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She that for hire housbonde chees to dye,
And I answerde ageyn, and sayde, "Yis,
"In remembraunce of hire and in honoure Cibella2 maade the daysye and the floure 531 Ycrowned al with white, as men may see, And Mars gaf to hire corowne reede, pardec, In stede of rubyes, sette among the white."
Therwith this queene wex reed for shame a
Whanne she was preysed so in hire presence.
* Goodness. 'An unknown author. s Rhea-Cybele, the Roddest ti fecundity.
NO LOVER IN HELL. IOI
That thou forgate hire 1 in thy songe to sette,
Syn that thou art so gretly in hire dette, 541
And wost wel that kalender ys shee
To any woman that wol lover bee:
For she taught al the crafte of fyne lovyng,
And namely of wyfhode the lyvyng,
And al the boundes that she oghte kepe;
Thy litel witte was thilke tyme aslepe.
But now I charge the upon thy lyfe,
That in thy legende thou make of thys wyfe.
Whan thou hast other smale ymaade before;
And fare now wel, I charge thee namore. 551
But er I goo, thus muche I wole the telle,
Ne shal no trewe lover come in helle.
Thise other ladies sittynge here arowe
Ben in thy balade, yf thou kanst hem knowe,
And in thy bookes alle thou shalt hem fynde;
Have hem in thy Legende now alle in mynde,
I mene of hem that ben in thy knowyng.
For here ben twenty thousand moo sittyng
Thanne thou knowest, goode wommen alle, 560
And trewe of love for oght that may byfalle;
1 This reference to the omission of Alceste's name from the ballad is not found in the Gg text. It would have been inapt, for in that text the refrain of the ballad reads, " Alceste is here," instead of * My Uidy comith." The Gg text reads, —
Thanne seyde Love, " A fu. grete necligence
Was it to the to write onstedefast-nesse
Of women, sithe thow knowist here goodnesse
By pref and ek by storyis here by-forn.
Let be the chaf and writ wel of the corn.
Why noldist thow have writyn of Alceste
And latyn Criseide ben a-slepe and rest,
For of Alceste schulde thy wrytynge be,
Syn that thow wist that calandir is she
Of goodnesse, for sche taughte of feyn [glad] lovynge."
Make the metres of hem as the lest;
For lat see now what man that lover be,1
And with that worde my bokes gan I take, And ryght thus on my legende gan I make.
Tncipit Legenda Cleopatrie, Martiris, Egipti Regine?
After the deth of Tholome the kyng, 580 That al Egipte hadde in his governyng, Regned hys queene Cleopataras; Til on a tyme befel ther swich a cas,s That out of Rome was sent a senatour,
1 Lines 552-565 and 56*-577 are not in the Gg text. 1 Here be* gtaneth the legend of Cleopatra, the martvr. queen of Egypt. Th ttory U a familiar one, and is found in Plutarch. 2 Chance.
CLEOPATRA OF EGYPT. IO3
For to conqueren regnes1 and honour
So fil yt, as Fortune hym oght a shame,
Natheles, forsooth this ilke senatour Was a full worthy gentil werreyour, And of his deeth it was ful gret damage. But Love had brought this man in swich a rage,
And him so narwe bounded in his laas,* 600
Alle for the love of Cleopataras,
That al the worlde he sette at noo value;
Hym thoghte ther was nothing to him so due
As Cleopataras for to love and serve;
Hym roghte * nat in armes for to sterve
In the defence of hir and of hir ryght.
This noble queene ek lovede so this knyght, Thurgh his desert and for his chivalrye; As certeynly, but-yf that bookes lye, He was of persone, and of gentilesse, 61c Ind of discrecion, and hardynesse, Worthy to any wight that liven may;
Kingdoms. Lace, snare. s Recked.
And she was faire as is the rose in May.
The weddyng and the feste to devyse,
Octovyan,* that woode 4 was of this dede, Shoop him an oost on Antony to lede, Al outerly for his destructioun, With stoute Romaynes, crewel as lyoun; To shippe they wente, and thus I let hem sayle.
Antonius, that was war, and wol nat fayle To meten with thise Romaynes, yf he may, 630 Took eke his rede,6 and booth upon a day His wyf and he and al hys oost forthe wente To shippe anoon, no lenger they ne stente, And in the see hit happed hem to mete. Up gooth the trumpe, and for to shoute and shete,*
And paynen hem to sette on with the sonne; With grisly soune out gooth the grete gonne,7 And hertely they hurtelen al attones,
1 Therefore. 1 The tUnoutnent. s The Emperor Augustus Angry. 5 Counsel. s Shoot. 7 The mangonel is apparently in tended, from the mention of "grete stones," but the use of gui> powder in war was at the time of Chaucer's writing forty years old and the passage may contain an anachronism.