The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

Sequitur pars secunda.

Whan that arcite to thebes comen was,
     1355
Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde allas!
     1356
For seen his lady shal he nevere mo.
     1357
And shortly to concluden al his wo,
     1358
So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature
     1359
That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.
     1360
His slep, his mete, his drynke, is hym biraft,
     1361
That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft;
     1362
His eyen holwe, and grisly to biholde,
     1363
His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde,
     1364
And solitarie he was and evere allone,
     1365
And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone;
     1366
And if he herde song or instrument,
     1367
Thanne wolde he wepe, he myghte nat be stent.
     1368
So feble eek were his spiritz, and so lowe,
     1369
And chaunged so, that no man koude knowe
     1370
His speche nor his voys, though men it herde.
     1371
And in his geere for al the world he ferde,
     1372
Nat oonly lik the loveris maladye
     1373
Of hereos, but rather lyk manye,
     1374
Engendred of humour malencolik,
     1375
Biforen, in his celle fantastik.
     1376
And shortly, turned was al up so doun
     1377
Bothe habit and eek disposicioun
     1378
Of hym, this woful lovere daun arcite.
     1379
What sholde I al day of his wo endite?
     1380
Whan he endured hadde a yeer or two
     1381
This crueel torment and this peyne and wo,
     1382
At thebes, in his contree, as I seyde,
     1383
Upon a nyght in sleep as he hym leyde,
     1384
Hym thoughte how that the wynged God mercurie
     1385
Biforn hym stood and bad hym to be murie.
     1386
His slepy yerde in hond he bar uprighte;
     1387
An hat he werede upon his heris brighte.
     1388
Arrayed was this god, as he took keep,
     1389
As he was whan that argus took his sleep;
     1390
And seyde hym thus: to atthenes shaltou wende,
     1391
Ther is thee shapen of thy wo an ende.
     1392
And with that word arcite wook and sterte.
     1393
Now trewely, hou soore that me smerte,
     1394
Quod he, to atthenes right now wol I fare,
     1395
Ne for the drede of deeth shal I nat spare
     1396
To se my lady, that I love and serve. Page  31
     1397
In hire presence I recche nat to sterve.
     1398
And with that word he caughte a greet mirour,
     1399
And saugh that chaunged was al his colour,
     1400
And saugh his visage al in another kynde.
     1401
And right anon it ran hym in his mynde,
     1402
That, sith his face was so disfigured
     1403
Of maladye the which he hadde endured,
     1404
He myghte wel, if that he bar hym lowe,
     1405
Lyve in atthenes everemoore unknowe.
     1406
And seen his lady wel ny day by day.
     1407
And right anon he chaunged his array,
     1408
And cladde hym as a povre laborer,
     1409
And al allone, save oonly a squier
     1410
That knew his privetee and al his cas,
     1411
Which was disgised povrely as he was,
     1412
To atthenes is he goon the nexte way.
     1413
And to the court he wente upon a day,
     1414
And at the gate he profreth his servyse
     1415
To drugge and drawe, what so men wol devyse.
     1416
And shortly of this matere for to seyn,
     1417
He fil in office with a chamberleyn
     1418
The which that dwellynge was with emelye;
     1419
For he was wys and koude soone espye
     1420
Of every servaunt which that serveth here.
     1421
Wel koude he hewen wode, and water bere,
     1422
For he was yong and myghty for the nones,
     1423
And therto he was long and big of bones
     1424
To doon that any wight kan hym devyse.
     1425
A yeer or two he was in this servyse,
     1426
Page of the chambre of emelye the brighte;
     1427
And philostrate he seyde that he highte.
     1428
But half so wel biloved a man as he
     1429
Ne was ther nevere in court of his degree;
     1430
He was so gentil of condicioun
     1431
That thurghout al the court was his renoun.
     1432
They seyden that it were a charitee
     1433
That theseus wolde enhauncen his degree,
     1434
And putten hym in worshipful servyse,
     1435
Ther as he myghte his vertu excercise.
     1436
And thus withinne a while his name is spronge,
     1437
Bothe of his dedes and his goode tonge,
     1438
That theseus hath taken hym so neer,
     1439
That of his chambre he made hym a squier,
     1440
And gaf hym gold to mayntene his degree.
     1441
And eek men broghte hym out of his contree,
     1442
From yeer to yeer, ful pryvely his rente;
     1443
But honestly and slyly he it spente,
     1444
That no man wondred how that he it hadde.
     1445
And thre yeer in this wise his lif he ladde,
     1446
And bar hym so, in pees and eek in werre,
     1447
Ther was no man that theseus hath derre.
     1448
And in this blisse lete I now arcite,
     1449
And speke I wole of palamon a lite.
     1450
In derknesse and horrible and strong prisoun
     1451
Thise seven yeer hath seten palamoun
     1452
Forpyned, what for wo and for distresse.
     1453
Who feeleth double soor and hevynesse
     1454
But palamon, that love destreyneth so
     1455
That wood out of his wit he goth for wo?
     1456
And eek therto he is a prisoner
     1457
Perpetuelly, noght oonly for a yer.
     1458
Who koude ryme in englyssh proprely
     1459
His martirdom? for sothe it am nat I;
     1460
Therfore I passe as lightly as I may.
     1461
It fel that in the seventhe yer, of may
     1462
The thridde nyght, (as olde bookes seyn,
     1463
That al this storie tellen moore pleyn)
     1464
Were it by aventure or destynee --
     1465
As, whan a thyng is shapen, it shal be --
     1466
That soone after the mydnyght palamoun,
     1467
By helpyng of a freend, brak his prisoun
     1468
And fleeth the citee faste as he may go.
     1469
For he hadde yeve his gayler drynke so
     1470
Of a clarree maad of a certeyn wyn,
     1471
With nercotikes and opie of thebes fyn,
     1472
That al that nyght, thogh that men wolde him shake,
     1473
The gayler sleep, he myghte nat awake;
     1474
And thus he fleeth as faste as evere he may.
     1475
The nyght was short and faste by the day,
     1476
That nedes cost he moot hymselven hyde;
     1477
And til a grove faste ther bisyde
     1478
With dredeful foot thanne stalketh palamon.
     1479
For, shortly, this was his opinion,
     1480
That in that grove he wolde hym hyde al day,
     1481
And in the nyght thanne wolde he take his way
     1482
To thebes-ward, his freendes for to preye
     1483
On theseus to helpe him to werreye;
     1484
And shortly, outher he wolde lese his lif,
     1485
Or wynnen emelye unto his wyf.
     1486
This is th' effect and his entente pleyn.
     1487
Now wol I turne to arcite ageyn,
     1488
That litel wiste how ny that was his care,
     1489
Til that fortune had broght him in the snare.
     1490
The bisy larke, messager of day,
     1491
Salueth in hir song the morwe gray,
     1492
And firy phebus riseth up so bright
     1493
That al the orient laugheth of the light,
     1494
And with his stremes dryeth in the greves
     1495
The silver dropes hangynge on the leves.
     1496
And arcita, that in the court roial
     1497
With theseus is squier principal,
     1498
Is risen and looketh on the myrie day.
     1499
And for to doon his observaunce to may,
     1500
Remembrynge on the poynt of his desir,
     1501
He on a courser, startlynge as the fir,
     1502
Is riden into the feeldes hym to pleye, Page  32
     1503
Out of the court, were it a myle or tweye.
     1504
And to the grove of which that I yow tolde
     1505
By aventure his wey he gan to holde,
     1506
To maken hym a gerland of the greves
     1507
Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves,
     1508
And loude he song ayeyn the sonne shene:
     1509
May, with alle thy floures and thy grene,
     1510
Welcome be thou, faire, fresshe may,
     1511
In hope that I som grene gete may.
     1512
And from his courser, with a lusty herte,
     1513
Into the grove ful hastily he sterte,
     1514
And in a path he rometh up and doun,
     1515
Ther as by aventure this palamoun
     1516
Was in a bussh, that no man myghte hym se,
     1517
For soore afered of his deeth was he.
     1518
No thyng ne knew he that it was arcite;
     1519
God woot he wolde have trowed it ful lite.
     1520
But sooth is seyd, go sithen many yeres,
     1521
That feeld hath eyen and the wode hath eres.
     1522
It is ful fair a man to bere hym evene,
     1523
For al day meeteth men at unset stevene.
     1524
Ful litel woot arcite of his felawe,
     1525
That was so ny to herknen al his sawe,
     1526
For in the bussh he sitteth now ful stille.
     1527
Whan that arcite hadde romed al his fille,
     1528
And songen al the roundel lustily,
     1529
Into a studie he fil sodeynly,
     1530
As doon thise loveres in hir queynte geres,
     1531
Now in the crope, now doun in the breres,
     1532
Now up, now doun, as boket in a welle.
     1533
Right as the friday, soothly for to telle,
     1534
Now it shyneth, now it reyneth faste,
     1535
Right so kan geery venus overcaste
     1536
The hertes of hir folk; right as hir day
     1537
Is gereful, right so chaungeth she array.
     1538
Selde is the friday al the wowke ylike.
     1539
Whan that arcite had songe, he gan to sike,
     1540
And sette hym doun withouten any moore.
     1541
Allas, quod he, that day that I was bore!
     1542
How longe, juno, thurgh thy crueltee,
     1543
Woltow werreyen thebes the citee?
     1544
Allas, ybroght is to confusioun
     1545
The blood roial of cadme and amphioun, --
     1546
Of cadmus, which that was the firste man
     1547
That thebes bulte, or first the toun bigan,
     1548
And of the citee first was crouned kyng.
     1549
Of his lynage am I and his ofspryng
     1550
By verray ligne, as of the stok roial,
     1551
And now I am so caytyf and so thral,
     1552
That he that is my mortal enemy,
     1553
I serve hym as his squier povrely.
     1554
And yet dooth juno me wel moore shame,
     1555
For I dar noght biknowe myn owene name;
     1556
But ther as I was wont to highte arcite,
     1557
Now highte I philostrate, noght worth a myte.
     1558
Allas, thou felle mars! allas, juno!
     1559
Thus hath youre ire oure lynage al fordo,
     1560
Save oonly me and wrecched palamoun,
     1561
That theseus martireth in prisoun.
     1562
And over al this, to sleen me outrely,
     1563
Love hath his firy dart so brennyngly
     1564
Ystiked thurgh my trewe, careful herte,
     1565
That shapen was my deeth erst than my sherte.
     1566
Ye sleen me with youre eyen, emelye!
     1567
Ye been the cause wherfore that I dye.
     1568
Of al the remenant of myn oother care
     1569
Ne sette I nat the montance of a tare,
     1570
So that I koude doon aught to youre plesaunce.
     1571
And with that word he fil doun in a traunce
     1572
A longe tyme, and after he up sterte.
     1573
This palamoun, that thoughte that thurgh his herte
     1574
He felte a coold swerd sodeynliche glyde,
     1575
For ire he quook, no lenger wolde he byde.
     1576
And whan that he had herd arcites tale,
     1577
As he were wood, with face deed and pale,
     1578
He stirte hym up out of the buskes thikke,
     1579
And seide: arcite, false traytour wikke,
     1580
Now artow hent, that lovest my lady so,
     1581
For whom that I have al this peyne and wo,
     1582
And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
     1583
As I ful ofte have told thee heerbiforn,
     1584
And hast byjaped heere duc theseus,
     1585
And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus!
     1586
I wol be deed, or elles thou shalt dye.
     1587
Thou shalt nat love my lady emelye,
     1588
But I wol love hire oonly and namo;
     1589
For I am palamon, thy mortal foo.
     1590
And though that I no wepene have in this place,
     1591
But out of prison am astert by grace,
     1592
I drede noght that outher thow shalt dye,
     1593
Or thow ne shalt nat loven emelye.
     1594
Chees which thou wolt, for thou shalt nat asterte!
     1595
This arcite, with ful despitous herte,
     1596
Whan he hym knew, and hadde his tale herd,
     1597
As fiers as leon pulled out his swerd,
     1598
And seyde thus: by God that sit above,
     1599
Nere it that thou art sik and wood for love,
     1600
And eek that thow no wepne hast in this place,
     1601
Thou sholdest nevere out of this grove pace,
     1602
That thou ne sholdest dyen of myn hond.
     1603
For I defye the seurete and the bond
     1604
Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
     1605
What, verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
     1606
And I wol love hire maugree al thy myght! Page  33
     1607
But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght;
     1608
And wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille,
     1609
Have heer my trouthe, tomorwe I wol nat faille,
     1610
Withoute wityng of any oother wight,
     1611
That heere I wol be founden as a knyght,
     1612
And bryngen harneys right ynough for thee;
     1613
And ches the beste, and leef the worste for me.
     1614
And mete and drynke this nyght wol I brynge
     1615
Ynough for thee, and clothes for thy beddynge.
     1616
And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
     1617
And sle me in this wode ther I am inne,
     1618
Thow mayst wel have thy lady as for me.
     1619
This palamon answerde, I graunte it thee.
     1620
And thus they been departed til amorwe,
     1621
Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.
     1622
O cupide, out of alle charitee!
     1623
O regne, that wolt no felawe have with thee!
     1624
Ful sooth is seyd that love ne lordshipe
     1625
Wol noght, his thankes, have no felaweshipe.
     1626
Wel fynden that arcite and palamoun.
     1627
Arcite is riden anon unto the toun,
     1628
And on the morwe, er it were dayes light,
     1629
Ful prively two harneys hath he dight,
     1630
Bothe suffisaunt and mete to darreyne
     1631
The bataille in the feeld bitwix hem tweyne;
     1632
And on his hors, allone as he was born,
     1633
He carieth al the harneys hym biforn.
     1634
And in the grove, at tyme and place yset,
     1635
This arcite and this palamon ben met.
     1636
Tho chaungen gan the colour in hir face,
     1637
Right as the hunters in the regne of trace,
     1638
That stondeth at the gappe with a spere,
     1639
Whan hunted is the leon or the bere,
     1640
And hereth hym come russhyyng in the greves,
     1641
And breketh bothe bowes and the leves,
     1642
And thynketh, heere cometh my mortal enemy!
     1643
Withoute faille, he moot be deed, or I;
     1644
For outher I moot sleen hym at the gappe,
     1645
Or he moot sleen me, if that me myshappe, --
     1646
So ferden they in chaungyng of hir hewe,
     1647
As fer as everich of hem oother knewe.
     1648
Ther nas no good day, ne no saluyng,
     1649
But streight, withouten word or rehersyng,
     1650
Everich of hem heelp for to armen oother
     1651
As freendly as he were his owene brother;
     1652
And after that, with sharpe speres stronge
     1653
They foynen ech at oother wonder longe.
     1654
Thou myghtest wene that this palamon
     1655
In his fightyng were a wood leon,
     1656
And as a crueel tigre was arcite;
     1657
As wilde bores gonne they to smyte,
     1658
That frothen whit as foom for ire wood.
     1659
Up to the ancle foghte they in hir blood.
     1660
And in this wise I lete hem fightyng dwelle,
     1661
And forth I wole of theseus yow telle.
     1662
The destinee, ministre general,
     1663
That executeth in the world over al
     1664
The purveiaunce that God hath seyn biforn,
     1665
So strong it is that, though the world had sworn
     1666
The contrarie of a thyng by ye or nay,
     1667
Yet somtyme it shal fallen on a day
     1668
That falleth nat eft withinne a thousand yeer.
     1669
For certeinly, oure appetites heer,
     1670
Be it of werre, or pees, or hate, or love,
     1671
Al is this reuled by the sighte above.
     1672
This mene I now by myghty theseus,
     1673
That for to hunten is so desirus,
     1674
And namely at the grete hert in may,
     1675
That in his bed ther daweth hym no day
     1676
That he nys clad, and redy for to ryde
     1677
With hunte and horn and houndes hym bisyde.
     1678
For in his huntyng hath he swich delit
     1679
That it is al his joye and appetit
     1680
To been hymself the grete hertes bane,
     1681
For after mars he serveth now dyane.
     1682
Cleer was the day, as I have toold er this,
     1683
And theseus with alle joye and blis,
     1684
With his ypolita, the faire queene,
     1685
And emelye, clothed al in grene,
     1686
On huntyng be they riden roially.
     1687
And to the grove that stood ful faste by,
     1688
In which ther was an hert, as men hym tolde,
     1689
Duc theseus the streighte wey hath holde.
     1690
And to the launde he rideth hym ful right,
     1691
For thider was the hert wont have his flight,
     1692
And over a brook, and so forth on his weye.
     1693
This duc wol han a cours at hym or tweye
     1694
With houndes swiche as that hym list comaunde.
     1695
And whan this duc was come unto the launde,
     1696
Under the sonne he looketh, and anon
     1697
He was war of arcite and palamon,
     1698
That foughten breme, as it were bores two.
     1699
The brighte swerdes wenten to and fro
     1700
So hidously that with the leeste strook
     1701
It semed as it wolde felle an ook.
     1702
But what they were, no thyng he ne woot.
     1703
This duc his courser with his spores smoot,
     1704
And at a stert he was bitwix hem two,
     1705
And pulled out a swerd, and cride, hoo!
     1706
Namoore, up peyne of lesynge of youre heed!
     1707
By myghty mars, he shal anon be deed
     1708
That smyteth any strook that I may seen.
     1709
But telleth me what myster men ye been,
     1710
That been so hardy for to fighten heere Page  34
     1711
Withouten juge or oother officere,
     1712
As it were in a lystes roially.
     1713
This palamon answerde hastily,
     1714
And seyde, sire, what nedeth wordes mo?
     1715
We have the deeth disserved bothe two.
     1716
Two woful wrecches been we, two caytyves,
     1717
That been encombred of oure owene lyves;
     1718
And as thou art a rightful lord and juge,
     1719
Ne yif us neither mercy ne refuge,
     1720
But sle me first, for seinte charitee!
     1721
But sle my felawe eek as wel as me;
     1722
Or sle hym first, for though thow knowest it lite,
     1723
This is thy mortal foo, this is arcite,
     1724
That fro thy lond is banysshed on his heed,
     1725
For which he hath deserved to be deed.
     1726
For this is he that cam unto thy gate
     1727
And seyde that he highte philostrate.
     1728
Thus hath he japed thee ful many a yer,
     1729
And thou hast maked hym thy chief squier;
     1730
And this is he that loveth emelye.
     1731
For sith the day is come that I shal dye,
     1732
I make pleynly my confessioun
     1733
That I am thilke woful palamoun
     1734
That hath thy prisoun broken wikkedly.
     1735
I am thy mortal foo, and it am I
     1736
That loveth so hoote emelye the brighte
     1737
That I wol dye present in hir sighte.
     1738
Wherfore I axe deeth and my juwise;
     1739
But sle my felawe in the same wise,
     1740
For bothe han we deserved to be slayn.
     1741
This worthy duc answerde anon agayn,
     1742
And seyde, this is a short conclusioun.
     1743
Youre owene mouth, by youre confessioun,
     1744
Hath dampned yow, and I wol it recorde;
     1745
It nedeth noght to pyne yow with the corde.
     1746
Ye shal be deed, by myghty mars the rede!
     1747
The queene anon, for verray wommanhede,
     1748
Gan for to wepe, and so dide emelye,
     1749
And alle the ladyes in the compaignye.
     1750
Greet pitee was it, as it thoughte hem alle,
     1751
That evere swich a chaunce sholde falle;
     1752
For gentil men they were of greet estaat,
     1753
And no thyng but for love was this debaat;
     1754
And saugh hir blody woundes wyde and soore,
     1755
And alle crieden, bothe lasse and moore,
     1756
Have mercy, lord, upon us wommen alle!
     1757
And on hir bare knees adoun they falle,
     1758
And wolde have kist his feet ther as he stood;
     1759
Til at the laste aslaked was his mood,
     1760
For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte.
     1761
And though he first for ire quook and sterte,
     1762
He hath considered shortly, in a clause,
     1763
The trespas of hem bothe, and eek the cause,
     1764
And although that his ire hir gilt accused,
     1765
Yet in his resoun he hem bothe excused,
     1766
As thus: he thoghte wel that every man
     1767
Wol helpe hymself in love, if that he kan,
     1768
And eek delivere hymself out of prisoun.
     1769
And eek his herte hadde compassioun
     1770
Of wommen, for they wepen evere in oon;
     1771
And in his gentil herte he thoughte anon,
     1772
And softe unto hymself he seyde, fy
     1773
Upon a lord that wol have no mercy,
     1774
But been a leon, bothe in word and dede,
     1775
To hem that been in repentaunce and drede,
     1776
As wel as to a proud despitous man
     1777
That wol mayntene that he first bigan.
     1778
That lord hath litel of discrecioun,
     1779
That in swich cas kan no divisioun,
     1780
But weyeth pride and humblesse after oon.
     1781
And shortly, whan his ire is thus agoon,
     1782
He gan to looken up with eyen lighte,
     1783
And spak thise same wordes al on highte:
     1784
The God of love, a, benedicite!
     1785
How myghty and how greet a lord is he!
     1786
Ayeyns his myght ther gayneth none obstacles.
     1787
He may be cleped a God for his myracles;
     1788
For he kan maken, at his owene gyse,
     1789
Of everich herte as that hym list divyse.
     1790
Lo heere this arcite and this palamoun,
     1791
That quitly weren out of my prisoun,
     1792
And myghte han lyved in thebes roially,
     1793
And witen I am hir mortal enemy,
     1794
And that hir deth lith in my myght also;
     1795
And yet hath love, maugree hir eyen two,
     1796
Broght hem hyder bothe for to dye.
     1797
Now looketh, is nat that an heigh folye?
     1798
Who may been a fool, but if he love?
     1799
Bihoold, for goddes sake that sit above,
     1800
Se how they blede! be they noght wel arrayed?
     1801
Thus hath hir lord, the God of love, ypayed
     1802
Hir wages and hir fees for hir servyse!
     1803
And yet they wenen for to been ful wyse
     1804
That serven love, for aught that may bifalle.
     1805
But this is yet the beste game of alle,
     1806
That she for whom they han this jolitee
     1807
Kan hem therfore as muche thank as me.
     1808
She woot namoore of al this hoote fare,
     1809
By god, than woot a cokkow or an hare!
     1810
But all moot ben assayed, hoot and coold;
     1811
A man moot ben a fool, or yong or oold, --
     1812
I woot it by myself ful yore agon,
     1813
For in my tyme a servant was I oon.
     1814
And therfore, syn I knowe of loves peyne,
     1815
And woot hou soore it kan a man distreyne,
     1816
As he that hath ben caught ofte in his laas,
     1817
I yow foryeve al hoolly this trespaas, Page  35
     1818
At requeste of the queene, that kneleth heere,
     1819
And eek of emelye, my suster deere.
     1820
And ye shul bothe anon unto me swere
     1821
That nevere mo ye shal my contree dere,
     1822
Ne make werre upon me nyght ne day,
     1823
But been my freendes in all that ye may.
     1824
I yow foryeve this trespas every deel.
     1825
And they hym sworen his axyng faire and weel,
     1826
And hym of lordshipe and of mercy preyde,
     1827
And he hem graunteth grace, and thus he seyde:
     1828
To speke of roial lynage and richesse,
     1829
Though that she were a queene or a princesse,
     1830
Ech of you bothe is worthy, doutelees,
     1831
To wedden whan tyme is, but nathelees
     1832
I speke as for my suster emelye,
     1833
For whom ye have this strif and jalousye.
     1834
Ye woot yourself she may nat wedden two
     1835
Atones, though ye fighten everemo.
     1836
That oon of you, al be hym looth or lief,
     1837
He moot go pipen in an yvy leef;
     1838
This is to seyn, she may nat now han bothe,
     1839
Al be ye never so jalouse ne so wrothe.
     1840
And forthy I yow putte in this degree,
     1841
That ech of yow shal have his destynee
     1842
As hym is shape, and herkneth in what wyse;
     1843
Lo heere youre ende of that I shal devyse.
     1844
My wyl is this, for plat conclusioun,
     1845
Withouten any repplicacioun, --
     1846
If that you liketh, take it for the beste:
     1847
That everich of you shal goon where hym leste
     1848
Frely, withouten raunson or daunger;
     1849
And this day fifty wykes, fer ne ner,
     1850
Everich of you shal brynge an hundred knyghtes
     1851
Armed for lystes up at alle rightes,
     1852
Al redy to darreyne hire by bataille.
     1853
And this bihote I yow withouten faille,
     1854
Upon my trouthe, and as I am a knyght,
     1855
That wheither of yow bothe that hath myght, --
     1856
This is to seyn, that wheither he or thow
     1857
May with his hundred, as I spak of now,
     1858
Sleen his contrarie, or out of lystes dryve,
     1859
Thanne shal I yeve emelya to wyve
     1860
To whom that fortune yeveth so fair a grace.
     1861
The lystes shal I maken in this place,
     1862
And God so wisly on my soule rewe,
     1863
As I shal evene juge been and trewe.
     1864
Ye shul noon oother ende with me maken,
     1865
That oon of yow ne shal be deed or taken.
     1866
And if yow thynketh this is weel ysayd,
     1867
Seyeth youre avys, and holdeth you apayd.
     1868
This is youre ende and youre conclusioun.
     1869
Who looketh lightly now but palamoun?
     1870
Who spryngeth up for joye but arcite?
     1871
Who kouthe telle, or who kouthe it endite,
     1872
The joye that is maked in the place
     1873
Whan theseus hath doon so fair a grace?
     1874
But doun on knees wente every maner wight,
     1875
And thonked hym with al hir herte and myght,
     1876
And namely the thebans often sithe.
     1877
And thus with good hope and with herte blithe
     1878
They taken hir leve, and homward gonne they ride
     1879
To thebes, with his olde walles wyde.
     1880
Explicit secunda pars.