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Gan for to wepe, and so dede Emelye,
And alle the ladies in the companye.
Gret pité was it, as it thought hem alle,
That evere such a chaunce schulde falle ;
For gentil men thi were and of gret estate,
And nothing but for love was this debate.
And saw here bloody woundes wyde and sore;
And alle they cryde lesse and the more,
“ Have mercy, Lord, upon us wommen alle!"
And on here bare knees anoon they falle,

And wolde have kissed his feet right as he stood,
Til atte laste aslaked was his mood;
For pité renneth sone in gentil herte.
And though he first for ire quok and sterte,
He hath it al considered in a clause,
The trespas of hem bothe, and here cause:
And although his ire here gylt accused,
Yet in his resoun he hem bothe excused;
And thus he thought that every maner man
Wol help himself in love if that he can,

1770 And eek delyver himself out of prisoun. And eek in his hert had compassioun Of wommen, for they wepen ever in oon: And in his gentil hert he thought anoon, And sothly he to himself seyde: “Fy Upon a lord that wol have no mercy, But be a lyoun bothe in word and dede, To hem that ben in repentaunce and drede,

1761.-The MS. Harl. reads bare feet, which makes the line too long.


As wel as to a proud dispitious man,
That wol maynteyne that he first bigan.

1780 That lord hath litel of discrecioun, That in such caas can no divisioun: But wayeth pride and humblenesse after oon. And schortly, whan his ire is over gon, He gan

to loke on hem with eyen light,
And spak these same wordes al in hight.
“ The god of love, a! benedicite,
How mighty and how gret a lord is he!
Agayne his might ther gayneth non obstacle,
He may be cleped a god of his miracle ;
For he can maken at his owen gyse
Of ever herte, as him lust devyse.
Lo her is Arcite and Palamun,
That quytely were out of my prisoun,
And might have lyved in Thebes ryally,
And witen I am here mortal enemy,
And that here deth lith in my might also,
And yet hath love, maugré here eyghen tuo,
I-brought hem hider bothe for to dye.
Now loketh, is nat that an heih folye?

Who may be a fole, if that he love?
Byholde for Goddes sake that sitteth above,
Se how they blede! be they nought wel arrayed ?
Thus hath here lord, the god of love, hem payed
Here wages and here fees for here servise.

1785.-eyen light. The Harl. MS. has black and light, which makes the line too long, and the epithet black is evidently redundant.


And yet wenen they to ben ful wise,
That serven love, for ought that may bifalle.
But this is yette the beste game of alle,
That sche, for whom they have this jelousye,
Can hem therfore as moche thank as me.
Sche woot no more of al this hoote fare
By God, than wot a cuckow or an hare.
But all moot ben assayed hoot or colde;
A man moot ben a fool other yong or olde;
I woot it by myself ful yore agon:
For in my tyme a servant was I on.
And sythen that I knewe of loves peyne,
And wot how sore it can a man destreyne,
As he that hath often ben caught in his lace,
I you forgeve holly this trespace,
At the request of the queen that kneleth heere,
And eek of Emely, my suster deere.


schullen bothe anon unto me swere,
That never ye schullen my corowne dere,
Ne make werre on me night ne day,
But be my freendes in alle that ye may.
I you forgeve this trespas every dele."
And they him swore his axyng fayre and wele,
And him of lordschip and of mercy prayde,


1817.And sythen that. Taken literally from the Teseide,


pero che gia inamorato fui, E

per amor sovente folegiai,

M'e caro molto il perdonare altrui. 1828.-fayre and wele. The MS. Harl. reads every dele, evidently a mere blundering repetition by the scribe of the conclusion of the preceding line.


And he hem graunted mercy, and thus he sayde: 1830 “To speke of real lynage and riches, Though that sche were a queen or a prynces, Ilk of yow bothe is worthy douteles To wedde when tyme is, but natheles I speke as for my suster Emelye, For whom ye have this stryf and jelousye, Ye woot youreself sche may not wedde two At oones, though ye faughten ever mo: That oon of yow, or be him loth or leef, He may go pypen in an ivy leef: This is to say, sche may nought have bothe, Al be ye never so jelous, ne so lothe. For-thy I put you bothe in this degré, That ilk of you schal have his destyné, As him is schape, and herken in what wyse; Lo here your ende of that I schal devyse. My wil is this, for playn conclusioun, Withouten eny repplicacioun, If that you liketh, tak it for the best, That every of you

schal go

wher him lest
Frely withouten raunsoun or daungeer;
And this day fyfty wykes, fer ne neer,
Everich of you schal bryng an hundred knightes,
Armed for lystes up at alle rightes
Al redy to derayne hir by batayle.
And thus byhote I you withouten fayle
Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knight,
That whethir of yow bothe that hath might,




This is to seyn, that whethir he or thou
May with his hundred, as I spak of now,
Sle his contrary, or out of lystes dryve,
Him schal I geve Emelye to wyve,
To whom that fortune geveth so fair a grace.
The lyste schal I make in this place,
And God so wisly on my sowle rewe,
As I schal even juge ben and trewe.
Ye schul non othir ende with me make,
That oon of yow schal be deed or take.
And if you thinketh this is wel i-sayde,
Say youre avys, and holdeth yow apayde.
This is youre ende, and youre conclusioun.”
Who loketh lightly now but Palamoun?
Who spryngeth up for joye but Arcite?
Who couthe telle, or who couthe endite,
The joye that is made in this place
Whan Theseus hath don so fair a grace?
But down on knees wente every wight,
And thanked him with al here hertes might,
And namely the Thebanes ofte sithe.
And thus with good hope and herte blithe
They taken here leve, and hom-ward they ryde
To Thebes-ward, with olde walles wyde.

I trow men wolde it deme necligence,
If I forgete to telle the dispence
Of Theseus, that goth so busily


1882.- I have added warıl (which has evidently been omitted by the scribe of the MS. Harl.) from one of the Cambridge MSS.

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