صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


Fortune the back him turned, and there- In tender youth how she was first my foe,

And eft my friend, and how I got recure
He maketh joy and comfort that he quits Of my distress, and all my aventure!
Of their unsekir worldis appetites,

I gan o'erhale, that longer sleep ne rest
And so aworth: he taketh his penance, Ne might I not, so were my wittis wrest.
And of his virtue made it suffisance.


For-wakit and for-wallowit 3 thus musing,
With many a noble reason, as him likit, Weary for lying, I listened suddenly,

Inditing in his fair Latine tongue, And soon I heard the bell to matins ring, So full of fruit, and rethorikly pickit,? And up I rose, no longer would I lie ; Which to declare my scole 3 is over But now, how trow ye ! such a fantasy young;

Fell me to my mind, that aye me thought
Therefore I let him pass, and in my tongue, the bell

Proceed I will again to my sentence4 Said to me, Tell on man, what thee
Of my matter, and leave all incidence.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


The long night beholding, as I said, Thought I tho to myself, what may this
Mine eyne gan to smart for studying ;

My book I shut, and at my head it laid,

This is my own imagination,
And down I lay, bot 5 any tarrying,

This is no lyf 4 that speakis unto me,
This matter new in my mind rolling,

It is a bell, or that impression
This is to seyne, how that each estate, Of my thought causeth this illusion,
As Fortune liketh, thame will translate. That doth me think so nicely in this wise.

And so befell as I shall you devise. 5

For sooth it is, that, on her tolter 7 wheel,
Every wight cleverith in his stage,

Determyt forth therewith in mine intent,
And failing footing oft when her lest rele 9

Sen I thus have imagined of this soun, Some up, some down, is none estate

And in my time more ink and paper spent nor age

To lyte7 effect, I took conclusion Ensured, more the prince than the page,

Some new thing to write ; I set me down, So uncouthly her werdes to she divideth,

And forth withal my pen in hand I took, Namely in youth, that seldom aught

And made a +8 and thus began my book. provideth.


Though youth of nature indigest,
Amongst thir" thoughtis rolling to and fro,

Unriped fruit with windis variable,
Fell me to mind of my fortune and ure; 12 Like to the bird that fed is on the nest,

And cannot fly, of wit weak and un-
1 Worthily.
8 Cleaveth, or clings.

? Rhetorically chosen. 9 Least motion, or in-
3 Learning.

clines to turn.
I Events of life.

6 Since. 4 Theme, subject. 10 Strangely her awards 2 Tortured.

7 Little. 5 Without

or, destinies.

3 Kept awake and tired. 8 The sign of the 11 These. 4 Living creature.

cross 7 Tottering. 12 Chance.

5 Advise.

6 Say.

gye, 4

To fortune both and to infortune hable,

XVIII. Wist thou thy pain to come and thy The rockis clepe: I, the prolixity travail,

Of doubtfulness that doth my wittis pall; For sorrow and dread well might thou The lack of wind is the difficulty, weep and wail.

In inditing of this little treaty small :

The boat I clepe, the matter whole of all; XV.

My wit into the sail that now I wind, Thus stanta thy comfort in unsekerness, 3 To seek conyng, though I but little find. And wantis it, that should thee rule and

XIX. Right as the ship that saileth steerless, At my beginning first I clepe and call

Upon the rock must to harms hye, 5 To you Clio, and to you Polyme,3 For lack of it that should been her supply ; | With Terpsichore goddess and sisters all,

So standis thou here in this worldis rage, In number nine, as bookis specify; And wantis that should guide all thy In this process my wilsum4 wittis gye, viage.

And, with your bright lanternis, well

convoy XVI. I mean this of myself, as in party,

My pen to write my torment and my joy. Though nature gave me suffisance in youth,

The ripeness of reason lacked I
To govern with my will, so lyte I couth,?

When steerless to travel I begouth,8 In vere 5 that full of virtue is and good,

Among the waves of this world to drive ; When nature first beginneth herenprise, 6 And how the case, anon I will discrive. That whilom was by cruel frost and flood,

And showers sharp opprest in many XVII.

wise, With doubtful heart, among the rockis And Cynthius beginneth to arise blake, 9

High in the east, a morrow so and My feeble boat full fast to steer and row,

sweet, Helpless alone the winter night I wake,

Upward his course to drive in Ariete.7 To wait the wind that forthward should me throw.

II. O empty sail ! where is the wind should

Passed but mid-day four greis even 8 blow

Of length and breadth his angel wingis Me to the port where 'ginneth all my


He spread upon the ground down from Help, Calliope," and wind, in Mary"?

the heaven, name!

That for gladness and comfort of the

sight, 1 Liable.

7 Little I could.
2 Stands.
3 Uncertainty.

9 Black rocks.
1 Name.

5 Spring. 4 Guide.

Joy, pleasure.
2 Skill.

6 Operations.
5 Haste.
II The epic Muse.

3 For Polymnia. 7 The sign of Aries. 6 As to parts, abilities.

4 Wilful or wandering. 8 Degrees exactly.


game ? 10

8 Began.


12 Mary's.


And with the tickling of his heat and light,

VI. The tender flowers opened them and Where as in strait ward, and in strong spread,

prison, And, in their nature, thanked him for So fare forth of my life the heavy line, glad.

Without comfort in sorrow, abandoune,

The second sister looked hath to twine,' Not far passed the state of innocence

Near by the space of years twice nine, But near about the number of years

Till Jupiter his mercy lista advert,

send comfort in release of my smert. three, Were it caused through heavenly influence

VII. Of Goddis will, or other casualty,

Where as in ward full oft I would bewail Can I not say, but out of my country,

My deadly life, full of pain and penance, By their avise that had of me the cure

Saying right thus, what have I guilt to By sea to pass, took I my aventure.

faille, 3 IV.

My freedom, in this world, and my Purvait3 of all that was us necessary,

plesance? With wind at will, up early by the Sen every wight has thereof suffisance, morrow,

That I behold, and I a creature Straight unto ship, no longer would we

Put from all this; hard is mine aventure! tarry,

VIII. The way we took, the time I told to

The bird, the beast, the fish eke in the sea, forowe, 4

They live in freedom everichs in his With many farewell, and Saint John to borowe, 5

kind ; Of fellow and friend, and thus with one

And I a man, and lacketh liberty :

What shall I seyne, what reason may I assent, We pulled up sail and forth our wayis


That fortune should do so? Thus in my went.

mind, V.

My folk, I would argue, but all for Upon the wavis welt'ring to and fro,

nought, So infortunate were we that fremytóday, Was none that might, thaton my peynes That maugre plainly whether we would or

rought.7 no, With strong hand by force shortly to say,

IX. Of enemies taken and led away,

Then would I say, Gif God me had deWe weren all, and brought in their vised country,

To live my life in thraldom thus and Fortune it schupe? no other ways to be.

pyne, 8

* About three years past the state of innocence-in his twelfth year. 2 Care.

· Lachesis, the Fate who 5 Each.

5 St John to bless, 3 Provided.

or be our surety. 4 Before.

6 Strange, adverse.
7 Shaped, provided.

twines the thread of life. 6 His attendants. 2 Was pleased to.

7 For my pains 3 What have I been guilty cared. of to forfeit, &c.

8 Pain. 4 Hap, fate.

What was the cause that he more me

XIII. comprised,"

So thick the bewis' and the leaves green Than other folk to live, in such ruyne? Beshaded all the alleys that there were, I suffer alone among the figuris nine,? And myddis every herber might be seen Ane woful wretch that to no wight may The sharp green sweet juniper, speed,

Growing so fair with branches here and And yet of every lyvis3 help has need.

there, That, as it seemed to a life without,

The bewis spread the herber all about. X. The long dayes and the nightis eke,

XIV. I would bewail my fortune in this wise ; And on the small green twistis3 sate For which again4 distress comfort to seek, The little sweet nightingale, and sung

My custom was, on mornis, for to rise, So loud and clear, the ympnis4 consecrate Early as day, O happy exercise !

Of lufis5 use, now soft now loud among, By thee came I to joy out of torment, That all the gardens and the wallis rung But now to purpose of my first intent: Right of their song, and on the copillz


Of their sweet harmony, and lo the text: XI. Bewailing in my chamber thus alone,

XV. Despaired of all joy and remedy,

Worship ye that loveris been this May, For-tirits of my thought and wo-begone,

For of your bliss the kalends are begun, And to the window gan I walk in hy,

And sing with us, Away winter, away! To see the world and folk that went forby,

Come summer, come, the sweet season As for the time, though I of mirthis food

and sun ! Might have no more, to look, it did me

Awake, for shame! that have your good.

heavinis won,9

And amorously lift up your hedisto all, XII

Thank Love that list" you to his mercy Now was there made, fast by the toweris call. wall,

XVI. A garden fair, and in the corners set Ane herberez green, with wandis long and When they this song had sung a little small,

thrawe, Railèd about, and so with treeis set

They stent13 a while, and therewith un

afraid, Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet,

As I beheld, and cast mine eyen alawe, 14 That life8 was none walking there forby,

From bough to bough, they hippit15 and That might within scarce any wight

they played, espy.

1 Branches. 7 Meaning

11 Pleased. 2 Person.

obscure. 12 Turn, while. * Adjudged, doomed. 5 Wearied, or sated.

3 Twigs.

8 First days. 2 The nine numbers. 6 Past.

9 Highest 3 Living person.

1 Arbour.

5 Love's.


adown, 4 Against.

8 Living person.

6 Alternately.
10 Heads.

15 Hopped.


13 Stopped. 14 Below,

4 Hymns.



And freshly in their birdis kind, arrayed To bind, and loose, and maken thrallis Their feathers new, and fret' them in the

free, sun,

Then would I pray his blissful grace And thanked Love, that had their makis? benign, won.

To hable' me unto his service digne,a

And evermore for to be one of tho3 XVII.

Him truely for to serve in weal and wo. This was the plain ditty of their note, And wherewith all unto myself I thought,

XXI. What love is this, that makis birdis doat ? And therewith cast I down mine eye What may this be, how cometh it of again, aught?

Where as I saw walking under the What needeth it to be so dear ybought?

tower, It is nothing, trowe I, but feigned cheer, Fun secretly, new cumyn her to pleyne, 4 And that one lists to counterfeiten cheer. The fairest or the freshest young flower,

That ever I saw, methought, before that XVIII.

hour : Eft would I think, O Lord, what may this For which sudden abate, 5 anon astert, be?

The blood of all my body to my heart. That Love is of so noble might and kind, Loving his folk, and such prosperity Is it of him, as we in bookis find,

And though I stood abaisit tho a lyte, 7 May he our heartes settle and unbind ; No wonder was; for why? my wittis all

Hath he upon our hearts such mastery? Were so o'ercome with pleasance and Or all this is but feigned phantasy?


Only through letting of mine eyen fall, XIX.

That suddenly my heart become her For gif he be of so great excellence,

thrall, That he of every wight hath cure and

For ever of free will, for of menace,8 charge,

There was no token in her sweet face. What have I guilt to him, or done offence?

XXIII. That I am thrall, 4 and birdis gone at And in my head I drew right hastily, large,

And eftsoons. I leaned it out again, Sen him to serve he might set my courage, And saw her walk that very womanly,

And, gif he be not so, then may I seyne With no wight mo, but only women What makes folk to jangills of him in

twain, Then gan I study in myself and seyne,

Ah ! sweet are ye a worldly creature, XX.

Or heavenly thing in likeness of nature ? Can I not else find ; but gif that he Be lord, and, as a god, may live and reign,

1 Enable.

6 Started.

2 Honourable. 7 Abashed a little. I Pruned. 4 Slave, prisoner. 3 For those.

8 Haughtiness. 2 Mates. 5 Rhyme, prate.

4 Playen, amuse. 9 Immediately after. 3 Inclines one. 6 Vain.

5 Impulse.

veyne ? 6

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »