Imatges de pàgina


It semed as they kiste alway.

To dauncen welle koude they the gise;

What shulde I more to you devyse? 790

Ne bode 1 I never thennes go,

Whiles that I sawe hem daunce so.

Upon the karolle wonder faste,
J gan biholde ; til atte laste
A lady gan me for to espie,
And she was cleped Curtesie,
The worshipfulle, the debonaire;
I pray to God evere falle hir faire!
Ful curteisly she callede me,
"What do ye there, beau sire i " quod she; 800
"Come, and if it lyke yow
To dauncen, dauncith with us now."
And I withoute tariyng
Wente into the karolyng.
I was abasshed never a delle,
But it to me likede right welle,
That Curtesie me clepede so,
And bad me on the daunce go.
For if I hadde durst, certeyn
I wolde have karoled right fayn, 810
As man that was to daunce right blithe

Thanne gan I loken ofte sithe'
The shape, the bodies, and the cheres,
The countenaunce and the maneres
Of alle the folk that dauncede there,
\nd I shal telle what they were.

* Offered. * Time

Ful faire was Myrthe, ful longe and high, A fairer man I nevere sigh.1 As rounde as appille was his face, Ful rody and white in every place. 82c Fetys he was and wel beseye,2 With merely mouth and yen greye; His nose by mesure * wrought ful right; Crispe was his heer, and eek ful bright. Hise shuldris of a large brede, And smalish in the girdilstede.4 He semede lyke a portreiture, So noble he was of his stature, So faire, so joly, and so fetys, With lymes wrought at poynt devys,' 830 Delyver, smert,6 and of grete myght; Ne sawe thou nevere man so lyght. Of berde unnethe hadde he no thyng, For it was in the firste spryng. Ful yonge he was, and mery of thought, And in samette,7 with briddis wrought, , And with gold beten ful fetysly His body was clad ful richely.

Wrought was his robe in straunge gise, And al to-slytered for queyntise 840 In many a place, lowe and hie. And shode he was with grete maistrie, With shoon decoped,* and with laas, By druery,9 and by solas.

1 Saw. • That is, trim and well beseen. B l*roporatm. * Phct of the girdle. 6 With precision. 6 Agile, quick. * Samite • Stamped. Cf. Canterbury Tales, I. 3318. • Gallantry.


His Ieef a rosyn1 chapelet

Hadde made, and on his heed it set .

And wite ye who was his leef? Dame Gladnesse there was hym so leef, That syngith so wel with glad courage, That from she was twelf yeer of age, 850 She of hir love graunt hym made. Sir Mirthe hir by the fynger hadde Daunsyng, and she hym also; Grete love was atwixe hem two. Bothe were they faire and b-ight of hewe; She semede lyke a rose newe Of colour, and hir flesh so tendre, That with a brere2 smale and slendre Men myght it cleve, I dar wel seyne. Hir forheed frounceles* al pleyne, 860 Bent were hir browis two, Hir yen greye, and glad also, That laugheden ay in hir semblaunt,4 First or the mouth, by covenaunt.

I wot not what of hir nose I shal descryve; So faire hath no womman alyve. Hir heer was yelowe, and clere shynyng, I wot no lady so likyng.6 Of orfrays6 fresh was hir gerland, I, which seyen have a thousand, 870 Saugh never, ywys, no gerlond yitt, So wel y-wrought of silk as it.

1 His love a rose. 1 Briar. 5 Frownless (i. without wrinkles* 1 Id their appearance. * Pleasing. • Cloth of gold.

And in an overgilt samet1
Cladde she was, by grete delit,
Of which hir leef a robe werede,
The myrier she in hir herte ferede.2

And next hir wente, in hir other side,
The god of Love, that can devyde 1
Love, and as hym likith it be.
But he can cherles daunten,4 he, 880
And maken folkis pride fallen.
And he can wel these lordis thrallen,
And ladyes putt at lowe degre,
Whan he may hem to proude see.

This god of Love of his fasoun Was lyke no knave, ne quystroun ; * His beaute gretly was to preyse. But of his robe to devise I drede encombred for to be. For nought y-clad in silk was he, 890 But alle in floures and in flourettes, Ypainted alle with amorettes; * And with losynges and scochouns,' With briddes, lybardes,* and lyouns, And other beestis wrought ful welle.

His garnement9 was everydelle Portieied and wrought with floures, By dyvers medlyng10 of coloures. Floures there were of many gise

1 Samite. 2 Fared. s Apportion. * Humble. * Boy nor ped ant (Fr. cuistre; first, cook; then, college servant; then, pedant). 1 By sweethearts. 7 Lozenges and scutcheons. s Leopards. 8 Gal Bent u Mingling.


Y-sett by compas in assise;1 900

Ther lakkide no flour to my dome,

Ne nought so mych as flour of brome,

Ne violete, ne eke pervynke,2

Ne flour noon, that man can on thynke;

And many a rose leef ful longe,

Was entermelled * ther amonge:

And also on his heed was sette

Of roses reed a chapelett.

But nyghtyngales a fulle grete route, That flyen over his heed aboute, 910 The leeves felden as they flyen, And he was alle with briddes wryen ;* With popynjay, with nyghtyngale, With chalaundre, and with wodewale, With fynche, with lark, and with archaungelle.* He semede as he were an aungelle, That doun were comen fro hevene clere.

Love hadde with hym a bachelere, That he mayde alleweyes with hym be; Swete-lokyng cleped was he. 920, This bacheler stode biholdyng The daunce, and in his honde holdyng Turke bowes two, fulle wel devysed had he. That oon of hem was of a tree That bereth a fruyt of savour wykke; Ful crokid was that foule stikke. And knotty here and there aho, \nd blak as bery, or on)- slo.

1 Situation- 1 Periwinkle. 6 Mixed. 4 Covered. f TitmooM.

« AnteriorContinua »