Imatges de pàgina
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THE HOUS OF FAME.

BOOK I.

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OD turne us every dreem to gode !

For hit is wonder, by the rode,
To my wit, what causeth swevenes
Either on morwes, or on evenes ;
And why the effect folweth of somme,
And of somme hit shal never come ;
Why that is an avisioun,
And this a revelacioun ;
Why this a dreem, why that a sweven,
And nat to every man liche even;
Why this a fantom, these oracles,
I noot; but who-so of these miracles
The causes knoweth bet than I,
Devyne he; for I certeinly
Ne can hem noght, ne never thinke
To besily my wit to swinke,
To knowe of hir signifiaunce
The gendres, neither the distaunce
Of tymes of hem, ne the causes
For-why this more than that cause is;

1

15

20

The authorities are F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley 638); P. (Pepys 2006); Cx. (Caxton's ed.); Th. (Thynne's ed. 1532). I follow F. mainly, correcting the spelling.

1. P. drem; rest dreme. 8. All have And why; I omit why. F. swevene, evene ; Cx. Th. sweuen, euen. 11. Th. B. a fantome; P. a fauntom; Cx. a fanton; F. affaintome; after which, all needlessly insert why. 12. F. Th. B. P. not; Cx. note (=noot). Elide o in so. 20. All wrongly insert is before more.

9, Io.

***

B

25

30

35

As if folkes complexiouns
Make hem dreme of reflexiouns;
Or elles thus, as other sayn,
For to greet feblenesse of brayn,
By abstinence, or by seeknesse,
Prison, stewe, or greet distresse;
Or elles by disordinaunce
Of naturel acustomaunce,
That som man is to curious
In studie, or melancolious,
Or thus, so inly ful of drede,
That no man may him bote bede;
Or elles, that devocioun
Of somme, and contemplacioun
Causeth swiche dremes ofte ;
Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
Which these ilke lovers leden
That hopen over muche or dreden,
That purely hir impressiouns
Causeth hem avisiouns;
Or if that spirits have the might
To make folk to dreme a-night
Or if the soule, of propre kinde,
Be so parfit, as men finde,
That hit forwot that is to come,
And that hit warneth alle and somme
Of everiche of hir aventures
By avisiouns, or by figures,
But that our flesh ne hath no might
To understonden hit aright,
For hit is warned to derkly ;-
But why the cause is, noght wot I.
Wel worthe, of this thing, grete clerkes,
That trete of this and other werkes ;
For I of noon opinioun

40

45

50

55

24. B. of the ; rest of her; I omit the (her). 26. F. B. stewe; P. stoe; Cx. stryf; Th. stryfe. 35. P. sweche; rest suche, such. 45. F. B. forwote; rest wote. 50. F. vnderstonde, followed by a metrical mark, indicating a pause : I add n.

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