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Myn herte was ful glad of this.
For wel wende I ful sikerly
Have been in Paradys erthly ;1
So faire it was, that trusteth wel,
It semede a place espirituel. 650
For certys, as at my devys,
Ther is no place in Paradys
So good inne for to dwelle or be,
As in that gardyne, thoughte me.
For there was many a bridde syngyng,
Thorough-oute the yerde al thringyng.*
In many places were nyghtyngales, Alpes,* fynches, and wodewales,4 That in her swete song deliten In thilke places as they habiten. 660 There myghte men see many flokkes Of turtles and laverokkes.5 Chalaundres 6 fele sawe I there, That wery nygh forsongen were. And thrustles, terins,7 and mavys, That songen for to wynne hem prys, And eke to sormounte in her songe That other briddes hem amonge, By note made faire servyse.
These briddes, that I you devise, 670 They songe her songe as faire and wele As angels don espirituel.
1 The Terrestrial Paradise, according to Dante's cosmogony, was at the antipodes of Jerusalem. The Rose of the Blessed was beyond the Empyrean. See Paradiso, xxxi. 1 Thronging. • Bullfinches. < Orioles. 1 Larks. • A kind of lark. 7 The French tarm, named Voni its long.
"IN SICH JOLITE."
And, trusteth wel, that I'hem herd
Ful lustily, and wel I ferde;
For never yitt sich melodye
Was herd of man that myghte dye.
Sich swete song was hem amonge,
That me thought it no briddis songe,
But it was wondir lyk to be
Song of meremaydens of the see; 680
That, for her syngyng is so clere,
Though we mermaydens depe hem here
In English, as is oure usaunce,
Men clepe hem sereyns 1 in Fraunce.
Ententif weren for to synge These briddis, that nought unkunnyng Were of her craft, and apprentys, For of songe sotil and wys. And certis, whan I herde her songe, And sawe the grene place amonge, 690 In herte I wexe so wondir gay, That I was never erst, er that day, So jolyf, nor so wel bigoo,s Ne merye in herte, as I was thoo. And than wist I, and sawe ful welle, That Ydelnesse me servede welle, That me putte in sich jolite. Hir freend wel ought I for to be, Sith she the dore of that gardyne Hadde opened, and me leten inne. 700
Fiom hennes-forth, hou that I wroughte
1 Siren*. Cf. Odys*ty, xii. 37. 2 In so good * way.
I shal you tellen, as me thoughte.
First wherof Myrthe servede there,
And eke what folk there with hym were,
Withoute fable I wol discryve.
And of that gardyne eke as blyve
[ wole you tellen aftir this.
The faire fasoun 1 alle, ywys,
That wel y-wrought was for the nones,
I may not telle you alle at ones; 710
But as I may and can, I shalle
By ordre tellen you it alle.
Ful faire servise and eke ful swete These briddis maden as they sete. Layes of love, ful wel sownyng, They songen in their yarkonyng ;2 Summe high, and summe eke lowe songe Upon the braunches grene spronge. The swetnesse of her melodye Made al myn herte in reverye. jao And whan that I hadde herde, I trowe, These briddis syngyng on a rowe, Than myght I not withholde me That I ne wente inne for to see Sir Myrthe; for my desiryng Was hym to seen, over alle thyng, His countenaunce and his manere: That sight was tho to me ful dere.
Tho wente I forth on my right honde Doun by a lytel path I fonde 730
1 Fashion. • Jargon.
"DOUN BY A LYTEL PATH." 233
Of mentes 1 fulle, and fenelle grene;
< Hint. • Doubt. 1 Dauce. * Caroled • Knew. • BdongMk
And folke daunce and mery bene,
There was many a tymbestere,*
That oon wolde come alle pryvyly \gayn * that other; and whan they were To-gidre almost, they threwe yfere' Her mouthis so, that thorgh her play
11 .jraioe. 1 Female player on the timbrel. s Dancers Itr, to project; Lat. sajir*, to jump, leap)- * Dress. 1