Troy Book: Book 1
JOHN LYDGATE, TROY BOOK, BOOK 1: FOOTNOTES1 If they (Latins) are present, they (the birds) immediately fly off
2 Which was not likely to be extinguished because of its heat
JOHN LYDGATE, TROY BOOK, BOOK 1: NOTES3 Pelleus. Lydgate conflates Pelias, the devious uncle of Jason, with Peleus, King of Phthia, who married the sea nymph Thetis, upon whom he fathered Achilles. Griffin (p. 289) notes that Guido and Benoît conflate Dares's Pelias with Dares's Peleus, who participated in the destruction of Lamedon's Troy.
8 the. Accepting Bergen's addition.
9 Myrmidones. Bergen reads Myrundones; see 1.67 and 3.579.
10 Ovyde. Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C.-A.D. 17). Author of more works popular with medieval literati than any other classical writer. His Amores, Heroides, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, Metamorphoses, and Fasti were frequently drawn upon and alluded to by English writers.
31 roomyng. Bergen reads rooming.
38 Where. Bergen reads Wher.
49 Confortles. Bergen reads Comfortles.
56 for to schyne. MS: so for to schyne.
68-69 lyfe . . . Of Seynt Mathewe. The tradition that Matthew preached in the land of the Myrmidons originates in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew and Matthias (second-third century A.D.). According to the story, Matthew is assigned to preach in the city of Myrmidonia, whose inhabitants are cannibals. He is imprisoned, but a miracle brings the other apostles to rescue him. The story was popularized by Gregory of Tours's Liber de miraculis Beati Andreae Apostoli (c. 593). Several Old English translations exist. In his De situ terrae sanctae, Theodosius (sixth century) writes that Sinope, which was then called "Myrmidona," is the place where Andrew freed Matthew from prison.
74 suppose. MS: schal suppose.
92 Whiche. MS: Wiche.
96 Line misplaced in MS.
98 be. Bergen normalizes to by.
104 wrought. MS: wrout.
105-06 lere/here. MS reverses the rhyme.
126 resygnacioun. MS: resygnacoun. Bergen reads resygnacion.
131 Medee. Medea, daughter of Aeëtes, king of Colchis (Oetes in Benoît, Guido, and Gower; Cethes in Lydgate). Lydgate removes her healing of Eson from the story that he subsequently tells in order to introduce Jason. In Gower, after Medea has saved Jason she retores old Eson to youth at the expense of her own beauty, whereafter the scoundrel Jason abandons her for Creusa.
133 pociouns. MS: porciouns.
134 wyrchyng. Bergen emends to wyrchynges.
135 quentyse. Bergen emends to queintyse.
136 hir enchauntementys. Bergen emends to enchauntementys.
137 as is. MS: as it is.
139 she it. MS: it is.
144 Sentence must be read with Eson or "he" understood as the grammatical subject of was.
160-61 Lydgate employs the humility topos that Chaucer exploits throughout his work.
161 discreye. Bergen emends to discryve.
164 his. MS: the.
197 for. MS: for for.
214 sought. Bergen emends to thoughte.
224 can. Bergen emends to ther can.
225 secré. MS: secrete.
229 unto. Accepting Bergen's addition.
234 he wer. Bergen emends to he ne wer.
237 as. Bergen emends to so as.
724 hir. Bergen reads her.
729 Symeonte. Dares, Benoît, and Guido make the river Simois, a tributary of Scamander (chief river of the Trojan plain), into the harbor of Troy.
731 Lydgate continues in this passage with a series of subordinate clauses, but the main clause logically begins here; if the conjunction And is silently dropped, the rest of the passage follows clearly.
737 or. Bergen emends to nor.
741 on. Bergen emends to upon.
763 deth. Bergen emends to myschief.
768 wer. Bergen reads were.
769 many man and many worthi. Bergen emends to many a man and many a worthi.
791 Is. Accepting Bergen's addition.
793 it is. Bergen emends to it was.
801-04 Lydgate's explanation of the causes (and later the consequences) of Troy's fall draws on Boethius's idea of Fortune. Benson contends that Lydgate has three distinct but often confused views of Fortune - a sense of determinism and pessimism derived from Guido, a rejection of transitory, secular things derived from Boethius, and a belief that Fortune is a means for divine punishment for evildoers and material rewards for the good (1980, pp. 120-24); see Lois Ebin (1985), pp. 43-44. Lydgate refers directly to Boethius's view of Fortune at 4.3008-12.
802 passyng. Bergen emends to passyngly.
811-75 Lydgate uses the medieval commonplace of translatio imperii, the idea that Troy is the authorizing origin of later cities and nations.
855 Lydgate, following Guido (Book 2), has Aeneas founding Naples in Sicily.
860 cast. Bergen emends to caste.
868 went. Bergen emends to wente.
870 ther. Accepting Bergen's addition.
871 him. MS: hem.
875 Ysidre. Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636). His Etymologiae was an enormously popular encyclopedia (preserved in over a thousand manuscripts) on diverse topics, particularly those pertaining to natural phenomena, word origins, and classical lore. It is regularly cited as the authority behind ideas in medieval lapidaries, bestiaries, and discussions of all things natural.
891 wher that he is grave. Bergen emends to wher as he is grave.
922 thei. Bergen emends to he, but ches can take a plural subject and the sense of the passage is that Jason and Hercules are acting together (see earlier 1.723-40).
932 for. Accepting Bergen's addition.
944 Swyche. Bergen reads Swiche.
946 wer seie. Bergen reads were seie.
950-53 See the representation of rumor as sound in The House of Fame, lines 711-24, and as gossip in The House of Fame, lines 1914-76 and 2060-2111, where rounen is used as a verb for private conversation made public.
958 Without. Bergen emends to Withoute.
982 this. Bergen emends to his.
984 for yow to schewe. Bergen emends to with yow for to schewe.
1001 perturbaunce. Bergen reads parturbaunce.
1064 payed. Bergen emends to apayed.
1067 sort. Lydgate's usage of the term, derived from Latin sors, sortis, moves among the meanings of chance, fate, and fortune; see 2.1802, 3.2725, 3.5315, 4.5291, 5.1836, 5.1887, 5.2183, 5.3040, 5.3247.
1069 honestly. MS: honestlyche.
1076-77 The meaning of the sentence is "Everyone of us shall help to carry out what Lamedon has foolishly chosen to begin."
1079 This to seyne. Bergen emends to This is to seyne.
1080 on hymsilfe schal. Bergen emends to schal on hym silfe.
1088 this. Bergen emends to his.
1093 unto hym was. Bergen emends to was unto hym.
1109 gret. Bergen emends to grete.
1110 the Kyng. Bergen emends to thi king; see 1.1156, 1172 for similar readings.
1112 And the. Bergen emends to And.
1113 unto. MS: to.
1156 the. Bergen emends to thi.
1166 to. Bergen emends to unto.
1170 that. Accepting Bergen's addition.
1172 the. Bergen emends to thi.
1178 be ye. MS: ye be.
1183 swyche. Bergen reads swiche.
1187 Is. MS: Iis. for to. Bergen emends to to.
1823 ff. The story of Jason and Medea was popular with the generation of English writers prior to Lydgate, who served as his mentors. See Chaucer's The Legend of Good Women, lines 1580-1679, based on Ovid's Heroides 6 and 12, Ovid's Metamorphoses 7, and Guido, who is Lydgate's source; and, especially, see Gower's retelling of the story in Confessio Amantis 5.3247-4222, which is based on Benoît, lines 703-3926, rather than Guido. Gower's version is more sympathetic to Medea and her plight than Lydgate's is. Gower's Medea is shy, reflective, and modest; she demonstrates constancy in women rather than inconstancy, as in Lydgate.
1826 yeres. Bergen reads yeris.
1834 Considered. Must be taken as parallel with Comaunded (1.1829).
1844 man. Bergen emends to wise man.
1845 ever. MS: every.
1847 yeve. MS: yif.
1850 and. MS: and so.
1870 That. Must be taken syntactically as "so that."
1876-80 These lines ironically evoke Chaucer's description of Jason in The Legend of Good Women, lines 1580-88.
1878 performe. Bergen reads parforme.
1882 wolde God. Syntax requires the subjunctive to take the noun clause beginning "That" (1887) as the complement; see 1.2038-40.
1883 him. MS: hem.
1887 ensample. MS: ensaple.
wommen. MS: wommei.
1901 mewe. See Chaucer's description of Troilus after he falls in love with Criseyde: "he wolde werken pryvely, / First to hiden his desir in muwe" (Troilus and Criseyde 1.380-81); see 2.3600.
1915-18 Bergen indicates a full stop after "sool" (line 1917), but the complete sense of the sentence requires the main clause provided in line 1918.
1925 his. Accepting Bergen's addition. doth. Bergen reads dothe.
1935 worth. MS: worthi.
1964-84 The description of Medea's contemplating the figure that Jason creates in her mind recalls Criseyde's musing on Troilus in Troilus and Criseyde 2.656-67. In both poets, the object of the lover's desire is presented not as he is but as he is seen.
1968 began. Bergen emends to gan.
1974 enprenteth. MS: enprenteh.
1977 sonnelyche. Bergen emends to sonnysshe.
1982 sufficiaunce. Bergen emends to suffisaunce. See The Book of the Duchess, line 1037: "My suffisaunce, my lust, my lyf."
1994 yolde body, herte, and al. The phrase has a distinctly Chaucerian ring to it. See The Book of the Duchess, lines 116 and 768, where Alcyone and then the Black Knight yield themselves to love "With good wille, body, hert, and al."
2018 no. MS: to.
2019 No. MS: Nor.
2029 schewen. MS: schewem.
2033 scheweth. MS: schewey.
2042 schyning. MS: schying.
2049 hevene. See Troilus and Criseyde 3.1251: "Thus in this hevene he gan hym to delite" and Criseyde's earlier response to Troilus's entrance: "It was an heven upon hym for to see" (2.637).
2057 not me. Bergen emends to me not.
2074 thei thinke. MS: the think.
2078 the. Accepting Bergen's addition.
2079 though. MS: thorugh.
2081 pretende. MS: pretente.
2083 And. Taking flaterie as grammatically parallel with florissyng.
2084 dowbilnes. MS: dowmbilnes.
2085 is. MS: it.
2090 blewe is lightly died into grene. Blue is fidelity; green is inconstancy. See Chaucer's "Against Women Unconstant" with its refrain "In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene," where the poet objects to women's "newfangelnesse" (line 1) and "unstedfastnesse" (line 3), objections which resonate in Lydgate's critique in lines 2091-92.
2105 and parfyte. MS: and so parfyte.
2112 hem. MS: here.
2117 my. MS: the.
2141 halle. MS: the halle.
2813 the cok, comoun astrologer. A direct echo of the scene of the aubaude in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde 3.1415 after the lovers' consummation.
2818 weren. MS: ben.
2820 wayten. Bergen emends to to awayte.
2830-32 The image is a set of three hounds on a leash turned into a pair by the old woman's leaving the lovers alone.
2834 hath. Accepting Bergen's addition.
2844 rich. MS: rial. See Benoît, lines 1622-23. In Book 4 of Boccaccio's Filocolo, Florio and Biancifiore are married before a statue standing for all the gods; some scholars believe that this served in turn as a source for the pledges exchanged in Troilus and Criseyde 3.1254-60.
2851 take. MS: to take.
2852 lothe. MS: for lothe.
2864 his. MS: his his (canceled to his).
2868-80 See Jason's perfidy and duplicity in both the Hypsipyle and Medea episodes in The Legend of Good Women, lines 1368-1679, where Hercules is fully involved in the conscious plot to deceive Hypsipyle.
2878 nothing. Bergen glosses MS no thing as "not," but the sense of the passage is that nothing contrived and false was revealed under Jason's false appearance.
2895 schuldest. MS: schulde.
2905 comprehende. Takes bounté as its complement.
2919 See The Legend of Good Women, lines 2559-61: "Be war, ye wemen, of youre subtyl fo, / Syn yit this day men may ensaumple se; / And trusteth, as in love, no man but me."
2923 oute. Bergen reads out.
2924 hir. Bergen reads her.
2936 maner. MS: the maner.
2949-50 Echoes portrait of Jason at start of Chaucer's story of Medea: "For to desyren thourgh his apetit / To don with gentil women his delyt, / This is his lust and his felicite" (The Legend of Good Women, lines 1586-88).
2951 contrerie. Bergen reads contrarie.
2953 See Hypsipyle's "usaunce / To fortheren every wight, and don plesaunce / Of verrey bounte and of curteysye" (The Legend of Good Women, lines 1476-78).
2957 routhe. MS: roughte.
2963 ful. Bergen emends to fulle.
2967-86 Jason's speech here uses the conventions of the aubade but turns them not to the poignancy of the lovers' parting so much as to the mechanics of his gaining the Fleece.
2968 pryme. Prime marks the first division of the day, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. It likewise designates a canonical hour of prayer. Here the sense seems to be "daybreak."
3020-21 The text reads: a riche ring . . . al venym distroye. Bergen's note (4:101) suggests that the stone is agate. That makes sense in that agate, according to the Peterborough Lapidary, which also cites "Isidore" as its source, indicates that agate can sometimes be green and that it "ben good azens venymm & azens bizting of serpentes & he kepeth a man fro euell thinges" (English Medieval Lapidaries, ed. Joan Evans and Mary S. Serjeantson, EETS o.s. 190 [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933; rpt. 1960], pp. 64-65). The Sloane Lapidary, in the same volume, notes the agate's virtue "against stinging edders," but does not identify any kind of agate as being green. See note to 1:3344, below.
3217 Lydgate breaks the syntax of this sentence by inserting He as the subject of schope.
3218 forget. Bergen emends to forged; but see 2.2508, 4.6938 as well as 1.4255 (avenget) and 3.4179 (flickerit).
3222 what. MS: wat.
3229 syghe. MS: to syghe.
3230 rekeles. MS: rekles.
3231 sche bad. MS: sche him bad.
3243 schuld. MS: schul.
3246 the. MS: thi.
3248 fulli. MS: ffulli.
3253 certeyn. Bergen emends to certis.
3255-56 Bergen transposes these lines, following other MSS.
3264 the. Accepting Bergen's addition.
3289 kepe. MS: ke (corrected to kepe).
3305 wastid. MS: waftid. Bergen's emendation.
3317 Sense requires "they were" as grammatical subject.
3320 inhast. Bergen emends to enhaste.
3333 flaume. Bergen reads flawme.
3334 masid. MS: amasid.
3338 ther. MS: the.
3340 techith. MS: teched.
Ysydorus. There is no reference to Isidore or bufo (Latin "toad") in Benoît, lines 1677-1702 and 1929-32; see Guido, Book 3.
3341 And. MS: And in.
3344 surmounteth every grene. It is conceivable that Medea's wonderful, protective stone is emerald, rather than the agate mentioned earlier (not in this selection). According to the Peterborough Lapidary, emerald "ouerpasseth al the grennesse of grenhede" (English Medieval Lapidaries, ed. Joan Evans and Mary S. Serjeantson, EETS o.s. 190 [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933; rpt. 1960], p. 85). Lydgate, on the authority of "Isidyre," cites India as the provenance of Medea's stone (line 1342); the Sloane Lapidary designates Syria for emerald (English Medieval Lapidaries, p. 121). All sources indicate that this greenest of green stones is protection against lechery, which could be a factor in Medea's giving the ring to Jason. MED gives "desire, sexual passion" as a meaning n(2) for grene. Lydgate, perhaps, is punning in lines 3343-44, suggesting 1) that the stone must be kept pure and clean and that it surpasses all others in its greenness; and 2) that it must be kept chastely and cleanly, and with its color can overcome illicit passion ("grene"). The newlywed Jason draws upon its power and Medea's pure affection to overcome the dragon. The stone defends him from the "venym," but in doing so is turned into "pecis smale" (line 3356) so that it cannot protect Jason from the poison of Cupid's dart which, in the end, overwhelms him with desire for Creusa and which, in turn, proves a "dedly sorwe" for Medea (line 3712).
3346 anoye. MS: noye.
3360 of malis. Modifies tame rather than men.
3364 the ston. Bergen emends to this ston.
3369 riche. Bergen reads rich and emends to riche.
3383 resistence. MS: of resistence.
3384 withstonde. MS: witstonde.
3389 many stroke. Bergen emends to many a stroke.
3413 upon. MS: on.
3418 as faste as. Bergen emends to in al the hast.
4034 to. MS: for to.
4044 of. Bergen emends to on; see 3.3216 and 3.3857.
4046 ward. A military unit of fighting men, here rendered as "division."
4058 ye gete of me no more. See Chaucer's The Squire's Tale: "ye gete namoore of me" (V.343).
4061 he riseth. MS: it ariseth.
4065 noble. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4084 sturdy as a wal. See 3.4938 and 4.3946. The reference to Nestor ironically echoes against Chaucer's description of Hector as "the townes wal and Grekes yerde" (Troilus and Criseyde 2.154) and Criseyde's subsequent feeling that Troilus "was to hire a wal / Of stiel, and sheld from every displesaunce" (Troilus and Criseyde 3.479-80).
4094 many wounde. Bergen emends to many a wounde.
4095 Ther. Bergen emends to Wher.
4105 discomfetid. Bergen emends to discomfeted.
4115 That. MS: Than.
4118 in. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4121 manly. MS: manfully.
4122 non. MS: on.
4143 he felt in hert. Bergen emends to in hert he felte.
4155 enbollid. Bergen reads embollid.
4162 whet. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4170 Cedar. The young knight who rescues Lamedon by attacking Nestor appears in both Guido (Book 4) and Benoît (2507 ff.), who agree on the major details of the episode.
4176 He. Added for grammatical sense.
4184 smyte. MS: to smyte.
4185 dispitous. Bergen reads despitous.
4220 the. MS: of his.
4226 have. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4234 that. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4253 a. Bergen emends to in.
4254 in al hast. Bergen emends to in al the hast.
4255 avenget. Bergen emends to avenged.
4259 have with hem. Bergen emends to with hem have.
4262 finaly that day. MS: that day finaly.
4268 he. MS: thei. In the MS reading, the Greeks make woe - that is, cause grief - but the context indicates that it is Lamedon who expresses his grief and mourning.
4269 pitus hert. Lydgate refers obliquely to Chaucer's phrase "pitee renneth soone in gentil herte" (Canterbury Tales I.1761, IV.1986, V.479). See below 4.2148.
4285 assaille. Bergen reads assaile.
4286 his. Bergen indicates an emendation but his is the MS reading.
4289 cam in. MS: in cam.
4292 severed. Bergen reads svered, emended to severed.
4301 til. Bergen emends to to.
4303 hast. Bergen reads haste.
4304 alyghte. MS: he lyghte.
4315 wer. MS: that wer.
4317 no. MS: nat. can no rede is parallel with wer forskatered, and both are governed grammatically by That (who).
4326 to. MS: into.
4335 the. Bergen emends to her.
4340 Her. Bergen emends to Hir.
4366 a. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4367 birthe. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4371 had. Bergen emends to hadde.
4374 vengaunce. MS: vengauce.
4376 thorugh. MS: thoghugh.
4377 liche. Bergen emends to light.
4380 to. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4381 the. Bergen emends to this.
4386 Bergen's punctuation suggests that the syntax breaks at this point, but it is clear that the parenthetical interjection in lines 4385-86 divides the subordinate clause from the main clause, much as in the opening of Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales.
4388 plesyng. Bergen emends to pleysyng.
4398 fro. Accepting Bergen's addition.
4412 sufficiaunce. Bergen reads sufficaunce.
4420-36 Lines addressed to Henry as Lydgate's patron.
4427 now with quakyng hond. MS: with quakyng hond now.
In the regne and lond of Thesalye,
The whiche is now ynamed Salonye,
Ther was a kyng callyd Pelleus,
Wys and discrete and also vertuous.
The whiche, as Guydo lyst to specefie,
Helde the lordschipe and the regallye
Of this yle as governour and kyng,
Of whiche the pepil, by record of writyng,
Myrmidones were called in tho dawes,
Of whom Ovyde feyneth in his sawes,
Methamorphoseos, where as ye may rede
How this peple sothfastly in dede,
So as myn auctor maketh mencioun,
Were brought echon to destructioun
With sodeyn tempest and with fery levene
By the goddys sent down from the hevene;
For they of ire, withoute more offence,
With the swerde and stroke of pestilence
On this yle whylom toke vengaunce,
Lyche as it is putte in remembraunce.
For this peple distroied were serteyn
With thonder dent and with haiel and reyn
Ful unwarly, as Guydo list discryve;
For ther was noon of hem lefte alyve
In al the lond that the violence
Escape myghte of this pestilence,
Excepte the kyng, the whiche went allone
Into a wode for to make his mone
Sool by hymsilfe, al disconsolate,
In a place that stood al discolat,
Wher this kyng, roomyng to and fro,
Compleynynge ay of his fatal woo
And the harmys that he dide endure -
Til at the laste, of caas or aventure,
Besyde an holt he sawe wher stode a tre
Of ful gret heght and large of quantité,
Holwe by the rote, as he kowde knowe,
Where as he sawe by the erthe lowe
Of amptis crepe passyng gret plenté,
With whiche syghte he felle doun on his kne
And made his preyer in his paynym wyse
To the goddes with humble sacrifyse
Upon his wo and gret adversité
Only of mercy for to have pyté,
To turne thise amptis into forme of man.
Thus gan he praye with colour pale and wan
His lond t'enhabite whiche stondeth disolat,
And he alone, awaped and amaat,
Confortles of any creature,
Hym to releve of that he dide endure.
And as Ovide maketh mencioun,
That Jubiter herde his orisoun
And hath swiche rowth on hym at the laste
That he anoon fulfilled his requeste,
And of his myghte, whiche that is devine,
His grace he made from hevene for to schyne
Benyngnely unto the erthe doun,
That a sodeyn transmutacioun
Was made of amptis to forme of men anon,
Whiche on her feet gonne streght to goon
To Thesalye and salue ther the kyng
And lyche his liges token her dwellynge
Withinne a cité called tho Egee,
As in Ovide ye may beholde and see.
The whiche peple for her worthines,
For her strenthe and grete hardynes
Myrmidones so longe have boor the name
(As in the lyfe ye reden may the same
Of Seynt Mathewe, how thei be called soo,
Where the apostel so mochel hadde adoo)
Whiche for wisdam and prudent advertence,
Besy labour and wilful dilligence,
By forseynge and discrecioun,
As I suppose in myn opinioun,
That this fable of amptis was contreved,
Whiche by her wysdam han so myche achevid
Thorugh her knyghthod, whoso list to loke,
Her manly dedis thorughout Troie Boke.
In al meschef so wel thei han hem born
That thei ful wysly provided wern toforn
Or that it fil, bothe in werre and pees;
For of no slouthe thei wer nat rekeles,
But as the ampte t'eschewen ydelnesse
In somer is so ful of besynesse
Or wynter com, to saven hir fro colde
Sche toforne astored hath hir holde.
But in this mater I holde no sermoun,
I wil no longer make digressioun,
Nor in fables no more as now sojourne,
But there I lefte I wyl agayn retourne,
Of Pelleus ferther to procede.
Whiche kyng forsothe, in story as I rede
And as myn auctor lysteth to endyte,
Had a wyf that called was Tedite;
Of whiche two, platly this no les,
The manly man, the hardy Achilles,
So as Guydo lesteth to termyne,
Descended was, sothly as be lyne,
Most renomed of manhood and of myght
Amonges Grekis and the beste knyght
Iholde in sothe thorughoute al her lond,
In worthines preved of his hond.
Whos cruelté Troiens sore abought
So passynge merveilles in armys ther he wrought
Duryng the sege, as ye schal after lere,
Paciently yif ye liste to here.
But Pelleus, that I spak of aforne,
A brother hadde of o moder born
That hyghte Eson, so fer yronne in yeris,
That he of luste hath lost al his desyris,
So fer he was ycropen into age
That al his witte was turned to dotage;
For bothe mynde and memorial
Fordulled wern and dirked so at al
That verrailly his discrecioun
Was hym birafte, in conclusioun.
Wherfor the regne and lond of Thesalye,
Croune and septre with al the regalye,
He hath resygned his brother for to queme,
Estate royal and also diademe:
Bycause he was croked, lame, and blynde
And to governe loste bothe wit and mynde,
So febled was his celle retentif
And fordirked his ymaginatif
That lost were bothe memorie and resoun;
For whiche he made a resygnacioun
To his brother, next heyr by degré
And next allye of his affinité.
But as somme auctours in her bokys seyn,
To youthe he was restored new ageyn
By crafte of Medee, the gret sorceresse,
And renewed to his lustynesse;
For with hyr herbes and hir pociouns,
Sotyl wyrchyng of confecciouns,
By quentyse eke of hir instrumentys,
With hir charmys and hir enchauntementys,
Sche made a drynke, in bokys as is tolde,
In whiche a yerde that was drye and olde
Withoute abod anoon as she it caste
To blosme and budde it began as faste,
Turne grene and fresche for to beholde.
And thorugh this drinke sche hath fro yeris olde
Eson restored unto lusty age
And was of witte and resoun eke as sage
As ever he had his lyve ben aforn.
The whiche Eson of his wyfe yborn
Hadde a son, and Jason was his name,
In wirk of whom Nature nas to blame;
For sche hir crafte platly and konnyng
Spent upon hym hooly in wirkyng,
Whan sche hym made with herte, wil, and thought,
That of hir crafte behynde was ryght nought.
To rekne his schap and also his fayrnes,
His strenthe, his bewté, and his lyflynes,
His gentilles and wyse governaunce,
How large he was, and of dalliaunce
The moste goodly that men koude knowe,
In al his port bothe to hyghe and lowe,
And with al this avise and tretable -
That of konnyng God wot I am nat able
For to discreye his vertues by and by.
For as myn auctor telleth feithefully,
He was beloved so of old and yonge
That thorugh the londe is his honour spronge;
But for that he was but yonge and sklender,
Of age also inly grene and tender,
He was committed to the governaille
Of Pelleus, to whom withoute faille
In everythyng he was as servisable,
As diligent in chambre and at table,
As evere was any childe or man
Unto his lorde, in al that ever he can
Devise in herte of feithful obeyschaunce;
So that in chere nor in countenaunce,
Inwarde in herte nor outwarde in schewyng,
To his uncle ne was he nat grucchyng;
Albe he had holly in his hande
The worthi kyngdam and the riche lande
Of this Jason and the eritage,
Only for he was to yonge of age.
Unto whom Pelleus dide his peyne
Ageynes herte falsely for to feyne,
To schewen other than he mente in herte,
And kepte hym cloos that nothing hym asterte,
Lyche an addre under flouris fayre,
For to his herte his tonge was contrarie:
Benyngne of speche, of menyng a serpente,
For under colour was the tresoun blente
To schewe hym goodly unto his allye;
But inwarde brent of hate and of envie
The hoote fyre, and yit ther was no smeke,
So covertly the malys was yreke,
That no man myght as by sygne espie
Toward Jason in herte he bare envie.
And merveil noon, for hit was causeles,
Save he dradde that he for his encres
And for his manhood likly was t'ateyne
For to succede in his faders reigne,
Whiche Pelleus unjustly ocupieth;
And day be day cast and fantasieth
How his venym may be som pursute
Uppon Jason be fully execute.
Heron he museth every hour and tyme,
As he that dradde to sen an hasty pryme
Folowen a chaunge, as it is wont to done,
Sodeynly after a newe moone;
He caste weyes and compasseth sore,
And under colour alwey more and more
His felle malys he gan to close and hide,
Lyche a snake that is wont to glyde
With his venym under fresche floures;
And as the sonne is hoot afore thise schoures,
So of envie hattere bran the glede.
Upon a tyme he sought to procede
To execute his menynge everydel,
In porte a lambe, in herte a lyoun fel,
Dowble as a tygre slighly to compasse,
Galle in his breste and sugre in his face,
That no man hath to hym suspecioun,
Howe he purveieth the destruccioun
Of his nevewe and that withinne a whyle,
Pretendyng love, albe the fyn was gyle.
His malys was ischette so under keye
That his entent can no man bewreye;
It was conceled and closed in secré,
Under the lok of pryvé enmyté,
And that in soth greved hym the more:
Upon hymsilf the anger frat so sore,
Abydyng ay til unto his entent
He fynde may leyser convenient
Upon his purpos platly to procede
For to parforme it fully up in dede.
Wherof Jason hath ful lytel rought -
His uncle and he wer not in o thought -
Of whos menyng was no convenience,
For malys was coupled with innocence;
And grownde of al, as I can divise,
Was the ethik of false covetise,
Whiche fret so sore falsly for to wynne,
As crop and rote of every sorowe and synne,
And cause hath ben, sythen goo ful yore,
That many a rewme hath abought ful sore
The dredful venym of covetyse, allas!
Lat hem be war that stonden in this caas
To thinke aforne and for to have in mynde
That al falshed draweth to an ende:
For thoughe it bide and last a yer or two,
The ende in soth schal be sorwe and wo
Of alle that ben false and envious.
[Peleus learns of a ram with golden fleece in the kingdom
of Colchos, which is ruled by Cethes (Aetes). The ram is
protected by wild bulls, a serpent, and men who spring from
the serpent's teeth and fight one another when the teeth are
sown in the ground. Anyone trying to win the fleece has to
survive all these tests. Peleus schemes to have Jason undertake
the adventure, and at a council he flatters him and then asks
him to try to win the fleece. Not suspecting Peleus's treachery,
Jason accepts the challenge and gathers his companions,
among them Hercules who performed twelve labors. The
heroes set out for Colchos but after a difficult passage land on
the Trojan coast to rest (lines 250-722).]
Whan Hercules and Jasoun on his hond
Out of hir schip taken han the lond
And with hem eke her knyghtes everychon
That fro the see ben to londe goon,
Forweried after her travaille;
And thei in sothe come to arivaille
At Symeonte, an havene of gret renoun,
That was a lyte bysyde Troye town -
And thei wer glad to ben in sikirnesse
From storm and tempest after werynesse;
For thei ne ment tresoun, harm, nor gyle
But on the stronde to resten hem a while;
To hynder no wyght, of no maner age,
Nor in that ile for to do damage
To man or beste, wherevere that thei goo,
But for to abyde ther a day or two
Hem to refresche and repeire anoon
Whan that the rage of the see wer goon.
And whiles thei on the stronde leye,
Thei nothyng dide but disporte and playe
And bathe and wasche hem in the fresche ryver
And drank watrys that were swote and clere,
That sprange lyche cristal in the colde welle,
And toke right nought but it were to selle.
It was no thing in her entencioun
Unto no wyghte to done offencioun,
For to moleste or greven ony wyght;
But the ordre of Fortunys myght
Hath evere envy that men lyve in ese,
Whos cours enhasteth unwarly to dissese.
For sche was cause, God wotte, causeles,
This gery Fortune, this lady reccheles,
The blynde goddesse of transmutacioun,
To turne her whele by revolucioun
To make Troyens unjustly for to wene
That Grekys werne arived hem to tene,
So that the cause of this suspecioun
Hath many brought unto destruccioun.
Ful many worthi of kynges and of princes
Thorughoute the worlde, rekned in provinces,
Werne by this sclawnder unto deth brought,
For thing, allas, that was never thought.
For it was cause and occasioun
That this cité and this royal town
Distroied was, as it is pleynly fownde,
Whos walles highe wer bete down to grounde.
And many man and many worthi knyghte
Were slawe ther, and many lady bryghte
Was wydowe made by duresse of this werre,
As it is kouthe and reported ferre;
And many mayde in grene and tender age
Belefte wer sool in that grete rage,
Behynd her fadris, allas, it falle schulde!
And for nothing but that Fortune wolde
Schewen her myght and her cruelté,
In vengaunce takyng upon this cité.
Allas, that evere so worthi of estate
Schulde for lytel fallen at debate!
Whan it is gonne, it is not lyght to staunche:
For of griffyng of a lytel braunche
Ful sturdy trees growen up ful ofte;
Who clymbeth hyghe may not falle softe;
And of sparkys that ben of syghte smale
Is fire engendered that devoureth al;
And a quarel, first of lytel hate,
Encauseth flawme of contek and debate
And of envie to sprede abrod ful ferre.
And thus, allas, in rewmys mortal werre
Is first begonne, as men may rede and see,
Of a sparke of lytel enmyté
That was not staunchid first whan it is gonne.
For whan the fyre is so fer yronne
That it enbraseth hertis by hatrede
To make hem brenne, hoot as any glede,
On outher party thorugh his cruel tene,
Ther is no staunche but scharpe swerdys kene,
The whiche, allas, consumeth al and sleth;
And thus the fyne of enmyté is deth.
Though the gynnyng be but casuel,
The fret abydyng is passyng cruel
To voide rewmys of reste, pees, and joye,
As it fil whilom of this worthi Troye.
It doth me wepe of this case sodeyne;
For every wyght oughte to compleyne
That lytel gylte schulde have swyche vengaunce,
Except parcas thorugh Goddys purvyaunce
That this mescheffe schulde after be
Folwyng perchaunse of gret felicité.
For Troye brought unto destruccioun
Was the gynnyng and occasioun,
In myn auctor as it is specified,
That worthi Rome was after edefied
By the ofspryng of worthi Eneas,
Whilom fro Troye whan he exiled was.
The whiche Rome, rede and ye may se,
Of al the worlde was hed and chef cité
For the passyng famous worthinesse.
And eke whan Troye was brought in distresse
And the wallis cast and broke down,
It was in cause that many regioun
Begonne was and many gret cité:
For this Troyan, this manly man Enee,
By sondri sees gan so longe saille,
Til of fortune he com into Ytaille
And wan that lond, as bookes tellen us;
With whom was eke his sone Askanius,
That after Enee next began succede
The lond of Ytaille justly to possede;
And after hym his sone Silvius,
Of whom cam Brute, so passyngly famus;
After whom, yif I schal nat feyne,
Whilom this lond called was Breteyne,
For he of geauntys thorugh his manhood wan
This noble yle and it first began.
From Troye also with this ilke Enee
Cam worthi Francus, a lord of highe degré
Whiche upon Rone, t'encressen his renoun,
Bilt in his tyme a ful royal toun,
The whiche sothly, his honour to avaunce,
After his name he made calle Fraunce;
And thus began, as I understond,
The name first of that worthi lond.
And Anthenor, departyng from Troyens,
Gan first the cité of Venycyens;
And Sycanus withinne a lytel while
Gan enhabite the lond of Cecyle.
And after partyng of this Sycanus,
His worthi brother, called Syculus,
So as I fynde, regned in that yle;
And after hym it called was Cecille.
But Eneas is to Tuscy goon,
It t'enhabite with peple right anoon;
And in Cecille he Naplis first began,
To whiche ful many Neopolitan
Longeth this day, ful riche and of gret myght.
And Diomedes, the noble worthi knyght,
Whan Troye was falle with his toures faire,
As to his regne he cast to repaire,
His leges gan to feynen a querele
Ageynes hym and schop hem to rebelle;
And of malys and conspiracioun,
Thei hym withhilde bothe septer and croun,
Her dueté and her olde lygaunce
And hym denye trouthe and obeissance.
Wherfor anoon, so as bokes telle,
With al his folke he went for to dwelle
Unto Callabre and gan it to possede.
And ther the knyghtes of this Dyomede
That fro Troye han him thider swed
To forme of briddes wern anon transmwed
By Cyrces crafte, doughter of the sonne,
And in the eyr to fleen anoon thei gonne
And called ben, in Ysidre as I rede,
Amonges Grekys briddes of Dyomede.
But as som bokys of hem ber witnesse,
This chaunge was made be Venus the goddesse
Of wrath sche had to this worthi knyghte;
Only for sche sawe hym onys fyghte
With Eneas, hir owne sone dere.
At whiche tyme, as thei faught ifere
And Diomede with a darte igrounde
Gan hame at hym a dedly mortal wounde,
His moder Venus gan anoon hym schroude
Under a skye and a mysty cloude
To saven hym that tyme fro meschaunce.
And for this skyl Venus took vengaunce:
Into briddes to turne his meyné.
And in that forme fro yer to yer thei fle
Unto his towmbe, wher that he is grave.
So upon hym a mynde yit thei have,
That of custom for a remembraunce
A rite thei holde and an observaunce
At his exequies thise briddes everychon
A dayes space and thennys nought ne gon.
And overmore, as it to hem is dwe,
Thei love Grekis, and platly thei eschewe
Latyns alle, for ought that may betyde:
For thei present, anoon thei flen aside; 1
And eche from other, as bokys us assure,
This briddes knowe only of nature
Grekys and Latyns kyndely assonder,
Whan thei hem seen: the whiche is swiche a wonder
Unto my witte that I can nought espie
The causys hid of swiche sorcerye.
But wel I wot, though my wit be blent,
That rote of al was fals enchauntement.
But of our feithe we oughte to defye
Swiche apparencis schewed to the eye,
Whiche of the fende is but illusioun -
Herof no more. And thus whan Troye toun
Eversed was and ibrought to nought,
Ful many cité was ibilt and wrought,
And many lond and many riche toun
Was edified by th'ocasioun
Of this werre, as ye han herde me telle.
Whiche to declare now I may not dwelle
From point to point, lyche as bokis seyn,
For to Jason I wil resorte ageyn
That londed is with worthi Hercules
At Symeonte, the havene that thei ches,
As I have tolde, to reste hem and counforte,
And for not elles but only to disporte.
But to the kyng regnyng in Troye town
That was that tyme called Lamedown,
Of fals envy reported was and tolde
How certeyn Grekis wern of herte bolde
To entre his lond, the whiche thei nat knewe,
Wel arrayed in a vessel newe.
Whiche to arryve hadde no lycence
And hem purpose for to doon offence
Be liklyhed and his lond to greve:
For thei of pryde withouten any leve
Or safcondyte han the stronde ytake;
And swiche maistries on the lond thei make,
As in her power wer alle maner thyng,
Havyng no rewarde pleynly to the kyng;
Of his estat take thei noon hede.
Of swyche straungeris gretly is to drede,
Yiffe men be laches outher necligent
Fully to wit what is her entent,
But furthe prolong and no pereil caste.
Swyche sodeyn thing wolde be wist as faste
And nat differrid til the harme be do;
It wer wisdam that it wer seie to:
Men may to long suffryn and abyde
Of necligence for to lete slyde
For to enqueren of her governaunce.
This was the speche and the dalyaunce
Everyche to other by relacioun
In every strete thorughoute Troye toun.
Somme rounyng and somme spak abrood;
And this speche so longe ther abood
From on to another, sothly, that the soun
Reported was to Kyng Lamedoun,
As ye han herde, the whiche of wilfulnesse,
Without counsail or avisenesse,
To hastily maked hath his sonde
To wit how thei wern hardy for to londe
Besyde his leve, of presumpcioun.
Wherfore he bad in conclusioun
Withoute abood sone to remwe,
Or finally thei schulde nat eschewe
To be compellid, maugre who seith nay.
And so the kyng upon a certeyn day
In haste hath sent his embassatour
Unto Jason, of Grekys governour,
That nouther thought harme nor vylonye
But innocent with his companye
Disported hym endelong the stronde
And ever hath do sethen he cam to londe.
And of the charge that he on hym leyde
And word by word to Jason how he seide,
As in effecte with every circumstaunce,
This was the somme pleinly in substaunce.
"The wise, worthi, moste famus of renoun,
The myghty kyng, the noble Lamedoun
Hath unto yow his message sent,
Of whiche th'effect, as in sentement,
Is this in sothe: that he hath mervaille
Into this londe of your arivaille,
Bryngyng with yow Grekys nat a fewe,
And have no condyte for yow to schewe,
Proteccioun, pleynly, nor lycence,
In prejudise of his magnificence.
Wherfore he hath on me the charge leyde
And wil to yow that it be platly seyde
That ye anoon, withoute more delay,
Withoute noyse, or any more affray
Of Troye lond the bowndis that ye leve;
Or yow and youres he casteth for to greve.
And bet it is with ese to departe
Than of foly your lyves to juparte
In any wyse, for lak of providence
Ageyns his wille to make resistence
Outher of pride or of wilfulnesse,
For to be bolde withoute avisenesse
To interrupte his felicité;
For he desyreth in tranquillité
To holde his regne withoute perturbaunce.
In whos persone is made swyche aliaunce
Atwen his manhood and royal magesté
That thei nyl suffre noon of no degré
T'enpugne his quiete in any maner wyse;
Wherfore I consaille, as ye seme wyse,
To taken hede unto that I seye
And his byddyng noght to disobeie,
Liste ye offende his kyngly excellence.
For ye schal fynde in experience
Withoute feynyng sothe al that I telle:
Take hede therfor; I may no lenger dwelle
From poynt to poynt, syth ye be wis and sage;
For this is hool th'effecte of my massage."
Whan Jason herd of the massanger
Thise wordes alle, he gan chaunge cher
And kepte hym cloos with sobre contenaunce
And was nat hasty for ire nor grevaunce;
For no rancour he caughte of his tale,
Save in his face he gan to wexe pale;
Long abydyng or ought he wolde seyn
And or he spak any worde ageyn
Unto hym that from the kyng was sent,
He gan disclose the somme of his entent
Unto his foolke stondyng ronde aboute;
For unto hem he discurede oute
The message hool, firste whan he abreide,
And worde by worde thus to hem he seyde:
"Sirs," he seyth, "to yow be it knowe -
Taketh hede, I praye, both hygh and lowe -
How Lamedoun, that is Kyng of Troye,
Hath sent to us a wonderful envoye,
Chargynge in haste to hyye oute of his lond;
And axeth how we upon the stronde
For to arive hadden hardinesse
Withoute leve: seth here his gentillesse
And his fredam, the whiche is nat a lite!
How lyche a kyng that he can hym quite
Unto straungerys that entren in his ile
For nought, God wot, but for a litel while
Hem to refresche and departe anoon,
Lyche as ye can recorden everychon
And bere witnes, bothe alle and somme.
Allas, fredam, wher is it now becom?
Where is manhood and gentilnesse also,
Whiche in a kyng togidre bothe two
Schulde of custom han her restyng place?
And wher is honour, that schulde also enbrace
A lordis hert, whiche of knyghtly ryght,
Of manly fredam, with alle his fulle myght,
Schulde straungeris refresche and reconforte,
That aftirward thei myght of hym reporte
Largesse expert, manhood, and gentillesse
That thei han founden in his worthinesse.
For yiffe noblesse wer of his allye
And fredam eke knyt with his regalye
(So as longeth to honour of a kyng),
He schulde have chargid first of alle thing
His worthi liges with al that myghte plese
To have schewed the comfort and the ese
With al hir myght and her besy cure
Unto straungeris that of aventure
Wern in the see dryven and dismaied
And of our comfort nat ben evel payed.
For yif that he in any cas semblable,
Outher by fortune that is variable,
By sort or happe, that may not be withstonde,
Arived had into Grekys londe,
More honestly, lyche to his degré,
He schulde of us have resseived be,
Lyche as it longeth unto genterie.
But syth that he, for ought I can espie,
Hath fredam, honour, and humanité
Atonys made oute of his courte to fle,
Chose dishonour and late worschip goon -
Ther is no more. But we schal everychon
That he hath chosen helpe to fulfille
Whan power schal nat be lyke his wille:
This to seyne - and sothe it schal be founde -
That his dede on hymsilfe schal rebounde,
Sith of malys he hath this werke begonne,
Paraventure or the somer sonne
The sodiak hath thries gon aboute.
For late hym trust and no thing ben in doute,
We schal hym serve with swyche as he hath sought;
For yif I lyve it schal be dere abought,
Albe therof I sette as now no tyde.
And in this lond I nyl no lenger byde
Til I have leiser better to sojorne."
And with that worde he gan anoon to turne
With manly face and a sterne chere
Sodeynly unto the massangere
That fro the kyng unto hym was sent;
And in this wyse he scheweth his entent:
"My frende," quod he, "I have wel understande
The massage hool that thou toke on honde
Of thi kyng to bryngen unto us
Right now unwarly; and syth it standeth thus,
That I have his menyng everydel
From point to point and understonde it wel -
For word by worde I have it plein conseived
And the giftes that we han resseived
On his byhalve in our grete nede -
I wil remembre and take right gode hede
To everything that thou hast us brought.
For truste wel that I foryete it nought
But enprente it surly in my mynde
And with al this, how goodly that we fynde
The gret bounté in al maner thing
Within this lond of Lamedoun the Kyng:
His wolcomyng and his grete cher
And the goodly sond that thou bryngist her,
Nat accordyng unto oure entent;
For God wel wot that we never ment
Harme unto hym nor pleinly no damage
To noon of his of no maner age.
And heruppon the goddis inmortal
That of kynde ben celestial
Unto recorde with al myn hert I take;
And touchyng this my borwys I hem make,
In witnessyng we mente noon offence
Ne toke nat, as by violence,
Within his rewme of womman, child, nor man;
And so thou maist reporte yif thou can -
But for that we, fordriven in the se,
Compellid wern of necessité
For to arive, as thou haste herd me seyn,
Only to reste us her upon the pleyn,
Withoute more, unto a certeyn day
And afterward to holde furthe our way
Upon our jorneye and make no tariyng,
Liche as thou maist recorde to thi kyng -
And seye hym eke he schal the tyme se
That he paraunter schal mow thanked be,
Whan tyme comyth, by us or by som other:
Go furthe thi waye and seie hym thus, my brother."
And than anoon, as Jason was in pes,
The manly knyght, the worthi Hercules,
Whan he had herd this thing fro poynt to point,
He was anoon brought in swyche disjoint
Of hasty rancour and of sodeyn ire,
The whiche his hert almost set afire,
That sodeynly, as he abreyde abak,
Of high disdeyn even thus he spak
With cher askoyn unto the messanger
And seide, "Felaw, be no thing in wer
Of our abidyng but be right wel certeyn
That or Tytan his bemys reise ageyn
We schal depart and to schippe goon;
That of oure men ther schal nat leven oon
Withinne this lond and, God toforn, tomorwe.
And herupon have her my feith to borwe;
For we no lenger schal holden her sojour,
For elleswher we schal make our retour
Tomorwe erly in the dawenyng
Up peyne of repref; and so go seie the kyng.
And or thre yere, yif God us graunte lyf,
Maugre who gruccheth or maketh any strif,
Unto this lond we schal ageyn retourne
And caste anker a while to sojourne.
Take hede therfore and note wel the tyme:
A newe chaunge schal folwen of this pryme,
And thanne his power schal not so large strecche;
Of his saufconduit lytel schal we recche.
I seie the platly, as is oure entent,
We wil not have to his maundement
But lytel reward, and we that day abide;
For takyng leve schal be set asyde
Because he hath now begonne a play
Which we schal quite - be God, yif that I may -
That torne schal into his owne schame;
And spare nought to seie the kyng the same."
This massanger than gan ageyn replye
And seide, "Syr, ye may me not denye
Of honesté my massage to declare;
Avise yow, for I wil not spare
The kynges sonde pleynly for to telle.
And wherso be ye lyst to goon or dwelle,
Ye may yit chese, whoso be lefe or lothe;
Ye have no cause with me to be wroth;
For it sit not unto your worthines,
Yffe ye take hede be weye of gentilnes,
Of manassyng swyche arwes for to schete;
For more honest it were youre thretyng lete
And kepe secrete til ye ben at your large.
For certeinly no parcel of my charge
Is for to strive with yow or debate.
But bet it is bytymes than to late
That ye be war for harme that myghte fale.
And for my parte, I saie unto yow alle,
It were pité that ye distroied were
Or any man hyndre schulde or dere
So worthi persones in any maner wise
Whiche ben so likly to be discret and wise;
And list with wordis as now I do you greve,
I saye no more. I take of yow my leve."
[Jason and his men leave Trojan territory and sail to
Colchos. They march in splendor to Cethes's palace, and the
king receives them courteously. Jason asks for permission to
undertake the tests to gain the fleece. Cethes, wary of being
blamed, explains the dangers but grants permission. A feast is
prepared, to which Cethes summons Medea, his daughter and
heir. Medea has been educated in the liberal arts and
exercises great powers over nature. Cethes seats Medea next
to Jason (lines 1197-1822).]
But O, allas, ther lakked high prudence,
Discret avis of inward providence,
Wisdam also with pereil caste afore
To trust a maide of tendre yeres bore,
Of unhappy fonned wilfulnes.
For this kyng of his gentelnes
Comaunded hath to his confusioun,
To his dishonour and destruccioun
His owne doughter, born to be his eyr,
That was also so wommanly and fair,
So sodeynly doune to descende -
Considered nat the meschef of the ende.
Allas, why durst he in hir youthe affie
To make hir sytten of his cortesie
Wher sche myght by casuel mocioun
Ful lightly cacche or han occasioun
To don amys; allas, whi dide he so?
Why list hym nat taken hede therto
Nor to adverte in his discresioun,
Wysly to caste aforn in his resoun
The unwar chaunge that is in wommonhed,
Whiche every man oughte for to drede?
For who was ever yit so mad or wood
That ought of resoun conne aright his good
To yeve feith or hastily credence
To any womman withoute experience
In whom is nouther trust ne sikernesse?
Thei ben so double and ful of brotilnesse
That it is harde in hem to assure;
For unto hem it longeth of nature
From her birth to haven alliaunce
With doubilnes and with variaunce.
Her hertes ben so freel and unstable,
Namly in youthe so mevynge and mutable
That so as clerkis of hem liste endite
(Albe that I am sori it to write)
Thei seyn that chawng and mutabilité
Appropred ben to femynynyté -
This is affermed of hem that were ful sage.
And speciali while thei be tender of age
In her wexyng and whan that thei be yonge,
Whos herte acordeth ful selde with her tonge.
For if the trouthe inwardly be soughte
With the surpluse and remnaunte of her thoughte,
Men may ther the trewe patron fynde
Of inconstaunce, whos flaskisable kynde
Is to and fro mevyng as a wynde,
That Hercules wer nat strong to bynde
Nouther Sampson, so as I bileve,
Wommannes herte to make it nat remeve.
For as the blase whirleth of a fire,
So to and fro thei fleen in her desire
Til thei acomplische fulli her delite.
For as matere by naturel appetit,
Kyndely desyreth after forme
Til he his course by processe may performe,
So this wommen restreynen hem ne can
To sue her lust ay fro man to man.
Thei wil not cesse til al be assaied;
But wolde God, as mater is apaied
With o forme and holdeth him content,
Whan of his boundys he hath the terme went
And not desyreth ferther to procede
But stille abitte and wil it nat excede,
That by ensample alle wommen wolde
Resten in on, as duelly thei schulde,
And holde hem peyde and stille ther abide.
But unsure fotyng doth hem ofte slide,
For thei be nat content with unité:
Thei pursue ay for pluralité,
So of nature to mevyng thei be thewed,
Although amonge, by signes outward schewed,
Thei pretende a maner stabilnes;
But under that is hid the dowbilnes
So secretly that outward at the eye
Ful harde it is the tresoun to espie.
Under curteyn and veil of honesté
Is closed chaunge and mutabilité,
For her desyr is kepte ful cloos in mewe
And thing thei hadde levest for to sewe
Only outward for to have a laude,
Thei can decline with feynyng and with fraude.
Wherfore, Cethes, thi wit was to bareyne
That thou aforne by prudence naddist seyne
What schulde folwe of this unhappy caas.
Whi wer thou bolde for to suffre, allas,
Thin owne doughter, so fair and fresche of hewe,
With straunge gestis entred but of newe
So folily for to lete hir dele,
Wherthorugh thin honour, thi worschip, and thin hele
Was lost in haste, and sche to meschef brought
In straunge londe with sorwe and myche thought.
Wheras sche to grete sclaunder of the
In gret miserie and adversité
An ende made and thou wer lefte al sool,
Thou myghtest wel compleyne and make dool.
Allas the while, yif in thi prudent syght
Thou haddest grace to remembre aright
And to have cast by discret purvyaunce,
And weied wysely by mesour in balaunce
The fraude of wommon and the freelté,
In whom ful selde is any sikerté,
As in his Latyn Guydo doth expresse.
Wherfor, thou Cethes, of verray reklesnesse
Thou hast attonys in augment of thi woo
Without recure bothe two forgoo:
Firste thi tresour and thi doughter dere,
That was to the so passyngly entere,
And eke thin ayre; for whan that sche was goon,
As seithe myn auctor, other was ther noon
After thi day for to occupie
Thi royal septre nor thi lond to guye.
But what was worth the grete providence,
The wakir kepyng, or besy diligence
Of myghti Mars, that god is of bataile?
What myght it help, diffende, or availe
Ageyn the wit of womman or the sleighte
Whos fraudes arn of so huge a weighte
That as hem list ay the game gothe,
Her purpos halt, whoso be lefe or lothe -
Thei ben so slighe, so prudent, and so wyse!
For as this story plainly doth devise,
This Medea by hir engyne and crafte
From hir fader his tresour hath berafte
Thorugh the werchyng of hir sleighty gyle,
As ye schal her withinne a lityl while.
For as sche sat at mete in that tyde
Next hir fader and Jason by hir syde,
Al sodeinly hir fresche rosen hewe
Ful ofte tyme gan chaunge and renewe
An hondrid sythe in a litel space.
For now the blood from hir goodly face
Unto hir hert unwarly gan avale,
And therewithal sche wexe ded and pale;
And efte anoon, who that can take hed,
Hir hewe chaungeth into a goodly red.
But evere amonge t'ennwen hir colour,
The rose was meynt with the lillie flour;
And though the rose stoundemele gan pase,
Yit the lillie abideth in his place
Til nature made hem efte to mete.
And thus with colde and with sodein hete
Was Medea in hirsilfe assailled
And passyngly vexed and travailed.
For now sche brent, and now sche gan to colde,
And ay the more that sche began beholde
This yong Jason, the more sche gan desyre
To loke on hym, so was sche sette afire
With his bewté and his semlynesse;
And everything sche inly gan enpresse
What that sche sawe, bothe in mynde and thought;
Sche al enprenteth and forgat right nought;
For sche considereth every circumstaunce
Bothe of his port and his governaunce:
His sonnelyche here, crisped liche gold wyre,
His knyghtly loke and his manly chere,
His contenaunce with many noble signe,
His face also, most gracious and benigne,
Most acceptable unto hir plesaunce;
For, as sche thought, it was sufficiaunce
Withouten more unto hir allone
To considre and loke on his persone.
For in that tyme withouten any drede
Of mete or drinke sche toke but litel hede,
For sche of food hath loste hir appetit;
To loke on hym sche hath so gret delite -
He was so prented in hir remembraunce.
Love hath hir caught so newli in a traunce
And ymarked with his firy brond
That sche may nought eskapen fro his hond
Nor eschewe his strok in special;
For sche was yolde body, herte, and al,
Unto Jason platly for to seye,
And evere among on hym sche cast hir eye,
Whan that sche fonde a leyser oportune.
But of wisdam sche wolde nat contune
Hir loke to longe, list men dempte amys;
But as the maner of this wommen is,
Sche kepte hir cloos and wonderly secree,
That by hir chere no man myghte see
What that sche ment by noon occasioun.
Sche put hem out of al suspeccioun,
For openly ther was no tokne sene.
Sche caste rather that men schulde wene
That th'enchesoun of hir abstinence
And why that sche satte so in silence -
How that it was only of wommanhede,
Of honest schame, and of chaste drede,
That togidre in hir herte mette;
The whiche tweyn so this maide lette
Fro mete and drink, as it wolde seme.
Thus of wisdam sche made hem for to deme
And so to cast in hir opinioun;
And thus sche blent hem by discrecioun,
For hir chere koude everything excuse.
Sche gaf no mater folis for to muse;
No cher unbridled that tyme hir asterte;
For ther was oon enclosed in hir herte
And another in her chere declared.
For maidenes han ofte sythes spared
To schewen oute that thei desyre in dede;
As it falleth, whoso can take hede,
That whil thei flouren in virginité
And for youthe have no liberté
To specifie that her herte wolde,
Thei kepe hem cloos, for thei be nat bolde
To schewen out the somme of her sentence.
And thus Medea, kepyng ay silence,
Ne lete no worde by hir lippis passe,
But covertly with sobre chere and face
What sche ment scheweth with hir eye
So secretly that no man koude espie
The hoote fire in hir breste yreke;
And in hirself right thus sche gan to speke,
As sche in sothe that so moche can:
"So wolde God, this yonge lusty man,
Whiche is so faire and semly in my sighte,
Assured were to be myn owne knyghte.
Whiche is to me most plesaunt and entere
With berd ysprong, schyning liche gold were,
So wel ilemed and compact by mesure,
Wel growe on heighte and of gode stature;
And lyketh me in every part so wel
That by assent of Fortune and hir whele
I ewred were to stonden in his grace.
For as me semeth, on his knyghtly face
It is to me an hevene to byholde,
Albe therwith myn hert I fele colde;
And yit in soth it may noon other be.
Allas! whi nadde he upon my wo pité
Or, at the leste, he knewe in his entente
How moche trowth to hym that I mente!
Of whiche, allas, he taketh no maner hede,
Albe for hym I brenne as doth the glede
And to be ded I dar not me discure.
Allas! my pitous and woful aventure
Is to rewful and my mortal peyne
So to be mordred, and dar me not compleyne
To frende nor foo of my chaunce, allas,
To finden help or socour in this caas.
And trewely, yit as I schal devise,
I nothing mene but in honest wise,
Liche as it schal openly be fownde;
For I desire to be knet and bounde
With hym in wedlok and never fro hym twynne;
For my menyng is withowten synne,
Grounded and set upon al clennes,
Withoute fraude or any doubilnes -
So clene and pure is myn entencioun!"
Loo, ay the maner and condicioun
Of this wommen, that so wel can feyne
And schewen on, though thei thinke tweyne;
And covertly, that nothing be seyn,
With humble chere and with face pleyn
Enclose her lustis by swyche sotilté
Under the bowndis of al honesté
Of hir entent, though the trecherie
With al the surplus under be ywrye.
And though that thei feith aforn pretende
And can her fraude with florissyng wel diffende
And flaterie, only the worlde to blende,
With dowbilnes enclosed in the ende,
Yit ay deceyt is benethe ment
Undre the sugre of feyned clene entent,
As it were soth in verray existence;
But, trust me wel, al is but apparence.
Thei can schewe on and another mene,
Whos blewe is lightly died into grene;
For under floures depeint of stabilnes,
The serpent dareth of newfongilnes.
So pleyne thei seme with wordis faire glosed,
But undernethe her covert wil is closed;
For what thing be most unto ther pay
Thei wil denye and rathest ther swere nay.
Thus liketh Guydo of wommen for t'endite.
Allas, whi wolde he so cursedly write
Ageynes hem or with hem debate?
I am right sory in Englische to translate
Reprefe of hem or any evel to seye;
Lever me wer for her love deye.
Wherefore I preye hem to take in pacience;
My purpos is nat hem to done offence;
Thei ben so gode and parfyte everechon,
To rekne alle, I trowe ther be nat on
But that thei ben in wille and herte trewe.
For though amonge thei chese hem lovis newe,
Who considreth, thei be no thing to blame;
For ofte tyme thei se men do the same.
Thei most hem purveie whan men hem refuse;
And yif I koude, I wolde hem excuse.
It sitteth nat a womman lyve alone;
It is no stor but thei have more than oon.
Preying to hem for to do me grace,
For as I hope, to hem is no trespas
Though my makyng be the same in al,
As Guydo wryt in his original -
Where he mysseyth, late hym bere the wyte.
For it sit wel that the vengaunce byte
On hym that so this wommen hath offendid;
And yif I myght, it schulde ben amendid.
He schulde reseyve duely his penaunce;
For yif he died withoute repentaunce,
I am dispeired of his savacioun,
Howe he schulde ever have remissioun,
But he were contrite his synne to redresse;
It may not ben, as clerkys bere wytnesse.
And be my trouthe, and he were alyve -
I mene Guydo - and I schulde hym shryve,
So bitter penaunce pleynly he schulde have
That to the tyme that he were igrave
He schulde remembre and platly not asterte
For to repente hym with al his hole herte
That he so spake to his confusioun.
I wil no lenger make digressioun
Fro my matere, but let Guydo be
And telle forthe the worching of Medee,
That hath licence of hir fader nome
And to hir chaumbre is allone ycome,
Whan oute of halle withdrawen was the pres
And whan Jason and also Hercules,
Liche as the kyng after mete bad,
To her chaumbres conveied wern and lad,
Ful rially arrayed and beseyn;
For every wal was cured in certeyn
With clothe of golde in ful statly wyse.
[At the end of the feast, Medea retires to her chamber
alone. She has fallen in love with Jason but is held back by
modesty and the fear of shame. Fortune eventually resolves
the conflict of love and shame when Cethes sends Medea to
entertain Jason and Hercules. Medea seizes the chance to
speak privately to Jason. She tries to dissuade him from trying
to win the fleece. When he perseveres in his intention, she
offers him her help, which is his only chance to survive and
prevail. Jason in return promises to obey her and be her
knight. She tries again to dissuade him, but Jason asserts that
he would rather perish than suffer the shame of abandoning
his goal. Medea says she will put aside her lineage and
birthright, if Jason will marry her. Jason agrees, and the two
are bound by their pledges to each other. Medea says she will
send a go-between to bring him to her chamber that night. At
midnight she calls for an old woman, experienced in love's
tactics, to bring Jason (lines 2148-2812). ]
Whan that the cok, comoun astrologer,
The mydnyght hour with his vois ful clere
Began to sowne and dide his besy peyne
To bete his brest with his wyngys tweyne
And of the tyme a mynute wil not passe
To warnen hem that weren in the place
Of the tydes and sesoun of the nyght,
Medea to wayten upon hir knyght
Ful redy was the entré for to kepe,
As sche that list ful litel for to slepe;
For that ne was no parcel of hir thought.
And whan Jason was to hir chambre brought
Without espying of eny maner wight,
Than sche anoon conveyeth hym ful right
Into hir closet in al the hast sche may,
Ful wel beseyn with gret and riche araye,
Where by hir side sche made hym take his se.
And first of alle this ilke lees of thre,
By hir that was moste expert in this cas,
Was sodeynly turned to a bras;
For the vekke to stare upon the mone
Is walked out and hath hem lefte allone.
And whan Medea the dores hadde schet,
Down by Jason anoon sche hath hir set.
But first I fynde with al hir besy myght
Aboute the chamber that sche sette up light
Of grete torches and cyrges ful royal
Aboute on pilers and on every wal,
Whiche yaf a light liche the sonne schene.
And to a cheste wrought of cristal clene
First of al sche taketh hir passage,
Out of the wiche sche toke a rich ymage
Of pured gold, ful lusty to beholde,
That by custom of this rytes olde
To myghti Jove, eterne and increat,
Ihalwed was and also consecrat.
The whiche ymage, devoutly as sche oughte,
With humble herte to Jason first sche broughte
And made hym lowly theron take his othe
Unto his laste, outher for lefe or lothe,
That he hir schulde take unto his wife
Fro that day forth duryng al his life
With hert unfeyned and feith inviolat
And cherischen hir liche to hir estat.
For to that tyme, I fynde how that sche
Hadde ever floured in virginité;
And as myn auctor wel reherse can,
Ay kepte hir clene from touche of any man
In thoughte and dede and never dide amys:
For sche of herte so hooly yoven is
Unto Jason and that for evermo.
And he anoon hath put his honde therto
And sworne fully, as ye han herde me say,
Al hir requestes withoute more delay
To kepen hem whil his life may laste.
But, O allas, how sone he overcaste
His heste, his feith, with whiche he was assured,
And hadde his fraude with flaterie ycured
So covertly that hir innocence,
Hir trewe menyng, and hir diligence,
And al that ever sche devise can
Deseyved was by falshed of this man!
And though that trouthe was apparent above,
Doubilnes so slighly was in schove,
As though he hadde sothly ben allied
With trewe menyng, and so nothing espied
Under faire chere was feynyng and fallas.
For what myght sche ha wrought more in this cas
Than for thi sake, septre and regalye,
And alle the lordis eke of hir allye
Forsoke attonys and toke of hem noon hede;
And of pité and verray goodlyhede
Loste hir frendes and hir goode fame,
Only, Jason, to save the fro schame;
And yit, moreovere, forsoke hir heritage,
Sche that was born of so highe parage
And schulde have ben by successioun
Eyre by dissent of that regioun.
But wommanly for sche wolde hir quite,
Of al yfere sche sette nought a myte,
But at oon hour al sche hath forsake,
And unto the sche hath hir hooly take:
Only for truste thou schuldest have be kynde.
Riches and honour sche hath yleft byhynde
And ches in exil with the for to goon
From al hir kyn, this cely maide allone.
Allas, I wepe for thin unkyndenes!
What, hath sche nat fro deth and fro distresse
Preserved the, and yit thou takest noon hede,
That schust adeyed, nadde sche ben thin rede!
Of thi conqueste sche was the verray cause!
That I may nat schortly in a clause
Writen hir bounté nor brefly comprehende
Effectuelly parformed to the ende,
At wordes fewe it may nat be tolde.
Thorugh whom thou hast the riche flees of golde
Manly conquered, whiche withoute doute
Unlikly was the to have brought aboute;
For whan thou were of helpe destitut,
Sche was thi counfort and singuler refut.
And with al this, thou maist it nat deneye,
Al erthly honour how sche gan defye
The to conserve out of hevenes;
And hir fader sche hath of his riches
So emporisched that pité is to here:
Be exaumple of whiche wommen myght lere
How thei schulde truste on any man.
Allas, Medea, that so moche can
Bothe of sterris and of astronomye!
Yet sawe sche nat aforn hir destenye:
Love hadde hir put oute of governaille,
That al hir crafte ne might hir not availle.
Sche was to slowe by calculacioun
To cast aforn the constellacioun
Of hir birthe and hir woful fate;
For rekleshed sche sawe it al to late.
But I suppose hir konnynge was fallible;
For douteles, me semeth nat credible,
That yif sche hadde wist of it tofore,
So pitously sche hadde nat be lore,
As ye schal seen hereafter hastely,
So as the story reherseth by and by,
Howe it befel of Jason and Medee.
But first ye schul the ordre and maner se
How sche wrought after he was swore:
The same nyght, allas, sche hathe forbore
Hir maidenhed, and that was grete pité.
And yet sche ment nat but honesté;
As I suppose, sche wende have ben his wyfe;
But touching that, I holde as now no strife.
And yit o thing I dar afferme and seyne,
That the menyng of this ilke tweyne
Ne was nat on but wonder fer atwene;
For al that sche trewely gan mene,
Of honesté thinkyng noon outerage,
Liche a maide innocent of age,
He to acomplische his fleschely fals delite
And to parforme his foule appetite
Wrought everything to hir entent contrerie.
Allas, that sche was so debonaire
For to trust uppon his curtesye
Or to quite hir of hir genterie,
So hastely to rewe upon his smerte:
But wommen ben of so tender hert
That thei wil gladly of routhe and pité,
Whan that a man is in adversité,
Saven his life rather than he deye.
And so Medea, schortly for to seye,
Castyng no pereil after that schal falle,
His desyris and his lustis alle
Hooly obeyeth with al hir ful myght;
And that so longe almost that the nyght
Hath his cours rounde aboute goon.
At whiche tyme to hir spake Jason
And lowly seide, "My lady, it is tyme
That we arise, for sone it wil be pryme:
Ye may se wel the day begynneth springe,
For we may here how the briddes singe.
Preying to yow in al my beste wyse,
How I schal wirke that ye list devise
And ceryously everything dispose,
I yow beseche, O goodly fresche rose,
Myn emprise to bringen to an ende;
And thanne at erst hennes wil I wende,
Save that I thinke first with you to trete
In what wyse this contré ye schal lete
And into Grece repeire ageyn with me,
Whiche is a londe of gret felicité.
For trusteth wel, and beth no thing in drede,
Into that regne with me I schal you lede
After my conquest, yif so be that I wynne.
Wherfore, I praye you goodly to begynne,
How I schal werke, in al the hast ye may,
For in good feith anoon it wil be day."
[To aid Jason in his quest to gain the fleece, Medea gives
him a silver image, ointment to protect him against fire, an
agate ring that will destroy poison and make him invisible, a
document to read before touching the ram, and a container of
liquid to glue the bulls' jaws shut. Jason leaves and goes to
Cethes shortly after dawn. Fearing blame should Jason die,
Cethes again tries to dissuade him from undertaking the
adventure, but Jason persists in his determination (lines 2987-
Whan Titan had with his fervent hete
Draw up the dewe from the levis wete
Toward mydmorwe, as I can diffyne,
Upon the hour whan the cloke is nyne,
Jason ful manly and ful lyke a knyght,
Armed in steel, of chere ful glad and lyght,
Gan dresse him forth, what hap that ever falle,
And seide adieu unto his feris alle,
He in the bot and thei upon the stronde.
And al allone, whan he cam to londe
And in the water had his vessel lafte,
He first of al remembring on the crafte
Of Medea, with al the circumstaunces
And how he schulde kepe his observaunces
In everything and had it wel in mynde -
And thanne anoon ful manly, as I fynde,
He schope him forthe and wente a knyghtly pas
Toward the bolis, that forget wer of bras.
But at the point whan he his jorné gan
For hym Medea wexe ful pale and wan,
So sore agast that nothing myght hir glade,
A routh it was to se what wo sche made:
For the teris on hir chekis tweyne,
Ful pitously doun distille and reyne,
That al fordewed wern hir wedis blake.
And ay this sorwe sche made for his sake
Liche a womman ferful and in doute,
While he his armys ful manly brought aboute.
To sobbe and syghe sche can not ben in pees,
List he for hast were oughte rekeles
From point to point to don liche as sche bad.
This was the life that sche for hym hath lad.
And for to seen how he schulde hym defende,
Sche gan anoon by greces to ascende
Of a tour into a highe pynacle
Ther as sche myght have noon obstacle
Nor lettyng nouther, for to han a sighte
Of hym that was hir owne chose knyghte.
And ever among with wordis out sche brak
And stoundemel thus to hir silf sche spake:
"O thou Jason, my sovereyn hertis hele,
Yif thou knewe what wo for the I fele,
Sothly, I trowe, it schuld the nat asterte
For to be trewe with al thin hoole herte.
And God, I praye, this journé at the leste
May this tyme tornen for the beste,
And kepe the sauf and sounde in every membre,
And yif the myght fulli to remembre,
As I the taught and in the same forme,
Everything fully to parforme,
Only this day thin honour to avaunce,
Whiche for to sen wer al myn hool plesance.
For certeyn, Jason, yif the fil ought amys,
Farewel myn helthe and al my worldly blis,
And my welfare, my fortune, and my grace,
And farewel thanne my myrthe and my solace,
And al attonys myn hertly sufficiance!"
Lo, this for him was hir governaunce
From the tyme that he the lond hath nome.
And first of al, whan that he was come
Where as the bolis, fel and dispitous,
Out caste her fire and flawme furious
At her mowthes, wonder large and huge,
Ageyn the whiche, for his chefe refuge,
Hym to save that he wer nat brent
He was enoynt with an oignement
On his body, that kepte hym fro damage
Of thilke fire, that was so ful of rage,
And the smokys, dirke and ful horrible,
Whiche to eskape was almost impossible
For any man, of what estat he be,
Withoute comfort and conseil of Medee,
By whos doctrine Jason can so wirke
That he is skapid from the mystis dirke
Of the fire with his blases blake,
That al the eyre so cloudy dide make.
Sche had hym made so discrete and sage
Only by vertu of thilke ymage,
Which that he aboute his nekke bare,
Wherby he was so prudent and so war
That, whan the bolis han most fersly gaped,
He hath her malis avisely eskapid.
For th'enfeccioun of hir troubled eyr
He hath venquesched and was in no dispeire;
For in effecte, ageyn the foule fume,
That wolde a man unto the deth consume,
The ymage was a preservatif,
Hym to defende and to save his life.
And more surly to kepe hym oute of drede,
Ful ofte sythe the writ he dide rede;
For the vertu of that orisoun
Was unto hym ful proteccioun,
That he nat fil into no distresse.
And after that, for more sikernesse,
Hym to preserve in this mortal caas,
He toke the licour that in the viol was
And therwithal, ful like a manly man,
Al attonis, he to the bolys ran
And forgat nat so warly it to caste;
And therwithal her chaules wer made faste
And by the vertu so myghtely englewed
That he therthorugh hath outterly eschewed
Th'enfeccioun of the smoky levene.
And whan the eyr gan cleryn and the hevene
And the mystis wern wastid hym toforn,
With manly hert he raughte by the horn
The sterne bolis; and by violence
He drowe hem forthe, in whom was no diffence,
And yoketh hem, so as the maner was;
And with the plowe he made hem gon a pas
Nowe up, now doun and to ere the lond.
And at his lust so buxum he hem fonde
That the soil, smothe, bare, and pleyn,
Thei maked han redy to bere greyn,
And on rengis it torned upsodoun:
For tho in hem was no rebellioun
But humble and meke and redy at his wille,
Alle his desires pleynly to fulfille.
And Jason thanne liche a champioun
Gan hym inhast towarde the dragoun,
That was a beste gret and monstruous,
Foule and horrible and right venymous,
And was enarmed in skalis large and thikke,
Of whom the brethe more perillous and wikke
Was than the eyr of any pestelence;
For his venym was of swiche violence
That it was ful dedly and mortal.
And at his throte ther issed oute withal
A flawme of fire, as of a fournes mouthe
Or liche the levene that doun by the southe
Out of the est is wont in tempest smyte:
Right so the dragoun, sothly for to write,
Out of his mouthe had a flaume blasid.
Wherof Jason first a litel masid
Was in his hert of that dredful thing,
But whan that he remembrid on his ring,
Al fer and drede was leide asyde and goon;
For in that ring ther was sette a stoon,
Ful riche and noble and right vertuous,
The whiche, as techith gret Ysydorus
And myn auctor also, as I fynde,
Most comounly cometh out of Ynde,
And mot be kepte chast and wonder clene,
And of colour surmounteth every grene.
Whos vertu is al venym to distroye
And to withstonde that it may nat anoye,
Of dragoun, serpent, adder and of snake.
And specialy, yif that it be take
And yholden in the opposyt
Of any werm, even ageyn the syght,
Withoute abood, in sothe, he may not chese:
Of his venym the force he moste lese,
How strong it be or violent of rage.
But to the stoon it doth ful gret damage;
For whan he hath his vertu don, as blyve
On pecis smale it gynnyth al to rive
And in itsilf hool abit no while.
For in the londe that called is Cecyle
Ther is a worme that Bufo bereth the name;
And whan men wil of malis make him tame
And his venym outerly represse,
Thei take a squille, myn auctor bereth witnes,
Whan thei wil wirke, or a large canne,
And in the ende the ston thei sette thanne,
And lyne right ageyn the wormes hed
Thei holden it, til that he be ded.
For that is sothly his vertu of nature,
That no venym may lasten nor endure
In the presence of this riche stoon.
And as I fynde, this Bufo right anoon
Thorugh myght therof bresteth even on tweyne
Only by kynde, whiche no man may restreyne.
For the goddesse that called is Nature,
Whiche nexte hir lord hath al thing in cure,
Hath vertu yove to herbe, gras, and stoon,
Whiche no man knoweth but hirsilf allon;
The causis hid ben closed in hir honde,
That wit of man can not understonde
Openly the myght of hir wirkynge.
And so Jason by vertu of this ring
And thorugh his ston, that myght him most avaunce,
Hath the dragoun brought unto uttraunce.
In whom he fonde no maner resistence
Hym to withstonde, force nor diffence,
Nouther be venym nor noon other strif;
Wherfor he hath berefte hym of hys life
In manly wise and in the felde outraied.
And Jason than, ful glad and wel apaied,
Hath with his swerd spent on him many stroke
And leied on him as men hewe on an oke;
His brighte squamys wern so harde and dure
That wel onethe he ne myght endure
Hym to dismembre and smyten of his hed.
And than anoon in the stede of sed
He gan his teth out of his hed arrace,
And right forthewith in the silfe place
He gan hem sowe, liche as men do corn,
Upon the lond that ered was aforn.
Of whiche sede ther sprang a wonder greyn,
Bright armed knyghtes stondyng on the pleyn,
The whiche anon with scharpe swerdis grounde
Everyche gan other for to hurte and wounde,
Til eche his felawe hath cruelly yslawe:
This of hir fate was the fynal lawe,
That noon of hem schulde be victorie
The deth rejoische of other by memorie;
For alle yfere thus thei made an ende.
And after this Jason gan to wende
Unto the ram with al his dilligence,
In whiche he fonde no power nor diffence,
No maner strife nor rebellioun;
And myghtely the ram he draweth doun
And sette on hond upon every horn
And slowe it first; and than he hath it schorn
Out of his flees of gold so passyng riche,
That in this world ther was no tresour liche.
And after that he made no delay
To take his bote as faste as he may
And roweth forthe into the tother yle,
Wher Hercules, al the mene while
Upon the brinke with many another mo,
Abod Jason til he hadde do.
And everychon I fynde that as blive,
Only for joye whan he dide aryve,
Thei gan to thanke to her goddes alle
So graciously that it hath yfalle
And that the flees he hath so knyghtly wonne,
That schon as clere as the somer sonne,
Whiche that he brought with hym unto londe,
His feris alle abyding on the stronde.
[Jason returns to Cethes, who is inwardly distressed that
Jason has won the fleece but covers his disappointment with a
show of good cheer that Jason takes as genuine. Medea tells
Jason to come secretly to her chamber at night, where they
make love. She agrees to go with him to Greece, and they sail
off together with much of her father's treasure. Later when
Jason has satisfied his desires with her, he abandons her.
Guido says no more about her, but the rest of her story can be
found in Ovid. Meanwhile, Jason and Hercules return to
Thessaly, where King Peleus receives them, feigning
happiness at Jason's success. Peleus restores the kingdom that
Jason should rightfully inherit. Jason is still angry at King
Lamedon's treatment when he landed in Troy, and he secures
money and men from Peleus to pursue his vengeance.
Hercules enlists Castor and Pollux, then King Telamon and
Nestor. The Greeks set forth for Troy and land at Symeonte.
Peleus convenes a council in his tent, where he explains the
aims of the expedition, which are to forestall Greek losses, to
destroy their foes, and to win victory and riches (lines 3431-
And also faste as the kyng was stille,
The noble knyghte, the strong Hercules
In the presence of that worthi pres
Seide his counseil was heghly to commende,
For wis begynnyng is preysed be the ende:
"But to effecte our purpos for to bryng,
My counseil is, in the morwenyng
Toforne or we discured ben be day,
That we us arme in al haste we may
And on this felde that we do oure peyne
For to devyde oure meyné into tweyne;
And of the ton schal Kyng Thelamoun
Be governour for his highe renoun,
And of the tother Kyng Pelleus schal have
The governaunce, wysly hem to save;
And I mysilfe and Jason here my brother
Schal secrely go with alle the tother
Under the cité, or the sonne schynes,
And in the bruschail and the thikke vynes
We schal us hyde and kepe us ther ful koye;
For Lamedoun, that is Kyng of Troye,
Anon as he may heren and espie
Of the Grekis, with his chevalrye
Out of the cité wele issen oute anoon
With yow to fighte and venge him of his foon;
But whan he cometh to our schippis ward,
Nestor the duke schal in the firste ward
Metyn with hym, and Castor schal also,
Whan he seth tyme, knyghtly have ado
To help Nestor, yif that it be nede.
The thridde warde Pelleus schal lede;
And whiles ye thus hym occupie,
Jason and I schal us faste hye
To the cité, unwiste of hem echon;
I doute nat we schal it wynne anoon.
Doth be counseil, and it wil yow availe;
And her my trouthe, ye ne may not fayle
For to conquere the cité yonde afore;
This al and some - ye gete of me no more."
And thei acorde with al her strenthe and myghte
And armen hem in stele that schon ful brighte
Ageyn the sonne amorwe whan he riseth,
And wrought fully as Hercules deviseth.
And Lamedoun, whan he herde telle
Of her comyng, hym lyst no lenger dwelle,
But out he went with many a noble knyghte,
Flourryng in youthe and desirous to fyghte,
And alle tho that myght armes bere,
Or koude schete or durste handle a spere.
And whan thei were assemblid in the felde,
Everyche his armes depeynt uppon his scheld,
Brouded or bete upon his cote armure,
Than Lamedoun with al his besy cure
Set hem in ordre and his wardes maketh,
And in the felde furthe his weye he taketh
Towardis the Grekis, as eny lyne righte,
Fully purposyng to abide and fighte.
He was nat war of hem that were behynde;
He nat adverteth nor casteth in his mynde
The grete sleighte nor the trechery
That hym was schape: he koude it nat espie;
But furthe he went with his wardis set.
And the Grekis anoon with hym han met
With herte bolde, astonyed nat at al.
Duke Nestor firste, sturdy as a wal,
In whos manhod was never founde lake,
Ful knyghtly than uppon horse bake,
To hert his men and his knyghtes eke,
Gan presen in with many worthi Greke,
With Lamedoun sturdely to mete.
At whiche tyme thei felte ful unswete,
And in the frountel ful many manly man
With scharpe speris first togidre ran;
And with swerdis scharpe and kene grounde
Was thilke day yoven many wounde;
Ther as thei mette upon every syde,
Thorugh plate and mayle her woundis bledde wyde.
And basenettis thei riven to the crowne;
The noise of strokis in the eyr gan sowne;
And of the blood that was schad of newe
The grene soile chaunged hath his hewe:
For it was died playnly into red,
Upon the whiche ful many man lay ded
And many worthi loste ther his lif.
And certeynly in this mortal strif,
The Grekis had discomfetid ben echon,
Nadde Castor socored hem anoon;
Thei of Troye so manly han hem bore
That many knyght of Grekis were ilore:
But whan Castor entreth in batail
With his knyghtes, so sore he dide assayl
The worthi Troyans that with spere and scheld
Grekis ageyn recured han the felde,
That many oon lyth slayen on the grene,
Girt thorugh the body with scharp speris kene,
That thai of Troye in this mortal stour
Were drive abak, til ther cam socour
To hem in hast of worthi Lamedoun,
Whiche entred in liche a wood lyoun
And made weye upon every syde.
And where as he made his swerde to glide,
Ther was but deth, so manly he hym bare
That wel unnethe was ther non that dar
Abide his stroke; for ridyng up and doun,
He made weye aboute hym enviroun.
In the rengis he hath his foon oute sought;
That day in armys merveiles he hath wrought,
That by his manhod and his worthines
He Grekis hath brought in swiche distres
That thei his swerde fledden as the deth,
Merciles so many of hem he sleth.
Of whiche slaughter the Grekis wer confus,
Til Pelleus cam to her rescus,
Iros and wood, as he wer falle in rage.
He thought he wolde the grete pompe aswage
Of hem of Troye, and so he dide anoon;
For he unhorseth of hem many oon
And felly slowe al that stood hym aforne,
And many harnes he hath that day totorne
And made scheldes for to rive asoundre,
That to beholde it was a verray wonder,
Til Lamedoun his peple sawe goo bake,
For Pelleus brought hem so to wrake.
Wherof he felt in hert ful gret peyne,
Besechyng hem to repeyre ageyne
And kythe her myght and lyche as men endure;
And so the felde he made hem to recure,
Til duke Nestor knewe that Lamedoun
Amyd the felde was Kyng of Troye town.
And right anoon withoute more abood
Ageynes hym a ful gret pas he rood;
And whan the kyng dide hym first espie,
Of highe dispit, of rancour and envie,
In knyghtly wyse gan to torne ageyn,
No thing agast but of highe disdeyn,
With irous hert enbollid al with pride,
His hors fersly gan takyn in the syde,
Til ther ran out the verray rede blood;
And to Nestor, liche as he were wood,
He rood anoon, and his spere brake;
But he ful knyghtly kepte his horse bak
And ful deliverly, hym ageyn to quyte
With a spere ful scharpe whet to byte,
Thorugh schelde and breste gaf hym swiche a wounde
That from his hors he felde him doun to grounde.
Of whiche fal the kyng no thing aferde
But ros hym up and pulled out a swerde,
So anger fret hym at his herte rote
That he unhorsed feghte muste on fote;
Wherof he was in parti ful confus,
Til oon Cedar cam to his reskus,
That was made knyghte the silfe same yere,
Yong, fresche, and lusty, and of noble chere,
Sitting that tyme on a noble stede.
And whan that he gan to taken hede
And sawe the kyng on fote at meschef fighte,
He gan to prike in al the hast he myghte
Toward Nestor and with a spere hym hitte,
From his sadel that he made hym flitte
Down to the grounde afore Kyng Lamedoun.
But he anon liche a champioun
Recured up and hymsilfe diffendeth;
And many strok eche on other spendeth
With scharpe swerdis, kene for to bite;
Everyche at other gan to foyne and smyte,
Til Lamedoun with a dispitous chere
From his face raced his visere
And by force al at onys smet
A riche cercle from his basenet,
Of large perle goyng enviroun -
With creste and al, he fersly bette adoun:
That whiles Nestor thus aforn him stood,
His face was al depeynt with blood,
That certeynly, the sothe to conclude,
Had nat Grekis with gret multitude
Reskewed hym, he hadde of Lamedoun
Be slaye as faste; for he was bore doun
Unto the erthe among the horse feet.
But Castor thoghte that he nolde leet
To be his helpe, as he behelde afeer;
And irously he toke a myghty speer,
And to Cedar, that I spak of late,
He gan to ride and priken in gret hate:
But or he cam to hym, douteles,
A Troyan knyght, callid Segnerides,
Cosyn to Cedar, whan he hath this seen,
On a courser rood anoon between;
And with a spere he smete Castor so
That with the stroke he brake evene atwo.
To whom Castor withoute more areste
Hath with a spere amyddes of the breste
Segnerides yove a mortal wounde,
That likly was never for to sounde.
Wherof Cedar caughte swiche envie
That he anoon, of malencolye
And of dispit boilyng in his herte,
Segnerides whan he sawe so smerte,
Maugre who gruccheth, amyddes of the feld
Of verray myght from Castor toke his scheld
And thorugh viser, of rancour and of rage,
He wounded hym amyddes the visage;
And his hors from hym also he caughte,
And to his squier manfully it raughte:
That certeynly he stood in swiche disjoynt,
This worthi Castor, that he was in poynt
To have ben take of hem of Troye tho;
For he on fote with hem moste have go,
Nadde Pollux with many manly knyght,
Mo than sevene hundrid in stele armyd bright,
The rather com Castor to reskewe;
Whiche after hem so sore gan to sewe
That maugre hem, Castor whan he fond,
Of force he toke hym fre out of her hond
And to his hors restorid hym ageyn.
And after that, this Pollux in certeyn,
Of verray angre and of fervent ire,
Agein Troyens with rancour set afire,
That al attonis he uppon hem set;
And in his mood, by fortune as he met
A Troyan knyght, called Eliatus,
In armys yong, fresche, and desirous,
Wonder semly and but tender of age,
The Kynges sone also of Cartage
And nevewe eke unto Lamedoun,
Whom Pollux hath lyche a ferse lyoun
Withoute routhe, pité, or mercy,
In the rengis slawen cruelly -
That Lamedoun, whan he gan take hede,
Of inward dool felte his herte blede,
Whan he hym sawe evene uppon the deth
Ful pitously yelden up the brethe
Upon the playn, as he lay hym beforn.
For whiche anoon he made sowne an horn,
At whiche ther cam a ful riche array,
Sevene thowsand knyghtes, in al hast thei may
Upon his deth avenget for to be.
Whiche mercyles, of grete cruelté,
The Grekis han here and ther igrounded:
Here lith on ded, ther another wounded,
So that thei myght have with hem no tak.
So mortally thei made hem gon abak,
That al gan turne to her confusioun;
And finaly that day with Lamedoun
The tryumphe had and the felde ygoon,
Save that, allas, oute of the toun anoon
Unto the kyng ther cam a messager
That hath hym tolde with a ful pitous chere
How the Grekis han the cité take.
Than for to se the wo he dide make
It wolde have made a pitus hert as blyve
Of verray dool asondre for to rive,
So sore he gan within hymsilfe to morne.
He wiste nat what party he myght turne;
But in a were he abydynge longe
Aforn hym sawe the myghty Grekis stronge
And in the cyté another host behynde:
Almost for wo he went out of his mynde;
And sodenly, bacward as he behilde
Toward the cité, he sawe com in the felde
First Hercules and with hym Jason,
That by her sleyght wonen han the toun.
And in al hast this cruel Hercules,
The myghty geaunt of force pereles,
Liche a lyoun wood and dispitous
Or a tigre in rage furious,
Gan of newe hem of Troye assaille
And with his swerde perce plate and mail,
Whiche of labour wer ful mate and feynt
And of long fighte with werynes atteynt.
And he cam in, lusty, fresche, and grene,
That thei his force myghte nat sustene;
For as he rod among hem here and yonder,
In cruel wyse he severed hem asonder
And put hem holy in this highe meschaunce
Oute of rewle and of governaunce;
So that the kyng, oppressed al with dool,
Of his wardis destitute and sool,
At meschef lefte and al infortunat,
And of comfort fully disconsolat -
This Hercules with a dispitous look
With scharpe spors his stede felly toke
And cruelly rod til Lamedoun,
And to the erthe fersly bare hym doun,
And upon hym, in al the hast he myghte,
Downe of his hors sodeinly alyghte,
And myghtely rent of his basenet,
And with a swerde scharpe grounde and whet
Smot of his hede - ther was noon other grace -
And caste it furthe in the silve place
Among the hors by cruel violence,
Withoute pité or any reverence;
And in a rage raghte his hors ageyn
And lyche a lyoun rengyng on the playn
Bar downe and slowe what cam in his weye.
And many Troyan that day made he deye,
That liche to schepe wer forskatered wyde,
Al destitute of governour or guyde,
Ne can no rede, schortly to conclude;
For the Grekis with double multitude
Gan hem enchace to the deth ful blyve,
That wel unnethe ther left noon alyve.
The feld thei han and ben that day victours;
And with tryumphe, liche as conquerours,
To the cité thei take her weye after
And rende doun bothe sparre and rafter;
And al the tresour and riches of the toun
Thei toke anoon to her pocessioun,
Who ever grucche or be lef or lothe;
What thei founde, pleynly with hem gothe.
In the temples thei dide gret offence,
To the goddis doyng no reverence;
For al thei spoyle, withoute drede or fere,
And unto schip everything thei bere;
And merciles on croked, olde, and lame,
Her swerde thei made cruelly atame;
And children soukyng at the moder brest
Thei mordre and sle withoute more arest;
And yong maydenes, wepyng in distresse,
Ful gentil born and of gret fayrnesse,
With hem thei ladde and may hem nat excuse
Her fresche bewté falsly to mysuse.
Thei waste and brenne and consumen al,
And withoute thei brake adoun the wal.
And Exione, the kynges doughter dere,
That was to hym passyngly entere
By his lyve - I mene Lamedoun -
Meke and benyng of condicioun,
Hercules hath anoon hir take,
That for drede pitously gan quake,
And hir delivered unto Thelamoun,
For he entrede first into the toun.
And he his gifte reseyved hath at gre
Because sche was surmountyng of bewté
And tretid hir after as he wolde,
Nat lyche as he a kynges doughter schulde.
For syth he gat hir that day be victorie
For his worschip and his owne glorie,
Havyng rewarde to hir highe degré,
He schulde rather of kyngly honesté
And of knyghthood have weddid hir therfore,
Syth that sche was of blood so gentil bore,
Than of fals lust, ageyn al godlyhede
Used hir bewté and hir womanhede
Dishonestly, and in synful wyse -
Of royal blood nat liche the highe emprise,
Nor the doctrine of naturis right,
Nor liche the norture of a gentil knyght:
Considered first hir birthe and hir kynrede,
Hir grene youthe, and hir maydenhed,
So gode, so fayre, so womanly therto.
A kynges doughter of birth sche was also;
To have wedded hir it had be no schame.
Now, Thelamoun, in soth thou wer to blame;
For thorugh the errour of thi governaunce,
Ther kyndled was of ful hyghe vengaunce
So hoot a sparke after of envye
That thorugh the worlde the fyr gan multiplie,
Whiche was nat liche to quenchyn of his hete. 2
For hatred olde to brenne can nat lete
With newe flawme, whoso taketh hede;
Yif it nat smeke, it is the more to drede,
As in the story herafter schal be knowe.
And whan this toun was brent and broughte lowe,
Bothe tour and wal with the soil made pleyn,
And nothing stood, allas, that may be seyn,
(So outterly the Grekis hem oppresse,
Makyng al waste liche a wyldernesse),
For good and tresour and riches infinyt,
With many jowel ful plesyng of delyt
To her schippis out of the toun thei lede,
And in schort tyme homward thei hem spede
With tresour stuffid and haboundance of good.
And whan thei seye that the wedir stood,
The wynde also at her lust thei hadde,
Thei gan to saille, and with hem hom thei ladde
Exyona and many a mayde mo,
That out of Troye into Grece goo.
And seyling forthe, within a lytel space
Thei ben eskapid fro the se by grace
And unto lond aryved merily.
At whos commyng the Grekis outerly
So joyful ben of her goode spede;
And specialy, in Guydo as I rede,
Her schippes wern with golde and tresour lade;
Wherof in herte thei wexe wonder glade.
And for thei hadde out so wel hem born
To conquere Troye and so fewe lorne
Of her meiné, thei thanke her goddes alle
And of the grace that to hem is falle.
For with the tresour that thei han hom brought
Ful many pore was made up of nought;
Thorughout the lond there was swiche aboundance,
So moche good, and so gret sufficiaunce
That no wight had amonges hem no nede.
And many day this blisful lyfe thei lede
From yer to yer by revolucioun;
And for her manhood and her highe renoun
Her honour ran rounde the worlde aboute,
That hem t'offende every londe hath doute,
For her knyghthod and for thei wer so wyse.
And til the story liste ageyn devyse
In this mater ferther to procede,
With the favour of youre goodlyhed
I wil me reste for a litel space
And than, upborn with support of your grace,
Forthe acomplische as I undertook.
And here an ende of the firste book
I make now with quakyng hond for drede,
Only for fer of yow that schal it rede,
Liste ye, allas, of hasty mocyoun
Ne wil not have no compassioun,
Pyté, nor routhe upon my rudenesse;
Lowly beseching to your gentilnes
Of mercy only bothe neghe and ferre
Where ye fynde that I fayle or erre,
For to correcte or ye ferther flitte,
For to your grace I holy al commytte.
Peleus; (see note)
those; (see note)
Ovid invents in his tales; (see note)
sudden storms; bright flames
unexpectedly; chose to describe
A large number of ants creeping
dejected and dismayed
with his power
vassals; their residence
attention to the future
Before it happened; war; peace
they were not negligent for laziness
ant to avoid
beforehand has provided for her nest
truly; (see note)
is pleased to compose
plainly this is no lie
wishes to declare
by lineage; (see note)
Regarded in truth
great; performed; (see note)
siege (of Troy); learn; (see note)
if you wish
was named Aeson; grown old
Were dulled and clouded
taken from him
darkened; faculty of imagination
heir by descent
Medea; (see note)
potions; (see note)
drugs; (see note)
subtle craft; (see note)
spells; (see note)
Immediately as soon as; (see note)
wise; (see note)
skill plainly; shrewdly
nothing was omitted
make known; (see note)
kept strictly silent; escape
let no one wonder
reach; (see note)
see; an early season
cruel ill will; enclose
hotter burned the coal
even though; aim; guile
reveal; (see note)
tormented so deeply
took no heed
burns so deeply; gain
branch and root
since a long time ago
kingdom; suffered dearly for
at his side
their; have; (see note)
them also their; each one
Exhausted; their labor
safety; (see note)
beast; (see note)
shore; (see note)
on sale (paid for)
not at all
Is always jealous
hastens unexpectedly to discomfort
God knows; with justification
mentioned one after another
Were; false statement; (see note)
Because of something
beaten; (see note)
known; far and wide
for no reason except
easy to stop
Causes; discord and strife
kingdoms deadly war
extinguished; (see note)
circumstantial; (see note)
continuing torment; exceedingly; (see note)
causes me to; unforeseen case
perhaps; God's foresight
misfortune; afterwards have
for this reason
Brutus (founder of England)
the Rhone, to augment his fame
Naples; (see note)
Belong as citizens
kingdom; return; (see note)
followers; (see note)
Calabria (southern Italy)
followed as subjects; (see note)
Isidore of Seville; (see note)
by this means
tomb; buried; (see note)
and do not leave
appropriate to them
whatever may happen
how to distinguish
hidden source; magic
But I know well, though my mind is dulled
built because of the accident
chose; (see note)
malicious ill will
whom they (the Trojans)
intend to do harm; (see note)
If; careless or
delay and foresee no peril
unforeseen; should; (see note)
conversation; (see note)
Each one to each other in turn
foresight; (see note)
To learn; bold
delay; remove themselves
along the full length
safeconduct; (see note)
Either out of
before he said anything
whole; began to speak
Without permission; see
nobility (or generosity)
For no reason
one and all
is appropriate to
badly disposed; (see note)
chance or luck; (see note)
appropriate to his standing; (see note)
each one of us; (see note)
to his advantage
truth; (see note)
let; in no way
paid for dearly
without warning; since
message (see note)
by chance may well be repaid
start out of silence
doubt (do not worry about)
not one be left
before God (an oath)
here; to be sure
blam; (see note)
follow from this beginning
tell you plainly
order; (see note)
concern, if we see that day
Reflect carefully; fail
happy or sad
it does not befit
to shoot such menacing barb; (see note)
before it is too late
injure or harm
was lacking; (see note)
born; (see note)
did he not wish
insane; (see note)
know his well being
give; (see note)
brittlenes; (see note)
it is natural for them
wish to write
Are characteristic of
please; (see note)
from time to time
concealment; (see note)
would wish most to pursue
did not foresee
you; (see note)
at once; woe
as they wish
intention held; happy or sad
began to drop
from time to time; pass away
always; (see note)
remembers; nothing; (see note)
sunny hair; (see note)
given up; (see note)
at the same time
lest; judge amiss
by no opportunity
food and drink
to foolish people to ponder; (see note)
expression unguarded; escaped; (see note)
Since it happens, as anyone can see
reveal; whole; meaning; (see note)
growing; wire; (see note)
it pleases me
did he not have
Although; burn; coal
allow to be seen; (see note)
one thing; another; (see note)
rest underneath; hidden
fine words; vindicate
blind; (see note)
easily turned; (see note)
lies hidden; novelty
clothed with specious adornments
deny it; quickly
I would rather
each one; (see note)
from time to time
Who thinks about it will see; not at all
provide for themselves
It is not fitting
of no account
versifying; (see note)
take the blame
it is appropriate
forgiveness for sins
Unless; to atone
permission to withdraw; taken
crowd; (see note)
their; were; led
rooster, public; (see note)
await; (see note)
leash of three; (see note)
in these matters
brace (a pair)
old woman; moon
gave; sunshine bright
Unto death; happy or sad; (see note)
soon; threw over; (see note)
Duplicity; cunningly; introduced
have done more
Forsaken at once
Heir by descent
as a woman; please herself
everything together; set at nothing
naturally; (see note)
chose; you to go
Who should; had she not; help
encompass; (see note)
given to the fullest extent
preserve from grief
self-control; (see note)
Through recklessness; too
brought to ruin
meant nothing wrong
thought she was
regarding; make no demur
Was not the same; exceedingly far apart
pleasure; (see note)
Did; (see note)
quickly to pity his distress
compassion; (see note)
dawn; (see note)
do; wish set forth
in due order; prepare
not until then hence
have no worry
Drawn; wet leaves
Went forth, whatever may happen
set forth; bravely; (see note)
bulls; forged; brass; (see note)
pity; woe; (see note)
bedewed; black clothes
feats of arms
peace; (see note)
Lest; careless; (see note)
instructed; (see note)
no hinderance; have
now and then
from time to time; self
Truly; think; fail; (see note)
give you the power; (see note)
if anything happened to you; (see note)
has taken (arrived)
bulls; cruel; pitiless
remedy; (see note)
that same; fury
have; fiercely opened their mouths
their venom wisely escaped
poison; their murky air
against the foul smoke
danger; (see note)
closed together with glue
poison; seething flame
had disappeared before him; (see note)
have; produce grain
But [they were]; (see note)
hurry; (see note)
storm to strike
blew fire; (see note)
frightened; (see note)
stone; (see note)
Isidore; (see note)
is superior to; (see note)
disable; (see note)
snake; in front of the eyes
power exercised, as quickly
It begins to shatter in small pieces
malice; docile; (see note)
bring under control
straight against; snake's
its natural power
breaks in two
Neither by; other danger
scales were; tough
in place of seed
plant, just as; grain
a hand; (see note)
boat; (see note)
bank; many others
Waited for; finished
for what happened
brightly; summer sun
companions; waiting; shore
just as soon as
greatly to be valued
Before; revealed; by
divide; force; two
As soon as
sally out immediately
take revenge; foes; (see note)
toward our ships
division; (see note)
unbeknownst to them
hear my pledge
themselves in steel armor
in the morning; it; (see note)
knew how to shoot; were so bold as to
Inlaid or embossed; surcoat
Then; complete attention
straight as a line
was prepared for him
armor plate; chain mail
helmets; cut through to the head
strokes; air did sound
would have been defeated (see note)
Had not; supported them immediately
combat; (see note)
raging lion (see note)
scarcely no one dare; (see note)
Wrathful and angry; fury
armor; torn to pieces
shields split apart
great hatred; anger; enmity
In no way afraid; scorn
wrathful heart swollen; (see note)
struck (with spurs)
nimbly gave him in return
honed to cut; (see note)
did not fear at all
gnawed at; deeply in his heart
did not know which way to turn
ride fast; (see note)
Got up and regained himself
thrust; (see note)
pitiless; (see note)
slashed through; visor
with strength all suddenly smote
ornamental band; helmet
gems going all around
never to heal
felt such anger
suffer from wounds
face; (see note)
taken by; then
The sooner; rescue
mustering of an army; (see note)
struck to earth
hold their own against them; (see note)
won the field
sympathetic; as quickly; (see note)
sorrow apart to break
did not know where
treachery have won
armor plate; chain mail; (see note)
divided their ranks; (see note)
in great disorder
cruelly spurred on
off; alighted; (see note)
tore off; helmet
moving to and fro
sheep; scattered; (see note)
[They] can take no counsel; (see note)
pursue; at once
hardly any were left
put to the sword
abuse; (see note)
of surpassing beauty
upbringing; (see note)
If; smoke; fear; (see note)
known; (see note)
made even with the ground
completely; destroy them
barren; (see note)
jewel; (see note)
done so well
their retinue (of warriors)
Many poor people were raised from penury
Through the cycle of the years
Because of; because
pleases; (see note)
shaking; (see note)
Lest; inward impulse
lack of skill
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