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The Squire's Introduction and Tale

An Interlinear Translation

The Middle English text is from Larry D. Benson., Gen. ed., The Riverside Chaucer,
Houghton-Mifflin Company; used with permission of the publisher.

         

(How to use the interlinear translations.)

         


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

Introduction to The Squire's Tale

         

         

1         "Squier, com neer, if it youre wille be,
               "Squire, come nearer, if it be your will,
2         And sey somwhat of love, for certes ye
               And say something about love, for certainly you
3         Konnen theron as muche as any man."
               Know as much about that as any man."
4         "Nay, sire," quod he, "but I wol seye as I kan
               "Nay, sir," said he, "but I will speak as I can
5         With hertly wyl, for I wol nat rebelle
               With a hearty will, for I will not rebel
6         Agayn youre lust; a tale wol I telle.
               Against your desire; a tale I will tell.
7         Have me excused if I speke amys;
               Have me excused if I speak amiss;
8         My wyl is good, and lo, my tale is this."
               My will is good, and lo, my tale is this."

 


 

 

The Squire's Tale

Here bigynneth the Squieres Tale.

 

9           At Sarray, in the land of Tartarye,
               At Sarray, in the land of Tartars,
10         Ther dwelte a kyng that werreyed Russye,
               There dwelt a king who waged war on Russia,
11         Thurgh which ther dyde many a doughty man.
               Through which there died many a doughty man.
12         This noble kyng was cleped Cambyuskan,
               This noble king was called Cambyuskan,
13         Which in his tyme was of so greet renoun
               Who in his time was of such great renown
14         That ther was nowher in no regioun
               That there was nowhere in any region
15         So excellent a lord in alle thyng:
               So excellent a lord in all things:
16         Hym lakked noght that longeth to a kyng.
               He lacked nothing that is appropriate to a king.
17         As of the secte of which that he was born
               In accord with the religion in which he was born
18         He kepte his lay, to which that he was sworn;
               He kept its law, to which he was sworn;
19         And therto he was hardy, wys, and riche,
               And moreover he was hardy, wise, and rich,
20         And pitous and just, alwey yliche;
               And compassionate and just, always impartial;
21         Sooth of his word, benigne, and honurable;
               Truthful of his word, benign, and honorable;
22       Of his corage as any centre stable;
               Of his heart as stable as the center of any circle;
23         Yong, fressh, and strong, in armes desirous
               Young, vigorous, and strong, in arms as desirous (to excel)
24         As any bacheler of al his hous.
               As any young knight of all his household.
25         A fair persone he was and fortunat,
                He was a handsome person and fortunate,
26         And kept alwey so wel roial estat
               And always so well maintained the splendor appropriate to his rank
27         That ther was nowher swich another man.
               That there was nowhere such another man.

28         This noble kyng, this Tartre Cambyuskan,
               This noble king, this Tartar Cambyuskan,
29         Hadde two sones on Elpheta his wyf,
               Had two sons on Elpheta his wife,
30         Of whiche the eldeste highte Algarsyf;
               Of whom the eldest was called Algarsyf;
31         That oother sone was cleped Cambalo.
               That other son was called Cambalo.
32         A doghter hadde this worthy kyng also,
               A daughter had this worthy king also,
33         That yongest was, and highte Canacee.
               That youngest was, and was called Canacee.
34         But for to telle yow al hir beautee,
               But to tell you all her beauty,
35         It lyth nat in my tonge, n' yn my konnyng;
               It lies not in my tongue, nor in my abilities;
36         I dar nat undertake so heigh a thyng.
               I dare not undertake so high a thing.
37         Myn Englissh eek is insufficient.
               My English also is insufficient.
38         It moste been a rethor excellent
               He must be an excellent rhetorician
39         That koude his colours longynge for that art,
               Who knows his figures of speech appropriate to that art,
40         If he sholde hire discryven every part.
               If he should describe her in every detail.
41         I am noon swich, I moot speke as I kan.
               I am none such, I must speak as I can.

42         And so bifel that whan this Cambyuskan
               And it so befell that when this Cambyuskan
43         Hath twenty wynter born his diademe,
               Has twenty winters borne his diadem,
44         As he was wont fro yeer to yeer, I deme,
               As he was accustomed from year to year, I suppose,
45         He leet the feeste of his nativitee
               He had the feast of his nativity
46         Doon cryen thurghout Sarray his citee,
               Proclaimed throughout Sarray his city,
47         The laste Idus of March, after the yeer.
               Exactly March 15, in the ordinary course of the year.
48         Phebus the sonne ful joly was and cleer,
               Phoebus the sun full jolly was and clear,
49         For he was neigh his exaltacioun
               For he was near his position of greatest power
50         In Martes face and in his mansioun
               In Mars' face and in his astrological house
51         In Aries, the colerik hoote signe.
               In Aries, the choleric hot sign.
52         Ful lusty was the weder and benigne,
               Full pleasant was the weather and mild,
53         For which the foweles, agayn the sonne sheene,
               For which the fowls, in response to the bright sun,
54         What for the sesoun and the yonge grene,
               What for the season and the young greenery,
55         Ful loude songen hire affecciouns.
               Full loudly sang of their desires.
56         Hem semed han geten hem protecciouns
               They seemed to have gotten themselves protections
57         Agayn the swerd of wynter, keene and coold.
               Against the sword of winter, keen and cold.

58         This Cambyuskan, of which I have yow toold,
               This Cambyuskan, of whom I have you told,
59         In roial vestiment sit on his deys,
               In royal vestments sits on his dais,
60         With diademe, ful heighe in his paleys,
               With diadem, full nobly in his palace,
61         And halt his feeste so solempne and so ryche
               And holds his feast so solemn and so rich
62         That in this world ne was ther noon it lyche;
               That in this world there was none like it;
63         Of which if I shal tellen al th' array,
               Of which if I should tell all the festivities,
64         Thanne wolde it occupie a someres day,
               Then would it occupy a summer's day,
65         And eek it nedeth nat for to devyse
               And also it is not necessary to describe
66         At every cours the ordre of hire servyse.
               At every course the order of their service.
67         I wol nat tellen of hir strange sewes,
               I will not tell of their strange stews,
68         Ne of hir swannes, ne of hire heronsewes.
               Nor of their swans, nor of their young herons.
69         Eek in that lond, as tellen knyghtes olde,
               Also in that land, as old knights tell,
70         Ther is som mete that is ful deynte holde
               There is some food that is considered very delicious
71         That in this lond men recche of it but smal;
               That in this land is reckoned of but little value;
72         Ther nys no man that may reporten al.
               There is no man that can report all.
73         I wol nat taryen yow, for it is pryme
               I will not tarry you, for it is nine a.m.
74         And for it is no fruyt but los of tyme;
               And because it is not essential to the tale but a loss of time;
75         Unto my firste I wole have my recours.
               Unto my first topic I will return.

76         And so bifel that after the thridde cours,
               And so it befell that after the third course,
77         Whil that this kyng sit thus in his nobleye,
               While this king sits thus in his nobility,
78         Herknynge his mynstralles hir thynges pleye
               Listening to his minstrels playing their instruments
79         Biforn hym at the bord deliciously,
               Before him at the table delightfully,
80         In at the halle dore al sodeynly
               In at the hall door all suddenly
81         Ther cam a knyght upon a steede of bras,
               There came a knight upon a steed of brass,
82         And in his hand a brood mirour of glas.
               And in his hand a broad mirror of glass.
83         Upon his thombe he hadde of gold a ryng,
               Upon his thumb he had of gold a ring,
84         And by his syde a naked swerd hangyng;
               And by his side a naked sword hanging;
85         And up he rideth to the heighe bord.
               And up he rides to the high table.
86         In al the halle ne was ther spoken a word
               In all the hall there was not spoken a word
87         For merveille of this knyght; hym to biholde
               For marveling at this knight; him to behold
88         Ful bisily they wayten, yonge and olde.
               Full intently they gaze, young and old.

89         This strange knyght, that cam thus sodeynly,
               This strange knight, who came thus suddenly,
90         Al armed, save his heed, ful richely,
               All armed, except his head, full richly,
91         Saleweth kyng and queene and lordes alle,
               Salutes king and queen and all the lords,
92         By ordre, as they seten in the halle,
               In the order in which they sat in the hall,
93         With so heigh reverence and obeisaunce,
               With such high reverence and respect,
94         As wel in speche as in contenaunce,
               As well in speech as in countenance,
95         That Gawayn, with his olde curteisye,
               That Gawain, with his old courtesy,
96         Though he were comen ayeyn out of Fairye,
               Though he were come again out of Fairyland,
97         Ne koude hym nat amende with a word.
               Could not amend one word of his speech.
98         And after this, biforn the heighe bord,
               And after this, before the high table,
99         He with a manly voys seide his message,
               He with a manly voice said his message,
100       After the forme used in his langage,
               In accordance with the form used in his language,
101       Withouten vice of silable or of lettre;
               Without one mistake of syllable or of letter;
102       And for his tale sholde seme the bettre,
               And in order that his tale should seem the better,
103       Accordant to his wordes was his cheere,
               Conforming to his words was his facial expression,
104       As techeth art of speche hem that it leere.
               As teaches the art of speech to those who learn it.
105       Al be that I kan nat sowne his stile,
               Although I can not imitate his style,
106       Ne kan nat clymben over so heigh a style,
               Nor can not climb over so high a stile,
107       Yet seye I this, as to commune entente:
               Yet say I this, as to his general meaning:
108       Thus muche amounteth al that evere he mente,
               Thus much amounts all that ever he meant (to say),
109       If it so be that I have it in mynde.
               If it so be that I have it (correctly) in mind.

110       He seyde, "The kyng of Arabe and of Inde,
               He said, "The king of Araby and of India,
111       My lige lord, on this solempne day
               My liege lord, on this solemn day
112       Saleweth yow, as he best kan and may,
               Salutes you, as he best knows how and can,
113       And sendeth yow, in honour of youre feeste,
               And sends you, in honor of your feast,
114       By me, that am al redy at youre heeste,
               By me, who am all ready to obey your command,
115       This steede of bras, that esily and weel
               This steed of brass, that easily and well
116       Kan in the space of o day natureel --
               Can in the space of one natural day --
117       This is to seyn, in foure and twenty houres --
               This is to say, in four and twenty hours --
118       Wher-so yow lyst, in droghte or elles shoures,
               Where-ever you desire, in drought or else showers,
119       Beren youre body into every place
               Bear your body into every place
120       To which youre herte wilneth for to pace,
               To which your heart wishes to go,
121       Withouten wem of yow, thurgh foul or fair;
               Without harm to you, through foul or fair;
122       Or, if yow lyst to fleen as hye in the air
               Or, if you desire to fly as high in the air
123       As dooth an egle whan hym list to soore,
               As does an eagle when he desires to soar,
124       This same steede shal bere yow evere moore,
               This same steed shall bear you ever more,
125       Withouten harm, til ye be ther yow leste,
               Without harm, until you be where you wished,
126       Though that ye slepen on his bak or reste,
               Though you sleep or rest on his back,
127       And turne ayeyn with writhyng of a pyn.
               And return again with twisting of a peg.
128       He that it wroghte koude ful many a gyn.
               He who made it knew full many an ingenious contrivance.
129       He wayted many a constellacion
               He observed many a configuration of the stars
130       Er he had doon this operacion,
               Before he had finished this operation,
131       And knew ful many a seel and many a bond.
               And knew full many a magical seal and many a controlling force.

132       "This mirour eek, that I have in myn hond,
               "This mirror also, that I have in my hand,
133       Hath swich a myght that men may in it see
               Has such a power that men can in it see
134       Whan ther shal fallen any adversitee
               When there shall befall any adversity
135       Unto youre regne or to youreself also,
               Unto your reign or to yourself also,
136       And openly who is youre freend or foo.
               And clearly who is your friend or foe.

137       "And over al this, if any lady bright
               "And in addition to all this, if any fair lady
138       Hath set hire herte on any maner wight,
               Has set her heart on any sort of creature,
139       If he be fals, she shal his tresoun see,
               If he be false, she shall his treason see,
140       His newe love, and al his subtiltee,
               His new love, and all his trickery,
141       So openly that ther shal no thyng hyde.
               So clearly that there shall no thing be hidden.
142       Wherfore, ageyn this lusty someres tyde,
               For this reason, (to protect) against this amorous spring time,
143       This mirour and this ryng, that ye may see,
               This mirror and this ring, that you can see,
144       He hath sent to my lady Canacee,
               He has sent to my lady Canacee,
145       Youre excellente doghter that is heere.
               Your excellent daughter that is here.

146       "The vertu of the ryng, if ye wol heere,
               "The power of the ring, if you will hear,
147       Is this: that if hire lust it for to were
               Is this: that if she wishes to wear it
148       Upon hir thombe or in hir purs it bere,
               Upon her thumb or bear it in her purse,
149       Ther is no fowel that fleeth under the hevene
               There is no fowl that flies under the heaven
150       That she ne shal wel understonde his stevene,
               That she shall not well understand his speech,
151       And knowe his menyng openly and pleyn,
               And know his meaning openly and plain,
152       And answere hym in his langage ageyn;
               And answer him in his language in reply;
153       And every gras that groweth upon roote
               And every herb that grows upon root
154       She shal eek knowe, and whom it wol do boote,
               She shall also know, and to whom it will provide a remedy,
155       Al be his woundes never so depe and wyde.
               Although his wounds be ever so deep and wide.

156       "This naked swerd, that hangeth by my syde,
               "This naked sword, that hangs by my side,
157       Swich vertu hath that what man so ye smyte
               Such power has that whatever man you smite
158       Thurghout his armure it wole kerve and byte,
               Throughout his armor it will carve and bite,
159       Were it as thikke as is a branched ook;
               Were it as thick as is a branched oak;
160       And what man that is wounded with the strook
               And whatever man that is wounded by the stroke
161       Shal never be hool til that yow list, of grace,
               Shall never be whole until you please, out of kindness,
162       To stroke hym with the plat in thilke place
               To stroke him with the flat side in that same place
163       Ther he is hurt; this is as muche to seyn,
               Where he is hurt; this is as much to say,
164       Ye moote with the platte swerd ageyn
               You must with the blunt side of the sword again
165       Stroke hym in the wounde, and it wol close.
               Stroke him in the wound, and it will close.
166       This is a verray sooth, withouten glose;
               This is a very truth, without lying;
167       It failleth nat whils it is in youre hoold."
               It fails not while it is in your possesion."

168       And whan this knyght hath thus his tale toold,
               And when this knight has thus his tale told,
169       He rideth out of halle and doun he lighte.
               He rides out of hall and down he alit.
170       His steede, which that shoon as sonne brighte,
               His steed, which shone like the bright sun,
171       Stant in the court, stille as any stoon.
               Stands in the court, still as any stone.
172       This knyght is to his chambre lad anoon,
               This knight is to his chamber led straightway,
173       And is unarmed, and to mete yset.
               And is unarmed, and set to dinner.

174       The presentes been ful roially yfet --
               The presents are full royally fetched --
175       This is to seyn, the swerd and the mirour --
               This is to say, the sword and the mirror --
176       And born anon into the heighe tour
               And carried straightway into the high tower
177       With certeine officers ordeyned therfore;
               By certain officers appointed for this purpose;
178       And unto Canacee this ryng is bore
               And unto Canacee this ring is carried
179       Solempnely, ther she sit at the table.
               Solemnly, where she sits at the table.
180       But sikerly, withouten any fable,
               But truly, without any lie,
181       The hors of bras, that may nat be remewed,
               The horse of brass, that can not be moved,
182       It stant as it were to the ground yglewed.
               It stands as if it were glued to the ground.
183       Ther may no man out of the place it dryve
               No man there can drive it out of the place
184       For noon engyn of wyndas or polyve;
               Despite any contrivance of windlass or pulley;
185       And cause why? For they kan nat the craft.
               And the reason why? Because they do not know the craft.
186       And therfore in the place they han it laft
               And therefore in the place they have it left
187       Til that the knyght hath taught hem the manere
               Until the knight has taught them the manner
188       To voyden hym, as ye shal after heere.
               To remove him, as you shall later hear.

189       Greet was the prees that swarmeth to and fro
               Great was the crowd that swarms to and fro
190       To gauren on this hors that stondeth so,
               To stare on this horse that stands so,
191       For it so heigh was, and so brood and long,
               For it was so high, and so broad and long,
192       So wel proporcioned for to been strong,
               So well proportioned to be strong,
193       Right as it were a steede of Lumbardye;
               Exactly as if it were a steed of Lombardy;
194       Therwith so horsly, and so quyk of ye,
               In additon, with such equine virtues, and so quick of eye,
195       As it a gentil Poilleys courser were.
               As if it were a noble Apulian courser.
196       For certes, fro his tayl unto his ere
               For certainly, from his tail unto his ear
197       Nature ne art ne koude hym nat amende
               Nature nor art could him not amend
198       In no degree, as al the people wende.
               To any extent, as all the people believed.
199       But everemoore hir mooste wonder was
               But evermore their greatest wonder was
200       How that it koude gon, and was of bras;
               How it could move, and yet was of brass;
201       It was a fairye, as the peple semed.
               It was from fairyland, as it seemed to the people.
202       Diverse folk diversely they demed;
               Diverse folk diversely they deemed;
203       As many heddes, as manye wittes ther been.
               As many heads, as many opinions there are.
204       They murmureden as dooth a swarm of been,
               They murmured as does a swarm of bees,
205       And maden skiles after hir fantasies,
               And made arguments according to their fantasies,
206       Rehersynge of thise olde poetries,
               Retelling these old poems,
207       And seyden it was lyk the Pegasee,
               And said it was like the Pegasus,
208       The hors that hadde wynges for to flee;
               The hors that had wings in order to fly;
209       Or elles it was the Grekes hors Synon,
               Or else it was Sinon the Greek's horse,
210       That broghte Troie to destruccion,
               That brought Troy to destruction,
211       As men in thise olde geestes rede.
               As men in these old romances read.
212       "Myn herte," quod oon, "is everemoore in drede;
               "My heart," said one, "is evermore in dread;
213       I trowe som men of armes been therinne,
               I believe some men of arms are in there,
214       That shapen hem this citee for to wynne.
               That prepare themselves to conquer this city.
215       It were right good that al swich thyng were knowe."
               It would be very good if all such things were known."
216       Another rowned to his felawe lowe,
               Another whispered to his fellow quietly,
217       And seyde, "He lyeth, for it is rather lyk
               And said, "He lies, for it is rather like
218       An apparence ymaad by som magyk,
               An illusion made by some magic,
219       As jogelours pleyen at thise feestes grete."
               Such as conjurers play at these great feasts."
220       Of sondry doutes thus they jangle and trete,
               Of various conjectures thus they chatter and debate,
221       As lewed peple demeth comunly
               As ignorant people speculate commonly
222       Of thynges that been maad moore subtilly
               Of things that are made more subtly
223       Than they kan in hir lewednesse comprehende;
               Than they in their ignorance can comprehend;
224       They demen gladly to the badder ende.
               They habitually suppose the worse.

225       And somme of hem wondred on the mirour,
               And some of them wondered about the mirror,
226       That born was up into the maister-tour,
               That was carried up into the principal tower,
227       Hou men myghte in it swiche thynges se.
               How men might in it see such things.
228       Another answerde and seyde it myghte wel be
               Another answered and said it might well be
229       Naturelly, by composiciouns
               Naturally, by arrangements
230       Of anglis and of slye reflexiouns,
               Of angles and of ingenious reflections,
231       And seyde that in Rome was swich oon.
               And said that in Rome was such a one.
232       They speken of Alocen, and Vitulon,
               They speak of Alocen, and Vitulon,
233       And Aristotle, that writen in hir lyves
               And Aristotle, that wrote while they lived
234       Of queynte mirours and of perspectives,
               Of intricate mirrors and of optical lenses,
235       As knowen they that han hir bookes herd.
               As know they who have heard their books (read aloud).

236       And oother folk han wondred on the swerd
               And other folk have wondered on the sword
237       That wolde percen thurghout every thyng,
               That would pierce throughout every thing,
238       And fille in speche of Thelophus the kyng,
               And fell in speech of Thelophus the king,
239       And of Achilles with his queynte spere,
               And of Achilles with his magical spear,
240       For he koude with it bothe heele and dere,
               For he could with it both heal and harm,
241       Right in swich wise as men may with the swerd
               Exactly in such a way as men may do with the sword
242       Of which right now ye han youreselven herd.
               Of which right now you have yourselves heard.
243       They speken of sondry hardyng of metal,
               They speak of various ways of hardening of metal,
244       And speke of medicynes therwithal,
               And speak of chemicals moreover,
245       And how and whanne it sholde yharded be,
               And how and when it should be hardened,
246       Which is unknowe, algates unto me.
               Which is unknown, at least unto me.

247       Tho speeke they of Canacees ryng,
               Then they speak of Canacee's ring,
248       And seyden alle that swich a wonder thyng
               And all said that such a wondrous thing
249       Of craft of rynges herde they nevere noon,
               Of the craft of making rings they never heard anything,
250       Save that he Moyses and kyng Salomon
               Save that he Moses and king Solomon
251       Hadde a name of konnyng in swich art.
               Had a reputation for cunning in such art.
252       Thus seyn the peple and drawen hem apart.
               Thus say the people and draw themselves aside.
253       But nathelees somme seiden that it was
               But nonetheless some said that it was
254       Wonder to maken of fern-asshen glas,
               Wondrous to make glass out of ashes of fern,
255       And yet nys glas nat lyk asshen of fern;
               And yet glass is not like ashes of fern;
256       But, for they han yknowen it so fern,
               But, because they have known it so long,
257       Therfore cesseth hir janglyng and hir wonder.
               Therefore ceases their chattering and their wonder.
258       As soore wondren somme on cause of thonder,
               As intensely some wonder about the cause of thunder,
259       On ebbe, on flood, on gossomer, and on myst,
               About ebb tide, about flood tide, about spider webs, and about mist,
260       And alle thyng, til that the cause is wyst.
               And all things, until the cause is known.
261       Thus jangle they, and demen, and devyse
               Thus they chatter, and conjecture, and speculate
262       Til that the kyng gan fro the bord aryse.
               Until the king did from the table arise.

263       Phebus hath laft the angle meridional,
               Phebus (the sun) has left the noon-time angle,
264       And yet ascendynge was the beest roial,
               And yet ascending was the beast royal,
265       The gentil Leon, with his Aldiran,
               The noble Lion, with his star Aldiran,
266       Whan that this Tartre kyng, Cambyuskan,
               When this Tarter king, Cambyuskan,
267       Roos fro his bord, ther as he sat ful hye.
               Rose from his table, where he sat full high.
268       Toforn hym gooth the loude mynstralcye
               Before him goes the loud music
269       Til he cam to his chambre of parementz,
               Until he came to his chamber of tapestries (Presence Chamber),
270       Ther as they sownen diverse instrumentz
               Where they sound diverse instruments
271       That it is lyk an hevene for to heere.
               That it is like a heaven to hear.
272       Now dauncen lusty Venus children deere,
               Now dance lusty Venus's children dear,
273       For in the Fyssh hir lady sat ful hye,
               For in the Fish (Pisces) their lady sat full high,
274       And looketh on hem with a freendly ye.
               And looks on them with a friendly eye.

275       This noble kyng is set upon his trone.
               This noble king is set upon his throne.
276       This strange knyght is fet to hym ful soone,
               This foreign knight is fetched to him right away,
277       And on the daunce he gooth with Canacee.
               And on the dance he goes with Canacee.
278       Heere is the revel and the jolitee
               Here is the revel and the jollity
279       That is nat able a dul man to devyse.
               That a dull-witted man is not able to describe.
280       He moste han knowen love and his servyse
               He must have known love and its service
281       And been a feestlych man as fressh as May,
               And be a convivial man as gay as May,
282       That sholde yow devysen swich array.
               That should describe for you such splendor.

283       Who koude telle yow the forme of daunces
               Who could tell you the form of dances
284       So unkouthe, and swiche fresshe contenaunces,
               So strange, and such cheerful countenances,
285       Swich subtil lookyng and dissymulynges
               Such subtle looking and dissimulations
286       For drede of jalouse mennes aperceyvynges?
               For dread of jealous men's perceptions?
287       No man but Launcelot, and he is deed.
               No man but Launcelot, and he is dead.
288       Therfore I passe of al this lustiheed;
               Therefore I pass over all this pleasure;
289       I sey namoore, but in this jolynesse
               I say no more, but in this jollity
290       I lete hem til men to the soper dresse.
               I leave them until people go to the supper.

291       The styward bit the spices for to hye,
               The steward ordered the spiced cakes to be brought quickly,
292       And eek the wyn, in al this melodye.
               And also the wine, amid all this music.
293       The usshers and the squiers been ygoon,
               The ushers and the squires are gone,
294       The spices and the wyn is come anoon.
               The spiced cakes and the wine are come quickly.
295       They ete and drynke, and whan this hadde an ende,
               They eat and drink, and when this had an end,
296       Unto the temple, as reson was, they wende.
               Unto the temple, as was reasonable, they wend.
297       The service doon, they soupen al by day.
               The service done, they sup all day long.
298       What nedeth yow rehercen hire array?
               What need is there to tell you their splendor?
299       Ech man woot wel that a kynges feeste
               Each man knows well that a king's feast
300       Hath plentee to the meeste and to the leeste,
               Has plenty for the highest ranks and for the lowest,
301       And deyntees mo than been in my knowyng.
               And dainties more than are in my knowing.
302       At after-soper gooth this noble kyng
               At after-supper goes this noble king
303       To seen this hors of bras, with al a route
               To see this horse of brass, with all in a crowd
304       Of lordes and of ladyes hym aboute.
               Of lords and of ladies about him.

305       Swich wondryng was ther on this hors of bras
               Such wondering was there about this horse of brass
306       That syn the grete sege of Troie was,
               That since the great siege of Troy was,
307       Theras men wondreden on an hors also,
               Where men wondered about a horse also,
308       Ne was ther swich a wondryng as was tho.
               Nor was there such a wondering as was then.
309       But fynally the kyng axeth this knyght
               But finally the king asks this knight
310       The vertu of this courser and the myght,
               About the power of this courser and the might,
311       And preyde hym to telle his governaunce.
               And prayed him to tell how to control him.

312       This hors anoon bigan to trippe and daunce,
               This horse at once began to trip and dance,
313       Whan that this knyght leyde hand upon his reyne,
               When this knight laid hand upon his rein,
314       And seyde, "Sire, ther is namoore to seyne,
               And said, "Sir, there is no more to say,
315       But, whan yow list to ryden anywhere,
               But, when you desire to ride anywhere,
316       Ye mooten trille a pyn, stant in his ere,
               You must turn a peg, which stands in his ear,
317       Which I shal yow telle bitwix us two.
               Which I shall you tell between us two(secretly).
318       Ye moote nempne hym to what place also,
               You must name him to what place also,
319       Or to what contree, that yow list to ryde.
               Or to what country, that you want to ride.
320       And whan ye come ther as yow list abyde,
               And when you come where you desire to abide,
321       Bidde hym descende, and trille another pyn,
               Bid him descend, and turn another peg,
322       For therin lith th' effect of al the gyn,
               For therein lies the essence of working the device,
323       And he wol doun descende and doon youre wille,
               And he will down descend and do your will,
324       And in that place he wol abyde stille.
               And in that place he will abide still.
325       Though al the world the contrarie hadde yswore,
               Though all the world the contrary had sworn,
326       He shal nat thennes been ydrawe ne ybore.
               He shall not thence be drawn nor carried away.
327       Or, if yow liste bidde hym thennes goon,
               Or, if you wish to bid him go thence,
328       Trille this pyn, and he wol vanysshe anoon
               Turn this peg, and he will vanish at once
329       Out of the sighte of every maner wight,
               Out of the sight of every sort of creature,
330       And come agayn, be it by day or nyght,
               And come again, be it by day or night,
331       Whan that yow list to clepen hym ageyn
               When you wish to call him again
332       In swich a gyse as I shal to yow seyn
               In such a manner as I shall to you say
333       Bitwixe yow and me, and that ful soone.
               Between you and me, and that very soon.
334       Ride whan yow list; ther is namoore to doone."
               Ride when you wish; there is nothing more to do."

335       Enformed whan the kyng was of that knyght,
               When the king was informed by that knight,
336       And hath conceyved in his wit aright
               And has correctly understood
337       The manere and the forme of al this thyng,
               The manner and the form of all this matter,
338       Ful glad and blithe, this noble doughty kyng
               Full glad and blithe, this noble doughty king
339       Repeireth to his revel as biforn.
               Returns to his revel as before.
340       The brydel is unto the tour yborn
               The bridle is carried unto the tower
341       And kept among his jueles leeve and deere.
               And kept among his jewels precious and dear.
342       The hors vanysshed, I noot in what manere,
               The horse vanished, I know not in what manner,
343       Out of hir sighte; ye gete namoore of me.
               Out of their sight; you get no more from me.
344       But thus I lete in lust and jolitee
               But thus I leave in pleasure and jollity
345       This Cambyuskan his lordes festeiynge
               This Cambyuskan entertaining his lords
346       Til wel ny the day bigan to sprynge.
               Until well nigh the day began to spring.

 

Explicit prima pars.
        [The first part ends.]
Sequitur pars secunda.
        [The second part follows.]

 

347       The norice of digestioun, the sleep,
               The nurse of digestion, the sleep,
348       Gan on hem wynke and bad hem taken keep
               Did on them wink (as a signal) and bad them take notice
349       That muchel drynke and labour wolde han reste;
               That much drink and activity make rest necessary;
350       And with a galpyng mouth hem alle he keste,
               And with a yawning mouth he kissed them all,
351       And seyde that it was tyme to lye adoun,
               And said that it was time to lie down,
352       For blood was in his domynacioun.
               For blood (the humor) was in its domination.
353       "Cherisseth blood, natures freend," quod he.
               "Cherish blood, nature's friend," said he.
354       They thanken hym galpynge, by two, by thre,
               They thank him yawning, by two, by three,
355       And every wight gan drawe hym to his reste,
               And every creature did draw himself to his rest,
356       As sleep hem bad; they tooke it for the beste.
               As sleep them bad; they took it for the best.

357       Hire dremes shul nat now been toold for me;
               Their dreams shall not now be told for me;
358       Ful were hire heddes of fumositee,
               Their heads were full of fumes from drinking wine,
359       That causeth dreem of which ther nys no charge.
               That causes dreams of which there is no significance.
360       They slepen til that it was pryme large,
               They sleep until it was nine a.m.,
361       The mooste part, but it were Canacee.
               The most part, except for Canacee.
362       She was ful mesurable, as wommen be;
               She was very temperate, as women are;
363       For of hir fader hadde she take leve
               For of her father had she taken leave
364       To goon to reste soone after it was eve.
               To go to rest soon after it was evening.
365       Hir liste nat appalled for to be,
               She did not wish to be grown pale,
366       Ne on the morwe unfeestlich for to se,
               Nor in the morning to appear unfestive,
367       And slepte hire firste sleep, and thanne awook.
               And slept her first sleep, and then awoke.
368       For swich a joye she in hir herte took
               For such a joy she in her heart took
369       Bothe of hir queynte ryng and hire mirour,
               Both of her strange ring and her mirror,
370       That twenty tyme she changed hir colour;
               That twenty times she changed her color;
371       And in hire sleep, right for impressioun
               And in her sleep, directly because of the mental impression
372       Of hire mirour, she hadde a visioun.
               Made by her mirror, she had a vision.
373       Wherfore, er that the sonne gan up glyde,
               Therefore, before the sun did glide upward,
374       She cleped on hir maistresse hire bisyde,
               She called on her governess who was beside her,
375       And seyde that hire liste for to ryse.
               And said that she wished to rise.

376       Thise olde wommen that been gladly wyse,
               These old women who are customarily wise,
377       As is hire maistresse, answerde hire anon,
               As is her governess, answered her at once,
378       And seyde, "Madame, whider wil ye goon
               And said, "Madame, whither do you wish to go
379       Thus erly, for the folk been alle on reste?"
               Thus early, for the folk are all in bed?"

380       "I wol," quod she, "arise, for me leste
               "I want," said she, "to arise -- for I desire
381       Ne lenger for to slepe, and walke aboute."
               No longer to sleep -- and walk about."

382       Hire maistresse clepeth wommen a greet route,
               Her governess calls a great crowd of women,
383       And up they rysen, wel a ten or twelve;
               And up they rise, a good ten or twelve;
384       Up riseth fresshe Canacee hireselve,
               Up rises fresh Canacee herself,
385       As rody and bright as dooth the yonge sonne,
               As ruddy and bright(ly shining) as does the young sun,
386       That in the Ram is foure degrees up ronne --
               That in the Ram is four degrees up run --
387       Noon hyer was he whan she redy was --
               No higher was he when she was ready --
388       And forth she walketh esily a pas,
               And forth she walks at an easy pace,
389       Arrayed after the lusty seson soote
               Clothed, in accord with the lusty season sweet,
390       Lightly, for to pleye and walke on foote,
               Lightly, to amuse herself and walk on foot,
391       Nat but with fyve or sixe of hir meynee;
               With no more than five or six of her entourage;
392       And in a trench forth in the park gooth she.
               And in a path forth in the park goes she.

393       The vapour which that fro the erthe glood
               The vapor that glided up from the earth
394       Made the sonne to seme rody and brood;
               Made the sun seem ruddy and broad;
395       But nathelees it was so fair a sighte
               But nonetheless it was so fair a sight
396       That it made alle hire hertes for to lighte,
               That it made all their hearts to lighten,
397       What for the seson and the morwenynge,
               What for the season and the dawning,
398       And for the foweles that she herde synge.
               And for the fowls that she heard sing.
399       For right anon she wiste what they mente
               For right away she knew what they meant
400       Right by hir song, and knew al hire entente.
               Exactly by their song, and knew all their meaning.

401       The knotte why that every tale is toold,
               The main point for which every tale is told,
402       If it be taried til that lust be coold
               If it is delayed until the desire (to hear it) is cold
403       Of hem that han it after herkned yoore,
               Of those who have listened to it for a long time,
404       The savour passeth ever lenger the moore,
               The taste (for it) passes away more and more,
405       For fulsomnesse of his prolixitee;
               Because of the overabundance of its prolixity;
406       And by the same resoun, thynketh me,
               And by the same reason, it seems to me,
407       I sholde to the knotte condescende,
               I should proceed to the main point,
408       And maken of hir walkyng soone an ende.
               And quickly put an end to her walking.

409       Amydde a tree, for drye as whit as chalk,
               In a tree, for dryness as white as chalk,
410       As Canacee was pleyyng in hir walk,
               As Canacee was amusing herself in her walk,
411       Ther sat a faucon over hire heed ful hye,
               There sat a falcon over her head full high,
412       That with a pitous voys so gan to crye
               That with a pitiful voice so did cry
413       That all the wode resouned of hire cry.
               That all the wood resounded with her cry.
414       Ybeten hadde she hirself so pitously
               She had beaten herself so pitifully
415       With bothe hir wynges til the rede blood
               With both her wings until the red blood
416       Ran endelong the tree ther-as she stood.
               Ran down the length of the tree in which she stood.
417       And evere in oon she cryde alwey and shrighte,
               And continually she cried always and shrieked,
418       And with hir beek hirselven so she prighte
               And with her beak herself she so stabbed
419       That ther nys tygre, ne noon so crueel beest
               That there is no tiger, nor any beast so cruel
420       That dwelleth outher in wode or in forest,
               That dwells either in wood or in forest,
421       That nolde han wept, if that he wepe koude,
               That would not have wept, if he could weep,
422       For sorwe of hire, she shrighte alwey so loude.
               For sorrow of her, she shrieked always so loud.
423       For ther nas nevere yet no man on lyve,
               For there was never yet no man alive,
424       If that I koude a faucon wel discryve,
               If I could well describe a falcon,
425       That herde of swich another of fairnesse,
               That heard of its equal in beauty,
426       As wel of plumage as of gentillesse
               As well in plumage as in nobility
427       Of shap, of al that myghte yrekened be.
               In shape, in all that might reckoned be.
428       A faucon peregryn thanne semed she
               A peregrine falcon then seemed she
429       Of fremde land; and everemoore, as she stood,
               From foreign land; and repeatedly, as she stood,
430       She swowneth now and now for lak of blood,
               She swoons every now and then for lack of blood,
431       Til wel neigh is she fallen fro the tree.
               Until well nigh is she fallen from the tree.

432       This faire kynges doghter, Canacee,
               This fair king's daughter, Canacee,
433       That on hir fynger baar the queynte ryng,
               That on her finger bore the strange ring,
434       Thurgh which she understood wel every thyng
               Through which she well understood every thing
435       That any fowel may in his leden seyn,
               That any fowl may in his language say,
436       And koude answeren hym in his ledene ageyn,
               And could answer him in his language in return,
437       Hath understonde what this faucon seyde,
               Has understood what this falcon said,
438       And wel neigh for the routhe almoost she deyde.
               And well nigh for the pity she almost died.
439       And to the tree she gooth ful hastily,
               And to the tree she goes full hastily,
440       And on this faukon looketh pitously,
               And on this falcon looks compassionately,
441       And heeld hir lappe abrood, for wel she wiste
               And spread wide her skirt, for well she knew
442       The faukon moste fallen fro the twiste,
               The falcon must fall from the branch,
443       Whan that it swowned next, for lak of blood.
               When it swooned next, for lack of blood.
444       A longe whil to wayten hire she stood
               A long while to await her she stood
445       Til atte laste she spak in this manere
               Until at the last she spoke in this manner
446       Unto the hauk, as ye shal after heere:
               Unto the hawk, as you shall after hear:

447       "What is the cause, if it be for to telle,
               "What is the cause, if it may be told,
448       That ye be in this furial pyne of helle?"
               That you be in this pain such as the Furies suffer in hell?"
449       Quod Canacee unto this hauk above.
               Said Canacee unto this hawk above.
450       "Is this for sorwe of deeth or los of love?
               "Is this for sorrow of death or loss of love?
451       For, as I trowe, thise been causes two
               For, as I believe, these are the two causes
452       That causen moost a gentil herte wo;
               That most cause woe to a gentle heart;
453       Of oother harm it nedeth nat to speke.
               Of other harm there is no need to speak.
454       For ye youreself upon yourself yow wreke,
               For you avenge yourself upon yourself,
455       Which proveth wel that outher ire or drede
               Which proves well that either anger or fear
456       Moot been enchesoun of youre cruel dede,
               Must be the reason for your cruel deed,
457       Syn that I see noon oother wight yow chace.
               Since I see no other creature hunt you.
458       For love of God, as dooth youreselven grace,
               For love of God, spare yourself,
459       Or what may been youre help? For west nor est
               Or what can be your help? For west nor east
460       Ne saugh I nevere er now no bryd ne beest
                I saw never ere now no bird nor beast
461       That ferde with hymself so pitously.
                That treated himself so piteously.
462       Ye sle me with youre sorwe verraily,
                You slay me with your sorrow truly,
463       I have of yow so greet compassioun.
                I have of you such great compassion.
464       For Goddes love, com fro the tree adoun;
                For God's love, come down from the tree;
465       And as I am a kynges doghter trewe,
                And as I am a king's daughter true,
466       If that I verraily the cause knewe
                If that I truly knew the cause
467       Of youre disese, if it lay in my myght,
                Of your malady, if it lay in my power,
468       I wolde amenden it er that it were nyght,
                I would amend it ere it were night,
469       As wisly helpe me grete God of kynde!
                So help me great God of nature!
470       And herbes shal I right ynowe yfynde
                And herbs shall I in abundance find
471       To heel with youre hurtes hastily."
                With which to heal your hurts quickly."

472       Tho shrighte this faucon yet moore pitously
                Then shrieked this falcon yet more pitifully
473       Than ever she dide, and fil to grounde anon,
                Than ever she did, and fell to ground straightway,
474       And lith aswowne, deed and lyk a stoon,
                And lies in a swoon, dead and like a stone,
475       Til Canacee hath in hire lappe hire take
                Until Canacee has in her lap her taken
476       Unto the tyme she gan of swough awake.
                Until the time she awoke from the swoon.
477       And after that she of hir swough gan breyde,
                And after she started up from her swoon,
478       Right in hir haukes ledene thus she seyde:
                Right in her hawk's language thus she said:
479       "That pitee renneth soone in gentil herte,
                "That pity runs soon in a gentle heart,
480       Feelynge his similitude in peynes smerte,
                Feeling its counterpart in sharp pains,
481       Is preved alday, as men may it see,
                Is proven every day, as men may it see,
482       As wel by werk as by auctoritee;
                As well by deeds as by written authority;
483       For gentil herte kitheth gentillesse.
                For a gentle heart makes known its noble character.
484       I se wel that ye han of my distresse
                I see well that you have of my distress
485       Compassion, my faire Canacee,
                Compassion, my faire Canacee,
486       Of verray wommanly benignytee
                Out of true womanly goodness
487       That Nature in youre principles hath set.
                That Nature in your natural disposition has set.
488       But for noon hope for to fare the bet,
                But for no hope to fare the better,
489       But for to obeye unto youre herte free,
                But to obey unto your heart noble,
490       And for to maken othere be war by me,
                And to make others be warned by my example,
491       As by the whelp chasted is the leon,
                As by the whelp chastised is the lion,
492       Right for that cause and that conclusion,
                Right for that cause and to that conclusion,
493       Whil that I have a leyser and a space,
                While that I have the time and the opportunity,
494       Myn harm I wol confessen er I pace."
                My harm I will reveal ere I go away."

495       And evere, whil that oon hir sorwe tolde,
                And ever, while that one her sorrow told,
496       That oother weep as she to water wolde
                That other wept as she would turn to water
497       Til that the faucon bad hire to be stille,
                Until the falcon prayed her to be still,
498       And, with a syk, right thus she seyde hir wille:
                And, with a sigh, right thus she spoke her mind:

499       "Ther I was bred -- allas, that ilke day! --
                "Where I was bred -- alas, that same day! --
500       And fostred in a roche of marbul gray
                And fostered on a cliff of marble gray
501       So tendrely that no thyng eyled me,
                So tenderly that no thing ailed me,
502       I nyste nat what was adversitee
                I knew not what was adversity
503       Til I koude flee ful hye under the sky.
                Until I could fly full high under the sky.
504       Tho dwelte a tercelet me faste by,
                Then dwelt a male falcon very near me,
505       That semed welle of alle gentillesse;
                That seemed an exemplar of all nobility;
506       Al were he ful of treson and falsnesse,
                Although he was full of treason and falseness,
507       It was so wrapped under humble cheere,
                It was so concealed under humble bearing,
508       And under hewe of trouthe in swich manere,
                And under the appearance of truth in such a manner,
509       Under plesance, and under bisy peyne,
                Under pleasantness, and under careful attentiveness,
510       That no wight koude han wend he koude feyne,
                That no creature could have supposed he could feign,
511       So depe in greyn he dyed his coloures.
                So deeply in a fast dye he dyed his true colors.
512       Right as a serpent hit hym under floures
                Just as a serpent hides himself under flowers
513       Til he may seen his tyme for to byte,
                Until he can see his time to bite,
514       Right so this god of loves ypocryte
                Just so this god of love's hypocrite
515       Dooth so his cerymonyes and obeisaunces,
                So does his ceremonies and obeisances,
516       And kepeth in semblaunt alle his observaunces
                And keeps in outward appearance all his observances
517       That sownen into gentillesse of love.
                That are in accord with nobility in love.
518       As in a toumbe is al the faire above,
                As in a tomb all the beauty is above,
519       And under is the corps, swich as ye woot,
                And under is the corpse, as you know,
520       Swich was this ypocrite, bothe coold and hoot.
                Such was this hypocrite, in every circumstance.
521       And in this wise he served his entente
                And in this manner he served his own purpose
522       That, save the feend, noon wiste what he mente,
                So that, except for the fiend, no one knew what he meant,
523       Til he so longe hadde wopen and compleyned,
                Until he so long had wept and complained,
524       And many a yeer his service to me feyned,
                And many a year his service to me feigned,
525       Til that myn herte, to pitous and to nyce,
                Until my heart, too compassionate and too naive,
526       Al innocent of his crouned malice,
                Entirely ignorant of his consummate malice,
527       Forfered of his deeth, as thoughte me,
                Very frightened that he might die, as it seemed to me,
528       Upon his othes and his seuretee,
                Upon receiving his oaths and his pledges,
529       Graunted hym love, upon this condicioun,
                Granted him love, upon this condition,
530       That everemoore myn honour and renoun
                That evermore my honor and renown
531       Were saved, bothe privee and apert;
                Were safe, both in private and in public (in all ways);
532       This is to seyn, that after his desert,
                This is to say, that according to his deserts,
533       I yaf hym al myn herte and al my thoght --
                I gave him all my heart and all my thought --
534       God woot and he, that ootherwise noght --
                God knows and he, I would not have agreed on any other terms --
535       And took his herte in chaunge of myn for ay.
                And took his heart in exchange for mine for ever.
536       But sooth is seyd, goon sithen many a day,
                But truly it is said, since many a day gone by,
537       `A trewe wight and a theef thenken nat oon.'
                `An honest creature and a thief think not alike.'
538       And whan he saugh the thyng so fer ygoon
                And when he saw the business so far advanced
539       That I hadde graunted hym fully my love
                That I had granted him fully my love
540       In swich a gyse as I have seyd above,
                In such a manner as I have said above,
541       And yeven hym my trewe herte as free
                And gave him my true heart as freely
542       As he swoor he yaf his herte to me,
                As he swore he gave his heart to me,
543       Anon this tigre, ful of doublenesse,
                Immediately this tiger, full of treachery,
544       Fil on his knees with so devout humblesse,
                Fell on his knees with such devout humility,
545       With so heigh reverence, and, as by his cheere,
                With such high reverence, and, as seemed by his appearance,
546       So lyk a gentil lovere of manere,
                So like a gentle lover in his manners,
547       So ravysshed, as it semed, for the joye
                So ravished, as it seemed, for the joy
548       That nevere Jason ne Parys of Troye --
                That never Jason nor Paris of Troy --
549       Jason? certes, ne noon oother man
                Jason? certainly, nor any other man
550       Syn Lameth was, that alderfirst bigan
                Since Lameth was, he who first of all began
551       To loven two, as writen folk biforn --
                To love two, as folk wrote long ago --
552       Ne nevere, syn the firste man was born,
                Nor ever, since the first man was born,
553       Ne koude man, by twenty thousand part,
                Could (any) man, by (so much as) one twenty thousandth,
554       Countrefete the sophymes of his art,
                Reproduce the deceptive sophisms of his art,
555       Ne were worthy unbokelen his galoche,
                Nor were worthy to unbuckle his galosh,
556       Ther doublenesse or feynyng sholde approche,
                Where duplicity or feigning were concerned,
557       Ne so koude thonke a wight as he dide me!
                Nor so could thank a creature as he did to me!
558       His manere was an hevene for to see
                His manner was a heaven to see
559       Til any womman, were she never so wys,
                For any woman, were she never so wise,
560       So peynted he and kembde at point-devys
                So painted he and made himself elegant in every way,
561       As wel his wordes as his contenaunce.
                Both his words and his countenance.
562       And I so loved hym for his obeisaunce,
                And I so loved him for his obeisance,
563       And for the trouthe I demed in his herte,
                And for the truth I believed was in his heart,
564       That if so were that any thyng hym smerte,
                That if it so were that any thing pained him,
565       Al were it never so lite, and I it wiste,
                Although it were never so little, and I knew of it,
566       Me thoughte I felte deeth myn herte twiste.
                It seemed to me I felt death twist my heart.
567       And shortly, so ferforth this thyng is went
                And shortly, this business had gone forth so far
568       That my wyl was his willes instrument;
                That my will was his will's instrument;
569       This is to seyn, my wyl obeyed his wyl
                This is to say, my will obeyed his will
570       In alle thyng, as fer as reson fil,
                In all things, so far as was consonant with reason,
571       Kepynge the boundes of my worshipe evere.
                Keeping ever the limits set by my honor.
572       Ne nevere hadde I thyng so lief, ne levere,
                Nor never loved anyone more, or even as much
573       As hym, God woot, ne nevere shal namo.
                As him, God knows, nor never shall again.

574       "This laste lenger than a yeer or two,
                "This lasted longer than a year or two,
575       That I supposed of hym noght but good.
                That I supposed of him nothing but good.
576       But finally, thus atte laste it stood,
                But finally, thus at the last it stood,
577       That Fortune wolde that he moste twynne
                That Fortune would have it that he must depart
578       Out of that place which that I was inne.
                Out of that place where I was.
579       Wher me was wo, that is no questioun;
                Whether I was woeful, there is no question;
580       I kan nat make of it discripsioun.
                I can not make a description of it.
581       For o thyng dar I tellen boldely:
                For one thing I dare tell boldly:
582       I knowe what is the peyne of deeth therby;
                By this experience I know what is the pain of death;
583       Swich harm I felte for he ne myghte bileve.
                Such harm I felt because he could not remain.
584       So on a day of me he took his leve,
                So one day he took his leave of me,
585       So sorwefully eek that I wende verraily
                So sorrowfully also that I believed truly
586       That he had felt as muche harm as I,
                That he had felt as much harm as I,
587       Whan that I herde hym speke and saugh his hewe.
                When I heard him speak and saw his appearance.
588       But nathelees, I thoughte he was so trewe,
                But nevertheless, I thought he was so true,
589       And eek that he repaire sholde ageyn
                And also that he should return again
590       Withinne a litel while, sooth to seyn;
                Within a little while, to say the truth;
591       And resoun wolde eek that he moste go
                And it was reasonable also that he must go
592       For his honour, as ofte it happeth so,
                For his honor, as often it happens so,
593       That I made vertu of necessitee,
                So that I made virtue of necessity,
594       And took it wel, syn that it moste be.
                And took it well, since it had to be.
595       As I best myghte, I hidde fro hym my sorwe,
                As I best could, I hid from him my sorrow,
596       And took hym by the hond, Seint John to borwe,
                And took him by the hand, with Saint John as my guarantor,
597       And seyde hym thus: `Lo, I am youres al;
                And said to him thus: `Lo, I am all yours;
598       Beth swich as I to yow have been and shal.'
                Be to me such as I to you have been and shall be.'
599       What he answerde, it nedeth noght reherce;
                What he answered, it needs not be repeated;
600       Who kan sey bet than he, who kan do werse?
                Who can speak better than he, who can act worse?
601       Whan he hath al wel seyd, thanne hath he doon.
                When he has said everything well, then he has done (all he will do).
602       `Therfore bihoveth hire a ful long spoon
                `Therefore she must have a very long spoon
603       That shal ete with a feend,' thus herde I seye.
                Who shall eat with a fiend,' thus I have heard said.
604       So atte laste he moste forth his weye,
                So at the last he had to go forth on his way,
605       And forth he fleeth til he cam ther hym leste.
                And forth he speeds until he came where he pleased.
606       Whan it cam hym to purpos for to reste,
                When he decided to rest,
607       I trowe he hadde thilke text in mynde,
                I believe he had that text in mind,
608       That `alle thyng, repeirynge to his kynde,
                That `every thing, by returning to its natural state,
609       Gladeth hymself;' thus seyn men, as I gesse.
                Makes himself happy;' thus say men, as I suppose.
610       Men loven of propre kynde newefangelnesse,
                Men, because of their nature, love novelty,
611       As briddes doon that men in cages fede.
                As do birds that men feed in cages.
612       For though thou nyght and day take of hem hede,
                For though thou take care of them night and day,
613       And strawe hir cage faire and softe as silk,
                And strew their cages with straw fair and soft as silk,
614       And yeve hem sugre, hony, breed and milk,
                And give them sugar, honey, bread and milk,
615       Yet right anon as that his dore is uppe
                Yet just as soon as his door is left open
616       He with his feet wol spurne adoun his cuppe,
                He with his feet will kick down his cup,
617       And to the wode he wole and wormes ete;
                And to the wood he will go and eat worms;
618       So newefangel been they of hire mete,
                They are so fond of novelty in their food,
619       And loven novelries of propre kynde,
                And love novelties because of their nature,
620       No gentillesse of blood ne may hem bynde.
                No nobility of blood can restrain them.

621       "So ferde this tercelet, allas the day!
                "So fared this falcon, alas the day!
622       Though he were gentil born, and fressh and gay,
                Though he was of noble birth, and fresh and gay,
623       And goodlich for to seen, and humble and free,
                And goodly to look upon and humble and generous,
624       He saugh upon a tyme a kyte flee,
                He saw upon a time a kite (scavenger bird) fly by,
625       And sodeynly he loved this kyte so
                And suddenly he so loved this kite
626       That al his love is clene fro me ago,
                That all his love is completely gone from me,
627       And hath his trouthe falsed in this wyse.
                And has turned his truth false in this manner.
628       Thus hath the kyte my love in hire servyse,
                Thus has the kite my lover in her service,
629       And I am lorn withouten remedie!"
                And I am lost, without remedy!"
630       And with that word this faucon gan to crie
                And with that word this falcon did cry out
631       And swowned eft in Canacees barm.
                And swooned again in Canacee's lap.

632       Greet was the sorwe for the haukes harm
                Great was the sorrow for the hawk's harm
633       That Canacee and alle hir wommen made;
                That Canacee and all her women made;
634       They nyste hou they myghte the faucon glade.
                They knew not how they might cheer up the falcon.
635       But Canacee hom bereth hire in hir lappe,
                But Canacee carries her home enfolded in her gown,
636       And softely in plastres gan hire wrappe,
                And softly did wrap her in bandages,
637       Ther as she with hire beek hadde hurt hirselve.
                Where she with her beak had hurt herself.
638       Now kan nat Canacee but herbes delve
                Now Canacee can do nothing but dig herbs
639       Out of the ground, and make salves newe
                Out of the ground, and make new salves
640       Of herbes preciouse and fyne of hewe
                Of herbs, precious and delicate in color,
641       To heelen with this hauk. Fro day to nyght
                With which to heal this hawk. From dawn to nighttime
642       She dooth hire bisynesse and al hire myght,
                She devotes her efforts and all her power,
643       And by hire beddes heed she made a mewe
                And by her bed's head she made a pen
644       And covered it with veluettes blewe,
                And covered it with velvet cloths, blue
645       In signe of trouthe that is in wommen sene.
                As a sign of truth that is in women seen.
646       And al withoute, the mewe is peynted grene,
                And on all the outside, the pen is painted green,
647       In which were peynted alle thise false fowles,
                In which were painted all these false fowls,
648       As ben thise tidyves, tercelettes, and owles;
                Such as are these small birds, falcons, and owls;
649       Right for despit were peynted hem bisyde,
                For sheer scorn were painted beside them,
650       Pyes, on hem for to crie and chyde.
                Magpies, to cry out against them and chide them.

651       Thus lete I Canacee hir hauk kepyng;
                Thus I leave Canacee keeping her hawk;
652       I wol namoore as now speke of hir ryng
                I will for now speak no more of her ring
653       Til it come eft to purpos for to seyn
                Until it becomes again appropriate to tell
654       How that this faucon gat hire love ageyn
                How this falcon got back her love,
655       Repentant, as the storie telleth us,
                Repentant, as the story tells us,
656       By mediacion of Cambalus,
                By the mediation of Cambalus,
657       The kynges sone, of which I yow tolde.
                The king's son, of whom I told you.
658       But hennesforth I wol my proces holde
                But henceforth I will keep to my narrative
659       To speken of aventures and of batailles
                To speak of adventures and of battles
660       That nevere yet was herd so grete mervailles.
                That never yet were heard such great marvels.

661       First wol I telle yow of Cambyuskan,
                First will I tell you of Cambyuskan,
662       That in his tyme many a citee wan;
                That in his time many a city won;
663       And after wol I speke of Algarsif,
                And after I will speak of Algarsif,
664       How that he wan Theodora to his wif,
                How he won Theodora to his wife,
665       For whom ful ofte in greet peril he was,
                For whom full often in great peril he was,
666       Ne hadde he ben holpen by the steede of bras;
                Had he not been helped by the steed of brass;
667       And after wol I speke of Cambalo,
                And next I will speak of Cambalo,
668       That faught in lystes with the bretheren two
                That fought in lists with the brethren two
669       For Canacee er that he myghte hire wynne.
                For Canacee ere he could win her.
670       And ther I lefte I wol ayeyn bigynne.
                And where I left off I will again begin.

 

Explicit secunda prima pars.
        [The second part ends.]
Sequitur pars secunda.
        [The third part follows.]

 

671       Appollo whirleth up his chaar so hye
                Appollo whirls up his chariot so high
672       Til that the god Mercurius hous, the slye --
                To that house of the god Mercury, the sly --

 

 

Heere folwen the wordes of the
Frankeleyn to the Squier, and the
wordes of the Hoost to the Frankeleyn

 

673       "In feith, Squier, thow hast thee wel yquit
                "In faith, Squire, thou hast well acquitted thyself.
674       And gentilly. I preise wel thy wit,"
                And nobly. I praise well thy intelligence,"
675       Quod the Frankeleyn, "considerynge thy yowthe,
                Said the Franklin, "considering thy youth,
676       So feelyngly thou spekest, sire, I allow the!
                With such feeling thou speakest, sir, I praise thee!
677       As to my doom, ther is noon that is heere
                In my opinion, there is no one that is here
678       Of eloquence that shal be thy peere,
                That shall be thy equal in eloquence,
679       If that thou lyve; God yeve thee good chaunce,
                If thou live; God give thee good luck,
680       And in vertu sende thee continuaunce,
                And in virtue send thee perseverance,
681       For of thy speche I have greet deyntee.
                For I take great pleasure in thy speech.
682       I have a sone, and by the Trinitee,
                I have a son, and by the Trinity,
683       I hadde levere than twenty pound worth lond,
                I had rather than have twenty pound's worth of land,
684       Though it right now were fallen in myn hond,
                Though it right now were fallen in my hand,
685       He were a man of swich discrecioun
                That he were a man of such discretion
686       As that ye been! Fy on possessioun,
                As you are! Fie on possessions,
687       But if a man be vertuous withal!
                Unless a man is virtuous as well!
688       I have my sone snybbed, and yet shal,
                I have rebuked my son, and shall again,
689       For he to vertu listeth nat entende;
                Because he has no desire to devote himself to virtue;
690       But for to pleye at dees, and to despende
                But to play at dice, and to spend
691       And lese al that he hath is his usage.
                And lose all that he has is his usage.
692       And he hath levere talken with a page
                And he would rather talk with a serving boy
693       Than to comune with any gentil wight
                Than converse with any noble person
694       Where he myghte lerne gentillesse aright."
                From whom he might learn true nobility."

695       "Straw for youre gentillesse!" quod oure Hoost.
                "Straw for your nobility!" said our Host.
696       "What, Frankeleyn! Pardee, sire, wel thou woost
                "What, Franklin! By God, sir, well thou knowest
697       That ech of yow moot tellen atte leste
                That each of you must tell at the least
698       A tale or two, or breken his biheste."
                A tale or two, or break his promise."

699       "That knowe I wel, sire," quod the Frankeleyn.
                "That know I well, sir," said the Franklin.
700       "I prey yow, haveth me nat in desdeyn,
                "I pray you, hold me not in disdain,
701       Though to this man I speke a word or two."
                Though to this man I speak a word or two."

702       "Telle on thy tale withouten wordes mo."
                "Tell on thy tale without more words."

703       "Gladly, sire Hoost," quod he, "I wole obeye
                "Gladly, sir Host," said he, "I will obey
704       Unto your wyl; now herkneth what I seye.
                Unto your will; now hearken what I say.
705       I wol yow nat contrarien in no wyse
                I will not offend you in any way
706       As fer as that my wittes wol suffyse.
                So far as my mental abilities will suffice.
707       I prey to God that it may plesen yow;
                I pray to God that it may please you;
708       Thanne woot I wel that it is good ynow."
                Then I will know well that it is good enough."

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Last modified: Jan 26, 2003

Gold Texts on this page prepared and maintained by L. D. Benson (ldb@wjh.harvard.edu)