Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter

GEOFFREY CHAUCER

1340?-1400

14                                         The Complaint of Troilus

O PALEYS,1 whylom croune of houses alle,
Enlumined with sonne of alle blisse!
O ring, fro which the ruby is out-falle,
O cause of wo, that cause hast been of lisse!2
Yet, sin I may no bet,3 fayn wolde I kisse
Thy colde dores, dorste I for this route;4
And fare-wel shryne, of which the seynt is oute!
Fro thennesforth he rydeth up and doun,
And every thing com him to remembraunce
As he rood forth by places of the toun
In whiche he whylom hadde al his plesaunce.
Lo, yond saugh I myn owene lady daunce;
And in that temple, with hir eyen clere,
Me caughte first my righte lady dere.
And yonder have I herd ful lustily
My dere herte laughe, and yonder pleye
Saugh I hir ones5 eek ful blisfully.
And yonder ones to me gan she seye,
Now goode swete, love me wel, I preye.
And yond so goodly gan she me biholde,
That to the deeth myn herte is to hir holde.
And at that corner, in the yonder hous,
Herde I myn alderlevest6 lady dere
So wommanly, with voys melodious,
Singen so wel, so goodly, and so clere,
That in my soule yet me thinketh I here
The blisful soun; and, in that yonder place,
My lady first me took un-to hir grace.
O sterre, of which I lost have al the light,
With herte soor wel oughte I to bewayle,
That ever derk in torment, night by night,
Toward my deeth with wind in stere I sayle;
For which the tenthe night if that I fayle
The gyding of thy bemes brighte an houre,
My ship and me Caribdis wol devoure.

1 paleys: palace.

2 lisse: joy.

3 sin I may no bet: since I can do nothing better.

4 route: company.

5 ones: once.

6 alderlevest: dearest of all

15                                          The Love Unfeigned

O YONGE fresshe folkes, he or she,
In which that love up groweth with your age,
Repeyreth1 hoom from worldly vanitee,
And of your herte up-casteth the visage
To thilke god that after his image
Yow made, and thinketh al nis but a fayre
This world, that passeth sone as floures fayre.
And loveth him, the which that right for love
Upon a cros, our soules for to beye,
First starf,2 and roos, and sit in hevene a-bove;
For he nil falsen no wight, dar I seye,
That wol his herte al hoolly on him leye.
And sin he best to love is, and most meke,
What nedeth feyned loves for to seke?

1 repeyreth: repair ye.

2 starf: died.

16                                                    Balade

HYD, Absolon, thy gilte tresses clere;
Ester, ley thou thy meknesse al a-doun;
Hyd, Jonathas, al thy frendly manere;
Penalopee, and Marcia Catoun,
Mak of your wyfhod no comparisoun;
Hyde ye your beautes, Isoude and Eleyne;
My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.
Thy faire body, lat hit nat appere,
Lavyne; and thou, Lucresse of Rome toun,
And Polixene, that boghten love so dere,
And Cleopatre, with al thy passioun,
Hyde ye your trouthe of love and your renoun;
And thou, Tisbe, that hast of love swich peyne;
My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.
Herro, Dido, Laudomia, alle y-fere,1
And Phyllis, hanging for thy Demophoun,
And Canace, espyed by thy chere,
Ysiphile, betraysed with Jasoun,
Maketh of your trouthe neyther boost ne soun;
Nor Y permistre or Adriane, ye tweyne;
My lady cometh, that all this may distevne.

1 y-fere: together.

Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter