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15

 

The Cat realised the trap and sprang forward,

     but the trap tightened, and yanked him back hard

     by the neck. Tibert gasped and writhed around

     and was almost strangled. He called and cried

     and made an irksome noise. And Reynard stood

     before the hole and heard it all, well pleased,

     and asked, “How’s the mice? Are they fat and good?

     You want the Priest to bring you sauce? What kind

would you like? Tibert! all you do is eat and blab—

 

                                             16

 

and is that all the nobles do at Court?

     Good God” (Reynard continued) “if only Wolf

     were here with you now, just as you are—caught;

     that would be sweet, for he’s often ticked me off.”

     Tibert, meanwhile, was stuck, and he mawed

     and galped so crazily that the Priest awoke

     (Martinet by name) and cried out, “God be thanked!

     The thief that took our hens—My trap has caught him!

Mother! Everyone! Get up! We will reward him!”

 

                                             17

 

Tibert heard the bustle and was terrified,

     and his nine lives flashèd before his eyes.

     In the dark of the hole he squirmed and writhed,

     but he was stuck, and knew it; and the sounds

     he made were wondrously loud in his ears.

     In the confinèd space the Cat felt fear

     inexpressible, and though his two eyes

     could see in the dark, there was nothing there

to see but dirt, accommodating him like a grave.

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How the King sent the Cat for the Fox, concluded.

 

                                             18

 

’Twas an evil hour when Martinet awoke

     the house with his bawling, “We caught the Fox!”

     and all his rooms erupted in bustle,

     and the Priest ran mother-naked from the house,

     and was first to come to Tibert, and smote

     the cat with his heavy staff of the cross.

     He was so angry he took an eye out.

     He raised his staff for one last massive bash,

and Tibert saw, and also saw his one last chance.

 

                                             19

 

Tibert saw that he must die, so he sprang

     between the Priest’s legs with claws protracted

     and fangs bared, and ripped out his left bollock.

     That leap became a great ill to the Priest,

     as the stone fell to the floor and rolled away.

     When his wife knew, she swore by her father’s soul

     that she would have prayed double a whole year,

     that her husband hadn’t had that harm and shame;

and wished it hadn’t happened, and that he still had his ball.

 

                                             20

 

And she said, “In the Devil’s name was that trap set!

     ’Tis a great hurt; for, though he be healéd,

     he shall nevermore do that sweet play and game!”

     The Fox stood by the hole and heard all this word,

     and laughed so sore that he could hardly stand.

     He spoke thus softly : “Don’t worry, Dame, be happy.

     The priest hath lost a ball, that’s not disputed,

     but ’twill not hinder him; he’ll do you well

enough; there’s many a chapel which rings one bell!”

 

                                             21

 

Thus did the Fox scorn and mock the woman

     who was full of sorrow; and the Priest fell aswoon;

     and they took him up and brought him to bed.

     Then went the Fox his way to his borough ward,

     and left the cat in great jeopardy and dread,

     and confidently thought Tibert good as dead.

     But when Tibert saw them busy with the Priest

     he ’gan to bite and gnaw at the trap in the middle,

till he split it in two and leapt out of the hole—

 

                                             22

 

—and went rolling and wentling toward the Court.

     It was a fair day at the hour he came;

     the last morning star had just begun to set

     when he appeared at Court looking miserable.

     Dirt covered his fur around like a robe,

     and beneath, his body was all black and blue;

     and now he saw everything through one eye.

     He explained he’d caught harm at the Priest’s house

with the helpful assistance of Reynard the Fox.

 

                                             23

 

When the Lion King learned of this tale,

     and saw how Tibert was sorely arrayed,

     he was angry, and he sought a contrivance

     to menace Reynard the Fox with justice.

     So again the fellowship of beasts came

     and gathered in council, so that they might

     advise the King on various points of crime

     regarding the Fox, such as how he might

be brought to law, and how on earth he might be caught.

 

 

next : How Grymbert the Badger brought the Foxe to the lawe to fore the kynge

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How Grymbert the Badger brought the Foxe to the lawe to fore the kynge

 

                                             1

 

Of the government of the noble Lion

     the Badger now spoke, who was the Fox’s

     nephew. “Good Lords” (he said) “though my uncle

     were twice as bad and triply devious,

     there is (thank God) a remedy for this.

     We treat him as yet pure in innocence,

     and ask him one last time to come to us

     and speak out; but if he scorns our summons,

we judge Reynard the Fox guilty of all charges.”

 

                                             2

 

“Grimbert” (replied the Lion) “who is to go

     and compel him to follow? Who of us here  

     has such an audacity and courage?

     Who would dare his ears, or eye, or his life,

     to face such a terrible beast in adventure?

     I trust there is none here so much a fool.”

     And the Badger answered him. “God help me”

     (he said) “I’ll be the fool. I’ll bring the message

to Reynard the Fox, if you, good King, command me.”

 

                                             3

 

“Grimbert” (said the noble Lion) “go on, friend;

     but look well before ye. Reynard’s a villain

     so treacherous and so false that ye need

     to look well before ye; beware of him.”

     Grimbert said he would look well before him.

     So the Badger went toward Castle Malperdy,

     waddling though the ways that twist and damn

     all ramblers in the woods round Malperdy;

and was lost when he saw the Castle, old and shady.

 

                                             4

 

Deep within the trees, the low-drooping leaves

     obscured the way; but he saw, here and there,

     the age-old masonry of the Castle

     dominating the forest. Tree branches

     mutated obscurely before his eyes

     in the wind, and the pathway kept changing,

     and it took forever to reach the Castle.

     Inside, the Fox was at home relaxing,

and in a corner his wife suckled her younglings.

 

                                              5

 

So Grimbert came, and hailed his Uncle

     and Aunt, and he said to Reynard the Fox :

     “There is much complaint about you, Uncle.

     Beware of the harm brought by your absence

     while all these complaints of your doings

     go unanswered by you. Indeed I speak right.

     So if ye think it good for you and yours,

     it’s high time that ye come with me to Court.

It can do you no more good to stay away from it.”

 

6

 

“This is the third warning” (the Badger warned)

    “I say there is too much complaint about you,

     and that’s the truth. If you stay unconcerned,

     you may find no mercy there to help you.

     Within three days they will besiege your house

     and you’ll be brought to the gallows and rack.

     Believe that you shall not escape from this,

     nor wife not child, but they’ll come and attack.

The King shall take all of your lives if you don’t act.”  

 

7

 

“Therefore ’tis best you come with me to Court.

     Your wise counsel shall (probably) save you.

     Before this you’ve seen greater adventures

     and survived; so why worry about this now?

     It may happen that you prove untrue

     all the complaints against you, and all the fuss;

     then your enemies shall go away in shame. 

     And what’s sweeter than laughing at your enemies?

You’ve many times done more and greater things than this.”

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8

 

“I agree” (said the Fox) “for sure it’s best

     I go with you, for they lack my counsel there.

     Maybe the King will show mercy at heart

     if I speak with him shrewdly under his eye.

     I’ve done harm, but the Court can’t stand without me;

     that I must make the King well understand.

     True, there are cruel ones at Court who hate me,

     but they don’t touch my heart. Just let me stand

before the council and they shall find me deserved.”

 

9

 

“Where great Courts are gathered” (he continued)

     “subtle counsel is required, and Reynard

     must find the subtle means. Others may stand

     and say their advice, but only Reynard

     speaks best; his word surpasses all else said.

     Many at Court have sworn to do the worst

     they can to me, and I feel heavy at heart

     at that, for while one alone is insignificant,

many banded together can bring me great hurt.”

 

10

 

“Nevertheless, nephew” (Fox said) “’tis better

     I go with you now to Court and answer

     for myself, rather than put in danger

     my wife and children. Arise, good Badger!

     I must do as he wills, nothing other;

     let us go now. The Lion stands over me;

     I must take it patiently, even if I suffer.”

     Then said the Fox to Ermelyn his wife,

“Care for our little ones, and protect their welfare.”

 

11

 

“See well to our children” (still Reynard spoke)

     “especially to Reynkin, my youngest son.

     I see much of me in him, and I hope

     he follows my steps. And Rossel my son,

     a fine thief! No one can love his children

     as much as I. If God grants me escape,

     I shall come back to you, the only one

     for me, dear wife.” Thus Reynard left his wife,

who sorrowed that he left them no food in the house.

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0244f819f96015a019fe694af65ae35a.jpg

The most pleasant and delectable tale of the marriage of Cupid and Psyches

Translated from the Latin of Apuleius by William Adlington

New Rochelle, New York : printed by Clarke Conwell at the Elston Press, 1903.

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Canto 12

How Reynard shroef hym.

/ The Badger hears the Fox’s Confession.

 

12

 

When Reynard and Grimbert had gone a ways

     together, moving ever innerward

     into heavier darker thickets of trees,

     secret areas of ancient woodland

     at silent night, whose deep-black branches spread

     a gloominess evoking the Underworld,

     “Do you feel scared?” (Reynard asked) “I feel scared.

     Everything’s in jeopardy; I go in dread

of my life and soul; it makes a Fox remember God.”

 

13

 

“Yea” (said Fox) “I repent my sins so gravely

     that I must confess to someone. Dear cousin,

     you must be my priestthere’s none other to get;

     If I were shriven of all of my sin

     my soul would be the clearer.” And his cousin

     Grimbert answered, “Uncle! You’re confessing

     to me? Well” (he said) “you must first promise

     to give up all your stealing and roving.”

So the Fox promised to give up stealing and roving.

 

14

 

“Listen now to what I shall say, dear Cousin.

     Confiteor tibi, Pater”—Reynard solemn—

     “of the unspeakable deeds I have done;

     I will gladly receive penance for them.”

     “What’s that?” (asked the Badger) “Speak in English!”

     Thus spoke Reynard (solemnly) : “I have trespassed

     against all the beasts that live, especially

     against Bruno, who went away from me

terribly bloody; and I taught the Cat to catch mice.”

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15

 

“And what else? (I struggle for example;

     let me think.) I’ve spoken of Tibert the cat,

     haven’t I? I put him in a mousetrap,

     where he caught a beating half to death (almost).

     It’s possible I may have inconvenienced

     the rooster by eating some of his children.

     (Now I’m talking off the top of my head.)

     Oh yes; I have slandered the King and Queen

so many times they’ll never be clear of my wit.”

 

16

 

“I seem to remember something” (Fox said)

     “done to the Wolf. Oh yes; I have tricked him

     too many times to tell. We’re not related

     but I call him Uncle, to deceive him.

     Let’s see” (Fox ruminated) “I made him

     a monk at Eelmare (where I also became one),

     but that did not remotely profit him.

     I urged him to tie his feet to the bell rope,

and he thought he sounded so good, he’d learn to ringe.”

 

 17

 

“But that didn’t work out, as I remember;

     he rang so awfully that the folk in the street

     were terrified at the sound, and came before

     he could axe their religion, and beat him

     half to death (almost). After that, I taught him

     to catch fish, and then it was I who beat him

     (I’m a stern schoolmaster). Then I led him

    — I remember now; this is a good one—

to the richest priest’s house in all of Vermedos.”

 

18

 

“The priest had a goodly store of bacon

     in a pantry” (Fox said) “and many times

     there I filled my belly full. In this pantry

     I had dug a hole, and I advised the wolf

     to creep through it. So he found tubs of beef

     and much bacon, and ate so much of it all

     that the hole was too small now to get out of,

     so great had the meat filled his belly, so full;

but when he had entered in, his belly was small.”

 

19

 

“I went down to the village and made there

     a great noise and shout; hear now what I did.

     I ran to the priest where he sat at table,

     eating as fat a goose as one might find.

     I took that goose, then ran out of there hard;

     and the Priest cried out, ‘Catch him! Get the Fox!

     I say no man ever saw such trouble!

     The Fox cometh into my house and taketh

my goose from my table; whoever knew such a thief?’”

 

20

 

“Then he took his table knife and hurled it at me,

     but he missed; so I ran away with the goose

     in my mouth and he shoved the table aside

     and followed me, crying, “Get him! Kill the Fox!”

     I kept running and they came after me,

     and many more came after them, and all

     of them had one idea in mind—to hurt me.

     So I ran all the way back to the Wolf

trapped in the pantry, and dropped the goose at his feet.”

 

21

 

“I left him where he was, sprang through the hole,

     and was out of there, and went where I pleased.

     Meanwhile the Priest discovered the goose

     and held it up to the people, and he cried,

     ‘Smite down here, friends!’ Here is the thief, the Wolf!

     Watch him well so he does not escape us!”

     They ran all together with sticks and stones,

     and made a great noise that all the neighbours

came out, and they gave to him a cruel beating.”

 

22

 

“And they threw stones at him in such a way

     he fell to the ground as if he were dead.

     Then they dragged him over rocks a long way,

     and over tree stumps, and they took him far

     from the village, and threw him in a ditch,

     and there he lay all night. What happened next

     to him I had no idea, which bothered me

     because while he was filling his belly

he swore he’d be a help to me for a whole year.”

 

23

 

“Anyway” (said Reynard) “Now I recall

     something else, the time I led him to a place

     where I said were eight fat hens in a perch.

     There was a trapdoor, and I said, ‘Go inside

     (if you believe me) and you’ll find eight fat hens.’

     So the Wolf went laughing up to the door

     and went a little in, and tasted somewhat

     of this and that, and then he said to me,

‘Reynard, ye be jacking; I don’t see any hens.’

 

24

 

‘If you will find’ (I said) ‘go further inside.

     Those who win must labour and adventure.

     Then I shoved his behind so far inside

     that he fell on the floor with piercing noise

     and the eight fat hens sprang up from rest.

     One of them saw the open door, and felt  

     something wrong, but no one knew what it was.

     So they arose, and they lit a candle,

and they saw him; then beat him half to death (almost).”

 

25

 

“You might say I put the Wolf in harm’s way”

     (Fox said) “but I can’t think of any other

     jeopardy or outrage just now. Oh yes,

     I did bedrive his wife, Dame Ersewynde.

     I wish I hadn’t done that; I’m sorry for it.

     ’Tis to her great shame; for that I repent.”

     “Wait” (said Grimbert the Badger) “what did you say?”

     “I have trespassed” (said Reynard) “with his wife.”

“Good God” (said Grimbert) “how do you speak such language?”

 

26

 

“Now that you mention it” (said Reynard the Fox)

     “since we’re confessing, I’ve slept with your aunt.

     Now I’ve told you all (I think). Set me penance

     and forgive me my sins, for I wish to repent.”

     Hearing this, Grimbert the Badger was subtle

     and wise. He chewed off a branch from a tree

     and said, “Take this branch and whack your body,

     then lay it holily upon the earth;

then you must spring three times over it in rebirth”

 

27

 

“And” (Badger continued) “while you’re springing,

     keep your legs straight, and you’re not to stomble;

     then ye shall take the branch and begin kissing

     it all over in token of your meekness

     and obedience. Herewith ye be quit

     of all sins that ye have done to this day,

     for I forgive you all.” The Fox was glad.

     “Friend” (Badger said) “Now you must live rightly.

Read your psalms, go to church, keep every holy day.”

 

28

 

“Give alms” (Badger continued) “and do good works;

     and leave your ill and sinful life, your theft,

     and treason, so that you may know mercy.”

     Reynard the Fox promised to become blessed.

     So then they both together went toward Court.

     Along the way stood a cloister of black nuns,

     where many geese and hens sauntered beyond

     the walls; and as the two went their way,

the Fox finessed their path to veer toward the poultry.

 

29

 

“What!” (Grimbert said) “Cursed creature! Will ye

     throw your soul away for a taste of poultry?

     Reynard answered, “Truly, friend, I’d forgotten.

     Pray God forgive me; I’ll never do so more.”

     So they went on, and passed over a bridge,

     and the Fox looked over his shoulder

     after the poultry; and though he be hanged,

     he could not tear his eyes away as far

as he could see them. So Grimbert had to answer :

 

30

 

“Foul false deceiver! Even now your eyes

     follow after the poultry!” And so Fox :

     “Cousin, you misdo me to say such things,

     and you disturb my devotion and prayers.

     Let me say a paternoster for all the souls

     of all the poultry and of all the geese

     that I have eaten; and often, using tricks,

     I have stolen them from the holy nuns.”

But Grimbert the Badger was far from satisfied,

 

31

 

because the Fox held his eyes on the poultry

     till at last they were lost from sight; and the Fox

     kept silent for a spell after that. Meanwhile,

     the pair movèd ever closer to Court.

     And how sorely quaked the Fox to think

     of what awaited him there! For he knew

     most everyone there was an enemy,

     and he would have to find answers for them

to many a fowle feat and theft that he had done.

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8977c8d23ffdd052e5e96c4aafabd9c4.jpg

cb20175aea5b9ace72b890c2b04404db.jpg

We(n)(n) wir am Sommerabe(n)d                                                         15

Auf de(n) Treppe(n)stei(n)e(n) der Haustür

Zum stille(n) Erzähle(n) (n)iederkauerte(n)

Mit klei(n)e(n) horche(n)de(n) Herze(n)

U(n)d (n)eugierkluge(n) Auge(n),

Währe(n)d die große(n) Mädche(n)                                                      20

(N)ebe(n) dufte(n)de(n) Blume(n)töpfe(n)

Gege(n)über am Fe(n)ster saße(n),

Rose(n)gesichter,

Lächel(n)d u(n)d mo(n)dbeglä(n)zt.

ac215fb52ca98f84bf33b670ea55c111.jpg

Die Nordsee von Heinrich Heine

Leipzig : Insel-Verlag, 1909.

Bound in full vellum (leaves in Japanese vellum).

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Canto 13

How the Fox came to the Court, and how he excused him tofore the King.

 

1

 

SO, Fox and Badger, long ago, came to Court,

     where a royal crew about them waited round

     of sage and noble peers, all gravely wrought

     up to furious anger with the attitude

     of the Fox, who went forth proudly displayed

     in blazing brightness of his beauty’s beams,

     and glorious light of his sunshiny face,

     as if the very King might call him son,

and that Reynard had not trespassed to anyone.

 

2

 

There were none here so poor nor feeble of kin

     but that he made himself ready to complain

     on Reynard the Fox; who went his way on

     in the middle of the place, a majestic return,

     and came to stand before the King, and said,

     “God give you great honour and worship, my Lord.

     No King e’er lived that had a truer friend

     than I have been to your good grace, and still am;

not for a hair on my head would I cause you any trouble.”

 

3

 

“Nevertheless, dear lord” (Fox continued)

     “I know many in the Court would destroy me

     if you would believe them; but no, thank God,

     it nowise befits your crown to believe

     these false deceivers and liars. To God

     must we make complaint how these lying friends

     and flatterers filling up the Court these days

     are most heard and believed, all the wicked

villains of mischievous policy, and evil-disposed.”

 

4

 

“Many a one here would do a good soul

     all the harm and hurt they may” (advised Fox)

     “Our Lord God shall reward them for their service.”

     The King answered : “Enough, Reynard, false thief

     and traitor! How well you spin your fair tales!

     But all those words shall not help you a straw.”

     Here the Rooster could be still no longer,

     but cried out, “Alas, what he has done to me!”

“Be still” (said the King) “let me answer this foul thief.”

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How the Fox came to the Court, cont’d.

 

5

 

“Reynard, the general peace I’ve commanded”

     (the King said) “This ye have followed, have ye?”

     The Fox began—But the King interrupted,

     “Oh, you wicked thief! You say you love me?

     You demonstrated that excellently

     with my messengers, the unfortunate

     Bruno and Tibert, who both returned bloody!

     So give me nor complaint nor argument,

but your life, I command, this day shall be your last.”

 

6

 

“Dear lord and mighty King, is it my fault

     whenever Bruno’s head becomes bloody?

     When he ate the honey of honest Lantfert,

     and caused the Priest great harm and injury,   

     thus was he beaten justly for his crime;

     and Bruno is so strong of paw and limb

     he might well have avenged himself on them

before he sprang in the water, and went downstream.”

 

7

 

“Then Tibert the Cat came to my Castle,

     and I invited him in happily.

     If then he went out without my counsel

     and caught mice at the honourable priest’s house,

     and the priest did him harm, and take his eye,

     and the people of the village beat him senseless,

     if I should take the blame for all that, my King,

     I might say I haven’t much happiness.

Make it not so, my Lord, that I’ve lost my happiness.”

 

8

 

“Do what ye will” (Fox said) “My conscience is clear.

     Boil me in a pot, roast me, hang me,

     make me blind; I cannot escape your law;

     we all abide under your correction.

     Ye be mighty and strong. I am feeble,

     and my assistance to you is paltry;

     if ye put me to death it were small vengeance.”

     While the Lion and Reynard thus spoke

up sprang Bellyn the Ram and his ewe Dame Oleway.

 

9

 

“My Lord the King” (Ram said) “hear our complaint!”

     Bruno the Bear came with all his lineage;

     and Tibert the Cat and Isegrim the Wolf;

     and the Hare and the Panther and the Boar;

     and the Camel and the Goose and the Kid

     and the Goat; and Baldwin the Ass; and the Bull

     and the Cock and the Ox and the Weasel;

     before the King these made great rumour and noise,

and pressed that the Fox be taken and arrested.

 

Next : How the Foxe was arestid and juged to deth.

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