Page images



Of trust, of drede, of jalousy,
Of witte, of winning, of foly,
Of plenty and of grete famine,
Of chepe, of derthe, and of ruine,
Of gode or of misgovernement,
Of fyre, and divers accident.

And lo! this House of whiche I write
Sykir be ye it n'as not lite,
For it was syxtie mile of length;
Al was the tymbir of no strength,
Yet it is foundid to endure
While that it lyste to Avinture,
That is the mothir of ridinges,
As che fe of wellis and springes,
And it was shapin lyke a cage.

Certis, (quod I) in al mine age
Ne fawe I foche an House as this.
And as I wondrid me ywis
Upon this House, tho ware was 1
How that myne egle faste by
Was perchid hye upon a stone,
And I gan streight to him to gone,
And sayid him thus, I pray the
That thou a while abidin me
For Godd'is love, and let me sene
What wondirs in that place ybene,
For yet parauntir I niay lere
Some gode therin, or soniwhac here,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]




That lefe me were or that I went.

Peter, that is nowe myne entent,
(Quod he to me) therfore I dwel;
But certaine one thinge I the tel,
That but I bringin the therin
Ne sal thou Devir conne the gin
To come in to it out of doute,
So faste it whirlith, lo! aboute;
But fithe that Jov'is of his grace,
As I have said, wil the folace
Finally with these ilkè thinges,
These uncouthe sightis and tidinges,
To passe away thine hevinefle,
Soche routhe hath he of thy distresse
That chou suffredest debonairly,
And wofte thy felvin uttirly
Wholy desperate of al blisse,
Sithe chat Fortune hath made amisse
The sote of al thine hert'is rest
Languishe, and eke in pointe to brest,
But he through his mightie melite
Wil do the ese, al be it lite,
And gave in expreffe commaundement,
To-whiche I am obedient,
To forthir the with al my myght,
And wishe and techin the aright
Wbeseshou maiste mofte tidingis here,
Thou shalte here many one ylere,






And with this worde he right anone
Yhent me up bytwene his tone,
And at a windowe in me brought
That in this House was, as me thought,
And therewithal me thought it stent,
And nothinge it aboutin wente,
And me set in the flore adoun;
But soche grete congregacioun
Of folke as I sawe rome about,
Some it within and some without,
N'as nevir sene, ne shal be efte,
That certis in this worlde n'is lefte
So many formid by Nature,
Ne ded so many a creture,
That wel unnethis in that place
Had I a fot'is brede of space;
And every wight that I sawe there
Rownid everiche in othir's ere
A newè tidinge privily,
Or els he tolde it opinly,
Right thus, and said, Ne wost nat thou
That is betiddin, lo! right nowe?

No, certis, (quod he;) tel me what;
And than he tolde kim this and that,
And swore therto that it was sothe,
Thus hath he said, and thus he dothe,
And this shal be', and thus herde I say,
That shal be founde, that dare I lay;







That al the folke that is on lyve
Ne have the konninge to discrive
Tho thiagis that I herdin there,
What aloude and what in the ere;
But al the wondir moste was this,
Whan one had herde a thinge ywis
He came streight to anothir wight,
And gan him tellin anone right
The fame tale that to him was tolde
Or it a forlonge way was olde,
And began somwhat for to eche
Unto this tidinge in his fpeche
More than evir it fpokin was,
And nat fo fone departid n'as
Tho fro him that he ne ymette
With the thirde man, and er he lette
Any stounde he ytolde him alse;
Werin the tidinges fothe or false
Yet wolde he tel it nathèles,
And evirmore with mo encres
Than it was erst: thus northe and fouthe
Went every tidinge fro mouth to mouthe,
And that encresinge evirmo,
As fire is wont to quicken and go,
From a sparcle sprongin amis,
Tyl al a cite brent up is.

And whan that that was ful up spronge,
And waxin more on every tonge




[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

For al mote out or late or rathe
Alle the shevis in the fathe.

I herdin a grete noise withall
Within a cornir of the hal,
There men of love tydingis tolde,
And I


thidirwarde beholde,
For I sawe renninge every wight
As faste as that they haddin might,
And everyche cride, What thinge is that?
And some said, I n'ot nevir what:
And whan they were al on an hepe
Tho thei behinde gonnin up lepe,
And clambin up on othir faste,
And up the noise on hyghin caste,
And tredin fast on othir's heles,,'
And ftampe, as men done afiir eles:
But at the laste I sawe a man
Whiche that I nought discrive ne can,
But he yfemid for to be
A man of grete auctorite,

And therewithal l'anon abraide
Out of my slepé halfe afraide,
Remembring wel what I had sene, :
And howe hye and ferre I had bene,
In my gost, and had grete wonder
Of that the mighty god of Thonder
Had let me knowen, and gan to write
Lyke as ye have herde me endite,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »