That both his soule, and eke hemself offend,
And yet they mow hir lustes not amend.
What may I conclude of this longe serie,
But after sorwe I rede us to be merie,
And thanken Jupiter of all his grace.
And er that we departen from this place,
I rede that we make of sorwes two
O parfit joye lasting evermo:

And loketh now wher most sorwe is herein,
Ther wol I firste amenden and begin.

Sister, (quod he) this is my full assent, With all th'avis here of my parlement, That gentil Palamon, your owen knight, That serveth you with will, and herte, and might, And ever hath don, sin ye first him knew, That ye shall of your grace upon him rew, And taken him for husbond and for lord: Lene me your hand, for this is oure accord, Let see now of your womanly pitee. He is a kinges brothers sone pardee, And though he were a poure bachelere, Sin he hath served you so many a yere, And had for you so gret adversite, It moste ben considered, leveth me. For gentil mercy oweth to passen right.

Than sayd he thus to Palamon the knight; I trow ther nedeth litel sermoning

To maken you assenten to this thing.
Cometh ner, and take your lady by the hond.
Betwixen hem was maked anon the bond,

That highte matrimoine or mariage,
By all the conseil of the baronage.
And thus with alle blisse and melodie
Hath Palamon ywedded Emelie.

And God that all this wide world hath wrought,
Send him his love, that hath it dere ybought.
For now is Palamon in alle wele,

Living in blisse, in richesse, and in hele,
And Emelie him loveth so tendrely,

And he hire serveth al so gentilly,

That never was ther no word hem betwene
Of jalousie, ne of non other tene.

Thus endeth Palamon and Emelie;
And God save all this fayre compagnie.


WHAN that the Knight had thus his tale told,
In all the compagnie n'as ther yong ne old,
That he ne said it was a noble storie,
And worthy to be drawen to memorie;
And namely the gentiles everich on.
Our Hoste lough and swore, So mote I gon,
This goth aright; unbokeled is the male;
Let see now who shal tell another tale:
For trewely this game is wel begonne.
Now telleth ye, sire Monk, if that ye conne,
Somwhat, to quiten with the knightes tale.
The Miller that for-dronken was all pale,
So that unethes upon his hors he sat,
He n'old avalen neither hood ne hat,
Ne abiden no man for his curtesie,
But in Pilates vois he gan to crie,

And swore by armes, and by blood, and bones,
I can a noble tale for the nones,

With which I wol now quite the knightes tale.

Our Hoste saw that he was dronken of ale,

And sayd; abide, Robin, my leve brother,
Som better man shall tell us first another:
Abide, and let us werken thriftily.

By Goddes soule (quod he) that wol not I, For I wol speke, or elles go my way.

Our Hoste answerd; Tell on a devil way; Thou art a fool; thy wit is overcome.

Now herkeneth, quod the Miller, all and some: But first I make a protestatioun,

That I am dronke, I know it by my soun:
And therfore if that I misspeke or say,
Wite it the ale of Southwerk, I you pray:
For I wol tell a legend and a lif

Both of a carpenter and of his wif,

How that a clerk hath set the wrightes cappe.
The Reve answerd and saide, Stint thy clappe.
Let be thy lewed dronken harlotrie.
It is a sinne, and eke a gret folie
To apeiren any man, or him defame,

And eke to bringen wives in swiche a name.
Thou mayst ynough of other thinges sain.
This dronken Miller spake ful sone again,
And sayde; Leve brother Osewold,
Who hath no wif, he is no cokewold.
But I say not therfore that thou art on;
Ther ben ful goode wives many on.
Why art thou
angry with my tale now?
I have a wif parde as wel as thou,
Yet n'olde I, for the oxen in my plough,
Taken upon me more than ynough
As demen of myself that I am on;
I wol beleven wel that I am non.
An husbond shuld not ben inquisitif
Of Goddes privite, ne of his wif.

So he may finden Goddes foison there,
Of the remenant nedeth not to enquere.


What shuld I more say, but this Millere
He n'olde his wordes for no man forbere,
But told his cherles tale in his manere,
Me thinketh, that I shal reherse it here.
And therfore every gentil wight I pray,
For Goddes love as deme not that I
Of evil entent, but that I mote reherse
Hir tales alle, al be they better or werse,
Or elles falsen som of my matere.
And therfore who so list it not to here,
Turne over the leef, and chese another tale,
For he shal find ynow bothe gret and smale,
Of storial thing that toucheth gentillesse,
And eke moralite, and holinesse.

Blameth not me, if that ye chese amis.
The Miller is a cherl, ye know wel this,
So was the Reve, (and many other mo)
And harlotrie they tolden bothe two.
Aviseth you now, and put me out of blame;
And eke men shuld not make ernest of game.


WHILOM ther was dwelling in Oxenforde
A riche gnof, that gestes helde to borde,
And of his craft he was a carpenter.
With him ther was dwelling a poure scoler,
Had lerned art, but all his fantasie

Was turned for to lerne astrologie,

And coude a certain of conclusions

To demen by interrogations,

If that men asked him in certain houres,

Whan that men shulde have drought or elles shoures:

Or if men asked him what shulde falle
Of every thing, I may not reken alle.
This clerk was cleped hendy Nicholas;
Of derne love he coude and of solas;
And therto he was slie and ful prive,
And like a maiden meke for to se.
A chambre had he in that hostelrie
Alone, withouten any compagnie,
Ful fetisly ydight with herbes sote,
And he himself was swete as is the rote
Of licoris, or any setewale.

His almageste, and bokes gret and smale,
His astrelabre, longing for his art,
His augrim stones, layen faire apart
On shelves couched at his beddes hed,
His presse ycovered with a falding red.
And all above ther lay a gay sautrie,
On which he made on nightes melodie,
So swetely, that all the chambre rong:
And Angelus ad virginem he song..
And after that he song the kinges note;
Ful often blessed was his mery throte.
And thus this swete clerk his time spent
After his frendes finding and his rent.

This carpenter had wedded new a wif,
Which that he loved more than his lif:
Of eightene yere she was I gesse of age.
Jalous he was, and held hire narwe in cage,

[blocks in formation]
« ElőzőTovább »