Imatges de pàgina
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POEMS ATTRIBUTED TO CHAUCER.

THE ROMAUNT OF THE ROSE.

Many men sayen that in swevenynges, Ther nys but fables and lesynges; But men may some swevene sene, Whiche hardely that false ne bene, But afterwarde ben apparaunt . This maye I drawe to warraunt, An authour that highte Macrobes,1 That halte nat dremes false ne lees,* But undoth * us the avysyoun That whylom mette4 kyng Cipioun. 10

^\.ud who-so sayth or weneth6 it be A jape, or elles nycetie6 To wene that dremes after falle, Lette who-so lyst a foole me calle. For this trowe I, and saye for me, That dremes signifiaunce be Of good and harme to many wightes, That dremen in her sleep a-nyghtes Ful many thynges covertly, That fallen after al openly.' 20

Within my twenty yere of age, Whan that love taketh his corage Of yonge folk, I wente soon

1 Macrobius. Ct Parlement of Ponies, l . 31. 1 Lies. 'UnMdeth. Dreamed. 6 Thinketh. • A joke or else an ignorance r Cf. House of Fame, U. 1-65, and Canterbury Tales, 1. 8591.

To bed, as I was wont to doon,
And fast I slept; and in slepyng,
Me mette suche a swevenyng,
That lykede1 me wonderous wele;
But in that sweven is never a dele
That it nys afterwarde befalle,
Ryght as this dreme wol tel us alle.

Now this dreme wol I ryme aryghte, To make your hertes gaye and lyghte; For Love it prayeth, and also Commaundeth me that it be so.

And yf there any aske me, Whether that it be he or she, How this boke which is here Shal hatte,2 that I rede you here, It is the "Romaunce of the Rose," In which alle the art of love I close.1

The mater fayre is of to make;
God graunt me in gre4 that she it take
For whom that it begonnen is!
And that is she that hath, ywys,
So mochel pris; and therto she
So worthy is biloved to be,
That she wel ought of pris and ryght
Be cleped "Rose " of every wight.

That it was May me thoughte tho,
It is fyve yere or more ago;
That it was May, thus dremede me,
In tyme of love and jolite,

* Pleased. * Be called. * Include. 4 Favor THE BIRDS SING.

209

That al thing gynneth waxen gay,

For there is neither busk nor hay1

In May, that it nyl shrouded bene,

And it with newe leves wrene.2

These wodes eek recoveren grene,

That drie in wynter ben to sene;

And the erth wexith proude withalle,

For swote* dewes that on it falle; 60

And the pore estat forgette,

In which that wynter had it sette.

And than bycometh the ground so proude,

That it wole have a newe shroude,

And makith so queynt his robe and faire,

That it had hewes an hundred payre,

Of gras and flouris, ynde and pers,4

And many hewes ful dyvers:

That is the robe I mene, iwis,*

Through which the ground to preisen * is. 70

The briddes, that haven lefte her song, While thei han suffride cold so strong In wedres gryl7 and derk to sighte, Ben in May for the sonne brighte, So glade, that they shewe in syngyng, That in her hertis is sich lykyng, That they mote syngen and be light. Than doth the nyghtyngale hir myght, To make noyse, and syngen blythe. Than is blisful many sithe * 80

* Bush nor hedge. * Cover. * Sweet. * Azure and sky-colored Truly. • To be praised. 7 Severe. 1 Times.

VOL. III. 14

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