Imatges de pàgina

Thys knave anoon unto the queene hym dyghte, 2370

And toke hit hir, and al the maner tolde.

And whanne that Proigne hath this thing beholde,

No worde she spake for sorwe and eke for rage

But feyned hyr to goon on pilgrymage

To Bachus temple. And in a lytel stounde 1

Hire dombe suster syttyng hath she founde

Wepynge in the castel hir-self allone.

Alias, the woo, constreynt, and eke the mone

That Proigne upon hir dombe suster maketh!

In armes everych of hem other taketh; 238c

And thus I lat hem in her sorwe dwelle.

The remnant ys no charge2 for to telle, For this is al and somme, — thus was she served,

That harm agylte * ne deservede

Unto thys cruelle man, that she of wyste.

Ye may be war of men gif that yow lyste*.

For al be that he wol not for the shame

Doon as Tereus, to lese hys name,

Ne serve yow as a morderere or a knave, 2389

Ful lytel while shul ye trewe hym have, —

That wol I seyne, al were he nowe iny brother, —

But hit so be that he may have another.

Explicit Legenda Philomene.

• Time. • Consequence. • Committed.


Incipit Legenda Phillis.

By preve, as wel as by auctorite,
That wikked frute cometh of wikked tree,1
That may ye fynde yf that hyt liketh yow.

But for thys ende I speke thys as now,
To telle yow of fals Demophoone.2
I n love a falser herde I never none,
But hit were hys fader Theseus;
God for hys grace fro suche oon kepe us! 2400
Thus these wymen prayen that hit here;
Now to theffect turne I of my matere.

Distroyed ys of Troye the citee;
This Demophon come saylyng in the see
Towarde Athenes to hys paleys large.
With hym come many a shippe and mony a

Ful of folke, of whiche ful many oon
Ys wounded sore, and seke, and woo begoon,
And they han at a sege longe ylayne.
Byhynde him come a wynde and eke a rayne,
That shofe so sore hys salle myghte not
stonde. 2411
Hym were lever than al the worlde a-londe,
So hunteth hym the tempest to and fro!
So derke hyt was, he kouthe no-wher go,
And with a wawe brosten was hys stere.*

1 Cf. Matt. vii. 16. 1 The legend of Phillis follows pretty clouh Ovid*s story in the Heroides, epistle ii. s Rudder.

Hys shippe was rent so lowe, in suche manere, That carpentere koude hit nat amende.

The see by nyght as any torche brende For wode,1 and posseth hym up and doune; Til Neptunus hath of hym compassyoun, 2420 And Thetis, Chorus, Triton, and they alle, And maden him upon a londe to falle, Wherof that Phillis lady was and quene, Lycurgus doghtre, fayrer on to sene Than is the floure ageyn the bryghte sonne.

Unneth2 ys Demophoon to londe ywonne, Wayke and eke wery, and his folke forpyned Of werynesse, and also enfamyned, And to the dethe he was almoste ydreven. Hys wise folke counseyle han hym geven, 2430 To seken helpe and socour of the quene, And loken what hys grace myghte bene, And make in that londe somme chevissaunce,1 To kepen hym fro woo and fro myschaunce. For seke he was, and almoste at the dethe; Unnethe myght he speke, or drawe brethe; And lyeth in Rhodopeya4 hym for to reste.

Whan he may walke, hym thoght hit was the beste

Unto the contree to seken for socoure.
Men knewe hym welle and dide hym honoure;
For at Athenes duke and lorde was hee, 244*
As Theseus hys fader hath ybe,
That in hys tyme was grete of renoun,

1 Wrath. '.Scarcely. * Negotiation. 4 A mountain in Thrac*


No man so grete in al hys regioun;
And lyke hys fader of face and of stature,
And fals of love; hyt came hym of nature,
As doothe the fox Renarde, the foxes sone;
Of kynde1 he koude hys olde fadres wone1
Withoute lore, as kan a drake swymme
Whan hit ys kaught and caried to the brymme.

Thys honourable quene doth him chere, 2451
And lyketh wel hys porte and hys manere.
But I am agroteyd * here beforne,
To write of hem that in love ben forsworne
And eke to haste me in my Legende,
Which to performe, God me grace sende;
Therfore I passe shortly in thys wyse.

Ye have wel herde of Theseus the gyse,4
In the betraysyng of faire Adriane,
That of hir pitee kepte hym fro hys bane. 2460
At shorte wordes, ryght so Demophone,
The same way, the same path hath gone,
That did his false fader Theseus.
For unto Phillis hath he sworne thus,
To wedden hir, and hir his trouthe plyghte,
And piked of hyr al the good he myghte,
Whan he was hole and sounde, and had hys

And doth with Phillis what-so that him leste,
As wel kouthe I, gif that me leste soo,
Tellen al hys doynges, to and fro. 2470
He sayede to hys contree moste him sayle,

'Nature 'Wont. Surfeited. * WUe.

For ther he wolde hire weddyng apparaylle
As fille to hir honour and hys also,
And openly he tok his leve tho,
And to hir swore he wolde not sojourne,
But in a moneth ageyn he wolde retourne.
And in that londe let make hys ordynaunce,
As verray lorde, and toke the obeisaunce,
Wel and hombely, and his shippis dyghte,
And home he gooth the nexte wey he myghte.
For unto Phillis yet ne come he noght, 2481
And that hath she so harde and sore yboght,
Alias, that the story doth us recorde,
She was hir oune dethe with a corde,
Whanne that she segh that Demophon her

But firste wrote she to hym,1 and faste hym prayede

He wolde come and delyver hir of peyne,

As I reherse shal 00 worde or tweyne.

Me lyste nat vouch-safe on him to swynke,2

Dispenden on hym a penne ful of ynke, 2490

For fals in love was he, ryght as hys syre;

The Devel set hire soules both on a fire!

But of the letter of Phillis wol I wryte

A worde or tweyne, althogh hit he but lyte.*

"Thyn hostesse," quod she, " O Demophoone, Thy Phillis, which that is so woo begone, Of Rhodopey,4 upon yow mot compleyne,

1 Her letter is in the Heroides. 1 Labor. 'Little. • "Thj Rhodopeian hostess, Phyllis," is Ovid's form of expression.

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