Imatges de pàgina

Hyt nedeth noght efte the to teche.

But understonde now ryght wel this,

Whan any speche yeomen ys

Up to the paleys, anon ryght

Hyt wexeth lyke the same wizht,

Which that the worde in erii* «^ak,

Be hyt clothed rede or blak

And so were hys lykenesse,

And spake the word, that thou wilt gesse

That it the same body be,

Man or woman, he or she.

And ys not this a wonder thynge?"

"Yis," quod I tho, "by hevene kynge!"

And with this worde, "Farewel," quod he,

"And here I wol abyden the,

And God of hevene sende the grace,

Some goode to lerne in this place."

And I of him toke leve anon,

\nd gan forthe to the paleys gon.


The Invocation.

O God of science1 and of lyght, Apollo, thurgh thy grete myght, This lytel laste boke thou gye !2 Nat that I wilne for maistrye

1 Knowledge. 'Direct. Compare this invocation with Dante' Paradiso, i. 13-27.


Here art poetical be shewed;

But, for the ryme ys lyght and lewed,

Yit make hyt sumwhat agreable,

Though somme vers fayle in a sillable;

And that I do no diligence,

To shewe crafte, but o sentence.1

And gif devyne vertu nowe

Wilt helpe me to shewe yowe,

That in myn hede ymarked ys, —

Loo, that is for to menen this,

The Hous of Fame2 for to descryve, —

Thou shake se me go as blyve

Unto the next laurer I see,

And kysse yt, for hyt is thy tree.

Now entreth in my brest anoon I

The Dream.

Whan L was fro thys egle goon,
I gan beholde upon this place.
And certein, or I ferther pace,
I wol yow al thys shape devyse
Of hous and citee; and al the wyse
How I gan to thys place aproche,
That stood upon so hygh a roche,
Hiere stant there noone in Spayne.
But up I clombe with alle payne,
\nd though to clymbe grevede me,
Vit I ententyf was to see,

1 Meaning. 1 Compare with this book Pope's TtmpU qf Fa

And for to powren wondrt lowe,
Yf I koude eny weyes knowe
What maner stoon this roche was,
For hyt was lyke a thynge of glas,
But that hyt shoone ful more dere;
But of what congeled matere
Hyt was, nyste I redely.

But at the laste espied I,
And founde that hit was everydele
A roche of yse, and not of stele. 40
Thought I, "By Seynt Thomas1 of Kent I
This were a feble fundament,
To bilden on a place hye;
He ought him lytel glorifye
That heron bilte, God so me save!"

Tho sawgh I the halfe y-grave With famouse folkes names fele,* That had yben in mochel wele,* And her fames wide y-blowe. But wel unnethes koude I knowe 50 Any lettres for to rede Hir names be; for, oute of drede, They were almost of thowed4 so, That of the lettres oon or two Were molte away of every name. So unfamouse was wox hir fame; But men seyn, "What may ever laste?"

Thoo gan I in myn herte caste, That they were molte awey with hete,

1 Of Canterbury. 2 Many. • Good fortune. 4 Thawed ofl


And not awey with stormes bete.

For on that other syde I say

Of this hille, that northewarde lay,

How hit was writen ful of names

Of folkes that hadden grete fames

Of olde tymes, and yet they were

As fressh as men had writen hem here

The selfe day ryght, or that oure

That I upon hem gan to poure.

But wel I wiste what yt made;

Hyt was conserved with the shade,

Alle this wrytynge that I sigh,1

Of a castel stoode on high;

And stoode eke on so colde a place,

That hete hyt myght not deface.

Thoo gan I up the hille to goone,
And fonde upon the cop a woone,2
That alle the men that ben on lyve
Ne han the kunnynge to descrive
The beaute of that ylke place,
Ne coude casten no compace
Swich another for to make,
That myght of beaute be hys make ;1
Ne wonderlyche so y-wrought,
That hyt astonye'th yit my thought,
And maketh alle my wytte to swynke *
On the castel to bethynke.
So that the grete beaute,
The caste,' the curiosite

1 Saw. 'Dwelling, * Mate. 4 Labor. • Conttinuu*. Ne kan I not to yow devyse,

My wit ne may me not suffise. 9c

But natheles alle the substance
I have yit in my remembrance;
For-why me thoughte, by Seynte Gyle !1
Alle was of stone of beryle,
Bothe castel and the toure,
And eke the halle, and every boure,2
Wythouten peces or joynynges.
But many subtile compassinges,
Rabewyures and pynacles,
Ymagenes and tabernacles,* 100
I say ;4 and ful eke of wyndowes,
As flakes falle in grete snowes.
And eke in ech of the pynacles
Weren sondry habitacles,
In whiche stode, alle withoute,
Ful the castel alle aboute,
Of al maner of mynestralles,
And gestiours, that tellen tales
Bothe of wepinge and of game,
Of alle that longeth unto Fame. no

There herd I pleyen upon an harpe
That sowneth bothe wel and sharpe,
Orpheus ful craftely,
And on the syde faste by
Sat the harper Orioun6
And Eacides Chiroun,'

1 Cf. Canterbury Tales, 1. 17,5*5. 2 Chamber. 'Niches. 4 Saw Cf. 1- 4g7- 6 Chiron, of the family of iEacus, the severe tutor a, VOiiifca Cf Ovid, Art Amatfia, 1. 16; Fasti,*. 379.

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