Previous Previous:
From The Second Nun's Tale, lines 218-231:
Valerian meets the angel
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Second Nun's Tale
lines 232-287: Valerian's brother Tibertius is christianized too

And thow Valerian, for thow so soone
Assentedest to good conseil also,
Sey what thee list, and thou shalt han thy boone."
235"I have a brother," quod Valerian tho,
"That in this world I love no man so.
I pray yow that my brother may han grace,
To knowe the trouthe, as I do in this place."
"And you, Valerian, since you so soon
Consented to accept the Faith also,
Say what you will and you shall have your boon."
235"I have a brother," said Valerian, "Oh,
And in the wide world I love no man so.
I pray you that my brother may have grace
To know the truth, as I do in this place."

       The aungel seyde, "God liketh thy requeste,
240And bothe with the palm of martirdom
Ye shullen com unto his blisful feste."
And with that word Tiburce his brother coom;
And whan that he the savour undernoom,
Which that the roses and the lilies caste,
245Withinne his herte he gan to wondre faste,
       The angel answered: "God likes your request,
240And both of you, with palm of martyrdom,
Shall come at last unto His blessed rest."
Whereon his brother Tibertius was come.
And when he smelled the sweet perfume that from
The roses and the lilies filled the air,
245In heart he wondered much how came it there,

And seyde, "I wondre, this tyme of the yeer,
Whennes that soote savour cometh so
Of rose and lilies that I smelle heer.
For though I hadde hem in myne handes two,
250The savour myghte in me no depper go,
The sweete smel that in myn herte I fynde
Hath chaunged me al in another kynde."
And said: "I wonder much, this time of year,
Whence comes the sweetness that arises so,
Of rose and lily, to my senses here?
For though I held them in my two hands- no
250The savour could in me no deeper go.
The gentle scent that in my heart I find
Has changed me to a man of other kind."

       Valerian seyde, "Two corones han we,
Snow white and rose reed that shynen cleere,
255Whiche that thyne eyen han no myght to see,
And as thou smellest hem thurgh my preyere,
So shaltow seen hem, leeve brother deere,
If it so be thou wolt, withouten slouthe,
Bileve aright and knowen verray trouthe."
       Valerian replied: "Two crowns have we,
Snow white and rose red, and they're bright and fair,
255The which your two eyes have no power to see;
And as you smell them, brother, through my prayer,
So shall you see them also, brother dear,
If you but will, without delay forsooth,
Rightly believe and know the very truth."

260        Tiburce answerde, "Seistow this to me?
In soothnesse or in dreem I herkne this?"
"In dremes," quod Valerian, "han we be
Unto this tyme, brother myn, ywes;
But now at erst in trouthe oure dwellyng is."
265"How woostow this," quod Tiburce, "in what wyse?"
Quod Valerian, "That shal I thee devyse.
260       Tibertius answered: "Say you this to me
In truth? Or do I dream I hear all this?"
"In dreams," replied Valerian, then, "have we
Lived to this time, O brother mine, ywis.
In truth now for the first time our life is."
265"How know you?" asked Tibertius: "In what wise?"
Valerian said: "You will I now apprise.

       The aungel of God hath me the trouthe ytaught
Which thou shalt seen, if that thou wolt reneye
The ydoles and be clene, and elles naught."
270And of the myracle of thise corones tweye
Seint Ambrose in his preface list to seye.
Solempnely this noble doctour deere
Commendeth it, and seith in this manere:
       God's angel unto me the truth has taught,
Which you shall see, if only you'll put by
All idols and be clean, else you'll learn naught."
270And of these crowns miraculous, say I,
Saint Ambrose of the two does testify
In his Preface; this noble doctor dear
Commends the story, making it all clear:

       "The palm of martirdom for to receyve
275Seinte Cecile, fulfild of Goddes yifte,
The world and eek hire chambre gan she weyve,
Witnesse Tyburces and Valerians shrifte,
To whiche God of his bountee wolde shifte
Corones two, of floures wel smellynge,
280And made his aungel hem the corones brynge.
       The palm of martyrdom, thus to receive,
275This Saint Cecilia, filled with God's gift,
The world and even her chamber did she leave;
Witness Tibertius' and Valerian's shrift,
To whom the good God sent by angel swift
Two crowns of flowers fair and sweet smelling,
280And bade the angel take them as fitting.

The mayde hath broght thise men to blisse above;
The world hath wist what it is worth, certeyn,
Devocioun of chastitee to love."
Tho shewed hym Cecile, al open and pleyn,
285That alle ydoles nys but a thyng in veyn,
For they been dombe and therto they been deve,
And charged hym hise ydoles for to leve.
The virgin brought these men to bliss above;
The world has learned what it is worth, 'tis plain,
Devotion to fair chastity to love."
Then did Cecilia show him and explain
285That every idol is a thing all vain;
For they are dumb, and they are deaf also,
And charged him that his idols he forgo.

Next Next:
From The Second Nun's Tale, lines 288-357:
Cecilia explains christianity and Tibertius meets the angel too