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For love of yow, and eek for jelousie.
And Jupiter so wis my sowle gye,
To speken of a servaunt proprely,
With alle circumstaunces trewely,
That is to seyn, trouthe, honour, and knighthede,
Wysdom, humblesse, astaat, and by kynrede,
Fredam, and al that longeth to that art,
So Jupiter have of my soule part,
As in this world right now ne know I non
So worthy to be loved as Palamon,
That serveth you, and wol do al his lyf.
And if that ye schul ever be a wyf,
Forget not Palamon, that gentil man."
And with that word his speche faile gan ;
2800 For fro his herte up to his brest was come The cold of deth, that him had overcome. And yet moreover in his armes twoo The vital strength is lost, and al agoo. Only the intellect, withouten more, That dwelled in his herte sik and sore, Gan fayle, whan the herte felte deth ; Duskyng his eyghen two, and fayled breth. But on his lady yit he cast his ye ; His laste word was, “ Mercy, Emelye!"
2810 His spiryt chaunged was, and wente ther, As I cam never, I can nat tellen wher. Therfore I stynte, I nam no dyvynistre ;
2813.-Therfore I stynte. Up to this point, the description of Arcite's dying moments is taken literally from the Teseide. “ This," Tyrwhitt observes, “is apparently a fling at Boccace's pompous description of the passage of Arcite's soul to heaven."
Of soules fynde I not in this registre.
Ne me list nat thopynyouns to telle
Of hem, though that thei wyten wher they dwelle.
Arcyte is cold, ther Mars his soule gye:
Now wol I speke forth of Emelye.
Shright Emely, and howled Palamon,
And Theseus his sustir took anon
2820 Swownyng, and bar hir fro the corps away. What helpeth it to tarye forth the day, To telle how sche weep bothe eve and morwe ? For in swich caas wommen can have such sorwe, Whan that here housbonds ben from hem ago, That for the more part they sorwen so, Or elles fallen in such maladye, That atte laste certeynly they dye. Infynyt been the sorwes and the teeres Of olde folk, and folk of tendre yeeres ; So gret a wepyng was ther noon certayn, Whan Ector was i-brought, al freissh i-slayn, As that ther was for deth of this Theban; For sorwe of him ther weepeth bothe child and man At Troye, allas! the pité that was there, Cracchyng of cheekes, rendyng eek of here.
2830.—folk, and folk. The MS. Harl. reads olde folk that ben of tendre. The lines which follow, are read by Tyrwhitt, on the authority of some of the MSS. (perhaps correctly) thus,
In all the toun for deth of this Theban:
For him ther wepeth bothe childe and man.
So gret a weping was ther non certain,
Whan Hector was y.brought, all fresh y.slain,
To Troy, &c.
· Why woldist thou be deed,” this wommen crye,
And haddest gold ynowgh, and Emelye ?"
No man mighte glade Theseus,
Savyng his olde fader Egeus,
That knew this worldes transmutacioun,
As he hadde seen it torne up and doun,
Joye after woo, and woo aftir gladnesse ;
And schewed him ensample and likenesse.
Right as ther deyde never man," quod he, “That he ne lyved in erthe in som degree,
Yit ther ne lyvede never man,” he seyde,
“In al this world, that som tyme he ne deyde.
This world nys but a thurghfare ful of woo,
And we ben pilgryms, passyng to and froo :
Deth is an ende of every worldly sore."
And over al this yit seide he mochil more
To this effect, ful wysly to enhorte
The peple, that they schulde him recomforte.
Duk Theseus with al his busy cure
Cast busyly wher that the sepulture
Of good Arcyte may best y-maked be,
And eek most honurable in his degré.
And atte last he took conclusioun,
That ther as first Arcite and Palamon
Hadden for love the batail hem bytwene,
That in the selve grove, soote and greene,
Ther as he hadde his amorous desires,
His compleynt, and for love his hoote fyres,
He wolde make a fyr, in which thoffice
Of funeral he might al accomplice;
And leet comaunde anon to hakke and hewe
The okes olde, and ley hem on a rewe
In culpouns wel arrayed for to brenne.
His officers with swifte foot they renne,
And ryde anon at his comaundement.
And after this, Theseus hath i-sent
After a beer, and it al overspradde
With cloth of golde, the richest that he hadde.
And of the same sute, he clad Arcyte ;
Upon his hondes were his gloves white;
Eke on his heed a croune of laurer grene;
And in his hond a swerd ful bright and kene.
He leyde him bare the visage on the beere,
Therwith he weep that pité was to heere.
And for the poeple schulde see him alle,
Whan it was day he brought hem to the halle,
That roreth of the cry and of the soun.
Tho cam this woful Theban Palamoun,
With flotery berd, and ruggy asshy heeres,
In clothis blak, y-dropped al with teeres,
And, passyng other, of wepyng Emelye,
The rewfullest of al the companye.
And in as moche as the service schulde be
The more nobul and riche in his degré,
Duk Theseus leet forth thre steedes bryng,
That trapped were in steel al gliteryng,
And covered with armes of dan Arcyte.
Upon the steedes, that weren grete and white,
Ther seeten folk, of which oon bar his scheeld,
Another his spere up in his hondes heeld ;
The thridde bar with him his bowe Turkeys,
Of brend gold was the caas and eek the herneys :
And riden forth a paas with sorwful chere
Toward the grove, as ye schul after heere. 2900
The noblest of the Grekes that ther were
Upon here schuldres carieden the beere,
With slak paas, and eyhen reed and wete,
Thurghout the cité, by the maister streete,
That sprad was al with blak, and wonder hye
Right of the same is al the stret i-wrye.
Upon the right hond went olde Egeus,
And on that other syde duk Theseus,
With vessels in here hand of gold wel fyn,
As ful of hony, mylk, and blood, and wyn;
Eke Palamon, with a gret companye:
And after that com woful Emelye,
With fyr in hond, as was at that tyme the gyse,
To do thoffice of funeral servise.
Heygh labour, and ful gret apparailyng Was at the service and at the fyr makyng, That with his grene top the heven raughte, And twenty fadme of brede tharme straughte : This is to seyn, the boowes were so brode. Of stree first was ther leyd ful many a loode. 2920
2897.- his bowe Turkeys. In the Roman de la Rose, 1. 913, Love is described as bearing deux ars Turquois.