Sequitur pars secunda
The second part follows
1355 Whan that Arcite to Thebes comen was,
When Arcite was come to Thebes,
1356 Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde "Allas!"
Very often each day he grew faint and said "Alas!"
1357 For seen his lady shal he nevere mo.
For he shall never more see his lady.
1358 And shortly to concluden al his wo,
And shortly to conclude (telling) all his woe,
1359 So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature
So much sorrow never had creature
1360 That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.
That is, or shall (be), while the world may endure.
1361 His slep, his mete, his drynke, is hym biraft,
He is bereft of his sleep, his food, his drink
1362 That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft;
So that he became lean and dry as is a stick;
1363 His eyen holwe and grisly to biholde,
His eyes sunken and grisly to behold,
1364 His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde,
His hue sickly yellow and pale as cold ashes,
1365 And solitarie he was and evere allone,
And he was solitary and ever alone,
1366 And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone;
And wailing all the night, making his moan;
1367 And if he herde song or instrument,
And if he heard song or instrument,
1368 Thanne wolde he wepe, he myghte nat be stent.
Then would he weep, he could not be stopped.
1369 So feble eek were his spiritz, and so lowe,
So feeble also were his spirits, and so low,
1370 And chaunged so, that no man koude knowe
And changed so, that no man could know
1371 His speche nor his voys, though men it herde.
His speech nor his voice, though men heard it.
1372 And in his geere for al the world he ferde
And in his behavior for all the world he fared
1373 Nat oonly lik the loveris maladye
Not only like the lover's malady
1374 Of Hereos, but rather lyk manye,
Of Hereos, but rather like mania,
1375 Engendred of humour malencolik
Engendered by the melancholic humor
1376 Biforen, in his celle fantastik.
In the front lobe, in his imagination.
1377 And shortly, turned was al up so doun
And shortly, all was turned topsy-turvy
1378 Bothe habit and eek disposicioun
Both the physical condition and also the mental disposition
1379 Of hym, this woful lovere daun Arcite.
Of him, this woeful lover dan Arcite.
1380 What sholde I al day of his wo endite?
Why should I all daylong write of his woe?
1381 Whan he endured hadde a yeer or two
When he had endured a year or two
1382 This crueel torment and this peyne and wo,
This cruel torment and this pain and woe,
1383 At Thebes, in his contree, as I seyde,
At Thebes, in his country, as I said,
1384 Upon a nyght in sleep as he hym leyde,
Upon one night as he laid himself in sleep,
1385 Hym thoughte how that the wynged god Mercurie
It seemed to him that the winged god Mercury
1386 Biforn hym stood and bad hym to be murie.
Stood before him and commanded him to be merry.
1387 His slepy yerde in hond he bar uprighte;
His sleep-inducing staff he carried upright in his hand;
1388 An hat he werede upon his heris brighte.
He wore a hat upon his bright hair.
1389 Arrayed was this god, as he took keep,
This god was dressed, as he (Arcite) noticed,
1390 As he was whan that Argus took his sleep;
As he was when he put Argus to sleep;
1391 And seyde hym thus: "To Atthenes shaltou wende,
And said to him thus: "To Athens shalt thou go,
1392 Ther is thee shapen of thy wo an ende."
Where an end of thy woe is destined for thee."
1393 And with that word Arcite wook and sterte.
And with that word Arcite awoke and leaped up.
1394 "Now trewely, hou soore that me smerte,"
"Now truly, however sorely it may pain me,"
1395 Quod he, "to Atthenes right now wol I fare,
Said he, "I will go to Athens right now,
1396 Ne for the drede of deeth shal I nat spare
Nor shall I refrain for the dread of death
1397 To se my lady, that I love and serve.
From seeing my lady, whom I love and serve.
1398 In hire presence I recche nat to sterve."
In her presence I care not if I die."
1399 And with that word he caughte a greet mirour,
And with that word he picked up a large mirror,
1400 And saugh that chaunged was al his colour,
And saw that all his color was changed,
1401 And saugh his visage al in another kynde.
And saw his visage all (changed) to another sort.
1402 And right anon it ran hym in his mynde,
And right away it ran to him in his mind,
1403 That, sith his face was so disfigured
That, since his face was so disfigured
1404 Of maladye the which he hadde endured,
By the malady which he had endured,
1405 He myghte wel, if that he bar hym lowe,
He might well, if he conducted himself humbly,
1406 Lyve in Atthenes everemoore unknowe,
Live in Athens evermore unknown,
1407 And seen his lady wel ny day by day.
And see his lady almost every day.
1408 And right anon he chaunged his array,
And right away he changed his clothing,
1409 And cladde hym as a povre laborer,
And clad himself as a poor laborer,
1410 And al allone, save oonly a squier
And all alone, except only a squire
1411 That knew his privetee and al his cas,
Who knew his private affairs and all his situation,
1412 Which was disgised povrely as he was,
Who was disguised as poorly as he was,
1413 To Atthenes is he goon the nexte way.
To Athens he is gone the nearest way.
1414 And to the court he wente upon a day,
And to the court he went upon a day,
1415 And at the gate he profreth his servyse
And at the gate he offers his service
1416 To drugge and drawe, what so men wol devyse.
To drudge and draw water, whatever men will command.
1417 And shortly of this matere for to seyn,
And shortly to speak of this matter,
1418 He fil in office with a chamberleyn
He was given employment by a household attendant
1419 The which that dwellynge was with Emelye,
Who was dwelling with Emelye,
1420 For he was wys and koude soone espye,
For he was wise and could soon take the measure
1421 Of every servaunt, which that serveth here.
Of every servant, who serves here.
1422 Wel koude he hewen wode, and water bere,
He could well hew wood, and carry water,
1423 For he was yong and myghty for the nones,
For he was young and mighty indeed,
1424 And therto he was long and big of bones
And moreover he was tall and strong of bones
1425 To doon that any wight kan hym devyse.
To do what any one can command him.
1426 A yeer or two he was in this servyse,
A year or two he was in this service,
1427 Page of the chambre of Emelye the brighte,
Page of the chamber of Emelye the bright,
1428 And Philostrate he seyde that he highte.
And he said that he was called Philostrate.
1429 But half so wel biloved a man as he
But half so well beloved a man as he
1430 Ne was ther nevere in court of his degree;
Was never in court (anyone) of his rank;
1431 He was so gentil of condicioun
He was so noble in manner
1432 That thurghout al the court was his renoun.
That his fame was (spread) throughout all the court .
1433 They seyden that it were a charitee
They said that it would be a act of charity
1434 That Theseus wolde enhauncen his degree,
If Theseus would advance his rank,
1435 And putten hym in worshipful servyse,
And put him in noble employment,
1436 Ther as he myghte his vertu excercise.
Where he could exercise his abilities.
1437 And thus withinne a while his name is spronge,
And thus within a short time his fame is sprung,
1438 Bothe of his dedes and his goode tonge,
Both for his deeds and his good speech,
1439 That Theseus hath taken hym so neer
That Theseus has taken him so near
1440 That of his chambre he made hym a squier,
That he has made him a squire of his chamber,
1441 And gaf hym gold to mayntene his degree.
And gave him gold to maintain (a life style suitable to) his rank.
1442 And eek men broghte hym out of his contree,
And also men brought him out of his country,
1443 From yeer to yeer, ful pryvely his rente;
From year to year, very secretly, his income;
1444 But honestly and slyly he it spente,
But properly and slyly he spent it,
1445 That no man wondred how that he it hadde.
So that no man wondered how he acquired it.
1446 And thre yeer in this wise his lif he ladde,
And three years in this manner he led his life,
1447 And bar hym so, in pees and eek in werre,
And conducted himself so that, in peace and also in war,
1448 Ther was no man that Theseus hath derre.
There was no man whom Theseus holds dearer.
1449 And in this blisse lete I now Arcite,
And in this bliss I now leave Arcite,
1450 And speke I wole of Palamon a lite.
And I will speak of Palamon a little.
1451 In derknesse and horrible and strong prisoun
In darkness and horrible and strong imprisonment
1452 Thise seven yeer hath seten Palamoun
These seven years Palamon has sat
1453 Forpyned, what for wo and for distresse.
Wasted by suffering, what for woe and for distress.
1454 Who feeleth double soor and hevynesse
Who feels double pain and sadness
1455 But Palamon, that love destreyneth so
But Palamon, whom love so afflicts
1456 That wood out of his wit he goth for wo?
That he goes mad, out of his wits because of woe?
1457 And eek therto he is a prisoner
And also moreover he is a prisoner
1458 Perpetuelly, noght oonly for a yer.
Perpetually, not just for a year.
1459 Who koude ryme in Englyssh proprely
Who could rime in English properly
1460 His martirdom? For sothe it am nat I;
His martyrdom? In truth it is not I;
1461 Therfore I passe as lightly as I may.
Therefore I pass on as quickly as I can.
1462 It fel that in the seventhe yer, of May
It happened that in the seventh year, of May
1463 The thridde nyght (as olde bookes seyn,
The third night (as old books say,
1464 That al this storie tellen moore pleyn),
That tell all this story more fully),
1465 Were it by aventure or destynee --
Whether it was by chance or fate --
1466 As, whan a thyng is shapen, it shal be --
As, when a thing is pre-ordained, it must be --
1467 That soone after the mydnyght Palamoun,
That soon after midnight Palamon,
1468 By helpyng of a freend, brak his prisoun
With the help of a friend, broke out of his prison
1469 And fleeth the citee faste as he may go.
And flees the city as fast as he can go.
1470 For he hadde yeve his gayler drynke so
For he had so given his jailer drink
1471 Of a clarree maad of a certeyn wyn,
Of a spiced and sweetened drink made of a certain wine,
1472 With nercotikes and opie of Thebes fyn,
With narcotics and pure opium of Thebes,
1473 That al that nyght, thogh that men wolde him shake,
That all that night, though men would shake him,
1474 The gayler sleep; he myghte nat awake.
The jailer slept; he could not awake.
1475 And thus he fleeth as faste as evere he may.
And thus he flees as fast as ever he can.
1476 The nyght was short and faste by the day
The night was short and very close to the day
1477 That nedes cost he moot hymselven hyde,
So that by necessity he must hide himself,
1478 And til a grove faste ther bisyde
And to a grove close by
1479 With dredeful foot thanne stalketh Palamon.
With fearful foot then stalks Palamon.
1480 For, shortly, this was his opinion:
For, shortly, this was his idea:
1481 That in that grove he wolde hym hyde al day,
That in that grove he would hide himself all day,
1482 And in the nyght thanne wolde he take his way
And in the night then he would take his way
1483 To Thebes-ward, his freendes for to preye
Toward Thebes, to pray his friends
1484 On Theseus to helpe him to werreye;
To help him to wage war on Theseus;
1485 And shortly, outher he wolde lese his lif
And shortly, he would either lose his life
1486 Or wynnen Emelye unto his wyf.
Or win Emelye to be his wife.
1487 This is th'effect and his entente pleyn.
This is the purpose and his full intent.
1488 Now wol I turne to Arcite ageyn,
Now I will turn again to Arcite,
1489 That litel wiste how ny that was his care,
That little knew how near his trouble was,
1490 Til that Fortune had broght him in the snare.
To which Fortune had brought him in the snare.
1491 The bisy larke, messager of day,
The busy lark, messenger of day,
1492 Salueth in hir song the morwe gray,
Salutes the morning gray in her song,
1493 And firy Phebus riseth up so bright
And fiery Phoebus rises up so bright
1494 That al the orient laugheth of the light,
That all the orient laughs because of the light,
1495 And with his stremes dryeth in the greves
And with his rays dries in the groves
1496 The silver dropes hangynge on the leves.
The silver drops hanging on the leaves.
1497 And Arcita, that in the court roial
And Arcite, who in the royal court
1498 With Theseus is principal squier,
With Theseus is chief squire,
1499 Is risen and looketh on the myrie day.
Is risen and looks on the merry day.
1500 And for to doon his observaunce to May,
And to do his observance to May,
1501 Remembrynge on the poynt of his desir,
Meditating on the object of his desire,
1502 He on a courser, startlynge as the fir,
He on a war horse, leaping about like the fire,
1503 Is riden into the feeldes hym to pleye,
Has ridden into the fields to amuse himself,
1504 Out of the court, were it a myle or tweye.
Out of the court, about a mile or two.
1505 And to the grove of which that I yow tolde
And to the grove of which I told you
1506 By aventure his wey he gan to holde
By chance he began to hold his way
1507 To maken hym a gerland of the greves,
To make himself a garland of the branches,
1508 Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves,
Were it of woodbine or hawthorn leaves,
1509 And loude he song ayeyn the sonne shene:
And loud he sang in the bright sun:
1510 "May, with alle thy floures and thy grene,
"May, with all thy flowers and thy greenery,
1511 Welcome be thou, faire, fresshe May,
Welcome be thou, fair, fresh May,
1512 In hope that I som grene gete may."
In hope that I can get something green."
1513 And from his courser, with a lusty herte,
And from his war horse, with an eager heart,
1514 Into the grove ful hastily he sterte,
He rushed into the grove hastily,
1515 And in a path he rometh up and doun,
And in a path he roams up and down,
1516 Ther as by aventure this Palamoun
Where by chance this Palamon
1517 Was in a bussh, that no man myghte hym se,
Was in a thicket, so that no man could see him,
1518 For soore afered of his deeth was he.
For he was sorely afraid of his death.
1519 No thyng ne knew he that it was Arcite;
In no way did he know that it was Arcite;
1520 God woot he wolde have trowed it ful lite.
God knows he would scarcely have believed it
1521 But sooth is seyd, go sithen many yeres,
But truly it is said, since many years ago,
1522 That "feeld hath eyen and the wode hath eres."
That "field has eyes and the wood has ears."
1523 It is ful fair a man to bere hym evene,
It is very good for a man to act calmly,
1524 For al day meeteth men at unset stevene.
For every day people meet at unexpected times.
1525 Ful litel woot Arcite of his felawe,
Arcite knows full little of his fellow,
1526 That was so ny to herknen al his sawe,
Who was near enough to hear all his speech,
1527 For in the bussh he sitteth now ful stille.
For in the thicket he sits now very still.
1528 Whan that Arcite hadde romed al his fille,
When Arcite had roamed all his fill,
1529 And songen al the roundel lustily,
And sung all the rondel cheerfully,
1530 Into a studie he fil sodeynly,
nbsp; He fell suddenly into a state of anxiety,
1531 As doon thise loveres in hir queynte geres,
As these lovers do in their strange manners,
1532 Now in the crope, now doun in the breres,
Now in the tree top, now down in the briars,
1533 Now up, now doun, as boket in a welle.
Now up, now down, like a bucket in a well.
1534 Right as the Friday, soothly for to telle,
Exactly like the Friday, truly for to tell,
1535 Now it shyneth, now it reyneth faste,
Now it shines, now it rains hard,
1536 Right so kan geery Venus overcaste
Just so can fickle Venus sadden
1537 The hertes of hir folk; right as hir day
The hearts of her folk; just as her day
1538 Is gereful, right so chaungeth she array.
Is changeable, just so she changes her array.
1539 Selde is the Friday al the wowke ylike.
Friday is seldom like all the rest of the week.
1540 Whan that Arcite had songe, he gan to sike
When Arcite had sung, he began to sigh
1541 And sette hym doun withouten any moore.
And sat himself down without any more.
1542 "Allas," quod he, "that day that I was bore!
"Alas," he said, "that day that I was born!
1543 How longe, Juno, thurgh thy crueltee,
How long, Juno, through thy cruelty,
1544 Woltow werreyen Thebes the citee?
Wilt thou make war on the city of Thebes?
1545 Allas, ybroght is to confusioun
Alas, to ruin is brought
1546 The blood roial of Cadme and Amphioun --
The royal blood of Cadmus and Amphion --
1547 Of Cadmus, which that was the firste man
Of Cadmus, who was the first man
1548 That Thebes bulte, or first the toun bigan,
Who built Thebes, before the town first began,
1549 And of the citee first was crouned kyng.
And first was crowned king of the city.
1550 Of his lynage am I and his ofspryng
I am of his lineage and his offspring
1551 By verray ligne, as of the stok roial,
By true lineage, of the royal family,
1552 And now I am so caytyf and so thral,
And now I am so wretched and so enslaved,
1553 That he that is my mortal enemy,
That he who is my mortal enemy,
1554 I serve hym as his squier povrely.
I meekly serve him as his squire.
1555 And yet dooth Juno me wel moore shame,
And yet Juno does me much more shame,
1556 For I dar noght biknowe myn owene name;
For I dare not acknowledge my own name;
1557 But ther as I was wont to highte Arcite,
But whereas I was accustomed to be called Arcite,
1558 Now highte I Philostrate, noght worth a myte.
Now I am called Philostrate, not worth a penny.
1559 Allas, thou felle Mars! Allas, Juno!
Alas, thou fierce Mars! Alas, Juno!
1560 Thus hath youre ire oure lynage al fordo,
Thus has your anger destroyed all our lineage,
1561 Save oonly me and wrecched Palamoun,
Save only me and wretched Palamon,
1562 That Theseus martireth in prisoun.
Whom Theseus torments in prison.
1563 And over al this, to sleen me outrely
And in addition to all this, to slay me utterly
1564 Love hath his firy dart so brennyngly
Love has his fiery dart so ardently
1565 Ystiked thurgh my trewe, careful herte
Stabbed through my faithful, sorrowful heart
1566 That shapen was my deeth erst than my sherte.
That my death was destined before my first garment was made.
1567 Ye sleen me with youre eyen, Emelye!
You slay me with your eyes, Emelye!
1568 Ye been the cause wherfore that I dye.
You are the cause by which I die.
1569 Of al the remenant of myn oother care
Of all the rest of my other troubles
1570 Ne sette I nat the montance of a tare,
I do not reckon at the value of a weed,
1571 So that I koude doon aught to youre plesaunce."
Provided that I could do anything to please you."
1572 And with that word he fil doun in a traunce
And with that word he fell down in a trance
1573 A longe tyme, and after he up sterte.
A long time, and afterwards he leaped up.
1574 This Palamoun, that thoughte that thurgh his herte
This Palamon, that thought that through his heart
1575 He felte a coold swerd sodeynliche glyde,
He felt a cold sword suddenly glide,
1576 For ire he quook; no lenger wolde he byde.
For anger he trembled; no longer would he wait.
1577 And whan that he had herd Arcites tale,
And when he had heard Arcite's tale,
1578 As he were wood, with face deed and pale,
As if he were mad, with face dead and pale,
1579 He stirte hym up out of the buskes thikke
He leaped up out of the thick bushes
1580 And seide: "Arcite, false traytour wikke,
And said: "Arcite, false, wicked traitor,
1581 Now artow hent, that lovest my lady so,
Now art thou taken, who lovest my lady so,
1582 For whom that I have al this peyne and wo,
For whom that I have all this pain and woe,
1583 And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
And art of my blood, and sworn to be in my confidence,
1584 As I ful ofte have told thee heerbiforn,
As I full often have told thee before now,
1585 And hast byjaped heere duc Theseus,
And hast tricked here duke Theseus,
1586 And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus!
And thus hast falsely changed thy name!
1587 I wol be deed, or elles thou shalt dye.
I will be dead, or else thou shalt die.
1588 Thou shalt nat love my lady Emelye,
Thou shalt not love my lady Emelye,
1589 But I wol love hire oonly and namo;
But I will love her only and no other;
1590 For I am Palamon, thy mortal foo.
For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.
1591 And though that I no wepene have in this place,
And though I have no weapon in this place,
1592 But out of prison am astert by grace,
But out of prison am escaped by good luck,
1593 I drede noght that outher thow shalt dye,
I doubt not that either thou shalt dye,
1594 Or thow ne shalt nat loven Emelye.
Either thou shalt not love Emelye,
1595 Chees which thou wolt, or thou shalt nat asterte!"
Choose which thou wish, or thou shalt not escape!"
1596 This Arcite, with ful despitous herte,
This Arcite, with full spiteful heart,
1597 Whan he hym knew, and hadde his tale herd,
When he knew him, and had heard his tale,
1598 As fiers as leon pulled out his swerd,
As fierce as a lion pulled out his sword,
1599 And seyde thus: "By God that sit above,
And said thus: "By God who sits above,
1600 Nere it that thou art sik and wood for love,
Were it not that thou art sick and mad for love,
1601 And eek that thow no wepne hast in this place,
And also because thou hast no weapon in this place,
1602 Thou sholdest nevere out of this grove pace,
Thou shouldest never walk out of this grove,
1603 That thou ne sholdest dyen of myn hond.
Rather thou shouldest die of my hand.
1604 For I defye the seurete and the bond
For I repudiate the pledge and the bond
1605 Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
Which thou sayest that I have made to thee.
1606 What! Verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
Lo! True fool, think well that love is free,
1607 And I wol love hire maugree al thy myght!
And I will love her in spite of all thy might!
1608 But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght
But for as much as thou art a worthy knight
1609 And wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille,
And desire to decide the right to her by battle,
1610 Have heer my trouthe; tomorwe I wol nat faille,
Have here my pledge; tomorrow I will not fail,
1611 Withoute wityng of any oother wight,
Without the knowledge of any other person,
1612 That heere I wol be founden as a knyght,
But here I will be found as a knight,
1613 And bryngen harneys right ynough for thee;
And bring armor right enough for thee;
1614 And ches the beste, and leef the worste for me.
And choose the best, and leave the worst for me.
1615 And mete and drynke this nyght wol I brynge
And food and drink this night will I bring
1616 Ynough for thee, and clothes for thy beddynge.
Enough for thee, and bed-clothes for thy bedding.
1617 And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
And if it so be that thou win my lady,
1618 And sle me in this wode ther I am inne,
And slay me in this wood where I am in,
1619 Thow mayst wel have thy lady as for me."
Thou mayest well have thy lady as far as I am concerned."
1620 This Palamon answerde, "I graunte it thee."
This Palamon answered, "I agree."
1621 And thus they been departed til amorwe,
And thus they are departed until morning,
1622 Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.
When each of them had laid his faith as a pledge.
1623 O Cupide, out of alle charitee!
O Cupid, devoid of all kindness to others!
1624 O regne, that wolt no felawe have with thee!
O reign, that will have no partner with thee!
1625 Ful sooth is seyd that love ne lordshipe
Full truly it is said that love nor lordship
1626 Wol noght, his thankes, have no felaweshipe.
Will not, willingly, have any partnership.
1627 Wel fynden that Arcite and Palamoun.
Arcite and Palamon well find that (to be true).
1628 Arcite is riden anon unto the toun,
Arcite has ridden immediately into the town,
1629 And on the morwe, er it were dayes light,
And on the morning, before it was day's light,
1630 Ful prively two harneys hath he dight,
Very secretly he has prepared two sets of armor,
1631 Bothe suffisaunt and mete to darreyne
Both sufficient and suitable to decide
1632 The bataille in the feeld bitwix hem tweyne;
The battle in the field between them two;
1633 And on his hors, allone as he was born,
And on his horse, alone as he was born,
1634 He carieth al the harneys hym biforn.
He carries all the armor before him.
1635 And in the grove, at tyme and place yset,
And in the grove, at time and place set,
1636 This Arcite and this Palamon ben met.
This Arcite and this Palamon are met.
1637 To chaungen gan the colour in hir face;
The color in their faces began to change;
1638 Right as the hunters in the regne of Trace,
Just as the hunters in the reign of Thrace,
1639 That stondeth at the gappe with a spere,
He who stands at the gap in the forrest with a spear,
1640 Whan hunted is the leon or the bere,
When the lion or the bear is hunted,
1641 And hereth hym come russhyng in the greves,
And hears him come rushing in the bushes,
1642 And breketh bothe bowes and the leves,
And breaks both boughs and the leaves,
1643 And thynketh, "Heere cometh my mortal enemy!
And thinks, "Here comes my mortal enemy!
1644 Withoute faille, he moot be deed, or I,
Without fail, he must be dead, or I,
1645 For outher I moot sleen hym at the gappe,
For either I must slay him at the gap,
1646 Or he moot sleen me, if that me myshappe."
Or he must slay me, if I suffer misfortune."
1647 So ferden they in chaungyng of hir hewe,
So fared they in changing colors of their faces,
1648 As fer as everich of hem oother knewe.
When each of them knew the other.
1649 Ther nas no good day, ne no saluyng,
There was no 'good day,' nor no salutations,
1650 But streight, withouten word or rehersyng,
But straightway, without word or conversing,
1651 Everich of hem heelp for to armen oother
Each one of them helped to arm the other
1652 As freendly as he were his owene brother;
As friendly as if he were his own brother;
1653 And after that, with sharpe speres stronge
And after that, with sharp strong spears
1654 They foynen ech at oother wonder longe.
They thrust at each other a wonderfully long time.
1655 Thou myghtest wene that this Palamon
Thou mightest suppose that this Palamon
1656 In his fightyng were a wood leon,
In his fighting was a mad lion,
1657 And as a crueel tigre was Arcite;
And Arcite was like a cruel tiger;
1658 As wilde bores gonne they to smyte,
They began to smite like wild boars,
1659 That frothen whit as foom for ire wood.
That froth at the mouth white as foam for mad anger.
1660 Up to the ancle foghte they in hir blood.
They fought up to the ankle in their blood.
1661 And in this wise I lete hem fightyng dwelle,
And in this manner I leave them to remain fighting,
1662 And forth I wole of Theseus yow telle.
And forth I will tell you of Theseus.
1663 The destinee, ministre general,
The destiny, general minister,
1664 That executeth in the world over al
That executes in the world everywhere
1665 The purveiaunce that God hath seyn biforn,
The providence that God has foreseen,
1666 So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
1667 The contrarie of a thyng by ye or nay,
The contrary of a thing by yes or no,
1668 Yet somtyme it shal fallen on a day
Yet sometimes it shall happen on one day
1669 That falleth nat eft withinne a thousand yeer.
That happens not again in a thousand years.
1670 For certeinly, oure appetites heer,
For certainly, our desires here,
1671 Be it of werre, or pees, or hate, or love,
Be it of war, or peace, or hate, or love,
1672 Al is this reuled by the sighte above.
All this is ruled by the foresight above.
1673 This mene I now by myghty Theseus,
I mean this now in regard to mighty Theseus,
1674 That for to hunten is so desirus,
Who is so desirous to hunt,
1675 And namely at the grete hert in May,
And especially at the large hart in May,
1676 That in his bed ther daweth hym no day
That in his bed there dawns for him no day
1677 That he nys clad, and redy for to ryde
That he is not clad, and ready to ride
1678 With hunte and horn and houndes hym bisyde.
With huntsman and horn and hounds beside him.
1679 For in his huntyng hath he swich delit
For in his hunting he has such delight
1680 That it is al his joye and appetit
That it is all his joy and desire
1681 To been hymself the grete hertes bane,
To be himself the large hart's slayer,
1682 For after Mars he serveth now Dyane.
For next to Mars he now serves Diana.
1683 Cleer was the day, as I have toold er this,
The day was clear, as I have told before this,
1684 And Theseus with alle joye and blis,
And Theseus with all joy and bliss,
1685 With his Ypolita, the faire queene,
With his Ypolita, the faire queen,
1686 And Emelye, clothed al in grene,
And Emelye, clothed all in green,
1687 On huntyng be they riden roially.
On hunting they are ridden royally.
1688 And to the grove that stood ful faste by,
And to the grove that stood very close by,
1689 In which ther was an hert, as men hym tolde,
In which there was a hart, so people told him,
1690 Duc Theseus the streighte wey hath holde.
Duke Theseus has held the straight way.
1691 And to the launde he rideth hym ful right,
And directly to the glade he rides,
1692 For thider was the hert wont have his flight,
For through there the hart was accustomed to take his escape,
1693 And over a brook, and so forth on his weye.
And (flee) over a brook, and so forth on his way.
1694 This duc wol han a cours at hym or tweye
This duke will have a run or two at him
1695 With houndes swiche as that hym list comaunde.
With such hounds as he pleases to command.
1696 And whan this duc was come unto the launde,
And when this duke was come unto the glade,
1697 Under the sonne he looketh, and anon
He looks toward the sun, and immediately
1698 He was war of Arcite and Palamon,
He was aware of Arcite and Palamon,
1699 That foughten breme as it were bores two.
Who fought as fiercely as if it were two wild boars.
1700 The brighte swerdes wenten to and fro
The bright swords went to and fro
1701 So hidously that with the leeste strook
So hideously that with the weakest stroke
1702 It semed as it wolde felle an ook.
It seemed as if it would fell an oak.
1703 But what they were, no thyng he ne woot.
But who they were, he knew nothing.
1704 This duc his courser with his spores smoot,
This duke smote his warhorse with his spurs,
1705 And at a stert he was bitwix hem two,
And with a sudden leap he was between them two,
1706 And pulled out a swerd and cride, "Hoo!
And pulled out a sword and cried, "Stop!
1707 Namoore, up peyne of lesynge of youre heed!
No more, on the penalty of the loss of your head!
1708 By myghty Mars, he shal anon be deed
By mighty Mars, he shall at once be dead
1709 That smyteth any strook that I may seen.
Who smites any stroke that I can see.
1710 But telleth me what myster men ye been,
But tell me what sort of men you are,
1711 That been so hardy for to fighten heere
Who are so bold as to fight here
1712 Withouten juge or oother officere,
Without judge or other officer,
1713 As it were in a lystes roially."
As it would be in a properly conducted duel,"
1714 This Palamon answerde hastily
This Palamon answered hastily
1715 And seyde, "Sire, what nedeth wordes mo?
And said, "Sire, what more words are needed?
1716 We have the deeth disserved bothe two.
We have deserved the death, both of us two.
1717 Two woful wrecches been we, two caytyves,
Two woeful wretches are we, two miserable people,
1718 That been encombred of oure owene lyves;
Who are burdened down by our own lives;
1719 And as thou art a rightful lord and juge,
And as thou art a rightful lord and judge,
1720 Ne yif us neither mercy ne refuge,
Give us neither mercy nor refuge,
1721 But sle me first, for seinte charitee!
But slay me first, by holy charity!
1722 But sle my felawe eek as wel as me;
But slay my fellow also as well as me;
1723 Or sle hym first, for though thow knowest it lite,
Or slay him first, for though thou little knowest it,
1724 This is thy mortal foo, this is Arcite,
This is thy mortal foe, this is Arcite,
1725 That fro thy lond is banysshed on his heed,
Who is banished from thy land on (pain of losing) his head,
1726 For which he hath deserved to be deed.
For which he has deserved to be dead.
1727 For this is he that cam unto thy gate
For this is he that came unto thy gate
1728 And seyde that he highte Philostrate.
And said that he was called Philostrate.
1729 Thus hath he japed thee ful many a yer,
Thus has he tricked thee for many years,
1730 And thou hast maked hym thy chief squier;
And thou hast made him thy chief squire;
1731 And this is he that loveth Emelye.
And this is he that loves Emelye.
1732 For sith the day is come that I shal dye,
For since the day is come that I must dye,
1733 I make pleynly my confessioun
I make plainly my confession
1734 That I am thilke woful Palamoun
That I am that same woeful Palamon
1735 That hath thy prisoun broken wikkedly.
That wickedly has broken (out of) thy prison.
1736 I am thy mortal foo, and it am I
I am thy mortal foe, and it is I
1737 That loveth so hoote Emelye the brighte
Who loves the beautiful Emelye so passionately
1738 That I wol dye present in hir sighte.
That I will die at this moment in her sight.
1739 Wherfore I axe deeth and my juwise;
Therefore I ask death and my judicial sentence;
1740 But sle my felawe in the same wise,
But slay my fellow in the same way,
1741 For bothe han we deserved to be slayn."
For we have both deserved to be slain."
1742 This worthy duc answerde anon agayn,
This worthy duke answered at once in reply,
1743 And seyde, "This is a short conclusioun.
And said, "This is a brief (easy) decision.
1744 Youre owene mouth, by youre confessioun,
Your own mouth, by your confession,
1745 Hath dampned yow, and I wol it recorde;
Has condemned you, and I will pronounce it;
1746 It nedeth noght to pyne yow with the corde.
There is no deed to torture you with the cord.
1747 Ye shal be deed, by myghty Mars the rede!"
You shall be dead, by mighty Mars the red!"
1748 The queene anon, for verray wommanhede,
The queen at once, for true womanliness,
1749 Gan for to wepe, and so dide Emelye,
Began to weep, and so did Emelye,
1750 And alle the ladyes in the compaignye.
And all the ladies in the company.
1751 Greet pitee was it, as it thoughte hem alle,
Great pity was it, as it seemed to them all,
1752 That evere swich a chaunce sholde falle,
That ever such a misfortune should occur,
1753 For gentil men they were of greet estaat,
For they were gentle men of high rank,
1754 And no thyng but for love was this debaat;
And this debate was for nothing but love;
1755 And saugh hir blody woundes wyde and soore,
And saw their bloody wounds wide and sore,
1756 And alle crieden, bothe lasse and moore,
And all cried, both low ranking and high,
1757 "Have mercy, Lord, upon us wommen alle!"
"Have mercy, Lord, upon all of us women!"
1758 And on hir bare knees adoun they falle
And they fall down on their bare knees
1759 And wolde have kist his feet ther as he stood;
And would have kissed his feet there where he stood;
1760 Til at the laste aslaked was his mood,
Until at the last his mood was calmed,
1761 For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte.
For pity comes soon to a gentle heart.
1762 And though he first for ire quook and sterte,
And though he first for anger shook and trembled,
1763 He hath considered shortly, in a clause,
He has considered shortly, in brief,
1764 The trespas of hem bothe, and eek the cause,
The trespass of them both, and also the cause,
1765 And although that his ire hir gilt accused,
And although his anger reproached them for their guilt,
1766 Yet in his resoun he hem bothe excused,
Yet in his reason he excused them both,
1767 As thus: he thoghte wel that every man
As thus: he thought well that every man
1768 Wol helpe hymself in love, if that he kan,
Will help himself in love, if he can,
1769 And eek delivere hymself out of prisoun.
And also deliver himself out of prison.
1770 And eek his herte hadde compassioun
And also his heart had compassion
1771 Of wommen, for they wepen evere in oon,
Of women, for they weep continually,
1772 And in his gentil herte he thoughte anon,
And in his gentle heart he thought straightway,
1773 And softe unto hymself he seyde, "Fy
And softly to himself he said, "Fie
1774 Upon a lord that wol have no mercy,
Upon a lord that will have no mercy,
1775 But been a leon, bothe in word and dede,
But be a lion, both in word and deed,
1776 To hem that been in repentaunce and drede,
To those who are in repentance and fear,
1777 As wel as to a proud despitous man
As well as to a proud, spiteful man
1778 That wol mayntene that he first bigan.
Who will persist in what he first began.
1779 That lord hath litel of discrecioun,
That lord has little sound judgment,
1780 That in swich cas kan no divisioun
That in such cases knows no distinctions
1781 But weyeth pride and humblesse after oon."
But considers pride and humility equal."
1782 And shortly, whan his ire is thus agoon,
And shortly, when his anger is thus gone,
1783 He gan to looken up with eyen lighte
He began to look up with bright eyes
1784 And spak thise same wordes al on highte:
And spoke these same words all aloud:
1785 "The god of love, a benedicite!
"The god of love, ah, bless my soul!
1786 How myghty and how greet a lord is he!
How mighty and how great a lord is he!
1787 Ayeyns his myght ther gayneth none obstacles.
Against his power there avail no obstacles.
1788 He may be cleped a god for his myracles,
He may be called a god for his miracles,
1789 For he kan maken, at his owene gyse,
For he can make, as he pleases,
1790 Of everich herte as that hym list divyse.
Of every heart whatever he wants to devise.
1791 Lo heere this Arcite and this Palamoun,
Lo here this Arcite and this Palamon,
1792 That quitly weren out of my prisoun,
Who freely were out of my prison,
1793 And myghte han lyved in Thebes roially,
And could have lived royally in Thebes,
1794 And witen I am hir mortal enemy,
And know I am their mortal enemy,
1795 And that hir deth lith in my myght also,
And that their death lies in my power also,
1796 And yet hath love, maugree hir eyen two,
And yet has Love, despite anything they could do,
1797 Broght hem hyder bothe for to dye.
Brought them both hither to die.
1798 Now looketh, is nat that an heigh folye?
Now look, is that not a great folly?
1799 Who may been a fool but if he love?
Who can be a fool unless he is in love?
1800 Bihoold, for Goddes sake that sit above,
Behold, for the sake of God who sits above,
1801 Se how they blede! Be they noght wel arrayed?
See how they bleed! Are they not in fine condition?
1802 Thus hath hir lord, the god of love, ypayed
Thus has their lord, the god of love, paid
1803 Hir wages and hir fees for hir servyse!
Their wages and their fees for their service!
1804 And yet they wenen for to been ful wyse
And yet they consider themselves very wise,
1805 That serven love, for aught that may bifalle.
Those who serve love, whatever may happen.
1806 But this is yet the beste game of alle,
But this is yet the best joke of all,
1807 That she for whom they han this jolitee
That she for whom they have this sport
1808 Kan hem therfore as muche thank as me.
Owes them as much gratitude for this as she owes me.
1809 She woot namoore of al this hoote fare,
She knows no more of all this passionate business,
1810 By God, than woot a cokkow or an hare!
By God, than knows a cuckoo or a hare!
1811 But all moot ben assayed, hoot and coold;
But all must be tried, hot or cold;
1812 A man moot ben a fool, or yong or oold --
A man must be a fool, either young or old --
1813 I woot it by myself ful yore agon,
I know it by my own experience very long ago,
1814 For in my tyme a servant was I oon.
For in my time I was a servant (of love).
1815 And therfore, syn I knowe of loves peyne
And therefore, since I know of love's pain
1816 And woot hou soore it kan a man distreyne,
And know how sorely it can afflict a man,
1817 As he that hath ben caught ofte in his laas,
As one who has been often caught in its snare,
1818 I yow foryeve al hoolly this trespaas,
I wholly forgive you this trespass,
1819 At requeste of the queene, that kneleth heere,
At the request of the queen, who kneels here,
1820 And eek of Emelye, my suster deere.
And also of Emelye, my dear sister.
1821 And ye shul bothe anon unto me swere
And you must both immediately swear unto me
1822 That nevere mo ye shal my contree dere,
That you shall never more harm my country,
1823 Ne make werre upon me nyght ne day,
Nor make war upon me at any time,
1824 But been my freendes in all that ye may.
But be my friends in all that you can.
1825 I yow foryeve this trespas every deel."
I forgive you this trespass completely."
1826 And they hym sworen his axyng faire and weel,
And they fairly and well swore to him (to do) his request,
1827 And hym of lordshipe and of mercy preyde,
And prayed him to be their lord and to have mercy ,
1828 And he hem graunteth grace, and thus he seyde:
And he grants them his favor, and thus he said:
1829 "To speke of roial lynage and richesse,
"To speak of royal lineage and riches,
1830 Though that she were a queene or a princesse,
Though she were a queen or a princess,
1831 Ech of you bothe is worthy, doutelees,
Each of you both is worthy, doubtless,
1832 To wedden whan tyme is; but nathelees --
To wed when it is time; but none the less --
1833 I speke as for my suster Emelye,
I speak for my sister Emelye,
1834 For whom ye have this strif and jalousye --
For whom you have this strife and jealousy --
1835 Ye woot yourself she may nat wedden two
You know yourself she can not wed two
1836 Atones, though ye fighten everemo,
At once, though you were to fight for evermore,
1837 That oon of you, al be hym looth or lief,
That one of you, whether he likes it or not,
1838 He moot go pipen in an yvy leef;
He must go whistle in an ivy leaf;
1839 This is to seyn, she may nat now han bothe,
This is to say, she can not now have both,
1840 Al be ye never so jalouse ne so wrothe.
Although you be never so jealous nor so angry.
1841 And forthy I yow putte in this degree,
And therefore I put you in this situation,
1842 That ech of yow shal have his destynee
That each of you shall have his destiny
1843 As hym is shape, and herkneth in what wyse;
As is ordained for him, and listen in what way;
1844 Lo, heere youre ende of that I shal devyse.
Lo, hear what I shall arrange for your fate.
1845 My wyl is this, for plat conclusioun,
My will is this, for flat conclusion,
1846 Withouten any repplicacioun --
Without any arguing --
1847 If that you liketh, take it for the beste:
If this pleases you, take it for the best:
1848 That everich of you shal goon where hym leste
That each one of you shall go where he pleases
1849 Frely, withouten raunson or daunger,
Freely, without ransom or resistance,
1850 And this day fifty wykes, fer ne ner,
And fifty weeks from this day, more or less,
1851 Everich of you shal brynge an hundred knyghtes
Each one of you shall bring a hundred knights
1852 Armed for lystes up at alle rightes,
Armed up for the lists in all respects,
1853 Al redy to darreyne hire by bataille.
All ready to decide the right to her by battle.
1854 And this bihote I yow withouten faille,
And this I promise you without fail,
1855 Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knyght,
Upon my word, and as I am a knight,
1856 That wheither of yow bothe that hath myght --
That whichever of you both who has the power --
1857 This is to seyn, that wheither he or thow
This is to say, that whether he or thou
1858 May with his hundred, as I spak of now,
Can with his hundred, as I spoke of now,
1859 Sleen his contrarie, or out of lystes dryve,
Slay his opponent, or drive him out of the lists ,
1860 Thanne shal I yeve Emelya to wyve
Then I shall give Emelye as wife
1861 To whom that Fortune yeveth so fair a grace.
To whom Fortune gives so good a gift (to win the battle).
1862 The lystes shal I maken in this place,
I shall make the lists in this place,
1863 And God so wisly on my soule rewe
And as God may surely have pity on my soul
1864 As I shal evene juge been and trewe.
I shall be an impartial and true judge.
1865 Ye shul noon oother ende with me maken,
You shall make no other agreement with me,
1866 That oon of yow ne shal be deed or taken.
(Save this:) that one of you must be dead or taken.
1867 And if yow thynketh this is weel ysayd,
And if it seems to you that this is well said,
1868 Seyeth youre avys, and holdeth you apayd.
Say your opinion, and consider yourself satisfied.
1869 This is youre ende and youre conclusioun."
This is your (destined) end and your conclusion."
1870 Who looketh lightly now but Palamoun?
Who but Palamon looks happy now?
1871 Who spryngeth up for joye but Arcite?
Who springs up for joy but Arcite?
1872 Who kouthe telle, or who kouthe it endite,
Who could tell, or who could describe in writing,
1873 The joye that is maked in the place
The joy that is made in the place
1874 Whan Theseus hath doon so fair a grace?
When Theseus has behaved so graciously?
1875 But doun on knees wente every maner wight,
But down on knees went every sort of person,
1876 And thonked hym with al hir herte and myght,
And thanked him with all their heart and might,
1877 And namely the Thebans often sithe.
And especially the Thebans many times.
1878 And thus with good hope and with herte blithe
And thus with good hope and with happy heart
1879 They taken hir leve, and homward gonne they ride
They take their leave, and homeward did they ride
1880 To Thebes with his olde walles wyde.
To Thebes with his old wide walls.
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