Jove's Eagle Carries Chaucer into Space

This egle, of which I have yow told,
That shon with fethres as of gold,
Which that so hye gan to sore,
I gan beholde more and more
To se the beaute and the wonder;
But never was ther dynt of thonder,
Ne that thyng that men calle fouder
That smot somtyme a tour to powder
And in his swifte comynge brende,
That so swithe gan descende
As this foul, when hyt beheld
That I a-roume was in the feld.
And with hys grymme pawes stronge,
Withyn hys sharpe nayles longe,
Me, fleynge, in a swap he hente,
And with hys sours ayen up wente,
Me caryinge in his clawes starke
As lyghtly as I were a larke,
How high, I can not telle yow,
For I cam up, y nyste how.
For so astonyed and asweved
Was every vertu in my heved,
What with his sours and with my drede,
That al my felynge gan to dede,
For-whi hit was to gret affray.
Thus I longe in hys clawes lay,
Til at the laste he to me spak
In mannes vois, and seyde, “Awak!
And be not agast so, for shame!”
And called me tho by my name,
And for I shulde the bet abreyde,
Me mette “Awak,” to me he seyde
Ryght in the same vois and stevene
That useth oon I koude nevene;
And with that vois, soth for to seyn,
My mynde cam to me ageyn,
For hyt was goodly seyd to me,
So nas hyt never wont to be.
And here-withal I gan to stere,
And he me in his fet to bere,
Til that he felte that I had hete,
And felte eke tho myn herte bete.
And thoo gan he me to disporte,
And with wordes to comforte,
And sayde twyes, “Seynte Marye,
Thou art noyous for to carve!
And nothyng nedeth it, pardee,
For also wis God helpe me,
As thou noon harm shalt have of this;
And this caas that betyd the is,
Is for thy lore and for thy prow.
Let see! Darst thou yet loke now?
Be ful assured, boldely,
I am thy frend.” And therwith I
Gan for to wondren in my mynde.
“O God,” thoughte I, “that madest kynde,
Shal I noon other weyes dye?
Wher Joves wol me stellyfye,
Or what thing may this sygnifye?
I neyther am Ennok, ne Elye,
Ne Romulus, ne Ganymede,
That was ybore up, as men rede,
To hevene with daun Jupiter,
And mad the goddys botiller.”
Loo, this was thoo my fantasye.
But he that bar me gan espye
That I so thoughte, and seyde this:
“Thow demest of thyself amys,
For Joves ys not theraboute—
I dar wel putte the out of doute—
To make of the as yet a sterre;
But er I bere the moche ferre,
I wol the telle what I am,
And whider thou shalt, and why I cam
To do thys, so that thou take
Good herte, and not for fere quake.”
“Gladly,” quod I. “Now wel,” quod he,
“First, I, that in my fet have the,
Of which thou hast a fere and wonder,
Am dwellynge with the god of thonder,
Which that men callen Jupiter,
That dooth me flee ful ofte fer
To do al hys comaundement.
And for this cause he hath me sent
To the. Now herke, be thy trouthe:
Certeyn, he hath of the routhe
That thou so longe trewely
Hast served so ententyfly
Hys blynde nevew Cupido,
And faire Venus also,
Withoute guerdon ever yit,
And never-the-lesse hast set thy wit—
Although that in thy hed ful lyte is—
To make bookys, songes, dytees,
In ryme or elles in cadence,
As thou best canst, in reverence
Of Love and of hys servantes eke,
That have hys servyse soght, and seke;
And peynest the to preyse hys art,
Although thou haddest never part.
Wherfore, also God me blesse,
Joves halt hyt gret humblesse
And vertu eke, that thou wolt make
A-nyght ful ofte thyn hed to ake
In thy studye, so thou writest,
And ever mo of love enditest,
In honour of hym and in preysynges,
And in his folkes furtherynges,
And in hir matere al devisest,
And noght hym nor his folk dispisest,
Although thou maist goo in the daunce
Of hem that hym lyst not avaunce.
“Wherfore, as I seyde, ywys,
Jupiter considereth this,
And also, beau sir, other thynges:
That is, that thou hast no tydynges
Of Loves folk yf they be glade,
Ne of noght elles that God made;
And noght oonly fro fer contree
That ther no tydynge cometh to thee,
But of thy verray neyghebores,
That duellen almost at thy dores,
Thou herist neyther that ne this;
For when thy labour doon al ys,
And hast mad alle thy rekenynges,
In stede of reste and newe thynges
Thou goost hom to thy hous anoon,
And, also domb as any stoon,
Thou sittest at another book
Tyl fully daswed ys thy look;
And lyvest thus as an heremyte,
Although thyn abstynence ys lyte.
“And therfore Joves, thorgh hys grace,
Wol that I bere the to a place
Which that hight the Hous of Fame,
To do the som disport and game,
In som recompensacion
Of labour and devocion
That thou hast had, loo causeles,
To Cupido the rechcheles.
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