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For then at erst, I wote ye wol me leve.
By Mars, that ys chefe of my beleve,
So that I myghte lyven, and nat fayle
To morowe for to taken my batayle,
I nolde never fro this place flee, 2 no
Til that ye shulde the verray prefe see.
For now, yf that the sothe I shal yow saye,
I have loved yow ful many a daye,
Thogh ye ne wiste nat, in my contree,
And aldermoste desirede yow to see
Of any erthely lyvynge creature.
Upon my trouthe I swere and yow assure,
These seven yere I have your servant bee.
Now have I yow, and also have ye mee,
My dere hert, of Athenes1 duchesse!" 212a
This lady smyleth at his stedfastnesse, And at hys hertely wordys, and at his chere, And to hir suster sayde in this manere:
"And softely now, suster myn," quod she, "Now be we duchesses, both I and ye, And sykered to the regals2 of Athenes, And both heraftir lykly to be queenes, And saved fro hys deth a kynges sone, As ever of gentil wymen ys the wone * To save a gentilman, enforthe 4 hir myght, 2130 I n honest cause, and namely in his ryght. Me thinketh no wyght ought us hereof blame, Ne beren us therfore an evel name."
1 For Theseus was duke of Athens. 1 Assured of the regal af 'nbutes. s Wont. * As far as.
"THIS MYNATOWRE." l6l
And shortly of this matere for to make,
Was by the gayler in the house ylayde,
And in hys armes hath thys Adriane,
And gate him there a noble barge anoon, \nd of his countre folke a grete woon,*
Knope (Gerenta), in Messenia. set out- 1 Company. VOL. III. II
And taketh hys leve, and homewarde sayleth
Hys maryners han don ryght as hym leste;
But I wol turne ageyne to Adryane, That ys with slepe for werynesse ytake; 2180 Ful sorwfully hir herte may awake. Alias, for the myn herte hath pitee! Ryght in the dawenynge awaketh shee, And gropeth2 in the bed, and fonde ryght noght.
"Allas," quod she, "that ever I was wroght 1
1 Waited 1 Searcheth. From this line to the end Chaucer fol 0ws Ovid in the Heroides quite closely.'
"HIR KERCHEFE ON A POLE." 163
I am betrayed," and hir heer to-rente,
The holowe roches answerde hir agayne.1
"Meker than ye fynde I the bestes wilde !" — Hath he not synne, that he hir thus begylde! — She cried, "O turne agayne for routhe and synne,
Thy barge hath not al thy meyny2 ynne."
But al for noght; hys wey he ys i-goon,
"Thow bedd," quoth she, "that haste receyved twoo,
1 This is from Ovid. 1 Retinue. * As chanca.
Thow shalt answere of twoo and not of oon,
What shulde I telle more hir compleynynge?
Explicit Legenda Adriane de Athenes.
Incipit Legenda Philomene.
Thow giver of the formes, that hast wroght The faire worlde, and bare hit in thy thoght Eternally or * thow thy werke beganne, Why madest thow unto the sklaunder of manne, —
Or al be that hyt was not thy doyinge, 223c As for that fine 6 to make suche a thynge, —
1 Counsel. * Ovid. * Time. 4 Ere. 'End.