Imatges de pàgina
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Se yonder, loo, the Galoxie,

Whiche men ciepeth the Melky Weye,

For hit ys white: and somme, parfeye 430

Kallen hyt Watlynge strete,1

That ones was ybrente wyth hete,

Whan the sonnes sonne, the rede,

That highte Phetoun, wolde lede

Algate his fader carte, and gye.2

The carte hors gonne wel espye

That he ne koude no governaunce,

And ganne for to lepe and launce,*

And beren hym now up, now doun,

Til that he sey the Scorpioun, 440

Whiche that in heven a synge 4 is yit.

And he for-ferde6 lost hys wyt

Of that, and lat the reynes goon

Of his hors; and they anoon

Gonne up to mounten, and doun descende,

Til both the ayre and erthe brende;

Til Jubiter, loo, atte laste

Hym slowe, and fer fro the cart caste.

Loo, ys it not a mochil myschaunce,

To lat a foole hin governaunce 450

Of thing that he can not demeyne ?"6

And with this word, sothe for to seyne,
He gan upper alwey for to sore,
And gladded me ay more and more,
So feythfully to me spake he.

1 After the Roman road across South Britain. 1 Guide. 1 Rush «. 'Sign. B Much frightened. 9 Manage.

Tho gan I loken under me, And behelde the ayerisshe bestes, Cloudes, mystes, and tempestes, Snowes, hayles, reynes, wyndes, And thengendrynge in hir kyndes, 460 Alle the wey thrugh whiche I came; "O God," quod I, " that made Adame, Moche is thy myght and thy noblesse."

And thoo thought I upon Boesse,1
That writ of " Thought may flee so hye,
With fetheres of Philosophye,
To passen everyche elemente;
And whan he hath so fer ywente,
Than may be seen, behynde hys bak,
Cloude, and erthe," that I of spak. 470

Thoo gan I wexen in a were,2
And seyde, "I wote wel I am here;
But wher in body or in gost
I not* ywys, but God, thou wost I"
For more clere entendement *
Nas me never yit ysent.
And than thought I on Mar dan,"
And eke of Anteclaudian,*
That sooth was her descripcioun

1 See Boethius, De Consotaiione Phihsophia, book iv., met. i. Id the version made by Chaucer, there is reference to Thought, clothed in the feathers of Philosophy, being made a knight of God and coming to the knowledge of God by seeking pure truth. 'An uncertainty. 2 Know not. * Understanding. s Cf. Canterbury Tales, 1. 14,06*. Martianus Mineus Felix Capella, author of the NujrtiaL of Philology and Mercury, of which book viii. (*57) gives a hint o, the true system of astronomy. It is quoted by Copernicus. • Cf Variement of Foules, 1. 316. Antklaudianus IS the title of a poeo »y Alanus de Insulis.

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Of alle hevenes regioun, 480
As fer as that I sey the preve ;1
Therfore I kan hem now beleve.

With that this egle began to crye: "Lat be," quod he, "thy fantasye; Wilt thou lere of sterres aught?" "Nay, certenly," quod I, " ryght naught." "And why?" "For I am now to olde." "Elles I wolde the have tolde," Quod he, "the sterres names, lo, And al the hevenes sygnes ther to, 490 And which they ben." "No fors," quod I. "Yis, pardee" quod he, "wostow why? For whan thou redest poetrie, How goddes gonne stellifye Briddes, fisshe, best, or him, or here, As the ravene or eyther bere,2 Or Arionis harp fyne,3 Castor, Polex, or Delphyne,4 Or Athalantes Doughtres sevene,5 Row al these arne set in hevene; 500 For though thou have hem ofte on honde, Yet nostow not wher that they stonde." "No fors," quod I, "hyt is no ned«. I leve * as wele, so God me spede. Hem that write of this matere, Alle though I knew her places here; ^nd eke thy selven here so bryghte

1 Saw the proof. % Ursa Major or Ursa Minor. 5 The story ot Irion and his cithara is found in O-id, Fasti, ii *2. 4 The dolphin. The Pleiades, daughters of Atlas 6 Believe

Hyt shulde shenden al my syghte,

To loke on hem." "That may wel be,"

Quod he. And so forthe bare he me 51a

A while, and than he gan to crye,

That never herd I thing so hye,1

"Now up the hede; for alle ys wele;

Seynt Ju!yane,2 loo, bon hostele!

Se here the House of Fame, lo!

Maistow not heren that I do?"

"What ?" quod I. "The grete soun,"

Quod he, "that rumbleth up and doun

In Fames House, ful of tydynges,

Bothe of feire speche and chidynges, 520

And of fals and that soth compouned.

Herke wel; hyt is not rouned.*

Herestow not the grete swogh?"

"Yis, perde," quod I, "wel ynogh."

"And what soune is it lyke?" quod hee.

"Peter! betynge of the see,"

Quod I, "agen the roches holowe,

Whan tempest doth the shippes swalowe,

And lat a man stonde, out of doute,

A myle thens, and here hyt route.4 530

Or elles lyke the last humblynge6

After a clappe of 00 thundringe.

When Joves hath the aire ybete;

1Jut yt doth me for fere swete." 6

1 Loud. 1 St. Julian was the patron of ledging-places. Cf- Cam Urbury Tale;, 1. 340. s Whispered. * Bellow. s Low, deal sound. * For fear sweat. Lines 526-533 should be compared wfth Ovid's Metamorphoses, xii. 49.

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* Nay, drede the not therof," quod he,
"Hyt is nothinge wille biten the,
Thou shalt non harme have truly."

And with this word both he and I
As nygh the place arryved were
As men may casten with a spere. 540
I nyste how, but in a strete
He sette me faire on my fete,
And seyde, "Walke forth a pace,
And take thyn aventure or case,1
That thou shalt fynde in Fames place."

"Now," quod I, "while we han space To speke, or that I goo fro the, For the love of God, telle me, In sooth, that wil I of the lere,' Yf thys noyse that I here 550 Be, as I have herd the tellen, Of folke that doun in erthe dwellen, And cometh here in the same wyse As I the herde, or this, devyse? That there lives body nys In al that hous that yonder ys, That maketh al this loude fare?" "Noo," quod he, "by Seynte Clare! And, also wis God rede me, But o thinge wil I warne the, 560 Of the whiche thou wolt have wonder. Loo, to the House of Fame yonder, Thou woost now how cometh every speche,

1 Chance. 1 Learn

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