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THE ARGONAUTS AT COLCHIS.

13*

Book II.

All around might be heard the murmur of streams and the songs of birds.

(fol. 70.)

As Jason and his coinpany are on their way to the palace,

the people wondering ask them whence an I why they have come.

With a swonghe and a swetnes sweppit on þe

grounde,

And all fowles in ffether fell þere vppon,
344 ffor to reckon by right þat to ryuer haunttes.

Small briddes aboue in þe bright leuys
With shrikes full shrille in the shire bowes ;

The noise was full noble of notes to here, 348 Thurgh myrth & melody made vppon lofte.

To this souerayne Citie pat yet was olofte,
Jason [a]ioynid and his iust fferis,

Steppit vp to a streite streght on his gate.
352 As þai past on the payment pe pepull beheld,

Haden wonder of the weghes, & wilfulde desyre
To know of þere comyng and the cause wete,

hat were so rially arait & a rowte gay.
356 “So faire freikes vppon fote was ferly to se,

So zonge and so yepe, zynerug of wille,
ffolke fraynide fast at tho fre þuernes,

Of what cuntre pai come & the cause why. 360 Was no wegh þat A word warpid hom too,

But sewid furthe to the sale of Chethes the kyng :
þai bowet to the brode yate or pai bide wold.

The Kyng of his curtessy Kayres hom vnto, 364 Silet furthe of his Citie seriaunttes hym with,

Mony stalworth in stoure as his astate wold ;
Than he fongid po freikes with a fine chere,

With hailsyng of hed bare, haspyng in armys, 368 And led hom furthe lyuely into a large halle,

Gaid vp by a grese all of gray marbill,
Into a chamber full choise (chefe) on þere way,

bat proudly was painted with pure gold ouer, 372 And þan sylen to sitte vppon silke wedis,

Hadyn wyn for to wale & wordes ynow.

King Æetes welcomes them to his palace.

a

(MS. has“ chese.";

JASON

Then Jason to pe Just King (Joyuely) can say

(MS has "Joyut

ly."

Book II.

Jason tells the purpose of his

(fol. 8 a.) journey,

and etes grants his wish.

Dainties and wine are served in the hall, and

All the cause of his come to Calcos was þan : 376 for the flammond fles þat fele had desyrid,

He hade wille for to wyn & away lede,
By leue of the lord þat þe lond aght.

After custome to kepe as the Kyng set,
380 Chethes full soberly & with sad wordles,

Has grauntid godely þat he go shuld,
Soiorne þere a season, assay when hym lyke.

Be pan burdes were bred in the brade halle,
384 And þo mighty to meite meuit belyue,

With all deintes on dese þut were dere holden ;
Walid
wyne

for to wete wantid pai none,
In grete goblettes of gold yche gome hade.
388 The Kyng was full curtais, calt on a maiden,

Bede his doughter come downe & his dere heire,
To sit by þat semely, and solas to make.

This maiden full mylde, Medea was callidl,
392 Whan she sought into sale salute hom all,

With loutyng full low to hir lefe fadir.
She was eldist & heire etlit to his londes,

Hym chefet thurghe chaunse childer no mo; 396 And she at hond for to haue husband for age,

Byg ynoghe vnto bed with a bold knight.
She was luflly of lere & of lore wise,

And kyndly hade conyng in the clene artis : 400 Dere was no filisofers so fyn found in þut lond,

Might approche to prt precious apoint of her wit.

Merlea, daughter of Aetes, joins the company : her age, skill, &c.

THE CRAFTE OF MEDEA.

Through necromancy she had power over all things: thus Fame declared,

Of nygramansi ynogh to note when she liket,

And all the fetes full faire in a few yeres.
404 Wyndis at hir wille to wakyn in the aire,

Gret showres to shede & shynyng agayne,
Haile from the heuyn in a hond while,

And the light make les as hir lefe thought;
408 Merke at the mydday & the mone chaunge,

(fol. 8 b.)

THE CRAFT OF MEDEA.

15

Book II.

and Ovid sung;

ys

frail woman, and

Goul,

To clere Sune into Clippis & the cloudes dym;
The Elementes ouerturne & the erthe qwake,

filodes with forse flow agayne the hilles ; 412 Bowes for to beire in the bare winttur,

ffor to florisshe faire & pe frute bryng;
Yong men yepely yarke into Elde,

And the course agayne calle into clere youthe. 416 All thies Japes ho enioynit as Gentils beleued,

All thies maistres & mo she made in hir tyme,
Als put is in poisé and prikkit be Ouyd,
bat feynit in his fablis & other fele stories.

hut such power is 420 Hit lelly not like, ne oure belefe askys, impossible in a

bat suche ferlies shuld fall in a frale woman ; belongs only to But only gouernaunse of God þat þe ground

wroght,
And ilke a planet hase put in a plaine course,
424 pat turnys as pere tyme comys, trist ye non other.

As he formed hom first flitton þai neuer ;
Ne the clere Sune neuer clippit out of course yet, The bright sun
But whan Criste on the crosse for our care deghit; out of course but

was never eclipsed

when Christ died 428 Than it lost hade the light as our lord wold,

" for our care." Erthe dymmed by dene, ded men Roose, The gret tempull top terned to ground.

This Medea the maiden, þat I mynt first, 432 þat gay was in garmentes & of good chere,

And als wemen haue wille in þere wilde youthe,
To fret hom with fyn perle, & þaire face paint,

With pelur and pall & mony proude rynges,
436 Euyn set to be sight and to seme faire :
This gentill by Jason ioinet was to sit,

Medea richly As be comaundement in courtte of hir kynd fader. dressed sits

beside Jason, Hit is wonder of the wit of this wise kyng,

as the king 440 Wold assent to þat sytting þat hym sewet after,

And his doughter to dresse in daunger of loue,
To sit with þat semely in solas at þe meite.
Syn wemen are wilfull & þere wit chaunges,

(fol. 9 a.)

commands,

Book II.

444 And so likrus of loue in likyng of yowthe,

his vnwarnes of wit wrixlis hys mynd.
What forthers þi fare and þi false goddes,

And Mars the mighty þat þu mykill trist?
448 Agayne pe wyles of wemen to wer is no bote.

THE SODEN HOTE LOUE OF MEDEA.

When Meder is Bet between her father and Jason she blushes for shame. With fear and longing she glances at each, till,

quite overcome with love, she can neither eat nor drink.

When this mylde in hir maner was at þe meite

set Betwene hir fader and þe freke, þat I first ment,

Hir shire fface all for shame shot into rede,
452 And a likyng of loue light in her hert;

Hir Ene as a trendull turned full rounde,
ffirst on hir fader, for feare þat she hade,

And sethyn on þat semely with a sad wille;
456 Smale likyng of loue lurkit in bir mynde,

And she light on þat lede with a loue egh ;
first on his face fresshe to beholde,

And his lookes full louely lemond as gold,
460 And all ffeturs to ffynd fourmed o right.

The sight of þat semely sanke in bir herte,
And rauysshed hir radly be rest of hir sawle,
Sho hade no deintithe to dele with no deire

meite,
464 And hir talent was taken for tastyng of wyne.

Soche likyng of loue lappit hir with in,
That

euyn full was þat fre and no fode touchet
And þat keppit she close in hir clene hert,
468 That no wegh þat hir waited wist of hir thought;

But hir semblaund so sad was semond to hom.
Mony thoughtes full thro thrange in hir brest,
And þus sho spake in hir sprete if ho speile

myght:
472

“I wold yonder worthy weddit me hade,
Bothe to burde & to bede blessid were I :
So comly, so cleane to clippe vpon nightes,

(fol. 9 b.)

But she keeps it close in her heart, and speaks thus with herself:

“I would yon worthy had wed me! At board and bed I were blessed.

MEDEA IN LOVE WITH JASON.

17

Book II.

So hardy, so hynd in hall for to se,
476 So luffly, so lykyng with lapping in armys ;

Well were that woman might weld hym for euer."
Dissyring full depely in her derne hert,

As maner is of maydons pat maynot for shame, 480 ffor to languysshe in loue till þere lere chaunge :

Shentyng for shame to shew furth pere ernd,
As þai wylne to be woghit þere worship to saue.

Mony burdys bene broght to paire bare dethe, 484 Dat wondyn for wonderfful þaire wille for to

shewe.
Whan þe fest and be fare was faren to the ende,
And burdes borne downe, burnes on fote,
Medea myldly mevet to chaumber

Medea retires to

her own chamber, 488 Be leue of þe lordes and pe ledys all.

The Knightes at the Kyng cachyn þere leue,
Intill a chaumber full choise chosen þere way
Be comaundement of þe Kyng, & pe courtte

voidet.
492 Medea the mylde, þat I ment first,

and in a longing

of love seeks to Wox pale for pyne in hir priuy chamber, compass her In a longyng of loue as the lowe hote,

With a Sykyng vnsounde, þat souet to hir hert; 496 She compast kenly in hir clene wit

ffor to bring it aboute & hir bale voide.
Thus sho drof forth hir dayes in hir depe thoght, (fol, 10 a.)

With weping and wo all the woke ouer, 500 Till it fell hir by fortune, as I fynd here,

On a day, as the Dukes were ouer des set, One day, as the
And comynd with the Kyng of Knighthode in King

communing, Armys,

Æetes bids her Chethes for þat semly sent into chamber,

come and sit by

the knights to 504 Bade his doughter come doune to hir dere fader : solace them.

And sho obeit his bone, & of boure come
In clothes as be-come for a kynges doughter,
And obeit the bolde, and bowet hir fader;

desire.

Dukes and the

are

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