Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Confessio Amantis

Part 13 out of 17

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Fro Troie as he goth hom ayein
Be Schipe, he fond the See divers,
With many a wyndi storm revers.
Bot he thurgh wisdom that he schapeth
Ful many a gret peril ascapeth, 1420
Of whiche I thenke tellen on,
Hou that malgre the nedle and ston
Wynddrive he was al soudeinly
Upon the strondes of Cilly,
Wher that he moste abyde a whyle.
Tuo queenes weren in that yle
Calipsa named and Circes;
And whan they herde hou Uluxes
Is londed ther upon the ryve,
For him thei senden als so blive. 1430
With him suche as he wolde he nam
And to the court to hem he cam.
Thes queenes were as tuo goddesses
Of Art magique Sorceresses,
That what lord comth to that rivage,
Thei make him love in such a rage
And upon hem assote so,
That thei wol have, er that he go,
Al that he hath of worldes good.
Uluxes wel this understod, 1440
Thei couthe moche, he couthe more;
Thei schape and caste ayein him sore
And wroghte many a soutil wyle,
Bot yit thei mihte him noght beguile.
Bot of the men of his navie
Thei tuo forschope a gret partie,
Mai non of hem withstonde here hestes;
Som part thei schopen into bestes,
Som part thei schopen into foules,
To beres, tigres, Apes, oules, 1450
Or elles be som other weie;
Ther myhte hem nothing desobeie,
Such craft thei hadde above kinde.
Bot that Art couthe thei noght finde,
Of which Uluxes was deceived,
That he ne hath hem alle weyved,
And broght hem into such a rote,
That upon him thei bothe assote;
And thurgh the science of his art
He tok of hem so wel his part, 1460
That he begat Circes with childe.
He kepte him sobre and made hem wilde,
He sette himselve so above,
That with here good and with here love,
Who that therof be lief or loth,
Al quit into his Schip he goth.
Circes toswolle bothe sides
He lefte, and waiteth on the tydes,
And straght thurghout the salte fom
He takth his cours and comth him hom, 1470
Where as he fond Penolope;
A betre wif ther mai non be,
And yit ther ben ynowhe of goode.
Bot who hir goodschipe understode
Fro ferst that sche wifhode tok,
Hou many loves sche forsok
And hou sche bar hire al aboute,
Ther whiles that hire lord was oute,
He mihte make a gret avant
Amonges al the remenant 1480
That sche was on of al the beste.
Wel myhte he sette his herte in reste,
This king, whan he hir fond in hele;
For as he couthe in wisdom dele,
So couthe sche in wommanhiede:
And whan sche syh withoute drede
Hire lord upon his oghne ground,
That he was come sauf and sound,
In al this world ne mihte be
A gladdere womman than was sche. 1490
The fame, which mai noght ben hidd,
Thurghout the lond is sone kidd,
Here king is come hom ayein:
Ther mai noman the fulle sein,
Hou that thei weren alle glade,
So mochel joie of him thei made.
The presens every day be newed,
He was with yiftes al besnewed;
The poeple was of him so glad,
That thogh non other man hem bad, 1500
Taillage upon hemself thei sette,
And as it were of pure dette
Thei yeve here goodes to the king:
This was a glad hom welcomyng.
Thus hath Uluxes what he wolde,
His wif was such as sche be scholde,
His poeple was to him sougit,
Him lacketh nothing of delit.
Bot fortune is of such a sleyhte,
That whan a man is most on heyhte, 1510
Sche makth him rathest forto falle:
Ther wot noman what schal befalle,
The happes over mannes hed
Ben honged with a tendre thred.
That proved was on Uluxes;
For whan he was most in his pes,
Fortune gan to make him werre
And sette his welthe al out of herre.
Upon a dai as he was merie,
As thogh ther mihte him nothing derie, 1520
Whan nyht was come, he goth to bedde,
With slep and bothe his yhen fedde.
And while he slepte, he mette a swevene:
Him thoghte he syh a stature evene,
Which brihtere than the sonne schon;
A man it semeth was it non,
Bot yit it was as in figure
Most lich to mannyssh creature,
Bot as of beaute hevenelich
It was most to an Angel lich: 1530
And thus betwen angel and man
Beholden it this king began,
And such a lust tok of the sihte,
That fain he wolde, if that he mihte,
The forme of that figure embrace;
And goth him forth toward the place,
Wher he sih that ymage tho,
And takth it in his Armes tuo,
And it embraceth him ayein
And to the king thus gan it sein: 1540
"Uluxes, understond wel this,
The tokne of oure aqueintance is
Hierafterward to mochel tene:
The love that is ous betuene,
Of that we nou such joie make,
That on of ous the deth schal take,
Whan time comth of destine;
It may non other wise be."
Uluxes tho began to preie
That this figure wolde him seie 1550
What wyht he is that seith him so.
This wyht upon a spere tho
A pensel which was wel begon,
Embrouded, scheweth him anon:
Thre fisshes alle of o colour
In manere as it were a tour
Upon the pensel were wroght.
Uluxes kneu this tokne noght,
And preith to wite in som partie
What thing it myhte signefie, 1560
"A signe it is," the wyht ansuerde,
"Of an Empire:" and forth he ferde
Al sodeinly, whan he that seide.
Uluxes out of slep abreide,
And that was riht ayein the day,
That lengere slepen he ne may.
Men sein, a man hath knowleching
Save of himself of alle thing;
His oghne chance noman knoweth,
Bot as fortune it on him throweth: 1570
Was nevere yit so wys a clerk,
Which mihte knowe al goddes werk,
Ne the secret which god hath set
Ayein a man mai noght be let.
Uluxes, thogh that he be wys,
With al his wit in his avis,
The mor that he his swevene acompteth,
The lasse he wot what it amonteth:
For al his calculacion,
He seth no demonstracion 1580
Al pleinly forto knowe an ende;
Bot natheles hou so it wende,
He dradde him of his oghne Sone.
That makth him wel the more astone,
And schop therfore anon withal,
So that withinne castel wall
Thelamachum his Sone he schette,
And upon him strong warde he sette.
The sothe furthere he ne knew,
Til that fortune him overthreu; 1590
Bot natheles for sikernesse,
Wher that he mihte wite and gesse
A place strengest in his lond,
Ther let he make of lym and sond
A strengthe where he wolde duelle;
Was nevere man yit herde telle
Of such an other as it was.
And forto strengthe him in that cas,
Of al his lond the sekereste
Of servantz and the worthieste, 1600
To kepen him withinne warde,
He sette his bodi forto warde;
And made such an ordinance,
For love ne for aqueintance,
That were it erly, were it late,
Thei scholde lete in ate gate
No maner man, what so betydde,
Bot if so were himself it bidde.
Bot al that myhte him noght availe,
For whom fortune wole assaile, 1610
Ther mai be non such resistence,
Which mihte make a man defence;
Al that schal be mot falle algate.
This Circes, which I spak of late,
On whom Uluxes hath begete
A child, thogh he it have foryete,
Whan time com, as it was wone,
Sche was delivered of a Sone,
Which cleped is Thelogonus.
This child, whan he was bore thus, 1620
Aboute his moder to ful age,
That he can reson and langage,
In good astat was drawe forth:
And whan he was so mochel worth
To stonden in a mannes stede,
Circes his moder hath him bede
That he schal to his fader go,
And tolde him al togedre tho
What man he was that him begat.
And whan Thelogonus of that 1630
Was war and hath ful knowleching
Hou that his fader was a king,
He preith his moder faire this,
To go wher that his fader is;
And sche him granteth that he schal,
And made him redi forth withal.
It was that time such usance,
That every man the conoiscance
Of his contre bar in his hond,
Whan he wente into strange lond; 1640
And thus was every man therfore
Wel knowe, wher that he was bore:
For espiaile and mistrowinges
They dede thanne suche thinges,
That every man mai other knowe.
So it befell that ilke throwe
Thelogonus as in this cas;
Of his contre the signe was
Thre fisshes, whiche he scholde bere
Upon the penon of a spere: 1650
And whan that he was thus arraied
And hath his harneis al assaied,
That he was redy everydel,
His moder bad him farewel,
And seide him that he scholde swithe
His fader griete a thousand sithe.
Thelogonus his moder kiste
And tok his leve, and wher he wiste
His fader was, the weie nam,
Til he unto Nachaie cam, 1660
Which of that lond the chief Cite
Was cleped, and ther axeth he
Wher was the king and hou he ferde.
And whan that he the sothe herde,
Wher that the king Uluxes was,
Al one upon his hors gret pas
He rod him forth, and in his hond
He bar the signal of his lond
With fisshes thre, as I have told;
And thus he wente unto that hold, 1670
Wher that his oghne fader duelleth.
The cause why he comth he telleth
Unto the kepers of the gate,
And wolde have comen in therate,
Bot schortli thei him seide nay:
And he als faire as evere he may
Besoghte and tolde hem ofte this,
Hou that the king his fader is;
Bot they with proude wordes grete
Begunne to manace and threte, 1680
Bot he go fro the gate faste,
Thei wolde him take and sette faste.
Fro wordes unto strokes thus
Thei felle, and so Thelogonus
Was sore hurt and welnyh ded;
Bot with his scharpe speres hed
He makth defence, hou so it falle,
And wan the gate upon hem alle,
And hath slain of the beste fyve;
And thei ascriden als so blyve 1690
Thurghout the castell al aboute.
On every syde men come oute,
Wherof the kinges herte afflihte,
And he with al the haste he mihte
A spere cauhte and out he goth,
As he that was nyh wod for wroth.
He sih the gates ful of blod,
Thelogonus and wher he stod
He sih also, bot he ne knew
What man it was, and to him threw 1700
His Spere, and he sterte out asyde.
Bot destine, which schal betide,
Befell that ilke time so,
Thelogonus knew nothing tho
What man it was that to him caste,
And while his oghne spere laste,
With al the signe therupon
He caste unto the king anon,
And smot him with a dedly wounde.
Uluxes fell anon to grounde; 1710
Tho every man, "The king! the king!"
Began to crie, and of this thing
Thelogonus, which sih the cas,
On knes he fell and seide, "Helas!
I have min oghne fader slain:
Nou wolde I deie wonder fain,
Nou sle me who that evere wile,
For certes it is right good skile."
He crith, he wepth, he seith therfore,
"Helas, that evere was I bore, 1720
That this unhappi destine
So wofulli comth in be me!"
This king, which yit hath lif ynouh,
His herte ayein to him he drouh,
And to that vois an Ere he leide
And understod al that he seide,
And gan to speke, and seide on hih,
"Bring me this man." And whan he sih
Thelogonus, his thoght he sette
Upon the swevene which he mette, 1730
And axeth that he myhte se
His spere, on which the fisshes thre
He sih upon a pensel wroght.
Tho wiste he wel it faileth noght,
And badd him that he telle scholde
Fro whenne he cam and what he wolde.
Thelogonus in sorghe and wo
So as he mihte tolde tho
Unto Uluxes al the cas,
Hou that Circes his moder was, 1740
And so forth seide him everydel,
Hou that his moder gret him wel,
And in what wise sche him sente.
Tho wiste Uluxes what it mente,
And tok him in hise Armes softe,
And al bledende he kest him ofte,
And seide, "Sone, whil I live,
This infortune I thee foryive."
After his other Sone in haste
He sende, and he began him haste 1750
And cam unto his fader tyt.
Bot whan he sih him in such plit,
He wolde have ronne upon that other
Anon, and slain his oghne brother,
Ne hadde be that Uluxes
Betwen hem made acord and pes,
And to his heir Thelamachus
He bad that he Thelogonus
With al his pouer scholde kepe,
Til he were of his woundes depe 1760
Al hol, and thanne he scholde him yive
Lond wher upon he mihte live.
Thelamachus, whan he this herde,
Unto his fader he ansuerde
And seide he wolde don his wille.
So duelle thei togedre stille,
These brethren, and the fader sterveth.
Lo, wherof Sorcerie serveth.
Thurgh Sorcerie his lust he wan,
Thurgh Sorcerie his wo began, 1770
Thurgh Sorcerie his love he ches,
Thurgh Sorcerie his lif he les;
The child was gete in Sorcerie,
The which dede al this felonie:
Thing which was ayein kynde wroght
Unkindeliche it was aboght;
The child his oghne fader slowh,
That was unkindeschipe ynowh.
Forthi tak hiede hou that it is,
So forto winne love amis, 1780
Which endeth al his joie in wo:
For of this Art I finde also,
That hath be do for loves sake,
Wherof thou miht ensample take,
A gret Cronique imperial,
Which evere into memorial
Among the men, hou so it wende,
Schal duelle to the worldes ende.
The hihe creatour of thinges,
Which is the king of alle kinges, 1790
Ful many a wonder worldes chance
Let slyden under his suffrance;
Ther wot noman the cause why,
Bot he the which is almyhty.
And that was proved whilom thus,
Whan that the king Nectanabus,
Which hadde Egipte forto lede,-
Bot for he sih tofor the dede
Thurgh magique of his Sorcerie,
Wherof he couthe a gret partie, 1800
Hise enemys to him comende,
Fro whom he mihte him noght defende,
Out of his oghne lond he fledde;
And in the wise as he him dredde
It fell, for al his wicchecraft,
So that Egipte him was beraft,
And he desguised fledde aweie
Be schipe, and hield the rihte weie
To Macedoine, wher that he
Aryveth ate chief Cite. 1810
Thre yomen of his chambre there
Al only forto serve him were,
The whiche he trusteth wonder wel,
For thei were trewe as eny stiel;
And hapneth that thei with him ladde
Part of the beste good he hadde.
Thei take logginge in the toun
After the disposicion
Wher as him thoghte best to duelle:
He axeth thanne and herde telle 1820
Hou that the king was oute go.
Upon a werre he hadde tho;
But in that Cite thanne was
The queene, which Olimpias
Was hote, and with sollempnete
The feste of hir nativite,
As it befell, was thanne holde;
And for hire list to be beholde
And preised of the poeple aboute,
Sche schop hir forto riden oute 1830
At after mete al openly.
Anon were alle men redy,
And that was in the monthe of Maii,
This lusti queene in good arrai
Was set upon a Mule whyt:
To sen it was a gret delit
The joie that the cite made;
With freisshe thinges and with glade
The noble toun was al behonged,
And every wiht was sore alonged 1840
To se this lusti ladi ryde.
Ther was gret merthe on alle syde;
Wher as sche passeth be the strete,
Ther was ful many a tymber bete
And many a maide carolende:
And thus thurghout the toun pleiende
This queene unto a pleine rod,
Wher that sche hoved and abod
To se diverse game pleie,
The lusti folk jouste and tourneie; 1850
And so forth every other man,
Which pleie couthe, his pley began,
To plese with this noble queene.
Nectanabus cam to the grene
Amonges othre and drouh him nyh.
Bot whan that he this ladi sih
And of hir beaute hiede tok,
He couthe noght withdrawe his lok
To se noght elles in the field,
Bot stod and only hire behield. 1860
Of his clothinge and of his gere
He was unlich alle othre there,
So that it hapneth ate laste,
The queene on him hire yhe caste,
And knew that he was strange anon:
Bot he behield hire evere in on
Withoute blenchinge of his chere.
Sche tok good hiede of his manere,
And wondreth why he dede so,
And bad men scholde for him go. 1870
He cam and dede hire reverence,
And sche him axeth in cilence
For whenne he cam and what he wolde.
And he with sobre wordes tolde,
And seith, "Ma dame, a clerk I am,
To you and in message I cam,
The which I mai noght tellen hiere;
Bot if it liketh you to hiere,
It mot be seid al prively,
Wher non schal be bot ye and I." 1880
Thus for the time he tok his leve.
The dai goth forth til it was eve,
That every man mot lete his werk;
And sche thoghte evere upon this clerk,
What thing it is he wolde mene:
And in this wise abod the queene,
And passeth over thilke nyht,
Til it was on the morwe liht.
Sche sende for him, and he com,
With him his Astellabre he nom, 1890
Which was of fin gold precious
With pointz and cercles merveilous;
And ek the hevenely figures
Wroght in a bok ful of peintures
He tok this ladi forto schewe,
And tolde of ech of hem be rewe
The cours and the condicion.
And sche with gret affeccion
Sat stille and herde what he wolde:
And thus whan he sih time, he tolde, 1900
And feigneth with hise wordes wise
A tale, and seith in such a wise:
"Ma dame, bot a while ago,
Wher I was in Egipte tho,
And radde in scole of this science,
It fell into mi conscience
That I unto the temple wente,
And ther with al myn hole entente
As I mi sacrifice dede,
On of the goddes hath me bede 1910
That I you warne prively,
So that ye make you redy,
And that ye be nothing agast;
For he such love hath to you cast,
That ye schul ben his oghne diere,
And he schal be your beddefiere,
Til ye conceive and be with childe."
And with that word sche wax al mylde,
And somdel red becam for schame,
And axeth him that goddes name, 1920
Which so wol don hire compainie.
And he seide, "Amos of Lubie."
And sche seith, "That mai I noght lieve,
Bot if I sihe a betre prieve."
"Ma dame," quod Nectanabus,
"In tokne that it schal be thus,
This nyht for enformacion
Ye schul have an avision:
That Amos schal to you appiere,
To schewe and teche in what manere 1930
The thing schal afterward befalle.
Ye oghten wel above alle
To make joie of such a lord;
For whan ye ben of on acord,
He schal a Sone of you begete,
Which with his swerd schal winne and gete
The wyde world in lengthe and brede;
Alle erthli kinges schull him drede,
And in such wise, I you behote,
The god of erthe he schal be hote." 1940
"If this be soth," tho quod the queene,
"This nyht, thou seist, it schal be sene.
And if it falle into mi grace,
Of god Amos, that I pourchace
To take of him so gret worschipe,
I wol do thee such ladischipe,
Wherof thou schalt for everemo
Be riche." And he hir thonketh tho,
And tok his leve and forth he wente.
Sche wiste litel what he mente, 1950
For it was guile and Sorcerie,
Al that sche tok for Prophecie.
Nectanabus thurghout the day,
Whan he cam hom wher as he lay,
His chambre be himselve tok,
And overtorneth many a bok,
And thurgh the craft of Artemage
Of wex he forgeth an ymage.
He loketh his equacions
And ek the constellacions, 1960
He loketh the conjunccions,
He loketh the recepcions,
His signe, his houre, his ascendent,
And drawth fortune of his assent:
The name of queene Olimpias
In thilke ymage write was
Amiddes in the front above.
And thus to winne his lust of love
Nectanabus this werk hath diht;
And whan it cam withinne nyht, 1970
That every wyht is falle aslepe,
He thoghte he wolde his time kepe,
As he which hath his houre apointed.
And thanne ferst he hath enoignted
With sondri herbes that figure,
And therupon he gan conjure,
So that thurgh his enchantement
This ladi, which was innocent
And wiste nothing of this guile,
Mette, as sche slepte thilke while, 1980
Hou fro the hevene cam a lyht,
Which al hir chambre made lyht;
And as sche loketh to and fro,
Sche sih, hir thoghte, a dragoun tho,
Whos scherdes schynen as the Sonne,
And hath his softe pas begonne
With al the chiere that he may
Toward the bedd ther as sche lay,
Til he cam to the beddes side.
And sche lai stille and nothing cride, 1990
For he dede alle his thinges faire
And was courteis and debonaire:
And as he stod hire fasteby,
His forme he changeth sodeinly,
And the figure of man he nom,
To hire and into bedde he com,
And such thing there of love he wroghte,
Wherof, so as hire thanne thoghte,
Thurgh likinge of this god Amos
With childe anon hire wombe aros, 2000
And sche was wonder glad withal.
Nectanabus, which causeth al
Of this metrede the substance,
Whan he sih time, his nigromance
He stinte and nothing more seide
Of his carecte, and sche abreide
Out of hir slep, and lieveth wel
That it is soth thanne everydel
Of that this clerk hire hadde told,
And was the gladdere manyfold 2010
In hope of such a glad metrede,
Which after schal befalle in dede.
Sche longeth sore after the dai,
That sche hir swevene telle mai
To this guilour in privete,
Which kneu it als so wel as sche:
And natheles on morwe sone
Sche lefte alle other thing to done,
And for him sende, and al the cas
Sche tolde him pleinly as it was, 2020
And seide hou thanne wel sche wiste
That sche his wordes mihte triste,
For sche fond hire Avisioun
Riht after the condicion
Which he hire hadde told tofore;
And preide him hertely therfore
That he hire holde covenant
So forth of al the remenant,
That sche may thurgh his ordinance
Toward the god do such plesance, 2030
That sche wakende myhte him kepe
In such wise as sche mette aslepe.
And he, that couthe of guile ynouh,
Whan he this herde, of joie he louh,
And seith, "Ma dame, it schal be do.
Bot this I warne you therto:
This nyht, whan that he comth to pleie,
That ther be no lif in the weie
Bot I, that schal at his likinge
Ordeine so for his cominge, 2040
That ye ne schull noght of him faile.
For this, ma dame, I you consaile,
That ye it kepe so prive,
That no wiht elles bot we thre
Have knowlechinge hou that it is;
For elles mihte it fare amis,
If ye dede oght that scholde him grieve."
And thus he makth hire to believe,
And feigneth under guile feith:
Bot natheles al that he seith 2050
Sche troweth; and ayein the nyht
Sche hath withinne hire chambre dyht,
Wher as this guilour faste by
Upon this god schal prively
Awaite, as he makth hire to wene:
And thus this noble gentil queene,
Whan sche most trusteth, was deceived.
The nyht com, and the chambre is weyved,
Nectanabus hath take his place,
And whan he sih the time and space, 2060
Thurgh the deceipte of his magique
He putte him out of mannes like,
And of a dragoun tok the forme,
As he which wolde him al conforme
To that sche sih in swevene er this;
And thus to chambre come he is.
The queene lay abedde and sih,
And hopeth evere, as he com nyh,
That he god of Lubye were,
So hath sche wel the lasse fere. 2070
Bot for he wolde hire more assure,
Yit eft he changeth his figure,
And of a wether the liknesse
He tok, in signe of his noblesse
With large hornes for the nones:
Of fin gold and of riche stones
A corone on his hed he bar,
And soudeinly, er sche was war,
As he which alle guile can,
His forme he torneth into man, 2080
And cam to bedde, and sche lai stille,
Wher as sche soffreth al his wille,
As sche which wende noght misdo.
Bot natheles it hapneth so,
Althogh sche were in part deceived,
Yit for al that sche hath conceived
The worthieste of alle kiththe,
Which evere was tofore or siththe
Of conqueste and chivalerie;
So that thurgh guile and Sorcerie 2090
Ther was that noble knyht begunne,
Which al the world hath after wunne.
Thus fell the thing which falle scholde,
Nectanabus hath that he wolde;
With guile he hath his love sped,
With guile he cam into the bed,
With guile he goth him out ayein:
He was a schrewed chamberlein,
So to beguile a worthi queene,
And that on him was after seene. 2100
Bot natheles the thing is do;
This false god was sone go,
With his deceipte and hield him clos,
Til morwe cam, that he aros.
And tho, whan time and leisir was,
The queene tolde him al the cas,
As sche that guile non supposeth;
And of tuo pointz sche him opposeth.
On was, if that this god nomore
Wol come ayein, and overmore, 2110
Hou sche schal stonden in acord
With king Philippe hire oghne lord,
Whan he comth hom and seth hire grone.
"Ma dame," he seith, "let me alone:
As for the god I undertake
That whan it liketh you to take
His compaignie at eny throwe,
If I a day tofore it knowe,
He schal be with you on the nyht;
And he is wel of such a myht 2120
To kepe you from alle blame.
Forthi conforte you, ma dame,
Ther schal non other cause be."
Thus tok he leve and forth goth he,
And tho began he forto muse
Hou he the queene mihte excuse
Toward the king of that is falle;
And fond a craft amonges alle,
Thurgh which he hath a See foul daunted,
With his magique and so enchaunted, 2130
That he flyh forth, whan it was nyht,
Unto the kinges tente riht,
Wher that he lay amidde his host:
And whanne he was aslepe most,
With that the See foul to him broghte
And othre charmes, whiche he wroghte
At hom withinne his chambre stille,
The king he torneth at his wille,
And makth him forto dreme and se
The dragoun and the privete 2140
Which was betuen him and the queene.
And over that he made him wene
In swevene, hou that the god Amos,
Whan he up fro the queene aros,
Tok forth a ring, wherinne a ston
Was set, and grave therupon
A Sonne, in which, whan he cam nyh,
A leoun with a swerd he sih;
And with that priente, as he tho mette,
Upon the queenes wombe he sette 2150
A Seal, and goth him forth his weie.
With that the swevene wente aweie,
And tho began the king awake
And sigheth for his wyves sake,
Wher as he lay withinne his tente,
And hath gret wonder what it mente.
With that he hasteth him to ryse
Anon, and sende after the wise,
Among the whiche ther was on,
A clerc, his name is Amphion: 2160
Whan he the kinges swevene herde,
What it betokneth he ansuerde,
And seith, "So siker as the lif,
A god hath leie be thi wif,
And gete a Sone, which schal winne
The world and al that is withinne.
As leon is the king of bestes,
So schal the world obeie his hestes,
Which with his swerd schal al be wonne,
Als ferr as schyneth eny Sonne." 2170
The king was doubtif of this dom;
Bot natheles, whan that he com
Ayein into his oghne lond,
His wif with childe gret he fond.
He mihte noght himselve stiere,
That he ne made hire hevy chiere;
Bot he which couthe of alle sorwe,
Nectanabus, upon the morwe
Thurgh the deceipte and nigromance
Tok of a dragoun the semblance, 2180
And wher the king sat in his halle,
Com in rampende among hem alle
With such a noise and such a rore,
That thei agast were also sore
As thogh thei scholde deie anon.
And natheles he grieveth non,
Bot goth toward the deyss on hih;
And whan he cam the queene nyh,
He stinte his noise, and in his wise
To hire he profreth his servise, 2190
And leith his hed upon hire barm;
And sche with goodly chiere hire arm
Aboute his necke ayeinward leide,
And thus the queene with him pleide
In sihte of alle men aboute.
And ate laste he gan to loute
And obeissance unto hire make,
As he that wolde his leve take;
And sodeinly his lothly forme
Into an Egle he gan transforme, 2200
And flyh and sette him on a raile;
Wherof the king hath gret mervaile,
For there he pruneth him and piketh,
As doth an hauk whan him wel liketh,
And after that himself he schok,
Wherof that al the halle quok,
As it a terremote were;
Thei seiden alle, god was there:
In such a res and forth he flyh.
The king, which al this wonder syh, 2210
Whan he cam to his chambre alone,
Unto the queene he made his mone
And of foryivenesse hir preide;
For thanne he knew wel, as he seide,
Sche was with childe with a godd.
Thus was the king withoute rodd
Chastised, and the queene excused
Of that sche hadde ben accused.
And for the gretere evidence,
Yit after that in the presence 2220
Of king Philipp and othre mo,
Whan thei ride in the fieldes tho,
A Phesant cam before here yhe,
The which anon as thei hire syhe,
Fleende let an ey doun falle,
And it tobrak tofore hem alle:
And as thei token therof kepe,
Thei syhe out of the schelle crepe
A litel Serpent on the ground,
Which rampeth al aboute round, 2230
And in ayein it wolde have wonne,
Bot for the brennynge of the Sonne
It mihte noght, and so it deide.
And therupon the clerkes seide,
"As the Serpent, whan it was oute,
Went enviroun the schelle aboute
And mihte noght torne in ayein,
So schal it fallen in certein:
This child the world schal environe,
And above alle the corone 2240
Him schal befalle, and in yong Age
He schal desire in his corage,
Whan al the world is in his hond,
To torn ayein into the lond
Wher he was bore, and in his weie
Homward he schal with puison deie."
The king, which al this sih and herde,
Fro that dai forth, hou so it ferde,
His jalousie hath al foryete.
Bot he which hath the child begete, 2250
Nectanabus, in privete
The time of his nativite
Upon the constellacioun
Awaiteth, and relacion
Makth to the queene hou sche schal do,
And every houre apointeth so,
That no mynut therof was lore.
So that in due time is bore
This child, and forth with therupon
Ther felle wondres many on 2260
Of terremote universiel:
The Sonne tok colour of stiel
And loste his lyht, the wyndes blewe,
And manye strengthes overthrewe;
The See his propre kinde changeth,
And al the world his forme strangeth;
The thonder with his fyri levene
So cruel was upon the hevene,
That every erthli creature
Tho thoghte his lif in aventure. 2270
The tempeste ate laste cesseth,
The child is kept, his age encresseth,
And Alisandre his name is hote,
To whom Calistre and Aristote
To techen him Philosophie
Entenden, and Astronomie,
With othre thinges whiche he couthe
Also, to teche him in his youthe
Nectanabus tok upon honde.
Bot every man mai understonde, 2280
Of Sorcerie hou that it wende,
It wole himselve prove at ende,
And namely forto beguile
A lady, which withoute guile
Supposeth trouthe al that sche hiereth:
Bot often he that evele stiereth
His Schip is dreynt therinne amidde;
And in this cas riht so betidde.
Nectanabus upon a nyht,
Whan it was fair and sterre lyht, 2290
This yonge lord ladde up on hih
Above a tour, wher as he sih
Thee sterres such as he acompteth,
And seith what ech of hem amonteth,
As thogh he knewe of alle thing;
Bot yit hath he no knowleching
What schal unto himself befalle.
Whan he hath told his wordes alle,
This yonge lord thanne him opposeth,
And axeth if that he supposeth 2300
What deth he schal himselve deie.
He seith, "Or fortune is aweie
And every sterre hath lost his wone,
Or elles of myn oghne Sone
I schal be slain, I mai noght fle."
Thoghte Alisandre in privete,
"Hierof this olde dotard lieth":
And er that other oght aspieth,
Al sodeinliche his olde bones
He schof over the wal at ones, 2310
And seith him, "Ly doun there apart:
Wherof nou serveth al thin art?
Thou knewe alle othre mennes chance
And of thiself hast ignorance:
That thou hast seid amonges alle
Of thi persone, is noght befalle."
Nectanabus, which hath his deth,
Yit while him lasteth lif and breth,
To Alisandre he spak and seide
That he with wrong blame on him leide 2320
Fro point to point and al the cas
He tolde, hou he his Sone was.
Tho he, which sory was ynowh,
Out of the dich his fader drouh,
And tolde his moder hou it ferde
In conseil; and whan sche it herde
And kneu the toknes whiche he tolde,
Sche nyste what sche seie scholde,
Bot stod abayssht as for the while
Of his magique and al the guile. 2330
Sche thoghte hou that sche was deceived,
That sche hath of a man conceived,
And wende a god it hadde be.
Bot natheles in such degre,
So as sche mihte hire honour save,
Sche schop the body was begrave.
And thus Nectanabus aboghte
The Sorcerie which he wroghte:
Thogh he upon the creatures
Thurgh his carectes and figures 2340
The maistrie and the pouer hadde,
His creatour to noght him ladde,
Ayein whos lawe his craft he useth,
Whan he for lust his god refuseth,
And tok him to the dieules craft.
Lo, what profit him is belaft:
That thing thurgh which he wende have stonde,
Ferst him exilede out of londe
Which was his oghne, and from a king
Made him to ben an underling; 2350
And siththen to deceive a queene,
That torneth him to mochel teene;
Thurgh lust of love he gat him hate,
That ende couthe he noght abate.
His olde sleyhtes whiche he caste,
Yonge Alisaundre hem overcaste,
His fader, which him misbegat,
He slouh, a gret mishap was that;
Bot for o mis an other mys
Was yolde, and so fulofte it is; 2360
Nectanabus his craft miswente,
So it misfell him er he wente.
I not what helpeth that clergie
Which makth a man to do folie,
And nameliche of nigromance,
Which stant upon the mescreance.
And forto se more evidence,
Zorastes, which thexperience
Of Art magique ferst forth drouh,
Anon as he was bore, he louh, 2370
Which tokne was of wo suinge:
For of his oghne controvinge
He fond magique and tauhte it forth;
Bot al that was him litel worth,
For of Surrie a worthi king
Him slou, and that was his endyng.
Bot yit thurgh him this craft is used,
And he thurgh al the world accused,
For it schal nevere wel achieve
That stant noght riht with the believe: 2380
Bot lich to wolle is evele sponne,
Who lest himself hath litel wonne,
An ende proveth every thing.
Sal, which was of Juys king,
Up peine of deth forbad this art,
And yit he tok therof his part.
The Phitonesse in Samarie
Yaf him conseil be Sorcerie,
Which after fell to mochel sorwe,
For he was slain upon the morwe. 2390
To conne moche thing it helpeth,
Bot of to mochel noman yelpeth:
So forto loke on every side,
Magique mai noght wel betyde.
Forthi, my Sone, I wolde rede
That thou of these ensamples drede,
That for no lust of erthli love
Thou seche so to come above,
Wherof as in the worldes wonder
Thou schalt for evere be put under. 2400
Mi goode fader, grant mercy,
For evere I schal be war therby:
Of love what me so befalle,
Such Sorcerie aboven alle
Fro this dai forth I schal eschuie,
That so ne wol I noght poursuie
Mi lust of love forto seche.
Bot this I wolde you beseche,
Beside that me stant of love,
As I you herde speke above 2410
Hou Alisandre was betawht
To Aristotle, and so wel tawht
Of al that to a king belongeth,
Wherof min herte sore longeth
To wite what it wolde mene.
For be reson I wolde wene
That if I herde of thinges strange,
Yit for a time it scholde change
Mi peine, and lisse me somdiel.
Mi goode Sone, thou seist wel. 2420
For wisdom, hou that evere it stonde,
To him that can it understonde
Doth gret profit in sondri wise;
Bot touchende of so hih aprise,
Which is noght unto Venus knowe,
I mai it noght miselve knowe,
Which of hir court am al forthdrawe
And can nothing bot of hir lawe.
Bot natheles to knowe more
Als wel as thou me longeth sore; 2430
And for it helpeth to comune,
Al ben thei noght to me comune,
The scoles of Philosophie,
Yit thenke I forto specefie,
In boke as it is comprehended,
Wherof thou mihtest ben amended.
For thogh I be noght al cunnynge
Upon the forme of this wrytynge,
Som part therof yit have I herd,
In this matiere hou it hath ferd. 2440

Explicit Liber Sextus

Incipit Liber Septimus.

Omnibus in causis sapiens doctrina salutem
Consequitur, nec habet quis nisi doctus opem.
Naturam superat doctrina, viro quod et ortus
Ingenii docilis non dedit, ipsa dabit.
Non ita discretus hominum per climata regnat,
Quin magis ut sapiat, indiget ipse schole.

I Genius the prest of love,
Mi Sone, as thou hast preid above
That I the Scole schal declare
Of Aristotle and ek the fare
Of Alisandre, hou he was tauht,
I am somdel therof destrauht;
For it is noght to the matiere
Of love, why we sitten hiere
To schryve, so as Venus bad.
Bot natheles, for it is glad, 10
So as thou seist, for thin aprise
To hiere of suche thinges wise,
Wherof thou myht the time lisse,
So as I can, I schal the wisse:
For wisdom is at every throwe
Above alle other thing to knowe
In loves cause and elleswhere.
Forthi, my Sone, unto thin Ere,
Though it be noght in the registre
Of Venus, yit of that Calistre 20
And Aristotle whylom write
To Alisandre, thou schalt wite.
Bot for the lores ben diverse,
I thenke ferst to the reherce
The nature of Philosophie,
Which Aristotle of his clergie,
Wys and expert in the sciences,
Declareth thilke intelligences,
As of thre pointz in principal.
Wherof the ferste in special 30
Is Theorique, which is grounded
On him which al the world hath founded,
Which comprehendeth al the lore.
And forto loken overmore,
Next of sciences the seconde
Is Rethorique, whos faconde
Above alle othre is eloquent:
To telle a tale in juggement
So wel can noman speke as he.
The laste science of the thre 40
It is Practique, whos office
The vertu tryeth fro the vice,
And techeth upon goode thewes
To fle the compaignie of schrewes,
Which stant in disposicion
Of mannes free eleccion.
Practique enformeth ek the reule,
Hou that a worthi king schal reule
His Realme bothe in werre and pes.
Lo, thus danz Aristotiles 50
These thre sciences hath divided
And the nature also decided,
Wherof that ech of hem schal serve.
The ferste, which is the conserve
And kepere of the remnant,
As that which is most sufficant
And chief of the Philosophie,
If I therof schal specefie
So as the Philosophre tolde,
Nou herkne, and kep that thou it holde. 60
Of Theorique principal
The Philosophre in special
The propretees hath determined,
As thilke which is enlumined
Of wisdom and of hih prudence
Above alle othre in his science:
And stant departed upon thre,
The ferste of which in his degre
Is cleped in Philosophie
The science of Theologie, 70
That other named is Phisique,
The thridde is seid Mathematique.
Theologie is that science
Which unto man yifth evidence
Of thing which is noght bodely,
Wherof men knowe redely
The hihe almyhti Trinite,
Which is o god in unite
Withouten ende and beginnynge
And creatour of alle thinge, 80
Of hevene, of erthe and ek of helle.
Wherof, as olde bokes telle,
The Philosophre in his resoun
Wrot upon this conclusioun,
And of his wrytinge in a clause
He clepeth god the ferste cause,
Which of himself is thilke good,
Withoute whom nothing is good,
Of which that every creature
Hath his beinge and his nature. 90
After the beinge of the thinges
Ther ben thre formes of beinges:
Thing which began and ende schal,
That thing is cleped temporal;
Ther is also be other weie
Thing which began and schal noght deie.
As Soules, that ben spiritiel,
Here beinge is perpetuel:
Bot ther is on above the Sonne,
Whos time nevere was begonne, 100
And endeles schal evere be;
That is the god, whos mageste
Alle othre thinges schal governe,
And his beinge is sempiterne.
The god, to whom that al honour
Belongeth, he is creatour,
And othre ben hise creatures:
The god commandeth the natures
That thei to him obeien alle;
Withouten him, what so befalle, 110
Her myht is non, and he mai al:
The god was evere and evere schal,
And thei begonne of his assent;
The times alle be present
To god, to hem and alle unknowe,
Bot what him liketh that thei knowe:
Thus bothe an angel and a man,
The whiche of al that god began
Be chief, obeien goddes myht,
And he stant endeles upriht. 120
To this science ben prive
The clerkes of divinite,
The whiche unto the poeple prechen
The feith of holi cherche and techen,
Which in som cas upon believe
Stant more than thei conne prieve
Be weie of Argument sensible:
Bot natheles it is credible,
And doth a man gret meede have,
To him that thenkth himself to save. 130
Theologie in such a wise
Of hih science and hih aprise
Above alle othre stant unlike,
And is the ferste of Theorique.
Phisique is after the secounde,
Thurgh which the Philosophre hath founde
To techen sondri knowlechinges
Upon the bodiliche thinges.
Of man, of beste, of herbe, of ston,
Of fissch, of foughl, of everychon 140
That ben of bodely substance,
The nature and the circumstance
Thurgh this science it is ful soght,
Which vaileth and which vaileth noght.
The thridde point of Theorique,
Which cleped is Mathematique,
Devided is in sondri wise
And stant upon diverse aprise.
The ferste of whiche is Arsmetique,
And the secounde is seid Musique, 150
The thridde is ek Geometrie,
Also the ferthe Astronomie.
Of Arsmetique the matiere
Is that of which a man mai liere
What Algorisme in nombre amonteth,
Whan that the wise man acompteth
After the formel proprete
Of Algorismes Abece:
Be which multiplicacioun
Is mad and diminucioun 160
Of sommes be thexperience
Of this Art and of this science.
The seconde of Mathematique,
Which is the science of Musique,
That techeth upon Armonie
A man to make melodie
Be vois and soun of instrument
Thurgh notes of acordement,
The whiche men pronounce alofte,
Nou scharpe notes and nou softe, 170
Nou hihe notes and nou lowe,
As be the gamme a man mai knowe,
Which techeth the prolacion
Of note and the condicion.
Mathematique of his science
Hath yit the thridde intelligence
Full of wisdom and of clergie
And cleped is Geometrie,
Thurgh which a man hath thilke sleyhte,
Of lengthe, of brede, of depthe, of heyhte 180
To knowe the proporcion
Be verrai calculacion
Of this science: and in this wise
These olde Philosophres wise,
Of al this worldes erthe round,
Hou large, hou thikke was the ground,
Controeveden thexperience;
The cercle and the circumference
Of every thing unto the hevene
Thei setten point and mesure evene. 190
Mathematique above therthe
Of hyh science hath yit the ferthe,
Which spekth upon Astronomie
And techeth of the sterres hihe,
Beginnynge upward fro the mone.
Bot ferst, as it was forto done,
This Aristotle in other thing
Unto this worthi yonge king
The kinde of every element
Which stant under the firmament, 200
Hou it is mad and in what wise,
Fro point to point he gan devise.
Tofore the creacion
Of eny worldes stacion,
Of hevene, of erthe, or eke of helle,
So as these olde bokes telle,
As soun tofore the song is set
And yit thei ben togedre knet,
Riht so the hihe pourveance
Tho hadde under his ordinance 210
A gret substance, a gret matiere,
Of which he wolde in his manere
These othre thinges make and forme.
For yit withouten eny forme
Was that matiere universal,
Which hihte Ylem in special.
Of Ylem, as I am enformed,
These elementz ben mad and formed,
Of Ylem elementz they hote
After the Scole of Aristote, 220
Of whiche if more I schal reherce,
Foure elementz ther ben diverse.
The ferste of hem men erthe calle,
Which is the lowest of hem alle,
And in his forme is schape round,
Substancial, strong, sadd and sound,
As that which mad is sufficant
To bere up al the remenant.
For as the point in a compas
Stant evene amiddes, riht so was 230
This erthe set and schal abyde,
That it may swerve to no side,
And hath his centre after the lawe
Of kinde, and to that centre drawe
Desireth every worldes thing,
If ther ne were no lettyng.
Above therthe kepth his bounde
The water, which is the secounde
Of elementz, and al withoute
It environeth therthe aboute. 240
Bot as it scheweth, noght forthi
This soubtil water myhtely,
Thogh it be of himselve softe,
The strengthe of therthe perceth ofte;
For riht as veines ben of blod
In man, riht so the water flod
Therthe of his cours makth ful of veines,
Als wel the helles as the pleines.
And that a man may sen at ije,
For wher the hulles ben most hyhe, 250
Ther mai men welle stremes finde:
So proveth it be weie of kinde
The water heyher than the lond.
And over this nou understond,
Air is the thridde of elementz,
Of whos kinde his aspirementz
Takth every lifissh creature,
The which schal upon erthe endure:
For as the fissh, if it be dreie,
Mot in defaute of water deie, 260
Riht so withouten Air on lyve
No man ne beste myhte thryve,
The which is mad of fleissh and bon;
There is outake of alle non.
This Air in Periferies thre
Divided is of such degre,
Benethe is on and on amidde,
To whiche above is set the thridde:
And upon the divisions
There ben diverse impressions 270
Of moist and ek of drye also,
Whiche of the Sonne bothe tuo
Ben drawe and haled upon hy,
And maken cloudes in the Sky,
As schewed is at mannes sihte;
Wherof be day and ek be nyhte
After the times of the yer
Among ous upon Erthe her
In sondri wise thinges falle.
The ferste Periferie of alle 280
Engendreth Myst and overmore
The dewes and the Frostes hore,
After thilke intersticion
In which thei take impression.
Fro the seconde, as bokes sein,
The moiste dropes of the reyn
Descenden into Middilerthe,
And tempreth it to sed and Erthe,
And doth to springe grass and flour.
And ofte also the grete schour 290
Out of such place it mai be take,
That it the forme schal forsake
Of reyn, and into snow be torned;
And ek it mai be so sojorned
In sondri places up alofte,
That into hail it torneth ofte.
The thridde of thair after the lawe
Thurgh such matiere as up is drawe
Of dreie thing, as it is ofte,
Among the cloudes upon lofte, 300
And is so clos, it may noght oute,-
Thanne is it chased sore aboute,
Til it to fyr and leyt be falle,
And thanne it brekth the cloudes alle,
The whiche of so gret noyse craken,
That thei the feerful thonder maken.
The thonderstrok smit er it leyte,
And yit men sen the fyr and leyte,
The thonderstrok er that men hiere:
So mai it wel be proeved hiere 310
In thing which schewed is fro feer,
A mannes yhe is there nerr
Thanne is the soun to mannes Ere.
And natheles it is gret feere
Bothe of the strok and of the fyr,
Of which is no recoverir
In place wher that thei descende,
Bot if god wolde his grace sende.
And forto speken over this,
In this partie of thair it is 320
That men fulofte sen be nyhte
The fyr in sondri forme alyhte.
Somtime the fyrdrake it semeth,
And so the lewed poeple it demeth;
Somtime it semeth as it were
A Sterre, which that glydeth there:
Bot it is nouther of the tuo,
The Philosophre telleth so,
And seith that of impressions
Thurgh diverse exalacions 330
Upon the cause and the matiere
Men sen diverse forme appiere
Of fyr, the which hath sondri name.
Assub, he seith, is thilke same,
The which in sondry place is founde,
Whanne it is falle doun to grounde,
So as the fyr it hath aneled,
Lich unto slym which is congeled.
Of exalacion I finde
Fyr kinled of the fame kinde, 340
Bot it is of an other forme;
Wherof, if that I schal conforme
The figure unto that it is,
These olde clerkes tellen this,
That it is lik a Got skippende,
And for that it is such semende,
It hatte Capra saliens.
And ek these Astronomiens
An other fyr also, be nyhte
Which scheweth him to mannes syhte, 350
Thei clepen Eges, the which brenneth
Lik to the corrant fyr that renneth
Upon a corde, as thou hast sein,
Whan it with poudre is so besein
Of Sulphre and othre thinges mo.
Ther is an other fyr also,
Which semeth to a mannes yhe
Be nyhtes time as thogh ther flyhe
A dragon brennende in the Sky,
And that is cleped proprely 360
Daaly, wherof men sein fulofte,
"Lo, wher the fyri drake alofte
Fleth up in thair!" and so thei demen.
Bot why the fyres suche semen
Of sondri formes to beholde,
The wise Philosophre tolde,
So as tofore it hath ben herd.
Lo thus, my Sone, hou it hath ferd:
Of Air the due proprete
In sondri wise thou myht se, 370
And hou under the firmament
It is ek the thridde element,
Which environeth bothe tuo,
The water and the lond also.
And forto tellen overthis
Of elementz which the ferthe is,
That is the fyr in his degre,
Which environeth thother thre
And is withoute moist al drye.
Bot lest nou what seith the clergie; 380
For upon hem that I have seid
The creatour hath set and leid
The kinde and the complexion
Of alle mennes nacion.
Foure elementz sondri ther be,
Lich unto whiche of that degre
Among the men ther ben also
Complexions foure and nomo,
Wherof the Philosophre treteth,
That he nothing behinde leteth, 390
And seith hou that thei ben diverse,
So as I schal to thee reherse.
He which natureth every kinde,
The myhti god, so as I finde,
Of man, which is his creature,
Hath so devided the nature,
That non til other wel acordeth:
And be the cause it so discordeth,
The lif which fieleth the seknesse
Mai stonde upon no sekernesse. 400
Of therthe, which is cold and drye,
The kinde of man Malencolie
Is cleped, and that is the ferste,
The most ungoodlich and the werste;
For unto loves werk on nyht
Him lacketh bothe will and myht:
No wonder is, in lusty place
Of love though he lese grace.
What man hath that complexion,
Full of ymaginacion 410
Of dredes and of wrathful thoghtes,
He fret himselven al to noghtes.
The water, which is moyste and cold,
Makth fleume, which is manyfold
Foryetel, slou and wery sone
Of every thing which is to done:
He is of kinde sufficant
To holde love his covenant,
Bot that him lacketh appetit,
Which longeth unto such delit. 420
What man that takth his kinde of thair,
He schal be lyht, he schal be fair,
For his complexion is blood.
Of alle ther is non so good,
For he hath bothe will and myht
To plese and paie love his riht:
Wher as he hath love undertake,
Wrong is if that he be forsake.
The fyr of his condicion
Appropreth the complexion 430
Which in a man is Colre hote,
Whos propretes ben dreie and hote:
It makth a man ben enginous
And swift of fote and ek irous;
Of contek and folhastifnesse
He hath a riht gret besinesse,
To thenke of love and litel may:
Though he behote wel a day,
On nyht whan that he wole assaie,
He may ful evele his dette paie. 440
After the kinde of thelement,
Thus stant a mannes kinde went,
As touchende his complexion,
Upon sondri division
Of dreie, of moiste, of chele, of hete,
And ech of hem his oghne sete
Appropred hath withinne a man.
And ferst to telle as I began,
The Splen is to Malencolie
Assigned for herbergerie: 450
The moiste fleume with his cold
Hath in the lunges for his hold
Ordeined him a propre stede,
To duelle ther as he is bede:
To the Sanguin complexion
Nature of hire inspeccion
A propre hous hath in the livere
For his duellinge mad delivere:
The dreie Colre with his hete
Be weie of kinde his propre sete 460
Hath in the galle, wher he duelleth,
So as the Philosophre telleth.
Nou over this is forto wite,
As it is in Phisique write
Of livere, of lunge, of galle, of splen,
Thei alle unto the herte ben
Servantz, and ech in his office
Entendeth to don him service,
As he which is chief lord above.
The livere makth him forto love, 470
The lunge yifth him weie of speche,
The galle serveth to do wreche,
The Splen doth him to lawhe and pleie,
Whan al unclennesse is aweie:
Lo, thus hath ech of hem his dede.
And to sustienen hem and fede
In time of recreacion,
Nature hath in creacion
The Stomach for a comun Coc
Ordeined, so as seith the boc. 480
The Stomach coc is for the halle,
And builleth mete for hem alle,
To make hem myghty forto serve
The herte, that he schal noght sterve:
For as a king in his Empire
Above alle othre is lord and Sire,
So is the herte principal,
To whom reson in special
Is yove as for the governance.
And thus nature his pourveance 490
Hath mad for man to liven hiere;
Bot god, which hath the Soule diere,
Hath formed it in other wise.
That can noman pleinli devise;
Bot as the clerkes ous enforme,
That lich to god it hath a forme,
Thurgh which figure and which liknesse
The Soule hath many an hyh noblesse
Appropred to his oghne kinde.
Bot ofte hir wittes be mad blinde 500
Al onliche of this ilke point,
That hir abydinge is conjoint
Forth with the bodi forto duelle:
That on desireth toward helle,
That other upward to the hevene;
So schul thei nevere stonde in evene,
Bot if the fleissh be overcome
And that the Soule have holi nome
The governance, and that is selde,
Whil that the fleissh him mai bewelde. 510
Al erthli thing which god began
Was only mad to serve man;
Bot he the Soule al only made
Himselven forto serve and glade.
Alle othre bestes that men finde
Thei serve unto here oghne kinde,
Bot to reson the Soule serveth;
Wherof the man his thonk deserveth
And get him with hise werkes goode
The perdurable lyves foode. 520
Of what matiere it schal be told,
A tale lyketh manyfold
The betre, if it be spoke plein:
Thus thinke I forto torne ayein
And telle plenerly therfore
Of therthe, wherof nou tofore
I spak, and of the water eke,
So as these olde clerkes spieke,
And sette proprely the bounde
After the forme of Mappemounde, 530
Thurgh which the ground be pourparties
Departed is in thre parties,
That is Asie, Aufrique, Europe,
The whiche under the hevene cope,
Als ferr as streccheth eny ground,
Begripeth al this Erthe round.
Bot after that the hihe wrieche
The water weies let out seche
And overgo the helles hye,
Which every kinde made dye 540
That upon Middelerthe stod,
Outake Noe5 and his blod,
His Sones and his doughtres thre,
Thei were sauf and so was he;-
Here names who that rede rihte,
Sem, Cam, Japhet the brethren hihte;-
And whanne thilke almyhty hond
Withdrouh the water fro the lond,
And al the rage was aweie,
And Erthe was the mannes weie, 550
The Sones thre, of whiche I tolde,
Riht after that hemselve wolde,
This world departe thei begonne.
Asie, which lay to the Sonne
Upon the Marche of orient,
Was graunted be comun assent
To Sem, which was the Sone eldeste;
For that partie was the beste
And double as moche as othre tuo.
And was that time bounded so; 560
Wher as the flod which men Nil calleth
Departeth fro his cours and falleth
Into the See Alexandrine,
Ther takth Asie ferst seisine
Toward the West, and over this
Of Canahim wher the flod is
Into the grete See rennende,
Fro that into the worldes ende
Estward, Asie it is algates,
Til that men come unto the gates 570
Of Paradis, and there ho.
And schortly for to speke it so,
Of Orient in general
Withinne his bounde Asie hath al.
And thanne upon that other syde
Westward, as it fell thilke tyde,
The brother which was hote Cham
Upon his part Aufrique nam.
Japhet Europe tho tok he,
Thus parten thei the world on thre. 580
Bot yit ther ben of londes fele
In occident as for the chele,
In orient as for the hete,
Which of the poeple be forlete
As lond desert that is unable,
For it mai noght ben habitable.
The water eke hath sondri bounde,
After the lond wher it is founde,
And takth his name of thilke londes
Wher that it renneth on the strondes: 590
Bot thilke See which hath no wane
Is cleped the gret Occeane,
Out of the which arise and come
The hyhe flodes alle and some;
Is non so litel welle spring,
Which ther ne takth his beginnyng,
And lich a man that haleth breth
Be weie of kinde, so it geth
Out of the See and in ayein,
The water, as the bokes sein. 600
Of Elementz the propretes
Hou that they stonden be degres,
As I have told, nou myht thou hiere,
Mi goode Sone, al the matiere
Of Erthe, of water, Air and fyr.
And for thou saist that thi desir
Is forto witen overmore
The forme of Aristotles lore,
He seith in his entendement,
That yit ther is an Element 610
Above the foure, and is the fifte,
Set of the hihe goddes yifte,
The which that Orbis cleped is.
And therupon he telleth this,
That as the schelle hol and sound
Encloseth al aboute round
What thing withinne an Ey belongeth,
Riht so this Orbis underfongeth
These elementz alle everychon,
Which I have spoke of on and on. 620
Bot overthis nou tak good hiede,
Mi Sone, for I wol procede
To speke upon Mathematique,
Which grounded is on Theorique.
The science of Astronomie
I thinke forto specefie,
Withoute which, to telle plein,
Alle othre science is in vein
Toward the scole of erthli thinges:
For as an Egle with his winges 630
Fleth above alle that men finde,
So doth this science in his kinde.
Benethe upon this Erthe hiere
Of alle thinges the matiere,
As tellen ous thei that ben lerned,
Of thing above it stant governed,
That is to sein of the Planetes.
The cheles bothe and ek the hetes,
The chances of the world also,
That we fortune clepen so, 640
Among the mennes nacion
Al is thurgh constellacion,
Wherof that som man hath the wele,
And som man hath deseses fele
In love als wel as othre thinges;
The stat of realmes and of kinges
In time of pes, in time of werre
It is conceived of the Sterre:
And thus seith the naturien
Which is an Astronomien. 650
Bot the divin seith otherwise,
That if men weren goode and wise
And plesant unto the godhede,
Thei scholden noght the sterres drede;
For o man, if him wel befalle,
Is more worth than ben thei alle
Towardes him that weldeth al.
Bot yit the lawe original,
Which he hath set in the natures,
Mot worchen in the creatures, 660
That therof mai be non obstacle,
Bot if it stonde upon miracle
Thurgh preiere of som holy man.
And forthi, so as I began
To speke upon Astronomie,
As it is write in the clergie,
To telle hou the planetes fare,
Som part I thenke to declare,
Mi Sone, unto thin Audience.
Astronomie is the science 670
Of wisdom and of hih connynge,
Which makth a man have knowlechinge
Of Sterres in the firmament,
Figure, cercle and moevement
Of ech of hem in sondri place,
And what betwen hem is of space,
Hou so thei moeve or stonde faste,
Al this it telleth to the laste.
Assembled with Astronomie
Is ek that ilke Astrologie 680
The which in juggementz acompteth
Theffect, what every sterre amonteth,
And hou thei causen many a wonder
To tho climatz that stonde hem under.
And forto telle it more plein,
These olde philosphres sein
That Orbis, which I spak of err,
Is that which we fro therthe a ferr
Beholde, and firmament it calle,
In which the sterres stonden alle, 690
Among the whiche in special
Planetes sefne principal
Ther ben, that mannes sihte demeth,
Bot thorizonte, as to ous semeth.
And also ther ben signes tuelve,
Whiche have her cercles be hemselve
Compassed in the zodiaque,
In which thei have here places take.
And as thei stonden in degre,
Here cercles more or lasse be, 700
Mad after the proporcion
Of therthe, whos condicion
Is set to be the foundement
To sustiene up the firmament.
And be this skile a man mai knowe,
The more that thei stonden lowe,
The more ben the cercles lasse;
That causeth why that some passe
Here due cours tofore an other.
Bot nou, mi lieve dere brother, 710
As thou desirest forto wite
What I finde in the bokes write,
To telle of the planetes sevene,
Hou that thei stonde upon the hevene
And in what point that thei ben inne,
Tak hiede, for I wol beginne,
So as the Philosophre tauhte
To Alisandre and it betauhte,
Wherof that he was fulli tawht
Of wisdom, which was him betawht. 720
Benethe alle othre stant the Mone,
The which hath with the See to done:
Of flodes hihe and ebbes lowe
Upon his change it schal be knowe;
And every fissh which hath a schelle
Mot in his governance duelle,
To wexe and wane in his degre,
As be the Mone a man mai se;
And al that stant upon the grounde
Of his moisture it mot be founde. 730
Alle othre sterres, as men finde,
Be schynende of here oghne kinde
Outake only the monelyht,
Which is noght of himselve bright,
Bot as he takth it of the Sonne.
And yit he hath noght al fulwonne
His lyht, that he nys somdiel derk;
Bot what the lette is of that werk
In Almageste it telleth this:
The Mones cercle so lowe is, 740
Wherof the Sonne out of his stage
Ne seth him noght with full visage,
For he is with the ground beschaded,
So that the Mone is somdiel faded
And may noght fully schyne cler.
Bot what man under his pouer
Is bore, he schal his places change
And seche manye londes strange:
And as of this condicion
The Mones disposicion 750
Upon the lond of Alemaigne
Is set, and ek upon Bretaigne,
Which nou is cleped Engelond;
For thei travaile in every lond.
Of the Planetes the secounde
Above the Mone hath take his bounde,
Mercurie, and his nature is this,
That under him who that bore is,
In boke he schal be studious
And in wrytinge curious, 760
And slouh and lustles to travaile
In thing which elles myhte availe:
He loveth ese, he loveth reste,
So is he noght the worthieste;
Bot yit with somdiel besinesse
His herte is set upon richesse.
And as in this condicion,
Theffect and disposicion
Of this Planete and of his chance
Is most in Burgoigne and in France. 770
Next to Mercurie, as wol befalle,
Stant that Planete which men calle
Venus, whos constellacion
Governeth al the nacion
Of lovers, wher thei spiede or non,
Of whiche I trowe thou be on:
Bot whiderward thin happes wende,
Schal this planete schewe at ende,
As it hath do to many mo,
To some wel, to some wo. 780
And natheles of this Planete
The moste part is softe and swete;
For who that therof takth his berthe,
He schal desire joie and merthe,
Gentil, courteis and debonaire,
To speke his wordes softe and faire,
Such schal he be be weie of kinde,
And overal wher he may finde
Plesance of love, his herte boweth
With al his myht and there he woweth. 790
He is so ferforth Amourous,
He not what thing is vicious
Touchende love, for that lawe
Ther mai no maner man withdrawe,
The which venerien is bore
Be weie of kinde, and therefore
Venus of love the goddesse
Is cleped: bot of wantounesse
The climat of hir lecherie
Is most commun in Lombardie. 800
Next unto this Planete of love
The brighte Sonne stant above,
Which is the hindrere of the nyht
And forthrere of the daies lyht,
As he which is the worldes ije,
Thurgh whom the lusti compaignie
Of foules be the morwe singe,
The freisshe floures sprede and springe,
The hihe tre the ground beschadeth,
And every mannes herte gladeth. 810
And for it is the hed Planete,
Hou that he sitteth in his sete,
Of what richesse, of what nobleie,
These bokes telle, and thus thei seie.
Of gold glistrende Spoke and whiel
The Sonne his carte hath faire and wiel,
In which he sitt, and is coroned
With brighte stones environed;
Of whiche if that I speke schal,
Ther be tofore in special 820
Set in the front of his corone
Thre Stones, whiche no persone
Hath upon Erthe, and the ferste is
Be name cleped Licuchis;
That othre tuo be cleped thus,
Astrices and Ceramius.
In his corone also behinde,
Be olde bokes as I finde,
Ther ben of worthi Stones thre
Set ech of hem in his degre: 830
Wherof a Cristall is that on,
Which that corone is set upon;
The seconde is an Adamant;
The thridde is noble and avenant,
Which cleped is Ydriades.
And over this yit natheles
Upon the sydes of the werk,
After the wrytinge of the clerk,
Ther sitten fyve Stones mo:
The smaragdine is on of tho, 840
Jaspis and Elitropius
And Dendides and Jacinctus.
Lo, thus the corone is beset,
Wherof it schyneth wel the bet;
And in such wise his liht to sprede
Sit with his Diademe on hede
The Sonne schynende in his carte.
And forto lede him swithe and smarte
After the bryhte daies lawe,
Ther ben ordeined forto drawe 850
Foure hors his Char and him withal,
Wherof the names telle I schal:
Erithes the ferste is hote,
The which is red and schyneth hote,
The seconde Acteos the bryhte,
Lampes the thridde coursier hihte,
And Philoges is the ferthe,
That bringen lyht unto this erthe,
And gon so swift upon the hevene,
In foure and twenty houres evene 860
The carte with the bryhte Sonne
Thei drawe, so that overronne
Thei have under the cercles hihe
Al Middelerthe in such an hye.
And thus the Sonne is overal
The chief Planete imperial,
Above him and benethe him thre:
And thus betwen hem regneth he,
As he that hath the middel place
Among the Sevene, and of his face 870
Be glade alle erthly creatures,
And taken after the natures
Here ese and recreacion.
And in his constellacion
Who that is bore in special,
Of good will and of liberal
He schal be founde in alle place,
And also stonde in mochel grace
Toward the lordes forto serve
And gret profit and thonk deserve. 880
And over that it causeth yit
A man to be soubtil of wit
To worche in gold, and to be wys
In every thing which is of pris.
Bot forto speken in what cost
Of al this erthe he regneth most
As for wisdom, it is in Grece,
Wher is apropred thilke spiece.
Mars the Planete bataillous
Next to the Sonne glorious 890
Above stant, and doth mervailes
Upon the fortune of batailes.
The conquerours be daies olde
Were unto this planete holde:
Bot who that his nativite
Hath take upon the proprete
Of Martes disposicioun
Be weie of constellacioun,
He schal be fiers and folhastif
And desirous of werre and strif. 900
Bot forto telle redely
In what climat most comunly
That this planete hath his effect,
Seid is that he hath his aspect
Upon the holi lond so cast,
That there is no pes stedefast.
Above Mars upon the hevene,
The sexte Planete of the sevene,
Stant Jupiter the delicat,
Which causeth pes and no debat. 910
For he is cleped that Planete
Which of his kinde softe and swete
Attempreth al that to him longeth;
And whom this planete underfongeth
To stonde upon his regiment,
He schal be meke and pacient
And fortunat to Marchandie
And lusti to delicacie
In every thing which he schal do.
This Jupiter is cause also 920
Of the science of lyhte werkes,
And in this wise tellen clerkes
He is the Planete of delices.
Bot in Egipte of his offices
He regneth most in special:
For ther be lustes overal
Of al that to this lif befalleth;
For ther no stormy weder falleth,
Which myhte grieve man or beste,
And ek the lond is so honeste 930
That it is plentevous and plein,
Ther is non ydel ground in vein;
And upon such felicite
Stant Jupiter in his degre.
The heyeste and aboven alle
Stant that planete which men calle
Saturnus, whos complexion
Is cold, and his condicion
Causeth malice and crualte
To him the whos nativite 940
Is set under his governance.
For alle hise werkes ben grevance
And enemy to mannes hele,
In what degre that he schal dele.
His climat is in Orient,
Wher that he is most violent.
Of the Planetes by and by,
Hou that thei stonde upon the Sky,
Fro point to point as thou myht hiere,
Was Alisandre mad to liere. 950
Bot overthis touchende his lore,
Of thing that thei him tawhte more
Upon the scoles of clergie

Book of the day: