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“ Believe me, madam morning dreams foreshow Ye magistrates, who sacred laws dispense, Th'event of things, and Future weal or woe: On you I call, to punish this offence.' Some truths are not by reason to be tried,
“The word thus given, within a little space, But we have sure experience for our guide. The mob came roaring out, and throng'd the place An ancient author, equal with the best,
All in a trice they cast the cart to ground, Relates this tale of dreams among the rest. And in the dung the murder'd body found ;
“ Two friends or brothers, with devout intent, Though breathless, warm, and reeking from the On some far pilgrimage together went.
wound. It happen'd so, that, when the Sun was down, Good Heaven, whose darling attribute we find They just arriv'd by twilight at a town:
Is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind, That day had been the baiting of a bull,
Abhors the cruel ; and the deeds of night 'Twas at a feast, and every inn so full,
By wondrous ways reveals in open light: That no void room in chamber, or on ground, Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time, And but one sorry bed, was to be found :
But tardy Justice will o'ertake the crime. And that so little it would hold but one,
And oft a speedier pain the guilty feels : Though till this hour they never lay alone. The hue and cry of Ileaven pursues him at the heels.
“So were they forc'd to part; one stay'd behind, Fresh from the fact, as in the present case, His fellow sought what lodging he could find : The criminals are seiz'd upon the place : At last he found a stall where oxen stood,
Carter and host confronted face to face. And that he rather chose than lie abroad.
Stiff in denial, as the law appoints, "Twas in a farther yard without a door;
On engines they distend their tortur'd joints : But, for his ease, well litter'd was the floor. So was confession forc'd, th' offence was known,
“ His fellow, who the narrow bed had kept, And public justice on th' offenders done. Was weary, and without a rocker slept :
Here may you see that visions are to dread; · Supine he snor'd; but in the dead of night, And in the page that follows this, I read He dreamt his friend appear'd before his sight, Of two young merchants, whom the hope of gain Who, with a ghastly look and dolesul cry,
Induc'd in partnership to cross the main. Said, “Help me, brother, or this night I die : Waiting till willing winds their sails supplied, Arise, and help, before all help be vain,
Within a trading town they long abide, Or in an ox's stall I shall be slain.'
Full fairly situate on a haven's side ; “ Rous'd from his rest, he waken'd in a start, One evening it befell, that looking out, Shivering with horror, and with aching heart. The wind they long had wish'd was come about: At length to cure himself by reason tries; Well pleas'd they went to rest; and if the gale 'Tis but a dream, and what are dreams but lies? Vill morn continued, both resolv'd to sail. So thinking, chang'd his side, and clos'd his eyes. But as together in a bed they lay, His dream returns; his friend appears again : The younger had a dream at break of day. • The murderers come, now help, or I am slain: A man he thought stood frowning at his side ; "Twas but a vision still, and visions are but vain. Who warn'd him for his safety to provide, He dreamt the third: but now his friend appear'd, Nor put to sea, but safe on shore abide. Pale, naked, pierc'd with wounds, with blood be- 'I come, thy genius, to command thy stay ; smeard:
Trust not the winds, for fatal is the day, Thrice warn’d, “Awake,' said he; 'relief is late, And Death unhop'd attends the watery way.' The deed is done ; but thou revenge my fate : " The vision said : and vanish'd from his sight: Tardy of aid, unseal thy heavy eyes,
The dreamer wakend in a mortal fright: Awake, and with the dawning day arise :
Then pull'd his drowsy neighbor, and declar'd Take to the western gate thy ready way,
What in his slumber he had seen and heard. For by that passage they my corpse convey: His friend smild scornful, and with proud contempt My corpse is in a tumbril laid, among
Rejects as idle what his fellow dreamt. The filth and ordure, and inclos'd with dung: · Stay, who will stay: for me no fears restrain, That cart arrest, and raise a common cry; Who follow Mercury the god of gain; For sacred hunger of my gold, I die:'
Let each man do as to his fancy seems, Then show'd his grisly wound; and last he drew I wait not, I, till you have better dreams. A piteous sigh, and took a long adieu.
Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes ; “The frighted friend arose by break of day, When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes And found the stall where late his fellow lay. Compounds a medley of disjointed things, Then of his impious host inquiring more,
A mob of cobblers, and a court of kings :
Muttering, he went,' said he, .by morning light, Both are the reasonable soul run mad :
Sometimes forgotten things long cast behind And oft to share the spoils with robbers join d. Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind, * His dream confirm'd his thought : with troubled The nurse's legends are for truths receiv'd, look
And the man dreams but what the boy believ'd Straight to the western gate his way he took ; Sometimes we but rehearse a former play, There, as his dream foretold, a cart he found, The night restores our actions done by day; That carried compost forth to dung the ground. As hounds in sleep will open for their prey. This when the pilgrim saw, he stretch'd his throat, In short, the farce of dreams is of a piece, And cried out murder with a yelling note.
Chimeras all; and more absurd, or less : • My murder'd fellow in this cart lies dead, You, who believe in tales, abide alone; Vengeance and justice on the villain's head. Whate'er I get this voyage is my own.'
« Thus while he spoke, he heard the shouting crew While thou art constant to thy own true knight, That callid aboard, and took his last adieu.
While thou art mine, and I am thy delight, The vessel went before a merry gale,
All sorrows at thy presence take their flight. And for quick passage put on every sail :
For true it is, as in principio, But when least fear'd, and ev'n in open day, Mulier est hominis confusio. The mischief overtook her in the way:
Madam, the meaning of this Latin is, Whether she sprung a leak, I cannot find, That woman is to man his sovereign bliss. Or whether she was overset with wind,
For when by night I feel your tender side,
Though for the narrow perch I cannot ride,
He said, and downward flew from off the beam.
The thrush to whistle, and the lark to sing. Another tale shall make the former out.
Then crowing clapp'd his wings, th' appointed call, “Kenelm the son of Kenulph, Mercia's king, To chuck his wives iogether in the hall. Whose holy life the legends loudly sing,
By this the widow had unbarr'd the door, Warn'd in a dream, his murder did foretell And Chanticleer went strutting out before, From point to point as after it befell;
With royal courage, and with heart so light, All circumstances to his nurse he told
As show'd he scorn'd the visions of the night.
And trod her twenty times ere prime of day:
He chuck'd again, when other corns he found, By Quenda slain, he fell before his time,
And scarcely deign'd to set a foot to ground;
And his seven wives came running at his call. Which at your better leisure you may read.
"Twas now the month in which the world began " Macrobius too relates the vision sent
(If March beheld the first created man:) To the great Scipio, with the fam'd event: And since the vernal equinox, the Sun, Objections makes, but after makes replies,
In Aries, twelve degrees, or more, had run; And adds, that dreams are often prophecies. When casting up his eyes against the light,
“Of Daniel you may read in holy writ, Both month, and day, and hour, he measur'd right, Who, when the king his vision did forget,
And told more truly than th' Ephemeris : Could word for word the wondrous dream repeat. For Art may err, but Nature cannot miss. Not less of patriarch Joseph understand,
Thus numbering times and seasons in his breast, Who by a dream enslav'd th' Egyptian land, His second crowing the third hour confess'd. The years of plenty and of dearth foretold, Then turning, said to Partlet,“ See, my dear, When, for their bread, their liberty they sold. How lavish Nature has adorn'd the year; Nor must th' exalted butler be forgot,
How the pale primrose and blue violet spring, Nor he whose dream presag'd his hanging lot. And birds essay their throats, disus'd to sing :
" And did not Cræsus the same death foresee, All these are ours; and I with pleasure see Rais'd in his vision on a lofty tree?
Man strutting on two legs, and aping me:
An unfledg'd creature, of a lumpish frame,
“ Much more I know, which I forbear to speak, Than, since I was an egg, I ever found." For see, the ruddy day begins to break;
The time shall come when Chanticleer shall wish Let this suffice, that plainly I foresee
His words unsaid, and hate his boasted bliss : My dream was bad, and bodes adversity: The crested bird shall by experience know, But neither pills nor laxatives I like,
Jove made not him his masterpiece below; They only serve to make the well-man sick: And learn the latter end of joy is woe. Of these his gain the sharp physician makes, The vessel of his bliss to dregs is run, And often gives a purge, but seldom takes : And Heaven will have him taste his other tun. They not correct, but poison all the blood,
Ye wise, draw near, and hearken to my tale, And ne'er did any but the doctors good :
Which proves that oft the proud by flattery fall: Their tribe, trade, trinkets, I defy them all, The legend is as true, I undertake, With every work of 'pothecary's hall.
As Tristran is, and Launcelot of the lake :
Which all our ladies in such reverence hold,
A fox, full-fraught with seeming sanctity,
And durst not sin before he said his prayer;
This pious cheat, that never suck'd the blood, For women, with a mischief to their kind,
Where at heart's ease he lived; and might have And in his high imagination cast,
been By stratagem to gratify his taste.
As free from sorrow as he was from sin.
Silence in times of suffering is the best,
"Tis dangerous to disturb an hornet's nest. Then skulk'd till afternoon, and watch'd his time. In other authors you may find enough, (As murderers use) to perpetrate his crime. But all they say of dames is idle stuff. O hypocrite, ingenious to destroy,
Legends of lying wits together bound, O traitor, worse than Sinon was to Troy!
The Wife of Bath would throw them to the gro nd; O vile subverter of the Gallic reign,
These are the words of Chanticleer, not mine, More false than Gano was to Charlemain!
I honor dames, and think their sex divine. O Chanticleer, in an unhappy hour
Now to continue what my tale begun; Didst thou forsake the safety of thy bower: Lay madam Partlet basking in the Sun, Better for thee thou hadst believ'd thy dream, Breast-high in sand: her sisters, in a row, And not that day descended from the beam! Enjoy'd the beams above, the warmth below. But here the doctors eagerly dispute :
The cock, that of his flesh was ever free,
Sung merrier than the mermaid in the sea :
Among the coleworts, on a butterfly,
I need not swear he had no list to crow:
But cried, “ Cock, cock!" and gave a sudden start Or its eternal prescience may be vain :
As sore dismay'd and frighted at his heart; As bad for us as prescience had not been,
For birds and beasts, inform’d by Nature, know For first, or last, he's author of the sin.
Kinds opposite to theirs, and fly their foe.
Yet shunn'd him as a sailor shuns the rocks.
But the false loon, who could not work his will To punish man, who sins because he must? By open force, employ'd his flattering skill; Or, how can he reward a virtuous deed,
"I hope, my lord,” said he, “I not offend; Which is not done by us; but first decreed? Are you afraid of me, that am your friend ? I cannot bolt this matter to the bran,
I were a beast indeed to do you wrong, As Bradwardin and holy Austin can;
I, who have lov'd and honor'd you so long :
Stay, gentle sir, nor take a false alarm,
To learn the secrets of your soft recess.
Far be from Reynard so profane a thought, Another sort there is conditional.
But by the sweetness of your voice was brought: The first so binds the will, that things foreknown For, as I bid my beads, by chance I heard By spontaneity, not choice, are done.
The song as of an angel in the yard ; Thus galley-slaves tug willing at their oar, A song that would have charm'd th' infernal gods, Content to work, in prospect of the shore ;
And banish'd horror from the dark abodes; But would not work at all, if not constrain'd before. Had Orpheus sung it in the nether sphere, That other does not liberty constrain,
So much the hymn had pleas'd the tyrant's ear, But man may either act, or may refrain.
The wife had been detain'd, to keep the husband Heaven made us agents free to good or ill,
there. And forc'd it not, though he foresaw the will. “ My lord, your sire familiarly I knew, Freedom was first bestow'd on human race,
A peer deserving such a son as you : And prescience only held the second place. He, with your lady-mother (whom Heaven rest)
If he could make such agents wholly free, Has often grac'd my house, and been my guest : I not dispute, the point's too high for me; [sound, To view his living features, does me good ; For Heaven's unfathom'd power what man can For I am your poor neighbor in the wood; Or put to his Omnipotence a bound?
And in my cottage should be proud to see He made us to his image, all agree ;
The worthy heir of my friend's family. That image is the soul, and that must be,
“But since I speak of singing, let me say, Or not the Maker's image, or be free.
As with an upright heart I safely may, But whether it were better man had been
That, save yourself, there breathes not on the By nature bound to good, not free to sin,
ground I waive, for fear of splitting of a rock.
One like your father for a silver sound. The tale I tell is only of a cock,
So sweetly would he wake the winter-day, Who had not run the hazard of his life,
That matrons to the church mistook their way, Had he believ'd his dream, and not his wife : And thought they heard the merry organ play
And he, to raise his voice with artsul care, Who, true to love, was all for recreation,
Not louder cries, when llium was in flames,
Than for the cock the widow'd poultry made. From Brennus and Belinus is your line ;
Fair Partlet first, when he was borne from sight, Who gave to sovereign Rome such loud alarms, With sovereign shrieks bewail'd her captive knight: That ev'n the priests were not excus'd from arms. Far louder than the Carihaginian wife,
“ Besides, a famous monk of modern times When Asdrubal, her husband, lost his life, Has left of cocks recorded in his rhymes, When she beheld the smouldering flames ascend That of a parish-priest the son and heir,
And all the Punic glories at an end :
With greater ease than others seek their bed;
Shriek'd for the downfall in a doleful cry,
For which their guiltless lords were doom'd to die. Yet for the sake of sweet saint Charity;
Now to my story I return again : dlake hills and dales, and Earth and Heaven rejoice, The trembling widow, and her daughters twain, and emulate your father's angel voice.”
This woful cackling cry with horror heard, The cock was pleas'd to hear him speak so fair, of those distracted damsels in the yard ; And proud beside, as solar people are ;
And, starting up, beheld the heavy sight, Nor could the treason from the truth descry, How Reynard to the forest took his flight, so was he ravish'd with this flattery:
And cross his back, as in triumphant scorn, so much the more, as, from a little elf,
The hope and pillar of the house was borne. He had a high opinion of himself;
“ The fox, the wicked fox !" was all the cry: Though sickly, slender, and not large of limb, Out from his house ran every neighbor nigh; Concluding all the world was made for him. The vicar first, and after him the crew Ye princes, rais'd by poets to the gods,
With forks and staves, the felon to pursue. And Alexander'd up in lying odes,
Ran Coll our dog, and Talbot with the band ; Believe not every flattering knave's report, And Malkin, with her distaff in her hand; There's many a Reynard lurking in the court; Ran cow and calf, and family of hogs, And he shall be receiv'd with more regard In panic horror of pursuing dogs; And listen'd to, than modest Truth is heard. With many a deadly grunt and doleful squeak,
This Chanticleer, of whom the story sings, Poor swine, as if their pretty hearts would break. Stood high upon his toes, and clapp'd his wings; The shouts of men, the women in dismay, Then stretchd his neck, and winkd with both his With shrieks augment the terror of the day ; eyes,
The ducks, that heard the proclamation cried, Ambitious, as he sought th’ Olympic prize.
And fear'd a persecution might betide, But, while he pain'd himself to raise his note, Full twenty miles from town their voyage take, False Reynard rush'd, and caught him by the throat. Obscure in rushes of the liquid lake. Then on his back he laid the precious load, The geese fly o'er the barn; the bees in arms And sought his wonted shelter of the wood; Drive headlong from their waxen cells in swarms. Swiftly he made his way, the mischief done, Jack Straw at London-stone, with all his rout, Of all unheeded, and pursu'd by none.
Struck not the city with so loud a shout; Alas, what stay is there in human state,
Not when with English hate they did pursue Or who can shun inevitable fate ?
A Frenchman, or an unbelieving Jew; The doom was written, the decree was past, Not when the welkin rung with one and all ; Ere the foundations of the world were cast! And echoes bounded back from Fox's hall; In Aries though the Sun exalted stood,
Earth seem'd to sink beneath, and Heaven above to His patron-planet to procure his good;
fall. Yet Saturn was his mortal foe, and he,
With might and main they chas'd the murderous fox In Libra rais'd, oppos’d the same degree :
With brazen trumpets and inflated box, The rays both good and bad, of equal power, To kindle Mars with military sounds, Each thwarting other made a mingled hour. Nor wanted horns t'inspire sagacious hounds.
On Friday morn he dreamt this direful dream, But see, how Fortune can confound the wise, Cross to the worthy native, in his scheme !
And, when they least expect it, turn the dice. Ah, blissful Venus, goddess of delight,
The captive cock, who scarce could draw his breath How couldst thou suffer thy devoted knight, And lay within the very jaws of Death ; On thy own day, to fall by foe oppress'd,
Yet in this agony his fancy wrought, The wight of all the world who serv'd thee best ? And Fear supplied him with this happy thought.
OR, THE LADY IN THE ARBOR.
“ Your's is the prize, victorious prince," said he,
THE FLOWER AND THE LEAF:
Now, turning from the wintry signs, the Sun And Chanticleer in your despite shall die,
His course exalted through the Ram had run, He shall be pluck'd and eaten to the bone." And, whirling up the skies, his chariot drove “ 'Tis well advis’d, in faith it shall be done;" Through Taurus and the lightsome realms of Love; This Reynard said: but, as the word he spoke, Where Venus from her orb descends in showers, The prisoner with a spring from prison broke: To glad the ground, and paint the fields with Then stretch'd his feather'd fans with all his might,
flowers : And to the neighboring maple wing'd his fight; When first the tender blades of grass appear, Whom when the traitor safe on tree beheld, And buds, that yet the blast of Eurus fear, He curs'd the gods, with shame and sorrow filla; Stand at the door of life, and doubt to clothe the year : Shame for his folly, sorrow out of time,
Till gentle heat, and soft repeated rains, For plotting an unprofitable crime ;
Make the green blood to dance within their veins. Yet, mastering both, th' artificer of lies
Then, at their call embolden'd, out they come, Renews th' assault, and his last battery tries. And swell the germs, and burst the narrow room; “ Though I," said he, did ne'er in thought of Broader and broader yet, their blooms display, fend,
Salute the welcome Sun, and entertain the day. How justly may my lord suspect his friend ! Then from their breathing souls the sweets repair, Th' appearance is against me, I confess,
To scent the skies, and purge th’unwholesome air : Who seemingly have put you in distress :
Joy spreads the heart, and, with a general song, You, if your goodness does not plead my cause, Spring issues out, and leads the jolly months along. May think I broke all hospitable laws,
In that sweet season, as in bed I lay,
I turn'd my wearied side, but still in vain,
Though full of youthful health, and void of pain Though, Heaven can witness, with no bad intent : Cares I had none, to keep me from my rest, I practis’d it, to make you taste your cheer For Love had never enter'd in my breast; With double pleasure, first prepar'd by fear. I wanted nothing Fortune could supply, So loyal subjects often seize their prince,
Nor did she slumber till that hour deny.
I wonder'd then, but after found it true,
“ Nay," quoth the cock; “ but I beshrew us both, Should weary Nature so, to make her want repair. If I believe a saint upon his oath :
When Chanticleer the second watch had sung An honest man may take a knave's advice, Scorning the scorner Sleep, from bed I sprung; But idiots only may be cozen'd twice:
And, dressing by the Moon, in loose array,
Of oaks unshorn a venerable wood,
At distance planted in a due degree,
Stretch'd to their neighbors with a long embrace “A peace, with all my soul," said Chanticleer; And the new leaves on every bough were seen, " But, with your favor, I will treat it here: Some ruddy color'd, some of lighter green. And, lest the truce with treason should be mixt, The painted birds, companions of the Spring, "Tis my concern to have the tree betwixt." Hopping from spray to spray, were heard to sing.
Both eyes and ears receiv'd a like delight,
And listen'd for the queen of all the quire ;
And wanted yet an omen to the spring. And learn beside of flatterers to beware,
Attending long in vain, I took the way, Then most pernicious when they speak too fair. Which through a path but scarcely printed lay; The cock and fox, the fool and knave imply ; In narrow mazes oft it seem'd to meet, The truth is moral, though the tale a lie.
And look'd as lightly press'd by fairy feet. Who spoke in parables, 1 dare not say ;
Wandering I walk'd alone, for still methought But sure he knew it was a pleasing way,
To some strange end so strange a path was wrough. Sound sense, by plain example, to convey ; At last it led me where an arbor stood, And in a heathen author we may find,
The sacred receptacle of the wood : That pleasure with instruction should be join'd; This place unmark'd, though oft I walk'd the green So take the corn, and leave the chaff behind. In all my progress I had never seen: