Billeder på siden

The ploughman, though he labour | The cuckoo and the nightingale hard,

Full merrily do sing, Yet on the holiday,

High trolollie lollie loe, High trolollie lollie loe,

High trolollie lee, High trolollie lee,

And with their pleasant roundeNo emperor so merrily

lays Does pass his time away ;

Bid welcome to the spring : Then care away,

Then care away, And wend along with me.

And wend along with me.

This is not half the happiness To recompense our tillage

The countryman enjoys ; The heavens afford us showers ; High trolollie lollie loe, High trolollie lollie loe,

High trolollie lee, High trolollie lee,

Though others think they have And for our sweet refreshments as much The earth affords us bowers : Yet he that says so lies : Then care away,

Then come away, turn And wend along with me.

Countryman with



[ocr errors]

192. THE MINSTREL'S SONG On sing unto my roundelay ; See ! the white moon shines on Oh drop the briny tear with

high ; me;

Whiter is my true love's shroud; Dance no more on holiday ; Whiter than the morning sky, Like a running river be !

Whiter than the evening cloud. My love is dead,

Here, upon my true love’s grave, Gone to his death-bed,

Shall the barren flowers be laid All under the willow tree !

Not one holy saint to save Black his hair as the winter night, All the coldness of a maid. White his throat as the summer With


hands I'll twist the snow,

briers Red his cheek as the morning Round his holy corpse to gre ; light,

Elfin fairy, light your fires, Cold he lies in the grave below. Here my body still shall be. Sweet his tongue as the throstle's Come, with acorn-cup and thorn, note;

Drain my heartis blood away ; Quick in dance as thought can Life and all its good I scorn, be;

Dance by night, or feast by day. Deft his tabor, cudgel stout, Water-witches, crowned with Oh, he lies by the willow tree.

reeds, Hark! the raven flaps his wing Bear me to your deadly tide.

In the briery dell below; I die ! I come ! my true love Hark! the death-owl loud doth

waits !sing,

Thus the damsel spoke, and To the night-mares as they go.




A good man was ther of religioun,
And was a povre PERSOUN of a toun ;
But riche he was of holy thoght and werk.
He was also a lerned man, a clerk,
That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche ;
His parisshens devoutly wolde he teche.
Benigne he was, and wonder diligent,
And in adversitee ful pacient ;
And swich he was y-preved ofte sythes.
Ful looth were him to cursen for his tythes.

He sette nat his benefice to hyre,
And leet his sheep encombred in the myre,
And ran to London, un-to sëynt Poules,
To seken him a chaunterie for soules,
Or with a bretherhed to been withholde ;
But dwelte at hoom, and kepte wel his folde.

A bettre preest I trowe that nowher noon is
He wayted after no pompe and reverence,
Ne maked him a spyced conscience,
But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve,
He taught, and first he folwed it himselve.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).


A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To ryden out, he loved chivalrye,
Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisye,
Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
And therto hadde he riden (no man ferre)
As wel in Cristendom as hethenesse,
And ever honoured for his worthinesse.

And evermore he hadde a sovereign prys.
And though that he were worthy, he was wys,
And of his port as meke as is a mayde.
He never yet no vileinye ne sayde
In al his lyf, un-to no maner wight.
He was a verray parfit gentil knight.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).

[blocks in formation]

FLEE fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse,
Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal;
For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse,
Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal ;
Savour no more than thee bihove shal;
Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede ;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.
Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse,
In trust of hir that turneth as a bal :
Gret reste stant in litel besinesse ;
And eek be war to sporne ageyn an al ;
Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with the wal.
Daunte thy-self, that dauntest otheres dede ;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse,
The wrastling for this worlde axeth a fal.
Her nis non hoom, her nis but wildernesse :
Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al ;
Hold the hye wey, and lat thy gost thee lede :
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.


Therfore, thou vache, leve thyn old wrecchednesse
Unto the worlde ; leve now to be thral;
Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
Made thee of noght, and in especial
Draw unto him, and pray in general
For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede ;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).


THER was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE,
That of hir smyling was ful simple and coy;
Hir gretteste ooth was but by_seynt Loy;
And she was cleped madame Eglentyne.
Ful wel she song the service divyne,
Entuned in hir nose ful semely ;
And Frensh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe.

She was so charitable and so pitous,
She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous
Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde
With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel-breed.
But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed,
Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte :
And al was conscience and tendre herte.
Ful semely hir wimpel pinched was ;
Hir nose tretys ; hir eyen greye as glas ;
Hir mouth ful smal, and ther-to softe and reed;
But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed ;
It was almost a spanne brood, I trowe;
For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
Ful fetis was hir cloke, as I was war.
Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar
A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene ;
And ther-on heng a broche of gold ful shene,
On which ther was first write a crowned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).


WHAN that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open yë,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages):
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
(And palmers for to seken straunge strondes)
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes ;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).

198. THE DOCTOR OF PHYSIC WITH us ther was a DOCTOUR OF Wel coude he fortunen the ascenPHISYK,

dent In al this world ne was ther noon Of his images for his pacient. him lyk

He knew the cause of everich To speke of phisik and of sur- maladye, gerye;

Were it hoot or cold, or moiste, For he was grounded in astrono- or drye, mye.

And where engendred, and of He kepte his pacient a ful greet del what humour ; In houres, by his magik naturel. He was a verrey parfit practisour.

G. CHAUCER (The Canterbury Tales).

199. THE BLIND BOY Oh, say what is that thing called | My day or night myself I make, light

Whene'er I wake or play ; Which I can ne'er enjoy ? And could I ever keep awake What is the blessing of the sight ? It would be always day.

Oh, tell your poor blind boy. You talk of wondrous things you With heavy sighs I often hear see,

You mourn my hopeless woe :
You say. The sun shines bright.' But, sure, with patience I may
I feel him warm ; but how can he bear
Then make it day or night?

A loss I ne'er can know.
Then let not what I cannot have

My cheer of mind destroy.
While thus I sing, I am a king,

Although a poor blind boy! C. CIBBER.

200. THE DYING CHILD He could not die when trees were Infants, the children of the Spring ! green,

How can an infant die For he loved the time too well. When butterflies are on the wing, His little hands, when flowers were Green grass, and such a sky ? seen,

How can they die at Spring ? Were held for the bluebell, He held his hands for daisies As he was carried o'er the

white, green.

And then for violets blue, His eye glanced at the white

And took them all to bed at night nosed bee;

That in the green fields grew, He knew those children of the

As childhood's sweet delight. Spring :

And then he shut his little eyes, When he was well and on the lea And flowers would notice not ; He held one in his hands to Birds' nests and eggs caused no sing,

Which filled his heart with He now no blossoms got :

They met with plaintive sighs.

« ForrigeFortsæt »