lawe of love alloweth bothe two.
And when he was in this prosperitee,
Home with his wyf he goeth to his
Nought far fro Penmark where his dwellyng was,
And ther he lyveth in blisse and in solás.
Who coude telle, but he hadde wedded be,
The joy, the ese, and the prosperitee,
That is bitwixe an housebond
and his wyf?
A yeer and more lasteth this blissful life,
Til that this knight, of which I speke thus,
kindred was cleped Arveragus,
Thought for to go and dwelle a yeer or tweyne
In Engelond, that cleped
eke was Bretáyne,
To seek in armes worshipe and honoúr,
For all his wille was sette in such laboúr;
there two year; the boke saith thus.
Now wil I stynte of this Arviragus,
And speken I wil of Dorygen his wyf,
That loveth her husbonde as her
And for his absens wepeth she and grieveth,
As doth a noble wyf when that she loveth;
mourneth, waketh, wayleth, fasteth, pleyneth;
Desire of his presénce hire so constreyneth,
That al this
wyde world she sette at nought.
Her frendes, which that knewe her hevy thought,
Confórted her in al that
ever they may;
They preche to her, thay telle her night and day,
That without cause she sleeth her self
And every comfort possible in this case
They do to her, with all their busyness,
And all to make hire
stay her hevynesse.
By length of tyme ye know wel, every one,
Men may so longe graven in the stone,
some figúre therinne imprentyd be;
So longe have they confórted her, that she
Receyvèd hath, by hope and
The impryntynge of their consollacioún.
Through which her grete sorrow gan aswage;
nought alway lyve in suche rage.
And eke Arviragus, in al this care,
Hath sent his lettres home of his
And that he wolde swiftly come ayayn,
Or else this sorrow hadde her herte slayn.
sawe her grief begin to slake,
And preyèd her on knees, for Goddes sake,
To come and sport her in their
Away to dryve her darke fantasýe;
And fynally she graunted that requeste,
For wel she saw that
it was for the best.
Now stood her castel faste by the see,
And often with here freendes walkèd she,
Her to disporte upon the
banke on high,
Wher many shippes and barges saylen by
Takyng their cours, wher as they liste to go.
yet was there a parcelle of hir woe,
For to her self ful often, seyde she,
Is ther no shipp, so many that I see,
Wil brynge back my lord? then wolde myn herte
Al cease to feel
this bitter peynes smerte.
Another tyme ther wolde she sitte and think,
And caste her eyen dounward from the brynk;
she saw the grisly rockes blak,
For verray fear so wolde here herte quake.
That on her feet she mighte
nought hir sustaine.
Thenne wolde she sitte adoun upon the grene,
And piteously into the see byholde,
say right thus, with sorowful sighes cold.
Eterne God, that through thy providence
Ledest the world by
In ydelnesse, as men say ye nothinge make.
But, Lord, these grisly feendly rockes
That semen rather a foul confusioún
Of werk, than any fayr creacioún
Of suche a parfyt God so strong
Why have ye wrought this werk unresonáble?
For by this werke, south, north, est, and west,
is y-fostred neither man nor beast;
It doth no good, to my witt, but annoyeth.
See ye not, Lorde, how mankynde
An hundred thousand bodyes of mankynde
Have rockes slayn, forgotten out of mynde;
mankynde is of al thy werk the best
That Thou hast made it chief of al the rest,
Then semèd it, ye hadde
Toward mankynde; but how then may it be,
That ye suche meanes take it to distroyen?
meanes do no good, but ever annoyen.
I wot wel, clerkes wil say it as they list,
By arguments, that al
is for the beste,
Though I cannot the causes truly knowe;
But the goode God that made the wynde to
Kepe safe my lord, this is mine orisoún;
To clerkes leve I disputacioún;
But wolde God, that al the
Were sonken into helle for his sake
These rockes slay myn herte for verray feere.
she sayn with many a piteous teere.
Her frendes sawe that it was no dispórt
To roamen by the see, but díscomfórt,
And shaped them for to pleyen
They led her by the ryveres and by wells,
And in al other places delitábles;
and playe at chesse and eke at tables.
So on a day, right in the morning tyde,
Unto a gardyne that was
In which that thay hadde made their ordinance
Of victual, and of other purveyance,
and pleyen al the longe day;
And this was on the sixte morn of May,
Which May hadde peynted with his
This gardyn ful of leves and of floures:
And crafte of mannes hande so curiously