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So passing sweetly, that by manifold
It was more pleasaunt than I coud devise,
And whan his song was ended in this wise,

The nightingale with so merry a note,
Answered him, that all the wood rong
So sodainly, that as it were a sote,
I stood astonied, so was I with the song
Thorow ravished, that till late and long,
I ne wist in what place I was, ne where;
And ayen, me thought, she song ever by mine ere.

Wherefore I waited about busily
On every side, if I her might see;
And, at the last, I gan full well aspy
Where she sat in a freshe grene laurer tree,
On the further side even right by me,
That gave so passing a delicious smell,
According to the eglentere full well.

Whereof I had so inly great pleasure,
That, as me thought, I surely ravished was
Into Paradise, where my desire
Was for to be, and no ferther passe,
As for that day, and on the sote grasse
I sat me downe, for as for mine entent,
The birdes song was more convenient,

And more pleasaunt to me by many fold,
Than meat or drinke, or any other thing,
Thereto the herber was so fresh and cold,
The wholesome savours eke so comforting,
That, as I demed, sith the beginning
Of the world was never seene er than
So pleasaunt a ground of none earthly man.

And as I sat the birds hearkening thus,
Me thought that I heard voices sodainly,
The most sweetest and most delicious
That ever any wight I trow truly
Heard in their life, for the armony
And sweet accord was in so good musike,
That the voice to angels most was like.

At the last, out of a grove even by,
That was right goodly and pleasaunt to sight,

I sie where there came singing lustily,
A world of ladies; but, to tell aright
Their great beauty, it lieth not in my might,
Ne their array; neverthelesse I shall
Tell you a part, though I speake not of all.

The surcotes white of velvet wele sitting,
They were in cladde; and the semes echone,
As it were a manere garnishing,
Was set with emerauds one and one,
By and by; but many a riche stone
Was set on the purfiles, out of dout,
Of colors, sleves, and traines round about.

As great pearles round and orient,
Diamonds fine, and rubies red,
And many another stone of which I went
The names now; and everich on her head
A rich fret of gold, which without dread
Was full of stately riche stones set,
And every lady had a chapelet

On her head of branches fresh and grene,
So wele wrought and so marvelously
That it was a noble sight to sene,
Some of laurer, and some full pleasauntly
Had chapelets of woodbind, and sadly
Some of agnus castus were also
Chapelets fresh ; but there were many of tho

That daunced and eke song full soberly,
But all they yede in manner of compace,
But one there yede in mid the company,
Sole by herselfe, but all followed the pace
That she kepte, whose heavenly figured face
So pleasaunt was, and her wele shape person,
That of beauty she past hem everichon.

And more richly beseene, by many fold,
She was also in every maner thing,
On her head full pleasaunt to behold,
A crowne of golde rich for any king,
A braunch of agnus castus eke bearing
In her hand ; and to my sight truly,
She lady was of the company.

And she began a roundell lustely,
That Suse le foyle, devers moy,men call,
Siene et mon joly couer est endormy,
And than the company answered all
With voices sweet entuned, and so small,
That me thought it the sweetest melody
That ever I heard in my life soothly.

And thus they came, dauncing and singing,
Into the middes of the mede echone,
Before the herber where I was sitting,
And, God wot, me thought I was wel bigone,
For than I might avise hem one by one,
Who fairest was, who coud best dance and sing,
Or who most womanly was in all thing.

They had not daunced but a little throw,
When that I hearde ferre off sodainly,
So great a noise of thundering trumpes blow,
As though it should have departed the skie;
And after that within a while I sie
From the same grove where the ladies came out,
Of men of armes comming such a rout,

As all men on earth had been assembled
In that place, wele horsed for the nones,
Stering so fast, that all the earth trembled :
But for to speake of riches, and of stones,
And men and horse, I trow the large wones,
Of Pretir John, ne all his tresory,
Might not unneth have boght the tenth party

Of their array: who so list heare more,
I shall rehearse, so as I can, a lite.
Out of the grove, that I spake of before,
I sie come first of all in their clokes white,
A company, that ware for their delite,
Chapelets fresh of okes seriall,
Newly sprong, and trumpets they were all.

On every trumpe hanging a broad banere
Of fine tartarium were full richely bete;
Every trumpet his lords armes bere
About their neckes with great pearles sete
Collers brode, for cost they would not lete,

As it would seem, for their schochones echone, Were set about with many a precious stone.

Their horse harneis was all white also,
And after them next in one company,
Came kings of armes, and no mo
In clokes of white cloth of gold richly;
Chapelets of greene on their heads on hie,
The crowns that they on their scochones bere,
Were set with pearle, ruby, and saphere,

And eke great diamonds many one,
But all their horse harneis and other geare,
Was in a sute according everichone,
As ye have heard the foresaid trumpets were;
And by seeming they were nothing to lere,
And their guiding they did so manerly,
And after hem came a great company

Of heraudes and pursevauntes eke,
Arraied in clothes of white velvet,
And hardily they were nothing to seke,
How they on them should the harneis set;
And every man had on a chapelet,
Scochones and eke harneis indede,
They had in sute of hem that 'fore hem yede.

Next after hem came in armour bright,
All save their heades, seemely knightes nine,
And every claspe and naile, as to my sight,
Of their harneis were of red golde fine,
With cloth of gold, and furred ermine
Were the rich trappoures of their stedes strong,
Wide and large, that to the ground did hong.

And every bosse of bridle and paitrell
That they had, was worth, as I would wene,
A thousand pound; and on their heades well
Dressed were crownes of laurer grene,
The best made that ever I had sene,
And every knight had after him riding
Three henchemen on him awaiting.

Of which every first on a short tronchoun
His lordes helme bare, so richly dight,
That the worst was worthe the ransoun

Of any king; the second a shield bright
Bare at his backe; the red bare upright
A mighty spere, full sharpe ground and kene,
And every childe ware of leaves grene

A fresh chapelet upon his haires bright;
And clokes white of fine velvet they ware,
Their steeds trapped and raied right
Without difference as their lordes were,
And after hem on many a fresh corsere,
There came of armed knights such a rout,
That they bespread the large field about.

And all they ware after their degrees,
Chapelets newe made of laurer grene,
Some of the oke, and some of other trees,
Some in their honds bare boughes shene,
Some of laurer, and some of okes keene,
Some of hauthorne, and some of the woodbind,
And many mo which I had not in mind.

And so they came, their horses freshly stering,
With bloody sownes of hir trompes loud;
There sie I many an uncouth disguising
In the array of these knightes proud,
And at the last as evenly as they coud,
They took their places in middes of the mede,
And every knight turned his horses hede

To his fellow, and lightly laid a spere
In the rest; and so justes began
On every part about here and there;
Some brake his spere, some drew down hors and man,
About the field astray the steedes ran;
And to behold their rule and governaunce.
I you ensure it was a great pleasaunce.

And so the justes last an houre and more;
But tho, that crowned were in laurer grene,
Wan the prise ; their dints was so sore,
That there was none ayent hem might sustene,
And the justing all was left off clene,
And fro their horse the ninth alight anone,
And so did all the remnant everichone.

And forth they yede togider, twain and twain,
That to behold it was a worthy sight,

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