John Gower

Here you will find the Long Poem Confessio Amantis, Book III of poet John Gower

Confessio Amantis, Book III

Appolinus his lev{.e} tok,
 To God and al the lond betok
 With al the poeple long and brod,
 That he no lenger there abod.
 The king and queen{.e} sorw{.e} mad{.e},
 Bot yit somdiel thei weren glad{.e}
 Of such thing as thei herden tho:
 And thus betwen the wel and wo
 To schip he goth, his wif with child{.e},
 The which was ever{.e} meke and myld{.e}
 And wold{.e} noght departe him fro,
 Such lov{.e} was betwen hem tuo.
 Lichorida for hire offic{.e}
 Was tak{.e}, which was a norric{.e},
 To wend{.e} with this yong{.e} wif,
 To whom was schape a woful lif.
 Withinne a time, as it betidd{.e},
 Whan thei were in the see amidd{.e},
 Out of the north they sihe a cloud{.e};
 The storm aros, the wynd{.e}s loud{.e}
 Thei blewen many a dredful blast,
 The welkn{.e} was al overcast,
 The derk{.e} nyht the sonne hath under,
 Ther was a gret tempeste of thunder:
 The mone and ek the sterr{.e}s both{.e}
 In blak{.e} cloud{.e}s thei hem cloth{.e},
 Wherof here briht{.e} lok thei hyd{.e}.
 This yong{.e} ladi wepte and crid{.e},
 To whom no confort myhte avail{.e};
 Of child{.e} sche began travail{.e},
 Wher sche lay in a caban clos:
 Hire woful lord fro hire aros,
 And that was longe er eny morw{.e},
 So that in anguisse and in sorw{.e}
 Sche was deliver{.e}d al be nyht{.e}
 And ded in every mannes syht{.e};
 Bot nath{.e}les for al this wo
 A maid{.e} child was bor{.e} tho.

 Appolinus whan he this knew,
 For sorwe a swoune he overthrew,
 That noman wiste in him no lif.
 And whanne he wok, he seide, "Ha, wif,
 Mi lust, mi joi{.e}, my desir,
 Mi welthe and my recoverir,
 Why schal I live, and thou schalt dy{.e}?
 Ha, thou fortune, I thee deffi{.e},
 Nou hast thou do to me thi werst{.e}.
 Ha, hert{.e}, why ne wolt thou berst{.e},
 That forth with hire I myht{.e} pass{.e}?
 Mi pein{.e}s weren wel the lass{.e}."
 In such wepinge and in such cry
 His ded{.e} wif, which lay him by,
 A thousend sith{.e}s he hire kist{.e};
 Was nevere man that sih ne wist{.e}
 A sorwe unto his sorw{.e} lich;
 For evere among, upon the lich
 He fell swounende, as he that soght{.e}
 His oghn{.e} deth, which he besoght{.e}
 Unto the godd{.e}s alle abov{.e}
 With many a pitous word of lov{.e};
 Bot such{.e} word{.e}s as tho wer{.e}
 Yit herd{.e} nevere mannes er{.e},
 Bot only thilk{.e} whiche he seid{.e}.
 The maister schipman cam and preid{.e}
 With othr{.e} suche as be therinn{.e},
 And sein that he mai nothing winn{.e}
 Ayein the deth, bot thei him red{.e},
 He be wel war and tak hied{.e},
 The see be weie of his natur{.e}
 Receiv{.e} mai no creatur{.e}
 Withinne himself as forto hold{.e},
 The which is ded: forthi thei wold{.e},
 As thei conseilen al about{.e},
 The ded{.e} body casten out{.e}.
 For betre it is, thei seiden all{.e},
 That it of hir{.e} so befall{.e},
 Than if thei scholden all{.e} spill{.e}.

 The king, which understod here will{.e}
 And knew here conseil that was trew{.e},
 Began ayein his sorw{.e} new{.e}
 With pitous herte, and thus to sei{.e}:
 "It is al reson that ye prei{.e}.
 I am," quod he, "bot on al on{.e},
 So wolde I noght for mi person{.e}
 There fell{.e} such adversité.
 Bot whan it mai no betr{.e} be,
 Doth thann{.e} thus upon my word,
 Let make a cofr{.e} strong of bord,
 That it be ferm with led and pich."
 Anon was mad a cofr{.e} sich,
 Al redy broght unto his hond;
 And whanne he sih and redy fond
 This cofr{.e} mad and wel enclow{.e}d,
 The ded{.e} bodi was besow{.e}d
 In cloth of gold and leid therinn{.e}.
 And for he wolde unto hir winn{.e}
 Upon som cooste a sepultur{.e},
 Under hire heved in aventur{.e}
 Of gold he leid{.e} somm{.e}s gret{.e}
 And of jeueals a strong beyet{.e}
 Forth with a lettre, and seid{.e} thus:

 "I, king of Tyr Appollinus,
 Do all{.e} maner men to wit{.e},
 That hiere and se this lettr{.e} writ{.e},
 That help{.e}les without{.e} red
 Hier lith a king{.e}s doghter ded:
 And who that happeth hir to find{.e},
 For charité tak in his mynd{.e},
 And do so that sche be begrav{.e}
 With this tr{.e}sor, which he schal hav{.e}."
 Thus whan the lettr{.e} was full spok{.e},
 Thei have anon the cofr{.e} stok{.e},
 And bounden it with yren fast{.e},
 That it may with the waw{.e}s last{.e},
 And stoppen it be such a wei{.e},
 That it schal be withinn{.e} drei{.e},
 So that no water myhte it griev{.e}.
 And thus in hope and good believ{.e}
 Of that the corps schal wel aryv{.e},
 Thei caste it over bord als blyv{.e}.

 The schip forth on the waw{.e}s went{.e};
 The prince hath chang{.e}d his entent{.e},
 And seith he wol noght come at Tyr
 As thann{.e}, bot al his desir
 Is ferst to seilen unto Thars{.e}.
 The wyndy