Withinne oure yerd, and that I saw a beest,
Was lik an hound, and wold have made arrest
my body, and wold have me deed.
His colour was bitwixe yelow and reed;
And tippèd was his tail, and
bothe his eeres
With blak, unlik the remnaunt of his heres.
His snowt was smal, with glowynge eyen tweye;
of his look for fear almost I deye;
This causèd me my gronyng doubteles.
Away! quoth she, fy on you,
Allas, quoth she, for, by that God above,
Now have ye lost myn hert and al my love;
nought love a coward, by my feith.
For certes, what so eny womman seith,
We alle desiren, if it mighte
To have our housbondes, hardy, riche, and fre,
And secret, and no fool and no nigard,
Nor him that
is agast of every swerd,
Nor boaster none, by that God above;
How dorst ye say for shame unto your
That any thing might make yow afeard?
Have ye no mannes hert, and have a berd?
Allas! and can
ye be of dremes agast?
Nothing, God wot, but vanitee at last.
Dremes are engendred of repletións,
often of fumes, and ill complexioúns,
Whan humours be abundaunt in a wight.
Certes this dreem, which
ye have had to-night,
Cometh of the grete superfluitee
Of youre blod and red coloúr, pardé,
folk to dremen in there dremes
Of arrows, and of fyr, with reede beemes,
Of rede bestis, that thay wil
Of contest, and of whelpis greet and lite;
Right as the humour of maléncolie
Causeth, in sleep,
ful many a man to crye,
For fere of beres, or of bulles blake,
Or else blake develes wol him take.
humours coude I telle also,
That wirken many a man in slep ful wo;
But I wil passe as lightly as I can.
Cato, which that was so wis a man,
Sayde he nought thus, Care thou not of dremes?
Now, sir, quoth
she, whan we flee fro thise beemes,
For Goddis love, tak thou som laxatyf;
On peril of my soule, and
of my lyf,
I counsel you the best, I wil not lye,
That bothe of coloure, and of malencolye
Ye purge yow; and
that ye may nouht tarye,
Though in this toun is non apotecarie,
I shal myself with herbes phisik you,
shal be for youre helth I dar avow;
And in oure yerd the herbes shal I fynde,
The whiche have of her propretee
To purgen you bynethe, and eek above.
Forget not this, for Goddis owne love!
Ye be ful colerik
Beware the sonne in his ascensioún
Finde yow not replet in humours hote;
And if it do, I dar
wel lay a grote,
That ye shal have a fever terciane,
Or elles an agu, that may be your bane.
A day or tuo
ye shal have dígestives
Of wormes, ere ye take your laxatives,
Oflauriol, century, and fumitory,
Or elles of
elder bery, that growith thereby,
Of catapus, or of dogwood berrys,
Of yvy in our yerd, that mery is;
hem up right as thay growe, and et hem in.
Be mery, housbond, for your fader kyn!
Drede no dremes; I
can say no more.
Madame, quod he, gramercy for your lore.
But natheles, as touching Dan Catoun,
hath of wisdom such a gret renoun,
Though that he bad no dremes for to drede,
By God, men may in
olde bookes rede
Of many a man, more of auctoritee
That ever Catoun was, so telle I the,
That say ful
other wise in there sentence,
And have wel founden by experience,
That dremes be significacioüns,
of joye, as tribulaciouns,
That folk enduren in this lif presént.
Ther nedeth make of this no argument;
verray proof is shewid forth in dede.
One of the grettest authors that men rede,
Saith thus, that whilom
two feláws are went
On pylgrimage in a ful good entente;
And happèd so, thay com into a toun,
ther was such congregacioun
Of people, and eek such lack of herbergage,
That thay fond nought as moche
as one cotage,
In which that thay mighte bothe i-lodgèd be.
Wherfor thay musten of necessitee,
one night, parten there compaignye;
And ech of them goth to his hostelrye,
And took his lodging as it
The one of them was lodgèd in a stalle,
Fer in a yerd, with oxen of the plough;
That other man
was lodgèd well ynough,
As was his áventúre, or his fortúne,
That us govérnith all and in comune.
And so bifel,
that, long ere it were day,
This one dremed in his bed, ther as he lay,
How that his felaw gan upon him
And sayd, allas! for in an oxe stalle
This night I shal be murdrid where I lye.
Now help me, deere
brother, or I dye;
In alle haste cum to me, and take my part.
This man out of his slep for fear upstarte;
whan that he was waked out of his sleep,
He tornèd him, and took of this no keep;
He thought his dreem
was but a vanité.
Thus twies in his sleepe dremèd he.
And at the thridde time yet his felawe
Com, as he
thought, and sayd, I am now slawe;
Bihold my bloody woundes, deep and wyde
Arise up erly in the morning
And at the west gate of the toun, quoth he,
A carteful of donge there shalt thou see,
In which my
body is hyd ful prively;
Arrest the cart and that right boldely.
My gold causèd my murdre, soth to sayn.
told him every poynt how he was slayn,
With a ful piteous face, pale of hewe.
And truste wel, his dreem
he found ful trewe;
For on the morrow, sone as it was day,
To his feláwes inn he took the way;
he cam ny to this oxe stalle,
After his felaw he bigan to calle.
The hostiller he answered him anon,
sayde, Sir, your felaw is agon,
As soone as day he went out of the toun.
This man gan falle in a suspeccioún,
on his dremes as he laye,
And forth he goth, no longer wold he staye,
Unto the west gate of the toun,
A dong cart as it went to dong the ground,
That was arrayèd in the same wise
As ye have herd