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horses are made ready for the pilgrimage to Cythera.
offers gold and
All the frigies vnfaire vnder fight endit.
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.
And were set ouer soundly into the same yle
At the temple she 3000 In hir atire to be tempull tomly ho yode,
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,
THE FAIRNESS OF HELEN.
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.
THE FAIRNES OF ELAN.
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,
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,
Hir chekes full choise, as the chalke white,
Her golden hair.
Her forehead whiter than snow.
Her eyes shining like stars.
(fol. 48 b.) Her nose.
(fol. 49 a.)
Mengit with mesure in hir mylde face
To telle of hir tethe pat tryetly were set,
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.
MEETING OF PARIS AND HELEN.
Parys stode in a stody & streght on hir lokit,
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:
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.
But ay staryt O pat stoute with hire stepe Ene.
ffor to telle his entent yf ho tome hade;
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,
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')
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.)
And noght hedit þat hynde hertely in loue,
pai were assentid full sone sittyng to gedur,
And loutid pat louely, & ho hur luf kyste.
And sho beheld to pat hynd houyng full stille,
Ay folowyng on fer till he was forthe past.
THE RAUYSHYNG OF ELANE.
Then Parys forthe past proude at his hert,
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,
Why Pryam has put vs pes partis vnto.
This was truly his entent, & takon vs in charge,
By any Way in this worlde & Wirdis vs demyt:
And O nowise may we wyn þat woman to gete,