The Franklin's Prologue 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.)










The Franklin's Prologue

The Prologe of the Frankeleyns Tale


709         Thise olde gentil Britouns in hir dayes
                    These old noble Bretons in their days
710         Of diverse aventures maden layes,
                    Of diverse adventures made lays,
711         Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge,
                    Rhymed in their first Breton tongue,
712         Whiche layes with hir instrumentz they songe
                    Which lays with their instruments they sang
713         Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce;
                    Or else read them for their pleasure;
714         And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
                    And one of them have I in remembrance,
715         Which I shal seyn with good wyl as I kan.
                    Which I shall say with as good will as I can.

716         But, sires, by cause I am a burel man,
                    But, sirs, because I am an unlearned man,
717         At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche,
                    At my beginning first I you beseech,
718         Have me excused of my rude speche.
                    Have me excused for my rude speech.
719         I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn;
                    I learned never rhetoric, certainly;
720         Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
                    Thing that I speak, it must be bare and plain.
721         I sleep nevere on the Mount of Pernaso,
                    I slept never on the Mount of Parnassus,
722         Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Scithero.
                    Nor learned Marcus Tullius Cicero.
723         Colours ne knowe I none, withouten drede,
                    Colors know I none, without doubt,
724         But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
                    But such colors as grow in the field,
725         Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.
                    Or else such as men dye or paint.
726         Colours of rethoryk been to me queynte;
                    Colors of rhetoric (figures of speech) are strange to me;
727         My spirit feeleth noght of swich mateere.
                    My spirit feels nothing of such matter.
728         But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.
                    But if you wish, you shall hear my tale.



The Franklin's Tale


Here bigynneth the Frankeleyns Tale


729         In Armorik, that called is Britayne,
                    In Armorica, that is called Brittany,
730         Ther was a knyght that loved and dide his payne
                    There was a knight that loved and worked hard
731         To serve a lady in his beste wise;
                    To serve a lady in his best manner;
732         And many a labour, many a greet emprise,
                    And many a labor, many a great chivalric exploit,
733         He for his lady wroghte er she were wonne.
                    He wrought for his lady before she was won.
734         For she was oon the faireste under sonne,
                    For she was the fairest of all under the sun,
735         And eek therto comen of so heigh kynrede
                    And also moreover come of such noble ancestry
736         That wel unnethes dorste this knyght, for drede,
                    That this knight hardly dared, for fear,
737         Telle hire his wo, his peyne, and his distresse.
                    Tell her his woe, his pain, and his distress.
738         But atte laste she, for his worthynesse,
                    But at the last she, for his worthiness,
739         And namely for his meke obeysaunce,
                    And namely for his meek submission,
740         Hath swich a pitee caught of his penaunce
                    Has taken such a pity on his suffering
741         That pryvely she fil of his accord
                    That privately she agreed with him
742         To take hym for hir housbonde and hir lord,
                    To take him for her husband and hir lord,
743         Of swich lordshipe as men han over hir wyves.
                    Of such lordship as men have over their wives.
744         And for to lede the moore in blisse hir lyves,
                    And to lead the more blissfully their lives,
745         Of his free wyl he swoor hire as a knyght
                    Of his free will he swore her as a knight
746         That nevere in al his lyf he, day ne nyght,
                    That never in all his life he, day or night,
747         Ne sholde upon hym take no maistrie
                    Should take upon himself any mastery
748         Agayn hir wyl, ne kithe hire jalousie,
                    Against her will, nor show her jealousy,
749         But hire obeye, and folwe hir wyl in al,
                    But obey her, and follow her will in everything,
750         As any lovere to his lady shal,
                    As any lover to his lady should,
751         Save that the name of soveraynetee,
                    Except for the appearance of sovereignty,
752         That wolde he have for shame of his degree.
                    Which he would have to avoid bringing shame on his status (of knighthood).

753         She thanked hym, and with ful greet humblesse
                    She thanked him, and with full great humbleness
754         She seyde, "Sire, sith of youre gentillesse
                    She said, "Sir, since of your nobility
755         Ye profre me to have so large a reyne,
                    You offer me to have such freedom from restraint,
756         Ne wolde nevere God bitwixe us tweyne,
                    And would God that never between us two,
757         As in my gilt, were outher werre or stryf.
                    Through my fault, should be either war or strife.
758         Sire, I wol be youre humble trewe wyf --
                    Sir, I will be your humble true wife --
759         Have heer my trouthe -- til that myn herte breste."
                    Have here my pledge -- until my heart bursts (until I die)."
760         Thus been they bothe in quiete and in reste.
                    Thus are they both in quiet and in peace.

761         For o thyng, sires, saufly dar I seye,
                    For one thing, sirs, I dare say confidently,
762         That freendes everych oother moot obeye,
                    That friends must obey each other,
763         If they wol longe holden compaignye.
                    If they will long hold company.
764         Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye.
                    Love will not be constrained by mastery.
765         Whan maistrie comth, the God of Love anon
                    When mastery comes, the God of Love immediately
766         Beteth his wynges, and farewel, he is gon!
                    Beats his wings, and farewell, he is gone!
767         Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
                    Love is a thing free as any spirit.
768         Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee,
                    Women, by nature, desire liberty,
769         And nat to been constreyned as a thral;
                    And not to be constrained like a slave;
770         And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.
                    And so do men, if I shall say the truth.
771         Looke who that is moost pacient in love,
                    Look who is most patient in love,
772         He is at his avantage al above.
                    He is in the best position, superior to all.
773         Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn,
                    Patience is a noble virtue, certainly,
774         For it venquysseth, as thise clerkes seyn,
                    For it vanquishes, as these clerks say,
775         Thynges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.
                    Things that rigor should never attain.
776         For every word men may nat chide or pleyne.
                    One may not chide or complain for every word.
777         Lerneth to suffre, or elles, so moot I goon,
                    Learn to suffer, or else, as I may walk (I swear),
778         Ye shul it lerne, wher so ye wole or noon;
                    You shall learn it, whether you want to or not;
779         For in this world, certein, ther no wight is
                    For in this world, certainly, there is no person
780         That he ne dooth or seith somtyme amys.
                    Who does not sometime do or speak amiss.
781         Ire, siknesse, or constellacioun,
                    Ire, sickness, or the position of the stars,
782         Wyn, wo, or chaungynge of complexioun
                    Wine, woe, or changing of the balance of bodily humors
783         Causeth ful ofte to doon amys or speken.
                    Causes (one) very often to do or speak amiss.
784         On every wrong a man may nat be wreken.
                    On every wrong a man can not be avenged.
785         After the tyme moste be temperaunce
                    There must be moderation suitable to the occasion
786         To every wight that kan on governaunce.
                    By every person who knows about governance.
787         And therfore hath this wise, worthy knyght,
                    And therefore has this wise, worthy knight,
788         To lyve in ese, suffrance hire bihight,
                    To live in ease, promised her forbearance,
789         And she to hym ful wisly gan to swere
                    And she to him full truly did swear
790         That nevere sholde ther be defaute in here.
                    That never should there be fault in her.

791         Heere may men seen an humble, wys accord;
                    Here may men see a humble, wise accord;
792         Thus hath she take hir servant and hir lord --
                    Thus has she taken her servant and her lord --
793         Servant in love, and lord in mariage.
                    Servant in love, and lord in marriage.
794         Thanne was he bothe in lordshipe and servage.
                    Then was he both in lordship and servitude.
795         Servage? Nay, but in lordshipe above,
                    Servitude? Nay, but in lordship above,
796         Sith he hath bothe his lady and his love;
                    Since he has both his lady and his love;
797         His lady, certes, and his wyf also,
                    His lady, certainly, and his wife also,
798         The which that lawe of love acordeth to.
                    The which accords to the law of love.
799         And whan he was in this prosperitee,
                    And when he was in this happy state,
800         Hoom with his wyf he gooth to his contree,
                    Home with his wife he goes to his country,
801         Nat fer fro Pedmark, ther his dwellyng was,
                    Not far from Pedmark, where his dwelling was,
802         Where as he lyveth in blisse and in solas.
                    Where he lives in bliss and in pleasure.

803         Who koude telle, but he hadde wedded be,
                    Who could tell, unless he had been wedded,
804         The joye, the ese, and the prosperitee
                    The joy, the ease, and the happiness
805         That is bitwixe an housbonde and his wyf?
                    That is between a husband and his wife?
806         A yeer and moore lasted this blisful lyf,
                    A year and more lasted this blissful life,
807         Til that the knyght of which I speke of thus,
                    Until the knight of whom I thus speak,
808         That of Kayrrud was cleped Arveragus,
                    That was called Arveragus of Kayrrud,
809         Shoop hym to goon and dwelle a yeer or tweyne
                    Prepared himself to go and dwell a year or two
810         In Engelond, that cleped was eek Briteyne,
                    In England, which was also called Britain,
811         To seke in armes worshipe and honour --
                    To seek in arms good reputation and honor --
812         For al his lust he sette in swich labour --
                    For he set all his desire in such labor --
813         And dwelled there two yeer; the book seith thus.
                    And dwelled there two years; the book says thus.

814         Now wol I stynten of this Arveragus,
                    Now will I stop (speaking) of this Arveragus,
815         And speken I wole of Dorigen his wyf,
                    And I will speak of Dorigen his wife,
816         That loveth hire housbonde as hire hertes lyf.
                    Who loves her husband as her heart's life.
817         For his absence wepeth she and siketh,
                    For his absence she weeps and sighs,
818         As doon thise noble wyves whan hem liketh.
                    As do these noble wives when it pleases them.
819         She moorneth, waketh, wayleth, fasteth, pleyneth;
                    She mourns, stays awake, wails, fasts, complains;
820         Desir of his presence hire so destreyneth
                    Desire of his presence so presses upon her
821         That al this wyde world she sette at noght.
                    That all this wide world she reckoned as worth nothing.
822         Hire freendes, whiche that knewe hir hevy thoght,
                    Her friends, who knew her gloomy thought,
823         Conforten hire in al that ever they may.
                    Comfort her in all that ever they can.
824         They prechen hire, they telle hire nyght and day
                    They preach to her, they tell her night and day
825         That causelees she sleeth hirself, allas!
                    That she slays herself without cause, alas!
826         And every confort possible in this cas
                    And every comfort possible in this case
827         They doon to hire with al hire bisynesse,
                    They do to her with all their concern,
828         Al for to make hire leve hire hevynesse.
                    All to make her leave her sadness.

829         By proces, as ye knowen everichoon,
                    In the course of time, as every one of you knows,
830         Men may so longe graven in a stoon
                    One may so long engrave on a stone
831         Til som figure therinne emprented be.
                    Until some figure is imprinted upon it.
832         So longe han they conforted hire til she
                    So long have they comforted her until she
833         Receyved hath, by hope and by resoun,
                    Received has, by hope and by reason,
834         The emprentyng of hire consolacioun,
                    The imprint of their consolation,
835         Thurgh which hir grete sorwe gan aswage;
                    Through which her great sorrow began to be relieved;
836         She may nat alwey duren in swich rage.
                    She can not always continue in such passionate grief.

837         And eek Arveragus, in al this care,
                    And also Arveragus, in (the midst of) all this care,
838         Hath sent hire lettres hoom of his welfare,
                    Has sent her letters home (telling) of his welfare,
839         And that he wol come hastily agayn;
                    And that he will come hastily again;
840         Or elles hadde this sorwe hir herte slayn.
                    Or else this sorrow would have slain her heart.

841         Hire freendes sawe hir sorwe gan to slake
                    Her friends saw her sorrow began to slacken
842         And preyde hire on knees, for Goddes sake,
                    And prayed her on their knees, for God's sake,
843         To come and romen hire in compaignye,
                    To come and walk about in company,
844         Awey to dryve hire derke fantasye.
                    Away to drive her dark imagining.
845         And finally she graunted that requeste,
                    And finally she granted that request,
846         For wel she saugh that it was for the beste.
                    For well she saw that it was for the best.

847         Now stood hire castel faste by the see,
                    Now her castle stood close by the sea,
848         And often with hire freendes walketh shee
                    And often with her friends she walks
849         Hire to disporte upon the bank an heigh,
                    To amuse herself upon the bank on high,
850         Where as she many a ship and barge seigh
                    Where she saw many a ship and sailing vessel
851         Seillynge hir cours, where as hem liste go.
                    Sailing their course, where it pleases them to go.
852         But thanne was that a parcel of hire wo,
                    But then was that a portion of her woe,
853         For to hirself ful ofte, "Allas!" seith she,
                    For to herself full often, she says "Alas!",
854         "Is ther no ship, of so manye as I se,
                    "Is there no ship, of so many as I see,
855         Wol bryngen hom my lord? Thanne were myn herte
                    Will bring home my lord? Then would my heart be
856         Al warisshed of his bittre peynes smerte."
                    All cured of its bitter, sharp pains."

857         Another tyme ther wolde she sitte and thynke,
                    Another time there would she sit and think,
858         And caste hir eyen dounward fro the brynke.
                    And cast her eyes downward from the brink.
859         But whan she saugh the grisly rokkes blake,
                    But when she saw the grisly black rocks,
860         For verray feere so wolde hir herte quake
                    For sheer fear her heart would so quake
861         That on hire feet she myghte hire noght sustene.
                    That on her feet she could not sustain herself.
862         Thanne wolde she sitte adoun upon the grene,
                    Then would she sit down upon the green,
863         And pitously into the see biholde,
                    And piteously stare into the sea,
864         And seyn right thus, with sorweful sikes colde:
                    And say right thus, with sorrowful, cold sighs:

865         "Eterne God, that thurgh thy purveiaunce
                    "Eternal God, who through thy foreknowledge
866         Ledest the world by certein governaunce,
                    Leads the world by sure governance,
867         In ydel, as men seyn, ye no thyng make.
                    Men say you make nothing in vain.
868         But, Lord, thise grisly feendly rokkes blake,
                    But, Lord, these grisly fiendish black rocks,
869         That semen rather a foul confusion
                    That seem rather a foul confusion
870         Of werk than any fair creacion
                    Of work than any fair creation
871         Of swich a parfit wys God and a stable,
                    Of such a perfectly wise and stable God,
872         Why han ye wroght this werk unresonable?
                    Why have you created this unreasonable work?
873         For by this werk, south, north, ne west, ne eest,
                    For by this work, south, north, nor west, nor east,
874         Ther nys yfostred man, ne bryd, ne beest;
                    There is no benefit to man, nor bird, nor beast;
875         It dooth no good, to my wit, but anoyeth.
                    It does no good, to my understanding, but does harm.
876         Se ye nat, Lord, how mankynde it destroyeth?
                    See you not, Lord, how it destroys mankind?
877         An hundred thousand bodyes of mankynde
                   A hundred thousand bodies of mankind
878         Han rokkes slayn, al be they nat in mynde,
                    Have rocks slain, although their names are forgotten,
879         Which mankynde is so fair part of thy werk
                    And this mankind is so fair a part of thy work
880         That thou it madest lyk to thyn owene merk.
                    That thou made it like to thine own image.
881         Thanne semed it ye hadde a greet chiertee
                    Then it seemed you had a great love
882         Toward mankynde; but how thanne may it bee
                    Toward mankind; but how then may it be
883         That ye swiche meenes make it to destroyen,
                    That you make such means to destroy it,
884         Whiche meenes do no good, but evere anoyen?
                    Which means do no good, but always cause trouble?
885         I woot wel clerkes wol seyn as hem leste,
                    I know well clerks will say as they please,
886         By argumentz, that al is for the beste,
                    By logical reasoning, that all is for the best,
887         Though I ne kan the causes nat yknowe.
                    Though I can not know the causes.
888         But thilke God that made wynd to blowe
                    But that same God that made wind to blow
889         As kepe my lord! This my conclusion.
                    Keep my lord! This is my conclusion.
890         To clerkes lete I al disputison.
                    To clerks I leave all disputation.
891         But wolde God that alle thise rokkes blake
                    But would God that all these black rocks
892         Were sonken into helle for his sake!
                    Were sunk into hell for his sake!
893         Thise rokkes sleen myn herte for the feere."
                    These rocks slay my heart for fear."
894         Thus wolde she seyn, with many a pitous teere.
                    Thus would she say, with many a piteous tear.

895         Hire freendes sawe that it was no disport
                    Her friends saw that it was no pleasure
896         To romen by the see, but disconfort,
                    To roam by the sea, but discomfort,
897         And shopen for to pleyen somwher elles.
                    And decide to amuse themselves somewhere else.
898         They leden hire by ryveres and by welles,
                    They lead her by rivers and by springs,
899         And eek in othere places delitables;
                    And also in other delightful places;
900         They dauncen and they pleyen at ches and tables.
                    They dance and they play at chess and backgammon.

901         So on a day, right in the morwe-tyde,
                    So on a day, early in the morning-tide,
902         Unto a gardyn that was ther bisyde,
                    Unto a garden that was there nearby,
903         In which that they hadde maad hir ordinaunce
                    In which they had made their arrangement
904         Of vitaille and of oother purveiaunce,
                    For victuals and for other provisions,
905         They goon and pleye hem al the longe day.
                    They go and amuse themselves all the long day.
906         And this was on the sixte morwe of May,
                    And this was on the sixth morning of May,
907         Which May hadde peynted with his softe shoures
                    Which May had painted with its soft showers
908         This gardyn ful of leves and of floures;
                    This garden full of leaves and of flowers;
909         And craft of mannes hand so curiously
                    And craft of man's hand so skillfully
910         Arrayed hadde this gardyn, trewely,
                    Had adorned this garden, truly,
911         That nevere was ther gardyn of swich prys
                    That never was there garden of such worth
912         But if it were the verray paradys.
                    Unless it were the true paradise.
913         The odour of floures and the fresshe sighte
                    The odor of flowers and the fresh sight
914         Wolde han maked any herte lighte
                    Would have made any heart light
915         That evere was born, but if to greet siknesse
                    That ever was born, unless too great sickness
916         Or to greet sorwe helde it in distresse,
                    Or too great sorrow held it in distress,
917         So ful it was of beautee with plesaunce.
                    It was so full of beauty with pleasure.
918         At after-dyner gonne they to daunce,
                    After dinner they go to dance,
919         And synge also, save Dorigen allone,
                    And sing also, save Dorigen alone,
920         Which made alwey hir compleint and hir moone,
                    Who made always her complaint and her moan,
921         For she ne saugh hym on the daunce go
                    For she did not see him on the dance go
922         That was hir housbonde and hir love also.
                    Who was her husband and her love also.
923         But nathelees she moste a tyme abyde
                    But nonetheless she must a time abide
924         And with good hope lete hir sorwe slyde.
                    And with good hope let her sorrow slip away.

925         Upon this daunce, amonges othere men,
                    In this dance, among other men,
926         Daunced a squier biforn Dorigen,
                    Danced a squire before Dorigen,
927         That fressher was and jolyer of array,
                    Who was more lively and more gaily dressed,
928         As to my doom, than is the month of May.
                    As to my judgement, than is the month of May.
929         He syngeth, daunceth, passynge any man
                    He sings, dances, passing any man
930         That is, or was, sith that the world bigan.
                    That is, or was, since the world began.
931         Therwith he was, if men sholde hym discryve,
                    Therewith he was, if one should him describe,
932         Oon of the beste farynge man on lyve;
                    One of the most handsome men alive;
933         Yong, strong, right vertuous, and riche, and wys,
                    Young, strong, very valiant, and rich, and wise,
934         And wel biloved, and holden in greet prys.
                    And well beloved, and held in great esteem.
935         And shortly, if the sothe I tellen shal,
                    And shortly, if I shall tell the truth,
936         Unwityng of this Dorigen at al,
                    Unknown by this Dorigen at all,
937         This lusty squier, servant to Venus,
                    This lusty squire, servant to Venus,
938         Which that ycleped was Aurelius,
                    Who was called Aurelius,
939         Hadde loved hire best of any creature
                    Had loved her best of any creature
940         Two yeer and moore, as was his aventure,
                    Two years and more, as was his fate,
941         But nevere dorste he tellen hire his grevaunce.
                    But he never dared tell her his grievance.
942         Withouten coppe he drank al his penaunce.
                    Copiously he drank all his penance (suffered intensely).
943         He was despeyred; no thyng dorste he seye,
                    He was in despair; he dared say nothing,
944         Save in his songes somwhat wolde he wreye
                    Except in his songs somewhat he would reveal
945         His wo, as in a general compleynyng;
                    His woe, as in a general lament;
946         He seyde he lovede and was biloved no thyng.
                    He said he loved and was in no way loved in return
947         Of swich matere made he manye layes,
                    Of such subject matter made he many lays,
948         Songes, compleintes, roundels, virelayes,
                    Songs, complaints, roundels, virelays,
949         How that he dorste nat his sorwe telle,
                    (Saying) how he dared not his sorrow tell,
950         But langwissheth as a furye dooth in helle;
                    But suffers as a fury does in hell;
951         And dye he moste, he seyde, as dide Ekko
                    And he must die, he said, as did Echo
952         For Narcisus, that dorste nat telle hir wo.
                    For Narcissus, she who dared not tell her woe.
953         In oother manere than ye heere me seye,
                    In other ways than you hear me say,
954         Ne dorste he nat to hire his wo biwreye,
                    He dared not reveal to her his woe,
955         Save that, paraventure, somtyme at daunces,
                    Except that, by chance, sometimes at dances,
956         Ther yonge folk kepen hir observaunces,
                    Where young folk observe their customs (of courtship),
957         It may wel be he looked on hir face
                    It may well be he looked on her face
958         In swich a wise as man that asketh grace;
                    In such a manner as a man that asks for grace;
959         But nothyng wiste she of his entente.
                    But she knew nothing of his intent.
960         Nathelees it happed, er they thennes wente,
                    Nonetheless it happened, before they went away,
961         By cause that he was hire neighebour,
                    Because he was her neighbor,
962         And was a man of worshipe and honour,
                    And was a man of good reputation and honor,
963         And hadde yknowen hym of tyme yoore,
                    And (she) had known him for a long time,
964         They fille in speche; and forth, moore and moore,
                    They fell in speech; and forth, more and more,
965         Unto his purpos drough Aurelius,
                    Unto his purpose drew Aurelius,
966         And whan he saugh his tyme, he seyde thus:
                    And when he saw his time, he said thus:

967         "Madame," quod he, "by God that this world made,
                    "Madame," he said, "by God that this world made,
968         So that I wiste it myghte youre herte glade,
                    Providing that I knew it might gladden your heart,
969         I wolde that day that youre Arveragus
                    I wish that day that your Arveragus
970         Wente over the see, that I, Aurelius,
                    Went over the sea, that I, Aurelius,
971         Hadde went ther nevere I sholde have come agayn.
                    Had went from where I should never have come back.
972         For wel I woot my servyce is in vayn;
                    For well I know my service is in vain;
973         My gerdon is but brestyng of myn herte.
                    My reward is but the breaking of my heart.
974         Madame, reweth upon my peynes smerte;
                    Madame, have pity upon my bitter pains;
975         For with a word ye may me sleen or save.
                    For with one word you may me slay or save.
976         Heere at youre feet God wolde that I were grave!
                    Here at your feet would God that I were buried!
977         I ne have as now no leyser moore to seye;
                    I have now no opportunity to say more;
978         Have mercy, sweete, or ye wol do me deye!"
                    Have mercy, sweet, or you will make me die!"

979         She gan to looke upon Aurelius;
                    She did look upon Aurelius;
980         "Is this youre wyl," quod she, "and sey ye thus?
                    "Is this your desire," said she, "and say you thus?
981         Nevere erst," quod she, "ne wiste I what ye mente.
                    Never before," she said, "Did I know what you meant.
982         But now, Aurelie, I knowe youre entente,
                    But now, Aurelius, I know your intention,
983         By thilke God that yaf me soule and lyf,
                    By that same God that gave me soul and life,
984         Ne shal I nevere been untrewe wyf
                    I shall never be an untrue wife
985         In word ne werk, as fer as I have wit;
                    In word nor deed, so long as I have my wits;
986         I wol been his to whom that I am knyt.
                    I will be his to whom that I am knit.
987         Taak this for fynal answere as of me."
                    Take this for my final answer."
988         But after that in pley thus seyde she:
                    But after that in play thus she said:

989         "Aurelie," quod she, "by heighe God above,
                    "Aurelius," she said, "by high God above,
990         Yet wolde I graunte yow to been youre love,
                    Yet would I grant you to be your love,
991         Syn I yow se so pitously complayne.
                    Since I see you so piteously lament.
992         Looke what day that endelong Britayne
                    On whatever day that from end to end of Brittany
993         Ye remoeve alle the rokkes, stoon by stoon,
                    You remove all the rocks, stone by stone,
994         That they ne lette ship ne boot to goon --
                    So that they do not prevent ship nor boat to go --
995         I seye, whan ye han maad the coost so clene
                    I say, when you have made the coast so clean
996         Of rokkes that ther nys no stoon ysene,
                    Of rocks that there is no stone seen,
997         Thanne wol I love yow best of any man;
                    Then will I love you best of any man;
998         Have heer my trouthe, in al that evere I kan."
                    Have here my pledged word, in all that is in my power."

999         "Is ther noon oother grace in yow?" quod he.
                    "Is there no other grace in you?" he said.

1000         "No, by that Lord," quod she, "that maked me!
                    "No, by that Lord," she said, "that made me!
1001         For wel I woot that it shal never bityde.
                    For well I know that it shall never happen.
1002         Lat swiche folies out of youre herte slyde.
                    Let such follies pass out of your heart.
1003         What deyntee sholde a man han in his lyf
                    What pleasure should a man have in his life
1004         For to go love another mannes wyf,
                    To go love another man's wife,
1005         That hath hir body whan so that hym liketh?"
                    Who has her body whenever he pleases?"

1006         Aurelius ful ofte soore siketh;
                    Aurelius very often bitterly sighs;
1007         Wo was Aurelie whan that he this herde,
                    Woe was Aurelius when he heard this,
1008         And with a sorweful herte he thus answerde:
                    And with a sorrowful heart he thus answered:

1009         "Madame," quod he, "this were an inpossible!
                    "Madame," he said, "this would be an impossiblity!
1010         Thanne moot I dye of sodeyn deth horrible."
                    Then I must die of sudden horrible death."
1011         And with that word he turned hym anon.
                    And with that word he turned away immediately.
1012         Tho coome hir othere freendes many oon,
                    Then came her other friends many a one,
1013         And in the aleyes romeden up and doun,
                    And in the garden paths roamed up and down,
1014         And nothyng wiste of this conclusioun,
                    And knew nothing of this business,
1015         But sodeynly bigonne revel newe
                    But suddenly began to revel anew
1016         Til that the brighte sonne loste his hewe;
                    Until the bright sun lost its hue;
1017         For th' orisonte hath reft the sonne his lyght --
                    For the horizon has bereft the sun of its light --
1018         This is as muche to seye as it was nyght --
                    This is as much to say that it was night --
1019         And hoom they goon in joye and in solas,
                    And home they go in joy and in pleasure,
1020         Save oonly wrecche Aurelius, allas!
                    Save only wretched Aurelius, alas!
1021         He to his hous is goon with sorweful herte.
                    He to his house is gone with sorrowful heart.
1022         He seeth he may nat fro his deeth asterte;
                    He sees he can not escape from his death;
1023         Hym semed that he felte his herte colde.
                    He thought that he felt his heart grow cold.
1024         Up to the hevene his handes he gan holde,
                    Up to the heaven his hands he did hold,
1025         And on his knowes bare he sette hym doun,
                    And on his bare knees he set himself down,
1026         And in his ravyng seyde his orisoun.
                    And in his delirium said his prayer.
1027         For verray wo out of his wit he breyde.
                    For utter woe out of his wits he suddenly went.
1028         He nyste what he spak, but thus he seyde;
                    He knew not what he spoke, but thus he said;
1029         With pitous herte his pleynt hath he bigonne
                    With piteous heart he has begun his complaint
1030         Unto the goddes, and first unto the sonne:
                    Unto the gods, and first unto the sun:

1031         He seyde, "Appollo, god and governour
                    He said, "Apollo, god and governor
1032         Of every plaunte, herbe, tree, and flour,
                    Of every plant, herb, tree, and flower,
1033         That yevest, after thy declinacion,
                    That gives, according to thy height (in the sky),
1034         To ech of hem his tyme and his seson,
                    To each of them its time and its season,
1035         As thyn herberwe chaungeth lowe or heighe,
                    As thy astronomical position changes low or high,
1036         Lord Phebus, cast thy merciable eighe
                    Lord Phoebus, cast thy merciful eye
1037         On wrecche Aurelie, which that am but lorn.
                    On wretched Aurelius, who is as good as lost.
1038         Lo, lord! My lady hath my deeth ysworn
                    Lo, lord! My lady has sworn my death
1039         Withoute gilt, but thy benignytee
                    Without guilt, unless thy kindness
1040         Upon my dedly herte have som pitee.
                    Upon my dying heart have some pity.
1041         For wel I woot, lord Phebus, if yow lest,
                    For well I know, lord Phoebus, if you wish,
1042         Ye may me helpen, save my lady, best.
                    You can help me best (of anyone), except for my lady.
1043         Now voucheth sauf that I may yow devyse
                    Now grant that I may tell you
1044         How that I may been holpen and in what wyse.
                    How I may be helped and in what manner.

1045         "Youre blisful suster, Lucina the sheene,
                    "Your blissful sister, Lucina the bright,
1046         That of the see is chief goddesse and queene
                    Who of the sea is chief goddess and queen
1047         (Though Neptunus have deitee in the see,
                    (Though Neptune have godly dominion in the sea,
1048         Yet emperisse aboven hym is she),
                    Yet empress above him is she),
1049         Ye knowen wel, lord, that right as hir desir
                    You know well, lord, that just as her desire
1050         Is to be quyked and lighted of youre fir,
                    Is to be kindled and ignited by your fire,
1051         For which she folweth yow ful bisily,
                    For which she follows you very attentively,
1052         Right so the see desireth naturelly
                    Just so the sea desires naturally
1053         To folwen hire, as she that is goddesse
                    To follow her, as she that is goddess
1054         Bothe in the see and ryveres moore and lesse.
                    Both in the sea and rivers great and small.
1055         Wherfore, lord Phebus, this is my requeste --
                    Wherefore, lord Phoebus, this is my request --
1056         Do this miracle, or do myn herte breste --
                    Do this miracle, or make my heart break --
1057         That now next at this opposicion
                    That now at this next opposition (of the sun and moon)
1058         Which in the signe shal be of the Leon,
                    Which shall be in the sign of the Lion,
1059         As preieth hire so greet a flood to brynge
                    Pray her so great a high tide to bring
1060         That fyve fadme at the leeste it oversprynge
                    That five fathoms at the least it rise above
1061         The hyeste rokke in Armorik Briteyne;
                    The highest rock in Armorican Brittany;
1062         And lat this flood endure yeres tweyne.
                    And let this flood-tide endure for two years.
1063         Thanne certes to my lady may I seye,
                    Then certainly to my lady may I say,
1064         `Holdeth youre heste, the rokkes been aweye.'
                    `Keep your promise, the rocks are away.'

1065         "Lord Phebus, dooth this miracle for me.
                    "Lord Phoebus, do this miracle for me.
1066         Preye hire she go no faster cours than ye;
                    Pray her that she go at no faster speed as you;
1067         I seye, preyeth your suster that she go
                    I say, pray your sister that she go
1068         No faster cours than ye thise yeres two.
                    At no faster speed as you for these two years.
1069         Thanne shal she been evene atte fulle alway,
                    Then shall she be fully even with you always,
1070         And spryng flood laste bothe nyght and day.
                    And spring flood will last both night and day.
1071         And but she vouche sauf in swich manere
                    And unless she agree in such manner
1072         To graunte me my sovereyn lady deere,
                    To grant me my sovereign lady dear,
1073         Prey hire to synken every rok adoun
                    Pray her to sink every rock down
1074         Into hir owene dirke regioun
                    Into her own dark region
1075         Under the ground, ther Pluto dwelleth inne,
                    Under the ground, in which Pluto dwells,
1076         Or nevere mo shal I my lady wynne.
                    Or never more shall I win my lady.
1077         Thy temple in Delphos wol I barefoot seke.
                    Thy temple in Delphi I will barefoot seek.
1078         Lord Phebus, se the teeris on my cheke,
                    Lord Phoebus, see the tears on my cheek,
1079         And of my peyne have som compassioun."
                    And on my pain have some compassion."
1080         And with that word in swowne he fil adoun,
                    And with that word he fell down in a faint,
1081         And longe tyme he lay forth in a traunce.
                    And for a long time he lay in a trance.

1082         His brother, which that knew of his penaunce,
                    His brother, who knew of his suffering,
1083         Up caughte hym and to bedde he hath hym broght.
                    Caught him up and to bed he has him brought.
1084         Dispeyred in this torment and this thoght
                    Despaired in this torment and this thought
1085         Lete I this woful creature lye;
                    I leave this woeful creature lying;
1086         Chese he, for me, wheither he wol lyve or dye.
                    Let him choose, for all I care, whether he will live or die.

1087         Arveragus, with heele and greet honour,
                    Arveragus, with well-being and great honor,
1088         As he that was of chivalrie the flour,
                    As he that was of chivalry the flower,
1089         Is comen hoom, and othere worthy men.
                    Is come home, and other worthy men.
1090         O blisful artow now, thou Dorigen,
                    O blissful art thou now, thou Dorigen,
1091         That hast thy lusty housbonde in thyne armes,
                    That hast thy lusty husband in thine arms,
1092         The fresshe knyght, the worthy man of armes,
                    The vigorous knight, the worthy man of arms,
1093         That loveth thee as his owene hertes lyf.
                    That loves thee as his own heart's life.
1094         No thyng list hym to been ymaginatyf,
                    He not at all desired to be suspicious,
1095         If any wight hadde spoke, whil he was oute,
                    If any person had spoken, while he was away,
1096         To hire of love; he hadde of it no doute.
                    To her of love; he had of it no fear.
1097         He noght entendeth to no swich mateere,
                    He pays no attention to any such matter,
1098         But daunceth, justeth, maketh hire good cheere;
                    But dances, jousts, makes her good cheer;
1099         And thus in joye and blisse I lete hem dwelle,
                    And thus in joy and bliss I let them dwell,
1100         And of the sike Aurelius wol I telle.
                    And of the sick Aurelius I will tell.

1101         In langour and in torment furyus
                    In suffering and in hellish torment
1102         Two yeer and moore lay wrecche Aurelyus,
                    Two years and more lay wretched Aurelius,
1103         Er any foot he myghte on erthe gon;
                    Before he could set a foot on the ground;
1104         Ne confort in this tyme hadde he noon,
                    Nor had he any comfort in this time,
1105         Save of his brother, which that was a clerk.
                    Except from his brother, who was a clerk.
1106         He knew of al this wo and al this werk,
                    He knew of all this woe and all this suffering,
1107         For to noon oother creature, certeyn,
                    For to no other creature, certainly,
1108         Of this matere he dorste no word seyn.
                    He dared say any word of this matter.
1109         Under his brest he baar it moore secree
                    Under his breast he bore it more secretly
1110         Than evere dide Pamphilus for Galathee.
                    Than ever did Pamphilus for Galathee.
1111         His brest was hool, withoute for to sene,
                    His breast was unhurt, in outward appearance,
1112         But in his herte ay was the arwe kene.
                    But in his heart ever was the sharp arrow.
1113         And wel ye knowe that of a sursanure
                    And well you know that for a wound healed only on the surface
1114         In surgerye is perilous the cure,
                    In surgery the treatment is perilous,
1115         But men myghte touche the arwe or come therby.
                    Unless one could touch the arrow or grasp it.
1116         His brother weep and wayled pryvely,
                    His brother wept and wailed secretly,
1117         Til atte laste hym fil in remembraunce,
                    Until at the last he remembered,
1118         That whiles he was at Orliens in Fraunce --
                    That while he was at Orleans in France --
1119         As yonge clerkes that been lykerous
                    As young clerks that are eager
1120         To reden artes that been curious
                    To read arts that are arcane
1121         Seken in every halke and every herne
                    Seek in every nook and every cranny
1122         Particuler sciences for to lerne --
                    To learn specialized branches of learning --
1123         He hym remembred that, upon a day,
                    He remembered that, one day,
1124         At Orliens in studie a book he say
                    At Orleans in a study hall he saw a book
1125         Of magyk natureel, which his felawe,
                    Of natural science, which his fellow,
1126         That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe,
                    Who was at that time a bachelor of law,
1127         Al were he ther to lerne another craft,
                    Although he was there to learn another craft,
1128         Hadde prively upon his desk ylaft;
                    Had covertly left upon his desk;
1129         Which book spak muchel of the operaciouns
                    Which book spoke much of the operations
1130         Touchynge the eighte and twenty mansiouns
                    Concerning the eight and twenty stations
1131         That longen to the moone, and swich folye
                    That belong to the moon, and such folly
1132         As in oure dayes is nat worth a flye --
                    As in our days is not worth a fly --
1133         For hooly chirches feith in oure bileve
                    For holy church's faith in our belief
1134         Ne suffreth noon illusioun us to greve.
                    Does not allow any illusion to grieve us.
1135         And whan this book was in his remembraunce,
                    And when this book was in his remembrance,
1136         Anon for joye his herte gan to daunce,
                    Straightway for joy his heart began to dance,
1137         And to hymself he seyde pryvely:
                    And to himself he said secretly,
1138         "My brother shal be warisshed hastily;
                    "My brother shall be cured speedily;
1139         For I am siker that ther be sciences
                    For I am sure that there are sciences
1140         By whiche men make diverse apparences,
                    By which men make diverse illusions,
1141         Swiche as thise subtile tregetoures pleye.
                    Such as these subtle illusionists play.
1142         For ofte at feestes have I wel herd seye
                    For often at feasts have I well heard say
1143         That tregetours withinne an halle large
                    That illusionists within a large hall
1144         Have maad come in a water and a barge,
                    Have made come in a water and a barge,
1145         And in the halle rowen up and doun.
                    And in the hall row up and down.
1146         Somtyme hath semed come a grym leoun;
                    Sometimes a grim lion has seemed to come;
1147         And somtyme floures sprynge as in a mede;
                    And sometimes flowers spring as in a field;
1148         Somtyme a vyne, and grapes white and rede;
                    Sometimes a vine, and grapes white and red;
1149         Somtyme a castel, al of lym and stoon;
                    Sometimes a castle, all of mortar and stone;
1150         And whan hem lyked, voyded it anon.
                    And when they pleased, they made it suddenly disappear.
1151         Thus semed it to every mannes sighte.
                    Thus it seemed to every man's sight.

1152         "Now thanne conclude I thus: that if I myghte
                    "Now then conclude I thus: that if I might
1153         At Orliens som oold felawe yfynde
                    At Orleans find some old fellow
1154         That hadde thise moones mansions in mynde,
                    Who had these moon's stations in mind,
1155         Or oother magyk natureel above,
                    Or other natural science beyond that
1156         He sholde wel make my brother han his love.
                    He should well make my brother have his love.
1157         For with an apparence a clerk may make,
                    For with an apparition a clerk may make it seem,
1158         To mannes sighte, that alle the rokkes blake
                    To man's sight, that all the rocks black
1159         Of Britaigne weren yvoyded everichon,
                    Of Brittany were removed every one,
1160         And shippes by the brynke comen and gon,
                    And ships by the shore come and go,
1161         And in swich forme enduren a wowke or two.
                    And in such form endure a week or two.
1162         Thanne were my brother warisshed of his wo;
                    Then my brother would be cured of his woe;
1163         Thanne moste she nedes holden hire biheste,
                    Then must she by necessity keep her promise,
1164         Or elles he shal shame hire atte leeste."
                    Or else he shall shame her at the least."

1165         What sholde I make a lenger tale of this?
                    Why should I make a longer tale of this?
1166         Unto his brotheres bed he comen is,
                    Unto his brother's bed he is come,
1167         And swich confort he yaf hym for to gon
                    And such encouragement he gave him to go
1168         To Orliens that he up stirte anon,
                    To Orleans that he leaped up immediately,
1169         And on his wey forthward thanne is he fare
                    And on his way forth then is he gone
1170         In hope for to been lissed of his care.
                    In hope to be relieved of his care.

1171         Whan they were come almoost to that citee,
                    When they had come almost to that city,
1172         But if it were a two furlong or thre,
                    Not more than two or three furlongs,
1173         A yong clerk romynge by hymself they mette,
                    A young clerk roaming by himself they met,
1174         Which that in Latyn thriftily hem grette,
                    Who in Latin politely greeted them,
1175         And after that he seyde a wonder thyng:
                    And after that he said a wonderful thing:
1176         "I knowe," quod he, "the cause of youre comyng."
                    "I know," he said, "the cause of your coming."
1177         And er they ferther any foote wente,
                    And before they went any foot farther,
1178         He tolde hem al that was in hire entente.
                    He told them all that was in their intention.

1179         This Briton clerk hym asked of felawes
                    This Breton clerk asked him about fellows
1180         The whiche that he had knowe in olde dawes,
                    Whom he had known in old days,
1181         And he answerde hym that they dede were,
                    And he answered him that they were dead,
1182         For which he weep ful ofte many a teere.
                    For which he wept very often many a tear.

1183         Doun of his hors Aurelius lighte anon,
                    Down off his horse Aurelius alighted straightway,
1184         And with this magicien forth is he gon
                    And with this magician forth he is gone
1185         Hoom to his hous, and maden hem wel at ese.
                    Home to his house, and put them well at ease.
1186         Hem lakked no vitaille that myghte hem plese.
                    They lacked no foods that might please them.
1187         So wel arrayed hous as ther was oon
                    So well appointed a house as this one was
1188         Aurelius in his lyf saugh nevere noon.
                    Aurelius in his life saw never a one.

1189         He shewed hym, er he wente to sopeer,
                    He showed him, before he went to supper,
1190         Forestes, parkes ful of wilde deer;
                    Forests, parks full of wild deer;
1191         Ther saugh he hertes with hir hornes hye,
                    There he saw harts with their high horns,
1192         The gretteste that evere were seyn with ye.
                    The greatest that ever were seen with eye.
1193         He saugh of hem an hondred slayn with houndes,
                    He saw a hundred of them slain by hounds,
1194         And somme with arwes blede of bittre woundes.
                    And some bled because of bitter wounds from arrows.
1195         He saugh, whan voyded were thise wilde deer,
                    He saw, when these wild deer were removed,
1196         Thise fauconers upon a fair ryver,
                    These hunters with falcons upon a fair riverbank,
1197         That with hir haukes han the heron slayn.
                    That with their hawks have slain the heron.

1198         Tho saugh he knyghtes justyng in a playn;
                    Then he saw knights jousting in a plain;
1199         And after this he dide hym swich plesaunce
                    And after this he provided him such pleasure
1200         That he hym shewed his lady on a daunce,
                    That he showed him his lady in a dance,
1201         On which hymself he daunced, as hym thoughte.
                    In which he himself danced, as he thought.
1202         And whan this maister that this magyk wroughte
                    And when this master that wrought this magic
1203         Saugh it was tyme, he clapte his handes two,
                    Saw it was time, he clapped his two hands,
1204         And farewel! Al oure revel was ago.
                    And farewell! All our revel was gone.
1205         And yet remoeved they nevere out of the hous,
                    And yet moved they never out of the house,
1206         Whil they saugh al this sighte merveillous,
                    While they saw all this marvelous sight,
1207         But in his studie, ther as his bookes be,
                    But in his study, where his books are,
1208         They seten stille, and no wight but they thre.
                    They sat still, and no person (was there) but these three.

1209         To hym this maister called his squier,
                    This master called his squire to him,
1210         And seyde hym thus: "Is redy oure soper?
                    And said to him thus: "Is our supper ready?
1211         Almoost an houre it is, I undertake,
                    Almost an hour it is, I declare,
1212         Sith I yow bad oure soper for to make,
                    Since I ordered you to make our supper,
1213         Whan that thise worthy men wenten with me
                    When these worthy men went with me
1214         Into my studie, ther as my bookes be."
                    Into my study, where my books are."

1215         "Sire," quod this squier, "whan it liketh yow,
                    "Sir," said this squire, "when it pleases you,
1216         It is al redy, though ye wol right now."
                    It is all ready, even if you want it right now."
1217         "Go we thanne soupe," quod he, "as for the beste.
                    "Go we then to sup," said he, "as is the best (to do).
1218         Thise amorous folk somtyme moote han hir reste."
                    These amorous folk sometime must have their rest."

1219         At after-soper fille they in tretee
                    At after-supper they began to discuss
1220         What somme sholde this maistres gerdon be
                    What sum this master's payment should be
1221         To remoeven alle the rokkes of Britayne,
                    To remove all the rocks of Brittany,
1222         And eek from Gerounde to the mouth of Sayne.
                    And also from Gironde to the mouth of Seine.

1223         He made it straunge, and swoor, so God hym save,
                    He raised difficulties, and swore, as God may him save,
1224         Lasse than a thousand pound he wolde nat have,
                    Less than a thousand pounds he would not have,
1225         Ne gladly for that somme he wolde nat goon.
                    Nor would he go gladly even for that sum.

1226         Aurelius, with blisful herte anoon,
                    Aurelius, with blissful heart, at once
1227         Answerde thus: "Fy on a thousand pound!
                    Answered thus: "Fie on a thousand pounds!
1228         This wyde world, which that men seye is round,
                    This wide world, which men say is round,
1229         I wolde it yeve, if I were lord of it.
                    I would give it, if I were lord of it.
1230         This bargayn is ful dryve, for we been knyt.
                    This bargain is fully concluded, for we are agreed.
1231         Ye shal be payed trewely, by my trouthe!
                    You shall be paid truly, by my pledged word!
1232         But looketh now, for no necligence or slouthe
                    But look now, for no negligence or laziness
1233         Ye tarie us heere no lenger than to-morwe."
                    You delay us here any longer than to-morrow."

1234         "Nay," quod this clerk, "have heer my feith to borwe."
                    "Nay," said this clerk, "have here my faith as a pledge."

1235         To bedde is goon Aurelius whan hym leste,
                    To bed is gone Aurelius when it pleased him,
1236         And wel ny al that nyght he hadde his reste.
                    And well nigh all that night he had his rest.
1237         What for his labour and his hope of blisse,
                    What for his labor and his hope of bliss,
1238         His woful herte of penaunce hadde a lisse.
                    His woeful heart of suffering had relief.

1239         Upon the morwe, whan that it was day,
                    Upon the morrow, when it was day,
1240         To Britaigne tooke they the righte way,
                    To Brittany took they the direct route,
1241         Aurelius and this magicien bisyde,
                    Aurelius and this magician beside him,
1242         And been descended ther they wolde abyde.
                    And are arrived where they would stay.
1243         And this was, as thise bookes me remembre,
                    And this was, as these books remind me,
1244         The colde, frosty seson of Decembre.
                    The cold, frosty season of December.

1245         Phebus wax old, and hewed lyk laton,
                    Phoebus grew old, and colored grayish silver,
1246         That in his hoote declynacion
                    That in his hot declination (in summer)
1247         Shoon as the burned gold with stremes brighte;
                    Shone like burnished gold with bright rays;
1248         But now in Capricorn adoun he lighte,
                    But now in Capricorn he alights down,
1249         Where as he shoon ful pale, I dar wel seyn.
                    Where he shone full pale, I dare well say.
1250         The bittre frostes, with the sleet and reyn,
                    The bitter frosts, with the sleet and rain,
1251         Destroyed hath the grene in every yerd.
                    Have destroyed the green in every garden.
1252         Janus sit by the fyr, with double berd,
                    Janus sits by the fire, with double beard,
1253         And drynketh of his bugle horn the wyn;
                    And drinks the wine from his buffalo horn;
1254         Biforn hym stant brawen of the tusked swyn,
                    Before him stands meat of the tusked boar,
1255         And "Nowel" crieth every lusty man.
                    And "Noel" cries every lusty man.

1256         Aurelius in al that evere he kan
                    Aurelius in all that ever he can
1257         Dooth to this maister chiere and reverence,
                    Provides for this master entertainment and reverence,
1258         And preyeth hym to doon his diligence
                    And prays him to work diligently
1259         To bryngen hym out of his peynes smerte,
                    To bring him out of his bitter pains,
1260         Or with a swerd that he wolde slitte his herte.
                    Or with a sword he would slit his heart.

1261         This subtil clerk swich routhe had of this man
                    This subtle clerk had such pity for this man
1262         That nyght and day he spedde hym that he kan
                    That night and day he worked as fast as he can
1263         To wayten a tyme of his conclusioun;
                    To seek a time for his astronomical operation;
1264         This is to seye, to maken illusioun,
                    This is to say, to make illusion,
1265         By swich an apparence or jogelrye --
                    By such an appearance or conjurer's trick --
1266         I ne kan no termes of astrologye --
                    I know no technical terms of astrology --
1267         That she and every wight sholde wene and seye
                    That she and every person should believe and say
1268         That of Britaigne the rokkes were aweye,
                    That the rocks of Brittany were away,
1269         Or ellis they were sonken under grounde.
                    Or else they were sunk under ground.
1270         So atte laste he hath his tyme yfounde
                    So at the last he has his time found
1271         To maken his japes and his wrecchednesse
                    To make his tricks and his wretched deeds
1272         Of swich a supersticious cursednesse.
                    Of such a superstitious cursedness.
1273         His tables Tolletanes forth he brought,
                    His astronomical tables of Toledo he brought forth,
1274         Ful wel corrected, ne ther lakked nought,
                    Accurately corrected, nor was there anything lacking,
1275         Neither his collect ne his expans yeeris,
                    Neither his tables of single years nor of twenty-year periods,
1276         Ne his rootes, ne his othere geeris,
                    Nor his dates for calculations, nor his other apparatus,
1277         As been his centris and his argumentz
                    Such as are his table of distances and his angles for calculation
1278         And his proporcioneles convenientz
                    And his table for computing motions (of the planets)
1279         For his equacions in every thyng.
                    For his divisions of the sphere in every detail.
1280         And by his eighte speere in his wirkyng
                    And by his eighth sphere in his working
1281         He knew ful wel how fer Alnath was shove
                    He knew full well how far the star Alnath was shoved
1282         Fro the heed of thilke fixe Aries above,
                    From the head of that fixed Aries above,
1283         That in the ninthe speere considered is;
                    That in the ninth sphere is observed;
1284         Ful subtilly he kalkuled al this.
                    Full subtly he calculated all this.

1285         Whan he hadde founde his firste mansioun,
                    When he had found his first position of the moon,
1286         He knew the remenaunt by proporcioun,
                    He knew the remnant by astronomical tables,
1287         And knew the arisyng of his moone weel,
                    And knew the arising of his moon well,
1288         And in whos face, and terme, and everydeel;
                    And in which planet's face and term (zodiacal divisions), and everything;
1289         And knew ful weel the moones mansioun
                    And knew full well the moon's position
1290         Acordaunt to his operacioun,
                    In accordance with his operation,
1291         And knew also his othere observaunces
                    And knew also his other observations
1292         For swiche illusiouns and swiche meschaunces
                    For such illusions and such evil practices
1293         As hethen folk useden in thilke dayes.
                    As heathen folk used in those days.
1294         For which no lenger maked he delayes,
                    For which no longer he made delay,
1295         But thurgh his magik, for a wyke or tweye,
                    But through his magic, for a week or two,
1296         It semed that alle the rokkes were aweye.
                    It seemed that all the rocks were away.

1297         Aurelius, which that yet despeired is
                    Aurelius, who is yet in despair
1298         Wher he shal han his love or fare amys,
                    Whether he shall have his love or fare badly,
1299         Awaiteth nyght and day on this myracle;
                    Waits night and day for this miracle;
1300         And whan he knew that ther was noon obstacle,
                    And when he knew that there was no obstacle,
1301         That voyded were thise rokkes everychon,
                    That every one of these rocks were removed,
1302         Doun to his maistres feet he fil anon,
                    Down to his mistress' feet he fell at once,
1303         And seyde, "I woful wrecche, Aurelius,
                    And said, "I woeful wretched, Aurelius,
1304         Thanke yow, lord, and lady myn Venus,
                    Thank you, lord, and my lady Venus,
1305         That me han holpen fro my cares colde."
                    Who have helped me out of my deadly cares."
1306         And to the temple his wey forth hath he holde,
                    And to the temple he has held forth his way,
1307         Where as he knew he sholde his lady see.
                    Where he knew he should see his lady.
1308         And whan he saugh his tyme, anon-right hee,
                    And when he saw his time, immediately he,
1309         With dredful herte and with ful humble cheere,
                    With fearful heart and with full humble manner,
1310         Salewed hath his sovereyn lady deere:
                    Has saluted his sovereign lady dear:

1311         "My righte lady," quod this woful man,
                    "My true lady," said this woeful man,
1312         "Whom I moost drede and love as I best kan,
                    "Whom I most dread and love as I best know how,
1313         And lothest were of al this world displese,
                    And am of all this world most reluctant to displease,
1314         Nere it that I for yow have swich disese
                    Were it not that I for you have such distress
1315         That I moste dyen heere at youre foot anon,
                    That I must die here at your feet right now,
1316         Noght wolde I telle how me is wo bigon.
                    I would tell nothing of how I am beset by woe.
1317         But certes outher moste I dye or pleyne;
                    But certainly either I must die or complain;
1318         Ye sle me giltelees for verray peyne.
                    You slay me guiltless for sheer pain.
1319         But of my deeth thogh that ye have no routhe,
                    But though you have no pity on my death,
1320         Avyseth yow er that ye breke youre trouthe.
                    Think carefully before you break your pledged word.
1321         Repenteth yow, for thilke God above,
                    Repent, for that God above,
1322         Er ye me sleen by cause that I yow love.
                    Before you slay me because I love you.
1323         For, madame, wel ye woot what ye han hight --
                    For, madam, you know well what you have promised --
1324         Nat that I chalange any thyng of right
                    Not that I claim any thing as a right
1325         Of yow, my sovereyn lady, but youre grace --
                    From you, my sovereign lady, except for your good favor --
1326         But in a gardyn yond, at swich a place,
                    But in a garden yonder, at a particular place,
1327         Ye woot right wel what ye bihighten me;
                    You know right well what you promised me;
1328         And in myn hand youre trouthe plighten ye
                    And in my hand you pledged your word
1329         To love me best -- God woot, ye seyde so,
                    To love me best -- God knows, you said so,
1330         Al be that I unworthy am therto.
                    Although I am unworthy of it.
1331         Madame, I speke it for the honour of yow
                    Madam, I speak it for your honor
1332         Moore than to save myn hertes lyf right now --
                    More than to save my heart's life right now --
1333         I have do so as ye comanded me;
                    I have done as you commanded me;
1334         And if ye vouche sauf, ye may go see.
                    And if you agree, you may go see.
1335         Dooth as yow list; have youre biheste in mynde,
                    Do as you please; have your promise in mind,
1336         For, quyk or deed, right there ye shal me fynde.
                    For, living or dead, right there you shall find me.
1337         In yow lith al to do me lyve or deye --
                    In you lies the power to make me live or die --
1338         But wel I woot the rokkes been aweye."
                    But well I know the rocks are away."

1339         He taketh his leve, and she astoned stood;
                    He takes his leave, and she astounded stood;
1340         In al hir face nas a drope of blood.
                    In all her face was not a drop of blood.
1341         She wende nevere han come in swich a trappe.
                    She never expected to have come in such a trap.
1342         "Allas," quod she, "that evere this sholde happe!
                    "Alas," she said, "that ever this should happen!
1343         For wende I nevere by possibilitee
                    For I never supposed by possibility
1344         That swich a monstre or merveille myghte be!
                    That such a wonder or marvel could be!
1345         It is agayns the proces of nature."
                    It is against the laws of nature."
1346         And hoom she goth a sorweful creature;
                    And home she goes a sorrowful creature;
1347         For verray feere unnethe may she go.
                    For sheer fear she can hardly walk.
1348         She wepeth, wailleth, al a day or two,
                    She weeps, wails, all one day or two,
1349         And swowneth, that it routhe was to see.
                    And swoons, that it was pitiful to see.
1350         But why it was to no wight tolde shee,
                    But why it was she told to no person,
1351         For out of towne was goon Arveragus.
                    For Arveragus had gone out of town.
1352         But to hirself she spak, and seyde thus,
                    But to herself she spoke, and said thus,
1353         With face pale and with ful sorweful cheere,
                    With face pale and with full sorrowful manner,
1354         In hire compleynt, as ye shal after heere:
                    In her complaint, as you shall after hear:

1355         "Allas," quod she, "on thee, Fortune, I pleyne,
                    "Alas," said she, "on thee, Fortune, I complain,
1356         That unwar wrapped hast me in thy cheyne,
                    That without warning hast wrapped me in thy chain,
1357         Fro which t' escape woot I no socour,
                    From which to escape I know no help,
1358         Save oonly deeth or elles dishonour;
                    Save only death or else dishonor;
1359         Oon of thise two bihoveth me to chese.
                    One of these two I am compelled to choose.
1360         But nathelees, yet have I levere to lese
                    But neverthelees, yet I would rather lose
1361         My lif than of my body to have a shame,
                    My life than of my body to have a shame,
1362         Or knowe myselven fals, or lese my name;
                    Or know myself false, or lose my good name;
1363         And with my deth I may be quyt, ywis.
                    And with my death I may be free from blame, indeed.
1364         Hath ther nat many a noble wyf er this,
                    Has there not many a noble wife before this,
1365         And many a mayde, yslayn hirself, allas,
                    And many a maid, slain herself, alas,
1366         Rather than with hir body doon trespas?
                    Rather than do sin with her body?

1367         "Yis, certes, lo, thise stories beren witnesse:
                    "Yes indeed, certainly, lo, these stories bear witness:
1368         Whan thritty tirauntz, ful of cursednesse,
                    When thirty tyrants, full of cursedness,
1369         Hadde slayn Phidon in Atthenes atte feste,
                    Had slain Phidon in Athens at the feast,
1370         They comanded his doghtres for t' areste
                    They commanded (the guards) to seize his daughters
1371         And bryngen hem biforn hem in despit,
                    And bring them before them as an insult,
1372         Al naked, to fulfille hir foul delit,
                    All naked, to fulfill their foul delight,
1373         And in hir fadres blood they made hem daunce
                    And in their father's blood they made them dance
1374         Upon the pavement, God yeve hem meschaunce!
                    Upon the pavement, God give them misfortune!
1375         For which thise woful maydens, ful of drede,
                    For which these woeful maidens, full of dread,
1376         Rather than they wolde lese hir maydenhede,
                    Rather than they would lose their maidenhood,
1377         They prively been stirt into a welle
                    They secretly have leaped into a well
1378         And dreynte hemselven, as the bookes telle.
                    And drowned themselves, as the books tell.

1379         "They of Mecene leete enquere and seke
                    "They of Messene had (people) search out and seek
1380         Of Lacedomye fifty maydens eke,
                    Fifty maidens of Sparta also,
1381         On whiche they wolden doon hir lecherye.
                    On whom they would do their lechery.
1382         But was ther noon of al that compaignye
                    But there was none of all that company
1383         That she nas slayn, and with a good entente
                    That she was not slain, and with a good intent
1384         Chees rather for to dye than assente
                    Chose rather to die than assent
1385         To been oppressed of hir maydenhede.
                    To be deprived of her maidenhood.
1386         Why sholde I thanne to dye been in drede?
                    Why should I then be afraid to die?
1387         Lo, eek, the tiraunt Aristoclides,
                    Lo, also, the tyrant Aristoclides,
1388         That loved a mayden, heet Stymphalides,
                    That loved a maiden, called Stymphalides,
1389         Whan that hir fader slayn was on a nyght,
                    When her father was slain on a night,
1390         Unto Dianes temple goth she right,
                    Unto Diana's temple she goes directly,
1391         And hente the ymage in hir handes two,
                    And seized the statue in her two hands,
1392         Fro which ymage wolde she nevere go.
                    From which statue she would never go.
1393         No wight ne myghte hir handes of it arace
                    No person could pull her hands away from it
1394         Til she was slayn, right in the selve place.
                    Until she was slain, right in the same place.

1395         "Now sith that maydens hadden swich despit
                    "Now since maidens had such disdain
1396         To been defouled with mannes foul delit,
                    To be defiled by man's foul delight,
1397         Wel oghte a wyf rather hirselven slee
                    Well ought a wife rather herself slay
1398         Than be defouled, as it thynketh me.
                    Than be defiled, as it seems to me.
1399         What shal I seyn of Hasdrubales wyf,
                    What shall I say of Hasdrubale's wife,
1400         That at Cartage birafte hirself hir lyf?
                    That at Carthage deprived herself of her life?
1401         For whan she saugh that Romayns wan the toun,
                    For when she saw that Romans won the town,
1402         She took hir children alle, and skipte adoun
                    She took her children all, and leaped down
1403         Into the fyr, and chees rather to dye
                    Into the fire, and chose rather to die
1404         Than any Romayn dide hire vileynye.
                    Than any Roman did her a dishonor.
1405         Hath nat Lucresse yslayn hirself, allas,
                    Has not Lucretia slain herself, alas,
1406         At Rome, whan that she oppressed was
                    At Rome, when she was raped
1407         Of Tarquyn, for hire thoughte it was a shame
                    By Tarquin, for she thought it was a shame
1408         To lyven whan she hadde lost hir name?
                    To live when she had lost her good name?
1409         The sevene maydens of Milesie also
                    The seven maidens of Miletus also
1410         Han slayn hemself, for verrey drede and wo,
                    Have slain themselves, for sheer dread and woe,
1411         Rather than folk of Gawle hem sholde oppresse.
                    Rather than folk of Galatia should rape them.
1412         Mo than a thousand stories, as I gesse,
                    More than a thousand stories, as I guess,
1413         Koude I now telle as touchynge this mateere.
                    Could I now tell concerning this matter.
1414         Whan Habradate was slayn, his wyf so deere
                    When Habradate was slain, his wife so dear
1415         Hirselven slow, and leet hir blood to glyde
                    Herself slew, and let her blood pour
1416         In Habradates woundes depe and wyde,
                    In Habradate's wounds deep and wide,
1417         And seyde, `My body, at the leeste way,
                    And said, `My body, at the least,
1418         Ther shal no wight defoulen, if I may."
                    There shall no person defile, if I can (help it)."

1419         "What sholde I mo ensamples heerof sayn,
                    "Why should I tell more examples concerning this,
1420         Sith that so manye han hemselven slayn
                    Since so many have themselves slain
1421         Wel rather than they wolde defouled be?
                    Well rather than they would be defiled?
1422         I wol conclude that it is bet for me
                    I will conclude that it is better for me
1423         To sleen myself than been defouled thus.
                    To slay myself than be defiled thus.
1424         I wol be trewe unto Arveragus,
                    I will be true unto Arveragus,
1425         Or rather sleen myself in som manere,
                    Or rather slay myself in some manner,
1426         As dide Demociones doghter deere
                    As did Demotion's daughter dear
1427         By cause that she wolde nat defouled be.
                    Because she would not defiled be.
1428         O Cedasus, it is ful greet pitee
                    O Scedasus, it is a very great pity
1429         To reden how thy doghtren deyde, allas,
                    To read how thy daughters died, alas,
1430         That slowe hemself for swich manere cas.
                    Who slew themselves for a similar sort of cause.
1431         As greet a pitee was it, or wel moore,
                    As great a pity was it, or well more,
1432         The Theban mayden that for Nichanore
                    The Theban maiden that for Nichanore
1433         Hirselven slow, right for swich manere wo.
                    Slew herself, exactly for such sort of woe.
1434         Another Theban mayden dide right so;
                    Another Theban maiden did exactly the same;
1435         For oon of Macidonye hadde hire oppressed,
                    Because one of Macedonia had raped her,
1436         She with hire deeth hir maydenhede redressed.
                    She with her death avenged her maidenhood.
1437         What shal I seye of Nicerates wyf,
                    What shall I say of Nicerates' wife,
1438         That for swich cas birafte hirself hir lyf?
                    That for a similar case deprived herself of her life?
1439         How trewe eek was to Alcebiades
                    How true also to Alcebiades was
1440         His love, that rather for to dyen chees
                    His lover, who chose rather to die
1441         Than for to suffre his body unburyed be.
                    Than to allow his body to be unburied.
1442         Lo, which a wyf was Alceste," quod she.
                    Lo, what a wife was Alcestis," she said.
1443         "What seith Omer of goode Penalopee?
                    "What says Homer of good Penelope?
1444         Al Grece knoweth of hire chastitee.
                    All Greece knows of her chastity.
1445         Pardee, of Laodomya is writen thus,
                    By God, of Laodomia is written thus,
1446         That whan at Troie was slayn Protheselaus,
                    That when at Troy Protheselaus was slain,
1447         Ne lenger wolde she lyve after his day.
                    No longer would she live after his day (i.e., death).
1448         The same of noble Porcia telle I may;
                    The same of noble Portia I can tell;
1449         Withoute Brutus koude she nat lyve,
                    Without Brutus she could not live,
1450         To whom she hadde al hool hir herte yive.
                    To whom she had entirely given her heart.
1451         The parfit wyfhod of Arthemesie
                    The perfect wifehood of Arthemesie
1452         Honured is thurgh al the Barbarie.
                    Honored is through all heathendom.
1453         O Teuta, queene, thy wyfly chastitee
                    O Teuta, queen, thy wifely chastity
1454         To alle wyves may a mirour bee.
                    To all wives may be a mirror.
1455         The same thyng I seye of Bilyea,
                    The same thing I say of Bilia,
1456         Of Rodogone, and eek Valeria."
                    Of Rhodogune, and also Valeria."

1457         Thus pleyned Dorigen a day or tweye,
                    Thus Dorigen complained a day or two,
1458         Purposynge evere that she wolde deye.
                    Intending ever that she would die.
1459         But nathelees, upon the thridde nyght,
                    But neverthelees, upon the third night,
1460         Hoom cam Arveragus, this worthy knyght,
                    Home came Arveragus, this worthy knight,
1461         And asked hire why that she weep so soore;
                    And asked her why she wept so bitterly;
1462         And she gan wepen ever lenger the moore.
                    And she began to weep, ever the longer (she wept) the more (she wept) .
1463         "Allas," quod she, "that evere was I born!
                    "Alas," said she, "that ever I was born!
1464         Thus have I seyd," quod she, "thus have I sworn" --
                    Thus have I said," said she, "thus have I sworn" --
1465         And toold hym al as ye han herd bifore;
                    And told him all as you have heard before;
1466         It nedeth nat reherce it yow namoore.
                    There is no need to repeat it to you any more.
1467         This housbonde, with glad chiere, in freendly wyse
                    This husband, with cheerful demeanor, in a friendly manner
1468         Answerde and seyde as I shal yow devyse:
                    Answered and said as I shall tell you:
1469         "Is ther oght elles, Dorigen, but this?"
                    "Is there anything else, Dorigen, but this?"

1470         "Nay, nay," quod she, "God helpe me so as wys!
                    "Nay, nay," she said, "So help me God!
1471         This is to muche, and it were Goddes wille."
                    This is too much, even if it were God's will."

1472         "Ye, wyf," quod he, "lat slepen that is stille.
                    "Yes, wife," he said, "let sleep that which is still.
1473         It may be wel, paraventure, yet to day.
                    It may be well, perhaps, yet to day.
1474         Ye shul youre trouthe holden, by my fay!
                    You shall keep your pledged word, by my faith!
1475         For God so wisly have mercy upon me,
                    For as surely as God may have mercy upon me,
1476         I hadde wel levere ystiked for to be
                    I had well rather be stabbed
1477         For verray love which that I to yow have,
                    For sheer love which I to have for you,
1478         But if ye sholde youre trouthe kepe and save.
                    Than you should (do anything but) keep and save your pledged word.
1479         Trouthe is the hyeste thyng that man may kepe" --
                    One's pldged word is the highest thing that one may keep" --
1480         But with that word he brast anon to wepe,
                    But with that word he immediately burst into tears,
1481         And seyde, "I yow forbede, up peyne of deeth,
                    And said, "I you forbid, upon pain of death,
1482         That nevere, whil thee lasteth lyf ne breeth,
                    That never, while thy life or breath lasts,
1483         To no wight telle thou of this aventure --
                    Thou tell any person about this adventure --
1484         As I may best, I wol my wo endure --
                    As I best can, I will my woe endure --
1485         Ne make no contenance of hevynesse,
                    Nor make any outward appearance of sadness,
1486         That folk of yow may demen harm or gesse."
                    That folk may believe or guess anything harmful concerning you."

1487         And forth he cleped a squier and a mayde:
                    And forth he called a squire and a maid:
1488         "Gooth forth anon with Dorigen," he sayde,
                    "Go forth right now with Dorigen," he said,
1489         "And bryngeth hire to swich a place anon."
                    "And bring her to such a place quickly."
1490         They take hir leve, and on hir wey they gon,
                    They take their leave, and on their way they go,
1491         But they ne wiste why she thider wente.
                    But they knew not why she thither went.
1492         He nolde no wight tellen his entente.
                    He would no person tell his intention.

1493         Paraventure an heep of yow, ywis,
                    Perhaps a heap of you, indeed,
1494         Wol holden hym a lewed man in this
                    Will consider him a foolish man in this
1495         That he wol putte his wyf in jupartie.
                    That he will put his wife in jeopardy.
1496         Herkneth the tale er ye upon hire crie.
                    Listen to the tale before you cry out about her.
1497         She may have bettre fortune than yow semeth;
                    She may have better fortune than it seems to you;
1498         And whan that ye han herd the tale, demeth.
                    And when you have heard the tale, judge.

1499         This squier, which that highte Aurelius,
                    This squire, who was called Aurelius,
1500         On Dorigen that was so amorus,
                    On Dorigen who was so amorous,
1501         Of aventure happed hire to meete
                    By chance happened to meet her
1502         Amydde the toun, right in the quykkest strete,
                    Amidst the town, right in the busiest street,
1503         As she was bown to goon the wey forth right
                    As she was about to go the way directly
1504         Toward the gardyn ther as she had hight.
                    Toward the garden where she had promised (to go).
1505         And he was to the gardyn-ward also;
                    And he was going toward the garden also;
1506         For wel he spyed whan she wolde go
                    For well he spied when she would go
1507         Out of hir hous to any maner place.
                    Out of her house to any sort of place.
1508         But thus they mette, of aventure or grace,
                    But thus they met, by chance or luck,
1509         And he saleweth hire with glad entente,
                    And he salutes her cheerfully,
1510         And asked of hire whiderward she wente;
                    And asked her where she went;
1511         And she answerde, half as she were mad,
                    And she answered, as if she were half mad,
1512         "Unto the gardyn, as myn housbonde bad,
                    "Unto the garden, as my husband commanded,
1513         My trouthe for to holde -- allas, allas!"
                    My pledged word to keep -- alas, alas!"

1514         Aurelius gan wondren on this cas,
                    Aurelius began to wonder about this case,
1515         And in his herte hadde greet compassioun
                    And in his heart had great compassion
1516         Of hire and of hire lamentacioun,
                    Of her and of her lamentation,
1517         And of Arveragus, the worthy knyght,
                    And of Arveragus, the worthy knight,
1518         That bad hire holden al that she had hight,
                    Who commanded her to keep all that she had promised,
1519         So looth hym was his wyf sholde breke hir trouthe;
                    So hateful to him it was that his wife should break her word;
1520         And in his herte he caughte of this greet routhe,
                    And in his heart he took great pity on this,
1521         Considerynge the beste on every syde,
                    Considering what would be best in every respect,
1522         That fro his lust yet were hym levere abyde
                    That he would rather yet refrain from his desire
1523         Than doon so heigh a cherlyssh wrecchednesse
                    Than do so great a churlish despicable act
1524         Agayns franchise and alle gentillesse;
                    Against generosity and all nobility of character;
1525         For which in fewe wordes seyde he thus:
                    For which in few words he said thus:

1526         "Madame, seyth to youre lord Arveragus
                    "Madam, say to your lord Arveragus
1527         That sith I se his grete gentillesse
                    That since I see his great graciousness
1528         To yow, and eek I se wel youre distresse,
                    To you, and also I see well your distress,
1529         That him were levere han shame (and that were routhe)
                    That he would rather have shame (and that would be a pity)
1530         Than ye to me sholde breke thus youre trouthe,
                    Than you should thus break your pledged word to me,
1531         I have wel levere evere to suffre wo
                    I would well rather suffer woe always
1532         Than I departe the love bitwix yow two.
                    Than I should break apart the love between you two.
1533         I yow relesse, madame, into youre hond
                    I release you, madam, into your hand I return
1534         Quyt every serement and every bond
                    Freely every pledge and every bond
1535         That ye han maad to me as heerbiforn,
                    That you have made to me before now,
1536         Sith thilke tyme which that ye were born.
                    Since that time when you were born.
1537         My trouthe I plighte, I shal yow never repreve
                    I pledge my word, I shall never reprove you
1538         Of no biheste, and heere I take my leve,
                    For any promise, and here I take my leave,
1539         As of the treweste and the beste wyf
                    Of the truest and the best wife
1540         That evere yet I knew in al my lyf.
                    That ever yet I knew in all my life.
1541         But every wyf be war of hire biheeste!
                    But let every wife beware of her promise!
1542         On Dorigen remembreth, atte leeste.
                    Remember Dorigen, at the least.
1543         Thus kan a squier doon a gentil dede
                    Thus can a squire do a gentle deed
1544         As wel as kan a knyght, withouten drede."
                    As well as can a knight, without doubt."

1545         She thonketh hym upon hir knees al bare,
                    She thanks him upon her bare knees,
1546         And hoom unto hir housbonde is she fare,
                    And home unto her husband she is gone,
1547         And tolde hym al, as ye han herd me sayd;
                    And told him all, as you have heard me say;
1548         And be ye siker, he was so weel apayd
                    And be you sure, he was so well pleased
1549         That it were impossible me to wryte.
                    That it would be impossible for me to write.
1550         What sholde I lenger of this cas endyte?
                    Why should I write longer about this matter?

1551         Arveragus and Dorigen his wyf
                    Arveragus and Dorigen his wife
1552         In sovereyn blisse leden forth hir lyf.
                    In perfect bliss lead forth their life.
1553         Nevere eft ne was ther angre hem bitwene.
                    Never again was there any anger between them.
1554         He cherisseth hire as though she were a queene,
                    He cherishes her as though she were a queen,
1555         And she was to hym trewe for everemoore.
                    And she was to him true for evermore.
1556         Of thise two folk ye gete of me namoore.
                    Of these two folk you get of me no more.

1557         Aurelius, that his cost hath al forlorn,
                    Aurelius, that all his expenditure has forfeited,
1558         Curseth the tyme that evere he was born:
                    Curses the time that ever he was born:
1559         "Allas!" quod he. "Allas, that I bihighte
                    "Alas!" said he. "Alas, that I promised
1560         Of pured gold a thousand pound of wighte
                    Of refined gold a thousand pounds of weight
1561         Unto this philosophre! How shal I do?
                    Unto this scientist! What shall I do?
1562         I se namoore but that I am fordo.
                    I see no more but that I am ruined.
1563         Myn heritage moot I nedes selle,
                    My heritage I must of necessity sell,
1564         And been a beggere; heere may I nat dwelle
                    And be a beggar; here I may not remain
1565         And shamen al my kynrede in this place,
                    And shame all my kin in this place,
1566         But I of hym may gete bettre grace.
                    Unless I can get a better grace (favor) from him.
1567         But nathelees, I wole of hym assaye,
                    But nonetheless, I will try him, (offering)
1568         At certeyn dayes, yeer by yeer, to paye,
                    At specific days, year by year, to pay,
1569         And thanke hym of his grete curteisye.
                    And thank him for his great courtesy.
1570         My trouthe wol I kepe, I wol nat lye."
                    My word I will keep, I will not lie."

1571         With herte soor he gooth unto his cofre,
                    With a sore heart he goes unto his money box,
1572         And broghte gold unto this philosophre,
                    And brought gold unto this scientist,
1573         The value of fyve hundred pound, I gesse,
                    The value of five hundred pounds, I guess,
1574         And hym bisecheth, of his gentillesse,
                    And him beseeches, of his nobleness,
1575         To graunte hym dayes of the remenaunt;
                    To grant him days (on which to pay) the remnant;
1576         And seyde, "Maister, I dar wel make avaunt,
                    And said, "Master, I dare well make boast,
1577         I failled nevere of my trouthe as yit.
                    I failed never of my pledged word as yet.
1578         For sikerly my dette shal be quyt
                    For surely my debt shall be repaid
1579         Towardes yow, howevere that I fare
                    To you, even though I have
1580         To goon a-begged in my kirtle bare.
                    To go a-begging in my bare tunic.
1581         But wolde ye vouche sauf, upon seuretee,
                    But if you would agree, upon my promise,
1582         Two yeer or thre for to respiten me,
                    To grant me a respite for two years or three,
1583         Thanne were I wel; for elles moot I selle
                    Then I would be well; for otherwise I must sell
1584         Myn heritage; ther is namoore to telle."
                    My heritage; there is no more to tell."

1585         This philosophre sobrely answerde,
                    This scientist soberly answered,
1586         And seyde thus, whan he thise wordes herde:
                    And said thus, when he heard these words:
1587         "Have I nat holden covenant unto thee?"
                    "Have I not kept my agreement with thee?"

1588         "Yes, certes, wel and trewely," quod he.
                    "Yes, certainly, well and truly," said he.

1589         "Hastow nat had thy lady as thee liketh?"
                    "Hast thou not had thy lady as it pleases thee?"

1590         "No, no," quod he, and sorwefully he siketh.
                    "No, no," said he, and sorrowfully he sighs.

1591         "What was the cause? Tel me if thou kan."
                    "What was the cause? Tel me if thou know how."

1592         Aurelius his tale anon bigan,
                    Aurelius his tale immediately began,
1593         And tolde hym al, as ye han herd bifoore;
                    And told him all, as you have heard before;
1594         It nedeth nat to yow reherce it moore.
                    There is no need to repeat it to you again.

1595         He seide, "Arveragus, of gentillesse,
                    He said, "Arveragus, of his nobility,
1596         Hadde levere dye in sorwe and in distresse
                    Had rather die in sorrow and in distress
1597         Than that his wyf were of hir trouthe fals."
                    Than that his wife would be false of her pledged word."
1598         The sorwe of Dorigen he tolde hym als;
                    The sorrow of Dorigen he told him also;
1599         How looth hire was to been a wikked wyf,
                    How loathfull to her it was to be a wicked wife,
1600         And that she levere had lost that day hir lyf,
                    And that she would rather have lost her life that day,
1601         And that hir trouthe she swoor thurgh innocence,
                    And that her word she swore through ignorance,
1602         She nevere erst hadde herde speke of apparence.
                    She never before had heard tell of illusion.
1603         "That made me han of hire so greet pitee;
                    "That made me have for her such great pity;
1604         And right as frely as he sente hire me,
                    And right as freely as he sent her to me,
1605         As frely sente I hire to hym ageyn.
                    As freely I sent her to him again.
1606         This al and som; ther is namoore to seyn."
                    This is the entire matter; there is no more to say."

1607         This philosophre answerde, "Leeve brother,
                    This scientist answered, "Dear brother,
1608         Everich of yow dide gentilly til oother.
                    Every one of you did nobly to the other.
1609         Thou art a squier, and he is a knyght;
                    Thou art a squire, and he is a knight;
1610         But God forbede, for his blisful myght,
                    But God forbid, for his blissful might,
1611         But if a clerk koude doon a gentil dede
                    That a clerk could not do a gentle deed
1612         As wel as any of yow, it is no drede!
                    As well as any of you, it is no doubt!

1613         Sire, I releesse thee thy thousand pound,
                    Sir, I release thee from thy (debt of a) thousand pounds,
1614         As thou right now were cropen out of the ground,
                    As if thou right now were crept out of the ground,
1615         Ne nevere er now ne haddest knowen me.
                    Nor never before now had known me.
1616         For, sire, I wol nat taken a peny of thee
                    For, sir, I will not take a penny from thee
1617         For al my craft, ne noght for my travaille.
                    For all my craft, nor anything for my labor.
1618         Thou hast ypayed wel for my vitaille.
                    Thou hast paid well for my living expenses.
1619         It is ynogh, and farewel, have good day!"
                    It is enough, and farewell, have good day!"
1620         And took his hors, and forth he goth his way.
                    And took his horse, and forth he goes his way.
1621         Lordynges, this question, thanne, wol I aske now,
                    Gentlemen, this question, then, will I ask now,
1622         Which was the mooste fre, as thynketh yow?
                    Which was the most free, as it seems to you?
1623         Now telleth me, er that ye ferther wende.
                    Now tell me, before you farther go.
1624         I kan namoore; my tale is at an ende.
                    I know no more; my tale is at an end.


Heere is ended the Frankeleyns Tale


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