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For very woe her wits went all away

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Dołączył: 09 Paź 2011
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Skąd: England

PostWysłany: Pią 13:20, 14 Paź 2011    Temat postu: For very woe her wits went all away

Satan, that ever waits, men to beguile, Saw now, in Constance, all perfection grown, And wondering how to be revenged the while, He made a young knight, living in the town, Love her so madly, with foul passion flown, That verily he thought his life should spill, Save that, of her, be once might have his will. He wooed her, but it all availed him naught; She would not sin in any wise or way; And, for despite, he plotted in his thought To make her die a death of shame some day. He waited till the warden was away, And, stealthily by night, he went and crept To Hermengild's bedchamber, while she slept. Weary with waking for her orisons, Slept Constance, and Dame Hermengild also. This knight, by Satan's tempting, came at once And softly to the bedside he did go. And cut the throat of Hermengild, and so Laid the hot reeking knife by fair Constance, And went his way where God give him mischance! The Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales 103Soon after came the warden home again, And with him Alla, king of all that land, And saw his wife so pitilessly slain, For which he wept and cried and wrung his hand; And in the bed the bloody dagger, and The Lady Constance. Ah! What could she say? For very woe her wits went all away.

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King Alla was apprised of this sad chance, And told the time, and where, and in what wise Was found in a wrecked ship the fair Constance, As heretofore you've heard my tale apprise. But in the king's heart pity did arise When he saw so benignant a creature Fallen in distress of such misadventure. For as the lamb unto his death is brought, So stood this innocent before the king; And the false knight that had this treason wrought, He swore that it was she had done this thing. Nevertheless, there was much sorrowing Among the people, saying, "We cannot gues That she has done so great a wickedness. "For we have seen her always virtuous, And loving Hermengild as she loved life." To this bore witness each one in that house, Save he that slew the victim with his knife. The gentle king suspected. motive rife In that man's heart; and thought he would inquire Deeper therein, the truth to learn entire. Alas, Constance! You have no champion, And since you cannot fight, it's welaway! But He Who died for us the cross upon, And Satan bound (who lies yet where he lay), So be your doughty Champion this day! For, except Christ a miracle make known, You shall be slain, though guiltless, and right soon. She dropped upon her knees and thus she prayed: "Immortal God, Who saved the fair Susanna From lying blame, and Thou, O gracious Maid (Mary, I mean, the daughter of Saint Anna), Before Child the angels sing hosanna, If I be guiltless of this felony, My succour be, for otherwise I die!" Have you not sometime seen a pallid face Among the crowd, of one that's being led Toward his death one who had got no grace? And such a pallor on his face was spread All men must mark it, full of horrid dread, Among the other faces in the rout. So stood fair Constance there and looked about. O queens that live in all prosperity, Duchesses, and you ladies, every one, The Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales 104Have pity, now, on her adversity; An emperor's young daughter stands alone; She has no one to whom to make her moan. O royal blood that stands there in such dread, Far are your friends away in your great need! This King Alla has such compassion shown (Since gentle heart is full of all pity), That from his two eyes ran the tears right down. "Now hastily go fetch a book," quoth he, "And if this knight will swear that it was she Who slew the woman, then will we make clear The judge we shall appoint the case to hear." A book of Gospels writ in British tongue Was brought, and on this Book he swore anon Her guilt; but then the people all among A clenched hand smote him on the shoulderbone, And down he fell, as stunned as by a stone, And both his eyes burst forth out of his face In sight of everybody in that place.

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