Reader_Lecture_19_xpart_2x - Knight's Tale 2 May with Queen...

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Knight’s Tale 2 May with Queen Venus share authority; For as she wills, so must the whole world be. Lo, all these folk were so caught in her snare They cried aloud in sorrow and in care. Here let suffice examples one or two, Though I might give a thousand more to you. The form of Venus, glorious as could be, Was naked, floating on the open sea, And from the navel down all covered was With green waves, bright as ever any glass. A citole in her small right hand had she, And on her head, and beautiful to see, A garland of red roses, sweet smelling, Above her swirled her white doves, fluttering. Before her stood her one son, Cupido, Whose two white wings upon his shoulders grow; And blind he was, as it is often seen; A bow he bore, and arrows bright and keen. Why should I not as well, now, tell you all The portraiture that was upon the wall Within the fane of mighty Mars the red? In length and breadth the whole wall was painted Like the interior of that grisly place, The mighty temple of great Mars in Thrace, In that same cold and frosty region where Mars to his supreme mansion may repair. First, on the wall was limned a vast forest Wherein there dwelt no man nor any beast, With knotted, gnarled, and leafless trees, so old The sharpened stumps were dreadful to behold; Through which there ran a rumbling, even now, As if a storm were breaking every bough; And down a hill, beneath a sharp descent, The temple stood of Mars armipotent, Wrought all of burnished steel, whereof the gate Was grim like death to see, and long, and strait. And therefrom raged a wind that seemed to shake
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The very ground, and made the great doors quake. The northern light in at those same doors shone, For window in that massive wall was none Through which a man might any light discern. The doors were all of adamant eterne, Rivetted on both sides, and all along, With toughest iron; and to make it strong, Each pillar that sustained this temple grim Was thick as tun, of iron bright and trim. There saw I first the dark imagining Of felony, and all the compassing; And cruel anger, red as burning coal; Pickpurses, and the dread that eats the soul; The smiling villain, hiding knife in cloak; The farm barns burning, and the thick black smoke; The treachery of murder done in bed; The open battle, with the wounds that bled; Contest, with bloody knife and sharp menace; And loud with creaking was that dismal place. The slayer of himself, too, saw I there, His very heart's blood matted in his hair; The nail that's driven in the skull by night; The cold plague-corpse, with gaping mouth upright In middle of the temple sat Mischance, With gloomy, grimly woeful countenance. And saw I Madness laughing in his rage;
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Reader_Lecture_19_xpart_2x - Knight's Tale 2 May with Queen...

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