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From The Knight's Tale, lines 1023-1055:
Duke Theseus builds an amphitheatre for the fight between Arcita and Palamon
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 1056-1108: The form and shape of Venus


      But yet hadde I foryeten to devyse
The noble kervyng and the portreitures,
The shap, the contenaunce, and the figures,
That weren in thise oratories thre.
      But yet have forgot to advertise
The noble carvings and the portraitures,
The shapes, the countenances, the figures
That all were in these oratories three.
1060       First in the temple of Venus maystow se
Wroght on the wal, ful pitous to biholde,
The broken slepes and the sikes colde,
The sacred teeris and the waymentynge,
The firy strokes, and the desirynge
1065That loves servantz in this lyf enduren;
The othes that her covenantz assuren;
Plesaunce and Hope, Desir, Foolhardynesse,
Beautee and Youthe, Bauderie, Richesse,
Charmes and Force, Lesynges, Flaterye,
1070Despense, Bisynesse, and Jalousye,
That wered of yelewe gooldes a gerland,
And a cokkow sittynge on hir hand;
Festes, instrumentz, caroles, daunces,
Lust and array, and alle the circumstaunces
1075Of love, whiche that I rekned, and rekne shal,
By ordre weren peynted on the wal,
And mo than I kan make of mencioun;
For soothly, al the mount of Citheroun,
Ther Venus hath hir principal dwellynge,
1080Was shewed on the wal in portreyynge,
With al the gardyn and the lustynesse.
Nat was foryeten the Porter Ydelnesse,
Ne Narcisus the faire, of yore agon,
Ne yet the folye of kyng Salamon,
1085And eek the grete strengthe of Ercules -
Th'enchauntementz of Medea and Circes -
Ne of Turnus, with the hardy fiers corage,
The riche Cresus, kaytyf in servage.
Thus may ye seen, that wysdom ne richesse,
1090Beautee ne sleighte, strengthe ne hardynesse,
Ne may with Venus holde champartie,
For as hir list, the world than may she gye.
Lo, alle thise folk so caught were in hir las,
Til they for wo ful ofte seyde "allas!"
1095Suffiseth heere ensamples oon or two-
And, though, I koude rekene a thousand mo.
1060      First, in the fane of Venus, one might see,
Wrought on the wall, and piteous to behold,
The broken slumbers and the sighing cold,
The sacred tears and the lamenting dire,
The fiery throbbing of the strong desire,
1065That all love's servants in this life endure;
The vows that all their promises assure;
Pleasure and hope, desire, foolhardiness,
Beauty, youth, bawdiness, and riches, yes,
Charms, and all force, and lies, and flattery,
1070Expense, and Labour and Jealousy
That wore of marigolds a great garland
And had a cuckoo sitting on her hand;
Carols and instruments and feasts and dances,
Lust and array, and all the circumstances
1075Of love that I may reckon or ever shall,
In order they were painted on the wall,
Aye, and more, too, than I have ever known.
For truly, all the Mount of Citheron,
Where Venus has her chief and favoured dwelling,
1080Was painted on that wall, beyond my telling,
With all the gardens in their loveliness.
Nor was forgot the gate-guard Idleness,
Nor fair Narcissus of the years long gone,
Nor yet the folly of King Solomon,
1085No, nor the giant strength of Hercules,
Nor Circe's and Medea's sorceries,
Nor Turnus with his hardy, fierce courage,
Nor the rich Croesus, captive in his age.
Thus may be seen that wisdom, nor largess,
1090Beauty, nor skill, nor strength, nor hardiness,
May with Queen Venus share authority;
For as she wills, so must the whole world be.
Lo, all these folk were so caught in her snare
They cried aloud in sorrow and in care.
1095Here let suffice examples one or two,
Though I might give a thousand more to you.
      The statue of Venus, glorious for to se,
Was naked, fletynge in the large see,
And fro the navele doun al covered was
1100With wawes grene, and brighte as any glas.
A citole in hir right hand hadde she,
And on hir heed, ful semely for to se,
A rose gerland, fressh and wel smellynge;
Above hir heed hir dowves flikerynge.
1105Biforn hir stood hir sone Cupido,
Upon his shuldres wynges hadde he two,
And blynd he was, as it was often seene.
A bowe he bar, and arwes brighte and kene.
      The form of Venus, glorious as could be,
Was naked, floating on the open sea,
And from the navel down all covered was
1100With green waves, bright as ever any glass.
A citole in her small right hand had she,
And on her head, and beautiful to see,
A garland of red roses, sweet smelling,
Above her swirled her white doves, fluttering.
1105Before her stood her one son, Cupido,
Whose two white wings upon his shoulders grow;
And blind he was, as it is often seen;
A bow he bore, and arrows bright and keen.




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From The Knight's Tale, lines 1109-1192:
The form and shape of Mars
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