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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 1-34: About Duke Theseus, lord of Athens, and his achievements


      Whilom, as olde stories tellen us,
Ther was a duc that highte Theseus;
Of Atthenes he was lord and governour,
And in his tyme swich a conquerour,
5That gretter was ther noon under the sonne.
Ful many a riche contree hadde he wonne,
What with his wysdom and his chivalrie;
He conquered al the regne of Femenye,
That whilom was ycleped Scithia,
10And weddede the queene Ypolita,
And broghte hir hoom with hym in his contree,
With muchel glorie and greet solempnytee,
And eek hir yonge suster Emelye.
And thus with victorie and with melodye
15Lete I this noble duc to Atthenes ryde,
And al his hoost, in armes hym bisyde.
      Once on a time, as old stories tell to us,
There was a duke whose name was Theseus:
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time was such a conqueror
5That greater was there not beneath the sun.
Very many rich countries had he won;
What with his wisdom and his chivalry
He gained the realm of Femininity,
That was of old time known as Scythia.
10There he married the queen, Hippolyta,
And brought her home with him to his country.
In glory great and with great ceremony,
And, too, her younger sister, Emily.
And thus, in victory and with melody,
15Let I this noble duke to Athens ride
With all his armed host marching at his side.
      And certes, if it nere to long to heere,
I wolde have toold yow fully the manere
How wonnen was the regne of Femenye
20By Theseus, and by his chivalrye,
And of the grete bataille for the nones
Bitwixen Atthenes and Amazones,
And how asseged was Ypolita
The faire hardy queene of Scithia,
25And of the feste that was at hir weddynge,
And of the tempest at hir hoom-comynge;
But al the thyng I moot as now forbere,
I have, God woot, a large feeld to ere,
And wayke been the oxen in my plough,
30The remenant of the tale is long ynough.
I wol nat letten eek noon of this route,
Lat every felawe telle his tale aboute,
And lat se now who shal the soper wynne;-
And ther I lefte, I wol ayeyn bigynne.
      And truly, were it not too long to hear,
I would have told you fully how, that year,
Was gained the realm of Femininity
20By Theseus and by his chivalry;
And all of the great battle that was wrought
Where Amazons and the Athenians fought;
And how was wooed and won Hippolyta,
That fair and hardy queen of Scythia;
25And of the feast was made at their wedding,
And of the tempest at their home-coming;
But all of that I must for now forbear.
I have, God knows, a large field for my share,
And weak the oxen, and the soil is tough.
30The remnant of the tale is long enough.
I will not hinder any, in my turn;
Let each man tell his tale, until we learn
Which of us all the most deserves to win;
So where I stopped, again I'll now begin.




Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 35-93:
Women complain that they have lost their husbands in battle
Next