Previous Previous:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 1580-1624:
The gods quarrel but Saturn decides that Palamon shall have his lady Emily
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 1625-1664: The feast and the night at Theseus' court


Sequitur Pars Quarta
(Here begins the fourth part)


1625      Greet was the feeste in Atthenes that day,
And eek the lusty seson of that May
Made every wight to been in such plesaunce
That al that Monday justen they and daunce,
And spenten it in Venus heigh servyse.
1630But by the cause that they sholde ryse
Eerly, for to seen the grete fight,
Unto hir rest wenten they at nyght.
And on the morwe, whan that day gan sprynge,
Of hors and harneys noyse and claterynge
1635Ther was in hostelryes al aboute.
And to the paleys rood ther many a route
Of lordes upon steedes and palfreys.
Ther maystow seen devisynge of harneys
So unkouth and so riche, and wroght so weel
1640Of goldsmythrye, of browdynge, and of steel;
The sheeldes brighte, testeres, and trappures,
Gold-hewen helmes, hauberkes, cote-armures;
Lordes in parementz on hir courseres,
Knyghtes of retenue and eek squieres,
1645Nailynge the speres, and helmes bokelynge,
Giggynge of sheeldes, with layneres lacynge.
There as nede is, they weren nothyng ydel.
The fomy steedes on the golden brydel
Gnawynge, and faste the armurers also
1650With fyle and hamer prikynge to and fro;
Yemen on foote and communes many oon,
With shorte staves thikke as they may goon,
Pypes, trompes, nakers, clariounes,
That in the bataille blowen blody sounes;
1655The paleys ful of peples up and doun,
Heere thre, ther ten, holdynge hir questioun,
Dyvynynge of thise Thebane knyghtes two.
Somme seyden thus, somme seyde "it shal be so";
Somme helden with hym with the blake berd,
1660Somme with the balled, somme with the thikke-herd,
Somme seyde he looked grymme, and he wolde fighte,
"He hath a sparth of twenty pound of wighte."
Thus was the halle ful of divynynge,
Longe after that the sonne gan to sprynge.
1625       Great was the feast in Athens on that day,
And also the merry season of the May
Gave everyone such joy and such pleasance
That all that Monday they'd but joust and dance,
Or spend the time in Venus' high service.
1630But for the reason that they must arise
Betimes, to see the heralded great fight,
All they retired to early rest that night.
And on the morrow, when that day did spring,
Of horse and harness, noise and clattering,
1635There was enough in hostelries about.
And to the palace rode full many a rout
Of lords, bestriding steeds and on palfreys.
There could you see adjusting of harness,
So curious and so rich, and wrought so well
1640Of goldsmiths' work, embroidery, and of steel;
The shields, the helmets bright, the gay trappings,
The gold-hewn casques, the coats-of-arms, the rings,
The lords in vestments rich, on their coursers,
Knights with their retinues and also squires;
1645The rivetting of spears, the helm-buckling,
The strapping of the shields, and thong-lacing-
In their great need, not one of them was idle;
The frothing steeds, champing the golden bridle,
And the quick smiths, and armourers also,
1650With file and hammer spurring to and fro;
Yeoman, and peasants with short staves were out,
Crowding as thick as they could move about;
Pipes, trumpets, kettledrums, and clarions,
That in the battle sound such grim summons;
1655The palace full of people, up and down,
Here three, there ten, debating the renown
And questioning about these Theban knights,
Some put it thus, some said, "It's so by rights."
Some held with him who had the great black beard,
1660Some with the bald-heads, some with the thick haired;
Some said, "He looks grim, and he'll fight like hate;
He has an axe of twenty pound in weight."
And thus the hall was full of gossiping
Long after the bright sun began to spring.




Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 1665-1702:
Duke Theseus stipulates some conditions to avoid a bloodbath
Next