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Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
or
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Quintus: Part 3

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

3983   Sche seide, "Helpeth at this nede,
3984   And as ye maden me to spede,  
3985   Whan Jason cam the Flees to seche,  
3986   So help me nou, I you beseche."  
3987   With that sche loketh and was war,  
3988   Doun fro the Sky ther cam a char,
3989   The which Dragouns aboute drowe: 
3990   And tho sche gan hir hed doun bowe, 
3991   And up sche styh, and faire and wel 
3992   Sche drof forth bothe char and whel 
3993   Above in thair among the Skyes.  
3994   The lond of Crete and tho parties
3995   Sche soughte, and faste gan hire hye,  
3996   And there upon the hulles hyhe
3997   Of Othrin and Olimpe also, 
3998   And ek of othre hulles mo,          
3999   Sche fond and gadreth herbes suote, 
4000   Sche pulleth up som be the rote, 
4001   And manye with a knyf sche scherth, 
4002   And alle into hir char sche berth.  
4003   Thus whan sche hath the hulles sought, 
4004   The flodes ther foryat sche nought, 
4005   Eridian and Amphrisos,  
4006   Peneie and ek Sperchei5dos,
4007   To hem sche wente and ther sche nom 
4008   Bothe of the water and the fom,  
4009   The sond and ek the smale stones,
4010   Whiche as sche ches out for the nones, 
4011   And of the rede See a part,
4012   That was behovelich to hire art, 
4013   Sche tok, and after that aboute  
4014   Sche soughte sondri sedes oute
4015   In feldes and in many greves, 
4016   And ek a part sche tok of leves: 
4017   Bot thing which mihte hire most availe 
4018   Sche fond in Crete and in Thessaile.
4019   In daies and in nyhtes Nyne,  
4020   With gret travaile and with gret pyne, 
4021   Sche was pourveid of every piece,
4022   And torneth homward into Grece.  
4023   Before the gates of Eson
4024   Hir char sche let awai to gon,
4025   And tok out ferst that was therinne;
4026   For tho sche thoghte to beginne  
4027   Such thing as semeth impossible, 
4028   And made hirselven invisible, 
4029   As sche that was with Air enclosed  
4030   And mihte of noman be desclosed. 
4031   Sche tok up turves of the lond
4032   Withoute helpe of mannes hond,
4033   Al heled with the grene gras, 
4034   Of which an Alter mad ther was    
4035   Unto Echates the goddesse  
4036   Of art magique and the maistresse,  
4037   And eft an other to Juvente,  
4038   As sche which dede hir hole entente.
4039   Tho tok sche fieldwode and verveyne,
4040   Of herbes ben noght betre tueine,
4041   Of which anon withoute let 
4042   These alters ben aboute set:  
4043   Tuo sondri puttes faste by 
4044   Sche made, and with that hastely 
4045   A wether which was blak sche slouh, 
4046   And out therof the blod sche drouh  
4047   And dede into the pettes tuo; 
4048   Warm melk sche putte also therto 
4049   With hony meynd: and in such wise
4050   Sche gan to make hir sacrifice,  
4051   And cride and preide forth withal
4052   To Pluto the god infernal, 
4053   And to the queene Proserpine. 
4054   And so sche soghte out al the line  
4055   Of hem that longen to that craft,
4056   Behinde was no name laft,  
4057   And preide hem alle, as sche wel couthe,  
4058   To grante Eson his ferste youthe.
4059   This olde Eson broght forth was tho,
4060   Awei sche bad alle othre go
4061   Upon peril that mihte falle;  
4062   And with that word thei wenten alle,
4063   And leften there hem tuo al one. 
4064   And tho sche gan to gaspe and gone, 
4065   And made signes manyon, 
4066   And seide hir wordes therupon;
4067   So that with spellinge of hir charmes  
4068   Sche tok Eson in bothe hire armes,  
4069   And made him forto slepe faste,  
4070   And him upon hire herbes caste.  
4071   The blake wether tho sche tok,    
4072   And hiewh the fleissh, as doth a cok;  
4073   On either alter part sche leide, 
4074   And with the charmes that sche seide
4075   A fyr doun fro the Sky alyhte 
4076   And made it forto brenne lyhte.  
4077   Bot whan Medea sawh it brenne,
4078   Anon sche gan to sterte and renne
4079   The fyri aulters al aboute:
4080   Ther was no beste which goth oute
4081   More wylde than sche semeth ther:
4082   Aboute hir schuldres hyng hir her,  
4083   As thogh sche were oute of hir mynde
4084   And torned in an other kynde. 
4085   Tho lay ther certein wode cleft, 
4086   Of which the pieces nou and eft  
4087   Sche made hem in the pettes wete,
4088   And put hem in the fyri hete, 
4089   And tok the brond with al the blase,
4090   And thries sche began to rase 
4091   Aboute Eson, ther as he slepte;  
4092   And eft with water, which sche kepte,  
4093   Sche made a cercle aboute him thries,  
4094   And eft with fyr of sulphre twyes:  
4095   Ful many an other thing sche dede,  
4096   Which is noght writen in this stede.
4097   Bot tho sche ran so up and doun, 
4098   Sche made many a wonder soun, 
4099   Somtime lich unto the cock,
4100   Somtime unto the Laverock, 
4101   Somtime kacleth as a Hen,  
4102   Somtime spekth as don the men:
4103   And riht so as hir jargoun strangeth,  
4104   In sondri wise hir forme changeth,  
4105   Sche semeth faie and no womman;  
4106   For with the craftes that sche can  
4107   Sche was, as who seith, a goddesse, 
4108   And what hir liste, more or lesse,  
4109   Sche dede, in bokes as we finde,     
4110   That passeth over manneskinde.
4111   Bot who that wole of wondres hiere, 
4112   What thing sche wroghte in this matiere,  
4113   To make an ende of that sche gan,
4114   Such merveile herde nevere man.  
4115   Apointed in the newe Mone, 
4116   Whan it was time forto done,  
4117   Sche sette a caldron on the fyr, 
4118   In which was al the hole atir,
4119   Wheron the medicine stod,  
4120   Of jus, of water and of blod, 
4121   And let it buile in such a plit, 
4122   Til that sche sawh the spume whyt;  
4123   And tho sche caste in rynde and rote,  
4124   And sed and flour that was for bote,
4125   With many an herbe and many a ston, 
4126   Wherof sche hath ther many on:
4127   And ek Cimpheius the Serpent  
4128   To hire hath alle his scales lent,  
4129   Chelidre hire yaf his addres skin,  
4130   And sche to builen caste hem in; 
4131   A part ek of the horned Oule, 
4132   The which men hiere on nyhtes houle;
4133   And of a Raven, which was told
4134   Of nyne hundred wynter old,
4135   Sche tok the hed with al the bile;  
4136   And as the medicine it wile,  
4137   Sche tok therafter the bouele 
4138   Of the Seewolf, and for the hele 
4139   Of Eson, with a thousand mo
4140   Of thinges that sche hadde tho,  
4141   In that Caldroun togedre as blyve
4142   Sche putte, and tok thanne of Olyve 
4143   A drie branche hem with to stere,
4144   The which anon gan floure and bere  
4145   And waxe al freissh and grene ayein.    
4146   Whan sche this vertu hadde sein, 
4147   Sche let the leste drope of alle 
4148   Upon the bare flor doun falle;
4149   Anon ther sprong up flour and gras, 
4150   Where as the drope falle was, 
4151   And wox anon al medwe grene,  
4152   So that it mihte wel be sene. 
4153   Medea thanne knew and wiste
4154   Hir medicine is forto triste, 
4155   And goth to Eson ther he lay, 
4156   And tok a swerd was of assay, 
4157   With which a wounde upon his side
4158   Sche made, that therout mai slyde
4159   The blod withinne, which was old 
4160   And sek and trouble and fieble and cold.  
4161   And tho sche tok unto his us  
4162   Of herbes al the beste jus,
4163   And poured it into his wounde;
4164   That made his veynes fulle and sounde: 
4165   And tho sche made his wounde clos,  
4166   And tok his hond, and up he ros; 
4167   And tho sche yaf him drinke a drauhte, 
4168   Of which his youthe ayein he cauhte,
4169   His hed, his herte and his visage
4170   Lich unto twenty wynter Age;  
4171   Hise hore heres were away, 
4172   And lich unto the freisshe Maii, 
4173   Whan passed ben the colde shoures,  
4174   Riht so recovereth he his floures.  
4175   Lo, what mihte eny man devise,
4176   A womman schewe in eny wise
4177   Mor hertly love in every stede,  
4178   Than Medea to Jason dede?  
4179   Ferst sche made him the flees to winne,
4180   And after that fro kiththe and kinne
4181   With gret tresor with him sche stal,
4182   And to his fader forth withal     
4183   His Elde hath torned into youthe,
4184   Which thing non other womman couthe:
4185   Bot hou it was to hire aquit, 
4186   The remembrance duelleth yit. 
4187   King Peles his Em was ded,  
4188   Jason bar corone on his hed,  
4189   Medea hath fulfild his wille: 
4190   Bot whanne he scholde of riht fulfille 
4191   The trouthe, which to hire afore 
4192   He hadde in thyle of Colchos swore, 
4193   Tho was Medea most deceived.  
4194   For he an other hath received,
4195   Which dowhter was to king Creon, 
4196   Creusa sche hihte, and thus Jason,  
4197   As he that was to love untrewe,  
4198   Medea lefte and tok a newe.
4199   Bot that was after sone aboght:  
4200   Medea with hire art hath wroght  
4201   Of cloth of gold a mantel riche, 
4202   Which semeth worth a kingesriche,
4203   And that was unto Creusa sent 
4204   In name of yifte and of present, 
4205   For Sosterhode hem was betuene;  
4206   And whan that yonge freisshe queene 
4207   That mantel lappeth hire aboute, 
4208   Anon therof the fyr sprong oute  
4209   And brente hir bothe fleissh and bon.  
4210   Tho cam Medea to Jason  
4211   With bothe his Sones on hire hond,  
4212   And seide, "O thou of every lond 
4213   The moste untrewe creature,
4214   Lo, this schal be thi forfeture."
4215   With that sche bothe his Sones slouh
4216   Before his yhe, and he outdrouh  
4217   His swerd and wold have slayn hir tho, 
4218   Bot farewel, sche was ago  
4219   Unto Pallas the Court above,  
4220   Wher as sche pleigneth upon love,
4221   As sche that was with that goddesse,    
4222   And he was left in gret destresse.  
4223   Thus miht thou se what sorwe it doth
4224   To swere an oth which is noght soth,
4225   In loves cause namely.  
4226   Mi Sone, be wel war forthi,
4227   And kep that thou be noght forswore:
4228   For this, which I have told tofore, 
4229   Ovide telleth everydel. 
4230   Mi fader, I may lieve it wel, 
4231   For I have herde it ofte seie 
4232   Hou Jason tok the flees aweie 
4233   Fro Colchos, bot yit herde I noght  
4234   Be whom it was ferst thider broght. 
4235   And for it were good to hiere,
4236   If that you liste at mi preiere  
4237   To telle, I wolde you beseche.
4238   Mi Sone, who that wole it seche, 
4239   In bokes he mai finde it write;  
4240   And natheles, if thou wolt wite, 
4241   In the manere as thou hast preid 
4242   I schal the telle hou it is seid.
4243   The fame of thilke schepes fell, 
4244   Which in Colchos, as it befell,  
4245   Was al of gold, schal nevere deie;  
4246   Wherof I thenke for to seie
4247   Hou it cam ferst into that yle.  
4248   Ther was a king in thilke whyle  
4249   Towardes Grece, and Athemas
4250   The Cronique of his name was; 
4251   And hadde a wif, which Philen hihte,
4252   Be whom, so as fortune it dihte, 
4253   He hadde of children yonge tuo.  
4254   Frixus the ferste was of tho, 
4255   A knave child, riht fair withalle;  
4256   A dowhter ek, the which men calle
4257   Hellen, he hadde be this wif. 
4258   Bot for ther mai no mannes lif    
4259   Endure upon this Erthe hiere, 
4260   This worthi queene, as thou miht hiere,
4261   Er that the children were of age,
4262   Tok of hire ende the passage, 
4263   With gret worschipe and was begrave.
4264   What thing it liketh god to have 
4265   It is gret reson to ben his;  
4266   Forthi this king, so as it is,
4267   With gret suffrance it underfongeth:
4268   And afterward, as him belongeth, 
4269   Whan it was time forto wedde, 
4270   A newe wif he tok to bedde,
4271   Which Yno hihte and was a Mayde, 
4272   And ek the dowhter, as men saide,
4273   Of Cadme, which a king also
4274   Was holde in thilke daies tho.
4275   Whan Yno was the kinges make, 
4276   Sche caste hou that sche mihte make 
4277   These children to here fader lothe, 
4278   And schope a wyle ayein hem bothe,  
4279   Which to the king was al unknowe.
4280   A yeer or tuo sche let do sowe
4281   The lond with sode whete aboute, 
4282   Wherof no corn mai springen oute;
4283   And thus be sleyhte and be covine
4284   Aros the derthe and the famine
4285   Thurghout the lond in such a wise,  
4286   So that the king a sacrifise  
4287   Upon the point of this destresse 
4288   To Ceres, which is the goddesse  
4289   Of corn, hath schape him forto yive,
4290   To loke if it mai be foryive, 
4291   The meschief which was in his lond. 
4292   Bot sche, which knew tofor the hond 
4293   The circumstance of al this thing,  
4294   Ayein the cominge of the king 
4295   Into the temple, hath schape so,     
4296   Of hire acord that alle tho
4297   Whiche of the temple prestes were
4298   Have seid and full declared there
4299   Unto the king, bot if so be
4300   That he delivere the contre
4301   Of Frixus and of Hellen bothe,
4302   With whom the goddes ben so wrothe, 
4303   That whil tho children ben therinne,
4304   Such tilthe schal noman beginne, 
4305   Wherof to gete him eny corn.  
4306   Thus was it seid, thus was it sworn 
4307   Of all the Prestes that ther are;
4308   And sche which causeth al this fare 
4309   Seid ek therto what that sche wolde,
4310   And every man thanne after tolde 
4311   So as the queene hem hadde preid.
4312   The king, which hath his Ere leid,  
4313   And lieveth al that evere he herde, 
4314   Unto here tale thus ansuerde, 
4315   And seith that levere him is to chese  
4316   Hise children bothe forto lese,  
4317   Than him and al the remenant  
4318   Of hem whiche are aportenant  
4319   Unto the lond which he schal kepe:  
4320   And bad his wif to take kepe  
4321   In what manere is best to done,  
4322   That thei delivered weren sone
4323   Out of this world. And sche anon 
4324   Tuo men ordeigneth forto gon; 
4325   Bot ferst sche made hem forto swere 
4326   That thei the children scholden bere
4327   Unto the See, that non it knowe, 
4328   And hem therinne bothe throwe.
4329   The children to the See ben lad, 
4330   Wher in the wise as Yno bad
4331   These men be redy forto do.
4332   Bot the goddesse which Juno    
4333   Is hote, appiereth in the stede, 
4334   And hath unto the men forbede 
4335   That thei the children noght ne sle;
4336   Bot bad hem loke into the See 
4337   And taken hiede of that thei sihen. 
4338   Ther swam a Schep tofore here yhen, 
4339   Whos flees of burned gold was al;
4340   And this goddesse forth withal
4341   Comandeth that withoute lette 
4342   Thei scholde anon these children sette 
4343   Above upon this Schepes bak;  
4344   And al was do, riht as sche spak,
4345   Wherof the men gon hom ayein. 
4346   And fell so, as the bokes sein,  
4347   Hellen the yonge Mayden tho,  
4348   Which of the See was wo bego, 
4349   For pure drede hire herte hath lore,
4350   That fro the Schep, which hath hire bore, 
4351   As sche that was swounende feint,
4352   Sche fell, and hath hirselve dreint;
4353   With Frixus and this Schep forth swam, 
4354   Til he to thyle of Colchos cam,  
4355   Where Juno the goddesse he fond, 
4356   Which tok the Schep unto the lond,  
4357   And sette it there in such a wise
4358   As thou tofore hast herd devise, 
4359   Wherof cam after al the wo,
4360   Why Jason was forswore so  
4361   Unto Medee, as it is spoke.
4362   Mi fader, who that hath tobroke  
4363   His trouthe, as ye have told above, 
4364   He is noght worthi forto love 
4365   Ne be beloved, as me semeth:  
4366   Bot every newe love quemeth
4367   To him which newefongel is.
4368   And natheles nou after this,      
4369   If that you list to taken hiede  
4370   Upon mi Schrifte to procede,  
4371   In loves cause ayein the vice 
4372   Of covoitise and Avarice
4373   What ther is more I wolde wite.  
4374   Mi Sone, this I finde write,  
4375   Ther is yit on of thilke brood,  
4376   Which only for the worldes good, 
4377   To make a Tresor of Moneie,
4378   Put alle conscience aweie: 
4379   Wherof in thi confession
4380   The name and the condicion 
4381   I schal hierafterward declare,
4382   Which makth on riche, an other bare.
4383   Upon the bench sittende on hih
4384   With Avarice Usure I sih,  
4385   Full clothed of his oghne suite, 
4386   Which after gold makth chace and suite 
4387   With his brocours, that renne aboute
4388   Lich unto racches in a route. 
4389   Such lucre is non above grounde, 
4390   Which is noght of tho racches founde;  
4391   For wher thei se beyete sterte,  
4392   That schal hem in no wise asterte,  
4393   Bot thei it dryve into the net
4394   Of lucre, which Usure hath set.  
4395   Usure with the riche duelleth,
4396   To al that evere he beith and selleth  
4397   He hath ordeined of his sleyhte  
4398   Mesure double and double weyhte: 
4399   Outward he selleth be the lasse, 
4400   And with the more he makth his tasse,  
4401   Wherof his hous is full withinne.    
4402   He reccheth noght, be so he winne,  
4403   Though that ther lese ten or tuelve:
4404   His love is al toward himselve
4405   And to non other, bot he se
4406   That he mai winne suche thre; 
4407   For wher he schal oght yive or lene,
4408   He wol ayeinward take a bene, 
4409   Ther he hath lent the smale pese.
4410   And riht so ther ben manye of these 
4411   Lovers, that thogh thei love a lyte,
4412   That scarsly wolde it weie a myte,  
4413   Yit wolde thei have a pound again,  
4414   As doth Usure in his bargain. 
4415   Bot certes such usure unliche,
4416   It falleth more unto the riche,  
4417   Als wel of love as of beyete, 
4418   Than unto hem that be noght grete,  
4419   And, as who seith, ben simple and povere; 
4420   For sielden is whan thei recovere,  
4421   Bot if it be thurgh gret decerte.
4422   And natheles men se poverte
4423   With porsuite and continuance 
4424   Fulofte make a gret chevance  
4425   And take of love his avantage,
4426   Forth with the help of his brocage, 
4427   That maken seme wher is noght.
4428   And thus fulofte is love boght
4429   For litel what, and mochel take, 
4430   With false weyhtes that thei make.  
4431   Nou, Sone, of that I seide above 
4432   Thou wost what Usure is of love: 
4433   Tell me forthi what so thou wilt,
4434   If thou therof hast eny gilt. 
4435   Mi fader, nay, for ought I hiere.
4436   For of tho pointz ye tolden hiere
4437   I wol you be mi trouthe assure,      
4438   Mi weyhte of love and mi mesure  
4439   Hath be mor large and mor certein
4440   Than evere I tok of love ayein:  
4441   For so yit couthe I nevere of sleyhte, 
4442   To take ayein be double weyhte
4443   Of love mor than I have yive. 
4444   For als so wiss mot I be schrive 
4445   And have remission of Sinne,  
4446   As so yit couthe I nevere winne, 
4447   Ne yit so mochel, soth to sein,  
4448   That evere I mihte have half ayein  
4449   Of so full love as I have lent:  
4450   And if myn happ were so wel went,
4451   That for the hole I mihte have half,
4452   Me thenkth I were a goddeshalf.  
4453   For where Usure wole have double,
4454   Mi conscience is noght so trouble,  
4455   I biede nevere as to my del
4456   Bot of the hole an halvendel; 
4457   That is non excess, as me thenketh. 
4458   Bot natheles it me forthenketh;  
4459   For wel I wot that wol noght be, 
4460   For every day the betre I se  
4461   That hou so evere I yive or lene 
4462   Mi love in place ther I mene, 
4463   For oght that evere I axe or crave, 
4464   I can nothing ayeinward have. 
4465   Bot yit for that I wol noght lete,  
4466   What so befalle of mi beyete, 
4467   That I ne schal hire yive and lene  
4468   Mi love and al mi thoght so clene,  
4469   That toward me schal noght beleve.  
4470   And if sche of hire goode leve
4471   Rewarde wol me noght again,
4472   I wot the laste of my bargain 
4473   Schal stonde upon so gret a lost,
4474   That I mai neveremor the cost 
4475   Recovere in this world til I die.    
4476   So that touchende of this partie 
4477   I mai me wel excuse and schal;
4478   And forto speke forth withal, 
4479   If eny brocour for me wente,  
4480   That point cam nevere in myn entente:  
4481   So that the more me merveilleth, 
4482   What thing it is mi ladi eilleth,
4483   That al myn herte and al my time 
4484   Sche hath, and doth no betre bime.  
4485   I have herd seid that thoght is fre,
4486   And natheles in privete 
4487   To you, mi fader, that ben hiere 
4488   Min hole schrifte forto hiere,
4489   I dar min herte wel desclose. 
4490   Touchende usure, as I suppose,
4491   Which as ye telle in love is used,  
4492   Mi ladi mai noght ben excused;
4493   That for o lokinge of hire ye5
4494   Min hole herte til I dye
4495   With al that evere I may and can 
4496   Sche hath me wonne to hire man:  
4497   Wherof, me thenkth, good reson wolde
4498   That sche somdel rewarde scholde,
4499   And yive a part, ther sche hath al. 
4500   I not what falle hierafter schal,
4501   Bot into nou yit dar I sein,  
4502   Hire liste nevere yive ayein  
4503   A goodli word in such a wise, 
4504   Wherof min hope mihte arise,  
4505   Mi grete love to compense. 
4506   I not hou sche hire conscience
4507   Excuse wole of this usure; 
4508   Be large weyhte and gret mesure  
4509   Sche hath mi love, and I have noght 
4510   Of that which I have diere boght,
4511   And with myn herte I have it paid;  
4512   Bot al that is asyde laid, 
4513   And I go loveles aboute.    
4514   Hire oghte stonde if ful gret doute,
4515   Til sche redresce such a sinne,  
4516   That sche wole al mi love winne  
4517   And yifth me noght to live by:
4518   Noght als so moche as "grant mercy" 
4519   Hir list to seie, of which I mihte  
4520   Som of mi grete peine allyhte.
4521   Bot of this point, lo, thus I fare  
4522   As he that paith for his chaffare,  
4523   And beith it diere, and yit hath non,  
4524   So mot he nedes povere gon:
4525   Thus beie I diere and have no love, 
4526   That I ne mai noght come above
4527   To winne of love non encress. 
4528   Bot I me wole natheles  
4529   Touchende usure of love aquite;  
4530   And if mi ladi be to wyte, 
4531   I preie to god such grace hir sende 
4532   That sche be time it mot amende. 
4533   Mi Sone, of that thou hast ansuerd  
4534   Touchende Usure I have al herd,  
4535   Hou thou of love hast wonne smale:  
4536   Bot that thou tellest in thi tale
4537   And thi ladi therof accusest, 
4538   Me thenkth tho wordes thou misusest.
4539   For be thin oghne knowlechinge
4540   Thou seist hou sche for o lokinge
4541   Thin hole herte fro the tok:  
4542   Sche mai be such, that hire o lok
4543   Is worth thin herte manyfold; 
4544   So hast thou wel thin herte sold,
4545   Whan thou hast that is more worth.  
4546   And ek of that thou tellest forth,  
4547   Hou that hire weyhte of love unevene
4548   Is unto thin, under the hevene
4549   Stod nevere in evene that balance
4550   Which stant in loves governance. 
4551   Such is the statut of his lawe,      
4552   That thogh thi love more drawe
4553   And peise in the balance more,
4554   Thou miht noght axe ayein therfore  
4555   Of duete, bot al of grace. 
4556   For love is lord in every place, 
4557   Ther mai no lawe him justefie 
4558   Be reddour ne be compaignie,  
4559   That he ne wole after his wille  
4560   Whom that him liketh spede or spille.  
4561   To love a man mai wel beginne,
4562   Bot whether he schal lese or winne, 
4563   That wot noman til ate laste: 
4564   Forthi coveite noght to faste,
4565   Mi Sone, bot abyd thin ende,  
4566   Per cas al mai to goode wende.
4567   Bot that thou hast me told and said,
4568   Of o thing I am riht wel paid,
4569   That thou be sleyhte ne be guile 
4570   Of no brocour hast otherwhile 
4571   Engined love, for such dede
4572   Is sore venged, as I rede. 
4573   Brocours of love that deceiven,  
4574   No wonder is thogh thei receiven 
4575   After the wrong that thei decerven; 
4576   For whom as evere that thei serven  
4577   And do plesance for a whyle,  
4578   Yit ate laste here oghne guile
4579   Upon here oghne hed descendeth,  
4580   Which god of his vengance sendeth,  
4581   As be ensample of time go  
4582   A man mai finde it hath be so.
4583   It fell somtime, as it was sene, 
4584   The hihe goddesse and the queene 
4585   Juno tho hadde in compainie
4586   A Maiden full of tricherie;
4587   For sche was evere in on acord    
4588   With Jupiter, that was hire lord,
4589   To gete him othre loves newe, 
4590   Thurgh such brocage and was untrewe 
4591   Al otherwise than him nedeth. 
4592   Bot sche, which of no schame dredeth,  
4593   With queinte wordes and with slyhe  
4594   Blente in such wise hir lady yhe,
4595   As sche to whom that Juno triste,
4596   So that therof sche nothing wiste.  
4597   Bot so prive mai be nothing,  
4598   That it ne comth to knowleching; 
4599   Thing don upon the derke nyht 
4600   Is after knowe on daies liht: 
4601   So it befell, that ate laste  
4602   Al that this slyhe maiden caste  
4603   Was overcast and overthrowe.  
4604   For as the sothe mot be knowe,
4605   To Juno was don understonde
4606   In what manere hir housebonde 
4607   With fals brocage hath take usure
4608   Of love mor than his mesure,  
4609   Whan he tok othre than his wif,  
4610   Wherof this mayden was gultif,
4611   Which hadde ben of his assent.
4612   And thus was al the game schent; 
4613   She soffreth him, as sche mot nede, 
4614   Bot the brocour of his misdede,  
4615   Sche which hir conseil yaf therto,  
4616   On hire is the vengance do:
4617   For Juno with hire wordes hote,  
4618   This Maiden, which Eccho was hote,  
4619   Reproveth and seith in this wise:
4620   "O traiteresse, of which servise 
4621   Hast thou thin oghne ladi served!
4622   Thou hast gret peine wel deserved,  
4623   That thou canst maken it so queinte,
4624   Thi slyhe wordes forto peinte 
4625   Towardes me, that am thi queene, 
4626   Wherof thou madest me to wene     
4627   That myn housbonde trewe were,
4628   Whan that he loveth elleswhere,  
4629   Al be it so him nedeth noght. 
4630   Bot upon thee it schal be boght, 
4631   Which art prive to tho doinges,  
4632   And me fulofte of thi lesinges
4633   Deceived hast: nou is the day 
4634   That I thi while aquite may;  
4635   And for thou hast to me conceled 
4636   That my lord hath with othre deled, 
4637   I schal thee sette in such a kende, 
4638   That evere unto the worldes ende 
4639   Al that thou hierest thou schalt telle,
4640   And clappe it out as doth a belle." 
4641   And with that word sche was forschape, 
4642   Ther may no vois hire mouth ascape, 
4643   What man that in the wodes crieth,  
4644   Withoute faile Eccho replieth,
4645   And what word that him list to sein,
4646   The same word sche seith ayein.  
4647   Thus sche, which whilom hadde leve  
4648   To duelle in chambre, mot beleve 
4649   In wodes and on helles bothe, 
4650   For such brocage as wyves lothe, 
4651   Which doth here lordes hertes change
4652   And love in other place strange. 
4653   Forthi, if evere it so befalle,  
4654   That thou, mi Sone, amonges alle 
4655   Be wedded man, hold that thou hast, 
4656   For thanne al other love is wast.
4657   O wif schal wel to thee suffise, 
4658   And thanne, if thou for covoitise
4659   Of love woldest axe more,  
4660   Thou scholdest don ayein the lore
4661   Of alle hem that trewe be. 
4662   Mi fader, as in this degre 
4663   My conscience is noght accused;      
4664   For I no such brocage have used, 
4665   Wherof that lust of love is wonne.  
4666   Forthi spek forth, as ye begonne,
4667   Of Avarice upon mi schrifte.  
4668   Mi Sone, I schal the branches schifte  
4669   Be ordre so as thei ben set,  
4670   On whom no good is wel beset. 
4671   Blinde Avarice of his lignage 
4672   For conseil and for cousinage,
4673   To be withholde ayein largesse,  
4674   Hath on, whos name is seid Skarsnesse, 
4675   The which is kepere of his hous, 
4676   And is so thurghout averous,  
4677   That he no good let out of honde;
4678   Thogh god himself it wolde fonde,
4679   Of yifte scholde he nothing have;
4680   And if a man it wolde crave,  
4681   He moste thanne faile nede,
4682   Wher god himselve mai noght spede.  
4683   And thus Skarsnesse in every place  
4684   Be reson mai no thonk porchace,  
4685   And natheles in his degree 
4686   Above all othre most prive 
4687   With Avarice stant he this.
4688   For he governeth that ther is 
4689   In ech astat of his office 
4690   After the reule of thilke vice;  
4691   He takth, he kepth, he halt, he bint,  
4692   That lihtere is to fle the flint 
4693   Than gete of him in hard or neisshe 
4694   Only the value of a reysshe
4695   Of good in helpinge of an other, 
4696   Noght thogh it were his oghne brother.     
4697   For in the cas of yifte and lone 
4698   Stant every man for him al one,  
4699   Him thenkth of his unkindeschipe 
4700   That him nedeth no felaschipe:
4701   Be so the bagge and he acorden,  
4702   Him reccheth noght what men recorden
4703   Of him, or it be evel or good.
4704   For al his trust is on his good, 
4705   So that al one he falleth ofte,  
4706   Whan he best weneth stonde alofte,  
4707   Als wel in love as other wise;
4708   For love is evere of som reprise 
4709   To him that wole his love holde. 
4710   Forthi, mi Sone, as thou art holde, 
4711   Touchende of this tell me thi schrifte:
4712   Hast thou be scars or large of yifte
4713   Unto thi love, whom thou servest?
4714   For after that thou wel deservest
4715   Of yifte, thou miht be the bet;  
4716   For that good holde I wel beset, 
4717   For why thou miht the betre fare;
4718   Thanne is no wisdom forto spare. 
4719   For thus men sein, in every nede 
4720   He was wys that ferst made mede; 
4721   For where as mede mai noght spede,  
4722   I not what helpeth other dede:
4723   Fulofte he faileth of his game
4724   That wol with ydel hand reclame  
4725   His hauk, as many a nyce doth.
4726   Forthi, mi Sone, tell me soth 
4727   And sei the trouthe, if thou hast be
4728   Unto thy love or skars or fre.
4729   Mi fader, it hath stonde thus,
4730   That if the tresor of Cresus  
4731   And al the gold Octovien,  
4732   Forth with the richesse Yndien
4733   Of Perles and of riche stones,
4734   Were al togedre myn at ones,      
4735   I sette it at nomore acompte  
4736   Than wolde a bare straw amonte,  
4737   To yive it hire al in a day,  
4738   Be so that to that suete may  
4739   I myhte like or more or lesse.
4740   And thus be cause of my scarsnesse  
4741   Ye mai wel understonde and lieve 
4742   That I schal noght the worse achieve
4743   The pourpos which is in my thoght.  
4744   Bot yit I yaf hir nevere noght,  
4745   Ne therto dorste a profre make;  
4746   For wel I wot sche wol noght take,  
4747   And yive wol sche noght also, 
4748   Sche is eschu of bothe tuo.
4749   And this I trowe be the skile 
4750   Towardes me, for sche ne wile 
4751   That I have eny cause of hope,
4752   Noght also mochel as a drope. 
4753   Bot toward othre, as I mai se,
4754   Sche takth and yifth in such degre, 
4755   That as be weie of frendlihiede  
4756   Sche can so kepe hir wommanhiede,
4757   That every man spekth of hir wel.
4758   Bot sche wole take of me no del, 
4759   And yit sche wot wel that I wolde
4760   Yive and do bothe what I scholde 
4761   To plesen hire in al my myht: 
4762   Be reson this wot every wyht, 
4763   For that mai be no weie asterte, 
4764   Ther sche is maister of the herte,  
4765   Sche mot be maister of the good. 
4766   For god wot wel that al my mod
4767   And al min herte and al mi thoght
4768   And al mi good, whil I have oght,
4769   Als freliche as god hath it yive,
4770   It schal ben hires, while I live,
4771   Riht as hir list hirself commande.  
4772   So that it nedeth no demande,     
4773   To axe of me if I be scars 
4774   To love, for as to tho pars
4775   I wole ansuere and seie no.
4776   Mi Sone, that is riht wel do. 
4777   For often times of scarsnesse 
4778   It hath be sen, that for the lesse  
4779   Is lost the more, as thou schalt hiere 
4780   A tale lich to this matiere.  
4781   Skarsnesse and love acorden nevere, 
4782   For every thing is wel the levere,  
4783   Whan that a man hath boght it diere:
4784   And forto speke in this matiere, 
4785   For sparinge of a litel cost  
4786   Fulofte time a man hath lost  
4787   The large cote for the hod.
4788   What man that scars is of his good  
4789   And wol noght yive, he schal noght take:  
4790   With yifte a man mai undertake
4791   The hihe god to plese and queme, 
4792   With yifte a man the world mai deme;
4793   For every creature bore,
4794   If thou him yive, is glad therfore, 
4795   And every gladschipe, as I finde,
4796   Is confort unto loves kinde
4797   And causeth ofte a man to spede. 
4798   So was he wys that ferst yaf mede,  
4799   For mede kepeth love in house;
4800   Bot wher the men ben coveitouse  
4801   And sparen forto yive a part, 
4802   Thei knowe noght Cupides art: 
4803   For his fortune and his aprise
4804   Desdeigneth alle coveitise 
4805   And hateth alle nygardie.  
4806   And forto loke of this partie,
4807   A soth ensample, hou it is so,
4808   I finde write of Babio; 
4809   Which hadde a love at his menage,        
4810   Ther was non fairere of hire age,
4811   And hihte Viola be name;
4812   Which full of youthe and ful of game
4813   Was of hirself, and large and fre,  
4814   Bot such an other chinche as he  
4815   Men wisten noght in al the lond, 
4816   And hadde affaited to his hond
4817   His servant, the which Spodius
4818   Was hote. And in this wise thus  
4819   The worldes good of sufficance
4820   Was had, bot likinge and plesance,  
4821   Of that belongeth to richesse 
4822   Of love, stod in gret destresse; 
4823   So that this yonge lusty wyht 
4824   Of thing which fell to loves riht
4825   Was evele served overal,
4826   That sche was wo bego withal, 
4827   Til that Cupide and Venus eke 
4828   A medicine for the seke 
4829   Ordeigne wolden in this cas.  
4830   So as fortune thanne was,  
4831   Of love upon the destine
4832   It fell, riht as it scholde be,  
4833   A freissh, a fre, a frendly man  
4834   That noght of Avarice can, 
4835   Which Croceus be name hihte,  
4836   Toward this swete caste his sihte,  
4837   And ther sche was cam in presence.  
4838   Sche sih him large of his despence, 
4839   And amorous and glad of chiere,  
4840   So that hir liketh wel to hiere  
4841   The goodly wordes whiche he seide;  
4842   And therupon of love he preide,  
4843   Of love was al that he mente, 
4844   To love and for sche scholde assente,  
4845   He yaf hire yiftes evere among.  
4846   Bot for men sein that mede is strong,  
4847   It was wel seene at thilke tyde;     
4848   For as it scholde of ryht betyde,
4849   This Viola largesce hath take 
4850   And the nygard sche hath forsake:
4851   Of Babio sche wol no more, 
4852   For he was grucchende everemore, 
4853   Ther was with him non other fare 
4854   Bot forto prinche and forto spare,  
4855   Of worldes muk to gete encress.  
4856   So goth the wrecche loveles,  
4857   Bejaped for his Skarcete,  
4858   And he that large was and fre 
4859   And sette his herte to despende, 
4860   This Croceus, the bowe bende, 
4861   Which Venus tok him forto holde, 
4862   And schotte als ofte as evere he wolde.
4863   Lo, thus departeth love his lawe,
4864   That what man wol noght be felawe
4865   To yive and spende, as I thee telle,
4866   He is noght worthi forto duelle  
4867   In loves court to be relieved.
4868   Forthi, my Sone, if I be lieved, 
4869   Thou schalt be large of thi despence.  
4870   Mi fader, in mi conscience 
4871   If ther be eny thing amis, 
4872   I wol amende it after this,
4873   Toward mi love namely.  
4874   Mi Sone, wel and redely 
4875   Thou seist, so that wel paid withal 
4876   I am, and forthere if I schal 
4877   Unto thi schrifte specefie 
4878   Of Avarices progenie 
4879   What vice suieth after this,  
4880   Thou schalt have wonder hou it is,  
4881   Among the folk in eny regne
4882   That such a vice myhte regne, 
4883   Which is comun at alle assaies,  
4884   As men mai finde nou adaies.      
4885   The vice lik unto the fend,
4886   Which nevere yit was mannes frend,  
4887   And cleped is Unkindeschipe,  
4888   Of covine and of felaschipe
4889   With Avarice he is withholde. 
4890   Him thenkth he scholde noght ben holde 
4891   Unto the moder which him bar; 
4892   Of him mai nevere man be war, 
4893   He wol noght knowe the merite,
4894   For that he wolde it noght aquite;  
4895   Which in this world is mochel used, 
4896   And fewe ben therof excused.  
4897   To telle of him is endeles,
4898   Bot this I seie natheles,  
4899   Wher as this vice comth to londe,
4900   Ther takth noman his thonk on honde;
4901   Thogh he with alle his myhtes serve,
4902   He schal of him no thonk deserve.
4903   He takth what eny man wol yive,  
4904   Bot whil he hath o day to live,  
4905   He wol nothing rewarde ayein; 
4906   He gruccheth forto yive o grein, 
4907   Wher he hath take a berne full.  
4908   That makth a kinde herte dull,
4909   To sette his trust in such frendschipe,
4910   Ther as he fint no kindeschipe;  
4911   And forto speke wordes pleine,
4912   Thus hiere I many a man compleigne, 
4913   That nou on daies thou schalt finde 
4914   At nede fewe frendes kinde;
4915   What thou hast don for hem tofore,  
4916   It is foryete, as it were lore.  
4917   The bokes speken of this vice,
4918   And telle hou god of his justice,    
4919   Be weie of kinde and ek nature
4920   And every lifissh creature,
4921   The lawe also, who that it kan,  
4922   Thei dampnen an unkinde man.  
4923   It is al on to seie unkinde
4924   As thing which don is ayein kinde,  
4925   For it with kinde nevere stod 
4926   A man to yelden evel for good.
4927   For who that wolde taken hede,
4928   A beste is glad of a good dede,  
4929   And loveth thilke creature 
4930   After the lawe of his nature  
4931   Which doth him ese. And forto se 
4932   Of this matiere Auctorite, 
4933   Fulofte time it hath befalle; 
4934   Wherof a tale amonges alle,
4935   Which is of olde ensamplerie, 
4936   I thenke forto specefie.
4937   To speke of an unkinde man,
4938   I finde hou whilom Adrian, 
4939   Of Rome which a gret lord was,
4940   Upon a day as he per cas
4941   To wode in his huntinge wente,
4942   It hapneth at a soudein wente,
4943   After his chace as he poursuieth,
4944   Thurgh happ, the which noman eschuieth,
4945   He fell unwar into a pet,  
4946   Wher that it mihte noght be let. 
4947   The pet was dep and he fell lowe,
4948   That of his men non myhte knowe  
4949   Wher he becam, for non was nyh,  
4950   Which of his fall the meschief syh. 
4951   And thus al one ther he lay
4952   Clepende and criende al the day  
4953   For socour and deliverance,    
4954   Til ayein Eve it fell per chance,
4955   A while er it began to nyhte, 
4956   A povere man, which Bardus hihte,
4957   Cam forth walkende with his asse,
4958   And hadde gadred him a tasse  
4959   Of grene stickes and of dreie 
4960   To selle, who that wolde hem beie,  
4961   As he which hadde no liflode, 
4962   Bot whanne he myhte such a lode  
4963   To toune with his Asse carie. 
4964   And as it fell him forto tarie
4965   That ilke time nyh the pet,
4966   And hath the trusse faste knet,  
4967   He herde a vois, which cride dimme, 
4968   And he his Ere to the brimme  
4969   Hath leid, and herde it was a man,  
4970   Which seide, "Ha, help hier Adrian, 
4971   And I wol yiven half mi good."
4972   The povere man this understod,
4973   As he that wolde gladly winne,
4974   And to this lord which was withinne 
4975   He spak and seide, "If I thee save, 
4976   What sikernesse schal I have  
4977   Of covenant, that afterward
4978   Thou wolt me yive such reward 
4979   As thou behihtest nou tofore?"
4980   That other hath his othes swore  
4981   Be hevene and be the goddes alle,
4982   If that it myhte so befalle
4983   That he out of the pet him broghte, 
4984   Of all the goodes whiche he oghte
4985   He schal have evene halvendel.
4986   This Bardus seide he wolde wel;  
4987   And with this word his Asse anon 
4988   He let untrusse, and therupon 
4989   Doun goth the corde into the pet,
4990   To which he hath at ende knet     
4991   A staf, wherby, he seide, he wolde  
4992   That Adrian him scholde holde.
4993   Bot it was tho per chance falle, 
4994   Into that pet was also falle  
4995   An Ape, which at thilke throwe,  
4996   Whan that the corde cam doun lowe,  
4997   Al sodeinli therto he skipte  
4998   And it in bothe hise armes clipte.  
4999   And Bardus with his Asse anon 
5000   Him hath updrawe, and he is gon. 
5001   But whan he sih it was an Ape,
5002   He wende al hadde ben a jape  
5003   Of faierie, and sore him dradde: 
5004   And Adrian eftsone gradde  
5005   For help, and cride and preide faste,  
5006   And he eftsone his corde caste;  
5007   Bot whan it cam unto the grounde,
5008   A gret Serpent it hath bewounde, 
5009   The which Bardus anon up drouh.  
5010   And thanne him thoghte wel ynouh,
5011   It was fantosme, bot yit he herde
5012   The vois, and he therto ansuerde,
5013   "What wiht art thou in goddes name?"
5014   "I am," quod Adrian, "the same,  
5015   Whos good thou schalt have evene half."
5016   Quod Bardus, "Thanne a goddes half  
5017   The thridde time assaie I schal":
5018   And caste his corde forth withal 
5019   Into the pet, and whan it cam 
5020   To him, this lord of Rome it nam,
5021   And therupon him hath adresced,  
5022   And with his hand fulofte blessed,  
5023   And thanne he bad to Bardus hale.
5024   And he, which understod his tale,
5025   Betwen him and his Asse al softe 
5026   Hath drawe and set him up alofte     
5027   Withouten harm al esely.
5028   He seith noght ones "grant merci,"  
5029   Bot strauhte him forth to the cite, 
5030   And let this povere Bardus be.
5031   And natheles this simple man  
5032   His covenant, so as he can,
5033   Hath axed; and that other seide, 
5034   If so be that he him umbreide 
5035   Of oght that hath be speke or do,
5036   It schal ben venged on him so,
5037   That him were betre to be ded.
5038   And he can tho non other red, 
5039   But on his asse ayein he caste
5040   His trusse, and hieth homward faste:
5041   And whan that he cam hom to bedde,  
5042   He tolde his wif hou that he spedde.
5043   Bot finaly to speke oght more 
5044   Unto this lord he dradde him sore,  
5045   So that a word ne dorste he sein:
5046   And thus upon the morwe ayein,
5047   In the manere as I recorde,
5048   Forth with his Asse and with his corde 
5049   To gadre wode, as he dede er, 
5050   He goth; and whan that he cam ner
5051   Unto the place where he wolde,
5052   He hath his Ape anon beholde, 
5053   Which hadde gadred al aboute  
5054   Of stickes hiere and there a route, 
5055   And leide hem redy to his hond,  
5056   Wherof he made his trosse and bond; 
5057   Fro dai to dai and in this wise  
5058   This Ape profreth his servise,
5059   So that he hadde of wode ynouh.  
5060   Upon a time and as he drouh
5061   Toward the wode, he sih besyde
5062   The grete gastli Serpent glyde,  
5063   Til that sche cam in his presence,      
5064   And in hir kinde a reverence  
5065   Sche hath him do, and forth withal  
5066   A Ston mor briht than a cristall 
5067   Out of hir mouth tofore his weie 
5068   Sche let doun falle, and wente aweie,  
5069   For that he schal noght ben adrad.  
5070   Tho was this povere Bardus glad, 
5071   Thonkende god, and to the Ston
5072   He goth an takth it up anon,  
5073   And hath gret wonder in his wit  
5074   Hou that the beste him hath aquit,  
5075   Wher that the mannes Sone hath failed, 
5076   For whom he hadde most travailed.
5077   Bot al he putte in goddes hond,  
5078   And torneth hom, and what he fond
5079   Unto his wif he hath it schewed; 
5080   And thei, that weren bothe lewed,
5081   Acorden that he scholde it selle.
5082   And he no lengere wolde duelle,  
5083   Bot forth anon upon the tale  
5084   The Ston he profreth to the sale;
5085   And riht as he himself it sette, 
5086   The jueler anon forth fette
5087   The gold and made his paiement,  
5088   Therof was no delaiement.  
5089   Thus whan this Ston was boght and sold,
5090   Homward with joie manyfold 
5091   This Bardus goth; and whan he cam
5092   Hom to his hous and that he nam  
5093   His gold out of his Purs, withinne  
5094   He fond his Ston also therinne,  
5095   Wherof for joie his herte pleide,
5096   Unto his wif and thus he seide,  
5097   "Lo, hier my gold, lo, hier mi Ston!"  
5098   His wif hath wonder therupon, 
5099   And axeth him hou that mai be.
5100   "Nou be mi trouthe I not," quod he, 
5101   "Bot I dar swere upon a bok,      
5102   That to my Marchant I it tok, 
5103   And he it hadde whan I wente: 
5104   So knowe I noght to what entente 
5105   It is nou hier, bot it be grace. 
5106   Forthi tomorwe in other place 
5107   I wole it fonde forto selle,  
5108   And if it wol noght with him duelle,
5109   Bot crepe into mi purs ayein, 
5110   Than dar I saufly swere and sein,
5111   It is the vertu of the Ston." 
5112   The morwe cam, and he is gon  
5113   To seche aboute in other stede
5114   His Ston to selle, and he so dede,  
5115   And lefte it with his chapman there.
5116   Bot whan that he cam elleswhere, 
5117   In presence of his wif at hom,
5118   Out of his Purs and that he nom  
5119   His gold, he fond his Ston withal:  
5120   And thus it fell him overal,  
5121   Where he it solde in sondri place,  
5122   Such was the fortune and the grace. 
5123   Bot so wel may nothing ben hidd, 
5124   That it nys ate laste kidd:
5125   This fame goth aboute Rome 
5126   So ferforth, that the wordes come
5127   To themperour Justinian;
5128   And he let sende for the man, 
5129   And axede him hou that it was.
5130   And Bardus tolde him al the cas, 
5131   Hou that the worm and ek the beste, 
5132   Althogh thei maden no beheste,
5133   His travail hadden wel aquit; 
5134   Bot he which hadde a mannes wit, 
5135   And made his covenant be mouthe  
5136   And swor therto al that he couthe
5137   To parte and yiven half his good,    
5138   Hath nou foryete hou that it stod,  
5139   As he which wol no trouthe holde.
5140   This Emperour al that he tolde
5141   Hath herd, and thilke unkindenesse  
5142   He seide he wolde himself redresse. 
5143   And thus in court of juggement
5144   This Adrian was thanne assent,
5145   And the querele in audience
5146   Declared was in the presence  
5147   Of themperour and many mo; 
5148   Wherof was mochel speche tho  
5149   And gret wondringe among the press. 
5150   Bot ate laste natheles  
5151   For the partie which hath pleigned  
5152   The lawe hath diemed and ordeigned  
5153   Be hem that were avised wel,  
5154   That he schal have the halvendel 
5155   Thurghout of Adrianes good.
5156   And thus of thilke unkinde blod  
5157   Stant the memoire into this day, 
5158   Wherof that every wysman may  
5159   Ensamplen him, and take in mynde 
5160   What schame it is to ben unkinde;
5161   Ayein the which reson debateth,  
5162   And every creature it hateth. 
5163   Forthi, mi Sone, in thin office  
5164   I rede fle that ilke vice. 
5165   For riht as the Cronique seith
5166   Of Adrian, hou he his feith
5167   Foryat for worldes covoitise, 
5168   Fulofte in such a maner wise  
5169   Of lovers nou a man mai se 
5170   Full manye that unkinde be:
5171   For wel behote and evele laste
5172   That is here lif; for ate laste, 
5173   Whan that thei have here wille do,  
5174   Here love is after sone ago.  
5175   What seist thou, Sone, to this cas?     
5176   Mi fader, I wol seie Helas,
5177   That evere such a man was bore,  
5178   Which whan he hath his trouthe suore
5179   And hath of love what he wolde,  
5180   That he at eny time scholde
5181   Evere after in his herte finde
5182   To falsen and to ben unkinde. 
5183   Bot, fader, as touchende of me,  
5184   I mai noght stonde in that degre;
5185   For I tok nevere of love why, 
5186   That I ne mai wel go therby
5187   And do my profit elles where, 
5188   For eny sped I finde there.
5189   I dar wel thenken al aboute,  
5190   Bot I ne dar noght speke it oute;
5191   And if I dorste, I wolde pleigne,
5192   That sche for whom I soffre peine
5193   And love hir evere aliche hote,  
5194   That nouther yive ne behote
5195   In rewardinge of mi servise
5196   It list hire in no maner wise.
5197   I wol noght say that sche is kinde, 
5198   And forto sai sche is unkinde,
5199   That dar I noght; bot god above, 
5200   Which demeth every herte of love,
5201   He wot that on myn oghne side 
5202   Schal non unkindeschipe abide:
5203   If it schal with mi ladi duelle, 
5204   Therof dar I nomore telle. 
5205   Nou, goode fader, as it is,
5206   Tell me what thenketh you of this.  
5207   Mi Sone, of that unkindeschipe,  
5208   The which toward thi ladischipe  
5209   Thou pleignest, for sche wol thee noght,  
5210   Thou art to blamen of that thoght.  
5211   For it mai be that thi desir, 
5212   Thogh it brenne evere as doth the fyr, 
5213   Per cas to hire honour missit,    
5214   Or elles time com noght yit,  
5215   Which standt upon thi destine:
5216   Forthi, mi Sone, I rede thee, 
5217   Thenk wel, what evere the befalle;  
5218   For noman hath his lustes alle.  
5219   Bot as thou toldest me before 
5220   That thou to love art noght forswore,  
5221   And hast don non unkindenesse,
5222   Thou miht therof thi grace blesse:  
5223   And lef noght that continuance;  
5224   For ther mai be no such grevance 
5225   To love, as is unkindeschipe. 
5226   Wherof to kepe thi worschipe, 
5227   So as these olde bokes tale,  
5228   I schal thee telle a redi tale:  
5229   Nou herkne and be wel war therby,
5230   For I wol telle it openly. 
5231   Mynos, as telleth the Poete,  
5232   The which whilom was king of Crete, 
5233   A Sone hadde and Androchee 
5234   He hihte: and so befell that he  
5235   Unto Athenes forto lere 
5236   Was send, and so he bar him there,  
5237   For that he was of hih lignage,  
5238   Such pride he tok in his corage, 
5239   That he foryeten hath the Scoles,
5240   And in riote among the foles  
5241   He dede manye thinges wronge; 
5242   And useth thilke lif so longe,
5243   Til ate laste of that he wroghte 
5244   He fond the meschief which he soghte,  
5245   Wherof it fell that he was slain.
5246   His fader, which it herde sain,  
5247   Was wroth, and al that evere he mihte, 
5248   Of men of Armes he him dighte 
5249   A strong pouer, and forth he wente      
5250   Unto Athenys, where he brente 
5251   The pleine contre al aboute:  
5252   The Cites stode of him in doute, 
5253   As thei that no defence hadde 
5254   Ayein the pouer which he ladde.  
5255   Eges, which was there king, 
5256   His conseil tok upon this thing, 
5257   For he was thanne in the Cite:
5258   So that of pes into tretee 
5259   Betwen Mynos and Eges 
5260   Thei felle, and ben acorded thus;
5261   That king Mynos fro yer to yeere 
5262   Receive schal, as thou schalt here, 
5263   Out of Athenys for truage  
5264   Of men that were of myhti Age 
5265   Persones nyne, of whiche he schal
5266   His wille don in special
5267   For vengance of his Sones deth.  
5268   Non other grace ther ne geth, 
5269   Bot forto take the juise;  
5270   And that was don in such a wise, 
5271   Which stod upon a wonder cas. 
5272   For thilke time so it was, 
5273   Wherof that men yit rede and singe, 
5274   King Mynos hadde in his kepinge  
5275   A cruel Monstre, as seith the geste:
5276   For he was half man and half beste, 
5277   And Minotaurus he was hote,
5278   Which was begete in a riote
5279   Upon Pasiphe, his oghne wif,  
5280   Whil he was oute upon the strif  
5281   Of thilke grete Siege at Troie.  
5282   Bot sche, which lost hath alle joie,
5283   Whan that sche syh this Monstre bore,  
5284   Bad men ordeigne anon therfore:  
5285   And fell that ilke time thus, 
5286   Ther was a Clerk, on Dedalus, 
5287   Which hadde ben of hire assent    
5288   Of that hir world was so miswent;
5289   And he made of his oghne wit, 
5290   Wherof the remembrance is yit,
5291   For Minotaure such an hous,
5292   Which was so strange and merveilous,
5293   That what man that withinne wente,  
5294   Ther was so many a sondri wente, 
5295   That he ne scholde noght come oute, 
5296   But gon amased al aboute.  
5297   And in this hous to loke and warde  
5298   Was Minotaurus put in warde,  
5299   That what lif that therinne cam, 
5300   Or man or beste, he overcam
5301   And slow, and fedde him therupon;
5302   And in this wise many on
5303   Out of Athenys for truage  
5304   Devoured weren in that rage.  
5305   For every yeer thei schope hem so,  
5306   Thei of Athenys, er thei go
5307   Toward that ilke wofull chance,  
5308   As it was set in ordinance,
5309   Upon fortune here lot thei caste;
5310   Til that Theses ate laste,  
5311   Which was the kinges Sone there, 
5312   Amonges othre that ther were  
5313   In thilke yeer, as it befell, 
5314   The lot upon his chance fell. 
5315   He was a worthi kniht withalle;  
5316   And whan he sih this chance falle,  
5317   He ferde as thogh he tok non hiede, 
5318   Bot al that evere he mihte spiede,  
5319   With him and with his felaschipe 
5320   Forth into Crete he goth be Schipe; 
5321   Wher that the king Mynos he soghte, 
5322   And profreth all that he him oghte  
5323   Upon the point of here acord.     
5324   This sterne king, this cruel lord
5325   Tok every day on of the Nyne, 
5326   And put him to the discipline 
5327   Of Minotaure, to be devoured; 
5328   Bot Theses was so favoured, 
5329   That he was kept til ate laste.  
5330   And in the meene while he caste  
5331   What thing him were best to do:  
5332   And fell that Adriagne tho,
5333   Which was the dowhter of Mynos,  
5334   And hadde herd the worthi los 
5335   Of Theses and of his myht,  
5336   And syh he was a lusti kniht, 
5337   Hire hole herte on him sche leide,  
5338   And he also of love hir preide,  
5339   So ferforth that thei were al on.
5340   And sche ordeigneth thanne anon  
5341   In what manere he scholde him save, 
5342   And schop so that sche dede him have
5343   A clue of thred, of which withinne  
5344   Ferst ate dore he schal beginne  
5345   With him to take that on ende,
5346   That whan he wolde ayeinward wende, 
5347   He mihte go the same weie. 
5348   And over this, so as I seie,  
5349   Of pich sche tok him a pelote,
5350   The which he scholde into the throte
5351   Of Minotaure caste rihte:  
5352   Such wepne also for him sche dighte,
5353   That he be reson mai noght faile 
5354   To make an ende of his bataile;  
5355   For sche him tawhte in sondri wise, 
5356   Til he was knowe of thilke emprise, 
5357   Hou he this beste schulde quelle.
5358   And thus, schort tale forto telle,  
5359   So as this Maide him hadde tawht,    
5360   Theses with this Monstre fawht,
5361   Smot of his hed, the which he nam,  
5362   And be the thred, so as he cam,  
5363   He goth ayein, til he were oute. 
5364   Tho was gret wonder al aboute:
5365   Mynos the tribut hath relessed,  
5366   And so was al the werre cessed
5367   Betwen Athene and hem of Crete.  
5368   Bot now to speke of thilke suete,
5369   Whos beaute was withoute wane,
5370   This faire Maiden Adriane, 
5371   Whan that sche sih Theses sound,  
5372   Was nevere yit upon the ground
5373   A gladder wyht that sche was tho.
5374   Theses duelte a dai or tuo  
5375   Wher that Mynos gret chiere him dede:  
5376   Theses in a prive stede  
5377   Hath with this Maiden spoke and rouned,
5378   That sche to him was abandouned  
5379   In al that evere that sche couthe,  
5380   So that of thilke lusty youthe
5381   Al prively betwen hem tweie
5382   The ferste flour he tok aweie.
5383   For he so faire tho behihte
5384   That evere, whil he live mihte,  
5385   He scholde hire take for his wif,
5386   And as his oghne hertes lif
5387   He scholde hire love and trouthe bere; 
5388   And sche, which mihte noght forbere,
5389   So sore loveth him ayein,  
5390   That what as evere he wolde sein 
5391   With al hire herte sche believeth.  
5392   And thus his pourpos he achieveth,  
5393   So that assured of his trouthe
5394   With him sche wente, and that was routhe. 
5395   Fedra hire yonger Soster eke, 
5396   A lusti Maide, a sobre, a meke,  
5397   Fulfild of alle curtesie,      
5398   For Sosterhode and compainie  
5399   Of love, which was hem betuene,  
5400   To sen hire Soster mad a queene, 
5401   Hire fader lefte and forth sche wente  
5402   With him, which al his ferste entente  
5403   Foryat withinne a litel throwe,  
5404   So that it was al overthrowe, 
5405   Whan sche best wende it scholde stonde.
5406   The Schip was blowe fro the londe,  
5407   Wherin that thei seilende were;  
5408   This Adriagne hath mochel fere
5409   Of that the wynd so loude bleu,  
5410   As sche which of the See ne kneu,
5411   And preide forto reste a whyle.  
5412   And so fell that upon an yle, 
5413   Which Chyo hihte, thei ben drive,
5414   Where he to hire his leve hath yive 
5415   That sche schal londe and take hire reste.
5416   Bot that was nothing for the beste: 
5417   For whan sche was to londe broght,  
5418   Sche, which that time thoghte noght 
5419   Bot alle trouthe, and tok no kepe,  
5420   Hath leid hire softe forto slepe,
5421   As sche which longe hath ben forwacched;  
5422   Bot certes sche was evele macched
5423   And fer from alle loves kinde;
5424   For more than the beste unkinde  
5425   Theses, which no trouthe kepte,
5426   Whil that this yonge ladi slepte,
5427   Fulfild of his unkindeschipe  
5428   Hath al foryete the goodschipe
5429   Which Adriane him hadde do,
5430   And bad unto the Schipmen tho 
5431   Hale up the seil and noght abyde,
5432   And forth he goth the same tyde  
5433   Toward Athene, and hire alonde
5434   He lefte, which lay nyh the stronde     
5435   Slepende, til that sche awok. 
5436   Bot whan that sche cast up hire lok 
5437   Toward the stronde and sih no wyht, 
5438   Hire herte was so sore aflyht,
5439   That sche ne wiste what to thinke,  
5440   Bot drouh hire to the water brinke, 
5441   Wher sche behield the See at large. 
5442   Sche sih no Schip, sche sih no barge
5443   Als ferforth as sche mihte kenne:
5444   "Ha lord," sche seide, "which a Senne, 
5445   As al the world schal after hiere,  
5446   Upon this woful womman hiere  
5447   This worthi kniht hath don and wroght! 
5448   I wende I hadde his love boght,  
5449   And so deserved ate nede,  
5450   Whan that he stod upon his drede,
5451   And ek the love he me behihte.
5452   It is gret wonder hou he mihte
5453   Towardes me nou ben unkinde,  
5454   And so to lete out of his mynde  
5455   Thing which he seide his oghne mouth.  
5456   Bot after this whan it is couth  
5457   And drawe into the worldes fame, 
5458   It schal ben hindringe of his name: 
5459   For wel he wot and so wot I,  
5460   He yaf his trouthe bodily, 
5461   That he myn honour scholde kepe."
5462   And with that word sche gan to wepe,
5463   And sorweth more than ynouh:  
5464   Hire faire tresces sche todrouh, 
5465   And with hirself tok such a strif,  
5466   That sche betwen the deth and lif
5467   Swounende lay fulofte among.  
5468   And al was this on him along, 
5469   Which was to love unkinde so, 
5470   Wherof the wrong schal everemo    
5471   Stonde in Cronique of remembrance.  
5472   And ek it asketh a vengance
5473   To ben unkinde in loves cas,  
5474   So as Theses thanne was, 
5475   Al thogh he were a noble kniht;  
5476   For he the lawe of loves riht 
5477   Forfeted hath in alle weie,
5478   That Adriagne he putte aweie, 
5479   Which was a gret unkinde dede:
5480   And after this, so as I rede, 
5481   Fedra, the which hir Soster is,  
5482   He tok in stede of hire, and this
5483   Fel afterward to mochel teene.
5484   For thilke vice of which I meene,
5485   Unkindeschipe, where it falleth, 
5486   The trouthe of mannes herte it palleth,
5487   That he can no good dede aquite: 
5488   So mai he stonde of no merite 
5489   Towardes god, and ek also  
5490   Men clepen him the worldes fo;
5491   For he nomore than the fend
5492   Unto non other man is frend,  
5493   Bot al toward himself al one. 
5494   Forthi, mi Sone, in thi persone  
5495   This vice above all othre fle.
5496   Mi fader, as ye techen me, 
5497   I thenke don in this matiere. 
5498   Bot over this nou wolde I hiere, 
5499   Wherof I schal me schryve more.  
5500   Mi goode Sone, and for thi lore, 
5501   After the reule of coveitise  
5502   I schal the proprete devise
5503   Of every vice by and by.
5504   Nou herkne and be wel war therby.
5505   In the lignage of Avarice, 
5506   Mi Sone, yit ther is a vice,      
5507   His rihte name it is Ravine,  
5508   Which hath a route of his covine.
5509   Ravine among the maistres duelleth, 
5510   And with his servantz, as men telleth, 
5511   Extorcion is nou withholde:
5512   Ravine of othre mennes folde  
5513   Makth his larder and paieth noght;  
5514   For wher as evere it mai be soght,  
5515   In his hous ther schal nothing lacke,  
5516   And that fulofte abyth the packe 
5517   Of povere men that duelle aboute.
5518   Thus stant the comun poeple in doute,  
5519   Which can do non amendement;  
5520   For whanne him faileth paiement, 
5521   Ravine makth non other skile, 
5522   Bot takth be strengthe what he wile.
5523   So ben ther in the same wise  
5524   Lovers, as I thee schal devise,  
5525   That whan noght elles mai availe,
5526   Anon with strengthe thei assaile 
5527   And gete of love the sesine,  
5528   Whan thei se time, be Ravine. 
5529   Forthi, mi Sone, schrif thee hier,  
5530   If thou hast ben a Raviner 
5531   Of love. Certes, fader, no:
5532   For I mi ladi love so,  
5533   That thogh I were as was Pompeie,
5534   That al the world me wolde obeie,
5535   Or elles such as Alisandre,
5536   I wolde noght do such a sklaundre;  
5537   It is no good man, which so doth.
5538   In good feith, Sone, thou seist soth:  
5539   For he that wole of pourveance
5540   Be such a weie his lust avance,      
5541   He schal it after sore abie,  
5542   Bot if these olde ensamples lie. 
5543   Nou, goode fader, tell me on, 
5544   So as ye cunne manyon,  
5545   Touchende of love in this matiere.  
5546   Nou list, mi Sone, and thou schalt hiere, 
5547   So as it hath befalle er this,
5548   In loves cause hou that it is 
5549   A man to take be Ravine 
5550   The preie which is femeline.  
5551   Ther was a real noble king,
5552   And riche of alle worldes thing, 
5553   Which of his propre enheritance  
5554   Athenes hadde in governance,  
5555   And who so thenke therupon,
5556   His name was king Pandion. 
5557   Tuo douhtres hadde he be his wif,
5558   The whiche he lovede as his lif; 
5559   The ferste douhter Progne hihte, 
5560   And the secounde, as sche wel mihte,
5561   Was cleped faire Philomene,
5562   To whom fell after mochel tene.  
5563   The fader of his pourveance
5564   His doughter Progne wolde avance,
5565   And yaf hire unto mariage  
5566   A worthi king of hih lignage, 
5567   A noble kniht eke of his hond,
5568   So was he kid in every lond,  
5569   Of Trace he hihte Teres; 
5570   The clerk Ovide telleth thus. 
5571   This Teres his wif hom ladde,  
5572   A lusti lif with hire he hadde;  
5573   Til it befell upon a tyde, 
5574   This Progne, as sche lay him besyde,
5575   Bethoughte hir hou it mihte be
5576   That sche hir Soster myhte se,    
5577   And to hir lord hir will sche seide,
5578   With goodly wordes and him preide
5579   That sche to hire mihte go:
5580   And if it liked him noght so, 
5581   That thanne he wolde himselve wende,
5582   Or elles be som other sende,  
5583   Which mihte hire diere Soster griete,  
5584   And schape hou that thei mihten miete. 
5585   Hir lord anon to that he herde
5586   Yaf his acord, and thus ansuerde:
5587   "I wole," he seide, "for thi sake
5588   The weie after thi Soster take
5589   Miself, and bringe hire, if I may." 
5590   And sche with that, there as he lay,
5591   Began him in hire armes clippe,  
5592   And kist him with hir softe lippe,  
5593   And seide, "Sire, grant mercy."  
5594   And he sone after was redy,
5595   And tok his leve forto go; 
5596   In sori time dede he so.
5597   This Teres goth forth to Schipe
5598   With him and with his felaschipe;
5599   Be See the rihte cours he nam,
5600   Into the contre til he cam,
5601   Wher Philomene was duellinge, 
5602   And of hir Soster the tidinge 
5603   He tolde, and tho thei weren glade, 
5604   And mochel joie of him thei made.
5605   The fader and the moder bothe 
5606   To leve here douhter weren lothe,
5607   Bot if thei weren in presence;
5608   And natheles at reverence  
5609   Of him, that wolde himself travaile,
5610   Thei wolden noght he scholde faile  
5611   Of that he preide, and yive hire leve: 
5612   And sche, that wolde noght beleve,      
5613   In alle haste made hire yare  
5614   Toward hir Soster forto fare, 
5615   With Teres and forth sche wente.  
5616   And he with al his hole entente, 
5617   Whan sche was fro hir frendes go,
5618   Assoteth of hire love so,  
5619   His yhe myhte he noght withholde,
5620   That he ne moste on hir beholde; 
5621   And with the sihte he gan desire,
5622   And sette his oghne herte on fyre;  
5623   And fyr, whan it to tow aprocheth,  
5624   To him anon the strengthe acrocheth,
5625   Til with his hete it be devoured,
5626   The tow ne mai noght be socoured.
5627   And so that tirant raviner,
5628   Whan that sche was in his pouer, 
5629   And he therto sawh time and place,  
5630   As he that lost hath alle grace, 
5631   Foryat he was a wedded man,
5632   And in a rage on hire he ran, 
5633   Riht as a wolf which takth his preie.  
5634   And sche began to crie and preie,
5635   "O fader, o mi moder diere,
5636   Nou help!" Bot thei ne mihte it hiere, 
5637   And sche was of to litel myht 
5638   Defense ayein so ruide a knyht
5639   To make, whanne he was so wod 
5640   That he no reson understod,
5641   Bot hield hire under in such wise,  
5642   That sche ne myhte noght arise,  
5643   Bot lay oppressed and desesed,
5644   As if a goshauk hadde sesed
5645   A brid, which dorste noght for fere 
5646   Remue: and thus this tirant there
5647   Beraft hire such thing as men sein  
5648   Mai neveremor be yolde ayein, 
5649   And that was the virginite:
5650   Of such Ravine it was pite.    
5651   Bot whan sche to hirselven com,  
5652   And of hir meschief hiede nom,
5653   And knew hou that sche was no maide,
5654   With wofull herte thus sche saide,  
5655   "O thou of alle men the worste,  
5656   Wher was ther evere man that dorste 
5657   Do such a dede as thou hast do?  
5658   That dai schal falle, I hope so, 
5659   That I schal telle out al mi fille, 
5660   And with mi speche I schal fulfille 
5661   The wyde world in brede and lengthe.
5662   That thou hast do to me be strengthe,  
5663   If I among the poeple duelle, 
5664   Unto the poeple I schal it telle;
5665   And if I be withinne wall  
5666   Of Stones closed, thanne I schal 
5667   Unto the Stones clepe and crie,  
5668   And tellen hem thi felonie;
5669   And if I to the wodes wende,  
5670   Ther schal I tellen tale and ende,  
5671   And crie it to the briddes oute, 
5672   That thei schul hiere it al aboute. 
5673   For I so loude it schal reherce, 
5674   That my vois schal the hevene perce,
5675   That it schal soune in goddes Ere.  
5676   Ha, false man, where is thi fere?
5677   O mor cruel than eny beste,
5678   Hou hast thou holden thi beheste 
5679   Which thou unto my Soster madest?
5680   O thou, which alle love ungladest,  
5681   And art ensample of alle untrewe,
5682   Nou wolde god mi Soster knewe,
5683   Of thin untrouthe, hou that it stod!"  
5684   And he than as a Lyon wod  
5685   With hise unhappi handes stronge     
5686   Hire cauhte be the tresses longe,
5687   With whiche he bond ther bothe hire armes,
5688   That was a fieble dede of armes, 
5689   And to the grounde anon hire caste, 
5690   And out he clippeth also faste
5691   Hire tunge with a peire scheres. 
5692   So what with blod and what with teres  
5693   Out of hire yhe and of hir mouth,
5694   He made hire faire face uncouth: 
5695   Sche lay swounende unto the deth,
5696   Ther was unethes eny breth;
5697   Bot yit whan he hire tunge refte,
5698   A litel part therof belefte,  
5699   Bot sche with al no word mai soune, 
5700   Bot chitre and as a brid jargoune.  
5701   And natheles that wode hound  
5702   Hir bodi hent up fro the ground, 
5703   And sente hir there as be his wille 
5704   Sche scholde abyde in prison stille 
5705   For everemo: bot nou tak hiede
5706   What after fell of this misdede. 
5707   Whanne al this meschief was befalle,
5708   This Teres, that foule him falle, 
5709   Unto his contre hom he tyh;
5710   And whan he com his paleis nyh,  
5711   His wif al redi there him kepte. 
5712   Whan he hir sih, anon he wepte,  
5713   And that he dede for deceite, 
5714   For sche began to axe him streite,  
5715   "Wher is mi Soster?" And he seide
5716   That sche was ded; and Progne abreide, 
5717   As sche that was a wofull wif,
5718   And stod betuen hire deth and lif,  
5719   Of that sche herde such tidinge: 
5720   Bot for sche sih hire lord wepinge, 
5721   She wende noght bot alle trouthe,
5722   And hadde wel the more routhe.
5723   The Perles weren tho forsake  
5724   To hire, and blake clothes take;     
5725   As sche that was gentil and kinde,  
5726   In worschipe of hir Sostres mynde
5727   Sche made a riche enterement, 
5728   For sche fond non amendement  
5729   To syghen or to sobbe more:
5730   So was ther guile under the gore.
5731   Nou leve we this king and queene,
5732   And torne ayein to Philomene, 
5733   As I began to tellen erst. 
5734   Whan sche cam into prison ferst, 
5735   It thoghte a kinges douhter strange 
5736   To maken so soudein a change  
5737   Fro welthe unto so grete a wo;
5738   And sche began to thenke tho, 
5739   Thogh sche be mouthe nothing preide,
5740   Withinne hir herte thus sche seide: 
5741   "O thou, almyhty Jupiter,  
5742   That hihe sist and lokest fer,
5743   Thou soffrest many a wrong doinge,  
5744   And yit it is noght thi willinge.
5745   To thee ther mai nothing ben hid,
5746   Thou wost hou it is me betid: 
5747   I wolde I hadde noght be bore,
5748   For thanne I hadde noght forlore 
5749   Mi speche and mi virginite.
5750   Bot, goode lord, al is in thee,  
5751   Whan thou therof wolt do vengance
5752   And schape mi deliverance."
5753   And evere among this ladi wepte, 
5754   And thoghte that sche nevere kepte  
5755   To ben a worldes womman more, 
5756   And that sche wissheth everemore.
5757   Bot ofte unto hir Soster diere
5758   Hire herte spekth in this manere,
5759   And seide, "Ha, Soster, if ye knewe 
5760   Of myn astat, ye wolde rewe,  
5761   I trowe, and my deliverance    
5762   Ye wolde schape, and do vengance 
5763   On him that is so fals a man: 
5764   And natheles, so as I can, 
5765   I wol you sende som tokninge, 
5766   Wherof ye schul have knowlechinge
5767   Of thing I wot, that schal you lothe,  
5768   The which you toucheth and me bothe."  
5769   And tho withinne a whyle als tyt 
5770   Sche waf a cloth of Selk al whyt 
5771   With lettres and ymagerie, 
5772   In which was al the felonie,  
5773   Which Teres to hire hath do;
5774   And lappede it togedre tho 
5775   And sette hir signet therupon 
5776   And sende it unto Progne anon.
5777   The messager which forth it bar, 
5778   What it amonteth is noght war;
5779   And natheles to Progne he goth
5780   And prively takth hire the cloth,
5781   And wente ayein riht as he cam,  
5782   The court of him non hiede nam.  
5783   Whan Progne of Philomene herde,  
5784   Sche wolde knowe hou that it ferde, 
5785   And opneth that the man hath broght,
5786   And wot therby what hath be wroght  
5787   And what meschief ther is befalle.  
5788   In swoune tho sche gan doun falle,  
5789   And efte aros and gan to stonde, 
5790   And eft sche takth the cloth on honde, 
5791   Behield the lettres and thymages;
5792   Bot ate laste, "Of suche oultrages,"
5793   Sche seith, "wepinge is noght the bote:"  
5794   And swerth, if that sche live mote, 
5795   It schal be venged otherwise. 
5796   And with that sche gan hire avise
5797   Hou ferst sche mihte unto hire winne
5798   Hir Soster, that noman withinne, 
5799   Bot only thei that were suore,    
5800   It scholde knowe, and schop therfore
5801   That Teres nothing it wiste;
5802   And yit riht as hirselven liste, 
5803   Hir Soster was delivered sone 
5804   Out of prison, and be the mone
5805   To Progne sche was broght be nyhte. 
5806   Whan ech of other hadde a sihte, 
5807   In chambre, ther thei were al one,  
5808   Thei maden many a pitous mone;
5809   Bot Progne most of sorwe made,
5810   Which sihe hir Soster pale and fade 
5811   And specheles and deshonoured,
5812   Of that sche hadde be defloured; 
5813   And ek upon hir lord sche thoghte,  
5814   Of that he so untreuly wroghte
5815   And hadde his espousaile broke.  
5816   Sche makth a vou it schal be wroke, 
5817   And with that word sche kneleth doun
5818   Wepinge in gret devocioun: 
5819   Unto Cupide and to Venus
5820   Sche preide, and seide thanne thus: 
5821   "O ye, to whom nothing asterte
5822   Of love mai, for every herte  
5823   Ye knowe, as ye that ben above
5824   The god and the goddesse of love;
5825   Ye witen wel that evere yit
5826   With al mi will and al my wit,
5827   Sith ferst ye schopen me to wedde,  
5828   That I lay with mi lord abedde,  
5829   I have be trewe in mi degre,  
5830   And evere thoghte forto be,
5831   And nevere love in other place,  
5832   Bot al only the king of Trace,
5833   Which is mi lord and I his wif.  
5834   Bot nou allas this wofull strif! 
5835   That I him thus ayeinward finde  
5836   The most untrewe and most unkinde    
5837   That evere in ladi armes lay. 
5838   And wel I wot that he ne may  
5839   Amende his wrong, it is so gret; 
5840   For he to lytel of me let, 
5841   Whan he myn oughne Soster tok,
5842   And me that am his wif forsok."  
5843   Lo, thus to Venus and Cupide  
5844   Sche preide, and furthermor sche cride 
5845   Unto Appollo the hiheste,  
5846   And seide, "O myghti god of reste,  
5847   Thou do vengance of this debat.  
5848   Mi Soster and al hire astat
5849   Thou wost, and hou sche hath forlore
5850   Hir maidenhod, and I therfore 
5851   In al the world schal bere a blame  
5852   Of that mi Soster hath a schame, 
5853   That Teres to hire I sente: 
5854   And wel thou wost that myn entente  
5855   Was al for worschipe and for goode. 
5856   O lord, that yifst the lives fode
5857   To every wyht, I prei thee hiere 
5858   Thes wofull Sostres that ben hiere, 
5859   And let ous noght to the ben lothe; 
5860   We ben thin oghne wommen bothe." 
5861   Thus pleigneth Progne and axeth wreche,
5862   And thogh hire Soster lacke speche, 
5863   To him that alle thinges wot  
5864   Hire sorwe is noght the lasse hot:  
5865   Bot he that thanne had herd hem tuo,
5866   Him oughte have sorwed everemo
5867   For sorwe which was hem betuene. 
5868   With signes pleigneth Philomene, 
5869   And Progne seith, "It schal be wreke,  
5870   That al the world therof schal speke." 
5871   And Progne tho seknesse feigneth,
5872   Wherof unto hir lord sche pleigneth,
5873   And preith sche moste hire chambres kepe, 
5874   And as hir liketh wake and slepe.    
5875   And he hire granteth to be so;
5876   And thus togedre ben thei tuo,
5877   That wolde him bot a litel good. 
5878   Nou herk hierafter hou it stod
5879   Of wofull auntres that befelle:  
5880   Thes Sostres, that ben bothe felle,-
5881   And that was noght on hem along, 
5882   Bot onliche on the grete wrong
5883   Which Teres hem hadde do,-  
5884   Thei schopen forto venge hem tho.
5885   This Teres be Progne his wif
5886   A Sone hath, which as his lif 
5887   He loveth, and Ithis he hihte:
5888   His moder wiste wel sche mihte
5889   Do Teres no more grief
5890   Than sle this child, which was so lief.
5891   Thus sche, that was, as who seith, mad 
5892   Of wo, which hath hir overlad,
5893   Withoute insihte of moderhede 
5894   Foryat pite and loste drede,  
5895   And in hir chambre prively 
5896   This child withouten noise or cry
5897   Sche slou, and hieu him al to pieces:  
5898   And after with diverse spieces
5899   The fleissh, whan it was so toheewe,
5900   Sche takth, and makth therof a sewe,
5901   With which the fader at his mete 
5902   Was served, til he hadde him ete;
5903   That he ne wiste hou that it stod,  
5904   Bot thus his oughne fleissh and blod
5905   Himself devoureth ayein kinde,
5906   As he that was tofore unkinde.
5907   And thanne, er that he were arise,  
5908   For that he scholde ben agrise,  
5909   To schewen him the child was ded,
5910   This Philomene tok the hed 
5911   Betwen tuo disshes, and al wrothe    
5912   Tho comen forth the Sostres bothe,  
5913   And setten it upon the bord.  
5914   And Progne tho began the word,
5915   And seide, "O werste of alle wicke, 
5916   Of conscience whom no pricke  
5917   Mai stere, lo, what thou hast do!
5918   Lo, hier ben nou we Sostres tuo; 
5919   O Raviner, lo hier thi preie, 
5920   With whom so falsliche on the weie  
5921   Thou hast thi tirannye wroght.
5922   Lo, nou it is somdel aboght,  
5923   And bet it schal, for of thi dede
5924   The world schal evere singe and rede
5925   In remembrance of thi defame: 
5926   For thou to love hast do such schame,  
5927   That it schal nevere be foryete."