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And preide hem alle, as sche wel couthe,1 To grante Eson his ferste youthe.
This olde Eson broght forth was tho; 2 Awei sche bad alle othre go, Upon peril that mihte falle; And with that word thei wenten alle, And leften there hem tuo al-one. And tho sche gan to gaspe and gone,3 And made signes many-on, And seide hir wordes therupon; So that with spellinge of hir charmes Sche took Eson in both hire armes, And made him forto slepe faste, And him upon hire herbes caste. The blake wether tho sche tok, And hiewh the fleissh, as doth a cok; On either alter part sche leide,
And with the charmes that sche seide
A fyr doun fro the sky alyhte
And made it forto brenne lyhte.
Bot whan Medea sawh it brenne,
Anon sche gan to sterte and renne
The fyri aulters al aboute.
Ther was no beste which goth oute
More wylde than sche semeth ther:
Aboute hir schuldres hyng hir her,
As thogh sche were oute of hir mynde
And torned in an other kynde.?
Tho lay ther certein wode cleft,
Of which the pieces nou and eft
Sche made hem in the pettes wete,
And put hem in the fyri hete,
And tok the brond with al the blase,
And thries sche began to rase
Aboute Eson, ther-as he slepte;
And eft with water, which sche kepte,
Sche made a cercle aboute him thries,
And eft with fyr of sulphre twyes.
Ful many an other thing sche dede,
Which is noght writen in this stede.10
Bot tho 2 sche ran so up and doun,
Sche made many a wonder soun,
Somtime lich unto the cock,
Somtime unto the laverock,12
Somtime kacleth as a hen,
Somtime spekth as don the men;
And riht so as hir jargoun strangeth,13
In sondri wise hir forme changeth,
Sche semeth faie 14 and no womman;
For with the craftes that sche can
Sche was, as who seith, a goddesse.
1 could 2 then 3 walk 4 hewed 5 run now and again 9 where 10 place
And prayed them all, as she well could,
To grant Eson his young manhood.
This old Eson was brought forth, lo !
Away she bade all others go,
On peril of what might befall;
And with that word then went in all,
And left out there alone those two.
Gasping and pacing, with much ado,
She made her signs full many a one,
And said her magic words thereon;
So that with spelling of her charms
She took Eson in both her arms,
And caused him to sleep full fast,
And on the herbs him sleeping cast.
The wether black then next she took,
And hewed the flesh as doth a cook;
On either altar part she laid,
And with the charms that she hath said
A fire down from the sky did light
And made the flesh to burn full bright.
But when Medea saw it burn,
Anon she leaped and ran in turn
The fiery altars all about.
There was no beast which goeth out
More wild than she herself seemed there;
About her shoulders hung her hair,
As though she were out of her mind
And turned into another kind.
There certain wood lay cleft in twain,
Of which the sticks, now and again,
She made them in the pits full wet,
And in the fiery heat them set;
And took the brand with all the blaze,
And thrice with it, as in a race,
Ran about, Eson as he slept,
And then with water which she kept
She made a circle round him thrice,
And then with fire of sulphur twice.
And other things she did, I wot,
Which in this place are written not.
But, running up and down the ground,
She made full many a wondrous sound;
Sometimes like unto the cock,
Sometimes like the laverock,
Sometimes cackleth as a hen,
Sometimes speaketh as do men.
And as she made her jargon strange,
Her form in sundry wise did change,
She seemed no woman but a fay;
For with the crafts she did assay
She was, as one might say, goddess.
12 lark 13 becomes strange 14 fairy
And what hir liste, more or lesse,
Sche dede, in bokes as we finde,
That passeth over manneskinde.1
Bot who that wole of wondres hiere,
What thing sche wroghte in this matiere,
To make an ende of that sche gan,2
Such merveile herde nevere man.
Apointed in the newe mone,
Whan it was time forto done,
Sche sette a caldron on the fyr,
In which was al the hole atir,3
Whereon the medicine stod,
Of jus, of water, and of blod,
And let it buile in such a plit,
Til that sche sawh the spume whyt;
And tho sche caste in rynde 5 and rote,
And sed and flour that was for bote,
With many an herbe and many a ston,
Whereof sche hath ther many on.
And ek Cimpheius the serpent
To hire hath alle his scales lent,
Chelidre hire yaf his addres skin,
And sche to builen caste hem in;
A part ek of the horned oule,
The which men hiere on nyhtes houle;
And of a raven, which was told
Of nyne hundred wynter old,
Sche tok the hed with al the bile; 7
And as the medicine it wile,
Sche tok therafter the bouele 8
Of the seewolf, and for the hele
Of Eson, with a thousand mo
Of thinges that sche hadde tho,
In that caldroun togedre as blyve 10
Sche putte; and tok thanne of olyve
A drie branche hem with to stere,"1
The which anon gan floure and bere
And waxe al freissh and grene ayein.
Whan sche this vertu hadde sein,
Sche let the leste drope of alle
Upon the bare flor doun falle;
Anon ther sprong up flour and gras,
Where-as the drope falle was,
And wox anon al medwe 12 grene,
So that it mihte wel be sene.
Medea thanne knew and wiste
Hir medicine is forto triste,13
And goth to Eson ther 14 he lay,
And tok a swerd was of
With which a wounde upon his side
Sche made, that therout mai slyde
1 that surpasses human nature 2 began 3 equipment boil 5 bark 6 remedy 7 bill 8 intestine
And whatso pleased her, more or less,
She did, as we in books may find,
Deeds that pass skill of human kind.
But whoso will of wonders hear,
What things she wrought by magic clear
To make an end of all her spell,
Of crafts like hers heard no man tell.
Just as the moon had changed to new, When it was time her task to do, She laid a cauldron on the fire, In which was placed the mass entire Wherein the magic virtues stood Of juice, of water, and of blood, And let it boil therein aright Till she could see the bubbles white; And then she cast in bark and root, And seed and flower both to boot, With many a herb and many a stone, Whereof she hath there many a one. And eke Cimpheius, the serpent, To her hath all his scales now lent, Chelidre, the adder, gave his skin, And she to the boiling cast them in; A part too of the horned owl,
The which men hear at night-time howl;
And of a raven which had told
His full nine hundred winters old
She took the head with all the bill;
And as the medicine it will,
Of sea wolf she the bowel took,
And for the healing did it cook
Of Eson; and a thousand more
Of things that she had still in store
Within that cauldron cast full quick.
Of olive then a withered stick
She took, to stir that mixture rare.
And lo, the stick did flower and bear,
And waxed again all fresh and green!
When she this virtue well had seen,
She let the smallest drop of all
Upon the barren earth down fall;
At once there sprang up flower and grass,
Just where the falling drop did pass,
And waxed at once all meadow-green,
So that it clearly might be seen.
Medea then full surely knew
Her medicine was strong and true;
And goes to Eson where he lay,
And took a sword of good assay,
With which a wound within his side
She made, that so thereout may slide
The blod withinne, which was old
And sek and trouble and fieble and cold.
And tho sche tok unto his us1
Of herbes al the beste jus,
And poured it into his wounde;
That made his veynes fulle and sounde.
And tho sche made his wounde clos,
And tok his hand, and up he ros.
And tho sche yaf 2 him drinke a drauhte,
Of which his youthe ayein he cauhte,
His hed, his herte and his visage
Lich 3 unto twenty wynter age;
Hise hore heres were away,
And lich unto the freisshe Maii,
Whan passed ben the colde schoures,
Riht so recovereth he his floures.
The blood within him, which was old
And sick and troubled and feeble and cold.
And then she took unto his use
Of all the herbs the potent juice,
And poured it all into his wound,
That made his veins all full and sound;
And then she made his wound to close;
And took his hand, and up he rose.
A draught to drink she gave him then,
From which his youth he caught again,
His head, his heart, and his viságe,
Like unto twenty winters' age;
His hoary hairs vanished away;
And like unto the lusty May,
When passed are all the chilling showers,
Right so recovereth he his flowers.
use 2 gave like it happened 5 meadow 6 spring 7 sweet their 9 of the Palladium 10 especially greatest 12 yea peerless crowd 15 more dearly 17 every one 18 garment
And neigh the dore, ay under shames drede,
Simple of atyr, and debonaire of chere,
With ful assured loking and manere.
This Troilus, as he was wont to gyde
His yonge knightes, ladde hem up and doun
In thilke large temple on every syde, 185
Biholding ay the ladyes of the toun,
Now here, now there, for no devocioun
Hadde he to noon, to reven2 him his reste,
But gan to preyse and lakken whom him
And in his walk full fast he gan to wayten 5
If knight or squyer of his companye
Gan for to syke, or lete his eyen bayten 7
On any woman that he coude aspye;
He wolde smyle, and holden it folye,
And seye him thus, “God wot, she slepeth softe
For love of thee, whan thou tornest ful ofte.
"I have herd told, pardieux, of your livinge, Ye lovers, and lewede 8 observaunces, your And which a labour folk han 10 in winninge Of love, and in the keping which dou
And whan your preye is lost, wo and pen
O verrey foles! nyce 12 and blinde be ye; 202 Ther nis 13 not oon can war 14 by other be."
1 that same 2 take away 3 blame it pleased
5 observe sigh 7 feast silly 9 what sort of 10 have 13 is not cautious
perplexities 12 foolish