Previous Previous:
From The Clerk's Tale, lines 792-812:
Walter says he wishes to remarry and he asks Griselda to return to her father's house
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Clerk's Tale
lines 813-861: Griselda consents once again and shows the ultimate submissiveness

       And she answerde agayn in pacience,
"My lord," quod she, "I woot and wiste alway
815How that bitwixen youre magnificence
And my poverte, no wight kan ne may
Maken comparisoun; it is no nay.
I ne heeld me nevere digne in no manere
To be your wyf, no, ne youre chamberere.
       And she replied again, of her patience:
"My lord," said she, "I know, and knew alway,
815How that between your own magnificence
And my poor state, no person can or may
Make a comparison in an equal way.
I never held me worthy or of grade
To be your wife, no, nor your chambermaid.

820        And in this hous ther ye me lady maade -
The heighe God take I for my witnesse,
And also wysly he my soule glaade -
I nevere heeld me lady ne maistresse,
But humble servant to youre worthynesse,
825And evere shal whil that my lyf may dure
Aboven every worldly creature.
820        And in this house, where lady you made me
The High God do I take now to witness,
And as He truly may my soul's joy be
I never held me lady nor mistress,
But only servant to your worthiness;
825And ever shall, while my life may endure,
Beyond all worldly beings, that is sure.

       That ye so longe of youre benignitee
Han holden me in honour and nobleye,
Wher as I was noght worthy for to bee,
830That thonke I God and yow, to whom I preye
Foryelde it yow; ther is namoore to seye.
Unto my fader gladly wol I wende,
And with hym dwelle unto my lyves ende.
       That you so long, of your benignity,
Have held me here in honour in this way,
Where I was never worthy, once, to be,
830For that, thank God and you- to God I pray
He will reward you. There's no more to say.
Unto my father gladly will I wend
And dwell with him until my life shall end.

       Ther I was fostred of a child ful smal,
835Til I be deed, my lyf ther wol I lede,
A wydwe clene in body, herte, and al,
For sith I yaf to yow my maydenhede
And am youre trewe wyf, it is no drede,
God shilde swich a lordes wyf to take
840Another man, to housbonde or to make.
       Where I was fostered when an infant small,
835There will I lead my life till I be dead,
A widow, clean in body, heart, and all.
For, since I gave to you my maidenhead,
And am your true and lawful wife, wedded,
May God forbid such a lord's wife to take
840Another man for husband or love's sake.

       And of youre newe wyf, God of his grace
So graunte yow wele and prosperitee,
For I wol gladly yelden hir my place
In which that I was blisful wont to bee.
845For sith it liketh yow my lord," quod shee,
"That whilom weren al myn hertes reste,
That I shal goon, I wol goon whan yow leste.
       And of your new wife, may God of His grace
Grant you but joy and all prosperity:
For I will gladly yield to her my place,
Wherein so happy I was wont to be,
845For since it pleases you, my lord," said she,
Who have been all my heart's ease and its rest,
That I shall go, I'll go when you request.

       But ther as ye me profre swich dowaire
As I first broghte, it is wel in my mynde
850It were my wrecched clothes, no thyng faire,
The whiche to me were hard now for to fynde.
O goode God! how gentil and how kynde
Ye semed by youre speche and youre visage
The day that maked was oure mariage!
       But whereas now you proffer me such dower
As first I brought to you, it's in my mind
850That 'twas my wretched clothes and nothing fair.
The which to me were hard now for to find.
O my good God! How noble and how kind
You seemed then, in your speech and in your face.
The day we married in that humble place.

855        But sooth is seyd - algate I fynde it trewe,
For in effect it preeved is on me -
Love is noght oold, as whan that it is newe,
But certes, lord, for noon adversitee,
To dyen in the cas it shal nat bee
860That evere in word or werk I shal repente
That I yow yaf myn herte in hool entente.
855        But truth is said - at least I find it true
For actually its proof is seen in me -
Old love is not the same as when it's new.
But truly, lord, for no adversity,
Though I should die of all this, shall it be
860That ever in word or deed I shall repent
That I gave you my heart in whole intent.

Next Next:
From The Clerk's Tale, lines 862-896:
Griselda asks Walter not to send her away naked