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Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer

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Yow any-thing, than prey I yow,' quod he,
`To doon myn herte as now so greet an ese
As for to dwelle here al this night with me,
For-why this is your owene hous, pardee. 635
For, by my trouthe, I sey it nought a-game,
To wende as now, it were to me a shame.'

Criseyde, which that coude as muche good
As half a world, tok hede of his preyere;
And sin it ron, and al was on a flood, 640
She thoughte, as good chep may I dwellen here,
And graunte it gladly with a freendes chere,
And have a thank, as grucche and thanne abyde;
For hoom to goon, it may nought wel bityde.'

`I wol,' quod she, `myn uncle leef and dere, 645
Sin that yow list, it skile is to be so;
I am right glad with yow to dwellen here;
I seyde but a-game, I wolde go.'
`Y-wis, graunt mercy, nece!' quod he tho;
`Were it a game or no, soth for to telle, 650
Now am I glad, sin that yow list to dwelle.'

Thus al is wel; but tho bigan aright
The newe Ioye, and al the feste agayn;
But Pandarus, if goodly hadde he might,
He wolde han hyed hir to bedde fayn, 655
And seyde, `Lord, this is an huge rayn!
This were a weder for to slepen inne;
And that I rede us sonE to biginne.

`And nece, woot ye wher I wol yow leye,
For that we shul not liggen fer asonder, 660
And for ye neither shullen, dar I seye,
Heren noise of reynes nor of thondre?
By god, right in my lyte closet yonder.
And I wol in that outer hous allone
Be wardeyn of your wommen everichone. 665

`And in this middel chaumbre that ye see
Shal youre wommen slepen wel and softe;
And ther I seyde shal your-selve be;
And if ye liggen wel to-night, com ofte,
And careth not what weder is on-lofte. 670
The wyn anon, and whan so that yow leste,
So go we slepe, I trowe it be the beste.'

Ther nis no more, but here-after sone,
The voyde dronke, and travers drawe anon,
Gan every wight, that hadde nought to done 675
More in the place, out of the chaumber gon.
And ever-mo so sternelich it ron,
And blew ther-with so wonderliche loude,
That wel neigh no man heren other coude.

Tho Pandarus, hir eem, right as him oughte, 680
With women swiche as were hir most aboute,
Ful glad un-to hir beddes syde hir broughte,
And toke his leve, and gan ful lowe loute,
And seyde, `Here at this closet-dore with-oute,
Right over-thwart, your wommen liggen alle, 685
That, whom yow list of hem, ye may here calle.'

So whan that she was in the closet leyd,
And alle hir wommen forth by ordenaunce
A-bedde weren, ther as I have seyd,
There was no more to skippen nor to traunce, 690
But boden go to bedde, with mischaunce,
If any wight was steringe any-where,
And late hem slepe that a-bedde were.

But Pandarus, that wel coude eche a del
The olde daunce, and every poynt ther-inne, 695
Whan that he sey that alle thing was wel,
He thoughte he wolde up-on his werk biginne,
And gan the stewe-dore al softe un-pinne;
And stille as stoon, with-outen lenger lette,
By Troilus a-doun right he him sette. 700

And, shortly to the poynt right for to gon,
Of al this werk he tolde him word and ende,
And seyde, `Make thee redy right anon,
For thou shalt in-to hevene blisse wende.'
`Now blisful Venus, thou me grace sende,' 705
Quod Troilus, `for never yet no nede
Hadde I er now, ne halvendel the drede.'

Quod Pandarus, `Ne drede thee never a del,
For it shal been right as thou wilt desyre;
So thryve I, this night shal I make it wel, 710
Or casten al the gruwel in the fyre.'
`Yit blisful Venus, this night thou me enspyre,'
Quod Troilus, `as wis as I thee serve,
And ever bet and bet shal, til I sterve.

`And if I hadde, O Venus ful of murthe, 715
Aspectes badde of Mars or of Saturne,
Or thou combust or let were in my birthe,
Thy fader prey al thilke harm disturne
Of grace, and that I glad ayein may turne,
For love of him thou lovedest in the shawe, 720
I mene Adoon, that with the boor was slawe.

`O Iove eek, for the love of faire Europe,
The whiche in forme of bole awey thou fette;
Now help, O Mars, thou with thy blody cope,
For love of Cipris, thou me nought ne lette; 725
O Phebus, thenk whan Dane hir-selven shette
Under the bark, and laurer wex for drede,
Yet for hir love, O help now at this nede!

`Mercurie, for the love of Hierse eke,
For which Pallas was with Aglauros wrooth, 730
Now help, and eek Diane, I thee biseke
That this viage be not to thee looth.
O fatal sustren, which, er any clooth
Me shapen was, my destene me sponne,
So helpeth to this werk that is bi-gonne!' 735

Quod Pandarus, `Thou wrecched mouses herte,
Art thou agast so that she wol thee byte?
Why, don this furred cloke up-on thy sherte,
And folowe me, for I wol have the wyte;
But byd, and lat me go bifore a lyte.' 740
And with that word he gan un-do a trappe,
And Troilus he broughte in by the lappe.

The sterne wind so loude gan to route
That no wight other noyse mighte here;
And they that layen at the dore with-oute, 745
Ful sykerly they slepten alle y-fere;
And Pandarus, with a ful sobre chere,
Goth to the dore anon with-outen lette,
Ther-as they laye, and softely it shette.

And as he com ayeinward prively, 750
His nece awook, and asked, `Who goth there?'
`My dere nece,' quod he, `it am I;
Ne wondreth not, ne have of it no fere;'
And ner he com, and seyde hir in hir ere,
`No word, for love of god I yow biseche; 755
Lat no wight ryse and heren of oure speche.'

`What! Which wey be ye comen, benedicite?'
Quod she; `And how thus unwist of hem alle?'
`Here at this secre trappe-dore,' quod he.
Quod tho Criseyde, `Lat me som wight calle.' 760
`Ey! God forbede that it sholde falle,'
Quod Pandarus, `that ye swich foly wroughte!
They mighte deme thing they never er thoughte!

`It is nought good a sleping hound to wake,
Ne yeve a wight a cause to devyne; 765
Your wommen slepen alle, I under-take,
So that, for hem, the hous men mighte myne;
And slepen wolen til the sonne shyne.
And whan my tale al brought is to an ende,
Unwist, right as I com, so wol I wende. 770

`Now, nece myn, ye shul wel understonde,'
Quod he, `so as ye wommen demen alle,
That for to holde in love a man in honde,
And him hir "leef" and "dere herte" calle,
And maken him an howve above a calle, 775
I mene, as love an other in this whyle,
She doth hir-self a shame, and him a gyle.

`Now wherby that I telle yow al this?
Ye woot your-self, as wel as any wight,
How that your love al fully graunted is 780
To Troilus, the worthieste knight,
Oon of this world, and ther-to trouthe plyght,
That, but it were on him along, ye nolde
Him never falsen, whyle ye liven sholde.

`Now stant it thus, that sith I fro yow wente, 785
This Troilus, right platly for to seyn,
Is thurgh a goter, by a prive wente,
In-to my chaumbre come in al this reyn,
Unwist of every maner wight, certeyn,
Save of my-self, as wisly have I Ioye, 790
And by that feith I shal Pryam of Troye!

`And he is come in swich peyne and distresse
That, but he be al fully wood by this,
He sodeynly mot falle in-to wodnesse,
But-if god helpe; and cause why this is, 795
He seyth him told is, of a freend of his,
How that ye sholde love oon that hatte Horaste,
For sorwe of which this night shalt been his laste.'

Criseyde, which that al this wonder herde,
Gan sodeynly aboute hir herte colde, 800
And with a syk she sorwfully answerde,
`Allas! I wende, who-so tales tolde,
My dere herte wolde me not holde
So lightly fals! Allas! Conceytes wronge,
What harm they doon, for now live I to longe! 805

`Horaste! Allas! And falsen Troilus?
I knowe him not, god helpe me so,' quod she;
`Allas! What wikked spirit tolde him thus?
Now certes, eem, to-morwe, and I him see,
I shal ther-of as ful excusen me 810
As ever dide womman, if him lyke';
And with that word she gan ful sore syke.

`O god!' quod she, `So worldly selinesse,
Which clerkes callen fals felicitee,
Y-medled is with many a bitternesse! 815
Ful anguisshous than is, god woot,' quod she,
`Condicioun of veyn prosperitee;
For either Ioyes comen nought y-fere,
Or elles no wight hath hem alwey here.

`O brotel wele of mannes Ioye unstable! 820
With what wight so thou be, or how thou pleye,
Either he woot that thou, Ioye, art muable,
Or woot it not, it moot ben oon of tweye;
Now if he woot it not, how may he seye
That he hath verray Ioye and selinesse, 825
That is of ignoraunce ay in derknesse?

`Now if he woot that Ioye is transitorie,
As every Ioye of worldly thing mot flee,
Than every tyme he that hath in memorie,
The drede of lesing maketh him that he 830
May in no perfit selinesse be.
And if to lese his Ioye he set a myte,
Than semeth it that Ioye is worth ful lyte.

`Wherfore I wol deffyne in this matere,
That trewely, for ought I can espye, 835
Ther is no verray wele in this world here.
But O, thou wikked serpent, Ialousye,
Thou misbeleved and envious folye,
Why hastow Troilus me mad untriste,
That never yet agilte him, that I wiste?' 840

Quod Pandarus, `Thus fallen is this cas.'
`Why, uncle myn,' quod she, `who tolde him this?
Why doth my dere herte thus, allas?'
`Ye woot, ye nece myn,' quod he, `what is;
I hope al shal be wel that is amis, 845
For ye may quenche al this, if that yow leste,
And doth right so, for I holde it the beste.'

`So shal I do to-morwe, y-wis,' quod she,
`And god to-forn, so that it shal suffyse.'
`To-morwe? Allas, that were a fair!' quod he, 850
`Nay, nay, it may not stonden in this wyse;
For, nece myn, thus wryten clerkes wyse,
That peril is with drecching in y-drawe;
Nay, swich abodes been nought worth an hawe.

`Nece, al thing hath tyme, I dar avowe; 855
For whan a chaumber a-fyr is, or an halle,
Wel more nede is, it sodeynly rescowe
Than to dispute, and axe amonges alle
How is this candele in the straw y-falle?
A! Benedicite! For al among that fare 860
The harm is doon, and fare-wel feldefare!

`And, nece myn, ne take it not a-greef,
If that ye suffre him al night in this wo,
God help me so, ye hadde him never leef,
That dar I seyn, now there is but we two; 865
But wel I woot, that ye wol not do so;
Ye been to wys to do so gret folye,
To putte his lyf al night in Iupertye.

`Hadde I him never leef? By god, I wene
Ye hadde never thing so leef,' quod she. 870
`Now by my thrift,' quod he, `that shal be sene;
For, sin ye make this ensample of me,
If I al night wolde him in sorwe see
For al the tresour in the toun of Troye,
I bidde god, I never mote have Ioye! 875

`Now loke thanne, if ye, that been his love,
Shul putte al night his lyf in Iupartye
For thing of nought! Now, by that god above,
Nought only this delay comth of folye,
But of malyce, if that I shal nought lye. 880
What, platly, and ye suffre him in distresse,
Ye neither bountee doon ne gentilesse!'

Quod tho Criseyde, `Wole ye doon o thing,
And ye therwith shal stinte al his disese?
Have here, and bereth him this blewe ringe, 885
For ther is no-thing mighte him bettre plese,
Save I my-self, ne more his herte apese;
And sey my dere herte, that his sorwe
Is causeles, that shal be seen to-morwe.'

`A ring?' quod he, `Ye, hasel-wodes shaken! 890
Ye nece myn, that ring moste han a stoon
That mighte dede men alyve maken;
And swich a ring trowe I that ye have noon.
Discrecioun out of your heed is goon;
That fele I now,' quod he, `and that is routhe; 895
O tyme y-lost, wel maystow cursen slouthe!

`Wot ye not wel that noble and heigh corage
Ne sorweth not, ne stinteth eek for lyte?
But if a fool were in a Ialous rage,
I nolde setten at his sorwe a myte, 900
But feffe him with a fewe wordes whyte
Another day, whan that I mighte him finde;
But this thing stant al in another kinde.

`This is so gentil and so tendre of herte,
That with his deeth he wol his sorwes wreke; 905
For trusteth wel, how sore that him smerte,
He wol to yow no Ialouse wordes speke.
And for-thy, nece, er that his herte breke,
So spek your-self to him of this matere;
For with o word ye may his herte stere. 910

`Now have I told what peril he is inne,
And his coming unwist is to every wight;
Ne, pardee, harm may ther be noon, ne sinne;
I wol my-self be with yow al this night.
Ye knowe eek how it is your owne knight, 915
And that, by right, ye moste upon him triste,
And I al prest to fecche him whan yow liste.'

This accident so pitous was to here,
And eek so lyk a sooth, at pryme face,
And Troilus hir knight to hir so dere, 920
His prive coming, and the siker place,
That, though that she dide him as thanne a grace,
Considered alle thinges as they stode,
No wonder is, sin she dide al for gode.

Cryseyde answerde, `As wisly god at reste 925
My sowle bringe, as me is for him wo!
And eem, y-wis, fayn wolde I doon the beste,
If that I hadde grace to do so.
But whether that ye dwelle or for him go,
I am, til god me bettre minde sende, 930
At dulcarnon, right at my wittes ende.'

Quod Pandarus, `Ye, nece, wol ye here?
Dulcarnon called is "fleminge of wrecches";
It semeth hard, for wrecches wol not lere
For verray slouthe or othere wilful tecches; 935
This seyd by hem that be not worth two fecches.
But ye ben wys, and that we han on honde
Nis neither hard, ne skilful to withstonde.'

`Thanne, eem,' quod she, `doth her-of as yow list;
But er he come, I wil up first aryse; 940
And, for the love of god, sin al my trist
Is on yow two, and ye ben bothe wyse,
So wircheth now in so discreet a wyse,
That I honour may have, and he plesaunce;
For I am here al in your governaunce.' 945

`That is wel seyd,' quod he, `my nece dere'
Ther good thrift on that wyse gentil herte!
But liggeth stille, and taketh him right here,
It nedeth not no ferther for him sterte;
And ech of yow ese otheres sorwes smerte, 950
For love of god; and, Venus, I the herie;
For sone hope I we shulle ben alle merie.'

This Troilus ful sone on knees him sette
Ful sobrely, right be hir beddes heed,
And in his beste wyse his lady grette; 955
But lord, so she wex sodeynliche reed!
Ne, though men sholden smyten of hir heed,
She coude nought a word a-right out-bringe
So sodeynly, for his sodeyn cominge.

But Pandarus, that so wel coude fele 960
In every thing, to pleye anoon bigan,
And seyde, `Nece, see how this lord can knele!
Now, for your trouthe, seeth this gentil man!'
And with that word he for a quisshen ran,
And seyde, `Kneleth now, whyl that yow leste, 965
Ther god your hertes bringe sone at reste!'

Can I not seyn, for she bad him not ryse,
If sorwe it putte out of hir remembraunce,
Or elles that she toke it in the wyse
Of duetee, as for his observaunce; 970
But wel finde I she dide him this plesaunce,
That she him kiste, al-though she syked sore;
And bad him sitte a-doun with-outen more.

Quod Pandarus, `Now wol ye wel biginne;
Now doth him sitte, gode nece dere, 975
Upon your beddes syde al there with-inne,
That ech of yow the bet may other here.'
And with that word he drow him to the fere,
And took a light, and fond his contenaunce,
As for to loke up-on an old romaunce. 980

Criseyde, that was Troilus lady right,
And cleer stood on a ground of sikernesse,
Al thoughte she, hir servaunt and hir knight
Ne sholde of right non untrouthe in hir gesse,
Yet nathelees, considered his distresse, 985
And that love is in cause of swich folye,
Thus to him spak she of his Ialousye:

`Lo, herte myn, as wolde the excellence
Of love, ayeins the which that no man may,
Ne oughte eek goodly maken resistence 990
And eek bycause I felte wel and say
Youre grete trouthe, and servyse every day;
And that your herte al myn was, sooth to seyne,
This droof me for to rewe up-on your peyne.

`And your goodnesse have I founde alwey yit, 995
Of whiche, my dere herte and al my knight,
I thonke it yow, as fer as I have wit,
Al can I nought as muche as it were right;
And I, emforth my conninge and my might,
Have and ay shal, how sore that me smerte, 1000
Ben to yow trewe and hool, with a myn herte;

`And dredelees, that shal be founde at preve. --
But, herte myn, what al this is to seyne
Shal wel be told, so that ye noght yow greve,
Though I to yow right on your-self compleyne. 1005
For ther-with mene I fynally the peyne,
That halt your herte and myn in hevinesse,
Fully to sleen, and every wrong redresse.

`My goode, myn, not I for-why ne how
That Ialousye, allas! That wikked wivere, 1010
Thus causelees is cropen in-to yow;
The harm of which I wolde fayn delivere!
Allas! That he, al hool, or of him slivere,
Shuld have his refut in so digne a place,
Ther Iove him sone out of your herte arace! 1015

`But O, thou Iove, O auctor of nature,
Is this an honour to thy deitee,
That folk ungiltif suffren here iniure,
And who that giltif is, al quit goth he?
O were it leful for to pleyne on thee, 1020
That undeserved suffrest Ialousye,
Of that I wolde up-on thee pleyne and crye!

`Eek al my wo is this, that folk now usen
To seyn right thus, "Ye, Ialousye is love!"
And wolde a busshel venim al excusen, 1025
For that o greyn of love is on it shove!
But that wot heighe god that sit above,
If it be lyker love, or hate, or grame;
And after that, it oughte bere his name.

`But certeyn is, som maner Ialousye 1030
Is excusable more than som, y-wis.
As whan cause is, and som swich fantasye
With pietee so wel repressed is,
That it unnethe dooth or seyth amis,
But goodly drinketh up al his distresse; 1035
And that excuse I, for the gentilesse.

`And som so ful of furie is and despyt
That it sourmounteth his repressioun;
But herte myn, ye be not in that plyt,
That thanke I god, for whiche your passioun 1040
I wol not calle it but illusioun,
Of habundaunce of love and bisy cure,
That dooth your herte this disese endure.

`Of which I am right sory but not wrooth;
But, for my devoir and your hertes reste, 1045
Wher-so yow list, by ordal or by ooth,
By sort, or in what wyse so yow leste,
For love of god, lat preve it for the beste!
And if that I be giltif, do me deye,
Allas! What mighte I more doon or seye?' 1050

With that a fewe brighte teres newe
Owt of hir eyen fille, and thus she seyde,
`Now god, thou wost, in thought ne dede untrewe
To Troilus was never yet Criseyde.'
With that hir heed doun in the bed she leyde, 1055
And with the shete it wreigh, and syghed sore,
And held hir pees; not o word spak she more.

But now help god to quenchen al this sorwe,
So hope I that he shal, for he best may;
For I have seyn, of a ful misty morwe 1060
Folwen ful ofte a mery someres day;
And after winter folweth grene May.
Men seen alday, and reden eek in stories,
That after sharpe shoures been victories.

This Troilus, whan he hir wordes herde, 1065
Have ye no care, him liste not to slepe;
For it thoughte him no strokes of a yerde
To here or seen Criseyde, his lady wepe;
But wel he felte aboute his herte crepe,
For every teer which that Criseyde asterte, 1070
The crampe of deeth, to streyne him by the herte.

And in his minde he gan the tyme acurse
That he cam there, and that that he was born;
For now is wikke y-turned in-to worse,
And al that labour he hath doon biforn, 1075
He wende it lost, he thoughte he nas but lorn.
`O Pandarus,' thoughte he, `allas! Thy wyle
Serveth of nought, so weylaway the whyle!'

And therwithal he heng a-doun the heed,
And fil on knees, and sorwfully he sighte; 1080
What mighte he seyn? He felte he nas but deed,
For wrooth was she that shulde his sorwes lighte.
But nathelees, whan that he speken mighte,
Than seyde he thus, `God woot, that of this game,
Whan al is wist, than am I not to blame!' 1085

Ther-with the sorwe so his herte shette,
That from his eyen fil there not a tere,
And every spirit his vigour in-knette,
So they astoned or oppressed were.
The feling of his sorwe, or of his fere, 1090
Or of ought elles, fled was out of towne;
And doun he fel al sodeynly a-swowne.

This was no litel sorwe for to see;
But al was hust, and Pandare up as faste,
`O nece, pees, or we be lost,' quod he, 1095
`Beth nought agast;' But certeyn, at the laste,
For this or that, he in-to bedde him caste,
And seyde, `O theef, is this a mannes herte?'
And of he rente al to his bare sherte;

And seyde, `Nece, but ye helpe us now, 1100
Allas, your owne Troilus is lorn!'
`Y-wis, so wolde I, and I wiste how,
Ful fayn,' quod she; `Allas! That I was born!'
`Ye, nece, wole ye pullen out the thorn
That stiketh in his herte?' quod Pandare; 1105
`Sey "Al foryeve," and stint is al this fare!'

`Ye, that to me,' quod she, `ful lever were
Than al the good the sonne aboute gooth';
And therwith-al she swoor him in his ere,
`Y-wis, my dere herte, I am nought wrooth, 1110
Have here my trouthe and many another ooth;
Now speek to me, for it am I, Cryseyde!'
But al for nought; yet mighte he not a-breyde.

Therwith his pous and pawmes of his hondes
They gan to frote, and wete his temples tweyne, 1115
And, to deliveren him from bittre bondes,
She ofte him kiste; and, shortly for to seyne,
Him to revoken she dide al hir peyne.
And at the laste, he gan his breeth to drawe,
And of his swough sone after that adawe, 1120

And gan bet minde and reson to him take,
But wonder sore he was abayst, y-wis.
And with a syk, whan he gan bet a-wake,
He seyde, `O mercy, god, what thing is this?'
`Why do ye with your-selven thus amis?' 1125
Quod tho Criseyde, `Is this a mannes game?
What, Troilus! Wol ye do thus, for shame?'

And therwith-al hir arm over him she leyde,
And al foryaf, and ofte tyme him keste.
He thonked hir, and to hir spak, and seyde 1130
As fil to purpos for his herte reste.
And she to that answerde him as hir leste;
And with hir goodly wordes him disporte
She gan, and ofte his sorwes to comforte.

Quod Pandarus, `For ought I can espyen, 1135
This light, nor I ne serven here of nought;
Light is not good for syke folkes yen.
But for the love of god, sin ye be brought
In thus good plyt, lat now non hevy thought
Ben hanginge in the hertes of yow tweye:' 1140
And bar the candele to the chimeneye.

Sone after this, though it no nede were,
Whan she swich othes as hir list devyse
Hadde of him take, hir thoughte tho no fere,
Ne cause eek non, to bidde him thennes ryse. 1145
Yet lesse thing than othes may suffyse
In many a cas; for every wight, I gesse,
That loveth wel meneth but gentilesse.

But in effect she wolde wite anoon
Of what man, and eek where, and also why 1150
He Ielous was, sin ther was cause noon;
And eek the signe, that he took it by,
She bad him that to telle hir bisily,
Or elles, certeyn, she bar him on honde,
That this was doon of malis, hir to fonde. 1155

With-outen more, shortly for to seyne,
He moste obeye un-to his lady heste;
And for the lasse harm, he moste feyne.
He seyde hir, whan she was at swiche a feste,
She mighte on him han loked at the leste; 1160
Not I not what, al dere y-nough a risshe,
As he that nedes moste a cause fisshe.

And she answerde, `Swete, al were it so,
What harm was that, sin I non yvel mene?
For, by that god that boughte us bothe two, 1165
In alle thinge is myn entente clene.
Swich arguments ne been not worth a bene;
Wol ye the childish Ialous contrefete?
Now were it worthy that ye were y-bete.'

Tho Troilus gan sorwfully to syke, 1170
Lest she be wrooth, him thoughte his herte deyde;
And seyde, `Allas! Up-on my sorwes syke
Have mercy, swete herte myn, Cryseyde!
And if that, in tho wordes that I seyde,
Be any wrong, I wol no more trespace; 1175
Do what yow list, I am al in your grace.'

And she answerde, `Of gilt misericorde!
That is to seyn, that I foryeve al this;
And ever-more on this night yow recorde,
And beth wel war ye do no more amis.' 1180
`Nay, dere herte myn,' quod he, `y-wis.'
`And now,' quod she, `that I have do yow smerte,
Foryeve it me, myn owene swete herte.'

This Troilus, with blisse of that supprysed,
Put al in goddes hond, as he that mente 1185
No-thing but wel; and, sodeynly avysed,
He hir in armes faste to him hente.
And Pandarus, with a ful good entente,
Leyde him to slepe, and seyde, `If ye ben wyse,
Swowneth not now, lest more folk aryse.' 1190

What mighte or may the sely larke seye,
Whan that the sperhauk hath it in his foot?
I can no more, but of thise ilke tweye,
To whom this tale sucre be or soot,
Though that I tarie a yeer, som-tyme I moot, 1195
After myn auctor, tellen hir gladnesse,
As wel as I have told hir hevinesse.

Criseyde, which that felte hir thus y-take,
As writen clerkes in hir bokes olde,
Right as an aspes leef she gan to quake, 1200
Whan she him felte hir in his armes folde.
But Troilus, al hool of cares colde,
Gan thanken tho the blisful goddes sevene;
Thus sondry peynes bringen folk in hevene.

This Troilus in armes gan hir streyne, 1205
And seyde, `O swete, as ever mote I goon,
Now be ye caught, now is ther but we tweyne;
Now yeldeth yow, for other boot is noon.'
To that Criseyde answerde thus anoon,
`Ne hadde I er now, my swete herte dere, 1210
Ben yolde, y-wis, I were now not here!'

O! Sooth is seyd, that heled for to be
As of a fevre or othere greet syknesse,
Men moste drinke, as men may often see,
Ful bittre drink; and for to han gladnesse, 1215
Men drinken often peyne and greet distresse;
I mene it here, as for this aventure,
That thourgh a peyne hath founden al his cure.

And now swetnesse semeth more sweet,
That bitternesse assayed was biforn; 1220
For out of wo in blisse now they flete;
Non swich they felten, sith they were born;
Now is this bet, than bothe two be lorn!
For love of god, take every womman hede
To werken thus, if it comth to the nede. 1225

Criseyde, al quit from every drede and tene,
As she that iuste cause hadde him to triste,
Made him swich feste, it Ioye was to sene,
Whan she his trouthe and clene entente wiste.
And as aboute a tree, with many a twiste, 1230
Bitrent and wryth the sote wode-binde,
Gan eche of hem in armes other winde.

And as the newe abaysshed nightingale,
That stinteth first whan she biginneth to singe,
Whan that she hereth any herde tale, 1235
Or in the hegges any wight steringe,
And after siker dooth hir voys out-ringe;
Right so Criseyde, whan hir drede stente,
Opned hir herte and tolde him hir entente.

And right as he that seeth his deeth y-shapen, 1240
And deye moot, in ought that he may gesse,
And sodeynly rescous doth him escapen,
And from his deeth is brought in sikernesse,
For al this world, in swich present gladnesse
Was Troilus, and hath his lady swete; 1245
With worse hap god lat us never mete!

Hir armes smale, hir streyghte bak and softe,
Hir sydes longe, fleshly, smothe, and whyte
He gan to stroke, and good thrift bad ful ofte
Hir snowish throte, hir brestes rounde and lyte; 1250
Thus in this hevene he gan him to delyte,
And ther-with-al a thousand tyme hir kiste;
That, what to done, for Ioye unnethe he wiste.

Than seyde he thus, `O, Love, O, Charitee,
Thy moder eek, Citherea the swete, 1255
After thy-self next heried be she,
Venus mene I, the wel-willy planete;
And next that, Imeneus, I thee grete;
For never man was to yow goddes holde
As I, which ye han brought fro cares colde. 1260

`Benigne Love, thou holy bond of thinges,
Who-so wol grace, and list thee nought honouren,
Lo, his desyr wol flee with-outen winges.
For, noldestow of bountee hem socouren
That serven best and most alwey labouren, 1265
Yet were al lost, that dar I wel seyn, certes,
But-if thy grace passed our desertes.

`And for thou me, that coude leest deserve
Of hem that nombred been un-to thy grace,
Hast holpen, ther I lykly was to sterve, 1270
And me bistowed in so heygh a place
That thilke boundes may no blisse pace,
I can no more, but laude and reverence
Be to thy bounte and thyn excellence!'

And therwith-al Criseyde anoon he kiste, 1275
Of which, certeyn, she felte no disese,
And thus seyde he, `Now wolde god I wiste,
Myn herte swete, how I yow mighte plese!
What man,' quod he, `was ever thus at ese
As I, on whiche the faireste and the beste 1280
That ever I say, deyneth hir herte reste.

`Here may men seen that mercy passeth right;
The experience of that is felt in me,
That am unworthy to so swete a wight.
But herte myn, of your benignitee, 1285
So thenketh, though that I unworthy be,
Yet mot I nede amenden in som wyse,
Right thourgh the vertu of your heyghe servyse.

`And for the love of god, my lady dere,
Sin god hath wrought me for I shal yow serve, 1290
As thus I mene, that ye wol be my stere,
To do me live, if that yow liste, or sterve,
So techeth me how that I may deserve
Your thank, so that I, thurgh myn ignoraunce,
Ne do no-thing that yow be displesaunce. 1295

`For certes, fresshe wommanliche wyf,
This dar I seye, that trouthe and diligence,
That shal ye finden in me al my lyf,
Ne wol not, certeyn, breken your defence;
And if I do, present or in absence, 1300
For love of god, lat slee me with the dede,
If that it lyke un-to your womanhede.'

`Y-wis,' quod she, `myn owne hertes list,
My ground of ese, and al myn herte dere,
Graunt mercy, for on that is al my trist; 1305
But late us falle awey fro this matere;
For it suffyseth, this that seyd is here.
And at o word, with-outen repentaunce,
Wel-come, my knight, my pees, my suffisaunce!'

Of hir delyt, or Ioyes oon the leste 1310
Were impossible to my wit to seye;
But iuggeth, ye that han ben at the feste,
Of swich gladnesse, if that hem liste pleye!
I can no more, but thus thise ilke tweye
That night, be-twixen dreed and sikernesse, 1315
Felten in love the grete worthinesse.

O blisful night, of hem so longe y-sought,
How blithe un-to hem bothe two thou were!
Why ne hadde I swich on with my soule y-bought,
Ye, or the leeste Ioye that was there? 1320
A-wey, thou foule daunger and thou fere,
And lat hem in this hevene blisse dwelle,
That is so heygh, that al ne can I telle!

But sooth is, though I can not tellen al,
As can myn auctor, of his excellence, 1325
Yet have I seyd, and, god to-forn, I shal
In every thing al hoolly his sentence.
And if that I, at loves reverence,
Have any word in eched for the beste,
Doth therwith-al right as your-selven leste. 1330

For myne wordes, here and every part,
I speke hem alle under correccioun
Of yow, that feling han in loves art,
And putte it al in your discrecioun
To encrese or maken diminucioun 1335
Of my langage, and that I yow bi-seche;
But now to purpos of my rather speche.

Thise ilke two, that ben in armes laft,
So looth to hem a-sonder goon it were,
That ech from other wende been biraft, 1340
Or elles, lo, this was hir moste fere,
That al this thing but nyce dremes were;
For which ful ofte ech of hem seyde, `O swete,
Clippe ich yow thus, or elles I it mete?'

And, lord! So he gan goodly on hir see, 1345
That never his look ne bleynte from hir face,
And seyde, `O dere herte, may it be
That it be sooth, that ye ben in this place?'
`Ye, herte myn, god thank I of his grace!'
Quod tho Criseyde, and therwith-al him kiste, 1350
That where his spirit was, for Ioye he niste.

This Troilus ful ofte hir eyen two
Gan for to kisse, and seyde, `O eyen clere,
It were ye that wroughte me swich wo,
Ye humble nettes of my lady dere! 1355
Though ther be mercy writen in your chere,
God wot, the text ful hard is, sooth, to finde,
How coude ye with-outen bond me binde?'

Therwith he gan hir faste in armes take,
And wel an hundred tymes gan he syke, 1360
Nought swiche sorwfull sykes as men make
For wo, or elles whan that folk ben syke,
But esy sykes, swiche as been to lyke,
That shewed his affeccioun with-inne;
Of swiche sykes coude he nought bilinne. 1365

Sone after this they speke of sondry thinges,
As fil to purpos of this aventure,
And pleyinge entrechaungeden hir ringes,
Of which I can nought tellen no scripture;
But wel I woot, a broche, gold and asure, 1370
In whiche a ruby set was lyk an herte,
Criseyde him yaf, and stak it on his sherte.

Lord! trowe ye, a coveitous, a wreccbe,
That blameth love and holt of it despyt,
That, of tho pens that he can mokre and kecche, 1375
Was ever yet y-yeve him swich delyt,
As is in love, in oo poynt, in som plyt?
Nay, doutelees, for also god me save,
So parfit Ioye may no nigard have!

They wol sey `Yis,' but lord! So that they lye, 1380
Tho bisy wrecches, ful of wo and drede!
They callen love a woodnesse or folye,
But it shal falle hem as I shal yow rede;
They shul forgo the whyte and eke the rede,
And live in wo, ther god yeve hem mischaunce, 1385
And every lover in his trouthe avaunce!

As wolde god, tho wrecches, that dispyse
Servyse of love, hadde eres al-so longe
As hadde Myda, ful of coveityse,
And ther-to dronken hadde as hoot and stronge 1390
As Crassus dide for his affectis wronge,
To techen hem that they ben in the vyce,
And loveres nought, al-though they holde hem nyce!

Thise ilke two, of whom that I yow seye,
Whan that hir hertes wel assured were, 1395
Tho gonne they to speken and to pleye,
And eek rehercen how, and whanne, and where,
They knewe hem first, and every wo and fere
That passed was; but al swich hevinesse,
I thanke it god, was tourned to gladnesse. 1400

And ever-mo, whan that hem fel to speke
Of any thing of swich a tyme agoon,
With kissing al that tale sholde breke,
And fallen in a newe Ioye anoon,
And diden al hir might, sin they were oon, 1405
For to recoveren blisse and been at ese,
And passed wo with Ioye countrepeyse.

Reson wil not that I speke of sleep,
For it accordeth nought to my matere;
God woot, they toke of that ful litel keep, 1410
But lest this night, that was to hem so dere,
Ne sholde in veyn escape in no manere,
It was biset in Ioye and bisinesse
Of al that souneth in-to gentilnesse.

But whan the cok, comune astrologer, 1415
Gan on his brest to bete, and after crowe,
And Lucifer, the dayes messager,
Gan for to ryse, and out hir bemes throwe;
And estward roos, to him that coude it knowe,
Fortuna maior, than anoon Criseyde, 1420
With herte sore, to Troilus thus seyde: --

`Myn hertes lyf, my trist and my plesaunce,
That I was born, allas! What me is wo,
That day of us mot make desseveraunce!
For tyme it is to ryse, and hennes go, 1425
Or elles I am lost for evermo!
O night, allas! Why niltow over us hove,
As longe as whanne Almena lay by Iove?

`O blake night, as folk in bokes rede,
That shapen art by god this world to hyde 1430
At certeyn tymes with thy derke wede,
That under that men mighte in reste abyde,
Wel oughte bestes pleyne, and folk thee chyde,
That there-as day with labour wolde us breste,
That thou thus fleest, and deynest us nought reste! 1435

`Thou dost, allas! To shortly thyn offyce,
Thou rakel night, ther god, makere of kinde,
Thee, for thyn hast and thyn unkinde vyce,
So faste ay to our hemi-spere binde.
That never-more under the ground thou winde! 1440
For now, for thou so hyest out of Troye,
Have I forgon thus hastily my Ioye!'

This Troilus, that with tho wordes felte,
As thoughte him tho, for pietous distresse,
The blody teres from his herte melte, 1445
As he that never yet swich hevinesse
Assayed hadde, out of so greet gladnesse,
Gan therwith-al Criseyde his lady dere
In armes streyne, and seyde in this manere: --

`O cruel day, accusour of the Ioye 1450
That night and love han stole and faste y-wryen,
A-cursed be thy coming in-to Troye,
For every bore hath oon of thy bright yen!
Envyous day, what list thee so to spyen?
What hastow lost, why sekestow this place, 1455
Ther god thy lyght so quenche, for his grace?

`Allas! What han thise loveres thee agilt,
Dispitous day? Thyn be the pyne of helle!
For many a lovere hastow shent, and wilt;
Thy pouring in wol no-wher lete hem dwelle. 1460
What proferestow thy light here for to selle?
Go selle it hem that smale seles graven,
We wol thee nought, us nedeth no day haven.'

And eek the sonne Tytan gan he chyde,
And seyde, `O fool, wel may men thee dispyse, 1465
That hast the Dawing al night by thy syde,
And suffrest hir so sone up fro thee ryse,
For to disesen loveres in this wyse.
What! Holde your bed ther, thou, and eek thy Morwe!
I bidde god, so yeve yow bothe sorwe!' 1470

Therwith ful sore he sighte, and thus he seyde,
`My lady right, and of my wele or wo
The welle and rote, O goodly myn, Criseyde,
And shal I ryse, allas! And shal I go?
Now fele I that myn herte moot a-two! 1475
For how sholde I my lyf an houre save,
Sin that with yow is al the lyf I have?

`What shal I doon, for certes, I not how,
Ne whanne, allas! I shal the tyme see,
That in this plyt I may be eft with yow; 1480
And of my lyf, god woot, how that shal be,
Sin that desyr right now so byteth me,
That I am deed anoon, but I retourne.
How sholde I longe, allas! Fro yow soiourne?

`But nathelees, myn owene lady bright, 1485
Yit were it so that I wiste outrely,
That I, your humble servaunt and your knight,
Were in your herte set so fermely
As ye in myn, the which thing, trewely,
Me lever were than thise worldes tweyne, 1490
Yet sholde I bet enduren al my peyne.'

To that Cryseyde answerde right anoon,
And with a syk she seyde, `O herte dere,
The game, y-wis, so ferforth now is goon,
That first shal Phebus falle fro his spere, 1495
And every egle been the dowves fere,
And every roche out of his place sterte,
Er Troilus out of Criseydes herte!

`Ye he so depe in-with myn herte grave,
That, though I wolde it turne out of my thought, 1500
As wisly verray god my soule save,
To dyen in the peyne, I coude nought!
And, for the love of god that us bath wrought,
Lat in your brayn non other fantasye
So crepe, that it cause me to dye! 1505

`And that ye me wolde han as faste in minde
As I have yow, that wolde I yow bi-seche;
And, if I wiste soothly that to finde,
God mighte not a poynt my Ioyes eche!
But, herte myn, with-oute more speche, 1510
Beth to me trewe, or elles were it routhe;
For I am thyn, by god and by my trouthe!

`Beth glad for-thy, and live in sikernesse;
Thus seyde I never er this, ne shal to mo;
And if to yow it were a gret gladnesse 1515
To turne ayein, soone after that ye go,
As fayn wolde I as ye, it were so,
As wisly god myn herte bringe at reste!'
And him in armes took, and ofte keste.

Agayns his wil, sin it mot nedes be, 1520
This Troilus up roos, and faste him cledde,
And in his armes took his lady free
An hundred tyme, and on his wey him spedde,
And with swich wordes as his herte bledde,
He seyde, `Farewel, mr dere herte swete, 1525
Ther god us graunte sounde and sone to mete!'

To which no word for sorwe she answerde,
So sore gan his parting hir destreyne;
And Troilus un-to his palays ferde,
As woo bigon as she was, sooth to seyne; 1530
So hard him wrong of sharp desyr the peyne
For to ben eft there he was in plesaunce,
That it may never out of his remembraunce.

Retorned to his real palais, sone
He softe in-to his bed gan for to slinke, 1535
To slepe longe, as he was wont to done,
But al for nought; he may wel ligge and winke,
But sleep ne may ther in his herte sinke;
Thenkinge how she, for whom desyr him brende,
A thousand-fold was worth more than he wende. 1540

And in his thought gan up and doun to winde
Hir wordes alle, and every countenaunce,
And fermely impressen in his minde
The leste poynt that to him was plesaunce;
And verrayliche, of thilke remembraunce, 1545
Desyr al newe him brende, and lust to brede
Gan more than erst, and yet took he non hede.

Criseyde also, right in the same wyse,
Of Troilus gan in hir herte shette
His worthinesse, his lust, his dedes wyse, 1550
His gentilesse, and how she with him mette,
Thonkinge love he so wel hir bisette;
Desyring eft to have hir herte dere
In swich a plyt, she dorste make him chere.

Pandare, a-morwe which that comen was 1555
Un-to his nece, and gan hir fayre grete,
Seyde, `Al this night so reyned it, allas!
That al my drede is that ye, nece swete,
Han litel layser had to slepe and mete;
Al night,' quod he, `hath reyn so do me wake, 1560
That som of us, I trowe, hir hedes ake.'

And ner he com, and seyde, `How stont it now
This mery morwe, nece, how can ye fare?'
Criseyde answerde, `Never the bet for yow,
Fox that ye been, god yeve youre herte care! 1565
God help me so, ye caused al this fare,
Trow I,' quod she, `for alle your wordes whyte;
O! Who-so seeth yow knoweth yow ful lyte!'

With that she gan hir face for to wrye
With the shete, and wex for shame al reed; 1570
And Pandarus gan under for to prye,
And seyde, `Nece, if that I shal be deed,
Have here a swerd, and smyteth of myn heed.'
With that his arm al sodeynly he thriste
Under hir nekke, and at the laste hir kiste. 1575

I passe al that which chargeth nought to seye,
What! God foryaf his deeth, and she al-so
Foryaf, and with hir uncle gan to pleye,
For other cause was ther noon than so.
But of this thing right to the effect to go, 1580
Whan tyme was, hom til hir hous she wente,
And Pandarus hath fully his entente.

Now torne we ayein to Troilus,
That resteles ful longe a-bedde lay,
And prevely sente after Pandarus, 1585
To him to come in al the haste he may.
He com anoon, nought ones seyde he `nay,'
And Troilus ful sobrely he grette,
And doun upon his beddes syde him sette.

This Troilus, with al the affeccioun 1590
Of frendes love that herte may devyse,
To Pandarus on knees fil adoun,
And er that he wolde of the place aryse,
He gan him thonken in his beste wyse;
An hondred sythe he gan the tyme blesse, 1595
That he was born, to bringe him fro distresse.

He seyde, `O frend of frendes the alderbeste
That ever was, the sothe for to telle,
Thou hast in hevene y-brought my soule at reste
Fro Flegitoun, the fery flood of helle; 1600
That, though I mighte a thousand tymes selle,
Upon a day, my lyf in thy servyse,
It mighte nought a mote in that suffyse.

`The sonne, which that al the world may see,
Saw never yet, my lyf, that dar I leye, 1605
So inly fayr and goodly as is she,
Whos I am al, and shal, til that I deye;
And, that I thus am hires, dar I seye,
That thanked be the heighe worthinesse
Of love, and eek thy kinde bisinesse. 1610

`Thus hastow me no litel thing y-yive,
Fo which to thee obliged be for ay
My lyf, and why? For thorugh thyn help I live;
For elles deed hadde I be many a day.'
And with that word doun in his bed he lay, 1615
And Pandarus ful sobrely him herde
Til al was seyd, and than he thus answerde:

`My dere frend, if I have doon for thee
In any cas, god wot, it is me leef;
And am as glad as man may of it be, 1620
God help me so; but tak now a-greef
That I shal seyn, be war of this myscheef,
That, there-as thou now brought art in-to blisse,
That thou thy-self ne cause it nought to misse.

`For of fortunes sharpe adversitee 1625
The worst kinde of infortune is this,
A man to have ben in prosperitee,
And it remembren, whan it passed is.
Thou art wys y-nough, for-thy do nought amis;
Be not to rakel, though thou sitte warme,
For if thou be, certeyn, it wol thee harme. 1631

`Thou art at ese, and holde the wel ther-inne.
For also seur as reed is every fyr,
As greet a craft is kepe wel as winne;
Brydle alwey wel thy speche and thy desyr, 1635
For worldly Ioye halt not but by a wyr;
That preveth wel, it brest alday so ofte;
For-thy nede is to werke with it softe.'

Quod Troilus, `I hope, and god to-forn,
My dere frend, that I shal so me bere, 1640
That in my gilt ther shal no thing be lorn,
Ne I nil not rakle as for to greven here;
It nedeth not this matere ofte tere;
For wistestow myn herte wel, Pandare,
God woot, of this thou woldest litel care.' 1645

Tho gan he telle him of his glade night,
And wher-of first his herte dredde, and how,
And seyde, `Freend, as I am trewe knight,
And by that feyth I shal to god and yow,
I hadde it never half so hote as now; 1650
And ay the more that desyr me byteth
To love hir best, the more it me delyteth.

`I noot my-self not wisly what it is;
But now I fele a newe qualitee,
Ye, al another than I dide er this.' 1655
Pandare answerde, and seyde thus, that he
That ones may in hevene blisse be,
He feleth other weyes, dar I leye,
Than thilke tyme he first herde of it seye.

This is o word for al: this Troilus 1660
Was never ful to speke of this matere,
And for to preysen un-to Pandarus
The bountee of his righte lady dere,
And Pandarus to thanke and maken chere.
This tale ay was span-newe to biginne, 1665
Til that the night departed hem a-twinne.

Sone after this, for that fortune it wolde,
I-comen was the blisful tyme swete,
That Troilus was warned that he sholde,
Ther he was erst, Criseyde his lady mete; 1670
For which he felte his herte in Ioye flete;
And feythfully gan alle the goddes herie;
And lat see now if that he can be merie.

And holden was the forme and al the wyse,
Of hir cominge, and eek of his also, 1675
As it was erst, which nedeth nought devyse.
But playnly to the effect right for to go,
In Ioye and suerte Pandarus hem two
A-bedde broughte, whan that hem bothe leste,
And thus they ben in quiete and in reste. 1680

Nought nedeth it to yow, sin they ben met,
To aske at me if that they blythe were;
For if it erst was wel, tho was it bet
A thousand-fold, this nedeth not enquere.
A-gon was every sorwe and every fere; 1685
And bothe, y-wis, they hadde, and so they wende,
As muche Ioye as herte may comprende.

This is no litel thing of for to seye,
This passeth every wit for to devyse;
For eche of hem gan otheres lust obeye; 1690
Felicitee, which that thise clerkes wyse
Commenden so, ne may not here suffyse.
This Ioye may not writen been with inke,
This passeth al that herte may bithinke.

But cruel day, so wel-awey the stounde! 1695
Gan for to aproche, as they by signes knewe,
For whiche hem thoughte felen dethes wounde;
So wo was hem, that changen gan hir hewe,
And day they goonnen to dispyse al newe,
Calling it traytour, envyous, and worse, 1700
And bitterly the dayes light they curse.

Quod Troilus, `Allas! Now am I war
That Pirous and tho swifte stedes three,
Whiche that drawen forth the sonnes char,
Han goon som by-path in despyt of me; 1705
That maketh it so sone day to be;
And, for the sonne him hasteth thus to ryse,
Ne shal I never doon him sacrifyse!'

But nedes day departe moste hem sone,
And whanne hir speche doon was and hir chere, 1710
They twinne anoon as they were wont to done,
And setten tyme of meting eft y-fere;
And many a night they wroughte in this manere.
And thus Fortune a tyme ladde in Ioye
Criseyde, and eek this kinges sone of Troye. 1715

In suffisaunce, in blisse, and in singinges,
This Troilus gan al his lyf to lede;
He spendeth, Iusteth, maketh festeynges;
He yeveth frely ofte, and chaungeth wede,
And held aboute him alwey, out of drede, 1720
A world of folk, as cam him wel of kinde,
The fressheste and the beste he coude fynde;

That swich a voys was of hym and a stevene
Thorugh-out the world, of honour and largesse,
That it up rong un-to the yate of hevene. 1725
And, as in love, he was in swich gladnesse,
That in his herte he demede, as I gesse,
That there nis lovere in this world at ese
So wel as he, and thus gan love him plese.

The godlihede or beautee which that kinde 1730
In any other lady hadde y-set
Can not the mountaunce of a knot unbinde,
A-boute his herte, of al Criseydes net.
He was so narwe y-masked and y-knet,
That it undon on any manere syde, 1735
That nil not been, for ought that may betyde.

And by the hond ful ofte he wolde take
This Pandarus, and in-to gardin lede,
And swich a feste and swich a proces make
Him of Criseyde, and of hir womanhede, 1740
And of hir beautee, that, with-outen drede,
It was an hevene his wordes for to here;
And thanne he wolde singe in this manere.

`Love, that of erthe and see hath governaunce,
Love, that his hestes hath in hevene hye, 1745
Love, that with an holsom alliaunce
Halt peples ioyned, as him list hem gye,
Love, that knetteth lawe of companye,
And couples doth in vertu for to dwelle,
Bind this acord, that I have told and telle; 1750

`That that the world with feyth, which that is stable,
Dyverseth so his stoundes concordinge,
That elements that been so discordable
Holden a bond perpetuely duringe,
That Phebus mote his rosy day forth bringe, 1755
And that the mone hath lordship over the nightes,
Al this doth Love; ay heried be his mightes!

`That, that the see, that gredy is to flowen,
Constreyneth to a certeyn ende so
His flodes, that so fersly they ne growen 1760
To drenchen erthe and al for ever-mo;
And if that Love ought lete his brydel go,
Al that now loveth a-sonder sholde lepe,
And lost were al, that Love halt now to-hepe.

`So wolde god, that auctor is of kinde, 1765
That, with his bond, Love of his vertu liste
To cerclen hertes alle, and faste binde,
That from his bond no wight the wey out wiste.
And hertes colde, hem wolde I that he twiste
To make hem love, and that hem leste ay rewe 1770
On hertes sore, and kepe hem that ben trewe.'

In alle nedes, for the tounes werre,
He was, and ay the firste in armes dight;
And certeynly, but-if that bokes erre,
Save Ector, most y-drad of any wight; 1775
And this encrees of hardinesse and might
Cam him of love, his ladies thank to winne,
That altered his spirit so with-inne.

In tyme of trewe, on haukinge wolde he ryde,
Or elles hunten boor, bere, or lyoun; 1780
The smale bestes leet he gon bi-syde.
And whan that he com rydinge in-to toun,
Ful ofte his lady, from hir window doun,
As fresh as faucon comen out of muwe,
Ful redy was, him goodly to saluwe. 1785

And most of love and vertu was his speche,
And in despyt hadde alle wrecchednesse;
And doutelees, no nede was him biseche
To honouren hem that hadde worthinesse,
And esen hem that weren in distresse. 1790
And glad was he if any wight wel ferde,
That lover was, whan he it wiste or herde.

For sooth to seyn, he lost held every wight
But-if he were in loves heigh servyse,
I mene folk that oughte it been of right. 1795
And over al this, so wel coude he devyse
Of sentement, and in so unkouth wyse
Al his array, that every lover thoughte,
That al was wel, what-so he seyde or wroughte.

And though that he be come of blood royal, 1800
Him liste of pryde at no wight for to chase;
Benigne he was to ech in general,
For which he gat him thank in every place.
Thus wolde love, y-heried be his grace,
That Pryde, Envye, Ire, and Avaryce 1805
He gan to flee, and every other vyce.

Thou lady bright, the doughter to Dione,
Thy blinde and winged sone eek, daun Cupyde;
Ye sustren nyne eek, that by Elicone
In hil Parnaso listen for to abyde, 1810
That ye thus fer han deyned me to gyde,
I can no more, but sin that ye wol wende,
Ye heried been for ay, with-outen ende!

Thourgh yow have I seyd fully in my song
Theffect and Ioye of Troilus servyse, 1815
Al be that ther was som disese among,
As to myn auctor listeth to devyse.
My thridde book now ende ich in this wyse;
And Troilus in luste and in quiete
Is with Criseyde, his owne herte swete. 1820

Explicit Liber Tercius.



But al to litel, weylaway the whyle,
Lasteth swich Ioye, y-thonked be Fortune!
That semeth trewest, whan she wol bygyle,
And can to foles so hir song entune,
That she hem hent and blent, traytour comune; 5
And whan a wight is from hir wheel y-throwe,
Than laugheth she, and maketh him the mowe.

From Troilus she gan hir brighte face
Awey to wrythe, and took of him non hede,
But caste him clene out of his lady grace, 10
And on hir wheel she sette up Diomede;
For which right now myn herte ginneth blede,
And now my penne, allas! With which I wryte,
Quaketh for drede of that I moot endyte.

For how Criseyde Troilus forsook, 15
Or at the leste, how that she was unkinde,
Mot hennes-forth ben matere of my book,
As wryten folk through which it is in minde.
Allas! That they sholde ever cause finde
To speke hir harm; and if they on hir lye, 20
Y-wis, hem-self sholde han the vilanye.

O ye Herines, Nightes doughtren three,
That endelees compleynen ever in pyne,
Megera, Alete, and eek Thesiphone;
Thou cruel Mars eek, fader to Quiryne, 25
This ilke ferthe book me helpeth fyne,
So that the los of lyf and love y-fere
Of Troilus be fully shewed here.

Explicit prohemium.

Incipit Quartus Liber.

Ligginge in ost, as I have seyd er this,
The Grekes stronge, aboute Troye toun, 30
Bifel that, whan that Phebus shyning is
Up-on the brest of Hercules Lyoun,
That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun,
Caste on a day with Grekes for to fighte,
As he was wont to greve hem what he mighte. 35

Not I how longe or short it was bitwene
This purpos and that day they fighte mente;
But on a day wel armed, bright and shene,
Ector, and many a worthy wight out wente,
With spere in hond and bigge bowes bente; 40
And in the herd, with-oute lenger lette,
Hir fomen in the feld anoon hem mette.

The longe day, with speres sharpe y-grounde,
With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde, 45
And with hir axes out the braynes quelle.
But in the laste shour, sooth for to telle,
The folk of Troye hem-selven so misledden,
That with the worse at night homward they fledden.

At whiche day was taken Antenor, 50
Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo,
Santippe, Sarpedon, Polynestor,
Polyte, or eek the Troian daun Ripheo,
And othere lasse folk, as Phebuseo.
So that, for harm, that day the folk of Troye 55
Dredden to lese a greet part of hir Ioye.

Of Pryamus was yeve, at Greek requeste,
A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete,
Hir prisoneres to chaungen, moste and leste,
And for the surplus yeven sommes grete. 60
This thing anoon was couth in every strete,
Bothe in thassege, in toune, and every-where,
And with the firste it cam to Calkas ere.

Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde,
In consistorie, among the Grekes, sone 65
He gan in thringe forth, with lordes olde,
And sette him there-as he was wont to done;
And with a chaunged face hem bad a bone,
For love of god, to don that reverence,
To stinte noyse, and yeve him audience. 70

Thanne seyde he thus, `Lo! Lordes myne, I was
Troian, as it is knowen out of drede;
And, if that yow remembre, I am Calkas,
That alderfirst yaf comfort to your nede,
And tolde wel how that ye sholden spede. 75
For dredelees, thorugh yow, shal, in a stounde,
Ben Troye y-brend, and beten doun to grounde.

`And in what forme, or in what maner wyse
This town to shende, and al your lust to acheve,
Ye han er this wel herd it me devyse; 80
This knowe ye, my lordes, as I leve.
And for the Grekes weren me so leve,
I com my-self in my propre persone,
To teche in this how yow was best to done;

`Havinge un-to my tresour ne my rente 85
Right no resport, to respect of your ese.
Thus al my good I loste and to yow wente,
Wening in this you, lordes, for to plese.
But al that los ne doth me no disese.
I vouche-sauf, as wisly have I Ioye, 90
For you to lese al that I have in Troye,

`Save of a doughter, that I lafte, allas!
Slepinge at hoom, whanne out of Troye I sterte.
O sterne, O cruel fader that I was!
How mighte I have in that so hard an herte? 95
Allas! I ne hadde y-brought hir in hir sherte!
For sorwe of which I wol not live to morwe,
But-if ye lordes rewe up-on my sorwe.

`For, by that cause I say no tyme er now
Hir to delivere, I holden have my pees; 100
But now or never, if that it lyke yow,
I may hir have right sone, doutelees.
O help and grace! Amonges al this prees,
Rewe on this olde caitif in destresse,
Sin I through yow have al this hevinesse! 105

`Ye have now caught and fetered in prisoun
Troians y-nowe; and if your willes be,
My child with oon may have redempcioun.
Now for the love of god and of bountee,
Oon of so fele, allas! So yeve him me. 110
What nede were it this preyere for to werne,
Sin ye shul bothe han folk and toun as yerne?

`On peril of my lyf, I shal nat lye,
Appollo hath me told it feithfully;
I have eek founde it be astronomye, 115
By sort, and by augurie eek trewely,
And dar wel seye, the tyme is faste by,
That fyr and flaumbe on al the toun shal sprede;
And thus shal Troye turne to asshen dede.

`For certeyn, Phebus and Neptunus bothe, 120
That makeden the walles of the toun,
Ben with the folk of Troye alwey so wrothe,
That thei wol bringe it to confusioun,
Right in despyt of king Lameadoun.
By-cause he nolde payen hem hir hyre, 125
The toun of Troye shal ben set on-fyre.'

Telling his tale alwey, this olde greye,
Humble in speche, and in his lokinge eke,
The salte teres from his eyen tweye
Ful faste ronnen doun by eyther cheke. 130
So longe he gan of socour hem by-seke
That, for to hele him of his sorwes sore,
They yave him Antenor, with-oute more.

But who was glad y-nough but Calkas tho?
And of this thing ful sone his nedes leyde 135
On hem that sholden for the tretis go,
And hem for Antenor ful ofte preyde
To bringen hoom king Toas and Criseyde;
And whan Pryam his save-garde sente,
Thembassadours to Troye streyght they wente. 140

The cause y-told of hir cominge, the olde
Pryam the king ful sone in general
Let here-upon his parlement to holde,
Of which the effect rehersen yow I shal.
Thembassadours ben answered for fynal, 145
Theschaunge of prisoners and al this nede
Hem lyketh wel, and forth in they procede.

This Troilus was present in the place,
Whan axed was for Antenor Criseyde,
For which ful sone chaungen gan his face, 150
As he that with tho wordes wel neigh deyde.
But nathelees, he no word to it seyde,
Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye;
With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye.

And ful of anguissh and of grisly drede 155
Abood what lordes wolde un-to it seye;
And if they wolde graunte, as god forbede,
Theschaunge of hir, than thoughte he thinges tweye,
First, how to save hir honour, and what weye
He mighte best theschaunge of hir withstonde; 160
Ful faste he caste how al this mighte stonde.

Love him made al prest to doon hir byde,
And rather dye than she sholde go;
But resoun seyde him, on that other syde,
`With-oute assent of hir ne do not so, 165
Lest for thy werk she wolde be thy fo,
And seyn, that thorugh thy medling is y-blowe
Your bother love, there it was erst unknowe.'

For which he gan deliberen, for the beste,
That though the lordes wolde that she wente, 170
He wolde lat hem graunte what hem leste,
And telle his lady first what that they mente.
And whan that she had seyd him hir entente,
Ther-after wolde he werken also blyve,
Though al the world ayein it wolde stryve. 175

Ector, which that wel the Grekes herde,
For Antenor how they wolde han Criseyde,
Gan it withstonde, and sobrely answerde: --
`Sires, she nis no prisoner,' he seyde;
`I noot on yow who that this charge leyde, 180
But, on my part, ye may eft-sone hem telle,
We usen here no wommen for to selle.'

The noyse of peple up-stirte thanne at ones,
As breme as blase of straw y-set on fyre;
For infortune it wolde, for the nones, 185
They sholden hir confusioun desyre.
`Ector,' quod they, `what goost may yow enspyre
This womman thus to shilde and doon us lese
Daun Antenor? -- a wrong wey now ye chese --

`That is so wys, and eek so bold baroun, 190
And we han nede to folk, as men may see;
He is eek oon, the grettest of this toun;
O Ector, lat tho fantasyes be!
O king Priam,' quod they, `thus seggen we,
That al our voys is to for-gon Criseyde;' 195
And to deliveren Antenor they preyde.

O Iuvenal, lord! Trewe is thy sentence,
That litel witen folk what is to yerne
That they ne finde in hir desyr offence;
For cloud of errour let hem not descerne 200
What best is; and lo, here ensample as yerne.
This folk desiren now deliveraunce
Of Antenor, that broughte hem to mischaunce!

For he was after traytour to the toun
Of Troye; allas! They quitte him out to rathe; 205
O nyce world, lo, thy discrecioun!
Criseyde, which that never dide hem skathe,
Shal now no lenger in hir blisse bathe;
But Antenor, he shal com hoom to toune,
And she shal out; thus seyden here and howne. 210

For which delibered was by parlement
For Antenor to yelden out Criseyde,
And it pronounced by the president,
Al-theigh that Ector `nay' ful ofte preyde.
And fynaly, what wight that it with-seyde, 215
It was for nought, it moste been, and sholde;
For substaunce of the parlement it wolde.

Departed out of parlement echone,
This Troilus, with-oute wordes mo,
Un-to his chaumbre spedde him faste allone, 220
But-if it were a man of his or two,
The whiche he bad out faste for to go,
By-cause he wolde slepen, as he seyde,
And hastely up-on his bed him leyde.

And as in winter leves been biraft, 225
Eche after other, til the tree be bare,
So that ther nis but bark and braunche y-laft,
Lyth Troilus, biraft of ech wel-fare,
Y-bounden in the blake bark of care,
Disposed wood out of his wit to breyde, 230
So sore him sat the chaunginge of Criseyde.

He rist him up, and every dore he shette
And windowe eek, and tho this sorweful man
Up-on his beddes syde a-doun him sette,
Ful lyk a deed image pale and wan; 235
And in his brest the heped wo bigan
Out-breste, and he to werken in this wyse
In his woodnesse, as I shal yow devyse.

Right as the wilde bole biginneth springe
Now here, now there, y-darted to the herte, 240
And of his deeth roreth in compleyninge,
Right so gan he aboute the chaumbre sterte,
Smyting his brest ay with his festes smerte;
His heed to the wal, his body to the grounde
Ful ofte he swapte, him-selven to confounde. 245

His eyen two, for pitee of his herte,
Out stremeden as swifte welles tweye;
The heighe sobbes of his sorwes smerte
His speche him refte, unnethes mighte he seye,
`O deeth, allas! Why niltow do me deye? 250
A-cursed be the day which that nature
Shoop me to ben a lyves creature!'

But after, whan the furie and the rage
Which that his herte twiste and faste threste,
By lengthe of tyme somwhat gan asswage, 255
Up-on his bed he leyde him doun to reste;
But tho bigonne his teres more out-breste,
That wonder is, the body may suffyse
To half this wo, which that I yow devyse.

Than seyde he thus, `Fortune! Allas the whyle! 260
What have I doon, what have I thus a-gilt?
How mightestow for reuthe me bigyle?
Is ther no grace, and shal I thus be spilt?
Shal thus Criseyde awey, for that thou wilt?
Allas! How maystow in thyn herte finde 265
To been to me thus cruel and unkinde?

`Have I thee nought honoured al my lyve,
As thou wel wost, above the goddes alle?
Why wiltow me fro Ioye thus depryve?
O Troilus, what may men now thee calle 270
But wrecche of wrecches, out of honour falle
In-to miserie, in which I wol biwayle
Criseyde, allas! Til that the breeth me fayle?

`Allas, Fortune! If that my lyf in Ioye
Displesed hadde un-to thy foule envye, 275
Why ne haddestow my fader, king of Troye,
By-raft the lyf, or doon my bretheren dye,
Or slayn my-self, that thus compleyne and crye,
I, combre-world, that may of no-thing serve,
But ever dye, and never fully sterve? 280

`If that Criseyde allone were me laft,
Nought roughte I whider thou woldest me stere;
And hir, allas! Than hastow me biraft.
But ever-more, lo! This is thy manere,
To reve a wight that most is to him dere, 285
To preve in that thy gerful violence.
Thus am I lost, ther helpeth no defence!

`O verray lord of love, O god, allas!
That knowest best myn herte and al my thought,
What shal my sorwful lyf don in this cas 290
If I for-go that I so dere have bought?
Sin ye Cryseyde and me han fully brought
In-to your grace, and bothe our hertes seled,
How may ye suffre, allas! It be repeled?

`What I may doon, I shal, whyl I may dure 295
On lyve in torment and in cruel peyne,
This infortune or this disaventure,
Allone as I was born, y-wis, compleyne;
Ne never wil I seen it shyne or reyne;
But ende I wil, as Edippe, in derknesse 300
My sorwful lyf, and dyen in distresse.

`O wery goost, that errest to and fro,
Why niltow fleen out of the wofulleste
Body, that ever mighte on grounde go?
O soule, lurkinge in this wo, unneste, 305
Flee forth out of myn herte, and lat it breste,
And folwe alwey Criseyde, thy lady dere;
Thy righte place is now no lenger here!

`O wofulle eyen two, sin your disport
Was al to seen Criseydes eyen brighte, 310
What shal ye doon but, for my discomfort,
Stonden for nought, and wepen out your sighte?
Sin she is queynt, that wont was yow to lighte,
In veyn fro-this-forth have I eyen tweye
Y-formed, sin your vertue is a-weye. 315

`O my Criseyde, O lady sovereyne
Of thilke woful soule that thus cryeth,
Who shal now yeven comfort to the peyne?
Allas, no wight; but when myn herte dyeth,
My spirit, which that so un-to yow hyeth, 320
Receyve in gree, for that shal ay yow serve;
For-thy no fors is, though the body sterve.

`O ye loveres, that heighe upon the wheel
Ben set of Fortune, in good aventure,
God leve that ye finde ay love of steel, 325
And longe mot your lyf in Ioye endure!
But whan ye comen by my sepulture,
Remembreth that your felawe resteth there;
For I lovede eek, though I unworthy were.

`O olde, unholsom, and mislyved man, 330
Calkas I mene, allas! What eyleth thee
To been a Greek, sin thou art born Troian?
O Calkas, which that wilt my bane be,
In cursed tyme was thou born for me!
As wolde blisful Iove, for his Ioye, 335
That I thee hadde, where I wolde, in Troye!'

A thousand sykes, hottere than the glede,
Out of his brest ech after other wente,
Medled with pleyntes newe, his wo to fede,
For which his woful teres never stente; 340
And shortly, so his peynes him to-rente,
And wex so mat, that Ioye nor penaunce
He feleth noon, but lyth forth in a traunce.

Pandare, which that in the parlement
Hadde herd what every lord and burgeys seyde, 345
And how ful graunted was, by oon assent,
For Antenor to yelden so Criseyde,
Gan wel neigh wood out of his wit to breyde,
So that, for wo, he niste what he mente;
But in a rees to Troilus he wente. 350

A certeyn knight, that for the tyme kepte
The chaumbre-dore, un-dide it him anoon;
And Pandare, that ful tendreliche wepte,
In-to the derke chaumbre, as stille as stoon,
Toward the bed gan softely to goon, 355
So confus, that he niste what to seye;
For verray wo his wit was neigh aweye.

And with his chere and loking al to-torn,
For sorwe of this, and with his armes folden,
He stood this woful Troilus biforn, 360
And on his pitous face he gan biholden;
But lord, so often gan his herte colden,
Seing his freend in wo, whos hevinesse
His herte slow, as thoughte him, for distresse.

This woful wight, this Troilus, that felte 365
His freend Pandare y-comen him to see,
Gan as the snow ayein the sonne melte,
For which this sorwful Pandare, of pitee,
Gan for to wepe as tendreliche as he;
And specheles thus been thise ilke tweye, 370
That neyther mighte o word for sorwe seye.

But at the laste this woful Troilus,
Ney deed for smert, gan bresten out to rore,
And with a sorwful noyse he seyde thus,
Among his sobbes and his sykes sore, 375
`Lo! Pandare, I am deed, with-outen more.
Hastow nought herd at parlement,' he seyde,
`For Antenor how lost is my Criseyde?'

This Pandarus, ful deed and pale of hewe,
Ful pitously answerde and seyde, `Yis! 380
As wisly were it fals as it is trewe,
That I have herd, and wot al how it is.
O mercy, god, who wolde have trowed this?
Who wolde have wend that, in so litel a throwe,
Fortune our Ioye wolde han over-throwe? 385

`For in this world ther is no creature,
As to my doom, that ever saw ruyne
Straungere than this, thorugh cas or aventure.
But who may al eschewe, or al devyne?
Swich is this world; for-thy I thus defyne, 390
Ne trust no wight to finden in Fortune
Ay propretee; hir yeftes been comune.

`But tel me this, why thou art now so mad
To sorwen thus? Why lystow in this wyse,
Sin thy desyr al holly hastow had, 395
So that, by right, it oughte y-now suffyse?
But I, that never felte in my servyse
A frendly chere or loking of an ye,
Lat me thus wepe and wayle, til I dye.

`And over al this, as thou wel wost thy-selve, 400
This town is ful of ladies al aboute;
And, to my doom, fairer than swiche twelve
As ever she was, shal I finde, in som route,
Ye, oon or two, with-outen any doute.
For-thy be glad, myn owene dere brother, 405
If she be lost, we shal recovere another.

`What, god for-bede alwey that ech plesaunce
In o thing were, and in non other wight!
If oon can singe, another can wel daunce;
If this be goodly, she is glad and light; 410
And this is fayr, and that can good a-right.
Ech for his vertu holden is for dere,
Bothe heroner and faucon for rivere.

`And eek, as writ Zanzis, that was ful wys,
"The newe love out chaceth ofte the olde;" 415
And up-on newe cas lyth newe avys.
Thenk eek, thy-self to saven artow holde;
Swich fyr, by proces, shal of kinde colde.
For sin it is but casuel plesaunce,
Som cas shal putte it out of remembraunce. 420

`For al-so seur as day cometh after night,
The newe love, labour or other wo,
Or elles selde seinge of a wight,
Don olde affecciouns alle over-go.
And, for thy part, thou shalt have oon of tho 425
To abrigge with thy bittre peynes smerte;
Absence of hir shal dryve hir out of herte.'

Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
To helpe his freend, lest he for sorwe deyde.
For douteles, to doon his wo to falle, 430
He roughte not what unthrift that he seyde.
But Troilus, that neigh for sorwe deyde,
Tok litel hede of al that ever he mente;
Oon ere it herde, at the other out it wente:

But at the laste answerde and seyde, `Freend, 435
This lechecraft, or heled thus to be,
Were wel sitting, if that I were a feend,
To traysen hir that trewe is unto me!
I pray god, lat this consayl never y-thee;
But do me rather sterve anon-right here 440
Er I thus do as thou me woldest lere.

`She that I serve, y-wis, what so thou seye,
To whom myn herte enhabit is by right,
Shal han me holly hires til that I deye.
For, Pandarus, sin I have trouthe hir hight, 445
I wol not been untrewe for no wight;
But as hir man I wol ay live and sterve,
And never other creature serve.

`And ther thou seyst, thou shalt as faire finde
As she, lat be, make no comparisoun 450
To creature y-formed here by kinde.
O leve Pandare, in conclusioun,
I wol not be of thyn opinioun,
Touching al this; for whiche I thee biseche,
So hold thy pees; thou sleest me with thy speche. 455

`Thow biddest me I sholde love an-other
Al freshly newe, and lat Criseyde go!
It lyth not in my power, leve brother.
And though I mighte, I wolde not do so.
But canstow pleyen raket, to and fro, 460
Netle in, dokke out, now this, now that, Pandare?
Now foule falle hir, for thy wo that care!

`Thow farest eek by me, thou Pandarus,
As he, that whan a wight is wo bi-goon,
He cometh to him a pas, and seyth right thus, 465
"Thenk not on smert, and thou shalt fele noon."
Thou most me first transmuwen in a stoon,
And reve me my passiounes alle,
Er thou so lightly do my wo to falle.

`The deeth may wel out of my brest departe 470
The lyf, so longe may this sorwe myne;
But fro my soule shal Criseydes darte
Out never-mo; but doun with Proserpyne,
Whan I am deed, I wol go wone in pyne;
And ther I wol eternaly compleyne 475
My wo, and how that twinned be we tweyne.

`Thow hast here maad an argument, for fyn,
How that it sholde a lasse peyne be
Criseyde to for-goon, for she was myn,
And live in ese and in felicitee. 480
Why gabbestow, that seydest thus to me
That "him is wors that is fro wele y-throwe,
Than he hadde erst non of that wele y-knowe?"

`But tel me now, sin that thee thinketh so light
To chaungen so in love, ay to and fro, 485
Why hastow not don bisily thy might
To chaungen hir that doth thee al thy wo?
Why niltow lete hir fro thyn herte go?
Why niltow love an-other lady swete,
That may thyn herte setten in quiete? 490

`If thou hast had in love ay yet mischaunce,
And canst it not out of thyn herte dryve,
I, that livede in lust and in plesaunce
With hir as muche as creature on-lyve,
How sholde I that foryete, and that so blyve? 495
O where hastow ben hid so longe in muwe,
That canst so wel and formely arguwe?

`Nay, nay, god wot, nought worth is al thy reed,
For which, for what that ever may bifalle,
With-outen wordes mo, I wol be deed. 500
O deeth, that endere art of sorwes alle,
Com now, sin I so ofte after thee calle,
For sely is that deeth, soth for to seyne,
That, ofte y-cleped, cometh and endeth peyne.

`Wel wot I, whyl my lyf was in quiete, 505
Er thou me slowe, I wolde have yeven hyre;
But now thy cominge is to me so swete,
That in this world I no-thing so desyre.
O deeth, sin with this sorwe I am a-fyre,
Thou outher do me anoon yn teres drenche, 510
Or with thy colde strook myn hete quenche!

`Sin that thou sleest so fele in sondry wyse
Ayens hir wil, unpreyed, day and night,
Do me, at my requeste, this servyse,
Delivere now the world, so dostow right, 515
Of me, that am the wofulleste wight
That ever was; for tyme is that I sterve,
Sin in this world of right nought may I serve.'

This Troilus in teres gan distille,
As licour out of alambyk ful faste; 520
And Pandarus gan holde his tunge stille,
And to the ground his eyen doun he caste.
But nathelees, thus thoughte he at the laste,
`What, parde, rather than my felawe deye,
Yet shal I som-what more un-to him seye:' 525

And seyde, `Freend, sin thou hast swich distresse,
And sin thee list myn arguments to blame,
Why nilt thy-selven helpen doon redresse,
And with thy manhod letten al this grame?
Go ravisshe hir ne canstow not for shame! 530
And outher lat hir out of toune fare,
Or hold hir stille, and leve thy nyce fare.

`Artow in Troye, and hast non hardiment
To take a womman which that loveth thee,
And wolde hir-selven been of thyn assent? 535
Now is not this a nyce vanitee?
Rys up anoon, and lat this weping be,
And kyth thou art a man, for in this houre
I wil be deed, or she shal bleven oure.'

To this answerde him Troilus ful softe, 540
And seyde, `Parde, leve brother dere,
Al this have I my-self yet thought ful ofte,
And more thing than thou devysest here.
But why this thing is laft, thou shalt wel here;
And whan thou me hast yeve an audience, 545
Ther-after mayst thou telle al thy sentence.

`First, sin thou wost this toun hath al this werre
For ravisshing of wommen so by might,
It sholde not be suffred me to erre,
As it stant now, ne doon so gret unright. 550
I sholde han also blame of every wight,

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