Imatges de pàgina

That bereth the key of al my hertes lyf.
And grete wel my doghter and thy wyf,
And yive her leve somtyme for to pleye,

That she may seen me ones er I deye.'
And soothly, he hath mad him riche feste,
And to his folk, the moste and eek the leste,
That with him com; and yaf him yiftes grete,
And him conveyeth through the maister-strete 2305
Of Athenes, and to the see him broghte,
And turneth hoom ; no malice he ne thoghte. (80)

The ores pulleth forth the vessel faste,
And into Trace arriveth at the laste,
And up into a forest he her ledde,

And to a cave privily him spedde;
And, in this derke cave, yif her leste,
Or leste noght, he bad her for to reste;
Of whiche her herte agroos, and seyde thus,
'Wher is my suster, brother Tereus ?'

And therwith-al she wepte tenderly,
And quook for fere, pale and pitously,

Right as the lamb that of the wolf is biten;
Or as the colver, that of the egle is smiten,
And is out of his clawes forth escaped,

Yet hit is afered and awhaped
Lest hit be hent eft-sones, so sat she.
But utterly hit may non other be.
By force hath he, this traitour, doon that dede,
That he hath reft her of her maydenhede,

Maugree her heed, by strengthe and by his might.
Lo! here a dede of men, and that a right ! (100)
She cryeth 'suster !' with ful loude stevene,
And 'fader dere!' and 'help me, god in hevene !'
Al helpeth nat; and yet this false theef

2330 Hath doon this lady yet a more mischeef,

2314. Tn.

2301. C. Tn. T. er; rest or. 2311. F. T. in-to; rest to. a-groos; A. agros; Th. agrose; F.

agrosse; T. agrysyd ; C. aros (!). 2316. C. Tn. Th. B. wepte; F. wepe ; T. wepyd. 2319. F. Tn. Or of; B. Or; rest 2320, F. Tn. B. om. his. 2324. C. he; rest om.

2325. F. Tn. B. om. of her. 2328. F. B. longe ; rest loude. 2329. C. A. and; rest om.


Or as.





For fere lest she sholde his shame crye,
And doon him openly a vilanye,
And with his swerd her tong of kerveth he,
And in a castel made her for to be
Ful privily in prison evermore,
And kepte her to his usage and his store,
So that she mighte him nevermore asterte.
O sely Philomene! wo is thyn herte ;
God wreke thee, and sende thee thy bone !
Now is hit tyme I make an ende sone.

This Tereus is to his wyf y-come,
And in his armes hath his wyf y-nome,
And pitously he weep, and shook his heed,
And swor her that he fond her suster deed;
For which this sely Progne hath swich wo,
That ny her sorweful herte brak a-two;
And thus in teres lete I Progne dwelle,
And of her suster forth I wol yow telle.

This woful lady lerned had in youthe
So that she werken and enbrouden couthe,
And weven in her stole the radevore
As hit of women hath be woned yore.
And, shortly for to seyn, she hath her fille
Of mete and drink, and clothing at her wille,
And coude eek rede, and wel y-nogh endyte,
But with a penne coude she nat wryte;
But lettres can she weven to and fro,
So that, by that the yeer was al a-go,
She had y-woven in a stamin large






2339. C.

2332. F. B. Tn. ferde ; A. fered ; rest fere. 2334. A. C. kerveth ; T. kutteth ; rest kerf (kerfe). 2338. So C. T. A.; Th. she ne might (om. him). F. Tn. B. omit this line, and have a spurious line after 2339. T. A. is ; F. Tn. Th. B. is in. 2345. C. say for fond). 2346. F. B. the (for this). 2350. C. T. A. lerned ; rest y-lerned. 2352. F. Tn. Th. B. om, her. F. Tn. T. Th. B. radeuore (or radenore); C. radyuore (or radynore); A. raduor. 2353. F. wore (error for yore); rest yore. 2355 C. T. A. and; rest of. 2356. C. A. coude; rest kouthe (couthe, couth). P. Tn. Th. B. put and after y-nogh. 2357. C. A. coude she; T. conthe she; rest she kouthe (couth, coulde). 2359. All but T. A. om. 2nd that. F. (only) om. al.





How she was broght from Athenes in a barge,
And in a cave how that she was broght;
And al the thing that Tereus hath wroght,
She waf hit wel, and wroot the story above,
How she was served for her suster love ;
And to a knave a ring she yaf anoon,
And prayed him, by signes, for to goon
Unto the quene, and beren her that clooth,
And by signes swor him many an ooth,
She sholde him yeve what she geten mighte.

This knave anoon unto the quene him dighte,
And took hit her, and al the maner tolde.
And, whan that Progne hath this thing beholde,
No word she spak, for sorwe and eek for rage ;
But feyned her to goon on pilgrimage
To Bachus temple ; and, in a litel stounde,
Her dombe suster sitting hath she founde,
Weping in the castel her aloon.
Allas ! the wo, the compleint, and the moon
That Progne upon her dombe suster maketh !
In armes everich of hem other taketh,
And thus I lete hem in hir sorwe dwelle.

The remenant is no charge for to telle,
For this is al and som, thus was she served,
That never harm a-gilte ne deserved
Unto this cruel man, that she of wiste.
Ye may be war of men, yif that yow liste.
For, al be that he wol nat, for his shame,
Doon so as Tereus, to lese his name,
Ne serve yow as a mordrour or a knave,
Ful litel whyle shul ye trewe him have,






2360. A. C. ywouen ; rest wouen (woued). C. T. A. stamyn; rest stames. 2364. C. waf; Tn. B. wafe ; rest waue (wave). 2369. F. Tn. Th. B. signe ; rest signes. C. swor hym; T. sware she ; A. suore; Th. swore; F. B. sworne (!); Tn. sworen (!).

2375. C. Th. on ; T. A. in; F. Tn. B. a. 2378. Tn. her; C. here (for her); A. all hir ; F. T. Th. B. hir self. 2379. So A. ; so T. (omitting 3rd the); C. Allas the compleynt the wo & the mone; F. Th. Allas the wo constreynt (!) and the mone.

2380. So all. 2388. C. his; rest om. 2389. C. so; rest om. 2390. B. mordrer; F. morderere ; Th. murtherer; C. T. A. morderour ; Tn. mordroure.

That wol I seyn, al were he now my brother,
But hit so be that he may have non other.


[blocks in formation]




Incipit Legenda Phillis.
By preve as wel as by auctoritee,
That wikked fruit cometh of a wikked tree,
That may ye finde, if that it lyketh yow.
But for this ende I speke this as now,
To telle you of false Demophon.
In love a falser herde I never non,
But-if hit were his fader Theseus.
'God, for his grace, fro swich oon kepe us !'
Thus may thise women prayen that hit here.
Now to theffect turne I of my matere.

Destroyed is of Troye the citee;
This Demophon com sailing in the see
Toward Athenes, to his paleys large;
With him com many a ship and many a barge
Ful of his folk, of which ful many oon
Is wounded sore, and seek, and wo begoon.
And they han at the sege longe y-lain.
Behinde him com a wind and eek a rain
That shoof so sore, his sail ne mighte stonde,
Him were lever than al the world a-londe,
So hunteth him the tempest to and fro.
So derk hit was, he coude nowher go;
And with a wawe brosten was his stere.
His ship was rent so lowe, in swich manere,





2393. C. T. A. non othir; rest a-nother (!). 2400. F. Tn. Th. B. om. if. 2402. F. Tn. Th. B. om. may. 2408. C. his; rest om. (read seek); rest seke. 2410. A. Th. the sege; F. Tn. B. a sege ; T. sege; C. thasege (good). 2412. C. T. A. ne myghte; rest myght not.

2409. C. sek

That carpenter ne coude hit nat amende.
The see, by nighte, as any torche brende
For wood, and posseth him now up now doun,

Til Neptune hath of him compassioun,
And Thetis, Chorus, Triton, and they alle,
And maden him upon a lond to falle,

Wher-of that Phillis lady was and quene,
Ligurgus doghter, fairer on to sene

Than is the flour again the brighte sonne.
Unnethe is Demophon to londe y-wonne,
Wayk and eek wery, and his folk for-pyned
Of werinesse, and also enfamyned;
And to the deeth he almost was y-driven.

His wyse folk to conseil han him yiven
To seken help and socour of the queen,
And loken what his grace mighte been,

And maken in that lond som chevisaunce,
To kepen him fro wo and fro mischaunce.

For seek was he, and almost at the deeth ;
Unnethe mighte he speke or drawe his breeth,
And lyth in Rodopeya him for to reste.
Whan he may walke, him thoughte hit was the beste
Unto the court to seken for socour.

Men knewe him wel, and diden him honour;
For at Athenes duk and lord was he,
As Theseus his fader hadde y-be,

That in his tyme was of greet renoun,
No man so greet in al his regioun ;

2445 And lyk his fader of face and of stature, And fals of love; hit com him of nature;

2418. C. A. ne; T. noon; rest om. 2420. A. So wood. C. A. now vp now doun ; T. now vp and doun; rest vp and doun. 2422. Th. Chorus; T. Thora ; rest Thorus (see note). F. Tn. B. om. Triton.

2423. F. Th. B. vp; rest vp-on. 2425. A. B. Ligargus; C. Tn. T. Ligurges; Th. Lycurgus; F. Bygurgus (error for Lygurgus). 2430. C. That (for And). C. almost was (better than was almost in the rest).

2435. C. T. A. To; rest And. 2437. C. T. A. his; rest om. 2438. A. om. for. 2440. C. T. A. court; rest contree. 2443. F. Tn. Th. B. hath.

2444. C. T. A. of gret ; rest grete of. 2445. C. of (for in). C. the; T. A. that ; rest his.

« AnteriorContinua »