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And bryngen harneys right inough for the;
And ches the best, and lef the worst for me.
And mete and drynke this night wil I bryng
Inough for the, and cloth for thy beddyng.
And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
And sle me in this wood that I am inne,

1620
Thou maist wel have thy lady as for me.”
This Palamon answereth, “I graunt it the.”
And thus they ben departed til a-morwe,
Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.

O Cupide, out of al charité!
O regne, that wolt no felaw have with the !
Ful soth is seyde, that love ne lordschipe
Wol not, his thonkes, have no felaschipe.
Wel fynden that Arcite and Palamoun.
Arcite is riden anon to the toun,
And on the morwe, or it were day light,
Ful prively two harneys hath he dight,
Bothe sufficaunt and mete to darreyne
The batayl in the feeld betwix hem tweyne.
And on his hors, alone as he was born,
He caryed al this harneys him byforn ;
And in the grove, at tyme and place i-sette,
This Arcite and this Palamon ben mette.
Tho chaungen gan here colour in here face.
Right as the honter in the regne of Trace
That stondeth in the

gappe
with

spere,
Whan honted is the lyoun or the bere,
And hereth him come russhyng in the greves,

1630

16-10

a

And breketh bothe the bowes and the leves,
And thenketh, “Here cometh my mortel enemy,
Withoute faile, he mot be deed or I;
For eyther I mot slen him at the gappe,
Or he moot slee me, if it me myshappe:”
So ferden they, in chaungyng of here hew,

1650
As fer as eyther of hem other knewe.
Ther nas no good day, ne so saluyng;
But streyt withouten wordes rehersyng,
Every of hem helpeth to armen other,
As frendly as he were his owen brother;
And thanne with here scharpe speres stronge
They foyneden ech at other wonder longe.
Tho it semed that this Palamon
In his fightyng were as a wood lyoun,
And as a cruel tygre was Arcite:
As wilde boores gonne they togeder smyte,

1660
That frothen white as fome for ire wood.
Up to the ancle they faught in here blood.
And in this wise I lete hem fightyng welle ;
And forthere I wol of Theseus telle.

The destiné, mynistre general,
That executeth in the world over al
The purveans, that God hath seye byforn;
So strong it is, that they the world had sworn
The contrary of a thing by ye or nay,
Yet som tyme it schal falle upon a day

1670

1666.-executeth. The MS Harl. reads, excused.

1670.—The sentiment expressed in this and the following line is taken direct from the Teseide,

1680

That falleth nought eft in a thousend yeere.
For certeynly oure appetites heere,
Be it of werre, of pees, other hate, or love,
Al is it reuled by the sight above.
This mene I now by mighty Theseus,
That for to honte is so desirous,
And namely the grete hert in May,
That in his bed ther daweth him no day,
That he nys clad, and redy for to ryde
With hont and horn, and houndes him byside.
For in his hontyng hath he such delyt,
That is his joye and his appetyt
To been himself the grete herts bane,
For after Mars he serveth now Diane.

Cleer was the day, as I have told or this,
And Theseus, with alle joye and blys,
With his Ypolita, the fayre queene,
And Emelye, clothed al in greene,
On hontyng be thay riden ryally.
And to the grove, that stood ther faste by,
In which ther was an hert as men him tolde,
Duk Theseus the streyte wey hath holde.
And to the launde he rydeth him ful right,
Ther was the hert y-wont to have his flight,
And over a brook, and so forth in his weye.
This duk wol have of him a cours or tweye
With houndes, which as him lust to comaunde.

1690

Ma come nui vegian venir in hora
Cossa che in mille anni non aviene.

And whan this duk was come into the launde,
Under the sonne he loketh, right anon
He was war of Arcite and Palamon,

1700
That foughten breeme, as it were boores tuo;
The brighte swerdes wente to and fro
So hidously, that with the leste strook
It seemeth as it wolde felle an ook ;
But what they were, nothing yit he woot.
This duk with spores his courser he smoot,
And at a stert he was betwix hem tuoo,
And pullid out a swerd and cride, “Hoo!
Nomore, up peyne of leesyng of your heed.
By mighty Mars, anon he schal be deed, 1710
That smyteth eny strook, that I may seen!
But telleth me what mestir men ye been,
That ben so hardy for to fighten heere
Withoute jugge or other officere,
As it were in a lyste really."
This Palamon answerde hastily,
And seyde: “Sire, what nedeth wordes mo?
We han the deth deserved bothe tuo.
Tuo woful wrecches been we, and kaytyves,
That ben encombred of oure owne lyves;

1720 And as thou art a rightful lord and juge, Ne geve us neyther mercy no refuge. And sle me first, for seynte charité ; But sle my felaw eek as wel as me. Or sle him first; for, though thou knowe him lyte,

1701.-boores tuo. Tyrwhitt, with most of the MSS., reads bolles (bulls).

1730

This is thy mortal fo, this is Arcite,
That fro thy lond is banyscht on his heed,
For which he hath i-served to be deed.
For this is he that come to thi gate
And seyde, that he highte Philostrate.
Thus hath he japed the many a yer,
And thou hast maad of him thy cheef squyer.
And this is he that loveth Emelye.
For sith the day is come that I schal dye,
I make pleynly my confessioun,
That I am the woful Palamoun,
That hath thy prisoun broke wikkedly.
I am thy mortal foo, and it am I
That loveth so hoote Emely the bright,
That I wol dye present in hire sight.
Therfore I aske deeth and my juwyse ;
But slee

my

felaw in the same wyse, For bothe we have served to be slayn."

This worthy duk answerde anon agayn,
And seide, “ This is a schort conclusioun :
Your owne mouth, by your owne confessioun,
Hath dampned you bothe, and I wil it recorde.
It nedeth nought to pyne yow with the corde.
Ye schul be deed by mighty Mars the reede!"
The queen anon for verray wommanhede

1740

1750

1749.-Mars the reede. Tyrwhitt has quoted Boccacio for the same epithet, used at the opening of his Teseide—“O rubicondo Marte"it refers, of course, to the colour of the planet. The medieval writers constantly mixed up their astrological notions of the planets in their manner of looking at the poetical deities of the ancients.

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