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Nil as now make mencioun,
But only that the holy rode
Turne us every dreem to gode !
For never, sith that I was born,
Ne no man elles, me biforn,
Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
So wonderful a dreem as I
The tenthe day [dide] of Decembre,
The which, as I can now remembre,
I wol yow tellen every del.
But at my ginning, trusteth wel,
I wol make invocacioun,
With special devocioun,
Unto the god of slepe anoon,
That dwelleth in a cave of stoon
Upon a streem that comth fro Lete,
That is a flood of helle unswete;
Besyde a folk men clepe Cimerie,
Ther slepeth ay this god unmerie
With his slepy thousand sones
That alway for to slepe hir wone is
And to this god, that I of rede,
Preye I, that he wol me spede
My sweven for to telle aright,
If every dreem stonde in his might.
And he, that mover is of al
That is and was, and ever shal,
So yive hem Ioye that hit here
Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
And for to stonden alle in grace
Of hir loves, or in what place
That hem wer levest for to stonde,
58, 62. MSS. dreme (=dreem). 63. See note. 64. B. P. now; F. yow; rest om.
71. P. strem; rest streme (=streem); so P. drem (rest dreme) in l. 80. MSS. cometh (=com'th). 73. Cx. Th. clepe; F. clepeth. 77. F. That; rest And. 78. Th. wol; P. wul ; Cx. wyl; F. B. wolde. 85. F. B. stonde; Cx. Th. stande; P. stond. Cx. alle; F. Th. al (wrongly).
And shelde hem fro povert and shonde,
And fro unhappe and ech disese,
And sende hem al that may hem plese,
That take hit wel, and scorne hit noght,
Ne hit misdemen in her thoght
Through malicious entencioun.
And who-so, through presumpcioun,
Or hate or scorne, or through envye,
Dispyt, or lape, or vilanye,
Misdeme hit, preye I Iesus god
That (dreme he barfoot, dreme he shod),
That every harm that any man
Hath had, sith [that] the world began,
Befalle him therof, or he sterve,
And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
Lo! with swich a conclusioun
As had of his avisioun
Cresus, that was king of Lyde,
That high upon a gebet dyde !
This prayer shal he have of me;
I am no bet in charite !
Now herkneth, as I have you seyd,
What that I mette, or I abreyd.
Of Decembre the tenthe day,
Whan hit was night, to slepe I lay
Right ther as I was wont to done,
And fil on slepe wonder sone,
As he that wery was for-go
On pilgrimage myles two
To the corseynt Leonard,
To make lythe of that was hard.
But as I sleep, me mette I was
Within a temple y-mad of glas ;
88. All pouerte.
89. B. ech; F. eche. 100. I supply that. 103. P. om, a.
109, 110. Cx. seyd, abreyd; the rest seyde (sayde), abreyde (abrayde). Grammar requires seyd, abreyd ; (abreyde also occurs). 117, 118. Cx. P. leonard, hard ; F. Th. B. leonarde, harde. P. om, of. 119. MSS. slept, slepte; read sleep, as in l. 438.
In whiche ther were mo images
Of gold, stondinge in sondry stages,
And mo riche tabernacles,
And with perre mo pinacles,
And mo curious portreytures,
And queynte maner of figures
Of olde werke, then I saw ever.
For certeynly, I niste never
Wher that I was, but wel wiste I,
Hit was of Venus redely,
The temple; for, in portreyture,
I saw anoon-right hir figure
Naked fletinge in a see.
And also on hir heed, parde,
Hir rose-garlond whyt and reed,
And hir comb to kembe hir heed,
Hir dowves, and daun Cupido,
Hir blinde sone, and Vulcano,
That in his face was ful broun.
But as I romed up and doun,
I fond that on a wal ther was
Thus writen, on a table of bras :
‘I wol now singe, if that I can,
The armes, and al-so the man,
That first cam, through his destinee,
Fugitif of Troye contree,
In Itaile, with ful moche pyne,
Unto the strondes of Lavyne.'
And tho began the story anoon,
As I shal telle yow echoon.
First saw I the destruccioun
Of Troye, through the Greek Sinoun,
122. F. Th. golde; Cx. P. gold; B. goold.
126. All queynt.
127. F. B. olde; Th. golde; Cx. P. gold. F. sawgh. 131. Th. This; rest The. 132. F. sawgh. 134. Th. heed; B. hed; F. Cx. hede. Cx. Th. P. parde; F. B. partee (!). 135. B. red; F. Th. rede; Cx. Rose garlondes smellynge as a mede. 136. MSS. combe. B. hed; rest hede. 139. Cx. P. brown ; F. broune. 140. Cx. down; F. dovne. 141. P. fond; F. Cx. B. fonde ; Th. founde. Cx. Th. wal; B. wall; F. walle. 143. F. B. say; rest synge. F. B. P. om. that. 146. F. B. Troy. 148. Cx. Th. P. Lauyne ; F. B. Labyne. 152. Cx. Th. P. Troye; F. B. Troy; see l. 155.
[That] with his false forsweringe,
And his chere and his lesinge
Made the hors broght into Troye,
Thorgh which Troyens loste al hir Ioye.
And after this was grave, allas!
How Ilioun assailed was
And wonne, and king Priam y-slayn,
And Polites his sone, certayn,
Dispitously, of dan Pirrus.
And next that saw I how Venus,
Whan that she saw the castel brende,
Doun fro the hevene gan descende,
And bad hir sone Eneas flee;
And how he fledde, and how that he
Escaped was from al the pres,
And took his fader, Anchises,
And bar him on his bakke away,
Cryinge, ‘Allas, and welaway!'
The whiche Anchises in his honde
Bar the goddes of the londe,
Thilke that unbrende were.
And I saw next, in alle this fere,
How Creusa, daun Eneas wyf,
Which that he lovede as his lyf,
And hir yonge sone Iulo,
And eek Ascanius also,
Fledden eek with drery chere,
That hit was pitee for to here ;
And in a forest, as they wente,
At a turninge of a wente,
How Creusa was y-lost, allas !
That deed, [but] noot I how, she was ;
153. All om. That. F. B. P. fals; Cx. fals vntrewe ; Th. false vntrewe. 159. Cx. Th. kyng; F. B. kynge. F. y-slayne; rest slayn. 160. Th. Polytes; F. B. Polite. From this point I make no further note of obvious corrections in spelling 172. Cx. P. Th. goddes; F. B. goddesse (wrongly). 173 F. B. -brende; rest -brenned. 174. Cx. P. this; F. B. his. 184. F. P. That dede not I how she was; B. That ded not I how she was; Cx. That rede note I how it was; Th. That rede nat I howe that it was. Read deed, and insert but.
How he hir soughte, and how hir gost
Bad him to flee the Grekes ost,
And seyde, he moste unto Itaile,
As was his destinee, sauns faille ;
That hit was pitee for to here,
Whan hir spirit gan appere,
The wordes that she to him seyde,
And for to kepe hir sone him preyde.
Ther saw I graven eek how he,
His fader eek, and his meynee,
With his shippes gan to sayle
Toward the contree of Itaile,
As streight as that they mighte go.
Ther saw I thee, cruel Iuno,
That art daun Iupiteres wyf,
That hast y-hated, al thy lyf,
Al the Troyanisshe blood,
Renne and crye, as thou were wood,
On Eolus, the god of windes,
To blowen out, of alle kindes,
So loude, that he shulde drenche
Lord and lady, grome and wenche
Of al the Troyan nacioun,
Withoute any savacioun.
Ther saw I swich tempeste aryse,
That every herte mighte agryse,
To see hit peynted on the walle.
Ther saw I graven eek withalle,
Venus, how ye, my lady dere,
Wepinge with ful woful chere,
Prayen Iupiter an hye
To save and kepe that navye
Of the Troyan Eneas,
Sith that he hir sone was.
Ther saw I loves Venus kisse,
And graunted of the tempest lisse.
188. Cx. Th. destyne ; F. destanye. 193. Cx. Th. grauen; P. graven; F. grave; B. graue. 196. F. B. Towardes. 199. P. Iubiter; rest Iupiters; read Iupiteres. 204. F. blowe; P. Cx. Th. blowen. 210. Th. herte; rest hert. 220. F. omits from lisse to tempest in next line ; the rest are right.