Troilus and Criseyde

Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400

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Troilus and Criseyde
Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400
creation of machine-readable version: J.D. Burnley
Conversion to TEI-conformant markup: University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center ca. 485 kilobytes :
http://etext.virginia.edu/mideng.browse.html, ChaTroi

     Available from: Oxford Text Archive, U-1689-A
1993


About the print version

Troilus & Criseyde : a new edition of "The book of Troilus"
Geoffrey Chaucer
edited by: B.A. Windeatt xii, 584 p. ; 26 cm. : LongmanLondon ; New York 1984
Note: Bibliography: p. 567-584
Published: 1385

Middle English
Revisions to the electronic version
November 1995 David Seaman, Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.
"%ere" changed to "There", III.966; reported by Fritz Kemmler, University of Tuebingen.:

February 18, 1994 Edward Gaynor,University of Virginia Library, Cataloging Services Dept.
TEI header revised:

January 1994 David Seaman, University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center
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September 1, 1993 Michael Bernhard, University of Virginia Library, Cataloging Services Dept.
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August, 1993 David Gants, University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center
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etextcenter@virginia.edu. Commercial use prohibited; all usage governed by our Conditions of Use: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/conditions.html

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1: The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
2: That was the kyng Priamus sone of Troye,
3: In louynge how his auentures fellen
4: ffro wo to wele, and after out of ioie,
5: My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
6: Thesiphone, thow help me for tendite
7: Thise woful vers that wepen as I write.

8: To the clepe I, thow goddesse of torment,
9: Thow cruwel furie, sorwynge euere in peyne,
10: Help me that am the sorwful instrument
11: That helpeth loueres, as I kan, to pleyne;
12: ffor wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
13: A woful wight to han a drery feere,
14: And to a sorwful tale a sory chere.

15: ffor I, that god of loues seruantz serue,
16: Ne dar to loue, for myn vnliklynesse,
17: Preyen for speed, al sholde I ther-fore sterue,
18: So fer am I from his help in derknesse;
19: But natheles, if this may don gladnesse
20: To any louere and his cause auaille,
21: Haue he my thonk, and myn be this trauaille.
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22: But 3e loueres that bathen in gladnesse,
23: If any drope of pyte in 3ow be,
24: Remembreth 3ow on passed heuynesse
25: That 3e han felt, and on the aduersite
26: Of othere folk, and thynketh how that 3e
27: Han felt that loue dorste 3ow displese,
28: Or 3e han wonne hym with to grete an ese.

29: And preieth for hem that ben in the cas
30: Of Troilus, as 3e may after here,
31: That loue hem brynge in heuene to solas;
32: And ek for me preieth to god so dere
33: That I haue myght to shewe in som manere
34: Swich peyne and wo as loues folk endure,
35: In Troilus vnsely auenture.

36: And biddeth ek for hem that ben despeired
37: In loue that neuere nyl recouered be,
38: And ek for hem that falsly ben apeired
39: Thorugh wikked tonges, be it he or she;
40: Thus biddeth god, for his benignite,
41: So graunte hem soone owt of this world to pace,
42: That ben despeired out of loues grace.

43: And biddeth ek for hem that ben at ese.
44: That god hem graunte ay good perseueraunce,
45: And send hem myght hire ladies so to plese
46: That it to loue be worship and plesaunce;
47: ffor so hope I my sowle best auaunce,
48: To prey for hem that loues seruauntz be,
49: And write hire wo, and lyue in charite,

50: And for to haue of hem compassioun,
51: As though I were hire owne brother dere.
52: Now herkneth with a good entencioun,
53: ffor now wil I gon streght to my matere,
54: In which 3e may the double sorwes here
55: Of Troilus in louynge of Criseyde,
56: And how that she forsook hym er she deyde.
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57: Yt is wel wist how that the Grekes stronge
58: In armes with a thousand shippes wente
59: To Troiewardes, and the cite longe
60: Assegeden, neigh ten 3er er they stente,
61: And in diuerse wise and oon entente,
62: The rauysshyng to wreken of Eleyne,
63: By Paris don, they wroughten al hir peyne.

64: Now fel it so that in the town ther was
65: Dwellynge a lord of gret auctorite.
66: A gret deuyn that clepid was Calkas,
67: That in science so expert was that he
68: Knew wel that Troie sholde destroied be,
69: By answere of his god that highte thus:
70: Daun Phebus or Appollo Delphicus.

71: So whan this Calkas knew by calkulynge,
72: And ek by answer of this Appollo.
73: That Grekes sholden swich a peple brynge
74: Thorugh which that Troie moste ben for-do,
75: He caste anon out of the town to go;
76: ffor wel wiste he by sort that Troye sholde
77: Destroyed ben -- 3e, wolde who-so nolde.

78: ffor which forto departen softely
79: Took purpos ful this for-knowynge wise,
80: And to the Grekes oost ful pryuely
81: He stal anon; and they in curteys wise
82: Hym diden bothe worship and seruyce,
83: In trust that he hath konnynge hem to rede
84: In euery peril which that is to drede.
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85: The noise vp ros whan it was first aspied
86: Thorugh al the town and generaly was spoken
87: That Calkas traitour fled was and allied
88: With hem of Grece, and casten to be wroken
89: On hym that falsly hadde his feith so broken,
90: And seyden he and al his kyn atones
91: Ben worthi for to brennen, felle and bones

92: Now hadde Calkas left in this meschaunce,
93: Al vnwist of this false and wikked dede,
94: His doughter, which that was in gret penaunce,
95: ffor of hire lif she was ful sore in drede,
96: As she that nyste what was best to rede;
97: ffor bothe a widewe was she and allone
98: Of any frend to whom she dorste hir mone.

99: Criseyde was this lady name al right --
100: As to my doom in al Troies cite
101: Nas non so fair, for passynge euery wight
102: So aungelik was hir natif beaute
103: That lik a thing in-mortal semed she,
104: As doth an heuenyssh perfit creature
105: That down were sent in scornynge of nature.
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106: This lady which that alday herd at ere
107: Hire fadres shame, his falsnesse and tresoun,
108: Wel neigh out of hir wit for sorwe and fere,
109: In widewes habet large of samyt broun,
110: On knees she fil biforn Ector adown
111: With pitous vois, and tendrely wepynge,
112: His mercy bad, hir seluen excusynge.

113: Now was this Ector pitous of nature,
114: And saugh that she was sorwfully bigon,
115: And that she was so faire a creature;
116: Of his goodnesse he gladede hire anon,
117: And seyde, "lat 3oure fadres treson gon
118: fforth with meschaunce, and 3e 3oure self in ioie
119: Dwelleth with vs, whil 3ow good list, in Troie.

120: "And al thonour that men may don 3ow haue,
121: As ferforth as 3oure fader dwelled here,
122: 3e shul haue, and 3oure body shal men saue,
123: As fer as I may ought enquere or here."
124: And she hym thonked with ful humble chere,
125: And ofter wolde, and it hadde ben his wille.
126: And took hire leue, and hom, and held hir stille.

127: And in hire hous she abood with swich meyne
128: As til hire honour nede was to holde;
129: And whil she was dwellynge in that cite
130: Kepte hir estat, and both of 3onge and olde
131: fful wel biloued, and wel men of hir tolde --
132: But wheither that she children hadde or noon,
133: I rede it naught, ther-fore I late it goon.

134: The thynges fellen as they don of werre
135: Bitwixen hem of Troie and Grekes ofte;
136: ffor som day boughten they of Troie it derre,
137: And eft the Grekes founden no thing softe
138: The folk of Troie; and thus fortune on lofte
139: And vnder eft gan hem to whielen bothe
140: Aftir hir cours, ay whil that thei were wrothe.
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141: But how this town com to destruccion
142: Ne falleth naught to purpos me to telle;
143: ffor it were here a long digression
144: ffro my matere and 3ow to long to dwelle;
145: But the Troian gestes as they felle,
146: In Omer or in Dares or in Dite,
147: Who-so that kan may rede hem as they write.

148: But though that Grekes hem of Troie shetten
149: And hir cite biseged al aboute,
150: Hire olde vsage nolde they nat letten,
151: As for to honour hir goddes ful deuoute;
152: But aldirmost in honour, out of doute,
153: Thei hadde a relik heet Palladion
154: That was hire trist abouen euerichon.

155: And so bifel whan comen was the tyme
156: Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
157: With newe grene, of lusty Veer the pryme,
158: And swote smellen floures white and rede,
159: In sondry wises shewed, as I rede,
160: The folk of Troie hire obseruaunces olde,
161: Palladiones feste forto holde.

162: And to the temple in al hir beste wise
163: In general ther wente many a wight
164: To herknen of Palladion the seruyce;
165: And namely, so many a lusty knyght,
166: So many a lady fressh and mayden bright,
167: fful wel arayed, both moeste, mene, and leste,
168: 3e, bothe for the seson and the feste.
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169: Among thise othere folk was Criseyda,
170: In widewes habit blak, but natheles,
171: Right as oure firste lettre is now an A,
172: In beaute first so stood she makeles;
173: Hire goodly lokyng gladed al the prees.
174: Nas neuere 3et seyn thyng to ben preysed derre,
175: Nor vnder cloude blak so bright a sterre,

176: As was Criseyde, as folk seyde euerichone,
177: That hir behelden in hir blake wede;
178: And 3et she stood ful lowe and stille allone,
179: Byhynden other folk in litel brede,
180: And nei 3 the dore, ay vndre shames drede,
181: Simple of atire and debonaire of chere,
182: With ful assured lokyng and manere.

183: This Troilus, as he was wont to gide
184: His 3onge knyghtes, lad hem vp and down
185: In thilke large temple on euery side,
186: Byholding ay the ladies of the town,
187: Now here, now there, for no deuocioun
188: Hadde he to non to reuen hym his reste,
189: But gan to preise and lakken whom hym leste.

190: And in his walk ful faste he gan to wayten
191: If knyght or squyer of his compaignie
192: Gan forto syke or lete his eighen baiten
193: On any womman that he koude espye;
194: He wolde smyle and holden it folye,
195: And seye hym thus, "god woot, she slepeth softe
196: ffor loue of the, whan thow turnest ful ofte.
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197: "I haue herd told, perdieux, of 3oure lyuynge,
198: 3e loueres, and 3oure lewed obseruaunces,
199: And which a labour folk han in wynnynge
200: Of loue, and in the kepyng which doutaunces;
201: And whan 3oure prey is lost, woo and penaunces.
202: O veray fooles, nyce and blynde be 3e;
203: Ther nys nat oon kan war by other be."

204: And with that word he gan caste vp the browe,
205: Ascaunces, "loo, is this naught wisely spoken?"
206: At which the god of loue gan loken rowe
207: Right for despit, and shop forto ben wroken:
208: He kidde anon his bowe nas naught broken,
209: ffor sodeynly he hitte hym atte fulle,
210: And 3et as proude a pekok kan he pulle.

211: O blynde world, O blynde entencioun!
212: How often falleth al the effect contraire
213: Of surquidrie and foul presumpcioun!
214: ffor kaught is proud, and kau 3t is debonaire:
215: This Troilus is clomben on the staire
216: And litel weneth that he moot descenden --
217: But alday faileth thing that fooles wenden.
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218: As proude Bayard gynneth forto skippe
219: Out of the weye, so pryketh him his corn,
220: Til he a lasshe haue of the longe whippe,
221: Than thynketh he, ""though I praunce al byforn
222: ffirst in the trays, ful fat and newe shorn,
223: 3et am I but an hors, and horses lawe
224: I moot endure, and with my feres drawe."

225: So ferde it by this fierse and proude knyght:
226: Though he a worthy kynges sone were,
227: And wende no thing hadde had swich myght
228: A 3eyns his wille that shuld his herte stere,
229: 3et with a look his herte wax a-fere,
230: That he that now was moost in pride a-boue
231: Wax sodeynly moost subgit vnto loue.

232: fforthy ensample taketh of this man,
233: 3e wise, proude, and worthi folkes alle,
234: To scornen loue, which that so soone kan
235: The fredom of 3oure hertes to him thralle --
236: ffor euere it was and euere it shal byfalle
237: That loue is he that alle thing may bynde
238: ffor may no man fordon the lawe of kynde.

239: That this be soth, hath preued and doth 3it;
240: ffor this trowe I 3e knowen alle or some:
241: Men reden nat that folk han gretter wit
242: Than they that han be most with loue ynome;
243: And strengest folk bien ther-with ouerecome,
244: The worthiest and grettest of degree --
245: This was, and is, and 3et men shall it see.
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246: And trewelich it sit wel to be so,
247: ffor alderwisest han ther-with ben plesed,
248: And they that han ben aldermost in wo
249: With loue han ben comforted moost and esed;
250: And ofte it hath the cruel herte apesed,
251: And worthi folk maad worthier of name,
252: And causeth moost to dreden vice and shame.

253: Now sith it may nat goodly ben with-stonde,
254: And is a thing so vertuouse in kynde,
255: Refuseth nat to loue forto ben bonde,
256: Syn as hym seluen liste he may 3ow bynde:
257: The 3erde is bet that bowen wole and wynde
258: Than that that brest; and therfore I 3ow rede
259: To folowen hym that so wel kan 3ow lede.

260: But forto tellen forth in special
261: As of this kynges sone of which I tolde,
262: And leten other thing collateral,
263: Of hym thenke I my tale forth to holde,
264: Both of his ioie and of his cares colde;
265: And al his werk as touching this matere,
266: ffor I it gan, I wol therto refere.

267: With-inne the temple he wente hym forth pleyinge,
268: This Troilus, of euery wight aboute,
269: On this lady, and now on that, lokynge,
270: Where so she were of town or of with-oute;
271: And vp-on cas bifel that thorugh a route
272: His eye percede, and so depe it wente,
273: Til on Criseyde it smote, and ther it stente.
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274: And sodeynly he wax ther-with astoned,
275: And gan hir bet biholde in thrifty wise.
276: "O mercy god," thoughte he, "wher hastow woned,
277: That art so feyre and goodly to deuise?"
278: Therwith his herte gan to sprede and rise,
279: And softe sighed, lest men myghte hym here,
280: And cau 3t a 3eyn his firste pleyinge chere.

281: She nas nat with the leste of hire statore,
282: But alle hir lymes so wel answerynge
283: Weren to wommanhode, that creature
284: Was neuere lasse mannyssh in semynge;
285: And ek the pure wise of hire meuynge
286: Shewed wel that men myght in hire gesse
287: Honour, estat, and wommanly noblesse.

288: To Troilus right wonder wel with alle
289: Gan forto like hire meuynge and hire chere,
290: Which somdel deignous was, for she let falle
291: Hire look a lite a-side in swich manere
292: Ascaunces, "what, may I nat stonden here?"
293: And after that hir lokynge gan she lighte.
294: That neuere thoughte hym seen so good a syghte.

295: And of hire look in him ther gan to quyken
296: So gret desire and swich affeccioun,
297: That in his hertes botme gan to stiken
298: Of hir his fixe and depe impressioun;
299: And though he erst hadde poured vp and down,
300: He was tho glad his hornes in-to shrinke;
301: Unnethes wiste he how to loke or wynke.
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302: Lo, he that leet hym seluen so konnynge,
303: And scorned hem that loues peynes dryen,
304: Was ful vnwar that loue hadde his dwellynge
305: With-inne the subtile stremes of hire eyen;
306: That sodeynly hym thoughte he felte deyen,
307: Right with hire look, the spirit in his herte --
308: Blissed be loue, that kan thus folk conuerte!

309: She, this in blak, likynge to Troilus
310: Ouer al thing, he stood forto biholde;
311: Ne his desire, ne wherfore he stood thus,
312: He neither chere made, ne worde tolde;
313: But from a-fer, his manere forto holde,
314: On other thing his look som tyme he caste,
315: And efte on hire, while that the seruyse laste.

316: And after this, nat fullich al awhaped,
317: Out of the temple al esilich he wente,
318: Repentynge hym that he hadde euere i-iaped
319: Of loues folk, lest fully the descente
320: Of scorn fille on hym self; but what he mente,
321: Lest it were wist on any manere syde,
322: His woo he gan dissimilen and hide.

323: Whan he was fro the temple thus departed,
324: He streght anon vnto his paleys torneth,
325: Hight with hire look thorugh-shoten and thorugh-darted,
326: Al feyneth he in lust that he soiourneth;
327: And al his chere and speche also he borneth,
328: And ay of loues seruantz euery while,
329: Hym self to wrey, at hem he gan to smyle.
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330: And seyde, "lord, so 3e lyue al in lest,
331: 3e loueres, for the konnyngeste of 3ow,
332: That serueth most ententiflich and best,
333: Hym tit as often harm ther-of as prow:
334: 3oure hire is quyt a 3eyn, 3e, god woot how,
335: Nought wel for wel, but scorn for good seruyse;
336: In feith, 3oure ordre is ruled in good wise.

337: "In noun-certeyn ben alle 3oure obseruaunces,
338: But it a sely fewe pointes be;
339: Ne no thing asketh so gret attendaunces
340: As doth 3oure lay, and that knowe alle 3e;
341: But that is nat the worste, as mote I the;
342: But tolde I 3ow the worste point, I leue,
343: Al seyde I soth, 3e wolden at me greue.

344: "But take this: that 3e loueres ofte eschuwe,
345: Or elles doon, of good entencioun,
346: fful ofte thi lady wol it mysconstruwe,
347: And deme it harm in hire oppynyoun;
348: And 3et if she, for other enchesoun
349: Be wroth, than shaltow haue a groyne anon --
350: Lord, wel is hym that may of 3ow ben oon!"

351: But for al this, whan that he say his tyme,
352: He held his pees, non other boote hym gayned;
353: ffor loue bigan his fetheres so to lyme,
354: That wel vnneth vn-til his folk he fayned
355: That other besy nedes hym destrayned;
356: ffor wo was hym, that what to doon he nyste,
357: But bad his folk to gon wher that hem liste.

358: And whan that he in chambre was allone,
359: He doun vp-on his beddes feet hym sette,
360: And first he gan to sike and eft to grone,
361: And thought ay on hire so with-outen lette,
362: That as he sat and wook, his spirit mette
363: That he hire sau3, and temple, and al the wise
364: Right of hire look, and gan it newe a-vise.

365: Thus gan he make a mirour of his mynde,
366: In which he saugh al holly hire figure;
367: And that he wel koude in his herte fynde,
368: It was to hym a right good auenture
369: To loue swich oon, and if he dede his cure
370: To seruen hir, 3et myghte he falle in grace,
371: Or ellis for oon of hire seruantes pace.
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372: Imagenynge that trauaille nor grame
373: Ne myghte for so goodly oon be lorn
374: As she, ne hym for his desire no shame,
375: Al were it wist, but in pris and vp born
376: Of alle louers wel more than biforn --
377: Thus argumented he in his gynnynge,
378: fful vnauysed of his woo comynge.

379: Thus took he purpos loues craft to suwe,
380: And thoughte he wolde werken pryuely,
381: ffirst to hiden his desire in muwe
382: ffrom euery wight yborn, al outrely,
383: But he myghte ought recouered be therby,
384: Remembryng hym that loue to wide yblowe
385: 3elt bittre fruyt, though swete seed be sowe.

386: And ouere al this 3et muchel more he thoughte
387: What forto speke and what to holden inne,
388: And what to arten hire to loue he soughte,
389: And on a song anon right to bygynne,
390: And gan loude on his sorwe forto wynne;
391: ffor with good hope he gan fully assente
392: Criseyde forto loue and nought repente.

393: And of his song naught only the sentence,
394: As writ myn auctour called Lollius,
395: But pleinly, saue oure tonges difference,
396: I dar wel seyn in al that Troilus
397: Seyde in his song, loo, euery word right thus
398: As I shal seyn; and who-so list it here,
399: Loo, next this vers he may it fynden here.
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Canticus Troili


400: "If no loue is, O god, what fele I so?
401: And if loue is, what thing and which is he?
402: If loue be good, from whennes cometh my woo?
403: If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me,
404: Whenne euery torment and aduersite
405: That cometh of hym may to me sauory thinke,
406: ffor ay thurst I the more that ich it drynke.

407: "And if that at myn owen lust I brenne,
408: ffrom whennes cometh may waillynge and my pleynte?
409: If harme a-gree me, wherto pleyne I thenne?
410: I noot, ne whi vn-wery that I feynte.
411: O quike deth, O swete harm so queynte,
412: How may of the in me swich quantite,
413: But if that I consente that it be?

414: "And if that I consente, I wrongfully
415: Compleyne, i-wis; thus possed to and fro,
416: Al sterelees with-inne a boot am I
417: Amydde the see, bitwixen wyndes two,
418: That inne contrarie stonden euere mo.
419: Allas, what is this wondre maladie?
420: ffor hete of cold, for cold of hete, I dye."
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421: And to the god of loue thus seyde he
422: With pitous vois, "O lord, now 3oures is
423: My spirit, which that oughte 3oures be.
424: 3ow thanke I, lord, that han me brought to this;
425: But wheither goddesse or womman, i-wis,
426: She be, I not, which that 3e do me serue;
427: But as hire man I wol ay lyue and sterue.

428: "3e stonden in hir eighen myghtily,
429: As in a place vnto 3oure vertue digne;
430: Wherfore, lord, if my seruice or I
431: May liken 3ow, so beth to me benigne;
432: ffor myn estat roial I here resigne
433: In-to hire hond, and with ful humble chere
434: Bicome hir man, as to my lady dere."

435: In hym ne deyned spare blood roial
436: The fyre of loue -- the wherfro god me blesse --
437: Ne him forbar in no degree for al
438: His vertue or his excellent prowesse,
439: But held hym as his thral lowe in destresse,
440: And brende hym so in soundry wise ay newe,
441: That sexti tyme a day he loste his hewe.

442: So muche, day by day, his owene thought
443: ffor lust to hire gan quiken and encresse,
444: That euery other charge he sette at nought;
445: fforthi ful ofte, his hote fire to cesse,
446: To sen hire goodly lok he gan to presse;
447: ffor ther-by to ben esed wel he wende,
448: And ay the ner he was, the more he brende.

449: ffor ay the ner the fire the hotter is --
450: This, trowe I, knoweth al this compaignye;
451: But were he fer or ner, I dar sey this:
452: By nyght or day, for wisdom or folye,
453: His herte, which that is his brestes eye,
454: Was ay on hire, that fairer was to sene
455: Than euere were Eleyne or Polixene

456: Ek of the day ther passed nou 3t an houre
457: That to hym self a thousand tyme he seyde,
458: "Good goodly, to whom serue I and laboure
459: As I best kan, now wolde god, Criseyde,
460: 3e wolden on me rewe, er that I deyde;
461: My dere herte, allas, myn hele and hewe
462: And lif is lost, but 3e wol on me rewe."
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463: Alle other dredes weren from him fledde,
464: Both of thassege and his sauacioun;
465: Nyn him desire noon other fownes bredde
466: But argumentes to his conclusioun,
467: That she of him wolde han compassioun,
468: And he to ben hire man while he may dure --
469: Lo, here his lif, and from the deth his cure.

470: The sharpe shoures felle, of armes preue,
471: That Ector or his other brethren diden,
472: Ne made hym only therfore ones meue;
473: And 3et was he, where so men wente or riden,
474: ffounde on the beste, and lengest tyme abiden
475: Ther peril was, and dide ek swich trauaille
476: In armes that to thenke it was merueille.

477: But for non hate he to the Grekes hadde,
478: Ne also for the rescous of the town,
479: Ne made hym thus in armes forto madde,
480: But only, lo, for this conclusioun:
481: To liken hire the bet for his renoun.
482: ffro day to day in armes so he spedde,
483: That the Grekes as the deth him dredde.

484: And fro this forth tho refte hym loue his slepe,
485: And made his mete his foo, and ek his sorwe
486: Gan multiplie, that, who-so tok kepe,
487: It shewed in his hewe both eue and morwe;
488: Therfor a title he gan him forto borwe
489: Of other siknesse, lest men of hym wende
490: That the hote fire of loue hym brende,

491: And seyde he hadde a feuere and ferd amys.
492: But how it was, serteyn, kan I nat seye,
493: If that his lady vnderstood nat this,
494: Or feynede hire she nyste, on of the tweye;
495: But wel I rede that by no manere weye
496: Ne semed it as that she of hym roughte,
497: Or of his peyne, or what so euere he thoughte.
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498: But thanne felte this Troilus swich wo,
499: That he was wel neigh wood -- for ay his drede
500: Was this, that she som wight hadde loued so
501: That neuere of hym she wolde han taken hede,
502: ffor which hym thoughte he felte his herte blede,
503: Ne of his wo ne dorste he nat bygynne
504: To tellen hir, for al this world to wynne.

505: But whan he hadde a space from his care,
506: Thus to hym self ful ofte he gan to pleyne;
507: He seyde, "O fool, now artow in the snare,
508: That whilom iapedest at loues peyne;
509: Now artow hent, now gnaw thin owen cheyne;
510: Thow were ay wont eche louere reprehende
511: Of thing fro which thow kanst the nat defende.

512: "What wol now euery louere seyn of the
513: If this be wist, but euere in thin absence
514: Laughen in scorne and seyn, "loo, ther goth he
515: That is the man of so gret sapience,
516: That held vs loueres leest in reuerence.
517: Now, thanked be god, he may gon in the daunce
518: Of hem that loue list fiebli for to auaunce.

519: "But O thow woful Troilus, god wolde,
520: Sith thow most louen thorugh thi destine,
521: That thow be-set were on swich oon that sholde
522: Know al thi wo, al lakked hir pitee.
523: But also cold in loue towardes the
524: Thi lady is as frost in wynter moone,
525: And thow fordon as snow in fire is soone.

526: "God wold I were aryued in the porte
527: Of deth to which my sorwe wol me lede.
528: A, lord, to me it were a gret comforte --
529: Than were I quyt of languisshyng in drede;
530: ffor be myn hidde sorwe i-blowe on brede,
531: I shal by-iaped ben a thousand tyme
532: More than that fol of whos folie men ryme.
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533: But now help, god, and 3e, swete, for whom
534: I pleyne, i-kaught, 3e, neuere wight so faste --
535: O mercy, dere herte, and help me from
536: The deth, for I, while that my lyf may laste,
537: More than my self wol loue 3ow to my laste;
538: And with som frendly lok gladeth me, swete,
539: Though neuere more thing 3e me byheete."
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540: Thise wordes, and ful many an other to,
541: He spak, and called euere in his compleynte
542: Hire name, forto tellen hire his wo,
543: Til nei 3 that he in salte teres dreynte:
544: Al was for nought, she herde nat his pleynte.
545: And whan that he by-thought on that folie,
546: A thousand fold his wo gan multiplie.

547: By-wayling in his chambre thus allone,
548: A frend of his that called was Pandare
549: Com oones in vnwar and herd hym groone,
550: And say his frend in swich destresse and care:
551: "Allas," quod he, "who causeth al this fare?
552: O mercy, god, what vnhap may this meene?
553: Han now thus soone Grekes maad 3ow leene?

554: "Or hastow som remors of conscience,
555: And art now falle in som deuocioun,
556: And wailest for thi synne and thin offence,
557: And hast for ferde caught attricioun?
558: God saue hem that biseged han oure town,
559: That so kan leye oure iolite on presse,
560: And bringe oure lusty folk to holynesse!"

561: Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
562: That with swich thing he myght hym angry maken,
563: And with an angre don his wo to falle,
564: As for the tyme, and his corage awaken;
565: But wel he wist, as fer as tonges spaken,
566: Ther nas a man of gretter hardinesse
567: Thanne he, ne more desired worthinesse.

568: "What cas," quod Troilus, "or what auenture
569: Hath gided the to sen me langwisshinge,
570: That am refus of euery creature?
571: But for the loue of god, at my preyinge,
572: Go hennes awey, for certes my deyinge
573: Wol the disese and I mot nedes deye;
574: Therfore go wey, ther is na more to seye.

575: "But if thow wene I be thus sik for drede,
576: It is naught so, and therfore scorne nou 3t;
577: Ther is another thing I take of hede
578: Wel more than aught the Grekes han 3et wrought,
579: Which cause is of my deth for sorowe and thought;
580: But though that I now telle it the ne leste,
581: Be thow nau 3t wroth, I hide it for the beste."

582: This Pandare that neigh malt for wo and routhe
583: fful ofte seyde, "allas, what may this be?
584: Now frend," quod he, "if euere loue or trouthe
585: Hath ben, or is, bitwixen the and me,
586: Ne do thow neuere swich a crueltee
587: To hiden fro thi frend so gret a care.
588: Wostow nau 3t wel that it am I, Pandare?

589: "I wol parten with the al thi peyne,
590: If it be so I do the no comfort,
591: As it is frendes right, soth forto seyne,
592: To entreparten wo as glad desport.
593: I haue and shal, for trewe or fals report,
594: In wronge and right i-loued the al my lyue:
595: Hid nat thi wo fro me but telle it blyue."

596: Than gan this sorwful Troylus to syke,
597: And seide hym thus, "god leue it be my beste
598: To telle it the, for sith it may the like,
599: 3et wol I telle it, though myn herte breste;
600: And wel woot I thow mayst do me no reste;
601: But lest thow deme I truste nat to the,
602: Now herke, frend, for thus it stant with me.
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603: "Loue, a3eins the which who-so defendeth
604: Hym seluen most, hym alderlest auaylleth,
605: With disespeyre so sorwfulli me offendeth,
606: That streight vn-to the deth myn herte sailleth;
607: Therto desire so brennyngly me assailleth,
608: That to ben slayn it were a gretter ioie
609: To me than kyng of Grece ben and Troye.

610: "Suffiseth this, my fulle frend Pandare,
611: That I haue seyd, for now wostow my wo;
612: And for the loue of god, my colde care
613: So hide it wel, I tolde it neuere to mo;
614: ffor harmes myghten folwen mo than two,
615: If it were wist; but be thow in gladnesse,
616: And lat me sterue, vnknowe, of my destresse."

617: "How hastow thus vnkyndely and longe
618: Hid this fro me, thow fol?" quod Pandarus;
619: "Peraunter thow myghte after swich oon longe
620: That myn auys anoon may helpen vs."
621: "This were a wonder thing," quod Troilus;
622: "Thow koudest neuere in loue thi seluen wisse;
623: How deuel maistow brynge me to blisse?',

624: "3e, Troilus, now herke," quod Pandare;
625: "Though I be nyce, it happeth often so
626: That oon that excesse doth ful yuele fare
627: By good counseil kan kepe his frend ther-fro.
628: I haue my self ek seyn a blynd man goo
629: Ther as he fel that couthe loken wide;
630: A fool may ek a wis man ofte gide.

631: "A wheston is no keruyng instrument,
632: But 3et it maketh sharppe keruyng tolis;
633: And there thow woost that I haue au 3t myswent,
634: Eschuwe thow that, for swich thing to =e scole is;
635: Thus often wise men ben war by foolys.
636: If thow do so, thi wit is wel bewared;
637: By his contrarie is euery thyng declared.
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638: "ffor how myghte euere swetnesse han ben knowe
639: To him that neuere tasted bitternesse?
640: Ne no man may ben inly glad, I trowe,
641: That neuere was in sorwe or som destresse;
642: Eke whit by blak, by shame ek worthinesse,
643: Ech set by other, more for other semeth,
644: As men may se, and so the wyse it demeth.

645: "Sith thus of two contraries is o lore,
646: I, that haue in loue so ofte assayed
647: Greuances, oughte konne, and wel the more,
648: Counseillen the of that thow art amayed;
649: And ek the ne aughte nat ben yuel appayed,
650: Though I desyre with the forto bere
651: Thyn heuy charge; it shal the lasse dere.

652: "I woot wel that it fareth thus by me
653: As to thi brother, Paris, an herdesse,
654: Which that i-cleped was Oenone,
655: Wrote in a compleynte of hir heuynesse;
656: 3ee say the lettre that she wrote, I gesse?"
657: "Nay, neuere 3et, ywys," quod Troilus.
658: "Now," quod Pandare, "herkne, it was thus:

659: "'Phebus, that first fond art of medicyne,'
660: Quod she, 'and couthe in euery wightes care
661: Remedye and rede by herbes he knew fyne,
662: 3et to hym self his konnyng was ful bare;
663: ffor loue hadde hym so bounden in a snare,
664: Al for the doughter of the kyng Amete,
665: That al his craft ne koude his sorwes bete.'

666: "Right so fare I, vnhappyly for me;
667: I loue one best, and that me smerteth sore;
668: And 3et, peraunter, kan I reden the,
669: And nat my self -- repreue me na more.
670: I haue no cause, I woot wel, forto sore
671: As doth an hauk that listeth forto pleye;
672: But to thin help 3et somwhat kan I seye.
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673: "And of o thing right siker maistow be,
674: That certein, forto dyen in the peyne,
675: That I shal neuere mo discoueren the;
676: Ne, by my trouthe, I kepe nat restreyne
677: The fro thi loue, theigh that it were Eleyne
678: That is thi brother wif, if ich it wiste;
679: Be what she be, and loue hire as the liste.

680: "Therfore, as frend fullich in me assure,
681: And telle me plat now what is thenchesoun
682: And final cause of wo that 3e endure;
683: ffor douteth no thyng, myn entencioun
684: Nis nat to 3ow of reprehencioun
685: To speke as now, for no wight may byreue
686: A man to loue, tyl that hym list to leue.

687: "And witteth wel that bothe two ben vices:
688: Mistrusten alle, or elles alle leue.
689: But wel I woot, the mene of it no vice is:
690: ffor for to trusten som wight is a preue
691: Of trouth, and forthi wolde I fayn remeue
692: Thi wronge conseyte and do the som wyght triste
693: Thi wo to telle; and tel me if the liste.

694: "The wise seith, "wo hym that is allone,
695: ffor, and he falle, he hath non helpe to ryse';
696: And sith thow hast a felawe, tel thi mone;
697: ffor this nys naught, certein, the nexte wyse
698: To wynnen loue, as techen vs the wyse,
699: To walwe and wepe as Nyobe the queene,
700: Whos teres 3et in marble ben yseene.

701: "Lat be thy wepyng and thi drerynesse,
702: And lat vs lissen wo with oother speche;
703: So may thy woful tyme seme lesse;
704: Delyte nat in wo thi wo to seche,
705: As don thise foles that hire sorwes eche
706: With sorwe, whan thei han mysauenture,
707: And listen naught to seche hem other cure.
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708: "Men seyn, "to wrecche is consolacioun
709: To haue another felawe in hys peyne.'
710: That owghte wel ben oure opynyoun,
711: ffor bothe thow and I of loue we pleyne:
712: So ful of sorwe am I, soth forto seyne,
713: That certeinly namore harde grace
714: May sitte on me, for why ther is no space.

715: "If god wol, thow art nat agast of me,
716: Lest I wolde of thi lady the bygyle;
717: Thow woost thy self whom that I loue, parde,
718: As I best kan, gon sithen longe while;
719: And sith thow woost I do it for no wyle,
720: And seyst I am he that thow trustest mooste,
721: Telle me somwhat, syn al my wo thow wooste."

722: 3et Troilus for al this no worde seyde,
723: But longe he ley as stylle as he ded were;
724: And after this with sikynge he abreyde,
725: And to Pandarus vois he lente his ere,
726: And vp hise eighen caste he, that in feere
727: Was Pandarus lest that in frenesie
728: He sholde falle, or elles soone dye;

729: And cryde "awake," ful wonderlich and sharpe,
730: "What! slombrestow as in a litargie?
731: Or artow lik an asse to the harpe,
732: That hereth sown whan men the strynges plye,
733: But in his mynde of that no melodie
734: May sinken hym to gladen, for that he
735: So dul ys of his bestialite?"

736: And with that, Pandare of his wordes stente;
737: And Troilus 3et hym no thyng answerde,
738: ffor why to tellen nas nat his entente
739: To neuere no man, for whom that he so ferde.
740: ffor it is seyd, "men maketh ofte a 3erde
741: With which the maker is hym self ybeten
742: In sondry manere," as thise wyse treten;

743: And namelich in his counseil tellynge
744: That toucheth loue that oughte ben secree;
745: ffor of him self it wol ynough out sprynge,
746: But if that it the bet gouerned be;
747: Ek som tyme it is a craft to seme fle
748: ffro thyng whych in effect men hunte faste --
749: Al this gan Troilus in his herte caste.
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750: But natheles whan he hadde herd hym crye
751: "Awake," he gan to syken wonder soore,
752: And seyde, "frende, though that I stylle lye,
753: I am nat deef; now pees, and crye namore,
754: ffor I haue herd thi wordes and thi lore;
755: But suffre me my meschief to bywaille,
756: ffor thy prouerbes may me naught auaille.

757: Nor other cure kanstow non for me;
758: Ek I nyl nat ben cured, I wol deye.
759: What knowe I of the queene Nyobe?
760: Lat be thyne olde ensaumples, I the preye."
761: "No," quod tho Pandarus, "therfore I seye,
762: Swych is delit of foles to by-wepe
763: Hire wo, but seken bote they ne kepe.

764: "Now knowe I that ther reson in the failleth;
765: But telle me if I wiste what she were
766: ffor whom that the al this misaunter ailleth:
767: Dorste thow that I tolde in hire ere
768: Thi wo, sith thow darst naught thi self for feere,
769: And hire bysoughte on the to han som routhe?"
770: "Why nay," quod he, "by god and by my trouthe."

771: "What, nat as bisyly," quod Pandarus,
772: "As though myn owene lyf lay on this nede?"
773: "No, certes, brother," quod this Troilus.
774: "And whi?" -- "for that thow scholdest neuere spede."
775: "Wostow that wel?" -- " 3e, that is out of drede,"
776: Quod Troilus, "for al that euere 3e konne,
777: She nyl to noon swich wrecche as I ben wonne."

778: Quod Pandarus, "allas, what may this be,
779: That thow dispeired art thus causeles?
780: What, lyueth nat thi lady, bendiste?
781: How wostow so that thow art graceles?
782: Swich yuel is nat alwey booteles.
783: Why, put nat impossible thus thi cure,
784: Syn thyng to come is oft in auenture.

785: "I graunte wel that thow endurest wo,
786: As sharp as doth he Ticius in helle,
787: Whos stomak foughles tiren euere moo
788: That hightyn volturis, as bokes telle.
789: But I may nat endure that thow dwelle
790: In so vnskilful an oppynyoun
791: That of thi wo is no curacioun.
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792: "But oones nyltow, for thy coward herte,
793: And for thyn ire and folissh wilfulnesse,
794: ffor wantrust, tellen of thy sorwes smerte,
795: Ne to thyn owen help don bysynesse
796: As muche as speke a reson moore or lesse?
797: But list as he that lest of no thyng recche --
798: What womman koude louen swich a wrecche?

799: "What may she demen oother of thy deeth,
800: If thow thus deye and she not why it is,
801: But that for feere is 3olden vp thy breth
802: ffor Grekes han biseged vs, i-wys?
803: Lord, which a thonk than shaltow han of this!
804: Thus wol she seyn, and al the town attones,
805: "The wrecche is ded, the deuel haue his bones.'

806: "Thow mayst allone here wepe and crye and knele --
807: But loue a womman that she woot it nought,
808: And she wol quyte it that thow shalt nat fele:
809: Unknow, vnkist, and lost, that is vnsought.
810: What! many a man hath loue ful deere ybought
811: Twenty wynter that his lady wiste,
812: That neuere 3et his lady mouth he kiste.

813: "What sholde he ther-fore fallen in dispayre,
814: Or be recreant for his owne tene,
815: Or slen hym self, al be his lady faire?
816: Nay, nay, but euere in oon be fresshe and grene
817: To serue and loue his deere hertes queene,
818: And thynk it is a guerdon hire to serue
819: A thousand fold moore than he kan deserue."

820: And of that word took hede Troilus,
821: And thoughte a-non what folie he was inne,
822: And how that soth hym seyde Pandarus,
823: That forto slen hym self myght he nat wynne,
824: But bothe don vnmanhod and a synne,
825: And of his deth his lady naught to wite;
826: ffor of his wo, god woot, she knew ful lite.

827: And with that thought he gan ful sore syke,
828: And seyde, "allas, what is me best to do?"
829: To whom Pandare answered, "if the like,
830: The beste is that thow telle me al thi wo;
831: And haue my trouthe, but thow it fynde so
832: I be thy boote er that it be ful longe,
833: To pieces do me drawe and sithen honge."
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834: "3e, so thow seyst," quod Troilus tho, "allas,
835: But, god woot, it is naught the rather so.
836: fful hard were it to helpen in this cas,
837: ffor wel fynde I that fortune is my fo;
838: Ne al the men that riden konne or go
839: May of hire cruel whiel the harm withstonde;
840: ffor as hire list she pleyeth with free and bonde."

841: Quod Pandarus, "than blamestow fortune
842: ffor thow art wroth, 3e, now at erst I see;
843: Woost thow nat wel that fortune is comune
844: To eueri manere wight in som degree?
845: And 3et thow hast this comfort, lo, perde,
846: That as hire ioies moten ouergone,
847: So mote hire sorwes passen euerychone.

848: "ffor if hire whiel stynte any thyng to torne,
849: Than cessed she fortune anon to be.
850: Now sith hire whiel by no way may soiourne,
851: What woostow if hire mutabilite
852: Right as thy seluen list wol don by the,
853: Or that she be naught fer fro thyn helpynge?
854: Paraunter thow hast cause forto synge.

855: "And therfore wostow what I the biseche?
856: Lat be thy wo and tornyng to the grounde;
857: ffor who-so list haue helyng of his leche,
858: To hym byhoueth first vnwre his wownde.
859: To Cerberus in helle ay be I bownde,
860: Were it for my suster, al thy sorwe,
861: By my wil she sholde al be thyn to-morwe.

862: "Look vp, I seye, and telle me what she is
863: Anon, that I may gon aboute thy nede.
864: Knowe ich hire aught? for my loue, telle me this;
865: Thanne wolde I hopen rather for to spede."
866: Tho gan the veyne of Troilus to blede,
867: ffor he was hit and wax al reed for shame.
868: "A ha!" quod Pandare, "here bygynneth game."
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869: And with that word he gan hym for to shake,
870: And seyde, "thef, thow shalt hyre name telle."
871: But tho gan sely Troilus for to quake,
872: As though men sholde han led hym in to helle,
873: And seyde, "allas, of al my wo the welle,
874: Thanne is my swete fo called Criseyde."
875: And wel neigh with the word for feere he deide.

876: And whann that Pandare herde hire name neuene,
877: Lord, he was glad, and seyde, "frende so deere,
878: Now fare aright, for Ioues name in heuene,
879: Loue hath byset the wel; be of good cheere,
880: ffor of good name and wisdom and manere
881: She hath ynough, and ek of gentilesse --
882: If she be fayre, thow woost thy self, I gesse.

883: "Ny neuere saugh a more bountevous
884: Of hire estat, na gladder, ne of speche
885: A frendlyer, na more gracious
886: ffor to do wel, ne lasse hadde nede to seche
887: What for to don; and al this bet to eche,
888: In honour, to as fer as she may strecche,
889: A kynges herte semeth by hyrs a wrecche.

890: ["And forthi loke of good comfort thow be;
891: ffor certeinly the ferste poynt is this
892: Of noble corage and wel ordeyne,
893: A man to haue pees with hym self, y-wis;
894: So oghtist thow, for nought but good it is
895: To loue wel, and in a worthy place;
896: The oughte not to clepe it hap but grace.]
-140-



897: "And also thynk, and ther-with glade the,
898: That sith thy lady vertuous is al,
899: So foloweth it that there is som pitee
900: Amonges alle thise other in general;
901: And forthi se that thow in special
902: Requere naught that is a 3eyns hyre name,
903: ffor vertue streccheth naught hym self to shame.

904: "But wel is me that euere that I was borne,
905: That thow biset art in so good a place;
906: ffor by my trouthe, in loue I dorste haue sworne
907: The sholde neuere han tid thus fayre a grace;
908: And wostow why? for thow were wont to chace
909: At loue in scorn, and for despit hym calle
910: "Seynt Idiot, lord of thise foles alle.'

911: "How often hastow maad thi nyce iapes,
912: And seyd that loues seruantz euerichone
913: Of nycete ben verray goddes apes;
914: And some wolde mucche hire mete allone,
915: Liggyng abedde, and make hem for to grone;
916: And som, thow seydest, hadde a blaunche feuere,
917: And preydest god he sholde neuere keuere.

918: "And som of hem took on hem for the colde
919: More than ynough, so seydestow ful ofte;
920: And som han feyned ofte tyme, and tolde
921: How that they waken whan thei slepen softe;
922: And thus they wolde han brought hem self a-lofe,
923: And natheles were vnder at the laste --
924: Thus seydestow, and iapedest ful faste.

925: "3et seydestow that for the moore parte,
926: Thise loueres wolden speke in general,
927: And thoughten that it was a siker arte,
928: ffor faylyng for tassaien ouere al.
929: Now may I iape of the, if that I shal;
930: But natheles, though that I sholde deye,
931: That thow art non of tho, I dorste saye.

932: "Now bet thi brest and sey to god of loue
933: Thy grace, lord, for now I me repente
934: If I mysspak, for now my self I loue' --
935: Thus sey with al thyn herte in good entente."
936: Quod Troilus, "a, lord, I me consente,
937: And preye to the my iapes thow for 3iue,
938: And I shal neuere more whyle I liue."
-142-



939: "Thow seist wel," quod Pandare, "and now I hope
940: That thow the goddes wrathe hast al apesed;
941: And sithen thow hast wopen many a drope,
942: And seyd swych thyng wher-with thi god is plesed,
943: Now wolde neuere god but thow were esed;
944: And thynk wel, she of whom rist al thi wo
945: Here-after may thy comfort be also.

946: "ffor thilke grownde that bereth the wedes wikke
947: Bereth ek thise holsom herbes as ful ofte:
948: Next the foule netle, rough and thikke,
949: The rose waxeth swoote and smothe and softe;
950: And next the valeye is the hill o-lofte;
951: And next the derke nyght the glade morwe;
952: And also ioie is next the fyn of sorwe.

953: "Now loke that a-tempre be thi bridel,
954: And for the beste ay suffre to the tyde,
955: Or elles al oure laboure is on ydel;
956: He hasteth wel that wisely kan abyde.
957: Be diligent and trewe, and ay wel hide;
958: Be lusty, fre, perseuere in thy seruyse --
959: And al is wel, if thow werke in this wyse.

960: "But he that parted is in eueri place
961: Is nowher hol, as writen clerkes wyse.
962: What wonder is though swich oon haue no grace?
963: Ek wostow how it fareth of som seruise,
964: As plaunte a tree or herbe in sondry wyse
965: And on the morwe pulle it vp as blyue,
966: No wonder is though it may neuere thryue.

967: "And sith that god of loue hath the bistowed
968: In place digne vnto thi worthinesse,
969: Stond faste, for to good port hastow rowed;
970: And of thi self, for any heuynesse,
971: Hope alwey wel; for but if drerinesse,
972: Or ouere-haste, oure bothe labour shende,
973: I hope of this to maken a good ende.
-144-



974: "And wostow why I am the lasse afered
975: Of this matere with my Nece trete?
976: ffor this haue I herd seyd of wyse lered,
977: 'Was neuere man or womman 3et bigete
978: That was vnapt to suffren loues hete,
979: Celestial, or elles loue of kynde.'
980: fforthy som grace I hope in hire to fynde.

981: "And for to speke of hire in specyal,
982: Hire beaute to bithynken and hire youthe,
983: It sit hire naught to ben celestial
984: As 3et, though that hire liste bothe and kowthe;
985: But trewely, it sate hire wel right nowthe
986: A worthi knyght to louen and cherice --
987: And but she do, I holde it for a vice.

988: "Wher-fore I am and wol ben ay redy
989: To peyne me to do 3ow this seruyse;
990: ffor bothe 3ow to plese thus hope I
991: Her-afterward; for 3e ben bothe wyse,
992: And konne it counseil kepe in swych a wyse
993: That no man shal the wiser of it be --
994: And so we may ben gladed alle thre.

995: "And, by my trouthe, I haue right now of the
996: A good conceyte in my wit, as I gesse,
997: And what it is, I wol now that thow se:
998: I thenke, sith that loue of his goodnesse
999: Hath the conuerted out of wikkednesse,
1000: That thow shalt ben the beste post, I leue,
1001: Of al his lay, and moost his foos to greue.

1002: "Ensample why, se now thise wise clerkes,
1003: That erren aldermost a 3eyn a lawe,
1004: And ben conuerted from hire wikked werkes
1005: Thorugh grace of god that list hem to hym drawe,
1006: Thanne arn they folk that han moost god in awe,
1007: And strengest feythed ben, I vndirstonde,
1008: And konne an errowre alderbest withstonde."

1009: Whan Troilus hadde herd Pandare assented
1010: To ben his help in louyng of Cryseyde,
1011: Weex of his wo, as who seith, vntormented,
1012: But hotter weex his loue and thus he seyde,
1013: With sobre chere, although his herte pleyde:
1014: "Now blisful Venus help, er that I sterue,
1015: Of the, Pandare, I mowe som thank deserue.
-146-



1016: "But deere frende, how shal my wo be lesse
1017: Til this be doon? and, good, ek telle me this:
1018: How wiltow seyn of me and my destresse,
1019: Lest she be wroth -- this drede I moost, ywys --
1020: Or nyl nat here or trowen how it is?
1021: Al this drede I, and ek for the manere
1022: Of the, hire Em, she nyl no swich thyng here."

1023: Quod Pandarus, "thow hast a ful gret care
1024: Lest that the Cherl may falle out of the moone.
1025: Whi, lord, I hate of the thi nyce fare.
1026: Whi, entremete of that thow hast to doone!
1027: ffor goddes loue, I bidde the a boone:
1028: So lat malone, and it shal be thi beste."
1029: "Whi, frende," quod he, "now do right as the leste.

1030: "But herke, Pandare, o word, for I nolde
1031: That thow in me wendest so gret folie,
1032: That to my lady I desiren sholde
1033: That toucheth harm or any vilenye;
1034: ffor dredeles me were leuere dye
1035: Than she of me aught elles vnderstode
1036: But that that myghte sownen in-to goode."

1037: Tho lough this Pandare, and anon answerde,
1038: "And I thi borugh? fy, no wight doth but so;
1039: I roughte naught though that she stood and herde
1040: How that thow seist; but fare wel, I wol go.
1041: A-dieu, be glad, god spede vs bothe two!
1042: 3ef me this labour and this bisynesse,
1043: And of my spede be thyn al that swetnesse."

1044: Tho Troilus gan doun on knees to falle,
1045: And Pandare in his armes hente faste,
1046: And seyde, "now, fy on the Grekes alle!
1047: 3et, parde, god shal helpe vs atte laste;
1048: And dredelees, if that my lyf may laste,
1049: And god to-forn, lo, som of hem shal smerte;
1050: And 3et mathenketh that this auant masterte.

1051: "Now, Pandare, I kan namore seye,
1052: But thow wis, thow woost, thow maist, thow art al.
1053: Mi lif, my deth, hol in thyn honde I leye;
1054: Help now!" Quod he, " 3is, by my trowthe, I shal."
1055: "God 3elde the, frend, and this in special,"
1056: Quod Troilus, "that thow me recomande
1057: To hire that to the deth me may comande."
-148-



1058: This Pandarus, tho desirous to serue
1059: His fulle frende, than seyde in this manere:
1060: "ffarwell, and thenk I wol thi thank deserue,
1061: Haue here my trowthe, and that thow shalt wel here,"
1062: And went his wey thenkyng on this matere,
1063: And how he best myghte hire biseche of grace,
1064: And fynde a tyme therto and a place.

1065: ffor eueri wight that hath an hous to founde
1066: Ne renneth naught the werk for to bygynne
1067: With rakel hond, but he wol bide a stounde,
1068: And sende his hertes line out fro with-inne
1069: Aldirfirst his purpos forto wynne.
1070: Al this Pandare in his herte thoughte,
1071: And caste his werk ful wisely or he wroughte.

1072: But Troilus lay tho no lenger down,
1073: But vp anon vpon his stede bay,
1074: And in the feld he pleyde the leoun;
1075: Wo was that Grek that with hym mette a-day!
1076: And in the town his manere tho forth ay
1077: So goodly was, and gat hym so in grace,
1078: That ecch hym loued that loked on his face.

1079: ffor he bicom the frendlieste wight,
1080: The gentilest, and ek the mooste fre,
1081: The thriftiest, and oon the beste knyght,
1082: That in his tyme was or myghte be:
1083: Dede were his iapes and his cruelte,
1084: His heighe port and his manere estraunge,
1085: And ecch of tho gan for a vertue chaunge.

1086: Now lat vs stynte of Troilus a stounde,
1087: That fareth like a man that hurt is soore,
1088: And is som deel of akyngge of his wownde
1089: Y-lissed wel, but heeled no deel moore,
1090: And, as an esy pacyent, the loore
1091: Abit of hym that gooth aboute his cure;
1092: And thus he dryeth forth his auenture.
Explicit liber primus.

-152-

Incipit prohemium secundi libri



1: Owt of thise blake wawes forto saylle,
2: O wynde, O wynde, the weder gynneth clere,
3: ffor in this see the boot hath swych trauaylle
4: Of my konnyng that vnneth I it steere:
5: This see clepe I the tempestous matere
6: Of disespeir that Troilus was inne --
7: But now of hope the kalendes bygynne.

8: O lady myn, that called art Cleo,
9: Thow be my speed fro this forth, and my Muse,
10: To ryme wel this book til I haue do;
11: Me nedeth here noon othere art to vse.
12: ffor-whi to euery louere I me excuse
13: That of no sentement I this endite,
14: But out of Latyn in my tonge it write.

15: Wherfore I nyl haue neither thank ne blame
16: Of al this werk, but prey 3ow mekely,
17: Disblameth me if any word be lame,
18: ffor as myn auctour seyde, so sey I;
19: Ek though I speeke of loue vnfelyngly,
20: No wondre is, for it no thyng of newe is:
21: A blynd man kan nat iuggen wel in hewis.

22: 3e knowe ek that in fourme of speche is chaunge
23: With-inne a thousand 3eer, and wordes tho
24: That hadden pris now wonder nyce and straunge
25: Us thenketh hem, and 3et thei spake hem so,
26: And spedde as wel in loue as men now do,
27: Ek forto wynnen loue in sondry ages,
28: In sondry londes, sondry ben vsages.

29: And forthi if it happe in any wyse,
30: That here be any louere in this place
31: That herkneth, as the storie wol deuise,
32: How Troilus com to his lady grace,
33: And thenketh, "so nold I nat loue purchace,"
34: Or wondreth on his speche or his doynge,
35: I noot, but it is me no wonderynge.

36: ffor euery wight which that to Rome wente
37: Halt nat o path or alwey o manere;
38: Ek in som lond were al the game shente
39: If that they ferde in loue as men don here,
40: As thus, in opyn doyng or in chere,
41: In visityng in forme or seyde hire sawes;
42: ffor-thi men seyn, ecch contree hath hise lawes.
-154-



43: Ek scarsly ben ther in this place thre
44: That haue in loue seid like and don in al,
45: ffor to thi purpos this may liken the,
46: And the right nought, 3et al is seid, or schal;
47: Ek som men graue in tree, som in ston wal,
48: As it bitit; but syn I haue bigonne,
49: Myn auctour shal I folwen if I konne.
Explicit prohemium secundi libri
Incipit liber secundus
50: In May, that moder is of monthes glade,
51: That fresshe floures blew and white and rede
52: Ben quike agayn, that wynter dede made,
53: And ful of bawme is fletyng euery mede;
54: Whan Phebus doth his bryghte bemes sprede
55: Right in the white Bole, it so bitidde,
56: As I shal synge, on Mayes day the thrydde,

57: That Pandarus, for al his wise speche,
58: ffelt ek his parte of loues shotes keene,
59: That koude he neuere so wel of louyng preche,
60: It made his hewe a-day ful ofte greene;
61: So shop it that hym fil that day a teene
62: In loue, for which in wo to bedde he wente,
63: And made er it was day ful many a wente.

64: The swalowe Proigne with a sorowful lay
65: Whan morwen com gan make hire waymentyng
66: Whi she forshapen was, and euere lay
67: Pandare a-bedde half in a slomberyng,
68: Til she so neigh hym made hire cheteryng,
69: How Tereus gan forth hire suster take,
70: That with the noyse of hire he gan awake,

71: And gan to calle, and dresse hym vp to ryse,
72: Remembryng hym his erand was to doone
73: ffrom Troilus, and ek his grete emprise,
74: And caste and knewe in good plit was the moone
75: To doon viage, and took his way ful soone
76: Unto his Neces palays ther biside;
77: Now Ianus, god of entree, thow hym gyde!
-156-



78: Whan he was come vnto his Neces place,
79: "Wher is my lady?" to hire folk quod he;
80: And they hym tolde and he forth in gan pace
81: And fond two othere ladys sete, and she,
82: With-inne a paued parlour, and they thre
83: Herden a mayden reden hem the geste
84: Of the siege of Thebes while hem leste.

85: Quod Pandarus, "ma dame, god 3ow see,
86: With al 3oure book and al the compaignie."
87: "Ey, vncle myn, welcome i-wis," quod she;
88: And vp she roos and by the hond in hye
89: She took hym faste and seyde, "this nyght thrie --
90: To goode mot it turne -- of 3ow I mette."
91: And with that word she doun on benche hym sette.

92: '"3e, Nece, 3ee shal faren wel the bet,
93: If god wol, al this 3eere," quod Pandarus;
94: "But I am sory that I haue 3ow let
95: To herken of 3oure book 3e preysen thus.
96: ffor goddes loue, what seith it? telle it vs;
97: Is it of loue? O, som good 3e me leere!,,
98: "Uncle," quod she, " 3oure maistresse is nat here."

99: With that thei gonnen laughe, and tho she seyde,
100: "This romaunce is of Thebes that we rede;
101: And we han herd how that kyng Layus deyde,
102: Thorugh Edippus his sone, and al that dede;
103: And here we stynten at thise lettres rede,
104: How the bisshop, as the book kan telle,
105: Amphiorax, fil thorugh the grounde to helle."

106: Quod Pandarus, "al this knowe I my selue,
107: And al thassege of Thebes and the care,
108: ffor her-of ben ther maked bookes twelue;
109: But lat be this and telle me how 3e fare;
110: Do wey 3oure barbe and shew 3oure face bare;
111: Do wey 3oure book, rys vp, and lat vs daunce,
112: And lat vs don to May som obseruaunce."
-158-



113: "I, god forbede!" quod she, "be 3e madde?
114: Is that a widewes lif, so god 3ow saue?
115: By god, 3e maken me ryght soore adradde,
116: 3e ben so wylde, it semeth as 3e raue.
117: It satte me wel bet ay in a caue
118: To bidde and rede on holy seyntes lyues;
119: Lat maydens gon to daunce and 3onge wyues."

120: "As euere thriue I," quod this Pandarus,
121: "3et koude I telle a thyng to doon 3ow pleye."
122: "Now Uncle deere," quod she, "telle it vs
123: ffor goddes loue: is than thassege aweye?
124: I am of Grekes so fered that I deye."
125: "Nay, nay," quod he, "as euere mote I thryue,
126: "It is a thing wel bet than swyche fyue."

127: "3e, holy god," quod she, "what thyng is that?
128: What, bet than swyche fyue? I! nay, ywys.
129: ffor al this world ne kan I reden what
130: It sholde ben; som iape I trowe is this;
131: And but 3oure seluen telle vs what it is,
132: My wit is for tarede it al to leene;
133: As help me god, I not nat what 3e meene."

134: "And I 3oure borugh, ne neuere shal, for me,
135: This thyng be told to 3ow, as mote I thryue."
136: "And whi so, vncle myn, whi so?" quod she.
137: "By god," quod he, "that wol I telle as blyue;
138: ffor proudder womman is ther noon on lyue,
139: And 3e it wist, in al the town of Troye;
140: I iape nought, as euere haue I ioye."

141: Tho gan she wondren moore than biforne
142: A thousand fold, and down hire eyghen caste;
143: ffor neuere sith the tyme that she was borne
144: To knowe thyng desired she so faste;
145: And with a syk, she seyde hym atte laste,
146: "Now, Uncle myn, I nyl 3ow nought displese,
147: Nor axen more that may do 3ow disese.',

148: So after this, with many wordes glade,
149: And frendly tales and with merie chiere,
150: Of this and that they pleide and gonnen wade
151: In many an vnkouth, gladde, and depe matere,
152: As frendes doon whan thei ben mette y-fere,
153: Tyl she gan axen hym how Ector ferde,
154: That was the townes wal and Grekes 3erde.
-160-



155: "fful wel, I thonk it god," quod Pandarus,
156: "Saue in his arme he hath a litel wownde,
157: And ek his fresshe brother, Troilus,
158: The wise, worthi Ector the secounde,
159: In whom that alle vertue list habounde,
160: As alle trouthe and alle gentilesse,
161: Wisdom, honour, fredom, and worthinesse."

162: "In good feith, Em," quod she, "that liketh me
163: Thei faren wel, god saue hem bothe two;
164: ffor trewelich I holde it gret deynte,
165: A kynges sone in armes wel to do,
166: And ben of good condiciouns therto;
167: ffor grete power and moral vertue here
168: Is selde yseyn in o persone y-feere."

169: "In good faith, that is soth," quod Pandarus,
170: "But, by my trouthe, the kyng hath sones tweye --
171: That is to mene Ector and Troilus --
172: That certeynly, though that I sholde deye,
173: Thei ben as voide of vices, dar I seye,
174: As any men that lyuen vndre the sonne;
175: Hire myght is wyde i-knowe, and what they konne.

176: "Of Ector nedeth it namore forto telle:
177: In al this world ther nys a bettre knyght
178: Than he that is of worthynesse welle,
179: And he wel moore vertue hath than myght;
180: This knoweth many a wise and worthi wight.
181: The same pris of Troilus I seye;
182: God help me so, I knowe nat swiche tweye."

183: "By god," quod she, "of Ector that is sooth;
184: "Of Troilus the same thyng trowe I;
185: ffor dredeles, men tellen that he doth
186: In armes day by day so worthily,
187: And bereth hym here at hom so gentily
188: To eueri wight, that alle pris hath he
189: Of hem that me were leuest preysed be."

190: "3e sey right sooth, y-wys," quod Pandarus;
191: "ffor 3esterday who-so hadde with hym ben,
192: He myghte han wondred vp-on Troilus;
193: ffor neuere 3et so thikke a swarm of been
194: Ne fleigh as Grekes fro hym gonne fleen;
195: And thorugh the feld in eueri wightes eere
196: Ther nas no cry but 'Troilus is there!'
-162-



197: "Now here, now ther, he hunted hem so faste,
198: Ther nas but Grekes blood and Troilus.
199: Now hym he hurte and hym al down he caste;
200: Ay wher he wente it was arayed thus:
201: He was hire deth, and sheld and lif for vs,
202: That, as that day, ther dorste non withstonde,
203: Whil that he held his blody swerd in honde.

204: "Therto he is the frendlieste man
205: Of gret estat that euere I saugh my lyue,
206: And wher hym lest, best felawshipe kan
207: To swich as hym thynketh able forto thryue."
208: And with that word tho Pandarus as blyue
209: He took his leue and seyde, "I wol gon henne."
210: "Nay, blame haue I, myn Uncle," quod she thenne.

211: "What aileth 3ow to be thus wery soone,
212: And namelich of wommen? wol 3e so?
213: Nay, sitteth down; by god, I haue to doone
214: With 3ow to speke of wisdom er 3e go."
215: And eueri wight that was aboute hem tho,
216: That herde that, gan fer a-wey to stonde,
217: Whil they two hadde al that hem liste in honde.

218: Whan that hire tale al brought was to an ende,
219: Of hire estat and of hire gouernaunce,
220: Quod Pandarus, "now is it tyme I wende;
221: But 3et I say, ariseth, lat vs daunce,
222: And cast 3oure widewes habit to mischaunce.
223: What list 3ow thus 3oure self to disfigure,
224: Sith 3ow [MS thow] is tid thus faire an auenture?"

225: "A, wel bithought, for loue of god," quod she,
226: "Shal I nat witen what 3e meene of this?"
227: "No, this thing axeth leyser," tho quod he,
228: "And eke me wolde muche greue, i-wis,
229: If I it tolde and 3e it toke amys.
230: 3et were it bet my tonge forto stille
231: Than seye a soth that were a 3eyns 3oure wille.

232: "ffor, Nece, by the goddesse Mynerue,
233: And Iupiter, that maketh the thondre rynge,
234: And by the blisful Venus that I serue,
235: 3e ben the womman in this world lyuynge --
236: With-outen paramours to my wyttynge --
237: That I best loue and lothest am to greue,
238: And that 3e weten wel 3oure self, I leue."
-164-



239: "I-wis, myn vncle," quod she, "grant mercy;
240: 3oure frendshipe haue I founden euere 3it;
241: I am to no man holden, trewely,
242: So muche as 3ow, and haue so litel quyt;
243: And with the grace of god, emforth my wit,
244: As in my gylt I shall 3ow neuere offende,
245: And if I haue er this, I wol amende.

246: "But for the loue of god, I 3ow biseche,
247: As 3e ben he that I moost loue and triste,
248: Lat be to me 3oure fremde manere speche,
249: And sey to me, 3oure Nece, what 3ow liste."
250: And with that word hire uncle anoon hire kiste
251: And seyde, "gladly, leue Nece dere --
252: Tak it for good that I shal sey 3ow here."

253: With that she gan hire eighen down to caste,
254: And Pandarus to coghe gan a lite,
255: And seyde, "Nece, alwey, lo, to the laste,
256: How so it be that som men hem delite
257: With subtyl art hire tales forto endite,
258: 3et for al that, in hire entencioun,
259: Hire tale is al for som conclusioun.

260: "And sithen thende is euery tales strengthe,
261: And this matere is so bihouely,
262: What sholde I peynte or drawen it on lengthe
263: To 3ow that ben my frend so feythfully?"
264: And with that word he gan right inwardly
265: Byholden hire and loken on hire face
266: And seyde, "on swich a mirour goode grace!"

267: Than thought he thus, "if I my tale endite
268: Aught harde, or make a proces any whyle,
269: She shal no sauour haue ther-in but lite,
270: And trowe I wolde hire in my wil bigyle;
271: ffor tendre wittes wenen al be wyle
272: Ther as thei kan nought pleynly vnderstonde;
273: fforthi hire wit to seruen wol I fonde."

274: And loked on hire in a bysi wyse,
275: And she was war that he byheld hire so,
276: And seyde, "lord, so faste 3e mauise!
277: Sey 3e me neuere er now? what sey 3e? no?"
278: "3is, 3ys," quod he, "and bet wol er I go;
279: But be my trouthe, I thoughte now if 3e
280: Be fortunat, for now men shal it se.
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281: "fforto euery wight som goodly auenture
282: Som tyme is shape, if he it kan receyuen,
283: And if that he wol take of it no cure,
284: Whan that it commeth, but wilfully it weyuen,
285: Lo, neyther cas ne fortune hym deceyuen,
286: But ryght his verray slouthe and wrecchednesse;
287: And swich a wight is forto blame, I gesse.

288: "Good auenture, O beele Nece, haue 3e
289: fful lightly founden, and 3e konne it take;
290: And for the loue of god and ek of me,
291: Cache it anon, lest auenture slake.
292: What sholde I lenger proces of it make?
293: 3if me 3oure hond, for in this world is noon,
294: If that 3ow list, a wight so wel bygon.

295: "And sith I speke of good entencioun,
296: As I to 3ow haue told wel here byforn,
297: And loue as wel 3oure honour and renoun
298: As creature in al this world yborn,
299: By alle the othes that I haue 3ow sworn,
300: And 3e be wrooth therfore, or wene I lye,
301: Ne shal I neuere sen 3ow eft with eye.

302: "Beth naught agast, ne quaketh naught; wherto?
303: Ne chaungeth naught for feere so 3oure hewe;
304: ffor hardely, the werst of this is do,
305: And though my tale as now be to 3ow newe,
306: 3et trist alwey 3e shal me fynde trewe;
307: And were it thyng that me thoughte vnsittynge,
308: To 3ow wolde I no swiche tales brynge."

309: "Now, my good Em, for goddes loue I preye,"
310: Quod she, "come of and telle me what it is;
311: ffor both I am agast what 3e wol seye,
312: And ek me longeth it to wite, ywis;
313: ffor whethir it be wel or be amys,
314: Say on, lat me nat in this feere dwelle.',
315: "So wol I doon; now herkeneth, I shall telle.

316: "Now, Nece myn, the kynges deere sone,
317: The goode, wise, worthi, fresshe and free,
318: Which alwey for to don wel is his wone,
319: The noble Troilus, so loueth the,
320: That, but 3e helpe, it wol his bane be.
321: Lo, here is al -- what sholde I moore sey?
322: Do what 3ow lest to make hym lyue or dey.
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323: "But if 3e late hym deyen, I wol sterue --
324: Haue here my trouthe, Nece, I nyl nat lyen --
325: Al sholde I with this knyf my throte kerue."
326: With that the teris breste out of his eyen,
327: And seyde, "if that 3e don vs bothe dyen,
328: Thus gilteles, than haue 3e fisshed fayre;
329: What mende 3e, though that we booth appaire?

330: "Allas, he which that is my lord so deere,
331: That trewe man, that noble, gentil knyght,
332: That naught desireth but 3oure frendly cheere,
333: I se hym deyen ther he goth vp-ryght,
334: And hasteth hym with al his fulle myght
335: fforto ben slayn, if his fortune assente;
336: Allas, that god 3ow swich a beaute sente!

337: "If it be so that 3e so cruel be,
338: That of his deth 3ow liste nought to recche,
339: That is so trewe and worthi as 3e se,
340: Namoore than of a iaper or a wrecche --
341: If 3e be swich 3oure beaute may nat strecche
342: To make amendes of so cruel a dede:
343: Auysement is good byfore the nede.

344: "Wo worth the faire gemme vertuelees!
345: Wo worth that herbe also that dooth no boote!
346: Wo worth that beaute that is routheles!
347: Wo worth that wight that tret ech vndir foote!
348: And 3e that ben of beaute crop and roote,
349: If therwith-al in 3ow ther be no routhe,
350: Than is it harm 3e lyuen, by my trouthe.

351: "And also think wel that this is no gaude;
352: ffor me were leuere thow and I and he
353: Were hanged, than I sholde ben his baude,
354: As heigh as men myghte on vs alle y-see;
355: I am thyn Em, the shame were to me
356: As wel as the if that I sholde assente,
357: Thorugh myn abet, that he thyn honour shente.

358: "Now vnderstond, for I 3ow nought requere
359: To bynde 3ow to hym thorugh no byheste,
360: But only that 3e make hym bettre chiere
361: Than 3e han doon er this and moore feste,
362: So that his lif be saued atte leeste;
363: This al and som, and pleynly, oure entente;
364: God help me so, I neuere other mente.
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365: "Lo this requeste is naught but skylle, ywys,
366: Ne doute of resoun, pardee, is ther noon.
367: I sette the worste that 3e dreden this:
368: Men wolde wondren sen hym com or goon;
369: There-a 3eins answere I thus anoon,
370: That euery wight, but he be fool of kynde,
371: Wol deme it loue of frendshipe in his mynde.

372: "What, who wol demen, though he se a man
373: To temple go, that he thymages eteth?
374: Thenk ek how wel and wisely that he kan
375: Gouerne hym self that he nothyng for 3eteth,
376: That where he cometh he pris and thank hym geteth;
377: And ek therto he shal come here so selde,
378: What fors were it though al the town byhelde?

379: "Swych loue of frendes regneth al this town,
380: And wry 3ow in that mantel euere moo;
381: And, god so wys be my sauacioun,
382: As I haue seyd, 3oure beste is to do soo;
383: But alwey, goode Nece, to stynte his woo,
384: So lat 3oure daunger sucred ben a lite,
385: That of his deth 3e be naught forto wite."

386: Criseyde, which that herde hym in this wise,
387: Thought, "I shal felen what he meneth, y-wis."
388: "Now, Em," quod she, "what wolde 3e deuise?
389: What is 3oure rede I sholde don of this?"
390: "That is wel seyd," quod he, "certein, best is
391: That 3e hym loue a 3eyn for his louynge,
392: As loue for loue is skilful guerdonynge.

393: "Thenk ek how elde wasteth euery houre
394: In eche of 3ow a partie of beautee;
395: And therfore, er that age the deuoure,
396: Go loue, for old, ther wol no wight of the;
397: Lat this prouerbe a loore vn-to 3ow be:
398: "To late ywar, quod beaute, whan it paste';,
399: And elde daunteth daunger at the laste.

400: "The kynges fool is wont to crien loude,
401: Whan that hym thinketh a womman berth hire hye,
402: "So longe mote 3e lyue, and alle proude,
403: Tyl crowes feet be growe vnder 3oure eye,
404: And sende 3ow than a myrour in-to prye,
405: In which that 3e may se 3oure face a morwe.,
406: Nece, I bidde wisshe 3ow namore sorwe."
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407: With this he stynte and caste a-down the hede,
408: And she began to breste a-wepe a-noon,
409: And seyde, "allas, for wo why nere I deede?
410: ffor of this world the feyth is al agoon.
411: Allas, what sholden straunge to me doon,
412: Whan he that for my beste frende I wende
413: Ret me to loue, and sholde it me defende?

414: "Allas, I wolde han trusted, douteles,
415: That if that I thorugh my disauenture
416: Hadde loued outher hym or Achilles,
417: Ector, or any mannes creature,
418: 3e nolde han had no mercy ne mesure
419: On me, but alwey had me in repreue.
420: This false worlde, allas, who may it leue?

421: "What! is this al the ioye and al the feste?
422: Is this 3oure reed? is this my blisful cas?
423: Is this the verray mede of 3oure byheeste?
424: Is al this paynted proces seyd, allas,
425: Right for this fyn? O lady myn, Pallas,
426: Thow in this dredful cas for me purueye,
427: ffor so astoned am I that I deye."

428: Wyth that she gan ful sorwfully to syke.
429: "A! may it be no bet?" quod Pandarus,
430: "By god, I shal namore come here this wyke,
431: And god toforn, that am mystrusted thus.
432: I se ful wel that 3e sette lite of vs,
433: Or of oure deth; allas, I woful wrecche!
434: Might he 3et lyue, of me is nought to recche.

435: "O cruel god, O dispitouse Marte,
436: O furies thre of helle, on 3ow I crye!
437: So lat me neuere out of this hous departe,
438: If that I mente harm or vilenye.
439: But sith I se my lord mot nedes dye,
440: And I with hym, here I me shryue and seye
441: That wikkedly 3e don vs bothe deye.
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442: "But sith it liketh 3ow that I be dede,
443: By Neptunus, that god is of the see,
444: ffro this forth shal I neuere eten brede,
445: Til I myn owen herte blood may see;
446: ffor certeyn I wol deye as soone as he."
447: And vp he sterte and on his wey he raughte,
448: Tyl she agayn hym by the lappe kaughte.

449: Criseyde, which that wel neigh starf for feere,
450: So as she was the ferfulleste wight
451: That myghte be, and herde ek with hire ere,
452: And saugh the sorwful ernest of the knyght,
453: And in his preier ek saugh noon vnryght,
454: And for the harm that myghte ek fallen moore,
455: She gan to rewe and dredde hire wonder soore.

456: And thoughte thus: "vnhappes fallen thikke
457: Alday for loue, and in swych manere cas,
458: As men ben cruel in hem self and wikke;
459: And if this man sle here hym self, allas,
460: In my presence, it wol be no solas.
461: What men wolde of it deme I kan nat seye;
462: It nedeth me ful sleighly forto pleie.";

463: And with a sorwful sik she sayde thrie,
464: "A, lord, what me is tid a sory chaunce!
465: ffor myn estat lith now in iupartie,
466: And ek myn Emes lif is in balaunce;
467: But natheles, with goddes gouernaunce,
468: I shal so doon, myn honour shal I kepe,
469: And ek his lif" -- and stynte forto wepe.

470: "Of harmes two the lesse is forto chese;
471: 3et haue I leuere maken hym good chere
472: In honour than myn Emes lyf to lese. --
473: 3e seyn 3e no-thyng elles me requere?"
474: "No, wis," quod he, "myn owen Nece dere."
475: "Now wel," quod she, "and I wol doon my peyne;
476: I shal myn herte a 3eins my lust constreyne.

477: "But that I nyl nat holden hym in honde,
478: Ne loue a man ne kan I naught ne may
479: A 3eins my wyl, but elles wol I fonde,
480: Myn honour sauf, plese hym fro day to day;
481: Therto nolde I nat ones han seyd nay,
482: But that I drede, as in my fantasye;
483: But cesse cause, ay cesseth maladie.
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484: "And here I make a protestacioun,
485: That in this proces if 3e depper go,
486: That certeynly, for no saluacioun
487: Of 3ow, though that 3e steruen bothe two,
488: Though al the world on o day be my fo,
489: Ne shal I neuere of hym han other routhe."
490: I graunte wel, quod Pandare, "by my trowthe."

491: "But may I truste wel therto," quod he,
492: "That of this thyng that 3e han hight me here,
493: 3e wole it holden trewely vn-to me?"
494: "3e, doutelees," quod she, "myn vncle deere."
495: "Ne that I shal han cause in this matere,"
496: Quod he, "to pleyn or ofter 3ow to preche?"
497: "Why no, perde; what nedeth moore speche?"

498: Tho fillen they in other tales glade,
499: Tyl at the laste, "O good Em," quod she tho,
500: "ffor his loue which that vs bothe made,
501: Tel me how first 3e wisten of his wo?
502: Woot noon of it but 3e?" He seyde, "no."
503: "Kan he wel speke of loue," quod she, "I preye?"
504: "Tel me, for I bet me shal purueye."

505: Tho Pandarus a litel gan to smyle,
506: And seyde, "by my trouthe, I shal 3ow telle.
507: This other day, naught gon ful longe while,
508: In-with the paleis gardyn by a welle,
509: Gan he and I wel half a day to dwelle,
510: Right forto speken of an ordinaunce,
511: How we the Grekes myghten disauaunce.

512: "Soon after that bigonne we to lepe,
513: And casten with oure dartes to and fro,
514: Tyl at the laste he seyde he wolde slepe,
515: And on the gres adoun he leyde hym tho;
516: And I afer gan romen to and fro,
517: Til that I herde, as that I welk alone,
518: How he bigan ful wofully to grone.

519: "Tho gan I stalke hym softely byhynde,
520: And sikirly, the soothe forto seyne,
521: As I kan clepe a 3ein now to my mynde,
522: Right thus to loue he gan hym forto pleyne:
523: He seyde, "lord haue routhe vp-on my peyne,
524: Al haue I ben rebell in myn entente,
525: Now mea culpa, lord, I me repente.
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526: "'O god that at thi disposicioun
527: Ledest the fyn, by iuste purueiaunce
528: Of euery wight, my lowe confessioun
529: Accepte in gree, and sende me swich penaunce
530: As liketh the, but from disesperaunce,
531: That may my goost departe awey fro the,
532: Thow be my sheld, for thi benignite.

533: "'ffor certes, lord, so soore hath she me wounded,
534: That stood in blak, with lokyng of hire eyen,
535: That to myn hertes botme it is y-sounded,
536: Thorugh which I woot that I moot nedes deyen:
537: This is the werste, I dar me nat bywreyen,
538: And wel the hotter ben the gledes rede,
539: That men hem wrien with asshen pale and dede."

540: "Wyth that he smot his hed adown a-non,
541: And gan to motre I noot what, trewely.
542: And I with that gan stille awey to goon,
543: And leet ther-of as no thing wist had I,
544: And com a 3ein anon and stood hym by,
545: And seyde, "awake, 3e slepen al to longe;
546: It semeth nat that loue doth 3ow longe,

547: "That slepen so that no man may 3ow wake.
548: Who sey euere or this so dul a man?"
549: "3e, frende," quod he, "do 3e 3oure hedes ake
550: ffor loue, and lat me lyuen as I kan."
551: But though that he for wo was pale and wan,
552: 3et made he tho as fresshe a countenaunce
553: As though he sholde haue led the newe daunce.

554: "This passed forth til now, this other day,
555: It fel that I com romyng al allone
556: In-to his chaumbre and fond how that he lay
557: Vp-on his bed, but man so soore grone
558: Ne herde I neuere, and what that was his mone
559: Ne wist I nought, for as I was comyng,
560: Al sodeynly he lefte his complaynyng.

561: "Of which I took somwhat suspecioun,
562: And ner I com and fond he wepte soore;
563: And god so wys be my sauacioun,
564: As neuere of thyng hadde I no routhe moore,
565: ffor neither with engyn, ne with no loore,
566: Unnethes myghte I fro the deth hym kepe,
567: That 3et fele I myn herte for hym wepe.
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568: "And god woot, neuere sith that I was born
569: Was I so besy no man forto preche,
570: Ne neuere was to wight so depe i-sworn,
571: Or he me told who myghte ben his leche.
572: But now to 3ow rehercen al his speche,
573: Or all his woful wordes forto sowne,
574: Ne bid me naught, but 3e wol se me swowne.

575: "But forto saue his lif, and elles nought,
576: And to noon harm of 3ow, thus am I dryuen;
577: And for the loue of god that vs hath wrought,
578: Swich cheer hym dooth that he and I may lyuen.
579: Now haue I plat to 3ow myn herte shryuen,
580: And sith 3e woot that myn entent is cleene,
581: Take heede therof, for I non yuel meene.

582: "And right good thrifte, I prey to god, haue 3e
583: That han swich oon y-kaught withouten net;
584: And be 3e wis as 3e be faire to see,
585: Wel in the rynge than is the rubie set.
586: Ther were neuere two so wel y-met,
587: Whan 3e ben his al hool, as he is 3oure:
588: Ther myghty god 3it graunte vs see that houre."

589: "Nay, therof spak I nought, ha, ha!" quod she;
590: "As helpe me god, 3e shenden euery deel."
591: "O, mercy, dere Nece," anon quod he,
592: "What so I spak, I mente naught but wel,
593: By Mars, the god that helmed is of steel;
594: Now beth naught wroth, my blood, my Nece dere."
595: "Now wel," quod she, "for 3euen be it here."

596: With this he took his leue and home he wente;
597: And lord, so he was glad and wel bygon!
598: Criseyde aros, no lenger she ne stente,
599: But streght in-to hire closet wente anon,
600: And set hire doun as stylle as any ston,
601: Aad euery word gan vp and down to wynde,
602: That he had seyd, as it com hire to mynde,

603: And wax somdel astoned in hire thoughte,
604: Right for the newe cas, but whan that she
605: Was ful auysed, tho fond she right noughte
606: Of peril why she ought afered be.
607: ffor man may loue, of possibilite,
608: A womman so his herte may to-breste,
609: And she naught loue a 3ein but if hire leste.
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610: But as she sat allone and thoughte thus,
611: Ascry aros at scarmuch al with-oute,
612: And men criden in the strete, "se, Troilus
613: Hath right now put to flight the Grekes route!"
614: With that gan al hire meigne forto shoute,
615: "A, go we se, caste vp the 3ates wyde,
616: ffor thorwgh this strete he moot to paleys ride;

617: "ffor other wey is fro the 3ate noon
618: Of Dardanus, there opyn is the cheyne."
619: With that com he and al his folk anoon
620: An esy pas rydyng in routes tweyne,
621: Right as his happy day was, sooth to seyne,
622: ffor which, men seyn, may nought destourbed be
623: That shal bityden of necessitee.

624: This Troilus sat on his baye steede,
625: Al armed, saue his hed, ful richely,
626: And wownded was his hors, and gan to blede,
627: On which he rood a pas ful softely;
628: But swich a knyghtly sighte, trewely,
629: As was on hym was nought, withouten faille,
630: To loke on Mars that god is of bataille.

631: So lik a man of armes and a knyght
632: He was to seen, fulfilled of heigh prowesse,
633: ffor bothe he hadde a body and a myght
634: To don that thing, as wel as hardynesse,
635: And ek to seen hym in his gere hym dresse,
636: So fressh, so 3ong, so weldy semed he,
637: It was an heuen vp-on hym forto see.

638: His helm to-hewen was in twenty places,
639: That by a tyssew heng his bak byhynde;
640: His sheeld to-dasshed was with swerdes and maces,
641: In which men myghte many an arwe fynde
642: That thirled hadde horn and nerf and rynde;
643: And ay the peple cryde, "here cometh oure ioye,
644: And, next his brother, holder vp of Troye."

645: ffor which he wex a litel reed for shame,
646: When he the peple vp-on hym herde cryen,
647: That to byholde it was a noble game,
648: How sobrelich he caste down his eyen.
649: Criseyda gan al his chere aspien,
650: And leet it so softe in hire synke,
651: That to hire self she seyde, "who 3af me drynke?"
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652: ffor of hire owen thought she wex al reed,
653: Remembryng hire right thus, "lo, this is he
654: Which that myn vncle swerith he moot be deed,
655: But I on hym haue mercy and pitee."
656: And with that thought for pure ashamed she
657: Gan in hire hed to pulle and that as faste,
658: While he and al the peple forby paste;

659: And gan to caste and rollen vp and down
660: With-inne hire thought his excellent prowesse,
661: And his estat and also his renown,
662: His wit, his shap and ek his gentilesse,
663: But moost hire fauour was for his distresse
664: Was al for hire, and thought it was a routhe
665: To sleen swich oon if that he mente trouthe.

666: Now myghte som envious iangle thus:
667: "This was a sodeyn loue; how myght it be
668: That she so lightly loued Troilus
669: Right for the firste syghte, 3e, parde?"
670: Now whoso seith so, mote he neuere y-the;
671: ffor euery thyng a gynnyng hath it nede
672: Er al be wrought, with-owten any drede.

673: ffor I sey nought that she so sodeynly
674: 3af hym hire loue, but that she gan enclyne
675: To like hym first, and I haue told 3ow whi;
676: And after that his manhod and his pyne
677: Made loue with-inne hire herte forto myne,
678: ffor which by proces and by good seruyse
679: He gat hire loue, and in no sodeyn wyse.

680: And also blisful Venus, wel arrayed,
681: Sat in hire seuenthe hous of heuene tho,
682: Disposed wel, and with aspectes payed,
683: To helpen sely Troilus of his woo;
684: And soth to seyne, she nas nat al a foo
685: To Troilus in his natiuitee;
686: God woot that wel the sonner spedde he.

687: Now lat vs stynte of Troilus a throwe,
688: That rideth forth, and lat vs torne faste
689: Unto Criseyde that heng hire hed ful lowe,
690: Ther as she sat allone and gan to caste
691: Where on she wolde apoynte hire atte laste,
692: If it so were hire Em ne wolde cesse
693: ffor Troilus vp-on hire forto presse.
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694: And lord, so she gan in hire thought argue
695: In this matere of which I haue 3ow tolde,
696: And what to doone best were and what eschewe,
697: That plited she ful ofte in many folde;
698: Now was hire herte warme, now was it colde;
699: And what she thoughte, somwhat shal I write,
700: As to myn auctour listeth for tendite.

701: She thoughte wel that Troilus persone
702: She knew by syghte and ek his gentilesse,
703: And thus she seyde, "al were it nat to doone
704: To graunte hym loue, 3it, for his worthynesse,
705: It were honour with pleye and with gladnesse
706: In honestee with swich a lord to deele,
707: ffor myn estat and also for his heele.

708: "Ek wel woot I my kynges sone is he,
709: And sith he hath to se me swich delite,
710: If I wolde outreliche his sighte flee,
711: Peraunter he myghte haue me in dispite,
712: Thorugh whicch I myghte stonde in worse plite,
713: Now were I wis me hate to purchace,
714: With-outen nede, ther I may stonde in grace?

715: "In euery thyng, I woot, ther lith mesure,
716: ffor though a man forbede dronkenesse,
717: He naught forbet that euery creature
718: Be drynkeles for alwey, as I gesse.
719: Ek sith I woot for me is his destresse,
720: I ne aughte naught for that thing hym despise,
721: Sith it is so he meneth in good wyse.

722: "And ek I knowe, of longe tyme agon,
723: His thewes goode, and that he is nat nyce;
724: Nauantour, seith men, certein is he noon --
725: To wis is he to doon so get a vice;
726: Ne als I nyl hym neuere so cherice,
727: That he may make auaunt by iuste cause;
728: He shal me neuere bynde in swich a clause.

729: "Now sette a caas: the hardest is, y-wys,
730: Men myghten demen that he loueth me;
731: What dishonour were it vn-to me this?
732: May ich hym lette of that? why nay, parde.
733: I knowe also, and alday heere and se,
734: Men louen wommen al biside hire leue,
735: And whan hem leste namore, lat hem byleue.
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736: "I thenk ek how he able is forto haue
737: Of al this noble towne the thriftieste
738: To ben his loue, so she hire honour saue;
739: ffor out and out he is the worthieste,
740: Saue only Ector, which that is the beste;
741: And 3et his lif al lith now in my cure.
742: But swich is loue and ek myn auenture.

743: "Ne me to loue, a wonder is it nought;
744: ffor wel woot I my self, so god me spede --
745: Al wolde I that noon wiste of this thought --
746: I am oon the faireste, out of drede,
747: And goodlieste, whoso taketh hede,
748: And so men seyn, in al the town of Troie:
749: What wonder is though he of me haue ioye?

750: "I am myn owene womman, wel at ese,
751: I thank it god, as after myn estate,
752: Right 3ong, and stonde vnteyd in lusty leese,
753: With-outen ialousie or swich debate;
754: Shal noon housbonde seyn to me 'chek mate.'
755: ffor either they ben ful of ialousie,
756: Or maisterfull, or louen nouelrie.

757: "What shal I doon? to what fyn lyue I thus?
758: Shal I nat loue, in cas if that me leste?
759: What, pardieux! I am naught religious.
760: And though that I myn herte sette at reste
761: Upon this knyght, that is the worthieste,
762: And kepe awey myn honour and my name,
763: By alle right, it may do me no shame."

764: But right as when the sonne shyneth bright,
765: In March, that chaungeth ofte tyme his face,
766: And that a cloude is put with wynd to flight,
767: Which ouersprat the sonne as for a space,
768: A cloudy thought gan thorugh hire soule pace,
769: That ouerspradde hire brighte thoughtes alle,
770: So that for feere almost she gan to falle.

771: That thought was this: "allas, syn I am free,
772: Sholde I now loue, and put in iupertie
773: My sikernesse and thrallen libertee?
774: Allas, how dorst I thenken that folie?
775: May I naught wel in other folk aspie
776: Hire dredfull ioye, hire constreinte and hire peyne?
777: Ther loueth noon that she nath wey to pleyne.
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778: "ffor loue is 3et the mooste stormy lyf,
779: Right of hym self, that euere was bigonne;
780: ffor euere som mystrust or nice strif
781: Ther is in loue, som cloude is ouere that sonne.
782: Therto we wrecched wommen no-thing konne,
783: Whan vs is wo, but wepe and sitte and thinke;
784: Oure wrecche is this, oure owen wo to drynke.

785: "Also thise wikked tonges ben so preste
786: To speke vs harm, ek men ben so vntrewe,
787: That right anon as cessed is hire leste
788: So cesseth loue, and forth to loue a newe;
789: But harm y-doon is doon, who-so it rewe:
790: ffor though thise men for loue hem first to-rende,
791: fful sharp bygynnyng breketh ofte at ende.

792: "How ofte tyme hath it y-knowen be,
793: The tresoun that to wommen hath ben do;
794: To what fyn is swich loue I kan nat see,
795: Or wher bycometh it whan it is ago.
796: Ther is no wight that woot, I trowe so,
797: Where it bycometh; lo, no wight on it sporneth:
798: That erst was no thing, in-to nought it torneth.

799: "How bisy, if I loue, ek most I be
800: To plesen hem that iangle of loue and dremen,
801: And coye hem, that they seye noon harm of me;
802: ffor though ther be no cause, 3et hem semen
803: Al be for harm that folk hire frendes quemen;
804: And who may stoppen euery wikked tonge,
805: Or sown of belles whil that thei ben ronge?"

806: And after that, hire thought gan forto clere,
807: And seide, "he which that nothing vndertaketh,
808: No thyng nacheueth, be hym looth or deere."
809: And with an other thought hire herte quaketh;
810: Than slepeth hope, and after drede awaketh;
811: Now hoot, now cold; but thus bitwixen tweye,
812: She rist hire vp, and wente hire forto pleye.

813: Adown the steyre anon right tho she wente
814: In-to the gardyn with hire neces thre,
815: And vp and down ther made many a wente --
816: fflexippe, she, Tharbe and Antigone --
817: To pleyen, that it ioye was to see;
818: And other of hire wommen a gret route
819: Hire folwede in the gardyn al aboute.
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820: This 3erd was large and rayled alle thaleyes,
821: And shadewed wel with blosmy bowes grene,
822: And benched newe, and sonded alle the weyes,
823: In which she walketh arm in arm bitwene;
824: Til at the laste, Antigone the shene
825: Gan on a Troian song to singen cleere,
826: That it an heuen was hire vois to here.
Cantus Antigone
827: She seyde, "O loue, to whom I haue and shal
828: Ben humble subgit, trewe in myn entente,
829: As I best kan, to 3ow, lord, 3eue ich al,
830: ffor euere mo, myn hertes lust to rente.
831: ffor neuere 3et thi grace no wight sente
832: So blisful cause as me, my lif to lede
833: In alle ioie and seurte out of drede.

834: "3e, blisful god, han me so wel byset
835: In loue, i-wys, that al that bereth lif
836: Ymagynen ne kouthe how to ben bet;
837: ffor, lord, withouten jalousie or strif,
838: I loue oon which that moost is ententif
839: To seruen wel, vnweri or vnfeyned,
840: That euere was, and leest with harm desteyned.

841: "As he that is the welle of worthynesse,
842: Of trouthe grownd, mirour of goodlihede,
843: Of wit Apollo, stoon of sikernesse,
844: Of vertue roote, of lust fynder and hede,
845: Thorugh which is alle sorwe fro me dede --
846: I-wis, I loue hym best, so doth he me;
847: Now good thrifte haue he, wher-so that he be!

848: "Whom shulde I thanken but 3ow, god of loue,
849: Of al this blisse in which to bathe I gynne?
850: And thanked be 3e, lord, for that I loue.
851: This is the righte lif that I am inne,
852: To flemen alle manere vice and synne;
853: This dooth me so to vertue for tentende,
854: That day by day I in my wille amende.
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855: "And whoso seith that forto loue is vice,
856: Or thraldom, though he feele in it destresse,
857: He outher is enuyous or right nyce,
858: Or is vnmyghty for his shrewednesse
859: To louen; for swich manere folk, I gesse,
860: Defamen loue as nothing of it knowe:
861: They speken, but thei benten neuere his bowe.

862: "What is the sonne wers, of kynde right,
863: Though that a man for fieblesse of his eyen
864: May nought endure on it to see for bright?
865: Or loue the wers, though wrecches on it crien?
866: No wele is worth that may no sorwe dryen;
867: And forthi, who that hath an hed of verre,
868: ffro caste of stones war hym in the werre.

869: "But I with al myn herte and al my myghte,
870: As I haue seyd, wol loue vn-to my laste
871: My deere herte and al myn owen knyghte,
872: In which myn herte growen is so faste,
873: And his in me, that it shal euere laste:
874: Al dredde I first to loue hym to bigynne,
875: Now woot I wel ther is no peril inne."

876: And of hir song right with that word she stente,
877: And ther-with-al, "now Nece," quod Cryseyde,
878: "Who made this song now with so good entente?"
879: Antygone answerde anoon and seyde,
880: "Madame, y-wys, the goodlieste mayde
881: Of gret estat in al the town of Troye,
882: And let hire lif in moste honour and ioye."

883: "ffor-sothe, so it semeth by hire songe,"
884: Quod tho Criseyde, and gan therwith to sike,
885: And seyde, "lord, is ther swych blisse amonge
886: Thise loueres, as they konne faire endite?"
887: "3e, wis," quod fresshe Antigone the white,
888: "ffor al the folk that han or ben on lyue
889: Ne konne wel the blisse of loue discryue.

890: "But wene 3e that euery wrecche woot
891: The parfit blisse of loue? why nay, i-wys;
892: They wenen all be loue if oon be hoot;
893: Do wey, do wey, they woot nothyng of this.
894: Men mosten axe at seyntes if it is
895: Aught faire in heuene -- why? for they kan telle --
896: And axen fendes is it foule in helle."
-196-



897: Criseyde vnto that purpos naught answerde,
898: But seyde, "ywys, it wol be nyght as faste."
899: But euery word which that she of hire herde,
900: She gan to prenten in hire herte faste,
901: And ay gan loue hire lasse for tagaste
902: Than it dide erst and synken in hire herte,
903: That she wex somwhat able to conuerte.

904: The dayes honour and the heuenes eye,
905: The nyghtes foo -- al this clepe I the sonne --
906: Gan westren faste and downward forto wrye,
907: As he that hadde his dayes cours yronne,
908: And white thynges wexen dymme and donne
909: ffor lakke of lyght and sterres for tapere,
910: That she and alle hire folk in went yfeere.

911: So whan it liked hire to go to reste,
912: And voided weren thei that voiden oughte,
913: She seyde that to slepen wel hire leste;
914: Hire wommen soon vnto hire bed hire broughte.
915: Whan al was hust, than lay she stille and thoughte
916: Of al this thing the manere and the wise;
917: Reherce it nedeth nought, for 3e ben wise.

918: A nyghtyngale vpon a cedre grene,
919: Under the chambre wal ther as she lay,
920: fful loude song a3ein the moone shene
921: Peraunter in his briddes wise a lay
922: Of loue that made hire herte fressh and gay,
923: That herkned she so longe in good entente,
924: Til at the laste the dede slepe hire hente.

925: And as she slep, anon right tho hire mette
926: How that an egle fethered whit as bone
927: Under hire brest his longe clawes sette,
928: And out hire herte he rente, and that anone,
929: And dide his herte in-to hire brest to gone --
930: Of which she nought agroos ne nothyng smerte --
931: And forth he fleigh with herte left for herte.

932: Now lat hire slepe, and we oure tales holde
933: Of Troilus that is to paleis riden
934: ffro the scarmuch of the which I tolde,
935: And in his chaumbre sit and hath abiden
936: Til two or thre of his messages 3eden
937: ffor Pandarus and soughten hym ful faste,
938: Til they him founde and broughte hym at the laste.
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939: This Pandarus com lepyng in attones,
940: And seyde thus, "who hath ben wel i-bete
941: To-day with swerdes and with slynge stones
942: But Troilus, that hath caught hym an hete?
943: And gan to iape and seyde, "lord, so 3e swete!
944: But ris and lat vs soupe and go to reste."
945: And he answerd hym, "do we as the leste."

946: With al the haste goodly that they myghte,
947: They spedde hem fro the soper vnto bedde,
948: And euery wight out at the dore hym dyghte,
949: And where hym liste vp-on his wey him spedde;
950: But Troilus, that thoughte his herte bledde
951: ffor wo til that he herde som tydyng,
952: He seyde, "frend, shal I now wepe or syng?"

953: Quod Pandarus, "ly stille and lat me slepe,
954: And don thyn hood, thy nedes spedde be,
955: And chese if thow wolt synge or daunce or lepe.
956: At shorte wordes, thow shalt trowen me.
957: Sire, my Nece wol do wel by the,
958: And loue the best, by god and by my trouthe,
959: By lakke of pursuyt make it in thi slouthe.

960: "ffor thus ferforth I haue thi werk bigonne,
961: ffro day to day til this day by the morwe,
962: Hire loue of frendshipe haue I to the wonne,
963: And therto hath she leyd hire feyth to borwe;
964: Algate a foot is hameled of thi sorwe."
965: What sholde I lenger sermoun of it holde?
966: As 3e han herd byfore, al he hym tolde.

967: But right as floures, thorugh the colde of nyght
968: Iclosed, stoupen on hire stalkes lowe,
969: Redressen hem a3ein the sonne bright,
970: And spreden on hire kynde cours by rowe,
971: Right so gan tho his eighen vp to throwe
972: This Troilus and seyde, "O Venus deere,
973: Thi myght, thi grace, y-heried be it here."

974: And to Pandare he held vp bothe his hondes,
975: And seyde, "lord, al thyn be that I haue,
976: ffor I am hool, al brosten ben my bondes;
977: A thousand Troyes who-so that me 3aue,
978: Ech after other, god so wys me saue,
979: Ne myghte me so gladen; lo, myn herte,
980: It spredeth so for ioie it wol to-sterte.
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981: "But lord, how shal I doon, how shal I lyuen?
982: Whan shal I next my deere herte see?
983: How shal this longe tyme awey be dryuen
984: Til that thow be a3ein at hire fro me?
985: Thow maist answer, "abid, abid," but he
986: That hangeth by the nekke, soth to seyne,
987: In gret disese abideth for the peyne."

988: "Al esily, now, for the loue of Marte,"
989: Quod Pandarus, "for euery thing hath tyme
990: So longe abid til that the nyght departe;
991: ffor also siker as thow list here by me,
992: And god to-forn, I wol be ther at pryme;
993: And for-thi, werk som-what as I shal seye,
994: Or on som other wight this charge leye.

995: ffor pardee, god woot, I haue euere 3it
996: Den redy the to serue, and to this nyght
997: Haue I naught feyned, but emforth my wit
998: Don al thi lust, and shal with al my myght.
999: Do now as I shal seyn and fare aright;
1000: And if thow nylt, wite al thi self thi care:
1001: On me is nought a-long thyn yuel fare.

1002: "I woot wel that thow wiser art than I
1003: A thousand fold, but if I were as thow,
1004: God help me so, as I wolde outrely
1005: Right of myn owen hond write hire right now
1006: A lettre, in which I wolde hire tellen how
1007: I ferd amys, and hire biseche of routhe;
1008: Now help thi self and leue it nought for slouthe-

1009: "And I my self wol therwith to hire gon;
1010: And whan thow woost that I am with hire there,
1011: Worth thow vp-on a courser right anon,
1012: 3e, hardily, right in thi beste gere,
1013: And ryd forth by the place as nought ne were,
1014: And thow shalt fynde vs, if I may, sittyng
1015: At som wyndow in-to the strete lokyng.

1016: "And if the list, than maystow vs salue,
1017: And vp-on me make thow thi countenaunce,
1018: But by thi lif be war and faste eschue
1019: To tarien ought -- god shilde vs fro meschaunce!
1020: Rid forth thi wey and hold thi gouernaunce,
1021: And we shal speek of the somwhat, I trowe,
1022: Whan thow art gon, to don thyn eris glowe.
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1023: "Towchyng thi lettre, thou art wys ynough;
1024: I woot thow nylt it dygneliche endite,
1025: As make it with thise argumentes tough,
1026: Ne scryuenyssh or craftily thow it write;
1027: Biblotte it with thi teris ek a lite,
1028: And if thow write a goodly word al softe,
1029: Though it be good, reherce it nought to ofte.

1030: "ffor though the beste harpour vp-on lyue
1031: Wolde on the beste sowned ioly harpe
1032: That euere was with alle his fyngres fyue
1033: Touche ay o stryng or ay o werbul harpe,
1034: Were his nayles poynted neuere so sharpe,
1035: It sholde maken euery wight to dulle
1036: To here his glee and of his strokes fulle.

1037: "Ne iompre ek no discordant thyng y-feere,
1038: As thus, to vsen termes of Phisik
1039: In loues termes; hold of thi matere
1040: The forme alwey and do that it be lik;
1041: ffor if a peyntour wolde peynte a pyk
1042: With asses feet and hedde it as an ape,
1043: It cordeth naught, so nere it but a iape."

1044: This counseil liked wel to Troilus,
1045: But as a dredful louere he seyde this,
1046: "Allas, my deere brother Pandarus,
1047: I am ashamed forto write, ywis,
1048: Lest of myn innocence I seyde amys,
1049: Or that she nolde it for despit receyue;
1050: Than were I ded, ther myght it nothying weyue."

1051: To that Pandare answerde, "if the leste,
1052: Do that I seye, and lat me therwith gon;
1053: ffor by that lord that formed est and weste,
1054: I hope of it to brynge answere anon
1055: Right of hire hond, and if that thow nylt noon,
1056: Lat be, and sory mote he ben his lyue
1057: A3eins thi lust that helpeth the to thryue."
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1058: Quod Troilus, "depardieux, ich assente,
1059: Sith that the list, I wil arise and write;
1060: And blisful god prey ich with good entente,
1061: The viage and the lettre I shal endite,
1062: So spede it, and thow, Minerua the white,
1063: Yif thow me wit my lettre to deuyse."
1064: And sette hym down and wrot right in this wyse.

1065: ffirst he gan hire his righte lady calle,
1066: His hertes lif, his lust, his sorwes leche,
1067: His blisse, and ek thise other termes alle,
1068: That in swich cas thise loueres alle seche;
1069: And in ful humble wise, as in his speche,
1070: He gan hym recomaunde vnto hire grace;
1071: To telle al how, it axeth muchel space.

1072: And after this ful lowly he hire preyde
1073: To be nought wroth, thogh he, of his folie,
1074: So hardy was to hire to write, and seyde
1075: That loue it made or elles most he die;
1076: And pitousli gan mercy forto crye;
1077: And after that he seyde -- and leigh ful loude --
1078: Hym self was litel worth, and lasse he koude;

1079: And that she sholde han his konnyng excused,
1080: That litel was, and ek he dredde hire soo,
1081: And his vnworthynesse ay he acused;
1082: And after that than gan he telle his woo --
1083: But that was endeles, with-outen hoo --
1084: And seyde he wolde in trouth alwey hym holde;
1085: And radde it ouer and gan the lettre folde.
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1086: And with hise salte teris gan he bathe
1087: The rubie in his signet and it sette
1088: Up-on the wex deliuerliche and rathe;
1089: Therwith a thousand tymes, er he lette,
1090: He kiste tho the lettre that he shette,
1091: And seyde, "lettre, a blisful destine
1092: The shapyn is, my lady shal the see."

1093: This Pandare tok the lettre, and that by-tyme
1094: A-morwe, and to his Neces paleis sterte;
1095: And faste he swor that it was passed prime,
1096: And gan to iape and seyde, "ywys, myn herte,
1097: So fresshe it is, al-though it sore smerte,
1098: I may naught slepe neuere a Mayes morwe;
1099: I haue a ioly wo, a lusty sorwe."

1100: Criseyde, whan that she hire vncle herde,
1101: With dredful herte and desirous to here
1102: The cause of his comynge, thus answerde,
1103: "Now by 3oure fey, myn vncle," quod she, "dere,
1104: What manere wyndes gydeth 3ow now here?
1105: Tel vs 3oure ioly wo and 3oure penaunce --
1106: How ferforth be 3e put in loues daunce?"

1107: "By god," quod he, "I hoppe alwey by-hynde."
1108: And she to laughe, it thought hire herte brest.
1109: Quod Pandarus, "loke alwey that 3e fynde
1110: Game in myn hood, but herkneth, if 3ow lest:
1111: Ther is right now come in-to town a gest,
1112: A Greek espie, and telleth newe thinges,
1113: ffor which I come to telle 3ow tydynges.

1114: "In-to the gardyn go we and 3e shal here
1115: Al pryuely of this a longe sermoun."
1116: With that they wenten arm in arm yfeere,
1117: In-to the gardyn from the chaumbre down,
1118: And whan that he so fer was that the sown
1119: Of that he spake no man heren myghte,
1120: He seyde hire thus, and out the lettre plighte:
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1121: "Lo, he that is al holy 3oures free
1122: Hym recomaundeth lowely to 3oure grace,
1123: And sente 3ow this lettre here by me.
1124: Auyseth 3ow on it, whan 3e han space,
1125: And of som goodly answere 3ow purchace;
1126: Or helpe me god, so pleynly forto seyne,
1127: He may nat longe lyuen for his peyne."

1128: fful dredfully tho gan she stonden stylle,
1129: And took it naught, but al hire humble chere
1130: Gan forto chaunge, and seyde, "scrit ne bille,
1131: ffor loue of god, that toucheth swich matere
1132: Ne brynge me noon; and also, vncle deere,
1133: To myn estat haue more rewarde, I preye,
1134: Than to his lust -- what sholde I more seye?

1135: "And loketh now if this be resonable,
1136: And letteth nought for fauour ne for slouthe
1137: To seyn a sooth; now were it couenable
1138: To myn estat, by god and by 3oure trouthe,
1139: To taken it or to han of hym routhe
1140: In harmyng of my self or in repreue?
1141: Ber it a3ein for hym that 3e on leue."

1142: This Pandarus gan on hire forto stare,
1143: And seyde, "now is this the grettest wondre
1144: That euere I seigh -- lat be this nyce fare!
1145: To dethe mot I smyten be with thondre,
1146: If for the citee which that stondeth 3ondre,
1147: Wolde I a lettre vnto 3ow brynge or take
1148: To harm of 3ow; what list 3ow thus it make?

1149: "But thus 3e faren, wel neigh alle and some,
1150: That he that most desireth 3ow to serue,
1151: Of hym 3e recche leest wher he by-come,
1152: And whethir that he lyue or elles sterue.
1153: But for al that that euer I may deserue,
1154: Refuse it naught," quod he and hente hire faste,
1155: And in hire bosom the lettre down he thraste,

1156: And seyde hire, "now cast it awey anon,
1157: That folk may seen and gauren on vs tweye."
1158: Quod she, "I kan abyde til they be gon,
1159: And gan to smyle and seyde hym, "Em, I preye,
1160: Swich answere as 3ow list 3oure self purueye,
1161: ffor trewely I nyl no lettre write."
1162: "No? than wol I," quod he, "so 3e endite."
-214-



1163: Therwith she lough and seyde, "go we dyne."
1164: And he gan at hym self to iape faste,
1165: And seyde, "Nece, I haue so grete a pyne
1166: ffor loue that euerich other day I faste,"
1167: And gan his beste iapes forth to caste,
1168: And made hire so to laughe at his folye,
1169: That she for laughter wende for to dye.

1170: And whan that she was comen in-to halle,
1171: "Now Em," quod she, "we wol go dyne anon,"
1172: And gan some of hire wommen to hire calle,
1173: And streght in-to hire chambre gan she gon,
1174: But of hire besynesses this was on,
1175: Amonges othere thynges out of drede,
1176: fful pryuely this lettre forto rede.

1177: Auysed word by word in euery lyne,
1178: And fond no lakke, she thoughte he koude good;
1179: And vp it putte and wente hire in-to dyne;
1180: But Pandarus, that in a studye stood,
1181: Er he was war, she took hym by the hood,
1182: And seyde, "3e were caught er that 3e wist."
1183: "I vouche-sauf," quod he, "do what 3ou list."

1184: Tho wesshen they and sette hem down and ete;
1185: And after noon ful sleighly Pandarus
1186: Gan drawe hym to the wyndowe next the strete,
1187: And seyde, "Nece, who hath araied thus
1188: The 3onder hous that stant afor3eyn vs?"
1189: "Which hous?" quod she, and gan forto byholde,
1190: And knew it wel, and whos it was hym tolde.

1191: And fillen forth in speche of thynges smale,
1192: And seten in the windowe bothe tweye,
1193: Whan Pandarus saugh tyme vn-to his tale,
1194: And saugh wel that hire folk were alle aweye,
1195: "Now, Nece myn, tel on," quod he, "I seye,
1196: How liketh 3ow the lettre that 3e woot?
1197: Kan he ther-on? for by my trouthe, I noot."

1198: Therwith al rosy hewed tho wex she,
1199: And gan to homme and seyde, "so I trowe."
1200: "Acquite hym wel, for goddes loue," quod he;
1201: "My self to medes wol the lettre sowe."
1202: And held his hondes vp and sat on knowe;
1203: "Now, goode Nece, be it neuere so lite,
1204: 3if me the labour it to sowe and plite."
-216-



1205: "3e, for I kan so writen," quod she tho,
1206: "And ek I noot what I sholde to hym seye."
1207: "Nay, Nece," quod Pandare, "sey nat so;
1208: 3et at the leeste thonketh hym, I preye,
1209: Of his good wille and doth hym nat to deye.
1210: Now for the loue of me, my Nece deere,
1211: Refuseth nat at this tyme my prayere."

1212: "Depardieux," quod she, "god leue al be wel!
1213: God help me so, this is the firste lettre
1214: That euere I wroot, 3e, al or any del."
1215: And in-to a closet for tauise hire bettre
1216: She wente allone, and gan hire herte vnfettre
1217: Out of desdaynes prisoun but a lite,
1218: And sette hire down and gan a lettre write.

1219: Of which to telle in short is myn entente
1220: Theffect as fer as I kan vnderstonde:
1221: She thanked hym of al that he wel mente
1222: Towardes hire, but holden hym in honde
1223: She nolde nought, ne make hire seluen bonde
1224: In loue, but as his suster hym to plese
1225: She wolde ay fayn, to doon his herte an ese.

1226: She shette it and to Pandare in gan goon,
1227: Ther as he sat and loked in-to the strete,
1228: And down she sette hire by hym on a stoon
1229: Of iaspre, vp-on a quysshyn gold y-bete,
1230: And seyde, "as wisly help me god the grete,
1231: I neuere dide a thing with more peyne
1232: Than writen this, to which 3e me constreyne" --

1233: And took it hym. He thonked hire and seyde,
1234: "God woot, of thyng ful often looth bygonne
1235: Comth ende good, and, Nece myn, Criseyde,
1236: That 3e to hym of hard now ben y-wonne
1237: Oughte he be glad, by god and 3onder sonne;
1238: ffor whi men seith, "Impressiounes lighte
1239: fful lightly ben ay redy to the flighte."

1240: "But 3e han played the tirant neigh to longe,
1241: And hard was it 3oure herte forto graue;
1242: Now stynte, that 3e no lenger on it honge,
1243: Al wolde 3e the forme of daunger saue,
1244: But hasteth 3ow to doon hym ioye haue;
1245: ffor trusteth wel, to long y-doon hardnesse
1246: Causeth despit ful often for destresse."
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1247: And right as they declamed this matere,
1248: Lo, Troilus, right at the stretes ende,
1249: Com rydyng with his tenthe somme y-fere,
1250: Al softely, and thiderward gan bende
1251: Ther as they sete, as was his way to wende
1252: To paleis-ward, and Pandare hym aspide
1253: And seyde, "Nece, i-see who comth here ride.

1254: "O fle naught in -- he seeth vs, I suppose --
1255: Lest he may thynken that 3e hym eschuwe."
1256: "Nay, nay," quod she, and wex as rede as rose.
1257: With that he gan hire humbly to saluwe,
1258: With dredful chere and oft his hewes muwe,
1259: And vp his look debonairly he caste,
1260: And bekked on Pandare and forth he paste.

1261: God woot if he sat on his hors aright,
1262: Or goodly was biseyn that ilke day!
1263: God woot wher he was lik a manly knyght!
1264: What sholde I drecche or telle of his aray?
1265: Criseyde, which that alle thise thynges say,
1266: To telle in short, hire liked al in fere,
1267: His persoun, his aray, his look, his chere,

1268: His goodly manere, and his gentilesse,
1269: So wel that neuere, sith that she was born,
1270: Ne hadde she swych routh of his destresse;
1271: And how so she hath hard ben here byforn,
1272: To god hope I she hath now kaught a thorn,
1273: She shal nat pulle it out this nexte wyke --
1274: God sende mo swich thornes on to pike.

1275: Pandare, which that stood hire faste by,
1276: ffelte iren hoot and he bygan to smyte,
1277: And seyde, "Nece, I pray 3ow hertely,
1278: Tel me that I shal axen 3ow a lite:
1279: A womman that were of his deth to wite,
1280: With-outen his gilt, but for hire lakked routhe,
1281: Were it wel doon?" Quod she, "nay, by my trouthe."

1282: "God help me so," quod he, "3e sey me soth.
1283: 3e felen wel 3oure self that I nought lye.
1284: Lo, 3ond he rit!" "3e," quod she, "so he doth."
1285: "Wel," quod Pandare, "as I haue told 3ow thrie,
1286: Lat be 3oure nyce shame and 3oure folie,
1287: And spek with hym in esyng of his herte;
1288: Lat nycete nat do 3ow bothe smerte."
-220-



1289: But ther-on was to heuen and to doone,
1290: Considered al thing, it may nat be;
1291: And whi? for shame, and it were ek to soone
1292: To graunten hym so grete a libertee.
1293: ffor pleynly hire entente, as seyde she,
1294: Was forto loue hym vnwist if she myghte,
1295: And guerdoun hym with no thing but with sighte.

1296: But Pandarus thought, "it shal nought be so,
1297: 3if that I may, this nyce opynyoun
1298: Shal nought be holden fully 3eres two."
1299: What sholde I make of this a long sermoun?
1300: He moste assente on that conclusioun
1301: As for the tyme, and whan that it was eue,
1302: And al was wel, he roos and toke his leue.

1303: And on his wey ful faste homward he spedde,
1304: And right for ioye he felte his herte daunce;
1305: And Troilus he fond allone a-bedde,
1306: That lay as do thise louers in a traunce,
1307: Bitwixen hope and derk disesperaunce.
1308: But Pandarus, right at his in comynge,
1309: He song, as who seyth, "somwhat I brynge."

1310: And seyde, "who is in his bed so soone
1311: I-buried thus?" "It am I, frend," quod he.
1312: "Who, Troilus? nay, help me so the moone,"
1313: Quod Pandarus, "thow shalt arise and see
1314: A charme that was sent right now to the,
1315: The which kan helen the of thyn accesse,
1316: If thow do forth-with al thi bisynesse.",

1317: "3e, thorugh the myght of god," quod Troilus.
1318: And Pandarus gan hym the lettre take,
1319: And seyde, "parde, god hath holpen vs;
1320: Haue here a light and loke on al this blake."
1321: But ofte gan the herte glade and quake
1322: Of Troilus, whil that he gan it rede,
1323: So as the wordes 3aue hym hope or drede.

1324: But finaly he took al for the beste
1325: That she hym wroot, for somwhat he byhelde
1326: On which hym thoughte he myghte his herte reste,
1327: Al couered she the wordes vnder shelde.
1328: Thus to the more worthi part he helde,
1329: That what for hope and Pandarus byheste,
1330: His grete wo for3ede he at the leste.
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1331: But as we may alday oure seluen see,
1332: Thorugh more wode or col the more fire,
1333: Right so encrees of hope, of what it be,
1334: Therwith ful ofte encresseth ek desire;
1335: Or as an ook comth of a litil spire,
1336: So thorugh this lettre which that she hym sente
1337: Encrescen gan desire of which he brente.

1338: Wherfore I seye alwey that day and nyght
1339: This Troilus gan to desiren moore
1340: Thanne he did erst, thorugh hope, and did his myght
1341: To preessen on as by Pandarus loore,
1342: And writen to hire of his sorwes soore;
1343: ffro day to day he leet it nought refreyde,
1344: That by Pandare he wroot somwhat or seyde;

1345: And dide also his other obseruaunces,
1346: That til a louere longeth in this cas;
1347: And after that his dees torned on chaunces,
1348: So was he outher glad or seyde "allas."
1349: And held after his gistes ay hid pas;
1350: And after swiche answeres as he hadde,
1351: So were his dayes sory outher gladde.

1352: But to Pandare alwey was his recours,
1353: And pitously gan ay to hym to pleyne,
1354: And hym bisoughte of reed and som socours;
1355: And Pandarus, that sey his woode peyne,
1356: Wex wel neigh ded for routhe, sooth to seyne,
1357: And bisily with al his herte cast
1358: Som of his wo to slen, and that as faste;

1359: And seyde, "lord and frend and brother dere,
1360: God woot that thi disese doth me wo.
1361: But wiltow stynten al this woful cheere,
1362: And by my trouthe, er it be dayes two,
1363: And god to-forn, 3et shal I shape it so,
1364: That thow shalt come in-to a certeyn place,
1365: There as thow mayst thi self hire preye of grace.

1366: "And certeynly -- I noot if thow it woost,
1367: But tho that ben expert in loue it seye --
1368: It is oon of the thynges forthereth most
1369: A man to han a layser forto preye,
1370: And siker place his wo forto bywreye;
1371: ffor in good herte it mot som routhe impresse
1372: To here and see the giltlees in distresse.
-226-



1373: "Peraunter thynkestow: though it be so,
1374: That kynde wolde don hire to bygynne
1375: To haue a manere routhe vpon my woo,
1376: Seyth daunger, "nay, thow shalt me neuere wynne."
1377: So reulith hire hir hertes gost with-inne,
1378: That though she bende, 3eet she stant on roote;
1379: What in effect is this vnto my boote?

1380: "Thenk here a3eins: whan that the stordy ook,
1381: On which men hakketh ofte for the nones,
1382: Receyued hath the happy fallyng strook,
1383: The greete sweigh doth it come al at ones,
1384: As don thise rokkes or thise milnestones;
1385: ffor swifter cours comth thyng that is of wighte,
1386: Whan it descendeth, than don thynges lighte.

1387: "And reed that boweth down for euery blaste,
1388: fful lightly, cesse wynd, it wol aryse;
1389: But so nyl nought an ook whan it is caste;
1390: It nedeth me nought the longe to forbise.
1391: Men shal reioissen of a grete empryse
1392: Acheued wel, and stant with-outen doute,
1393: Al han men ben the lenger ther-aboute.

1394: "But Troilus, 3et telle me if the lest
1395: A thing now which that I shal axen the:
1396: Which is thi brother that thow louest best,
1397: As in thi verray hertes priuetee?"
1398: "I-wis, my brother Deiphebus," quod he.
1399: "Now," quod Pandare, "er houres twyes twelue,
1400: He shal the ese, vnwist of it hym selue.

1401: "Now lat malone and werken as I may,"
1402: Quod he; and to Deiphebus wente he tho,
1403: Which hadde his lord and grete frend ben ay;
1404: Saue Troilus, no man he loued so.
1405: To telle in short, withouten wordes mo,
1406: Quod Pandarus, "I pray 3ow that 3e be
1407: ffrend to a cause which that toucheth me."

1408: "3is, perde," quod Deiphebus, "wel thow woost,
1409: In al that euere I may, and god to-fore,
1410: Al nere it but for man I loue moost,
1411: My brother Troilus; but sey wherfore
1412: It is, for sith that day that I was bore,
1413: I nas, ne neuere mo to ben I thynke,
1414: A3eins a thing that myghte the forthynke."
-228-



1415: Pandare gan hym thank and to hym seyde,
1416: "Lo, sire, I haue a lady in this town,
1417: That is my Nece and called is Criseyde,
1418: Which som men wolden don oppressioun;
1419: And wrongfully han hire possessioun;
1420: Wherfore I of 3oure lordship 3ow biseche
1421: To ben oure frend, withouten more speche."

1422: Deiphebus hym answerde, "O, is nat this,
1423: That thow spekest of to me thus straungely,
1424: Criseyda, my frend?" He seyde, "3is."
1425: "Than nedeth," quod Deiphebus, "hardyly,
1426: Namore to speke, for trusteth wel that I
1427: Wol be hire champioun with spore and 3erde;
1428: I roughte nought though alle hire foos it herde.

1429: "But telle me, thow that woost al this matere,
1430: How I myght best auaylen." -- "Now lat se,"
1431: Quod Pandarus, "if 3e, my lord so dere,
1432: Wolden as now do this honour to me,
1433: To preyen hire to-morwe, lo, that she
1434: Come vn-to 3ow, hire pleyntes to deuise,
1435: Hire aduersaries wolde of it agrise.

1436: "And 3if I more dorste prey 3ow as now,
1437: And chargen 3ow to han so gret trauaille,
1438: To han som of 3oure bretheren here with 3ow,
1439: That myghten to hire cause bet auaille,
1440: Than wot I wel she myghte neuere faille
1441: fforto ben holpen, what at 3oure instaunce,
1442: What with hire other frendes gouernaunce."

1443: Deiphebus, which that comen was of kynde
1444: To alle honour and bounte to consente,
1445: Answerd, "it shal be don, and I kan fynde
1446: 3et grettere help to this in myn entente.
1447: What wiltow seyn if I for Eleyne sente
1448: To speke of this? I trowe it be the beste,
1449: ffor she may leden Paris as hire leste.

1450: "Of Ector, which that is my lord, my brother,
1451: It nedeth naught to preye hym frend to be;
1452: ffor I haue herd hym, o tyme and ek oother,
1453: Speke of Cryseyde swich honour that he
1454: May seyn no bet, swich hap to hym hath she:
1455: It nedeth naught his helpes forto craue;
1456: He shal be swich right as we wol hym haue.
-230-



1457: "Speke thow thi self also to Troilus
1458: On my byhalue, and prey hym with vs dyne."
1459: "Syre, al this shal be don," quod Pandarus,
1460: And took his leue and neuere gan to fyne,
1461: But to his Neces hous as streyght as lyne
1462: He come, and fond hire fro the mete arise,
1463: And sette hym down and spak right in this wise.

1464: He seide, "O verray god, so haue I ronne!
1465: Lo, Nece myn, se 3e nought how I swete?
1466: I not wheither 3e the more thank me konne.
1467: Be 3e naught war how false Poliphete
1468: Is now aboute eftsones forto plete
1469: And brynge on 3ow aduocacies newe?"
1470: "I? no," quod she, and chaunged al hire hewe.

1471: "What is he more aboute me to drecche
1472: And don me wrong? what shal I doon, allas?
1473: 3et of hym self nothing ne wolde I recche,
1474: Nere it for Antenor and Eneas,
1475: That ben his frendes in swich manere cas.
1476: But for the loue of god, myn vncle deere,
1477: No fors of that, lat hym han al yfeere.

1478: "With-outen that I haue ynough for vs."
1479: "Nay," quod Pandare, "it shal no thing be so,
1480: ffor I haue ben right now at Deiphebus,
1481: At Ector, and myn oother lordes moo,
1482: And shortly maked eche of hem his foo,
1483: That, by my thrift, he shal it neuere wynne,
1484: ffor aught he kan, whan that so he bygynne."

1485: And as thei casten what was best to doone,
1486: Deiphebus of his owen curteisie
1487: Com hire to preye, in his propre persone,
1488: To holde hym on the morwe compaignie,
1489: At dyner, which she nolde nought denye,
1490: But goodly gan to his preier obeye.
1491: He thonked hire and went vp-on his weye.

1492: Whan this was don, this Pandare vp anon,
1493: To telle in short, and forth gan forto wende
1494: To Troilus, as stille as any ston,
1495: And al this thyng he tolde hym worde and ende,
1496: And how that he Deiphebus gan to blende,
1497: And seyde hym, "now is tyme, if that thow konne,
1498: To bere the wel to-morwe, and al is wonne.
-232-



1499: "Now spek, now prey, now pitously compleigne;
1500: Lat nought for nyce shame or drede or slouthe.
1501: Som tyme a man mot telle his owen peyne;
1502: Bileue it, and she shal han on the routhe;
1503: Thow shalt be saued by thi feyth in trouthe.
1504: But wel woot I that thow art now in deede,
1505: And what it is I leye I kan arede.

1506: "Thow thynkest now, "how sholde I don al this?
1507: ffor by my cheres mosten folk aspie
1508: That for hire loue is that I fare amys;
1509: 3et hadde I leuere vnwist for sorwe dye."
1510: Now thynk nat so, for thow dost gret folie,
1511: ffor I right now haue founden o manere
1512: Of sleyghte forto coueren al thi cheere.

1513: "Thow shalt gon ouer nyght, and that bylyue,
1514: Unto Deiphebus hous as the to pleye,
1515: Thi maladie awey the bet to dryue,
1516: ffor whi thow semest sik, soth forto seye.
1517: Soone after that, down in thi bed the leye,
1518: And sey thow mayst no lenger vp endure,
1519: And lie right there and bide thyn auenture.

1520: "Sey that thi fevre is wont the forto take
1521: The same tyme, and lasten til a-morwe;
1522: And lat se now how wel thow kanst it make,
1523: ffor perde, sik is he that is in sorwe.
1524: Go now, far-wel; and Venus here to borwe,
1525: I hope, and thow this purpos holde ferme,
1526: Thi grace she shal fully ther conferme."

1527: Quod Troilus, "i-wis, thow nedeles
1528: Conseilest me that siklich I me feyne,
1529: ffor I am sik in ernest, douteles,
1530: So that wel neigh I sterue for the peyne."
1531: Quod Pandarus, "thow shalt the bettre pleyne,
1532: And hast the lasse nede to countrefete,
1533: ffor hym men demen hoot that men seen swete.

1534: "Lo, hold the at thi triste cloos, and I
1535: Shal wel the deer vnto thi bowe dryue."
1536: Therwith he took his leue al softely,
1537: And Troilus to paleis wente blyue;
1538: So glad ne was he neuere in al his lyue,
1539: And to Pandarus reed gan al assente,
1540: And to Deiphebus hous at nyght he wente.
-234-



1541: What nedeth 3ow to tellen al the cheere
1542: That Deiphebus vnto his brother made,
1543: Or his accesse or his siklich manere --
1544: How men gan hym with clothes forto lade,
1545: Whan he was leyd, and how men wolde hym glade?
1546: But al for nought: he held forth ay the wyse
1547: That 3e han herd Pandare er this deuyse.

1548: But certayn is, er Troilus hym leyde,
1549: Deiphebus had hym preied ouer nyght
1550: To ben a frend and helpyng to Criseyde.
1551: God woot that he it graunted a-non right,
1552: To ben hire fulle frend with al his myght;
1553: But swich a nede was to preye hym thenne,
1554: As forto bidde a wood man forto renne.

1555: The morwen com and neighen gan the tyme
1556: Of meeltide that the faire queene Eleyne
1557: Shoop hire to ben, an houre after the prime,
1558: With Deiphebus, to whom she nolde feyne;
1559: But as his suster, homly, soth to seyne,
1560: She com to dyner in hire pleyne entente --
1561: But god and Pandare wist al what this mente.

1562: Com ek Criseyde, al innocent of this,
1563: Antigone, hire suster Tarbe also,
1564: But fle we now prolixitee best is,
1565: ffor loue of god, and lat vs faste go
1566: Right to theffect, withouten tales mo,
1567: Whi al this folk assembled in this place;
1568: And lat vs of hire saluynges pace.

1569: Gret honour did hem Deiphebus, certeyn,
1570: And fedde hem wel with al that myghte like,
1571: But euere mo, "allas," was his refreyn,
1572: "My goode brother, Troilus, the syke,
1573: Lith 3et" -- and therwithal he gan to sike;
1574: And after that he peyned hym to glade
1575: Hem as he myghte and cheere good he made.

1576: Compleyned ek Eleyne of his siknesse
1577: So feythfully that pite was to here;
1578: And euery wight gan waxen for accesse
1579: A leche anon and seyde, "in this manere
1580: Men curen folk; this charme I wol 3ow leere";
1581: But ther sat oon, al list hire nought to teche,
1582: That thoughte, "best koude I 3et ben his leche."
-236-



1583: After compleynte, hym gonnen they to preyse,
1584: As folk don 3et whan som wight hath bygonne
1585: To preise a man, and vp with pris hym reise
1586: A thousand fold 3et heigher than the sonne:
1587: "He is, he kan, that fewe lordes konne."
1588: And Pandarus, of that they wolde afferme,
1589: He naught forgat hire preisynge to conferme.

1590: Herde al this thyng Criseyde wel i-nough,
1591: And euery word gan forto notifie,
1592: ffor which with sobre cheere hire herte lough;
1593: ffor who is that ne wolde hire glorifie,
1594: To mowen swich a knyght don lyue or dye?
1595: But al passe I, lest 3e to longe dwelle;
1596: ffor for o fyn is al that euere I telle.

1597: The tyme com fro dyner forto ryse,
1598: And as hem aughte arisen euerichone,
1599: And gonne a while of this and that deuise;
1600: But Pandarus brak al this speche anone,
1601: And seide to Deiphebus, "wol 3e gone,
1602: If it 3oure wille be, as I 3ow preyde,
1603: To speke here of the nedes of Criseyde?"

1604: Eleyne, which that by the hond hire helde,
1605: Took first the tale and seyde, "go we blyue";
1606: And goodly on Criseyde she bihelde,
1607: And seyde, "Ioues lat hym neuere thryue,
1608: That doth 3ow harm, and brynge hym soone of lyue,
1609: And 3eue me sorwe but he shal it rewe,
1610: If that I may, and alle folk be trewe."

1611: "Tel thow thi Neces cas," quod Deiphebus
1612: To Pandarus, "for thow kanst best it telle."
1613: "My lordes and my ladyes, it stant thus:
1614: What sholde I lenger," quod he, "do 3ow dwelle?"
1615: He rong hem out a proces lik a belle
1616: Up-on hire foo, that highte Poliphete,
1617: So heynous that men myghte on it spete.

1618: Answerde of this eche werse of hem than other,
1619: And Poliphete they gonnen thus to warien:
1620: "Anhonged be swich oon, were he my brother,
1621: And so he shal, for it ne may nought varien."
1622: What shold I lenger in this tale tarien?
1623: Pleynliche alle at ones they hire highten
1624: To ben hire help in al that euere they myghten.
-238-



1625: Spak than Eleyne and seyde, "Pandarus,
1626: Woot ought my lord my brother this matere,
1627: I meene Ector? or woot it Troilus?"
1628: He seyde, "3e, but wole 3e now me here?
1629: Me thynketh this, sith that Troilus is here,
1630: It were good, if that 3e wolde assente,
1631: She tolde hire self hym al this er she wente.

1632: "ffor he wol haue the more hir grief at herte,
1633: By-cause, lo, that she a lady is,
1634: And, by 3oure leue, I wol but in right sterte
1635: And do 3ow wyte, and that anon, i-wys,
1636: If that he slepe, or wol ought here of this."
1637: And in he lepte, and seyde hym in his ere,
1638: "God haue thi soule, i-brought haue I thi beere!"

1639: To smylen of this gan tho Troilus,
1640: And Pandarus, withouten rekenyng,
1641: Out wente anon to Eleyne and Deiphebus,
1642: And seyde hem, "so ther be no tarying,
1643: Ne moore prees, he wol wel that 3e bryng
1644: Criseyda, my lady, that is here,
1645: And as he may enduren, he wol here.

1646: "But wel 3e woot, the chaumbre is but lite,
1647: And fewe folk may lightly make it warme;
1648: Now loketh 3e -- for I wol haue no wite,
1649: To brynge in prees that myghte don hym harme,
1650: Or hym disesen, for my bettre arme --
1651: Wher it be bet she bide til eft-sonys?
1652: Now loketh 3e, that knowen what to doon is.

1653: "I sey for me, best is, as I kan knowe,
1654: That no wight in ne wente but 3e tweye,
1655: But it were I, for I kan in a throwe
1656: Reherce hire cas vnlik that she kan seye;
1657: And after this she may hym ones preye
1658: To ben good lord, in short, and take hire leue;
1659: This may nought muchel of his ese hym reue-

1660: "And ek for she is straunge, he wol forbere
1661: His ese which that hym thar nought for 3ow;
1662: Ek oother thing that toucheth nought to here
1663: He wol 3ow telle -- I woot it wel, right now --
1664: That secret is, and for the townes prow."
1665: And they that nothyng knewe of his entente,
1666: With-outen more, to Troilus in they wente.
-240-



1667: Eleyne in al hire goodly, softe wyse
1668: Gan hym salue, wommanly to pleye,
1669: And seyde, "I-wys, 3e moste algate arise;
1670: Now, faire brother, beth al hool, I preye."
1671: And gan hire arm right ouer his shulder leye,
1672: And hym with al hire wit to reconforte;
1673: As she best koude, she gan hym to disporte.

1674: So after this quod she, "we 3ow biseke,
1675: My deere brother, Deiphebus and I,
1676: ffor loue of god, and so doth Pandare eke,
1677: To ben good lord and frend right hertely
1678: Unto Criseyde, which that certeynly
1679: Receyueth wrong, as woot weel here Pandare,
1680: That kan hire cas wel bet than I declare."

1681: This Pandarus gan newe his tong affile,
1682: And al hire cas reherce and that anon.
1683: Whan it was seyd, soone after in a while,
1684: Quod Troilus. "as sone as I may gon,
1685: I wol right fayn with al my myght ben oon,
1686: Haue god my trouthe, hire cause to sustene."
1687: "Good thrift haue 3e," quod Eleyne the queene."

1688: Quod Pandarus, "and it 3oure wille be,
1689: That she may take hire leue er that she go?"
1690: "O, elles god forbede it," tho quod he,
1691: If that she vouche sauf forto do so."
1692: And with that word quod Troilus, "3e two,
1693: Deiphebus and my suster lief and deere,
1694: To 3ow haue I to speke of o matere,

1695: "To ben auysed by 3oure reed the bettre."
1696: And fond, as hap was, at his beddes hede,
1697: The copie of a tretys and a lettre
1698: That Ector hadde hym sent to axen rede
1699: If swych a man was worthi to ben dede --
1700: Woot I nought who -- but in a grisly wise
1701: He preyede hem anon on it auyse.

1702: Deiphebus gan this lettre for tonfolde
1703: In ernest greet; so did Eleyne the queene;
1704: And romyng outward faste it gonne byholde,
1705: Downward a steire, in-to an herber greene,
1706: This ilke thing they redden hem bitwene;
1707: And largely, the mountance of an houre,
1708: Thei gonne on it to reden and to poure.
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1709: Now lat hem rede, and torne we anon
1710: To Pandarus, that gan ful faste prye
1711: That al was wel, and out he gan to gon
1712: In-to the grete chaumbre, and that in hye,
1713: And seyde, "god saue al this compaynye!
1714: Come, Nece myn, my lady queene Eleyne
1715: Abideth 3ow and ek my lordes tweyne.

1716: "Rys, take with 3ow 3oure Nece, Antigone,
1717: Or whom 3ow list -- or no fors, hardyly
1718: The lesse prees the bet -- com forth with me,
1719: And loke that 3e thonken humblely
1720: Hem alle thre, and whan 3e may goodly
1721: 3oure tyme se, taketh of hem 3oure leeue,
1722: Lest we to longe hise restes hym byreeue.",

1723: Al innocent of Pandarus entente,
1724: Quod tho Criseyde, "go we, vncle deere."
1725: And arm in arm inward with hym she wente,
1726: Auysed wel hire wordes and hire cheere;
1727: And Pandarus in ernestful manere
1728: Seyde, "We folk, for goddes loue, I preye,
1729: Stynteth right here, and softely 3ow pleye.

1730: "Auyseth 3ow what folk ben here with-inne,
1731: And in what plit oon is, god hym amende!"
1732: And inward thus, "ful softely bygynne,
1733: Nece, I coniure and heighly 3ow defende,
1734: On his half which that soule vs alle sende,
1735: And in the vertue of corones tweyne,
1736: Sle naught this man that hath for 3ow this peyne.

1737: "ffy on the deuel! thynk which oon he is,
1738: And in what plit he lith; com of anon!
1739: Thynk al swich taried tyde but lost it nys --
1740: That wol 3e bothe seyn whan 3e ben oon.
1741: Secoundely, ther 3et deuyneth noon
1742: Upon 3ow two; come of now, if 3e konne --
1743: While folk is blent, lo, al the tyme is wonne.

1744: "In titeryng and pursuyte and delayes
1745: The folk deuyne at waggyng of a stree;
1746: And though 3e wolde han after mirye dayes,
1747: Than dar 3e naught; and whi? for she and she
1748: Spak swych a word, thus loked he and he;
1749: Las tyme i-loste, I dar nought with 3ow dele;
1750: Com of, therfore, and bryngeth hym to hele."
-244-



1751: But now to 3ow, 3e loueres that ben here,
1752: Was Troilus nought in a kankedort,
1753: That lay and myghte whisprynge of hem here,
1754: And thoughte, "O lord, right now renneth my sort
1755: ffully to deye or han anon comfort,"
1756: And was the firste tyme he shulde hire preye
1757: Of loue? O myghty god, what shal he seye?
Explicit secundus liber.

-248-

Incipit prohemium tercii libri



1: O blisful light, of which the bemes clere
2: Adorneth al the thridde heuen faire;
3: O sonnes lief, O Ioues doughter deere,
4: Plesance of loue, O goodly debonaire,
5: In gentil hertes ay redy to repaire;
6: O veray cause of heele and of gladnesse,
7: I-heryed be thy myghte and thi goodnesse.

8: In heuene and helle, in erthe and salte see,
9: Is felt thi myght, if that I wel descerne;
10: As man, brid, beste, fisshe, herbe, and grene tree
11: The fele in tymes with vapour eterne.
12: God loueth, and to loue wol nought werne,
13: And in this world no lyues creature
14: With-outen loue is worth, or may endure.

15: 3e Ioues first to thilke effectes glade,
16: Thorugh which that thynges lyuen alle and be,
17: Comeueden, and amorous hem made
18: On mortal thyng, and as 3ow list ay 3e
19: 3eue hym in loue ese or aduersitee,
20: And in a thousand formes down hym sente
21: ffor loue in erthe, and whom 3ow liste he hente.

22: 3e fierse Mars apaisen of his ire,
23: And as 3ow list 3e maken hertes digne;
24: Algates hem that 3e wol sette a-fyre,
25: They dreden shame, and vices they resygne;
26: 3e do hem cortays be, fresshe and benigne;
27: And heighe or lowe, after a wight entendeth,
28: The ioies that he hath, 3oure myght it sendeth.
-250-



29: 3e holden regne and hous in vnitee;
30: 3e sothfast cause of frendshipe ben also;
31: 3e knowe al thilke couered qualitee
32: Of thynges, which that folk on wondren so,
33: Whan they kan nought construe how it may jo
34: She loueth hym, or whi he loueth here,
35: As whi this fissh, and naught that, comth to were.

36: 3e folk a lawe han set in vniverse,
37: And this knowe I by hem that louers be,
38: That who-so stryueth with 3ow hath the werse.
39: Now lady bryght, for thi benignite,
40: At reuerence of hem that seruen the,
41: Whos clerc I am, so techeth me deuyse
42: Som ioye of that is felt in thi seruyse.

43: 3e in my naked herte sentement
44: In-hielde, and do me shewe of thy swetnesse.
45: Caliope, thi vois be now present,
46: ffor now is nede: sestow nought my destresse,
47: How I mot telle a-non right the gladnesse
48: Of Troilus, to Venus heryinge?
49: To which gladnesse who nede hath god hym brynge!
Explicit prohemium tercii libri
Incipit liber tercius
50: Lay al this mene while Troilus,
51: Recordyng his lesson in this manere:
52: "Mafay," thoughte he, "thus wol I sey and thus;
53: Thus wol I pleyne vn-to my lady dere;
54: That word is good, and this shal be my cheere;
55: This nyl I nought for3eten in no wise."
56: God leue hym werken as he kan deuyse.

57: And lord, so that his herte gan to quappe,
58: Heryng hire come, and shorte forto sike;
59: And Pandarus that ledde hire by the lappe,
60: Com ner and gan in at the curtyn pike,
61: And seyde, "god do boot on alle syke!
62: Se who is here 3ow comen to visite;
63: Lo, here is she that is 3oure deth to wite."
-252-



64: Ther-with it semed as he wepte almoste.
65: "Ha, a," quod Troilus so reufully,
66: "Wher me be wo, O myghty god, thow wooste;
67: Who is al ther? I se nought trewely."
68: "Sire," quod Criseyde, "it is Pandare and I."
69: "3e, swete herte? allas, I may nought rise,
70: To knele and do 3ow honour in som wyse";

71: And dressed hym vpward, and she right tho
72: Gan bothe hire hondes softe vpon hym leye,
73: "O, for the loue of god, do 3e nought so
74: To me," quod she, "I! what is this to seye?
75: Sire, comen am I to 3ow for causes tweye:
76: ffirst, 3ow to thonke, and of 3oure lordshipe eke
77: Continuance I wolde 3ow biseke."

78: This Troilus that herde his lady preye
79: Of lordshipe hym, wax neither quyk ne dede,
80: Ne myghte o word for shame to it seye,
81: Al-though men sholde smyten of his hede;
82: But lord, so he wex sodeynliche rede,
83: And sire, his lessoun that he wende konne
84: To preyen hire is thorugh his wit i-ronne.

85: Criseyde al this aspied wel ynough,
86: ffor she was wis and loued hym neuere the lasse,
87: Al ner he malapert, or made it tough,
88: Or was to bold to synge a fool a masse;
89: But whan his shame gan somwhat to passe,
90: His resons, as I may my rymes holde,
91: I wol 3ow telle as techen bokes olde.

92: In chaunged vois, right for his verray drede,
93: Which vois ek quook, and therto his manere
94: Goodly abaist, and now his hewes rede,
95: Now pale, vnto Criseyde, his lady dere,
96: With look down cast and humble i-3olden chere,
97: Lo, the alderfirste word that hym asterte
98: Was twyes, "mercy, mercy, swete herte."

99: And stynte a while, and whan he myghte out brynge,
100: The nexte word was, "god woot, for I haue,
101: As ferforthly as I haue had konnynge,
102: Ben 3oures al, god so my soule saue,
103: And shal, til that I, woful wight, be graue;
104: And though I dar ne kan vnto 3ow pleyne,
105: I-wis, I suffre nought the lasse peyne.
-254-



106: "Thus muche as now, O wommanliche wif,
107: I may out brynge, and if this 3ow displese,
108: That shal I wreke vp-on myn owen lif
109: Right soone, I trowe, and do 3oure herte an ese,
110: If with my deth 3oure wreththe may apese.
111: But syn that 3e han herd me somwhat seye
112: Now recche I neuere now soone that I deye.

113: Ther-with his manly sorwe to biholde,
114: It myghte han made an herte of stoon to rewe,
115: And Pandare wep as he to water wolde,
116: And poked euere his Nece new and newe,
117: And seyde, "wo bygon ben hertes trewe;
118: ffor loue of god, make of this thinge an ende,
119: Or sle vs both at ones, er 3e wende."

120: "I, what?' quod she, "by god and by my trouthe,
121: I not nat what 3e wilne that I seye."
122: "I, what?" quod he, "that 3e han on hym routhe,
123: ffor goddes loue, and doth him nought to deye."
124: "Now thanne thus," quod she, "I wolde hym preye
125: To telle me the fyn of his entente;
126: 3et wist I neuere wel what that he mente."

127: "What that I mene, O swete herte deere?"
128: Quod Troilus, "O goodly fresshe free,
129: That with the stremes of 3oure eyen cleere
130: 3e wolde som-tyme frendly on me see,
131: And thanne agreen that I may ben he,
132: With-outen braunche of vice on any wise,
133: In trouthe alwey to don 3ow my seruise,

134: "As to my lady right and chief resorte,
135: With al my wit and al my diligence;
136: And I to han, right as 3ow list, comforte,
137: Under yowre yerde egal to myn offence,
138: As deth, if that I breke 3oure defence;
139: And that 3e deigne me so muche honoure
140: Me to comanden aught in any houre;

141: "And I to ben 3oure verray, humble, trewe,
142: Secret, and in myn paynes pacient,
143: And euere mo desiren fresshly newe
144: To serue and ben ay ylike diligent,
145: And with good herte al holly 3oure talent
146: Receyuen wel, how sore that me smerte --
147: Lo, this mene I, myn owen swete herte."
-256-



148: Quod Pandarus, "lo, here an hard requeste,
149: And resonable, a lady forto werne!
150: Now Nece myn, by natal Ioues feste,
151: Were I a god 3e sholden sterue as 3erne,
152: That heren wel this man wol no thing 3erne
153: But 3oure honour, and sen hym al-most sterue,
154: And ben so loth to suffren hym 3ow serue."

155: With that she gan hire eyen on hym caste
156: fful esily and ful debonairly,
157: Auysyng hire, and hied nought to faste
158: With neuere a word but seyde hym softely,
159: "Myn honour sauf, I wol wel trewly,
160: And in swich forme as he gan now deuyse,
161: Receyuen hym fully to my seruyse,

162: "Bysechyng hym for goddes loue, that he
163: Wolde in honour of trouthe and gentilesse,
164: As I wel mene, ek menen wel to me,
165: And myn honour with wit and bisynesse
166: Ay kepe, and if I may don hym gladnesse,
167: ffrom hennes-forth, i-wys, I nyl nought feyne.
168: Now beth al hool, no lenger 3e ne pleyne.

169: "But natheles, this warne I 3ow," quod she,
170: "A kynges sone al-though 3e be, ywys,
171: 3e shal namore han souereignete
172: Of me in loue than right in that cas is;
173: Ny nyl forbere, if that 3e don amys,
174: To wratthe 3ow, and whil that 3e me serue,
175: Chericen 3ow right after 3e disserue.

176: "And shortly, deere herte and al my knyght,
177: Beth glad and draweth 3ow to lustinesse,
178: And I shal trewely with al my myght
179: 3oure bittre tornen al in-to swetenesse;
180: If I be she that may 3ow do gladnesse,
181: ffor euery wo 3e shal recouere a blisse."
182: And hym in armes took and gan hym kisse.

183: ffil Pandarus on knees and vp his eyen
184: To heuen threw and held hise hondes highe,
185: "Immortal god," quod he, "that mayst nought deyen,
186: Cupide I mene, of this mayst glorifie;
187: And Venus, thow mayst maken melodie;
188: With-outen hond me semeth that in towne
189: ffor this merueille ich here ech belle sowne.
-258-



190: "But ho, namore as now of this matere;
191: ffor whi this folk wol comen vp anon,
192: That han the lettre red -- lo, I hem here;
193: But I coniure the, Criseyde, and oon,
194: And two, thow Troilus, whan thow mayst goon,
195: That at myn hous 3e ben at my warnyng,
196: ffor I ful well shal shape 3oure comyng;

197: "And eseth there 3oure hertes right ynough;
198: And lat se which of 3ow shal bere the belle
199: To speke of loue aright," -- therwith he lough --
200: "ffor ther haue 3e a leiser forto telle."
201: Quod Troilus, "how longe shalle I dwelle,
202: Er this be don?" Quod he, "whan thow mayst ryse,
203: This thyng shal be right as I 3ow deuyse."

204: With that Eleyne and also Deiphebus
205: Tho comen vpward, right at the steires ende;
206: And lord, so thanne gan gronen Troilus,
207: His brother and his suster forto blende.
208: Quod Pandarus, "it tyme is that we wende;
209: Tak, Nece myn, 3oure leue at alle thre,
210: And lat hem speke and cometh forth with me."

211: She took hire leue at hem ful thriftily,
212: As she wel koude, and they hire reuerence
213: Unto the fulle diden hardyly,
214: And wonder wel speken in hire absence
215: Of hire in preysing of hire excellence --
216: Hire gouernaunce, hire wit, and hire manere
217: Comendeden, it ioie was to here.

218: Now lat hire wende vnto hire owen place,
219: And torne we to Troilus a3ein,
220: That gan ful lightly of the lettre pace,
221: That Deiphebus hadde in the gardyn seyn;
222: And of Eleyne and hym he wolde feyn
223: Deliuered ben, and seyde that hym leste
224: To slepe and after tales haue reste.

225: Eleyne hym kiste and took hire leue blyue,
226: Deiphebus ek, and hom wente euery wight;
227: And Pandarus, as faste as he may dryue,
228: To Troilus tho com as lyne right;

229: And on a paillet al that glade nyght
230: By Troilus he lay with mery chere
231: To tale, and wel was hem they were yfeere.
-260-



232: Whan euery wight was voided but they two,
233: And alle the dores weren faste yshette,
234: To telle in short with-outen wordes mo,
235: This Pandarus with-outen any lette
236: Up roos and on his beddes syde hym sette,
237: And gan to speken in a sobre wyse
238: To Troilus, as I shal 3ow deuyse.

239: "Myn alderleuest lord and brother deere,
240: God woot, and thow, that it sat me so soore,
241: Whan I the saugh so langwisshyng to-3ere
242: ffor loue, of which thi wo wax alwey moore,
243: That I, with al my myght and al my loore
244: Haue euere sithen don my bisynesse
245: To brynge the to ioye out of distresse;

246: "And haue it brought to swich plit as thow wooste,
247: So that thorugh me thow stondest now in weye
248: To faren wel -- I sey it for no boste,
249: And wostow whi? for shame it is to seye:
250: ffor =e haue I bigonne a gamen pleye
251: Which that I neuere do shal eft for other,
252: Al-though he were a thousand fold my brother.

253: "That is to seye, for the am I bicomen,
254: Bitwixen game and ernest, swich a meene
255: As maken wommen vn-to men to comen --
256: Al sey I nought, thow wost wel what I meene:
257: ffor the haue I my Nece, of vices cleene,
258: So fully maad thi gentilesse triste,
259: That al shal ben right as thi seluen liste.

260: "But god, that al woot, take I to witnesse,
261: That neuere I this for coueitise wroughte,
262: But oonly for tabregge that distresse,
263: ffor which wel neigh thow deidest, as me thoughte.
264: But goode brother, do now as the oughte,
265: ffor goddes loue, and kepe hire out of blame,
266: Syn thow art wys, and saue alwey hire name.
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267: "ffor wel thow woost, the name as 3et of here
268: Among the peeple, as who seyth, halwed is;
269: ffor that man is vnbore, I dar wel swere,
270: That euere wiste that she dide amys.
271: But wo is me that I, that cause al this,
272: May thynken that she is my Nece deere,
273: And I hire em and traitour ek y-feere.

274: "And were it wist that I, thorugh myn engyn,
275: Hadde in my Nece yput this fantasie,
276: To doon thi lust and holly to ben thyn,
277: Whi, al the world vpon it wolde crie,
278: And seyn that I the werste trecherie
279: Dide in this cas that euere was bigonne,
280: And she forlost, and thow right nought y-wonne.

281: "Wher-fore, er I wol ferther gon a pas,
282: The preye ich eft, althogh thow shuldest deye,
283: That priuete go with vs in this cas --
284: That is to seyn, that thow vs neuere wreye;
285: And be nought wroth though I the ofte preye
286: To holden secree swich an heigh matere,
287: ffor skilfull is, thow woost wel, my praiere.

288: "And thynk what wo ther hath bitid er this,
289: ffor makyng of auantes, as men rede;
290: And what meschaunce in this world 3et ther is,
291: ffro day to day, right for that wikked dede;
292: ffor which thise wise clerkes that ben dede
293: Han euere 3et prouerbed to vs 3onge
294: That 'firste vertue is to kepe tonge.'

295: "And nere it that I wilne as now tabregge
296: Diffusioun of speche, I koude al-moost
297: A thousand olde stories the allegge
298: Of wommen lost thorugh fals and foles bost;
299: Prouerbes kanst thi self inowe and woost
300: A3eins that vice for to ben a labbe,
301: Al seyde men soth as often as thei gabbe.
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302: "O tonge, allas, so often here byforne
303: Hath mad ful many a lady bright of hewe
304: Seyd, 'weilaway, the day that I was borne!'
305: And many a maydes sorwe forto newe;
306: And, for the more part, al is vntrewe
307: That men of 3elp, and it were brought to preue --
308: Of kynde non auauntour is to leue.

309: "Auauntour and a lyere, al is on;
310: As thus: I pose a womman graunte me
311: Hire loue and seith that other wol she non,
312: And I am sworn to holden it secree,
313: And after I go telle it two or thre --
314: I-wis, I am auauntour at the leeste,
315: And lyere, for I breke my biheste.

316: "Now loke thanne if they be nought to blame,
317: Swich manere folk -- what shal I klepe hem, what? --
318: That hem auaunte of wommen, and by name,
319: That neuere 3et bihyghte hem this ne that,
320: Ne knewe hem more than myn olde hat.
321: No wonder is, so god me sende hele,
322: Though wommen dreden with vs men to dele.

323: "I sey nought this for no mistrust of 3ow,
324: Ne for no wise men, but for foles nyce,
325: And for the harm that in the werld in now,
326: As wel for folie ofte as for malice;
327: ffor wel woot I in wise folk that vice
328: No womman drat, if she be wel auised;
329: ffor wyse ben by foles harm chastised.

330: "But now to Purpos, leue brother deere,
331: Haue al this thyng that I haue seyd in mynde,
332: And kepe the clos and be now of good cheere,
333: ffor at thi day thow shalt me trewe fynde.
334: I shal thi proces set in swych a kynde,
335: And god to-forn, that it shal the suffise,
336: ffor it shal be right as thow wolt deuyse.

337: "ffor wel I woot, thow menest wel, parde;
338: Ther-fore I dar this fully vndertake.
339: Thow woost ek what thi lady graunted the,
340: And day is set, the chartres vp to make.
341: Haue now good nyght, I may no lenger wake;
342: And bid for me syn thow art now in blysse,
343: That god me sende deth or soone lisse."
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344: Who myghte tellen half the ioie or feste
345: Which that the soule of Troilus tho felte,
346: Heryng theffect of Pandarus byheste?
347: His olde wo, that made his herte swelte,
348: Gan tho for ioie wasten and to-melte,
349: And al the richesse of hise sikes sore
350: At ones fledde, he felte of hem namore.

351: But right so as thise holtes and thise hayis,
352: That han in wynter dede ben and dreye,
353: Reuesten hem in grene whan that May is,
354: Whan euery lusty liketh best to pleye,
355: Right in that selue wise, soth to seye,
356: Wax sodeynliche his herte ful of ioie,
357: That gladder was ther neuere man in Troie.

358: And gan his look on Pandarus vp caste
359: fful sobrely and frendly forto se,
360: And seyde, "frend, in Aperil the laste --
361: As wel thow woost if it remembre the --
362: How neigh the deth for wo thow fownde me,
363: And how thow dedest al thi bisynesse
364: To knowe of me the cause of my destresse.

365: "Thow woost how longe ich it forbar to seye
366: To the that art the man that I best triste;
367: And peril non was it to the bywreye,
368: That wist I wel; but telle me, if the liste,
369: Sith I so loth was that thi self it wiste,
370: How dorst I mo tellen of this matere,
371: That quake now and no wight may vs here?

372: "But natheles, by that god I the swere,
373: That as hym list may al this world gouerne --
374: And if I lye, Achilles with his spere
375: Myn herte cleue, al were my lif eterne,
376: As I am mortal, if I late or 3erne
377: Wolde it be-wreye, or dorst, or sholde konne,
378: ffor al the good that god made vnder sonne --
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379: "That rather dey I wolde and determyne,
380: As thynketh me, now stokked in prisoun,
381: In wrecchidnesse, in filthe, and in vermyne,
382: Caytif to cruel kyng Agamenoun;
383: And this in all the temples of this town,
384: Up-on the goddes alle, I wol the swere
385: To-morwe day, if that it liketh the here.

386: "And that thow hast so muche i-do for me
387: That I ne may it neuere more disserue,
388: This know I wel, al myghte I now for the
389: A thousand tymes on a morwe sterue;
390: I kan namore but that I wol the serue
391: Right as thi sclaue, whider so thow wende,
392: ffor euere more vn-to my lyues ende.

393: "But here, with al myn herte, I the biseche,
394: That neuere in me thow deme swich folie
395: As I shal seyn: me thoughte by thi speche
396: That this, which thow me dost for compaignie,
397: I sholde wene it were a bauderye --
398: I am nought wood, al if I lewed be;
399: It is nought so, that woot I wel, parde.

400: "But he that gooth for gold or for ricchesse
401: On swich message, calle hym what the liste;
402: And this that thow doost, calle it gentilesse,
403: Compassioun, and felawship, and triste;
404: Departe it so, for wyde wher is wiste
405: How that ther is diuersite requered
406: Bytwixen thynges lik, as I haue lered.

407: "And that thow knowe I thynke nought, ne wene,
408: That this seruise a shame be or iape,
409: I haue my faire suster, Polixene,
410: Cassandre, Eleyne, or any of the frape;
411: Be she neuere so faire or wel y-shape,
412: Tel me which thow wilt of euerychone,
413: To han for thyn, and lat me thanne allone.

414: "But sith thow hast i-don me this seruyse,
415: My lif to saue, and for non hope of mede,
416: So, for the loue of god, this grete emprise
417: Perfourme it out, for now is moste nede;
418: ffor heigh and lough, with-owten any drede,
419: I wol alwey thyn hestes alle kepe;
420: Haue now good nyght, and lat vs bothe slepe."
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421: Thus held hym eche of other wel apayed,
422: That al the world ne myghte it bet amende;
423: And on the morwe, whan they were arayed,
424: Eche to his owen nedes gan entende.
425: But Troilus, though as the fire he brende
426: ffor sharp desire of hope and of plesaunce,
427: He nought forgat his wise gouernaunce.

428: But in hym self with manhod gan restreyne
429: Ech racle dede and ech vnbridled cheere,
430: That alle tho that lyuen, soth to seyne,
431: Ne sholde han wist, by word or by manere,
432: What that he mente as touchyng this matere:
433: ffrom euery wight as fer as is the cloude
434: He was, so wel dissimulen he koude.

435: And al the while which that I 3ow deuyse,
436: This was his lif: with all his fulle myght
437: By day he was in Martes heigh seruyse --
438: This is to seyn in armes as a knyght;
439: And for the more part, the longe nyght
440: He lay and thoughte how that he myghte serue
441: His lady best, hire thonk forto disserue.

442: Nil I naught swere, al-though he lay ful softe,
443: That in his thought he nas somwhat disesed,
444: Ne that he torned on his pilwes ofte,
445: And wold of that hym missed han ben sesed.
446: But in swich cas men ben nought alwey plesed,
447: ffor aught I woot, namore than was he;
448: That kan I deme of possibilitee.

449: But certeyn is, to purpos for to go,
450: That in this while, as writen is in geeste,
451: He say his lady som tyme and also
452: She with hym spak whan that she dorst or leste;
453: And by hire both auys as was the beste
454: Apoynteden full warly in this nede,
455: So as they durste, how they wolde procede.

456: But it was spoken in so short a wise,
457: In swich a-wait alwey and in swich feere,
458: Lest any wight deuynen or deuyse
459: Wold of hem two or to it laye an ere,
460: That al this world so leef to hem ne were
461: As that Cupide wolde hem grace sende
462: To maken of hire speche aright an ende.
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463: But thilke litel that they spake or wroughte,
464: Hise wise goost took ay of al swych heede,
465: It semed hire he wiste what she thoughte
466: With-outen word, so that it was no nede
467: To bidde hym ought to doon or ought for-beede;
468: ffor which hir thought that loue, al come it late,
469: Of alle ioie hadde opned hire the 3ate.

470: And shortly of this proces forto pace,
471: So wel his werk and wordes he bisette.
472: That he so ful stood in his lady grace,
473: That twenty thousand tymes, er she lette,
474: She thonked god that euere she with hym mette;
475: So koude he hym gouerne in swich seruyse,
476: That al the world ne myght it bet deuyse.

477: ffor whi she fond hym so discret in al,
478: So secret, and of swich obeisaunce,
479: That wel she felte he was to hire a wal
480: Of stiel and sheld from euery displesaunce;
481: That to ben in his goode gouernaunce,
482: So wis he was, she was namore afered --
483: I mene as fer as oughte ben requered.

484: And Pandarus, to quike alwey the fire,
485: Was euere y-like prest and diligent;
486: To ese his frend was set al his desire.
487: He shof ay on, he to and fro was sent,
488: He lettres bar whan Troilus was absent,
489: That neuere man, as in his frendes nede,
490: Ne bar hym bet than he with-outen drede.

491: But now, parauntour, som man wayten wolde
492: That euery word, or soonde, or look, or cheere
493: Of Troilus that I rehercen sholde,
494: In al this while vnto his lady deere:
495: I trowe it were a long thyng forto here,
496: Or of what wight that stant in swich disioynte,
497: Hise wordes alle, or euery look, to poynte.

498: ffor sothe I haue naught herd it don er this
499: In story non, ne no man here, I wene;
500: And though I wolde, I koude nought, y-wys;
501: ffor ther was som epistel hem bitwene,
502: That wolde, as seyth myn auctour, wel contene
503: Neigh half this book, of which hym liste nought write;
504: How sholde I thanne a lyne of it endite?
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505: But to the grete effect: than sey I thus,
506: That stondyng in concord and in quiete
507: Thise ilke two, Criseyde and Troilus,
508: As I haue told, and in this tyme swete --
509: Saue only often myghte they nought mete,
510: Ne leiser haue hire speches to fulfelle --
511: That it bifel right as I shal 3ow telle,

512: That Pandarus, that euere dide his myght
513: Right for the fyn that I shal speke of here,
514: As forto bryngen to his hows som nyght
515: His faire Nece and Troilus yfere,
516: Wher-as at leiser al this heighe matere,
517: Touchyng here loue, were at the fulle vp-bounde,
518: Hadde out of doute a tyme to it founde.

519: ffor he with gret deliberacioun
520: Hadde euery thyng that herto myght auaille
521: fforncast and put in execucioun,
522: And neither left for cost ne for trauaille;
523: Come if hem list, hem sholde no thyng faille;
524: And forto ben in ought aspied there,
525: That wiste he wel an impossible were.

526: Dredeles it clere was in the wynde
527: Of euery pie and euery lette-game;
528: Now al is wel, for al the world is blynde
529: In this matere, bothe fremed and tame.
530: This tymbur is al redy vp to frame;
531: Us lakketh nought but that we witen wolde
532: A certeyn houre in which she comen sholde.

533: And Troilus, that al this purueiaunce
534: Knew at the fulle and waited on it ay,
535: Hadde here vpon ek mad gret ordinaunce,
536: And found his cause, and therto al the aray,
537: If that he were missed, nyght or day,
538: Ther while he was aboute this seruyse,
539: That he was gon to don his sacrifise,

540: And moste at swich a temple allone wake,
541: Answered of Apollo forto be,
542: And first to sen the holy laurer quake
543: Er that Apollo spak out of the tree
544: To telle hym next whan Grekes sholde flee --
545: And forthy lette hym no man, god forbede,
546: But prey Apollo helpen in this nede.
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547: Now is ther litel more forto doone,
548: But Pandare vp and, shortly forto seyne,
549: Right sone vp-on the chaungynge of the moone,
550: Whan lightles is the world a nyght or tweyne,
551: And that the wolken shop hym forto reyne,
552: He streght o morwe vn-to his Nece wente --
553: 3e han wel herd the fyn of his entente.

554: Whan he was come, he gan anon to pleye
555: As he was wont, and of hym self to iape;
556: And finaly he swor and gan hire seye,
557: By this and that, she sholde hym nought escape,
558: Ne lenger don hym after hire to cape;
559: But certeynly she moste, by hire leue,
560: Come soupen in his hous with hym at eue.

561: At which she lough and gan hire faste excuse,
562: And seyde, "it reyneth, lo, how sholde I gon?"
563: "Lat be," quod he, "ne stant nought thus to muse;
564: This moot be don, 3e shal be ther anon."
565: So at the laste herof they fille aton,
566: Or elles, softe he swor hire in hire ere,
567: He nolde neuere comen ther she were.

568: Soone after this she to hym gan to rowne,
569: And axed hym if Troilus were there.
570: He swor hire nay, for he was out of towne,
571: And seyde, "Nece, I pose that he were,
572: 3ow thurste neuere han the more fere;
573: ffor rather than men myghte hym ther aspie,
574: Me were leuere a thousand fold to dye."

575: Nought list myn auctour fully to declare
576: What that she thoughte whan he seyde so,
577: That Troilus was out of towne y-fare,
578: As if he seyde ther-of soth or no;
579: But that, with-owten await, with hym to go
580: She graunted hym, sith he hire that bisoughte,
581: And as his Nece obeyed as hire oughte.

582: But natheles 3et gan she hym biseche,
583: Al-though with hym to gon it was no fere,
584: ffor to ben war of goosissh poeples speche,
585: That dremen thynges which that neuere were,
586: And wel auyse hym whom he broughte there;
587: And seyde hym, "Em, syn I most on 3ow triste,
588: Loke al be wel and do now as 3ow liste."
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589: He swor hire 3es, by stokkes and by stones,
590: And by the goddes that in heuene dwelle,
591: Or elles were hym leuere, soule and bones,
592: With Pluto kyng as depe ben in helle
593: As Tantalus -- what sholde I more telle?
594: Whan al was wel, he roos and took his leue;
595: And she to soper com whan it was eue.

596: With a certein of hire owen men,
597: And with hire faire nece Antigone,
598: And other of hire wommen nyne or ten;
599: But who was glad now, who, as trowe 3e,
600: But Troilus, that stood and myght it se
601: Thorugh-out a litel wyndow in a stewe,
602: Ther he bishet syn mydnyght was in mewe,

603: Unwist of euery wight but of Pandare?
604: But to the point: now whan that she was come,
605: With alle ioie and alle frendes fare,
606: Hire Em anon in armes hath hire nome,
607: And after to the soper, alle and some,
608: Whan tyme was, ful softe they hem sette --
609: God woot, ther was no deynte forto fette.

610: And after soper gonnen they to rise,
611: At ese wel, with hertes fresshe and glade,
612: And wel was hym that koude best deuyse
613: To liken hire or that hire laughen made:
614: He song; she pleyde; he tolde tale of Wade.
615: But at the laste, as euery thyng hath ende,
616: She took hire leue and nedes wolde wende.

617: But O fortune, executrice of wyerdes,
618: O influences of thise heuenes hye,
619: Soth is that vnder god 3e ben oure hierdes,
620: Though to vs bestes ben the causes wrie.
621: This mene I now, for she gan homward hye,
622: But execut was al bisyde hire leue
623: The goddes wil, for which she moste bleue.
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624: The bente moone with hire hornes pale,
625: Saturne, and loue in Cancro ioyned were,
626: That swych a reyn from heuen gan auale,
627: That euery maner womman that was there
628: Hadde of that smoky reyn a verray feere;
629: At which Pandare tho lough and seyde thenne,
630: "Now were it tyme a lady to gon henne!"

631: "But goode Nece, if I myghte euere plese
632: 3ow any thyng, than prey ich 3ow," quod he,
633: "To don myn herte as now so grete an ese
634: As forto dwelle here al this nyght with me,
635: ffor whi this is 3oure owen hous, parde.
636: ffor by my trouthe, I sey it nought a-game,
637: To wende as now, it were to me a shame."

638: Criseyde, which that koude as muche good
639: As half a world, took hede of his preiere;
640: And syn it ron and al was on a flod,
641: She thoughte, "as good chep may I dwellen here,
642: And graunte it gladly with a frendes chere,
643: And haue a thonk, as grucche and thanne a-bide --
644: ffor hom to gon, it may nought wel bitide."

645: "I wol," quod she, "myn vncle lief and deere,
646: Syn that 3ow list, it skile is to be so;
647: I am right glad with 3ow to dwellen here;
648: I seyde but a game I wolde go."
649: "I-wys, graunt mercy, Nece," quod he tho,
650: "Were it a game or no, soth forto telle,
651: Now am I glad, syn that 3ow list to dwelle."

652: Thus al is wel; but tho bigan aright
653: The newe ioie and al the feste agayn;
654: But Pandarus, if goodly hadde he myght,
655: He wolde han hyed hire to bedde fayn,
656: And seyde, "lord, this is an huge rayn!
657: This were a weder for to slepen inne --
658: And that I rede vs soone to bygynne.

659: "And Nece, woot 3e wher I wol 3ow leye,
660: ffor that we shul nat liggen far a-sonder,
661: And for 3e neither shullen, dar I seye,
662: Heren noyse of reynes nor of thonder?
663: By god, right in my litel closet 3onder.
664: And I wol in that outer hous allone
665: Be wardein of 3oure wommen euerichone.
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666: "And in this myddel chambre that 3e se
667: Shal 3oure wommen slepen wel and softe;
668: And there I seyde shal 3oure seluen be;
669: And if 3e liggen wel to-nyght, com ofte,
670: And careth nought what weder is a-lofte.
671: The wyn anon, and whan so that 3ow leste,
672: So go we slepe, I trowe it be the beste."

673: Ther nys no more, but here-after soone,
674: The voide dronke, and trauers drawe anon,
675: Gan euery wight that hadde nought to done
676: More in the place out of the chaumbre gon;
677: And euere mo so sterneliche it ron,
678: And blew ther-with so wondirliche loude,
679: That wel neigh no man heren other koude.

680: Tho Pandarus, hire Em, right as hym oughte,
681: With wommen swiche as were hire most aboute,
682: fful glad vnto hire beddes syde hire broughte,
683: And took his leue and gan ful lowe loute,
684: And seyde, "here at this closet dore with-oute,
685: Right ouere-thwart, 3oure wommen liggen alle,
686: That whom 3ow list of hem 3e may hire calle."

687: So whan that she was in the closet leyde,
688: And alle hire wommen forth by ordinaunce
689: Abedde weren, ther as I haue seyde,
690: Ther was nomore to skippen nor to traunce,
691: But boden go to bedde, with meschaunce,
692: If any wight was steryng any where,
693: And lat hem slepen that a-bedde were.

694: But Pandarus that wel koude ech a deel
695: The olde daunce and euery point ther-inne,
696: Whan that he sey that alle thyng was wel,
697: He thought he wolde vp-on his werk bigynne,
698: And gan the stuwe doore al softe vnpynne,
699: And stille as stoon, with-outen lenger lette,
700: By Troilus a-down right he hym sette.

701: And shortly to the point right forto gon,
702: Of al this werk he tolde hym word and ende,
703: And seyde, "make the redy right anon,
704: ffor thow shalt in-to heuene blisse wende."
705: "Now blisful Venus, thow me grace sende,"
706: Quod Troilus, "for neuere 3et no nede
707: Hadde ich er now, ne haluendel the drede."
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708: Quod Pandarus, "ne drede the neuere a deel,
709: ffor it shal be right as thow wolt desire;
710: So thryue I, this nyght shal I make it weel,
711: Or casten al the gruwel in the fire."
712: "3et, blisful Venus, this nyght thow me enspire,"
713: Quod Troilus, "as wys as I the serue,
714: And euere bet and bet shal til I sterue.

715: "And if ich hadde, O Venus ful of myrthe,
716: Aspectes badde of Mars or of Saturne,
717: Or thow combust or let were in my birthe,
718: Thy fader prey al thilke harm disturne
719: Of grace and that I glad a3ein may turne,
720: ffor loue of hym thow louedest in the shawe --
721: I meene Adoun, that with the boor was slawe.

722: "O Ioue ek, for the loue of faire Europe,
723: The which in forme of bole awey thow fette,
724: Now help; O Mars, thow with thi blody cope,
725: ffor loue of Cipres, thow me nought ne lette;
726: O Phebus, thynk whan Dane hire seluen shette
727: Under the bark and laurer wax for drede,
728: 3et for hire loue, O help now at this nede.

729: "Mercurie, for the loue of Hierse eke,
730: ffor which Pallas was with Aglawros wroth,
731: Now helpe, and ek Diane, I the biseke,
732: That this viage be nought to the looth;
733: O fatal sustren, which er any cloth
734: Me shapen was, my destine me sponne,
735: So helpeth to this werk that is bygonne."

736: Quod Pandarus, "thow wrecched mouses herte,
737: Artow agast so that she wol the bite?
738: Why, don this furred cloke vp-on thy sherte,
739: And folwe me, for I wol haue the wite;
740: But bide, and lat me gon biforn a lite,"
741: And with that word he gan vndon a trappe,
742: And Troilus he brought in by the lappe.

743: The sterne wynd so loude gan to route,
744: That no wight oother noise myghte heere;
745: And they that layen at the dore with-oute
746: fful sikerly they slepten alle y-fere;
747: And Pandarus with a ful sobre cheere
748: Goth to the dore anon, with-outen lette,
749: Ther as they laye, and softely it shette.
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750: And as he com a3eynward pryuely,
751: His Nece a-wook and axed, "who goth there?"
752: "My dere Nece," quod he, "it am I.
753: Ne wondreth nought, ne haue of it no fere."
754: And ner he com and seyde hire in hire ere,
755: "No word, for loue of god, I 3ow biseche:
756: Lat no wight rise and heren of oure speche."

757: "What, which wey be 3e comen, benedicite?"
758: Quod she, "and how thus vnwist of hem alle?"
759: "Here at this secre trappe dore," quod he.
760: Quod tho Criseyde, "lat me som wight calle."
761: "I, god forbede that it sholde falle,"
762: Quod Pandarus, "that 3e swich folye wrought;
763: They myghte demen thyng they neuere er thought.

764: "It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake,
765: Ne 3eue a wight a cause to deuyne;
766: 3oure wommen slepen alle, I vndertake,
767: So that for hem the hous men myghte myne,
768: And slepen wollen til the sonne shyne;
769: And whan my tale brought is to an ende,
770: Unwist, right as I com, so wol I wende.

771: "Now Nece myn, 3e shul wel vnderstonde,"
772: Quod he, "so as 3e wommen demen alle,
773: That forto holde in loue a man in honde,
774: And hym hire lief and deere herte calle,
775: And maken hym an howue aboue a calle --
776: I meene, as loue another in this while --
777: She doth hire self a shame and hym a gyle.

778: "Now wherby that I telle 3ow al this:
779: 3e woot 3oure self as wel as any wight
780: How that 3oure loue al fully graunted is
781: To Troilus, the worthieste knyght,
782: Oon of this world, and therto trouthe y-plight,
783: That, but it were on hym alonge, 3e nolde
784: Hym neuere falsen while 3e lyuen sholde.

785: "Now stant it thus, that sith I fro 3ow wente,
786: This Troilus, right platly forto seyn,
787: Is thorugh a goter by a pryue wente,
788: In-to my chaumbre come in al this reyn,
789: Unwist of euery manere wight, certeyn,
790: Saue of my self, as wisly haue I ioye,
791: And by that feith I shal Priam of Troie.
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792: "And he is come in swich peyne and distresse
793: That, but he be al fully wood by this,
794: He sodeynly mot falle in-to woodnesse,
795: But if god helpe, and cause whi this is:
796: He seith hym told is of a frend of his,
797: How that 3e sholden louen oon that hatte Horaste,
798: ffor sorwe of which this nyght shal ben his laste."

799: Criseyde, which that all this wonder herde,
800: Gan sodeynly aboute hire herte colde,
801: And with a sik she sorwfully answerde,
802: "Allas, I wende, who-so tales tolde,
803: My deere herte wolde me nought holde
804: So lightly fals -- allas, conceytes wronge,
805: What harm they don! for now lyue I to longe.

806: "Horaste! allas, and falsen Troilus?
807: I knowe hym nowt, god helpe me so," quod she,
808: "Allas, what wikked spirit tolde hym thus?
809: Now certes, Em, to-morwe and I hym se,
810: I shal therof as ful excusen me
811: As euere dide womman, if hym like."
812: And with that word she gan ful soore sike.

813: "O god," quod she, "so worldly selynesse,
814: Which clerkes callen fals felicitee,
815: I-medled is with many a bitternesse!
816: fful angwissous than is, god woot," quod she,
817: "Condicioun of veyn prosperitee;
818: ffor either ioies comen nought yfeere,
819: Or elles no wight hath hem alwey here.

820: "O brotel wele of mannes ioie vnstable!
821: With what wight so thow be or how thow pleye,
822: Either he woot that thow, ioie, art muable,
823: Or woot it nought, it mot ben oon of tweye.
824: Now if he woot it nought, how may he seye
825: That he hath verray ioie and selynesse,
826: That is of ignoraunce ay in derknesse?

827: "Now if he woot that ioie is transitorie,
828: As euery ioye of worldly thyng mot flee,
829: Than euery tyme he that hath in memorie,
830: The drede of lesyng maketh hym that he
831: May in no perfit selynesse be;
832: And if to lese his ioie he sette a myte,
833: Than semeth it that ioie is worth ful lite.
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834: "Wherfore I wol diffyne in this matere,
835: That trewely, for aught I kan espie-
836: Ther is no verray weele in this world heere.
837: But O thow wikked serpent, ialousie,
838: Thow mysbyleued, enuyous folie,
839: Why hastow Troilus made to me vntriste,
840: That neuere 3et agylt hym that I wiste?"

841: Quod Pandarus, "thus fallen is this cas."
842: "Why, Uncle myn," quod she, "who tolde hym this?
843: Why doth my deere herte thus, allas?"
844: "3e woot, 3e, Nece myn," quod he, "what is.
845: I hope al shal be wel that is amys;
846: ffor 3e may quenche al this if that 3ow leste --
847: And doth right so, for I holde it the beste."

848: "So shal I do to-morwe, ywys," quod she,
849: "And god to-forn, so that it shal suffise."
850: "To-morwe? allas, that were a faire," quod he;
851: "Nay, nay, it may nat stonden in this wise.
852: ffor, Nece myn, thus writen clerkes wise,
853: That peril is with drecchyng in y-drawe --
854: Nay, swiche abodes ben nought worth an hawe.

855: "Nece, alle thyng hath tyme, I dar avowe,
856: ffor whan a chaumbre a-fire is, or an halle,
857: Wel more nede is it sodeynly rescowe
858: Than to dispute and axe amonges alle
859: How this candele in the strawe is falle.
860: A, benedicite, for al among that fare
861: The harm is don, and fare-wel feldefare!

862: "And Nece myn, ne take it naught a-grief:
863: If that 3e suffre hym al nyght in this wo,
864: God help me so, 3e hadde hym neuere lief,
865: That dar I seyn now ther is but we two.
866: But wel I woot that 3e wol nat do so --
867: 3e ben to wys to doon so gret folie,
868: To putte his lif al nyght in iupertie."

869: "Hadde I hym neuere lief? by god, I weene
870: 3e hadde neuere thyng so lief," quod she.
871: "Now, by my thrift," quod he, "that shal be seene;
872: ffor syn 3e make this ensaumple of me,
873: If ich al nyght wolde hym in sorwe se,
874: ffor al the tresour in the town of Troie,
875: I bidde god I neuere mote haue ioie.
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876: "Now loke thanne, if 3e that ben his loue
877: Shul putte his lif al night in iupertie
878: ffor thyng of nought, now, by that god aboue,
879: Naught oonly this delay comth of folie,
880: But of malice, if that I shal naught lie.
881: What! platly, and 3e suffre hym in destresse,
882: 3e neyther bounte don ne gentilesse."

883: Quod tho Criseyde, "wol 3e don o thyng,
884: And 3e ther-with shal stynte al his disese?
885: Haue heere and bereth hym this blewe ryng,
886: ffor ther is no thyng myghte hym bettre plese,
887: Saue I my self, ne more his herte a-pese;
888: And sey my deere herte that his sorwe
889: Is causeles, that shal be sen to-morwe."

890: "A ryng?" quod he, "3e, haselwodes shaken!
891: 3e, Nece myn, that ryng moste han a stoon
892: That myghte dede men alyue maken,
893: And swich a ryng trowe I that 3e haue non:
894: Discrecioun out of 3oure hed is gon,
895: That fele I now," quod he, "and that is routhe --
896: O tyme i-lost, wel maistow corsen slouthe!

897: "Woot 3e not wel that noble and heigh corage
898: Ne sorweth nought, ne stynteth ek, for lite?
899: But if a fool were in a ialous rage,
900: I nolde setten at his sorwe a myte,
901: But feffe hym with a fewe wordes white
902: A-nothir day, whan that I myghte hym fynde;
903: But this thyng stant al in another kynde.

904: "This is so gentil and so tendre of herte,
905: That with his deth he wol his sorwes wreke;
906: ffor trusteth wel, how sore that hym smerte,
907: He wol to 3ow no ialous wordes speke.
908: And forthi, Nece, er that his herte breke,
909: So speke 3oure self to hym of this matere --
910: ffor with a word 3e may his herte stere.

911: "Now haue I told what peril he is inne,
912: And his comynge vnwist is to euery wight;
913: Ne, parde, harm may ther be non, ne synne --
914: I wol my self be with 3ow al this nyght.
915: 3e knowe ek how it is 3oure owen knyght,
916: And that bi right 3e moste vp-on hym triste --
917: And I al prest to fecche hym whan 3ow liste."
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918: This accident so pitous was to here,
919: And ek so like a sooth at prime face,
920: And Troilus hire knyght to hir so deere,
921: His priue commyng and the siker place,
922: That though that she did hym as thanne a grace,
923: Considered alle thynges as they stoode,
924: No wonder is, syn she did al for goode.

925: Criseyde answerde, "as wisly god at reste
926: My soule brynge, as me is for hym wo;
927: And Em, i-wis, fayn wolde I don the beste,
928: If that ich hadde grace to do so.
929: But whether that 3e dwelle or for hym go,
930: I am, til god me bettre mynde sende,
931: At dulcarnoun, right at my wittes ende."

932: Quod Pandarus, "3ee, Nece, wol 3e here?
933: Dulcarnoun called is 'flemyng of wrecches.'
934: It semeth hard, for wrecches wol nought lere,
935: ffor verray slouthe or other wilfull tecches.
936: This seyd by hem that ben nought worth two fecches;
937: But 3e ben wis, and that we han on honde
938: Nis neither hard ne skilful to withstonde."

939: "Than Em," quod she, "doth her-of as 3ow liste;
940: But er he come, I wil vp first arise;
941: And, for the loue of god, syn al my triste
942: Is on 3ow two, and 3e ben bothe wise,
943: So werketh now in so discret a wise
944: That I honour may haue and he plesaunce;
945: ffor I am here al in 3oure gouernaunce."

946: "That is wel seyd," quod he, "my Nece deere.
947: Ther good thrift on that wise gentil herte!
948: But liggeth stille and taketh hym right here --
949: It nedeth nought no ferther for hym sterte.
950: And ech of 3ow ese otheres sorwes smerte,
951: ffor loue of god, and Venus I the herye,
952: ffor soone hope I we shul ben alle merye."

953: This Troilus ful soone on knees hym sette
954: fful sobrely, right be hyre beddes hede,
955: And in his beste wyse his lady grette;
956: But lord, so she wex sodeynliche rede!
957: Ne though men sholde smyten of hire hede,
958: She kouthe nought a word a-right out brynge
959: So sodeynly, for his sodeyn comynge.
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960: But Pandarus, that so wel koude feele
961: In euery thyng, to pleye anon bigan,
962: And seyde, "Nece, se how this lord kan knele:
963: Now, for 3oure trouthe, se this gentil man."
964: And with that word he for a quysshen ran,
965: And seyde, "kneleth now, while that 3ow leste,
966: There god 3oure hertes brynge soone at reste."

967: Kan I naught seyn, for she bad hym nought rise,
968: If sorwe it putte out of hire remembraunce,
969: Or elles that she took it in the wise
970: Of dewete, as for his obseruaunce;
971: But wel fynde I she dede hym this plesaunce,
972: That she hym kiste, al-though she siked sore,
973: And bad hym sitte adown with-outen more.

974: Quod Pandarus, "now wol 3e wel bigynne;
975: Now doth hym sitte, goode Nece deere,
976: Up-on 3oure beddes syde al ther with-inne,
977: That eche of 3ow the bet may other heere."
978: And with that word he drow hym to the feere,
979: And took a light and fond his contenaunce,
980: As forto looke vpon an old romaunce.

981: Criseyde, that was Troilus lady right,
982: And clere stood on a grounde of sikernesse,
983: Al thoughte she hire seruant and hire knyght
984: Ne sholde of right non vntrouthe in hire gesse,
985: 3et natheles, considered his distresse,
986: And that loue is in cause of swich folie,
987: Thus to hym spak she of his ialousie:

988: "Lo, herte myn, as wolde the excellence
989: Of loue, a3eins the which that no man may,
990: Ne oughte ek goodly, make resistence,
991: And ek by-cause I felte wel and say
992: 3oure grete trouthe and seruise euery day,
993: And that 3oure herte al myn was, soth to seyne,
994: This drof me forto rewe vp-on 3oure peyne.

995: "And 3oure goodnesse haue I founde alwey 3it,
996: Of which, my deere herte and al my knyght,
997: I thonke it 3ow as fer as I haue wit,
998: Al kan I nought as muche as it were right;
999: And I emforth my connyng and my might
1000: Haue, and ay shal, how sore that me smerte,
1001: Ben to 3ow trewe and hool with al myn herte;
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1002: "And dredeles that shal be founde at preue.
1003: But herte myn, what al this is to seyne
1004: Shal wel be told, so that 3e nought 3ow greue,
1005: Though I to 3ow right on 3oure self compleyne;
1006: ffor therwith mene I fynaly the peyne,
1007: That halt 3oure herte and myn in heuynesse,
1008: ffully to slen and euery wrong redresse.

1009: "My goode myn, noot I for why ne how
1010: That ialousie, allas, that wikked wyuere,
1011: Thus causeles is cropen in-to 3ow,
1012: The harm of which I wolde fayn delyuere.
1013: Allas, that he, al hool or of hym slyuere,
1014: Shuld han his refut in so digne a place --
1015: Ther loue hym sone out of 3oure herte arace!

1016: "But O thow Ioue, O auctour of nature,
1017: Is this an honour to thi deyte,
1018: That folk vngiltif suffren hire iniure,
1019: And who that giltif is al quyt goth he?
1020: O, were it lefull forto pleyn on the,
1021: That vndeserued suffrest ialousie,
1022: Of that I wolde vp-on the pleyne and crie.

1023: "Ek al my wo is this, that folk now vsen
1024: To seyn right thus: '3e, ialousie is loue';
1025: And wolde a busshel venym al excusen,
1026: ffor that o greyn of loue is on it shoue.
1027: But that woot heighe god that sit a-boue,
1028: If it be likkere loue or hate or grame --
1029: And after that it oughte bere his name.

1030: "But certeyn is, som manere ialousie
1031: Is excusable more than som, i-wys,
1032: As whan cause is, and som swich fantasie
1033: With piete so wel repressed is
1034: That it vnnethe doth or seyth amys,
1035: But goodly drynketh vp al his distresse --
1036: And that excuse I for the gentilesse.

1037: "And som so full of furie is and despit
1038: That it sourmounteth his repressioun;
1039: But, herte myn, 3e be nat in that plit,
1040: That thonke I god, for which 3oure passioun
1041: I wol nought calle it but illusioun,
1042: Of habundaunce of loue and besy cure,
1043: That doth 3oure herte this disese endure.
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1044: "Of which I am right sory but nought wrothe;
1045: But, for my deuoir and 3oure hertes reste,
1046: Wher so 3ow list, by ordal or by othe,
1047: By sort, or in what wise so 3ow leste,
1048: ffor loue of god lat preue it for the beste;
1049: And if that I be giltif, do me deye.
1050: Allas, what myght I more don or seye?"

1051: With that a fewe brighte teris newe
1052: Owt of hire eighen fille, and thus she seyde:
1053: "Now god, thow woost, in thought ne dede vntrewe
1054: To Troilus was neuere 3et Criseyde."
1055: With that here heed down in the bed she leyde,
1056: And with the sheete it wreigh and sighte soore,
1057: And held hire pees; nought o word spak she more-

1058: But now help god to quenchen al this sorwe:
1059: So hope I that he shal for he best may;
1060: ffor I haue seyn of a ful misty morwe
1061: ffolowen ful ofte a myrie someris day,
1062: And after wynter foloweth grene May;
1063: Men sen alday, and reden ek in stories,
1064: That after sharpe shoures ben victories.

1065: This Troilus, whan he hire wordes herde,
1066: Haue 3e no care, hym liste nought to slepe;
1067: ffor it thought hym no strokes of a 3erde
1068: To heere or seen Criseyde, his lady, wepe;
1069: But wel he felt aboute his herte crepe
1070: ffor eueri tere which that Criseyde asterte,
1071: The crampe of deth, to streyne hym by the herte.

1072: And in his mynde he gan the tyme acorse
1073: That he com there, and that he was born;
1074: ffor now is wikke torned in-to worse,
1075: And al that labour he hath don by-forn,
1076: He wende it lost, he thought he nas but lorn.
1077: "O Pandarus," thoughte he, "allas, thi wile
1078: Serueth of nought, so weylaway the while."

1079: And therwith-al he heng adown the hede,
1080: And fil on knees, and sorwfully he sighte;
1081: What myghte he seyn? he felte he nas but dede,
1082: ffor wroth was she that sholde hise sorwes lighte.
1083: But natheles, whan that he speken myghte,
1084: Than seyde he thus, "god woot that of this game,
1085: Whan al is wist, than am I nought to blame."
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1086: Ther-with the sorwe so his herte shette
1087: That from his eyen fil ther nought a tere,
1088: And euery spirit his vigour in knette,
1089: So they astoned or oppressed were;
1090: The felyng of his sorwe or of his fere,
1091: Or of aught elles, fled was out of towne,
1092: And down he fel al sodeynly a-swowne.

1093: This was no litel sorwe forto se;
1094: But al was hust, and Pandare vp as faste,
1095: "O Nece, pes, or we be lost," quod he,
1096: "Beth naught agast"; but certeyn, at the laste,
1097: ffor this or that, he in-to bed hym caste,
1098: And seyde, "O thef, is this a mannes herte?"
1099: And of he rente al to his bare sherte,

1100: And seyde, "Nece, but 3e helpe vs now,
1101: Allas, 3oure owen Troilus is lorn."
1102: "I-wis, so wolde I, and I wiste how,
1103: fful fayn," quod she, "allas, that I was born."
1104: "3ee, Nece, wol 3e pullen out the thorn
1105: That stiketh in his herte?" quod Pandare,
1106: "Sey 'al for3eue,' and stynt is al this fare."

1107: "3e, that to me," quod she, "ful leuere were
1108: Than al the good the sonne a-boute gooth."
1109: And therwith-al she swor hym in his ere,
1110: "I-wys, my deere herte, I am nought wroth,
1111: Haue here my trouthe," and many an other oth;
1112: "Now speke to me, for it am I, Criseyde" --
1113: But al for nought; 3it myght he nought a-breyde.

1114: Therwith his pous and paumes of his hondes
1115: They gan to frote, and wete his temples tweyne;
1116: And to deliueren hym fro bittre bondes,
1117: She ofte hym kiste and, shortly forto seyne,
1118: Hym to reuoken she did al hire peyne.
1119: So at the laste, he gan his breth to drawe,
1120: And of his swough sone after that adawe,

1121: And gan bet mynde and reson to hym take,
1122: But wonder soore he was abayst, i-wis;
1123: And with a sik, whan he gan bet a-wake,
1124: He seyde, "O mercy, god, what thyng is this?"
1125: "Why do 3e with 3oure seluen thus amys?"
1126: Quod tho Criseyde, "is this a mannes game?
1127: What, Troilus, wol 3e do thus for shame?"
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1128: And therwith-al hire arme ouere hym she leyde,
1129: And al for3af and ofte tyme hym keste.
1130: He thonked hire and to hire spak and seyde
1131: As fil to purpos for his hertes reste;
1132: And she to that answerde hym as hire leste,
1133: And with hire goodly wordes hym disporte
1134: She gan, and ofte his sorwes to comforte.

1135: Quod Pandarus, "for aught I kan aspien,
1136: This light nor I ne seruen here of nought;
1137: Light is nought good for sike folkes yen;
1138: But for the loue of god, syn 3e ben brought
1139: In thus good plit, lat now no heuy thought
1140: Ben hangyng in the hertes of 3ow tweye" --
1141: And bar the candel to the chymeneye.

1142: Soone after this, though it no nede were,
1143: Whan she swiche othes as hire leste deuyse
1144: Hadde of hym take, hire thoughte tho no fere,
1145: Ne cause ek non, to bidde hym thennes rise.
1146: 3et lasse thyng than othes may suffise
1147: In many a cas; for euery wyght, I gesse,
1148: That loueth wel meneth but gentilesse.

1149: But in effect she wolde wite anon
1150: Of what man, and ek wheer, and also why,
1151: He ialous was, syn ther was cause non,
1152: And ek the sygne that he took it by,
1153: She badde hym that to telle hire bisily;
1154: Or elles, certeyn, she bar hym on honde,
1155: That this was don of malice, hire to fonde.

1156: Withouten more, shortly forto seyne,
1157: He most obeye unto his lady heste;
1158: And for the lasse harm he moste feyne.
1159: He seyde hire, whan she was at swiche a feste,
1160: She myght on hym han loked at the leste --
1161: Noot I nought what, al deere ynough a rysshe,
1162: As he that nedes most a cause fisshe.

1163: And she answerde, "swete, al were it so,
1164: What harm was that, syn I non yvel mene?
1165: ffor, by that god that bought vs bothe two,
1166: In alle thyng is myn entente cleene.
1167: Swiche argumentes ne ben naught worth a beene.
1168: Wol 3e the childissh ialous contrefete?
1169: Now were it worthi that 3e were y-bete."
-308-



1170: Tho Troilus gan sorwfully to sike;
1171: Lest she be wroth hym thoughte his herte deyde,
1172: And seyde, "allas, vp-on my sorwes sike
1173: Haue mercy, swete herte myn, Criseyde.
1174: And if that in tho wordes that I seyde
1175: Be any wrong, I wol nomore trespace.
1176: Doth what 3ow list, I am al in 3oure grace."

1177: And she answerde, "of gilt misericorde --
1178: That is to seyn, that I for3eue al this;
1179: And euere more on this nyght 3ow recorde,
1180: And beth wel war 3e do namore amys."
1181: "Nay, dere herte myn," quod he, "i-wys."
1182: "And now," quod she, "that I haue don 3ow smerte,
1183: ffor-3eue it me, myn owene swete herte."

1184: This Troilus, with blisse of that supprised,
1185: Putte al in goddes hand, as he that mente
1186: No thing but wel, and sodeynly auysed,
1187: He hire in armes faste to hym hente.
1188: And Pandarus with a ful good entente
1189: Leyde hym to slepe and seyde, "if 3e be wise,
1190: Swouneth nought now, lest more folk arise."

1191: What myghte or may the sely larke seye,
1192: Whan that the sperhauk hath it in his foot?
1193: I kan namore, but of thise ilke tweye --
1194: To whom this tale sucre be or soot --
1195: Though that I tarie a 3er, som tyme I moot,
1196: After myn auctour, tellen hire gladnesse,
1197: As wel as I haue told hire heuynesse.

1198: Criseyde, which that felte hire thus i-take --
1199: As writen clerkes in hire bokes olde --
1200: Right as an aspes leef she gan to quake,
1201: Whan she hym felte hire in his armes folde.
1202: But Troilus, all hool of cares colde,
1203: Gan thanken tho the blisful goddes seuene:
1204: Thus sondry peynes bryngen folk to heuene.

1205: This Troilus in armes gan hire streyne,
1206: And seyde,"O swete, as euere mot I gon,
1207: Now be 3e kaught, now is ther but we tweyne,
1208: Now 3eldeth 3ow, for other bote is non."
1209: To that Criseyde answerde thus anon,
1210: "Ne hadde I er now, my swete herte deere,
1211: Ben 3olde, i-wis, I were now nought heere."
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1212: O sooth is seyd, that heled forto be,
1213: As of a fevre or other gret siknesse,
1214: Men moste drynke, as men may ofte se,
1215: fful bittre drynke; and forto han gladnesse,
1216: Men drynken ofte peyne and gret distresse --
1217: I mene it here as for this auenture,
1218: That thorugh a peyne hath founden al his cure.

1219: And now swetnesse semeth more swete,
1220: That bitternesse assaied was byforn;
1221: ffor out of wo in blisse now they flete,
1222: Non swich they felten syn they were born.
1223: Now is this bet than bothe two be lorn:
1224: ffor loue of god, take euery woman heede
1225: To werken thus, if it comth to the neede.

1226: Criseyde, al quyt from euery drede and tene,
1227: As she that iuste cause hadde hym to triste,
1228: Made hym swich feste it ioye was to seene,
1229: Whan she his trouthe and clene entente wiste;
1230: And as aboute a tree with many a twiste
1231: Bytrent and writhe the swote wodebynde,
1232: Gan ech of hem in armes other wynde.

1233: And as the newe abaysed nyghtyngale,
1234: That stynteth first whan she bygynneth to synge,
1235: Whan that she hereth any herde tale,
1236: Or in the hegges any wyght stirynge,
1237: And after siker doth hire vois out rynge,
1238: Right so Criseyde, whan hire drede stente,
1239: Opned hire herte and tolde hym hire entente.

1240: And right as he that seth his deth y-shapen,
1241: And dyen mot in ought that he may gesse,
1242: And sodeynly rescous doth hym escapen,
1243: And from his deth is brought in sykernesse,
1244: ffor al this world, in swych present gladnesse,
1245: Was Troilus, and hath his lady swete:
1246: With worse hap god lat vs neuere mete.

1247: Hire armes smale, hire streghte bak and softe,
1248: Hire sydes longe, flesshly, smothe, and white
1249: He gan to stroke, and good thrift bad ful ofte
1250: Hire snowissh throte, hire brestes rounde and lite;
1251: Thus in this heuene he gan hym to delite,
1252: And ther-with-al a thousand tyme hire kiste,
1253: That what to don for ioie vnnethe he wiste.
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1254: Than seyde he thus, "O Loue, O Charite,
1255: Thi moder ek, Citheria the swete,
1256: After thi self next heried be she --
1257: Venus mene I, the wel-willy planete;
1258: And next that, Imeneus, I the grete:
1259: ffor neuere man was to 3ow goddes holde
1260: As I, which 3e han brought fro cares colde.

1261: "Benigne loue, thow holy bond of thynges,
1262: Who-so wol grace and list the nought honouren,
1263: Lo, his desire wol fle with-outen wynges;
1264: ffor noldestow of bownte hem socouren
1265: That seruen best, and most alwey labouren,
1266: 3et were al lost, that dar I wel seyn certes,
1267: But if thi grace passed oure desertes.

1268: "And for thow me, that koude leest disserue
1269: Of hem that noumbred ben vn-to thi grace,
1270: Hast holpen, ther I likly was to sterue,
1271: And me bistowed in so heigh a place
1272: That thilke boundes may no blisse pace,
1273: I kan namore, but laude and reuerence
1274: Be to thy bounte and thyn excellence."

1275: And therwith-al Criseyde anon he kiste,
1276: Of which certein she felte no disese;
1277: And thus seyde he, "now wolde god I wiste,
1278: Myn herte swete, how I 3ow myghte plese.
1279: What man," quod he, "was euere thus at ese
1280: As I, on which the faireste and the beste
1281: That euere I say deyneth hire herte reste?

1282: "Here may men seen that mercy passeth right;
1283: Thexperience of this is felt in me,
1284: That am vnworthi to so swete a wight.
1285: But, herte myn, of 3oure benignite,
1286: So thynketh, though that I vnworthi be,
1287: 3et mot I nede amenden in som wyse,
1288: Right thorugh the vertue of 3oure heigh seruyse.

1289: "And for the loue of god, my lady deere,
1290: Syn god hath wrought me for I shall 3ow serue --
1291: As thus I mene, he wol 3e be my steere,
1292: To do me lyue, if that 3ow liste, or sterue --
1293: So techeth me how that I may disserue
1294: 3oure thonk, so that I thorugh myn ignoraunce
1295: Ne do no thyng that 3ow be displesaunce.
-314-



1296: "ffor certes, fresshe wommanliche wif,
1297: This dar I seye, that trouth and diligence,
1298: That shal 3e fynden in me al my lif;
1299: Ny wol nat, certein, breken 3oure defence;
1300: And if I do, present or in absence,
1301: ffor loue of god, lat sle me with the dede,
1302: If that it like vnto 3oure wommanhede."

1303: "I-wys," quod she, "myn owen hertes list,
1304: My ground of ese, and al myn herte deere,
1305: Gramercy, for on that is al my trist;
1306: But lat vs falle awey fro this matere,
1307: ffor it suffiseth this that seyd is heere,
1308: And at o word, with-outen repentaunce,
1309: Welcome my knyght, my pees, my suffisaunce."

1310: Of hire delit or ioies oon the leeste
1311: Were impossible to my wit to seye;
1312: But iuggeth 3e that han ben at the feste
1313: Of swich gladnesse, if that hem liste pleye.
1314: I kan namore, but thus thise ilke tweye
1315: That nyght bitwixen drede and sikernesse
1316: ffelten in loue the grete worthynesse.

1317: O blisful nyght of hem so longe i-soughte,
1318: How blithe vnto hem bothe two thow weere!
1319: Why nad I swich oon with my soule y-boughte,
1320: 3e, or the leeste ioie that was theere?
1321: Awey, thow foule daunger and thow feere,
1322: And lat hem in this heuene blisse dwelle,
1323: That is so heigh that al ne kan I telle.

1324: But sooth is, though I kan nat tellen all,
1325: As kan myn auctour of his excellence,
1326: 3et haue I seyd, and god to-forn, and shal
1327: In euery thyng al holly his sentence;
1328: And if that ich, at loues reuerence,
1329: Haue eny word in-eched for the beste,
1330: Doth therwith-al right as 3oure seluen leste.

1331: ffor myne wordes, heere and euery parte,
1332: I speke hem alle vnder correccioun
1333: Of 3ow that felyng han in loues arte,
1334: And putte it al in 3oure discrecioun
1335: To encresse or maken dymynucioun
1336: Of my langage, and that I 3ow biseche --
1337: But now to purpos of my rather speche.
-316-



1338: Thise ilke two, that ben in armes lafte,
1339: So loth to hem a-sonder gon it were,
1340: That ech from other wenden ben birafte,
1341: Or elles, lo, this was hir mooste feere:
1342: That al this thyng but nyce dremes were;
1343: ffor which ful ofte ech of hem seyde, "O swete,
1344: Clippe ich 3ow thus or elles I it meete?"

1345: And lord, so he gan goodly on hire se,
1346: That neuere his look ne bleynte from hire face,
1347: And seyde, "O deere herte, may it be
1348: That it be soth, that 3e ben in this place?"
1349: "3ee, herte myn, god thank I of his grace,"
1350: Quod tho Criseyde, and ther-with-al hym kiste,
1351: That where his spirit was for ioie he nyste.

1352: This Troilus ful ofte hire eyen two
1353: Gan forto kisse and seyde, "O eyen clere,
1354: It weren 3e that wroughte me swich wo,
1355: 3e humble nettes of my lady deere.
1356: Though ther be mercy writen in 3oure cheere,
1357: God woot the text ful hard is, soth, to fynde;
1358: How koude 3e with-outen bond me bynde?"

1359: Therwith he gan hire faste in armes take,
1360: And wel a thousand tymes gan he syke,
1361: Naught swiche sorwfull sikes as men make
1362: ffor wo, or elles when that folk ben sike,
1363: But esy sykes, swiche as ben to like,
1364: That shewed his affeccioun with-inne;
1365: Of swiche sikes koude he nought blynne.

1366: Soone after this they spake of sondry thynges,
1367: As fel to purpos of this auenture,
1368: And pleyinge entrechaungeden hire rynges,
1369: Of whiche I kan nought tellen no scripture;
1370: But wel I woot a broche, gold and asure,
1371: In which a rubye set was lik an herte
1372: Criseyde hym 3af, and stak it on his sherte.
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1373: Lord, trowe 3e a coueytous or a wrecche,
1374: That blameth loue and halt of it despite,
1375: That of tho pens that he kan mokre and cretche,
1376: Was euere 3it y-3euen hym swich delite,
1377: As is in loue, in o poynt, in som plite?
1378: Nay, douteles, for also god me saue,
1379: So perfit ioie may no nygard haue.

1380: They wol seyn "3is," but lord, so that they lye,
1381: Tho besy wrecches, ful of wo and drede!
1382: Thei callen loue a woodnesse or folie;
1383: But it shall falle hem as I shal 3ow rede:
1384: They shal forgon the white and ek the rede,
1385: And lyue in wo, ther god 3eue hem meschaunce,
1386: And euery louere in his trouthe auaunce.

1387: As wolde god tho wrecches that dispise
1388: Seruise of loue hadde erys also longe
1389: As hadde Mida, ful of coueytise,
1390: And therto dronken hadde as hoot and stronge
1391: As Crassus didde for his affectis wronge,
1392: To techen hem that they ben in the vice,
1393: And loueres nought, al-though they holde hem nyce.

1394: Thise ilke two of whom that I 3ow seye,
1395: Whan that hire hertes wel assured were,
1396: Tho gonne they to speken and to pleye,
1397: And ek rehercen how and whan and where
1398: Thei knewe hem first, and euery wo or feere
1399: That passed was; but al swich heuynesse,
1400: I thank it god, was torned to gladnesse.

1401: And euere mo when that hem fel to speke
1402: Of any wo of swich a tyme agoon,
1403: With kissyng al that tale sholde breke
1404: And fallen in a newe ioye anoon,
1405: And diden al hire myght, syn they were oon,
1406: ffor to recoueren blisse and ben at eise,
1407: And passed wo with ioie contrepeise.

1408: Resoun wol nought that I speke of slepe.
1409: ffor it acordeth nought to my matere --
1410: God woot they took of that ful litel kepe;
1411: But lest this nyght, that was to hem so deere,
1412: Ne sholde in veyn escape in no manere,
1413: It was byset in ioie and bisynesse
1414: Of al that souneth in-to gentilesse.
-320-



1415: But whan the cok, comune astrologer,
1416: Gan on his brest to bete and after crowe,
1417: And Lucyfer, the dayes messanger,
1418: Gan for to rise and out hire bemes throwe,
1419: And estward roos, to hym that koude it knowe,
1420: ffortuna Maior, that anoon Criseyde,
1421: With herte soor to Troilus thus seide,

1422: "Myn hertes lif, my trist and my plesaunce,
1423: That I was born, allas, what me is wo,
1424: That day of vs moot make disseueraunce;
1425: ffor tyme it is to ryse and hennes go,
1426: Or ellis I am lost for euere mo.
1427: O nyght, allas, why nyltow ouere vs houe,
1428: As longe as whan Almena lay by Ioue?

1429: "O blake nyght, as folk in bokes rede,
1430: That shapen art by god this world to hide
1431: At certeyn tymes wyth thi derke wede,
1432: That vnder that men myghte in reste abide,
1433: Wel oughten bestes pleyne and folk the chide,
1434: That there as day wyth labour wolde vs breste,
1435: That thow thus fleest and deynest vs nought reste.

1436: "Thow doost, allas, to shortly thyn office,
1437: Thow rakle nyght, ther god, maker of kynde,
1438: The for thyn haste and thyn vnkynde vice
1439: So faste ay to oure hemysperie bynde,
1440: That neuere more vnder the ground thow wynde:
1441: ffor now, for thow so hiest out of Troie,
1442: Haue I forgon thus hastili my ioie."
-322-



1443: This Troilus, that with tho wordes felte,
1444: As thoughte hym tho, for pietous distresse
1445: The blody teris from his herte melte,
1446: As he that neuere 3et swich heuynesse
1447: Assayed hadde, out of so gret gladnesse,
1448: Gan ther-with-al Criseyde, his lady deere,
1449: In armes streyne and seyde in this manere:

1450: "O cruel day, accusour of the ioie
1451: That nyght and loue han stole and faste i-wryen,
1452: Acorsed be thi comyng in-to Troye,
1453: ffor euery bore hath oon of thi bryghte yen.
1454: Enuyous day, what list the so to spien?
1455: What hastow lost, why sekestow this place,
1456: Ther god thi light so quenche for his grace?

1457: "Allas, what haue thise loueris the agylte,
1458: Dispitous day? thyn be the peyne of helle!
1459: ffor many a louere hastow slayn and wilte:
1460: Thy pourynge in wol nowher lat hem dwelle.
1461: What profrestow thi light here forto selle?
1462: Go selle it hem that smale selys graue --
1463: We wol the nought, vs nedeth no day haue."

1464: And ek the sonne, Titan, gan he chide,
1465: And seyde, "O fool, wel may men the dispise,
1466: That hast the dawyng al nyght by thi syde,
1467: And suffrest hire so soone vp fro the rise,
1468: fforto disesen loueris in this wyse.
1469: What, holde 3oure bed ther, thow, and ek thi Morwe,
1470: I bidde god, so 3eue 3ow bothe sorwe."

1471: Ther-with ful soore he syghte and thus he seyde,
1472: "My lady right, and of my wele or wo
1473: The welle and roote, O goodly myn, Criseyde,
1474: And shal I rise, allas, and shal I so?
1475: Now fele l that myn herte moot a-two,
1476: ffor how sholde I my lif an houre saue,
1477: Syn that with 3ow is al the lif ich haue?

1478: "What shal I don? for certes I not how,
1479: Ne whan, allas, I shal the tyme see,
1480: That in this plit I may ben eft with 3ow;
1481: And of my lif, god woot how that shal be,
1482: Syn that desire right now so biteth me,
1483: That I am ded anon, but I retourne.
1484: How sholde I longe, allas, fro 3ow soiourne?
-324-



1485: "But natheles, myn owen lady bright,
1486: 3it were it so that I wiste outrely,
1487: That I, 3oure humble seruant and 3oure knyght,
1488: Were in 3oure herte i-set so fermely
1489: As 3e in myn -- the which thyng, trewely,
1490: Me leuere were than thise worldes tweyne --
1491: 3et sholde I bet enduren al my peyne."

1492: To that Criseyde answerde right anon,
1493: And with a sik she seyde, "O herte deere,
1494: The game, y-wys, so ferforth now is gon,
1495: That first shal Phebus fallen fro his speere,
1496: And euerich egle ben the dowues feere,
1497: And euerich roche out of his place sterte,
1498: Er Troilus out of Criseydes herte.

1499: "3e ben so depe in-with myn herte graue,
1500: That, though I wolde it torne out of my thought,
1501: As wisly verray god my soule saue,
1502: To dyen in the peyne, I koude nought;
1503: And for the loue of god that vs hath wrought,
1504: Lat in 3oure brayn non other fantasie
1505: So crepe that it cause me to dye.

1506: "And that 3e me wolde han as faste in mynde
1507: As I haue 3ow, that wolde I 3ow biseche;
1508: And if I wiste sothly that to fynde,
1509: God myghte nought a poynt my ioies eche.
1510: But herte myn, with-outen more speche,
1511: Beth to me trewe, or ellis were it routhe,
1512: ffor I am thyn, by god and by my trouthe.

1513: "Beth glad forthy, and lyue in sikernesse;
1514: Thus seyde I neuere er this, ne shal to mo;
1515: And if to 3ow it were a gret gladnesse
1516: To torne a3geyn soone after that 3e go,
1517: As fayn wolde I as 3e that it were so,
1518: As wisly god myn herte brynge at reste" --
1519: And hym in armes tok and ofte keste.
-326-



1520: Agayns his wil, sith it mot nedes be,
1521: This Troilus vp ros and faste hym cledde,
1522: And in his armes took his lady free
1523: An hondred tyme and on his wey hym spedde,
1524: And with swich voys as though his herte bledde
1525: He seyde, "fare wel, dere herte swete,
1526: Ther god vs graunte sownde and soone to mete."

1527: To which no word for sorwe she answerde,
1528: So soore gan his partyng hire distreyne;
1529: And Troilus vn-to his paleys ferde,
1530: As wo-bygon as she was, soth to seyne;
1531: So harde hym wrong of sharp desire the peyne
1532: fforto ben eft there he was in plesaunce,
1533: Thut it may neuere out of his remembraunce.

1534: Retorned to his real paleys soone,
1535: He softe in-to his bed gan forto slynke,
1536: To slepe longe, as he was wont to doone;
1537: But al for nought -- he may wel ligge and wynke,
1538: But slep ne may ther in his herte synke,
1539: Thynkyng how she, for whom desire hym brende,
1540: A thousand fold was worth more than he wende.

1541: And in his thought gan vp and down to wynde
1542: Hire wordes alle, and euery countenaunce,
1543: And fermely impressen in his mynde
1544: The leeste point that to him was plesaunce;
1545: And verraylich of thilke remembraunce
1546: Desire al newe hym brende, and lust to brede
1547: Gan more than erst, and 3et took he non hede.

1548: Criseyde also, right in the same wyse,
1549: Of Troilus gan in hire herte shette
1550: His worthynesse, his lust, hise dedes wise,
1551: His gentilesse, and how she with hym mette,
1552: Thonkyng loue he so wel hire bisette,
1553: Desiryng eft to han hire herte deere
1554: In swich a plit she dorste make hym cheere.

1555: Pandare, o-morwe which that comen was
1556: Unto his Nece and gan hire faire grete,
1557: Seyde, "al this nyght so reyned it, allas,
1558: That al my drede is that 3e, Nece swete,
1559: Han litel laiser had to slepe and mete;
1560: Al nyght," quod he, "hath reyn so do me wake,
1561: That som of vs, I trowe, hire hedes ake."
-328-



1562: And ner he com and seyde, "how stant it now
1563: This mury morwe, Nece, how kan 3e fare?"
1564: Criseyde answerde, "neuere the bet for 3ow,
1565: ffox that 3e ben, god 3eue 3oure herte kare!
1566: God help me so, 3e caused al this fare,
1567: Trowe I," quod she; "for al 3oure wordes white,
1568: O, who-so seeth 3ow, knoweth 3ow ful lite."

1569: With that she gan hire face forto wrye
1570: With the shete, and wax for shame al reede;
1571: And Pandarus gan vnder forto prie,
1572: And seyde, "Nece, if that I shal be dede,
1573: Haue here a swerd and smyteth of myn hede."
1574: With that his arm al sodeynly he thriste
1575: Under hire nekke and at the laste hire kyste.

1576: [I passe al that which chargeth nought to seye --
1577: What! god for-yaf his deth, and she al-so
1578: ffor-yaf, and with here vncle gan to pleye,
1579: ffor other cause was ther noon than so.
1580: But of this thing right to the effect to go,
1581: Whan tyme was, hom to here hous she wente,
1582: And Pandarus hath fully his entente.]

1583: Now torne we a3eyn to Troilus,
1584: That resteles ful longe a-bedde lay,
1585: And pryuely sente after Pandarus
1586: To hym to com in al the haste he may;
1587: He com anon, nought ones seyde he nay,
1588: And Troilus ful sobrely he grette,
1589: And down vp-on his beddes syde hym sette.

1590: This Troilus, with al thaffeccioun
1591: Of frendes loue that herte may deuyse,
1592: To Pandarus on knowes fil a-down,
1593: And er that he wolde of the place arise,
1594: He gan hym thonken in his beste wise
1595: An hondred sythe, and gan the tyme blesse
1596: That he was born to brynge hym fro destresse.

1597: He seyde, "O frend of frendes the alderbeste
1598: That euere was, the sothe for to telle,
1599: Thow hast in heuene y-brought my soule at reste
1600: ffro Flegitoun, the fery flood of helle;
1601: That, though I myght a thousand tymes selle
1602: Up-on a day my lif in thi seruise,
1603: It myghte naught a moote in that suffise.
-330-



1604: "The sonne, which that al the world may se,
1605: Saugh neuere 3et my lif, that dar I leye,
1606: So inly faire and goodly as is she,
1607: Whos I am al, and shal, tyl that I deye.
1608: And that I thus am hires, dar I seye,
1609: That thanked be the heighe worthynesse
1610: Of loue, and ek thi kynde bysynesse.

1611: "Thus hastow ne no litel thing y-3iue,
1612: ffor which to the obliged be for ay
1613: My lif, and whi? for thorugh thyn helpe I lyue,
1614: Or elles ded hadde I ben many a day."
1615: And with that word down in his bed he lay,
1616: And Pandarus ful sobrely hym herde,
1617: Tyl al was seyd, and than he thus answerde:

1618: "My deere frend, if I haue don for the
1619: In any cas, god wot, it is me lief;
1620: And am as glad as man may of it be,
1621: God help me so; but take it nat a-grief
1622: That I shal seyn: be war of this meschief,
1623: That, there as thow now brought art in thy blisse,
1624: That thow thi self ne cause it nat to misse.

1625: "ffor of fortunes sharpe aduersitee
1626: The worste kynde of infortune is this,
1627: A man to han ben in prosperitee,
1628: And it remembren whan it passed is.
1629: Thart wis ynough, forthi do nat amys;
1630: Be naught to rakel, theigh thow sitte warme,
1631: ffor if thow be, certeyn, it wol the harme.

1632: "Thow art at ese and holde the wel ther-inne,
1633: ffor also seur as reed is euery fire,
1634: As gret a craft is kepe wel as wynne.
1635: Bridle alwey wel thi speche and thi desire;
1636: ffor worldly ioie halt nought but by a wire.
1637: That preueth wel, it brest al day so ofte;
1638: ffor-thi nede is to werken with it softe.

1639: Quod Troilus, "I hope, and god toforn,
1640: My deere frend, that I shal so me beere
1641: That in my gilt ther shal no thyng be lorn,
1642: Ny nyl nought rakle as forto greuen heere.
1643: It nedeth naught this matere ofte steere;
1644: ffor wystestow myn herte wel, Pandare,
1645: God woot of this thow woldest litel care."
-332-



1646: Tho gan he telle hym of his glade nyght,
1647: And wher-of first his herte dred, and how,
1648: And seyde, "frend, as I am trewe knyght,
1649: And by that feyth I shal to god and 3ow,
1650: I hadde it neuere half so hote as now;
1651: And ay the more that desire me biteth
1652: To loue hire best the more it me deliteth.

1653: "I not my self naught wisly what it is,
1654: But now I feele a newe qualitee,
1655: 3ee, al a-nother than I didde er this."
1656: Pandare answerd and seyde thus, that "he
1657: That ones may in heuene blisse be,
1658: He feleth other weyes, dar I leye,
1659: Than thilke tyme he first herde of it seye."

1660: This is a word for al: this Troilus
1661: Was neuere ful to speke of this matere,
1662: And forto preisen vnto Pandarus
1663: The bounte of his righte lady deere,
1664: And Pandarus to thanke and maken cheere;
1665: This tale was ay span newe to bygynne,
1666: Til that the nyght departed hem atwynne.

1667: Soon after this, for that fortune it wolde,
1668: I-comen was the blisful tyme swete,
1669: That Troilus was warned that he sholde,
1670: There he was erst, Criseyde his lady mete;
1671: ffor which he felte his herte in ioie flete,
1672: And feithfully gan alle the goddes herie --
1673: And lat se now if that he kan be merie.

1674: And holden was the forme and al the wise
1675: Of hire commyng, and ek of his also,
1676: As it was erst, which nedeth nought deuyse.
1677: But pleynly to theffect right for to go,
1678: In ioie and suerte Pandarus hem two
1679: A-bedde brought whan that hem bothe leste,
1680: And thus they ben in quyete and in reste.

1681: Nought nedeth it to 3ow, syn they ben mette,
1682: To axe at me if that they blithe were,
1683: ffor if it erst was wel, tho was it bette
1684: A thousand fold, this nedeth nought enquere.
1685: A-gon was euery sorwe and euery feere,
1686: And bothe, y-wys, they hadde, and so they wende,
1687: As muche ioie as herte may comprende.
-334-



1688: This is no litel thyng of for to seye;
1689: This passeth euery wit for to deuyse;
1690: ffor ech of hem gan otheres lust obeye.
1691: ffelicite, which that thise clerkes wise
1692: Comenden so, ne may nought here suffise;
1693: This ioie may nought writen be with inke;
1694: This passeth al that herte may bythynke.

1695: But cruel day, so wailaway the stounde,
1696: Gan for taproche, as they by sygnes knewe,
1697: ffor which hem thoughte feelen dethis wownde;
1698: So wo was hem that chaungen gan hire hewe,
1699: And day they gonnen to despise al newe,
1700: Callyng it traitour, enuyous, and worse,
1701: And bitterly the dayes light thei corse.

1702: Quod Troilus, "allas, now am I war
1703: That Pirous and tho swifte steedes thre,
1704: Which that drawen forth the sonnes char,
1705: Han gon som bipath in dispit of me;
1706: That maketh it so soone day to be;
1707: And for the sonne hym hasteth thus to rise,
1708: Ne shal I neuere don hym sacrifise."

1709: But nedes day depert hem moste soone,
1710: And whan hire speche don was and hire cheere,
1711: They twynne anon as they were wont to doone,
1712: And setten tyme of metyng eft y-feere;
1713: And many a nyght they wroughte in this manere.
1714: And thus fortune a tyme ledde in ioie
1715: Criseyde and ek this kynges sone of Troie.

1716: In suffisaunce, in blisse, and in singynges,
1717: This Troilus gan al his lif to lede;
1718: He spendeth, iousteth, maketh festeyinges;
1719: He 3eueth frely ofte, and chaungeth wede,
1720: And held aboute hym alwey, out of drede,
1721: A world of folk, as com hym wel of kynde,
1722: The fresshest and the beste he koude fynde;

1723: That swich a vois of hym was and a steuene
1724: Thorugh-out the world, of honour and largesse,
1725: That it vp rong vnto the 3ate of heuene.
1726: And as in loue he was in swich gladnesse,
1727: That in his herte he demed, as I gesse,
1728: That ther nys louere in this world at ese
1729: So wel as he, and thus gan loue hym plese.
-336-



1730: The goodlihede or beaute which that kynde
1731: In any other lady hadde ysette
1732: Kan nought the montance of a knotte vnbynde,
1733: Aboute his herte of al Criseydes nette;
1734: He was so narwe y-masked and y-knette,
1735: That it vndon on any manere syde,
1736: That nyl naught ben, for aught that may bitide.

1737: And by the hond ful ofte he wolde take
1738: This Pandarus, and in-to gardyn lede,
1739: And swich a feste and swich a proces make
1740: Hym of Criseyde, and of hire wommanhede,
1741: And of hire beaute, that, with-outen drede,
1742: It was an heuene his wordes forto here;
1743: And thanne he wolde synge in this manere:
-338-



Canticus Troili


1744: "Loue that of erthe and se hath gouernaunce,
1745: Loue, that his hestes hath in heuenes hye,
1746: Loue, that with an holsom alliaunce
1747: Halt peples ioyned, as hym lest hem gye,
1748: Loue, that knetteth lawe of compaignie,
1749: And couples doth in vertue forto dwelle,
1750: Bynd this acord that I haue told and telle.

1751: "That that the world with feith which that is stable,
1752: Diuerseth so his stowndes concordyng,
1753: That elementz that ben so discordable
1754: Holden a bond perpetuely duryng,
1755: That Phebus mote his rosy day forth bryng,
1756: And that the mone hath lordshipe ouer the nyghtes --
1757: Al this doth loue, ay heried be his myghtes!

1758: "That that the se, that gredy is to flowen,
1759: Constreyneth to a certeyn ende so
1760: His flodes that so fiersly they ne grow
1761: To drenchen erthe and al for euere mo;
1762: And if that loue aught lete his bridel go,
1763: Al that now loueth asondre sholde lepe,
1764: And lost were al that loue halt now to hepe.

1765: "So wolde god, that auctour is of kynde,
1766: That with his bond loue of his vertue liste
1767: To cerclen hertes alle and faste bynde,
1768: That from his bond no wight the wey out wiste;
1769: And hertes colde, hem wolde I that he twiste
1770: To make hem loue, and that hem liste ay rewe
1771: On hertes sore, and kepe hem that ben trewe."
-342-



1772: In alle nedes, for the townes werre,
1773: He was, and ay, the first in armes dyght,
1774: And certeynly, but if that bokes erre,
1775: Saue Ector, most y-dred of any wight;
1776: And this encresse of hardynesse and myght
1777: Com hym of loue, his ladies thank to wynne,
1778: That altered his spirit so with-inne.

1779: In tyme of trewe, on haukyng wolde he ride,
1780: Or elles honte boor, beer, or lyoun --
1781: The smale bestes leet he gon biside;
1782: And whan that he com ridyng in-to town,
1783: fful ofte his lady from hire wyndow down,
1784: As fresshe as faukoun comen out of muwe,
1785: fful redy was hym goodly to saluwe.

1786: And moost of loue and vertue was his speche,
1787: And in despit hadde alle wrecchednesse;
1788: And douteles, no nede was hym biseche
1789: To honouren hem that hadde worthynesse,
1790: And esen hem that weren in destresse;
1791: And glad was he if any wyght wel ferde,
1792: That louere was, whan he it wiste or herde.

1793: ffor soth to seyne, he lost held euery wyght
1794: But if he were in loues heigh seruise --
1795: I mene folk that oughte it ben of right.
1796: And ouere al this, so wel koude he deuyse
1797: Of sentement, and in so vnkouths wise
1798: Al his array, that euery louere thoughte
1799: That al was wel what so he seyde or wroughte.

1800: And though that he be come of blood roial,
1801: Hym liste of pride at no wight for to chace;
1802: Benigne he was to ech in general,
1803: ffor which he gat hym thank in euery place.
1804: Thus wolde loue, y-heried be his grace,
1805: That pride, enuye, ire, and auarice
1806: He gan to fle, and euerich other vice.
-344-



1807: Thow lady bright, the doughter to Dyone,
1808: Thy blynde and wynged sone ek, daun Cupide,
1809: 3ee sustren nyne ek, that by Elicone
1810: In hil Pernaso listen for tabide,
1811: That 3e thus fer han deyned me to gyde,
1812: I kan namore, but syn that 3e wol wende,
1813: 3e heried ben for ay with-outen ende.

1814: Thorugh 3ow haue I seyd fully in my songe
1815: Theffect and ioie of Troilus seruise,
1816: Al be that ther was som disese amonge,
1817: As to myn auctour listeth to deuise.
1818: My thridde boke now ende ich in this wyse;
1819: And Troilus in luste and in quiete
1820: Is with Criseyde, his owen herte swete.
Explicit liber tercius.

-348-

Incipit prohemium quarti libri



1: But al to litel, weylaway the whyle,
2: Lasteth swich ioie, y-thonked be fortune,
3: That semeth trewest whan she wol bygyle,
4: And kan to fooles so hire song entune,
5: That she hem hent and blent, traitour comune;
6: And whan a wight is from hire whiel y-throwe,
7: Than laugheth she and maketh hym the mowe.

8: ffrom Troilus she gan hire brighte face
9: Awey to writhe and tok of hym non heede,
10: But caste hym clene out of his lady grace,
11: And on hire whiel she sette vp Diomede;
12: ffor which right now myn herte gynneth blede,
13: And now my penne, allas, with which I write,
14: Quaketh for drede of that I moste endite.

15: ffor how Criseyde Troilus for-sook --
16: Or at the leeste how that she was vnkynde --
17: Moot hennes-forth ben matere of my book,
18: As writen folk thorugh which it is in mynde.
19: Allas, that they sholde euere cause fynde
20: To speke hire harm, and if they on hire lye,
21: I-wis, hem self sholde han the vilanye.

22: O 3e Herynes, Nyghtes doughtren thre,
23: That endeles compleignen euere in pyne,
24: Megera, Alete, and ek Thesiphone,
25: Thow cruel Mars ek, fader to Quyryne,
26: This ilke ferthe book me helpeth fyne,
27: So that the losse of lyf and loue y-feere
28: Of Troilus be fully shewed heere.
Explicit prohemium quarti libri
-350-



Incipit liber quartus


29: Liggyng in oost, as I haue seyd er this,
30: The Grekes stronge a-boute Troie town,
31: Byfel that whan that Phebus shynyng is
32: Upon the breste of Ercules lyoun,
33: That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun,
34: Caste on a day with Grekis forto fighte,
35: As he was wont to greue hem what he myghte.

36: Not I how longe or short it was bitwene
37: This purpos and that day they fighten mente;
38: But on a day, wel armed brighte and shene,
39: Ector and many a worthi wight out wente,
40: With spere in honde and bigge bowes bente;
41: And in the berd, with-outen lenger lette,
42: Hire fomen in the felde anon hem mette.

43: The longe day, with speres sharpe i-grounde,
44: With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
45: They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde,
46: And with hire axes out the braynes quelle;
47: But in the laste shour, soth for to telle,
48: The folk of Troie hem seluen so mysledden
49: That with the wors at nyght homward they fledden.

50: At whiche day was taken Antenore,
51: Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo,
52: Santippe, Sarpedoun, Polynestore,
53: Polite, or ek the Troian daun Rupheo,
54: And other lasse folk as Phebuseo;
55: So that for harm that day the folk of Troie
56: Dredden to lese a gret part of hire ioie.
-352-



57: Of Priamus was 3eue at Grekes requeste
58: A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete
59: Hire prisoners to chaungen, meste and leste,
60: And for the surplus 3euen sommes grete.
61: This thing anon was couth in euery strete,
62: Bothe in thassege, in town and euery where,
63: And with the firste it com to Calkas ere.

64: Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde,
65: In consistorie among the Grekes soone
66: He gan in thringe forth with lordes olde,
67: And sette hym there as he was wont to doone,
68: And with a chaunged face hem bad a boone,
69: ffor loue of god, to don that reuerence,
70: To stynte noyse and 3eue hym audience.

71: Than seyde he thus, "lo, lordes myn, ich was
72: Troian, as it is knowen out of drede;
73: And if that 3ow remembre, I am Calkas,
74: That alderfirst 3af comfort to 3oure nede,
75: And tolde wel how that 3e shulden spede --
76: ffor dredeles, thorugh 3ow shal in a stownde
77: Ben Troie y-brend and beten down to grownde.

78: "And in what fourme or in what manere wise
79: This town to shende and al 3oure lust tacheue,
80: 3e han er this wel herd me 3ow deuyse;
81: This knowe 3e, my lordes, as I leue.
82: And for the Grekis weren me so leeue,
83: I com my self in my propre persone,
84: To teche in this how 3ow was best to doone,

85: "Hauyng vn-to my tresore ne my rente
86: Right no resport to respect of 3oure ese;
87: Thus al my good I lefte and to 3ow wente,
88: Wenyng in this, my lordes, 3ow to plese.
89: But al that los ne doth me no disese --
90: I vouche-sauf as wisly haue I ioie,
91: ffor 3ow to lese al that I haue in Troie,

92: "Saue of a doughter that I lefte, allas,
93: Slepyng at hom whan out of Troie I sterte.
94: O sterne, O cruel fader that I was!
95: How myghte I haue in that so hard an herte?
96: Allas, I ne hadde i-brought hire in hire sherte!
97: ffor sorwe of whiche I wol nought lyue to-morwe,
98: But if 3e lordes rewe vp-on my sorwe.
-354-



99: "ffor by that cause I say no tyme er now
100: Hire to deliuere, ich holden haue my pees;
101: But now or neuere, if that it like 3ow,
102: I may hire haue right soone, douteles;
103: O help and grace amonges al this prees --
104: Rewe on this olde caytif in destresse,
105: Syn I thorugh 3ow haue al this heuynesse.

106: "3e haue now kaught and fetered in prisoun
107: Troians ynowe, and if 3oure willes be,
108: My child with oon may han redempcioun.
109: Now for the loue of god and of bounte,
110: Oon of so fele, allas, so 3eue hym me.
111: What nede were it this preiere forto werne,
112: Syn 3e shul bothe han folk and town as 3erne?

113: "On peril of my lif I shal nat lye,
114: Appollo hath me told it feithfullye;
115: I haue ek founde it be astronomye,
116: By sort and by augurye ek trewelye,
117: And dar wel say the tyme is faste by
118: That fire and flaumbe on al the town shal sprede,
119: And thus shal Troie torne to asshen dede.

120: "ffor certein, Phebus and Neptunus bothe,
121: That makeden the walles of the town,
122: Ben with the folk of Troie alwey so wrothe,
123: That they wol brynge it to confusioun,
124: Right in despit of kyng Lameadoun:
125: By-cause he nolde payen hem here hire,
126: The town of Troie shal ben set on fire."

127: Tellyng his tale alwey, this olde greye,
128: Humble in his speche and in his lokyng eke,
129: The salte teris from his eyen tweye
130: fful faste ronnen down by either cheke.
131: So longe he gan of socour hem biseke,
132: That forto hele hym of his sorwes soore,
133: They 3aue hym Antenor with-outen moore.
-356-



134: But who was glad ynough but Calkas tho?
135: And of this thyng ful soone hise nedes leyde
136: On hem that sholden for the tretis go;
137: And hem for Antenor ful ofte preyde
138: To bryngen hom kyng Toas and Criseyde;
139: And whan Priam his saue garde sente,
140: Thembassadours to Troie streight they wente.

141: The cause i-tolde of hire comyng, the olde
142: Priam the kyng ful soone in general
143: Let her-vpon his perlement to holde,
144: Of which theffect rehercen 3ow I shal:
145: Thembassadours ben answerd for fynal,
146: Theschaunge of prisoners and al this nede
147: Hem liketh wel, and forth in they procede.

148: This Troilus was present in the place,
149: Whan axed was for Antenor Criseyde,
150: ffor which ful soone chaungen gan his face,
151: As he that with tho wordes wel neigh deyde;
152: But natheles he no word to it seyde,
153: Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye;
154: With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye,

155: And ful of angwissh and of grisly drede
156: Abod what lordes wolde vnto it seye;
157: And if they wolde graunte, as god forbede,
158: Theschaunge of hire, than thoughte he thynges tweye:
159: ffirst, how to saue hire honour, and what weye
160: He myghte best theschaunge of hire withstonde;
161: fful faste he caste how al this myghte stonde.
-358-



162: Loue hym made al prest to don hire byde,
163: And rather dyen than she sholde go;
164: But resoun seyde hym on that other syde:
165: "With-outen assent of hire ne do nat so,
166: If thow debate it, lest she be thy fo,
167: And seyn that thorugh thy medlynge is i-blowe
168: 3oure bother loue, ther it was erst vnknowe.'

169: ffor which he gan deliberen for the beste,
170: That though the lordes wolde that she wente,
171: He wolde lat hem graunte what hem leste,
172: And telle his lady first what that they mente;
173: And whan that she hadde seyd hym hire entente,
174: Ther-after wolde he werken also blyue,
175: Theigh al the world a3eyn it wolde stryue.

176: Ector, which that wel the Grekes herde,
177: ffor Antenor how they wolde han Criseyde,
178: Gan it withstonde and sobrely answerde:
179: "Syres, she nys no prisonere," he seyde;
180: "I not on 3ow who that this charge leyde,
181: But on my part 3e may eft-sones hem telle,
182: We vsen here no wommen forto selle."

183: The noyse of peple vp stirte thanne at ones,
184: As breme as blase of straw i-set on fire;
185: ffor infortune it wolde for the nones
186: They sholden hire confusioun desire.
187: "Ector," quod they, "what goost may 3ow enspyre,
188: This womman thus to shilde and don vs leese
189: Daun Antenor -- a wrong wey now 3e chese --

190: "That is so wys and ek so bold baroun?
191: And we han nede of folk, as men may se:
192: He is ek on the grettest of this town.
193: O Ector, lat tho fantasies be.
194: O kyng Priam,' quod they, "thus sygge we,
195: That al oure vois is to forgon Criseyde."
196: And to deliueren Antenor they preyde.

197: O Iuuenal, lord, soth is thy sentence,
198: That litel wyten folk what is to 3erne,
199: That they ne fynde in hire desire offence;
200: ffor cloude of errour lat hem nat discerne
201: What best is; and lo, here ensample as 3erne:
202: This folk desiren now deliueraunce
203: Of Antenor that brought hem to meschaunce.
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204: ffor he was after traitour to the town
205: Of Troye; allas, they quytte hym out to rathe.
206: O nyce world, lo thy discrecioun!
207: Criseyde, which that neuere dide hem scathe,
208: Shal now no lenger in hire blisse bathe;
209: But Antenor, he shal com hom to towne,
210: And she shal out; thus seyde here and howne.

211: ffor which delibered was by perlement,
212: ffor Antenor to 3elden out Criseyde,
213: And it pronounced by the president,
214: Al-theigh that Ector nay ful ofte preyde.
215: And fynaly, what wight that it with-seyde,
216: It was for nought; it moste ben and sholde,
217: ffor substaunce of the perlement it wolde.

218: Deperted out of parlement echone,
219: This Troilus with-outen wordes mo
220: Into his chambre spedde hym faste allone,
221: But if it were a man of his or two,
222: The which he bad out faste forto go,
223: By-cause he wolde slepen as he seyde,
224: And hastily vp-on his bedde hym leyde.
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225: And as in wynter leues ben birafte,
226: Ech after other til the tree be bare,
227: So that ther nys but bark and braunche i-lafte,
228: Lith Troilus byraft of eche welfare,
229: I-bounden in the blake bark of care,
230: Disposed wood out of his wit to breyde,
231: So sore hym sat the chaungynge of Criseyde.

232: He rist hym vp, and euery dore he shette
233: And wyndow ek, and tho this sorwful man
234: Up-on his beddes syde adown hym sette,
235: fful like a dede ymage, pale and wan;
236: And in his brest the heped wo bygan
237: Out breste, and he to werken in this wise
238: In his woodnesse, as I shal 3ow deuyse.

239: Right as the wylde bole bygynneth sprynge,
240: Now her, now ther, i-darted to the herte,
241: And of his deth roreth in compleynynge,
242: Right so gan he aboute the chambre sterte,
243: Smytyng his brest ay with his fistes smerte;
244: His hed to the wal, his body to the grounde,
245: fful ofte he swapte, hym seluen to confounde.
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246: His eyen two, for piete of herte,
247: Out stremeden as swifte welles tweye;
248: The heighe sobbes of his sorwes smerte
249: His speche hym refte; vnnethes myghte he seye,
250: "O deth, allas, why nyltow do me deye?
251: Acorsed be that day which that nature
252: Shop me to ben a lyues creature."

253: But after, whan the furie and al the rage
254: Which that his herte twiste and faste threste,
255: By lengthe of tyme somwhat gan aswage,
256: Upon his bed he leyde hym down to reste;
257: But tho bygonne his teeris more out breste,
258: That wonder is the body may suffise
259: To half this wo which that I 3ow deuyse.

260: Than seyde he thus, "fortune, allas the while!
261: What haue I don, what haue I thus a-gylte?
262: How myghtestow for rowthe me by-gile?
263: Is ther no grace, and shal I thus be spilte?
264: Shal thus Creiseyde awey for that thow wilte?
265: Allas, how maistow in thyn herte fynde
266: To ben to me thus cruwel and vnkynde?

267: "Haue I the nought honoured al my lyue,
268: As thow wel woost, aboue the goddes alle?
269: Whi wiltow me fro ioie thus depriue?
270: O Troilus, what may men now the calle
271: But wrecche of wrecches, out of honour falle
272: Into miserie, in which I wol be-waille
273: Creiseyde, allas, til that the breth me faille?
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274: "Allas, fortune, if that my lif in ioie
275: Displesed hadde vnto thi foule enuye,
276: Why ne haddestow my fader, kyng of Troye,
277: Byraft the lif or don my bretheren dye,
278: Or slayn my self that thus compleyne and crye,
279: I, combre-world, that may of no thyng serue,
280: But euere dye and neuere fulli sterue?

281: If that Criseyde allone were me laft,
282: Nought roughte I whider thow woldest me steere;
283: And hire, allas, than hastow me biraft.
284: But euere more, lo, this is thi manere,
285: To reue a wight that most is to hym deere,
286: To preue in that thi gerful violence:
287: Thus am I lost, ther helpeth no diffence.

288: "O verrey lord of loue, O god, allas,
289: That knowest best myn herte and al my thoughte,
290: What shal my sorwful lif don in this cas,
291: If I for-go that I so deere haue boughte?
292: Syn 3e Criseyde and me han fully broughte
293: In-to 3oure grace and bothe oure hertes seled,
294: How may 3e suffre, allas, it be repeled?
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295: "What shal I don? I shal, while I may dure
296: On lyue in torment and in cruwel peyne,
297: This in-fortune or this disauenture
298: Allone as I was born, i-wys, compleyne;
299: Ne neuere wol I seen it shyne or reyne,
300: But ende I wol as Edippe in derknesse
301: My sorwful lif and dyen in distresse.

302: "O wery goost that errest to and fro,
303: Why nyltow fleen out of the wofulleste
304: Body that euere myghte on grounde go?
305: O soule, lurkynge in this wo, vnneste,
306: ffle forth out of myn herte and lat it breste,
307: And folwe alwey Criseyde, thi lady dere;
308: Thi righte place is now no lenger here.

309: "O woful eyen two, syn 3oure disport
310: Was al to sen Criseydes eyen brighte,
311: What shal 3e don but, for my discomfort,
312: Stonden for naught and wepen out 3oure sighte,
313: Syn she is queynt that wont was 3ow to lighte?
314: In vayn fro this forth haue ich eyen tweye
315: I-fourmed, syn 3oure vertue is aweye.

316: "O my Criseyde, O lady souereigne
317: Of thilke woful soule that thus crieth,
318: Who shal now 3euen comfort to the peyne?
319: Allas, no wight; but whan myn herte dieth,
320: My spirit, which that so vnto 3ow hieth,
321: Receyue in gree, for that shal ay 3ow serue;
322: ffor-thi no fors is though the body sterue.
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323: "O 3e loueris, that heigh vp on the whiel
324: Ben set of fortune in good auenture,
325: God leue that 3e fynde ay loue of stiel,
326: And longe mote 3oure lif in ioie endure!
327: But whan 3e comen by my sepulture,
328: Remembreth that 3oure felawe resteth there,
329: ffor I loued ek, though ich vnworthi were.

330: "O oold, vnholsom and myslyued man --
331: Calkas I mene -- allas, what eiled the
332: To ben a Grek, syn thow art born Troian?
333: O Calkas, which that wolt my bane be,
334: In corsed tyme was thow born for me.
335: As wolde blisful Ioue for his ioie
336: That I the hadde wher I wolde in Troie."

337: A thousand sikes hotter than the gleede
338: Out of his brest ech after other wente,
339: Medled with pleyntes new his wo to feede,
340: ffor which his woful teris neuere stente;
341: And shortly, so his peynes hym to-rente
342: And wex so mat, that ioie nor penaunce
343: He feleth non, but lith forth in a traunce.

344: Pandare, which that in the parlement
345: Hadde herd what euery lord and burgeys seyde,
346: And how ful graunted was by oon assent
347: ffor Antenor to 3elden so Criseyde,
348: Gan wel neigh wood out of his wit to breyde,
349: So that for wo he nyste what he mente,
350: But in a rees to Troilus he wente.
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351: A certeyn knyght that for the tyme kepte
352: The chambre door vndid it hym anon;
353: And Pandare, that ful tendreliche wepte,
354: In-to the derke chambre, as stille as ston,
355: Toward the bed gan softely to gon,
356: So confus that he nyste what to seye --
357: ffor verray wo his wit was neigh aweye.

358: And with his chiere and lokyng al to-torne
359: ffor sorwe of this, and with his armes folden,
360: He stood this woful Troilus by-forne,
361: And on his pitous face he gan byholden;
362: But, lord, so ofte gan his herte colden,
363: Seyng his frend in wo, whos heuynesse
364: His herte slough, as thoughte hym, for destresse.

365: This woful wight, this Troilus, that felte
366: His frend Pandare y-comen hym to se,
367: Gan as the snow a3eyn the sonne melte,
368: ffor which this sorwful Pandare of pitee
369: Gan forto wepe as tendreliche as he;
370: And specheles thus ben thise ilke tweye,
371: That neither myghte o word for sorwe seye.

372: But at the laste this woful Troilus,
373: Neigh ded for smert gan bresten out to rore,
374: And with a sorwful noise he seyde thus,
375: Amonge hise sobbes and his sikes sore:
376: "Lo, pandare, I am ded with-outen more.
377: Hastow nat herd at parlement," he seyde,
378: "ffor Antenore how lost is my Criseyde?"

379: This Pandarus, ful dede and pale of hewe,
380: fful pitously answerde and seyde, "3is,
381: As wisly were it fals as it is trewe,
382: That I haue herd and woot al how it is.
383: O mercy, god, who wolde haue trowed this?
384: Who wolde haue wend that in so litel a throwe
385: ffortune oure ioie wold han ouere-throwe?

386: "ffor in this world ther is no creature,
387: As to my dome, that euere saugh ruyne
388: Straunger than this thorugh cas or auenture.
389: But who may all eschue or al deuyne?
390: Swich is this world; forthi I thus diffyne:
391: Ne trust no wight to fynden in fortune
392: Ay propretee -- hire 3iftes ben comune.
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393: "But telle me this, whi thow art now so mad
394: To sorwen thus? Whi listow in this wise,
395: Syn thi desire al holly hastow had,
396: So that by right it oughte ynough suffise?
397: But I that neuere felte in my seruyse
398: A frendly cheere or lokyng of an eye,
399: Lat me thus wepe and wailen til I deye.

400: "And ouere al this, as thow wel woost thi selue,
401: This town is ful of ladys al aboute;
402: And to my doom, fairer than swiche twelue
403: As euere she was shal I fynde in some route,
404: 3ee, on or two, with-outen any doute.
405: ffor-thi be glad, myn owen deere brother;
406: If she be lost, we shal recouere an other.

407: "What, god forbede alwey that eche plesaunce
408: In o thing were and in non other wight:
409: If oon kan synge, an other kan wel daunce;
410: If this be goodly, she is glad and light;
411: And this is faire, and that kan good aright:
412: Eche for his vertue holden is for deere,
413: Both herouner and faucoun for ryuere.

414: "And ek as writ Zanzis, that was ful wys,
415: 'The newe loue out chaceth ofte the olde',;
416: And vp-on newe cas lith newe auys.
417: Thenk ek thi lif to sauen artow holde.
418: Swich fir by proces shal of kynde colde;
419: ffor syn it is but casuel plesaunce,
420: Som cas shal putte it out of remembraunce.

421: "ffor also seur as day comth after nyght,
422: The newe loue, labour, or oother wo,
423: Or elles selde seynge of a wight,
424: Don olde affecciouns alle ouere-go.
425: And for thi part thow shalt haue oon of tho
426: Tabregge with thi bittre peynes smerte;
427: Absence of hire shal dryue hire out of herte."
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428: Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
429: To help his frend lest he for sorwe deyde;
430: ffor douteles to don his wo to falle
431: He roughte nought what vnthrift that he seyde.
432: But Troilus, that neigh for sorwe deyde,
433: Took litel heede of al that euere he mente;
434: Oon ere it herde, at tother out it wente.

435: But at the laste he answerde and seyde, "frende,
436: This lechecraft, or heeled thus to be,
437: Were wel sittyng if that I were a fende --
438: To traysen a wight that trewe is vnto me.
439: I pray god lat this conseil neuere y-the;
440: But do me rather sterue anon right here,
441: Er I thus do as thow me woldest leere.

442: "She that I serue, i-wis, what so thow seye,
443: To whom myn herte enhabit is by right,
444: Shal han me holly hires til that I deye.
445: ffor Pandarus, syn I haue trouthe hire hight,
446: I wol nat ben vntrewe for no wight;
447: But as hire man I wol ay lyue and sterue,
448: And neuere other creature serue.

449: "And ther thow seist thow shalt as faire fynde
450: As she -- lat be, make no comparisoun
451: To creature y-formed here by kynde.
452: O leue Pandare, in conclusioun
453: I wol nat ben of thyn opynyoun
454: Touchyng al this; for which I the biseche,
455: So holde thi pees: thow sleest me with thi speche.

456: "Thow biddest me I shulde loue an other
457: Al fresshly newe and lat Criseyde go.
458: It lith nat in my power, leeue brother;
459: And though I myght, I wolde nat do so.
460: But kanstow playen raket to and fro,
461: Nettle in, dok out, now this, now that, Pandare?
462: Now foule falle hire for thi wo that care.

463: "Thow farest ek by me, thow Pandarus,
464: As he that whan a wight is wo bygon,
465: He cometh to hym a paas and seith right thus,
466: "Thynk nat on smert and thow shalt fele non.'
467: Thow moost me first transmewen in a ston,
468: And reue me my passiones alle,
469: Er thow so lightly do my wo to falle.
-378-



470: "The deth may wel out of my brest departe
471: The lif, so longe may this sorwe myne;
472: But fro my soule shal Criseydes darte
473: Out neuere mo, but down with Proserpyne,
474: Whan I am ded, I wol go wone in pyne;
475: And ther I wol eternaly compleyne
476: My wo and how that twynned be we tweyne.

477: "Thow hast here made an argument for fyne,
478: How that it sholde lasse peyne be
479: Criseyde to forgon, for she was myne,
480: And lyued in ese and in felicite --
481: Whi gabbestow, that seydest vn-to me,
482: That hym is wors that is fro wele ythrowe,
483: Than he hadde erst noon of that wele y-knowe?

484: "But telle me now syn that the thynketh so light
485: To changen so in loue ay to and fro,
486: Whi hastow nat don bisily thi myght
487: To chaungen hire that doth the al thi wo?
488: Whi nyltow lete hire fro thyn herte go?
489: Whi nyltow loue an othere lady swete,
490: That may thyn herte setten in quiete?

491: ["If thow hast had in loue ay yet myschaunce,
492: And kanst it not out of thyn herte dryue,
493: I that leuede yn lust and in plesaunce
494: With here as muche as creature on lyue,
495: How sholde I that foryete and that so blyue?
496: O where hastow ben hid so longe in muwe,
497: That kanst so wel and formely arguwe?
-380-



498: "Nay, nay, god wot, nought worth is al thi red,
499: ffor which, for what that euere may by-falle,
500: With-outen wordes mo I wol be ded.
501: O deth that endere art of sorwes alle,
502: Com now syn I so ofte after the calle;
503: ffor sely is that deth, soth for to seyne,
504: That ofte ycleped cometh and endeth peyne.

505: "Wel wot I, whil my lyf was in quyete,
506: Er thow me slowe I wolde haue yeuen hire;
507: But now thi comynge is to me so swete
508: That in this world I no thing so desire:
509: O deth, syn with this sorwe I am a-fyre,
510: Thou other do me anoon yn teris drenche,
511: Or with thi colde strok myn hete quenche.

512: "Syn that thow sleest so fele in sondry wyse
513: A-yens hire wil vnpreyed day and nyght,
514: Do me at my requeste this seruice:
515: Delyuere now the world, so dostow right,
516: Of me that am the wofulleste wyght
517: That euere was; for tyme is that I sterue,
518: Syn in this world of right nought may I serue."

519: This Troylus in teris gan distille,
520: As licour out of a lambyc ful faste;
521: And Pandarus gan holde his tunge stille,
522: And to the ground his eyen doun he caste;
523: But natheles, thus thought he at the laste:
524: "What, parde, rather than my felawe deye,
525: Yet shal I som-what more vn-to hym seye."

526: And seyde, "frend, syn thow hast swych distresse,
527: And syn the list myn argumentz to blame,
528: Why nylt thi seluen helpen don redresse,
529: And with thy manhod letten al this grame?
530: Go rauysshe here ne kanstow not for shame?
531: And other lat here out of towne fare,
532: Or hold here stille and leue thi nyce fare.]
-382-



533: "Artow in Troie and hast non hardymente
534: To take a womman which that loueth the,
535: And wolde hire seluen ben of thyn assente?
536: Now is nat this a nyce vanitee?
537: Ris vp anon and lat this wepyng be,
538: And kith thow art a man, for in this houre
539: I wol ben ded or she shal bleuen oure."

540: To this answerde hym Troilus ful softe
541: And seyde, "perde, leue brother deere,
542: Al this haue I my self 3et thought ful ofte,
543: And more thyng than thow deuysest here.
544: But whi this thing is laft thow shalt wel here,
545: And whan thow me hast 3eue an audience,
546: I her-after maystow telle al thi sentence.

547: "ffirst, syn thow woost this town hath al this werre
548: ffor rauysshyng of wommen so by myght,
549: It sholde nought be suffred me to erre,
550: As it stant now, ne don so gret vnright:
551: I sholde han also blame of euery wight,
552: My fadres graunt if that I so with-stoode,
553: Syn she is chaunged for the townes goode.

554: "I haue ek thought, so it were hire assent,
555: To axe hire at my fader of his grace;
556: Than thynke I this were hire accusement,
557: Syn wel I woot I may hire nought purchace:
558: ffor syn my fader in so heigh a place
559: As parlement hath hire eschaunge enseled,
560: He nyl for me his lettre be repeled.

561: "3et drede I moost hire herte to pertorbe
562: With violence, if I do swich a game;
563: ffor if I wolde it openly destorbe,
564: It mooste be disclaundre to hire name.
565: And me were leuere ded than hire diffame --
566: As nolde god but if I sholde haue
567: Hire honour leuere than my lif to saue.
-384-



568: "Thus am I lost for aught that I kan see;
569: ffor certeyn is, syn that I am hire knyght,
570: I moste hire honour leuere han than me
571: In euery cas, as louere ought of right.
572: Thus am I with desire and reson twight:
573: Desire forto destourben hire me redeth,
574: And reson nyl nat, so myn herte dredeth."

575: Thus wepyng that he koude neuere cesse,
576: He seyde, "allas, how shal I, wrecche, fare?
577: ffor wel fele I alwey my loue encresse,
578: And hope is lasse and lasse alway, Pandare;
579: Encressen ek the causes of my care.
580: So weilaway, whi nyl myn herte breste?
581: ffor as in loue ther is but litel reste."

582: Pandare answerde, "frend, thow maist for me
583: Don as the list; but hadde ich it so hoote,
584: And thyn estat, she sholde go with me,
585: Though al this town cride on this thyng by note:
586: I nolde sette at al that noys a grote,
587: ffor whan men han wel cryed, than wol they rowne;
588: Ek wonder last but nyne nyght neuere in towne.

589: "Deuyne nat in resoun ay so depe
590: Ne corteisly, but help thi selue anon.
591: Bet is that othere than thi seluen wepe,
592: And namely, syn 3e two ben al on,
593: Ris vp, for by myn hed she shal not goon;
594: And rather be in blame a lite i-founde
595: Than sterue here as a gnat with-outen wounde.

596: "It is no shame vn-to 3ow ne no vice
597: Hire to witholden that 3e loue moost.
598: Peraunter she myghte holde the for nyce
599: To late hire go thus to the Grekis oost.
600: Thenk ek fortune, as wel thi seluen woost,
601: Helpeth hardy man to his enprise
602: And weyueth wrecches for hire cowardise.
-386-



603: "And though thy lady wolde a lite hire greue,
604: Thow shalt thi self thi pees here-after make;
605: But as for me, certeyn, I kan nat leue
606: That she wolde it as now for yuel take.
607: Whi sholde thanne of fered thyn herte quake?
608: Thenk ek how Paris hath, that is thi brother,
609: A loue, and whi shaltow nat haue another?

610: "And Troilus, o thyng I dar the swere,
611: That if Criseyde, which that is thi lief,
612: Now loueth the as wel as thow dost here,
613: God help me so, she nyl nat take a-grief
614: Theigh thow do boote a-non in this meschief;
615: And if she wilneth fro the for to passe,
616: Thanne is she fals, so loue hire wel the lasse.

617: "ffor-thi take herte and thynk right as a knyght,
618: Thorugh loue is broken al day euery lawe.
619: Kith now somwhat thi corage and thi myght;
620: Haue mercy on thi self, for eny awe.
621: Lat nat this wrecched wo thyn herte gnawe,
622: But manly sette the world on six and seuene,
623: And if thow deye a martyr, go to heuene.

624: "I wol my self ben with the at this dede,
625: Theigh ich and al my kyn vp-on a stownde
626: Shulle in a strete as dogges liggen dede,
627: Thorugh-girt with many a wide and blody wownde;
628: In euery cas I wol a frend be founde.
629: And if the list here steruen as a wrecche,
630: A-dieu, the deuel spede hym that it recche."

631: This Troilus gan with tho wordes quyken,
632: And seyde, "frend, graunt mercy, ich assente.
633: But certeynly thow maist nat so me priken,
634: Ne peyne non ne may me so tormente,
635: That for no cas it is nat myn entente,
636: At shorte wordes, though I deyen sholde,
637: To rauysshe hire, but if hire self it wolde."

638: "Whi so mene I," quod Pandare, "al this day.
639: But telle me thanne, hastow hire wil assayed,
640: That sorwest thus?" and he answerde hym, "nay."
641: "Wherof artow," quod Pandare," thanne amayed --
642: That nost nat that she wol ben yuele appayed --
643: To rauysshe hire, syn thow hast nought ben there,
644: But if that Ioue tolde it in thyn ere?
-388-



645: "fforthi ris vp as nought ne were anon,
646: And wasshe thi face and to the kyng thow wende,
647: Or he may wondren whider thow art goon.
648: Thow most with wisdom hym and othere blende,
649: Or vp-on cas he may after the sende
650: Er thow be war; and shortly, brother deere,
651: Be glad, and lat me werke in this matere.

652: "ffor I shal shape it so that sikerly
653: Thow shalt this nyght som tyme, in som manere,
654: Com speken with thi lady pryuely,
655: And by hire wordes ek as by hire cheere
656: Thow shalt ful sone aperceyue and wel here
657: Al hire entente, and in this cas the beste;
658: And fare now wel, for in this point I reste."

659: The swifte fame, which that false thynges
660: Egal reporteth lik the thynges trewe,
661: Was thorugh-out Troye y-fled with preste wynges
662: ffro man to man and made this tale al newe,
663: How Calkas doughter with hire brighte hewe,
664: At parlement with-outen wordes more
665: Y-graunted was in chaunge of Antenore.

666: The whiche tale anon right as Criseyde
667: Hadde herd, she which that of hire fader roughte,
668: As in this cas, right nought, ne whan he deyde,
669: fful bisily to Iupiter bisoughte
670: 3eue hem meschaunce that this tretis broughte;
671: But shortly, lest thise tales sothe were,
672: She dorst at no wight asken it for fere,

673: As she that hadde hire herte and al hire mynde
674: On Troilus i-set so wonder faste,
675: That al this world ne myghte hire loue vnbynde,
676: Ne Troilus out of hire herte caste;
677: She wol ben his while that hire lif may laste.
678: And thus she brenneth both in loue and drede,
679: So that she nyste what was best to reede.

680: But as men seen in towne and al aboute
681: That wommen vsen frendes to visite,
682: So to Criseyde of wommen com a route
683: ffor pitous ioie and wenden hire delite;
684: And with hire tales deere ynough a myte,
685: Thise wommen which that in the Cite dwelle,
686: They sette hem down and seyde as I shall telle.
-390-



687: Quod first that oon, "I am glad, trewely,
688: By-cause of 3ow that shal 3oure fader see.',
689: Another seyde, "ywis, so nam nat I,
690: ffor al to litel hath she with vs be."
691: Quod tho the thridde, "I hope, ywis, that she
692: Shal bryngen vs the pees on euery syde,
693: That, whan she goth, almyghty god hire gide."

694: Tho wordes and tho wommanysshe thynges,
695: She herde hem right as though she thennes were;
696: ffor, god it woot, hire herte on othir thyng is:
697: Al-though the body sat among hem there,
698: Hire aduertence is alwey elles-where;
699: ffor Troilus ful faste hire soule soughte;
700: With-outen word on hym alwey she thoughte.

701: Thise wommen, that thus wenden hire to plese,
702: Aboute naught gonne alle hire tales spende;
703: Swich vanyte ne kan don hire non ese,
704: As she that al this mene while brende
705: Of other passioun than that they wende,
706: So that she felte almost hire herte dye,
707: ffor wo and wery of that compaignie.

708: [ffor which no lenger myghte she restreyne
709: Hir teeris, so they gonnen vp to welle,
710: That yauen signes of the bittre peyne
711: In which hir spirit was and moste dwelle,
712: Remembryng hir fro heuen into which helle
713: She fallen was, syn she forgoth the syghte
714: Of Troilus, and sorwfully she sighte.]

715: And thilke fooles sittynge hire a-boute
716: Wenden that she wepte and siked sore
717: By-cause that she sholde out of that route
718: Deperte and neuere pleye with hem more.
719: And they that hadde y-knowen hire of 3ore
720: Seigh hire so wepe and thoughte it kyndenesse,
721: And ech of hem wepte ek for hire destresse.

722: And bisyly they gonnen hire comforten
723: Of thyng, god woot, on which she litel thoughte,
724: And with hire tales wenden hire disporten,
725: And to be glad they often hire bysoughte.
726: But swiche an ese therwith they hire wroughte
727: Right as a man is esed forto feele,
728: ffor ache of hed to clawen hym on his heele.
-392-



729: But after al this nyce vanyte
730: They toke hire leue and hom they wenten alle.
731: Criseyde, ful of sorweful pite,
732: In-to hire chambre vp went out of the halle,
733: And on hire bed she gan for ded to falle,
734: In purpos neuere thennes for to rise;
735: And thus she wroughte, as I shal 3ow deuyse.

736: Hire ownded heer that sonnyssh was of hewe
737: She rente, and ek hire fyngeres longe and smale
738: She wrong ful ofte and bad god on hire rewe,
739: And with the deth to doon boote on hire bale;
740: Hire hewe whilom bright, that tho was pale,
741: Bar witnesse of hire wo and hire constreynte;
742: And this she spak, sobbyng in hire compleynte,

743: "Allas,' quod she, "out of this regioun
744: I, woful wrecche and in-fortuned wight,
745: And born in corsed constellacioun,
746: Moot goon and thus deperten from my knyght.
747: Wo worth, allas, that ilke dayes light
748: On which I saugh hym first with eyen tweyne,
749: That causeth me -- and ich hym -- al this peyne!"

750: Ther-with the teris from hire eyen two
751: Down fille as shoure in Aperil ful swithe;
752: Hire white brest she bet and for the wo
753: After the deth she cryed a thousand sithe,
754: Syn he that wont hire wo was for to lithe,
755: She moot forgon; for which disauenture
756: She held hire self a forlost creature.

757: She seyde, "how shal he don and ich also?
758: How sholde I lyue if that I from hym twynne?
759: O deere herte eke, that I loue so,
760: Who shal that sorwe slen that 3e ben inne?
761: O Calkas, fader, thyn be al this synne!
762: O moder myn, that cleped were Argyue,
763: Wo worth that day that thow me bere on lyue!
-394-



764: "To what fyn sholde I lyue and sorwen thus?
765: How sholde a fissh with-outen water dure?
766: What is Criseyde worth from Troilus?
767: How sholde a plaunte or lyues creature
768: Lyue with-outen his kynde noriture?
769: ffor which ful ofte a byword here I seye,
770: That "rooteles moot grene soone deye.'

771: "I shal doon thus, syn neither swerd ne darte
772: Dar I noon handle for the crueltee,
773: That ilke day that I from 3ow departe,
774: If sorwe of that nyl nat my bane be,
775: Thanne shal no mete or drynke come in me
776: Til I my soule out of my breste vnshethe,
777: And thus my seluen wol I don to dethe.

778: "And Troilus, my clothes euerychon
779: Shul blake ben in tokennyng, herte swete,
780: That I am as out of this world agon,
781: That wont was 3ow to setten in quiete;
782: And of myn ordre ay til deth me mete,
783: The obseruance euere in 3oure absence
784: Shal sorwe ben, compleynt and abstinence.
-396-



785: "Myn herte and ek the woful goost ther-inne
786: Byquethe I with 3oure spirit to compleyne
787: Eternaly for they shal neuere twynne;
788: ffor though in erthe y-twynned be we tweyne,
789: 3et in the feld of pite, out of peyne,
790: That highte Elisos, shal we ben y-feere,
791: As Orpheus with Erudice his feere.

792: "Thus, herte myn, for Antenor, allas,
793: I soone shal be chaunged, as I wene.
794: But how shul 3e don in this sorwful cas?
795: How shal 3oure tendre herte this sustene?
796: But, herte myn, for3ete this sorwe and tene,
797: And me also, for sothly forto seye,
798: So 3e wel fare, I recche naught to deye."

799: How myghte it euere y-red ben or y-songe,
800: The pleynte that she made in hire destresse?
801: I not; but as for me, my litel tonge,
802: If I discryuen wolde hire heuynesse,
803: It sholde make hire sorwe seme lesse
804: Than that it was, and childisshly deface
805: Hire heigh compleynte, and therfore ich it pace.

806: Pandare, which that sent from Troilus
807: Was to Criseyde -- as 3e han herd deuyse,
808: That for the beste it was acorded thus,
809: And he ful glad to doon hym that seruyse --
810: Unto Criseyde in a ful secree wise,
811: Ther as she lay in torment and in rage,
812: Come hire to telle al holly his message.
-398-



813: And fond that she hire seluen gan to trete
814: fful pitously, for with hire salte teris
815: Hire brest, hire face, y-bathed was ful wete;
816: The myghty tresses of hire sonnysshe heeris
817: Unbroiden hangen al aboute hire eeris,
818: Which 3af hym verray signal of martire
819: Of deth which that hire herte gan desire.

820: Whan she hym saugh she gan for sorwe anon
821: Hire tery face atwixe hire armes hide,
822: ffor which this Pandare is so wo-bygon
823: That in the hous he myghte vnnethe abyde,
824: As he that pite felt on euery syde:
825: ffor if Criseyde hadde erst compleyned soore,
826: Tho gan she pleyne a thousand tymes more.

827: And in hire aspre pleynte thus she seyde,
828: "Pandare first of ioies mo than two
829: Was cause causyng vnto me, Criseyde,
830: That now transmewed ben in cruel wo.
831: Wher shal I seye to 3ow welcom or no,
832: That alderfirst me broughte vnto seruyse
833: Of loue, allas, that endeth in swich wise?

834: "Endeth thanne loue in wo? 3e, or men lieth,
835: And alle worldly blisse as thynketh me:
836: The ende of blisse ay sorwe it occupieth.
837: And who-so troweth nat that it so be,
838: Lat hym vp-on me, woful wrecche, ysee,
839: That my self hate and ay my burthe a-corse,
840: ffelyng alwey fro wikke I go to worse.

841: "Who-so me seeth, he seeth sorwe al atonys,
842: Peyne, torment, pleynte, wo, distresse.
843: Out of my woful body harm ther noon is,
844: As angwissh, langour, cruel bitternesse,
845: Anoy, smert, drede, fury and ek siknesse.
846: I trowe, ywys, from heuene teeris reyne
847: ffor pite of myn aspre and cruel peyne."
-400-



848: "And thow my suster, ful of discomfort,"
849: Quod Pandarus, "what thynkestow to do?
850: Whi ne hastow to thy seluen som resport?
851: Whi wiltow thus thi self, allas, for-do?
852: Leef al this werk and take now heede to
853: That I shal seyn, and herkne of good entente
854: This which by me thi Troilus the sente."

855: Tornede hire tho Criseyde, a wo makynge
856: So gret that it a deth was forto see.
857: "Allas," quod she, "what wordes may 3e brynge?
858: What wol my deere herte seyn to me,
859: Which that I drede neuere mo to see?
860: Wol he han pleynte or teris er I wende?
861: I haue ynough if he ther-after sende."

862: She was right swich to seen in hire visage
863: As is that wight that men on beere bynde:
864: Hire face, lik of Paradys the ymage,
865: Was al ychaunged in a-nother kynde;
866: The pleye, the laughter, men was wont to fynde
867: In hire, and ek hire ioies euerichone,
868: Ben fled, and thus lith now Criseyde allone.

869: Aboute hire eyen two a purpre ryng
870: By-trent in sothfast tokenyng of hire peyne,
871: That to biholde it was a dedly thyng,
872: ffor which Pandare myghte nat restreyne
873: The teeris from hise eighen forto reyne.
874: But natheles, as he best myghte, he seyde
875: ffrom Troilus thise wordes to Criseyde.

876: "Lo, Nece, I trowe 3e han herd al how
877: The kyng with othere lordes for the beste
878: Hath made eschaunge of Antenor and 3ow,
879: That cause is of this sorwe and this vnreste.
880: But how this cas dooth Troilus moleste,
881: That may non erthely mannes tonge seye;
882: ffor verray wo his wit is al aweye.

883: "ffor which we han so sorwed, he and I,
884: That in-to litel bothe it hadde vs slawe;
885: But thorugh my conseyl this day finaly,
886: He somwhat is fro wepynge now withdrawe,
887: And semeth me that he desireth fawe
888: With 3ow to ben al nyght forto deuyse
889: Remedie in this, if ther were any wyse.
-402-



890: "This, shorte and pleyn, theffect of my message,
891: As ferforth as my wit kan comprehende;
892: ffor 3e that ben of torment in swich rage
893: May to no longe prologe as now entende;
894: And here-vpon 3e may answere hym sende --
895: And for the loue of god, my Nece deere,
896: So leue this wo er Troilus be here."

897: "Gret is my wo," quod she and sighte soore,
898: As she that feleth dedly sharp distresse,
899: "But 3it to me his sorwe is muchel more,
900: That loue hym bet than he hym self, I gesse.
901: Allas, for me hath he swich heuynesse?
902: Kan he for me so pitously compleyne?
903: I-wis, his sorwe doubleth al my peyne.

904: "Greuous to me, god woot, is forto twynne,"
905: Quod she, "but 3et it harder is to me
906: To sen that sorwe which that he is inne,
907: ffor wel woot I it wol my bane be,
908: And deye I wol in certeyn," tho quod she;
909: "But bid hym come er deth, that thus me threteth,
910: Dryue out that goost which in myn herte beteth."

911: Thise wordes seyd, she on hire armes two
912: ffil gruf and gan to wepen pitously.
913: Quod Pandarus, "allas, whi do 3e so,
914: Syn wel 3e woot the tyme is faste by
915: That he shal come? Aris vp hastily,
916: That he 3ow nat bywopen thus ne fynde,
917: But 3e wole haue him wood out of his mynde.

918: "ffor wiste he that 3e ferde in this manere,
919: He wolde hym seluen sle; and if I wende
920: To han this fare, he sholde nat come here
921: ffor al the good that Priam may dispende.
922: ffor to what fyn he wolde anon pretende,
923: That knowe ich wel, and forthi 3et I seye,
924: So lef this sorwe or platly he wol deye.

925: "And shapeth 3ow his sorwe for tabregge,
926: And nought encresse, leeue Nece swete;
927: Beth rather to hym cause of flat than egge,
928: And with som wisdom 3e his sorwes bete.
929: What helpeth it to wepen ful a strete,
930: Or though 3e bothe in salte teeris dreynte?
931: Bet is a tyme of cure ay than of pleynte.
-404-



932: "I mene thus: whan ich hym hider brynge,
933: Syn 3e be wise and bothe of oon assente,
934: So shapeth how destourbe 3oure goynge,
935: Or come a3eyn soon after 3e be wente --
936: Wommen ben wise in short auysemente --
937: And lat sen how 3oure wit shal now auaille,
938: And what that I may helpe, it shal nat faille.

939: "Go," quod Criseyde, "and Uncle, trewely,
940: I shal don al my myght me to restreyne
941: ffrom wepyng in his sighte, and bisily
942: Hym forto glade I shal don al my peyne,
943: And in myn herte seken euery veyne;
944: If to his sore ther may be fonden salue,
945: It shal nat lakke, certeyn, on my halue."

946: Goth Pandarus and Troilus he soughte,
947: Til in a temple he fond hym al allone,
948: As he that of his lif no lenger roughte;
949: But to the pitouse goddes euerichone
950: fful tendrely he preyde and made his mone,
951: To doon hym sone out of this world to pace,
952: ffor wel he thoughte ther was non other grace.

953: And shortly, al the sothe forto seye,
954: He was so fallen in despeir that day,
955: That outrely he shop hym forto deye.
956: ffor right thus was his argument alway:
957: He seyde he nas but lorn, so weylaway --
958: "ffor al that comth, comth by necessitee,
959: Thus to ben lorn, it is my destinee.

960: "ffor certeynly, this wot I wel," he seyde,
961: "That for-sight of diuine purueyaunce
962: Hath seyn alwey me to forgon Criseyde,
963: Syn god seeth euery thyng, out of doutaunce,
964: And hem disponyth, thorugh his ordinaunce,
965: In hire merites sothly for to be,
966: As they shul comen by predestyne.

967: "But natheles, allas, whom shal I leeue?
968: ffor ther ben grete clerkes many oon,
969: That destyne thorugh argumentes preue;
970: And som men seyn that nedely ther is noon,
971: But that fre chois is 3euen vs euerychon.
972: O welaway, so sleighe arn clerkes olde
973: That I not whos opynyoun I may holde.
-406-



974: "ffor som men seyn, if god seth al biforn --
975: Ne god may nat deceyued ben, parde --
976: Than moot it fallen, theigh men hadde it sworn,
977: That purueiance hath seyn byfore to be.
978: Wherfore I sey that from eterne if he
979: Hath wist byforn oure thought ek as oure dede,
980: We han no fre chois, as thise clerkes rede.

981: "ffor other thought, nor other dede also,
982: Myghte neuere ben, but swich as purueyaunce,
983: Which may nat ben deceyued neuere mo,
984: Hath feled byforn, with-outen ignoraunce.
985: ffor if ther myghte ben a variaunce
986: To writhen out fro goddis purueyinge,
987: Ther nere no prescience of thyng comynge.

988: "But it were rather an opynyoun
989: Uncerteyn, and no stedfast forseynge;
990: And certes, that were an abusioun,
991: That god sholde han no parfit clere wytynge
992: More than we men that han doutous wenynge:
993: But swich an errour vp-on god to gesse
994: Were fals and foul and wikked corsednesse.

995: "Ek this is an opynyoun of some
996: That han hire top ful heigh and smothe yshore:
997: They seyn right thus, that thyng is nat to come
998: ffor that the prescience hath seyn by-fore
999: That it shal come; but they seyn that therfore
1000: That it shal come, therfore the purueyaunce
1001: Woot it byforn, with-outen ignoraunce.

1002: "And in this manere this necessite
1003: Retorneth in his part contrarie agayne;
1004: ffor nedfully byhoueth it nat to bee
1005: That thilke thynges fallen in certayne
1006: That ben purueyed; but nedly, as they sayne,
1007: Byhoueth it that thynges whiche that falle,
1008: That they in certayn ben purueyed alle.

1009: "I mene as though I laboured me in this
1010: To enqueren which thyng cause of which thyng be:
1011: As wheither that the prescience of god is
1012: The certeyn cause of the necessite
1013: Of thynges that to comen ben, parde;
1014: Or if necessite of thyng comynge
1015: Be cause certeyn of the purueyinge.
-408-



1016: "But now nenforce I me nat in shewynge
1017: How the ordre of causes stant; but wel woot I
1018: That it byhoueth that the byfallynge
1019: Of thynges wiste byforn certeynly
1020: Be necessarie, al seme it nat therby
1021: That prescience putte fallynge necessaire
1022: To thyng to come, al falle it foule or faire.

1023: "ffor if ther sitte a man 3ond on a see,
1024: Than by necessite bihoueth it
1025: That, certes, thyn opynyoun sooth be
1026: That wenest or coniectest that he sit;
1027: And further ouere now a3eynward 3it,
1028: Lo, right so is it of the part contrarie,
1029: As thus -- now herkne, for I wol nat tarie:

1030: "I sey that if the opynyoun of the
1031: Be soth for that he sitte, than sey I this:
1032: That he mot siten by necessite;
1033: And thus necessite in eyther is.
1034: ffor in hym nede of sittynge is, ywys,
1035: And in the nede of soth; aud thus, forsothe,
1036: There mot necessite ben in 3ow bothe.

1037: "But thow mayst seyn the man sit nat therfore
1038: That thyn opynyoun of his sittynge soth is;
1039: But rather for the man sit ther byfore,
1040: Therfore is thyn opynyoun soth, ywys.
1041: And I seye, though the cause of soth of this
1042: Comth of his sittyng, 3et necessite
1043: Is entrechaunged both in hym and the.

1044: "Thus in the same wise, out of doutaunce,
1045: I may wel maken, as it semeth me,
1046: My resonyng of goddes purueyaunce
1047: And of the thynges that to comen be;
1048: By which resoun men may wel y-se
1049: That thilke thynges that in erthe falle,
1050: That by necessite they comen alle.

1051: "ffor al-though that, for thynge shal come, y-wys,
1052: Therfore is it purueyed, certeynly --
1053: Nat that it comth for it purueyed is --
1054: 3et natheles bihoueth it nedfully
1055: That thing to come be purueyd, trewely;
1056: Or elles thynges that purueyed be,
1057: That they bitiden by necessite.
-410-



1058: "And this suffiseth right ynough, certeyn,
1059: fforto destruye oure fre chois euery del.
1060: But now is this abusioun to seyn
1061: That fallyng of the thynges temporel
1062: Is cause of goddes prescience eternel.
1063: Now trewely, that is a fals sentence,
1064: That thyng to come sholde cause his prescience.

1065: "What myght I wene, and I hadde swich a thought,
1066: But that god purueyeth thyng that is to come
1067: ffor that it is to come, and ellis nought?
1068: So myghte I wene that thynges alle and some,
1069: That whilom ben byfalle and ouercome,
1070: Ben cause of thilke souereyne purueyaunce
1071: That for-woot al with-outen ignoraunce.

1072: "And ouere al this, 3et sey I more herto,
1073: That right as whan I wot ther is a thyng,
1074: I-wys, that thyng moot nedfully be so;
1075: Ek right so whan I woot a thyng comyng,
1076: So mot it come; and thus the bifallyng
1077: Of thynges that ben wist bifore the tyde,
1078: They mowe nat ben eschued on no syde."
-412-



1079: Thanne seyde he thus, "al-myghty Ioue in trone,
1080: That woost of al thys thyng the sothfastnesse,
1081: Rewe on my sorwe and do me deyen sone,
1082: Or bryng Criseyde and me fro this destresse."
1083: And whil he was in al this heuynesse,
1084: Disputyng with hym self in matere,
1085: Com Pandare in and seyde as 3e may here.

1086: "O myghty god," quod Pandarus, "in trone,
1087: I! who say euere a wis man faren so?
1088: Whi Troilus, what thinkestow to doone?
1089: Hastow swich lust to ben thyn owen fo?
1090: What, perde, 3et is nat Criseyde a-go!
1091: Whi list the so thi self fordoon for drede,
1092: That in thyn hed thyne eyen semen dede?

1093: "Hastow nat lyued many a 3er byforn
1094: With-outen hire and ferd ful wel at ese?
1095: Artow for hire and for noon other born?
1096: Hath kynde the wrought al only hire to plese?
1097: Lat be, and thynk right thus in thi disese:
1098: That in the dees right as ther fallen chaunces,
1099: Right so in loue ther come and gon plesaunces.

1100: "And 3et this is my wonder moste of alle,
1101: Whi thow thus sorwest, syn thow nost nat 3it,
1102: Touchyng hire goyng, how that it shal falle,
1103: Ne 3if she kan hire self destourben it.
1104: Thow hast nat 3et assayed al hire wit;
1105: A man may al by-tyme his nekke beede
1106: Whan it shal of, and sorwen at the nede.

1107: "ffor-thi tak hede of that I shal the seye:
1108: I haue with hire y-spoke and longe y-be,
1109: So as acorded was bitwixe vs tweye.
1110: And euere mor me thynketh thus that she
1111: Hath somwhat in hire hertes priuete,
1112: Wher-with she kan, if I shal right arede,
1113: Destourbe al this of which thow art in drede.

1114: "ffor which my counseil is, what it is nyght,
1115: Thow to hire go and make of this an ende,
1116: And blisful Iuno thorugh hire grete myght
1117: Shal as I hope hire grace vnto vs sende.
1118: Myn herte seyth certeyn she shal nat wende;
1119: And forthi put thyn herte a while in reste,
1120: And holde this purpos, for it is the beste."
-414-



1121: This Troilus answered and sighte soore,
1122: "Thow seist right wel, and I wol don right so."
1123: And what hym liste, he seyde vn-to it more.
1124: And whan that it was tyme for to go,
1125: fful pryuely hym self, with-outen mo,
1126: Unto hire com as he was wont to doone,
1127: And how they wroughte, I shal 3ow tellen soone.

1128: Soth is, that whan they gonnen first mete,
1129: So gan the peyne hire hertes forto twiste,
1130: That neyther of hem other myghte grete,
1131: But hem in armes toke and after kiste.
1132: The lasse woful of hem bothe nyste
1133: Wher that he was, ne myghte o word out bryng,
1134: As I seyde erst, for wo and for sobbyng.

1135: The woful teeris that they leten falle
1136: As bittre weren out of teris kynde,
1137: ffor peyne, as is ligne aloes or galle:
1138: So bittre teeris weep nought, as I fynde,
1139: The woful Mirra thorugh the bark and rynde;
1140: That in this world ther nys so hard an herte
1141: That nolde han rewed on hire peynes smerte.

1142: But whan hire woful weri goostes tweyne
1143: Retourned ben ther as hem owe to dwelle,
1144: And that somwhat to wayken gan the peyne
1145: By lengthe of pleynte, and ebben gan the welle
1146: Of hire teeris and the herte vnswelle,
1147: With broken vois, al hoors for-shright, Criseyde
1148: To Troilus thise ilke wordes seyde:

1149: "O Ioue, I deye, and mercy I beseche!
1150: Help, Troilus!" and ther-with-al hire face
1151: Up-on his brest she leyde and loste speche --
1152: Hire woful spirit from his propre place,
1153: Right with the word, alwey o poynt to pace --
1154: And thus she lith with hewes pale and grene,
1155: That whilom fresshe and fairest was to sene.
-416-



1156: This Troilus, that on hire gan biholde,
1157: Clepyng hire name -- and she lay as for dede,
1158: Withoute answere, and felte hire lymes colde,
1159: Hire eyen throwen vpward to hire hede --
1160: This sorwful man kan now noon other rede,
1161: But ofte tyme hire colde mowth he kiste:
1162: Wher hym was wo, god and hym self it wiste!

1163: He rist hym vp and long streght he hire leyde;
1164: ffor signe of lif, for aught he kan or may,
1165: Kan he non fynde in no thyng on Criseyde,
1166: ffor which his song ful ofte is "weylaway."
1167: But whan he saugh that specheles she lay,
1168: With sorweful vois and herte of blisse al bare,
1169: He seyde how she was fro this worlde y-fare.

1170: So after that he longe hadde hire compleyned,
1171: His hondes wrong and seyde that was to seye,
1172: And with hise teeris salt hire brest byreyned,
1173: He gan tho teeris wypen of ful dreye,
1174: And pitously gan for the soule preye,
1175: And seyde, "O lord that set art in thi trone,
1176: Rewe ek on me, for I shal folwe hire sone."

1177: She cold was and with-outen sentement,
1178: ffor aught he woot, for breth ne felte he non;
1179: And this was hym a pregnant argument
1180: That she was forth out of this world a-gon.
1181: And whan he say ther was non other woon,
1182: He gan hire lymes dresse in swich manere
1183: As men don hem that shal ben layde on beere.

1184: And after this with sterne and cruel herte,
1185: His swerd anon out of his shethe he twighte,
1186: Hym self to slen, how sore that hym smerte,
1187: So that his soule hire soule folwen myghte,
1188: Ther as the doom of Mynos wolde it dighte;
1189: Syn loue and cruel fortune it ne wolde,
1190: That in this world he lenger lyuen sholde.

1191: Than seyde he thus, fulfild of heigh desdayn,
1192: "O cruel Ioue, and thow fortune aduerse,
1193: This al and som, that falsly haue 3e slayn
1194: Criseyde, and syn 3e may do me no werse,
1195: ffy on 3oure myghte and werkes so dyuerse!
1196: Thus cowardly 3e shul me neuere wynne;
1197: Ther shal no deth me fro my lady twynne.
-418-



1198: "ffor I this world, syn 3e haue slayn hire thus,
1199: Wol lete and folwe hire spirit low or hye;
1200: Shal neuere louere seyn that Troilus
1201: Dar nat for fere with his lady dye;
1202: ffor certeyn, I wol beere hire compaignie.
1203: But syn 3e wol nat suffre vs lyuen here,
1204: 3et suffreth that oure soules ben y-fere.

1205: "And thow, Cite, which that I leue in wo,
1206: And thow, Priam, and bretheren alle yfeere,
1207: And thow, my Moder, far wel, for I go;
1208: And Atropos, make redy thow my beere.
1209: And thow Criseyde, O swete herte deere,
1210: Receyue now my spirit," wolde he seye,
1211: With swerd at herte, al redy forto deye.

1212: But as god wolde, of swough therwith shabreyde,
1213: And gan to sike and "Troilus" she cride,
1214: And he answerde, "lady myn, Criseyde,
1215: Lyue 3e 3eet?" and leet his swerd down glide.
1216: "3e, herte myn, that thonked be Cipride,"
1217: Quod she, and ther-with-al she soore syghte,
1218: And he bigan to glad hire as he myghte;

1219: Took hire in armes two and kiste hire ofte,
1220: And hire to glade he did al his entente;
1221: ffor which hire goost, that flikered ay o-lofte,
1222: In-to hire woful herte a3eyn it wente.
1223: But at the laste, as that hire eye glente
1224: A-syde, anon she gan his swerd espie,
1225: As it lay bare, and gan for fere crye,

1226: And asked hym whi he it hadde out drawe?
1227: And Troilus anon the cause hire tolde,
1228: And how hym self therwith he wolde han slawe;
1229: ffor which Criseyde vp-on hym gan biholde,
1230: And gan hym in hire armes faste folde,
1231: And seyde, "O mercy, god, lo, which a dede!
1232: Ailas, how neigh we weren bothe dede!

1233: "Than if I nadde spoken, as grace was,
1234: 3e wolde han slayn 3oure self auon?" quod she.
1235: "3ee, douteles"; and she answerde, "allas,
1236: ffor by that ilke lord that made me,
1237: I nolde a forlong wey on lyue haue be
1238: After 3oure deth, to han ben crowned Queene
1239: Of al that lond the sonne on shyneth sheene.
-420-



1240: "But with this selue swerd which that here is,
1241: My selue I wolde han slayne," quod she tho.
1242: "But hoo, for we han right ynough of this,
1243: And lat vs rise and streght to bedde go,
1244: Aud there lat vs speken of oure wo --
1245: ffor by the morter which that I se brenne,
1246: Knowe I ful wel that day is nat far henne."

1247: Whan they were in hire bed in armes folde,
1248: Naught was it lik tho nyghtes here by-forn;
1249: ffor pitously ech other gan by-holde,
1250: As they that hadden al hire blisse y-lorn,
1251: Bywaylinge ay the day that they were born,
1252: Til at the laste this sorwful wight Criseyde
1253: To Troilus thise ilke wordes seyde:

1254: "Lo, herte myn, wel woot 3e this," quod she,
1255: "That if a wight alwey his wo compleyne,
1256: And seketh nought how holpen forto be,
1257: It nys but folie and encresse of peyne;
1258: And syn that here assembled be we tweyne,
1259: To fynde boote of wo that we ben inne,
1260: It were al tyme soone to bygynne.

1261: "I am a womman, as ful wel 3e woot,
1262: And as I am auysed sodeynly,
1263: So wol I telle 3ow while it is hoot:
1264: Me thynketh thus, that nouther 3e nor I
1265: Ought half this wo to maken skilfully;
1266: ffor ther is art ynough forto redresse
1267: That 3et is mys and slen this heuynesse.

1268: "Soth is, the wo the which that we ben inne,
1269: ffor aught I woot, for no-thyng ellis is
1270: But for the cause that we sholden twynne:
1271: Considered al, ther nys namore amys.
1272: But what is thanne a remede vnto this,
1273: But that we shape vs soone forto meete?
1274: This al and som, my deere herte sweete.

1275: "Now that I shal wel bryngen it a-boute
1276: To come a3eyn soone after that I go,
1277: Ther-of am I no manere thyng in doute;
1278: ffor dredeles, with-inne a wowke or two,
1279: I shal ben here; and that it may be so
1280: By alle right and in a wordes fewe,
1281: I shal 3ow wel an heep of weyes shewe.
-422-



1282: "ffor which I wol nat make long sermoun,
1283: ffor tyme y-lost may nought recouered be;
1284: But I wol gon to my conclusioun,
1285: And to the beste in aught that I kan see.
1286: And for the loue of god for3eue it me,
1287: If I speke aught a3eyns 3oure hertes reste;
1288: ffor trewely, I speke it for the beste,

1289: "Makyng alwey a protestacioun
1290: That now thise wordes which that I shal seye,
1291: Nis but to shewen 3ow my mocioun
1292: To fynde vnto oure help the beste weye;
1293: And taketh it non other wise, I preye.
1294: ffor in effect what so 3e me comaunde,
1295: That wol I don, for that is no demaunde.

1296: "Now herkneth this: 3e han wel vnderstonde,
1297: My goyng graunted is by parlement
1298: So ferforth that it may nat be withstonde
1299: ffor al this world, as by my iugement;
1300: And syn ther helpeth non auisement
1301: To letten it, lat it passe out of mynde,
1302: And lat vs shape a bettre wey to fynde.

1303: "The soth is this: the twynnyng of vs tweyne
1304: Wol vs disese and cruelich anoye;
1305: But hym byhoueth som tyme han a peyne,
1306: That serueth loue, if that he wol haue ioye.
1307: And syn I shal no ferther out of Troie
1308: Than I may ride a3eyn on half a morwe,
1309: It oughte lesse causen vs to sorwe.

1310: "So as I shal not so ben hid in muwe,
1311: That day by day, myn owne herte deere,
1312: Syn wel 3e woot that it is now a trewe,
1313: 3e shal ful wel al myn estat y-heere.
1314: And er that trewe is doon I shal ben heere;
1315: And thanne haue 3e both Antenore y-wonne,
1316: And me also; beth glad now if 3e konne.

1317: "And thenk right thus, "Criseyde is now agon,
1318: But what! she shal come hastiliche a3eyn.'
1319: And whanne, allas? by god, lo, right anon,
1320: Er dayes ten, this dar I saufly seyn.
1321: And than at erste shal we be so feyn,
1322: So as we shal to-gideres euere dwelle,
1323: That al this world ne myghte oure blisse telle.
-424-



1324: "I se that ofte tyme there as we ben now,
1325: That for the beste oure counseyl for to hide,
1326: 3e speke nat with me nor I with 3ow
1327: In fourtenyght, ne se 3ow go ne ride.
1328: May 3e naught ten dayes thanne abide,
1329: ffor myn honour in swich an auenture?
1330: I-wys, 3e mowen ellis lite endure.

1331: "3e knowe ek how that al my kynne is heere,
1332: But if that onliche it my fader be,
1333: And ek myn othere thynges alle yfeere --
1334: And nameliche, my deere herte, 3e,
1335: Whom that I nolde leuen forto se
1336: ffor al this world, as wyde as it hath space --
1337: Or ellis se ich neuere Ioues face.

1338: "Whi trowe 3e my fader in this wise
1339: Coueyteth so to se me, but for drede
1340: Lest in this town that folkes me despise
1341: By-cause of hym for his vnhappy dede?
1342: What woot my fader what lif that I lede?
1343: ffor if he wiste in Troie how wel I fare,
1344: Us neded for my wendyng nought to care.

1345: "3e sen that euery day ek more and more
1346: Men trete of pees and it supposid is
1347: That men the queene Eleyne shal restore,
1348: And Grekis vs restoren that is mys;
1349: So though ther nere comfort non but this,
1350: That men purposen pees on euery syde,
1351: 3e may the bettre at ese of herte abyde.

1352: "ffor if that it be pees, myn herte deere,
1353: The nature of the pees moot nedes dryue
1354: That men moost entrecomunen yfeere,
1355: And to and fro ek ride and gon as blyue
1356: Alday as thikke as been fleen from an hyue,
1357: And euery wight han liberte to bleue
1358: Where-as hym liste the bet withouten leue.

1359: "And though so be that pees ther may be non,
1360: 3et hider, though ther neuere pees ne were,
1361: I moste come; for whider sholde I gon,
1362: Or how meschaunce sholde I dwelle there
1363: Among tho men of armes euere in feere?
1364: ffor which, as wisly god my soule rede,
1365: I kan nat sen wher-of 3e sholden drede.
-426-



1366: "Haue here another wey, if it so be
1367: That al this thyng ne may 3ow nat suffise:
1368: My fader as 3e knowen wel, parde,
1369: Is old, and elde is ful of coueytise;
1370: And I right now haue founden al the gise,
1371: With-outen net, wherwith I shal hym hente;
1372: And herkeneth how, if that 3e wol assente.

1373: "Lo, Troilus, men seyn that hard it is
1374: The wolf ful and the wether hool to haue;
1375: This is to seyn, that men ful ofte, i-wys,
1376: Mote spenden part the remenant for to saue;
1377: ffor ay with gold men may the herte graue
1378: Of hym that set is vp-on coueytise;
1379: And how I mene, I shal it 3ow deuyse.

1380: "The moeble which that I haue in this town
1381: Unto my fader shal I take and seye
1382: That right for trust and for sauacioun
1383: It sent is from a frend of his or tweye,
1384: The whiche frendes feruentliche hym preye
1385: To senden after more and that in hie,
1386: Whil that this town stant thus in iupartie.

1387: "And that shal ben an huge quantite --
1388: Thus shal I seyn -- but lest it folk aspide,
1389: This may be sent by no wyght but by me.
1390: I shal ek shewen hym, yf pes by-tyde,
1391: What frendes that ich haue on euery syde
1392: Toward the Court, to don the wrathe pace
1393: Of Priamus and don hym stonde in grace.

1394: "So what for o thyng and for other, swete,
1395: I shal hym so enchaunten with my sawes,
1396: That right in heuene his sowle is, shal he mete;
1397: ffor al Appollo or his clerkes lawes,
1398: Or calkullynge, auayleth nought thre hawes;
1399: Desir of gold shal so his soule blende,
1400: That as me lyst I shal wel make an ende.

1401: "And yf he wolde ought by hys sort it preue
1402: If that I lye, in certayn I shal fonde
1403: Distorben hym and plukke hym by the sleue,
1404: Makynge his sort, and beren hym on honde
1405: He hath not wel the goddes vnderstonde;
1406: ffor goddes speken in amphibologies,
1407: And for a soth they tellen twenty lyes.
-428-



1408: "Eke drede fond first goddes, I suppose --
1409: Thus shal I seyn -- and that his coward herte
1410: Made hym amys the goddes text to glose,
1411: Whan he for fered out of Delphos sterte.
1412: And but I make hym soone to conuerte,
1413: And don my rede with-inne a day or tweye,
1414: I wol to 3ow oblige me to deye."

1415: And treweliche, as writen wel I fynde,
1416: That al this thyng was seyd of good entente;
1417: And that hire herte trewe was and kynde
1418: Towardes hym and spak right as she mente,
1419: And that she starf for wo neigh whan she wente,
1420: And was in purpos euere to be trewe:
1421: Thus writen they that of hire werkes knewe.

1422: This Troilus, with herte and erys spradde,
1423: Herde al this thyng deuysen to and fro,
1424: And verrayliche hym semed that he hadde
1425: The selue wit, but 3et to late hire go
1426: His herte mys-for3af hym euere mo.
1427: But fynaly he gan his herte wreste
1428: To trusten hire and took it for the beste.

1429: ffor which the grete furie of his penaunce
1430: Was queynt with hope, and therwith hem bitwene
1431: Bigan for ioie thamorouse daunce;
1432: And as the briddes whanne the sonne is shene
1433: Deliten in hire song in leues grene,
1434: Right so the wordes that they spake y-feere
1435: Delited hem and made hire hertes clere.

1436: But natheles, the wendyng of Criseyde
1437: ffor al this world may nat out of his mynde;
1438: ffor which ful ofte he pitously hire preyde
1439: That of hire heste he myghte hire trewe fynde,
1440: And seyde hire, "certes, if 3e be vnkynde,
1441: And but 3e come at day set in-to Troye,
1442: Ne shal I neuere haue hele, honour ne ioye.

1443: "ffor also soth as sonne vp-rist o-morwe,
1444: And god so wisly thow me, woful wrecche,
1445: To reste brynge out of this cruel sorwe,
1446: I wol my seluen sle if that 3e drecche.
1447: But of my deth though litel be to recche,
1448: 3et er that 3e me causen so to smerte,
1449: Dwelle rather here, myn owen swete herte.
-430-



1450: "ffor trewely, myn owne lady deere,
1451: Tho sleghtes 3it that I haue herd 3ow stere
1452: fful shaply ben to faylen alle y-feere.
1453: ffor thus men seyth: "that on thenketh the beere,
1454: But al another thenketh his ledere.'
1455: 3oure syre is wys, and seyd is out of drede:
1456: "Men may the wise at-renne and naught atrede.'

1457: "It is ful hard to halten vnespied
1458: Byfore a crepel, for he kan the crafte;
1459: 3oure fader is in sleght as Argus eyed;
1460: ffor al be that his moeble is hym birafte,
1461: His olde sleighte is 3et so with hym lafte:
1462: 3e shal nat blende hym for 3oure wommanhede,
1463: Ne feyne aright, and that is al my drede.

1464: "I not if pees shal euere mo bitide;
1465: But pees or no, for ernest ne for game,
1466: I woot, syn Calkas on the Grekis syde
1467: Hath ones ben, and lost so foule his name,
1468: He dar nomore come here a3eyn for shame;
1469: ffor which that wey, for aught I kan espie,
1470: To trusten on nys but a fantasie.

1471: "3e shal ek sen 3oure fader shal 3ow glose
1472: To ben a wif and, as he kan wel preche,
1473: He shal som Grek so preyse and wel allose,
1474: That rauysshen he shal 3ow with his speche,
1475: Or do 3ow don by force as he shal teche;
1476: And Troilus, of whom 3e nyl han routhe,
1477: Shal causeles so steruen in his trouthe.

1478: "And ouere al this, 3oure fader shal despise
1479: Us alle and seyn this Cite nys but lorne,
1480: And that thassege neuere shal aryse,
1481: ffor whi the Grekis han it alle sworne,
1482: Tyl we be slayn and down oure walles torne.
1483: And thus he shal 3ow with his wordes fere,
1484: That ay drede I that 3e wol bleuen there.

1485: "3e shal ek seen so many a lusty knyghte
1486: Amonge the Grekis, ful of worthynesse,
1487: And ech of hem with herte, wit and myghte,
1488: To plesen 3ow don al his bisynesse,
1489: That 3e shul dullen of the rudenesse
1490: Of vs sely Troians, but if routhe
1491: Remorde 3ow or vertue of 3oure trouthe.
-432-



1492: "And this to me so greuous is to thynke,
1493: That fro my brest it wol my soule rende;
1494: Ne dredeles in me ther may nat synke
1495: A good opynyoun if that 3e wende;
1496: ffor whi 3oure fadres sleghte wol vs shende.
1497: And if 3e gon, as I haue told 3ow 3ore,
1498: So thenk I nam but ded, with-oute more.

1499: "ffor which with humble, trewe and pitous herte,
1500: A thousand tymes mercy I 3ow preye;
1501: So rueth on myn aspre peynes smerte,
1502: And doth somwhat as that I shal 3ow seye,
1503: And lat vs stele awey bitwixe vs tweye;
1504: And thynk that folie is whan man may chese,
1505: ffor accident his substaunce ay to lese.

1506: "I mene thus, that syn we mowe er day
1507: Wel stele awey and ben togidere so,
1508: What wit were it to putten in assay,
1509: In cas 3e sholden to 3oure fader go,
1510: If that 3e myghten come a3eyn or no?
1511: Thus mene I, that it were a gret folie
1512: To putte that sikernesse in iupertie.

1513: "And vulgarly to speken of substaunce,
1514: Of tresour may we bothe with vs lede
1515: I-nough to lyue in honour and plesaunce
1516: Til in-to tyme that we shal ben dede;
1517: And thus we may eschuen al this drede.
1518: ffor euerich other wey 3e kan recorde,
1519: Myn herte, ywys, may therwith naught acorde.

1520: "And hardily, ne dredeth no pouerte,
1521: ffor I haue kyn and frendes elles-where,
1522: That though we comen in oure bare sherte,
1523: Us sholde neyther lakken gold ne gere,
1524: But ben honured while we dwelten there.
1525: And go we anon, for as in myn entente,
1526: This is the beste, if that 3e wol assente."

1527: Criseyde, with a sik right in this wise,
1528: Answerde, "y-wys, my deere herte trewe,
1529: We may wel stele awey as 3e deuyse,
1530: And fynden swich vnthrifty weyes newe;
1531: But afterward ful soore it wol vs rewe,
1532: And helpe me god so at my mooste nede,
1533: As causeles 3e suffren al this drede.
-434-



1534: "ffor thilke day that I for cherisyng
1535: Or drede of fader, or for other wight,
1536: Or for estat, delit or for weddyng,
1537: Be fals to 3ow, my Troilus, my knyght,
1538: Saturnes doughter, Iuno, thorugh hire myght,
1539: As wood as Athamante do me dwelle
1540: Eternalich in Stix, the put of helle.

1541: "And this on euery god celestial
1542: I swere it 3ow and ek on eche goddesse,
1543: On euery nymphe and deite infernal,
1544: On satiry and fawny more and lesse,
1545: That halue goddes ben of wildernesse;
1546: And Attropos my thred of lif to-breste,
1547: If I be fals -- now trowe me if 3ow leste.

1548: "And thow Symois, that as an arwe clere
1549: Thorugh Troie ay rennest downward to the se,
1550: Ber witnesse of this word that seyd is here,
1551: That thilke day that ich vntrewe be
1552: To Troilus, myn owene herte fre,
1553: That thow retourne bakward to thi welle,
1554: And I with body and soule synke in helle.

1555: "But that 3e speke awey thus forto go
1556: And leten alle 3oure frendes, god forbede,
1557: ffor any womman that 3e sholden so,
1558: And namely syn Troie hath now swich nede
1559: Of help; and ek of o thyng taketh hede:
1560: If this were wist, my lif lay in balaunce,
1561: And 3oure honour -- god shilde us fro meschaunce!

1562: "And if so be that pees heere after take,
1563: As alday happeth after anger game,
1564: Whi, lord, the sorwe and wo 3e wolden make,
1565: That 3e ne dorste come a3eyn for shame;
1566: And er that 3e iuperten so 3oure name,
1567: Beth naught to hastif in this hoote fare --
1568: ffor hastif man ne wanteth neuere care.
-436-



1569: "What trowe 3e the peple ek al aboute
1570: Wolde of it seye? It is ful light tarede:
1571: They wolden seye and swere and it out of doute
1572: That loue ne drof 3ow naught to don this dede,
1573: But lust voluptuous and coward drede.
1574: Thus were al lost, ywys, myn herte deere,
1575: 3oure honour which that now shyneth so clere.

1576: "And also thynketh on myn honeste,
1577: That floureth 3et, how foule I sholde it shende,
1578: And with what filthe it spotted sholde be,
1579: If in this forme I sholde with 3ow wende;
1580: Ne though I lyued vnto the werldes ende,
1581: My name sholde I neuere a3eynward wynne:
1582: Thus were I lost, and that were routhe and synne.

1583: "And for-thi sle with resoun al this hete;
1584: Men seyn, 'the suffrant ouercomith,' parde;
1585: Ek 'who-so wole han lief, he lief moot lete.'
1586: Thus maketh vertue of necessite
1587: By pacience, and thynk that lord is he
1588: Of fortune ay that naught wole of hire recche;
1589: And she ne daunteth no wight but a wrecche.
-438-



1590: "And trusteth this, that certes, herte swete,
1591: Er Phebus suster, Lucina the sheene,
1592: The leoun passe out of this Ariete,
1593: I wol ben here withouten any wene:
1594: I mene, as helpe me Iuno, heuenes quene,
1595: The tenthe day, but if that deth messaile,
1596: I wol 3ow sen with-outen any faille."

1597: "And now, so this be soth," quod Troilus,
1598: "I shal wel suffre vnto the tenthe day,
1599: Syn that I se that nede it mot be thus.
1600: But for the loue of god, if it be may,
1601: So late vs stelen priueliche away;
1602: ffor euere in oon, as forto liue in reste,
1603: Myn herte seyth that it wol be the beste."

1604: "O mercy, god, what lif is this?" quod she,
1605: "Allas, 3e sle me thus for verray tene.
1606: I se wel now that 3e mystrusten me,
1607: ffor by 3oure wordes it is wel yseene.
1608: Now for the loue of Cinthia the sheene,
1609: Mistrust me nought thus causeles for routhe,
1610: Syn to be trewe I haue 3ow plight my trouthe.

1611: "And thynketh wel that som tyme it is wit
1612: To spende a tyme a tyme forto wynne;
1613: Ne, parde, lorn am I naught fro 3ow 3it,
1614: Though that we ben a day or two atwynne.
1615: Drif out tho fantasies 3ow with-inne,
1616: And trusteth me and leueth ek 3oure sorwe,
1617: Or here my trouthe, I wol naught lyue tyl morwe.

1618: "ffor if 3e wiste how soore it doth me smerte,
1619: 3e wolde cesse of this; for god thow woste,
1620: The pure spirit wepeth in myn herte
1621: To se 3ow wepen that I loue moste,
1622: And that I mot gon to the Grekis ooste.
1623: 3e, nere it that I wiste remedie
1624: To come a3eyn, right here I wolde dye.

1625: "But certes, I am naught so nyce a wight
1626: That I ne kan ymaginen a wey
1627: To come a3eyn that day that I haue hight,
1628: ffor who may holde a thing that wol awey?
1629: My fader naught, for al his queynte pley.
1630: And by my thrift, my wendyng out of Troie
1631: A-nother day shal torne vs alle to ioie.
-440-



1632: "fforthi with al myn herte I 3ow biseke,
1633: If that 3ow list don ought for my preyere,
1634: And for that loue which that I loue 3ow eke,
1635: That er that I deperte fro 3ow here,
1636: That of so good a confort and a cheere
1637: I may 3ow sen, that 3e may brynge at reste
1638: Myn herte which that is o poynt to breste.

1639: "And ouere al this I prey 3ow," quod she tho,
1640: "Myn owene hertes sothfast suffisaunce,
1641: Syn I am thyn al hol with-outen mo,
1642: That whil that I am absent no plesaunce
1643: Of oother do me fro 3oure remembraunce:
1644: ffor I am euere agast, for why men rede
1645: That loue is thyng ay ful of bisy drede.

1646: "ffor in this world ther lyueth lady non,
1647: If that 3e were vntrewe, as god defende,
1648: That so bitraised were or wo bigon
1649: As I, that alle trouthe in 3ow entende.
1650: And douteles, if that ich other wende,
1651: I ner but ded, and er 3e cause fynde,
1652: ffor goddes loue, so beth me naught vnkynde."

1653: To this answerde Troilus and seyde,
1654: "Now god, to whom ther nys no cause y-wrye,
1655: Me glad, as wys I neuere vnto Criseyde,
1656: Syn thilke day I saugh hire first with ye,
1657: Was fals ne neuere shal til that I dye.
1658: At shorte wordes, wel 3e may me leue;
1659: I kan namore, it shal be founde at preue."

1660: "Grant mercy, goode myn, i-wys," quod she,
1661: "And blisful Venus lat me neuere sterue
1662: Er I may stonde of plesaunce in degree
1663: To quyte hym wel that so wel kan deserue;
1664: And while that god my wit wol me conserue,
1665: I shal so don, so trewe I haue 3ow founde,
1666: That ay honour to meward shal rebounde.

1667: "ffor trusteth wel that 3oure estat roiale,
1668: Ne veyn delit nor only worthinesse
1669: Of 3ow in werre or torney marciale,
1670: Ne pompe, array, nobleye or ek richesse,
1671: Ne made me to rewe on 3oure destresse;
1672: But moral vertue grounded vp-on trouthe,
1673: That was the cause I first hadde on 3ow routhe.
-442-



1674: "Eke gentil herte and manhod that 3e hadde,
1675: And that 3e hadde, as me thoughte, in despit
1676: Euery thyng that souned in-to badde,
1677: As rudenesse and poeplissh appetit,
1678: And that 3oure resoun bridlede 3oure delit;
1679: This made, abouen euery creature,
1680: That I was 3oure and shal while I may dure.

1681: "And this may lengthe of 3eres naught fordo,
1682: Ne remuable fortune deface;
1683: But Iuppiter that of his myght may do
1684: The sorwful to be glad, so 3eue vs grace,
1685: Or nyghtes ten to meten in this place,
1686: So that it may 3oure herte and myn suffise;
1687: And fareth now wel, for tyme is that 3e rise."

1688: And after that they longe ypleyned hadde,
1689: And ofte ykist and streite in armes folde,
1690: The day gan rise and Troilus hym cladde,
1691: And rewfullich his lady gan byholde,
1692: As he that felte dethes cares colde,
1693: And to hire grace he gan hym recomaunde:
1694: Wher hym was wo, this holde I no demaunde.

1695: ffor mannes hed ymagynen ne kan,
1696: Nentendement considere, ne tonge telle
1697: The cruele peynes of this sorwful man,
1698: That passen euery torment down in helle.
1699: ffor whan he saugh that she ne myghte dwelle,
1700: Which that his soule out of his herte rente,
1701: With-outen more out of the chaumbre he wente.
Explicit liber quartus.

-446-

Incipit liber quintus



1: Aprochen gan the fatal destyne
2: That Ioues hath in disposicioun,
3: And to 3ow, angry Parcas, sustren thre,
4: Committeth to don execucioun;
5: ffor which Criseyde moste out of the town,
6: And Troilus shal dwellen forth in pyne
7: Til Lachesis his thred no lenger twyne.

8: The goldetressed Phebus heighe on lofte
9: Thries hadde al with hise bemes clene
10: The snowes molte, and 3epherus as ofte
11: Ibrought a3eyn the tendre leues grene,
12: Syn that the sone of Ecuba the queene
13: Bigan to loue hire first, for whom his sorwe
14: Was al that she deperte sholde amorwe.

15: fful redy was at prime Diomede,
16: Criseyde vn-to the Grekis oost to lede,
17: ffor sorwe of which she felt hire herte blede,
18: As she that nyste what was best to rede.
19: And trewely, as men in bokes rede,
20: Men wiste neuere womman han the care,
21: Ne was so loth out of a town to fare.

22: This Troilus, with-outen reed or loore,
23: As man that hath hise ioies ek forlore,
24: Was waytyng on his lady euere more,
25: As she that was the sothfast crop and more
26: Of al his lust or ioies here-bifore.
27: But Troilus, now far wel al thi ioie,
28: ffor shaltow neuere sen hire eft in Troie.

29: Soth is that while he bood in this manere,
30: He gan his wo ful manly forto hide,
31: That wel vnnethe it sene was in his chere.
32: But at the 3ate ther she sholde out ride,
33: With certeyn folk he houed hire tabide,
34: So wo-bigon, al wolde he naught hym pleyne,
35: That on his hors vnnethe he sat for peyne.
-448-



36: ffor ire he quook, so gan his herte gnawe,
37: Whan Diomede on horse gan hym dresse,
38: And seyde to hym self this ilke sawe:
39: "Allas," quod he, "thus foul a wrecchednesse,
40: Whi suffre ich it, whi nyl ich it redresse?
41: Were it nat bet atones for to dye
42: Than euere more in langour thus to drye?"

43: "Why nyl I make atones riche and pore
44: To haue inough to doone er that she go?
45: Why nyl I brynge al Troie vp-on a roore?
46: Why nyl I slen this Diomede also?
47: Why nyl I rather with a man or two
48: Stele hire away? Whi wol I this endure?
49: Whil nyl I helpen to myn owen cure?"

50: But why he nolde don so fel a dede,
51: That shal I seyn and whi hym liste it spare:
52: He hadde in herte alweyes a manere drede,
53: Lest that Criseyde in rumour of this fare
54: Sholde han ben slayn -- lo, this was al his care,
55: And ellis, certeyn, as I seyde 3ore,
56: He hadde it don with-outen wordes more.

57: Criseyde, whan she redy was to ride,
58: fful sorwfully she sighte and seyde "allas."
59: But forth she moot for aught that may bitide,
60: Ther nys non other remedie in this cas.
61: And forth she rit ful sorwfully a pas.
62: What wonder is though that hire sore smerte,
63: Whan she forgoth hire owen dere herte?
-450-



64: This Troilus, in wise of curteysie,
65: With hauke on honde and with an huge route
66: Of knyghtes, rood and did hire companye,
67: Passyng al the valeye fer with-oute,
68: And ferther wolde han riden out of doute
69: fful fayn, and wo was hym to gon so sone;
70: But torne he moste, and it was ek to done.

71: And right with that was Antenor ycome
72: Out of the Grekis oost, and euery wight
73: Was of it glad and seyde he was welcome.
74: And Troilus, al nere his herte light,
75: He peyned hym with al his fulle myght
76: Hym to withholde of wepyng atte leeste,
77: And Antenor he kiste and made feste.

78: And ther-with-al he moste his leue take,
79: And caste his eye vp-on hire pitously,
80: And neer he rood his cause forto make,
81: To take hire by the honde al sobrely;
82: And lord, so she gan wepen tendrely,
83: And he ful softe and sleighly gan hire seye,
84: "Now holde 3oure day and do me nat to deye."

85: With that his courser torned he aboute
86: With face pale, and vnto Diomede
87: No word he spak, ne non of al his route;
88: Of which the sone of Tideus took hede,
89: As he that koude more than the Crede
90: In swich a craft, and by the reyne hire hente;
91: And Troilus to Troie homward he wente.

92: This Diomede that ledde hire by the bridel,
93: Whan that he saugh the folk of Troie aweye,
94: Thoughte, "al my labour shal nat ben on ydel,
95: If that I may, for somwhat shall I seye;
96: ffor at the werste it may 3et shorte oure weye.
97: I haue herd seyd ek tymes twyes twelue,
98: "He is a fool that wol for3ete hym selue."
-452-



99: But natheles this thoughte he wel ynough,
100: That, "certeynlich I am aboute nought
101: If that I speke of loue or make it tough;
102: ffor douteles, if she haue in hire thought
103: Hym that I gesse, he may nat ben ybrought
104: So soon awey; but I shal fynde a meene
105: That she naught wite as 3et shal what I mene.',

106: This Diomede, as he that koude his good,
107: Whan tyme was, gan fallen forth in speche
108: Of this and that, and axed whi she stood
109: In swich disese and gan hire ek biseche,
110: That if that he encresse myghte or eche
111: With any thyng hire ese, that she sholde
112: Comaunde it hym, and seyde he don it wolde.

113: ffor treweliche he swor hire as a knyght,
114: That ther nas thyng with which he myghte hire plese,
115: That he nolde don his peyne and al his myght
116: To don it for to don hire herte an ese;
117: And preyde hire she wolde hire sorwe apese,
118: And seyde, "I-wis, we Greekis kan haue ioie
119: To honouren 3ow as wel as folk of Troie."

120: He seyde ek thus, "I woot 3ow thynketh straunge --
121: No wonder is, for it is to 3ow newe --
122: Thaquayntaunce of thise Troians to chaunge
123: ffor folk of Grece that 3e neuere knewe.
124: But wolde neuere god but if as trewe
125: A Grek 3e sholde among vs alle fynde
126: As any Troian is and ek as kynde."

127: "And by the cause I swor 3ow right, lo, now,
128: To ben 3oure frend and helply to my myght,
129: And for that more aquayntauace ek of 3ow
130: Haue ich had than another straunger wight,
131: So fro this forth I pray 3ow, day and nyght,
132: Comaundeth me, how soore that me smerte,
133: To don al that may like vnto 3oure herte;

134: "And that 3e me wolde as 3oure brother trete,
135: And taketh naught my frendshipe in despite;
136: And though 3oure sorwes be for thynges grete,
137: Not I nat whi, but out of more respite,
138: Myn herte hath for tamende it gret delite:
139: And if I may 3oure harmes nat redresse,
140: I am right sory for 3oure heuynesse.
-454-



141: "ffor though 3e Troians with vs Grekes wrothe
142: Han many a day ben, alwey 3et, parde,
143: O god of loue in soth we seruen bothe.
144: And for the loue of god, my lady fre,
145: Whom so 3e hate, as beth nat wroth with me;
146: ffor trewely ther kan no wyght 3ow serue,
147: That half so loth 3oure wratthe wold disserue.

148: "And nere it that we ben so neigh the tente
149: Of Calcas which that sen vs bothe may,
150: I wolde of this 3ow telle al myn entente;
151: But this enseled til anothir day.
152: 3eue me 3oure honde; I am and shal ben ay,
153: God helpe me so, while that my lyf may dure,
154: 3oure owene abouen euery creature.

155: "Thus seyde I neuere er now to womman born;
156: ffor god myn herte as wisly glade so,
157: I loued neuere womman here-biforn
158: As paramours, ne neuere shal no mo.
159: And for the loue of god beth nat my fo,
160: Al kan I naught to 3ow, my lady deere,
161: Compleyne aright, for I am 3et to leere.

162: "And wondreth nought, myn owen lady bright,
163: Though that I speke of loue to 3ow thus blyue;
164: ffor I haue herd er this of many a wight
165: Hath loued thyng he neuere saigh his lyue:
166: Ek I am nat of power forto stryue
167: A3eyns the god of loue, but hym obeye
168: I wole alwey, and mercye l 3ow preye.

169: "Ther ben so worthi knyghtes in this place,
170: And 3e so fayre, that euerich of hem alle
171: Wol peynen hym to stonden in 3oure grace.
172: But myghte me so faire a grace falle,
173: That 3e me for 3oure seruant wolde calle,
174: So lowely ne so trewely 3ow serue
175: Nil non of hem, as I shal, til I sterue."

176: Criseyde vn-to that purpos lite answerde,
177: As she that was with sorwe oppressed so
178: That in effect she naught hise tales herde
179: But here and ther, now here a word or two.
180: Hire thoughte hire sorwful herte brast atwo,
181: ffor whan she gan hire fader fer espie,
182: Wel neigh down of hire hors she gan to sye.
-456-



183: But natheles she thonketh Diomede
184: Of alle his trauaile and his goode cheere,
185: And that hym list his frendshipe hire to bede;
186: And she accepteth it in good manere,
187: And wol do fayn that is hym lief and dere,
188: And tristen hym she wolde, and wel she myghte,
189: As seyde she, and from hire hors shalighte.

190: Hire fader hath hire in hise armes nome,
191: And twenty tyme he kiste his doughter sweete,
192: And seyde, "O deere doughter myn, welcome."
193: She seyde ek she was fayn with hym to mete,
194: And stood forth muwet, milde and mansuete.
195: But here I leue hire with hire fader dwelle,
196: And forth I wol of Troilus 3ow telle.

197: To Troie is come this woful Troilus,
198: In sorwe abouen alle sorwes smerte,
199: With feloun look and face dispitous.
200: Tho sodeynly doun from his hors he sterte,
201: And thorugh his paleis with a swollen herte
202: To chaumbre he wente; of no wight took he hede,
203: Ne non to hym dar speke a word for drede.

204: And ther his sorwes that he spared hadde
205: He 3af an issue large and "deth" he criede;
206: And in his throwes frenetik and madde
207: He corseth Ioue, Appollo and ek Cupide,
208: He corseth Ceres, Bacus and Cipride,
209: His burthe, hym self, his fate and ek nature,
210: And, saue his lady, euery creature.

211: To bedde he goth, and walwith ther and torneth
212: In furie, as doth he Ixion in helle;
213: And in this wise he neigh til day soiorneth.
214: But tho bigan his herte a lite vnswelle
215: Thorugh teris which that gonnen vp to welle,
216: And pitously he cryde vpon Criseyde,
217: And to hym self right thus he spak and seyde:
-458-



218: Wher is hire white brest, wher is it, where?
219: "Wher is myn owene lady lief and deere?
220: Wher ben hire armes and hire eyen cleere,
221: That 3esternyght this tyme with me were?
222: Now may I wepe allone many a teere,
223: And graspe aboute I may, but in this place,
224: Saue a pilowe, I fynde naught tenbrace.

225: "How shal I do? Whan shal she come a3eyn?
226: I not, allas! whi lete ich hire to go?
227: As wolde god ich hadde as tho ben sleyn!
228: O herte myn, Criseyde, O swete fo!
229: O lady myn, that I loue and namo,
230: To whom for euermo myn herte I dowe,
231: Se how I dye -- 3e nyl me nat rescowe.

232: "Who seth 3ow now, my righte lode sterre?
233: Who sit right now or stant in 3oure presence?
234: Who kan conforten now 3oure hertes werre?
235: Now I am gon, whom 3eue 3e audience?
236: Who speketh for me right now in myn absence?
237: Allas, no wight, and that is al my care,
238: ffor wel woot I as yuele as I 3e fare.
-460-



239: "How sholde I thus ten dayes ful endure,
240: Whan I the firste nyght haue al this tene?
241: How shal she don ek, sorwful creature?
242: ffor tendernesse how shal she ek sustene
243: Swich wo for me? O pitous, pale and grene
244: Shal ben 3oure fresshe wommanliche face
245: ffor langoure, er 3e torne vnto this place."

246: And whan he fille in any slomberynges,
247: Anon bygynne he sholde forto grone,
248: And dremen of the dredefulleste thynges
249: That myghte ben: as mete he were allone
250: In place horrible, makyng ay his mone,
251: Or meten that he was amonges alle
252: His enemys and in hire hondes falle.

253: And therwith-al his body sholde sterte,
254: And with the sterte al sodeynliche awake,
255: And swiche a tremour fele aboute his herte,
256: That of the fere his body sholde quake;
257: And therwith-al he sholde a noyse make,
258: And seme as though he sholde falle depe
259: ffrom heighe o-lofte, and thanne he wolde wepe,

260: And rewen on hym self so pitously,
261: That wonder was to here his fantasie.
262: Another tyme he sholde myghtyly
263: Conforte hym self and sein it was folie,
264: So causeles swich drede forto drye;
265: And eft bygynne his aspre sorwes newe,
266: That euery man myght on his sorwes rewe.

267: Who koude telle aright or ful discryue
268: His wo, his pleynt, his langoure and his pyne?
269: Naught alle the men that han or ben on lyue.
270: Thow redere, maist thi self ful wel deuyne
271: That swich a wo my wit kan nat diffyne.
272: On ydel forto write it sholde I swynke,
273: Whan that my wit is wery it to thynke.

274: On heuene 3et the sterres weren seene,
275: Al-though ful pale y-woxen was the moone,
276: And whiten gan the orisonte shene
277: Al estward as it wont is to doone;
278: And Phebus with his rosy carte soone
279: Gan after that to dresse hym vp to fare
280: Whan Troilus hath sent after Pandare.
-462-



281: This Pandare, that of al the day biforn
282: Ne myghte ham comen Troilus to se,
283: Al-though he on his hed it hadde sworn --
284: ffor with the kyng Priam alday was he,
285: So that it lay nought in his libertee
286: Nowher to gon -- but on the morwe he wente
287: To Troilus whan that he for hym sente.

288: ffor in his herte he koude wel deuyne
289: That Troilus al nygh for sorwe wooke,
290: And that he wolde telle hym of his pyne --
291: This knew he wel ynough with-oute booke.
292: ffor which to chaumbre streght the wey he tooke,
293: And Troilus tho sobrelich he grette,
294: And on the bed ful sone he gan hym sette.

295: "My Pandarus," quod Troilus, "the sorwe
296: Which that I drye, I may nat longe endure:
297: I trowe I shal nat lyuen tyl to-morwe.
298: ffor which I wolde alweys on auenture
299: To the deuysen of my sepulture
300: The fourme, and of my moeble thow dispone
301: Right as the semeth best is forto done.

302: "But of the fir and flaumbe funeral
303: In which my body brennen shal to glede,
304: And of the feste and pleyes palestral
305: At my vigile, I prey the tak good hede
306: That al be wel and offre Mars my steede,
307: My swerd, myn helm and, leue brother deere,
308: My sheld to Pallas 3ef, that shyneth cleere.

309: "The poudre in which myn herte y-brend shal torne,
310: That preye I the thow take and it conserue
311: In a vessell that men clepeth an vrne
312: Of gold, and to my lady that I serue,
313: ffor loue of whom thus pitouslich I sterue,
314: So 3eue it hire and do me this plesaunce,
315: To preye hire kepe it for a remembraunce.

316: "ffor wele I fele by my maladie,
317: And by my dremes now and 3ore ago,
318: Al certeynly that I mot nedes dye:
319: The owle ek, which that hette Escaphilo,
320: Hath after me shright al thise nyghtes two.
321: And god Mercurye, of me now, woful wrecche,
322: The soule gyde and, whan the liste, it fecche."
-464-



323: Pandare answerde and seyde, "Troilus,
324: My deere frende, as I haue told the 3ore
325: That it is folye forto sorwen thus,
326: And causeles, for which I kan namore.
327: But who-so wil nought trowen reed ne loore,
328: I kan nat sen in hym no remedie,
329: But lat hym worthen with his fantasie.

330: "But Troilus, I prey the tel me now,
331: If that thow trowe er this that any wight
332: Hath loued paramours as wel as thow?
333: 3e, god woot, and fro many a worthi knyght
334: Hath his lady gon a fourtenyght,
335: And he nat 3et made haluendel the fare.
336: What nede is the to maken al this care?

337: "Syn day by day thow maist thi seluen se
338: That from his loue, or ellis from his wif,
339: A man mote twynnen of necessite --
340: 3e, though he loue hire as his owene lif;
341: 3et nyl he with hym self thus maken strif.
342: ffor wel thow woost, my leue brother deere,
343: That alwey frendes may nat ben yfeere.

344: "How don this folk that seen hire loues wedded
345: By frendes myght, as it bitit ful ofte,
346: And sen hem in hire spouses bed y-bedded?
347: God woot, they take it wisly, faire and softe,
348: ffor-whi good hope halt vp hire herte o-lofte.
349: And for they kan a tyme of sorwe endure,
350: As tyme hem hurt, a tyme doth hem cure.

351: "So shuldestow endure and laten slide
352: The tyme and fonde to ben glad and lighte;
353: Ten dayes nys so longe nought tabide.
354: And sen she the to comen hath bihyghte,
355: She nyl hire heste breken for no wighte.
356: ffor drede the nat that she nyl fynden weye
357: To come a3ein -- my lif that dorste I leye.

358: "Thi sweuennes ek and al swich fantasie
359: Drif out and lat hem faren to meschaunce,
360: ffor they procede of thi malencolie,
361: That doth the fele in slepe al this penaunce.
362: A straw for alle sweuenes signifiaunce!
363: God helpe me so, I counte hem nought a bene;
364: Ther woot noman aright what dremes mene.
-466-



365: ffor prestes of the temple tellen this,
366: That dremes ben the reuelaciouns
367: Of goddes, and as wel they telle, ywis,
368: That they ben infernals illusiouns;
369: And leches seyn that of complexiouns
370: Proceden they, or fast, or glotonye --
371: Who woot in soth thus what thei signifie?

372: "Ek oother seyn that thorugh impressiouns,
373: As if a wight hath faste a thyng in mynde,
374: That ther-of cometh swiche auysiouns;
375: And other seyn, as they in bokes fynde,
376: That after tymes of the 3ere by kynde
377: Men dreme and that theffect goth by the moone --
378: But leue no dreme, for it is nought to doone.

379: "Wel worthe of dremes ay thise olde wiues,
380: And treweliche ek augurye of thise fowles,
381: ffor fere of which men wenen lese here lyues,
382: As rauenes qualm, or shrichyng of thise owles:
383: To trowen on it bothe fals and foul is.
384: Allas, allas, so noble a creature
385: As is a man shal dreden swiche ordure!

386: "ffor which with al myn herte I the biseche
387: Unto thi self that al this thow for3yue;
388: And ris now vp with-owten more speche,
389: And lat vs caste how forth may best be dryue
390: This tyme, and ek how fresshly we may lyue
391: Whan that she comth, the which shal be right soone.
392: God helpe me so, the beste is thus to doone.

393: "Ris, lat vs speke of lusty lif in Troie
394: That we han led and forth the tyme dryue;
395: And ek of tyme comyng vs reioie,
396: That bryngen shal oure blisse now so blyue;
397: And langour of thise twyes dayes fyue
398: We shal ther-with so for3ete or oppresse,
399: That wel vnneth it don shal vs duresse.

400: "This town is ful of lordes al aboute,
401: And trewes lasten al this mene while.
402: Go we pleye vs in som lusty route
403: To Sarpedoun, nat hennes but a myle.
404: And thus thow shall the tyme wel bygile,
405: And dryue it forth vnto that blisful morwe
406: That thow hire se that cause is of thi sorwe.
-468-



407: "Now ris, my deere brother Troilus,
408: ffor certes it non honour is to the
409: To wepe and in thi bedde to iouken thus;
410: ffor trewelich of o thyng truste me:
411: If thow thus ligge a day or two or thre,
412: The folk wol seyn that thow for cowardise
413: The feynest sik and that thow darst nat rise."

414: This Troilus answerde, "O brother deere,
415: This knowen folk that han ysuffred peyne,
416: That though he wepe and make sorwful cheere,
417: That feleth harm and smerte in euery veyne,
418: No wonder is; and though ich euere pleyne
419: Or alwey wepe, I am no thyng to blame,
420: Syn I haue lost the cause of al my game.

421: "But syn of fyne force I mote arise,
422: I shal arise as soone as euere I may;,
423: And god, to whom myn herte I sacrifice,
424: So sende vs hastely the tenthe day:
425: ffor was ther neuere fowel so fayn of May
426: As I shal ben whan that she comth in Troie,
427: That cause is of my torment and my ioie.

428: "But whider is thi reed," quod Troilus,
429: "That we may pleye vs best in al this town?"
430: "By god, my conseil is,' quod Pandarus,
431: "To ride and pleye vs with kyng Sarpedoun.'
432: So longe of this they speken vp and down,
433: Til Troilus gan at the laste assente
434: To rise, and forth to Sarpedoun they wente.
-470-



435: This Sarpedoun, as he that honourable
436: Was euere his lyue and ful of heigh largesse,
437: With al that myghte y-serued ben on table
438: That deynte was, al coste it gret richesse,
439: He fedde hem day by day, that swich noblesse,
440: As seyden bothe the mooste and ek the leeste,
441: Was neuere ere that day wist at any feste.

442: Nor in this world ther is non instrument
443: Delicious thorugh wynd or touche of corde,
444: As fer as any wight hath euere ywent,
445: That tonge telle or herte may recorde,
446: That at that feste it nas wel herd acorde;
447: Ne of ladys ek so faire a compaignie
448: On daunce er tho was neuere i-seye with ie.

449: But what auaileth this to Troilus,
450: That for his sorwe no thyng of it roughte?
451: ffor euere in on his herte pietous
452: fful bisyly Criseyde, his lady, soughte.
453: On hire was euere al that his herte thoughte,
454: Now this, now that, so faste ymagenynge,
455: That glade, i-wis, kan hym no festeyinge.

456: Thise ladies ek that at this feste ben,
457: Syn that he saugh his lady was aweye,
458: It was his sorwe vpon hem forto sen,
459: Or forto here on instrumentes so pleye:
460: ffor she that of his herte berth the keye
461: Was absent, lo, this was his fantasie --
462: That no wight sholde maken melodie.

463: Nor ther nas houre in al the day or nyght,
464: Whan he was there as no wight myghte hym heere,
465: That he ne seyde, "O lufsom lady bryght,
466: How haue 3e faren syn that 3e were here?
467: Welcome, ywis, myn owne lady deere."
468: But weylaway, al this nas but a maze:
469: ffortune his howue entended bet to glaze.

470: The lettres ek that she of olde tyme
471: Hadde hym ysent, he wolde allone rede
472: An hondred sithe atwixen noon and prime,
473: Refiguryng hire shap, hire wommanhede,
474: With-inne his herte, and euery word or dede
475: That passed was; and thus he drof tanende
476: The ferthe day and seyde he wolde wende.
-472-



477: And seyde, "leue brother, Pandarus,
478: Intendestow that we shal here bleue
479: Til Sarpedoun wol forth congeyen vs?
480: 3et were it fairer that we toke oure leue.
481: ffor goddes loue, lat vs now soone at eue
482: Oure leue take, and homward lat vs torne,
483: ffor treweliche I nyl nat thus soiourne.'

484: Pandare answerde, "be we comen hider
485: To fecchen fire and rennen home a3ein?
486: God help me so, I kan nat tellen whider
487: We myghte gon, if I shal sothly seyn,
488: Ther any wight is of vs more feyn
489: Than Sarpedoun; and if we hennes hye
490: Thus sodeynly, I holde it vilanye.

491: "Syn that we seyden that we wolde bleue
492: With hym a wowke, and now, thus sodeynly,
493: The ferthe day to take of hym owre leue,
494: He wolde wondren on it trewely.
495: Lat vs holde forth oure purpos fermely;
496: And syn that 3e bihighten hym to bide,
497: Holde forward now and after lat vs ride."

498: Thus Pandarus, with alle peyne and wo,
499: Made hym to dwelle, and at the wikes ende
500: Of Sarpedoun they toke hire leue tho,
501: And on hire wey they spedden hem to wende.
502: Quod Troilus, "now lord me grace sende
503: That I may fynden at myn hom comyng
504: Criseyde comen," and ther-with gan he syng.

505: "3e, haselwode,' thoughte this Pandare,
506: And to hym self ful softeliche he seyde,
507: "God woot, refreyden may this hote fare
508: Er Calkas sende Troilus Criseyde."
509: But natheles he iaped thus and pleyde,
510: And swor, ywis, his herte hym wel bihighte
511: She wolde come as soone as euere she myghte.

512: Whan they vnto the paleys were ycomen
513: Of Troilus, they doun of hors alighte,
514: And to the chambre hire wey than han they nomen;
515: And in-to time that it gan to nyghte
516: They spaken of Criseyde the brighte;
517: And after this, whan that hem bothe leste,
518: They spedde hem fro the soper vnto reste.
-474-



519: On morwe, as soone as day bygan to clere,
520: This Troilus gan of his slepe tabrayde,
521: And to Pandare, his owen brother deere,
522: "ffor loue of god," ful pitously he sayde,
523: "As go we sen the palais of Criseyde;
524: ffor syn we 3et may haue namore feste,
525: So lat vs sen hire paleys atte leeste."

526: And therwith-al his meyne forto blende,
527: A cause he fond in towne forto go,
528: And to Criseydes hous they gonnen wende,
529: But lord, this sely Troilus was wo!
530: Hym thoughte his sorwful herte braste atwo,
531: ffor whan he saugh hire dores spered alle,
532: Wel neigh for sorwe adoun he gan to falle.

533: Therwith whan he was war and gan biholde
534: How shet was euery wyndow of the place,
535: As frost hym thoughte his herte gan to colde;
536: ffor which, with chaunged dedlich pale face,
537: With-outen word he forthby gan to pace,
538: And as god wolde, he gan so faste ride
539: That no wight of his contenance espide.

540: Than seide he thus, "O paleys desolat,
541: O hous of houses whilom best i-hight,
542: O paleys empty and disconsolat,
543: O thow lanterne of which queynt is the light,
544: O paleys, whilom day, that now art nyght,
545: Wel oughtestow to falle and I to dye
546: Syn she is went that wont was vs to gye.

547: "O paleis, whilom crowne of houses alle,
548: Enlumyned with sonne of alle blisse,
549: O ryng fro which the rubie is out falle,
550: O cause of wo that cause hast ben of lisse,
551: 3et syn I may no bet, fayn wolde I kisse
552: Thy colde dores, dorste I for this route;
553: And far wel shryne, of which the seynt is oute."

554: Ther-with he caste on Pandarus his eye,
555: With chaunged face and pitous to biholde,
556: And whan he myghte his tyme aright aspie,
557: Ay as he rood to Pandarus he tolde
558: His newe sorwe and ek hise ioies olde
559: So pitously and with so dede an hewe
560: That euery wight myghte on his sorwe rewe.
-476-



561: ffro thennes forth he rideth vp and down,
562: And euery thyng com hym to remembraunce
563: As he rood forby places of the town
564: In which he whilom hadde al his plesaunce.
565: "Lo, 3onder saugh ich last my lady daunce,
566: And in that temple with hire eyen clere
567: Me kaughte first my righte lady dere.

568: "And 3onder haue I herd ful lustyly
569: My dere herte laugh and 3onder pleye
570: Saugh ich hire ones ek ful blisfully;
571: And 3onder ones to me gan she seye,
572: "Now goode swete, loue me wel, I preye';
573: And 3ond so goodly gan she me biholde,
574: That to the deth myn herte is to hire holde.

575: "And at that corner in the 3onder hous
576: Herde I myn alder-leuest lady deere,
577: So wommanly with vois melodious,
578: Syngen so wel, so goodly and so cleere,
579: That in my soule 3et me thynketh ich here
580: The blisful sown; and in that 3onder place
581: My lady first me took vnto hire grace."

582: Thanne thoughte he thus, "O blisful lord Cupide,
583: Whan I the processe haue in my memorie
584: How thow me hast wereyed on euery syde,
585: Men myght a book make of it lik a storie.
586: What nede is the to seke on me victorie,
587: Syn I am thyn and holly at thi wille?
588: What ioie hast thow thyn owen folk to spille?

589: "Wel hastow, lord, y-wroke on me thyn ire,
590: Thow myghty god and dredefull for to greue.
591: Now mercy, lord, thow woost wel I desire
592: Thi grace moost of alle lustes leeue,
593: And lyue and dye I wol in thy byleue;
594: ffor which I naxe in guerdoun but a bone --
595: That thow Criseyde a3ein me sende sone.
-478-



596: "Destreyne hire herte as faste to retorne,
597: As thow doost myn to longen hire to see,
598: Than woot I wel that she nyl naught soiorne.
599: Now blisful lord, so cruel thow ne be
600: Unto the blood of Troie, I preye the,
601: As Iuno was vnto the blood Thebane,
602: ffor which the folk of Thebes caughte hire bane."

603: And after this he to the 3ates wente,
604: Ther as Criseyde out rood a ful good paas,
605: And vp and down ther made he many a wente,
606: And to hym self ful ofte he seyde, "allas,
607: ffro hennes rood my blisse and my solas;
608: As wolde blisful god now, for his ioie,
609: I myghte hire sen a3eyn come in-to Troie.

610: "And to the 3onder hille I gan hire gyde,
611: Allas, and ther I took of hire my leue;
612: And 3ond I saugh hire to hire fader ride,
613: ffor sorwe of which myn herte shal to-cleue;
614: And hider home I com whan it was eue,
615: And here I dwelle out cast from alle ioie,
616: And shal til I may sen hire eft in Troie."

617: And of hym self ymagened he ofte
618: To ben defet, and pale, and waxen lesse
619: Than he was wont, and that men seyden softe,
620: "What may it be? who kan the sothe gesse
621: Whi Troilus hath al this heuynesse?"
622: And al this nas but his malencolie,
623: That he hadde of hym self swich fantasie.

624: Another tyme ymaginen he wolde
625: That euery wight that wente by the weye
626: Hadde of hym routhe and that thay seyn sholde,
627: "I am right sory Troilus wol deye."
628: And thus he drof a day 3et forth or tweye
629: As 3e haue herd; swich lif right gan he lede,
630: As he that stood bitwixen hope and drede.

631: ffor which hym likede in his songes shewe
632: Thenchesoun of his wo, as he best myghte,
633: And made a song of wordes but a fewe,
634: Somwhat his woful herte for to lighte;
635: And whan he was from euery mannes syghte,
636: With softe vois he of his lady deere,
637: That absent was, gan synge as 3e may heere.
-480-



Canticus Troili


638: "O sterre, of which I lost haue al the light,
639: With herte soore wel oughte I to biwaille,
640: That euere derk in torment nyght by nyght,
641: Toward my deth with wynd in steere I saille;
642: ffor which the tenthe nyght, if that I faille
643: The gydyng of thi bemes bright an houre,
644: My ship and me Caribdis wol deuoure.'

645: This song whan he thus songen hadde, soone
646: He fil a3eyn in-to hise sikes olde;
647: And euery nyght, as was his wone to doone,
648: He stood the brighte moone to byholde,
649: And al his sorwe he to the moone tolde,
650: And seyde, "ywis, whan thow art horned newe,
651: I shal be glad, if al the world be trewe.

652: "I saugh thyn hornes olde ek by the morwe
653: Whan hennes rood my righte lady dere,
654: That cause is of my torment and my sorwe;
655: ffor which, O brighte Latona the clere,
656: ffor loue of god, ren faste aboute thy spere!
657: ffor whan thyne hornes newe gynnen sprynge,
658: Than shal she come that may my blisse brynge."

659: The dayes moore and lenger euery nyghte
660: Than they ben wont to be, hym thoughte tho,
661: And that the sonne went his cours vnrighte
662: Be lenger weye than it was wont to go;
663: And seyde, "ywis, me dredeth euere mo
664: The sonnes sone, Pheton, be on lyue,
665: And that his fader carte amys he dryue."
-482-



666: Up-on the walles faste ek wolde he walke,
667: And on the Grekis oost he wolde se,
668: And to hym self right thus he wolde talke,
669: "Lo, 3onder is myn owene lady free,
670: Or ellis 3onder ther tho tentes be,
671: And thennes comth this eyre that is so soote,
672: That in my soule I fele it doth me boote.

673: "And hardily this wynd, that more and moore
674: Thus stoundemele encresseth in my face,
675: Is of my ladis depe sikes soore.
676: I preue it thus, for in noon other place
677: Of al this town, saue onliche in this space,
678: ffele I no wynd that sowneth so lik peyne;
679: It seyth, "allas, whi twynned be we tweyne?"

680: This longe tyme he dryueth forth right thus,
681: Til fully passed was the nynthe nyghte;
682: And ay bisyde hym was this Pandarus,
683: That bisily did al his fulle myghte
684: Hym to conforte and make his herte lighte,
685: 3euyng hym hope alwey the tenthe morwe
686: That she shal come and stynten al his sorwe.

687: Up-on that other syde ek was Criseyde,
688: With wommen fewe, among the Grekis stronge,
689: ffor which ful ofte a day, "allas," she seyde,
690: "That I was born! Wel may myn herte longe
691: After my deth, for now lyue I to longe.
692: Allas, and I ne may it nat amende,
693: ffor now is wors than euere 3et I wende.

694: "My fader nyl for no thyng do me grace
695: To gon a3eyn, for naught I kan hym queme;
696: And if so be that I my terme pace,
697: My Troilus shal in his herte deme
698: That I am fals, and so it may wel seme:
699: Thus shal ich haue vnthonk on euery side --
700: That I was born, so weilaway the tide!

701: "And if that I me putte in iupertie
702: To stele awey by nyght, and it bifalle
703: That I be kaught, I shal be holde a spie;
704: Or elles, lo, this drede I moost of alle,
705: If in the hondes of som wrecche I falle,
706: I nam but lost, al be myn herte trewe --
707: Now myghty god, thow on my sorwe rewe!"
-484-



708: fful pale ywexen was hire brighte face,
709: Hire lymes lene, as she that al the day
710: Stood whan she dorste and loked on the place
711: Ther she was born and ther she dwelt hadde ay;
712: And al the nyght wepyng, allas, she lay.
713: And thus despeired out of alle cure
714: She ladde hire lif, this woful creature.

715: fful ofte a day she sighte ek for destresse,
716: And in hire self she wente ay purtrayng
717: Of Troilus the grete worthynesse,
718: And al his goodly wordes recordyng
719: Syn first that day hire loue bigan to spring;
720: And thus she sette hire woful herte a-fire
721: Thorugh remembraunce of that she gan desire.

722: In al this world ther nys so cruel herte
723: That hire hadde herd compleynen in hire sorwe,
724: That nolde han wepen for hire peynes smerte;
725: So tendrely she wepte bothe eue and morwe,
726: Hire nedede no teris forto borwe.
727: And this was 3et the werste of al hire peyne,
728: Ther was no wight to whom she dorste hire pleyne.

729: fful rewfully she loked vpon Troie,
730: Biheld the toures heigh and ek the halles,
731: "Allas," quod she, "the plesance and the ioie,
732: The which that now al torned into galle is,
733: Haue ich had ofte with-inne the 3onder walles.
734: O Troilus, what dostow now?" she seyde;
735: "Lord, wheyther thow 3et thenke vpon Criseyde?

736: "Allas, I ne hadde trowed on 3oure loore,
737: And went with 3ow as 3e me redde er this,
738: Than hadde I now nat siked half so soore.
739: Who myghte han seyd that I hadde don amys
740: To stele awey with swich oon as he ys?
741: But al to late comth the letuarie,
742: Whan men the cors vnto the graue carie.
-486-



743: "To late is now to speke of that matere;
744: Prudence, allas, oon of thyne eyen thre
745: Me lakked alwey er that I come here:
746: On tyme y-passed wel remembred me,
747: And present tyme ek koud ich wel i-se,
748: But future tyme, er I was in the snare,
749: Koude I nat sen; that causeth now my care.

750: "But natheles, bityde what bityde,
751: I shal to-morwe at nyght by est or west
752: Out of this oost stele on some manere syde,
753: And gon with Troilus where as hym lest:
754: This purpos wol ich holde, and this is best.
755: No fors of wikked tonges ianglerie,
756: ffor euere on loue han wrecches had enuye.

757: "ffor who-so wol of euery word take hede,
758: Or reulen hym by euery wightes wit,
759: Ne shal he neuere thryuen, out of drede:
760: ffor that that som men blamen euere 3it,
761: Lo, other manere folk comenden it.
762: And as for me, for al swich variaunce,
763: ffelicite clepe I my suffissaunce.

764: "ffor which with-outen any wordes mo,
765: To Troie I wole, as for conclusioun."
766: But god it wot, er fully monthes two
767: She was ful fer fro that entencioun;
768: ffor bothe Troilus and Troie town
769: Shal knotteles thorugh-out hire herte slide,
770: ffor she wol take a purpos for tabide.

771: This Diomede, of whom 3ow telle I gan,
772: Goth now with-inne hym self ay arguyng,
773: With al the sleghte and al that euere he kan,
774: How he may best with shortest tarying
775: In-to his net Criseydes herte bryng.
776: To this entent he koude neuere fyne;
777: To fisshen hire he leyde out hook and lyne.
-488-



778: But natheles, wel in his herte he thoughte
779: That she nas nat with-oute a loue in Troie;
780: ffor neuere sythen he hire thennes broughte
781: Ne koude he sen hire laughe or maken ioie.
782: He nyst how best hire herte for tacoye,
783: "But for tasay," he seyde, "it naught ne greueth;
784: ffor he that naught nasaieth naught nacheueth."

785: 3et seyde he to hym self vp-on a nyght,
786: "Now am I nat a fool, that woot wel how
787: Hire wo for loue is of another wight,
788: And here-vpon to gon assaye hire now?
789: I may wel wite, it nyl nat ben my prow.
790: ffor wise folk in bookes it expresse,
791: 'Men shal nat wowe a wight in heuynesse.'

792: "But who-so myghte wynnen swich a floure
793: ffrom hym for whom she morneth nyght and day,
794: He myghte seyn he were a conqueroure."
795: And right anon, as he that bold was ay,
796: Thoughte in his herte, "happe how happe may,
797: Al sholde I dye, I wol hire herte seche;
798: I shal namore lesen but my speche."

799: This Diomede, as bokes vs declare,
800: Was in his nedes prest and corageous,
801: With sterne vois and myghty lymes square,
802: Hardy, testif, strong and chiualrous
803: Of dedes lik his fader Tideus;
804: And som men seyn he was of tonge large,
805: And heir he was of Calydoigne and Arge.

806: Criseyde mene was of hire stature,
807: Therto of shap, of face and ek of cheere,
808: Ther myghte ben no fairer creature;
809: And ofte tyme this was hire manere,
810: To gon y-tressed with hire heres clere
811: Doun by hire coler at hire bak byhynde,
812: Which with a thred of gold she wolde bynde.
-490-



813: And saue hire browes ioyneden y-feere,
814: Ther nas no lakke in aught I kan espien;
815: But forto speken of hire eyen cleere,
816: Lo, trewely, they writen that hire syen,
817: That Paradis stood formed in hire eyen;
818: And with hire riche beaute euere more
819: Strof loue in hire ay which of hem was more.

820: She sobre was, ek symple, and wys with-al,
821: The best ynorisshed ek that myghte be,
822: And goodly of hire speche in general;
823: Charitable, estatlich, lusty and fre,
824: Ne neuere mo ne lakked hire pite:
825: Tendre herted, slydynge of corage --
826: But trewely I kan nat telle hire age.

827: And Troilus wel woxen was in highte,
828: And complet formed by proporcioun
829: So wel that kynde it nought amenden myghte;
830: 3ong, fressh, strong, and hardy as lyoun,
831: Trewe as stiel in ech condicioun,
832: Oon of the beste entecched creature
833: That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.

834: And certeynly in storye it is yfounde,
835: That Troilus was neuere vnto no wight,
836: As in his tyme, in no degree secounde
837: In duryng don that longeth to a knyght,
838: Al myghte a geant passen hym of myght.
839: His herte ay with the first and with the beste
840: Stood peregal to durre don that hym leste.

841: But forto tellen forth of Diomede:
842: It fel that after, on the tenthe day
843: Syn that Criseyde out of the Citee 3ede,
844: This Diomede, as fressh as braunche in May,
845: Come to the tente ther as Calkas lay,
846: And feyned hym with Calkas han to doone;
847: But what he mente I shal 3ow tellen soone.

848: Criseyde, at shorte wordes forto telle,
849: Welcomed hym, and down hym by hire sette,
850: And he was ethe ynough to maken dwelle;
851: And after this, with-outen longe lette,
852: The spices and the wyne men forth hem fette,
853: And forth they speke of this and that y-feere
854: As frendes don, of which som shal 3e heere.
-492-



855: He gan first fallen of the werre in speche
856: Bitwixe hem and the folk of Troie town,
857: And of thassege he gan hire ek biseche
858: To telle hym what was hire opynyoun;
859: ffro that demaunde he so descendeth down
860: To axen hire if that hire straunge thoughte
861: The Grekis gise and werkes that they wroughte;

862: And whi hire fader tarieth so longe
863: To wedden hire vnto som worthy wight.
864: Criseyde, that was in hire peynes stronge
865: ffor loue of Troilus, hire owen knyght,
866: As ferforth as she konnyng hadde or myght,
867: Answerde hym tho; but as of his entente,
868: It semed nat she wiste what he mente.

869: But natheles this ilke Diomede
870: Gan in hym self assure and thus he seyde,
871: "If ich aright haue taken of 3ow hede,
872: Me thynketh thus, O lady myn Criseyde,
873: That syn I first hond on 3oure bridel leyde,
874: Whan 3e out come of Troie by the morwe,
875: Ne koude I neuere sen 3ow but in sorwe.

876: "Kan I nat seyn what may the cause be
877: But if for loue of som Troian it were,
878: The which right sore wolde athynken me
879: That 3e for any wight that dwelleth there
880: Sholden spille a quarter of a tere,
881: Or pitously 3oure seluen so bigile --
882: ffor dredeles, it is nought worth the while.

883: "The folk of Troie, as who seyth alle and some,
884: In prisoun ben, as 3e 3oure seluen se;
885: ffor thennes shal nat oon on lyue come
886: ffor al the gold atwixen sonne and se.
887: Trusteth wel and vnderstondeth me:
888: Ther shal nat oon to mercy gon on lyue,
889: Al were he lord of worldes twies fyue.

890: "Swich wreche on hem for fecchynge of Eleyne
891: Ther shal ben take er that we hennes wende,
892: That Manes, which that goddes ben of peyne,
893: Shal ben agast that Grekes wol hem shende;
894: And men shul drede, vnto the worldes ende,
895: ffrom hennes-forth to rauysshen any queene,
896: So cruel shal oure wreche on hem be seene.
-494-



897: "And but if Calkas lede vs with ambages --
898: That is to seyn with double wordes slye,
899: Swich as men clepe a word with two visages --
900: 3e shal wel knowen that I naught ne lye,
901: And al this thyng right sen it with 3oure eye,
902: And that anon, 3e nyl nat trowe how sone;
903: Now taketh hede, for it is forto doone.

904: "What wene 3e 3oure wise fader wolde
905: Han 3euen Antenor for 3ow anon,
906: If he ne wiste that the Cite sholde
907: Destroied ben? whi, nay, so mote I gon!
908: He knew ful wel ther shal nat scapen oon
909: That Troian is, and for the grete feere,
910: He dorste nat 3e dwelte lenger there.

911: "What wol 3e more, lufsom lady deere?
912: Lat Troie and Troian fro 3oure herte pace.
913: Drif out that bittre hope and make good cheere,
914: And clepe a3eyn the beaute of 3oure face,
915: That 3e with salte teris so de-face.
916: ffor Troie is brought in swich a iupertie,
917: That it to saue is now no remedie.

918: "And thenketh wel 3e shal in Grekis fynde
919: A moore perfit loue er it be nyght,
920: Than any Troian is, and more kynde,
921: And bet to seruen 3ow wol don his myght;
922: And if 3e vouche-sauf, my lady bright,
923: I wol ben he to seruen 3ow my selue,
924: 3ee, leuere than be kyng of Greces twelue."
-496-



925: And with that word he gan to waxen rede,
926: And in his speche a litel wight he quoke,
927: And caste a-syde a litel wight his hede,
928: And stynte a while, and afterward he woke,
929: And sobreliche on hire he threw his loke,
930: And seyde, "I am, al be it 3ow no ioie,
931: As gentil man as any wight in Troie."

932: "ffor if my fader Tideus," he seyde,
933: "I-lyued hadde, ich hadde ben er this
934: Of Calydoyne and Arge a kyng, Criseyde,
935: And so hope I that I shal 3et, i-wis,
936: But he was slayn, allas, the more harm is,
937: Unhappily at Thebes al to rathe,
938: Polymytes and many a man to scathe.

939: "But, herte myn, syn that I am 3oure man,
940: And ben the first of whom I seche grace
941: To serue 3ow as hertely as I kan,
942: And euere shal whil I to lyue haue space,
943: So er that I deperte out of this place,
944: That 3e me graunte that I may to-morwe
945: At bettre leyser telle 3ow my sorwe."

946: What sholde I telle his wordes that he seyde?
947: He spak i-nough for o day at the meeste.
948: It preueth wel, he spak so that Criseyde
949: Graunted on the morwe at his requeste
950: fforto speken with hym at the leeste,
951: So that he nolde speke of swich matere.
952: And thus to hym she seyde as 3e may here,

953: As she that hadde hire herte on Troilus
954: So faste that ther may it non arace;
955: And strangely she spak and seyde thus,
956: "O Diomede, I loue that ilke place
957: Ther I was born, and Ioues for his grace
958: Delyuere it soone of al that doth it care:
959: God, for thy myght, so leue it wel to fare.
-498-



960: "That Grekis wolde hire wrath on Troie wreke
961: If that they myght, I knowe it wel, i-wis;
962: But it shal naught by-fallen as 3e speke,
963: And god to-forn, and forther ouere this,
964: I woot my fader wys and redy is,
965: And that he me hath bought, as 3e me tolde,
966: So deere, I am the more vnto hym holde.

967: "That Grekis ben of heigh condicioun
968: I woot ek wel, but certeyn, men shal fynde
969: As worthi folk with-inne Troie town,
970: As konnyng and as perfit and as kynde,
971: As ben bitwixen Orkades and Inde.
972: And that 3e koude wel 3owre lady serue,
973: I trowe ek wel, hire thank forto deserue.

974: "But as to speke of loue, ywis," she seyde,
975: "I hadde a lord to whom I wedded was,
976: The whos myn herte al was til that he deyde;
977: And other loue, as help me now Pallas,
978: Ther in myn herte nys ne neuere was --
979: And that 3e ben of noble and heigh kynrede,
980: I haue wel herd it tellen out of drede.

981: "And that doth me to han so grete a wonder,
982: That 3e wol scornen any womman so;
983: Ek, god woot, loue and I ben fer asonder:
984: I am disposed bet, so mot I go,
985: Unto my deth to pleyne and maken wo.
986: What I shal after don I kan nat seye,
987: But trewelich, as 3et me list nat pleye.

988: "Myn herte is now in tribulacioun,
989: And 3e in armes bisy day by day;
990: Herafter, whan 3e wonnen han the town,
991: Peraunter thanne so it happen may,
992: That whan I se that neuere 3it I say,
993: Than wol I werke that I neuere wroughte:
994: This word to 3ow ynough suffisen oughte.

995: "To-morwe ek wol I speken with 3ow fayn,
996: So that 3e touchen naught of this matere.
997: And whan 3ow list, 3e may come here a3ayn;
998: And er 3e gon, thus muche I sey 3ow here:
999: As help me Pallas with hire heres clere,
1000: If that I sholde of any Grek han routhe,
1001: It sholde be 3oure seluen, by my trouthe.

1002: "I say nat therfore that I wol 3ow loue,
1003: Ny say nat nay, but in conclusioun,
1004: I mene wel, by god that sit aboue."
1005: And ther-with-al she caste hire eyen down,
1006: And gan to sike and seyde, "O Troie town,
1007: 3et bidde I god in quiete and in reste
1008: I may 3ow sen, or do myn herte breste."
-500-



1009: But in effect, and shortly forto seye,
1010: This Diomede al fresshly new a3eyn
1011: Gan presen on and faste hire mercy preye;
1012: And after this, the sothe forto seyn,
1013: Hire gloue he took, of which he was ful feyn,
1014: And finaly, whan it was woxen eue,
1015: And al was wel, he roos and tok his leue.

1016: The brighte Venus folwede and ay taughte
1017: The wey ther brode Phebus down a-lighte;
1018: And Cynthea hire chare-hors ouere-raughte
1019: To whirle out of the Leoun if she myghte;
1020: And Signifer hise candels sheweth brighte,
1021: Whan that Criseyde vnto hire bedde wente
1022: Inwith hire fadres faire brighte tente,

1023: Retornyng in hire soule ay vp and down
1024: The wordes of this sodeyn Diomede,
1025: His grete estat, and perel of the town,
1026: And that she was allone and hadde nede
1027: Of frendes help; and thus bygan to brede
1028: The cause whi, the sothe forto telle,
1029: That she took fully purpos forto dwelle.

1030: The morwen com and, gostly forto speke,
1031: This Diomede is come vnto Criseyde;
1032: And shortly lest that 3e my tale breke,
1033: So wel he for hym seluen spak and seyde,
1034: That alle hire sikes soore adown he leyde;
1035: And finaly, the sothe forto seyne,
1036: He refte hire of the grete of alle hire peyne.
-502-



1037: And after this the storie telleth vs
1038: That she hym 3af the faire baye stede,
1039: The which he ones wan of Troilus;
1040: And ek a broche -- and that was litel nede --
1041: That Troilus was, she 3af this Diomede;
1042: And ek the bet from sorwe hym to releue,
1043: She made hym were a pencel of hire sleue.

1044: I fynde ek in the stories elles-where,
1045: Whan thorugh the body hurt was Diomede
1046: Of Troilus, tho wep she many a teere,
1047: Whan that she saugh hise wyde wowndes blede,
1048: And that she took to kepen hym good hede;
1049: And forto hele hym of his sorwes smerte,
1050: Men seyn -- I not -- that she 3af hym hire herte.

1051: But trewely the storie telleth vs
1052: Ther made neuere womman moore wo
1053: Than she whan that she falsed Troilus:
1054: She seyde, "allas, for now is clene ago
1055: My name of trouthe in loue for euere mo,
1056: ffor I haue falsed oon the gentileste
1057: That euere was and oon the worthieste.
-504-



1058: "Allas, of me vnto the worldes ende
1059: Shal neyther ben ywriten nor ysonge
1060: No good word, for thise bokes wol me shende.
1061: O, rolled shal I ben on many a tonge;
1062: Thorugh-out the world my belle shal be ronge!
1063: And wommen moost wol haten me of alle --
1064: Allas, that swich a cas me sholde falle.

1065: "Thei wol seyn, in as muche as in me is,
1066: I haue hem don deshonour, weylaway!
1067: Al be I nat the first that dide amys,
1068: What helpeth that to don my blame awey?
1069: But syn I se ther is no bettre way,
1070: And that to late is now for me to rewe,
1071: To Diomede algate I wol be trewe.

1072: "But Troilus, syn I no bettre may,
1073: And syn that thus deperten 3e and I,
1074: 3et prey I god, so 3eue 3ow right good day,
1075: As for the gentileste, trewely,
1076: That euere I say, to seruen feythfully,
1077: And best kan ay his lady honour kepe."
1078: And with that word she braste anon to wepe.

1079: "And certes, 3ow ne haten shal I neuere,
1080: And frendes loue, that shal 3e han of me,
1081: And my good word, al sholde I lyuen euere.
1082: And trewely, I wolde sory be
1083: fforto seen 3ow in aduersitee;
1084: And gilteles, I woot wel, I 3ow leue --
1085: But al shal passe, and thus take I my leue."

1086: But trewely, how longe it was bytwene
1087: That she forsok hym for this Diomede,
1088: Ther is non auctour telleth it, I wene.
1089: Take euery man now to his bokes heede;
1090: He shal no terme fynden, out of drede.
1091: ffor though that he bigan to wowe hire soone,
1092: Er he hire wan, 3et was ther more to doone.

1093: Ne me ne list this sely womman chyde
1094: fforther than the storye wol deuyse:
1095: Hire name, allas, is punysshed so wide,
1096: That for hire gilt it oughte ynough suffise;
1097: And if I myghte excuse hire any wise,
1098: ffor she so sory was for hire vntrouthe,
1099: I-wis, I wolde excuse hire 3et for routhe.
-506-



1100: This Troilus, as I byfore haue tolde,
1101: Thus driueth forth as wel as he hath myghte;
1102: But often was his herte hoot and colde,
1103: And namely that ilke nynthe nyghte,
1104: Which on the morwe she hadde hym bihighte
1105: To com a3eyn -- god woot, ful litel reste
1106: Hadde he that nyght: nothyng to slepe hym leste.

1107: The laurer-crowned Phebus with his heete
1108: Gan in his cours ay vpward as he wente,
1109: To warmen of the Est se the wawes weete,
1110: And Nysus doughter song with fressh entente,
1111: Whan Troilus his Pandare after sente;
1112: And on the walles of the town they pleyde,
1113: To loke if they kan sen aught of Criseyde.

1114: Tyl it was noon they stoden forto se
1115: Who that ther come; and euery maner wight
1116: That com fro fer they seyden it was she,
1117: Til that thei koude knowen hym aright.
1118: Now was his herte dul, now was it light;
1119: And thus by-iaped stonden forto stare
1120: Aboute naught, this Troilus and Pandare.

1121: To Pandarus this Troilus tho seyde,
1122: ffor aught I woot, byfor noon, sikirly,
1123: In-to this town ne comth nat here Criseyde.
1124: She hath ynough to doone, hardyly,
1125: To wynnen from hire fader, so trowe I;
1126: Hire olde fader wol 3et make hire dyne
1127: Er that she go; god 3eue his herte pyne!"

1128: Pandare answerde, "it may wel be, certeyn;
1129: And forthi lat vs dyne, I the byseche,
1130: And after noon than maystow com a3eyn."
1131: And hom they go with-oute more speche,
1132: And come a3eyn; but longe may they seche
1133: Er that they fynde that they after cape:
1134: ffortune hem bothe thenketh forto iape.

1135: Quod Troilus, "I se wel now that she
1136: Is taried with hire olde fader so,
1137: That er she come it wol neigh euen be.
1138: Com forth, I wol vnto the 3ate go:
1139: Thise porters ben vnkonnyng euere mo,
1140: And I wol don hem holden vp the 3ate
1141: As naught ne were, al-though she come late."
-508-



1142: The day goth faste and after that com eue,
1143: And 3et com nought to Troilus Criseyde.
1144: He loketh forth by hegge, by tre, by greue,
1145: And fer his hed ouere the walle he leyde,
1146: And at the laste he torned hym and seyde,
1147: "By god, I woot hire menyng now, Pandare --
1148: Al-moost, ywys, al newe was my care.

1149: "Now douteles this lady kan hire goode;
1150: I woot she meneth riden pryuely.
1151: I comende hire wisdom, by myn hoode.
1152: She wol nat maken peple nycely
1153: Gaure on hire whan she comth, but softely
1154: By nyghte in-to the town she thenketh ride.
1155: And deere brother, thynk nat longe tabide.

1156: "We han naught elles forto don, y-wis,
1157: And Pandarus now woltow trowen me?
1158: Haue here my trouthe, I se hire, 3ond she is!
1159: Heue vp thyn eyen, man, maistow nat se?"
1160: Pandare answerde, "nay, so mote I the.
1161: Al wronge, by god; what saistow, man, where arte?
1162: That I se 3ond nys but a fare carte."

1163: "Allas, thou seyst right soth," quod Troilus;
1164: "But hardily it is naught al for nought
1165: That in myn herte I now reioysse thus;
1166: It is a3eyns som good I haue a thought --
1167: Not I nat how, but syn that I was wrought,
1168: Ne felte I swich a comfort, dar I seye;
1169: She comth to-nyght, my lif that dorste I leye."

1170: Pandare answerde, "it may be wel ynough,"
1171: And helde with hym of al that euere he seyde.
1172: But in his herte he thought and softe lough,
1173: And to hym self ful sobreliche he seyde,
1174: "ffrom haselwode, there ioly Robyn pleyde,
1175: Shal come al that that thow abidest heere:
1176: 3e, fare-wel al the snow of ferne 3ere."

1177: The warden of the 3ates gan to calle
1178: The folk which that with-oute the 3ates were,
1179: And bad hem dryuen in hire bestes alle,
1180: Or all the nyght they moste bleuen there.
1181: And fer with-inne the nyght with many a teere
1182: This Troilus gan homward forto ride;
1183: ffor wel he seth it helpeth naught tabide.
-510-



1184: But natheles, he gladed hym in this:
1185: He thought he misacounted hadde his day,
1186: And seyde, "I vnderstonde haue al amys:
1187: ffor thilke nyght I last Criseyde say,
1188: She seyde, "I shal ben here, if that I may,
1189: Er that the moone, O deere herte swete,
1190: The Leoun passe, out of this Ariete."

1191: "ffor which she may 3et holde al hire byheste."
1192: And on the morwe vnto the 3ate he wente,
1193: And vp and down, by west and ek by este,
1194: Upon the walles made he many a wente;
1195: But al for nought, his hope alwey hym blente;
1196: ffor which at nyght in sorwe and sikes sore,
1197: He wente hym hom with-outen any more.

1198: His hope al clene out of his herte fledde,
1199: He nath wher-on now lenger forto honge;
1200: But for the peyne hym thoughte his herte bledde,
1201: So were his throwes sharpe and wonder stronge.
1202: ffor whan he saugh that she abood so longe,
1203: He nyste what he iuggen of it myghte,
1204: Syn she hath broken that she hym bihighte.

1205: The thridde, ferthe, fifte, sexte day
1206: After tho dayes ten of whiche I tolde,
1207: Bitwixen hope and drede his herte lay,
1208: 3et somwhat trustyng on hire hestes olde.
1209: But whan he saugh she nolde hire terme holde,
1210: He kan now sen non other remedie
1211: But forto shape hym soone forto dye.
-512-



1212: Ther-with the wikked spirit, god vs blesse,
1213: Which that men clepeth woode ialousie,
1214: Gan in hym crepe in al his heuynesse;
1215: ffor which by-cause he wolde soone dye,
1216: He ne et ne drank for his malencolye,
1217: And ek from euery compaignye he fledde;
1218: This was the lif that al the tyme he ledde.

1219: He so defet was that no manere man
1220: Unneth hym myghte knowen ther he wente;
1221: So was he lene, and therto pale and wan,
1222: And feble, that he walketh by potente;
1223: And with his ire he thus hym selue shente.
1224: But who-so axed hym wher-of hym smerte,
1225: He seyde his harm was al aboute his herte.

1226: Priam ful ofte, and ek his moder deere,
1227: Hise bretheren and his sustren gon hym freyne
1228: Whi he so sorwful was in al his cheere,
1229: And what thyng was the cause of al his peyne --
1230: But al for naught: he nolde his cause pleyne,
1231: But seyde he felte a greuous maladie
1232: Aboute his herte and fayn he wolde dye.

1233: [So on a day he leyde hym doun to slepe,
1234: And so byfel that yn his slep hym thoughte
1235: That in a forest faste he welk to wepe
1236: ffor loue of here that hym these peynes wroughte;
1237: And vp and doun as he the forest soughte,
1238: He mette he saugh a bor with tuskes grete,
1239: That slepte a3eyn the bryghte sonnes hete.
-514-



1240: And by this bor, faste in his armes folde,
1241: Lay kyssyng ay his lady bryght, Criseyde --
1242: ffor sorwe of which, whan he it gan byholde,
1243: And for despit, out of his slep he breyde,
1244: And loude he cride on Pandarus & seyde,
1245: "O Pandarus, now know I crop and roote --
1246: I nam but ded; ther nys non other bote.

1247: "My lady bryght, Criseyde, hath me bytrayed,
1248: In whom I trusted most of ony wight;
1249: She ellis-where hath now here herte apayed.
1250: The blysful goddes thorugh here grete myght
1251: Han in my drem y-shewed it ful right;
1252: Thus yn my drem Criseyde I haue byholde."
1253: And al this thing to Pandarus he tolde.

1254: "O my Criseyde, allas, what subtilte,
1255: What newe lust, what beaute, what science,
1256: What wratthe of iuste cause haue ye to me?
1257: What gilt of me, what fel experience,
1258: Hath fro me raft, allas, thyn aduertence?
1259: O trust, O feyth, O depe aseuraunce,
1260: Who hath me reft Criseyde, al my plesaunce?
-516-



1261: "Allas, whi leet I you from hennes go,
1262: ffor which wel neigh out of my wit I breyde?
1263: Who shal now trowe on ony othes mo?
1264: God wot, I wende, O lady bright, Criseyde,
1265: That euery word was gospel that ye seyde.
1266: But who may bet bigile, yf hym lyste,
1267: Than he on whom men weneth best to triste?

1268: "What shal I don, my Pandarus, allas?
1269: I fele now so sharpe a newe peyne:
1270: Syn that ther lith no remedye in this cas,
1271: That bet were it I with myn hondes tweyne
1272: My seluen slowh than alwey thus to pleyne:
1273: ffor thorugh the deth my wo shold han an ende,
1274: Ther euery day with lyf my self I shende."]
-518-



1275: Pandare answerde and seyde, "allas, the while
1276: That I was born! Haue I nat seyd er this,
1277: That dremes many a maner man bigile?
1278: And whi? for folk expounden hem amys.
1279: How darstow seyn that fals thy lady ys,
1280: ffor any drem, right for thyn owene drede?
1281: Lat be this thought; thow kanst no dremes rede.

1282: "Peraunter ther thow dremest of this boor,
1283: It may so be that it may signifie
1284: Hire fader, which that old is and ek hoor,
1285: A3eyn the sonne lith o poynt to dye,
1286: And she for sorwe gynneth wepe and crie,
1287: And kisseth hym ther he lith on the grounde:
1288: Thus sholdestow thi dreme aright expounde."
-522-



1289: "How myghte I than don," quod Troilus,
1290: "To knowe of this, 3ee, were it neuere so lite?"
1291: "Now seystow wisly," quod this Pandarus.
1292: "My red is this, syn thow kanst wel endite,
1293: That hastily a lettre thow hire write,
1294: Thorugh which thow shalt wel bryngyn it aboute,
1295: To know a soth ther thow art now in doute.

1296: "And se now whi: for this I dar wel seyn,
1297: That if so is that she vntrewe be,
1298: I kan nat trowen that she wol write a3eyn.
1299: And if she write, thow shalt ful sone yse
1300: As wheither she hath any liberte
1301: To come a3eyn, or ellis in som clause,
1302: If she be let, she wol assigne a cause.

1303: "Thow hast nat writen hire syn that she wente,
1304: Nor she to the, and this I dorste lay,
1305: Ther may swich cause ben in hire entente,
1306: That hardily thow wolt thi seluen say
1307: That hire abod the best is for 3ow tway.
1308: Now write hire thanne and thow shalt feele sone
1309: A soth of al; ther is namore to done."

1310: Acorded ben to this conclusioun,
1311: And that anon, thise ilke lordes two:
1312: And hastily sit Troilus a-down,
1313: And rolleth in his herte to and fro,
1314: How he may best descryuen hire his wo;
1315: And to Criseyde, his owen lady deere,
1316: He wrot right thus and seyde as 3e may here.
Litera Troili
1317: "Right fresshe flour whos I ben haue and shal
1318: With-outen parte of elles-where seruyse,
1319: With herte, body, lif, lust, thought and al,
1320: I, woful wyght, in euerich humble wise,
1321: That tonge telle or herte may deuyse,
1322: As ofte as matere occupieth place,
1323: Me recomaunde vnto 3oure noble grace.

1324: "Liketh 3ow to witen, swete herte,
1325: As 3e wel knowe how longe tyme agon
1326: That 3e me lefte in aspre peynes smerte,
1327: Whan that 3e wente, of which 3et boote non
1328: Haue I non had, but euere wors bigon
1329: ffro day to day am I, and so mot dwelle,
1330: While it 3ow list, of wele and wo my welle.
-524-



1331: "ffor which to 3ow with dredful herte trewe
1332: I write, as he that sorwe drifth to write,
1333: My wo that euerich houre encresseth newe,
1334: Compleynyng as I dar or kan endite.
1335: And that defaced is, that may 3e wite
1336: The teris which that fro myn eyen reyne,
1337: That wolden speke, if that they koude, and pleyne.

1338: "3ow first biseche I that 3oure eyen clere
1339: To loke on this defouled 3e nat holde,
1340: And ouere al this that 3e, my lady deere,
1341: Wol vouche-sauf this lettre to byholde.
1342: And by the cause ek of my cares colde,
1343: That sleth my wit, if aught amys masterte,
1344: ffor3eue it me, myn owen swete herte.

1345: "If any seruant dorst or oughte of right
1346: Upon his lady pitously compleyne,
1347: Thanne wene I that ich oughte be that wight,
1348: Considered this, that 3e thise monthes tweyne
1349: Han taried ther 3e seyden, soth to seyne,
1350: But dayes ten 3e nolde in oost soiourne --
1351: But in two monthes 3et 3e nat retourne.

1352: "But for as muche as me moot nedes like
1353: Al that 3ow liste, I dar nat pleyne moore,
1354: But humblely, with sorwful sikes sike,
1355: 3ow write ich myn vnresty sorwes soore,
1356: ffro day to day desiryng euere moore
1357: To knowen fully, if 3oure wille it weere,
1358: How 3e han ferd and don whil 3e be theere;

1359: "The whos welfare and hele ek god encresse
1360: In honour swich that vpward in degree
1361: It growe alwey so that it neuere cesse;
1362: Right as 3oure herte ay kan, my lady free,
1363: Deuyse, I prey to god so moot it be,
1364: And graunte it that 3e soone vp-on me rewe,
1365: As wisly as in al I am 3ow trewe.
-526-



1366: "And if 3ow liketh knowen of the fare
1367: Of me whos wo ther may no wit discryue,
1368: I kan namore but, chiste of euery care,
1369: At wrytyng of this lettre I was on lyue,
1370: Al redy out my woful gost to dryue;
1371: Which I delaye and holde hym 3et in honde,
1372: Up-on the sighte of matere of 3oure sonde.

1373: "Myn eyen two, in veyn with whiche I se,
1374: Of sorwful teris salt arn waxen welles;
1375: My song, in pleynte of myn aduersitee;
1376: My good in harm, myn ese ek woxen helle is;
1377: My ioie in wo -- I kan sey 3ow naught ellis,
1378: But torned is, for which my lif I warie,
1379: Eueriche ioie or ese in his contrarie.

1380: "Which with 3oure commyng hom a3eyn to Troie
1381: 3e may redresse, and more a thousand sithe
1382: Than euere ich hadde, encressen in me ioie:
1383: ffor was ther neuere herte 3et so blithe
1384: To han his lif as I shal ben as swithe
1385: As I 3ow se; and though no manere routhe
1386: Commeue 3ow, 3et thynketh on 3oure trouthe.

1387: "And if so be my gilt hath deth deserued,
1388: Or if 3ow list namore vp-on me se,
1389: In guerdoun 3et of that I haue 3ow serued,
1390: Byseche I 3ow, myn hertes lady free,
1391: That here-vpon 3e wolden write me,
1392: ffor loue of god, my righte lode sterre,
1393: That deth may make an ende of al my werre.

1394: "If other cause aught doth 3ow forto dwelle,
1395: That with 3oure lettre 3e me recomforte;
1396: ffor though to me 3oure absence is an helle,
1397: With pacience I wol my wo comporte,
1398: And with 3oure lettre of hope I wol desporte.
1399: Now writeth, swete, and lat me thus nat pleyne;
1400: With hope or deth deliuereth me fro peyne.

1401: "I-wis, myne owene deere herte trewe,
1402: I woot that whan 3e next vpon me se,
1403: So lost haue I myn hele and ek myn hewe,
1404: Criseyde shal nought konne knowen me.
1405: I-wys, myn hertes day, my lady free,
1406: So thursteth ay myn herte to byholde
1407: 3oure beute that my lif vnnethe I holde.
-528-



1408: "I say namore, al haue I forto seye
1409: To 3ow wel more than I telle may;
1410: But wheither that 3e do me lyue or deye,
1411: 3et praye I god, so 3eue 3ow right good day.
1412: And fareth wel, goodly, faire, fresshe may,
1413: As she that lif or deth may me comande;
1414: And to 3oure trouthe ay I me recomande.

1415: "With hele swich that, but 3e 3euen me
1416: The same hele, I shal none hele haue.
1417: In 3ow lith, whan 3ow liste that it so be,
1418: The day in which me clothen shal my graue;
1419: In 3ow my lif, in 3ow myght forto saue
1420: Me fro disese of alle peynes smerte;
1421: And far now wel, myn owen swete herte.
le vostre T."
-530-



1422: This lettre forth was sent vnto Criseyde,
1423: Of which hire answere in effect was this:
1424: fful pitously she wroot a3eyn and seyde,
1425: That also sone as that she myghte, y-wys,
1426: She wolde come and mende al that was mys;
1427: And fynaly she wroot and seyde hym thenne,
1428: She wolde come, 3e, but she nyste whenne.

1429: But in hire lettre made she swich festes,
1430: That wonder was, and swerth she loueth hym best,
1431: Of which he fond but botmeles bihestes.
1432: But Troilus, thow maist now, est or west,
1433: Pipe in an ivy lef if that the lest.
1434: Thus goth the world; god shilde vs fro meschaunce,
1435: And euery wight that meneth trouthe auaunce.

1436: Encressen gan the wo fro day to nyght
1437: Of Troilus, for tarying of Criseyde,
1438: And lessen gan his hope and ek his myght,
1439: ffor which al down he in his bed hym leyde;
1440: He ne eet, ne dronk, ne slep, ne no word seyde,
1441: Ymagynyng ay that she was vnkynde,
1442: ffor which wel neigh he wex out of his mynde.

1443: This drem of which I told haue ek byforn,
1444: May neuere come out of his remembraunce:
1445: He thought ay wel he hadde his lady lorn,
1446: And that Ioues, of his purueyaunce,
1447: Hym shewed hadde in slep the signifiaunce
1448: Of hire vntrouthe and his disauenture,
1449: And that the boor was shewed hym in figure.
-538-



1450: ffor which he for Sibille his suster sente,
1451: That called was Cassandre ek al aboute,
1452: And al his drem he tolde hire er he stente,
1453: And hire bisoughte assoilen hym the doute
1454: Of the stronge boor with tuskes stoute;
1455: And fynaly with-inne a litel stounde,
1456: Cassandre hym gan right thus his drem expounde.

1457: She gan first smyle and seyde, "O brother deere,
1458: If thow a soth of this desirest knowe,
1459: Thow most a fewe of olde stories heere,
1460: To purpos how that fortune ouerthrowe
1461: Hath lordes olde, thorugh which with-inne a throwe
1462: Thow wel this boor shalt knowe, and of what kynde
1463: He comen is, as men in bokes fynde.

1464: "Diane, which that wroth was and in ire
1465: ffor Grekis nolde don hire sacrifice,
1466: Ne encens vpon hire auter sette afire,
1467: She, for that Grekis gonne hire so despise,
1468: Wrak hire in a wonder cruel wise:
1469: ffor with a boor as gret as ox in stalle,
1470: She made vp frete hire corn and vynes alle.

1471: "To sle this boor was al the contre raysed,
1472: Amonges which ther com this boor to se,
1473: A mayde, oon of this world the beste y-preysed;
1474: And Meleagre, lord of that contree,
1475: He loued so this fresshe mayden free,
1476: That with his manhod, er he wolde stente,
1477: This boor he slough and hire the hed he sente.

1478: "Of which as olde bokes tellen vs,
1479: Ther ros a contek and a gret enuye,
1480: And of this lord descended Tideus
1481: By ligne or ellis olde bookes lye;
1482: But how this Meleagre gan to dye
1483: Thorugh his moder wol I 3ow naught telle,
1484: ffor al to longe it were forto dwelle."
-540-



1485: She tolde ek how Tideus, er she stente,
1486: Unto the stronge citee of Thebes,
1487: To cleymen kyngdom of the citee wente
1488: ffor his felawe, daun Polymytes,
1489: Of which the brother, daun Ethiocles,
1490: fful wrongfully of Thebes held the strengthe:
1491: This tolde she by processe al by lengthe.

1492: She tolde ek how Hemonydes asterte
1493: Whan Tideus slough fifty knyghtes stoute;
1494: She tolde ek alle the prophecyes by herte,
1495: And how that seuen kynges with hire route
1496: Bysegeden the citee al aboute;
1497: And of the holy serpent and the welle
1498: And of the furies al she gan hym telle;

Associat profugum Tideo primus Polymytem;
Tidea legatum docet insidiasque secundus;
Tercius Hemoduden canit et vates latitantes;
Quartus habet reges ineuntes prelia septem;
Mox furie Lenne quinto narratur et anguis;
Archymory bustum sexto ludique leguntur;
Dat Grayos Thebes et vatem septimus umbris;
Octauo cecidit Tideus, spes, vita Pelasgis;
Ypomedon nono moritur cum Parthenopea;eacute;
ffulmine percussus, decimo Capaneus superatur;
Undecimo sese perimunt per vulnera fratres;
Argiua flentem narrat duodenus et ignem;

1499: Of Archymoris burying and the pleyes,
1500: And how Amphiorax fil thorugh the grounde,
1501: How Tideus was sleyn, lord of Argeyes,
1502: And how Ypomedoun in litel stounde
1503: Was dreynt, and ded Parthonope of wownde;
1504: And also how Capaneus the proude
1505: With thonder dynt was slayn, that cride loude.
-542-



1506: She gan ek telle hym how that eyther brother,
1507: Ethiocles and Polymyte also,
1508: At a scarmuche ech of hem slough other,
1509: And of Argyues wepynge and hire wo,
1510: And how the town was brent she tolde ek tho;
1511: And so descendeth down from gestes olde
1512: To Diomede and thus she spak and tolde:

1513: "This ilke boor bitokneth Diomede,
1514: Tideus sone, that down descended is
1515: ffro Meleagre that made the boor to blede;
1516: And thy lady, wher-so she be, ywis,
1517: This Diomede hire herte hath and she his --
1518: Wepe if thow wolt or lef, for out of doute,
1519: This Diomede is inne and thow art oute."

1520: "Thow seyst nat soth," quod he, "thow sorceresse.
1521: With al thy false goost of prophecye
1522: Thow wenest ben a gret deuyneresse.
1523: Now sestow nat this fool of fantasie
1524: Peyneth hire on ladys forto lye?
1525: Awey," quod he, "ther Ioues 3eue the sorwe!
1526: Thow shalt be fals, peraunter, 3et to-morwe.

1527: "As wel thow myghtest lien on Alceste,
1528: That was of creatures, but men lye,
1529: That euere weren, kyndest and the beste,
1530: ffor whan hire housbonde was in iupertye
1531: To dye hym self but if she wolde dye,
1532: She ches for hym to dye and gon to helle,
1533: And starf anon as vs the bokes telle."

1534: Cassandre goth, and he with cruel herte
1535: ffor3at his wo for angre of hire speche,
1536: And from his bedde al sodeynly he sterte,
1537: As though al hool hym hadde ymad a leche.
1538: And day by day he gan enquere and seche
1539: A sooth of this with al his fulle cure;
1540: And thus he drieth forth his auenture.

1541: ffortune -- which that permutacioun
1542: Of thynges hath, as it is hire comitted
1543: Thorugh purueyaunce and disposicioun
1544: Of heighe Ioue, as regnes shal be flitted
1545: ffro folk in folk or when they shal be smytted --
1546: Gan pulle awey the fetheres brighte of Troie
1547: ffro day to day til they ben bare of ioie.
-544-



1548: Among al this, the fyn of the parodie
1549: Of Ector gan aprochen wonder blyue;
1550: The fate wolde his soule sholde vnbodye,
1551: And shapen hadde a mene it out to dryue,
1552: A3eyns which fate hym helpeth nat to stryue;
1553: But on a day to fighten gan he wende,
1554: At which, allas, he caughte his lyues ende.

1555: ffor which me thynketh euery manere wight
1556: That haunteth armes oughte to biwaille
1557: The deth of hym that was so noble a knyght;
1558: ffor as he drough a kyng by thauentaille,
1559: Unwar of this, Achilles thorugh the maille
1560: And thorugh the body gan hym forto ryue;
1561: And thus the worthi knyght was brought of lyue.

1562: ffor whom, as olde bokes tellen vs,
1563: Was made swich wo that tonge it may nat telle,
1564: And namely the sorwe of Troilus,
1565: That next hym was of worthynesse welle;
1566: And in this wo gan Troilus to dwelle,
1567: That, what for sorwe and loue and for vnreste,
1568: fful ofte a day he bad his herte breste.

1569: But natheles, though he gan hym dispaire,
1570: And dradde ay that his lady was vntrewe,
1571: 3et ay on hire his herte gan repaire,
1572: And as thise louers don, he soughte ay newe
1573: To gete a3eyn Criseyde, brighte of hewe;
1574: And in his herte he wente hire excusyng,
1575: That Calkas caused al hire tariyng.

1576: And ofte tyme he was in purpos grete,
1577: Hym seluen like a pilgrym to desgise
1578: To seen hire; but he may nat contrefete
1579: To ben vnknowen of folk that weren wise,
1580: Ne fynde excuse aright that may suffise,
1581: If he amonge the Grekis knowen were;
1582: ffor which he wep ful ofte and many a tere.
-546-



1583: To hire he wroot 3et ofte tyme al newe
1584: fful pitously -- he lefte it nought for slouthe --
1585: Bisechyng hire that syn that he was trewe,
1586: That she wol come a3eyn and holde hire trouthe;
1587: ffor which Criseyde vp-on a day for routhe --
1588: I take it so -- touchyng al this matere,
1589: Wrot hym a3eyn and seyde as 3e may here.
Litera Criseydis
1590: "Cupides sone, ensample of goodly-heede,
1591: O swerd of knyghthod, sours of gentilesse,
1592: How myght a wight in torment and in drede,
1593: And heleles, 3ow sende as 3et gladnesse?
1594: I herteles, I sik, I in destresse,
1595: Syn 3e with me nor I with 3ow may dele,
1596: 3ow neyther sende ich herte may nor hele.

1597: "3oure lettres ful, the papir al ypleynted,
1598: Conceyued hath myn hertes pietee;
1599: I haue ek seyn with teris al depeynted
1600: 3oure lettre, and how that 3e requeren me
1601: To come a3eyn, which 3et ne may nat be.
1602: But whi, lest that this lettre founden were,
1603: No mencioun ne make I now for feere.

1604: "Greuous to me, god woot, is 3oure vnreste,
1605: 3oure haste, and that the goddes ordinaunce
1606: It semeth nat 3e take it for the beste;
1607: Nor other thyng nys in 3oure remembraunce,
1608: As thynketh me, but only 3oure plesaunce.
1609: But beth nat wroth and that I 3ow biseche;
1610: ffor that I tarie is al for wikked speche.

1611: "ffor I haue herd wel moore than I wende,
1612: Touchyng vs two, how thynges han y-stonde,
1613: Which I shal with dissymelyng amende;
1614: And beth nat wroth, I haue ek vnderstonde
1615: How 3e ne do but holden me in honde;
1616: But now no force, I kan nat in 3ow gesse
1617: But alle trouthe and alle gentilesse.
-548-



1618: "Come I wole, but 3et in swich disioynte
1619: I stonde as now, that what 3er or what day
1620: That this shal be, that kan I naught apoynte.
1621: But in effecte I pray 3ow as I may,
1622: Of 3oure good word and of 3oure frendship ay:
1623: ffor trewely, while that my lif may dure,
1624: As for a frend 3e may in me assure.

1625: "3et prey ich 3ow on yuel 3e ne take
1626: That it is short which that I to 3ow write;
1627: I dar nat, ther I am, wel lettres make,
1628: Ne neuere 3et ne koude I wel endite.
1629: Ek grete effect men write in place lite;
1630: Thentente is al and nat the lettres space.
1631: And fareth now wel, god haue 3ow in his grace.
la vostre C."
1632: This Troilus this lettre thoughte al straunge,
1633: Whan he it saugh and sorwfullich he sighte;
1634: Hym thoughte it lik a kalendes of chaunge.
1635: But fynaly he ful ne trowen myghte
1636: That she ne wolde hym holden that she hyghte;
1637: ffor with ful yuel wille list hym to leue,
1638: That loueth wel, in swich cas, though hym greue.

1639: But natheles men seyn that at the laste,
1640: ffor any thyng men shal the soothe se,
1641: And swich a cas bitidde and that as faste,
1642: That Troilus wel vnderstod that she
1643: Nas nought so kynde as that hire oughte be;
1644: And fynaly he woot now, out of doute,
1645: That al is lost that he hath ben aboute.

1646: Stood on a day in his malencolie
1647: This Troilus, and in suspecioun
1648: Of hire for whom he wende forto dye.
1649: And so bifel that thorugh-out Troye town,
1650: As was the gise, i-born was vp and down
1651: A manere cote-armure, as seith the storie,
1652: Byforn Deiphebe in signe of his victorie.

1653: The whiche cote, as telleth Lollius,
1654: Deiphebe it hadde rent fro Diomede
1655: The same day; and whan this Troilus
1656: It saugh, he gan to taken of it hede,
1657: Auysyng of the lengthe and of the brede,
1658: And al the werk; but as he gan byholde,
1659: fful sodeynly his herte gan to colde,
-550-



1660: As he that on the coler fond with-inne
1661: A broche that he Criseyde 3af that morwe
1662: That she from Troie moste nedes twynne,
1663: In remembraunce of hym and of his sorwe,
1664: And she hym leyde a3eyn hire feith to borwe
1665: To kepe it ay -- but now ful wel he wiste
1666: His lady nas no lenger on to triste.

1667: He goth hym hom and gan ful soone sende
1668: ffor Pandarus; and al this newe chaunce
1669: And of this broche he tolde hym word and ende,
1670: Compleynyng of hire hertes variaunce,
1671: His longe loue, his trouthe and his penaunce;
1672: And after deth, with-outen wordes moore,
1673: fful faste he cride, his reste hym to restore.

1674: Than spak he thus, "O lady bright, Criseyde,
1675: Where is 3oure feith and where is 3oure biheste?
1676: Where is 3oure loue, where is 3oure trouthe?" he seyde.
1677: "Of Diomede haue 3e now al this feeste;
1678: Allas, I wolde han trowed atte leeste
1679: That syn 3e nolde in trouthe to me stonde,
1680: That 3e thus nolde han holden me in honde.

1681: "Who shal now trowe on any othes mo?
1682: Allas, I neuere wolde han wend er this
1683: That 3e, Criseyde, koude han chaunged so,
1684: Ne, but I hadde agilt and don amys.
1685: So cruel wende I nought 3oure herte, ywis,
1686: To sle me thus; allas, 3oure name of trouthe
1687: Is now fordon and that is al my routhe.

1688: "Was ther non other broche 3ow liste lete
1689: To feffe with 3oure newe loue," quod he,
1690: "But thilke broche that I with teris wete
1691: 3ow 3af as for a remembraunce of me?
1692: Non other cause, allas, ne hadde 3e
1693: But for despit, and ek for that 3e mente
1694: Al outrely to shewen 3oure entente.

1695: "Thorugh which I se that clene out of 3oure mynde
1696: 3e han me cast, and I ne kan nor may,
1697: ffor al this world, with-inne myn herte fynde
1698: To vnlouen 3ow a quarter of a day.
1699: In corsed tyme I born was, weilaway,
1700: That 3ow that doon me al this wo endure
1701: 3et loue I best of any creature.
-552-



1702: "Now god," quod he, "me sende 3et the grace
1703: That I may meten with this Diomede;
1704: And trewely, if I haue myght and space,
1705: 3et shal I make, I hope, his sydes blede.
1706: O god," quod he, "that oughtest taken heede
1707: To fortheren trouthe and wronges to punyce,
1708: Whi nyltow don a vengeaunce of this vice?

1709: "O Pandare, that in dremes forto triste
1710: Me blamed hast and wont art oft vpbreyde,
1711: Now maistow sen thi self, if that the liste,
1712: How trewe is now thi Nece, brighte Criseyde.
1713: In sondry formes, god it woot," he seyde,
1714: "The goddes shewen bothe ioie and tene
1715: In slep, and by my drem it is now sene.

1716: "And certeynly, with-outen moore speche,
1717: ffrom hennes-forth as ferforth as I may,
1718: Myn owen deth in armes wol I seche,
1719: I recche nat how soone be the day.
1720: But trewely, Criseyde, swete may,
1721: Whom I haue ay with al my myghte y-serued,
1722: That 3e thus doon, I haue it nat deserued."
-554-



1723: This Pandarus, that al thise thynges herde,
1724: And wiste wel he seyde a soth of this,
1725: He nought a word a3eyn to hym answerde;
1726: ffor sory of his frendes sorwe he is,
1727: And shamed for his Nece hath don amys,
1728: And stant astoned of thise causes tweye,
1729: As stille as ston; a word ne kowde he seye.

1730: But at the laste thus he spak and seyde:
1731: "My brother deer, I may do the namore.
1732: What sholde I seyn? I hate, ywis, Criseyde,
1733: And god woot, I wol hate hire euermore.
1734: And that thow me bisoughtest don of 3oore,
1735: Hauyng vn-to myn honour ne my reste
1736: Right no reward, I dide al that the leste.

1737: "If I dide aught that myghte liken the,
1738: It is me lief, and of this tresoun now,
1739: God woot that it a sorwe is vnto me;
1740: And dredeles, for hertes ese of 3ow,
1741: Right fayn I wolde amende it, wiste I how.
1742: And fro this world almyghty god I preye
1743: Deliuere hire soon, I kan namore seye."

1744: Gret was the sorwe and pleynte of Troilus;
1745: But forth hire cours fortune ay gan to holde.
1746: Criseyde loueth the sone of Tideus,
1747: And Troilus moot wepe in cares colde.
1748: Swich is this world, who-so it kan byholde;
1749: In ech estat is litel hertes reste;
1750: God leue vs forto take it for the beste.

1751: In many cruel bataille, out of drede,
1752: Of Troilus, this ilke noble knyght,
1753: As men may in thise olde bokes rede,
1754: Was seen his knyghthod and his grete myght;
1755: And dredeles, his ire day and nyght
1756: fful cruwely the Grekis ay aboughte,
1757: And alwey moost this Diomede he soughte.

1758: And ofte tyme I fynde that they mette
1759: With blody strokes and with wordes grete,
1760: Assayinge how hire speres weren whette;
1761: And god it woot, with many a cruel hete
1762: Gan Troilus vp-on his helm to bete.
1763: But natheles, fortune it naught ne wolde
1764: Of oothers hond that eyther deyen sholde.
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1765: And if I hadde ytaken forto write
1766: The armes of this ilke worthi man,
1767: Than wolde ich of his batailles endite;
1768: But for that I to writen first bigan
1769: Of his loue, I haue seyd as I kan --
1770: Hise worthi dedes, who-so list hem heere,
1771: Rede Dares, he kan telle hem alle i-feere --

1772: Bysechyng euery lady bright of hewe,
1773: And euery gentil womman, what she be,
1774: That al be that Criseyde was vntrewe,
1775: That for that gilt she be nat wroth with me:
1776: 3e may hire gilt in other bokes se,
1777: And gladlier I wol write, if 3ow leste,
1778: Penelopes trouthe and good Alceste.

1779: Ny sey nat this al oonly for thise men,
1780: But moost for wommen that bitraised be
1781: Thorugh false folk; god 3eue hem sorwe, amen!
1782: That with hire grete wit and subtilte
1783: Bytraise 3ow; and this commeueth me
1784: To speke, and in effect 3ow alle I preye,
1785: Beth war of men, and herkneth what I seye.

1786: Go, litel boke, go, litel myn tragedye,
1787: Ther god thi makere 3et, er that he dye,
1788: So sende myght to make in some comedye;
1789: But litel book, no makyng thow nenvie,
1790: But subgit be to alle Poyesye,
1791: And kis the steppes where as thow seest space
1792: Uirgile, Ouide, Omer, Lucan and Stace.

1793: And for ther is so gret diuersite
1794: In Englissh and in writyng of oure tonge,
1795: So prey I god that non myswrite the,
1796: Ne the mysmetre for defaute of tonge.
1797: And red wher-so thow [MS 3ow] or elles songe,
1798: That thow be vnderstonde, god I biseche.
1799: But 3et to purpos of my rather speche --

1800: The wrath as I bigan 3ow for to seye
1801: Of Troilus the Grekis boughten deere;
1802: ffor thousandes hise hondes maden deye,
1803: As he that was with-outen any peere,
1804: Saue Ector in his tyme as I kan heere;
1805: But weilawey, saue only goddes wille,
1806: Despitously hym slough the fierse Achille.
-558-



1807: And whan that he was slayn in this manere,
1808: His lighte goost ful blisfully is went
1809: Up to the holughnesse of the eighthe spere,
1810: In conuers letyng euerich element;
1811: And ther he saugh with ful auysement
1812: The erratik sterres, herkenyng armonye
1813: With sownes ful of heuenyssh melodie.

1814: And down from thennes faste he gan auyse
1815: This litel spot of erthe that with the se
1816: Embraced is, and fully gan despise
1817: This wrecched world, and held al vanite
1818: To respect of the pleyn felicite
1819: That is in heuene aboue, and at the laste,
1820: Ther he was slayn his lokyng down he caste.
-560-



1821: And in hym self he lough right at the wo
1822: Of hem that wepten for his deth so faste,
1823: And dampned al oure werk that foloweth so
1824: The blynde lust, the which that may nat laste,
1825: And sholden al oure herte on heuen caste;
1826: And forth he wente, shortly forto telle,
1827: Ther as Mercurye sorted hym to dwelle.

1828: Swich fyn hath, lo, this Troilus for loue,
1829: Swich fyn hath al his grete worthynesse;
1830: Swich fyn hath his estat real aboue,
1831: Swich fyn his lust, swich fyn hath his noblesse;
1832: Swich fyn hath false worldes brotelnesse:
1833: And thus bigan his louyng of Criseyde,
1834: As I haue told, and in this wise he deyde.

1835: O 3onge, fresshe folkes, he or she,
1836: In which that loue vp groweth with 3oure age,
1837: Repeyreth hom fro worldly vanyte,
1838: And of 3oure herte vp casteth the visage
1839: To thilke god that after his ymage
1840: 3ow made, and thynketh al nys but a faire
1841: This world that passeth soone as floures faire.

1842: And loueth hym the which that right for loue
1843: Upon a Crois oure soules forto beye,
1844: ffirst starf and roos and sit in heuene aboue;
1845: ffor he nyl falsen no wight, dar I seye,
1846: That wol his herte al holly on hym leye.
1847: And syn he best to loue is and most meke,
1848: What nedeth feynede loues forto seke?

1849: Lo here, of payens corsed olde rites,
1850: Lo here, what alle hire goddes may auaille;
1851: Lo here, thise wrecched worldes appetites;
1852: Lo here, the fyn and guerdoun for trauaille
1853: Of Ioue, Appollo, of Mars, of swich rascaille;
1854: Lo here, the forme of olde clerkis speche
1855: In poetrie, if 3e hire bokes seche.
-562-



1856: O moral Gower, this book I directe
1857: To the, and to the, philosophical Strode,
1858: To vouchen-sauf, ther nede is, to correcte,
1859: Of 3oure benignites and zeles goode;
1860: And to that sothfast Crist that starf on rode,
1861: With al myn herte of mercy euere I preye,
1862: And to the lord right thus I speke and seye:

1863: Thow oon, and two, and thre, eterne on lyue,
1864: That regnest ay in thre, and two, and oon,
1865: Uncircumscript, and al maist circumscriue,
1866: Us from visible and in-visible foon
1867: Defende, and to thy mercye, euerichon,
1868: So make vs, Ihesus, for thi mercy digne,
1869: ffor loue of Mayde and moder thyn benigne. Amen.
Explicit liber Troily.