Previous Previous:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 477-496:
January the knight and Maia the virgin are married
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 497-529: The wedding party


       Thus been they wedded with solempnitee,
And at the feeste sitteth he and she
With othere worthy folk upon the deys.
500Al ful of joye and blisse is the paleys,
And ful of instrumentz and of vitaille,
The mooste deyntevous of al Ytaille.
Biforn hem stoode instrumentz of swich soun
That Orpheus, ne of Thebes Amphioun,
505Ne maden nevere swich a melodye.
At every cours thanne cam loud mynstralcye,
That nevere tromped Joab for to heer,
Nor he Theodomas, yet half so cleere,
At Thebes, whan the citee was in doute.
510Bacus the wyn hem shynketh al aboute,
And Venus laugheth upon every wight,
For Januarie was bicome hir knyght,
And wolde bothe assayen his corage
In libertee, and eek in mariage;
515And with hire fyrbrond in hire hand aboute
Daunceth biforn the bryde and al the route.
And certeinly, I dar right wel seyn this,
Ymeneus, that God of weddyng is,
Saugh nevere his lyf so myrie a wedded man.
520Hoold thou thy pees, thou poete Marcian,
That writest us that ilke weddyng murie
Of hire Philologie and hym Mercurie,
And of the songes that the Muses songe!
To smal is bothe thy penen, and eek thy tonge,
525For to descryven of this mariage.
Whan tendre youthe hath wedded stoupyng age,
Ther is swich myrthe that it may nat be writen.
Assayeth it youreself, thanne may ye witen
If that I lye or noon in this matiere.
       Thus are they wedded with solemnity,
And at the feast are sitting, he and she,
With other worthy folk upon the dais.
500All full of joy and bliss the palace gay is,
And full of instruments and viandry,
The daintiest in all of Italy.
Before them played such instruments anon
That Orpheus or Theban Amphion
505Never in life made such a melody.
With every course there rose loud minstrelsy,
And never Joab sounded trump, to hear,
Nor did Theodomas, one half so clear
At Thebes, while yet the city hung in doubt.
510Bacchus the wine poured out for all about,
And Venus gaily laughed for every wight.
For January had become her knight,
And would make trial of his amorous power
In liberty and in the bridal bower;
515And with her firebrand in her hand, about
Danced she before the bride and all the rout.
And certainly I dare right well say this,
That Hymenaeus, god of wedded bliss,
Ne'er saw in life so merry a married man.
520Hold thou thy peace, thou poet Marcian
Who tellest how Philology was wed
And how with Mercury she went to bed,
And of the sweet songs by the Muses sung.
Too slight are both thy pen and thy thin tongue.
525To show aright this wedding on thy page.
When tender youth has wedded stooping age,
There is such mirth that no one may it show;
Try it yourself, and then you well will know
Whether I lie or not in matters here.




Next Next:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 530-537:
Maia sits beautifully
Next