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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale

Sequitur Pars Quarta
(Here begins the fourth part)

1625      Greet was the feeste in Atthenes that day,
And eek the lusty seson of that May
Made every wight to been in such plesaunce
That al that Monday justen they and daunce,
And spenten it in Venus heigh servyse.
1630But by the cause that they sholde ryse
Eerly, for to seen the grete fight,
Unto hir rest wenten they at nyght.
And on the morwe, whan that day gan sprynge,
Of hors and harneys noyse and claterynge
1635Ther was in hostelryes al aboute.
And to the paleys rood ther many a route
Of lordes upon steedes and palfreys.
Ther maystow seen devisynge of harneys
So unkouth and so riche, and wroght so weel
1640Of goldsmythrye, of browdynge, and of steel;
The sheeldes brighte, testeres, and trappures,
Gold-hewen helmes, hauberkes, cote-armures;
Lordes in parementz on hir courseres,
Knyghtes of retenue and eek squieres,
1645Nailynge the speres, and helmes bokelynge,
Giggynge of sheeldes, with layneres lacynge.
There as nede is, they weren nothyng ydel.
The fomy steedes on the golden brydel
Gnawynge, and faste the armurers also
1650With fyle and hamer prikynge to and fro;
Yemen on foote and communes many oon,
With shorte staves thikke as they may goon,
Pypes, trompes, nakers, clariounes,
That in the bataille blowen blody sounes;
1655The paleys ful of peples up and doun,
Heere thre, ther ten, holdynge hir questioun,
Dyvynynge of thise Thebane knyghtes two.
Somme seyden thus, somme seyde "it shal be so";
Somme helden with hym with the blake berd,
1660Somme with the balled, somme with the thikke-herd,
Somme seyde he looked grymme, and he wolde fighte,
"He hath a sparth of twenty pound of wighte."
Thus was the halle ful of divynynge,
Longe after that the sonne gan to sprynge.
1665       The grete Theseus, that of his sleep awaked
With mynstralcie and noyse that was maked,
Heeld yet the chambre of his paleys riche,
Til that the Thebane knyghtes, bothe yliche
Honured, were into the paleys fet.
1670Duc Theseus was at a wyndow set,
Arrayed, right as he were a god in trone.
The peple preesseth thiderward ful soone,
Hym for to seen and doon heigh reverence.
And eek to herkne his heste and his sentence.
1675An heraud on a scaffold made an "Oo!"
Til al the noyse of peple was ydo,
And whan he saugh the peple of noyse al stille,
Tho shewed he the myghty dukes wille.
      "The lord hath of his heigh discrecioun
1680Considered that it were destruccioun
To gentil blood, to fighten in the gyse
Of mortal bataille, now in this emprise;
Wherfore, to shapen that they shal nat dye,
He wolde his firste purpos modifye.
1685No man therfore, up peyne of los of lyf,
No maner shot, ne polax, ne short knyf
Into the lystes sende, ne thider brynge.
Ne short swerd for to stoke, with poynt bitynge,
No man ne drawe, ne bere by his syde;
1690Ne no man shal unto his felawe ryde
But o cours, with a sharpe ygrounde spere.
Foyne, if hym list on foote, hymself to were.
And he that is at meschief shal be take,
And noght slayn, but be broght unto the stake
1695That shal ben ordeyned on either syde,
But thider he shal by force, and there abyde.
And if so be the chevetayn be take
On outher syde, or elles sleen his make,
No lenger shal the turneiynge laste.
1700God spede you! Gooth forth, and ley on faste!
With long swerd and with maces fight youre fille.
Gooth now youre wey, this is the lordes wille."
      The voys of peple touchede the hevene,
So loude cride they with murie stevene,
1705"God save swich a lord, that is so good
He wilneth no destruccion of blood."
Up goon the trompes and the melodye,
And to the lystes rit the compaignye,
By ordinance, thurghout the citee large
1710Hanged with clooth of gold, and nat with sarge.
      Ful lik a lord this noble duc gan ryde,
Thise two Thebanes upon either syde,
And after rood the queene and Emelye,
And after that another compaignye,
1715Of oon and oother, after hir degree.
And thus they passen thurghout the citee
And to the lystes come they by tyme.
It nas nat of the day yet fully pryme
Whan set was Theseus ful riche and hye,
1720Ypolita the queene, and Emelye,
And othere ladys in degrees aboute.
Unto the seettes preesseth al the route,
And westward thurgh the gates under Marte,
Arcite, and eek the hondred of his parte,
1725With baner reed is entred right anon.
And in that selve moment Palamon
Is under Venus estward in the place,
With baner whyt, and hardy chiere and face.
In al the world, to seken up and doun
1730So evene, withouten variacioun
Ther nere swiche compaignyes tweye;
For ther was noon so wys, that koude seye
That any hadde of oother avauntage,
Of worthynesse ne of estaat ne age,
1735So evene were they chosen, for to gesse.
And in two renges faire they hem dresse,
Whan that hir names rad were everichon,
That in hir nombre gyle were ther noon.
Tho were the gates shet and cried was loude,
1740"Do now youre devoir, yonge knyghtes proude!"
      The heraudes lefte hir prikyng up and doun;
Now ryngen trompes loude and clarioun.
Ther is namoore to seyn, but west and est
In goon the speres ful sadly in arrest,
1745In gooth the sharpe spore into the syde.
Ther seen men who kan juste, and who kan ryde,
Ther shyveren shaftes upon sheeldes thikke;
He feeleth thurgh the herte-spoon the prikke.
Up spryngen speres twenty foot on highte;
1750Out goon the swerdes as the silver brighte.
The helmes they tohewen and toshrede,
Out brest the blood, with stierne stremes rede,
With myghty maces the bones they tobreste.
He thurgh the thikkeste of the throng gan threste;
1755Ther stomblen steedes stronge, and doun gooth al;
He rolleth under foot as dooth a bal,
He foyneth on his feet with his tronchoun,
And he hym hurtleth with his hors adoun.
He thurgh the body is hurt and sithen ytake,
1760Maugree his heed, and broght unto the stake,
As forward was, right there he moste abyde;
Another lad is on that oother syde.
And som tyme dooth hem Theseus to reste,
Hem to refresshe, and drynken if hem leste.
1765Ful ofte a day han thise Thebanes two
Togydre ymet, and wroght his felawe wo.
Unhorsed hath ech oother of hem tweye,
Ther nas no tygre in the vale of Galgopheye
Whan that hir whelp is stole, whan it is lite,
1770So crueel on the hunte, as is Arcite
For jelous herte upon this Palamon;
Ne in Belmarye ther nys so fel leon
That hunted is, or for his hunger wood,
Ne of his praye desireth so the blood,
1775As Palamon to sleen his foo Arcite.
The jelous strokes on hir helmes byte,
Out renneth blood on bothe hir sydes rede.
      Som tyme an ende ther is of every dede.
For er the sonne unto the reste wente,
1780The stronge kyng Emetreus gan hente
This Palamon, as he faught with Arcite,
And made his swerd depe in his flessh to byte.
And by the force of twenty is he take
Unyolden, and ydrawen unto the stake.
1785And in the rescus of this Palamoun
The stronge kyng Lygurge is born adoun,
And kyng Emetreus, for al his strengthe,
Is born out of his sadel a swerdes lengthe,
So hitte him Palamoun er he were take;
1790But al for noght, he was broght to the stake.
His hardy herte myghte hym helpe naught,
He moste abyde, whan that he was caught,
By force, and eek by composicioun.
      Who sorweth now but woful Palamoun,
1795That moot namoore goon agayn to fighte?
And whan that Theseus hadde seyn this sighte
Unto the folk that foghten thus echon
He cryde, "Hoo! namoore, for it is doon.
I wol be trewe juge, and no partie;
1800Arcite of Thebes shal have Emelie,
That by his fortune hath hir faire ywonne!"
Anon ther is a noyse of peple bigonne
For joye of this so loude and heighe withalle
It semed that the lystes sholde falle.
1805       What kan now faire Venus doon above?
What seith she now? What dooth this queene of Love,
But wepeth so, for wantynge of hir wille,
Til that hir teeres in the lystes fille.
She seyde, "I am ashamed, doutelees."
1810       Saturnus seyde, "Doghter, hoold thy pees,
Mars hath his wille, his knyght hath al his boone,
And, by myn heed, thow shalt been esed soone."
      The trompes with the loude mynstralcie,
The heraudes that ful loude yolle and crie,
1815Been in hir wele for joye of daun Arcite.
But herkneth me, and stynteth noyse a lite,
Which a myracle ther bifel anon.
      This fierse Arcite hath of his helm ydon,
And on a courser for to shewe his face
1820He priketh endelong the large place,
Lokynge upward upon this Emelye,
And she agayn hym caste a freendlich eye,
(For wommen, as to speken in comune,
Thei folwen alle the favour of Fortune)
1825And she was al his chiere, as in his herte.
      Out of the ground a furie infernal sterte,
From Pluto sent, at requeste of Saturne,
For which his hors for fere gan to turne,
And leep aside and foundred as he leep.
1830And er that Arcite may taken keep,
He pighte hym on the pomel of his heed,
That in the place he lay as he were deed,
His brest tobrosten with his sadel-bowe.
As blak he lay as any cole or crowe,
1835So was the blood yronnen in his face.
Anon he was yborn out of the place,
With herte soor, to Theseus paleys.
Tho was he korven out of his harneys,
And in a bed ybrought ful faire and blyve,
1840For he was yet in memorie and alyve,
And alwey criynge after Emelye.
      Duc Theseus, with al his compaignye,
Is comen hoom to Atthenes his citee,
With alle blisse and greet solempnitee;
1845Al be it that this aventure was falle,
He nolde noght disconforten hem alle.
Men seyde eek that Arcite shal nat dye,
He shal been heeled of his maladye.
And of another thyng they weren as fayn,
1850That of hem alle was ther noon yslayn,
Al were they soore yhurt, and namely oon,
That with a spere was thirled his brest boon.
To othere woundes, and to broken armes,
Somme hadden salves, and somme hadden charmes,
1855Fermacies of herbes and eek save
They dronken, for they wolde hir lymes have.
For which this noble duc as he wel kan,
Conforteth and honoureth every man,
And made revel al the longe nyght
1860Unto the straunge lordes, as was right.
Ne ther was holden no disconfitynge
But as a justes or a tourneiynge,
For soothly ther was no disconfiture.
For fallyng nys nat but an aventure-
1865Ne to be lad by force unto the stake
Unyolden, and with twenty knyghtes take,
O persone allone, withouten mo,
And haryed forth by arme, foot, and too,
And eke his steede dryven forth with staves,
1870With footmen, bothe yemen and eek knaves,
It nas aretted hym no vileynye,
Ther may no man clepen it cowardye.
For which anon duc Theseus leet crye,
To stynten alle rancour and envye,
1875The gree, as wel of o syde as of oother,
And eyther syde ylik as ootheres brother,
And yaf hem yiftes after hir degree,
And fully heeld a feeste dayes three,
And conveyed the kynges worthily
1880Out of his toun a journee largely;
And hoom wente every man, the righte way.
Ther was namoore but "Fare-wel, have good day."
Of this bataille I wol namoore endite,
But speke of Palamoun and of Arcite.
1885       Swelleth the brest of Arcite, and the soore
Encreesseth at his herte moore and moore.
The clothered blood for any lechecraft
Corrupteth, and is in his bouk ylaft,
That neither veyne-blood, ne ventusynge,
1890Ne drynke of herbes may ben his helpynge.
The vertu expulsif, or animal,
Fro thilke vertu cleped natural
Ne may the venym voyden, ne expelle.
The pipes of his longes gonne to swelle,
1895And every lacerte in his brest adoun
Is shent with venym and corrupcioun.
Hym gayneth neither for to gete his lif
Vomyt upward, ne dounward laxatif;
Al is tobrosten thilke regioun,
1900Nature hath now no dominacioun.
And certeinly, ther Nature wol nat wirche,
Fare wel phisik! Go ber the man to chirche!
This al and som, that Arcita moot dye;
For which he sendeth after Emelye
1905And Palamon, that was his cosyn deere.
Thanne seyde he thus, as ye shal after heere:
"Naught may the woful spirit in myn herte
Declare o point of alle my sorwes smerte
To yow, my lady, that I love moost.
1910But I biquethe the servyce of my goost
To yow aboven every creature.
Syn that my lyf may no lenger dure,
Allas, the wo! Allas, the peynes stronge,
That I for yow have suffred, and so longe!
1915Allas, the deeth! Allas, myn Emelye!
Allas, departynge of our compaignye!
Allas, myn hertes queene! allas, my wyf!
Myn hertes lady, endere of my lyf!
What is this world? What asketh men to have?
1920Now with his love, now in his colde grave,
Allone, withouten any compaignye.
Fare-wel, my swete foo, myn Emelye!
And softe taak me in youre armes tweye,
For love of God, and herkneth what I seye.
1925       "I have heer with my cosyn Palamon
Had strif and rancour many a day agon,
For love of yow, and for my jalousye.
And Juppiter so wys my soule gye,
To speken of a servaunt proprely,
1930With alle circumstances trewely,
That is to seyen, trouthe, honour, and knyghthede,
Wysdom, humblesse, estaat, and heigh kynrede,
Fredom, and al that longeth to that art -
So Juppiter have of my soule part
1935As in this world right now ne knowe I non
So worthy to ben loved, as Palamon
That serveth yow, and wol doon al his lyf;
And if that evere ye shul ben a wyf,
Foryet nat Palamon, the gentil man."
1940And with that word his speche faille gan,
And from his herte up to his brest was come
The coold of deeth, that hadde hym overcome.
And yet moreover in hise armes two
The vital strengthe is lost and al ago.
1945Oonly the intellect, withouten moore,
That dwelled in his herte syk and soore
Gan faillen, when the herte felte deeth.
Dusked hise eyen two, and failled breeth,
But on his lady yet caste he his eye.
1950His laste word was "Mercy, Emelye!"
His spirit chaunged hous, and wente ther
As I cam nevere, I kan nat tellen wher,
Therfore I stynte; I nam no divinistre;
Of soules fynde I nat in this registre,
1955Ne me ne list thilke opinions to telle
Of hem, though that they writen wher they dwelle.
Arcite is coold, ther Mars his soule gye!
Now wol I speken forthe of Emelye.
      Shrighte Emelye, and howleth Palamon,
1960And Theseus his suster took anon
Swownynge, and baar hir fro the corps away.
What helpeth it to tarien forth the day
To tellen how she weep bothe eve and morwe?
For in swich cas wommen have swich sorwe
1965Whan that hir housbond is from hem ago,
That for the moore part they sorwen so,
Or ellis fallen in swich maladye,
That at the laste certeinly they dye.
      Infinite been the sorwes and the teeres
1970Of olde folk, and eek of tendre yeeres
In al the toun, for deeth of this Theban.
For hym ther wepeth bothe child and man;
So greet a wepyng was ther noon, certayn,
Whan Ector was ybroght al fressh yslayn
1975To Troye. Allas, the pitee that was ther,
Cracchynge of chekes, rentynge eek of heer;
"Why woldestow be deed," thise wommen crye,
"And haddest gold ynough, and Emelye?"
      No man myghte gladen Theseus,
1980Savynge his olde fader, Egeus,
That knew this worldes transmutacioun,
As he hadde seyn it chaunge bothe up and doun,
Joye after wo, and wo after gladnesse,
And shewed hem ensamples and liknesse.
1985      "Right as ther dyed nevere man," quod he,
"That he ne lyvede in erthe in som degree,
Right so ther lyvede never man," he seyde,
"In al this world that somtyme he ne deyde.
This world nys but a thurghfare ful of wo,
1990And we been pilgrymes passynge to and fro.
Deeth is an ende of every worldes soore."
And over al this yet seyde he muchel moore,
To this effect ful wisely to enhorte
The peple, that they sholde hem reconforte.
1995       Duc Theseus, with al his bisy cure,
Caste now, wher that the sepulture
Of goode Arcite may best ymaked be,
And eek moost honurable in his degree.
And at the laste he took conclusioun
2000That ther as first Arcite and Palamoun
Hadden for love the bataille hem bitwene,
That in that selve grove swoote and grene
Ther as he hadde hise amorouse desires,
His compleynte, and for love hise hoote fires,
2005He wolde make a fyr, in which the office
Funeral he myghte al accomplice.
And leet comande anon to hakke and hewe
The okes olde, and leye hem on a rewe
In colpons, wel arrayed for to brenne.
2010His officers with swifte feet they renne
And ryden anon at his comandement;
And after this, Theseus hath ysent
After a beere, and it al over-spradde
With clooth of gold, the richeste that he hadde.
2015And of the same suyte he cladde Arcite,
Upon his hondes hadde he gloves white,
Eek on his heed a coroune of laurer grene,
And in his hond a swerd ful bright and kene.
He leyde hym bare the visage on the beere,
2020Therwith he weep that pitee was to heere.
And for the peple sholde seen hym alle,
Whan it was day, he broghte hym to the halle,
That roreth of the criyng and the soun.
      Tho cam this woful Theban, Palamoun,
2025With flotery berd and ruggy asshy heeres,
In clothes blake, ydropped al with teeres,
And, passynge othere of wepynge, Emelye,
The rewefulleste of al the compaignye.
In as muche as the servyce sholde be
2030The moore noble and riche in his degree,
Duc Theseus leet forth thre steedes brynge
That trapped were in steel al gliterynge,
And covered with the armes of daun Arcite.
Upon thise steedes that weren grete and white
2035Ther sitten folk, of whiche oon baar his sheeld,
Another his spere up in his hondes heeld,
The thridde baar with hym his bowe Turkeys,
(Of brend gold was the caas, and eek the harneys;)
And riden forth a paas, with sorweful cheere,
2040Toward the grove, as ye shul after heere.
The nobleste of the Grekes that ther were
Upon hir shuldres caryeden the beere,
With slakke paas, and eyen rede and wete,
Thurghout the citee by the maister strete,
2045That sprad was al with blak, and wonder hye
Right of the same is the strete ywrye.
Upon the right hond wente olde Egeus,
And on that oother syde duc Theseus,
With vessel in hir hand of gold ful fyn,
2050Al ful of hony, milk, and blood, and wyn.
Eek Palamon, with ful greet compaignye,
And after that cam woful Emelye,
With fyr in honde, as was that tyme the gyse,
To do the office of funeral servyse.
2055       Heigh labour, and ful greet apparaillynge,
Was at the service and the fyr-makynge,
That with his grene top the heven raughte,
And twenty fadme of brede the armes straughte;
This is to seyn, the bowes weren so brode.
2060Of stree first ther was leyd ful many a lode,
But how the fyr was maked upon highte,
Ne eek the names that the trees highte,
As, ook, firre, birch, aspe, alder, holm, popeler,
Wylugh, elm, plane, assh, box, chasteyn, lynde, laurer,
2065Mapul, thorn, bech, hasel, ew, whippeltree -
How they weren fild shal nat be toold for me,
Ne how the goddes ronnen up and doun
Disherited of hir habitacioun,
In whiche they woneden in reste and pees,
2070Nymphes, Fawnes, and Amadrides;
Ne how the beestes and the briddes alle
Fledden for fere, whan the wode was falle;
Ne how the ground agast was of the light,
That was nat wont to seen the sonne bright;
2075Ne how the fyr was couched first with stree,
And thanne with drye stokkes cloven a thre,
And thanne with grene wode and spicerye,
And thanne with clooth of gold and with perrye,
And gerlandes hangynge with ful many a flour,
2080The mirre, th'encens, with al so greet odour;
Ne how Arcite lay among al this,
Ne what richesse aboute his body is,
Ne how that Emelye, as was the gyse,
Putte in the fyr of funeral servyse;
2085Ne how she swowned whan men made the fyr,
Ne what she spak, ne what was hir desir;
Ne what jeweles men in the fyre caste,
Whan that the fyr was greet and brente faste;
Ne how somme caste hir sheeld, and somme hir spere,
2090And of hire vestimentz whiche that they were,
And coppes fulle of wyn, and milk, and blood,
Into the fyr, that brente as it were wood,
Ne how the Grekes, with an huge route,
Thries riden al the fyr aboute,
2095Upon the left hand with a loud shoutynge,
And thries with hir speres claterynge,
And thries how the ladyes gonne crye,
And how that lad was homward Emelye;
Ne how Arcite is brent to asshen colde,
2100Ne how that lyche-wake was yholde
Al thilke nyght, ne how the Grekes pleye
The wake-pleyes ne kepe I nat to seye,
Who wrastleth best naked, with oille enoynt,
Ne who that baar hym best in no disjoynt;
2105I wol nat tellen eek, how that they goon
Hoom til Atthenes, whan the pley is doon;
But shortly to the point thanne wol I wende,
And maken of my longe tale an ende.
      By processe, and by lengthe of certeyn yeres,
2110Al stynted is the moornynge and the teres
Of Grekes, by oon general assent.
Thanne semed me ther was a parlement
At Atthenes, upon certein pointz and caas,
Among the whiche pointz yspoken was
2115To have with certein contrees alliaunce,
And have fully of Thebans obeisaunce,
For which this noble Theseus anon
Leet senden after gentil Palamon,
Unwist of hym what was the cause and why.
2120But in hise blake clothes sorwefully
He cam at his comandement in hye;
Tho sente Theseus for Emelye.
Whan they were set, and hust was al the place,
And Theseus abiden hadde a space
2125Er any word cam fram his wise brest,
Hise eyen sette he ther as was his lest,
And with a sad visage he siked stille,
And after that right thus he seyde his wille:
      "The Firste Moevere of the cause above
2130Whan he first made the faire cheyne of love,
Greet was th'effect, and heigh was his entente;
Wel wiste he why, and what therof he mente,
For with that faire cheyne of love he bond
The fyr, the eyr, the water, and the lond,
2135In certeyn boundes that they may nat flee.
That same prince and that same moevere," quod he,
"Hath stablissed in this wrecched world adoun
Certeyne dayes and duracioun
To al that is engendred in this place,
2140Over the whiche day they may nat pace;
Al mowe they yet tho dayes wel abregge,
Ther nedeth noght noon auctoritee t'allegge,
For it is preeved by experience,
But that me list declaren my sentence.
2145Thanne may men by this ordre wel discerne
That thilke Moevere stable is and eterne.
Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool,
That every part deryveth from his hool;
For nature hath nat taken his bigynnyng
2150Of no partie nor cantel of a thyng,
But of a thyng that parfit is and stable,
Descendynge so til it be corrumpable;
And therfore, of his wise purveiaunce,
He hath so wel biset his ordinaunce,
2155That speces of thynges and progressiouns
Shullen enduren by successiouns,
And nat eterne, withouten any lye.
This maystow understonde and seen at ye.
      "Loo the ook, that hath so long a norisshynge
2160From tyme that it first bigynneth sprynge,
And hath so long a lif, as we may see,
Yet at the laste wasted is the tree.
      "Considereth eek, how that the harde stoon
Under oure feet, on which we trede and goon,
2165Yet wasteth it, as it lyth by the weye.
The brode ryver somtyme wexeth dreye,
The grete toures se we wane and wende,
Thanne may ye se that al this thyng hath ende.
      "Of man and womman seen we wel also,
2170That nedeth, in oon of thise termes two -
This is to seyn, in youthe or elles age -
He moot be deed, the kyng as shal a page.
Som in his bed, som in the depe see,
Som in the large feeld, as men may se;
2175Ther helpeth noght, al goth that ilke weye,
Thanne may I seyn that al this thyng moot deye.
      "What maketh this, but Juppiter the kyng,
That is prince and cause of alle thyng
Convertynge al unto his propre welle
2180From which it is deryved, sooth to telle,
And heer-agayns no creature on lyve
Of no degree availleth for to stryve.
      "Thanne is it wysdom, as it thynketh me,
To maken vertu of necessitee,
2185And take it weel, that we may nat eschue;
And namely, that to us alle is due.
And who so gruccheth ought, he dooth folye,
And rebel is to hym that al may gye.
And certeinly, a man hath moost honour
2190To dyen in his excellence and flour,
Whan he is siker of his goode name,
Thanne hath he doon his freend ne hym no shame.
And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth,
Whan with honour up yolden in his breeth,
2195Than whan his name apalled is for age;
For al forgeten is his vassellage.
Thanne is it best as for a worthy fame,
To dyen whan that he is best of name.
      "The contrarie of al this is wilfulnesse:
2200Why grucchen we, why have we hevynesse,
That goode Arcite, of chivalrie flour,
Departed is with duetee and honour
Out of this foule prisoun of this lyf?
Why grucchen heere his cosyn and his wyf
2205Of his welfare, that loved hem so weel?
Kan he hem thank? Nay, God woot never a deel,
That bothe his soule and eek hemself offende,
And yet they mowe hir lustes nat amende.
      "What may I concluden of this longe serye,
2210But after wo I rede us to be merye,
And thanken Juppiter of al his grace?
And er that we departen from this place
I rede that we make, of sorwes two,
O parfit joye lastyng everemo.
2215And looketh now, wher moost sorwe is her inne,
Ther wol we first amenden and bigynne.
      "Suster," quod he, "this is my fulle assent,
With all th'avys heere of my parlement,
That gentil Palamon thyn owene knyght,
2220That serveth yow with wille, herte, and myght,
And evere hath doon, syn that ye first hym knewe,
That ye shul of your grace upon hym rewe,
And taken hym for housbonde and for lord.
Lene me youre hond, for this is oure accord.
2225Lat se now of youre wommanly pitee;
He is a kynges brother sone, pardee,
And though he were a povre bacheler,
Syn he hath served yow so many a yeer,
And had for yow so greet adversitee,
2230It moste been considered, leeveth me,
For gentil mercy oghte to passen right."
      Thanne seyde he thus to Palamon the knyght:
"I trowe ther nedeth litel sermonyng
To make yow assente to this thyng.
2235Com neer, and taak youre lady by the hond."
Bitwixen hem was maad anon the bond
That highte matrimoigne or mariage,
By al the conseil and the baronage.
And thus with alle blisse and melodye
2240Hath Palamon ywedded Emelye;
And God, that al this wyde world hath wroght,
Sende hym his love that hath it deere aboght,
For now is Palamon in alle wele,
Lyvynge in blisse, in richesse, and in heele,
2245And Emelye hym loveth so tendrely,
And he hir serveth al so gentilly,
That nevere was ther no word hem bitwene,
Of jalousie, or any oother teene.
Thus endeth Palamon and Emelye,
2250And God save al this faire compaignye! Amen.


Heere is ended the Knyghtes Tale.



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