The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Septimus: Part 1

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

Omnibus in causis sapiens doctrina salutem
     Consequitur, nec habet quis nisi doctus opem.
Naturam superat doctrina, viro quod et ortus
     Ingenii docilis non dedit, ipsa dabit.
Non ita discretus hominum per climata regnat,
     Quin magis ut sapiat, indiget ipse schole.

1      I Genius the prest of love,
2      Mi Sone, as thou hast preid above
3      That I the Scole schal declare
4      Of Aristotle and ek the fare  
5      Of Alisandre, hou he was tauht,  
6      I am somdel therof destrauht; 
7      For it is noght to the matiere
8      Of love, why we sitten hiere  
9      To schryve, so as Venus bad.  
10     Bot natheles, for it is glad, 
11     So as thou seist, for thin aprise
12     To hiere of suche thinges wise,  
13     Wherof thou myht the time lisse, 
14     So as I can, I schal the wisse:  
15     For wisdom is at every throwe 
16     Above alle other thing to knowe  
17     In loves cause and elleswhere.
18     Forthi, my Sone, unto thin Ere,  
19     Though it be noght in the registre  
20     Of Venus, yit of that Calistre
21     And Aristotle whylom write 
22     To Alisandre, thou schalt wite.  
23     Bot for the lores ben diverse, 
24     I thenke ferst to the reherce 
25     The nature of Philosophie, 
26     Which Aristotle of his clergie,  
27     Wys and expert in the sciences,  
28     Declareth thilke intelligences,  
29     As of thre pointz in principal.  
30     Wherof the ferste in special  
31     Is Theorique, which is grounded  
32     On him which al the world hath founded,
33     Which comprehendeth al the lore. 
34     And forto loken overmore,  
35     Next of sciences the seconde  
36     Is Rethorique, whos faconde
37     Above alle othre is eloquent: 
38     To telle a tale in juggement  
39     So wel can noman speke as he. 
40     The laste science of the thre 
41     It is Practique, whos office  
42     The vertu tryeth fro the vice,
43     And techeth upon goode thewes 
44     To fle the compaignie of schrewes,  
45     Which stant in disposicion 
46     Of mannes free eleccion.
47     Practique enformeth ek the reule,
48     Hou that a worthi king schal reule  
49     His Realme bothe in werre and pes.  
50     Lo, thus danz Aristotiles  
51     These thre sciences hath divided 
52     And the nature also decided,  
53     Wherof that ech of hem schal serve. 
54     The ferste, which is the conserve
55     And kepere of the remnant, 
56     As that which is most sufficant  
57     And chief of the Philosophie, 
58     If I therof schal specefie 
59     So as the Philosophre tolde,  
60     Nou herkne, and kep that thou it holde. 
61     Of Theorique principal  
62     The Philosophre in special 
63     The propretees hath determined,  
64     As thilke which is enlumined  
65     Of wisdom and of hih prudence 
66     Above alle othre in his science: 
67     And stant departed upon thre, 
68     The ferste of which in his degre 
69     Is cleped in Philosophie
70     The science of Theologie,  
71     That other named is Phisique, 
72     The thridde is seid Mathematique.
73     Theologie is that science  
74     Which unto man yifth evidence 
75     Of thing which is noght bodely,  
76     Wherof men knowe redely 
77     The hihe almyhti Trinite,  
78     Which is o god in unite 
79     Withouten ende and beginnynge 
80     And creatour of alle thinge,  
81     Of hevene, of erthe and ek of helle.
82     Wherof, as olde bokes telle,  
83     The Philosophre in his resoun 
84     Wrot upon this conclusioun,
85     And of his wrytinge in a clause  
86     He clepeth god the ferste cause, 
87     Which of himself is thilke good, 
88     Withoute whom nothing is good,
89     Of which that every creature  
90     Hath his beinge and his nature.  
91     After the beinge of the thinges  
92     Ther ben thre formes of beinges: 
93     Thing which began and ende schal, 
94     That thing is cleped temporal;
95     Ther is also be other weie 
96     Thing which began and schal noght deie.
97     As Soules, that ben spiritiel,
98     Here beinge is perpetuel:  
99     Bot ther is on above the Sonne,  
100    Whos time nevere was begonne, 
101    And endeles schal evere be;
102    That is the god, whos mageste 
103    Alle othre thinges schal governe,
104    And his beinge is sempiterne. 
105    The god, to whom that al honour  
106    Belongeth, he is creatour, 
107    And othre ben hise creatures: 
108    The god commandeth the natures
109    That thei to him obeien alle; 
110    Withouten him, what so befalle,  
111    Her myht is non, and he mai al:  
112    The god was evere and evere schal,  
113    And thei begonne of his assent;  
114    The times alle be present  
115    To god, to hem and alle unknowe, 
116    Bot what him liketh that thei knowe:
117    Thus bothe an angel and a man,
118    The whiche of al that god began  
119    Be chief, obeien goddes myht, 
120    And he stant endeles upriht.  
121    To this science ben prive  
122    The clerkes of divinite,
123    The whiche unto the poeple prechen  
124    The feith of holi cherche and techen,  
125    Which in som cas upon believe 
126    Stant more than thei conne prieve
127    Be weie of Argument sensible: 
128    Bot natheles it is credible,  
129    And doth a man gret meede have,  
130    To him that thenkth himself to save.
131    Theologie in such a wise 
132    Of hih science and hih aprise 
133    Above alle othre stant unlike,
134    And is the ferste of Theorique.  
135    Phisique is after the secounde,  
136    Thurgh which the Philosophre hath founde  
137    To techen sondri knowlechinges
138    Upon the bodiliche thinges.
139    Of man, of beste, of herbe, of ston,
140    Of fissch, of foughl, of everychon  
141    That ben of bodely substance, 
142    The nature and the circumstance  
143    Thurgh this science it is ful soght,
144    Which vaileth and which vaileth noght. 
145    The thridde point of Theorique,  
146    Which cleped is Mathematique, 
147    Devided is in sondri wise  
148    And stant upon diverse aprise.
149    The ferste of whiche is Arsmetique, 
150    And the secounde is seid Musique,
151    The thridde is ek Geometrie,  
152    Also the ferthe Astronomie.
153    Of Arsmetique the matiere  
154    Is that of which a man mai liere 
155    What Algorisme in nombre amonteth,  
156    Whan that the wise man acompteth 
157    After the formel proprete  
158    Of Algorismes Abece: 
159    Be which multiplicacioun
160    Is mad and diminucioun  
161    Of sommes be thexperience  
162    Of this Art and of this science. 
163    The seconde of Mathematique,  
164    Which is the science of Musique, 
165    That techeth upon Armonie  
166    A man to make melodie
167    Be vois and soun of instrument
168    Thurgh notes of acordement,
169    The whiche men pronounce alofte, 
170    Nou scharpe notes and nou softe,  
171    Nou hihe notes and nou lowe, 
172    As be the gamme a man mai knowe, 
173    Which techeth the prolacion
174    Of note and the condicion. 
175    Mathematique of his science
176    Hath yit the thridde intelligence
177    Full of wisdom and of clergie 
178    And cleped is Geometrie,
179    Thurgh which a man hath thilke sleyhte,
180    Of lengthe, of brede, of depthe, of heyhte
181    To knowe the proporcion 
182    Be verrai calculacion
183    Of this science: and in this wise
184    These olde Philosophres wise, 
185    Of al this worldes erthe round,  
186    Hou large, hou thikke was the ground,  
187    Controeveden thexperience; 
188    The cercle and the circumference 
189    Of every thing unto the hevene
190    Thei setten point and mesure evene. 
191    Mathematique above therthe 
192    Of hyh science hath yit the ferthe, 
193    Which spekth upon Astronomie  
194    And techeth of the sterres hihe, 
195    Beginnynge upward fro the mone.  
196    Bot ferst, as it was forto done, 
197    This Aristotle in other thing 
198    Unto this worthi yonge king
199    The kinde of every element 
200    Which stant under the firmament, 
201    Hou it is mad and in what wise,  
202    Fro point to point he gan devise.
203    Tofore the creacion  
204    Of eny worldes stacion,  
205    Of hevene, of erthe, or eke of helle,  
206    So as these olde bokes telle, 
207    As soun tofore the song is set
208    And yit thei ben togedre knet,
209    Riht so the hihe pourveance
210    Tho hadde under his ordinance 
211    A gret substance, a gret matiere,
212    Of which he wolde in his manere  
213    These othre thinges make and forme. 
214    For yit withouten eny forme
215    Was that matiere universal,
216    Which hihte Ylem in special.  
217    Of Ylem, as I  am enformed,
218    These elementz ben mad and formed,  
219    Of Ylem elementz they hote 
220    After the Scole of Aristote,  
221    Of whiche if more I schal reherce,  
222    Foure elementz ther ben diverse. 
223    The ferste of hem men erthe calle,  
224    Which is the lowest of hem alle, 
225    And in his forme is schape round,
226    Substancial, strong, sadd and sound,
227    As that which mad is sufficant
228    To bere up al the remenant.
229    For as the point in a compas  
230    Stant evene amiddes, riht so was 
231    This erthe set and schal abyde,  
232    That it may swerve to no side,
233    And hath his centre after the lawe  
234    Of kinde, and to that centre drawe  
235    Desireth every worldes thing, 
236    If ther ne were no lettyng.
237    Above therthe kepth his bounde
238    The water, which is the secounde 
239    Of elementz, and al withoute  
240    It environeth therthe aboute. 
241    Bot as it scheweth, noght forthi 
242    This soubtil water myhtely, 
243    Thogh it be of himselve softe,
244    The strengthe of therthe perceth ofte; 
245    For riht as veines ben of blod
246    In man, riht so the water flod
247    Therthe of his cours makth ful of veines, 
248    Als wel the helles as the pleines.  
249    And that a man may sen at ije,
250    For wher the hulles ben most hyhe,  
251    Ther mai men welle stremes finde:
252    So proveth it be weie of kinde
253    The water heyher than the lond.  
254    And over this nou understond, 
255    Air is the thridde of elementz,  
256    Of whos kinde his aspirementz 
257    Takth every lifissh creature, 
258    The which schal upon erthe endure:  
259    For as the fissh, if it be dreie,
260    Mot in defaute of water deie, 
261    Riht so withouten Air on lyve 
262    No man ne beste myhte thryve, 
263    The which is mad of fleissh and bon;
264    There is outake of alle non.  
265    This Air in Periferies thre
266    Divided is of such degre,  
267    Benethe is on and on amidde,  
268    To whiche above is set the thridde: 
269    And upon the divisions  
270    There ben diverse impressions 
271    Of moist and ek of drye also, 
272    Whiche of the Sonne bothe tuo 
273    Ben drawe and haled upon hy,  
274    And maken cloudes in the Sky, 
275    As schewed is at mannes sihte;
276    Wherof be day and ek be nyhte 
277    After the times of the yer 
278    Among ous upon Erthe her
279    In sondri wise thinges falle. 
280    The ferste Periferie of alle
281    Engendreth Myst and overmore  
282    The dewes and the Frostes hore,  
283    After thilke intersticion  
284    In which thei take impression.
285    Fro the seconde, as bokes sein,  
286    The moiste dropes of the reyn 
287    Descenden into Middilerthe,
288    And tempreth it to sed and Erthe,
289    And doth to springe grass and flour.
290    And ofte also the grete schour
291    Out of such place it mai be take,
292    That it the forme schal forsake  
293    Of reyn, and into snow be torned;
294    And ek it mai be so sojorned  
295    In sondri places up alofte,
296    That into hail it torneth ofte.  
297    The thridde of thair after the lawe 
298    Thurgh such matiere as up is drawe  
299    Of dreie thing, as it is ofte,
300    Among the cloudes upon lofte, 
301    And is so clos, it may noght oute,- 
302    Thanne is it chased sore aboute, 
303    Til it to fyr and leyt be falle, 
304    And thanne it brekth the cloudes alle, 
305    The whiche of so gret noyse craken, 
306    That thei the feerful thonder maken.
307    The thonderstrok smit er it leyte,  
308    And yit men sen the fyr and leyte,  
309    The thonderstrok er that men hiere: 
310    So mai it wel be proeved hiere
311    In thing which schewed is fro feer, 
312    A mannes yhe is there nerr 
313    Thanne is the soun to mannes Ere.
314    And natheles it is gret feere 
315    Bothe of the strok and of the fyr,  
316    Of which is no recoverir
317    In place wher that thei descende,
318    Bot if god wolde his grace sende. 
319    And forto speken over this,
320    In this partie of thair it is 
321    That men fulofte sen be nyhte 
322    The fyr in sondri forme alyhte.  
323    Somtime the fyrdrake it semeth,  
324    And so the lewed poeple it demeth;  
325    Somtime it semeth as it were  
326    A Sterre, which that glydeth there: 
327    Bot it is nouther of the tuo, 
328    The Philosophre telleth so,
329    And seith that of impressions 
330    Thurgh diverse exalacions  
331    Upon the cause and the matiere
332    Men sen diverse forme appiere 
333    Of fyr, the which hath sondri name. 
334    Assub, he seith, is thilke same, 
335    The which in sondry place is founde,
336    Whanne it is falle doun to grounde, 
337    So as the fyr it hath aneled, 
338    Lich unto slym which is congeled.
339    Of exalacion I finde 
340    Fyr kinled of the fame kinde, 
341    Bot it is of an other forme;  
342    Wherof, if that I schal conforme 
343    The figure unto that it is,
344    These olde clerkes tellen this,  
345    That it is lik a Got skippende,  
346    And for that it is such semende, 
347    It hatte Capra saliens. 
348    And ek these Astronomiens  
349    An other fyr also, be nyhte
350    Which scheweth him to mannes syhte, 
351    Thei clepen Eges, the which brenneth
352    Lik to the corrant fyr that renneth 
353    Upon a corde, as thou hast sein,  
354    Whan it with poudre is so besein 
355    Of Sulphre and othre thinges mo. 
356    Ther is an other fyr also, 
357    Which semeth to a mannes yhe  
358    Be nyhtes time as thogh ther flyhe  
359    A dragon brennende in the Sky,
360    And that is cleped proprely
361    Daaly, wherof men sein fulofte,  
362    "Lo, wher the fyri drake alofte  
363    Fleth up in thair!" and so thei demen. 
364    Bot why the fyres suche semen 
365    Of sondri formes to beholde,  
366    The wise Philosophre tolde,
367    So as tofore it hath ben herd.
368    Lo thus, my Sone, hou it hath ferd: 
369    Of Air the due proprete 
370    In sondri wise thou myht se,  
371    And hou under the firmament
372    It is ek the thridde element, 
373    Which environeth bothe tuo,
374    The water and the lond also.  
375    And forto tellen overthis  
376    Of elementz which the ferthe is, 
377    That is the fyr in his degre, 
378    Which environeth thother thre 
379    And is withoute moist al drye.
380    Bot lest nou what seith the clergie;
381    For upon hem that I have seid 
382    The creatour hath set and leid
383    The kinde and the complexion  
384    Of alle mennes nacion.  
385    Foure elementz sondri ther be,
386    Lich unto whiche of that degre
387    Among the men ther ben also
388    Complexions foure and nomo,
389    Wherof the Philosophre treteth,  
390    That he nothing behinde leteth,  
391    And seith hou that thei ben diverse, 
392    So as I schal to thee reherse.
393    He which natureth every kinde,
394    The myhti god, so as I finde, 
395    Of  man, which is his creature,  
396    Hath so devided the nature,
397    That non til other wel acordeth: 
398    And be the cause it so discordeth,  
399    The lif which fieleth the seknesse  
400    Mai stonde upon no sekernesse.
401    Of therthe, which is cold and drye, 
402    The kinde of man Malencolie
403    Is cleped, and that is the ferste,  
404    The most ungoodlich and the werste; 
405    For unto loves werk on nyht
406    Him lacketh bothe will and myht: 
407    No wonder is, in lusty place  
408    Of love though he lese grace. 
409    What man hath that complexion,
410    Full of ymaginacion  
411    Of dredes and of wrathful thoghtes, 
412    He fret himselven al to noghtes. 
413    The water, which is moyste and cold,
414    Makth fleume, which is manyfold  
415    Foryetel, slou and wery sone  
416    Of every thing which is to done: 
417    He is of kinde sufficant
418    To holde love his covenant,
419    Bot that him lacketh appetit, 
420    Which longeth unto such delit.
421    What man that takth his kinde of thair,
422    He schal be lyht, he schal be fair, 
423    For his complexion is blood.  
424    Of alle ther is non so good,  
425    For he hath bothe will and myht  
426    To plese and paie love his riht: 
427    Wher as he hath love undertake,  
428    Wrong is if that he be forsake.  
429    The fyr of his condicion 
430    Appropreth the complexion  
431    Which in a man is Colre hote, 
432    Whos propretes ben dreie and hote:  
433    It makth a man ben enginous
434    And swift of fote and ek irous;  
435    Of contek and folhastifnesse  
436    He hath a riht gret besinesse,
437    To thenke of love and litel may: 
438    Though he behote wel a day,
439    On nyht whan that he wole assaie,
440    He may ful evele his dette paie. 
441    After the kinde of thelement, 
442    Thus stant a mannes kinde went,  
443    As touchende his complexion,  
444    Upon sondri division 
445    Of dreie, of moiste, of chele, of hete,
446    And ech of hem his oghne sete 
447    Appropred hath withinne a man.
448    And ferst to telle as I began,
449    The Splen is to Malencolie 
450    Assigned for herbergerie:  
451    The moiste fleume with his cold  
452    Hath in the lunges for his hold  
453    Ordeined him a propre stede,  
454    To duelle ther as he is bede: 
455    To the Sanguin complexion  
456    Nature of hire inspeccion  
457    A propre hous hath in the livere 
458    For his duellinge mad delivere:  
459    The dreie Colre with his hete 
460    Be weie of kinde his propre sete 
461    Hath in the galle, wher he duelleth,
462    So as the Philosophre telleth.
463    Nou over this is forto wite,  
464    As it is in Phisique write 
465    Of livere, of lunge, of galle, of splen,
466    Thei alle unto the herte ben  
467    Servantz, and ech in his office  
468    Entendeth to don him service, 
469    As he which is chief lord above. 
470    The livere makth him forto love, 
471    The lunge yifth him weie of speche, 
472    The galle serveth to do wreche,  
473    The Splen doth him to lawhe and pleie, 
474    Whan al unclennesse is aweie: 
475    Lo, thus hath ech of hem his dede.  
476    And to sustienen hem and fede 
477    In time of recreacion,  
478    Nature hath in creacion 
479    The Stomach for a comun Coc
480    Ordeined, so as seith the boc.
481    The Stomach coc is for the halle,
482    And builleth mete for hem alle,  
483    To make hem myghty forto serve
484    The herte, that he schal noght sterve: 
485    For as a king in his Empire
486    Above alle othre is lord and Sire,  
487    So is the herte principal, 
488    To whom reson in special
489    Is yove as for the governance.
490    And thus nature his pourveance
491    Hath mad for man to liven hiere; 
492    Bot god, which hath the Soule diere,
493    Hath formed it in other wise. 
494    That can noman pleinli devise;
495    Bot as the clerkes ous enforme,  
496    That lich to god it hath a forme,
497    Thurgh which figure and which liknesse 
498    The Soule hath many an hyh noblesse 
499    Appropred to his oghne kinde. 
500    Bot ofte hir wittes be mad blinde
501    Al onliche of this ilke point,
502    That hir abydinge is conjoint  
503    Forth with the bodi forto duelle:
504    That on desireth toward helle,
505    That other upward to the hevene; 
506    So schul thei nevere stonde in evene,  
507    Bot if the fleissh be overcome
508    And that the Soule have holi nome
509    The governance, and that is selde,  
510    Whil that the fleissh him mai bewelde. 
511    Al erthli thing which god began  
512    Was only mad to serve man; 
513    Bot he the Soule al only made 
514    Himselven forto serve and glade. 
515    Alle othre bestes that men finde 
516    Thei serve unto here oghne kinde,
517    Bot to reson the Soule serveth;  
518    Wherof the man his thonk deserveth  
519    And get him with hise werkes goode  
520    The perdurable lyves foode.
521    Of what matiere it schal be told,
522    A tale lyketh manyfold  
523    The betre, if it be spoke plein: 
524    Thus thinke I forto torne ayein  
525    And telle plenerly therfore
526    Of therthe, wherof nou tofore 
527    I spak, and of the water eke, 
528    So as these olde clerkes spieke, 
529    And sette proprely the bounde 
530    After the forme of Mappemounde,  
531    Thurgh which the ground be pourparties 
532    Departed is in thre parties,  
533    That is Asie, Aufrique, Europe,  
534    The whiche under the hevene cope,
535    Als ferr as streccheth eny ground,  
536    Begripeth al this Erthe round.
537    Bot after that the hihe wrieche  
538    The water weies let out seche  
539    And overgo the helles hye, 
540    Which every kinde made dye 
541    That upon Middelerthe stod,
542    Outake Noe5 and his blod,  
543    His Sones and his doughtres thre,
544    Thei were sauf and so was he;-
545    Here names who that rede rihte,  
546    Sem, Cam, Japhet the brethren hihte;-  
547    And whanne thilke almyhty hond
548    Withdrouh the water fro the lond,
549    And al the rage was aweie, 
550    And Erthe was the mannes weie,
551    The Sones thre, of whiche I tolde,  
552    Riht after that hemselve wolde,  
553    This world departe thei begonne. 
554    Asie, which lay to the Sonne  
555    Upon the Marche of orient, 
556    Was graunted be comun assent  
557    To Sem, which was the Sone eldeste; 
558    For that partie was the beste 
559    And double as moche as othre tuo.
560    And was that time bounded so; 
561    Wher as the flod which men Nil calleth 
562    Departeth fro his cours and falleth 
563    Into the See Alexandrine,  
564    Ther takth Asie ferst seisine 
565    Toward the West, and over this
566    Of Canahim wher the flod is
567    Into the grete See rennende,  
568    Fro that into the worldes ende
569    Estward, Asie it is algates,  
570    Til that men come unto the gates 
571    Of Paradis, and there ho.  
572    And schortly for to speke it so, 
573    Of Orient in general 
574    Withinne his bounde Asie hath al.
575    And thanne upon that other syde
576    Westward, as it fell thilke tyde,
577    The brother which was hote Cham  
578    Upon his part Aufrique nam.
579    Japhet Europe tho tok he,  
580    Thus parten thei the world on thre. 
581    Bot yit ther ben of londes fele  
582    In occident as for the chele, 
583    In orient as for the hete, 
584    Which of the poeple be forlete
585    As lond desert that is unable,
586    For it mai noght ben habitable.  
587    The water eke hath sondri bounde,
588    After the lond wher it is founde,
589    And takth his name of thilke londes 
590    Wher that it renneth on the strondes:  
591    Bot thilke See which hath no wane
592    Is cleped the gret Occeane,
593    Out of the which arise and come  
594    The hyhe flodes alle and some;
595    Is non so litel welle spring, 
596    Which ther ne takth his beginnyng,  
597    And lich a man that haleth breth 
598    Be weie of kinde, so it geth  
599    Out of the See and in ayein,  
600    The water, as the bokes sein. 
601    Of Elementz the propretes  
602    Hou that they stonden be degres, 
603    As I have told, nou myht thou hiere,
604    Mi goode Sone, al the matiere 
605    Of Erthe, of water, Air and fyr. 
606    And for thou saist that thi desir
607    Is forto witen overmore 
608    The forme of Aristotles lore, 
609    He seith in his entendement,  
610    That yit ther is an Element
611    Above the foure, and is the fifte,  
612    Set of the hihe goddes yifte, 
613    The which that Orbis cleped is. 
614    And therupon he telleth this, 
615    That as the schelle hol and sound
616    Encloseth al aboute round  
617    What thing withinne an Ey belongeth,
618    Riht so this Orbis underfongeth  
619    These elementz alle everychon,
620    Which I have spoke of on and on. 
621    Bot overthis nou tak good hiede, 
622    Mi Sone, for I wol procede 
623    To speke upon Mathematique,
624    Which grounded is on Theorique.  
625    The science of Astronomie  
626    I thinke forto specefie,
627    Withoute which, to telle plein,  
628    Alle othre science is in vein 
629    Toward the scole of erthli thinges: 
630    For as an Egle with his winges
631    Fleth above alle that men finde, 
632    So doth this science in his kinde.  
633    Benethe upon this Erthe hiere 
634    Of alle thinges the matiere,  
635    As tellen ous thei that ben lerned, 
636    Of thing above it stant governed,
637    That is to sein of the Planetes. 
638    The cheles bothe and ek the hetes,  
639    The chances of the world also,
640    That we fortune clepen so, 
641    Among the mennes nacion 
642    Al is thurgh constellacion,
643    Wherof that som man hath the wele,  
644    And som man hath deseses fele 
645    In love als wel as othre thinges;
646    The stat of realmes and of kinges
647    In time of pes, in time of werre 
648    It is conceived of the Sterre:
649    And thus seith the naturien
650    Which is an Astronomien.
651    Bot the divin seith otherwise,
652    That if men weren goode and wise 
653    And plesant unto the godhede, 
654    Thei scholden noght the sterres drede; 
655    For o man, if him wel befalle,
656    Is more worth than ben thei alle 
657    Towardes him that weldeth al. 
658    Bot yit the lawe original, 
659    Which he hath set in the natures,
660    Mot worchen in the creatures, 
661    That therof mai be non obstacle, 
662    Bot if it stonde upon miracle 
663    Thurgh preiere of som holy man.  
664    And forthi, so as I began  
665    To speke upon Astronomie,  
666    As it is write in the clergie,
667    To telle hou the planetes fare,  
668    Som part I thenke to declare, 
669    Mi Sone, unto thin Audience.  
670    Astronomie is the science  
671    Of wisdom and of hih connynge,
672    Which makth a man have knowlechinge 
673    Of Sterres in the firmament,  
674    Figure, cercle and moevement  
675    Of ech of hem in sondri place,
676    And what betwen hem is of space, 
677    Hou so thei moeve or stonde faste,  
678    Al this it telleth to the laste. 
679    Assembled with Astronomie  
680    Is ek that ilke Astrologie 
681    The which in juggementz acompteth
682    Theffect, what every sterre amonteth,  
683    And hou thei causen many a wonder
684    To tho climatz that stonde hem under.
685    And forto telle it more plein,
686    These olde philosphres sein
687    That Orbis, which I spak of err, 
688    Is that which we fro therthe a ferr 
689    Beholde, and firmament it calle, 
690    In which the sterres stonden alle,  
691    Among the whiche in special
692    Planetes sefne principal
693    Ther ben, that mannes sihte demeth, 
694    Bot thorizonte, as to ous semeth.
695    And also ther ben signes tuelve, 
696    Whiche have her cercles be hemselve 
697    Compassed in the zodiaque, 
698    In which thei have here places take.
699    And as thei stonden in degre, 
700    Here cercles more or lasse be,
701    Mad after the proporcion
702    Of therthe, whos condicion 
703    Is set to be the foundement
704    To sustiene up the firmament. 
705    And be this skile a man mai knowe,  
706    The more that thei stonden lowe, 
707    The more ben the cercles lasse;  
708    That causeth why that some passe 
709    Here due cours tofore an other.  
710    Bot nou, mi lieve dere brother,  
711    As thou desirest forto wite
712    What I finde in the bokes write, 
713    To telle of the planetes sevene, 
714    Hou that thei stonde upon the hevene
715    And in what point that thei ben inne,  
716    Tak hiede, for I wol beginne, 
717    So as the Philosophre tauhte  
718    To Alisandre and it betauhte, 
719    Wherof that he was fulli tawht
720    Of wisdom, which was him betawht.
721    Benethe alle othre stant the Mone,
722    The which hath with the See to done:
723    Of flodes hihe and ebbes lowe 
724    Upon his change it schal be knowe;  
725    And every fissh which hath a schelle
726    Mot in his governance duelle, 
727    To wexe and wane in his degre,
728    As be the Mone a man mai se;  
729    And al that stant upon the grounde  
730    Of his moisture it mot be founde.
731    Alle othre sterres, as men finde,
732    Be schynende of here oghne kinde 
733    Outake only the monelyht,  
734    Which is noght of himselve bright,  
735    Bot as he takth it of the Sonne. 
736    And yit he hath noght al fulwonne
737    His lyht, that he nys somdiel derk; 
738    Bot what the lette is of that werk  
739    In Almageste it telleth this: 
740    The Mones cercle so lowe is,  
741    Wherof the Sonne out of his stage
742    Ne seth him noght with full visage, 
743    For he is with the ground beschaded,
744    So that the Mone is somdiel faded
745    And may noght fully schyne cler. 
746    Bot what man under his pouer  
747    Is bore, he schal his places change 
748    And seche manye londes strange:  
749    And as of this condicion
750    The Mones disposicion
751    Upon the lond of Alemaigne 
752    Is set, and ek upon Bretaigne,
753    Which nou is cleped Engelond; 
754    For thei travaile in every lond. 
755    Of the Planetes the secounde  
756    Above the Mone hath take his bounde,
757    Mercurie, and his nature is this,
758    That under him who that bore is, 
759    In boke he schal be studious  
760    And in wrytinge curious, 
761    And slouh and lustles to travaile
762    In thing which elles myhte availe:  
763    He loveth ese, he loveth reste,  
764    So is he noght the worthieste;
765    Bot yit with somdiel besinesse
766    His herte is set upon richesse.  
767    And as in this condicion,  
768    Theffect and disposicion
769    Of this Planete and of his chance
770    Is most in Burgoigne and in France. 
771    Next to Mercurie, as wol befalle,
772    Stant that Planete which men calle  
773    Venus, whos constellacion  
774    Governeth al the nacion 
775    Of lovers, wher thei spiede or non, 
776    Of whiche I trowe thou be on: 
777    Bot whiderward thin happes wende,
778    Schal this planete schewe at ende,  
779    As it hath do to many mo,  
780    To some wel, to some wo.
781    And natheles of this Planete  
782    The moste part is softe and swete;  
783    For who that therof takth his berthe,  
784    He schal desire joie and merthe, 
785    Gentil, courteis and debonaire,  
786    To speke his wordes softe and faire,
787    Such schal he be be weie of kinde,  
788    And overal wher he may finde  
789    Plesance of love, his herte boweth  
790    With al his myht and there he woweth.  
791    He is so ferforth Amourous,
792    He not what thing is vicious  
793    Touchende love, for that lawe 
794    Ther mai no maner man withdrawe, 
795    The which venerien is bore 
796    Be weie of kinde, and therefore  
797    Venus of love the goddesse 
798    Is cleped: bot of wantounesse  
799    The climat of hir lecherie 
800    Is most commun in Lombardie.  
801    Next unto this Planete of love
802    The brighte Sonne stant above,
803    Which is the hindrere of the nyht
804    And forthrere of the daies lyht, 
805    As he which is the worldes ije,  
806    Thurgh whom the lusti compaignie 
807    Of foules be the morwe singe, 
808    The freisshe floures sprede and springe,  
809    The hihe tre the ground beschadeth, 
810    And every mannes herte gladeth.  
811    And for it is the hed Planete,
812    Hou that he sitteth in his sete, 
813    Of what richesse, of what nobleie,  
814    These bokes telle, and thus thei seie. 
815    Of gold glistrende Spoke and whiel  
816    The Sonne his carte hath faire and wiel,  
817    In which he sitt, and is coroned 
818    With brighte stones environed;
819    Of whiche if that I speke schal, 
820    Ther be tofore in special  
821    Set in the front of his corone
822    Thre Stones, whiche no persone
823    Hath upon Erthe, and the ferste is  
824    Be name cleped Licuchis;
825    That othre tuo be cleped thus,
826    Astrices and Ceramius.  
827    In his corone also behinde,
828    Be olde bokes as I finde,  
829    Ther ben of worthi Stones thre
830    Set ech of hem in his degre:  
831    Wherof a Cristall is that on, 
832    Which that corone is set upon;
833    The seconde is an Adamant; 
834    The thridde is noble and avenant,
835    Which cleped is Ydriades.  
836    And over this yit natheles 
837    Upon the sydes of the werk, 
838    After the wrytinge of the clerk, 
839    Ther sitten fyve Stones mo:
840    The smaragdine is on of tho,  
841    Jaspis and Elitropius
842    And Dendides and Jacinctus.
843    Lo, thus the corone is beset, 
844    Wherof it schyneth wel the bet;  
845    And in such wise his liht to sprede 
846    Sit with his Diademe on hede  
847    The Sonne schynende in his carte.
848    And forto lede him swithe and smarte
849    After the bryhte daies lawe,  
850    Ther ben ordeined forto drawe 
851    Foure hors his Char and him withal, 
852    Wherof the names telle I schal:  
853    Erithes the ferste is hote, 
854    The which is red and schyneth hote, 
855    The seconde Acteos the bryhte,
856    Lampes the thridde coursier hihte,  
857    And Philoges is the ferthe, 
858    That bringen lyht unto this erthe,  
859    And gon so swift upon the hevene,
860    In foure and twenty houres evene 
861    The carte with the bryhte Sonne  
862    Thei drawe, so that overronne 
863    Thei have under the cercles hihe 
864    Al Middelerthe in such an hye.
865    And thus the Sonne is overal  
866    The chief Planete imperial,
867    Above him and benethe him thre:  
868    And thus betwen hem regneth he,  
869    As he that hath the middel place 
870    Among the Sevene, and of his face
871    Be glade alle erthly creatures,  
872    And taken after the natures
873    Here ese and recreacion.
874    And in his constellacion
875    Who that is bore in special,  
876    Of good will and of liberal
877    He schal be founde in alle place, 
878    And also stonde in mochel grace  
879    Toward the lordes forto serve 
880    And gret profit and thonk deserve.  
881    And over that it causeth yit  
882    A man to be soubtil of wit 
883    To worche in gold, and to be wys 
884    In every thing which is of pris. 
885    Bot forto speken in what cost 
886    Of al this erthe he regneth most 
887    As for wisdom, it is in Grece,
888    Wher is apropred thilke spiece.  
889    Mars the Planete bataillous
890    Next to the Sonne glorious 
891    Above stant, and doth mervailes  
892    Upon the fortune of batailes. 
893    The conquerours be daies olde 
894    Were unto this planete holde: 
895    Bot who that his nativite  
896    Hath take upon the proprete
897    Of Martes disposicioun  
898    Be weie of constellacioun, 
899    He schal be fiers and folhastif  
900    And desirous of werre and strif. 
901    Bot forto telle redely  
902    In what climat most comunly
903    That this planete hath his effect,  
904    Seid is that he hath his aspect  
905    Upon the holi lond so cast,
906    That there is no pes stedefast.  
907    Above Mars upon the hevene,
908    The sexte Planete of the sevene, 
909    Stant Jupiter the delicat, 
910    Which causeth pes and no debat.  
911    For he is cleped that Planete 
912    Which of his kinde softe and swete  
913    Attempreth al that to him longeth;  
914    And whom this planete underfongeth  
915    To stonde upon his regiment,  
916    He schal be meke and pacient
917    And fortunat to Marchandie 
918    And lusti to delicacie  
919    In every thing which he schal do.
920    This Jupiter is cause also 
921    Of the science of lyhte werkes,  
922    And in this wise tellen clerkes  
923    He is the Planete of delices. 
924    Bot in Egipte of his offices  
925    He regneth most in special:
926    For ther be lustes overal  
927    Of al that to this lif befalleth;
928    For ther no stormy weder falleth,
929    Which myhte grieve man or beste, 
930    And ek the lond is so honeste 
931    That it is plentevous and plein, 
932    Ther is non ydel ground in vein; 
933    And upon such felicite  
934    Stant Jupiter in his degre.
935    The heyeste and aboven alle
936    Stant that planete which men calle  
937    Saturnus, whos complexion  
938    Is cold, and his condicion 
939    Causeth malice and crualte 
940    To him the whos nativite
941    Is set under his governance.  
942    For alle hise werkes ben grevance
943    And enemy to mannes hele,  
944    In what degre that he schal dele.
945    His climat is in Orient,
946    Wher that he is most violent. 
947    Of the Planetes by and by, 
948    Hou that thei stonde upon the Sky,  
949    Fro point to point as thou myht hiere, 
950    Was Alisandre mad to liere.
951    Bot overthis touchende his lore, 
952    Of thing that thei him tawhte more  
953    Upon the scoles of clergie 
954    Now herkne the Philosophie. 
955    He which departeth dai fro nyht, 
956    That on derk and that other lyht,
957    Of sevene daies made a weke,  
958    A Monthe of foure wekes eke
959    He hath ordeigned in his lawe,
960    Of Monthes tuelve and ek forthdrawe 
961    He hath also the longe yeer.  
962    And as he sette of his pouer  
963    Acordant to the daies sevene  
964    Planetes Sevene upon the hevene, 
965    As thou tofore hast herd devise, 
966    To speke riht in such a wise, 
967    To every Monthe be himselve
968    Upon the hevene of Signes tuelve 
969    He hath after his Ordinal  
970    Assigned on in special, 
971    Wherof, so as I schal rehersen,  
972    The tydes of the yer diversen.
973    Bot pleinly forto make it knowe  
974    Hou that the Signes sitte arowe, 
975    Ech after other be degre
976    In substance and in proprete  
977    The zodiaque comprehendeth 
978    Withinne his cercle, as it appendeth.  
979    The ferste of whiche natheles 
980    Be name is cleped Aries,
981    Which lich a wether of stature
982    Resembled is in his figure.
983    And as it seith in Almageste, 
984    Of Sterres tuelve upon this beste
985    Ben set, wherof in his degre  
986    The wombe hath tuo, the heved hath thre,  
987    The Tail hath sevene, and in this wise,
988    As thou myht hiere me divise, 
989    Stant Aries, which hot and drye  
990    Is of himself, and in partie
991    He is the receipte and the hous  
992    Of myhty Mars the bataillous. 
993    And overmore ek, as I finde,  
994    The creatour of alle kinde 
995    Upon this Signe ferst began
996    The world, whan that he made man.
997    And of this constellacioun 
998    The verray operacioun
999    Availeth, if a man therinne
1000   The pourpos of his werk beginne; 
1001   For thanne he hath of proprete
1002   Good sped and gret felicite.  
1003   The tuelve Monthes of the yeer
1004   Attitled under the pouer
1005   Of these tuelve Signes stonde;
1006   Wherof that thou schalt understonde 
1007   This Aries on of the tuelve
1008   Hath March attitled for himselve,
1009   Whan every bridd schal chese his make, 
1010   And every neddre and every Snake 
1011   And every Reptil which mai moeve,
1012   His myht assaieth forto proeve,  
1013   To crepen out ayein the Sonne,
1014   Whan Ver his Seson hath begonne. 
1015   Taurus the seconde after this 
1016   Of Signes, which figured is
1017   Unto a Bole, is dreie and cold;  
1018   And as it is in bokes told,
1019   He is the hous appourtienant  
1020   To Venus, somdiel descordant. 
1021   This Bole is ek with sterres set,
1022   Thurgh whiche he hath hise hornes knet 
1023   Unto the tail of Aries, 
1024   So is he noght ther sterreles.
1025   Upon his brest ek eyhtetiene  
1026   He hath, and ek, as it is sene,  
1027   Upon his tail stonde othre tuo.
1028   His Monthe assigned ek also
1029   Is Averil, which of his schoures 
1030   Ministreth weie unto the floures.
1031   The thridde signe is Gemini,  
1032   Which is figured redely 
1033   Lich to tuo twinnes of mankinde, 
1034   That naked stonde; and as I finde,  
1035   Thei be with Sterres wel bego:
1036   The heved hath part of thilke tuo
1037   That schyne upon the boles tail, 
1038   So be thei bothe of o parail; 
1039   But on the wombe of Gemini 
1040   Ben fyve sterres noght forthi,
1041   And ek upon the feet be tweie,
1042   So as these olde bokes seie,  
1043   That wise Tholomes wrot. 
1044   His propre Monthe wel I wot
1045   Assigned is the lusti Maii,
1046   Whanne every brid upon his lay
1047   Among the griene leves singeth,  
1048   And love of his pointure stingeth
1049   After the lawes of nature  
1050   The youthe of every creature. 
1051   Cancer after the reule and space 
1052   Of Signes halt the ferthe place. 
1053   Like to the crabbe he hath semblance,  
1054   And hath unto his retienance  
1055   Sextiene sterres, wherof ten, 
1056   So as these olde wise men  
1057   Descrive, he berth on him tofore,
1058   And in the middel tuo be bore,
1059   And foure he hath upon his ende. 
1060   Thus goth he sterred in his kende,  
1061   And of himself is moiste and cold,  
1062   And is the propre hous and hold  
1063   Which appartieneth to the Mone,
1064   And doth what longeth him to done.  
1065   The Monthe of Juin unto this Signe  
1066   Thou schalt after the reule assigne.
1067   The fifte Signe is Leo hote,  
1068   Whos kinde is schape dreie and hote,
1069   In whom the Sonne hath herbergage.  
1070   And the semblance of his ymage
1071   Is a leoun, which in baillie  
1072   Of sterres hath his pourpartie:  
1073   The foure, which as Cancer hath  
1074   Upon his ende, Leo tath 
1075   Upon his heved, and thanne nest  
1076   He hath ek foure upon his brest, 
1077   And on upon his tail behinde, 
1078   In olde bokes as we finde. 
1079   His propre Monthe is Juyl be name,  
1080   In which men pleien many a game. 
1081   After Leo Virgo the nexte  
1082   Of Signes cleped is the sexte,
1083   Wherof the figure is a Maide; 
1084   And as the Philosophre saide, 
1085   Sche is the welthe and the risinge, 
1086   The lust, the joie and the likinge  
1087   Unto Mercurie: and soth to seie  
1088   Sche is with sterres wel beseie, 
1089   Wherof Leo hath lent hire on, 
1090   Which sit on hih hir heved upon, 
1091   Hire wombe hath fyve, hir feet also 
1092   Have other fyve: and overmo
1093   Touchende as of complexion,
1094   Be kindly disposicion
1095   Of dreie and cold this Maiden is.
1096   And forto tellen over this 
1097   Hir Monthe, thou schalt understonde,
1098   Whan every feld hath corn in honde  
1099   And many a man his bak hath plied,
1100   Unto this Signe is Augst applied.
1101   After Virgo to reknen evene
1102   Libra sit in the nombre of sevene,  
1103   Which hath figure and resemblance
1104   Unto a man which a balance 
1105   Berth in his hond as forto weie: 
1106   In boke and as it mai be seie,
1107   Diverse sterres to him longeth,  
1108   Wherof on hevede he underfongeth 
1109   Ferst thre, and ek his wombe hath tuo, 
1110   And doun benethe eighte othre mo.
1111   This Signe is hot and moiste bothe, 
1112   The whiche thinges be noght lothe
1113   Unto Venus, so that alofte 
1114   Sche resteth in his hous fulofte,
1115   And ek Saturnus often hyed 
1116   Is in this Signe and magnefied.  
1117   His propre Monthe is seid Septembre,
1118   Which yifth men cause to remembre,  
1119   If eny Sor be left behinde 
1120   Of thing which grieve mai to kinde. 
1121   Among the Signes upon heighte 
1122   The Signe which is nombred eighte
1123   Is Scorpio, which as feloun
1124   Figured is a Scorpioun. 
1125   Bot for al that yit natheles  
1126   Is Scorpio noght sterreles;
1127   For Libra granteth him his ende  
1128   Of eighte sterres, wher he wende,
1129   The whiche upon his heved assised
1130   He berth, and ek ther ben divised
1131   Upon his wombe sterres thre,  
1132   And eighte upon his tail hath he.
1133   Which of his kinde is moiste and cold  
1134   And unbehovely manyfold;
1135   He harmeth Venus and empeireth,  
1136   Bot Mars unto his hous repeireth,
1137   Bot war whan thei togedre duellen.
1138   His propre Monthe is, as men tellen,
1139   Octobre, which bringth the kalende  
1140   Of wynter, that comth next suiende. 
1141   The nynthe Signe in nombre also, 
1142   Which folweth after Scorpio,  
1143   Is cleped Sagittarius,  
1144   The whos figure is marked thus,  
1145   A Monstre with a bowe on honde:  
1146   On whom that sondri sterres stonde, 
1147   Thilke eighte of whiche I spak tofore, 
1148   The whiche upon the tail ben bore
1149   Of Scorpio, the heved al faire
1150   Bespreden of the Sagittaire;  
1151   And eighte of othre stonden evene
1152   Upon his wombe, and othre sevene 
1153   Ther stonde upon his tail behinde.  
1154   And he is hot and dreie of kinde:
1155   To Jupiter his hous is fre,
1156   Bot to Mercurie in his degre, 
1157   For thei ben noght of on assent, 
1158   He worcheth gret empeirement. 
1159   This Signe hath of his proprete  
1160   A Monthe, which of duete
1161   After the sesoun that befalleth  
1162   The Plowed Oxe in wynter stalleth;  
1163   And fyr into the halle he bringeth, 
1164   And thilke drinke of which men singeth,
1165   He torneth must into the wyn; 
1166   Thanne is the larder of the swyn;
1167   That is Novembre which I meene,  
1168   Whan that the lef hath lost his greene.
1169   The tenthe Signe dreie and cold, 
1170   The which is Capricornus told,
1171   Unto a Got hath resemblance:  
1172   For whos love and whos aqueintance  
1173   Withinne hise houses to sojorne  
1174   It liketh wel unto Satorne,
1175   Bot to the Mone it liketh noght,  
1176   For no profit is there wroght.
1177   This Signe as of his proprete 
1178   Upon his heved hath sterres thre,
1179   And ek upon his wombe tuo, 
1180   And tweie upon his tail also. 
1181   Decembre after the yeeres forme, 
1182   So as the bokes ous enforme,  
1183   With daies schorte and nyhtes longe 
1184   This ilke Signe hath underfonge. 
1185   Of tho that sitte upon the hevene
1186   Of Signes in the nombre ellevene 
1187   Aquarius hath take his place, 
1188   And stant wel in Satornes grace, 
1189   Which duelleth in his herbergage,
1190   Bot to the Sonne he doth oultrage.  
1191   This Signe is verraily resembled 
1192   Lich to a man which halt assembled  
1193   In eyther hand a water spoute,
1194   Wherof the stremes rennen oute.  
1195   He is of kinde moiste and hot,
1196   And he that of the sterres wot
1197   Seith that he hath of sterres tuo
1198   Upon his heved, and ben of tho
1199   That Capricorn hath on his ende; 
1200   And as the bokes maken mende, 
1201   That Tholomes made himselve,
1202   He hath ek on his wombe tuelve,  
1203   And tweie upon his ende stonde.  
1204   Thou schalt also this understonde,  
1205   The frosti colde Janever,  
1206   Whan comen is the newe yeer,  
1207   That Janus with his double face  
1208   In his chaiere hath take his place  
1209   And loketh upon bothe sides,  
1210   Somdiel toward the wynter tydes, 
1211   Somdiel toward the yeer suiende, 
1212   That is the Monthe belongende 
1213   Unto this Signe, and of his dole  
1214   He yifth the ferste Primerole.
1215   The tuelfthe, which is last of alle 
1216   Of Signes, Piscis men it calle,  
1217   The which, as telleth the scripture,
1218   Berth of tuo fisshes the figure. 
1219   So is he cold and moiste of kinde,  
1220   And ek with sterres, as I finde, 
1221   Beset in sondri wise, as thus:
1222   Tuo of his ende Aquarius
1223   Hath lent unto his heved, and tuo
1224   This Signe hath of his oghne also
1225   Upon his wombe, and over this 
1226   Upon his ende also ther is 
1227   A nombre of twenty sterres bryghte, 
1228   Which is to sen a wonder sighte. 
1229   Toward this Signe into his hous  
1230   Comth Jupiter the glorious,
1231   And Venus ek with him acordeth
1232   To duellen, as the bok recordeth.
1233   The Monthe unto this Signe ordeined 
1234   Is Februer, which is bereined,
1235   And with londflodes in his rage  
1236   At Fordes letteth the passage.
1237   Nou hast thou herd the proprete  
1238   Of Signes, bot in his degre
1239   Albumazar yit over this 
1240   Seith, so as therthe parted is
1241   In foure, riht so ben divised 
1242   The Signes tuelve and stonde assised,  
1243   That ech of hem for his partie
1244   Hath his climat to justefie.  
1245   Wherof the ferste regiment 
1246   Toward the part of Orient  
1247   From Antioche and that contre 
1248   Governed is of Signes thre,
1249   That is Cancer, Virgo, Leo:
1250   And toward Occident also
1251   From Armenie, as I am lerned,  
1252   Of Capricorn it stant governed,  
1253   Of Pisces and Aquarius: 
1254   And after hem I finde thus,
1255   Southward from Alisandre forth
1256   Tho Signes whiche most ben worth 
1257   In governance of that doaire, 
1258   Libra thei ben and Sagittaire 
1259   With Scorpio, which is conjoint  
1260   With hem to stonde upon that point: 
1261   Constantinople the Cite,
1262   So as the bokes tellen me, 
1263   The laste of this division 
1264   Stant untoward Septemtrion,
1265   Wher as be weie of pourveance 
1266   Hath Aries the governance  
1267   Forth with Taurus and Gemini. 
1268   Thus ben the Signes propreli  
1269   Divided, as it is reherced,
1270   Wherof the londes ben diversed.  
1271   Lo thus, mi Sone, as thou myht hiere,  
1272   Was Alisandre mad to liere 
1273   Of hem that weren for his lore.  
1274   But nou to loken overmore, 
1275   Of othre sterres hou thei fare
1276   I thenke hierafter to declare,
1277   So as king Alisandre in youthe
1278   Of him that suche thinges couthe 
1279   Enformed was tofore his yhe
1280   Be nyhte upon the sterres hihe.  
1281   Upon sondri creacion 
1282   Stant sondri operacion, 
1283   Som worcheth this, som worcheth that;  
1284   The fyr is hot in his astat
1285   And brenneth what he mai atteigne,  
1286   The water mai the fyr restreigne,
1287   The which is cold and moist also.
1288   Of other thing it farth riht so
1289   Upon this erthe among ous here;  
1290   And forto speke in this manere,  
1291   Upon the hevene, as men mai finde,  
1292   The sterres ben of sondri kinde  
1293   And worchen manye sondri thinges 
1294   To ous, that ben here underlinges.  
1295   Among the whiche forth withal 
1296   Nectanabus in special,  
1297   Which was an Astronomien
1298   And ek a gret Magicien, 
1299   And undertake hath thilke emprise
1300   To Alisandre in his aprise 
1301   As of Magique naturel
1302   To knowe, enformeth him somdel
1303   Of certein sterres what thei mene;  
1304   Of whiche, he seith, ther ben fiftene, 
1305   And sondrily to everich on 
1306   A gras belongeth and a Ston,  
1307   Wherof men worchen many a wonder 
1308   To sette thing bothe up and under.  
1309   To telle riht as he began, 
1310   The ferste sterre Aldeboran,  
1311   The cliereste and the moste of alle,
1312   Be rihte name men it calle;
1313   Which lich is of condicion 
1314   To Mars, and of complexion 
1315   To Venus, and hath therupon
1316   Carbunculum his propre Ston:  
1317   His herbe is Anabulla named,  
1318   Which is of gret vertu proclamed.
1319   The seconde is noght vertules;
1320   Clota or elles Pliades  
1321   It hatte, and of the mones kinde 
1322   He is, and also this I finde, 
1323   He takth of Mars complexion:  
1324   And lich to such condicion 
1325   His Ston appropred is Cristall,  
1326   And ek his herbe in special
1327   The vertuous Fenele it is.  
1328   The thridde, which comth after this,
1329   Is hote Algol the clere rede, 
1330   Which of Satorne, as I may rede, 
1331   His kinde takth, and ek of Jove  
1332   Complexion to his behove.  
1333   His propre Ston is Dyamant,
1334   Which is to him most acordant;
1335   His herbe, which is him betake,  
1336   Is hote Eleborum the blake.
1337   So as it falleth upon lot, 
1338   The ferthe sterre is Alhaiot, 
1339   Which in the wise as I seide er  
1340   Of Satorne and of Jupiter  
1341   Hath take his kinde; and therupon
1342   The Saphir is his propre Ston,
1343   Marrubium his herbe also,  
1344   The whiche acorden bothe tuo. 
1345   And Canis maior in his like
1346   The fifte sterre is of Magique,  
1347   The whos kinde is venerien,
1348   As seith this Astronomien. 
1349   His propre Ston is seid Berille, 
1350   Bot forto worche and to fulfille 
1351   Thing which to this science falleth,
1352   Ther is an herbe which men calleth  
1353   Saveine, and that behoveth nede  
1354   To him that wole his pourpos spede. 
1355   The sexte suiende after this  
1356   Be name Canis minor is; 
1357   The which sterre is Mercurial 
1358   Be weie of kinde, and forth withal, 
1359   As it is writen in the carte, 
1360   Complexion he takth of Marte. 
1361   His Ston and herbe, as seith the Scole,
1362   Ben Achates and Primerole. 
1363   The sefnthe sterre in special 
1364   Of this science is Arial,  
1365   Which sondri nature underfongeth. 
1366   The Ston which propre unto him longeth,
1367   Gorgonza proprely it hihte:
1368   His herbe also, which he schal rihte
1369   Upon the worchinge as I mene, 
1370   Is Celidoine freissh and grene.  
1371   Sterre Ala Corvi upon heihte  
1372   Hath take his place in nombre of eighte,  
1373   Which of his kinde mot parforne  
1374   The will of Marte and of Satorne:
1375   To whom Lapacia the grete  
1376   Is herbe, bot of no beyete;
1377   His Ston is Honochinus hote,  
1378   Thurgh which men worchen gret riote.
1379   The nynthe sterre faire and wel  
1380   Be name is hote Alaezel,
1381   Which takth his propre kinde thus
1382   Bothe of Mercurie and of Venus.  
1383   His Ston is the grene Amyraude,  
1384   To whom is yoven many a laude:
1385   Salge is his herbe appourtenant  
1386   Aboven al the rememant. 
1387   The tenthe sterre is Almareth,
1388   Which upon lif and upon deth  
1389   Thurgh kinde of Jupiter and Mart 
1390   He doth what longeth to his part.
1391   His Ston is Jaspe, and of Planteine 
1392   He hath his herbe sovereine.  
1393   The sterre ellefthe is Venenas,  
1394   The whos nature is as it was  
1395   Take of Venus and of the Mone,
1396   In thing which he hath forto done.  
1397   Of Adamant is that perrie  
1398   In which he worcheth his maistrie;  
1399   Thilke herbe also which him befalleth, 
1400   Cicorea the bok it calleth.
1401   Alpheta in the nombre sit, 
1402   And is the twelfthe sterre yit;
1403   Of Scorpio which is governed, 
1404   And takth his kinde, as I am lerned;
1405   And hath his vertu in the Ston
1406   Which cleped is Topazion:  
1407   His herbe propre is Rosmarine,
1408   Which schapen is for his covine. 
1409   Of these sterres, whiche I mene, 
1410   Cor Scorpionis is thritiene;  
1411   The whos nature Mart and Jove 
1412   Have yoven unto his behove.
1413   His herbe is Aristologie,  
1414   Which folweth his Astronomie: 
1415   The Ston which that this sterre alloweth, 
1416   Is Sardis, which unto him boweth.
1417   The sterre which stant next the laste, 
1418   Nature on him this name caste 
1419   And clepeth him Botercadent;  
1420   Which of his kinde obedient
1421   Is to Mercurie and to Venus.  
1422   His Ston is seid Crisolitus,  
1423   His herbe is cleped Satureie, 
1424   So as these olde bokes seie.  
1425   Bot nou the laste sterre of alle 
1426   The tail of Scorpio men calle,
1427   Which to Mercurie and to Satorne 
1428   Be weie of kinde mot retorne  
1429   After the preparacion
1430   Of due constellacion.
1431   The Calcedoine unto him longeth, 
1432   Which for his Ston he underfongeth; 
1433   Of Majorane his herbe is grounded.  
1434   Thus have I seid hou thei be founded,  
1435   Of every sterre in special,
1436   Which hath his herbe and Ston withal,  
1437   As Hermes in his bokes olde
1438   Witnesse berth of that I tolde.
1439   The science of Astronomie, 
1440   Which principal is of clergie 
1441   To dieme betwen wo and wel 
1442   In thinges that be naturel,
1443   Thei hadde a gret travail on honde  
1444   That made it ferst ben understonde; 
1445   And thei also which overmore  
1446   Here studie sette upon this lore,
1447   Thei weren gracious and wys
1448   And worthi forto bere a pris. 
1449   And whom it liketh forto wite 
1450   Of hem that this science write,  
1451   On of the ferste which it wrot
1452   After Noe5, it was Nembrot,
1453   To his disciple Ychonithon 
1454   And made a bok forth therupon 
1455   The which Megaster cleped was.
1456   An other Auctor in this cas
1457   Is Arachel, the which men note;  
1458   His bok is Abbategnyh hote.
1459   Danz Tholome is noght the leste, 
1460   Which makth the bok of Almageste;
1461   And Alfraganus doth the same, 
1462   Whos bok is Chatemuz be name. 
1463   Gebuz and Alpetragus eke
1464   Of Planisperie, which men seke,  
1465   The bokes made: and over this 
1466   Ful many a worthi clerc ther is, 
1467   That writen upon this clergie 
1468   The bokes of Altemetrie,
1469   Planemetrie and ek also,
1470   Whiche as belongen bothe tuo, 
1471   So as thei ben naturiens,  
1472   Unto these Astronomiens.
1473   Men sein that Habraham was on;
1474   Bot whether that he wrot or non, 
1475   That finde I noght; and Moi5ses  
1476   Ek was an other: bot Hermes 
1477   Above alle othre in this science 
1478   He hadde a gret experience;
1479   Thurgh him was many a sterre assised,  
1480   Whos bokes yit ben auctorized.
1481   I mai noght knowen alle tho
1482   That writen in the time tho
1483   Of this science; bot I finde, 
1484   Of jugement be weie of kinde  
1485   That in o point thei alle acorden:  
1486   Of sterres whiche thei recorden  
1487   That men mai sen upon the hevene,
1488   Ther ben a thousend sterres evene
1489   And tuo and twenty, to the syhte 
1490   Whiche aren of hemself so bryhte,
1491   That men mai dieme what thei be, 
1492   The nature and the proprete.  
1493   Nou hast thou herd, in which a wise 
1494   These noble Philosophres wise 
1495   Enformeden this yonge king,
1496   And made him have a knowleching  
1497   Of thing which ferst to the partie  
1498   Belongeth of Philosophie,  
1499   Which Theorique cleped is, 
1500   As thou tofore hast herd er this.
1501   Bot nou to speke of the secounde,
1502   Which Aristotle hath also founde,
1503   And techeth hou to speke faire,  
1504   Which is a thing full necessaire 
1505   To contrepeise the balance,
1506   Wher lacketh other sufficance.
1507   Above alle erthli creatures
1508   The hihe makere of natures  
1509   The word to man hath yove alone, 
1510   So that the speche of his persone,  
1511   Or forto lese or forto winne, 
1512   The hertes thoght which is withinne 
1513   Mai schewe, what it wolde mene;  
1514   And that is noghwhere elles sene 
1515   Of kinde with non other beste.
1516   So scholde he be the more honeste,  
1517   To whom god yaf so gret a yifte, 
1518   And loke wel that he ne schifte  
1519   Hise wordes to no wicked us;  
1520   For word the techer of vertus 
1521   Is cleped in Philosophie.  
1522   Wherof touchende this partie, 
1523   Is Rethorique the science  
1524   Appropred to the reverence 
1525   Of wordes that ben resonable: 
1526   And for this art schal be vailable  
1527   With goodli wordes forto like,
1528   It hath Gramaire, it hath Logiqe,
1529   That serven bothe unto the speche.  
1530   Gramaire ferste hath forto teche 
1531   To speke upon congruite:
1532   Logique hath eke in his degre 
1533   Betwen the trouthe and the falshode 
1534   The pleine wordes forto schode,  
1535   So that nothing schal go beside, 
1536   That he the riht ne schal decide.
1537   Wherof full many a gret debat 
1538   Reformed is to good astat, 
1539   And pes sustiened up alofte
1540   With esy wordes and with softe,  
1541   Wher strengthe scholde lete it falle.  
1542   The Philosophre amonges alle  
1543   Forthi commendeth this science,  
1544   Which hath the reule of eloquence.  
1545   In Ston and gras vertu ther is,  
1546   Bot yit the bokes tellen this, 
1547   That word above alle erthli thinges 
1548   Is vertuous in his doinges,
1549   Wher so it be to evele or goode. 
1550   For if the wordes semen goode 
1551   And ben wel spoke at mannes Ere, 
1552   Whan that ther is no trouthe there, 
1553   Thei don fulofte gret deceipte;  
1554   For whan the word to the conceipte  
1555   Descordeth in so double a wise,  
1556   Such Rethorique is to despise 
1557   In every place, and forto drede. 
1558   For of Uluxes thus I rede, 
1559   As in the bok of Troie is founde,
1560   His eloquence and his facounde
1561   Of goodly wordes whiche he tolde,
1562   Hath mad that Anthenor him solde 
1563   The toun, which he with tresoun wan.
1564   Word hath beguiled many a man;
1565   With word the wilde beste is daunted,  
1566   With word the Serpent is enchaunted,
1567   Of word among the men of Armes
1568   Ben woundes heeled with the charmes,
1569   Wher lacketh other medicine;  
1570   Word hath under his discipline
1571   Of Sorcerie the karectes.  
1572   The wordes ben of sondri sectes, 
1573   Of evele and eke of goode also;  
1574   The wordes maken frend of fo, 
1575   And fo of frend, and pes of werre,  
1576   And werre of pes, and out of herre  
1577   The word this worldes cause entriketh, 
1578   And reconsileth whan him liketh. 
1579   The word under the coupe of hevene  
1580   Set every thing or odde or evene;
1581   With word the hihe god is plesed,
1582   With word the wordes ben appesed,
1583   The softe word the loude stilleth;  
1584   Wher lacketh good, the word fulfilleth,
1585   To make amendes for the wrong; 
1586   Whan wordes medlen with the song,
1587   It doth plesance wel the more.
1588   Bot forto loke upon the lore  
1589   Hou Tullius his Rethorique 
1590   Componeth, ther a man mai pike
1591   Hou that he schal hise wordes sette,
1592   Hou he schal lose, hou he schal knette,
1593   And in what wise he schal pronounce 
1594   His tale plein withoute frounce. 
1595   Wherof ensample if thou wolt seche, 
1596   Tak hiede and red whilom the speche 
1597   Of Julius and Cithero,  
1598   Which consul was of Rome tho, 
1599   Of Catoun eke and of Cillene, 
1600   Behold the wordes hem betwene,
1601   Whan the tresoun of Cateline  
1602   Descoevered was, and the covine  
1603   Of hem that were of his assent
1604   Was knowe and spoke in parlement,
1605   And axed hou and in what wise 
1606   Men scholde don hem to juise. 
1607   Cillenus ferst his tale tolde,
1608   To trouthe and as he was beholde,
1609   The comun profit forto save,  
1610   He seide hou tresoun scholde have
1611   A cruel deth; and thus thei spieke, 
1612   The Consul bothe and Catoun eke, 
1613   And seiden that for such a wrong 
1614   Ther mai no peine be to strong.  
1615   Bot Julius with wordes wise
1616   His tale tolde al otherwise,  
1617   As he which wolde her deth respite, 
1618   And fondeth hou he mihte excite  
1619   The jugges thurgh his eloquence  
1620   Fro deth to torne the sentence
1621   And sette here hertes to pite.
1622   Nou tolden thei, nou tolde he; 
1623   Thei spieken plein after the lawe,  
1624   Bot he the wordes of his sawe 
1625   Coloureth in an other weie 
1626   Spekende, and thus betwen the tweie,
1627   To trete upon this juggement, 
1628   Made ech of hem his Argument. 
1629   Wherof the tales forto hiere, 
1630   Ther mai a man the Scole liere
1631   Of Rethoriqes eloquences,  
1632   Which is the secounde of sciences
1633   Touchende to Philosophie;  
1634   Wherof a man schal justifie
1635   Hise wordes in disputeisoun,  
1636   And knette upon conclusioun
1637   His Argument in such a forme, 
1638   Which mai the pleine trouthe enforme
1639   And the soubtil cautele abate,
1640   Which every trewman schal debate.
1641   The ferste, which is Theorique,  
1642   And the secounde Rethorique,  
1643   Sciences of Philosophie,
1644   I have hem told as in partie, 
1645   So as the Philosophre it tolde
1646   To Alisandre: and nou I wolde 
1647   Telle of the thridde what it is, 
1648   The which Practique cleped is.
1649   Practique stant upon thre thinges
1650   Toward the governance of kinges; 
1651   Wherof the ferst Etique is named,
1652   The whos science stant proclamed 
1653   To teche of vertu thilke reule,
1654   Hou that a king himself schal reule 
1655   Of his moral condicion  
1656   With worthi disposicion 
1657   Of good livinge in his persone,  
1658   Which is the chief of his corone.
1659   It makth a king also to lerne 
1660   Hou he his bodi schal governe,
1661   Hou he schal wake, hou he schal slepe, 
1662   Hou that he schal his hele kepe  
1663   In mete, in drinke, in clothinge eke:  
1664   Ther is no wisdom forto seke  
1665   As for the reule of his persone, 
1666   The which that this science al one  
1667   Ne techeth as be weie of kinde,  
1668   That ther is nothing left behinde.  
1669   That other point which to Practique 
1670   Belongeth is Iconomique,
1671   Which techeth thilke honestete
1672   Thurgh which a king in his degre 
1673   His wif and child schal reule and guie,
1674   So forth with al the companie 
1675   Which in his houshold schal abyde,  
1676   And his astat on every syde
1677   In such manere forto lede, 
1678   That he his houshold ne mislede. 
1679   Practique hath yit the thridde aprise, 
1680   Which techeth hou and in what wise  
1681   Thurgh hih pourveied ordinance
1682   A king schal sette in governance 
1683   His Realme, and that is Policie, 
1684   Which longeth unto Regalie 
1685   In time of werre, in time of pes,
1686   To worschipe and to good encress 
1687   Of clerk, of kniht and of Marchant, 
1688   And so forth of the remenant  
1689   Of al the comun poeple aboute,
1690   Withinne Burgh and ek withoute,
1691   Of hem that ben Artificiers,  
1692   Whiche usen craftes and mestiers,
1693   Whos Art is cleped Mechanique.
1694   And though thei ben noght alle like,
1695   Yit natheles, hou so it falle,
1696   O lawe mot governe hem alle,  
1697   Or that thei lese or that thei winne,  
1698   After thastat that thei ben inne.
1699   Lo, thus this worthi yonge king  
1700   Was fulli tauht of every thing,  
1701   Which mihte yive entendement  
1702   Of good reule and good regiment  
1703   To such a worthi Prince as he.
1704   Bot of verray necessite 
1705   The Philosophre him hath betake  
1706   Fyf pointz, whiche he hath undertake
1707   To kepe and holde in observance, 
1708   As for the worthi governance  
1709   Which longeth to his Regalie, 
1710   After the reule of Policie.
1711   To every man behoveth lore,
1712   Bot to noman belongeth more
1713   Than to a king, which hath to lede  
1714   The poeple; for of his kinghede  
1715   He mai hem bothe save and spille.
1716   And for it stant upon his wille, 
1717   It sit him wel to ben avised, 
1718   And the vertus whiche are assissed  
1719   Unto a kinges Regiment, 
1720   To take in his entendement:
1721   Wherof to tellen, as thei stonde,
1722   Hierafterward nou woll I fonde.
1723   Among the vertus on is chief, 
1724   And that is trouthe, which is lief  
1725   To god and ek to man also. 
1726   And for it hath ben evere so, 
1727   Tawhte Aristotle, as he wel couthe, 
1728   To Alisandre, hou in his youthe  
1729   He scholde of trouthe thilke grace  
1730   With al his hole herte embrace,  
1731   So that his word be trewe and plein,
1732   Toward the world and so certein  
1733   That in him be no double speche: 
1734   For if men scholde trouthe seche 
1735   And founde it noght withinne a king,
1736   It were an unsittende thing.  
1737   The word is tokne of that withinne, 
1738   Ther schal a worthi king beginne 
1739   To kepe his tunge and to be trewe,  
1740   So schal his pris ben evere newe.
1741   Avise him every man tofore,
1742   And be wel war, er he be swore,  
1743   For afterward it is to late,  
1744   If that he wole his word debate. 
1745   For as a king in special
1746   Above alle othre is principal 
1747   Of his pouer, so scholde he be
1748   Most vertuous in his degre;
1749   And that mai wel be signefied 
1750   Be his corone and specified.  
1751   The gold betokneth excellence,
1752   That men schull don him reverence
1753   As to here liege soverein. 
1754   The Stones, as the bokes sein,
1755   Commended ben in treble wise: 
1756   Ferst thei ben harde, and thilke assisse  
1757   Betokneth in a king Constance,
1758   So that ther schal no variance
1759   Be founde in his condicion;
1760   And also be descripcion  
1761   The vertu which is in the stones 
1762   A verrai Signe is for the nones  
1763   Of that a king schal ben honeste 
1764   And holde trewly his beheste  
1765   Of thing which longeth to kinghede: 
1766   The bryhte colour, as I rede, 
1767   Which in the stones is schynende,
1768   Is in figure betoknende 
1769   The Cronique of this worldes fame,  
1770   Which stant upon his goode name. 
1771   The cercle which is round aboute 
1772   Is tokne of al the lond withoute,
1773   Which stant under his Gerarchie, 
1774   That he it schal wel kepe and guye. 
1775   And for that trouthe, hou so it falle, 
1776   Is the vertu soverein of alle,
1777   That longeth unto regiment,
1778   A tale, which is evident
1779   Of trouthe in comendacioun,
1780   Toward thin enformacion,
1781   Mi Sone, hierafter thou schalt hiere
1782   Of a Cronique in this matiere.
1783   As the Cronique it doth reherce, 
1784   A Soldan whilom was of Perce, 
1785   Which Daires hihte, and Ytaspis  
1786   His fader was; and soth it is 
1787   That thurgh wisdom and hih prudence 
1788   Mor than for eny reverence 
1789   Of his lignage as be descente 
1790   The regne of thilke empire he hente:
1791   And as he was himselve wys,
1792   The wisemen he hield in pris  
1793   And soghte hem oute on every side,  
1794   That toward him thei scholde abide. 
1795   Among the whiche thre ther were  
1796   That most service unto him bere,  
1797   As thei which in his chambre lyhen  
1798   And al his conseil herde and syhen. 
1799   Here names ben of strange note,  
1800   Arpaghes was the ferste hote, 
1801   And Manachaz was the secounde,
1802   Zorobabel, as it is founde 
1803   In the Cronique, was the thridde.
1804   This Soldan, what so him betidde,
1805   To hem he triste most of alle,
1806   Wherof the cas is so befalle: 
1807   This lord, which hath conceiptes depe, 
1808   Upon a nyht whan he hath slepe,  
1809   As he which hath his wit desposed,  
1810   Touchende a point hem hath opposed. 
1811   The kinges question was this; 
1812   Of thinges thre which strengest is, 
1813   The wyn, the womman or the king: 
1814   And that thei scholde upon this thing  
1815   Of here ansuere avised be, 
1816   He yaf hem fulli daies thre,  
1817   And hath behote hem be his feith 
1818   That who the beste reson seith,  
1819   He schal receive a worthi mede.  
1820   Upon this thing thei token hiede 
1821   And stoden in desputeison, 
1822   That be diverse opinion 
1823   Of Argumentz that thei have holde
1824   Arpaghes ferst his tale tolde,
1825   And seide hou that the strengthe of kinges
1826   Is myhtiest of alle thinges.