Previous Previous:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 2109-2128:
Political tactics
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 2109-2128: Theseus speaks to Palamon and Emily about the Creation of the world


      "The Firste Moevere of the cause above
2130Whan he first made the faire cheyne of love,
Greet was th'effect, and heigh was his entente;
Wel wiste he why, and what therof he mente,
For with that faire cheyne of love he bond
The fyr, the eyr, the water, and the lond,
2135In certeyn boundes that they may nat flee.
That same prince and that same moevere," quod he,
"Hath stablissed in this wrecched world adoun
Certeyne dayes and duracioun
To al that is engendred in this place,
2140Over the whiche day they may nat pace;
Al mowe they yet tho dayes wel abregge,
Ther nedeth noght noon auctoritee t'allegge,
For it is preeved by experience,
But that me list declaren my sentence.
2145Thanne may men by this ordre wel discerne
That thilke Moevere stable is and eterne.
Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool,
That every part deryveth from his hool;
For nature hath nat taken his bigynnyng
2150Of no partie nor cantel of a thyng,
But of a thyng that parfit is and stable,
Descendynge so til it be corrumpable;
And therfore, of his wise purveiaunce,
He hath so wel biset his ordinaunce,
2155That speces of thynges and progressiouns
Shullen enduren by successiouns,
And nat eterne, withouten any lye.
This maystow understonde and seen at ye.
      Loo the ook, that hath so long a norisshynge
2160From tyme that it first bigynneth sprynge,
And hath so long a lif, as we may see,
Yet at the laste wasted is the tree.
      "The Primal Mover and the Cause above,
2130When first He forged the goodly chain of love,
Great the effect, and high was His intent;
Well knew He why, and what thereof He meant;
For with that goodly chain of love He bound
The fire, the air, the water, and dry ground
2135In certain bounds, the which they might not flee;
That same First Cause and Mover," then said he,
"Has stablished in this base world, up and down,
A certain length of days to call their own
For all that are engendered in this place,
2140Beyond the which not one day may they pace,
Though yet all may that certain time abridge;
Authority there needs none, I allege,
For it is well proved by experience,
Except that I please to clarify my sense.
2145Then may men by this order well discern
This Mover to be stable and eterne.
Well may man know, unless he be a fool,
That every part derives but from the whole.
For Nature has not taken his being
2150From any part and portion of a thing,
But from a substance perfect, stable aye,
And so continuing till changed away.
And therefore, of His Wisdom's Providence,
Has He so well established ordinance
2155That species of all things and all progressions,
If they'd endure, it must be by successions,
Not being themselves eternal, 'tis no lie:
This may you understand and see by eye.
      Lo now, the oak, that has long nourishing
2160Even from the time that it begins to spring,
And has so long a life, as we may see,
Yet at the last all wasted is the tree.
      Considereth eek, how that the harde stoon
Under oure feet, on which we trede and goon,
2165Yet wasteth it, as it lyth by the weye.
The brode ryver somtyme wexeth dreye,
The grete toures se we wane and wende,
Thanne may ye se that al this thyng hath ende.
      Consider, too, how even the hard stone
Under our feet we tread each day upon
2165Yet wastes it, as it lies beside the way.
And the broad river will be dry some day.
And great towns wane; we see them vanishing.
Thus may we see the end to everything.




Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 2169-2208:
The power of God
Next