Geoffrey Chaucer.

The student's Chaucer, being a complete edition of his works; online

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Som tyrant is, as ther be many oon,
That hath an herte as hard as any stoon,
Which wolde han lete him sterven in

the place 1991

Wei rather than han graunted him hir

grace ;

And hem rejoysen in hir cruel pryde,
And rekke nat to been an homicyde. (750)
This gentil May, fulfilled of pitee, 1995
Bight of hir hande a lettre made she,
In which she graunteth him hir verray

grace;
Ther lakketh noght but only day and

place,
Wher that she mighte nn-to his lust

suffyse :

For it shal be right as he wol devyse. 2000
And whan she saugh hir time, up-on a day,
To visite this Damian goth May,
And sotilly this lettre doun she threste
Under his pilwe, rede it if him leste. (760)
She taketh him by the hand, and harde

him twiste 2005

So secrely, that no wight of it wiste,
And bad him been al hool, and forth she

wente
To Januarie, whan that he for hir sente.

Up ryseth Damian the nexte morwe,
Al passed was his siknesse and his sorwe.
He kembeth him, he proyneth him and

pyketh, 2on

He dooth al that his lady lust and lyketh ;
And eek to Januarie he gooth as lowe
As ever dide a dogge for the bowe. (770)



He is so plesant un-to every man, 2015
(For craft is al, who-so that do it can)
That every wight is fayn to speke him

good;

And fully in his lady grace he stood.
Thus lete I Damian aboute his nede,
And in my tale forth I wol procede. 2020

Somme clerkes holden that felicitee
Stant in delyt, and therefor certeyn he,
This noble Januarie, with al his might,
In honest wyse, as longeth to a knight,
Shoop him to live ful deliciously. (781) 2025
His housinge, his array, as honestly
To his degree was maked as a kinges.
Amonges othere of his honest thinges,
He made a gardin, walled al with stoon ;
So fair a gardin woot I nowher noon. 2030
For out of doute, I verraily suppose,
That he that wroot the Romance of the

Rose

Ne coude of it the beautee wel devyse ;
Ne Priapus ne mighte nat suffyse, (790)
Though he be god of gardins, for to

telle 2035

The beautee of the gardin and the welle,
That stood under a laurer alwey grene.
Ful ofte tyme he, Pluto, and his quene,
Proserpina, and al hir fayerye
Disporten hem and maken melodye 2040
Aboute that welle, and daunced, as men

tolde.

This noble knight, this Januarie the olde.
Swich deintee hath in it to walke and

pleye, (799)

That he wol no wight suffrenberethekeye
Save he him-self ; for of the smale wiket
He bar alwey of silver a smal cliket, 2046
With which, whan that him leste, he it

unshette.

And whan he wolde paye his wyf hir dette
In somer seson, thider wolde he go,
And May his wyf, and no wight but they

two ; 2050

And thinges whiche that were nat doon

a-bedde,
He in the gardin parfourned hem and



And in this wyse, many a mery day,
Lived this Januarie and fresshe May. (810)
But worldly joye may nat alwey dure 2055
To Januarie, ne to no creature.



. 9931



-10014.]



E.



623



Auctor.

O sodeyn hap, o thou fortune instablo,
Lyk to the scorpioun so deceivable,
That flaterest with thyn heed when thou

wolt stinge ;
Thy tayl is deeth, thurgh thyn enveni-

minge. 2060

O brotil joye ! o swete venim queynte !
O monstre, that so subtilly canst peynte
Thy yiftes, under hewe of stedfastnesse,
That thou deeeyvest bothe more and lesse !
Why hastow Januarie thus deceyved, (821)
That haddest him for thy ful frend re-

ceyved ? 2066

And now thou hast biraft him bothe hise

yen,
For sorwe of which desyreth he to dyen.

Alias ! this noble Januarie free,
Amidde his lust and his prosperitee, 2070
Is woxen blind, and that al sodeynly.
He wepeth and he wayleth pitously ;
And ther-with-al the fyr of jalousye, (829)
Lest that his wyf sholde falle in som folye,
So brente his herte, that he wolde fayn 2075
That som man bothe him and hir had

slayn.

For neither after his deeth, nor in his lyf,
Ne wolde he that she were love ne wyf,
But ever live as widwe in clothes blake,
Soul as the turtle that lost hath hir make.
But atte laste, after a monthe or tweye,
His sorwe gan aswage, sooth to seye ; 2082
For whan he wiste it may noon other be,
He paciently took his adversitee ; (840)
Save, out of doute, he may nat forgoon
That he nas jalous evermore in oon ;
Which jalousye it was so outrageous,
That neither in halle, n'in noon other hous,
Ne in noon other place, never-the-mo,
He nolde suffre hir for to ryde or go, 2090
But-if that he had hand on hir alway ;
For which ful ofte wepeth fresshe May,
That loveth Damian so benignely,
That she mot outher dyen sodeynly, (850)
Or elles she mot han him as hir leste ; 2095
She wayteth whan hir herte wolde breste.

Up-on that other syde Damian
Bicomen is the sorwefulleste man
That ever was ; for neither night ne day
Ne mighte he speke a word to fresshe

May, 2100



As to his purpos, of no swich matere,
But-if that Januarie moste it here,
That hadde an hand up-on hir evermo.
But nathelees, by wryting to and fro (860)
And privee signes, wiste ho what she
mente; 2105

And she knew eek the fyn of his entente.
Auctor.

O Januarie, what mighte it thee availle,
Thou mightest see as fer as shippes saille ?
For also good is blind deceyved be,
As be deceyved whan a man may see. 2110
Lo, Argus, which that hadde an hondred

yen,

For al that ever he coude poure or pryen,
Yet was he blent ; and, god wot, so ben.

mo,

That wenen wisly that it be nat so. (870)

Passe over is an ese, I sey na-more. 2115

This fresshe May, that I spak of sy

yore,

In warme wex hath emprented the cliket,
That Januarie bar of the smale wiket,
By which in-to his gardin ofte he wente.
And Damian, that knew al hir entente,
The cliket countrefeted prively ; 2121
Ther nis na-more to seye, but hastily
Som wonder by this cliket shal bityde,
Which ye shul heron, if ye wole abyde.
O noble Ovyde, ful sooth seystou, god

woot ! Auctor.

What sleighte is it, thogh it be long and

hoot, (882) 2126

That he nil finde it out in som manere ?
By Piramus and Tesbee may men lere ;
Thogh they wore kept ful longe streite

overal,
They been accorded, rouninge thurgh a

wal, 2 1 jo

Ther no wight coude han founde out

swich a sleighte. (887)

But now to purpos ; er that dayes eighto
Were passed, er the monthe of Juil, bifil
That Januarie hath caught so greet a wil,
Thurgh egging of his wyf, him for to pleyo
In his gardin, and no wight but they tweye,
That in a morwe un-to this May seith he :
' Eys up, my wyf, my love, my lady free ;
The turtles vois is herd, my douve swete ;
The winter is goon, with alle his reynes

wete^ 2140



624



[T. 10015-10102.



Com forth now, with thyn ey6n columbyn !
How fairer been thy brestes than is wyn !
The gaxdin is enclosed al aboute ;
Com forth, my whyte spouse ; out of

doute, (900)

Thou hast me wounded in myn herte,

owyf! 2145

No spot of thee ne knew I al my lyf.
Com forth, and lat us taken our disport ;
I chees thee for rny wyf and my confort.'

Swiche olde lewed wordes used he ;
On Damian a signe made she, 2150

That he sholde go biforen with his cliket :
This Damian thanne hath opened the

wiket,

And in he stirte, and that in swich manere,
That no wight mighte it see neither

y-here ; (910)

And stille he sit under a bush anoon. 2155

This Januarie, as blind as is a stoon,
With Maius in his hand, and no wight mo,
In-to his fresshe gardin is ago,
And clapte to the wiket sodeynly.

' Now, wyf,' quod he, ' heer nis but thou

and I, 2160

That art the creature that I best love.
For, by that lord that sit in heven above,
Lever ich hadde dyen on a knyf,
Than thee offende, trewe dere wyf ! (920)
For goddes sake, thenk how I thee chees,
Noght for no coveityse, doutelees, 2166
But only for the love I had to thee.
And though that I be old, and may nat see,
Beth to me trewe, and I shaltelle yow why.
Three thinges, certes, shul ye winne ther-

by; 2170

First, love of Crist, and to your-self honour,
And al myn heritage, toun and tour ;
I yeve it yow, maketh chartres as yow

leste ; (929)

This shal be doon to-morwe er sonne reste.
So wisly god my soule bringe in blisse, 2175
I prey yow first, in covenant ye me kisse.
Andthogh that I be jalous, wyte me noght.
Ye been so depe enprented in my thoght,
That, whan that I considere your beautee,
And ther-with-al the unlykly elde of me
I may nat, certes, thogh I sholde dye,
Forbere to been out of your companye
For verray love ; this is with-outen doute.
Now Ids me, wyf, and lat us rome aboute.'



This fresshe May, whan she thise wordes
herde, (941) 2185

Benignely to Januarie answerde,
But first and forward she bigan to wepe,
' I have,' quod she, ' a soule for to kepe
As wel as ye, and also myn honour,
And of my wyfliod thilke tendre flour, 2190
Which that I have assured in your hond,
Whan that the preest to yow my body

bond;

Wherfore I wole answere in this manere
By the leve of yow, my lord so dere : (950)
I prey to god, that never dawe the day 2 195
That I ne sterve, as foule as womman may,
If ever I do un-to my kin that shame,
Or elles I empeyre so my name,
That I be fals ; and if I do that lakke,
Do strepe me and put me in a sakke, 2200
And in the nexte river do me drenche.
I am a gentil womman and no wenche.
Why speke ye thus ? but men ben ever
untrewe, (959)

And wommen have repreve of yow ay ne we.
Ye han non other contenance, I leve, 2205
But speke to us of untrust and repreve.'
And with that word she saugh wher

Damian

Sat in the bush, and coughen she bigan,
And with hir finger signes made she,
That Damian sholde climbe up-on a tree,
That charged was with fruit, and up he
wente ; 2211

For verraily he knew al hir entente,
And every signe that she coude make
Wel bet than Januarie, hir owene make.
For in a lettre she had told him al 2215
Of this matere, how he werchen shal. (972)
And thus I lete him sitte up-on the pyrie,
And Januarie and May rominge myrie.
Bright was the day, and blew the firma-
ment,

Phebus of gold his stremes doun hath
sent. 2220

To gladen every flour with his warmnesse.
He was that tyme in Geminis, as I gesse,
But litel fro his declinacioun
Of Cancer, Jovis exaltacioun. (980)

And so bifel, that brighte morwe-tyde, 2225
That in that gardin, in the ferther syde,
Pluto, that is the king of fayerye,
And many a lady in his companye,



. 10103-10187.]



625



Folwinge his wyf, the quene Proserpyne,
Ech after other, right as any lyne 2230
Whyl that she gadered floures in the mede,
In Claudian ye may the story rede,
How in his grisly carte he hir fette :
This king of fairye thanne adoun him

sette (990) 2234

Up-on a bench of turves, fresh and grene,

And right anon thus seyde he to his quene.

' My wyf,' quod he, ' ther may no wight

sey nay ;

Th'experience so preveth every day
The treson whiche that wommen doon to

man. 2339

Ten hondred thousand [stories] telle I can
Notable of your untroutheandbrotilnesse.
O Salomon, wys, richest of richesse, 2242
Fulfild of sapience and of worldly glorie,
Ful worthy been thy wordes to memorie
To every wight that wit and reson can.
Thus preiseth he yet the bountee of man :
" Amonges a thousand men yet fond loon,
But of wommen alle fond I noon." (1004)
Thus seith the king that knoweth your

wikkednesse ;

And Jesus filius Syrak, as I gesse, 2250
Ne speketh of yow but selde reverence.
A wilde fyr and corrupt pestilence
So falle up-on your bodies yet to-night!
Ne see ye nat thishonurable knight, (1010)
By-cause, alias! that he is blind and old,
His owene man shal make him cokewold ;
Loheer he sit, the lechour, in the tree. 2257
Now wol I graunten, of my magestee,
Un-to this olde blinde worthy knight
That he shal have ayeyn his eyen sight, 2260
Whan that his wyf wold doon him vileinye ;
Than shal he knowen al hir harlotrye
Both in repreve of hir and othere mo.'

' Ye shal,' quod Proserpyne, ' wol ye so ;
Now, by my modres sires soule I swere,
That I shal yeven hir suffisant answere,
And alle wommen after, for hir sake ;
That, though they be in any gilt y-take,
With face bold they shulle hem-self

excxise,
And bere hem doun that wolden hem

accuse. 2270

For lakke of answer, noon ofhem shal dyen.
Al hadde man seyn a thing with bothe his

y6n, , (1028)



Yit shul we wommen visage it hardily,
And wepe, and swere, and chyde subtilly,
So that ye men shul been as lewed as gees.
What rekketh me of your auctoritees ?

I woot wel that this Jew, this Salomon,
Fond of us wommen foles many oon.
But though that he ne fond no good

womman, ' 2279

Yet hath ther founde many another man
Wommen ful trewe, ful gode, and ver-

tuous.
Witnesse on hem that dwelle in Cristes

hous,

With martirdom they proved hir con-
stance. ('039)
The Romayn gestes maken remembrance
Of many a verray trewe wyf also. 2285
But sire, ne be nat wrooth, al-be-it so,
Though that he seyde he fond no good

womman,

I prey yow take the sentence of the man ;
He mente thus, that in sovereyn bontee
Nis noon but god, that sit in Trinitee. 2290

Ey ! for verray god, that nis but oon,
What make ye so muche of Salomon ?
What though he made a temple, goddes

hous? (1049)

What though he were riche and glorious ?
So made he eek a temple of false goddis,
How mighte he do a thing that more for-

bode is ? 2296

Pardee, as faire as ye his name emplastre,
He was a lechour and an ydolastre ;
And in his elde he verray god forsook.
And if that god ne hadde, asseith the book,
Y-spared him for his fadres sake, he sholde
Have lost his regne rather than he wolde.
I sette noght of al the vileinye, (1059)
That ye of wommen wryte, a boterflye.
I am a womman, nedes moot I speke, 2305
Or elles swelle til myn herte breke.
For sithen he seyde that we ben jan-

gleresses, *

As ever hool I mote bronke my tresses,
I shal nat spare, for no curteisye, 2309
Tospeke him harm that wolde us vileinye.'
4 Dame,' quod this Pluto, ' be no longer

wrooth ;

I yeve it up ; but sith I swoor myn ooth
That I wolde graunten him his sighte

ageyn, (1069)



626



[T. 10188-10262.



My word slial stonde, I warne yow, certeyn.
I am a king, it sit me noght to lye.' 2315
' And I,' quod she, ' a queene of fayerye.
Hir answere shal she have, I undertake ;
Lat us na-more wordes heer-of make.
For sothe, I wol no lenger yow contrarie.'
Now lat us turne agayn to Januarie, 2320
That in the gardin with his faire May
Singeth, ful merier than the papejay,
' Yow love I best, and shal, and other

noon.'

So longe aboutethe aleyes is he goon, (1080)
Til he was come agaynes thilke pyrie, 2325
Wher-as this Damian sitteth ful myrie
An heigh, among the fresshe leves grene.
This fresshe May, that is so bright and

shene,
Gan for to syke, and seyde, ' alias, my

syde!
Now sir,' quod she, ' for aught that may

bityde, 2330

I moste han of the peres that I see,
Or I mot dye, so sore longeth me
To eten of the smale peres grene. (1089)
Help, for hir love that is of hevene quene !
I telle yow wel, a womman in my

Ply* 2335

May han to fruit so greet an appetyt,
That she may dyen, but she of it have.'
' Alias ! ' quod he, ' that I ne had heer

a knave

That coude climbe ; alias ! alias ! ' quod he,
' That I am blind.' ' Ye, sir, no fors,'

quod she : 2340

'But wolde ye vouche-sauf, for goddes

sake,

The pyrie inwith your armes for to take,
(For wel I woot that ye mistruste me)
Thanne sholde I climbe wel y-nogh,' quod

she, (rioo)

' So I my foot mighte sette upon your bak.'

' Certes,' quod he, ' ther-on shal be no

lak, 234 6

Mighte I yow helpen with myn. herte

blood.'

He stoupeth doun, and on his bak she stood,
And caughte hir by a twiste, and up she

gooth.

Ladies, I prey yow that ye be nat wrooth ;
I can nat glose, I am a rude man. 2351
And sodeynly anon this Damian.



Gan pullen up the smok, and in he throng.
And whan that Pluto saugh this grete

wrong, (mo)

To Januarie he gaf agayn his sighte, 2355
And made him see, as wel as ever he

mighte.
And whan that he hadde caught his

sighte agayn,

Ne was ther never man of thing so fayn.
But on his wyf his thoght was evermo ;
Up to the tree he caste his eyen two, 2360
And saugh that Damian his wyf had

dressed
In swich manere, it may nat ben ex-



But if I wolde speke uncurteisly :

And up he yaf a roring and a cry (1120)

As doth the moder whan the child shal

dye : 2365

' Out ! help ! alias ! harrow ! ' he gan to crye,
' O stronge lady store, what dostow ? '
And she answerde, 'sir, what eyleth

yow?

Have pacience, and reson in your minde,
I have yow holpe on bothe your eyen

blinde. 2370

Up peril of my soule, I shal nat lyen,
As me was taught, to hele with your yen,
Was no-thing bet to make yow to see
Than strugle with a man up-on a tree. ( 1 130)
G-od woot, I dide it in ful good entente.'
' Strugle ! ' quod he, ' ye, algate in it

wente ! 2376

God yeve yow bothe on shames deeth to

dyen!

He swyved thee, I saugh it with myne y6n,
And elles be I hanged by the hals ! '
' Thanne is,' quod she, ' my medicyne

al fals ; 2380

For certeinly, if that ye mighte see,

Ye wolde nat seyn thise wordes un-to me ;

Ye han som glimsing and no parflt sighte.'

' I see,' quod he, ' as wel as ever I

mighte, ("4o)

Thonked be god ! with bothe myne eyen

two, 2385

And by my trouthe, me thoughte he dide

thee so.'

' Ye maze, maze, gode sire,' quod she,
' This thank have I for I have maad yow



T. 10263-314.] E.



627



Alias!' quod she, 'that ever I was so

kinde ! '
' Now, dame,' quod he, ' lat al passe out

of minde. 2390

Com dotin, my lief, and if I have missayd,
God help me so, as I am yvel apayd.
But, by my fader soule, I wende han seyn,
How that this Damian had by thee leyn,
And that thy smok had leyn up-on his

brest.' ("50239S

' Ye, sire,' quod she, ' ye may wene as

yow lest ;
But, sire, a man that waketh out of his

sleep,

He may nat sodeynly wel taken keep
Up-on a thing, ne seen it parfitly,
Til that he be adawed verraily ; 2400

Right so a man, that longehath blind y-be,
Ne may nat sodeynly so wel y-see,



First whan his sighte is newe come ageyn,
As he that hath a day or two y-seyn. ( 1 160)
Til that your sighte y-satled be a whyle,
Ther may ful many a sighte yow bigyle.
Beth war, I prey yow; for, by hevene

king, 2407

Ful many a man weneth to seen a thing,
And it is al another than it semeth.
He that misconceyveth, he misdemeth.'
And with that word she leep doun fro the

tree. 2411

This Januarie, who is glad but he ?
He kisseth hir, and clippeth hir ful ofte,
And on hir wombe he stroketh hir ful

softe, ( 1 1 70)

And to his palays hoom he hath hir lad.
Now, gode men, I pray yow to be glad. 2416
Thus endeth heer my tale of Januarie ;
God blesse us and his moder Seinte Marie !



Here is ended the Marchantes Tale of Januarie.



EPILOGUE TO THE MARCHANTES
TALE.



' EY ! goddes mercy ! ' seyde our Hoste tho,
' Now swich a wyf I pray god kepe me fro !
Lo, whiche sleightes and subtilitees 2421
In wommen been ! for ay as bisy as bees
Ben they, us sely men for to deceyve,
And from a sothe ever wol they weyve ;
By this Marchauntes Tale it preveth weeL
But doutelees, as trewe as any steel 2426
I have a wyf, though that she povre be ;
But of hir tonge a labbing shrewe is she,
And yet she hath an heep of vyces mo ; (u)
Ther-of no fors, lat alle swiche thinges go.



But, wite ye what ? in conseil be it seyd,
Me reweth sore I am un-to hir teyd. 243 2
For, and I sholde rekenen every vyce
Which that she hath, y-wis, I were to

nyce,

And cause why ; it sholde reported be 2435
And told to hir of somme of this meynee ;
Of whom, it nedeth nat for to declare,
Sin wommen connen outen swich chaf-

fare ; (20)

And eek my wit suffyseth nat ther-to
To tellen al ; wherfor my tale is do.' 2440



628



[T. 10315-10384.



GKOUP F.



THE SQUIERES TALE.



The Sqxiire's Prologue.

' SQUIEE, com neer, if it your wille be,
And sey somwhat of love ; for, certes, ye
Connen ther-on as muclie as any man.'
' Nay, sir,' quod he, ' but I wol seye as I can
With hertly wille ; for I wol nat rebelle 5
Agayn your lust ; a tale wol I telle.
Have me excused if I speke amis,
My wil is good ; and lo, my tale is this.'

Here biginneth the Squieres Tale.

At Sarray, in the land of Tartarye, (i)
Ther dwelte a king, that werreyed Russye,
Thurgh which ther deyde many a doughty

man. 1 1

This noble king was cleped Cambinskan,
Which in his tyme was of so greet renoun
That ther nas no-wher in no regioun.
So excellent a lord in alle thing ; 15

Him lakked noght that longeth to a king.
As of the secte of which that he was born
He kepte his lay, to which that he was

sworn (10)

And ther-to he was hardy, wys, and riche,
And 'f-pietous and just, alwey y-liche ; 20
Sooth of his word, benigne and honurable,
Of his corage as any centre stable ;
Yong, fresh, and strong, in armes desirous
As any bacheler of al his hous.
A fair persone he was and fortunat, 25
And kepte alwey so wel royal estat,
That ther was nowher swich another man.
This noble king, this Tartre Cambinskan
Hadde two sones on Elpheta his wyf, (21)
Of whiche th'eldeste highte Algarsyf, 30
That other gone was cleped Cambalo.
A doghter hadde this worthy king also,
That yongest was, and highte Canacee.
But for to telle yow al hir beautee,



It lyth nat in my tonge, n'in my conning ;
I dar nat undertake so heigh a thing. 36
Myn English eek is insufficient ;
It moste been a rethor excellent, (30)

That coude his colours longing for that art,
If he sholde hir discryven every part. 40
I am non swich, I moot speke as I can.

And so bifel that, whan this Cambinskan
Hath twenty winter born his diademe,
As he was wont fro yeer to yeer, I deme,
He leet the feste of his nativitee 45

Don cryen thurghout Sarray his citee,
The last Idus of March, after the yeer.
Phebus the sonne ful joly was and cleer ;
For he was neigh his exaltacioun (41)
In Martes face, and in his mansioun 50
In Aries, the colerik hote signe.
Ful lusty was the weder and benigne,
For which the foules, agayn the sonne

shene,

What for the seson and the yonge grene,
Ful loude songen hir affecciouns ; 55

Hem semed ban geten hem protecciouns
Agayn the swerd of winter kene and cold.
This Cambinskan, of which I have yow

told, (50)

In royal vestiment sit on his deys,
With diademe, ful heighe in his paleys,
And halt his feste, so solempne and so

riche 61

That in this world ne was ther noon it

liche.

Of which if I shal tellen al th'array,
Than wolde it occupye a someres day ;
And eek it nedeth nat for to devyse 65
At every cours the ordre of hir servyse.
I wol nat tellen of hir strange sewes, (59)
Ne of hir swannes, ne of hir heronsewes.
Eek in that lond, as tellen knightes olde,
Ther is som mete that is ful deyntee holde,



T. 10385-10469.]



F.



629



That in this lond men recche of it but

smal ; 71

Ther nis no man that may reporten al.
I wol nat tarien yow, for it is pryme,
And for it is no fruit but los of tyme ;
Un-to my firste I wol have my recours. 75
And so bifelthat, after the thridde cours,
Whyl that this king sit thus in his nobleye,
Herkninge his minstralles hir thinges

pleye (70)

Biforn him at the bord deliciously,
In- at the halle-dore al sodeynly 80

Ther cam a knight up-on a stede of bras,
And in his hand a brood mirour of glas.
Upon his thombe he hadde of gold a

ring,

And by his syde a naked swerd hanging ;
And up he rydeth to the heighe bord. 85
In al the halle ne was ther spoke a word
For merveille of this knight ; him to bi-

holde

Ful bisily ther wayten yonge and olde.
This strange knight, that cam thus

sodeynly, (81)

Al armed save his heed ful richely, 90
Salue'th king and queen, and lordes alle,
By ordre, as they seten in the halle,
With so heigh reverence and obeisaunce
As wel in speche as in contenaunce,
That Gawain, with his olde curteisye, 95
Though he were come ageyn out of Fairye,
Ne coude him nat amende with a word.
And after this, biforn the heighe bord, (90)
He with a manly voys seith his message,
After the forme used in his langage, zoo
With-outen vyce of sillable or of lettre ;
And, for his tale sholde seme the bettre,
Accordant to his wordes was his chere,
As techeth art of speche hem that it

lere;

Al-be-it that I can nat soune his style, 105
Ne can nat climben over so heigh a style,
Yet seye I this, as to commune entente,
Thus muche amounteth al that ever he

mente, ('0)

If it so be that I have it in minde.

He seyde, ' the king of Arabie and of

Inde, no

My lige lord, on this solempne day
Salue'th yow as he best can and may,
And sendeth yow, in honour of your feste,



By me, that am al redy at your heste,
This stede of bras, that esily and wel 1 15



Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe student's Chaucer, being a complete edition of his works; → online text (page 88 of 128)