Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
Geoffrey Chaucer
B.A. Windeatt

Stanzas 11 through 20

So whan this Calkas knew by calkulynge,
And ek by answer of this Appollo.
That Grekes sholden swich a peple brynge
Thorugh which that Troie moste ben for-do,
He caste anon out of the town to go;
ffor wel wiste he by sort that Troye sholde
Destroyed ben -- ȝe, wolde who-so nolde.
ffor which forto departen softely
Took purpos ful this for-knowynge wise,
And to the Grekes oost ful pryuely
He stal anon; and they in curteys wise
Hym diden bothe worship and seruyce,
In trust that he hath konnynge hem to rede
In euery peril which that is to drede.
Page  90
The noise vp ros whan it was first aspied
Thorugh al the town and generaly was spoken
That Calkas traitour fled was and allied
With hem of Grece, and casten to be wroken
On hym that falsly hadde his feith so broken,
And seyden he and al his kyn atones
Ben worthi for to brennen, felle and bones
Now hadde Calkas left in this meschaunce,
Al vnwist of this false and wikked dede,
His doughter, which that was in gret penaunce,
ffor of hire lif she was ful sore in drede,
As she that nyste what was best to rede;
ffor bothe a widewe was she and allone
Of any frend to whom she dorste hir mone.
Criseyde was this lady name al right --
As to my doom in al Troies cite
Nas non so fair, for passynge euery wight
So aungelik was hir natif beaute
That lik a thing in-mortal semed she,
As doth an heuenyssh perfit creature
That down were sent in scornynge of nature.
Page  92
This lady which that alday herd at ere
Hire fadres shame, his falsnesse and tresoun,
Wel neigh out of hir wit for sorwe and fere,
In widewes habet large of samyt broun,
On knees she fil biforn Ector adown
With pitous vois, and tendrely wepynge,
His mercy bad, hir seluen excusynge.
Now was this Ector pitous of nature,
And saugh that she was sorwfully bigon,
And that she was so faire a creature;
Of his goodnesse he gladede hire anon,
And seyde, "lat ȝoure fadres treson gon
fforth with meschaunce, and ȝe ȝoure self in ioie
Dwelleth with vs, whil ȝow good list, in Troie.
"And al thonour that men may don ȝow haue,
As ferforth as ȝoure fader dwelled here,
Ȝe shul haue, and ȝoure body shal men saue,
As fer as I may ought enquere or here."
And she hym thonked with ful humble chere,
And ofter wolde, and it hadde ben his wille.
And took hire leue, and hom, and held hir stille.
And in hire hous she abood with swich meyne
As til hire honour nede was to holde;
And whil she was dwellynge in that cite
Kepte hir estat, and both of ȝonge and olde
fful wel biloued, and wel men of hir tolde --
But wheither that she children hadde or noon,
I rede it naught, ther-fore I late it goon.
The thynges fellen as they don of werre
Bitwixen hem of Troie and Grekes ofte;
ffor som day boughten they of Troie it derre,
And eft the Grekes founden no thing softe
The folk of Troie; and thus fortune on lofte
And vnder eft gan hem to whielen bothe
Aftir hir cours, ay whil that thei were wrothe.