Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins
Incipit Liber Octavus: Part 2
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4
1612 And hapneth thilke time so, 1613 The lordes bothe and the comune 1614 The hihe festes of Neptune 1615 Upon the stronde at the rivage, 1616 As it was custumme and usage, 1617 Sollempneliche thei besihe. 1618 Whan thei this strange vessel syhe 1619 Come in, and hath his Seil avaled, 1620 The toun therof hath spoke and taled. 1621 The lord which of the cite was, 1622 Whos name is Athenagoras, 1623 Was there, and seide he wolde se 1624 What Schip it is, and who thei be 1625 That ben therinne: and after sone, 1626 Whan that he sih it was to done, 1627 His barge was for him arraied, 1628 And he goth forth and hath assaied. 1629 He fond the Schip of gret Array, 1630 Bot what thing it amonte may, 1631 He seth thei maden hevy chiere, 1632 Bot wel him thenkth be the manere 1633 That thei be worthi men of blod, 1634 And axeth of hem hou it stod; 1635 And thei him tellen al the cas, 1636 Hou that here lord fordrive was, 1637 And what a sorwe that he made, 1638 Of which ther mai noman him glade. 1639 He preith that he here lord mai se, 1640 Bot thei him tolde it mai noght be, 1641 For he lith in so derk a place, 1642 That ther may no wiht sen his face: 1643 Bot for al that, thogh hem be loth, 1644 He fond the ladre and doun he goth, 1645 And to him spak, bot non ansuere 1646 Ayein of him ne mihte he bere 1647 For oght that he can don or sein; 1648 And thus he goth him up ayein. 1649 Tho was ther spoke in many wise 1650 Amonges hem that weren wise, 1651 Now this, now that, bot ate laste 1652 The wisdom of the toun this caste, 1653 That yonge Taise were asent. 1654 For if ther be amendement 1655 To glade with this woful king, 1656 Sche can so moche of every thing, 1657 That sche schal gladen him anon. 1658 A Messager for hire is gon, 1659 And sche cam with hire Harpe on honde, 1660 And seide hem that sche wolde fonde 1661 Be alle weies that sche can, 1662 To glade with this sory man. 1663 Bot what he was sche wiste noght, 1664 Bot al the Schip hire hath besoght 1665 That sche hire wit on him despende, 1666 In aunter if he myhte amende, 1667 And sein it schal be wel aquit. 1668 Whan sche hath understonden it, 1669 Sche goth hir doun, ther as he lay, 1670 Wher that sche harpeth many a lay 1671 And lich an Angel sang withal; 1672 Bot he nomore than the wal 1673 Tok hiede of eny thing he herde. 1674 And whan sche sih that he so ferde, 1675 Sche falleth with him into wordes, 1676 And telleth him of sondri bordes, 1677 And axeth him demandes strange, 1678 Wherof sche made his herte change, 1679 And to hire speche his Ere he leide 1680 And hath merveile of that sche seide. 1681 For in proverbe and in probleme 1682 Sche spak, and bad he scholde deme 1683 In many soubtil question: 1684 Bot he for no suggestioun 1685 Which toward him sche couthe stere, 1686 He wolde noght o word ansuere, 1687 Bot as a madd man ate laste 1688 His heved wepende awey he caste, 1689 And half in wraththe he bad hire go. 1690 Bot yit sche wolde noght do so, 1691 And in the derke forth sche goth, 1692 Til sche him toucheth, and he wroth, 1693 And after hire with his hond 1694 He smot: and thus whan sche him fond 1695 Desesed, courtaisly sche saide, 1696 "Avoi, mi lord, I am a Maide; 1697 And if ye wiste what I am, 1698 And out of what lignage I cam, 1699 Ye wolde noght be so salvage." 1700 With that he sobreth his corage 1701 And put awey his hevy chiere. 1702 Bot of hem tuo a man mai liere 1703 What is to be so sibb of blod: 1704 Non wiste of other hou it stod, 1705 And yit the fader ate laste 1706 His herte upon this maide caste, 1707 That he hire loveth kindely, 1708 And yit he wiste nevere why. 1709 Bot al was knowe er that thei wente; 1710 For god, which wot here hol entente, 1711 Here hertes bothe anon descloseth. 1712 This king unto this maide opposeth, 1713 And axeth ferst what was hire name, 1714 And wher sche lerned al this game, 1715 And of what ken that sche was come. 1716 And sche, that hath hise wordes nome, 1717 Ansuerth and seith, "My name is Thaise, 1718 That was som time wel at aise: 1719 In Tharse I was forthdrawe and fed, 1720 Ther lerned I, til I was sped, 1721 Of that I can. Mi fader eke 1722 I not wher that I scholde him seke; 1723 He was a king, men tolde me: 1724 Mi Moder dreint was in the See." 1725 Fro point to point al sche him tolde, 1726 That sche hath longe in herte holde, 1727 And nevere dorste make hir mone 1728 Bot only to this lord al one, 1729 To whom hire herte can noght hele, 1730 Torne it to wo, torne it to wele, 1731 Torne it to good, torne it to harm. 1732 And he tho toke hire in his arm, 1733 Bot such a joie as he tho made 1734 Was nevere sen; thus be thei glade, 1735 That sory hadden be toforn. 1736 Fro this day forth fortune hath sworn 1737 To sette him upward on the whiel; 1738 So goth the world, now wo, now wel: 1739 This king hath founde newe grace, 1740 So that out of his derke place 1741 He goth him up into the liht, 1742 And with him cam that swete wiht, 1743 His doghter Thaise, and forth anon 1744 Thei bothe into the Caban gon 1745 Which was ordeigned for the king, 1746 And ther he dede of al his thing, 1747 And was arraied realy. 1748 And out he cam al openly, 1749 Wher Athenagoras he fond, 1750 The which was lord of al the lond: 1751 He preith the king to come and se 1752 His castell bothe and his cite, 1753 And thus thei gon forth alle in fiere, 1754 This king, this lord, this maiden diere. 1755 This lord tho made hem riche feste 1756 With every thing which was honeste, 1757 To plese with this worthi king, 1758 Ther lacketh him no maner thing: 1759 Bot yit for al his noble array 1760 Wifles he was into that day, 1761 As he that yit was of yong Age; 1762 So fell ther into his corage 1763 The lusti wo, the glade peine 1764 Of love, which noman restreigne 1765 Yit nevere myhte as nou tofore. 1766 This lord thenkth al his world forlore, 1767 Bot if the king wol don him grace; 1768 He waiteth time, he waiteth place, 1769 Him thoghte his herte wol tobreke, 1770 Til he mai to this maide speke 1771 And to hir fader ek also 1772 For mariage: and it fell so, 1773 That al was do riht as he thoghte, 1774 His pourpos to an ende he broghte, 1775 Sche weddeth him as for hire lord; 1776 Thus be thei alle of on acord. 1777 Whan al was do riht as thei wolde, 1778 The king unto his Sone tolde 1779 Of Tharse thilke traiterie, 1780 And seide hou in his compaignie 1781 His doghter and himselven eke 1782 Schull go vengance forto seke. 1783 The Schipes were redy sone, 1784 And whan thei sihe it was to done, 1785 Withoute lette of eny wente 1786 With Seil updrawe forth thei wente 1787 Towardes Tharse upon the tyde. 1788 Bot he that wot what schal betide, 1789 The hihe god, which wolde him kepe, 1790 Whan that this king was faste aslepe, 1791 Be nyhtes time he hath him bede 1792 To seile into an other stede: 1793 To Ephesim he bad him drawe, 1794 And as it was that time lawe, 1795 He schal do there his sacrifise; 1796 And ek he bad in alle wise 1797 That in the temple amonges alle 1798 His fortune, as it is befalle, 1799 Touchende his doghter and his wif 1800 He schal beknowe upon his lif. 1801 The king of this Avisioun 1802 Hath gret ymaginacioun, 1803 What thing it signefie may; 1804 And natheles, whan it was day, 1805 He bad caste Ancher and abod; 1806 And whil that he on Ancher rod, 1807 The wynd, which was tofore strange, 1808 Upon the point began to change, 1809 And torneth thider as it scholde. 1810 Tho knew he wel that god it wolde, 1811 And bad the Maister make him yare, 1812 Tofor the wynd for he wol fare 1813 To Ephesim, and so he dede. 1814 And whanne he cam unto the stede 1815 Where as he scholde londe, he londeth 1816 With al the haste he may, and fondeth 1817 To schapen him be such a wise, 1818 That he may be the morwe arise 1819 And don after the mandement 1820 Of him which hath him thider sent. 1821 And in the wise that he thoghte, 1822 Upon the morwe so he wroghte; 1823 His doghter and his Sone he nom, 1824 And forth unto the temple he com 1825 With a gret route in compaignie, 1826 Hise yiftes forto sacrifie. 1827 The citezeins tho herden seie 1828 Of such a king that cam to preie 1829 Unto Diane the godesse, 1830 And left al other besinesse, 1831 Thei comen thider forto se 1832 The king and the solempnete. 1833 With worthi knyhtes environed 1834 The king himself hath abandoned 1835 Into the temple in good entente. 1836 The dore is up, and he in wente, 1837 Wher as with gret devocioun 1838 Of holi contemplacioun 1839 Withinne his herte he made his schrifte; 1840 And after that a riche yifte 1841 He offreth with gret reverence, 1842 And there in open Audience 1843 Of hem that stoden thanne aboute, 1844 He tolde hem and declareth oute 1845 His hap, such as him is befalle, 1846 Ther was nothing foryete of alle. 1847 His wif, as it was goddes grace, 1848 Which was professed in the place, 1849 As sche that was Abbesse there, 1850 Unto his tale hath leid hire Ere: 1851 Sche knew the vois and the visage, 1852 For pure joie as in a rage 1853 Sche strawhte unto him al at ones, 1854 And fell aswoune upon the stones, 1855 Wherof the temple flor was paved. 1856 Sche was anon with water laved, 1857 Til sche cam to hirself ayein, 1858 And thanne sche began to sein: 1859 "Ha, blessed be the hihe sonde, 1860 That I mai se myn housebonde, 1861 That whilom he and I were on!" 1862 The king with that knew hire anon, 1863 And tok hire in his Arm and kiste; 1864 And al the toun thus sone it wiste. 1865 Tho was ther joie manyfold, 1866 For every man this tale hath told 1867 As for miracle, and were glade, 1868 Bot nevere man such joie made 1869 As doth the king, which hath his wif. 1870 And whan men herde hou that hir lif 1871 Was saved, and be whom it was, 1872 Thei wondren alle of such a cas: 1873 Thurgh al the Lond aros the speche 1874 Of Maister Cerymon the leche 1875 And of the cure which he dede. 1876 The king himself tho hath him bede, 1877 And ek this queene forth with him, 1878 That he the toun of Ephesim 1879 Wol leve and go wher as thei be, 1880 For nevere man of his degre 1881 Hath do to hem so mochel good; 1882 And he his profit understod, 1883 And granteth with hem forto wende. 1884 And thus thei maden there an ende, 1885 And token leve and gon to Schipe 1886 With al the hole felaschipe. 1887 This king, which nou hath his desir, 1888 Seith he wol holde his cours to Tyr. 1889 Thei hadden wynd at wille tho, 1890 With topseilcole and forth they go, 1891 And striken nevere, til thei come 1892 To Tyr, where as thei havene nome, 1893 And londen hem with mochel blisse. 1894 Tho was ther many a mowth to kisse, 1895 Echon welcometh other hom, 1896 Bot whan the queen to londe com, 1897 And Thaise hir doghter be hir side, 1898 The joie which was thilke tyde 1899 Ther mai no mannes tunge telle: 1900 Thei seiden alle, "Hier comth the welle 1901 Of alle wommannysshe grace." 1902 The king hath take his real place, 1903 The queene is into chambre go: 1904 Ther was gret feste arraied tho; 1905 Whan time was, thei gon to mete, 1906 Alle olde sorwes ben foryete, 1907 And gladen hem with joies newe: 1908 The descoloured pale hewe 1909 Is now become a rody cheke, 1910 Ther was no merthe forto seke, 1911 Bot every man hath that he wolde. 1912 The king, as he wel couthe and scholde, 1913 Makth to his poeple riht good chiere; 1914 And after sone, as thou schalt hiere, 1915 A parlement he hath sommoned, 1916 Wher he his doghter hath coroned 1917 Forth with the lord of Mitelene, 1918 That on is king, that other queene: 1919 And thus the fadres ordinance 1920 This lond hath set in governance, 1921 And seide thanne he wolde wende 1922 To Tharse, forto make an ende 1923 Of that his doghter was betraied. 1924 Therof were alle men wel paied, 1925 And seide hou it was forto done: 1926 The Schipes weren redi sone, 1927 And strong pouer with him he tok; 1928 Up to the Sky he caste his lok, 1929 And syh the wynd was covenable. 1930 Thei hale up Ancher with the cable, 1931 The Seil on hih, the Stiere in honde, 1932 And seilen, til thei come alonde 1933 At Tharse nyh to the cite; 1934 And whan thei wisten it was he, 1935 The toun hath don him reverence. 1936 He telleth hem the violence, 1937 Which the tretour Strangulio 1938 And Dionise him hadde do 1939 Touchende his dowhter, as yee herde; 1940 And whan thei wiste hou that it ferde, 1941 As he which pes and love soghte, 1942 Unto the toun this he besoghte, 1943 To don him riht in juggement. 1944 Anon thei were bothe asent 1945 With strengthe of men, and comen sone, 1946 And as hem thoghte it was to done, 1947 Atteint thei were be the lawe 1948 And diemed forto honge and drawe, 1949 And brent and with the wynd toblowe, 1950 That al the world it myhte knowe: 1951 And upon this condicion 1952 The dom in execucion 1953 Was put anon withoute faile. 1954 And every man hath gret mervaile, 1955 Which herde tellen of this chance, 1956 And thonketh goddes pourveance, 1957 Which doth mercy forth with justice. 1958 Slain is the moerdrer and moerdrice 1959 Thurgh verray trowthe of rihtwisnesse, 1960 And thurgh mercy sauf is simplesse 1961 Of hire whom mercy preserveth; 1962 Thus hath he wel that wel deserveth. 1963 Whan al this thing is don and ended, 1964 This king, which loved was and frended, 1965 A lettre hath, which cam to him 1966 Be Schipe fro Pentapolim, 1967 Be which the lond hath to him write, 1968 That he wolde understonde and wite 1969 Hou in good mynde and in good pes 1970 Ded is the king Artestrates, 1971 Wherof thei alle of on acord 1972 Him preiden, as here liege lord, 1973 That he the lettre wel conceive 1974 And come his regne to receive, 1975 Which god hath yove him and fortune; 1976 And thus besoghte the commune 1977 Forth with the grete lordes alle. 1978 This king sih how it was befalle, 1979 Fro Tharse and in prosperite 1980 He tok his leve of that Cite 1981 And goth him into Schipe ayein: 1982 The wynd was good, the See was plein, 1983 Hem nedeth noght a Riff to slake, 1984 Til thei Pentapolim have take. 1985 The lond, which herde of that tidinge, 1986 Was wonder glad of his cominge; 1987 He resteth him a day or tuo 1988 And tok his conseil to him tho, 1989 And sette a time of Parlement, 1990 Wher al the lond of on assent 1991 Forth with his wif hath him corouned, 1992 Wher alle goode him was fuisouned. 1993 Lo, what it is to be wel grounded: 1994 For he hath ferst his love founded 1995 Honesteliche as forto wedde, 1996 Honesteliche his love he spedde 1997 And hadde children with his wif, 1998 And as him liste he ladde his lif; 1999 And in ensample his lif was write, 2000 That alle lovers myhten wite 2001 How ate laste it schal be sene 2002 Of love what thei wolden mene. 2003 For se now on that other side, 2004 Antiochus with al his Pride, 2005 Which sette his love unkindely, 2006 His ende he hadde al sodeinly, 2007 Set ayein kinde upon vengance, 2008 And for his lust hath his penance. 2009 Lo thus, mi Sone, myht thou liere 2010 What is to love in good manere, 2011 And what to love in other wise: 2012 The mede arist of the servise; 2013 Fortune, thogh sche be noght stable, 2014 Yit at som time is favorable 2015 To hem that ben of love trewe. 2016 Bot certes it is forto rewe 2017 To se love ayein kinde falle, 2018 For that makth sore a man to falle, 2019 As thou myht of tofore rede. 2020 Forthi, my Sone, I wolde rede 2021 To lete al other love aweie, 2022 Bot if it be thurgh such a weie 2023 As love and reson wolde acorde. 2024 For elles, if that thou descorde, 2025 And take lust as doth a beste, 2026 Thi love mai noght ben honeste; 2027 For be no skile that I finde 2028 Such lust is noght of loves kinde. 2029 Mi fader, hou so that it stonde, 2030 Youre tale is herd and understonde, 2031 As thing which worthi is to hiere, 2032 Of gret ensample and gret matiere, 2033 Wherof, my fader, god you quyte. 2034 Bot in this point miself aquite 2035 I mai riht wel, that nevere yit 2036 I was assoted in my wit, 2037 Bot only in that worthi place 2038 Wher alle lust and alle grace 2039 Is set, if that danger ne were. 2040 Bot that is al my moste fere: 2041 I not what ye fortune acompte, 2042 Bot what thing danger mai amonte 2043 I wot wel, for I have assaied; 2044 For whan myn herte is best arraied 2045 And I have al my wit thurghsoght 2046 Of love to beseche hire oght, 2047 For al that evere I skile may, 2048 I am concluded with a nay: 2049 That o sillable hath overthrowe 2050 A thousend wordes on a rowe 2051 Of suche as I best speke can; 2052 Thus am I bot a lewed man. 2053 Bot, fader, for ye ben a clerk 2054 Of love, and this matiere is derk, 2055 And I can evere leng the lasse, 2056 Bot yit I mai noght let it passe, 2057 Youre hole conseil I beseche, 2058 That ye me be som weie teche 2059 What is my beste, as for an ende. 2060 Mi Sone, unto the trouthe wende 2061 Now wol I for the love of thee, 2062 And lete alle othre truffles be. 2063 The more that the nede is hyh, 2064 The more it nedeth to be slyh 2065 To him which hath the nede on honde. 2066 I have wel herd and understonde, 2067 Mi Sone, al that thou hast me seid, 2068 And ek of that thou hast me preid, 2069 Nou at this time that I schal 2070 As for conclusioun final 2071 Conseile upon thi nede sette: 2072 So thenke I finaly to knette 2073 This cause, where it is tobroke, 2074 And make an ende of that is spoke. 2075 For I behihte thee that yifte 2076 Ferst whan thou come under my schrifte, 2077 That thogh I toward Venus were, 2078 Yit spak I suche wordes there, 2079 That for the Presthod which I have, 2080 Min ordre and min astat to save, 2081 I seide I wolde of myn office 2082 To vertu more than to vice 2083 Encline, and teche thee mi lore. 2084 Forthi to speken overmore 2085 Of love, which thee mai availe, 2086 Tak love where it mai noght faile: 2087 For as of this which thou art inne, 2088 Be that thou seist it is a Sinne, 2089 And Sinne mai no pris deserve, 2090 Withoute pris and who schal serve, 2091 I not what profit myhte availe. 2092 Thus folweth it, if thou travaile, 2093 Wher thou no profit hast ne pris, 2094 Thou art toward thiself unwis: 2095 And sett thou myhtest lust atteigne, 2096 Of every lust thende is a peine, 2097 And every peine is good to fle; 2098 So it is wonder thing to se, 2099 Why such a thing schal be desired. 2100 The more that a Stock is fyred, 2101 The rathere into Aisshe it torneth; 2102 The fot which in the weie sporneth 2103 Fulofte his heved hath overthrowe; 2104 Thus love is blind and can noght knowe 2105 Wher that he goth, til he be falle: 2106 Forthi, bot if it so befalle 2107 With good conseil that he be lad, 2108 Him oghte forto ben adrad. 2109 For conseil passeth alle thing 2110 To him which thenkth to ben a king; 2111 And every man for his partie 2112 A kingdom hath to justefie, 2113 That is to sein his oghne dom. 2114 If he misreule that kingdom, 2115 He lest himself, and that is more 2116 Than if he loste Schip and Ore 2117 And al the worldes good withal: 2118 For what man that in special 2119 Hath noght himself, he hath noght elles, 2120 Nomor the perles than the schelles; 2121 Al is to him of o value: 2122 Thogh he hadde at his retenue 2123 The wyde world ryht as he wolde, 2124 Whan he his herte hath noght withholde 2125 Toward himself, al is in vein. 2126 And thus, my Sone, I wolde sein, 2127 As I seide er, that thou aryse, 2128 Er that thou falle in such a wise 2129 That thou ne myht thiself rekevere; 2130 For love, which that blind was evere, 2131 Makth alle his servantz blinde also. 2132 My Sone, and if thou have be so, 2133 Yit is it time to withdrawe, 2134 And set thin herte under that lawe, 2135 The which of reson is governed 2136 And noght of will. And to be lerned, 2137 Ensamples thou hast many on 2138 Of now and ek of time gon, 2139 That every lust is bot a while; 2140 And who that wole himself beguile, 2141 He may the rathere be deceived. 2142 Mi Sone, now thou hast conceived 2143 Somwhat of that I wolde mene; 2144 Hierafterward it schal be sene 2145 If that thou lieve upon mi lore; 2146 For I can do to thee nomore 2147 Bot teche thee the rihte weie: 2148 Now ches if thou wolt live or deie. 2149 Mi fader, so as I have herd 2150 Your tale, bot it were ansuerd, 2151 I were mochel forto blame. 2152 Mi wo to you is bot a game, 2153 That fielen noght of that I fiele; 2154 The fielinge of a mannes Hiele 2155 Mai noght be likned to the Herte: 2156 I mai noght, thogh I wolde, asterte, 2157 And ye be fre from al the peine 2158 Of love, wherof I me pleigne. 2159 It is riht esi to comaunde; 2160 The hert which fre goth on the launde 2161 Not of an Oxe what him eileth; 2162 It falleth ofte a man merveileth 2163 Of that he seth an other fare, 2164 Bot if he knewe himself the fare, 2165 And felt it as it is in soth, 2166 He scholde don riht as he doth, 2167 Or elles werse in his degre: 2168 For wel I wot, and so do ye, 2169 That love hath evere yit ben used, 2170 So mot I nedes ben excused. 2171 Bot, fader, if ye wolde thus 2172 Unto Cupide and to Venus 2173 Be frendlich toward mi querele, 2174 So that myn herte were in hele 2175 Of love which is in mi briest, 2176 I wot wel thanne a betre Prest 2177 Was nevere mad to my behove. 2178 Bot al the whiles that I hove 2179 In noncertein betwen the tuo, 2180 And not if I to wel or wo 2181 Schal torne, that is al my drede, 2182 So that I not what is to rede. 2183 Bot for final conclusion 2184 I thenke a Supplicacion 2185 With pleine wordes and expresse 2186 Wryte unto Venus the goddesse, 2187 The which I preie you to bere 2188 And bringe ayein a good ansuere. 2189 Tho was betwen mi Prest and me 2190 Debat and gret perplexete: 2191 Mi resoun understod him wel, 2192 And knew it was sothe everydel 2193 That he hath seid, bot noght forthi 2194 Mi will hath nothing set therby. 2195 For techinge of so wis a port 2196 Is unto love of no desport; 2197 Yit myhte nevere man beholde 2198 Reson, wher love was withholde, 2199 Thei be noght of o governance. 2200 And thus we fellen in distance, 2201 Mi Prest and I, bot I spak faire, 2202 And thurgh mi wordes debonaire 2203 Thanne ate laste we acorden, 2204 So that he seith he wol recorden 2205 To speke and stonde upon mi syde 2206 To Venus bothe and to Cupide; 2207 And bad me wryte what I wolde, 2208 And seith me trewly that he scholde 2209 Mi lettre bere unto the queene. 2210 And I sat doun upon the grene 2211 Fulfilt of loves fantasie, 2212 And with the teres of myn ije 2213 In stede of enke I gan to wryte 2214 The wordes whiche I wolde endite 2215 Unto Cupide and to Venus, 2216 And in mi lettre I seide thus. 2217 The wofull peine of loves maladie, 2218 Ayein the which mai no phisique availe, 2219 Min herte hath so bewhaped with sotie, 2220 That wher so that I reste or I travaile, 2221 I finde it evere redy to assaile 2222 Mi resoun, which that can him noght defende: 2223 Thus seche I help, wherof I mihte amende. 2224 Ferst to Nature if that I me compleigne, 2225 Ther finde I hou that every creature 2226 Som time ayer hath love in his demeine, 2227 So that the litel wrenne in his mesure 2228 Hath yit of kinde a love under his cure; 2229 And I bot on desire, of which I misse: 2230 And thus, bot I, hath every kinde his blisse. 2231 The resoun of my wit it overpasseth, 2232 Of that Nature techeth me the weie 2233 To love, and yit no certein sche compasseth 2234 Hou I schal spede, and thus betwen the tweie 2235 I stonde, and not if I schal live or deie. 2236 For thogh reson ayein my will debate, 2237 I mai noght fle, that I ne love algate. 2238 Upon miself is thilke tale come, 2239 Hou whilom Pan, which is the god of kinde, 2240 With love wrastlede and was overcome: 2241 For evere I wrastle and evere I am behinde, 2242 That I no strengthe in al min herte finde, 2243 Wherof that I mai stonden eny throwe; 2244 So fer mi wit with love is overthrowe. 2245 Whom nedeth help, he mot his helpe crave, 2246 Or helpeles he schal his nede spille: 2247 Pleinly thurghsoght my wittes alle I have, 2248 Bot non of hem can helpe after mi wille; 2249 And als so wel I mihte sitte stille, 2250 As preie unto mi lady eny helpe: 2251 Thus wot I noght wherof miself to helpe. 2252 Unto the grete Jove and if I bidde, 2253 To do me grace of thilke swete tunne, 2254 Which under keie in his celier amidde 2255 Lith couched, that fortune is overrunne, 2256 Bot of the bitter cuppe I have begunne, 2257 I not hou ofte, and thus finde I no game; 2258 For evere I axe and evere it is the same. 2259 I se the world stonde evere upon eschange, 2260 Nou wyndes loude, and nou the weder softe; 2261 I mai sen ek the grete mone change, 2262 And thing which nou is lowe is eft alofte; 2263 The dredfull werres into pes fulofte 2264 Thei torne; and evere is Danger in o place, 2265 Which wol noght change his will to do me grace. 2266 Bot upon this the grete clerc Ovide, 2267 Of love whan he makth his remembrance, 2268 He seith ther is the blinde god Cupide, 2269 The which hath love under his governance, 2270 And in his hond with many a fyri lance 2271 He woundeth ofte, ther he wol noght hele; 2272 And that somdiel is cause of mi querele. 2273 Ovide ek seith that love to parforne 2274 Stant in the hond of Venus the goddesse, 2275 Bot whan sche takth hir conseil with Satorne, 2276 Ther is no grace, and in that time, I gesse, 2277 Began mi love, of which myn hevynesse 2278 Is now and evere schal, bot if I spede: 2279 So wot I noght miself what is to rede. 2280 Forthi to you, Cupide and Venus bothe, 2281 With al myn hertes obeissance I preie, 2282 If ye were ate ferste time wrothe, 2283 Whan I began to love, as I you seie, 2284 Nou stynt, and do thilke infortune aweie, 2285 So that Danger, which stant of retenue 2286 With my ladi, his place mai remue. 2287 O thou Cupide, god of loves lawe, 2288 That with thi Dart brennende hast set afyre 2289 Min herte, do that wounde be withdrawe, 2290 Or yif me Salve such as I desire: 2291 For Service in thi Court withouten hyre 2292 To me, which evere yit have kept thin heste, 2293 Mai nevere be to loves lawe honeste. 2294 O thou, gentile Venus, loves queene, 2295 Withoute gult thou dost on me thi wreche; 2296 Thou wost my peine is evere aliche grene 2297 For love, and yit I mai it noght areche: 2298 This wold I for my laste word beseche, 2299 That thou mi love aquite as I deserve, 2300 Or elles do me pleinly forto sterve. 2301 Whanne I this Supplicacioun 2302 With good deliberacioun, 2303 In such a wise as ye nou wite, 2304 Hadde after min entente write 2305 Unto Cupide and to Venus, 2306 This Prest which hihte Genius 2307 It tok on honde to presente, 2308 On my message and forth he wente 2309 To Venus, forto wite hire wille. 2310 And I bod in the place stille, 2311 And was there bot a litel while, 2312 Noght full the montance of a Mile, 2313 Whan I behield and sodeinly 2314 I sih wher Venus stod me by. 2315 So as I myhte, under a tre 2316 To grounde I fell upon mi kne, 2317 And preide hire forto do me grace: 2318 Sche caste hire chiere upon mi face, 2319 And as it were halvinge a game 2320 Sche axeth me what is mi name. 2321 "Ma dame," I seide, "John Gower." 2322 "Now John," quod sche, "in my pouer 2323 Thou most as of thi love stonde; 2324 For I thi bille have understonde, 2325 In which to Cupide and to me 2326 Somdiel thou hast compleigned thee, 2327 And somdiel to Nature also. 2328 Bot that schal stonde among you tuo, 2329 For therof have I noght to done; 2330 For Nature is under the Mone 2331 Maistresse of every lives kinde, 2332 Bot if so be that sche mai finde 2333 Som holy man that wol withdrawe 2334 His kindly lust ayein hir lawe; 2335 Bot sielde whanne it falleth so, 2336 For fewe men ther ben of tho, 2337 Bot of these othre ynowe be, 2338 Whiche of here oghne nycete 2339 Ayein Nature and hire office 2340 Deliten hem in sondri vice, 2341 Wherof that sche fulofte hath pleigned, 2342 And ek my Court it hath desdeigned 2343 And evere schal; for it receiveth 2344 Non such that kinde so deceiveth. 2345 For al onliche of gentil love 2346 Mi court stant alle courtz above 2347 And takth noght into retenue 2348 Bot thing which is to kinde due, 2349 For elles it schal be refused. 2350 Wherof I holde thee excused, 2351 For it is manye daies gon, 2352 That thou amonges hem were on 2353 Which of my court hast ben withholde; 2354 So that the more I am beholde 2355 Of thi desese to commune, 2356 And to remue that fortune, 2357 Which manye daies hath the grieved. 2358 Bot if my conseil mai be lieved, 2359 Thou schalt ben esed er thou go 2360 Of thilke unsely jolif wo, 2361 Wherof thou seist thin herte is fyred: 2362 Bot as of that thou hast desired 2363 After the sentence of thi bille, 2364 Thou most therof don at my wille, 2365 And I therof me wole avise. 2366 For be thou hol, it schal suffise: 2367 Mi medicine is noght to sieke 2368 For thee and for suche olde sieke, 2369 Noght al per chance as ye it wolden, 2370 Bot so as ye be reson scholden, 2371 Acordant unto loves kinde. 2372 For in the plit which I thee finde, 2373 So as mi court it hath awarded, 2374 Thou schalt be duely rewarded; 2375 And if thou woldest more crave, 2376 It is no riht that thou it have." 2377 Venus, which stant withoute lawe 2378 In noncertein, bot as men drawe 2379 Of Rageman upon the chance, 2380 Sche leith no peis in the balance, 2381 Bot as hir lyketh forto weie; 2382 The trewe man fulofte aweie 2383 Sche put, which hath hir grace bede, 2384 And set an untrewe in his stede. 2385 Lo, thus blindly the world sche diemeth 2386 In loves cause, as tome siemeth: 2387 I not what othre men wol sein, 2388 Bot I algate am so besein, 2389 And stonde as on amonges alle 2390 Which am out of hir grace falle: 2391 It nedeth take no witnesse, 2392 For sche which seid is the goddesse, 2393 To whether part of love it wende, 2394 Hath sett me for a final ende 2395 The point wherto that I schal holde. 2396 For whan sche hath me wel beholde, 2397 Halvynge of scorn, sche seide thus: 2398 "Thou wost wel that I am Venus, 2399 Which al only my lustes seche; 2400 And wel I wot, thogh thou beseche 2401 Mi love, lustes ben ther none, 2402 Whiche I mai take in thi persone; 2403 For loves lust and lockes hore 2404 In chambre acorden neveremore, 2405 And thogh thou feigne a yong corage, 2406 It scheweth wel be the visage 2407 That olde grisel is no fole: 2408 There ben fulmanye yeres stole 2409 With thee and with suche othre mo, 2410 That outward feignen youthe so 2411 And ben withinne of pore assay. 2412 Min herte wolde and I ne may 2413 Is noght beloved nou adayes; 2414 Er thou make eny suche assaies 2415 To love, and faile upon the fet, 2416 Betre is to make a beau retret; 2417 For thogh thou myhtest love atteigne, 2418 Yit were it bot an ydel peine, 2419 Whan that thou art noght sufficant 2420 To holde love his covenant. 2421 Forthi tak hom thin herte ayein, 2422 That thou travaile noght in vein, 2423 Wherof my Court may be deceived. 2424 I wot and have it wel conceived, 2425 Hou that thi will is good ynowh; 2426 Bot mor behoveth to the plowh, 2427 Wherof the lacketh, as I trowe: 2428 So sitte it wel that thou beknowe 2429 Thi fieble astat, er thou beginne 2430 Thing wher thou miht non ende winne. 2431 What bargain scholde a man assaie, 2432 Whan that him lacketh forto paie? 2433 Mi Sone, if thou be wel bethoght, 2434 This toucheth thee; foryet it noght: 2435 The thing is torned into was; 2436 That which was whilom grene gras, 2437 Is welked hey at time now. 2438 Forthi mi conseil is that thou 2439 Remembre wel hou thou art old." 2440 Whan Venus hath hir tale told, 2441 And I bethoght was al aboute, 2442 Tho wiste I wel withoute doute, 2443 That ther was no recoverir; 2444 And as a man the blase of fyr 2445 With water quencheth, so ferd I; 2446 A cold me cawhte sodeinly, 2447 For sorwe that myn herte made 2448 Mi dedly face pale and fade 2449 Becam, and swoune I fell to grounde. 2450 And as I lay the same stounde, 2451 Ne fully quik ne fully ded, 2452 Me thoghte I sih tofor myn hed 2453 Cupide with his bowe bent, 2454 And lich unto a Parlement, 2455 Which were ordeigned for the nones, 2456 With him cam al the world at ones 2457 Of gentil folk that whilom were 2458 Lovers, I sih hem alle there 2459 Forth with Cupide in sondri routes. 2460 Min yhe and as I caste aboutes, 2461 To knowe among hem who was who, 2462 I sih wher lusty Youthe tho, 2463 As he which was a Capitein, 2464 Tofore alle othre upon the plein 2465 Stod with his route wel begon, 2466 Here hevedes kempt, and therupon 2467 Garlandes noght of o colour, 2468 Some of the lef, some of the flour, 2469 And some of grete Perles were; 2470 The newe guise of Beawme there, 2471 With sondri thinges wel devised, 2472 I sih, wherof thei ben queintised. 2473 It was al lust that thei with ferde, 2474 Ther was no song that I ne herde, 2475 Which unto love was touchende; 2476 Of Pan and al that was likende 2477 As in Pipinge of melodie 2478 Was herd in thilke compaignie 2479 So lowde, that on every side 2480 It thoghte as al the hevene cride 2481 In such acord and such a soun 2482 Of bombard and of clarion 2483 With Cornemuse and Schallemele, 2484 That it was half a mannes hele 2485 So glad a noise forto hiere. 2486 And as me thoghte, in this manere 2487 Al freissh I syh hem springe and dance, 2488 And do to love her entendance 2489 After the lust of youthes heste. 2490 Ther was ynowh of joie and feste, 2491 For evere among thei laghe and pleie, 2492 And putten care out of the weie, 2493 That he with hem ne sat ne stod. 2494 And overthis I understod, 2495 So as myn Ere it myhte areche, 2496 The moste matiere of her speche 2497 Was al of knyhthod and of Armes, 2498 And what it is to ligge in armes 2499 With love, whanne it is achieved. 2500 Ther was Tristram, which was believed 2501 With bele Ysolde, and Lancelot 2502 Stod with Gunnore, and Galahot 2503 With his ladi, and as me thoghte, 2504 I syh wher Jason with him broghte 2505 His love, which that Creusa hihte, 2506 And Hercules, which mochel myhte, 2507 Was ther berende his grete Mace, 2508 And most of alle in thilke place 2509 He peyneth him to make chiere 2510 With Eolen, which was him diere. 2511 Theses, thogh he were untrewe 2512 To love, as alle wommen knewe, 2513 Yit was he there natheles 2514 With Phedra, whom to love he ches: 2515 Of Grece ek ther was Thelamon, 2516 Which fro the king Lamenedon 2517 At Troie his doghter refte aweie, 2518 Eseonen, as for his preie, 2519 Which take was whan Jason cam 2520 Fro Colchos, and the Cite nam 2521 In vengance of the ferste hate; 2522 That made hem after to debate, 2523 Whan Priamus the newe toun 2524 Hath mad. And in avisioun 2525 Me thoghte that I sih also 2526 Ector forth with his brethren tuo; 2527 Himself stod with Pantaselee, 2528 And next to him I myhte se, 2529 Wher Paris stod with faire Eleine, 2530 Which was his joie sovereine; 2531 And Troilus stod with Criseide, 2532 Bot evere among, althogh he pleide, 2533 Be semblant he was hevy chiered, 2534 For Diomede, as him was liered, 2535 Cleymeth to ben his parconner. 2536 And thus full many a bacheler, 2537 A thousend mo than I can sein, 2538 With Yowthe I sih ther wel besein 2539 Forth with here loves glade and blithe. 2540 And some I sih whiche ofte sithe 2541 Compleignen hem in other wise; 2542 Among the whiche I syh Narcise 2543 And Piramus, that sory were. 2544 The worthy Grek also was there, 2545 Achilles, which for love deide: 2546 Agamenon ek, as men seide, 2547 And Menelay the king also 2548 I syh, with many an other mo, 2549 Which hadden be fortuned sore 2550 In loves cause. And overmore 2551 Of wommen in the same cas, 2552 With hem I sih wher Dido was, 2553 Forsake which was with Enee; 2554 And Phillis ek I myhte see, 2555 Whom Demephon deceived hadde; 2556 And Adriagne hir sorwe ladde, 2557 For Theses hir Soster tok 2558 And hire unkindely forsok. 2559 I sih ther ek among the press 2560 Compleignende upon Hercules 2561 His ferste love Deyanire, 2562 Which sette him afterward afyre: 2563 Medea was there ek and pleigneth 2564 Upon Jason, for that he feigneth, 2565 Withoute cause and tok a newe; 2566 Sche seide, "Fy on alle untrewe!" 2567 I sih there ek Deijdamie, 2568 Which hadde lost the compaignie 2569 Of Achilles, whan Diomede 2570 To Troie him fette upon the nede. 2571 Among these othre upon the grene 2572 I syh also the wofull queene 2573 Cleopatras, which in a Cave 2574 With Serpentz hath hirself begrave 2575 Alquik, and so sche was totore, 2576 For sorwe of that sche hadde lore 2577 Antonye, which hir love hath be: 2578 And forth with hire I sih Tisbee, 2579 Which on the scharpe swerdes point 2580 For love deide in sory point; 2581 And as myn Ere it myhte knowe, 2582 Sche seide, "Wo worthe alle slowe!" 2583 The pleignte of Progne and Philomene 2584 Ther herde I what it wolde mene, 2585 How Teres of his untrouthe 2586 Undede hem bothe, and that was routhe; 2587 And next to hem I sih Canace, 2588 Which for Machaire hir fader grace 2589 Hath lost, and deide in wofull plit. 2590 And as I sih in my spirit, 2591 Me thoghte amonges othre thus 2592 The doghter of king Priamus, 2593 Polixena, whom Pirrus slowh, 2594 Was there and made sorwe ynowh, 2595 As sche which deide gulteles 2596 For love, and yit was loveles. 2597 And forto take the desport, 2598 I sih there some of other port, 2599 And that was Circes and Calipse, 2600 That cowthen do the Mone eclipse, 2601 Of men and change the liknesses, 2602 Of Artmagique Sorceresses; 2603 Thei hielde in honde manyon, 2604 To love wher thei wolde or non. 2605 Bot above alle that ther were 2606 Of wommen I sih foure there, 2607 Whos name I herde most comended: 2608 Be hem the Court stod al amended; 2609 For wher thei comen in presence, 2610 Men deden hem the reverence, 2611 As thogh they hadden be goddesses, 2612 Of al this world or Emperesses. 2613 And as me thoghte, an Ere I leide, 2614 And herde hou that these othre seide, 2615 "Lo, these ben the foure wyves, 2616 Whos feith was proeved in her lyves: 2617 For in essample of alle goode 2618 With Mariage so thei stode, 2619 That fame, which no gret thing hydeth, 2620 Yit in Cronique of hem abydeth." 2621 Penolope that on was hote, 2622 Whom many a knyht hath loved hote, 2623 Whil that hire lord Ulixes lay 2624 Full many a yer and many a day 2625 Upon the grete Siege of Troie: 2626 Bot sche, which hath no worldes joie 2627 Bot only of hire housebonde, 2628 Whil that hir lord was out of londe, 2629 So wel hath kept hir wommanhiede, 2630 That al the world therof tok hiede, 2631 And nameliche of hem in Grece. 2632 That other womman was Lucrece, 2633 Wif to the Romain Collatin; 2634 And sche constreigned of Tarquin 2635 To thing which was ayein hir wille, 2636 Sche wolde noght hirselven stille, 2637 Bot deide only for drede of schame 2638 In keping of hire goode name, 2639 As sche which was on of the beste. 2640 The thridde wif was hote Alceste, 2641 Which whanne Ametus scholde dye 2642 Upon his grete maladye, 2643 Sche preide unto the goddes so, 2644 That sche receyveth al the wo 2645 And deide hirself to yive him lif: 2646 Lo, if this were a noble wif. 2647 The ferthe wif which I ther sih, 2648 I herde of hem that were nyh 2649 Hou sche was cleped Alcione, 2650 Which to Seyix hir lord al one 2651 And to nomo hire body kepte; 2652 And whan sche sih him dreynt, sche lepte 2653 Into the wawes where he swam, 2654 And there a Sefoul sche becam, 2655 And with hire wenges him bespradde 2656 For love which to him sche hadde. 2657 Lo, these foure were tho 2658 Whiche I sih, as me thoghte tho, 2659 Among the grete compaignie 2660 Which Love hadde forto guye: 2661 Bot Youthe, which in special 2662 Of Loves Court was Mareschal, 2663 So besy was upon his lay, 2664 That he non hiede where I lay 2665 Hath take. And thanne, as I behield, 2666 Me thoghte I sih upon the field, 2667 Where Elde cam a softe pas 2668 Toward Venus, ther as sche was. 2669 With him gret compaignie he ladde, 2670 Bot noght so manye as Youthe hadde: 2671 The moste part were of gret Age, 2672 And that was sene in the visage, 2673 And noght forthi, so as thei myhte, 2674 Thei made hem yongly to the sihte: 2675 Bot yit herde I no pipe there 2676 To make noise in mannes Ere, 2677 Bot the Musette I myhte knowe, 2678 For olde men which souneth lowe, 2679 With Harpe and Lute and with Citole. 2680 The hovedance and the Carole, 2681 In such a wise as love hath bede, 2682 A softe pas thei dance and trede; 2683 And with the wommen otherwhile 2684 With sobre chier among thei smyle, 2685 For laghtre was ther non on hyh. 2686 And natheles full wel I syh 2687 That thei the more queinte it made 2688 For love, in whom thei weren glade. 2689 And there me thoghte I myhte se 2690 The king David with Bersabee, 2691 And Salomon was noght withoute; 2692 Passende an hundred on a route 2693 Of wyves and of Concubines, 2694 Juesses bothe and Sarazines, 2695 To him I sih alle entendant: 2696 I not if he was sufficant, 2697 Bot natheles for al his wit 2698 He was attached with that writ 2699 Which love with his hond enseleth, 2700 Fro whom non erthly man appeleth. 2701 And overthis, as for a wonder, 2702 With his leon which he put under, 2703 With Dalida Sampson I knew, 2704 Whos love his strengthe al overthrew. 2705 I syh there Aristotle also, 2706 Whom that the queene of Grece so 2707 Hath bridled, that in thilke time 2708 Sche made him such a Silogime, 2709 That he foryat al his logique; 2710 Ther was non art of his Practique, 2711 Thurgh which it mihte ben excluded 2712 That he ne was fully concluded 2713 To love, and dede his obeissance. 2714 And ek Virgile of aqueintance 2715 I sih, wher he the Maiden preide, 2716 Which was the doghter, as men seide, 2717 Of themperour whilom of Rome; 2718 Sortes and Plato with him come, 2719 So dede Ovide the Poete. 2720 I thoghte thanne how love is swete, 2721 Which hath so wise men reclamed, 2722 And was miself the lasse aschamed, 2723 Or forto lese or forto winne 2724 In the meschief that I was inne: 2725 And thus I lay in hope of grace. 2726 And whan thei comen to the place 2727 Wher Venus stod and I was falle, 2728 These olde men with o vois alle 2729 To Venus preiden for my sake. 2730 And sche, that myhte noght forsake 2731 So gret a clamour as was there, 2732 Let Pite come into hire Ere; 2733 And forth withal unto Cupide 2734 Sche preith that he upon his side 2735 Me wolde thurgh his grace sende 2736 Som confort, that I myhte amende, 2737 Upon the cas which is befalle. 2738 And thus for me thei preiden alle 2739 Of hem that weren olde aboute, 2740 And ek some of the yonge route, 2741 Of gentilesse and pure trouthe 2742 I herde hem telle it was gret routhe, 2743 That I withouten help so ferde. 2744 And thus me thoghte I lay and herde. 2745 Cupido, which may hurte and hele 2746 In loves cause, as for myn hele 2747 Upon the point which him was preid 2748 Cam with Venus, wher I was leid 2749 Swounende upon the grene gras. 2750 And, as me thoghte , anon ther was 2751 On every side so gret presse, 2752 That every lif began to presse, 2753 I wot noght wel hou many score, 2754 Suche as I spak of now tofore, 2755 Lovers, that comen to beholde, 2756 Bot most of hem that weren olde: 2757 Thei stoden there at thilke tyde, 2758 To se what ende schal betyde 2759 Upon the cure of my sotie. 2760 Tho myhte I hiere gret partie 2761 Spekende, and ech his oghne avis 2762 Hath told, on that, an other this: 2763 Bot among alle this I herde, 2764 Thei weren wo that I so ferde, 2765 And seiden that for no riote 2766 An old man scholde noght assote; 2767 For as thei tolden redely, 2768 Ther is in him no cause why, 2769 Bot if he wolde himself benyce; 2770 So were he wel the more nyce. 2771 And thus desputen some of tho, 2772 And some seiden nothing so, 2773 Bot that the wylde loves rage 2774 In mannes lif forberth non Age; 2775 Whil ther is oyle forto fyre, 2776 The lampe is lyhtly set afyre, 2777 And is fulhard er it be queynt, 2778 Bot only if it be som seint, 2779 Which god preserveth of his grace. 2780 And thus me thoghte, in sondri place 2781 Of hem that walken up and doun 2782 Ther was diverse opinioun: 2783 And for a while so it laste, 2784 Til that Cupide to the laste, 2785 Forth with his moder full avised, 2786 Hath determined and devised 2787 Unto what point he wol descende. 2788 And al this time I was liggende 2789 Upon the ground tofore his yhen, 2790 And thei that my desese syhen 2791 Supposen noght I scholde live; 2792 Bot he, which wolde thanne yive 2793 His grace, so as it mai be, 2794 This blinde god which mai noght se, 2795 Hath groped til that he me fond; 2796 And as he pitte forth his hond 2797 Upon my body, wher I lay, 2798 Me thoghte a fyri Lancegay, 2799 Which whilom thurgh myn herte he caste, 2800 He pulleth oute, and also faste 2801 As this was do, Cupide nam 2802 His weie, I not where he becam, 2803 And so dede al the remenant 2804 Which unto him was entendant, 2805 Of hem that in Avision 2806 I hadde a revelacion, 2807 So as I tolde now tofore. 2808 Bot Venus wente noght therfore, 2809 Ne Genius, whiche thilke time 2810 Abiden bothe faste byme. 2811 And sche which mai the hertes bynde 2812 In loves cause and ek unbinde, 2813 Er I out of mi trance aros, 2814 Venus, which hield a boiste clos, 2815 And wolde noght I scholde deie, 2816 Tok out mor cold than eny keie 2817 An oignement, and in such point 2818 Sche hath my wounded herte enoignt, 2819 My temples and my Reins also. 2820 And forth withal sche tok me tho 2821 A wonder Mirour forto holde, 2822 In which sche bad me to beholde 2823 And taken hiede of that I syhe; 2824 Wherinne anon myn hertes yhe 2825 I caste, and sih my colour fade, 2826 Myn yhen dymme and al unglade, 2827 Mi chiekes thinne, and al my face 2828 With Elde I myhte se deface, 2829 So riveled and so wo besein, 2830 That ther was nothing full ne plein, 2831 I syh also myn heres hore. 2832 Mi will was tho to se nomore 2833 Outwith, for ther was no plesance; 2834 And thanne into my remembrance 2835 I drowh myn olde daies passed, 2836 And as reson it hath compassed, 2837 I made a liknesse of miselve 2838 Unto the sondri Monthes twelve, 2839 Wherof the yeer in his astat 2840 Is mad, and stant upon debat, 2841 That lich til other non acordeth. 2842 For who the times wel recordeth, 2843 And thanne at Marche if he beginne, 2844 Whan that the lusti yeer comth inne, 2845 Til Augst be passed and Septembre, 2846 The myhty youthe he may remembre 2847 In which the yeer hath his deduit 2848 Of gras, of lef, of flour, of fruit, 2849 Of corn and of the wyny grape. 2850 And afterward the time is schape 2851 To frost, to Snow, to Wind, to Rein, 2852 Til eft that Mars be come ayein: 2853 The Wynter wol no Somer knowe, 2854 The grene lef is overthrowe, 2855 The clothed erthe is thanne bare, 2856 Despuiled is the Somerfare, 2857 That erst was hete is thanne chele. 2858 And thus thenkende thoghtes fele, 2859 I was out of mi swoune affraied, 2860 Wherof I sih my wittes straied, 2861 And gan to clepe hem hom ayein. 2862 And whan Resoun it herde sein 2863 That loves rage was aweie, 2864 He cam to me the rihte weie, 2865 And hath remued the sotie 2866 Of thilke unwise fantasie, 2867 Wherof that I was wont to pleigne, 2868 So that of thilke fyri peine 2869 I was mad sobre and hol ynowh. 2870 Venus behield me than and lowh, 2871 And axeth, as it were in game, 2872 What love was. And I for schame 2873 Ne wiste what I scholde ansuere; 2874 And natheles I gan to swere 2875 That be my trouthe I knew him noght; 2876 So ferr it was out of mi thoght, 2877 Riht as it hadde nevere be. 2878 "Mi goode Sone," tho quod sche, 2879 "Now at this time I lieve it wel, 2880 So goth the fortune of my whiel; 2881 Forthi mi conseil is thou leve." 2882 "Ma dame," I seide, "be your leve, 2883 Ye witen wel, and so wot I, 2884 That I am unbehovely 2885 Your Court fro this day forth to serve: 2886 And for I may no thonk deserve, 2887 And also for I am refused, 2888 I preie you to ben excused. 2889 And natheles as for the laste, 2890 Whil that my wittes with me laste, 2891 Touchende mi confession 2892 I axe an absolucion 2893 Of Genius, er that I go." 2894 The Prest anon was redy tho, 2895 And seide, "Sone, as of thi schrifte 2896 Thou hast ful pardoun and foryifte; 2897 Foryet it thou, and so wol I." 2898 "Min holi fader, grant mercy," 2899 Quod I to him, and to the queene 2900 I fell on knes upon the grene, 2901 And tok my leve forto wende. 2902 Bot sche, that wolde make an ende, 2903 As therto which I was most able, 2904 A Peire of Bedes blak as Sable 2905 Sche tok and heng my necke aboute; 2906 Upon the gaudes al withoute 2907 Was write of gold, Por reposer. 2908 "Lo," thus sche seide, "John Gower, 2909 Now thou art ate laste cast, 2910 This have I for thin ese cast, 2911 That thou nomore of love sieche. 2912 Bot my will is that thou besieche 2913 And preie hierafter for the pes, 2914 And that thou make a plein reles 2915 To love, which takth litel hiede 2916 Of olde men upon the nede, 2917 Whan that the lustes ben aweie: 2918 Forthi to thee nys bot o weie, 2919 In which let reson be thi guide; 2920 For he may sone himself misguide, 2921 That seth noght the peril tofore. 2922 Mi Sone, be wel war therfore, 2923 And kep the sentence of my lore 2924 And tarie thou mi Court nomore, 2925 Bot go ther vertu moral duelleth, 2926 Wher ben thi bokes, as men telleth, 2927 Whiche of long time thou hast write. 2928 For this I do thee wel to wite, 2929 If thou thin hele wolt pourchace, 2930 Thou miht noght make suite and chace, 2931 Wher that the game is nought pernable; 2932 It were a thing unresonable, 2933 A man to be so overseie. 2934 Forthi tak hiede of that I seie; 2935 For in the lawe of my comune 2936 We be noght schape to comune, 2937 Thiself and I, nevere after this. 2938 Now have y seid al that ther is 2939 Of love as for thi final ende: 2940 Adieu, for y mot fro the wende." 2941 And with that word al sodeinly, 2942 Enclosid in a sterred sky, 2943 Venus, which is the qweene of love, 2944 Was take in to hire place above, 2945 More wiste y nought wher sche becam. 2946 And thus my leve of hire y nam, 2947 And forth with al the same tide 2948 Hire prest, which wolde nought abide, 2949 Or be me lief or be me loth, 2950 Out of my sighte forth he goth, 2951 And y was left with outen helpe. 2952 So wiste I nought wher of to yelpe, 2953 Bot only that y hadde lore 2954 My time, and was sori ther fore. 2955 And thus bewhapid in my thought, 2956 Whan al was turnyd in to nought, 2957 I stod amasid for a while, 2958 And in my self y gan to smyle 2959 Thenkende uppon the bedis blake, 2960 And how they weren me betake, 2961 For that y schulde bidde and preie. 2962 And whanne y sigh non othre weie 2963 Bot only that y was refusid, 2964 Unto the lif which y hadde usid 2965 I thoughte nevere torne ayein: 2966 And in this wise, soth to seyn, 2967 Homward a softe pas y wente, 2968 Wher that with al myn hol entente 2969 Uppon the point that y am schryve 2970 I thenke bidde whil y live. 2971 He which withinne daies sevene 2972 This large world forth with the hevene 2973 Of his eternal providence 2974 Hath mad, and thilke intelligence 2975 In mannys soule resonable 2976 Hath schape to be perdurable, 2977 Wherof the man of his feture 2978 Above alle erthli creature 2979 Aftir the soule is immortal, 2980 To thilke lord in special, 2981 As he which is of alle thinges 2982 The creatour, and of the kynges 2983 Hath the fortunes uppon honde, 2984 His grace and mercy forto fonde 2985 Uppon my bare knes y preie, 2986 That he this lond in siker weie 2987 Wol sette uppon good governance. 2988 For if men takyn remembrance 2989 What is to live in unite, 2990 Ther ys no staat in his degree 2991 That noughte to desire pes, 2992 With outen which, it is no les, 2993 To seche and loke in to the laste, 2994 Ther may no worldes joye laste. 2995 Ferst forto loke the Clergie, 2996 Hem oughte wel to justefie 2997 Thing which belongith to here cure, 2998 As forto praie and to procure 2999 Oure pes toward the hevene above, 3000 And ek to sette reste and love 3001 Among ous on this erthe hiere. 3002 For if they wroughte in this manere 3003 Aftir the reule of charite, 3004 I hope that men schuldyn se 3005 This lond amende. And ovyr this, 3006 To seche and loke how that it is 3007 Touchende of the chevalerie, 3008 Which forto loke, in som partie 3009 Is worthi forto be comendid, 3010 And in som part to ben amendid, 3011 That of here large retenue 3012 The lond is ful of maintenue, 3013 Which causith that the comune right 3014 In fewe contrees stant upright. 3015 Extorcioun, contekt, ravine 3016 Withholde ben of that covyne, 3017 Aldai men hierin gret compleignte 3018 Of the desease, of the constreignte, 3019 Wher of the poeple is sore oppressid: 3020 God graunte it mote be redressid. 3021 For of knyghthode thordre wolde 3022 That thei defende and kepe scholde 3023 The comun right and the fraunchise 3024 Of holy cherche in alle wise, 3025 So that no wikke man it dere, 3026 And ther fore servith scheld and spere: 3027 Bot for it goth now other weie, 3028 Oure grace goth the more aweie. 3029 And forto lokyn ovyrmore, 3030 Wher of the poeple pleigneth sore, 3031 Toward the lawis of oure lond, 3032 Men sein that trouthe hath broke his bond 3033 And with brocage is goon aweie, 3034 So that no man can se the weie 3035 Wher forto fynde rightwisnesse. 3036 And if men sechin sikernesse 3037 Uppon the lucre of marchandie, 3038 Compassement and tricherie 3039 Of singuler profit to wynne, 3040 Men seyn, is cause of mochil synne, 3041 And namely of divisioun, 3042 Which many a noble worthi toun 3043 Fro welthe and fro prosperite 3044 Hath brought to gret adversite. 3045 So were it good to ben al on, 3046 For mechil grace ther uppon 3047 Unto the Citees schulde falle, 3048 Which myghte availle to ous alle, 3049 If these astatz amendid were, 3050 So that the vertus stodyn there 3051 And that the vices were aweie: 3052 Me thenkth y dorste thanne seie, 3053 This londis grace schulde arise. 3054 Bot yit to loke in othre wise, 3055 Ther is a stat, as ye schul hiere, 3056 Above alle othre on erthe hiere, 3057 Which hath the lond in his balance: 3058 To him belongith the leiance 3059 Of Clerk, of knyght, of man of lawe; 3060 Undir his hond al is forth drawe 3061 The marchant and the laborer; 3062 So stant it al in his power 3063 Or forto spille or forto save. 3064 Bot though that he such power have, 3065 And that his myghtes ben so large, 3066 He hath hem nought withouten charge, 3067 To which that every kyng ys swore: 3068 So were it good that he ther fore 3069 First un to rightwisnesse entende, 3070 Wherof that he hym self amende 3071 Toward his god and leve vice, 3072 Which is the chief of his office; 3073 And aftir al the remenant 3074 He schal uppon his covenant 3075 Governe and lede in such a wise, 3076 So that ther be no tirandise, 3077 Wherof that he his poeple grieve, 3078 Or ellis may he nought achieve 3079 That longith to his regalie. 3080 For if a kyng wol justifie 3081 His lond and hem that beth withynne, 3082 First at hym self he mot begynne, 3083 To kepe and reule his owne astat, 3084 That in hym self be no debat 3085 Toward his god: for othre wise 3086 Ther may non erthly kyng suffise 3087 Of his kyngdom the folk to lede, 3088 Bot he the kyng of hevene drede. 3089 For what kyng sett hym uppon pride 3090 And takth his lust on every side 3091 And wil nought go the righte weie, 3092 Though god his grace caste aweie 3093 No wondir is, for ate laste 3094 He schal wel wite it mai nought laste, 3095 The pompe which he secheth here. 3096 Bot what kyng that with humble chere 3097 Aftir the lawe of god eschuieth 3098 The vices, and the vertus suieth, 3099 His grace schal be suffisant 3100 To governe al the remenant 3101 Which longith to his duite; 3102 So that in his prosperite 3103 The poeple schal nought ben oppressid, 3104 Wherof his name schal be blessid, 3105 For evere and be memorial. 3106 And now to speke as in final, 3107 Touchende that y undirtok 3108 In englesch forto make a book 3109 Which stant betwene ernest and game, 3110 I have it maad as thilke same 3111 Which axe forto ben excusid, 3112 And that my bok be nought refusid 3113 Of lered men, whan thei it se, 3114 For lak of curiosite: 3115 For thilke scole of eloquence 3116 Belongith nought to my science, 3117 Uppon the forme of rethoriqe 3118 My wordis forto peinte and pike, 3119 As Tullius som tyme wrot. 3120 Bot this y knowe and this y wot, 3121 That y have do my trewe peyne 3122 With rude wordis and with pleyne, 3123 In al that evere y couthe and myghte, 3124 This bok to write as y behighte, 3125 So as siknesse it soffre wolde; 3126 And also for my daies olde, 3127 That y am feble and impotent, 3128 I wot nought how the world ys went. 3129 So preye y to my lordis alle 3130 Now in myn age, how so befalle, 3131 That y mot stonden in here grace: 3132 For though me lacke to purchace 3133 Here worthi thonk as by decerte, 3134 Yit the symplesse of my poverte 3135 Desireth forto do plesance 3136 To hem undir whos governance 3137 I hope siker to abide. 3138 But now uppon my laste tide 3139 That y this book have maad and write, 3140 My muse doth me forto wite, 3141 And seith it schal be for my beste 3142 Fro this day forth to take reste, 3143 That y nomore of love make, 3144 Which many an herte hath overtake, 3145 And ovyrturnyd as the blynde 3146 Fro reson in to lawe of kynde; 3147 Wher as the wisdom goth aweie 3148 And can nought se the ryhte weie 3149 How to governe his oghne estat, 3150 Bot everydai stant in debat 3151 Withinne him self, and can nought leve. 3152 And thus forthy my final leve 3153 I take now for evere more, 3154 Withoute makynge any more, 3155 Of love and of his dedly hele, 3156 Which no phisicien can hele. 3157 For his nature is so divers, 3158 That it hath evere som travers 3159 Or of to moche or of to lite, 3160 That pleinly mai noman delite, 3161 Bot if him faile or that or this. 3162 Bot thilke love which that is 3163 Withinne a mannes herte affermed, 3164 And stant of charite confermed, 3165 Such love is goodly forto have, 3166 Such love mai the bodi save, 3167 Such love mai the soule amende, 3168 The hyhe god such love ous sende 3169 Forthwith the remenant of grace; 3170 So that above in thilke place 3171 Wher resteth love and alle pes, 3172 Oure joie mai ben endeles. Explicit iste liber, qui transeat, obsecro liber, Vt sine liuore vigeat lectoris in ore. Qui sedet in scannis celi det vt ista lohannis Perpetuis annis stet pagina grata Britannis, Derbeie Comiti, recolunt quem laude periti, Vade liber purus, sub eo requiesce futurus.