BOOK I Incipit liber primus.

God turne us every dreem to gode!
For hit is wonder, be the rode,
To my wit, what causeth swevens
Either on morwes, or on evens;
And why the effect folweth of somme,
And of somme hit shal never come;
Why that is an avisioun,
And this a revelacioun,
Why this a dreem, why that a sweven,
And nat to every man liche even;
Why this a fantom, these oracles,
I noot; but who-so of these miracles
The causes knoweth bet than I,
Devyne he; for I certeinly
Ne can hem noght, ne never thinke
To besily my wit to swinke,
To knowe of hir signifiaunce
The gendres, neither the distaunce
Of tymes of hem, ne the causes,
For-why this more than that cause is;
As if folkes complexiouns
Make hem dreme of reflexiouns;
Or ellis thus, as other sayn,
For to greet feblenesse of brayn,
By abstinence, or by seeknesse,
Prison, stewe, or greet distresse;
Or elles by disordinaunce
Of naturel acustomaunce,
That som man is to curious
In studie, or melancolious,
Or thus, so inly ful of drede,
That no man may him bote bede;
Or elles, that devocioun
Of somme, and contemplacioun
Causeth swiche dremes ofte;
Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
Which these ilke lovers leden
That hopen over muche or dreden,
That purely hir impressiouns
Causeth hem avisiouns;
Or if that spirites have the might
To make folk to dreme a-night
Or if the soule, of propre kinde
Be so parfit, as men finde,
That hit forwot that is to come,
And that hit warneth alle and somme
Of everiche of hir aventures
Be avisiouns, or by figures,
But that our flesh ne hath no might
To understonden hit aright,
For hit is warned to derkly; --
But why the cause is, noght wot I.
Wel worthe, of this thing, grete clerkes,
That trete of this and other werkes;
For I of noon opinioun
Nil as now make mensioun,
But only that the holy rode
Turne us every dreem to gode!
For never, sith that I was born,
Ne no man elles, me biforn,
Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
So wonderful a dreem as I
The tenthe day dide of Decembre,
The which, as I can now remembre,
I wol yow tellen every del,

The Invocation

But at my ginninge, trusteth wel,
I wol make invocacioun,
With special devocioun,
Unto the god of slepe anoon,
That dwelleth in a cave of stoon
Upon a streem that cometh fro Lete,
That is a flood of helle unswete;
Besyde a folk men clepe Cimerie,
Ther slepeth ay this god unmerie
With his slepy thousand sones
That alway for to slepe hir wone is --
And to this god, that I of rede,
Prey I, that he wol me spede
My sweven for to telle aright,
If every dreem stonde in his might.
And he, that mover is of al
That is and was, and ever shal,
So yive hem Ioye that hit here
Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
And for to stonden alle in grace
Of hir loves, or in what place
That hem wer levest for to stonde,
And shelde hem fro poverte and shonde,
And fro unhappe and eche disese,
And sende hem al that may hem plese,
That take hit wel, and scorne hit noght,
Ne hit misdemen in her thoght
Through malicious entencioun.
And who-so, through presumpcioun,
Or hate or scorne, or through envye,
Dispyt, or Iape, or vilanye,
Misdeme hit, preye I Iesus god
That (dreme he barfoot, dreme he shod),
That every harm that any man
Hath had, sith that the world began,
Befalle him therof, or he sterve,
And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
Lo! with swich a conclusioun
As had of his avisioun
Cresus, that was king of Lyde,
That high upon a gebet dyde!
This prayer shal he have of me;
I am no bet in charite!
Now herkneth, as I have you seyd,
What that I mette or I abreyd.

The Dream

Of Decembre the tenthe day,
Whan hit was night, to slepe I lay
Right ther as I was wont to done,
And fil on slepe wonder sone,
As he that wery was for-go
On pilgrimage myles two
To the corseynt Leonard,
To make lythe of that was hard.
But as I sleep, me mette I was
Within a temple y-mad of glas;
In whiche ther were mo images
Of gold, stondinge in sondry stages,
And mo riche tabernacles,
And with perre mo pinacles,
And mo curious portreytures,
And queynte maner of figures
Of olde werke, then I saw ever.
For certeynly, I niste never
Wher that I was, but wel wiste I,
Hit was of Venus redely,
The temple; for, in portreyture,
I sawgh anoon-right hir figure
Naked fletinge in a see.
And also on hir heed, parde,
Hir rose-garlond whyt and reed,
And hir comb to kembe hir heed,
Hir dowves, and daun Cupido
Hir blinde sone, and Vulcano,
That in his face was ful broun.
But as I romed up and doun,
I fond that on a wal ther was
Thus writen, on a table of bras:
`I wol now singe, if that I can,
The armes, and al-so the man,
That first cam, through his destinee,
Fugitif of Troye contree,
In Itaile, with ful moche pyne,
Unto the strondes of Lavyne.'
And tho began the story anoon,
As I shal telle yow echoon.
First saw I the destruccioun
Of Troye, through the Greek Sinoun,
That with his false forsweringe,
And his chere and his lesinge
Made the hors broght into Troye,
Thorgh which Troyens loste al hir Ioye.
And after this was grave, allas!
How Ilioun assailed was
And wonne, and King Priam y-slayn,
And Polites his sone, certayn,
Dispitously, of dan Pirrus.
And next that saw I how Venus,
Whan that she saw the castel brende,
Doun fro the hevene gan descende,
And bad hir sone Eneas flee;
And how he fledde, and how that he
Escaped was from al the pres,
And took his fader, Anchises,
And bar him on his bakke away,
Cryinge, `Allas, and welaway!'
The whiche Anchises in his honde
Bar the goddes of the londe,
Thilke that unbrende were.
And I saw next, in alle this fere,
How Creusa, daun Eneas wyf,
Which that he lovede as his lyf,
And hir yonge sone Iulo,
And eek Ascanius also,
Fledden eek with drery chere,
That hit was pitee for to here;
And in a forest, as they wente,
At a turninge of a wente,
How Creusa was y-lost, allas!
That deed, but noot I how, she was;
How he hir soughte, and how hir gost
Bad him to flee the Grekes ost,
And seyde he most unto Itaile,
As was his destinee, sauns faille;
That hit was pitee for to here,
Whan hir spirit gan appere,
The wordes that she to him seyde,
And for to kepe hir sone him preyde.
Ther saw I graven eek how he,
His fader eek, and his meynee,
With his shippes gan to sayle
Toward the contree of Itaile,
As streight as that they mighte go.
Ther saw I thee, cruel Iuno,
That art daun Iupiteres wyf,
That hast y-hated, al thy lyf,
Al the Troyanisshe blood,
Renne and crye, as thou were wood,
On Eolus, the god of windes,
To blowen out, of alle kindes,
So loude, that he shulde drenche
Lord and lady, grome and wenche,
Of al the Troyan nacioun,
Withoute any savacioun.
Ther saw I swich tempeste aryse,
That every herte mighte agryse,
To see hit peynted on the walle.
Ther saw I graven eek withalle,
Venus, how ye, my lady dere,
Wepinge with ful woful chere,
Prayen Iupiter an hye
To save and kepe that