Page images



There sawe I the Quene Medea, And Circe and Caliophia.

There fawe i Hermes Ballenus, Limote, and eke Symon Magus.

There fawe I, and yknewe by name,
That by soche arte doen men have fame.

There sawe leke Coll Tragètour
Upon a table’ of ficamour
Flayin an uncouth thyng to tell;
I sawe hym cary a windemell
Undir a walnote shale.

What should I makin lengir tale?
Of all the peple that I sey
I could not tell till dom'isdey.

When I had all this folke beholde,
And founde me loce and not yholde,
And I amusid a longe while
Upon this wall all of berile,
That shone lightir then any glas,
And made well more then it ywas,
As it kindely thing of Fame is,
And then right anone aftir chis

gan forthe romin till i fonde
The castill yate on my right honde,
Whiche all so well ycorvin was
That nevir soche an othir n'as,
And yet it was by avinture
Iwrought by grete and subtill cure;







It nedith not you more to tellen,
To makin you to long to dwellen,
Of these ilke yatis florishynges,
Ne of compacis ne karvynges,
Ne the hackyng in masonries,
As corbettis and imageries.

But Lorde, so faire it was to fhewe!
For it was all with golde behewe;
But in I went, and that anone:
There met I crying many one,
A larges, larges! holde up well;,
God save the ladie of this pell,
Our ownè gentill Ladie Fame,
And 'hem that willen to have a name
Of us! Thus heard I cryin all,
And fast comin out of the hall
And shoke noblis and starlyngis,
And corounid were as kyngis
With crounis wrought full of lofynges,
And many ribans many fringes
Were on ther clothis truily.

Tho at the last efpyid I
That pursevanntes and heraudis,
That cryin riche folkis laudis,

old It werin all; and every man

Of’hem, as you
Had on him throwin a veflure
Whiche men yclepe a cote armure,



tellin can,





Embroudirid wondirly riche,
As though thei werin not iliche:
But nought will I, so mote I thrive,
Be now aboutin to discrive
A!l these armis that there yweren
That thei chus on ther cotis weren,
For to me were impossible,
Men might make of 'hem a Bible
Full twentie fote thicke as I trowe,
For certain who fo coud it knowe
Ymight there all the armis sene
Of famous folke that er had bene
In Affrike, Europe, and Asie,
Sithins first began chivalrie.

Lo! how should I now tell all this!
Ne of the hall eke what nede is
To tellin you? that every

Of it, and rofe, and fore withall,
Was platid halfe a fotè thicke
Of golde, and that ne was not wicke,
But for to provin in all wise
As fine as ducket in Venise,
Of whiche to lite all in my pouche is;
And thei were set as thicke of ouchis
Fine, of the finift Ionis faire
That men reden in the lapidaire,
Or as grassis growen in a mede;
But it were all to long to çede






The namis, and therefore I

But in this lustie and riche place,
That Fam'is Hall ycallid was,
Full mochil pres of folke there n'as,
Ne crouding, for to mochil pres;
But all on hie above a des
Satte in a se imperiall
That made was of rubie roiall
Whiche that a carbuncle is called,
I sawe perpetually iftalled
A femine creture,
That nevir formid by Nature
Was soche an othir thyng I saie;
For althirfirfte, the sothe to saie,
Me thoughtin that she was so lite
That the smale length of a cubite
Was lengir than the femid be,
But thus fone in a while she
Her self tho’wondirly ystreight
That with her fete she th’erthe yreight,
And with her hedde she touchid heven,
There as shinith the sterris seven;
And thereto yet, as to my wit,
I sawin a grete wondir yit,
Upon her eyin to beholde,
But certainly’l'hem nevir tolde,
For as fele eyin haddin The
As fethirs upon foulis be,







Or werin on the bestis foure
That Godd'is trone can to honoure,
As writech Ihon in the’Apocalyps,
Her here, that was owndie and crips,
As burnid golde it shone to se.

And, sothe to tellin also, she
Had also fele upstandyng eres,
And tongis as on best ben heres,
And on her fete woxin sawe I
Partrich'is wingis sedily.

But Lorde! the perrie’and the richesse
I sawe fittyng on the goddesse,
And the hevinly melodie
Of songis full of armonie
I herde about her trone isong,
That all the palais wall yrong!
So songe the mightie Musè, she
That clepid is Caliope,
And her sevin sustirin eke,
That in ther facis semin meke,
And evirmore eternally
Thei songin of Fame; tho heard I,
Yheried be thou and thy name,
Goddesse of Renoun and of Fame!

Tho was I aware at the latt,
As I myne eyin gan upcast,
That this ilke grete and noble quene
Upon her shuldirs gan sustene




« PreviousContinue »