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290Lo, in the lyf of seint Kenelm, I rede,
That was Kenulphus sone, the noble king
Of Mercenrike, how Kenelm mette a thing;
A lyte er he was mordred, on a day,
His mordre in his avisioun he say.
His norice him expouned every del
His sweven, and bad him for to kepe him wel
For traisoun; but he nas but seven yeer old,
And therfore litel tale hath he told
Of any dreem, so holy was his herte.
300By God, I hadde lever than my sherte
That ye had rad his legende, as have I.
Dame Pertelote, I sey yow trewely,
Macrobeus, that writ the avisioun
In Affrike of the worthy Cipioun,
Affermeth dremes, and seith that they been
Warning of thinges that men after seen.
“Of course, there’s the example of King Kenelm, the boy king of Mercia in old England, who dreamed of his own death just before he was murdered. His nurse explained the dream to him and told him to watch his back, but he didn’t pay attention because he was only seven years old. I’d give anything for you to read that story, Lady Pertelote. And then there’s the case of the old author Macrobeus who wrote about the dreams of the great Roman Scipio and argued that it’s worth paying attention to dreams because they fortell the future.
And forther-more, I pray yow loketh wel
In the olde testament, of Daniel,
If he held dremes any vanitee.
310Reed eek of Ioseph, and ther shul ye see
Wher dremes ben somtyme (I sey nat alle)
Warning of thinges that shul after falle.
Loke of Egipt the king, daun Pharao,
His bakere and his boteler also,
Wher they ne felte noon effect in dremes.
Who-so wol seken actes of sondry remes,
May rede of dremes many a wonder thing.
“Furthermore, consider the story of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible, and ask yourself if the dreams in that story were mere nonsense. Read the story about Joseph, too, and ask the same question. Or look at the story of Pharoah in Egypt and his baker and his butler to see what they thought of the power of dreams. If you study the history of faraway kingdoms and lands, you’ll find that dreams can be pretty amazing things. I’m not saying that all dreams foretell the future, but some certainly can.