Previous Previous:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 407-441:
The execution of the conspiracy
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 442-469: Constance drifts across the sea

A certein tresor that she thider ladde,
And, sooth to seyn, vitaille greet plentee
They han hir yeven, and clothes eek she hadde,
445And forth she sailleth in the salte see.
O my Custance, ful of benignytee,
O Emperoures yonge doghter deere,
He that is lord of Fortune be thy steere!
A certain treasure that she'd brought, they add,
And, truth to tell, of food great quantity
They have her given, and clothing too she had;
445And forth she sails upon the wide salt sea.
O Constance mine, full of benignity,
O emperor's young daughter, from afar
He that is Lord of fortune be your star!

She blesseth hir, and with ful pitous voys
450Unto the croys of Crist thus seyde she,
"O cleere, o welful auter, hooly croys,
Reed of the lambes blood, ful of pitee,
That wesshe the world fro the olde iniquitee,
Me fro the feend and fro his clawes kepe,
455That day that I shal drenchen in the depe.
She crossed herself, and in a pious voice
450Unto the Cross of Jesus thus said she:
"O bright, O blessed Altar of my choice,
Red with the lamb's blood full of all pity,
That washed the world from old iniquity,
Me from the devil and from his claws, oh keep
455That day when I shall drown within the deep!

Victorious tree, proteccioun of trewe,
That oonly worthy were for to bere
The Kyng of Hevene with his woundes newe,
The white lamb that hurt was with the spere,
460Flemere of feendes out of hym and here
On which thy lymes feithfully extenden,
Me keep, and yif me myght my lyf tamenden."
Victorious Tree, Protection of the true,
The only thing that worthy was to bear
The King of Heaven with his wounds so new,
The white lamb who was pierced through with the spear,
460Driver of devils out of him and her
Who on Thine arms do lay themselves in faith,
Keep me and give me grace before my death!"

       Yeres and dayes fleteth this creature
Thurghout the See of Grece unto the Strayte
465Of Marrok, as it was hir aventure.
On many a sory meel now may she bayte;
After hir deeth ful often may she wayte,
Er that the wilde wawes wol hire dryve
Unto the place ther she shal arryve.
       For years and days drifted this maiden pure,
Through all the seas of Greece and to the strait
465Of dark Gibraltar dier she adventure;
On many a sorry meal now may she bait;
Upon her death full often may she wait
Before the wild waves and the winds shall drive
Her vessel where it shall some day arrive.

Next Next:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 470-483:
Why was Constance not killed in Syria?