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Ne trowe not that I lye or madde;1
For in this world is noon hir lyche,
Ne by a thousand deelle so riche,
Ne noon so faire; for it ful welle
With orfrays leyd was everydeelle,
And portraied in the ribanynges
Of dukes storyes, and of kynges.
And with a bend of gold tasseled,
And knoppis fyne of gold enameled, 1080
Aboute hir nekke of gentyl entayle *
Was shete the riche chevesaile,1
In which ther was fulle gret plente
Of stones clere and bright to see.
Rychesse a girdelle hadde upon,
The bokele of it was of a stoon,
Of vertu gret, and mochel of myght
For who so bare the stoon so bright,
Of venym durst hym no thing doute,
While he the stoon hadde hym aboute. 1090
That stoon was gretly for to love,
And tyl a riche man byhove
Worth alle the gold in Rome and Frise.
The mourdaunt,* wrought in noble wise, Was of a stoon fulle precious, That was so fyne and vertuous, That hole a man it koude make Of palasie, and tothe ake. And yit the stoon hadde such a grace, That he was siker in every place 1100.
Become mad. 'Cutting. * Necklace. 4 Tonga*.
Ale -t,-i* iir 30c "rcyade 33 hene,
Uprc tire trusses ot Richesse
Rubyes there were, saphires.
A fyn charboDcie sette saugh L IIM
1 The weight of a beiant of gold. > Jacntkb
A yong man fulle of semelyhede, 1130
That she best loved of ony thing;
His lust was mych in housholding.
In clothyng was he ful fetys,
And lovede to have welle hors of prys.
He wende to have reproved be
Of theft or moordre, if that he
Hadde in his stable ony hakeney.
And therfore ne desired ay
To be aqueynted with Richesse;
For alle his purpos, as I gesse, 1140
Was for to make gret dispense,
Withoute wernyug or diffense.
And Richesse myght it wel sustene,
And after on the daunce wente
Gret loos1 hath Largesse, and gret pris; For bothe wyse folk and unwys Were hooly to hir baundon 1 brought, So wel with giftes hath she wrought. And if she hadde an enemy, I trowe that she coude tristely * Make hym fulle soone hir freend to be, So large of gift, and free was she; Therfore she stode in love and grace Of riche and pover in every place. 1170
A fulle gret fool is he, ywys,
Largesse had on a robe fresh
1 Laud- 2 Disposal. 'Trustfully. * Cause. 5 bawl
LARGESSE AND HER SIBBE. . 249
And opened hadde she hir colere; 1190
For she right there hadde in present
Unto a lady maad present
Of a gold broche, ful wel y-wrought.
And certys it myssatte hir nought;
For thorgh hir smokke wrought with silk,
The flesh was seen as white as mylk.
Largesse, that worthy was and wys, Hilde by the honde a knyght of prys, Was sibbe1 to Artour of Britaigne. And that was he that bare the ensaigne noo Of worship, and the gounfaucoun.2 And yit he is of sich renoun, That men of hym seye faire thynges Byfore barouns, erles, and kynges. This knyght was comen alle newely Fro tourneiynge faste by; There hadde he don gret chyvalrie Thorgh his vertu and his maistrie, And for the love of his lemman * He caste doun many a doughty man. mo
And next hym dauncede dame Fraunchisk, Arayed in fulle noble gyse. She was not broune ne dunne of hewe, But white as snowe falle newe. Hir nose was wrought at poynt devys, For it was gentil and tretys ; * With eyen gladde, and browes bente; Hir here doun to hir helis wente.
• Kin. • Gonfanon. banner. • Sweetheart. * Straight.