A Courtly Scene and a Sudden Storm

. . . And forth they yede togider, twain and twain,
That to behold it was a worthy sight,
Toward the ladies on the green plain,
That song and daunced, as I said now right.
The ladies, as soone as they goodly might,
They brake of both the song and dance,
And yede to meet hem with full glad semblance.

And every lady tooke ful womanly
By the hond a knight, and forth they yede
Unto a faire laurer that stood fast by,
With leves lade, the boughes of great brede.
And to my dome there never was indede
Man that had seen half so faire a tre;
For underneath there might it wel have be

An hundred persons at their own plesance,
Shadowed from the heat of Phebus bright,
So that they should have felt no grevance
Of raine ne haile, that hem hurt might.
The savour eke rejoice would any wight
That had be sicke or melancolious,
It was so very good and vertuous.

And with great reverence they enclined low
To the tree, so soot and faire of hew
And after that, within a little throw,
They began to sing and daunce of new;
Some song of love, some plaining of untrew,
Environing the tree that stood upright,
And ever yede a lady and a knight.

And at the last I cast mine eie aside,
And was ware of a lusty company
That came roming out of the field wide,
Hond in hond, a knight and a lady;
The ladies all in surcotes, that richely
Purfiled were with many a rich stone;
And every knight of greene ware mantels on,

Embrouded well, so as the surcotes were,
And everich had a chapelet on her hed,
Which did right well upon the shining here,
Made of goodly floures, white and red.
The knightes eke, that they in hond led,
In sute of hem ware chapelets everichone.
And before hem went minstrels many one,

As harpes, pipes, lutes, and sautry,
All in greene; and on their heades bare,
Of divers floures made full craftely,
All in a sute, goodly chapelets they ware.
And so dauncing into the mede they fare,
In mid the which they found a tuft that was
All oversprad with floures in compas.

Whereto they enclined everichon
With great reverence, and that full humbly.
And at the last there began anon
A lady for to sing right womanly
A bargaret in praising the daisie;
For, as me thought, among her notes swete
She said, "Si douce est la Margarete.'

Then they all answered her in fere
So passingly well and so pleasauntly
That it was a blisful noise to here.
But I not how, it happed sodainly,
As about noone, the sonne so fervently
Waxe whote that the prety tender floures
Had lost the beauty of of her fresh coloures,

Forshronke with heat; the ladies eke tobrent,
That they ne wist where they hem might bestow.
The knightes swelt, for lack of shade nie shent.
And after that, within a little throw,
The wind began so sturdily to blow
That down goeth all the floures everichone
So that in all the mede there laft not one,

Save suche as succoured were among the leves
Fro every storme that might hem assaile,
Growing under hegges and thicke greves,
And after that there came a storme of haile
And raine in feare, so that, withouten faile,
The ladies ne the knights nade o threed
Dry on them, so dropping was her weed.

And whan the storm was cleane passed away,
Tho in white, that stood under the tre--
They felt nothing of the great affray
That they in greene without had in ybe--
To them they yede for routh and pite,
Them to comfort after their great disease,
So faine they were the helplesse for to ease. . . .
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