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Book VII.

Servants and

horses are made ready for the pilgrimage to Cythera.

offers gold and

precious stones.

All the frigies vnfaire vnder fight endit.
Now furder how it felle I will faire telle.—

Sho assemblid hir seruandes with a sad wille, 2984 Hade hom radly arayed for pe rode furth; Bryng horses to grounde and hernes anon, To seche to Sitheria for solempne avowe; And Venus to worship, as hir wele awe, 2988 As ho heghly hade het for helping before. This Sitheria, for sothe, from þe same yle Of Menelay pe mighty was but a mene spas, And he souerain hym selfe & pe soile aght. 2992 Tite, with outyn tariyng, atirit were all, Horses in haste & to hond brought;

The lady full louely was lifte vppon on,

A palfray of prise, prudly atyrit,

2996 And glod on full gayly, pe gaynist to the bonke.
There light þai full lyfely, lept into bote,

And were set ouer soundly into the same yle
Right with a Rother, and Rayket to bonke.

At the temple she 3000 In hir atire to be tempull tomly ho yode,
pere onestly sho offert, honourt hir goddes
With giftes of golde & of gode stones;
Tariet in the tempull, tentit to goumes;

Tidings of her arrival reach Paris:

be enters the


(fol. 48 a.)

and is entranced

with her beauty.

3004 Ho segh not pat semly, pen set hir to ground And proffert hir prayers to pe prise goddes. These tythandes full titely told were to Parys, þat honerable Elan was entrid in þe tempull,—

3008 Menelay mody wife þat he most louyt.

He araiet hym full riolly with a route noble, And past thurgh þe prese into pe proud tempull He was enformyt before of þat fre lady, 3012 pat ho to Castor pe kyng accounttid was euon, And to Pollux: pure suster pristly to bothe. Of hir fairehede feltymes hade pe freike herd. ffro he pe semly hade sene he set so his egh,




3016 He proffert no prayer to no prise goddis, Ne hedyt noght hertely but pe hend lady; Ne no lede on to loke saue lelly hir one.

Book VII.


All the feturs of pat fre was fourmyt so well,

3020 And ho of fairnes so fele was ferly to se.

The here of hir hede, huyt as the gold,

Bost out vppon brede bright on to loke:

The shede purghe the shyre here shone as pe lilly,
3024 Streght as a strike, straght þurgh the myddes,
Depertid the proudfall pertly in two,
Atiret in tressis trusset full faire.

Hir forhed full fresshe & fre to be-holde,

3028 Quitter to qweme pen þe white snaw,

Nouper lynes ne lerkes but full lell streght; With browes full brent, brightist of hewe, Semyt as pai set were sotely with honde, 3032 Comyng in Compas, & in course Rounde, ffull metly made & mesured betwene, Bright as the brent gold enbowet þai were. Hir ene wull full onest euyn of a mesure, 3036 Shynyng full shene as pe shire sternys, Or any staring stone pat stithe is of vertue; ffull sutelly set, Serklyt with heris

On the browes so bryght, borduret full clene, 3040 Stondyng full stepe and stable of chere.

Hir nose for the nonest was nobly shapyn,
Stondyng full streght & not of stor lenght,
Ne to short for to shew in a shene mesure;
3044 Noght growen to grete ne to grefe smalle;
With thrilles noght thrat but thriftily made,-
Nawther to wyde ne to wan, but as hom well



Hir chekes full choise, as the chalke white,
As the rose, was the rud þat raiked hom in,—

Her features,

Her golden hair.

Her forehead whiter than snow.

Her eyes shining like stars.

(fol. 48 b.) Her nose.

Her cheeks,


Book VII.



and chin.

Her hue

and bust.

Her neck

and shoulders:


and hands.

(fol. 49 a.)

Her breast,

and body.

Mengit with mesure in hir mylde face
To the lippus full luffly, as by lyn wroght,
Made of a meane vmb pe mowthe swete,
3052 As it were coruyn by crafte, colourd with honde,
Proporcionet pertly with painteres deuyse.

To telle of hir tethe pat tryetly were set,
Alse qwyte & qwem as any qwalle bon;
3056 Wele cumpast in cours & clenly to gedur
By rule in þe rede gomys, as a rose faire,
hat with lefes of pe lylly were lappit by twene.
Hir chyn full choise was the chekys benethe,
3060 With a dympull full derne, daynté to se.
In the hew of pat hend was a hegh ioye

Of faiernes so fele in hir face shewide.

The slote of hir slegh brest sleght for to showe, 3064 As any cristall clere, pat clene was of hewe, Shene for to shew & of shap noble.

With a necke for pe nonest of naturs deuyse, Glissonand as the glemes pat glenttes of pe snaw; 3068 Nawper fulsom, ne fat, but fetis & round, ffull metely made of a meane lenght. With shulders full shaply, shenest of hewe, ffull pleasaund & playn, with a plase lawe 3072 Goyng downe as a goter fro the gorge euyn. Hir armys were auenaund & abill of shap,

Large of a lenght, louely to shewe.

Hir hondes fetis & faire, with fingurs full small, 3076 With nailes at the neper endes as a nepe white. The brede of hir brest, bright on to loke, Was pleasaund & playne pluttide a litull, ffresshe and of fyne hew as pe fome clere : 3080 With two propur pappes, as a peire rounde, ffetis and faire, of fauour full swete.

Hir corse [was] comly & of clene shap,

Euyn metely made of a medill deuyse,

3084 As nobly to pe nethur-most as nature cold shape.


Parys stode in a stody & streght on hir lokit,
ffaste by pat fre fresshe of araye;

Beheld hir full hertely, hade no rewarde 3088 To prayer, ne pepull, ne prayer within. So he hedit þat hynde, & ho hym agayne With a lokyng on lenght in hor loue ene, bat Paris ho pryset in hir pure mynde,

3092 Of feturs & fourme fairer by myche,

han he vppon hir hertely couthe fynde:
And thus ho thought full thrange in hir thro


hat so semely a sight ho se neuer before,

3096 Ne so comly a creature to hir clene wit,

Ne no lede to hir lykyng halfe so luff-able.
Ho tentit not in Tempull to no tall prayers,
Ne no melody of mouthe made at þe tyme,
3100 Ne speche of no spiritualtie, with speciall ne


But ay staryt O pat stoute with hire stepe Ene.
There most was hir mynd in þat mene qwhile;
And Parys perceyuit the print of hir sight,
3104 And lokit on pat louely with a light chere,
Till aither sight was sadly set vppon other.
So be lokyng of lenght with a loue chere,
Ayther kyndly by course knew oper wille.
3108 Then Parys pertly proffert a seigne,

ffor to telle his entent yf ho tome hade;
And ho onswaret þat Abill after agayne,
By seignes on the same wise soburly to come;

3112 And beckonet hym boldly, when bourdys were


And pepull in play, his place to Remeve.

Parys listinet lyuely, let for no shame,

But drogh to pat dere & dressit to sitte,

3116 And softly by him selfe said what him liket. While oper tentid in the temple tomly to playes,


Book VII.

Paris, astonished, can only gaze on Helen,

who is entranced with his beauty.

Still they gaze on each other,

till Paris proffers a sign, which she


(fol. 49 b.)

beckoning him to come to her.

(MS. has hom')

Book VII.

They sit together

and form their plans.

Paris passes to his ships and addresses his companions.

"Our work is to

get possession of Hesione.

(fol. 50 a.)

Now, Telaion

And noght hedit þat hynde hertely in loue,
And pai hade laisure at lust pere likyng to say,
3120 And wrixle pere wit & pere wille shewe:
Ayther vnto oper arghit hom noght.

pai were assentid full sone sittyng to gedur,
And festoned pere forward how pai fare sholde.
3124 pan pertid þai priuely, Paris toke leue,

And loutid pat louely, & ho hur luf kyste.
The knight with his company kayred fro pe

And sho beheld to pat hynd houyng full stille,
3128 Lokyng on lenght with a loue ee,

Ay folowyng on fer till he was forthe past.


Then Parys forthe past proude at his hert,
Wele laburt with loue longit full sore;

3132 Evyn shoke to his shippes pere shene men were


And gedurt all the great greidly anon,

And said hom full soberly, er he sese wolde,
Thes wordys I wis, as ye wete shalle :-
“Now faithfull felowes, & my fre buernes!
Hit is knowen to you kendly be cause of our


Why Pryam has put vs pes partis vnto.

This was truly his entent, & takon vs in charge,
3140 His sister Exiona to sese & we might,

By any Way in this worlde & Wirdis vs demyt:
And if vs happynt not hir to haue at our wille,
The Grekes for to greue on sum gret wise,
3144 With all pe might þat we may our malice to

And O nowise may we wyn þat woman to gete,
Withouten batell full bigge & a breme oste.
Telamon, the tore kyng, tentes hir so wele,

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