Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
Geoffrey Chaucer
B.A. Windeatt
Page  347

Book IV

Page  348

Incipit prohemium quarti libri

But al to litel, weylaway the whyle,
     1
Lasteth swich ioie, y-thonked be fortune,
     2
That semeth trewest whan she wol bygyle,
     3
And kan to fooles so hire song entune,
     4
That she hem hent and blent, traitour comune;
     5
And whan a wight is from hire whiel y-throwe,
     6
Than laugheth she and maketh hym the mowe.
     7
ffrom Troilus she gan hire brighte face
     8
Awey to writhe and tok of hym non heede,
     9
But caste hym clene out of his lady grace,
     10
And on hire whiel she sette vp Diomede;
     11
ffor which right now myn herte gynneth blede,
     12
And now my penne, allas, with which I write,
     13
Quaketh for drede of that I moste endite.
     14
ffor how Criseyde Troilus for-sook --
     15
Or at the leeste how that she was vnkynde --
     16
Moot hennes-forth ben matere of my book,
     17
As writen folk thorugh which it is in mynde.
     18
Allas, that they sholde euere cause fynde
     19
To speke hire harm, and if they on hire lye,
     20
I-wis, hem self sholde han the vilanye.
     21
O ȝe Herynes, Nyghtes doughtren thre,
     22
That endeles compleignen euere in pyne,
     23
Megera, Alete, and ek Thesiphone,
     24
Thow cruel Mars ek, fader to Quyryne,
     25
This ilke ferthe book me helpeth fyne,
     26
So that the losse of lyf and loue y-feere
     27
Of Troilus be fully shewed heere.Page  350
     28
Explicit prohemium quarti libri

Incipit liber quartus

Stanzas 5 through 20

Liggyng in oost, as I haue seyd er this,
     29
The Grekes stronge a-boute Troie town,
     30
Byfel that whan that Phebus shynyng is
     31
Upon the breste of Ercules lyoun,
     32
That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun,
     33
Caste on a day with Grekis forto fighte,
     34
As he was wont to greue hem what he myghte.
     35
Not I how longe or short it was bitwene
     36
This purpos and that day they fighten mente;
     37
But on a day, wel armed brighte and shene,
     38
Ector and many a worthi wight out wente,
     39
With spere in honde and bigge bowes bente;
     40
And in the berd, with-outen lenger lette,
     41
Hire fomen in the felde anon hem mette.
     42
The longe day, with speres sharpe i-grounde,
     43
With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
     44
They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde,
     45
And with hire axes out the braynes quelle;
     46
But in the laste shour, soth for to telle,
     47
The folk of Troie hem seluen so mysledden
     48
That with the wors at nyght homward they fledden.
     49
At whiche day was taken Antenore,
     50
Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo,
     51
Santippe, Sarpedoun, Polynestore,
     52
Polite, or ek the Troian daun Rupheo,
     53
And other lasse folk as Phebuseo;
     54
So that for harm that day the folk of Troie
     55
Dredden to lese a gret part of hire ioie.
     56
Page  352
Of Priamus was ȝeue at Grekes requeste
     57
A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete
     58
Hire prisoners to chaungen, meste and leste,
     59
And for the surplus ȝeuen sommes grete.
     60
This thing anon was couth in euery strete,
     61
Bothe in thassege, in town and euery where,
     62
And with the firste it com to Calkas ere.
     63
Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde,
     64
In consistorie among the Grekes soone
     65
He gan in thringe forth with lordes olde,
     66
And sette hym there as he was wont to doone,
     67
And with a chaunged face hem bad a boone,
     68
ffor loue of god, to don that reuerence,
     69
To stynte noyse and ȝeue hym audience.
     70
Than seyde he thus, "lo, lordes myn, ich was
     71
Troian, as it is knowen out of drede;
     72
And if that ȝow remembre, I am Calkas,
     73
That alderfirst ȝaf comfort to ȝoure nede,
     74
And tolde wel how that ȝe shulden spede --
     75
ffor dredeles, thorugh ȝow shal in a stownde
     76
Ben Troie y-brend and beten down to grownde.
     77
"And in what fourme or in what manere wise
     78
This town to shende and al ȝoure lust tacheue,
     79
Ȝe han er this wel herd me ȝow deuyse;
     80
This knowe ȝe, my lordes, as I leue.
     81
And for the Grekis weren me so leeue,
     82
I com my self in my propre persone,
     83
To teche in this how ȝow was best to doone,
     84
"Hauyng vn-to my tresore ne my rente
     85
Right no resport to respect of ȝoure ese;
     86
Thus al my good I lefte and to ȝow wente,
     87
Wenyng in this, my lordes, ȝow to plese.
     88
But al that los ne doth me no disese --
     89
I vouche-sauf as wisly haue I ioie,
     90
ffor ȝow to lese al that I haue in Troie,
     91
"Saue of a doughter that I lefte, allas,
     92
Slepyng at hom whan out of Troie I sterte.
     93
O sterne, O cruel fader that I was!
     94
How myghte I haue in that so hard an herte?
     95
Allas, I ne hadde i-brought hire in hire sherte!
     96
ffor sorwe of whiche I wol nought lyue to-morwe,
     97
But if ȝe lordes rewe vp-on my sorwe.
     98
Page  354
"ffor by that cause I say no tyme er now
     99
Hire to deliuere, ich holden haue my pees;
     100
But now or neuere, if that it like ȝow,
     101
I may hire haue right soone, douteles;
     102
O help and grace amonges al this prees --
     103
Rewe on this olde caytif in destresse,
     104
Syn I thorugh ȝow haue al this heuynesse.
     105
"Ȝe haue now kaught and fetered in prisoun
     106
Troians ynowe, and if ȝoure willes be,
     107
My child with oon may han redempcioun.
     108
Now for the loue of god and of bounte,
     109
Oon of so fele, allas, so ȝeue hym me.
     110
What nede were it this preiere forto werne,
     111
Syn ȝe shul bothe han folk and town as ȝerne?
     112
"On peril of my lif I shal nat lye,
     113
Appollo hath me told it feithfullye;
     114
I haue ek founde it be astronomye,
     115
By sort and by augurye ek trewelye,
     116
And dar wel say the tyme is faste by
     117
That fire and flaumbe on al the town shal sprede,
     118
And thus shal Troie torne to asshen dede.
     119
"ffor certein, Phebus and Neptunus bothe,
     120
That makeden the walles of the town,
     121
Ben with the folk of Troie alwey so wrothe,
     122
That they wol brynge it to confusioun,
     123
Right in despit of kyng Lameadoun:
     124
By-cause he nolde payen hem here hire,
     125
The town of Troie shal ben set on fire."
     126
Tellyng his tale alwey, this olde greye,
     127
Humble in his speche and in his lokyng eke,
     128
The salte teris from his eyen tweye
     129
fful faste ronnen down by either cheke.
     130
So longe he gan of socour hem biseke,
     131
That forto hele hym of his sorwes soore,
     132
They ȝaue hym Antenor with-outen moore.
     133
Page  356
But who was glad ynough but Calkas tho?
     134
And of this thyng ful soone hise nedes leyde
     135
On hem that sholden for the tretis go;
     136
And hem for Antenor ful ofte preyde
     137
To bryngen hom kyng Toas and Criseyde;
     138
And whan Priam his saue garde sente,
     139
Thembassadours to Troie streight they wente.
     140

Stanzas 21 through 30

The cause i-tolde of hire comyng, the olde
     141
Priam the kyng ful soone in general
     142
Let her-vpon his perlement to holde,
     143
Of which theffect rehercen ȝow I shal:
     144
Thembassadours ben answerd for fynal,
     145
Theschaunge of prisoners and al this nede
     146
Hem liketh wel, and forth in they procede.
     147
This Troilus was present in the place,
     148
Whan axed was for Antenor Criseyde,
     149
ffor which ful soone chaungen gan his face,
     150
As he that with tho wordes wel neigh deyde;
     151
But natheles he no word to it seyde,
     152
Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye;
     153
With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye,
     154
And ful of angwissh and of grisly drede
     155
Abod what lordes wolde vnto it seye;
     156
And if they wolde graunte, as god forbede,
     157
Theschaunge of hire, than thoughte he thynges tweye:
     158
ffirst, how to saue hire honour, and what weye
     159
He myghte best theschaunge of hire withstonde;
     160
fful faste he caste how al this myghte stonde.
     161
Page  358
Loue hym made al prest to don hire byde,
     162
And rather dyen than she sholde go;
     163
But resoun seyde hym on that other syde:
     164
"With-outen assent of hire ne do nat so,
     165
If thow debate it, lest she be thy fo,
     166
And seyn that thorugh thy medlynge is i-blowe
     167
Ȝoure bother loue, ther it was erst vnknowe.'
     168
ffor which he gan deliberen for the beste,
     169
That though the lordes wolde that she wente,
     170
He wolde lat hem graunte what hem leste,
     171
And telle his lady first what that they mente;
     172
And whan that she hadde seyd hym hire entente,
     173
Ther-after wolde he werken also blyue,
     174
Theigh al the world aȝeyn it wolde stryue.
     175
Ector, which that wel the Grekes herde,
     176
ffor Antenor how they wolde han Criseyde,
     177
Gan it withstonde and sobrely answerde:
     178
"Syres, she nys no prisonere," he seyde;
     179
"I not on ȝow who that this charge leyde,
     180
But on my part ȝe may eft-sones hem telle,
     181
We vsen here no wommen forto selle."
     182
The noyse of peple vp stirte thanne at ones,
     183
As breme as blase of straw i-set on fire;
     184
ffor infortune it wolde for the nones
     185
They sholden hire confusioun desire.
     186
"Ector," quod they, "what goost may ȝow enspyre,
     187
This womman thus to shilde and don vs leese
     188
Daun Antenor -- a wrong wey now ȝe chese --
     189
"That is so wys and ek so bold baroun?
     190
And we han nede of folk, as men may se:
     191
He is ek on the grettest of this town.
     192
O Ector, lat tho fantasies be.
     193
O kyng Priam,' quod they, "thus sygge we,
     194
That al oure vois is to forgon Criseyde."
     195
And to deliueren Antenor they preyde.
     196
O Iuuenal, lord, soth is thy sentence,
     197
That litel wyten folk what is to ȝerne,
     198
That they ne fynde in hire desire offence;
     199
ffor cloude of errour lat hem nat discerne
     200
What best is; and lo, here ensample as ȝerne:
     201
This folk desiren now deliueraunce
     202
Of Antenor that brought hem to meschaunce.
     203
Page  360
ffor he was after traitour to the town
     204
Of Troye; allas, they quytte hym out to rathe.
     205
O nyce world, lo thy discrecioun!
     206
Criseyde, which that neuere dide hem scathe,
     207
Shal now no lenger in hire blisse bathe;
     208
But Antenor, he shal com hom to towne,
     209
And she shal out; thus seyde here and howne.
     210

Stanzas 31 through 40

ffor which delibered was by perlement,
     211
ffor Antenor to ȝelden out Criseyde,
     212
And it pronounced by the president,
     213
Al-theigh that Ector nay ful ofte preyde.
     214
And fynaly, what wight that it with-seyde,
     215
It was for nought; it moste ben and sholde,
     216
ffor substaunce of the perlement it wolde.
     217
Deperted out of parlement echone,
     218
This Troilus with-outen wordes mo
     219
Into his chambre spedde hym faste allone,
     220
But if it were a man of his or two,
     221
The which he bad out faste forto go,
     222
By-cause he wolde slepen as he seyde,
     223
And hastily vp-on his bedde hym leyde.
     224
Page  362
And as in wynter leues ben birafte,
     225
Ech after other til the tree be bare,
     226
So that ther nys but bark and braunche i-lafte,
     227
Lith Troilus byraft of eche welfare,
     228
I-bounden in the blake bark of care,
     229
Disposed wood out of his wit to breyde,
     230
So sore hym sat the chaungynge of Criseyde.
     231
He rist hym vp, and euery dore he shette
     232
And wyndow ek, and tho this sorwful man
     233
Up-on his beddes syde adown hym sette,
     234
fful like a dede ymage, pale and wan;
     235
And in his brest the heped wo bygan
     236
Out breste, and he to werken in this wise
     237
In his woodnesse, as I shal ȝow deuyse.
     238
Right as the wylde bole bygynneth sprynge,
     239
Now her, now ther, i-darted to the herte,
     240
And of his deth roreth in compleynynge,
     241
Right so gan he aboute the chambre sterte,
     242
Smytyng his brest ay with his fistes smerte;
     243
His hed to the wal, his body to the grounde,
     244
fful ofte he swapte, hym seluen to confounde.
     245
Page  364
His eyen two, for piete of herte,
     246
Out stremeden as swifte welles tweye;
     247
The heighe sobbes of his sorwes smerte
     248
His speche hym refte; vnnethes myghte he seye,
     249
"O deth, allas, why nyltow do me deye?
     250
Acorsed be that day which that nature
     251
Shop me to ben a lyues creature."
     252
But after, whan the furie and al the rage
     253
Which that his herte twiste and faste threste,
     254
By lengthe of tyme somwhat gan aswage,
     255
Upon his bed he leyde hym down to reste;
     256
But tho bygonne his teeris more out breste,
     257
That wonder is the body may suffise
     258
To half this wo which that I ȝow deuyse.
     259
Than seyde he thus, "fortune, allas the while!
     260
What haue I don, what haue I thus a-gylte?
     261
How myghtestow for rowthe me by-gile?
     262
Is ther no grace, and shal I thus be spilte?
     263
Shal thus Creiseyde awey for that thow wilte?
     264
Allas, how maistow in thyn herte fynde
     265
To ben to me thus cruwel and vnkynde?
     266
"Haue I the nought honoured al my lyue,
     267
As thow wel woost, aboue the goddes alle?
     268
Whi wiltow me fro ioie thus depriue?
     269
O Troilus, what may men now the calle
     270
But wrecche of wrecches, out of honour falle
     271
Into miserie, in which I wol be-waille
     272
Creiseyde, allas, til that the breth me faille?
     273
Page  366
"Allas, fortune, if that my lif in ioie
     274
Displesed hadde vnto thi foule enuye,
     275
Why ne haddestow my fader, kyng of Troye,
     276
Byraft the lif or don my bretheren dye,
     277
Or slayn my self that thus compleyne and crye,
     278
I, combre-world, that may of no thyng serue,
     279
But euere dye and neuere fulli sterue?
     280

Stanzas 41 through 50

If that Criseyde allone were me laft,
     281
Nought roughte I whider thow woldest me steere;
     282
And hire, allas, than hastow me biraft.
     283
But euere more, lo, this is thi manere,
     284
To reue a wight that most is to hym deere,
     285
To preue in that thi gerful violence:
     286
Thus am I lost, ther helpeth no diffence.
     287
"O verrey lord of loue, O god, allas,
     288
That knowest best myn herte and al my thoughte,
     289
What shal my sorwful lif don in this cas,
     290
If I for-go that I so deere haue boughte?
     291
Syn ȝe Criseyde and me han fully broughte
     292
In-to ȝoure grace and bothe oure hertes seled,
     293
How may ȝe suffre, allas, it be repeled?
     294
Page  368
"What shal I don? I shal, while I may dure
     295
On lyue in torment and in cruwel peyne,
     296
This in-fortune or this disauenture
     297
Allone as I was born, i-wys, compleyne;
     298
Ne neuere wol I seen it shyne or reyne,
     299
But ende I wol as Edippe in derknesse
     300
My sorwful lif and dyen in distresse.
     301
"O wery goost that errest to and fro,
     302
Why nyltow fleen out of the wofulleste
     303
Body that euere myghte on grounde go?
     304
O soule, lurkynge in this wo, vnneste,
     305
ffle forth out of myn herte and lat it breste,
     306
And folwe alwey Criseyde, thi lady dere;
     307
Thi righte place is now no lenger here.
     308
"O woful eyen two, syn ȝoure disport
     309
Was al to sen Criseydes eyen brighte,
     310
What shal ȝe don but, for my discomfort,
     311
Stonden for naught and wepen out ȝoure sighte,
     312
Syn she is queynt that wont was ȝow to lighte?
     313
In vayn fro this forth haue ich eyen tweye
     314
I-fourmed, syn ȝoure vertue is aweye.
     315
"O my Criseyde, O lady souereigne
     316
Of thilke woful soule that thus crieth,
     317
Who shal now ȝeuen comfort to the peyne?
     318
Allas, no wight; but whan myn herte dieth,
     319
My spirit, which that so vnto ȝow hieth,
     320
Receyue in gree, for that shal ay ȝow serue;
     321
ffor-thi no fors is though the body sterue.
     322
Page  370
"O ȝe loueris, that heigh vp on the whiel
     323
Ben set of fortune in good auenture,
     324
God leue that ȝe fynde ay loue of stiel,
     325
And longe mote ȝoure lif in ioie endure!
     326
But whan ȝe comen by my sepulture,
     327
Remembreth that ȝoure felawe resteth there,
     328
ffor I loued ek, though ich vnworthi were.
     329
"O oold, vnholsom and myslyued man --
     330
Calkas I mene -- allas, what eiled the
     331
To ben a Grek, syn thow art born Troian?
     332
O Calkas, which that wolt my bane be,
     333
In corsed tyme was thow born for me.
     334
As wolde blisful Ioue for his ioie
     335
That I the hadde wher I wolde in Troie."
     336
A thousand sikes hotter than the gleede
     337
Out of his brest ech after other wente,
     338
Medled with pleyntes new his wo to feede,
     339
ffor which his woful teris neuere stente;
     340
And shortly, so his peynes hym to-rente
     341
And wex so mat, that ioie nor penaunce
     342
He feleth non, but lith forth in a traunce.
     343
Pandare, which that in the parlement
     344
Hadde herd what euery lord and burgeys seyde,
     345
And how ful graunted was by oon assent
     346
ffor Antenor to ȝelden so Criseyde,
     347
Gan wel neigh wood out of his wit to breyde,
     348
So that for wo he nyste what he mente,
     349
But in a rees to Troilus he wente.
     350

Stanzas 51 through 60

Page  372
A certeyn knyght that for the tyme kepte
     351
The chambre door vndid it hym anon;
     352
And Pandare, that ful tendreliche wepte,
     353
In-to the derke chambre, as stille as ston,
     354
Toward the bed gan softely to gon,
     355
So confus that he nyste what to seye --
     356
ffor verray wo his wit was neigh aweye.
     357
And with his chiere and lokyng al to-torne
     358
ffor sorwe of this, and with his armes folden,
     359
He stood this woful Troilus by-forne,
     360
And on his pitous face he gan byholden;
     361
But, lord, so ofte gan his herte colden,
     362
Seyng his frend in wo, whos heuynesse
     363
His herte slough, as thoughte hym, for destresse.
     364
This woful wight, this Troilus, that felte
     365
His frend Pandare y-comen hym to se,
     366
Gan as the snow aȝeyn the sonne melte,
     367
ffor which this sorwful Pandare of pitee
     368
Gan forto wepe as tendreliche as he;
     369
And specheles thus ben thise ilke tweye,
     370
That neither myghte o word for sorwe seye.
     371
But at the laste this woful Troilus,
     372
Neigh ded for smert gan bresten out to rore,
     373
And with a sorwful noise he seyde thus,
     374
Amonge hise sobbes and his sikes sore:
     375
"Lo, pandare, I am ded with-outen more.
     376
Hastow nat herd at parlement," he seyde,
     377
"ffor Antenore how lost is my Criseyde?"
     378
This Pandarus, ful dede and pale of hewe,
     379
fful pitously answerde and seyde, "ȝis,
     380
As wisly were it fals as it is trewe,
     381
That I haue herd and woot al how it is.
     382
O mercy, god, who wolde haue trowed this?
     383
Who wolde haue wend that in so litel a throwe
     384
ffortune oure ioie wold han ouere-throwe?
     385
"ffor in this world ther is no creature,
     386
As to my dome, that euere saugh ruyne
     387
Straunger than this thorugh cas or auenture.
     388
But who may all eschue or al deuyne?
     389
Swich is this world; forthi I thus diffyne:
     390
Ne trust no wight to fynden in fortune
     391
Ay propretee -- hire ȝiftes ben comune.
     392
Page  374
"But telle me this, whi thow art now so mad
     393
To sorwen thus? Whi listow in this wise,
     394
Syn thi desire al holly hastow had,
     395
So that by right it oughte ynough suffise?
     396
But I that neuere felte in my seruyse
     397
A frendly cheere or lokyng of an eye,
     398
Lat me thus wepe and wailen til I deye.
     399
"And ouere al this, as thow wel woost thi selue,
     400
This town is ful of ladys al aboute;
     401
And to my doom, fairer than swiche twelue
     402
As euere she was shal I fynde in some route,
     403
Ȝee, on or two, with-outen any doute.
     404
ffor-thi be glad, myn owen deere brother;
     405
If she be lost, we shal recouere an other.
     406
"What, god forbede alwey that eche plesaunce
     407
In o thing were and in non other wight:
     408
If oon kan synge, an other kan wel daunce;
     409
If this be goodly, she is glad and light;
     410
And this is faire, and that kan good aright:
     411
Eche for his vertue holden is for deere,
     412
Both herouner and faucoun for ryuere.
     413
"And ek as writ Zanzis, that was ful wys,
     414
'The newe loue out chaceth ofte the olde',;
     415
And vp-on newe cas lith newe auys.
     416
Thenk ek thi lif to sauen artow holde.
     417
Swich fir by proces shal of kynde colde;
     418
ffor syn it is but casuel plesaunce,
     419
Som cas shal putte it out of remembraunce.
     420

Stanzas 61 through 70

"ffor also seur as day comth after nyght,
     421
The newe loue, labour, or oother wo,
     422
Or elles selde seynge of a wight,
     423
Don olde affecciouns alle ouere-go.
     424
And for thi part thow shalt haue oon of tho
     425
Tabregge with thi bittre peynes smerte;
     426
Absence of hire shal dryue hire out of herte."
     427
Page  376
Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle,
     428
To help his frend lest he for sorwe deyde;
     429
ffor douteles to don his wo to falle
     430
He roughte nought what vnthrift that he seyde.
     431
But Troilus, that neigh for sorwe deyde,
     432
Took litel heede of al that euere he mente;
     433
Oon ere it herde, at tother out it wente.
     434
But at the laste he answerde and seyde, "frende,
     435
This lechecraft, or heeled thus to be,
     436
Were wel sittyng if that I were a fende --
     437
To traysen a wight that trewe is vnto me.
     438
I pray god lat this conseil neuere y-the;
     439
But do me rather sterue anon right here,
     440
Er I thus do as thow me woldest leere.
     441
"She that I serue, i-wis, what so thow seye,
     442
To whom myn herte enhabit is by right,
     443
Shal han me holly hires til that I deye.
     444
ffor Pandarus, syn I haue trouthe hire hight,
     445
I wol nat ben vntrewe for no wight;
     446
But as hire man I wol ay lyue and sterue,
     447
And neuere other creature serue.
     448
"And ther thow seist thow shalt as faire fynde
     449
As she -- lat be, make no comparisoun
     450
To creature y-formed here by kynde.
     451
O leue Pandare, in conclusioun
     452
I wol nat ben of thyn opynyoun
     453
Touchyng al this; for which I the biseche,
     454
So holde thi pees: thow sleest me with thi speche.
     455
"Thow biddest me I shulde loue an other
     456
Al fresshly newe and lat Criseyde go.
     457
It lith nat in my power, leeue brother;
     458
And though I myght, I wolde nat do so.
     459
But kanstow playen raket to and fro,
     460
Nettle in, dok out, now this, now that, Pandare?
     461
Now foule falle hire for thi wo that care.
     462
"Thow farest ek by me, thow Pandarus,
     463
As he that whan a wight is wo bygon,
     464
He cometh to hym a paas and seith right thus,
     465
"Thynk nat on smert and thow shalt fele non.'
     466
Thow moost me first transmewen in a ston,
     467
And reue me my passiones alle,
     468
Er thow so lightly do my wo to falle.
     469
Page  378
"The deth may wel out of my brest departe
     470
The lif, so longe may this sorwe myne;
     471
But fro my soule shal Criseydes darte
     472
Out neuere mo, but down with Proserpyne,
     473
Whan I am ded, I wol go wone in pyne;
     474
And ther I wol eternaly compleyne
     475
My wo and how that twynned be we tweyne.
     476
"Thow hast here made an argument for fyne,
     477
How that it sholde lasse peyne be
     478
Criseyde to forgon, for she was myne,
     479
And lyued in ese and in felicite --
     480
Whi gabbestow, that seydest vn-to me,
     481
That hym is wors that is fro wele ythrowe,
     482
Than he hadde erst noon of that wele y-knowe?
     483
"But telle me now syn that the thynketh so light
     484
To changen so in loue ay to and fro,
     485
Whi hastow nat don bisily thi myght
     486
To chaungen hire that doth the al thi wo?
     487
Whi nyltow lete hire fro thyn herte go?
     488
Whi nyltow loue an othere lady swete,
     489
That may thyn herte setten in quiete?
     490

Stanzas 71 through 80

["If thow hast had in loue ay yet myschaunce,
     491
And kanst it not out of thyn herte dryue,
     492
I that leuede yn lust and in plesaunce
     493
With here as muche as creature on lyue,
     494
How sholde I that foryete and that so blyue?
     495
O where hastow ben hid so longe in muwe,
     496
That kanst so wel and formely arguwe?
     497
Page  380
"Nay, nay, god wot, nought worth is al thi red,
     498
ffor which, for what that euere may by-falle,
     499
With-outen wordes mo I wol be ded.
     500
O deth that endere art of sorwes alle,
     501
Com now syn I so ofte after the calle;
     502
ffor sely is that deth, soth for to seyne,
     503
That ofte ycleped cometh and endeth peyne.
     504
"Wel wot I, whil my lyf was in quyete,
     505
Er thow me slowe I wolde haue yeuen hire;
     506
But now thi comynge is to me so swete
     507
That in this world I no thing so desire:
     508
O deth, syn with this sorwe I am a-fyre,
     509
Thou other do me anoon yn teris drenche,
     510
Or with thi colde strok myn hete quenche.
     511
"Syn that thow sleest so fele in sondry wyse
     512
A-yens hire wil vnpreyed day and nyght,
     513
Do me at my requeste this seruice:
     514
Delyuere now the world, so dostow right,
     515
Of me that am the wofulleste wyght
     516
That euere was; for tyme is that I sterue,
     517
Syn in this world of right nought may I serue."
     518
This Troylus in teris gan distille,
     519
As licour out of a lambyc ful faste;
     520
And Pandarus gan holde his tunge stille,
     521
And to the ground his eyen doun he caste;
     522
But natheles, thus thought he at the laste:
     523
"What, parde, rather than my felawe deye,
     524
Yet shal I som-what more vn-to hym seye."
     525
And seyde, "frend, syn thow hast swych distresse,
     526
And syn the list myn argumentz to blame,
     527
Why nylt thi seluen helpen don redresse,
     528
And with thy manhod letten al this grame?
     529
Go rauysshe here ne kanstow not for shame?
     530
And other lat here out of towne fare,
     531
Or hold here stille and leue thi nyce fare.]
     532
Page  382
"Artow in Troie and hast non hardymente
     533
To take a womman which that loueth the,
     534
And wolde hire seluen ben of thyn assente?
     535
Now is nat this a nyce vanitee?
     536
Ris vp anon and lat this wepyng be,
     537
And kith thow art a man, for in this houre
     538
I wol ben ded or she shal bleuen oure."
     539
To this answerde hym Troilus ful softe
     540
And seyde, "perde, leue brother deere,
     541
Al this haue I my self ȝet thought ful ofte,
     542
And more thyng than thow deuysest here.
     543
But whi this thing is laft thow shalt wel here,
     544
And whan thow me hast ȝeue an audience,
     545
I her-after maystow telle al thi sentence.
     546
"ffirst, syn thow woost this town hath al this werre
     547
ffor rauysshyng of wommen so by myght,
     548
It sholde nought be suffred me to erre,
     549
As it stant now, ne don so gret vnright:
     550
I sholde han also blame of euery wight,
     551
My fadres graunt if that I so with-stoode,
     552
Syn she is chaunged for the townes goode.
     553
"I haue ek thought, so it were hire assent,
     554
To axe hire at my fader of his grace;
     555
Than thynke I this were hire accusement,
     556
Syn wel I woot I may hire nought purchace:
     557
ffor syn my fader in so heigh a place
     558
As parlement hath hire eschaunge enseled,
     559
He nyl for me his lettre be repeled.
     560

Stanzas 81 through 90

"Ȝet drede I moost hire herte to pertorbe
     561
With violence, if I do swich a game;
     562
ffor if I wolde it openly destorbe,
     563
It mooste be disclaundre to hire name.
     564
And me were leuere ded than hire diffame --
     565
As nolde god but if I sholde haue
     566
Hire honour leuere than my lif to saue.
     567
Page  384
"Thus am I lost for aught that I kan see;
     568
ffor certeyn is, syn that I am hire knyght,
     569
I moste hire honour leuere han than me
     570
In euery cas, as louere ought of right.
     571
Thus am I with desire and reson twight:
     572
Desire forto destourben hire me redeth,
     573
And reson nyl nat, so myn herte dredeth."
     574
Thus wepyng that he koude neuere cesse,
     575
He seyde, "allas, how shal I, wrecche, fare?
     576
ffor wel fele I alwey my loue encresse,
     577
And hope is lasse and lasse alway, Pandare;
     578
Encressen ek the causes of my care.
     579
So weilaway, whi nyl myn herte breste?
     580
ffor as in loue ther is but litel reste."
     581
Pandare answerde, "frend, thow maist for me
     582
Don as the list; but hadde ich it so hoote,
     583
And thyn estat, she sholde go with me,
     584
Though al this town cride on this thyng by note:
     585
I nolde sette at al that noys a grote,
     586
ffor whan men han wel cryed, than wol they rowne;
     587
Ek wonder last but nyne nyght neuere in towne.
     588
"Deuyne nat in resoun ay so depe
     589
Ne corteisly, but help thi selue anon.
     590
Bet is that othere than thi seluen wepe,
     591
And namely, syn ȝe two ben al on,
     592
Ris vp, for by myn hed she shal not goon;
     593
And rather be in blame a lite i-founde
     594
Than sterue here as a gnat with-outen wounde.
     595
"It is no shame vn-to ȝow ne no vice
     596
Hire to witholden that ȝe loue moost.
     597
Peraunter she myghte holde the for nyce
     598
To late hire go thus to the Grekis oost.
     599
Thenk ek fortune, as wel thi seluen woost,
     600
Helpeth hardy man to his enprise
     601
And weyueth wrecches for hire cowardise.
     602
Page  386
"And though thy lady wolde a lite hire greue,
     603
Thow shalt thi self thi pees here-after make;
     604
But as for me, certeyn, I kan nat leue
     605
That she wolde it as now for yuel take.
     606
Whi sholde thanne of fered thyn herte quake?
     607
Thenk ek how Paris hath, that is thi brother,
     608
A loue, and whi shaltow nat haue another?
     609
"And Troilus, o thyng I dar the swere,
     610
That if Criseyde, which that is thi lief,
     611
Now loueth the as wel as thow dost here,
     612
God help me so, she nyl nat take a-grief
     613
Theigh thow do boote a-non in this meschief;
     614
And if she wilneth fro the for to passe,
     615
Thanne is she fals, so loue hire wel the lasse.
     616
"ffor-thi take herte and thynk right as a knyght,
     617
Thorugh loue is broken al day euery lawe.
     618
Kith now somwhat thi corage and thi myght;
     619
Haue mercy on thi self, for eny awe.
     620
Lat nat this wrecched wo thyn herte gnawe,
     621
But manly sette the world on six and seuene,
     622
And if thow deye a martyr, go to heuene.
     623
"I wol my self ben with the at this dede,
     624
Theigh ich and al my kyn vp-on a stownde
     625
Shulle in a strete as dogges liggen dede,
     626
Thorugh-girt with many a wide and blody wownde;
     627
In euery cas I wol a frend be founde.
     628
And if the list here steruen as a wrecche,
     629
A-dieu, the deuel spede hym that it recche."
     630

Stanzas 91 through 100

This Troilus gan with tho wordes quyken,
     631
And seyde, "frend, graunt mercy, ich assente.
     632
But certeynly thow maist nat so me priken,
     633
Ne peyne non ne may me so tormente,
     634
That for no cas it is nat myn entente,
     635
At shorte wordes, though I deyen sholde,
     636
To rauysshe hire, but if hire self it wolde."
     637
"Whi so mene I," quod Pandare, "al this day.
     638
But telle me thanne, hastow hire wil assayed,
     639
That sorwest thus?" and he answerde hym, "nay."
     640
"Wherof artow," quod Pandare," thanne amayed --
     641
That nost nat that she wol ben yuele appayed --
     642
To rauysshe hire, syn thow hast nought ben there,
     643
But if that Ioue tolde it in thyn ere?
     644
Page  388
"fforthi ris vp as nought ne were anon,
     645
And wasshe thi face and to the kyng thow wende,
     646
Or he may wondren whider thow art goon.
     647
Thow most with wisdom hym and othere blende,
     648
Or vp-on cas he may after the sende
     649
Er thow be war; and shortly, brother deere,
     650
Be glad, and lat me werke in this matere.
     651
"ffor I shal shape it so that sikerly
     652
Thow shalt this nyght som tyme, in som manere,
     653
Com speken with thi lady pryuely,
     654
And by hire wordes ek as by hire cheere
     655
Thow shalt ful sone aperceyue and wel here
     656
Al hire entente, and in this cas the beste;
     657
And fare now wel, for in this point I reste."
     658
The swifte fame, which that false thynges
     659
Egal reporteth lik the thynges trewe,
     660
Was thorugh-out Troye y-fled with preste wynges
     661
ffro man to man and made this tale al newe,
     662
How Calkas doughter with hire brighte hewe,
     663
At parlement with-outen wordes more
     664
Y-graunted was in chaunge of Antenore.
     665
The whiche tale anon right as Criseyde
     666
Hadde herd, she which that of hire fader roughte,
     667
As in this cas, right nought, ne whan he deyde,
     668
fful bisily to Iupiter bisoughte
     669
Ȝeue hem meschaunce that this tretis broughte;
     670
But shortly, lest thise tales sothe were,
     671
She dorst at no wight asken it for fere,
     672
As she that hadde hire herte and al hire mynde
     673
On Troilus i-set so wonder faste,
     674
That al this world ne myghte hire loue vnbynde,
     675
Ne Troilus out of hire herte caste;
     676
She wol ben his while that hire lif may laste.
     677
And thus she brenneth both in loue and drede,
     678
So that she nyste what was best to reede.
     679
But as men seen in towne and al aboute
     680
That wommen vsen frendes to visite,
     681
So to Criseyde of wommen com a route
     682
ffor pitous ioie and wenden hire delite;
     683
And with hire tales deere ynough a myte,
     684
Thise wommen which that in the Cite dwelle,
     685
They sette hem down and seyde as I shall telle.
     686
Page  390
Quod first that oon, "I am glad, trewely,
     687
By-cause of ȝow that shal ȝoure fader see.',
     688
Another seyde, "ywis, so nam nat I,
     689
ffor al to litel hath she with vs be."
     690
Quod tho the thridde, "I hope, ywis, that she
     691
Shal bryngen vs the pees on euery syde,
     692
That, whan she goth, almyghty god hire gide."
     693
Tho wordes and tho wommanysshe thynges,
     694
She herde hem right as though she thennes were;
     695
ffor, god it woot, hire herte on othir thyng is:
     696
Al-though the body sat among hem there,
     697
Hire aduertence is alwey elles-where;
     698
ffor Troilus ful faste hire soule soughte;
     699
With-outen word on hym alwey she thoughte.
     700

Stanzas 101 through 110

Thise wommen, that thus wenden hire to plese,
     701
Aboute naught gonne alle hire tales spende;
     702
Swich vanyte ne kan don hire non ese,
     703
As she that al this mene while brende
     704
Of other passioun than that they wende,
     705
So that she felte almost hire herte dye,
     706
ffor wo and wery of that compaignie.
     707
[ffor which no lenger myghte she restreyne
     708
Hir teeris, so they gonnen vp to welle,
     709
That yauen signes of the bittre peyne
     710
In which hir spirit was and moste dwelle,
     711
Remembryng hir fro heuen into which helle
     712
She fallen was, syn she forgoth the syghte
     713
Of Troilus, and sorwfully she sighte.]
     714
And thilke fooles sittynge hire a-boute
     715
Wenden that she wepte and siked sore
     716
By-cause that she sholde out of that route
     717
Deperte and neuere pleye with hem more.
     718
And they that hadde y-knowen hire of ȝore
     719
Seigh hire so wepe and thoughte it kyndenesse,
     720
And ech of hem wepte ek for hire destresse.
     721
And bisyly they gonnen hire comforten
     722
Of thyng, god woot, on which she litel thoughte,
     723
And with hire tales wenden hire disporten,
     724
And to be glad they often hire bysoughte.
     725
But swiche an ese therwith they hire wroughte
     726
Right as a man is esed forto feele,
     727
ffor ache of hed to clawen hym on his heele.
     728
Page  392
But after al this nyce vanyte
     729
They toke hire leue and hom they wenten alle.
     730
Criseyde, ful of sorweful pite,
     731
In-to hire chambre vp went out of the halle,
     732
And on hire bed she gan for ded to falle,
     733
In purpos neuere thennes for to rise;
     734
And thus she wroughte, as I shal ȝow deuyse.
     735
Hire ownded heer that sonnyssh was of hewe
     736
She rente, and ek hire fyngeres longe and smale
     737
She wrong ful ofte and bad god on hire rewe,
     738
And with the deth to doon boote on hire bale;
     739
Hire hewe whilom bright, that tho was pale,
     740
Bar witnesse of hire wo and hire constreynte;
     741
And this she spak, sobbyng in hire compleynte,
     742
"Allas,' quod she, "out of this regioun
     743
I, woful wrecche and in-fortuned wight,
     744
And born in corsed constellacioun,
     745
Moot goon and thus deperten from my knyght.
     746
Wo worth, allas, that ilke dayes light
     747
On which I saugh hym first with eyen tweyne,
     748
That causeth me -- and ich hym -- al this peyne!"
     749
Ther-with the teris from hire eyen two
     750
Down fille as shoure in Aperil ful swithe;
     751
Hire white brest she bet and for the wo
     752
After the deth she cryed a thousand sithe,
     753
Syn he that wont hire wo was for to lithe,
     754
She moot forgon; for which disauenture
     755
She held hire self a forlost creature.
     756
She seyde, "how shal he don and ich also?
     757
How sholde I lyue if that I from hym twynne?
     758
O deere herte eke, that I loue so,
     759
Who shal that sorwe slen that ȝe ben inne?
     760
O Calkas, fader, thyn be al this synne!
     761
O moder myn, that cleped were Argyue,
     762
Wo worth that day that thow me bere on lyue!
     763
Page  394
"To what fyn sholde I lyue and sorwen thus?
     764
How sholde a fissh with-outen water dure?
     765
What is Criseyde worth from Troilus?
     766
How sholde a plaunte or lyues creature
     767
Lyue with-outen his kynde noriture?
     768
ffor which ful ofte a byword here I seye,
     769
That "rooteles moot grene soone deye.'
     770

Stanzas 111 through 120

"I shal doon thus, syn neither swerd ne darte
     771
Dar I noon handle for the crueltee,
     772
That ilke day that I from ȝow departe,
     773
If sorwe of that nyl nat my bane be,
     774
Thanne shal no mete or drynke come in me
     775
Til I my soule out of my breste vnshethe,
     776
And thus my seluen wol I don to dethe.
     777
"And Troilus, my clothes euerychon
     778
Shul blake ben in tokennyng, herte swete,
     779
That I am as out of this world agon,
     780
That wont was ȝow to setten in quiete;
     781
And of myn ordre ay til deth me mete,
     782
The obseruance euere in ȝoure absence
     783
Shal sorwe ben, compleynt and abstinence.
     784
Page  396
"Myn herte and ek the woful goost ther-inne
     785
Byquethe I with ȝoure spirit to compleyne
     786
Eternaly for they shal neuere twynne;
     787
ffor though in erthe y-twynned be we tweyne,
     788
Ȝet in the feld of pite, out of peyne,
     789
That highte Elisos, shal we ben y-feere,
     790
As Orpheus with Erudice his feere.
     791
"Thus, herte myn, for Antenor, allas,
     792
I soone shal be chaunged, as I wene.
     793
But how shul ȝe don in this sorwful cas?
     794
How shal ȝoure tendre herte this sustene?
     795
But, herte myn, forȝete this sorwe and tene,
     796
And me also, for sothly forto seye,
     797
So ȝe wel fare, I recche naught to deye."
     798
How myghte it euere y-red ben or y-songe,
     799
The pleynte that she made in hire destresse?
     800
I not; but as for me, my litel tonge,
     801
If I discryuen wolde hire heuynesse,
     802
It sholde make hire sorwe seme lesse
     803
Than that it was, and childisshly deface
     804
Hire heigh compleynte, and therfore ich it pace.
     805
Pandare, which that sent from Troilus
     806
Was to Criseyde -- as ȝe han herd deuyse,
     807
That for the beste it was acorded thus,
     808
And he ful glad to doon hym that seruyse --
     809
Unto Criseyde in a ful secree wise,
     810
Ther as she lay in torment and in rage,
     811
Come hire to telle al holly his message.
     812
Page  398
And fond that she hire seluen gan to trete
     813
fful pitously, for with hire salte teris
     814
Hire brest, hire face, y-bathed was ful wete;
     815
The myghty tresses of hire sonnysshe heeris
     816
Unbroiden hangen al aboute hire eeris,
     817
Which ȝaf hym verray signal of martire
     818
Of deth which that hire herte gan desire.
     819
Whan she hym saugh she gan for sorwe anon
     820
Hire tery face atwixe hire armes hide,
     821
ffor which this Pandare is so wo-bygon
     822
That in the hous he myghte vnnethe abyde,
     823
As he that pite felt on euery syde:
     824
ffor if Criseyde hadde erst compleyned soore,
     825
Tho gan she pleyne a thousand tymes more.
     826
And in hire aspre pleynte thus she seyde,
     827
"Pandare first of ioies mo than two
     828
Was cause causyng vnto me, Criseyde,
     829
That now transmewed ben in cruel wo.
     830
Wher shal I seye to ȝow welcom or no,
     831
That alderfirst me broughte vnto seruyse
     832
Of loue, allas, that endeth in swich wise?
     833
"Endeth thanne loue in wo? ȝe, or men lieth,
     834
And alle worldly blisse as thynketh me:
     835
The ende of blisse ay sorwe it occupieth.
     836
And who-so troweth nat that it so be,
     837
Lat hym vp-on me, woful wrecche, ysee,
     838
That my self hate and ay my burthe a-corse,
     839
ffelyng alwey fro wikke I go to worse.
     840

Stanzas 121 through 130

"Who-so me seeth, he seeth sorwe al atonys,
     841
Peyne, torment, pleynte, wo, distresse.
     842
Out of my woful body harm ther noon is,
     843
As angwissh, langour, cruel bitternesse,
     844
Anoy, smert, drede, fury and ek siknesse.
     845
I trowe, ywys, from heuene teeris reyne
     846
ffor pite of myn aspre and cruel peyne."
     847
Page  400
"And thow my suster, ful of discomfort,"
     848
Quod Pandarus, "what thynkestow to do?
     849
Whi ne hastow to thy seluen som resport?
     850
Whi wiltow thus thi self, allas, for-do?
     851
Leef al this werk and take now heede to
     852
That I shal seyn, and herkne of good entente
     853
This which by me thi Troilus the sente."
     854
Tornede hire tho Criseyde, a wo makynge
     855
So gret that it a deth was forto see.
     856
"Allas," quod she, "what wordes may ȝe brynge?
     857
What wol my deere herte seyn to me,
     858
Which that I drede neuere mo to see?
     859
Wol he han pleynte or teris er I wende?
     860
I haue ynough if he ther-after sende."
     861
She was right swich to seen in hire visage
     862
As is that wight that men on beere bynde:
     863
Hire face, lik of Paradys the ymage,
     864
Was al ychaunged in a-nother kynde;
     865
The pleye, the laughter, men was wont to fynde
     866
In hire, and ek hire ioies euerichone,
     867
Ben fled, and thus lith now Criseyde allone.
     868
Aboute hire eyen two a purpre ryng
     869
By-trent in sothfast tokenyng of hire peyne,
     870
That to biholde it was a dedly thyng,
     871
ffor which Pandare myghte nat restreyne
     872
The teeris from hise eighen forto reyne.
     873
But natheles, as he best myghte, he seyde
     874
ffrom Troilus thise wordes to Criseyde.
     875
"Lo, Nece, I trowe ȝe han herd al how
     876
The kyng with othere lordes for the beste
     877
Hath made eschaunge of Antenor and ȝow,
     878
That cause is of this sorwe and this vnreste.
     879
But how this cas dooth Troilus moleste,
     880
That may non erthely mannes tonge seye;
     881
ffor verray wo his wit is al aweye.
     882
"ffor which we han so sorwed, he and I,
     883
That in-to litel bothe it hadde vs slawe;
     884
But thorugh my conseyl this day finaly,
     885
He somwhat is fro wepynge now withdrawe,
     886
And semeth me that he desireth fawe
     887
With ȝow to ben al nyght forto deuyse
     888
Remedie in this, if ther were any wyse.
     889
Page  402
"This, shorte and pleyn, theffect of my message,
     890
As ferforth as my wit kan comprehende;
     891
ffor ȝe that ben of torment in swich rage
     892
May to no longe prologe as now entende;
     893
And here-vpon ȝe may answere hym sende --
     894
And for the loue of god, my Nece deere,
     895
So leue this wo er Troilus be here."
     896
"Gret is my wo," quod she and sighte soore,
     897
As she that feleth dedly sharp distresse,
     898
"But ȝit to me his sorwe is muchel more,
     899
That loue hym bet than he hym self, I gesse.
     900
Allas, for me hath he swich heuynesse?
     901
Kan he for me so pitously compleyne?
     902
I-wis, his sorwe doubleth al my peyne.
     903
"Greuous to me, god woot, is forto twynne,"
     904
Quod she, "but ȝet it harder is to me
     905
To sen that sorwe which that he is inne,
     906
ffor wel woot I it wol my bane be,
     907
And deye I wol in certeyn," tho quod she;
     908
"But bid hym come er deth, that thus me threteth,
     909
Dryue out that goost which in myn herte beteth."
     910

Stanzas 131 through 140

Thise wordes seyd, she on hire armes two
     911
ffil gruf and gan to wepen pitously.
     912
Quod Pandarus, "allas, whi do ȝe so,
     913
Syn wel ȝe woot the tyme is faste by
     914
That he shal come? Aris vp hastily,
     915
That he ȝow nat bywopen thus ne fynde,
     916
But ȝe wole haue him wood out of his mynde.
     917
"ffor wiste he that ȝe ferde in this manere,
     918
He wolde hym seluen sle; and if I wende
     919
To han this fare, he sholde nat come here
     920
ffor al the good that Priam may dispende.
     921
ffor to what fyn he wolde anon pretende,
     922
That knowe ich wel, and forthi ȝet I seye,
     923
So lef this sorwe or platly he wol deye.
     924
"And shapeth ȝow his sorwe for tabregge,
     925
And nought encresse, leeue Nece swete;
     926
Beth rather to hym cause of flat than egge,
     927
And with som wisdom ȝe his sorwes bete.
     928
What helpeth it to wepen ful a strete,
     929
Or though ȝe bothe in salte teeris dreynte?
     930
Bet is a tyme of cure ay than of pleynte.
     931
Page  404
"I mene thus: whan ich hym hider brynge,
     932
Syn ȝe be wise and bothe of oon assente,
     933
So shapeth how destourbe ȝoure goynge,
     934
Or come aȝeyn soon after ȝe be wente --
     935
Wommen ben wise in short auysemente --
     936
And lat sen how ȝoure wit shal now auaille,
     937
And what that I may helpe, it shal nat faille.
     938
"Go," quod Criseyde, "and Uncle, trewely,
     939
I shal don al my myght me to restreyne
     940
ffrom wepyng in his sighte, and bisily
     941
Hym forto glade I shal don al my peyne,
     942
And in myn herte seken euery veyne;
     943
If to his sore ther may be fonden salue,
     944
It shal nat lakke, certeyn, on my halue."
     945
Goth Pandarus and Troilus he soughte,
     946
Til in a temple he fond hym al allone,
     947
As he that of his lif no lenger roughte;
     948
But to the pitouse goddes euerichone
     949
fful tendrely he preyde and made his mone,
     950
To doon hym sone out of this world to pace,
     951
ffor wel he thoughte ther was non other grace.
     952
And shortly, al the sothe forto seye,
     953
He was so fallen in despeir that day,
     954
That outrely he shop hym forto deye.
     955
ffor right thus was his argument alway:
     956
He seyde he nas but lorn, so weylaway --
     957
"ffor al that comth, comth by necessitee,
     958
Thus to ben lorn, it is my destinee.
     959
"ffor certeynly, this wot I wel," he seyde,
     960
"That for-sight of diuine purueyaunce
     961
Hath seyn alwey me to forgon Criseyde,
     962
Syn god seeth euery thyng, out of doutaunce,
     963
And hem disponyth, thorugh his ordinaunce,
     964
In hire merites sothly for to be,
     965
As they shul comen by predestyne.
     966
"But natheles, allas, whom shal I leeue?
     967
ffor ther ben grete clerkes many oon,
     968
That destyne thorugh argumentes preue;
     969
And som men seyn that nedely ther is noon,
     970
But that fre chois is ȝeuen vs euerychon.
     971
O welaway, so sleighe arn clerkes olde
     972
That I not whos opynyoun I may holde.
     973
Page  406
"ffor som men seyn, if god seth al biforn --
     974
Ne god may nat deceyued ben, parde --
     975
Than moot it fallen, theigh men hadde it sworn,
     976
That purueiance hath seyn byfore to be.
     977
Wherfore I sey that from eterne if he
     978
Hath wist byforn oure thought ek as oure dede,
     979
We han no fre chois, as thise clerkes rede.
     980

Stanzas 141 through 150

"ffor other thought, nor other dede also,
     981
Myghte neuere ben, but swich as purueyaunce,
     982
Which may nat ben deceyued neuere mo,
     983
Hath feled byforn, with-outen ignoraunce.
     984
ffor if ther myghte ben a variaunce
     985
To writhen out fro goddis purueyinge,
     986
Ther nere no prescience of thyng comynge.
     987
"But it were rather an opynyoun
     988
Uncerteyn, and no stedfast forseynge;
     989
And certes, that were an abusioun,
     990
That god sholde han no parfit clere wytynge
     991
More than we men that han doutous wenynge:
     992
But swich an errour vp-on god to gesse
     993
Were fals and foul and wikked corsednesse.
     994
"Ek this is an opynyoun of some
     995
That han hire top ful heigh and smothe yshore:
     996
They seyn right thus, that thyng is nat to come
     997
ffor that the prescience hath seyn by-fore
     998
That it shal come; but they seyn that therfore
     999
That it shal come, therfore the purueyaunce
     1000
Woot it byforn, with-outen ignoraunce.
     1001
"And in this manere this necessite
     1002
Retorneth in his part contrarie agayne;
     1003
ffor nedfully byhoueth it nat to bee
     1004
That thilke thynges fallen in certayne
     1005
That ben purueyed; but nedly, as they sayne,
     1006
Byhoueth it that thynges whiche that falle,
     1007
That they in certayn ben purueyed alle.
     1008
"I mene as though I laboured me in this
     1009
To enqueren which thyng cause of which thyng be:
     1010
As wheither that the prescience of god is
     1011
The certeyn cause of the necessite
     1012
Of thynges that to comen ben, parde;
     1013
Or if necessite of thyng comynge
     1014
Be cause certeyn of the purueyinge.
     1015
Page  408
"But now nenforce I me nat in shewynge
     1016
How the ordre of causes stant; but wel woot I
     1017
That it byhoueth that the byfallynge
     1018
Of thynges wiste byforn certeynly
     1019
Be necessarie, al seme it nat therby
     1020
That prescience putte fallynge necessaire
     1021
To thyng to come, al falle it foule or faire.
     1022
"ffor if ther sitte a man ȝond on a see,
     1023
Than by necessite bihoueth it
     1024
That, certes, thyn opynyoun sooth be
     1025
That wenest or coniectest that he sit;
     1026
And further ouere now aȝeynward ȝit,
     1027
Lo, right so is it of the part contrarie,
     1028
As thus -- now herkne, for I wol nat tarie:
     1029
"I sey that if the opynyoun of the
     1030
Be soth for that he sitte, than sey I this:
     1031
That he mot siten by necessite;
     1032
And thus necessite in eyther is.
     1033
ffor in hym nede of sittynge is, ywys,
     1034
And in the nede of soth; aud thus, forsothe,
     1035
There mot necessite ben in ȝow bothe.
     1036
"But thow mayst seyn the man sit nat therfore
     1037
That thyn opynyoun of his sittynge soth is;
     1038
But rather for the man sit ther byfore,
     1039
Therfore is thyn opynyoun soth, ywys.
     1040
And I seye, though the cause of soth of this
     1041
Comth of his sittyng, ȝet necessite
     1042
Is entrechaunged both in hym and the.
     1043
"Thus in the same wise, out of doutaunce,
     1044
I may wel maken, as it semeth me,
     1045
My resonyng of goddes purueyaunce
     1046
And of the thynges that to comen be;
     1047
By which resoun men may wel y-se
     1048
That thilke thynges that in erthe falle,
     1049
That by necessite they comen alle.
     1050

Stanzas 151 through 160

"ffor al-though that, for thynge shal come, y-wys,
     1051
Therfore is it purueyed, certeynly --
     1052
Nat that it comth for it purueyed is --
     1053
Ȝet natheles bihoueth it nedfully
     1054
That thing to come be purueyd, trewely;
     1055
Or elles thynges that purueyed be,
     1056
That they bitiden by necessite.
     1057
Page  410
"And this suffiseth right ynough, certeyn,
     1058
fforto destruye oure fre chois euery del.
     1059
But now is this abusioun to seyn
     1060
That fallyng of the thynges temporel
     1061
Is cause of goddes prescience eternel.
     1062
Now trewely, that is a fals sentence,
     1063
That thyng to come sholde cause his prescience.
     1064
"What myght I wene, and I hadde swich a thought,
     1065
But that god purueyeth thyng that is to come
     1066
ffor that it is to come, and ellis nought?
     1067
So myghte I wene that thynges alle and some,
     1068
That whilom ben byfalle and ouercome,
     1069
Ben cause of thilke souereyne purueyaunce
     1070
That for-woot al with-outen ignoraunce.
     1071
"And ouere al this, ȝet sey I more herto,
     1072
That right as whan I wot ther is a thyng,
     1073
I-wys, that thyng moot nedfully be so;
     1074
Ek right so whan I woot a thyng comyng,
     1075
So mot it come; and thus the bifallyng
     1076
Of thynges that ben wist bifore the tyde,
     1077
They mowe nat ben eschued on no syde."
     1078
Page  412
Thanne seyde he thus, "al-myghty Ioue in trone,
     1079
That woost of al thys thyng the sothfastnesse,
     1080
Rewe on my sorwe and do me deyen sone,
     1081
Or bryng Criseyde and me fro this destresse."
     1082
And whil he was in al this heuynesse,
     1083
Disputyng with hym self in matere,
     1084
Com Pandare in and seyde as ȝe may here.
     1085
"O myghty god," quod Pandarus, "in trone,
     1086
I! who say euere a wis man faren so?
     1087
Whi Troilus, what thinkestow to doone?
     1088
Hastow swich lust to ben thyn owen fo?
     1089
What, perde, ȝet is nat Criseyde a-go!
     1090
Whi list the so thi self fordoon for drede,
     1091
That in thyn hed thyne eyen semen dede?
     1092
"Hastow nat lyued many a ȝer byforn
     1093
With-outen hire and ferd ful wel at ese?
     1094
Artow for hire and for noon other born?
     1095
Hath kynde the wrought al only hire to plese?
     1096
Lat be, and thynk right thus in thi disese:
     1097
That in the dees right as ther fallen chaunces,
     1098
Right so in loue ther come and gon plesaunces.
     1099
"And ȝet this is my wonder moste of alle,
     1100
Whi thow thus sorwest, syn thow nost nat ȝit,
     1101
Touchyng hire goyng, how that it shal falle,
     1102
Ne ȝif she kan hire self destourben it.
     1103
Thow hast nat ȝet assayed al hire wit;
     1104
A man may al by-tyme his nekke beede
     1105
Whan it shal of, and sorwen at the nede.
     1106
"ffor-thi tak hede of that I shal the seye:
     1107
I haue with hire y-spoke and longe y-be,
     1108
So as acorded was bitwixe vs tweye.
     1109
And euere mor me thynketh thus that she
     1110
Hath somwhat in hire hertes priuete,
     1111
Wher-with she kan, if I shal right arede,
     1112
Destourbe al this of which thow art in drede.
     1113
"ffor which my counseil is, what it is nyght,
     1114
Thow to hire go and make of this an ende,
     1115
And blisful Iuno thorugh hire grete myght
     1116
Shal as I hope hire grace vnto vs sende.
     1117
Myn herte seyth certeyn she shal nat wende;
     1118
And forthi put thyn herte a while in reste,
     1119
And holde this purpos, for it is the beste."
     1120

Stanzas 161 through 170

Page  414
This Troilus answered and sighte soore,
     1121
"Thow seist right wel, and I wol don right so."
     1122
And what hym liste, he seyde vn-to it more.
     1123
And whan that it was tyme for to go,
     1124
fful pryuely hym self, with-outen mo,
     1125
Unto hire com as he was wont to doone,
     1126
And how they wroughte, I shal ȝow tellen soone.
     1127
Soth is, that whan they gonnen first mete,
     1128
So gan the peyne hire hertes forto twiste,
     1129
That neyther of hem other myghte grete,
     1130
But hem in armes toke and after kiste.
     1131
The lasse woful of hem bothe nyste
     1132
Wher that he was, ne myghte o word out bryng,
     1133
As I seyde erst, for wo and for sobbyng.
     1134
The woful teeris that they leten falle
     1135
As bittre weren out of teris kynde,
     1136
ffor peyne, as is ligne aloes or galle:
     1137
So bittre teeris weep nought, as I fynde,
     1138
The woful Mirra thorugh the bark and rynde;
     1139
That in this world ther nys so hard an herte
     1140
That nolde han rewed on hire peynes smerte.
     1141
But whan hire woful weri goostes tweyne
     1142
Retourned ben ther as hem owe to dwelle,
     1143
And that somwhat to wayken gan the peyne
     1144
By lengthe of pleynte, and ebben gan the welle
     1145
Of hire teeris and the herte vnswelle,
     1146
With broken vois, al hoors for-shright, Criseyde
     1147
To Troilus thise ilke wordes seyde:
     1148
"O Ioue, I deye, and mercy I beseche!
     1149
Help, Troilus!" and ther-with-al hire face
     1150
Up-on his brest she leyde and loste speche --
     1151
Hire woful spirit from his propre place,
     1152
Right with the word, alwey o poynt to pace --
     1153
And thus she lith with hewes pale and grene,
     1154
That whilom fresshe and fairest was to sene.
     1155
Page  416
This Troilus, that on hire gan biholde,
     1156
Clepyng hire name -- and she lay as for dede,
     1157
Withoute answere, and felte hire lymes colde,
     1158
Hire eyen throwen vpward to hire hede --
     1159
This sorwful man kan now noon other rede,
     1160
But ofte tyme hire colde mowth he kiste:
     1161
Wher hym was wo, god and hym self it wiste!
     1162
He rist hym vp and long streght he hire leyde;
     1163
ffor signe of lif, for aught he kan or may,
     1164
Kan he non fynde in no thyng on Criseyde,
     1165
ffor which his song ful ofte is "weylaway."
     1166
But whan he saugh that specheles she lay,
     1167
With sorweful vois and herte of blisse al bare,
     1168
He seyde how she was fro this worlde y-fare.
     1169
So after that he longe hadde hire compleyned,
     1170
His hondes wrong and seyde that was to seye,
     1171
And with hise teeris salt hire brest byreyned,
     1172
He gan tho teeris wypen of ful dreye,
     1173
And pitously gan for the soule preye,
     1174
And seyde, "O lord that set art in thi trone,
     1175
Rewe ek on me, for I shal folwe hire sone."
     1176
She cold was and with-outen sentement,
     1177
ffor aught he woot, for breth ne felte he non;
     1178
And this was hym a pregnant argument
     1179
That she was forth out of this world a-gon.
     1180
And whan he say ther was non other woon,
     1181
He gan hire lymes dresse in swich manere
     1182
As men don hem that shal ben layde on beere.
     1183
And after this with sterne and cruel herte,
     1184
His swerd anon out of his shethe he twighte,
     1185
Hym self to slen, how sore that hym smerte,
     1186
So that his soule hire soule folwen myghte,
     1187
Ther as the doom of Mynos wolde it dighte;
     1188
Syn loue and cruel fortune it ne wolde,
     1189
That in this world he lenger lyuen sholde.
     1190

Stanzas 171 through 180

Than seyde he thus, fulfild of heigh desdayn,
     1191
"O cruel Ioue, and thow fortune aduerse,
     1192
This al and som, that falsly haue ȝe slayn
     1193
Criseyde, and syn ȝe may do me no werse,
     1194
ffy on ȝoure myghte and werkes so dyuerse!
     1195
Thus cowardly ȝe shul me neuere wynne;
     1196
Ther shal no deth me fro my lady twynne.
     1197
Page  418
"ffor I this world, syn ȝe haue slayn hire thus,
     1198
Wol lete and folwe hire spirit low or hye;
     1199
Shal neuere louere seyn that Troilus
     1200
Dar nat for fere with his lady dye;
     1201
ffor certeyn, I wol beere hire compaignie.
     1202
But syn ȝe wol nat suffre vs lyuen here,
     1203
Ȝet suffreth that oure soules ben y-fere.
     1204
"And thow, Cite, which that I leue in wo,
     1205
And thow, Priam, and bretheren alle yfeere,
     1206
And thow, my Moder, far wel, for I go;
     1207
And Atropos, make redy thow my beere.
     1208
And thow Criseyde, O swete herte deere,
     1209
Receyue now my spirit," wolde he seye,
     1210
With swerd at herte, al redy forto deye.
     1211
But as god wolde, of swough therwith shabreyde,
     1212
And gan to sike and "Troilus" she cride,
     1213
And he answerde, "lady myn, Criseyde,
     1214
Lyue ȝe ȝeet?" and leet his swerd down glide.
     1215
"Ȝe, herte myn, that thonked be Cipride,"
     1216
Quod she, and ther-with-al she soore syghte,
     1217
And he bigan to glad hire as he myghte;
     1218
Took hire in armes two and kiste hire ofte,
     1219
And hire to glade he did al his entente;
     1220
ffor which hire goost, that flikered ay o-lofte,
     1221
In-to hire woful herte aȝeyn it wente.
     1222
But at the laste, as that hire eye glente
     1223
A-syde, anon she gan his swerd espie,
     1224
As it lay bare, and gan for fere crye,
     1225
And asked hym whi he it hadde out drawe?
     1226
And Troilus anon the cause hire tolde,
     1227
And how hym self therwith he wolde han slawe;
     1228
ffor which Criseyde vp-on hym gan biholde,
     1229
And gan hym in hire armes faste folde,
     1230
And seyde, "O mercy, god, lo, which a dede!
     1231
Ailas, how neigh we weren bothe dede!
     1232
"Than if I nadde spoken, as grace was,
     1233
Ȝe wolde han slayn ȝoure self auon?" quod she.
     1234
"Ȝee, douteles"; and she answerde, "allas,
     1235
ffor by that ilke lord that made me,
     1236
I nolde a forlong wey on lyue haue be
     1237
After ȝoure deth, to han ben crowned Queene
     1238
Of al that lond the sonne on shyneth sheene.
     1239
Page  420
"But with this selue swerd which that here is,
     1240
My selue I wolde han slayne," quod she tho.
     1241
"But hoo, for we han right ynough of this,
     1242
And lat vs rise and streght to bedde go,
     1243
Aud there lat vs speken of oure wo --
     1244
ffor by the morter which that I se brenne,
     1245
Knowe I ful wel that day is nat far henne."
     1246
Whan they were in hire bed in armes folde,
     1247
Naught was it lik tho nyghtes here by-forn;
     1248
ffor pitously ech other gan by-holde,
     1249
As they that hadden al hire blisse y-lorn,
     1250
Bywaylinge ay the day that they were born,
     1251
Til at the laste this sorwful wight Criseyde
     1252
To Troilus thise ilke wordes seyde:
     1253
"Lo, herte myn, wel woot ȝe this," quod she,
     1254
"That if a wight alwey his wo compleyne,
     1255
And seketh nought how holpen forto be,
     1256
It nys but folie and encresse of peyne;
     1257
And syn that here assembled be we tweyne,
     1258
To fynde boote of wo that we ben inne,
     1259
It were al tyme soone to bygynne.
     1260

Stanzas 181 through 190

"I am a womman, as ful wel ȝe woot,
     1261
And as I am auysed sodeynly,
     1262
So wol I telle ȝow while it is hoot:
     1263
Me thynketh thus, that nouther ȝe nor I
     1264
Ought half this wo to maken skilfully;
     1265
ffor ther is art ynough forto redresse
     1266
That ȝet is mys and slen this heuynesse.
     1267
"Soth is, the wo the which that we ben inne,
     1268
ffor aught I woot, for no-thyng ellis is
     1269
But for the cause that we sholden twynne:
     1270
Considered al, ther nys namore amys.
     1271
But what is thanne a remede vnto this,
     1272
But that we shape vs soone forto meete?
     1273
This al and som, my deere herte sweete.
     1274
"Now that I shal wel bryngen it a-boute
     1275
To come aȝeyn soone after that I go,
     1276
Ther-of am I no manere thyng in doute;
     1277
ffor dredeles, with-inne a wowke or two,
     1278
I shal ben here; and that it may be so
     1279
By alle right and in a wordes fewe,
     1280
I shal ȝow wel an heep of weyes shewe.
     1281
Page  422
"ffor which I wol nat make long sermoun,
     1282
ffor tyme y-lost may nought recouered be;
     1283
But I wol gon to my conclusioun,
     1284
And to the beste in aught that I kan see.
     1285
And for the loue of god forȝeue it me,
     1286
If I speke aught aȝeyns ȝoure hertes reste;
     1287
ffor trewely, I speke it for the beste,
     1288
"Makyng alwey a protestacioun
     1289
That now thise wordes which that I shal seye,
     1290
Nis but to shewen ȝow my mocioun
     1291
To fynde vnto oure help the beste weye;
     1292
And taketh it non other wise, I preye.
     1293
ffor in effect what so ȝe me comaunde,
     1294
That wol I don, for that is no demaunde.
     1295
"Now herkneth this: ȝe han wel vnderstonde,
     1296
My goyng graunted is by parlement
     1297
So ferforth that it may nat be withstonde
     1298
ffor al this world, as by my iugement;
     1299
And syn ther helpeth non auisement
     1300
To letten it, lat it passe out of mynde,
     1301
And lat vs shape a bettre wey to fynde.
     1302
"The soth is this: the twynnyng of vs tweyne
     1303
Wol vs disese and cruelich anoye;
     1304
But hym byhoueth som tyme han a peyne,
     1305
That serueth loue, if that he wol haue ioye.
     1306
And syn I shal no ferther out of Troie
     1307
Than I may ride aȝeyn on half a morwe,
     1308
It oughte lesse causen vs to sorwe.
     1309
"So as I shal not so ben hid in muwe,
     1310
That day by day, myn owne herte deere,
     1311
Syn wel ȝe woot that it is now a trewe,
     1312
Ȝe shal ful wel al myn estat y-heere.
     1313
And er that trewe is doon I shal ben heere;
     1314
And thanne haue ȝe both Antenore y-wonne,
     1315
And me also; beth glad now if ȝe konne.
     1316
"And thenk right thus, "Criseyde is now agon,
     1317
But what! she shal come hastiliche aȝeyn.'
     1318
And whanne, allas? by god, lo, right anon,
     1319
Er dayes ten, this dar I saufly seyn.
     1320
And than at erste shal we be so feyn,
     1321
So as we shal to-gideres euere dwelle,
     1322
That al this world ne myghte oure blisse telle.
     1323
Page  424
"I se that ofte tyme there as we ben now,
     1324
That for the beste oure counseyl for to hide,
     1325
Ȝe speke nat with me nor I with ȝow
     1326
In fourtenyght, ne se ȝow go ne ride.
     1327
May ȝe naught ten dayes thanne abide,
     1328
ffor myn honour in swich an auenture?
     1329
I-wys, ȝe mowen ellis lite endure.
     1330

Stanzas 191 through 200

"Ȝe knowe ek how that al my kynne is heere,
     1331
But if that onliche it my fader be,
     1332
And ek myn othere thynges alle yfeere --
     1333
And nameliche, my deere herte, ȝe,
     1334
Whom that I nolde leuen forto se
     1335
ffor al this world, as wyde as it hath space --
     1336
Or ellis se ich neuere Ioues face.
     1337
"Whi trowe ȝe my fader in this wise
     1338
Coueyteth so to se me, but for drede
     1339
Lest in this town that folkes me despise
     1340
By-cause of hym for his vnhappy dede?
     1341
What woot my fader what lif that I lede?
     1342
ffor if he wiste in Troie how wel I fare,
     1343
Us neded for my wendyng nought to care.
     1344
"Ȝe sen that euery day ek more and more
     1345
Men trete of pees and it supposid is
     1346
That men the queene Eleyne shal restore,
     1347
And Grekis vs restoren that is mys;
     1348
So though ther nere comfort non but this,
     1349
That men purposen pees on euery syde,
     1350
Ȝe may the bettre at ese of herte abyde.
     1351
"ffor if that it be pees, myn herte deere,
     1352
The nature of the pees moot nedes dryue
     1353
That men moost entrecomunen yfeere,
     1354
And to and fro ek ride and gon as blyue
     1355
Alday as thikke as been fleen from an hyue,
     1356
And euery wight han liberte to bleue
     1357
Where-as hym liste the bet withouten leue.
     1358
"And though so be that pees ther may be non,
     1359
Ȝet hider, though ther neuere pees ne were,
     1360
I moste come; for whider sholde I gon,
     1361
Or how meschaunce sholde I dwelle there
     1362
Among tho men of armes euere in feere?
     1363
ffor which, as wisly god my soule rede,
     1364
I kan nat sen wher-of ȝe sholden drede.
     1365
Page  426
"Haue here another wey, if it so be
     1366
That al this thyng ne may ȝow nat suffise:
     1367
My fader as ȝe knowen wel, parde,
     1368
Is old, and elde is ful of coueytise;
     1369
And I right now haue founden al the gise,
     1370
With-outen net, wherwith I shal hym hente;
     1371
And herkeneth how, if that ȝe wol assente.
     1372
"Lo, Troilus, men seyn that hard it is
     1373
The wolf ful and the wether hool to haue;
     1374
This is to seyn, that men ful ofte, i-wys,
     1375
Mote spenden part the remenant for to saue;
     1376
ffor ay with gold men may the herte graue
     1377
Of hym that set is vp-on coueytise;
     1378
And how I mene, I shal it ȝow deuyse.
     1379
"The moeble which that I haue in this town
     1380
Unto my fader shal I take and seye
     1381
That right for trust and for sauacioun
     1382
It sent is from a frend of his or tweye,
     1383
The whiche frendes feruentliche hym preye
     1384
To senden after more and that in hie,
     1385
Whil that this town stant thus in iupartie.
     1386
"And that shal ben an huge quantite --
     1387
Thus shal I seyn -- but lest it folk aspide,
     1388
This may be sent by no wyght but by me.
     1389
I shal ek shewen hym, yf pes by-tyde,
     1390
What frendes that ich haue on euery syde
     1391
Toward the Court, to don the wrathe pace
     1392
Of Priamus and don hym stonde in grace.
     1393
"So what for o thyng and for other, swete,
     1394
I shal hym so enchaunten with my sawes,
     1395
That right in heuene his sowle is, shal he mete;
     1396
ffor al Appollo or his clerkes lawes,
     1397
Or calkullynge, auayleth nought thre hawes;
     1398
Desir of gold shal so his soule blende,
     1399
That as me lyst I shal wel make an ende.
     1400

Stanzas 201 through 210

"And yf he wolde ought by hys sort it preue
     1401
If that I lye, in certayn I shal fonde
     1402
Distorben hym and plukke hym by the sleue,
     1403
Makynge his sort, and beren hym on honde
     1404
He hath not wel the goddes vnderstonde;
     1405
ffor goddes speken in amphibologies,
     1406
And for a soth they tellen twenty lyes.
     1407
Page  428
"Eke drede fond first goddes, I suppose --
     1408
Thus shal I seyn -- and that his coward herte
     1409
Made hym amys the goddes text to glose,
     1410
Whan he for fered out of Delphos sterte.
     1411
And but I make hym soone to conuerte,
     1412
And don my rede with-inne a day or tweye,
     1413
I wol to ȝow oblige me to deye."
     1414
And treweliche, as writen wel I fynde,
     1415
That al this thyng was seyd of good entente;
     1416
And that hire herte trewe was and kynde
     1417
Towardes hym and spak right as she mente,
     1418
And that she starf for wo neigh whan she wente,
     1419
And was in purpos euere to be trewe:
     1420
Thus writen they that of hire werkes knewe.
     1421
This Troilus, with herte and erys spradde,
     1422
Herde al this thyng deuysen to and fro,
     1423
And verrayliche hym semed that he hadde
     1424
The selue wit, but ȝet to late hire go
     1425
His herte mys-forȝaf hym euere mo.
     1426
But fynaly he gan his herte wreste
     1427
To trusten hire and took it for the beste.
     1428
ffor which the grete furie of his penaunce
     1429
Was queynt with hope, and therwith hem bitwene
     1430
Bigan for ioie thamorouse daunce;
     1431
And as the briddes whanne the sonne is shene
     1432
Deliten in hire song in leues grene,
     1433
Right so the wordes that they spake y-feere
     1434
Delited hem and made hire hertes clere.
     1435
But natheles, the wendyng of Criseyde
     1436
ffor al this world may nat out of his mynde;
     1437
ffor which ful ofte he pitously hire preyde
     1438
That of hire heste he myghte hire trewe fynde,
     1439
And seyde hire, "certes, if ȝe be vnkynde,
     1440
And but ȝe come at day set in-to Troye,
     1441
Ne shal I neuere haue hele, honour ne ioye.
     1442
"ffor also soth as sonne vp-rist o-morwe,
     1443
And god so wisly thow me, woful wrecche,
     1444
To reste brynge out of this cruel sorwe,
     1445
I wol my seluen sle if that ȝe drecche.
     1446
But of my deth though litel be to recche,
     1447
Ȝet er that ȝe me causen so to smerte,
     1448
Dwelle rather here, myn owen swete herte.
     1449
Page  430
"ffor trewely, myn owne lady deere,
     1450
Tho sleghtes ȝit that I haue herd ȝow stere
     1451
fful shaply ben to faylen alle y-feere.
     1452
ffor thus men seyth: "that on thenketh the beere,
     1453
But al another thenketh his ledere.'
     1454
Ȝoure syre is wys, and seyd is out of drede:
     1455
"Men may the wise at-renne and naught atrede.'
     1456
"It is ful hard to halten vnespied
     1457
Byfore a crepel, for he kan the crafte;
     1458
Ȝoure fader is in sleght as Argus eyed;
     1459
ffor al be that his moeble is hym birafte,
     1460
His olde sleighte is ȝet so with hym lafte:
     1461
Ȝe shal nat blende hym for ȝoure wommanhede,
     1462
Ne feyne aright, and that is al my drede.
     1463
"I not if pees shal euere mo bitide;
     1464
But pees or no, for ernest ne for game,
     1465
I woot, syn Calkas on the Grekis syde
     1466
Hath ones ben, and lost so foule his name,
     1467
He dar nomore come here aȝeyn for shame;
     1468
ffor which that wey, for aught I kan espie,
     1469
To trusten on nys but a fantasie.
     1470

Stanzas 211 through 220

"Ȝe shal ek sen ȝoure fader shal ȝow glose
     1471
To ben a wif and, as he kan wel preche,
     1472
He shal som Grek so preyse and wel allose,
     1473
That rauysshen he shal ȝow with his speche,
     1474
Or do ȝow don by force as he shal teche;
     1475
And Troilus, of whom ȝe nyl han routhe,
     1476
Shal causeles so steruen in his trouthe.
     1477
"And ouere al this, ȝoure fader shal despise
     1478
Us alle and seyn this Cite nys but lorne,
     1479
And that thassege neuere shal aryse,
     1480
ffor whi the Grekis han it alle sworne,
     1481
Tyl we be slayn and down oure walles torne.
     1482
And thus he shal ȝow with his wordes fere,
     1483
That ay drede I that ȝe wol bleuen there.
     1484
"Ȝe shal ek seen so many a lusty knyghte
     1485
Amonge the Grekis, ful of worthynesse,
     1486
And ech of hem with herte, wit and myghte,
     1487
To plesen ȝow don al his bisynesse,
     1488
That ȝe shul dullen of the rudenesse
     1489
Of vs sely Troians, but if routhe
     1490
Remorde ȝow or vertue of ȝoure trouthe.
     1491
Page  432
"And this to me so greuous is to thynke,
     1492
That fro my brest it wol my soule rende;
     1493
Ne dredeles in me ther may nat synke
     1494
A good opynyoun if that ȝe wende;
     1495
ffor whi ȝoure fadres sleghte wol vs shende.
     1496
And if ȝe gon, as I haue told ȝow ȝore,
     1497
So thenk I nam but ded, with-oute more.
     1498
"ffor which with humble, trewe and pitous herte,
     1499
A thousand tymes mercy I ȝow preye;
     1500
So rueth on myn aspre peynes smerte,
     1501
And doth somwhat as that I shal ȝow seye,
     1502
And lat vs stele awey bitwixe vs tweye;
     1503
And thynk that folie is whan man may chese,
     1504
ffor accident his substaunce ay to lese.
     1505
"I mene thus, that syn we mowe er day
     1506
Wel stele awey and ben togidere so,
     1507
What wit were it to putten in assay,
     1508
In cas ȝe sholden to ȝoure fader go,
     1509
If that ȝe myghten come aȝeyn or no?
     1510
Thus mene I, that it were a gret folie
     1511
To putte that sikernesse in iupertie.
     1512
"And vulgarly to speken of substaunce,
     1513
Of tresour may we bothe with vs lede
     1514
I-nough to lyue in honour and plesaunce
     1515
Til in-to tyme that we shal ben dede;
     1516
And thus we may eschuen al this drede.
     1517
ffor euerich other wey ȝe kan recorde,
     1518
Myn herte, ywys, may therwith naught acorde.
     1519
"And hardily, ne dredeth no pouerte,
     1520
ffor I haue kyn and frendes elles-where,
     1521
That though we comen in oure bare sherte,
     1522
Us sholde neyther lakken gold ne gere,
     1523
But ben honured while we dwelten there.
     1524
And go we anon, for as in myn entente,
     1525
This is the beste, if that ȝe wol assente."
     1526
Criseyde, with a sik right in this wise,
     1527
Answerde, "y-wys, my deere herte trewe,
     1528
We may wel stele awey as ȝe deuyse,
     1529
And fynden swich vnthrifty weyes newe;
     1530
But afterward ful soore it wol vs rewe,
     1531
And helpe me god so at my mooste nede,
     1532
As causeles ȝe suffren al this drede.
     1533
Page  434
"ffor thilke day that I for cherisyng
     1534
Or drede of fader, or for other wight,
     1535
Or for estat, delit or for weddyng,
     1536
Be fals to ȝow, my Troilus, my knyght,
     1537
Saturnes doughter, Iuno, thorugh hire myght,
     1538
As wood as Athamante do me dwelle
     1539
Eternalich in Stix, the put of helle.
     1540

Stanzas 221 through 230

"And this on euery god celestial
     1541
I swere it ȝow and ek on eche goddesse,
     1542
On euery nymphe and deite infernal,
     1543
On satiry and fawny more and lesse,
     1544
That halue goddes ben of wildernesse;
     1545
And Attropos my thred of lif to-breste,
     1546
If I be fals -- now trowe me if ȝow leste.
     1547
"And thow Symois, that as an arwe clere
     1548
Thorugh Troie ay rennest downward to the se,
     1549
Ber witnesse of this word that seyd is here,
     1550
That thilke day that ich vntrewe be
     1551
To Troilus, myn owene herte fre,
     1552
That thow retourne bakward to thi welle,
     1553
And I with body and soule synke in helle.
     1554
"But that ȝe speke awey thus forto go
     1555
And leten alle ȝoure frendes, god forbede,
     1556
ffor any womman that ȝe sholden so,
     1557
And namely syn Troie hath now swich nede
     1558
Of help; and ek of o thyng taketh hede:
     1559
If this were wist, my lif lay in balaunce,
     1560
And ȝoure honour -- god shilde us fro meschaunce!
     1561
"And if so be that pees heere after take,
     1562
As alday happeth after anger game,
     1563
Whi, lord, the sorwe and wo ȝe wolden make,
     1564
That ȝe ne dorste come aȝeyn for shame;
     1565
And er that ȝe iuperten so ȝoure name,
     1566
Beth naught to hastif in this hoote fare --
     1567
ffor hastif man ne wanteth neuere care.
     1568
Page  436
"What trowe ȝe the peple ek al aboute
     1569
Wolde of it seye? It is ful light tarede:
     1570
They wolden seye and swere and it out of doute
     1571
That loue ne drof ȝow naught to don this dede,
     1572
But lust voluptuous and coward drede.
     1573
Thus were al lost, ywys, myn herte deere,
     1574
Ȝoure honour which that now shyneth so clere.
     1575
"And also thynketh on myn honeste,
     1576
That floureth ȝet, how foule I sholde it shende,
     1577
And with what filthe it spotted sholde be,
     1578
If in this forme I sholde with ȝow wende;
     1579
Ne though I lyued vnto the werldes ende,
     1580
My name sholde I neuere aȝeynward wynne:
     1581
Thus were I lost, and that were routhe and synne.
     1582
"And for-thi sle with resoun al this hete;
     1583
Men seyn, 'the suffrant ouercomith,' parde;
     1584
Ek 'who-so wole han lief, he lief moot lete.'
     1585
Thus maketh vertue of necessite
     1586
By pacience, and thynk that lord is he
     1587
Of fortune ay that naught wole of hire recche;
     1588
And she ne daunteth no wight but a wrecche.
     1589
Page  438
"And trusteth this, that certes, herte swete,
     1590
Er Phebus suster, Lucina the sheene,
     1591
The leoun passe out of this Ariete,
     1592
I wol ben here withouten any wene:
     1593
I mene, as helpe me Iuno, heuenes quene,
     1594
The tenthe day, but if that deth messaile,
     1595
I wol ȝow sen with-outen any faille."
     1596
"And now, so this be soth," quod Troilus,
     1597
"I shal wel suffre vnto the tenthe day,
     1598
Syn that I se that nede it mot be thus.
     1599
But for the loue of god, if it be may,
     1600
So late vs stelen priueliche away;
     1601
ffor euere in oon, as forto liue in reste,
     1602
Myn herte seyth that it wol be the beste."
     1603
"O mercy, god, what lif is this?" quod she,
     1604
"Allas, ȝe sle me thus for verray tene.
     1605
I se wel now that ȝe mystrusten me,
     1606
ffor by ȝoure wordes it is wel yseene.
     1607
Now for the loue of Cinthia the sheene,
     1608
Mistrust me nought thus causeles for routhe,
     1609
Syn to be trewe I haue ȝow plight my trouthe.
     1610

Stanzas 231 through 243

"And thynketh wel that som tyme it is wit
     1611
To spende a tyme a tyme forto wynne;
     1612
Ne, parde, lorn am I naught fro ȝow ȝit,
     1613
Though that we ben a day or two atwynne.
     1614
Drif out tho fantasies ȝow with-inne,
     1615
And trusteth me and leueth ek ȝoure sorwe,
     1616
Or here my trouthe, I wol naught lyue tyl morwe.
     1617
"ffor if ȝe wiste how soore it doth me smerte,
     1618
Ȝe wolde cesse of this; for god thow woste,
     1619
The pure spirit wepeth in myn herte
     1620
To se ȝow wepen that I loue moste,
     1621
And that I mot gon to the Grekis ooste.
     1622
Ȝe, nere it that I wiste remedie
     1623
To come aȝeyn, right here I wolde dye.
     1624
"But certes, I am naught so nyce a wight
     1625
That I ne kan ymaginen a wey
     1626
To come aȝeyn that day that I haue hight,
     1627
ffor who may holde a thing that wol awey?
     1628
My fader naught, for al his queynte pley.
     1629
And by my thrift, my wendyng out of Troie
     1630
A-nother day shal torne vs alle to ioie.
     1631
Page  440
"fforthi with al myn herte I ȝow biseke,
     1632
If that ȝow list don ought for my preyere,
     1633
And for that loue which that I loue ȝow eke,
     1634
That er that I deperte fro ȝow here,
     1635
That of so good a confort and a cheere
     1636
I may ȝow sen, that ȝe may brynge at reste
     1637
Myn herte which that is o poynt to breste.
     1638
"And ouere al this I prey ȝow," quod she tho,
     1639
"Myn owene hertes sothfast suffisaunce,
     1640
Syn I am thyn al hol with-outen mo,
     1641
That whil that I am absent no plesaunce
     1642
Of oother do me fro ȝoure remembraunce:
     1643
ffor I am euere agast, for why men rede
     1644
That loue is thyng ay ful of bisy drede.
     1645
"ffor in this world ther lyueth lady non,
     1646
If that ȝe were vntrewe, as god defende,
     1647
That so bitraised were or wo bigon
     1648
As I, that alle trouthe in ȝow entende.
     1649
And douteles, if that ich other wende,
     1650
I ner but ded, and er ȝe cause fynde,
     1651
ffor goddes loue, so beth me naught vnkynde."
     1652
To this answerde Troilus and seyde,
     1653
"Now god, to whom ther nys no cause y-wrye,
     1654
Me glad, as wys I neuere vnto Criseyde,
     1655
Syn thilke day I saugh hire first with ye,
     1656
Was fals ne neuere shal til that I dye.
     1657
At shorte wordes, wel ȝe may me leue;
     1658
I kan namore, it shal be founde at preue."
     1659
"Grant mercy, goode myn, i-wys," quod she,
     1660
"And blisful Venus lat me neuere sterue
     1661
Er I may stonde of plesaunce in degree
     1662
To quyte hym wel that so wel kan deserue;
     1663
And while that god my wit wol me conserue,
     1664
I shal so don, so trewe I haue ȝow founde,
     1665
That ay honour to meward shal rebounde.
     1666
"ffor trusteth wel that ȝoure estat roiale,
     1667
Ne veyn delit nor only worthinesse
     1668
Of ȝow in werre or torney marciale,
     1669
Ne pompe, array, nobleye or ek richesse,
     1670
Ne made me to rewe on ȝoure destresse;
     1671
But moral vertue grounded vp-on trouthe,
     1672
That was the cause I first hadde on ȝow routhe.
     1673
Page  442
"Eke gentil herte and manhod that ȝe hadde,
     1674
And that ȝe hadde, as me thoughte, in despit
     1675
Euery thyng that souned in-to badde,
     1676
As rudenesse and poeplissh appetit,
     1677
And that ȝoure resoun bridlede ȝoure delit;
     1678
This made, abouen euery creature,
     1679
That I was ȝoure and shal while I may dure.
     1680
"And this may lengthe of ȝeres naught fordo,
     1681
Ne remuable fortune deface;
     1682
But Iuppiter that of his myght may do
     1683
The sorwful to be glad, so ȝeue vs grace,
     1684
Or nyghtes ten to meten in this place,
     1685
So that it may ȝoure herte and myn suffise;
     1686
And fareth now wel, for tyme is that ȝe rise."
     1687
And after that they longe ypleyned hadde,
     1688
And ofte ykist and streite in armes folde,
     1689
The day gan rise and Troilus hym cladde,
     1690
And rewfullich his lady gan byholde,
     1691
As he that felte dethes cares colde,
     1692
And to hire grace he gan hym recomaunde:
     1693
Wher hym was wo, this holde I no demaunde.
     1694
ffor mannes hed ymagynen ne kan,
     1695
Nentendement considere, ne tonge telle
     1696
The cruele peynes of this sorwful man,
     1697
That passen euery torment down in helle.
     1698
ffor whan he saugh that she ne myghte dwelle,
     1699
Which that his soule out of his herte rente,
     1700
With-outen more out of the chaumbre he wente.
     1701
Explicit liber quartus.