The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

De Alexandro

The storie of alisaundre is so commune
     2631
That every wight that hath discrecioun
     2632
Hath herd somwhat or al of his fortune.
     2633
This wyde world, as in conclusioun,
     2634
He wan by strengthe, or for his hye renoun
     2635
They weren glad for pees unto hym sende.
     2636
The pride of man and beest he leyde adoun,
     2637
Wherso he cam, unto the worldes ende. Page  197
     2638
Comparisoun myghte nevere yet maked
     2639
Bitwixe hym and another conquerour;
     2640
For al this world for drede of hym hath quaked.
     2641
He was of knyghthod and of fredom flour;
     2642
Fortune hym made the heir of hire honour.
     2643
Save wyn and wommen, no thing myghte aswage
     2644
His hye entente in armes and labour,
     2645
So was he ful of leonyn corage.
     2646
What pris were it to hym, though I yow tolde
     2647
Of darius, and an hundred thousand mo
     2648
Of kynges, prices, dukes, erles bolde
     2649
Whiche he conquered, and broghte hem into wo?
     2650
I seye, as fer as man may ryde or go,
     2651
The world was his, -- what sholde I moore devyse?
     2652
For though I write or tolde yow everemo
     2653
Of his knyghthod, it myghte nat suffise.
     2654
Twelf yeer he regned, as seith machabee.
     2655
Philippes sone of macidoyne he was,
     2656
That first was kyng in grece the contree.
     2657
O worthy, gentil alisandre, allas,
     2658
That evere sholde fallen swich a cas!
     2659
Empoysoned of thyn owene folk thou weere;
     2660
Thy sys fortune hath turned into aas,
     2661
And yet for thee ne weep she never a teere.
     2662
Who shal me yeven teeris to compleyne
     2663
The deeth of gentillesse and of franchise,
     2664
That al the world weelded in his demeyne,
     2665
And yet hym thoughte it myghte nat suffise?
     2666
So ful was his corage of heigh emprise.
     2667
Allas! who shal me helpe to endite
     2668
False fortune, and poyson to despise,
     2669
The whiche two of al this wo I wyte?
     2670