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The Knight's Tale, Part 4

An Interlinear Translation (lines 2483-3108)

 

 

Sequitur pars quarta
The fourth part follows

 

2483        Greet was the feeste in Atthenes that day,
                   Great was the feast in Athens that day,
2484        And eek the lusty seson of that May
                   And also the pleasing season of that May
2485        Made every wight to been in swich plesaunce
                   Made every person to be in such delight
2486        That al that Monday justen they and daunce,
                   That all that Monday they joust and dance,
2487        And spenden it in Venus heigh servyse.
                   And spend that day in Venus's noble service.
2488        But by the cause that they sholde ryse
                   But because they must rise
2489        Eerly, for to seen the grete fight,
                   Early, to see the great fight,
2490        Unto hir reste wenten they at nyght.
                   Unto their rest they went at nightfall.
2491        And on the morwe, whan that day gan sprynge,
                   And in the morning, when day did spring,
2492        Of hors and harneys noyse and claterynge
                   Noise and clattering of horses and armor
2493        Ther was in hostelryes al aboute,
                   There was in hostelries all about,
2494        And to the paleys rood ther many a route
                   And to the palace there rode many a company
2495        Of lordes upon steedes and palfreys.
                   Of lords upon steeds and palfreys.
2496        Ther maystow seen devisynge of harneys
                   There canst thou see preparation of armor
2497        So unkouth and so riche, and wroght so weel
                   So exotic and so rich, and wrought so well
2498        Of goldsmythrye, of browdynge, and of steel;
                   Of goldsmiths' works, of embroidery, and of steel;
2499        The sheeldes brighte, testeres, and trappures,
                   The bright shields, horses' head-armor, and horse-armor,
2500        Gold-hewen helmes, coats of mail, cote-armures;
                   Gold-colored helms, coats of mail, tunics with heraldic devices;
2501        Lordes in parementz on hir courseres,
                   Lords in richly decorated robes on their coursers,
2502        Knyghtes of retenue, and eek squieres
                   Knights of (their) retinues, and also squires
2503        Nailynge the speres, and helmes bokelynge;
                   Nailing heads to the spear-shafts, and buckling helms;
2504        Giggynge of sheeldes, with layneres lacynge --
                   Fitting the shields with straps, fastening with laces --
2505        There as nede is they weren no thyng ydel;
                   Where it is needed they were not at all idle;
2506        The fomy steedes on the golden brydel
                   The steeds frothing on the golden bridles
2507        Gnawynge, and faste the armurers also
                   Gnawing, and fast the armorers also
2508        With fyle and hamer prikynge to and fro;
                   With file and hammer are spurring to and fro;
2509        Yemen on foote, and communes many oon
                   Yeomen on foot, and foot soldiers many a one
2510        With shorte staves, thikke as they may goon;
                   With short staves, thick as they can go;
2511        Pypes, trompes, nakers, clariounes,
                   Pipes, trumpets, kettle drums, bugles,
2512        That in the bataille blowen blody sounes;
                   That blow bloody sounds in the battle;
2513        The paleys ful of peple up and doun,
                   The palace full of people everywhere,
2514        Heere thre, ther ten, holdynge hir questioun,
                   Here three, there ten, debating,
2515        Dyvynynge of thise Thebane knyghtes two.
                   Conjecturing about these two Theban knights.
2516        Somme seyden thus, somme seyde "it shal be so";
                   Some said thus, some said "it shall be so";
2517        Somme helden with hym with the blake berd,
                   Some held with him with the black beard,
2518        Somme with the balled, somme with the thikke herd;
                   Some with the bald, some with the thickly haired;
2519        Somme seyde he looked grymme, and he wolde fighte:
                   Some said he looked grim, and he would fight:
2520        "He hath a sparth of twenty pound of wighte."
                   "He has a battle-ax of twenty pounds of weight."
2521        Thus was the halle ful of divynynge,
                   Thus was the hall full of conjecturing,
2522        Longe after that the sonne gan to sprynge.
                   Long after the sun began to rise.

2523        The grete Theseus, that of his sleep awaked
                   The great Theseus, who was awakened of his sleep
2524        With mynstralcie and noyse that was maked,
                   By the music and noise that was made,
2525        Heeld yet the chambre of his paleys riche
                   Remained yet in the chamber of his rich palace
2526        Til that the Thebane knyghtes, bothe yliche
                   Until the Theban knights, both equally
2527        Honured, were into the paleys fet.
                   Honored, were fetched into the palace.
2528        Duc Theseus was at a wyndow set,
                   Duke Theseus was set at a window,
2529        Arrayed right as he were a god in trone.
                   Arrayed exactly as if he were a god on a throne.
2530        The peple preesseth thiderward ful soone
                   The people press thither full soon
2531        Hym for to seen, and doon heigh reverence,
                   In order to see him, and to do great reverence,
2532        And eek to herkne his heste and his sentence.
                   And also to hear his command and his decision.
2533        An heraud on a scaffold made an "Oo!"
                   A herald on a scaffold made a "Ho!"
2534        Til al the noyse of peple was ydo,
                   Until all the noise of people was done,
2535        And whan he saugh the peple of noyse al stille,
                   And when he saw the people all still of noise,
2536        Tho shewed he the myghty dukes wille:
                   Then showed he the mighty duke's will:

2537        "The lord hath of his heigh discrecioun
                   "The lord has of his great sound judgment
2538        Considered that it were destruccioun
                   Considered that it would be destruction
2539        To gentil blood to fighten in the gyse
                   To gentle blood to fight in the manner
2540        Of mortal bataille now in this emprise.
                   Of mortal battle now in this undertaking.
2541        Wherfore, to shapen that they shal nat dye,
                   Wherefore, to arrange matters so that they shall not die,
2542        He wol his firste purpos modifye.
                   He will modify his previous plan.
2543        No man therfore, up peyne of los of lyf,
                   No man therefore, upon punishment of loss of life,
2544        No maner shot, ne polax, ne short knyf
                   No sort of arrow, nor battle-axe, nor short knife
2545        Into the lystes sende or thider brynge;
                   Send into the lists or bring there;
2546        Ne short swerd, for to stoke with poynt bitynge,
                   Nor short sword, to stab with piercing point,
2547        No man ne drawe, ne bere it by his syde.
                   May no man neither draw, nor bear it by his side.
2548        Ne no man shal unto his felawe ryde
                   And no man shall ride at his opponent
2549        But o cours with a sharpe ygrounde spere;
                   More than one course with a sharply honed spear;
2550        Foyne, if hym list, on foote, hymself to were.
                   Let him thrust, if he wishes, on foot, to defend himself.
2551        And he that is at meschief shal be take
                   And he who is at a disadvantage shall be taken
2552        And noght slayn, but be broght unto the stake
                   And not slain, but be brought unto the stake
2553        That shal ben ordeyned on either syde;
                   That shall be placed on either side;
2554        But thider he shal by force, and there abyde.
                   But thither he must (go) by force, and remain there.
2555        And if so falle the chieftayn be take
                   And if so happen that the chieftain be taken
2556        On outher syde, or elles sleen his make,
                   On either side, or else should slay his opponent,
2557        No lenger shal the turneiynge laste.
                   The tournament shall last no longer.
2558        God spede you! Gooth forth and ley on faste!
                   God give you success! Go forth and lay on fast!
2559        With long swerd and with mace fighteth youre fille.
                   With long sword and with mace fight your fill.
2560        Gooth now youre wey; this is the lordes wille."
                   Go now on your way; this is the lord's will."

2561        The voys of peple touchede the hevene,
                   The voice of people touched the heaven,
2562        So loude cride they with murie stevene,
                   So loudly they cried with merry voices,
2563        "God save swich a lord, that is so good
                   "God save such a lord, that is so good
2564        He wilneth no destruccion of blood!"
                   He desires no destruction of blood!"
2565        Up goon the trompes and the melodye,
                   Up go the trumpets and the melody,
2566        And to the lystes rit the compaignye,
                   And to the lists rides the company,
2567        By ordinance, thurghout the citee large,
                   In battle array, throughout all the city,
2568        Hanged with clooth of gold, and nat with sarge.
                   Hung with cloth of gold, and not with serge.

2569        Ful lik a lord this noble duc gan ryde,
                   Fully like a lord this noble duke did ride,
2570        Thise two Thebans upon either syde,
                   These two Thebans upon either side,
2571        And after rood the queene and Emelye,
                   And after rode the queen and Emelye,
2572        And after that another compaignye
                   And after that another company
2573        Of oon and oother, after hir degree.
                   One after another, according to their rank.
2574        And thus they passen thurghout the citee,
                   And thus they pass throughout the city,
2575        And to the lystes come they by tyme.
                   And they come to the lists in good time.
2576        It nas nat of the day yet fully pryme
                   It was not yet fully prime (nine a.m.) of the day
2577        Whan set was Theseus ful riche and hye,
                   When Theseus was set very splendidly and nobly,
2578        Ypolita the queene, and Emelye,
                   Ypolita the queen, and Emelye,
2579        And othere ladys in degrees aboute.
                   And other ladies about in tiers.
2580        Unto the seetes preesseth al the route.
                   Unto the seats press all the crowd.
2581        And westward, thurgh the gates under Marte,
                   And westward, through the gates under Mars,
2582        Arcite, and eek the hondred of his parte,
                   Arcite, and also the hundred of his party,
2583        With baner reed is entred right anon;
                   With red banner is entered right away;
2584        And in that selve moment Palamon
                   And in that same moment Palamon
2585        Is under Venus, estward in the place,
                   Is under Venus, eastward in the place,
2586        With baner whyt and hardy chiere and face.
                   With white banner and hardy countenance and face.
2587        In al the world, to seken up and doun,
                   In all the world, to seek up and down,
2588        So evene, withouten variacioun,
                   So evenly, without variation,
2589        Ther nere swiche compaignyes tweye,
                   There were not two such companies,
2590        For ther was noon so wys that koude seye
                   For there was no one so wise that could say
2591        That any hadde of oother avauntage
                   That any one had advantage over the other
2592        Of worthynesse, ne of estaat, ne age,
                   In worthiness, nor in status, nor age,
2593        So evene were they chosen, for to gesse.
                   So evenly were they chosen, as I estimate.
2594        And in two renges faire they hem dresse.
                   And in two fair ranks they arrange themselves.
2595        Whan that hir names rad were everichon,
                   When every one of their names were read,
2596        That in hir nombre gyle were ther noon,
                   So that in their total number there would be no deception,
2597        Tho were the gates shet, and cried was loude:
                   Then the gates were shut, and cried was aloud:
2598        "Do now youre devoir, yonge knyghtes proude!"
                   "Do now your duty, proud young knights!"

2599        The heraudes lefte hir prikyng up and doun;
                   The heralds left their spurring up and down;
2600        Now ryngen trompes loude and clarioun.
                   Now trumpets and bugles ring loud.
2601        Ther is namoore to seyn, but west and est
                   There is no more to say, but from west and east
2602        In goon the speres ful sadly in arrest;
                   In go the spears very firmly in the lance-rests;
2603        In gooth the sharpe spore into the syde.
                   In goes the sharp spur into the flank.
2604        Ther seen men who kan juste and who kan ryde;
                   There people see who can joust and who can ride;
2605        Ther shyveren shaftes upon sheeldes thikke;
                   There splinter spears upon thick shields;
2606        He feeleth thurgh the herte-spoon the prikke.
                   He feels the stabbing through the breast-bone.
2607        Up spryngen speres twenty foot on highte;
                   Up spring spears twenty foot on height;
2608        Out goon the swerdes as the silver brighte;
                   Out go the swords bright as silver;
2609        The helmes they tohewen and toshrede;
                   The helms they hew to pieces and cut into shreds
2610        Out brest the blood with stierne stremes rede;
                   Out burst the blood in strong red streams;
2611        With myghty maces the bones they tobreste.
                   With mighty maces they break the bones to pieces.
2612        He thurgh the thikkeste of the throng gan threste;
                   He did thrust through the thickest of the throng;
2613        Ther stomblen steedes stronge, and doun gooth al,
                   There strong steeds stumble, and down goes all,
2614        He rolleth under foot as dooth a bal;
                   He rolls under foot as does a ball;
2615        He foyneth on his feet with his tronchoun,
                   On his feet he stabs with the broken shaft of his spear,
2616        And he hym hurtleth with his hors adoun;
                   And he hurtles him down with his horse;
2617        He thurgh the body is hurt and sithen ytake,
                   He is hurt through the body and then taken,
2618        Maugree his heed, and broght unto the stake;
                   Despite all he can do, and brought unto the stake;
2619        As forward was, right there he moste abyde.
                   As was the agreement, right there he must abide.
2620        Another lad is on that oother syde.
                   Another on that other side is led away.
2621        And some tyme dooth hem Theseus to reste,
                   And for a while Theseus makes them rest,
2622        Hem to refresshe and drynken, if hem leste.
                   To refresh themselves and drink, if they wish.
2623        Ful ofte a day han thise Thebanes two
                   Many times these two Thebans have
2624        Togydre ymet, and wroght his felawe wo;
                   Met together, and (each) wrought woe to his opponent;
2625        Unhorsed hath ech oother of hem tweye.
                   Each has unhorsed the other of them two.
2626        Ther nas no tygre in the vale of Galgopheye,
                   There was not any tiger in the vale of Gargaphia,
2627        Whan that hir whelp is stole whan it is lite,
                   When her whelp is stolen when it is little,
2628        So crueel on the hunte as is Arcite
                   So cruel on the hunt as is Arcite
2629        For jelous herte upon this Palamon.
                   For jealous heart upon this Palamon.
2630        Ne in Belmarye ther nys so fel leon,
                   Nor in Benmarin there is not so fierce a lion,
2631        That hunted is, or for his hunger wood,
                   That is hunted, or maddened by his hunger,
2632        Ne of his praye desireth so the blood,
                   Nor of his prey desires so the blood,
2633        As Palamon to sleen his foo Arcite.
                   As Palamon to slay his foe Arcite.
2634        The jelous strokes on hir helmes byte;
                   The fervent strokes bite on their helms;
2635        Out renneth blood on bothe hir sydes rede.
                   Out runs red blood on both their sides.

2636        Som tyme an ende ther is of every dede.
                   Some time there is an end of every deed.
2637        For er the sonne unto the reste wente,
                   For before the sun went unto its rest,
2638        The stronge kyng Emetreus gan hente
                   The strong king Emetreus did seize
2639        This Palamon, as he faught with Arcite,
                   This Palamon, as he fought with Arcite,
2640        And made his swerd depe in his flessh to byte,
                   And made his sword deep in his flesh to bite,
2641        And by the force of twenty is he take
                   And by the force of twenty he (Palamon) is taken
2642        Unyolden, and ydrawen to the stake.
                   Without having surrendered, and dragged to the stake.
2643        And in the rescus of this Palamoun
                   And in the rescue of this Palamon
2644        The stronge kyng Lygurge is born adoun,
                   The strong king Lygurge is born down,
2645        And kyng Emetreus, for al his strengthe,
                   And king Emetreus, despite all his strength,
2646        Is born out of his sadel a swerdes lengthe,
                   Is carried out of his saddle a sword's length,
2647        So hitte him Palamoun er he were take.
                   So hit him Palamon before he was taken.
2648        But al for noght; he was broght to the stake.
                   But all for naught; he was brought to the stake.
2649        His hardy herte myghte hym helpe naught:
                   His hardy heart could not help him:
2650        He moste abyde, whan that he was caught,
                   He must abide, when he was caught,
2651        By force and eek by composicioun.
                   By force and also by the agreed terms of battle.

2652        Who sorweth now but woful Palamoun,
                   Who sorrows now but woeful Palamon,
2653        That moot namoore goon agayn to fighte?
                   That must no more go again to fight?
2654        And whan that Theseus hadde seyn this sighte,
                   And when Theseus had seen this sight,
2655        Unto the folk that foghten thus echon
                   Unto each one of the folk that fought thus
2656        He cryde, "Hoo! namoore, for it is doon!
                   He cried, "Stop! no more, for it is done!
2657        I wol be trewe juge, and no partie.
                   I will be true judge, and no partisan.
2658        Arcite of Thebes shal have Emelie,
                   Arcite of Thebes shall have Emelye,
2659        That by his fortune hath hire faire ywonne."
                   Who by his fortune has won her fairly."
2660        Anon ther is a noyse of peple bigonne
                   Immediately there is a noise of people begun
2661        For joye of this, so loude and heighe withalle
                   For joy of this, so loud and clamorous indeed
2662        It semed that the lystes sholde falle.
                   It seemed that the lists should fall.

2663        What kan now faire Venus doon above?
                   What now can fair Venus do above?
2664        What seith she now? What dooth this queene of love,
                   What says she now? What does this queen of love,
2665        But wepeth so, for wantynge of hir wille,
                   But weeps so, for lack of (having) her will,
2666        Til that hir teeres in the lystes fille?
                   Until her tears fell in the lists?
2667        She seyde, "I am ashamed, doutelees."
                   She said, "I am disgraced, doubtless."

2668        Saturnus seyde, "Doghter, hoold thy pees!
                   Saturn said, "Daughter, hold thy peace!
2669        Mars hath his wille, his knyght hath al his boone,
                   Mars has his will, his knight has all his request,
2670        And, by myn heed, thow shalt been esed soone."
                   And, by my head, thou shalt be relieved soon."

2671        The trompours, with the loude mynstralcie,
                   The trumpeters, with the loud music,
2672        The heraudes, that ful loude yelle and crie,
                   The heralds, who full loudly yell and cry,
2673        Been in hire wele for joye of daun Arcite.
                   Are in their happiest state for joy of dan Arcite.
2674        But herkneth me, and stynteth noyse a lite,
                   But listen to me, and stop the noise for a little,
2675        Which a myracle ther bifel anon.
                   (Hear) what a miracle at once befell there.

2676        This fierse Arcite hath of his helm ydon,
                   This fierce Arcite has taken off his helm,
2677        And on a courser, for to shewe his face,
                   And on a war horse, to show his face,
2678        He priketh endelong the large place
                   He spurs from one end to the other of the large open space
2679        Lokynge upward upon this Emelye;
                   Looking upward upon this Emelye;
2680        And she agayn hym caste a freendlich ye
                   And she to him cast a friendly eye
2681        (For wommen, as to speken in comune,
                   (For women, so to speak in general,
2682        Thei folwen alle the favour of Fortune)
                   They all follow the favor of Fortune)
2683        And was al his chiere, as in his herte.
                   And was all his source of pleasure, in his heart.

2684        Out of the ground a furie infernal sterte,
                   Out of the ground leaped an infernal fury,
2685        From Pluto sent at requeste of Saturne,
                   Sent from Pluto at the request of Saturn,
2686        For which his hors for fere gan to turne,
                   For which his horse for fear began to turn,
2687        And leep aside, and foundred as he leep;
                   And leaped aside, and stumbled as he leaped;
2688        And er that Arcite may taken keep,
                   And before Arcite can take heed,
2689        He pighte hym on the pomel of his heed,
                   He hit himself on the top of his head,
2690        That in the place he lay as he were deed,
                   That in the place he lay as if he were dead,
2691        His brest tobrosten with his sadel-bowe.
                   His breast shattered by his saddlebow.
2692        As blak he lay as any cole or crowe,
                   He lay as black as any coal or crow,
2693        So was the blood yronnen in his face.
                   The blood was so run in his face.
2694        Anon he was yborn out of the place,
                   Immediately he was carried out of the place,
2695        With herte soor, to Theseus paleys.
                   With painful heart, to Theseus's palace.
2696        Tho was he korven out of his harneys
                   Then was he cut out of his armor
2697        And in a bed ybrought ful faire and blyve,
                   And brought in a bed very gently and quickly,
2698        For he was yet in memorie and alyve,
                   For he was yet conscious and alive,
2699        And alwey criynge after Emelye.
                   And always crying for Emelye.

2700        Duc Theseus, with al his compaignye,
                   Duke Theseus, with all his company,
2701        Is comen hoom to Atthenes his citee,
                   Is come home to Athens, his city,
2702        With alle blisse and greet solempnitee.
                   With all bliss and great solemnity.
2703        Al be it that this aventure was falle,
                   Although this accident had happened,
2704        He nolde noght disconforten hem alle.
                   He would not distress them all.
2705        Men seyde eek that Arcite shal nat dye;
                   People said also that Arcite shall not dye;
2706        He shal been heeled of his maladye.
                   He shall be healed of his injuries.
2707        And of another thyng they weren as fayn,
                   And of another thing they were as happy,
2708        That of hem alle was ther noon yslayn,
                   That of them all there was no one slain,
2709        Al were they soore yhurt, and namely oon,
                   Although they (were) sorely hurt, and especially one,
2710        That with a spere was thirled his brest boon.
                   Whose breastbone was pierced by a spear.
2711        To othere woundes and to broken armes
                   To other wounds and to broken arms
2712        Somme hadden salves, and somme hadden charmes;
                   Some had salves, and some had charms;
2713        Fermacies of herbes, and eek save
                   Medicines made of herbs, and also of sage
2714        They dronken, for they wolde hir lymes have.
                   They drank, for they wanted to have their limbs cured.
2715        For which this noble duc, as he wel kan,
                   For which this noble duke, as he well knows how,
2716        Conforteth and honoureth every man,
                   Comforts and honors every man,
2717        And made revel al the longe nyght
                   And made revel all the long night
2718        Unto the straunge lordes, as was right.
                   For the foreign lords, as was right.
2719        Ne ther was holden no disconfitynge
                   Nor was it considered any defeat (in battle)
2720        But as a justes or a tourneiynge;
                   But (only) as a joust or a tournament;
2721        For soothly ther was no disconfiture.
                   For truly there was no defeat.
2722        For fallyng nys nat but an aventure,
                   For falling is nothing but an accident,
2723        Ne to be lad by force unto the stake
                   Nor to be led by force unto the stake
2724        Unyolden, and with twenty knyghtes take,
                   Without having surrendered, and taken by twenty knights,
2725        O persone allone, withouten mo,
                   One person alone, without others,
2726        And haryed forth by arme, foot, and too,
                   And dragged forth by arm, foot, and toe,
2727        And eke his steede dryven forth with staves
                   And also his steed driven forth with staves
2728        With footmen, bothe yemen and eek knaves --
                   By men on foot, both yeomen and also foot soldiers --
2729        It nas arretted hym no vileynye;
                   He incurred no shameful blame for it;
2730        Ther may no man clepen it cowardye.
                    No man there may call it cowardice.
2731        For which anon duc Theseus leet crye,
                   For which anon duke Theseus had proclaimed,
2732        To stynten alle rancour and envye,
                   To put a stop to all rancor and ill-will,
2733        The gree as wel of o syde as of oother,
                   The victory (is given) as well to one side as to the other,
2734        And eyther syde ylik as ootheres brother;
                   And either side equal as the other's brother;
2735        And yaf hem yiftes after hir degree,
                   And gave them gifts in accordance with their ranks,
2736        And fully heeld a feeste dayes three,
                   And held a feast for fully three days,
2737        And conveyed the kynges worthily
                   And honorably escorted the kings
2738        Out of his toun a journee largely.
                   Out of his town a full day's journey.
2739        And hoom wente every man the righte way.
                   And home went every man the direct way.
2740        Ther was namoore but "Fare wel, have good day!"
                   There was no more but "Fare well, have good day!"
2741        Of this bataille I wol namoore endite,
                   Of this battle I will write no more,
2742        But speke of Palamon and of Arcite.
                   But speak of Palamon and of Arcite.

2743        Swelleth the brest of Arcite, and the soore
                   The breast of Arcite swells, and the pain
2744        Encreesseth at his herte moore and moore.
                   At his heart increases more and more.
2745        The clothered blood, for any lechecraft,
                   The clotted blood, despite any medical treatment,
2746        Corrupteth, and is in his bouk ylaft,
                   Corrupts, and is left in the trunk of his body,
2747        That neither veyne-blood, ne ventusynge,
                   That neither blood letting at a vein, nor applying suction cups,
2748        Ne drynke of herbes may ben his helpynge.
                   Nor drink of herbs can be any help to him.
2749        The vertu expulsif, or animal,
                   The power expulsive (to expel fluids), or animal,
2750        Fro thilke vertu cleped natural
                   From that power called natural
2751        Ne may the venym voyden ne expelle.
                   Can not remove nor expel the poison.
2752        The pipes of his longes gonne to swelle,
                   The pipes of his lungs began to swell,
2753        And every lacerte in his brest adoun
                   And every muscle down in his breast
2754        Is shent with venym and corrupcioun.
                   Is destroyed by poison and corrupted matter.
2755        Hym gayneth neither, for to gete his lif,
                   Avails him neither, to preserve his life,
2756        Vomyt upward, ne dounward laxatif.
                   Vomit upward, nor downward laxative.
2757        Al is tobrosten thilke regioun;
                   All is shattered in that region;
2758        Nature hath now no dominacioun.
                   Nature now has no power to control.
2759        And certeinly, ther Nature wol nat wirche,
                   And certainly, where Nature will not work,
2760        Fare wel phisik! Go ber the man to chirche!
                   Fare well medicine! Go bear the man to church!
2761        This al and som, that Arcita moot dye;
                   This is the whole of it, that Arcite must die;
2762        For which he sendeth after Emelye,
                   For which he sends after Emelye,
2763        And Palamon, that was his cosyn deere.
                   And Palamon, who was his dear cousin.
2764        Thanne seyde he thus, as ye shal after heere:
                   Then said he thus, as you shall after hear:
2765        "Naught may the woful spirit in myn herte
                   "The woeful spirit in my heart can not
2766        Declare o point of alle my sorwes smerte
                   Declare one small part of all my painful sorrows
2767        To yow, my lady, that I love moost,
                   To you, my lady, whom I love most,
2768        But I biquethe the servyce of my goost
                   But I bequeath the service of my ghost
2769        To yow aboven every creature,
                   To you above every creature,
2770        Syn that my lyf may no lenger dure.
                   Since my life can no longer endure.
2771        Allas, the wo! Allas, the peynes stronge,
                   Alas, the woe! Alas, the strong pains,
2772        That I for yow have suffred, and so longe!
                   That I have suffered for you, and so long!
2773        Allas, the deeth! Allas, myn Emelye!
                   Alas, the death! Alas, my Emelye!
2774        Allas, departynge of oure compaignye!
                   Alas, separation of our company!
2775        Allas, myn hertes queene! Allas, my wyf,
                   Alas, my heart's queen! Alas, my wife,
2776        Myn hertes lady, endere of my lyf!
                   My heart's lady, ender of my life!
2777        What is this world? What asketh men to have?
                   What is this world? What do people ask to have?
2778        Now with his love, now in his colde grave
                   Now with his love, now in his cold grave
2779        Allone, withouten any compaignye.
                   Alone, without any company.
2780        Fare wel, my sweete foo, myn Emelye!
                   Fare well, my sweet foe, my Emelye!
2781        And softe taak me in youre armes tweye,
                   And softly take me in your two arms,
2782        For love of God, and herkneth what I seye.
                   For love of God, and listen to what I say.

2783        "I have heer with my cosyn Palamon
                   "I have here with my cousin Palamon
2784        Had strif and rancour many a day agon
                   Had strife and rancor many a day ago
2785        For love of yow, and for my jalousye.
                   For love of you, and for my jealousy.
2786        And Juppiter so wys my soule gye,
                   And as Jupiter may guide my soul,
2787        To speken of a servaunt proprely,
                   To speak specifically of a servant (of love),
2788        With alle circumstances trewely --
                   With all the attendant attributes truly --
2789        That is to seyen, trouthe, honour, knyghthede,
                   That is to say, truth, honor, knighthood,
2790        Wysdom, humblesse, estaat, and heigh kynrede,
                   Wisdom, humbleness, rank, and noble ancestry,
2791        Fredom, and al that longeth to that art --
                   Nobility of character, and all that belongs to that art --
2792        So Juppiter have of my soule part,
                   As Jupiter may have concern for my soul,
2793        As in this world right now ne knowe I non
                   In this world right now I know no one
2794        So worthy to ben loved as Palamon,
                   So worthy to be loved as Palamon,
2795        That serveth yow, and wol doon al his lyf.
                   Who serves you, and will do so all his life.
2796        And if that evere ye shul ben a wyf,
                   And if ever you shall be a wife,
2797        Foryet nat Palamon, the gentil man."
                   Forget not Palamon, the gentle man."
2798        And with that word his speche faille gan,
                   And with that word his speech began to fail,
2799        For from his feet up to his brest was come
                   For from his feet up to his breast had come
2800        The coold of deeth, that hadde hym overcome,
                   The cold of death, which had overcome him,
2801        And yet mooreover, for in his armes two
                   And yet moreover, for in his two arms
2802        The vital strengthe is lost and al ago.
                   The vital strength is lost and all gone.
2803        Oonly the intellect, withouten moore,
                   Only the intellect, nothing else,
2804        That dwelled in his herte syk and soore,
                   That dwelled in his heart sick and sore,
2805        Gan faillen whan the herte felte deeth.
                   Began to fail when the heart felt death.
2806        Dusked his eyen two, and failled breeth,
                   His two eyes grew dark, and his breath failed,
2807        But on his lady yet caste he his ye;
                   But on his lady yet he cast his eye;
2808        His laste word was, "Mercy, Emelye!"
                   His last word was, "Mercy, Emelye!"
2809        His spirit chaunged hous and wente ther,
                   His spirit changed house and went where,
2810        As I cam nevere, I kan nat tellen wher.
                   Since I came never (there), I can not tell where.
2811        Therfore I stynte; I nam no divinistre;
                   Therefore I stop; I am no theologian;
2812        Of soules fynde I nat in this registre,
                   I find nothing about souls in this register,
2813        Ne me ne list thilke opinions to telle
                   Nor do I wish to tell such beliefs
2814        Of hem, though that they writen wher they dwelle.
                   Of them, though they write of where they (the souls) dwell.
2815        Arcite is coold, ther Mars his soule gye!
                   Arcite is cold, may Mars guide his soul!
2816        Now wol I speken forth of Emelye.
                   Now will I speak forth of Emelye.

2817        Shrighte Emelye, and howleth Palamon,
                   Emelye shrieked, and Palamon howls,
2818        And Theseus his suster took anon
                   And Theseus immediately took his sister
2819        Swownynge, and baar hire fro the corps away.
                   Swooning, and carried her away from the corpse.
2820        What helpeth it to tarien forth the day
                   What helps it to waste the whole day
2821        To tellen how she weep bothe eve and morwe?
                   To tell how she wept both evening and morning?
2822        For in swich cas wommen have swich sorwe,
                   For in such cases women have such sorrow,
2823        Whan that hir housbondes ben from hem ago,
                   When their husbands are gone from them,
2824        That for the moore part they sorwen so,
                   That for the most part they so sorrow,
2825        Or ellis fallen in swich maladye
                   Or else fall in such illness
2826        That at the laste certeinly they dye.
                   That at the last certainly they die.

2827        Infinite been the sorwes and the teeres
                   Infinite are the sorrows and the tears
2828        Of olde folk and folk of tendre yeeres
                   Of old folk and folk of tender years
2829        In al the toun for deeth of this Theban.
                   In all the town for the death of this Theban.
2830        For hym ther wepeth bothe child and man;
                   For him there weep both child and man;
2831        So greet wepyng was ther noon, certayn,
                   There was no such great weeping, certainly,
2832        Whan Ector was ybroght, al fressh yslayn,
                   When Hector was brought, just recently slain,
2833        To Troye. Allas, the pitee that was ther,
                   To Troy. Alas, the lamentation that was there,
2834        Cracchynge of chekes, rentynge eek of heer.
                   Scratching of cheeks, also tearing of hair.
2835        "Why woldestow be deed," thise wommen crye,
                   "Why wouldst thou be dead," these women cry,
2836        "And haddest gold ynough, and Emelye?"
                   "Since thou haddest gold enough, and Emelye?"

2837        No man myghte gladen Theseus,
                   No man might comfort Theseus,
2838        Savynge his olde fader Egeus,
                   Except for his old father Egeus,
2839        That knew this worldes transmutacioun,
                   Who knew the changes of this world,
2840        As he hadde seyn it chaunge bothe up and doun,
                   As he had seen it change both up and down,
2841        Joye after wo, and wo after gladnesse,
                   Joy after woe, and woe after gladness,
2842        And shewed hem ensamples and liknesse.
                   And showed them examples and comparisons.

2843        "Right as ther dyed nevere man," quod he,
                   "Right as there died never a man," said he,
2844        "That he ne lyvede in erthe in some degree,
                   "Who did not live in earth to some extent
2845        Right so ther lyvede never man," he seyde,
                   Just so there lived never a man," he said,
2846        "In al this world, that som tyme he ne deyde.
                   "In all this world, who some time did not die.
2847        This world nys but a thurghfare ful of wo,
                   This world is nothing but a thoroughfare full of woe,
2848        And we been pilgrymes, passynge to and fro.
                   And we are pilgrims, passing to and fro.
2849        Deeth is an ende of every worldly soore."
                   Death is an end of every worldly pain."
2850        And over al this yet seyde he muchel moore
                   And beyond all this yet he said much more
2851        To this effect, ful wisely to enhorte
                   To this effect, full wisely to exhort
2852        The peple that they sholde hem reconforte.
                   The people that they should comfort themselves.

2853        Duc Theseus, with al his bisy cure,
                   Duke Theseus, with all his careful attention,
2854        Caste now wher that the sepulture
                   Considered now where the tomb
2855        Of goode Arcite may best ymaked be,
                   Of good Arcite may best be made,
2856        And eek moost honurable in his degree.
                   And also most honorable in (regard to) his rank.
2857        And at the laste he took conclusioun
                   And at the last he concluded
2858        That ther as first Arcite and Palamoun
                   That there where first Arcite and Palamon
2859        Hadden for love the bataille hem bitwene,
                   Had the battle between them for love,
2860        That in that selve grove, swoote and grene,
                   That in that same grove, sweet-smelling and green,
2861        Ther as he hadde his amorouse desires,
                   Where he had his amorous desires,
2862        His compleynte, and for love his hoote fires,
                   His lament, and for love his hot fires,
2863        He wolde make a fyr in which the office
                   He would make a fire in which the rite
2864        Funeral he myghte al accomplice.
                   Of a funeral he might fully perform.
2865        And leet comande anon to hakke and hewe
                   And he ordered immediately to hack and hew
2866        The okes olde, and leye hem on a rewe
                   The old oaks, and lay them in a row
2867        In colpons wel arrayed for to brenne.
                   In piles arranged to burn well.
2868        His officers with swifte feet they renne
                   His officers with swift feet they run
2869        And ryde anon at his comandement.
                   And ride quickly at his commandment.
2870        And after this, Theseus hath ysent
                   And after this, Theseus has sent
2871        After a beere, and it al overspradde
                   For a bier, and it all overspread
2872        With clooth of gold, the richeste that he hadde.
                   With cloth of gold, the richest that he had.
2873        And of the same suyte he cladde Arcite;
                   And of the same material he clad Arcite;
2874        Upon his hondes hadde he gloves white,
                   Upon his hands he had white gloves,
2875        Eek on his heed a coroune of laurer grene,
                   Also on his head a crown of green laurel,
2876        And in his hond a swerd ful bright and kene.
                   And in his hand a sword full bright and keen.
2877        He leyde hym, bare the visage, on the beere;
                   He laid him, with the face bare, on the bier;
2878        Therwith he weep that pitee was to heere.
                   Therewith he wept that it was a pity to hear.
2879        And for the peple sholde seen hym alle,
                   And in order that all the people should see him,
2880        Whan it was day, he broghte hym to the halle,
                   When it was day, he brought him to the hall,
2881        That roreth of the criyng and the soun.
                   That resounds with the crying and the sound.

2882        Tho cam this woful Theban Palamoun,
                   Then came this woeful Theban Palamon,
2883        With flotery berd and ruggy, asshy heeres,
                   With waving beard and rough hair sprinkled with ashes,
2884        In clothes blake, ydropped al with teeres;
                   In black clothes, all sprinkled with tears;
2885        And, passynge othere of wepynge, Emelye,
                   And, excelling others in weeping, Emelye,
2886        The rewefulleste of al the compaignye.
                   The most pitiful of all the company.
2887        In as muche as the servyce sholde be
                   In order that the ritual should be
2888        The moore noble and riche in his degree,
                   The more noble and rich in its degree,
2889        Duc Theseus leet forth thre steedes brynge,
                   Duke Theseus had three steeds brought forth,
2890        That trapped were in steel al gliterynge,
                   That were equipped with trappings of steel all glittering,
2891        And covered with the armes of daun Arcite.
                   And covered with the coat of arms of Don Arcite.
2892        Upon thise steedes, that weren grete and white,
                   Upon these steeds, that were large and white,
2893        Ther seten folk, of whiche oon baar his sheeld,
                   There sat folk, of which one carried his (Arcite's) shield,
2894        Another his spere up on his hondes heeld,
                   Another held his spear upright in his hands,
2895        The thridde baar with hym his bowe Turkeys
                   The third carried with him his Turkish bow
2896        (Of brend gold was the caas and eek the harneys);
                   (Of pure gold was the quiver and also the fittings);
2897        And riden forth a paas with sorweful cheere
                   And they rode forth slowly with sorrowful demeanor
2898        Toward the grove, as ye shul after heere.
                   Toward the grove, as you shall later hear.
2899        The nobleste of the Grekes that ther were
                   The noblest of the Greeks that were there
2900        Upon hir shuldres caryeden the beere,
                   Carried the bier upon their shoulders,
2901        With slakke paas and eyen rede and wete,
                   With slow pace and eyes red and wet,
2902        Thurghout the citee by the maister strete,
                   Throughout the city by the main street,
2903        That sprad was al with blak, and wonder hye
                   Which was all spread with black, and wonderfully high
2904        Right of the same is the strete ywrye.
                   The street is covered with exactly the same.
2905        Upon the right hond wente olde Egeus,
                   Upon the right hand went old Egeus,
2906        And on that oother syde duc Theseus,
                   And on that other side duke Theseus,
2907        With vessels in hir hand of gold ful fyn,
                   With vessels of pure gold in their hands,
2908        Al ful of hony, milk, and blood, and wyn;
                   All full of honey, milk, and blood, and wine;
2909        Eek Palamon, with ful greet compaignye;
                   Also Palamon, with a very large company;
2910        And after that cam woful Emelye,
                   And after that came woeful Emelye,
2911        With fyr in honde, as was that tyme the gyse,
                   With fire in hand, as was at that time the custom,
2912        To do the ritual of funeral service.
                   To do the office of funeral service.

2913        Heigh labour and ful greet apparaillynge
                   Much labor and full great preparation
2914        Was at the service and the fyr-makynge,
                   Was at the service and the fire-making,
2915        That with his grene top the hevene raughte;
                   Which with its green top reached the heaven;
2916        And twenty fadme of brede the armes straughte --
                   And twenty fathom of breadth the sides stretched --
2917        This is to seyn, the bowes weren so brode.
                   This is to say, the boughs were so broad.
2918        Of stree first ther was leyd ful many a lode.
                   There was first laid very many a load of straw.
2919        But how the fyr was maked upon highte,
                   But how the fire was made on high,
2920        Ne eek the names that the trees highte,
                   Nor also the names that the trees are called,
2921        As ook, firre, birch, aspe, alder, holm, popler,
                   Such as oak, fir, birch, aspen, alder, holm oak, poplar,
2922        Wylugh, elm, plane, assh, box, chasteyn, lynde, laurer,
                   Willow, elm, plane, ash, box, chestnut, linden, laurel,
2923        Mapul, thorn, bech, hasel, ew, whippeltree --
                   Maple, thorn, beech, hazel, yew, dogwood --
2924        How they weren feld shal nat be toold for me;
                   How they were cut down shall not be told by me;
2925        Ne hou the goddes ronnen up and doun,
                   Nor how the gods ran up and down,
2926        Disherited of hire habitacioun,
                   Disinherited of their habitation,
2927        In which they woneden in reste and pees,
                   In which they dwelt in rest and peace,
2928        Nymphes, fawnes and amadrides;
                   Nymphs, fawns and hamadryades (wood nymphs);
2929        Ne hou the beestes and the briddes alle
                   Nor how the beasts and the birds all
2930        Fledden for fere, whan the wode was falle;
                   Fled for fear, when the wood was cut down;
2931        Ne how the ground agast was of the light,
                   Nor how frightened by the light was the ground,
2932        That was nat wont to seen the sonne bright;
                   Which was not accustomed to see the bright sun;
2933        Ne how the fyr was couched first with stree,
                   Nor how the fire was laid first with straw,
2934        And thanne with drye stikkes cloven a thre,
                   And then with dry branches cut in thirds,
2935        And thanne with grene wode and spicerye,
                   And then with green wood and mixtures of spices,
2936        And thanne with clooth of gold and with perrye,
                   And then with cloth of gold and with precious stones
2937        And gerlandes, hangynge with ful many a flour;
                   And garlands, hanging with full many a flower;
2938        The mirre, th'encens, with al so greet odour;
                   The myrrh, the incense, with such great fragrance;
2939        Ne how Arcite lay among al this,
                   Nor how Arcite lay among all this,
2940        Ne what richesse aboute his body is;
                   Nor what richness about his body is;
2941        Ne how that Emelye, as was the gyse,
                   Nor how Emelye, as was the custom,
2942        Putte in the fyr of funeral servyse;
                   Lighted the fire of funeral service;
2943        Ne how she swowned whan men made the fyr,
                   Nor how she swooned when men made the fire,
2944        Ne what she spak, ne what was hir desir;
                   Nor what she spoke, nor what was her desire;
2945        Ne what jeweles men in the fyre caste,
                   Nor what jewels men threw in the fire,
2946        Whan that the fyr was greet and brente faste;
                   When the fire was great and burned fast;
2947        Ne how somme caste hir sheeld, and somme hir spere,
                   Nor how some threw their shields, and some their spears,
2948        And of hire vestimentz, whiche that they were,
                   And of their vestments, which they wore,
2949        And coppes fulle of wyn, and milk, and blood,
                   And cups full of wine, and milk, and blood,
2950        Into the fyr, that brente as it were wood;
                   Into the fire, that burned as if it were mad;
2951        Ne how the Grekes, with an huge route,
                   Nor how the Greeks, with a huge company,
2952        Thries riden al the fyr aboute
                   Thrice ride all the fire about
2953        Upon the left hand, with a loud shoutynge,
                   Upon the left hand, with a loud shouting,
2954        And thries with hir speres claterynge;
                   And thrice with their spears clattering;
2955        And thries how the ladyes gonne crye;
                   And thrice how the ladies did cry;
2956        And how that lad was homward Emelye;
                   And how Emelye was led homeward;
2957        Ne how Arcite is brent to asshen colde;
                   Nor how Arcite is burned to cold ashes;
2958        Ne how that lyche-wake was yholde
                   Nor how that wake was held
2959        Al thilke nyght; ne how the Grekes pleye
                   All that same night; nor how the Greeks play
2960        The wake-pleyes; ne kepe I nat to seye
                   The funeral games I care not to say
2961        Who wrastleth best naked with oille enoynt,
                   Who wrestles best, naked with oil anointed,
2962        Ne who that baar hym best, in no disjoynt.
                   Nor who bore him best, in any difficulty.
2963        I wol nat tellen eek how that they goon
                   I will not tell also how they go
2964        Hoom til Atthenes, whan the pley is doon;
                   Home to Athens, when the games are done;
2965        But shortly to the point thanne wol I wende
                   But shortly to the point then I will go
2966        And maken of my longe tale an ende.
                   And make an end of my long tale.

2967        By processe and by lengthe of certeyn yeres,
                   By the course of events and by length of a certain number of years,
2968        Al stynted is the moornynge and the teres
                   All stopped is the mourning and the tears
2969        Of Grekes, by oon general assent.
                   Of the Greeks, by one general assent.
2970        Thanne semed me ther was a parlement
                   Then it seemed to me there was a parliament
2971        At Atthenes, upon certein pointz and caas;
                   At Athens, upon certain topics and cases;
2972        Among the whiche pointz yspoken was,
                   Among which topics was discussed (a proposal)
2973        To have with certein contrees alliaunce,
                   To have alliance with certain countries,
2974        And have fully of Thebans obeisaunce.
                   And have fully the submission of the Thebans.
2975        For which this noble Theseus anon
                   For which this noble Theseus immediately
2976        Leet senden after gentil Palamon,
                   Ordered (someone) to send for gentle Palamon,
2977        Unwist of hym what was the cause and why,
                   Unknown by him (Palamon) what was the cause and why,
2978        But in his blake clothes sorwefully
                   But in his black clothes sorrowfully
2979        He cam at his comandement in hye.
                   He came at his (Theseus's) commandment in haste.
2980        Tho sente Theseus for Emelye.
                   Then Theseus sent for Emelye.
2981        Whan they were set, and hust was al the place,
                   When they were set, and all the place was hushed,
2982        And Theseus abiden hadde a space
                   And Theseus had waited for a while
2983        Er any word cam fram his wise brest,
                   Before any word came from his wise breast,
2984        His eyen sette he ther as was his lest.
                   He set his eyes where his object of desire was.
2985        And with a sad visage he siked stille,
                   And with a sad face he sighed softly,
2986        And after that right thus he seyde his wille:
                   And after that exactly thus he pronounced his decision:

2987        "The Firste Moevere of the cause above,
                   "The First Mover of the First Cause above,
2988        Whan he first made the faire cheyne of love,
                   When he first made the faire chain of love,
2989        Greet was th'effect, and heigh was his entente.
                   Great was the effect, and noble was his plan.
2990        Wel wiste he why, and what thereof he mente,
                   Well knew he why, and what thereof he meant,
2991        For with that faire cheyne of love he bond
                   For with that faire chain of love he bound
2992        The fyr, the eyr, the water, and the lond
                   The fire, the air, the water, and the land
2993        In certeyn boundes, that they may nat flee.
                   In definite bounds, from which they may not flee.
2994        That same Prince and that Moevere," quod he,
                   That same Prince and that Mover," said he,
2995        "Hath stablissed in this wrecched world adoun
                   "Has established in this wretched world below
2996        Certeyne dayes and duracioun
                   Specific (numbers of) days and (term of) duration
2997        To al that is engendred in this place,
                   To all that is engendered in this place,
2998        Over the whiche day they may nat pace,
                   Beyond the which day they can not pass,
2999        Al mowe they yet tho dayes wel abregge.
                   Although they may yet well shorten those days.
3000        Ther nedeth noght noon auctoritee t'allegge,
                   There is no need to cite any written authority,
3001        For it is preeved by experience,
                   For it is proven by experience,
3002        But that me list declaren my sentence.
                   Unless I wish to make my meaning more clear.
3003        Thanne may men by this ordre wel discerne
                   Then one can by this order well discern
3004        That thilke Moevere stable is and eterne.
                   That that same Mover is stable and eternal.
3005        Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool,
                   Well may one know, unless it be a fool,
3006        That every part dirryveth from his hool,
                   That every part derives from its whole,
3007        For nature hath nat taken his bigynnyng
                   For nature has not taken its beginning
3008        Of no partie or cantel of a thyng,
                   Of no part or portion of a thing,
3009        But of a thyng that parfit is and stable,
                   But of a thing that is complete and stable,
3010        Descendynge so til it be corrumpable.
                   Descending (from that) until it becomes corruptible.
3011        And therfore, of his wise purveiaunce,
                   And therefore, by his wise foresight,
3012        He hath so wel biset his ordinaunce
                   He has so well established his plan
3013        That speces of thynges and progressiouns
                   That types of being and natural processes
3014        Shullen enduren by successiouns,
                   Shall endure (for a set time) one after another,
3015        And nat eterne, withouten any lye.
                   And not eternally, without any lie.
3016        This maystow understonde and seen at ye.
                   This thou canst understand and plainly see.

3017        "Loo the ook, that hath so long a norisshynge
                   "Lo the oak, that is so slow to mature,
3018        From tyme that it first bigynneth to sprynge,
                   From the time that it first begins to spring,
3019        And hath so long a lif, as we may see,
                   And has so long a life, as we may see,
3020        Yet at the laste wasted is the tree.
                   Yet at the last the tree is wasted away.

3021        "Considereth eek how that the harde stoon
                   "Consider also how the hard stone
3022        Under oure feet, on which we trede and goon,
                   Under our feet, on which we tread and go,
3023        Yet wasteth it as it lyth by the weye.
                   Eventually it is worn away as it lies by the way.
3024        The brode ryver somtyme wexeth dreye;
                   The broad river sometimes grows dry;
3025        The grete tounes se we wane and wende.
                   We see the great cities grow weak and pass away.
3026        Thanne may ye se that al this thyng hath ende.
                   Then you can see that all things have an end.

3027        "Of man and womman seen we wel also
                   "Of man and woman also we see well
3028        That nedes, in oon of thise termes two --
                   That by necessity, in one of these two periods of time --
3029        This is to seyn, in youthe or elles age --
                   This is to say, in youth or else in age --
3030        He moot be deed, the kyng as shal a page;
                   He must be dead, the king as must a servant boy;
3031        Som in his bed, som in the depe see,
                   One in his bed, one in the deep sea,
3032        Som in the large feeld, as men may see;
                   One in the large field, as people can see;
3033        Ther helpeth noght; al goth that ilke weye.
                   Nothing helps there; all goes that same way.
3034        Thanne may I seyn that al this thyng moot deye.
                   Then may I say that all things must die.

3035        "What maketh this but Juppiter, the kyng,
                   "What causes this but Jupiter, the king,
3036        That is prince and cause of alle thyng,
                   Who is prince and cause of all things,
3037        Convertynge al unto his propre welle
                   Causing all to return to its own origin
3038        From which it is dirryved, sooth to telle?
                   From which it is derived, to tell the truth?
3039        And heer-agayns no creature on lyve,
                   And against this no living creature,
3040        Of no degree, availleth for to stryve.
                   Of any rank, is helped by striving.

3041        "Thanne is it wysdom, as it thynketh me,
                   "Then is it wisdom, as it seems to me,
3042        To maken vertu of necessitee,
                   To make virtue of necessity,
3043        And take it weel that we may nat eschue,
                   And take it well what we may not escape,
3044        And namely that to us alle is due.
                   And namely that which is due to us all.
3045        And whoso gruccheth ought, he dooth folye,
                   And whoever complains in any way, he does folly,
3046        And rebel is to hym that al may gye.
                   And is rebel to Him that can rule all.
3047        And certeinly a man hath moost honour
                   And certainly a man has most honor
3048        To dyen in his excellence and flour,
                   To die in his (time of) excellence and flower,
3049        Whan he is siker of his goode name;
                   When he is sure of his good name;
3050        Thanne hath he doon his freend, ne hym, no shame.
                   Then he has not done his friend, nor himself, any shame.
3051        And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth,
                   And his friend ought to be more pleased with his death,
3052        Whan with honour up yolden is his breeth,
                   When his breath is yielded up with honor,
3053        Than whan his name apalled is for age,
                   Than when his name is faded because of age,
3054        For al forgeten is his vassellage.
                   For all forgotten is his knightly prowess.
3055        Thanne is it best, as for a worthy fame,
                   Then is it best, for a worthy fame,
3056        To dyen whan that he is best of name.
                   To die when he has the most fame.

3057        "The contrarie of al this is wilfulnesse.
                   "The contrary of all this is willfulness.
3058        Why grucchen we, why have we hevynesse,
                   Why do we complain, why do we have sadness,
3059        That goode Arcite, of chivalrie flour,
                   That good Arcite, flower of chivalry,
3060        Departed is with duetee and honour
                   Is departed with all due honor
3061        Out of this foule prisoun of this lyf?
                   Out of this foul prison of this life?
3062        Why grucchen heere his cosyn and his wyf
                   Why do his cousin and his wife complain here
3063        Of his welfare, that loved hem so weel?
                   Of the welfare of him, who loved them so well?
3064        Kan he hem thank? Nay, God woot, never a deel,
                   Can he show them his gratitude? Nay, God knows, not a bit;
3065        That both his soule and eek hemself offende,
                   They offend both his soul and themselves as well,
3066        And yet they mowe hir lustes nat amende.
                   And as yet they may not change their desires.

3067        "What may I conclude of this longe serye,
                   "What can I conclude of this long argument,
3068        But after wo I rede us to be merye
                   But after woe I advise us to be merry
3069        And thanken Juppiter of al his grace?
                   And thank Jupiter for all his grace?
3070        And er that we departen from this place
                   And before we depart from this place
3071        I rede that we make of sorwes two
                   I advise that we make of two sorrows
3072        O parfit joye, lastynge everemo.
                   One perfect joy, lasting evermore.
3073        And looketh now, wher moost sorwe is herinne,
                   And look now, where most sorrow is herein,
3074        Ther wol we first amenden and bigynne.
                   There will we first amend and begin.

3075        "Suster," quod he, "this is my fulle assent,
                   "Sister," said he, "this is my full intention,
3076        With al th'avys heere of my parlement,
                   With all the advice of my parliament here,
3077        That gentil Palamon, youre owene knyght,
                   That gentle Palamon, your own knight,
3078        That serveth yow with wille, herte, and myght,
                   Who serves you with will, heart, and might,
3079        And ever hath doon syn ye first hym knewe,
                   And ever has done so since you first knew him,
3080        That ye shul of youre grace upon hym rewe,
                   That you shall of your grace have pity upon him,
3081        And taken hym for housbonde and for lord.
                   And take him for husband and for lord.
3082        Lene me youre hond, for this is oure accord.
                   Lend me your hand, for this is our decision.
3083        Lat se now of youre wommanly pitee.
                   Let your womanly pity now be seen.
3084        He is a kynges brother sone, pardee;
                   He is a king's brother's son, indeed;
3085        And though he were a povre bacheler,
                   And even if he were a poor young knight,
3086        Syn he hath served yow so many a yeer,
                   Since he has served you so many a year,
3087        And had for yow so greet adversitee,
                   And has had for you such great adversity,
3088        It moste been considered, leeveth me,
                   It must be taken in account, believe me,
3089        For gentil mercy oghte to passen right."
                   For gentle mercy ought to prevail over justice."

3090        Thanne seyde he thus to Palamon the knight:
                   Then said he thus to Palamon the knight:
3091        "I trowe ther nedeth litel sermonyng
                   "I suppose little preaching is needed here
3092        To make yow assente to this thyng.
                   To make you assent to this thing.
3093        Com neer, and taak youre lady by the hond."
                   Come near, and take your lady by the hand."

3094        Bitwixen hem was maad anon the bond
                   Between them was made right away the bond
3095        That highte matrimoigne or mariage,
                   That is called matrimony or marriage,
3096        By al the conseil and the baronage.
                   By all the council and the baronage.
3097        And thus with alle blisse and melodye
                   And thus with all bliss and festivity
3098        Hath Palamon ywedded Emelye.
                   Palamon has wedded Emelye.
3099        And God, that al this wyde world hath wroght,
                   And God, who has made all this wide world,
3100        Sende hym his love that hath it deere aboght;
                   Send him his love who has dearly paid for it;
3101        For now is Palamon in alle wele,
                   For now is Palamon in complete happiness,
3102        Lyvynge in blisse, in richesse, and in heele,
                   Living in bliss, in riches, and in health,
3103        And Emelye hym loveth so tendrely,
                   And Emelye loves him so tenderly,
3104        And he hire serveth so gentilly,
                   And he serves her so gently,
3105        That nevere was ther no word hem bitwene
                   That never was there any word between them
3106        Of jalousie or any oother teene.
                   Of jealousy or any other vexation.
3107        Thus endeth Palamon and Emelye;
                   Thus ends Palamon and Emelye;
3108        And God save al this faire compaignye! Amen.
                   And God save all this fair company! Amen.

 

Heere is ended the Knyghtes Tale

 

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Last modified: Apr 8, 2008
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