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

Stanzas 251 through 260

Gret was the sorwe and pleynte of Troilus;
     1744
But forth hire cours fortune ay gan to holde.
     1745
Criseyde loueth the sone of Tideus,
     1746
And Troilus moot wepe in cares colde.
     1747
Swich is this world, who-so it kan byholde;
     1748
In ech estat is litel hertes reste;
     1749
God leue vs forto take it for the beste.
     1750
In many cruel bataille, out of drede,
     1751
Of Troilus, this ilke noble knyght,
     1752
As men may in thise olde bokes rede,
     1753
Was seen his knyghthod and his grete myght;
     1754
And dredeles, his ire day and nyght
     1755
fful cruwely the Grekis ay aboughte,
     1756
And alwey moost this Diomede he soughte.
     1757
And ofte tyme I fynde that they mette
     1758
With blody strokes and with wordes grete,
     1759
Assayinge how hire speres weren whette;
     1760
And god it woot, with many a cruel hete
     1761
Gan Troilus vp-on his helm to bete.
     1762
But natheles, fortune it naught ne wolde
     1763
Of oothers hond that eyther deyen sholde.
     1764
Page  556
And if I hadde ytaken forto write
     1765
The armes of this ilke worthi man,
     1766
Than wolde ich of his batailles endite;
     1767
But for that I to writen first bigan
     1768
Of his loue, I haue seyd as I kan --
     1769
Hise worthi dedes, who-so list hem heere,
     1770
Rede Dares, he kan telle hem alle i-feere --
     1771
Bysechyng euery lady bright of hewe,
     1772
And euery gentil womman, what she be,
     1773
That al be that Criseyde was vntrewe,
     1774
That for that gilt she be nat wroth with me:
     1775
Ȝe may hire gilt in other bokes se,
     1776
And gladlier I wol write, if ȝow leste,
     1777
Penelopes trouthe and good Alceste.
     1778
Ny sey nat this al oonly for thise men,
     1779
But moost for wommen that bitraised be
     1780
Thorugh false folk; god ȝeue hem sorwe, amen!
     1781
That with hire grete wit and subtilte
     1782
Bytraise ȝow; and this commeueth me
     1783
To speke, and in effect ȝow alle I preye,
     1784
Beth war of men, and herkneth what I seye.
     1785
Go, litel boke, go, litel myn tragedye,
     1786
Ther god thi makere ȝet, er that he dye,
     1787
So sende myght to make in some comedye;
     1788
But litel book, no makyng thow nenvie,
     1789
But subgit be to alle Poyesye,
     1790
And kis the steppes where as thow seest space
     1791
Uirgile, Ouide, Omer, Lucan and Stace.
     1792
And for ther is so gret diuersite
     1793
In Englissh and in writyng of oure tonge,
     1794
So prey I god that non myswrite the,
     1795
Ne the mysmetre for defaute of tonge.
     1796
And red wher-so thow [MS ȝow] or elles songe,
     1797
That thow be vnderstonde, god I biseche.
     1798
But ȝet to purpos of my rather speche --
     1799
The wrath as I bigan ȝow for to seye
     1800
Of Troilus the Grekis boughten deere;
     1801
ffor thousandes hise hondes maden deye,
     1802
As he that was with-outen any peere,
     1803
Saue Ector in his tyme as I kan heere;
     1804
But weilawey, saue only goddes wille,
     1805
Despitously hym slough the fierse Achille.
     1806
Page  558
And whan that he was slayn in this manere,
     1807
His lighte goost ful blisfully is went
     1808
Up to the holughnesse of the eighthe spere,
     1809
In conuers letyng euerich element;
     1810
And ther he saugh with ful auysement
     1811
The erratik sterres, herkenyng armonye
     1812
With sownes ful of heuenyssh melodie.
     1813