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The day of weddyng cam, but no wight can
Telle what womman it schulde be;
For which mervayle wondrith many a man,
And sayden, whan they were in privite,
"Wol nought our lord yit leve his vanite?
Wol he not wedde? allas, allas the while!
Why wol he thus himself and us bigyle?"


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I wol no thing, ye be my lord so deere;
Right as yow list, governith this matiere."

"Yit wol I," quod this markys softely,
"That in thy chambre, I and thou and sche
Have a collacioun, and wostow why?
For I wol aske if it hir wille be
To be my wyf, and reule hir after me;
And al this schal be doon in thy presence,
I wol nought speke out of thyn audience."

And in the chamber, whil thay were aboute
The tretys, which as ye schul after hiere,
The poeple cam unto the hous withoute,
And wondrid hem, in how honest manere
And tendurly sche kept hir fader deere;
But outerly Grisildes wonder might,
For never erst ne saugh sche such a sight.

No wonder is though that sche were astoned,
To seen so gret a gest come into that place;
Sche never was to suche gestes woned,
For which sche loked with ful pale face.
But schortly this matiere forth to chace,
These arn the wordes that the marquys sayde
To this benigne, verray, faithful mayde.

"Grisyld,” he sayde, “ye schul wel understonde, It liketh to your fader and to me, That I yow wedde, and eek it may so stonde, As I suppose ye wil that it so be; But these demaundes aske I first,” quod hc, “ That sith it schal be doon in hasty wyse; Wol ye assent, or elles yow avyse?

“I say this, be ye redy with good hert
To al my lust, and that I frely may
As me best liste do yow laughe or smert,
And never ye to gruch it, night ne day;


And eek whan I say ye, ye say not nay,
Neyther by word, ne frownyng countenaunce?
Swer this, and here swer I oure alliaunce."

Wondryng upon this word, quakyng for drede,
Sche sayde: “Lord, undigne and unworthy
I am, to thilk honour that ye me bede;
But as ye wil your self, right so wol I;
And here I swere, that never wityngly
In werk, ne thought, I nyl yow disobeye
For to the deed, though me were loth to deye.”

“This is y-nough, Grisilde myn,” quod he. And forth goth he with a ful sobre chere, Out at the dore, and after that cam sche, And to the pepul he sayd in this manere: “This is my wyf,” quod he, “that stondith heere. Honoureth hir, and loveth hir, I yow pray, Who so me loveth; ther is no more to say.”

And for that no thing of hir olde gere Sche schulde brynge unto his hous, he bad That wommen schuld despoilen hir right there, Of which these ladyes were nought ful glad To handle hir clothes wherein sche was clad; But natheles this mayde bright of hew Fro foot to heed they schredde han al newe.

This marquis hath hir spoused with a ryng Brought for the same cause, and than hir sette Upon an hors snow-whyt, and wel amblyng, And to his palys, er he lenger lette, (With joyful poeple, that hir ladde and mette) Conveyed hire, and thus the day they spende In revel, til the sonne gan descende.

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So cruel prison how could betide, alas !

As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy, With a king's son, my childish years did pass,

In greater feast than Priam's sons of Troy.

Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour;

The large green courts, where we were wont to hove, With eyes cast up into the maidens' tower, And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.


The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue,

The dances short, long tales of great delight; With words and looks, that tigers could but rue,

Where each of us did plead the other's right.

The palm-play, where, despoiled for the game,

With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
Have missed the ball, and got sight of our dame,

To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.

The gravelled ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,

On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts; With chere, as though one should another whelm,

Where we have fought, and chasèd oft with darts.

With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,

In active games of nimbleness and strength, Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,

Our tender limbs, that yet shot up in length.

The secret groves, which oft we made resound

Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise; Recording oft what grace each one had found,

What hope of speed, what dread of long delays.

The wild forest, the clothed holts with green ;

With reins availed, and swift y-breathed horse, With cry of hounds, and merry blasts between,

Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.

The void walls eke, that harboured us each night ;

Wherewith, alas! reviveth in my breast
The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight;

The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest ;

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