Imatges de pàgina


Over the terme sette betwix us tweyne,

That ye ne holden forwarde,1 as ye seyde.

Your anker, which ye in oure haven leyde, 2500

Hyght2 us that ye wolde comen out of doute,

Or that the mone ones went aboute;

But tymes foure the mone hath hid hir face

Syn that thylke day ye wente fro this place \

And foure tymes lyghte the worlde ageyn.

But for al that, yet I shal soothly seyn,

Yet hath the streme of Sithon * nat i-broght

From Athenes the shippe; yet come hit noght.

And yf that ye the terme rekne wolde,

As I or other trewe lovers sholde, 2510

I pleyne nat, God wot! beforne my day."

But al hir letter writen I ne may

By ordre, for hit were to me a charge;

Hir letter was ryght longe, and therto large.

But here and there in ryme I have hyt layde,

There as me thoghte that she hath wel sayde.

She seyde, "The saylles cometh nat ageyn, Ne to the worde there nys no fey 4 certeyn; But I wote why ye come nat," quod she; "For I was of my love to yow so fre. 2521 And of the goddys that ye han forswore, That hire vengeaunce fal on yow therfore, Ye be nat sufnsaunt to bere the peyne. To much trusted I, wel may I seyne, Upon youre lynage and youre faire tonge,

1 Promise. Cf. Canterbury Tales, I. *29. 'Promised. 'Sithoi m an ancient name of Thrace. Ovid says "Sithonian waves," — waves that beat upon the shores of Thrace. * Faith

And on youre teres falsely out-wronge.
How kouthe ye wepe soo be crafte ?" quod she;
"May there suche teres i-feynede be?
Now certes gif ye wolde have in memorye,
Hyt oughte be to yow but lytel glorie, 2530
To have a sely 1 mayde thus betrayed!
To God," quod she, "prey I, and ofte have

That hyt be nowe the gretest prise of alle,
And moste honour that ever yow shal befalle.
And when thyn olde auncetres peynted be,
In which men may her worthynesse se,
Then pray I God, thow peynted be also,
That folke may reden, forth by as they go, —

"' Lo, this is he, that with his Jlaterye Betrayed hath, and doon Mr vilanye, 254c That was his trewe love in thoghte and dede.'

"But sothely of 00 poynt yet may they rede, That ye ben lyke youre fader, as in this; For he begiled Adriane, ywis, With suche an arte, and suche soteltee, As thou thy selven haste begiled me. As in that poynt, althogh hit be nat feire, Thou folwest hym certeyn, and art his eyre. But syn thus synfully ye me begile, My body mote ye seen, within a while, 255a Ryght in the havene of Athenes fletynge,* Withouten sepulture and buryinge, Though ye ben harder then is any stone."

1 Innocent. 1 Floating.



And whan this letter was forthe sent anone. And knyw how brotel1 and how fals he was, She for dispeyre fordidde hir-self, allas! Suche sorowe hath she for he beset2 hire so! Be war, ye wymmen, of youre sotile fo I Syns yet this day men may ensample se, And as in love trusteth no man but me. 2560

Explicit Legenda Phillis.

Incipit Legenda Ypermystre.

In Grece whilom weren brethren twoo
Of which that oon was called Danoo,*
That many a sone hath of hys body wonne,
As suche false lovers ofte konne.

Among hys sones alle there was oon,
That aldermoste he loved of everychone.
And whan this childe was borne, this Danoo
Shope hym a name, and called hym Lyno.

That other brother called was Egiste,4 That was in love as fals as ever hym lyste. 2570 \nd many a doghtre gate he in hys lyfe; Of which he gate upon his ryghte wife A doughter dere, and did hyt for to calle Ypermystra, yongest of hem alle. The whiche childe, of hir natyvite, To alle goode thewes6 borne was she,

1 Unsteady. * Treated. 'Danaus. The letter of Hypermnestra Id Lynceus or Lynus is the fourteenth epistle in Ovid? HtroitUt ^gyptus. 'Qualities.


As lykede to the goddes or she was borne,
That of the shefe she shulde be the corne.

The VVirdes,1 that we clepen destanye,
Hath shapen hir, that she moste nedes be 2580
Pitouse, sad,2 wise, trewe as stele.
And to this woman hyt acordeth wele;
For though that Venus gaf hir grete beaute,
With Jubiter compouned so was she,
That conscience, trouthe, and drede of shame,
And of hir wyfehode for to kepe hir name,
This thoghte hire was felicite as here.
And rede Mars was that tyme of the yere
So feble, that his malice ys him rafte ;*
Repressed hath Venus hys cruelle crafte. 2590
And what with Venus, and other oppressyoun
Of houses, Mars hys venym ys adoun,
That Ypermystra dare not handel a knyfe
In malyce, thogh she shulde lese hir lyfe.

But natheles, as heven gan thoo turne, To badde aspectes hath she of Saturne,* That made hir to dye in prisoun. And I shal after make mensioun Of Danoo and Egistis also. And thogh so be that they were brethren twoo, For thilke tyme nas spared no lynage, 2601 Hyt lyketh hem to maken mariage Betwix Ypermestra and hym Lyno, And casten suche a day hyt shal be so, And ful acorded was hit wittirly.6

1 Fates. * Sails. • See vol. i., Introduction; "Astrologies, p, evii. * Cf. Canterbury Tales* 1, 2453, * Certainly.


The array ys wroght, the tyme ys faste by,
And thus Lyno hath of his fadres brother
The doghter wedded, and eche of hem hath

The torches brennen, and the lampes bryghte,
The sacrifices ben fu. redy dyght,1 261c
Thencence out of the fire reketh sote,
The floure, the lefe, ys rent up by the rote,
To maken garlandes and corounes hye;
Ful ys the place of sounde of mynstralcye,
Of songes amorouse of mariage,
As thilke tyme was the pleyne usage.
And this was in the paleys of Egiste,
That in his house was lorde, as hym lyste.
And thus that day they driven to an ende;
The frendes taken leve, and home they wende;
The nyght ys comen, the bride shal go to bedde.
Egiste to hys chambre fast hym spedde, 2622
And prively he let his doghter calle,
Whanne that the house voyded was of alle.
He loked on hys doghter with glad chere,
And to hir spak as ye shal after here.

"My rygte doghter, tresoure of myn herte,
Syn firste day that shapen was my sherte,2
Or by the fatale sustren hadde my dome,
So ny myn herte never thinge me come 2630
As thou, Ypermystra, [my] doughter dere!
Take hede what thy fader seythe the here,

1 Prepared. • Cf. Cintcrbtry Tabs, L 1566 and Troylus and fryuyde, iii. 733.

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