Imatges de pàgina


What that she wrote or that she dyde; 380
And nor hyt were to longe tendyte,
Be God, I wolde hyt here write.

But, weleaway! the harme, the routhe,
That hath betyd for suche untrouthe,
As men may orte in bokes rede,
And al day se hyt yet in dede,
That for to thynke hyt a tene1 is.

Loo, Demophon, duke of Athenys,1
How he forswore hym ful falsly,
And trayied Phillis wikkidly, 390
That kynges doghtre was of Trace,
And falsly gan hys terme pace ;*
And when she wiste that he was fals,
She honge hir selfe ryght be the hals,4
For he had doo hir suche untrouthe;
Loo! was not this a woo and routhe?

Eke lo how fals and reccheles
Was to Breseyda Achilles,
And Paris to Enone;

And Jason to Isiphile; 400

And eft Jason to Medea;

Ercules to Dyanira;

For he left her for Iole,

That made hym cache his dethe, parde.

How fals eke was he, Theseus;
That, as the story telleth us,
How he betrayed Adriane ;5

1 Trouble. * The following examples of untr le lovers are taken from the HeroiiUs, epistles it., iii., v., vi, uc, x-f zL * Pass. Neck. 6 Ariadne.

The devel be hys soules bane!

For had he lawghed, had he loured,

He moste have be devoured, 410

Yf Adriane ne had ybe.

And, for she had of hym pite,

She made hym fro the dethe escape,

And he made hir a ful fals jape;

For aftir this, withyn a while.

He lefte hir slepynge in an ile,

Deserte allone, ryght in the se,

And stale away, and lete hir be;

And tooke hir suster Phedra thoo

With him, and gan to shippe goo. 420

And yet he had yswore to here,

On alle that evere he myghte swere,

That so she saved hym hys lyfe,

He wolde have take hir to hys wife,

For she desirede nothing ellis,

In certeyne, as the booke tellis.

But to excusen Eneas
Fullyche of al his trespas,
The booke seyth1 Mercure, sauns fayle,
Bade hym goo into Itayle, 43c
And leve Auffrikes regioun,
And Dido and hir faire toun.

Thoo sawgh I grave how that to Itayie
Daun Eneas is goo for to assayle;
And how the tempest al began,
And how he lost hys sterisman,*

1 j&neid, iv. 252, etc. * The helmsman, Palinurus, was deceived by Somnus, and cast into the sea, the stern being broken off, before reaching the rocks of the Sirens. sEuet'd, v., e"*


Which that the stere, or he toke kepe.
Smote overe borde, loo, as he slepe.

And also sawgh I how Cybile1
And Eneas, beside an yle, 440
To helle wente, for to see
His fader Anchyses the free.
How he ther fonde Palinurus,
And Dido, and eke Deiphebus,
And every torment eke in helle
Sawgh he, which is longe to telle.
Which who-so willeth for to knowe,
He moste rede many a rowe
On Virgile or in Claudian,2
Or Daunte,* that hit telle kan. 450

Tho sawgh I grave al the aryvayle That Eneas had in Itayle; And with kynge Latyne hys tretee, And alle the batayles that hee Was at hymselfe, and eke hys knyghtis, Or he had al ywonne hys ryghtis; And how he Turnus * reft his lyfe, And wanne Labina6 to his wife; And alle the mervelouse signals Of the goddys celestials; 460 How mawgree Juno, Eneas For al hir sleight and hir compas, Acheved alle his aventure;

1 The Sibyl of Cumse. i&tuid, vi. • Claudius Claudianus wrote, in tb* fourth century, De Rafitu Proserpina. • Cf. Inftrw, 'K'_£ of the Rutuliani sEntid, x. 76, 616; xii. 926. 6 Lavinia, laaghter of Latinos.

VOL. HI. 2

For Jupiter tooke of hym cure,1
At the prayer of Venus, —
The whiche I prey alwey save us,
And us ay of oure sorwes lyghte !2

When I had seene al this syghte
In this noble temple thus,
"A, lorde !" thought I, "that madest us, 470
Yet sawgh I never suche noblesse
Of ymages, ne suche richesse,
As I saugh grave in this chirche;
But not wote I whoo did hem wirche,
Ne where I am, ne what contree.
But now wol I goo oute and see,
Ryght at the wiket, yf Y kan
See owghwhere * stiryng any man,
That may me telle where I am."

When I oute at the dores came, 480 I faste aboute me behelde. Then sawgh I but a large felde, As fer as that I myghte see, Withouten toune, or house, or tree, Or bussh, or gras, or eryd * londe; For al the felde nas but sonde, As smale as man may se yet lye In the desert of Lybye; Ne no maner creature,

That ys yformed be nature, 490 Ne sawghe me to rede or wisse.6

1 Care. * Eaw. * Anywhere. 4 Plowed. 'To advise 01 In torn.

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"0 Criste," thought I, "that art in blysse,

Fro fantome and illusioun
Me save !" and with devocioun
Myn eyen to the hevene I caste.

Thoo was I war at the laste,
That faste be the sonne, as hye
As kenne myght I with myn ye,
Me thought I sawgh an egle sore,1
But that hit semed moche more 500
Then I had any egle seyne.
But, this as soothe as deth certeyne,
Hyt was of golde, and shone so bryght,
That never saw men such a syght,
But-if the hevene hadde ywonne
Al newe of gold another sonne;
So shon the egles fetheres bryghte,*
And somewhat dounwarde gan hyt lyghte.



Now herkeneth every maner man,
That Englissh understonde kan,
And listeneth of my dreme to ^ere;
For now at erste shul ye here
So sely * an avisyoun,
That Isaye ne Cipioun,4

1 Cf. Purgatorio, ix. 19; also Metamorphosei, x. i«. Gany. medes was carried off by Jove in the form of an eagle. * Lines 504'D7 are not in tile MSS. * Happy * CI. ParUmtnt 0/Pottles, 1. 31

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