Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Ariadne
By Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340–1400)
 
(See full text.)

  BUT I wol turne againe to Ariadne,
That is with slepe for werinesse ytake,
Ful sorrowfully her herté may awake.
  Alas, for thee, mine herté hath pité;
Right in the dawning tho awaketh she,        5
And gropeth in the bed, and found right nought:
  “Alas,” (quoth she) “that ever I was wrought,—
I am betrayed,” and her haire to rent,
And to the strandé barefote fast she went,
And cried: “Theseus, mine herté swete,        10
Where be ye, that I may not with you mete?
And mighte thus with beestes ben yslaine.”
  The hollow rockés answerede her againe,
No man she saw, and yet shone the Moone,
And hie upon a rocké she went soone,        15
And sawe his bargé sayling in the sea,
Cold woxe her herte, and righte thus said she:
  “Meker then ye find I the beestes wilde.”
Hath he not sinne, that he her thus begilde?
She cried, “O turne againe for routhe and sinne,        20
Thy bargé hath not all his meinie in.”
Her kerchefe on a pole sticked she,
Ascaunce he should it well ysee,
And him remembre that she was behind,
And turne againe, and on the stronde her find.        25
  But all for nought,—his way he is ygone,
And down she fell a swone upon a stone,
And up she riste, and kissed in all her care
The steppés of his feete, there he hath fare,
And to her bed right thus she speketh tho:        30
  “Thou bed,” (quod she) “that hast received two,
Thou shalt answere of two, and not of one,
Where is the greater parte, away ygone?
  Alas, where shall I wretched wight become?
For though so be that boté none here come,        35
Home to my countrey dare I not for drede.
I can my selfe in this case not yrede.”
  What should I tellé more her complaining,
It is so long, it were an heavy thing?
In her epistle, Naso telleth all,        40
But shortly to the endé tell I shall,
The goddes have her holpen for pité,
And, in the signe of Taurus, men may see
The stonés of her crowné shiné clere,—
I will no more speake of this matere.        45
 
 
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