1889 Whan ended was my tale of Melibee,
When ended was my tale of Melibee,
1890 And of Prudence and hire benignytee,
And of Prudence and her goodness,
1891 Oure Hooste seyde, "As I am feithful man,
Our Host said, "On my faith,
1892 And by that precious corpus Madrian,
And by that precious body of Madrian,
1893 I hadde levere than a barel ale
(I swear that) I had rather than have a barrel of ale
1894 That Goodelief, my wyf, hadde herd this tale!
That Goodelief, my wife, had heard this tale!
1895 For she nys no thyng of swich pacience
For she is in no way of such patience
1896 As was this Melibeus wyf Prudence.
As was this Melibeus' wife Prudence.
1897 By Goddes bones, whan I bete my knaves,
By God's bones, when I beat my knaves,
1898 She bryngeth me forth the grete clobbed staves,
She brings me forth the great knobby clubs,
1899 And crieth, `Slee the dogges everichoon,
And cries, `Slay the dogs every one
1900 And brek hem, bothe bak and every boon!'
And break them, both back and every bone!'
1901 "And if that any neighebor of myne
"And if any neighbor of mine
1902 Wol nat in chirche to my wyf enclyne,
Will not in church bow to my wife,
1903 Or be so hardy to hire to trespace,
Or be so bold as to offend her,
1904 Whan she comth hoom she rampeth in my face,
When she comes home she shakes her fists in my face,
1905 And crieth, `False coward, wrek thy wyf!
And cries, `False coward, avenge thy wife!
1906 By corpus bones, I wol have thy knyf,
By God's bones, I will have thy knife,
1907 And thou shalt have my distaf and go spynne!'
And thou shalt have my spinning staff and go spin!'
1908 Fro day to nyght right thus she wol bigynne.
From daybreak to nightfall right thus she will begin.
1909 `Allas,' she seith, `that evere I was shape
`Alas,' she says, `that ever I was created
1910 To wedden a milksop, or a coward ape,
To wed a milksop, or a coward ape,
1911 That wol been overlad with every wight!
That will be browbeaten by every body!
1912 Thou darst nat stonden by thy wyves right!'
Thou darest not defend thy wife's right!'
1913 "This is my lif, but if that I wol fighte;
"This is my life, unless I will fight;
1914 And out at dore anon I moot me dighte,
And out at door immediately I must hasten myself,
1915 Or elles I am but lost, but if that I
Or else I am as good as lost, unless I
1916 Be lik a wilde leoun, fool-hardy.
Be like a wild lion, fool-hardy.
1917 I woot wel she wol do me slee som day
I know well some day she will make me slay
1918 Som neighebor, and thanne go my way;
Some neighbor, and then be on the run;
1919 For I am perilous with knyf in honde,
For I am perilous with knife in hand,
1920 Al be it that I dar nat hire withstonde,
Albeit that I dare not stand up to her,
1921 For she is byg in armes, by my feith:
For she is strong in fighting, by my faith:
1922 That shal he fynde that hire mysdooth or seith --
That shall he find that does or says something amiss to her --
1923 But lat us passe awey fro this mateere.
But let us pass away from this matter.
1924 "My lord, the Monk," quod he, "be myrie of cheere,
"My lord, the Monk," said he, "cheer up,
1925 For ye shul telle a tale trewely.
For you must tell a tale truly.
1926 Loo, Rouchestre stant heer faste by!
Lo, Rochester stands here near by!
1927 Ryde forth, myn owene lord, brek nat oure game.
Ride forth, my own lord, do not interrupt our game.
1928 But, by my trouthe, I knowe nat youre name.
But, by my pledged word, I know not your name.
1929 Wher shal I calle yow my lord daun John,
Which shall I call you -- my lord Don John,
1930 Or daun Thomas, or elles daun Albon?
Or Don Thomas, or else Don Albon?
1931 Of what hous be ye, by youre fader kyn?
Of what monastic order are you, by your father's kin?
1932 I vowe to God, thou hast a ful fair skyn;
I vow to God, thou hast a very handsome complexion;
1933 It is a gentil pasture ther thow goost.
It is a noble pasture where thou goest to eat.
1934 Thou art nat lyk a penant or a goost:
Thou art not like a penitent or a ghost:
1935 Upon my feith, thou art som officer,
Upon my faith, thou art some officer,
1936 Som worthy sexteyn, or som celerer,
Some worthy sexton, or some provisioner,
1937 For by my fader soule, as to my doom,
For by my father's soul, according to my judgment,
1938 Thou art a maister whan thou art at hoom;
Thou art a master when thou art at home;
1939 No povre cloysterer, ne no novys,
No poor cloistered monk, nor no novice,
1940 But a governour, wily and wys,
But a governor, wily and wise,
1941 And therwithal of brawnes and of bones
And, in addition to that, of muscles and of bones
1942 A wel farynge persone for the nones.
A very handsome person indeed.
1943 I pray to God, yeve hym confusioun
I pray to God, give him ruination
1944 That first thee broghte unto religioun!
Who first brought thee unto the monastic life!
1945 Thou woldest han been a tredefowel aright.
Thou wouldest have been a chicken-copulator indeed,
1946 Haddestow as greet a leeve as thou hast myght
If thou haddest as much permission as thou hast power
1947 To parfourne al thy lust in engendrure,
To perform all thy desire in procreation,
1948 Thou haddest bigeten ful many a creature.
Thou would have begotten very many a creature.
1949 Allas, why werestow so wyd a cope?
Alas, why wearest thou so wide a cope?
1950 God yeve me sorwe, but, and I were a pope,
God give me sorrow, unless, if I were a pope,
1951 Nat oonly thou, but every myghty man,
Not only thou, but every mighty man,
1952 Though he were shorn ful hye upon his pan,
Though he had a tonsure very prominently upon his head,
1953 Sholde have a wyf; for al the world is lorn!
Should have a wife; for all the world is lost!
1954 Religioun hath take up al the corn
Religion has taken up all the best
1955 Of tredyng, and we borel men been shrympes.
At copulating, and we laymen are shrimps.
1956 Of fieble trees ther comen wrecched ympes.
Of feeble trees there come weak offshoots.
1957 This maketh that oure heires been so sklendre
This makes our heirs to be so scrawny
1958 And feble that they may nat wel engendre.
And feeble that they can not well beget children.
1959 This maketh that oure wyves wole assaye
This makes it that our wives want to try out
1960 Religious folk, for ye mowe bettre paye
Folk in holy orders, for you can better pay
1961 Of Venus paiementz than mowe we;
Venus' payments than we can;
1962 God woot, no lussheburghes payen ye!
God knows, you pay with no inferior coins!
1963 But be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye.
But be not angry, my lord, though I am joking.
1964 Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!"
Very often I have heard a truth said in jest!"
1965 This worthy Monk took al in pacience,
This worthy Monk took all in patience,
1966 And seyde, "I wol doon al my diligence,
And said, "I will devote all my efforts,
1967 As fer as sowneth into honestee,
So far as it is conducive to propriety,
1968 To telle yow a tale, or two, or three.
To tell you a tale, or two, or three.
1969 And if yow list to herkne hyderward,
And if you desire to listen to me,
1970 I wol yow seyn the lyf of Seint Edward;
I will tell you the life of Saint Edward;
1971 Or ellis, first, tragedies wol I telle,
Or else, first, I will tell tragedies,
1972 Of whiche I have an hundred in my celle.
Of which I have a hundred in my cell.
1973 Tragedie is to seyn a certeyn storie,
Tragedy means a true narrative,
1974 As olde bookes maken us memorie,
As old books make us remember,
1975 Of hym that stood in greet prosperitee,
Of one who stood in great prosperity,
1976 And is yfallen out of heigh degree
And is fallen out of high degree
1977 Into myserie, and endeth wrecchedly.
Into misery, and ends wretchedly.
1978 And they ben versified communely
And ordinarily they are in verses
1979 Of six feet, which men clepen exametron.
Of six feet, which men call hexameters.
1980 In prose eek been endited many oon,
Many are also composed in prose,
1981 And eek in meetre in many a sondry wyse.
And also in meters of many and various sorts.
1982 Lo, this declaryng oghte ynogh suffise.
Lo, this explanation ought to suffice enough.
1983 "Now herkneth, if yow liketh for to heere.
"Now hearken, if it pleases you to hear.
1984 But first I yow biseeke in this mateere,
But first I beseech you in this matter,
1985 Though I by ordre telle nat thise thynges,
Though I do not tell these things in chronological order,
1986 Be it of popes, emperours, or kynges,
Be it of popes, emperors, or kings,
1987 After hir ages, as men writen fynde,
According to their times, as men find written,
1988 But tellen hem som bifore and som bihynde,
But tell some of them before and some behind,
1989 As it now comth unto my remembraunce,
As it now comes unto my memory,
1990 Have me excused of myn ignoraunce."
Hold me excused for my ignorance."
The Monk's Tale
Heere bigynneth the Monkes Tale
Here begins the Monk's Tale
De Casibus Virorum Illustrium.
Concerning the Fates of Famous Men
1991 I wol biwaille in manere of tragedie
I will bewail in the manner of tragedy
1992 The harm of hem that stoode in heigh degree,
The harm of those who stood in high degree,
1993 And fillen so that ther nas no remedie
And fell so that there was no remedy
1994 To brynge hem out of hir adversitee.
To bring them out of their adversity.
1995 For certein, whan that Fortune list to flee,
For certainly, when Fortune desires to flee,
1996 Ther may no man the cours of hire withholde.
No man can withstand her onward movement.
1997 Lat no man truste on blynd prosperitee;
Let no man trust on blind prosperity;
1998 Be war by thise ensamples trewe and olde.
Take warning from these examples true and old.
1999 At Lucifer, though he an angel were
At Lucifer, though he was an angel
2000 And nat a man, at hym wol I bigynne.
And not a man, at him will I begin.
2001 For though Fortune may noon angel dere,
For though Fortune may harm no angel,
2002 From heigh degree yet fel he for his synne
From high degree yet for his sin he fell
2003 Doun into helle, where he yet is inne.
Down into hell, in which he is yet.
2004 O Lucifer, brightest of angels alle,
O Lucifer, brightest of all angels,
2005 Now artow Sathanas, that mayst nat twynne
Now art thou Sathanas, that mayst not depart
2006 Out of miserie, in which that thou art falle.
Out of misery, in which thou art fallen.
2007 Loo Adam, in the feeld of Damyssene
Lo Adam, in the field of Damascus
2008 With Goddes owene fynger wroght was he,
With God's own finger was he wrought,
2009 And nat bigeten of mannes sperme unclene,
And not begotten of man's unclean sperm,
2010 And welte al paradys savynge o tree.
And ruled all paradise save for one tree.
2011 Hadde nevere worldly man so heigh degree
Had never worldly man so high degree
2012 As Adam, til he for mysgovernaunce
As Adam, until he for misconduct
2013 Was dryven out of hys hye prosperitee
Was driven out of his high prosperity
2014 To labour, and to helle, and to meschaunce.
To labor, and to hell, and to ruin.
2015 Loo Sampsoun, which that was annunciat
Lo Sampson, whose birth was announced
2016 By th'angel longe er his nativitee,
By the angel long before his nativity,
2017 And was to God Almyghty consecrat,
And was to God Almighty consecrated,
2018 And stood in noblesse whil he myghte see.
And stood in noble estate while he could see.
2019 Was nevere swich another as was hee,
There was never such another as was he,
2020 To speke of strengthe, and therwith hardynesse;
To speak of strength, and bravery as well;
2021 But to his wyves toolde he his secree,
But to his wives he told his secret,
2022 Thurgh which he slow hymself for wrecchednesse.
Through which he slew himself for wretchedness.
2023 Sampsoun, this noble almyghty champioun,
Sampson, this noble almighty champion,
2024 Withouten wepen save his handes tweye,
Without any weapon save his two hands,
2025 He slow and al torente the leoun,
He slew and tore all to pieces the lion,
2026 Toward his weddyng walkynge by the weye.
(While he was) walking toward his wedding by the way.
2027 His false wyf koude hym so plese and preye
His false wife could him so please and earnestly plead
2028 Til she his conseil knew; and she, untrewe,
Until she knew his secrets; and she, untrue,
2029 Unto his foos his conseil gan biwreye,
Unto his foes his secrets did betray,
2030 And hym forsook, and took another newe.
And abandoned him, and took another new lover.
2031 Thre hundred foxes took Sampson for ire,
Three hundred foxes Sampson took for ire,
2032 And alle hir tayles he togydre bond,
And all their tails he tied together,
2033 And sette the foxes tayles alle on fire,
And set the foxes' tails all on fire,
2034 For he on every tayl had knyt a brond;
For he on every tail had tied a torch;
2035 And they brende alle the cornes in that lond,
And they burned all the grain crops in that land,
2036 And alle hire olyveres, and vynes eke.
And all their olive trees, and vines also.
2037 A thousand men he slow eek with his hond,
A thousand men he slew also with his hand,
2038 And hadde no wepen but an asses cheke.
And had no weapon but an ass's jawbone.
2039 Whan they were slayn, so thursted hym that he
When they were slain, he was so thirsty that he
2040 Was wel ny lorn, for which he gan to preye
Was well nigh lost, for which he prayed
2041 That God wolde on his peyne han some pitee
That God would on his pain have some pity
2042 And sende hym drynke, or elles moste he deye;
And send him drink, or else he must die;
2043 And of this asses cheke, that was dreye,
And of this ass's jawbone, that was dry,
2044 Out of a wang-tooth sprang anon a welle,
Out of a molar sprang right away a well,
2045 Of which he drank ynogh, shortly to seye;
Of which he drank enough, shortly to say;
2046 Thus heelp hym God, as Judicum can telle.
Thus God helped him, as The Book of Judges can tell.
2047 By verray force at Gazan on a nyght,
By sheer force at Gaza on one night,
2048 Maugree Philistiens of that citee,
Despite the Philistines of that city,
2049 The gates of the toun he hath up plyght,
The gates of the town he has plucked up,
2050 And on his bak ycaryed hem hath hee
And on his back he has carried them
2051 Hye on an hill whereas men myghte hem see.
High on a hill where men could see them.
2052 O noble, almyghty Sampsoun, lief and deere,
O noble, almighty Sampson, beloved and dear,
2053 Had thou nat toold to wommen thy secree,
Had thou not told to women thy secret,
2054 In al this world ne hadde been thy peere!
In all this world there had not been thy peer!
2055 This Sampson nevere ciser drank ne wyn,
This Sampson never drank alcoholic drinks nor wine,
2056 Ne on his heed cam rasour noon ne sheere,
Nor on his head came any razor or scissors,
2057 By precept of the messager divyn,
By command of the divine messenger,
2058 For alle his strengthes in his heeres weere.
For all his powers were in his hair.
2059 And fully twenty wynter, yeer by yeere,
And fully twenty winters, year by year,
2060 He hadde of Israel the governaunce.
He had the governance of Israel.
2061 But soone shal he wepe many a teere,
But soon shall he weep many a tear,
2062 For wommen shal hym bryngen to meschaunce!
For women shall bring him to misfortune!
2063 Unto his lemman Dalida he tolde
Unto his sweetheart Dalilah he told
2064 That in his heeris al his strengthe lay,
That all his strength lay in his hair,
2065 And falsly to his foomen she hym solde.
And falsely to his foemen she sold him.
2066 And slepynge in hir barm upon a day,
And sleeping on her bosom upon one day,
2067 She made to clippe or shere his heres away,
She contrived to clip or shear his hair away,
2068 And made his foomen al his craft espyen;
And made his foemen know all his craft;
2069 And whan that they hym foond in this array,
And when they found him in this condition,
2070 They bounde hym faste and putten out his yen.
They bound him securely and put out his eyes.
2071 But er his heer were clipped or yshave,
But before his hair was clipped or shaven,
2072 Ther was no boond with which men myghte him bynde;
There was no bond with which men could bind him;
2073 But now is he in prison in a cave,
But now is he in prison in a cave,
2074 Where-as they made hym at the queerne grynde.
Where they made him grind at the mill.
2075 O noble Sampsoun, strongest of mankynde,
O noble Sampson, strongest of mankind,
2076 O whilom juge, in glorie and in richesse!
O formerly judge, in glory and in riches!
2077 Now maystow wepen with thyne eyen blynde,
Now mayst thou weep with thy blind eyes,
2078 Sith thou fro wele art falle in wrecchednesse.
Since thou from prosperity art fallen into wretchedness.
2079 The ende of this caytyf was as I shal seye.
The end of this captive was as I shall say.
2080 His foomen made a feeste upon a day,
His foemen made a feast upon one day,
2081 And made hym as hire fool biforn hem pleye;
And made him as their fool play before them;
2082 And this was in a temple of greet array.
And this was in a temple of great magnificence.
2083 But atte laste he made a foul affray,
But at the last he made a terrifying assault,
2084 For he two pilers shook and made hem falle,
For he shook two pillars and made them fall,
2085 And doun fil temple and al, and ther it lay --
And down fell temple and all, and there it lay --
2086 And slow hymself, and eek his foomen alle.
And slew himself, and also all his foemen.
2087 This is to seyn, the prynces everichoon,
This is to say, every one of the princes,
2088 And eek thre thousand bodyes, were ther slayn
And also three thousand bodies, were there slain
2089 With fallynge of the grete temple of stoon.
By the falling of the great temple of stone.
2090 Of Sampson now wol I namoore sayn.
Of Sampson now I will say no more.
2091 Beth war by this ensample oold and playn
Beware by this example old and plain
2092 That no men telle hir conseil til hir wyves
That no men tell their secrets to their wives
2093 Of swich thyng as they wolde han secree fayn,
Of such things as they would earnestly keep secret,
2094 If that it touche hir lymes or hir lyves.
If it concerns their limbs or their lives.
2095 Of Hercules, the sovereyn conquerour,
Of Hercules, the supreme conqueror,
2096 Syngen his werkes laude and heigh renoun;
His works sing his praise and high renown;
2097 For in his tyme of strengthe he was the flour.
For in his time he was the flower of strength.
2098 He slow and rafte the skyn of the leoun;
He slew and tore off the skin of the lion;
2099 He of Centauros leyde the boost adoun;
He laid down the boast of the Centaurs;
2100 He Arpies slow, the crueel bryddes felle;
He slew the Harpies, the fierce cruel birds;
2101 He golden apples rafte of the dragoun;
He seized the golden apples of the dragon;
2102 He drow out Cerberus, the hound of helle;
He dragged Cerberus, the hound, out of Hell;
2103 He slow the crueel tyrant Busirus
He slew the cruel tyrant Busirus
2104 And made his hors to frete hym, flessh and boon;
And made his horses eat him, flesh and bone;
2105 He slow the firy serpent venymus;
He slew the fiery venomous serpent;
2106 Of Acheloys two hornes he brak oon;
He broke one of Achelous' two horns;
2107 And he slow Cacus in a cave of stoon;
And he slew Cacus in a cave of stone;
2108 He slow the geant Antheus the stronge;
He slew the giant Antheus the strong;
2109 He slow the grisly boor, and that anon;
He slew the grisly boar, and that very quickly;
2110 And bar the hevene on his nekke longe.
And long bore the heaven on his neck.
2111 Was nevere wight, sith that this world bigan,
Was never a person, since this world began,
2112 That slow so manye monstres as dide he.
That slew as many monsters as did he.
2113 Thurghout this wyde world his name ran,
Throughout this wide world his name ran,
2114 What for his strengthe and for his heigh bountee,
What for his strength and for his great goodness,
2115 And every reawme wente he for to see.
And he went to see every realm.
2116 He was so stroong that no man myghte hym lette.
He was so strong that no man could prevent him.
2117 At bothe the worldes endes, seith Trophee,
At both ends of the world, says Trophee,
2118 In stide of boundes he a pileer sette.
In stead of boundary markers he set a pillar.
2119 A lemman hadde this noble champioun,
This noble champion had a sweetheart,
2120 That highte Dianira, fressh as May;
Who was called Dianira, fresh as May;
2121 And as thise clerkes maken mencioun,
And as these clerks make mention,
2122 She hath hym sent a sherte, fressh and gay.
She has sent him a shirt, fresh and gay.
2123 Allas, this sherte -- allas and weylaway! --
Alas, this shirt -- alas and woe oh woe! --
2124 Envenymed was so subtilly withalle
Was so skillfully envenomed indeed
2125 That er that he had wered it half a day
That before he had worn it half a day
2126 It made his flessh al from his bones falle.
It made all his flesh fall from his bones.
2127 But nathelees somme clerkes hire excusen
But nonetheless some clerks excuse her
2128 By oon that highte Nessus, that it maked.
By one who was called Nessus, who made it.
2129 Be as be may, I wol hire noght accusen;
However it may be, I will not accuse her;
2130 But on his bak this sherte he wered al naked
But on his back all naked he wore this shirt
2131 Til that his flessh was for the venym blaked.
Until his flesh was blackened because of the venom.
2132 And whan he saugh noon oother remedye,
And when he saw no other remedy,
2133 In hoote coles he hath hymselven raked,
He has himself covered over in hot coals,
2134 For with no venym deigned hym to dye.
For with no venom did he deign to die.
2135 Thus starf this worthy, myghty Hercules.
Thus died this worthy, mighty Hercules.
2136 Lo, who may truste on Fortune any throwe?
Lo, who can trust on Fortune for any time?
2137 For hym that folweth al this world of prees
For he who follows (the ways of) all this dangerous world
2138 Er he be war is ofte yleyd ful lowe.
Before he is aware is often laid very low.
2139 Ful wys is he that kan hymselven knowe!
Very wise is he who can know himself!
2140 Beth war, for whan that Fortune list to glose,
Be wary, for when Fortune wants to deceive,
2141 Thanne wayteth she her man to overthrowe
Then she waits to overthrow her man
2142 By swich a wey as he wolde leest suppose.
By such a means as he would least suppose.
2143 The myghty trone, the precious tresor,
The mighty throne, the precious treasure,
2144 The glorious ceptre, and roial magestee
The glorious scepter, and royal majesty
2145 That hadde the kyng Nabugodonosor
That had the king Nebuchadnessar
2146 With tonge unnethe may discryved bee.
With tongue can hardly be described.
2147 He twyes wan Jerusalem the citee;
He twice won the city of Jerusalem;
2148 The vessel of the temple he with hym ladde.
The vessels of the temple he took with him.
2149 At Babiloigne was his sovereyn see,
At Babylon was his sovereign throne,
2150 In which his glorie and his delit he hadde.
In which he had his glory and his delight.
2151 The faireste children of the blood roial
The fairest children of the blood royal
2152 Of Israel he leet do gelde anoon,
Of Israel he had gelded indeed,
2153 And maked ech of hem to been his thral.
And made each of them to be his slave.
2154 Amonges othere Daniel was oon,
Among others Daniel was one,
2155 That was the wiseste child of everychon,
Who was the wisest child of them all,
2156 For he the dremes of the kyng expowned,
For he expounded the dreams of the king,
2157 Whereas in Chaldeye clerk ne was ther noon
Whereas in Chaldea there was no clerk
2158 That wiste to what fyn his dremes sowned.
Who knew what his dreams meant.
2159 This proude kyng leet maken a statue of gold,
This proud king had made a statue of gold,
2160 Sixty cubites long and sevene in brede,
Sixty cubits long and seven in breadth,
2161 To which ymage bothe yong and oold
To which image both young and old
2162 Comanded he to loute, and have in drede,
Commanded he to bow down, and hold in veneration,
2163 Or in a fourneys, ful of flambes rede,
Or in a furnace, full of red flames,
2164 He shal be brent that wolde noght obeye.
He who would not obey shall be burned.
2165 But nevere wolde assente to that dede
But never would assent to (do) that deed
2166 Daniel ne his yonge felawes tweye.
Daniel nor his two young fellows.
2167 This kyng of kynges proud was and elaat;
This king of kings was proud and arrogant;
2168 He wende that God, that sit in magestee,
He supposed that God, who sits in majesty,
2169 Ne myghte hym nat bireve of his estaat.
Could not deprive him of his estate.
2170 But sodeynly he loste his dignytee,
But suddenly he lost his high office,
2171 And lyk a beest hym semed for to bee,
And like a beast he seemed to be,
2172 And eet hey as an oxe, and lay theroute
And ate hay like an ox, and lay outside
2173 In reyn; with wilde beestes walked hee
In rain; with wild beasts walked he
2174 Til certein tyme was ycome aboute.
Until a certain number of years had passed.
2175 And lik an egles fetheres wax his heres;
And his hair grew to be like an eagle's feathers;
2176 His nayles lyk a briddes clawes weere;
His nails were like a bird's claws;
2177 Til God relessed hym a certeyn yeres,
Until God released him (after) a certain (number of) years,
2178 And yaf hym wit, and thanne with many a teere
And gave him back his wits, and then with many a tear
2179 He thanked God, and evere his lyf in feere
He thanked God, and always in his life in fear
2180 Was he to doon amys or moore trespace;
Was he to do amiss or again trespass;
2181 And til that tyme he leyd was on his beere
And until that time he was laid on his bier
2182 He knew that God was ful of myght and grace.
He knew that God was full of might and grace.
2183 His sone, which that highte Balthasar,
His son, who was called Belshazzar,
2184 That heeld the regne after his fader day,
Who held the reign after his father's day,
2185 He by his fader koude noght be war,
He by (the example of) his father could not be warned,
2186 For proud he was of herte and of array,
For he was proud of heart and of behavior,
2187 And eek an ydolastre was he ay.
And also he was always an idolater.
2188 His hye estaat assured hym in pryde;
His high estate made him confident in pride;
2189 But Fortune caste hym doun, and ther he lay,
But Fortune cast him down, and there he lay,
2190 And sodeynly his regne gan divide.
And suddenly his reign began to break apart.
2191 A feeste he made unto his lordes alle
A feast he made for all his lords
2192 Upon a tyme and bad hem blithe bee;
Upon a time and bade them be happy;
2193 And thanne his officeres gan he calle:
And then his officers he did call:
2194 "Gooth, bryngeth forth the vesseles," quod he,
"Go, bring forth the vessels," said he,
2195 "Whiche that my fader in his prosperitee
"Which my father in his flourishing time
2196 Out of the temple of Jerusalem birafte;
Robbed out of the temple of Jerusalem;
2197 And to oure hye goddes thanke we
And to our high gods we give thanks
2198 Of honour that oure eldres with us lafte."
For the honor that our elders left with us."
2199 Hys wyf, his lordes, and his concubynes
His wife, his lords, and his concubines
2200 Ay dronken, whil hire appetites laste,
Always drank, while their appetites lasted
2201 Out of thise noble vessels sondry wynes.
Various wines out of these noble vessels.
2202 And on a wal this kyng his eyen caste
And on a wall this king cast his eyes
2203 And saugh an hand, armlees, that wroot ful faste,
And saw a hand, armless, that wrote very fast,
2204 For feere of which he quook and siked soore.
For fear of which he quaked and sighed deeply.
2205 This hand that Balthasar so soore agaste
This hand that so deeply terrified Belshazzar
2206 Wroot Mane, techel, phares, and namoore.
Wrote Mane, techel, phares, and no more.
2207 In all that land magicien was noon
In all that land was no magician
2208 That koude expoune what this lettre mente;
Who could explain what this text meant;
2209 But Daniel expowned it anoon,
But Daniel explained it right away,
2210 And seyde, "Kyng, God to thy fader lente
And said, "King, God to thy father lent
2211 Glorie and honour, regne, tresour, rente;
Glory and honor, reign, treasure, income;
2212 And he was proud and nothyng God ne dradde,
And he was proud and not at all dreaded God,
2213 And therfore God greet wreche upon hym sente,
And therefore God sent great vengeance upon him,
2214 And hym birafte the regne that he hadde.
And took away from him the reign that he had.
2215 "He was out cast of mannes compaignye;
"He was cast out of man's company;
2216 With asses was his habitacioun,
With asses was his habitation,
2217 And eet hey as a beest in weet and drye
And ate hay as a beast in wet (weather) and dry
2218 Til that he knew, by grace and by resoun,
Until he knew, by grace and by reason,
2219 That God of hevene hath domynacioun
That God of heaven has domination
2220 Over every regne and every creature;
Over every reign and every creature;
2221 And thanne hadde God of hym compassioun,
And then had God on him compassion,
2222 And hym restored his regne and his figure.
And to him restored his reign and his bodily form.
2223 "Eek thou, that art his sone, art proud also,
"Also thou, who art his son, art proud also,
2224 And knowest alle thise thynges verraily,
And knowest all these things truly,
2225 And art rebel to God, and art his foo.
And art rebel to God, and art his foe.
2226 Thou drank eek of his vessels boldely;
Thou drank also of his vessels boldly;
2227 Thy wyf eek, and thy wenches, synfully
Thy wife also, and thy wenches, sinfully
2228 Dronke of the same vessels sondry wynys;
Drank of the same vessels various wines;
2229 And heryest false goddes cursedly;
And worship false gods cursedly;
2230 Therefore to thee yshapen ful greet pyne ys.
Therefore to thee is ordained very great pain.
2231 "This hand was sent from God that on the wal
"This hand was sent from God that on the wall
2232 Wroot Mane, techel, phares, truste me;
Wrote Mane, techel, pares, trust me;
2233 Thy regne is doon; thou weyest noght at al.
Thy reign is done; thou art of no account at all.
2234 Dyvyded is thy regne, and it shal be
Broken up is thy kingdom, and it shall be
2235 To Medes and to Perses yeven," quod he.
Given to Medes and to Persians," said he.
2236 And thilke same nyght this kyng was slawe,
And that same night this king was slain,
2237 And Darius occupieth his degree,
And Darius occupies his throne,
2238 Thogh he therto hadde neither right ne lawe.
Though for this he had neither right nor law.
2239 Lordynges, ensample heerby may ye take
Gentlemen, example may you take from this
2240 How that in lordshipe is no sikernesse,
How in lordship is no security,
2241 For whan Fortune wole a man forsake,
For when Fortune will forsake a man,
2242 She bereth awey his regne and his richesse,
She bears away his reign and his riches,
2243 And eek his freendes, bothe moore and lesse.
And also his friends, both high ranking and low.
2244 For what man that hath freendes thurgh Fortune,
For whatever man who has friends because of Fortune,
2245 Mishap wol maken hem enemys, I gesse;
Misfortune will make them enemies, I believe;
2246 This proverbe is ful sooth and ful commune.
This proverb is very true and very common.
2247 Cenobia, of Palymerie queene,
Zenobia, of Palmyra queen,
2248 As writen Persiens of hir noblesse,
As Persians write of her nobility,
2249 So worthy was in armes and so keene
So worthy was in arms and so fierce
2250 That no wight passed hire in hardynesse,
That no person passed her in boldness,
2251 Ne in lynage, ne in oother gentillesse.
Nor in lineage, nor in other noble traits.
2252 Of kynges blood of Perce is she descended.
Of the blood of kings of Persia is she descended.
2253 I seye nat that she hadde moost fairnesse,
I say not that she had most beauty,
2254 But of hir shap she myghte nat been amended.
But of her shape she could not be improved.
2255 From hire childhede I fynde that she fledde
From her childhood I find that she fled
2256 Office of wommen, and to wode she wente,
Duties of women, and to the woods she went,
2257 And many a wilde hertes blood she shedde
And many a wild hart's blood she shed
2258 With arwes brode that she to hem sente.
With broad-headed arrows that she to them sent.
2259 She was so swift that she anon hem hente;
She was so swift that she quickly seized them;
2260 And whan that she was elder, she wolde kille
And when she was older, she would kill
2261 Leouns, leopardes, and beres al torente,
Lions, leopards, and bears all torn to pieces,
2262 And in hir armes weelde hem at hir wille.
And in her arms handled them at her will.
2263 She dorste wilde beestes dennes seke,
She dared to seek wild beasts' dens,
2264 And rennen in the montaignes al the nyght,
And to run in the mountains all the night,
2265 And slepen under a bussh, and she koude eke
And to sleep under a bush, and she could also
2266 Wrastlen, by verray force and verray myght,
Wrestle, by sheer force and sheer strength,
2267 With any yong man, were he never so wight.
With any young man, were he never so strong.
2268 Ther myghte no thyng in hir armes stonde.
There might no thing withstand her arms.
2269 She kepte hir maydenhod from every wight;
She kept her maidenhead from every person;
2270 To no man deigned hire for to be bonde.
She disdained to be bound to no man.
2271 But atte laste hir freendes han hire maried
But at the last her friends have married her
2272 To Odenake, a prynce of that contree,
To Odenake, a prince of that country,
2273 Al were it so that she hem longe taried.
Although it was so that she long delayed them.
2274 And ye shul understonde how that he
And you must understand that he
2275 Hadde swiche fantasies as hadde she.
Had such fantasies as had she.
2276 But natheless, whan they were knyt in-feere,
But nonetheless, when they were knit together,
2277 They lyved in joye and in felicitee,
They lived in joy and in felicity,
2278 For ech of hem hadde oother lief and deere,
For each of them held the other beloved and dear,
2279 Save o thyng: that she wolde nevere assente,
Save one thing: that she would never assent,
2280 By no wey, that he sholde by hire lye
In any way, that he should by her lie
2281 But ones, for it was hir pleyn entente
But once, for it was her full intention
2282 To have a child, the world to multiplye;
To have a child, the world to multiply;
2283 And also soone as that she myghte espye
And as soon as she could see
2284 That she was nat with childe with that dede,
That she was not with child by means of that deed,
2285 Thanne wolde she suffre hym doon his fantasye
Then would she allow him to do his desires
2286 Eft-soone, and nat but oones, out of drede.
Again, and only but once, no doubt.
2287 And if she were with childe at thilke cast,
And if she were with childe at that time,
2288 Namoore sholde he pleyen thilke game
No more should he play that same game
2289 Til fully fourty [wikes] weren past;
Until fully forty [weeks] were past;
2290 Thanne wolde she ones suffre hym do the same.
Then would she once allow him to do the same.
2291 Al were this Odenake wilde or tame,
Even if this Odenake were wild or tame,
2292 He gat namoore of hire, for thus she seyde:
He got no more of her, for thus she said:
2293 It was to wyves lecherie and shame,
It was to wives lechery and shame,
2294 In oother caas, if that men with hem pleyde.
In any other case, if men had sexual relations with them.
2295 Two sones by this Odenake hadde she,
Two sons by this Odenake had she,
2296 The whiche she kepte in vertu and lettrure.
Whom she kept in virtue and learning.
2297 But now unto oure tale turne we.
But now unto our tale we turn.
2298 I seye, so worshipful a creature,
I say, so worshipful a creature,
2299 And wys therwith, and large with mesure,
And wise also, and generous in moderation,
2300 So penyble in the werre, and curteis eke,
So assiduous in the war, and courtly also,
2301 Ne moore labour myghte in werre endure,
Nor more labor could in war endure,
2302 Was noon, though al this world men sholde seke.
Was none, though through all this world men should seek.
2303 Hir riche array ne myghte nat be told,
Her rich furnishings could not be told,
2304 As wel in vessel as in hire clothyng.
As well in utensils as in her clothing.
2305 She was al clad in perree and in gold,
She was all clad in precious stones and in gold,
2306 And eek she lafte noght, for noon huntyng,
And also she did not neglect, for any hunting,
2307 To have of sondry tonges ful knowyng,
To have of various tongues full knowing,
2308 Whan that she leyser hadde; and for to entende
When she had leisure; and to endeavor
2309 To lerne bookes was al hire likyng,
To learn books was all her desire,
2310 How she in vertu myghte hir lyf dispende.
How she in virtue might spend her life.
2311 And shortly of this storie for to trete,
And shortly of this history to treat,
2312 So doghty was hir housbonde and eek she,
So doughty was her husband and also she,
2313 That they conquered manye regnes grete
That they conquered many great realms
2314 In the orient, with many a fair citee
In the orient, with many a fair city
2315 Apertenaunt unto the magestee
Belonging unto the majesty
2316 Of Rome, and with strong hond held hem ful faste,
Of Rome, and with strong hand held them very tightly,
2317 Ne nevere myghte hir foomen doon hem flee,
Nor never could their foemen make them flee,
2318 Ay whil that Odenakes dayes laste.
Always while Odenake's days lasted.
2319 Hir batailles, whoso list hem for to rede,
Their battles, whoever may wish to read them,
2320 Agayn Sapor the kyng and othere mo,
Against Shapur the king and many others,
2321 And how that al this proces fil in dede,
And how all this business happened in actuality,
2322 Why she conquered and what title had therto,
Why she conquered and what legal claim she had to it,
2323 And after, of hir meschief and hire wo,
And after, of her troubles and her woe,
2324 How that she was biseged and ytake --
How she was besieged and taken --
2325 Lat hym unto my maister Petrak go,
Let him unto my master Petrarch go,
2326 That writ ynough of this, I undertake.
Who wrote at length about this, I guarantee.
2327 Whan Odenake was deed, she myghtily
When Odenake was dead, she mightily
2328 The regnes heeld, and with hire propre hond
Defended the country, and with her own hand
2329 Agayn hir foos she faught so cruelly
Against her foes she fought so cruelly
2330 That ther nas kyng ne prynce in al that lond
That there was no king nor prince in all that land
2331 That he nas glad, if he that grace fond,
That he was not glad, if he found such grace,
2332 That she ne wolde upon his lond werreye.
That she would not make war upon his land.
2333 With hire they maden alliance by bond
With her they made alliance by covenant
2334 To been in pees, and lete hire ride and pleye.
To be in peace, and let her ride about and enjoy herself.
2335 The Emperour of Rome, Claudius
The Emperor of Rome, Claudius
2336 Ne hym bifore, the Romayn Galien,
Nor, before him, the Roman Galien,
2337 Ne dorste nevere been so corageus,
Dared never be so courageous
2338 Ne noon Ermyn, ne noon Egipcien,
Nor any Armenian, nor any Egyptian,
2339 Ne Surrien, ne noon Arabyen,
Nor Syrian, nor any Arabian,
2340 Withinne the feeld that dorste with hire fighte,
Within the field that dared fight with her,
2341 Lest that she wolde hem with hir handes slen,
Lest she would slay them with her hands,
2342 Or with hir meignee putten hem to flighte.
Or with her troop put them to flight.
2343 In kynges habit wente hir sones two,
In kings' clothing went her two sons,
2344 As heires of hir fadres regnes alle,
As heirs of all their father's reigns,
2345 And Hermanno and Thymalao
And Hermanno and Thymalao
2346 Hir names were, as Persiens hem calle.
Their names were, as Persians call them.
2347 But ay Fortune hath in hire hony galle;
But always Fortune has bitterness in her honey;
2348 This myghty queene may no while endure.
This mighty queen can no longer endure.
2349 Fortune out of hir regne made hire falle
Fortune out of her reign made her fall
2350 To wrecchednesse and to mysaventure.
To wretchedness and to misfortune.
2351 Aurelian, whan that the governaunce
Aurelian, when the governance
2352 Of Rome cam into his handes tweye,
Of Rome came into his two hands,
2353 He shoop upon this queene to doon vengeaunce.
He prepared to do vengeance upon this queen.
2354 And with his legions he took his weye
And with his legions he took his way
2355 Toward Cenobie, and shortly for to seye,
Toward Zenobia, and shortly to say,
2356 He made hire flee, and atte laste hire hente,
He made her flee, and at the last seized her,
2357 And fettred hire, and eek hire children tweye,
And put her in fetters, and also her two children,
2358 And wan the land, and hoom to Rome he wente.
And won the land, and home to Rome he went.
2359 Amonges othere thynges that he wan,
Amongst other things that he won,
2360 Hir chaar, that was with gold wroght and perree,
Her chariot, that was wrought with gold and precious stones,
2361 This grete Romayn, this Aurelian,
This great Roman, this Aurelian,
2362 Hath with hym lad, for that men sholde it see.
Has with him led, so that men should see it.
2363 Biforen his triumphe walketh shee,
Before his triumphal procession she walks,
2364 With gilte cheynes on hire nekke hangynge.
With gilded chains hanging on her neck.
2365 Coroned was she, as after hir degree,
Crowned was she, in accord with her rank,
2366 And ful of perree charged hire clothynge.
And her clothing loaded full of precious stones.
2367 Allas, Fortune! She that whilom was
Alas, Fortune! She that formerly was
2368 Dredeful to kynges and to emperoures,
Fearsome to kings and to emperors,
2369 Now gaureth al the peple on hire, allas!
Now all the people stare on her, alas!
2370 And she that helmed was in starke stoures
And she who wore helmets in violent battles
2371 And wan by force townes stronge and toures,
And won by force strong towns and towers,
2372 Shal on hir heed now were a vitremyte;
Shall on her head now wear a woman's headdress;
2373 And she that bar the ceptre ful of floures
And she that bore the scepter full of flowers
2374 Shal bere a distaf, hire cost for to quyte.
Shall bear a spinning staff, to pay for her living costs.
De Petro Rege Ispannie
[Concerning Pedro King of Castille]
2375 O noble, O worthy Petro, glorie of Spayne,
O noble, O worthy Pedro, glory of Spain,
2376 Whom Fortune heeld so hye in magestee,
Whom Fortune held so high in majesty,
2377 Wel oghten men thy pitous deeth complayne!
Well ought men complain of thy piteous death!
2378 Out of thy land thy brother made thee flee,
Out of thy land thy brother made thee flee,
2379 And after, at a seege, by subtiltee,
And after, at a siege, by trickery,
2380 Thou were bitraysed and lad unto his tente,
Thou were betrayed and led unto his tent,
2381 Where as he with his owene hand slow thee,
Where he with his own hand slew thee,
2382 Succedynge in thy regne and in thy rente.
Succeeding to thy reign and to thy income.
2383 The feeld of snow, with th' egle of blak therinne,
The field of snow, with the eagle of black therein,
2384 Caught with the lymrod coloured as the gleede,
Caught by the bird-lime on a rod colored like the burning coal,
2385 He brew this cursednesse and al this synne.
He brewed this cursedness and all this sin.
2386 The wikked nest was werker of this nede.
The wicked nest was worker of this violent act.
2387 Noght Charles Olyver, that took ay heede
Not Charlemagne's Oliver, who always took heed
2388 Of trouthe and honour, but of Armorike
Of truth and honor, but of Armorica
2389 Genylon-Olyver, corrupt for meede,
Ganelon-Oliver, corrupt for a bribe,
2390 Broghte this worthy kyng in swich a brike.
Brought this worthy king into such a plight.
De Petro Rege de Cipro
[Concerning Pierre de Lusignan, King of Cyprus]
2391 O worthy Petro, kyng of Cipre, also,
O worthy Pierre, king of Cyprus, also,
2392 That Alisandre wan by heigh maistrie,
Who won Alexandria by great strength,
2393 Ful many an hethen wroghtestow ful wo,
To very many a heathen thou wroughtest great woe,
2394 Of which thyne owene liges hadde envie,
Of which thine own lieges had envy,
2395 And for no thyng but for thy chivalrie
And for no thing but for thy chivalry
2396 They in thy bed han slayn thee by the morwe.
They in thy bed have slain thee in the morning.
2397 Thus kan Fortune hir wheel governe and gye,
Thus can Fortune govern and guide her wheel,
2398 And out of joye brynge men to sorwe.
And out of joy bring men to sorrow.
De Barnabo de Lumbardia
[Concerning Bernabo Visconti of Lombardy]
2399 Off Melan grete Barnabo Viscounte,
Great Bernabo Viscounti of Milan,
2400 God of delit and scourge of Lumbardye,
God of delight and scourge of Lombardy,
2401 Why sholde I nat thyn infortune acounte,
Why should I not thy misfortune recount,
2402 Sith in estaat thow cloumbe were so hye?
Since in rank thou had climbed so high?
2403 Thy brother sone, that was thy double allye,
Thy brother's son, who was thy double kinsman,
2404 For he thy nevew was and sone-in-lawe,
For he was thy nephew and son-in-law,
2405 Withinne his prisoun made thee to dye --
Within his prison made thee to die --
2406 But why ne how noot I that thou were slawe.
But why nor how thou were slain I know not.
De Hugelino Comite de Pize
[Concerning Ugolino, Earl of Pisa]
2407 Off the Erl Hugelyn of Pyze the langour
Of the anguish of Earl Ugolino of Pisa
2408 Ther may no tonge telle for pitee.
There can no tongue tell for pity.
2409 But litel out of Pize stant a tour,
But a little way out of Pisa stands a tower,
2410 In which tour in prisoun put was he,
In which tower in prison he was put,
2411 And with hym been his litel children thre;
And with him are his three little children;
2412 The eldest scarsly fyf yeer was of age.
The eldest was scarcely five years of age.
2413 Allas, Fortune, it was greet crueltee
Alas, Fortune, it was great cruelty
2414 Swiche briddes for to putte in swich a cage!
To put such birds in such a cage!
2415 Dampned was he to dyen in that prisoun,
He was damned to die in that prison,
2416 For Roger, which that bisshop was of Pize,
For Roger, who was bishop of Pisa,
2417 Hadde on hym maad a fals suggestioun,
Had on him made a false accusation,
2418 Thurgh which the peple gan upon hym rise
Through which the people did rise against him
2419 And putten hym to prisoun in swich wise
And put him into prison in such manner
2420 As ye han herd, and mete and drynke he hadde
As you have heard, and meat and drink he had
2421 So smal that wel unnethe it may suffise,
So small that it just barely can suffice,
2422 And therwithal it was ful povre and badde.
And in addition it was very poor and bad.
2423 And on a day bifil that in that hour
And on a day befell that in that hour
2424 Whan that his mete wont was to be broght,
When his meal was accustomed to be brought,
2425 The gayler shette the dores of the tour.
The jailer shut the doors of the tower.
2426 He herde it wel, but he spak right noght,
He heard it well, but he spoke absolutely nothing,
2427 And in his herte anon ther fil a thoght
And in his heart straightway there fell a thought
2428 That they for hunger wolde doon hym dyen.
That they for hunger would make him die.
2429 "Allas!" quod he, "Allas, that I was wroght!"
"Alas!" said he, "Alas, that I was wrought!"
2430 Therwith the teeris fillen from his yen.
Therewith the tears fell from his eyes.
2431 His yonge sone, that thre yeer was of age,
His young son, who was three years of age,
2432 Unto hym seyde, "Fader, why do ye wepe?
Unto him said, "Father, why do you weep?
2433 Whanne wol the gayler bryngen oure potage?
When will the jailer bring our soup?
2434 Is ther no morsel breed that ye do kepe?
Is there no morsel of bread that you do keep?
2435 I am so hungry that I may nat slepe.
I am so hungry that I can not sleep.
2436 Now wolde God that I myghte slepen evere!
Now would God that I might sleep forever!
2437 Thanne sholde nat hunger in my wombe crepe;
Then hunger should not creep in my belly;
2438 Ther is no thyng, but breed, that me were levere."
There is nothing, but food, that I would rather have."
2439 Thus day by day this child bigan to crye,
Thus day by day this child began to cry,
2440 Til in his fadres barm adoun it lay,
Until in his father's bosom down it lay,
2441 And seyde, "Farewel, fader, I moot dye!"
And said, "Farewell, father, I must die!"
2442 And kiste his fader, and dyde the same day.
And kissed his father, and died the same day.
2443 And whan the woful fader deed it say,
And when the woeful father saw him dead,
2444 For wo his armes two he gan to byte,
For woe his two arms he began to bite,
2445 And seyde, "Allas, Fortune, and weylaway!
And said, "Alas, Fortune, and woe oh woe!
2446 Thy false wheel my wo al may I wyte."
I can blame thy false wheel for all my woe."
2447 His children wende that it for hunger was
His children supposed that it was for hunger
2448 That he his armes gnow, and nat for wo,
That he gnawed on his arms, and not for woe,
2449 And seyde, "Fader, do nat so, allas!
And said, "Father, do not so, alas!
2450 But rather ete the flessh upon us two.
But rather eat the flesh upon us two.
2451 Oure flessh thou yaf us, take oure flessh us fro,
Our flesh thou gave us, take our flesh from us,
2452 And ete ynogh" -- right thus they to hym seyde,
And eat enough" -- right thus they to him said,
2453 And after that, withinne a day or two,
And after that, within a day or two,
2454 They leyde hem in his lappe adoun and deyde.
They laid themselves down in his lap and died.
2455 Hymself, despeired, eek for hunger starf;
Himself, despaired, also for hunger died;
2456 Thus ended is this myghty Erl of Pize.
Thus ended is this mighty Earl of Pisa.
2457 From heigh estaat Fortune awey hym carf.
From high estate Fortune cut him away.
2458 Of this tragedie it oghte ynough suffise;
Of this tragedy it ought enough suffice;
2459 Whoso wol here it in a lenger wise,
Whoever wants to hear it in a longer version,
2460 Redeth the grete poete of Ytaille
Read the great poet of Italy
2461 That highte Dant, for he kan al devyse
Who is called Dante, for he can all narrate
2462 Fro point to point; nat o word wol he faille.
In great detail; not one word will he lack.
2463 Although that Nero were as vicius
Although Nero was as vicious
2464 As any feend that lith ful lowe adoun,
As any fiend that lies very low down (in Hell),
2465 Yet he, as telleth us Swetonius,
Yet he, as Suetonius tells us,
2466 This wyde world hadde in subjeccioun,
Had this wide world in subjection,
2467 Bothe est and west, [south], and septemtrioun.
Both east and west, [south], and north.
2468 Of rubies, saphires, and of peerles white
Of rubies, sapphires, and of white pearls
2469 Were alle his clothes brouded up and doun,
Were all his clothes embroidered from head to toe,
2470 For he in gemmes greetly gan delite.
For he in gems greatly did delight.
2471 Moore delicaat, moore pompous of array,
More fond of luxury, more pompous in behavior,
2472 Moore proud was nevere emperour than he;
More proud than he was never emperor;
2473 That ilke clooth that he hadde wered o day,
That same clothing that he had worn one day,
2474 After that tyme he nolde it nevere see.
After that time he wanted never to see it.
2475 Nettes of gold threed hadde he greet plentee
Nets of gold thread had he in great plenty
2476 To fisshe in Tybre, whan hym liste pleye.
To fish in Tiber, when he wished to amuse himself.
2477 His lustes were al lawe in his decree,
His desires were all lawful in his legal code,
2478 For Fortune as his freend hym wolde obeye.
For Fortune as his friend would obey him.
2479 He Rome brende for his delicasie;
He burned Rome for his pleasure;
2480 The senatours he slow upon a day
The senators he slew upon one day
2481 To heere how that men wolde wepe and crie;
To hear how men would weep and cry;
2482 And slow his brother, and by his suster lay.
And slew his brother, and by his sister lay.
2483 His mooder made he in pitous array,
His mother he put in piteous situation,
2484 For he hire wombe slitte to biholde
For he slit her womb to behold
2485 Where he conceyved was -- so weilaway
Where he was conceived -- so woe oh woe
2486 That he so litel of his mooder tolde!
That he reckoned so little of his mother!
2487 No teere out of his eyen for that sighte
No tear out of his eyes for that sight
2488 Ne cam, but seyde, "A fair womman was she!"
Came, but he said, "A fair woman was she!"
2489 Greet wonder is how that he koude or myghte
Great wonder is how that he could or might
2490 Be domesman of hire dede beautee.
Be judge of her dead beauty.
2491 The wyn to bryngen hym comanded he,
He commanded that the wine be brought to him ,
2492 And drank anon -- noon oother wo he made.
And drank straightway -- no other mourning he made.
2493 Whan myght is joyned unto crueltee,
When might is joined unto cruelty,
2494 Allas, to depe wol the venym wade!
Alas, too deep will the venom go!
2495 In yowthe a maister hadde this emperour
In youth this emperor had a master
2496 To teche hym letterure and curteisye,
To teach him literature and courtesy,
2497 For of moralitee he was the flour,
For of morality he was the flower,
2498 As in his tyme, but if bookes lye;
In his time, unless books lie;
2499 And whil this maister hadde of hym maistrye,
And while this master had of him mastery,
2500 He maked hym so konnyng and so sowple
He made him so cunning and so humble
2501 That longe tyme it was er tirannye
That long time it was before tyranny
2502 Or any vice dorste on hym uncowple.
Or any vice dared unloose itself upon him.
2503 This Seneca, of which that I devyse,
This Seneca, of whom I tell,
2504 By cause Nero hadde of hym swich drede,
Because Nero had of him such dread,
2505 For he fro vices wolde hym ay chastise
For he would always chastise him from vices
2506 Discreetly, as by word and nat by dede --
Discreetly, as by word and not by deed --
2507 "Sire," wolde he seyn, "an emperour moot nede
"Sire," would he say, "an emperor must of necessity
2508 Be vertuous and hate tirannye --"
Be virtuous and hate tyranny --"
2509 For which he in a bath made hym to blede
For which he in a bath made him to bleed
2510 On bothe his armes, til he moste dye.
On both his arms, until he had to die.
2511 This Nero hadde eek of acustumaunce
This Nero had also the custom
2512 In youthe agayns his maister for to ryse,
In youth to rise in the presence of his master ,
2513 Which afterward hym thoughte a greet grevaunce;
Which afterward seemed to him a greet grievance;
2514 Therefore he made hym dyen in this wise.
Therefore he made him die in this manner.
2515 But natheless this Seneca the wise
But nonetheless this Seneca the wise
2516 Chees in a bath to dye in this manere
Chose in a bath to die in this manner
2517 Rather than han another tormentise;
Rather than have another form of torment;
2518 And thus hath Nero slayn his maister deere.
And thus has Nero slain his dear master.
2519 Now fil it so that Fortune liste no lenger
Now it happened that Fortune no longer desired
2520 The hye pryde of Nero to cherice,
The high pride of Nero to cherish,
2521 For though that he were strong, yet was she strenger.
For though he may be strong, yet was she stronger.
2522 She thoughte thus: "By God! I am to nyce
She thought thus: "By God! I am too foolish
2523 To sette a man that is fulfild of vice
To set a man that is filled full of vice
2524 In heigh degree, and emperour hym calle.
In high degree, and call him emperor.
2525 By God, out of his sete I wol hym trice;
By God, out of his throne I will snatch him;
2526 Whan he leest weneth, sonnest shal he falle."
When he least expects it, the most quickly shall he fall."
2527 The peple roos upon hym on a nyght
The people rose upon him on one night
2528 For his defaute, and whan he it espied,
For his wickedness, and when he espied it,
2529 Out of his dores anon he hath hym dight
Out of his doors right away he has hastened himself
2530 Allone, and ther he wende han been allied
Alone, and where he supposed to have been allied
2531 He knokked faste, and ay the moore he cried
He knocked fast, and always the more he cried
2532 The fastere shette they the dores alle.
The tighter they shut all the doors.
2533 Tho wiste he wel, he hadde himself mysgyed,
Then he knew well, he had himself deluded,
2534 And wente his wey; no lenger dorste he calle.
And went his way; no longer dared he call.
2535 The peple cried and rombled up and doun,
The people cried and made a tumult up and down,
2536 That with his erys herde he how they seyde,
That with his ears he heard how they said,
2537 "Where is this false tiraunt, this Neroun?"
"Where is this false tyrant, this Nero?"
2538 For fere almoost out of his wit he breyde,
For fear almost out of his wit he went,
2539 And to his goddes pitously he preyde
And to his gods pitiably he prayed
2540 For socour, but it myghte nat bityde.
For help, but it could not happen.
2541 For drede of this hym thoughte that he deyde,
For dread of this it seemed to him that he died,
2542 And ran into a gardyn hym to hyde.
And he ran into a garden to hide himself.
2543 And in this gardyn foond he cherles tweye
And in this garden found he two churls
2544 That seten by a fyr, greet and reed.
That sat by a fire, great and red.
2545 And to thise cherles two he gan to preye
And to these two churls he did pray
2546 To sleen hym and to girden of his heed,
To slay him and to strike off his head,
2547 That to his body, whan that he were deed,
So that to his body, when he was deed,
2548 Were no despit ydoon for his defame.
No insult was done for his ill fame.
2549 Hymself he slow, he koude no bettre reed,
Himself he slew, he knew no better course of action,
2550 Of which Fortune lough, and hadde a game.
About which Fortune laughed, and amused herself.
2551 Was nevere capitayn under a kyng
Was never captain under a king
2552 That regnes mo putte in subjeccioun,
That put more reigns in subjection,
2553 Ne strenger was in feeld of alle thyng,
Nor was stronger in all things concerning the field of battle,
2554 As in his tyme, ne gretter of renoun,
In his time, nor greater of renown,
2555 Ne moore pompous in heigh presumpcioun
Nor more arrogant in high presumption
2556 Than Oloferne, which Fortune ay kiste
Than Holofernes, whom Fortune always kissed
2557 So likerously, and ladde hym up and doun
So wantonly, and led him up and down
2558 Til that his heed was of, er that he wiste.
Until his head was off, before he knew it.
2559 Nat oonly that this world hadde hym in awe
Not only that this world had him in awe
2560 For lesynge of richesse or libertee,
For (fear of) loss of riches or liberty,
2561 But he made every man reneyen his lawe.
But he made every man renounce his religion.
2562 "Nabugodonosor was god," seyde hee;
"Nebuchadnezzar was god," said he;
2563 "Noon oother god sholde adoured bee."
"No other god should be adored."
2564 Agayns his heeste no wight dorst trespace,
Against his command no person dared trespass,
2565 Save in Bethulia, a strong citee,
Save in Bethulia, a strong city,
2566 Where Eliachim a preest was of that place.
Where Eliachim (Joachim) was a priest of that place.
2567 But taak kep of the deth of Oloferne:
But take heed of the death of Holofernes:
2568 Amydde his hoost he dronke lay a-nyght,
Amid his host he lay drunk at night,
2569 Withinne his tente, large as is a berne,
Within his tent, large as is a barn,
2570 And yet, for al his pompe and al his myght,
And yet, for all his pomp and all his might,
2571 Judith, a womman, as he lay upright
Judith, a woman, as he lay on his back
2572 Slepynge, his heed of smoot, and from his tente
Sleeping, smote off his head, and from his tent
2573 Ful pryvely she stal from every wight,
Very secretly she stole (away) from every person,
2574 And with his heed unto hir toun she wente.
And with his head unto her town she went.
De Rege Antiocho illustri
[Concerning the Famous King Antiochus]
2575 What nedeth it of kyng Anthiochus
What needs it of king Antiochus
2576 To telle his hye roial magestee,
To tell his high royal majesty,
2577 His hye pride, his werkes venymus?
His high pride, his venomous deeds?
2578 For swich another was ther noon as he.
For such another was there no one like him.
2579 Rede which that he was in Machabee,
Read who he was in Maccabees,
2580 And rede the proude wordes that he seyde,
And read the proud words that he said,
2581 And why he fil fro heigh prosperitee,
And why he fell from high prosperity,
2582 And in an hill how wrecchedly he deyde.
And on a hill how wretchedly he died.
2583 Fortune hym hadde enhaunced so in pride
Fortune had elevated him so in pride
2584 That verraily he wende he myghte attayne
That truly he supposed he might attain
2585 Unto the sterres upon every syde,
Unto the stars upon every side,
2586 And in balance weyen ech montayne,
And in a scales weigh each mountain,
2587 And alle the floodes of the see restrayne.
And all the floods of the sea restrain.
2588 And Goddes peple hadde he moost in hate;
And God's people had he most in hate;
2589 Hem wolde he sleen in torment and in payne,
Them he would slay in torment and in pain,
2590 Wenynge that God ne myghte his pride abate.
Supposing that God could not reduce his pride.
2591 And for that Nichanore and Thymothee
And because Nicanor and Timotheus
2592 Of Jewes weren venquysshed myghtily,
By Jews were vanquished completely,
2593 Unto the Jewes swich an hate hadde he
Unto the Jews such a hate had he
2594 That he bad greithen his chaar ful hastily,
That he ordered his chariot prepared very hastily,
2595 And swoor, and seyde ful despitously
And swore, and said very angrily
2596 Unto Jerusalem he wolde eftsoone
Unto Jerusalem he would (go) immediately
2597 To wreken his ire on it ful cruelly;
To wreak his ire on it very cruelly;
2598 But of his purpos he was let ful soone.
But of his purpose he was prevented very soon.
2599 God for his manace hym so soore smoot
God because of his threatening so sorely smote him
2600 With invisible wounde, ay incurable,
With invisible wound, ever incurable,
2601 That in his guttes carf it so and boot
That in his guts it carved so and bit
2602 That his peynes weren importable.
That his pains were intolerable.
2603 And certeinly the wreche was resonable,
And certainly the punishment was reasonable,
2604 For many a mannes guttes dide he peyne.
For many a man's gut did he pain.
2605 But from his purpos cursed and dampnable,
But from his cursed and damnable purpose,
2606 For al his smert, he wolde hym nat restreyne,
For all his pain, he would not restrain himself,
2607 But bad anon apparaillen his hoost;
But commanded straightway to prepare his host;
2608 And sodeynly, er he was of it war,
And suddenly, before he was aware of it,
2609 God daunted al his pride and al his boost.
God laid low all his pride and all his boast.
2610 For he so soore fil out of his char
For he so sorely fell out of his throne
2611 That it his limes and his skyn totar,
That it tore to pieces his limbs and his skin,
2612 So that he neyther myghte go ne ryde,
So that he might neither walk nor ride,
2613 But in a chayer men aboute hym bar,
But in a sedan chair men carried him about,
2614 Al forbrused, bothe bak and syde.
All badly bruised, both back and side.
2615 The wreche of God hym smoot so cruelly
The vengeance of God smote him so cruelly
2616 That thurgh his body wikked wormes crepte,
That through his body wicked worms crept,
2617 And therwithal he stank so horribly
And in addition to all that he stank so horribly
2618 That noon of al his meynee that hym kepte,
That no one of all his household that served him,
2619 Wheither so he wook or ellis slepte,
Whether he stayed awake or else slept,
2620 Ne myghte noght the stynk of hym endure.
Could not endure the stink of him.
2621 In this meschief he wayled and eek wepte,
In this affliction he wailed and also wept,
2622 And knew God lord of every creature.
And acknowledged God lord of every creature.
2623 To al his hoost and to hymself also
To all his host and to himself also
2624 Ful wlatsom was the stynk of his careyne;
Full loathsome was the stink of his decaying body;
2625 No man ne myghte hym bere to ne fro.
No man could bear him in any way.
2626 And in this stynk and this horrible peyne,
And in this stink and this horrible pain,
2627 He starf ful wrecchedly in a monteyne.
He died very wretchedly on a mountain.
2628 Thus hath this robbour and this homycide,
Thus has this robber and this homicide,
2629 That many a man made to wepe and pleyne,
That many a man made to weep and mourn,
2630 Swich gerdoun as bilongeth unto pryde.
Such reward as belongs to pride.
2631 The storie of Alisaundre is so commune
The history of Alexander is so commonly known
2632 That every wight that hath discrecioun
That every person who has good judgment
2633 Hath herd somwhat or al of his fortune.
Has heard something or all of his fortune.
2634 This wyde world, as in conclusioun,
This wide world, in the end,
2635 He wan by strengthe, or for his hye renoun
He won by strength, or for his high renown
2636 They weren glad for pees unto hym sende.
They were glad to send unto him (to sue) for peace .
2637 The pride of man and beest he leyde adoun,
The pride of man and beast he laid low,
2638 Wherso he cam, unto the worldes ende.
Wherever he came, unto the world's end.
2639 Comparisoun myghte nevere yet been maked
Comparison might never yet be made
2640 Bitwixe hym and another conquerour;
Between him and another conqueror;
2641 For al this world for drede of hym hath quaked.
For all this world for dread of him has trembled.
2642 He was of knyghthod and of fredom flour;
He was flower of knighthood and of nobility;
2643 Fortune hym made the heir of hire honour.
Fortune made him the heir of her honor.
2644 Save wyn and wommen, no thing myghte aswage
Save wine and women, no thing might assuage
2645 His hye entente in armes and labour,
His noble ambition in arms and struggles,
2646 So was he ful of leonyn corage.
So was he full of leonine courage.
2647 What pris were it to hym, though I yow tolde
What honor were it to him, though I you told
2648 Of Darius, and an hundred thousand mo
Of Darius, and a hundred thousand more
2649 Of kynges, princes, dukes, erles bolde
Of kings, princes, dukes, earls bold
2650 Whiche he conquered, and broghte hem into wo?
Whom he conquered, and brought them into woe?
2651 I seye, as fer as man may ryde or go,
I say, as far as man can ride or walk,
2652 The world was his -- what sholde I moore devyse?
The world was his -- what more should I tell?
2653 For though I write or tolde yow everemo
For though I should write or told you evermore
2654 Of his knyghthod, it myghte nat suffise.
About his knighthood, it could not suffice.
2655 Twelf yeer he regned, as seith Machabee.
Twelve years he reigned, as says Maccabees.
2656 Philippes sone of Macidoyne he was,
He was the son of Philip of Macedonia,
2657 That first was kyng in Grece the contree.
Who first was king in the country of Greece.
2658 O worthy, gentil Alisandre, allas,
O worthy, noble Alexander, alas,
2659 That evere sholde fallen swich a cas!
That ever should befall such a case!
2660 Empoysoned of thyn owene folk thou weere;
Thou were poisoned by thine own folk;
2661 Thy sys Fortune hath turned into aas,
Fortune has turned thy six [highest throw] into an ace [lowest],
2662 And for thee ne weep she never a teere.
And for thee she wept never a tear.
2663 Who shal me yeven teeris to compleyne
Who shall give me tears to complain
2664 The deeth of gentillesse and of franchise,
The death of nobility and of magnanimity,
2665 That al the world weelded in his demeyne,
Who all the world wielded in his control,
2666 And yet hym thoughte it myghte nat suffise?
And yet it seemed to him it might not suffice?
2667 So ful was his corage of heigh emprise.
So full was his disposition of high knightly prowess.
2668 Allas, who shal me helpe to endite
Alas, who shall me help to indict
2669 False Fortune, and poyson to despise,
False Fortune, and to despise poison,
2670 The whiche two of al this wo I wyte?
The which two for all this woe I blame?
De Julio Cesare
[Concerning Julius Caesar]
2671 By wisedom, manhede, and by greet labour,
By wisdom, manhood, and by great labor,
2672 From humble bed to roial magestee
From humble bed to royal majesty
2673 Up roos he Julius, the conquerour,
Up rose this Julius, the conqueror,
2674 That wan al th' occident by land and see,
That won all the west by land and sea,
2675 By strengthe of hand, or elles by tretee,
By strength of hand, or else by treaty,
2676 And unto Rome made hem tributarie;
And unto Rome made them tributary;
2677 And sitthe of Rome the emperour was he
And afterwards of Rome the emperor was he
2678 Til that Fortune weex his adversarie.
Until Fortune became his adversary.
2679 O myghty Cesar, that in Thessalie
O mighty Caesar, that in Thessaly
2680 Agayn Pompeus, fader thyn in lawe,
Against Pompey, thy father in law,
2681 That of the orient hadde al the chivalrie
Who of the east had all the dominion by conquest
2682 As fer as that the day bigynneth dawe,
As far as where the day begins to dawn,
2683 Thou thurgh thy knyghthod hast hem take and slawe,
Thou through thy knighthood hast them taken and slain,
2684 Save fewe folk that with Pompeus fledde,
Save for a few folk that fled with Pompey,
2685 Thurgh which thou puttest al th' orient in awe.
Through which thou puttest all the east in awe.
2686 Thanke Fortune, that so wel thee spedde!
Thank Fortune, that so well helped thee to succeed!
2687 But now a litel while I wol biwaille
But now for a little while I will bewail
2688 This Pompeus, this noble governour
This Pompey, this noble governor
2689 Of Rome, which that fleigh at this bataille.
Of Rome, who fled at this battle.
2690 I seye, oon of his men, a fals traitour,
I say, one of his men, a false traitor,
2691 His heed of smoot, to wynnen hym favour
His head off smote, to win himself favor
2692 Of Julius, and hym the heed he broghte.
Of Julius, and he brought him the head.
2693 Allas, Pompeye, of th' orient conquerour,
Alas, Pompey, of the east conqueror,
2694 That Fortune unto swich a fyn thee broghte!
That Fortune unto such an end thee brought!
2695 To Rome agayn repaireth Julius
To Rome again repairs Julius
2696 With his triumphe, lauriat ful hye;
With his triumphal procession, very nobly crowned with laurel;
2697 But on a tyme Brutus Cassius,
But on a time Brutus Cassius,
2698 That evere hadde of his hye estaat envye,
Who ever had envy of his high estate,
2699 Ful prively hath maad conspiracye
Full secretly has made conspiracy
2700 Agayns this Julius in subtil wise,
Against this Julius in a cunning manner,
2701 And caste the place in which he sholde dye
And planned the place in which he should die
2702 With boydekyns, as I shal yow devyse.
With daggers, as I shall tell you.
2703 This Julius to the Capitolie wente
This Julius to the Capitol went
2704 Upon a day, as he was wont to goon,
Upon one day, as he was accustomed to go,
2705 And in the Capitolie anon hym hente
And in the Capitol straightway seized him
2706 This false Brutus and his othere foon,
This false Brutus and his other foes,
2707 And stiked hym with boydekyns anoon
And stuck him with daggers straightway
2708 With many a wounde, and thus they lete hym lye;
With many a wound, and thus they let him lie;
2709 But nevere gronte he at no strook but oon,
But never groaned he at no stroke but one,
2710 Or elles at two, but if his storie lye.
Or else at two, unless his history lies.
2711 So manly was this Julius of herte,
So manly was this Julius of heart,
2712 And so wel lovede estaatly honestee,
And so well loved dignified decency,
2713 That though his deedly woundes soore smerte,
That though his deadly wounds sorely pained,
2714 His mantel over his hypes caste he,
His mantle over his hips cast he,
2715 For no man sholde seen his privetee;
So that no man should see his private parts;
2716 And as he lay of diyng in a traunce,
And as he lay a-dying in a trance,
2717 And wiste verraily that deed was hee,
And knew truly that he was dead,
2718 Of honestee yet hadde he remembraunce.
Of decency yet had he remembrance.
2719 Lucan, to thee this storie I recomende,
Lucan, to thee this history I commend,
2720 And to Swetoun, and to Valerius also,
And to Suetonius, and to Valerius also,
2721 That of this storie writen word and ende,
That of this history wrote beginning and end,
2722 How that to thise grete conqueroures two
How to these two great conquerors
2723 Fortune was first freend, and sitthe foo.
Fortune was first friend, and afterwards foe.
2724 No man ne truste upon hire favour longe,
Let no man trust upon her favor long,
2725 But have hire in awayt for everemoo;
But keep an eye on her for evermore;
2726 Witnesse on alle thise conqueroures stronge.
Take note of all these conquerors strong.
2727 This riche Cresus, whilom kyng of Lyde,
This rich Croesus, once king of Lydia,
2728 Of which Cresus Cirus soore hym dradde,
Of which Croesus Cyrus was sorely afraid,
2729 Yet was he caught amyddes al his pryde,
Yet was he caught amidst all his pride,
2730 And to be brent men to the fyr hym ladde.
And to be burned men led him to the fire.
2731 But swich a reyn doun fro the welkne shadde
But such a rain down from the sky poured
2732 That slow the fyr, and made hym to escape;
That killed the fire, and allowed him to escape;
2733 But to be war no grace yet he hadde,
But to be wary (of Fortune) no grace yet he had,
2734 Til Fortune on the galwes made hym gape.
Until Fortune on the gallows made him gape.
2735 Whanne he escaped was, he kan nat stente
When he had escaped, he can not stop
2736 For to bigynne a newe werre agayn.
Beginning a new war again.
2737 He wende wel, for that Fortune hym sente
He well believed, because Fortune sent him
2738 Swich hap that he escaped thurgh the rayn,
Such luck that he escaped by means of the rain,
2739 That of his foos he myghte nat be slayn;
That of his foes he could not be slain;
2740 And eek a sweven upon a nyght he mette,
And also a dream upon one night he dreamed,
2741 Of which he was so proud and eek so fayn
Of which he was so proud and also so pleased
2742 That in vengeance he al his herte sette.
That in vengeance he set all his heart.
2743 Upon a tree he was, as that hym thoughte,
Upon a tree he was, as it seemed to him,
2744 Ther Juppiter hym wessh, bothe bak and syde,
Where Jupiter washed him, both back and side,
2745 And Phebus eek a fair towaille hym broughte
And Phoebus also brought him a fair towel
2746 To dryen hym with; and therfore wax his pryde,
To dry himself with; and therefore his pride grew,
2747 And to his doghter, that stood hym bisyde,
And to his daughter, who stood him beside,
2748 Which that he knew in heigh sentence habounde,
Whom he knew to abound in good judgment,
2749 He bad hire telle hym what it signyfyde,
He bad her tell him what it signified,
2750 And she his dreem bigan right thus expounde:
And she began right thus to expound his dream:
2751 "The tree," quod she, "the galwes is to meene,
"The tree," said she, "is to signify the gallows,
2752 And Juppiter bitokneth snow and reyn,
And Jupiter betokens snow and rain,
2753 And Phebus, with his towaille so clene,
And Phoebus, with his towel so clean,
2754 Tho been the sonne stremes for to seyn.
Those are to say the sun beams.
2755 Thou shalt anhanged be, fader, certeyn;
Thou shalt be hanged, father, certainly;
2756 Reyn shal thee wasshe, and sonne shal thee drye."
Rain shall thee wash, and sun shall thee dry."
2757 Thus warned hym ful plat and ek ful pleyn
Thus warned him very bluntly and also very plainly
2758 His doghter, which that called was Phanye.
His daughter, who was called Phanye.
2759 Anhanged was Cresus, the proude kyng;
Hanged was Cresus, the proud king;
2760 His roial trone myghte hym nat availle.
His royal throne could not help him.
2761 Tragedies noon oother maner thyng
Tragedies no other sort of thing
2762 Ne kan in syngyng crie ne biwaille
Can in singing cry nor bewail (anything)
2763 But that Fortune alwey wole assaille
But that Fortune always will assail
2764 With unwar strook the regnes that been proude;
With unexpected stroke the reigns that are proud;
2765 For whan men trusteth hire, thanne wol she faille,
For when men trust her, then will she fail,
2766 And covere hire brighte face with a clowde.
And cover her bright face with a cloud.
[Here ends the Tragedy]
Heere stynteth the Knyght the Monk of his tale.
[Here the Knight interrupts the Monk's Tale.]
For the Host's interruption of the Monk go on to The Prologue of the Nun's Priest's Tale
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