Imatges de pàgina


"And now, ye wrecched jelouse fadres oure, We that weren whilome children youre, 901 We prayen yow, withouten more envye That in 00 grave [now] we moten lye, Syn love hath us broght this pitouse ende. And ryghtwis God to every iover sende, That loveth trewely, moore prosperite Than ever hadde Piramus and Tesbe. And let noo gentile woman hire assure,1 To putten hire in swiche an aventure. But God forbede but a woman kan 910 Ben as trewe and lovynge as a man, And for my parte I shal anoon it kythe." * And with that worde his swerde she took asswithe,*

That warme was of hire loves blood, and hoote, And to the herte she hire selven smoote.

And thus are Tesbe and Piramus agoo. Of trewe men I fynde but fewe moo In al my bookes, save this Piramus, And therfore have I spoken of hym thus. For yt is deyntee to us men to fynde 920 A man that kan in love be trewe and kynde.

Here may ye seen, what lover so he be, K. woman dar and kan as wel as he.

Explicit Legenda Tesbe.

'Have assurance. Show. * Quickly.

Tncipit Legenda Didoms, Martiris, Carthaginis Regine.

Glorie and honour, Virgile Mantuan, Be to thy name! and I shal as I kan Folowe thy lanterne as thou goste byforn, How Eneas to Dido was forsworne, In thyne Eneyde.1 And of Naso 2 wol I take The tenour and the grete effectes make.

Whan Troy i-broght was to destrnccion 930
By Grekes sleight, and namely by Synon,*
Feynyng the hors offred unto Minerve,
Thurgh which that many a Trojan moste sterve,
And Ector had after his deeth appered;
And fire so woode, it myghte nat ben stered,*
In al the noble tour of Ylion,
That of the citee was the cheef dungeon;
And al the contree was so lowe ybroght,
And Priamus the kyng fordoon and noght;
And Eneas was charged by Venus 940
To fleen away; he tooke Ascanius,
That was his sone, in his ryght hande and

And on his bakke he baar, and with him ledde,
His olde fader, cleped Anchises;
And by the wey his wyf Creusa he lees,6
And mochel sorowe hadde he in his mynde,

1 Aituid, books i.-iv. 1 Heroides, epistle vii. Historically .Eneas must have lived Ion? before the time of Dido. • Cf. Ca» \trburv Tales. 1 8S40. * Directed 1 Lost.


Rr thai he koude his felawshippe fynde.

Rut at the laste, whan he hadde hem founde,

He made him redy in a certeyn stounde,1

And to the see ful faste he gan him hye, 950

And sayleth forth with al his companye

Towarde Ytayle, as wolde destanee.

But of his aventures in the see

Nys nat to purpos for to speke of here,

For it acordeth nat to my matere.

But as I seyde, of hym and of Dydo

Shal be my tale, til that I have do.

So longe he saylled in the salte see, Til in Lybye unneth 2 arryved he, So was he with the tempest al to-shake. 960 And whan that he the havene had ytake, He had a knyghte was called Achates, And him of al his felawshippe he ches * To goon with him, the contree for tespye. He toke with him na more companye, But forth they goon, and lafte hise shippes ride, His fere 4 and he, withouten any guyde.

So lotige he walket-h in this wildernesse, Til at the last he mette an hunteresse; A bowe in hande, and arwes hadde shee; 97c Hire clothes were knytte unto the knee. But she was yit the fairest creature That ever was yformed by nature; And Eneas and Achates she grette, ^nd thus she to hem spak whan she hem mette

1 Time 2 Libya scarcely. s Chose- * Companion.

"Sawe ye," quod she, "as ye han walked wide,

Any of my sustren walke yow besyde,
With any wilde boor or other beste,
That they han hunted to in this foreste,
Ytukked up, with arwes in hire cas?" 980

"Nay soothly, lady!" quod this Eneas;
"But by thy beaute, as yt thynketh me,
Thou myghtest never erthely woman be,
But Phebus suster artow, as I gesse.
And yf so be that thou be a goddesse,
Have mercy on oure labour and oure woo."

"I nam no goddesse soothely," quod she thoo;

"For maydens walken in this contree here,
With arwes and with bowe, in this manere.
This is the regne of Libie ther ye been, 990
Of which that Dido lady is and queene."
And shortly tolde al the occasioun
Why Dido come into that regioun,
Of which as now me lusteth nat to ryme;
It nedeth nat, it nere but los of tyme.
For this is al and somme; it was Venus
His owene moder, that spake with him thus;
And to Cartage she bad he sholde him dighte,1
And vanysshed anoon out of his sighte.
I koude folwe worde for worde Virgile, 100c
But it wolde lasten al to longe while.
Th's noble queene, that cleped was Dido,

1 Betake himself.


That whilom was the wife of Sicheo,1
That fairer was than the bryghte sonne,
This noble toune of Cartage hath begonne;
In which she regneth with so grete honoure,
That she was holde of alle quenes floure,
Of gentilesse, of fredome, of beautee,
That wel was him that myght hir oones see.
Of kynges and of lordes so desired, Ioio
That al the worlde hire beaute hadde yfired,
She stoode so wel in every wyghtes grace.

Whan Eneas was come unto that place,
Unto the maistre2 temple of al the toune,
Ther Dido was in hir devocioun,
Ful prively his wey than hath he nome.*
Whan he was in the large temple come, —
I kannat seye yf that hit be possible,—
But Venus hadde him maked invisible;
Thus seith the booke, withouten any les.4 loao

And whan this Eneas and Achates Hadden in the temple ben over-alle, Than founde they depeynted on a walle How Troy and al the londe destrued was. "Alias, that I was born!" quod Eneas. "Thurghout the worlde oure shame is kid6 so wide,

Now it is peynted upon every side.

We, that weren in prosperitee,

Be now disclaundred, and in swiche degre,

1 Acerbas, called by Virgil Sichseus. Mntid, i. 343. • Chkfc Taken * Lie. * Made! mown.

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