Original Text

Modern Text

‘What may I conclude of this longe serie,
But, after wo, I rede us to be merie,
And thanken Iupiter of al his grace?
And, er that we departen from this place,
I rede that we make, of sorwes two,
590O parfyt Ioye, lasting ever-mo;
And loketh now, wher most sorwe is her-inne,
Ther wol we first amenden and biginne.
I’ve said pretty much everything there is to say about this matter except that we need to move on and thank Jupiter for what we have instead of being sorry for what we don’t have. And before you two go, I suggest that we turn your two, solitary sorrows into a single joy that will last forever.
‘Suster,’ quod he, ‘this is my fulle assent,
With al thavys heer of my parlement,
That gentil Palamon, your owne knight,
That serveth yow with wille, herte, and might,
And ever hath doon, sin that ye first him knewe,
That ye shul, of your grace, upon him rewe,
And taken him for housbonde and for lord:
600Leen me your hond, for this is our acord.
Lat see now of your wommanly pitee.
He is a kinges brother sone, pardee;
And, though he were a povre bacheler,
Sin he hath served yow so many a yeer,
And had for yow so greet adversitee,
It moste been considered, leveth me;
For gentil mercy oghte to passen right.’
“Emily, my sister-in-law,” Theseus continued, “My advisors and I all agree that you would do well if you took Palamon here—a knight who’s served you from afar so faithfully since the day he first laid eyes on you—to be your husband and lord. Put your hand in mine and make this agreement with me—show me how merciful women are by taking him as your husband. He is the nephew of the king of Thebes, but would be worthy of you even if he were a poor squire since he’s doted on you—and definitely suffered for his love for you—for so many long years, and that’s more noble than blood.”