Legends and Sagas
The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at sacred-texts.com
The Romaunt of the Rose
Fragment B Whanne I hadde smelled the savour swote,
No will hadde I fro thens yit goo,
Bot somdell neer it wente I thoo,
To take it, but myn hond, for drede,
1710 Ne dorste I to the Rose bede
For thesteles sharpe, of many maneres,
Netles, thornes, and hokede breres,
For mych they distourbled me,
For sore I dradde to harmed be.
The God of Love, with bowe bent,
That all day set hadde his talent
To pursuen and to spien me,
Was stondyng by a fige-tree.
And whanne he saw hou that I
1720 Hadde chosen so ententifly
The botoun, more unto my pay
Than ony other that I say,
He tok an arowe full sharply whet,
And in his bowe whanne it was set,
He streight up to his ere drough
The stronge bowe that was so tough,
And shet att me so wondir smerte
That thorough myn ye unto myn herte
The takel smot, and depe it wente.
1730 And therwithall such cold me hente
That under clothes warme and softe
Sithen that day I have chevered ofte.
Whanne I was hurt thus, in [a] stounde
I felle doun plat unto the grounde.
Myn herte failed and feynted ay,
And longe tyme a-swoone I lay.
But whanne I come out of swonyng,
And hadde witt and my felyng,
I was all maat, and wende full well
1740 Of blood have loren a full gret dell.
But certes, the arowe that in me stod
Of me ne drew no drope of blod,
For-why I found my wounde all dreie.
Thanne tok I with myn hondis tweie
The arowe, and ful fast out it plighte,
And in the pullyng sore I sighte.
So at the last the shaft of tree
I drough out with the fethers thre.
But yet the hokede heed, ywis,
1750 The which [that] Beaute callid is,
Gan so depe in myn herte passe,
That I it myghte nought arace;
But in myn herte still it stod,
Al bledde I not a drope of blod.
I was bothe anguyssous and trouble
For the perill that I saw double:
I nyste what to seye or do,
Ne gete a leche my woundis to;
For neithir thurgh gras ne rote
1760 Ne hadde I help of hope ne bote.
But to the botoun evermo
Myn herte drew, for all my wo;
My thought was in noon other thing,
For hadde it ben in my kepyng,
It wolde have brought my lyf agayn.
For certis evenly, I dar wel seyn,
The sight oonly and the savour
Alegged mych of my langour.
Thanne gan I for to drawe me
1770 Toward the botoun faire to se;
And Love hadde gete hym, in a throwe,
Another arowe into his bowe,
And for to shete gan hym dresse.
The arowis name was Symplesse,
And whanne that Love gan nygh me nere,
He drow it up, withouten were,
And shet at me with all his myght,
So that this arowe anoon-right
Thourghout [myn] eigh, as it was founde,
1780 Into myn herte hath maad a wounde.
Thanne I anoon dide al my craft
For to drawen out the shaft,
And therwithall I sighed eft.
But in myn herte the heed was left,
Which ay encreside my desir
Unto the botoun drawe ner;
And evermo that me was woo,
The more desir hadde I to goo
Unto the roser, where that grew
1790 The freysshe botoun so bright of hew.
Betir me were to have laten be,
But it bihovede nedes me
To don right as myn herte bad,
For evere the body must be lad
Aftir the herte, in wele and woo;
Of force togidre they must goo.
But never this archer wolde feyne
To shete at me with all his peyne,
And for to make me to hym mete.
1800 The thridde arowe he gan to shete,
Whanne best his tyme he myght espie,
The which was named Curtesie.
Into myn herte it dide avale;
A-swoone I fell bothe deed and pale.
Long tyme I lay and stired nought,
Till I abraide out of my thought,
And faste thanne I avysede me
To drawe out the shaft of tree.
But evere the heed was left bihynde,
1810 For ought I couth. pulle or wynde,
So sore it stikid whanne I was hit,
That by no craft I myght it flit.
But anguyssous and full of thought,
I felte sich woo my wounde ay wrought,
That somonede me alway to goo
Toward the Rose that plesede me soo,
But I ne durste in no maner,
Bicause the archer was so ner.
"For evermore gladly," as I rede,
1820 "Brent child of fir hath myche drede."
And, certis yit, for al my peyne,
Though that I sigh yit arwis reyne,
And grounde quarels sharpe of steell,
Ne for no payne that I myght feell,
Yit myght I not mysilf witholde
The faire roser to biholde,
For Love me yaf sich hardement
For to fulfille his comaundement.
Upon my fete I ros up than,
1830 Feble as a forwoundid man,
And forth to gon [my] myght I sette,
And for the archer nolde I lette.
Toward the roser fast I drow,
But thornes sharpe mo than ynow
Ther were, and also thisteles thikke,
And breres, brymme for to prikke,
That I ne myghte gete grace
The rowe thornes for to passe,
To sen the roses fresshe of hewe.
1840 I must abide, though it me rewe,
The hegge aboute so thikke was,
That closide the roses in compas.
But o thing lyked me right well:
I was so nygh, I myghte fel
Of the botoun the swote odour,
And also se the fresshe colour,
And that right gretly liked me,
That I so neer myghte it se.
Sich joie anoon therof hadde I
1850 That I forgat my malady.
To sen I hadde sich delit,
Of sorwe and angre I was al quyt,
And of my woundes that I hadde thore;
For nothing liken me myght more
Than dwellen by the roser ay,
And thennes never to passe away.
But whanne a while I hadde be thar,
The God of Love, which al toshar
Myn herte with his arwis kene,
1860 Castith hym to yeve me woundis grene.
He shet at me full hastily
An arwe named Company,
The whiche takell is full able
To make these ladies merciable.
Thanne I anoon gan chaungen hewe
For grevaunce of my wounde newe,
That I agayn fell in swonyng
And sighede sore in compleynyng.
Soore I compleyned that my sore
1870 On me gan greven more and more.
I hadde noon hope of allegeaunce;
So nygh I drow to desperaunce,
I roughte of deth ne of lyf,
Wheder that Love wolde me dryf.
Yf me a martir wolde he make,
I myght his power nought forsake.
And while for anger thus I wok,
The God of Love an arowe tok --
Ful sharp it was and pugnaunt --
1880 And it was callid Faire-Semblaunt,
The which in no wise wole consente
That ony lover hym repente
To serve his love with herte and alle,
For ony perill that may bifalle.
But though this arwe was kene grounde
As ony rasour that is founde,
To kutte and kerve, at the poynt
The God of Love it hadde anoynt
With a precious oynement,
1890 Somdell to yeve aleggement
Upon the woundes that he had
To helpe her sores, and to cure,
And that they may the bet endure.
But yit this arwe, withoute more,
Made in myn herte a large sore,
That in full gret peyne I abod.
But ay the oynement wente abrod;
Thourghout my woundes large and wide
1900 It spredde aboute in every side,
Thorough whos vertu and whos myght
Myn herte joyfull was and light.
I hadde ben deed and al toshent,
But for the precious oynement.
The shaft I drow out of the arwe,
Rokyng for wo right wondir narwe;
But the heed, which made me smerte,
Lefte bihynde in myn herte
With other foure, I dar wel say,
1910 That never wole be take away.
But the oynement halp me wel,
And yit sich sorwe dide I fel
That al day I chaunged hewe
Of my woundes fresshe and newe,
As men myght se in my visage.
The arwis were so full of rage,
So variaunt of diversitee,
That men in everich myghte se
Bothe gret anoy and eke swetnesse,
1920 And joie meynt with bittirnesse.
Now were they esy, now were they wod;
In hem I felte bothe harm and good;
Now sore without alleggement,
Now softenyng with oynement;
It softnede heere and prikkith there:
Thus ese and anger togidre were.
The God of Love delyverly
Com lepande to me hastily,
And seide to me in gret rape,
1930 "Yeld thee, for thou may not escape!
May no defence availe thee heer;
Therfore I rede make no daunger.
If thou wolt yelde thee hastily,
Thou shalt rather have mercy.
He is a fool in sikernesse,
That with daunger or stoutnesse
Rebellith there that he shulde plese;
In sich folye is litel ese.
Be meke where thou must nedis bow;
1940 To stryve ageyn is nought thi prow.
Com at oones, and have ydoo,
For I wol that it be soo.
Thanne yeld thee heere debonairly."
And I answerid ful hombly,
"Gladly, sir, at youre biddyng,
I wole me yelde in alle thyng.
To youre servyse I wol me take,
For God defende that I shulde make
Ageyn youre biddyng resistence.
1950 I wole not don so gret offence,
For if I dide, it were no skile.
Ye may do with me what ye wile,
Save or spille, and also sloo.
Fro you in no wise may I goo.
My lyf, my deth is in youre hond;
I may not laste out of youre bond.
Pleyn at youre lyst I yelde me,
Hopyng in herte that sumtyme ye
Comfort and ese shull me sende;
1960 Or ellis, shortly, this is the eende,
Withouten helthe I mot ay dure,
But if ye take me to youre cure.
Comfort or helthe how shuld I have,
Sith ye me hurt, but ye me save?
The helthe of love mot be founde
Where as they token first her wounde.
And if ye lyst of me to make
Youre prisoner, I wol it take
Of herte and will, fully at gree.
1970 Hoolly and pleyn Y yelde me,
Withoute feynyng or feyntise,
To be governed by youre emprise.
Of you I here so myche pris,
I wole ben hool at youre devis
For to fulfille youre lykyng
And repente for nothyng,
Hopyng to have yit in som tide
Mercy of that I abide."
And with that covenaunt yelde I me
1980 Anoon, down knelyng upon my kne,
Proferyng for to kisse his feet;
But for nothyng he wolde [me] let,
And seide, "I love thee bothe and preise,
Sen that thyn aunswar doth me ease,
For thou answerid so curteisly.
For now I wot wel uttirly
That thou art gentyll by thi speche.
For though a man fer wolde seche,
He shulde not fynden, in certeyn,
1990 No sich answer of no vileyn;
For sich a word ne myghte nought
Isse out of a vilayns thought.
Thou shalt not lesen of thi speche,
For [to] thy helpyng wole I eche,
And eke encresen that I may.
But first I wole that thou obay
Fully, for thyn avauntage,
Anoon to do me heere homage.
And sithe kisse thou shalt my mouth,
2000 Which to no vilayn was never couth
For to aproche it, ne for to touche;
For sauff of cherlis I ne vouche
That they shull never neigh it nere.
For curteis and of faire manere,
Well taught and ful of gentilnesse
He muste ben that shal me kysse,
And also of full high fraunchise,
That shal atteyne to that emprise.
And first of o thing warne I thee,
2010 That peyne and gret adversite
He mot endure, and eke travaile,
That shal me serve, withouten faile.
But ther-ageyns thee to comforte,
And with thi servise to desporte,
Thou mayst full glad and joyfull be
So good a maister to have as me,
And lord of so high renoun.
I bere of love the gonfanoun,
Of curtesie the banere.
2020 For I am of the silf manere,
Gentil, curteys, meke, and fre,
That whoever ententyf be
Me to honoure, doute, and serve,
And also that he hym observe
Fro trespas and fro vilanye,
And hym governe in curtesie
With will and with entencioun.
For whanne he first in my prisoun
Is caught, thanne must he uttirly
2030 Fro thennes forth full bisily
Caste hym gentyll for to bee,
If he desire help of me."
Anoon withouten more delay,
Withouten daunger or affray,
I bicom his man anoon,
And gaf hym thankes many a oon,
And knelide doun with hondis joynt
And made it in my port full queynt.
The joye wente to myn herte rote,
2040 Whanne I hadde kissed his mouth so swote;
I hadde sich myrthe and sich likyng,
It cured me of langwisshing.
He askide of me thanne hostages:
"I have," he seide, "taken fele homages
Of oon and other, where I have ben
Disceyved ofte, withouten wen.
These felouns, full of falsite,
Have many sithes biguyled me
And thorough falshed her lust achieved,
2050 Wherof I repente and am agreved.
And I hem gete in my daunger,
Her falshede shull they bie full der.
But for I love thee, I seie thee pleyn,
I wol of thee be more certeyn;
For thee so sore I wole now bynde
That thou away ne shalt not wynde
For to denyen the covenaunt,
Or don that is not avenaunt.
That thou were fals it were gret reuthe,
2060 Sith thou semest so full of treuthe."
"Sire, if thee lyst to undirstande,
I merveile the askyng this demande.
For why or wherfore shulde ye
Ostages or borwis aske of me,
Or ony other sikirnesse,
Sith ye wot, in sothfastnesse,
That ye have me susprised so,
And hol myn herte taken me fro,
That it wole do for me nothing,
2070 But if it be at youre biddyng?
Myn herte is youres, and myn right nought,
As it bihoveth, in dede and thought,
Redy in all to worche youre will,
Whether so turne to good or ill,
So sore it lustith you to plese,
No man therof may you disseise.
Ye have theron sette sich justice,
That it is werreid in many wise;
And if ye doute it nolde obeye,
2080 Ye may therof do make a keye,
And holde it with you for ostage."
"Now, certis, this is noon outrage,"
Quod Love, "and fully I acord.
For of the body he is full lord
That hath the herte in his tresor;
Outrage it were to asken more."
Thanne of his awmener he drough
A litell keye, fetys ynowgh,
Which was of gold polisshed clere,
2090 And seide to me, "With this keye heere
Thyn herte to me now wole I shette.
For all my jowelles, loke and knette,
I bynde undir this litel keye,
That no wight may carie aweye.
This keye is full of gret poeste."
With which anoon he touchide me
Undir the side full softely,
That he myn herte sodeynly
Without anoy hadde spered,
2100 That yit right nought it hath me dered.
Whanne he hadde don his will al oute,
And I hadde putte hym out of doute,
"Sire," I seide, "I have right gret wille
Youre lust and plesaunce to fulfille.
Loke ye my servise take at gree,
By thilke feith ye owe to me.
I seye nought for recreaundise,
For I nought doute of youre servise,
But the servaunt traveileth in vayne,
2110 That for to serven doth his payne
Unto that lord, which in no wise
Kan hym no thank for his servyse."
Love seide, "Dismaie thee nought.
Syn thou for sokour hast me sought,
In thank thi servise wol I take,
And high of degre I wol thee make,
If wikkidnesse ne hyndre thee.
But, as I hope, it shal nought be;
To worshipe no wight by aventure
2120 May come, but if he peyne endure.
Abid and suffre thy distresse;
That hurtith now, it shal be lesse.
I wot mysilf what may thee save,
What medicyne thou woldist have.
And if thi trouthe to me thou kepe,
I shal unto thy helpyng eke,
To cure thy woundes and make hem clene,
Where so they be olde or grene --
Thou shalt be holpen, at wordis fewe.
2130 For certeynly thou shalt well shewe
Wher that thou servest with good wille
For to complysshen and fulfille
My comaundementis, day and nyght,
Whiche I to lovers yeve of right."
"A sire, for Goddis love," seide I,
"Er ye passe hens, ententyfly
Youre comaundementis to me ye say,
And I shall kepe hem, if I may;
For hem to kepen is all my thought.
2140 And if so be I wot hem nought,
Thanne may I [erre] unwityngly.
Wherfore I pray you enterely,
With all myn herte, me to lere,
That I trespasse in no manere."
The God of Love thanne chargide me
Anoon, as ye shall here and see,
Word by word, by right emprise,
So as the Romance shall devise.
The maister lesith his tyme to lere,
2150 Whanne that the disciple wol not here;
It is but veyn on hym to swynke
That on his lernyng wol not thinke.
Whoso luste love, lat hym entende,
For now the Romance bigynneth to amende.
Now is good to here, in fay,
If ony be that can it say,
And poynte it as the resoun is
Set; for other-gate, ywys,
It shall nought well in alle thyng
2160 Be brought to good undirstondyng.
For a reder that poyntith ille
A good sentence may ofte spille.
The book is good at the eendyng,
Maad of newe and lusty thyng;
For whoso wol the eendyng here,
The craft of love he shall mowe lere,
If that ye wol so long abide,
Tyl I this Romance may unhide,
And undo the signifiance
2170 Of this drem into Romance.
The sothfastnesse that now is hid,
Without coverture shall be kid
Whanne I undon have this dremyng,
Wherynne no word is of lesyng.
"Vilanye, at the bigynnyng,
I wole," sayde Love, "over alle thyng,
Thou leve if thou wolt [not] be
Fals, and trespasse ageynes me.
I curse and blame generaly
2180 All hem that loven vilany,
For vilanye makith vilayn,
And by his dedis a cherl is seyn.
Thise vilayns arn withouten pitee,
Frendshipe, love, and all bounte.
I nyl resseyve unto my servise
Hem that ben vilayns of emprise.
But undirstonde in thyn entent
That this is not myn entendement,
To clepe no wight in noo ages
2190 Oonly gentill for his lynages.
But whoso is vertuous,
And in his port nought outrageous,
Whanne sich oon thou seest thee biforn,
Though he be not gentill born,
Thou maist well seyn, this is in soth,
That he is gentil by cause he doth
As longeth to a gentilman;
Of hem noon other deme I can.
For certeynly, withouten drede,
2200 A cherl is demed by his dede
Of hie or lowe, as we may see,
Or of what kynrede that he bee.
Ne say nought, for noon yvel wille,
Thyng that is to holden stille;
It is no worshipe to myssey.
Thou maist ensample take of Key,
That was somtyme, for mysseiyng,
Hated bothe of olde and ying.
As fer as Gaweyn, the worthy,
2210 Was preised for his curtesy,
Kay was hated, for he was fell,
Of word dispitous and cruell.
Wherfore be wise and aqueyntable,
Goodly of word, and resonable
Bothe to lesse and eke to mare.
And whanne thou comest there men are,
Loke that thou have in custome ay
First to salue hem, if thou may;
And if it fall that of hem som
2220 Salue thee first, be not domm,
But quyte hem curteisly anoon,
Without abidyng, er they goon.
"For nothyng eke thy tunge applye
To speke wordis of rebaudrye.
To vilayn speche in no degre
Lat never thi lippe unbounden be.
For I nought holde hym, in good feith,
Curteys, that foule wordis seith.
And alle wymmen serve and preise,
2230 And to thy power her honour reise;
And if that ony myssaiere
Dispise wymmen, that thou maist here,
Blame hym, and bidde hym holde hym stille.
And [set] thy myght and all thy wille
Wymmen and ladies for to please,
And to do thyng that may hem ese,
That they ever speke good of thee,
For so thou maist best preised be.
"Loke fro pride thou kepe thee wel;
2240 For thou maist bothe perceyve and fel
That pride is bothe foly and synne,
And he that pride hath hym withynne
Ne may his herte in no wise
Meken ne souplen to servyse.
For pride is founde in every part
Contrarie unto loves art.
And he that loveth, trewely,
Shulde hym contene jolily
Without pride in sondry wise,
2250 And hym disgysen in queyntise.
For queynt array, without drede,
Is nothyng proud, who takith hede;
For fresh array, as men may see,
Withouten pride may ofte be.
"Mayntene thysilf aftir thi rent
Of robe and eke of garnement,
For many sithe fair clothyng
A man amendith in myche thyng.
And loke alwey that they be shape --
2260 What garnement that thou shalt make --
Of hym that kan best do,
With all that perteyneth therto.
Poyntis and sleves be well sittand,
Right and streght on the hand.
Of shon and bootes, newe and faire,
Loke at the leest thou have a paire,
And that they sitte so fetisly
That these rude may uttirly
Merveyle, sith that they sitte so pleyn,
2270 How they come on or off ageyn.
Were streite gloves with awmenere
Of silk; and alwey with good chere
Thou yeve, if thou have richesse;
And if thou have nought, spende the lesse.
Alwey be mery, if thou may,
But waste not thi good alway.
Have hat of floures as fresh as May,
Chapelett of roses of Whitsonday,
For sich array ne costeth but lite.
2280 Thyn hondis wassh, thy teeth make white,
And let no filthe upon thee bee.
Thy nailes blak if thou maist see,
Voide it awey delyverly,
And kembe thyn heed right jolily.
Fard not thi visage in no wise,
For that of love is not th' emprise;
For love doth haten, as I fynde,
A beaute that cometh not of kynde.
Alwey in herte I rede thee
2290 Glad and mery for to be,
And be as joyfull as thou can;
Love hath no joye of sorowful man.
That yvell is full of curtesie
That laughith in his maladie;
For ever of love the siknesse
Is meynd with swete and bitternesse.
The sore of love is merveilous;
For now the lover [is. joyous,
Now can he pleyne, now can he grone,
2300 Now can he syngen, now maken mone;
To-day he pleyneth for hevynesse,
To-morowe he pleyeth for jolynesse.
The lyf of love is full contrarie,
Which stoundemele can ofte varie.
But if thou canst mirthis make,
That men in gre wole gladly take,
Do it goodly, I comaunde thee.
For men shulde, wheresoevere they be,
Do thing that hem sittyng is,
2310 For therof cometh good loos and pris.
Whereof that thou be vertuous,
Ne be not straunge ne daungerous;
For if that thou good ridere be,
Prike gladly, that men may se.
In armes also if thou konne,
Pursue til thou a name hast wonne.
And if thi voice be faire and cler,
Thou shalt maken [no] gret daunger
Whanne to synge they goodly preye --
2320 It is thi worship for t' obeye.
Also to you it longith ay
To harpe and gitterne, daunce and play,
For if he can wel foote and daunce,
It may hym greetly do avaunce.
Among eke, for thy lady sake,
Songes and complayntes that thou make,
For that wole meven in hir herte,
Whanne they reden of thy smerte.
Loke that no man for scarce thee holde,
2330 For that may greve thee many folde.
Resoun wole that a lover be
In his yiftes more large and fre
Than cherles that ben not of lovyng.
For who therof can ony thyng,
He shal be leef ay for to yeve,
In Loves lore whoso wolde leve;
For he that thorough a sodeyn sight,
Or for a kyssyng, anoonright
Yaff hool his herte in will and thought,
2340 And to hymsilf kepith right nought,
Aftir [swich] [gift] it is good resoun
He yeve his good in abandoun.
"Now wol I shortly heere reherce
Of that I have seid in verce
Al the sentence by and by,
In wordis fewe compendiously,
That thou the better mayst on hem thynke,
Whether so it be thou wake or wynke.
For the wordis litel greve
2350 A man to kepe, whanne it is breve.
Whoso with Love wole goon or ride,
He mot be curteis, and voide of pride,
Mery, and full of jolite,
And of largesse alosed be.
"First I joyne thee, heere in penaunce,
That evere, withoute repentaunce,
Thou sette thy thought in thy lovyng
To laste withoute repentyng,
And thenke upon thi myrthis swete,
2360 That shall folowe aftir, whan ye mete.
"And for thou trewe to love shalt be,
I wole, and comaunde thee,
That in oo place thou sette, all hool,
Thyn herte withoute halfen dool
Of trecherie and sikernesse;
For I lovede nevere doublenesse.
To many his herte that wole depart,
Everich shal have but litel part;
But of hym drede I me right nought,
2370 That in oo place settith his thought.
Therfore in oo place it sette,
And lat it nevere thannys flette.
For if thou yevest it in lenyng,
I holde it but a wrecchid thyng;
Therfore yeve it hool and quyt,
And thou shalt have the more merit.
If it be lent, than aftir soon
The bounte and the thank is doon;
But, in love, fre yeven thing
2380 Requyrith a gret guerdonyng.
Yeve it in yift al quyt fully,
And make thi yift debonairly,
For men that yift holde more dere
That yeven [is. with gladsom chere.
That yift nought to preisen is
That man yeveth maugre his.
Whanne thou hast yeven thyn herte, as I
Have seid thee heere openly,
Thanne aventures shull thee falle,
2390 Which harde and hevy ben withalle.
For ofte whan thou bithenkist thee
Of thy lovyng, whereso thou be,
Fro folk thou must departe in hie,
That noon perceyve thi maladie.
But hyde thyne harm thou must alone,
And go forth sool, and make thy mone.
Thou shalt no whyle be in o stat,
But whylom cold and whilom hat,
Now reed as rose, now yelowe and fade.
2400 Such sorowe, I trowe, thou never hade;
Cotidien ne quarteyne,
It is nat so ful of peyne.
For often tymes it shal falle
In love, among thy paynes alle,
That thou thyself al holly
Foryeten shalt so utterly
That many tymes thou shalt be
Styl as an ymage of tree,
Domm as a ston, without steryng
2410 Of fot or hond, without spekyng.
Than, soone after al thy payn,
To memorye shalt thou come agayn,
As man abasshed wonder sore,
And after syghen more and more.
For wyt thou wel, withouten wen,
In such astat ful ofte have ben
That have the yvel of love assayd
Wherthrough thou art so dismayd.
"After, a thought shal take the so,
2420 That thy love is to fer the fro.
Thou shalt saye, `God! what may this be,
That I ne may my lady se?
Myn herte alone is to her go,
And I abyde al sol in wo,
Departed fro myn owne thought,
And with myne eyen se right nought.
Alas, myne eyen sende I ne may
My careful herte to convay!
Myn hertes gyde but they be,
2430 I prayse nothyng, whatever they se.
Shul they abyde thanne? Nay;
But gon and visyten without delay
That myn herte desyreth so.
For certainly, but if they go,
A fool myself I may wel holde,
Whan I ne se what myn herte wolde.
Wherfore I wol gon her to sen,
Or eased shal I never ben,
But I have som tokenyng.'
2440 Than gost thou forth without dwellyng;
But ofte thou faylest of thy desyr,
Er thou mayst come her any ner,
And wastest in vayn thi passage.
Thanne fallest thou in a newe rage;
For want of sight thou gynnest morne,
And homward pensyf thou dost retorne.
In greet myscheef thanne shalt thou bee,
For thanne agayn shall come to thee
Sighes and pleyntes with newe woo,
2450 That no ycchyng prikketh soo.
Who wot it nought, he may go lere
Of hem that bien love so dere.
"Nothyng thyn herte appesen may
That ofte thou wolt goon and assay
If thou maist seen, by aventure,
Thi lyves joy, thin hertis cure;
So that, bi grace, if thou myght
Atteyne of hire to have a sight,
Thanne shalt thou don noon other dede,
2460 But with that sight thyne eyen fede.
That faire fresh whanne thou maist see,
Thyne herte shall so ravysshed be
That nevere thou woldest, thi thankis, lete,
Ne remove for to see that swete.
The more thou seest in sothfastnesse,
The more thou coveytest of that swetnesse;
The more thin herte brenneth in fir,
The more thin herte is in desir.
For who considreth everydeell,
2470 It may be likned wondir well,
The peyne of love, unto a fer;
For evermore thou neighest ner,
Thou, or whooso that it bee,
For verray sothe I tell it thee,
The hatter evere shall thou brenne,
As experience shall thee kenne:
Whereso [thou] comest in ony coost,
Who is next fyr, he brenneth moost.
And yitt forsothe, for all thin hete,
2480 Though thou for love swelte and swete,
Ne for nothyng thou felen may,
Thou shalt not willen to passen away.
And though thou go, yitt must thee nede
Thenke all day on hir fairhede
Whom thou biheelde with so good will,
And holde thisilf biguyled ill
That thou ne haddest noon hardement
To shewe hir ought of thyn entent.
Thyn herte full sore thou wolt dispise,
2490 And eke repreve of cowardise,
That thou, so dul in every thing,
Were domm for drede, withoute spekyng.
Thou shalt eke thenke thou didest folye
That thou were hir so faste bye,
And durst not auntre thee to saye
Somthyng er thou cam awaye;
For thou haddist no more wonne,
To speke of hir whanne thou bigonne.
But yitt she wolde, for thy sake,
2500 In armes goodly thee have take --
It shulde have be more worth to thee
Than of tresour gret plente.
Thus shalt thou morne and eke compleyn,
And gete enchesoun to goon ageyn
Unto thi walk, or to thi place
Where thou biheelde hir fleshly face.
And never, for fals suspeccioun,
Thou woldest fynde occasioun
For to gon unto hire hous.
2510 So art thou thanne desirous
A sight of hir for to have,
If thou thin honour myghtist save,
Or ony erande myghtist make
Thider for thi loves sake,
Full fayn thou woldist, but for drede
Thou gost not, lest that men take hede.
Wherfore I rede, in thi goyng,
And also in thyn ageyn-comyng,
Thou be well war that men ne wit.
2520 Feyne thee other cause than it
To go that weye, or faste by;
To hele wel is no foly.
And if so be it happe thee
That thou thi love there maist see,
In siker wise thou hir salewe,
Wherewith thi colour wole transmewe,
And eke thy blod shal al toquake,
Thyn hewe eke chaungen for hir sake.
But word and wit, with chere full pale,
2530 Shull wante for to tell thy tale.
And if thou maist so fer forth wynne
That thou resoun durst bigynne,
And woldist seyn thre thingis or mo,
Thou shalt full scarsly seyn the two.
Though thou bithenke thee never so well,
Thou shalt foryete yit somdell,
But if thou dele with trecherie.
For fals lovers mowe all folye
Seyn, what hem lust, withouten drede,
2540 They be so double in her falshede;
For they in herte cunne thenke a thyng,
And seyn another in her spekyng.
And whanne thi speche is eendid all,
Ryght thus to thee it shall byfall:
If ony word thanne come to mynde
That thou to seye hast left bihynde,
Thanne thou shalt brenne in gret martir,
For thou shalt brenne as ony fir.
This is the stryf and eke the affray,
2550 And the batell that lastith ay.
This bargeyn eende may never take,
But if that she thi pees will make.
And whanne the nyght is comen, anoon
A thousand angres shall come uppon.
To bedde as fast thou wolt thee dight,
Where thou shalt have but smal delit.
For whanne thou wenest for to slepe,
So full of peyne shalt thou crepe,
Sterte in thi bed aboute full wide,
2560 And turne full ofte on every side,
Now dounward groff and now upright,
And walowe in woo the longe nyght.
Thine armys shalt thou sprede a-bred,
As man in werre were forwerreyd.
Thanne shall thee come a remembraunce
Of hir shap and hir semblaunce,
Whereto non other may be pere.
And wite thou wel, withoute were,
That thee shal se[me] somtyme that nyght
2570 That thou hast hir that is so bright
Naked bitwene thyne armes there,
All sothfastnesse as though it were.
Thou shalt make castels thanne in Spayne
And dreme of joye, all but in vayne,
And thee deliten of right nought,
While thou so slombrest in that thought
That is so swete and delitable,
The which, in soth, nys but fable,
For it ne shall no while laste.
2580 Thanne shalt thou sighe and wepe faste,
And say, `Dere God, what thing is this?
My drem is turned all amys,
Which was full swete and apparent;
But now I wake, it is al shent!
Now yede this mery thought away!
Twenty tymes upon a day
I wolde this thought wolde come ageyn,
For it aleggith well my peyn.
It makith me full of joyfull thought;
2590 It sleth me, that it lastith noght.
A, Lord! Why nyl ye me socoure
The joye, I trowe, that I langoure?
The deth I wolde me shulde sloo
While I lye in hir armes twoo.
Myn harm is hard, withouten wene;
My gret unese full ofte I meene.
"`But wolde Love do so I myght
Have fully joye of hir so bright,
My peyne were quyt me rychely.
2600 Allas, to gret a thing aske I!
Hit is but foly and wrong wenyng
To aske so outrageous a thyng;
And whoso askith folily,
He mot be warned hastily.
And I ne wot what I may say,
I am so fer out of the way;
For I wolde have full gret likyng
And full gret joye of lasse thing.
For wolde she, of hir gentylnesse,
2610 Without and more, me oonys kysse,
It were to me a gret guerdoun,
Relees of all my passioun.
But it is hard to come therto;
All is but folye that I do,
So high I have myn herte set,
Where I may no comfort get.
I wote not wher I seye well or nought,
But this I wot wel in my thought,
That it were better of hir alloone,
2620 For to stynte my woo and moone,
A lok on hir I caste goodly,
Than for to have al utterly
Of an other all hool the pley.
A, Lord! Wher I shall byde the day
That evere she shall my lady be?
He is full cured that may hir see.
A, God! Whanne shal the dawnyng spring?
To liggen thus is an angry thyng;
I have no joye thus heere to ly,
2630 Whanne that my love is not me by.
A man to lyen hath gret disese,
Which may not slepe ne reste in ese.
I wolde it dawed, and were now day,
And that the nyght were went away;
For were it day, I wolde uprise.
A, slowe sonne, shewe thin enprise!
Sped thee to sprede thy beemys bright,
And chace the derknesse of the nyght,
To putte away the stoundes stronge,
2640 Whiche in me lasten all to longe.'
"The nyght shalt thou contene soo
Withoute rest, in peyne and woo.
If evere thou knewe of love distresse,
Thou shalt mowe lerne in that siknesse,
And thus enduryng shalt thou ly,
And ryse on morwe up erly
Out of thy bedde, and harneyse thee,
Er evere dawnyng thou maist see.
All pryvyly thanne shalt thou goon,
2650 What weder it be, thisilf alloon,
For reyn or hayl, for snow, for slet,
Thider she dwellith that is so swet,
The which may fall a-slepe be,
And thenkith but lytel upon thee.
Thanne shalt thou goon, ful foule afeered,
Loke if the gate be unspered,
And waite without in woo and peyn,
Full yvel a-coold, in wynd and reyn.
Thanne shal thou go the dore bifore,
2660 If thou maist fynde ony score,
Or hool, or reeft, whatevere it were;
Thanne shalt thou stoupe and lay to ere,
If they withynne a-slepe be --
I mene all save the lady free,
Whom wakyng if thou maist aspie,
Go putte thisilf in jupartie
To aske grace, and thee bimene,
That she may wite, without wene,
That thou [a-]nyght no rest hast had,
2670 So sore for hir thou were bystad.
Wommen wel ought pite to take
Of hem that sorwen for her sake.
And loke, for love of that relyk,
That thou thenke noon other lyk,
For whom thou hast so gret annoy,
Shall kysse thee, er thou go away,
And holde that in full gret deynte.
And for that no man shal thee see
Bifore the hous ne in the way,
2680 Loke thou be goon ageyn er day.
Such comyng and such goyng,
Such hevynesse and such wakyng,
Makith lovers, withouten ony wene,
Under her clothes pale and lene.
For Love leveth colour ne cleernesse;
Who loveth trewe hath no fatnesse.
Thou shalt wel by thysilf see
That thou must nedis assayed be.
For men that shape hem other wey
2690 Falsly her ladyes for to bitray,
It is no wonder though they be fatt;
With false othes her loves they gatt.
For oft I see suche losengours
Fatter than abbatis or priours.
"Yit with o thing I thee charge,
That is to seye, that thou be large
Unto the mayde that hir doth serve,
So best hir thank thou shalt deserve.
Yeve hir yiftes, and get hir grace,
2700 For so thou may thank purchace,
That she thee worthy holde and free,
Thi lady, and all that may thee see.
Also hir servauntes worshipe ay,
And please as mych as thou may;
Gret good thorough hem may come to thee
Bicause with hir they ben pryve.
They shal hir telle hou they thee fand
Curteis, and wys, and well doand,
And she shall preise well the mare.
2710 Loke oute of londe thou be not fare,
And if such cause thou have that thee
Bihoveth to gon out of contree,
Leve hool thin herte in hostage,
Till thou ageyn make thi passage.
Thenk long to see the swete thyng
That hath thin herte in hir kepyng.
"Now have I told thee in what wise
A lovere shall do me servise.
Do it thanne, if thou wolt have
2720 The meede that thou aftir crave."
Whanne Love all this hadde boden me,
I seide hym: "Sire, how may it be
That lovers may in such manere
Endure the peyne ye have seid heere?
I merveyle me wonder faste
How ony man may lyve or laste
In such peyne and such brennyng,
In sorwe and thought and such sighing,
Ay unrelesed woo to make,
2730 Whether so it be they slepe or wake,
In such annoy contynuely --
As helpe me God, this merveile I
How man, but he were maad of stele,
Myght lyve a month, such peynes to fele."
The God of Love thanne seide me:
"Freend, by the feith I owe to thee,
May no man have good, but he it by.
A man loveth more tendirly
The thyng that he hath bought most dere.
2740 For wite thou well, withouten were,
In thank that thyng is taken more,
For which a man hath suffred sore.
Certis, no wo ne may atteyne
Unto the sore of loves peyne;
Noon yvel therto ne may amounte,
No more than a man [may] counte
The dropes that of the water be.
For drye as well the greete see
Thou myghtist as the harmes telle
2750 Of hem that with love dwelle
In servyse, for peyne hem sleeth.
And yet ech man wolde fle the deeth,
And trowe thei shulde nevere escape,
Nere that hope couth. hem make
Glad, as man in prisoun sett,
And may not geten for to et
But barly breed and watir pure,
And lyeth in vermyn and in ordure;
With all this yitt can he lyve,
2760 Good hope such comfort hath hym yive,
Which maketh wene that he shall be
Delyvered, and come to liberte.
In fortune is [his] fulle trust,
Though he lye in strawe or dust;
In hoope is all his susteynyng.
And so for lovers, in her wenyng,
Whiche Love hath shit in his prisoun,
Good hope is her salvacioun.
Good hope, how sore that they smerte,
2770 Yeveth hem bothe will and herte
To profre her body to martire;
For hope so sore doth hem desire
To suffre ech harm that men devise,
For joye that aftirward shall aryse.
"Hope in desir caccheth victorie;
In hope of love is all the glorie;
For hope is all that love may yive;
Nere hope, ther shulde no lover lyve.
Blessid be hope, which with desir
2780 Avaunceth lovers in such maner!
Good hope is curteis for to please,
To kepe lovers from all disese.
Hope kepith his bond, and wole abide,
For ony perill that may betyde;
For hope to lovers, as most cheef,
Doth hem endure all myscheef;
Hope is her helpe whanne myster is.
"And I shall yeve thee eke, iwys,
Three other thingis that gret solas
2790 Doth to hem that be in my las.
The firste good that may be founde
To hem that in my las be bounde
Is Swete-Thought, for to recorde
Thing wherwith thou canst accorde
Best in thyn herte, where she be --
Thenkyng in absence is good to thee.
Whanne ony lover doth compleyne,
And lyveth in distresse and in peyne,
Thanne Swete-Thought shal come as blyve
2800 Awey his angre for to dryve:
It makith lovers to have remembraunce
Of comfort and of high plesaunce
That Hope hath hight hym for to wynne.
For Thought anoon thanne shall bygynne,
As fer, God wot, as he can fynde,
To make a mirrour of his mynde;
For to biholde he wole not lette.
Hir persone he shall afore hym sette,
Hir laughing eyen, persaunt and clere,
2810 Hir shape, hir forme, hir goodly chere,
Hir mouth, that is so gracious,
So swete and eke so saverous;
Of all hir fetures he shall take heede,
His eyen with all hir lymes fede.
"Thus Swete-Thenkyng shall aswage
The peyne of lovers and her rage.
Thi joye shall double, withoute gesse,
Whanne thou thenkist on hir semlynesse,
Or of hir laughing, or of hir chere,
2820 That to thee made thi lady dere.
This comfort wole I that thou take;
And if the next thou wolt forsake,
Which is not lesse saverous,
Thou shuldist ben to daungerous.
"The secounde shal be Swete-Speche,
That hath to many oon be leche,
To bringe hem out of woo and wer,
And holpe many a bachiler,
And many a lady sent socour,
2830 That have loved paramour,
Thorough spekyng, whanne they myghte heere
Of her lovers to hem so dere.
To hem it voidith all her smerte,
The which is closed in her herte.
In herte it makith hem glad and light,
Speche, whanne they [ne] mowe have sight.
And therfore now it cometh to mynde,
In olde dawes, as I fynde,
That clerkis writen that hir knewe,
2840 Ther was a lady fresh of hewe,
Which of hir love made a song
On hym for to remembre among,
In which she seyde, `Whanne that I here
Speken of hym that is so dere,
To me it voidith all smert,
Iwys, he sittith so ner myn hert.
To speke of hym, at eve or morwe,
It cureth me of all my sorwe.
To me is noon so high plesaunce
2850 As of his persone dalyaunce.'
She wist full well that Swete-Spekyng
Comfortith in full myche thyng.
Hir love she hadde full well assayed;
Of him she was full well apaied;
To speke of hym hir joye was sett.
Therfore I rede thee that thou gett
A felowe that can well concele,
And kepe thi counsell, and well hele,
To whom go shewe hoolly thine herte,
2860 Bothe wele and woo, joye and smerte.
To gete comfort to hym thou goo,
And pryvyly, bitwene yow twoo,
Yee shall speke of that goodly thyng
That hath thyn herte in hir kepyng,
Of hir beaute and hir semblaunce
And of hir goodly countenaunce.
Of all thi stat thou shalt hym sey,
And aske hym counseill how thou may
Do ony thyng that may hir plese;
2870 For it to thee shall do gret ese
That he may wite thou trust hym soo,
Bothe of thi wele and of thi woo.
And if his herte to love be sett,
His companye is myche the bett,
For resoun wole he shewe to thee
All uttirly his pryvyte;
And what she is he loveth so,
To thee pleynly he shal undo,
Withoute drede of ony shame,
2880 Bothe tell hir renoun and hir name.
Thanne shall he forther, fer and ner,
And namely to thi lady der,
In syker wise; yee, every other
Shall helpen as his owne brother,
In trouthe withoute doublenesse,
And kepen cloos in sikernesse.
For it is noble thing, in fay,
To have a man thou darst say
Thy pryve counsell every deell;
2890 For that wole comforte thee right well,
And thou shalt holde thee well apayed,
Whanne such a freend thou hast assayed.
"The thridde good of gret comfort,
That yeveth to lovers most disport,
Comyth of sight and of biholdyng,
That clepid is Swete-Lokyng,
The whiche may noon ese do
Whanne thou art fer thy lady fro;
Wherfore thou prese alwey to be
2900 In place where thou maist hir see.
For it is thyng most amerous,
Most delytable and saverous,
For to aswage a mannes sorowe,
To sen his lady by the morwe.
For it is a full noble thing,
Whanne thyne eyen have metyng
With that relike precious,
Wherof they be so desirous.
But al day after, soth it is,
2910 They have no drede to faren amys;
They dreden neither wynd ne reyn,
Ne noon other maner peyn.
For whanne thyne eyen were thus in blis,
Yit of hir curtesie, ywys,
Alloone they can not have her joye,
But to the herte they [it] convoye;
Part of her blisse to hym they sende,
Of all this harm to make an ende.
The eye is a good messanger,
2920 Which can to the herte in such maner
Tidyngis sende that [he] hath sen,
To voide hym of his peynes clen.
Wherof the herte rejoiseth soo,
That a gret party of his woo
Is voided and put awey to flight.
Right as the derknesse of the nyght
Is chased with clernesse of the mone,
Right so is al his woo full soone
Devoided clene, whanne that the sight
2930 Biholden may that freshe wight
That the herte desireth soo,
That al his derknesse is agoo.
For thanne the herte is all at ese,
Whanne the eyen sen that may hem plese.
"Now have I declared thee all oute
Of that thou were in drede and doute;
For I have told thee feithfully
What thee may curen utterly,
And alle lovers that wole be
2940 Feithfull and full of stabilite.
Good-Hope alwey kep bi thi side,
And Swete-Thought make eke abide,
Swete-Lokyng and Swete-Speche --
Of all thyne harmes thei shall be leche,
Of every thou shalt have gret plesaunce.
If thou canst bide in sufferaunce,
And serve wel withoute feyntise,
Thou shalt be quyt of thyn emprise
With more guerdoun, if that thou lyve;
2950 But at this tyme this I thee yive."
The God of Love whanne al the day
Had taught me, as ye have herd say,
And enfourmed compendiously,
He vanyshide awey all sodeynly,
And I alloone lefte, all sool,
So full of compleynt and of dool,
For I saw no man there me by.
My woundes me greved wondirly;
Me for to curen nothyng I knew,
2960 Save the botoun bright of hew,
Wheron was sett hoolly my thought.
Of other comfort knew I nought,
But it were thorugh the God of Love;
I knew not elles to my bihove
That myght me ease or comfort gete,
But if he wolde hym entermete.
The roser was, withoute doute,
Closed with an hegge withoute,
As ye toforn have herd me seyn;
2970 And fast I bisiede, and wolde fayn
Have passed the hay, if I myghte
Have geten ynne by ony slighte
Unto the botoun so faire to see.
But evere I dradde blamed to be,
If men wolde have suspeccioun
That I wolde of entencioun
Have stole the roses that there were;
Therfore to entre I was in fere.
But at the last, as I bithought
2980 Whether I shulde passe or nought,
I saw come with a glad cher
To me, a lusty bacheler,
Of good stature and of good highte,
And Bialacoil forsothe he highte.
Sone he was to Curtesy,
And he me grauntide full gladly
The passage of the outter hay,
And seide: "Sir, how that yee may
Passe, if youre wille be
2990 The freshe roser for to see,
And yee the swete savour fele.
Youre warrant may [I] [be] right wele;
So thou thee kepe fro folye,
Shall no man do thee vylanye.
If I may helpe you in ought,
I shall not feyne, dredeth nought,
For I am bounde to youre servise,
Fully devoide of feyntise."
Thanne unto Bialacoil saide I,
3000 "I thanke you, sir, full hertely,
And youre biheeste take at gre,
That ye so goodly profer me.
To you it cometh of gret fraunchise
That ye me profer youre servise."
Thanne aftir, full delyverly,
Thorough the breres anoon wente I,
Wherof encombred was the hay.
I was wel plesed, the soth to say,
To se the botoun faire and swote
3010 So freshe spronge out of the rote.
And Bialacoil me served well,
Whanne I so nygh me myghte fel
Of the botoun the swete odour,
And so lusty hewed of colour.
But thanne a cherl (foule hym bityde!)
Biside the roses gan hym hyde,
To kepe the roses of that roser,
Of whom the name was Daunger.
This cherl was hid there in the greves,
3020 Kovered with gras and with leves,
To spie and take whom that he fond
Unto that roser putte an hond.
He was not sool, for ther was moo,
For with hym were other twoo
Of wikkid maners and yvel fame.
That oon was clepid, by his name,
Wykked-Tonge -- God yeve hym sorwe! --
For neither at eve ne at morwe,
He can of no man good speke;
3030 On many a just man doth he wreke.
Ther was a womman eke that hight
Shame, that, who can reken right,
Trespas was hir fadir name,
Hir moder Resoun; and thus was Shame
Brought of these ilke twoo.
And yitt hadde Trespas never adoo
With Resoun, ne never ley hir by,
He was so hidous and so ugly,
I mene this that Trespas highte;
3040 But Resoun conceyveth of a sighte
Shame, of that I spak aforn.
And whanne that Shame was thus born,
It was ordeyned that Chastite
Shulde of the roser lady be,
Which, of the botouns more and las,
With sondry folk assailed was,
That she ne wiste what to doo.
For Venus hir assailith soo,
That nyght and day from hir she stal
3050 Botouns and roses overal.
To Resoun thanne praieth Chastite,
Whom Venus hath flemed over the see,
That she hir doughter wolde hir lene,
To kepe the roser fresh and grene.
Anoon Resoun to Chastite
Is fully assented that it be,
And grauntide hir, at hir request,
That Shame, by cause she [is. honest,
Shall keper of the roser be.
3060 And thus to kepe it ther were three,
That noon shulde hardy be ne bold,
Were he yong or were he old,
Ageyn hir will awey to bere
Botouns ne roses that there were.
I hadde wel sped, hadde I not ben
Awayted with these three and sen.
For Bialacoil, that was so fair,
So gracious and debonair,
Quytt hym to me full curteisly,
3070 And, me to plese, bad that I
Shulde drawe me to the botoun ner;
Prese in, to touche the roser
Which bar the roses, he yaf me leve;
This graunt ne myght but lytel greve.
And for he saw it liked me,
Ryght nygh the botoun pullede he
A leef all grene, and yaff me that,
The whiche ful nygh the botoun sat.
I made [me] of that leef full queynt,
3080 And whanne I felte I was aqueynt
With Bialacoil, and so pryve,
I wende all at my will hadde be.
Thanne wax I hardy for to tel
To Bialacoil hou me bifel
Of Love, that tok and wounded me,
And seide, "Sir, so mote I thee,
I may no joye have in no wise,
Uppon no side, but it rise.
For sithe (if I shall not feyne)
3090 In herte I have had so gret peyne,
So gret annoy and such affray,
That I ne wot what I shall say;
I drede youre wrath to disserve.
Lever me were that knyves kerve
My body shulde in pecys smale,
Than in any wise it shulde falle
That ye wratthed shulde ben with me."
"Sey boldely thi will," quod he,
"I nyl be wroth, if that I may,
3100 For nought that thou shalt to me say."
Thanne seide I, "Ser, not you displease
To knowen of my gret unese,
In which oonly Love hath me brought;
For peynes gret, disese, and thought
Fro day to day he doth me drye;
Supposeth not, sir, that I lye.
In me fyve woundes dide he make,
The soore of whiche shall nevere slake,
But ye the botoun graunte me,
3110 Which is moost passaunt of beaute,
My lyf, my deth, and my martire,
And tresour that I moost desire."
Thanne Bialacoil, affrayed all,
Seyde, "Sir, it may not fall;
That ye desire, it may not arise.
What? Wolde ye shende me in this wise?
A mochel fool thanne I were,
If I suffride you awey to bere
The fresh botoun so faire of sight.
3120 For it were neither skile ne right,
Of the roser ye broke the rynde,
Or take the Rose aforn his kynde.
Ye are not curteys to aske it.
Late it still on the roser sitt
And growe til it amended be,
And parfytly come to beaute.
I nolde not that it pulled were
Fro the roser that it bere,
To me it is so leef and deer."
3130 With that sterte oute anoon Daunger,
Out of the place were he was hid.
His malice in his chere was kid;
Full gret he was and blak of hewe,
Sturdy and hidous, whoso hym knewe;
Like sharp urchouns his her was growe;
His nose frounced, full kirked stood.
He com criand as he were wood,
And seide, "Bialacoil, telle me why
3140 Thou bryngest hider so booldely
Hym that so nygh [is. the roser?
Thou worchist in a wrong maner.
He thenkith to dishonoure thee;
Thou art wel worthy to have maugree
To late hym of the roser wit.
Who serveth a feloun is yvel quit.
Thou woldist have doon gret bounte,
And he with shame wolde quyte thee.
Fle hennes, felowe! I rede thee goo!
3150 It wanteth litel I wole thee sloo.
For Bialacoil ne knew thee nought,
Whanne thee to serve he sette his thought;
For thou wolt shame hym, if thou myght,
Bothe ageyns resoun and right.
I wole no more in thee affye,
That comest so slyghly for t' espye;
For it preveth wonder well,
Thy slight and tresoun, every deell."
I durst no more there make abod
3160 For the cherl, he was so wod,
So gan he threte and manace,
And thurgh the haye he dide me chace.
For feer of hym I tremblyde and quok,
So cherlishly his heed it shok,
And seide, if eft he myght me take,
I shulde not from his hondis scape.
Thanne Bialacoil is fled and mat,
And I, all sool, disconsolat,
Was left aloone in peyne and thought;
3170 For shame to deth I was nygh brought.
Thanne thought I on myn high foly,
How that my body utterly
Was yeve to peyne and to martire;
And therto hadde I so gret ire,
That I ne durst the hayes passe.
There was noon hope; there was no grace.
I trowe nevere man wiste of peyne,
But he were laced in loves cheyne;
Ne no man [wot], and sooth it is,
3180 But if he love, what anger is.
Love holdith his heest to me right wel,
Whanne peyne he seide I shulde fel;
Noon herte may thenke, ne tunge seyn,
A quarter of my woo and peyn.
I myght not with the anger laste;
Myn herte in poynt was for to braste,
Whanne I thought on the Rose, that soo
Was thurgh Daunger cast me froo.
A long while stod I in that stat,
3190 Til that me saugh so mad and mat
The lady of the highe ward,
Which from hir tour lokide thiderward.
Resoun men clepe that lady,
Which from hir tour delyverly
Com doun to me, withouten mor.
But she was neither yong ne hoor,
Ne high ne lowe, ne fat ne lene,
But best as it were in a mene.
Hir eyen twoo were cleer and light
3200 As ony candell that brenneth bright;
And on hir heed she hadde a crowne.
Hir semede wel an high persoune,
For round enviroun, hir crownet
Was full of riche stonys frett.
Hir goodly semblaunt, by devys,
I trowe were maad in paradys,
For Nature hadde nevere such a grace,
To forge a werk of such compace.
For certeyn, but if the letter ly,
3210 God hymsilf, that is so high,
Made hir aftir his ymage,
And yaff hir sith sich avauntage
That she hath myght and seignorie
To kepe men from all folye.
Whoso wole trowe hir lore,
Ne may offenden nevermore.
And while I stod thus derk and pale,
Resoun bigan to me hir tale.
She seide, "Al hayl, my swete freend!
3220 Foly and childhood wol thee sheend,
Which the have putt in gret affray.
Thou hast bought deere the tyme of May,
That made thyn herte mery to be.
In yvell tyme thou wentist to see
The gardyn, whereof Ydilnesse
Bar the keye and was maistresse,
Whanne thou yedest in the daunce
With hir, and haddest aqueyntaunce.
Hir aqueyntaunce is perilous,
3230 First softe, and aftir noious;
She hath [thee] trasshed, withoute wen.
The God of Love hadde the not sen,
Ne hadde Ydilnesse thee conveyed
In the verger where Myrthe hym pleyed.
If foly have supprised thee,
Do so that it recovered be,
And be wel ware to take nomore
Counsel, that greveth aftir sore.
He is wis that wol hymsilf chastise.
3240 And though a yong man in ony wise
Trespace among, and do foly,
Late hym not tarye, but hastily
Late hym amende what so be mys.
And eke I counseile thee, iwys,
The God of Love hoolly foryet,
That hath thee in sich peyne set,
And thee in herte tourmented soo.
I can [nat] sen how thou maist goo
Other weyes to garisoun;
3250 For Daunger, that is so feloun,
Felly purposith thee to werreye,
Which is ful cruel, the soth to seye.
"And yitt of Daunger cometh no blame,
In reward of my doughter Shame,
Which hath the roses in hir ward,
As she that may be no musard.
And Wikked-Tunge is with these two,
That suffrith no man thider goo;
For er a thing be do, he shall,
3260 Where that he cometh, overall,
In fourty places, if it be sought,
Seye thyng that nevere was don ne wrought;
So moche tresoun is in his male
Of falsnesse, for to seyne a tale.
Thou delest with angry folk, ywis;
Wherfore to thee bettir is
From these folk awey to fare,
For they wole make thee lyve in care.
This is the yvell that love they call,
3270 Wherynne ther is but foly al,
For love is foly everydell.
Who loveth in no wise may do well,
Ne sette his thought on no good werk.
His scole he lesith, if he be a clerk.
Of other craft eke if he be,
He shal not thryve therynne, for he
In love shal have more passioun
Than monk, hermyte, or chanoun.
The peyne is hard, out [of] mesure;
3280 The joye may eke no while endure;
And in the possessioun
Is myche tribulacioun.
The joye it is so short lastyng,
And but in hap is the getyng;
For I see there many in travaille,
That atte laste foule fayle.
I was nothyng thi counseler,
Whanne thou were maad the omager
Of God of Love to hastily;
3290 Ther was no wisdom, but foly.
Thyn herte was joly but not sage,
Whanne thou were brought in sich a rage
To yelde thee so redily,
And to leve of is gret maistry.
"I rede thee Love awey to dryve,
That makith thee recche not of thi lyve.
The foly more fro day to day
Shal growe, but thou it putte away.
Tak with thy teeth the bridel faste,
3300 To daunte thyn herte, and eke thee caste,
If that thou maist, to gete thee defence
For to redresse thi first offence.
Whoso his herte alwey wol leve,
Shal fynde among that shal hym greve."
Whanne I hir herd thus me chastise,
I answerd in ful angry wise.
I prayed hir ceessen of hir speche,
Outher to chastise me or teche,
To bidde me my thought refreyne,
3310 Which Love hath caught in his demeyne:
"What? Wene ye Love wol consent,
That me assailith with bowe bent,
To drawe myn herte out of his hond,
Which is so qwikly in his bond?
That ye counseyle may nevere be,
For whanne he first arestide me,
He took myn herte so hool hym till,
That it is nothyng at my wil.
He taught it so hym for to obeye,
3320 That he it sparrede with a keye.
I pray yow, late me be all stille.
For ye may well, if that ye wille,
Youre wordis waste in idilnesse;
For utterly, withouten gesse,
All that ye seyn is but in veyne.
Me were lever dye in the peyne,
Than Love to me-ward shulde arette
Falsheed, or tresoun on me sette.
I wole me gete prys or blame,
3330 And love trewe, to save my name.
Who that me chastisith, I hym hate."
With that word Resoun wente hir gate,
Whanne she saugh for no sermonynge
She myght me fro my foly brynge.
Thanne dismaied, I lefte all sool,
Forwery, forwandred as a fool,
For I ne knew no chevisaunce.
Thanne fell into my remembraunce
How Love bad me to purveye
3340 A felowe to whom I myghte seye
My counsell and my pryvete,
For that shulde moche availe me.
With that bithought I me that I
Hadde a felowe faste by,
Trewe and siker, curteys and hend,
And he was called by name a Freend --
A trewer felowe was nowher noon.
In haste to hym I wente anoon,
And to hym all my woo I tolde;
3350 Fro hym right nought I wold witholde.
I tolde hym all, withoute wer,
And made my compleynt on Daunger,
How for to see he was hidous,
And to me-ward contrarious,
The whiche thurgh his cruelte
Was in poynt to [have] meygned me.
With Bialacoil whanne he me sey
Withynne the gardeyn walke and pley,
Fro me he made hym for to go.
3360 And I, bilefte aloone in woo,
I durst no lenger with hym speke,
For Daunger seide he wolde be wreke,
Whanne that he saw how I wente
The freshe botoun for to hente,
If I were hardy to come neer
Bitwene the hay and the roser.
This freend, whanne he wiste of my thought,
He discomforted me right nought,
But seide, "Felowe, be not so mad,
3370 Ne so abaysshed nor bystad.
Mysilf I knowe full well Daunger,
And how he is feers of his cheer,
At prime temps, love to manace;
Ful ofte I have ben in his caas.
A feloun first though that he be,
Aftir thou shalt hym souple se.
Of longe passed I knew hym well;
Ungoodly first though men hym feel,
He wol meke aftir in his beryng
3380 Been, for service and obeysshyng.
I shal thee telle what thou shalt doo.
Mekely I rede thou go hym to,
Of herte pray hym specialy
Of thy trespas to have mercy,
And hote hym wel, here to plese,
That thou shalt nevermore hym displese.
Who can best serve of flatery,
Shall please Daunger most uttirly."
Mi freend hath seid to me so wel
3390 That he me esid hath somdell,
And eke allegged of my torment;
For thurgh hym had I hardement
Agayn to Daunger for to go,
To preve if I myght meke hym soo.
To Daunger came I all ashamed,
The which aforn me hadde blamed,
Desiryng for to pese my woo,
But over hegge durst I not goo,
For he forbed me the passage.
3400 I fond hym cruel in his rage,
And in his hond a gret burdoun.
To hym I knelide lowe adoun,
Ful meke of port and symple of chere,
And seide, "Sir, I am comen heere
Oonly to aske of you mercy.
That greveth me full gretly
That evere my lyf I wratthed you;
But for to amenden I am come now,
With all my myght, bothe loude and stille,
3410 To doon right at youre owne wille.
For Love made me for to doo
That I have trespassed hidirto,
Fro whom I ne may withdrawe myn hert.
Yit shall [I] never, for joy ne smert,
What so bifalle, good or ill,
Offende more ageyn youre will.
Lever I have endure disese,
Than do that you shulde displese.
"I you require and pray that ye
3420 Of me have mercy and pitee,
To stynte your ire that greveth soo,
That I wol swere for ever mo
To be redressid at youre likyng,
If I trespasse in ony thyng.
Save that I pray thee graunte me
A thyng that may not warned be,
That I may love, all oonly;
Noon other thyng of you aske I.
I shall doon elles well, iwys,
3430 If of youre grace ye graunte me this.
And ye may not letten me,
For wel wot ye that love is free,
And I shall loven, sithen that I will,
Who ever like it well or ill;
And yit ne wold I, for all Fraunce,
Do thyng to do you displesaunce."
Thanne Daunger fil in his entent
For to foryeve his maltalent;
But all his wratthe yit at laste
3440 He hath relesed, I preyde so faste.
Shortly he seide, "Thy request
Is not to mochel dishonest,
Ne I wole not werne it thee,
For yit nothyng engreveth me.
For though thou love thus evermor,
To me is neither softe ne soor.
Love where that the list -- what recchith me,
So [thou] fer fro my roses be?
Trust not on me, for noon assay,
3450 If ony tyme thou passe the hay."
Thus hath he graunted my praiere.
Thanne wente I forth, withouten were,
Unto my freend, and tolde hym all,
Which was right joyful of my tall.
He seide, "Now goth wel thyn affaire.
He shall to thee be debonaire;
Though he aforn was dispitous,
He shall heere aftir be gracious.
If he were touchid on som good veyne,
3460 He shuld yit rewen on thi peyne.
Suffre, I rede, and no boost make,
Till thou at good mes maist hym take.
By sufferaunce and wordis softe
A man may overcome ofte
Hym that aforn he hadde in drede,
In bookis sothly as I rede."
Thus hath my freend with gret comfort
Avaunced [me] with high disport,
Which wolde me good as mych as I.
3470 And thanne anoon full sodeynly
I tok my leve, and streight I went
Unto the hay, for gret talent
I hadde to sen the fresh botoun
Wherynne lay my salvacioun;
And Daunger tok kep if that I
Kepe hym covenaunt trewely.
So sore I dradde his manasyng,
I durst not breke his biddyng;
For, lest that I were of hym shent,
3480 I brak not his comaundement,
For to purchase his good wil.
It was [nat] for to come ther-til;
His mercy was to fer bihynde.
I wepte for I ne myght it fynde.
I compleyned and sighed sore,
And langwisshed evermore,
For I durst not over goo
Unto the Rose I loved soo.
Thurgh my demenyng outerly
3490 Than he had knowledge certanly
That Love me ladde in sich a wise
That in me ther was no feyntise,
Falsheed, ne no trecherie.
And yit he, full of vylanye,
Of disdeyn, and cruelte,
On me ne wolde have pite,
His cruel will for to refreyne,
Though I wepe alwey, and me compleyne.
And while I was in this torment,
3500 Were come of grace, by God sent,
Fraunchise, and with hir Pite.
Fulfild the bothen of bounte,
They go to Daunger anoon-right
To forther me with all her myght,
And helpe in worde and in dede,
For well they saugh that it was nede.
First, of hir grace, dame Fraunchise
Hath taken [word] of this emprise.
She seide, "Daunger, gret wrong ye do,
3510 To worche this man so myche woo,
Or pynen hym so angerly;
It is to you gret villany.
I can not see why, ne how,
That he hath trespassed ageyn you,
Save that he loveth, wherfore ye shulde
The more in cherete of hym holde.
The force of love makith hym do this;
Who wolde hym blame he dide amys?
He leseth more than ye may do;
3520 His peyne is hard, ye may see, lo!
And Love in no wise wolde consente
That he have power to repente,
For though that quyk ye wolde hym sloo,
Fro love his herte may not goo.
Now, swete sir, is it youre ese
Hym for to angre or disese?
Allas! what may it you avaunce
To don to hym so gret grevaunce?
What worship is it agayn hym take,
3530 Or on youre man a werre make,
Sith he so lowly, every wise,
Is redy, as ye lust devise?
If Love hath caught hym in his las,
You for t' obeye in every caas,
And ben youre suget at youre will,
Shuld ye therfore willen hym ill?
Ye shulde hym spare more, all out,
Than hym that is bothe proud and stout.
Curtesie wol that ye socoure
3540 Hem that ben meke undir youre cure.
His herte is hard that wole not meke,
Whanne men of mekenesse hym biseke."
"That is certeyn," seide Pite;
"We se ofte that humilite
Bothe ire and also felonye
Venquyssheth, and also malencolye.
To stonde forth in such duresse,
This cruelte and wikkidnesse.
Wherfore I pray you, sir Daunger,
3550 For to mayntene no lenger heer
Such cruel werre agayn youre man,
As hoolly youres as ever he can;
Nor that ye worchen no more woo
Upon this caytif, that langwisshith soo,
Which wole no more to you trespasse,
But putte hym hoolly in youre grace.
His offense ne was but lite;
The God of Love it was to wite,
That he youre thrall so gretly is,
3560 And if ye harme hym, ye don amys.
For he hath had full hard penaunce,
Sith that ye refte hym th' aqueyntaunce
Of Bialacoil, his moste joye,
Which alle his peynes myght acoye.
He was biforn anoyed sore,
But thanne ye doubled hym well more;
For he of blis hath ben full bare,
Sith Bialacoil was fro hym fare.
Love hath to hym do gret distresse,
3570 He hath no nede of more duresse.
Voideth from hym youre ire, I rede;
Ye may not wynnen in this dede.
Makith Bialacoil repeire ageyn,
And haveth pite upon his peyn;
For Fraunchise wole, and I, Pite,
That mercyful to hym ye be;
And sith that she and I accorde,
Have upon hym misericorde.
For I you pray and eke moneste
3580 Nought to refusen oure requeste,
For he is hard and fell of thought,
That for us twoo wole do right nought."
Daunger ne myght no more endure;
He mekede hym unto mesure.
"I wole in no wise," seith Daunger,
"Denye that ye have asked heer;
It were to gret uncurtesie.
I wole he have the companye
Of Bialacoil, as ye devise;
3590 I wole hym lette in no wise."
To Bialacoil thanne wente in hy
Fraunchise, and seide full curteisly,
"Ye have to longe be deignous
Unto this lover, and daungerous,
Fro him to withdrawe your presence,
Which hath do to him gret offence,
That ye not wolde upon him se,
Wherfore a sorouful man is he.
Shape ye to paye him, and to please,
3600 Of my love if ye wol have ease.
Fulfyl his wyl, sith that ye knowe
Daunger is daunted and brought lowe
Through help of me and of Pyte.
You dar no more afered be."
"I shal do right as ye wyl,"
Saith Bialacoil, "for it is skyl,
Sithe Daunger wol that it so be."
Than Fraunchise hath him sent to me.
Byalacoil at the begynnyng
3610 Salued me in his commyng.
No straungenesse was in him sen,
No more than he ne had wrathed ben.
As fayr semblaunt than shewed he me,
And goodly, as aforn dyd he;
And by the hond, withouten doute,
Within the haye, right al aboute
He ladde me, with right good cher,
Al envyron the verger,
That Daunger hadde me chased fro.
3620 Now have I leave overal to go;
Now am I raysed, at my devys,
Fro helle unto paradys.
Thus Bialacoil, of gentylnesse,
With al his payne and besynesse,
Hath shewed me, only of grace,
The estres of the swote place.
I saw the Rose, whan I was nygh,
Was greatter woxen and more high,
Fressh, roddy, and fayr of hewe,
3630 Of colour ever yliche newe.
And whan I hadde it longe sen,
I saw that through the leves gren
The Rose spredde to spaunysshing;
To sene it was a goodly thyng.
But it ne was so spred on bred
That men within myght knowe the sed;
For it covert was and close,
Bothe with the leves and with the rose.
The stalke was even and grene upright,
3640 It was theron a goodly syght;
And wel the better, withoute wene,
For the seed was nat sene.
Ful fayre it spradde (God it blesse!),
For such another, as I gesse,
Aforn ne was, ne more vermayle.
I was abawed for marveyle,
For ever the fayrer that it was,
The more I am bounden in Loves laas.
Longe I abod there, soth to saye,
3650 Tyl Bialacoil I gan to praye,
Whan that I saw him in no wyse
To me warnen his servyse,
That he me wolde graunt a thyng,
Which to remembre is wel syttyng;
This is to sayn, that of his grace
He wolde me yeve leysar and space,
To me that was so desyrous,
To have a kyssynge precious
Of the goodly fresshe Rose,
3660 That so swetely smelleth in my nose.
"For if it you displeased nought,
I wolde gladly, as I have sought,
Have a cos therof freely,
Of your yefte; for certainly,
I wol non have but by your leve,
So loth me were you for to greve."
He sayde, "Frend, so God me spede,
Of Chastite I have such drede;
Thou shuldest nat warned be for me,
3670 But I dar nat for Chastyte.
Agayn her dar I nat mysdo,
For alway byddeth she me so
To yeve no lover leave to kys,
For who therto may wynnen, ywis,
He of the surplus of the pray
May lyve in hoope to get som day.
For whoso kyssynge may attayne
Of loves payne hath (soth to sayne)
The beste and most avenaunt,
3680 And ernest of the remenaunt."
Of his answere I sighed sore;
I durst assaye him tho no more,
I hadde such drede to greve him ay.
A man shulde nat to moche assay
To chafe hys frend out of measure,
Nor putte his lyf in aventure;
For no man at the firste strok
Ne may nat felle down an ok,
Nor of the reysyns have the wyn,
3690 Tyl grapes be rype, and wel afyn
Be sore empressid, I you ensure,
And drawen out of the pressure.
But I, forpeyned wonder stronge,
Thought that I abood right longe
Aftir the kis, in peyne and woo,
Sith I to kis desired soo;
Till that, rewyng on my distresse,
Ther to me Venus the goddesse,
Which ay werreyeth Chastite,
3700 Cam of hir grace to socoure me,
Whos myght is knowe fer and wide,
For she is modir of Cupide,
The God of Love, blynde as stoon,
That helpith lovers many oon.
This lady brought in hir right hond
Of brennyng fyr a blasyng brond,
Wherof the flawme and hoote fir
Hath many a lady in desir
Of love brought, and sore het,
3710 And in hir servise her hertes set.
This lady was of good entaile,
Right wondirfull of apparayle.
Bi hir atyr so bright and shen
Men myght perceyve well and sen
She was not of religioun.
Nor I nell make mencioun
Nor of robe, nor of tresour,
Of broche, neithir of hir riche attour,
Ne of hir girdill aboute hir side,
3720 For that I nyll not longe abide.
But knowith wel that certeynly
She was araied richely.
Devoyd of pryde certeyn she was.
To Bialacoil she wente apas,
And to hym shortly, in a clause,
She seide, "Sir, what is the cause
Ye ben of port so daungerous
Unto this lover and deynous,
To graunte hym nothyng but a kis?
3730 To werne it hym ye don amys,
Sith well ye wote how that he
Is Loves servaunt, as ye may see,
And hath beaute, wherthrough [he] is
Worthy of love to have the blis.
How he is semely, biholde and see,
How he is fair, how he is free,
How he is swoote and debonair,
Of age yong, lusty, and fair.
Ther is no lady so hawteyn,
3740 Duchesse, ne countesse, ne chasteleyn,
That I nolde holde hir ungoodly
For to refuse hym outterly.
His breth is also good and swete,
And eke his lippis rody, and mete
Oonly to pleyen and to kisse.
Graunte hym a kis, of gentilnysse!
His teth arn also white and clene;
Me thinkith wrong, withouten wene,
If ye now werne hym, trustith me,
3750 To graunte that a kis have he.
The lasse to helpe hym that ye haste,
The more tyme shul ye waste."
Whanne the flawme of the verry brond,
That Venus brought in hir right hond,
Hadde Bialacoil with hete smete,
Anoon he bad, withouten lette,
Graunte to me the Rose kisse.
Thanne of my peyne I gan to lysse,
And to the Rose anoon wente I,
3760 And kisside it full feithfully.
Thar no man aske if I was blithe,
Whanne the savour soft and lythe
Strok to myn herte withoute more,
And me alegged of my sore,
So was I full of joye and blisse.
It is fair sich a flour to kisse,
It was so swoote and saverous.
I myght not be so angwisshous
That I [ne] mote glad and joly be,
3770 Whanne that I remembre me.
Yit ever among, sothly to seyne,
I suffre noy and moche peyne.
The see may never be so stille
That with a litel wynde it nille
Overwhelme and turne also,
As it were wood in wawis goo.
Aftir the calm the trouble sone
Mot folowe and chaunge as the moone.
Right so farith Love, that selde in oon
3780 Holdith his anker, for right anoon
Whanne they in ese wene best to lyve,
They ben with tempest all fordryve.
Who serveth Love can telle of woo;
The stoundemele joie mot overgoo.
Now he hurteth, and now he cureth.
For selde in oo poynt Love endureth.
Now is it right me to procede,
How Shame gan medle and take hede
Thurgh whom fele angres I have had,
3790 And how the stronge wall was maad,
And the castell of brede and lengthe,
That God of Love wan with his strengthe.
All this in romance will I sette,
And for nothyng ne will I lette,
So that it lykyng to hir be,
That is the flour of beaute,
For she may best my labour quyte,
That I for hir love shal endite.
Wikkid-Tunge, that the covyne
3800 Of every lover can devyne
Worst, and addith more somdell
(For Wikkid-Tunge seith never well),
To me-ward bar he right gret hate,
Espiyng me erly and late,
Till he hath sen the grete chere
Of Bialacoil and me ifeere.
He myghte not his tunge withstond
Worse to reporte than he fond,
He was so full of cursed rage.
3810 It sat hym well of his lynage,
For hym an Irish womman bar.
His tunge was fyled sharp and squar,
Poignaunt, and right kervyng,
And wonder bitter in spekyng.
For whanne that he me gan espie,
He swoor, affermyng sikirlye,
Bitwene Bialacoil and me
Was yvel aquayntaunce and pryve.
He spak therof so folily
3820 That he awakide Jelousy,
Which, all afrayed in his risyng,
Whanne that he herde janglyng,
He ran anoon, as he were wood,
To Bialacoil, there that he stod,
Which hadde lever in this caas
Have ben at Reynes or Amyas;
For foot-hoot, in his felonye,
To hym thus seide Jelousie:
"Why hast thou ben so necligent
3830 To kepen, whanne I was absent,
This verger heere left in thi ward?
To me thou haddist no reward,
To truste (to thy confusioun!)
Hym thus, to whom suspeccioun
I have right gret, for it is nede;
It is well shewed by the dede.
Gret faute in thee now have I founde.
By God, anoon thou shalt be bounde,
And faste loken in a tour,
3840 Withoute refuyt or socour.
For Shame to longe hath be thee froo;
Over-soone she was agoo.
Whanne thou hast lost bothe drede and feere,
It semede wel she was not heere.
She was bisy in no wyse
To kepe thee and chastise,
And for to helpen Chastite
To kepe the roser, as thenkith me.
For thanne this boy-knave so booldely
3850 Ne shulde not have be hardy,
[Ne] in this verger hadde such game,
Which now me turneth to gret shame."
Bialacoil nyste what to sey;
Full fayn he wolde have fled awey,
For feere han hid, nere that he
All sodeynly tok hym with me.
And whanne I saugh he hadde soo,
This Jelousie, take us twoo,
I was astoned, and knew no red,
3860 But fledde awey for verrey dred.
Thanne Shame cam forth full symply
(She wende have trespaced full gretly),
Humble of hir port, and made it symple,
Weryng a vayle in stide of wymple,
As nonnys don in her abbey.
By cause hir herte was in affray,
She gan to speke withynne a throwe
To Jelousie right wonder lowe.
First of his grace she bysought,
3870 And seide, "Sire, ne leveth nought
Wikkid-Tunge, that false espie,
Which is so glad to feyne and lye.
He hath you maad, thurgh flateryng,
On Bialacoil a fals lesyng.
His falsnesse is not now a-new;
It is to long that he hym knew.
This is not the firste day,
For Wikkid-Tunge hath custome ay
Yonge folkis to bewreye,
3880 And false lesynges on hem leye.
"Yit nevertheles I see among,
That the loigne it is so long,
Of Bialacoil, hertis to lure,
In Loves servyse for to endure,
Drawyng suche folk hym to,
That he hath nothyng with to doo.
But in sothnesse I trowe nought
That Bialacoil hadde ever in thought
To do trespas or vylonye,
3890 But for his modir Curtesie
Hath taught hym ever to be
Good of aqueyntaunce and pryve.
For he loveth noon hevynesse,
But mirthe and pley and all gladnesse;
He hateth alle trecherous,
Soleyn folk, and envyous;
For ye witen how that he
Wol ever glad and joyfull be
Honestly with folk to pley.
3900 I have be negligent, in good fey,
To chastise hym; therfore now I
Of herte crye you heere mercy,
That I have been so recheles
To tamen hym, withouten lees.
Of my foly I me repente.
Now wole I hool sette myn entente
To kepe, bothe lowde and stille,
Bialacoil to do youre wille."
"Shame, Shame," seyde Jelousy,
3910 "To be bytrasshed gret drede have I.
Leccherie hath clombe so hye
That almoost blered is myn ye;
No wonder is, if that drede have I.
Overall regnyth Lecchery,
Whos myght growith nyght and day
Bothe in cloistre and in abbey.
Chastite is werreyed overall;
Therfore I wole with siker wall
Close bothe roses and roser.
3920 I have to longe in this maner
Left hem unclosid wilfully;
Wherfore I am right inwardly
Sorowfull, and repente me.
But now they shall no lenger be
Unclosid; and yit I drede sore,
I shall repente ferthermore,
For the game goth all amys.
Counsell I must newe, ywys.
I have to longe tristed thee,
3930 But now it shal no lenger be,
For he may best, in every cost,
Disceyve, that men tristen most.
I see wel that I am nygh shent,
But if I sette my full entent
Remedye to purveye.
Therfore close I shall the weye
Fro hem that wole the Rose espie,
And come to wayte me vilonye,
For, in good feith and in trouthe,
3940 I wole not lette for no slouthe
To lyve the more in sikirnesse,
To make anoon a forteresse,
T' enclose the roses of good savour.
In myddis shall I make a tour
To putte Bialacoil in prisoun,
For evere I drede me of tresoun.
I trowe I shal hym kepe soo
That he shal have no myght to goo
Aboute to make companye
3950 To hem that thenke of vylanye;
Ne to no such as hath ben heere
Aforn, and founde in hym good chere,
Which han assailed hym to shende,
And with her trowandyse to blende.
A fool is eythe to bigyle;
But may I lyve a litel while,
He shal forthenke his fair semblaunt."
And with that word came Drede avaunt,
Which was abasshed and in gret fere,
3960 Whanne he wiste Jelousie was there.
He was for drede in sich affray
That not a word durste he say,
But quakyng stod full still aloon,
Til Jelousie his weye was gon,
Save Shame, that him not forsok.
Bothe Drede and she ful sore quok,
That atte laste Drede abreyde,
And to his cosyn Shame seide:
"Shame," he seide, "in sothfastnesse,
3970 To me it is gret hevynesse
That the noyse so fer is go,
And the sclaundre of us twoo.
But sithe that it is byfalle,
We may it not ageyn calle
Whanne onys sprongen is a fame.
For many a yeer withouten blame
We han ben, and many a day;
For many an Aprill and many a May
We han passed, not shamed,
3980 Till Jelousie hath us blamed,
Of mystrust and suspecioun,
Causeles, withoute enchesoun.
Go we to Daunger hastily,
And late us shewe hym openly
That [he] hath not aright wrought,
Whanne that [he] sette nought his thought
To kepe better the purprise;
In his doyng he is not wise.
He hath to us do gret wrong,
3990 That hath suffred now so long
Bialacoil to have his wille,
All his lustes to fulfille.
He must amende it utterly,
Or ellys shall he vilaynesly
Exiled be out of this lond;
For he the werre may not withstond
Of Jelousie, nor the greef,
Sith Bialacoil is at myscheef."
To Daunger, Shame and Drede anoon
4000 The righte weye ben goon.
The cherl thei founden hem aforn,
Liggyng undir an hawethorn;
Undir his heed no pilowe was,
But in the stede a trusse of gras.
He slombred, and a nappe he tok,
Tyll Shame pitously hym shok,
And grete manace on hym gan make.
"Why slepist thou, whanne thou shulde wake?"
Quod Shame; "Thou doist us vylanye!
4010 Who tristith thee, he doth folye,
To kepe roses or botouns,
Whanne thei ben faire in her sesouns.
Thou art woxe to familiere,
Where thou shulde be straunge of chere,
Stout of thi port, redy to greve.
Thou doist gret folye for to leve
Bialacoil hereinne to calle
The yonder man to shenden us alle.
Though that thou slepe, we may here
4020 Of Jelousie gret noyse heere.
Art thou now late? Ris up in hy,
And stop sone and delyverly
All the gappis of the haye.
Do no favour, I thee praye.
It fallith nothyng to thy name
To make faire semblaunt, where thou maist blame.
Yf Bialacoil be sweete and free,
Dogged and fell thou shuldist be,
Froward and outrageous, ywis;
4030 A cherl chaungeth that curteis is.
This have I herd ofte in seiyng,
That man [ne] may, for no dauntyng,
Make a sperhauk of a bosard.
Alle men wole holde thee for musard,
That debonair have founden thee;
It sittith thee nought curteis to be.
To do men plesaunce or servise,
In thee it is recreaundise.
Let thi werkis fer and ner
4040 Be like thi name, which is Daunger."
Thanne, all abawid in shewing,
Anoon spak Drede, right thus seiyng,
And seide, "Daunger, I drede me
That thou ne wolt bisy be
To kepe that thou hast to kepe:
Whanne thou shuldist wake, thou art aslepe.
Thou shalt be greved, certeynly,
If the aspie Jelousy,
Or if he fynde thee in blame.
4050 He hath to-day assailed Shame,
And chased awey with gret manace
Bialacoil out of this place,
And swereth shortly that he shall
Enclose hym in a sturdy wall;
And all is for thi wikkednesse,
For that thee faileth straungenesse.
Thyn herte, I trowe, be failed all;
Thou shalt repente in speciall,
If Jelousie the soothe knewe;
4060 Thou shalt forthenke and sore rewe."
With that the cherl his clubbe gan shake,
Frounyng his eyen gan to make,
And hidous chere; as man in rage
For ire he brente in his visage,
Whanne that [he] herd hym blamed soo.
He seide, "Out of my wit I goo!
To be discomfyt I have gret wrong.
Certis, I have now lyved to long,
Sith I may not this closer kepe.
4070 All quyk I wolde be dolven deepe,
If ony man shal more repeire
Into this gardyn, for foule or faire.
Myn herte for ire goth a-fere,
That I let ony entre heere.
I have do folie, now I see,
But now it shall amended bee.
Who settith foot heere ony more,
Truly he shall repente it sore;
For no man moo into this place
4080 Of me to entre shal have grace.
Lever I hadde with swerdis tweyne
Thurghoute myn herte in every veyne
Perced to be with many a wounde,
Thanne slouthe shulde in me be founde.
From hennes forth, by nyght or day,
I shall defende it, if I may,
Withouten ony excepcioun
Of ech maner condicioun.
And if I it eny man graunt,
4090 Holdeth me for recreaunt."
Thanne Daunger on his feet gan stond,
And hente a burdoun in his hond.
Wroth in his ire, ne lefte he nought,
But thurgh the verger he hath sought.
If he myght fynde hole or trace,
Wherethurgh that me mot forth-by pace,
Or ony gappe, he dide it close,
That no man myghte touche a rose
Of the roser all aboute.
4100 He shitteth every man withoute.
Thus day by day Daunger is wers,
More wondirfull and more dyvers,
And feller eke than evere he was.
For hym full ofte I synge "Allas!"
For I ne may nought, thurgh his ire,
Recovere that I moost desire.
Myn herte, allas, wole brest a-twoo,
For Bialacoil I wratthed soo.
For certeynly, in every membre
4110 I quake, whanne I me remembre
Of the botoun, which I wolde
Full ofte a day sen and biholde.
And whanne I thenke upon the kiss,
And how myche joye and bliss
I hadde thurgh the savour swete,
For want of it I grone and grete.
Me thenkith I fele yit in my nose
The swete savour of the Rose.
And now I woot that I mot goo
4120 So fer the freshe floures froo,
To me full welcome were the deth.
Absens therof, allas, me sleeth.
For whilom with this Rose -- allas! --
I touched nose, mouth, and face;
But now the deth I must abide.
But Love consente another tyde
That onys I touche may and kisse,
I trowe my peyne shall never lisse;
Theron is all my coveitise,
4130 Which brent myn herte in many wise.
Now shal repaire agayn sighinge,
Long wacche on nyghtis, and no slepinge,
Thought in wisshing, torment and woo,
With many a turnyng to and froo,
That half my peyne I can not telle.
For I am fallen into helle
From paradys, and wel the more
My turment greveth. more and more
Anoieth now the bittirnesse,
4140 That I toforn have felt swetnesse.
And Wikkid-Tunge, thurgh his falshede,
Causeth all my woo and drede.
On me he leieth a pitous charge,
Bicause his tunge was to large.
Now it is tyme, shortly, that I
Telle you som thyng of Jelousy,
That was in gret suspecioun.
Aboute hym lefte he no masoun,
That stoon coude leye, ne querrour;
4150 He hirede hem to make a tour.
And first, the roses for to kep,
Aboute hem made he a diche deep,
Right wondir large, and also brood;
Upon the whiche also stod
Of squared stoon a sturdy wall,
Which on a cragge was founded all;
And right gret thikkenesse eke it bar.
Aboute, it was founded squar,
An hundred fademe on every sid;
4160 It was all liche longe and wid.
Lest ony tyme it were assayled,
Ful wel aboute it was batayled,
And rounde enviroun eke were set
Ful many a riche and fair touret.
At every corner of this wall
Was set a tour full pryncipall;
And everich hadde, withoute fable,
A porte-colys defensable
To kepe of enemyes, and to greve,
4170 That there her force wolde preve.
And eke amydde this purprise
Was maad a tour of gret maistrise;
A fairer saugh no man with sight,
Large and wid, and of gret myght.
They dredde noon assaut
Of gyn, gunne, nor skaffaut.
The temperure of the morter
Was maad of lycour wonder der,
Of quykke lym, persant and egre,
4180 The which was tempred with vynegre.
The stoon was hard, of ademant,
Wherof they made the foundement.
The tour was round, maad in compas;
In all this world no riccher was,
Ne better ordeigned therwithall.
Aboute the tour was maad a wall,
So that bitwixt that and the tour
Rosers were sette of swete savour,
With many roses that thei bere;
4190 And eke withynne the castell were
Spryngoldes, gunnes, bows, and archers;
And eke above, atte corners,
Men seyn over the wall stonde
Grete engynes, who were nygh honde.
And in the kernels, heere and there,
Of arblasters gret plente were;
Noon armure myght her strok withstonde;
It were foly to prece to honde.
Withoute the diche were lystes maad,
4200 With wall batayled large and brad,
For men and hors shulde not atteyne
To neigh the dyche over the pleyne.
Thus Jelousie hath enviroun
Set aboute his garnysoun
With walles rounde and diche dep,
Oonly the roser for to kep.
And Daunger, erly and late,
The keyes [kepte] of the utter gate,
The which openeth toward the eest.
4210 And he hadde with hym atte leest
Thritty servauntes, echon by name.
That other gate kepte Shame,
Which openede, as it was couth,
Toward the partie of the south.
Sergeauntes assigned were hir to
Ful many, hir wille for to doo.
Thanne Drede hadde in hir baillie
The kepyng of the conestablerye
Toward the north, I undirstond,
4220 That openyde upon the lyft hond;
The which for nothyng may be sure,
But if she do bisy cure,
Erly on morowe and also late,
Strongly to shette and barre the gate.
Of every thing that she may see
Drede is aferd, wherso she be;
For with a puff of litell wynd
Drede is astonyed in hir mynd.
Therfore, for stelyng of the Rose,
4230 I rede hir nought the yate unclose.
A foulis flight wol make hir flee,
And eke a shadowe, if she it see.
Thanne Wikked-Tunge, ful of envye,
With soudiours of Normandye,
As he that causeth all the bate,
Was keper of the fourthe gate,
And also to the tother three
He wente full ofte for to see.
Whanne his lot was to wake anyght,
4240 His instrumentis wolde he dight,
For to blowe and make sown
Ofter thanne he hath enchesoun,
And walken oft upon the wall,
Corners and wikettis overall
Full narwe serchen and espie;
Though he nought fond, yit wolde he lye.
Discordaunt ever fro armonye,
And distoned from melodie,
Controve he wolde, and foule fayle,
4250 With hornepipes of Cornewaile.
In floytes made he discordaunce,
And in his musyk -- with myschaunce! --
He wolde seyn, with notes newe,
That he fond no womman trewe,
Ne that he saugh never in his lyf
Unto hir husbonde a trewe wyf,
Ne noon so ful of honeste
That she nyl laughe and mery be
Whanne that she hereth, or may espie,
4260 A man speken of leccherie.
Everich of hem hath som vice:
Oon is dishonest, another is nyce;
If oon be full of vylanye,
Another hath a likerous ye;
If oon be full of wantonesse,
Another is a chideresse.
Thus Wikked-Tunge -- God yeve him shame! --
Can putt hem everychon in blame,
Withoute desert and causeles;
4270 He lieth, though they ben giltles.
I have pite to sen the sorwe
That waketh bothe eve and morwe,
To innocentis doith such grevaunce.
I pray God yeve him evel chaunce,
That he ever so bisy is
Of ony womman to seyn amys!
Eke Jelousie God confound,
That hath maad a tour so round,
And made aboute a garisoun,
4280 To sette Bealacoil in prisoun,
The which is shet there in the tour
Ful longe to holde there sojour,
There for to lyve in penaunce.
And for to do hym more grevaunce,
Ther hath ordeyned Jelousie
An olde vekke, for to espye
The maner of his governaunce;
The whiche devel in hir enfaunce
Hadde lerned of loves art,
4290 And of his pleyes tok hir part;
She was expert in his servise.
She knew ech wrench and every gise
Of love, and every wile;
It was [the] harder hir to gile.
Of Bealacoil she tok ay hede,
That evere he lyveth in woo and drede.
He kepte hym koy and eke pryve,
Lest in hym she hadde see
Ony foly countenaunce,
4300 For she knew all the olde daunce.
And aftir this, whanne Jelousie
Hadde Bealacoil in his baillie,
And shette hym up that was so fre,
For seur of hym he wolde be,
He trusteth sore in his castell;
The stronge werk hym liketh well.
He dradde not that no glotouns
Shulde stele his roses or botouns.
The roses weren assured all,
4310 Defenced with the stronge wall.
Now Jelousie full well may be
Of drede devoid in liberte,
Whether that he slepe or wake,
For his roses may noon be take.
But I -- allas! -- now morne shall;
Bicause I was withoute the wall,
Full moche dool and moone I made.
Who hadde wist what woo I hadde,
I trowe he wolde have had pite.
4320 Love to deere hadde soold to me
The good that of his love hadde I.
I wende a bought it all queyntly;
But now, thurgh doublyng of my peyn,
I see he wolde it selle ageyn,
And me a newe bargeyn leere,
The which all-oute the more is deere,
For the solas that I have lorn,
Thanne I hadde it never aforn.
Certayn, I am ful lik in deed
4330 To hym that cast in erthe his seed,
And hath joie of the newe spryng,
Whanne it greneth in the gynnyng,
And is also fair and fresh of flour,
Lusty to seen, swoote of odour;
But er he it in sheves shere,
May falle a weder that shal it dere,
And make it to fade and falle,
The stalke, the greyn, and floures alle,
That to the tylyer is fordon
4340 The hope that he hadde to soon.
I drede, certeyn, that so fare I;
For hope and travaile sikerly
Ben me byraft all with a storm;
The flour nyl seeden of my corn.
For Love hath so avaunced me,
Whanne I bigan my pryvite
To Bialacoil all for to tel,
Whom I ne fond froward ne fel,
But tok a-gree all hool my play.
4350 But Love is of so hard assay,
That al at oonys he reved me,
Whanne I wende best aboven to have be.
It is of Love, as of Fortune,
That chaungeth ofte, and nyl contune,
Which whilom wol on folk smyle,
And glowmbe on hem another while.
Now freend, now foo, [thow] shalt hir feel,
For [in] a twynklyng turneth hir wheel.
She can writhe hir heed awey;
4360 This is the concours of hir pley.
She can areise that doth morne,
And whirle adown, and overturne
Who sittith hyest, but as hir lust.
A fool is he that wole hir trust;
For it is I that am come down
Thurgh change and revolucioun!
Sith Bealacoil mot fro me twynne,
Shet in the prisoun yond withynne,
His absence at myn herte I fele;
4370 For all my joye and all myn hele
Was in hym and in the Rose,
That but yon wal, which hym doth close,
Opene that I may hym see,
Love nyl not that I cured be
Of the peynes that I endure,
Nor of my cruel aventure.
A, Bialacoil, myn owne deer!
Though thou be now a prisoner,
Kep atte leste thyn herte to me
4380 And suffre not that it daunted be;
Ne lat not Jelousie, in his rage,
Putten thin herte in no servage.
Although he chastice thee withoute
And make thy body unto hym loute,
Have herte as hard as dyamaunt,
Stedefast and nought pliaunt.
In prisoun though thi body be,
At large kep thyn herte free;
A trewe herte wole not plie
4390 For no manace that it may drye.
If Jelousie doth thee payn,
Quyte hym his while thus agayn,
To venge thee, atte leest in thought,
If other way thou maist nought;
And in this wise sotilly
Worche, and wynne the maistry.
But yit I am in gret affray
Lest thou do not as I say.
I drede thou canst me gret maugre,
4400 That thou enprisoned art for me;
But that [is. not for my trespas,
For thurgh me never discovred was
Yit thyng that oughte be secree.
Wel more anoy is in me,
Than is in thee, of this myschaunce;
For I endure more hard penaunce,
Than ony can seyn or thynke,
That for the sorwe almost I synke.
Whanne I remembre me of my woo,
4410 Full nygh out of my witt I goo.
Inward myn herte I feele blede,
For comfortles the deth I drede.
Owe I not wel to have distresse,
Whanne false, thurgh hir wikkednesse,
And traitours, that arn envyous,
To noyen me be so corajous?
A, Bialacoil, full wel I see
That they hem shape to disceyve thee,
To make thee buxom to her lawe,
4420 And with her corde thee to drawe
Where so hem lust, right at her will.
I drede they have thee brought thertill.
Withoute comfort, thought me sleeth.
This game wole brynge me to my deeth.
For if youre goode wille I leese,
I mot be deed, I may not chese.
And if that thou foryete me,
Myn herte shal nevere in likyng be,
Nor elleswhere fynde solas,
4430 If I be putt out of youre gras --
As it shal never been, I hope --
Thanne shulde I falle in wanhope.
Allas, in wanhope? Nay, pardee!
For I wole never dispeired be.
If hope me faile, thanne am I
Ungracious and unworthy.
In hope I wole comforted be,
For Love, whanne he bitaught hir me,
Seide that Hope, whereso I goo,
4440 Shulde ay be relees to my woo.
But what and she my baalis beete,
And be to me curteis and sweete?
She is in nothyng full certeyn.
Lovers she putt in full gret peyn,
And makith hem with woo to deele.
Hir faire biheeste disceyveth feele,
For she wole byhote, sikirly,
And failen aftir outrely.
A, that is a full noyous thyng!
4450 For many a lover, in lovyng,
Hangeth upon hir, and trusteth faste,
Whiche leese her travel at the laste.
Of thyng to comen she woot right nought;
Therfore, if it be wysely sought,
Hir counseill foly is to take.
For many tymes, whanne she wole make
A full good silogisme, I dreede
That aftirward ther shal in deede
Folwe an evell conclusioun.
4460 This put me in confusioun.
For many tymes I have it seen,
That many have bigyled been
For trust that they have set in Hope,
Which fell hem aftirward a-slope.
But nevertheles, yit gladly she wolde
That he, that wole hym with hir holde,
Hadde alle tymes his purpos cler,
Withoute deceyte or ony wer --
That she desireth sikirly.
4470 Whanne I hir blamed, I dide foly.
But what avayleth hir good wille,
Whanne she ne may staunche my stounde ille?
That helpith litel that she may doo,
Out-take biheest unto my woo.
And heeste certeyn, in no wise,
Withoute yift, is not to prise.
Whanne heest and deede a-sundry varie,
They doon a gret contrarie.
Thus am I possed up and doun
4480 With dool, thought, and confusioun;
Of my disese ther is no noumbre.
Daunger and Shame me encumbre,
Drede also, and Jelousie,
And Wikked-Tunge, full of envie,
Of whiche the sharpe and cruel ire
Full ofte me putte in gret martire.
They han my joye fully let,
Sith Bialacoil they have bishet
Fro me in prisoun wikkidly,
4490 Whom I love so entierly
That it wole my bane bee
But I the sonner may hym see.
And yit moreover, wurst of alle,
Ther is set to kepe -- foule hir bifalle! --
A rympled vekke, fer ronne in age,
Frownyng and yelowe in hir visage,
Which in awayt lyth day and nyght,
That noon of him may have a sight.
Now mote my sorwe enforced be.
4500 Full soth it is that Love yaf me
Three wonder yiftes of his grace,
Whiche I have lorn now in this place,
Sith they ne may, withoute drede,
Helpen but lytel, who taketh heede.
For here availeth no Swete-Thought,
And Sweete-Speche helpith right nought.
The thridde was called Swete-Lokyng,
That now is lorn, without lesyng.
Yiftes were faire, but not forthy
4510 They helpe me but symply,
But Bialacoil loosed be,
To gon at large and to be free.
For hym my lyf lyth all in doute,
But if he come the rather oute.
Allas, I trowe it wole not ben!
For how shuld I evermore hym sen?
He may not out, and that is wrong,
By cause the tour is so strong.
How shulde he out? By whos prowesse,
4520 Out of so strong a forteresse?
By me, certeyn, it nyl be doo;
God woot, I have no wit therto!
But, wel I woot, I was in rage,
Whonne I to Love dide homage.
Who was in cause, in sothfastnesse,
But hirsilf, Dame Idelnesse,
Which me conveied, thurgh my praier,
To entre into that faire verger.
She was to blame me to leve,
4530 The which now doth me soore greve.
A foolis word is nought to trowe,
Ne worth an appel for to lowe;
Men shulde hym snybbe bittirly,
At pryme temps of his foly.
I was a fool, and she me leeved,
Thurgh whom I am right nought releeved.
She accomplisshid all my will,
That now me greveth wondir ill.
Resoun me seide what shulde falle.
4540 A fool mysilf I may well calle,
That love asyde I had [nat] leyd,
And trowed that Dame Resoun seid.
Resoun hadde bothe skile and ryght,
Whanne she me blamed, with all hir myght,
To medle of love that hath me shent;
But certeyn, now I wole repent.
And shulde I repente? Nay, parde!
A fals traitour thanne shulde I be.
The develes engynnes wolde me take,
4550 If I my lord wolde forsake,
Or Bialacoil falsly bitraye.
Shulde I at myscheef hate hym? Nay,
Sith he now, for his curtesie,
Is in prisoun of Jelousie.
Curtesie certeyn dide he me,
So mych that may not yolden be,
Whanne he the hay passen me let,
To kisse the Rose, faire and swet.
Shulde I therfore cunne hym mawgre?
4560 Nay, certeynly, it shal not be;
For Love shal nevere, yif God wille,
Here of me, thurgh word or wille,
Offence or complaynt, more or lesse,
Neither of Hope nor Idilnesse.
For certis, it were wrong that I
Hated hem for her curtesy.
Ther is not ellys but suffre and thynke,
And waken whanne I shulde wynke;
Abide in hope, til Love, thurgh chaunce,
4570 Sende me socour or allegeaunce,
Expectant ay till I may mete
To geten mercy of that swete.
Whilom I thenke how Love to me
Seide he wolde take att gree
My servise, if unpacience
[Ne] caused me to don offence.
He seide, "In thank I shal it take,
And high maister eke thee make,
If wikkednesse ne reve it thee;
4580 But sone, I trowe, that shall not be."
These were his wordis, by and by;
It semede he lovede me trewely.
Now is ther not but serve hym wel,
If that I thenke his thank to fel.
My good, myn harm lyth hool in me.
In Love may no defaute be,
For trewe Love ne failide never man.
Sothly the faute mot nedys than --
As God forbede! -- be founde in me;
4590 And how it cometh, I can not see.
Now late it goon as it may goo;
Whether Love wole socoure me or sloo,
He may do hool on me his will.
I am so sore bounde hym till,
From his servise I may not fleen;
For lyf and deth, withouten wen,
Is in his hand -- I may not chese --
He may me doo bothe wynne and leese.
And sith so sore he doth me greve,
4600 Yit, if my lust he wolde acheve,
To Bialacoil goodly to be,
I yeve no force what felle on me.
For though I dye, as I mot nede,
I praye Love, of his goodlyhede,
To Bialacoil do gentylnesse,
For whom I lyve in such distresse
That I mot deyen for penaunce.
But first, withoute repentaunce,
I wole me confesse in good entent,
4610 And make in haste my testament,
As lovers doon that feelen smert:
To Bialacoil leve I myn hert
All hool, withoute departyng,
Doublenesse of repentyng.
Thus, as I made my passage
In compleynt and in cruel rage,
And I not where to fynde a leche
That couth. unto myn helpyng eche,
Sodeynly agayn comen doun
4620 Out of hir tour I saugh Resoun,
Discret and wis and full plesaunt,
And of hir port full avenaunt.
The righte weye she took to me,
Which stod in gret perplexite,
That was posshed in every side,
That I nyst where I myght abide,
Till she, demurely sad of cher,
Seide to me, as she com ner,
"Myn owne freend, art thou yit greved?
4630 How is this quarell yit acheved
Of Loves side? Anoon me telle.
Hast thou not yit of love thi fille?
Art thou not wery of thy servise,
That the hath [greved] in sich wise?
What joye hast thou in thy lovyng?
Is it swete or bitter thing?
Canst thou yit chese, lat me see,
What best thi socour myghte be?
"Thou servest a full noble lord,
4640 That maketh thee thrall for thi reward,
Which ay renewith thy turment,
With foly so he hath thee blent.
Thou fell in myscheef thilke day
Whanne thou didist, the sothe to say,
Obeysaunce and eke homage.
Thou wroughtest nothyng as the sage,
Whanne thou bicam his liege man.
Thou didist a gret foly than,
Thou wistest not what fell therto,
4650 With what lord thou haddist to do.
If thou haddist hym wel knowe,
Thou haddist nought be brought so lowe;
For if thou wistest what it wer,
Thou noldist serve hym half a yeer,
Not a weke, nor half a day,
Ne yit an hour, withoute delay,
Ne never han loved paramours,
His lordshipp is so full of shours.
Knowest hym ought?" L'amaunt "Ye, dame, parde!"
4660 Raisoun "Nay, nay." L'amaunt "Yis, I." Raisoun "Wherof? Late se."
4661 L'amaunt "Of that he seide I shulde be
Glad to have sich lord as he,
And maister of sich seignorie."
Raisoun "Knowist hym no more?" L'amaunt "Nay, certis, I,
Save that he yaf me rewles there,
And wente his wey, I nyste where,
And I abood, bounde in balaunce."
Raisoun "Lo, there a noble conisaunce!
But I wille that thou knowe hym now,
4670 Gynnyng and eende, sith that thou
Art so anguisshous and mate,
Disfigured out of astate;
Ther may no wrecche have more of woo,
Ne caytyf noon enduren soo.
It were to every man sittyng
Of his lord have knowleching;
For if thou knewe hym, out of doute,
Lightly thou shulde escapen oute
Of the prisoun that marreth thee."
4680 L'amant "Ye, dame, sith my lord is he,
And I his man, maad with myn hond,
I wolde right fayn undirstond
To knowe of what kynde he be,
If ony wolde enforme me."
Raisoun "I wolde," seide Resoun, "thee ler,
Sith thou to lerne hast sich desir,
And shewe thee, withouten fable,
A thyng that is not demonstrable.
Thou shalt [wite] withouten science,
4690 And knowe withouten experience,
The thyng that may not knowen be,
Ne wist, ne shewid, in no degre.
Thou maist the sothe of it not witen,
Though in thee it were writen.
Thou shalt not knowe therof more,
While thou art reuled by his lore;
But unto hym that love wole flee,
The knotte may unclosed bee,
Which hath to thee, as it is founde,
4700 So long be knet and not unbounde.
Now set wel thyn entencioun,
To here of love discripcioun.
"Love, it is an hatefull pees,
A free acquitaunce, withoute relees,
A trouthe, fret full of falsheede,
A sikernesse all set in drede.
In herte is a dispeiryng hope,
And full of hope, it is wanhope;
Wis woodnesse, and wod resoun;
4710 A swete perell in to droun;
An hevy birthen, lyght to bere;
A wikked wawe, awey to were.
It is Karibdous perilous,
Disagreable and gracious.
It is discordaunce that can accorde,
And accordaunce to discorde.
It is kunnyng withoute science,
Wisdom withoute sapience,
Wit withoute discrecioun,
4720 Havoir withoute possessioun.
It is sike hele and hool seknesse,
A thurst drowned in dronknesse,
And helthe full of maladie,
And charite full of envie,
And hunger full of habundaunce,
And a gredy suffisaunce;
Delit right full of hevynesse,
And drerihed full of gladnesse;
Bitter swetnesse and swete errour,
4730 Right evell savoured good savour;
Sin that pardoun hath withynne,
And pardoun spotted withoute [with] synne.
A peyne also it is, joious,
And felonye right pitous;
Also pley that selde is stable,
And stedefast [stat], right mevable;
A strengthe, weyked to stonde upright,
And feblenesse full of myght;
Wit unavised, sage folie,
4740 And joie full of turmentrie;
A laughter it is, weping ay;
Reste that traveyleth nyght and day;
Also a swete helle it is,
And a soroufull paradys;
A pleasant gayl and esy prisoun,
And, full of froste, somer sesoun;
Pryme temps full of frostes whit,
And May devoide of al delit,
With seer braunches, blossoms ungrene,
4750 And newe fruyt, fillid with wynter tene.
It is a slowe, may not forbere
Ragges, ribaned with gold, to were;
For also wel wol love be set
Under ragges, as riche rochet;
And eke as wel be amourettes
In mournyng blak, as bright burnettes.
For noon is of so mochel pris,
Ne no man founden so wys,
Ne noon so high is of parage,
4760 Ne no man founde of wit so sage,
No man so hardy ne so wight,
Ne no man of so mochel myght,
Noon so fulfilled of bounte,
That he with love [ne] may daunted be.
All the world holdith this wey;
Love makith all to goon myswey,
But it be they of yvel lyf,
Whom Genius cursith, man and wyf,
That wrongly werke ageyn nature.
4770 Noon such I love, ne have no cure
Of sich as Loves servauntes ben,
And wole not by my counsel flen.
For I ne preise that lovyng
Wherthurgh men, at the laste eendyng,
Shall calle hem wrecchis full of woo,
Love greveth hem and shendith soo.
But if thou wolt wel Love eschewe,
For to escape out of his mewe,
And make al hool thi sorwe to slake,
4780 No bettir counsel maist thou take
Than thynke to fleen wel, iwis.
May nought helpe elles, for wite thou this:
If thou fle it, it shal flee thee;
Folowe it, and folowen shal it thee."
L'amant Whanne I hadde herde all Resoun seyn,
Which hadde spilt hir speche in veyn,
"Dame," seide I, "I dar wel sey,
Of this avaunt me wel I may
That from youre scole so devyaunt
4790 I am, that never the more avaunt
Right nought am I thurgh youre doctrine.
I dulle under youre discipline.
I wot no more than [I] wist er,
To me so contrarie and so fer
Is every thing that ye me ler,
And yit I can it all par cuer.
Myn herte foryetith therof right nought,
It is so writen in my thought;
And depe greven it is so tendir
4800 That all by herte I can it rendre,
And rede it over comunely;
But to mysilf lewedist am I.
But sith ye love discreven so,
And lak and preise it, bothe twoo,
Defyneth it into this letter,
That I may thenke on it the better;
For I herde never diffyne it er,
And wilfully I wolde it ler."
Raisoun "If love be serched wel and sought,
4810 It is a syknesse of the thought
Annexed and knet bitwixe tweyne,
Which male and female, with oo cheyne,
So frely byndith that they nyll twynne,
Whether so therof they leese or wynne.
The roote springith thurgh hoot brennyng
Into disordinat desiryng
For to kissen and enbrace,
And at her lust them to solace.
Of other thyng love recchith nought,
4820 But setteth her herte and all her thought
More for delectacioun
Than ony procreacioun
Of other fruyt by engendring,
Which love to God is not plesyng;
For of her body fruyt to get
They yeve no force, they are so set
Upon delit to pley in-feere.
And somme have also this manere,
To feynen hem for love sek;
4830 Sich love I preise not at a lek.
For paramours they do but feyne;
To love truly they disdeyne.
They falsen ladies traitoursly,
And swern hem othes utterly,
With many a lesyng and many a fable,
And all they fynden deceyvable.
And whanne they han her lust geten,
The hoote ernes they al foryeten.
Wymmen, the harm they bien full sore;
4840 But men this thenken evermore,
That lasse harm is, so mote I the,
Deceyve them than deceyved be;
And namely, where they ne may
Fynde non other mene wey.
For I wot wel, in sothfastnesse,
[What man] doth now his bisynesse
With ony womman for to dele,
For ony lust that he may fele,
But if it be for engendrure,
4850 He doth trespas, I you ensure.
For he shulde setten all his wil
To geten a likly thyng hym til,
And to sustene, if he myght,
And kepe forth, by Kyndes right,
His owne lyknesse and semblable;
And faile shulde successioun,
Ne were ther generacioun
Oure sectis strene for to save.
4860 Whanne fader or moder arn in grave,
Her children shulde, whanne they ben deede,
Full diligent ben, in her steede,
To use that werk on such a wise
That oon may thurgh another rise.
Therfore sette Kynde therynne delit,
For men therynne shulde hem delit,
And of that deede be not erk,
But ofte sithes haunt that werk.
For noon wolde drawe therof a draught,
4870 Ne were delit, which hath hym kaught.
Thus hath sotilled dame Nature;
For noon goth right, I thee ensure,
Ne hath entent hool ne parfit;
For her desir is for delyt,
The which fortened crece and eke
The pley of love for-ofte seke,
And thrall hemsilf, they be so nyce,
Unto the prince of every vice.
For of ech synne it is the rote,
4880 Unlefull lust, though it be sote,
And of all yvell the racyne,
As Tulius can determyne,
Which in his tyme was full sage,
In a bok he made `Of Age,'
Where that more he preyseth eelde,
Though he be croked and unweelde,
And more of commendacioun
Than youthe in his discripcioun.
For youthe set bothe man and wyf
4890 In all perell of soule and lyf;
And perell is, but men have grace,
The tyme of youthe for to pace
Withoute ony deth or distresse,
It is so full of wyldenesse,
So ofte it doth shame or damage
To hym or to his lynage.
It ledith man now up, now doun,
In mochel dissolucioun,
And makith hym love yvell company,
4900 And lede his lyf disrewlily,
And halt hym payed with noon estat.
Withynne hymsilf is such debat,
He chaungith purpos and entent,
And yalt [him] into som covent,
To lyven aftir her emprise,
And lesith fredom and fraunchise,
That Nature in hym hadde set,
The which ageyn he may not get,
If he there make his mansioun,
4910 For to abide professioun.
Though for a tyme his herte absente,
It may not fayle, he shal repente,
And eke abide thilke day
To leve his abit, and gon his way,
And lesith his worshipp and his name,
And dar not come ageyn for shame;
But al his lyf he doth so mourne,
By cause he dar not hom retourne.
Fredom of kynde so lost hath he
4920 That never may recured be,
But if that God hym graunte grace
That he may, er he hennes pace,
Conteyne undir obedience
Thurgh the vertu of pacience.
For Youthe sett man in all folye,
In unthrift and in ribaudie,
In leccherie and in outrage,
So ofte it chaungith of corage.
Youthe gynneth ofte sich bargeyn,
4930 That may not eende withouten peyn.
In gret perell is sett youthede,
Delit so doth his bridil leede.
Delit thus hangith, dred thee nought,
Bothe mannys body and his thought,
Oonly thurgh Youthe, his chaumberere,
That to don yvell is customere,
And of nought elles taketh hede
But oonly folkes for to lede
Into disport and wyldenesse,
4940 So is [she] froward from sadnesse.
"But Eelde drawith hem therfro;
Who wot it nought, he may wel goo
Demande of hem that now arn olde,
That whilom Youthe hadde in holde,
Which yit remembre of tendir age,
Hou it hem brought in many a rage,
And many a foly therynne wrought.
But now that Eelde hath hem thourgh-sought,
They repente hem of her folye,
4950 That Youthe hem putte in jupardye,
In perell, and in myche woo,
And made hem ofte amys to do,
And suen yvell companye,
Riot and avouterie.
"But Eelde can ageyn restreyne
From sich foly, and refreyne,
And sette men by her ordinaunce
In good reule and in governaunce.
But yvell she spendith hir servise,
4960 For no man wole hir love neither prise;
She is hated, this wot I wel.
Hir acqueyntaunce wolde no man fel,
Ne han of Elde companye;
Men hate to be of hir alye.
For no man wolde bicomen old,
Ne dye whanne he is yong and bold.
And Eelde merveilith right gretly,
Whanne thei remembre hem inwardly
Of many a perelous emprise,
4970 Which that they wrought in sondry wise,
Houevere they myght, withoute blame,
Escape awey withoute shame,
In youthe, withoute damage
Or repreef of her lynage,
Loss of membre, shedyng of blod,
Perell of deth, or los of good.
Wost thou nought where Youthe abit,
That men so preisen in her wit?
With Delit she halt sojour,
4980 For bothe they dwellen in oo tour.
As longe as Youthe is in sesoun,
They dwellen in oon mansioun.
Delit of Youthe wole have servise
To do what so he wole devise;
And Youthe is redy evermore
For to obey, for smert of sore,
Unto Delit, and hym to yive
Hir servise, while that she may lyve.
"Where Elde abit I wol thee telle
4990 Shortly, and no while dwelle,
For thidir byhoveth thee to goo.
If Deth in youthe thee not sloo,
Of this journey thou maist not faile.
With hir Labour and Travaile
Logged ben, with Sorwe and Woo,
That never out of hir court goo.
Peyne and Distresse, Syknesse and Ire,
And Malencoly, that angry sire,
Ben of hir paleys senatours;
5000 Gronyng and Grucchyng, hir herbejours.
The day and nyght, hir to turmente,
With cruell Deth they hir presente,
And tellen hir, erliche and late,
That Deth stondeth armed at hir gate.
Thanne brynge they to her remembraunce
The foly dedis of hir infaunce,
Whiche causen hir to mourne in woo
That Youthe hath hir bigiled so,
Which sodeynly awey is hasted.
5010 She wepeth the tyme that she hath wasted,
Compleynyng of the preterit,
And the present that not abit,
And of hir olde vanite,
That, but aforn hir she may see
In the future som socour,
To leggen hir of hir dolour,
To graunte hir tyme of repentaunce,
For her synnes to do penaunce,
And at the laste so hir governe
5020 To wynne the joy that is eterne,
Fro which go bakward Youthe hir made,
In vanite to droune and wade.
For present tyme abidith nought;
It is more swift than any thought.
So litel while it doth endure
That ther nys compte ne mesure.
But hou that evere the game go,
Who list to have joie and mirth also
Of love, be it he or she,
5030 High or lowe, who it be,
In fruyt they shulde hem delyte;
Her part they may not elles quyte,
To save hemsilf in honeste.
And yit full many on I se
Of wymmen, sothly for to seyn,
That desire and wolde fayn
The pley of love, they be so wilde,
And not coveite to go with childe.
And if with child they be, perchaunce,
5040 They wole it holde a gret myschaunce;
But whatsomever woo they fele,
They wole not pleyne but concele;
But if it be ony fool or nyce,
In whom that Shame hath no justice.
For to delyt echon they drawe,
That haunte this werk, bothe high and lawe,
Save sich that arn worth right nought,
That for money wole be bought.
Such love I preise in no wise,
5050 Whanne it is goven for coveitise.
I preise no womman, though she be wood,
That yeveth hirsilf for ony good.
For litel shulde a man telle
Of hir, that wole hir body selle,
Be she mayde, be she wyf,
That quyk wole selle hir, bi hir lif.
Hou faire chere that evere she make,
He is a wrecche, I undirtake,
That loveth such on, for swete or sour,
5060 Though she hym calle hir paramour,
And laugheth on hym, and makith hym feeste.
For certeynly no such beeste
To be loved is not worthy,
Or bere the name of druery.
Noon shulde hir please, but he were wood,
That wole dispoile hym of his good.
Yit nevertheles, I wol not sey
That she, for solas and for pley,
[Ne] may a jewel or other thyng
5070 Take of her loves fre yevyng;
But that she aske it in no wise,
For drede of shame of coveitise.
And she of hirs may hym, certeyn,
Withoute sclaundre yeven ageyn,
And joyne her hertes togidre so
In love, and take and yeve also.
Trowe not that I wolde hem twynne,
Whanne in her love ther is no synne;
I wol that they togedre go,
5080 And don al that they han ado,
As curteis shulde and debonaire,
And in her love beren hem faire,
Withoute vice, bothe he and she,
So that alwey, in honeste,
Fro foly love they kepe hem cler,
That brenneth hertis with his fer;
And that her love, in ony wise,
Be devoide of coveitise.
Good love shulde engendrid be
5090 Of trewe herte, just, and secre,
And not of such as sette her thought
To have her lust and ellis nought --
So are they caught in Loves las,
Truly, for bodily solas.
Fleshly delit is so present
With thee, that sette all thyn entent
Withoute more (what shulde I glose?)
For to gete and have the Rose,
Which makith [thee] so mat and wood
5100 That thou desirest noon other good.
But thou art not an inche the nerre,
But evere abidist in sorwe and werre,
As in thi face it is sene.
It makith thee bothe pale and lene;
Thy myght, thi vertu goth away.
A sory gest, in goode fay,
Thou herberest than in thyn inn,
The God of Love whanne thou let inn!
Wherfore I rede, thou shette hym oute,
5110 Or he shall greve thee, out of doute;
For to thi profit it wol turne,
If he nomore with thee sojourne.
In gret myscheef and sorwe sonken
Ben hertis that of love arn dronken,
As thou peraventure knowen shall,
Whanne thou hast lost thy tyme all,
And spent thy youthe in ydilnesse,
In waste and wofull lustynesse.
If thou maist lyve the tyme to se
5120 Of love for to delyvered be,
Thy tyme thou shalt biwepe sore,
The whiche never thou maist restore;
For tyme lost, as men may see,
For nothyng may recured be.
And if thou scape yit, atte laste,
Fro Love, that hath thee so faste
Knytt and bounden in his las,
Certeyn I holde it but a gras.
For many oon, as it is seyn,
5130 Have lost and spent also in veyn,
In his servise, withoute socour,
Body and soule, good and tresour,
Wit and strengthe, and eke richesse,
Of which they hadde never redresse."
L'amant Thus taught and preched hath
Resoun, but Love spilte hir sermoun,
That was so ymped in my thought,
That hir doctrine I sette at nought.
And yitt ne seide she never a del
5140 That I ne undirstod it wel,
Word by word, the mater all;
But unto Love I was so thrall,
Which callith overall his pray,
He chasith so my thought alway,
And holdith myn herte undir his sel
As trust and trew as ony stel;
So that no devocioun
Ne hadde I in the sermoun
Of dame Resoun, ne of hir red.
5150 It tok no sojour in myn hed,
For all yede out at oon ere
That in that other she dide lere.
Fully on me she lost hir lore;
Hir speche me greved wondir sore.
Than unto hir for ire I seide,
For anger, as I dide abraide:
"Dame, and is it youre wille algate
That I not love, but that I hate
Alle men, as ye me teche?
5160 For if I do aftir youre speche,
Sith that ye seyn love is not good,
Thanne must I nedis ay with mood,
If I it leve, in hatrede ay
Lyven, and voide love away
From me, [and] [ben] a synfull wrecche
Hated of all [that] [love] that tecche.
I may not go noon other gate,
For other must I love or hate.
And if I hate men of-newe
5170 More than love, it wol me rewe,
As by youre preching semeth me,
For Love nothing ne preisith thee.
Ye yeve good counsel, sikirly,
That prechith me alday that I
Shulde not Loves lore alowe.
He were a fool, wolde you not trowe!
In speche also ye han me taught
Another love, that knowen is naught,
Which I have herd you not repreve,
5180 To love ech other. By youre leve,
If ye wolde diffyne it me,
I wolde gladly here, to se,
At the leest, if I may lere
Of sondry loves the manere."
Raisoun "Certis, freend, a fool art thou,
Whan that thou nothyng wolt allow
That I for thi profit say.
Yit wole I sey thee more in fay,
For I am redy, at the leste,
5190 To accomplisshe thi requeste.
But I not where it wole avayle;
In veyn, perauntre, I shal travayle.
Love ther is in sondry wise,
As I shal thee heere devise.
For som love leful is and good --
I mene not that which makith thee wood,
And bringith thee in many a fit,
And ravysshith fro thee al thi wit,
It is so merveilous and queynt;
5200 With such love be no more aqueynt.
"Love of freendshipp also ther is,
Which makith no man don amys,
Of wille knytt bitwixe two,
That wole not breke for wele ne woo;
Which long is likly to contune,
Whanne wille and goodis ben in comune;
Grounded by Goddis ordinaunce,
Hool, withoute discordaunce;
With hem holdyng comunte
5210 Of all her good in charite,
That ther be noon excepcioun
Thurgh chaungyng of entencioun;
That ech helpe other at her neede,
And wisely hele bothe word and dede;
Trewe of menyng, devoide of slouthe,
For witt is nought withoute trouthe;
So that the ton dar all his thought
Seyn to his freend, and spare nought,
As to hymsilf, without dredyng
5220 To be discovered by wreying.
For glad is that conjunccioun,
Whanne ther is noon susspecioun
[Of] [blame] [in] [hem], whom they wolde prove
That trewe and parfit weren in love.
For no man may be amyable,
But if he be so ferme and stable
That fortune chaunge hym not, ne blynde,
But that his freend allwey hym fynde,
Bothe pore and riche, in oo state.
5230 For if his freend, thurgh ony gate,
Wole compleyne of his poverte,
He shulde not bide so long til he
Of his helpyng hym requere;
For good dede, don thurgh praiere,
Is sold and bought to deere, iwys,
To hert that of gret valour is.
For hert fulfilled of gentilnesse
Can yvel demene his distresse;
And man that worthy is of name
5240 To asken often hath gret shame.
A good man brenneth in his thought
For shame, whanne he axeth ought.
He hath gret thought and dredeth ay
For his disese, whanne he shal pray
His freend, lest that he warned be,
Til that he preve his stabilte.
But whanne that he hath founden oon
That trusty is and trewe as ston,
And assaied hym at all,
5250 And founde hym stedefast as a wall,
And of his freendshipp be certeyn,
He shal hym shewe bothe joye and peyn,
And all that [he] dar thynke or sey,
Withoute shame, as he wel may.
For how shulde he ashamed be
Of sich on as I tolde thee?
For whanne he woot his secre thought,
The thridde shal knowe therof right nought;
For tweyne of noumbre is bet than thre
5260 In every counsell and secre.
Repreve he dredeth never a deel,
Who that bisett his wordis wel;
For every wise man, out of drede,
Can kepe his tunge til he se nede;
And fooles can not holde her tunge;
A fooles belle is soone runge.
Yit shal a trewe freend do more
To helpe his felowe of his sore,
And socoure hym, whanne he hath neede,
5270 In all that he may don in deede,
And gladder [be] that he hym plesith,
Than his felowe that he esith.
And if he do not his requeste,
He shal as mochel hym moleste
As his felow, for that he
May not fulfille his volunte
Fully, as he hath requered.
If bothe the hertis Love hath fered,
Joy and woo they shull depart,
5280 And take evenly ech his part.
Half his anoy he shal have ay,
And comfort [him] what that he may;
And of his blisse parte shal he,
If love wel departed be.
"And whilom of this amyte
Spak Tulius in a ditee:
`Man shulde maken his request
Unto his freend, that is honest;
And he goodly shulde it fulfille,
5290 But it the more were out of skile,
And otherwise not graunte therto,
Except oonly in causes twoo:
If men his freend to deth wolde drive,
Lat hym be bisy to save his lyve;
Also if men wolen hym assayle,
Of his wurshipp to make hym faile,
And hyndren hym of his renoun,
Lat hym, with full entencioun,
His dever don in ech degre
5300 That his freend ne shamed be.
In thise two caas with his myght,
Taking no kep to skile nor right,
As fer as love may hym excuse,
This oughte no man to refuse.'
This love that I have told to thee
Is nothing contrarie to me;
This wole I that thou folowe wel,
And leve the tother everydel.
This love to vertu all entendith,
5310 The tothir fooles blent and shendith.
"Another love also there is
That is contrarie unto this,
Which desir is so constreyned
That [it] is but wille feyned.
Awey fro trouthe it doth so varie
That to good love it is contrarie;
For it maymeth, in many wise,
Sike hertis with coveitise.
All in wynnyng and in profit
5320 Sich love settith his delit.
This love so hangeth in balaunce
That, if it lese his hope, perchaunce,
Of lucre, that he is sett upon,
It wole faile and quenche anoon;
For no man may be amerous,
Ne in his lyvyng vertuous,
But he love more, in mood,
Men for hemsilf than for her good.
For love that profit doth abide
5330 Is fals, and bit not in no tyde.
[This] love cometh of dame Fortune,
That litel while wol contune;
For it shal chaungen wonder soone,
And take eclips, right as the moone,
Whanne she is from us lett
Thurgh erthe, that bitwixe is sett
The sonne and hir, as it may fall,
Be it in partie, or in all.
The shadowe maketh her bemys merke,
5340 And hir hornes to shewe derke,
That part where she hath lost hir lyght
Of Phebus fully, and the sight;
Til, whanne the shadowe is overpast,
She is enlumyned ageyn as fast,
Thurgh the brightnesse of the sonne bemes,
That yeveth to hir ageyn hir lemes.
That love is right of sich nature;
Now is faire, and now obscure,
Now bright, now clipsi of manere,
5350 And whilom dym, and whilom clere.
As soone as Poverte gynneth take,
With mantel and wedis blake
Hidith of love the light awey,
That into nyght it turneth day,
It may not see Richesse shyne
Till the blak shadowes fyne.
For, whanne Richesse shyneth bright,
Love recovereth ageyn his light;
And whanne it failith he wol flit,
5360 And as she groweth, so groweth it.
Of this love -- here what I sey! --
The riche men are loved ay,
And namely tho that sparand ben,
That wole not wasshe her hertes clen
Of the filthe nor of the vice
Of gredy brennyng avarice.
The riche man full fonned is, ywys,
That weneth that he loved is.
If that his herte it undirstod,
5370 It is not he, it is his good;
He may wel witen in his thought,
His good is loved, and he right nought.
For if he be a nygard ek,
Men wole not sette by hym a lek,
But haten hym; this is the soth.
Lo, what profit his catell doth.
Of every man that may hym see
It geteth hym nought but enmyte.
But he amende hym of that vice,
5380 And knowe hymsilf, he is not wys.
Certys, he shulde ay freendly be,
To gete hym love also ben free,
Or ellis he is not wise ne sage
Nomore than is a goot ramage.
That he not loveth, his dede proveth,
Whan he his richesse so wel loveth
That he wole hide it ay and spare,
His pore freendis sen forfare,
To kepen ay his purpos,
5390 Til for drede his yen clos,
And til a wikked deth hym take.
Hym hadde lever asondre shake,
And late alle his lymes asondre ryve,
Than leve his richesse in his lyve.
He thenkith parte it with no man;
Certayn, no love is in hym than.
How shulde love withynne hym be,
Whanne in his herte is no pite?
That he trespasseth, wel I wat,
5400 For ech man knowith his estat;
For wel hym ought to be reproved
That loveth nought, ne is not loved.
"But sith we arn to Fortune comen,
And han oure sermoun of hir nomen,
A wondir will Y telle thee now,
Thou herdist never sich oon, I trow.
I not where thou me leven shall,
Though sothfastnesse it be all,
As it is writen, and is soth,
5410 That unto men more profit doth
The froward Fortune and contraire
Than the swote and debonaire.
And if thee thynke it is doutable,
It is thurgh argument provable;
For the debonaire and softe
Falsith and bigilith ofte;
For lyche a moder she can cherish,
And mylken as doth a norys,
And of hir goode to hem deles,
5420 And yeveth hem part of her joweles,
With gret richeses and dignite;
And hem she hoteth stabilite
In a stat that is not stable,
But chaungynge ay and variable;
And fedith hem with glorie veyn,
And worldly blisse noncerteyn.
Whanne she hem settith on hir whel,
Thanne wene they to be right wel,
And in so stable stat withalle,
5430 That never they wene for to falle.
And whanne they sette so highe be,
They wene to have in certeynte
Of hertly freendis so gret noumbre,
That nothyng myght her stat encombre.
They trust hem so on every side,
Wenyng with hem they wolde abide
In every perell and myschaunce,
Withoute chaunge or variaunce,
Bothe of catell and of good;
5440 And also for to spende her blood,
And all her membris for to spille,
Oonly to fulfille her wille.
They maken it hool in many wise,
And hoten hem her full servise,
How sore that it do hem smerte,
Into her naked sherte!
Herte and all so hool they yive,
For the tyme that they may lyve,
So that with her flaterie
5450 They maken foolis glorifie
Of her wordis spekyng,
And han therof a rejoysyng,
And trowe hem as the Evangile;
And it is all falsheede and gile,
As they shal aftirward se,
Whanne they arn falle in poverte
And ben of good and catell bare;
Thanne shulde they sen who freendis ware.
For of an hundred, certeynly,
5460 Nor of a thousand full scarsly,
Ne shal they fynde unnethis oon,
Whanne poverte is comen upon.
For this Fortune that I of telle,
With men whanne hir lust to dwelle,
Makith hem to leese her conisaunce,
And norishith hem in ignoraunce.
"But froward Fortune and pervers,
Whanne high estatis she doth revers,
And maketh hem to tumble doun
5470 Of hir whel, with sodeyn tourn,
And from her richesse doth hem fle,
And plongeth hem in poverte,
As a stepmoder envyous,
And leieth a plastre dolorous
Unto her hertis, wounded egre,
Which is not tempred with vynegre,
But with poverte and indigence,
For to shewe, by experience,
That she is Fortune verely,
5480 In whom no man shulde affy,
Nor in hir yeftis have fiaunce,
She is so full of variaunce --
Thus kan she maken high and lowe,
Whanne they from richesse arn throwe,
Fully to knowen, without were,
Freend of affect and freend of chere,
And which in love weren trewe and stable,
And whiche also weren variable,
After Fortune, her goddesse,
5490 In poverte outher in richesse.
For all she yeveth here, out of drede,
Unhap bereveth it in dede;
For Infortune lat not oon
Of freendis, whanne Fortune is gon;
I mene tho freendis that wole fle
Anoon as entreth poverte.
And yit they wole not leve hem so,
But in ech place where they go
They calle hem `wrecche,' scorne, and blame,
5500 And of her myshappe hem diffame;
And namely siche as in richesse
Pretendith moost of stablenesse,
Whanne that they sawe hym sett on lofte,
And weren of hym socoured ofte,
And most yholpe in all her neede.
But now they take no maner heede,
But seyn in voice of flaterie,
That now apperith her folye,
Overall where so they fare,
5510 And synge, `Go, farewel, feldefare.'
All suche freendis I beshrewe,
For of trewe ther be to fewe.
But sothfast freendis, what so bitide,
In every fortune wolen abide;
Thei han her hertis in such noblesse
That they nyl love for no richesse,
Nor for that Fortune may hem sende
Thei wolen hem socoure and defende,
And chaunge for softe ne for sore;
5520 For who is freend, loveth evermore.
Though men drawe swerd his freend to slo,
He may not hewe her love a-two.
But, in cas that I shall sey,
For pride and ire lese it he may,
And for reprove by nycete,
And discovering of privite,
With tonge woundyng, as feloun,
Thurgh venemous detraccioun.
Frend in this cas wole gon his way,
5530 For nothyng greve hym more ne may;
And for nought ellis wole he fle,
If that he love in stabilite.
And certeyn, he is wel bigon,
Among a thousand that fyndith oon.
For ther may be no richesse
Ageyns frendshipp, of worthynesse;
For it ne may so high atteigne
As may the valour, soth to seyne,
Of hym that loveth trew and well.
5540 Frendshipp is more than is catell.
For freend in court ay better is
Than peny in purs, certis;
And Fortune myshappyng
Whanne upon men she is fallyng,
Thurgh mysturnyng of hir chaunce,
And casteth hem out of balaunce,
She makith, thurgh hir adversite,
Men full clerly for to se
Hym that is freend in existence
5550 From hym that is by apparence.
For Ynfortune makith anoon
To knowe thy freendis fro thy foon,
By experience, right as it is,
The which is more to preise, ywis,
Than is myche richesse and tresour.
For more doth profit and valour
Poverte and such adversite
Bifore, than doth prosperite;
For the toon yeveth conysaunce,
5560 And the tother ignoraunce.
"And thus in poverte is in dede
Trouthe declared fro falsheede;
For feynte frendis it wole declare,
And trewe also, what wey they fare.
For whanne he was in his richesse,
These freendis, ful of doublenesse,
Offrid hym in many wise
Hert, and body, and servise.
What wolde he thanne ha yove to ha bought
5570 To knowen openly her thought,
That he now hath so clerly seen?
The lasse bigiled he shulde have ben,
And he hadde thanne perceyved it;
But richesse nold not late hym wit.
Wel more avauntage doth hym than,
Sith that it makith hym a wise man,
The gret myscheef that he receyveth,
Than doth richesse that hym deceyveth.
Richesse riche ne makith nought
5580 Hym that on tresour set his thought;
For richesse stont in suffisaunce
And nothyng in habundaunce;
For suffisaunce all oonly
Makith men to lyve richely.
For he that at mycches tweyne
Ne valued [is. in his demeigne,
Lyveth more at ese, and more is riche,
Than doth he that is chiche,
And in his berne hath, soth to seyn,
5590 An hundred mowis of whete greyn,
Though he be chapman or marchaunt,
And have of gold many besaunt.
For in the getyng he hath such woo,
And in the kepyng drede also,
And set evermore his bisynesse
For to encrese, and not to lesse,
For to aument and multiply.
And though on hepis it lye hym by,
Yit never shal make his richesse
5600 Asseth unto his gredynesse.
But the povre that recchith nought,
Save of his lyflode, in his thought,
Which that he getith with his travaile,
He dredith nought that it shall faile,
Though he have lytel worldis good,
Mete, and drynke, and esy food,
Upon his travel and lyvyng,
And also suffisaunt clothyng.
Or if in syknesse that he falle,
5610 And loth. mete and drynke withalle,
Though he have noght his mete to by,
He shal bithynke hym hastily,
To putte hym oute of all daunger,
That he of mete hath no myster;
Or that he may with lytel ek
Be founden, while that he is sek;
Or that men shull hym beren in hast,
To lyve til his syknesse be past,
To som maysondew biside;
5620 He cast nought what shal hym bitide.
He thenkith nought that evere he shall
Into ony syknesse fall.
"And though it falle, as it may be,
That all betyme spare shall he
As mochel as shal to hym suffice,
While he is sik in ony wise,
He doth [it] for that he wole be
Content with his poverte
Withoute nede of ony man.
5630 So myche in litel have he can,
He is apaied with his fortune;
And for he nyl be importune
Unto no wight, ne onerous,
Nor of her goodes coveitous,
Therfore he spareth, it may wel ben,
His pore estat for to susten.
"Or if hym lust not for to spare,
But suffrith forth, as noght ne ware,
Atte last it hapneth, as it may,
5640 Right unto his laste day,
And taketh the world as it wolde be;
For evere in herte thenkith he,
The sonner that deth hym slo,
To paradys the sonner go
He shal, there for to lyve in blisse,
Where that he shal noo good misse.
Thider he hopith God shal hym sende
Aftir his wrecchid lyves ende.
Pictigoras hymsilf reherses
5650 In a book that `The Golden Verses'
Is clepid, for the nobilite
Of the honourable ditee: --
`Thanne, whanne thou gost thy body fro,
Fre in the eir thou shalt up go,
And leven al humanite,
And purely lyve in deite.'
He is a fool, withouten were,
That trowith have his countre heere.
`In erthe is not oure countre,'
5660 That may these clerkis seyn and see
In Boece of Consolacioun,
Where it is maked mencioun
Of oure contre pleyn at the ye,
By teching of Philosophie,
Where lewid men myght lere wit,
Whoso that wolde translaten it.
If he be sich that can wel lyve
Aftir his rente may hym yive,
And not desireth more to have
5670 Than may fro poverte hym save,
A wise man seide, as we may seen,
Is no man wrecched, but he it wen,
Be he kyng, knyght, or ribaud.
And many a ribaud is mery and baud,
That swynkith, and berith, bothe day and nyght,
Many a burthen of gret myght,
The whiche doth hym lasse offense
For he suffrith in pacience.
They laugh and daunce, trippe and synge,
5680 And ley not up for her lyvynge,
But in the taverne all dispendith
The wynnyng that God hem sendith.
Thanne goth he, fardeles for to ber
With as good chere as he dide er.
To swynke and traveile he not feynith,
For for to robben he disdeynith.
But right anoon aftir his swynk
He goth to taverne for to drynk.
All these ar riche in abundaunce
5690 That can thus have suffisaunce
Wel more than can an usurere,
As God wel knowith, withoute were.
For an usurer, so God me se,
Shal nevere for richesse riche be,
But evermore pore and indigent,
Scarce and gredy in his entent.
"For soth it is, whom it displese,
Ther may no marchaunt lyve at ese;
His herte in sich a were is sett
5700 That it quyk brenneth [more] to get,
Ne never shal ynogh have geten,
Though he have gold in gerners yeten,
For to be nedy he dredith sore.
Wherfore to geten more and more
He set his herte and his desir;
So hote he brennyth in the fir
Of coveitise, that makith hym wood
To purchace other mennes good.
He undirfongith a gret peyne,
5710 That undirtakith to drynke up Seyne;
For the more he drynkith, ay
The more he leveth, the soth to say.
Thus is thurst of fals getyng,
That last ever in coveityng,
And the angwisshe and distresse
With the fir of gredynesse.
She fightith with hym ay, and stryveth,
That his herte asondre ryveth.
Such gredynesse hym assaylith
5720 That whanne he most hath, most he failith.
Phisiciens and advocates
Gon right by the same yates;
They selle her science for wynnyng,
And haunte her craft for gret getyng.
Her wynnyng is of such swetnesse
That if a man falle in siknesse,
They are full glad for her encres;
For by her wille, withoute lees,
Everich man shulde be sek,
5730 And though they die, they sette not a lek.
After, whanne they the gold have take,
Full litel care for hem they make.
They wolde that fourty were seke at onys,
Ye, two hundred, in flesh and bonys,
And yit two thousand, as I gesse,
For to encrecen her richesse.
They wole not worchen, in no wise,
But for lucre and coveitise.
For fysic gynneth first by fy,
5740 The physicien also sothely;
And sithen it goth fro fy to sy:
To truste on hem is foly;
For they nyl, in no maner gre,
Do right nought for charite.
"Eke in the same secte ar sett
All tho that prechen for to get
Worshipes, honour, and richesse.
Her hertis arn in gret distresse
That folk lyve not holily.
5750 But aboven all, specialy,
Sich as prechen [for] veynglorie,
And toward God have no memorie,
But forth as ypocrites trace,
And to her soules deth purchace,
And outward shewen holynesse,
Though they be full of cursidnesse.
Not liche to the apostles twelve,
They deceyve other and hemselve.
Bigiled is the giler than,
5760 For prechyng of a cursed man,
Though [it] to other may profite,
Hymsilf it availeth not a myte;
For ofte good predicacioun
Cometh of evel entencioun.
To hym not vailith his preching,
All helpe he other with his teching;
For where they good ensaumple take,
There is he with veynglorie shake.
"But late us leven these prechoures,
5770 And speke of hem that in her toures
Hepe up hir gold, and faste shette,
And sore theron her herte sette.
They neither love God ne drede;
They kepe more than it is nede,
And in her bagges sore it bynde,
Out of the sonne and of the wynde.
They putte up more than nede ware,
Whanne they seen pore folk forfare,
For hunger die, and for cold quake.
5780 God can wel vengeaunce therof take!
Three gret myscheves hem assailith,
And thus in gadring ay travaylith.
With myche peyne they wynne richesse;
And drede hem holdith in distresse
To kepe that they gadre faste;
With sorwe they leve it at the laste.
With sorwe they bothe dye and lyve,
That unto richesse her hertis yive;
And in defaute of love it is,
5790 As it shewith ful wel, iwys.
For if thise gredy, the sothe to seyn,
Loveden and were loved ageyn,
And good love regned overall,
Such wikkidnesse ne shulde fall;
But he shulde yeve that most good had
To hem that weren in nede bistad,
And lyve withoute false usure,
For charite full clene and pure.
If they hem yeve to goodnesse,
5800 Defendyng hem from ydelnesse,
In all this world thanne pore noon
We shulde fynde, I trowe, not oon.
But chaunged is this world unstable,
For love is overall vendable.
We se that no man loveth now,
But for wynnyng and for prow;
And love is thralled in servage,
Whanne it is sold for avauntage.
Yit wommen wole her bodyes selle;
5810 Suche soules goth to the devel of helle!"
Next: Fragment C