Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
Geoffrey Chaucer
B.A. Windeatt
Page  83

Book I

Page  84

Stanzas 1 through 10

The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
     1
That was the kyng Priamus sone of Troye,
     2
In louynge how his auentures fellen
     3
ffro wo to wele, and after out of ioie,
     4
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
     5
Thesiphone, thow help me for tendite
     6
Thise woful vers that wepen as I write.
     7
To the clepe I, thow goddesse of torment,
     8
Thow cruwel furie, sorwynge euere in peyne,
     9
Help me that am the sorwful instrument
     10
That helpeth loueres, as I kan, to pleyne;
     11
ffor wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
     12
A woful wight to han a drery feere,
     13
And to a sorwful tale a sory chere.
     14
ffor I, that god of loues seruantz serue,
     15
Ne dar to loue, for myn vnliklynesse,
     16
Preyen for speed, al sholde I ther-fore sterue,
     17
So fer am I from his help in derknesse;
     18
But natheles, if this may don gladnesse
     19
To any louere and his cause auaille,
     20
Haue he my thonk, and myn be this trauaille.
     21
Page  86
But ȝe loueres that bathen in gladnesse,
     22
If any drope of pyte in ȝow be,
     23
Remembreth ȝow on passed heuynesse
     24
That ȝe han felt, and on the aduersite
     25
Of othere folk, and thynketh how that ȝe
     26
Han felt that loue dorste ȝow displese,
     27
Or ȝe han wonne hym with to grete an ese.
     28
And preieth for hem that ben in the cas
     29
Of Troilus, as ȝe may after here,
     30
That loue hem brynge in heuene to solas;
     31
And ek for me preieth to god so dere
     32
That I haue myght to shewe in som manere
     33
Swich peyne and wo as loues folk endure,
     34
In Troilus vnsely auenture.
     35
And biddeth ek for hem that ben despeired
     36
In loue that neuere nyl recouered be,
     37
And ek for hem that falsly ben apeired
     38
Thorugh wikked tonges, be it he or she;
     39
Thus biddeth god, for his benignite,
     40
So graunte hem soone owt of this world to pace,
     41
That ben despeired out of loues grace.
     42
And biddeth ek for hem that ben at ese.
     43
That god hem graunte ay good perseueraunce,
     44
And send hem myght hire ladies so to plese
     45
That it to loue be worship and plesaunce;
     46
ffor so hope I my sowle best auaunce,
     47
To prey for hem that loues seruauntz be,
     48
And write hire wo, and lyue in charite,
     49
And for to haue of hem compassioun,
     50
As though I were hire owne brother dere.
     51
Now herkneth with a good entencioun,
     52
ffor now wil I gon streght to my matere,
     53
In which ȝe may the double sorwes here
     54
Of Troilus in louynge of Criseyde,
     55
And how that she forsook hym er she deyde.
     56
Page  88
Yt is wel wist how that the Grekes stronge
     57
In armes with a thousand shippes wente
     58
To Troiewardes, and the cite longe
     59
Assegeden, neigh ten ȝer er they stente,
     60
And in diuerse wise and oon entente,
     61
The rauysshyng to wreken of Eleyne,
     62
By Paris don, they wroughten al hir peyne.
     63
Now fel it so that in the town ther was
     64
Dwellynge a lord of gret auctorite.
     65
A gret deuyn that clepid was Calkas,
     66
That in science so expert was that he
     67
Knew wel that Troie sholde destroied be,
     68
By answere of his god that highte thus:
     69
Daun Phebus or Appollo Delphicus.
     70

Stanzas 11 through 20

So whan this Calkas knew by calkulynge,
     71
And ek by answer of this Appollo.
     72
That Grekes sholden swich a peple brynge
     73
Thorugh which that Troie moste ben for-do,
     74
He caste anon out of the town to go;
     75
ffor wel wiste he by sort that Troye sholde
     76
Destroyed ben -- ȝe, wolde who-so nolde.
     77
ffor which forto departen softely
     78
Took purpos ful this for-knowynge wise,
     79
And to the Grekes oost ful pryuely
     80
He stal anon; and they in curteys wise
     81
Hym diden bothe worship and seruyce,
     82
In trust that he hath konnynge hem to rede
     83
In euery peril which that is to drede.
     84
Page  90
The noise vp ros whan it was first aspied
     85
Thorugh al the town and generaly was spoken
     86
That Calkas traitour fled was and allied
     87
With hem of Grece, and casten to be wroken
     88
On hym that falsly hadde his feith so broken,
     89
And seyden he and al his kyn atones
     90
Ben worthi for to brennen, felle and bones
     91
Now hadde Calkas left in this meschaunce,
     92
Al vnwist of this false and wikked dede,
     93
His doughter, which that was in gret penaunce,
     94
ffor of hire lif she was ful sore in drede,
     95
As she that nyste what was best to rede;
     96
ffor bothe a widewe was she and allone
     97
Of any frend to whom she dorste hir mone.
     98
Criseyde was this lady name al right --
     99
As to my doom in al Troies cite
     100
Nas non so fair, for passynge euery wight
     101
So aungelik was hir natif beaute
     102
That lik a thing in-mortal semed she,
     103
As doth an heuenyssh perfit creature
     104
That down were sent in scornynge of nature.
     105
Page  92
This lady which that alday herd at ere
     106
Hire fadres shame, his falsnesse and tresoun,
     107
Wel neigh out of hir wit for sorwe and fere,
     108
In widewes habet large of samyt broun,
     109
On knees she fil biforn Ector adown
     110
With pitous vois, and tendrely wepynge,
     111
His mercy bad, hir seluen excusynge.
     112
Now was this Ector pitous of nature,
     113
And saugh that she was sorwfully bigon,
     114
And that she was so faire a creature;
     115
Of his goodnesse he gladede hire anon,
     116
And seyde, "lat ȝoure fadres treson gon
     117
fforth with meschaunce, and ȝe ȝoure self in ioie
     118
Dwelleth with vs, whil ȝow good list, in Troie.
     119
"And al thonour that men may don ȝow haue,
     120
As ferforth as ȝoure fader dwelled here,
     121
Ȝe shul haue, and ȝoure body shal men saue,
     122
As fer as I may ought enquere or here."
     123
And she hym thonked with ful humble chere,
     124
And ofter wolde, and it hadde ben his wille.
     125
And took hire leue, and hom, and held hir stille.
     126
And in hire hous she abood with swich meyne
     127
As til hire honour nede was to holde;
     128
And whil she was dwellynge in that cite
     129
Kepte hir estat, and both of ȝonge and olde
     130
fful wel biloued, and wel men of hir tolde --
     131
But wheither that she children hadde or noon,
     132
I rede it naught, ther-fore I late it goon.
     133
The thynges fellen as they don of werre
     134
Bitwixen hem of Troie and Grekes ofte;
     135
ffor som day boughten they of Troie it derre,
     136
And eft the Grekes founden no thing softe
     137
The folk of Troie; and thus fortune on lofte
     138
And vnder eft gan hem to whielen bothe
     139
Aftir hir cours, ay whil that thei were wrothe.
     140

Stanzas 21 through 30

Page  94
But how this town com to destruccion
     141
Ne falleth naught to purpos me to telle;
     142
ffor it were here a long digression
     143
ffro my matere and ȝow to long to dwelle;
     144
But the Troian gestes as they felle,
     145
In Omer or in Dares or in Dite,
     146
Who-so that kan may rede hem as they write.
     147
But though that Grekes hem of Troie shetten
     148
And hir cite biseged al aboute,
     149
Hire olde vsage nolde they nat letten,
     150
As for to honour hir goddes ful deuoute;
     151
But aldirmost in honour, out of doute,
     152
Thei hadde a relik heet Palladion
     153
That was hire trist abouen euerichon.
     154
And so bifel whan comen was the tyme
     155
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
     156
With newe grene, of lusty Veer the pryme,
     157
And swote smellen floures white and rede,
     158
In sondry wises shewed, as I rede,
     159
The folk of Troie hire obseruaunces olde,
     160
Palladiones feste forto holde.
     161
And to the temple in al hir beste wise
     162
In general ther wente many a wight
     163
To herknen of Palladion the seruyce;
     164
And namely, so many a lusty knyght,
     165
So many a lady fressh and mayden bright,
     166
fful wel arayed, both moeste, mene, and leste,
     167
Ȝe, bothe for the seson and the feste.
     168
Page  96
Among thise othere folk was Criseyda,
     169
In widewes habit blak, but natheles,
     170
Right as oure firste lettre is now an A,
     171
In beaute first so stood she makeles;
     172
Hire goodly lokyng gladed al the prees.
     173
Nas neuere ȝet seyn thyng to ben preysed derre,
     174
Nor vnder cloude blak so bright a sterre,
     175
As was Criseyde, as folk seyde euerichone,
     176
That hir behelden in hir blake wede;
     177
And ȝet she stood ful lowe and stille allone,
     178
Byhynden other folk in litel brede,
     179
And nei ȝ the dore, ay vndre shames drede,
     180
Simple of atire and debonaire of chere,
     181
With ful assured lokyng and manere.
     182
This Troilus, as he was wont to gide
     183
His ȝonge knyghtes, lad hem vp and down
     184
In thilke large temple on euery side,
     185
Byholding ay the ladies of the town,
     186
Now here, now there, for no deuocioun
     187
Hadde he to non to reuen hym his reste,
     188
But gan to preise and lakken whom hym leste.
     189
And in his walk ful faste he gan to wayten
     190
If knyght or squyer of his compaignie
     191
Gan forto syke or lete his eighen baiten
     192
On any womman that he koude espye;
     193
He wolde smyle and holden it folye,
     194
And seye hym thus, "god woot, she slepeth softe
     195
ffor loue of the, whan thow turnest ful ofte.
     196
Page  98
"I haue herd told, perdieux, of ȝoure lyuynge,
     197
Ȝe loueres, and ȝoure lewed obseruaunces,
     198
And which a labour folk han in wynnynge
     199
Of loue, and in the kepyng which doutaunces;
     200
And whan ȝoure prey is lost, woo and penaunces.
     201
O veray fooles, nyce and blynde be ȝe;
     202
Ther nys nat oon kan war by other be."
     203
And with that word he gan caste vp the browe,
     204
Ascaunces, "loo, is this naught wisely spoken?"
     205
At which the god of loue gan loken rowe
     206
Right for despit, and shop forto ben wroken:
     207
He kidde anon his bowe nas naught broken,
     208
ffor sodeynly he hitte hym atte fulle,
     209
And ȝet as proude a pekok kan he pulle.
     210

Stanzas 31 through 40

O blynde world, O blynde entencioun!
     211
How often falleth al the effect contraire
     212
Of surquidrie and foul presumpcioun!
     213
ffor kaught is proud, and kau ȝt is debonaire:
     214
This Troilus is clomben on the staire
     215
And litel weneth that he moot descenden --
     216
But alday faileth thing that fooles wenden.
     217
Page  100
As proude Bayard gynneth forto skippe
     218
Out of the weye, so pryketh him his corn,
     219
Til he a lasshe haue of the longe whippe,
     220
Than thynketh he, ""though I praunce al byforn
     221
ffirst in the trays, ful fat and newe shorn,
     222
Ȝet am I but an hors, and horses lawe
     223
I moot endure, and with my feres drawe."
     224
So ferde it by this fierse and proude knyght:
     225
Though he a worthy kynges sone were,
     226
And wende no thing hadde had swich myght
     227
A ȝeyns his wille that shuld his herte stere,
     228
Ȝet with a look his herte wax a-fere,
     229
That he that now was moost in pride a-boue
     230
Wax sodeynly moost subgit vnto loue.
     231
fforthy ensample taketh of this man,
     232
Ȝe wise, proude, and worthi folkes alle,
     233
To scornen loue, which that so soone kan
     234
The fredom of ȝoure hertes to him thralle --
     235
ffor euere it was and euere it shal byfalle
     236
That loue is he that alle thing may bynde
     237
ffor may no man fordon the lawe of kynde.
     238
That this be soth, hath preued and doth ȝit;
     239
ffor this trowe I ȝe knowen alle or some:
     240
Men reden nat that folk han gretter wit
     241
Than they that han be most with loue ynome;
     242
And strengest folk bien ther-with ouerecome,
     243
The worthiest and grettest of degree --
     244
This was, and is, and ȝet men shall it see.
     245
Page  102
And trewelich it sit wel to be so,
     246
ffor alderwisest han ther-with ben plesed,
     247
And they that han ben aldermost in wo
     248
With loue han ben comforted moost and esed;
     249
And ofte it hath the cruel herte apesed,
     250
And worthi folk maad worthier of name,
     251
And causeth moost to dreden vice and shame.
     252
Now sith it may nat goodly ben with-stonde,
     253
And is a thing so vertuouse in kynde,
     254
Refuseth nat to loue forto ben bonde,
     255
Syn as hym seluen liste he may ȝow bynde:
     256
The ȝerde is bet that bowen wole and wynde
     257
Than that that brest; and therfore I ȝow rede
     258
To folowen hym that so wel kan ȝow lede.
     259
But forto tellen forth in special
     260
As of this kynges sone of which I tolde,
     261
And leten other thing collateral,
     262
Of hym thenke I my tale forth to holde,
     263
Both of his ioie and of his cares colde;
     264
And al his werk as touching this matere,
     265
ffor I it gan, I wol therto refere.
     266
With-inne the temple he wente hym forth pleyinge,
     267
This Troilus, of euery wight aboute,
     268
On this lady, and now on that, lokynge,
     269
Where so she were of town or of with-oute;
     270
And vp-on cas bifel that thorugh a route
     271
His eye percede, and so depe it wente,
     272
Til on Criseyde it smote, and ther it stente.
     273
Page  104
And sodeynly he wax ther-with astoned,
     274
And gan hir bet biholde in thrifty wise.
     275
"O mercy god," thoughte he, "wher hastow woned,
     276
That art so feyre and goodly to deuise?"
     277
Therwith his herte gan to sprede and rise,
     278
And softe sighed, lest men myghte hym here,
     279
And cau ȝt a ȝeyn his firste pleyinge chere.
     280

Stanzas 41 through 50

She nas nat with the leste of hire statore,
     281
But alle hir lymes so wel answerynge
     282
Weren to wommanhode, that creature
     283
Was neuere lasse mannyssh in semynge;
     284
And ek the pure wise of hire meuynge
     285
Shewed wel that men myght in hire gesse
     286
Honour, estat, and wommanly noblesse.
     287
To Troilus right wonder wel with alle
     288
Gan forto like hire meuynge and hire chere,
     289
Which somdel deignous was, for she let falle
     290
Hire look a lite a-side in swich manere
     291
Ascaunces, "what, may I nat stonden here?"
     292
And after that hir lokynge gan she lighte.
     293
That neuere thoughte hym seen so good a syghte.
     294
And of hire look in him ther gan to quyken
     295
So gret desire and swich affeccioun,
     296
That in his hertes botme gan to stiken
     297
Of hir his fixe and depe impressioun;
     298
And though he erst hadde poured vp and down,
     299
He was tho glad his hornes in-to shrinke;
     300
Unnethes wiste he how to loke or wynke.
     301
Page  106
Lo, he that leet hym seluen so konnynge,
     302
And scorned hem that loues peynes dryen,
     303
Was ful vnwar that loue hadde his dwellynge
     304
With-inne the subtile stremes of hire eyen;
     305
That sodeynly hym thoughte he felte deyen,
     306
Right with hire look, the spirit in his herte --
     307
Blissed be loue, that kan thus folk conuerte!
     308
She, this in blak, likynge to Troilus
     309
Ouer al thing, he stood forto biholde;
     310
Ne his desire, ne wherfore he stood thus,
     311
He neither chere made, ne worde tolde;
     312
But from a-fer, his manere forto holde,
     313
On other thing his look som tyme he caste,
     314
And efte on hire, while that the seruyse laste.
     315
And after this, nat fullich al awhaped,
     316
Out of the temple al esilich he wente,
     317
Repentynge hym that he hadde euere i-iaped
     318
Of loues folk, lest fully the descente
     319
Of scorn fille on hym self; but what he mente,
     320
Lest it were wist on any manere syde,
     321
His woo he gan dissimilen and hide.
     322
Whan he was fro the temple thus departed,
     323
He streght anon vnto his paleys torneth,
     324
Hight with hire look thorugh-shoten and thorugh-darted,
     325
Al feyneth he in lust that he soiourneth;
     326
And al his chere and speche also he borneth,
     327
And ay of loues seruantz euery while,
     328
Hym self to wrey, at hem he gan to smyle.
     329
Page  108
And seyde, "lord, so ȝe lyue al in lest,
     330
Ȝe loueres, for the konnyngeste of ȝow,
     331
That serueth most ententiflich and best,
     332
Hym tit as often harm ther-of as prow:
     333
Ȝoure hire is quyt a ȝeyn, ȝe, god woot how,
     334
Nought wel for wel, but scorn for good seruyse;
     335
In feith, ȝoure ordre is ruled in good wise.
     336
"In noun-certeyn ben alle ȝoure obseruaunces,
     337
But it a sely fewe pointes be;
     338
Ne no thing asketh so gret attendaunces
     339
As doth ȝoure lay, and that knowe alle ȝe;
     340
But that is nat the worste, as mote I the;
     341
But tolde I ȝow the worste point, I leue,
     342
Al seyde I soth, ȝe wolden at me greue.
     343
"But take this: that ȝe loueres ofte eschuwe,
     344
Or elles doon, of good entencioun,
     345
fful ofte thi lady wol it mysconstruwe,
     346
And deme it harm in hire oppynyoun;
     347
And ȝet if she, for other enchesoun
     348
Be wroth, than shaltow haue a groyne anon --
     349
Lord, wel is hym that may of ȝow ben oon!"
     350

Stanzas 51 through 57

But for al this, whan that he say his tyme,
     351
He held his pees, non other boote hym gayned;
     352
ffor loue bigan his fetheres so to lyme,
     353
That wel vnneth vn-til his folk he fayned
     354
That other besy nedes hym destrayned;
     355
ffor wo was hym, that what to doon he nyste,
     356
But bad his folk to gon wher that hem liste.
     357
And whan that he in chambre was allone,
     358
He doun vp-on his beddes feet hym sette,
     359
And first he gan to sike and eft to grone,
     360
And thought ay on hire so with-outen lette,
     361
That as he sat and wook, his spirit mette
     362
That he hire sauȝ, and temple, and al the wise
     363
Right of hire look, and gan it newe a-vise.
     364
Thus gan he make a mirour of his mynde,
     365
In which he saugh al holly hire figure;
     366
And that he wel koude in his herte fynde,
     367
It was to hym a right good auenture
     368
To loue swich oon, and if he dede his cure
     369
To seruen hir, ȝet myghte he falle in grace,
     370
Or ellis for oon of hire seruantes pace.
     371
Page  110
Imagenynge that trauaille nor grame
     372
Ne myghte for so goodly oon be lorn
     373
As she, ne hym for his desire no shame,
     374
Al were it wist, but in pris and vp born
     375
Of alle louers wel more than biforn --
     376
Thus argumented he in his gynnynge,
     377
fful vnauysed of his woo comynge.
     378
Thus took he purpos loues craft to suwe,
     379
And thoughte he wolde werken pryuely,
     380
ffirst to hiden his desire in muwe
     381
ffrom euery wight yborn, al outrely,
     382
But he myghte ought recouered be therby,
     383
Remembryng hym that loue to wide yblowe
     384
Ȝelt bittre fruyt, though swete seed be sowe.
     385
And ouere al this ȝet muchel more he thoughte
     386
What forto speke and what to holden inne,
     387
And what to arten hire to loue he soughte,
     388
And on a song anon right to bygynne,
     389
And gan loude on his sorwe forto wynne;
     390
ffor with good hope he gan fully assente
     391
Criseyde forto loue and nought repente.
     392
And of his song naught only the sentence,
     393
As writ myn auctour called Lollius,
     394
But pleinly, saue oure tonges difference,
     395
I dar wel seyn in al that Troilus
     396
Seyde in his song, loo, euery word right thus
     397
As I shal seyn; and who-so list it here,
     398
Loo, next this vers he may it fynden here.
     399
Page  112

Canticus Troili

"If no loue is, O god, what fele I so?
     400
And if loue is, what thing and which is he?
     401
If loue be good, from whennes cometh my woo?
     402
If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me,
     403
Whenne euery torment and aduersite
     404
That cometh of hym may to me sauory thinke,
     405
ffor ay thurst I the more that ich it drynke.
     406
"And if that at myn owen lust I brenne,
     407
ffrom whennes cometh may waillynge and my pleynte?
     408
If harme a-gree me, wherto pleyne I thenne?
     409
I noot, ne whi vn-wery that I feynte.
     410
O quike deth, O swete harm so queynte,
     411
How may of the in me swich quantite,
     412
But if that I consente that it be?
     413
"And if that I consente, I wrongfully
     414
Compleyne, i-wis; thus possed to and fro,
     415
Al sterelees with-inne a boot am I
     416
Amydde the see, bitwixen wyndes two,
     417
That inne contrarie stonden euere mo.
     418
Allas, what is this wondre maladie?
     419
ffor hete of cold, for cold of hete, I dye."
     420
Page  114
And to the god of loue thus seyde he
     421
With pitous vois, "O lord, now ȝoures is
     422
My spirit, which that oughte ȝoures be.
     423
Ȝow thanke I, lord, that han me brought to this;
     424
But wheither goddesse or womman, i-wis,
     425
She be, I not, which that ȝe do me serue;
     426
But as hire man I wol ay lyue and sterue.
     427
"Ȝe stonden in hir eighen myghtily,
     428
As in a place vnto ȝoure vertue digne;
     429
Wherfore, lord, if my seruice or I
     430
May liken ȝow, so beth to me benigne;
     431
ffor myn estat roial I here resigne
     432
In-to hire hond, and with ful humble chere
     433
Bicome hir man, as to my lady dere."
     434

Stanzas 63 through 70

In hym ne deyned spare blood roial
     435
The fyre of loue -- the wherfro god me blesse --
     436
Ne him forbar in no degree for al
     437
His vertue or his excellent prowesse,
     438
But held hym as his thral lowe in destresse,
     439
And brende hym so in soundry wise ay newe,
     440
That sexti tyme a day he loste his hewe.
     441
So muche, day by day, his owene thought
     442
ffor lust to hire gan quiken and encresse,
     443
That euery other charge he sette at nought;
     444
fforthi ful ofte, his hote fire to cesse,
     445
To sen hire goodly lok he gan to presse;
     446
ffor ther-by to ben esed wel he wende,
     447
And ay the ner he was, the more he brende.
     448
ffor ay the ner the fire the hotter is --
     449
This, trowe I, knoweth al this compaignye;
     450
But were he fer or ner, I dar sey this:
     451
By nyght or day, for wisdom or folye,
     452
His herte, which that is his brestes eye,
     453
Was ay on hire, that fairer was to sene
     454
Than euere were Eleyne or Polixene
     455
Ek of the day ther passed nou ȝt an houre
     456
That to hym self a thousand tyme he seyde,
     457
"Good goodly, to whom serue I and laboure
     458
As I best kan, now wolde god, Criseyde,
     459
Ȝe wolden on me rewe, er that I deyde;
     460
My dere herte, allas, myn hele and hewe
     461
And lif is lost, but ȝe wol on me rewe."
     462
Page  116
Alle other dredes weren from him fledde,
     463
Both of thassege and his sauacioun;
     464
Nyn him desire noon other fownes bredde
     465
But argumentes to his conclusioun,
     466
That she of him wolde han compassioun,
     467
And he to ben hire man while he may dure --
     468
Lo, here his lif, and from the deth his cure.
     469
The sharpe shoures felle, of armes preue,
     470
That Ector or his other brethren diden,
     471
Ne made hym only therfore ones meue;
     472
And ȝet was he, where so men wente or riden,
     473
ffounde on the beste, and lengest tyme abiden
     474
Ther peril was, and dide ek swich trauaille
     475
In armes that to thenke it was merueille.
     476
But for non hate he to the Grekes hadde,
     477
Ne also for the rescous of the town,
     478
Ne made hym thus in armes forto madde,
     479
But only, lo, for this conclusioun:
     480
To liken hire the bet for his renoun.
     481
ffro day to day in armes so he spedde,
     482
That the Grekes as the deth him dredde.
     483
And fro this forth tho refte hym loue his slepe,
     484
And made his mete his foo, and ek his sorwe
     485
Gan multiplie, that, who-so tok kepe,
     486
It shewed in his hewe both eue and morwe;
     487
Therfor a title he gan him forto borwe
     488
Of other siknesse, lest men of hym wende
     489
That the hote fire of loue hym brende,
     490

Stanzas 71 through 80

And seyde he hadde a feuere and ferd amys.
     491
But how it was, serteyn, kan I nat seye,
     492
If that his lady vnderstood nat this,
     493
Or feynede hire she nyste, on of the tweye;
     494
But wel I rede that by no manere weye
     495
Ne semed it as that she of hym roughte,
     496
Or of his peyne, or what so euere he thoughte.
     497
Page  118
But thanne felte this Troilus swich wo,
     498
That he was wel neigh wood -- for ay his drede
     499
Was this, that she som wight hadde loued so
     500
That neuere of hym she wolde han taken hede,
     501
ffor which hym thoughte he felte his herte blede,
     502
Ne of his wo ne dorste he nat bygynne
     503
To tellen hir, for al this world to wynne.
     504
But whan he hadde a space from his care,
     505
Thus to hym self ful ofte he gan to pleyne;
     506
He seyde, "O fool, now artow in the snare,
     507
That whilom iapedest at loues peyne;
     508
Now artow hent, now gnaw thin owen cheyne;
     509
Thow were ay wont eche louere reprehende
     510
Of thing fro which thow kanst the nat defende.
     511
"What wol now euery louere seyn of the
     512
If this be wist, but euere in thin absence
     513
Laughen in scorne and seyn, "loo, ther goth he
     514
That is the man of so gret sapience,
     515
That held vs loueres leest in reuerence.
     516
Now, thanked be god, he may gon in the daunce
     517
Of hem that loue list fiebli for to auaunce.
     518
"But O thow woful Troilus, god wolde,
     519
Sith thow most louen thorugh thi destine,
     520
That thow be-set were on swich oon that sholde
     521
Know al thi wo, al lakked hir pitee.
     522
But also cold in loue towardes the
     523
Thi lady is as frost in wynter moone,
     524
And thow fordon as snow in fire is soone.
     525
"God wold I were aryued in the porte
     526
Of deth to which my sorwe wol me lede.
     527
A, lord, to me it were a gret comforte --
     528
Than were I quyt of languisshyng in drede;
     529
ffor be myn hidde sorwe i-blowe on brede,
     530
I shal by-iaped ben a thousand tyme
     531
More than that fol of whos folie men ryme.
     532
Page  120
But now help, god, and ȝe, swete, for whom
     533
I pleyne, i-kaught, ȝe, neuere wight so faste --
     534
O mercy, dere herte, and help me from
     535
The deth, for I, while that my lyf may laste,
     536
More than my self wol loue ȝow to my laste;
     537
And with som frendly lok gladeth me, swete,
     538
Though neuere more thing ȝe me byheete."
     539
Page  122
Thise wordes, and ful many an other to,
     540
He spak, and called euere in his compleynte
     541
Hire name, forto tellen hire his wo,
     542
Til nei ȝ that he in salte teres dreynte:
     543
Al was for nought, she herde nat his pleynte.
     544
And whan that he by-thought on that folie,
     545
A thousand fold his wo gan multiplie.
     546
By-wayling in his chambre thus allone,
     547
A frend of his that called was Pandare
     548
Com oones in vnwar and herd hym groone,
     549
And say his frend in swich destresse and care:
     550
"Allas," quod he, "who causeth al this fare?
     551
O mercy, god, what vnhap may this meene?
     552
Han now thus soone Grekes maad ȝow leene?
     553
"Or hastow som remors of conscience,
     554
And art now falle in som deuocioun,
     555
And wailest for thi synne and thin offence,
     556
And hast for ferde caught attricioun?
     557
God saue hem that biseged han oure town,
     558
That so kan leye oure iolite on presse,
     559
And bringe oure lusty folk to holynesse!"
     560

Stanzas 81 through 90

Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
     561
That with swich thing he myght hym angry maken,
     562
And with an angre don his wo to falle,
     563
As for the tyme, and his corage awaken;
     564
But wel he wist, as fer as tonges spaken,
     565
Ther nas a man of gretter hardinesse
     566
Thanne he, ne more desired worthinesse.
     567
"What cas," quod Troilus, "or what auenture
     568
Hath gided the to sen me langwisshinge,
     569
That am refus of euery creature?
     570
But for the loue of god, at my preyinge,
     571
Go hennes awey, for certes my deyinge
     572
Wol the disese and I mot nedes deye;
     573
Therfore go wey, ther is na more to seye.
     574
"But if thow wene I be thus sik for drede,
     575
It is naught so, and therfore scorne nou ȝt;
     576
Ther is another thing I take of hede
     577
Wel more than aught the Grekes han ȝet wrought,
     578
Which cause is of my deth for sorowe and thought;
     579
But though that I now telle it the ne leste,
     580
Be thow nau ȝt wroth, I hide it for the beste."
     581
This Pandare that neigh malt for wo and routhe
     582
fful ofte seyde, "allas, what may this be?
     583
Now frend," quod he, "if euere loue or trouthe
     584
Hath ben, or is, bitwixen the and me,
     585
Ne do thow neuere swich a crueltee
     586
To hiden fro thi frend so gret a care.
     587
Wostow nau ȝt wel that it am I, Pandare?
     588
"I wol parten with the al thi peyne,
     589
If it be so I do the no comfort,
     590
As it is frendes right, soth forto seyne,
     591
To entreparten wo as glad desport.
     592
I haue and shal, for trewe or fals report,
     593
In wronge and right i-loued the al my lyue:
     594
Hid nat thi wo fro me but telle it blyue."
     595
Than gan this sorwful Troylus to syke,
     596
And seide hym thus, "god leue it be my beste
     597
To telle it the, for sith it may the like,
     598
Ȝet wol I telle it, though myn herte breste;
     599
And wel woot I thow mayst do me no reste;
     600
But lest thow deme I truste nat to the,
     601
Now herke, frend, for thus it stant with me.
     602
Page  124
"Loue, aȝeins the which who-so defendeth
     603
Hym seluen most, hym alderlest auaylleth,
     604
With disespeyre so sorwfulli me offendeth,
     605
That streight vn-to the deth myn herte sailleth;
     606
Therto desire so brennyngly me assailleth,
     607
That to ben slayn it were a gretter ioie
     608
To me than kyng of Grece ben and Troye.
     609
"Suffiseth this, my fulle frend Pandare,
     610
That I haue seyd, for now wostow my wo;
     611
And for the loue of god, my colde care
     612
So hide it wel, I tolde it neuere to mo;
     613
ffor harmes myghten folwen mo than two,
     614
If it were wist; but be thow in gladnesse,
     615
And lat me sterue, vnknowe, of my destresse."
     616
"How hastow thus vnkyndely and longe
     617
Hid this fro me, thow fol?" quod Pandarus;
     618
"Peraunter thow myghte after swich oon longe
     619
That myn auys anoon may helpen vs."
     620
"This were a wonder thing," quod Troilus;
     621
"Thow koudest neuere in loue thi seluen wisse;
     622
How deuel maistow brynge me to blisse?',
     623
"Ȝe, Troilus, now herke," quod Pandare;
     624
"Though I be nyce, it happeth often so
     625
That oon that excesse doth ful yuele fare
     626
By good counseil kan kepe his frend ther-fro.
     627
I haue my self ek seyn a blynd man goo
     628
Ther as he fel that couthe loken wide;
     629
A fool may ek a wis man ofte gide.
     630

Stanzas 91 through 100

"A wheston is no keruyng instrument,
     631
But ȝet it maketh sharppe keruyng tolis;
     632
And there thow woost that I haue au ȝt myswent,
     633
Eschuwe thow that, for swich thing to =e scole is;
     634
Thus often wise men ben war by foolys.
     635
If thow do so, thi wit is wel bewared;
     636
By his contrarie is euery thyng declared.
     637
Page  126
"ffor how myghte euere swetnesse han ben knowe
     638
To him that neuere tasted bitternesse?
     639
Ne no man may ben inly glad, I trowe,
     640
That neuere was in sorwe or som destresse;
     641
Eke whit by blak, by shame ek worthinesse,
     642
Ech set by other, more for other semeth,
     643
As men may se, and so the wyse it demeth.
     644
"Sith thus of two contraries is o lore,
     645
I, that haue in loue so ofte assayed
     646
Greuances, oughte konne, and wel the more,
     647
Counseillen the of that thow art amayed;
     648
And ek the ne aughte nat ben yuel appayed,
     649
Though I desyre with the forto bere
     650
Thyn heuy charge; it shal the lasse dere.
     651
"I woot wel that it fareth thus by me
     652
As to thi brother, Paris, an herdesse,
     653
Which that i-cleped was Oenone,
     654
Wrote in a compleynte of hir heuynesse;
     655
Ȝee say the lettre that she wrote, I gesse?"
     656
"Nay, neuere ȝet, ywys," quod Troilus.
     657
"Now," quod Pandare, "herkne, it was thus:
     658
"'Phebus, that first fond art of medicyne,'
     659
Quod she, 'and couthe in euery wightes care
     660
Remedye and rede by herbes he knew fyne,
     661
Ȝet to hym self his konnyng was ful bare;
     662
ffor loue hadde hym so bounden in a snare,
     663
Al for the doughter of the kyng Amete,
     664
That al his craft ne koude his sorwes bete.'
     665
"Right so fare I, vnhappyly for me;
     666
I loue one best, and that me smerteth sore;
     667
And ȝet, peraunter, kan I reden the,
     668
And nat my self -- repreue me na more.
     669
I haue no cause, I woot wel, forto sore
     670
As doth an hauk that listeth forto pleye;
     671
But to thin help ȝet somwhat kan I seye.
     672
Page  128
"And of o thing right siker maistow be,
     673
That certein, forto dyen in the peyne,
     674
That I shal neuere mo discoueren the;
     675
Ne, by my trouthe, I kepe nat restreyne
     676
The fro thi loue, theigh that it were Eleyne
     677
That is thi brother wif, if ich it wiste;
     678
Be what she be, and loue hire as the liste.
     679
"Therfore, as frend fullich in me assure,
     680
And telle me plat now what is thenchesoun
     681
And final cause of wo that ȝe endure;
     682
ffor douteth no thyng, myn entencioun
     683
Nis nat to ȝow of reprehencioun
     684
To speke as now, for no wight may byreue
     685
A man to loue, tyl that hym list to leue.
     686
"And witteth wel that bothe two ben vices:
     687
Mistrusten alle, or elles alle leue.
     688
But wel I woot, the mene of it no vice is:
     689
ffor for to trusten som wight is a preue
     690
Of trouth, and forthi wolde I fayn remeue
     691
Thi wronge conseyte and do the som wyght triste
     692
Thi wo to telle; and tel me if the liste.
     693
"The wise seith, "wo hym that is allone,
     694
ffor, and he falle, he hath non helpe to ryse';
     695
And sith thow hast a felawe, tel thi mone;
     696
ffor this nys naught, certein, the nexte wyse
     697
To wynnen loue, as techen vs the wyse,
     698
To walwe and wepe as Nyobe the queene,
     699
Whos teres ȝet in marble ben yseene.
     700

Stanzas 101 through 110

"Lat be thy wepyng and thi drerynesse,
     701
And lat vs lissen wo with oother speche;
     702
So may thy woful tyme seme lesse;
     703
Delyte nat in wo thi wo to seche,
     704
As don thise foles that hire sorwes eche
     705
With sorwe, whan thei han mysauenture,
     706
And listen naught to seche hem other cure.
     707
Page  130
"Men seyn, "to wrecche is consolacioun
     708
To haue another felawe in hys peyne.'
     709
That owghte wel ben oure opynyoun,
     710
ffor bothe thow and I of loue we pleyne:
     711
So ful of sorwe am I, soth forto seyne,
     712
That certeinly namore harde grace
     713
May sitte on me, for why ther is no space.
     714
"If god wol, thow art nat agast of me,
     715
Lest I wolde of thi lady the bygyle;
     716
Thow woost thy self whom that I loue, parde,
     717
As I best kan, gon sithen longe while;
     718
And sith thow woost I do it for no wyle,
     719
And seyst I am he that thow trustest mooste,
     720
Telle me somwhat, syn al my wo thow wooste."
     721
Ȝet Troilus for al this no worde seyde,
     722
But longe he ley as stylle as he ded were;
     723
And after this with sikynge he abreyde,
     724
And to Pandarus vois he lente his ere,
     725
And vp hise eighen caste he, that in feere
     726
Was Pandarus lest that in frenesie
     727
He sholde falle, or elles soone dye;
     728
And cryde "awake," ful wonderlich and sharpe,
     729
"What! slombrestow as in a litargie?
     730
Or artow lik an asse to the harpe,
     731
That hereth sown whan men the strynges plye,
     732
But in his mynde of that no melodie
     733
May sinken hym to gladen, for that he
     734
So dul ys of his bestialite?"
     735
And with that, Pandare of his wordes stente;
     736
And Troilus ȝet hym no thyng answerde,
     737
ffor why to tellen nas nat his entente
     738
To neuere no man, for whom that he so ferde.
     739
ffor it is seyd, "men maketh ofte a ȝerde
     740
With which the maker is hym self ybeten
     741
In sondry manere," as thise wyse treten;
     742
And namelich in his counseil tellynge
     743
That toucheth loue that oughte ben secree;
     744
ffor of him self it wol ynough out sprynge,
     745
But if that it the bet gouerned be;
     746
Ek som tyme it is a craft to seme fle
     747
ffro thyng whych in effect men hunte faste --
     748
Al this gan Troilus in his herte caste.
     749
Page  132
But natheles whan he hadde herd hym crye
     750
"Awake," he gan to syken wonder soore,
     751
And seyde, "frende, though that I stylle lye,
     752
I am nat deef; now pees, and crye namore,
     753
ffor I haue herd thi wordes and thi lore;
     754
But suffre me my meschief to bywaille,
     755
ffor thy prouerbes may me naught auaille.
     756
Nor other cure kanstow non for me;
     757
Ek I nyl nat ben cured, I wol deye.
     758
What knowe I of the queene Nyobe?
     759
Lat be thyne olde ensaumples, I the preye."
     760
"No," quod tho Pandarus, "therfore I seye,
     761
Swych is delit of foles to by-wepe
     762
Hire wo, but seken bote they ne kepe.
     763
"Now knowe I that ther reson in the failleth;
     764
But telle me if I wiste what she were
     765
ffor whom that the al this misaunter ailleth:
     766
Dorste thow that I tolde in hire ere
     767
Thi wo, sith thow darst naught thi self for feere,
     768
And hire bysoughte on the to han som routhe?"
     769
"Why nay," quod he, "by god and by my trouthe."
     770

Stanzas 111 through 120

"What, nat as bisyly," quod Pandarus,
     771
"As though myn owene lyf lay on this nede?"
     772
"No, certes, brother," quod this Troilus.
     773
"And whi?" -- "for that thow scholdest neuere spede."
     774
"Wostow that wel?" -- " ȝe, that is out of drede,"
     775
Quod Troilus, "for al that euere ȝe konne,
     776
She nyl to noon swich wrecche as I ben wonne."
     777
Quod Pandarus, "allas, what may this be,
     778
That thow dispeired art thus causeles?
     779
What, lyueth nat thi lady, bendiste?
     780
How wostow so that thow art graceles?
     781
Swich yuel is nat alwey booteles.
     782
Why, put nat impossible thus thi cure,
     783
Syn thyng to come is oft in auenture.
     784
"I graunte wel that thow endurest wo,
     785
As sharp as doth he Ticius in helle,
     786
Whos stomak foughles tiren euere moo
     787
That hightyn volturis, as bokes telle.
     788
But I may nat endure that thow dwelle
     789
In so vnskilful an oppynyoun
     790
That of thi wo is no curacioun.
     791
Page  134
"But oones nyltow, for thy coward herte,
     792
And for thyn ire and folissh wilfulnesse,
     793
ffor wantrust, tellen of thy sorwes smerte,
     794
Ne to thyn owen help don bysynesse
     795
As muche as speke a reson moore or lesse?
     796
But list as he that lest of no thyng recche --
     797
What womman koude louen swich a wrecche?
     798
"What may she demen oother of thy deeth,
     799
If thow thus deye and she not why it is,
     800
But that for feere is ȝolden vp thy breth
     801
ffor Grekes han biseged vs, i-wys?
     802
Lord, which a thonk than shaltow han of this!
     803
Thus wol she seyn, and al the town attones,
     804
"The wrecche is ded, the deuel haue his bones.'
     805
"Thow mayst allone here wepe and crye and knele --
     806
But loue a womman that she woot it nought,
     807
And she wol quyte it that thow shalt nat fele:
     808
Unknow, vnkist, and lost, that is vnsought.
     809
What! many a man hath loue ful deere ybought
     810
Twenty wynter that his lady wiste,
     811
That neuere ȝet his lady mouth he kiste.
     812
"What sholde he ther-fore fallen in dispayre,
     813
Or be recreant for his owne tene,
     814
Or slen hym self, al be his lady faire?
     815
Nay, nay, but euere in oon be fresshe and grene
     816
To serue and loue his deere hertes queene,
     817
And thynk it is a guerdon hire to serue
     818
A thousand fold moore than he kan deserue."
     819
And of that word took hede Troilus,
     820
And thoughte a-non what folie he was inne,
     821
And how that soth hym seyde Pandarus,
     822
That forto slen hym self myght he nat wynne,
     823
But bothe don vnmanhod and a synne,
     824
And of his deth his lady naught to wite;
     825
ffor of his wo, god woot, she knew ful lite.
     826
And with that thought he gan ful sore syke,
     827
And seyde, "allas, what is me best to do?"
     828
To whom Pandare answered, "if the like,
     829
The beste is that thow telle me al thi wo;
     830
And haue my trouthe, but thow it fynde so
     831
I be thy boote er that it be ful longe,
     832
To pieces do me drawe and sithen honge."
     833
Page  136
"Ȝe, so thow seyst," quod Troilus tho, "allas,
     834
But, god woot, it is naught the rather so.
     835
fful hard were it to helpen in this cas,
     836
ffor wel fynde I that fortune is my fo;
     837
Ne al the men that riden konne or go
     838
May of hire cruel whiel the harm withstonde;
     839
ffor as hire list she pleyeth with free and bonde."
     840

Stanzas 121 through 130

Quod Pandarus, "than blamestow fortune
     841
ffor thow art wroth, ȝe, now at erst I see;
     842
Woost thow nat wel that fortune is comune
     843
To eueri manere wight in som degree?
     844
And ȝet thow hast this comfort, lo, perde,
     845
That as hire ioies moten ouergone,
     846
So mote hire sorwes passen euerychone.
     847
"ffor if hire whiel stynte any thyng to torne,
     848
Than cessed she fortune anon to be.
     849
Now sith hire whiel by no way may soiourne,
     850
What woostow if hire mutabilite
     851
Right as thy seluen list wol don by the,
     852
Or that she be naught fer fro thyn helpynge?
     853
Paraunter thow hast cause forto synge.
     854
"And therfore wostow what I the biseche?
     855
Lat be thy wo and tornyng to the grounde;
     856
ffor who-so list haue helyng of his leche,
     857
To hym byhoueth first vnwre his wownde.
     858
To Cerberus in helle ay be I bownde,
     859
Were it for my suster, al thy sorwe,
     860
By my wil she sholde al be thyn to-morwe.
     861
"Look vp, I seye, and telle me what she is
     862
Anon, that I may gon aboute thy nede.
     863
Knowe ich hire aught? for my loue, telle me this;
     864
Thanne wolde I hopen rather for to spede."
     865
Tho gan the veyne of Troilus to blede,
     866
ffor he was hit and wax al reed for shame.
     867
"A ha!" quod Pandare, "here bygynneth game."
     868
Page  138
And with that word he gan hym for to shake,
     869
And seyde, "thef, thow shalt hyre name telle."
     870
But tho gan sely Troilus for to quake,
     871
As though men sholde han led hym in to helle,
     872
And seyde, "allas, of al my wo the welle,
     873
Thanne is my swete fo called Criseyde."
     874
And wel neigh with the word for feere he deide.
     875
And whann that Pandare herde hire name neuene,
     876
Lord, he was glad, and seyde, "frende so deere,
     877
Now fare aright, for Ioues name in heuene,
     878
Loue hath byset the wel; be of good cheere,
     879
ffor of good name and wisdom and manere
     880
She hath ynough, and ek of gentilesse --
     881
If she be fayre, thow woost thy self, I gesse.
     882
"Ny neuere saugh a more bountevous
     883
Of hire estat, na gladder, ne of speche
     884
A frendlyer, na more gracious
     885
ffor to do wel, ne lasse hadde nede to seche
     886
What for to don; and al this bet to eche,
     887
In honour, to as fer as she may strecche,
     888
A kynges herte semeth by hyrs a wrecche.
     889
["And forthi loke of good comfort thow be;
     890
ffor certeinly the ferste poynt is this
     891
Of noble corage and wel ordeyne,
     892
A man to haue pees with hym self, y-wis;
     893
So oghtist thow, for nought but good it is
     894
To loue wel, and in a worthy place;
     895
The oughte not to clepe it hap but grace.]
     896
Page  140
"And also thynk, and ther-with glade the,
     897
That sith thy lady vertuous is al,
     898
So foloweth it that there is som pitee
     899
Amonges alle thise other in general;
     900
And forthi se that thow in special
     901
Requere naught that is a ȝeyns hyre name,
     902
ffor vertue streccheth naught hym self to shame.
     903
"But wel is me that euere that I was borne,
     904
That thow biset art in so good a place;
     905
ffor by my trouthe, in loue I dorste haue sworne
     906
The sholde neuere han tid thus fayre a grace;
     907
And wostow why? for thow were wont to chace
     908
At loue in scorn, and for despit hym calle
     909
"Seynt Idiot, lord of thise foles alle.'
     910

Stanzas 131 through 140

"How often hastow maad thi nyce iapes,
     911
And seyd that loues seruantz euerichone
     912
Of nycete ben verray goddes apes;
     913
And some wolde mucche hire mete allone,
     914
Liggyng abedde, and make hem for to grone;
     915
And som, thow seydest, hadde a blaunche feuere,
     916
And preydest god he sholde neuere keuere.
     917
"And som of hem took on hem for the colde
     918
More than ynough, so seydestow ful ofte;
     919
And som han feyned ofte tyme, and tolde
     920
How that they waken whan thei slepen softe;
     921
And thus they wolde han brought hem self a-lofe,
     922
And natheles were vnder at the laste --
     923
Thus seydestow, and iapedest ful faste.
     924
"Ȝet seydestow that for the moore parte,
     925
Thise loueres wolden speke in general,
     926
And thoughten that it was a siker arte,
     927
ffor faylyng for tassaien ouere al.
     928
Now may I iape of the, if that I shal;
     929
But natheles, though that I sholde deye,
     930
That thow art non of tho, I dorste saye.
     931
"Now bet thi brest and sey to god of loue
     932
Thy grace, lord, for now I me repente
     933
If I mysspak, for now my self I loue' --
     934
Thus sey with al thyn herte in good entente."
     935
Quod Troilus, "a, lord, I me consente,
     936
And preye to the my iapes thow for ȝiue,
     937
And I shal neuere more whyle I liue."
     938
Page  142
"Thow seist wel," quod Pandare, "and now I hope
     939
That thow the goddes wrathe hast al apesed;
     940
And sithen thow hast wopen many a drope,
     941
And seyd swych thyng wher-with thi god is plesed,
     942
Now wolde neuere god but thow were esed;
     943
And thynk wel, she of whom rist al thi wo
     944
Here-after may thy comfort be also.
     945
"ffor thilke grownde that bereth the wedes wikke
     946
Bereth ek thise holsom herbes as ful ofte:
     947
Next the foule netle, rough and thikke,
     948
The rose waxeth swoote and smothe and softe;
     949
And next the valeye is the hill o-lofte;
     950
And next the derke nyght the glade morwe;
     951
And also ioie is next the fyn of sorwe.
     952
"Now loke that a-tempre be thi bridel,
     953
And for the beste ay suffre to the tyde,
     954
Or elles al oure laboure is on ydel;
     955
He hasteth wel that wisely kan abyde.
     956
Be diligent and trewe, and ay wel hide;
     957
Be lusty, fre, perseuere in thy seruyse --
     958
And al is wel, if thow werke in this wyse.
     959
"But he that parted is in eueri place
     960
Is nowher hol, as writen clerkes wyse.
     961
What wonder is though swich oon haue no grace?
     962
Ek wostow how it fareth of som seruise,
     963
As plaunte a tree or herbe in sondry wyse
     964
And on the morwe pulle it vp as blyue,
     965
No wonder is though it may neuere thryue.
     966
"And sith that god of loue hath the bistowed
     967
In place digne vnto thi worthinesse,
     968
Stond faste, for to good port hastow rowed;
     969
And of thi self, for any heuynesse,
     970
Hope alwey wel; for but if drerinesse,
     971
Or ouere-haste, oure bothe labour shende,
     972
I hope of this to maken a good ende.
     973
Page  144
"And wostow why I am the lasse afered
     974
Of this matere with my Nece trete?
     975
ffor this haue I herd seyd of wyse lered,
     976
'Was neuere man or womman ȝet bigete
     977
That was vnapt to suffren loues hete,
     978
Celestial, or elles loue of kynde.'
     979
fforthy som grace I hope in hire to fynde.
     980

Stanzas 141 through 150

"And for to speke of hire in specyal,
     981
Hire beaute to bithynken and hire youthe,
     982
It sit hire naught to ben celestial
     983
As ȝet, though that hire liste bothe and kowthe;
     984
But trewely, it sate hire wel right nowthe
     985
A worthi knyght to louen and cherice --
     986
And but she do, I holde it for a vice.
     987
"Wher-fore I am and wol ben ay redy
     988
To peyne me to do ȝow this seruyse;
     989
ffor bothe ȝow to plese thus hope I
     990
Her-afterward; for ȝe ben bothe wyse,
     991
And konne it counseil kepe in swych a wyse
     992
That no man shal the wiser of it be --
     993
And so we may ben gladed alle thre.
     994
"And, by my trouthe, I haue right now of the
     995
A good conceyte in my wit, as I gesse,
     996
And what it is, I wol now that thow se:
     997
I thenke, sith that loue of his goodnesse
     998
Hath the conuerted out of wikkednesse,
     999
That thow shalt ben the beste post, I leue,
     1000
Of al his lay, and moost his foos to greue.
     1001
"Ensample why, se now thise wise clerkes,
     1002
That erren aldermost a ȝeyn a lawe,
     1003
And ben conuerted from hire wikked werkes
     1004
Thorugh grace of god that list hem to hym drawe,
     1005
Thanne arn they folk that han moost god in awe,
     1006
And strengest feythed ben, I vndirstonde,
     1007
And konne an errowre alderbest withstonde."
     1008
Whan Troilus hadde herd Pandare assented
     1009
To ben his help in louyng of Cryseyde,
     1010
Weex of his wo, as who seith, vntormented,
     1011
But hotter weex his loue and thus he seyde,
     1012
With sobre chere, although his herte pleyde:
     1013
"Now blisful Venus help, er that I sterue,
     1014
Of the, Pandare, I mowe som thank deserue.
     1015
Page  146
"But deere frende, how shal my wo be lesse
     1016
Til this be doon? and, good, ek telle me this:
     1017
How wiltow seyn of me and my destresse,
     1018
Lest she be wroth -- this drede I moost, ywys --
     1019
Or nyl nat here or trowen how it is?
     1020
Al this drede I, and ek for the manere
     1021
Of the, hire Em, she nyl no swich thyng here."
     1022
Quod Pandarus, "thow hast a ful gret care
     1023
Lest that the Cherl may falle out of the moone.
     1024
Whi, lord, I hate of the thi nyce fare.
     1025
Whi, entremete of that thow hast to doone!
     1026
ffor goddes loue, I bidde the a boone:
     1027
So lat malone, and it shal be thi beste."
     1028
"Whi, frende," quod he, "now do right as the leste.
     1029
"But herke, Pandare, o word, for I nolde
     1030
That thow in me wendest so gret folie,
     1031
That to my lady I desiren sholde
     1032
That toucheth harm or any vilenye;
     1033
ffor dredeles me were leuere dye
     1034
Than she of me aught elles vnderstode
     1035
But that that myghte sownen in-to goode."
     1036
Tho lough this Pandare, and anon answerde,
     1037
"And I thi borugh? fy, no wight doth but so;
     1038
I roughte naught though that she stood and herde
     1039
How that thow seist; but fare wel, I wol go.
     1040
A-dieu, be glad, god spede vs bothe two!
     1041
Ȝef me this labour and this bisynesse,
     1042
And of my spede be thyn al that swetnesse."
     1043
Tho Troilus gan doun on knees to falle,
     1044
And Pandare in his armes hente faste,
     1045
And seyde, "now, fy on the Grekes alle!
     1046
Ȝet, parde, god shal helpe vs atte laste;
     1047
And dredelees, if that my lyf may laste,
     1048
And god to-forn, lo, som of hem shal smerte;
     1049
And ȝet mathenketh that this auant masterte.
     1050

Stanzas 151 through 156

"Now, Pandare, I kan namore seye,
     1051
But thow wis, thow woost, thow maist, thow art al.
     1052
Mi lif, my deth, hol in thyn honde I leye;
     1053
Help now!" Quod he, " ȝis, by my trowthe, I shal."
     1054
"God ȝelde the, frend, and this in special,"
     1055
Quod Troilus, "that thow me recomande
     1056
To hire that to the deth me may comande."
     1057
Page  148
This Pandarus, tho desirous to serue
     1058
His fulle frende, than seyde in this manere:
     1059
"ffarwell, and thenk I wol thi thank deserue,
     1060
Haue here my trowthe, and that thow shalt wel here,"
     1061
And went his wey thenkyng on this matere,
     1062
And how he best myghte hire biseche of grace,
     1063
And fynde a tyme therto and a place.
     1064
ffor eueri wight that hath an hous to founde
     1065
Ne renneth naught the werk for to bygynne
     1066
With rakel hond, but he wol bide a stounde,
     1067
And sende his hertes line out fro with-inne
     1068
Aldirfirst his purpos forto wynne.
     1069
Al this Pandare in his herte thoughte,
     1070
And caste his werk ful wisely or he wroughte.
     1071
But Troilus lay tho no lenger down,
     1072
But vp anon vpon his stede bay,
     1073
And in the feld he pleyde the leoun;
     1074
Wo was that Grek that with hym mette a-day!
     1075
And in the town his manere tho forth ay
     1076
So goodly was, and gat hym so in grace,
     1077
That ecch hym loued that loked on his face.
     1078
ffor he bicom the frendlieste wight,
     1079
The gentilest, and ek the mooste fre,
     1080
The thriftiest, and oon the beste knyght,
     1081
That in his tyme was or myghte be:
     1082
Dede were his iapes and his cruelte,
     1083
His heighe port and his manere estraunge,
     1084
And ecch of tho gan for a vertue chaunge.
     1085
Now lat vs stynte of Troilus a stounde,
     1086
That fareth like a man that hurt is soore,
     1087
And is som deel of akyngge of his wownde
     1088
Y-lissed wel, but heeled no deel moore,
     1089
And, as an esy pacyent, the loore
     1090
Abit of hym that gooth aboute his cure;
     1091
And thus he dryeth forth his auenture.
     1092
Explicit liber primus.