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And lyved in joy ynogh; what wolde ye more?
This Eneas, that hath thus depe yswore,
This Dido hath suspecion of this,
'Certes,' quod he, 'thys nyghte my fadres gooste
To telle in short, this noble queene Dido She seketh halwes,1 and doothe sacrifise; She kneleth, crieth, that routhe is to devyse; Conjureth him, and profereth him to bee Hys thral, hys servaunt, in the lest degree. She falleth 'him to foote, and swowneth there, Disshevely with hire bryght gelte here, And seyth, 'Have mercy! let me with yow ryde; These lordes, which that wonnen me besyde, Wol me destroyen oonly for youre sake. And ye wol now me to wife take,
1 That is,' Makes pilgrimages to the Templea of the Gods.'—Compare vol. i. p. 75, note 2, and vol. i. p. j27.
Ag ye han sworne, than wol I yive yow leve
To sleen me with your swerd now soone at eve,
For than shall I yet dien as youre wif.
I am with childe, and yive my childe his lyf!
Mercy lorde, have pitee in youre thoughte!'
But al this thing avayleth hire ryghte noughte,
And as a traytour forthe he gan to sayle
Towarde the large countree of Ytayle.
For on a nyghte sleping he let hire lye,
And staal awey upon his companye.1
And thus hath he lefte Dido in woo and pyne,
And wedded there a lady highte Lavyne.
A clooth he lefte, and eke his swerde stondynge,
Whanne he fro Dido staale in slepynge,
Eighte at hir beddes hed: so gan he hye,
Whanne that he staale awey to his navye.
Which clooth, whanne sely Dido gan awake, She hath kyste ful ofte for hys sake; And seyde, 'O swete clooth, while Jupiter hit leste, Take my soule, unbynd me of this unreste, I have fulfilled of fortune al the course.' And thus, allas, withouten hys socourse, Twenty tyme yswowned hath she thanne. And whanne that she unto hire suster Anne Compleyned had, of which I may not write, So grete routhe I have hit for to endite, And bad hire noryce and hire sustren goon To feche fire, and other thinges anoon; And seyde that she wolde sacrifie; And whanne she myght hire tyme wel espye, Upon the fire of sacrifice she sterte,' And with his swerde she roof hire to the herte. But, as myn auctour seythe, yit thus she seyde, Or she was hurte, beforne or she deide, She wroot a letter anoon, that thus beganne.
'Ryghte so,' quod she, 'as the white swanne
1 This couplet is omitted in the printed editions.
Ayenst hia deeth begynneth for to synge;
EXPLICIT LEGENDA DIDONIS, MAKTIRIS, CARTAGENIS
INCIPIT LEGENDA YPSIPHILE ET MEDEE,' MARTIRIS.
rPHOU roote offals loveres, duke Jason!
Thou slye devourer, and confusyon
1 Ovid, Heroides, Epist. vii. * Ovid, Met. vii., and Heroid. vi.
3 A metaphor taken from falconry. To reclaim a hawk was to tame and train it for hawking.
In Englyash, that thy sleighte shal be knowe;
Have at the, Jason! now thyn horn is blowe!
But certes, it is both routhe and woo,
That love with fals loveres werketh soo;
For they shalle have wel better and gretter chere
Thanne he that hath bought love ful dere,
Or had in armes many a blody box.
For ever as tender a capon eteth the fox,
Though he be fals, and hath the foule betrayed,
As shal the good man that therfor payed;
Allethof he have to the capon skille and ryghte,
The fals fox wil have his part at nyghte.
On Jason this ensample is wel yseene,
By Isiphile and Medea the queene.
In Tessalye, as Ovyde1 telleth us, Ther was a knyghte that highte Pelleus, That had a brother whiche that highte Eson. And whanne for age he myghte unnethes gon, He yaf to Pelleus the governynge Of al his regne, and made him lorde and kynge. Of whiche Eson this J ason geten was; That in his tyme in al that land ther nas Nat suche a famouse knyghte of gentilesse, Of fredome, of strengthe, and of lustynesse. After his fader deeth he bar him soo, That there nas noon that lyste ben his foo, But dide him al honour and companye. Of which this Pelleus hath grete envye, Imagynynge that Jason myghte bee Enhaunced so, and put in suche degree, With love of lordes of his regioun, That from hys regne he may be put adoun. And in his witte a nyghte compassed he How Jason myghte beste destroyed be, Withoute sclaunder of his compassemente. And at the laste he tooke avysemente,
To sende him into some fer countre,
1 With, in Chaucer's idiom, governs the ablative of the instrument, like by in modern English.—See vol. iv. p. 42. note 3.