Que favet ad vicium vetus hec modo regula confert,
Nec novus e contra qui docet ordo placet.
Cecus amor dudum nondum sua lumina cepit,
Quo Venus impositum devia fallit iter.
The myhti god, which unbegunne
Stant of himself and hath begunne
Alle othre thinges at his wille,
The hevene him liste to fulfille
Of alle joie, where as he
Sit inthronized in his See,
And hath hise Angles him to serve,
Suche as him liketh to preserve,
So that thei mowe noght forsueie:
Bot Lucifer he putte aweie, 10
With al the route apostazied
Of hem that ben to him allied,
Whiche out of hevene into the helle
From Angles into fendes felle;
Wher that ther is no joie of lyht,
Bot more derk than eny nyht
The peine schal ben endeles;
And yit of fyres natheles
Ther is plente, bot thei ben blake,
Wherof no syhte mai be take. 20
Thus whan the thinges ben befalle,
That Luciferes court was falle
Wher dedly Pride hem hath conveied,
Anon forthwith it was pourveied
Thurgh him which alle thinges may;
He made Adam the sexte day
In Paradis, and to his make
Him liketh Eve also to make,
And bad hem cresce and multiplie.
For of the mannes Progenie, 30
Which of the womman schal be bore,
The nombre of Angles which was lore,
Whan thei out fro the blisse felle,
He thoghte to restore, and felle
In hevene thilke holy place
Which stod tho voide upon his grace.
Bot as it is wel wiste and knowe,
Adam and Eve bot a throwe,
So as it scholde of hem betyde,
In Paradis at thilke tyde 40
Ne duelten, and the cause why,
Write in the bok of Genesi,
As who seith, alle men have herd,
Hou Raphael the fyri swerd
In honde tok and drof hem oute,
To gete here lyves fode aboute
Upon this wofull Erthe hiere.
Metodre seith to this matiere,
As he be revelacion
It hadde upon avision, 50
Hou that Adam and Eve also
Virgines comen bothe tuo
Into the world and were aschamed,
Til that nature hem hath reclamed
To love, and tauht hem thilke lore,
That ferst thei keste, and overmore
Thei don that is to kinde due,
Wherof thei hadden fair issue.
A Sone was the ferste of alle,
And Chain be name thei him calle; 60
Abel was after the secounde,
And in the geste as it is founde,
Nature so the cause ladde,
Tuo douhtres ek Dame Eve hadde,
The ferste cleped Calmana
Was, and that other Delbora.
Thus was mankinde to beginne;
Forthi that time it was no Sinne
The Soster forto take hire brother,
Whan that ther was of chois non other: 70
To Chain was Calmana betake,
And Delboram hath Abel take,
In whom was gete natheles
Of worldes folk the ferste encres.
Men sein that nede hath no lawe,
And so it was be thilke dawe
And laste into the Secounde Age,
Til that the grete water rage,
Of Noeh which was seid the flod,
The world, which thanne in Senne stod, 80
Hath dreint, outake lyves Eyhte.
Tho was mankinde of litel weyhte;
Sem, Cham, Japhet, of these thre,
That ben the Sones of Noe5,
The world of mannes nacion
Was tho restored newe ayein
So ferforth, as the bokes sein,
That of hem thre and here issue
Ther was so large a retenue, 90
Of naciouns seventy and tuo;
In sondri place ech on of tho
The wyde world have enhabited.
Bot as nature hem hath excited,
Thei token thanne litel hiede,
The brother of the Sosterhiede
To wedde wyves, til it cam
Into the time of Habraham.
Whan the thridde Age was begunne,
The nede tho was overrunne, 100
For ther was poeple ynouh in londe:
Thanne ate ferste it cam to honde,
That Sosterhode of mariage
Was torned into cousinage,
So that after the rihte lyne
The Cousin weddeth the cousine.
For Habraham, er that he deide,
This charge upon his servant leide,
To him and in this wise spak,
That he his Sone Isaa5c 110
Do wedde for no worldes good,
Bot only to his oghne blod:
Wherof this Servant, as he bad,
Whan he was ded, his Sone hath lad
To Bathuel, wher he Rebecke
Hath wedded with the whyte necke;
For sche, he wiste wel and syh,
Was to the child cousine nyh.
And thus as Habraham hath tawht,
Whan Isaa5c was god betawht, 120
His Sone Jacob dede also,
And of Laban the dowhtres tuo,
Which was his Em, he tok to wyve,
And gat upon hem in his lyve,
Of hire ferst which hihte Lie,
Sex Sones of his Progenie,
And of Rachel tuo Sones eke:
The remenant was forto seke,
That is to sein of foure mo,
Wherof he gat on Bala tuo, 130
And of Zelpha he hadde ek tweie.
And these tuelve, as I thee seie,
Thurgh providence of god himselve
Ben seid the Patriarkes tuelve;
Of whom, as afterward befell,
The tribes tuelve of Irahel
Engendred were, and ben the same
That of Hebreus tho hadden name,
Which of Sibrede in alliance
For evere kepten thilke usance 140
Most comunly, til Crist was bore.
Bot afterward it was forbore
Amonges ous that ben baptized;
For of the lawe canonized
The Pope hath bede to the men,
That non schal wedden of his ken
Ne the seconde ne the thridde.
Bot thogh that holy cherche it bidde,
So to restreigne Mariage,
Ther ben yit upon loves Rage 150
Full manye of suche nou aday
That taken wher thei take may.
For love, which is unbesein
Of alle reson, as men sein,
Thurgh sotie and thurgh nycete,
Of his voluptuosite
He spareth no condicion
Of ken ne yit religion,
Bot as a cock among the Hennes,
Or as a Stalon in the Fennes, 160
Which goth amonges al the Stod,
Riht so can he nomore good,
Bot takth what thing comth next to honde.
Mi Sone, thou schalt understonde,
That such delit is forto blame.
Forthi if thou hast be the same
To love in eny such manere,
Tell forth therof and schrif thee hiere.
Mi fader, nay, god wot the sothe,
Mi feire is noght of such a bothe, 170
So wylde a man yit was I nevere,
That of mi ken or lief or levere
Me liste love in such a wise:
And ek I not for what emprise
I scholde assote upon a Nonne,
For thogh I hadde hir love wonne,
It myhte into no pris amonte,
So therof sette I non acompte.
Ye mai wel axe of this and that,
Bot sothli forto telle plat, 180
In al this world ther is bot on
The which myn herte hath overgon;
I am toward alle othre fre.
Full wel, mi Sone, nou I see
Thi word stant evere upon o place,
Bot yit therof thou hast a grace,
That thou thee myht so wel excuse
Of love such as som men use,
So as I spak of now tofore.
For al such time of love is lore, 190
And lich unto the bitterswete;
For thogh it thenke a man ferst swete,
He schal wel fielen ate laste
That it is sour and may noght laste.
For as a morsell envenimed,
So hath such love his lust mistimed,
And grete ensamples manyon
A man mai finde therupon.
At Rome ferst if we beginne,
Ther schal I finde hou of this sinne 200
An Emperour was forto blame,
Gayus Caligula be name,
Which of his oghne Sostres thre
Berefte the virginite:
And whanne he hadde hem so forlein,
As he the which was al vilein,
He dede hem out of londe exile.
Bot afterward withinne a while
God hath beraft him in his ire
His lif and ek his large empire: 210
And thus for likinge of a throwe
For evere his lust was overthrowe.
Of this sotie also I finde,
Amon his Soster ayein kinde,
Which hihte Thamar, he forlay;
Bot he that lust an other day
Aboghte, whan that Absolon
His oghne brother therupon,
Of that he hadde his Soster schent,
Tok of that Senne vengement 220
And slowh him with his oghne hond:
And thus thunkinde unkinde fond.
And forto se more of this thing,
The bible makth a knowleching,
Wherof thou miht take evidence
Upon the sothe experience.
Whan Lothes wif was overgon
And schape into the salte Ston,
As it is spoke into this day,
Be bothe hise dowhtres thanne he lay, 230
With childe and made hem bothe grete,
Til that nature hem wolde lete,
And so the cause aboute ladde
That ech of hem a Sone hadde,
Moab the ferste, and the seconde
Amon, of whiche, as it is founde,
Cam afterward to gret encres
Tuo nacions: and natheles,
For that the stockes were ungoode,
The branches mihten noght be goode; 240
For of the false Moabites
Forth with the strengthe of Amonites,
Of that thei weren ferst misgete,
The poeple of god was ofte upsete
In Irahel and in Judee,
As in the bible a man mai se.
Lo thus, my Sone, as I thee seie,
Thou miht thiselve be beseie
Of that thou hast of othre herd:
For evere yit it hath so ferd, 250
Of loves lust if so befalle
That it in other place falle
Than it is of the lawe set,
He which his love hath so beset
Mote afterward repente him sore.
And every man is othres lore;
Of that befell in time er this
The present time which now is
May ben enformed hou it stod,
And take that him thenketh good, 260
And leve that which is noght so.
Bot forto loke of time go,
Hou lust of love excedeth lawe,
It oghte forto be withdrawe;
For every man it scholde drede,
And nameliche in his Sibrede,
Which torneth ofte to vengance:
Wherof a tale in remembrance,
Which is a long process to hiere,
I thenke forto tellen hiere. 270
Of a Cronique in daies gon,
The which is cleped Pantheon,
In loves cause I rede thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus,
Of whom that Antioche tok
His ferste name, as seith the bok,
Was coupled to a noble queene,
And hadde a dowhter hem betwene:
Bot such fortune cam to honde,
That deth, which no king mai withstonde, 280
Bot every lif it mote obeie,
This worthi queene tok aweie.
The king, which made mochel mone,
Tho stod, as who seith, al him one
Withoute wif, bot natheles
His doghter, which was piereles
Of beaute, duelte aboute him stille.
Bot whanne a man hath welthe at wille,
The fleissh is frele and falleth ofte,
And that this maide tendre and softe, 290
Which in hire fadres chambres duelte,
Withinne a time wiste and felte:
For likinge and concupiscence
Withoute insihte of conscience
The fader so with lustes blente,
That he caste al his hole entente
His oghne doghter forto spille.
This king hath leisir at his wille
With strengthe, and whanne he time sih,
This yonge maiden he forlih: 300
And sche was tendre and full of drede,
Sche couthe noght hir Maidenhede
Defende, and thus sche hath forlore
The flour which she hath longe bore.
It helpeth noght althogh sche wepe,
For thei that scholde hir bodi kepe
Of wommen were absent as thanne;
And thus this maiden goth to manne,
The wylde fader thus devoureth
His oghne fleissh, which non socoureth, 310
And that was cause of mochel care.
Bot after this unkinde fare
Out of the chambre goth the king,
And sche lay stille, and of this thing,
Withinne hirself such sorghe made,
Ther was no wiht that mihte hir glade,
For feere of thilke horrible vice.
With that cam inne the Norrice
Which fro childhode hire hadde kept,
And axeth if sche hadde slept, 320
And why hire chiere was unglad.
Bot sche, which hath ben overlad
Of that sche myhte noght be wreke,
For schame couthe unethes speke;
And natheles mercy sche preide
With wepende yhe and thus sche seide:
"Helas, mi Soster, waileway,
That evere I sih this ilke day!
Thing which mi bodi ferst begat
Into this world, onliche that 330
Mi worldes worschipe hath bereft."
With that sche swouneth now and eft,
And evere wissheth after deth,
So that welnyh hire lacketh breth.
That other, which hire wordes herde,
In confortinge of hire ansuerde,
To lette hire fadres fol desir
Sche wiste no recoverir:
Whan thing is do, ther is no bote,
So suffren thei that suffre mote; 340
Ther was non other which it wiste.
Thus hath this king al that him liste
Of his likinge and his plesance,
And laste in such continuance,
And such delit he tok therinne,
Him thoghte that it was no Sinne;
And sche dorste him nothing withseie.
Bot fame, which goth every weie,
To sondry regnes al aboute
The grete beaute telleth oute 350
Of such a maide of hih parage:
So that for love of mariage
The worthi Princes come and sende,
As thei the whiche al honour wende,
And knewe nothing hou it stod.
The fader, whanne he understod,
That thei his dowhter thus besoghte,
With al his wit he caste and thoghte
Hou that he myhte finde a lette;
And such a Statut thanne he sette, 360
And in this wise his lawe he taxeth,
That what man that his doghter axeth,
Bot if he couthe his question
Assoile upon suggestion
Of certein thinges that befelle,
The whiche he wolde unto him telle,
He scholde in certein lese his hed.
And thus ther weren manye ded,
Here hevedes stondende on the gate,
Till ate laste longe and late, 370
For lacke of ansuere in the wise,
The remenant that weren wise
Eschuieden to make assay.
Til it befell upon a day
Appolinus the Prince of Tyr,
Which hath to love a gret desir,
As he which in his hihe mod
Was likende of his hote blod,
A yong, a freissh, a lusti knyht,
As he lai musende on a nyht 380
Of the tidinges whiche he herde,
He thoghte assaie hou that it ferde.
He was with worthi compainie
Arraied, and with good navie
To schipe he goth, the wynd him dryveth,
And seileth, til that he arryveth:
Sauf in the port of Antioche
He londeth, and goth to aproche
The kinges Court and his presence.
Of every naturel science, 390
Which eny clerk him couthe teche,
He couthe ynowh, and in his speche
Of wordes he was eloquent;
And whanne he sih the king present,
He preith he moste his dowhter have.
The king ayein began to crave,
And tolde him the condicion,
Hou ferst unto his question
He mote ansuere and faile noght,
Or with his heved it schal be boght: 400
And he him axeth what it was.
The king declareth him the cas
With sturne lok and sturdi chiere,
To him and seide in this manere:
"With felonie I am upbore,
I ete and have it noght forbore
Mi modres fleissh, whos housebonde
Mi fader forto seche I fonde,
Which is the Sone ek of my wif.
Hierof I am inquisitif; 410
And who that can mi tale save,
Al quyt he schal my doghter have;
Of his ansuere and if he faile,
He schal be ded withoute faile.
Forthi my Sone," quod the king,
"Be wel avised of this thing,
Which hath thi lif in jeupartie."
Appolinus for his partie,
Whan he this question hath herd,
Unto the king he hath ansuerd 420
And hath rehersed on and on
The pointz, and seide therupon:
"The question which thou hast spoke,
If thou wolt that it be unloke,
It toucheth al the privete
Betwen thin oghne child and thee,
And stant al hol upon you tuo."
The king was wonder sory tho,
And thoghte, if that he seide it oute,
Than were he schamed al aboute. 430
With slihe wordes and with felle
He seith, "Mi Sone, I schal thee telle,
Though that thou be of litel wit,
It is no gret merveile as yit,
Thin age mai it noght suffise:
Bot loke wel thou noght despise
Thin oghne lif, for of my grace
Of thretty daies fulle a space
I grante thee, to ben avised."
And thus with leve and time assised 440
This yonge Prince forth he wente,
And understod wel what it mente,
Withinne his herte as he was lered,
That forto maken him afered
The king his time hath so deslaied.
Wherof he dradde and was esmaied,
Of treson that he deie scholde,
For he the king his sothe tolde;
And sodeinly the nyhtes tyde,
That more wolde he noght abide, 450
Al prively his barge he hente
And hom ayein to Tyr he wente:
And in his oghne wit he seide
For drede, if he the king bewreide,
He knew so wel the kinges herte,
That deth ne scholde he noght asterte,
The king him wolde so poursuie.
Bot he, that wolde his deth eschuie,
And knew al this tofor the hond,
Forsake he thoghte his oghne lond, 460
That there wolde he noght abyde;
For wel he knew that on som syde
This tirant of his felonie
Be som manere of tricherie
To grieve his bodi wol noght leve.
Forthi withoute take leve,
Als priveliche as evere he myhte,
He goth him to the See be nyhte
In Schipes that be whete laden:
Here takel redy tho thei maden 470
And hale up Seil and forth thei fare.
Bot forto tellen of the care
That thei of Tyr begonne tho,
Whan that thei wiste he was ago,
It is a Pite forto hiere.
They losten lust, they losten chiere,
Thei toke upon hem such penaunce,
Ther was no song, ther was no daunce,
Bot every merthe and melodie
To hem was thanne a maladie; 480
For unlust of that aventure
Ther was noman which tok tonsure,
In doelful clothes thei hem clothe,
The bathes and the Stwes bothe
Thei schetten in be every weie;
There was no lif which leste pleie
Ne take of eny joie kepe,
Bot for here liege lord to wepe;
And every wyht seide as he couthe,
"Helas, the lusti flour of youthe, 490
Our Prince, oure heved, our governour,
Thurgh whom we stoden in honour,
Withoute the comun assent
Thus sodeinliche is fro ous went!"
Such was the clamour of hem alle.
Bot se we now what is befalle
Upon the ferste tale plein,
And torne we therto ayein.
Antiochus the grete Sire,
Which full of rancour and of ire 500
His herte berth, so as ye herde,
Of that this Prince of Tyr ansuerde,
He hadde a feloun bacheler,
Which was his prive consailer,
And Taliart be name he hihte:
The king a strong puison him dihte
Withinne a buiste and gold therto,
In alle haste and bad him go
Strawht unto Tyr, and for no cost
Ne spare he, til he hadde lost 510
The Prince which he wolde spille.
And whan the king hath seid his wille,
This Taliart in a Galeie
With alle haste he tok his weie:
The wynd was good, he saileth blyve,
Til he tok lond upon the ryve
Of Tyr, and forth with al anon
Into the Burgh he gan to gon,
And tok his In and bod a throwe.
Bot for he wolde noght be knowe, 520
Desguised thanne he goth him oute;
He sih the wepinge al aboute,
And axeth what the cause was,
And thei him tolden al the cas,
How sodeinli the Prince is go.
And whan he sih that it was so,
And that his labour was in vein,
Anon he torneth hom ayein,
And to the king, whan he cam nyh,
He tolde of that he herde and syh, 530
Hou that the Prince of Tyr is fled,
So was he come ayein unsped.
The king was sori for a while,
Bot whan he sih that with no wyle
He myhte achieve his crualte,
He stinte his wraththe and let him be.
Bot over this now forto telle
Of aventures that befelle
Unto this Prince of whom I tolde,
He hath his rihte cours forth holde 540
Be Ston and nedle, til he cam
To Tharse, and there his lond he nam.
A Burgeis riche of gold and fee
Was thilke time in that cite,
Which cleped was Strangulio,
His wif was Dionise also:
This yonge Prince, as seith the bok,
With hem his herbergage tok;
And it befell that Cite so
Before time and thanne also, 550
Thurgh strong famyne which hem ladde
Was non that eny whete hadde.
Appolinus, whan that he herde
The meschief, hou the cite ferde,
Al freliche of his oghne yifte
His whete, among hem forto schifte,
The which be Schipe he hadde broght,
He yaf, and tok of hem riht noght.
Bot sithen ferst this world began,
Was nevere yit to such a man 560
Mor joie mad than thei him made:
For thei were alle of him so glade,
That thei for evere in remembrance
Made a figure in resemblance
Of him, and in the comun place
Thei sette him up, so that his face
Mihte every maner man beholde,
So as the cite was beholde;
It was of latoun overgilt:
Thus hath he noght his yifte spilt. 570
Upon a time with his route
This lord to pleie goth him oute,
And in his weie of Tyr he mette
A man, the which on knees him grette,
And Hellican be name he hihte,
Which preide his lord to have insihte
Upon himself, and seide him thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus
Awaiteth if he mihte him spille.
That other thoghte and hield him stille, 580
And thonked him of his warnynge,
And bad him telle no tidinge,
Whan he to Tyr cam hom ayein,
That he in Tharse him hadde sein.
Fortune hath evere be muable
And mai no while stonde stable:
For now it hiheth, now it loweth,
Now stant upriht, now overthroweth,
Now full of blisse and now of bale,
As in the tellinge of mi tale 590
Hierafterward a man mai liere,
Which is gret routhe forto hiere.
This lord, which wolde don his beste,
Withinne himself hath litel reste,
And thoghte he wolde his place change
And seche a contre more strange.
Of Tharsiens his leve anon
He tok, and is to Schipe gon:
His cours he nam with Seil updrawe,
Where as fortune doth the lawe, 600
And scheweth, as I schal reherse,
How sche was to this lord diverse,
The which upon the See sche ferketh.
The wynd aros, the weder derketh,
It blew and made such tempeste,
Non ancher mai the schip areste,
Which hath tobroken al his gere;
The Schipmen stode in such a feere,
Was non that myhte himself bestere,
Bot evere awaite upon the lere, 610
Whan that thei scholde drenche at ones.
Ther was ynowh withinne wones
Of wepinge and of sorghe tho;
This yonge king makth mochel wo
So forto se the Schip travaile:
Bot al that myhte him noght availe;
The mast tobrak, the Seil torof,
The Schip upon the wawes drof,
Til that thei sihe a londes cooste.
Tho made avou the leste and moste, 620
Be so thei myhten come alonde;
Bot he which hath the See on honde,
Neptunus, wolde noght acorde,
Bot altobroke cable and corde,
Er thei to londe myhte aproche,
The Schip toclef upon a roche,
And al goth doun into the depe.
Bot he that alle thing mai kepe
Unto this lord was merciable,
And broghte him sauf upon a table, 630
Which to the lond him hath upbore;
The remenant was al forlore,
Wherof he made mochel mone.
Thus was this yonge lord him one,
Al naked in a povere plit:
His colour, which whilom was whyt,
Was thanne of water fade and pale,
And ek he was so sore acale
That he wiste of himself no bote,
It halp him nothing forto mote 640
To gete ayein that he hath lore.
Bot sche which hath his deth forbore,
Fortune, thogh sche wol noght yelpe,
Al sodeinly hath sent him helpe,
Whanne him thoghte alle grace aweie;
Ther cam a Fisshere in the weie,
And sih a man ther naked stonde,
And whan that he hath understonde
The cause, he hath of him gret routhe,
And onliche of his povere trouthe 650
Of suche clothes as he hadde
With gret Pite this lord he cladde.
And he him thonketh as he scholde,
And seith him that it schal be yolde,
If evere he gete his stat ayein,
And preide that he wolde him sein
If nyh were eny toun for him.
He seide, "Yee, Pentapolim,
Wher bothe king and queene duellen."
Whanne he this tale herde tellen, 660
He gladeth him and gan beseche
That he the weie him wolde teche:
And he him taghte; and forth he wente
And preide god with good entente
To sende him joie after his sorwe.
It was noght passed yit Midmorwe,
Whan thiderward his weie he nam,
Wher sone upon the Non he cam.
He eet such as he myhte gete,
And forth anon, whan he hadde ete, 670
He goth to se the toun aboute,
And cam ther as he fond a route
Of yonge lusti men withalle;
And as it scholde tho befalle,
That day was set of such assisse,
That thei scholde in the londes guise,
As he herde of the poeple seie,
Here comun game thanne pleie;
And crid was that thei scholden come
Unto the gamen alle and some 680
Of hem that ben delivere and wyhte,
To do such maistrie as thei myhte.
Thei made hem naked as thei scholde,
For so that ilke game wolde,
As it was tho custume and us,
Amonges hem was no refus:
The flour of al the toun was there
And of the court also ther were,
And that was in a large place
Riht evene afore the kinges face, 690
Which Artestrathes thanne hihte.
The pley was pleid riht in his sihte,
And who most worthi was of dede
Receive he scholde a certein mede
And in the cite bere a pris.
Appolinus, which war and wys
Of every game couthe an ende,
He thoghte assaie, hou so it wende,
And fell among hem into game:
And there he wan him such a name, 700
So as the king himself acompteth
That he alle othre men surmonteth,
And bar the pris above hem alle.
The king bad that into his halle
At Souper time he schal be broght;
And he cam thanne and lefte it noght,
Withoute compaignie al one:
Was non so semlich of persone,
Of visage and of limes bothe,
If that he hadde what to clothe. 710
At Soupertime natheles
The king amiddes al the pres
Let clepe him up among hem alle,
And bad his Mareschall of halle
To setten him in such degre
That he upon him myhte se.
The king was sone set and served,
And he, which hath his pris deserved
After the kinges oghne word,
Was mad beginne a Middel bord, 720
That bothe king and queene him sihe.
He sat and caste aboute his yhe
And sih the lordes in astat,
And with himself wax in debat
Thenkende what he hadde lore,
And such a sorwe he tok therfore,
That he sat evere stille and thoghte,
As he which of no mete roghte.
The king behield his hevynesse,
And of his grete gentillesse 730
His doghter, which was fair and good
And ate bord before him stod,
As it was thilke time usage,
He bad to gon on his message
And fonde forto make him glad.
And sche dede as hire fader bad,
And goth to him the softe pas
And axeth whenne and what he was,
And preith he scholde his thoghtes leve.
He seith, "Ma Dame, be your leve 740
Mi name is hote Appolinus,
And of mi richesse it is thus,
Upon the See I have it lore.
The contre wher as I was bore,
Wher that my lond is and mi rente,
I lefte at Tyr, whan that I wente:
The worschipe of this worldes aghte,
Unto the god ther I betaghte."
And thus togedre as thei tuo speeke,
The teres runne be his cheeke. 750
The king, which therof tok good kepe,
Hath gret Pite to sen him wepe,
And for his doghter sende ayein,
And preide hir faire and gan to sein
That sche no lengere wolde drecche,
Bot that sche wolde anon forth fecche
Hire harpe and don al that sche can
To glade with that sory man.
And sche to don hir fader heste
Hir harpe fette, and in the feste 760
Upon a Chaier which thei fette
Hirself next to this man sche sette:
With harpe bothe and ek with mouthe
To him sche dede al that sche couthe
To make him chiere, and evere he siketh,
And sche him axeth hou him liketh.
"Ma dame, certes wel," he seide,
"Bot if ye the mesure pleide
Which, if you list, I schal you liere,
It were a glad thing forto hiere." 770
"Ha, lieve sire," tho quod sche,
"Now tak the harpe and let me se
Of what mesure that ye mene."
Tho preith the king, tho preith the queene,
Forth with the lordes alle arewe,
That he som merthe wolde schewe;
He takth the Harpe and in his wise
He tempreth, and of such assise
Singende he harpeth forth withal,
That as a vois celestial 780
Hem thoghte it souneth in here Ere,
As thogh that he an Angel were.
Thei gladen of his melodie,
Bot most of alle the compainie
The kinges doghter, which it herde,
And thoghte ek hou that he ansuerde,
Whan that he was of hire opposed,
Withinne hir herte hath wel supposed
That he is of gret gentilesse.
Hise dedes ben therof witnesse 790
Forth with the wisdom of his lore;
It nedeth noght to seche more,
He myhte noght have such manere,
Of gentil blod bot if he were.
Whanne he hath harped al his fille,
The kinges heste to fulfille,
Awey goth dissh, awey goth cuppe,
Doun goth the bord, the cloth was uppe,
Thei risen and gon out of halle.
The king his chamberlein let calle, 800
And bad that he be alle weie
A chambre for this man pourveie,
Which nyh his oghne chambre be.
"It schal be do, mi lord," quod he.
Appolinus of whom I mene
Tho tok his leve of king and queene
And of the worthi Maide also,
Which preide unto hir fader tho,
That sche myhte of that yonge man
Of tho sciences whiche he can 810
His lore have; and in this wise
The king hir granteth his aprise,
So that himself therto assente.
Thus was acorded er thei wente,
That he with al that evere he may
This yonge faire freisshe May
Of that he couthe scholde enforme;
And full assented in this forme
Thei token leve as for that nyht.
And whanne it was amorwe lyht, 820
Unto this yonge man of Tyr
Of clothes and of good atir
With gold and Selver to despende
This worthi yonge lady sende:
And thus sche made him wel at ese,
And he with al that he can plese
Hire serveth wel and faire ayein.
He tawhte hir til sche was certein
Of Harpe, of Citole and of Rote,
With many a tun and many a note 830
Upon Musique, upon mesure,
And of hire Harpe the temprure
He tawhte hire ek, as he wel couthe.
Bot as men sein that frele is youthe,
With leisir and continuance
This Mayde fell upon a chance,
That love hath mad him a querele
Ayein hire youthe freissh and frele,
That malgre wher sche wole or noght,
Sche mot with al hire hertes thoght 840
To love and to his lawe obeie;
And that sche schal ful sore abeie.
For sche wot nevere what it is,
Bot evere among sche fieleth this:
Thenkende upon this man of Tyr,
Hire herte is hot as eny fyr,
And otherwhile it is acale;
Now is sche red, nou is sche pale
Riht after the condicion
Of hire ymaginacion; 850
Bot evere among hire thoghtes alle,
Sche thoghte, what so mai befalle,
Or that sche lawhe, or that sche wepe,
Sche wolde hire goode name kepe
For feere of wommanysshe schame.
Bot what in ernest and in game,
Sche stant for love in such a plit,
That sche hath lost al appetit
Of mete, of drinke, of nyhtes reste,
As sche that not what is the beste; 860
Bot forto thenken al hir fille
Sche hield hire ofte times stille
Withinne hir chambre, and goth noght oute:
The king was of hire lif in doute,
Which wiste nothing what it mente.
Bot fell a time, as he out wente
To walke, of Princes Sones thre
Ther come and felle to his kne;
And ech of hem in sondri wise
Besoghte and profreth his servise, 870
So that he myhte his doghter have.
The king, which wolde his honour save,
Seith sche is siek, and of that speche
Tho was no time to beseche;
Bot ech of hem do make a bille
He bad, and wryte his oghne wille,
His name, his fader and his good;
And whan sche wiste hou that it stod,
And hadde here billes oversein,
Thei scholden have ansuere ayein. 880
Of this conseil thei weren glad,
And writen as the king hem bad,
And every man his oghne bok
Into the kinges hond betok,
And he it to his dowhter sende,
And preide hir forto make an ende
And wryte ayein hire oghne hond,
Riht as sche in hire herte fond.
The billes weren wel received,
Bot sche hath alle here loves weyved, 890
And thoghte tho was time and space
To put hire in hir fader grace,
And wrot ayein and thus sche saide:
"The schame which is in a Maide
With speche dar noght ben unloke,
Bot in writinge it mai be spoke;
So wryte I to you, fader, thus:
Bot if I have Appolinus,
Of al this world, what so betyde,
I wol non other man abide. 900
And certes if I of him faile,
I wot riht wel withoute faile
Ye schull for me be dowhterles."
This lettre cam, and ther was press
Tofore the king, ther as he stod;
And whan that he it understod,
He yaf hem ansuer by and by,
Bot that was do so prively,
That non of othres conseil wiste.
Thei toke her leve, and wher hem liste 910
Thei wente forth upon here weie.
The king ne wolde noght bewreie
The conseil for no maner hihe,
Bot soffreth til he time sihe:
And whan that he to chambre is come,
He hath unto his conseil nome
This man of Tyr, and let him se
The lettre and al the privete,
The which his dowhter to him sente:
And he his kne to grounde bente 920
And thonketh him and hire also,
And er thei wenten thanne atuo,
With good herte and with good corage
Of full Love and full mariage
The king and he ben hol acorded.
And after, whanne it was recorded
Unto the dowhter hou it stod,
The yifte of al this worldes good
Ne scholde have mad hir half so blythe:
And forth withal the king als swithe, 930
For he wol have hire good assent,
Hath for the queene hir moder sent.
The queene is come, and whan sche herde
Of this matiere hou that it ferde,
Sche syh debat, sche syh desese,
Bot if sche wolde hir dowhter plese,
And is therto assented full.
Which is a dede wonderfull,
For noman knew the sothe cas
Bot he himself, what man he was; 940
And natheles, so as hem thoghte,
Hise dedes to the sothe wroghte
That he was come of gentil blod:
Him lacketh noght bot worldes good,
And as therof is no despeir,
For sche schal ben hire fader heir,
And he was able to governe.
Thus wol thei noght the love werne
Of him and hire in none wise,
Bot ther acorded thei divise 950
The day and time of Mariage.
Wher love is lord of the corage,
Him thenketh longe er that he spede;
Bot ate laste unto the dede
The time is come, and in her wise
With gret offrende and sacrifise
Thei wedde and make a riche feste,
And every thing which was honeste
Withinnen house and ek withoute
It was so don, that al aboute 960
Of gret worschipe, of gret noblesse
Ther cride many a man largesse
Unto the lordes hihe and loude;
The knyhtes that ben yonge and proude,
Thei jouste ferst and after daunce.
The day is go, the nyhtes chaunce
Hath derked al the bryhte Sonne;
This lord, which hath his love wonne,
Is go to bedde with his wif,
Wher as thei ladde a lusti lif, 970
And that was after somdel sene,
For as thei pleiden hem betwene,
Thei gete a child betwen hem tuo,
To whom fell after mochel wo.
Now have I told of the spousailes.
Bot forto speke of the mervailes
Whiche afterward to hem befelle,
It is a wonder forto telle.
It fell adai thei riden oute,
The king and queene and al the route, 980
To pleien hem upon the stronde,
Wher as thei sen toward the londe
A Schip sailende of gret array.
To knowe what it mene may,
Til it be come thei abide;
Than sen thei stonde on every side,
Endlong the schipes bord to schewe,
Of Penonceals a riche rewe.
Thei axen when the ship is come:
Fro Tyr, anon ansuerde some, 990
And over this thei seiden more
The cause why thei comen fore
Was forto seche and forto finde
Appolinus, which was of kinde
Her liege lord: and he appiereth,
And of the tale which he hiereth
He was riht glad; for thei him tolde,
That for vengance, as god it wolde,
Antiochus, as men mai wite,
With thondre and lyhthnynge is forsmite; 1000
His doghter hath the same chaunce,
So be thei bothe in o balance.
"Forthi, oure liege lord, we seie
In name of al the lond, and preie,
That left al other thing to done,
It like you to come sone
And se youre oghne liege men
With othre that ben of youre ken,
That live in longinge and desir
Til ye be come ayein to Tyr." 1010
This tale after the king it hadde
Pentapolim al overspradde,
Ther was no joie forto seche;
For every man it hadde in speche
And seiden alle of on acord,
"A worthi king schal ben oure lord:
That thoghte ous ferst an hevinesse
Is schape ous now to gret gladnesse."
Thus goth the tidinge overal.
Bot nede he mot, that nede schal: 1020
Appolinus his leve tok,
To god and al the lond betok
With al the poeple long and brod,
That he no lenger there abod.
The king and queene sorwe made,
Bot yit somdiel thei weren glade
Of such thing as thei herden tho:
And thus betwen the wel and wo
To schip he goth, his wif with childe,
The which was evere meke and mylde 1030
And wolde noght departe him fro,
Such love was betwen hem tuo.
Lichorida for hire office
Was take, which was a Norrice,
To wende with this yonge wif,
To whom was schape a woful lif.
Withinne a time, as it betidde,
Whan thei were in the See amidde,
Out of the North they sihe a cloude;
The storm aros, the wyndes loude 1040
Thei blewen many a dredful blast,
The welkne was al overcast,
The derke nyht the Sonne hath under,
Ther was a gret tempeste of thunder:
The Mone and ek the Sterres bothe
In blake cloudes thei hem clothe,
Wherof here brihte lok thei hyde.
This yonge ladi wepte and cride,
To whom no confort myhte availe;
Of childe sche began travaile, 1050
Wher sche lay in a Caban clos:
Hire woful lord fro hire aros,
And that was longe er eny morwe,
So that in anguisse and in sorwe
Sche was delivered al be nyhte
And ded in every mannes syhte;
Bot natheles for al this wo
A maide child was bore tho.
Appolinus whan he this knew,
For sorwe a swoune he overthrew, 1060
That noman wiste in him no lif.
And whanne he wok, he seide, "Ha, wif,
Mi lust, mi joie, my desir,
Mi welthe and my recoverir,
Why schal I live, and thou schalt dye?
Ha, thou fortune, I thee deffie,
Nou hast thou do to me thi werste.
Ha, herte, why ne wolt thou berste,
That forth with hire I myhte passe?
Mi peines weren wel the lasse." 1070
In such wepinge and in such cry
His dede wif, which lay him by,
A thousend sithes he hire kiste;
Was nevere man that sih ne wiste
A sorwe unto his sorwe lich;
For evere among upon the lich
He fell swounende, as he that soghte
His oghne deth, which he besoghte
Unto the goddes alle above
With many a pitous word of love; 1080
Bot suche wordes as tho were
Yit herde nevere mannes Ere,
Bot only thilke whiche he seide.
The Maister Schipman cam and preide
With othre suche as be therinne,
And sein that he mai nothing winne
Ayein the deth, bot thei him rede,
He be wel war and tak hiede,
The See be weie of his nature
Receive mai no creature 1090
Withinne himself as forto holde,
The which is ded: forthi thei wolde,
As thei conseilen al aboute,
The dede body casten oute.
For betre it is, thei seiden alle,
That it of hire so befalle,
Than if thei scholden alle spille.
The king, which understod here wille
And knew here conseil that was trewe,
Began ayein his sorwe newe 1100
With pitous herte, and thus to seie:
"It is al reson that ye preie.
I am," quod he, "bot on al one,
So wolde I noght for mi persone
Ther felle such adversite.
Bot whan it mai no betre be,
Doth thanne thus upon my word,
Let make a cofre strong of bord,
That it be ferm with led and pich."
Anon was mad a cofre sich, 1110
Al redy broght unto his hond;
And whanne he sih and redy fond
This cofre mad and wel enclowed,
The dede bodi was besowed
In cloth of gold and leid therinne.
And for he wolde unto hire winne
Upon som cooste a Sepulture,
Under hire heved in aventure
Of gold he leide Sommes grete
And of jeueals a strong beyete 1120
Forth with a lettre, and seide thus:
"I, king of Tyr Appollinus,
Do alle maner men to wite,
That hiere and se this lettre write,
That helpeles withoute red
Hier lith a kinges doghter ded:
And who that happeth hir to finde,
For charite tak in his mynde,
And do so that sche be begrave
With this tresor, which he schal have." 1130
Thus whan the lettre was full spoke,
Thei haue anon the cofre stoke,
And bounden it with yren faste,
That it may with the wawes laste,
And stoppen it be such a weie,
That it schal be withinne dreie,
So that no water myhte it grieve.
And thus in hope and good believe
Of that the corps schal wel aryve,
Thei caste it over bord als blyve. 1140
The Schip forth on the wawes wente;
The prince hath changed his entente,
And seith he wol noght come at Tyr
As thanne, bot al his desir
Is ferst to seilen unto Tharse.
The wyndy Storm began to skarse,
The Sonne arist, the weder cliereth,
The Schipman which behinde stiereth,
Whan that he sih the wyndes saghte,
Towardes Tharse his cours he straghte. 1150
Bot now to mi matiere ayein,
To telle as olde bokes sein,
This dede corps of which ye knowe
With wynd and water was forthrowe
Now hier, now ther, til ate laste
At Ephesim the See upcaste
The cofre and al that was therinne.
Of gret merveile now beginne
Mai hiere who that sitteth stille;
That god wol save mai noght spille. 1160
Riht as the corps was throwe alonde,
Ther cam walkende upon the stronde
A worthi clerc, a Surgien,
And ek a gret Phisicien,
Of al that lond the wisest on,
Which hihte Maister Cerymon;
Ther were of his disciples some.
This Maister to the Cofre is come,
He peiseth ther was somwhat in,
And bad hem bere it to his In, 1170
And goth himselve forth withal.
Al that schal falle, falle schal;
Thei comen hom and tarie noght;
This Cofre is into chambre broght,
Which that thei finde faste stoke,
Bot thei with craft it have unloke.
Thei loken in, where as thei founde
A bodi ded, which was bewounde
In cloth of gold, as I seide er,
The tresor ek thei founden ther 1180
Forth with the lettre, which thei rede.
And tho thei token betre hiede;
Unsowed was the bodi sone,
And he, which knew what is to done,
This noble clerk, with alle haste
Began the veines forto taste,
And sih hire Age was of youthe,
And with the craftes whiche he couthe
He soghte and fond a signe of lif.
With that this worthi kinges wif 1190
Honestely thei token oute,
And maden fyres al aboute;
Thei leide hire on a couche softe,
And with a scheete warmed ofte
Hire colde brest began to hete,
Hire herte also to flacke and bete.
This Maister hath hire every joignt
With certein oile and balsme enoignt,
And putte a liquour in hire mouth,
Which is to fewe clerkes couth, 1200
So that sche coevereth ate laste;
And ferst hire yhen up sche caste,
And whan sche more of strengthe cawhte,
Hire Armes bothe forth sche strawhte,
Hield up hire hond and pitously
Sche spak and seide, "Ha, wher am I?
Where is my lord, what world is this?"
As sche that wot noght hou it is.
Bot Cerymon the worthi leche
Ansuerde anon upon hire speche 1210
And seith, "Ma dame, yee ben hiere,
Where yee be sauf, as yee schal hiere
Hierafterward; forthi as nou
Mi conseil is, conforteth you:
For trusteth wel withoute faile,
Ther is nothing which schal you faile,
That oghte of reson to be do."
Thus passen thei a day or tuo;
Thei speke of noght as for an ende,
Til sche began somdiel amende, 1220
And wiste hireselven what sche mente.
Tho forto knowe hire hol entente,
This Maister axeth al the cas,
Hou sche cam there and what sche was.
"Hou I cam hiere wot I noght,"
Quod sche, "bot wel I am bethoght
Of othre thinges al aboute":
Fro point to point and tolde him oute
Als ferforthli as sche it wiste.
And he hire tolde hou in a kiste 1230
The See hire threw upon the lond,
And what tresor with hire he fond,
Which was al redy at hire wille,
As he that schop him to fulfille
With al his myht what thing he scholde.
Sche thonketh him that he so wolde,
And al hire herte sche discloseth,
And seith him wel that sche supposeth
Hire lord be dreint, hir child also;
So sih sche noght bot alle wo. 1240
Wherof as to the world nomore
Ne wol sche torne, and preith therfore
That in som temple of the Cite,
To kepe and holde hir chastete,
Sche mihte among the wommen duelle.
Whan he this tale hir herde telle,
He was riht glad, and made hire knowen
That he a dowhter of his owen
Hath, which he wol unto hir yive
To serve, whil thei bothe live, 1250
In stede of that which sche hath lost;
Al only at his oghne cost
Sche schal be rendred forth with hire.
She seith, "Grant mercy, lieve sire,
God quite it you, ther I ne may."
And thus thei drive forth the day,
Til time com that sche was hol;
And tho thei take her conseil hol,
To schape upon good ordinance
And make a worthi pourveance 1260
Ayein the day whan thei be veiled.
And thus, whan that thei be conseiled,
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
This lady and the dowhter bothe,
And yolde hem to religion.
The feste and the profession
After the reule of that degre
Was mad with gret solempnete,
Where as Diane is seintefied;
Thus stant this lady justefied 1270
In ordre wher sche thenkth to duelle.
Bot now ayeinward forto telle
In what plit that hire lord stod inne:
He seileth, til that he may winne
The havene of Tharse, as I seide er;
And whanne he was aryved ther,
And it was thurgh the Cite knowe,
Men myhte se withinne a throwe,
As who seith, al the toun at ones,
That come ayein him for the nones, 1280
To yiven him the reverence,
So glad thei were of his presence:
And thogh he were in his corage
Desesed, yit with glad visage
He made hem chiere, and to his In,
Wher he whilom sojourned in,
He goth him straght and was resceived.
And whan the presse of poeple is weived,
He takth his hoste unto him tho,
And seith, "Mi frend Strangulio, 1290
Lo, thus and thus it is befalle,
And thou thiself art on of alle,
Forth with thi wif, whiche I most triste.
Forthi, if it you bothe liste,
My doghter Thaise be youre leve
I thenke schal with you beleve
As for a time; and thus I preie,
That sche be kept be alle weie,
And whan sche hath of age more,
That sche be set to bokes lore. 1300
And this avou to god I make,
That I schal nevere for hir sake
Mi berd for no likinge schave,
Til it befalle that I have
In covenable time of age
Beset hire unto mariage."
Thus thei acorde, and al is wel,
And forto resten him somdel,
As for a while he ther sojorneth,
And thanne he takth his leve and torneth 1310
To Schipe, and goth him hom to Tyr,
Wher every man with gret desir
Awaiteth upon his comynge.
Bot whan the Schip com in seilinge,
And thei perceiven it is he,
Was nevere yit in no cite
Such joie mad as thei tho made;
His herte also began to glade
Of that he sih the poeple glad.
Lo, thus fortune his hap hath lad; 1320
In sondri wise he was travailed,
Bot hou so evere he be assailed,
His latere ende schal be good.
And forto speke hou that it stod
Of Thaise his doghter, wher sche duelleth,
In Tharse, as the Cronique telleth,
Sche was wel kept, sche was wel loked,
Sche was wel tawht, sche was wel boked,
So wel sche spedde hir in hire youthe
That sche of every wisdom couthe, 1330
That forto seche in every lond
So wys an other noman fond,
Ne so wel tawht at mannes yhe.
Bot wo worthe evere fals envie!
For it befell that time so,
A dowhter hath Strangulio,
The which was cleped Philotenne:
Bot fame, which wole evere renne,
Cam al day to hir moder Ere,
And seith, wher evere hir doghter were 1340
With Thayse set in eny place,
The comun vois, the comun grace
Was al upon that other Maide,
And of hir doghter noman saide.
Who wroth but Dionise thanne?
Hire thoghte a thousend yer til whanne
Sche myhte ben of Thaise wreke
Of that sche herde folk so speke.
And fell that ilke same tyde,
That ded was trewe Lychoride, 1350
Which hadde be servant to Thaise,
So that sche was the worse at aise,
For sche hath thanne no servise
Bot only thurgh this Dionise,
Which was hire dedlich Anemie
Thurgh pure treson and envie.
Sche, that of alle sorwe can,
Tho spak unto hire bondeman,
Which cleped was Theophilus,
And made him swere in conseil thus, 1360
That he such time as sche him sette
Schal come Thaise forto fette,
And lede hire oute of alle sihte,
Wher as noman hire helpe myhte,
Upon the Stronde nyh the See,
And there he schal this maiden sle.
This cherles herte is in a traunce,
As he which drad him of vengance
Whan time comth an other day;
Bot yit dorste he noght seie nay, 1370
Bot swor and seide he schal fulfille
Hire hestes at hire oghne wille.
The treson and the time is schape,
So fell it that this cherles knape
Hath lad this maiden ther he wolde
Upon the Stronde, and what sche scholde
Sche was adrad; and he out breide
A rusti swerd and to hir seide,
"Thou schalt be ded." "Helas!" quod sche,
"Why schal I so?" "Lo thus," quod he, 1380
"Mi ladi Dionise hath bede,
Thou schalt be moerdred in this stede."
This Maiden tho for feere schryhte,
And for the love of god almyhte
Sche preith that for a litel stounde
Sche myhte knele upon the grounde,
Toward the hevene forto crave,
Hire wofull Soule if sche mai save:
And with this noise and with this cry,
Out of a barge faste by, 1390
Which hidd was ther on Scomerfare,
Men sterten out and weren ware
Of this feloun,and he to go,
And sche began to crie tho,
"Ha, mercy, help for goddes sake!
Into the barge thei hire take,
As thieves scholde, and forth thei wente.
Upon the See the wynd hem hente,
And malgre wher thei wolde or non,
Tofor the weder forth thei gon, 1400
Ther halp no Seil, ther halp non Ore,
Forstormed and forblowen sore
In gret peril so forth thei dryve,
Til ate laste thei aryve
At Mitelene the Cite.
In havene sauf and whan thei be,
The Maister Schipman made him boun,
And goth him out into the toun,
And profreth Thaise forto selle.
On Leonin it herde telle, 1410
Which Maister of the bordel was,
And bad him gon a redy pas
To fetten hire, and forth he wente,
And Thaise out of his barge he hente,
And to this bordeller hir solde.
And he, that be hire body wolde
Take avantage, let do crye,
That what man wolde his lecherie
Attempte upon hire maidenhede,
Lei doun the gold and he schal spede. 1420
And thus whan he hath crid it oute
In syhte of al the poeple aboute,
He ladde hire to the bordel tho.
No wonder is thogh sche be wo:
Clos in a chambre be hireselve,
Ech after other ten or tuelve
Of yonge men to hire in wente;
Bot such a grace god hire sente,
That for the sorwe which sche made
Was non of hem which pouer hade 1430
To don hire eny vileinie.
This Leonin let evere aspie,
And waiteth after gret beyete;
Bot al for noght, sche was forlete,
That mo men wolde ther noght come.
Whan he therof hath hiede nome,
And knew that sche was yit a maide,
Unto his oghne man he saide,
That he with strengthe ayein hire leve
Tho scholde hir maidenhod bereve. 1440
This man goth in, bot so it ferde,
Whan he hire wofull pleintes herde
And he therof hath take kepe,
Him liste betre forto wepe
Than don oght elles to the game.
And thus sche kepte hirself fro schame,
And kneleth doun to therthe and preide
Unto this man, and thus sche seide:
"If so be that thi maister wolde
That I his gold encresce scholde, 1450
It mai noght falle be this weie:
Bot soffre me to go mi weie
Out of this hous wher I am inne,
And I schal make him forto winne
In som place elles of the toun,
Be so it be religioun,
Wher that honeste wommen duelle.
And thus thou myht thi maister telle,
That whanne I have a chambre there,
Let him do crie ay wyde where, 1460
What lord that hath his doghter diere,
And is in will that sche schal liere
Of such a Scole that is trewe,
I schal hire teche of thinges newe,
Which as non other womman can
In al this lond." And tho this man
Hire tale hath herd, he goth ayein,
And tolde unto his maister plein
That sche hath seid; and therupon,
Whan than he sih beyete non 1470
At the bordel be cause of hire,
He bad his man to gon and spire
A place wher sche myhte abyde,
That he mai winne upon som side
Be that sche can: bot ate leste
Thus was sche sauf fro this tempeste.
He hath hire fro the bordel take,
Bot that was noght for goddes sake,
Bot for the lucre, as sche him tolde.
Now comen tho that comen wolde 1480
Of wommen in her lusty youthe,
To hiere and se what thing sche couthe:
Sche can the wisdom of a clerk,
Sche can of every lusti werk
Which to a gentil womman longeth,
And some of hem sche underfongeth
To the Citole and to the Harpe,
And whom it liketh forto carpe
Proverbes and demandes slyhe,
An other such thei nevere syhe, 1490
Which that science so wel tawhte:
Wherof sche grete yiftes cawhte,
That sche to Leonin hath wonne;
And thus hire name is so begonne
Of sondri thinges that sche techeth,
That al the lond unto hir secheth
Of yonge wommen forto liere.
Nou lete we this maiden hiere,
And speke of Dionise ayein
And of Theophile the vilein, 1500
Of whiche I spak of nou tofore.
Whan Thaise scholde have be forlore,
This false cherl to his lady
Whan he cam hom, al prively
He seith, "Ma Dame, slain I have
This maide Thaise, and is begrave
In prive place, as ye me biede.
Forthi, ma dame, taketh hiede
And kep conseil, hou so it stonde."
This fend, which this hath understonde, 1510
Was glad, and weneth it be soth:
Now herkne, hierafter hou sche doth.
Sche wepth, sche sorweth, sche compleigneth,
And of sieknesse which sche feigneth
Sche seith that Taise sodeinly
Be nyhte is ded, "as sche and I
Togedre lyhen nyh my lord."
Sche was a womman of record,
And al is lieved that sche seith;
And forto yive a more feith, 1520
Hire housebonde and ek sche bothe
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
And made a gret enterrement;
And for the poeple schal be blent,
Of Thaise as for the remembrance,
After the real olde usance
A tumbe of latoun noble and riche
With an ymage unto hir liche
Liggende above therupon
Thei made and sette it up anon. 1530
Hire Epitaffe of good assisse
Was write aboute, and in this wise
It spak: "O yee that this beholde,
Lo, hier lith sche, the which was holde
The faireste and the flour of alle,
Whos name Thai5sis men calle.
The king of Tyr Appolinus
Hire fader was: now lith sche thus.
Fourtiene yer sche was of Age,
Whan deth hir tok to his viage." 1540
Thus was this false treson hidd,
Which afterward was wyde kidd,
As be the tale a man schal hiere.
Bot forto clare mi matiere,
To Tyr I thenke torne ayein,
And telle as the Croniqes sein.
Whan that the king was comen hom,
And hath left in the salte fom
His wif, which he mai noght foryete,
For he som confort wolde gete, 1550
He let somoune a parlement,
To which the lordes were asent;
And of the time he hath ben oute,
He seth the thinges al aboute,
And told hem ek hou he hath fare,
Whil he was out of londe fare;
And preide hem alle to abyde,
For he wolde at the same tyde
Do schape for his wyves mynde,
As he that wol noght ben unkinde. 1560
Solempne was that ilke office,
And riche was the sacrifice,
The feste reali was holde:
And therto was he wel beholde;
For such a wif as he hadde on
In thilke daies was ther non.
Whan this was do, thanne he him thoghte
Upon his doghter, and besoghte
Suche of his lordes as he wolde,
That thei with him to Tharse scholde, 1570
To fette his doghter Taise there:
And thei anon al redy were,
To schip they gon and forth thei wente,
Til thei the havene of Tharse hente.
They londe and faile of that thei seche
Be coverture and sleyhte of speche:
This false man Strangulio,
And Dionise his wif also,
That he the betre trowe myhte,
Thei ladden him to have a sihte 1580
Wher that hir tombe was arraied.
The lasse yit he was mispaied,
And natheles, so as he dorste,
He curseth and seith al the worste
Unto fortune, as to the blinde,
Which can no seker weie finde;
For sche him neweth evere among,
And medleth sorwe with his song.
Bot sithe it mai no betre be,
He thonketh god and forth goth he 1590
Seilende toward Tyr ayein.
Bot sodeinly the wynd and reyn
Begonne upon the See debate,
So that he soffre mot algate
The lawe which Neptune ordeigneth;
Wherof fulofte time he pleigneth,
And hield him wel the more esmaied
Of that he hath tofore assaied.
So that for pure sorwe and care,
Of that he seth his world so fare, 1600
The reste he lefte of his Caban,
That for the conseil of noman
Ayein therinne he nolde come,
Bot hath benethe his place nome,
Wher he wepende al one lay,
Ther as he sih no lyht of day.
And thus tofor the wynd thei dryve,
Til longe and late thei aryve
With gret distresce, as it was sene,
Upon this toun of Mitelene, 1610
Which was a noble cite tho.
And hapneth thilke time so,
The lordes bothe and the comune
The hihe festes of Neptune
Upon the stronde at the rivage,
As it was custumme and usage,
Sollempneliche thei besihe.
Whan thei this strange vessel syhe
Come in, and hath his Seil avaled,
The toun therof hath spoke and taled. 1620
The lord which of the cite was,
Whos name is Athenagoras,
Was there, and seide he wolde se
What Schip it is, and who thei be
That ben therinne: and after sone,
Whan that he sih it was to done,
His barge was for him arraied,
And he goth forth and hath assaied.
He fond the Schip of gret Array,
Bot what thing it amonte may, 1630
He seth thei maden hevy chiere,
Bot wel him thenkth be the manere
That thei be worthi men of blod,
And axeth of hem hou it stod;
And thei him tellen al the cas,
Hou that here lord fordrive was,
And what a sorwe that he made,
Of which ther mai noman him glade.
He preith that he here lord mai se,
Bot thei him tolde it mai noght be, 1640
For he lith in so derk a place,
That ther may no wiht sen his face:
Bot for al that, thogh hem be loth,
He fond the ladre and doun he goth,
And to him spak, bot non ansuere
Ayein of him ne mihte he bere
For oght that he can don or sein;
And thus he goth him up ayein.
Tho was ther spoke in many wise
Amonges hem that weren wise, 1650
Now this, now that, bot ate laste
The wisdom of the toun this caste,
That yonge Taise were asent.
For if ther be amendement
To glade with this woful king,
Sche can so moche of every thing,
That sche schal gladen him anon.
A Messager for hire is gon,
And sche cam with hire Harpe on honde,
And seide hem that sche wolde fonde 1660
Be alle weies that sche can,
To glade with this sory man.
Bot what he was sche wiste noght,
Bot al the Schip hire hath besoght
That sche hire wit on him despende,
In aunter if he myhte amende,
And sein it schal be wel aquit.
Whan sche hath understonden it,
Sche goth hir doun, ther as he lay,
Wher that sche harpeth many a lay 1670
And lich an Angel sang withal;
Bot he nomore than the wal
Tok hiede of eny thing he herde.
And whan sche sih that he so ferde,
Sche falleth with him into wordes,
And telleth him of sondri bordes,
And axeth him demandes strange,
Wherof sche made his herte change,
And to hire speche his Ere he leide
And hath merveile of that sche seide. 1680
For in proverbe and in probleme
Sche spak, and bad he scholde deme
In many soubtil question:
Bot he for no suggestioun
Which toward him sche couthe stere,
He wolde noght o word ansuere,
Bot as a madd man ate laste
His heved wepende awey he caste,
And half in wraththe he bad hire go.
Bot yit sche wolde noght do so, 1690
And in the derke forth sche goth,
Til sche him toucheth, and he wroth,
And after hire with his hond
He smot: and thus whan sche him fond
Desesed, courtaisly sche saide,
"Avoi, mi lord, I am a Maide;
And if ye wiste what I am,
And out of what lignage I cam,
Ye wolde noght be so salvage."
With that he sobreth his corage 1700
And put awey his hevy chiere.