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As they that weren of the blood real 1020 Of iren greet and squar as eny sparre,
Of Thebes, and of sistren tuo i-born.

He cast his eyen upon Emelya,
Out of the chaas the pilours han hem torn, And therwithal he bleynte and cryed, a! 1080
And han hem caried softe unto the tente As that he stongen were unto the herte.
Of Theseus, and ful sone he hem sente

And with that crye Arcite anon up sterte, Tathenes, for to dwellen in prisoun

And seyde, “ Cosyn myn, what eyleth the, Perpetuelly, he wolde no raunceoun.

That art so pale and deedly for to see ? And this duk whan he hadde thus i-doon, Why crydestow ? who hath the doon offence ? He took his host, and hom he ryt anoon For Goddes love, tak al in pacience With laurer crowned as a conquerour;

Oure prisoun, for it may non othir be; And there he lyveth in joye and in honour 1030 Fortune hath geven us this adversité. Terme of his lyf; what wolle ye wordes moo? Som wikke aspect or disposicioun And in a tour, in angwische and in woo, Of Saturne, by sum constellacioun, 1090 This Palamon, and his felawe Arcite,

Hath geven us this, although we hadde it sworn; For evermo, ther may no gold hem quyte. So stood the heven whan that we were born; This passeth yeer by yeer, and day by day, We moste endure it: this is the schort and pleyn." Till it fel oones in a morwe of May

This Palamon answered, and seyde ageyn, That Emelie, that fairer was to seene

Cosyn, for sothe of this opynyoun Than is the lilie on hire stalkes grene,

Thou hast a veyn ymaginacioun. And fresscher than the May with floures newe- This prisoun caused me not for to crye. For with the rose colour strof hire hewe, 1040 But I was hurt right now thurgh myn yhe I not which was the fyner of hem two

Into myn herte, that wol my bane be. Er it was day, as sche was wont to do,

The fairnesse of the lady that I see 1100 Sche was arisen, and al redy dight.

Yonde in the gardyn rome to and fro, For May wole have no sloggardye a night; Is cause of my cryying and my wo. The sesoun priketh every gentil herte,

I not whethur sche be womman or goddesse; And maketh him out of his sleepe sterte,

But Venus is it, sothly as I gesse." And seith, “ Arys, and do thin observance." And therwithal on knees adoun he fil, This maked Emelye han remembrance

And seyde: “Venus, if it be youre wil To do honour to May, and for to ryse.

Yow in this gardyn thus to transfigure, I-clothed was sche fressh for to devyse. 1050 Biforn me sorwful wrecched creature, Hire yolwe heer was browdid in a tresse,

Out of this prisoun help that we may scape. Byhynde hire bak, a yerde long I gesse. And if so be oure destiné be schape 1110 And in the gardyn at the sonne upriste By eterne word to deyen in prisoun, Sche walketh up and doun wher as hire liste. Of oure lynage haveth sum compassioun, Sche gadereth floures, partye whyte and reede, That is so lowe y-brought by tyrannye.” To make a certeyn gerland for hire heede, And with that word Arcite gan espye And as an aungel hevenly sche song.

Wher as this lady romed to and fro. The grete tour, that was so thikke and strong, And with that sight hire beauté hurt him so, Which of the castel was the cheef dongeóun, That if that Palamon was wounded sore, (Ther as this knightes weren in prisoun, 1060 Arcite is hurt as moche as he, or more. Of which I tolde yow, and telle schal)

And with a sigh he seyde pitously: Was evene joynyng to the gardeyn wal, “ The freissche beauté sleeth me sodeynly 1120 Ther as this Émely hadde hire pleyyng. Of hir that rometh yonder in the place; Bright was the sonne, and cleer that morwenynge, And but I have hir mercy and hir grace, And Palamon, this woful prisoner,

That I may see hir atte leste weye, As was his wone, by leve of his gayler

I nam but deed; ther nys no more to seye.” Was risen, and romed in a chambre on heigh, This Palamon, whan he tho wordes herde, In which he al the noble cité seigh,

Dispitously he loked, and answerde: And eek the gardeyn, ful of braunches grene, " Whether seistow in ernest or in pley ?”. Ther as the fresshe Emelye the scheene 1070 “Nay," quoth Arcite, “in ernest, in good fey. Was in hire walk, and romed up and doun. God helpe me so, me lust ful evele pleye.” This sorweful prisoner, this Palamon,

This Palamon gan knytte his browes tweye: 1130 Gooth in the chambre romyng to and fro, “It nere," quod he, “ to the no gret honour, And to himself compleynyng of his woo; For to be fals, ne for to be traytour That he was born, ful ofte he seyd, alas ! To me, that am thy cosyn and thy brother And so byfel, by aventure or cas,

I-swore ful deepe, and ech of us to other, That thurgh a wyndow thikke and many a barre That never for to deyen in the payne,

1049. to do honour to May. The early English poets are 1090. Saturne. According to the old astrological system, full of allusions to the popular reverence paid to the this was a very unpropitious star to be born under. It month of May, derived froin the Pagan ages of our fore- may be observed, that in the present story there is a confathers. Traces of these superstitions still remain in the stant allusion to medieval astrology, which could not be custom in different parts of the country of going a-maying fully illustrated without long notes. on the morning of the first day of the month. Such cus- 1134. I-swore. It was a common practice in the middle toms are repeatedly alluded to in Chaucer.

ages for persons to take formal vaths of fraternity and 1059. dongeoun. The dongeon was the grand tower of friendship, and a breach of the oath was considered somethe earlier castles; and beneath it, under ground, was the thing worse than perjury. This incident enters into the prison. As the castles were enlarged, the dongeon, or plots of some of the medieval romances. A curious exkeep-tower, being the strongest part of the fortress, was ample will be found in the Romance of Athelston, Reliq. frequently made the residence of prisoners of higher rank, Antiq. ii. p. 85. who were not thrown into the subterranean vaults. Hence 1135. deyen in the payne. This appears to have been a the modern use of the word dungeon.

proverbial expression, taken from the French. In Frois

Til that deeth departe schal us twayne,

Was come to Athenes, his felawe to visite, Neyther of us in love to hynder other,

And for to pley, as he was wont to do, Ne in non other cas, my leeve brother; For in this world he loved noman sı: But that thou schuldest trewly forther me And he loved him as tendurly agayn. In every caas, and I schal forther the.

1140 So wel they loved, as olde bookes says, 1200 This was thyn othe, and myn cek certayn; That whan that oon was deed, sothly to telle, I wot right wel, thou darst it nat withsayn, His felawe wente and sought him doun in helle; Thus art thou of my counseil out of doute. But of that story lyst me nought to write. And now thou woldest falsly ben aboute Duk Perotheus loved wel Arcite, To love my lady, whom I love and serve, And hadde him knowe at Thebes yeer by yeer; And evere schal, unto myn herte sterve. And fynally at requeste and prayer Now certes, fals Arcite, thou schal not so. Of Perotheus, withoute any raunsoun I loved hir first, and tolde the my woo

Duk Theseus him leet out of prisoun, As to my counseil, and to brother sworn Frely to go, wher him lust over al, To forther me, as I have told biforn. 1150 In such a gyse, as I you telle schal. 1210 For which thou art i-bounden as a knight This was the forward, playnly to endite, To helpe me, if it lay in thi might,

Betwixe Theseus and him Arcite: Or elles art thou fals, I dar wel sayn.”

That if so were, that Arcite were founde This Arcite ful proudly spak agayn.

Evere in his lyf, by daye or night, o stound “ Thou schalt,” quoth he,“ be rather fals than I. In eny contré of this Theseus, But thou art fals, I telle the uttirly.

And he were caught, it was acorded thus, For par amour I loved hir first then thow. That with a swerd he scholde lese his heed; What wolt thou sayn? thou wost not yit now Ther nas noon other remedy ne reed, Whether sche be a womman or goddesse. But took his leeve, and homward he him spedde; Thyn is affeccioun of holynesse,

1160 Let him be war, his nekke lith to wedde. 1220 And myn is love, as of a creature;

How gret a sorwe suffreth now Arcite! For which I tolde the myn aventure

The deth he feleth thorugh his herte smyte; As to my cosyn, and my brother sworn. He weepeth, weyleth, cryeth pitously; I pose, that thou lovedest hire biforn;

To slen himself he wayteth pryyyly. Wost thou nat wel the olde clerkes sawe, He seyde, “ Allas the day that I was born! That who schal geve a lover eny lawe,

Now is my prisoun werse than was biforne; Love is a grettere lawe, by my pan,

Now is me schape eternally to dwelle Then may be geve to eny erthly man?

Nought in pargatorie, but in helle. Therfore posityf lawe, and such decré,

Allas! that ever knewe I Perotheus! Is broke alway for love in ech degree. 1170 For elles had I dweld with Theseus 1230 A man moot needes love maugré his heed. I-fetered in his prisoun for evere moo. He may nought fle it, though he schulde be deed, Than had I ben in blis, and nat in woo. Al be sche mayde, or be sche widewe or wyf. Oonly the sight of hir, whom that I serye, And that it is nat likly al thy lyf

Though that

I hir grace may nat deserve, To stonden in hire grace, no more schal I; Wold

han sufficed right ynough for me. For wel thou wost thyselven verrily,

O dere cosyn Palamon," quod he,
That thou and I been dampned to prisoun “Thyn is the victoire of this aventure,
Perpetuelly, us gayneth no raunsoun.

Ful blisfully in prisoun to endure;
We stryve, as doth the houndes for the boon, In prisoun? nay, certes but in paradys!
They foughte al day, and yit here part was noon; Wel hath fortune y-torned the the dys, 1240
Ther com a kyte, whil that they were wrothe, That hath the sight of hir, and I the absence.
And bar awey the boon bitwise hem bothe. For possible is, syn thou hast hir presence,
And therfore at the kynges court, my brother, And art a knight, a worthi and an able,
Eche man for himself, ther is non cther. That by som cas, syn fortune is chaungable,
Love if the list; for I love and ay schal; Thoa maist to thy desir somtyme atteyne.
And sothly, leeve brother, this is al.

But I that am exiled, and bareyne Eke in this prisoun moote we endure,

Of alle grace, and in so gret despeir, And every of us take his aventure.”

That ther nys water, erthe, fyr, ne eyr, Gret was the stryf and long bytwixe hem tweye, Ne creature, that of hem maked is, If that I hadde leysir for to seye; 1190 That may me helpe ne comfort in this. 1250 But to the effect, it happed on a day,

Wel ought I sterve in wanhope and distresse; (To telle it yow as schortly as I may)

Farwel my lyf and al my jolynesse. A worthy duk that highte Perotheus,

Allas, why playnen folk so in comune That felaw was to the duk Theseus

Of purveance of God, or of fortune, Syn thilke day that they were children lyte, That geveth hem ful ofte in many a gyse sart, as cited by Tyrwhitt, Edward III. is made to declare Wel better than thei can hemself devyse? that he would bring the war to a successful issue, or il Som man desireth for to have richesse, mourroit en la peine.

That cause is of his morthre or gret seeknesse. 1137. love. The Harl. Ms. has lande. 1165. the old clerkes sawe. Boethius, who says, in his And som man wolde out of his prisoun fayn, treatise De Consolat. Philos. lib. iii. 'met. 12,

That in his hous is of his mayné slayn. 1260
Quis legem det amantibus?

Infinite harmes ben in this mateere;
Major lex amor est sibi.

We wote nevere what thing we prayen heere. 1179. houndes. This is a medieval fable which I have not met with elsewhere, though it may probably be found

An allusion to the classic story of Thein some of the inedited collections.

1202. in helle. sens and Pirithous.

We faren as he that dronke is as a mows. Gon at his large, and wher him lust may turne. A dronke man wot wel he hath an hous, But I moste be in prisoun thurgh Saturne, 1330 But he not nat which the righte wey is thider, And eek thorugh Juno, jalous and eke wood, And to a dronke man the wey is slider,

That hath destruyed wel neyh al the blood And certes in this world so faren we.

Of Thebes, with his waste walles wyde. We seeken faste after felicité,

And Venus sleeth me on that other syde But we gon wrong ful ofte trewely.

For jelousye, and fere of him Arcyte." Thus may we seyen alle, namely I, 1270 Now wol I stynte of Palamon a lite, That wende have had a gret opinioun,

And lete him stille in his prisoun dwelle, That gif I mighte skape fro prisoun,

And of Arcita forth than wol I telle. Than had I be in joye and parfyt hele, The somer passeth, and the nightes longe Ther now I am exiled fro my wele.

Encrescen double wise the peynes stronge 1340 Syn that I may not se yow, Emelye,

Bothe of the lover and the prisoner. I'nam but deed; ther nys no remedye.”

I noot which hath the wofüllere cheer. Uppon that other syde Palamon,

For schortly for to sey, this Palamon Whan he wiste that Arcite was agoon,

Perpetuelly is dampned to prisoun, Such sorwe maketh, that the grete tour

In cheynes and in feteres to be deed; Resowneth of his yollyng and clamour. 1280 And Arcite is exiled upon his heed The pure feteres of his schynes grete

For evere mo as out of that contré, Weren of his bitter salte teres wete.

Ne nevere mo he schal his lady see.
“ Allas!" quod he, “ Arcita, cosyn myn, Now lovyeres axe I this question,
Of al oure strif, God woot, the fruyt is thin. Who hath the worse, Arcite or Palamon? 1350
Thow walkest now in Thebes at thi large, That on may se his lady day by day,
And of my woo thou gevest litel charge. But in prisoun he moot dwelle alway.
Thou maiste, syn thou hast wysdom and manhede, That other may wher him lust ryde or go,
Assemble al the folk of oure kynrede,

But seen his lady schal he never mo.
And make a werre so scharpe in this cité, Now deemeth as you luste, ye that can,
That by som aventure, or by som treté, 1290 For I wol telle forth as I bigan.
Thou mayst hire wynne to lady and to wyf, Whan that Arcite to Thebes come was,
For whom that I most needes leese my lyf. Ful ofte a day he swelde and seyde alas,
For as by wey of possibilité,

For seen his lady schal he never mo.
Syn thou art at thi large of prisoun free, And schortly to concluden al his wo, 1360
And art a lord, gret is thin avantage,

So moche sorwe had never creature, More than is myn, that sterve here in a kage. That is or schal whil that the world wol dure. For I moot weepe and weyle, whil I lyve, His sleep, his mete, his drynk is him byraft, With al the woo that prisoun may me gyve, That lene he wexe, and drye as eny schaft. And eek with peyne that love me geveth also, His eyen holwe, grisly to biholde; That doubleth al my torment and my wo.” 1300 His hewe falwe, and pale as asschen colde, Therwith the fuyr of jelousye upsterte

And solitary he was, and ever alone, Withinne his brest, and hent him by the herte And dwellyng all the night, making his moone. So wodly, that lik was he to byholde

And if he herde song or instrument,

1369 The box-tree, or the asschen deed and colde. Then wolde he wepe, he mighte nought be stent. Tho seyde he; “O goddes cruel, that governe So feble were his spirites, and so lowe, This world with byndyng of youre word eterne, And chaunged so, that no man couthe knowe And writen in the table of athamaunte

His speche nother his vois, though men it herde.
Youre parlement and youre eterne graunte, And in his gir, for all the world he ferde
What is mankynde more to yow holde

Nought oonly lyke the lovers maladye
Than is a scheep, that rouketh in the folde? 1310 Of Hercos, but rather lik manye,
For slayn is man right as another beste, Engendrud of humour malencolyk,
And dwelleth eek in prisoun and arreste, Byforne in his selle fantastyk.
And hath seknesse, and greet adversité, And schortly turned was al up-so-doun
And ofte tymes gilteles, pardé.

1349. this question. An implied allusion to the medieval What governaunce is in youre prescience, courts of love, in which questions of this kind were seThat gilteles tormenteth innocence ?

riously discussed. And yet encreceth this al my penaunce,

1378. in his selle fantastyk. Tyrwhitt reads, Beforne his That man is bounden to his observaunce

hed in his celle fantastike. The division of the brain into

cells, according to the different sensitive faculties, is very For Goddes sake to letten of his wille,

ancient, and is found depicted in medieval manuscripts. Ther as a beste may al his lust fulfille. 1320 It was a rude forerunner of the science of phrenology. And whan a beste is deed, he ne hath no peyne; In Ms. Harl. No. 4025, is a treatise entitled Liber Thesauri

The 'fantastic cell' (fantasia) was in front of the head. But man after his deth moot wepe and pleyne, Occulti, in which (fol. 5 vo), we are informed : Et est in Though in this world he have care and woo: cerebro rationativa, in corde irascibilis vel inspirativa, in Withouten doute it may stonde so.

epate voluntaria vel concupiscibilis Verumptamen

certum est in prora cerebri esse fantasiam, in medio raThe answer of this I lete to divinis,

tionem discretionis, in puppi memoriam; quarum si aliqua But wel I woot, that in this world gret pyne is. naturali infirmitate vel percussione desipuerit et maxime Allas! I se a serpent or a theef,

memoria, prorsus et sompnia perempta sunt, si ratio vel

fantasia vero destructa, sompnia quoquo modo ex memoThat many a trewe man hath doon mescheef,

ria remanserunt. Si itaque homo multa per sompnium

sæpe viderit et oblitus fuerit ea quæ vidit, scito memoria1264. a dronke man. From Boethius De Consol. lib. iii. lem partem cerebri ejus tenebrositate et obscuritate depr. 2. "sed velut ebrius, domum quo tramite revertatur tentam esse. Similiter de ratione vel judicio et fantasia ignorat."

præiudicandum est, et infirmitati futuræ præcavendum."

Bothe abyt and eek disposicioun 1380 Fro yeer to yer ful pryvyly his rente,
Of him, this woful lovere daun Arcite.

But honestly and sleighly he it spente,
What schulde I alway of his wo endite? That no man wondred how that he it hadde.
Whan he endured hadde a yeer or tuoo And thre yeer in this wise his lyf he ladde,
This cruel torment, and this peyne and woo, And bar him so in pees and eek in werre,
At Thebes, in his contré, as I seyde,

Ther nas no man that Theseus hath so derre. Upon a night in sleep as he him leyde, And in this blisse lete I now Arcite, 1451 Him thought that how the wenged god Mercurie And speke I wole of Palamon a lyte. Byforn him stood, and bad him to be murye. In derknes and orrible and strong prisoun His slepy yerd in hond he bar upright; This seven yeer hath seten Palamon, An hat he wered upon his heres bright. 1390 Forpyned, what for woo and for destresse. Arrayed was this god (as he took keepe) Who feleth double sorwe and hevynesse As he was whan that Argous took his sleep; But Palamon? that love destreyneth so, And seyde him thus: “ To Athenes schalt thou That wood out of his witt he goth for wo, Ther is the schapen of thy wo an ende.” [wende; And eek therto he is a prisoner And with that word Arcite wook and sterte. Perpetuelly, nat oonly for a yeer.

1460 “ Now trewely how sore that me smerte," Who couthe ryme in Englissch propurly Quod he, "to Athenes right now wol I fare; His martirdam? for sothe it am nat I; Ne for the drede of deth schal I not spare Therfore I passe as lightly as I may. To see my lady, that I love and serve;

It fel that in the seventhe yeer in May In hire presence I recche nat to sterve.” 1400 The thridde night, (as olde bookes seyn, And with that word he caught a gret myrour, That al this storie tellen more pleyn) And saugh that chaunged was al his colour, Were it by aventure or destené, And saugh his visage was in another kynde. (As, whan a thing is schapen, it schal be,) And right anoon it ran him into mynde, T'hat soone aftur the mydnyght, Palamon That seththen his face was so disfigured By helpyng of a freend brak his prisoun, 1470 Of maladie the which he hath endured,

And fleeth the cité fast as he may goo, He mighte wel, if that he bar him lowe, For he had give drinke his gayler soo Lyve in Athenes evere more unknowe,

Of a clarré, maad of a certayn wyn, And see his lady wel neih day by day. With nercotykes and opye of Thebes fyn, [schake, And right anon he chaunged his aray, 1410 That al that night though that men wolde him And clothed him as a pore laborer.

The gayler sleep, he mighte nought awake. And al alone, save oonly a squyer,

And thus he fleeth as fast as ever he may. That knew his pryvyté and al his cas,

The night was schort, and faste by the day, Which was disgysed povrely as he was, That needes cost he moste himselven hyde. To Athenes is he go the nexte way.

And til a grove ther faste besyde

1480 And to the court he went upon a day,

With dredful foot than stalketh Palamon. And at the gate he profred his servyse, For schortly this was his opynyoun, To drugge and drawe, what so men wolde devyse. That in that grove he wolde him hyde al day, And schortly of this matier for to seyn, And in the night then wolde he take his way He fel in office with a chambirleyn, 1420 To Thebes-ward, his frendes for to preye The which that dwellyng was with Emelye. On Theseus to helpe him to werreye. For he was wys, and couthe sone aspye And schortelich, or he wolde lese his lyf, Of every servaunt, which that served here. Or wynnen Emelye unto his wyf. Wel couthe he hewe woode, and water bere, This is theffect of his entente playn. For he was yonge and mighty for the nones, Now wol I torne unto Arcite agayn,

1490 And therto he was strong and bygge of bones That litel wiste how nyh that was his care, To doon that eny wight can him devysc. Til that fortune hath brought him in the snare, A yeer or two he was in this servise,

The busy larke, messager of daye, Page of the chambre of Emelye the bright; Salueth in hire song the morwe gray; And Philostrate he seide that he hight. 1430 And fyry Phebus ryseth up so bright, But half so wel beloved a man as he,

That ål the orient laugheth of the light, Ne was ther never in court of his degrec. And with his stremes dryeth in the greves He was so gentil of his condicioun,

The silver dropes, hongyng on the leeves. That thorughout al the court was his renoun. And Arcite, that is in the court ryal They seyde that it were a charité

With Theseus, his squyer principal, 1500
That Theseus wolde enhaunsen his degree, Is risen, and loketh on the mery day.
And putten him in worschipful servyse, And for to doon his observance to May,
Ther as he might his vertu excersise.

Remembryng of the poynt of his desire,
And thus within a while his name spronge He on his courser, stertyng as the fire,
Bothe of his dedes, and of goode tonge, 1440 Is riden into feeldes him to pleye,
That Theseus hath taken him so neer

Out of the court, were it a myle or tweye.
That of his chambre he made him squyer, And to the grove, of which that I yow tolde,
And gaf him gold to mayntene his degree; By aventure his wey he gan to holde,
And eek men brought him out of his countré To make him a garland of the greves,

Were it of woodewynde or hawthorn leves, 1510 1384. I retain Tyrwhitt's reading of this line, which in the Harl. Ms. runs, In this cruel torment, peyne, and woo. 1493. messager of day. The Harl. Ms. reads of May.

1439 within. The Ms. Harl reads incorrectly withinne, Three lines below, Tyrwhitt reads sight for light, very unwhich is the adverbial form of the preposition.

poetically.

And lowde he song agens the sonne scheene: Ye slen me with youre eyhen, Emelye;
5 May, with all thyn floures and thy greene, Ye ben the cause wherfore that I dye. 1570
Welcome be thou, wel faire freissche May, Of al the remenant of al myn other care
I hope that I som grene gete may."

Ne sette I nought the mountaunce of a.tare, And fro his courser, with a lusty herte, So that I couthe do ought to youre plesaunce." Into the grove ful lustily he sterte,

And with that word he fel doun in a traunce And in a pathe he romed up and doun,

A longe tyme; and aftirward upsterte Ther by aventure this Palamoun

This Palamon, that thoughte thurgh his herte Was in a busche, that no man might him see, He felt a cold swerd sodeynliche glyde; Ful sore afered of his deth was he. 1520 For ire he quook, he nolde no lenger abyde. Nothing ne knew he that it was Arcite. And whan that he hath herd Arcites tale, God wot he wolde have trowed it ful lite. As he were wood, with face deed and pale, 1580 For soth is seyde, goon ful many yeres, He sterte him up out of the bussches thikke, That feld hath eyen, and the woode hath eeres. And seyd: “ Arcyte, false traitour wikke, It is ful fair a man to bere him evene,

Now art thou hent, that lovest my lady so, For al day meteth men atte unset stevene. For whom that I have al this peyne and wo, Ful litel woot Arcite of his felawe,

And art my blood, and to my counseil sworn, That was so neih to herken of his sawe,

As I ful ofte have told the heere byforn, For in the busche he stynteth now ful stille. And hast byjaped here the duke Theseus, Whan that Arcite had romed al his fille, 1530) And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus; And songen al the roundel lustily,

I wol be deed, or elles thou schalt dye. Into a studie he fel sodeynly,

Thou schalt not love my lady Emelye, 1590 As doth thes lovers in here queynte geeres,

But I wil love hire oonly and no mo; Now in the croppe, now doun in the breres, For I am Palamon thy mortal fo. Now up, now doun, as boket in a welle. And though that I no wepen have in this place, Right as the Friday, sothly for to telle, But out of prisoun am y-stert by grace, Now it schyneth, now it reyneth faste,

I drede not that other thou schalt dye, Right so gan gery Venus overcaste

Or thou ne schalt not love Emelye. The hertes of hire folk, right as hir day Chese which thou wilt, for thou schalt not asterte." Is grisful, right so chaungeth hire aray. 1540 This Arcite, with ful despitous herte, Selde is the Fryday al the wyke i-like.

Whan he him knew, and had his tale herde, Whan that. Arcite hadde songe, he gan to sike, As fers as a lyoun pulleth out a swerde, 1600 And sette him doun withouten eny more: And seide thus: “ By God that sitteth above, “ Alas!" quod he," that day that I was bore! Nere it that thou art sike and wood for love, How longe, Juno, thurgh thy cruelté

And eek that thou no wepne hast in this place, Wiltow werreyen Thebes the citee?

Thou schuldest never out of this grove pace, Allas! i-brought is to confusioun

That thou ne schuldest deyen of myn hond. The blood royal of Cadme and Amphioun; For I defye the seurté and the bond Of Cadynus, the which was the furst man Which that thou seyst I have maad to the. That Thebes bulde, or first the toun bygan, 1550 For, verray fool, thenk that love is fre; And of that cité first was crowned kyng, And I wol love hire mawgré al thy might. Of his lynage am I, and his ofspring

But, for thou art a gentil perfight knight, 1610 By verray lyne, and of his stok ryal:

And wenest to dereyne hire by batayle, And now I am so caytyf and so thral,

Have heere my trouthe, to morwe I nyl not fayle, That he that is my mortal enemy,

Withouten wityng of eny other wight, I serve him as his squyer povrely.

That heer I wol be founden as a knight, And yet doth Juno me wel more schame, And bryngen harneys right inough for the; For I dar nought byknowe myn owne name, And ches the best, and lef the worst for me. But ther as I was wont to hote Arcite, 1559 And mete and drynke this night wil I bryng Now hoote I Philostrate, nought worth a myte. Inough for the, and cloth for thy beddyng. Allas! thou felle Mars, allas! Juno,

And if so be that thou my lady wynne, Thus hath youre ire owre lynage fordo, And sle me in this wood that I am inne, 1620 Save oonly me, and wrecchid Palamon, Thou maist wel have thy lady as for me. That Theseus martyreth in prisoun.

This Palamon answereth, “I graunt it the.” And over all this, to slee me utterly,

And thus they ben departed til a-morwe, Love hath his fyry dart so brennyngly

Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe. I-stykid thorugh my trewe careful herte,

O Cupide, out of al charité! That schapen was my deth erst than my scherte. O regne, that wolt no felaw have with the!

1524. feld hath eyen. This was a very popular old pro- verbial phrase, and is explained by two passages from verb. See my Essays on subjects connected with the other poems of Chaucer. In the Legende of good women, Literature, &c. of the Middle Ages, i. p. 168. A Latin 1. 2618 : rhymer has given the following version of it, not uncom Sens first that day, that shapen was my sherte, mon in MSS

Or by the fatal suster had my dome. Campus habet lumen, et habet nemus auris acumen. and in the third book of Troilus and Creseide, 1. 784,

1537. now it schyneth. Tyrwhitt reads now schineth it, and proposes on bad ms. authority now itte shineth ; but he

O fatal sustren, whiche, or any clothe was wrong in supposing that "itte may have been a dis

Me shapen was, my destinee me sponte. syllable formerly, as well as atte."

1604. The Ms. Harl. reads, But out of prisoun art y-stert 1540. grisful. The two Cambridge ass. have gerful and by grace, which probably arose from a mistake of the scribe, geryfui which is perhaps right.

who seeing that line 1603 was a repetition of 1593, thought 1568. than my scherte. This appears to have been a pro- ! that the next line (1594) was to be repeated also.

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