Introduction to The Squire's Tale
1 "Squier, com neer, if it youre wille be,
"Squire, come nearer, if it be your will,
2 And sey somwhat of love, for certes ye
And say something about love, for certainly you
3 Konnen theron as muche as any man."
Know as much about that as any man."
4 "Nay, sire," quod he, "but I wol seye as I kan
"Nay, sir," said he, "but I will speak as I can
5 With hertly wyl, for I wol nat rebelle
With a hearty will, for I will not rebel
6 Agayn youre lust; a tale wol I telle.
Against your desire; a tale I will tell.
7 Have me excused if I speke amys;
Have me excused if I speak amiss;
8 My wyl is good, and lo, my tale is this."
My will is good, and lo, my tale is this."
The Squire's Tale
Here bigynneth the Squieres Tale.
9 At Sarray, in the land of Tartarye,
At Sarray, in the land of Tartars,
10 Ther dwelte a kyng that werreyed Russye,
There dwelt a king who waged war on Russia,
11 Thurgh which ther dyde many a doughty man.
Through which there died many a doughty man.
12 This noble kyng was cleped Cambyuskan,
This noble king was called Cambyuskan,
13 Which in his tyme was of so greet renoun
Who in his time was of such great renown
14 That ther was nowher in no regioun
That there was nowhere in any region
15 So excellent a lord in alle thyng:
So excellent a lord in all things:
16 Hym lakked noght that longeth to a kyng.
He lacked nothing that is appropriate to a king.
17 As of the secte of which that he was born
In accord with the religion in which he was born
18 He kepte his lay, to which that he was sworn;
He kept its law, to which he was sworn;
19 And therto he was hardy, wys, and riche,
And moreover he was hardy, wise, and rich,
20 And pitous and just, alwey yliche;
And compassionate and just, always impartial;
21 Sooth of his word, benigne, and honurable;
Truthful of his word, benign, and honorable;
22 Of his corage as any centre stable;
Of his heart as stable as the center of any circle;
23 Yong, fressh, and strong, in armes desirous
Young, vigorous, and strong, in arms as desirous (to excel)
24 As any bacheler of al his hous.
As any young knight of all his household.
25 A fair persone he was and fortunat,
He was a handsome person and fortunate,
26 And kept alwey so wel roial estat
And always so well maintained the splendor appropriate to his rank
27 That ther was nowher swich another man.
That there was nowhere such another man.
28 This noble kyng, this Tartre Cambyuskan,
This noble king, this Tartar Cambyuskan,
29 Hadde two sones on Elpheta his wyf,
Had two sons on Elpheta his wife,
30 Of whiche the eldeste highte Algarsyf;
Of whom the eldest was called Algarsyf;
31 That oother sone was cleped Cambalo.
That other son was called Cambalo.
32 A doghter hadde this worthy kyng also,
A daughter had this worthy king also,
33 That yongest was, and highte Canacee.
That youngest was, and was called Canacee.
34 But for to telle yow al hir beautee,
But to tell you all her beauty,
35 It lyth nat in my tonge, n' yn my konnyng;
It lies not in my tongue, nor in my abilities;
36 I dar nat undertake so heigh a thyng.
I dare not undertake so high a thing.
37 Myn Englissh eek is insufficient.
My English also is insufficient.
38 It moste been a rethor excellent
He must be an excellent rhetorician
39 That koude his colours longynge for that art,
Who knows his figures of speech appropriate to that art,
40 If he sholde hire discryven every part.
If he should describe her in every detail.
41 I am noon swich, I moot speke as I kan.
I am none such, I must speak as I can.
42 And so bifel that whan this Cambyuskan
And it so befell that when this Cambyuskan
43 Hath twenty wynter born his diademe,
Has twenty winters borne his diadem,
44 As he was wont fro yeer to yeer, I deme,
As he was accustomed from year to year, I suppose,
45 He leet the feeste of his nativitee
He had the feast of his nativity
46 Doon cryen thurghout Sarray his citee,
Proclaimed throughout Sarray his city,
47 The laste Idus of March, after the yeer.
Exactly March 15, in the ordinary course of the year.
48 Phebus the sonne ful joly was and cleer,
Phoebus the sun full jolly was and clear,
49 For he was neigh his exaltacioun
For he was near his position of greatest power
50 In Martes face and in his mansioun
In Mars' face and in his astrological house
51 In Aries, the colerik hoote signe.
In Aries, the choleric hot sign.
52 Ful lusty was the weder and benigne,
Full pleasant was the weather and mild,
53 For which the foweles, agayn the sonne sheene,
For which the fowls, in response to the bright sun,
54 What for the sesoun and the yonge grene,
What for the season and the young greenery,
55 Ful loude songen hire affecciouns.
Full loudly sang of their desires.
56 Hem semed han geten hem protecciouns
They seemed to have gotten themselves protections
57 Agayn the swerd of wynter, keene and coold.
Against the sword of winter, keen and cold.
58 This Cambyuskan, of which I have yow toold,
This Cambyuskan, of whom I have you told,
59 In roial vestiment sit on his deys,
In royal vestments sits on his dais,
60 With diademe, ful heighe in his paleys,
With diadem, full nobly in his palace,
61 And halt his feeste so solempne and so ryche
And holds his feast so solemn and so rich
62 That in this world ne was ther noon it lyche;
That in this world there was none like it;
63 Of which if I shal tellen al th' array,
Of which if I should tell all the festivities,
64 Thanne wolde it occupie a someres day,
Then would it occupy a summer's day,
65 And eek it nedeth nat for to devyse
And also it is not necessary to describe
66 At every cours the ordre of hire servyse.
At every course the order of their service.
67 I wol nat tellen of hir strange sewes,
I will not tell of their strange stews,
68 Ne of hir swannes, ne of hire heronsewes.
Nor of their swans, nor of their young herons.
69 Eek in that lond, as tellen knyghtes olde,
Also in that land, as old knights tell,
70 Ther is som mete that is ful deynte holde
There is some food that is considered very delicious
71 That in this lond men recche of it but smal;
That in this land is reckoned of but little value;
72 Ther nys no man that may reporten al.
There is no man that can report all.
73 I wol nat taryen yow, for it is pryme
I will not tarry you, for it is nine a.m.
74 And for it is no fruyt but los of tyme;
And because it is not essential to the tale but a loss of time;
75 Unto my firste I wole have my recours.
Unto my first topic I will return.
76 And so bifel that after the thridde cours,
And so it befell that after the third course,
77 Whil that this kyng sit thus in his nobleye,
While this king sits thus in his nobility,
78 Herknynge his mynstralles hir thynges pleye
Listening to his minstrels playing their instruments
79 Biforn hym at the bord deliciously,
Before him at the table delightfully,
80 In at the halle dore al sodeynly
In at the hall door all suddenly
81 Ther cam a knyght upon a steede of bras,
There came a knight upon a steed of brass,
82 And in his hand a brood mirour of glas.
And in his hand a broad mirror of glass.
83 Upon his thombe he hadde of gold a ryng,
Upon his thumb he had of gold a ring,
84 And by his syde a naked swerd hangyng;
And by his side a naked sword hanging;
85 And up he rideth to the heighe bord.
And up he rides to the high table.
86 In al the halle ne was ther spoken a word
In all the hall there was not spoken a word
87 For merveille of this knyght; hym to biholde
For marveling at this knight; him to behold
88 Ful bisily they wayten, yonge and olde.
Full intently they gaze, young and old.
89 This strange knyght, that cam thus sodeynly,
This strange knight, who came thus suddenly,
90 Al armed, save his heed, ful richely,
All armed, except his head, full richly,
91 Saleweth kyng and queene and lordes alle,
Salutes king and queen and all the lords,
92 By ordre, as they seten in the halle,
In the order in which they sat in the hall,
93 With so heigh reverence and obeisaunce,
With such high reverence and respect,
94 As wel in speche as in contenaunce,
As well in speech as in countenance,
95 That Gawayn, with his olde curteisye,
That Gawain, with his old courtesy,
96 Though he were comen ayeyn out of Fairye,
Though he were come again out of Fairyland,
97 Ne koude hym nat amende with a word.
Could not amend one word of his speech.
98 And after this, biforn the heighe bord,
And after this, before the high table,
99 He with a manly voys seide his message,
He with a manly voice said his message,
100 After the forme used in his langage,
In accordance with the form used in his language,
101 Withouten vice of silable or of lettre;
Without one mistake of syllable or of letter;
102 And for his tale sholde seme the bettre,
And in order that his tale should seem the better,
103 Accordant to his wordes was his cheere,
Conforming to his words was his facial expression,
104 As techeth art of speche hem that it leere.
As teaches the art of speech to those who learn it.
105 Al be that I kan nat sowne his stile,
Although I can not imitate his style,
106 Ne kan nat clymben over so heigh a style,
Nor can not climb over so high a stile,
107 Yet seye I this, as to commune entente:
Yet say I this, as to his general meaning:
108 Thus muche amounteth al that evere he mente,
Thus much amounts all that ever he meant (to say),
109 If it so be that I have it in mynde.
If it so be that I have it (correctly) in mind.
110 He seyde, "The kyng of Arabe and of Inde,
He said, "The king of Araby and of India,
111 My lige lord, on this solempne day
My liege lord, on this solemn day
112 Saleweth yow, as he best kan and may,
Salutes you, as he best knows how and can,
113 And sendeth yow, in honour of youre feeste,
And sends you, in honor of your feast,
114 By me, that am al redy at youre heeste,
By me, who am all ready to obey your command,
115 This steede of bras, that esily and weel
This steed of brass, that easily and well
116 Kan in the space of o day natureel --
Can in the space of one natural day --
117 This is to seyn, in foure and twenty houres --
This is to say, in four and twenty hours --
118 Wher-so yow lyst, in droghte or elles shoures,
Where-ever you desire, in drought or else showers,
119 Beren youre body into every place
Bear your body into every place
120 To which youre herte wilneth for to pace,
To which your heart wishes to go,
121 Withouten wem of yow, thurgh foul or fair;
Without harm to you, through foul or fair;
122 Or, if yow lyst to fleen as hye in the air
Or, if you desire to fly as high in the air
123 As dooth an egle whan hym list to soore,
As does an eagle when he desires to soar,
124 This same steede shal bere yow evere moore,
This same steed shall bear you ever more,
125 Withouten harm, til ye be ther yow leste,
Without harm, until you be where you wished,
126 Though that ye slepen on his bak or reste,
Though you sleep or rest on his back,
127 And turne ayeyn with writhyng of a pyn.
And return again with twisting of a peg.
128 He that it wroghte koude ful many a gyn.
He who made it knew full many an ingenious contrivance.
129 He wayted many a constellacion
He observed many a configuration of the stars
130 Er he had doon this operacion,
Before he had finished this operation,
131 And knew ful many a seel and many a bond.
And knew full many a magical seal and many a controlling force.
132 "This mirour eek, that I have in myn hond,
"This mirror also, that I have in my hand,
133 Hath swich a myght that men may in it see
Has such a power that men can in it see
134 Whan ther shal fallen any adversitee
When there shall befall any adversity
135 Unto youre regne or to youreself also,
Unto your reign or to yourself also,
136 And openly who is youre freend or foo.
And clearly who is your friend or foe.
137 "And over al this, if any lady bright
"And in addition to all this, if any fair lady
138 Hath set hire herte on any maner wight,
Has set her heart on any sort of creature,
139 If he be fals, she shal his tresoun see,
If he be false, she shall his treason see,
140 His newe love, and al his subtiltee,
His new love, and all his trickery,
141 So openly that ther shal no thyng hyde.
So clearly that there shall no thing be hidden.
142 Wherfore, ageyn this lusty someres tyde,
For this reason, (to protect) against this amorous spring time,
143 This mirour and this ryng, that ye may see,
This mirror and this ring, that you can see,
144 He hath sent to my lady Canacee,
He has sent to my lady Canacee,
145 Youre excellente doghter that is heere.
Your excellent daughter that is here.
146 "The vertu of the ryng, if ye wol heere,
"The power of the ring, if you will hear,
147 Is this: that if hire lust it for to were
Is this: that if she wishes to wear it
148 Upon hir thombe or in hir purs it bere,
Upon her thumb or bear it in her purse,
149 Ther is no fowel that fleeth under the hevene
There is no fowl that flies under the heaven
150 That she ne shal wel understonde his stevene,
That she shall not well understand his speech,
151 And knowe his menyng openly and pleyn,
And know his meaning openly and plain,
152 And answere hym in his langage ageyn;
And answer him in his language in reply;
153 And every gras that groweth upon roote
And every herb that grows upon root
154 She shal eek knowe, and whom it wol do boote,
She shall also know, and to whom it will provide a remedy,
155 Al be his woundes never so depe and wyde.
Although his wounds be ever so deep and wide.
156 "This naked swerd, that hangeth by my syde,
"This naked sword, that hangs by my side,
157 Swich vertu hath that what man so ye smyte
Such power has that whatever man you smite
158 Thurghout his armure it wole kerve and byte,
Throughout his armor it will carve and bite,
159 Were it as thikke as is a branched ook;
Were it as thick as is a branched oak;
160 And what man that is wounded with the strook
And whatever man that is wounded by the stroke
161 Shal never be hool til that yow list, of grace,
Shall never be whole until you please, out of kindness,
162 To stroke hym with the plat in thilke place
To stroke him with the flat side in that same place
163 Ther he is hurt; this is as muche to seyn,
Where he is hurt; this is as much to say,
164 Ye moote with the platte swerd ageyn
You must with the blunt side of the sword again
165 Stroke hym in the wounde, and it wol close.
Stroke him in the wound, and it will close.
166 This is a verray sooth, withouten glose;
This is a very truth, without lying;
167 It failleth nat whils it is in youre hoold."
It fails not while it is in your possesion."
168 And whan this knyght hath thus his tale toold,
And when this knight has thus his tale told,
169 He rideth out of halle and doun he lighte.
He rides out of hall and down he alit.
170 His steede, which that shoon as sonne brighte,
His steed, which shone like the bright sun,
171 Stant in the court, stille as any stoon.
Stands in the court, still as any stone.
172 This knyght is to his chambre lad anoon,
This knight is to his chamber led straightway,
173 And is unarmed, and to mete yset.
And is unarmed, and set to dinner.
174 The presentes been ful roially yfet --
The presents are full royally fetched --
175 This is to seyn, the swerd and the mirour --
This is to say, the sword and the mirror --
176 And born anon into the heighe tour
And carried straightway into the high tower
177 With certeine officers ordeyned therfore;
By certain officers appointed for this purpose;
178 And unto Canacee this ryng is bore
And unto Canacee this ring is carried
179 Solempnely, ther she sit at the table.
Solemnly, where she sits at the table.
180 But sikerly, withouten any fable,
But truly, without any lie,
181 The hors of bras, that may nat be remewed,
The horse of brass, that can not be moved,
182 It stant as it were to the ground yglewed.
It stands as if it were glued to the ground.
183 Ther may no man out of the place it dryve
No man there can drive it out of the place
184 For noon engyn of wyndas or polyve;
Despite any contrivance of windlass or pulley;
185 And cause why? For they kan nat the craft.
And the reason why? Because they do not know the craft.
186 And therfore in the place they han it laft
And therefore in the place they have it left
187 Til that the knyght hath taught hem the manere
Until the knight has taught them the manner
188 To voyden hym, as ye shal after heere.
To remove him, as you shall later hear.
189 Greet was the prees that swarmeth to and fro
Great was the crowd that swarms to and fro
190 To gauren on this hors that stondeth so,
To stare on this horse that stands so,
191 For it so heigh was, and so brood and long,
For it was so high, and so broad and long,
192 So wel proporcioned for to been strong,
So well proportioned to be strong,
193 Right as it were a steede of Lumbardye;
Exactly as if it were a steed of Lombardy;
194 Therwith so horsly, and so quyk of ye,
In additon, with such equine virtues, and so quick of eye,
195 As it a gentil Poilleys courser were.
As if it were a noble Apulian courser.
196 For certes, fro his tayl unto his ere
For certainly, from his tail unto his ear
197 Nature ne art ne koude hym nat amende
Nature nor art could him not amend
198 In no degree, as al the people wende.
To any extent, as all the people believed.
199 But everemoore hir mooste wonder was
But evermore their greatest wonder was
200 How that it koude gon, and was of bras;
How it could move, and yet was of brass;
201 It was a fairye, as the peple semed.
It was from fairyland, as it seemed to the people.
202 Diverse folk diversely they demed;
Diverse folk diversely they deemed;
203 As many heddes, as manye wittes ther been.
As many heads, as many opinions there are.
204 They murmureden as dooth a swarm of been,
They murmured as does a swarm of bees,
205 And maden skiles after hir fantasies,
And made arguments according to their fantasies,
206 Rehersynge of thise olde poetries,
Retelling these old poems,
207 And seyden it was lyk the Pegasee,
And said it was like the Pegasus,
208 The hors that hadde wynges for to flee;
The hors that had wings in order to fly;
209 Or elles it was the Grekes hors Synon,
Or else it was Sinon the Greek's horse,
210 That broghte Troie to destruccion,
That brought Troy to destruction,
211 As men in thise olde geestes rede.
As men in these old romances read.
212 "Myn herte," quod oon, "is everemoore in drede;
"My heart," said one, "is evermore in dread;
213 I trowe som men of armes been therinne,
I believe some men of arms are in there,
214 That shapen hem this citee for to wynne.
That prepare themselves to conquer this city.
215 It were right good that al swich thyng were knowe."
It would be very good if all such things were known."
216 Another rowned to his felawe lowe,
Another whispered to his fellow quietly,
217 And seyde, "He lyeth, for it is rather lyk
And said, "He lies, for it is rather like
218 An apparence ymaad by som magyk,
An illusion made by some magic,
219 As jogelours pleyen at thise feestes grete."
Such as conjurers play at these great feasts."
220 Of sondry doutes thus they jangle and trete,
Of various conjectures thus they chatter and debate,
221 As lewed peple demeth comunly
As ignorant people speculate commonly
222 Of thynges that been maad moore subtilly
Of things that are made more subtly
223 Than they kan in hir lewednesse comprehende;
Than they in their ignorance can comprehend;
224 They demen gladly to the badder ende.
They habitually suppose the worse.
225 And somme of hem wondred on the mirour,
And some of them wondered about the mirror,
226 That born was up into the maister-tour,
That was carried up into the principal tower,
227 Hou men myghte in it swiche thynges se.
How men might in it see such things.
228 Another answerde and seyde it myghte wel be
Another answered and said it might well be
229 Naturelly, by composiciouns
Naturally, by arrangements
230 Of anglis and of slye reflexiouns,
Of angles and of ingenious reflections,
231 And seyde that in Rome was swich oon.
And said that in Rome was such a one.
232 They speken of Alocen, and Vitulon,
They speak of Alocen, and Vitulon,
233 And Aristotle, that writen in hir lyves
And Aristotle, that wrote while they lived
234 Of queynte mirours and of perspectives,
Of intricate mirrors and of optical lenses,
235 As knowen they that han hir bookes herd.
As know they who have heard their books (read aloud).
236 And oother folk han wondred on the swerd
And other folk have wondered on the sword
237 That wolde percen thurghout every thyng,
That would pierce throughout every thing,
238 And fille in speche of Thelophus the kyng,
And fell in speech of Thelophus the king,
239 And of Achilles with his queynte spere,
And of Achilles with his magical spear,
240 For he koude with it bothe heele and dere,
For he could with it both heal and harm,
241 Right in swich wise as men may with the swerd
Exactly in such a way as men may do with the sword
242 Of which right now ye han youreselven herd.
Of which right now you have yourselves heard.
243 They speken of sondry hardyng of metal,
They speak of various ways of hardening of metal,
244 And speke of medicynes therwithal,
And speak of chemicals moreover,
245 And how and whanne it sholde yharded be,
And how and when it should be hardened,
246 Which is unknowe, algates unto me.
Which is unknown, at least unto me.
247 Tho speeke they of Canacees ryng,
Then they speak of Canacee's ring,
248 And seyden alle that swich a wonder thyng
And all said that such a wondrous thing
249 Of craft of rynges herde they nevere noon,
Of the craft of making rings they never heard anything,
250 Save that he Moyses and kyng Salomon
Save that he Moses and king Solomon
251 Hadde a name of konnyng in swich art.
Had a reputation for cunning in such art.
252 Thus seyn the peple and drawen hem apart.
Thus say the people and draw themselves aside.
253 But nathelees somme seiden that it was
But nonetheless some said that it was
254 Wonder to maken of fern-asshen glas,
Wondrous to make glass out of ashes of fern,
255 And yet nys glas nat lyk asshen of fern;
And yet glass is not like ashes of fern;
256 But, for they han yknowen it so fern,
But, because they have known it so long,
257 Therfore cesseth hir janglyng and hir wonder.
Therefore ceases their chattering and their wonder.
258 As soore wondren somme on cause of thonder,
As intensely some wonder about the cause of thunder,
259 On ebbe, on flood, on gossomer, and on myst,
About ebb tide, about flood tide, about spider webs, and about mist,
260 And alle thyng, til that the cause is wyst.
And all things, until the cause is known.
261 Thus jangle they, and demen, and devyse
Thus they chatter, and conjecture, and speculate
262 Til that the kyng gan fro the bord aryse.
Until the king did from the table arise.
263 Phebus hath laft the angle meridional,
Phebus (the sun) has left the noon-time angle,
264 And yet ascendynge was the beest roial,
And yet ascending was the beast royal,
265 The gentil Leon, with his Aldiran,
The noble Lion, with his star Aldiran,
266 Whan that this Tartre kyng, Cambyuskan,
When this Tarter king, Cambyuskan,
267 Roos fro his bord, ther as he sat ful hye.
Rose from his table, where he sat full high.
268 Toforn hym gooth the loude mynstralcye
Before him goes the loud music
269 Til he cam to his chambre of parementz,
Until he came to his chamber of tapestries (Presence Chamber),
270 Ther as they sownen diverse instrumentz
Where they sound diverse instruments
271 That it is lyk an hevene for to heere.
That it is like a heaven to hear.
272 Now dauncen lusty Venus children deere,
Now dance lusty Venus's children dear,
273 For in the Fyssh hir lady sat ful hye,
For in the Fish (Pisces) their lady sat full high,
274 And looketh on hem with a freendly ye.
And looks on them with a friendly eye.
275 This noble kyng is set upon his trone.
This noble king is set upon his throne.
276 This strange knyght is fet to hym ful soone,
This foreign knight is fetched to him right away,
277 And on the daunce he gooth with Canacee.
And on the dance he goes with Canacee.
278 Heere is the revel and the jolitee
Here is the revel and the jollity
279 That is nat able a dul man to devyse.
That a dull-witted man is not able to describe.
280 He moste han knowen love and his servyse
He must have known love and its service
281 And been a feestlych man as fressh as May,
And be a convivial man as gay as May,
282 That sholde yow devysen swich array.
That should describe for you such splendor.
283 Who koude telle yow the forme of daunces
Who could tell you the form of dances
284 So unkouthe, and swiche fresshe contenaunces,
So strange, and such cheerful countenances,
285 Swich subtil lookyng and dissymulynges
Such subtle looking and dissimulations
286 For drede of jalouse mennes aperceyvynges?
For dread of jealous men's perceptions?
287 No man but Launcelot, and he is deed.
No man but Launcelot, and he is dead.
288 Therfore I passe of al this lustiheed;
Therefore I pass over all this pleasure;
289 I sey namoore, but in this jolynesse
I say no more, but in this jollity
290 I lete hem til men to the soper dresse.
I leave them until people go to the supper.
291 The styward bit the spices for to hye,
The steward ordered the spiced cakes to be brought quickly,
292 And eek the wyn, in al this melodye.
And also the wine, amid all this music.
293 The usshers and the squiers been ygoon,
The ushers and the squires are gone,
294 The spices and the wyn is come anoon.
The spiced cakes and the wine are come quickly.
295 They ete and drynke, and whan this hadde an ende,
They eat and drink, and when this had an end,
296 Unto the temple, as reson was, they wende.
Unto the temple, as was reasonable, they wend.
297 The service doon, they soupen al by day.
The service done, they sup all day long.
298 What nedeth yow rehercen hire array?
What need is there to tell you their splendor?
299 Ech man woot wel that a kynges feeste
Each man knows well that a king's feast
300 Hath plentee to the meeste and to the leeste,
Has plenty for the highest ranks and for the lowest,
301 And deyntees mo than been in my knowyng.
And dainties more than are in my knowing.
302 At after-soper gooth this noble kyng
At after-supper goes this noble king
303 To seen this hors of bras, with al a route
To see this horse of brass, with all in a crowd
304 Of lordes and of ladyes hym aboute.
Of lords and of ladies about him.
305 Swich wondryng was ther on this hors of bras
Such wondering was there about this horse of brass
306 That syn the grete sege of Troie was,
That since the great siege of Troy was,
307 Theras men wondreden on an hors also,
Where men wondered about a horse also,
308 Ne was ther swich a wondryng as was tho.
Nor was there such a wondering as was then.
309 But fynally the kyng axeth this knyght
But finally the king asks this knight
310 The vertu of this courser and the myght,
About the power of this courser and the might,
311 And preyde hym to telle his governaunce.
And prayed him to tell how to control him.
312 This hors anoon bigan to trippe and daunce,
This horse at once began to trip and dance,
313 Whan that this knyght leyde hand upon his reyne,
When this knight laid hand upon his rein,
314 And seyde, "Sire, ther is namoore to seyne,
And said, "Sir, there is no more to say,
315 But, whan yow list to ryden anywhere,
But, when you desire to ride anywhere,
316 Ye mooten trille a pyn, stant in his ere,
You must turn a peg, which stands in his ear,
317 Which I shal yow telle bitwix us two.
Which I shall you tell between us two(secretly).
318 Ye moote nempne hym to what place also,
You must name him to what place also,
319 Or to what contree, that yow list to ryde.
Or to what country, that you want to ride.
320 And whan ye come ther as yow list abyde,
And when you come where you desire to abide,
321 Bidde hym descende, and trille another pyn,
Bid him descend, and turn another peg,
322 For therin lith th' effect of al the gyn,
For therein lies the essence of working the device,
323 And he wol doun descende and doon youre wille,
And he will down descend and do your will,
324 And in that place he wol abyde stille.
And in that place he will abide still.
325 Though al the world the contrarie hadde yswore,
Though all the world the contrary had sworn,
326 He shal nat thennes been ydrawe ne ybore.
He shall not thence be drawn nor carried away.
327 Or, if yow liste bidde hym thennes goon,
Or, if you wish to bid him go thence,
328 Trille this pyn, and he wol vanysshe anoon
Turn this peg, and he will vanish at once
329 Out of the sighte of every maner wight,
Out of the sight of every sort of creature,
330 And come agayn, be it by day or nyght,
And come again, be it by day or night,
331 Whan that yow list to clepen hym ageyn
When you wish to call him again
332 In swich a gyse as I shal to yow seyn
In such a manner as I shall to you say
333 Bitwixe yow and me, and that ful soone.
Between you and me, and that very soon.
334 Ride whan yow list; ther is namoore to doone."
Ride when you wish; there is nothing more to do."
335 Enformed whan the kyng was of that knyght,
When the king was informed by that knight,
336 And hath conceyved in his wit aright
And has correctly understood
337 The manere and the forme of al this thyng,
The manner and the form of all this matter,
338 Ful glad and blithe, this noble doughty kyng
Full glad and blithe, this noble doughty king
339 Repeireth to his revel as biforn.
Returns to his revel as before.
340 The brydel is unto the tour yborn
The bridle is carried unto the tower
341 And kept among his jueles leeve and deere.
And kept among his jewels precious and dear.
342 The hors vanysshed, I noot in what manere,
The horse vanished, I know not in what manner,
343 Out of hir sighte; ye gete namoore of me.
Out of their sight; you get no more from me.
344 But thus I lete in lust and jolitee
But thus I leave in pleasure and jollity
345 This Cambyuskan his lordes festeiynge
This Cambyuskan entertaining his lords
346 Til wel ny the day bigan to sprynge.
Until well nigh the day began to spring.
Explicit prima pars.
The first part ends.
Sequitur pars secunda.
The second part follows.
347 The norice of digestioun, the sleep,
The nurse of digestion, the sleep,
348 Gan on hem wynke and bad hem taken keep
Did on them wink (as a signal) and bad them take notice
349 That muchel drynke and labour wolde han reste;
That much drink and activity make rest necessary;
350 And with a galpyng mouth hem alle he keste,
And with a yawning mouth he kissed them all,
351 And seyde that it was tyme to lye adoun,
And said that it was time to lie down,
352 For blood was in his domynacioun.
For blood (the humor) was in its domination.
353 "Cherisseth blood, natures freend," quod he.
"Cherish blood, nature's friend," said he.
354 They thanken hym galpynge, by two, by thre,
They thank him yawning, by two, by three,
355 And every wight gan drawe hym to his reste,
And every creature did draw himself to his rest,
356 As sleep hem bad; they tooke it for the beste.
As sleep them bad; they took it for the best.
357 Hire dremes shul nat now been toold for me;
Their dreams shall not now be told for me;
358 Ful were hire heddes of fumositee,
Their heads were full of fumes from drinking wine,
359 That causeth dreem of which ther nys no charge.
That causes dreams of which there is no significance.
360 They slepen til that it was pryme large,
They sleep until it was nine a.m.,
361 The mooste part, but it were Canacee.
The most part, except for Canacee.
362 She was ful mesurable, as wommen be;
She was very temperate, as women are;
363 For of hir fader hadde she take leve
For of her father had she taken leave
364 To goon to reste soone after it was eve.
To go to rest soon after it was evening.
365 Hir liste nat appalled for to be,
She did not wish to be grown pale,
366 Ne on the morwe unfeestlich for to se,
Nor in the morning to appear unfestive,
367 And slepte hire firste sleep, and thanne awook.
And slept her first sleep, and then awoke.
368 For swich a joye she in hir herte took
For such a joy she in her heart took
369 Bothe of hir queynte ryng and hire mirour,
Both of her strange ring and her mirror,
370 That twenty tyme she changed hir colour;
That twenty times she changed her color;
371 And in hire sleep, right for impressioun
And in her sleep, directly because of the mental impression
372 Of hire mirour, she hadde a visioun.
Made by her mirror, she had a vision.
373 Wherfore, er that the sonne gan up glyde,
Therefore, before the sun did glide upward,
374 She cleped on hir maistresse hire bisyde,
She called on her governess who was beside her,
375 And seyde that hire liste for to ryse.
And said that she wished to rise.
376 Thise olde wommen that been gladly wyse,
These old women who are customarily wise,
377 As is hire maistresse, answerde hire anon,
As is her governess, answered her at once,
378 And seyde, "Madame, whider wil ye goon
And said, "Madame, whither do you wish to go
379 Thus erly, for the folk been alle on reste?"
Thus early, for the folk are all in bed?"
380 "I wol," quod she, "arise, for me leste
"I want," said she, "to arise -- for I desire
381 Ne lenger for to slepe, and walke aboute."
No longer to sleep -- and walk about."
382 Hire maistresse clepeth wommen a greet route,
Her governess calls a great crowd of women,
383 And up they rysen, wel a ten or twelve;
And up they rise, a good ten or twelve;
384 Up riseth fresshe Canacee hireselve,
Up rises fresh Canacee herself,
385 As rody and bright as dooth the yonge sonne,
As ruddy and bright(ly shining) as does the young sun,
386 That in the Ram is foure degrees up ronne --
That in the Ram is four degrees up run --
387 Noon hyer was he whan she redy was --
No higher was he when she was ready --
388 And forth she walketh esily a pas,
And forth she walks at an easy pace,
389 Arrayed after the lusty seson soote
Clothed, in accord with the lusty season sweet,
390 Lightly, for to pleye and walke on foote,
Lightly, to amuse herself and walk on foot,
391 Nat but with fyve or sixe of hir meynee;
With no more than five or six of her entourage;
392 And in a trench forth in the park gooth she.
And in a path forth in the park goes she.
393 The vapour which that fro the erthe glood
The vapor that glided up from the earth
394 Made the sonne to seme rody and brood;
Made the sun seem ruddy and broad;
395 But nathelees it was so fair a sighte
But nonetheless it was so fair a sight
396 That it made alle hire hertes for to lighte,
That it made all their hearts to lighten,
397 What for the seson and the morwenynge,
What for the season and the dawning,
398 And for the foweles that she herde synge.
And for the fowls that she heard sing.
399 For right anon she wiste what they mente
For right away she knew what they meant
400 Right by hir song, and knew al hire entente.
Exactly by their song, and knew all their meaning.
401 The knotte why that every tale is toold,
The main point for which every tale is told,
402 If it be taried til that lust be coold
If it is delayed until the desire (to hear it) is cold
403 Of hem that han it after herkned yoore,
Of those who have listened to it for a long time,
404 The savour passeth ever lenger the moore,
The taste (for it) passes away more and more,
405 For fulsomnesse of his prolixitee;
Because of the overabundance of its prolixity;
406 And by the same resoun, thynketh me,
And by the same reason, it seems to me,
407 I sholde to the knotte condescende,
I should proceed to the main point,
408 And maken of hir walkyng soone an ende.
And quickly put an end to her walking.
409 Amydde a tree, for drye as whit as chalk,
In a tree, for dryness as white as chalk,
410 As Canacee was pleyyng in hir walk,
As Canacee was amusing herself in her walk,
411 Ther sat a faucon over hire heed ful hye,
There sat a falcon over her head full high,
412 That with a pitous voys so gan to crye
That with a pitiful voice so did cry
413 That all the wode resouned of hire cry.
That all the wood resounded with her cry.
414 Ybeten hadde she hirself so pitously
She had beaten herself so pitifully
415 With bothe hir wynges til the rede blood
With both her wings until the red blood
416 Ran endelong the tree ther-as she stood.
Ran down the length of the tree in which she stood.
417 And evere in oon she cryde alwey and shrighte,
And continually she cried always and shrieked,
418 And with hir beek hirselven so she prighte
And with her beak herself she so stabbed
419 That ther nys tygre, ne noon so crueel beest
That there is no tiger, nor any beast so cruel
420 That dwelleth outher in wode or in forest,
That dwells either in wood or in forest,
421 That nolde han wept, if that he wepe koude,
That would not have wept, if he could weep,
422 For sorwe of hire, she shrighte alwey so loude.
For sorrow of her, she shrieked always so loud.
423 For ther nas nevere yet no man on lyve,
For there was never yet no man alive,
424 If that I koude a faucon wel discryve,
If I could well describe a falcon,
425 That herde of swich another of fairnesse,
That heard of its equal in beauty,
426 As wel of plumage as of gentillesse
As well in plumage as in nobility
427 Of shap, of al that myghte yrekened be.
In shape, in all that might reckoned be.
428 A faucon peregryn thanne semed she
A peregrine falcon then seemed she
429 Of fremde land; and everemoore, as she stood,
From foreign land; and repeatedly, as she stood,
430 She swowneth now and now for lak of blood,
She swoons every now and then for lack of blood,
431 Til wel neigh is she fallen fro the tree.
Until well nigh is she fallen from the tree.
432 This faire kynges doghter, Canacee,
This fair king's daughter, Canacee,
433 That on hir fynger baar the queynte ryng,
That on her finger bore the strange ring,
434 Thurgh which she understood wel every thyng
Through which she well understood every thing
435 That any fowel may in his leden seyn,
That any fowl may in his language say,
436 And koude answeren hym in his ledene ageyn,
And could answer him in his language in return,
437 Hath understonde what this faucon seyde,
Has understood what this falcon said,
438 And wel neigh for the routhe almoost she deyde.
And well nigh for the pity she almost died.
439 And to the tree she gooth ful hastily,
And to the tree she goes full hastily,
440 And on this faukon looketh pitously,
And on this falcon looks compassionately,
441 And heeld hir lappe abrood, for wel she wiste
And spread wide her skirt, for well she knew
442 The faukon moste fallen fro the twiste,
The falcon must fall from the branch,
443 Whan that it swowned next, for lak of blood.
When it swooned next, for lack of blood.
444 A longe whil to wayten hire she stood
A long while to await her she stood
445 Til atte laste she spak in this manere
Until at the last she spoke in this manner
446 Unto the hauk, as ye shal after heere:
Unto the hawk, as you shall after hear:
447 "What is the cause, if it be for to telle,
"What is the cause, if it may be told,
448 That ye be in this furial pyne of helle?"
That you be in this pain such as the Furies suffer in hell?"
449 Quod Canacee unto this hauk above.
Said Canacee unto this hawk above.
450 "Is this for sorwe of deeth or los of love?
"Is this for sorrow of death or loss of love?
451 For, as I trowe, thise been causes two
For, as I believe, these are the two causes
452 That causen moost a gentil herte wo;
That most cause woe to a gentle heart;
453 Of oother harm it nedeth nat to speke.
Of other harm there is no need to speak.
454 For ye youreself upon yourself yow wreke,
For you avenge yourself upon yourself,
455 Which proveth wel that outher ire or drede
Which proves well that either anger or fear
456 Moot been enchesoun of youre cruel dede,
Must be the reason for your cruel deed,
457 Syn that I see noon oother wight yow chace.
Since I see no other creature hunt you.
458 For love of God, as dooth youreselven grace,
For love of God, spare yourself,
459 Or what may been youre help? For west nor est
Or what can be your help? For west nor east
460 Ne saugh I nevere er now no bryd ne beest
I saw never ere now no bird nor beast
461 That ferde with hymself so pitously.
That treated himself so piteously.
462 Ye sle me with youre sorwe verraily,
You slay me with your sorrow truly,
463 I have of yow so greet compassioun.
I have of you such great compassion.
464 For Goddes love, com fro the tree adoun;
For God's love, come down from the tree;
465 And as I am a kynges doghter trewe,
And as I am a king's daughter true,
466 If that I verraily the cause knewe
If that I truly knew the cause
467 Of youre disese, if it lay in my myght,
Of your malady, if it lay in my power,
468 I wolde amenden it er that it were nyght,
I would amend it ere it were night,
469 As wisly helpe me grete God of kynde!
So help me great God of nature!
470 And herbes shal I right ynowe yfynde
And herbs shall I in abundance find
471 To heel with youre hurtes hastily."
With which to heal your hurts quickly."
472 Tho shrighte this faucon yet moore pitously
Then shrieked this falcon yet more pitifully
473 Than ever she dide, and fil to grounde anon,
Than ever she did, and fell to ground straightway,
474 And lith aswowne, deed and lyk a stoon,
And lies in a swoon, dead and like a stone,
475 Til Canacee hath in hire lappe hire take
Until Canacee has in her lap her taken
476 Unto the tyme she gan of swough awake.
Until the time she awoke from the swoon.
477 And after that she of hir swough gan breyde,
And after she started up from her swoon,
478 Right in hir haukes ledene thus she seyde:
Right in her hawk's language thus she said:
479 "That pitee renneth soone in gentil herte,
"That pity runs soon in a gentle heart,
480 Feelynge his similitude in peynes smerte,
Feeling its counterpart in sharp pains,
481 Is preved alday, as men may it see,
Is proven every day, as men may it see,
482 As wel by werk as by auctoritee;
As well by deeds as by written authority;
483 For gentil herte kitheth gentillesse.
For a gentle heart makes known its noble character.
484 I se wel that ye han of my distresse
I see well that you have of my distress
485 Compassion, my faire Canacee,
Compassion, my faire Canacee,
486 Of verray wommanly benignytee
Out of true womanly goodness
487 That Nature in youre principles hath set.
That Nature in your natural disposition has set.
488 But for noon hope for to fare the bet,
But for no hope to fare the better,
489 But for to obeye unto youre herte free,
But to obey unto your heart noble,
490 And for to maken othere be war by me,
And to make others be warned by my example,
491 As by the whelp chasted is the leon,
As by the whelp chastised is the lion,
492 Right for that cause and that conclusion,
Right for that cause and to that conclusion,
493 Whil that I have a leyser and a space,
While that I have the time and the opportunity,
494 Myn harm I wol confessen er I pace."
My harm I will reveal ere I go away."
495 And evere, whil that oon hir sorwe tolde,
And ever, while that one her sorrow told,
496 That oother weep as she to water wolde
That other wept as she would turn to water
497 Til that the faucon bad hire to be stille,
Until the falcon prayed her to be still,
498 And, with a syk, right thus she seyde hir wille:
And, with a sigh, right thus she spoke her mind:
499 "Ther I was bred -- allas, that ilke day! --
"Where I was bred -- alas, that same day! --
500 And fostred in a roche of marbul gray
And fostered on a cliff of marble gray
501 So tendrely that no thyng eyled me,
So tenderly that no thing ailed me,
502 I nyste nat what was adversitee
I knew not what was adversity
503 Til I koude flee ful hye under the sky.
Until I could fly full high under the sky.
504 Tho dwelte a tercelet me faste by,
Then dwelt a male falcon very near me,
505 That semed welle of alle gentillesse;
That seemed an exemplar of all nobility;
506 Al were he ful of treson and falsnesse,
Although he was full of treason and falseness,
507 It was so wrapped under humble cheere,
It was so concealed under humble bearing,
508 And under hewe of trouthe in swich manere,
And under the appearance of truth in such a manner,
509 Under plesance, and under bisy peyne,
Under pleasantness, and under careful attentiveness,
510 That no wight koude han wend he koude feyne,
That no creature could have supposed he could feign,
511 So depe in greyn he dyed his coloures.
So deeply in a fast dye he dyed his true colors.
512 Right as a serpent hit hym under floures
Just as a serpent hides himself under flowers
513 Til he may seen his tyme for to byte,
Until he can see his time to bite,
514 Right so this god of loves ypocryte
Just so this god of love's hypocrite
515 Dooth so his cerymonyes and obeisaunces,
So does his ceremonies and obeisances,
516 And kepeth in semblaunt alle his observaunces
And keeps in outward appearance all his observances
517 That sownen into gentillesse of love.
That are in accord with nobility in love.
518 As in a toumbe is al the faire above,
As in a tomb all the beauty is above,
519 And under is the corps, swich as ye woot,
And under is the corpse, as you know,
520 Swich was this ypocrite, bothe coold and hoot.
Such was this hypocrite, in every circumstance.
521 And in this wise he served his entente
And in this manner he served his own purpose
522 That, save the feend, noon wiste what he mente,
So that, except for the fiend, no one knew what he meant,
523 Til he so longe hadde wopen and compleyned,
Until he so long had wept and complained,
524 And many a yeer his service to me feyned,
And many a year his service to me feigned,
525 Til that myn herte, to pitous and to nyce,
Until my heart, too compassionate and too naive,
526 Al innocent of his crouned malice,
Entirely ignorant of his consummate malice,
527 Forfered of his deeth, as thoughte me,
Very frightened that he might die, as it seemed to me,
528 Upon his othes and his seuretee,
Upon receiving his oaths and his pledges,
529 Graunted hym love, upon this condicioun,
Granted him love, upon this condition,
530 That everemoore myn honour and renoun
That evermore my honor and renown
531 Were saved, bothe privee and apert;
Were safe, both in private and in public (in all ways);
532 This is to seyn, that after his desert,
This is to say, that according to his deserts,
533 I yaf hym al myn herte and al my thoght --
I gave him all my heart and all my thought --
534 God woot and he, that ootherwise noght --
God knows and he, I would not have agreed on any other terms --
535 And took his herte in chaunge of myn for ay.
And took his heart in exchange for mine for ever.
536 But sooth is seyd, goon sithen many a day,
But truly it is said, since many a day gone by,
537 `A trewe wight and a theef thenken nat oon.'
`An honest creature and a thief think not alike.'
538 And whan he saugh the thyng so fer ygoon
And when he saw the business so far advanced
539 That I hadde graunted hym fully my love
That I had granted him fully my love
540 In swich a gyse as I have seyd above,
In such a manner as I have said above,
541 And yeven hym my trewe herte as free
And gave him my true heart as freely
542 As he swoor he yaf his herte to me,
As he swore he gave his heart to me,
543 Anon this tigre, ful of doublenesse,
Immediately this tiger, full of treachery,
544 Fil on his knees with so devout humblesse,
Fell on his knees with such devout humility,
545 With so heigh reverence, and, as by his cheere,
With such high reverence, and, as seemed by his appearance,
546 So lyk a gentil lovere of manere,
So like a gentle lover in his manners,
547 So ravysshed, as it semed, for the joye
So ravished, as it seemed, for the joy
548 That nevere Jason ne Parys of Troye --
That never Jason nor Paris of Troy --
549 Jason? certes, ne noon oother man
Jason? certainly, nor any other man
550 Syn Lameth was, that alderfirst bigan
Since Lameth was, he who first of all began
551 To loven two, as writen folk biforn --
To love two, as folk wrote long ago --
552 Ne nevere, syn the firste man was born,
Nor ever, since the first man was born,
553 Ne koude man, by twenty thousand part,
Could (any) man, by (so much as) one twenty thousandth,
554 Countrefete the sophymes of his art,
Reproduce the deceptive sophisms of his art,
555 Ne were worthy unbokelen his galoche,
Nor were worthy to unbuckle his galosh,
556 Ther doublenesse or feynyng sholde approche,
Where duplicity or feigning were concerned,
557 Ne so koude thonke a wight as he dide me!
Nor so could thank a creature as he did to me!
558 His manere was an hevene for to see
His manner was a heaven to see
559 Til any womman, were she never so wys,
For any woman, were she never so wise,
560 So peynted he and kembde at point-devys
So painted he and made himself elegant in every way,
561 As wel his wordes as his contenaunce.
Both his words and his countenance.
562 And I so loved hym for his obeisaunce,
And I so loved him for his obeisance,
563 And for the trouthe I demed in his herte,
And for the truth I believed was in his heart,
564 That if so were that any thyng hym smerte,
That if it so were that any thing pained him,
565 Al were it never so lite, and I it wiste,
Although it were never so little, and I knew of it,
566 Me thoughte I felte deeth myn herte twiste.
It seemed to me I felt death twist my heart.
567 And shortly, so ferforth this thyng is went
And shortly, this business had gone forth so far
568 That my wyl was his willes instrument;
That my will was his will's instrument;
569 This is to seyn, my wyl obeyed his wyl
This is to say, my will obeyed his will
570 In alle thyng, as fer as reson fil,
In all things, so far as was consonant with reason,
571 Kepynge the boundes of my worshipe evere.
Keeping ever the limits set by my honor.
572 Ne nevere hadde I thyng so lief, ne levere,
Nor never loved anyone more, or even as much
573 As hym, God woot, ne nevere shal namo.
As him, God knows, nor never shall again.
574 "This laste lenger than a yeer or two,
"This lasted longer than a year or two,
575 That I supposed of hym noght but good.
That I supposed of him nothing but good.
576 But finally, thus atte laste it stood,
But finally, thus at the last it stood,
577 That Fortune wolde that he moste twynne
That Fortune would have it that he must depart
578 Out of that place which that I was inne.
Out of that place where I was.
579 Wher me was wo, that is no questioun;
Whether I was woeful, there is no question;
580 I kan nat make of it discripsioun.
I can not make a description of it.
581 For o thyng dar I tellen boldely:
For one thing I dare tell boldly:
582 I knowe what is the peyne of deeth therby;
By this experience I know what is the pain of death;
583 Swich harm I felte for he ne myghte bileve.
Such harm I felt because he could not remain.
584 So on a day of me he took his leve,
So one day he took his leave of me,
585 So sorwefully eek that I wende verraily
So sorrowfully also that I believed truly
586 That he had felt as muche harm as I,
That he had felt as much harm as I,
587 Whan that I herde hym speke and saugh his hewe.
When I heard him speak and saw his appearance.
588 But nathelees, I thoughte he was so trewe,
But nevertheless, I thought he was so true,
589 And eek that he repaire sholde ageyn
And also that he should return again
590 Withinne a litel while, sooth to seyn;
Within a little while, to say the truth;
591 And resoun wolde eek that he moste go
And it was reasonable also that he must go
592 For his honour, as ofte it happeth so,
For his honor, as often it happens so,
593 That I made vertu of necessitee,
So that I made virtue of necessity,
594 And took it wel, syn that it moste be.
And took it well, since it had to be.
595 As I best myghte, I hidde fro hym my sorwe,
As I best could, I hid from him my sorrow,
596 And took hym by the hond, Seint John to borwe,
And took him by the hand, with Saint John as my guarantor,
597 And seyde hym thus: `Lo, I am youres al;
And said to him thus: `Lo, I am all yours;
598 Beth swich as I to yow have been and shal.'
Be to me such as I to you have been and shall be.'
599 What he answerde, it nedeth noght reherce;
What he answered, it needs not be repeated;
600 Who kan sey bet than he, who kan do werse?
Who can speak better than he, who can act worse?
601 Whan he hath al wel seyd, thanne hath he doon.
When he has said everything well, then he has done (all he will do).
602 `Therfore bihoveth hire a ful long spoon
`Therefore she must have a very long spoon
603 That shal ete with a feend,' thus herde I seye.
Who shall eat with a fiend,' thus I have heard said.
604 So atte laste he moste forth his weye,
So at the last he had to go forth on his way,
605 And forth he fleeth til he cam ther hym leste.
And forth he speeds until he came where he pleased.
606 Whan it cam hym to purpos for to reste,
When he decided to rest,
607 I trowe he hadde thilke text in mynde,
I believe he had that text in mind,
608 That `alle thyng, repeirynge to his kynde,
That `every thing, by returning to its natural state,
609 Gladeth hymself;' thus seyn men, as I gesse.
Makes himself happy;' thus say men, as I suppose.
610 Men loven of propre kynde newefangelnesse,
Men, because of their nature, love novelty,
611 As briddes doon that men in cages fede.
As do birds that men feed in cages.
612 For though thou nyght and day take of hem hede,
For though thou take care of them night and day,
613 And strawe hir cage faire and softe as silk,
And strew their cages with straw fair and soft as silk,
614 And yeve hem sugre, hony, breed and milk,
And give them sugar, honey, bread and milk,
615 Yet right anon as that his dore is uppe
Yet just as soon as his door is left open
616 He with his feet wol spurne adoun his cuppe,
He with his feet will kick down his cup,
617 And to the wode he wole and wormes ete;
And to the wood he will go and eat worms;
618 So newefangel been they of hire mete,
They are so fond of novelty in their food,
619 And loven novelries of propre kynde,
And love novelties because of their nature,
620 No gentillesse of blood ne may hem bynde.
No nobility of blood can restrain them.
621 "So ferde this tercelet, allas the day!
"So fared this falcon, alas the day!
622 Though he were gentil born, and fressh and gay,
Though he was of noble birth, and fresh and gay,
623 And goodlich for to seen, and humble and free,
And goodly to look upon and humble and generous,
624 He saugh upon a tyme a kyte flee,
He saw upon a time a kite (scavenger bird) fly by,
625 And sodeynly he loved this kyte so
And suddenly he so loved this kite
626 That al his love is clene fro me ago,
That all his love is completely gone from me,
627 And hath his trouthe falsed in this wyse.
And has turned his truth false in this manner.
628 Thus hath the kyte my love in hire servyse,
Thus has the kite my lover in her service,
629 And I am lorn withouten remedie!"
And I am lost, without remedy!"
630 And with that word this faucon gan to crie
And with that word this falcon did cry out
631 And swowned eft in Canacees barm.
And swooned again in Canacee's lap.
632 Greet was the sorwe for the haukes harm
Great was the sorrow for the hawk's harm
633 That Canacee and alle hir wommen made;
That Canacee and all her women made;
634 They nyste hou they myghte the faucon glade.
They knew not how they might cheer up the falcon.
635 But Canacee hom bereth hire in hir lappe,
But Canacee carries her home enfolded in her gown,
636 And softely in plastres gan hire wrappe,
And softly did wrap her in bandages,
637 Ther as she with hire beek hadde hurt hirselve.
Where she with her beak had hurt herself.
638 Now kan nat Canacee but herbes delve
Now Canacee can do nothing but dig herbs
639 Out of the ground, and make salves newe
Out of the ground, and make new salves
640 Of herbes preciouse and fyne of hewe
Of herbs, precious and delicate in color,
641 To heelen with this hauk. Fro day to nyght
With which to heal this hawk. From dawn to nighttime
642 She dooth hire bisynesse and al hire myght,
She devotes her efforts and all her power,
643 And by hire beddes heed she made a mewe
And by her bed's head she made a pen
644 And covered it with veluettes blewe,
And covered it with velvet cloths, blue
645 In signe of trouthe that is in wommen sene.
As a sign of truth that is in women seen.
646 And al withoute, the mewe is peynted grene,
And on all the outside, the pen is painted green,
647 In which were peynted alle thise false fowles,
In which were painted all these false fowls,
648 As ben thise tidyves, tercelettes, and owles;
Such as are these small birds, falcons, and owls;
649 Right for despit were peynted hem bisyde,
For sheer scorn were painted beside them,
650 Pyes, on hem for to crie and chyde.
Magpies, to cry out against them and chide them.
651 Thus lete I Canacee hir hauk kepyng;
Thus I leave Canacee keeping her hawk;
652 I wol namoore as now speke of hir ryng
I will for now speak no more of her ring
653 Til it come eft to purpos for to seyn
Until it becomes again appropriate to tell
654 How that this faucon gat hire love ageyn
How this falcon got back her love,
655 Repentant, as the storie telleth us,
Repentant, as the story tells us,
656 By mediacion of Cambalus,
By the mediation of Cambalus,
657 The kynges sone, of which I yow tolde.
The king's son, of whom I told you.
658 But hennesforth I wol my proces holde
But henceforth I will keep to my narrative
659 To speken of aventures and of batailles
To speak of adventures and of battles
660 That nevere yet was herd so grete mervailles.
That never yet were heard such great marvels.
661 First wol I telle yow of Cambyuskan,
First will I tell you of Cambyuskan,
662 That in his tyme many a citee wan;
That in his time many a city won;
663 And after wol I speke of Algarsif,
And after I will speak of Algarsif,
664 How that he wan Theodora to his wif,
How he won Theodora to his wife,
665 For whom ful ofte in greet peril he was,
For whom full often in great peril he was,
666 Ne hadde he ben holpen by the steede of bras;
Had he not been helped by the steed of brass;
667 And after wol I speke of Cambalo,
And next I will speak of Cambalo,
668 That faught in lystes with the bretheren two
That fought in lists with the brethren two
669 For Canacee er that he myghte hire wynne.
For Canacee ere he could win her.
670 And ther I lefte I wol ayeyn bigynne.
And where I left off I will again begin.
Explicit secunda prima pars.
The second part ends.
Sequitur pars secunda.
The third part follows.
671 Appollo whirleth up his chaar so hye
Appollo whirls up his chariot so high
672 Til that the god Mercurius hous, the slye --
To that house of the god Mercury, the sly --
Heere folwen the wordes of the
Frankeleyn to the Squier, and the
wordes of the Hoost to the Frankeleyn
673 "In feith, Squier, thow hast thee wel yquit
"In faith, Squire, thou hast well acquitted thyself.
674 And gentilly. I preise wel thy wit,"
And nobly. I praise well thy intelligence,"
675 Quod the Frankeleyn, "considerynge thy yowthe,
Said the Franklin, "considering thy youth,
676 So feelyngly thou spekest, sire, I allow the!
With such feeling thou speakest, sir, I praise thee!
677 As to my doom, ther is noon that is heere
In my opinion, there is no one that is here
678 Of eloquence that shal be thy peere,
That shall be thy equal in eloquence,
679 If that thou lyve; God yeve thee good chaunce,
If thou live; God give thee good luck,
680 And in vertu sende thee continuaunce,
And in virtue send thee perseverance,
681 For of thy speche I have greet deyntee.
For I take great pleasure in thy speech.
682 I have a sone, and by the Trinitee,
I have a son, and by the Trinity,
683 I hadde levere than twenty pound worth lond,
I had rather than have twenty pound's worth of land,
684 Though it right now were fallen in myn hond,
Though it right now were fallen in my hand,
685 He were a man of swich discrecioun
That he were a man of such discretion
686 As that ye been! Fy on possessioun,
As you are! Fie on possessions,
687 But if a man be vertuous withal!
Unless a man is virtuous as well!
688 I have my sone snybbed, and yet shal,
I have rebuked my son, and shall again,
689 For he to vertu listeth nat entende;
Because he has no desire to devote himself to virtue;
690 But for to pleye at dees, and to despende
But to play at dice, and to spend
691 And lese al that he hath is his usage.
And lose all that he has is his usage.
692 And he hath levere talken with a page
And he would rather talk with a serving boy
693 Than to comune with any gentil wight
Than converse with any noble person
694 Where he myghte lerne gentillesse aright."
From whom he might learn true nobility."
695 "Straw for youre gentillesse!" quod oure Hoost.
"Straw for your nobility!" said our Host.
696 "What, Frankeleyn! Pardee, sire, wel thou woost
"What, Franklin! By God, sir, well thou knowest
697 That ech of yow moot tellen atte leste
That each of you must tell at the least
698 A tale or two, or breken his biheste."
A tale or two, or break his promise."
699 "That knowe I wel, sire," quod the Frankeleyn.
"That know I well, sir," said the Franklin.
700 "I prey yow, haveth me nat in desdeyn,
"I pray you, hold me not in disdain,
701 Though to this man I speke a word or two."
Though to this man I speak a word or two."
702 "Telle on thy tale withouten wordes mo."
"Tell on thy tale without more words."
703 "Gladly, sire Hoost," quod he, "I wole obeye
"Gladly, sir Host," said he, "I will obey
704 Unto your wyl; now herkneth what I seye.
Unto your will; now hearken what I say.
705 I wol yow nat contrarien in no wyse
I will not offend you in any way
706 As fer as that my wittes wol suffyse.
So far as my mental abilities will suffice.
707 I prey to God that it may plesen yow;
I pray to God that it may please you;
708 Thanne woot I wel that it is good ynow."
Then I will know well that it is good enough."