Imatges de pàgina
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+To forthren thee, and wel thy labour quyte;
Go now thy wey, thy penance is but lyte.' (B. 495) 485

490

+The god of love gan smyle, and than he seyde,
tWostow,' quod he, wher this be wyf or mayde,
+Or quene, or countesse, or of what degree,
+ That hath so litel penance yeven thee,
+That hast deserved sorer for to smerte ?
+But pitee renneth sone in gentil herte;
+That mayst thou seen, she kytheth what she is.'
+And I answerde, 'nay, sir, so have I blis,
+No more but that I see wel she is good.'

+' That is a trewe tale, by myn hood,'
Quod Love, and that thou knowest wel, pardee,
+If hit be so that thou avyse thee.

495

495

500

+To forthren thee, and wel thy labour quyte;
Go now thy wey, this penance is but lyte.
* And whan this book is maad, yive hit the quene
*On my behalfe, at Eltham, or at Shene.'

+The god of love gan smyle, and than he seyde,
tWostow,' quod he, wher this be wyf or mayde,
+Or quene, or countesse, or of what degree,
+That hath so litel penance yiven thee,
+That hast deserved sorer for to smerte?
+But pitee renneth sone in gentil herte ;
+That maystow seen, she kytheth what she is.'
+And I answerde, 'nay, sir, so have I blis,
+No more but that I see wel she is good.'

+ That is a trewe tale, by myn hood,'
+Quod Love, and that thou knowest wel, pardee,
+If hit be so that thou avyse thee.

505

youre worlde.
490. F. the; lovere bee.

491. C. Spek; F. Speke. 493. F. servantez; Tn. seruauntz. 495. F. Goo. C. thyn (for this). 496. F. maade. 497. F. Sheene; Tn. T. Th. Shene.

502, 503. F. omits from sorer to renneth. C. sorere ; T. A. sorer; rest sore. C. Tn, Th. smerte. C. pete rennyth; Tn. A. pitee renneth.

F. soone. answerde; F. answered. C. sere; F. sire; Tn. sir. 506. F. Tn. B. Na; rest No. F. moore. 508. C. T. A. that; rest om.

505. C.

500

505

tHastow nat in a book, lyth in thy cheste,
+The grete goodnesse of the quene Alceste,
+That turned was into a dayesye:
fShe that for hir husbonde chees to dye,
tAnd eek to goon to helle, rather than he,
+And Ercules rescued hir, pardee,
+And broghte hir out of helle agayn to blis ?'

+And I answerde ageyn, and seyde, 'yis,
+Now knowe I hir! And is this good Alceste,
+The dayesye, and myn owne hertes reste?
+Now fele I wel the goodnesse of this wyf,
+That bothe after hir deeth, and in hir lyf,
+Hir grete bountee doubleth hir renoun !

Wel hath she quit me myn affeccioun
+That I have to hir flour, the dayesye !
+No wonder is thogh Iove hir stellifye,

510

510

515

+Hastow nat in a book, lyth in thy cheste,
+ The grete goodnesse of the quene Alceste,
+That turned was into a dayesye:
+She that for hir husbonde chees to dye,
+And eek to goon to helle, rather than he,
+And Ercules rescowed hir, pardee,
+And broghte hir out of helle agayn to blis ? '

+And I answerde ageyn, and seyde, ‘yis,
+Now knowe I hir! And is this good Alceste,
+The dayesye, and myn owne hertes reste ?
+Now fele I wel the goodnesse of this wyf,
+That bothe after hir deeth, and in hir lyf,
+Hir grete bountee doubleth hir renoun !
+Wel hath she quit me myn affeccioun
+That I have to hir flour, the dayesye !
+No wonder is thogh Iove hir stellifye,

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A. 507. herte is reste. 518. Of (for In). 526, the; onstedefastnesse. 527. sithe thow knowist here. 528. pref; ek; storyis here.

B. 511. C. Tn. grete; F. gret. 512. C. Tn. dayesye; F. daysye. 514. F. eke. 516. F. agayne.

518. F. hire.

519. C. dayes eye ; F. daysie. F. owene.

520. F. weel.

521. C. bothe; F. both. F. aftir hir deth. C. ek (for in). 524. C. dayesye; F. daysye. 526. F. hire goodenesse. 527, 529. C. coroun; F. corowne. 527. F. berith. 528.

+As telleth Agaton, for hir goodnesse ! a thanaian good sthote
+Hir whyte coroun berth of hit witnesse; haqedong 515€
+For also many vertues hadde she,
+As smale floures in hir coroun be.
+In remembraunce of hir and in honour,
+Cibella made the dayesy and the flour
+Y-coroned al with whyt, as men may see;

520
+And Mars yaf to hir coroun reed, pardee,
+In stede of rubies, set among the whyte.'

+Therwith this quene wex reed for shame a lyte,
+Whan she was preysed so in hir presence.
+Than seyde Love, 'a ful gret negligence

525
Was hit to thee, to write unstedfastnesse
*Of women, sith thou knowest hir goodnesse
*By preef, and eek by stories heer-biforn;
*Let be the chaf, and wryt wel of the corn.

+As telleth Agaton, for hir goodnesse !
+Hir whyte coroun berth of hit witnesse ;
+For also many vertues hadde she,
+As smale floures in hir coroun be.
+In remembraunce of hir and in honour,

530
+Cibella made the dayesy and the flour
+Y-coroned al with whyt, as men may see;
+And Mars yaf to hir coroun reed, pardee,
+In stede of rubies, set among the whyte.'

+Therwith this quene wex reed for shame a lyte, 535
+Whan she was preysed so in hir presence.
+Than seyde Love, 'a ful gret negligence

Was hit to thee, that ilke tyme thou made
*“Hyd, Absolon, thy tresses," in balade,
*That thou forgete hir in thy song to sette,
*Sin that thou art so gretly in hir dette,

540

C. hath (badly). 529. F. Th. florouns ; rest floures. 530. F. honoure. 531. In margin of F.-Cibella mater deorum. F. maade ; daysye; floure. 532. C. I-coroned; F. Y-crowned. F. white. 533. C. corone; F. corowne. F. reede. 534. C. set; F. sette. 537. F. Thanne. C. gret; F. grete. F. necligence. 538. F. ys (wrongly); rest hit, it. 540. Th. forgete; F. Tn. forgate; T. A. forgat. F. songe.

*Why noldest thou han writen of Alceste,

530 * And leten Criseide been a-slepe and reste? *For of Alceste shulde thy wryting be, Sin that thou wost that kalender is she (B. 542). Of goodnesse, for she taughte of fyn lovinge, +And namely of wyfhood the livinge,

535 +And alle the boundes that she oghte kepe; +Thy litel wit was thilke tyme a-slepe. +But now I charge thee, upon thy lyf, +That in thy Legend thou make of this wyf, Whan thou hast othere smale mad before;

540 +And fare now wel, I charge thee no more. (B. 551).

545

And wost so wel, that kalender is she
*To any woman that wol lover be.

For she taughte al the craft of fyn lovinge,
+And namely of wyfhood the livinge,
+And alle the boundes that she oghte kepe;
+Thy litel wit was thilke tyme a-slepe.
+But now I charge thee, upon thy lyf,
+That in thy Legend thou make of this wyf,
Whan thou hast other smale y-maad before ;
+And fare now wel, I charge thee no more.

** But er I go, thus muche I wol thee telle,
*Ne shal no trewe lover come in helle.
*Thise other ladies sittinge here arowe
*Ben in thy balade, if thou canst hem knowe,
*And in thy bokes alle thou shalt hem finde;
*Have hem now in thy Legend alle in minde,
*I mene of hem that been in thy knowinge.
*For heer ben twenty thousand mo sittinge

550

555

546.

A. 530. noldist; writyn. 531. latyn; ben. 532. thyn wrytynge. 533. wist (badly); calandier.

544. slep.

545. myn legende. B. 542. T. A. Add. so; rest om. F. shee.

543. F. bee.

544. C. taughte; F. taught. F. crafte; Tn. T. A. craft. 545. F. wyfhode ; lyvyng. F. al ; oght. 547. F. witte.

548. F. the. C. lyf; F. lyfe. 549. F. legende. C. wif; F. wyfe. 550. F. y-maade. 551. C. no more; F.

552. F.goo; the. 555. F. Th.my; rest thy. 556. F. bookes. 557. F. misplaces now after legende ; Tn. Th. place now after hem.

namore.

558.

+At Cleopatre I wol that thou beginne; (B. 566). +And so forth; and my love so shalt thou winne.'

And with that word of sleep I gan a-awake, (B. 578). +And right thus on my Legend gan I make.

545 Explicit prohemium.

*Than thou knowest, that been good wommen alle 360
*And trewe of love, for aught that may befalle;
*Make the metres of hem as thee leste.
*I mot gon hoom, the sonne draweth weste,
*To Paradys, with al this companye ;
*And serve alwey the fresshe dayesye.

565
+ At Cleopatre I wol that thou beginne;
+And so forth; and my love so shalt thou winne.
*For lat see now what man that lover be,
*Wol doon so strong a peyne for love as she.
*I wot wel that thou mayst nat al hit ryme,

570 *That swiche lovers diden in hir tyme ; *It were to long to reden and to here; *Suffyceth me, thou make in this manere, *That thou reherce of al hir lyf the grete, *After thise olde auctours listen to trete.

575
*For who-so shal so many a storie telle,
*Sey shortly, or he shal to longe dwelle.'

And with that word my bokes gan I take,
+And right thus on my Legend gan I make.

F. ben; knowyng. 559. F. here ; thousande moo sittyng. 560. F. Thanne. A. that ben; T. Add. and; rest om. 561. Tn. aught; F. oght. 562. F. lest: Tn. leste. 563. F. home, F. west: Tn. weste. 564. F. thise; rest this. 565. F. fressh ; Th. fresshe; A. fresche. 566. F. wole. 567. F. forthe. C. Tn. shalt; F. shal. 569. F. stronge.

57. F. Tn. A. swich; T. Th. P. suche. F. Tn. dide; T. dedyn; P. deden ; Add. diden. 573. B. Suffyceth ; F. Suffich (!). 574. A. lyf; F. lyse. listen trete; Tn. the lasse to trete (!); Add. the lesse to trete (!); rest listen for to trete (badly; omit for). 576. F. storye. 578. A. word; F. worde. 579. F. legende.

575. A.

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