For bothe a widowe was she, and allone
Of any freend, to whom she dorste hir mone.
As to my dome, in al Troyes citee 100
Nas noon so fair, for passing every wight
So aungellyk was hir natyf beautee,
That lyk a thing inmortal semed she,
As doth an hevenish parfit creature,
That doun were sent in scorning of nature. 105
Hir fadres shame, his falsnesse and tresoun,
Wel nigh out of hir wit for sorwe and fere,
In widewes habit large of samit broun,
On knees she fil biforn Ector-a-doun; 110
With pitous voys, and tendrely wepinge,
His mercy bad, hir-selven excusinge.
And saw that she was sorwfully bigoon,
And that she was so fair a creature; 115
Of his goodnesse he gladed hir anoon,
And seyde, lat your fadres treson goon
Forth with mischaunce, and ye your-self, in joye,
Dwelleth with us, whyl you good list, in
As ferforth as your fader dwelled here,
Ye shul han, and your body shal men save,
As fer as I may ought enquere or here.
And she him thonked with ful humble chere,
And ofter wolde, and it hadde ben his wille, 125
And took hir love, and hoom, and held hir stille.
As to hir honour nede was to holde;
And whyl she was dwellinge in that citee,
Kepte hir estat, and bothe of yonge and olde 130
Ful wel beloved, and wel men of hir tolde.
But whether that she children hadde or noon,
I rede it nought; therfore I lete it goon.
Bitwixen hem of Troye and Grekes ofte; 135
For som day boughten they of Troye it derre,
And eft the Grekes founden no thing softe
The folk of Troye; and thus fortune onlofte,
And under eft, gan hem to wheelen bothe
After hir cours, ay whyl they were wrothe.
Ne falleth nought to purpos me to telle;
For it were here a long disgressioun
Fro my matere, and yow to longe dwelle.
But the Troyane gestes, as they felle, 145
In Omer, or in Dares, or in Dyte,
Who-so that can, may rede hem as they wryte.
And hir citee bisegede al a-boute,
Hir olde usage wolde they not letten, 150
As for to honoure hir goddes ful devoute;
But aldermost in honour, out of doute,
They hadde a relik hight Palladion,
That was hir trist a-boven everichon.
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
With newe grene, of lusty Ver the pryme,
And swote smellen floures whyte and rede,
In sondry wyses shewed, as I rede,
The folk of Troye hir observaunces olde,
Palladiones feste for to holde. 161
In general, ther wente many a wight,
To herknen of Palladion the servyse;
And namely, so many a lusty knight, 165
So many a lady fresh and mayden bright,
Ful wel arayed, bothe moste and leste,
Ye, bothe for the seson and the feste.
In widewes habite blak; but nathelees,
Right as our firste lettre is now an A, 171
In beautee first so stood she, makelees;
Hir godly looking gladede al the prees.
Nas never seyn thing to ben preysed derre,
Nor under cloude blak so bright a sterre
That hir bihelden in hir blake wede;
And yet she stood ful lowe and stille alloon,
Bihinden othere folk, in litel brede,
And neigh the dore, ay under shames drede, 180
Simple of a-tyr, and debonaire of chere,
With ful assured loking and manere.
His yonge knightes, ladde hem up and doun
In thilke large temple on every syde, 185
Biholding ay the ladyes of the toun,
Now here, now there, for no devocioun
Hadde he to noon, to reven him his reste,
But gan to preyse and lakken whom him leste.
If knight or squyer of his companye
Gan for to syke, or
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|