Previous Previous:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 1703-1740:
Everybody goes to the amphitheatre
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 1741-1777: The battle in the amphitheatre


      The heraudes lefte hir prikyng up and doun;
Now ryngen trompes loude and clarioun.
Ther is namoore to seyn, but west and est
In goon the speres ful sadly in arrest,
1745In gooth the sharpe spore into the syde.
Ther seen men who kan juste, and who kan ryde,
Ther shyveren shaftes upon sheeldes thikke;
He feeleth thurgh the herte-spoon the prikke.
Up spryngen speres twenty foot on highte;
1750Out goon the swerdes as the silver brighte.
The helmes they tohewen and toshrede,
Out brest the blood, with stierne stremes rede,
With myghty maces the bones they tobreste.
He thurgh the thikkeste of the throng gan threste;
1755Ther stomblen steedes stronge, and doun gooth al;
He rolleth under foot as dooth a bal,
He foyneth on his feet with his tronchoun,
And he hym hurtleth with his hors adoun.
He thurgh the body is hurt and sithen ytake,
1760Maugree his heed, and broght unto the stake,
As forward was, right there he moste abyde;
Another lad is on that oother syde.
And som tyme dooth hem Theseus to reste,
Hem to refresshe, and drynken if hem leste.
1765Ful ofte a day han thise Thebanes two
Togydre ymet, and wroght his felawe wo.
Unhorsed hath ech oother of hem tweye,
Ther nas no tygre in the vale of Galgopheye
Whan that hir whelp is stole, whan it is lite,
1770So crueel on the hunte, as is Arcite
For jelous herte upon this Palamon;
Ne in Belmarye ther nys so fel leon
That hunted is, or for his hunger wood,
Ne of his praye desireth so the blood,
1775As Palamon to sleen his foo Arcite.
The jelous strokes on hir helmes byte,
Out renneth blood on bothe hir sydes rede.
      The heralds cease their spurring up and down;
Now ring the trumpets as the charge is blown;
And there's no more to say, for east and west
Two hundred spears are firmly laid in rest;
1745And the sharp spurs are thrust, now, into side.
Now see men who can joust and who can ride!
Now shivered are the shafts on bucklers thick;
One feels through very breast-bone the spear's prick;
Lances are flung full twenty feet in height;
1750Out flash the swords like silver burnished bright.
Helmets are hewed, the lacings ripped and shred;
Out bursts the blood, gushing in stern streams red.
With mighty maces bones are crushed in joust.
One through the thickest throng begins to thrust.
1755There strong steeds stumble now, and down goes all.
One rolls beneath their feet as rolls a ball.
One flails about with club, being overthrown,
Another, on a mailed horse, rides him down.
One through the body's hurt, and haled, for aid.
1760Spite of his struggles, to the barricade,
As compact was, and there he must abide;
Another's captured by the other side.
At times Duke Theseus orders them to rest,
To eat a bite and drink what each likes best.
1765And many times that day those Thebans two
Met in the fight and wrought each other woe;
Unhorsed each has the other on that day.
No tigress in the vale of Galgophey,
Whose little whelp is stolen in the light,
1770Is cruel to the hunter as Arcite
For jealousy is cruel to Palamon;
Nor in Belmarie, when the hunt is on
Is there a lion, wild for want of food,
That of his prey desires so much the blood
1775As Palamon the death of Arcite there.
Their jealous blows fall on their helmets fair;
Out leaps the blood and makes their two sides red.




Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 1778-1793:
Palamon is captured
Next