The canterbury tales, p.15
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       The Canterbury Tales, p.15

           Geoffrey Chaucer

  1805 That serven love, for aught that may bifalle 1805.

  But this is yet the beste game 1806 of alle,

  That she for whom they have this jolitee 1807

  Kan 1808 hem therfore as muche thank as me!

  She woot 1809 namoore of al this hoote fare,

  1810 By God, than woot a cokkow 1810 or an hare!

  But al moot been assayed 1811, hoot and coold;

  A man moot been a fool, or 1812 yong or oold.

  I1813 woot it by myself, ful yore agoon,

  For in my time a servant was I oon.

  1815 And therfore, sin I knowe of loves peine,

  And woot how sore it kan a man distreine 1816,

  As he that hath been caught ofte in his laas 1817,

  I yow foryeve al hoolly this trespaas 1818,

  At requeste of the queene that kneleth here,

  1820 And 1821 eek of Emelye, my suster dere 1822.

  And ye shal bothe anoon unto me swere

  That neveremo ye shal my contree dere,

  Ne make werre upon me, night nor day,

  But been my freendes in al that ye may,

  1825 I yow foryeve this trespas everydel 1825.’

  And they him swore his axing 1826 faire and wel,

  And him of lordshipe 1827 and of mercy preyde;

  And he hem graunteth grace, and thus he seide:

  ‘To speke of 1829 royal linage and richesse,

  1830 Thogh that she were a queen or a princesse,

  Ech of yow bothe is worthy, doutelees,

  To wedden whan time is; but nathelees –

  I speke as for my suster Emelye,

  For whom ye have this strif and jalousye –

  1835 Ye woot yourself she may nat wedden two

  Atones 1836, thogh ye fighten everemo.

  That oon of yow, al be him looth or lief 1837,

  He moot go pipen in an ivy-leef 1838.

  This is to seyn, she may nat now have bothe,

  1840 Al be ye nevere so jalous ne so wrothe.1840

  And forthy 1841 I yow putte in this degree,

  That ech of yow shal have his destinee

  As him is shape 1843, and herkneth in what wise;

  Lo here, youre ende, of that I shal devise 1844.

  1845 My wil is this, for plat conclusioun 1845,

  Withouten any replicacioun –1846

  If that yow liketh, take it for the beste 1847:

  That everich of yow shal goon wher that him leste 1848,

  Frely, withouten raunsoun or daunger1849,

  1850 And this day fifty wikes, fer ne ner 1850,

  Everich 1851 of yow shal bringe an hundred knightes,

  Armed for listes 1852 up at alle rightes,

  Al redy to darreine 1853 hire by bataille.

  And this bihote 1854 I yow, withouten faille,

  1855 Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knight,

  That wheither 1856 of yow bothe that hath might –

  This is to seyn that wheither he or thou –

  May with his hundred, as I spak 1858 of now,

  Sleen 1859 his contrarye, or out of listes drive,

  1860 Thanne shal I yeve Emelya to wive 1860

  To whom that Fortune yeveth so faire a grace 1861.

  The listes shal I maken in this place;

  And God so wysly on my soule rewe 1863

  As I shal evene 1864 juge been and trewe!

  1865 Ye shul noon oother ende with me maken,

  That oon of yow ne shal be deed or taken 1866.

  And if yow thinketh this is wel ysaid,

  Sey youre avis 1868, and holdeth yow apaid.

  This is youre ende and youre conclusioun 1869.’

  1870 Who looketh lightly 1870 now but Palamoun?

  Who springeth up for joye but Arcite?

  Who koude telle, or who koude it endite,

  The joye that is maked in the place,

  Whan Theseus hath doon so fair a grace 1874?

  1875 But doun on knees wente every maner wight,

  And thonken him with al hir herte and might,

  And namely1877 the Thebans ofte sithe.

  And thus with good hope, and with herte blithe,

  They take hir leve and homward gonne they ride

  1880 To Thebes with hise 1880 olde walles wide.

  [Part Three]

  I trowe 1881 men wolde deme it necligence

  If I foryete to tellen the dispence 1882

  Of Theseus, that gooth so bisily

  To maken up 1884 the listes royally,

  1885 That swich a noble theatre as it was,

  I dar wel seyen, in this world ther nas.

  The circuit 1887 a mile was aboute,

  Walled of stoon and diched 1888 al withoute.

  Round was the shap, in maner of compas 1889,

  1890 Ful of degrees 1890, the heighte o 1891f sixty paas,

  That whan a man was set on o degree,

  He letted noght 1892 his felawe for to see.

  Estward ther stood a gate of marbul 1893 whit;

  Westward right swich another in th’oposit 1894.

  1895 And shortly to concluden, swich a place 1895

  Was noon in erthe, as in so litel space 1896.

  For in the lond ther was no crafty man 1897

  That geometrye or ars-metrik 1898 kan,

  Ne purtreyour 1899 ne kerver of images,

  1900 That Theseus ne yaf him mete 1900 and wages

  The theatre for to maken and devise 1901.

  And for to doon his rite and sacrifise,

  He estward hath upon the gate above,

  In worship of Venus, goddesse of love,

  1905 Doon make 1905 an auter and an oratorye;

  And on the westward gate, in memorye

  Of Mars, he maked hath right swich another,

  That coste largely of gold a fother 1908.

  And northward in a touret 1909 on the wal,

  1910 Of alabastre whit and reed coral

  An oratorye, riche for to see,

  In worship of Diane of chastitee,

  Hath 1913 Theseus doon wroght in noble wise.

  But yet hadde I forgeten to devise 1914

  1915 The noble kerving 1915 and the purtreitures,

  The shap, the contenance 1916, and the figures,

  That weren in thise oratories thre.

  First in the temple of Venus maystow se

  Wroght on the wal, ful pitous 1919 to biholde,

  1920 The broken slepes and the sikes 1920 colde,

  The sacred teeris, and the waimentinge 1921,

  The firy strokes of the desiringe

  That loves servantz in this lif enduren;

  The othes that hir convenantz 1924 assuren,

  1925 Plesance, and Hope, Desir, Foolhardinesse,

  Beautee and Youthe, Bauderye 1926, Richesse,

  Charmes 1927 and Force, Lesinges, Flaterye,

  Despense 1928, Bisinesse, and Jalousye,

  That wered of yelowe gooldes 1929 a gerland,

  1930 And a cokkow sitting on hir hand,

  Festes, instrumentz, caroles1931, daunces,

  Lust 1932 and array, and alle the circumstaunces

  Of love, whiche that I rekned and rekne shal,

  By ordre 1934 weren peinted on the wal,

  1935 And mo 1935 than I kan make of mencioun.

  For soothly, al the mount of Citheroun 1936,

  Ther Venus hath hir principal dwellinge,

  Was shewed on the wal in purtreyinge 1938,

  With al the gardin and the lustinesse 1939.

  1940 Nat was foryeten the porter Idelnesse,

  Ne Narcisus the faire of yore agon 1941,

  Ne yet the folye of king Salomon,

  Ne yet the grete strength of Ercules,

  Th’enchauntementz of Medea and Circes,

  1945 Ne Turnus with the hardy fiers corage 1945,

  The riche Cresus, caitif 1946 in servage.

  Thus may ye seen that wisdom ne riche

  Beautee ne sleighte 1948, strengthe, hardinesse,

  Ne may with Venus holde champartie 1949,

  1950 For as hir lust 1950 the world than may she gye.

  Lo, al thise folk so caught were in hir laas 1951,

  Til they for wo ful ofte seide ‘allas!’

  Suffiseth here ensamples oon or two,

  And though I koude rekne a thousand mo.

  1955 The statue of Venus, glorious for to see,

  Was naked, fleting 1956 in the large see,

  And fro the navele doun al covered was

  With wawes 1958 grene and brighte as any glas.

  A citole1959 in hir right hand hadde she,

  1960 And on hir heed, ful semely for to se,

  A rose gerland, fressh and wel smellinge 1961;

  Above hir heed hir dowves 1962 flikeringe.

  Biforn hire stood hir sone Cupido;

  Upon his shuldres winges hadde he two,

  1965 And blind he was, as it is ofte sene;

  A bowe he bar 1966, and arwes brighte and kene.

  Why sholde I nat as wel eek telle yow al

  The purtreiture that was upon the wal

  Withinne the temple of mighty Mars the rede?

  1970 Al peinted was the wal in lengthe and brede 1970,

  Lik to the estres 1971 of the grisly place

  That highte the grete temple of Mars in Trace,

  In thilke colde frosty regioun

  Theras Mars hath his soverein 1974 mansioun.

  1975 First on the wal was peinted a forest,

  In which ther dwelleth neither man ne best,

  With knotty knarry 1977 bareine trees olde,

  Of stubbes 1978 sharpe, and hidouse to biholde,

  In which ther ran a rumbel 1979 and a swough,

  1980 As thogh a storm sholde bresten 1980 every bough.

  And dounward from an hil, under a bente 1981,

  Ther stood the temple of Mars armipotente 1982,

  Wroght al of burned 1983 steel, of which th’entree

  Was long and streit 1984 and gastly for to see.

  1985 And therout cam a rage 1985 and swich a veze

  That it made al the gate for to rese 1986.

  The northren1987 light in at the dores shoon,

  For window on the wal ne was ther noon

  Thurgh which men mighten any light discerne.

  1990 The dore was al of athamant 1990 eterne,

  Yclenched overthwart and endelong1991

  With iren togh 1992, and, for to make it strong,

  Every piler 1993, the temple to sustene,

  Was tonne-greet 1994, of iren bright and shene.

  1995 Ther saugh I first the derke imagininge 1995

  Of felonye, and al the compassinge 1996;

  The cruel Ire, reed as any gleede 1997,

  The pikepurs 1998, and eek the pale Drede;

  The smilere with the knif under the cloke;

  2000 The shepne 2000 brenning with the blake smoke;

  The tresoun of the mordring 2001 in the bed;

  The open werre with woundes al bibled 2002;

  Contek 2003 with blody knif, and sharp Manace;

  Al ful of chirking 2004 was that sory place.

  2005 The sleere 2005 of himself yet saugh I ther,

  His herte-blood hath bathed al his heer 2006;

  The nail ydriven in the shode 2007 a-night;

  The colde deeth, with mouth gaping upright 2008.

  Amiddes of the temple sat Meschaunce,

  2010 With disconfort and sory contenaunce.

  Yet saugh I Woodnesse 2011 laughing in his rage,

  Armed Compleint, Outhees 2012, and fiers Outrage.

  The caroine 2013 in the bussh, with throte ycorve;

  A thousand slain, and noght of qualm ystorve 2014;

  2015 The tyraunt with the praye by force yraft2015;

  The toun destroyed – ther was nothing laft.

  Yet saugh I brent 2017 the shippes hoppesteres;

  The hunte 2018 strangled with the wilde beres;

  The sowe freten 2019 the child right in the cradel;

  2020 The cook yscalded, for al 2020 his longe ladel.

  Naught was forgeten, by th’infortune of Marte 2021,

  The cartere over-riden with 2022 his carte;

  Under the wheel ful lowe he lay adoun.

  Ther were also of Martes devisioun 2024

  2025 The barbour 2025, and the bochier, and the smith,

  That forgeth sharpe swerdes on his stith 2026.

  And al above, depeinted 2027 in a tour,

  Saugh I Conquest, sitting in greet honour,

  With the sharpe swerd over his heed,

  2030 Hanginge by a subtil twines threed 2030.

  Depeinted was the slaughtre of Julius,

  Of grete Nero, and of Anthonius;

  Al be that 2033 thilke time they were unborn,

  Yet was hir deeth depeinted therbiforn,

  2035 By manasinge 2035 of Mars, right by figure.

  So was it shewed in that purtreiture,

  As is depeinted in the sterres above

  Who shal be slain, or ellis deed for love.

  Suffiseth oon ensample in stories olde;

  2040 I may nat rekne hem alle, thogh I wolde 2040.

  The statue of Mars upon a carte 2041 stood,

  Armed, and loked grim as he were wood 2042.

  And over his heed ther shinen two figures

  Of sterres, that been cleped 2044 in scriptures

  2045 That oon Puella, that oother Rubeus.

  This god of armes was arrayed thus:

  A wolf ther stood bifore him at his feet 2048,

  With eyen rede, and of a man he eet.

  With subtil pencel 2049 was depeint this storye,

  2050 In redoutinge 2050 of Mars and of his glorye.

  Now to the temple of Diane the chaste

  As shortly as I kan I wol me haste,

  To telle yow al the descripcioun.

  Depeinted 2054 been the walles, up and doun,

  2055 Of 2055 hunting and of shamfast chastitee.

  Ther saw I how woful Calistopee,

  Whan that Diane agreved 2057 was with here,

  Was turned from a womman til 2058 a bere,

  And after was she maad the lodesterre 2059.

  2060 Thus was it peinted; I kan seye yow no ferre 2060.

  Hir sone is eek a sterre, as men may see.

  Ther saw I Dane 2062 yturned to a tree;

  I mene nat the goddesse Diane,

  But Penneus doghter, which that highte 2064 Dane.

  2065 Ther saw I Attheon an hert ymaked,

  For vengeaunce that he saw Diane al naked.

  I saugh how that his houndes have him caught,

  And freten 2068 him for that they knewe him naught.

  Yet peinted was a litel forther moor 2069

  2070 How Atthalante hunted the wilde boor,

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