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VII. Anelida and Arcite.

This Poem consists of several distinct portions. It begins with a Proem, of three stanzas, followed by a part of the story, in twenty-seven stanzas, all in seven-line stanzas. Next follows the Complaint of Anelida, skilfully and artificially constructed; it consists of a Proem in a single stanza of nine lines; next, what may be called a Strophe, in six stanzas, of which the first four consist of nine lines, the fifth consists of sixteen lines (with only two rimes), and the sixth, of nine lines (with internal rimes). Next follows what may be called an Antistrophe, in six stanzas arranged precisely as before; wound up by a single concluding stanza corresponding to the Proem at the beginning of the Complaint. After this, the story begins again; but the poet had only written one stanza when he suddenly broke off, and left the poem unfinished; see note to l. 357.

The name of Arcite naturally reminds us of the Knightes Tale; but the 'false Arcite' of the present poem has nothing beyond the name in common with the 'true Arcite' of the Tale. However, there are other connecting links, to be pointed out in their due places, which tend to shew that this poem was written before the Knightes Tale, and was never finished; it is also probable that Chaucer actually wrote an earlier draught of the Knightes Tale, with the title of Palamon and Arcite, which he afterwards partially rejected; for he mentions 'The Love of Palamon and Arcite' in the prologue to the Legend of Good Women as if it were an independent work. However this may be, it is clear that, in constructing or rewriting the Knightes Tale, he did not lose sight of 'Anelida,' for he has used some of the lines over again; moreover, it is not a little remarkable that the very lines from Statius which are quoted at the beginning of the fourth stanza of Anelida are also quoted, in some of the MSS., at the beginning of the Knightes Tale.

But this is not all. For Dr. Koch has pointed out the close agreement between the opening stanzas of this poem, and those of Boccaccio's Teseide, which is the very work from which Palamon and Arcite was, of course, derived, as it is the chief source of the Knightes Tale also. Besides this, there are several stanzas from the Teseide in the Parliament of Foules; and even three near the end of Troilus, viz. the seventh, eighth, and ninth from the end of the last book. Hence we should be inclined to suppose that Chaucer originally translated the Teseide rather closely, substituting a seven-line stanza for the ottava rima of the original; this formed the original Palamon and Arcite, a poem which he probably never finished (as his manner was). Not wishing, however, to abandon it altogether, he probably used some of the lines in this present poem, and introduced others into his Parliament of Foules. At a later period, he rewrote, in a complete form, the whole story in his own fashion, which has come down to us as The Knightes Tale. Whatever the right explanation may be, we are at [ 530 ] any rate certain that the Teseide is the source of (1) sixteen stanzas in the Parliament of Foules; (2) of part of the first ten stanzas in the present poem; (3) of the original Palamon and Arcite; (4) of the Knightes Tale; and (5) of three stanzas near the end of Troilus, bk. v. 1807-27 (Tes. xi. 1-3).

1. In comparing the first three stanzas with the Teseide, we must reverse the order of the stanzas in the latter poem. Stanza 1 of Anelida answers to st. 3 of the Italian; stanza 2, to st. 2; and stanza 3 to st. 1. The first two lines of lib. 1. st. 3 (of the Italian) are:—

'Siate presenti, O Marte rubicondo,
Nelle tue arme rigido e feroce.'


I. e. Be present, O Mars the red, strong and fierce in thy arms (battle-array). For the words Be present, see l. 6.

2. Trace, Thrace. Cf. Kn. Tale, 1114-6 (A 1972-4). Chaucer was here thinking of Statius, Theb. lib. vii. 40, who describes the temple of Mars on Mount Hæmus, in Thrace, which had a frosty climate. In bk. ii, l. 719, Pallas is invoked as being superior to Bellona. Chaucer seems to confuse them; so does Boccaccio, in his De Genealogia Deorum.

6, 7. Partly imitated from Tes. i. 3:—

'E sostenete la mano e la voce
Di me, che intendo i vostri effecti dire.'


8-10. Imitated from Tes. i. 2:—

'Chè m' è venuta voglia con pietosa
Rima di scriver una storia antica,
Tanto negli anni riposta e nascosa,
Che latino autor non par ne dica,
Per quel ch' io senta, in libro alcuna cosa.'


Thus it appears that, when speaking of his finding an old story in Latin, he is actually translating from an Italian poem which treats of a story not found in Latin! That is, his words give no indication whatever of the source of his poem; but are merely used in a purely conventional manner. His 'old story' is really that of the siege of Thebes; and his Latin is the Thebais of Statius. And neither of them speaks of Anelida!

15. Read fávourábl'. Imitated from Tes. i. 1:—

'O sorelle Castalie, che nel monte
Elicona contente dimorate
D' intorno al sacro gorgoneo fonte,
Sottesso l' ombra delle frondi amate
Da Febo, delle quali ancor la fronte
I' spero ornarmi sol che 'l concediate
Gli santi orecchi a' miei prieghi porgete,
E quegli udite come voi volete.'


Polymnia, Polyhymnia, also spelt Polymnia, Gk. Πολυμνία one of the [ 531 ] nine Muses. Chaucer invokes the muse Clio in Troil. bk. ii, and Calliope in bk. iii. Cf. Ho. of Fame, 520-2. Parnaso, Parnassus, a mountain in Phocis sacred to Apollo and the Muses, at whose foot was Delphi and the Castalian spring. Elicon, mount Helicon in Bœotia; Chaucer seems to have been thinking rather of the Castalian spring, as he uses the prep. by, and supposes Elicon to be near Parnaso. See the Italian, as quoted above; and note that, in the Ho. of Fame, 522, he says that Helicon is a well.

A similar confusion occurs in Troilus, iii. 1809:—

'Ye sustren nyne eek, that by Elicone
In hil Parnaso listen for tabyde.'


17. Cirrea, Cirra. Chaucer was thinking of the adj. Cirræus. Cirra was an ancient town near Delphi, under Parnassus. Dante mentions Cirra, Parad. i. 36; and Parnaso just above, l. 16. Perhaps Chaucer took it from him.

20. A common simile. So Spenser, F. Q. i. 12. 1, 42; and at the end of the Thebaid and the Teseide both.

21. Stace, Statius; i. e. the Thebaid; whence some of the next stanzas are more or less borrowed. Chaucer epitomises the general contents of the Thebaid in his Troilus; v. 1484, &c.

Corinne, not Corinna (as some have thought, for she has nothing to do with the matter), but Corinnus. Corinnus was a disciple of Palamedes, and is said to have written an account of the Trojan War, and of the war of the Trojan king Dardanus against the Paphlagonians, in the Dorian dialect. Suidas asserts that Homer made some use of his writings. See Zedler, Universal Lexicon; and Biog. Universelle. How Chaucer met with this name, is not known. Possibly, however, Chaucer was thinking of Colonna, i. e. Guido di Colonna, author of the medieval Bellum Trojanum. But this does not help us, and it is at least as likely that the name Corinne was merely introduced by way of flourish; for no source has been discovered for the latter part of the poem, which may have been entirely of his own invention. For Palamedes, see Lydgate's Troy-book, bk. v. c. 36.

22. The verses from Statius, preserved in the MSS., are the three lines following; from Thebais, xii. 519:—

'Jamque domos patrias Scythicæ post aspera gentis
Prælia laurigero subeuntem Thesea curru,
Lætifici plausus missusque ad sidera vulgi,' &c.


The first line and half the second appear also in the MSS. of the Canterbury Tales, at the head of the Knightes Tale, which commences, so to speak, at the same point (l. 765 in Lewis's translation of the Thebaid). Comparing these lines of Statius with the lines in Chaucer, we at once see how he came by the word aspre and the expression With laurer crouned. The whole of this stanza (ll. 22-28) is expanded from the three lines here quoted.

23. Cithe, Scythia; see last note. See Kn. Tale, 9 (A 867). [ 532 ]

24. Cf. Kn. Tale, 169, 121 (A 1027, 979).

25. Contre-houses, houses of his country, homes (used of Theseus and his army). It exactly reproduces the Lat. domos patrias. See Kn. Tale, 11 (A 869).

29-35. Chaucer merely takes the general idea from Statius, and expands it in his own way. Lewis's translation of Statius has:—

'To swell the pomp, before the chief are borne
The spoils and trophies from the vanquish'd torn;'


but the Lat. text has—

'Ante ducem spolia et duri Mauortis imago,
Uirginei currus, cumulataque fercula cristis.'


And, just below, is a brief mention of Hippolyta, who had been wedded to Theseus.

30, 1. Cf. Kn. Tale, 117, 118 (A 975). See note above.

36, 7. Cf. Kn. Tale, 23, 24 (A 881, 2); observe the order of words.

38. Repeated in Kn. Tale, 114 (A 972); changing With to And.

Emelye is not mentioned in Statius. She is the Emilia of the Teseide; see lib. ii. st. 22 of that poem.

43-6. Cf. Kn. Tale, 14, 15, 169 (A 872-3, 1027).

47. Here we are told that the story is really to begin. Chaucer now returns from Statius (whom he has nearly done with) to the Teseide, and the next three stanzas, ll. 50-70, are more or less imitated from that poem, lib. ii. st. 10-12.

50-6. Boccaccio is giving a sort of summary of the result of the war described in the Thebaid. His words are:—

'Fra tanto Marte i popoli lernei
Con furioso corso avie commossi
Sopro i Tebani, e miseri trofei
Donati avea de' Principi percossi
Più volte già, e de' greci plebei
Ritenuti tal volta, e tal riscossi
Con asta sanguinosa fieramente,
Trista avea fatta l' una e l' altra gente.'


57-63. Imitated from Tes. ii. 11:—

'Perciò che dopo Anfiarao, Tideo
Stato era ucciso, e 'l buon Ippomedone,
E similmente il bel Partenopeo,
E più Teban, de' qua' non fo menzione,
Dinanzi e dopo al fiero Capaneo,
E dietro a tutti in doloroso agone,
Eteocle e Polinice, ed ispedito
Il solo Adrastro ad Argo era fuggito.'


See also Troilus, v. 1499-1510.

57. Amphiorax; so in Troilus, ii. 105, v. 1500; Cant. Tales, 6323 (D 741); and in Lydgate's Siege of Thebes. Amphiaraus is meant; [ 533 ] he accompanied Polynices, and was swallowed up by the earth during the siege of Thebes; Statius, Thebais, lib. vii. (at the end); Dante, Inf. xx. 34. Tydeus and Polynices married the two daughters of Adrastus. The heroic acts of Tydeus are recorded in the Thebaid. See Lydgate, Siege of Thebes; or the extract from it in my Specimens of English.

58. Ipomedon, Hippomedon; one of the seven chiefs who engaged in the war against Thebes. Parthonopee, Parthenopæus, son of Meleager and Atalanta; another of the seven chiefs. For the account of their deaths, see the Thebaid, lib. ix.

59. Campaneus; spelt Cappaneus, Capaneus in Kn. Tale, 74 (A 932); Troil. v. 1504. Thynne, in his Animadversions on Speght's Chaucer (ed. Furnivall, p. 43), defends the spelling Campaneus on the ground that it was the usual medieval spelling; and refers us to Gower and Lydgate. In Pauli's edition of Gower, i. 108, it is Capaneus. Lydgate has Campaneus; Siege of Thebes, pt. iii. near the beginning. Capaneus is the right Latin form; he was one of the seven chiefs, and was struck with lightning by Jupiter whilst scaling the walls of Thebes; Statius, Theb. lib. x (at the end). Cf. Dante, Inf. xiv. 63. As to the form Campaneus, cf. Ital. Campidoglio with Lat. Capitolium.

60. 'The Theban wretches, the two brothers;' i. e. Eteocles and Polynices, who caused the war. Cf. Troil. v. 1507.

61. Adrastus, king of Argos, who assisted his son-in-law Polynices, and survived the war; Theb. lib. xi. 441.

63. 'That no man knew of any remedy for his (own) misery.' Care, anxiety, misery. At this line Chaucer begins upon st. 12 of the second book of the Teseide, which runs thus:—

'Onde il misero gente era rimaso
Vôto[1] di gente, e pien d'ogni dolore;
Ma a picciol tempo da Creonte invaso
Fu, che di quello si fe' re e signore,
Con tristo augurio, in doloroso caso
Recò insieme il regno suo e l'onore,
Per fiera crudeltà da lui usata,
Mai da null'altro davanti pensata.


Cf. Knightes Tale, 80-4 (A 938).

71. From this point onward, Chaucer's work is, as far as we know at present, original. He seems to be intending to draw a portrait of a queen of Armenia who is neglected by her lover, in distinct contrast to Emilia, sister of the queen of Scythia, who had a pair of lovers devoted to her service.

72. Ermony, Armenia; the usual M. E. form.

78. Of twenty yeer of elde, of twenty years of age; so in MSS. F., Tn., and Harl. 372. See note to l. 80.

80. Behelde; so in MSS. Harl., F.; and Harl. 372 has beheelde. [ 534 ] I should hesitate to accept this form instead of the usual beholde, but for its occurrence in Gower, Conf. Amant., ed. Pauli, iii. 147:—

'The wine can make a creple sterte
And a deliver man unwelde;
It maketh a blind man to behelde.


So also in the Moral Ode, l. 288, the Trinity MS. has the infin. behealde, and the Lambeth MS. has bihelde. It appears to be a Southern form, adopted here for the rime, like ken for kin in Book of the Duch. 438.

There is further authority; for we actually find helde for holde in five MSS. out of seven, riming with welde (wolde); C. T., Group D, l. 272.

82. Penelope and Lucretia are favourite examples of constancy; see C. T., Group B, 63, 75; Book Duch. 1081-2; Leg. Good Women, 252, 257. Read Penélop', not Pénelóp', as in B. D. 1081.

84. Amended. Compare what is said of Zenobia; C. T., B 3444.

85. I have supplied Arcite, which the MSS. strangely omit. It is necessary to name him here, to introduce him; and the line is else too short. Chaucer frequently shifts the accent upon this name, so that there is nothing wrong about either Arcíte here, or Árcite in l. 92. See Kn. Tale, 173, 344, 361, &c. on the one hand; and lines 1297, 1885 on the other. And see l. 140 below.

91. Read trust, the contracted form of trusteth.

98. 'As, indeed, it is needless for men to learn such craftiness.'

105. A proverbial expression; see Squi. Tale, F 537. The character of Arcite is precisely that of the false tercelet in Part II. of the Squieres Tale; and Anelida is like the falcon in the same. Both here and in the Squieres Tale we find the allusions to Lamech, and to blue as the colour of constancy; see notes to ll. 146, 150, 161-9 below.

119. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 569.

128. 'That all his will, it seemed to her,' &c. A common idiom. Koch would omit hit, for the sake of the metre; but it makes no difference at all, the e in thoghte being elided.

141. New-fangelnesse; see p. 409, l. 1, and Squi. Tale, F 610.

145. In her hewe, in her colours: he wore the colours which she affected. This was a common method of shewing devotion to a lady.

146. Observe the satire in this line. Arcite is supposed to have worn white, red, or green; but he did not wear blue, for that was the colour of constancy. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 644, and the note; and see l. 330 below; also p. 409, l. 7.

150. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 550. I have elsewhere drawn attention to the resemblance between this poem and the Squieres Tale, in my note to l. 548 of that Tale. Cf. also Cant. Tales, 5636 (D 54). The reference is to Gen. iv. 19—'And Lamech took unto him two wives.' In l. 154, Chaucer curiously confounds him with Jabal, Lamech's son, who was 'the father of such as dwell in tents'; Gen. iv. 20. [ 535 ]

155. Arcít-e; trisyllabic, as frequently in Kn. Tale.

157. 'Like a wicked horse, which generally shrieks when it bites'; Bell. This explanation is clearly wrong. The line is repeated, with the slight change of pleyne to whyne, in C. T. 5968 (D 386). To pleyne or to whyne means to utter a plaintive cry, or to whinny; and the sense is—'Like a horse, (of doubtful temper), which can either bite or whinny (as if wanting a caress).'

161. Theef, false wretch; cf. Squi. Tale, F 537.

162. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 462, 632.

166. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 448.

169. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 412, 417, 430, 631.

171. Al crampissheth, she draws all together, contracts convulsively; formed from cramp. I know of but four other examples of the use of this word.

In Lydgate's Flour of Curtesie, st. 7, printed in Chaucer's Works, ed. 1561, fol. 248, we have the lines:—

'I gan complayne min inwarde deedly smert
That aye so sore crampeshe at min herte.'


As this gives no sense, it is clear that crampeshe at is an error for crampisheth or crampished, which Lydgate probably adopted from the present passage.

Again, in Lydgate's Life of St. Edmund, in MS. Harl. 2278, fol. 101 (ed. Horstmann, p. 430, l. 930), are the lines:—

'By pouert spoiled, which made hem sore smerte,
Which, as they thouhte, craumpysshed at here herte.'


Skelton has encraumpysshed, Garland of Laurell, 16; and Dyce's note gives an example of craumpishing from Lydgate's Wars of Troy, bk. iv. c. 33, sig. Xv. col. 4, ed. 1555.

Once more, Lydgate, in his Fall of Princes, bk. i. c. 9 (pr. by Wayland, leaf 18, col. 2), has the line—

'Deth crampishing into their hert gan crepe.'


175. In Kn. Tale, 1950 (A 2808), it is Arcite who says 'mercy!'

176. Read endur'th. Mate, exhausted.

177. Read n'hath. Sustene, support herself; cf. C. T. 11173 (F 861).

178. Forth is here equivalent to 'continues'; is or dwelleth is understood. Read languísshing.

180. Grene, fresh; probably with a reference to green as being the colour of inconstancy.

182. Nearly repeated in Kn. Tale, 1539 (A 2397); cf. Comp. unto Pity, 110. Cf. Compl. to his Lady, 52.

183. If up is to be retained before so, change holdeth into halt. 'His new lady reins him in by the bridle so tightly (harnessed as he is) at the end of the shaft (of her car), that he fears every word like an arrow.' The image is that of a horse, tightly fastened to the ends of the shafts of a car, and then so hardly reined in that he fears every [ 536 ] word of the driver; he expects a cut with the whip, and he cannot get away.

193. Fee or shipe, fee or reward. The scarce word shipe being misunderstood, many MSS. give corrupt readings. But it occurs in the Persones Tale, Group I, 568, where Chaucer explains it by 'hyre'; and in the Ayenbite of Inwit, p. 33. It is the A. S. scipe. 'Stipendium, scipe'; Wright's Vocabularies, 114. 34.

194. Sent, short for sendeth; cf. serveth above. Cf. Book of Duch. 1024.

202. Also, as; 'as may God save me.'

206. Hir ne gat no geyn, she obtained for herself no advantage.

211. The metre now becomes extremely artificial. The first stanza is introductory. Its nine lines are rimed a a b a a b b a b, with only two rimes. I set back lines 3, 6, 7, 9, to show the arrangement more clearly. The next four stanzas are in the same metre. The construction is obscure, but is cleared up by l. 350, which is its echo, and again by ll. 270-1. Swerd is the nom. case, and thirleth is its verb; 'the sword of sorrow, whetted with false complaisance, so pierces my heart, (now) bare of bliss and black in hue, with the (keen) point of (tender) recollection.' Chaucer's 'with ... remembrance' is precisely Dante's 'Per la puntura della rimembranza'; Purg. xii. 20.

214. Cf. The Compleint to his Lady, 1. 55.

215. Awhaped, amazed, stupified. To the examples in the New E. Dict. add—'Sole by himself, awhaped and amate'; Compl. of the Black Knight, 168.

216. Cf. the Compleint to his Lady, l. 123.

218. That, who: relative to hir above.

220. Observe how the stanza, which I here number as 1, is echoed by the stanza below, ll. 281-289; and so of the rest.

222. Nearly repeated in the Compl. to his Lady, l. 35.

237. Repeated from the Compl. to his Lady, l. 50.

241. Founde, seek after; A. S. fundian. For founde, all the MSS. have be founde, but the be is merely copied in from be more in l. 240. If we retain be, then befounde must be a compound verb, with the same sense as before; but there is no known example of this verb, though the related strong verb befinden is not uncommon. But see l. 47 above. With l. 242 cf. Rom. Rose, 966 (p. 134).

247. Cf. Compl. to his Lady, ll. 107, 108.

256-71. This stanza is in the same metre as that marked 5 below, ll. 317-332. It is very complex, consisting of 16 lines of varying length. The lines which I have set back have but four accents; the rest have five. The rimes in the first eight lines are arranged in the order a a a b a a a b; in the last eight lines this order is precisely reversed, giving b b b a b b b a; so that the whole forms a virelay.

260. Namely, especially, in particular.

262. 'Offended you, as surely as (I hope that) He who knows everything may free my soul from woe.' [ 537 ]

265. This refers to ll. 113-5 above.

267. Read sav-e, mek-e; or the line will be too short.

270. Refers to ll. 211-3 above.

272. This stanza answers to that marked 6 below, ll. 333-341. It is the most complex of all, as the lines contain internal rimes. The lines are of the normal length, and arranged with the end-rimes a a b a a b b a b, as in the stanzas marked 1 to 4 above. Every line has an internal rime, viz. at the second and fourth accents. In ll. 274, 280, this internal rime is a feminine one, which leaves but one syllable (viz. nay, may) to complete these lines.

The expression 'swete fo' occurs again in the Compleint to his Lady, l. 41 (cf. ll. 64, 65); also in Troil. v. 228.

279. 'And then shall this, which is now wrong, (turn) into a jest; and all (shall be) forgiven, whilst I may live.'

281. The stanza here marked 1 answers to the stanza so marked above; and so of the rest. The metre has already been explained.

286. 'There are no other fresh intermediate ways.'

299. 'And must I pray (to you), and so cast aside womanhood?' It is not for the woman to sue to the man. Compare l. 332.

301. Nēd-e, with long close e, rimes with bēde, mēde, hēde.

302. 'And if I lament as to what life I lead.'

306. 'Your demeanour may be said to flower, but it bears no seed.' There is much promise, but no performance.

309. Holde, keep back. The spelling Averyll (or Auerill) occurs in MS. Harl. 7333, MS. Addit. 16165, and MSS. T. and P. It is much better than the Aprill or Aprille in the rest. I would also read Averill or Aperil in Troil. i. 156.

313. Who that, whosoever. Fast, trustworthy.

315. Tame, properly tamed. From Rom. Rose, 9945:—

'N'est donc bien privée tel beste
Qui de foir est toute preste.'


320. Chaunte-pleure. Godefroy says that there was a celebrated poem of the 13th century named Chantepleure or Pleurechante; and that it was addressed to those who sing in this world and will weep in the next. Hence also the word was particularly used to signify any complaint or lament, or a chant at the burial-service. One of his quotations is:—'Heu brevis honor qui vix duravit per diem, sed longus dolor qui usque ad mortem, gallicè la chantepleure'; J. de Aluet, Serm., Richel. l. 14961, fol. 195, verso. And again:—

'Car le juge de vérité
Pugnira nostre iniquité
Par la balance d'équité
Qui où val de la chantepleure
Nous boute en grant adversité
Sanz fin à perpétuité,
Et y parsevere et demeure.'
J. de Meung, Le Tresor, l. 1350; ed. Méon.


[ 538 ] Tyrwhitt says:—'A sort of proverbial expression for singing and weeping successively [rather, little singing followed by much weeping]. See Lydgate, Trag. [i. e. Fall of Princes] st. the last; where he says that his book is 'Lyke Chantepleure, now singing now weping.' In MS. Harl. 4333 is a Ballad which turns upon this expression. It begins: 'Moult vaut mieux pleure-chante que ne fait chante-pleure.' Clearly the last expression means, that short grief followed by long joy is better than brief joy followed by long grief. The fitness of the application in the present instance is obvious.

Another example occurs in Lydgate's Fall of Princes, bk. i. c. 7, lenvoy:—

'It is like to the chaunte-pleure,
Beginning with ioy, ending in wretchednes.'


So also in Lydgate's Siege of Troye, bk. ii. c. 11; ed. 1555, Fol. F 6, back, col. 2.

328. A furlong-wey meant the time during which one can walk a furlong, at three miles an hour. A mile-way is twenty minutes; a furlong-wey is two minutes and a half; and the double of it is five minutes. But the strict sense need not be insisted on here.

330. Asure, true blue; the colour of constancy; see l. 332.

'Her habyte was of manyfolde colours,
Watchet-blewe, of fayned stedfastnesse,
Her golde allayed like son in watry showres,
Meynt with grene, for chaunge and doublenesse.'
Lydgate's Fall of Princes, bk. vi. c. 1. st. 7.


So in Troil. iii. 885—'bereth him this blewe ring.' And see Sect. XXI. l. 7 (p. 409), and the note.

332. 'And to pray to me for mercy.' Cf. ll. 299, 300.

338. They, i. e. your ruth and your truth.

341. 'My wit cannot reach, it is so weak.'

342. Here follows the concluding stanza of the Complaint.

344. Read—For I shal ne'er (or nev'r) eft pútten.

346. See note to Parl. of Foules, 342.

350. This line re-echoes l. 211.

357. The reason why the Poem ends here is sufficiently obvious. Here must have followed the description of the temple of Mars, written in seven-line stanzas. But it was all rewritten in a new metre, and is preserved to us, for all time, in the famous passage in the Knightes Tale; ll. 1109-1192 (A 1967).


  1. Voto, 'hollow, voide, empty'; Florio.