The Prologe of the Frankeleyns Tale
709 Thise olde gentil Britouns in hir dayes
These old noble Bretons in their days
710 Of diverse aventures maden layes,
Of diverse adventures made lays,
711 Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge,
Rhymed in their first Breton tongue,
712 Whiche layes with hir instrumentz they songe
Which lays with their instruments they sang
713 Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce;
Or else read them for their pleasure;
714 And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
And one of them have I in remembrance,
715 Which I shal seyn with good wyl as I kan.
Which I shall say with as good will as I can.
716 But, sires, by cause I am a burel man,
But, sirs, because I am an unlearned man,
717 At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche,
At my beginning first I you beseech,
718 Have me excused of my rude speche.
Have me excused for my rude speech.
719 I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn;
I learned never rhetoric, certainly;
720 Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
Thing that I speak, it must be bare and plain.
721 I sleep nevere on the Mount of Pernaso,
I slept never on the Mount of Parnassus,
722 Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Scithero.
Nor learned Marcus Tullius Cicero.
723 Colours ne knowe I none, withouten drede,
Colors know I none, without doubt,
724 But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
But such colors as grow in the field,
725 Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.
Or else such as men dye or paint.
726 Colours of rethoryk been to me queynte;
Colors of rhetoric (figures of speech) are strange to me;
727 My spirit feeleth noght of swich mateere.
My spirit feels nothing of such matter.
728 But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.
But if you wish, you shall hear my tale.
The Franklin's Tale
Here bigynneth the Frankeleyns Tale
729 In Armorik, that called is Britayne,
In Armorica, that is called Brittany,
730 Ther was a knyght that loved and dide his payne
There was a knight that loved and worked hard
731 To serve a lady in his beste wise;
To serve a lady in his best manner;
732 And many a labour, many a greet emprise,
And many a labor, many a great chivalric exploit,
733 He for his lady wroghte er she were wonne.
He wrought for his lady before she was won.
734 For she was oon the faireste under sonne,
For she was the fairest of all under the sun,
735 And eek therto comen of so heigh kynrede
And also moreover come of such noble ancestry
736 That wel unnethes dorste this knyght, for drede,
That this knight hardly dared, for fear,
737 Telle hire his wo, his peyne, and his distresse.
Tell her his woe, his pain, and his distress.
738 But atte laste she, for his worthynesse,
But at the last she, for his worthiness,
739 And namely for his meke obeysaunce,
And namely for his meek submission,
740 Hath swich a pitee caught of his penaunce
Has taken such a pity on his suffering
741 That pryvely she fil of his accord
That privately she agreed with him
742 To take hym for hir housbonde and hir lord,
To take him for her husband and hir lord,
743 Of swich lordshipe as men han over hir wyves.
Of such lordship as men have over their wives.
744 And for to lede the moore in blisse hir lyves,
And to lead the more blissfully their lives,
745 Of his free wyl he swoor hire as a knyght
Of his free will he swore her as a knight
746 That nevere in al his lyf he, day ne nyght,
That never in all his life he, day or night,
747 Ne sholde upon hym take no maistrie
Should take upon himself any mastery
748 Agayn hir wyl, ne kithe hire jalousie,
Against her will, nor show her jealousy,
749 But hire obeye, and folwe hir wyl in al,
But obey her, and follow her will in everything,
750 As any lovere to his lady shal,
As any lover to his lady should,
751 Save that the name of soveraynetee,
Except for the appearance of sovereignty,
752 That wolde he have for shame of his degree.
Which he would have to avoid bringing shame on his status (of knighthood).
753 She thanked hym, and with ful greet humblesse
She thanked him, and with full great humbleness
754 She seyde, "Sire, sith of youre gentillesse
She said, "Sir, since of your nobility
755 Ye profre me to have so large a reyne,
You offer me to have such freedom from restraint,
756 Ne wolde nevere God bitwixe us tweyne,
And would God that never between us two,
757 As in my gilt, were outher werre or stryf.
Through my fault, should be either war or strife.
758 Sire, I wol be youre humble trewe wyf --
Sir, I will be your humble true wife --
759 Have heer my trouthe -- til that myn herte breste."
Have here my pledge -- until my heart bursts (until I die)."
760 Thus been they bothe in quiete and in reste.
Thus are they both in quiet and in peace.
761 For o thyng, sires, saufly dar I seye,
For one thing, sirs, I dare say confidently,
762 That freendes everych oother moot obeye,
That friends must obey each other,
763 If they wol longe holden compaignye.
If they will long hold company.
764 Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye.
Love will not be constrained by mastery.
765 Whan maistrie comth, the God of Love anon
When mastery comes, the God of Love immediately
766 Beteth his wynges, and farewel, he is gon!
Beats his wings, and farewell, he is gone!
767 Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
Love is a thing free as any spirit.
768 Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee,
Women, by nature, desire liberty,
769 And nat to been constreyned as a thral;
And not to be constrained like a slave;
770 And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.
And so do men, if I shall say the truth.
771 Looke who that is moost pacient in love,
Look who is most patient in love,
772 He is at his avantage al above.
He is in the best position, superior to all.
773 Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn,
Patience is a noble virtue, certainly,
774 For it venquysseth, as thise clerkes seyn,
For it vanquishes, as these clerks say,
775 Thynges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.
Things that rigor should never attain.
776 For every word men may nat chide or pleyne.
One may not chide or complain for every word.
777 Lerneth to suffre, or elles, so moot I goon,
Learn to suffer, or else, as I may walk (I swear),
778 Ye shul it lerne, wher so ye wole or noon;
You shall learn it, whether you want to or not;
779 For in this world, certein, ther no wight is
For in this world, certainly, there is no person
780 That he ne dooth or seith somtyme amys.
Who does not sometime do or speak amiss.
781 Ire, siknesse, or constellacioun,
Ire, sickness, or the position of the stars,
782 Wyn, wo, or chaungynge of complexioun
Wine, woe, or changing of the balance of bodily humors
783 Causeth ful ofte to doon amys or speken.
Causes (one) very often to do or speak amiss.
784 On every wrong a man may nat be wreken.
On every wrong a man can not be avenged.
785 After the tyme moste be temperaunce
There must be moderation suitable to the occasion
786 To every wight that kan on governaunce.
By every person who knows about governance.
787 And therfore hath this wise, worthy knyght,
And therefore has this wise, worthy knight,
788 To lyve in ese, suffrance hire bihight,
To live in ease, promised her forbearance,
789 And she to hym ful wisly gan to swere
And she to him full truly did swear
790 That nevere sholde ther be defaute in here.
That never should there be fault in her.
791 Heere may men seen an humble, wys accord;
Here may men see a humble, wise accord;
792 Thus hath she take hir servant and hir lord --
Thus has she taken her servant and her lord --
793 Servant in love, and lord in mariage.
Servant in love, and lord in marriage.
794 Thanne was he bothe in lordshipe and servage.
Then was he both in lordship and servitude.
795 Servage? Nay, but in lordshipe above,
Servitude? Nay, but in lordship above,
796 Sith he hath bothe his lady and his love;
Since he has both his lady and his love;
797 His lady, certes, and his wyf also,
His lady, certainly, and his wife also,
798 The which that lawe of love acordeth to.
The which accords to the law of love.
799 And whan he was in this prosperitee,
And when he was in this happy state,
800 Hoom with his wyf he gooth to his contree,
Home with his wife he goes to his country,
801 Nat fer fro Pedmark, ther his dwellyng was,
Not far from Pedmark, where his dwelling was,
802 Where as he lyveth in blisse and in solas.
Where he lives in bliss and in pleasure.
803 Who koude telle, but he hadde wedded be,
Who could tell, unless he had been wedded,
804 The joye, the ese, and the prosperitee
The joy, the ease, and the happiness
805 That is bitwixe an housbonde and his wyf?
That is between a husband and his wife?
806 A yeer and moore lasted this blisful lyf,
A year and more lasted this blissful life,
807 Til that the knyght of which I speke of thus,
Until the knight of whom I thus speak,
808 That of Kayrrud was cleped Arveragus,
That was called Arveragus of Kayrrud,
809 Shoop hym to goon and dwelle a yeer or tweyne
Prepared himself to go and dwell a year or two
810 In Engelond, that cleped was eek Briteyne,
In England, which was also called Britain,
811 To seke in armes worshipe and honour --
To seek in arms good reputation and honor --
812 For al his lust he sette in swich labour --
For he set all his desire in such labor --
813 And dwelled there two yeer; the book seith thus.
And dwelled there two years; the book says thus.
814 Now wol I stynten of this Arveragus,
Now will I stop (speaking) of this Arveragus,
815 And speken I wole of Dorigen his wyf,
And I will speak of Dorigen his wife,
816 That loveth hire housbonde as hire hertes lyf.
Who loves her husband as her heart's life.
817 For his absence wepeth she and siketh,
For his absence she weeps and sighs,
818 As doon thise noble wyves whan hem liketh.
As do these noble wives when it pleases them.
819 She moorneth, waketh, wayleth, fasteth, pleyneth;
She mourns, stays awake, wails, fasts, complains;
820 Desir of his presence hire so destreyneth
Desire of his presence so presses upon her
821 That al this wyde world she sette at noght.
That all this wide world she reckoned as worth nothing.
822 Hire freendes, whiche that knewe hir hevy thoght,
Her friends, who knew her gloomy thought,
823 Conforten hire in al that ever they may.
Comfort her in all that ever they can.
824 They prechen hire, they telle hire nyght and day
They preach to her, they tell her night and day
825 That causelees she sleeth hirself, allas!
That she slays herself without cause, alas!
826 And every confort possible in this cas
And every comfort possible in this case
827 They doon to hire with al hire bisynesse,
They do to her with all their concern,
828 Al for to make hire leve hire hevynesse.
All to make her leave her sadness.
829 By proces, as ye knowen everichoon,
In the course of time, as every one of you knows,
830 Men may so longe graven in a stoon
One may so long engrave on a stone
831 Til som figure therinne emprented be.
Until some figure is imprinted upon it.
832 So longe han they conforted hire til she
So long have they comforted her until she
833 Receyved hath, by hope and by resoun,
Received has, by hope and by reason,
834 The emprentyng of hire consolacioun,
The imprint of their consolation,
835 Thurgh which hir grete sorwe gan aswage;
Through which her great sorrow began to be relieved;
836 She may nat alwey duren in swich rage.
She can not always continue in such passionate grief.
837 And eek Arveragus, in al this care,
And also Arveragus, in (the midst of) all this care,
838 Hath sent hire lettres hoom of his welfare,
Has sent her letters home (telling) of his welfare,
839 And that he wol come hastily agayn;
And that he will come hastily again;
840 Or elles hadde this sorwe hir herte slayn.
Or else this sorrow would have slain her heart.
841 Hire freendes sawe hir sorwe gan to slake
Her friends saw her sorrow began to slacken
842 And preyde hire on knees, for Goddes sake,
And prayed her on their knees, for God's sake,
843 To come and romen hire in compaignye,
To come and walk about in company,
844 Awey to dryve hire derke fantasye.
Away to drive her dark imagining.
845 And finally she graunted that requeste,
And finally she granted that request,
846 For wel she saugh that it was for the beste.
For well she saw that it was for the best.
847 Now stood hire castel faste by the see,
Now her castle stood close by the sea,
848 And often with hire freendes walketh shee
And often with her friends she walks
849 Hire to disporte upon the bank an heigh,
To amuse herself upon the bank on high,
850 Where as she many a ship and barge seigh
Where she saw many a ship and sailing vessel
851 Seillynge hir cours, where as hem liste go.
Sailing their course, where it pleases them to go.
852 But thanne was that a parcel of hire wo,
But then was that a portion of her woe,
853 For to hirself ful ofte, "Allas!" seith she,
For to herself full often, she says "Alas!",
854 "Is ther no ship, of so manye as I se,
"Is there no ship, of so many as I see,
855 Wol bryngen hom my lord? Thanne were myn herte
Will bring home my lord? Then would my heart be
856 Al warisshed of his bittre peynes smerte."
All cured of its bitter, sharp pains."
857 Another tyme ther wolde she sitte and thynke,
Another time there would she sit and think,
858 And caste hir eyen dounward fro the brynke.
And cast her eyes downward from the brink.
859 But whan she saugh the grisly rokkes blake,
But when she saw the grisly black rocks,
860 For verray feere so wolde hir herte quake
For sheer fear her heart would so quake
861 That on hire feet she myghte hire noght sustene.
That on her feet she could not sustain herself.
862 Thanne wolde she sitte adoun upon the grene,
Then would she sit down upon the green,
863 And pitously into the see biholde,
And piteously stare into the sea,
864 And seyn right thus, with sorweful sikes colde:
And say right thus, with sorrowful, cold sighs:
865 "Eterne God, that thurgh thy purveiaunce
"Eternal God, who through thy foreknowledge
866 Ledest the world by certein governaunce,
Leads the world by sure governance,
867 In ydel, as men seyn, ye no thyng make.
Men say you make nothing in vain.
868 But, Lord, thise grisly feendly rokkes blake,
But, Lord, these grisly fiendish black rocks,
869 That semen rather a foul confusion
That seem rather a foul confusion
870 Of werk than any fair creacion
Of work than any fair creation
871 Of swich a parfit wys God and a stable,
Of such a perfectly wise and stable God,
872 Why han ye wroght this werk unresonable?
Why have you created this unreasonable work?
873 For by this werk, south, north, ne west, ne eest,
For by this work, south, north, nor west, nor east,
874 Ther nys yfostred man, ne bryd, ne beest;
There is no benefit to man, nor bird, nor beast;
875 It dooth no good, to my wit, but anoyeth.
It does no good, to my understanding, but does harm.
876 Se ye nat, Lord, how mankynde it destroyeth?
See you not, Lord, how it destroys mankind?
877 An hundred thousand bodyes of mankynde
A hundred thousand bodies of mankind
878 Han rokkes slayn, al be they nat in mynde,
Have rocks slain, although their names are forgotten,
879 Which mankynde is so fair part of thy werk
And this mankind is so fair a part of thy work
880 That thou it madest lyk to thyn owene merk.
That thou made it like to thine own image.
881 Thanne semed it ye hadde a greet chiertee
Then it seemed you had a great love
882 Toward mankynde; but how thanne may it bee
Toward mankind; but how then may it be
883 That ye swiche meenes make it to destroyen,
That you make such means to destroy it,
884 Whiche meenes do no good, but evere anoyen?
Which means do no good, but always cause trouble?
885 I woot wel clerkes wol seyn as hem leste,
I know well clerks will say as they please,
886 By argumentz, that al is for the beste,
By logical reasoning, that all is for the best,
887 Though I ne kan the causes nat yknowe.
Though I can not know the causes.
888 But thilke God that made wynd to blowe
But that same God that made wind to blow
889 As kepe my lord! This my conclusion.
Keep my lord! This is my conclusion.
890 To clerkes lete I al disputison.
To clerks I leave all disputation.
891 But wolde God that alle thise rokkes blake
But would God that all these black rocks
892 Were sonken into helle for his sake!
Were sunk into hell for his sake!
893 Thise rokkes sleen myn herte for the feere."
These rocks slay my heart for fear."
894 Thus wolde she seyn, with many a pitous teere.
Thus would she say, with many a piteous tear.
895 Hire freendes sawe that it was no disport
Her friends saw that it was no pleasure
896 To romen by the see, but disconfort,
To roam by the sea, but discomfort,
897 And shopen for to pleyen somwher elles.
And decide to amuse themselves somewhere else.
898 They leden hire by ryveres and by welles,
They lead her by rivers and by springs,
899 And eek in othere places delitables;
And also in other delightful places;
900 They dauncen and they pleyen at ches and tables.
They dance and they play at chess and backgammon.
901 So on a day, right in the morwe-tyde,
So on a day, early in the morning-tide,
902 Unto a gardyn that was ther bisyde,
Unto a garden that was there nearby,
903 In which that they hadde maad hir ordinaunce
In which they had made their arrangement
904 Of vitaille and of oother purveiaunce,
For victuals and for other provisions,
905 They goon and pleye hem al the longe day.
They go and amuse themselves all the long day.
906 And this was on the sixte morwe of May,
And this was on the sixth morning of May,
907 Which May hadde peynted with his softe shoures
Which May had painted with its soft showers
908 This gardyn ful of leves and of floures;
This garden full of leaves and of flowers;
909 And craft of mannes hand so curiously
And craft of man's hand so skillfully
910 Arrayed hadde this gardyn, trewely,
Had adorned this garden, truly,
911 That nevere was ther gardyn of swich prys
That never was there garden of such worth
912 But if it were the verray paradys.
Unless it were the true paradise.
913 The odour of floures and the fresshe sighte
The odor of flowers and the fresh sight
914 Wolde han maked any herte lighte
Would have made any heart light
915 That evere was born, but if to greet siknesse
That ever was born, unless too great sickness
916 Or to greet sorwe helde it in distresse,
Or too great sorrow held it in distress,
917 So ful it was of beautee with plesaunce.
It was so full of beauty with pleasure.
918 At after-dyner gonne they to daunce,
After dinner they go to dance,
919 And synge also, save Dorigen allone,
And sing also, save Dorigen alone,
920 Which made alwey hir compleint and hir moone,
Who made always her complaint and her moan,
921 For she ne saugh hym on the daunce go
For she did not see him on the dance go
922 That was hir housbonde and hir love also.
Who was her husband and her love also.
923 But nathelees she moste a tyme abyde
But nonetheless she must a time abide
924 And with good hope lete hir sorwe slyde.
And with good hope let her sorrow slip away.
925 Upon this daunce, amonges othere men,
In this dance, among other men,
926 Daunced a squier biforn Dorigen,
Danced a squire before Dorigen,
927 That fressher was and jolyer of array,
Who was more lively and more gaily dressed,
928 As to my doom, than is the month of May.
As to my judgement, than is the month of May.
929 He syngeth, daunceth, passynge any man
He sings, dances, passing any man
930 That is, or was, sith that the world bigan.
That is, or was, since the world began.
931 Therwith he was, if men sholde hym discryve,
Therewith he was, if one should him describe,
932 Oon of the beste farynge man on lyve;
One of the most handsome men alive;
933 Yong, strong, right vertuous, and riche, and wys,
Young, strong, very valiant, and rich, and wise,
934 And wel biloved, and holden in greet prys.
And well beloved, and held in great esteem.
935 And shortly, if the sothe I tellen shal,
And shortly, if I shall tell the truth,
936 Unwityng of this Dorigen at al,
Unknown by this Dorigen at all,
937 This lusty squier, servant to Venus,
This lusty squire, servant to Venus,
938 Which that ycleped was Aurelius,
Who was called Aurelius,
939 Hadde loved hire best of any creature
Had loved her best of any creature
940 Two yeer and moore, as was his aventure,
Two years and more, as was his fate,
941 But nevere dorste he tellen hire his grevaunce.
But he never dared tell her his grievance.
942 Withouten coppe he drank al his penaunce.
Copiously he drank all his penance (suffered intensely).
943 He was despeyred; no thyng dorste he seye,
He was in despair; he dared say nothing,
944 Save in his songes somwhat wolde he wreye
Except in his songs somewhat he would reveal
945 His wo, as in a general compleynyng;
His woe, as in a general lament;
946 He seyde he lovede and was biloved no thyng.
He said he loved and was in no way loved in return
947 Of swich matere made he manye layes,
Of such subject matter made he many lays,
948 Songes, compleintes, roundels, virelayes,
Songs, complaints, roundels, virelays,
949 How that he dorste nat his sorwe telle,
(Saying) how he dared not his sorrow tell,
950 But langwissheth as a furye dooth in helle;
But suffers as a fury does in hell;
951 And dye he moste, he seyde, as dide Ekko
And he must die, he said, as did Echo
952 For Narcisus, that dorste nat telle hir wo.
For Narcissus, she who dared not tell her woe.
953 In oother manere than ye heere me seye,
In other ways than you hear me say,
954 Ne dorste he nat to hire his wo biwreye,
He dared not reveal to her his woe,
955 Save that, paraventure, somtyme at daunces,
Except that, by chance, sometimes at dances,
956 Ther yonge folk kepen hir observaunces,
Where young folk observe their customs (of courtship),
957 It may wel be he looked on hir face
It may well be he looked on her face
958 In swich a wise as man that asketh grace;
In such a manner as a man that asks for grace;
959 But nothyng wiste she of his entente.
But she knew nothing of his intent.
960 Nathelees it happed, er they thennes wente,
Nonetheless it happened, before they went away,
961 By cause that he was hire neighebour,
Because he was her neighbor,
962 And was a man of worshipe and honour,
And was a man of good reputation and honor,
963 And hadde yknowen hym of tyme yoore,
And (she) had known him for a long time,
964 They fille in speche; and forth, moore and moore,
They fell in speech; and forth, more and more,
965 Unto his purpos drough Aurelius,
Unto his purpose drew Aurelius,
966 And whan he saugh his tyme, he seyde thus:
And when he saw his time, he said thus:
967 "Madame," quod he, "by God that this world made,
"Madame," he said, "by God that this world made,
968 So that I wiste it myghte youre herte glade,
Providing that I knew it might gladden your heart,
969 I wolde that day that youre Arveragus
I wish that day that your Arveragus
970 Wente over the see, that I, Aurelius,
Went over the sea, that I, Aurelius,
971 Hadde went ther nevere I sholde have come agayn.
Had went from where I should never have come back.
972 For wel I woot my servyce is in vayn;
For well I know my service is in vain;
973 My gerdon is but brestyng of myn herte.
My reward is but the breaking of my heart.
974 Madame, reweth upon my peynes smerte;
Madame, have pity upon my bitter pains;
975 For with a word ye may me sleen or save.
For with one word you may me slay or save.
976 Heere at youre feet God wolde that I were grave!
Here at your feet would God that I were buried!
977 I ne have as now no leyser moore to seye;
I have now no opportunity to say more;
978 Have mercy, sweete, or ye wol do me deye!"
Have mercy, sweet, or you will make me die!"
979 She gan to looke upon Aurelius;
She did look upon Aurelius;
980 "Is this youre wyl," quod she, "and sey ye thus?
"Is this your desire," said she, "and say you thus?
981 Nevere erst," quod she, "ne wiste I what ye mente.
Never before," she said, "Did I know what you meant.
982 But now, Aurelie, I knowe youre entente,
But now, Aurelius, I know your intention,
983 By thilke God that yaf me soule and lyf,
By that same God that gave me soul and life,
984 Ne shal I nevere been untrewe wyf
I shall never be an untrue wife
985 In word ne werk, as fer as I have wit;
In word nor deed, so long as I have my wits;
986 I wol been his to whom that I am knyt.
I will be his to whom that I am knit.
987 Taak this for fynal answere as of me."
Take this for my final answer."
988 But after that in pley thus seyde she:
But after that in play thus she said:
989 "Aurelie," quod she, "by heighe God above,
"Aurelius," she said, "by high God above,
990 Yet wolde I graunte yow to been youre love,
Yet would I grant you to be your love,
991 Syn I yow se so pitously complayne.
Since I see you so piteously lament.
992 Looke what day that endelong Britayne
On whatever day that from end to end of Brittany
993 Ye remoeve alle the rokkes, stoon by stoon,
You remove all the rocks, stone by stone,
994 That they ne lette ship ne boot to goon --
So that they do not prevent ship nor boat to go --
995 I seye, whan ye han maad the coost so clene
I say, when you have made the coast so clean
996 Of rokkes that ther nys no stoon ysene,
Of rocks that there is no stone seen,
997 Thanne wol I love yow best of any man;
Then will I love you best of any man;
998 Have heer my trouthe, in al that evere I kan."
Have here my pledged word, in all that is in my power."
999 "Is ther noon oother grace in yow?" quod he.
"Is there no other grace in you?" he said.
1000 "No, by that Lord," quod she, "that maked me!
"No, by that Lord," she said, "that made me!
1001 For wel I woot that it shal never bityde.
For well I know that it shall never happen.
1002 Lat swiche folies out of youre herte slyde.
Let such follies pass out of your heart.
1003 What deyntee sholde a man han in his lyf
What pleasure should a man have in his life
1004 For to go love another mannes wyf,
To go love another man's wife,
1005 That hath hir body whan so that hym liketh?"
Who has her body whenever he pleases?"
1006 Aurelius ful ofte soore siketh;
Aurelius very often bitterly sighs;
1007 Wo was Aurelie whan that he this herde,
Woe was Aurelius when he heard this,
1008 And with a sorweful herte he thus answerde:
And with a sorrowful heart he thus answered:
1009 "Madame," quod he, "this were an inpossible!
"Madame," he said, "this would be an impossiblity!
1010 Thanne moot I dye of sodeyn deth horrible."
Then I must die of sudden horrible death."
1011 And with that word he turned hym anon.
And with that word he turned away immediately.
1012 Tho coome hir othere freendes many oon,
Then came her other friends many a one,
1013 And in the aleyes romeden up and doun,
And in the garden paths roamed up and down,
1014 And nothyng wiste of this conclusioun,
And knew nothing of this business,
1015 But sodeynly bigonne revel newe
But suddenly began to revel anew
1016 Til that the brighte sonne loste his hewe;
Until the bright sun lost its hue;
1017 For th' orisonte hath reft the sonne his lyght --
For the horizon has bereft the sun of its light --
1018 This is as muche to seye as it was nyght --
This is as much to say that it was night --
1019 And hoom they goon in joye and in solas,
And home they go in joy and in pleasure,
1020 Save oonly wrecche Aurelius, allas!
Save only wretched Aurelius, alas!
1021 He to his hous is goon with sorweful herte.
He to his house is gone with sorrowful heart.
1022 He seeth he may nat fro his deeth asterte;
He sees he can not escape from his death;
1023 Hym semed that he felte his herte colde.
He thought that he felt his heart grow cold.
1024 Up to the hevene his handes he gan holde,
Up to the heaven his hands he did hold,
1025 And on his knowes bare he sette hym doun,
And on his bare knees he set himself down,
1026 And in his ravyng seyde his orisoun.
And in his delirium said his prayer.
1027 For verray wo out of his wit he breyde.
For utter woe out of his wits he suddenly went.
1028 He nyste what he spak, but thus he seyde;
He knew not what he spoke, but thus he said;
1029 With pitous herte his pleynt hath he bigonne
With piteous heart he has begun his complaint
1030 Unto the goddes, and first unto the sonne:
Unto the gods, and first unto the sun:
1031 He seyde, "Appollo, god and governour
He said, "Apollo, god and governor
1032 Of every plaunte, herbe, tree, and flour,
Of every plant, herb, tree, and flower,
1033 That yevest, after thy declinacion,
That gives, according to thy height (in the sky),
1034 To ech of hem his tyme and his seson,
To each of them its time and its season,
1035 As thyn herberwe chaungeth lowe or heighe,
As thy astronomical position changes low or high,
1036 Lord Phebus, cast thy merciable eighe
Lord Phoebus, cast thy merciful eye
1037 On wrecche Aurelie, which that am but lorn.
On wretched Aurelius, who is as good as lost.
1038 Lo, lord! My lady hath my deeth ysworn
Lo, lord! My lady has sworn my death
1039 Withoute gilt, but thy benignytee
Without guilt, unless thy kindness
1040 Upon my dedly herte have som pitee.
Upon my dying heart have some pity.
1041 For wel I woot, lord Phebus, if yow lest,
For well I know, lord Phoebus, if you wish,
1042 Ye may me helpen, save my lady, best.
You can help me best (of anyone), except for my lady.
1043 Now voucheth sauf that I may yow devyse
Now grant that I may tell you
1044 How that I may been holpen and in what wyse.
How I may be helped and in what manner.
1045 "Youre blisful suster, Lucina the sheene,
"Your blissful sister, Lucina the bright,
1046 That of the see is chief goddesse and queene
Who of the sea is chief goddess and queen
1047 (Though Neptunus have deitee in the see,
(Though Neptune have godly dominion in the sea,
1048 Yet emperisse aboven hym is she),
Yet empress above him is she),
1049 Ye knowen wel, lord, that right as hir desir
You know well, lord, that just as her desire
1050 Is to be quyked and lighted of youre fir,
Is to be kindled and ignited by your fire,
1051 For which she folweth yow ful bisily,
For which she follows you very attentively,
1052 Right so the see desireth naturelly
Just so the sea desires naturally
1053 To folwen hire, as she that is goddesse
To follow her, as she that is goddess
1054 Bothe in the see and ryveres moore and lesse.
Both in the sea and rivers great and small.
1055 Wherfore, lord Phebus, this is my requeste --
Wherefore, lord Phoebus, this is my request --
1056 Do this miracle, or do myn herte breste --
Do this miracle, or make my heart break --
1057 That now next at this opposicion
That now at this next opposition (of the sun and moon)
1058 Which in the signe shal be of the Leon,
Which shall be in the sign of the Lion,
1059 As preieth hire so greet a flood to brynge
Pray her so great a high tide to bring
1060 That fyve fadme at the leeste it oversprynge
That five fathoms at the least it rise above
1061 The hyeste rokke in Armorik Briteyne;
The highest rock in Armorican Brittany;
1062 And lat this flood endure yeres tweyne.
And let this flood-tide endure for two years.
1063 Thanne certes to my lady may I seye,
Then certainly to my lady may I say,
1064 `Holdeth youre heste, the rokkes been aweye.'
`Keep your promise, the rocks are away.'
1065 "Lord Phebus, dooth this miracle for me.
"Lord Phoebus, do this miracle for me.
1066 Preye hire she go no faster cours than ye;
Pray her that she go at no faster speed as you;
1067 I seye, preyeth your suster that she go
I say, pray your sister that she go
1068 No faster cours than ye thise yeres two.
At no faster speed as you for these two years.
1069 Thanne shal she been evene atte fulle alway,
Then shall she be fully even with you always,
1070 And spryng flood laste bothe nyght and day.
And spring flood will last both night and day.
1071 And but she vouche sauf in swich manere
And unless she agree in such manner
1072 To graunte me my sovereyn lady deere,
To grant me my sovereign lady dear,
1073 Prey hire to synken every rok adoun
Pray her to sink every rock down
1074 Into hir owene dirke regioun
Into her own dark region
1075 Under the ground, ther Pluto dwelleth inne,
Under the ground, in which Pluto dwells,
1076 Or nevere mo shal I my lady wynne.
Or never more shall I win my lady.
1077 Thy temple in Delphos wol I barefoot seke.
Thy temple in Delphi I will barefoot seek.
1078 Lord Phebus, se the teeris on my cheke,
Lord Phoebus, see the tears on my cheek,
1079 And of my peyne have som compassioun."
And on my pain have some compassion."
1080 And with that word in swowne he fil adoun,
And with that word he fell down in a faint,
1081 And longe tyme he lay forth in a traunce.
And for a long time he lay in a trance.
1082 His brother, which that knew of his penaunce,
His brother, who knew of his suffering,
1083 Up caughte hym and to bedde he hath hym broght.
Caught him up and to bed he has him brought.
1084 Dispeyred in this torment and this thoght
Despaired in this torment and this thought
1085 Lete I this woful creature lye;
I leave this woeful creature lying;
1086 Chese he, for me, wheither he wol lyve or dye.
Let him choose, for all I care, whether he will live or die.
1087 Arveragus, with heele and greet honour,
Arveragus, with well-being and great honor,
1088 As he that was of chivalrie the flour,
As he that was of chivalry the flower,
1089 Is comen hoom, and othere worthy men.
Is come home, and other worthy men.
1090 O blisful artow now, thou Dorigen,
O blissful art thou now, thou Dorigen,
1091 That hast thy lusty housbonde in thyne armes,
That hast thy lusty husband in thine arms,
1092 The fresshe knyght, the worthy man of armes,
The vigorous knight, the worthy man of arms,
1093 That loveth thee as his owene hertes lyf.
That loves thee as his own heart's life.
1094 No thyng list hym to been ymaginatyf,
He not at all desired to be suspicious,
1095 If any wight hadde spoke, whil he was oute,
If any person had spoken, while he was away,
1096 To hire of love; he hadde of it no doute.
To her of love; he had of it no fear.
1097 He noght entendeth to no swich mateere,
He pays no attention to any such matter,
1098 But daunceth, justeth, maketh hire good cheere;
But dances, jousts, makes her good cheer;
1099 And thus in joye and blisse I lete hem dwelle,
And thus in joy and bliss I let them dwell,
1100 And of the sike Aurelius wol I telle.
And of the sick Aurelius I will tell.
1101 In langour and in torment furyus
In suffering and in hellish torment
1102 Two yeer and moore lay wrecche Aurelyus,
Two years and more lay wretched Aurelius,
1103 Er any foot he myghte on erthe gon;
Before he could set a foot on the ground;
1104 Ne confort in this tyme hadde he noon,
Nor had he any comfort in this time,
1105 Save of his brother, which that was a clerk.
Except from his brother, who was a clerk.
1106 He knew of al this wo and al this werk,
He knew of all this woe and all this suffering,
1107 For to noon oother creature, certeyn,
For to no other creature, certainly,
1108 Of this matere he dorste no word seyn.
He dared say any word of this matter.
1109 Under his brest he baar it moore secree
Under his breast he bore it more secretly
1110 Than evere dide Pamphilus for Galathee.
Than ever did Pamphilus for Galathee.
1111 His brest was hool, withoute for to sene,
His breast was unhurt, in outward appearance,
1112 But in his herte ay was the arwe kene.
But in his heart ever was the sharp arrow.
1113 And wel ye knowe that of a sursanure
And well you know that for a wound healed only on the surface
1114 In surgerye is perilous the cure,
In surgery the treatment is perilous,
1115 But men myghte touche the arwe or come therby.
Unless one could touch the arrow or grasp it.
1116 His brother weep and wayled pryvely,
His brother wept and wailed secretly,
1117 Til atte laste hym fil in remembraunce,
Until at the last he remembered,
1118 That whiles he was at Orliens in Fraunce --
That while he was at Orleans in France --
1119 As yonge clerkes that been lykerous
As young clerks that are eager
1120 To reden artes that been curious
To read arts that are arcane
1121 Seken in every halke and every herne
Seek in every nook and every cranny
1122 Particuler sciences for to lerne --
To learn specialized branches of learning --
1123 He hym remembred that, upon a day,
He remembered that, one day,
1124 At Orliens in studie a book he say
At Orleans in a study hall he saw a book
1125 Of magyk natureel, which his felawe,
Of natural science, which his fellow,
1126 That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe,
Who was at that time a bachelor of law,
1127 Al were he ther to lerne another craft,
Although he was there to learn another craft,
1128 Hadde prively upon his desk ylaft;
Had covertly left upon his desk;
1129 Which book spak muchel of the operaciouns
Which book spoke much of the operations
1130 Touchynge the eighte and twenty mansiouns
Concerning the eight and twenty stations
1131 That longen to the moone, and swich folye
That belong to the moon, and such folly
1132 As in oure dayes is nat worth a flye --
As in our days is not worth a fly --
1133 For hooly chirches feith in oure bileve
For holy church's faith in our belief
1134 Ne suffreth noon illusioun us to greve.
Does not allow any illusion to grieve us.
1135 And whan this book was in his remembraunce,
And when this book was in his remembrance,
1136 Anon for joye his herte gan to daunce,
Straightway for joy his heart began to dance,
1137 And to hymself he seyde pryvely:
And to himself he said secretly,
1138 "My brother shal be warisshed hastily;
"My brother shall be cured speedily;
1139 For I am siker that ther be sciences
For I am sure that there are sciences
1140 By whiche men make diverse apparences,
By which men make diverse illusions,
1141 Swiche as thise subtile tregetoures pleye.
Such as these subtle illusionists play.
1142 For ofte at feestes have I wel herd seye
For often at feasts have I well heard say
1143 That tregetours withinne an halle large
That illusionists within a large hall
1144 Have maad come in a water and a barge,
Have made come in a water and a barge,
1145 And in the halle rowen up and doun.
And in the hall row up and down.
1146 Somtyme hath semed come a grym leoun;
Sometimes a grim lion has seemed to come;
1147 And somtyme floures sprynge as in a mede;
And sometimes flowers spring as in a field;
1148 Somtyme a vyne, and grapes white and rede;
Sometimes a vine, and grapes white and red;
1149 Somtyme a castel, al of lym and stoon;
Sometimes a castle, all of mortar and stone;
1150 And whan hem lyked, voyded it anon.
And when they pleased, they made it suddenly disappear.
1151 Thus semed it to every mannes sighte.
Thus it seemed to every man's sight.
1152 "Now thanne conclude I thus: that if I myghte
"Now then conclude I thus: that if I might
1153 At Orliens som oold felawe yfynde
At Orleans find some old fellow
1154 That hadde thise moones mansions in mynde,
Who had these moon's stations in mind,
1155 Or oother magyk natureel above,
Or other natural science beyond that
1156 He sholde wel make my brother han his love.
He should well make my brother have his love.
1157 For with an apparence a clerk may make,
For with an apparition a clerk may make it seem,
1158 To mannes sighte, that alle the rokkes blake
To man's sight, that all the rocks black
1159 Of Britaigne weren yvoyded everichon,
Of Brittany were removed every one,
1160 And shippes by the brynke comen and gon,
And ships by the shore come and go,
1161 And in swich forme enduren a wowke or two.
And in such form endure a week or two.
1162 Thanne were my brother warisshed of his wo;
Then my brother would be cured of his woe;
1163 Thanne moste she nedes holden hire biheste,
Then must she by necessity keep her promise,
1164 Or elles he shal shame hire atte leeste."
Or else he shall shame her at the least."
1165 What sholde I make a lenger tale of this?
Why should I make a longer tale of this?
1166 Unto his brotheres bed he comen is,
Unto his brother's bed he is come,
1167 And swich confort he yaf hym for to gon
And such encouragement he gave him to go
1168 To Orliens that he up stirte anon,
To Orleans that he leaped up immediately,
1169 And on his wey forthward thanne is he fare
And on his way forth then is he gone
1170 In hope for to been lissed of his care.
In hope to be relieved of his care.
1171 Whan they were come almoost to that citee,
When they had come almost to that city,
1172 But if it were a two furlong or thre,
Not more than two or three furlongs,
1173 A yong clerk romynge by hymself they mette,
A young clerk roaming by himself they met,
1174 Which that in Latyn thriftily hem grette,
Who in Latin politely greeted them,
1175 And after that he seyde a wonder thyng:
And after that he said a wonderful thing:
1176 "I knowe," quod he, "the cause of youre comyng."
"I know," he said, "the cause of your coming."
1177 And er they ferther any foote wente,
And before they went any foot farther,
1178 He tolde hem al that was in hire entente.
He told them all that was in their intention.
1179 This Briton clerk hym asked of felawes
This Breton clerk asked him about fellows
1180 The whiche that he had knowe in olde dawes,
Whom he had known in old days,
1181 And he answerde hym that they dede were,
And he answered him that they were dead,
1182 For which he weep ful ofte many a teere.
For which he wept very often many a tear.
1183 Doun of his hors Aurelius lighte anon,
Down off his horse Aurelius alighted straightway,
1184 And with this magicien forth is he gon
And with this magician forth he is gone
1185 Hoom to his hous, and maden hem wel at ese.
Home to his house, and put them well at ease.
1186 Hem lakked no vitaille that myghte hem plese.
They lacked no foods that might please them.
1187 So wel arrayed hous as ther was oon
So well appointed a house as this one was
1188 Aurelius in his lyf saugh nevere noon.
Aurelius in his life saw never a one.
1189 He shewed hym, er he wente to sopeer,
He showed him, before he went to supper,
1190 Forestes, parkes ful of wilde deer;
Forests, parks full of wild deer;
1191 Ther saugh he hertes with hir hornes hye,
There he saw harts with their high horns,
1192 The gretteste that evere were seyn with ye.
The greatest that ever were seen with eye.
1193 He saugh of hem an hondred slayn with houndes,
He saw a hundred of them slain by hounds,
1194 And somme with arwes blede of bittre woundes.
And some bled because of bitter wounds from arrows.
1195 He saugh, whan voyded were thise wilde deer,
He saw, when these wild deer were removed,
1196 Thise fauconers upon a fair ryver,
These hunters with falcons upon a fair riverbank,
1197 That with hir haukes han the heron slayn.
That with their hawks have slain the heron.
1198 Tho saugh he knyghtes justyng in a playn;
Then he saw knights jousting in a plain;
1199 And after this he dide hym swich plesaunce
And after this he provided him such pleasure
1200 That he hym shewed his lady on a daunce,
That he showed him his lady in a dance,
1201 On which hymself he daunced, as hym thoughte.
In which he himself danced, as he thought.
1202 And whan this maister that this magyk wroughte
And when this master that wrought this magic
1203 Saugh it was tyme, he clapte his handes two,
Saw it was time, he clapped his two hands,
1204 And farewel! Al oure revel was ago.
And farewell! All our revel was gone.
1205 And yet remoeved they nevere out of the hous,
And yet moved they never out of the house,
1206 Whil they saugh al this sighte merveillous,
While they saw all this marvelous sight,
1207 But in his studie, ther as his bookes be,
But in his study, where his books are,
1208 They seten stille, and no wight but they thre.
They sat still, and no person (was there) but these three.
1209 To hym this maister called his squier,
This master called his squire to him,
1210 And seyde hym thus: "Is redy oure soper?
And said to him thus: "Is our supper ready?
1211 Almoost an houre it is, I undertake,
Almost an hour it is, I declare,
1212 Sith I yow bad oure soper for to make,
Since I ordered you to make our supper,
1213 Whan that thise worthy men wenten with me
When these worthy men went with me
1214 Into my studie, ther as my bookes be."
Into my study, where my books are."
1215 "Sire," quod this squier, "whan it liketh yow,
"Sir," said this squire, "when it pleases you,
1216 It is al redy, though ye wol right now."
It is all ready, even if you want it right now."
1217 "Go we thanne soupe," quod he, "as for the beste.
"Go we then to sup," said he, "as is the best (to do).
1218 Thise amorous folk somtyme moote han hir reste."
These amorous folk sometime must have their rest."
1219 At after-soper fille they in tretee
At after-supper they began to discuss
1220 What somme sholde this maistres gerdon be
What sum this master's payment should be
1221 To remoeven alle the rokkes of Britayne,
To remove all the rocks of Brittany,
1222 And eek from Gerounde to the mouth of Sayne.
And also from Gironde to the mouth of Seine.
1223 He made it straunge, and swoor, so God hym save,
He raised difficulties, and swore, as God may him save,
1224 Lasse than a thousand pound he wolde nat have,
Less than a thousand pounds he would not have,
1225 Ne gladly for that somme he wolde nat goon.
Nor would he go gladly even for that sum.
1226 Aurelius, with blisful herte anoon,
Aurelius, with blissful heart, at once
1227 Answerde thus: "Fy on a thousand pound!
Answered thus: "Fie on a thousand pounds!
1228 This wyde world, which that men seye is round,
This wide world, which men say is round,
1229 I wolde it yeve, if I were lord of it.
I would give it, if I were lord of it.
1230 This bargayn is ful dryve, for we been knyt.
This bargain is fully concluded, for we are agreed.
1231 Ye shal be payed trewely, by my trouthe!
You shall be paid truly, by my pledged word!
1232 But looketh now, for no necligence or slouthe
But look now, for no negligence or laziness
1233 Ye tarie us heere no lenger than to-morwe."
You delay us here any longer than to-morrow."
1234 "Nay," quod this clerk, "have heer my feith to borwe."
"Nay," said this clerk, "have here my faith as a pledge."
1235 To bedde is goon Aurelius whan hym leste,
To bed is gone Aurelius when it pleased him,
1236 And wel ny al that nyght he hadde his reste.
And well nigh all that night he had his rest.
1237 What for his labour and his hope of blisse,
What for his labor and his hope of bliss,
1238 His woful herte of penaunce hadde a lisse.
His woeful heart of suffering had relief.
1239 Upon the morwe, whan that it was day,
Upon the morrow, when it was day,
1240 To Britaigne tooke they the righte way,
To Brittany took they the direct route,
1241 Aurelius and this magicien bisyde,
Aurelius and this magician beside him,
1242 And been descended ther they wolde abyde.
And are arrived where they would stay.
1243 And this was, as thise bookes me remembre,
And this was, as these books remind me,
1244 The colde, frosty seson of Decembre.
The cold, frosty season of December.
1245 Phebus wax old, and hewed lyk laton,
Phoebus grew old, and colored grayish silver,
1246 That in his hoote declynacion
That in his hot declination (in summer)
1247 Shoon as the burned gold with stremes brighte;
Shone like burnished gold with bright rays;
1248 But now in Capricorn adoun he lighte,
But now in Capricorn he alights down,
1249 Where as he shoon ful pale, I dar wel seyn.
Where he shone full pale, I dare well say.
1250 The bittre frostes, with the sleet and reyn,
The bitter frosts, with the sleet and rain,
1251 Destroyed hath the grene in every yerd.
Have destroyed the green in every garden.
1252 Janus sit by the fyr, with double berd,
Janus sits by the fire, with double beard,
1253 And drynketh of his bugle horn the wyn;
And drinks the wine from his buffalo horn;
1254 Biforn hym stant brawen of the tusked swyn,
Before him stands meat of the tusked boar,
1255 And "Nowel" crieth every lusty man.
And "Noel" cries every lusty man.
1256 Aurelius in al that evere he kan
Aurelius in all that ever he can
1257 Dooth to this maister chiere and reverence,
Provides for this master entertainment and reverence,
1258 And preyeth hym to doon his diligence
And prays him to work diligently
1259 To bryngen hym out of his peynes smerte,
To bring him out of his bitter pains,
1260 Or with a swerd that he wolde slitte his herte.
Or with a sword he would slit his heart.
1261 This subtil clerk swich routhe had of this man
This subtle clerk had such pity for this man
1262 That nyght and day he spedde hym that he kan
That night and day he worked as fast as he can
1263 To wayten a tyme of his conclusioun;
To seek a time for his astronomical operation;
1264 This is to seye, to maken illusioun,
This is to say, to make illusion,
1265 By swich an apparence or jogelrye --
By such an appearance or conjurer's trick --
1266 I ne kan no termes of astrologye --
I know no technical terms of astrology --
1267 That she and every wight sholde wene and seye
That she and every person should believe and say
1268 That of Britaigne the rokkes were aweye,
That the rocks of Brittany were away,
1269 Or ellis they were sonken under grounde.
Or else they were sunk under ground.
1270 So atte laste he hath his tyme yfounde
So at the last he has his time found
1271 To maken his japes and his wrecchednesse
To make his tricks and his wretched deeds
1272 Of swich a supersticious cursednesse.
Of such a superstitious cursedness.
1273 His tables Tolletanes forth he brought,
His astronomical tables of Toledo he brought forth,
1274 Ful wel corrected, ne ther lakked nought,
Accurately corrected, nor was there anything lacking,
1275 Neither his collect ne his expans yeeris,
Neither his tables of single years nor of twenty-year periods,
1276 Ne his rootes, ne his othere geeris,
Nor his dates for calculations, nor his other apparatus,
1277 As been his centris and his argumentz
Such as are his table of distances and his angles for calculation
1278 And his proporcioneles convenientz
And his table for computing motions (of the planets)
1279 For his equacions in every thyng.
For his divisions of the sphere in every detail.
1280 And by his eighte speere in his wirkyng
And by his eighth sphere in his working
1281 He knew ful wel how fer Alnath was shove
He knew full well how far the star Alnath was shoved
1282 Fro the heed of thilke fixe Aries above,
From the head of that fixed Aries above,
1283 That in the ninthe speere considered is;
That in the ninth sphere is observed;
1284 Ful subtilly he kalkuled al this.
Full subtly he calculated all this.
1285 Whan he hadde founde his firste mansioun,
When he had found his first position of the moon,
1286 He knew the remenaunt by proporcioun,
He knew the remnant by astronomical tables,
1287 And knew the arisyng of his moone weel,
And knew the arising of his moon well,
1288 And in whos face, and terme, and everydeel;
And in which planet's face and term (zodiacal divisions), and everything;
1289 And knew ful weel the moones mansioun
And knew full well the moon's position
1290 Acordaunt to his operacioun,
In accordance with his operation,
1291 And knew also his othere observaunces
And knew also his other observations
1292 For swiche illusiouns and swiche meschaunces
For such illusions and such evil practices
1293 As hethen folk useden in thilke dayes.
As heathen folk used in those days.
1294 For which no lenger maked he delayes,
For which no longer he made delay,
1295 But thurgh his magik, for a wyke or tweye,
But through his magic, for a week or two,
1296 It semed that alle the rokkes were aweye.
It seemed that all the rocks were away.
1297 Aurelius, which that yet despeired is
Aurelius, who is yet in despair
1298 Wher he shal han his love or fare amys,
Whether he shall have his love or fare badly,
1299 Awaiteth nyght and day on this myracle;
Waits night and day for this miracle;
1300 And whan he knew that ther was noon obstacle,
And when he knew that there was no obstacle,
1301 That voyded were thise rokkes everychon,
That every one of these rocks were removed,
1302 Doun to his maistres feet he fil anon,
Down to his mistress' feet he fell at once,
1303 And seyde, "I woful wrecche, Aurelius,
And said, "I woeful wretched, Aurelius,
1304 Thanke yow, lord, and lady myn Venus,
Thank you, lord, and my lady Venus,
1305 That me han holpen fro my cares colde."
Who have helped me out of my deadly cares."
1306 And to the temple his wey forth hath he holde,
And to the temple he has held forth his way,
1307 Where as he knew he sholde his lady see.
Where he knew he should see his lady.
1308 And whan he saugh his tyme, anon-right hee,
And when he saw his time, immediately he,
1309 With dredful herte and with ful humble cheere,
With fearful heart and with full humble manner,
1310 Salewed hath his sovereyn lady deere:
Has saluted his sovereign lady dear:
1311 "My righte lady," quod this woful man,
"My true lady," said this woeful man,
1312 "Whom I moost drede and love as I best kan,
"Whom I most dread and love as I best know how,
1313 And lothest were of al this world displese,
And am of all this world most reluctant to displease,
1314 Nere it that I for yow have swich disese
Were it not that I for you have such distress
1315 That I moste dyen heere at youre foot anon,
That I must die here at your feet right now,
1316 Noght wolde I telle how me is wo bigon.
I would tell nothing of how I am beset by woe.
1317 But certes outher moste I dye or pleyne;
But certainly either I must die or complain;
1318 Ye sle me giltelees for verray peyne.
You slay me guiltless for sheer pain.
1319 But of my deeth thogh that ye have no routhe,
But though you have no pity on my death,
1320 Avyseth yow er that ye breke youre trouthe.
Think carefully before you break your pledged word.
1321 Repenteth yow, for thilke God above,
Repent, for that God above,
1322 Er ye me sleen by cause that I yow love.
Before you slay me because I love you.
1323 For, madame, wel ye woot what ye han hight --
For, madam, you know well what you have promised --
1324 Nat that I chalange any thyng of right
Not that I claim any thing as a right
1325 Of yow, my sovereyn lady, but youre grace --
From you, my sovereign lady, except for your good favor --
1326 But in a gardyn yond, at swich a place,
But in a garden yonder, at a particular place,
1327 Ye woot right wel what ye bihighten me;
You know right well what you promised me;
1328 And in myn hand youre trouthe plighten ye
And in my hand you pledged your word
1329 To love me best -- God woot, ye seyde so,
To love me best -- God knows, you said so,
1330 Al be that I unworthy am therto.
Although I am unworthy of it.
1331 Madame, I speke it for the honour of yow
Madam, I speak it for your honor
1332 Moore than to save myn hertes lyf right now --
More than to save my heart's life right now --
1333 I have do so as ye comanded me;
I have done as you commanded me;
1334 And if ye vouche sauf, ye may go see.
And if you agree, you may go see.
1335 Dooth as yow list; have youre biheste in mynde,
Do as you please; have your promise in mind,
1336 For, quyk or deed, right there ye shal me fynde.
For, living or dead, right there you shall find me.
1337 In yow lith al to do me lyve or deye --
In you lies the power to make me live or die --
1338 But wel I woot the rokkes been aweye."
But well I know the rocks are away."
1339 He taketh his leve, and she astoned stood;
He takes his leave, and she astounded stood;
1340 In al hir face nas a drope of blood.
In all her face was not a drop of blood.
1341 She wende nevere han come in swich a trappe.
She never expected to have come in such a trap.
1342 "Allas," quod she, "that evere this sholde happe!
"Alas," she said, "that ever this should happen!
1343 For wende I nevere by possibilitee
For I never supposed by possibility
1344 That swich a monstre or merveille myghte be!
That such a wonder or marvel could be!
1345 It is agayns the proces of nature."
It is against the laws of nature."
1346 And hoom she goth a sorweful creature;
And home she goes a sorrowful creature;
1347 For verray feere unnethe may she go.
For sheer fear she can hardly walk.
1348 She wepeth, wailleth, al a day or two,
She weeps, wails, all one day or two,
1349 And swowneth, that it routhe was to see.
And swoons, that it was pitiful to see.
1350 But why it was to no wight tolde shee,
But why it was she told to no person,
1351 For out of towne was goon Arveragus.
For Arveragus had gone out of town.
1352 But to hirself she spak, and seyde thus,
But to herself she spoke, and said thus,
1353 With face pale and with ful sorweful cheere,
With face pale and with full sorrowful manner,
1354 In hire compleynt, as ye shal after heere:
In her complaint, as you shall after hear:
1355 "Allas," quod she, "on thee, Fortune, I pleyne,
"Alas," said she, "on thee, Fortune, I complain,
1356 That unwar wrapped hast me in thy cheyne,
That without warning hast wrapped me in thy chain,
1357 Fro which t' escape woot I no socour,
From which to escape I know no help,
1358 Save oonly deeth or elles dishonour;
Save only death or else dishonor;
1359 Oon of thise two bihoveth me to chese.
One of these two I am compelled to choose.
1360 But nathelees, yet have I levere to lese
But neverthelees, yet I would rather lose
1361 My lif than of my body to have a shame,
My life than of my body to have a shame,
1362 Or knowe myselven fals, or lese my name;
Or know myself false, or lose my good name;
1363 And with my deth I may be quyt, ywis.
And with my death I may be free from blame, indeed.
1364 Hath ther nat many a noble wyf er this,
Has there not many a noble wife before this,
1365 And many a mayde, yslayn hirself, allas,
And many a maid, slain herself, alas,
1366 Rather than with hir body doon trespas?
Rather than do sin with her body?
1367 "Yis, certes, lo, thise stories beren witnesse:
"Yes indeed, certainly, lo, these stories bear witness:
1368 Whan thritty tirauntz, ful of cursednesse,
When thirty tyrants, full of cursedness,
1369 Hadde slayn Phidon in Atthenes atte feste,
Had slain Phidon in Athens at the feast,
1370 They comanded his doghtres for t' areste
They commanded (the guards) to seize his daughters
1371 And bryngen hem biforn hem in despit,
And bring them before them as an insult,
1372 Al naked, to fulfille hir foul delit,
All naked, to fulfill their foul delight,
1373 And in hir fadres blood they made hem daunce
And in their father's blood they made them dance
1374 Upon the pavement, God yeve hem meschaunce!
Upon the pavement, God give them misfortune!
1375 For which thise woful maydens, ful of drede,
For which these woeful maidens, full of dread,
1376 Rather than they wolde lese hir maydenhede,
Rather than they would lose their maidenhood,
1377 They prively been stirt into a welle
They secretly have leaped into a well
1378 And dreynte hemselven, as the bookes telle.
And drowned themselves, as the books tell.
1379 "They of Mecene leete enquere and seke
"They of Messene had (people) search out and seek
1380 Of Lacedomye fifty maydens eke,
Fifty maidens of Sparta also,
1381 On whiche they wolden doon hir lecherye.
On whom they would do their lechery.
1382 But was ther noon of al that compaignye
But there was none of all that company
1383 That she nas slayn, and with a good entente
That she was not slain, and with a good intent
1384 Chees rather for to dye than assente
Chose rather to die than assent
1385 To been oppressed of hir maydenhede.
To be deprived of her maidenhood.
1386 Why sholde I thanne to dye been in drede?
Why should I then be afraid to die?
1387 Lo, eek, the tiraunt Aristoclides,
Lo, also, the tyrant Aristoclides,
1388 That loved a mayden, heet Stymphalides,
That loved a maiden, called Stymphalides,
1389 Whan that hir fader slayn was on a nyght,
When her father was slain on a night,
1390 Unto Dianes temple goth she right,
Unto Diana's temple she goes directly,
1391 And hente the ymage in hir handes two,
And seized the statue in her two hands,
1392 Fro which ymage wolde she nevere go.
From which statue she would never go.
1393 No wight ne myghte hir handes of it arace
No person could pull her hands away from it
1394 Til she was slayn, right in the selve place.
Until she was slain, right in the same place.
1395 "Now sith that maydens hadden swich despit
"Now since maidens had such disdain
1396 To been defouled with mannes foul delit,
To be defiled by man's foul delight,
1397 Wel oghte a wyf rather hirselven slee
Well ought a wife rather herself slay
1398 Than be defouled, as it thynketh me.
Than be defiled, as it seems to me.
1399 What shal I seyn of Hasdrubales wyf,
What shall I say of Hasdrubale's wife,
1400 That at Cartage birafte hirself hir lyf?
That at Carthage deprived herself of her life?
1401 For whan she saugh that Romayns wan the toun,
For when she saw that Romans won the town,
1402 She took hir children alle, and skipte adoun
She took her children all, and leaped down
1403 Into the fyr, and chees rather to dye
Into the fire, and chose rather to die
1404 Than any Romayn dide hire vileynye.
Than any Roman did her a dishonor.
1405 Hath nat Lucresse yslayn hirself, allas,
Has not Lucretia slain herself, alas,
1406 At Rome, whan that she oppressed was
At Rome, when she was raped
1407 Of Tarquyn, for hire thoughte it was a shame
By Tarquin, for she thought it was a shame
1408 To lyven whan she hadde lost hir name?
To live when she had lost her good name?
1409 The sevene maydens of Milesie also
The seven maidens of Miletus also
1410 Han slayn hemself, for verrey drede and wo,
Have slain themselves, for sheer dread and woe,
1411 Rather than folk of Gawle hem sholde oppresse.
Rather than folk of Galatia should rape them.
1412 Mo than a thousand stories, as I gesse,
More than a thousand stories, as I guess,
1413 Koude I now telle as touchynge this mateere.
Could I now tell concerning this matter.
1414 Whan Habradate was slayn, his wyf so deere
When Habradate was slain, his wife so dear
1415 Hirselven slow, and leet hir blood to glyde
Herself slew, and let her blood pour
1416 In Habradates woundes depe and wyde,
In Habradate's wounds deep and wide,
1417 And seyde, `My body, at the leeste way,
And said, `My body, at the least,
1418 Ther shal no wight defoulen, if I may."
There shall no person defile, if I can (help it)."
1419 "What sholde I mo ensamples heerof sayn,
"Why should I tell more examples concerning this,
1420 Sith that so manye han hemselven slayn
Since so many have themselves slain
1421 Wel rather than they wolde defouled be?
Well rather than they would be defiled?
1422 I wol conclude that it is bet for me
I will conclude that it is better for me
1423 To sleen myself than been defouled thus.
To slay myself than be defiled thus.
1424 I wol be trewe unto Arveragus,
I will be true unto Arveragus,
1425 Or rather sleen myself in som manere,
Or rather slay myself in some manner,
1426 As dide Demociones doghter deere
As did Demotion's daughter dear
1427 By cause that she wolde nat defouled be.
Because she would not defiled be.
1428 O Cedasus, it is ful greet pitee
O Scedasus, it is a very great pity
1429 To reden how thy doghtren deyde, allas,
To read how thy daughters died, alas,
1430 That slowe hemself for swich manere cas.
Who slew themselves for a similar sort of cause.
1431 As greet a pitee was it, or wel moore,
As great a pity was it, or well more,
1432 The Theban mayden that for Nichanore
The Theban maiden that for Nichanore
1433 Hirselven slow, right for swich manere wo.
Slew herself, exactly for such sort of woe.
1434 Another Theban mayden dide right so;
Another Theban maiden did exactly the same;
1435 For oon of Macidonye hadde hire oppressed,
Because one of Macedonia had raped her,
1436 She with hire deeth hir maydenhede redressed.
She with her death avenged her maidenhood.
1437 What shal I seye of Nicerates wyf,
What shall I say of Nicerates' wife,
1438 That for swich cas birafte hirself hir lyf?
That for a similar case deprived herself of her life?
1439 How trewe eek was to Alcebiades
How true also to Alcebiades was
1440 His love, that rather for to dyen chees
His lover, who chose rather to die
1441 Than for to suffre his body unburyed be.
Than to allow his body to be unburied.
1442 Lo, which a wyf was Alceste," quod she.
Lo, what a wife was Alcestis," she said.
1443 "What seith Omer of goode Penalopee?
"What says Homer of good Penelope?
1444 Al Grece knoweth of hire chastitee.
All Greece knows of her chastity.
1445 Pardee, of Laodomya is writen thus,
By God, of Laodomia is written thus,
1446 That whan at Troie was slayn Protheselaus,
That when at Troy Protheselaus was slain,
1447 Ne lenger wolde she lyve after his day.
No longer would she live after his day (i.e., death).
1448 The same of noble Porcia telle I may;
The same of noble Portia I can tell;
1449 Withoute Brutus koude she nat lyve,
Without Brutus she could not live,
1450 To whom she hadde al hool hir herte yive.
To whom she had entirely given her heart.
1451 The parfit wyfhod of Arthemesie
The perfect wifehood of Arthemesie
1452 Honured is thurgh al the Barbarie.
Honored is through all heathendom.
1453 O Teuta, queene, thy wyfly chastitee
O Teuta, queen, thy wifely chastity
1454 To alle wyves may a mirour bee.
To all wives may be a mirror.
1455 The same thyng I seye of Bilyea,
The same thing I say of Bilia,
1456 Of Rodogone, and eek Valeria."
Of Rhodogune, and also Valeria."
1457 Thus pleyned Dorigen a day or tweye,
Thus Dorigen complained a day or two,
1458 Purposynge evere that she wolde deye.
Intending ever that she would die.
1459 But nathelees, upon the thridde nyght,
But neverthelees, upon the third night,
1460 Hoom cam Arveragus, this worthy knyght,
Home came Arveragus, this worthy knight,
1461 And asked hire why that she weep so soore;
And asked her why she wept so bitterly;
1462 And she gan wepen ever lenger the moore.
And she began to weep, ever the longer (she wept) the more (she wept) .
1463 "Allas," quod she, "that evere was I born!
"Alas," said she, "that ever I was born!
1464 Thus have I seyd," quod she, "thus have I sworn" --
Thus have I said," said she, "thus have I sworn" --
1465 And toold hym al as ye han herd bifore;
And told him all as you have heard before;
1466 It nedeth nat reherce it yow namoore.
There is no need to repeat it to you any more.
1467 This housbonde, with glad chiere, in freendly wyse
This husband, with cheerful demeanor, in a friendly manner
1468 Answerde and seyde as I shal yow devyse:
Answered and said as I shall tell you:
1469 "Is ther oght elles, Dorigen, but this?"
"Is there anything else, Dorigen, but this?"
1470 "Nay, nay," quod she, "God helpe me so as wys!
"Nay, nay," she said, "So help me God!
1471 This is to muche, and it were Goddes wille."
This is too much, even if it were God's will."
1472 "Ye, wyf," quod he, "lat slepen that is stille.
"Yes, wife," he said, "let sleep that which is still.
1473 It may be wel, paraventure, yet to day.
It may be well, perhaps, yet to day.
1474 Ye shul youre trouthe holden, by my fay!
You shall keep your pledged word, by my faith!
1475 For God so wisly have mercy upon me,
For as surely as God may have mercy upon me,
1476 I hadde wel levere ystiked for to be
I had well rather be stabbed
1477 For verray love which that I to yow have,
For sheer love which I to have for you,
1478 But if ye sholde youre trouthe kepe and save.
Than you should (do anything but) keep and save your pledged word.
1479 Trouthe is the hyeste thyng that man may kepe" --
One's pldged word is the highest thing that one may keep" --
1480 But with that word he brast anon to wepe,
But with that word he immediately burst into tears,
1481 And seyde, "I yow forbede, up peyne of deeth,
And said, "I you forbid, upon pain of death,
1482 That nevere, whil thee lasteth lyf ne breeth,
That never, while thy life or breath lasts,
1483 To no wight telle thou of this aventure --
Thou tell any person about this adventure --
1484 As I may best, I wol my wo endure --
As I best can, I will my woe endure --
1485 Ne make no contenance of hevynesse,
Nor make any outward appearance of sadness,
1486 That folk of yow may demen harm or gesse."
That folk may believe or guess anything harmful concerning you."
1487 And forth he cleped a squier and a mayde:
And forth he called a squire and a maid:
1488 "Gooth forth anon with Dorigen," he sayde,
"Go forth right now with Dorigen," he said,
1489 "And bryngeth hire to swich a place anon."
"And bring her to such a place quickly."
1490 They take hir leve, and on hir wey they gon,
They take their leave, and on their way they go,
1491 But they ne wiste why she thider wente.
But they knew not why she thither went.
1492 He nolde no wight tellen his entente.
He would no person tell his intention.
1493 Paraventure an heep of yow, ywis,
Perhaps a heap of you, indeed,
1494 Wol holden hym a lewed man in this
Will consider him a foolish man in this
1495 That he wol putte his wyf in jupartie.
That he will put his wife in jeopardy.
1496 Herkneth the tale er ye upon hire crie.
Listen to the tale before you cry out about her.
1497 She may have bettre fortune than yow semeth;
She may have better fortune than it seems to you;
1498 And whan that ye han herd the tale, demeth.
And when you have heard the tale, judge.
1499 This squier, which that highte Aurelius,
This squire, who was called Aurelius,
1500 On Dorigen that was so amorus,
On Dorigen who was so amorous,
1501 Of aventure happed hire to meete
By chance happened to meet her
1502 Amydde the toun, right in the quykkest strete,
Amidst the town, right in the busiest street,
1503 As she was bown to goon the wey forth right
As she was about to go the way directly
1504 Toward the gardyn ther as she had hight.
Toward the garden where she had promised (to go).
1505 And he was to the gardyn-ward also;
And he was going toward the garden also;
1506 For wel he spyed whan she wolde go
For well he spied when she would go
1507 Out of hir hous to any maner place.
Out of her house to any sort of place.
1508 But thus they mette, of aventure or grace,
But thus they met, by chance or luck,
1509 And he saleweth hire with glad entente,
And he salutes her cheerfully,
1510 And asked of hire whiderward she wente;
And asked her where she went;
1511 And she answerde, half as she were mad,
And she answered, as if she were half mad,
1512 "Unto the gardyn, as myn housbonde bad,
"Unto the garden, as my husband commanded,
1513 My trouthe for to holde -- allas, allas!"
My pledged word to keep -- alas, alas!"
1514 Aurelius gan wondren on this cas,
Aurelius began to wonder about this case,
1515 And in his herte hadde greet compassioun
And in his heart had great compassion
1516 Of hire and of hire lamentacioun,
Of her and of her lamentation,
1517 And of Arveragus, the worthy knyght,
And of Arveragus, the worthy knight,
1518 That bad hire holden al that she had hight,
Who commanded her to keep all that she had promised,
1519 So looth hym was his wyf sholde breke hir trouthe;
So hateful to him it was that his wife should break her word;
1520 And in his herte he caughte of this greet routhe,
And in his heart he took great pity on this,
1521 Considerynge the beste on every syde,
Considering what would be best in every respect,
1522 That fro his lust yet were hym levere abyde
That he would rather yet refrain from his desire
1523 Than doon so heigh a cherlyssh wrecchednesse
Than do so great a churlish despicable act
1524 Agayns franchise and alle gentillesse;
Against generosity and all nobility of character;
1525 For which in fewe wordes seyde he thus:
For which in few words he said thus:
1526 "Madame, seyth to youre lord Arveragus
"Madam, say to your lord Arveragus
1527 That sith I se his grete gentillesse
That since I see his great graciousness
1528 To yow, and eek I se wel youre distresse,
To you, and also I see well your distress,
1529 That him were levere han shame (and that were routhe)
That he would rather have shame (and that would be a pity)
1530 Than ye to me sholde breke thus youre trouthe,
Than you should thus break your pledged word to me,
1531 I have wel levere evere to suffre wo
I would well rather suffer woe always
1532 Than I departe the love bitwix yow two.
Than I should break apart the love between you two.
1533 I yow relesse, madame, into youre hond
I release you, madam, into your hand I return
1534 Quyt every serement and every bond
Freely every pledge and every bond
1535 That ye han maad to me as heerbiforn,
That you have made to me before now,
1536 Sith thilke tyme which that ye were born.
Since that time when you were born.
1537 My trouthe I plighte, I shal yow never repreve
I pledge my word, I shall never reprove you
1538 Of no biheste, and heere I take my leve,
For any promise, and here I take my leave,
1539 As of the treweste and the beste wyf
Of the truest and the best wife
1540 That evere yet I knew in al my lyf.
That ever yet I knew in all my life.
1541 But every wyf be war of hire biheeste!
But let every wife beware of her promise!
1542 On Dorigen remembreth, atte leeste.
Remember Dorigen, at the least.
1543 Thus kan a squier doon a gentil dede
Thus can a squire do a gentle deed
1544 As wel as kan a knyght, withouten drede."
As well as can a knight, without doubt."
1545 She thonketh hym upon hir knees al bare,
She thanks him upon her bare knees,
1546 And hoom unto hir housbonde is she fare,
And home unto her husband she is gone,
1547 And tolde hym al, as ye han herd me sayd;
And told him all, as you have heard me say;
1548 And be ye siker, he was so weel apayd
And be you sure, he was so well pleased
1549 That it were impossible me to wryte.
That it would be impossible for me to write.
1550 What sholde I lenger of this cas endyte?
Why should I write longer about this matter?
1551 Arveragus and Dorigen his wyf
Arveragus and Dorigen his wife
1552 In sovereyn blisse leden forth hir lyf.
In perfect bliss lead forth their life.
1553 Nevere eft ne was ther angre hem bitwene.
Never again was there any anger between them.
1554 He cherisseth hire as though she were a queene,
He cherishes her as though she were a queen,
1555 And she was to hym trewe for everemoore.
And she was to him true for evermore.
1556 Of thise two folk ye gete of me namoore.
Of these two folk you get of me no more.
1557 Aurelius, that his cost hath al forlorn,
Aurelius, that all his expenditure has forfeited,
1558 Curseth the tyme that evere he was born:
Curses the time that ever he was born:
1559 "Allas!" quod he. "Allas, that I bihighte
"Alas!" said he. "Alas, that I promised
1560 Of pured gold a thousand pound of wighte
Of refined gold a thousand pounds of weight
1561 Unto this philosophre! How shal I do?
Unto this scientist! What shall I do?
1562 I se namoore but that I am fordo.
I see no more but that I am ruined.
1563 Myn heritage moot I nedes selle,
My heritage I must of necessity sell,
1564 And been a beggere; heere may I nat dwelle
And be a beggar; here I may not remain
1565 And shamen al my kynrede in this place,
And shame all my kin in this place,
1566 But I of hym may gete bettre grace.
Unless I can get a better grace (favor) from him.
1567 But nathelees, I wole of hym assaye,
But nonetheless, I will try him, (offering)
1568 At certeyn dayes, yeer by yeer, to paye,
At specific days, year by year, to pay,
1569 And thanke hym of his grete curteisye.
And thank him for his great courtesy.
1570 My trouthe wol I kepe, I wol nat lye."
My word I will keep, I will not lie."
1571 With herte soor he gooth unto his cofre,
With a sore heart he goes unto his money box,
1572 And broghte gold unto this philosophre,
And brought gold unto this scientist,
1573 The value of fyve hundred pound, I gesse,
The value of five hundred pounds, I guess,
1574 And hym bisecheth, of his gentillesse,
And him beseeches, of his nobleness,
1575 To graunte hym dayes of the remenaunt;
To grant him days (on which to pay) the remnant;
1576 And seyde, "Maister, I dar wel make avaunt,
And said, "Master, I dare well make boast,
1577 I failled nevere of my trouthe as yit.
I failed never of my pledged word as yet.
1578 For sikerly my dette shal be quyt
For surely my debt shall be repaid
1579 Towardes yow, howevere that I fare
To you, even though I have
1580 To goon a-begged in my kirtle bare.
To go a-begging in my bare tunic.
1581 But wolde ye vouche sauf, upon seuretee,
But if you would agree, upon my promise,
1582 Two yeer or thre for to respiten me,
To grant me a respite for two years or three,
1583 Thanne were I wel; for elles moot I selle
Then I would be well; for otherwise I must sell
1584 Myn heritage; ther is namoore to telle."
My heritage; there is no more to tell."
1585 This philosophre sobrely answerde,
This scientist soberly answered,
1586 And seyde thus, whan he thise wordes herde:
And said thus, when he heard these words:
1587 "Have I nat holden covenant unto thee?"
"Have I not kept my agreement with thee?"
1588 "Yes, certes, wel and trewely," quod he.
"Yes, certainly, well and truly," said he.
1589 "Hastow nat had thy lady as thee liketh?"
"Hast thou not had thy lady as it pleases thee?"
1590 "No, no," quod he, and sorwefully he siketh.
"No, no," said he, and sorrowfully he sighs.
1591 "What was the cause? Tel me if thou kan."
"What was the cause? Tel me if thou know how."
1592 Aurelius his tale anon bigan,
Aurelius his tale immediately began,
1593 And tolde hym al, as ye han herd bifoore;
And told him all, as you have heard before;
1594 It nedeth nat to yow reherce it moore.
There is no need to repeat it to you again.
1595 He seide, "Arveragus, of gentillesse,
He said, "Arveragus, of his nobility,
1596 Hadde levere dye in sorwe and in distresse
Had rather die in sorrow and in distress
1597 Than that his wyf were of hir trouthe fals."
Than that his wife would be false of her pledged word."
1598 The sorwe of Dorigen he tolde hym als;
The sorrow of Dorigen he told him also;
1599 How looth hire was to been a wikked wyf,
How loathfull to her it was to be a wicked wife,
1600 And that she levere had lost that day hir lyf,
And that she would rather have lost her life that day,
1601 And that hir trouthe she swoor thurgh innocence,
And that her word she swore through ignorance,
1602 She nevere erst hadde herde speke of apparence.
She never before had heard tell of illusion.
1603 "That made me han of hire so greet pitee;
"That made me have for her such great pity;
1604 And right as frely as he sente hire me,
And right as freely as he sent her to me,
1605 As frely sente I hire to hym ageyn.
As freely I sent her to him again.
1606 This al and som; ther is namoore to seyn."
This is the entire matter; there is no more to say."
1607 This philosophre answerde, "Leeve brother,
This scientist answered, "Dear brother,
1608 Everich of yow dide gentilly til oother.
Every one of you did nobly to the other.
1609 Thou art a squier, and he is a knyght;
Thou art a squire, and he is a knight;
1610 But God forbede, for his blisful myght,
But God forbid, for his blissful might,
1611 But if a clerk koude doon a gentil dede
That a clerk could not do a gentle deed
1612 As wel as any of yow, it is no drede!
As well as any of you, it is no doubt!
1613 Sire, I releesse thee thy thousand pound,
Sir, I release thee from thy (debt of a) thousand pounds,
1614 As thou right now were cropen out of the ground,
As if thou right now were crept out of the ground,
1615 Ne nevere er now ne haddest knowen me.
Nor never before now had known me.
1616 For, sire, I wol nat taken a peny of thee
For, sir, I will not take a penny from thee
1617 For al my craft, ne noght for my travaille.
For all my craft, nor anything for my labor.
1618 Thou hast ypayed wel for my vitaille.
Thou hast paid well for my living expenses.
1619 It is ynogh, and farewel, have good day!"
It is enough, and farewell, have good day!"
1620 And took his hors, and forth he goth his way.
And took his horse, and forth he goes his way.
1621 Lordynges, this question, thanne, wol I aske now,
Gentlemen, this question, then, will I ask now,
1622 Which was the mooste fre, as thynketh yow?
Which was the most free, as it seems to you?
1623 Now telleth me, er that ye ferther wende.
Now tell me, before you farther go.
1624 I kan namoore; my tale is at an ende.
I know no more; my tale is at an end.
Heere is ended the Frankeleyns Tale
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