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The Knight's Tale, Part II

An Interlinear Translation (lines 1355-1880)

 

 

 

Sequitur pars secunda
The second part follows

 

1355        Whan that Arcite to Thebes comen was,
                   When Arcite was come to Thebes,
1356        Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde "Allas!"
                   Very often each day he grew faint and said "Alas!"
1357        For seen his lady shal he nevere mo.
                   For he shall never more see his lady.
1358        And shortly to concluden al his wo,
                   And shortly to conclude (telling) all his woe,
1359        So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature
                   So much sorrow never had creature
1360        That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.
                   That is, or shall (be), while the world may endure.
1361        His slep, his mete, his drynke, is hym biraft,
                   He is bereft of his sleep, his food, his drink
1362        That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft;
                   So that he became lean and dry as is a stick;
1363        His eyen holwe and grisly to biholde,
                   His eyes sunken and grisly to behold,
1364        His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde,
                   His hue sickly yellow and pale as cold ashes,
1365        And solitarie he was and evere allone,
                   And he was solitary and ever alone,
1366        And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone;
                   And wailing all the night, making his moan;
1367        And if he herde song or instrument,
                   And if he heard song or instrument,
1368        Thanne wolde he wepe, he myghte nat be stent.
                   Then would he weep, he could not be stopped.
1369        So feble eek were his spiritz, and so lowe,
                   So feeble also were his spirits, and so low,
1370        And chaunged so, that no man koude knowe
                   And changed so, that no man could know
1371        His speche nor his voys, though men it herde.
                   His speech nor his voice, though men heard it.
1372        And in his geere for al the world he ferde
                   And in his behavior for all the world he fared
1373        Nat oonly lik the loveris maladye
                   Not only like the lover's malady
1374        Of Hereos, but rather lyk manye,
                   Of Hereos, but rather like mania,
1375        Engendred of humour malencolik
                   Engendered by the melancholic humor
1376        Biforen, in his celle fantastik.
                   In the front lobe, in his imagination.
1377        And shortly, turned was al up so doun
                   And shortly, all was turned topsy-turvy
1378        Bothe habit and eek disposicioun
                   Both the physical condition and also the mental disposition
1379        Of hym, this woful lovere daun Arcite.
                   Of him, this woeful lover dan Arcite.

1380        What sholde I al day of his wo endite?
                   Why should I all daylong write of his woe?
1381        Whan he endured hadde a yeer or two
                   When he had endured a year or two
1382        This crueel torment and this peyne and wo,
                   This cruel torment and this pain and woe,
1383        At Thebes, in his contree, as I seyde,
                   At Thebes, in his country, as I said,
1384        Upon a nyght in sleep as he hym leyde,
                   Upon one night as he laid himself in sleep,
1385        Hym thoughte how that the wynged god Mercurie
                   It seemed to him that the winged god Mercury
1386        Biforn hym stood and bad hym to be murie.
                   Stood before him and commanded him to be merry.
1387        His slepy yerde in hond he bar uprighte;
                   His sleep-inducing staff he carried upright in his hand;
1388        An hat he werede upon his heris brighte.
                   He wore a hat upon his bright hair.
1389        Arrayed was this god, as he took keep,
                   This god was dressed, as he (Arcite) noticed,
1390        As he was whan that Argus took his sleep;
                   As he was when he put Argus to sleep;
1391        And seyde hym thus: "To Atthenes shaltou wende,
                   And said to him thus: "To Athens shalt thou go,
1392        Ther is thee shapen of thy wo an ende."
                   Where an end of thy woe is destined for thee."
1393        And with that word Arcite wook and sterte.
                   And with that word Arcite awoke and leaped up.
1394        "Now trewely, hou soore that me smerte,"
                   "Now truly, however sorely it may pain me,"
1395        Quod he, "to Atthenes right now wol I fare,
                   Said he, "I will go to Athens right now,
1396        Ne for the drede of deeth shal I nat spare
                   Nor shall I refrain for the dread of death
1397        To se my lady, that I love and serve.
                   From seeing my lady, whom I love and serve.
1398        In hire presence I recche nat to sterve."
                   In her presence I care not if I die."

1399        And with that word he caughte a greet mirour,
                   And with that word he picked up a large mirror,
1400        And saugh that chaunged was al his colour,
                   And saw that all his color was changed,
1401        And saugh his visage al in another kynde.
                   And saw his visage all (changed) to another sort.
1402        And right anon it ran hym in his mynde,
                   And right away it ran to him in his mind,
1403        That, sith his face was so disfigured
                   That, since his face was so disfigured
1404        Of maladye the which he hadde endured,
                   By the malady which he had endured,
1405        He myghte wel, if that he bar hym lowe,
                   He might well, if he conducted himself humbly,
1406        Lyve in Atthenes everemoore unknowe,
                   Live in Athens evermore unknown,
1407        And seen his lady wel ny day by day.
                   And see his lady almost every day.
1408        And right anon he chaunged his array,
                   And right away he changed his clothing,
1409        And cladde hym as a povre laborer,
                   And clad himself as a poor laborer,
1410        And al allone, save oonly a squier
                   And all alone, except only a squire
1411        That knew his privetee and al his cas,
                   Who knew his private affairs and all his situation,
1412        Which was disgised povrely as he was,
                   Who was disguised as poorly as he was,
1413        To Atthenes is he goon the nexte way.
                   To Athens he is gone the nearest way.
1414        And to the court he wente upon a day,
                   And to the court he went upon a day,
1415        And at the gate he profreth his servyse
                   And at the gate he offers his service
1416        To drugge and drawe, what so men wol devyse.
                   To drudge and draw water, whatever men will command.
1417        And shortly of this matere for to seyn,
                   And shortly to speak of this matter,
1418        He fil in office with a chamberleyn
                   He was given employment by a household attendant
1419        The which that dwellynge was with Emelye,
                   Who was dwelling with Emelye,
1420        For he was wys and koude soone espye,
                   For he was wise and could soon take the measure
1421        Of every servaunt, which that serveth here.
                   Of every servant, who serves here.
1422        Wel koude he hewen wode, and water bere,
                   He could well hew wood, and carry water,
1423        For he was yong and myghty for the nones,
                   For he was young and mighty indeed,
1424        And therto he was long and big of bones
                   And moreover he was tall and strong of bones
1425        To doon that any wight kan hym devyse.
                   To do what any one can command him.
1426        A yeer or two he was in this servyse,
                   A year or two he was in this service,
1427        Page of the chambre of Emelye the brighte,
                   Page of the chamber of Emelye the bright,
1428        And Philostrate he seyde that he highte.
                   And he said that he was called Philostrate.
1429        But half so wel biloved a man as he
                   But half so well beloved a man as he
1430        Ne was ther nevere in court of his degree;
                   Was never in court (anyone) of his rank;
1431        He was so gentil of condicioun
                   He was so noble in manner
1432        That thurghout al the court was his renoun.
                   That his fame was (spread) throughout all the court .
1433        They seyden that it were a charitee
                   They said that it would be a act of charity
1434        That Theseus wolde enhauncen his degree,
                   If Theseus would advance his rank,
1435        And putten hym in worshipful servyse,
                   And put him in noble employment,
1436        Ther as he myghte his vertu excercise.
                   Where he could exercise his abilities.
1437        And thus withinne a while his name is spronge,
                   And thus within a short time his fame is sprung,
1438        Bothe of his dedes and his goode tonge,
                   Both for his deeds and his good speech,
1439        That Theseus hath taken hym so neer
                   That Theseus has taken him so near
1440        That of his chambre he made hym a squier,
                   That he has made him a squire of his chamber,
1441        And gaf hym gold to mayntene his degree.
                   And gave him gold to maintain (a life style suitable to) his rank.
1442        And eek men broghte hym out of his contree,
                   And also men brought him out of his country,
1443        From yeer to yeer, ful pryvely his rente;
                   From year to year, very secretly, his income;
1444        But honestly and slyly he it spente,
                   But properly and slyly he spent it,
1445        That no man wondred how that he it hadde.
                   So that no man wondered how he acquired it.
1446        And thre yeer in this wise his lif he ladde,
                   And three years in this manner he led his life,
1447        And bar hym so, in pees and eek in werre,
                   And conducted himself so that, in peace and also in war,
1448        Ther was no man that Theseus hath derre.
                   There was no man whom Theseus holds dearer.
1449        And in this blisse lete I now Arcite,
                   And in this bliss I now leave Arcite,
1450        And speke I wole of Palamon a lite.
                   And I will speak of Palamon a little.

1451        In derknesse and horrible and strong prisoun
                   In darkness and horrible and strong imprisonment
1452        Thise seven yeer hath seten Palamoun
                   These seven years Palamon has sat
1453        Forpyned, what for wo and for distresse.
                   Wasted by suffering, what for woe and for distress.
1454        Who feeleth double soor and hevynesse
                   Who feels double pain and sadness
1455        But Palamon, that love destreyneth so
                   But Palamon, whom love so afflicts
1456        That wood out of his wit he goth for wo?
                   That he goes mad, out of his wits because of woe?
1457        And eek therto he is a prisoner
                   And also moreover he is a prisoner
1458        Perpetuelly, noght oonly for a yer.
                   Perpetually, not just for a year.

1459        Who koude ryme in Englyssh proprely
                   Who could rime in English properly
1460        His martirdom? For sothe it am nat I;
                   His martyrdom? In truth it is not I;
1461        Therfore I passe as lightly as I may.
                   Therefore I pass on as quickly as I can.

1462        It fel that in the seventhe yer, of May
                   It happened that in the seventh year, of May
1463        The thridde nyght (as olde bookes seyn,
                   The third night (as old books say,
1464        That al this storie tellen moore pleyn),
                   That tell all this story more fully),
1465        Were it by aventure or destynee --
                   Whether it was by chance or fate --
1466        As, whan a thyng is shapen, it shal be --
                   As, when a thing is pre-ordained, it must be --
1467        That soone after the mydnyght Palamoun,
                   That soon after midnight Palamon,
1468        By helpyng of a freend, brak his prisoun
                   With the help of a friend, broke out of his prison
1469        And fleeth the citee faste as he may go.
                   And flees the city as fast as he can go.
1470        For he hadde yeve his gayler drynke so
                   For he had so given his jailer drink
1471        Of a clarree maad of a certeyn wyn,
                   Of a spiced and sweetened drink made of a certain wine,
1472        With nercotikes and opie of Thebes fyn,
                   With narcotics and pure opium of Thebes,
1473        That al that nyght, thogh that men wolde him shake,
                   That all that night, though men would shake him,
1474        The gayler sleep; he myghte nat awake.
                   The jailer slept; he could not awake.
1475        And thus he fleeth as faste as evere he may.
                   And thus he flees as fast as ever he can.
1476        The nyght was short and faste by the day
                   The night was short and very close to the day
1477        That nedes cost he moot hymselven hyde,
                   So that by necessity he must hide himself,
1478        And til a grove faste ther bisyde
                   And to a grove close by
1479        With dredeful foot thanne stalketh Palamon.
                   With fearful foot then stalks Palamon.
1480        For, shortly, this was his opinion:
                   For, shortly, this was his idea:
1481        That in that grove he wolde hym hyde al day,
                   That in that grove he would hide himself all day,
1482        And in the nyght thanne wolde he take his way
                   And in the night then he would take his way
1483        To Thebes-ward, his freendes for to preye
                   Toward Thebes, to pray his friends
1484        On Theseus to helpe him to werreye;
                   To help him to wage war on Theseus;
1485        And shortly, outher he wolde lese his lif
                   And shortly, he would either lose his life
1486        Or wynnen Emelye unto his wyf.
                   Or win Emelye to be his wife.
1487        This is th'effect and his entente pleyn.
                   This is the purpose and his full intent.

1488        Now wol I turne to Arcite ageyn,
                   Now I will turn again to Arcite,
1489        That litel wiste how ny that was his care,
                   That little knew how near his trouble was,
1490        Til that Fortune had broght him in the snare.
                   To which Fortune had brought him in the snare.

1491        The bisy larke, messager of day,
                   The busy lark, messenger of day,
1492        Salueth in hir song the morwe gray,
                   Salutes the morning gray in her song,
1493        And firy Phebus riseth up so bright
                   And fiery Phoebus rises up so bright
1494        That al the orient laugheth of the light,
                   That all the orient laughs because of the light,
1495        And with his stremes dryeth in the greves
                   And with his rays dries in the groves
1496        The silver dropes hangynge on the leves.
                   The silver drops hanging on the leaves.
1497        And Arcita, that in the court roial
                   And Arcite, who in the royal court
1498        With Theseus is principal squier,
                   With Theseus is chief squire,
1499        Is risen and looketh on the myrie day.
                   Is risen and looks on the merry day.
1500        And for to doon his observaunce to May,
                   And to do his observance to May,
1501        Remembrynge on the poynt of his desir,
                   Meditating on the object of his desire,
1502        He on a courser, startlynge as the fir,
                   He on a war horse, leaping about like the fire,
1503        Is riden into the feeldes hym to pleye,
                   Has ridden into the fields to amuse himself,
1504        Out of the court, were it a myle or tweye.
                   Out of the court, about a mile or two.
1505        And to the grove of which that I yow tolde
                   And to the grove of which I told you
1506        By aventure his wey he gan to holde
                   By chance he began to hold his way
1507        To maken hym a gerland of the greves,
                   To make himself a garland of the branches,
1508        Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves,
                   Were it of woodbine or hawthorn leaves,
1509        And loude he song ayeyn the sonne shene:
                   And loud he sang in the bright sun:
1510        "May, with alle thy floures and thy grene,
                   "May, with all thy flowers and thy greenery,
1511        Welcome be thou, faire, fresshe May,
                   Welcome be thou, fair, fresh May,
1512        In hope that I som grene gete may."
                   In hope that I can get something green."
1513        And from his courser, with a lusty herte,
                   And from his war horse, with an eager heart,
1514        Into the grove ful hastily he sterte,
                   He rushed into the grove hastily,
1515        And in a path he rometh up and doun,
                   And in a path he roams up and down,
1516        Ther as by aventure this Palamoun
                   Where by chance this Palamon
1517        Was in a bussh, that no man myghte hym se,
                   Was in a thicket, so that no man could see him,
1518        For soore afered of his deeth was he.
                   For he was sorely afraid of his death.
1519        No thyng ne knew he that it was Arcite;
                   In no way did he know that it was Arcite;
1520        God woot he wolde have trowed it ful lite.
                   God knows he would scarcely have believed it
1521        But sooth is seyd, go sithen many yeres,
                   But truly it is said, since many years ago,
1522        That "feeld hath eyen and the wode hath eres."
                   That "field has eyes and the wood has ears."
1523        It is ful fair a man to bere hym evene,
                   It is very good for a man to act calmly,
1524        For al day meeteth men at unset stevene.
                   For every day people meet at unexpected times.
1525        Ful litel woot Arcite of his felawe,
                   Arcite knows full little of his fellow,
1526        That was so ny to herknen al his sawe,
                   Who was near enough to hear all his speech,
1527        For in the bussh he sitteth now ful stille.
                   For in the thicket he sits now very still.

1528        Whan that Arcite hadde romed al his fille,
                   When Arcite had roamed all his fill,
1529        And songen al the roundel lustily,
                   And sung all the rondel cheerfully,
1530        Into a studie he fil sodeynly,
nbsp;                  He fell suddenly into a state of anxiety,
1531        As doon thise loveres in hir queynte geres,
                   As these lovers do in their strange manners,
1532        Now in the crope, now doun in the breres,
                   Now in the tree top, now down in the briars,
1533        Now up, now doun, as boket in a welle.
                   Now up, now down, like a bucket in a well.
1534        Right as the Friday, soothly for to telle,
                   Exactly like the Friday, truly for to tell,
1535        Now it shyneth, now it reyneth faste,
                   Now it shines, now it rains hard,
1536        Right so kan geery Venus overcaste
                   Just so can fickle Venus sadden
1537        The hertes of hir folk; right as hir day
                   The hearts of her folk; just as her day
1538        Is gereful, right so chaungeth she array.
                   Is changeable, just so she changes her array.
1539        Selde is the Friday al the wowke ylike.
                   Friday is seldom like all the rest of the week.
1540        Whan that Arcite had songe, he gan to sike
                   When Arcite had sung, he began to sigh
1541        And sette hym doun withouten any moore.
                   And sat himself down without any more.
1542        "Allas," quod he, "that day that I was bore!
                   "Alas," he said, "that day that I was born!
1543        How longe, Juno, thurgh thy crueltee,
                   How long, Juno, through thy cruelty,
1544        Woltow werreyen Thebes the citee?
                   Wilt thou make war on the city of Thebes?
1545        Allas, ybroght is to confusioun
                   Alas, to ruin is brought
1546        The blood roial of Cadme and Amphioun --
                   The royal blood of Cadmus and Amphion --
1547        Of Cadmus, which that was the firste man
                   Of Cadmus, who was the first man
1548        That Thebes bulte, or first the toun bigan,
                   Who built Thebes, before the town first began,
1549        And of the citee first was crouned kyng.
                   And first was crowned king of the city.
1550        Of his lynage am I and his ofspryng
                   I am of his lineage and his offspring
1551        By verray ligne, as of the stok roial,
                   By true lineage, of the royal family,
1552        And now I am so caytyf and so thral,
                   And now I am so wretched and so enslaved,
1553        That he that is my mortal enemy,
                   That he who is my mortal enemy,
1554        I serve hym as his squier povrely.
                   I meekly serve him as his squire.
1555        And yet dooth Juno me wel moore shame,
                   And yet Juno does me much more shame,
1556        For I dar noght biknowe myn owene name;
                   For I dare not acknowledge my own name;
1557        But ther as I was wont to highte Arcite,
                   But whereas I was accustomed to be called Arcite,
1558        Now highte I Philostrate, noght worth a myte.
                   Now I am called Philostrate, not worth a penny.
1559        Allas, thou felle Mars! Allas, Juno!
                   Alas, thou fierce Mars! Alas, Juno!
1560        Thus hath youre ire oure lynage al fordo,
                   Thus has your anger destroyed all our lineage,
1561        Save oonly me and wrecched Palamoun,
                   Save only me and wretched Palamon,
1562        That Theseus martireth in prisoun.
                   Whom Theseus torments in prison.
1563        And over al this, to sleen me outrely
                   And in addition to all this, to slay me utterly
1564        Love hath his firy dart so brennyngly
                   Love has his fiery dart so ardently
1565        Ystiked thurgh my trewe, careful herte
                   Stabbed through my faithful, sorrowful heart
1566        That shapen was my deeth erst than my sherte.
                   That my death was destined before my first garment was made.
1567        Ye sleen me with youre eyen, Emelye!
                   You slay me with your eyes, Emelye!
1568        Ye been the cause wherfore that I dye.
                   You are the cause by which I die.
1569        Of al the remenant of myn oother care
                   Of all the rest of my other troubles
1570        Ne sette I nat the montance of a tare,
                   I do not reckon at the value of a weed,
1571        So that I koude doon aught to youre plesaunce."
                   Provided that I could do anything to please you."
1572        And with that word he fil doun in a traunce
                   And with that word he fell down in a trance
1573        A longe tyme, and after he up sterte.
                   A long time, and afterwards he leaped up.

1574        This Palamoun, that thoughte that thurgh his herte
                   This Palamon, that thought that through his heart
1575        He felte a coold swerd sodeynliche glyde,
                   He felt a cold sword suddenly glide,
1576        For ire he quook; no lenger wolde he byde.
                   For anger he trembled; no longer would he wait.
1577        And whan that he had herd Arcites tale,
                   And when he had heard Arcite's tale,
1578        As he were wood, with face deed and pale,
                   As if he were mad, with face dead and pale,
1579        He stirte hym up out of the buskes thikke
                   He leaped up out of the thick bushes
1580        And seide: "Arcite, false traytour wikke,
                   And said: "Arcite, false, wicked traitor,
1581        Now artow hent, that lovest my lady so,
                   Now art thou taken, who lovest my lady so,
1582        For whom that I have al this peyne and wo,
                   For whom that I have all this pain and woe,
1583        And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
                   And art of my blood, and sworn to be in my confidence,
1584        As I ful ofte have told thee heerbiforn,
                   As I full often have told thee before now,
1585        And hast byjaped heere duc Theseus,
                   And hast tricked here duke Theseus,
1586        And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus!
                   And thus hast falsely changed thy name!
1587        I wol be deed, or elles thou shalt dye.
                   I will be dead, or else thou shalt die.
1588        Thou shalt nat love my lady Emelye,
                   Thou shalt not love my lady Emelye,
1589        But I wol love hire oonly and namo;
                   But I will love her only and no other;
1590        For I am Palamon, thy mortal foo.
                   For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.
1591        And though that I no wepene have in this place,
                   And though I have no weapon in this place,
1592        But out of prison am astert by grace,
                   But out of prison am escaped by good luck,
1593        I drede noght that outher thow shalt dye,
                   I doubt not that either thou shalt dye,
1594        Or thow ne shalt nat loven Emelye.
                   Either thou shalt not love Emelye,
1595        Chees which thou wolt, or thou shalt nat asterte!"
                   Choose which thou wish, or thou shalt not escape!"

1596        This Arcite, with ful despitous herte,
                   This Arcite, with full spiteful heart,
1597        Whan he hym knew, and hadde his tale herd,
                   When he knew him, and had heard his tale,
1598        As fiers as leon pulled out his swerd,
                   As fierce as a lion pulled out his sword,
1599        And seyde thus: "By God that sit above,
                   And said thus: "By God who sits above,
1600        Nere it that thou art sik and wood for love,
                   Were it not that thou art sick and mad for love,
1601        And eek that thow no wepne hast in this place,
                   And also because thou hast no weapon in this place,
1602        Thou sholdest nevere out of this grove pace,
                   Thou shouldest never walk out of this grove,
1603        That thou ne sholdest dyen of myn hond.
                   Rather thou shouldest die of my hand.
1604        For I defye the seurete and the bond
                   For I repudiate the pledge and the bond
1605        Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
                   Which thou sayest that I have made to thee.
1606        What! Verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
                   Lo! True fool, think well that love is free,
1607        And I wol love hire maugree al thy myght!
                   And I will love her in spite of all thy might!
1608        But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght
                   But for as much as thou art a worthy knight
1609        And wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille,
                   And desire to decide the right to her by battle,
1610        Have heer my trouthe; tomorwe I wol nat faille,
                   Have here my pledge; tomorrow I will not fail,
1611        Withoute wityng of any oother wight,
                   Without the knowledge of any other person,
1612        That heere I wol be founden as a knyght,
                   But here I will be found as a knight,
1613        And bryngen harneys right ynough for thee;
                   And bring armor right enough for thee;
1614        And ches the beste, and leef the worste for me.
                   And choose the best, and leave the worst for me.
1615        And mete and drynke this nyght wol I brynge
                   And food and drink this night will I bring
1616        Ynough for thee, and clothes for thy beddynge.
                   Enough for thee, and bed-clothes for thy bedding.
1617        And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
                   And if it so be that thou win my lady,
1618        And sle me in this wode ther I am inne,
                   And slay me in this wood where I am in,
1619        Thow mayst wel have thy lady as for me."
                   Thou mayest well have thy lady as far as I am concerned."

1620        This Palamon answerde, "I graunte it thee."
                   This Palamon answered, "I agree."
1621        And thus they been departed til amorwe,
                   And thus they are departed until morning,
1622        Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.
                   When each of them had laid his faith as a pledge.

1623        O Cupide, out of alle charitee!
                   O Cupid, devoid of all kindness to others!
1624        O regne, that wolt no felawe have with thee!
                   O reign, that will have no partner with thee!
1625        Ful sooth is seyd that love ne lordshipe
                   Full truly it is said that love nor lordship
1626        Wol noght, his thankes, have no felaweshipe.
                   Will not, willingly, have any partnership.
1627        Wel fynden that Arcite and Palamoun.
                   Arcite and Palamon well find that (to be true).
1628        Arcite is riden anon unto the toun,
                   Arcite has ridden immediately into the town,
1629        And on the morwe, er it were dayes light,
                   And on the morning, before it was day's light,
1630        Ful prively two harneys hath he dight,
                   Very secretly he has prepared two sets of armor,
1631        Bothe suffisaunt and mete to darreyne
                   Both sufficient and suitable to decide
1632        The bataille in the feeld bitwix hem tweyne;
                   The battle in the field between them two;
1633        And on his hors, allone as he was born,
                   And on his horse, alone as he was born,
1634        He carieth al the harneys hym biforn.
                   He carries all the armor before him.
1635        And in the grove, at tyme and place yset,
                   And in the grove, at time and place set,
1636        This Arcite and this Palamon ben met.
                   This Arcite and this Palamon are met.
1637        To chaungen gan the colour in hir face;
                   The color in their faces began to change;
1638        Right as the hunters in the regne of Trace,
                   Just as the hunters in the reign of Thrace,
1639        That stondeth at the gappe with a spere,
                   He who stands at the gap in the forrest with a spear,
1640        Whan hunted is the leon or the bere,
                   When the lion or the bear is hunted,
1641        And hereth hym come russhyng in the greves,
                   And hears him come rushing in the bushes,
1642        And breketh bothe bowes and the leves,
                   And breaks both boughs and the leaves,
1643        And thynketh, "Heere cometh my mortal enemy!
                   And thinks, "Here comes my mortal enemy!
1644        Withoute faille, he moot be deed, or I,
                   Without fail, he must be dead, or I,
1645        For outher I moot sleen hym at the gappe,
                   For either I must slay him at the gap,
1646        Or he moot sleen me, if that me myshappe."
                   Or he must slay me, if I suffer misfortune."
1647        So ferden they in chaungyng of hir hewe,
                   So fared they in changing colors of their faces,
1648        As fer as everich of hem oother knewe.
                   When each of them knew the other.

1649        Ther nas no good day, ne no saluyng,
                   There was no 'good day,' nor no salutations,
1650        But streight, withouten word or rehersyng,
                   But straightway, without word or conversing,
1651        Everich of hem heelp for to armen oother
                   Each one of them helped to arm the other
1652        As freendly as he were his owene brother;
                   As friendly as if he were his own brother;
1653        And after that, with sharpe speres stronge
                   And after that, with sharp strong spears
1654        They foynen ech at oother wonder longe.
                   They thrust at each other a wonderfully long time.
1655        Thou myghtest wene that this Palamon
                   Thou mightest suppose that this Palamon
1656        In his fightyng were a wood leon,
                   In his fighting was a mad lion,
1657        And as a crueel tigre was Arcite;
                   And Arcite was like a cruel tiger;
1658        As wilde bores gonne they to smyte,
                   They began to smite like wild boars,
1659        That frothen whit as foom for ire wood.
                   That froth at the mouth white as foam for mad anger.
1660        Up to the ancle foghte they in hir blood.
                   They fought up to the ankle in their blood.
1661        And in this wise I lete hem fightyng dwelle,
                   And in this manner I leave them to remain fighting,
1662        And forth I wole of Theseus yow telle.
                   And forth I will tell you of Theseus.

1663        The destinee, ministre general,
                   The destiny, general minister,
1664        That executeth in the world over al
                   That executes in the world everywhere
1665        The purveiaunce that God hath seyn biforn,
                   The providence that God has foreseen,
1666        So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
                   So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
1667        The contrarie of a thyng by ye or nay,
                   The contrary of a thing by yes or no,
1668        Yet somtyme it shal fallen on a day
                   Yet sometimes it shall happen on one day
1669        That falleth nat eft withinne a thousand yeer.
                   That happens not again in a thousand years.
1670        For certeinly, oure appetites heer,
                   For certainly, our desires here,
1671        Be it of werre, or pees, or hate, or love,
                   Be it of war, or peace, or hate, or love,
1672        Al is this reuled by the sighte above.
                   All this is ruled by the foresight above.

1673        This mene I now by myghty Theseus,
                   I mean this now in regard to mighty Theseus,
1674        That for to hunten is so desirus,
                   Who is so desirous to hunt,
1675        And namely at the grete hert in May,
                   And especially at the large hart in May,
1676        That in his bed ther daweth hym no day
                   That in his bed there dawns for him no day
1677        That he nys clad, and redy for to ryde
                   That he is not clad, and ready to ride
1678        With hunte and horn and houndes hym bisyde.
                   With huntsman and horn and hounds beside him.
1679        For in his huntyng hath he swich delit
                   For in his hunting he has such delight
1680        That it is al his joye and appetit
                   That it is all his joy and desire
1681        To been hymself the grete hertes bane,
                   To be himself the large hart's slayer,
1682        For after Mars he serveth now Dyane.
                   For next to Mars he now serves Diana.
1683        Cleer was the day, as I have toold er this,
                   The day was clear, as I have told before this,
1684        And Theseus with alle joye and blis,
                   And Theseus with all joy and bliss,
1685        With his Ypolita, the faire queene,
                   With his Ypolita, the faire queen,
1686        And Emelye, clothed al in grene,
                   And Emelye, clothed all in green,
1687        On huntyng be they riden roially.
                   On hunting they are ridden royally.
1688        And to the grove that stood ful faste by,
                   And to the grove that stood very close by,
1689        In which ther was an hert, as men hym tolde,
                   In which there was a hart, so people told him,
1690        Duc Theseus the streighte wey hath holde.
                   Duke Theseus has held the straight way.
1691        And to the launde he rideth hym ful right,
                   And directly to the glade he rides,
1692        For thider was the hert wont have his flight,
                   For through there the hart was accustomed to take his escape,
1693        And over a brook, and so forth on his weye.
                   And (flee) over a brook, and so forth on his way.
1694        This duc wol han a cours at hym or tweye
                   This duke will have a run or two at him
1695        With houndes swiche as that hym list comaunde.
                   With such hounds as he pleases to command.

1696        And whan this duc was come unto the launde,
                   And when this duke was come unto the glade,
1697        Under the sonne he looketh, and anon
                   He looks toward the sun, and immediately
1698        He was war of Arcite and Palamon,
                   He was aware of Arcite and Palamon,
1699        That foughten breme as it were bores two.
                   Who fought as fiercely as if it were two wild boars.
1700        The brighte swerdes wenten to and fro
                   The bright swords went to and fro
1701        So hidously that with the leeste strook
                   So hideously that with the weakest stroke
1702        It semed as it wolde felle an ook.
                   It seemed as if it would fell an oak.
1703        But what they were, no thyng he ne woot.
                   But who they were, he knew nothing.
1704        This duc his courser with his spores smoot,
                   This duke smote his warhorse with his spurs,
1705        And at a stert he was bitwix hem two,
                   And with a sudden leap he was between them two,
1706        And pulled out a swerd and cride, "Hoo!
                   And pulled out a sword and cried, "Stop!
1707        Namoore, up peyne of lesynge of youre heed!
                   No more, on the penalty of the loss of your head!
1708        By myghty Mars, he shal anon be deed
                   By mighty Mars, he shall at once be dead
1709        That smyteth any strook that I may seen.
                   Who smites any stroke that I can see.
1710        But telleth me what myster men ye been,
                   But tell me what sort of men you are,
1711        That been so hardy for to fighten heere
                   Who are so bold as to fight here
1712        Withouten juge or oother officere,
                   Without judge or other officer,
1713        As it were in a lystes roially."
                   As it would be in a properly conducted duel,"

1714        This Palamon answerde hastily
                   This Palamon answered hastily
1715        And seyde, "Sire, what nedeth wordes mo?
                   And said, "Sire, what more words are needed?
1716        We have the deeth disserved bothe two.
                   We have deserved the death, both of us two.
1717        Two woful wrecches been we, two caytyves,
                   Two woeful wretches are we, two miserable people,
1718        That been encombred of oure owene lyves;
                   Who are burdened down by our own lives;
1719        And as thou art a rightful lord and juge,
                   And as thou art a rightful lord and judge,
1720        Ne yif us neither mercy ne refuge,
                   Give us neither mercy nor refuge,
1721        But sle me first, for seinte charitee!
                   But slay me first, by holy charity!
1722        But sle my felawe eek as wel as me;
                   But slay my fellow also as well as me;
1723        Or sle hym first, for though thow knowest it lite,
                   Or slay him first, for though thou little knowest it,
1724        This is thy mortal foo, this is Arcite,
                   This is thy mortal foe, this is Arcite,
1725        That fro thy lond is banysshed on his heed,
                   Who is banished from thy land on (pain of losing) his head,
1726        For which he hath deserved to be deed.
                   For which he has deserved to be dead.
1727        For this is he that cam unto thy gate
                   For this is he that came unto thy gate
1728        And seyde that he highte Philostrate.
                   And said that he was called Philostrate.
1729        Thus hath he japed thee ful many a yer,
                   Thus has he tricked thee for many years,
1730        And thou hast maked hym thy chief squier;
                   And thou hast made him thy chief squire;
1731        And this is he that loveth Emelye.
                   And this is he that loves Emelye.
1732        For sith the day is come that I shal dye,
                   For since the day is come that I must dye,
1733        I make pleynly my confessioun
                   I make plainly my confession
1734        That I am thilke woful Palamoun
                   That I am that same woeful Palamon
1735        That hath thy prisoun broken wikkedly.
                   That wickedly has broken (out of) thy prison.
1736        I am thy mortal foo, and it am I
                   I am thy mortal foe, and it is I
1737        That loveth so hoote Emelye the brighte
                   Who loves the beautiful Emelye so passionately
1738        That I wol dye present in hir sighte.
                   That I will die at this moment in her sight.
1739        Wherfore I axe deeth and my juwise;
                   Therefore I ask death and my judicial sentence;
1740        But sle my felawe in the same wise,
                   But slay my fellow in the same way,
1741        For bothe han we deserved to be slayn."
                   For we have both deserved to be slain."

1742        This worthy duc answerde anon agayn,
                   This worthy duke answered at once in reply,
1743        And seyde, "This is a short conclusioun.
                   And said, "This is a brief (easy) decision.
1744        Youre owene mouth, by youre confessioun,
                   Your own mouth, by your confession,
1745        Hath dampned yow, and I wol it recorde;
                   Has condemned you, and I will pronounce it;
1746        It nedeth noght to pyne yow with the corde.
                   There is no deed to torture you with the cord.
1747        Ye shal be deed, by myghty Mars the rede!"
                   You shall be dead, by mighty Mars the red!"

1748        The queene anon, for verray wommanhede,
                   The queen at once, for true womanliness,
1749        Gan for to wepe, and so dide Emelye,
                   Began to weep, and so did Emelye,
1750        And alle the ladyes in the compaignye.
                   And all the ladies in the company.
1751        Greet pitee was it, as it thoughte hem alle,
                   Great pity was it, as it seemed to them all,
1752        That evere swich a chaunce sholde falle,
                   That ever such a misfortune should occur,
1753        For gentil men they were of greet estaat,
                   For they were gentle men of high rank,
1754        And no thyng but for love was this debaat;
                   And this debate was for nothing but love;
1755        And saugh hir blody woundes wyde and soore,
                   And saw their bloody wounds wide and sore,
1756        And alle crieden, bothe lasse and moore,
                   And all cried, both low ranking and high,
1757        "Have mercy, Lord, upon us wommen alle!"
                   "Have mercy, Lord, upon all of us women!"
1758        And on hir bare knees adoun they falle
                   And they fall down on their bare knees
1759        And wolde have kist his feet ther as he stood;
                   And would have kissed his feet there where he stood;
1760        Til at the laste aslaked was his mood,
                   Until at the last his mood was calmed,
1761        For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte.
                   For pity comes soon to a gentle heart.
1762        And though he first for ire quook and sterte,
                   And though he first for anger shook and trembled,
1763        He hath considered shortly, in a clause,
                   He has considered shortly, in brief,
1764        The trespas of hem bothe, and eek the cause,
                   The trespass of them both, and also the cause,
1765        And although that his ire hir gilt accused,
                   And although his anger reproached them for their guilt,
1766        Yet in his resoun he hem bothe excused,
                   Yet in his reason he excused them both,
1767        As thus: he thoghte wel that every man
                   As thus: he thought well that every man
1768        Wol helpe hymself in love, if that he kan,
                   Will help himself in love, if he can,
1769        And eek delivere hymself out of prisoun.
                   And also deliver himself out of prison.
1770        And eek his herte hadde compassioun
                   And also his heart had compassion
1771        Of wommen, for they wepen evere in oon,
                   Of women, for they weep continually,
1772        And in his gentil herte he thoughte anon,
                   And in his gentle heart he thought straightway,
1773        And softe unto hymself he seyde, "Fy
                   And softly to himself he said, "Fie
1774        Upon a lord that wol have no mercy,
                   Upon a lord that will have no mercy,
1775        But been a leon, bothe in word and dede,
                   But be a lion, both in word and deed,
1776        To hem that been in repentaunce and drede,
                   To those who are in repentance and fear,
1777        As wel as to a proud despitous man
                   As well as to a proud, spiteful man
1778        That wol mayntene that he first bigan.
                   Who will persist in what he first began.
1779        That lord hath litel of discrecioun,
                   That lord has little sound judgment,
1780        That in swich cas kan no divisioun
                   That in such cases knows no distinctions
1781        But weyeth pride and humblesse after oon."
                   But considers pride and humility equal."
1782        And shortly, whan his ire is thus agoon,
                   And shortly, when his anger is thus gone,
1783        He gan to looken up with eyen lighte
                   He began to look up with bright eyes
1784        And spak thise same wordes al on highte:
                   And spoke these same words all aloud:

1785        "The god of love, a benedicite!
                   "The god of love, ah, bless my soul!
1786        How myghty and how greet a lord is he!
                   How mighty and how great a lord is he!
1787        Ayeyns his myght ther gayneth none obstacles.
                   Against his power there avail no obstacles.
1788        He may be cleped a god for his myracles,
                   He may be called a god for his miracles,
1789        For he kan maken, at his owene gyse,
                   For he can make, as he pleases,
1790        Of everich herte as that hym list divyse.
                   Of every heart whatever he wants to devise.
1791        Lo heere this Arcite and this Palamoun,
                   Lo here this Arcite and this Palamon,
1792        That quitly weren out of my prisoun,
                   Who freely were out of my prison,
1793        And myghte han lyved in Thebes roially,
                   And could have lived royally in Thebes,
1794        And witen I am hir mortal enemy,
                   And know I am their mortal enemy,
1795        And that hir deth lith in my myght also,
                   And that their death lies in my power also,
1796        And yet hath love, maugree hir eyen two,
                   And yet has Love, despite anything they could do,
1797        Broght hem hyder bothe for to dye.
                   Brought them both hither to die.
1798        Now looketh, is nat that an heigh folye?
                   Now look, is that not a great folly?
1799        Who may been a fool but if he love?
                   Who can be a fool unless he is in love?
1800        Bihoold, for Goddes sake that sit above,
                   Behold, for the sake of God who sits above,
1801        Se how they blede! Be they noght wel arrayed?
                   See how they bleed! Are they not in fine condition?
1802        Thus hath hir lord, the god of love, ypayed
                   Thus has their lord, the god of love, paid
1803        Hir wages and hir fees for hir servyse!
                   Their wages and their fees for their service!
1804        And yet they wenen for to been ful wyse
                   And yet they consider themselves very wise,
1805        That serven love, for aught that may bifalle.
                   Those who serve love, whatever may happen.
1806        But this is yet the beste game of alle,
                   But this is yet the best joke of all,
1807        That she for whom they han this jolitee
                   That she for whom they have this sport
1808        Kan hem therfore as muche thank as me.
                   Owes them as much gratitude for this as she owes me.
1809        She woot namoore of al this hoote fare,
                   She knows no more of all this passionate business,
1810        By God, than woot a cokkow or an hare!
                   By God, than knows a cuckoo or a hare!
1811        But all moot ben assayed, hoot and coold;
                   But all must be tried, hot or cold;
1812        A man moot ben a fool, or yong or oold --
                   A man must be a fool, either young or old --
1813        I woot it by myself ful yore agon,
                   I know it by my own experience very long ago,
1814        For in my tyme a servant was I oon.
                   For in my time I was a servant (of love).
1815        And therfore, syn I knowe of loves peyne
                   And therefore, since I know of love's pain
1816        And woot hou soore it kan a man distreyne,
                   And know how sorely it can afflict a man,
1817        As he that hath ben caught ofte in his laas,
                   As one who has been often caught in its snare,
1818        I yow foryeve al hoolly this trespaas,
                   I wholly forgive you this trespass,
1819        At requeste of the queene, that kneleth heere,
                   At the request of the queen, who kneels here,
1820        And eek of Emelye, my suster deere.
                   And also of Emelye, my dear sister.
1821        And ye shul bothe anon unto me swere
                   And you must both immediately swear unto me
1822        That nevere mo ye shal my contree dere,
                   That you shall never more harm my country,
1823        Ne make werre upon me nyght ne day,
                   Nor make war upon me at any time,
1824        But been my freendes in all that ye may.
                   But be my friends in all that you can.
1825        I yow foryeve this trespas every deel."
                   I forgive you this trespass completely."
1826        And they hym sworen his axyng faire and weel,
                   And they fairly and well swore to him (to do) his request,
1827        And hym of lordshipe and of mercy preyde,
                   And prayed him to be their lord and to have mercy ,
1828        And he hem graunteth grace, and thus he seyde:
                   And he grants them his favor, and thus he said:

1829        "To speke of roial lynage and richesse,
                   "To speak of royal lineage and riches,
1830        Though that she were a queene or a princesse,
                   Though she were a queen or a princess,
1831        Ech of you bothe is worthy, doutelees,
                   Each of you both is worthy, doubtless,
1832        To wedden whan tyme is; but nathelees --
                   To wed when it is time; but none the less --
1833        I speke as for my suster Emelye,
                   I speak for my sister Emelye,
1834        For whom ye have this strif and jalousye --
                   For whom you have this strife and jealousy --
1835        Ye woot yourself she may nat wedden two
                   You know yourself she can not wed two
1836        Atones, though ye fighten everemo,
                   At once, though you were to fight for evermore,
1837        That oon of you, al be hym looth or lief,
                   That one of you, whether he likes it or not,
1838        He moot go pipen in an yvy leef;
                   He must go whistle in an ivy leaf;
1839        This is to seyn, she may nat now han bothe,
                   This is to say, she can not now have both,
1840        Al be ye never so jalouse ne so wrothe.
                   Although you be never so jealous nor so angry.
1841        And forthy I yow putte in this degree,
                   And therefore I put you in this situation,
1842        That ech of yow shal have his destynee
                   That each of you shall have his destiny
1843        As hym is shape, and herkneth in what wyse;
                   As is ordained for him, and listen in what way;
1844        Lo, heere youre ende of that I shal devyse.
                   Lo, hear what I shall arrange for your fate.

1845        My wyl is this, for plat conclusioun,
                   My will is this, for flat conclusion,
1846        Withouten any repplicacioun --
                   Without any arguing --
1847        If that you liketh, take it for the beste:
                   If this pleases you, take it for the best:
1848        That everich of you shal goon where hym leste
                   That each one of you shall go where he pleases
1849        Frely, withouten raunson or daunger,
                   Freely, without ransom or resistance,
1850        And this day fifty wykes, fer ne ner,
                   And fifty weeks from this day, more or less,
1851        Everich of you shal brynge an hundred knyghtes
                   Each one of you shall bring a hundred knights
1852        Armed for lystes up at alle rightes,
                   Armed up for the lists in all respects,
1853        Al redy to darreyne hire by bataille.
                   All ready to decide the right to her by battle.
1854        And this bihote I yow withouten faille,
                   And this I promise you without fail,
1855        Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knyght,
                   Upon my word, and as I am a knight,
1856        That wheither of yow bothe that hath myght --
                   That whichever of you both who has the power --
1857        This is to seyn, that wheither he or thow
                   This is to say, that whether he or thou
1858        May with his hundred, as I spak of now,
                   Can with his hundred, as I spoke of now,
1859        Sleen his contrarie, or out of lystes dryve,
                   Slay his opponent, or drive him out of the lists ,
1860        Thanne shal I yeve Emelya to wyve
                   Then I shall give Emelye as wife
1861        To whom that Fortune yeveth so fair a grace.
                   To whom Fortune gives so good a gift (to win the battle).
1862        The lystes shal I maken in this place,
                   I shall make the lists in this place,
1863        And God so wisly on my soule rewe
                   And as God may surely have pity on my soul
1864        As I shal evene juge been and trewe.
                   I shall be an impartial and true judge.
1865        Ye shul noon oother ende with me maken,
                   You shall make no other agreement with me,
1866        That oon of yow ne shal be deed or taken.
                   (Save this:) that one of you must be dead or taken.
1867        And if yow thynketh this is weel ysayd,
                   And if it seems to you that this is well said,
1868        Seyeth youre avys, and holdeth you apayd.
                   Say your opinion, and consider yourself satisfied.
1869        This is youre ende and youre conclusioun."
                   This is your (destined) end and your conclusion."

1870        Who looketh lightly now but Palamoun?
                   Who but Palamon looks happy now?
1871        Who spryngeth up for joye but Arcite?
                   Who springs up for joy but Arcite?
1872        Who kouthe telle, or who kouthe it endite,
                   Who could tell, or who could describe in writing,
1873        The joye that is maked in the place
                   The joy that is made in the place
1874        Whan Theseus hath doon so fair a grace?
                   When Theseus has behaved so graciously?
1875        But doun on knees wente every maner wight,
                   But down on knees went every sort of person,
1876        And thonked hym with al hir herte and myght,
                   And thanked him with all their heart and might,
1877        And namely the Thebans often sithe.
                   And especially the Thebans many times.
1878        And thus with good hope and with herte blithe
                   And thus with good hope and with happy heart
1879        They taken hir leve, and homward gonne they ride
                   They take their leave, and homeward did they ride
1880        To Thebes with his olde walles wyde.
                   To Thebes with his old wide walls.

 

Explicit secunda pars
The second part ends

 

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