The canterbury tales, p.17
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       The Canterbury Tales, p.17

           Geoffrey Chaucer

  And as it queinte, it made a whistelinge,

  As doon thise wete brondes 2338 in hir brenninge,

  And at the brondes ende out ran anoon

  2340 As it were blody dropes, many oon.

  For which so soore agast 2341 was Emelye

  That she was wel neigh mad, and gan to crye 2342;

  For she ne wiste what it signified,

  But oonly for the fere thus hath she cried,

  2345 And weep 2345 that it was pitee for to heere.

  And therwithal Diane gan appeere 2346,

  With bowe in honde, right as an hunteresse,

  And seide, ‘Doghter, stint thin hevinesse 2348!

  Among the goddes hye it is affermed,

  2350 And by eterne word write 2350 and confermed,

  Thou shalt be wedded unto oon of tho

  Than han for thee so muchel care 2352 and wo;

  But unto which of hem I may nat telle.

  Farewel, for I ne may no lenger dwelle 2354.

  2355 The fires whiche that on min auter brenne

  Shul thee declaren, er that thow go henne 2356,

  Thin aventure 2357 of love, as in this cas.’

  And with that word, the arwes in the caas

  Of the goddesse clateren 2359 faste and ringe,

  2360 And forth she wente, and made a vanisshinge 2360,

  For which this Emelye astoned was,

  And seide, ‘What amounteth this, allas?

  I putte me in thy proteccioun,

  Diane, and in thy disposicioun.’

  2365 And hoom she gooth anoon the nexte weye.

  This is th’effect 2366; ther is namoore to seye.

  The nexte houre of Mars 2367 folwinge this,

  Arcite unto the temple walked is

  Of fierse Mars, to doon his sacrifise,

  2370 With alle the rites of his payen 2370 wise.

  With pitous 2371 herte and heigh devocioun,

  Right thus to Mars he seide his orisoun:

  ‘O stronge 2373 god, that in the regnes colde

  Of Trace honoured art and lord yholde 2374,

  2375 And hast in every regne and every lond

  Of armes al the bridel in thin hond,

  And hem fortunest 2377 as thee list devise –

  Accepte of me my pitous sacrifise.

  If so be that my youthe may deserve,

  2380 And that my might be worthy for to serve

  Thy godhede, that I may be oon of thine 2381,

  Thanne praye I thee to rewe 2382 upon my pine,

  For 2383 thilke peine and thilke hote fir

  In which thow whilom brendest 2384 for desir,

  2385 Whan that thow usedest2385 the beautee

  Of faire yonge fresshe Venus free,

  And haddest hire in armes at thy wille –

  Although thee 2388 ones on a time misfille,

  Whan Vulcanus had caught thee in his laas 2389

  2390 And foond thee ligging 2390 by his wif, allas!

  For thilke sorwe that was in thin herte,

  Have routhe as wel upon my peines smerte 2392.

  I am yong and unkonning 2393, as thow woost,

  And as I trowe, with love offended moost

  2395 That evere was any lives 2395 creature;

  For she that dooth me 2396 al this wo endure

  Ne reccheth 2397 nevere wher I sinke or fleete.

  And wel I woot, er she me mercy heete 2398,

  I moot 2399 with strengthe winne hire in the place;

  2400 And wel I woot, withouten help or grace

  Of thee ne may my strengthe noght availle.

  Thanne help me, lord, tomorwe in my bataille,

  For thilke fir that whilom brente thee,

  As wel as thilke fir now brenneth me,

  2405 And do 2405 that I tomorwe have victorye.

  Min be the travaille and thin be the glorye!

  Thy soverein 2407 temple wol I moost honouren

  Of any place, and alwey moost labouren

  In thy plesaunce 2409, and in thy craftes stronge.

  2410 And in thy temple I wol my baner honge,

  And alle the armes of my compaignye;

  And everemo, unto that day I die,

  Eterne fir I wol bifore thee finde 2413.

  And eek to this avow I wol me binde:

  2415 My berd, min heer, that hangeth long adoun,

  That nevere yet ne felte offensioun 2416

  Of rasour ne of shere 2417, I wol thee yive,

  And been thy trewe servaunt whil I live.

  Now, lord, have routhe 2419 upon my sorwes soore;

  2420 Yif me the victorye! I axe thee namoore!’

  The prayere stint 2421 of Arcita the stronge.

  The ringes on the temple dore that honge,

  And eek the dores, clatereden ful faste 2423,

  Of which Arcita somwhat him agaste 2424.

  2425 The fires brende upon the auter brighte,

  That 2426 it gan al the temple for to lighte.

  A swete smel anoon the ground up yaf 2427,

  And Arcita anoon his hand up haf 2428,

  And moore encens into the fir he caste,

  2430 With othere rites mo; and at the laste

  The statue of Mars bigan his hauberk 2431 ringe,

  And with that soun he herde a murmuringe

  Ful lowe and dim 2433, and seide thus: ‘Victorye!’

  – For which he yaf to Mars honour and glorye.

  2435 And thus with joye, and hope wel to fare,

  Arcite anoon unto his in is fare 2436,

  As fain 2437 as fowel is of the brighte sonne.

  And right anoon swich strif ther is bigonne

  For thilke graunting 2439, in the hevene above,

  2440 Bitwixen Venus, the goddesse of love,

  And Mars the sterne god armipotente 2441,

  That Juppiter was bisy 2442 it to stente,

  Til that the pale Saturnus the colde,

  That knew so many of aventures 2444 olde,

  2445 Foond in his olde experience an art

  That he ful soone hath plesed every part;

  As sooth is seid, ‘elde 2447 hath greet avantage’.

  In elde is bothe wisdom and usage 2448;

  Men may the olde atrenne 2449 and nat atrede.

  2450 Saturne anoon, to stinten strif and drede,

  Al be it that it is again his kinde 2451,

  Of al this strif he gan remedye finde.

  ‘My deere doghter Venus,’ quod Saturne,

  ‘My cours, that hath so wide for to turne,2454

  2455 Hath moore power than woot 2455 any man.

  Min is the drenching 2456 in the see so wan;

  Min is the prisoun in the derke cote 2457;

  Min is the strangling and hanging by the throte,

  The murmur and the cherles rebelling,

  2460 The groining 2460, and the privee empoisoning.

  I do vengeance and plein correccioun 2461

  Whil I dwelle in the signe of the Leoun 2462.

  Min is the ruine 2463 of the hye halles,

  The falling of the toures and of the walles

  2465 Upon the minour 2465 or the carpenter.

  I slow 2466 Sampson shaking the piler,

  And mine be the maladies colde,

  The derke tresons and the castes 2468 olde;

  My loking 2469 is the fader of pestilence.

  2470 Now weep namoore; I shal doon diligence 2470

  That Palamon, that is thin owene knight,

  Shal have his lady as thow hast him hight 2472.

  Thogh Mars shal helpe his knight, yet nathelees

  Bitwixe 2474 yow ther moot be som time pees,

  2475 Al be ye noght of o complexioun 2475;

  That causeth al day swich divisioun 2476.

  I am thin aiel 2477, redy at thy wille.

  Weep now namoore; I wol thy lust 2478 fulfille.’

  Now wol I stinten 2479 of the goddes above,

0 Of Mars, and of Venus, goddesse of love,

  And telle yow as pleinly as I kan

  The grete effect 2482, for which that I bigan.

  [Part Four]

  Greet was the feeste in Atthenes that day;

  And eek the lusty 2484 sesoun of that May

  2485 Made every wight to been in swich plesaunce

  That al that Monday justen 2486 they and daunce,

  And spenden it in Venus heigh servise.

  And by the cause 2488 that they sholde rise

  Erly for to seen the grete fight,

  2490 Unto hir reste wenten they at night.

  And on the morwe, whan that day gan springe,

  Of hors and harneis 2492 noise and clateringe

  Ther was in hostelries al aboute.

  And to the paleis rood ther many a route 2494

  2495 Of lordes, upon steedes and palfreys 2495.

  Ther maystow seen devisinge 2496 of harneis,

  So unkouth 2497 and so riche, and wroght so weel,

  Of goldsmithrye 2498, of browding, and of steel;

  The sheldes brighte, testeres2499 and trappures,

  2500 Gold-hewen helmes, hauberkes, cote-armures,2500

  Lordes in parementz 2501 on hir coursers,

  Knightes of retenue 2502, and eek squiers,

  Nailinge the speres, and helmes bokelinge 2503,

  Gigginge of sheeldes, with lainers lasinge.2504

  2505 Theras 2505 nede is they weren nothing idel.

  The fomy 2506 steedes on the golden bridel

  Gnawinge 2507, and faste the armurers also

  With file and hamer priking to and fro.

  Yemen on foote, and communes many oon,

  2510 With shorte staves, thikke as they may goon 2510;

  Pipes, trompes, nakers 2511, clariounes,

  That in the bataille blowen blody sounes;

  The paleis ful of peple up and doun,

  Heer thre, ther ten, holdinge hir questioun 2514,

  2515 Divininge of 2515 thise Thebane knightes two.

  Somme seiden thus, somme seide it shal be so;

  Somme helden with him with the blake berd,

  Somme with the balled 2518, somme with the 2519 thikke-herd.

  Somme seide he looked grim, and he wolde fighte;

  2520 He hath a sparth 2520 of twenty pound of wighte.

  Thus was the halle ful of devininge,

  Longe after that the sonne gan to springe.

  The grete Theseus, that of his sleep awaked

  With minstralcye and noise that was maked,

  2525 Held2525 yet the chambre of his paleis riche,

  Til that the Thebane knightes, bothe iliche 2526

  Honoured, were into the paleis fet 2527.

  Duc Theseus was at a window set 2528,

  Arrayed right as he were a god in trone.

  2530 The peple preeseth 2530 thiderward ful soone

  Him for to seen, and doon heigh reverence,

  And eek to herkne his heste 2532 and his sentence.

  An heraud on a scaffold made an ‘Oo!’

  Til al the noise of peple was ydo 2534;

  2535 And whan he say the peple of noise al stille,

  Thus shewed he the mighty dukes wille:

  ‘The lord hath, of his heigh discrecioun,

  Considered that it were 2538 destruccioun

  To gentil blood to fighten in the gise

  2540 Of mortal bataille now in this emprise 2540.

  Wherfore to shapen 2541 that they shal noght die,

  He wol his firste purpos modifye.

  No man, therefore, up 2543 peine of los of lif,

  No maner shot 2544 ne polax ne short knif

  2545 Into the listes sende or thider bringe,

  Ne short swerd, for to stoke 2546 with point bitinge,

  No man ne drawe, ne bere it by his side.

  Ne no man shal unto his felawe ride

  But o cours 2549 with a sharp ygrounde spere;

  2550 Foine 2550, if him list, on foote, himself to were.

  And he that is at meschief 2551 shal be take,

  And noght slain, but be broght unto the stake

  That shal ordeined been on either side.

  But thider he shal by force, and ther abide 2554.

  2555 And if so falle2555 the chivetein be take

  On either side, or ellis sleen his make 2556,

  No lenger shal the turneyinge 2557 laste.

  God spede yow 2558; go forth and ley on faste.

  With long swerd and with maces fighte your fille!

  2560 Go now youre way 2560; this is the lordes wille.’

  The vois of peple touchede the hevene,

  So loude cride they with mury stevene 2562:

  ‘God save swich a lord that is so good!

  He wilneth 2564 no destruccioun of blood.’

  2565 Up goon the trompes and the melodye,

  And to the listes rit 2566 the compaignye,

  By ordinaunce 2567 thurghout the citee large,

  Hanged with clooth of gold and noght with sarge 2568.

  Ful lik a lord this noble duc gan ride 2569,

  2570 Thise two Thebanes upon either side,

  And after rood the queene and Emelye,

  And after that another compaignye

  Of oon and oother, after hir degree.2573

  And thus they passen thurghout the citee,

  2575 And to the listes come they bitime 2575 –

  It nas nat of the day yet fully prime 2576.

  Whan set 2577 was Theseus ful riche and hye,

  Ypolita the queene, and Emelye,

  And othere ladies in degrees 2579 aboute,

  2580 Unto the setes preeseth al the route 2580;

  And westward thurgh the gates, under Marte,

  Arcite, and eek the hundred of his parte 2582,

  With baner reed is entred right anon,

  And in that selve 2584 moment Palamon

  2585 Is under Venus, estward in the place,

  With baner whit and hardy cheere 2586 and face.

  In al the world to seken up and doun,

  So evene 2588, withouten variacioun,

  Ther nere swiche compaignyes tweye;

  2590 For ther was noon so wis that koude seye

  That any hadde of oother avauntage,

  Of worthinesse 2592, ne of estaat, ne age;

  So evene were they chosen, for to gesse.2593

  And in two renges 2594 faire they hem dresse.

  2595 Whan that hir names rad 2595 were everychon,

  That in hir nombre gile were ther noon,2596

  Tho were the gates shet 2597, and cried was loude:

  ‘Do 2598 now your devoir, yonge knightes proude!’

  The heraudes lefte 2599 hir priking up and doun;

  2600 Now ringen trompes loude and clarioun.

  Ther is namoore to seyn, but west and est

  In goon the speres ful sadly 2602 in arest;

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