The canterbury tales, p.70
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       The Canterbury Tales, p.70

           Geoffrey Chaucer

  The verray preeve2983 sheweth it in dede.

  ‘Oon of the gretteste auctor2984 that men rede

  2985 Seyth thus: that whilom two felawes wente

  On pilgrimage, in a ful good entente;

  And happed so, they coomen in a toun

  Whereas ther was swich congregacioun

  Of peple, and eek so streit of herbergage2989,

  2990 That they ne founde as muche as o2990 cotage

  In which they bothe mighte ylogged2991 be.

  Wherfore they mosten2992 of necessitee,

  As for that night, departen2993 compaignye;

  And ech of hem gooth to his hostelrye,

  2995 And took his logging as it wolde falle.2995

  That oon2996 of hem was logged in a stalle,

  Fer2997 in a yeerd, with oxen of the plow;

  That oother man was logged wel inow,

  As was his aventure2999, or his fortune,

  3000 That us governeth alle as in commune3000.

  ‘And so bifel that, longe er it were day,

  This man mette3002 in his bed, theras he lay,

  How that his felawe gan upon him calle,

  And seide, “Allas! – for in an oxes stalle

  3005 This night I shal be mordred ther I lie!

  Now help me, deere brother, or I die!

  In alle haste com to me,” he saide.

  This man out of his sleep for feere abraide3008;

  But whan that he was wakned of his sleep,

  3010 He turned him,3010 and took of this no keep.

  Him thoughte his dreem nas but a vanitee3011.

  Thus twies in his sleping dremed he,

  And atte thridde time yet his felawe

  Cam, as him thoughte, and seide, “I am now slawe3014.

  3015 Bihoold my blody woundes depe and wide!

  Aris up erly in the morwe-tide3016,

  And at the west gate of the toun”, quod he,

  “A carte ful of donge3018 ther shaltow se,

  In which my body is hid ful prively.

  3020 Do thilke carte aresten boldely.3020

  My gold caused my mordre, sooth to seyn.”

  – And tolde him every point3022 how he was slain,

  With a ful pitous face, pale of hewe3023.

  And truste wel, his dreem he fond ful trewe;

  3025 For on the morwe, as soone as it was day,

  To his felawes in3026 he took the way.

  And whan that he cam to this oxes stalle,

  After3028 his felawe he bigan to calle.

  ‘The hostiler3029 answerede him anon,

  3030 And seide, “Sire, youre felawe is agon3030.

  As soone as day, he wente out of the toun.”

  ‘This man gan fallen in suspecioun,

  Remembringe on hise dremes that he mette;

  And forth he gooth – no lenger wolde he lette3034 –

  3035 Unto the west gate of the toun, and fond

  A dong carte, as it were to donge3036 lond,

  That was arrayed in that same wise

  As ye han herd the dede man devise.

  And with an hardy3039 herte he gan to crye

  3040 Vengeaunce and justice of this felonye:

  “My felawe mordred is this same night,

  And in this carte he lith gaping upright3042!

  I crye out on3043 the ministres”, quod he,

  “That sholden kepe3044 and reulen this citee!

  3045 Harrow! allas! Heere lith my felawe slain!”

  What sholde I moore unto this tale sayn?

  The peple out sterte3047 and caste the cart to grounde,

  And in the middel of the dong they founde

  The dede man, that mordred was al newe3049.

  3050 ‘O blisful God, that art so just and trewe,

  Lo how that thow biwreyest3051 mordre alway!

  Mordre wol out3052, that se we day by day.

  Mordre is so wlatsom3053 and abhominable

  To God, that is so just and resonable,

  3055 That he ne wol nat suffre it heled be3055,

  Though it abide a yeer, or two, or thre.

  Mordre wol out; this my conclusioun.

  And right anon, ministres of that toun

  Han hent3059 the cartere and so soore him pined,

  3060 And eek the hostiler so soore engined3060,

  That they biknewe3061 hir wikkednesse anon,

  And were anhanged3062 by the nekke-bon.

  ‘Heere may men seen that dremes ben to drede3063.

  And certes, in the same book I rede,

  3065 Right in the nexte chapitre after this

  – I gabbe nat3066, so have I joye or blis –

  Two men that wolde han passed over see,

  For certein cause, into a fer contree,

  If that the wind ne hadde ben contrarye,

  3070 That made hem in a citee for to tarye,

  That stood3071 ful mirye upon an haven-side.

  But on a day, again the even-tide3072,

  The wind gan chaunge, and blew right as hem leste.

  Jolif3074 and glad they wenten unto reste,

  3075 And casten hem3075 ful erly for to saille.

  ‘But herkneth: to that o man3076 fil a greet mervaille.

  That oon of hem, in sleping as he lay,

  Him mette a wonder dreem again the day.3078

  Him thoughte a man stood by his beddes side,

  3080 And him comanded that he sholde abide,

  And seide him thus: “If thou tomorwe wende,

  Thow shalt be dreint;3082 my tale is at an ende.”

  ‘He wook, and tolde his felawe what he mette,

  And preyde him his viage3084 for to lette;

  3085 As for that day, he preyde him to abide.

  His felawe, that lay by his beddes side,

  Gan for to laughe, and scorned him ful faste.

  “No dreem”, quod he, “may so min herte agaste3088

  That I wol lette for to do my thinges!3089

  3090 I sette nat a straw by thy dreminges,

  For swevenes ben but vanitees and japes3091.

  Men dreme alday of owles or of apes,

  And eek of many a maze3093 therwithal.

  Men dreme of thing that nevere was ne shal3094.

  3095 But sith I see that thou wolt here abide,

  And thus forslewthen3096 wilfully thy tide,

  God woot, it reweth me3097; and have good day!”

  – And thus he took his leve and wente his way.

  But er that he hadde half his cours yseiled3099,

  3100 Noot I nat3100 why, ne what meschaunce it eiled,

  But casuelly3101 the shippes botme rente,

  And ship and man under the water wente,

  In sighte of othere shippes it biside,

  That with hem seiled at the same tide.

  3105 ‘‘And therfore, faire Pertelote so deere,

  By swiche ensamples olde maystow leere3106

  That no man sholde been to recchelees3107

  Of dremes, for I sey thee, doutelees,

  That many a dreem ful soore3109 is for to drede.

  3110 ‘Lo, in the lif of Seint Kenelm I rede,

  That was Kenulphus sone, the noble king

  Of Mercenrike, how Kenelm mette a thing.

  A lite er3113 he was mordred, on a day,

  His mordre in his avisioun3114 he say.

  3115 His norice him expowned3115 everydel

  His swevene, and bad him for to kepe him3116 wel

  For3117 traisoun; but he nas but sevene yeer old,

  And therfore3118 litel tale hath he ytold

  Of any dreem, so holy was his herte.

  3120 By God, I hadde levere than my sherte3120

  That ye hadde rad his legende as have I!

  ‘Dame Pertelote, I sey yow trewely,

  Macrobeus, that writ3123 th’avisioun

  In Affrike of the worthy Cipioun,

  3125 Affermeth dremes, and seyth that they ben
br />   Warninge of thinges that men after sen.

  And forthermoore, I pray yow, looketh wel

  In th’Olde Testament, of Daniel,

  If he heeld dremes3129 any vanitee.

  3130 Rede eek of Joseph, and there shul ye see

  Wher3131 dremes be somtime – I sey nat alle –

  Warninge of thinges that shul after falle.

  Looke, of Egypte the king, daun Pharao,

  His bakere and his butiller also,

  3135 Wher they ne felte noon effect3135 in dremes3136!

  Whoso wol seken actes of sondry remes

  May rede of dremes many a wonder thing.

  ‘Lo, Cresus, which that was of Lyde3138 king,

  Mette he nat that he sat upon a tree,

  3140 Which signified he sholde anhanged be?

  Lo heere, Andromacha, Ectores wif,

  That day that Ector sholde lese3142 his lif,

  She dremed on the same night biforn

  How that the lif of Ector sholde be lorn3144

  3145 If thilke day he wente into bataille.

  She warned him, but it mighte nat availle;

  He wente for to fighte nathelees,

  But he was slain anon3148 of Achilles.

  But thilke tale is al to long to telle,

  3150 And eek it is ny day; I may nat dwelle3150.

  Shortly I seye, as for conclusioun,

  That I shal han of this avisioun

  Adversitee; and I seye forthermoor

  That I ne telle of laxatives no stoor,3154

  3155 For they been venimes3155, I woot it wel.

  I hem deffye3156; I love hem never a del!

  ‘Now lat us speke of mirthe, and stinte3157 al this.

  Madame Pertelote, so have I blis,

  Of o thing God hath sent me large grace3159,

  3160 For whan I se the beautee of youre face,

  Ye ben so scarlet-reed aboute youre eyen,

  It maketh al my3162 drede for to dien.

  For al so siker3163 as In principio,

  Mulier est hominis confusio3164.

  3165 – Madame, the sentence3165 of this Latin is:

  “Womman is mannes joye and al his blis.”

  For whan I feele a-night your softe side

  – Al be it that I may nat on yow ride3168,

  For that oure perche is maad so narwe, allas! –

  3170 I am so ful of joye and of solas3170,

  That I deffye bothe swevene and dreem.’

  And with that word, he fley3172 doun fro the beem,

  For it was day, and eke hise hennes alle,

  And with a chuk he gan hem for to calle,

  3175 For he hadde founde a corn3175 lay in the yerd.

  Real3176 he was, he was namoore aferd;

  He fethered3177 Pertelote twenty time,

  And trad3178 hire eke as ofte, er it was prime.

  He looketh as it were a grim leoun,3179

  3180 And on hise toos he rometh3180 up and doun;

  Him deined nat to sette his foot to grounde.

  He chukketh3182 whan he hath a corn yfounde,

  And to him rennen thanne his wives alle.

  Thus real, as a prince is in his halle,

  3185 Leve I this Chauntecleer in his pasture3185,

  And after wol I telle his aventure3186.

  Whan that the monthe in which the world bigan,

  That highte3188 March, whan God first maked man,

  Was complet, and ypassed were also,

  3190 Sin March was gon, thritty dayes and two,

  Bifel that Chauntecler, in al his pride,

  Hise sevene wives walking him biside,

  Caste up hise eyen to the brighte sonne,

  That in the signe of Taurus hadde yronne3194

  3195 Twenty degrees and oon, and somwhat moore,

  And knew by kinde3196, and by noon oother loore,

  That it was prime, and krew with blisful stevene3197.

  ‘The sonne’, he seide, ‘is clomben3198 up on hevene

  Fourty degrees and oon, and moore, iwys.

  3200 Madame Pertelote, my worldes blis3200,

  Herkneth thise blisful briddes how they singe,

  And se the fresshe floures how they springe!

  Ful is min herte of revel and solas!’

  But sodeinly him fil3204 a sorweful cas;

  3205 For evere the latter ende of joye is wo.

  God woot that worldly joye is soone ago;

  And if a rethor3207 koude faire endite

  He in a cronicle saufly mighte it write

  As for a soverein notabilitee3209.

  3210 Now every wis man, lat him herkne me;

  This storye is also3211 trewe, I undertake,

  As is the book of Launcelot de Lake,

  That wommen holde in ful gret reverence.

  Now wol I torne again to my sentence3214.

  3215 A col-fox3215, ful of sly iniquitee,

  That in the grove hadde woned3216 yeres three,

  By heigh imaginacioun forncast3217,

  The same night thurghout the hegges brast3218

  Into the yerd ther3219 Chauntecleer the faire

  3220 Was wont, and eek hise wives, to repaire3220;

  And in a bed of wortes3221 stille he lay

  Til it was passed undren3222 of the day,

  Waitinge3223 his time on Chauntecleer to falle,

  As gladly3224 doon thise homicides alle

  3225 That in await liggen3225 to mordre men.

  O false mordrour3226, lurkinge in thy den!

  O newe Scariot, newe Geniloun!

  False dissimulour3228, O Greek Sinoun,

  That broghtest Troye al outrely3229 to sorwe!

  3230 O Chauntecleer, acursed be that morwe

  That thow into the yerd flaugh3231 fro the bemes!

  Thow were ful wel ywarned by thy dremes

  That thilke day was perilous to thee.

  – But what that God forwoot3234 moot nedes be,

  3235 After3235 the opinioun of certein clerkis.

  Witnesse on him that any parfit clerk is,

  That in scole is greet altercacioun3237

  In this matere, and greet disputisoun,

  And hath ben of an hundred thousand men.

  3240 But I ne kan nat bulte it to the bren3240

  As kan the holy doctour Augustin,

  Or Boece, or the bisshop Bradwardin

  – Wheither that Goddes worthy forewiting3243

  Streineth3244 me nedely for to doon a thing

  3245 – ‘Nedely’ clepe I simple necessitee3245 –

  Or ellis if fre chois be graunted me

  To do that same thing, or do it noght,

  Though God forwoot it er that I was wroght3248,

  Or if his witing3249 streineth never a del

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