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How medeleth she his blood with her compleynte,
And with his blood her-selven gan she peynte ;
How clippeth she the dede cors, allas ?
How doth this woful Tisbe in this cas !
How kisseth she his frosty mouth so cold !
"Who hath doon this, and who hath been so bold
To sleen my leef? O spek, my Piramus !
I am thy Tisbe, that thee calleth thus !'
And therwith-al she lifteth up his heed.
This woful man, that was nat fully deed,
Whan that he herde the name of Tisbe cryen,
On her he caste his hevy deedly yën
And doun again, and yeldeth up the gost. (181)
Tisbe rist up, withouten noise or bost,
And seigh her wimpel and his empty shethe,
And eek his swerd, that him hath doon to dethe;
Than spak she thus : My woful hand,' quod she, 890
'Is strong y-nogh in swiche a werk to me;
For love shal yive me strengthe and hardinesse
To make my wounde large y-nogh, I gesse.
I wol thee folwen deed, and I wol be
Felawe and cause eek of thy deeth,' quod she. 895
And thogh that nothing save the deeth only (191)
Mighte thee fro me departe trewely,
Thou shalt no more departe now fro me
Than fro the deeth, for I wol go with thee !
'And now, ye wrecched Ielous fadres oure, 900
We, that weren whylom children youre,
We prayen yow, withouten more envye,
That in o grave y-fere we moten lye,
876. C. Tn. cors; F. corps. 877. dooth ; Tesbe. 878. mouthe; colde. 879. ben; bolde. 880. leefe. C. Tn. spek ; rest speke (wrongly). F. Tn. Th. B. om. my.
881. Tesbe. 884. C. Th. herde ; rest herd. Tesbe. 885. dedely. Tn. B. P. yen ; F. eyn; rest eyen.
886. dovne; gooste. 887. vpp; booste.
889. eke; swerde. 890. C. spak; F. spake. C. myn (for my); rest thy (!). hande. 891. werke. 892. F. (only) puts me before give. 894. wole; folowen deede. 895. eke. 897. the; trewly. 898. F. shal ; C. schat (!); rest shalt. C. A. Th. departe now; Tn. departe trewlie ; F. T. B. now departe. 899. deth; goo.
900. F. Ielouse ; C. gelos.
903. oo. T. I-fere; which the rest omit (!).
Sin love hath brought us to this pitous ende !
And rightwis god to every lover sende,
905 That loveth trewely, more prosperitee
Than ever hadde Piramus and Tisbe !
And lat no gentil woman her assure
To putten her in swiche an aventure.
But god forbede but a woman can
Been as trewe and loving as a man !
And, for my part, I shal anoon it kythe!'
And, with that worde, his swerd she took as swythe,
That warm was of her loves blood and hoot,
And to the herte she her-selven smoot.
915 And thus ar Tisbe and Piramus ago.
Of trewe men I finde but fewe mo
In alle my bokes, save this Piramus,
And therfor have I spoken of him thus.
For hit is deyntee to us men to finde
A man that can in love be trewe and kinde.
Heer may ye seen, what lover so he be,
A woman dar and can as wel as he.
III. THE LEGEND OF DIDO, QUEEN OF
Incipit Legenda Didonis martiris, Cartaginis regine.
GLORY and honour, Virgil Mantuan,
Be to thy name! and I shal, as I can,
Folow thy lantern, as thou gost biforn,
How Eneas to Dido was forsworn.
904. C. T. A. brought vs to; F. vs broght (.). pitouse. 906, moore. 907. C. euere zit hade; T. euer had yet; rest omit zit (yet). 908. noo gentile. 909. puten.
914. warme; hoote. 915. smoote (!). 916. Tn. T. ar; F. are; C. A. is. C. I-go; rest a-goo (a-go). 917. moo. 918. bookes.
919. therfore. N.B. From this point onward obvious corrections in the spelling of MS. F. are unnoticed.
In thyn Eneïd and Naso wol I take
The tenour, and the grete effectes make.
Whan Troye broght was to destruccioun
By Grekes sleighte, and namely by Sinoun,
Feyning the hors y-offred to Minerve,
Through which that many a Troyan moste sterve ; (10)
And Ector had, after his deeth, appered,
And fyr so wood, it mighte nat be stered,
In al the noble tour of Ilioun,
That of the citee was the cheef dungeoun;
And al the contree was so lowe y-broght,
And Priamus the king fordoon and noght;
And Eneas was charged by Venus
To fleen awey, he took Ascanius,
That was his sone, in his right hand, and fedde ;
And on his bakke he bar and with him ledde (20)
His olde fader, cleped Anchises,
And by the weye his wyf Creusa he lees.
And mochel sorwe hadde he in his minde
Er that he coude his felawshippe finde.
But, at the laste, whan he had hem founde,
He made him redy in a certein stounde,
And to the see ful faste he gan him hye,
And saileth forth with al his companye
Toward Itaile, as wolde destinee.
But of his aventures in the see
Nis nat to purpos for to speke of here,
For hit acordeth nat to my matere.
But, as I seide, of him and of Dido
Shal be my tale, til that I have do.
So longe he sailed in the salte see
Til in Libye unnethe aryved he,
With shippes seven and with no more navye ; 960
And glad was he to londe for to hye,
So was he with the tempest al to-shake.
And whan that he the haven had y-take,
928. C. has—In Naso and Eneydos wele [ for wol] I take. I offerede to; rest offred unto. 950. C. wol (= wel); for ful. 960, 961. . These two lines are in C. and P. only; all former editions omit them.
He had a knight, was called Achates;
And him of al his felawshippe he chees
To goon with him, the contre for tespye;
He took with him no more companye.
But forth they goon, and lafte his shippes ryde,
His fere and he, with-outen any gyde.
So longe he walketh in this wildernesse
Til, at the laste, he mette an hunteresse.
A bowe in honde and arwes hadde she,
Her clothes cutted were unto the knee;
But she was yit the fairest creature
That ever was y-formed by nature;
And Eneas and Achates she grette,
And thus she to hem spak, whan she hem mette.
Sawe ye,' quod she, 'as ye han walked wyde,
Any of my sustren walke yow besyde,
With any wilde boor or other beste
That they han hunted to, in this foreste,
Y-tukked up, with arwes in her cas ?'
Nay, soothly, lady,' quod this Eneas;
But, by thy beaute, as hit thinketh me,
Thou mightest never erthely womman be,
But Phebus suster artow, as I gesse.
And, if so be that thou be a goddesse,
Have mercy on our labour and our wo.'
'I nam no goddes, soothly,' quod she tho;
'For maidens walken in this contree here,
With arwes and with bowe, in this manere.
This is the regne of Libie, ther ye been,
Of which that Dido lady is and queen'-
And shortly tolde him al the occasioun
Why Dido com into that regioun,
Of which as now me lusteth nat to ryme;
Hit nedeth nat; hit nere but los of tyme.
964. C. clepid; rest called. spye ; T. to spy; A, to aspye. catted (cuttyd, cuttit). 994. F. Tn. Th. B. om. him. were (wer).
966. Tn. Th. B. tespye; C. tespie ; F. to
973. C. P. cutte ; F. B. knytte; rest 979. So all; Oon (for Any) would read better.
997. Tn, ner ; F. Th. B. nere; rest
For this is al and som, it was Venus,
His owne moder, that spak with him thus;
And to Cartage she bad he sholde him dighte,
And vanished anoon out of his sighte.
I coude folwe, word for word, Virgyle,
But it wolde lasten al to longe a whyle.
This noble queen, that cleped was Dido,
That whylom was the wyf of Sitheo,
That fairer was then is the brighte sonne,
This noble toun of Cartage hath begonne;
In which she regneth in so greet honour,
That she was holde of alle quenes flour,
Of gentilesse, of freedom, of beautee;
That wel was him that mighte her ones see;
Of kinges and of lordes so desyred,
That al the world her beaute hadde y-fyred; (90)
She stood so wel in every wightes grace.
Whan Eneas was come un-to that place,
Unto the maister-temple of al the toun
Ther Dido was in her devocioun,
Ful prively his wey than hath he nome.
Whan he was in the large temple come,
I can nat seyn if that hit be possible,
But Venus hadde him maked invisible-
Thus seith the book, with-outen any lees.
And whan this Eneas and Achates
Hadden in this temple been over-al,
Than founde they, depeynted on a wal,
How Troye and al the lond destroyed was.
*Allas ! that I was born,' quod Eneas,
* Through-out the world our shame is kid so wyde,
Now it is peynted upon every syde !
We, that weren in prosperitee,
Be now disslaundred, and in swich degre,
No lenger for to liven I ne kepe !'
And, with that worde, he brast out for to wepe (110)
1002. F. by; rest for. 1003. T. P. Addit. a; rest om. 1006. C. Addit. is; rest om. 1018. C. thus (for than). 1019. F. (only) om. large. 1024. P. F. the; rest this.
J028. F. Tn. A. B. om. so.