Previous Previous:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 298-322:
Aurelius goes and the feast continues
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Franklin's Tale
lines 323-373: Aurelius pities himself and asks the gods for help

       He seyde, "Appollo, god and governour
Of every plaunte, herbe, tree, and flour
325That yevest after thy declinacioun
To ech of hem his tyme and his sesoun,
As thyn herberwe chaungeth lowe or heighe,
Lord Phebus, cast thy mericiable eighe
On wrecche Aurelie, which that am but lorn.
330Lo, lord, my lady hath my deeth ysworn
Withoute gilt, but thy benignytee
Upon my dedly herte have som pitee.
For wel I woot, lord Phebus, if yow lest,
Ye may me helpen, save my lady, best.
335Now voucheth sauf that I may yow devyse
How that I may been holpen and in what wyse.
       He said: "Apollo, governor and god
Of every plant, herb, tree, and flower in sod,
325That givest, according to thy declination,
To each of them its time of foliation,
All as thy habitation's low or high,
Lord Phoebus, cast thy merciful bright eye
On wretched Aurelius, who is lost and lorn.
330Lo, Lord! My lady has my swift death sworn,
Without my guilt, save thy benignity
Upon my dying heart have some pity!
For well I know, Lord Phoebus, if you lest,
You can thus aid me, save my lady, best.
335Now vouchsafe that I may for you devise
A plan to help me, telling in what wise.
       "Your blisful suster, Lucina the sheene,
That of the see is chief goddesse and queene,
(Though Neptunus have deitee in the see,
340Yet emperisse aboven hym is she),
Ye knowen wel, lord, that right as hir desir
Is to be quyked and lightned of youre fir,
For which she folweth yow ful bisily,
Right so the see desireth naturelly
345To folwen hir, as she that is goddesse
Bothe in the see and ryveres moore and lesse.
Wherfore, lord Phebus, this is my requeste -
Do this miracle, or do myn herte breste, -
That now next at this opposicioun
350Which in the signe shal be of the Leoun,
As preieth hir, so greet a flood to brynge
That fyve fadme at the leeste it oversprynge
The hyeste rokke in Armorik Briteyne,
And lat this flood endure yeres tweyne.
355Thanne, certes, to my lady may I seye
'Holdeth youre heste, the rokkes been aweye.'
       "Your blessed sister, Lucina, serene,
That of the sea is goddess chief and queen
(Though Neptune is the deity in the sea,
340Yet empress set above him there is she).
You know well, Lord, that just as her desire
Is to be quickened and lighted by your fire,
For which she follows you right busily,
Just so the sea desires, and naturally,
345To follow her, she being high goddess
Both of the sea and rivers, great and less.
Wherefore, Lord Phoebus, this request I make -
Without this miracle, my heart will break -
That at the time of your next opposition,
350Which will be in the Lion, make petition
To her that she so great a flood will bring
That full five fathoms shall it over-spring
The highest rock in Armoric Brittany;
And let this flood endure two years for me;
355Then truly to my lady may I say:
'Now keep your word, the rocks are gone away.'
       Lord Phebus, dooth this miracle for me,
Preye hir she go no faster cours than ye.
I seye, preyeth your suster that she go
360No faster cours than ye thise yeres two.
Thanne shal she been evene atte fulle alway;
And spryng flood laste bothe nyght and day;
And but she vouche sauf in swich manere
To graunte me my sovereyn lady deere,
365Prey hir to synken every rok adoun
Into hir owene dirke regioun
Under the ground ther Pluto dwelleth inne,
Or nevere mo shal I my lady wynne.
Thy temple in Delphos wol I barefoot seke,
370Lord Phebus; se the teeris on my cheke,
And of my peyne have som compassioun!"
And with that word in swowne he fil adoun,
And longe tyme he lay forth in a traunce.
       "Lord Phoebus, do this miracle for me;
Pray her she run no faster course, being free-
I say, Lord, pray your sister that she go
360No faster course than you these next years two.
Then shall she be even at the full alway,
And spring-flood shall endure both night and day.
And save she vouchsafe, Lord, in such manner
To grant to me my sovereign lady dear,
365Pray her to sink, then, every rock far down
Into that region dark and cold, her own,
Under the earth, the place Pluto dwells in,
Or nevermore shall I my lady win.
Thy temple in Delphi will I, barefoot, seek;
370Lord Phoebus, see the tears upon my cheek,
And on my pain be some compassion shown."
And with that word in swoon he tumbled down,
And for a long time lay there in a trance.

Next Next:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 374-392:
Arviragus returns home