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O herte hard aboven alle, This deth, which shall to me befalle, For that thou wol nought do my grace, Yet shall be tolde in many a place, That I am dede for love and trouth In thy defaulte and in thy llouth, Thy daunger shall to many mo Ensample be for evermo, Whan they my wofull deth recorde. And with that worde he toke a corde, With which upon the gate tre He henge him self, that was pite. The morwe cam, the night is gone, Men comen out and sigh anone, Where that this yonge lord was dede. There was an hous withoute rede, For no man knewe the cause why, There was wepinge, there was cry. This maiden, whan that she it herde And sigh this thing howe it misferde, Anone she wiste what it ment And all the cause how it went, To all the world she tolde it out And preith to hem, that were about, To take of her the vengeaunce, For she was cause of thilke chaunce, Why that this kinges sone is spilt. She taketh upon her self the gilt And is all redy to the peine, Whiche any man her wold ordeigne.
And but if any other wolde,
She saith, that she her selve fholde
Do wreche with her owne honde,
Through out the worlde in every londe
That every life therof shall speke,
How she her self it Thulde wreke.
She wepeth, she crieth, she swouneth ofte,
She cast her eyen up alofte
And said among full pitously :
O god, thou woft wel it am I,
For whom Iphis is thus beseine,
Ordeigne so, that men may saine
A thousand winter after this,
How suche a maiden did amis,
And as I didde do to me,
For I ne didde no pite
To him, which for my love is lore,
Do no pite to me therfore.
And with this word she fell to grounde
A swoune, and there she lay astounde.
The goddes, which her pleintes herd
And sigh how wofully the ferd,
Her life they toke awey anone
And shopen her into a stone
After the forme of her ymage
Of body both and of visage.
And for the merveile of this thing
Unto this place came the king
And eke the quene and many mo,
And whan they wisten it was so,
As I have tolde it here above,
How that Iphis was dede for love,
Of that he hadde be refused,
They helden alle men excused
And wondren upon the vengeaunce.
And for to kepe remembraunce
This faire ymage maiden liche
With compaignie noble and riche
With torche and great folempnite
To Salamine the cite
They lede and carie forth withall
This dede corps, and faine it shall
Beside thilke ymage have
His sepulture and be begrave.
This corps and this ymage thus
Into the cite to Venus,
Where that goddesse her temple had,
To-gider bothe two they lad.
This ilke ymage as for miracle
Was set upon an high pinacle
That alle men it mighte knowe,
And under that they maden lowe
A tombe riche for the nones
Of marbre and eke of jaspre stones,
Wherin that Iphis was beloken
That evermore it shall be spoken.
And for men shall the sothe wite
They have her epitaphe write
As thing, which shulde abide stable,
The letters graven in a table
Of marbre were and saiden this:
Here lith, which soughe him self, Iphis
For love of Araxarathen,
And in ensample of tho women,
That suffren men to deie so,
Her forme a man may se also,
How it is torned flesshe and bone
Into the figure of a stone.
He was to neissh and she to harde,
Beware forthy here afterwarde,
Ye men and women bothe two,
Ensampleth you of that was tho.
Lo thus, my sone, as I the say
It greveth by diverse way
In desespeire a man to falle,
Which is the laste braunch of alle
Of flouthe, as thou hast herd devise,
Wherof that thou thy self avise.
Good is er that thou be deceived,
Wher that the grace of hope is weived.
My fader, how so that it stonde,
Now have I pleinly understonde
Of southes court the properte,
Wherof touchend in my degre
For ever I thenke to beware.
But over this so as I dare
With all min hert I you beseche,
That ye me wolde enforme and teche,
What there is more of your apprise
In love als well as otherwise,
So that I may me clene shrive.
Confeffor. My sone, while thou art alive
And hast also thy fulle minde,
Among the vices, which I finde,
There is yet one such of the seven,
Which all this world hath set uneven
And causeth many thinges wronge,
Where he the cause hath underfonge,
Wherof hereafter thou shalt here
The forme bothe and the matere.