Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: John Gower
Editors: Tom Bishop, Andrew Forsberg
Not Peer Reviewed

Apollonius of Tyre

The Story of Appolinus of Tyre
From Confessio Amantis, Book VIII, by John Gower.
[Hic loquitur adhuc contra incestuosos amantum coitus. Et narrat mirabile exemplum de magno Rege Antiocho, qui vxore mortua propriam filiam violauit: et quia filie Matrimonium penes alios impedire voluit, tale ab eo exiit edictum, quod si quis eam in vxorem peteret, nisi ipse prius quoddam problema questionis, quam ipse Rex proposuerat, veraciter solueret, capitali sentencia puniretur. Super quo veniens tandem discretus iuuenis princeps Tyri Appolinus questionem soluit; nec tamen filiam habere potuit, sed Rex indignatus ipsum propter hoc in mortis odium recollegit. Vnde Appolinus a facie Regis fugiens, quamplura, prout inferius intitulantur, propter amorem pericla passus est.]
Now he [the Confessor in Gower's poem] speaks against incestuous unions of lovers, and gives a marvelous example of the Great King Antiochus, who after his wife's death raped his own daughter; and because he wished to prevent others from possessing her in marriage, he issued an edict to the effect that if anyone sought her as a wife he would suffer a sentence of death unless he first correctly solved a certain riddle posed by the King himself. At last there came Appolinus, a discerning young prince of Tyre, and solved the riddle; but he did not receive the daughter; rather the enraged king conceived a mortal hatred for him. And fleeing away from the notice of the King, Appolinus suffered many perils on account of love, as is rehearsed below.
Of a Cronique in daies gon,
The which is cleped Pantheon,
In loves cause I rede thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus,
275Of whom that Antioche tok
His ferste name, as seith the bok,
Was coupled to a noble queene,
And hadde a dowhter hem betwene:
Bot such fortune cam to honde,
280That deth, which no king mai withstonde,
Bot every lif it mote obeie,
This worthi queene tok aweie.
The king, which made mochel mone,
Tho stod, as who seith, al him one
285Withoute wif, bot natheles
His doghter, which was piereles
Of beaute, duelte aboute him stille.
Bot whanne a man hath welthe at wille,
The fleissh is frele and falleth ofte,
290And that this maide tendre and softe,
Which in hire fadres chambres duelte,
Withinne a time wiste and felte:
For likinge and concupiscence
Withoute insihte of conscience
295The fader so with lustes blente,
That he caste al his hole entente
His oghne doghter forto spille.
This king hath leisir at his wille
With strengthe, and whanne he time sih,
300This yonge maiden he forlih:
And sche was tendre and full of drede,
Sche couthe noght hir Maidenhede
Defende, and thus sche hath forlore
The flour which sche hath longe bore.
305It helpeth noght althogh sche wepe,
For thei that scholde hir bodi kepe
Of wommen were absent as thanne;
And thus this maiden goth to manne,
The wylde fader thus devoureth
310His oghne fleissh, which non socoureth,
And that was cause of mochel care.
Bot after this unkinde fare
Out of the chambre goth the king,
And sche lay stille, and of this thing,
315Withinne hirself such sorghe made,
Ther was no wiht that mihte hir glade,
For feere of thilke horrible vice.
With that cam inne the Norrice
Which fro childhode hire hadde kept,
320And axeth if sche hadde slept,
And why hire chiere was unglad.
Bot sche, which hath ben overlad
Of that sche myhte noght be wreke,
For schame couthe unethes speke;
325And natheles mercy sche preide
With wepende yhe and thus sche seide:
"Helas, mi Soster, waileway,
That evere I sih this ilke day!
Thing which mi bodi ferst begat
330Into this world, onliche that
Mi worldes worschipe hath bereft."
With that sche swouneth now and eft,
And evere wissheth after deth,
So that welnyh hire lacketh breth.
335That other, which hire wordes herde,
In confortinge of hire ansuerde,
To lette hire fadres fol desir
Sche wiste no recoverir:
Whan thing is do, ther is no bote,
340So suffren thei that suffre mote;
Ther was non other which it wiste.
Thus hath this king al that him liste
Of his likinge and his plesance,
And laste in such continuance,
345And such delit he tok therinne,
Him thoghte that it was no Sinne;
And sche dorste him nothing withseie.
Bot fame, which goth every weie,
To sondry regnes al aboute
350The grete beaute telleth oute
Of such a maide of hih parage:
So that for love of mariage
The worthi Princes come and sende,
As thei the whiche al honour wende,
355And knewe nothing hou it stod.
The fader, whanne he understod,
That thei his dowhter thus besoghte,
With al his wit he caste and thoghte
Hou that he myhte finde a lette;
360And such a Statut thanne he sette,
And in this wise his lawe he taxeth,
That what man that his doghter axeth,
Bot if he couthe his question
Assoile upon suggestion
365Of certein thinges that befelle,
The whiche he wolde unto him telle,
He scholde in certein lese his hed.
And thus ther weren manye ded,
Here hevedes stondende on the gate,
370Till ate laste longe and late,
For lacke of ansuere in the wise,
The remenant that weren wise
Eschuieden to make assay.
[De aduentu Appolini in Antiochiam, vbi ipse filiam Regis Antiochi in vxorem postulauit.]
Of the arrival of Appolinus in Antioch, where he asked for King Antiochus's daughter as a wife.
375Til it befell upon a day
Appolinus the Prince of Tyr,
Which hath to love a gret desir,
As he which in his hihe mod
Was likende of his hote blod,
380A yong, a freissh, a lusti knyht,
As he lai musende on a nyht
Of the tidinges whiche he herde,
He thoghte assaie hou that it ferde.
He was with worthi compainie
385Arraied, and with good navie
To schipe he goth, the wynd him dryveth,
And seileth, til that he arryveth:
Sauf in the port of Antioche
He londeth, and goth to aproche
390The kinges Court and his presence.
Of every naturel science,
Which eny clerk him couthe teche,
He couthe ynowh, and in his speche
Of wordes he was eloquent;
395And whanne he sih the king present,
He preith he moste his dowhter have
The king ayein began to crave,
And tolde him the condicion,
Hou ferst unto his question
400He mote ansuere and faile noght,
Or with his heved it schal be boght:
And he him axeth what it was.
[Questio Regis Antiochi: Scelere vehor, materna carne vescor, quero patrem meum, matris mee virum, vxoris mee filium.]
The Riddle of King Antiochus: I proceed in crime, I feed on mother's flesh, I seek my father, my mother's husband, my wife's son.
The king declareth him the cas
405With sturne lok and sturdi chiere,
To him and seide in this manere:
"With felonie I am upbore,
I ete and have it noght forbore
Mi modres fleissh, whos housebonde
410Mi fader forto seche I fonde,
Which is the Sone ek of my wif.
Hierof I am inquisitif;
And who that can mi tale save,
Al quyt he schal my doghter have;
415Of his ansuere and if he faile,
He schal be ded withoute faile.
Forthi my Sone," quod the king,
"Be wel avised of this thing,
Which hath thi lif in jeupartie."
420[Responsio Appolini.]
Appolinus's response.
Appolinus for his partie,
Whan he this question hath herd,
Unto the king he hath ansuerd
And hath rehersed on and on
425The pointz, and seide therupon:
"The question which thou hast spoke,
If thou wolt that it be unloke,
It toucheth al the privete
Betwen thin oghne child and thee,
430And slant al hol upon you tuo."
[Indignacio Antiochi super responsione Appolini.]
The rage of Antiochus at Appolinus's response.
The king was wonder sory tho,
And thoghte, if that he seide it oute,
Than were he schamed al aboute.
435With slihe wordes and with felle
He seith, "Mi Sone, I schal thee telle,
Though that thou be of litel wit,
It is no gret merveile as yit,
Thin age mai it noght suffise:
440Bot loke wel thou noght despise
Thin oghne lif, for of my grace
Of thretty daies fulle a space
I grante thee, to ben avised."
[De recessu Appollini ab Antiochia.]
Of the departure of Appolinus from Antioch.
445And thus with leve and time assised
This yonge Prince forth he wente,
And understod wel what it mente,
Withinne his herte as he was lered,
That forto maken him afered
450The king his time hath so deslaied.
Wherof he dradde and was esmaied,
Of treson that he deie scholde,
For he the king his sothe tolde;
And sodeinly the nyhtes tyde,
455That more wolde he noght abide,
Al prively his barge he hente
And hom ayein to Tyr he wente:
And in his oghne wit he seide
For drede, if he the king bewreide,
460He knew so wel the kinges herte,
That deth ne scholde he noght asterte,
The king him wolde so poursuie.
Bot he, that wolde his deth eschuie,
And knew al this tofor the hond,
465Forsake he thoghte his oghne lond,
That there wolde he noght abyde;
For wel he knew that on som syde
This tirant of his felonie
Be som manere of tricherie
470To grieve his bodi wol noght leve.
[De fuga Appolini per mare a Regno suo.]
Of the flight of Appolinus across the sea to his own kingdom.
Forthi withoute take leve,
Als priveliche as evere he myhte,
He goth him to the See be nyhte
475In Schipes that be whete laden:
Here takel redy tho thei maden
And hale up Seil and forth thei fare.
Bot forto tellen of the care
That thei of Tyr begonne tho,
480Whan that thei wiste he was ago,
It is a Pile forto hiere.
They losten lust, they losten chiere,
Thei toke upon hem such penaunce,
Ther was no song, ther was no daunce,
485Bot every merthe and melodie
To hem was thanne a maladie;
For unlust of that aventure
Ther was noman which tok tonsure,
In doelful clothes thei hem clothe,
490The bathes and the Stwes bothe
Thei schetten in be every weie;
There was no lif which leste pleie
Ne take of eny joie kepe,
Bot for here liege lord to wepe;
495And every wyht seide as he couthe,
"Helas, the lusti flour of youthe,
Our Prince, oure heved, our governour,
Thurgh whom we stoden in honour,
Withoute the comun assent
500Thus sodeinliche is fro ous went!"
Such was the clamour of hem alle.
[Nota qualiter Thaliartus Miles, vt Appolinum veneno intoxicaret, ab Antiocho in Tyrum missus, ipso ibidem non inuento Antiochiam rediit.]
How the soldier Thaliart was sent from Antioch to Tyre to poison Appolinus, and, finding him not there, returned to Antioch.
Bot se we now what is befalle
Upon the ferste tale plein,
505And torne we therto ayein.
Antiochus the grete Sire,
Which full of rancour and of ire
His herte berth, so as ye herde,
Of that this Prince of Tyr ansuerde,
510He hadde a feloun bacheler,
Which was his prive consailer,
And Taliart be name he hihte:
The king a strong puison him dihte
Withinne a buiste and gold therto,
515In alle haste and bad him go
Strawht unto Tyr, and for no cost
Ne spare he, til he hadde lost
The Prince which he wolde spille.
And whan the king hath seid his wille,
520This Taliart in a Galeie
With alle haste he tok his weie:
The wynd was good, he saileth blyve,
Til he tok lond upon the ryve
Of Tyr, and forth with al anon
525Into the Burgh he gan to gon,
And tok his In and bod a throwe.
Bot for he wolde noght be knowe,
Desguised thanne he goth him oute;
He sih the wepinge al aboute,
530And axeth what the cause was,
And thei him tolden al the cas,
How sodeinli the Prince is go.
And whan he sih that it was so,
And that his labour was in vein,
535Anon he torneth hom ayein,
And to the king, whan he cam nyh,
He tolde of that he herde and syh,
Hou that the Prince of Tyr is fled,
So was he come ayein unsped.
540The king was sori for a while,
Bot whan he sih that with no wyle
He myhte achieve his crualte,
He stinte his wraththe and let him be.
[Qualiter Appolinus in portu Tharsis applicuit, vbi in hospicio cuiusdam magni viri nomine Strangulionis hospitatus est.]
How Appolinus landed at the port of Tharsis, where he was received hospitably in his house by a nobleman named Strangulio.
545Bot over this now forto telle
Of aventures that befelle
Unto this Prince of whom I tolde,
He hath his rihte cours forth holde
Be Ston and nedle, til he cam
550To Tharse, and there his lond he nam.
A Burgeis riche of gold and fee
Was thilke time in that cite,
Which cleped was Strangulio,
His wif was Dionise also:
555This yonge Prince, as seith the bole,
With hem his herbergage tok;
And it befell that Cite so
Before time and thanne also,
Thurgh strong famyne which hem ladde
560Was non that eny whete hadde.
Appolinus, whan that he herde
The meschief, hou the cite ferde,
Al freliche of his oghne yifte
His whete, among hem forto schifte,
565The which be Schipe he hadde broght,
He yaf, and tok of hem riht noght.
Bot sithen ferst this world began,
Was nevere yit to such a man
Mor joie mad than thei him made:
570For thei were alle of him so glade,
That thei for evere in remembrance
Made a figure in resemblance
Of him, and in the comun place
Thei sette him up, so that his face
575Mihte every maner man beholde,
So as the cite was beholde;
It was of latoun overgilt:
Thus hath he noght his yifte spilt.
[Qualiter Hellicanus ciuis Tyri Tharsim veniens Appolinum de insidiis Antiochi premuniuit.]
How Hellicanus, a Tyrian citizen, came to Tharsis and warned Appolinus of Anitochus's plot.
580Upon a time with his route
This lord to pleie goth him oute,
And in his weie of Tyr he mette
A man, the which on knees him grette,
And Hellican be name he hihte,
585Which preide his lord to have insihte
Upon himself, and seide him thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus
Awaiteth if he mihte him spille.
That other thoghte and hield him stille,
590And thonked him of his warnynge,
And bad him telle no tidinge,
Whan he to Tyr cam horn ayein,
That he in Tharse him hadde sein.
[Qualiter Appolinus portum Tharsis relinquens, cum ipse per mare nauigio securiorem quesiuit, superueniente tempestate nauis cum omnibus preter ipsum solum in eadem contentis iuxta Pentapolim periclitabatur.]
How Appolinus left Tharsis and, as he sought by ship a more secure haven across the sea, his ship and everyone in it except him was imperiled near Pentapolis in a rising storm.
595Fortune hath evere be muable
And mai no while stonde stable:
For now it hiheth, now it loweth,
Now slant upriht, now overthroweth,
Now full of blisse and now of bale,
600As in the tellinge of mi tale
Hierafterward a man mai liere,
Which is gret routhe forto hiere.
This lord, which wolde don his beste,
Withinne himself hath litel reste,
605And thoghte he wolde his place change
And seche a contre more strange.
Of Tharsiens his leve anon
He tok, and is to Schipe gon:
His cours he nam with Seil updrawe,
610Where as fortune doth the lawe,
And scheweth, as I schal reherse,
How sche was to this lord diverse,
The which upon the See sche ferketh.
The wynd aros, the weder derketh,
615It blew and made such tempeste,
Non ancher mai the schip areste,
Which hath tobroken al his gere;
The Schipmen stode in such a feere,
Was non that myhte himself bestere,
620Bot evere awaite upon the lere,
Whan that thei scholde drenche at ones.
Ther was ynowh withinne wones
Of wepinge and of sorghe tho;
This yonge king makth mochel wo
625So forto se the Schip travaile:
Bot al that myhte him noght availe;
The mast tobrak, the Seil torof,
The Schip upon the wawes drof,
Til that thei sihe a londes cooste.
630Tho made avou the leste and moste,
Be so thei myhten come alonde;
Bot he which hath the See on honde,
Neptunus, wolde noght acorde,
Bot altobroke cable and corde,
635Er thei to londe myhte aproche,
The Schip toclef upon a roche,
And al goth doun into the depe.
Bot he that alle thing mai kepe
Unto this lord was merciable,
640And broghte him sauf upon a table,
Which to the lond him hath upbore;
The remenant was al forlore,
Wherof he made mochel mone.
[Qualiter Appolinus nudus super litus iactabatur, vbi quidam piscator ipsum suo collobio vestiens ad vrbem Pentapolim direxit.]
How Appolinus was cast naked on the shore, where a certain fisherman dressed him in his gown and directed him to the city of Pentapolis.
645Thus was this yonge lord him one,
Al naked in a povere plit:
His colour, which whilom was whyt,
Was thanne of water fade and pale,
And ek he was so sore acale
650That he wiste of himself no bote,
It halp him nothing forto mote
To gete ayein that he hath lore.
Bot sche which hath his deth forbore,
Fortune, thogh sche wol noght yelpe,
655Al sodeinly hath sent him helpe,
Whanne him thoghte alle grace aweie;
Ther cam a Fisshere in the weie,
And sih a man ther naked stonde,
And whan that he hath understonde
660The cause, he hath of him gret routhe,
And onliche of his povere trouthe
Of suche clothes as he hadde
With gret Pite this lord he cladde.
And he him thonketh as he scholde,
665And seith him that it schal be yolde,
If evere he gete his stat ayein,
And preide that he wolde him sein
If nyh were eny toun for him.
He seide, "Yee, Pentapolim,
670Wher bothe king and queene duellen."
Whanne he this tale herde tellen,
He gladeth him and gan beseche
That he the weie him wolde teche:
And he him taghte; and forth he wente
675And preide god with good entente
To sende him joie after his sorwe.
[Qualiter Appolino Pentapolim adueniente ludus gimnasii per vrbem publice proclamatus est.]
How Appolinus arrived in Pentapolis and the sports in the gymnasium were announced publicly in the city.
It was noght passed yit Midmorwe,
Whan thiderward his weie he nam,
680Wher sone upon the Non he cam.
He eet such as he myhte gete,
And forth anon, whan he hadde ete,
He goth to se the toun aboute,
And cam ther as he fond a route
685Of yonge lusti men withalle;
And as it scholde tho befalle,
That day was set of such assisse,
That thei scholde in the londes guise,
As he herde of the poeple seie,
690Here comun game thanne pleie;
And crid was that thei scholden come
Unto the gamen alle and some
Of hem that ben delivere and wyhte,
To do such maistrie as thei myhte.
695Thei made hem naked as thei scholde,
For so that ilke game wolde,
As it was tho custume and us,
Amonges hem was no refus:
The flour of al the toun was there
700And of the court also ther were,
And that was in a large place
Riht evene afore the kinges face,
Which Artestrathes thanne hihte.
The pley was pleid riht in his sihte,
705And who most worthi was of dede
Receive he scholde a certein mede
And in the cite here a pris.
[Qualiter Appolinus ludum gimnasii vincens in aulam Regis ad cenam honorifice receptus est.]
How Appolinus won the gymnastic sports and was received at dinner in his honor in the King's court.
Appolinus, which war and wys
710Of every game couthe an ende,
He thoghte assaie, hou so it wende,
And fell among hem into game:
And there he wan him such a name,
So as the king himself acompteth
715That he alle othre men surmonteth,
And bar the pris above hem alle,
The king bad that into his halle
At Souper time he schal be broght;
And he cam thanne and lefte it noght,
720Withoute compaignie al one:
Was non so semlich of persone,
Of visage and of limes bothe,
If that he hadde what to clothe.
At Soupertime natheles
725The king amiddes al the pres
Let clepe him up among hem alle,
And bad his Mareschall of halle
To setten him in such degre
That he upon him myhte se.
730The king was sone set and served,
And he, which hath his pris deserved
After the kinges oghne word,
Was mad beginne a Middel bord,
That bothe king and queene him sihe.
735He sat and caste aboute his yhe
And sih the lordes in astat,
And with himself wax in debat
Thenkende what he hadde lore,
And such a sorwe he tok therfore,
740That he sat evere stille and thoghte,
As he which of no mete roghte.
[Qualiter Appolinus in cena recumbens nihil comedit, sed, doloroso vultu, submisso capite, maxime ingemiscebat; qui tandem a filia regis confortatus citheram plectens cunctis audientibus citherando vltra modum complacuit.]
How Appolinus, lying at dinner, ate nothing, but greatly mourned, with sad face and head bowed; who at length being strengthened by the king's daughter, greatly pleased all his hearers by playing on the lyre.
The king behield his hevynesse,
And of his grete gentillesse
745His doghter, which was fair and good
And ate bord before him stod,
As it was thilke time usage,
He bad to gon on his message
And fonde forto make him glad.
750And sche dede as hire fader bad,
And goth to him the softe pas
And axeth whenne and what he was,
And preith he scholde his thoghtes leva.
He seith, "Ma Dame, be your leve
755Mi name is hote Appolinus,
And of mi richesse it is thus,
Upon the See I have it lore.
The contre wher as I was bore,
Wher that my lond is and mi rente,
760I lefte at Tyr, whan that I wente:
The worschipe of this worldes aghte,
Unto the god ther I betaghte."
And thus togedre as thei tuo speeke,
The teres runne be his cheeke.
765The king, which therof tok good kepe,
Hath gret Pite to sen him wepe,
And for his doghter sende ayein,
And preide hir faire and gan to sein
That sche no lengere wolde drecche,
770Bot that sche wolde anon forth fecche;
Hire harpe and don al that sche can
To glade with that sory man.
And sche to don hir fader heste
Hir harpe fette, and in the feste
775Upon a Chaier which thei fette
Hirself next to this man sche sette:
With harpe bothe and ek with mouthe
To him sche dede al that sche couthe
To make him chiere, and evere he siketh,
780And sche him axeth hou him liketh.
"Ma dame, certes wel," he seide,
"Bot if ye the mesure pleide
Which, if you list, I schal you liere,
It were a glad thing forto hiere."
785"Ha, lieve sire," tho quod sche,
"Now tak the harpe and let me se
Of what mesure that ye mene."
Tho preith the king, tho preith the queene,
Forth with the lordes alle arewe,
790That he som merthe wolde schewe;
He takth the Harpe and in his wise
He tempreth, and of such assise
Singende he harpeth forth withal,
That as a vois celestial
795Hem thoghte it souneth in here Ere,
As thogh that he an Angel were.
Thei gladen of his melodie,
Bot most of all the compainie
The kinges doghter, which it herde,
800And thoghte ek hou that he ansuerde,
Whan that he was of hire opposed,
Withinne hir herte hath wel supposed
That he is of gret gentilesse.
Hise dedes ben therof witnesse
805Forth with the wisdom of his lore;
It nedeth noght to seche more,
He myhte noght have such manere,
Of gentil blod bot if he were.
Whanne he hath harped al his fille,
810The kinges heste to fulfille,
Awey goth dissh, awey goth cuppe,
Doun goth the bord, the cloth was uppe,
Thei risen and gon out of halle.
[Qualiter Appolinus cum Rege pro filia sua erudienda retentus est.]
How Appolinus was retained by the King to instruct his daughter.
815The king his chamberlein let calle,
And bad that he be alle weie
A chambre for this man pourveie,
Which nyh his oghne chambre be.
"It schal be do, mi lord," quod he.
820Appolinus of whom I mene
Tho tok his leve of king and queene
And of the worthi Maide also,
Which preide unto hir fader tho,
That sche myhte of that yonge man
825Of tho sciences whiche he can
His lore have; and in this wise
The king hir granteth his aprise,
So that himself therto assente.
Thus was acorded er thei wente,
830That he with al that evere he may
This yonge faire freisshe May
Of that he couthe scholde enforme;
And full assented in this forme
Thei token leve as for that nyht.
835[Qualiter filia Regis Appolinum ornato apparatu vestiri fecit, et ipse ad puelle doctrinam in quampluribus familiariter intendebat: vnde placata puella in amorem Appolini exardescens infirmabatur.]
How the king's daughter caused Appolinus to be dressed in rich apparel, and he exerted himself amicably in many ways to teaching the young woman; and how the delighted girl, burning with love for Appolinus, became ill.
And whanne it was amorwe lyht,
Unto this yonge man of Tyr
Of clothes and of good atir
With gold and Selver to despende
840This worthi yonge lady sende:
And thus sche made him wel at ese,
And he with al that he can plese
Hire serveth wel and faire ayein.
He tawhte hir til sche was certein
845Of Harpe, of Citole and of Rote,
With many a tun and many a note
Upon Musique, upon mesure,
And of hire Harpe the temprure
He tawhte hire ek, as he wel couthe.
850Bot as men sein that frele is youthe,
With leisir and continuance
This Mayde fell upon a chance,
That love hath mad him a querele
Ayein hire youthe freissh and frele,
855That malgre wher sche wole or noght,
Sche mot with al hire hertes thoght
To love and to his lawe obeie;
And that sche schal ful sore abeie.
For sche wot nevere what it is,
860Bot evere among sche fieleth this:
Thenkende upon this man of Tyr,
Hir herte is hot as eny fyr,
And otherwhile it is acale;
Now is sche red, nou is sche pale
865Riht after the condicion
Of hire ymaginacion;
Bot evere among hire thoghtes alle,
Sche thoghte, what so mai befalle,
Or that sche lawhe, or that sche wepe,
870Sche wolde hire goode name kepe
For feere of wommanysshe schame.
Bot what in ernest and in game,
Sche slant for love in such a plit,
That sche hath lost al appetit
875Of mete, of drinke, of nyhtes reste,
As sche that not what is the beste;
Bot forto thenken al hir fille
Sche hield hire ofte times stille
Withinne hir chambre, and goth noght oute:
880The king was of hire lif in doute,
Which wiste nothing what it mente.
[Qualiter tres filii Principum filiam Regis singillatim in vxorem suis supplicacionibus postularunt.]
How three sons of princes in turn by entreaties requested the king's daughter for wife.
Bot fell a time, as he out wente
To walke, of Princes Sones thre
885Ther come and felle to his kne;
And ech of hem in sondri wise
Besoghte and profreth his servise,
So that he myhte his doghter have.
The king, which wolde his honour save,
890Seith sche is siek, and of that speche
Tho was no time to beseche;
Bot ech of hem do make a bille
He bad, and wryte his oghne wille,
His name, his fader and his good;
895And whan sche wiste hou that it stod,
And hadde here billes oversein,
Thei scholden have ansuere ayein.
Of this conseil thei weren glad,
And writen as the king hem bad,
900And every man his oghne bok
Into the kinges hond betok,
And he it to his dowhter sende,
And preide hir forto make an ende
And wryte ayein hire oghne hond,
905Riht as sche in hire herte fond.
[Qualiter filia Regis omnibus aliis relictis Appolinum in maritum preelegit.]
How the king's daughter, setting all the others aside, preferred Appolinus for her husband.
The billes weren wel received,
Bot sche hath alle here loves weyved,
And thoghte tho was time and space
910To put hire in hir fader grace,
And wrot ayein and thus sche saide:
"The schame which is in a Maide
With speche dar noght ben unloke,
Bot in writinge it mai be spoke;
915So wryte I to you, fader, thus:
Bot if I have Appolinus,
Of al this world, what so betyde,
I wol non other man abide.
And certes if I of him faile,
920I wot riht wel withoute faile
Ye schull for me be dowhterles."
This lettre cam, and ther was press
Tofore the king, ther as he stod;
And whan that he it understod,
925He yaf hem ansuer by and by,
Bot that was do so prively,
That non of othres conseil wiste.
Thei toke her leve, and wher hem liste
Thei wente forth upon here weie.
930[Qualiter Rex et Regina in maritagium filie sue cum Appolino consencierunt.]
How the king and queen consented to the marriage of their daughter with Appolinus.
The king ne wolde noght bewreie
The conseil for no maner hihe,
Bot soffreth til he time sihe:
And whan that he to chambre is come,
935He hath unto his conseil nome
This man of Tyr, and let him se
The lettre and al the privete,
The which his dowhter to him sente:
And he his kne to grounde bente
940And thonketh him and hire also,
And er thei wenten thanne atuo,
With good herte and with good corage
Of full Love and full mariage
The king and he ben hol acorded.
945And after, whanne it was recorded
Unto the dowhter hou it stod,
The yifte of al this worldes good
Ne scholde have mad hir half so blythe:
And forth withal the king als swithe,
950For he wol have hire good assent,
Hath for the queene hir moder sent.
The queene is come, and whan sche herde
Of this matiere hou that it ferde,
Sche syh debat, sche syh desese,
955Bot if sche wolde hir dowhter plese,
And is therto assented full.
Which is a dede wonderfull,
For noman knew the sothe cas
Bot he himself, what man he was;
960And natheles, so as hem thoghte,
His dedes to the sothe wroghte
That he was come of gentil blod:
Him lacketh noght bot worldes good,
And as therof is no despeir,
965For sche schal ben hire fader heir,
And he was able to governe.
Thus wol thei noght the love werne
Of him and hire in none wise,
Bot ther acorded thei divise
970The day and time of Mariage.
[Qualiter Appolinus filie Regis nupsit, et prima nocte cum ea concubiens ipsam impregnauit.]
How Appolinus wed the king's daughter and, sleeping with her on the first night, impregnated her.
Wher love is lord of the corage,
Him thenketh longe er that he spede;
Bot ate laste unto the dede
975The time is come, and in her wise
With gret offrende and sacrifise
Thei wedde and make a riche feste,
And every thing which was honeste
Withinnen house and ek withoute
980It was so don, that al aboute
Of gret worschipe, of gret noblesse
Ther cride many a man largesse
Unto the lordes hihe and loude;
The knyhtes that ben yonge and proude,
985Thei jouste ferst and after daunce.
The day is go, the nyhtes chaunce
Hath derked al the bryhte Sonne;
This lord, which hath his love wonne,
Is go to bedde with his wif,
990Wher as thei ladde a lusti lif,
And that was after somdel sene,
For as thei pleiden hem betwene,
Thei gete a child betwen hem tuo,
To whom fell after mochel wo.
995[Qualiter Ambaciatores a Tyro in quadam naui Pentapolim venientes mortem Regis Antiochi Appolino nunciarunt.]
How ambassadors from Tyre coming to Pentapolis in a certain ship, brought news to Appolinus of the death of Antiochus.
Now have I told of the spousailes.
Bot forto speke of the mervailes
Whiche afterward to hem befelle,
It is a wonder forto telle.
1000It fell adai thei riden oute,
The king and queene and al the route,
To pleien hem upon the stronde,
Wher as thei sen toward the londe
A Schip sailende of gret array.
1005To knowe what it mene may,
Til it be come thei abide;
Than sen thei stonde on every side,
Endlong the schipes bord to schewe,
Of Penonceals a riche rewe.
1010Thei axen when the schip is come:
Fro Tyr, anon ansuerde some,
And over this thei seiden more
The cause why thei comen fore
Was forto seche and forto finde
1015Appolinus, which was of kinde
Her liege lord: and he appiereth,
And of the tale which he hiereth
He was riht glad; for thei him tolde,
That for vengance, as god it wolde,
1020Antiochus, as men mai wite,
With thondre and lyhthnynge is forsmite;
His doghter hath the same chaunce,
So be thei bothe in o balance.
"Forthi, oure liege lord, we seie
1025In name of al the lond, and preie,
That left al other thing to done,
It like you to come sone
And se youre oghne liege men
With othre that ben of youre ken,
1030That live in longinge and desir
Til ye be come ayein to Tyr."
This tale after the king it hadde
Pentapolim al overspradde,
Ther was no joie forto seche;
1035For every man it hadde in speche
And seiden alle of on acord,
"A worthi king schal ben oure lord:
That thoghte ous ferst an hevinesse
Is schape ous now to gret gladnesse."
1040Thus goth the tidinge overal.
[Qualiter Appolino cum vxore sua impregnata a Pentapoli versus Tyrum nauigantibus, contigit vxorem, mortis articulo angustiatam, in naui filiam, que postea Thaisis vocabatur, parere.]
How, as Appolinus and his pregnant wife were sailing from Pentapolis to Tyre, it happened that the wife, caught in the moment of death, gave birth on the ship to a daughter, who was after called Thaisis.
Bot nede he mot, that nede schal:
Appolinus his leve tok,
To god and al the lond betok
1045With al the poeple long and brod,
That he no lenger there abod.
The king and queene sorwe made,
Bot yit somdiel thei weren glade
Of such thing as thei herden tho:
1050And thus betwen the wel and wo
To schip he goth, his wif with childe,
The which was evere meke and mylde
And wolde noght departe him fro,
Such love was betwen hem tuo.
1055Lichorida for hire office
Was take, which was a Norrice,
To wende with this yonge wif,
To whom was schape a woful lif.
Withinne a time, as it betidde,
1060Whan thei were in the See amidde,
Out of the North they sihe a cloude;
The storm aros, the wyndes loude
Thei blewen many a dredful blast,
The welkne was al overcast,
1065The derke nyht the Sonne hath under,
Ther was a gret tempeste of thunder:
The Mone and ek the Sterres bothe
In blake cloudes thei hem clothe,
Wherof here brihte lok thei hyde.
1070This yonge ladi wepte and cride,
To whom no confort myhte availe;
Of childe sche began travaile,
Wher sche lay in a Caban clos:
Hire woful lord fro hire aros,
1075And that was longe er eny morwe,
So that in anguisse and in sorwe
Sche was delivered al be nyhte
And ded in every mannes syhte;
Bot natheles for al this wo
1080A maide child was bore tho.
[Qualiter Appolinus vxoris sue mortem planxit.]
How Appolinus lamented the death of his wife.
Appolinus whan he this knew,
For sorwe a swoune he overthrew,
That noman wiste in him no lif.
1085And whanne he wok, he seide, "Ha, wif,
Mi lust, mi joie, my desir,
Mi welthe and my recoverir,
Why schal I live, and thou schalt dye?
Ha, thou fortune, I thee deffie,
1090Nou hast thou do to me thi werste.
Ha, herte, why ne wolt thou berste,
That forth with hire I myhte passe?
Mi peines weren wel the lasse."
In such wepinge and in such cry
1095His dede wif, which lay him by,
A thousend sithes he hire kiste;
Was nevere man that sih ne wiste
A sorwe unto his sorwe lich;
For evere among upon the lich
1100He fell swounende, as he that soghte
His oghne deth, which he besoghte
Unto the goddes alle above
With many a pitous word of love;
Bot suche wordes as tho were
1105Yit herde nevere mannes Ere,
Bot only thilke whiche he seide.
The Maister Schipman cam and preide
With othre suche as be therinne,
And sein that he mai nothing winne
1110Ayein the deth, bot thei him rede,
He be wel war and tak hiede,
The See be weie of his nature
Receive mai no creature
Withinne himself as forto holde,
1115The which is ded: forthi thei wolde,
As thei conseilen al aboute,
The dede body casten oute.
For betre it is, thei seiden alle,
That it of hire so befalle,
1120Than if thei scholden alle spille.
[Qualiter suadentibus nautis corpus vxoris sue mortue in quadam cista plumbo et ferro obtusa que circumligata Appolinus cum magno thesauro vna cum quadam littera sub eius capite scripta recludi et in mare proici fecit.]
How, at the persuasion of the sailors, Appolinus caused the body of his dead wife, with a great treasure as well as a certain letter under her head, to be enclosed in a certain chest, hammered shut and bound round with lead and iron, and to be thrown into the sea.
The king, which understod here wille
And knew here conseil that was trewe,
Began ayein his sorwe newe
1125With pitous herte, and thus to seie:
"It is al reson that ye preie.
I am," quod he, "bot on al one,
So wolde I noght for mi persone
Ther felle such adversite.
1130Bot whan it mai no betre be,
Doth thanne thus upon my word,
Let make a cofre strong of bord,
That it be ferm with led and pich."
Anon was mad a cofre sich,
1135Al redy broght unto his hond;
And whanne he sih and redy fond
This cofre mad and wel endowed,
The dede bodi was besowed
In cloth of gold and leid therinne.
1140And for he wolde unto hire winne
Upon som cooste a Sepulture,
Under hire heved in aventure
Of gold he leide Sommes grete
And of jeueals a strong beyete
1145Forth with a lettre, and seide thus:
[Copia littere Appolini capiti vxoris sue supposite.]
A copy of Appolinus's letter laid under his wife's head.
"I, king of Tyr Appollinus,
Do alle maner men to wite,
That hiere and se this lettre write,
1150That helpeles withoute red
Hier lith a kinges doghter ded:
And who that happeth hir to finde,
For charite tak in his mynde,
And do so that sche be begrave
1155With this tresor, which he schal have."
Thus whan the lettre was full spoke,
Thei haue anon the cofre stoke,
And bounden it with yren faste,
That it may with the wawes laste,
1160And stoppen it be such a weie,
That it schal be withinne dreie,
So that no water myhte it grieve.
And thus in hope and good believe
Of that the corps schal wel aryve,
1165Thei caste it over bord als blyve.
[Qualiter Appolinus, vxoris sue corpore in mare proiecto, Tyrum relinquens cursum suum versus Tharsim nauigio dolens arripuit.]
How Appolinus, having thrown his wife's body in the sea, abandoning Tyre, set his ship's course towards Tharsis, mourning.
The Schip forth on the wawes wente;
The prince hath changed his entente,
And seith he wol noght come at Tyr
1170As thanne, bot al his desir
Is ferst to seilen unto Tharse.
The wyndy Storm began to skarse,
The Sonne arist, the weder cliereth,
The Schipman which behinde stiereth,
1175Whan that he sih the wyndes saghte,
Towardes Tharse his cours he straghte.
[Qualiter corpus predicte defuncte super litus apud Ephesim quidam medicus nomine Cerymon cum aliquibus suis discipulis inuenit; quod in hospicium suum portans et extra cistam ponens, spiraculo vite in ea adhuc inuento, ipsam plene sanitati restituit.]
How a certain doctor, Cerimon by name, and some of his students found the found the body of the aforesaid dead woman on the shore at Ephesus; which, carrying into his household and taking out of the chest, having found a breath of life still in her, he restored fully to health.
Bot now to mi matiere ayein,
I telle as olde bokes sein,
1180This dede corps of which ye knowe
With wynd and water was forthrowe
Now hier, now ther, til ate laste
At Ephesim the See upcaste
The cofre and al that was therinne.
1185Of gret merveile now beginne
Mai hiere who that sitteth stille;
That god wol save mai noght spille.
Riht as the corps was throwe alonde,
Ther cam walkende upon the stronde
1190A worthi clerc, a Surgien,
And ek a gret Phisicien,
Of al that lond the wisest on,
Which hihte Maister Cerymon;
Ther were of his disciples some.
1195This Maister to the Cofre is come,
He peiseth ther was somwhat in,
And bad hem here it to his In,
And goth himselve forth withal.
Al that schal falle, falle schal;
1200They comen hom and tarie noght;
This Cofre is into chambre broght,
Which that thei finde faste stoke,
Bot thei with craft it have unloke.
Thei loken in, where as thei founde
1205A bodi ded, which was bewounde
In cloth of gold, as I seide er,
The tresor ek thei founden ther
Forth with the lettre, which thei rede.
And tho thei token betre hiede;
1210Unsowed was the bodi sone,
And he, which knew what is to done,
This noble clerk, with alle haste
Began the veines forto taste,
And sih hire Age was of youthe,
1215And with the craftes whiche he couthe
He soghte and fond a signe of lif.
With that this worthi kinges wif
Honestely thei token oute,
And maden fyres al aboute;
1220Thei leide hire on a couche softe,
And with a scheete warmed ofte
Hire colde brest began to hete,
Hire herte also to flacke and bete.
This Maister hath hire every joignt
1225With certein oile and balsme enoignt,
And putte a liqueur in hire mouth,
Which is to fewe clerkes couth,
So that sche coevereth ate laste:
And ferst hire yhen up sche caste,
1230And whan sche more of strengthe cawhte
Hire Armes bothe forth sche strawhte,
Hield up hire hond and pitously
Sche spak and seide, "Ha, wher am I?
Where is my lord, what world is this?"
1235As sche that wot noght hou it is.
Bot Cerymon the worthi leche
Ansuerde anon upon hire speche
And seith, "Ma dame, yee ben hiere,
Where yee be sauf, as yee schal hiere
1240Hierafterward; forthi as nou
Mi conseil is, conforteth you:
For trusteth wel withoute faile,
Ther is nothing which schal you faile,
That oghte of reson to be do."
1245Thus passen thei a day or tuo;
Thei speke of noght as for an ende,
Til sche began somdiel amende,
And wiste hireselven what sche mente.
[Qualiter vxor Appolini sanata domum religionis petiit, vbi sacro velamine munita castam omni tempore vouit.]
How the healed wife of Appolinus sought a religious house, where, protected by a holy veil, she vowed chastity for all time.
1250Tho forto knowe hire hol entente,
Maister axeth al the cas,
Hou sche cam there and what sche was.
"Hou I cam hiere wot I noght,"
Quod sche, "bot wel I am bethoght
1255Of othre thinges al aboute":
Fro point to point and tolde him oute
Als ferforthli as sche it wiste.
And he hire tolde hou in a kiste
The See hire threw upon the lond,
1260And what tresor with hire he fond,
Which was al redy at hire wille,
As he that schop him to fulfille
With al his myht what thing he scholde.
Sche thonketh him that he so wolde,
1265And al hire herte sche discloseth,
And seith him wel that sche supposeth
Hire lord be dreint, hir child also;
So sih sche noght bot alle wo.
Wherof as to the world nomore
1270Ne wol sche torne, and preith therfore
That in som temple of the Cite,
To kepe and holde hir chastete,
Sche mihte among the wommen duelle.
Whan he this tale hir herde telle,
1275He was riht glad, and made hire knowen
That he a dowhter of his owen
Hath, which he wol unto hir yive
To serve, whil thei bothe live,
In stede of that which sche hath lost;
1280Al only at his oghne cost
Sche schal be rendred forth with hire.
She seith, "Grant mercy, lieve sire,
God quite it you, ther I ne may."
And thus thei drive forth the day,
1285Til time com that sche was hol;
And tho thei take her conseil hol,
To schape upon good ordinance
And make a worthi pourveance
Ayein the day whan thei be veiled.
1290And thus, whan that thei be conseiled,
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
This lady and the dowhter bothe,
And yolde hem to religion.
The feste and the profession
1295After the reule of that degre
Was mad with gret solempnete,
Where as Diane is seintefied;
Thus stant this lady justefied
In ordre wher sche thenkth to duelle.
1300[Qualiter Appolinus Tharsim nauigans, filiam suam Thaisim Strangulioni et Dionisie vxori sue educandam commendauit; et deinde Tyrum adiit, vbi cum inestimabili gaudio a suis receptus est.]
How Appolinus, saling to Tharsis, entrusted his daughter Thaisis to Stranguilio and Dionisiam his wife to be brought up; and then came to Tyre, where he was received with immeasurable joy by his people.
Bot now ayeinward forto telle
In what plit that hire lord stod inne:
He seileth, til that he may winne
The havene of Tharse, as I seide er;
1305And whanne he was aryved ther,
And it was thurgh the Cite knowe,
Men myhte se withinne a throwe,
As who seith, al the toun at ones,
That come ayein him for the nones,
1310To yiven him the reverence,
So glad thei were of his presence:
And thogh he were in his corage
Desesed, yit with glad visage
He made hem chiere, and to his In,
1315Wher he whilom sojourned in,
He goth him straght and was resceived.
And whan the presse of poeple is weived,
He takth his hoste unto him tho,
And seith, "Mi frend Strangulio,
1320Lo, thus and thus it is befalle,
And thou thiself art on of alle,
Forth with thi wif, whiche I most triste.
Forthi, if it you bothe liste,
My doghter Thaise be youre leve
1325I thenke schal with you beleve
As for a time; and thus I preie,
That sche be kept be alle weie,
And whan sche hath of age more,
That sche be set to bokes lore.
1330And this avou to god I make,
That I schal nevere for hir sake
Mi berd for no likinge schave,
Til it befalle that I have
In covenable time of age
1335Beset hire unto mariage."
Thus thei acorde, and al is wel,
And forto resten him somdel,
As for a while he ther sojorneth,
And thanne he takth his leve and torneth
1340To Schipe, and goth him hom to Tyr,
Wher every man with gret desir
Awaiteth upon his comynge.
Bot whan the Schip com in seilinge,
And thei perceiven it is he,
1345Was nevere yit in no cite
Such joie mad as thei tho made;
His herte also began to glade
Of that he sih the poeple glad.
Lo, thus fortune his hap hath lad;
1350In sondri wise he was travailed,
Bot hou so evere he be assailed,
His latere ende schal be good.
[Qualiter Thaysis vna cum Philotenna Strangulionis et Dionisie filia omnis sciencie et honestatis doctrina imbuta est: sed et Thaisis Philotennam precellens in odium mortale per inuidiam a Dionisia recollecta est.]
How Thaisis was instructed in the knowledge of honesty and of every art, together with Philotenna, the daughter of Stranguilio and Dionisia; but Dionisia developed, through envy, a mortal hatred for Thaisis excelling over Philotenna.
And forto speke hou that it stod
1355Of Thaise his doghter, wher sche duelleth
In Tharse, as the Cronique telleth,
Sche was wel kept, sche was wel loked,
Sche was wel tawht, sche was wel boked,
So wel sche spedde hir in hire youthe
1360That sche of every wisdom couthe,
That forto seche in every lond
So wys an other noman fond,
Ne so wel tawht at mannes yhe.
Bot wo worthe evere fals envie!
1365For it befell that time so,
A dowhter hath Strangulio,
The which was cleped Philotenne:
Bot fame, which wole evere renne,
Cam al day to hir moder Ere,
1370And seith, wher evere hir doghter were
With Thayse set in eny place,
The comun vois, the comun grace
Was al upon that other Maide,
And of hir doghter noman saide.
1375Who wroth but Dionise thanne?
Hire thoghte a thousend yer til whanne
Sche myhte ben of Thaise wreke
Of that sche herde folk so speke.
And fell that ilke same tyde,
1380That ded was trewe Lychoride,
Which hadde be servant to Thaise,
So that sche was the worse at aise,
For sche hath thanne no servise
Bot only thurgh this Dionise,
1385Which was hire dedlich Anemie
Thurgh pure treson and envie.
Sche, that of alle sorwe can,
Tho spak unto hire bondeman,
Which cleped was Theophilus,
1390And made him swere in conseil thus,
That he such time as sche him sette
Schal come Thaise forto fette,
And lede hire oute of alle sihte,
If her as noman hire helpe myhte,
1395Upon the Stronde nyh the See,
And there he schal this maiden sle.
This cherles herte is in a traunce,
As he which drad him of vengance
Whan time comth an other day;
1400Bot yit dorste he noght seie nay,
Bot swor and seide he schal fulfille
Hire hestes at hire oghne wille.
[Qualiter Dionisia Thaysim, vt occideretur, Theophilo seruo suo tradidit, qui cum noctanter longius ab vrbe ipsam prope litus maris interficere proposuerat, pirate ibidem latitantes Thaisim de manu carnificis eripuerunt, ipsamque vsque ciuitatem Mitelenam ducentes, cuidam Leonino scortorum ibidem magistro vendiderunt.]
How Dionisia handed over Thaisis to Theophilus her servant for him to kill, who had planned to kill her at night near the seashore quite far form the city, but pirates lurking at that same place snatched her from the butcher's hands, and, taking her to the city of Mitelene, they sold her to one Leonine, a master of prostitutes there.
The treson and the time is schape,
1405So fell it that this cherles knape
Hath lad this maiden ther he wolde
Upon the Stronde, and what sche scholde
Sche was adrad; and he out breide
A rusti swerd and to hir seide,
1410"Thou schalt be ded." "Helas!" quod sche,
"Why schal I so?" "Lo thus," quod he,
"Mi ladi Dionise hath bede,
Thou schalt be moerdred in this stede."
This Maiden tho for feere schryhte,
1415And for the love of god almyhte
Sche preith that for a litel stounde
Sche myhte knele upon the grounde,
Toward the hevene forto crave,
Hire wofull Soule if sche mai save:
1420And with this noise and with this cry,
Out of a barge faste by,
Which hidd was ther on Scomerfare,
Men sterten out and weren ware
Of this feloun, and he to go,
1425And sche began to crie tho,
"Ha, mercy, help for goddes sake!"
Into the barge thei hire take,
As thieves scholde, and forth thei wente.
Upon the See the wynd hem hente,
1430And malgre wher thei wolde or non,
Tofor the weder forth thei gon,
Ther halp no Seil, ther halp non Ore,
Forstormed and forblowen sore
In gret peril so forth thei dryve,
1435Til ate laste thei aryve
At Mitelene the Cite.
In havene sauf and whan thei be,
The Maister Schipman made him boun,
And goth him out into the toun,
1440And profreth Thaise forto selle.
On Leonin it herde telle,
Which Maister of the bordel was,
And bad him gon a redy pas
To fetten hire, and forth he wente,
1445And Thaise out of his barge he hente,
And to this bordeller hir solde.
And he, that be hire body wolde
Take avantage, let do crye,
That what man wolde his lecherie
1450Attempte upon hire maidenhede,
Lei doun the gold and he schal spede.
And thus whan he hath crid it oute
In syhte of al the poeple aboute,
He ladde hire to the bordel tho.
1455[Qualiter Leoninus Thaisim ad lupanar destinauit, vbi dei gracia preuenta ipsius virginitatem nullus violare potuit.]
How Leonine sent Thaisis to a brothel, where, by the preventing grace of God, no man was able to violate her virginity.
No wonder is thogh sche be wo:
Clos in a chambre be hireselve,
Ech after other ten or tuelve
Of yonge men to hire in wente;
1460Bot such a grace god hire sente,
That for the sorwe which sche made
Was non of hem which pouer hade
To don hire eny vileinie.
This Leonin let evere aspie,
1465And waiteth after gret beyete;
Bot al for noght, sche was forlete,
That mo men wolde ther noght come.
Whan he therof hath hiede nome,
And knew that sche was yit a maide,
1470Unto his oghne man he saide,
That he with strengthe ayein hire leve
Tho scholde hir maidenhod bereve.
This man goth in, bot so it ferde,
Whan he hire wofull pleintes herde
1475And he therof hath take kepe,
Him liste betre forto wepe
Than don oght elles to the game.
And thus sche kepte hirself fro schame,
And kneleth doun to therthe and preide
1480Unto this man, and thus sche seide:
"If so be that thi maister wolde,
That I his gold encresce scholde,
It mai noght falle be this weie:
Bot soffre me to go mi weie
1485Out of this hous wher I am inne,
And I schal make him forto winne
In som place elles of the toun,
Be so it be religioun,
Wher that honeste wommen duelle.
1490And thus thou myht thi maister telle,
That whanne I have a chambre there,
Let him do crie ay wyde where,
What lord that hath his doghter diere,
And is in will that sche schal liere
1495Of such a Scole that is trewe,
I schal hire teche of thinges newe,
Which as non other womman can
In al this lond." And tho this man
Hire tale hath herd, he goth ayein,
1500And tolde unto his maister plein
That sche hath seid; and therupon,
Whan than he sih beyete non
At the bordel be cause of hire,
He bad his man to gon and spire
1505A place wher sche myhte abyde,
That he mai winne upon som side
Be that sche can: bot ate leste
Thus was sche sauf fro this tempeste.
[Qualiter Thaisis a lupanari virgo liberata, inter sacras mulieres hospicium habens, sciencias quibus edocta fuit nobiles regni puellas ibidem edocebat.]
How Thaisis, freed a virgin from the brothel and finding hospitality among holy women, taught the noble young women of the kingdom there those skills which she had been taught.
1510He hath hire fro the bordel take,
Bot that was noght for goddes sake,
Bot for the lucre, as sche him tolde.
Now comen tho that comen wolde
Of wommen in her lusty youthe,
1515To hiere and se what thing sche couthe:
Sche can the wisdom of a clerk,
Sche can of every lusti werk
Which to a gentil womman longeth,
And some of hem sche underfongeth
1520To the Citole and to the Harpe,
And whom it liketh forto carpe
Proverbes and demandes slyhe,
An other such thei nevere syhe,
Which that science so wel tawhte:
1525Wherof sche grete yiftes cawhte,
That sche to Leonin hath wonne;
And thus hire name is so begonne
Of sondri thinges that she techeth,
That al the lond unto hir secheth
1530Of yonge wommen forto liere.
[Qualiter Theophilus ad Dionisiam mane rediens affirmauit se Thaisim occidisse; super quo Dionisia vna cum Strangulione marito suo dolorem in publico confingentes, exequias et sepulturam honorifice quantum ad extra subdola coniectacione fieri constituerunt.]
How Theophilus, returning to Dionisia next morning, asserted he had killed Thaisis; whereupon Dionisia, together with Stranguilio her husband, pretending grief in public, caused funeral ceremonies to be held and, in cunning calculation, a tomb to be built, all in honor as far as the world could tell.
Nou lete we this maiden hiere,
And speke of Dionise ayein
And of Theophile the vilein,
1535Of whiche I spak of nou tofore.
Whan Thaise scholde have be forlore,
This false cherl to his lady
Whan he cam hom, al prively
He seith, "Ma Dame, slain I have
1540This maide Thaise, and is begrave
In prive place, as ye me biede.
Forthi, ma dame, taketh hiede
And kep conseil, hou so it stonde."
This fend, which this hath understonde,
1545Was glad, and weneth it be soth:
Now herkne, hierafter hou sche doth.
Sche wepth, sche sorweth, sche compleigneth,
And of sieknesse which sche feigneth
Sche seith that Taise sodeinly
1550Be nyhte is ded, "as sche and I
Togedre lyhen nyh my lord."
Sche was a womman of record,
And al is lieved that sche seith;
And forto yive a more feith,
1555Hire housebonde and ek sche bothe
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
And made a gret enterrement;
And for the poeple schal be blent,
Of Thaise as for the remembrance,
1560After the real olde usance
A tumbe of latoun noble and riche
With an ymage unto hir liche
Liggende above therupon
Thei made and sette it up anon.
1565Hire Epitaffe of good assisse
Was write aboute, and in this wise
It spak: "O yee that this beholde,
Lo, hier lith sche, the which was holde,
The faireste and the flour of alle,
1570Whos name Thaisis men calle.
The king of Tyr Appolinus
Hir fader was: now lith sche thus.
Fourtiene yer sche was of Age,
Whan deth hir tok to his viage."
1575[Qualiter Appolinus in regno suo apud Tyrum existens parliamentum fieri constituit.]
How Appolinus, staying in his kingdom at Tyre, summoned a parliament.
Thus was this false treson hidd,
Which afterward was wyde kidd,
As be the tale a man schal hiere.
Bot forto clare mi matiere,
1580To Tyr I thenke torne ayein,
And telle as the Croniqes sein.
Whan that the king was comen hom,
And hath left in the salte fom
His wif, which he mai noght foryete,
1585For he som confort wolde gete,
He let somoune a parlement,
To which the lordes were asent;
And of the time he hath ben oute,
He seth the thinges al aboute,
1590And told hem ek hou he hath fare,
Whil he was out of londe fare;
And preide hem alle to abyde,
For he wolde at the same tyde
Do schape for his wyves mynde,
1595As he that wol noght ben unkinde.
Solempne was that ilke office,
And riche was the sacrifice,
The feste reali was holde:
And therto was he wel beholde;
1600For such a wif as he hadde on
In thilke daies was ther non.
[Qualiter Appolinus post parliamentum Tharsim pro Thaise filia sua querenda adiit, qua ibidem non inventa abinde navigio recessit.]
How Appolinus, after the parliament, went to Tharsis seeking for Thaisis his daughter, and, not finding her there, departed thence by ship.
Whan this was do, thanne he him thoghte
Upon his doghter, and besoghte
1605Suche of his lordes as he wolde,
That thei with him to Tharse scholde,
To fette his doghter Taise there:
And thei anon al redy were,
To schip they gon and forth thei wente,
1610Til thei the havene of Tharse hente.
They londe and faile of that thei seche
Be coverture and sleyhte of speche:
This false man Strangulio,
And Dionise his wif also,
1615That he the betre trowe myhte,
Thei ladden him to have a sihte
Wher that hir tombe was arraied.
The lasse yit he was mispaied,
And natheles, so as he dorste,
1620He curseth and seith al the worste
Unto fortune, as to the blinde,
Which can no seker weie finde;
For sche him neweth evere among,
And medleth sorwe with his song.
1625[Qualiter Nauis Appolini ventis agitata portum vrbis Mitelene in die quo festa Neptuni celebrare consueuerunt applicuit; sed ipse pre dolore Thaysis filie sue, quam mortuam reputabat, in fundo nauis obscuro iacens lumen videre noluit.]
How the ship of Appolinus, blown by the winds, arrived in the city of Mitelene on the day they were accustomed to celebrate the feasts of Neptune; but he, for grief for his daughter Thaisis, whom he believed dead, threw himself into the dark hold of the ship, not wanting to see the light.
Bot sithe it mai no betre be,
He thonketh god and forth goth he,
Seilende toward Tyr ayein.
Bot sodeinly the wynd and reyn
1630Begonne upon the See debate,
So that he soffre mot algate
The lawe which Neptune ordeigneth;
Whereof fulofte time he pleigneth,
And hield him wel the more esmaied
1635Of that he hath tofore assaied.
So that for pure sorwe and care,
Of that he seth his world so fare,
The reste he lefte of his Caban,
That for the conseil of noman
1640Ayein therinne he nolde come,
Bot hath benethe his place nome,
Wher he wepende al one lay,
Ther as he sih no lyht of day.
And thus tofor the wynd thei dryve,
1645Til longe and late thei aryve
With gret distresce, as it was sene,
Upon this toun of Mitelene,
Which was a noble cite tho.
And hapneth thilke time so,
1650The lordes bothe and the comune
The hihe festes of Neptune;
Upon the stronde at the rivage,
As it was custumme and usage,
Sollempneliche thei besihe.
1655[Qualiter Athenagoras vrbis Mitelene Princeps, nauim Appollini inuestigans, ipsum sic contristatum nihilque respondentem consolari satagebat.]
How Athenagoras, prince of the city of Mitelene, searching Appolinus's ship, made an effort to console him, while he was mourning and replying nothing.
Whan thei this strange vessel syhe
Come in, and hath his Seil avaled,
The toun therof hath spoke and taled
The lord which of the cite was,
1660Whos name is Athenagoras,
Was there, and seide he wolde se
What Schip it is, and who thei be
That ben therinne: and after sone,
Whan that he sih it was to done,
1665His barge was for him arraied,
And he goth forth and hath assaied.
He fond the Schip of gret Array,
Bot what thing it amonte may,
He seth thei maden hevy chiere,
1670Bot wel him thenkth be the manere
That thei be worthi men of blod,
And axeth of hem hou it stod;
And thei him tellen al the cas,
Hou that here lord fordrive was,
1675And what a sorwe that he made,
Of which ther mai noman him glade.
He preith that he here lord mai se,
Bot thei him tolde it mai noght be,
For he lith in so derk a place,
1680That ther may no wiht sen his face:
Bot for al that, thogh hem be loth,
He fond the ladre and doun he goth,
And to him spak, bot non ansuere
Ayein of him ne mihte he bere
1685For oght that he can don or sein;
And thus he goth him up ayein.
[Qualiter precepto Principis, vt Appolinum consolaretur, Thaisis cum cithara sua ad ipsum in obscuro nauis, vbi jacebat, producta est.]
How by the prince's command, in order to console Appolinus, Thaisis, with her lyre, was brought to where he was lying in the dark in the the ship.
Tho was ther spoke in many wise
Amonges hem that weren wise,
1690Now this, now that, bot ate laste
The wisdom of the toun this caste,
That yonge Taise were asent.
For if ther be amendement
To glade with this woful king,
1695Sche can so moche of every thing,
That sche schal gladen him anon.
A Messager for hire is gon,
And sche cam with hire Harpe on honde,
And seide hem that sche wolde fonde
1700Be alle weies that sche can,
To glade with this sory man.
Bot what he was sche wiste noght,
Bot al the Schip hire hath besoght
That sche hire wit on him despende,
1705In aunter if he myhte amende,
And sein it schal be wel aquit.
Whan sche hath understonden it,
Sche goth hir doun, ther as he lay,
Wher that sche harpeth many a lay
1710And lich an Angel sang withal;
Bot he nomore than the wal
Tok hiede of eny thing he herde.
And whan sche sih that he so ferde,
Sche falleth with him into wordes,
1715And telleth him of sondri bordes,
And axeth him demandes strange,
Wherof sche made his herte change,
And to hire speche his Ere he leide
And hath merveile of that sche seide.
1720For in proverbe and in probleme
Sche spak, and bad he scholde deme
In many soubtil question:
Bot he for no suggestioun
Which toward him sche couthe stere,
1725He wolde noght o word ansuere,
Bot as a madd man ate laste
His heved wepende awey he caste,
And half in wraththe he bad hire go.
Bot yit sche wolde noght do so,
1730And in the derke forth sche goth,
Til sche him toucheth, and he wroth,
And after hire with his hond
He smot: and thus whan sche him fond
Desesed, courtaisly sche saide,
1735"Avoi, mi lord, I am a Maide;
And if ye wiste what I am,
And out of what lignage I cam,
Ye wolde noght be so salvage."
[Qualiter, sicut deus destinauit, pater filiam inuentam recognouit.]
How, as God ordained, the father recognized the restored daughter.
1740With that he sobreth his corage
And put awey his hevy chiere.
Bot of hem tuo a man mai liere
What is to be so sibb of blod:
Non wiste of other hou it stod,
1745And yit the fader ate laste
His herte upon this maide caste,
That he hire loveth kindely,
And yit he wiste nevere why.
Bot al was knowe er that thei wente;
1750For god, which wot here hol entente,
Here hertes bothe anon descloseth.
This king unto this maide opposeth,
And axeth ferst what was hire name,
And wher sche lerned al this game,
1755And of what ken that sche was come.
And sche, that hath hise wordes nome,
Ansuerth and seith, "My name is Thaise,
That was som time wel at aise:
In Tharse I was forthdrawe and fed,
1760Ther lerned I, til I was sped,
Of that I can. Mi fader eke
I not wher that I scholde him seke;
He was a king, men tolde me:
Mi Moder dreint was in the See."
1765Fro point to point al sche him tolde,
That sche hath longe in herte holde,
And nevere dorste make hir mone
Bot only to this lord al one,
To whom hire herte can noght hele,
1770Torne it to wo, torne it to wele,
Torne it to good, torne it to harm.
And he tho toke hire in his arm,
Bot such a joie as he tho made
Was nevere sen; thus be thei glade,
1775That sory hadden be toforn.
For this day forth fortune hath sworn
To sette him upward on the whiel;
So goth the world, now wo, now wel:
This king hath founde newe grace,
1780So that out of his derke place
He goth him up into the liht,
And with him cam that swete wiht,
His doghter Thaise, and forth anon
Thei bothe into the Caban gon
1785Which was ordeigned for the king,
And ther he dede of al his thing,
And was arraied realy.
[Qualiter Athenagoras Appolinum de naui in hospicium honorifice recollegit, et Thaisim, patre consenciente, in vxorem duxit.]
How Athenagoras received Appolinus in honor from the ship into his household, and, with the father's consent, took Thaisis as his wife.
And out he cam al openly,
1790Wher Athenagoras he fond,
The which was lord of al the lond:
He preith the king to come and se
His castell bothe and his cite,
And thus thei gon forth alle in fiere,
1795This king, this lord, this maiden diere.
This lord tho made hem riche feste
With every thing which was honeste,
To plese with this worthi king,
Ther lacketh him no maner thing:
1800Bot yit for al his noble array
Wifles he was into that day,
As he that yit was of yong Age;
So fell ther into his corage
The lusti wo, the glade peine
1805Of love, which noman restreigne
Yit nevere myhte as nou tofore.
This lord thenkth al his world forlore,
Bot if the king wol don him grace;
He waiteth time, he waiteth place,
1810Him thoghte his herte wol tobreke,
Til he mai to this maide speke
And to hir fader ek also
For mariage: and it fell so,
That al was do riht as he thoghte,
1815His pourpos to an ende he broghte,
Sche weddeth him as for hire lord;
Thus be thei alle of on acord.
[Qualiter Appolinus vna cum filia et eius marito nauim ingredientes a Mitelena vsque Tharsim cursum proposuerunt. Sed Appolinus in sompnis ammonitus versus Ephesim, vt ibidem in templo Diane sacrificaret, vela per mare diuertit.]
How Appolinus, going by ship together with his daughter and her husband, planned to go from Mitelene to Tharsis. But Appolinus was warned in dreams and diverted his sailing towards Ephesus so that he might sacrifice in Daiana's temple there.
Whan al was do riht as thei wolde,
1820The king unto his Sone tolde
Of Tharse thilke traiterie,
And seide hou in his compaignie
His doghter and himselven eke
Schull go vengance forto seke.
1825The Schipes were redy sone,
And whan thei sihe it was to done,
Withoute lette of eny wente
With Seil updrawe forth thei wente
Towardes Tharse upon the tyde.
1830Bot he that wot what schal betide,
The hihe god, which wolde him kepe,
Whan that this king was faste aslepe,
Be nyhtes time he hath him bede
To seile into an other stede:
1835To Ephesim he bad him drawe,
And as it was that time lawe,
He schal do there his sacrifise;
And ek he bad in alle wise
That in the temple amonges alle
1840His fortune, as it is befalle,
Touchende his doghter and his wif
He schal beknowe upon his lif.
The king of this Avisioun
Hath gret ymaginacioun,
1845What thing it signefie may;
And natheles, whan it was day,
He bad caste Ancher and abod;
And whil that he on Ancher rod,
The wynd, which was tofore strange,
1850Upon the point began to change,
And torneth thider as it scholde.
Tho knew he wel that god it wolde,
And bad the Maister make him yare,
Tofor the wynd for he wol fare
1855To Ephesim, and so he dede.
And whanne he cam unto the stede
Where as he scholde londe, he londeth
With al the haste he may, and fondeth
To schapen him be such a wise,
1860That he may be the morwe arise
And don after the mandement
Of him which hath him thider sent.
And in the wise that he thoghte,
Upon the morwe so he wroghte;
1865His doghter and his Sone he nom,
And forth unto the temple he com
With a gret route in compaignie,
Hise yiftes forto sacrifie.
The citezeins tho herden seie
1870Of such a king that cam to preie
Unto Diane the godesse,
And left al other besinesse,
Thei comen thider forto se
The king and the solempnete.
1875[Qualiter Appolinus Ephesim in templo Diane sacrificans, vxorem suam ibidem velatam inuenit; qua secum assumpta in nauim, versus Tyrum regressus est.]
How Appolinus, sacrificing in the temple of Diana, found his wife there veiled; taking her with him on the ship, he retuned to Tyre.
With worthi knyhtes environed
The king himself hath abandoned
Into the temple in good entente.
The dore is up, and he in wente,
1880Wher as with gret devocioun
Of holi contemplacioun
Withinne his herte he made his schrifte;
And after that a riche yifte
He offreth with gret reverence,
1885And there in open Audience
Of hem that stoden thanne aboute,
He tolde hem and declareth oute
His hap, such as him is befalle,
Ther was nothing foryete of alle.
1890His wif, as it was goddes grace,
Which was professed in the place,
As sche that was Abbesse there,
Unto his tale hath leid hire Ere:
Sche knew the vois and the visage,
1895For pure joie as in a rage
Sche strawhte unto him al at ones,
And fell aswoune upon the stones,
Wherof the temple flor was paved.
Sche was anon with water laved,
1900Til sche cam to hirself ayein,
And thanne sche began to sein:
"Ha, blessed be the hihe sonde,
That I mai se myn housebonde,
That whilom he and I were on!"
1905The king with that knew hire anon,
And tok hire in his Arm and kiste;
And al the toun thus sone it wiste.
Tho was ther joie manyfold,
For every man this tale hath told
1910As for miracle, and were glade,
Bot nevere man such joie made
As doth the king, which hath his wif.
And whan men herde hou that hir lif
Was saved, and be whom it was,
1915Thei wondren alle of such a cas:
Thurgh al the Lond aros the speche
Of Maister Cerymon the leche
And of the cure which he dede.
The king himself tho hath him bede,
1920And ek this queene forth with him,
That he the toun of Ephesim
Wol leve and go wher as thei be,
For nevere man of his degre
Hath do to hem so mochel good;
1925And he his profit understod,
And granteth with hem forto wende.
And thus thei maden there an ende,
And token leve and gon to Schipe
With al the hole felaschipe.
1930[Qualiter Appolinus vna cum vxore et filia sua Thyrum applicuit.]
How Appolinus, together with his wife and daughter, reached Tyre.
This king, which nou hath his desir,
Seith he wol holde his cours to Tyr.
Thei hadden wynd at wille tho,
With topseilcole and forth they go,
1935And striken nevere, til thei come
To Tyr, where as thei havene nome,
And londen hem with mochel blisse.
Tho was ther many a mowth to kisse,
Echon welcometh other hom,
1940Bot whan the queen to londe com,
And Thaise hir doghter be hir side,
The joie which was thilke tyde
Ther mai no mannes tunge telle:
Thei seiden alle, "Hier comth the welle
1945Of alle wommannysshe grace."
The king hath take his real place,
The queene is into chambre go:
Ther was gret feste arraied tho;
Whan time was, thei gon to mete,
1950Alle olde sorwes ben foryete,
And gladen hem with joies newe:
The descoloured pale hewe
Is now become a rody cheke,
Ther was no merthe forto seke,
1955Bot every man hath that he wolde.
[Qualiter Appolinus Athenagoram cum Thaise vxore sua super Tyrum coronari fecit.]
How Appolinus caused Athenagoras, with Thaisis his wife, to be crowned over Tyre.
The king, as he wel couthe and scholde,
Makth to his poeple riht good chiere;
And after sone, as thou schalt hiere,
1960A parlement he hath sommoned,
Wher he his doghter hath coroned
Forth with the lord of Mitelene,
That on is king, that other queene:
And thus the fadres ordinance
1965This lond hath set in governance,
And seide thanne he wolde wende
To Tharse, forto make an ende
Of that his doghter was betraied.
Therof were alle men wel paied,
1970And seide hou it was forto done:
The Schipes weren redi sone,
And strong pouer with him he tok;
Up to the Sky he caste his lok,
And syh the wynd was covenable.
1975[Qualiter Appolinus a Tyro per mare versus Tharsim iter arripiens vindictam contra Strangulionem et Dionisiam vxorem suam pro iniuria, quam ipsi Thaisi filie sue intulerunt, iudicialiter assecutus est.]
How Appolinus, travelling from Tyre across the sea toward Tharsis, prosecuted Strangulio and Dionisia his wife for the injury that they had inflicted on his daughter, Thaisis.
Thei hale up Ancher with the cable,
The Seil on hih, the Stiere in honde,
And seilen, til thei come alonde
At Tharse nyh to the cite;
1980And whan thei wisten it was he,
The toun hath don him reverence.
He telleth hem the violence,
Which the tretour Strangulio
And Dionise him hadde do
1985Touchende his dowhter, as yee herde;
And whan thei wiste hou that it ferde,
As he which pes and love soghte,
Unto the toun this he besoghte,
To don him riht in juggement.
1990Anon thei were bothe asent
With strengthe of men, and comen sone,
And as hem thoghte it was to done,
Atteint thei were be the lawe
And diemed forto honge and drawe,
1995And brent and with the wynd toblowe,
That al the world it myhte knowe:
And upon this condicion
The dom in execucion
Was put anon withoute faile.
2000And every man hath gret mervaile,
Which herde tellen of this chance,
And thonketh goddes pourveance,
Which doth mercy forth with justice.
Slain is the moerdrer and moerdrice
2005Thurgh verray trowthe of rihtwisnesse,
And thurgh mercy sauf is simplesse
Of hire whom mercy preserveth;
Thus hath he wel that wel deserveth.
[Qualiter Artestrate Pentapolim Rege mortuo, ipsi de regno epistolas super hoc Appolino direxerunt: vnde Appolinus vna cum vxore sua ibidem aduenientes ad decus imperii cum magno gaudio coronati sunt.]
How when Artestrates, King of Pentapolis, died, they sent from the kingdom letters about this to Apollonius; so that Apollonius and his wife arriving there were crowned with great joy, to the glory of his rule.
2010Whan al this thing is don and ended,
This king, which loved was and frended,
A lettre hath, which cam to him
Be Schipe fro Pentapolim,
Be which the lond hath to him write,
2015That he wolde understonde and wite
Hou in good mynde and in good pes
Ded is the king Artestrates,
Wherof thei alle of on acord
Him preiden, as here liege lord,
2020That he the lettre wel conceive
And come his regne to receive,
Which god hath yove him and fortune;
And thus besoghte the commune
Forth with the grete lordes alle.
2025This king sih how it was befalle,
Fro Tharse and in prosperite;
He tok his leve of that Cite
And goth him into Schipe ayein:
The wynd was good, the See was plein
2030Hem nedeth noght a Riff to slake,
Til thei Pentapolim have take.
The lond, which herde of that tidinge,
Was wonder glad of his cominge;
He resteth him a day or tuo
2035And tok his conseil to him tho,
And sette a time of Parlement,
Wher al the lond of on assent
Forth with his wif hath him corouned,
Wher alle goode him was fuisouned.
2040Lo, what it is to be wel grounded:
For he hath ferst his love founded
Honesteliche as forto wedde,
Honesteliche his love he spedde
And hadde children with his wif,
2045And as him liste he ladde his lif;
And in ensample his lif was write,
That alle lovers myhten wite
How ate laste it schal be sene
Of love what thei wolden mene.
2050For se now on that other side,
Antiochus with al his Pride,
Which sette his love unkindely,
His ende he hadde al sodeinly,
Set ayein kinde upon vengance,
2055And for his lust hath his penance.