  I shal thee shewen mater of to wryte.'

  With that my hond in his he took anoon,
  Of which I comfort caughte, and wente in faste;     170
  But lord! so I was glad and wel begoon!
  For over-al, wher that I myn eyen caste,
  Were treës clad with leves that ay shal laste,
  Eche in his kinde, of colour fresh and grene
  As emeraude, that Ioye was to sene.                 175

  The bilder ook, and eek the hardy asshe;
  The piler elm, the cofre unto careyne;
  The boxtree piper; holm to whippes lasshe;
  The sayling firr; the cipres, deth to pleyne;
  The sheter ew, the asp for shaftes pleyne;          180
  The olyve of pees, and eek the drunken vyne,
  The victor palm, the laurer to devyne.

  A garden saw I, ful of blosmy bowes,
  Upon a river, in a grene mede,
  Ther as that swetnesse evermore y-now is,           185
  With floures whyte, blewe, yelowe, and rede;
  And colde welle-stremes, no-thing dede,
  That swommen ful of smale fisshes lighte,
  With finnes rede and scales silver-brighte.

  On every bough the briddes herde I singe,           190
  With voys of aungel in hir armonye,
  Som besyed hem hir briddes forth to bringe;
  The litel conyes to hir pley gunne hye,
  And further al aboute I gan espye
  The dredful roo, the buk, the hert and hinde,       195
  Squerels, and bestes smale of gentil kinde.

  Of instruments of strenges in acord
  Herde I so pleye a ravisshing swetnesse,
  That god, that maker is of al and lord,
  Ne herde never better, as I gesse;                  200
  Therwith a wind, unnethe hit might be lesse,
  Made in the leves grene a noise softe
  Acordant to the foules songe on-lofte.

  The air of that place so attempre was
  That never was grevaunce of hoot ne cold;           205
  Ther wex eek every holsom spyce and gras,
  Ne no man may ther wexe seek ne old;
  Yet was ther Ioye more a thousand fold
  Then man can telle; ne never wolde it nighte,
  But ay cleer day to any mannes sighte.              210

  Under a tree, besyde a welle, I say
  Cupyde our lord his arwes forge and fyle;
  And at his fete his bowe al redy lay,
  And wel his doghter tempred al the whyle
  The hedes in the welle, and with hir wyle           215
  She couched hem after as they shulde serve,
  Som for to slee, and som to wounde and kerve.

  Tho was I war of Plesaunce anon-right,
  And of Aray, and Lust, and Curtesye;
  And of the Craft that can and hath the might        220
  To doon by force a wight to do folye--
  Disfigurat was she, I nil not lye;
  And by him-self, under an oke, I gesse,
  Sawe I Delyt, that stood with Gentilnesse.

  I saw Beautee, withouten any atyr,                  225
  And Youthe, ful of game and Iolyte,
  Fool-hardinesse, Flatery, and Desyr,
  Messagerye, and Mede, and other three--
  Hir names shul noght here be told for me--
  And upon pilers grete of Iasper longe               230
  I saw a temple of bras y-founded stronge.

  Aboute the temple daunceden alway
  Wommen y-nowe, of whiche somme ther were
  Faire of hem-self, and somme of hem were gay;
  In kirtels, al disshevele, wente they there--       235
  That was hir office alwey, yeer by yere--
  And on the temple, of doves whyte and faire
  Saw I sittinge many a hundred paire.

  Before the temple-dore ful soberly
  Dame Pees sat, with a curteyn in hir hond:          240
  And hir besyde, wonder discretly,
  Dame Pacience sitting ther I fond
  With face pale, upon an hille of sond;
  And alder-next, within and eek with-oute,
  Behest and Art, and of hir folke a route.           245

  Within the temple, of syghes hote as fyr
  I herde a swogh that gan aboute renne;
  Which syghes were engendred with desyr,
  That maden every auter for to brenne
  Of newe flaume; and wel aspyed I thenne             250
  That al the cause of sorwes that they drye
  Com of the bitter goddesse Ialousye.

  The god Priapus saw I, as I wente,
  Within the temple, in soverayn place stonde,
  In swich aray as whan the asse him shente           255
  With crye by night, and with his ceptre in honde;
  Ful besily men gunne assaye and fonde
  Upon his hede to sette, of sondry hewe,
  Garlondes ful of fresshe floures newe.

  And in a privee corner, in disporte,                260
  Fond I Venus and hir porter Richesse,
  That was ful noble and hauteyn of hir porte;
  Derk was that place, but afterward lightnesse
  I saw a lyte, unnethe hit might be lesse,
  And on a bed of golde she lay to reste,             265
  Til that the hote sonne gan to weste.

  Hir gilte heres with a golden threde
  Y-bounden were, untressed as she lay,
  And naked fro the breste unto the hede
  Men might hir see; and, sothly for to say,          270
  The remenant wel kevered to my pay
  Right with a subtil kerchef of Valence,
  Ther was no thikker cloth of no defence.

  The place yaf a thousand savours swote,
  And Bachus, god of wyn, sat hir besyde,             275
  And Ceres next, that doth of hunger bote;
  And, as I seide, amiddes lay Cipryde,
  To whom on knees two yonge folkes cryde
  To ben hir help; but thus I leet hir lye,
  And ferther in the temple I gan espye               280

  That, in dispyte of Diane the chaste,
  Ful many a bowe y-broke heng on the wal
  Of maydens, suche as gunne hir tymes waste
  In hir servyse; and peynted over al
  Of many a story, of which I touche shal             285
  A fewe, as of Calixte and Athalaunte,
  And many a mayde, of which the name I wante;

  Semyramus, Candace, and Ercules,
  Biblis, Dido, Tisbe and Piramus,
  Tristram, Isoude, Paris, and Achilles,              290
  Eleyne, Cleopatre, and Troilus,
  Silla, and eek the moder of Romulus--
  Alle these were peynted on that other syde,
  And al hir love, and in what plyte they dyde.

  Whan I was come ayen into the place                 295
  That I of spak, that was so swote and grene,
  Forth welk I tho, my-selven to solace.
  Tho was I war wher that ther sat a quene
  That, as of light the somer-sonne shene
  Passeth the sterre, right so over mesure            300
  She fairer was than any creature.

  And in a launde, upon an hille of floures,
  Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
  Of braunches were hir halles and hir boures,
  Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;           305
  Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
  That they ne were prest in hir presence,
  To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.

  For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
  Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,      310
  Of every kinde, that men thenke may;
  And that so huge a noyse gan they make,
  That erthe and see, and tree, and every lake
  So ful was, that unnethe was ther space
  For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.          315

  And right as Aleyn, in the Pleynt of Kinde,
  Devyseth Nature of aray and face,
  In swich aray men mighten hir ther finde.
  This noble emperesse, ful of grace,
  Bad every foul to take his owne place,              320
  As they were wont alwey fro yeer to yere,
  Seynt Valentynes day, to stonden there.

  That is to sey, the foules of ravyne
  Were hyest set; and than the foules smale,
  That eten as hem nature wolde enclyne,              325
  As worm, or thing of whiche I telle no tale;
  But water-foul sat lowest in the dale;
  And foul that liveth by seed sat on the grene,
  And that so fele, that wonder was to sene.

  Ther mighte men the royal egle finde,               330
  That with his sharpe look perceth the sonne;
  And other egles of a lower kinde,
  Of which that clerkes wel devysen conne.
  Ther was the tyraunt with his fethres donne
  And greye, I mene the goshauk, that doth pyne       335
  To briddes for his outrageous ravyne.

  The gentil faucon, that with his feet distreyneth
  The kinges hond; the hardy sperhauk eke,
  The quayles foo; the merlion that peyneth
  Him-self ful ofte, the larke for to seke;           340
  Ther was the douve, with hir eyen meke;
  The Ialous swan, ayens his deth that singeth;
  The oule eek, that of dethe the bode bringeth;

  The crane the geaunt, with his trompes soune;
  The theef, the chogh; and eek the Iangling pye;     345
  The scorning Iay; the eles foo, the heroune;
  The false lapwing, ful of trecherye;
  The stare, that the counseyl can bewrye;
  The tame ruddok; and the coward kyte;
  The cok, that orloge is of thorpes lyte;            350

  The sparow, Venus sone; the nightingale,
  That clepeth forth the fresshe leves newe;
  The swalow, mordrer of the flyës smale
  That maken hony of floures fresshe of hewe;
  The wedded turtel, with hir herte trewe;            355
  The pecok, with his aungels fethres brighte;
  The fesaunt, scorner of the cok by nighte;

  The waker goos; the cukkow ever unkinde;
  The popiniay, ful of delicasye;
  The drake, stroyer of his owne kinde;               360
  The stork, the wreker of avouterye;
  The hote cormeraunt of glotonye;
  The raven wys, the crow with vois of care;
  The throstel olde; the frosty feldefare.

  What shulde I seyn? of foules every kinde           365
  That in this worlde han fethres and stature,
  Men mighten in that place assembled finde
  Before the noble goddesse Nature.
  And everich of hem did his besy cure
  Benignely to chese or for to take,                  370
  By hir acord, his formel or his make.

  But to the poynt--Nature held on hir honde
  A formel egle, of shap the gentileste
  That ever she among hir werkes fonde,
  The most benigne and the goodlieste;                375
  In hir was every vertu at his reste,
  So ferforth, that Nature hir-self had blisse
  To loke on hir, and ofte hir bek to kisse.

  Nature, the vicaire of thalmyghty lorde,
  That hoot, cold, hevy, light, [and] moist and dreye 380
  Hath knit by even noumbre of acorde,
  In esy vois began to speke and seye,
  Foules, tak hede of my sentence, I preye,
  And, for your ese, in furthering of your nede,
  As faste as I may speke, I wol me spede.            385

  Ye know wel how, seynt Valentynes day,
  By my statut and through my governaunce,
  Ye come for to chese--and flee your way--
  Your makes, as I prik yow with plesaunce.
  But natheles, my rightful ordenaunce                390
  May I not lete, for al this world to winne,
  That he that most is worthy shal beginne.

  The tercel egle, as that ye knowen wel,
  The foul royal above yow in degree,
  The wyse and worthy, secree, trewe as stel,         395
  The which I formed have, as ye may see,
  In every part as hit best lyketh me,
  Hit nedeth noght his shap yow to devyse,
  He shal first chese and speken in his gyse.

  And after him, by order shul ye chese,              400
  After your kinde, everich as yow lyketh,
  And, as your hap is, shul ye winne or lese;
  But which of yow that love most entryketh,
  God sende him hir that sorest for him syketh.'
  And therwith-al the tercel gan she calle,           405
  And seyde, 'my sone, the choys is to thee falle.

  But natheles, in this condicioun
  Mot be the choys of everich that is here,
  That she agree to his eleccioun,
  Who-so he be that shulde been hir fere;             410
  This is our usage alwey, fro yeer to yere;
  And who so may at this time have his grace,
  In blisful tyme he com in-to this place.'

  With hed enclyned and with ful humble chere
  This royal tercel spak and taried nought;           415
  Unto my sovereyn lady, and noght my fere,
  I chese, and chese with wille and herte and thought,
  The formel on your hond so wel y-wrought,
  Whos I am al and ever wol hir serve,
  Do what hir list, to do me live or sterve.          420

  Beseching hir of mercy and of grace,
  As she that is my lady sovereyne;
  Or let me dye present in this place.
  For certes, long may I not live in peyne;
  For in myn herte is corven every veyne;             425
  Having reward only to my trouthe,
  My dere herte, have on my wo som routhe.

  And if that I to hir be founde untrewe,
  Disobeysaunt, or wilful negligent,
  Avauntour, or in proces love a newe,                430
  I pray to you this be my Iugement,
  That with these foules I be al to-rent,
  That ilke day that ever she me finde
  To hir untrewe, or in my gilte unkinde.

  And sin that noon loveth hir so wel as I,           435
  Al be she never of love me behette,
  Than oghte she be myn thourgh hir mercy,
  For other bond can I noon on hir knette.
  For never, for no wo, ne shal I lette
  To serven hir, how fer so that she wende;           440
  Sey what yow list, my tale is at an ende.'

  Right as the fresshe, rede rose newe
  Ayen the somer-sonne coloured is,
  Right so for shame al wexen gan the hewe
  Of this formel, whan she herde al this;             445
  She neyther answerde 'wel,' ne seyde amis,
  So sore abasshed was she, til that Nature
  Seyde, 'doghter, drede yow noght, I yow assure.'

  Another tercel egle spak anoon
  Of lower kinde, and seyde, 'that shal not be;       450
  I love hir bet than ye do, by seynt Iohn,
  Or atte leste I love hir as wel as ye;
  And lenger have served hir, in my degree,
  And if she shulde have loved for long loving,
  To me allone had been the guerdoning.               455

  I dar eek seye, if she me finde fals,
  Unkinde, Iangler, or rebel any wyse,
  Or Ialous, do me hongen by the hals!
  And but I bere me in hir servyse
  As wel as that my wit can me suffyse,               460
  Fro poynt to poynt, hir honour for to save,
  Tak she my lyf, and al the good I have.'

  The thridde tercel egle answerde tho,
  Now, sirs, ye seen the litel leyser here;
  For every foul cryeth out to been a-go              465
  Forth with his make, or with his lady dere;
  And eek Nature hir-self ne wol nought here,
  For tarying here, noght half that I wolde seye;
  And but I speke, I mot for sorwe deye.

  Of long servyse avaunte I me no-thing,              470
  But as possible is me to dye to-day
  For wo, as he that hath ben languisshing
  Thise twenty winter, and wel happen may
  A man may serven bet and more to pay
  In half a yere, al-though hit were no more,         475
  Than som man doth that hath served ful yore.

  I ne say not this by me, for I ne can
  Do no servyse that may my lady plese;
  But I dar seyn, I am hir trewest man
  As to my dome, and feynest wolde hir ese;           480
  At shorte wordes, til that deth me sese,
  I wol ben hires, whether I wake or winke,
  And trewe in al that herte may bethinke.'

  Of al my lyf, sin that day I was born,
  So gentil plee in love or other thing               485
  Ne herde never no man me beforn,
  Who-[so] that hadde leyser and cunning
  For to reherse hir chere and hir speking;
  And from the morwe gan this speche laste
  Til dounward drow the sonne wonder faste.           490

  The noyse of foules for to ben delivered
  So loude rong, 'have doon and let us wende!'
  That wel wende I the wode had al to-shivered.
  Come of!' they cryde, 'allas! ye wil us shende!
  Whan shal your cursed pleding have an ende?         495
  How shulde a Iuge eyther party leve,
  For yee or nay, with-outen any preve?'

  The goos, the cokkow, and the doke also
  So cryden 'kek, kek!' 'kukkow!' 'quek, quek!' hye,
  That thorgh myn eres the noyse wente tho.           500
  The goos seyde, 'al this nis not worth a flye!
  But I can shape hereof a remedye,
  And I wol sey my verdit faire and swythe
  For water-foul, who-so be wrooth or blythe.'

 'And I for worm-foul,' seyde the fool cukkow,        505
  For I wol, of myn owne auctoritè,
  For comune spede, take the charge now,
  For to delivere us is gret charitè.'
  Ye may abyde a whyle yet, parde!'
  Seide the turtel, 'if hit be your wille             510
  A wight may speke, him were as good be stille.

  I am a seed-foul, oon the unworthieste,
  That wot I wel, and litel of kunninge;
  But bet is that a wightes tonge reste
  Than entremeten him of such doinge                  515
  Of which he neyther rede can nor singe.
  And who-so doth, ful foule himself acloyeth,
  For office uncommitted ofte anoyeth.'

  Nature, which that alway had an ere
  To murmour of the lewednes behinde,                 520
  With facound voys seide, 'hold your tonges there!
  And I shal sone, I hope, a counseyl finde
  You to delivere, and fro this noyse unbinde;
  I Iuge, of every folk men shal oon calle
  To seyn the verdit for you foules alle.'            525

  Assented were to this conclusioun
  The briddes alle; and foules of ravyne
  Han chosen first, by pleyn eleccioun,
  The tercelet of the faucon, to diffyne
  Al hir sentence, and as him list, termyne;          530
  And to Nature him gonnen to presente,
  And she accepteth him with glad entente.

  The tercelet seide than in this manere:
  Ful hard were hit to preve hit by resoun
  Who loveth best this gentil formel here;            535
  For everich hath swich replicacioun,
  That noon by skilles may be broght a-doun;
  I can not seen that arguments avayle;
  Than semeth hit ther moste be batayle.'

 'Al redy!' quod these egles tercels tho.             540
  Nay, sirs!' quod he, 'if that I dorste it seye,
  Ye doon me wrong, my tale is not y-do!
  For sirs, ne taketh noght a-gref, I preye,
  It may noght gon, as ye wolde, in this weye;
  Oure is the voys that han the charge in honde,      545
  And to the Iuges dome ye moten stonde;

  And therfor pees! I seye, as to my wit,
  Me wolde thinke how that the worthieste
  Of knighthode, and lengest hath used hit,
  Moste of estat, of blode the gentileste,            550
  Were sittingest for hir, if that hir leste;
  And of these three she wot hir-self, I trowe,
  Which that he be, for hit is light to knowe.'

  The water-foules han her hedes leyd
  Togeder, and of short avysement,                    555
  Whan everich had his large golee seyd,
  They seyden sothly, al by oon assent,
  How that 'the goos, with hir facounde gent,
  That so desyreth to pronounce our nede,
  Shal telle our tale,' and preyde 'god hir spede.'   560

  And for these water-foules tho began
  The goos to speke, and in hir cakelinge
  She seyde, 'pees! now tak kepe every man,
  And herkeneth which a reson I shal bringe;
  My wit is sharp, I love no taryinge;                565
  I seye, I rede him, though he were my brother,
  But she wol love him, lat him love another!'

  Lo here! a parfit reson of a goos!'
  Quod the sperhauk; 'never mot she thee!
  Lo, swich hit is to have a tonge loos!              570
  Now parde, fool, yet were hit bet for thee
  Have holde thy pees, than shewed thy nycete!
  Hit lyth not in his wit nor in his wille,
  But sooth is seyd, "a fool can noght be stille."'

  The laughter aroos of gentil foules alle,           575
  And right anoon the seed-foul chosen hadde
  The turtel trewe, and gunne hir to hem calle,
  And preyden hir to seye the sothe sadde
  Of this matere, and asked what she radde;
  And she answerde, that pleynly hir entente          580
  She wolde shewe, and sothly what she mente.

  Nay, god forbede a lover shulde chaunge!'
  The turtel seyde, and wex for shame al reed;
  Thogh that his lady ever-more be straunge,
  Yet let him serve hir ever, til he be deed;         585
  For sothe, I preyse noght the gooses reed;
  For thogh she deyed, I wolde non other make,
  I wol ben hires, til that the deth me take.'

  Wel bourded!' quod the doke, 'by my hat!
  That men shulde alwey loven, causeles,              590
  Who can a reson finde or wit in that?
  Daunceth he mury that is mirtheles?
  Who shulde recche of that is reccheles?
  Ye, quek!' yit quod the doke, ful wel and faire,
 'There been mo sterres, god wot, than a paire!'      595

  Now fy, cherl!' quod the gentil tercelet,
  Out of the dunghil com that word ful right,
  Thou canst noght see which thing is wel be-set:
  Thou farest by love as oules doon by light,
  The day hem blent, ful wel they see by night;       600
  Thy kind is of so lowe a wrechednesse,
  That what love is, thou canst nat see ne gesse.'

  Tho gan the cukkow putte him forth in prees
  For foul that eteth worm, and seide blyve,
 'So I,' quod he, 'may have my make in pees,          605
  I recche not how longe that ye stryve;
  Lat ech of hem be soleyn al hir lyve,
  This is my reed, sin they may not acorde;
  This shorte lesson nedeth noght recorde.'

 'Ye! have the glotoun fild ynogh his paunche,        610
  Than are we wel!' seyde the merlioun;
  Thou mordrer of the heysugge on the braunche
  That broghte thee forth, thou [rewthelees] glotoun!
  Live thou soleyn, wormes corrupcioun!
  For no fors is of lakke of thy nature;              615
  Go, lewed be thou, whyl the world may dure!'

  Now pees,' quod Nature, 'I comaunde here;
  For I have herd al your opinioun,
  And in effect yet be we never the nere;
  But fynally, this is my conclusioun,                620
  That she hir-self shal han the eleccioun
  Of whom hir list, who-so be wrooth or blythe,
  Him that she cheest, he shal hir have as swythe.

  For sith hit may not here discussed be
  Who loveth hir best, as seide the tercelet,         625
  Than wol I doon hir this favour, that she
  Shal have right him on whom hir herte is set,
  And he hir that his herte hath on hir knet.
  This Iuge I, Nature, for I may not lyë;
  To noon estat I have non other yë.                  630

  But as for counseyl for to chese a make,
  If hit were reson, certes, than wolde I
  Counseyle yow the royal tercel take,
  As seide the tercelet ful skilfully,
  As for the gentilest and most worthy,               635
  Which I have wroght so wel to my plesaunce;
  That to yow oghte been a suffisaunce.'

  With dredful vois the formel hir answerde,
  My rightful lady, goddesse of Nature,
  Soth is that I am ever under your yerde,            640
  Lyk as is everiche other creature,
  And moot be youres whyl my lyf may dure;
  And therfor graunteth me my firste bone,
  And myn entente I wol yow sey right sone.'

 'I graunte it you,' quod she; and right anoon        645
  This formel egle spak in this degree,
  Almighty quene, unto this yeer be doon
  I aske respit for to avysen me.
  And after that to have my choys al free;
  This al and som, that I wolde speke and seye;       650
  Ye gete no more, al-though ye do me deye.

  I wol noght serven Venus ne Cupyde
  For sothe as yet, by no manere wey.'
  Now sin it may non other wyse betyde,'
  Quod tho Nature, 'here is no more to sey;           655
  Than wolde I that these foules were a-wey
  Ech with his make, for tarying lenger here'--
  And seyde hem thus, as ye shul after here.

  To you speke I, ye tercelets,' quod Nature,
 'Beth of good herte and serveth, alle three;         660
  A yeer is not so longe to endure,
  And ech of yow peyne him, in his degree,
  For to do wel; for, god wot, quit is she
  Fro yow this yeer; what after so befalle,
  This entremes is dressed for you alle.'             665

  And whan this werk al broght was to an ende,
  To every foule Nature yaf his make
  By even acorde, and on hir wey they wende.
  A! lord! the blisse and Ioye that they make!
  For ech of hem gan other in winges take,            670
  And with hir nekkes ech gan other winde,
  Thanking alwey the noble goddesse of kinde.

  But first were chosen foules for to singe,
  As yeer by yere was alwey hir usaunce
  To singe a roundel at hir departinge,               675
  To do Nature honour and plesaunce.
  The note, I trowe, maked was in Fraunce;
  The wordes wer swich as ye may heer finde,
  The nexte vers, as I now have in minde.

         _Qui bien aime a tard oublie._

 'Now welcom somer, with thy sonne softe,             680
  That hast this wintres weders over-shake,
  And driven awey the longe nightes blake!

  Seynt Valentyn, that art ful hy on-lofte;--
  Thus singen smale foules for thy sake--
     _Now welcom somer, with thy sonne softe,_        685
     _That hast this wintres weders over-shake._

  Wel han they cause for to gladen ofte,
  Sith ech of hem recovered hath his make;
  Ful blisful may they singen whan they wake;
     _Now welcom somer, with thy sonne softe,_        690
     _That hast this wintres weders over-shake,_
     _And driven awey the longe nightes blake_.'

  And with the showting, whan hir song was do,
  That foules maden at hir flight a-way,
  I wook, and other bokes took me to                  695
  To rede upon, and yet I rede alway;
  I hope, y-wis, to rede so som day
  That I shal mete som thing for to fare
  The bet; and thus to rede I nil not spare.          699


_The authorities are_: F. (Fairfax 16); Gg. (Gg. 4. 27, Cambridge Univ.
Library); Trin. (Trinity Coll. Camb. R. 3. 19); Cx. (Caxton's edition);
Harl. (Harleian 7333); O. (St. John's Coll. Oxford); Ff. (Ff. I. 6,
Cambridge Univ. Library); _occasionally_ Tn. (Tanner 346); D. (Digby 181);
_and others_. _I follow_ F. _mainly, corrected by_ Gg. _(and others); and
note all variations from_ F. _of any consequence._

TITLE; Gg. _has_--Here begynyth the parlement of Foulys; D. The _par_lement
of Fowlis. 2. _So_ F. Harl. Tn.; _some transpose_ hard _and_ sharp. 3. Gg.
_and others_ dredful; F. slyder. Gg. O. slit; Cx. flit (_for_ slit); Ff.
slydeth (_om._ so); F. slyd; Trin. fleeth. 5. Gg. (_and others_) with his
wondyrful; F. soo with a dredeful. 7. F. Tn. wake or wynke; _rest_ flete or
synke; _see_ 482. 9. Gg. Trin. Harl. that; _which the rest omit_. 10. Gg.
Trin. Cx. Harl. Ff. ful ofte in bokis; F. in bookes ofte to. 11. F. _ins._
of _after_ and; Gg. _om._ 13. F. Dar I; Gg. _and others_ I dar. 14. F.
suche; Gg. swich. 17. F. Tn. D. why; _rest_ wherfore (wherfor).

21. Gg. faste; F. fast. Harl. radde; F. rad; Gg. redde. 22. F. seyth; Gg.
sey. 24. F. feythe; Gg. fey. 26. Gg. O. as of this; Trin. Cx. Harl. Ff. of
this; F. of my firste. 28. Gg. Ff. me thou[gh]te; Trin. Cx. Harl. me
thought hit; F. thought me. 30. Gg. Cx. thus; F. Trin. Harl. there. Gg.
_and rest_ as I schal; F. I shal yow. 31. F. _inserts_ the _after_ dreme
of; _the rest omit_. Trin. Harl. O. Scipio_u_n; F. Cipio_u_n; Gg. sothion
(!). 32. F. hyt had vij; Gg. _and the rest_ seuene It hadde. 33. Ff.
therInn_e_; F. _and the rest_ theryn (_wrongly_). 34. Gg. it; O. of; _the
rest omit_. 35. Gg. seyn; F. tel; _the rest_ sey (say). 37. F. In-to;
_rest_ In. F. Aufryke; Gg. Affrik. 39. _For_ hit _all wrongly have_ he; see
ll. 36, 43. 40. Harl. betwix; F. betwixt. 41. Gg. Affrican; F. Aufrikan.
42. F. on; _rest_ in. 43. F. tolde he hym; Gg. Trin. Cx. Harl. tellith it;
O. Ff. tellithe he. 44. Gg. Affrycan; F. Aufrikan. F. y-shewed; _rest_
schewid, shewyd, &c.

46. Gg. other; Th. eyther; _rest_ or. 49. Gg. There as Ioye is that last
with outy_n_; F. There Ioy is that lasteth with-out. 50. F. _inserts_ the
_after_ if; _rest omit_. 52. Gg. Affrican; F. Aufrikan. 53. Gg. Ff. that;
Trin. Cx. Harl. how; F. _om._ 54. Cx. Nis; Gg. Nys; F. Trin. Harl. Ff.
Meneth. 55. Gg. _and rest_ after; F. whan. Gg. Ff. gon; Harl. O. gone. 56.
Cx. galaxye; F. Ff. galoxye; O. galoxie. i. watlynstrete; Harl. galorye;
Trin. galry (!); Gg. galylye (!). 58. Gg. _and rest_ the; Harl. tho; F.
_om._ 62. T. Cx. Harl. O. That welles of musyk be (ben). 64. Gg. Ff. Tha_n_
bad he hy_m_ syn erthe was so lyte; F. Than bad he hym see the erthe that
is so lite (_wrongly_). 65. Cx. Trin. Harl. O. ful of torment and; F. was
somedel fulle; Gg. was su_m_del disseyuable and ful (!). 69. Gg. _and rest_
schulde (schuld, shuld); F. shal. 70. F. was; _rest_ is.

71. F. O. he; _rest_ him. Gg. _and rest_ to; F. _om._ 72. Gg. Trin. Harl.
O. into that; Cx. unto that; F. to (_om._ that). 73. Gg. inmortal; O. Th.
immortall_e_; F. _and rest_ mortalle(!). 75. Gg. _and rest_ not (nat,
noght); F. never. 76. Gg. comyn: Cx. comen; F. come. Gg. O. to; _rest_
into, vnto. 77. Trin. Cx. Harl. Ff. _retain_ of _after_ and; F. Gg. O.
_omit_. 78. F. _ins._ for _before_ to (_but_ lawe _is dissyllabic_); _rest
om._ 80. Gg. _wrongly puts_ there _for_ therthe; Harl. O. Ff. _place_ alwey
_before_ in peyne; _the rest are bad_. 82. F. _ins._ hem _before_ alle. Gg.
And that for-[gh]euy_n_ is his weked dede (_but_ dede _is plural_). 84. Gg.
comy_n_; _rest_ come, com. Cx. Harl. the sende his; O. sende the his; Gg.
synde us; Ff. send vs; F. sende ech lover (!). 85. Harl. faylen; Cx.
fayllen; F. faile; Gg. folwy_n_ (!). 87. F. Berefte; _rest_ Berafte,
Beraft. 90. F. had; Gg. hadde. 91. Harl. O. _give 1st_ that; Trin. Cx. the;
F. Ff. Gg. _om._ 95. _After_ as, Gg. Trin. Harl. O. _insert_ that; _it is
hardly needed_. 96. Gg. Affrican; F. Aufrikan.

102. Gg. Ft carte is; O. cart is; _rest_ cartes _or_ cartis. 104, 5. Gg.
Harl. O. met; F. Trin. Cx. meteth. 106. Gg. Cx. O. Ff. I nat; F. not I.
107. F. redde had; Gg. hadde red; _rest_ had red (rad). Gg. affrican; F.
Aufrican. 108. F. _omits_ made; _the rest have it_. 110. to-torn] F. al to
torne. 111. F. roght noght; Gg. roughte nat; Cx. roght not. 112. F. Cx.
_ins._ the _after_ I; _rest omit_. 114. Trin. Cx. fyrebronde; Gg. ferbrond;
F. firy bronde. 119. Gg. [gh]if; F. yeve. Trin. Cx. Harl. O. hit and; Ff.
eke and; Gg. & ek; F. and to. 120. Gg. Affrican; F. Aufrikan. 122. F. _and
rest_ with; Gg. of. 124. _Read_ weren; _all_ were (weer). Gg. I-wrete; Th.
ywritten; F. writen.

133. F. Ff. hye; _the rest_ spede (sped). 135. F. stroke; _rest_ strokes
(strokis). 137. Cx. Harl. O. Ff. neuer tree shal. Cx. fruyt; Harl. O.
fruyte; Trin. F. frute. 138. F. unto; _rest_ to. 139. _All_ is (ys). 140.
O. Theschewing; Cx. Theschewyng; Harl. The eschuyng; F. Thescwynge (_sic_).
142. Trin. Cx. Harl. O. The; F. Gg. Of; Ff. On. F. Cx. a stounde (_which I
think is correct_); Ff. astonde; (_alt. to_) Gg. a-stonyd; Trin. astonyed;
Harl. O. astoned. 144. F. Cx. O. Ff. _insert_ to _before_ bolde
(_wrongly_); Gg. Trin. Harl. _om._ 148. Gg. be-twixsyn; F. betwix. 149. F.
y-sette; Gg. set. 150. F. That; Ff. _om._; _rest_ Ne (_which would be
elided_). F. nor; _rest_ ne (_better_). 152. Gg. _and rest_ nyste; F. I ne
wiste. Gg. _and rest_ whether; F. wher that (_perhaps rightly_).

153. F. Affrikan. 156. Gg. Cx. O. to; _rest omit_. 158. Trin. Cx. by; Gg.
bi; F. be. 159. Gg. Trin. Cx. by; F. be. 160. Gg. stat (!); _for_ tast
(taste). 162. F. Ff. _om._ that. 163. Gg. Harl. O. _supply_ Yit; Cx. Yf;
_rest om._ F. yet thou maist hyt; O. mayst thowe; _rest_ yit mayst (may)
thou. 165. F. Ff. _om._ for. 166. Gg. wher; _rest_ whether. 167. Gg. Cx.
tendite; F. Trin. to endite. 169. F. And with; _rest om._ And. 170. Gg.
confort. Gg. that as; _rest_ went in. 172. F. _om._ that (_but_
over-al=ov'r-al). 173. F. Weren; _rest_ Were. 174. Gg. O. Ff. of; F. Cx.
with (_from line above_). 175. F. Emerawde. Gg. sothe (_for_ Ioye,
_wrongly_). 177. Cx. O. piler; Gg. pilere; Trin. pylor; F. Harl. peler.
178. F. box pipe tre; Gg. _and rest_ box tre pipere (_or_ piper). Trin. the
holyn; Cx. holin; Ff. holye; Gg. O. holm; F. Harl. holme.

180. Gg. Ew; _rest_ ewe. 183. Harl. O. blosmy; Gg. blospemy (_for_
blossemy); Cx. blossome; Trin. blossom; F. Ff. blossomed. 185. O. that; Gg.
ther; _rest omit_. Gg. Ff. I-now; O. I-nowe; F. ynowh. 188. Ff. That
swommen; Harl. That swommyn; Gg. That swemyn; Trin. That swymen; Cx. O.
That swymmen; F. And swymmynge. 192. F. That; Gg. Ff. So (_error for_
So_m_); _rest_ Som, Some, Som_m_e. 193. Gg. gunne; F. gunnen; _rest_ gan,
cane. 194. F. Trin. _om._ al. 196. Cx. Squerels; F. Squerel; _rest_
Squyrelis (Squyrell_is_, Squerellis). 197. F. Cx. On; _rest_ Of. Gg. Cx. O.
strengis; Trin. stryngys; F. strynge. Gg. a-cord; _rest_ accorde, acorde.
198. F. _om._ so. F. Gg. and (_for_ a, _wrongly_); Ff. _om._; _rest_ a.
201. F. _om._ be; _rest have it_. 203. Gg. bryddis; _rest_ foules. 205. F.
ther of; _rest_ of. 206. Gg. wex; Ff. waxed; F. growen; _rest_ was (_error
for_ wex).

207. Trin. Cx. Harl. Ne; _rest omit_. 208. F. more Ioye; _rest_ Ioye more.
209. F. No; _rest_ Then (_or_ Than). F. _om._ ne; _rest_ (_except_ Ff.)
_retain it_. Trin. was (_for_ wolde). 214. Gg. Th. wel; F. O. wille; Cx.
Trin. wylle; Harl. whill_e_; _see_ note. 215. Gg. _and rest_ hire (hir,
hyr); F. harde. F. fyle; Trin. vyle (_for_ fyle) Harl. wyel; _rest_ wile.
216. F. shul; _rest_ shuld, shulde. 217. F. _om._ for. 221. O. doon by
force; Trin. Cx. do by force; Harl. done be force; Gg. don be fore (_sic_);
F. goo before. 222. F. Ff. Disfigured. Gg. Harl. nyl; Cx. Trin. Ff. wil; O.
woll_e_; F. shal. 225. Gg. saw; F. sawgh. Gg. with outyn; Cx. Ff. with
outen; F. with oute. 228. F. Ff. Trin. _omit 1st_ and. 229. F. Ff. Trin.
_omit_ here. 230. F. pelers; _rest_ pilers (pileris, pylors). 231. F.
sawgh. F. glas; _rest_ (_except_ Ff.) bras _or_ brasse. Gg. Harl. O.
I-founded; Trin. enfoundyd; F. founded.

232. Gg. daunsedy_n_; F. daunced. 233. F. O. _om._ ther. 234. F. _om._
were; _rest retain_. 236. Gg. [gh]er be [gh]eere; Trin. Cx. Harl. yere by
yere; F. fro yere to yere. 237. Trin. O. of douys; Gg. of dowis; Cx. of
duues; Harl. of dofes; Ff. of dowfs; F. saugh I (_sic_). 238. F. Of dowves
white (_sic_); Ff. Saw I sitte; _rest_ Saw I syttynge. Trin. Cx. Harl. O.
thousand (_for_ hundred). 240. F. _om._ with. 241. Gg. _and rest_ by hire
syde (_for_ hir besyde). 244. F. _om._ eek; _rest retain_. 246. Gg. sykys.
248. Gg. sikis. 250. Trin. Cx. flame. F. _om._ wel; _rest retain it_. 252.
Gg. Cam; O. Com; F. Come; Cx. Comen; Trin. Harl. Ff. Cometh. Gg. Trin. Cx.
goddesse; Harl. goddes (i. e. _goddess_); F. O. goddys. 253. F. sawgh. 255.
Gg. swich; F. suche. 256. Trin. Cx. Ff. by; _rest_ be.

260. Gg. priue; F. prevy. 264. F. saugh. 267. Gg. goldene; Ff. golden; F.
_and rest_ golde _or_ gold. 271. Cx. wel couerd; Harl. wel couered; Gg. was
wel keuerede; Trin. was well_e_ coueryd; F. keuered wel. 272. Harl. Trin.
Ff. sotil. Trin. O. kerchyff; F. keuerchefe; Gg. couercheif; Cx. couerchef.
273. Gg. nas (_for_ was). Gg. Harl. _alone insert 2nd_ no (_but it is
wanted_). 275. Trin. Cx. Bachus; _rest_ Bacus. Gg. wyn; F. wyne. 277. F.
Gg. Harl. Cipride (_rightly_); _the rest_ Cupide (!); _see_ l. 279. 278.
Gg. Cx. O. two; Ff. to; F. the; Trin. Harl. _om._ Gg. O. Ff. folk ther
(_for_ folkes). 279. Gg. Trin. let; O. lat; Ff. lett; F. B. Cx. Harl. lete.
283. Gg. Harl. gunne; F. gonne; _rest_ gan, can. 285. Gg. Cx. Ff. Ful
(_for_ Of).

288. Cx. O. Semiramis; Ff. Semiriamis; _rest_ Semiramus (_as in_ Leg. Good
Women, _Tisbe_, l. 2). Gg. Hercules. 289. Trin. Harl. Tysbe; F. Cx. Tesbe;
Gg. Thisbe. 295. F. Cx. comen; _rest_ come. F. Ff. that; _rest_ the. 298.
Gg. that; _which rest omit_ (_though wanted_). 303. F. O. _wrongly insert_
of _before_ Nature. 307. Gg. Trin. Cx. Ff. they; F. Harl. O. there. _After_
were (_dissyllabic_) Gg. _inserts_ al; _needlessly_. 308. Gg. dom; _rest_
dome. 310. Gg. bryd (_for_ foul); Cx. birde. 311. F. On; _rest_ Of. Ff.
thenke; _rest_ thynke (_not so well_). 313. Gg. Ff. eyr (_for_ see).

316. F. Alayne; Trin. Alen; _rest_ Aleyn. 317. Gg. in (_for_ of). _All but_
Gg. Ff. _needlessly insert_ suche _before_ aray (_caught from line below_).
318. Gg. swich; F. suche. MSS. myghte, myght; _but read_ mighten. 320. Gg.
Ff. his; _rest_ her, hir (_wrongly_). Cx. owen; Gg. owene; F. ovne; _rest_
owne. 325. Gg. Cx. hem; Ff. them; O. _om._; _rest_ that. 327. Trin. vale
(_for_ dale). 330. Gg. ryal; Cx. Harl. O. rial. 338. F. _om._ hardy. _All_
eke (_for_ eek); _exceptionally_. 343. Trin. bood; Cx. bodword; _rest_ bode

344. Gg. Ff. _om._ the. 345. Trin. chowgh; F. choghe; Cx. choughe; Harl.
chowhe; Gg. O. Ff. crow (_wrongly_). 346. Harl. Ff. eles; Gg. O. elis;
Trin. elys; F. Cx. egles (!). Trin. Harl. O. _insert_ the _before_ heroun;
_rest omit_. 347. Gg. false; F. fals. Trin. Cx. lapwynk; O. lappewynk. 348.
Gg. starlyng; _rest_ stare. Gg. bewreye (_but note the rime_). 349. Gg.
rodok. 350. Gg. orloge; F. orlogge. Gg. thorpis; F. thropes. 352. Gg. Cx.
Ff. grene (_for_ fresshe). 353. Trin. Th. flyes; Ff. bryddis; Gg. O.
foulis; _rest_ foules (fowles). _But_ flyes _is right_; see Cant. Ta. I.
468, Boeth. iii. met. 7. 355. F. his; O. _om._; _rest_ hire, hir, her. 356.
Gg. clothis (_for_ fethers). 357. F. be (_for_ by). 359. F. papiay; Gg.
popyniay. 361. F. Cx. Ff. _om._ the. 363. Gg. The rauen wys, the crowe wit
voice of care; Ff. _same_ (_omitting_ wys); F. _and rest_ The rauenes and
the crowes with her voys of care (_badly_). 367. Gg. myghtyn; F. myghte.
368. F. that; Ff. this; Harl. _om._; _rest_ the. _All but_ Gg. Ff. _ins._
of _bef._ Nature. 369. Gg. eueriche; O. Ff. euery; F. eche (_badly_).

370. Gg. Benygnely; F. Benyngly (_sic_). 374. fonde _is pt. t.
subjunctive_. 375. Gg. Cx. the (_after_ and); Ff. moste; _rest om._ 378.
Gg. bek; F. beke. 379. Ff. Cx. vicair_e_; F. vyker. 380. _I insert_ and
_after_ light. Gg. Cx. dreye; _rest_ drye. 381. Trin. Cx. by; F. be; Gg.
with. 383. Cx. Ff. kepe (_for_ bede). 384. Gg. ese; F. ease. 385. Gg. Ff.
[gh]ow; Cx. you (_for_ me). 386. F. Cx. Harl. _insert_ that _after_ how.
387. Gg. By; F. Be. 389. F. Trin. Cx. Harl. O. _insert_ With _before_ Your;
Gg. Ff. _rightly omit_. 390. Gg. Cx. Ff. ordenaunce; _rest_ gouernaunce
(_see_ l. 387). 391. F. Trin. Harl. O. let (i. e. _let go_); Gg. breke; Ff.
suffre; Cx. lette. 393. Gg. terslet (_for_ tercel). Gg. ful wel; F. wele.
394. Gg. ryal. 395. Gg. stel; F. stele. 396. _All_ have formed.

411. Cx. yere by yere (_for_ fro yeer to yere). 413. Gg. cam. 414. Gg. O.
Ff. _om._ ful; _rest retain_. 415. Trin. Ff. Royall_e_; F. real; Gg. ryal.
424. Gg. I may. 426. _Read_ al-only? 428. Gg. And if that I to hyre be
founde; F. And yf I be founde to hir.

436. F. As though; _rest_ Al be. 438. F. knette; Gg. areete; _rest_ knytte,
knyt. 439. Gg. Cx. O. Ne (_for_ For). 445. _So all._ _Read_ whan that she?
446. Gg. She neythir; Cx. Harl. O. Ff. She neyther; F. Trin. Neyther she.
450. Gg. O. Ff. shal; _rest_ shulde, shuld. 460. Gg. that; _rest omit_.
462. Gg. the; Trin. Harl. ye; _rest_ she.

463. Gg. thredde; Trin. Ff. thryd; F. thirdde. 467. F. _om._ Nature. 473.
Gg. yeer and as (_for_ winter and). 476. F. _om._ ful. 479. Gg. seyn; F.
say. 480. Gg. Ff. ese; _rest_ plese. 481. Gg. shorte; F. short. 482. Ff.
hyres; F. hirse (!). 487. _I supply_ so. Gg. hadde; F. had. 488. F.
rehersen; _rest_ reherse (reherce). 490. Gg. drow; Cx. wente; _rest_ went
(_badly_). 494. Cx. Harl. wil; F. wol. 495. Gg. pletynge; Trin. Cx. Harl.

498. _So_ Gg.; _rest_ The goos, the duk, and the cukkowe also (_wrongly;
see next line_). 501. F. seyde tho; _rest omit_ tho. Gg. Ff. nys not; Trin.
O. ys nat; Cx. is not; F. Harl. _om._ not. 503. Gg. Cx. I; _rest om._ 507.
Gg. O. profit; _rest_ spede. Trin. For comon spede, take the chargë now. F.
Cx. Harl. O. _ins._ on me _bef._ the; Ff. _ins._ vpon me. Gg. tak on no (!)
_for_ take the. 510. Trin. Seyde; Cx. Said; _rest_ Quod. 511. F. good; Cx.
better (_for_ as good); _rest_ fayr. 514. Gg. bet; _rest_ better. 515. Gg.
entirmety_n_; F. entremete. 517. _All but_ Gg. Cx. _ins._ hyt (it, yt)
_bef._ doth. 518. Ff. vncom_m_aundet; O. vnconveyid; Gg. onquit (!); _rest_
vncommytted. 520. Gg. _om._ behynde; Trin. Harl. blynde; Cx. by kynde;
_rest_ behynde. 523. F. O. Ff. for to (_for_ to). F. delyueren; _rest_
delyuere (deliver). F. Gg. Harl. from; _rest_ fro.

524. Cx. charge (_for_ Iuge). 527. _Most_ MSS. _insert_ the _before_
foules; _which_ Gg. Th. _and_ Longleat MS. _omit_. 530. _All but_ Cx. Ff.
_ins._ to _after_ list. 534. Trin. Th. preue; Gg. proue; F. preven. 536.
Gg. swich; F. suche. 537. Gg. non by skillis; F. _and rest_ by skilles may
non (_badly_). 540. Cx. terselis egles. 543. Gg. ne; _rest omit_. 544. F.
_om._ gon. 545. Gg. Cx. Oure; _rest_ Oures, Ours. 549. Gg. O. hath; _rest_
had. 551. Gg. sittyngest; _rest_ sittynge. 553. Cx. Harl. ethe (_for_

556. Gg. O. gole; Ff. goler; Cx. golye; Ff. golee; Trin. Harl. wyltee. 558.
Gg. facounde so; Ff. facounde; Cx. faconde; F. faucond. 560. F. Cx. Ff.
_needlessly insert_ to _after_ preyd-e. 564. _All but_ Gg. _insert_ forth
_before_ bringe. 569. _For_ Quod _read_ Seyde? 570. Gg. sich (_for_ swich);
F. suche. 575. F. laughtre. 576. F. Harl. Ff. foules; Trin. fowle; Cx.
fowl; O. foule; Gg. ful (!). 577. Gg. gunne; Ff. gonne; _rest_ gan.

588. Harl. hires; Gg. hire; Cx. hers; _rest_ hirs. Trin. Harl. _om._ that
(_perhaps rightly_). 589. Gg. Cx. Ff. doke; F. duk. 590. F. Ff. shulden.
592. F. Gg. murye; _rest_ mery. 594. Gg. O. yit; Ff. yet; _rest om._ 599.
Gg. by; F. be (_1st time_). 602. Gg. Th. nat; F. neyther. 603. F. put; Gg.
putte. 606. Cx. Ff. recche; F. Gg. Harl, reche; Trin. O. rek. 611. Gg.
Merlioun; Trin. O. Merlyon; Cx. merlion; F. Ff. Emerlyon. 612. F. _om. 1st_
the. Harl. heysugge; O. heysugg; Cx. heysug; Ff. haysugge; F. haysogge; Gg.
heysoge; Trin. heysoke. 613. Gg. reufulles (!); Pepys rowthfull; _rest_
rewful (!).

621. Gg. han; _rest_ haue. Gg. Cx. the; _rest_ hir, hyr. 623. F. cheest;
Gg. chesith; Trin. cheseth; Harl. chesithe. F. han hir; Gg. hire han; Trin.
hyr hafe; Cx. Harl. Ff. her haue. 626. Gg. hire this fauour; Trin. Harl. to
hyr thys fauour; F. _and rest_ thys fauour to hir. 630. Ff. ye; Harl. yee;
Trin. ey; _rest_ eye. 632. F. Gg. I (_for_ hit). Gg. certis; _rest omit_.
637. _All but_ Gg. Cx. _insert_ hit (_or_ it) _after_ That _or_ yow. Th.
ben; Cx. haue ben; _rest_ to ben (be). 641. Gg. As is a-nothir lyuis
creature. O. _alone ins._ Like _bef._ As. 642. Gg. mot; _rest_ moste
(muste). 643. Gg. grau_n_tyth; _rest_ graunte, graunt (_badly_). 644. Trin.
Cx. Harl. I wyll yow; O. I woll [gh]ewe; F. Ff. yow wol I.

652. F. Cipride; Harl. Cypride; Ff. Sypryde; _rest_ Cupide (_cf._ ll. 212,
277). 654. F. other weyes; Cx. other wayes; O. othir wey (_perhaps best_);
Gg. othirwise; Ff. other-wyse; Trin. Harl. other (_sic_). 655. Gg. Harl.
tho; _rest om._ 659. F. terceletys; Th. tercelets. 660. F. al; Gg. alle.
665. F. O. entremesse; Ff. entremeese; Th. entremes; Gg. entyrmes; Harl.
entermes. 666. F. wroght; _rest_ brought, broght. 669. F. A; Gg. But;
_rest_ And. Gg. Ioye; F. Ioy. 672. Gg. Thankynge; F. Thonkyng. Gg. queen;
_rest_ goddesse, goddes.

678. Gg. sweche (_for_ swiche); F. suche. Th. _Qui_; miswritten _Que_ in F.
Cx.; _Qe_ in Trin.; rest omit. _aime_; F. ayme. _tard_; F. tarde. _Lines_
680-692 _only occur in_ Gg. Th. _and_ Digby 181; _lines_ 683, 684, 687-9
_in_ O. _I follow_ Digby 181 _mainly_. 680. Digb. Nowe welcome. 681. Gg.
wintres wedres; Digb. wynter wedirs. 682. Gg. And; Digb. Hast. Digb.
drevyn; Gg. dreuyne. Digb. nyghtis; Gg. nyghtes. 684. Digb. syngen; Fowlis.
687. Gg. O. Wele. 688. Gg. O. hem; Digb. them. 689. Digb. Full_e_ blisfully
they synge and endles ioy thei make (_wrongly_); Gg. Ful blisseful mowe
they ben when they wake; O. Th. Ful blesfull may they synge when they wake
(Th. awake). 693. F. showtynge. 694. Gg. mady_n_; Ff. maden; F. made. 698.
Trin. fynde (_for_ mete). 699. Ff. nyl; Gg. nele; F. O. wol; Trin. wyll_e_;
Cx. wil.

COLOPHON. _So in_ F; Gg. _has_--Explicit parliamentum Auium in die sancti
Valentini tentum, secundum Galfridum Chaucer; Ff. _has_--Explicit
Parliamentum Auium; MS. Arch. Seld. B. 24 _has_--Here endis the parliament
of foulis; Quod Galfride Chaucere; _the_ Longleat MS. _has_--Here endith
the Parlement of foules.

       *       *       *       *       *


          I. (_In seven-line stanzas._)

  The longe night, whan every creature
    Shulde have hir rest in somwhat, as by kinde,
  Or elles ne may hir lyf nat long endure,
    Hit falleth most in-to my woful minde
    How I so fer have broght my-self behinde,           5
  That, sauf the deeth, ther may no-thing me lisse,
  So desespaired I am from alle blisse.

  This same thoght me lasteth til the morwe,
    And from the morwe forth til hit be eve;
  Ther nedeth me no care for to borwe,                 10
    For bothe I have good leyser and good leve;
    Ther is no wight that wol me wo bereve
  To wepe y-nogh, and wailen al my fille;
  The sore spark of peyne doth me spille.

          II. (_In Terza Rima; imperfect._)

  [The sore spark of peyne doth me spille;]            15
    This Love hath [eek] me set in swich a place
    That my desyr [he] never wol fulfille;
  For neither pitee, mercy, neither grace
    Can I nat finde; and [fro] my sorwful herte,
    For to be deed, I can hit nat arace.               20
  The more I love, the more she doth me smerte;
    Through which I see, with-oute remedye,
    That from the deeth I may no wyse asterte;
  [For this day in hir servise shal I dye].

          III. (_In Terza Rima; imperfect._)

  [Thus am I slain, with sorwes ful dyverse;           25
    Ful longe agoon I oghte have taken hede].
    Now sothly, what she hight I wol reherse;
  Hir name is Bountee, set in womanhede,
    Sadnesse in youthe, and Beautee prydelees,
    And Plesaunce, under governaunce and drede;        30
  Hir surname eek is Faire Rewthelees,
    The Wyse, y-knit un-to Good Aventure,
    That, for I love hir, sleeth me giltelees.
  Hir love I best, and shal, whyl I may dure,
    Bet than my-self an hundred thousand deel,         35
    Than al this worldes richesse or creature.
  Now hath nat Lovë me bestowed weel
    To lovë, ther I never shal have part?
    Allas! right thus is turned me the wheel,
  Thus am I slayn with loves fyry dart.                40
    I can but love hir best, my swete fo;
    Love hath me taught no more of his art
  But serve alwey, and stinte for no wo.

          IV. (_In ten-line stanzas._)

  [With]-in my trewe careful herte ther is
  So moche wo, and [eek] so litel blis,                45
    That wo is me that ever I was bore;
  For al that thing which I desyre I mis,
  And al that ever I wolde nat, I-wis,
    That finde I redy to me evermore;
  And of al this I not to whom me pleyne.              50
    For she that mighte me out of this bringe
    Ne reccheth nat whether I wepe or singe;
  So litel rewthe hath she upon my peyne.

  Allas! whan sleping-time is, than I wake,
  Whan I shulde daunce, for fere than I quake;         55
    [Yow rekketh never wher I flete or sinke;]
  This hevy lyf I lede for your sake,
  Thogh ye ther-of in no wyse hede take,
    [For on my wo yow deyneth not to thinke.]
  My hertes lady, and hool my lyves quene!             60
    For trewly dorste I seye, as that I fele,
    Me semeth that your swete herte of stele
  Is whetted now ageynes me to kene.

  My dere herte, and best beloved fo,
  Why lyketh yow to do me al this wo,                  65
    What have I doon that greveth yow, or sayd,
  But for I serve and love yow and no mo?
  And whylst I live, I wol do ever so;
    And therfor, swete, ne beth nat evil apayd.
  For so good and so fair as [that] ye be,             70
    Hit were [a] right gret wonder but ye hadde
    Of alle servants, bothe goode and badde;
  And leest worthy of alle hem, I am he.

  But never-the-les, my righte lady swete,
  Thogh that I be unconning and unmete                 75
    To serve as I best coude ay your hynesse.
  Yit is ther fayner noon, that wolde I hete,
  Than I, to do yow ese, or elles bete
    What-so I wiste were to [yow distresse].
  And hadde I might as good as I have wille,           80
    Than shulde ye fele wher it wer so or noon;
    For in this worlde living is ther noon
  That fayner wolde your hertes wil fulfille.

  For bothe I love, and eek dreed yow so sore,
  And algates moot, and have doon yow, ful yore,       85
    That bet loved is noon, ne never shal;
  And yit I wolde beseche yow of no more
  But leveth wel, and be nat wrooth ther-fore,
    And lat me serve yow forth; lo! this is al.
  For I am nat so hardy ne so wood                     90
    For to desire that ye shulde love me;
    For wel I wot, allas! that may nat be;
  I am so litel worthy, and ye so good.

  For ye be oon the worthiest on-lyve,
  And I the most unlykly for to thryve;                95
    Yit, for al this, [now] witeth ye right wele,
  That ye ne shul me from your service dryve
  That I nil ay, with alle my wittes fyve,
    Serve yow trewly, what wo so that I fele.
  For I am set on yow in swich manere                 100
    That, thogh ye never wil upon me rewe,
    I moste yow love, and ever been as trewe
  As any can or may on-lyve [here].

  The more that I love yow, goodly free,
  The lasse fynde I that ye loven me;                 105
    Allas! whan shal that harde wit amende?
  Wher is now al your wommanly pitee,
  Your gentilesse and your debonairtee,
    Wil ye no thing ther-of upon me spende?
  And so hool, swete, as I am youres al,              110
    And so gret wil as I have yow to serve,
    Now, certes, and ye lete me thus sterve,
  Yit have ye wonne ther-on but a smal.

  For, at my knowing, I do no-thing why,
  And this I wol beseche yow hertely,                 115
    That, ther ever ye finde, whyl ye live,
  A trewer servant to yow than am I,
  Leveth [me] thanne, and sleeth me hardely,
    And I my deeth to you wol al forgive.
  And if ye finde no trewer [man than me],            120
    [Why] will ye suffre than that I thus spille,
    And for no maner gilt but my good wille?
  As good wer thanne untrewe as trewe to be.

  But I, my lyf and deeth, to yow obeye,
  And with right buxom herte hoolly I preye,          125
    As [is] your moste plesure, so doth by me;
  Wel lever is me lyken yow and deye
  Than for to any thing or thinke or seye
    That mighte yow offende in any tyme.
  And therfor, swete, rewe on my peynes smerte,       130
    And of your grace granteth me som drope;
    For elles may me laste ne blis ne hope,
  Ne dwellen in my trouble careful herte.

1. Sh. nightes; _see_ l. 8. 2, 3. hir] Sh. theyre. 7. Ed. (1561) dispaired.
12. Sh. me; Ed. my. 14. _All insert_ now _before_ doth. 15. _It seems
necessary to repeat this line in order to start the series of rimes._ 16.
Sh. This loue that hathe me set; _I omit_ that, _and supply_ eek. 17. _I
supply_ he (i. e. Love).

19. Sh. and yit my; _I omit_ yit, _and supply_ fro. 24. _Supplied to
complete the rime from_ Compl. Mars, 189. 25. _Supplied from_ Compl. Pite,
22, 17. 26. _Supplied from_ Anelida, 307. 31. Sh. is eek. 32. Sh. The wyse
eknytte; Ph. The wise I-knyt (_corrupt?_) 33. Sh. hir she; _I omit_ she.
36. _Corrupt? Perhaps read_ richest creature. 40. Sh. fury. 42. _Read_ of
alle his? 44. Sh. In; _I read_ With-in. 45. _I supply_ eek.

50. _So in_ Anelida, 237. 54. Sh. _ins._ lo _after_ is. 55. Sh. _ins._ lo
_after_ fere. 56, 59. _Both lines are missing; supplied from_ Anelida, 181,
182. 57. Sh. _ins._ lo _after_ lede. 68. Sh. euer do. 70. _I supply_ that.
71. _I supply_ a. 72. Sh. _ins._ of _after_ bothe. 76. Sh. koude best; Ph.
_om._ best. 77. Sh. noon fayner. 78. Sh. youre; _read_ yow. 79. Sh. wist
that were; _om._ that. Sh. your hyenesse (_repeated from_ l. 76;
_wrongly_); _read_ yow distresse.

82. Sh. _ins._ þane _before_ is. 83. Sh. wille; Ph. Ed. wil. 86. Sh.
better. 88. Sh. leuethe; Ph. lovith. 96. _I supply_ now. 98. Sh. ne wil
(_for_ nil). 100. Ed. (1561) _has_ set so hy vpon your whele. 102. Sh. beon
euer. 103. Sh. man can; _I omit_ man. _I supply_ here; _the line is
imperfect_. 104. Sh. But the; _I omit_ But. 113. Ed. _om._ a.

114. Sh. nought; _read_ nothing. 116. Sh. whyles. 118. _I supply_ me. 120.
Sh. no trewer so verrayly; Ed. no trewer verely (_false rime_). 121. _I
supply_ Why. 124-133. _Unique stanza, in_ Ph. _only._ 126. _I supply_ is.
127. Ph. For wele; _omit_ For. 129. Ph. That yow myght offenden. 132. Ph.
no blisse. 133. Ph. dwelle withyn. _Colophon._ Ph. Explicit Pyte: dan
Chaucer Lauteire (?).

       *       *       *       *       *




  Thou ferse god of armes, Mars the rede,
  That in the frosty country called Trace,
  Within thy grisly temple ful of drede
  Honoured art, as patroun of that place!
  With thy Bellona, Pallas, ful of grace,                   5
  Be present, and my song continue and gye;
  At my beginning thus to thee I crye.

  For hit ful depe is sonken in my minde,
  With pitous herte in English for tendyte
  This olde storie, in Latin which I finde,                10
  Of quene Anelida and fals Arcite,
  That elde, which that al can frete and byte,
  As hit hath freten mony a noble storie,
  Hath nigh devoured out of our memorie.

  Be favorable eek, thou Polymnia,                         15
  On Parnaso that, with thy sustres glade,
  By Elicon, not fer from Cirrea,
  Singest with vois memorial in the shade,
  Under the laurer which that may not fade,
  And do that I my ship to haven winne;
  First folow I Stace, and after him Corinne.

              _The Story._

  _Iamque domos patrias, &c._; Statii Thebais, xii. 519.

  Whan Theseus, with werres longe and grete,
  The aspre folk of Cithe had over-come,
  With laurer crouned, in his char gold-bete,
  Hoom to his contre-houses is y-come;--                   25
  For which the peple blisful, al and somme,
  So cryden, that unto the sterres hit wente,
  And him to honouren dide al hir entente;--

  Beforn this duk, in signe of hy victorie,
  The trompes come, and in his baner large                 30
  The image of Mars; and, in token of glorie,
  Men mighten seen of tresor many a charge,
  Many a bright helm, and many a spere and targe,
  Many a fresh knight, and many a blisful route,
  On hors, on fote, in al the felde aboute.                35

  Ipolita his wyf, the hardy quene
  Of Cithia, that he conquered hadde,
  With Emelye, hir yonge suster shene,
  Faire in a char of golde he with him ladde,
  That al the ground aboute hir char she spradde           40
  With brightnesse of the beautee in hir face,
  Fulfild of largesse and of alle grace.

  With his triumphe and laurer crouned thus,
  In al the floure of fortunes yevinge,
  Lete I this noble prince Theseus                         45
  Toward Athenes in his wey rydinge,
  And founde I wol in shortly for to bringe
  The slye wey of that I gan to wryte,
  Of quene Anelida and fals Arcite.

  Mars, which that through his furious course of yre,      50
  The olde wrath of Iuno to fulfille,
  Hath set the peples hertes bothe on fyre
  Of Thebes and Grece, everich other to kille
  With blody speres, ne rested never stille,
  But throng now her, now ther, among hem bothe,           55
  That everich other slough, so wer they wrothe.

  For whan Amphiorax and Tydeus,
  Ipomedon, Parthonopee also
  Were dede, and slayn [was] proud Campaneus,
  And whan the wrecches Thebans, bretheren two,            60
  Were slayn, and king Adrastus hoom a-go,
  So desolat stood Thebes and so bare,
  That no wight coude remedie of his care.

  And whan the olde Creon gan espye
  How that the blood roial was broght adoun,               65
  He held the cite by his tirannye,
  And did the gentils of that regioun
  To been his frendes, and dwellen in the toun.
  So what for love of him, and what for awe,
  The noble folk wer to the toune y-drawe.                 70

  Among al these, Anelida the quene
  Of Ermony was in that toun dwellinge,
  That fairer was then is the sonne shene;
  Through-out the world so gan hir name springe,
  That hir to seen had every wight lykinge;                75
  For, as of trouthe, is ther noon hir liche,
  Of al the women in this worlde riche.

  Yong was this quene, of twenty yeer of elde,
  Of midel stature, and of swich fairnesse,
  That nature had a Ioye hir to behelde;                   80
  And for to speken of hir stedfastnesse,
  She passed hath Penelope and Lucresse,
  And shortly, if she shal be comprehended,
  In hir ne mighte no-thing been amended.

  This Theban knight [Arcite] eek, sooth to seyn,          85
  Was yong, and ther-with-al a lusty knight,
  But he was double in love and no-thing pleyn,
  And subtil in that crafte over any wight,
  And with his cunning wan this lady bright;
  For so ferforth he gan hir trouthe assure,               90
  That she him [trust] over any creature.

  What shuld I seyn? she loved Arcite so,
  That, whan that he was absent any throwe,
  Anon hir thoghte hir herte brast a-two;
  For in hir sight to hir he bar him lowe,                 95
  So that she wende have al his herte y-knowe;
  But he was fals; it nas but feyned chere,
  As nedeth not to men such craft to lere.

  But never-the-les ful mikel besinesse
  Had he, er that he mighte his lady winne,               100
  And swoor he wolde dyen for distresse,
  Or from his wit he seyde he wolde twinne.
  Alas, the whyle! for hit was routhe and sinne,
  That she upon his sorowes wolde rewe,
  But no-thing thenketh the fals as doth the trewe.       105

  Hir fredom fond Arcite in swich manere,
  That al was his that she hath, moche or lyte,
  Ne to no creature made she chere
  Ferther than that hit lyked to Arcite;
  Ther was no lak with which he mighte hir wyte,          110
  She was so ferforth yeven him to plese,
  That al that lyked him, hit did hir ese.

  Ther nas to hir no maner lettre y-sent
  That touched love, from any maner wight,
  That she ne shewed hit him, er hit was brent;           115
  So pleyn she was, and did hir fulle might,
  That she nil hyden nothing from hir knight,
  Lest he of any untrouthe hir upbreyde;
  Withouten bode his heste she obeyde.

  And eek he made him Ielous over here,                   120
  That, what that any man had to hir seyd,
  Anoon he wolde preyen hir to swere
  What was that word, or make him evel apayd;
  Than wende she out of hir wit have brayd;
  But al this nas but sleight and flaterye,               125
  Withouten love he feyned Ielosye.

  And al this took she so debonerly,
  That al his wille, hir thoghte hit skilful thing,
  And ever the lenger loved him tenderly,
  And did him honour as he were a king.                   130
  Hir herte was wedded to him with a ring;
  So ferforth upon trouthe is hir entente,
  That wher he goth, hir herte with him wente.

  Whan she shal ete, on him is so hir thoght,
  That wel unnethe of mete took she keep;                 135
  And whan that she was to hir reste broght,
  On him she thoghte alwey til that she sleep;
  Whan he was absent, prevely she weep;
  Thus liveth fair Anelida the quene
  For fals Arcite, that did hir al this tene.             140

  This fals Arcite, of his new-fangelnesse,
  For she to him so lowly was and trewe,
  Took lesse deyntee for hir stedfastnesse,
  And saw another lady, proud and newe,
  And right anon he cladde him in hir hewe--              145
  Wot I not whether in whyte, rede, or grene--
  And falsed fair Anelida the quene.

  But never-the-les, gret wonder was hit noon
  Thogh he wer fals, for hit is kinde of man,
  Sith Lamek was, that is so longe agoon,                 150
  To been in love as fals as ever he can;
  He was the firste fader that began
  To loven two, and was in bigamye;
  And he found tentes first, but-if men lye.

  This fals Arcite sumwhat moste he feyne,                155
  Whan he wex fals, to covere his traitorye,
  Right as an hors, that can both byte and pleyne;
  For he bar hir on honde of trecherye,
  And swoor he coude hir doublenesse espye,
  And al was falsnes that she to him mente;               160
  Thus swoor this theef, and forth his way he wente.

  Alas! what herte might enduren hit,
  For routhe or wo, hir sorow for to telle?
  Or what man hath the cunning or the wit?
  Or what man might with-in the chambre dwelle,           165
  If I to him rehersen shal the helle,
  That suffreth fair Anelida the quene
  For fals Arcite, that did hir al this tene?

  She wepeth, waileth, swowneth pitously,
  To grounde deed she falleth as a stoon;                 170
  Al crampissheth hir limes crokedly,
  She speketh as hir wit were al agoon;
  Other colour then asshen hath she noon,
  Noon other word she speketh moche or lyte,
  But 'mercy, cruel herte myn, Arcite!'                   175

  And thus endureth, til that she was so mate
  That she ne hath foot on which she may sustene;
  But forth languisshing ever in this estate,
  Of which Arcite hath nother routhe ne tene;
  His herte was elles-where, newe and grene,              180
  That on hir wo ne deyneth him not to thinke,
  Him rekketh never wher she flete or sinke.

  His newe lady holdeth him so narowe
  Up by the brydel, at the staves ende,
  That every word, he dradde hit as an arowe;             185
  Hir daunger made him bothe bowe and bende,
  And as hir liste, made him turne or wende;
  For she ne graunted him in hir livinge
  No grace, why that he hath lust to singe;

  But drof him forth, unnethe liste hir knowe             190
  That he was servaunt to hir ladyshippe,
  But lest that he wer proude, she held him lowe;
  Thus serveth he, withouten fee or shipe,
  She sent him now to londe, now to shippe;
  And for she yaf him daunger al his fille,               195
  Therfor she had him at hir owne wille.

  Ensample of this, ye thrifty wimmen alle,
  Take here Anelida and fals Arcite,
  That for hir liste him 'dere herte' calle,
  And was so meek, therfor he loved hir lyte;             200
  The kinde of mannes herte is to delyte
  In thing that straunge is, also god me save!
  For what he may not gete, that wolde he have.

  Now turne we to Anelida ageyn,
  That pyneth day by day in languisshing;                 205
  But whan she saw that hir ne gat no geyn,
  Upon a day, ful sorowfully weping,
  She caste hir for to make a compleyning,
  And with hir owne honde she gan hit wryte;
  And sente hit to hir Theban knight Arcite.              210



  So thirleth with the poynt of remembraunce,
  The swerd of sorowe, y-whet with fals plesaunce,
    Myn herte, bare of blis and blak of hewe,
  That turned is in quaking al my daunce,
  My suretee in a-whaped countenaunce;                    215
    Sith hit availeth not for to ben trewe;
    For who-so trewest is, hit shal hir rewe,
  That serveth love and doth hir observaunce
    Alwey to oon, and chaungeth for no newe.


  1. I wot my-self as wel as any wight;                   220
  For I loved oon with al my herte and might
    More then my-self, an hundred thousand sythe,
  And called him my hertes lyf, my knight,
  And was al his, as fer as hit was right;
    And whan that he was glad, than was I blythe,         225
    And his disese was my deeth as swythe;
  And he ayein his trouthe me had plight
    For ever-more, his lady me to kythe.

  2. Now is he fals, alas! and causeles,
  And of my wo he is so routheles,                        230
    That with a worde him list not ones deyne
  To bring ayein my sorowful herte in pees,
  For he is caught up in a-nother lees.
    Right as him list, he laugheth at my peyne,
    And I ne can myn herte not restreyne,                 235
  That I ne love him alwey, never-the-les;
    And of al this I not to whom me pleyne.

  3. And shal I pleyne--alas! the harde stounde--
  Un-to my foo that yaf my herte a wounde,
    And yet desyreth that myn harm be more?               240
  Nay, certes! ferther wol I never founde
  Non other help, my sores for to sounde.
    My desteny hath shapen it ful yore;
    I wil non other medecyne ne lore;
  I wil ben ay ther I was ones bounde,                    245
    That I have seid, be seid for ever-more!

  4. Alas! wher is become your gentilesse!
  Your wordes ful of plesaunce and humblesse?
    Your observaunces in so low manere,
  And your awayting and your besinesse                    250
  Upon me, that ye calden your maistresse,
    Your sovereyn lady in this worlde here?
    Alas! and is ther nother word ne chere
  Ye vouchesauf upon myn hevinesse?
    Alas! your love, I bye hit al to dere.                255

  5. Now certes, swete, thogh that ye
    Thus causeles the cause be
    Of my dedly adversitee,
  Your manly reson oghte it to respyte
    To slee your frend, and namely me,                    260
    That never yet in no degree
    Offended yow, as wisly he,
  That al wot, out of wo my soule quyte!

    ¶ But for I shewed yow, Arcite,
    Al that men wolde to me wryte,                        265
    And was so besy, yow to delyte--
  My honour save--meke, kinde, and free,
    Therfor ye putte on me the wyte,
    And of me recche not a myte,
    Thogh that the swerd of sorow byte                    270
  My woful herte through your crueltee.

  6. My swete foo,    why do ye so,    for shame?
  And thenke ye    that furthered be    your name,
    To love a newe,    and been untrewe?    nay!
  And putte yow    in sclaunder now    and blame,         275
  And do to me    adversitee    and grame,
    That love yow most,    god, wel thou wost!    alway?
    Yet turn ayeyn,    and be al pleyn    som day,
  And than shal this    that now is mis    be game,
    And al for-yive,    whyl that I live    may.          280


  1. Lo! herte myn, al this is for to seyne,
  As whether shal I preye or elles pleyne?
    Whiche is the wey to doon yow to be trewe?
  For either mot I have yow in my cheyne,
  Or with the dethe ye mot departe us tweyne;             285
    Ther ben non other mene weyes newe;
    For god so wisly on my soule rewe,
  As verily ye sleen me with the peyne;
    That may ye see unfeyned of myn hewe.

  2. For thus ferforth have I my deth [y]-soght,          290
  My-self I mordre with my prevy thoght;
    For sorow and routhe of your unkindenesse
  I wepe, I wake, I faste; al helpeth noght;
  I weyve Ioy that is to speke of oght,
    I voyde companye, I flee gladnesse;                   295
    Who may avaunte hir bet of hevinesse
  Then I? and to this plyte have ye me broght,
    Withoute gilt; me nedeth no witnesse.

  3. And sholde I preye, and weyve womanhede?
  Nay! rather deth then do so foul a dede,                300
    And axe mercy gilteles! what nede?
  And if I pleyne what lyf that I lede,
  Yow rekketh not; that know I, out of drede;
    And if I unto yow myn othes bede
    For myn excuse, a scorn shal be my mede;              305
  Your chere floureth, but hit wol not sede;
    Ful longe agoon I oghte have take hede.

  4. For thogh I hadde yow to-morow ageyn,
  I might as wel holde Averill fro reyn,
    As holde yow, to make yow stedfast.                   310
  Almighty god, of trouthe sovereyn,
  Wher is the trouthe of man? who hath hit sleyn?
    Who that hem loveth shal hem fynde as fast
    As in a tempest is a roten mast.
  Is that a tame best that is ay feyn                     315
    To renne away, when he is leest agast?

  5. Now mercy, swete, if I misseye,
    Have I seyd oght amis, I preye?
    I not; my wit is al aweye.
  I fare as doth the song of _Chaunte-pleure_.            320
    For now I pleyne, and now I pleye,
    I am so mased that I deye,
    Arcite hath born awey the keye
  Of al my worlde, and my good aventure!

    ¶ For in this worlde nis creature                     325
    Wakinge, in more discomfiture
    Then I, ne more sorow endure;
  And if I slepe a furlong wey or tweye,
    Than thinketh me, that your figure
    Before me stant, clad in asure,                       330
    To profren eft a newe assure
  For to be trewe, and mercy me to preye.

  6. The longe night    this wonder sight    I drye,
  And on the day    for this afray    I dye,
    And of al this    right noght, y-wis,    ye recche.   335
  Ne never mo    myn yën two    be drye,
  And to your routhe    and to your trouthe    I crye.
    But welawey!    to fer be they    to fecche;
    Thus holdeth me    my destinee    a wrecche.
  But me to rede    out of this drede    or gye           340
    Ne may my wit,    so weyk is hit,    not strecche.


  Than ende I thus, sith I may do no more,
  I yeve hit up for now and ever-more;
    For I shal never eft putten in balaunce
  My sekernes, ne lerne of love the lore.                 345
  But as the swan, I have herd seyd ful yore,
    Ayeins his deth shal singe in his penaunce,
    So singe I here my destiny or chaunce,
  How that Arcite Anelida so sore
    Hath thirled with the poynt of remembraunce!          350

          _The story continued._

  Whan that Anelida this woful quene
  Hath of hir hande writen in this wyse,
  With face deed, betwixe pale and grene,
  She fel a-swowe; and sith she gan to ryse,
  And unto Mars avoweth sacrifyse                         355
  With-in the temple, with a sorowful chere,
  That shapen was as ye shal after here.                  357


_The chief authorities are_: Harl. (Harl. 7333); F. (Fairfax 16); Tn.
(Tanner 346); D. (Digby 181); Cx.(Caxton's edition); B. (Bodley 638); Lt.
(Longleat MS.). Th. = Thynne's ed. 1532. _I follow_ F. _mainly, correcting
the spelling; and give_ selected _variations._ _Title from_ F.; B. _has_
boke _for_ compleynt.

1. Tn. ferse; F. fers. 3. Harl. D. Cx. temple; _rest_ temples. 6. F. songe.
F. contynew; D. contynue. F. guye; Tn. gye. 7. F. I to the; Harl. Tn. D. to
the I. 9. Cx. for tendyte; Harl. for to endite; _rest_ to endyte. 11. F.
Analida; Cx. Anelida; Tn. D. Annelida. 12. Harl. that; Cx. that (_for_
which); _rest om._ 15. F. eke. Harl. Polymea; _rest_ Polymya, Polymia; Th.
Polymnia. 16. Harl. Cx. with; _rest_ hath (!). Harl. Cx. sustren. 17. F. B.
Cx. Cirrea; D. Cirea; Tn. Circa (_wrongly_).

20. Tn. ship; F. shippe. _After_ l. 21, 3 Latin lines are quoted from
Statius (see note). 23. F. folke. Cx. Cithye. 24. Harl. D. Cx. Lt. With; F.
The (_caught from_ l. 23). D. crowned; F. corovned. 25. _All_ Home. Tn.
ycome; F. he come. 27. Cx. cryeden; _but rest_ cryden, criden. Harl. unto;
_rest_ to. Tn. wente; F. went. 28. Tn. entente; F. entent. 29. F. Harl.
Beforne; Cx. Biforn; Tn. D. B. Lt. Before. Harl. duk; F. duke. Harl.
_inserts_ hie (= hy); Addit. 16165 _has_ his; _the rest wrongly omit_;
_accent_ o _in_ victórie. 31. Cx. tokening. Harl. and tokenyng of his
glorie. 32. F. sene; Harl. seen. 33. Tn. many; F. mony (_5 times_). 35. on]
Harl. Cx. and. 36. Tn. Ypolita. F. wife. 37. Harl. D. Cithea. D. hadde; Lt.
hade; _rest_ had. 39. F. chare. D. ladde; Lt. lade; _rest_ lad. 40. Harl.
ground; F. grounde. D. spradde; _rest_ sprad. 41. Harl. Cx. the; _rest
omit_. 42. F. Fulfilled; al.

43. D. Cx. Lt. crowned; _rest_ corouned. 44. F. yevyng; Tn. gifeynge. 45.
F. B. Let; _rest_ Lete. 46. F. ryding; Tn. ridinge. 47. F. bring; Tn.
brynge. 48. D. slye (_rightly_); Tn. sly; F. sley. 50. F. thro. Harl. Tn.
D. furious; F. furiouse. 51. Harl. Tn. wrath; F. wrethe. 52. F. hertis. 53.
F. B. Tn. _insert_ and _after_ Grece; _which_ D. Lt. Harl. Cx. _omit_.
Harl. yche othir for to kylle (_a good reading_). Cf. l. 56. F. eueriche.
55. D. among; F. amonge. D. bothe; F. both (_but_ wrothe _in_ l. 56). 56.
F. eueriche. 58. Harl. Parthonopee; Cx. Parthonope; D. Partonope; Tn.
Partinope; F. B. Prothonolope(!). 59. Harl. Tn. dede; F. ded. _I supply_
was, _which sense and metre require_; Cx. _supplies_ and. F. proude. 60.
_So_ F. Tn. B. Lt.; Harl. D. Cx. _put_ wrechid (wrecchid) _for_ wrecches.
61. Cx. hom; _rest_ home. 62. F. stode. 66. F. helde. 70. F. folke.

72. Tn. dwellynge; F. duellyng. 73. F. sunne; Harl. Tn. D. Cx. sonne. 74.
D. Through; F. Thorogh. Tn. sprynge; F. spring. 75. Tn. likynge; F. likyng.
77. Harl. Tn. D. Cx. the; F. thes. 78. twenty _is written_ xxti _in the_
MSS. D. olde; Cx. olde; Lt. of olde; Harl. eld; _rest_ of elde. 79. Tn.
mydell_e_; F. mydil. F. suche. 80. F. Ioy. 81. D. stedfastnesse; F.
stidfastnesse. 82. F. B. both; _rest_ hath. Harl. Th. penelope; F. _and
others_ penolope. 84. Harl. ne; _rest om._ Tn. myghte; F. myght. 85. _I
supply_ Arcite; _line too short._ F. seyne. 86. Harl. yong; F. yonge. Harl.
there with all_e_ (_so_ D. Cx. Lt.); _rest_ therto with al. 87. F. pleyne.
88. Harl. any; F. eny. 89. D. Lt. Cx. wan; F. whan (!). 90. F. ferforthe.
F. can; _rest_ gan. 91. Th. Tn. Harl. trusteth; _rest_ trusted; _read_
trust. D. any; F. eny. 93. F. eny throw. 94. F. thoght; hert. 95. F. bare.
96. F. hert.

101. Harl. Tn. D.B. swore (_for_ swoor); Cx. sware; F. sworne. 105. Tn.
thenketh; F. thinketh. 106. F. fonde; suche. 107. F. B. _wrongly insert_
both _before_ moche; _rest omit_. F. B. and; _rest_ or. 109. Harl. Cx.
that; _rest omit_. 110. F. wiche; myght. 111. Tn. yeuen; F. yevin. 112. F.
dyd her hert an ese; Harl. Cx. _omit_ hert an; _others vary_. 114, 118. D.
any; F. eny. 116. Tn. D. B. fulle; _rest_ ful. 119. (_See_ 126.) Harl. Cx.
heste; _rest_ herte, hert. 120. F. eke. Tn. Ielous; F. Ielouse. D. Cx. here
(_for the rime_); F. her. 121. Harl. any; F. eny. F. seyde. 123. F. worde.
Harl. Tn. apayde; F. apaied; D. B. apaid. 124. F. wend. Cx. brayd; Tn.
breyde; F. breyed. 125. Harl. Cx. this nas; _rest_ was. D. sleight; Cx.
sleyght; F. sleght. 126. Harl. Withouten; F. With out; (_and so in_ 119).

127. F. toke. F. B. as; _rest_ so. 128. Harl. Tn. wille; F. wil. F. thoght.
Koch _proposes to omit_ hit. 129. _All ins._ she _after_ lenger; _it is not
wanted_. 131. F. ringe. 132. Harl. Cx. So; _rest_ For so. Harl. Tn.
entente; F. entent. 133. Tn. herte; F. hert. Harl. Tn. wente; F. went. 135.
F. toke; kepe. 136. Harl. Cx. that; _rest omit_. Harl. D. Cx. reste; F.
rest. 137. Tn. thoghte; F. thoght. Harl. Tn. Cx. alwey; F. ay. F. slepe.
138. F. wepe. 139. Cx. fayr; F. feire. 141. D. newfangilnesse; Tn.
newfangulnes; F. new fanglesse 143. F. Toke. D. sted-; F. stid-. 144. F.
proude. 145. Harl. D. cladde; F. clad. 146. F. whethir. 148. F. lesse
grete. 149. Harl. Cx. _omit_ the, _which_ F. _and others insert after_ is.
152. Harl. Tn. firste; F. first. 154. F. founde.

156. Harl. Tn. D. couer; Cx. couere; F. coueren. 157. F. Tn. pleyn. 159,
161. _All_ swore. 160. Harl. Tn. mente; F. ment. 161. D. Cx. theef; F.
thefe. Harl. Tn. wente; F. went. 162. Tn. herte; F. hert. Cx. enduren;
_rest_ endure. 167. F. feir. 169. Cx. swowneth; D. sownyth; F. swoneth.
170. Harl. Tn. D. grounde; F. ground. F. dede; ston. 171. Harl. Al; _rest
om._ Cx. Crampissheth; Lt. Crampuissheth; Tn. Crampicheth; F. cravmpysshe.
172. F. agon. 174. Harl. Noon; Cx. None; _the rest insert_ Ne _before_
Noon. _For_ she speketh, _all the_ MSS. _have_ speketh she. 175. F. mercie;
hert. 178. F. B. for; _rest_ forth. 179. Tn. D. nothir; F. nouther. 180. F.
wher; _rest_ where. 182. Harl. nought; Cx. not (_for_ never). Harl. D. Cx.
whether; _but_ wher _is short for_ whether. Cf. Compt. unto Pite, 110; _see

183. _All but_ Harl. Cx. Th. _insert_ up _before_ so; _see next line_. 184.
F. bridil. 185. F. worde. B. D. Lt. dredith; F. Tn. dred hit; Harl. Cx.
drad; _read_ dradde hit. 187. Tn. Cx. liste; Harl. lyste; F. lust. 190.
Harl. Cx. vnnethe; F. vnneth. F. list. 191. _All_ un-to; _read_ to. 192.
Cx. proud; F. proude. Harl. Cx. held; F. helde. 193. Harl. withouten; F.
with out. Harl. Cx. mete; _rest_ fee. F. B. Lt. shippe; D. ship_e_; Cx.
sype; Harl. shepe (!); Tn. shep (!). 195. D. yaf; F. yafe. 196. Harl. owne;
F. ovne. 197. Harl Tn. D. thrifty; F. thrifte. 198. B. here; F. her (i. e.
_here_); Tn. D. here of; Cx. Lt. hede of. 199. Tn. Cx. liste (_pt. t._); F.
list. Harl. Cx. dere herte; F. her der hert. 200. _All_ meke. 201. _All_
kynde (kinde). F. hert. 203. Harl. Cx. he (_twice_); F. _and others wrongly
have_ they _the 2nd time_. 205. F. Tn. be; _rest_ by. 206. F. sawe. 208.
Harl. Tn. caste; F. cast. 209. Harl. owne; F. ovne. 210. Th. sente; D. Cx.
sende; _rest_ sent. F. B. _omit_ hit; _rest retain_.

211. Harl. thirllethe; Cx. thirleth; F. B. thirled (!). 212. B. swerd; F.
suerde. F. y-whet; B. I-whet; _rest_ whet. 213. Tn. herte; F. hert. Harl.
Tn. D. blak; F. blake. 214. Harl. Cx. in. _rest_ to; _see_ 215. 215. Tn. B.
Lt. surete; F. suerte. F. B. in to; _rest_ in. D. Cx. a whaped; Harl. a
whaaped; F. a waped. 216. Harl. for; _rest om._ 217. Harl. trewest; F.
truest. Harl. hir; Cx. her; F. _and others_ him (_but see_ l. 218). 218. F.
dothe. 220. Harl. any; F. eny. 221. F. hert. 223. F. B. cleped; _rest_
called. F. hertis life. 227. Harl. D. Cx. B. plight; F. I-plyght. 229. _So_
Tn. Harl. Cx. D; F. B. Alas now hath he left me causeles. 232. Tn. herte,
pees; F. hert, pes. 233. B. caught; F. caght. Tn. D. Cx. lees; F. les.

234. F. B. me (!); _rest_ him. 235. F. hert. 238. F. pleyn. Harl. Tn.
harde; F. hard. 239. F. yafe; hert. 240. F. harme. 241. F. certis. _All_ be
founde; _but_ be _is copied in from the line above; see_ l. 47. 242. F.
helpe. 243. Tn. desteny; F. destany. F. B. _om._ ful. 246. F. seide
(_twice_.) 252. F. souereigne. 253. _I supply_ and _from_ Cx.; Harl. _has_
And is there nowe neyther. 254. Lt. vouchesauf; Cx. vouchen sauf; F.
vouchesafe. 256. F. certis. 257. F. B. causer (_for_ caus-e); _rest_ cause.
258. F. dedely. 259. F. oght. 260. Harl. Lt. slee; Tn. D. Cx. sle; F.
slene. F. frende. 263. Harl. wot; F. wote.

264, 265. Harl. Cx. But for I was so pleyne, Arcyte, In all_e_ my werkes,
much and lyte; _and omit_ was _in_ l. 266. 267. F. honor. Tn. saue; F. D.
safe; Harl. Cx. sauf. 268. F. put. 269. Harl. Tn. recche; F. rek. 270. F.
B. _om._ that. F. suerde. 271. Tn. herte; F. hert. F. thro. 272. F. suete.
274. Harl. Tn. vntrewe; F. vntrew. 275. Harl. putte; F. put. 278. Tn. D.
Ff. Lt. turne; _rest_ come. 279. Tn. Harl. Cx. D. Lt. And then shall this
that now is mis ben (be); F. B. And turne al this that hath be mys to. 280.
F. foryeve; Tn. foryife; Harl. 372, foryiue (_rightly_). 281. F. hert.
Harl. seyne (_gerund_); F. seyn. 282. F. wheder; prey; pleyn. 284, 5, 8. F.
cheyn, tweyn, peyn. 287. D. Cx. on; Harl. of; F. Tn. B. vpon. 288. D.
verily; F. verrely.

290. Harl. Cx. _omit this stanza_. F. dethe (_wrongly_); _rest_ deth. _All_
soght, sought; _read_ y-soght. 291. D. B. mordre; F. mo_ur_dre. 292. F.
vnkyndnesse. 293. Tn. D. faste; F. fast. 296. F. avaunt. Tn. B. Lt. bet; F.
bet_er_. 298. Tn. Lt. With oute; F. With out. 299. _Some of the_ final
rimes _in this stanza are_ forced _ones_. F. B. shal; _rest_ sholde
(shulde). F. prey. 300. F. dethe; Harl. Cx. dye. F. foule. 301. F. mercie.
Tn. gilteles; F. giltles. 302. Harl. pleyne; F. pleyn. F. lyfe. Harl. Cx.
_ins._ that; F. _and others omit_. 304. Tn. D. unto; F. to. 305. F. skorne.
306. F. B. _om._ hit. 307. F. _and others insert_ to _before_ have; Tn. D.
Lt. Cx. _omit_. 308. D. hadde; F. had. 309. F. Apprile; Harl. Aueryll. 310.
F. B. yow be; _rest om._ be. F. stidfast. 311. F. souereigne. 312. F.
slayn. 313. Tn. D. Lt. She; Harl. Sheo; _rest_ Who. F. B. _insert_ she
_before_ shal. 314. F. _om. 1st_ a. 315. Is] F. this (!) 316. Harl. fleen;
Cx. fle (_for_ renne). F. lest.

317. Harl. Cx. But; _rest_ Now. F. mercie. F. myssey (_omitting_ e _in_-eye
_throughout, wrongly_); Harl. myssaye, &c. 318. _So_ F. B.; _rest_ Have I
ought seyd out of the weye. F. seyde. 319. Harl. Cx. half (_for_ al). 320.
F. dothe; songe. F. chaunt plure; Harl. Chaunte pleure. 321. F. pleyn. 323.
F. borne. 325. Harl. Cx. nys; F. B. D. ther is no; Tn. ther nis no (_too
many syllables_). 328. F. furlonge. F. B. other (_for_ or); _rest_ or. 329.
F. thenketh; Tn. thynketh. 330. Tn. stant; F. stont. 331. Harl. Cx. To
profren efte; D. Tn. Lt. Efte to profre; F. B. To suere yet. Tn. D. Cx. Lt.
assure; F. asure. 332. F. trew; mercie. Harl. and love me til I dye; Cx.
and love me til he deye. 334. F. B. this; D. Tn. suche; Harl. Cx. thilke.
335. F. reche; Tn. D. recche; _and so with_ feche, &c. 339. F. destany; Tn.
destyne (_for the rime_). 341. F. weyke. 343. Harl. D. Cx. yeve; F. yf; Tn.

344. F. efte. Tn. Cx. putten; F. put. 347. Tn. deth; F. dethe. Tn. D. Lt.
Ff. _insert_ in; _rest om._ 348. Harl. Tn. destenye; D. destynye; F.
destany. 349. F. Analida. F. B. to; _rest_ so. 351. _This stanza only
occurs in_ Tn. D. Lt. Ff. Th.; _I follow_ Tn. _mainly_. Tn. Annelida;
wofull. 352. Tn. Lt. Ff. of; D. with. 353. D. Th. deed; _rest_ dede. D.
betwixe; Th. betwyxe; Ff. bitwixte; Tn. Lt. betwix. 354. Tn. felle; Th.
fel. Ff. a swowe; Tn. a swow. 355. Lt. Th. avoweth; D. avowith; Tn. avoyth.
356. Tn. With-Inne; _rest_ With-in. Tn. sorofulle. 357. Tn. shapyn; aftyr.
shal after] Lt. Th. may plainly.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
  Boece or Troilus to wryten newe,
  Under thy lokkes thou most have the scalle,
  But after my making thou wryte trewe.
  So ofte a daye I mot thy werk renewe,                 5
  Hit to correcte and eek to rubbe and scrape;
  And al is through thy negligence and rape.

_From_ T. (= MS. R. 3. 20 _in_ Trin. Coll. Library, Cambridge). _It also
occurs in_ Stowe's edition (1561).

TITLE; T. _has_--Chauciers wordes .a. Geffrey vn-to Adame his owen
scryveyne; Stowe _has_--Chaucers woordes vnto his owne Scriuener.

1. T. scryveyne; byfalle. 2. T. Troylus for to; nuwe. 3. T. thy long lokkes
(_see_ note); thowe. 4. T. affter; makyng thowe wryte more truwe (_see_
note). 5. T. offt; renuwe. 6. T. It; corect; Stowe _has_ correcte. T. eke.
7. T. thorugh; neclygence.

       *       *       *       *       *


  A blisful lyf, a paisible and a swete
  Ledden the peples in the former age;
  They helde hem payed of fruites, that they ete,
  Which that the feldes yave hem by usage;
  They ne were nat forpampred with outrage;             5
  Unknowen was the quern and eek the melle;
  They eten mast, hawes, and swich pounage,
  And dronken water of the colde welle.

  Yit nas the ground nat wounded with the plough,
  But corn up-sprong, unsowe of mannes hond,           10
  The which they gniden, and eete nat half y-nough
  No man yit knew the forwes of his lond;
  No man the fyr out of the flint yit fond;
  Un-korven and un-grobbed lay the vyne;
  No man yit in the morter spyces grond                15
  To clarre, ne to sause of galantyne.

  No mader, welde, or wood no litestere
  Ne knew; the flees was of his former hewe;
  No flesh ne wiste offence of egge or spere;
  No coyn ne knew man which was fals or trewe;         20
  No ship yit karf the wawes grene and blewe;
  No marchaunt yit ne fette outlandish ware;
  No trompes for the werres folk ne knewe,
  No toures heye, and walles rounde or square.

  What sholde it han avayled to werreye?               25
  Ther lay no profit, ther was no richesse,
  But cursed was the tyme, I dar wel seye,
  That men first dide hir swety bysinesse
  To grobbe up metal, lurkinge in darknesse,
  And in the riveres first gemmes soghte.              30
  Allas! than sprong up al the cursednesse
  Of covetyse, that first our sorwe broghte!

  Thise tyraunts putte hem gladly nat in pres,
  No wildnesse, ne no busshes for to winne
  Ther poverte is, as seith Diogenes,                  35
  Ther as vitaile is eek so skars and thinne
  That noght but mast or apples is ther-inne.
  But, ther as bagges been and fat vitaile,
  Ther wol they gon, and spare for no sinne
  With al hir ost the cite for tassaile.               40

  Yit were no paleis-chaumbres, ne non halles;
  In caves and [in] wodes softe and swete
  Slepten this blissed folk with-oute walles,
  On gras or leves in parfit quiete.
  No doun of fetheres, ne no bleched shete             45
  Was kid to hem, but in seurtee they slepte;
  Hir hertes were al oon, with-oute galles,
  Everich of hem his feith to other kepte.

  Unforged was the hauberk and the plate;
  The lambish peple, voyd of alle vyce,                50
  Hadden no fantasye to debate,
  But ech of hem wolde other wel cheryce;
  No pryde, non envye, non avaryce,
  No lord, no taylage by no tyrannye;
  Humblesse and pees, good feith, the emperice,        55
  [Fulfilled erthe of olde curtesye.]

  Yit was not Iupiter the likerous,
  That first was fader of delicacye,
  Come in this world; ne Nembrot, desirous
  To reynen, had nat maad his toures hye.              60
  Allas, allas! now may men wepe and crye!
  For in our dayes nis but covetyse
  [And] doublenesse, and tresoun and envye,
  Poysoun, manslauhtre, and mordre in sondry wyse.     64


1. I. Blysful; paysyble. 2. I. poeples; Hh. peplis. 3. I. paied of the; Hh.
paied with the (_but omit_ the). I. fructes; Hh. frutes. 4. I. Whiche. 5.
I. weere; Hh. were. I. Hh. owtrage. 6. I. Onknowyn. I. quyerne; Hh. qwerne.
I. ek. 7. I. swych pownage. 9. I. grownd; wownded; plowh. 11. I. gnodded;
Hh. knoddyd; _read_ gniden; _see_ note. I. I-nowh. 12. I. knewe; Hh. knew.
13. I, owt; flynt; fonde. 15. I. spices. 16. I. sawse; Hh. sause. I.
galentyne; Hh. galantine. 17. I. madyr; Hh. madder. Hh. wellyd (_wrongly_),
I. wod; Hh. woode. 18. I. knewh. I. fles; Hh. flese (_for_ flees). I. is
(_for_ his); Hh. hys. 19. I. flessh; wyste. 20. I. knewh. Hh. was; I. is.

22. I. owt-. 23. I. _inserts_ batails (Hh. batayllys) _after_ No. 24. I.
towres; rownde. 26. I. profyt; rychesse. 27. I. corsed; Hh. cursyd. 28. I.
fyrst; Hh. first. I. dede; bysynesse. 29. I. lurkynge. Hh. derknesse; I.
dirkenesse. 30. I. Ryuerys fyrst gemmys sowhte. 31. I. cursydnesse. 32. Hh.
couetyse; I. coueytyse. I. fyrst owr; browhte. 33. I. Thyse tyrau_n_tz.
_Both_ put. 34. I. _inserts_ places (Hh. place of) _after_ No. I. wynne.
36. I. vitayle; ek. 37. I nat (_for_ noght); Hh. nowt. 39. I. synne. 40. I.
Cyte. I. forto asayle; Hh. for to asayle. 41. Hh. were; I. was. 42. I.
kanes. I. Hh. _om. 2nd_ in; _which I supply_. 43. I. Sleptin; blyssed;
with-owte. 44. Hh. On; I. Or. I. parfyt Ioye reste and quiete (!); Hh.
parfite Ioy and quiete (!). 45. I. down. 46. I. kyd. I. surte; Hh. surt.
47. I. weere; on; -owte. 48. I. Euerych; oother.

49. I. hawberke. 50. I. lambyssh. I. poeple; Hh. pepyl. Hh. voyd; I.
voyded. Hh. vice; I. vyse. 51. I. fantesye. 52. I. eche; oother. 53. I.
pride. 54. I. tyranye. 55. Hh. Humblesse; I. Vmblesse. I. pes. 56. _Not in
the_ MSS.; _I supply it._ Koch _suggests_--Yit hadden in this worlde the
maistrye. 57. I. Iuppiter; Hh. Iupiter. I. lykerous. 58. I. fyrst; fadyr;
delicasie. 59. I. desyrous. 60. I. regne; towres. 61. Hh. men; _which_ I.
_omits_. 62. I. owre. 63. I. Hh. _omit first_ And, _which I supply_. I. Hh.
Dowblenesse. 64. I. Poyson and manslawtre; Hh. Poysonne manslawtyr. _Finit,
&c.; in_ Hh. _only._

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Balades de visage sanz peinture._


  This wrecched worldes transmutacioun,
  As wele or wo, now povre and now honour,
  With-outen ordre or wys discrecioun
  Governed is by Fortunes errour;
  But natheles, the lak of hir favour                   5
  Ne may nat don me singen, though I dye,
  _Iay tout perdu mon temps et mon labour_:'
  For fynally, Fortune, I thee defye!

  Yit is me left the light of my resoun,
  To knowen frend fro fo in thy mirour.                10
  So muche hath yit thy whirling up and doun
  Y-taught me for to knowen in an hour.
  But trewely, no force of thy reddour
  To him that over him-self hath the maystrye!
  My suffisaunce shal be my socour:                    15
  For fynally, Fortune, I thee defye!

  O Socrates, thou stedfast champioun,
  She never mighte be thy tormentour;
  Thou never dreddest hir oppressioun,
  Ne in hir chere founde thou no savour.               20
  Thou knewe wel deceit of hir colour,
  And that hir moste worshipe is to lye.
  I knowe hir eek a fals dissimulour:
  For fynally, Fortune, I thee defye!


  No man is wrecched, but him-self hit wene,           25
  And he that hath him-self hath suffisaunce.
  Why seystow thanne I am to thee so kene,
  That hast thy-self out of my governaunce?
  Sey thus: 'Graunt mercy of thyn haboundaunce
  That thou hast lent or this.' Why wolt thou stryve?  30
  What wostow yit, how I thee wol avaunce?
  And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve!

  I have thee taught divisioun bi-twene
  Frend of effect, and frend of countenaunce;
  Thee nedeth nat the galle of noon hyene,             35
  That cureth eyen derke fro hir penaunce;
  Now seestow cleer, that were in ignoraunce.
  Yit halt thyn ancre, and yit thou mayst arryve
  Ther bountee berth the keye of my substaunce:
  And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve.             40

  How many have I refused to sustene,
  Sin I thee fostred have in thy plesaunce!
  Woltow than make a statut on thy quene
  That I shal been ay at thyn ordinaunce?
  Thou born art in my regne of variaunce,              45
  Aboute the wheel with other most thou dryve.
  My lore is bet than wikke is thy grevaunce,
  And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve.


  Thy lore I dampne, hit is adversitee.
  My frend maystow nat reven, blind goddesse!          50
  That I thy frendes knowe, I thanke hit thee.
  Tak hem agayn, lat hem go lye on presse!
  The negardye in keping hir richesse
  Prenostik is thou wolt hir tour assayle;
  Wikke appetyt comth ay before seknesse:              55
  In general, this reule may nat fayle.


  Thou pinchest at my mutabilitee,
  For I thee lente a drope of my richesse,
  And now me lyketh to with-drawe me.
  Why sholdestow my realtee oppresse?                  60
  The see may ebbe and flowen more or lesse;
  The welkne hath might to shyne, reyne, or hayle;
  Right so mot I kythen my brotelnesse.
  In general, this reule may nat fayle.

  Lo, thexecucion of the magestee                      65
  That al purveyeth of his rightwisnesse,
  That same thing 'Fortune' clepen ye,
  Ye blinde bestes, ful of lewednesse!
  The hevene hath propretee of sikernesse,
  This world hath ever resteles travayle;              70
  Thy laste day is ende of myn intresse:
  In general, this reule may nat fayle.

          Lenvoy de Fortune.

  Princes, I prey you of your gentilesse,
  Lat nat this man on me thus crye and pleyne,
  And I shal quyte you your bisinesse                  75
  At my requeste, as three of you or tweyne;
  And, but you list releve him of his peyne,
  Preyeth his beste frend, of his noblesse,
  That to som beter estat he may atteyne.              79


The spelling is conformed to that of the preceding poems; the alterations
though numerous are slight; as _y_ for _i_, _au_ for _aw_, &c. The text
mainly follows MS. I. (= Ii. 3. 21, Camb. Univ. Library). Other MSS. are A.
(Ashmole 59); T. (Trin. Coll. Camb.); F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley 638); H.
(Harl. 2251).

2: F. pouerte; _rest_ poure (poore, pore, poeere). 8, 16: I. fynaly;
deffye. 11: I. mochel; _the rest_ muche, moche. 13: I. fors; thi reddowr.
17: I. stidfast chaumpyoun. 18: I. myht; thi tormentowr. 20: I. fownde

21. I. the deseyte; A. T. H. _om._ the. 22. I. most. 23. I. knew; _rest_
knowe. I. ek. 24. I. fynaly; the deffye. 27. H. seystow; I. seysthow. I.
(_only_) _om._ to. 30. _So_ I.; _rest_ Thou shall not stryue. 31. I. woost
thow; B. wostow; A. T. wostowe. 36. I. derkyd; _rest_ derke (derk). T. from
hir; H. from ther; A. frome theire; F. B. fro; I. for. 37. H. seestow; A.
T. seestowe; I. _partly erased_. 43. I. Wolthow; B. Woltow. 46. I. most
thow; H. thow must; _the rest_ maystow, maisthow, maistow.

49: I. dempne; F. B. H. dampne. 50: I. maysthow; B. maistou; H. maystow.
51: I. thanke to; F. thanke yt; B. thanke it; H. thank it nat: (Lansdowne
_and_ Pepys _also have_ thank it). 60: I. apresse; _rest_ oppresse. 61: I.
A. or; _rest_ and. 62: I. welkne; A. B. H. welkin; F. welkene; T. sky. 63:
I. brutelnesse; T. brutilnesse; F. B. H. brotelnesse; A. brittelnesse.
_After_ l. 64, _a new rubric is wrongly inserted, thus_: I. Le pleintif; F.
B. H. Le pleintif encontre Fortune; A. The Pleyntyff ageinst Fortune; T.
Thaunswer of the Lover ayenst Fortune; _see_ note. 65: A. F. þexecucion; B.
thexecucyon; I. excussyoun. I. maieste; _rest_ magestee (mageste). 71: I.
intersse (_sic_); (Lansd. _and_ Pepys intresse); T. F. B. interesse; A. H.

73. I. gentilesses; _the rest_ gentilesse. 76. _In_ I. _only; the rest omit
this line._ 77. A. F. B. H. And; I. T. That. I. lest; _rest_ list (liste).
_At end_--B. Explicit.

       *       *       *       *       *


              I. _Captivity._

  Your yën two wol slee me sodenly,
  I may the beautè of hem not sustene,
  So woundeth hit through-out my herte kene.

  And but your word wol helen hastily
  My hertes wounde, whyl that hit is grene,             5
    _Your yën two wol slee me sodenly,_
    _I may the beautè of hem not sustene_.

  Upon my trouthe I sey yow feithfully,
  That ye ben of my lyf and deeth the quene;
  For with my deeth the trouthe shal be sene.          10
    _Your yën two wol slee me sodenly,_
    _I may the beautè of hem not sustene,_
    _So woundeth hit through-out my herte kene._

              II. _Rejection._

  So hath your beautè fro your herte chaced
  Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne;            15
  For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

  Giltles my deeth thus han ye me purchaced;
  I sey yow sooth, me nedeth not to feyne;
    _So hath your beautè fro your herte chaced_
    _Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne_.        20

  Allas! that nature hath in yow compassed
  So greet beautè, that no man may atteyne
  To mercy, though he sterve for the peyne.
    _So hath your beautè fro your herte chaced_
    _Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne;_        25
    _For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne._

              III. _Escape._

  Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,
  I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
  Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene.

  He may answere, and seye this or that;               30
  I do no fors, I speke right as I mene.
    _Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,_
    _I never thenk to ben in his prison lene._

  Love hath my name y-strike out of his sclat,
  And he is strike out of my bokes clene               35
  For ever-mo; [ther] is non other mene.
    _Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,_
    _I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;_
    _Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene._          39


_This excellent text is from_ P. (MS. Pepys 2006, p. 390). _I note all
variations from the_ MS.]

1. P. Yowre two yen; _but read_ Your yen two; _for in_ ll., 6, II, _the_
MS. _has_ Your yen, &c. P. wolle sle. 2. them; _read_ hem. 3. wondeth it
thorowout (out _in the margin_). 4. wille. 5. Mi hertis wound while; it. 6,
7. Yo_ur_ yen, &c. 8. trouth. 9. liffe; deth. 10. deth; trouth. 11-13.
Yo_ur_ yen, &c. 14. yowre. 15. nauailleth; pleyn. 16. danger.

17. deth. 18. soth; fayn. 19, 20. So hath yo_ur_, &c. 21. compased. 22.
grete; atteyn. 23. peyn. 24-26. So hath yo_ur_ beaute, &c. 28. neu_er_e.
29. fre. 30. answer_e_ & sey. 32, 33. Syn I fro loue, &c. 34. I strike. 36.
this is (_read_ ther is). 37-39. Syn I fro loue, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Madame, ye ben of al beautè shryne
  As fer as cercled is the mappemounde;
  For as the cristal glorious ye shyne,
  And lyke ruby ben your chekes rounde.
  Therwith ye ben so mery and so iocounde,              5
  That at a revel whan that I see you daunce,
  It is an oynement unto my wounde,
  Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.

  For thogh I wepe of teres ful a tyne,
  Yet may that wo myn herte nat confounde;             10
  Your seemly voys that ye so smal out-twyne
  Maketh my thoght in Ioye and blis habounde.
  So curteisly I go, with lovë bounde,
  That to my-self I sey, in my penaunce,
  Suffyseth me to love you, Rosemounde,                15
  Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.

  Nas never pyk walwed in galauntyne
  As I in love am walwed and y-wounde;
  For which ful ofte I of my-self divyne
  That I am trewe Tristan the secounde.                20
  My love may not refreyd be nor afounde;
  I brenne ay in an amorous plesaunce.
  Do what you list, I wil your thral be founde,
  Thoghe ye to me ne do no daliaunce.                  24

          TREGENTIL.    CHAUCER.

_From_ MS. Rawl. Poet. 163, leaf 114.

_No title in the_ MS. _Readings._ 2. mapamonde. 3. cristall. 4. chekys. 5.
ioconde. 6. Reuell; se; dance. 8. Thoght (_see_ 16); daliance. 11. semy
(_sic_); _read_ seemly; fynall, _for_ final(_misreading of_ fmal). 12.
Makyth; ioy; blys. 13. curtaysly. 18. I wounde. 19. deuyne. 20. trew. 21.
refreyde (_with_ be _above the line, just before it_); affounde. 22.
amorouse. 23. lyst; wyl. 24. daliance.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse,
  Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal;
  For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse,
  Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal;
  Savour no more than thee bihove shal;                 5
  Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede;
  And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

  Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse,
  In trust of hir that turneth as a bal:
  Gret reste stant in litel besinesse;                 10
  And eek be war to sporne ageyn an al;
  Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with the wal.
  Daunte thy-self, that dauntest otheres dede;
  And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

  That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse,            15
  The wrastling for this worlde axeth a fal.
  Her nis non hoom, her nis but wildernesse:
  Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
  Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al;
  Hold the hye wey, and lat thy gost thee lede:        20
  And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.


  Therfore, thou vache, leve thyn old wrecchednesse
  Unto the worlde; leve now to be thral;
  Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
  Made thee of noght, and in especial                  25
  Draw unto him, and pray in general
  For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede;
  And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.          28


TITLE. Gg. _has_--Balade de bone conseyl; F. _has_--Balade.

_The_ MSS. _are_ At. (Addit. 10340, Brit. Museum); Gg. (Camb. Univ.
Library, Gg. 4. 27); E. (Ellesmere MS.); Ct. (Cotton, Cleop. D. 7); T.
(Trin. Coll. Camb. R. 3. 20); F. (Fairfax 16); _and others_. _The text is
founded on_ E.

2. E. Suffise. E. good; T. goode; At. Ct. thing; Gg. þyng. 4. At. blent; T.
blenteþe; Gg. blyndyþ; E. blyndeth; Ct. blindeth; _see_ note. 5. E. the. 7.
T. _inserts_ thee _before_ shal. 8. Tempest] Harl. F. T. Peyne. 9. E.
trist; _the rest_ trust. 10. Gg. Gret reste; T. Gret rest; E. For gret
reste; Ct. For greet rest; At. Mych wele. E. bisynesse; _rest_ besynesse.
11. E. ek; agayn. 13. E. Ct. Daunt; _the rest_ Daunte. 14. T. _inserts_
thee _before_ shal. 15. E. the; boxomnesse.

19. Know thy contree] Harl. F. T. Loke vp on hie. E. lok; _the rest_ loke,
looke. 20. _For_ Hold the hye wey, Harl. F. _and others have_ Weyve thy
lust. E. the (_for_ thee). 21. T. _inserts_ thee _before_ shal. 22-28.
_This stanza is in_ At. _only._ 22. At. þine olde wrechedenesse. 23. At.
world. 24. At. Crie hym; hys hie. 25. At. þe; nou[gh]t. 26. At. Drawe; hym.
27. At. þe; eke; heuenelyche. 28. At. schal delyuere. COLOPHON: _so in_ F.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The firste stok, fader of gentilesse--
  What man that claymeth gentil for to be,
  Must folowe his trace, and alle his wittes dresse
  Vertu to sewe, and vyces for to flee.
  For unto vertu longeth dignitee,                      5
  And noght the revers, saufly dar I deme,
  Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.

  This firste stok was ful of rightwisnesse,
  Trewe of his word, sobre, pitous, and free,
  Clene of his goste, and loved besinesse,             10
  Ageinst the vyce of slouthe, in honestee;
  And, but his heir love vertu, as dide he,
  He is noght gentil, thogh he riche seme,
  Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.

  Vyce may wel be heir to old richesse;                15
  But ther may no man, as men may wel see,
  Bequethe his heir his vertuous noblesse;
  That is appropred unto no degree,
  But to the firste fader in magestee,
  That maketh him his heir, that can him queme,        20
  Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.

1. Cx. first; Harl. ffirste; Ct. firste. T. gentilesse; _rest_ gentilnesse.
3. Cx. _om._ alle. 4. A. T. suwe; Harl. shew (_for_ sewe); Cx. folowe (!).
5. Cx. vertue; dignyte. 6. Cx. not; _rest_ nou[gh]t, nought, no[gh]te. 7.
Cx. mytor; A. T. Harl. Add. mytre. Cx. crowne; dyademe. 8. Cx. rightwisnes.
9. A. Ct. Ha. pitous; Cx. pyetous. 10. Cx. besynes. 11. A. Ageinst; T.
Ageynst; Cx. Agayn. Cx. _om._ the. Cx. honeste. 12. Cx. eyer; _rest_ heire,
heyre, eyre. 13. Cx. not; Ct. Ha. nought. Cx. though; Add. thogh. 14. Cx.
mytor; crowne. 15. Cx. _omits_ heir. Cx. holde; _rest_ olde; _but read_
old. 16. Cx. al; _rest_ as. 17. Cx. eyer.

18. Cx. degre. 19. Cx. first; mageste. 20. Ct. That maketh his heires hem
that hym queme (_omitting_ can); A. That maþe his heyre him that wol him
qweme; T. That makeþe heos heyres hem þat wol him qweeme; Add. That maketh
his eires hem that can him queme; Cx. That makes hem eyres that can hem
queme; _with other variations_. _I follow_ Cx., _supplying_ his, _and
putting_ him _and_ heir _in the singular_; _cf._ he _in_ l. 21. 21. Cx.
crowne mytor.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Som tyme this world was so stedfast and stable
  That mannes word was obligacioun,
  And now hit is so fals and deceivable,
  That word and deed, as in conclusioun,
  Ben no-thing lyk, for turned up so doun               5
  Is al this world for mede and wilfulnesse,
  That al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.

  What maketh this world to be so variable
  But lust that folk have in dissensioun?
  Among us now a man is holde unable,                  10
  But-if he can, by som collusioun,
  Don his neighbour wrong or oppressioun.
  What causeth this, but wilful wrecchednesse,
  That al is lost, for lak of stedfastnesse?

  Trouthe is put doun, resoun is holden fable;         15
  Vertu hath now no dominacioun,
  Pitee exyled, no man is merciable.
  Through covetyse is blent discrecioun;
  The world hath mad a permutacioun
  Fro right to wrong, fro trouthe to fikelnesse,       20
  That al is lost, for lak of stedfastnesse.

          Lenvoy to King Richard.

  O prince, desyre to be honourable,
  Cherish thy folk and hate extorcioun!
  Suffre no thing, that may be reprevable
  To thyn estat, don in thy regioun.                   25
  Shew forth thy swerd of castigacioun,
  Dred God, do law, love trouthe and worthinesse,
  And wed thy folk agein to stedfastnesse.             28


_The_ MSS _are_: Harl. (Harl. 7333); T. (Trin. Coll. R. 3. 20); Ct.
(Cotton, Cleop. D. 7); F. (Fairfax 16); Add. (Addit. 22139); Bann.
(Bannatyne); _and others_. Th. = Thynne (1532). _I follow_ Ct. _chiefly.
The title_ Balade _is in_ F.

1. Ct. Sumtyme. Ct. F. the; Harl. T. Add. this. Ct. worlde. 2. Ct. worde.
3. Ct. nowe it; false; deseiuable. 4. Ct. worde; dede. 5. Harl. T. Beon;
Add. Ar; Ct. Is; F. Ys. Ct. lyke. 6. Ct. all; worlde. 8. Ct. worlde;
veriable. 9. Ct. folke; discension. 10. _The_ MSS. _have_ For among vs now,
_or_ For nowe a dayes; _but_ Bann. _omits_ For, _which is not wanted_. 11.
Bann. Harl. T. Th. collusion; Ct. F. Add. conclusioun (_but see_ l. 4). 12.
Ct. Do; neyghburgh. 15. Ct. putte. 17. Ct. Pite. 18. Ct. Thorugh. 19. Ct.
worlde. T. F. Add. Th. a; Bann. ane; Ct. _om._

20. Ct. trought; F. trouthe. TITLE. T. Lenvoye to Kyng Richard; F. Harl.
Th. Lenvoy. 22. Ct. honurable. 23. Ct. Cherice thi. 25. Ct. thine estaat
doen; thi. 26. Ct. Shewe; swerde. 27. Ct. Drede; truthe. 28. Ct. thi; ayen.
Ct. Th. add _Explicit_.

       *       *       *       *       *


  To-broken been the statuts hye in hevene
  That creat were eternally to dure,
  Sith that I see the brighte goddes sevene
  Mow wepe and wayle, and passioun endure,
  As may in erthe a mortal creature.                    5
  Allas, fro whennes may this thing procede?
  Of whiche errour I deye almost for drede.

  By worde eterne whylom was hit shape
  That fro the fifte cercle, in no manere,
  Ne mighte a drope of teres doun escape.              10
  But now so wepeth Venus in hir spere,
  That with hir teres she wol drenche us here.
  Allas, Scogan! this is for thyn offence!
  Thou causest this deluge of pestilence.

  Hast thou not seyd, in blaspheme of this goddes,     15
  Through pryde, or through thy grete rakelnesse,
  Swich thing as in the lawe of love forbode is?
  That, for thy lady saw nat thy distresse,
  Therfor thou yave hir up at Michelmesse!
  Allas, Scogan! of olde folk ne yonge                 20
  Was never erst Scogan blamed for his tonge!

  Thou drowe in scorn Cupyde eek to record
  Of thilke rebel word that thou hast spoken,
  For which he wol no lenger be thy lord.
  And, Scogan, thogh his bowe be nat broken,           25
  He wol nat with his arwes been y-wroken
  On thee, ne me, ne noon of our figure;
  We shul of him have neyther hurt ne cure.

  Now certes, frend, I drede of thyn unhappe,
  Lest for thy gilt the wreche of Love procede         30
  On alle hem that ben hore and rounde of shape,
  That ben so lykly folk in love to spede.
  Than shul we for our labour han no mede;
  But wel I wot, thou wilt answere and seye:
 'Lo! olde Grisel list to ryme and pleye!'             35

  Nay, Scogan, sey not so, for I mexcuse,
  God help me so! in no rym, doutelees,
  Ne thinke I never of slepe wak my muse,
  That rusteth in my shethe stille in pees.
  Whyl I was yong, I putte hir forth in prees,         40
  But al shal passe that men prose or ryme;
  Take every man his turn, as for his tyme.


  Scogan, that knelest at the stremes heed
  Of grace, of alle honour and worthinesse,
  In thende of which streme I am dul as deed,          45
  Forgete in solitarie wildernesse;
  Yet, Scogan, thenke on Tullius kindenesse,
  Minne thy frend, ther it may fructifye!
  Far-wel, and lok thou never est Love defye!          49

TITLE: _so in_ F. _and_ P.; Gg. _has_--Litera directa de Scogon per G. C.
_The_ MSS. _are_: Gg. (Camb. Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27); F. (Fairfax 16); P.
(Pepys 2006). Th. = Thynne (1532). _I follow_ F. _mainly_.

1. F. statutez. 2. F. weren eternaly. 3. F. bryght goddis. 4. F. Mowe. 5.
F. Mortale. 6. F. thys thinge. 8. F. whilome. F. yshape; Gg. it schape; P.
Th. it shape. 9. F. fyfte sercle; maner. 10. F. myght; teeres; eschape. 11.
F. wepith. 12. F. teeres. 14. F. cawsest; diluge. 15. Gg. Hast þu; F.
Hauesthow. F. this goddis; Gg. the goddis; P. Th. the goddes. 16. F.
Thurgh; thrugh. F. they (_wrongly_); Gg. þyn; P. thi. F. rekelnesse; P. Th.
reklesnesse; Gg. rechelesnesse; _see_ note. 17. F. P. forbede; Gg.
forbodyn; Th. forbode. 18. Gg. saw; F. sawgh. 19. F. Therfore thow. Gg.
Mychel-; F. Mighel-. 20. F. folke.

22. F. skorne; eke; recorde. 23. F. worde; thow. 24. F. lorde. 25. F. thow;
P. Th. though. F. thy (_for_ his, _wrongly_); Gg. P. his. 27. F. the. Th.
our; Gg. oure; P. owre; F. youre. 28. F. hurte. Gg. P. Th. ne; F. nor. 29.
F. dreed. 30. F. gilte. 31. Gg. P. hore; F. hoor. F. shappe; P. shape; Gg.
schap. 32. F. folke. 33. P. shull; F. Gg. shal. Gg. P. han; F. haue. F.
noo. 34. F. thow. F. wolt; Gg. wilt. 35. Gg. P. Lo olde; F. Loo tholde. F.
lyste. 36. F. say; Gg. P. sey. F. soo. 37. P. help; Gg. F. helpe. F. soo.
F. ryme dowteles. 38. F. Gg. to wake; P. Th. _om._ to. 40. F. While; yonge.
Gg. putte; F. put. P. Th. her; F. hyt; Gg. it. 41. F. alle. 42. F. hys
turne. 43. F. hede; Gg. hed. 45. F. dede; Gg. P. ded. 48. F. Mynne; there.
49. F. Fare; loke thow; dyffye.

N.B. _All have_--.i. a Windesore, _and_--.i. a Grenewich _opposite_ ll. 43,

       *       *       *       *       *


              WAS SENT TO BUKTON.

  My maister Bukton, whan of Criste our kinge
  Was axed, what is trouthe or sothfastnesse,
  He nat a word answerde to that axinge,
  As who saith: 'no man is al trewe,' I gesse.
  And therfor, thogh I highte to expresse               5
  The sorwe and wo that is in mariage,
  I dar not wryte of hit no wikkednesse,
  Lest I my-self falle eft in swich dotage.

  I wol nat seyn, how that hit is the cheyne
  Of Sathanas, on which he gnaweth ever,               10
  But I dar seyn, were he out of his peyne,
  As by his wille, he wolde be bounde never.
  But thilke doted fool that est hath lever
  Y-cheyned be than out of prisoun crepe,
  God lete him never fro his wo dissever,              15
  Ne no man him bewayle, though he wepe.

  But yit, lest thou do worse, tak a wyf;
  Bet is to wedde, than brenne in worse wyse.
  But thou shalt have sorwe on thy flesh, thy lyf,
  And been thy wyves thral, as seyn these wyse,        20
  And if that holy writ may nat suffyse,
  Experience shal thee teche, so may happe,
  That thee were lever to be take in Fryse
  Than eft to falle of wedding in the trappe.


  This litel writ, proverbes, or figure                25
  I sende you, tak kepe of hit, I rede:
  Unwys is he that can no wele endure.
  If thou be siker, put thee nat in drede.
  The Wyf of Bathe I pray you that ye rede
  Of this matere that we have on honde.                30
  God graunte you your lyf frely to lede
  In fredom; for ful hard is to be bonde.              32


TITLE: _so in_ MS. Fairfax 16. Second Title _from_ Ju.

_The authorities are_: F. (Fairfax 16); Th. (Thynne's edition, 1532); _and
a printed copy by_ Julian Notary (Ju.). _I follow_ F. _mainly._

2. F. ys; sothefastnesse. 3. F. worde. 4. F. noo. Ju. Th. trewe; F. trew.
5. F. therfore though; hight (Ju. hyghte). 6. F. woo. 7. F. writen; hyt
noo. 8. Ju. Lest; F. Leste. 9. F. hyt. 10. F. euere. 11. F. oute. 12. F.
neuere. 13. F. foole. Th. efte; F. ofte; Ju. oft. F. leuere. 15. F. woo
disseuere. 16. F. noo. 17. F. yet; thow doo; take; wyfe. 19. F. thow;
flessh; lyfe. 20. F. ben. F. wifes; Ju. Th. wynes.

21. F. yf; hooly writte. 22. F. the. 23. F. the. 24. F. Ju. _om._ to;
_which_ Th. _inserts_. 25. F. writte; Th. writ; Ju. wryt. 26. F. yow take;
hyt. 27. F. Vnwise; kan noo. 28. F. thow; the. 29. F. wyfe; yow. 31. F.
yow; lyfe. 32. F. fredam. F. harde it is; Ju. hard is; Th. foule is
(_omitting_ ful). _All add_ Explicit.

       *       *       *       *       *


      I. (_The Lover's worthiness._)

  Ther nis so hy comfort to my plesaunce,
  Whan that I am in any hevinesse,
  As for to have leyser of remembraunce
  Upon the manhod and the worthinesse,
  Upon the trouthe, and on the stedfastnesse            5
  Of him whos I am al, whyl I may dure;
  Ther oghte blame me no creature,
  For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.

  In him is bountee, wisdom, governaunce
  Wel more then any mannes wit can gesse;              10
  For grace hath wold so ferforth him avaunce
  That of knighthode he is parfit richesse.


      Il n'est confort que tant de biens me face,
      Quant je ne puis a ma dame parler,
      Comme d'avoir temps, loisir et espace
      De longuement en sa valour penser,
      Et [de] ses doulz fais femenins recorder          5
      Dedens mon cuer. C'est ma vie, par m'ame,
      Ne je ne truis nul homme qui me blasme,
      Car chascun a joye de li loer.

      Il a en li bonté, beauté et grace,
      Plus que nulz homs ne saroit deviser.            10
      C'est grant ëur quant en si pou de place
      Dieux a voulu tous les biens assembler.

  Honour honoureth him for his noblesse;
  Therto so wel hath formed him Nature,
  That I am his for ever, I him assure,                15
  For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.

  And not-withstanding al his suffisaunce,
  His gentil herte is of so greet humblesse
  To me in worde, in werke, in contenaunce,
  And me to serve is al his besinesse,                 20
  That I am set in verrey sikernesse.
  Thus oghte I blesse wel myn aventure,
  Sith that him list me serven and honoure;
  For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.

      II. (_Disquietude caused by Jealousy._)

  Now certes, Love, hit is right covenable             25
  That men ful dere bye thy noble thing,
  As wake a-bedde, and fasten at the table,
  Weping to laughe, and singe in compleyning,

      Honneur la vuelt sur toutes honnorer.
      Oncques ne vi si [douce et] plaisant dame
      De toutes gens avoir si noble femme;             15
      Car chascun a joye de li loer.

      Ou qu'elle soit, bien fait et mal efface.
      Moult bien li siet le rire et le jouer.
      Son cuer esbat et les autres soulace
      Si liement qu'on ne l'en doit blasmer.           20
      De li veoir ne se puet nulz lasser.
      Son regart vault tous les biens d'un royaume.
      Il semble bien qu'elle est tres noble femme,
      Car chascun a joye de li loer.


      Certes, Amours, c'est chose convenable           25
      Que voz grans biens [vous] faciez comparer:
      Veillier ou lit et jeuner a la table,
      Rire plourant et en plaignant chanter,

  And doun to caste visage and loking,
  Often to chaungen hewe and contenaunce,              30
  Pleyne in sleping, and dremen at the daunce,
  Al the revers of any glad feling.

  Ialousye be hanged by a cable!
  She wolde al knowe through hir espying;
  Ther doth no wight no-thing so resonable,            35
  That al nis harm in hir imagening.
  Thus dere abought is love in yeving,
  Which ofte he yiveth with-outen ordinaunce,
  As sorow ynogh, and litel of plesaunce,
  Al the revers of any glad feling.                    40

  A litel tyme his yift is agreable,
  But ful encomberous is the using;
  For sotel Ialousye, the deceyvable,
  Ful often-tyme causeth destourbing.

      Baissier les yeux quant on doit regarder,
      Souvent changier couleur et contenance,          30
      Plaindre en dormant et songier a la dance
      Tout a rebours de ce qu'on vuelt trouver.

      Jalousie, c'est l'amer du deable;
      Elle vuelt tout veoir et escouter,
      Ne nulz ne fait chose si raisonnable             35
      Que tout a mal ne le vueille tourner.
      Amours, ainsi fault voz dons acheter,
      Et vous donnez souvent sanz ordonnance
      Assez douleur et petit de plaisance,
      Tout a rebours de ce qu'on vuelt trouver.        40

      Pour un court temps le gieu est agreable;
      Mais trop par est encombreux a user.
      Et, ja soit il a dames honnorable,
      A leurs amis est trop grief a porter.

  Thus be we ever in drede and suffering,              45
  In nouncerteyn we languisshe in penaunce,
  And han ful often many an hard meschaunce,
  Al the revers of any glad feling.

      III. (_Satisfaction in Constancy._)

  But certes, Love, I sey nat in such wyse
  That for tescape out of your lace I mente;           50
  For I so longe have been in your servyse
  That for to lete of wol I never assente;
  No force thogh Ialousye me tormente;
  Suffyceth me to see him whan I may,
  And therfore certes, to myn ending-day               55
  To love him best ne shal I never repente.

  And certes, Love, whan I me wel avyse
  On any estat that man may represente,
  Than have ye maked me, through your franchyse,
  Chese the best that ever on erthe wente.             60

      Toudiz convient souffrir et endurer,             45
      Sans nul certain languir en esperance,
      Et recevoir mainte male meschance,
      Tout a rebours de ce qu'on vuelt trouver.


      Amours, sachiez que pas ne le vueil dire
      Pour moy getter hors des amoureux las;           50
      Car j'ay porté si long temps mon martire
      Que mon vivant ne le guerpiray pas.
      Il me souffist d'avoir tant de soulas
      Que veoir puisse la [belle et] gracieuse;
      Combien qu'el est [en]vers moy dangereuse,       55
      De li servir ne serai jamaiz las.

      Certes, Amours, quant bien droit [je] remire
      Les haulx estas, les moyens et les bas,
      Vous m'avez fait de tous les bons eslire,
      A mon avis, le meilleur, en tous cas.            60

  Now love wel, herte, and look thou never stente;
  And let the Ielous putte hit in assay
  That, for no peyne wol I nat sey nay;
  To love him best ne shal I never repente.

  Herte, to thee hit oghte y-nogh suffyse              65
  That Love so hy a grace to thee sente,
  To chese the worthiest in alle wyse
  And most agreable unto myn entente.
  Seche no ferther, neyther wey ne wente,
  Sith I have suffisaunce unto my pay.                 70
  Thus wol I ende this compleynt or lay;
  To love him best ne shal I never repente.


  Princess, receyveth this compleynt in gree,
  Unto your excellent benignitee
    Direct after my litel suffisaunce.                 75
  For eld, that in my spirit dulleth me,
  Hath of endyting al the soteltee
    Wel ny bereft out of my remembraunce;
    And eek to me hit is a greet penaunce,
  Sith rym in English hath swich scarsitee,            80
  To folowe word by word the curiositee
    Of Graunson, flour of hem that make in Fraunce.

      Or aime, cuer, ainsy que tu pourras;
      Car ja n'aras paine si doulereuse,
      Pour ma dame, que ne me soit joieuse;
      De li servir ne seray jamaiz las.

      Cuer, il te doit assez plus que souffire         65
      D'avoir choisy ce[lle] que choisi as.
      Ne quiers [or] plus royaume ne empire,
      Car si bonne jamaiz ne trouveras,
      Ne si belle par mes yeux ne verras:
      C'est jeunesce sachant et savoureuse.            70
      Ja soit elle de m'amour desdaigneuse,
      De li servir ne seray jamaiz las.

TITLE: _so in_ F. Ff. Ar.; _see_ Notes. _The_ MSS. _are_: T. (Trin. Coll.
Cambridge, R. 3. 20); A. (Ashmole 59); Tn. (MS. Tanner 346); F. (Fairfax
16); Ff. (MS. Ff. I. 6. Camb. Univ. Library); Ar. (Arch. Seld. P. 24); P.
(Pepys 2006); etc. Th.=Thynne (1532). _I follow_ F. _mainly._

1. F. high; T. A. hye (hy _is better_). 2. F. When; eny. 4. F. manhod; _the
rest have final_ e. 5. F. stidfastnesse. 6. F. whiles; A. whilest; _rest_
while. 7. F. oght; Tn. oghte to. 9. F. ys bounte. F. T. A. Th. _insert_ and
_after_ wisdom; _but the rest omit it_. 10. F. eny manes witte. 11. F.
wolde (_wrongly_); Ff. wold. F. fersorthe. 12. F. p_ar_fite.

14. F. well. 16. F. preysith. 18. F. hert; grete. 19. F. werk. 21. F.
sikirnesse. 22. F. oght. 25. F. certis. 26. T. A. Tn. Th. thy; F. Ff. the.
27. F. a-bed; T. A. a-bedde. 28. F. Wepinge; laugh; sing; compleynynge.

29. F. cast; _the rest_ caste. F. lokynge. 30. F. chaunge visage
(_wrongly_); change hewe _in_ MS. Arch. Selden, B. 24; T. A. chaunge huwe.
31. MSS. Pley, Pleye; _read_ Pleyne (F. _Plaindre_). F. dreme; T. Tn. Ff.
Th. dremen. 32. F. reuerse; eny. 33. Ff. T. Ialousye; F. Ielosie. Ff. P.
be; F. Th. he (!). Ialousye be] T. þaughe Ialousye wer. T. Tn. Th. by; F.
be; Ff. with. 34. F. wold; thro; espyinge. 35. F. dothe. 36. F. nys harme;
ymagenynge. 37. F. yevynge. 38. F. yifeth. Ff. withouten; _rest_ withoute.
40. F. reuerse; felynge. 42. T. Ff. encomberous; F. encombrouse. F. vsynge.
43. Tn. sotell; F. subtil. F. Ielosie. 44. T. destourbing; F. derturbynge

45. F. suffrynge; P. sufferyng; T. souffering. 46. F. Ff. noun-certeyn; T.
noun-certaine; A. nouncerteine. F. langvisshen. 47. F. harde. F. _wrongly
repeats_ penaunce; T. A. meschaunce. 48. F. reuerse; ony; felynge. 49. F.
certys; not. 50. F. youre; ment. 51. F. be; _the rest_ ben _or_ been. 52.
F. wil; T. A. Ff. wol. F. assent. 53. F. fors; turment. 55. F. certys. 56.
F. _om._ ne, _which_ T. A. P. _insert_; Ar. _has_ that. Tn. _inserts_ me
_before_ never. 57. F. certis; when. 58. F. eny estate; represent. 59. F.
Tn. Then; _rest_ Than, Thanne, Thane. T. Ff. P. maked; _rest_ made. F.
thro. 60. F. went.

61. F. hert; loke; stent. 62. P. Ielous; A. Ialous; T. Ialouse; F.
Ielousie. A. putte; F. put. 63. F. peyn wille I not. 64. F. yow (_for_
him); T. A. Tn. Ar. him (_see_ l. 56). 65. F. Hert; the; ought ynogh. 66.
F. highe; T. A. hye. T. A. Ff. Ar. thee; F. yow; Tn. you. F. sent. 67. F.
al. 68. F. entent. 69. F. went. 70. F. Sithe. F. Tn. ye (_for_ I); _rest_
I. 71. _All but_ Ju. (Julian Notary's edition) _repeat_ this _before_ lay.
72. _See_ l. 56. 73. T. A. Pryncesse; _rest_ Princes. F. resseyueth. 74. F.
excelent benignite. 75. F. Directe aftir. 76. F. elde. 77. Tn. soteltee; F.
subtilite. 78. F. nighe. 79. F. eke; grete. 80. F. ryme; englissh hat
(_sic_) such skarsete. 81. F. worde by worde; curiosite. 82. F. floure;

       *       *       *       *       *


  To you, my purse, and to non other wight
  Compleyne I, for ye be my lady dere!
  I am so sory, now that ye be light;
  For certes, but ye make me hevy chere,
  Me were as leef be leyd up-on my bere;                5
  For whiche un-to your mercy thus I crye:
  Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

  Now voucheth sauf this day, or hit be night,
  That I of you the blisful soun may here,
  Or see your colour lyk the sonne bright,             10
  That of yelownesse hadde never pere.
  Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere,
  Quene of comfort and of good companye:
  Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

  Now purs, that be to me my lyves light,              15
  And saveour, as doun in this worlde here,
  Out of this toune help me through your might,
  Sin that ye wole nat been my tresorere;
  For I am shave as nye as any frere.
  But yit I pray un-to your curtesye:                  20
  Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!


  O conquerour of Brutes Albioun!
  Which that by lyne and free eleccioun
  Ben verray king, this song to you I sende;
  And ye, that mowen al our harm amende,               25
  Have minde up-on my supplicacioun!

_The_ MSS. _are_: F. (Fairfax 16); Harl (Harl. 7333); Ff. (Camb. Univ.
Library, Ff. I.6): P. (Pepys 2006); Add. (Addit. 22139); _also_ Cx.
(Caxton's edition); Th. (Thynne, 1532). _I follow_ F. _mainly._

TITLE. _So in_ Cx. (_but with_ Un-to _for_ to); F. _om._ empty; P. La
compleint de Chaucer a sa Bourse Voide.

1. F. yow. 2. F. Complayn; Harl. P. Compleyne. 3. Harl. be; F. been. 4.
Add. That; P. But; _rest_ For. P. Add. but ye; F. Harl. but yf ye; Ff. but
yif ye; Cx. Th. ye now. 5. Add. leyd; F. layde. 7. F. Beeth; ageyne; mote.
8. F. hyt; nyght. 9. F. yow; sovne. 10. F. lyke; bryght. 11. _Read_ That of
yél-ownés-se. 12. F. lyfe; hertys. 14. F. ageyne; moote. 15. P. Cx. purs;
F. Add. purse. F. ben. 17. F. Oute; helpe; thurgh. 18. F. bene. 19. Harl.
P. Th. any; Add. eny; Cx. ony; F. is a.

21. F. Bethe; ayen; moote. F. Lenvoy de Chaucer; Harl. P. Lenvoye; Cx.
Thenuoye of Chaucer vnto the kynge. 23. F. Whiche. F. lygne; Harl. Cx. Ff.
P. lyne. 24. F. Been; kynge; yow. 25. F. alle myn harme; Ff. all_e_ oure
harmes; Harl. all oure harmous; P. Cx. all_e_ harmes.

       *       *       *       *       *

XX. Proverbs.



  What shul thise clothes many-fold,
    Lo! this hote somers day?--
  After greet heet cometh cold;
    No man caste his pilche away.


  Of al this world the wyde compas                      5
    Hit wol not in myn armes tweyne.--
  Who-so mochel wol embrace
    Litel therof he shal distreyne.

_The_ MSS. _are_: F. (Fairfax 16); Ha. (Harl. 7578); Ad. (Addit. 16165). _I
follow_ F. _mainly._ TITLE; _in_ F. Ha.; Ad. Prouerbe.

1. Ad. þees; F. Ha. these. _All needlessly insert_ thus _after_ clothes_._
F. many-folde. 2. F. Loo; hoote. 3. F. grete hete; Ha. greet hete; Ad.
heet. F. colde. 4. Ha. pilche; F. pilch. 5. F. all; worlde. Ad. wyde; F.
Ha. large. Ad. Ha. compas; F. compace. 6. Ad. Hit; F. Yt. Ad. wol; F. Ha.
wil. Ad. myn; F. Ha. my. 7. F. Whoo-so.

       *       *       *       *       *


[_The following Poems are also probably genuine; but are placed here for
lack of external evidence_.]



  Madame, for your newe-fangelnesse,
  Many a servaunt have ye put out of grace,
  I take my leve of your unstedfastnesse,
  For wel I wot, whyl ye have lyves space,
  Ye can not love ful half yeer in a place;             5
  To newe thing your lust is ever kene;
  In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.

  Right as a mirour nothing may enpresse,
  But, lightly as it cometh, so mot it pace,
  So fareth your love, your werkes bereth witnesse.    10
  Ther is no feith that may your herte enbrace;
  But, as a wedercok, that turneth his face
  With every wind, ye fare, and that is sene;
  In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.

  Ye might be shryned, for your brotelnesse,           15
  Bet than Dalyda, Creseide or Candace;
  For ever in chaunging stant your sikernesse,
  That tache may no wight fro your herte arace;
  If ye lese oon, ye can wel tweyn purchace;
  Al light for somer, ye woot wel what I mene,         20
  In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.


TITLE. _None in_ Ct.; Balade _in_ F.; ed. 1561 _has_--A Balade which
Chaucer made agaynst woman unconstaunt.

_The text is from_ Ct. (Cotton, Cleopatra D. 7); _that in_ ed. 1561 _is
much the same, except in spelling. Another copy in_ F. (Fairfax 16). _A
third in_ Ha. (Harl. 7578); _of less value_.

2. Ct. Manie; F. many. Ct. F. of youre; Ha. _om._ youre. 4. Ct. wote while.
F. have lyves; Ct. to lyve haue. 5. Ct. kunnought; F. Ha. kan not. 6. F.
thing; Ct. Ha. thinges. Ct. _inserts_ so _before_ kene; ed. (1561) _omits_
so; F. _has_ ay so. 7. Ct. sted; F. stede. Ct. Blue; F. blew. 8. Ct.
Mirro_ur_; ed. mirour. Ct. Ha. ed. _ins._ that _bef._ nothing; F. _om._ 11.
Ct. F. hert; Ha. ed. herte. 12. Ha. _om._ a. Ha. wethirkoc. 14. Ct. _om._
al; F. Ha. ed. _retain it_.

15. Ct. _om._ your; F. Ha. ed. _retain it_. 16. Ct. Bettir; F. Ha. ed.
Better; _read_ Bet. F. Dalyda; Ct. Dalide. Ct. Cresside; F. Creseyde. 17.
Ct. Changeng; F. chaungyng. _All_ stondeth; _read_ stant. 18. F. tache; Ct.
tacche: ed. tatche. F. Ha. herte; Ct. ed. hert. 19. Ct. Ha. lese; F. ed.
lose. Ct. kunne; F. kan; ed. can; Ha. kanne. Ct. ed. tweine; F. tweyn. 20.
Ct. All; ed. Al. Ct. F. wote; Ha. woote; ed. wot; _cf._ Cant. Ta. A 740,
829. 21. Ct. _om._ al; F. ed. _retain it_. Ct. _adds_ Explicit.

       *       *       *       *       *




  I, which that am the sorwefulleste man
  That in this world was ever yit livinge,
  And leest r