Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales (The Squire's Tale Part 2)
The norice of digestion, the sleep,
Gan on them wink, and bade them take keep,
That muche mirth and labour will have rest.
And with a gaping mouth he all them kest,
And said, that it was time to lie down,
For blood was in his dominatioun:
"Cherish the blood, nature's friend," quoth he.
They thanked him gaping, by two and three;
And every wight gan draw him to his rest;
As sleep them bade, they took it for the best.
Their dreames shall not now be told for me;
Full are their heades of fumosity,
That caused dreams of which there is no charge:
They slepte; till that, it was prime large,
The moste part, but it was Canace;
She was full measurable, as women be:
For of her father had she ta'en her leave
To go to rest, soon after it was eve;
Her liste not appalled for to be; to look pale
Nor on the morrow unfeastly for to see;
And slept her firste sleep; and then awoke.
For such a joy she in her hearte took
Both of her quainte a ring and her mirrour,.
That twenty times she changed her colour;
And in her sleep, right for th' impression
Of her mirror, she had a vision.
Wherefore, ere that the sunne gan up glide,
She call'd upon her mistress' her beside,
And saide, that her liste for to rise.
These olde women, that be gladly wise
As are her mistresses answer'd anon,
And said; "Madame, whither will ye gon
Thus early? for the folk be all in rest."
"I will," quoth she, "arise; for me lest
No longer for to sleep, and walk about."
Her mistresses call'd women a great rout,
And up they rose, well a ten or twelve;
Up rose freshe Canace herselve,
As ruddy and bright as is the yonnge sun
That in the Ram is four degrees y-run;
No higher was he, when she ready was;
And forth she walked easily a pace,
Array'd after the lusty season swoot,
Lightely for to play, and walk on foot,
Nought but with five or six of her meinie;
And in a trench forth in the park went she.
The vapour, which up from the earthe glode,
Made the sun to seem ruddy and broad:
But, natheless, it was so fair a sight
That it made all their heartes for to light,
What for the season and the morrowning,
And for the fowles that she hearde sing.
For right anon she wiste what they meant knew
Right by their song, and knew all their intent.
The knotte, why that every tale is told,
If it be tarried till the list be cold
Of them that have it hearken'd after yore,
The savour passeth ever longer more;
For fulsomness of the prolixity:
And by that same reason thinketh me.
I shoulde unto the knotte condescend,
And maken of her walking soon an end.
Amid a tree fordry, as white as chalk,
There sat a falcon o'er her head full high,
That with a piteous voice so gan to cry;
That all the wood resounded of her cry,
And beat she had herself so piteously
With both her winges, till the redde blood
Ran endelong the tree, there as she stood
And ever-in-one alway she cried and shright;
And with her beak herselfe she so pight,
That there is no tiger, nor cruel beast,
That dwelleth either in wood or in forest;
But would have wept, if that he weepe could,
For sorrow of her; she shriek'd alway so loud.
For there was never yet no man alive,
If that he could a falcon well descrive;
That heard of such another of fairness
As well of plumage, as of gentleness;
Of shape, of all that mighte reckon'd be.
A falcon peregrine seemed she,
Of fremde land; and ever as she stood
She swooned now and now for lack of blood;
Till well-nigh is she fallen from the tree.
This faire kinge's daughter Canace,
That on her finger bare the quainte ring,
Through which she understood well every thing
That any fowl may in his leden sayn,
And could him answer in his leden again;
Hath understoode what this falcon said,
And well-nigh for the ruth almost she died;.
And to the tree she went, full hastily,
And on this falcon looked piteously;
And held her lap abroad; for well she wist
The falcon muste falle from the twist
When that she swooned next, for lack of blood.
A longe while to waite her she stood;
Till at the last she apake in this mannere
Unto the hawk, as ye shall after hear:
"What is the cause, if it be for to tell,
That ye be in this furial pain of hell?"
Quoth Canace unto this hawk above;
"Is this for sorrow of of death; or loss of love?
For; as I trow, these be the causes two;
That cause most a gentle hearte woe:
Of other harm it needeth not to speak.
For ye yourself upon yourself awreak;
Which proveth well, that either ire or dread
Must be occasion of your cruel deed,
Since that I see none other wight you chase:
For love of God, as do yourselfe grace;
Or what may be your help? for, west nor east, yourself
I never saw ere now no bird nor beast
That fared with himself so piteously
Ye slay me with your sorrow verily;
I have of you so great compassioun.
For Godde's love come from the tree adown
And, as I am a kinge's daughter true,
If that I verily the causes knew
Of your disease, if it lay in my might,
I would amend it, ere that it were night,
So wisly help me the great God of kind
And herbes shall I right enoughe find,
To heale with your hurtes hastily."
Then shriek'd this falcon yet more piteously
Than ever she did, and fell to ground anon,
And lay aswoon, as dead as lies a stone,
Till Canace had in her lap her take,
Unto that time she gan of swoon awake:
And, after that she out of swoon abraid,
Right in her hawke's leden thus she said:
"That pity runneth soon in gentle heart
(Feeling his simil'tude in paines smart),
Is proved every day, as men may see,
As well by work as by authority;
For gentle hearte kitheth gentleness.
I see well, that ye have on my distress
Compassion, my faire Canace,
Of very womanly benignity
That nature in your princples hath set.
But for no hope for to fare the bet,
But for t' obey unto your hearte free,
And for to make others aware by me,
As by the whelp chastis'd is the lion,
Right for that cause and that conclusion,
While that I have a leisure and a space,
Mine harm I will confessen ere I pace."
And ever while the one her sorrow told,
The other wept, as she to water wo'ld,
Till that the falcon bade her to be still, into water
And with a sigh right thus she said her till:
"Where I was bred (alas that ilke day!)
And foster'd in a rock of marble gray
So tenderly, that nothing ailed me,
I wiste not what was adversity,
Till I could flee full high under the sky.
Then dwell'd a tercelet me faste by,
That seem'd a well of alle gentleness;
All were he full of treason and falseness,
It was so wrapped under humble cheer,
And under hue of truth, in such mannere, of humility
Under pleasance, and under busy pain,
That no wight weened that he coulde feign,
So deep in grain he dyed his colours.
Right as a serpent hides him under flow'rs,
Till he may see his time for to bite,
Right so this god of love's hypocrite
Did so his ceremonies and obeisances,
And kept in semblance all his observances,
That sounden unto gentleness of love.
As on a tomb is all the fair above,
And under is the corpse, which that ye wet,
Such was this hypocrite, both cold and hot;
And in this wise he served his intent,
That, save the fiend, none wiste what he meant:
Till he so long had weeped and complain'd,
And many a year his service to me feign'd,
Till that mine heart, too piteous and too nice,
All innocent of his crowned malice,
Forfeared of his death, as thoughte me,
Upon his oathes and his surety he should die
Granted him love, on this conditioun,
That evermore mine honour and renown
Were saved, bothe privy and apert;
This is to say, that, after his desert,
I gave him all my heart and all my thought
(God wot, and he, that other wayes nought),
And took his heart in change of mine for aye.
But sooth is said, gone since many a day,
A true wight and a thiefe think not one.
And when he saw the thing so far y-gone,
That I had granted him fully my love,
In such a wise as I have said above,
And given him my true heart as free
As he swore that he gave his heart to me,
Anon this tiger, full of doubleness,
Fell on his knees with so great humbleness,
With so high reverence, as by his cheer
So like a gentle lover in mannere,
So ravish'd, as it seemed, for the joy,
That never Jason, nor Paris of Troy, —
Jason? certes, nor ever other man,
Since Lamech was, that alderfirst began
To love two, as write folk beforn,
Nor ever since the firste man was born,
Coulde no man, by twenty thousand
Counterfeit the sophimes of his art;
Where doubleness of feigning should approach,
Nor worthy were t'unbuckle his galoche,
Nor could so thank a wight, as he did me.
His manner was a heaven for to see
To any woman, were she ne'er so wise;
So painted he and kempt, at point devise,
As well his wordes as his countenance.
And I so lov'd him for his obeisance,
And for the truth I deemed in his heart,
That, if so were that any thing him smart,
All were it ne'er so lite, and I it wist, little
Methought I felt death at my hearte twist.
And shortly, so farforth this thing is went,
That my will was his wille's instrument;
That is to say, my will obey'd his will
In alle thing, as far as reason fill, fell; allowed
Keeping the boundes of my worship ever;
And never had I thing so lefe, or lever,
As him, God wot, nor never shall no mo'.
"This lasted longer than a year or two,
That I supposed of him naught but good.
But finally, thus at the last it stood,
That fortune woulde that he muste twin
Out of that place which that I was in.
Whe'er me was woe, it is no question;
I cannot make of it description.
For one thing dare I telle boldely,
I know what is the pain of death thereby;
Such harm I felt, for he might not byleve.
So on a day of me he took his leave,
So sorrowful eke, that I ween'd verily,
That he had felt as muche harm as I,
When that I heard him speak, and saw his hue.
But natheless, I thought he was so true,
And eke that he repaire should again
Within a little while, sooth to sayn,
And reason would eke that he muste go
For his honour, as often happ'neth so,
That I made virtue of necessity,
And took it well, since that it muste be.
As I best might, I hid from him my sorrow,
And took him by the hand, Saint John to borrow,
And said him thus; 'Lo, I am youres all;
Be such as I have been to you, and shall.'
What he answer'd, it needs not to rehearse;
Who can say bet than he, who can do worse?
When he had all well said, then had he done.
Therefore behoveth him a full long spoon,
That shall eat with a fiend; thus heard I say.
So at the last he muste forth his way,
And forth he flew, till he came where him lest.
When it came him to purpose for to rest,
I trow that he had thilke text in mind,
That alle thing repairing to his kind
Gladdeth himself; thus say men, as I guess;
Men love of [proper] kind newfangleness,
As birdes do, that men in cages feed.
For though thou night and day take of them heed,
And strew their cage fair and soft as silk,
And give them sugar, honey, bread, and milk,
Yet, right anon as that his door is up,
He with his feet will spurne down his cup,
And to the wood he will, and wormes eat;
So newefangle be they of their meat,
And love novelties, of proper kind;
No gentleness of bloode may them bind.
So far'd this tercelet, alas the day!
Though he were gentle born, and fresh, and gay,
And goodly for to see, and humble, and free,
He saw upon a time a kite flee, fly
And suddenly he loved this kite so,
That all his love is clean from me y-go:
And hath his trothe falsed in this wise.
Thus hath the kite my love in her service,
And I am lorn withoute remedy."
And with that word this falcon gan to cry,
And swooned eft in Canacee's barme
Great was the sorrow, for that hawke's harm,
That Canace and all her women made;
They wist not how they might the falcon glade.
But Canace home bare her in her lap,
And softely in plasters gan her wrap,
There as she with her beak had hurt herselve.
Now cannot Canace but herbes delve
Out of the ground, and make salves new
Of herbes precious and fine of hue,
To heale with this hawk; from day to night
She did her business, and all her might.
And by her bedde's head she made a mew,
And cover'd it with velouettes blue,
In sign of truth that is in woman seen;
And all without the mew is painted green,
In which were painted all these false fowls,
As be these tidifes, tercelets, and owls;
And pies, on them for to cry and chide,
Right for despite were painted them beside.
Thus leave I Canace her hawk keeping.
I will no more as now speak of her ring,
Till it come eft to purpose for to sayn
How that this falcon got her love again
Repentant, as the story telleth us,
By mediation of Camballus,
The kinge's son of which that I you told.
But henceforth I will my process hold
To speak of aventures, and of battailes,
That yet was never heard so great marvailles.
First I will telle you of Cambuscan,
That in his time many a city wan;
And after will I speak of Algarsife,
How he won Theodora to his wife,
For whom full oft in great peril he was,
N'had he been holpen by the horse of brass.
And after will I speak of Camballo,
That fought in listes with the brethren two
For Canace, ere that he might her win;
And where I left I will again begin.
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