Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
Stanzas 1 through 10
The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
That was the kyng Priamus sone of Troye,
In louynge how his auentures fellen
ffro wo to wele, and after out of ioie,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
Thesiphone, thow help me for tendite
Thise woful vers that wepen as I write.
To the clepe I, thow goddesse of torment,
Thow cruwel furie, sorwynge euere in peyne,
Help me that am the sorwful instrument
That helpeth loueres, as I kan, to pleyne;
ffor wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
A woful wight to han a drery feere,
And to a sorwful tale a sory chere.
ffor I, that god of loues seruantz serue,
Ne dar to loue, for myn vnliklynesse,
Preyen for speed, al sholde I ther-fore sterue,
So fer am I from his help in derknesse;
But natheles, if this may don gladnesse
To any louere and his cause auaille,
Haue he my thonk, and myn be this trauaille.
But ȝe loueres that bathen in gladnesse,
If any drope of pyte in ȝow be,
Remembreth ȝow on passed heuynesse
That ȝe han felt, and on the aduersite
Of othere folk, and thynketh how that ȝe
Han felt that loue dorste ȝow displese,
Or ȝe han wonne hym with to grete an ese.
And preieth for hem that ben in the cas
Of Troilus, as ȝe may after here,
That loue hem brynge in heuene to solas;
And ek for me preieth to god so dere
That I haue myght to shewe in som manere
Swich peyne and wo as loues folk endure,
In Troilus vnsely auenture.
And biddeth ek for hem that ben despeired
In loue that neuere nyl recouered be,
And ek for hem that falsly ben apeired
Thorugh wikked tonges, be it he or she;
Thus biddeth god, for his benignite,
So graunte hem soone owt of this world to pace,
That ben despeired out of loues grace.
And biddeth ek for hem that ben at ese.
That god hem graunte ay good perseueraunce,
And send hem myght hire ladies so to plese
That it to loue be worship and plesaunce;
ffor so hope I my sowle best auaunce,
To prey for hem that loues seruauntz be,
And write hire wo, and lyue in charite,
And for to haue of hem compassioun,
As though I were hire owne brother dere.
Now herkneth with a good entencioun,
ffor now wil I gon streght to my matere,
In which ȝe may the double sorwes here
Of Troilus in louynge of Criseyde,
And how that she forsook hym er she deyde.
Yt is wel wist how that the Grekes stronge
In armes with a thousand shippes wente
To Troiewardes, and the cite longe
Assegeden, neigh ten ȝer er they stente,
And in diuerse wise and oon entente,
The rauysshyng to wreken of Eleyne,
By Paris don, they wroughten al hir peyne.
Now fel it so that in the town ther was
Dwellynge a lord of gret auctorite.
A gret deuyn that clepid was Calkas,
That in science so expert was that he
Knew wel that Troie sholde destroied be,
By answere of his god that highte thus:
Daun Phebus or Appollo Delphicus.