Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
Book IPage 84
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stanzas 21 through 30
But how this town com to destruccion
Ne falleth naught to purpos me to telle;
ffor it were here a long digression
ffro my matere and ȝow to long to dwelle;
But the Troian gestes as they felle,
In Omer or in Dares or in Dite,
Who-so that kan may rede hem as they write.
But though that Grekes hem of Troie shetten
And hir cite biseged al aboute,
Hire olde vsage nolde they nat letten,
As for to honour hir goddes ful deuoute;
But aldirmost in honour, out of doute,
Thei hadde a relik heet Palladion
That was hire trist abouen euerichon.
And so bifel whan comen was the tyme
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
With newe grene, of lusty Veer the pryme,
And swote smellen floures white and rede,
In sondry wises shewed, as I rede,
The folk of Troie hire obseruaunces olde,
Palladiones feste forto holde.
And to the temple in al hir beste wise
In general ther wente many a wight
To herknen of Palladion the seruyce;
And namely, so many a lusty knyght,
So many a lady fressh and mayden bright,
fful wel arayed, both moeste, mene, and leste,
Ȝe, bothe for the seson and the feste.
Among thise othere folk was Criseyda,
In widewes habit blak, but natheles,
Right as oure firste lettre is now an A,
In beaute first so stood she makeles;
Hire goodly lokyng gladed al the prees.
Nas neuere ȝet seyn thyng to ben preysed derre,
Nor vnder cloude blak so bright a sterre,
As was Criseyde, as folk seyde euerichone,
That hir behelden in hir blake wede;
And ȝet she stood ful lowe and stille allone,
Byhynden other folk in litel brede,
And nei ȝ the dore, ay vndre shames drede,
Simple of atire and debonaire of chere,
With ful assured lokyng and manere.
This Troilus, as he was wont to gide
His ȝonge knyghtes, lad hem vp and down
In thilke large temple on euery side,
Byholding ay the ladies of the town,
Now here, now there, for no deuocioun
Hadde he to non to reuen hym his reste,
But gan to preise and lakken whom hym leste.
And in his walk ful faste he gan to wayten
If knyght or squyer of his compaignie
Gan forto syke or lete his eighen baiten
On any womman that he koude espye;
He wolde smyle and holden it folye,
And seye hym thus, "god woot, she slepeth softe
ffor loue of the, whan thow turnest ful ofte.
"I haue herd told, perdieux, of ȝoure lyuynge,
Ȝe loueres, and ȝoure lewed obseruaunces,
And which a labour folk han in wynnynge
Of loue, and in the kepyng which doutaunces;
And whan ȝoure prey is lost, woo and penaunces.
O veray fooles, nyce and blynde be ȝe;
Ther nys nat oon kan war by other be."
And with that word he gan caste vp the browe,
Ascaunces, "loo, is this naught wisely spoken?"
At which the god of loue gan loken rowe
Right for despit, and shop forto ben wroken:
He kidde anon his bowe nas naught broken,
ffor sodeynly he hitte hym atte fulle,
And ȝet as proude a pekok kan he pulle.
Stanzas 31 through 40
O blynde world, O blynde entencioun!
How often falleth al the effect contraire
Of surquidrie and foul presumpcioun!
ffor kaught is proud, and kau ȝt is debonaire:
This Troilus is clomben on the staire
And litel weneth that he moot descenden --
But alday faileth thing that fooles wenden.
As proude Bayard gynneth forto skippe
Out of the weye, so pryketh him his corn,
Til he a lasshe haue of the longe whippe,
Than thynketh he, ""though I praunce al byforn
ffirst in the trays, ful fat and newe shorn,
Ȝet am I but an hors, and horses lawe
I moot endure, and with my feres drawe."
So ferde it by this fierse and proude knyght:
Though he a worthy kynges sone were,
And wende no thing hadde had swich myght
A ȝeyns his wille that shuld his herte stere,
Ȝet with a look his herte wax a-fere,
That he that now was moost in pride a-boue
Wax sodeynly moost subgit vnto loue.
fforthy ensample taketh of this man,
Ȝe wise, proude, and worthi folkes alle,
To scornen loue, which that so soone kan
The fredom of ȝoure hertes to him thralle --
ffor euere it was and euere it shal byfalle
That loue is he that alle thing may bynde
ffor may no man fordon the lawe of kynde.
That this be soth, hath preued and doth ȝit;
ffor this trowe I ȝe knowen alle or some:
Men reden nat that folk han gretter wit
Than they that han be most with loue ynome;
And strengest folk bien ther-with ouerecome,
The worthiest and grettest of degree --
This was, and is, and ȝet men shall it see.
And trewelich it sit wel to be so,
ffor alderwisest han ther-with ben plesed,
And they that han ben aldermost in wo
With loue han ben comforted moost and esed;
And ofte it hath the cruel herte apesed,
And worthi folk maad worthier of name,
And causeth moost to dreden vice and shame.
Now sith it may nat goodly ben with-stonde,
And is a thing so vertuouse in kynde,
Refuseth nat to loue forto ben bonde,
Syn as hym seluen liste he may ȝow bynde:
The ȝerde is bet that bowen wole and wynde
Than that that brest; and therfore I ȝow rede
To folowen hym that so wel kan ȝow lede.
But forto tellen forth in special
As of this kynges sone of which I tolde,
And leten other thing collateral,
Of hym thenke I my tale forth to holde,
Both of his ioie and of his cares colde;
And al his werk as touching this matere,
ffor I it gan, I wol therto refere.
With-inne the temple he wente hym forth pleyinge,
This Troilus, of euery wight aboute,
On this lady, and now on that, lokynge,
Where so she were of town or of with-oute;
And vp-on cas bifel that thorugh a route
His eye percede, and so depe it wente,
Til on Criseyde it smote, and ther it stente.
And sodeynly he wax ther-with astoned,
And gan hir bet biholde in thrifty wise.
"O mercy god," thoughte he, "wher hastow woned,
That art so feyre and goodly to deuise?"
Therwith his herte gan to sprede and rise,
And softe sighed, lest men myghte hym here,
And cau ȝt a ȝeyn his firste pleyinge chere.
Stanzas 41 through 50
She nas nat with the leste of hire statore,
But alle hir lymes so wel answerynge
Weren to wommanhode, that creature
Was neuere lasse mannyssh in semynge;
And ek the pure wise of hire meuynge
Shewed wel that men myght in hire gesse
Honour, estat, and wommanly noblesse.
To Troilus right wonder wel with alle
Gan forto like hire meuynge and hire chere,
Which somdel deignous was, for she let falle
Hire look a lite a-side in swich manere
Ascaunces, "what, may I nat stonden here?"
And after that hir lokynge gan she lighte.
That neuere thoughte hym seen so good a syghte.
And of hire look in him ther gan to quyken
So gret desire and swich affeccioun,
That in his hertes botme gan to stiken
Of hir his fixe and depe impressioun;
And though he erst hadde poured vp and down,
He was tho glad his hornes in-to shrinke;
Unnethes wiste he how to loke or wynke.
Lo, he that leet hym seluen so konnynge,
And scorned hem that loues peynes dryen,
Was ful vnwar that loue hadde his dwellynge
With-inne the subtile stremes of hire eyen;
That sodeynly hym thoughte he felte deyen,
Right with hire look, the spirit in his herte --
Blissed be loue, that kan thus folk conuerte!
She, this in blak, likynge to Troilus
Ouer al thing, he stood forto biholde;
Ne his desire, ne wherfore he stood thus,
He neither chere made, ne worde tolde;
But from a-fer, his manere forto holde,
On other thing his look som tyme he caste,
And efte on hire, while that the seruyse laste.
And after this, nat fullich al awhaped,
Out of the temple al esilich he wente,
Repentynge hym that he hadde euere i-iaped
Of loues folk, lest fully the descente
Of scorn fille on hym self; but what he mente,
Lest it were wist on any manere syde,
His woo he gan dissimilen and hide.
Whan he was fro the temple thus departed,
He streght anon vnto his paleys torneth,
Hight with hire look thorugh-shoten and thorugh-darted,
Al feyneth he in lust that he soiourneth;
And al his chere and speche also he borneth,
And ay of loues seruantz euery while,
Hym self to wrey, at hem he gan to smyle.
And seyde, "lord, so ȝe lyue al in lest,
Ȝe loueres, for the konnyngeste of ȝow,
That serueth most ententiflich and best,
Hym tit as often harm ther-of as prow:
Ȝoure hire is quyt a ȝeyn, ȝe, god woot how,
Nought wel for wel, but scorn for good seruyse;
In feith, ȝoure ordre is ruled in good wise.
"In noun-certeyn ben alle ȝoure obseruaunces,
But it a sely fewe pointes be;
Ne no thing asketh so gret attendaunces
As doth ȝoure lay, and that knowe alle ȝe;
But that is nat the worste, as mote I the;
But tolde I ȝow the worste point, I leue,
Al seyde I soth, ȝe wolden at me greue.
"But take this: that ȝe loueres ofte eschuwe,
Or elles doon, of good entencioun,
fful ofte thi lady wol it mysconstruwe,
And deme it harm in hire oppynyoun;
And ȝet if she, for other enchesoun
Be wroth, than shaltow haue a groyne anon --
Lord, wel is hym that may of ȝow ben oon!"
Stanzas 51 through 57
But for al this, whan that he say his tyme,
He held his pees, non other boote hym gayned;
ffor loue bigan his fetheres so to lyme,
That wel vnneth vn-til his folk he fayned
That other besy nedes hym destrayned;
ffor wo was hym, that what to doon he nyste,
But bad his folk to gon wher that hem liste.
And whan that he in chambre was allone,
He doun vp-on his beddes feet hym sette,
And first he gan to sike and eft to grone,
And thought ay on hire so with-outen lette,
That as he sat and wook, his spirit mette
That he hire sauȝ, and temple, and al the wise
Right of hire look, and gan it newe a-vise.
Thus gan he make a mirour of his mynde,
In which he saugh al holly hire figure;
And that he wel koude in his herte fynde,
It was to hym a right good auenture
To loue swich oon, and if he dede his cure
To seruen hir, ȝet myghte he falle in grace,
Or ellis for oon of hire seruantes pace.
Imagenynge that trauaille nor grame
Ne myghte for so goodly oon be lorn
As she, ne hym for his desire no shame,
Al were it wist, but in pris and vp born
Of alle louers wel more than biforn --
Thus argumented he in his gynnynge,
fful vnauysed of his woo comynge.
Thus took he purpos loues craft to suwe,
And thoughte he wolde werken pryuely,
ffirst to hiden his desire in muwe
ffrom euery wight yborn, al outrely,
But he myghte ought recouered be therby,
Remembryng hym that loue to wide yblowe
Ȝelt bittre fruyt, though swete seed be sowe.
And ouere al this ȝet muchel more he thoughte
What forto speke and what to holden inne,
And what to arten hire to loue he soughte,
And on a song anon right to bygynne,
And gan loude on his sorwe forto wynne;
ffor with good hope he gan fully assente
Criseyde forto loue and nought repente.
And of his song naught only the sentence,
As writ myn auctour called Lollius,
But pleinly, saue oure tonges difference,
I dar wel seyn in al that Troilus
Seyde in his song, loo, euery word right thus
As I shal seyn; and who-so list it here,
Loo, next this vers he may it fynden here.
"If no loue is, O god, what fele I so?
And if loue is, what thing and which is he?
If loue be good, from whennes cometh my woo?
If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me,
Whenne euery torment and aduersite
That cometh of hym may to me sauory thinke,
ffor ay thurst I the more that ich it drynke.
"And if that at myn owen lust I brenne,
ffrom whennes cometh may waillynge and my pleynte?
If harme a-gree me, wherto pleyne I thenne?
I noot, ne whi vn-wery that I feynte.
O quike deth, O swete harm so queynte,
How may of the in me swich quantite,
But if that I consente that it be?
"And if that I consente, I wrongfully
Compleyne, i-wis; thus possed to and fro,
Al sterelees with-inne a boot am I
Amydde the see, bitwixen wyndes two,
That inne contrarie stonden euere mo.
Allas, what is this wondre maladie?
ffor hete of cold, for cold of hete, I dye."
And to the god of loue thus seyde he
With pitous vois, "O lord, now ȝoures is
My spirit, which that oughte ȝoures be.
Ȝow thanke I, lord, that han me brought to this;
But wheither goddesse or womman, i-wis,
She be, I not, which that ȝe do me serue;
But as hire man I wol ay lyue and sterue.
"Ȝe stonden in hir eighen myghtily,
As in a place vnto ȝoure vertue digne;
Wherfore, lord, if my seruice or I
May liken ȝow, so beth to me benigne;
ffor myn estat roial I here resigne
In-to hire hond, and with ful humble chere
Bicome hir man, as to my lady dere."
Stanzas 63 through 70
In hym ne deyned spare blood roial
The fyre of loue -- the wherfro god me blesse --
Ne him forbar in no degree for al
His vertue or his excellent prowesse,
But held hym as his thral lowe in destresse,
And brende hym so in soundry wise ay newe,
That sexti tyme a day he loste his hewe.
So muche, day by day, his owene thought
ffor lust to hire gan quiken and encresse,
That euery other charge he sette at nought;
fforthi ful ofte, his hote fire to cesse,
To sen hire goodly lok he gan to presse;
ffor ther-by to ben esed wel he wende,
And ay the ner he was, the more he brende.
ffor ay the ner the fire the hotter is --
This, trowe I, knoweth al this compaignye;
But were he fer or ner, I dar sey this:
By nyght or day, for wisdom or folye,
His herte, which that is his brestes eye,
Was ay on hire, that fairer was to sene
Than euere were Eleyne or Polixene
Ek of the day ther passed nou ȝt an houre
That to hym self a thousand tyme he seyde,
"Good goodly, to whom serue I and laboure
As I best kan, now wolde god, Criseyde,
Ȝe wolden on me rewe, er that I deyde;
My dere herte, allas, myn hele and hewe
And lif is lost, but ȝe wol on me rewe."
Alle other dredes weren from him fledde,
Both of thassege and his sauacioun;
Nyn him desire noon other fownes bredde
But argumentes to his conclusioun,
That she of him wolde han compassioun,
And he to ben hire man while he may dure --
Lo, here his lif, and from the deth his cure.
The sharpe shoures felle, of armes preue,
That Ector or his other brethren diden,
Ne made hym only therfore ones meue;
And ȝet was he, where so men wente or riden,
ffounde on the beste, and lengest tyme abiden
Ther peril was, and dide ek swich trauaille
In armes that to thenke it was merueille.
But for non hate he to the Grekes hadde,
Ne also for the rescous of the town,
Ne made hym thus in armes forto madde,
But only, lo, for this conclusioun:
To liken hire the bet for his renoun.
ffro day to day in armes so he spedde,
That the Grekes as the deth him dredde.
And fro this forth tho refte hym loue his slepe,
And made his mete his foo, and ek his sorwe
Gan multiplie, that, who-so tok kepe,
It shewed in his hewe both eue and morwe;
Therfor a title he gan him forto borwe
Of other siknesse, lest men of hym wende
That the hote fire of loue hym brende,
Stanzas 71 through 80
And seyde he hadde a feuere and ferd amys.
But how it was, serteyn, kan I nat seye,
If that his lady vnderstood nat this,
Or feynede hire she nyste, on of the tweye;
But wel I rede that by no manere weye
Ne semed it as that she of hym roughte,
Or of his peyne, or what so euere he thoughte.
But thanne felte this Troilus swich wo,
That he was wel neigh wood -- for ay his drede
Was this, that she som wight hadde loued so
That neuere of hym she wolde han taken hede,
ffor which hym thoughte he felte his herte blede,
Ne of his wo ne dorste he nat bygynne
To tellen hir, for al this world to wynne.
But whan he hadde a space from his care,
Thus to hym self ful ofte he gan to pleyne;
He seyde, "O fool, now artow in the snare,
That whilom iapedest at loues peyne;
Now artow hent, now gnaw thin owen cheyne;
Thow were ay wont eche louere reprehende
Of thing fro which thow kanst the nat defende.
"What wol now euery louere seyn of the
If this be wist, but euere in thin absence
Laughen in scorne and seyn, "loo, ther goth he
That is the man of so gret sapience,
That held vs loueres leest in reuerence.
Now, thanked be god, he may gon in the daunce
Of hem that loue list fiebli for to auaunce.
"But O thow woful Troilus, god wolde,
Sith thow most louen thorugh thi destine,
That thow be-set were on swich oon that sholde
Know al thi wo, al lakked hir pitee.
But also cold in loue towardes the
Thi lady is as frost in wynter moone,
And thow fordon as snow in fire is soone.
"God wold I were aryued in the porte
Of deth to which my sorwe wol me lede.
A, lord, to me it were a gret comforte --
Than were I quyt of languisshyng in drede;
ffor be myn hidde sorwe i-blowe on brede,
I shal by-iaped ben a thousand tyme
More than that fol of whos folie men ryme.
But now help, god, and ȝe, swete, for whom
I pleyne, i-kaught, ȝe, neuere wight so faste --
O mercy, dere herte, and help me from
The deth, for I, while that my lyf may laste,
More than my self wol loue ȝow to my laste;
And with som frendly lok gladeth me, swete,
Though neuere more thing ȝe me byheete."
Thise wordes, and ful many an other to,
He spak, and called euere in his compleynte
Hire name, forto tellen hire his wo,
Til nei ȝ that he in salte teres dreynte:
Al was for nought, she herde nat his pleynte.
And whan that he by-thought on that folie,
A thousand fold his wo gan multiplie.
By-wayling in his chambre thus allone,
A frend of his that called was Pandare
Com oones in vnwar and herd hym groone,
And say his frend in swich destresse and care:
"Allas," quod he, "who causeth al this fare?
O mercy, god, what vnhap may this meene?
Han now thus soone Grekes maad ȝow leene?
"Or hastow som remors of conscience,
And art now falle in som deuocioun,
And wailest for thi synne and thin offence,
And hast for ferde caught attricioun?
God saue hem that biseged han oure town,
That so kan leye oure iolite on presse,
And bringe oure lusty folk to holynesse!"
Stanzas 81 through 90
Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
That with swich thing he myght hym angry maken,
And with an angre don his wo to falle,
As for the tyme, and his corage awaken;
But wel he wist, as fer as tonges spaken,
Ther nas a man of gretter hardinesse
Thanne he, ne more desired worthinesse.
"What cas," quod Troilus, "or what auenture
Hath gided the to sen me langwisshinge,
That am refus of euery creature?
But for the loue of god, at my preyinge,
Go hennes awey, for certes my deyinge
Wol the disese and I mot nedes deye;
Therfore go wey, ther is na more to seye.
"But if thow wene I be thus sik for drede,
It is naught so, and therfore scorne nou ȝt;
Ther is another thing I take of hede
Wel more than aught the Grekes han ȝet wrought,
Which cause is of my deth for sorowe and thought;
But though that I now telle it the ne leste,
Be thow nau ȝt wroth, I hide it for the beste."
This Pandare that neigh malt for wo and routhe
fful ofte seyde, "allas, what may this be?
Now frend," quod he, "if euere loue or trouthe
Hath ben, or is, bitwixen the and me,
Ne do thow neuere swich a crueltee
To hiden fro thi frend so gret a care.
Wostow nau ȝt wel that it am I, Pandare?
"I wol parten with the al thi peyne,
If it be so I do the no comfort,
As it is frendes right, soth forto seyne,
To entreparten wo as glad desport.
I haue and shal, for trewe or fals report,
In wronge and right i-loued the al my lyue:
Hid nat thi wo fro me but telle it blyue."
Than gan this sorwful Troylus to syke,
And seide hym thus, "god leue it be my beste
To telle it the, for sith it may the like,
Ȝet wol I telle it, though myn herte breste;
And wel woot I thow mayst do me no reste;
But lest thow deme I truste nat to the,
Now herke, frend, for thus it stant with me.
"Loue, aȝeins the which who-so defendeth
Hym seluen most, hym alderlest auaylleth,
With disespeyre so sorwfulli me offendeth,
That streight vn-to the deth myn herte sailleth;
Therto desire so brennyngly me assailleth,
That to ben slayn it were a gretter ioie
To me than kyng of Grece ben and Troye.
"Suffiseth this, my fulle frend Pandare,
That I haue seyd, for now wostow my wo;
And for the loue of god, my colde care
So hide it wel, I tolde it neuere to mo;
ffor harmes myghten folwen mo than two,
If it were wist; but be thow in gladnesse,
And lat me sterue, vnknowe, of my destresse."
"How hastow thus vnkyndely and longe
Hid this fro me, thow fol?" quod Pandarus;
"Peraunter thow myghte after swich oon longe
That myn auys anoon may helpen vs."
"This were a wonder thing," quod Troilus;
"Thow koudest neuere in loue thi seluen wisse;
How deuel maistow brynge me to blisse?',
"Ȝe, Troilus, now herke," quod Pandare;
"Though I be nyce, it happeth often so
That oon that excesse doth ful yuele fare
By good counseil kan kepe his frend ther-fro.
I haue my self ek seyn a blynd man goo
Ther as he fel that couthe loken wide;
A fool may ek a wis man ofte gide.
Stanzas 91 through 100
"A wheston is no keruyng instrument,
But ȝet it maketh sharppe keruyng tolis;
And there thow woost that I haue au ȝt myswent,
Eschuwe thow that, for swich thing to =e scole is;
Thus often wise men ben war by foolys.
If thow do so, thi wit is wel bewared;
By his contrarie is euery thyng declared.
"ffor how myghte euere swetnesse han ben knowe
To him that neuere tasted bitternesse?
Ne no man may ben inly glad, I trowe,
That neuere was in sorwe or som destresse;
Eke whit by blak, by shame ek worthinesse,
Ech set by other, more for other semeth,
As men may se, and so the wyse it demeth.
"Sith thus of two contraries is o lore,
I, that haue in loue so ofte assayed
Greuances, oughte konne, and wel the more,
Counseillen the of that thow art amayed;
And ek the ne aughte nat ben yuel appayed,
Though I desyre with the forto bere
Thyn heuy charge; it shal the lasse dere.
"I woot wel that it fareth thus by me
As to thi brother, Paris, an herdesse,
Which that i-cleped was Oenone,
Wrote in a compleynte of hir heuynesse;
Ȝee say the lettre that she wrote, I gesse?"
"Nay, neuere ȝet, ywys," quod Troilus.
"Now," quod Pandare, "herkne, it was thus:
"'Phebus, that first fond art of medicyne,'
Quod she, 'and couthe in euery wightes care
Remedye and rede by herbes he knew fyne,
Ȝet to hym self his konnyng was ful bare;
ffor loue hadde hym so bounden in a snare,
Al for the doughter of the kyng Amete,
That al his craft ne koude his sorwes bete.'
"Right so fare I, vnhappyly for me;
I loue one best, and that me smerteth sore;
And ȝet, peraunter, kan I reden the,
And nat my self -- repreue me na more.
I haue no cause, I woot wel, forto sore
As doth an hauk that listeth forto pleye;
But to thin help ȝet somwhat kan I seye.
"And of o thing right siker maistow be,
That certein, forto dyen in the peyne,
That I shal neuere mo discoueren the;
Ne, by my trouthe, I kepe nat restreyne
The fro thi loue, theigh that it were Eleyne
That is thi brother wif, if ich it wiste;
Be what she be, and loue hire as the liste.
"Therfore, as frend fullich in me assure,
And telle me plat now what is thenchesoun
And final cause of wo that ȝe endure;
ffor douteth no thyng, myn entencioun
Nis nat to ȝow of reprehencioun
To speke as now, for no wight may byreue
A man to loue, tyl that hym list to leue.
"And witteth wel that bothe two ben vices:
Mistrusten alle, or elles alle leue.
But wel I woot, the mene of it no vice is:
ffor for to trusten som wight is a preue
Of trouth, and forthi wolde I fayn remeue
Thi wronge conseyte and do the som wyght triste
Thi wo to telle; and tel me if the liste.
"The wise seith, "wo hym that is allone,
ffor, and he falle, he hath non helpe to ryse';
And sith thow hast a felawe, tel thi mone;
ffor this nys naught, certein, the nexte wyse
To wynnen loue, as techen vs the wyse,
To walwe and wepe as Nyobe the queene,
Whos teres ȝet in marble ben yseene.
Stanzas 101 through 110
"Lat be thy wepyng and thi drerynesse,
And lat vs lissen wo with oother speche;
So may thy woful tyme seme lesse;
Delyte nat in wo thi wo to seche,
As don thise foles that hire sorwes eche
With sorwe, whan thei han mysauenture,
And listen naught to seche hem other cure.
"Men seyn, "to wrecche is consolacioun
To haue another felawe in hys peyne.'
That owghte wel ben oure opynyoun,
ffor bothe thow and I of loue we pleyne:
So ful of sorwe am I, soth forto seyne,
That certeinly namore harde grace
May sitte on me, for why ther is no space.
"If god wol, thow art nat agast of me,
Lest I wolde of thi lady the bygyle;
Thow woost thy self whom that I loue, parde,
As I best kan, gon sithen longe while;
And sith thow woost I do it for no wyle,
And seyst I am he that thow trustest mooste,
Telle me somwhat, syn al my wo thow wooste."
Ȝet Troilus for al this no worde seyde,
But longe he ley as stylle as he ded were;
And after this with sikynge he abreyde,
And to Pandarus vois he lente his ere,
And vp hise eighen caste he, that in feere
Was Pandarus lest that in frenesie
He sholde falle, or elles soone dye;
And cryde "awake," ful wonderlich and sharpe,
"What! slombrestow as in a litargie?
Or artow lik an asse to the harpe,
That hereth sown whan men the strynges plye,
But in his mynde of that no melodie
May sinken hym to gladen, for that he
So dul ys of his bestialite?"
And with that, Pandare of his wordes stente;
And Troilus ȝet hym no thyng answerde,
ffor why to tellen nas nat his entente
To neuere no man, for whom that he so ferde.
ffor it is seyd, "men maketh ofte a ȝerde
With which the maker is hym self ybeten
In sondry manere," as thise wyse treten;
And namelich in his counseil tellynge
That toucheth loue that oughte ben secree;
ffor of him self it wol ynough out sprynge,
But if that it the bet gouerned be;
Ek som tyme it is a craft to seme fle
ffro thyng whych in effect men hunte faste --
Al this gan Troilus in his herte caste.
But natheles whan he hadde herd hym crye
"Awake," he gan to syken wonder soore,
And seyde, "frende, though that I stylle lye,
I am nat deef; now pees, and crye namore,
ffor I haue herd thi wordes and thi lore;
But suffre me my meschief to bywaille,
ffor thy prouerbes may me naught auaille.
Nor other cure kanstow non for me;
Ek I nyl nat ben cured, I wol deye.
What knowe I of the queene Nyobe?
Lat be thyne olde ensaumples, I the preye."
"No," quod tho Pandarus, "therfore I seye,
Swych is delit of foles to by-wepe
Hire wo, but seken bote they ne kepe.
"Now knowe I that ther reson in the failleth;
But telle me if I wiste what she were
ffor whom that the al this misaunter ailleth:
Dorste thow that I tolde in hire ere
Thi wo, sith thow darst naught thi self for feere,
And hire bysoughte on the to han som routhe?"
"Why nay," quod he, "by god and by my trouthe."
Stanzas 111 through 120
"What, nat as bisyly," quod Pandarus,
"As though myn owene lyf lay on this nede?"
"No, certes, brother," quod this Troilus.
"And whi?" -- "for that thow scholdest neuere spede."
"Wostow that wel?" -- " ȝe, that is out of drede,"
Quod Troilus, "for al that euere ȝe konne,
She nyl to noon swich wrecche as I ben wonne."
Quod Pandarus, "allas, what may this be,
That thow dispeired art thus causeles?
What, lyueth nat thi lady, bendiste?
How wostow so that thow art graceles?
Swich yuel is nat alwey booteles.
Why, put nat impossible thus thi cure,
Syn thyng to come is oft in auenture.
"I graunte wel that thow endurest wo,
As sharp as doth he Ticius in helle,
Whos stomak foughles tiren euere moo
That hightyn volturis, as bokes telle.
But I may nat endure that thow dwelle
In so vnskilful an oppynyoun
That of thi wo is no curacioun.
"But oones nyltow, for thy coward herte,
And for thyn ire and folissh wilfulnesse,
ffor wantrust, tellen of thy sorwes smerte,
Ne to thyn owen help don bysynesse
As muche as speke a reson moore or lesse?
But list as he that lest of no thyng recche --
What womman koude louen swich a wrecche?
"What may she demen oother of thy deeth,
If thow thus deye and she not why it is,
But that for feere is ȝolden vp thy breth
ffor Grekes han biseged vs, i-wys?
Lord, which a thonk than shaltow han of this!
Thus wol she seyn, and al the town attones,
"The wrecche is ded, the deuel haue his bones.'
"Thow mayst allone here wepe and crye and knele --
But loue a womman that she woot it nought,
And she wol quyte it that thow shalt nat fele:
Unknow, vnkist, and lost, that is vnsought.
What! many a man hath loue ful deere ybought
Twenty wynter that his lady wiste,
That neuere ȝet his lady mouth he kiste.
"What sholde he ther-fore fallen in dispayre,
Or be recreant for his owne tene,
Or slen hym self, al be his lady faire?
Nay, nay, but euere in oon be fresshe and grene
To serue and loue his deere hertes queene,
And thynk it is a guerdon hire to serue
A thousand fold moore than he kan deserue."
And of that word took hede Troilus,
And thoughte a-non what folie he was inne,
And how that soth hym seyde Pandarus,
That forto slen hym self myght he nat wynne,
But bothe don vnmanhod and a synne,
And of his deth his lady naught to wite;
ffor of his wo, god woot, she knew ful lite.
And with that thought he gan ful sore syke,
And seyde, "allas, what is me best to do?"
To whom Pandare answered, "if the like,
The beste is that thow telle me al thi wo;
And haue my trouthe, but thow it fynde so
I be thy boote er that it be ful longe,
To pieces do me drawe and sithen honge."
"Ȝe, so thow seyst," quod Troilus tho, "allas,
But, god woot, it is naught the rather so.
fful hard were it to helpen in this cas,
ffor wel fynde I that fortune is my fo;
Ne al the men that riden konne or go
May of hire cruel whiel the harm withstonde;
ffor as hire list she pleyeth with free and bonde."
Stanzas 121 through 130
Quod Pandarus, "than blamestow fortune
ffor thow art wroth, ȝe, now at erst I see;
Woost thow nat wel that fortune is comune
To eueri manere wight in som degree?
And ȝet thow hast this comfort, lo, perde,
That as hire ioies moten ouergone,
So mote hire sorwes passen euerychone.
"ffor if hire whiel stynte any thyng to torne,
Than cessed she fortune anon to be.
Now sith hire whiel by no way may soiourne,
What woostow if hire mutabilite
Right as thy seluen list wol don by the,
Or that she be naught fer fro thyn helpynge?
Paraunter thow hast cause forto synge.
"And therfore wostow what I the biseche?
Lat be thy wo and tornyng to the grounde;
ffor who-so list haue helyng of his leche,
To hym byhoueth first vnwre his wownde.
To Cerberus in helle ay be I bownde,
Were it for my suster, al thy sorwe,
By my wil she sholde al be thyn to-morwe.
"Look vp, I seye, and telle me what she is
Anon, that I may gon aboute thy nede.
Knowe ich hire aught? for my loue, telle me this;
Thanne wolde I hopen rather for to spede."
Tho gan the veyne of Troilus to blede,
ffor he was hit and wax al reed for shame.
"A ha!" quod Pandare, "here bygynneth game."
And with that word he gan hym for to shake,
And seyde, "thef, thow shalt hyre name telle."
But tho gan sely Troilus for to quake,
As though men sholde han led hym in to helle,
And seyde, "allas, of al my wo the welle,
Thanne is my swete fo called Criseyde."
And wel neigh with the word for feere he deide.
And whann that Pandare herde hire name neuene,
Lord, he was glad, and seyde, "frende so deere,
Now fare aright, for Ioues name in heuene,
Loue hath byset the wel; be of good cheere,
ffor of good name and wisdom and manere
She hath ynough, and ek of gentilesse --
If she be fayre, thow woost thy self, I gesse.
"Ny neuere saugh a more bountevous
Of hire estat, na gladder, ne of speche
A frendlyer, na more gracious
ffor to do wel, ne lasse hadde nede to seche
What for to don; and al this bet to eche,
In honour, to as fer as she may strecche,
A kynges herte semeth by hyrs a wrecche.
["And forthi loke of good comfort thow be;
ffor certeinly the ferste poynt is this
Of noble corage and wel ordeyne,
A man to haue pees with hym self, y-wis;
So oghtist thow, for nought but good it is
To loue wel, and in a worthy place;
The oughte not to clepe it hap but grace.]
"And also thynk, and ther-with glade the,
That sith thy lady vertuous is al,
So foloweth it that there is som pitee
Amonges alle thise other in general;
And forthi se that thow in special
Requere naught that is a ȝeyns hyre name,
ffor vertue streccheth naught hym self to shame.
"But wel is me that euere that I was borne,
That thow biset art in so good a place;
ffor by my trouthe, in loue I dorste haue sworne
The sholde neuere han tid thus fayre a grace;
And wostow why? for thow were wont to chace
At loue in scorn, and for despit hym calle
"Seynt Idiot, lord of thise foles alle.'
Stanzas 131 through 140
"How often hastow maad thi nyce iapes,
And seyd that loues seruantz euerichone
Of nycete ben verray goddes apes;
And some wolde mucche hire mete allone,
Liggyng abedde, and make hem for to grone;
And som, thow seydest, hadde a blaunche feuere,
And preydest god he sholde neuere keuere.
"And som of hem took on hem for the colde
More than ynough, so seydestow ful ofte;
And som han feyned ofte tyme, and tolde
How that they waken whan thei slepen softe;
And thus they wolde han brought hem self a-lofe,
And natheles were vnder at the laste --
Thus seydestow, and iapedest ful faste.
"Ȝet seydestow that for the moore parte,
Thise loueres wolden speke in general,
And thoughten that it was a siker arte,
ffor faylyng for tassaien ouere al.
Now may I iape of the, if that I shal;
But natheles, though that I sholde deye,
That thow art non of tho, I dorste saye.
"Now bet thi brest and sey to god of loue
Thy grace, lord, for now I me repente
If I mysspak, for now my self I loue' --
Thus sey with al thyn herte in good entente."
Quod Troilus, "a, lord, I me consente,
And preye to the my iapes thow for ȝiue,
And I shal neuere more whyle I liue."
"Thow seist wel," quod Pandare, "and now I hope
That thow the goddes wrathe hast al apesed;
And sithen thow hast wopen many a drope,
And seyd swych thyng wher-with thi god is plesed,
Now wolde neuere god but thow were esed;
And thynk wel, she of whom rist al thi wo
Here-after may thy comfort be also.
"ffor thilke grownde that bereth the wedes wikke
Bereth ek thise holsom herbes as ful ofte:
Next the foule netle, rough and thikke,
The rose waxeth swoote and smothe and softe;
And next the valeye is the hill o-lofte;
And next the derke nyght the glade morwe;
And also ioie is next the fyn of sorwe.
"Now loke that a-tempre be thi bridel,
And for the beste ay suffre to the tyde,
Or elles al oure laboure is on ydel;
He hasteth wel that wisely kan abyde.
Be diligent and trewe, and ay wel hide;
Be lusty, fre, perseuere in thy seruyse --
And al is wel, if thow werke in this wyse.
"But he that parted is in eueri place
Is nowher hol, as writen clerkes wyse.
What wonder is though swich oon haue no grace?
Ek wostow how it fareth of som seruise,
As plaunte a tree or herbe in sondry wyse
And on the morwe pulle it vp as blyue,
No wonder is though it may neuere thryue.
"And sith that god of loue hath the bistowed
In place digne vnto thi worthinesse,
Stond faste, for to good port hastow rowed;
And of thi self, for any heuynesse,
Hope alwey wel; for but if drerinesse,
Or ouere-haste, oure bothe labour shende,
I hope of this to maken a good ende.
"And wostow why I am the lasse afered
Of this matere with my Nece trete?
ffor this haue I herd seyd of wyse lered,
'Was neuere man or womman ȝet bigete
That was vnapt to suffren loues hete,
Celestial, or elles loue of kynde.'
fforthy som grace I hope in hire to fynde.
Stanzas 141 through 150
"And for to speke of hire in specyal,
Hire beaute to bithynken and hire youthe,
It sit hire naught to ben celestial
As ȝet, though that hire liste bothe and kowthe;
But trewely, it sate hire wel right nowthe
A worthi knyght to louen and cherice --
And but she do, I holde it for a vice.
"Wher-fore I am and wol ben ay redy
To peyne me to do ȝow this seruyse;
ffor bothe ȝow to plese thus hope I
Her-afterward; for ȝe ben bothe wyse,
And konne it counseil kepe in swych a wyse
That no man shal the wiser of it be --
And so we may ben gladed alle thre.
"And, by my trouthe, I haue right now of the
A good conceyte in my wit, as I gesse,
And what it is, I wol now that thow se:
I thenke, sith that loue of his goodnesse
Hath the conuerted out of wikkednesse,
That thow shalt ben the beste post, I leue,
Of al his lay, and moost his foos to greue.
"Ensample why, se now thise wise clerkes,
That erren aldermost a ȝeyn a lawe,
And ben conuerted from hire wikked werkes
Thorugh grace of god that list hem to hym drawe,
Thanne arn they folk that han moost god in awe,
And strengest feythed ben, I vndirstonde,
And konne an errowre alderbest withstonde."
Whan Troilus hadde herd Pandare assented
To ben his help in louyng of Cryseyde,
Weex of his wo, as who seith, vntormented,
But hotter weex his loue and thus he seyde,
With sobre chere, although his herte pleyde:
"Now blisful Venus help, er that I sterue,
Of the, Pandare, I mowe som thank deserue.
"But deere frende, how shal my wo be lesse
Til this be doon? and, good, ek telle me this:
How wiltow seyn of me and my destresse,
Lest she be wroth -- this drede I moost, ywys --
Or nyl nat here or trowen how it is?
Al this drede I, and ek for the manere
Of the, hire Em, she nyl no swich thyng here."
Quod Pandarus, "thow hast a ful gret care
Lest that the Cherl may falle out of the moone.
Whi, lord, I hate of the thi nyce fare.
Whi, entremete of that thow hast to doone!
ffor goddes loue, I bidde the a boone:
So lat malone, and it shal be thi beste."
"Whi, frende," quod he, "now do right as the leste.
"But herke, Pandare, o word, for I nolde
That thow in me wendest so gret folie,
That to my lady I desiren sholde
That toucheth harm or any vilenye;
ffor dredeles me were leuere dye
Than she of me aught elles vnderstode
But that that myghte sownen in-to goode."
Tho lough this Pandare, and anon answerde,
"And I thi borugh? fy, no wight doth but so;
I roughte naught though that she stood and herde
How that thow seist; but fare wel, I wol go.
A-dieu, be glad, god spede vs bothe two!
Ȝef me this labour and this bisynesse,
And of my spede be thyn al that swetnesse."
Tho Troilus gan doun on knees to falle,
And Pandare in his armes hente faste,
And seyde, "now, fy on the Grekes alle!
Ȝet, parde, god shal helpe vs atte laste;
And dredelees, if that my lyf may laste,
And god to-forn, lo, som of hem shal smerte;
And ȝet mathenketh that this auant masterte.
Stanzas 151 through 156
"Now, Pandare, I kan namore seye,
But thow wis, thow woost, thow maist, thow art al.
Mi lif, my deth, hol in thyn honde I leye;
Help now!" Quod he, " ȝis, by my trowthe, I shal."
"God ȝelde the, frend, and this in special,"
Quod Troilus, "that thow me recomande
To hire that to the deth me may comande."
This Pandarus, tho desirous to serue
His fulle frende, than seyde in this manere:
"ffarwell, and thenk I wol thi thank deserue,
Haue here my trowthe, and that thow shalt wel here,"
And went his wey thenkyng on this matere,
And how he best myghte hire biseche of grace,
And fynde a tyme therto and a place.
ffor eueri wight that hath an hous to founde
Ne renneth naught the werk for to bygynne
With rakel hond, but he wol bide a stounde,
And sende his hertes line out fro with-inne
Aldirfirst his purpos forto wynne.
Al this Pandare in his herte thoughte,
And caste his werk ful wisely or he wroughte.
But Troilus lay tho no lenger down,
But vp anon vpon his stede bay,
And in the feld he pleyde the leoun;
Wo was that Grek that with hym mette a-day!
And in the town his manere tho forth ay
So goodly was, and gat hym so in grace,
That ecch hym loued that loked on his face.
ffor he bicom the frendlieste wight,
The gentilest, and ek the mooste fre,
The thriftiest, and oon the beste knyght,
That in his tyme was or myghte be:
Dede were his iapes and his cruelte,
His heighe port and his manere estraunge,
And ecch of tho gan for a vertue chaunge.
Now lat vs stynte of Troilus a stounde,
That fareth like a man that hurt is soore,
And is som deel of akyngge of his wownde
Y-lissed wel, but heeled no deel moore,
And, as an esy pacyent, the loore
Abit of hym that gooth aboute his cure;
And thus he dryeth forth his auenture.
Explicit liber primus.