The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

De Rege Antiocho illustri

What nedeth it of kyng anthiochus
     2575
To telle his hye roial magestee,
     2576
His hye pride, his werkes venymus?
     2577
For swich another was ther noon as he.
     2578
Rede which that he was in machabee,
     2579
And rede the proude wordes that he seyde,
     2580
And why he fil fro heigh prosperitee,
     2581
And in an hill how wrecchedly he deyde.
     2582
Fortune hym hadde enhaunced so in pride
     2583
That verraily he wende he myghte attayne
     2584
Unto the sterres upon every syde,
     2585
And in balance weyen ech montayne,
     2586
And alle the floodes of the see restrayne.
     2587
And goddes peple hadde he moost in hate;
     2588
Hem wolde he sleen in torment and in payne,
     2589
Wenynge that God ne myghte his pride abate.
     2590
And for that nichanore and thymothee
     2591
Of jewes weren venquysshed myghtily,
     2592
Unto the jewes swich an hate hadde he
     2593
That he bad greithen his chaar ful hastily,
     2594
And swoor, and seyde ful despitously
     2595
Unto jerusalem he wolde eftsoone,
     2596
To wreken his ire on it ful cruelly;
     2597
But of his purpos he was let ful soone.
     2598
God for his manace hym so soore smoot
     2599
With invisible wounde, ay incurable,
     2600
That in his guttes carf it so and boot
     2601
That his peynes weren importable.
     2602
And certeinly the wreche was resonable,
     2603
For many a mannes guttes dide he peyne.
     2604
But from his purpos cursed and dampnable,
     2605
For al his smert, he wolde hym nat restreyne,
     2606
But bad anon apparaillen his hoost;
     2607
And sodeynly, er he was of it war,
     2608
God daunted al his pride and al his boost.
     2609
For he so soore fil out of his char
     2610
That it his limes and his skyn totar,
     2611
So that he neyther myghte go ne ryde,
     2612
But in a chayer men aboute hym bar,
     2613
Al forbrused, bothe bak and syde.
     2614
The wreche of God hym smoot so cruelly
     2615
That thurgh his body wikked wormes crepte,
     2616
And therwithal he stank so horribly
     2617
That noon of al his meynee that hym kepte,
     2618
Theither so he wook, or ellis slepte,
     2619
Ne myghte noght the stynk of hym endure.
     2620
In this meschief he wayled and eek wepte,
     2621
And knew God lord of every creature.
     2622
To al his hoost and to hymself also
     2623
Ful wlatsom was the stynk of his careyne;
     2624
No man ne myghte hym bere to ne fro.
     2625
And in this stynk and this horrible peyne,
     2626
He starf ful wrecchedly in a monteyne.
     2627
Thus hath this robbour and this homycide,
     2628
That many a man made to wepe and pleyne,
     2629
Swich gerdoun as bilongeth unto pryde.
     2630