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From The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 263-296:
The bad dream becomes truth
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Nun's Priest's Tale
lines 297-343: Another example about a man having a bad dream


       Heere may men seen, that dremes been to drede!
And certes, in the same book I rede
Right in the nexte chapitre after this -
300I gabbe nat, so have I joye or blis -
Two men that wolde han passed over see
For certeyn cause, into a fer contree,
If that the wynd ne hadde been contrarie,
That made hem in a citee for to tarie,
305That stood ful myrie upon an haven-syde-
But on a day, agayn the even-tyde,
The wynd gan chaunge, and blew right as hem leste.
Jolif and glad they wente unto hir reste,
And casten hem ful erly for to saille,
310But herkneth, to that o man fil a greet mervaille;
That oon of hem, in slepyng as he lay,
Hym mette a wonder dreem agayn the day.
Hym thoughte a man stood by his beddes syde,
And hym comanded that he sholde abyde,
315And seyde hym thus, `If thou tomorwe wende
Thow shalt be dreynt; my tale is at an ende.'
He wook, and tolde his felawe what he mette,
And preyde hym his viage for to lette,
As for that day, he preyede hym to byde.
320His felawe, that lay by his beddes syde,
Gan for to laughe and scorned him ful faste.
`No dreem,' quod he, `may so myn herte agaste
That I wol lette for to do my thynges.
I sette nat a straw by thy dremynges,
325For swevenes been but vanytees and japes.
Men dreme al day of owles or of apes,
And of many a maze therwithal.
Men dreme of thyng that nevere was, ne shal;
But sith I see that thou wolt heere abyde
330And thus forslewthen wilfully thy tyde,
God woot it reweth me, and have good day.'
And thus he took his leve and wente his way;
But er that he hadde half his cours yseyled,
Noot I nat why, ne what myschaunce it eyled,
335But casuelly the shippes botme rente,
And ship and men under the water wente
In sighte of othere shippes it bisyde,
That with hem seyled at the same tyde.
And therfore, faire Pertelote so deere,
340By swiche ensamples olde yet maistow leere,
That no man sholde been to recchelees
Of dremes, for I seye thee doutelees
That many a dreem ful soore is for to drede.
       Here may men see that dreams are things to dread.
And certainly, in that same book I read,
Right in the very chapter after this -
300I spoof not, as I may have joy and bliss -
Of two men who would voyage oversea,
For some cause, and unto a far country,
If but the winds had not been all contrary,
Causing them both within a town to tarry,
305Which town was builded near the haven-side.
But then, one day, along toward eventide,
The wind did change and blow as suited best.
Jolly and glad they went unto their rest.
And were prepared right early for to sail;
310But unto one was told a marvelous tale.
For one of them, a-sleeping as he lay,
Did dream a wondrous dream before it was day.
He thought a strange man stood by his bedside
And did command him, he should there abide,
315And said to him: 'If you tomorrow wend,
You shall be drowned; my tale is at an end.'
He woke and told his fellow what he'd met
And prayed him quit the voyage and forget;
For just one day he prayed him there to bide.
320His comrade, who was lying there beside,
Began to laugh and scorned him long and fast.
'No dream,' said he, 'may make my heart aghast,
So that I'll quit my business for such things.
I do not care a straw for your dreamings,
325For visions are but fantasies and japes.
Men dream, why, every day, of owls and apes,
And many a wild phantasm therewithal;
Men dream of what has never been, nor shall.
But since I see that you will here abide,
330And thus forgo this fair wind and this tide,
God knows I'm sorry; nevertheless, good day!'
And thus he took his leave and went his way.
But long before the half his course he'd sailed,
I know not why, nor what it was that failed,
335But casually the vessel's bottom rent,
And ship and men under the water went,
In sight of other ships were there beside,
The which had sailed with that same wind and tide
And therefore, pretty Pertelote, my dear,
340By such old-time examples may you hear
And learn that no man should be too reckless
Of dreams, for I can tell you, fair mistress,
That many a dream is something well to dread




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From The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 344-355:
About St. Kenelm's bad dreams
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