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And shortly of this proces for to trete, So doghty was hir housbonde and eek she, That they conquered manye regnes grete In the orient, with many a faire citee, Apertenaunt unto the magestee Of Rome, and with strong hond held hem ful faste, Ne nevere myghte hir foomen doon hem flee, Ay whil that Odenakes dayes laste.

Eek every wight woot this as wel as I, If gentillesse were planted natureelly Unto a certeyn lynage doun the lyne, Pryvee nor apert, thanne wolde they nevere fyne To doon of gentillesse the faire office, They myghte do no vileynye or vice.

Fro which ymage wolde she nevere go, No wight ne myghte hir handes of it arace, Til she was slayn right in the selve place.

Thre strokes in the nekke he smoot hir tho, The tormentour, but for no maner chaunce He myghte noght smyte al hir nekke atwo.

Valerian gan faste unto hire swere That for no cas, ne thyng that myghte be, He sholde nevere mo biwreyen here, And thanne at erst to hym thus seyde she, "I have an Aungel which that loveth me, That with greet love, wher so I wake or sleepe, Is redy ay my body for to kepe.

And whan it fil that he myghte hire espye, He noght with wantowne lookyng of folye Hise eyen caste on hir, but in sad wyse, Upon hir chiere he wolde hym ofte avyse, Commendynge in his herte hir wommanhede And eek hir vertu, passynge any wight Of so yong age, as wel in chiere as dede.

But now of wommen wolde I axen fayn, If thise assayes myghte nat suffise, What koude a sturdy housbonde moore devyse To preeve hire wyfhod or hir stedefastnesse, And he continuynge evere in sturdinesse?

As help me God, I was a lusty oon, And faire, and riche, and yong, and wel bigon, And trewely, as myne housbondes tolde me, I hadde the beste quonyam myghte be.

And hem she yaf hir moebles, and hir thyng, And to the Pope Urban bitook hem tho, And seyde, "I axed this at hevene kyng To han respit thre dayes, and namo, To recomende to yow er that I go Thise soules, lo, and that I myghte do werche Heere of myn hous perpetuelly a chirche.

As I best myghte, I hidde fro hym my sorwe, And took hym by the hond, seint John to borwe, And seyde hym thus, `Lo I am youres al.

For fere almoost out of his wit he breyde, And to his goddes pitously he preyde For socour, but it myghte nat bityde.

And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere, And eek as loude, as dooth the chapel belle, Ther as this lord was keper of the celle.

To all his hoost and to hymself also Ful wlatsom was the stynk of his careyne, No man ne myghte hym bere to ne fro, And in this stynk and this horrible peyne He starf ful wrecchedly in a monteyne.

Ther nas quyk-silver, lytarge, ne brymstoon, Boras, ceruce, ne oille of tartre noon, Ne oynement, that wolde clense and byte, That hym myghte helpen of his wheldes white, Nor of the knobbes sittynge on his chekes.

I blame hym thus, that he considereth noght In tyme comynge what hym myghte bityde, But in his lust present was al his thoght, As for to hauke and hunte on every syde.