Parliament of Fowls

主題 Topic Court of King’s Bench, Ordinance and Statute of Labors, Marriage, Enarratio (Analysis and Exposition of Texts)
書刊名 TitleParliament of Fowls in The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
( 2nd Edition)
作者 AuthorGeoffrey Chaucer  (edited by W.W. Skeat )
出版社 PublisherOxford UP
出版年 Year1900
語言 LanguageMiddle English
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages
(10 / 13)

Bibliography Reference  (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
Web Link
撰寫日期 Date2015.01.24

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)

與早期作品如《公爵夫人之書》、《名人堂》等相似,喬叟以夢境文學形式寫成《百鳥議會》。二月十四日,聖瓦倫汀日(St. Valentine’s Day)的夜晚,臨睡前思索愛的本質的敘述者夢見了森林綠地間自然女神正主持一場議會,與會者是各式各樣的鳥類。春天來臨之際正是鳥兒們擇偶的時節;這些與會的鳥兒們正吱吱喳喳地討論一件大事:一隻年輕貌美的雌鷹該如何由三位年輕氣盛的雄鷹當中選出最適合的配偶?喬叟在這個動物寓言中以物種之間被認為最高貴的老鷹的擇偶比喻貴族社會婚姻理當門當戶對的規則;更以三隻年輕且旗鼓相當的雄鷹求偶時的演說,呈現了騎士與仕女宮廷愛情的辭令以及宮廷婚姻的政治角力。

B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

(Lines 295-490)
295  Whan I was come ayen unto the place
296  That I of spak, that was so swote and grene,
297  Forth welk I tho, my-selven to solace.
298  Tho was I war wher that ther sat a quene
299  That, as of light the somer-sonne shene
300  Passeth the sterre, right so over mesure
301  She fairer was than any creature.
302  And in a launde, upon an hille of floures,
303  Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
304  Of braunches were hir halles and hir boures,
305  Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;
306  Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
307  That they ne were prest in hir presence,
308  To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.
309  For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
310  Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,
311  Of every kinde, that men thenke may;
312  And that so huge a noyse gan they make,
313  That erthe and see, and tree, and every lake
314  So ful was, that unnethe was ther space
315  For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.
316  And right as Aleyn, in the Pleynt of Kinde,
317  Devyseth Nature of aray and face,
318  In swich aray men mighten hir ther finde.
319  This noble emperesse, ful of grace,
320  Bad every foul to take his owne place,
321  As they were wont alwey fro yeer to yere,
322  Seynt Valentynes day, to stonden there.
323  That is to sey, the foules of ravyne
324  Were hyest set; and than the foules smale,
325  That eten as hem nature wolde enclyne,
326  As worm or thing of whiche I telle no tale;
327  And water-foul sat loweste in the dale;
328  But foul that liveth by seed sat on the grene,
329  And that so fele, that wonder was to sene.
330  There mighte men the royal egle finde,
331  That with his sharpe look perceth the sonne;
332  And other egles of a lower kinde,
333  Of which that clerkes wel devysen conne.
334  Ther was the tyraunt with his fethres donne
335  And greye, I mene the goshauk, that doth pyne
336  To briddes for his outrageous ravyne.
337  The gentil faucoun, that with his feet distreyneth
338  The kinges hond; the hardy sperhauk eke,
339  The quayles foo; the merlion that payneth
340  Him-self ful ofte, the larke for to seke;
341  Ther was the douve, with hir eyen meke;
342  The Ialous swan, ayens his deth that singeth;
343  The oule eek, that of dethe the bode bringeth;
344  The crane the geaunt, with his trompes soune;
345  The theef, the chogh; and eek the Iangling pye;
346  The scorning Iay; the eles foo, heroune;
347  The false lapwing, ful of trecherye;
348  The stare, that the counseyl can bewrye;
349  The tame ruddok; and the coward kyte;
350  The cok, that orloge is of thorpes lyte;
351  The sparow, Venus sone; the nightingale,
352  That clepeth forth the fresshe leves newe;
353  The swalow, mordrer of the flyes smale
354  That maken hony of floures fresshe of hewe;
355  The wedded turtel, with hir herte trewe;
356  The pecok, with his aungels fethres brighte;
357  The fesaunt, scorner of the cok by nighte;
358  The waker goos; the cukkow ever unkinde;
359  The popiniay, ful of delicasye;
360  The drake, stroyer of his owne kinde;
361  The stork, the wreker of avouterye;
362  The hote cormeraunt of glotonye;
363  The raven wys, the crow with vois of care;
364  The throstel olde; the frosty feldefare.
365  What shulde I seyn? of foules every kinde
366  That in this world han fethres and stature,
367  Men mighten in that place assembled finde
368  Before the noble goddesse Nature,
369  And everich of hem did his besy cure
370  Benignely to chese or for to take,
371  By hir acord, his formel or his make.
372  But to the poynt -- Nature held on hir honde
373  A formel egle, of shap the gentileste
374  That ever she among hir werkes fonde,
375  The moste benigne and the goodlieste;
376  In hir was every vertu at his reste,
377  So ferforth, that Nature hir-self had blisse
378  To loke on hir, and ofte hir bek to kisse.
379  Nature, the vicaire of thalmighty lorde,
380  That hoot, cold, hevy, light, and moist and dreye
381  Hath knit by even noumbre of acorde,
382  In esy vois began to speke and seye,
383  `Foules, tak hede of my sentence, I preye,
384  And, for your ese, in furthering of your nede,
385  As faste as I may speke, I wol me spede.
386  Ye knowe wel how, seynt Valentynes day,
387  By my statut and through my governaunce,
388  Ye come for to chese -- and flee your way --
389  Your makes, as I prik yow with plesaunce.
390  But natheles, my rightful ordenaunce
391  May I not lete, for al this world to winne,
392  That he that most is worthy shal beginne.
393  The tercel egle, as that ye knowen wel,
394  The foul royal above yow in degree,
395  The wyse and worthy, secree, trewe as stel,
396  The which I formed have, as ye may see,
397  In every part as hit best lyketh me,
398  Hit nedeth noght his shap yow to devyse,
399  He shal first chese and speken in his gyse.
400  And after him, by order shul ye chese,
401  After your kinde, everich as yow lyketh,
402  And, as your hap is, shul ye winne or lese;
403  But which of yow that love most entryketh,
404  God sende him hir that sorest for him syketh.'
405  And therwith-al the tercel gan she calle,
406  And seyde, `my sone, the choys is to thee falle.
407  But natheles, in this condicioun
408  Mot be the choys of everich that is here,
409  That she agree to his eleccioun,
410  What-so he be that shulde be hir fere;
411  This is our usage alwey, fro yeer to yere;
412  And who so may at this time have his grace,
413  In blisful tyme he com in-to this place.'
414  With hed enclyned and with ful humble chere
415  This royal tercel spak and taried nought:
416  `Unto my sovereyn lady, and noght my fere,
417  I chese, and chese with wille and herte and thought,
418  The formel on your hond so wel y-wrought,
419  Whos I am al and ever wol hir serve,
420  Do what hir list, to do me live or sterve.
421  Beseching hir of mercy and of grace,
422  As she that is my lady sovereyne;
423  Or let me dye present in this place.
424  For certes, long may I not live in peyne;
425  For in myn herte is corven every veyne;
426  Having reward only to my trouthe,
427  My dere herte, have on my wo som routhe.
428  And if that I to hir be founde untrewe,
429  Disobeysaunt, or wilful negligent,
430  Avauntour, or in proces love a newe,
431  I pray to you this be my Iugement,
432  That with these foules I be al to-rent,
433  That ilke day that ever she me finde
434  To hir untrewe, or in my gilte unkinde.
435  And sin that noon loveth hir so wel as I,
436  Al be she never of love me behette,
437  Than oghte she be myn thourgh hir mercy,
438  For other bond can I noon on hir knette.
439  For never, for no wo, ne shal I lette
440  To serven hir, how fer so that she wende;
441  Sey what yow list, my tale is at an ende.'
442  Right as the fresshe, rede rose newe
443  Ayen the somer-sonne coloured is,
444  Right so for shame al wexen gan the hewe
445  Of this formel, whan she herde al this;
446  She neyther answerde `Wel', ne seyde amis,
447  So sore abasshed was she, til that Nature
448  Seyde, `doghter, drede yow noght, I yow assure.'
449  Another tercel egle spak anoon
450  Of lower kinde, and seyde, `that shal nat be;
451  I love hir bet than ye do, by seynt Iohn,
452  Or atte leste I love hir as wel as ye;
453  And lenger have served hir, in my degree,
454  And if she shulde have loved for long loving,
455  To me allone had been the guerdoninge.
456  I dar eek seye, if she me finde fals,
457  Unkinde, Iangler, or rebel in any wyse,
458  Or Ialous, do me hongen by the hals!
459  And but I bere me in hir servyse
460  As wel as that my wit can me suffyse,
461  From poynt to poynt, hir honour for to save,
462  Tak she my lyf, and al the good I have.'
463  The thridde tercel egle answerde tho,
464  `Now, sirs, ye seen the litel leyser here;
465  For every foul cryeth out to been a-go
466  Forth with his make, or with his lady dere;
467  And eek Nature hir-self ne wol nought here,
468  For tarying here, noght half that I wolde seye;
469  And but I speke, I mot for sorwe deye.
470  Of long servyse avaunte I me no-thing,
471  But as possible is me to dye to-day
472  For wo, as he that hath ben languisshing
473  Thise twenty winter, and wel happen may
474  A man may serven bet and more to pay
475  In half a yere, al-though hit were no more,
476  Than som man doth that hath served ful yore.
477  I ne sey not this by me, for I ne can
478  Do no servyse that may my lady plese;
479  But I dar seyn, I am hir trewest man
480  As to my dome, and feynest wolde hir ese;
481  At shorte wordes, til that deth me sese,
482  I wol ben hires, whether I wake or winke,
483  And trewe in al that herte may bethinke.'
484  Of al my lyf, sin that day I was born,
485  So gentil plee in love or other thing
486  Ne herde never no man me beforn,
487  Who-so that hadde leyser and cunning
488  For to reherse hir chere and hir speking;
489  And from the morwe gan this speche laste
490  Til dounward drow the sonne wonder faste.