Previous Previous:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 479-496:
The Knight asks which of the two knights is the luckiest
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 497-521: Arcita returns to Thebes

Sequitur Pars Secunda
(Here begins the second part)

      Whan that Arcite to Thebes comen was,
Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde `Allas,'
For seen his lady shal he nevere mo;
500And shortly to concluden al his wo,
So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature,
That is, or shal whil that the world may dure.
His slep, his mete, his drynke is hym biraft,
That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft.
505Hise eyen holwe and grisly to biholde,
His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde;
And solitarie he was and evere allone
And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone.
And if he herde song or instrument,
510Thanne wolde he wepe, he myghte nat be stent.
So feble eek were hise spiritz, and so lowe,
And chaunged so, that no man koude knowe
His speche nor his voys, though men it herde.
And in his geere for al the world he ferde
515Nat oonly lik the loveris maladye
Of Hereos, but rather lyk manye
Engendred of humour malencolik
Biforen in his celle fantastik,
And shortly turned was al up so doun
520Bothe habit and eek disposicioun
Of hym, this woful lovere daun Arcite.
      Now when Arcita unto Thebes was come,
He lay and languished all day in his home,
Since he his lady nevermore should see,
500But telling of his sorrow brief I'll be.
Had never any man so much torture,
No, nor shall have while this world may endure.
Bereft he was of sleep and meat and drink,
That lean he grew and dry as shaft, I think.
505His eyes were hollow and ghastly to behold,
His face was sallow, all pale and ashen-cold,
And solitary kept he and alone,
Wailing the whole night long, making his moan.
And if he heard a song or instrument,
510Then he would weep ungoverned and lament;
So feeble were his spirits, and so low,
And so changed was he, that no man could know
Him by his words or voice, whoever heard.
And in this change, for all the world he fared
515As if not troubled by malady of love,
But by that humor dark and grim, whereof
Springs melancholy madness in the brain,
And fantasy unbridled holds its reign.
And shortly, all was turned quite upside-down,
520Both habits and the temper all had known
Of him, this woeful lover, Dan Arcite.

Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 522-540:
Arcita dreams that he has to go to Athens