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Confessio Amantis

Part 10 out of 17

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And therupon he made a speche
To Peles his Em the king.
And he wel paid was of that thing; 3290
And schop anon for his passage,
And suche as were of his lignage,
With othre knihtes whiche he ches,
With him he tok, and Hercules,
Which full was of chivalerie,
With Jason wente in compaignie;
And that was in the Monthe of Maii,
Whan colde stormes were away.
The wynd was good, the Schip was yare,
Thei tok here leve, and forth thei fare 3300
Toward Colchos: bot on the weie
What hem befell is long to seie;
Hou Lamedon the king of Troie,
Which oghte wel have mad hem joie.
Whan thei to reste a while him preide,
Out of his lond he hem congeide;
And so fell the dissencion,
Which after was destruccion
Of that Cite, as men mai hiere:
Bot that is noght to mi matiere. 3310
Bot thus this worthi folk Gregeis
Fro that king, which was noght curteis,
And fro his lond with Sail updrawe
Thei wente hem forth, and many a sawe
Thei made and many a gret manace,
Til ate laste into that place
Which as thei soghte thei aryve,
And striken Sail, and forth as blyve
Thei sente unto the king and tolden
Who weren ther and what thei wolden. 3320
Oe5tes, which was thanne king,
Whan that he herde this tyding
Of Jason, which was comen there,
And of these othre, what thei were,
He thoghte don hem gret worschipe:
For thei anon come out of Schipe,
And strawht unto the king thei wente,
And be the hond Jason he hente,
And that was ate paleis gate,
So fer the king cam on his gate 3330
Toward Jason to don him chiere;
And he, whom lacketh no manere,
Whan he the king sih in presence,
Yaf him ayein such reverence
As to a kinges stat belongeth.
And thus the king him underfongeth,
And Jason in his arm he cawhte,
And forth into the halle he strawhte,
And ther they siete and spieke of thinges,
And Jason tolde him tho tidinges, 3340
Why he was come, and faire him preide
To haste his time, and the kyng seide,
"Jason, thou art a worthi kniht,
Bot it lith in no mannes myht
To don that thou art come fore:
Ther hath be many a kniht forlore
Of that thei wolden it assaie."
Bot Jason wolde him noght esmaie,
And seide, "Of every worldes cure
Fortune stant in aventure, 3350
Per aunter wel, per aunter wo:
Bot hou as evere that it go,
It schal be with myn hond assaied."
The king tho hield him noght wel paied,
For he the Grekes sore dredde,
In aunter, if Jason ne spedde,
He mihte therof bere a blame;
For tho was al the worldes fame
In Grece, as forto speke of Armes.
Forthi he dredde him of his harmes, 3360
And gan to preche him and to preie;
Bot Jason wolde noght obeie,
Bot seide he wolde his porpos holde
For ought that eny man him tolde.
The king, whan he thes wordes herde,
And sih hou that this kniht ansuerde,
Yit for he wolde make him glad,
After Medea gon he bad,
Which was his dowhter, and sche cam.
And Jason, which good hiede nam, 3370
Whan he hire sih, ayein hire goth;
And sche, which was him nothing loth,
Welcomede him into that lond,
And softe tok him be the hond,
And doun thei seten bothe same.
Sche hadde herd spoke of his name
And of his grete worthinesse;
Forthi sche gan hir yhe impresse
Upon his face and his stature,
And thoghte hou nevere creature 3380
Was so wel farende as was he.
And Jason riht in such degre
Ne mihte noght withholde his lok,
Bot so good hiede on hire he tok,
That him ne thoghte under the hevene
Of beaute sawh he nevere hir evene,
With al that fell to wommanhiede.
Thus ech of other token hiede,
Thogh ther no word was of record;
Here hertes bothe of on acord 3390
Ben set to love, bot as tho
Ther mihten be no wordes mo.
The king made him gret joie and feste,
To alle his men he yaf an heste,
So as thei wolde his thonk deserve,
That thei scholde alle Jason serve,
Whil that he wolde there duelle.
And thus the dai, schortly to telle,
With manye merthes thei despente,
Til nyht was come, and tho thei wente, 3400
Echon of other tok his leve,
Whan thei no lengere myhten leve.
I not hou Jason that nyht slep,
Bot wel I wot that of the Schep,
For which he cam into that yle,
He thoghte bot a litel whyle;
Al was Medea that he thoghte,
So that in many a wise he soghte
His witt wakende er it was day,
Som time yee, som time nay, 3410
Som time thus, som time so,
As he was stered to and fro
Of love, and ek of his conqueste
As he was holde of his beheste.
And thus he ros up be the morwe
And tok himself seint John to borwe,
And seide he wolde ferst beginne
At love, and after forto winne
The flees of gold, for which he com,
And thus to him good herte he nom. 3420
Medea riht the same wise,
Til dai cam that sche moste arise,
Lay and bethoughte hire al the nyht,
Hou sche that noble worthi kniht
Be eny weie mihte wedde:
And wel sche wiste, if he ne spedde
Of thing which he hadde undertake,
Sche mihte hirself no porpos take;
For if he deide of his bataile,
Sche moste thanne algate faile 3430
To geten him, whan he were ded.
Thus sche began to sette red
And torne aboute hir wittes alle,
To loke hou that it mihte falle
That sche with him hadde a leisir
To speke and telle of hir desir.
And so it fell that same day
That Jason with that suete may
Togedre sete and hadden space
To speke, and he besoughte hir grace. 3440
And sche his tale goodli herde,
And afterward sche him ansuerde
And seide, "Jason, as thou wilt,
Thou miht be sauf, thou miht be spilt;
For wite wel that nevere man,
Bot if he couthe that I can,
Ne mihte that fortune achieve
For which thou comst: bot as I lieve,
If thou wolt holde covenant
To love, of al the remenant 3450
I schal thi lif and honour save,
That thou the flees of gold schalt have."
He seide, "Al at youre oghne wille,
Ma dame, I schal treuly fulfille
Youre heste, whil mi lif mai laste."
Thus longe he preide, and ate laste
Sche granteth, and behihte him this,
That whan nyht comth and it time is,
Sche wolde him sende certeinly
Such on that scholde him prively 3460
Al one into hire chambre bringe.
He thonketh hire of that tidinge,
For of that grace him is begonne
Him thenkth alle othre thinges wonne.
The dai made ende and lost his lyht,
And comen was the derke nyht,
Which al the daies yhe blente.
Jason tok leve and forth he wente,
And whan he cam out of the pres,
He tok to conseil Hercules, 3470
And tolde him hou it was betid,
And preide it scholde wel ben hid,
And that he wolde loke aboute,
Therwhiles that he schal ben oute.
Thus as he stod and hiede nam,
A Mayden fro Medea cam
And to hir chambre Jason ledde,
Wher that he fond redi to bedde
The faireste and the wiseste eke;
And sche with simple chiere and meke, 3480
Whan sche him sih, wax al aschamed.
Tho was here tale newe entamed;
For sikernesse of Mariage
Sche fette forth a riche ymage,
Which was figure of Jupiter,
And Jason swor and seide ther,
That also wiss god scholde him helpe,
That if Medea dede him helpe,
That he his pourpos myhte winne,
Thei scholde nevere parte atwinne, 3490
Bot evere whil him lasteth lif,
He wolde hire holde for his wif.
And with that word thei kisten bothe;
And for thei scholden hem unclothe,
Ther cam a Maide, and in hir wise
Sche dede hem bothe full servise,
Til that thei were in bedde naked:
I wot that nyht was wel bewaked,
Thei hadden bothe what thei wolde.
And thanne of leisir sche him tolde, 3500
And gan fro point to point enforme
Of his bataile and al the forme,
Which as he scholde finde there,
Whan he to thyle come were.
Sche seide, at entre of the pas
Hou Mars, which god of Armes was,
Hath set tuo Oxen sterne and stoute,
That caste fyr and flamme aboute
Bothe at the mouth and ate nase,
So that thei setten al on blase 3510
What thing that passeth hem betwene:
And forthermore upon the grene
Ther goth the flees of gold to kepe
A Serpent, which mai nevere slepe.
Thus who that evere scholde it winne,
The fyr to stoppe he mot beginne,
Which that the fierce bestes caste,
And daunte he mot hem ate laste,
So that he mai hem yoke and dryve;
And therupon he mot as blyve 3520
The Serpent with such strengthe assaile,
That he mai slen him be bataile;
Of which he mot the teth outdrawe,
As it belongeth to that lawe,
And thanne he mot tho Oxen yoke,
Til thei have with a plowh tobroke
A furgh of lond, in which arowe
The teth of thaddre he moste sowe,
And therof schule arise knihtes
Wel armed up at alle rihtes. 3530
Of hem is noght to taken hiede,
For ech of hem in hastihiede
Schal other slen with dethes wounde:
And thus whan thei ben leid to grounde,
Than mot he to the goddes preie,
And go so forth and take his preie.
Bot if he faile in eny wise
Of that ye hiere me devise,
Ther mai be set non other weie,
That he ne moste algates deie. 3540
"Nou have I told the peril al:
I woll you tellen forth withal,"
Quod Medea to Jason tho,
"That ye schul knowen er ye go,
Ayein the venym and the fyr
What schal ben the recoverir.
Bot, Sire, for it is nyh day,
Ariseth up, so that I may
Delivere you what thing I have,
That mai youre lif and honour save." 3550
Thei weren bothe loth to rise,
Bot for thei weren bothe wise,
Up thei arisen ate laste:
Jason his clothes on him caste
And made him redi riht anon,
And sche hir scherte dede upon
And caste on hire a mantel clos,
Withoute more and thanne aros.
Tho tok sche forth a riche Tye
Mad al of gold and of Perrie, 3560
Out of the which sche nam a Ring,
The Ston was worth al other thing.
Sche seide, whil he wolde it were,
Ther myhte no peril him dere,
In water mai it noght be dreynt,
Wher as it comth the fyr is queynt,
It daunteth ek the cruel beste,
Ther may no qued that man areste,
Wher so he be on See or lond,
Which hath that ring upon his hond: 3570
And over that sche gan to sein,
That if a man wol ben unsein,
Withinne his hond hold clos the Ston,
And he mai invisible gon.
The Ring to Jason sche betauhte,
And so forth after sche him tauhte
What sacrifise he scholde make;
And gan out of hire cofre take
Him thoughte an hevenely figure,
Which al be charme and be conjure 3580
Was wroght, and ek it was thurgh write
With names, which he scholde wite,
As sche him tauhte tho to rede;
And bad him, as he wolde spede,
Withoute reste of eny while,
Whan he were londed in that yle,
He scholde make his sacrifise
And rede his carecte in the wise
As sche him tauhte, on knes doun bent,
Thre sithes toward orient; 3590
For so scholde he the goddes plese
And winne himselven mochel ese.
And whanne he hadde it thries rad,
To opne a buiste sche him bad,
Which sche ther tok him in present,
And was full of such oignement,
That ther was fyr ne venym non
That scholde fastnen him upon,
Whan that he were enoynt withal.
Forthi sche tauhte him hou he schal 3600
Enoignte his armes al aboute,
And for he scholde nothing doute,
Sche tok him thanne a maner glu,
The which was of so gret vertu,
That where a man it wolde caste,
It scholde binde anon so faste
That noman mihte it don aweie.
And that sche bad be alle weie
He scholde into the mouthes throwen
Of tho tweie Oxen that fyr blowen, 3610
Therof to stoppen the malice;
The glu schal serve of that office.
And over that hir oignement,
Hir Ring and hir enchantement
Ayein the Serpent scholde him were,
Til he him sle with swerd or spere:
And thanne he may saufliche ynowh
His Oxen yoke into the plowh
And the teth sowe in such a wise,
Til he the knyhtes se arise, 3620
And ech of other doun be leid
In such manere as I have seid.
Lo, thus Medea for Jason
Ordeigneth, and preith therupon
That he nothing foryete scholde,
And ek sche preith him that he wolde,
Whan he hath alle his Armes don,
To grounde knele and thonke anon
The goddes, and so forth be ese
The flees of gold he scholde sese. 3630
And whanne he hadde it sesed so,
That thanne he were sone ago
Withouten eny tariynge.
Whan this was seid, into wepinge
Sche fell, as sche that was thurgh nome
With love, and so fer overcome,
That al hir world on him sche sette.
Bot whan sche sih ther was no lette,
That he mot nedes parte hire fro,
Sche tok him in hire armes tuo, 3640
An hundred time and gan him kisse,
And seide, "O, al mi worldes blisse,
Mi trust, mi lust, mi lif, min hele,
To be thin helpe in this querele
I preie unto the goddes alle."
And with that word sche gan doun falle
On swoune, and he hire uppe nam,
And forth with that the Maiden cam,
And thei to bedde anon hir broghte,
And thanne Jason hire besoghte, 3650
And to hire seide in this manere:
"Mi worthi lusti ladi dere,
Conforteth you, for be my trouthe
It schal noght fallen in mi slouthe
That I ne wol thurghout fulfille
Youre hestes at youre oghne wille.
And yit I hope to you bringe
Withinne a while such tidinge,
The which schal make ous bothe game."
Bot for he wolde kepe hir name, 3660
Whan that he wiste it was nyh dai,
He seide, "A dieu, mi swete mai."
And forth with him he nam his gere,
Which as sche hadde take him there,
And strauht unto his chambre he wente,
And goth to bedde and slep him hente,
And lay, that noman him awok,
For Hercules hiede of him tok,
Til it was undren hih and more.
And thanne he gan to sighe sore 3670
And sodeinliche abreide of slep;
And thei that token of him kep,
His chamberleins, be sone there,
And maden redi al his gere,
And he aros and to the king
He wente, and seide hou to that thing
For which he cam he wolde go.
The king therof was wonder wo,
And for he wolde him fain withdrawe,
He tolde him many a dredful sawe, 3680
Bot Jason wolde it noght recorde,
And ate laste thei acorde.
Whan that he wolde noght abide,
A Bot was redy ate tyde,
In which this worthi kniht of Grece
Ful armed up at every piece,
To his bataile which belongeth,
Tok ore on honde and sore him longeth,
Til he the water passed were.
Whan he cam to that yle there, 3690
He set him on his knes doun strauht,
And his carecte, as he was tawht,
He radde, and made his sacrifise,
And siththe enoignte him in that wise,
As Medea him hadde bede;
And thanne aros up fro that stede,
And with the glu the fyr he queynte,
And anon after he atteinte
The grete Serpent and him slowh.
Bot erst he hadde sorwe ynowh, 3700
For that Serpent made him travaile
So harde and sore of his bataile,
That nou he stod and nou he fell:
For longe time it so befell,
That with his swerd ne with his spere
He mihte noght that Serpent dere.
He was so scherded al aboute,
It hield all eggetol withoute,
He was so ruide and hard of skin,
Ther mihte nothing go therin; 3710
Venym and fyr togedre he caste,
That he Jason so sore ablaste,
That if ne were his oignement,
His Ring and his enchantement,
Which Medea tok him tofore,
He hadde with that worm be lore;
Bot of vertu which therof cam
Jason the Dragon overcam.
And he anon the teth outdrouh,
And sette his Oxen in a plouh, 3720
With which he brak a piece of lond
And sieu hem with his oghne hond.
Tho mihte he gret merveile se:
Of every toth in his degre
Sprong up a kniht with spere and schield,
Of whiche anon riht in the field
Echon slow other; and with that
Jason Medea noght foryat,
On bothe his knes he gan doun falle,
And yaf thonk to the goddes alle. 3730
The Flees he tok and goth to Bote,
The Sonne schyneth bryhte and hote,
The Flees of gold schon forth withal,
The water glistreth overal.
Medea wepte and sigheth ofte,
And stod upon a Tour alofte:
Al prively withinne hirselve,
Ther herde it nouther ten ne tuelve,
Sche preide, and seide, "O, god him spede,
The kniht which hath mi maidenhiede!" 3740
And ay sche loketh toward thyle.
Bot whan sche sih withinne a while
The Flees glistrende ayein the Sonne,
Sche saide, "Ha, lord, now al is wonne,
Mi kniht the field hath overcome:
Nou wolde god he were come;
Ha lord, that he ne were alonde!"
Bot I dar take this on honde,
If that sche hadde wynges tuo,
Sche wolde have flowe unto him tho 3750
Strawht ther he was into the Bot.
The dai was clier, the Sonne hot,
The Gregeis weren in gret doute,
The whyle that here lord was oute:
Thei wisten noght what scholde tyde,
Bot waiten evere upon the tyde,
To se what ende scholde falle.
Ther stoden ek the nobles alle
Forth with the comun of the toun;
And as thei loken up and doun, 3760
Thei weren war withinne a throwe,
Wher cam the bot, which thei wel knowe,
And sihe hou Jason broghte his preie.
And tho thei gonnen alle seie,
And criden alle with o stevene,
"Ha, wher was evere under the hevene
So noble a knyht as Jason is?"
And welnyh alle seiden this,
That Jason was a faie kniht,
For it was nevere of mannes miht 3770
The Flees of gold so forto winne;
And thus to talen thei beginne.
With that the king com forth anon,
And sih the Flees, hou that it schon;
And whan Jason cam to the lond,
The king himselve tok his hond
And kist him, and gret joie him made.
The Gregeis weren wonder glade,
And of that thing riht merie hem thoghte,
And forth with hem the Flees thei broghte, 3780
And ech on other gan to leyhe;
Bot wel was him that mihte neyhe,
To se therof the proprete.
And thus thei passen the cite
And gon unto the Paleis straght.
Medea, which foryat him naght,
Was redy there, and seide anon,
"Welcome, O worthi kniht Jason."
Sche wolde have kist him wonder fayn,
Bot schame tornede hire agayn; 3790
It was noght the manere as tho,
Forthi sche dorste noght do so.
Sche tok hire leve, and Jason wente
Into his chambre, and sche him sente
Hire Maide to sen hou he ferde;
The which whan that sche sih and herde,
Hou that he hadde faren oute
And that it stod wel al aboute,
Sche tolde hire ladi what sche wiste,
And sche for joie hire Maide kiste. 3800
The bathes weren thanne araied,
With herbes tempred and assaied,
And Jason was unarmed sone
And dede as it befell to done:
Into his bath he wente anon
And wyssh him clene as eny bon;
He tok a sopp, and oute he cam,
And on his beste aray he nam,
And kempde his hed, whan he was clad,
And goth him forth al merie and glad 3810
Riht strawht into the kinges halle.
The king cam with his knihtes alle
And maden him glad welcominge;
And he hem tolde the tidinge
Of this and that, hou it befell,
Whan that he wan the schepes fell.
Medea, whan sche was asent,
Com sone to that parlement,
And whan sche mihte Jason se,
Was non so glad of alle as sche. 3820
Ther was no joie forto seche,
Of him mad every man a speche,
Som man seide on, som man seide other;
Bot thogh he were goddes brother
And mihte make fyr and thonder,
Ther mihte be nomore wonder
Than was of him in that cite.
Echon tauhte other, "This is he,
Which hath in his pouer withinne
That al the world ne mihte winne: 3830
Lo, hier the beste of alle goode."
Thus saiden thei that there stode,
And ek that walkede up and doun,
Bothe of the Court and of the toun.
The time of Souper cam anon,
Thei wisshen and therto thei gon,
Medea was with Jason set:
Tho was ther many a deynte fet
And set tofore hem on the bord,
Bot non so likinge as the word 3840
Which was ther spoke among hem tuo,
So as thei dorste speke tho.
Bot thogh thei hadden litel space,
Yit thei acorden in that place
Hou Jason scholde come at nyht,
Whan every torche and every liht
Were oute, and thanne of other thinges
Thei spieke aloud for supposinges
Of hem that stoden there aboute:
For love is everemore in doute, 3850
If that it be wisly governed
Of hem that ben of love lerned.
Whan al was don, that dissh and cuppe
And cloth and bord and al was uppe,
Thei waken whil hem lest to wake,
And after that thei leve take
And gon to bedde forto reste.
And whan him thoghte for the beste,
That every man was faste aslepe,
Jason, that wolde his time kepe, 3860
Goth forth stalkende al prively
Unto the chambre, and redely
Ther was a Maide, which him kepte.
Medea wok and nothing slepte,
Bot natheles sche was abedde,
And he with alle haste him spedde
And made him naked and al warm.
Anon he tok hire in his arm:
What nede is forto speke of ese?
Hem list ech other forto plese, 3870
So that thei hadden joie ynow:
And tho thei setten whanne and how
That sche with him awey schal stele.
With wordes suche and othre fele
Whan al was treted to an ende,
Jason tok leve and gan forth wende
Unto his oughne chambre in pes;
Ther wiste it non bot Hercules.
He slepte and ros whan it was time,
And whanne it fell towardes prime, 3880
He tok to him suche as he triste
In secre, that non other wiste,
And told hem of his conseil there,
And seide that his wille were
That thei to Schipe hadde alle thinge
So priveliche in thevenynge,
That noman mihte here dede aspie
Bot tho that were of compaignie:
For he woll go withoute leve,
And lengere woll he noght beleve; 3890
Bot he ne wolde at thilke throwe
The king or queene scholde it knowe.
Thei saide, "Al this schal wel be do:"
And Jason truste wel therto.
Medea in the mene while,
Which thoghte hir fader to beguile,
The Tresor which hir fader hadde
With hire al priveli sche ladde,
And with Jason at time set
Awey sche stal and fond no let, 3900
And straght sche goth hire unto schipe
Of Grece with that felaschipe,
And thei anon drowe up the Seil.
And al that nyht this was conseil,
Bot erly, whan the Sonne schon,
Men syhe hou that thei were agon,
And come unto the king and tolde:
And he the sothe knowe wolde,
And axeth where his dowhter was.
Ther was no word bot Out, Allas! 3910
Sche was ago. The moder wepte,
The fader as a wod man lepte,
And gan the time forto warie,
And swor his oth he wol noght tarie,
That with Caliphe and with galeie
The same cours, the same weie,
Which Jason tok, he wolde take,
If that he mihte him overtake.
To this thei seiden alle yee:
Anon thei weren ate See, 3920
And alle, as who seith, at a word
Thei gon withinne schipes bord,
The Sail goth up, and forth thei strauhte.
Bot non espleit therof thei cauhte,
And so thei tornen hom ayein,
For al that labour was in vein.
Jason to Grece with his preie
Goth thurgh the See the rihte weie:
Whan he ther com and men it tolde,
Thei maden joie yonge and olde. 3930
Eson, whan that he wiste of this,
Hou that his Sone comen is,
And hath achieved that he soughte
And hom with him Medea broughte,
In al the wyde world was non
So glad a man as he was on.
Togedre ben these lovers tho,
Til that thei hadden sones tuo,
Wherof thei weren bothe glade,
And olde Eson gret joie made 3940
To sen thencress of his lignage;
For he was of so gret an Age,
That men awaiten every day,
Whan that he scholde gon away.
Jason, which sih his fader old,
Upon Medea made him bold,
Of art magique, which sche couthe,
And preith hire that his fader youthe
Sche wolde make ayeinward newe:
And sche, that was toward him trewe, 3950
Behihte him that sche wolde it do,
Whan that sche time sawh therto.
Bot what sche dede in that matiere
It is a wonder thing to hiere,
Bot yit for the novellerie
I thenke tellen a partie.
Thus it befell upon a nyht,
Whan ther was noght bot sterreliht,
Sche was vanyssht riht as hir liste,
That no wyht bot hirself it wiste, 3960
And that was ate mydnyht tyde.
The world was stille on every side;
With open hed and fot al bare,
Hir her tosprad sche gan to fare,
Upon hir clothes gert sche was,
Al specheles and on the gras
Sche glod forth as an Addre doth:
Non otherwise sche ne goth,
Til sche cam to the freisshe flod,
And there a while sche withstod. 3970
Thries sche torned hire aboute,
And thries ek sche gan doun loute
And in the flod sche wette hir her,
And thries on the water ther
Sche gaspeth with a drecchinge onde,
And tho sche tok hir speche on honde.
Ferst sche began to clepe and calle
Upward unto the sterres alle,
To Wynd, to Air, to See, to lond
Sche preide, and ek hield up hir hond 3980
To Echates, and gan to crie,
Which is goddesse of Sorcerie.
Sche seide, "Helpeth at this nede,
And as ye maden me to spede,
Whan Jason cam the Flees to seche,
So help me nou, I you beseche."
With that sche loketh and was war,
Doun fro the Sky ther cam a char,
The which Dragouns aboute drowe:
And tho sche gan hir hed doun bowe, 3990
And up sche styh, and faire and wel
Sche drof forth bothe char and whel
Above in thair among the Skyes.
The lond of Crete and tho parties
Sche soughte, and faste gan hire hye,
And there upon the hulles hyhe
Of Othrin and Olimpe also,
And ek of othre hulles mo,
Sche fond and gadreth herbes suote,
Sche pulleth up som be the rote, 4000
And manye with a knyf sche scherth,
And alle into hir char sche berth.
Thus whan sche hath the hulles sought,
The flodes ther foryat sche nought,
Eridian and Amphrisos,
Peneie and ek Sperchei5dos,
To hem sche wente and ther sche nom
Bothe of the water and the fom,
The sond and ek the smale stones,
Whiche as sche ches out for the nones, 4010
And of the rede See a part,
That was behovelich to hire art,
Sche tok, and after that aboute
Sche soughte sondri sedes oute
In feldes and in many greves,
And ek a part sche tok of leves:
Bot thing which mihte hire most availe
Sche fond in Crete and in Thessaile.
In daies and in nyhtes Nyne,
With gret travaile and with gret pyne, 4020
Sche was pourveid of every piece,
And torneth homward into Grece.
Before the gates of Eson
Hir char sche let awai to gon,
And tok out ferst that was therinne;
For tho sche thoghte to beginne
Such thing as semeth impossible,
And made hirselven invisible,
As sche that was with Air enclosed
And mihte of noman be desclosed. 4030
Sche tok up turves of the lond
Withoute helpe of mannes hond,
Al heled with the grene gras,
Of which an Alter mad ther was
Unto Echates the goddesse
Of art magique and the maistresse,
And eft an other to Juvente,
As sche which dede hir hole entente.
Tho tok sche fieldwode and verveyne,
Of herbes ben noght betre tueine, 4040
Of which anon withoute let
These alters ben aboute set:
Tuo sondri puttes faste by
Sche made, and with that hastely
A wether which was blak sche slouh,
And out therof the blod sche drouh
And dede into the pettes tuo;
Warm melk sche putte also therto
With hony meynd: and in such wise
Sche gan to make hir sacrifice, 4050
And cride and preide forth withal
To Pluto the god infernal,
And to the queene Proserpine.
And so sche soghte out al the line
Of hem that longen to that craft,
Behinde was no name laft,
And preide hem alle, as sche wel couthe,
To grante Eson his ferste youthe.
This olde Eson broght forth was tho,
Awei sche bad alle othre go 4060
Upon peril that mihte falle;
And with that word thei wenten alle,
And leften there hem tuo al one.
And tho sche gan to gaspe and gone,
And made signes manyon,
And seide hir wordes therupon;
So that with spellinge of hir charmes
Sche tok Eson in bothe hire armes,
And made him forto slepe faste,
And him upon hire herbes caste. 4070
The blake wether tho sche tok,
And hiewh the fleissh, as doth a cok;
On either alter part sche leide,
And with the charmes that sche seide
A fyr doun fro the Sky alyhte
And made it forto brenne lyhte.
Bot whan Medea sawh it brenne,
Anon sche gan to sterte and renne
The fyri aulters al aboute:
Ther was no beste which goth oute 4080
More wylde than sche semeth ther:
Aboute hir schuldres hyng hir her,
As thogh sche were oute of hir mynde
And torned in an other kynde.
Tho lay ther certein wode cleft,
Of which the pieces nou and eft
Sche made hem in the pettes wete,
And put hem in the fyri hete,
And tok the brond with al the blase,
And thries sche began to rase 4090
Aboute Eson, ther as he slepte;
And eft with water, which sche kepte,
Sche made a cercle aboute him thries,
And eft with fyr of sulphre twyes:
Ful many an other thing sche dede,
Which is noght writen in this stede.
Bot tho sche ran so up and doun,
Sche made many a wonder soun,
Somtime lich unto the cock,
Somtime unto the Laverock, 4100
Somtime kacleth as a Hen,
Somtime spekth as don the men:
And riht so as hir jargoun strangeth,
In sondri wise hir forme changeth,
Sche semeth faie and no womman;
For with the craftes that sche can
Sche was, as who seith, a goddesse,
And what hir liste, more or lesse,
Sche dede, in bokes as we finde,
That passeth over manneskinde. 4110
Bot who that wole of wondres hiere,
What thing sche wroghte in this matiere,
To make an ende of that sche gan,
Such merveile herde nevere man.
Apointed in the newe Mone,
Whan it was time forto done,
Sche sette a caldron on the fyr,
In which was al the hole atir,
Wheron the medicine stod,
Of jus, of water and of blod, 4120
And let it buile in such a plit,
Til that sche sawh the spume whyt;
And tho sche caste in rynde and rote,
And sed and flour that was for bote,
With many an herbe and many a ston,
Wherof sche hath ther many on:
And ek Cimpheius the Serpent
To hire hath alle his scales lent,
Chelidre hire yaf his addres skin,
And sche to builen caste hem in; 4130
A part ek of the horned Oule,
The which men hiere on nyhtes houle;
And of a Raven, which was told
Of nyne hundred wynter old,
Sche tok the hed with al the bile;
And as the medicine it wile,
Sche tok therafter the bouele
Of the Seewolf, and for the hele
Of Eson, with a thousand mo
Of thinges that sche hadde tho, 4140
In that Caldroun togedre as blyve
Sche putte, and tok thanne of Olyve
A drie branche hem with to stere,
The which anon gan floure and bere
And waxe al freissh and grene ayein.
Whan sche this vertu hadde sein,
Sche let the leste drope of alle
Upon the bare flor doun falle;
Anon ther sprong up flour and gras,
Where as the drope falle was, 4150
And wox anon al medwe grene,
So that it mihte wel be sene.
Medea thanne knew and wiste
Hir medicine is forto triste,
And goth to Eson ther he lay,
And tok a swerd was of assay,
With which a wounde upon his side
Sche made, that therout mai slyde
The blod withinne, which was old
And sek and trouble and fieble and cold. 4160
And tho sche tok unto his us
Of herbes al the beste jus,
And poured it into his wounde;
That made his veynes fulle and sounde:
And tho sche made his wounde clos,
And tok his hond, and up he ros;
And tho sche yaf him drinke a drauhte,
Of which his youthe ayein he cauhte,
His hed, his herte and his visage
Lich unto twenty wynter Age; 4170
Hise hore heres were away,
And lich unto the freisshe Maii,
Whan passed ben the colde shoures,
Riht so recovereth he his floures.
Lo, what mihte eny man devise,
A womman schewe in eny wise
Mor hertly love in every stede,
Than Medea to Jason dede?
Ferst sche made him the flees to winne,
And after that fro kiththe and kinne 4180
With gret tresor with him sche stal,
And to his fader forth withal
His Elde hath torned into youthe,
Which thing non other womman couthe:
Bot hou it was to hire aquit,
The remembrance duelleth yit.
King Peles his Em was ded,
Jason bar corone on his hed,
Medea hath fulfild his wille:
Bot whanne he scholde of riht fulfille 4190
The trouthe, which to hire afore
He hadde in thyle of Colchos swore,
Tho was Medea most deceived.
For he an other hath received,
Which dowhter was to king Creon,
Creusa sche hihte, and thus Jason,
As he that was to love untrewe,
Medea lefte and tok a newe.
Bot that was after sone aboght:
Medea with hire art hath wroght 4200
Of cloth of gold a mantel riche,
Which semeth worth a kingesriche,
And that was unto Creusa sent
In name of yifte and of present,
For Sosterhode hem was betuene;
And whan that yonge freisshe queene
That mantel lappeth hire aboute,
Anon therof the fyr sprong oute
And brente hir bothe fleissh and bon.
Tho cam Medea to Jason 4210
With bothe his Sones on hire hond,
And seide, "O thou of every lond
The moste untrewe creature,
Lo, this schal be thi forfeture."
With that sche bothe his Sones slouh
Before his yhe, and he outdrouh
His swerd and wold have slayn hir tho,
Bot farewel, sche was ago
Unto Pallas the Court above,
Wher as sche pleigneth upon love, 4220
As sche that was with that goddesse,
And he was left in gret destresse.
Thus miht thou se what sorwe it doth
To swere an oth which is noght soth,
In loves cause namely.
Mi Sone, be wel war forthi,
And kep that thou be noght forswore:
For this, which I have told tofore,
Ovide telleth everydel.
Mi fader, I may lieve it wel, 4230
For I have herde it ofte seie
Hou Jason tok the flees aweie
Fro Colchos, bot yit herde I noght
Be whom it was ferst thider broght.
And for it were good to hiere,
If that you liste at mi preiere
To telle, I wolde you beseche.
Mi Sone, who that wole it seche,
In bokes he mai finde it write;
And natheles, if thou wolt wite, 4240
In the manere as thou hast preid
I schal the telle hou it is seid.
The fame of thilke schepes fell,
Which in Colchos, as it befell,
Was al of gold, schal nevere deie;
Wherof I thenke for to seie
Hou it cam ferst into that yle.
Ther was a king in thilke whyle
Towardes Grece, and Athemas
The Cronique of his name was; 4250
And hadde a wif, which Philen hihte,
Be whom, so as fortune it dihte,
He hadde of children yonge tuo.
Frixus the ferste was of tho,
A knave child, riht fair withalle;
A dowhter ek, the which men calle
Hellen, he hadde be this wif.
Bot for ther mai no mannes lif
Endure upon this Erthe hiere,
This worthi queene, as thou miht hiere, 4260
Er that the children were of age,
Tok of hire ende the passage,
With gret worschipe and was begrave.
What thing it liketh god to have
It is gret reson to ben his;
Forthi this king, so as it is,
With gret suffrance it underfongeth:
And afterward, as him belongeth,
Whan it was time forto wedde,
A newe wif he tok to bedde, 4270
Which Yno hihte and was a Mayde,
And ek the dowhter, as men saide,
Of Cadme, which a king also
Was holde in thilke daies tho.
Whan Yno was the kinges make,
Sche caste hou that sche mihte make
These children to here fader lothe,
And schope a wyle ayein hem bothe,
Which to the king was al unknowe.
A yeer or tuo sche let do sowe 4280
The lond with sode whete aboute,
Wherof no corn mai springen oute;
And thus be sleyhte and be covine
Aros the derthe and the famine
Thurghout the lond in such a wise,
So that the king a sacrifise
Upon the point of this destresse
To Ceres, which is the goddesse
Of corn, hath schape him forto yive,
To loke if it mai be foryive, 4290
The meschief which was in his lond.
Bot sche, which knew tofor the hond
The circumstance of al this thing,
Ayein the cominge of the king
Into the temple, hath schape so,
Of hire acord that alle tho
Whiche of the temple prestes were
Have seid and full declared there
Unto the king, bot if so be
That he delivere the contre 4300
Of Frixus and of Hellen bothe,
With whom the goddes ben so wrothe,
That whil tho children ben therinne,
Such tilthe schal noman beginne,
Wherof to gete him eny corn.
Thus was it seid, thus was it sworn
Of all the Prestes that ther are;
And sche which causeth al this fare
Seid ek therto what that sche wolde,
And every man thanne after tolde 4310
So as the queene hem hadde preid.
The king, which hath his Ere leid,
And lieveth al that evere he herde,
Unto here tale thus ansuerde,
And seith that levere him is to chese
Hise children bothe forto lese,
Than him and al the remenant
Of hem whiche are aportenant
Unto the lond which he schal kepe:
And bad his wif to take kepe 4320
In what manere is best to done,
That thei delivered weren sone
Out of this world. And sche anon
Tuo men ordeigneth forto gon;
Bot ferst sche made hem forto swere
That thei the children scholden bere
Unto the See, that non it knowe,
And hem therinne bothe throwe.
The children to the See ben lad,
Wher in the wise as Yno bad 4330
These men be redy forto do.
Bot the goddesse which Juno
Is hote, appiereth in the stede,
And hath unto the men forbede
That thei the children noght ne sle;
Bot bad hem loke into the See
And taken hiede of that thei sihen.
Ther swam a Schep tofore here yhen,
Whos flees of burned gold was al;
And this goddesse forth withal 4340
Comandeth that withoute lette
Thei scholde anon these children sette
Above upon this Schepes bak;
And al was do, riht as sche spak,
Wherof the men gon hom ayein.
And fell so, as the bokes sein,
Hellen the yonge Mayden tho,
Which of the See was wo bego,
For pure drede hire herte hath lore,
That fro the Schep, which hath hire bore, 4350
As sche that was swounende feint,
Sche fell, and hath hirselve dreint;
With Frixus and this Schep forth swam,
Til he to thyle of Colchos cam,
Where Juno the goddesse he fond,
Which tok the Schep unto the lond,
And sette it there in such a wise
As thou tofore hast herd devise,
Wherof cam after al the wo,
Why Jason was forswore so 4360
Unto Medee, as it is spoke.
Mi fader, who that hath tobroke
His trouthe, as ye have told above,
He is noght worthi forto love
Ne be beloved, as me semeth:
Bot every newe love quemeth
To him which newefongel is.
And natheles nou after this,
If that you list to taken hiede
Upon mi Schrifte to procede, 4370
In loves cause ayein the vice
Of covoitise and Avarice
What ther is more I wolde wite.
Mi Sone, this I finde write,
Ther is yit on of thilke brood,
Which only for the worldes good,
To make a Tresor of Moneie,
Put alle conscience aweie:
Wherof in thi confession
The name and the condicion 4380
I schal hierafterward declare,
Which makth on riche, an other bare.
Upon the bench sittende on hih
With Avarice Usure I sih,
Full clothed of his oghne suite,
Which after gold makth chace and suite
With his brocours, that renne aboute
Lich unto racches in a route.
Such lucre is non above grounde,
Which is noght of tho racches founde; 4390
For wher thei se beyete sterte,
That schal hem in no wise asterte,
Bot thei it dryve into the net
Of lucre, which Usure hath set.
Usure with the riche duelleth,
To al that evere he beith and selleth
He hath ordeined of his sleyhte
Mesure double and double weyhte:
Outward he selleth be the lasse,
And with the more he makth his tasse, 4400
Wherof his hous is full withinne.
He reccheth noght, be so he winne,
Though that ther lese ten or tuelve:
His love is al toward himselve
And to non other, bot he se
That he mai winne suche thre;
For wher he schal oght yive or lene,
He wol ayeinward take a bene,
Ther he hath lent the smale pese.
And riht so ther ben manye of these 4410
Lovers, that thogh thei love a lyte,
That scarsly wolde it weie a myte,
Yit wolde thei have a pound again,
As doth Usure in his bargain.
Bot certes such usure unliche,
It falleth more unto the riche,
Als wel of love as of beyete,
Than unto hem that be noght grete,
And, as who seith, ben simple and povere;
For sielden is whan thei recovere, 4420
Bot if it be thurgh gret decerte.
And natheles men se poverte
With porsuite and continuance
Fulofte make a gret chevance
And take of love his avantage,
Forth with the help of his brocage,
That maken seme wher is noght.
And thus fulofte is love boght
For litel what, and mochel take,
With false weyhtes that thei make. 4430
Nou, Sone, of that I seide above
Thou wost what Usure is of love:
Tell me forthi what so thou wilt,
If thou therof hast eny gilt.
Mi fader, nay, for ought I hiere.
For of tho pointz ye tolden hiere
I wol you be mi trouthe assure,
Mi weyhte of love and mi mesure
Hath be mor large and mor certein
Than evere I tok of love ayein: 4440
For so yit couthe I nevere of sleyhte,
To take ayein be double weyhte
Of love mor than I have yive.
For als so wiss mot I be schrive
And have remission of Sinne,
As so yit couthe I nevere winne,
Ne yit so mochel, soth to sein,
That evere I mihte have half ayein
Of so full love as I have lent:
And if myn happ were so wel went, 4450
That for the hole I mihte have half,
Me thenkth I were a goddeshalf.
For where Usure wole have double,
Mi conscience is noght so trouble,
I biede nevere as to my del
Bot of the hole an halvendel;
That is non excess, as me thenketh.
Bot natheles it me forthenketh;
For wel I wot that wol noght be,
For every day the betre I se 4460
That hou so evere I yive or lene
Mi love in place ther I mene,
For oght that evere I axe or crave,
I can nothing ayeinward have.
Bot yit for that I wol noght lete,
What so befalle of mi beyete,
That I ne schal hire yive and lene
Mi love and al mi thoght so clene,
That toward me schal noght beleve.
And if sche of hire goode leve 4470
Rewarde wol me noght again,
I wot the laste of my bargain
Schal stonde upon so gret a lost,
That I mai neveremor the cost
Recovere in this world til I die.
So that touchende of this partie
I mai me wel excuse and schal;
And forto speke forth withal,
If eny brocour for me wente,
That point cam nevere in myn entente: 4480
So that the more me merveilleth,
What thing it is mi ladi eilleth,
That al myn herte and al my time
Sche hath, and doth no betre bime.
I have herd seid that thoght is fre,
And natheles in privete
To you, mi fader, that ben hiere
Min hole schrifte forto hiere,
I dar min herte wel desclose.
Touchende usure, as I suppose, 4490
Which as ye telle in love is used,
Mi ladi mai noght ben excused;
That for o lokinge of hire ye5
Min hole herte til I dye
With al that evere I may and can
Sche hath me wonne to hire man:
Wherof, me thenkth, good reson wolde
That sche somdel rewarde scholde,
And yive a part, ther sche hath al.
I not what falle hierafter schal, 4500
Bot into nou yit dar I sein,
Hire liste nevere yive ayein
A goodli word in such a wise,
Wherof min hope mihte arise,
Mi grete love to compense.
I not hou sche hire conscience
Excuse wole of this usure;
Be large weyhte and gret mesure
Sche hath mi love, and I have noght
Of that which I have diere boght, 4510
And with myn herte I have it paid;
Bot al that is asyde laid,
And I go loveles aboute.
Hire oghte stonde if ful gret doute,
Til sche redresce such a sinne,
That sche wole al mi love winne
And yifth me noght to live by:
Noght als so moche as "grant mercy"
Hir list to seie, of which I mihte
Som of mi grete peine allyhte. 4520
Bot of this point, lo, thus I fare
As he that paith for his chaffare,
And beith it diere, and yit hath non,
So mot he nedes povere gon:
Thus beie I diere and have no love,
That I ne mai noght come above
To winne of love non encress.
Bot I me wole natheles
Touchende usure of love aquite;
And if mi ladi be to wyte, 4530
I preie to god such grace hir sende
That sche be time it mot amende.
Mi Sone, of that thou hast ansuerd
Touchende Usure I have al herd,
Hou thou of love hast wonne smale:
Bot that thou tellest in thi tale
And thi ladi therof accusest,
Me thenkth tho wordes thou misusest.
For be thin oghne knowlechinge
Thou seist hou sche for o lokinge 4540
Thin hole herte fro the tok:
Sche mai be such, that hire o lok
Is worth thin herte manyfold;
So hast thou wel thin herte sold,
Whan thou hast that is more worth.
And ek of that thou tellest forth,
Hou that hire weyhte of love unevene
Is unto thin, under the hevene
Stod nevere in evene that balance
Which stant in loves governance. 4550
Such is the statut of his lawe,
That thogh thi love more drawe
And peise in the balance more,
Thou miht noght axe ayein therfore
Of duete, bot al of grace.
For love is lord in every place,
Ther mai no lawe him justefie
Be reddour ne be compaignie,
That he ne wole after his wille
Whom that him liketh spede or spille. 4560
To love a man mai wel beginne,
Bot whether he schal lese or winne,
That wot noman til ate laste:
Forthi coveite noght to faste,
Mi Sone, bot abyd thin ende,
Per cas al mai to goode wende.
Bot that thou hast me told and said,
Of o thing I am riht wel paid,
That thou be sleyhte ne be guile
Of no brocour hast otherwhile 4570
Engined love, for such dede
Is sore venged, as I rede.
Brocours of love that deceiven,
No wonder is thogh thei receiven
After the wrong that thei decerven;
For whom as evere that thei serven
And do plesance for a whyle,
Yit ate laste here oghne guile
Upon here oghne hed descendeth,
Which god of his vengance sendeth, 4580
As be ensample of time go
A man mai finde it hath be so.
It fell somtime, as it was sene,
The hihe goddesse and the queene
Juno tho hadde in compainie
A Maiden full of tricherie;
For sche was evere in on acord
With Jupiter, that was hire lord,
To gete him othre loves newe,
Thurgh such brocage and was untrewe 4590
Al otherwise than him nedeth.
Bot sche, which of no schame dredeth,
With queinte wordes and with slyhe
Blente in such wise hir lady yhe,
As sche to whom that Juno triste,
So that therof sche nothing wiste.
Bot so prive mai be nothing,
That it ne comth to knowleching;
Thing don upon the derke nyht
Is after knowe on daies liht: 4600
So it befell, that ate laste
Al that this slyhe maiden caste
Was overcast and overthrowe.
For as the sothe mot be knowe,
To Juno was don understonde
In what manere hir housebonde
With fals brocage hath take usure
Of love mor than his mesure,
Whan he tok othre than his wif,
Wherof this mayden was gultif, 4610
Which hadde ben of his assent.
And thus was al the game schent;
She soffreth him, as sche mot nede,
Bot the brocour of his misdede,
Sche which hir conseil yaf therto,
On hire is the vengance do:
For Juno with hire wordes hote,
This Maiden, which Eccho was hote,
Reproveth and seith in this wise:
"O traiteresse, of which servise 4620
Hast thou thin oghne ladi served!
Thou hast gret peine wel deserved,
That thou canst maken it so queinte,
Thi slyhe wordes forto peinte
Towardes me, that am thi queene,
Wherof thou madest me to wene
That myn housbonde trewe were,
Whan that he loveth elleswhere,
Al be it so him nedeth noght.
Bot upon thee it schal be boght, 4630
Which art prive to tho doinges,
And me fulofte of thi lesinges
Deceived hast: nou is the day
That I thi while aquite may;
And for thou hast to me conceled
That my lord hath with othre deled,
I schal thee sette in such a kende,
That evere unto the worldes ende
Al that thou hierest thou schalt telle,
And clappe it out as doth a belle." 4640
And with that word sche was forschape,
Ther may no vois hire mouth ascape,
What man that in the wodes crieth,
Withoute faile Eccho replieth,
And what word that him list to sein,
The same word sche seith ayein.
Thus sche, which whilom hadde leve
To duelle in chambre, mot beleve
In wodes and on helles bothe,
For such brocage as wyves lothe, 4650
Which doth here lordes hertes change
And love in other place strange.
Forthi, if evere it so befalle,
That thou, mi Sone, amonges alle
Be wedded man, hold that thou hast,
For thanne al other love is wast.
O wif schal wel to thee suffise,
And thanne, if thou for covoitise
Of love woldest axe more,
Thou scholdest don ayein the lore 4660
Of alle hem that trewe be.
Mi fader, as in this degre
My conscience is noght accused;
For I no such brocage have used,
Wherof that lust of love is wonne.
Forthi spek forth, as ye begonne,
Of Avarice upon mi schrifte.
Mi Sone, I schal the branches schifte
Be ordre so as thei ben set,
On whom no good is wel beset. 4670
Blinde Avarice of his lignage
For conseil and for cousinage,
To be withholde ayein largesse,
Hath on, whos name is seid Skarsnesse,
The which is kepere of his hous,
And is so thurghout averous,
That he no good let out of honde;
Thogh god himself it wolde fonde,
Of yifte scholde he nothing have;
And if a man it wolde crave, 4680
He moste thanne faile nede,
Wher god himselve mai noght spede.
And thus Skarsnesse in every place
Be reson mai no thonk porchace,
And natheles in his degree
Above all othre most prive
With Avarice stant he this.
For he governeth that ther is
In ech astat of his office
After the reule of thilke vice; 4690
He takth, he kepth, he halt, he bint,
That lihtere is to fle the flint
Than gete of him in hard or neisshe
Only the value of a reysshe
Of good in helpinge of an other,
Noght thogh it were his oghne brother.
For in the cas of yifte and lone
Stant every man for him al one,
Him thenkth of his unkindeschipe
That him nedeth no felaschipe: 4700
Be so the bagge and he acorden,
Him reccheth noght what men recorden
Of him, or it be evel or good.
For al his trust is on his good,
So that al one he falleth ofte,
Whan he best weneth stonde alofte,
Als wel in love as other wise;
For love is evere of som reprise
To him that wole his love holde.
Forthi, mi Sone, as thou art holde, 4710
Touchende of this tell me thi schrifte:
Hast thou be scars or large of yifte
Unto thi love, whom thou servest?
For after that thou wel deservest
Of yifte, thou miht be the bet;
For that good holde I wel beset,
For why thou miht the betre fare;
Thanne is no wisdom forto spare.
For thus men sein, in every nede
He was wys that ferst made mede; 4720
For where as mede mai noght spede,
I not what helpeth other dede:
Fulofte he faileth of his game
That wol with ydel hand reclame
His hauk, as many a nyce doth.
Forthi, mi Sone, tell me soth
And sei the trouthe, if thou hast be
Unto thy love or skars or fre.
Mi fader, it hath stonde thus,
That if the tresor of Cresus 4730
And al the gold Octovien,
Forth with the richesse Yndien
Of Perles and of riche stones,
Were al togedre myn at ones,
I sette it at nomore acompte
Than wolde a bare straw amonte,
To yive it hire al in a day,
Be so that to that suete may
I myhte like or more or lesse.
And thus be cause of my scarsnesse 4740
Ye mai wel understonde and lieve
That I schal noght the worse achieve
The pourpos which is in my thoght.
Bot yit I yaf hir nevere noght,
Ne therto dorste a profre make;
For wel I wot sche wol noght take,
And yive wol sche noght also,
Sche is eschu of bothe tuo.
And this I trowe be the skile
Towardes me, for sche ne wile 4750
That I have eny cause of hope,
Noght also mochel as a drope.
Bot toward othre, as I mai se,
Sche takth and yifth in such degre,
That as be weie of frendlihiede
Sche can so kepe hir wommanhiede,
That every man spekth of hir wel.
Bot sche wole take of me no del,
And yit sche wot wel that I wolde
Yive and do bothe what I scholde 4760
To plesen hire in al my myht:
Be reson this wot every wyht,
For that mai be no weie asterte,
Ther sche is maister of the herte,
Sche mot be maister of the good.
For god wot wel that al my mod
And al min herte and al mi thoght
And al mi good, whil I have oght,
Als freliche as god hath it yive,
It schal ben hires, while I live, 4770
Riht as hir list hirself commande.
So that it nedeth no demande,
To axe of me if I be scars
To love, for as to tho pars
I wole ansuere and seie no.
Mi Sone, that is riht wel do.
For often times of scarsnesse
It hath be sen, that for the lesse
Is lost the more, as thou schalt hiere
A tale lich to this matiere. 4780
Skarsnesse and love acorden nevere,
For every thing is wel the levere,
Whan that a man hath boght it diere:
And forto speke in this matiere,
For sparinge of a litel cost
Fulofte time a man hath lost
The large cote for the hod.
What man that scars is of his good
And wol noght yive, he schal noght take:
With yifte a man mai undertake 4790
The hihe god to plese and queme,
With yifte a man the world mai deme;
For every creature bore,
If thou him yive, is glad therfore,
And every gladschipe, as I finde,
Is confort unto loves kinde
And causeth ofte a man to spede.
So was he wys that ferst yaf mede,
For mede kepeth love in house;
Bot wher the men ben coveitouse 4800
And sparen forto yive a part,
Thei knowe noght Cupides art:
For his fortune and his aprise
Desdeigneth alle coveitise
And hateth alle nygardie.
And forto loke of this partie,
A soth ensample, hou it is so,
I finde write of Babio;
Which hadde a love at his menage,
Ther was non fairere of hire age, 4810
And hihte Viola be name;
Which full of youthe and ful of game
Was of hirself, and large and fre,
Bot such an other chinche as he
Men wisten noght in al the lond,
And hadde affaited to his hond
His servant, the which Spodius
Was hote. And in this wise thus
The worldes good of sufficance
Was had, bot likinge and plesance, 4820
Of that belongeth to richesse
Of love, stod in gret destresse;
So that this yonge lusty wyht
Of thing which fell to loves riht
Was evele served overal,
That sche was wo bego withal,
Til that Cupide and Venus eke
A medicine for the seke
Ordeigne wolden in this cas.
So as fortune thanne was, 4830
Of love upon the destine
It fell, riht as it scholde be,
A freissh, a fre, a frendly man
That noght of Avarice can,
Which Croceus be name hihte,
Toward this swete caste his sihte,
And ther sche was cam in presence.
Sche sih him large of his despence,
And amorous and glad of chiere,
So that hir liketh wel to hiere 4840
The goodly wordes whiche he seide;
And therupon of love he preide,
Of love was al that he mente,
To love and for sche scholde assente,
He yaf hire yiftes evere among.
Bot for men sein that mede is strong,
It was wel seene at thilke tyde;
For as it scholde of ryht betyde,
This Viola largesce hath take
And the nygard sche hath forsake: 4850
Of Babio sche wol no more,
For he was grucchende everemore,
Ther was with him non other fare
Bot forto prinche and forto spare,
Of worldes muk to gete encress.
So goth the wrecche loveles,
Bejaped for his Skarcete,
And he that large was and fre
And sette his herte to despende,
This Croceus, the bowe bende, 4860
Which Venus tok him forto holde,
And schotte als ofte as evere he wolde.
Lo, thus departeth love his lawe,
That what man wol noght be felawe
To yive and spende, as I thee telle,
He is noght worthi forto duelle
In loves court to be relieved.
Forthi, my Sone, if I be lieved,
Thou schalt be large of thi despence.
Mi fader, in mi conscience 4870
If ther be eny thing amis,
I wol amende it after this,
Toward mi love namely.
Mi Sone, wel and redely
Thou seist, so that wel paid withal
I am, and forthere if I schal
Unto thi schrifte specefie
Of Avarices progenie
What vice suieth after this,
Thou schalt have wonder hou it is, 4880
Among the folk in eny regne
That such a vice myhte regne,
Which is comun at alle assaies,
As men mai finde nou adaies.
The vice lik unto the fend,
Which nevere yit was mannes frend,
And cleped is Unkindeschipe,
Of covine and of felaschipe
With Avarice he is withholde.
Him thenkth he scholde noght ben holde 4890
Unto the moder which him bar;
Of him mai nevere man be war,
He wol noght knowe the merite,
For that he wolde it noght aquite;
Which in this world is mochel used,
And fewe ben therof excused.
To telle of him is endeles,
Bot this I seie natheles,
Wher as this vice comth to londe,
Ther takth noman his thonk on honde; 4900
Thogh he with alle his myhtes serve,
He schal of him no thonk deserve.
He takth what eny man wol yive,
Bot whil he hath o day to live,
He wol nothing rewarde ayein;
He gruccheth forto yive o grein,
Wher he hath take a berne full.
That makth a kinde herte dull,
To sette his trust in such frendschipe,
Ther as he fint no kindeschipe; 4910
And forto speke wordes pleine,
Thus hiere I many a man compleigne,
That nou on daies thou schalt finde
At nede fewe frendes kinde;
What thou hast don for hem tofore,
It is foryete, as it were lore.
The bokes speken of this vice,
And telle hou god of his justice,
Be weie of kinde and ek nature
And every lifissh creature, 4920
The lawe also, who that it kan,
Thei dampnen an unkinde man.
It is al on to seie unkinde
As thing which don is ayein kinde,
For it with kinde nevere stod
A man to yelden evel for good.
For who that wolde taken hede,
A beste is glad of a good dede,
And loveth thilke creature
After the lawe of his nature 4930
Which doth him ese. And forto se
Of this matiere Auctorite,
Fulofte time it hath befalle;
Wherof a tale amonges alle,
Which is of olde ensamplerie,
I thenke forto specefie.
To speke of an unkinde man,
I finde hou whilom Adrian,
Of Rome which a gret lord was,
Upon a day as he per cas 4940
To wode in his huntinge wente,
It hapneth at a soudein wente,
After his chace as he poursuieth,
Thurgh happ, the which noman eschuieth,
He fell unwar into a pet,
Wher that it mihte noght be let.
The pet was dep and he fell lowe,
That of his men non myhte knowe
Wher he becam, for non was nyh,
Which of his fall the meschief syh. 4950
And thus al one ther he lay
Clepende and criende al the day
For socour and deliverance,
Til ayein Eve it fell per chance,
A while er it began to nyhte,
A povere man, which Bardus hihte,
Cam forth walkende with his asse,
And hadde gadred him a tasse
Of grene stickes and of dreie
To selle, who that wolde hem beie, 4960
As he which hadde no liflode,
Bot whanne he myhte such a lode
To toune with his Asse carie.
And as it fell him forto tarie
That ilke time nyh the pet,
And hath the trusse faste knet,
He herde a vois, which cride dimme,
And he his Ere to the brimme
Hath leid, and herde it was a man,
Which seide, "Ha, help hier Adrian, 4970
And I wol yiven half mi good."
The povere man this understod,
As he that wolde gladly winne,
And to this lord which was withinne
He spak and seide, "If I thee save,
What sikernesse schal I have
Of covenant, that afterward
Thou wolt me yive such reward
As thou behihtest nou tofore?"
That other hath his othes swore 4980
Be hevene and be the goddes alle,
If that it myhte so befalle
That he out of the pet him broghte,
Of all the goodes whiche he oghte
He schal have evene halvendel.
This Bardus seide he wolde wel;
And with this word his Asse anon
He let untrusse, and therupon
Doun goth the corde into the pet,
To which he hath at ende knet 4990
A staf, wherby, he seide, he wolde
That Adrian him scholde holde.
Bot it was tho per chance falle,
Into that pet was also falle
An Ape, which at thilke throwe,
Whan that the corde cam doun lowe,
Al sodeinli therto he skipte
And it in bothe hise armes clipte.
And Bardus with his Asse anon
Him hath updrawe, and he is gon. 5000
But whan he sih it was an Ape,
He wende al hadde ben a jape
Of faierie, and sore him dradde:
And Adrian eftsone gradde
For help, and cride and preide faste,
And he eftsone his corde caste;
Bot whan it cam unto the grounde,
A gret Serpent it hath bewounde,
The which Bardus anon up drouh.
And thanne him thoghte wel ynouh, 5010
It was fantosme, bot yit he herde
The vois, and he therto ansuerde,
"What wiht art thou in goddes name?"
"I am," quod Adrian, "the same,
Whos good thou schalt have evene half."
Quod Bardus, "Thanne a goddes half
The thridde time assaie I schal":
And caste his corde forth withal
Into the pet, and whan it cam
To him, this lord of Rome it nam, 5020
And therupon him hath adresced,
And with his hand fulofte blessed,
And thanne he bad to Bardus hale.
And he, which understod his tale,
Betwen him and his Asse al softe
Hath drawe and set him up alofte
Withouten harm al esely.
He seith noght ones "grant merci,"
Bot strauhte him forth to the cite,
And let this povere Bardus be. 5030
And natheles this simple man
His covenant, so as he can,
Hath axed; and that other seide,
If so be that he him umbreide
Of oght that hath be speke or do,
It schal ben venged on him so,
That him were betre to be ded.
And he can tho non other red,
But on his asse ayein he caste
His trusse, and hieth homward faste: 5040
And whan that he cam hom to bedde,
He tolde his wif hou that he spedde.
Bot finaly to speke oght more
Unto this lord he dradde him sore,
So that a word ne dorste he sein:
And thus upon the morwe ayein,
In the manere as I recorde,
Forth with his Asse and with his corde
To gadre wode, as he dede er,
He goth; and whan that he cam ner 5050
Unto the place where he wolde,
He hath his Ape anon beholde,
Which hadde gadred al aboute
Of stickes hiere and there a route,
And leide hem redy to his hond,
Wherof he made his trosse and bond;
Fro dai to dai and in this wise
This Ape profreth his servise,
So that he hadde of wode ynouh.
Upon a time and as he drouh 5060
Toward the wode, he sih besyde
The grete gastli Serpent glyde,
Til that sche cam in his presence,
And in hir kinde a reverence
Sche hath him do, and forth withal
A Ston mor briht than a cristall
Out of hir mouth tofore his weie
Sche let doun falle, and wente aweie,
For that he schal noght ben adrad.
Tho was this povere Bardus glad, 5070
Thonkende god, and to the Ston
He goth an takth it up anon,
And hath gret wonder in his wit
Hou that the beste him hath aquit,
Wher that the mannes Sone hath failed,
For whom he hadde most travailed.
Bot al he putte in goddes hond,
And torneth hom, and what he fond
Unto his wif he hath it schewed;
And thei, that weren bothe lewed, 5080
Acorden that he scholde it selle.
And he no lengere wolde duelle,
Bot forth anon upon the tale
The Ston he profreth to the sale;
And riht as he himself it sette,
The jueler anon forth fette
The gold and made his paiement,
Therof was no delaiement.
Thus whan this Ston was boght and sold,
Homward with joie manyfold 5090
This Bardus goth; and whan he cam
Hom to his hous and that he nam
His gold out of his Purs, withinne
He fond his Ston also therinne,
Wherof for joie his herte pleide,
Unto his wif and thus he seide,
"Lo, hier my gold, lo, hier mi Ston!"
His wif hath wonder therupon,
And axeth him hou that mai be.
"Nou be mi trouthe I not," quod he, 5100
"Bot I dar swere upon a bok,
That to my Marchant I it tok,
And he it hadde whan I wente:
So knowe I noght to what entente
It is nou hier, bot it be grace.
Forthi tomorwe in other place
I wole it fonde forto selle,
And if it wol noght with him duelle,
Bot crepe into mi purs ayein,
Than dar I saufly swere and sein, 5110
It is the vertu of the Ston."
The morwe cam, and he is gon
To seche aboute in other stede
His Ston to selle, and he so dede,
And lefte it with his chapman there.
Bot whan that he cam elleswhere,
In presence of his wif at hom,
Out of his Purs and that he nom
His gold, he fond his Ston withal:
And thus it fell him overal, 5120
Where he it solde in sondri place,
Such was the fortune and the grace.
Bot so wel may nothing ben hidd,
That it nys ate laste kidd:
This fame goth aboute Rome
So ferforth, that the wordes come
To themperour Justinian;
And he let sende for the man,
And axede him hou that it was.
And Bardus tolde him al the cas, 5130
Hou that the worm and ek the beste,
Althogh thei maden no beheste,
His travail hadden wel aquit;
Bot he which hadde a mannes wit,
And made his covenant be mouthe
And swor therto al that he couthe
To parte and yiven half his good,
Hath nou foryete hou that it stod,
As he which wol no trouthe holde.
This Emperour al that he tolde 5140
Hath herd, and thilke unkindenesse
He seide he wolde himself redresse.
And thus in court of juggement
This Adrian was thanne assent,
And the querele in audience
Declared was in the presence
Of themperour and many mo;
Wherof was mochel speche tho
And gret wondringe among the press.
Bot ate laste natheles 5150
For the partie which hath pleigned
The lawe hath diemed and ordeigned
Be hem that were avised wel,
That he schal have the halvendel
Thurghout of Adrianes good.
And thus of thilke unkinde blod
Stant the memoire into this day,
Wherof that every wysman may
Ensamplen him, and take in mynde
What schame it is to ben unkinde; 5160
Ayein the which reson debateth,
And every creature it hateth.
Forthi, mi Sone, in thin office
I rede fle that ilke vice.
For riht as the Cronique seith
Of Adrian, hou he his feith
Foryat for worldes covoitise,
Fulofte in such a maner wise
Of lovers nou a man mai se
Full manye that unkinde be: 5170
For wel behote and evele laste
That is here lif; for ate laste,
Whan that thei have here wille do,
Here love is after sone ago.
What seist thou, Sone, to this cas?
Mi fader, I wol seie Helas,
That evere such a man was bore,
Which whan he hath his trouthe suore
And hath of love what he wolde,
That he at eny time scholde 5180
Evere after in his herte finde
To falsen and to ben unkinde.
Bot, fader, as touchende of me,
I mai noght stonde in that degre;
For I tok nevere of love why,
That I ne mai wel go therby
And do my profit elles where,
For eny sped I finde there.
I dar wel thenken al aboute,
Bot I ne dar noght speke it oute; 5190
And if I dorste, I wolde pleigne,
That sche for whom I soffre peine
And love hir evere aliche hote,
That nouther yive ne behote
In rewardinge of mi servise
It list hire in no maner wise.
I wol noght say that sche is kinde,
And forto sai sche is unkinde,
That dar I noght; bot god above,
Which demeth every herte of love, 5200
He wot that on myn oghne side
Schal non unkindeschipe abide:
If it schal with mi ladi duelle,
Therof dar I nomore telle.
Nou, goode fader, as it is,
Tell me what thenketh you of this.
Mi Sone, of that unkindeschipe,
The which toward thi ladischipe
Thou pleignest, for sche wol thee noght,
Thou art to blamen of that thoght. 5210
For it mai be that thi desir,
Thogh it brenne evere as doth the fyr,
Per cas to hire honour missit,
Or elles time com noght yit,
Which standt upon thi destine:
Forthi, mi Sone, I rede thee,
Thenk wel, what evere the befalle;
For noman hath his lustes alle.
Bot as thou toldest me before
That thou to love art noght forswore, 5220
And hast don non unkindenesse,
Thou miht therof thi grace blesse:
And lef noght that continuance;
For ther mai be no such grevance
To love, as is unkindeschipe.
Wherof to kepe thi worschipe,
So as these olde bokes tale,
I schal thee telle a redi tale:
Nou herkne and be wel war therby,
For I wol telle it openly. 5230
Mynos, as telleth the Poete,
The which whilom was king of Crete,
A Sone hadde and Androchee
He hihte: and so befell that he
Unto Athenes forto lere
Was send, and so he bar him there,
For that he was of hih lignage,
Such pride he tok in his corage,
That he foryeten hath the Scoles,
And in riote among the foles 5240
He dede manye thinges wronge;
And useth thilke lif so longe,
Til ate laste of that he wroghte
He fond the meschief which he soghte,
Wherof it fell that he was slain.
His fader, which it herde sain,
Was wroth, and al that evere he mihte,
Of men of Armes he him dighte
A strong pouer, and forth he wente
Unto Athenys, where he brente 5250
The pleine contre al aboute:
The Cites stode of him in doute,
As thei that no defence hadde
Ayein the pouer which he ladde.
Eges, which was there king,
His conseil tok upon this thing,
For he was thanne in the Cite:
So that of pes into tretee
Betwen Mynos and Eges
Thei felle, and ben acorded thus; 5260
That king Mynos fro yer to yeere
Receive schal, as thou schalt here,
Out of Athenys for truage
Of men that were of myhti Age
Persones nyne, of whiche he schal
His wille don in special
For vengance of his Sones deth.
Non other grace ther ne geth,
Bot forto take the juise;
And that was don in such a wise, 5270
Which stod upon a wonder cas.
For thilke time so it was,
Wherof that men yit rede and singe,
King Mynos hadde in his kepinge
A cruel Monstre, as seith the geste:
For he was half man and half beste,
And Minotaurus he was hote,
Which was begete in a riote
Upon Pasiphe, his oghne wif,
Whil he was oute upon the strif 5280
Of thilke grete Siege at Troie.
Bot sche, which lost hath alle joie,
Whan that sche syh this Monstre bore,
Bad men ordeigne anon therfore:
And fell that ilke time thus,
Ther was a Clerk, on Dedalus,
Which hadde ben of hire assent

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