Amoryus and Cleopes
AMORYUS AND CLEOPES: FOOTNOTES
1[Headnote: be, by; qwyche, who; qwyche was an, which was one, fote, feet; clepyd; called]
2 And loyalty [of those] in servitude is seldom seen
3 That he could treat each person with respect according to their rank because of [his] educated nobility
4 Continuing [to write about] her fate, governed by fortune, under furious Mars
5 But [when] truth is spoken, blind Bayard does not take precautions against any dangers
6 Lines 243-45: . . . she might wish the harmonious silver pipe [of fame] so small / To sound, so that the brazen trumpet of oblivion, / Because of my lack of refinement, make no discord before any audience
7 Which is dim to uneducated people, I truly believe
8 And to the bowl of wax with a wick used as a nightlight he went to see how far it had burned (i.e., how much wax it had consumed) [N.b. OED mortar 2 and waste ab. 8 a & b.]
9 The night cantor, the cock, his first psalm [crowing] attempted (raised up ?)
10 By an exclusive right, [you give to them] that can faithfully please you
11 Lines 284-86: All terrestrial actions [you] constrain unfailingly / By [your] deified progeny, who have descent [from you] / In fire, air, land, and sea
12 Lines 288-89: Your children, who having over these elements unshared power, were praised; may you and also they together be [praised]
13 Lines 299-300: For masculine fury in response to feminine showers / Among the gods is ascribed as cruelty
14 Lines 312-13: Every sign is regulated by an invariable ordinance / So that each [god, i.e., planet] reigns for a time [in its mansion], keeping its course and its exalted rank
15 Warming their horses by walking them up and down in the courtyard
16 Lines 350-51: And when Palamedon saw they would have it no other way / But that they would go forth [with him and Amoryus]
17 Lines 369-70: "Yes brother," said Amoryus, "I believe that you have followed the steps / Of love's dance, for on the first day of the month you meditate all morning
18 There was calculation of perils [by astrology] and removing of many a doubt
19 Was called the College of the Gods, in imitation of the poets' name [for it]
20 Which at it rising above the eastern horizon might be seen above by star gazers
21 But because of the uproar [the report of this vision might cause] among the people, keep it to yourself
22 On the eighth and final day [as stipulated by Palamedon, q.v. lines 477-78], when the dedication should take place
23 That he so went about; and near as he dared, he always went nearby the enclosure
24 He proceeded to have been cured, the more his heart grew faint
25 Lines 793-94: There was no idea then left unexplored, in truth, / To resolve under what means they might become acquainted
26 Lines 807-08: But it does not fall to me to explain why it was portrayed, / But only to [tell of] the ingenious device that expressed [this] woman's plan
27 First, he did by nurture obeisance to that [statue] in pagan fashion
28 As soon as the estates (people of rank) had taken their [appropriate] seats on the tiered viewing platform
29 Lines 921-22: But their complaining did not help at all, for, before he left that place, / He taught them a new lesson in jousting
30 Lines 970-71: As a symbol he exhibited it (his strange dress) so that men should be able to distinguish / The background color (field) of all the coats of arms of the kings
31 Lines 990-92: Without coloring: his armor for his upper arm, and his throat armor, / His helmet, and his armored gloves; for he intended at that time / To have the rest of his armor entirely colored
32 Lines 1000-02: And so shot (threw violently) over his horse onto the plain - / Dead, as one who Pride's servant must be, / Who for arrogance has regard for no one else
33 Toward that place he had come from
34 That someone made about her as he lay on the ground
35 But the more they mused about it, the more painfully it burned
36 and how they do harm according to their nature
37 And also it seemed to us that you were there
38 Who showed us, undeserving, her mercy
39 Out of the temple, which in their departure created the church's final purpose
40 It is the failure of their writing rather than [a lack of] matter [about which to write]
41 [Who] up to his era [generation] is reckoned to be fifty-second in direct descent
42[Stapleton], setting wisdom before all [other concerns] in each task
43 I now here spare you from a similar story of the Stapletons
44 Lines 2153-54: That men call the de la Poles; according to kinship, / The direct niece of Duke William [though they were actually first cousins]
45 And in order that they - who are yet unborn -
46 And to commend that [quality of hers] most in remembrance
47 Praying heartily for the reader [to have] patience
AMORYUS AND CLEOPES: NOTES
Abbreviations: Barber: Richard Barber, ed. & trans. Beastiary: Being an English Version of . . . M.S. Bodley 764, with all the Original Miniatures Reproduced in Facsimile. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell (for the Folio Society), 1993; Chaucer: Larry D. Benson, et al., eds. The Riverside Chaucer, third ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987; Craig: Hardin Craig, ed. The Works of John Metham; Trevisa: M.C. Seymour, et al., eds. On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus "De Proprietatibus Rerum," 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon: Oxford University Press, 1975; Whiting: Bartlett J. Whiting and Helen W. Whiting. Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly Before 1500. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1968.
The manuscript of the poem is ruled for twenty-eight lines of text on each page. The decorated initial "T," which begins the text, extends from the first line to the eighth and from the left margin to the center of the text area. It contains the armorial shield of the Stapleton and de La Pole families. A floriated border of painted acanthus leaves frames the text along the top, bottom, and left margins. The top margin of the manuscript has been trimmed. Other initial capitals, two-lines high, occur at lines 1, 71, 232, 248, 325, 724, 1024, 1779, and 1807. Those at lines 71 and 248 also have roughly drawn profiles of grotesque human heads facing the left margin and extending upward into a blank space in the preceding line. The capital "N" at line 724 has some crude, unfinished tendrils extending several lines down the margin. Other stanzas begin with one-line high initials that vary in color and usually extend into the left margin. These serve to mark off the beginning of the stanzas, which in the manuscript are not separated from one another by a blank line as they are in this edition. All the other lines of text begin with a minor capital, and a yellow wash over the initial capital of each line extends vertically down the page.
Headnote. an hundred. MS: C. So too in lines 502, 1140, 1182, 1197, and 1294.
1-7 See the Introduction. The first stanza of Chaucer's Troilus reads as follows:
The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,8 This line duplicates Troilus II.50. The stanza is a conventional description of spring.
That was the kyng Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovynge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of joie,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
Thesiphone, thow help me for t'endite
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I write.
13 Nero. Nero is not known to have conquered Asia. Perhaps he functions here simply as a figure of tyranny, conquering the world.
14 Kyng Camsyre. Craig suggests Darius? (p. 179), or possibly a name formed from Cam and Cyrus "after the pattern of such words as Cambucean and Cambyses, the first syllable carrying with it some idea of lordship; or it may be an ignorant imitation" (p. 159).
16 Medys. Media is an ancient kingdom, sometimes a province of Persia, located in what is now northwestern Iran.
18 pleyn of Pansopherys. An imagined space in the exotic East where battles take place; perhaps akin to Persepolis, as Craig suggests (p. 159).
29 In the MS, the initial letter of that is a thorn, overwritten with the contemporary y form of the letter; a similar emendation has been made to the initial letter of line 37. The scribe writes the y form almost everywhere else. (Both types of thorns have been expanded to th in this edition.)
35 too. MS: ii written above too or to, here and elsewhere, to indicate number, not reduplication. So too in lines 1101, 1103, 1113, 1643, 1920, 2126, and 2146.
40 MS reads pysauns, but this is certainly a scribal or authorial error for Pyramis, Amoryus' counterpart in Ovid's tale.
44 Daryus. Presumably the one time "Camsyre" of Persia and Media. See note to line 14.
45 Fyrage. Metham names the fictitious source of his work, Fyrage, here and at line 1915; see the Introduction.
50-54 Metham's narrator casts himself as a imperfect writer needing the editorial help of other writers. This was a common motif in fifteenth-century poetry formed on the model of Chaucer's Parson's Prologue (X[I]55-57) and Troilus (III.1331-36).
55-56 Proverbial expressions; see Whiting, T465 and M754. MS: qwete. The scribe's normal orthography of modern sw- is sqw-, as in sqwete (sweet) and sqwerd (sword), but in the manuscript the spelling sqwete occurs two other times (lines 1566 and 1824) and qwerd occurs five times (lines 1497, 1639, 1717, 1758 and 1760). Each of the qw- spellings has been silently emended to sqw-.
67 Norwyche. Norwich, in northeastern Norfolk, was at the time of Metham's writing one of largest and most important towns in England and the site of the episcopal see for Norfolk and Suffolk. The Stapleton family maintained a townhouse in Norwich, about 15 miles from their manor at Ingham.
89 Tessaly. Thessaly is a region of eastern Greece, and one of the areas conquered by Alexander the Great.
92 MS: after sone, and is marked for deletion.
96-98 In The Clerk's Tale, Chaucer describes Walter as "ful of honour and of curteisye; / Discreet ynogh his contree for to gye" (IV[E]74-75). Of mene stature might suggest balanced proportions as well as average size. Criseyde "mene was of hire stature" in Troilus V.806.
110 moreovyr. MS: moreovyer.
heldyng a frame. Holding a [model of?] a structure, presumably the new temple (frame: "a structure of any kind; a framework" [MED]).
125 dysmayd. MS: dysmanyd.
138 I have retained Craig's reading of lest, but the s has a cross-stroke and therefore could be an f.
142 aucte. The c is written above the t. Craig interprets this as an abbreviation for -gh, but aucte also occurs at line 427.
148-52 The comparison of the beautiful heroine to Phoebus, the sun, is conventional. The terms that the narrator here employs - creature, stature, womanly - are all words that Chaucer uses to describe Criseyde (Troilus I.281-87).
159 That. MS: Tat.
161 Mars furyus. Chaucer uses the same collocation in The Complaint of Mars (line 123), though the idea is a commonplace.
163-68 Classical Latin poets, rhetoricians, and their medieval followers advocated brevity as one of the virtues of style, but attestations of brevity often became merely empty formulae in narratives which amplified source material instead of condensing it. See Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask (1953; rpt. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 487-94.
169-75 The poet here has engaged in a rhetorical device for the condensing of narration or description, called occupatio, by which he makes an excuse for not writing about something. In typical Chaucerian fashion, the occupatio actually does what it claims not to do, in this case elaborate on the construction and fabrication of the temple. E.g., see The Knight's Tale, I[A]2919-66, or The Squire's Tale, V[F]67-68.
172 as chaudrunnys and fylateryis (such as cauldrons and phylacteries). Phylacteries are amulets used for protection or repositories for a holy relic (OED 2 and 3).
178 twenty. MS: xxti. So too in line 1371.
185 hys hynes. MS: hysnes; I follow Craig's emendation.
186 MS: wryte between this and wyse is marked for deletion.
232-38 Metham invokes the modesty topos, derived from classical authors and a commonplace among medieval authors, including Chaucer and Lydgate. Here Metham uses his dull poyntel or stylus for writing or engraving as a metaphor for his unrefined verse. See Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, pp. 83-85.
237-38 Bayard was a common name for a horse, and "blind bayard" is a proverbial example of foolish pride (see Whiting, B71). Chaucer uses the name several times (see especially Troilus I.218-24 for the proverbial use), as does Lydgate.
239 This stanza, which begins with a two-line high capital, is preceded by three blank lines. The result of the blank lines is to make the following pages alike in that each has four complete stanzas per page up through folio 39a.
240 in specyal. "in particular." Chaucer regularly uses the term as a component of his empiricism. The singularities (i.e., that which is in specyal) are what make discretion possible if the knower is to avoid being lost in the general. See Boece V.m.3.
241-45 Chaucer's narrator in The House of Fame describes the goddess as arbitrary, like Lady Fortune. For those supplicants to whom she grants fame, Aolus, god of the winds, blows a golden trumpet of praise; either a hellish horn of slander or silent oblivion is reserved for others (HF 1559-1688).
249 Aurora is the goddess of the Dawn.
250 ruschyng of a chest. Craig suggests moving of a chest, but ruschyng is also the "noise accompanying rapid movement" and "the rustling of a tree" (OED). The phrase could refer to heavy breathing or perhaps the rustling of a chestnut tree, with chest taken as a clipped form for the purpose of rhyming.
250-261 Metham gives us an insight into what amounts to a fifteenth-century night light and clock as well as speculation on strange sounds in the night and ways of reassuring oneself.
259 appryse. Possibly a scribal error for up rise.
264-65 Latona is the mother of Apollo and Diana by Jupiter, though Metham seems to have in mind Diana, the moon, following Chaucer (Troilus V.655).
265 Boetes. Boötes, the constellation of the Plowman, containing the bright star Arcturus.
266-67 systyrrys . . . sterrys sevyn. Both refer to the Pleiades, the cluster of seven bright stars in the constellation of Taurus. According to Trevisa, the sun takes its course by the Pleiades in June, causing rain and "fairnesse of floures" (1:505). Astronomical/astrological treatises of classical origin were increasingly common in Christian libraries from the ninth century on, abetted in the twelfth century by Arabic works. Such treatises often contained diagrams of the universe and illustrations of the figures of the constellations. Nicholas' Almageste in The Miller's Tale (I[A]3208) is such a book.
267 sevyn. MS: vii. So too in lines 463, 599, 606, 909 (with vii written over Sevyn), and 1596.
270 fyry goddes. Venus is the fiery goddess because she seems brightest when low in the heavens just before dawn and because, in her glow, she excites the passions of lovers. See Robert Henryson's celebrated example of her bright and potent beams in The Testament of Cresseid, lines 11-28. See The Poems of Robert Henryson, ed. Robert L. Kindrick (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997), pp. 156-57.
275 at debat. "in conflict." Mars and Venus have opposite attributes: war and love, dry and moist, male and female, guilefulness and truthfulness, etc., but Venus is said to abate Mars' malicious influence. According to Trevisa, during months of fair weather, Venus is the morning star and announces the sunrise (1:481-82). In The Knight's Tale (I[A]2438-41), Venus and Mars argue over which of their wor-shipers, Palamon or Arcite, should win the tournament. See also Chaucer's Complaint of Mars, where Mars and Venus abide for a time in the same house and debate why Venus must leave so soon.
277 this mysery refers to the medieval commonplace that life in the physical world is full of pain and suffering, relieved only by death and the passage of the soul to heaven. The key treatise on this topic is De Miseria Humane Conditionis by Pope Innocent III. See On the Misery of the Human Condition, ed. Donald R. Howard, trans. Margaret Mary Dietz (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969).
279 hevyn crystallyne. That is, the Ptolemaic universe, envisioned as a series of concentric crystalline spheres containing the seven planets and the stars. See C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 96.
283-89 hye Saturne, the oldest of the gods, is depicted with a scythe, representative of his association with sowing and harvesting. Being furthest from earth (the seventh and slowest sphere, and thus the highest) he is said to have the most baleful effect on human affairs. He devoured all his children except Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, and Juno sprung forth from his head. These later gods, of course, represent the four elements.
289 MS: yow canceled, thow with th- rather than the y-thorn written above the line, apparently to clarify the syntax of the clause. One possible example of the past participial prefix, which, when it was not dropped completely in later Middle English texts, was simply i- or y-, is retained in iheryid (lines 289 and 303); but the prefix with the present participle Iheryng (line 1524) suggests that this was the scribe's habitual spelling of the word.
298 the mone is written above the line.
304-10 deyfyid sygnys. The Zodiac, with its twelve equal divisions, each distinguished by a constellation which represents a figure of terrestrial origin, such as a ram (Aries), or weighing scales (Libra), or the Water Carrier (Aquarius), referred to here. The fyx or fixed stars include those of the constellations and all others which retain their spatial relationship relative to one another (unlike the seven planets), in the eighth crystalline sphere.
305 mancionnis. Mansions or houses are the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Each of the planets has two houses, one day and one night, in which they exert their greatest influence (OED I.8.b).
306 cateracte is one of the floodgates of heaven.
307 poolys. MS: polys with superscript o.
311 colegyat (collegiate). The sense of college was broader in Middle English, not necessarily referring to an educational institution, but "an organized society of persons performing certain common functions and possessing special rights and privileges" (OED 1; see also 2).
314-15 Metham is referring to the influence of planets as they pass through their "houses" of the Zodiac in which they have the most influence (on human affairs), and can consequently be said to "reign" at those times.
318 The line begins with a capital "A," which is canceled. Alna is probably for Al Nasl, a yellow star in the Sagyttary, that is, Sagittarius, the constellation of the Archer, a centaur that stands with his bow aimed at the heart of Scorpio. This star marks the head of the arrow. It appears in the summer sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
319 exorte. "Ascendant," in astrology, the "degree of the zodiac, which at any moment (especially e.g., at the birth of a child) is just rising above the eastern horizon" and which was thought "to exercise a special influence on the life of a child then born" (See MED, exorte; and OED, ascendant B.I.1).
330 pepyllyng is from the verb pipple: "To blow with a gentle sound, to pipe or whistle softly, as the wind" (OED).
333 erthe. MS: orthe, with superscript e.
339 palfrey. MS: palffraey.
370 for of the kalendys ye muse the prime. Kalends is the first day of the Roman month, and prime the second of the seven daily canonical services, or generally, the morning hours from six to nine a.m., or the first hour after sunrise.
376 Craig's emendation for the MS begynne moun cure chauntes.
381-401 A narrator walking in the woods and overhearing a lover's complaint to Fortune about the loss of his lady is reminiscent of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess and Lydgate's Complaint of the Black Knight. See the Introduction.
387-88 In medieval cosmology, the goddess Fortune, signifying chance, mutability, and instability, ruled everything under the circuit of the moon, including the physical world and human events. She was usually depicted with her wheel on which humans rise and fall. The key text on the nature of Fortune is Boethius' late classical treatise The Consolation of Philosophy. English translations are attributed to King Alfred and Chaucer, and Boethian ideas inform much of Chaucer's writing and that of his fifteenth-century followers as well, usually through Chaucer's translation.
399 sqwownyng. MS: sqwownyg.
404 feinere. MS: f einere, the scribe avoiding an imperfection in the vellum between the f and the first e.
423 Marginal note: How Palamedon was receyvyd.
429 Craig expands the abbrevation to mancion, but two superlinear marks indicate -ioun.
450 Craig misnumbers this line as 451; the correct numbering sequence begins again at line 513 in his edition.
456 hem. MS: he.
477 eght. MS: viii (with eght written over viii). See also lines 692, 899 (with viii written over Heght), 912 (with viii written over eght), 1598 and 2068. It is interesting that in St. Erkenwald, with which Amoryus and Cleopes bears a number of likenesses (particularly in the conclusion), the number eight has a significant function in the renewal of St. Paul's cathedral. Perhaps it is a sign of new beginning here, as well, be the custummys olde, this eighth day being a time suitable for the new dedication.
483 Marginal note: How the nygromancyer with spyrtys made the spere.
507 Marginal note: The mervulus werkyng off the spere.
520 swyft. MS: wyft.
521 MS marks in for deletion.
522-27 Applanos, literally, "without a plane surface"; here, a perfect sphere. Craig expands empor' to emperor, but Metham may have in mind the celum empireum, the first and highest of seven "heavens" or spheres named by Alexander the Great in his trip through the heavens. According to Trevisa, the celum empireum is a "place of aungels," and the brightest and most shining of the spheres (1:447, lines 454-55). As Craig pointed out (p. 160), Metham is likely working from memory at this point.
523 Haly ('Ali) refers to the eleventh-century Moslem astronomer known as Albohazen Haly in Latin translations of his widely circulated work, The Distinguished Book on Horoscopes from the Constellations.
532 dessendyng. MS: dessendynd.
534 denominacion. MS: donominacion.
535-41 The syntax and the nomenclature make the exact sense of this stanza difficult to determine. doutyr of Lycaon is Calisto, a nymph devoted to Diana who had a son by Jupiter. For her transgression, Calisto was transformed into a bear, and later, along with her son, Arcas, into the constellations of the Great and Little Bears, Ursa Major and Minor, respectively. The passage makes more sense if Artos is a scribal error for Arcos or Arcas, that is, Ursa Minor, where the Pole Star is located. Artophylax, the constellation of the Bear Watcher, is apparently ready to fight the serpent, now generally identified with the constellation Draco, which in some manuscript representations envelopes both of the bears in its folds. Arcton may be a misnomer for either Arcas, as above, or Arctos, a common name for Ursa Major. The story of the bears in Ovid's Metamorphoses is retold in the Ovide Moralisé and by Boccaccio and Gower (Confessio Amantis 5:6225-358), and briefly summarized by Chaucer in The Knight's Tale (I[A]2056-61).
542-43 Adryagne, that is Ariadne, who fell in love with Theseus and then was abandoned by him after he killed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Bacchus took her crown and tossed it into the heavens to cheer her.
544-48 Hercules is a constellation represented as standing with one foot on Draco and the other next to Artophylax. It is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere in summer. Representations of the constellation conventionally presented Hercules carrying a club and wearing a lion's skin, but here merely embraces the skin, and the club has given way to the more refined spear or lance.
547 nynetene. MS: xix.
549 Marginal note: Off the harp off Orphe with qwyche he harpyd hys wy[f] fro helle.
549-52 the harp musycal of Orphé, that is, the constellation Lyra, or the Harp. In the Ovidian story of the musician Orpheus, the hero enters the underworld and reclaims his dead wife Eurydice by playing his harp, only to lose her again when he looks back, violating Pluto's interdiction. Like the legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, the story of Orpheus was widely known and incorporated in Latin grammar lessons in the later Middle Ages. The story is reworked in the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo. See The Middle English Breton Lays, ed. Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1995).
553 sqwan, that is, the constellation Cygnus. It is associated with the story of Leda, who was impregnated by Jove in the form of a swan.
556 The constellations Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Pegasus (ridden by Perseus). In Greek mythology, Perseus slew the Medusa, the mother of Pegasus, and rescued Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, from a sea monster. Marginal note: The enamelyngys off the vestyture off goddys.
557 Opylenk involvyd wyth a serpent. Ophiuchus, or the Serpent Holder, a summer constellation in the Northern Hemisphere, is identified with a physician who was so skilled he could bring the dead back to life. "Serpents were always associated [with physicians] as symbols of prudence, renovation, wisdom, and the power of discovering healing herbs" (R. H. Allen, Star Names and their Meanings [1899; rpt. New York: G. E. Stechert, 1936], p. 298), and the modern symbol for medicine derives from this.
558-61 The constellation of Aquila, the Eagle, is represented in early diagrams as carrying an arrow. In Greek ornithology, eagles and vultures were often confused; thus, the eagle became associated with the sixth labor of Hercules, to destroy the cannibal birds of Lake Stymphalis. The dolphyn, or Dolphin, is Delphinus, a summer constellation in the Northern Hemisphere. Pegasus is the flying horse which Bellerophon rode to Mount Helicon, where a kick of the horse caused the spring of Hippocrene, the fountain of the Muses, to flow. Boyse is Boeotia, a district in central Greece. The triangyl is a constellation just south of Andromeda.
570-76 Phebus twelve dwellyng placys. That is, the twelve signs or "houses" of the solar Zodiac: the Ram, Aries; the Qwyght Bole, Taurus; the Tweyn Bredyr of Grekys Lynage: Gemini; the Crab: Cancer; the Lyon: Leo; the Vyrgyne: Virgo; the Weghtys: Libra; the Scorpyon: Scorpio; the Sagyttary: Sagittarius; the Capricorn: Capricorn; the Aqwry: Aquarius; the Fysschys: Pisces.
572 twelve. MS: xii.
577-83 the Octyan is the South Pole. The names of the constellations that follow are generally winter constellations in the Northern Hemisphere: the Qwalle: Cetus; Padus, the celestial river Eridanus; the Hare: Lepus; Oryon: Orion; the sqwyf Grehound, and fers Prochyon: Canis Major and Canis Minor; the schyp of Argus: Argo Navis; the Centaure or the monstyr of Chyryon: Centaurus; the serpent namyd Ydra: Hydra; the Pese (from Anglo-Norman Peise): Libra; the Crow: Corvus; the fysch clepyd Serus: Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish.
591 MS: h written in above owre.
593 translat. MS: tranlat.
603 syngulere. "Separate from others by reason of superiority or pre-eminence" (OED III. 9).
604 theyr. MS: thereyr.
608 syxt. MS: vi.
609 fyfte. MS: v. So too in line 1322 (fifth).
611 fourth. MS: iiii. So too in line 1321.
617 thryd trone. Venus' sphere, the third in the sequence moving outward from earth. Mercury's sphere (line 621) is the second; the moon's (line 622), the first.
618 Bylyd. MS has only "B" in the text, but bylyd in the left margin.
619 The association here of Mercury with merchants would appear to be based on specious medieval etymology. As the god of eloquence, science, and mathematics, he is useful in persuasion and in the calculating of accounts and, therefore, he is called the god of merchants. Also he is mercurial - quick to appear, and quick to disappear.
624 clepe. MS has the past participle marker i- written in above the line. Diane is called goddess of the sea because of her recognized power over tides.
625 MS repeats her, one above the other.
638 ye have made. MS: made ye have made.
650 Nay. MS: nay.
651 one. MS: i. So too in lines 737, 741, 930, 947, 1871 (o with i written above), 1872 (one is spelled out, with i above), 1894, 1982, and 2087.
661 Marginal note: The vysyon off the secret[ary] off Venus how the spere schuld be destroyd qwan [Christ] schuld take possessyon.
690 Cherycos or Circius, is the northwest wind, though here Metham seems to have in mind simply the compass direction.
705 slavennys. A slavin is a pilgrim's mantle worn here as a ceremonial robe.
724 This "N" is two lines high, suggesting a major division of the poem.
731 yed up and downe. Chaucer often uses similar phrases to describe the hero and heroine in Troilus and Criseyde. Troilus' love for Criseyde begins with a similar temple scene, one which Metham follows here in a number of details. See Introduction, pp. 12-15.
736 fyllyng the champ, perhaps meaning "filling the open area or field" of the temple, but also possible is "beating the cloth or ground." fyllyng may be a spelling variant of fulling, "the process of beating or treading on cloth in water for the purpose of cleaning and thickening"; and "to trample down" (MED a., c.). champ can also refer to the cloth which forms the ground on which the embroidery is worked (OED sb. 1, 3).
738 Marginal note: The fyrst aqueynttauns off Amoryus and Cleopes in the tempyl off Venus.
748 rolle. "A quantity of material esp. cloth, rolled or wound up in a cylindrical form" (OED II. 6). Metham has in mind the Islamic practice of kneeling in prayer.
756 Appollo. MS: Venus.
763 closet is a chapel or section of pews reserved for a lord and his family (MED).
771 Nonsense words (Smsmatm mas m m spm may grem) make up an eighth line to this stanza, to fill out the 28-line page, apparently made short by an omission in the preceding stanza. Dots underneath the line indicate it should be omitted. Craig prints but does not count this line.
796 A proverbial expression also employed in Chaucer's Troilus (IV.936 and 1261-65); see Whiting, W531.
798 To save her worchyp (to save her honor, reputation). Cleopes' concern is the same as Criseyde's. See Troilus II.468.
800 Marginal note: Off a straunge conseyt portrayd in Cle[o]pes boke.
800 There. MS: Hher
800-06 hynde is a female red dear; hert/hart: heart, but with punning on hart, the male red deer, especially after its fifth year when the crown antlers have formed. Conventional allegories of love often employed the female deer as the object of a knight's hunt; see, for example, Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess.
803 on stonys. This detail is unusual; it likely reflects Metham's familiarity with the mid-fourteenth century tomb of Sir Oliver Ingham (d. 1344) in the chancel of the Church of the Holy Trinity at Ingham. The sepulcher depicts a knight in repose on a ground of rounded cobbles, a motif employed by the same sculptor on two other tombs, one in Repham, Norfolk, near Ingham, and one in Cambridgeshire. Cleopes' book is a pagan version of a Christian devotional manual - a Book of Hours or a Primer - which were common among the upper-class laity by the mid-fifteenth century.
804 that. MS: the.
trw lovys. Herba paris, a plant with four cloverlike leaves, often associated with pairs of lovers. For elaborate explication of the metaphysical implications of true loves see the popular late fourteenth-century "The Four Leaves of True Love," copied several times in the fifteenth century and printed in Susanna Fein's splendid edition, Moral Love Songs and Laments (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998), pp. 161-254. Fein includes two illustrations: one, a drawing of the plant itself (p. 163), and a second of a pair of lovers holding true loves (p. 169).
813 Amoryus yt gan aspye. MS: per Amoryus; see also the note to line 820. The figure of lovers discovering their intentions to each other through a "go-between" book is not uncommon in medieval literature, witness Paolo and Francesca (Dante's Inferno V.127-38) reading together that Galetto (pandering) romance of Lancelot; but seldom has the device been used more charmingly than here.
818 Venus was born foreby. This describes a processional with a statue of the goddess in imitation of medieval processions of images of Christian saints. Such processions were common throughout Europe before the Reformation.
820 Craig expands the abbreviation to Amoryus, but the word is clearly Peramus and thus represents a mental lapse by the author or by a knowledgeable scribe.
826 demonstracion. MS: demostracion.
827 menyng. MS: menyg.
828 to and fro is used several times by Metham; this phrase occurs frequently in Chaucer's Troilus and Lydgate's Troy Book.
837 yowr. MS: you. So too in line 1353.
838 pray. MS: play.
841 prime. See above the note to line 370. MS reads A. Off.
844 MS reads but after behold.
858 a qwarter brede is a width of cloth, equivalent to 9 inches or a quarter of a yard.
866 entré. The ceremonial gathering place for the lists.
868 place in this context specifically refers to the open area where the knights engage in the tournament's battles and is distinct from the scaffolding and other areas from which the spectators view the action. Chaucer uses the same term in The Knight's Tale (I[A]2399).
879 perand, perhaps a Northern dialectal form of the present participle, has been taken as the aphetic form of appearing, but the context here suggest peering, "to look narrowly esp. in order to discern something indistinct or difficult to make out," a sense which is not in use, according to the OED, until 1590; but see also the verb pire.
883 emperourys knytys. MS: emperour knytys. So too in lines 886 and 1019. Perhaps the scribe treats the phrase as a compounded noun, in which case emendation is unnecessary.
884 stagys. Medieval manuscript illuminations suggest that such scaffolding could be elaborate.
902 lyklenes. MS: lykenes.
915 knyght. MS: knygh. So too in lines 927 and 1126.
917-18 coursere is the heavy, powerful horse used in battle or tournaments; trappere is a protective covering of leather for such a horse, probably envisioned here as ornately decorated. harnes could refer to other trappings of the horse but probably refers to Amoryus' own armor.
926 Marginal note: How ther come a knyght aventerus chalengyng to juste with Amoryus.
940-42 In his challenge, the knight's use of the second person singular familiar pronouns, rather than the polite plural pronouns, indicates his contempt of Amoryus. In line 942, Craig reads thou as you - either reading is possible - but the singular pronoun suits the context. See line 1842 with similar syntax, and for which Craig renders the initial letter of the pronoun as th-.
alle poyntys of armys. This may simply mean in complete armor, or, alternatively, that the knight wants combat, on horse and then on foot, with lance, sword, and perhaps mace, battle ax, knife, and so forth. His challenge is bold, but in some ways insidious too, in that Amoryus has been fighting all day, first individually, then taking on the whole field, and thus must be near exhaustion.
967 That over-hasty man wantyd never woo is proverbial; see Whiting, M97.
970 MS reads he yt dyd. Craig supplies schew (which I follow), but omits the pronoun.
971 feld. In heraldry, the field is "the surface of an escutcheon or shield on which the 'charge' is displayed" (OED II.13.a). The field colors borrowed by the knight were common ones in armorial bearings and would not by themselves indicate the countries in which he fought.
975-80 rampaund. In heraldry, rampant refers to a beast standing on the left hind leg, with both forelegs elevated, the right above the left, and the head in profile (OED A.1.b). sabatouns are armored foot coverings. Arge is probably Argos. passaund. In heraldry, passant refers to an animal walking and looking toward the right side, with three paws on the ground and the right fore-paw raised (OED 4). grevys. Greaves are pieces of "armor for the leg below the knee" (OED, greave 2.1). gerundy or gyronny means "having gyrons." In heraldry, a gyron is a diagonal line in an escutcheon creating a triangular form, having one side at the edge of the field and the opposite angle usually at the centerpoint (OED). cuschew or cuisse is a piece of armor for protecting a soldier's thigh (OED).
984-87 vambracys are armor for the forearm; rerebracys are armor for the upper arm.
996 Marginal note: How Amoryus dyd slee the knyght aventerus.
1024 The heading appears as a marginal note; the apostrophic "O" is a two-line-high capital.
1024-28 The exact sense is unclear. The haphazard punctuation of the manuscript is unrevealing, and at the beginning of line 1026 the abbreviation for That has been squeezed into the text area. The sense of the passage seems to be that the poet commands the cloudy sky of ignorance to clear, and implores the precyus modyr ("precious mother" - in other contexts, an epithet for the Virgin Mary) to sweep the cinders from his eyes that have for too long, to tell the truth, prevented him from achieving the white hair that signifies wisdom. sky has several Middle English senses, including the "celestial heavens" and "cloud"; Metham is alluding to the widely circulated Cloud of Unknowing, a late medieval mystical treatise. Aqwilo, or Aquilo, is the North Wind, also known as Boreas, which brings tempests. Metham has in mind Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy: "Thus, whan the nyght was discussed and chased awey, dirknesses forleten me, and to myn eien repeyred ayen hir firste strengthe. And ryght by ensaumple as the sonne is hydd whan the sterres ben clustred (that is to seyn, whan sterres ben covered with cloudes) by a swyft wynd that hyghte Chorus [the north-west wind], and that the firmament stant dirked with wete plowngy cloudes; and that the sterres not apeeren upon hevene, so that the nyght semeth sprad upon erthe: yif thanne the wynde that hyghte Boreas, isent out of the kaves of the cuntre of Trace, betith this nyght (that is to seyn, chaseth it awey) and discovereth the closed day, thanne schyneth Phebus ischaken with sodeyn light and smyteth with his beemes in merveylynge eien (Boece I.m3).
1030 The narrator invokes his muse again, the Lanyfica, or Fates; see the Introduction.
1031a The heading appears as a marginal note.
1037 Amoryus' penance, of course, is owed to Love. Here, and in line 1432, as in other places with the word knyght, the scribe leaves the -t off myght. See note to line 915. Also bryght, lines 1066 and 1313, which lacks the -t; and fyght, in line 1297.
1047 Syghyng. MS: Sygyng.
1059 Such references to spoken performances appear to acknowledge that literature was often read aloud or recited.
1078 for sum mystery. MS: ssum.
1085 MS reads at for and2.
1106 MS reads o off; this same walle in a different, smaller hand.
1114 Marginal note: The fyrst metyng and talkyng betwene Amoryus and Cleopes thru ryvyng off a ston walle.
1121 my trwth I plyght is a phrase which was also part of the marriage ceremony and other contractual agreements requiring an oath of faithfulness, truthfulness, or loyalty.
1153 knowe. MS: kowe.
1177 Marginal note: How ther come tydyngs to Palamedon off a mervulus dragon the qwyche dystroyd the cuntre.
1184-90 serra. According to bestiary lore, the serra is a winged sea monster, perhaps a flying-fish, that races ships and tries to becalm them or rip their hulls with its "serrated" crown (Barber, p. 205). Metham's serra is a horned (cornuta) variety, and clearly a terrestrial dragon with a poisonous, acid-like venom rather than a fiery breath. The pronouns in this stanza and Amoryus' response in the next indicate that this stanza is a direct address to Palamedon. The stavys, staves, indicate the citizens' impending departure; the pilgrim or traveler traditionally carried a walking staff.
1191 And. MS: AAnd.
1193 MS reads yeow.
1215 It. MS: In.
1218 That. MS: Than.
1228 for fulle ernest (because of his intense passion); for an entirely serious purpose; for a complete foretaste (of love) (OED, earnest, sb. 1 and sb. 2).
1230 Marginal note: How [Amoryus] mette the same evyn with Cleopes and teld her howe [he] had take batyel with a dragon. In the MS, Palamedon is canceled, and sche is written for he.
1238 plate ner haburgun. "plate armor nor habergeon," the latter a high-necked, sleeveless jacket of chain-mail armor.
1245 of gret and smal is a line filler.
1249 Marginal note: The kendys off serpentes and remedyiis ayens ther venym.
1249-52 cokatrycys (pl.). Trevisa identifies the cockatrice with the basilisk, a beast said to be able to kill with its fiery breath or with the mere glance of its eyes. It flees from the weasel (which men use against it) because the weasel's bite is fatal to it (2:1153-54). In some bestiaries the basilisk is reputed to hatch from an egg produced by an old rooster, hence the name cockatrice and a bifurcation into two animals. Illustrations in medieval bestiaries represent it as part rooster, part snake, which kills the heedless sinner (Barber, p. 185).
1253-55 draconia. According to Trevisa, the flying dragon is the largest of all the serpents. Its venom is not fatal; rather it kills its victims with "sawing" teeth and a powerful, constricting tail, which it uses to kill the elephant by binding its feet and strangling it (2:184-86). The dragon is the only animal that flees from the sweet breath of the panther (2:1234); the venom of a poisonous toad is a remedy for other venoms (2:1155). The dragon is allegorized as the Devil (Barber, pp. 183-84).
1255 myght. MS: aight.
1259 jaculus. "a flying serpent. . . . They perch in trees and when their prey approaches, they throw themselves down on it and kill it" (Barber, p. 192). Trevisa likens it to a dart (2:1128).
1267 thei purvey wysely. An idea that Palamedon raised earlier, whereby the wise hunter carries remedies with him.
1268 The idea of precious stones having magic or divinely provided powers is an ancient one. Biblical reference to such stones, particularly in Exodus (28:17-21), where Moses commands Aaron to make a breastplate with twelve precious stones, and in Revelation (21:19-21), where twelve stones adorn the foundations of the Heavenly City, were key texts in supporting allegorical interpretations and discussions of their powers. Their attributes were compiled in medieval lapidaries and encyclopedic works like Trevisa's. See, for example, Joan Evans and Mary S. Sergeantson, English Medieval Lapidaries EETS o.s. 190 (London: Oxford University Press, 1960).
1269 cumbrus. "Full of trouble because of its size" (OED).
1270 aspys (pl.). According to Trevisa, the asp is the worst of adders and has the most venomous bite. When an enchanter tries to lure it out of its den, the asp puts one ear to the ground and closes the other with its tail so that it cannot hear the charms. (See Gower's Confessio Amantis I.463-80.) There are a number of types of adders, but the dragon adder is not one Trevisa lists.
1272 MS: ffro hys den added above the line.
1281 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, W105.
1284 drynk. MS: dryk.
jacynctys and orygaun. Hyacinth and wild marjorum, the latter reputed in medieval lore to be an antidote against the venom of serpents.
1290 chyldrynys (pl.), a water adder, which according to Trevisa, infects the places where it glides, causing cloudy vision in humans (2:1128); ydrys (pl.), hydra, a many-headed water snake, one of which was killed by Hercules; ypotamys (pl.), a sea horse beset with scales like a dragon, which, according to Topsell, can fly and has teeth like a swine (possibly confused with a walrus).
1291 egestyon of bolys (the dung of bulls); humans bitten by the hydra swell up, but they may be healed by the application of cattle dung (Barber, p. 190).
1295 serra cornuta. See the note to lines 1184-90.
1312 on sted of yowr helme (on the surface of your helmet). MS reads in for on. A bugyl is a buffalo, ox, or young bull. Line 1353 indicates that the bugyl is a sculpted or painted image of the animal, and line 1489 suggests it is probably a helmet crest. See also line 1369. Such heraldic crests, initially for the purposes of identification in tournaments, began to be used in the early fourteenth century and became extravagant pieces of decoration. Depictions in art, such as the Manasseh Codex (c. 1300-30) from Germany and funeral effigies like that of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1439) in St. Mary's Church, Warwick, attest to the long and widespread use of such devices. (See, for example, Maurice Keen, Chivalry [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984], pp. 17, 18, 22, and 36). Why the bugyl should be gapyng is not clear, but an ox-like animal is the crest of the Yorkshire Methams. According to Trevisa, the bugyl is either black or red, and its milk "is ful good ageins smytynge of serpente" (2:1151).
1313 According to the lapidaries the carbunkyl (carbuncle), or ruby, is one of the twelve precious stones that God named to Moses, consequently signifying the second of the Ten Commandments, and is said to have been in the River of Paradise. It is held to be the most virtuous of stones, according honor to those who possess it and comforting the anguished who look upon it. Sick animals that drink water in which a ruby has been immersed will be made well. It is likened to a burning coal, and because of its gleaming brightness, it is said to light the darkness and therefore signifies Jesus Christ.
1314 Cleopes' gifts are reminiscent of Medea's gifts to Jason in Gower's Confessio Amantis V.3559-3622 and in Lydgate's Troy Book (I.2988 ff.). Medea gives Jason a ring, a silver image, a vial of liquid to protect him against the oxen and serpent that guard the Golden Fleece. Medea's knowledge of the liberal arts, necromancy, illusions, astronomy, so eloquently popularized by Gower and Lydgate, perhaps provided Metham with some inspiration for his heroine's character.
ylke. MS: yche. The scribe makes the same mistake in reading his exemplar in line 1641.
1315 The lapidaries treat the smaragdus, or emerald, in some detail. They point out, for example, that the Apocalypse of St. John identifies the emerald as the fourth foundation stone of the New Jerusalem, Heaven, and therefore it signifies the four Evangelists of the New Testament. By similar allegorical interpretations, it also symbolizes true faith and the Trinity. Emerald is the greenest of all green things, and is also one of the stones found in the River of Paradise, located in Syria. It has a number of medicinal purposes and moral significations, and encourages one to be chaste and to love good works.
1320 orytes, also called corinth in the lapidaries, protects its bearer from the venomous bites of evil beasts or adders, and attacks by other wild animals in the wilderness. It also causes infertility and miscarriages in humans.
1321 third. MS: iii.
1321-22 The lapidaries identify ligure, or lyncurium, as stone from India that is engen- dered in river gravel and protected or hidden by the lynx or the ox. The oxen that tills the ground and hides the stone signifies the preparation of Christ's land, which is tilled by holy prophecy and good preachers. God gave this stone many virtues: it cures jaundice, gout, and staunches bleeding wounds; it makes lecherous men chaste. Demonius is mentioned in Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum Naturale as a stone that counteracts poison (Craig, p. 169). Although the lapidaries treat Agapys (also called agatten) and acates as different minerals, they appear to be variant terms for agate. The two stones share the common property of being a remedy against the sting of scorpions and the bite of serpents. The Peterborough Lapidary indicates that agapys should be ingested with white wine.
1325 Mugwort (Modyrwort) is a plant formerly thought to have medicinal value; rue (rwe) is "a perennial evergreen shrub . . . having bitter, strong scented leaves which were formerly much used for medicinal purposes" (OED), and Trevisa writes that serpents hate the smell of rue, which inhibits their ability to flee (2:1132); red mallow (red malwys) is a variety of mallow with a dark crimson flower; mountain calamynt (calamynt mownteyn) is a "genus of aromatic herbs," which according to Turner's Herbal (1568) "is good for them that ar byten of serpentes" (OED).
1326 For Orygannum, see above, line 1284. Trevisa writes that seed of fennel (fenel), if "ydronk with wyne helpith ageins bytyng of serpentes and styngyng of scorpiouns" (2:960). Dragon's wort (dragannys), named for its speckled stalk, is supposedly like the coloration of serpent's skin; if the juice of this plant is ingested or used as a balm, it drives away serpents with its smell (Trevisa, 2:943; see also OED, dragon, 14).
1360 MS: extraneous s before same; so too on stedfastenes, line 2099.
1362 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, W389 and W45.
1371 besechyng. MS: besechyn.
1379 and wyth. MS: and a with.
1383 honesté. MS: honeste oneste.
1420 schynyng. MS: schynyg.
1423 phylatery. Amoryus' potion used "for the cure of venomous diseases" (OED 2, Blancard's Physical Dictionary, 1693). See also the note to lines 169-75.
1435 reisyd. MS: reisysyd.
1438 Schuld . . . devour. MS: Schul . . . devouryd.
1442 sqwyftly. MS: qwyftly.
1454 MS: e written above the a in slayn.
1462 MS: extraneous c after ye.
1464 MS duplicates odyr, the second marked for deletion.
1470 Craig places the phrase And on the goddys alle on a separate but unnumbered line, giving the appearance of an eight-line stanza. In the MS, the phrase follows directly after falle on the same line.
1471 Sche. MS: che.
1487 I may this wrytyng on the phylysophyr vouche. Metham is apparently referring to some bestiary or encyclopedic work.
1491 confusde. MS: confude.
1493-4 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, S408 and S409.
1506 glyde. "Said of the mode of progression of reptiles" (OED 2).
1512 Hys brystylyd mosel gan blwe wer as ony led. His bristled muzzle became as blue as lead. blwe: "livid, leaden-colored" (OED, blue 2).
1517-19 MS: Fyl doune that as an erthen the ground schake. Craig emends schake to quake so that the rhyme word in line 1519 will not be duplicated, but the syntax is still corrupt. I have emended the rhyme word of line 1519 from the MS reading of schake to qwake. The poet himself qwake[s] for fere twice (lines 1568 and 1657).
1531 wundyr. MS: wyth undyr; to supplied.
1535 mynstrelsy. Minstrels were primarily musicians, but they also provided other kinds of entertainment, including singing, dancing, and the recitation of poetry. Medieval documents indicate that minstrels did at times accompany various processions.
1541 lyvys. MS: lyverys.
1545 memoratyf dart, that is, Cupid's dart or arrow, calling to mind his love.
1549 veneryan. "Venereal," pertaining to sexual desire (OED, venerian 2). MS: flamme.
1556 MS: That. Craig emends to Than.
1560 Orphe. See notes to lines 549-52.
1562 Parys. Paris, the son of the Trojan king Priam; Paris' abduction of Helen from the Greeks led to the destruction of Troy by the Greeks and his own death. Various versions of the Troy story were widely circulated in Latin, French, and English versions in the Middle Ages. At least part of John Lydgate's Troy Book was familiar to Metham, and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde served in a number of ways as a model for Amoryus and Cleopes (see Introduction).
1564 Metham here invokes the inexpressibility topos, a commonplace of medieval rhetoric. The words rhetorician or rhetoric were often used to praise Chaucer in the fifteenth century and consequently may also be equated with our notion of poet or poetry.
1584 redres. The verb had a number of senses available in the fifteenth century, some now obsolete. Among these are "to direct or address (a thing) to a destination or in specified course" (OED 5); "to cure, heal, relieve (a disease, wound, etc.)" (OED 10.b); and "to rise, to become erect" (OED 1.c). Metham then may be alluding to the "disease" of love's sickness as well as creating a double entendre.
1589 MS reads ther speke with a canceled e above the th-, and the speke changed to speche.
1590 qwyle. MS: qwylk.
1593 A reference to the doctrine of God's foreknowledge of all events, widely disseminated from Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Books 4 and 5.
1596 systyrrys sevyn. Sisters seven, that is, the star system of the Pleiades.
1598 Marginal note: Qwat a lemyng sterre betokynnyth qwan tho apperyth.
1603 same morw. MS: same agan morw, with agan marked for cancellation.
1606 posterin yate is a private or rear entrance, distinct from the main gate.
1614 chas. A chase is "a tract of unenclosed land reserved for breeding and hunting wild animals" or simply "unenclosed park land" (OED).
1621 hyinde is a female deer, after its third year.
1626 kerchyf is from the French couvrechef. The early twelfth-century romance of Piramus et Tisbé and the Ovide Moralisé use the word guymple; its English form is wimple, used by Chaucer in his version of the story in The Legend of Good Women. Metham's version of the poem has derived from second and later textual tradition that uses the more fashionable article of clothing, the kerchyff.
1632 MS has c changed to a k.
1642 desteny. MS: dyesteny, with superscript first e.
1643 MS has thei wyth changed to ther.
1645 ony. MS: in.
1646 Craig incorrectly numbers this line as 1645. Corresponding line numbers in this edition will therefore differ from those in his until line 2084, for which, see below.
1655 espys. The genitive of asp, a tree of the poplar family, "the leaves of which are specially liable to tremulous motion" (OED).
1663 conseyt. "A (morbid) affection or seizure of the body or mind" (OED).
1664 mornyng. MS: mornyg.
hys. MS: ys.
1665 most trw is repeated and canceled.
1676 hert. A hart is a male red deer.
1679 Companeus is a chief in the Greek army at the siege of Troy. He boasted that even Zeus could not stop him from gaining his objective. Chaucer writes in the Troilus: "Capaneus the proude / With thonder-dynt was slayn, that cride loude" (V.1504-05). MS reads slow ca Companeus with ca canceled.
1684 Marginal note: Pluto god of helle and erthe.
1685-86 Amphyorax knew he would die if he went to the siege at Thebes, so he hid, only to be revealed by his wife. At the siege, he is swallowed up by the earth. Chaucer refers to the story several times (see, for example, Troilus V.1500), and Lydgate narrates Amphyorax's demise in his Siege of Thebes (3:4023-84), where he goes to Hell for his idolotry and necromancy. The fact that Amoryus and Cleopes refers to both Campaneus and Amphyorax in such close proximity, as does Chaucer in the Troilus, suggests Metham might have had a copy of Chaucer's work at hand, perhaps through the Earl of Suffolk, who had a number of Chaucer manuscripts in his keeping.
1698 MS duplicates and marks for cancellation a second alone after wrecche.
1698-99 In Book IV of the Metamorphoses, the same book where the story of Pyramus and Thisbe occurs, Ovid relates the story of Juno's travels to the underworld seeking the three Furyis, sister goddesses of vengeance, who viciously attack those guilty of some breach of kinship obligations. Amoryus' use of the word onkend (unkind) - meaning unnatural, wicked, unfilial, undutiful, or faithless - in line 1705 alludes to obligations of kinship; Cleopes uses the same word in a similar context (line 1750). Juno also encounters Cerberus, the three-headed dog (hence Metham's Tricerberus) that guards the entrance to the Hell.
1700 thow. Craig reads yow, but the letter is clearly an old-style thorn, not the scribe's typical y-shaped letter that can be either y or thorn.
1711-15 Metham's use of anaphora echoes a favorite device of Chaucer. See Troilus V.1828ff. and V.1849ff.
1717 pomel. A pommel is the knob at the end of the hilt of the sword.
1752 O, Saturne. In the epilogue to Troilus (V.1809) most Chaucer manuscripts locate Troilus' placement after his death in the seventh sphere. Modern editors prefer the eighth sphere, since that is where Arcite goes in Boccaccio's Teseide, which is Chaucer's source for that passage and which seems a more likely place if Troilus is to look down on earth "with ful avysement" (V.1811). But it is almost certain that any manuscript of Troilus and Criseyde that Metham might have seen would have read "seventh sphere" (i.e., Saturn's sphere) and thus the place and the patron Cleopes would invoke in her desire to join her lover in the sphere where Saturn might him deyfy (line 1753).
1753 spere (sphere). See above the notes to line 279 and lines 304-10.
1754 soulys leche, soul's physician, a common epithet for Christ.
1759 MS reads sey, with superscript a above the e.
1763 nede. "These dire circumstances," but the sense may suggest Cleopes' obligation to act (OED I.9 and II.12).
1770 eld tyme paynymmys yt dyd for a memoryal. It is conceivable that Metham gets his idea for rejecting the cursed pagan rite from Chaucer's epilogue to Troilus (esp. V.1849-53), where Chaucer then turns to a Christain theogony for his conclusion.
1773-78 The excuse for lack of finesse in writing was commonplace in the later Middle Ages, but Metham here excuses his lack of rhetorical skills by employing one, the occupatio.
1782 synderesys. "The faculty of the mind which judges and recommends moral conduct" (MED).
1783 oryens sol justycye. "the rising sun of justice," an epithet for Christ, with the commonplace pun on sun/Son and the allusion to His rising at the Resurrection. In this prologue, the narrator turns to a Christian muse rather than the classical ones invoked earlier.
1790 Craig reads Adamyrgyk, for which he suggests "Adam's servitude" based on a tenuous etymological connection. What Craig sees as an r is really a ligature of the recurved tail of the first y and scribe's punctuation mark, which looks like a modern colon. A similar ligature of a letter with a recurved tail and the punctuation mark occurs in line 1793. An abbreviation stroke above the m, which usually signals an m or n, may be employed here to indicate the s.
1791 After the Crucifixion, Heaven became open to the souls of the righteous, who before were automatically confined to Hell because of Adam's sin. In the Harrowing of Hell following the Crucifixion, Christ confronted Satan, and forced the release of the righteous, who then accompanied him to Heaven.
1803 lyvyth. MS: lyvyh.
wyth spyryte or grennes. Perhaps the sense is "whether animated or vegetable," but the sense is difficult. Two forms of life seem to be the point.
1807a [Here Endyth the Prolog and Begynnyth the Laste Boke]. The heading does not appear in the MS, but the word Amoryus in the next line begins with a 2-line-high capital letter as the text turns from invocation to narration.
1809 Ore. Suggested by the Latin verb orare, meaning to speak oratorically, to pray.
1810 hermyte. According to Jacques Le Goff, "The model holy man was the isolated hermit, the man who in the eyes of the lay masses truly realized the solitary ideal, and who was the highest manifestation of the Christian ideal" (Medieval Civilization 400-1500, trans. Julia Barrow [London: Blackwell, 1988], p. 184); a number of hermits were elevated to sainthood. Fictional hermits appear in many chansons de geste and romances, including the French Yvain, the German Parsifal, and the English Guy of Warwick and Stanzaic Morte Arthur.
1853-55 Mary's role as an intercessor on behalf of sinners to save them from God's damnation was a key one and greatly contributed to the widespread and sanctioned cult of the Virgin in the later Middle Ages.
1863 Marginal note: How the ermyght reysyd Amoryus and Cl[e]opes fro deth to lyffe.
1866 And thow I be noght wurthy of my merytys. The hermit is referring to the theological doctrine of merits, which posits that good works entitle a person to a reward from God. His assertion that he is not worthy and lacks merit demonstrates his humility rather than any want of goodness.
1867 wemme. In addition to meaning "injury" (OED 2), wem can also mean "scar" (OED 3) or "moral defilement; (stain of sin)" (OED 1). In the case of Amoryus and Cleopes, the last sense would apply to the absolution of the mortal sin of suicide. Also, the lovers later prove their resurrection by showing their scars.
1871 voys. MS: voy.
1875-76 Salve . . . regina mater misericordye. The first line of a famous medieval antiphon sung at compline, the last canonical office of the day. This antiphon was also the subject of sermons and other hymns, and appeared in Books of Hours.
1877 qwene and modyr of mercy. Commonplace epithets for Mary, who was often referred of as Queen of Heaven, and who, because of her intercessory role, was often appealed to for mercy. The spontaneous singing of the Marian anthem places the story of resurrection of the lovers within a large body of medieval tales in which the Virgin intercedes for sinners, including suicides. See, for example, "The Good Knight and his Jealous Wife," in Beverly Boyd, ed., The Middle English Miracles of the Virgin (San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1964), pp. 92-104.
1888 memoryal. MS: memoryl.
1898 At the end of this line the MS reads and. As the start of line 1899 begins with And, I have omitted the apparently superfluous and in line 1898.
1906 faryth as a feyre, ever onstabyl echoes Troilus V.1840-41: "and thynketh al nys but a faire, / This world that passeth soone as floures faire."
1909 thise transytory thingys onstabyl. See note to lines 387-88.
1910-11 This is a paraphrase of Matthew 19:22-23.
1922 But vertuus love of God was never denyid. The ideas of virtuous heathens receiving grace despite their alien birth is popular from the later fourteenth century on. See, for example, the salvation of Trajan in Piers Plowman B 11.135-67 and B 12.210ff., and in The Trentals of St Gregory; see also the elaborate salvation of the virtuous pagan lawyer in St. Erkenwald.
1929 thinkyth yow. The impersonal verb with its object, addressed to Cleopes in the polite plural.
1933 Wele. MS: Wwele.
1936 haruyd helle. See above the note to line 1791.
1961 MS reads Qhan, canceled; Than added in the margin.
1981 An awkward stroke above ye suggests some scribal hesitancy about whether the form yen or ye, the one representing the plural elsewhere, the latter supplying a correct rhyme.
1982 Wyth. The only instance of the non-abbreviated form of the preposition in the poem. This spelling is common in other manuscripts from Norfolk.
1987 Marginal note: How the hermyght destroyid the image off Venus.
1993 mankend. MS: manked.
mansyon. The word has astrological significance, related to the domicile of a planet. See note to line 305.
2011 Marginal note: How the hermyght dyssolvyd the spere.
2015 envye. MS: evye.
2022 as the smoke of a fere is proverbial; see Whiting, S414.
2029 krystyn. MS: kyrstyn.
2031 This is the first time in the poem that the temple is referred to as a church.
2039 fulfyllyd. MS: fulfully.
2046 A proverbial phrase; see Whiting, M695.
2054 Cleopes. MS: Clopes. So too in line 2082.
2066 Marginal note: How Amorius and Cleopes wre mariid.
2078 prosperyté. MS: properyte. So too in line 2117.
2084 Craig misnumbers this line 2085. The discrepancy between the numbering of lines in Craig's edition and in this one, begun at line 1646, is thus resolved here.
2087 MS reads Clopes, but Craig incorrectly emends to Cloepes. Marginal note: How Amoryus and Cleopes dyid and were byryid togydyr.
2092 wrytyn. MS: wrytys.
2094 Flowre of knyghthod is a proverbial epithet; see Whiting, F311
2106 eldtyme. MS: heldtyme.
2113 hundred and two. MS: cii. An "l," perhaps for Roman numeral 50, has been added above cii. Why this particular length of time was chosen is unclear, but if the figure 102 is intended, that would indicate the year 1346/1347, and perhaps allude to the famous English victory against the French at Crécy in France. On the date of the composition of this poem, see the note to line 2177 below.
2122-23 Proverbial; see Whiting, T464, and above note to lines 55-56.
2126 fyfty. MS: l.
2128 he ys an hole reme to have in governauns. The narrator ascribes the same ability to Amoryus in line 98.
2129-31 Sapyens is the apocryphal Book of Wisdom, attributed to Solomon. Metham is referring to Wisd 8:6-7, "And if prudence worke; who of all that is a more cunning workeman than [Wisdom]?" The first line may also allude to Proverbs 24:27, also attributed to Solomon.
2136 Waxham, a town on the Norfolk Broads, near Stapleton's manor at Ingham.
Gyldenerrys are Flemings. There were a number of Fleming enclaves in Norfolk in the fifteenth century, and there were often tensions between the English and these "foreigners," mainly engaged in cloth manufacture and mercantile trade, the primary industry of late medieval East Anglia.
2138 MS reads thei in the text, but the is added in the margin.
2139 King Cassyon is unknown.
2141 Corbellyon. Craig suggests Corbeil, a town in northern France which was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years War.
2144 Alexander Macedo. That is, Alexander (the Great) of Macedon. Chaucer mentions "Alixandre Macedo" in his House of Fame (line 915), referring to an episode in Alexander romances in which Alexander voyages through the heavens. Metham's reference may refer to a complete Alexander romance, not just the celestial voyage. Literature relating to Alexander was among the most popular and widespread in the late Middle Ages.
2145 Josue is probably Joshua, Moses' successor who led the Israelites into the Promised land. See Exodus 17:9; Numbers 27:18-23; and Joshua 1-24.
Josepus could refer to any of a number of medieval romances or histories, including the story of Joseph of Arimathea, or perhaps the "Forray de Gadderis," the first part of the Middle Scots Buik of Alexander (1438 AD) by Sir Gilbert Hay, which takes place in the Vale of Josephus. Another possibility is that it refers to the story of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian who commanded the Israelites in a war with the Romans (66 AD). Chaucer refers to this Josephus in the House of Fame (3:1429-40). None of these works by Metham has survived.
2150-56 Katherine Stapleton, Sir Miles' second wife, was the first cousin of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (see the Introduction).
2155 markeys. Marquis is a title of the peerage between those of earl and duke. William had been the chief advisor to Henry VI during the 1440s; he was murdered in 1450, apparently not long after Amoryus and Cleopes was written.
2170 Crysaunt is another of Metham's lost works. It is possibly a translation of Petrus de Crescentiis' (1233-c. 1320) De Omnibus Agriculturae Partibus et Plantarium Animalique, an encyclopedia of farming and raising livestock. Although such a work would have been useful for a large landowner like Stapleton, it is unlike the other narratives that Metham claims to have written.
2172 degré. MS: dregre.
2173 qwene Eleyne. Helen of Troy, whom Chaucer mentions in several of his works and whose beauty was a medieval commonplace. Cresseyd is Chaucer's heroine in Troilus and Criseyde. A much longer list of exemplary women occurs in a poem ascribed to Lydgate, "The Floure of Curtesy," deriving from the Balade in the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women. See The Minor Poems of John Lydgate, ed. Henry Noble MacCracken, EETS o.s. 192 (1934; rpt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 440-48.
2174 Polyxchene is Polyxena, one of King Priam's daughters. Chaucer's Troilus compares the three women, thinking that Criseyde "fairer was to sene / Than evere were Eleyne or Polixene" (I.454-55). Grysyld is Griselde, the heroine of The Clerk's Tale, who is praised for her "vertuous beautee" (line 211) and especially for her patience in suffering the outrageous trials of her husband. Penelopé, the wife of Odysseus, is mentioned in several of Chaucer's works as a model of fidelity. Craig (p. 163) argues on the basis of these two lines that Metham did not know Chaucer's works well, but his argument is based in part on Skeat's edition of Chaucer.
2177 the sevyn and twenty yere of the sext Kyng Henry. MS: xxvii. The twenty-seventh year of King Henry VI's reign, that is, 1448/49; "but Metham is probably using the regnal dates, as was common, to refer to the calendar year 1449" (Derek Pearsall, John Lydgate [London: Routledge, 1970], p. 299n7).
2178 Go now, lytyl boke is modeled on Chaucer's famous phrase Go, litel bok, go at the end of his Troilus (V.1786). Verbatim borrowings from and variations on Chaucer's expression were commonplace among fifteenth-century English poems.
2183 undyr correccion. "subject to correction." Chaucer's Parson puts his "meditation" under the correction of other clerics (line 60), and the narrator of the Troilus subjects his words to the correction of lovers as they see fit (III.1331-35). This subjection to superiors, a form of the humility topos, was a widespread motif in fifteenth-century poems.
2193 Jon Lydgate was a monk at the important Abbey of St. Edumund, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. He was one of the most prodigious and most influential writers of the fifteenth century. The word sumtyme and line 2199 indicates that Metham knew of Lydgate's death which occurred in 1449.
2195 half chongyd Latyne (half-changed Latin), referring to Lydgate's aureate diction.
2213-22 Craig observed in his edition that there were ten lines erased at the end of the manuscript. The use of ultraviolet light now makes these last ten lines of the manuscript partially visible. Because of a careful erasure and a thin vellum, some portions of the deletion are still illegible. The erased lines follow directly on the preceding stanza, as is typical in the manuscript; but the ten lines violate the seven-line rhyme royal scheme of the poem, perhaps providing a rationale for the erasure, although some reader may simply have objected to Metham's autobiographical conclusion. See the Introduction.
2219 Decendyd. MS: Decedyd.
Thys ys the story of a knyght, howe he dyd many wurthy dedys be the help of a lady, the qwyche taught hym to overcome a mervulus dragon, the qwyche was an hundred fote longe. And this knyght was clepyd Amoryus, and the lady Cleopes.1
The chauns of love and eke the peyn of Amoryus, the knygt,
For Cleopes sake, and eke how bothe in fere together
Lovyd and aftyr deyd, my purpos ys to endyght.
And now, O goddes, I thee beseche of kunnyng, that Lanyfyca hyght:
Help me to adornne ther chauns in sqwyche manere
So that qwere this matere dotht yt reqwyre,
Bothe ther lovys I may compleyne to loverys dysyre.
In May, that modyr ys of monthys glade,
Qwan flourys sprede, the qwyche wythin the rote
In wyntyr were clos, that than wyth floure and blade,
For Phebus exaltyng, wyth sundry hwys smellyd sote;
And byrdys amonge the levys grene her myrthys made,
Qwan Nero Asy gan to suldwe to the empyre,
And besegyd the emperoure of Persé Kyng Camsyre;
For qwan this Romaynys gan to subdw
The regyon of Persé and of Medys,
Camsyr, kyng of that cuntré, hys pepyl to rescwe,
Ayens this emperoure in the pleyn of Pansopherys
Toke batel; qwere he was smet to deth at onys,
Wyth the ston of an engyne, and hys pepyl put to flyght.
Thus thise Romaynis became ther lordys wyth fors of fyght.
And for fere, the lordys of that regyon
Yeldyn the keys to the emperour of this forsayd cyté
Yevyng hym omage and possessyon
Of alle this forseyd regyon of Persé
Besechyng hym undyr trybute for to be;
And theruppon ther othe thei toke,
Sqweryng upon the tempyl boke.
But for that this contré was gret and populus,
And feyth in thraldam ys selde seyn, 2
Be sad avysement, the emperour wrought ryght thus:
He commaundyd to a counsel, in certeyn,
Alle erlys and barounys that to ther oste dyd perteyn;
In qwyche counsel for surenes to reule the cuntré
They promotyd too lordys to be resydent in the chef cyté
The qwyche lordys were Romaynys born,
That aftyr, for prudent port and governauns,
Were crounyd kyngys of the remys namyd beforn.
And so this emperour, wyth vyctoryus chauns
Returnyd to Rome wyth hys oste and pysauns,
Thyse princys dwellyng in pes and rest
In the chef cyté of Persys, namyd Albynest,
Qwere thei despousyd wyvys of the lynage
Of Daryus, sumtyme emperour of that cuntré
Multyplying the world, as seyth myn autour Fyrage,
Qwere he tellyth the ryalté of ther maryage,
Remembryng the love and eke the adversyté
Of Amoryus and Cleopes, that were the chyldyr dere
Of thise lordys, how thei lovyd and dyid in fere.
And the sempyl wryter besechyth of supportacion
For the rude endytyng of this story.
But every word ys wrytyn undyr correccion
Of them that laboure in this syens contynwally;
For fulle herd yt ys, I knowe yt veryly,
To plese the pepyl; but the sqwete frute schewyth the gentil tre,
And the mowth the hert - yt wyl none odyr be.
But cause qwy that I this boke endyght
Is that noqwere in Latyne ner Englysch I coude yt aspye,
But in Grwe Y had yt, wrytyn - lymynyd bryght—
Wyth lettyrrys of gold that gay were wrowght to the ye.
That causyd me to mervel that yt so gloryusly
Was adornyd, and oftyn I enqwyryd of lettyryd clerkys
Qwat yt myght be that poyntyd was wyth so merwulus werkys.
But alle thei seyd that yt was, be supposyng,
Grwe; but qwat yt ment thei nyst ryght noght at alle.
And as yt fortunyd, ther come rydyng
To Norwyche a Greke, to home I schewyd in specyal
Thys forsayd boke, and he iche word bothe gret and smal
In Latyne yt expugned; and thus be hys informacion
I had the trwe grownd and very conclusyon.
Here Endyth the Prolog and Begynnyth the Fyrst Boke
In Albynest, the chef cyt of the regyon of Parsé
Thyse lordys reulyd, the wyche excellent were of fame,
Be hos prudens the cyteceynys were governyd in pes and equité
Be longe contynwauns, never founde in blame;
Nout wythstondyng ther charge was, in the emperourys name,
Alle maner of trespas to chastyse; but ever wyth ryghfulnes
Thei coude alle materys reforme and redres.
And as myn autour doth in Grwe specyfye -
Tellyng yt for a specyal remeberauns -
Seytht that thise lordys dwellyd so nyghe,
That betwene ther placys ther was no more dystauns
Than that a stonwal made the dysseverauns,
The qwyche dyvydyd ther courtys and closys
And ther delectabyl gardyns, in sesun spryngyng wyth lyliys and rosys.
And be ther namys myne autour doth expres
Qwyche was the fadyr of Amoryus and of Cleopes eke;
Seyng of bothe, most had in reputacion of worthynes
Was Palemedon, Amoryus fadyr, the most myghty Greke
Alle the regyon of Tessaly thruowte to seke,
Hos prudent poyntys of were wer so dyvulgate
That in the chauncys of Mars he stode makeles laureat,
Hos sone, as brevely before I dyd expres,
Was Syr Amoryus, of home this story in especyal
Makyth mencion, hos beuté and stature bothe, more and les,
Myne autour dothe declare on this wyse in general:
Of mene stature was Amoryus, manful and strong wythalle,
Wyth coloure bryght and herys broune, fulle of norture and curtesye;
And be hys wysdam, abyl an hole reme to gye.
And in hys governauns so demure and dyscrete was he,
That iche creature he coude reverens be norturyd jentylnes 3
Aftyr ther degré that of pore and ryche yn the cyté.
The fame of hys manhod and of hys lovlynes
Was in ryfe; for as thei seyd alle, he was makeles,
Hys age consydyrryd, hys byrth and nobyl lynage,
Besechyng Venus hym to fortune wyth lygkly maryage.
The fadyr of Cleopes, as seyth this story,
Was clepyd Dydas, hos wurchyp and fame
Was spred ful wyde; so that the cyteceynys for a memory
Lete make a pyler of bras, therin wrytyn hys name
And hys benefetys, moreovyr, hys ymage heldyng a frame,
In tokyn that be equité he reulyd the toune,
And eke that the tempyl was of hys fundacion.
My boke tellyth the cause of this remembrauns,
Seyng that qwyl Palemedon wyth the emperour was in batayle,
Dydas had of the cyté the hole governauns;
And sodenly ther come fro hevyn a thundyr and an hayle,
That yt overthrw the tempyl of Venus, top over tayle;
And Venus, wyth alle ymagys of gold, sylver, and bras,
Were smet to poudyr, bothe more and las.
Qwan the case of ther ymages were thus befalle,
The cyteceynis for fere fled to Dydas palyse -
Bothe prest and seculerys, women and alle -
For socoure and comfort and to here hys avyse.
For this thundyr rof ston wallys and housys of mervulus wyse
That the pepyl, dysmayd, ferfully on Dydas gan calle
For los of her godys and savacion of ther lyvys in specyal.
They compleynyd that ther gref and pensyfhede
Was for ther tresour, the qwyche ordeynyd was be polycye,
For sundry casys, to helpe the communys in ther nede,
For reperacion of the tempyl eke, and ther lyberteys to fortyfye,
"The qwyche tresur," quod thei, "undyr this hydus skye,
Kofyr and alle, in the tempyl as yt lay,
Thus brent into aschys yt ys this day."
And he ful comfortabylly to them ansqweryd in this maner:
"Frendys, be noght abaschyd for this soden case.
I schal a nwe tempyl reedyfye to owre goddes dere,
And yt as rychely aray as the elde tempyl was.
And eke as myche tresur as ye lest, more or las,
I schal of my fre wyl restore that ye no los schal have.
Thys ys myne entente, Jubyter my soule save."
For the qwyche, the pepyl on kneys before hym dyd falle,
And yave to hym preysyng, as thei aucte to do.
And for this benefet fulfyl, the pepyl in specyal
Lete make this pyler to Dydas Juno.
And lykghly yt ys to be so,
Hos doutyr, aftyr myn autour, hyght Cleopes,
And as I wryte, her beuté he doth expres:
As Phebus in bryghtenes alle planetys excedyth in general,
Ryght so in beuté Cleopes yche erthly creature
Precellyd in fayrenes; that yn the reme in specyal
The fame of her beuté was spred, and of here stature.
For so womanly was sche, so benygne to yche creature,
That lusty yong knyghtys gret parte wold make
To breke huge sperys fersly for Cleopes sake.
And brevely this proces for to trase
Qwat that Nature myght werke to beuté in ony creature
Was wrought in the persone and in the lovely face
Of this lady, for sche proporciond was in sqwych mesure
That sche sempt be outeward apparens to pase nature,
Hos beuté thus floryscyng I omyt, as of the douter of Venus,
Contynwyng here fortunat fate undyr Mars furyus 4
But now of descrypcionnys I sese and forth this proces.
As myn autor dothe wryte, ryght so wul I,
Word for word, save only a lenger progres
Yt nedyt in Englysch; for in Latyne he that wrytyth most schortly,
Most ys comendyd; qwerfore that myn autour endytyth, in more and les,
Compendyusly he pasyth; and so I, in termys fewe,
The entent of myne autour I purpos brevely to schewe.
For, as me semyth, yt were a long dygressyonit
To telle howe the nwe tempyl was jonyd of cementaryis,
Or to speke of the hythe, or the brede, or of the facion,
Or the sumpte of goldyn vessellys, as chaudrunnys and fylateryis,
Or of Venus chaplet, howe yt was enamylyd wyth grene byris -
To longe yt were to wryte; for myn autour pasyth schortely,
And I to prolonge yt were but vanyté and foly.
In June, the qwyche the nest month ys aftyr May,
The yere revolvyd fro the tyme the olde tempyl fyl.
The nwe was made and complet be twenty day
In alle ornamentys that longe to ther sacrifyce be ony skyl,
For the qwyche the gentylys alle and eke the commune pepyl
Be one asent dyd wryte to Palamedon, of hys devocion,
Besechyng hym to come to ther nwe templys dedycacion.
And eke the bylle dyd specyfye that yf yt to hys plesauns
None ofens schul be, thei dysyryd to have a syte
Of Amoryus, besechyng hys hynes noght to take to grevauns
That thei bold were on this wyse to wryte,
To accepte her feythful entent in hys syte.
Of odyr thingys the bylle eke dyd specyfy,
The qwyche charge noght here to be browte to memory.
But this pepyl a masyngere to the emperour, in goodly wyse,
Sent in hast wyth this forsayd bylle;
The qwyche hys masage schewyd wyth ful sad avyse
Be mowthe, as he was taugh of this pepyl.
And aftyr delyveryd hys lettyr and held hym stylle
Tyl Palamedon had red the ful sentens,
The qwyche upon this wyse he told in opyn audyens:
"Lordyis and frendyis," quod he, "owre cyteceynis of Albynest
Have wryt to us that to owre goddes ys fabryfyid
A nwe tempyl; to the qwych consecracion, at ther reqwest,
We muste hye; for in the bylle yt ys specyfyid
That alle ornamentys be alle redy to the solempnyté puryfyid,
And noght thei abyde but us and yong Amoryus.
The sentens of this bylle maketh mencion ryght thus."
And qwan he had spokyn, the bariunns that were in his presens
Alowyd hys sentens and seyd yt was for the best
To enclyne that tyme to the pepillys sentens:
"For sythyn," quod thei, "oure lege is now in rest
Fro Marcyan labourys, he hath of werreyowris the lesse brest.
Us thynke best that ye informe hym, as sone as ye may,
To purvey yow homeward tomorow or the nest day."
And sone a tyme oportune he had found,
Aspyid qwere the emperour was walkyng in a fresch herber,
Beforn hym on hys kne he fyl to the ground,
Schewyd hym the entent of hys comyng in benygn maner.
And qwan he had spokyn, the emperour wyth debonayre chere
Sayd to Palemedon, "Do in this matere as ye thinke best.
Ye knowe wele how owre empyre ys now in rest.
"And for yowre labour in werris that wyth us ye have be,
We thanke yow; and we wul, if ony case falle,
That yowre help in alle godely hast redy be."
And qwan he had thus spokyn, hys styward forth he dyd calle,
Comaundyng hym to fecche that ryche purpyl palle,
That hymself had usyd in Mars sacrifyse,
The qwyche he yaf Palamedon for hys trw servyse.
For the qwyche yift, in parte to make recompens,
He lovyd hym as prynce, Mars knyght most excellent.
And bothe he and Amoryus ful norturely toke ther lycens
Of the emperour and the courte, and faste thei bement
To hast ther jurney to the forsayd entent;
For the qwyche, knytys and odyr gan fast purvey
The nest morow them toward Albynest to convey.
An artyfycer nowe were nede to me
That coude a straunge style puryfye;
For my poyntel so rude ys, as ye may opynly se,
Yt can noght grave, ye may yt wele aspye,
Be the qwyche my rudenes I mene to endyte this storye.
But trwth ys seyd: blynd Bayard of no dowtys doth purvey 5
Tyl he hath fallyn in the myd wey.
Qwerfore fully I me excuse, or I ferther procede,
To yche dyscrete persone most in specyal.
And to the goddes that Fame hyght, now in this nede,is
I beseche for help - that qwere this boke in chambyr or halle
Be herd or red, sche lyst the sylver sqwete pype so smal
To sounde, that the brasyn trumpe of obloqui,
For my rudenes, mystune noght in no company 6
And nowe my autour I muste folow in astronomy,
The qwyche dymme ys to onlernyd folk, I trowe verily 7
But now I returne to Palamedon, the qwyche lay in rest,
Abydyng sum tokyn qwan Aurora schuld sprynge.
And as he lay wakyn, he herd a ruschyng of a chest,
For qwyche noyse he wythowte taryinge
Styrt up to wyte yf ony creature were styryng.
"Ho goth ther?" quod he; and aftyr stylle he stode for to here
Yf ony servaunt had walkyd ther nere.
And to the mortere of wax he yed to aspye the wast 8
To wete yf tyme were fore to ryse,
To knowe allso how fer the nyght was past.
And as he the brennyng of the mortere gan devyse,
The nyght chauntour, the cok, hys fyrst salme dyd appryse 9
"A!" thought he, "this sygnyfyith mydnyght.
The cok none ere crwe; yt wul be long or yt be daylyght."
Forth than to the wyndow he yed to wyt how the day schuld preve;
And as he kyste up hys eye to the fyrmament,
He aspyid Latona, how sche toke her leve
Of Jovys her love, and howe Boetes gan dreve
Hys bryght plowgh of sterrys, and eke the systyrrys at ther stent,
The qwyche be namyd the sterrys sevyn,
How thei gan appere in the myddys of hevyn.
And as he hys chere turnyd to behold Pegasus,
The fyry goddes of the fyrmament gan to schew here face.
And qwan he hys lady aspyid, that namyd ys Venus,
Wyth devoute preyyer to beseche her of grace
On kneys doune hym sett, and for this preysyng gan race
In magnyfying the gloryus chyvalry stellygerat
In qwemyng of Venus and Mars that than were at debat.
"O!" quod he, "Ye inmortal goddyis, alle incorporat,
The qwyche be pasyng of nature have trancendyd this mysery
Be fortunat fate, eternally deyfyid and gloryfycat,
That ye the hevyn crystallyne illumyne and puryfye
Of yowre infynyte goodenes, ye yowre wurchypperys deyfye.
Be a prerogatyfe synguler, that thei that can yow feytfuly plese 10
Ye yef them alle that ys to ther hartys ese.
"O, hye Saturne!, reulyng wyth the septyr of prudens,
Alle terrenal accionnys cyrcumscryvyst indefycyentlye
Be the progeny deyfyid of thee - havyng decens
In fyre, aer, lond, and see- be ther namys them thus to applye: 11
As Jovys, fyry; Juno, aery; Neptunus, wattry; Pluto, erthy;
The qwyche, havyng of thise elementys septrat powere,
Thy chyldyr were iheryid; be thow and eke thei in fere 12
"And eke, O Appollo!, to hos bryght chere my goddys alle
Yeve sted; and every lyvyng erthely creature,
Wyth erbe, floure, and frute, thee preyse in general,
And eke I thi servaunt, qwyl my lyfe wul endure.
In my jurny, fyry and noght wattery do thi cure
To appere, I thee beseche; and I on thee most reverend wyse
A blake bole in the yle of Delfos schal to thee sacrifyse.
"And O Mars, cheveteyn of nobyl weryouris,
Wyth Venus and Lucyna, the mone, pesybyl be;
For masculyne furyus ayens femenyn schouris
Amonge goddys ys ascryvyd but to crwelté. 13
And now, howe gloryus and how blyssyd yt ys to se
Yowre deyifyid cherrys, O goddis and goddessys alle.
Iheryid ye myght be eternally wyth infynyte memoryalle!
"And O eke ye nobyl deyfyid sygnys! abstracte
From erthly mancionnis to the asuryd fyrmamente;
Sum fyx and sum revolvyng to and fro, in maner of the cateracte,
Betwene the poolys - bothe the qwyche namys thus represent
The poole Artyk and the poole Antartyk -- at the goddys entent
In sundry fygurys, as summe stondyng, summe syttyng,
Sum defendyng, summe lying, summe water poryng.
"And be the hye provydens of yow, goddys colegyat,
Every sygne dysposyd ys be fatal ordynauns
That yche regnyth a tyme, hys cours kepyng and estate, 14
Yche, aftyr hys dysposycion, reulyng wyth fortunat chauns
Them that born be undyr ther dyverse demenauns -
As summe to prosperyté and ese, summe to travel and gret vexsacion,
Sum to be leccherus, and sum onstabyl aftyr the sygnys dysposycion.
"Qwerefore, O Alna! wombe of the Sagyttary of sterrys lucent,
Myself I deprehend that in thine exorte
I born was. O blyssyd sygne, fortunat appere to myne entent!
And I thi gloryus fygure of pure gold, to thine apport,
Amonge my goddys schal fyx, and ever to thee resorte
Wyth sacryfyse; and alle sygnys of the fyrmamente, becaus of thee,
Wythin my tempyl in ther lykenes made schal be."
And Palamedon thus hys preyur than dyd conclude,
For of sqwetnes of devocion half raveschyd was he,
Foryetyng hymself; for trwe yt ys that love dothe exclude
Bothe hete and cold, and causyth a man foryetful for to be;
For the sterrys so longe he beheld, descryvyng the magesté
That the pepyllyng wynde made hys flesch for to quake,
That he styrt to hys bed and anwe rest began to take.
Nowt longe tyme he had loyn in the golden slepe
That fro undyr the erthe phyry Phebus
Wyth hys glymyrryng bemys into the chambyr gan lepe,
That yn hys bryghtnes he woke Amoryus,
And he in hast styrt up and hys fadyr dyd clepe,
Seyng that yche man redy was to ryde,
Chafyng ther hors up and doune be the court syde 15
And be that tyme he redy was to take hys palfrey,
Lusty, fresch knyghtys of howsold redy were
To convey hym forth in hys jurney.
And qwan he the entent perseyvyd of hys frendys dere,
Of ther lovyng entente he thankyd hem in benyng manere,
Seying as herttyly, "I thanke yow in every degré
As yf ye me conveyid home to owre cyté."
But alle hys speche stod for noght, for certenly, thei seyd,
They had sundry erendys into hys cuntré
And eke dyverse messagys upon hem were leyd;
Also ther dysyre was to se the nwe tempyl and the cyté.
And qwan Palamedon sey yt wold none odyr be
But forth thei wold, he thankyd them hertyly 16
And toke hys palfray and forth rod myryly.
And qwan thei pasyd had the cyté but mylys thre,
A losty yonge knyght gan preke hys palfray
Toward Amorius. "Qwat sorow eylys thee now," quod he,
"That thow thus sobyrly rydyst alle this day?
Be myne hed," quod he, "I trowe that thow hast lost thi pray
Of summe jentyl woman that dwellyth wyth the empres.
Yt ys nowe thi mornyng, as I gesse.
"But wotys thow qwat me thynkyth best?
Lern this lessun, if thow be wyse of me:
Lete no fayre loke reve thee of thi rest;
But them that thow knowyst hertyly love thee,
Love them ayen qwyder yt be he or sche.
And ever beware of fayre speche, fore many be ontrwe;
For trost in ontrwe hath made many a man to rwe.
"But nowe let alle this musyng matere pase,
And be avysyd of perell ayens anodyr tyme."
"Ye, brodyr," quod Amoryus, "I trowe that ye have trodyn the trace
Of lovys daunce, for of the kalendys ye muse the prime; 17
For he that hyest on that leddere dothe clyme,
Deppest into wo fallyth qwan he hat lost hys pray.
But trost me veryly, lovyd I so no creature into this day."
"Wele," quod this yonge knygt, "this matere longyth to sadnes.
But lete yt pase, and syng now sum songe for this sesunne."
"I graunt," quod Amoryus, "begynne moun youre chauntes;
But go gete us more felychyp." "Ye, for god!" quod he, "Yt ys resun."
And forth he clepyd foure knytys hos ful devocion
Was set in wordly plesauns, that wyth melydyus chauntyng
Thys song of love wyth lusty voys thei gan to syng:
"Qwan flourys sprede in May, of monthys myryest,
And every byrde hath chosyn hys lovely make,
For joye of the sesun amonge the levys grene gan rest
Wyth myry notys syngyng, as I my walkyng gan take
Undyr a forest syde. I herd one for hys ladyis sake -
To the goddes of love he gan to compleyn,
And eke to fortune for los of hys lady sovereyn:
"O, Fortune! Alas! qwy arte thow to me onkend?
Qwy chongyddyst thow thi qwele causeles?
Qwy art thow myne enmye and noght my frend,
And I ever thi servant in al maner of lovlynes?
A But nowe of my lyfe, my comfort, and my afyauns
Thowe hast me beraft; that causyth me thus to compleyn.
O bryghter than Phebus! O lyly! O grownd of plesauns!
O rose of beauté! O most goodely, sumtyme my lady sovereyn!
"But, O, allas! that thru summe enmye or sum suspycyus conjecte,
I throwyn am asyde and owte of my ladiis grace.
Sumtyme in faver but now fro alle creaturys abjecte
As oftyn sqwownyng as I remembyr her bryght face.
But now, adwe for ever, for my ful felycyté
Is among thise grene levys for to be.'"
Thys was the dyte of ther fresch songe and the sentens
That thise yonge knytys dyd syng in the jurney,
In specyal for feinere love and presnes
Of Amoryus; and thus wyth myry songys and talys day be day,
They schortyd the tyme wyth myrtht and wyth play.
And in alle ther myrthys Palamedon rode forth stylly,
Thynkyng alle but vanyté and foly.
But now I leve thise fresch galauntys syngyng in ther lay
Wyth mornyng joye, in sqwetnes of songe compleynyng
The absens of ther ladyis soveren in the sesun of May,
To returne to the cyteceynys, the qwych herd of ther comyng,
Nwe clad in a sute wyth ful solen aray,
On horsbak wyth Dydas rydyn owte of the cyté
Abydyng in a pleyn the dystauns of mylys thre,
Tyl of ther spye thei had sum tokynnyng.
And at hye none thayr masynger come rydyng apase,
Enformyng Dydas how that thei come fast by.
Ther comyth myche pepyl, thei occupy myche spase,
And than Dydas commaundyd yche man hys dystauns
To kepe fro odyr, and fast than he gan purvey
To mete wyth hym in alle godely hast on the wey.
And Dydas ful norturely wyth hys company
Hym welcomyd as to hys oune cuntré
And eke the emperourys knyghtys, by and by,
Conveyng them forth into ther cyté
Qwere thei receyvyd were as thei aucte to be,
Of hys lady and odyr of the toune,
Ful solemply conveyid home to hys mancioun.
The nest day folwyng, Dydas and odyr sundry
Of the cyté come to Palamedon and hym prayd
To asyngne a day qwan the tempyl most convenyently
Myght be dedycat. "Loke ye," quod Palamedon, "I held me payd,
Save I wul se beforn howe yt ys nwe arayd;
For yf ony thing schul lak that schuld the tempyl adorne,
I wold have konnyng thereof beforn."
And forthwyth he dyd clepe the emperour[ys] knyghtys,
"Wul ye," quod he, "se the nwe tempyl abought?"
"Ye, syre," quod they, "we come hydyr to se nwe sytys."
And forth thei yede and fast beheld yt wythin and wythowte.
Ther was castyng of perellys and mevyng of many a dowghte 18
But at the last this was Palamedonnys sentens,
Among them alle in opyn audyens:
"Trwly, brodyr Dydas," quod he, "this tempyl ys feyre.
Venus do yow mede; and I purpose in specyal
For a remeberauns of owre goddys alle a spere to repeyre
Of pure gold, to the symylytude as a bal,
Havyng therin the goddys mevyng natural
And yche sygnys exort; and be mevyng yt schal represent
The cours of alle planetys of the fyrmament."
And qwan he had thus spokyn, "Qwere ys," quod he, "Venus secretary,
The qwyche in craftys mekanyk hath experyens,
As of dyvynacionnys, enchauntements, and of sorcery,
And oftyn in ars magyk hath wrowgt in my presens?"
But of hys wordys or he had spokyn the full sentens,
Amonge hem was this forsayd prest of Venus,
For he knwe alle beforn be hys spyryt namyd Incobisus.
And qwan Palamedon had rehersyd this matere before,
"Syre," quod this secretary, "the labour ys cumbrus and grete.
But yf I have stuf to performe yt, in lesse and more
For my bysynes, I purpose noght to lete,
So that this day ye wul the gold me gete,
Feythfully, I dar promyse that be this day sevynyght,
Iche image and cerkyl redy schal be dyght."
"As for that," quod Palamedon, "schal be made no tarying."
And he to hys styward anone yaf this commaundmente,
As mych gold as he wold ax thidyr for to bryng
And eke ryche stonys aftyr the secretaryis entent.
"Anone," quod he "thei were delyveryd qwyl I am present."
And as he commaundyd, ryght so the styward dyd indede,
Preyng this nygromancyer hym in hys werk to spede.
And ther Palamedon in opyn audyens
Them of the cyté chargyd redy for to be,
On ther legauns and promysyd obedyens,
Alle present and absent that longe to the cyté
Wythowte resonabyl cause or gret specyalté
Aftyr eght dayis, be the custummys olde,
The dedycacion of Venus and the tempyl to hold.
And than owte of the tempyl he yede and the knytys also,
Home to hys palyce to theyr refeccion,
Qwere I hem leve carpyng of the tempyl to and fro,
To returne to the secratary; the qwyche be conjuracion
Of spyrytys enchauntyth myghtyly be dyvynacion,
Wyth spryngys of cydyr, qwyk colys, and encens,
Introducyng the spyrytys into hys cyrcumferens.
And sone an huge pytte he gan make besyde,
Qwere he the gold, sylver, and precyus stonys
Thrw in togydyr and aftyr gan abyde
Tyl he had gadyrryd a multytyde of mennys bonys
And thrwe hem into the pytte all at onys;
For as clerkys wryte, the damnyd spyrytys have delectacion
Amonge tresur and ded mennys bonys to make ther mancion.
And redy anone he dyght hys sacrifyse,
Abydyng the oure of hys operacion.
Arayd in qwyght, hys cerkyl gan dyvyse,
Wyth carectyrs and fygurys as longe to the dysposycion
Of tho spyrytys that have that power in ther jurysdyccion.
And at hye mydnyght he entryd hys cumpas,
Wyth hys boke and sacrifyse conjuryng apase.
And wythin schort tyme be excellent craft,
He had introducyd into this forsayd pytt
Sevyn hundred thousand spyrytys or he laft,
And fast ther bond them that thei myght noght flytt,
Thow thei had yt sqworn; ther them he schytt
And made tho spyrytys so mervulusly werk in fere
That wythin thre ourys complet was the spere.
And now for to declare the werkyng of this spere,
And eke to name the cerkyllys, fygurys, and sygnys,
The multytude of sterrys - namyd in pannymys manere
Goddys of the fyrmamente - and eke the mervulus mevyngys
Of the planetys, causyng in thayr regne sundry thyngys
In werkyng of nature; alle this this spere dyd represent,
As in frosty nyghtys ye may behold in the fyrmament.
In the este ende of this tempyl this spere apperyd aloft
Fyve cubytys fro the ground alwey mevyng
Noudyr hangyng ner undyrborn of herd ner of soft
But alone in the eyar to every mannys eye apperyng
So mervulus a melody yt causyd to folkys heryng
That half thei raveschyd were be the sqwete armony
Of the swyft glydyng of thise cerkyllys by and by.
And in the over cerkyl includyng alle this huge werk,
Aftyr astrologerys descripcion, Applanos hyght;
The qwyche undyr, hevyn empure, and as Haly the gret clerk
Doth specyfy qwere he of constellacionys doth wryght,
Ys nest; and so vysuually to yche mannys syte,
Abovyn this spere enchauntyd, apperryd over, more and les,
As lyqwyde gold brennyng in a furnes.
But the secunde cerkyl, ther ys no lyvyng creature
That myght yt behold but gretly he schuld wondyr
Of the operacion and ryches of that mervulus fygure.
For in that the fyx sterrys were and sygnys mevyng asundyr,
Sum uprysyng, and sum dessendyng, and sum cerkuly mevyng undyr,
The qwyche multytude, in fere, aftyr paynymys opynyon,
Was clepyd the Colege of Goddys, aftyr poyyetys denominacion 19
And in the fyrst fyx sygne, the doutyr of Lycaon,
Clad in sterrys of gold, cumpasyng tweyn berys qwyght,
Wyth a saphyryne serpent stedfastly stondyng in one,
The qwyche the north pole ys clepyd, or Artos bryght,
Nest home Artophylax stondyng redy for to fyght,
In the defens of Arcton, clad in a palle smaragdyne,
Adornyd wyth sterrys of gold, to the centyr hys face dyd declyne;
Upon hos schuldyr the garlond of Adryagne
Aperyd in the symylytude as a ryche topas;
Nest home stode Kyng Hercules that alle Asy wanne,
The skyn of a lyon in ryght arme dyd enbras
Wyth a gleyve of gold dyvydyng the cerkyl or cumpas
Of somer; closyd in sterrys flamyng nynetene;
The qwyche in hys exorte of astronomerys hyghly myght be sene. 20
And be Hercules, the harp musycal of Orphé
Was joynyd to the pole of the qwych, as poyetys feyne,
Orphe wyth the sqwete melody from Plutoys fyry see,
As fro helle, hys wyfe he harpyd ayeyne.
And undyr this harpe the sqwan that to Jovys dyd perteyne
Was plumyd wyth oryent margaryts; and taward the lesse bere
Thyse goddys and goddessys conjoynyd were.
Cephe and Casyep, fayre Andrometé and semly Persé
The kyng of Cryse, and nakyd Opylenk involvyd wyth a serpent
Wyth the goldyn arow of Hercules that the egyl dyd sle,
The egyl flying by, and the dolphyn that in the spere ys resydent,
And wyngyd Pegasus that made in Boyse the welle oryent,
Wyth the triangyl, qwyche imagys were made in her fygurys
Off sundry precyus stonys as of carbunkyllys, dyamaunts, and saphyrys.
But for that this matere ys obscure and to onletteryd noght delectabyl,
I pase schortly; but sythyn I have begunne to descrive the spere,
Brevely I schal conclude, omyttyng colourys as of sylver and sabyl,
Asure, gold, goulys, and verd; the ennamyllyngys in sundry manere
Of the vestyture of goddys as thei wrowght were in fere
Be enchauntement; and now the resydu up to descrive,
I pray yow of pacyens; I schal ado belyve.
And nest thise foresayd, Phebus twelve dwellyng placys
Sundryly apperyd, the qwyche be clepyd in commune langage
The twelve syngnys of the yere, kepyng there pacys
In this forsayd spere, closyd in oryent sterrys as in a cage,
As the Ram, the Qwyght Bole, the Tweyn Bredyr of Grekys Lynage,
The Crab, the Lyon, the Vyrgyne, and the Weghtys,
The Scorpyon, the Sagyttary, the Capricorn, the Aqwry, and the Fysschys.
And southe in the spere toward the Octyan
The Qwalle was, hornyd Padus, the Hare, and Oryon
Wyth the sqwyf Grehound, and fers Prochyon,
The schyp of Argus, the Centaure or the monstyr of Chyryon,
The fygure of the Dorys of the Tempyl of Salomon,
Wyth the serpent namyd Ydra, the Pese, and the Crow
And the fysch clepyd Serus; thus thei namyd were a Rome.
And as I have here rehersyd in the spere nygromantyk,
Ryght so in the fyrmament the same sygnys be,
As asstrologerys wryte, fygurys to men and bestys lyke
To the qwyche paynymys dyd sacrifyse for every adversyté
Settyng them in charys of gold that the pepyl myght them se,
Into the qwyche wykkyd spyrytys entryd the pepyl to ludyfye,
To make them forsake God, and to turment her soulys everlastyngly.
And into this owre, the most part of the world ys so made blynd
Thorowgh the sotel falsnes of the fend that thei beleve
To be translat into hevyn qwere thei ther god schuld fynd;
For of every sekenes thei wene the idol dyd hem releve;
Oftyn he talkyth to hem in ther langage bothe morow and eve;
Qwan thei wyth sacrifyse beseche hym to be mercyfull,
He gladyth them wyth feyre promyssys at the fulle.
But ayen to returne to the spere and yt to conclude fynally,
The sevyn planetys to descrive, the qwyche beneth thise odyr
Were resydent in ther tronys, reulyng bodyis of the erth myghtyly,
That for ther excellent power sum ys clepyd the fadyr
To them rehersyd before, and so dere and wurthy
To alle ydolatrerys thei be that huge templys to yche of thise syngulere
They edyfye to ofyr in theyr sacrifyse and muse her prayyer.
And to sum thei sacrifyse for wysdam, as to Saturne,
The qwyche in the sevynt spere hath hys domyny;
To sum for prospperyté and wurchyp, as to Jubyter that makyth returne
In the syxt cerkyl or trone; and to Mars for vyctory
Of her adversaryis that the fyfte trone reulyth myghtyly;
And to Phebus for ansqwere of aventurys how thei schul falle
In tyme foluyng, the qwyche the fourth spere reulyth celestyal.
And eke to beuteuus Venus, that femenyn ys of nature,
Lusty fresch galauntys to have ther lykyng dysyre
To her beseche for help qwan thei endure
Ony infortune or qwan thei brenne in lovys fyre;
The qwyche goddes reulyth the empyre
Of the thryd trone, to home Dydas for pure devocion
Bylyd the tempyl qwere the spere had the mocion.
And to Mercurry, thei that marchaundyse ocupy
As to god of fortune, thei beseche for prosperus aventure;
The qwyche the secunde trone possedyth; and nest us by,
In the fyrst trone, resedyth the goddes of Dyane that the nyght obscure
Temperyth wyth her bryght chere that femenyne ys of nature;
The qwyche thise paynymys clepe goddes of the see,
Preyng her wyth sacrifyse for the seeys tranquillyté.
And thus I ende this rude descrypcion
Of goddys and the spere to speke of the secretary
That had a fynauns and a fulle conclusyon
Of this mervulus spere be the spyrytys aery;
That fast than homeward gan hym hye
Speryd the tempyl dorys and to hys chambyr yede,
Qwere I hym leve slepe yf he can, for he hath nede.
Fowre days aftyr that made was this werke,
Thys secretary had schewyd alle the spere
Upon a nyght to Palemedon, qwan the wedyr was derke,
Axing hym yf ony he wold have made in privy maner,
Besyde that, to the reverens of theyr goddes dere.
"Qwat?" quod Palamedon, Aye have made be myne estymacion
That no lyvyng creature but ye myght to this conclusyon.
"O, Venus dere!" quod he, "this werk ys so qweynt and mervulus
That I am astoynyd to behold yt; yt mevyth so fast
Myne eyn dymme of the wundyrful bryghtnes; yt ys so laboryus
That my resun demyth that yt myght noght ever last,
For be my wytt I have concludyd and caste
That yf yche cerkyl were as thyk as a mylle post,
The scharp mevyng schul sone cause yt to be lost."
"Be lost!" quod the secretary, "nay, nay," quod [he], "that schal never be
Qwyl the world enduryth; trost that veryly
Qwat wene ye? that the cerkyllys were of that tresur that ye
To me delyveryd? Nay, thynke yt nowt; that ys but a fantesy!
For one cerkyl takyth more matere than yowre tresur drw holy.
But for a matere of counsel," quod this secretary, "in specyal,
I browt yow now hydyr; I schal noght gab at alle.
"Qwan complet was the spere as yt ys this owre,
Sore I dysyryd to knowe how longe yt schuld endure.
And upon a nyght thys weke in my towre,
I sacrifysyd to Venus, prayng her to do her cure,
To schewe me be revelacion, to make me sure
Yf yt schuld sone be destroyd, or late, or never,
Or, yf the tempyl overtrw, yf the cerkyllys schuld dyssever.
"And as I lay, I fyl wondyrfully aslepe
And sodenly in a dreme I was, and that a mervulus.
Me thowt I sey Venus alle mornyng as thow sche schuld wepe,
Punchyng me wyth her fote to me seyd rygt thus,
Alas!' quod sche, we goddessys may say, for sone to us
Is schape an uttyr exile; for here qwere we were wunt to abyde,
A crucyfyid man schal take possessyon and us put asyde.
" And were noght,' quod sche, that this hevy case schuld falle,
The spere schuld ever endure, veryly;
But sythyn thus yt schal be, the same nyght breke yt schal
That we arn drouyn hens; and thus, alas, everlastyngly
Owre wurchyp, owre power, and owre memory
Owte of this cuntré that crucyfyid man shal fleme.
Beleve this veryly; loke that never odyrwyse yow esteme.'
"No more sche sayd, but ayen sche yede fro thens sche come,
Wryngyny her handys, sodenly vanyschyd awey.
And I wyth that woke and fast yede home
To my rest; and in my bed as I lay,
Sche eft apperyd to me, and on the same wyse dyd say
As sche dyd before; and this ys cause," quod he, "that I
In specyal sent for yow thus hastyly."
"Trwlé" quod Palamedon, "this I wondyr; but yef no credens
That yt schal falle, for we were mad owre god to forsake
And to a crucyfyid man to do ony reverens.
For that day that I a damnyd man to my god schal take,
Loke that hevyn schal falle and Venus anwe schal make.
But loke for rumour of the pepyl that yow yt counsel kepe 21
Telle now no more, for I go home to slepe."
Erly in the morw Phebus, wyth hys golden chare,
Hys cors toke to the cerkyl that Cherycos men calle,
Spredyng hys fyry bemys on hyllys and desertys bare.
On the heght day lymyt, qwan the dedycacion schul falle 22
Of this tempyl, qwere iche man and woman in specyalle
For the fest and the sesun aftyr ther costummys olde,
In her best aray, yede to the tempyl this fest to hold;
Qwere alle this pepyl gadyrryd, abydyng Palamedon,
Wondryng gretly of the sqwet melody
That owte of the tempyl come; and sone ther come anone
Thyse lordys and of alle the cyté the ryche and wurthy
In glytytyng gounys that wrowt were mervulusly
Of pure gold and stonys that wondyr yt was to se
The arayment of lordys in that solempnyté.
And qwan this secretary aspyid that thei come nye,
He lete opyn the dorys, commaundyng the prestys alle
Them to aray in there slavennys in hye,
That no lettyng schuld be, qwat case sumever falle,
"But as sone as Palamedon hath take hys stalle,
Owre servyse we may begynne and owre observauns,
For to spede the tyme to the peppyl ys most pleasauns."
And wyth that, thise lordys entryd into the tempyl -
And eke the comunnys, thei that sunnest myght.
But sodenly abaschyd the countenauns of the pepyl
In the beheldyng the wondyr fygure of the spere bryght,
Makyng sqwyche a melody and flamyng wyth sqwych a lyght
That the pepyl dysmayd as schepe in a thundyr
Ryght so thei stode and on the spere gan wondyr.
And qwan the pepyl had longe yt behold, the secretary
Commaundyd sylens and to sese of ther jangyllyng,
And anone began the holy observans and mystery
Aftyr paynymmys gyse: thei gan meryly syng,
Than yche man drwe hym to prayere wythowte more lettyng,
And aftyr, ther rammys, kyddys, and bolys, thei gan sacrifyse
To Venus aftyr ther ollde abhomynabyl gyse.
Now leve I this introducyng matere in specyal
To declare the substauns of the story:
Of Amoryus and Cleopes beyng at thise mysteryis alle,
In that tempyl ful lytyl knowyng qwat fortune was them ny
Of lovys chauns; for thow thei were born fast by,
Nowdyr of odyr had very knowlech; for as I before told,
Amoryus was fostyrryd in the emperourys houshold.
Thys Amoryus in the tempyl yed up and downe,
Conveyd wyth thise fresch yonge knytys,
Carpyng of aventure; for lytyl devocion
They had in the servyse, but alle ther delytys
Was to se the gentylwomen, kastyng to and fro ther sytys;
For one thei spake, fyllyng the champ, yche to odyr,
But wyth ther mowth thei musyd one and wyth ther hert anodyr.
And as Syre Amoryus talkyd, he kyst hys ye covertly
To beheld thise ladyis, notyng thayre demenauns
And eke ther beuté hys eye began sodenly
To be set on one, abaschyd in maner of that soden chauns,
Mervelyng gretly that sche wyth so goodely countenauns
Kyste here eye asyde qwan he her beheld stedfastly,
Revolvyd in hys mende that bothe sche was beuteus and womanly.
But alwey he fyllyd the tale amonge them alle
That no creature coude aspye that he was bysy
About sqwyche materys; but anone he gan calle
A servaunt, byddyng hym hys prayur rolle to fecche in hye
And ayen turnyd to the knytys, "Ye are cause," quod he, "that I
Am behynde of my devocionys." "Devocionys!" quod thei,
"Qwat! pray qwan ye ar elde, and talke now; stylle be yowre fey."
But at the last this servant come wyth this rolle,
Delyveryd yt to Amoryus, and he wold no lenger lett.
"Adwegh," quod he to the knytys, "I must grete daune Appolle
Wyth thise devocionnys," and on hys kneys doune hym sette,
And that thei schuld here loude, thus Appollo he gret:
"In thi preysyng, O god Appollo, my vowe receyve gracyusly
To my comfort and encrese of thi glory."
And up he rose, for done was hys gret devocion.
But wyth hys rolle, abrod he welk fro the este to the weste,
And wyse and ware he was that be no maner of suspycion
The starerrys aboute schul perseyve, but deme for the best
That he so yede; and nere as he durst ever he yede forby the closet 23
Qwer Cleopes sat, but ever fere of tungys hym let.
But at the last, nere he gan take hys trace;
And as godely as he coude, he covertly kyst hys ye
Upon this lady, and eft forth gan kepe hys pace
As he had done before, and sche anone gan yt asspye.
But qwy he so her beheld sche knwe noght veryly,
Save for because of hys godely chere,
Sche dempt that he her lovyd in frendly maner.
And wyth that, sche gan remembyr hys manhed and fame
That in ryfe was, and eke hys amyabyl stature.
"O" quod sche, "this ys Amoryus for certen; this ys the same
That so manful ys in bateyl and so lovely to yche creature.
O Venus!" quod sche, "deme I noght aryte that this wurthy weryour
Schuld cast a love to me that fostryd hath be among most beuteuus
Of alle Rome? for certeyn yt ys noght thus,
"But for sum odyr cause he dothe me behold?"
And as sche this gan revolve in her mende to and fro,
He come forby at her; bak and forth hys cours gan hold.
And sche anone gan consydyr hys stature as he gan goo,
Comendyng hys semlynes; and sone the delectabyl woo
Of lovys fyre had percyd here hert that her ful cure
Was hym to love before yche erthely creature.
And eft wyth hys rolle he come as he dyd before
In hope that he comfortyd schuld be yf he myght her behold.
And stedfastly he gan her behold; but ever lenger, the more
He went to a be holpyn, the more hys hert gan fold 24
And as he yede softely, he syghyd; and so sche supposyd qwat he wold.
But ho was than joyful but sche qwan sche herd that syghyng?
For more plesauns yt was to here than ony erthly thyng!
There was no wytt than to seke, in sothefastnes,
To conclude undyr qwat form thei myght aqweyntyd be 25
A thowsand weys thei kyst thayre love to expresse,
But redy womannys wytt ys yn soden casys of necessyté.
And so Cleopes there schewyd to make in love an entré
To save her worchyp and that Amoryus schuld have knowyng,
Be a fygure, the entent of her inward menyng.
There was, as seyth the story, a portrature mervulus
In a boke that Cleopes had to sey on her devocionys,
Portrayd wyth gold and verd, the qwyche conseyt representyd thus:
Ther was an hynde lying as yt had bene on stonys,
Holdyng an hert that bordyryd was wyth trw lovys,
Beforn qwyche depeyntyd was a knyght knelyng,
Holdyng in one hand an hart, in the odyr [a] ryng.
But qwy yt was portrayd, ne fallyth me to telle
But for the conseyt womannys wytt to expres 26
Thys lady had caught an ymagynacion of that mervel,
That in lyke thingys the dome lyke schuld be, sche gan ges,
"And yf he wyse be, my menyng he schal perseyve in more and les."
And as he yede forby, sche held aloft her boke, and bysyly
Her ymagys beheld, and Amoryus yt gan aspye.
But that he mervelyd that sche wyth so sad chere
Beheld her boke, and wythin hys hert purposyd fully
To wytt qwat yt schuld be be sum maner
That sche wyth stedfast chere beheld so bysyly.
And as fortune wold, Venus was born foreby
To hos reverens iche man and woman on kneys them set,
And Amoryus doune knelyd be Cleopes closet.
Fyrst, he dyd be norture obeychauns that straungely, 27
And sche hym rewardyd ayen with wordys soft.
But qwat he seyd or sche, my boke makyth no memory,
Save qwan that Venus was born alofte,
Hys eye on Cleopes boke he kyst ful ofte,
And sche a-purpose made wyth her fynger demonstracion
Askauns, "Constrwe now, for of my menyng this ys the entencion."
And he sone yt perseyvyd and gan revolve to and fro
In hys hert; but no lenger than he dyd abyde,
But up he rose and forth in hys walk he gan go,
Revolvyng in hys mende to and fro
The portrature that he had sene on every syde,
Noght the imagys only, but of the beholdyng
That sche wyth chere and fynger made therto tokenyng.
But the servyse endyd; thise knyghtys come in fere
To Amoryus. "Qwat!" quod thei, "benedicyté! ye arn wunder holy today.
Ye have sayd for alle this weke yowr preyyer!"
"Yee, yee!" quod Amoryus, "sumtyme to sporte and sumtyme to pray
Yt ys expedyent; iwus yit I have thingys to say;
But now, for schortnes of tyme,
Of the resydu I schal abyde tyl tomorgh prime."
Nedys he must depart - but lothe was he -
Fro hys lady, and sche wyth sqwemful chere
Gan hym behold qwan sche say yt wold none odyr be
But nede thei must depart. "Farewele," quod sche, "my knyght entere."
And he, "Farewele, my hole plesauns and lady dere."
In her hertys thus thei ment, at hos partyng was a privy peyn,
But at thayr metyng come myrth ayeyn.
Hom iche creature yede aftyr this forsayd solempnyté
To her refeccion, and yche man gan hym hye
To the tornamentys, and most in specyal for to se
The justys that proclamyd were most specyally
At the reqwest of the emperourys knytys, the qwyche bysyly
Than gan them harnes, hying hem to the feld
Qwere the knytys of the cuntré abydyn wyth spere and scheld.
And Amoryus nas noght behynde, but yit or he toke hys stede
A portrayer he clepyd, byddyng hym in alle the hast he may
Steyn wyth colourys in a kerchyf of a qwarter brede
The same conseyt that in Cleopes boke he sey.
And this portrayer wythoute delay
Steynyd yt sone, and for he knw Amoryus myght noght abyde,
For hast ayens a fyre he dryid the wrong syde.
And Amoryus fast this kerchyf gan wynde
Aboute hys ryght arme that men myght yt see,
And on hys steede he lepe. "Qwer ys my fadyr? Ys he behyn?"
To hys men he sayd. "He abydyth yow," quod thei, "in the entré."
"And the knytys eke, abyde thei me?"
"Wele," quod he, "here goth therfore." And fast he prekyd to the place,
Ther the servaunts telde hym hys fadyr was.
And as he come hys fadyr gan yt asspye
Fro ferre. "Qwat," quod he, "hath he yondyr? Yt ys sum nyset-
As he come nere - "Qwat have ye ther? qwat maner jape or foly?"
"Fadyr," quod he, "this nyght for a specyal tokyn of vyctory,
Venus apperyd, schewyng this fygure to me,
Byddyng me the symylytude to forme, wyth the qwyche wythowte fayl
I schuld have vyctory in every tornyament and bateyl."
"God yeve grace," quod he, "yt be so." And forth thei gan ryde
To this place qwere the knytys abydyn, armyd bryght,
Hovyng on horsbak, perand aboute on every syde
Qwan Amoryus schuld come; and anone ryght
The pepyl gan crye that come to behold that syght,
"Make rome fast, for he comyth, owre lord Palamedon
Hys sone eke, and the emperourys knytys everychon."
Sone as the statys had takyn her stagys, 28
Eke the ladyis of the toune her setys had take,
Into the place come rydyng the emperourys knytys, makyng chalengys
Ayens alle that wold come party in justys to make
That day in the feld, for here soveren ladyis sake.
And Amoryus this mowthyd to plese Cleopes,
For sone he had her asspyid among alle the pres.
None erthly creature than gladder was than sche
Qwan sche sey this conseyt aboute hys armour.
Kastyng alle doughtys asyde, full joyful sche gan be,
Blyssyng Fortune of that owre
Abydyn; but more glad qwan that he
Qwyt hym as a champyon that day in the feld.
"Mars," quod sche, Afro alle adversyteys Amoryus scheld!"
And as myn autour dothe wryte, thise justys contunyed
Heght days, qwere to conclude, thise knytys imperyal
In tho justys oftyn were onhorsyd
Of knytys of the cuntré for many a falle
They had and eke yowyn; but be lyklenes, the vyctory specyal
They of the regyon schuld an had at the conclusyon
Had noght Amoryus hym qwyt as a fers lyon.
But of alle thise eight dayis, knyght for knyght, non so manly
Hym qwyt as Amoryus, for noght onys he was reysyd
Owte of hys sadyl; and yit yche day he had the vyctory
Of alle that ayens hym rydyn, for of the cuntré the knyghtys nomberyd
Sevyn skore that notabyl werryours oftyn had be prevyd,
And of the emperourys knytys, wyth alle odyr of the toune,
But to and fourty, be ful computacion.
Erly on the eght day qwan endyd was the solempnyté
Of Venus and the tempyl, Amoryus lete cry among the pepyl alle:
Ayens as many as wold come, he redy schuld be
For hys lady sake to juste ayens yche knyght in general,
In hys owne persone, and qwat he were myght yeve hym a falle
Schuld ryghtly hys coursere and trappere possede
And hys harnes have for hys mede.
Thys was the cry of Amoryus in opyn audyens,
The qwyche ful sore to her hertys yede that envyus were;
But nowght ther grucchyng myght help, for or he yede thens
In justys a nwe skole he gan hem lere; 29
For nas ther non so strong but he dyd hym bere
Owte of hys sadyl, or hors and man yede both to ground,
That hys manhod hys adversaryis abaschyd and confound.
And casually yt happyd, there come rydyng forbyby
A knyght aventerus that for hys lady sovereyn
Had foughtyn in kyngys londys sundry.
He of thise justys had gret dysdeyn
Qwan [he] beheld one overcome so many.
Sone of the pepyl he enqwiryd that stod hym by,
"Qwat ys he yon," quod he, "that thus fersly justyth today
That no knyght hym onhors may?"
"Syr," quod thei, "yt ys Amoryus, the lordys sunne of this cyté.
A more manful man of hys age we trowe lyvyth noght."
"A!" quod this knyght, Ays this Amoryus? Ys yt he?
Wele," quod he, "hys pride this day ful sore schal be bowght."
And wyth owte wordys moo, he rode into the place,
And to Amoryus thise wordys spake wyth sterne face:
"I chaleng thee," quod the knyght, "qwatsumever thow be,
To fyght wyth in the lyst for thi lady sake,
At alle poyntys of armys; and yf thou dar mete wyth me,
Yeve an ansqwer, for I none odyr day wul take."
And Amoryus ful norturely sayd, "I," quod he, "for my lady sake
Redy am, but as ye may be resun consydyr,
To fyght on fote I am noght now arayd theraftyr.
"But fyrst wyth scharp sperys one cours let us asay,
And aftyr I schal chonge myne harnes to yowre entent."
"I graunt in feyth," quod this knyght, "I schal never say nay.
But ho ys lord," quod he, "of this tornament?"
"My lord, my fadyr," quod Amoryus, "he syttys here present."
"Wyth hym wold I speke," seyd the knyght. And wythowte more,
He browt hym syre Palamedon before;
To home, as knyghthod askyth, he yaf informacion -
Qwat he was, and qwy he come, and of the chalenge
Made to Amoryus; and qwan he herd hys conclusyon,
Sumqwat asstoynyd, for hym thowt straunge and alenge
Of hys aray for the colourys and qweynt facion.
But at the last, he welcummyd hym goodely,
Grauntyng the efecte of hys dysyre fully;
Comaundyd eke to be led to hys palyce,
And wyth alle humanyté to be refreschyd before hys labour.
But the knyght noght wold for crwel hert and malyce,
Seyng, "I dysyre no reward of toune ner towre."
"Wele," quod Palamedon, "begynne yowr fyght this same owre
I held me payd." But trwe that proverbe than prevyd so,
That over-hasty man wantyd never woo.
But qwy I rehersyd before that Palamedon gan wondyr
Of this knytys aray, this was cause in specyal:
For a tokyn he yt dyd schew that men schuld knowe asundyr
The feld of tho kyngys armys alle 30
In hos kyngdams he had foutyn, bothe gret and smal;
For of yche regyon he bare the chef coloure in hys harnes
To notyfye the manhod of hys scharp jurneys.
For the kyngdam of Ethyop, hos kyng beryth a lyon rampaund
Of goulys in a feld of sabyl, this forsayd knyght
Blak sabatouns weryd; and for Arge, hos kyng a lebard passaund
Of sylver in verd bare, he usyd grevys that wyth grene were dyght.
And for the regyon of Ynde that in the este hat the syght
That asure and gold gerundy bare, hys one cuschew blwe,
Hys odyr alle depeyntyd wyth yelwe.
And for the kyngdam of Arabé hos governour
A gryfyn of golde in goulys dyd bere,
Thys knyghtys vambracys in coloure
Alle depeyntyd wyth red were.
And for the kyngdam of Lyby the qwyche a toure
Of sylver in asure bare, hys rerebracys
Were depeyntyd wyth blwe, hangyng ful of lacys.
And alle hys odyr harnes of bryght stele,
Wythowte depeyntyng: as hys rerebracys and hys gorget,
Hys basenet, and hys gauntelettys; for he purposyd that cele
To a colouryd hys odyr harnes every dele 31
Wyth the armys of Perse, and so yt was qwan Amoryus wyth hym met.
He clad hym alle in goulys, as I ges,
Qwan overron wyth blod was alle hys harnes.
But schortly to conclude: Amoryus and this knyght
Her cours begunne on courserys huge and mayn,
And at the fyrst metyng Amoryus this odyr gan smyght
Upon hys umbrere that the sperehed left in hys brayn
And so schet hym over hys hors on the pleynne -
Dede, as he must nedys hos servaunts thus pride doth reward
That for hynes of hert at none odyr hath regard 32
Thus endyd were the justys and eke the solempnyté
Of the dedycacion, and the laure of Marcyan vyctory
Yovyn was to Amoryus; and eke my boke tellyth that qwan he
Had slayne this knyght, he rode forby
Qwere Cleopes sate and odyr ladyis, salutyng them godely,
Seyng, "This juberté have I abydyn for my lady sovereyn,
And yit nowdyr of us knowyth odyr, I dar savely seyn."
And thei alle rysyn, thankyng hym norturely
That he hym so manly dyd quyght,
And most in specyal Cleopes gan hym preyse that he so honourly
Had hym born, besechyng Venus hym to deyfy in hevyn bryght:
"For gret pyté yt were that owght but goode schul on yow lyght."
And Amoryus hys hed gan enclyne, seyng wyth goodely chere,
"God do yow mede, madame, for yowre goode prayere."
And sone this tournament brake up, and yche man yed ther wey,
Thydyr fro thens he come; 33
The emperour[ys] knyghtys homeward fast schop ther jurney,
Thankyng Palemedon of hys gret chere oftyn tyme,
And eke of the ryche yiftys, wyth the qwych he hem dyd lyme
That to the emperour come sone wyth tydyng of Perse,
Qwere I them leve floryschyng in prosperyté.
The Prolog in the Thyrd Boke
O blynd sky of oncunnyng, onys wythdrawe!ignor
Agytat of thee, precyus modyr, synderesys
That fro the eyn of the endyter longe, to sothsawe,
In this boke hath schadwyd the qwyght herys
Of sapyens; but Aqwilo nyl noght blowe wyth hys sylver terys;
And nevertheles, I must procede to declare Venus observauns.
Qwerefore, O Lanyfyca! yit onys help me in this chauns.
The Begynnyng of the Thyrd Boke
Aftyr thise forsayd justys and eke the solempnyté
The desteny of infortune drwe to the conclusyon;
For wythin Amoryus the sparkyl of love so rootyd gan be
That he sekynnyd and pale gan wax, in parte.
But lothe he was to be aspyid, qwerefore be symylacion
Beforn folke, he peynyd hym to bere myry countenauns,
But none erthly myrth myght lesse hys penauns.
For ever the remembrauns off Cleopes so sore dyd hym inquiete
That qwan he yede to rest and began to slepe,
He dremyd he sey her, or ellys that he wyth here schuld mete -
And wyth that abrayd owte of hys slepe and wepe
As yf he had lost hys pray; and aftyr toke hym a cold or an hete
Of lovys fevyr that nowdyr mete, drynke, ner play
Myght ony maner hys pensyfhed wythdrawe awey.
And undyr the lyke forme, Cleopes gan remembyr
A thosand tymys Amoryus qwan sche was alone,
Syghyng oftyn for hys sake; for ever lovys fevyr
Here so scharply held that oft sche made her mone
For hys absens, and be herself bothe syghe and grone,
Seyng oftyn, "O Amoryus, alas that I ever sey thee!
Thy goodelynes my deth sone schal be."
Thus, day be day, her grevauns thei dyd compleyn
Alone, but morwgh and evyn specyally;
For than theyr use yt was, qwedyr yt dyd blowe or reyne,
Pryvyly to stele owte that no man schuld them aspye
Into the orteyerdys that to thayr fadyrrys placys dyd perteyne,
And ther her mone yche of odyr wold make pitusly
Undyr a walle that dysseveryd bothe placys covertly.
Of this walle I spake in the fyrst boke,
That qwan the tempyl of Venus dyd falle
Wyth the erthqwave, in the myddys asundyr yt schoke,
nobr>That yn at a crany a man myght loke -
Save that yt overschadwyd was over alle
Wyth yvy and bowys, that thow a man had gone forby,
For thyknes of levys, he myght noght yt asspye.
So yt befyl on a mornyng qwan Phebus schone bryght,
Cleopes, as sche had done before, sche toke her wey
Into this ortyerd qwan aslepe was iche wyght
Of here fadyrrys howsold; and as sche gan pray
To Venus for help, sodenly a glymyrryng lyght
Of the sunne yn the levys on her face gan glyde
That yt her astoynyd and made her abyde.
"Benedycyté!" quod sche, "fro qwens comyth this lyght?"
And fast the walle sche beheld; but long yt was
Or sche yt asspyid, thow sche applyid alle her myght,
That yn the buschys and brerys sche gan trace,
Wenyng that the goddes of Venus bryght
In sum yvy tre had apperyd for sum mystery
That causyd her the faster thidir to hye.
But at the last, wyth gret labour and bysynes,
Sche perseyvyd the crany, and than ful bysyly
Sche gan in loke, but the bowys and thykke gres
So full on the odyr halve grwe that thru sche say noght veryly.
But wele the schadow of one sche gan asspye
Oftyn wandryng to and fro, mornyng and syghyng,
And aftyr, wyth pytous voyse, hys grevauns compleynyng.
And more and more sche gan lyst to wyt qwat he sayd
And wyth the wynde sche herd a compleynt
That one of her made as on the ground hym layde 34
Seyng, "O Venus dere! how I am now feynt
For Cleopes sake!" The qwyche wordys causyd her to abrayd
Thorw the buschys; and to wyt be hys voys ho yt was,
Sche thrwe over the bottum of a brokyn glas.
And he therwyth astoynyd, "Ho strowyth therin thus homely?
Be Venus he ys noght taught, qwatsumever he be!"
And Cleopes hys voyse knw in hye,
Ansqweryd, "Mercy, dere hert, Amoryus!" quod ssche.
"Ho ys that? Cleopes?" quod he, "ys yt ye?"
"Ye, for serteyn," sche sayd, "and none but I lone.
I mervyllyd ho so ther nowe made hys mone."
"Alas!" quod Amoryus, Amyne hert wul breke a too
But yf I may speke wyth yowe or ye hens wend.
Thys wal ys so thyk and so hye, bothe too,
That I may noght. Alas! how schal I doo?"
"Fere yow noght," quod sche, "nowdyr troubyl yowr mend,
But come to the ryvyng of this same walle,
For here no man schal asspye yow at alle."
"The ryvyng?" quod he, "qwere ys that?"And forth thru thyk and thyn
He gan lepe that nowdyr nettyl busche ner thorn
Myght hym let tyl he was entryd in.
And qwan he had founde yt, he blyssyd that he was born
Of that owre abydyn; and at ther fyrst beholdyng
Bothe to, thei fyl on owdyr syde on sqwounyng.
And aftyr, thei rose and yche to odyr gan compleyn
Wyth pytus voys her hertys grevauns.
And Prince Amoryus thus fyrst gan to seyn,
"Myne hole hert, my lyfe, and my lady sovereyn,
To serve yow before alle odyr wythowte repentauns
Is my hole entent, and ever to do yowre hertys plesauns
Every owre, bothe day [and] nyght,
To serve yow before alle odyr, my trwth I plyght.
"And ther ye say onys yea, schal I never say nay,
But ever do my bysynes qwyl my lyfe wul endure
To be yowre trwe servant; qwat schul I more say?"
"Truly," quod Cleopes, "and I before every creature
Yeve yow holy myn hert, myne owne knyght, be ye sure.
And to love yow best only as myne owne hert dere,
Wythowte repentauns, I take yow fully for my fere.
"And he that an hows fyllyd wyth gold had yovyn me,
So joyful schuld noght me a made, trost yt veryly,
As yowre wordys have done; but sythyn that ye
Purpose to be trwe, I sqwere to yow feythfully
That ever as trw and as stedfast to yow I schal be,
As ys possyblyl, bothe in weltht and eke adversyté."
And Amoryus than so joyful he myght noght speke
But wepyng stylle for this nwe aqweyntauns,
Save at the last thus he sayd, "Lady, and my hert schuld brek,
I must nede wepe for yowre trwe and feythful plesauns.
But wold to Venus," quod he, "that nowe in this happy chauns
Thys owre the lenght of an hundryd owrys myght be,
For to be wyth yow ever is my fulle felycyté."
"Myne owne knyght," quod sche, "eke yt were myn entent
Ever wyth yow to dwelle; but be yowre provydens,
Ordeyn a tyme nowe, be yowre fulle asent,
Qwan we may have leyser, for the tyme ys now spent,
To speke anowgh; for ful grete sqweme for yowre absens
I schal have tyl we may mete ayen.
Set ye an owre, and I shcal kepe yt, serteyn."
"Alas!" quod Amoryus, "and must we nedys depart cumpany
So sone? qwy nyl noght fortune us now socoure?
But trwtht yt ys that evyl tungys be ever redy;
And qwat men wold sey yf thei aspyid us in this owre,
It ys oncerteyn; therfore, betyr yt ys, I knowe yt veryly,
Penauns to sofyr for a tyme than ony maner of susspycion
Schuld ryse of owre asstray walkyng or communycacion."
Thus aftyr, as tellyth the proces of this story,
They endydd thayre delytful communyng
Of ther nwe aqweyntauns, as I have teld by and by;
And Amoryus prefyryd an owre of ther metyng
In the same place; and at her sqwemful departyng,
Iche to odyr put thru the crany for a remembrauns
A ryng of gold, for trw lovys everlastyng contynuauns.
And than Amoryus thus sayd, "Madame, for yowre sake
To this walle I do my observauns,
And of yow, my lady, my leve I take."
And than he kyssyd the walle, seyng, "For yowre remembrauns
And very tokyn of love wythowte varyauns,
Thys insensybyl thyng I kysse insted of yowr persone";
And Cleopes dyd the same, ful sqwemfuly makyng her mone.
Thus thei departyd for aftyr ther nwe aqweyntauns,
Yede to her beddys joyful of that mery morghtyde,
Kastyng in her mendys to and fro thar lovely dalyauns.
But the more that thei musyd yt, the more scharply yt gan glyde, 35
Thys sperkyl of love, to throwe alle odyr thyng asyde
For only that yt causyd; but aftyr this metyng,
To Palamedon come this mervulus tydyng:
Masyngerys were sent fro the cyté of Dorestere,
The qwyche marchyth upon Medys the regyon,
Bryngyng tydyngys that fereful were to here:
Of an huge and an orybyl dragon,
The qwyche, as thei made relacion,
Had destroyd her catel, and eke an hundred men of the cyté
He had etyn, besyde odyr harmys don in the cuntré:
"The qwyche dragan serra' men calle,
That wyth hys breth hath enfectyd wyth sekenes
Nere of alle yowre cyté bothe gret and smal,
That nowe yowre pepyl for thought and hevynes
So dyscumfortyd be that but ye wul her nede redres,
They wul alle flee and leve yowre cyté desolate.
Ther stavys stond evyn at the yate."
And Amoryus alle this wordys of ther talkyng
Perseyvyd wele, but noght he sayd tyl hys fadyr had spokyn.
"Qwat sey ye?" quod Palemedon, "dare ye take this thyng?
Be wele avysyd, for yt ys no chyldys pleyng
To fyght wyth sqwyche a devyl; for yf yowre wepyn brokyn
Were in fyght, ye were but ded, thowe ye had for certeyn
As myche strenght as to an hundred men myght perteyn."
"Fadyr," quod Amoryus, Ayf ye wul, I schal asay
In specyal for yowre wurchyp and salvacion of the cyté.
I fere noght to fyght therwyth, ner never schal say nay
To assay myself; for yf yt posybyl be
Me to overcome yt, the wurchyp schal be to me
And to yow eke, for of Amoryus men wryte schal
That he a dragon dyd sle be hys manhed in specyal.
"And yf yt fortune that he sle me in owre fyght,
The pepyl schal say that, Amoryus
Qwyt hym for owre salvacion as a manful knyght
That so manful was to fyght for us.'
Qwerfore, be myn owne conseyt, I deme yt thus:
That bettyr I myght noght dye to have a remembrauns
Than in sqwyche a case or sqwych a chauns."
"Welle," quod Palamedon, "ye wul do yt, yt semyth veryly.
Spede yow in hast, sythyn ye wul asay,
And purvey yow of sure harnes in hy.
It stondyth yow an hand wysely yow to aray."
"Myn harnes," quod Amoryus, "redy ys this day,
And the sunner that Y be forward, the soner thei comfortyd schal be
That now in gret fere abyde in yowre cyté."
Anone, in the courte was proclamyd that Amoryus
Had takyn on hand to fyght wyth a dragoun,
For in hast Palamedon had comaundyd thus:
That the most manful of housold to this forsayd town
Schul Amoryus convey; and thus, wyth a ful conclusyon,
Thyse masyngerys yede to rest, glad of this promys,
And thus deseverryd; and endyd this entrete ys.
Qwan nyght come and iche man was in rest,
Amorius wele had in mend that this nyght
He muste wyth hys lady mete for fulle ernest.
And to the crany he yede, and fond ther Cleopes bryght
Abydyng hym, mervelyng, as he had trowth plyght,
Come noght; but at the last, ther thei met in fere;
And aftyr ther comunyng of love, he told her this matere:
Howe he had take on hand to fyght wyth a dragoun,
And nedys he must erly take hys jurney,
And howe the masyngerys were sent fro that regyon
To hym in specyal. "Alas!" quod Cleopes, "for sorow I dey.
Ye ar but dede, for bettyr ye were to fyght wyth a lyon
Than wyth a serpent; for plate ner haburgun
May avayle yf he onys hys venym on yow throw.
Ye schal dey, never odyrwyse trow.
"But qwat serpent ys yt? qwat do thei yt calle?
For sum more esy be than sum as in fyght,
And lesse hurtyth the venym of one in specyal
Than of anodyr; and wysdam wul that ye schuld be dyght
In sure harnes theraftyr; for clerkys wryte, of gret and smal,
Her namys and naturys, and qwerein thei noy be kend natural, 36
And eke remedyis ayens ther dedly noyauns,
If the case dyd yt reqwire to make wyse purveyauns.
"For of summe of thise serpentys, the eyn so venymmus be
That wyth her loke thei slee yche erthly creature,
As thise cokatrycys; and yit remedyi ys ther, perdé.
For wyth a wesyl men yt destroye be kendly nature
And the serpent clepyd draconia - that more ys in qwantyté
Than ony best on erthe, thow he be noght venymmus -
The myght of hys tayl the grete elevaunt sleth most mervulus,
"Ayens hos powere, men for an efectual remedy
A panterys skyn bere; and yf thei therwyth schuld fyght
Wyth the venym of a tode or of arany,
They sone yt slee; and the serpent namyd jaculus - in hys flyght
Qwat that he uppon fallyth so venymusly, he doth yt smyght
That forthwyth yt deyth; and yit a ston ys ther
That the serpent may noght hym noght dere.
"The name of home serpentyne ys; and eke odyr sundry
Of odyr serpentys so contraryus be to owre nature,
That aftyr summys bytyng or styngyn, men sodenly
Falle starke dede; but thei that fere thise chauncys to endure,
That in desertys must walke, thei purvey wysely
Remedyis of erbys and stonys, as I schal telle yow in hy.
"And besyde thise, ther ys a dragon huge and cumbrus,
Namyd aspys, most to be feryd for hys sotelté;
For enchauntement ner sleyght most ingenyus
Can noght bryng hym fro hys den for no necessyté;
For wele he knoweth hys blode ys medycynabyl,
He lyith in hys den a-daylyght ever onmevabyl.
"But at evyn, yf he hap to mete wyth ony creature,
The venym owte of hys tayle into hys mowth
He drawyth anone, be kendly nature,
Thow yt gretly be mervulus and oncowth.
He, or a man beware, throwyth yt fourty fote,
Ayens the qwyche plate of stele may noght bote.
"For as wax ayens the fyre meltyth, on the same wysen
Steele and yryn be dyssolvyd at the touchyng of that corrupcion.
Qwerfore, men this profytabyl gyse
Use: a drynk of jacynctys and orygaun
The qwyche thei drynk for ther salvacion
And anoynte ther skyn, to the qwyche this venym hurtyth no more
Than dothe leuke watyr or the fome of a bore.
"And besyde thise rehersyd, ther be in the see
Mervulus dragonnys and monstrys also;
As thise chyldrynys, ydrys, and ypotamys ther be,
Hos bytyngs be curyd wyth the egestyon of bolys; and odyr mo
Dragunnys on erth ther be, but one in specyal most foo
To alle lyvyng thing - but to man most in specyal -
The qwyche an hundred fote ys longe, tayle and alle.
"And serra cornuta yt ys namyd be clerkys."
"O!" quod Amoryus, "lady, that same dragun yt ys
That I schuld fyght wyth, orybyl and furyus in werkys."
"In gode feyth," quod Cleopes, "and so hye Jovys me wyss,
I schal noght gab at alle, but telle yow the trwthys:
Strenght of man alone may noght prevayl wythowte charmys
Ayen this serpent; qwerfore, but ye be reulyd be me,
Thow ye were as myghty as Sampson, ded ye schuld be."
"Yys, lady," quod he, "noght only in thyngys prosperus
Redy Y am to obey, but eke, thow they were to me contrary,
At yowre commaundement in chauncys ryght aventurus
My lyfe for yow in juberté to put; qwy schuld I vary?"
"Wele," quod sche, "undyr this forme than do ryght thus,
As I schal teche yow; and for no fere yt forgete,
For yf ye do, ye schal ther yowre lyfe lete.
"In the begynnyg, loke that yowre harnes be sure for onything,
And abovyn alle curyd wyth rede.
And on sted of yowr helme, set a bugyl gapyng;
A bryght carbunkyl loke ther be set in the forhed.
And in yowr hand, halde that ylke ryng
Wyth the smaraged that I here delyveryd yow this odyr day.
Loke that the stone be toward hys eyn alwey.
"And at the begynnyng of your bateyl, loke that ye drynk
Thyse erbys wyth wyne and the poudyr of thise stonys.
Thus thei be namyd - loke that ye upon them thynke:
The fyrst ston orytes namyd ys;
The secunde, lyguryus; the third, demonius; the fourth, agapys;
The fifth, acates; and that ye schal noght fayl of thise same,
Send to Walter jwellere be this tokyn in my name.
"And thise be the erbys, be schort conclusyon:
Modyrwort, rwe, red malwys, and calamynt mownteyn,
Orygannum, fenel, and dragannys; thus be opyn demonstracion,
This confeccion of erbys and stonys, for certyn,
So sure maketh a man - as thei that have prevyd yt seyn -
That alle venymmus thyng fleyth fro her breth
In so myche that the water of ther mowth scorpyonnys sleth.
"And yf a man were bytyn so that he schuld dye
Of dragon or serpent, or poysunnyd yf he were,
And onys a sponful of this confeccion he myght ocupy,
Yt schuld porge hym that never yt schuld hym dere.
Therfore loke that ye use this, and I dar sey savely
That ye schal come hole and sound wyth victory;
And aftyr qwyl ye lyve, be had the more in reputacion.
Thys ys the fulle sentens of my counsel and conclusyon."
And than Amoryus her thankyd a thousand fold,
Besechyng her to telle qwy hys harnes red schuld be,
Supposyng that the coloure schuld make the serpent more bold.
"Yowre mocion ys ryght goode, trwly," quod sche,
"For sum bestys, as the sey, more wod thei be
Qwan thei se rede, as thise elefantys and odyr many;
But trwly serra, that serpent, red ferytht naturally.
"And qwy yt ys that ye the bugyl schuld bere?
Thys ys the cause, in fewe wordys I schal yow lere:
"The bugyl ys to the dragun serra specyal pray,
And qwan the bugyl sethe the serpent, he cryith wyth alle hys myght,
Knowyng wele he may noght skape awey.
And qwyl he cryith, the serpent asundyr the bak dotht byte
And aftyr sqwolwyth yt in; and therfore qwan ye schal fyght,
Oon the same wyse he wul asayl yowr portrayd bugyl.
But there helpyth gretly in the forhed the carbunkyl.
"The nyght," quod sche, "pasyth and tomorw ye must ryse erly.
It ys tyme now to go to yowre rest;
For ellys faylyng of slep wul make yow hevy."
And Amoryus than ansqweryd, "Madame, ye say for the best,
But ever my desyre ys to be wyth yow, trwly."
"Veryly," quod Cleopes, "my dysyre ys the same, for trowe ye noght that I
Ful hevy am to departe fro yow - yf yt myght odyr be -
Yis, truly; but wysdam wul to be ware or ther come necessyté."
Thus departyd they as her use was beforn:
Iche toke leve of odyr, kyssyng on oudyr syde the wal,
Yede to ther rest; and Amoryus erly on the morn
Wysely purveys thise precyus stonys and dyd hem brek smal
In a mortere of bras; and wyth the juse of the erbys alle,
Made a drynk; and aftyr clad hys harnes in red velwet,
And a bugyl of blak corbe dyd set on hys helmet.
And hys fadyr had purveyd hym to convey
Twenti manful men, besechyng Mars them spede.
And Amoryus hath taken hys leve, and on hys jurney
He rydyth, and thise masyngerys wyth alle myrth dyd hym leede,
Confortyng hym noght to dreede.
"Truly," quod Amoryus, "I fere yt noght, for yf I had,
Owte of the cyté ye coude noght me a lad."
Thus at the last thei entryd the cyté of Dorestere,
Receyvyd of the mayer and the communnys wyth alle solempnyté
Possybyl for the tyme; and wyth alle maner of chere
They hym confortyd; that the day he entryd the cyté
Fesstful was of the mayre commaundid to be;
And every man that he coude of myrth or pley
Schuld schewe yt honesté this solempny day.
Qwan pasyd was the tyme of mete, Amoryus the knyght
A servaunt commaundyd to the mayer to go in hy,
Enformyng hym how he purposyd that same nyght
To take hys vyage wyth the dragoun fyght fully -
Owdyr manfuly to bryng home the vyctory,
Or, aftyr fortune for the pepyllys savacion,
Be manhod to dye, as ther alterhyers champyon.
And qwyl this masynger yede on this masage,
Alone in hys chambyr, fro the top to the too
He anoyntyd hym therwyth, aftyr werryurrys usage;
And aftyr usyd hys drynke and made hym redy to go,
Armyd on the most sure wyse, and gan walk to and fro,
Abydyng hys masengere; and for he come noght redyly,
He toke hys steed, chargyng that forthte no man schuld hym gy.
And in the myd cyté as he rod thru the strete,
The mayer and the pepyl wyth hym mett.
And to the mayer he sayd, "Farewelle, mayere, for I wul mete
Thys nyght wyth yowre enmy; I wol noght let
At this tyme for owdyr; at onys I wold yow releve,
Or to dye for yow in this mysery and myscheve."
And than this mayer and thys odyr folkys alle
Aftyr gan wepe for thise wordys pitously,
Seyng, "Sythyn that ye this day fyght schal,
Let us go wyth yow and wyth yow dyi;
Or ellys aftyr fortune bryng home the vyctory."
"Nay," quod Amoryus, "that were noght my worchyp; that schal noght be.
No creature but I schal go owte of this cyté.
"For sythyn that I only am sent to this entent,
I be myn one schal bothe the sqwete and the soure
For yow endure; and ye that be here now present,
Drawyth yow to the wal or to sum toure,
And prayth to Venus and Mars omnipotent,
To Fortune eke; for yowre welfare and prosperyté
Is in my vyage yf I may vyctor be."
Aftyr that word he prekyd hys steede owte of the toune
Into the feld qwere this mervulus dragon lay,
Wyth schynyng skalys, in vale or an eld dungun,
A lytyl besyd the hy way.beside; highway
And fro afer qwan he that serpent sey,
Hys phylatery wyth hys drynk he gan take,
Anoyntyd hys harnes wythowte and gan alle redy make.
And Cleopes ryng forgate he noght,
But to hys fyngyr he bond yt surely;
Wyth hert ful devoute to hys goddys he sought
Hym to defend; aftyr gan up lepe fersly
On hys steede and toward the beest he gan hy.
But of the dene of hys steede this dragon gan awake,
Lyft up hys hed and a mervulus cry gan make.
Than Amoryus, as fast as he myght he dyd hym hy,
Or the serpent rose, yt to wound
Wyth hys spere; but the dragon sone yt gan aspye.
Aloft wyth hys wyngys reisyd fro the grounde
Hys hydus body, and turnyd hym round
Wyth gapyng mouthe as thow he at onys
Schuld hym at the begynnyng devour both flesch and bonys.
But Amoryus sqwyftely wyth hys scharp spere
Wythin the mouth so sore yt gan smyghte,
That yt brast and left half there;
And sqwyftly he drw hys sqwerd bryght,
Defendyng hymself as a manful knyght.
But the dragon, more wode aftyr than before,
Lepe on hys stede and kylde yt wythoute more,
That Amoryus on fote must nede fyght
But as yt appyd, be fortune, in hys fallyng,
Wyth the poynt of hys sqwerd he smet oute the syght
Of the serpentys one eye; and ever he held Cleopes ryng
Ayen the todyr wyth the stone; and wythowte tarying
He lept aboute, hewyng on on every syde:
Wyth huge strokys hys sqwerd on the skalys gan glyde.
But ho, trow ye, than was aferd but this folk on the wal
Qwan thei sei Amoryus feld and hys steede slayn.
"Alas," quod thei, "and cursyd be the owre that this case schul falle
Upon yon wurthy knyght; for he comyth no more ayeyn
For manhod, strenght, ner sotel trayn
May now noght avayl. Alas! qwy yed he forth alone?
But alle to late now as wantewyttys we make owre mone."
Thus the ferful folk on the wallys dyd compleyn
Wyth many a salt tere and wryngyng of ther handys.
But qwat, suppose ye, that Cleopes feryd? Ye, certeyn!
Sche feryd that he schuld forgete her techyng,
That nowdyr mete, ner drynk, ner odyr thyng
Myght her comfort for inward fere;
Sche toke yt so hevyly, and at her hart dyd yt bere.
A thousand tymys qwan sche was alone sche gan say,
"My knyght Amoryus, alas! qwat chauns ys thee befall?
I schal thee never more see; qwerfore cursyd be that iche day
That this infortune or juberté schul ever falle." And on the goddys alle
Sche cryid and most to Venus and Fortune in specyal,
"Thy varyabyl squel," quod sche, "O Fortune! brent myght be
Wyth Pluto in helle, that thus sone hast chongyd owre new felycyté.
"How schal I do qwan I hys fadyr see?
Brest must my hert, I knowe yt veryly.
The remenbrauns of hys lovely chere so enprendyd schal be
Wythin my hart that I schal nedys dy.
Alas!" quod sche, "qwat onhappy fortune or qwat mysery
Is me betyd that am the most woful creature
Lyvyng on ertht? O Amoryus, Amoryus! how schal [I] endure?"
But qwat Amoryus was saf; but oftyn tyme in fere
Herd strokys he had and stynke so orybyl
That had noght hys posyon a be, he had dyid ryght ther
Wythowte wound; for this dragun, as a devyl,
Blwe flamyng venym owte of hys mowth that impossybyl
Was beste or man to lyve that yt onys dyd touche.
I may this wrytyng on the phylysophyr vouche.
And ofte this serpent gan saute the bugyl blak,
The qwyche upon hys helmet stod, and bysyly
Yt beheld; but the ryby so bryght shone in hys ye,
That aferd he was and confusde and ofte turnyd hys bak.
For ever Amoryus the ryng held beforn the face bysyly
Of this dragun and wyth hys sqwerd fast leyd on as doth a smyth
Qwan he a brennyng hote yryn hath upon a styth.
But alle hys strokys stode to none avayl,
For hys skalys were so hard that noght thei dyd yeld
Ayens hys sqwerd; but oftyn wyth hys tayl
He smet Amoryus to the grounde, wyde opyn in the feld,
And therto brake alle to pecys hys scheld.
For had noght a bene that precyus ungwent
He had be slayn and on pecys rente.
But at the last, this serpent, wode for ire,
Gan fersly Amoryus asayle gapyng wyde,
Thrwe owte hys venym as flamyng fyre;
But Amoryus yt asspyid and sodenly styrt asyde,
And this dragun aftyr sqwyftely gan glyde.
But Amoryus, as Fortune wold, to-
Phyal and alle - thrw yt in the mowth of the dragon.
And forthwyth the mowth closyd as yt had be bound
Wyth iryn chenys and gan fast to schake the hed,
And aftyr fylle plat on the grounde,
Hys brystylyd mosel gan blwe wer as ony led.
And qwan yt felt yt schuld be ded,
Yt gan asay to flye, but in the rysyng
Amoryus hys sqwerd to hyltys smet undyr the wyng,
That yt thyrlyd hys hert and so hevyly
Fyl doune that as an earthqwave the ground schake;
And wyth that set up so hydus a cry
That the pepyl on the wal for feere gan qwake
And wythbrast in the myddys and Amoryus hwe of the hed,
Levyng that stynkyng body ther sterk ded.
And this pepyl on the wal, qwan thei sey
Amorys hole and sound, thei lyf up her handys to the fyrmament,
Iheryng Mars and Fortune; pytusly thei gan sey,
"O blyssyd, O benyngne, O mercyful goddys omnipotent!
Wurchyp and preysyng be to yow that have us socoure sent.
Wyth bollys, rammys, and kydys eke
Wythin yowre tempyllys we schal yow feythfully seke."
And wythowte lettyng, doune and owte of the cyté
Thei yede, and on ther kneys fyl Amoryus before
Wyth dyvyne wurchyppys that wundyr yt was to see.
Thys pepylys for gladnes, wepyng more and more,
And the mayer and odyr statys that ther wore,
A garlond of gold upon hys hed in sygne of vyctory
Thei empressyd, conveying hym in wyth alle maner of mynstrelsy.
Qwat schul I telle the gret presents and that men gan hym yeve?
Sythyn that yche resonabyl wyght
May yt conceyve that he that labouryd so for her myscheve,
They must nedys hym magnyfy wyth alle her myght,
And hym excellent weryour and most hardy knyght
Ever to name qwyl that her lyvys wold endure,
To love hym beforn yche erthly creature.
Thys dragon thus ded, as here ys wrytyn before,
Amoryus schop home hys wey as sone as he myght;
For the memoratyf dart had woundyd hym so sore
Of Cleopes bryght chere, wyth her frendly wordys qwyght,
That alle worldys felycyté was in maner as a derk nyght
To the prime oryent sparkyl of hys daunyng fyre,
Nwe radyfyid wyth the flame of veneryan dysyre.
Thus in conclusyon, he toke hys vyage
To the cyté of Albynest qwere he ful honorabylly
Was receyvyd of eld and yong of the nobyl lynage.
But qwo was than glad? deme ye rygtly?
Cleopes, I gesse, that in fere was so gretly,
For empres to a ben made sche coud no more joyful a be
Than qwan sche hym lyvyng in helth gan see.
O lord! qwat joy that sche had and how myri and glad
Sche gan be qwan he wyth vyctory of that serpent
Was commyn wyth helt! More joy sche had
Than Orphe qwan he hys wyf receyvyd ayen for the rent
Of hys musycal melody, the qwyche in helle brent;
More glad than Parys of the rapt of qwene Eleyn
More gladnes in her hart sche had, the soth to seyn.
For clerk wyth penne, or tunge of retrycyan,
Or musyng hert can noght telle half her felycyté.
But alas! this sqwete delyteful love drawyth to the conclusyon.
Of the byttyr, peynful, and scharp endyng adversyté
I qwake for fere to wryte! - yf yt myght odyrwyse be
Of ther endys! - But that endyter that wul a story take,
He must as wele of the byttyr as of the sqwete mencion make.
But to the proces. Amoryus that nyght determynyd fully
To have wyth Cleopes hys lady the lovely dalyauns,
As thise loverys have the practyk and knowyng fully
Of that sqweete and plesaunt observauns.
And as he purposyd - ryght so efectwally
He fulfyllyd in dede - to mete at the walle as thei dyd before.
I trow than veryly that thei bothe myry wore.
But to the purpose. Of ther dalyauns, this was the conclusyon:
That thei schuld mete the nest mornyng
In a forest that was fast by the toune,
In a certeyne erbere beforn the dawnyng,
Iche alone qwan no creature were steryng,
And there to breke ther hertys of all hevynes,
Her lovys eke undyr a nwe forme to redres.
Thus thei departyd to ryse erly,
Yede to ther rest in fulle very trost
The nest morw to expend ful delectabyly
In lovys observauns, noudyr to spare for snowe ner frost.
Bysyly thei gan record ther speche that no tyme schuld be lost,
That thus and thus thei schul say - but alas that yche qwyle
Dysseyvabyl Fortune gan hym dysseyve and begyle!
But trwth ys sayd that God schapyth for the best.
He knwe at the begynnyng qwat the conclusyon schul be.
And to telle forth this story: qwan thei woke of ther rest
Thei gan them fast aray qwan thei gan se
The dauns of the systyrrys sevyn
Drawe toward the west part of hevyn.
But eight days beforn apperyd in the fyrmament
A lemyng sterre that a comete ys clepyd in astronomy
In the mylke qwyte gyrdyl; that ever doth represent
A gret chaunge, as the deth of princys, or pestylencys gret and hasty,
Gret bataylys, deth of kyngys, or gret penury,
The qwyche the same morw gan dysapere
That this case fylle as I wryte nowe here.
In this morw, erly before the day,
Cleopes ful privyly at a posterin yate
Stale owte alone and to the forest toke her wey;
For in her thowt sche feryd to a comyn to late
And fast sche gan her hy in her jurney
Toward the erbere; and qwan sche come and se no creature,
"A!" quod sche, "I fyrst am comyn, now am I sure."
And in this erbere, as seyth my boke, ther was
A lusty, fresch, delectabyl spryng of water clere,
The qwyche ran smothly thru the chas
Of this forest owte of this foresayd erbere.
And Cleopes qwan sche sey Amoryus come noght nere,
To the water sche yed and wysch bothe handys and face,
And her dryid and fast abowte gan gase.
And as sche lokyd about, sche aspyid comyng
An huge lyon, the qwyche that nyght to hys pray
Had devouryd an hyinde; and aftyr hys fedyng
Erly come to drynke of that fresch spryng.
And Cleopes, ny fro herself for that soden afray,
Fled away as fast as sche myght renne,
And for fere styrt into a lyonnys denne.
And as sche ran, a kerchyf pynnyd losely
Fyl fro her hed awey upon the gres,
But for gret hast sche dyd yt noght aspy.
And forth into the erbere this lyoun come wyth mowth al blody;
But or he drank, aftyr hys nature, he gan hym dres,
Wypt on the gres hys blody mowth, and in hys welteryng
Made alle blody Cleopes kerchyf in hys wypyng;
And aftyr rose up and dranke of the water hys fylle;
Aftyr into the forest he yed be anodyr wey,
But Cleopes for fere lay ston stylle.
Sche lokyd alwey to a ben the lyouns pray.
And Amoryus nas noght longe, but wythoute delay
Hyid hym as fast as he coude; and for sureté
Hys sqwerd undyr hys arme he bare for case of adversyté.
But alas! qwy nas yt broke on pecys thre
Thys ylke sqwerd but qwat Fortwne wold so?
It was ther desteny; yt wold none odyr be
But Amoryus and Cleopes must dye therwyth both to.
Qwat schuld I yt prolonge? Y must be ordyr go
For ony ther chauncys; and so Amoryus entryd the erbere,
And thus it befyl as ye schal aftyr here.
Qwan he was come to the erbere, fast he gan loke
If Cleopes had owte be styryng ther ere.
But sodenly he abaschyd and fyl into fere
Qwan he this blody kerchyf sey lying there.
Hys hert gan cold and hevy wax os ony led:
"Thys ys Cleopes kerchyf," quod he, "in peyn of myn hed."
And forthwyth he stoupyd and up the kerchyf gan take,
And lokyd uppon the merke and fond for Cleopes a C,
Wrowt wyth sylke; than evyn as an espys lef doth schake
Ayens the wynd, ryght so than dyd he,
Dyd qwake for fere qwan he that lettyr gan se;
And at the fyrst word thus pytusly he gan crye,
"O, hye Jovys help! help! for now I dye."
Encrese so sore began hys inward hevynes,
That as a lyoun wode for ire ryght so he faryd
Nygh owte of hys mend; and in that gret dystres
Hys inward conseyt thus he had of Cleopes
Wyth mornyng hert and pytus chere; thus he hys conseyt declaryd:
"O most trosty, most trw, most lovyng!
Cursyd be that owre that we gan trete of this metyng.
"For this ys trwth, experyens schewyth yt opynly;
And be this blody kerchyf I yt deme
That for very trw love sche keme hydyr ryght erly
Me to abyde - alas, for sqweme!
And sum lyoun or tygyr come here forby,
The qwych for hys pray hath drawen her to hys cave.
Alas! qwy nas I here her to save?
"O fers! O crwel! O wod, ravenus best!
Was ther none odyr pray to sufyse thi gredynes,
Of hert or hyinde or odyr best walkyng in this forest
But on that lovely mayd, my lady Cleopes?
O hye Jovys! inclyne thine ere, or that myne hert brest,
To my prayur; that as the thundyr dynt slow Companeus,
Ryght so this crwel best myght dye that was so ravenus.
"Or ellys, or my woful spyryt owte of the body pase,
I myght wyth that vermyne mete to venge Cleopes detht.
And yf yow nyl me here, thi brodyr I pray of grace,
That Pluto men clepe wyth hys fyry breth.
As at the sege of Thebes Amphyorax fro hys place
Fyl into helle alle qwyk, ryght so this foule best and vermyne
Myght falle thorw the erth to helle pyne."
And at that word, the cramp so sore gan hys hert hold
That he nyst veryly qwat to sey;
But sodenly he gan to syghe, as hys hert brest wold.
And at the last cryid, "Allas and welawey!
Alas! how schal I doo? for sorow I dey.
O hert myne, Cleopes! O myne hevyn sqwete!
Alas! qwy schal I never more wyth yow mete?
"Alas! that I in prime love thus beraft of my gladnes;
And yyt a mayd never lovyd but one,
The qwyche Fortune wyckyd hath slayn gylteles.
Allas! I - sorowful wrecche, wythowte comfort, alone -
Nowe schal dye; and now to yow Furyis infernal, I make my mone:
O thow helle hound Tricerberus, opyn thi yatys wyde,
And conjoyne my spyryt onto my lady syde.
"For sythyn Fortune nolde us sufyr here
To mete in felycyté I must wyth sorowful hert ende
Owre love begunne; for sche for me hath bought yt dere,
And Y as dere yt schal yeld that I onkend
Never schal be found in bodé ner mend.
Lo lytyl spryng! to thee I compleyn wyth hert sore;
Ther schal never lyvyng creature wyth me speke more."
And wyth that word hys sqwerd owte he drwe,
Wyth crwel chere and scharp voys gan sey,
"Farewele, knyghthed! farewele, aventurys nwe!
Farewele, lykyng lust! farewele, alle myry cumpany!
Farewele, beute! farewele, fame and vyctory!
Farewele, alle lykyng dalyauns of alle worldys felycyté!
Farewele, myrth, welth, sporte, and pley, for alle ys pasyd wyth me!"
And wyth that word he lete downe glyde
The pomel of hys sqwerd, and held the poynte aloft,
And aftyr yt set to hys left syde
Wyth ferful and grysely chere thise wordys rehersyd ofte:
"O Cleopes, my lady dere! my spyryte nyl nowt abyde,
But nedys yow folw, how sore sumevery smert!"
And wyth that word - alas! - he smet hymself to the hert.
And in that crwel dede, so loude he cryid, "Farewele, Cleopes!"
That sche hys voys herd and styrt owte apase
Of this denn; but alle to late sche gan her dres,
For qwan sche come, he lay grovelyng on hys face.
And qwan sche aspyid that very onhappy case,
Sche wept and wrange her handys, and sayd thus pytusly:
"Alas! myne owne knyght, qwy dye ye thus schamfully?"
And betwene her armys sche lyft hym aloft,
And to hym sayd, "Alas! ys this oure metyng?
Ys this the love that we have musyd so oft?"
And qwan he herd her voys, hys hert gan spryng
Wyth hors voys, as myne autour tellyth hys dying,
Amoryus her teld that he went be her kerchyf blodye
Sum best had her devouryd, "This is cause that I thus dye."
And Cleopes that word so sore toke to hert
That as an ymage of stone ryght so wythowte myght
Sche fyl on sqwounyng; and longe tyme aftyr up sche stert
Fro dethys crampe, and Amoryus upward had turnyd the qwyght
Of hys eyn; this Cleopes than the most woful wyght
That myght bere lyfe qwan sche sey hym ded:
Her chekys sche gan tere, and rent the here of her hed.
And wyth that sche cursyd Fortune and the goddys alle,
As sche that lost had alle worldys felycyté
And gan to sey, "O!" quod sche, "sythyn that I dye schalle,
Qwerto prolonge I the tyme? sythyn yt must nedys be
That I schal dye, for I knowe never more to se
Hym lyvyng ayen, that for my sake ded ys,
I were to onkend aftyr to lyve, iwys."
And wythowte more, sche gan kysse the ded body,
And aftyr seyd, "O, Saturne! thee I bescche
The soule of this knyght in thi spere deyfy.
And eke be now oure soulys leche;
For hys love, on myself now I schal wreche.
Conjoyne owre spyrytys, qwedyr thow wylt wyth joy or peyn;
For now I folowe, thow I be lothe to deyn."
And Amoryus sqwerd than owte of hys grysely wound
Sche drwe owte; and thus aftyr sche gan sey,
"O onhappy sqwerd! thow schalt me confound
That fleemyd hast the lyfe of thi lord this day.
Cursyd be the oure that thow were made, and weleawey!
O Jovys! my vyrgynyté to thee I sacryfyse in this nede,
Wyth the roseat blod of pure maydynhede."
But sythyn yt yrkyth me to wryte
The dethys of bothe, I pase schortly.
But Cleopes for certeyn herself dyd smyte
Thorow the body - alas, that sche so schuld dye!
But alle this was but wrechydnes and foly.
Thow that in eld tyme paynymmys yt dyd for a memoryal,
I yt commend ryght noght at alle.
Thus thise storyis as thei fylle, as be my rudenes,
Bothe of her love and of ther sqwemful ende,
I have wrytyn; and now to the folwying proces
I my rude style in hast redres.
Alle be yt so that I have noght redy in mend
The termys of retricyannys that so freschly schyne;
And thow I had, the tyme sufyse noght them to combyne.
The Prolog into the Laste Boke
O Sunne of Grace that fro the hevynly trone
Descendyst into this world! alle of Thi benygnyté
Becomyng man, alle thise errourys to fordone,
The qwyche illumynyst synderesys of mannys sensualyté
Namynd be ryght oryens sol justycye,
Incomprehensybyl Thi wysdam and domys be fynally,
That doyst and fordoyst, dysposyng alle to that ys necessary.
The bemys of Thi wysdam yevyng to thi chyldyr dere,
Wythdrawyng them qwere that thei may noght schyne,
As fro the hertys of them that worldely wyse appere;
That eke of Thi infynyte godenes fully to fyne
The thralle bond of Adammys gylt Thi magesté dydyst enclyne
In servisabyl forme apperyng, us to geyn by
Soferyng the most schamfull deth - upon the cros woldyst dye.
And that the world schuld knowe Thee to be savyd endelesly,
Wondyrrys Thow wroutyst mervulusly in oure nature,
Alle sekenes relevyng, and yit more wondyrfully,
Ded bodyis makyng to lyve, that yche creature
Schuld wurchyp Thee for God, wyth hert pure;
And to Thi trw servaunts yevyng power, more specyally -
For strenght of Thi doctryne - to reyse many a ded body.
Qwerfore, O eternal God! alle wurchyp and preysyng be to Thee
Of hevynly, erthly, and eke infernall.
And yche creature in hys nature bothe on erth and in see,
Qwedyr yt lyvyth wyth spyryte or grennes, in generalle,
And eke alle Thi handywerkys, bothe gret and smalle,
Myght yeve Thee preysyng; and I now of Thi hynes
Beseche Thee up this story to redres.
[Here Endyth the Prolog and Begynnyth the Laste Boke]
Amoryus and Cleopes thus ded, as I rehersyd before,
Yt happyd be the dyspensacion of God that mornyng
An holy man to pase farby, hos name was Ore,
That an hermyte was, had in that forest hys dwellyng,
Gadyrryd that morw wyld applys to hys lyvyng,
Hard the scrykyng of Cleopes qwan sche dyid,
And to wyte qwat yt was, thidir fast hym hyid.
But for the qweyntenes of the fend,
The qwyche for fraude dothe make sqwyche cry
To inquyete holy lyverys to wythdrawe ther mend
Fro prayyere and contemplacion, this holy man broute to mend.
Or he yed, therfore, he made hys prayyere devoutely,
Besechyng God yf yt were for the best to abyde or go,
He myght have knowyng qwat were beste to do.
And as he lay in hys prayyer plat on the ground,
A soden lyght come fro hevyn and therwyth a melody,
Makyng so mervulus a melody and so sqwete a sound,
That he half raveschyd was be the sqwete armony.
And therwyth a voys soundyd, the qwyche bad hym hy
Thydyr he was ment for the soulys savacion
Of the pepyl of the cyté and eke of the regyon.
Thys voys pasyd and this forseyd lyght,
And this holy man rose hym to go.
And qwan he come nere and perseyvyd that ferful syght,
Gretly he was dyscomfortyd tho,
And fast gan cast in hys mend to and fro
Qwat was best to do; and be hys revelacion,
He construyd that bothe were paynymmys be the conclusyon.
And wyth that he fylle on kneys and up hys handys gan hold
Toward the fyrmament, besechyng God of hys benygnyté
Of hys hye mercy eke, that he wold
Hem turne to lyfe yf thei krynsnyd wold be.
"For blyssyd Jesu Thow wotyst wele," quod he,
"That I onwurthy am for my synful lyvyng
To beseche Thee of this gret mervulus thing.
"But I beleve if Thow wyl them restore
To lyfe ayen, the pepyl of all the cyté
Bothe men and women, lesse and more,
Schal fully be convertyd and leve in Thee.
Now blyssyd Jesu, graunt yt may so be,
As Thow dyidys for alle mankend,
To redeme them that thralle were to the fend.
"And O Qwene of Mercy and Modyr Dygne!
Trone of God, my ful trost ys in Thee,
That comfort art of alle carful; Mayd most benygn,
Synguler joy and refute in every necessyté
Be now my voket - as my trost ys Thee -
To Thi blyssyd Sone, for noght he wul Thee deny
That Thou besechyst fore; I knowe yt veryly."
And wyth that this holy man gan upryse,
Yede to Cleopes, fast wepyng,
Drew owte the sqwerd on the best wyse
He myght, for more hurtyngto prevent
Thys wound allewey fast bledyng.
Undyr this forme and lyke manere,
He reysyd thise bodyis, and ye schal now here:
"In Hys name," quod this eremyte, "that boute mankend,
Kryst Jesu, yowre soulys into yowr bodyis
Entyr may ayen, fro the powere of the fend.
And thow I be noght wurthy of my merytys,
Hole and sound, wythowte wemme of yowre woundys,
Nowe upryse, and yeve Hym preysyng wyth hole hert
That delyveryd yow hath fro peynys smert."
And wyth that word, bothe deede bodyis upbrayd.
And wyth o voys thei gan thise antune of Owre Lady,
Evyn as of one mowth and tunge yt had besayd;
And ever thise wordys they gan multyply
Wyth many a tere that ran fro ther ye,
And pytus voyse, thei sange, "Salve, salve,
Salve, salve, regina mater misericordye!"
That ys to sey, "Heyl, qwene and modyr of mercy!"
Thus thei her preysyd wythowte sesyng,
Tyl this holy ermyt axid hem qwy
That thei contynwally rehersyd that preysyng.
They ansqweryd that ther soulys, dampnyd in fyre everlastyng
Amonge the fendys, at Maryis commaundement
Were delyveryd and to the bodyis sent.
"And eke yowreself us semd that ye ther were, 37
And for us prayd to the Lord, that for alle
Dyid on the cros; and hys angel this dyd us lere,
To preyse hys modyr as Empres Celestyalle,
Byddyng us ever for a memoryal
Thys orysun to sey in presyng of that blyssyd Lady,
That sche ondeservyd schewyd us her mercy. 38
"Qwerfore," quod thei, "for Hys sake that us dere hathe bougth,
Make us Krystyn and teche us the wey ryght
To serve that Lord; for nowe we dowght nowght
That God is none but one that regnyth in hevyn bryght.
For alle tho that we beforn dyd wurchyp, apperyng godys to owre syght,
Dampnyd spyrytys be in helle everlastyngly
That have us begylyd be vanyté and foly.
"For alle thise goddys Hys creaturys be,
And noght thei may do wythowte hys sofyrauns,
That owre myschevus ende hath now browt to felycyté."
"Wele," quod this ermyght, "than fully be ye
In purpose to forsake alle the custum and governauns
Of paynymmys secte, and now yf ye this forsake,
I schal yow baptyse and Krystyn make."
And anone, he gan hem lerne; and teld hem in the begynnyng
How this world faryth as a feyre, ever onstabyl;
And how that deth ys oncerteyn, and qwat peyne ys at the endyng;
And qwat ther reward schuld be of joys incomperabyl
For sofyrrauns of thise transytory thingys onstabyl;
For Cryst seyth that ful streyt yt ys
A wordely wyse man to entyr hevyn blysse.
And of alle odyr thingys necessary,
Thys ermyght enformyd them fully in the feyth
And baptysyd them in that welle ryght devoutely
And aftyr, as myne autoure Fyrage seyth,
Thys ermyght axyd of qwat stok thei come, and qwy
Thei had so fordone themself, and how thei come into that place.
And thei teld hym, as I rehersyd before, alle the case.
"Now trwly," quod this ermyght, "gret pyté yt had bene
That to so semly personys so schuld a dyid;
And more pyté the los of yowre soulys to have sene,
But vertuus love of God was never denyid."
And this qwestyon this ermyte axid,
"Is the love," quod he, "as gret now as yt was before,
Or owdyr yt ys lessyd, or yt ys more?"
"For my parte," quod Amoryus, "as longyth to me,
My love was never greter to this lady
Than yt ys at this owre, ner greter yt may be."
"How thinkyth yow?" quod the ermyte to Cleopes, "sei your fantesy."
"I am," sche seyd, "so God plesyd be, wyth hert, wyll, and body,
Goddys and this knytys; and qwat fortune so-every endure,
Never to forsake hym for none erthly creature."
"Wele, dere soulys," quod this holy man, "yt ys Hys wylle
That hath yow restoryd to lyfe that this mervelle
Be schewyd in the cyté and for this skyl:
That the pepyl schuld Hym knowe that haruyd helle.
And for this cause Y yt yow telle,
That the pepyl of the cyté for this myrakyl crystyd schal be,
Qwere ye aftyr the lawe despousyd schal be."
But in this menetyme, myche sekyng ther was
Aftyr Amoryus qwan he that day dyd noght appere;
For Palamedon thru the cyté dyd enqwire of more and las
Qwedyr Amoryus was gone; and on the same manere
Thei enqwyrryd aftyr Cleopes fare and nere,
But nowdyr were founde; that causyd ther fadyrys care
That no man coude telle qwydyr thei schuld fare.
Thus the rude pepyl wyth privy langage ran to and fro
Wyth qwysperyng speche, "A! quere ys he, and qwere ys sche?
Benedycyté! qwat eylyd them thus awey to go?"
But be Palamedonnys assent, yt was commaundyd in the cyté
That alle the communnys redy schuld be
In the tempyl of Venus to wete be revelacion of ther goddes
Qwere were becomyn Amoryus and Cleopes.
And qwylys the pepyl in the tempyl lay in prayyere,
Thys holy man entryd into the tempyl,
Brynggyng wyth hym Amoryus and Cleopes; and to the spere
He toke hys wey, and wyth gret voyse cryid among the pepyl,
"O blynd pepyl! qwy knele ye here?
Qwy forsake ye yowre maker almyghty
And wurchyp this devyl? qwy do ye this foly?"
Than this pepyl gretly astoynyd; but qwan thei sei
Amoryus and Cleopes ther, thei yede nere.
But fyrst, Palamedon and Dydas to ther chyldyr dere
Yede in hast, wythowte more delay,
Enqwyryng qwere thei had ben alle that day.
And this ermyght toke this speche on hand boldely,
And teld them alle the chauncys by and by.
But qwan he reportyd how thei were dede,
And eke schewyd the tokynnys of ther woundys,
The pepyllys chere gan change, and pale as ony led,
And than to syghe and wepe and to wryng ther handys.
But qwan he teld the myrakyl, folwyng aftyr tho wordys,
That the God of Krystemen had schewyd them Hys godenes,
The hertys of alle the pepyl gan enclyne, both more and les.
"But wulle ye wete," quod he, "qwat yowre goddes ys
That Venus ye clepe? - for certeyne, a devyl of helle.
I schal schew yt yow alle, so God me wys,
And so yeve credens to that I telle.
And this spere that mevyth thus fast, in an eyschel
I may yt put; for thow yt seme gold and schynyth rychely,
Alle ys but a sotelté of the fend to blere yowre ye."
Wyth this worde, the pepyl gan schoute and wyth one voyse say,
"Performe thi wordys, and anone we alle
Convertyd to thi lord schal be and krystynnyd this day."
So this ermyght of sylens than dyd them pray
And he hys wordys schuld performe alle.
Thus he spake, as hys wordys I reherse here,
Fyrst to the ymage of Venus and than to the spere:
"O blynde spyryte, most envyus aungel of elacion,
Most froward and fals, that fyllyst fro hevyn for thi presumcion,
That thus longe hast japyd the creaturys of God be fals simulacion;
Thow orybyl, nakyd spyryte! in the vertu of Hys passyon
That bought mankend, breke nowe thi mansyon -
Thys ymage of Venus - that be opyn demonstracion
The pepyl may thee se that thow hast blyndyd beforn
To thi utyr schame, confusyon, and sckorn."
Thys word nas sunner spokyn but tht the devyl gan owte flye
And brake the ymage on pecys and ther odyr goddys alle;
And therwyth made sqwyche a noyse and sqwyche a cry
That alle the pepyl for fere to the ground dyd falle.
And he commaundyd the spyryte that no creature at alle
He schul noy, but to a desert qwere no creature were abydyng
Hastyly to pase, ther to the day of dome to make hys abydyng.
And therwyth he seyd to the pepyl, "Qwy ly ye so?
Yowre grete enmy ys fled; ryse up and se
More mervellys yit; for or we go,
Thys fantastyk spere fordone schal be."
And wyth hys hand he bekynnyd the pepyl, bad them come nere.
"Fere ye noght, and here qwat I schal sey;
And put fro yowre hertys alle doutys awey."
And so the pepyl dyd; and he in opyn audyens
To the spyrytys thus seyd that mevyd the spere:
"O dysseyvabyl spyrytys, qwy make ye resystens
Ayens yowre Makere? qwy dysseyve ye that He hath bought dere?
But envye causyth yt, for that ye wold in fere
Them have dampnyd wyth yow in everlastyng fyre.
I knowe that this ys yowre entent and yowre dysyre.
"Qwerfore, that alle this pepyl may knowe opynly
That ye hem dysseyve, this fantasye and ye now dyspere
In Hys name that sofyrryd the Juys Hym crucyfye;
And schew opynly that this fantastyk spere
Is no thing materyal, but as the smoke of a fere."
And noght soner this word was spokyn,
But this spere was vanyschyd and brokyn.
And noght apperyd - noudyr gold, sylver, ner precyus stone;
But spyrytys fulle the tempyl, wyngyd lyke larkys;
And qwan the pepyl sei the spere was vanyschyd and gone,
"Thys ys innowe," quod thei, "we beleve alle thi werkys.
"none us krystyn make, wythowte delay, everychone."
And this holy man the spyrytys commaundyd to wende
Owte of the tempyl, the qwyche bare yn ther gate the chyrchys end 39
And than this holy man gan them lere
The feyth of the chyrche, and towght them fully
To serve ther Maker qwyl thei were lyvyng here,
Tellyng them the peynys of helle and eke the glory
Of hevyn, promysyng them that blys to possede everlastyngly
If thei the commaundements of God kept; and than them alle
He crystynnyd - men, women, and chyldyr, both gret and smalle.
Thus was the profecye fulfyllyd of Venus, as be revelacion
To her secretary schewyd, as I rehersyd before,
How that a crucyfyid man schuld take possessyon,
And Venus and her felyschyp to exclude for evermore;
The qwyche ys Cryste, crucyfyid of Juys, made ther hys mancion
Qwan thei crystynnyd were and the tempyl dedycat,
Venus uttyrly excludyd and Jesu fully possescionat.
Thus hath this sqwemful morw a yoeful evynyng.
Qwan this pepyl wyth gladnes home schuld wend,
Browte this ermyght into the cyté myryli syngynge,
To Palamedonnys palyse, qwere he prayd them, at the end,
The neste morw to come to chyrche, and for this enspecyal:
To joyne Amoryus and Cleopes be lawe matrimonyal.
Thys pepyl of tho tydyngys replete wyth joy and gladnes
Of that soden and hasty begunne maryage;
For most convenyent thei thowt that Cleopes -
Aftyr ther consyderauns - was bothe of beuté byrth and lynage
To be Amoryus fere; for bothe thei were of one age.
"And sythyn," quod the pepyl, "he wul her to wyve take,
Lete us tomorow alle joy and myrth make."
So this pepyl yed home to ther reste;
And on the morw, on the most solempne wyse,
They hem arayd, and to the palyse the worthyest
Of the cyté yede to brynge to chyrche, aftyr the gyse,
Bothe Amoryus and Cleopes; and qwat the pepyl coude devyse
Of solempnyté or sport nas noght to seke -
That possybyl was for schortnes of tyme - to eke.
Wyth alle melody that myght be found aftyr the usage
Of that cuntré thei led were to chyrche and of this ermyght
In the tempyl despousyd; and eght days contynwaly aftyr the maryage
Were kept in solempnyté and fest to the derke nyght.
To ryche and pore that wold come or myght,
And to the dwellerrys of the same cyté
The fest was continuyd the mountenauns of wekys thre.
And aftyr, this erhmyght ordynyd - the pepyl to lere -
Prestys and clerkys to serve God contynwally;
And thei, stedfast in the feyth - he commyttyd them to God so dere
And to the forest qwere he wunnyd he gan hym hye,
Days of hys lyfe expendyng in prayere solytary,
Ever preyng for prosperyté of the pepyl in the cyté
Tyl hys soule up fley to eternal felycyté.
And Syr Amoryus ever encresyd in goode fame,
Also in manhod, in joy, honour, and tranqwyllyté
Wyth Cleopes hys lady; for ever ther gret love was the same
As in the begynnyng, for ever ther owdyrys felycyté
Was iche in odyrys presens fore to be.
And many beuteus chyldyr thei had that rychely
Were beset, havyng lordechyp of the regyon successyvely.
And aftyr longe felycyté Amoryus and Cleopes on one day
Yeldyd ther spyrytys to God; and togydyr in a grave
Ther chyldyr them byryd in a tumbe of marbyl gray,
Platyd wyth ymagys of gold; and superscrypcionys thei have
Into this day, as he that red them sqwore, so God hys soule save,
In the tempyl was and red the scrypture that wrytyn ys
In langage of Percys and in Englysch; yt ys this:
"Flowre of knyghthod, to the world a memoryal
Of trosty love, Syr Amoryus resstyth here,
Defensor of the cuntré keper of pes contynwalle;
And be hys syde, Cleopes, hys lady dere,
Byryid ys - exsampyl to alle women, fer and nere,
Of trwelove, stedfastenes, and curtesy;
Upon hos soulys almyghty God have mercy."
Thys ys ther epytafy, wrytyn at ther fete,
In a plate of laton, and yche notabyl dede
Of hys bateylys and howe he wyth Cleopes dyd mete
Gravyn be ther eke, that thei that can may them esyly rede
For a gret remembrauns; and thus this story I owte lede,
Mervelyng gretly that noght nowe, as in eldtyme,
Men do noght wryte knyghtys dedys nowdyr in prose ner ryme.
But qwedyr encresyng of vexacion yt causyth onlye,
Or defaute of cunnyng, wyth odyr causys moo,
I can noght deme; but I trowe, yf men ther wyttys lyst to applye,
They myght in Englond, and odyr cuntreys mo also,
As notabyl storyis of manhod and chyvalrye
Of knyghtys now lyvyng as of them before a hundred and two yere;
And rather thei schuld fayle endytyng than matere. 40
And in Englond many notabyl knyghtys ther be
In sundry placys, but of one I make remembrauns,
The qwyche lyvyd in my days in gret prosperyté
In este Ynglond; the qwyche for prudent porte of governans,
And knyghtely behavyng in Marcys chauns,
Wurthy ys in the world to be preysyd wythowten ende
Of wryter and endyter for oblyvyon of mend.
But trwth yt ys that a gret rootyd tre
Durabyl frute beryth; of this knyght, I mene, nobyl of lynnage,
The qwyche decendyth of a gretyd aunsetré
Of nobyl werrourrys that successyvely, be veray maryage,
The to and fyfty knyght ys computate to hys age, 41
Home God hath induyd wyth alle maner of sufycyauns
So dyscrete therwyth that abyl he ys an hole reme to have in governauns.
Wysdam ever settyng in yche werk before, 42
As Salomon in Sapyens makyth remenbrauns;
Prudens hys frend and systyr he namyd evermore,
Wyth hos counsel he so demenyd hys governauns
That iche wyse creature hym lovyd wyth hertely afyauns.
Ever as a wurthy werryur in every necessyté
Hym qwyt for hys knyge, bothe on lond and see;
As at Waxham, qwere Gyldenerrys londyd to brenne the cuntré
Thys excellent knyght bare hym as a champyon.
And the hole matere that lyste to rede and see,
Rede the story that I endyght of Kyng Cassyon;
And in the ende ye may yt fynde - aftyr the destruccion
Of Corbellyon - qwere I alle hys notabyl dedys bryng to remembrauns,
Done wurthyly of hym in Englond and Frauns.
And ye that this story can noght fynde,
Seke them in the begynnyng of Alexander Macedo,
Or in Josue, or Josepus, for in thise storyis I brynge to mende
The knyght Mylys Stapylton and hys lady bothe to.
Now here I spare yow that yt be so 43
I have of hys dedys many to wryte;
I purpose in odyr placys in specyall them endyghte.
But this knyght despousyd had a lady,
Havyng decens be ryght lynage
Of that wurthy and excellent stok lyneally
That Poolys men clepe, to duke Wylyam as be cosynnage
Ryght nece; that of Sufolk fyrst successyvely 44
Was bothe fyrst markeys and duke; and be this remembrauns
Ye may noght fayl qwat kyng had than Englond in governauns.
And fore that thei - the qwyche be nowe onborne 45
Qwan this lady ys pasyd, schal rede this story,
That thei for her schal pray on evyn and morne,
I alle the storyis that I endyght. I wryte this memory:
That be here lyve thus sche was namyd communly
Modyr of norture, in her behavyng usyng alle gentylnes,
Ever redy to help them that were in troubyl and hevynes.
So beuteus eke and so benyngn, that yche creature
Here gretly magnyfyid, commendyng her womanhede
In alle her behavyngs, ireprehensybyl and demure;
And most to commende that of thoughte: 46
To the necessyteys of the pore, relevyng them at every nede.
Of her beute and vertuys, here I sese; for yt ys so,
I hem declare in Crysaunt, and odyr placys mo.
And yf I the trwthe schuld here wryght,
As gret a style I schuld make in every degré
As Chauncerys of qwene Eleyne or Cresseyd doht endyght,
Or of Polyxchene, Grysyld, or Penelopé.
As beuteus, as womanly, as pacyent as thei were wunt to be,
Thys lady was, qwan I endytyd this story,
Floryschyng the sevyn and twenty yere of the sext Kyng Henry.
Go now, lytyl boke; and wyth alle obeychauns,
Enterly me comende to my lord and mastyr eke,
And to hys ryght reverend lady; wyth alle pleasuns,
Enformyng them how feythfully I hem beseke
Of supportacioun of the rude endytyng owte of Greke.
For alle this wrytyng ys sayd undyr correccion,
Bothe of thi rymyng and eke of thi translacion.
For thei that greyheryd be, aftyr folkys estymacion,
Nedys must more cunne be kendly nature
In yche syens qwere - in thei have ther operacion -
Sythyn that craft comyth be contynwauns into every creature -
Than he that late begynnyth; as be demonstracion
My mastyr Chauncerys, I mene, that longe dyd endure
In practyk of rymyng; qwerfore profoundely,
Wyth many proverbys, hys bokys he rymyd naturally.
Eke, Jon Lydgate, sumtyme monke of Byry,
Hys bokys endytyd wyth termys of retoryk,
And half chongyd Latyne, wyth conseytys of poetry,
And crafty imagynacionys of thingys fantastyk;
But eke hys qwyght her schewyd and hys late werk
How that hys contynwauns made hym both a poyet and a clerk.
But nowe thei bothe be pasyd, and aftyr schal I;
Qwerfor I make this schort orysun:
O Welle of Mercy, Jesu, that I be freelnes and foly
Have Thee ofendyd in dede or in ony imagynacion,
Fully of foryefnes I Thee beseche wyth my hertys hole entencion,
Purposyng to amende alle that I have done amys.
To me, Jesu, now Thi mercy ful necessary ys.
And thei that my sympyl wrytyng schal rede
Of storyis of elde tyme, yf thei lyste, of ther godenes,
Qwere thei Jon Metham in bokes fynde, pray for hym to spede
In vertuys; for he of rymyng toke the bysynes
To comforte them that schuld falle in hevynes
For tyme onocupyid, qwan folk have lytyl to do,
On haly dayis to rede, me thynk yt best so.
But . . . . . . . . there be as in the north cuntré
But he . . . . . . . tok on handundertook
He nere was borne, as ye in hys odyr bokys may se,
The toune of Camberig, toward the este of Englond.
But hys fadyr fully in the north born was he
The qwyche be ryght consangwynyté
Decendyd fro the fyrst Alyscounder Metham, the knyght,
. . . the lord . . . of payn . . . i . . . travyle . . .,
Wos son it was that endytyd this story,
Preyng the reder of pacyens hertyly. 47
HERE ENDYTH THE STORY OF AMORYUS THE KNYGHT AND OF CLEOPES
What befell in; also; (see note)
what befell them in such
where; matter; does
mother; glad; (see note)
When; which; root
closed; then; leaf
Asia; began; subdue; (see note)
Persia; (see note)
these Romans; subdue
Persia; Media; (see note)
Against; (see note)
where; struck; once
Because; populous; (see note)
earls; barons; host
two; (see note)
army; pagans; (see note)
Darius; formerly; (see note)
assistance; (see note)
subject to correction
sweet; (see note)
the reason why
Greek I; illuminated
literate clerics, scholars
in their opinion
Greek; knew not
whom; (see note)
duration of time
Thessaly; seek; (see note)
skills; war; well known
Whose son; briefly; (see note)
average; courageous; (see note)
because of; realm to guide
accomplishments; (see note)
smashed; i.e., all of them
dismayed; called; (see note)
their gods; salvation
they said; hideous
burnt to ashes
wish; (see note)
so that; loss
Because of that
ought; (see note)
caused to be made; pillar
Whose; was named
planets; (see note)
opposing sides in a combat
seemed; surpass; (see note)
briefly to show
it seems to me; (see note)
new; joined by masons
by the twentieth; (see note)
by what is fitting
of his reverence
highness; (see note)
manner; (see note)
comprehended the full substance
accepted his judgment
since; liege (i.e., Nero)
We think; soon
order, if any thing happens
others; quickly prepare
literary artist; necessary; (see note)
in the middle of the path
Wherefore; myself; before; (see note)
individual; (see note)
is called; need; (see note)
Awaiting (see note)
Sprang up to know
psalm attempted; (see note)
the moon; (see note)
drove; (see note)
Pleides; (see note)
fiery; her; (see note)
exalted to the heavens
So as to please; debate; (see note)
by surpassing; (see note)
give; their heart's ease
together; (see note)
Give way; person
moon, peaceable; (see note)
extracted; (see note)
securely established; (see note)
poles; (see note)
high; collegiate; (see note)
its nature; (see note)
brightly shining; (see note)
understand; (see note)
softly; blowing; (see note)
from; the fiery sun; (see note)
horse; (see note)
do you know what
will learn from me
fair look rob
in return whether
matter to ponder pass
trust me truly
must; songs; (see note)
worldly delight, who
Why change; wheel
have bereft me
swooning; (see note)
more refined; (see note)
high noon; quickly
solemnly; (see note)
I am pleased
before then; newly
sphere to provide
by means of
[if] you will get me gold
by a week from today
leave them talking
cedar, hot coals, and incense
hour; magical process
Dressed; white; circle
before he left
circles (i.e., spheres); (see note)
scholar; (see note)
next; each; sight
circularly; (see note)
daughter; (see note)
two white bears
north polar star
Next to whom
Asia won; (see note)
from; in the opposite direction
do [it] quickly
year; orderly progression; (see note)
South Pole; (see note)
Canis Major; Canis Minor
of; beasts alike
To whom pagans
hour; (see note)
moved, deified; (see note)
sickness; believe; cure
day and night
are called father
contemplate their; (see note)
Any misfortune; burn
third throne; whom; (see note)
take up merchandizing; (see note)
call; (see note)
sea's; (see note)
Closed securely; went
even if; mill
trust that truly
were [made] of
wholly; (see note)
hither; chatter foolishly
fell; (see note)
are driven hence
cause to flee
feast; appointed time
robes; (see note)
went; (see note)
talking away, each; (see note)
cast; eye; (see note)
kept up the conversation
abroad he; walked
Those who stare
fear of gossip; deterred
slyly cast; eye
deemed; (see note)
pierced her heart
in preference to
honor; (see note)
By a sign; meaning
with which to say her
hind; as if; (see note)
heart; (see note)
conceived a scheme
know; by some means
near by; (see note)
down; (see note)
As if to say; (see note)
thoroughly (on all sides)
proper; certainly still
saw; (see note)
their refreshment (meal)
Then; put on armor; field
was not; before
Paint; breadth; (see note)
entré (see note)
rode; (see note)
(i.e., the painted cloth)
Waiting; peering; (see note)
everyone; (see note)
would take sides
No; then; than
By; i.e., of Persia
given; (see note)
raised (i.e., unseated)
there was not any
by chance; near; (see note)
whoever; (see note)
skills of fighting
whom; requires; gave
weird alien dress
woe; (see note)
India; east has
umbril (helmet visor)
laurel of Martian
neither; safely say
he bound them
To go soon to; news
ignorance; at once; (see note)
Shake out; cinders
will not; tears
circumstance; (see note)
seen; by feigning
penance (suffering); (see note)
woke suddenly; wept
in any way; pensiveness
in a similar manner
spoke; (see note)
ivy; boughs; though
orchard; each person
So that; astonished
listen to know
glass vessel (mirror?)
fissure (hole); (see note)
Each other; swooning
trouth (faithfulness); I pledge; (see note)
If; once; yes
diligently labor while
in preference to
have made, trust
even if my
truth; evil gossip
[love] alone causes that
borders; the realm of Media
Almost; rich and poor (everbody)
So that; anxiety; distress
walking sticks stand; gate
undertake; (see note)
Consider it well; child's play
with it; nor
such a circumstance
It behooves you in any case; (see note)
because of [his] ardent passion; (see note)
Awaiting; (see note)
[He had] not come
armor nor chain-mail; (see note)
in respect to battle
accordingly; (see note)
eyes; (see note)
yet; par Dieu (by God, indeed)
size; (see note)
elephant slays; (see note)
[the possessor] dare not [strike]
which serpentine; types
some one of those serpents'
those who travel
herbs; stones; in haste; (see note)
troublesome; (see note)
guile; (see note)
nor cunning trick
in the evening; happens
according to its innate nature
before; throws it
deliver from peril
next to fire; in; (see note)
hyacinth and wild marjorum; (see note)
lukewarm; foam; boar
others; (see note)
high Jove instruct me
ruby; (see note)
same; (see note)
emerald; (see note)
herbs; wine; powder
without further ado
rue; (see note)
clear; (see note)
safe; tried; say
flee; their aroma
To such a degree
once; take for his own use
purge; so that; harm
question (requiring an answer)
In the same manner
Otherwise lacking; sluggish
cautious before; (see note)
their habit; before
the other; either
provided to convey him
thus the day
that knew of
suitably; solemn; (see note)
according to; salvation
according to warriors' custom
middle of the
forsake [the battle]
for anything; immediately
misfortune (evil plight)
on my own; sweet
scales; old dungeon; (see note)
bound it securely
But [because] of the din
drew; (see note)
Leapt; killed it instantly
cutting away at
felled; (see note)
feared; Yes; (see note)
food; (see note)
wheel; burnt [it]
Except that; safe
potion have been; died
often; assault; buffalo
afraid; confused; (see note)
attacked; (see note)
burning hot iron; anvil
torn to pieces
crazed by anger
[its mouth] gaping wide
glided; (see note)
took his potion
as if; been
it would die
earthquake; (see note)
burst asunder; off
bulls, rams; kids also
tell of; what
made his way home
That for; have been
Orpheus; recompense; (see note)
abduction; (see note)
to tell the truth
pen; tongue of rhetorician; (see note)
sequence of events
experience; full knowledge
satisfy; (see note)
rehearse; (see note)
all along; (see note)
(i.e., the Milky Way)
(i.e., the comet); (see note)
secretly; postern gate
feared to have come
hind; (see note)
nearly beside herself; fright
pinned; (see note)
wiped; rolling about
went by another
same; except that
not otherwise; (see note)
two; (see note)
In spite of; (see note)
on pain of my death
aspen; (see note)
crazed by anger; fared
notion; (see note)
hour; discuss; meeting
came; hither; early
why was I not
ear before; bursts
thunderclap; slew; (see note)
fiery; (see note)
did not know truly
sigh as if
the beginning of love
wretch; (see note)
gates; (see note)
unite; unto; lady's
since; would not forbear us
yield; faithless (undutiful)
pleasurable desire; merry
each and every pain
took her course
lacerate; hair from
too unnatural (faithless); surely
without more ado
I pass over them briefly
ancient times; pagans; (see note)
lack of learning (skill)
sorrowful; (see note)
series of events
address (set right)
Even though it be that
errors; put an end to
conscience of man's; (see note)
i.e., physical (human); gain;(see note)
in order to be
i.e., in human form
at a distance; (see note)
hermit; (see note)
disturb; pious people; mind
Before he approached
Mother Worshipful (i.e., Mary)
full of care; Maiden
advocate; (see note)
According to this method and fashion
hermit; bought; (see note)
Whole; injury (blemish); (see note)
one; anthem; (see note)
Ordering; (see note)
fares; fire; (see note)
difficult; (see note)
two so seemly
as pertains to
tell; (see note)
revealed; reason; (see note)
go [to find them]
were astonished; (see note)
rich and poor
subtlety (trick); blur; eye; (see note)
spoke; (see note)
dwelling; (see note)
was no sooner
Except that; together; (see note)
fire; (see note)
everyone; (see note)
i.e., while they were alive
prophecy; (see note)
grievous morning; joyful evening; (see note)
suitable (proper) (see note)
[Fit] to be companion
to increase, add to
custom; (see note)
feast; until; dark
hermit ordained; teach
each of their
other's; (see note)
beauteous children; richly
[Who] In; (see note)
Defender; peace continually
far and near
old times; (see note)
write of; deeds
courage; (see note)
Mars' chance (i.e., war, battle)
[to prevent] oblivion
tree; (see note)
two; (see note)
Whom; endow; ability
courage; (see note)
The Book of Wisdom
ruled his conduct
He proved himself; land
burn; (see note)
who it pleases; (see note)
married; (see note)
direct, legitimate lineage
in a direct line
marquis; (see note)
fail to know
compose; [for] this
In accord with her behavior
Chaucer's; (see note)
accustomed; (see note)
obeisance; (see note)
recently; as is demonstrated by
formerly; (see note)
conceits; (see note)
old times; wish
direct, legitimate descent; (see note)