Previous Previous:
From The Second Nun's Tale, lines 141-182:
Cecilia's virginity is guarded by an angel
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Second Nun's Tale
lines 183-217: Valerian is baptized

       Valerian is to the place ygon,
And right as hym was taught by his lernynge,
185He foond this hooly olde Urban anon
Among the seintes buryeles lotynge.
And he anon, withouten tariynge,
Dide his message, and whan that he it tolde,
Urban for joye his handes gan up holde.
       Valerian to that place got him gone,
And just as he'd been told about the thing,
185He found this ancient saint, Urban, anon,
Among the holy catacombs lurking.
And he straightway, with never tarrying,
Told him his errand; and when it was told,
Urban for joy his two hands did uphold.

190The teeris from hise eyen leet he falle.
"Almyghty lord, O Jesu Crist," quod he,
"Sower of chaast conseil, hierde of us alle,
The fruyt of thilke seed of chastitee
That thou hast sowe in Cecile, taak to thee.
195Lo, lyk a bisy bee, withouten gile,
Thee serveth ay thyn owene thral Cecile!
190Some teardrops from his two eyes he let fall.
"Almighty Lord, O Jesus Christ," said he,
"Sower of counsel chaste, shepherd of us all,
The fruit of that same seed of chastity
Which thou sowed'st in Cecilia, take to thee!
195Lo, like a busy bee, and without guile,
Thy thrall Cecilia serves you all the while!

For thilke spouse that she took but now
Ful lyk a fiers leoun, she sendeth heere
As meke as evere was any lomb, to yow."
200And with that word anon ther gan appeere
An oold man clad in white clothes cleere,
That hadde a book with lettre of gold in honde,
And gan bifore Valerian to stonde.
For that same spouse that lately wedded she,
Who was like lion fierce, she sends him here,
As meek as ever was a lamb, to Thee!"
200And with that word anon there did appear
An old, old man, clothed all in white clothes clear,
Who had a golden-lettered book in hand,
And who before Valerian did stand.

Valerian as deed fil doun for drede
205Whan he hym saugh, and he up hente hym tho,
And on his book right thus he gan to rede,
"O lord, o feith, o God, withouten mo,
O Cristendom, and fader of alle also,
Aboven alle, and over alle, everywhere."
210Thise wordes al with gold ywriten were.
Valerian for fear fell down as dead
205When him he saw, who raised him from the floor,
And from his book, of which I told, he read,
"One Lord, one faith, one God with never more,
One Christian Church, one father of all to adore,
Above all, over all, and everywhere."
210These words in very gold were written there.

Whan this was rad, thanne seyde this olde man,
"Leevestow this thyng or no? sey ye or nay?"
"I leeve al this thyng," quod Valerian,
"For sother thyng than this, I dar wel say,
215Under the hevene no wight thynke may."
Tho vanysshed this olde man, he nyste where;
And Pope Urban hym cristned right there.
When this was read, then said the ancient man:
"Do you believe or not? Say 'Yea' or 'Nay'."
"I do believe this," said Valerian,
"For truer thing than this, I dare well say,
215Under the heavens none can think, nor may."
Then vanished the old man, he knew not where,
And Pope Urban baptized him even there.

Next Next:
From The Second Nun's Tale, lines 218-231:
Valerian meets the angel