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- The Canterbury Tales - 130/183 -


Then lieth he, that all the world may wit.* *know

For falsing so his promise and behest,* *trust I wonder sore he hath such fantasy; He lacketh wit, I trow, or is a beast, That can no bet* himself with reason guy** *better **guide By mine advice, Love shall be contrary To his avail,* and him eke dishonour, *advantage So that in Court he shall no more sojour.* *sojourn, remain

"Take heed," quoth she, this little Philobone, "Where Envy rocketh in the corner yond,* *yonder And sitteth dark; and ye shall see anon His lean body, fading both face and hand; Himself he fretteth,* as I understand devoureth (Witness of Ovid Metamorphoseos); <42> The lover's foe he is, I will not glose.* *gloss over

"For where a lover thinketh *him promote,* *to promote himself* Envy will grudge, repining at his weal; It swelleth sore about his hearte's root, That in no wise he cannot live in heal;* *health And if the faithful to his lady steal, Envy will noise and ring it round about, And say much worse than done is, out of doubt."

And Privy Thought, rejoicing of himself, -- Stood not far thence in habit marvellous; "Yon is," thought I, "some spirit or some elf, His subtile image is so curious: How is," quoth I, "that he is shaded thus With yonder cloth, I n'ot* of what color?" *know not And near I went and gan *to lear and pore,* *to ascertain and gaze curiously* And frained* him a question full hard. *asked "What is," quoth I, "the thing thou lovest best? Or what is boot* unto thy paines hard? *remedy Me thinks thou livest here in great unrest, Thou wand'rest aye from south to east and west, And east to north; as far as I can see, There is no place in Court may holde thee.

"Whom followest thou? where is thy heart y-set? But *my demand assoil,* I thee require." *answer my question* "Me thought," quoth he, "no creature may let* *hinder Me to be here, and where as I desire; For where as absence hath out the fire, My merry thought it kindleth yet again, That bodily, me thinks, with *my sov'reign* *my lady*

"I stand, and speak, and laugh, and kiss, and halse;* *embrace So that my thought comforteth me full oft: I think, God wot, though all the world be false, I will be true; I think also how soft My lady is in speech, and this on loft Bringeth my heart with joy and great gladness; This privy thought allays my heaviness.

"And what I think, or where, to be, no man In all this Earth can tell, y-wis, but I: And eke there is no swallow swift, nor swan So wight* of wing, nor half so yern** can fly; *nimble **eagerly For I can be, and that right suddenly, In Heav'n, in Hell, in Paradise, and here, And with my lady, when I will desire.

"I am of counsel far and wide, I wot, With lord and lady, and their privity I wot it all; but, be it cold or hot, They shall not speak without licence of me. I mean, in such as seasonable* be, *prudent Tho* first the thing is thought within the heart, *when Ere any word out from the mouth astart."* *escape

And with the word Thought bade farewell and yede:* *went away Eke forth went I to see the Courte's guise, And at the door came in, so God me speed, Two courtiers of age and of assise* *size Like high, and broad, and, as I me advise, The Golden Love and Leaden Love <43> they hight:* *were called The one was sad, the other glad and light.

At this point there is a hiatus in the poem, which abruptly ceases to narrate the tour of Philogenet and Philobone round the Court, and introduces us again to Rosial, who is speaking thus to her lover, apparently in continuation of a confession of love:

"Yes! draw your heart, with all your force and might, To lustiness, and be as ye have said."

She admits that she would have given him no drop of favour, but that she saw him "wax so dead of countenance;" then Pity "out of her shrine arose from death to life," whisperingly entreating that she would do him some pleasance. Philogenet protests his gratitude to Pity, his faithfulness to Rosial; and the lady, thanking him heartily, bids him abide with her till the season of May, when the King of Love and all his company will hold his feast fully royally and well. "And there I bode till that the season fell."

On May Day, when the lark began to rise, To matins went the lusty nightingale, Within a temple shapen hawthorn-wise; He might not sleep in all the nightertale,* *night-time But "Domine" <44> gan he cry and gale,* *call out "My lippes open, Lord of Love, I cry, And let my mouth thy praising now bewry."* *show forth

The eagle sang "Venite," <45> bodies all, And let us joy to love that is our health." And to the desk anon they gan to fall, And who came late he pressed in by stealth Then said the falcon, "Our own heartes' wealth, 'Domine Dominus noster,' <46> I wot, Ye be the God that do* us burn thus hot." *make

"Coeli enarrant," <47> said the popinjay,* *parrot "Your might is told in Heav'n and firmament." And then came in the goldfinch fresh and gay, And said this psalm with heartly glad intent, "Domini est terra;" <48> this Latin intent,* *means The God of Love hath earth in governance: And then the wren began to skip and dance.

"Jube Domine; <49> O Lord of Love, I pray Command me well this lesson for to read; This legend is of all that woulde dey* *die Martyrs for love; God yet their soules speed! And to thee, Venus, sing we, *out of dread,* *without doubt* By influence of all thy virtue great, Beseeching thee to keep us in our heat."

The second lesson robin redbreast sang, "Hail to the God and Goddess of our lay!"* *law, religion And to the lectern amorously he sprang: "Hail now," quoth be, "O fresh season of May, *Our moneth glad that singen on the spray!* *glad month for us that Hail to the flowers, red, and white, and blue, sing upon the bough* Which by their virtue maken our lust new!"

The third lesson the turtle-dove took up, And thereat laugh'd the mavis* in a scorn: *blackbird He said, "O God, as might I dine or sup, This foolish dove will give us all a horn! There be right here a thousand better born, To read this lesson, which as well as he, And eke as hot, can love in all degree."

The turtle-dove said, "Welcome, welcome May, Gladsome and light to lovers that be true! I thank thee, Lord of Love, that doth purvey For me to read this lesson all *of due;* *in due form* For, in good sooth, *of corage* I pursue *with all my heart* To serve my make* till death us must depart:" *mate And then "Tu autem" <50> sang he all apart.

"Te Deum amoris" <51> sang the throstel* cock: *thrush Tubal <52> himself, the first musician, With key of harmony could not unlock So sweet a tune as that the throstel can: "The Lord of Love we praise," quoth he than,* *then And so do all the fowles great and lite;* *little "Honour we May, in false lovers' despite."

"Dominus regnavit," <53> said the peacock there, "The Lord of Love, that mighty prince, y-wis, He is received here and ev'rywhere: Now Jubilate <54> sing:" "What meaneth this?" Said then the linnet; "welcome, Lord of bliss!" Out start the owl with "Benedicite," <55> "What meaneth all this merry fare?"* quoth he. *doing, fuss

"Laudate," <56> sang the lark with voice full shrill; And eke the kite "O admirabile;" <57> This quire* will through mine eares pierce and thrill; *choir But what? welcome this May season," quoth he; "And honour to the Lord of Love must be, That hath this feast so solemn and so high:" "Amen," said all; and so said eke the pie.* *magpie

And forth the cuckoo gan proceed anon, With "Benedictus" <58> thanking God in haste, That in this May would visit them each one, And gladden them all while the feast shall last: And therewithal a-laughter* out he brast;"** *in laughter **burst "I thanke God that I should end the song, And all the service which hath been so long."

Thus sang they all the service of the feast, And that was done right early, to my doom;* *judgment And forth went all the Court, both *most and least,* *great and small To fetch the flowers fresh, and branch and bloom; And namely* hawthorn brought both page and groom, *especially With freshe garlands party* blue and white, <59> *parti-coloured And then rejoiced in their great delight.

Eke each at other threw the flowers bright, The primerose, the violet, and the gold; So then, as I beheld the royal sight, My lady gan me suddenly behold,


The Canterbury Tales - 130/183

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