The Knight's Tale
Iamque domos patrias, Sithice post
aspera gentis prelia,laurigero, etc.
[And now (Theseus drawing nigh his) native land in
laurelled car after battling with the Scithian folk, etc.]
859 Whilom, as olde stories tellen us,
Once, as old histories tell us,
860 Ther was a duc that highte Theseus;
There was a duke who was called Theseus;
861 Of Atthenes he was lord and governour,
He was lord and governor of Athens,
862 And in his tyme swich a conquerour
And in his time such a conqueror
863 That gretter was ther noon under the sonne.
That there was no one greater under the sun.
864 Ful many a riche contree hadde he wonne;
Very many a powerful country had he won;
865 What with his wysdom and his chivalrie,
What with his wisdom and his chivalry,
866 He conquered al the regne of Femenye,
He conquered all the land of the Amazons,
867 That whilom was ycleped Scithia,
That once was called Scithia,
868 And weddede the queene Ypolita,
And wedded the queen Ypolita,
869 And broghte hire hoom with hym in his contree
And brought her home with him into his country
870 With muchel glorie and greet solempnytee,
With much glory and great ceremony,
871 And eek hir yonge suster Emelye.
And also her young sister Emelye.
872 And thus with victorie and with melodye
And thus with victory and with festivity
873 Lete I this noble duc to Atthenes ryde,
I leave this noble duke riding to Athens,
874 And al his hoost in armes hym bisyde.
And all his host in arms beside him.
875 And certes, if it nere to long to heere,
And certainly, if it were not too long to hear,
876 I wolde have toold yow fully the manere
I would have told you fully the manner
877 How wonnen was the regne of Femenye
How the reign of Femenye was won
878 By Theseus and by his chivalrye;
By Theseus and by his chivalry;
879 And of the grete bataille for the nones
And of the great battle at that time
880 Bitwixen Atthenes and Amazones;
Between Athenians and Amazons;
881 And how asseged was Ypolita,
And how Ypolita was besieged,
882 The faire, hardy queene of Scithia;
The fair, bold queen of Scithia;
883 And of the feste that was at hir weddynge,
And of the festivity that was at their wedding,
884 And of the tempest at hir hoom-comynge;
And of the storm at her home-coming;
885 But al that thyng I moot as now forbere.
But all that matter I must now forgo.
886 I have, God woot, a large feeld to ere,
I have, God knows, a large field to till,
887 And wayke been the oxen in my plough.
And the oxen in my plow are weak.
888 The remenant of the tale is long ynough.
The remnant of the tale is long enough.
889 I wol nat letten eek noon of this route;
Also I will not hinder any one of this company;
890 Lat every felawe telle his tale aboute,
Let every fellow tell his tale in turn,
891 And lat se now who shal the soper wynne;
And let's see now who shall win the supper;
892 And ther I lefte, I wol ayeyn bigynne.
And where I left off, I will again begin.
893 This duc, of whom I make mencioun,
This duke, of whom I make mention,
894 Whan he was come almoost unto the toun,
When he was come almost unto the town,
895 In al his wele and in his mooste pride,
In all his prosperity and in his most pride,
896 He was war, as he caste his eye aside,
He was aware, as he cast his eye aside,
897 Where that ther kneled in the heighe weye
Where there kneeled in the high way
898 A compaignye of ladyes, tweye and tweye,
A company of ladies, two by two,
899 Ech after oother clad in clothes blake;
Each after another, clad in black clothes;
900 But swich a cry and swich a wo they make
But such a cry and such a woeful (lament) they make
901 That in this world nys creature lyvynge
That in this world is no living creature
902 That herde swich another waymentynge;
That (ever) heard lamentation such as this;
903 And of this cry they nolde nevere stenten
And of this cry they would not ever stop
904 Til they the reynes of his brydel henten.
Until they seized the reins of his bridle.
905 "What folk been ye, that at myn hom-comynge
"What folk are you, who at my homecoming
906 Perturben so my feste with criynge?"
So disturb my festival with crying?"
907 Quod Theseus. "Have ye so greet envye
Said Theseus. "Have you such great envy
908 Of myn honour, that thus compleyne and crye?
Of my honor, (you) who thus lament and cry?
909 Or who hath yow mysboden or offended?
Or who has injured or offended you?
910 And telleth me if it may been amended,
And tell me if it may be remedied,
911 And why that ye been clothed thus in blak."
And why you are clothed thus in black."
912 The eldeste lady of them alle spak,
The eldest lady of them all spoke,
913 Whan she hadde swowned with a deedly cheere,
After she had swooned with (so) deadly a countenance,
914 That it was routhe for to seen and heere;
That it was pitiful to see and hear;
915 She seyde, "Lord, to whom Fortune hath yiven
She said, "Lord, to whom Fortune has given
916 Victorie, and as a conqueror to lyven,
Victory, and (allowed) to live as a conqueror,
917 Nat greveth us youre glorie and youre honour,
Your glory and your honor does not grieve us,
918 But we biseken mercy and socour.
But we beseech (you for) mercy and succor.
919 Have mercy on oure wo and oure distresse!
Have mercy on our woe and our distress!
920 Som drope of pitee, thurgh thy gentillesse,
Some drop of pity, because of thy nobility,
921 Upon us wrecched wommen lat thou falle,
Let thou fall upon us wretched women,
922 For, certes, lord, ther is noon of us alle
For, certainly, lord, there is not one of us all
923 That she ne hath been a duchesse or a queene.
Who has not been a duchesse or a queen.
924 Now be we caytyves, as it is wel seene,
Now we are miserable wretches, as it is easily seen,
925 Thanked be Fortune and hire false wheel,
Thanks be to Fortune and her false wheel,
926 That noon estaat assureth to be weel.
Who assures no estate (will continue) to be well.
927 And certes, lord, to abyden youre presence,
And certainly, lord, to await your presence,
928 Heere in this temple of the goddesse Clemence
Here in this temple of the goddess Clemency
929 We han ben waitynge al this fourtenyght.
We have been waiting all this fortnight.
930 Now help us, lord, sith it is in thy myght.
Now help us, lord, since it is in thy power.
931 "I, wrecche, which that wepe and wayle thus,
"I, wretch, who weep and wail thus,
932 Was whilom wyf to kyng Cappaneus,
Was once wife to king Cappaneus,
933 That starf at Thebes -- cursed be that day! --
Who died at Thebes -- cursed be that day! --
934 And alle we that been in this array
And all of us who are in this condition
935 And maken al this lamentacioun,
And make all this lamentation,
936 We losten alle oure housbondes at that toun,
We lost all our husbands at that town,
937 Whil that the seege theraboute lay.
While the siege lay around it.
938 And yet now the olde Creon -- weylaway! --
And yet now the old Creon -- woe oh woe! --
939 That lord is now of Thebes the citee,
Who is now lord of the city of Thebes,
940 Fulfild of ire and of iniquitee,
Filled with anger and with iniquity,
941 He, for despit and for his tirannye,
He, for spite and for his tyranny,
942 To do the dede bodyes vileynye
To do dishonor to the dead bodies
943 Of alle oure lordes whiche that been yslawe,
Of all our lords who are slain,
944 Hath alle the bodyes on an heep ydrawe,
Has dragged all the bodies in a heap,
945 And wol nat suffren hem, by noon assent,
And will not allow them, not at all,
946 Neither to been yburyed nor ybrent,
Neither to be buried nor burned,
947 But maketh houndes ete them in despit."
But makes hounds eat them as an insult."
948 And with that word, withouten moore respit,
And with that word, without more delay,
949 They fillen gruf and criden pitously,
They fell face down and cried piteously,
950 "Have on us wrecched wommen som mercy,
"Have some mercy on us wretched women,
951 And lat oure sorwe synken in thyn herte."
And let our sorrow sink in thy heart."
952 This gentil duc doun from his courser sterte
This gentle duke leaped down from his war horse
953 With herte pitous, whan he herde them speke.
With compassionate heart, when he heard them speak.
954 Hym thoughte that his herte wolde breke,
It seemed to him that his heart would break,
955 Whan he saugh hem so pitous and so maat,
When he saw them so pitiful and so dejected,
956 That whilom weren of so greet estaat;
That once were of such high rank;
957 And in his armes he hem alle up hente,
And in his arms he caught up them all,
958 And hem conforteth in ful good entente,
And comforts them with very good will,
959 And swoor his ooth, as he was trewe knyght,
And swore his oath, as he was true knight,
960 He wolde doon so ferforthly his myght
(That) he would do his might so completely
961 Upon the tiraunt Creon hem to wreke
To avenge them upon the tyrant Creon
962 That al the peple of Grece sholde speke
That all the people of Greece should speak (about)
963 How Creon was of Theseus yserved
How Creon was treated by Theseus
964 As he that hadde his deeth ful wel deserved.
As one who had very well deserved his death.
965 And right anoon, withouten moore abood,
And right away, without more delay,
966 His baner he desplayeth, and forth rood
He displays his banner, and rode forth
967 To Thebes-ward, and al his hoost biside.
Toward Thebes, and all his army beside (him).
968 No neer Atthenes wolde he go ne ride,
He would not walk nor ride any nearer to Athens,
969 Ne take his ese fully half a day,
Nor take his ease fully half a day,
970 But onward on his wey that nyght he lay,
But that night he lay (camped) on his way,
971 And sente anon Ypolita the queene,
And sent straightway Ypolita the queen,
972 And Emelye, hir yonge suster sheene,
And Emelye, her beautiful young sister,
973 Unto the toun of Atthenes to dwelle,
Unto the town of Athens to dwell,
974 And forth he rit; ther is namoore to telle.
And forth he rides; there is no more to tell.
975 The rede statue of Mars, with spere and targe,
The red statue of Mars, with spear and shield,
976 So shyneth in his white baner large
So shines in his large white banner
977 That alle the feeldes glyteren up and doun;
That all the fields glitter all around;
978 And by his baner born is his penoun
And by his banner is carried his pennon
979 Of gold ful riche, in which ther was ybete
Of very rich gold, in which there was embroidered
980 The Mynotaur, which that he wan in Crete.
The Minotaur, which he defeated in Crete.
981 Thus rit this duc, thus rit this conquerour,
Thus rides this duke, thus rides this conqueror,
982 And in his hoost of chivalrie the flour,
And in his army the flower of chivalry,
983 Til that he cam to Thebes and alighte
Until he came to Thebes and dismounted
984 Faire in a feeld, ther as he thoughte to fighte.
Graciously in a field, where he intended to fight.
985 But shortly for to speken of this thyng,
But briefly to speak of this thing,
986 With Creon, which that was of Thebes kyng,
With Creon, who was king of Thebes,
987 He faught, and slough hym manly as a knyght
He fought, and slew him boldly as a knight
988 In pleyn bataille, and putte the folk to flyght;
In open battle, and put the army to flight;
989 And by assaut he wan the citee after,
And by assault he won the city afterwards,
990 And rente adoun bothe wall and sparre and rafter;
And tore down both wall and beam and rafter;
991 And to the ladyes he restored agayn
And he gave back to the ladies
992 The bones of hir freendes that were slayn,
The bones of their husbands who were slain,
993 To doon obsequies, as was tho the gyse.
To do obsequies, as was then the custom.
994 But it were al to longe for to devyse
But it would be all too long to describe
995 The grete clamour and the waymentynge
The great clamor and the lamentation
996 That the ladyes made at the brennynge
That the ladies made at the burning
997 Of the bodies, and the grete honour
Of the bodies, and the great honor
998 That Theseus, the noble conquerour,
That Theseus, the noble conqueror,
999 Dooth to the ladyes, whan they from hym wente;
Does to the ladies, when they went from him;
1000 But shortly for to telle is myn entente.
But briefly to tell is my intent.
1001 Whan that this worthy duc, this Theseus,
When this worthy duke, this Theseus,
1002 Hath Creon slayn and wonne Thebes thus,
Has slain Creon and thus won Thebes,
1003 Stille in that feeld he took al nyght his reste,
Still in that field he took all night his rest,
1004 And dide with al the contree as hym leste.
And did with all the country as he pleased.
1005 To ransake in the taas of bodyes dede,
To search in the heap of dead bodies,
1006 Hem for to strepe of harneys and of wede,
To strip them of armor and of clothing,
1007 The pilours diden bisynesse and cure
The scavengers took great pains and worked hard
1008 After the bataille and disconfiture.
After the battle and defeat.
1009 And so bifel that in the taas they founde,
And (it) so befell that in the heap they found,
1010 Thurgh-girt with many a grevous blody wounde,
Pierced through with many a grievous bloody wound,
1011 Two yonge knyghtes liggynge by and by,
Two young knights lying side by side,
1012 Bothe in oon armes, wroght ful richely,
Both with the same coat of arms, very richly wrought,
1013 Of whiche two Arcita highte that oon,
Of which two one was called Arcite,
1014 And that oother knyght highte Palamon.
And that other knight was called Palamon.
1015 Nat fully quyke, ne fully dede they were,
They were not fully alive, nor fully dead,
1016 But by hir cote-armures and by hir gere
But by their coats of arms and by their equipment
1017 The heraudes knewe hem best in special
The heralds best knew them in particular
1018 As they that weren of the blood roial
As they that were of the royal blood
1019 Of Thebes, and of sustren two yborn.
Of Thebes, and born of two sisters.
1020 Out of the taas the pilours han hem torn,
The scavengers have pulled them out of the heap,
1021 And han hem caried softe unto the tente
And have carried them softy unto the tent
1022 Of Theseus; and he ful soone hem sente
Of Theseus; and he very soon sent them
1023 To Atthenes, to dwellen in prisoun
To Athens, to dwell in prison
1024 Perpetuelly -- he nolde no raunsoun.
Perpetually -- he would not (accept) any ransom.
1025 And whan this worthy duc hath thus ydon,
And when this worthy duke has thus done,
1026 He took his hoost, and hoom he rit anon
He took his army, and home he rides straightway
1027 With laurer crowned as a conquerour;
As a conqueror crowned with laurel;
1028 And ther he lyveth in joye and in honour
And there he lives in joy and in honor
1029 Terme of his lyf; what nedeth wordes mo?
For the duration of his life; what more words are needed?
1030 And in a tour, in angwissh and in wo,
And in a tower, in anguish and in woe,
1031 This Palamon and his felawe Arcite
This Palamon and his fellow Arcite
1032 For everemoore; ther may no gold hem quite.
For evermore (remain); no gold can ransom them.
1033 This passeth yeer by yeer and day by day,
This passes year by year and day by day,
1034 Till it fil ones, in a morwe of May,
Until it befell once, in a morning of May,
1035 That Emelye, that fairer was to sene
That Emelye, who was fairer to be seen
1036 Than is the lylie upon his stalke grene,
Than is the lily upon its green stalk,
1037 And fressher than the May with floures newe --
And fresher than the May with new flowers --
1038 For with the rose colour stroof hire hewe,
For her hue vied with color of the rose,
1039 I noot which was the fyner of hem two --
I do not know which was the finer of them two --
1040 Er it were day, as was hir wone to do,
Before it was day, as was her custom to do,
1041 She was arisen and al redy dight,
She was arisen and all ready prepared,
1042 For May wole have no slogardie anyght.
For May will have no laziness at night.
1043 The sesoun priketh every gentil herte,
The season urges on every gentle heart,
1044 And maketh it out of his slep to sterte,
And makes it out of its sleep to awake suddenly,
1045 And seith "Arys, and do thyn observaunce."
And says "Arise, and do thy observance."
1046 This maked Emelye have remembraunce
This made Emelye remember
1047 To doon honour to May, and for to ryse.
To do honor to May, and to rise.
1048 Yclothed was she fressh, for to devyse:
She was gaily clothed, so to say:
1049 Hir yelow heer was broyded in a tresse
Her yellow hair was braided in a tress
1050 Bihynde hir bak, a yerde long, I gesse.
Behind her back, a yard long, I guess.
1051 And in the gardyn, at the sonne upriste,
And in the garden, at the rising of the sun,
1052 She walketh up and doun, and as hire liste
She walks up and down, and as she pleases
1053 She gadereth floures, party white and rede,
She gathers flowers, mixed white and red,
1054 To make a subtil gerland for hire hede;
To make an intricate garland for her head;
1055 And as an aungel hevenysshly she soong.
And she sang (as) heavenly as an angel.
1056 The grete tour, that was so thikke and stroong,
The great tower, that was so thick and strong,
1057 Which of the castel was the chief dongeoun
Which was the main fortification of the castle
1058 (Ther as the knyghtes weren in prisoun
(Where the knights were in prison
1059 Of which I tolde yow and tellen shal),
Of which I told yow and shall tell),
1060 Was evene joynant to the gardyn wal
Was just next to the garden wall
1061 Ther as this Emelye hadde hir pleyynge.
Where this Emelye took her pleasure.
1062 Bright was the sonne and cleer that morwenynge,
The sun was bright and clear that morning,
1063 And Palamoun, this woful prisoner,
And Palamon, this woeful prisoner,
1064 As was his wone, by leve of his gayler,
As was his custom, by permission of his jailer,
1065 Was risen and romed in a chambre an heigh,
Had risen and roamed in a chamber on high,
1066 In which he al the noble citee seigh,
In which he saw all the noble city,
1067 And eek the gardyn, ful of braunches grene,
And also the garden, full of green branches,
1068 Ther as this fresshe Emelye the shene
Where this fresh Emelye the bright
1069 Was in hire walk, and romed up and doun.
Was in her walk, and roamed up and down.
1070 This sorweful prisoner, this Palamoun,
This sorrowful prisoner, this Palamon,
1071 Goth in the chambre romynge to and fro
Goes in the chamber roaming to and fro
1072 And to hymself compleynynge of his wo.
And to himself lamenting his woe.
1073 That he was born, ful ofte he seyde, "allas!"
That he was born, full often he said, "alas!"
1074 And so bifel, by aventure or cas,
And so it happened, by chance or accident,
1075 That thurgh a wyndow, thikke of many a barre
That through a window, thickly set with many a bar
1076 Of iren greet and square as any sparre,
Of iron, great and square as any beam,
1077 He cast his eye upon Emelya,
He cast his eye upon Emelye,
1078 And therwithal he bleynte and cride, "A!"
And with that he turned pale and cried, "A!"
1079 As though he stongen were unto the herte.
As though he were stabbed unto the heart.
1080 And with that cry Arcite anon up sterte
And with that cry Arcite immediately leaped up
1081 And seyde, "Cosyn myn, what eyleth thee,
And said, "My cousin, what ails thee,
1082 That art so pale and deedly on to see?
Who art so pale and deadly to look upon?
1083 Why cridestow? Who hath thee doon offence?
Why didst thou cry out? Who has done thee offence?
1084 For Goddes love, taak al in pacience
For the love of God, take all in patience
1085 Oure prisoun, for it may noon oother be.
Our imprisonment, for it may not be otherwise.
1086 Fortune hath yeven us this adversitee.
Fortune has given us this adversity.
1087 Som wikke aspect or disposicioun
Some wicked aspect or disposition
1088 Of Saturne, by som constellacioun,
Of Saturn, by some arrangement of the heavenly bodies,
1089 Hath yeven us this, although we hadde it sworn;
Has given us this, although we had sworn it would not be;
1090 So stood the hevene whan that we were born.
So stood the heavens when we were born.
1091 We moste endure it; this is the short and playn."
We must endure it; this is the short and plain."
1092 This Palamon answerde and seyde agayn,
This Palamon answered and said in reply,
1093 "Cosyn, for sothe, of this opinioun
"Cousin, truly, concerning this opinion
1094 Thow hast a veyn ymaginacioun.
Thou hast a foolish conception.
1095 This prison caused me nat for to crye,
This prison did not cause me to cry out,
1096 But I was hurt right now thurghout myn ye
But I was hurt right now through my eye
1097 Into myn herte, that wol my bane be.
Into my heart, so that it will be the death of me.
1098 The fairnesse of that lady that I see
The fairness of that lady whom I see
1099 Yond in the gardyn romen to and fro
Yonder in the garden roaming to and fro
1100 Is cause of al my criyng and my wo.
Is cause of all my crying and my woe.
1101 I noot wher she be womman or goddesse,
I know not whether she is woman or goddess,
1102 But Venus is it soothly, as I gesse."
But truly it is Venus, as I suppose."
1103 And therwithal on knees doun he fil,
And with that he fell down on his knees,
1104 And seyde, "Venus, if it be thy wil
And said, "Venus, if it be thy will
1105 Yow in this gardyn thus to transfigure
Thus to transfigure yourself in this garden
1106 Bifore me, sorweful, wrecched creature,
Before me, sorrowful, wretched creature,
1107 Out of this prisoun help that we may scapen.
Help that we may escape out of this prison.
1108 And if so be my destynee be shapen
And if it be so that my destiny is shaped
1109 By eterne word to dyen in prisoun,
By eternal decree to die in prison,
1110 Of oure lynage have som compassioun,
Have some compassion on our (noble) lineage
1111 That is so lowe ybroght by tirannye."
Which is brought so low by tyranny."
1112 And with that word Arcite gan espye
And with that word Arcite did see
1113 Wher as this lady romed to and fro,
Where this lady roamed to and fro,
1114 And with that sighte hir beautee hurte hym so,
And with that sight her beauty hurt him so,
1115 That, if that Palamon was wounded sore,
That, if Palamon was sorely wounded,
1116 Arcite is hurt as muche as he, or moore.
Arcite is hurt as much as he, or more.
1117 And with a sigh he seyde pitously,
And with a sigh he said piteously,
1118 "The fresshe beautee sleeth me sodeynly
"The fresh beauty slays me suddenly
1119 Of hire that rometh in the yonder place;
Of her who roams in the yonder place;
1120 And but I have hir mercy and hir grace,
And unless I have her mercy and her grace,
1121 That I may seen hire atte leeste weye,
So that I can at least see her,
1122 I nam but deed; ther nis namoore to seye."
I am as good as dead; there is no more to say."
1123 This Palamon, whan he tho wordes herde,
This Palamon, when he heard those words,
1124 Dispitously he looked and answerde,
Angrily he looked and answered,
1125 "Wheither seistow this in ernest or in pley?"
"Sayest thou this in earnest or in play?"
1126 "Nay," quod Arcite, "in ernest, by my fey!
"Nay," said Arcite, "in earnest, by my faith!
1127 God helpe me so, me list ful yvele pleye."
So help me God, I have no desire to play."
1128 This Palamon gan knytte his browes tweye.
This Palamon did knit his two brows.
1129 "It nere," quod he, "to thee no greet honour
"It would not be," said he, "any great honor to thee
1130 For to be fals, ne for to be traitour
To be false, nor to be traitor
1131 To me, that am thy cosyn and thy brother
To me, who am thy cousin and thy brother
1132 Ysworn ful depe, and ech of us til oother,
Sworn very sincerely, and each of us to the other,
1133 That nevere, for to dyen in the peyne,
That never, though we had to die by torture,
1134 Til that the deeth departe shal us tweyne,
Until death shall part us two,
1135 Neither of us in love to hyndre oother,
Neither of us in love (is) to hinder the other,
1136 Ne in noon oother cas, my leeve brother,
Nor in any other case, my dear brother,
1137 But that thou sholdest trewely forthren me
But rather thou shouldest truly help me
1138 In every cas, as I shal forthren thee --
In every case, as I shall help thee --
1139 This was thyn ooth, and myn also, certeyn;
This was thy oath, and mine also, certainly;
1140 I woot right wel, thou darst it nat withseyn.
I know right well, thou darest not deny it.
1141 Thus artow of my conseil, out of doute,
Thus thou art my trusted confidant, without doubt,
1142 And now thow woldest falsly been aboute
And now thou wouldest falsely be busy preparing
1143 To love my lady, whom I love and serve,
To love my lady, whom I love and serve,
1144 And evere shal til that myn herte sterve.
And ever shall until my heart dies.
1145 Nay, certes, false Arcite, thow shalt nat so.
Nay, certainly, false Arcite, thou shalt not (do) so.
1146 I loved hire first, and tolde thee my wo
I loved hire first, and told thee my woe
1147 As to my conseil and my brother sworn
As to my confidant and my sworn brother
1148 To forthre me, as I have toold biforn.
To further me, as I have told before.
1149 For which thou art ybounden as a knyght
For which thou art bound as a knight
1150 To helpen me, if it lay in thy myght,
To help me, if it lay in thy power,
1151 Or elles artow fals, I dar wel seyn."
Or else thou art false, I dare well say."
1152 This Arcite ful proudly spak ageyn:
This Arcite full proudly spoke in return:
1153 "Thow shalt," quod he, "be rather fals than I;
"Thou shalt," said he, "be rather false than I;
1154 And thou art fals, I telle thee outrely,
And thou art false, I tell thee flatly,
1155 For paramour I loved hire first er thow.
As a mistress I loved her first before thou.
1156 What wiltow seyen? Thou woost nat yet now
What wilt thou say? Thou knowest not yet now
1157 Wheither she be a womman or goddesse!
Whether she is a woman or goddess!
1158 Thyn is affeccioun of hoolynesse,
Thine is a feeling of holiness,
1159 And myn is love as to a creature;
And mine is love as to a creature;
1160 For which I tolde thee myn aventure
For which I told thee my circumstance
1161 As to my cosyn and my brother sworn.
As to my cousin and my sworn brother.
1162 I pose that thow lovedest hire biforn;
I posit (this assumption): that thou lovedest her first;
1163 Wostow nat wel the olde clerkes sawe,
Knowest thou not well the old clerks' saying,
1164 That `who shal yeve a lovere any lawe?'
That `who shall give a lover any law?'
1165 Love is a gretter lawe, by my pan,
Love is a greater law, by my skull,
1166 Than may be yeve to any erthely man;
Than may be given to any earthly man;
1167 And therfore positif lawe and swich decree
And therefore positive (man-made) law and such decree
1168 Is broken al day for love in ech degree.
Is broken every day for love in every way.
1169 A man moot nedes love, maugree his heed;
A man must of necessity love, in spite of all he can do;
1170 He may nat fleen it, thogh he sholde be deed,
He can not flee (from) it, though he should be dead,
1171 Al be she mayde, or wydwe, or elles wyf.
Whether she be maid, or widow, or else wife.
1172 And eek it is nat likly al thy lyf
And also it is not likely all thy life
1173 To stonden in hir grace; namoore shal I;
To stand in her good graces; no more shall I;
1174 For wel thou woost thyselven, verraily,
For well thou thyself knowest, truly,
1175 That thou and I be dampned to prisoun
That thou and I are condemned to prison
1176 Perpetuelly; us gayneth no raunsoun.
Perpetually; no ransom can help us.
1177 We stryve as dide the houndes for the boon;
We strive as the hounds did for the bone;
1178 They foughte al day, and yet hir part was noon.
They fought all day, and yet their share was nothing.
1179 Ther cam a kyte, whil that they were so wrothe,
There came a kite, while they were so angry,
1180 And baar awey the boon bitwixe hem bothe.
And carried away the bone between them both.
1181 And therfore, at the kynges court, my brother,
And therefore, at the king's court, my brother,
1182 Ech man for hymself, ther is noon oother.
Each man for himself, there is no other (way).
1183 Love, if thee list, for I love and ay shal;
Love, if it please thee, for I love and always shall;
1184 And soothly, leeve brother, this is al.
And truly, dear brother, this is all.
1185 Heere in this prisoun moote we endure,
Here in this prison we must endure,
1186 And everich of us take his aventure."
And each one of us take his chance."
1187 Greet was the strif and long bitwix hem tweye,
Great and long was the strife between them two,
1188 If that I hadde leyser for to seye;
If I had leisure to tell (it);
1189 But to th'effect. It happed on a day,
But to the point. It happened on a day,
1190 To telle it yow as shortly as I may,
To tell it to you as briefly as I can,
1191 A worthy duc that highte Perotheus,
A worthy duke that was called Perotheus,
1192 That felawe was unto duc Theseus
Who was a friend to duke Theseus
1193 Syn thilke day that they were children lite,
Since that same time that they were little children,
1194 Was come to Atthenes his felawe to visite,
Had come to Athens to visit his friend,
1195 And for to pleye as he was wont to do;
And to amuse himself as he was accustomed to do;
1196 For in this world he loved no man so,
For in this world he loved no man so (much),
1197 And he loved hym als tendrely agayn.
And he (Theseus) loved him as tenderly in turn.
1198 So wel they lovede, as olde bookes sayn,
So well they loved, as old books say,
1199 That whan that oon was deed, soothly to telle,
That when one was dead, truly to tell,
1200 His felawe wente and soughte hym doun in helle --
His friend went and sought him down in hell --
1201 But of that storie list me nat to write.
But of that story I do not desire to write.
1202 Duc Perotheus loved wel Arcite,
Duke Perotheus loved well Arcite,
1203 And hadde hym knowe at Thebes yeer by yere,
And had known him at Thebes year after year,
1204 And finally at requeste and preyere
And finally at request and prayer
1205 Of Perotheus, withouten any raunsoun,
Of Perotheus, without any ransom,
1206 Duc Theseus hym leet out of prisoun
Duke Theseus let him out of prison
1207 Frely to goon wher that hym liste over al,
Freely to go all over, wherever he wishes,
1208 In swich a gyse as I you tellen shal.
In such a manner as shall I tell you.
1209 This was the forward, pleynly for t'endite,
This was the agreement, plainly to write,
1210 Bitwixen Theseus and hym Arcite:
Between Theseus and this Arcite:
1211 That if so were that Arcite were yfounde
That if it so were that Arcite were found
1212 Evere in his lif, by day or nyght, oo stounde
Ever in his life, by day or night, at any moment
1213 In any contree of this Theseus,
In any country of this Theseus,
1214 And he were caught, it was acorded thus,
And if he were caught, it was agreed thus,
1215 That with a swerd he sholde lese his heed.
That with a sword he should lose his head.
1216 Ther nas noon oother remedie ne reed;
There was no other remedy nor course of action;
1217 But taketh his leve, and homward he him spedde.
But (he) takes his leave, and homeward he sped.
1218 Lat hym be war! His nekke lith to wedde.
Let him be ware! His neck lies as a pledge.
1219 How greet a sorwe suffreth now Arcite!
How great a sorrow now suffers Arcite!
1220 The deeth he feeleth thurgh his herte smyte;
He feels the death smite through his heart;
1221 He wepeth, wayleth, crieth pitously;
He weeps, wails, cries piteously;
1222 To sleen hymself he waiteth prively.
To slay himself he secretly awaits (an opportunity).
1223 He seyde, "Allas that day that I was born!
He said, "Alas that day that I was born!
1224 Now is my prisoun worse than biforn;
Now my prison is worse than before;
1225 Now is me shape eternally to dwelle
Now I am destined eternally to dwell
1226 Noght in purgatorie, but in helle.
Not in purgatory, but in hell.
1227 Allas, that evere knew I Perotheus!
Alas, that ever I knew Perotheus!
1228 For elles hadde I dwelled with Theseus,
For else I would have remained with Theseus,
1229 Yfetered in his prisoun everemo.
Fettered in his prison evermore.
1230 Thanne hadde I been in blisse and nat in wo.
Then would I have been in bliss and not in woe.
1231 Oonly the sighte of hire whom that I serve,
Only the sight of her whom I serve,
1232 Though that I nevere hir grace may deserve,
Though I never can deserve her grace,
1233 Wolde han suffised right ynough for me.
Would have sufficed right enough for me.
1234 O deere cosyn Palamon," quod he,
O dear cousin Palamon," said he,
1235 "Thyn is the victorie of this aventure.
"The victory of this adventure is thine.
1236 Ful blisfully in prison maistow dure --
Very blissfully in prison thou can remain --
1237 In prison? Certes nay, but in paradys!
In prison? Certainly not, but in paradise!
1238 Wel hath Fortune yturned thee the dys,
Well has Fortune turned the dice for thee,
1239 That hast the sighte of hire, and I th'absence.
That hast the sight of her, and I the absence.
1240 For possible is, syn thou hast hire presence,
For it is possible, since thou hast her presence,
1241 And art a knyght, a worthy and an able,
And art a knight, a worthy and an able (one),
1242 That by som cas, syn Fortune is chaungeable,
That by some chance, since Fortune is changeable,
1243 Thow maist to thy desir somtyme atteyne.
Thou mayest sometime attain thy desire.
1244 But I, that am exiled and bareyne
But I, who am exiled and barren
1245 Of alle grace, and in so greet dispeir
Of all grace, and in so great despair
1246 That ther nys erthe, water, fir, ne eir,
That there is not earth, water, fire, nor air,
1247 Ne creature that of hem maked is,
Nor creature that is made of them,
1248 That may me helpe or doon confort in this,
That can help me or do comfort (to me) in this,
1249 Wel oughte I sterve in wanhope and distresse.
Well ought I to die in despair and distress.
1250 Farwel my lif, my lust, and my gladnesse!
Farwell my life, my desire, and my gladness!
1251 "Allas, why pleynen folk so in commune
"Alas, why do folk so commonly complain
1252 On purveiaunce of God, or of Fortune,
About the providence of God, or of Fortune,
1253 That yeveth hem ful ofte in many a gyse
That gives them full often in many a manner
1254 Wel bettre than they kan hemself devyse?
Much better than they can themselves imagine?
1255 Som man desireth for to han richesse,
One man desires to have riches,
1256 That cause is of his mordre or greet siknesse;
Which is the cause of his murder or great sickness;
1257 And som man wolde out of his prisoun fayn,
And one man would happily (go) out of his prison,
1258 That in his hous is of his meynee slayn.
Who is slain in his house by members of his household.
1259 Infinite harmes been in this mateere.
Infinite harms are in this matter.
1260 We witen nat what thing we preyen heere;
We know not what thing we pray for here;
1261 We faren as he that dronke is as a mous.
We act like one who is drunk as a mouse.
1262 A dronke man woot wel he hath an hous,
A drunk man knows well he has a house,
1263 But he noot which the righte wey is thider,
But he does not know which is the right way to it,
1264 And to a dronke man the wey is slider.
And to a drunk man the way is slippery.
1265 And certes, in this world so faren we;
And certainly, so we fare in this world;
1266 We seken faste after felicitee,
We seek eagerly after felicity,
1267 But we goon wrong ful often, trewely.
But we go wrong very often, truly.
1268 Thus may we seyen alle, and namely I,
Thus can we all say, and especially I,
1269 That wende and hadde a greet opinioun
Who supposed and had a firm belief
1270 That if I myghte escapen from prisoun,
That if I might escape from prison,
1271 Thanne hadde I been in joye and parfit heele,
Then I would have been in joy and perfect well-being,
1272 Ther now I am exiled fro my wele.
Whereas now I am exiled from my source of happiness.
1273 Syn that I may nat seen you, Emelye,
Since I can not see you, Emelye,
1274 I nam but deed; ther nys no remedye."
I am as good as dead; there is not any remedy."
1275 Upon that oother syde Palamon,
Upon that other side Palamon,
1276 Whan that he wiste Arcite was agon,
When he knew Arcite was gone,
1277 Swich sorwe he maketh that the grete tour
He makes such sorrow that the great tour
1278 Resouneth of his youlyng and clamour.
Resounds with his yowling and clamor.
1279 The pure fettres on his shynes grete
The great fetters themselves on his shins
1280 Weren of his bittre, salte teeres wete.
Were wet from his bitter, salt tears.
1281 "Allas," quod he, "Arcita, cosyn myn,
"Alas," said he, "Arcite, cousin mine,
1282 Of al oure strif, God woot, the fruyt is thyn.
Of all our strife, God knows, the profit is thine.
1283 Thow walkest now in Thebes at thy large,
Thou walkest freely now in Thebes,
1284 And of my wo thow yevest litel charge.
And thou care little about my woe.
1285 Thou mayst, syn thou hast wisdom and manhede,
Thou mayest, since thou hast wisdom and manhood,
1286 Assemblen alle the folk of oure kynrede,
Assemble all the folk of our family,
1287 And make a werre so sharp on this citee
And make a war so sharp on this city
1288 That by som aventure or some tretee
That by some chance or some treaty
1289 Thow mayst have hire to lady and to wyf
Thou mayest have her as lady and as wife
1290 For whom that I moste nedes lese my lyf.
For whom I must of necessity lose my life.
1291 For, as by wey of possibilitee,
For, as by way of possibility,
1292 Sith thou art at thy large, of prisoun free,
Since thou art at thy liberty, free of prison,
1293 And art a lord, greet is thyn avauntage
And art a lord, thy advantage is great,
1294 Moore than is myn, that sterve here in a cage.
More than is mine, who die here in a cage.
1295 For I moot wepe and wayle, whil I lyve,
For I must weep and wail, while I live,
1296 With al the wo that prison may me yive,
With all the woe that prison may give me,
1297 And eek with peyne that love me yeveth also,
And also with pain that love gives me also,
1298 That doubleth al my torment and my wo."
That doubles all my torment and my woe."
1299 Therwith the fyr of jalousie up sterte
With that the fire of jealousy started up
1300 Withinne his brest, and hente him by the herte
Within his breast, and seized him by the heart
1301 So woodly that he lyk was to biholde
So madly that he was to look upon like
1302 The boxtree or the asshen dede and colde.
The box tree or the ash dead and cold.
1303 Thanne seyde he, "O crueel goddes that governe
Then said he, "O cruel gods that govern
1304 This world with byndyng of youre word eterne,
This world with binding of your eternal word,
1305 And writen in the table of atthamaunt
And write in the table of adamant (hardest of stones)
1306 Youre parlement and youre eterne graunt,
Your decision and your eternal decree,
1307 What is mankynde moore unto you holde
Why is mankind more obligated unto you
1308 Than is the sheep that rouketh in the folde?
Than is the sheep that cowers in the sheepfold?
1309 For slayn is man right as another beest,
For man is slain exactly like another beast,
1310 And dwelleth eek in prison and arreest,
And dwells also in prison and detention,
1311 And hath siknesse and greet adversitee,
And has sickness and great adversity,
1312 And ofte tymes giltelees, pardee.
And often times guiltless, indeed.
1313 "What governance is in this prescience,
"What (sort of) governance is in this foreknowledge,
1314 That giltelees tormenteth innocence?
That torments guiltless innocence?
1315 And yet encresseth this al my penaunce,
And yet this increases all my suffering,
1316 That man is bounden to his observaunce,
That man is bound to his duty,
1317 For Goddes sake, to letten of his wille,
For God's sake, to refrain from his desire,
1318 Ther as a beest may al his lust fulfille.
Whereas a beast may fulfill all his desire.
1319 And whan a beest is deed he hath no peyne;
And when a beast is dead he has no pain;
1320 But man after his deeth moot wepe and pleyne,
But man after his death must weep and lament,
1321 Though in this world he have care and wo.
Though in this world he may have (had) care and woe.
1322 Withouten doute it may stonden so.
Without doubt such is the case.
1323 The answere of this lete I to dyvynys,
The answer to this I leave to theologians,
1324 But wel I woot that in this world greet pyne ys.
But well I know that great pain is in this world.
1325 Allas, I se a serpent or a theef,
Alas, I see a serpent or a thief,
1326 That many a trewe man hath doon mescheef,
That has done mischief to many a true man,
1327 Goon at his large, and where hym list may turne.
Go at his liberty, and can go where he pleases.
1328 But I moot been in prisoun thurgh Saturne,
But I must be in prison because of Saturn,
1329 And eek thurgh Juno, jalous and eek wood,
And also because of Juno, jealous and also mad,
1330 That hath destroyed wel ny al the blood
Who has destroyed well nigh all the blood
1331 Of Thebes with his waste walles wyde;
Of Thebes with its wide devastated walls;
1332 And Venus sleeth me on that oother syde
And Venus slays me on that other side
1333 For jalousie and fere of hym Arcite."
For jealousy and fear of this Arcite."
1334 Now wol I stynte of Palamon a lite,
Now will I cease (speaking of) of Palamon for a little while,
1335 And lete hym in his prisoun stille dwelle,
And leave him to dwell in his prison still,
1336 And of Arcita forth I wol yow telle.
And of Arcite forth I will tell you.
1337 The somer passeth, and the nyghtes longe
The summer passes, and the long nights
1338 Encressen double wise the peynes stronge
Increase doubly the strong pains
1339 Bothe of the lovere and the prisoner.
Both of the lover and the prisoner.
1340 I noot which hath the wofuller mester.
I know not which has the more woeful task.
1341 For, shortly for to seyn, this Palamoun
For, briefly to say (it), this Palamon
1342 Perpetuelly is dampned to prisoun,
Is damned perpetually to prison,
1343 In cheynes and in fettres to been deed;
In chains and in fetters to be dead;
1344 And Arcite is exiled upon his heed
And Arcite is exiled on threat of losing his head
134e For everemo, as out of that contree,
For evermore, out of that country,
1346 Ne nevere mo ne shal his lady see.
Nor nevermore shall see his lady.
1347 Yow loveres axe I now this questioun:
Yow lovers now I ask this question:
1348 Who hath the worse, Arcite or Palamoun?
Who has the worse, Arcite or Palamon?
1349 That oon may seen his lady day by day,
That one may see his lady every day,
1350 But in prison he moot dwelle alway;
But in prison he must always dwell;
1351 That oother wher hym list may ride or go,
That other where he pleases may ride or walk,
1352 But seen his lady shal he nevere mo.
But he shall see his lady nevermore.
1353 Now demeth as yow liste, ye that kan,
Now judge as it pleases you, you who know (of such things),
1354 For I wol telle forth as I bigan.
For I will tell forth as I began.
Explicit prima pars
The first part ends
Sequitur pars secunda
The second part follows
1355 Whan that Arcite to Thebes comen was,
When Arcite was come to Thebes,
1356 Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde "Allas!"
Very often each day he grew faint and said "Alas!"
1357 For seen his lady shal he nevere mo.
For he shall never more see his lady.
1358 And shortly to concluden al his wo,
And shortly to conclude (telling) all his woe,
1359 So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature
So much sorrow never had creature
1360 That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.
That is, or shall (be), while the world may endure.
1361 His slep, his mete, his drynke, is hym biraft,
He is bereft of his sleep, his food, his drink
1362 That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft;
So that he became lean and dry as is a stick;
1363 His eyen holwe and grisly to biholde,
His eyes sunken and grisly to behold,
1364 His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde,
His hue sickly yellow and pale as cold ashes,
1365 And solitarie he was and evere allone,
And he was solitary and ever alone,
1366 And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone;
And wailing all the night, making his moan;
1367 And if he herde song or instrument,
And if he heard song or instrument,
1368 Thanne wolde he wepe, he myghte nat be stent.
Then would he weep, he could not be stopped.
1369 So feble eek were his spiritz, and so lowe,
So feeble also were his spirits, and so low,
1370 And chaunged so, that no man koude knowe
And changed so, that no man could know
1371 His speche nor his voys, though men it herde.
His speech nor his voice, though men heard it.
1372 And in his geere for al the world he ferde
And in his behavior for all the world he fared
1373 Nat oonly lik the loveris maladye
Not only like the lover's malady
1374 Of Hereos, but rather lyk manye,
Of Hereos, but rather like mania,
1375 Engendred of humour malencolik
Engendered by the melancholic humor
1376 Biforen, in his celle fantastik.
In the front lobe, in his imagination.
1377 And shortly, turned was al up so doun
And shortly, all was turned topsy-turvy
1378 Bothe habit and eek disposicioun
Both the physical condition and also the mental disposition
1379 Of hym, this woful lovere daun Arcite.
Of him, this woeful lover dan Arcite.
1380 What sholde I al day of his wo endite?
Why should I all daylong write of his woe?
1381 Whan he endured hadde a yeer or two
When he had endured a year or two
1382 This crueel torment and this peyne and wo,
This cruel torment and this pain and woe,
1383 At Thebes, in his contree, as I seyde,
At Thebes, in his country, as I said,
1384 Upon a nyght in sleep as he hym leyde,
Upon one night as he laid himself in sleep,
1385 Hym thoughte how that the wynged god Mercurie
It seemed to him that the winged god Mercury
1386 Biforn hym stood and bad hym to be murie.
Stood before him and commanded him to be merry.
1387 His slepy yerde in hond he bar uprighte;
His sleep-inducing staff he carried upright in his hand;
1388 An hat he werede upon his heris brighte.
He wore a hat upon his bright hair.
1389 Arrayed was this god, as he took keep,
This god was dressed, as he (Arcite) noticed,
1390 As he was whan that Argus took his sleep;
As he was when he put Argus to sleep;
1391 And seyde hym thus: "To Atthenes shaltou wende,
And said to him thus: "To Athens shalt thou go,
1392 Ther is thee shapen of thy wo an ende."
Where an end of thy woe is destined for thee."
1393 And with that word Arcite wook and sterte.
And with that word Arcite awoke and leaped up.
1394 "Now trewely, hou soore that me smerte,"
"Now truly, however sorely it may pain me,"
1395 Quod he, "to Atthenes right now wol I fare,
Said he, "I will go to Athens right now,
1396 Ne for the drede of deeth shal I nat spare
Nor shall I refrain for the dread of death
1397 To se my lady, that I love and serve.
From seeing my lady, whom I love and serve.
1398 In hire presence I recche nat to sterve."
In her presence I care not if I die."
1399 And with that word he caughte a greet mirour,
And with that word he picked up a large mirror,
1400 And saugh that chaunged was al his colour,
And saw that all his color was changed,
1401 And saugh his visage al in another kynde.
And saw his visage all (changed) to another sort.
1402 And right anon it ran hym in his mynde,
And right away it ran to him in his mind,
1403 That, sith his face was so disfigured
That, since his face was so disfigured
1404 Of maladye the which he hadde endured,
By the malady which he had endured,
1405 He myghte wel, if that he bar hym lowe,
He might well, if he conducted himself humbly,
1406 Lyve in Atthenes everemoore unknowe,
Live in Athens evermore unknown,
1407 And seen his lady wel ny day by day.
And see his lady almost every day.
1408 And right anon he chaunged his array,
And right away he changed his clothing,
1409 And cladde hym as a povre laborer,
And clad himself as a poor laborer,
1410 And al allone, save oonly a squier
And all alone, except only a squire
1411 That knew his privetee and al his cas,
Who knew his private affairs and all his situation,
1412 Which was disgised povrely as he was,
Who was disguised as poorly as he was,
1413 To Atthenes is he goon the nexte way.
To Athens he is gone the nearest way.
1414 And to the court he wente upon a day,
And to the court he went upon a day,
1415 And at the gate he profreth his servyse
And at the gate he offers his service
1416 To drugge and drawe, what so men wol devyse.
To drudge and draw water, whatever men will command.
1417 And shortly of this matere for to seyn,
And shortly to speak of this matter,
1418 He fil in office with a chamberleyn
He was given employment by a household attendant
1419 The which that dwellynge was with Emelye,
Who was dwelling with Emelye,
1420 For he was wys and koude soone espye,
For he was wise and could soon take the measure
1421 Of every servaunt, which that serveth here.
Of every servant, who serves here.
1422 Wel koude he hewen wode, and water bere,
He could well hew wood, and carry water,
1423 For he was yong and myghty for the nones,
For he was young and mighty indeed,
1424 And therto he was long and big of bones
And moreover he was tall and strong of bones
1425 To doon that any wight kan hym devyse.
To do what any one can command him.
1426 A yeer or two he was in this servyse,
A year or two he was in this service,
1427 Page of the chambre of Emelye the brighte,
Page of the chamber of Emelye the bright,
1428 And Philostrate he seyde that he highte.
And he said that he was called Philostrate.
1429 But half so wel biloved a man as he
But half so well beloved a man as he
1430 Ne was ther nevere in court of his degree;
Was never in court (anyone) of his rank;
1431 He was so gentil of condicioun
He was so noble in manner
1432 That thurghout al the court was his renoun.
That his fame was (spread) throughout all the court .
1433 They seyden that it were a charitee
They said that it would be a act of charity
1434 That Theseus wolde enhauncen his degree,
If Theseus would advance his rank,
1435 And putten hym in worshipful servyse,
And put him in noble employment,
1436 Ther as he myghte his vertu excercise.
Where he could exercise his abilities.
1437 And thus withinne a while his name is spronge,
And thus within a short time his fame is sprung,
1438 Bothe of his dedes and his goode tonge,
Both for his deeds and his good speech,
1439 That Theseus hath taken hym so neer
That Theseus has taken him so near
1440 That of his chambre he made hym a squier,
That he has made him a squire of his chamber,
1441 And gaf hym gold to mayntene his degree.
And gave him gold to maintain (a life style suitable to) his rank.
1442 And eek men broghte hym out of his contree,
And also men brought him out of his country,
1443 From yeer to yeer, ful pryvely his rente;
From year to year, very secretly, his income;
1444 But honestly and slyly he it spente,
But properly and slyly he spent it,
1445 That no man wondred how that he it hadde.
So that no man wondered how he acquired it.
1446 And thre yeer in this wise his lif he ladde,
And three years in this manner he led his life,
1447 And bar hym so, in pees and eek in werre,
And conducted himself so that, in peace and also in war,
1448 Ther was no man that Theseus hath derre.
There was no man whom Theseus holds dearer.
1449 And in this blisse lete I now Arcite,
And in this bliss I now leave Arcite,
1450 And speke I wole of Palamon a lite.
And I will speak of Palamon a little.
1451 In derknesse and horrible and strong prisoun
In darkness and horrible and strong imprisonment
1452 Thise seven yeer hath seten Palamoun
These seven years Palamon has sat
1453 Forpyned, what for wo and for distresse.
Wasted by suffering, what for woe and for distress.
1454 Who feeleth double soor and hevynesse
Who feels double pain and sadness
1455 But Palamon, that love destreyneth so
But Palamon, whom love so afflicts
1456 That wood out of his wit he goth for wo?
That he goes mad, out of his wits because of woe?
1457 And eek therto he is a prisoner
And also moreover he is a prisoner
1458 Perpetuelly, noght oonly for a yer.
Perpetually, not just for a year.
1459 Who koude ryme in Englyssh proprely
Who could rime in English properly
1460 His martirdom? For sothe it am nat I;
His martyrdom? In truth it is not I;
1461 Therfore I passe as lightly as I may.
Therefore I pass on as quickly as I can.
1462 It fel that in the seventhe yer, of May
It happened that in the seventh year, of May
1463 The thridde nyght (as olde bookes seyn,
The third night (as old books say,
1464 That al this storie tellen moore pleyn),
That tell all this story more fully),
1465 Were it by aventure or destynee --
Whether it was by chance or fate --
1466 As, whan a thyng is shapen, it shal be --
As, when a thing is pre-ordained, it must be --
1467 That soone after the mydnyght Palamoun,
That soon after midnight Palamon,
1468 By helpyng of a freend, brak his prisoun
With the help of a friend, broke out of his prison
1469 And fleeth the citee faste as he may go.
And flees the city as fast as he can go.
1470 For he hadde yeve his gayler drynke so
For he had so given his jailer drink
1471 Of a clarree maad of a certeyn wyn,
Of a spiced and sweetened drink made of a certain wine,
1472 With nercotikes and opie of Thebes fyn,
With narcotics and pure opium of Thebes,
1473 That al that nyght, thogh that men wolde him shake,
That all that night, though men would shake him,
1474 The gayler sleep; he myghte nat awake.
The jailer slept; he could not awake.
1475 And thus he fleeth as faste as evere he may.
And thus he flees as fast as ever he can.
1476 The nyght was short and faste by the day
The night was short and very close to the day
1477 That nedes cost he moot hymselven hyde,
So that by necessity he must hide himself,
1478 And til a grove faste ther bisyde
And to a grove close by
1479 With dredeful foot thanne stalketh Palamon.
With fearful foot then stalks Palamon.
1480 For, shortly, this was his opinion:
For, shortly, this was his idea:
1481 That in that grove he wolde hym hyde al day,
That in that grove he would hide himself all day,
1482 And in the nyght thanne wolde he take his way
And in the night then he would take his way
1483 To Thebes-ward, his freendes for to preye
Toward Thebes, to pray his friends
1484 On Theseus to helpe him to werreye;
To help him to wage war on Theseus;
1485 And shortly, outher he wolde lese his lif
And shortly, he would either lose his life
1486 Or wynnen Emelye unto his wyf.
Or win Emelye to be his wife.
1487 This is th'effect and his entente pleyn.
This is the purpose and his full intent.
1488 Now wol I turne to Arcite ageyn,
Now I will turn again to Arcite,
1489 That litel wiste how ny that was his care,
That little knew how near his trouble was,
1490 Til that Fortune had broght him in the snare.
To which Fortune had brought him in the snare.
1491 The bisy larke, messager of day,
The busy lark, messenger of day,
1492 Salueth in hir song the morwe gray,
Salutes the morning gray in her song,
1493 And firy Phebus riseth up so bright
And fiery Phoebus rises up so bright
1494 That al the orient laugheth of the light,
That all the orient laughs because of the light,
1495 And with his stremes dryeth in the greves
And with his rays dries in the groves
1496 The silver dropes hangynge on the leves.
The silver drops hanging on the leaves.
1497 And Arcita, that in the court roial
And Arcite, who in the royal court
1498 With Theseus is principal squier,
With Theseus is chief squire,
1499 Is risen and looketh on the myrie day.
Is risen and looks on the merry day.
1500 And for to doon his observaunce to May,
And to do his observance to May,
1501 Remembrynge on the poynt of his desir,
Meditating on the object of his desire,
1502 He on a courser, startlynge as the fir,
He on a war horse, leaping about like the fire,
1503 Is riden into the feeldes hym to pleye,
Has ridden into the fields to amuse himself,
1504 Out of the court, were it a myle or tweye.
Out of the court, about a mile or two.
1505 And to the grove of which that I yow tolde
And to the grove of which I told you
1506 By aventure his wey he gan to holde
By chance he began to hold his way
1507 To maken hym a gerland of the greves,
To make himself a garland of the branches,
1508 Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves,
Were it of woodbine or hawthorn leaves,
1509 And loude he song ayeyn the sonne shene:
And loud he sang in the bright sun:
1510 "May, with alle thy floures and thy grene,
"May, with all thy flowers and thy greenery,
1511 Welcome be thou, faire, fresshe May,
Welcome be thou, fair, fresh May,
1512 In hope that I som grene gete may."
In hope that I can get something green."
1513 And from his courser, with a lusty herte,
And from his war horse, with an eager heart,
1514 Into the grove ful hastily he sterte,
He rushed into the grove hastily,
1515 And in a path he rometh up and doun,
And in a path he roams up and down,
1516 Ther as by aventure this Palamoun
Where by chance this Palamon
1517 Was in a bussh, that no man myghte hym se,
Was in a thicket, so that no man could see him,
1518 For soore afered of his deeth was he.
For he was sorely afraid of his death.
1519 No thyng ne knew he that it was Arcite;
In no way did he know that it was Arcite;
1520 God woot he wolde have trowed it ful lite.
God knows he would scarcely have believed it
1521 But sooth is seyd, go sithen many yeres,
But truly it is said, since many years ago,
1522 That "feeld hath eyen and the wode hath eres."
That "field has eyes and the wood has ears."
1523 It is ful fair a man to bere hym evene,
It is very good for a man to act calmly,
1524 For al day meeteth men at unset stevene.
For every day people meet at unexpected times.
1525 Ful litel woot Arcite of his felawe,
Arcite knows full little of his fellow,
1526 That was so ny to herknen al his sawe,
Who was near enough to hear all his speech,
1527 For in the bussh he sitteth now ful stille.
For in the thicket he sits now very still.
1528 Whan that Arcite hadde romed al his fille,
When Arcite had roamed all his fill,
1529 And songen al the roundel lustily,
And sung all the rondel cheerfully,
1530 Into a studie he fil sodeynly,
nbsp; He fell suddenly into a state of anxiety,
1531 As doon thise loveres in hir queynte geres,
As these lovers do in their strange manners,
1532 Now in the crope, now doun in the breres,
Now in the tree top, now down in the briars,
1533 Now up, now doun, as boket in a welle.
Now up, now down, like a bucket in a well.
1534 Right as the Friday, soothly for to telle,
Exactly like the Friday, truly for to tell,
1535 Now it shyneth, now it reyneth faste,
Now it shines, now it rains hard,
1536 Right so kan geery Venus overcaste
Just so can fickle Venus sadden
1537 The hertes of hir folk; right as hir day
The hearts of her folk; just as her day
1538 Is gereful, right so chaungeth she array.
Is changeable, just so she changes her array.
1539 Selde is the Friday al the wowke ylike.
Friday is seldom like all the rest of the week.
1540 Whan that Arcite had songe, he gan to sike
When Arcite had sung, he began to sigh
1541 And sette hym doun withouten any moore.
And sat himself down without any more.
1542 "Allas," quod he, "that day that I was bore!
"Alas," he said, "that day that I was born!
1543 How longe, Juno, thurgh thy crueltee,
How long, Juno, through thy cruelty,
1544 Woltow werreyen Thebes the citee?
Wilt thou make war on the city of Thebes?
1545 Allas, ybroght is to confusioun
Alas, to ruin is brought
1546 The blood roial of Cadme and Amphioun --
The royal blood of Cadmus and Amphion --
1547 Of Cadmus, which that was the firste man
Of Cadmus, who was the first man
1548 That Thebes bulte, or first the toun bigan,
Who built Thebes, before the town first began,
1549 And of the citee first was crouned kyng.
And first was crowned king of the city.
1550 Of his lynage am I and his ofspryng
I am of his lineage and his offspring
1551 By verray ligne, as of the stok roial,
By true lineage, of the royal family,
1552 And now I am so caytyf and so thral,
And now I am so wretched and so enslaved,
1553 That he that is my mortal enemy,
That he who is my mortal enemy,
1554 I serve hym as his squier povrely.
I meekly serve him as his squire.
1555 And yet dooth Juno me wel moore shame,
And yet Juno does me much more shame,
1556 For I dar noght biknowe myn owene name;
For I dare not acknowledge my own name;
1557 But ther as I was wont to highte Arcite,
But whereas I was accustomed to be called Arcite,
1558 Now highte I Philostrate, noght worth a myte.
Now I am called Philostrate, not worth a penny.
1559 Allas, thou felle Mars! Allas, Juno!
Alas, thou fierce Mars! Alas, Juno!
1560 Thus hath youre ire oure lynage al fordo,
Thus has your anger destroyed all our lineage,
1561 Save oonly me and wrecched Palamoun,
Save only me and wretched Palamon,
1562 That Theseus martireth in prisoun.
Whom Theseus torments in prison.
1563 And over al this, to sleen me outrely
And in addition to all this, to slay me utterly
1564 Love hath his firy dart so brennyngly
Love has his fiery dart so ardently
1565 Ystiked thurgh my trewe, careful herte
Stabbed through my faithful, sorrowful heart
1566 That shapen was my deeth erst than my sherte.
That my death was destined before my first garment was made.
1567 Ye sleen me with youre eyen, Emelye!
You slay me with your eyes, Emelye!
1568 Ye been the cause wherfore that I dye.
You are the cause by which I die.
1569 Of al the remenant of myn oother care
Of all the rest of my other troubles
1570 Ne sette I nat the montance of a tare,
I do not reckon at the value of a weed,
1571 So that I koude doon aught to youre plesaunce."
Provided that I could do anything to please you."
1572 And with that word he fil doun in a traunce
And with that word he fell down in a trance
1573 A longe tyme, and after he up sterte.
A long time, and afterwards he leaped up.
1574 This Palamoun, that thoughte that thurgh his herte
This Palamon, that thought that through his heart
1575 He felte a coold swerd sodeynliche glyde,
He felt a cold sword suddenly glide,
1576 For ire he quook; no lenger wolde he byde.
For anger he trembled; no longer would he wait.
1577 And whan that he had herd Arcites tale,
And when he had heard Arcite's tale,
1578 As he were wood, with face deed and pale,
As if he were mad, with face dead and pale,
1579 He stirte hym up out of the buskes thikke
He leaped up out of the thick bushes
1580 And seide: "Arcite, false traytour wikke,
And said: "Arcite, false, wicked traitor,
1581 Now artow hent, that lovest my lady so,
Now art thou taken, who lovest my lady so,
1582 For whom that I have al this peyne and wo,
For whom that I have all this pain and woe,
1583 And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
And art of my blood, and sworn to be in my confidence,
1584 As I ful ofte have told thee heerbiforn,
As I full often have told thee before now,
1585 And hast byjaped heere duc Theseus,
And hast tricked here duke Theseus,
1586 And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus!
And thus hast falsely changed thy name!
1587 I wol be deed, or elles thou shalt dye.
I will be dead, or else thou shalt die.
1588 Thou shalt nat love my lady Emelye,
Thou shalt not love my lady Emelye,
1589 But I wol love hire oonly and namo;
But I will love her only and no other;
1590 For I am Palamon, thy mortal foo.
For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.
1591 And though that I no wepene have in this place,
And though I have no weapon in this place,
1592 But out of prison am astert by grace,
But out of prison am escaped by good luck,
1593 I drede noght that outher thow shalt dye,
I doubt not that either thou shalt dye,
1594 Or thow ne shalt nat loven Emelye.
Either thou shalt not love Emelye,
1595 Chees which thou wolt, or thou shalt nat asterte!"
Choose which thou wish, or thou shalt not escape!"
1596 This Arcite, with ful despitous herte,
This Arcite, with full spiteful heart,
1597 Whan he hym knew, and hadde his tale herd,
When he knew him, and had heard his tale,
1598 As fiers as leon pulled out his swerd,
As fierce as a lion pulled out his sword,
1599 And seyde thus: "By God that sit above,
And said thus: "By God who sits above,
1600 Nere it that thou art sik and wood for love,
Were it not that thou art sick and mad for love,
1601 And eek that thow no wepne hast in this place,
And also because thou hast no weapon in this place,
1602 Thou sholdest nevere out of this grove pace,
Thou shouldest never walk out of this grove,
1603 That thou ne sholdest dyen of myn hond.
Rather thou shouldest die of my hand.
1604 For I defye the seurete and the bond
For I repudiate the pledge and the bond
1605 Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
Which thou sayest that I have made to thee.
1606 What! Verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
Lo! True fool, think well that love is free,
1607 And I wol love hire maugree al thy myght!
And I will love her in spite of all thy might!
1608 But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght
But for as much as thou art a worthy knight
1609 And wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille,
And desire to decide the right to her by battle,
1610 Have heer my trouthe; tomorwe I wol nat faille,
Have here my pledge; tomorrow I will not fail,
1611 Withoute wityng of any oother wight,
Without the knowledge of any other person,
1612 That heere I wol be founden as a knyght,
But here I will be found as a knight,
1613 And bryngen harneys right ynough for thee;
And bring armor right enough for thee;
1614 And ches the beste, and leef the worste for me.
And choose the best, and leave the worst for me.
1615 And mete and drynke this nyght wol I brynge
And food and drink this night will I bring
1616 Ynough for thee, and clothes for thy beddynge.
Enough for thee, and bed-clothes for thy bedding.
1617 And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
And if it so be that thou win my lady,
1618 And sle me in this wode ther I am inne,
And slay me in this wood where I am in,
1619 Thow mayst wel have thy lady as for me."
Thou mayest well have thy lady as far as I am concerned."
1620 This Palamon answerde, "I graunte it thee."
This Palamon answered, "I agree."
1621 And thus they been departed til amorwe,
And thus they are departed until morning,
1622 Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.
When each of them had laid his faith as a pledge.
1623 O Cupide, out of alle charitee!
O Cupid, devoid of all kindness to others!
1624 O regne, that wolt no felawe have with thee!
O reign, that will have no partner with thee!
1625 Ful sooth is seyd that love ne lordshipe
Full truly it is said that love nor lordship
1626 Wol noght, his thankes, have no felaweshipe.
Will not, willingly, have any partnership.
1627 Wel fynden that Arcite and Palamoun.
Arcite and Palamon well find that (to be true).
1628 Arcite is riden anon unto the toun,
Arcite has ridden immediately into the town,
1629 And on the morwe, er it were dayes light,
And on the morning, before it was day's light,
1630 Ful prively two harneys hath he dight,
Very secretly he has prepared two sets of armor,
1631 Bothe suffisaunt and mete to darreyne
Both sufficient and suitable to decide
1632 The bataille in the feeld bitwix hem tweyne;
The battle in the field between them two;
1633 And on his hors, allone as he was born,
And on his horse, alone as he was born,
1634 He carieth al the harneys hym biforn.
He carries all the armor before him.
1635 And in the grove, at tyme and place yset,
And in the grove, at time and place set,
1636 This Arcite and this Palamon ben met.
This Arcite and this Palamon are met.
1637 To chaungen gan the colour in hir face;
The color in their faces began to change;
1638 Right as the hunters in the regne of Trace,
Just as the hunters in the reign of Thrace,
1639 That stondeth at the gappe with a spere,
He who stands at the gap in the forrest with a spear,
1640 Whan hunted is the leon or the bere,
When the lion or the bear is hunted,
1641 And hereth hym come russhyng in the greves,
And hears him come rushing in the bushes,
1642 And breketh bothe bowes and the leves,
And breaks both boughs and the leaves,
1643 And thynketh, "Heere cometh my mortal enemy!
And thinks, "Here comes my mortal enemy!
1644 Withoute faille, he moot be deed, or I,
Without fail, he must be dead, or I,
1645 For outher I moot sleen hym at the gappe,
For either I must slay him at the gap,
1646 Or he moot sleen me, if that me myshappe."
Or he must slay me, if I suffer misfortune."
1647 So ferden they in chaungyng of hir hewe,
So fared they in changing colors of their faces,
1648 As fer as everich of hem oother knewe.
When each of them knew the other.
1649 Ther nas no good day, ne no saluyng,
There was no 'good day,' nor no salutations,
1650 But streight, withouten word or rehersyng,
But straightway, without word or conversing,
1651 Everich of hem heelp for to armen oother
Each one of them helped to arm the other
1652 As freendly as he were his owene brother;
As friendly as if he were his own brother;
1653 And after that, with sharpe speres stronge
And after that, with sharp strong spears
1654 They foynen ech at oother wonder longe.
They thrust at each other a wonderfully long time.
1655 Thou myghtest wene that this Palamon
Thou mightest suppose that this Palamon
1656 In his fightyng were a wood leon,
In his fighting was a mad lion,
1657 And as a crueel tigre was Arcite;
And Arcite was like a cruel tiger;
1658 As wilde bores gonne they to smyte,
They began to smite like wild boars,
1659 That frothen whit as foom for ire wood.
That froth at the mouth white as foam for mad anger.
1660 Up to the ancle foghte they in hir blood.
They fought up to the ankle in their blood.
1661 And in this wise I lete hem fightyng dwelle,
And in this manner I leave them to remain fighting,
1662 And forth I wole of Theseus yow telle.
And forth I will tell you of Theseus.
1663 The destinee, ministre general,
The destiny, general minister,
1664 That executeth in the world over al
That executes in the world everywhere
1665 The purveiaunce that God hath seyn biforn,
The providence that God has foreseen,
1666 So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
1667 The contrarie of a thyng by ye or nay,
The contrary of a thing by yes or no,
1668 Yet somtyme it shal fallen on a day
Yet sometimes it shall happen on one day
1669 That falleth nat eft withinne a thousand yeer.
That happens not again in a thousand years.
1670 For certeinly, oure appetites heer,
For certainly, our desires here,
1671 Be it of werre, or pees, or hate, or love,
Be it of war, or peace, or hate, or love,
1672 Al is this reuled by the sighte above.
All this is ruled by the foresight above.
1673 This mene I now by myghty Theseus,
I mean this now in regard to mighty Theseus,
1674 That for to hunten is so desirus,
Who is so desirous to hunt,
1675 And namely at the grete hert in May,
And especially at the large hart in May,
1676 That in his bed ther daweth hym no day
That in his bed there dawns for him no day
1677 That he nys clad, and redy for to ryde
That he is not clad, and ready to ride
1678 With hunte and horn and houndes hym bisyde.
With huntsman and horn and hounds beside him.
1679 For in his huntyng hath he swich delit
For in his hunting he has such delight
1680 That it is al his joye and appetit
That it is all his joy and desire
1681 To been hymself the grete hertes bane,
To be himself the large hart's slayer,
1682 For after Mars he serveth now Dyane.
For next to Mars he now serves Diana.
1683 Cleer was the day, as I have toold er this,
The day was clear, as I have told before this,
1684 And Theseus with alle joye and blis,
And Theseus with all joy and bliss,
1685 With his Ypolita, the faire queene,
With his Ypolita, the faire queen,
1686 And Emelye, clothed al in grene,
And Emelye, clothed all in green,
1687 On huntyng be they riden roially.
On hunting they are ridden royally.
1688 And to the grove that stood ful faste by,
And to the grove that stood very close by,
1689 In which ther was an hert, as men hym tolde,
In which there was a hart, so people told him,
1690 Duc Theseus the streighte wey hath holde.
Duke Theseus has held the straight way.
1691 And to the launde he rideth hym ful right,
And directly to the glade he rides,
1692 For thider was the hert wont have his flight,
For through there the hart was accustomed to take his escape,
1693 And over a brook, and so forth on his weye.
And (flee) over a brook, and so forth on his way.
1694 This duc wol han a cours at hym or tweye
This duke will have a run or two at him
1695 With houndes swiche as that hym list comaunde.
With such hounds as he pleases to command.
1696 And whan this duc was come unto the launde,
And when this duke was come unto the glade,
1697 Under the sonne he looketh, and anon
He looks toward the sun, and immediately
1698 He was war of Arcite and Palamon,
He was aware of Arcite and Palamon,
1699 That foughten breme as it were bores two.
Who fought as fiercely as if it were two wild boars.
1700 The brighte swerdes wenten to and fro
The bright swords went to and fro
1701 So hidously that with the leeste strook
So hideously that with the weakest stroke
1702 It semed as it wolde felle an ook.
It seemed as if it would fell an oak.
1703 But what they were, no thyng he ne woot.
But who they were, he knew nothing.
1704 This duc his courser with his spores smoot,
This duke smote his warhorse with his spurs,
1705 And at a stert he was bitwix hem two,
And with a sudden leap he was between them two,
1706 And pulled out a swerd and cride, "Hoo!
And pulled out a sword and cried, "Stop!
1707 Namoore, up peyne of lesynge of youre heed!
No more, on the penalty of the loss of your head!
1708 By myghty Mars, he shal anon be deed
By mighty Mars, he shall at once be dead
1709 That smyteth any strook that I may seen.
Who smites any stroke that I can see.
1710 But telleth me what myster men ye been,
But tell me what sort of men you are,
1711 That been so hardy for to fighten heere
Who are so bold as to fight here
1712 Withouten juge or oother officere,
Without judge or other officer,
1713 As it were in a lystes roially."
As it would be in a properly conducted duel,"
1714 This Palamon answerde hastily
This Palamon answered hastily
1715 And seyde, "Sire, what nedeth wordes mo?
And said, "Sire, what more words are needed?
1716 We have the deeth disserved bothe two.
We have deserved the death, both of us two.
1717 Two woful wrecches been we, two caytyves,
Two woeful wretches are we, two miserable people,
1718 That been encombred of oure owene lyves;
Who are burdened down by our own lives;
1719 And as thou art a rightful lord and juge,
And as thou art a rightful lord and judge,
1720 Ne yif us neither mercy ne refuge,
Give us neither mercy nor refuge,
1721 But sle me first, for seinte charitee!
But slay me first, by holy charity!
1722 But sle my felawe eek as wel as me;
But slay my fellow also as well as me;
1723 Or sle hym first, for though thow knowest it lite,
Or slay him first, for though thou little knowest it,
1724 This is thy mortal foo, this is Arcite,
This is thy mortal foe, this is Arcite,
1725 That fro thy lond is banysshed on his heed,
Who is banished from thy land on (pain of losing) his head,
1726 For which he hath deserved to be deed.
For which he has deserved to be dead.
1727 For this is he that cam unto thy gate
For this is he that came unto thy gate
1728 And seyde that he highte Philostrate.
And said that he was called Philostrate.
1729 Thus hath he japed thee ful many a yer,
Thus has he tricked thee for many years,
1730 And thou hast maked hym thy chief squier;
And thou hast made him thy chief squire;
1731 And this is he that loveth Emelye.
And this is he that loves Emelye.
1732 For sith the day is come that I shal dye,
For since the day is come that I must dye,
1733 I make pleynly my confessioun
I make plainly my confession
1734 That I am thilke woful Palamoun
That I am that same woeful Palamon
1735 That hath thy prisoun broken wikkedly.
That wickedly has broken (out of) thy prison.
1736 I am thy mortal foo, and it am I
I am thy mortal foe, and it is I
1737 That loveth so hoote Emelye the brighte
Who loves the beautiful Emelye so passionately
1738 That I wol dye present in hir sighte.
That I will die at this moment in her sight.
1739 Wherfore I axe deeth and my juwise;
Therefore I ask death and my judicial sentence;
1740 But sle my felawe in the same wise,
But slay my fellow in the same way,
1741 For bothe han we deserved to be slayn."
For we have both deserved to be slain."
1742 This worthy duc answerde anon agayn,
This worthy duke answered at once in reply,
1743 And seyde, "This is a short conclusioun.
And said, "This is a brief (easy) decision.
1744 Youre owene mouth, by youre confessioun,
Your own mouth, by your confession,
1745 Hath dampned yow, and I wol it recorde;
Has condemned you, and I will pronounce it;
1746 It nedeth noght to pyne yow with the corde.
There is no deed to torture you with the cord.
1747 Ye shal be deed, by myghty Mars the rede!"
You shall be dead, by mighty Mars the red!"
1748 The queene anon, for verray wommanhede,
The queen at once, for true womanliness,
1749 Gan for to wepe, and so dide Emelye,
Began to weep, and so did Emelye,
1750 And alle the ladyes in the compaignye.
And all the ladies in the company.
1751 Greet pitee was it, as it thoughte hem alle,
Great pity was it, as it seemed to them all,
1752 That evere swich a chaunce sholde falle,
That ever such a misfortune should occur,
1753 For gentil men they were of greet estaat,
For they were gentle men of high rank,
1754 And no thyng but for love was this debaat;
And this debate was for nothing but love;
1755 And saugh hir blody woundes wyde and soore,
And saw their bloody wounds wide and sore,
1756 And alle crieden, bothe lasse and moore,
And all cried, both low ranking and high,
1757 "Have mercy, Lord, upon us wommen alle!"
"Have mercy, Lord, upon all of us women!"
1758 And on hir bare knees adoun they falle
And they fall down on their bare knees
1759 And wolde have kist his feet ther as he stood;
And would have kissed his feet there where he stood;
1760 Til at the laste aslaked was his mood,
Until at the last his mood was calmed,
1761 For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte.
For pity comes soon to a gentle heart.
1762 And though he first for ire quook and sterte,
And though he first for anger shook and trembled,
1763 He hath considered shortly, in a clause,
He has considered shortly, in brief,
1764 The trespas of hem bothe, and eek the cause,
The trespass of them both, and also the cause,
1765 And although that his ire hir gilt accused,
And although his anger reproached them for their guilt,
1766 Yet in his resoun he hem bothe excused,
Yet in his reason he excused them both,
1767 As thus: he thoghte wel that every man
As thus: he thought well that every man
1768 Wol helpe hymself in love, if that he kan,
Will help himself in love, if he can,
1769 And eek delivere hymself out of prisoun.
And also deliver himself out of prison.
1770 And eek his herte hadde compassioun
And also his heart had compassion
1771 Of wommen, for they wepen evere in oon,
Of women, for they weep continually,
1772 And in his gentil herte he thoughte anon,
And in his gentle heart he thought straightway,
1773 And softe unto hymself he seyde, "Fy
And softly to himself he said, "Fie
1774 Upon a lord that wol have no mercy,
Upon a lord that will have no mercy,
1775 But been a leon, bothe in word and dede,
But be a lion, both in word and deed,
1776 To hem that been in repentaunce and drede,
To those who are in repentance and fear,
1777 As wel as to a proud despitous man
As well as to a proud, spiteful man
1778 That wol mayntene that he first bigan.
Who will persist in what he first began.
1779 That lord hath litel of discrecioun,
That lord has little sound judgment,
1780 That in swich cas kan no divisioun
That in such cases knows no distinctions
1781 But weyeth pride and humblesse after oon."
But considers pride and humility equal."
1782 And shortly, whan his ire is thus agoon,
And shortly, when his anger is thus gone,
1783 He gan to looken up with eyen lighte
He began to look up with bright eyes
1784 And spak thise same wordes al on highte:
And spoke these same words all aloud:
1785 "The god of love, a benedicite!
"The god of love, ah, bless my soul!
1786 How myghty and how greet a lord is he!
How mighty and how great a lord is he!
1787 Ayeyns his myght ther gayneth none obstacles.
Against his power there avail no obstacles.
1788 He may be cleped a god for his myracles,
He may be called a god for his miracles,
1789 For he kan maken, at his owene gyse,
For he can make, as he pleases,
1790 Of everich herte as that hym list divyse.
Of every heart whatever he wants to devise.
1791 Lo heere this Arcite and this Palamoun,
Lo here this Arcite and this Palamon,
1792 That quitly weren out of my prisoun,
Who freely were out of my prison,
1793 And myghte han lyved in Thebes roially,
And could have lived royally in Thebes,
1794 And witen I am hir mortal enemy,
And know I am their mortal enemy,
1795 And that hir deth lith in my myght also,
And that their death lies in my power also,
1796 And yet hath love, maugree hir eyen two,
And yet has Love, despite anything they could do,
1797 Broght hem hyder bothe for to dye.
Brought them both hither to die.
1798 Now looketh, is nat that an heigh folye?
Now look, is that not a great folly?
1799 Who may been a fool but if he love?
Who can be a fool unless he is in love?
1800 Bihoold, for Goddes sake that sit above,
Behold, for the sake of God who sits above,
1801 Se how they blede! Be they noght wel arrayed?
See how they bleed! Are they not in fine condition?
1802 Thus hath hir lord, the god of love, ypayed
Thus has their lord, the god of love, paid
1803 Hir wages and hir fees for hir servyse!
Their wages and their fees for their service!
1804 And yet they wenen for to been ful wyse
And yet they consider themselves very wise,
1805 That serven love, for aught that may bifalle.
Those who serve love, whatever may happen.
1806 But this is yet the beste game of alle,
But this is yet the best joke of all,
1807 That she for whom they han this jolitee
That she for whom they have this sport
1808 Kan hem therfore as muche thank as me.
Owes them as much gratitude for this as she owes me.
1809 She woot namoore of al this hoote fare,
She knows no more of all this passionate business,
1810 By God, than woot a cokkow or an hare!
By God, than knows a cuckoo or a hare!
1811 But all moot ben assayed, hoot and coold;
But all must be tried, hot or cold;
1812 A man moot ben a fool, or yong or oold --
A man must be a fool, either young or old --
1813 I woot it by myself ful yore agon,
I know it by my own experience very long ago,
1814 For in my tyme a servant was I oon.
For in my time I was a servant (of love).
1815 And therfore, syn I knowe of loves peyne
And therefore, since I know of love's pain
1816 And woot hou soore it kan a man distreyne,
And know how sorely it can afflict a man,
1817 As he that hath ben caught ofte in his laas,
As one who has been often caught in its snare,
1818 I yow foryeve al hoolly this trespaas,
I wholly forgive you this trespass,
1819 At requeste of the queene, that kneleth heere,
At the request of the queen, who kneels here,
1820 And eek of Emelye, my suster deere.
And also of Emelye, my dear sister.
1821 And ye shul bothe anon unto me swere
And you must both immediately swear unto me
1822 That nevere mo ye shal my contree dere,
That you shall never more harm my country,
1823 Ne make werre upon me nyght ne day,
Nor make war upon me at any time,
1824 But been my freendes in all that ye may.
But be my friends in all that you can.
1825 I yow foryeve this trespas every deel."
I forgive you this trespass completely."
1826 And they hym sworen his axyng faire and weel,
And they fairly and well swore to him (to do) his request,
1827 And hym of lordshipe and of mercy preyde,
And prayed him to be their lord and to have mercy ,
1828 And he hem graunteth grace, and thus he seyde:
And he grants them his favor, and thus he said:
1829 "To speke of roial lynage and richesse,
"To speak of royal lineage and riches,
1830 Though that she were a queene or a princesse,
Though she were a queen or a princess,
1831 Ech of you bothe is worthy, doutelees,
Each of you both is worthy, doubtless,
1832 To wedden whan tyme is; but nathelees --
To wed when it is time; but none the less --
1833 I speke as for my suster Emelye,
I speak for my sister Emelye,
1834 For whom ye have this strif and jalousye --
For whom you have this strife and jealousy --
1835 Ye woot yourself she may nat wedden two
You know yourself she can not wed two
1836 Atones, though ye fighten everemo,
At once, though you were to fight for evermore,
1837 That oon of you, al be hym looth or lief,
That one of you, whether he likes it or not,
1838 He moot go pipen in an yvy leef;
He must go whistle in an ivy leaf;
1839 This is to seyn, she may nat now han bothe,
This is to say, she can not now have both,
1840 Al be ye never so jalouse ne so wrothe.
Although you be never so jealous nor so angry.
1841 And forthy I yow putte in this degree,
And therefore I put you in this situation,
1842 That ech of yow shal have his destynee
That each of you shall have his destiny
1843 As hym is shape, and herkneth in what wyse;
As is ordained for him, and listen in what way;
1844 Lo, heere youre ende of that I shal devyse.
Lo, hear what I shall arrange for your fate.
1845 My wyl is this, for plat conclusioun,
My will is this, for flat conclusion,
1846 Withouten any repplicacioun --
Without any arguing --
1847 If that you liketh, take it for the beste:
If this pleases you, take it for the best:
1848 That everich of you shal goon where hym leste
That each one of you shall go where he pleases
1849 Frely, withouten raunson or daunger,
Freely, without ransom or resistance,
1850 And this day fifty wykes, fer ne ner,
And fifty weeks from this day, more or less,
1851 Everich of you shal brynge an hundred knyghtes
Each one of you shall bring a hundred knights
1852 Armed for lystes up at alle rightes,
Armed up for the lists in all respects,
1853 Al redy to darreyne hire by bataille.
All ready to decide the right to her by battle.
1854 And this bihote I yow withouten faille,
And this I promise you without fail,
1855 Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knyght,
Upon my word, and as I am a knight,
1856 That wheither of yow bothe that hath myght --
That whichever of you both who has the power --
1857 This is to seyn, that wheither he or thow
This is to say, that whether he or thou
1858 May with his hundred, as I spak of now,
Can with his hundred, as I spoke of now,
1859 Sleen his contrarie, or out of lystes dryve,
Slay his opponent, or drive him out of the lists ,
1860 Thanne shal I yeve Emelya to wyve
Then I shall give Emelye as wife
1861 To whom that Fortune yeveth so fair a grace.
To whom Fortune gives so good a gift (to win the battle).
1862 The lystes shal I maken in this place,
I shall make the lists in this place,
1863 And God so wisly on my soule rewe
And as God may surely have pity on my soul
1864 As I shal evene juge been and trewe.
I shall be an impartial and true judge.
1865 Ye shul noon oother ende with me maken,
You shall make no other agreement with me,
1866 That oon of yow ne shal be deed or taken.
(Save this:) that one of you must be dead or taken.
1867 And if yow thynketh this is weel ysayd,
And if it seems to you that this is well said,
1868 Seyeth youre avys, and holdeth you apayd.
Say your opinion, and consider yourself satisfied.
1869 This is youre ende and youre conclusioun."
This is your (destined) end and your conclusion."
1870 Who looketh lightly now but Palamoun?
Who but Palamon looks happy now?
1871 Who spryngeth up for joye but Arcite?
Who springs up for joy but Arcite?
1872 Who kouthe telle, or who kouthe it endite,
Who could tell, or who could describe in writing,
1873 The joye that is maked in the place
The joy that is made in the place
1874 Whan Theseus hath doon so fair a grace?
When Theseus has behaved so graciously?
1875 But doun on knees wente every maner wight,
But down on knees went every sort of person,
1876 And thonked hym with al hir herte and myght,
And thanked him with all their heart and might,
1877 And namely the Thebans often sithe.
And especially the Thebans many times.
1878 And thus with good hope and with herte blithe
And thus with good hope and with happy heart
1879 They taken hir leve, and homward gonne they ride
They take their leave, and homeward did they ride
1880 To Thebes with his olde walles wyde.
To Thebes with his old wide walls.
Explicit secunda pars
The second part ends
Sequitur pars tercia
The third part follows
1881 I trowe men wolde deme it necligence
I suppose men would consider it negligence
1882 If I foryete to tellen the dispence
If I forget to tell the expenditure
1883 Of Theseus, that gooth so bisily
Of Theseus, who goes (about) so busily
1884 To maken up the lystes roially,
To build the lists royally,
1885 That swich a noble theatre as it was
That such a noble theatre as it was
1886 I dar wel seyen in this world ther nas.
I dare well say there was not (another such) in this world.
1887 The circuit a myle was aboute,
The circumference was a mile around,
1888 Walled of stoon, and dyched al withoute.
Walled with stone, and surrounded by a ditch.
1889 Round was the shap, in manere of compas,
Round was the shape, in the manner of a circle,
1890 Ful of degrees, the heighte of sixty pas,
Full of tiers of seats, the height of sixty paces,
1891 That whan a man was set on o degree,
That when a man was set on one tier of seats,
1892 He letted nat his felawe for to see.
He did not hinder his fellow from seeing.
1893 Estward ther stood a gate of marbul whit,
Eastward there stood a gate of white marble,
1894 Westward right swich another in the opposit.
Westward just such another on the opposite (side).
1895 And shortly to concluden, swich a place
And shortly to conclude, such a place
1896 Was noon in erthe, as in so litel space;
Was none in earth, (constructed) in so little time;
1897 For in the lond ther was no crafty man
For in the land there was no skilled man
1898 That geometrie or ars-metrike kan,
Who knows geometry or arithmetic,
1899 Ne portreyour, ne kervere of ymages,
Nor painter, nor carver of images,
1900 That Theseus ne yaf him mete and wages
That Theseus did not give him food and wages
1901 The theatre for to maken and devyse.
To make and devise the theatre.
1902 And for to doon his ryte and sacrifise,
And to do his rite and sacrifice,
1903 He estward hath, upon the gate above,
He has eastward, upon the gate above,
1904 In worshipe of Venus, goddesse of love,
In worship of Venus, goddess of love,
1905 Doon make an auter and an oratorie;
Had made an altar and a chapel;
1906 And on the gate westward, in memorie
And on the westward gate, in memory
1907 Of Mars, he maked hath right swich another,
Of Mars, he has made just such another,
1908 That coste largely of gold a fother.
That cost fully a cartload of gold.
1909 And northward, in a touret on the wal,
And northward, in a turret on the wall,
1910 Of alabastre whit and reed coral,
Of white alabaster and red coral,
1911 An oratorie, riche for to see,
A chapel, rich to look upon,
1912 In worshipe of Dyane of chastitee,
In worship of Diana of chastity,
1913 Hath Theseus doon wroght in noble wyse.
Has Theseus had made in noble style.
1914 But yet hadde I foryeten to devyse
But yet had I forgotten to describe
1915 The noble kervyng and the portreitures,
The noble sculpture and the portraits,
1916 The shap, the contenaunce, and the figures
The shape, the appearance, and the figures
1917 That weren in thise oratories thre.
That were in these three chapels.
1918 First in the temple of Venus maystow se
First in the temple of Venus canst thou see
1919 Wroght on the wal, ful pitous to biholde,
Wrought on the wall, full piteous to behold,
1920 The broken slepes, and the sikes colde,
The broken sleeps, and the cold sighs,
1921 The sacred teeris, and the waymentynge,
The sacred tears, and the lamenting,
1922 The firy strokes of the desirynge
The fiery strokes of the desiring
1923 That loves servantz in this lyf enduren;
That love's servants endure in this life;
1924 The othes that hir covenantz assuren;
The oaths that assure their covenants;
1925 Pleasance and Hope, Desir, Foolhardynesse,
Pleasure and Hope, Desire, Foolhardiness,
1926 Beautee and Youthe, Bauderie, Richesse,
Beauty and Youth, Mirth, Riches,
1927 Charmes and Force, Lesynges, Flaterye,
Charms and Force, Lies, Flattery,
1928 Despense, Bisynesse, and Jalousye,
Expenditures, Attentiveness, and Jealousy,
1929 That wered of yelewe gooldes a gerland,
Who wore a garland of yellow marigolds,
1930 And a cokkow sittynge on hir hand;
And a cuckoo sitting on her hand;
1931 Festes, instrumentz, caroles, daunces,
Feasts, musical instruments, dance-songs, dances,
1932 Lust and array, and alle the circumstaunces
Desire and festivity, and all the details
1933 Of love, which that I rekned and rekne shal,
Of love, which I recounted and shall recount,
1934 By ordre weren peynted on the wal,
Were painted in sequence on the wall,
1935 And mo than I kan make of mencioun.
And more than I can make mention of.
1936 For soothly al the mount of Citheroun,
For truly all the mount of Cithaeron,
1937 Ther Venus hath hir principal dwellynge,
Where Venus has her principal dwelling,
1938 Was shewed on the wal in portreyynge,
Was shown on the wall in portraits,
1939 With al the gardyn and the lustynesse.
With all the garden (of Love) and the pleasure.
1940 Nat was foryeten the porter, Ydelnesse,
The porter, Idleness, was not forgotten
1941 Ne Narcisus the faire of yore agon,
Nor the handsome Narcissus of many years ago,
1942 Ne yet the folye of kyng Salomon,
Nor yet the folly of king Solomon,
1943 Ne yet the grete strengthe of Ercules --
Nor yet the great strength of Hercules --
1944 Th'enchauntementz of Medea and Circes --
The enchantments of Medea and Circes --
1945 Ne of Turnus, with the hardy fiers corage,
Nor of Turnus, with the hardy fierce courage,
1946 The riche Cresus, kaytyf in servage.
The riche Cresus, wretched in servitude.
1947 Thus may ye seen that wysdom ne richesse,
Thus can you see that wisdom nor riches,
1948 Beautee ne sleighte, strengthe ne hardynesse,
Beauty nor trickery, strength nor bravery,
1949 Ne may with Venus holde champartie,
Can not share power with Venus,
1950 For as hir list the world than may she gye.
For she may rule the world as she pleases.
1951 Lo, alle thise folk so caught were in hir las,
Lo, all these folk were so caught in her snare,
1952 Til they for wo ful ofte seyde "allas!"
Until for woe they very often said "alas!"
1953 Suffiseth heere ensamples oon or two,
One or two examples here suffice,
1954 And though I koude rekene a thousand mo.
Even though I could recount a thousand more.
1955 The statue of Venus, glorious for to se,
The statue of Venus, glorious to look upon,
1956 Was naked, fletynge in the large see,
Was naked, floating in the large sea,
1957 And fro the navele doun al covered was
And from the navel down all was covered
1958 With wawes grene, and brighte as any glas.
With waves green and bright as any glass.
1959 A citole in hir right hand hadde she,
She had a citole (zither-like instrument) in her right hand,
1960 And on hir heed, ful semely for to se,
And on her head, very elegant to look upon,
1961 A rose gerland, fressh and wel smellynge;
A rose garland, fresh and fragrant;
1962 Above hir heed hir dowves flikerynge.
Above her head her doves fluttering.
1963 Biforn hire stood hir sone Cupido;
Before her stood her son Cupid;
1964 Upon his shuldres wynges hadde he two,
He had two wings upon his shoulders,
1965 And blynd he was, as it is often seene;
And he was blind, as it is often seen;
1966 A bowe he bar and arwes brighte and kene.
He carried a bow and arrows bright and keen.
1967 Why sholde I noght as wel eek telle yow al
Why should I not as well also tell you all
1968 The portreiture that was upon the wal
The portraiture that was upon the wall
1969 Withinne the temple of myghty Mars the rede?
Within the temple of mighty Mars the red?
1970 Al peynted was the wal, in lengthe and brede,
All painted was the wall, in length and breadth,
1971 Lyk to the estres of the grisly place
Like to the interior of the grisly place
1972 That highte the grete temple of Mars in Trace,
That is called the Great Temple of Mars in Thrace,
1973 In thilke colde, frosty regioun
In that same cold, frosty region
1974 Ther as Mars hath his sovereyn mansioun.
Where Mars has his most excellent mansion.
1975 First on the wal was peynted a forest,
First a forest was painted on the wall,
1976 In which ther dwelleth neither man ne best,
In which there dwells neither man nor beast,
1977 With knotty, knarry, bareyne trees olde,
With knotty, gnarled, barren old trees,
1978 Of stubbes sharpe and hidouse to biholde,
Of stumps sharp and hideous to behold,
1979 In which ther ran a rumbel in a swough,
Through which there ran a rumbling in a moaning of wind,
1980 As though a storm sholde bresten every bough.
As though a storm should burst every bough.
1981 And dounward from an hille, under a bente,
And downward from a hill, close to a grassy slope,
1982 Ther stood the temple of Mars armypotente,
There stood the temple of Mars, powerful in arms,
1983 Wroght al of burned steel, of which the entree
Wrought all of burnished steel, of which the entry
1984 Was long and streit, and gastly for to se.
Was long and narrow, and frightening to look upon.
1985 And therout came a rage and swich a veze
And out of there came a rush of wind and such a blast
1986 That it made al the gate for to rese.
That it made all the gate to shake.
1987 The northren lyght in at the dores shoon,
The northern light shone in at the doors,
1988 For wyndowe on the wal ne was ther noon,
For there was no window on the wall,
1989 Thurgh which men myghten any light discerne.
Through which men might discern any light.
1990 The dore was al of adamant eterne,
The door was all of eternal adamant (hardest of stones),
1991 Yclenched overthwart and endelong
Bound crosswise and lengthwise
1992 With iren tough; and for to make it strong,
With tough iron; and to make it strong,
1993 Every pyler, the temple to sustene,
Every pillar, to support the temple,
1994 Was tonne-greet, of iren bright and shene.
Was big as a large barrel, (made) of iron bright and shining.
1995 Ther saugh I first the derke ymaginyng
There I saw first the malicious plotting
1996 Of Felonye, and al the compassyng;
Of Felony, and all the scheming;
1997 The crueel Ire, reed as any gleede;
The cruel Anger, red as any glowing coal;
1998 The pykepurs, and eek the pale Drede;
The pick-purse, and also the pale Fear;
1999 The smylere with the knyf under the cloke;
The smiler with the knife under the cloak;
2000 The shepne brennynge with the blake smoke;
The stable burning with the black smoke;
2001 The tresoun of the mordrynge in the bedde;
The treason of the murdering in the bed;
2002 The open werre, with woundes al bibledde;
The open war, all covered with blood from wounds:
2003 Contek, with blody knyf and sharp manace.
Strife, with bloody knife and sharp menacing.
2004 Al ful of chirkyng was that sory place.
All full of creaking was that sorry place.
2005 The sleere of hymself yet saugh I ther --
There yet I saw slayer of himself there --
2006 His herte-blood hath bathed al his heer --
His heart-blood has bathed all his hair --
2007 The nayl ydryven in the shode anyght;
The nail driven in the top of the head at night;
2008 The colde deeth, with mouth gapyng upright.
The cold death, with mouth gaping upwards.
2009 Amyddes of the temple sat Meschaunce,
Amidst the temple sat Misfortune,
2010 With disconfort and sory contenaunce.
With grief and sorry countenance.
2011 Yet saugh I Woodnesse, laughynge in his rage,
Yet I saw Madness, laughing in his rage,
2012 Armed Compleint, Outhees, and fiers Outrage;
Armed Discontent, Alarm, and fierce Violence;
2013 The careyne in the busk, with throte ycorve;
The corpse in the woods, with (its) throat cut;
2014 A thousand slayn, and nat of qualm ystorve;
A thousand slain, and not killed by the plague;
2015 The tiraunt, with the pray by force yraft;
The tyrant, with his prey taken by force;
2016 The toun destroyed, ther was no thyng laft.
The town destroyed, there was nothing left.
2017 Yet saugh I brent the shippes hoppesteres;
Yet I saw burned the ships dancing (on the waves);
2018 The hunte strangled with the wilde beres;
The hunter killed by the wild bears;
2019 The sowe freten the child right in the cradel;
The sow devouring the child right in the cradle;
2020 The cook yscalded, for al his longe ladel.
The cook scalded, despite his long-handled spoon.
2021 Noght was foryeten by the infortune of Marte.
Nothing concerning the evil influence of Mars was forgotten.
2022 The cartere overryden with his carte --
The wagon driver run over by his wagon --
2023 Under the wheel ful lowe he lay adoun.
He lay down full low under the wheel.
2024 Ther were also, of Martes divisioun,
There were also, of those influenced by Mars,
2025 The barbour, and the bocher, and the smyth,
The barber, and the butcher, and the smith,
2026 That forgeth sharpe swerdes on his styth.
Who forges sharp swords on his anvil.
2027 And al above, depeynted in a tour,
And all above, painted in a tower,
2028 Saugh I Conquest, sittynge in greet honour,
I saw conquest, sitting in great honor,
2029 With the sharpe swerd over his heed
With the sharp sword over his head
2030 Hangynge by a soutil twynes threed.
Hanging by a thin thread of twine.
2031 Depeynted was the slaughtre of Julius,
Depicted was the slaughter of Julius,
2032 Of grete Nero, and of Antonius;
Of great Nero, and of Antonius;
2033 Al be that thilke tyme they were unborn,
Although at that same time they were unborn,
2034 Yet was hir deth depeynted ther-biforn
Yet was their death depicted before then
2035 By manasynge of Mars, right by figure;
By menacing of Mars, according to the horoscope;
2036 So was it shewed in that portreiture,
So was it shown in that portraiture,
2037 As is depeynted in the sterres above
As is depicted in the stars above
2038 Who shal be slayn or elles deed for love.
Who shall be slain or else dead for love.
2039 Suffiseth oon ensample in stories olde;
Suffices one illustrative tale in old histories;
2040 I may nat rekene hem alle though I wolde.
I can not recount them all even if I desired to.
2041 The statue of Mars upon a carte stood
The statue of Mars stood upon a chariot
2042 Armed, and looked grym as he were wood;
Armed, and looked as grim as if he were mad;
2043 And over his heed ther shynen two figures
And over his head there shine two figures
2044 Of sterres, that been cleped in scriptures,
Of stars, that are called in books,
2045 That oon Puella, that oother Rubeus --
That one Puella, that other Rubeus --
2046 This god of armes was arrayed thus.
This god of arms was arrayed thus.
2047 A wolf ther stood biforn hym at his feet
A wolf stood there before him at his feet
2048 With eyen rede, and of a man he eet;
With red eyes, and he ate of a man;
2049 With soutil pencel was depeynted this storie
With subtle brush was depicted this story
2050 In redoutynge of Mars and of his glorie.
In reverence of Mars and of his glory.
2051 Now to the temple of Dyane the chaste,
Now to the temple of Diana the chaste,
2052 As shortly as I kan, I wol me haste,
As briefly as I can, I will hasten myself,
2053 To telle yow al the descripsioun.
To tell you all the description.
2054 Depeynted been the walles up and doun
The walls are painted all over
2055 Of huntyng and of shamefast chastitee.
(With scenes) of hunting and of modest chastity.
2056 Ther saugh I how woful Calistopee,
There I saw how woeful Callisto,
2057 Whan that Diane agreved was with here,
When Diana was angry with her,
2058 Was turned from a womman til a bere,
Was turned from a woman into a bear,
2059 And after was she maad the loode-sterre.
And after she was made the North Star
2060 Thus was it peynted; I kan sey yow no ferre.
Thus was it painted; I can tell you no more.
2061 Hir sone is eek a sterre, as men may see.
Her son is also a star, as one can see.
2062 Ther saugh I Dane, yturned til a tree --
There I saw Daphne, turned into a tree --
2063 I mene nat the goddesse Diane,
I mean not the goddess Diana,
2064 But Penneus doghter, which that highte Dane.
But Penneus' daughter, who is called Daphne.
2065 Ther saugh I Attheon an hert ymaked,
There I saw Actaeon changed into a hart,
2066 For vengeaunce that he saugh Diane al naked;
For vengeance that he saw Diana all naked;
2067 I saugh how that his houndes have hym caught
I saw how his hounds have caught him
2068 And freeten hym, for that they knewe hym naught.
And devoured him, because they did not know him.
2069 Yet peynted was a litel forther moor
Yet was painted a little further on
2070 How Atthalante hunted the wilde boor,
How Atalanta hunted the wild boar,
2071 And Meleagre, and many another mo,
And Meleager, and many more others,
2072 For which Dyane wroghte hym care and wo.
For which Diana wrought him care and woe.
2073 Ther saugh I many another wonder storie,
There I saw many another wonderful story,
2074 The which me list nat drawen to memorie.
The which I do not desire to call to mind.
2075 This goddesse on an hert ful hye seet,
This goddess sat full high on a hart,
2076 With smale houndes al aboute hir feet,
With small hounds all about her feet,
2077 And undernethe hir feet she hadde a moone --
And underneath her feet she had a moon --
2078 Wexynge it was and sholde wanye soone.
Waxing it was and should wane soon.
2079 In gaude grene hir statue clothed was,
Her statue was clothed in yellowish green,
2080 With bowe in honde and arwes in a cas.
With bow in hand and arrows in a quiver.
2081 Hir eyen caste she ful lowe adoun
She cast her eyes down full low
2082 Ther Pluto hath his derke regioun.
Where Pluto has his dark region.
2083 A womman travaillynge was hire biforn;
A woman in childbirth was before her;
2084 But for hir child so longe was unborn,
But because her child was so long unborn,
2085 Ful pitously Lucyna gan she calle
Very piteously did she call on Lucina
2086 And seyde, "Help, for thou mayst best of alle!"
And said, "Help, for thou canst (do so) best of all!"
2087 Wel koude he peynten lifly that it wroghte;
He who made it well knew how to paint in a life-like manner;
2088 With many a floryn he the hewes boghte.
With many a florin he bought the paints.
2089 Now been thise lystes maad, and Theseus,
Now these lists are made, and Theseus,
2090 That at his grete cost arrayed thus
Who at his great cost thus prepared
2091 The temples and the theatre every deel,
The temples and the theatre in all respects,
2092 Whan it was doon, hym lyked wonder weel.
When it was done, it greatly pleased him.
2093 But stynte I wole of Theseus a lite,
But I will stop speaking of Theseus a little while,
2094 And speke of Palamon and of Arcite.
And speak of Palamon and of Arcite.
2095 The day approcheth of hir retournynge,
The day of their return approaches,
2096 That everich sholde an hundred knyghtes brynge
When each one should bring a hundred knights
2097 The bataille to darreyne, as I yow tolde.
To decide the battle, as I told you.
2098 And til Atthenes, hir covenant for to holde,
And to Athens, to keep their agreement,
2099 Hath everich of hem broght an hundred knyghtes,
Each one of them has brought a hundred knights,
2100 Wel armed for the werre at alle rightes.
Well armed for the battle in all respects.
2101 And sikerly ther trowed many a man
And surely many a man there believed
2102 That nevere, sithen that the world bigan,
That never, since the world began,
2103 As for to speke of knyghthod of hir hond,
To speak of knighthood of (the deeds of) their hand,
2104 As fer as God hath maked see or lond,
As far as God has made sea or land,
2105 Nas of so fewe so noble a compaignye.
Was not of so few so noble a company.
2106 For every wight that lovede chivalrye
For every person that loved chivalry
2107 And wolde, his thankes, han a passant name,
And would, willingly, have an outstanding reputation
2108 Hath preyed that he myghte been of that game;
Has prayed that he might participate in that game;
2109 And wel was hym that therto chosen was,
And well it was for him who was chosen to be there,
2110 For if ther fille tomorwe swich a cas,
For if there fell tomorrow such a situation,
2111 Ye knowen wel that every lusty knyght
You know well that every vigorous knight
2112 That loveth paramours and hath his myght,
Who loves passionately and has his might,
2113 Were it in Engelond or elleswhere,
Were it in England or elsewhere,
2114 They wolde, hir thankes, wilnen to be there --
They would, willingly, desire to be there --
2115 To fighte for a lady, benedicitee!
To fight for a lady, bless me!
2116 It were a lusty sighte for to see.
It would be a pleasing sight to see.
2117 And right so ferden they with Palamon.
And right so fared those with Palamon.
2118 With hym ther wenten knyghtes many on;
With him there went knights many a one;
2119 Som wol ben armed in an haubergeoun,
One of them will be armed in a coat of mail,
2120 And in a brestplate and a light gypoun;
And in a breastplate and a light tunic;
2121 And som wol have a paire plates large;
And one of them will have a set of plate armor;
2122 And som wol have a Pruce sheeld or a targe;
And one of them will have a Prussian shield or a buckler;
2123 Som wol ben armed on his legges weel,
One of them will be well armed on his legs,
2124 And have an ax, and som a mace of steel --
And have an axe, and one a mace of steel --
2125 Ther is no newe gyse that it nas old.
There is no new fashion that has not been old.
2126 Armed were they, as I have yow told,
They were armed, as I have told you,
2127 Everych after his opinioun.
Every one according to his preference.
2128 Ther maistow seen, comynge with Palamoun,
There mayst thou seen, coming with Palamon,
2129 Lygurge hymself, the grete kyng of Trace.
Lycurgus himself, the great king of Thrace.
2130 Blak was his berd, and manly was his face;
Black was his beard, and manly was his face;
2131 The cercles of his eyen in his heed,
The circles of his eyes in his head,
2132 They gloweden bitwixen yelow and reed,
They glowed between yellow and red,
2133 And lik a grifphon looked he aboute,
And he looked about like a griffin (with an eagle's head),
2134 With kempe heeris on his browes stoute;
With shaggy hairs on his stout brows;
2135 His lymes grete, his brawnes harde and stronge,
His limbs large, his muscles hard and strong,
2136 His shuldres brode, his armes rounde and longe;
His shoulders broad, his arms round and long;
2137 And as the gyse was in his contree,
And as was the fashion in his country,
2138 Ful hye upon a chaar of gold stood he,
He stood full high upon a chariot of gold,
2139 With foure white boles in the trays.
With four white bulls in the traces.
2140 In stede of cote-armure over his harnays,
Instead of a tunic with his coat of arms over his armor,
2141 With nayles yelewe and brighte as any gold,
With claws yellow and bright as any gold,
2142 He hadde a beres skyn, col-blak for old.
He had a bear's skin, coal-black because of age.
2143 His longe heer was kembd bihynde his bak;
His long hair was combed behind his back;
2144 As any ravenes fethere it shoon for blak;
Like any raven's feather it shone because of its blackness;
2145 A wrethe of gold, arm-greet, of huge wighte,
A wreath of gold, thick as an arm, of huge weight,
2146 Upon his heed, set ful of stones brighte,
Upon his head, set full of bright stones,
2147 Of fyne rubyes and of dyamauntz.
Of fine rubies and of diamonds.
2148 Aboute his chaar ther wenten white alauntz,
About his chariot there went white wolfhounds,
2149 Twenty and mo, as grete as any steer,
Twenty and more, as big as any steer,
2150 To hunten at the leoun or the deer,
To hunt for the lion or the deer,
2151 And folwed hym with mosel faste ybounde,
And followed him with muzzles securely bound,
2152 Colered of gold, and tourettes fyled rounde.
Wearing collars of gold, and rings for leashes filed round.
2153 An hundred lordes hadde he in his route,
He had a hundred lords in his company,
2154 Armed ful wel, with hertes stierne and stoute.
Very well armed, with stern and stout hearts.
2155 With Arcita, in stories as men fynde,
With Arcite, as people find in histories,
2156 The grete Emetreus, the kyng of Inde,
The great Emetreus, the king of India,
2157 Upon a steede bay trapped in steel,
Upon a reddish-brown steed with trappings of steel,
2158 Covered in clooth of gold, dyapred weel,
Covered in cloth of gold, well decorated (with geometric patterns),
2159 Cam ridynge lyk the god of armes, Mars.
Came riding like the god of arms, Mars.
2160 His cote-armure was of clooth of Tars
His tunic with his coat of arms was of cloth of Tarsia (in Turkestan)
2161 Couched with perles white and rounde and grete;
Adorned with pearls white and round and big;
2162 His sadel was of brend gold newe ybete;
His saddle was newly adorned with pure gold;
2163 A mantelet upon his shulder hangynge,
A short cloak hanging upon his shoulder,
2164 Bret-ful of rubyes rede as fyr sparklynge;
Brimful of rubies red as sparkling fire;
2165 His crispe heer lyk rynges was yronne,
His curly hair like rings was run (fashioned),
2166 And that was yelow, and glytered as the sonne.
And that was yellow, and glittered like the sun.
2167 His nose was heigh, his eyen bright citryn,
His nose was high, his eyes bright lemon yellow,
2168 His lippes rounde, his colour was sangwyn;
His lips round, his color was ruddy;
2169 A fewe frakenes in his face yspreynd,
A few freckles were sprinkled in his face,
2170 Bitwixen yelow and somdel blak ymeynd;
Between yellow and somewhat mingled with black;
2171 And as a leon he his lookyng caste.
And as a lion he cast about his look.
2172 Of fyve and twenty yeer his age I caste.
I reckon his age at five and twenty years.
2173 His berd was wel bigonne for to sprynge;
His beard had well begun to spring;
2174 His voys was as a trompe thonderynge.
His voice was like a trumpet thundering.
2175 Upon his heed he wered of laurer grene
Upon his head he wore of green laurel
2176 A gerland, fressh and lusty for to sene.
A garland, fresh and pleasing to look upon.
2177 Upon his hand he bar for his deduyt
Upon his hand he carried for his delight
2178 An egle tame, as any lilye whyt.
A tame eagle, white as any lily.
2179 An hundred lordes hadde he with hym there,
He had a hundred lords with him there,
2180 Al armed, save hir heddes, in al hir gere,
All armed, except for their heads, in all their equipment,
2181 Ful richely in alle maner thynges.
Very richly in every detail.
2182 For trusteth wel that dukes, erles, kynges
For trust well that dukes, earls, kings
2183 Were gadered in this noble compaignye,
Were gathered in this noble company,
2184 For love and for encrees of chivalrye.
For love and for the benefit of chivalry.
2185 Aboute this kyng ther ran on every part
About this king there ran on all sides
2186 Ful many a tame leon and leopart.
Full many a tame lion and leopard.
2187 And in this wise thise lordes, alle and some,
And in this manner these lords, one and all,
2188 Been on the Sonday to the citee come
Are come to the city on the Sunday
2189 Aboute pryme, and in the toun alight.
About nine a.m., and in the town dismounted.
2190 This Theseus, this duc, this worthy knyght,
This Theseus, this duke, this worthy knight,
2191 Whan he had broght hem into his citee,
When he had brought them into his city,
2192 And inned hem, everich at his degree,
And provided them lodging, each one according to his rank,
2193 He festeth hem, and dooth so greet labour
He feasts them, and does such great labor
2194 To esen hem and doon hem al honour
To entertain them and do them all honor
2195 That yet men wenen that no mannes wit
That people still believe that the wit of no man
2196 Of noon estaat ne koude amenden it.
Of any rank could do better.
2197 The mynstralcye, the service at the feeste,
The music, the service at the feast,
2198 The grete yiftes to the meeste and leeste,
The great gifts to every one,
2199 The riche array of Theseus paleys,
The rich adornment of Theseus' palace,
2200 Ne who sat first ne last upon the deys,
Nor who sat first nor last upon the dais,
2201 What ladyes fairest been or best daunsynge,
What ladies are fairest or best in dancing,
2202 Or which of hem kan dauncen best and synge,
Or which of them can dance best and sing,
2203 Ne who moost felyngly speketh of love;
Nor who speaks most feelingly of love;
2204 What haukes sitten on the perche above,
What hawks sit on the perch above,
2205 What houndes liggen on the floor adoun --
What hounds lie down on the floor --
2206 Of al this make I now no mencioun,
I now make no mention of all this,
2207 But al th' effect; that thynketh me the beste.
But (speak only) of the substance; that seems to me the best.
2208 Now cometh the point, and herkneth if yow leste.
Now comes the point, and listen if you please.
2209 The Sonday nyght, er day bigan to sprynge,
The Sunday night, before day began to spring,
2210 Whan Palamon the larke herde synge
When Palamon heard the lark sing
2211 (Although it nere nat day by houres two,
(Although it was not day by two hours,
2212 Yet the larke sang) and Palamon right then
Yet sang the lark) and Palamon right then
2213 With hooly herte and with an heigh corage,
With pious heart and with a noble disposition,
2214 He roos to wenden on his pilgrymage
He rose to go on his pilgrimage
2215 Unto the blissful Citherea benign --
To the blessed gracious Citherea --
2216 I mene Venus, honurable and digne.
I mean Venus, honorable and worshipful.
2217 And in hir houre he walketh forth a pas
And in her (planetary) hour he walks forth slowly
2218 Unto the lystes ther hire temple was,
Unto the lists where her temple was,
2219 And doun he kneleth, and with humble cheere
And down he kneels, and with humble expression
2220 And herte soor he seyde as ye shal heere:
And painful heart he said as you shall hear:
2221 "Faireste of faire, O lady myn, Venus,
"Fairest of the fair, O lady mine, Venus,
2222 Doughter to Jove and spouse of Vulcanus,
Daughter to Jove and spouse of Vulcan,
2223 Thow gladere of the mount of Citheron,
Thou maker of joy of the mount of Citheron,
2224 For thilke love thow haddest to Adoon,
For that same love thou haddest to Adonis,
2225 Have pitee of my bittre teeris smerte,
Have pity on my bitter, smarting tears,
2226 And taak myn humble preyere at thyn herte.
And take my humble prayer to thy heart.
2227 Allas! I ne have no langage to telle
Alas! I do not have any language to tell
2228 Th'effectes ne the tormentz of myn helle;
The effects nor the torments of my hell;
2229 Myn herte may myne harmes nat biwreye;
My heart can not reveal my harms;
2230 I am so confus that I kan noght seye
I am so befuddled that I can not say (anything)
2231 But `Mercy, lady bright, that knowest weele
But `Mercy, lady bright, who knowest well
2232 My thought and seest what harmes that I feele!'
My thought and seest what harms I feel!'
2233 Considere al this and rewe upon my soore,
Consider all this and have pity upon my pain,
2234 As wisly as I shal for everemoore,
As surely as I shall for evermore,
2235 Emforth my myght, thy trewe servant be,
According to my power (as much as I can), be thy true servant,
2236 And holden werre alwey with chastitee.
And make war always against chastity.
2237 That make I myn avow, so ye me helpe!
I make that my vow, providing you help me!
2238 I kepe noght of armes for to yelpe,
I care not to boast of arms
2239 Ne I ne axe nat tomorwe to have victorie,
Nor do I ask to have victory tomorrow,
2240 Ne renoun in this cas, ne veyne glorie
Nor renown in this case, nor vain glory
2241 Of pris of armes blowen up and doun;
Nor fame for deeds of arms proclaimed everywhere;
2242 But I wolde have fully possessioun
But I would have fully possession
2243 Of Emelye, and dye in thy servyse.
Of Emelye, and die in thy service.
2244 Fynd thow the manere hou and in what wyse:
Find thou the manner how and in what way:
2245 I recche nat but it may bettre be
I care not if it may better be
2246 To have victorie of hem, or they of me,
To have victory over them, or they over me,
2247 So that I have my lady in myne armes.
So that I have my lady in my arms.
2248 For though so be that Mars is god of armes,
For though it be true that Mars is god of arms,
2249 Youre vertu is so greet in hevene above
Your power is so great in heaven above
2250 That if yow list, I shal wel have my love.
That if you please, I shall well have my love.
2251 Thy temple wol I worshipe everemo,
I will worship thy temple evermore,
2252 And on thyn auter, where I ride or go,
And on thy altar, whether I ride or walk (whatever I do),
2253 I wol doon sacrifice and fires beete.
I will do sacrifice and kindle fires.
2254 And if ye wol nat so, my lady sweete,
And if you will not (do) so, my lady sweet,
2255 Thanne preye I thee, tomorwe with a spere
Then I pray thee, tomorrow with a spear
2256 That Arcita me thurgh the herte bere.
That Arcite stab me through the heart.
2257 Thanne rekke I noght, whan I have lost my lyf,
Then I care not, when I have lost my life,
2258 Though that Arcita wynne hire to his wyf.
Though Arcite win her to be his wife.
2259 This is th'effect and ende of my preyere:
This is the substance and goal of my prayer:
2260 Yif me my love, thow blisful lady deere."
Give me my love, thou blessed dear lady."
2261 Whan the orison was doon of Palamon,
When the prayer of Palamon was done,
2262 His sacrifice he dide, and that anon,
He did his sacrifice, and that quickly,
2263 Ful pitously, with alle circumstaunces,
Full piteously, with all due ceremony,
2264 Al telle I noght as now his observaunces;
Although I tell not now his observances;
2265 But atte laste the statue of Venus shook,
But at the last the statue of Venus shook,
2266 And made a signe, wherby that he took
And made a sign, whereby he understood
2267 That his preyere accepted was that day.
That his prayer was accepted that day.
2268 For thogh the signe shewed a delay,
For though the sign showed a delay,
2269 Yet wiste he wel that graunted was his boone,
Yet he knew well that his request was granted,
2270 And with glad herte he wente hym hoom ful soone.
And with glad heart he went home very soon.
2271 The thridde houre inequal that Palamon
The third planetary hour after Palamon
2272 Bigan to Venus temple for to gon,
Began to go to Venus' temple,
2273 Up roos the sonne, and up roos Emelye
Up rose the sun, and up rose Emelye
2274 And to the temple of Dyane gan hye.
And to the temple of Diana did hasten.
2275 Hir maydens, that she thider with hire ladde,
Her maidens, whom she led thither with her,
2276 Ful redily with hem the fyr they hadde,
They had the fire full readily with them,
2277 Th'encens, the clothes, and the remenant al
The incense, the cloths, and all the rest
2278 That to the sacrifice longen shal;
That is needed for the sacrifice;
2279 The hornes fulle of meeth, as was the gyse --
The horns full of mead, as was the custom --
2280 Ther lakked noght to doon hir sacrifise.
There lacked nothing (needed) to do her sacrifice.
2281 Smokynge the temple, ful of clothes faire,
The temple smoking (with incense), full of fair cloths,
2282 This Emelye, with herte debonaire,
This Emelye, with gentle heart,
2283 Hir body wessh with water of a welle.
Washed her body with water of a well.
2284 But hou she dide hir ryte I dar nat telle,
But how she did her rite I dare not tell,
2285 But it be any thing in general;
Unless it be some thing in general;
2286 And yet it were a game to heeren al.
And yet it would be a pleasure to hear all.
2287 To hym that meneth wel it were no charge;
To one who means well it would be no matter of concern;
2288 But it is good a man been at his large.
But it is good for a man to be without restriction (speak freely).
2289 Hir brighte heer was kembd, untressed al;
Her bright hair was combed, all loose;
2290 A coroune of a grene ook cerial
A crown of an evergreen oak
2291 Upon hir heed was set ful fair and meete.
Was set upon her head full fair and suitable.
2292 Two fyres on the auter gan she beete,
Two fires on the altar did she kindle,
2293 And dide hir thynges, as men may biholde
And did her duties, as men can behold
2294 In Stace of Thebes and thise bookes olde.
In Statius' Thebaid and such old books.
2295 Whan kyndled was the fyr, with pitous cheere
When the fire was kindled, with a pitiful expression
2296 Unto Dyane she spak as ye may heere:
Unto Diana she spoke as you may hear:
2297 "O chaste goddesse of the wodes grene,
"O chaste goddess of the green woods,
2298 To whom bothe hevene and erthe and see is sene,
To whom both heaven and earth and sea is visible,
2299 Queene of the regne of Pluto derk and lowe,
Queen of the dark and low reign of Pluto,
2300 Goddesse of maydens, that myn herte hast knowe
Goddess of maidens, whom my heart hast known
2301 Ful many a yeer, and woost what I desire,
Full many a year, and knowest what I desire,
2302 As keepe me fro thy vengeaunce and thyn ire,
Keep me from thy vengeance and thy ire,
2303 That Attheon aboughte cruelly.
Which Acteon paid for cruelly.
2304 Chaste goddesse, wel wostow that I
Chaste goddess, well knowest thou that I
2305 Desire to ben a mayden al my lyf,
Desire to be a maiden all my life,
2306 Ne nevere wol I be no love ne wyf.
Nor never will I be no lover nor wife.
2307 I am, thow woost, yet of thy compaignye,
I am, thou knowest, yet of thy company,
2308 A mayde, and love huntynge and venerye,
A maiden, and love hunting and the chase,
2309 And for to walken in the wodes wilde,
And to walk in the wild woods,
2310 And noght to ben a wyf and be with childe.
And not to be a wife and be with child.
2311 Noght wol I knowe compaignye of man.
I do not desire to know company of man.
2312 Now help me, lady, sith ye may and kan,
Now help me, lady, since you can and know how,
2313 For tho thre formes that thou hast in thee.
For those three forms that thou hast in thee.
2314 And Palamon, that hath swich love to me,
And Palamon, that has such love to me,
2315 And eek Arcite, that loveth me so soore,
And also Arcite, who loves me so painfully,
2316 This grace I preye thee withoute moore,
This grace I pray thee and ask no more,
2317 As sende love and pees bitwixe hem two,
Send love and peace between them two,
2318 And fro me turne awey hir hertes so
And turn away their hearts from me so
2319 That al hire hoote love and hir desir,
That all their hot love and their desire,
2320 And al hir bisy torment, and hir fir
And all their intense torment, and their fire
2321 Be queynt, or turned in another place.
Will be quenched, or turned to another place.
2322 And if so be thou wolt nat do me grace,
And if it so be thou wilt not do me grace,
2323 Or if my destynee be shapen so
Or if my destiny is shaped so
2324 That I shal nedes have oon of hem two,
That I must by necessity have one of them two,
2325 As sende me hym that moost desireth me.
Send me him who most desires me.
2326 Bihoold, goddesse of clene chastitee,
Behold, goddess of clean chastity,
2327 The bittre teeris that on my chekes falle.
The bitter tears that fall on my cheeks.
2328 Syn thou art mayde and kepere of us alle,
Since thou art maiden and guardian of us all,
2329 My maydenhede thou kepe and wel conserve,
Thou care for and well conserve my maidenhood,
2330 And whil I lyve, a mayde I wol thee serve."
And while I live, as a maiden I will serve thee."
2331 The fires brenne upon the auter cleere,
The fires burn brightly upon the altar,
2332 Whil Emelye was thus in hir preyere.
While Emelye was thus in her prayer.
2333 But sodeynly she saugh a sighte queynte,
But suddenly she saw a curious sight,
2334 For right anon oon of the fyres queynte
For right away one of the fires quenched
2335 And quyked agayn, and after that anon
And rekindled again, and after that straightway
2336 That oother fyr was queynt and al agon;
That other fire was quenched and all gone;
2337 And as it queynte it made a whistelynge,
And as it quenched it made a roaring sound,
2338 As doon thise wete brondes in hir brennynge,
As these wet brands do in their burning,
2339 And at the brondes ende out ran anon
And at the brand's end (the fire) ran out straightway
2340 As it were blody dropes many oon;
As if it were many bloody drops;
2341 For which so soore agast was Emelye
For which so sorely frightened was Emelye
2342 That she was wel ny mad and gan to crye,
That she was well nigh mad and began to cry,
2343 For she ne wiste what it signyfied,
For she did not know what it signified,
2344 But oonly for the feere thus hath she cried,
But simply for fear has she cried thus,
2345 And weep that it was pitee for to heere.
And wept that it was a pity to hear.
2346 And therwithal Dyane gan appeere,
And right then Diana did appear,
2347 With bowe in honde, right as an hunteresse,
With bow in hand, just like a huntress,
2348 And seyde, "Doghter, stynt thyn hevynesse.
And said, "Daughter, cease thy sadness.
2349 Among the goddes hye it is affermed,
Among the high gods it is affirmed,
2350 And by eterne word writen and confermed,
And by eternal word written and confirmed,
2351 Thou shalt ben wedded unto oon of tho
Thou shalt be wedded unto one of those
2352 That han for thee so muchel care and wo,
Who have for thee so much care and woe,
2353 But unto which of hem I may nat telle.
But unto which of them I may not tell.
2354 Farwel, for I ne may no lenger dwelle.
Farwell, for I can stay no longer .
2355 The fires which that on myn auter brenne
The fires which burn on my altar
2356 Shulle thee declaren, er that thou go henne,
Shall declare to thee, before thou go hence,
2357 Thyn aventure of love, as in this cas."
Thy destiny concerning love, as in this situation."
2358 And with that word, the arwes in the caas
And with that word, the arrows in the quiver
2359 Of the goddesse clateren faste and rynge,
Of the goddess clatter fast and ring,
2360 And forth she wente and made a vanysshynge;
And forth she went and vanished;
2361 For which this Emelye astoned was,
For which this Emelye was astonished,
2362 And seyde, "What amounteth this, allas?
And said, "What does this mean, alas?
2363 I putte me in thy proteccioun,
I put me in thy protection,
2364 Dyane, and in thy disposicioun."
Diana, and in thy power."
2365 And hoom she goth anon the nexte weye.
And home she goes at once the nearest way.
2366 This is th'effect; ther is namoore to seye.
This is the substance; there is no more to say.
2367 The nexte houre of Mars folwynge this,
The next (planetary) hour of Mars following this,
2368 Arcite unto the temple walked is
Arcite has walked unto the temple
2369 Of fierse Mars to doon his sacrifise,
Of fierce Mars to do his sacrifice,
2370 With alle the rytes of his payen wyse.
With all the rites of his pagan manner (of worship).
2371 With pitous herte and heigh devocioun,
With sorrowful heart and intense devotion,
2372 Right thus to Mars he seyde his orisoun:
Right thus to Mars he said his prayer:
2373 "O stronge god, that in the regnes colde
"O strong god, who in the cold reigns
2374 Of Trace honoured art and lord yholde,
Of Thrace art honored and considered lord,
2375 And hast in every regne and every lond
And hast in every reign and every land
2376 Of armes al the brydel in thyn hond,
All the control of arms in thy hand,
2377 And hem fortunest as thee lyst devyse,
And grants them fortune as it pleases thee to command.
2378 Accepte of me my pitous sacrifise.
Accept of me my sorrowful sacrifice.
2379 If so be that my youthe may deserve,
If it so be that my youth may deserve,
2380 And that my myght be worthy for to serve
And that my power be worthy to serve
2381 Thy godhede, that I may been oon of thyne,
Thy godhead, so that I may be one of thine,
2382 Thanne preye I thee to rewe upon my pyne.
Then pray I thee to have pity upon my pain.
2383 For thilke peyne and thilke hoote fir
For that same pain and that same hot fire
2384 In which thow whilom brendest for desir,
In which thou once burned for desire,
2385 Whan that thow usedest the beautee
When that thou enjoyed the beauty
2386 Of faire, yonge, fresshe Venus free,
Of fair, young, fresh Venus the noble,
2387 And haddest hire in armes at thy wille --
And haddest her in arms as you wished --
2388 Although thee ones on a tyme mysfille,
Although once things went wrong for you,
2389 Whan Vulcanus hadde caught thee in his las
When Vulcan had caught thee in his snare
2390 And foond thee liggynge by his wyf, allas! --
And found thee lying by his wife, alas! --
2391 For thilke sorwe that was in thyn herte,
For that same sorrow that was in thy heart,
2392 Have routhe as wel upon my peynes smerte.
Have pity as well upon my painful sufferings.
2393 I am yong and unkonnynge, as thow woost,
I am young and ignorant, as thou knowest,
2394 And, as I trowe, with love offended moost
And, as I suppose, injured most by love
2395 That evere was any lyves creature,
Than ever was any living creature,
2396 For she that dooth me al this wo endure
For she that causes me to endure all this woe
2397 Ne reccheth nevere wher I synke or fleete.
Nor cares never whether I sink or swim.
2398 And wel I woot, er she me mercy heete,
And well I know, before she may promise me mercy,
2399 I moot with strengthe wynne hire in the place,
I must win her with strength in the lists,
2400 And wel I woot, withouten help or grace
And well I know, without help or grace
2401 Of thee ne may my strengthe noght availle.
Of thee my strength can not avail.
2402 Thanne help me, lord, tomorwe in my bataille,
Then help me, lord, tomorrow in my battle,
2403 For thilke fyr that whilom brente thee,
For that same fire that once burned thee,
2404 As wel as thilke fyr now brenneth me,
As well as that same fire now burns me,
2405 And do that I tomorwe have victorie.
And bring it about so that I have victory tomorrow.
2406 Myn be the travaille, and thyn be the glorie!
Mine be the labor, and thine be the glory!
2407 Thy sovereyn temple wol I moost honouren
I will most honor thy most excellent temple
2408 Of any place, and alwey moost labouren
Over any place, and always most labor
2409 In thy plesaunce and in thy craftes stronge,
In thy pleasure and in thy strong crafts,
2410 And in thy temple I wol my baner honge
And in thy temple I will hang my banner
2411 And alle the armes of my compaignye,
And all the arms of my company,
2412 And everemo, unto that day I dye,
And evermore, until that day I die,
2413 Eterne fir I wol bifore thee fynde.
Eternal fire I will provide before thee (on your altar).
2414 And eek to this avow I wol me bynde:
And also I will bind myself to this vow:
2415 My beerd, myn heer, that hongeth long adoun,
My beard, my hair, that hangs long down,
2416 That nevere yet ne felte offensioun
That never yet felt injury
2417 Of rasour nor of shere, I wol thee yive,
Of razor nor of shears, I will give thee,
2418 And ben thy trewe servant whil I lyve.
And be thy true servant while I live.
2419 Now, lord, have routhe upon my sorwes soore;
Now, lord, have pity upon my painful sorrows;
2420 Yif me [victorie]; I aske thee namoore."
Give me victory; I ask of thee no more."
2421 The preyere stynt of Arcita the stronge,
The prayer of Arcite the strong stopped,
2422 The rynges on the temple dore that honge,
The rings that hung on the temple door,
2423 And eek the dores, clatereden ful faste,
And also the doors, clattered very fast,
2424 Of which Arcita somwhat hym agaste.
Of which Arcite was somewhat afraid.
2425 The fyres brenden upon the auter brighte
The fires upon the altar burned (so) brightly
2426 That it gan al the temple for to lighte;
That it began to illuminate all the temple;
2427 A sweete smel the ground anon up yaf,
A sweet smell the ground at once yielded up,
2428 And Arcita anon his hand up haf,
And Arcite immediately raised up his hand,
2429 And moore encens into the fyr he caste,
And he cast more incense into the fire,
2430 With othere rytes mo; and atte laste
With more other rites; and at the last
2431 The statue of Mars bigan his hauberk rynge,
The statue of Mars began to ring its coat of mail,
2432 And with that soun he herde a murmurynge
And with that sound he heard a murmuring
2433 Ful lowe and dym, and seyde thus, "Victorie!"
Very low and faint, that said thus, "Victory!"
2434 For which he yaf to Mars honour and glorie.
For which he (Arcite) gave to Mars honor and glory.
2435 And thus with joye and hope wel to fare
And thus with joy and hope to fare well
2436 Arcite anon unto his in is fare,
Arcite at once is gone unto his lodging,
2437 As fayn as fowel is of the brighte sonne.
As happy as a fowl is for the bright sun.
2438 And right anon swich strif ther is bigonne,
And right away such strife there is begun,
2439 For thilke grauntyng, in the hevene above,
Because of that same grant, in the heaven above,
2440 Bitwixe Venus, the goddesse of love,
Between Venus, the goddess of love,
2441 And Mars, the stierne god armypotente,
And Mars, the stern god powerful in arms,
2442 That Juppiter was bisy it to stente,
That Jupiter was hard put to stop it,
2443 Til that the pale Saturnus the colde,
Until the pale Saturn the hostile,
2444 That knew so manye of aventures olde,
Who knew so many of old adventures,
2445 Foond in his olde experience an art
Found in his old experience a plan
2446 That he ful soone hath plesed every part.
That he full soon has pleased every side.
2447 As sooth is seyd, elde hath greet avantage;
As is truly said, old age has a great advantage;
2448 In elde is bothe wysdom and usage;
In old age is both wisdom and experience;
2449 Men may the olde atrenne and noght atrede.
One can outrun the old but not outwit them.
2450 Saturne anon, to stynten strif and drede,
Saturn anon, to stop strife and fear,
2451 Al be it that it is agayn his kynde,
Although it is against his natural disposition,
2452 Of al this strif he gan remedie fynde.
He found a remedy for all this strife.
2453 "My deere doghter Venus," quod Saturne,
"My dear daughter Venus," said Saturn,
2454 "My cours, that hath so wyde for to turne,
"My orbit, that has so wide (a course) to turn,
2455 Hath moore power than woot any man.
Has more power than any man knows.
2456 Myn is the drenchyng in the see so wan;
Mine is the drowning in the sea so dark;
2457 Myn is the prison in the derke cote;
Mine is the imprisonment in the dark cell;
2458 Myn is the stranglyng and hangyng by the throte,
Mine is the killing and hanging by the throat,
2459 The murmure and the cherles rebellyng,
The murmur (of discontent) and the churls' rebelling,
2460 The groynynge, and the pryvee empoysonyng;
The grumbling, and the secret poisoning;
2461 I do vengeance and pleyn correccioun,
I exact vengeance and do full punishment,
2462 Whil I dwelle in the signe of the leoun.
While I dwell in the (zodiacal) sign of the lion.
2463 Myn is the ruyne of the hye halles,
Mine is the ruin of the high halls,
2464 The fallynge of the toures and of the walles
The falling of the towers and of the walls
2465 Upon the mynour or the carpenter.
Upon the miner or the carpenter.
2466 I slow Sampsoun, shakynge the piler;
I slew Sampson, shaking the pillar;
2467 And myne be the maladyes colde,
And mine are the cold maladies,
2468 The derke tresons, and the castes olde;
The dark treasons, and the old plots;
2469 My lookyng is the fader of pestilence.
My (astrological) aspect is the father of pestilence.
2470 Now weep namoore; I shal doon diligence
Now weep no more; I shall do my diligence
2471 That Palamon, that is thyn owene knyght,
So that Palamon, who is thine own knight,
2472 Shal have his lady, as thou hast him hight.
Shall have his lady, as thou hast promised him.
2473 Though Mars shal helpe his knyght, yet nathelees
Though Mars shall help his knight, yet nonetheless
2474 Bitwixe yow ther moot be som tyme pees,
Between you there must be peace sometime,
2475 Al be ye noght of o compleccioun,
Although you are not of one (the same) temperament,
2476 That causeth al day swich divisioun.
Which daily causes such dissension.
2477 I am thyn aiel, redy at thy wille;
I am thy grandfather, ready (to do) as you wish;
2478 Weep now namoore; I wol thy lust fulfille."
Weep now no more; I will fulfill thy desire."
2479 Now wol I stynten of the goddes above,
Now I will stop (speaking) of the gods above,
2480 Of Mars, and of Venus, goddesse of love,
Of Mars, and of Venus, goddess of love,
2481 And telle yow as pleynly as I kan
And tell you as plainly as I can
2482 The grete effect, for which that I bygan.
The essential part, for which I began.
Explicit tercia pars
The third part ends
Sequitur pars quarta
The fourth part follows
2483 Greet was the feeste in Atthenes that day,
Great was the feast in Athens that day,
2484 And eek the lusty seson of that May
And also the pleasing season of that May
2485 Made every wight to been in swich plesaunce
Made every person to be in such delight
2486 That al that Monday justen they and daunce,
That all that Monday they joust and dance,
2487 And spenden it in Venus heigh servyse.
And spend that day in Venus's noble service.
2488 But by the cause that they sholde ryse
But because they must rise
2489 Eerly, for to seen the grete fight,
Early, to see the great fight,
2490 Unto hir reste wenten they at nyght.
Unto their rest they went at nightfall.
2491 And on the morwe, whan that day gan sprynge,
And in the morning, when day did spring,
2492 Of hors and harneys noyse and claterynge
Noise and clattering of horses and armor
2493 Ther was in hostelryes al aboute,
There was in hostelries all about,
2494 And to the paleys rood ther many a route
And to the palace there rode many a company
2495 Of lordes upon steedes and palfreys.
Of lords upon steeds and palfreys.
2496 Ther maystow seen devisynge of harneys
There canst thou see preparation of armor
2497 So unkouth and so riche, and wroght so weel
So exotic and so rich, and wrought so well
2498 Of goldsmythrye, of browdynge, and of steel;
Of goldsmiths' works, of embroidery, and of steel;
2499 The sheeldes brighte, testeres, and trappures,
The bright shields, horses' head-armor, and horse-armor,
2500 Gold-hewen helmes, coats of mail, cote-armures;
Gold-colored helms, coats of mail, tunics with heraldic devices;
2501 Lordes in parementz on hir courseres,
Lords in richly decorated robes on their coursers,
2502 Knyghtes of retenue, and eek squieres
Knights of (their) retinues, and also squires
2503 Nailynge the speres, and helmes bokelynge;
Nailing heads to the spear-shafts, and buckling helms;
2504 Giggynge of sheeldes, with layneres lacynge --
Fitting the shields with straps, fastening with laces --
2505 There as nede is they weren no thyng ydel;
Where it is needed they were not at all idle;
2506 The fomy steedes on the golden brydel
The steeds frothing on the golden bridles
2507 Gnawynge, and faste the armurers also
Gnawing, and fast the armorers also
2508 With fyle and hamer prikynge to and fro;
With file and hammer are spurring to and fro;
2509 Yemen on foote, and communes many oon
Yeomen on foot, and foot soldiers many a one
2510 With shorte staves, thikke as they may goon;
With short staves, thick as they can go;
2511 Pypes, trompes, nakers, clariounes,
Pipes, trumpets, kettle drums, bugles,
2512 That in the bataille blowen blody sounes;
That blow bloody sounds in the battle;
2513 The paleys ful of peple up and doun,
The palace full of people everywhere,
2514 Heere thre, ther ten, holdynge hir questioun,
Here three, there ten, debating,
2515 Dyvynynge of thise Thebane knyghtes two.
Conjecturing about these two Theban knights.
2516 Somme seyden thus, somme seyde "it shal be so";
Some said thus, some said "it shall be so";
2517 Somme helden with hym with the blake berd,
Some held with him with the black beard,
2518 Somme with the balled, somme with the thikke herd;
Some with the bald, some with the thickly haired;
2519 Somme seyde he looked grymme, and he wolde fighte:
Some said he looked grim, and he would fight:
2520 "He hath a sparth of twenty pound of wighte."
"He has a battle-ax of twenty pounds of weight."
2521 Thus was the halle ful of divynynge,
Thus was the hall full of conjecturing,
2522 Longe after that the sonne gan to sprynge.
Long after the sun began to rise.
2523 The grete Theseus, that of his sleep awaked
The great Theseus, who was awakened of his sleep
2524 With mynstralcie and noyse that was maked,
By the music and noise that was made,
2525 Heeld yet the chambre of his paleys riche
Remained yet in the chamber of his rich palace
2526 Til that the Thebane knyghtes, bothe yliche
Until the Theban knights, both equally
2527 Honured, were into the paleys fet.
Honored, were fetched into the palace.
2528 Duc Theseus was at a wyndow set,
Duke Theseus was set at a window,
2529 Arrayed right as he were a god in trone.
Arrayed exactly as if he were a god on a throne.
2530 The peple preesseth thiderward ful soone
The people press thither full soon
2531 Hym for to seen, and doon heigh reverence,
In order to see him, and to do great reverence,
2532 And eek to herkne his heste and his sentence.
And also to hear his command and his decision.
2533 An heraud on a scaffold made an "Oo!"
A herald on a scaffold made a "Ho!"
2534 Til al the noyse of peple was ydo,
Until all the noise of people was done,
2535 And whan he saugh the peple of noyse al stille,
And when he saw the people all still of noise,
2536 Tho shewed he the myghty dukes wille:
Then showed he the mighty duke's will:
2537 "The lord hath of his heigh discrecioun
"The lord has of his great sound judgment
2538 Considered that it were destruccioun
Considered that it would be destruction
2539 To gentil blood to fighten in the gyse
To gentle blood to fight in the manner
2540 Of mortal bataille now in this emprise.
Of mortal battle now in this undertaking.
2541 Wherfore, to shapen that they shal nat dye,
Wherefore, to arrange matters so that they shall not die,
2542 He wol his firste purpos modifye.
He will modify his previous plan.
2543 No man therfore, up peyne of los of lyf,
No man therefore, upon punishment of loss of life,
2544 No maner shot, ne polax, ne short knyf
No sort of arrow, nor battle-axe, nor short knife
2545 Into the lystes sende or thider brynge;
Send into the lists or bring there;
2546 Ne short swerd, for to stoke with poynt bitynge,
Nor short sword, to stab with piercing point,
2547 No man ne drawe, ne bere it by his syde.
May no man neither draw, nor bear it by his side.
2548 Ne no man shal unto his felawe ryde
And no man shall ride at his opponent
2549 But o cours with a sharpe ygrounde spere;
More than one course with a sharply honed spear;
2550 Foyne, if hym list, on foote, hymself to were.
Let him thrust, if he wishes, on foot, to defend himself.
2551 And he that is at meschief shal be take
And he who is at a disadvantage shall be taken
2552 And noght slayn, but be broght unto the stake
And not slain, but be brought unto the stake
2553 That shal ben ordeyned on either syde;
That shall be placed on either side;
2554 But thider he shal by force, and there abyde.
But thither he must (go) by force, and remain there.
2555 And if so falle the chieftayn be take
And if so happen that the chieftain be taken
2556 On outher syde, or elles sleen his make,
On either side, or else should slay his opponent,
2557 No lenger shal the turneiynge laste.
The tournament shall last no longer.
2558 God spede you! Gooth forth and ley on faste!
God give you success! Go forth and lay on fast!
2559 With long swerd and with mace fighteth youre fille.
With long sword and with mace fight your fill.
2560 Gooth now youre wey; this is the lordes wille."
Go now on your way; this is the lord's will."
2561 The voys of peple touchede the hevene,
The voice of people touched the heaven,
2562 So loude cride they with murie stevene,
So loudly they cried with merry voices,
2563 "God save swich a lord, that is so good
"God save such a lord, that is so good
2564 He wilneth no destruccion of blood!"
He desires no destruction of blood!"
2565 Up goon the trompes and the melodye,
Up go the trumpets and the melody,
2566 And to the lystes rit the compaignye,
And to the lists rides the company,
2567 By ordinance, thurghout the citee large,
In battle array, throughout all the city,
2568 Hanged with clooth of gold, and nat with sarge.
Hung with cloth of gold, and not with serge.
2569 Ful lik a lord this noble duc gan ryde,
Fully like a lord this noble duke did ride,
2570 Thise two Thebans upon either syde,
These two Thebans upon either side,
2571 And after rood the queene and Emelye,
And after rode the queen and Emelye,
2572 And after that another compaignye
And after that another company
2573 Of oon and oother, after hir degree.
One after another, according to their rank.
2574 And thus they passen thurghout the citee,
And thus they pass throughout the city,
2575 And to the lystes come they by tyme.
And they come to the lists in good time.
2576 It nas nat of the day yet fully pryme
It was not yet fully prime (nine a.m.) of the day
2577 Whan set was Theseus ful riche and hye,
When Theseus was set very splendidly and nobly,
2578 Ypolita the queene, and Emelye,
Ypolita the queen, and Emelye,
2579 And othere ladys in degrees aboute.
And other ladies about in tiers.
2580 Unto the seetes preesseth al the route.
Unto the seats press all the crowd.
2581 And westward, thurgh the gates under Marte,
And westward, through the gates under Mars,
2582 Arcite, and eek the hondred of his parte,
Arcite, and also the hundred of his party,
2583 With baner reed is entred right anon;
With red banner is entered right away;
2584 And in that selve moment Palamon
And in that same moment Palamon
2585 Is under Venus, estward in the place,
Is under Venus, eastward in the place,
2586 With baner whyt and hardy chiere and face.
With white banner and hardy countenance and face.
2587 In al the world, to seken up and doun,
In all the world, to seek up and down,
2588 So evene, withouten variacioun,
So evenly, without variation,
2589 Ther nere swiche compaignyes tweye,
There were not two such companies,
2590 For ther was noon so wys that koude seye
For there was no one so wise that could say
2591 That any hadde of oother avauntage
That any one had advantage over the other
2592 Of worthynesse, ne of estaat, ne age,
In worthiness, nor in status, nor age,
2593 So evene were they chosen, for to gesse.
So evenly were they chosen, as I estimate.
2594 And in two renges faire they hem dresse.
And in two fair ranks they arrange themselves.
2595 Whan that hir names rad were everichon,
When every one of their names were read,
2596 That in hir nombre gyle were ther noon,
So that in their total number there would be no deception,
2597 Tho were the gates shet, and cried was loude:
Then the gates were shut, and cried was aloud:
2598 "Do now youre devoir, yonge knyghtes proude!"
"Do now your duty, proud young knights!"
2599 The heraudes lefte hir prikyng up and doun;
The heralds left their spurring up and down;
2600 Now ryngen trompes loude and clarioun.
Now trumpets and bugles ring loud.
2601 Ther is namoore to seyn, but west and est
There is no more to say, but from west and east
2602 In goon the speres ful sadly in arrest;
In go the spears very firmly in the lance-rests;
2603 In gooth the sharpe spore into the syde.
In goes the sharp spur into the flank.
2604 Ther seen men who kan juste and who kan ryde;
There people see who can joust and who can ride;
2605 Ther shyveren shaftes upon sheeldes thikke;
There splinter spears upon thick shields;
2606 He feeleth thurgh the herte-spoon the prikke.
He feels the stabbing through the breast-bone.
2607 Up spryngen speres twenty foot on highte;
Up spring spears twenty foot on height;
2608 Out goon the swerdes as the silver brighte;
Out go the swords bright as silver;
2609 The helmes they tohewen and toshrede;
The helms they hew to pieces and cut into shreds
2610 Out brest the blood with stierne stremes rede;
Out burst the blood in strong red streams;
2611 With myghty maces the bones they tobreste.
With mighty maces they break the bones to pieces.
2612 He thurgh the thikkeste of the throng gan threste;
He did thrust through the thickest of the throng;
2613 Ther stomblen steedes stronge, and doun gooth al,
There strong steeds stumble, and down goes all,
2614 He rolleth under foot as dooth a bal;
He rolls under foot as does a ball;
2615 He foyneth on his feet with his tronchoun,
On his feet he stabs with the broken shaft of his spear,
2616 And he hym hurtleth with his hors adoun;
And he hurtles him down with his horse;
2617 He thurgh the body is hurt and sithen ytake,
He is hurt through the body and then taken,
2618 Maugree his heed, and broght unto the stake;
Despite all he can do, and brought unto the stake;
2619 As forward was, right there he moste abyde.
As was the agreement, right there he must abide.
2620 Another lad is on that oother syde.
Another on that other side is led away.
2621 And some tyme dooth hem Theseus to reste,
And for a while Theseus makes them rest,
2622 Hem to refresshe and drynken, if hem leste.
To refresh themselves and drink, if they wish.
2623 Ful ofte a day han thise Thebanes two
Many times these two Thebans have
2624 Togydre ymet, and wroght his felawe wo;
Met together, and (each) wrought woe to his opponent;
2625 Unhorsed hath ech oother of hem tweye.
Each has unhorsed the other of them two.
2626 Ther nas no tygre in the vale of Galgopheye,
There was not any tiger in the vale of Gargaphia,
2627 Whan that hir whelp is stole whan it is lite,
When her whelp is stolen when it is little,
2628 So crueel on the hunte as is Arcite
So cruel on the hunt as is Arcite
2629 For jelous herte upon this Palamon.
For jealous heart upon this Palamon.
2630 Ne in Belmarye ther nys so fel leon,
Nor in Benmarin there is not so fierce a lion,
2631 That hunted is, or for his hunger wood,
That is hunted, or maddened by his hunger,
2632 Ne of his praye desireth so the blood,
Nor of his prey desires so the blood,
2633 As Palamon to sleen his foo Arcite.
As Palamon to slay his foe Arcite.
2634 The jelous strokes on hir helmes byte;
The fervent strokes bite on their helms;
2635 Out renneth blood on bothe hir sydes rede.
Out runs red blood on both their sides.
2636 Som tyme an ende ther is of every dede.
Some time there is an end of every deed.
2637 For er the sonne unto the reste wente,
For before the sun went unto its rest,
2638 The stronge kyng Emetreus gan hente
The strong king Emetreus did seize
2639 This Palamon, as he faught with Arcite,
This Palamon, as he fought with Arcite,
2640 And made his swerd depe in his flessh to byte,
And made his sword deep in his flesh to bite,
2641 And by the force of twenty is he take
And by the force of twenty he (Palamon) is taken
2642 Unyolden, and ydrawen to the stake.
Without having surrendered, and dragged to the stake.
2643 And in the rescus of this Palamoun
And in the rescue of this Palamon
2644 The stronge kyng Lygurge is born adoun,
The strong king Lygurge is born down,
2645 And kyng Emetreus, for al his strengthe,
And king Emetreus, despite all his strength,
2646 Is born out of his sadel a swerdes lengthe,
Is carried out of his saddle a sword's length,
2647 So hitte him Palamoun er he were take.
So hit him Palamon before he was taken.
2648 But al for noght; he was broght to the stake.
But all for naught; he was brought to the stake.
2649 His hardy herte myghte hym helpe naught:
His hardy heart could not help him:
2650 He moste abyde, whan that he was caught,
He must abide, when he was caught,
2651 By force and eek by composicioun.
By force and also by the agreed terms of battle.
2652 Who sorweth now but woful Palamoun,
Who sorrows now but woeful Palamon,
2653 That moot namoore goon agayn to fighte?
That must no more go again to fight?
2654 And whan that Theseus hadde seyn this sighte,
And when Theseus had seen this sight,
2655 Unto the folk that foghten thus echon
Unto each one of the folk that fought thus
2656 He cryde, "Hoo! namoore, for it is doon!
He cried, "Stop! no more, for it is done!
2657 I wol be trewe juge, and no partie.
I will be true judge, and no partisan.
2658 Arcite of Thebes shal have Emelie,
Arcite of Thebes shall have Emelye,
2659 That by his fortune hath hire faire ywonne."
Who by his fortune has won her fairly."
2660 Anon ther is a noyse of peple bigonne
Immediately there is a noise of people begun
2661 For joye of this, so loude and heighe withalle
For joy of this, so loud and clamorous indeed
2662 It semed that the lystes sholde falle.
It seemed that the lists should fall.
2663 What kan now faire Venus doon above?
What now can fair Venus do above?
2664 What seith she now? What dooth this queene of love,
What says she now? What does this queen of love,
2665 But wepeth so, for wantynge of hir wille,
But weeps so, for lack of (having) her will,
2666 Til that hir teeres in the lystes fille?
Until her tears fell in the lists?
2667 She seyde, "I am ashamed, doutelees."
She said, "I am disgraced, doubtless."
2668 Saturnus seyde, "Doghter, hoold thy pees!
Saturn said, "Daughter, hold thy peace!
2669 Mars hath his wille, his knyght hath al his boone,
Mars has his will, his knight has all his request,
2670 And, by myn heed, thow shalt been esed soone."
And, by my head, thou shalt be relieved soon."
2671 The trompours, with the loude mynstralcie,
The trumpeters, with the loud music,
2672 The heraudes, that ful loude yelle and crie,
The heralds, who full loudly yell and cry,
2673 Been in hire wele for joye of daun Arcite.
Are in their happiest state for joy of dan Arcite.
2674 But herkneth me, and stynteth noyse a lite,
But listen to me, and stop the noise for a little,
2675 Which a myracle ther bifel anon.
(Hear) what a miracle at once befell there.
2676 This fierse Arcite hath of his helm ydon,
This fierce Arcite has taken off his helm,
2677 And on a courser, for to shewe his face,
And on a war horse, to show his face,
2678 He priketh endelong the large place
He spurs from one end to the other of the large open space
2679 Lokynge upward upon this Emelye;
Looking upward upon this Emelye;
2680 And she agayn hym caste a freendlich ye
And she to him cast a friendly eye
2681 (For wommen, as to speken in comune,
(For women, so to speak in general,
2682 Thei folwen alle the favour of Fortune)
They all follow the favor of Fortune)
2683 And was al his chiere, as in his herte.
And was all his source of pleasure, in his heart.
2684 Out of the ground a furie infernal sterte,
Out of the ground leaped an infernal fury,
2685 From Pluto sent at requeste of Saturne,
Sent from Pluto at the request of Saturn,
2686 For which his hors for fere gan to turne,
For which his horse for fear began to turn,
2687 And leep aside, and foundred as he leep;
And leaped aside, and stumbled as he leaped;
2688 And er that Arcite may taken keep,
And before Arcite can take heed,
2689 He pighte hym on the pomel of his heed,
He hit himself on the top of his head,
2690 That in the place he lay as he were deed,
That in the place he lay as if he were dead,
2691 His brest tobrosten with his sadel-bowe.
His breast shattered by his saddlebow.
2692 As blak he lay as any cole or crowe,
He lay as black as any coal or crow,
2693 So was the blood yronnen in his face.
The blood was so run in his face.
2694 Anon he was yborn out of the place,
Immediately he was carried out of the place,
2695 With herte soor, to Theseus paleys.
With painful heart, to Theseus's palace.
2696 Tho was he korven out of his harneys
Then was he cut out of his armor
2697 And in a bed ybrought ful faire and blyve,
And brought in a bed very gently and quickly,
2698 For he was yet in memorie and alyve,
For he was yet conscious and alive,
2699 And alwey criynge after Emelye.
And always crying for Emelye.
2700 Duc Theseus, with al his compaignye,
Duke Theseus, with all his company,
2701 Is comen hoom to Atthenes his citee,
Is come home to Athens, his city,
2702 With alle blisse and greet solempnitee.
With all bliss and great solemnity.
2703 Al be it that this aventure was falle,
Although this accident had happened,
2704 He nolde noght disconforten hem alle.
He would not distress them all.
2705 Men seyde eek that Arcite shal nat dye;
People said also that Arcite shall not dye;
2706 He shal been heeled of his maladye.
He shall be healed of his injuries.
2707 And of another thyng they weren as fayn,
And of another thing they were as happy,
2708 That of hem alle was ther noon yslayn,
That of them all there was no one slain,
2709 Al were they soore yhurt, and namely oon,
Although they (were) sorely hurt, and especially one,
2710 That with a spere was thirled his brest boon.
Whose breastbone was pierced by a spear.
2711 To othere woundes and to broken armes
To other wounds and to broken arms
2712 Somme hadden salves, and somme hadden charmes;
Some had salves, and some had charms;
2713 Fermacies of herbes, and eek save
Medicines made of herbs, and also of sage
2714 They dronken, for they wolde hir lymes have.
They drank, for they wanted to have their limbs cured.
2715 For which this noble duc, as he wel kan,
For which this noble duke, as he well knows how,
2716 Conforteth and honoureth every man,
Comforts and honors every man,
2717 And made revel al the longe nyght
And made revel all the long night
2718 Unto the straunge lordes, as was right.
For the foreign lords, as was right.
2719 Ne ther was holden no disconfitynge
Nor was it considered any defeat (in battle)
2720 But as a justes or a tourneiynge;
But (only) as a joust or a tournament;
2721 For soothly ther was no disconfiture.
For truly there was no defeat.
2722 For fallyng nys nat but an aventure,
For falling is nothing but an accident,
2723 Ne to be lad by force unto the stake
Nor to be led by force unto the stake
2724 Unyolden, and with twenty knyghtes take,
Without having surrendered, and taken by twenty knights,
2725 O persone allone, withouten mo,
One person alone, without others,
2726 And haryed forth by arme, foot, and too,
And dragged forth by arm, foot, and toe,
2727 And eke his steede dryven forth with staves
And also his steed driven forth with staves
2728 With footmen, bothe yemen and eek knaves --
By men on foot, both yeomen and also foot soldiers --
2729 It nas arretted hym no vileynye;
He incurred no shameful blame for it;
2730 Ther may no man clepen it cowardye.
No man there may call it cowardice.
2731 For which anon duc Theseus leet crye,
For which anon duke Theseus had proclaimed,
2732 To stynten alle rancour and envye,
To put a stop to all rancor and ill-will,
2733 The gree as wel of o syde as of oother,
The victory (is given) as well to one side as to the other,
2734 And eyther syde ylik as ootheres brother;
And either side equal as the other's brother;
2735 And yaf hem yiftes after hir degree,
And gave them gifts in accordance with their ranks,
2736 And fully heeld a feeste dayes three,
And held a feast for fully three days,
2737 And conveyed the kynges worthily
And honorably escorted the kings
2738 Out of his toun a journee largely.
Out of his town a full day's journey.
2739 And hoom wente every man the righte way.
And home went every man the direct way.
2740 Ther was namoore but "Fare wel, have good day!"
There was no more but "Fare well, have good day!"
2741 Of this bataille I wol namoore endite,
Of this battle I will write no more,
2742 But speke of Palamon and of Arcite.
But speak of Palamon and of Arcite.
2743 Swelleth the brest of Arcite, and the soore
The breast of Arcite swells, and the pain
2744 Encreesseth at his herte moore and moore.
At his heart increases more and more.
2745 The clothered blood, for any lechecraft,
The clotted blood, despite any medical treatment,
2746 Corrupteth, and is in his bouk ylaft,
Corrupts, and is left in the trunk of his body,
2747 That neither veyne-blood, ne ventusynge,
That neither blood letting at a vein, nor applying suction cups,
2748 Ne drynke of herbes may ben his helpynge.
Nor drink of herbs can be any help to him.
2749 The vertu expulsif, or animal,
The power expulsive (to expel fluids), or animal,
2750 Fro thilke vertu cleped natural
From that power called natural
2751 Ne may the venym voyden ne expelle.
Can not remove nor expel the poison.
2752 The pipes of his longes gonne to swelle,
The pipes of his lungs began to swell,
2753 And every lacerte in his brest adoun
And every muscle down in his breast
2754 Is shent with venym and corrupcioun.
Is destroyed by poison and corrupted matter.
2755 Hym gayneth neither, for to gete his lif,
Avails him neither, to preserve his life,
2756 Vomyt upward, ne dounward laxatif.
Vomit upward, nor downward laxative.
2757 Al is tobrosten thilke regioun;
All is shattered in that region;
2758 Nature hath now no dominacioun.
Nature now has no power to control.
2759 And certeinly, ther Nature wol nat wirche,
And certainly, where Nature will not work,
2760 Fare wel phisik! Go ber the man to chirche!
Fare well medicine! Go bear the man to church!
2761 This al and som, that Arcita moot dye;
This is the whole of it, that Arcite must die;
2762 For which he sendeth after Emelye,
For which he sends after Emelye,
2763 And Palamon, that was his cosyn deere.
And Palamon, who was his dear cousin.
2764 Thanne seyde he thus, as ye shal after heere:
Then said he thus, as you shall after hear:
2765 "Naught may the woful spirit in myn herte
"The woeful spirit in my heart can not
2766 Declare o point of alle my sorwes smerte
Declare one small part of all my painful sorrows
2767 To yow, my lady, that I love moost,
To you, my lady, whom I love most,
2768 But I biquethe the servyce of my goost
But I bequeath the service of my ghost
2769 To yow aboven every creature,
To you above every creature,
2770 Syn that my lyf may no lenger dure.
Since my life can no longer endure.
2771 Allas, the wo! Allas, the peynes stronge,
Alas, the woe! Alas, the strong pains,
2772 That I for yow have suffred, and so longe!
That I have suffered for you, and so long!
2773 Allas, the deeth! Allas, myn Emelye!
Alas, the death! Alas, my Emelye!
2774 Allas, departynge of oure compaignye!
Alas, separation of our company!
2775 Allas, myn hertes queene! Allas, my wyf,
Alas, my heart's queen! Alas, my wife,
2776 Myn hertes lady, endere of my lyf!
My heart's lady, ender of my life!
2777 What is this world? What asketh men to have?
What is this world? What do people ask to have?
2778 Now with his love, now in his colde grave
Now with his love, now in his cold grave
2779 Allone, withouten any compaignye.
Alone, without any company.
2780 Fare wel, my sweete foo, myn Emelye!
Fare well, my sweet foe, my Emelye!
2781 And softe taak me in youre armes tweye,
And softly take me in your two arms,
2782 For love of God, and herkneth what I seye.
For love of God, and listen to what I say.
2783 "I have heer with my cosyn Palamon
"I have here with my cousin Palamon
2784 Had strif and rancour many a day agon
Had strife and rancor many a day ago
2785 For love of yow, and for my jalousye.
For love of you, and for my jealousy.
2786 And Juppiter so wys my soule gye,
And as Jupiter may guide my soul,
2787 To speken of a servaunt proprely,
To speak specifically of a servant (of love),
2788 With alle circumstances trewely --
With all the attendant attributes truly --
2789 That is to seyen, trouthe, honour, knyghthede,
That is to say, truth, honor, knighthood,
2790 Wysdom, humblesse, estaat, and heigh kynrede,
Wisdom, humbleness, rank, and noble ancestry,
2791 Fredom, and al that longeth to that art --
Nobility of character, and all that belongs to that art --
2792 So Juppiter have of my soule part,
As Jupiter may have concern for my soul,
2793 As in this world right now ne knowe I non
In this world right now I know no one
2794 So worthy to ben loved as Palamon,
So worthy to be loved as Palamon,
2795 That serveth yow, and wol doon al his lyf.
Who serves you, and will do so all his life.
2796 And if that evere ye shul ben a wyf,
And if ever you shall be a wife,
2797 Foryet nat Palamon, the gentil man."
Forget not Palamon, the gentle man."
2798 And with that word his speche faille gan,
And with that word his speech began to fail,
2799 For from his feet up to his brest was come
For from his feet up to his breast had come
2800 The coold of deeth, that hadde hym overcome,
The cold of death, which had overcome him,
2801 And yet mooreover, for in his armes two
And yet moreover, for in his two arms
2802 The vital strengthe is lost and al ago.
The vital strength is lost and all gone.
2803 Oonly the intellect, withouten moore,
Only the intellect, nothing else,
2804 That dwelled in his herte syk and soore,
That dwelled in his heart sick and sore,
2805 Gan faillen whan the herte felte deeth.
Began to fail when the heart felt death.
2806 Dusked his eyen two, and failled breeth,
His two eyes grew dark, and his breath failed,
2807 But on his lady yet caste he his ye;
But on his lady yet he cast his eye;
2808 His laste word was, "Mercy, Emelye!"
His last word was, "Mercy, Emelye!"
2809 His spirit chaunged hous and wente ther,
His spirit changed house and went where,
2810 As I cam nevere, I kan nat tellen wher.
Since I came never (there), I can not tell where.
2811 Therfore I stynte; I nam no divinistre;
Therefore I stop; I am no theologian;
2812 Of soules fynde I nat in this registre,
I find nothing about souls in this register,
2813 Ne me ne list thilke opinions to telle
Nor do I wish to tell such beliefs
2814 Of hem, though that they writen wher they dwelle.
Of them, though they write of where they (the souls) dwell.
2815 Arcite is coold, ther Mars his soule gye!
Arcite is cold, may Mars guide his soul!
2816 Now wol I speken forth of Emelye.
Now will I speak forth of Emelye.
2817 Shrighte Emelye, and howleth Palamon,
Emelye shrieked, and Palamon howls,
2818 And Theseus his suster took anon
And Theseus immediately took his sister
2819 Swownynge, and baar hire fro the corps away.
Swooning, and carried her away from the corpse.
2820 What helpeth it to tarien forth the day
What helps it to waste the whole day
2821 To tellen how she weep bothe eve and morwe?
To tell how she wept both evening and morning?
2822 For in swich cas wommen have swich sorwe,
For in such cases women have such sorrow,
2823 Whan that hir housbondes ben from hem ago,
When their husbands are gone from them,
2824 That for the moore part they sorwen so,
That for the most part they so sorrow,
2825 Or ellis fallen in swich maladye
Or else fall in such illness
2826 That at the laste certeinly they dye.
That at the last certainly they die.
2827 Infinite been the sorwes and the teeres
Infinite are the sorrows and the tears
2828 Of olde folk and folk of tendre yeeres
Of old folk and folk of tender years
2829 In al the toun for deeth of this Theban.
In all the town for the death of this Theban.
2830 For hym ther wepeth bothe child and man;
For him there weep both child and man;
2831 So greet wepyng was ther noon, certayn,
There was no such great weeping, certainly,
2832 Whan Ector was ybroght, al fressh yslayn,
When Hector was brought, just recently slain,
2833 To Troye. Allas, the pitee that was ther,
To Troy. Alas, the lamentation that was there,
2834 Cracchynge of chekes, rentynge eek of heer.
Scratching of cheeks, also tearing of hair.
2835 "Why woldestow be deed," thise wommen crye,
"Why wouldst thou be dead," these women cry,
2836 "And haddest gold ynough, and Emelye?"
"Since thou haddest gold enough, and Emelye?"
2837 No man myghte gladen Theseus,
No man might comfort Theseus,
2838 Savynge his olde fader Egeus,
Except for his old father Egeus,
2839 That knew this worldes transmutacioun,
Who knew the changes of this world,
2840 As he hadde seyn it chaunge bothe up and doun,
As he had seen it change both up and down,
2841 Joye after wo, and wo after gladnesse,
Joy after woe, and woe after gladness,
2842 And shewed hem ensamples and liknesse.
And showed them examples and comparisons.
2843 "Right as ther dyed nevere man," quod he,
"Right as there died never a man," said he,
2844 "That he ne lyvede in erthe in some degree,
"Who did not live in earth to some extent
2845 Right so ther lyvede never man," he seyde,
Just so there lived never a man," he said,
2846 "In al this world, that som tyme he ne deyde.
"In all this world, who some time did not die.
2847 This world nys but a thurghfare ful of wo,
This world is nothing but a thoroughfare full of woe,
2848 And we been pilgrymes, passynge to and fro.
And we are pilgrims, passing to and fro.
2849 Deeth is an ende of every worldly soore."
Death is an end of every worldly pain."
2850 And over al this yet seyde he muchel moore
And beyond all this yet he said much more
2851 To this effect, ful wisely to enhorte
To this effect, full wisely to exhort
2852 The peple that they sholde hem reconforte.
The people that they should comfort themselves.
2853 Duc Theseus, with al his bisy cure,
Duke Theseus, with all his careful attention,
2854 Caste now wher that the sepulture
Considered now where the tomb
2855 Of goode Arcite may best ymaked be,
Of good Arcite may best be made,
2856 And eek moost honurable in his degree.
And also most honorable in (regard to) his rank.
2857 And at the laste he took conclusioun
And at the last he concluded
2858 That ther as first Arcite and Palamoun
That there where first Arcite and Palamon
2859 Hadden for love the bataille hem bitwene,
Had the battle between them for love,
2860 That in that selve grove, swoote and grene,
That in that same grove, sweet-smelling and green,
2861 Ther as he hadde his amorouse desires,
Where he had his amorous desires,
2862 His compleynte, and for love his hoote fires,
His lament, and for love his hot fires,
2863 He wolde make a fyr in which the office
He would make a fire in which the rite
2864 Funeral he myghte al accomplice.
Of a funeral he might fully perform.
2865 And leet comande anon to hakke and hewe
And he ordered immediately to hack and hew
2866 The okes olde, and leye hem on a rewe
The old oaks, and lay them in a row
2867 In colpons wel arrayed for to brenne.
In piles arranged to burn well.
2868 His officers with swifte feet they renne
His officers with swift feet they run
2869 And ryde anon at his comandement.
And ride quickly at his commandment.
2870 And after this, Theseus hath ysent
And after this, Theseus has sent
2871 After a beere, and it al overspradde
For a bier, and it all overspread
2872 With clooth of gold, the richeste that he hadde.
With cloth of gold, the richest that he had.
2873 And of the same suyte he cladde Arcite;
And of the same material he clad Arcite;
2874 Upon his hondes hadde he gloves white,
Upon his hands he had white gloves,
2875 Eek on his heed a coroune of laurer grene,
Also on his head a crown of green laurel,
2876 And in his hond a swerd ful bright and kene.
And in his hand a sword full bright and keen.
2877 He leyde hym, bare the visage, on the beere;
He laid him, with the face bare, on the bier;
2878 Therwith he weep that pitee was to heere.
Therewith he wept that it was a pity to hear.
2879 And for the peple sholde seen hym alle,
And in order that all the people should see him,
2880 Whan it was day, he broghte hym to the halle,
When it was day, he brought him to the hall,
2881 That roreth of the criyng and the soun.
That resounds with the crying and the sound.
2882 Tho cam this woful Theban Palamoun,
Then came this woeful Theban Palamon,
2883 With flotery berd and ruggy, asshy heeres,
With waving beard and rough hair sprinkled with ashes,
2884 In clothes blake, ydropped al with teeres;
In black clothes, all sprinkled with tears;
2885 And, passynge othere of wepynge, Emelye,
And, excelling others in weeping, Emelye,
2886 The rewefulleste of al the compaignye.
The most pitiful of all the company.
2887 In as muche as the servyce sholde be
In order that the ritual should be
2888 The moore noble and riche in his degree,
The more noble and rich in its degree,
2889 Duc Theseus leet forth thre steedes brynge,
Duke Theseus had three steeds brought forth,
2890 That trapped were in steel al gliterynge,
That were equipped with trappings of steel all glittering,
2891 And covered with the armes of daun Arcite.
And covered with the coat of arms of Don Arcite.
2892 Upon thise steedes, that weren grete and white,
Upon these steeds, that were large and white,
2893 Ther seten folk, of whiche oon baar his sheeld,
There sat folk, of which one carried his (Arcite's) shield,
2894 Another his spere up on his hondes heeld,
Another held his spear upright in his hands,
2895 The thridde baar with hym his bowe Turkeys
The third carried with him his Turkish bow
2896 (Of brend gold was the caas and eek the harneys);
(Of pure gold was the quiver and also the fittings);
2897 And riden forth a paas with sorweful cheere
And they rode forth slowly with sorrowful demeanor
2898 Toward the grove, as ye shul after heere.
Toward the grove, as you shall later hear.
2899 The nobleste of the Grekes that ther were
The noblest of the Greeks that were there
2900 Upon hir shuldres caryeden the beere,
Carried the bier upon their shoulders,
2901 With slakke paas and eyen rede and wete,
With slow pace and eyes red and wet,
2902 Thurghout the citee by the maister strete,
Throughout the city by the main street,
2903 That sprad was al with blak, and wonder hye
Which was all spread with black, and wonderfully high
2904 Right of the same is the strete ywrye.
The street is covered with exactly the same.
2905 Upon the right hond wente olde Egeus,
Upon the right hand went old Egeus,
2906 And on that oother syde duc Theseus,
And on that other side duke Theseus,
2907 With vessels in hir hand of gold ful fyn,
With vessels of pure gold in their hands,
2908 Al ful of hony, milk, and blood, and wyn;
All full of honey, milk, and blood, and wine;
2909 Eek Palamon, with ful greet compaignye;
Also Palamon, with a very large company;
2910 And after that cam woful Emelye,
And after that came woeful Emelye,
2911 With fyr in honde, as was that tyme the gyse,
With fire in hand, as was at that time the custom,
2912 To do the ritual of funeral service.
To do the office of funeral service.
2913 Heigh labour and ful greet apparaillynge
Much labor and full great preparation
2914 Was at the service and the fyr-makynge,
Was at the service and the fire-making,
2915 That with his grene top the hevene raughte;
Which with its green top reached the heaven;
2916 And twenty fadme of brede the armes straughte --
And twenty fathom of breadth the sides stretched --
2917 This is to seyn, the bowes weren so brode.
This is to say, the boughs were so broad.
2918 Of stree first ther was leyd ful many a lode.
There was first laid very many a load of straw.
2919 But how the fyr was maked upon highte,
But how the fire was made on high,
2920 Ne eek the names that the trees highte,
Nor also the names that the trees are called,
2921 As ook, firre, birch, aspe, alder, holm, popler,
Such as oak, fir, birch, aspen, alder, holm oak, poplar,
2922 Wylugh, elm, plane, assh, box, chasteyn, lynde, laurer,
Willow, elm, plane, ash, box, chestnut, linden, laurel,
2923 Mapul, thorn, bech, hasel, ew, whippeltree --
Maple, thorn, beech, hazel, yew, dogwood --
2924 How they weren feld shal nat be toold for me;
How they were cut down shall not be told by me;
2925 Ne hou the goddes ronnen up and doun,
Nor how the gods ran up and down,
2926 Disherited of hire habitacioun,
Disinherited of their habitation,
2927 In which they woneden in reste and pees,
In which they dwelt in rest and peace,
2928 Nymphes, fawnes and amadrides;
Nymphs, fawns and hamadryades (wood nymphs);
2929 Ne hou the beestes and the briddes alle
Nor how the beasts and the birds all
2930 Fledden for fere, whan the wode was falle;
Fled for fear, when the wood was cut down;
2931 Ne how the ground agast was of the light,
Nor how frightened by the light was the ground,
2932 That was nat wont to seen the sonne bright;
Which was not accustomed to see the bright sun;
2933 Ne how the fyr was couched first with stree,
Nor how the fire was laid first with straw,
2934 And thanne with drye stikkes cloven a thre,
And then with dry branches cut in thirds,
2935 And thanne with grene wode and spicerye,
And then with green wood and mixtures of spices,
2936 And thanne with clooth of gold and with perrye,
And then with cloth of gold and with precious stones
2937 And gerlandes, hangynge with ful many a flour;
And garlands, hanging with full many a flower;
2938 The mirre, th'encens, with al so greet odour;
The myrrh, the incense, with such great fragrance;
2939 Ne how Arcite lay among al this,
Nor how Arcite lay among all this,
2940 Ne what richesse aboute his body is;
Nor what richness about his body is;
2941 Ne how that Emelye, as was the gyse,
Nor how Emelye, as was the custom,
2942 Putte in the fyr of funeral servyse;
Lighted the fire of funeral service;
2943 Ne how she swowned whan men made the fyr,
Nor how she swooned when men made the fire,
2944 Ne what she spak, ne what was hir desir;
Nor what she spoke, nor what was her desire;
2945 Ne what jeweles men in the fyre caste,
Nor what jewels men threw in the fire,
2946 Whan that the fyr was greet and brente faste;
When the fire was great and burned fast;
2947 Ne how somme caste hir sheeld, and somme hir spere,
Nor how some threw their shields, and some their spears,
2948 And of hire vestimentz, whiche that they were,
And of their vestments, which they wore,
2949 And coppes fulle of wyn, and milk, and blood,
And cups full of wine, and milk, and blood,
2950 Into the fyr, that brente as it were wood;
Into the fire, that burned as if it were mad;
2951 Ne how the Grekes, with an huge route,
Nor how the Greeks, with a huge company,
2952 Thries riden al the fyr aboute
Thrice ride all the fire about
2953 Upon the left hand, with a loud shoutynge,
Upon the left hand, with a loud shouting,
2954 And thries with hir speres claterynge;
And thrice with their spears clattering;
2955 And thries how the ladyes gonne crye;
And thrice how the ladies did cry;
2956 And how that lad was homward Emelye;
And how Emelye was led homeward;
2957 Ne how Arcite is brent to asshen colde;
Nor how Arcite is burned to cold ashes;
2958 Ne how that lyche-wake was yholde
Nor how that wake was held
2959 Al thilke nyght; ne how the Grekes pleye
All that same night; nor how the Greeks play
2960 The wake-pleyes; ne kepe I nat to seye
The funeral games I care not to say
2961 Who wrastleth best naked with oille enoynt,
Who wrestles best, naked with oil anointed,
2962 Ne who that baar hym best, in no disjoynt.
Nor who bore him best, in any difficulty.
2963 I wol nat tellen eek how that they goon
I will not tell also how they go
2964 Hoom til Atthenes, whan the pley is doon;
Home to Athens, when the games are done;
2965 But shortly to the point thanne wol I wende
But shortly to the point then I will go
2966 And maken of my longe tale an ende.
And make an end of my long tale.
2967 By processe and by lengthe of certeyn yeres,
By the course of events and by length of a certain number of years,
2968 Al stynted is the moornynge and the teres
All stopped is the mourning and the tears
2969 Of Grekes, by oon general assent.
Of the Greeks, by one general assent.
2970 Thanne semed me ther was a parlement
Then it seemed to me there was a parliament
2971 At Atthenes, upon certein pointz and caas;
At Athens, upon certain topics and cases;
2972 Among the whiche pointz yspoken was,
Among which topics was discussed (a proposal)
2973 To have with certein contrees alliaunce,
To have alliance with certain countries,
2974 And have fully of Thebans obeisaunce.
And have fully the submission of the Thebans.
2975 For which this noble Theseus anon
For which this noble Theseus immediately
2976 Leet senden after gentil Palamon,
Ordered (someone) to send for gentle Palamon,
2977 Unwist of hym what was the cause and why,
Unknown by him (Palamon) what was the cause and why,
2978 But in his blake clothes sorwefully
But in his black clothes sorrowfully
2979 He cam at his comandement in hye.
He came at his (Theseus's) commandment in haste.
2980 Tho sente Theseus for Emelye.
Then Theseus sent for Emelye.
2981 Whan they were set, and hust was al the place,
When they were set, and all the place was hushed,
2982 And Theseus abiden hadde a space
And Theseus had waited for a while
2983 Er any word cam fram his wise brest,
Before any word came from his wise breast,
2984 His eyen sette he ther as was his lest.
He set his eyes where his object of desire was.
2985 And with a sad visage he siked stille,
And with a sad face he sighed softly,
2986 And after that right thus he seyde his wille:
And after that exactly thus he pronounced his decision:
2987 "The Firste Moevere of the cause above,
"The First Mover of the First Cause above,
2988 Whan he first made the faire cheyne of love,
When he first made the faire chain of love,
2989 Greet was th'effect, and heigh was his entente.
Great was the effect, and noble was his plan.
2990 Wel wiste he why, and what thereof he mente,
Well knew he why, and what thereof he meant,
2991 For with that faire cheyne of love he bond
For with that faire chain of love he bound
2992 The fyr, the eyr, the water, and the lond
The fire, the air, the water, and the land
2993 In certeyn boundes, that they may nat flee.
In definite bounds, from which they may not flee.
2994 That same Prince and that Moevere," quod he,
That same Prince and that Mover," said he,
2995 "Hath stablissed in this wrecched world adoun
"Has established in this wretched world below
2996 Certeyne dayes and duracioun
Specific (numbers of) days and (term of) duration
2997 To al that is engendred in this place,
To all that is engendered in this place,
2998 Over the whiche day they may nat pace,
Beyond the which day they can not pass,
2999 Al mowe they yet tho dayes wel abregge.
Although they may yet well shorten those days.
3000 Ther nedeth noght noon auctoritee t'allegge,
There is no need to cite any written authority,
3001 For it is preeved by experience,
For it is proven by experience,
3002 But that me list declaren my sentence.
Unless I wish to make my meaning more clear.
3003 Thanne may men by this ordre wel discerne
Then one can by this order well discern
3004 That thilke Moevere stable is and eterne.
That that same Mover is stable and eternal.
3005 Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool,
Well may one know, unless it be a fool,
3006 That every part dirryveth from his hool,
That every part derives from its whole,
3007 For nature hath nat taken his bigynnyng
For nature has not taken its beginning
3008 Of no partie or cantel of a thyng,
Of no part or portion of a thing,
3009 But of a thyng that parfit is and stable,
But of a thing that is complete and stable,
3010 Descendynge so til it be corrumpable.
Descending (from that) until it becomes corruptible.
3011 And therfore, of his wise purveiaunce,
And therefore, by his wise foresight,
3012 He hath so wel biset his ordinaunce
He has so well established his plan
3013 That speces of thynges and progressiouns
That types of being and natural processes
3014 Shullen enduren by successiouns,
Shall endure (for a set time) one after another,
3015 And nat eterne, withouten any lye.
And not eternally, without any lie.
3016 This maystow understonde and seen at ye.
This thou canst understand and plainly see.
3017 "Loo the ook, that hath so long a norisshynge
"Lo the oak, that is so slow to mature,
3018 From tyme that it first bigynneth to sprynge,
From the time that it first begins to spring,
3019 And hath so long a lif, as we may see,
And has so long a life, as we may see,
3020 Yet at the laste wasted is the tree.
Yet at the last the tree is wasted away.
3021 "Considereth eek how that the harde stoon
"Consider also how the hard stone
3022 Under oure feet, on which we trede and goon,
Under our feet, on which we tread and go,
3023 Yet wasteth it as it lyth by the weye.
Eventually it is worn away as it lies by the way.
3024 The brode ryver somtyme wexeth dreye;
The broad river sometimes grows dry;
3025 The grete tounes se we wane and wende.
We see the great cities grow weak and pass away.
3026 Thanne may ye se that al this thyng hath ende.
Then you can see that all things have an end.
3027 "Of man and womman seen we wel also
"Of man and woman also we see well
3028 That nedes, in oon of thise termes two --
That by necessity, in one of these two periods of time --
3029 This is to seyn, in youthe or elles age --
This is to say, in youth or else in age --
3030 He moot be deed, the kyng as shal a page;
He must be dead, the king as must a servant boy;
3031 Som in his bed, som in the depe see,
One in his bed, one in the deep sea,
3032 Som in the large feeld, as men may see;
One in the large field, as people can see;
3033 Ther helpeth noght; al goth that ilke weye.
Nothing helps there; all goes that same way.
3034 Thanne may I seyn that al this thyng moot deye.
Then may I say that all things must die.
3035 "What maketh this but Juppiter, the kyng,
"What causes this but Jupiter, the king,
3036 That is prince and cause of alle thyng,
Who is prince and cause of all things,
3037 Convertynge al unto his propre welle
Causing all to return to its own origin
3038 From which it is dirryved, sooth to telle?
From which it is derived, to tell the truth?
3039 And heer-agayns no creature on lyve,
And against this no living creature,
3040 Of no degree, availleth for to stryve.
Of any rank, is helped by striving.
3041 "Thanne is it wysdom, as it thynketh me,
"Then is it wisdom, as it seems to me,
3042 To maken vertu of necessitee,
To make virtue of necessity,
3043 And take it weel that we may nat eschue,
And take it well what we may not escape,
3044 And namely that to us alle is due.
And namely that which is due to us all.
3045 And whoso gruccheth ought, he dooth folye,
And whoever complains in any way, he does folly,
3046 And rebel is to hym that al may gye.
And is rebel to Him that can rule all.
3047 And certeinly a man hath moost honour
And certainly a man has most honor
3048 To dyen in his excellence and flour,
To die in his (time of) excellence and flower,
3049 Whan he is siker of his goode name;
When he is sure of his good name;
3050 Thanne hath he doon his freend, ne hym, no shame.
Then he has not done his friend, nor himself, any shame.
3051 And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth,
And his friend ought to be more pleased with his death,
3052 Whan with honour up yolden is his breeth,
When his breath is yielded up with honor,
3053 Than whan his name apalled is for age,
Than when his name is faded because of age,
3054 For al forgeten is his vassellage.
For all forgotten is his knightly prowess.
3055 Thanne is it best, as for a worthy fame,
Then is it best, for a worthy fame,
3056 To dyen whan that he is best of name.
To die when he has the most fame.
3057 "The contrarie of al this is wilfulnesse.
"The contrary of all this is willfulness.
3058 Why grucchen we, why have we hevynesse,
Why do we complain, why do we have sadness,
3059 That goode Arcite, of chivalrie flour,
That good Arcite, flower of chivalry,
3060 Departed is with duetee and honour
Is departed with all due honor
3061 Out of this foule prisoun of this lyf?
Out of this foul prison of this life?
3062 Why grucchen heere his cosyn and his wyf
Why do his cousin and his wife complain here
3063 Of his welfare, that loved hem so weel?
Of the welfare of him, who loved them so well?
3064 Kan he hem thank? Nay, God woot, never a deel,
Can he show them his gratitude? Nay, God knows, not a bit;
3065 That both his soule and eek hemself offende,
They offend both his soul and themselves as well,
3066 And yet they mowe hir lustes nat amende.
And as yet they may not change their desires.
3067 "What may I conclude of this longe serye,
"What can I conclude of this long argument,
3068 But after wo I rede us to be merye
But after woe I advise us to be merry
3069 And thanken Juppiter of al his grace?
And thank Jupiter for all his grace?
3070 And er that we departen from this place
And before we depart from this place
3071 I rede that we make of sorwes two
I advise that we make of two sorrows
3072 O parfit joye, lastynge everemo.
One perfect joy, lasting evermore.
3073 And looketh now, wher moost sorwe is herinne,
And look now, where most sorrow is herein,
3074 Ther wol we first amenden and bigynne.
There will we first amend and begin.
3075 "Suster," quod he, "this is my fulle assent,
"Sister," said he, "this is my full intention,
3076 With al th'avys heere of my parlement,
With all the advice of my parliament here,
3077 That gentil Palamon, youre owene knyght,
That gentle Palamon, your own knight,
3078 That serveth yow with wille, herte, and myght,
Who serves you with will, heart, and might,
3079 And ever hath doon syn ye first hym knewe,
And ever has done so since you first knew him,
3080 That ye shul of youre grace upon hym rewe,
That you shall of your grace have pity upon him,
3081 And taken hym for housbonde and for lord.
And take him for husband and for lord.
3082 Lene me youre hond, for this is oure accord.
Lend me your hand, for this is our decision.
3083 Lat se now of youre wommanly pitee.
Let your womanly pity now be seen.
3084 He is a kynges brother sone, pardee;
He is a king's brother's son, indeed;
3085 And though he were a povre bacheler,
And even if he were a poor young knight,
3086 Syn he hath served yow so many a yeer,
Since he has served you so many a year,
3087 And had for yow so greet adversitee,
And has had for you such great adversity,
3088 It moste been considered, leeveth me,
It must be taken in account, believe me,
3089 For gentil mercy oghte to passen right."
For gentle mercy ought to prevail over justice."
3090 Thanne seyde he thus to Palamon the knight:
Then said he thus to Palamon the knight:
3091 "I trowe ther nedeth litel sermonyng
"I suppose little preaching is needed here
3092 To make yow assente to this thyng.
To make you assent to this thing.
3093 Com neer, and taak youre lady by the hond."
Come near, and take your lady by the hand."
3094 Bitwixen hem was maad anon the bond
Between them was made right away the bond
3095 That highte matrimoigne or mariage,
That is called matrimony or marriage,
3096 By al the conseil and the baronage.
By all the council and the baronage.
3097 And thus with alle blisse and melodye
And thus with all bliss and festivity
3098 Hath Palamon ywedded Emelye.
Palamon has wedded Emelye.
3099 And God, that al this wyde world hath wroght,
And God, who has made all this wide world,
3100 Sende hym his love that hath it deere aboght;
Send him his love who has dearly paid for it;
3101 For now is Palamon in alle wele,
For now is Palamon in complete happiness,
3102 Lyvynge in blisse, in richesse, and in heele,
Living in bliss, in riches, and in health,
3103 And Emelye hym loveth so tendrely,
And Emelye loves him so tenderly,
3104 And he hire serveth so gentilly,
And he serves her so gently,
3105 That nevere was ther no word hem bitwene
That never was there any word between them
3106 Of jalousie or any oother teene.
Of jealousy or any other vexation.
3107 Thus endeth Palamon and Emelye;
Thus ends Palamon and Emelye;
3108 And God save al this faire compaignye! Amen.
And God save all this fair company! Amen.
Heere is ended the Knyghtes Tale