'O blake night, as folk in bokes rede, That shapen art by god this world to hyde 1430 At certeyn tymes with thy derke wede, That under that men mighte in reste abyde, Wel oughte bestes pleyne, and folk thee chyde, That there-as day with labour wolde us breste, That thou thus fleest, and deynest us nought reste! 1435
'Thou dost, allas! To shortly thyn offyce, Thou rakel night, ther god, makere of kinde, Thee, for thyn hast and thyn unkinde vyce, So faste ay to our hemi-spere binde. That never-more under the ground thou winde! 1440 For now, for thou so hyest out of Troye, Have I forgon thus hastily my Ioye!'
This Troilus, that with tho wordes felte, As thoughte him tho, for pietous distresse, The blody teres from his herte melte, 1445 As he that never yet swich hevinesse Assayed hadde, out of so greet gladnesse, Gan therwith-al Criseyde his lady dere In armes streyne, and seyde in this manere: —
'O cruel day, accusour of the Ioye 1450 That night and love han stole and faste y-wryen, A-cursed be thy coming in-to Troye, For every bore hath oon of thy bright yen! Envyous day, what list thee so to spyen? What hastow lost, why sekestow this place, 1455 Ther god thy lyght so quenche, for his grace?
'Allas! What han thise loveres thee agilt, Dispitous day? Thyn be the pyne of helle! For many a lovere hastow shent, and wilt; Thy pouring in wol no-wher lete hem dwelle. 1460 What proferestow thy light here for to selle? Go selle it hem that smale seles graven, We wol thee nought, us nedeth no day haven.'
And eek the sonne Tytan gan he chyde, And seyde, 'O fool, wel may men thee dispyse, 1465 That hast the Dawing al night by thy syde, And suffrest hir so sone up fro thee ryse, For to disesen loveres in this wyse. What! Holde your bed ther, thou, and eek thy Morwe! I bidde god, so yeve yow bothe sorwe!' 1470
Therwith ful sore he sighte, and thus he seyde, 'My lady right, and of my wele or wo The welle and rote, O goodly myn, Criseyde, And shal I ryse, allas! And shal I go? Now fele I that myn herte moot a-two! 1475 For how sholde I my lyf an houre save, Sin that with yow is al the lyf I have?
'What shal I doon, for certes, I not how, Ne whanne, allas! I shal the tyme see, That in this plyt I may be eft with yow; 1480 And of my lyf, god woot, how that shal be, Sin that desyr right now so byteth me, That I am deed anoon, but I retourne. How sholde I longe, allas! Fro yow soiourne?
'But nathelees, myn owene lady bright, 1485 Yit were it so that I wiste outrely, That I, your humble servaunt and your knight, Were in your herte set so fermely As ye in myn, the which thing, trewely, Me lever were than thise worldes tweyne, 1490 Yet sholde I bet enduren al my peyne.'
To that Cryseyde answerde right anoon, And with a syk she seyde, 'O herte dere, The game, y-wis, so ferforth now is goon, That first shal Phebus falle fro his spere, 1495 And every egle been the dowves fere, And every roche out of his place sterte, Er Troilus out of Criseydes herte!
'Ye he so depe in-with myn herte grave, That, though I wolde it turne out of my thought, 1500 As wisly verray god my soule save, To dyen in the peyne, I coude nought! And, for the love of god that us bath wrought, Lat in your brayn non other fantasye So crepe, that it cause me to dye! 1505
'And that ye me wolde han as faste in minde As I have yow, that wolde I yow bi-seche; And, if I wiste soothly that to finde, God mighte not a poynt my Ioyes eche! But, herte myn, with-oute more speche, 1510 Beth to me trewe, or elles were it routhe; For I am thyn, by god and by my trouthe!
'Beth glad for-thy, and live in sikernesse; Thus seyde I never er this, ne shal to mo; And if to yow it were a gret gladnesse 1515 To turne ayein, soone after that ye go, As fayn wolde I as ye, it were so, As wisly god myn herte bringe at reste!' And him in armes took, and ofte keste.
Agayns his wil, sin it mot nedes be, 1520 This Troilus up roos, and faste him cledde, And in his armes took his lady free An hundred tyme, and on his wey him spedde, And with swich wordes as his herte bledde, He seyde, 'Farewel, mr dere herte swete, 1525 Ther god us graunte sounde and sone to mete!'
To which no word for sorwe she answerde, So sore gan his parting hir destreyne; And Troilus un-to his palays ferde, As woo bigon as she was, sooth to seyne; 1530 So hard him wrong of sharp desyr the peyne For to ben eft there he was in plesaunce, That it may never out of his remembraunce.
Retorned to his real palais, sone He softe in-to his bed gan for to slinke, 1535 To slepe longe, as he was wont to done, But al for nought; he may wel ligge and winke, But sleep ne may ther in his herte sinke; Thenkinge how she, for whom desyr him brende, A thousand-fold was worth more than he wende. 1540
And in his thought gan up and doun to winde Hir wordes alle, and every countenaunce, And fermely impressen in his minde The leste poynt that to him was plesaunce; And verrayliche, of thilke remembraunce, 1545 Desyr al newe him brende, and lust to brede Gan more than erst, and yet took he non hede.
Criseyde also, right in the same wyse, Of Troilus gan in hir herte shette His worthinesse, his lust, his dedes wyse, 1550 His gentilesse, and how she with him mette, Thonkinge love he so wel hir bisette; Desyring eft to have hir herte dere In swich a plyt, she dorste make him chere.
Pandare, a-morwe which that comen was 1555 Un-to his nece, and gan hir fayre grete, Seyde, 'Al this night so reyned it, allas! That al my drede is that ye, nece swete, Han litel layser had to slepe and mete; Al night,' quod he, 'hath reyn so do me wake, 1560 That som of us, I trowe, hir hedes ake.'
And ner he com, and seyde, 'How stont it now This mery morwe, nece, how can ye fare?' Criseyde answerde, 'Never the bet for yow, Fox that ye been, god yeve youre herte care! 1565 God help me so, ye caused al this fare, Trow I,' quod she, 'for alle your wordes whyte; O! Who-so seeth yow knoweth yow ful lyte!'
With that she gan hir face for to wrye With the shete, and wex for shame al reed; 1570 And Pandarus gan under for to prye, And seyde, 'Nece, if that I shal be deed, Have here a swerd, and smyteth of myn heed.' With that his arm al sodeynly he thriste Under hir nekke, and at the laste hir kiste. 1575
I passe al that which chargeth nought to seye, What! God foryaf his deeth, and she al-so Foryaf, and with hir uncle gan to pleye, For other cause was ther noon than so. But of this thing right to the effect to go, 1580 Whan tyme was, hom til hir hous she wente, And Pandarus hath fully his entente.
Now torne we ayein to Troilus, That resteles ful longe a-bedde lay, And prevely sente after Pandarus, 1585 To him to come in al the haste he may. He com anoon, nought ones seyde he 'nay,' And Troilus ful sobrely he grette, And doun upon his beddes syde him sette.
This Troilus, with al the affeccioun 1590 Of frendes love that herte may devyse, To Pandarus on knees fil adoun, And er that he wolde of the place aryse, He gan him thonken in his beste wyse; An hondred sythe he gan the tyme blesse, 1595 That he was born, to bringe him fro distresse.
He seyde, 'O frend of frendes the alderbeste That ever was, the sothe for to telle, Thou hast in hevene y-brought my soule at reste Fro Flegitoun, the fery flood of helle; 1600 That, though I mighte a thousand tymes selle, Upon a day, my lyf in thy servyse, It mighte nought a mote in that suffyse.
'The sonne, which that al the world may see, Saw never yet, my lyf, that dar I leye, 1605 So inly fayr and goodly as is she, Whos I am al, and shal, til that I deye; And, that I thus am hires, dar I seye, That thanked be the heighe worthinesse Of love, and eek thy kinde bisinesse. 1610
'Thus hastow me no litel thing y-yive, Fo which to thee obliged be for ay My lyf, and why? For thorugh thyn help I live; For elles deed hadde I be many a day.' And with that word doun in his bed he lay, 1615 And Pandarus ful sobrely him herde Til al was seyd, and than he thus answerde:
'My dere frend, if I have doon for thee In any cas, god wot, it is me leef; And am as glad as man may of it be, 1620 God help me so; but tak now a-greef That I shal seyn, be war of this myscheef, That, there-as thou now brought art in-to blisse, That thou thy-self ne cause it nought to misse.
'For of fortunes sharpe adversitee 1625 The worst kinde of infortune is this, A man to have ben in prosperitee, And it remembren, whan it passed is. Thou art wys y-nough, for-thy do nought amis; Be not to rakel, though thou sitte warme, For if thou be, certeyn, it wol thee harme. 1631
'Thou art at ese, and holde the wel ther-inne. For also seur as reed is every fyr, As greet a craft is kepe wel as winne; Brydle alwey wel thy speche and thy desyr, 1635 For worldly Ioye halt not but by a wyr; That preveth wel, it brest alday so ofte; For-thy nede is to werke with it softe.'
Quod Troilus, 'I hope, and god to-forn, My dere frend, that I shal so me bere, 1640 That in my gilt ther shal no thing be lorn, Ne I nil not rakle as for to greven here; It nedeth not this matere ofte tere; For wistestow myn herte wel, Pandare, God woot, of this thou woldest litel care.' 1645
Tho gan he telle him of his glade night, And wher-of first his herte dredde, and how, And seyde, 'Freend, as I am trewe knight, And by that feyth I shal to god and yow, I hadde it never half so hote as now; 1650 And ay the more that desyr me byteth To love hir best, the more it me delyteth.
'I noot my-self not wisly what it is; But now I fele a newe qualitee, Ye, al another than I dide er this.' 1655 Pandare answerde, and seyde thus, that he That ones may in hevene blisse be, He feleth other weyes, dar I leye, Than thilke tyme he first herde of it seye.
This is o word for al: this Troilus 1660 Was never ful to speke of this matere, And for to preysen un-to Pandarus The bountee of his righte lady dere, And Pandarus to thanke and maken chere. This tale ay was span-newe to biginne, 1665 Til that the night departed hem a-twinne.
Sone after this, for that fortune it wolde, I-comen was the blisful tyme swete, That Troilus was warned that he sholde, Ther he was erst, Criseyde his lady mete; 1670 For which he felte his herte in Ioye flete; And feythfully gan alle the goddes herie; And lat see now if that he can be merie.
And holden was the forme and al the wyse, Of hir cominge, and eek of his also, 1675 As it was erst, which nedeth nought devyse. But playnly to the effect right for to go, In Ioye and suerte Pandarus hem two A-bedde broughte, whan that hem bothe leste, And thus they ben in quiete and in reste. 1680
Nought nedeth it to yow, sin they ben met, To aske at me if that they blythe were; For if it erst was wel, tho was it bet A thousand-fold, this nedeth not enquere. A-gon was every sorwe and every fere; 1685 And bothe, y-wis, they hadde, and so they wende, As muche Ioye as herte may comprende.
This is no litel thing of for to seye, This passeth every wit for to devyse; For eche of hem gan otheres lust obeye; 1690 Felicitee, which that thise clerkes wyse Commenden so, ne may not here suffyse. This Ioye may not writen been with inke, This passeth al that herte may bithinke.
But cruel day, so wel-awey the stounde! 1695 Gan for to aproche, as they by signes knewe, For whiche hem thoughte felen dethes wounde; So wo was hem, that changen gan hir hewe, And day they goonnen to dispyse al newe, Calling it traytour, envyous, and worse, 1700 And bitterly the dayes light they curse.
Quod Troilus, 'Allas! Now am I war That Pirous and tho swifte stedes three, Whiche that drawen forth the sonnes char, Han goon som by-path in despyt of me; 1705 That maketh it so sone day to be; And, for the sonne him hasteth thus to ryse, Ne shal I never doon him sacrifyse!'
But nedes day departe moste hem sone, And whanne hir speche doon was and hir chere, 1710 They twinne anoon as they were wont to done, And setten tyme of meting eft y-fere; And many a night they wroughte in this manere. And thus Fortune a tyme ladde in Ioye Criseyde, and eek this kinges sone of Troye. 1715
In suffisaunce, in blisse, and in singinges, This Troilus gan al his lyf to lede; He spendeth, Iusteth, maketh festeynges; He yeveth frely ofte, and chaungeth wede, And held aboute him alwey, out of drede, 1720 A world of folk, as cam him wel of kinde, The fressheste and the beste he coude fynde;
That swich a voys was of hym and a stevene Thorugh-out the world, of honour and largesse, That it up rong un-to the yate of hevene. 1725 And, as in love, he was in swich gladnesse, That in his herte he demede, as I gesse, That there nis lovere in this world at ese So wel as he, and thus gan love him plese.
The godlihede or beautee which that kinde 1730 In any other lady hadde y-set Can not the mountaunce of a knot unbinde, A-boute his herte, of al Criseydes net. He was so narwe y-masked and y-knet, That it undon on any manere syde, 1735 That nil not been, for ought that may betyde.
And by the hond ful ofte he wolde take This Pandarus, and in-to gardin lede, And swich a feste and swich a proces make Him of Criseyde, and of hir womanhede, 1740 And of hir beautee, that, with-outen drede, It was an hevene his wordes for to here; And thanne he wolde singe in this manere.
'Love, that of erthe and see hath governaunce, Love, that his hestes hath in hevene hye, 1745 Love, that with an holsom alliaunce Halt peples ioyned, as him list hem gye, Love, that knetteth lawe of companye, And couples doth in vertu for to dwelle, Bind this acord, that I have told and telle; 1750
'That that the world with feyth, which that is stable, Dyverseth so his stoundes concordinge, That elements that been so discordable Holden a bond perpetuely duringe, That Phebus mote his rosy day forth bringe, 1755 And that the mone hath lordship over the nightes, Al this doth Love; ay heried be his mightes!
'That, that the see, that gredy is to flowen, Constreyneth to a certeyn ende so His flodes, that so fersly they ne growen 1760 To drenchen erthe and al for ever-mo; And if that Love ought lete his brydel go, Al that now loveth a-sonder sholde lepe, And lost were al, that Love halt now to-hepe.
'So wolde god, that auctor is of kinde, 1765 That, with his bond, Love of his vertu liste To cerclen hertes alle, and faste binde, That from his bond no wight the wey out wiste. And hertes colde, hem wolde I that he twiste To make hem love, and that hem leste ay rewe 1770 On hertes sore, and kepe hem that ben trewe.'
In alle nedes, for the tounes werre, He was, and ay the firste in armes dight; And certeynly, but-if that bokes erre, Save Ector, most y-drad of any wight; 1775 And this encrees of hardinesse and might Cam him of love, his ladies thank to winne, That altered his spirit so with-inne.
In tyme of trewe, on haukinge wolde he ryde, Or elles hunten boor, bere, or lyoun; 1780 The smale bestes leet he gon bi-syde. And whan that he com rydinge in-to toun, Ful ofte his lady, from hir window doun, As fresh as faucon comen out of muwe, Ful redy was, him goodly to saluwe. 1785
And most of love and vertu was his speche, And in despyt hadde alle wrecchednesse; And doutelees, no nede was him biseche To honouren hem that hadde worthinesse, And esen hem that weren in distresse. 1790 And glad was he if any wight wel ferde, That lover was, whan he it wiste or herde.
For sooth to seyn, he lost held every wight But-if he were in loves heigh servyse, I mene folk that oughte it been of right. 1795 And over al this, so wel coude he devyse Of sentement, and in so unkouth wyse Al his array, that every lover thoughte, That al was wel, what-so he seyde or wroughte.
And though that he be come of blood royal, 1800 Him liste of pryde at no wight for to chase; Benigne he was to ech in general, For which he gat him thank in every place. Thus wolde love, y-heried be his grace, That Pryde, Envye, Ire, and Avaryce 1805 He gan to flee, and every other vyce.
Thou lady bright, the doughter to Dione, Thy blinde and winged sone eek, daun Cupyde; Ye sustren nyne eek, that by Elicone In hil Parnaso listen for to abyde, 1810 That ye thus fer han deyned me to gyde, I can no more, but sin that ye wol wende, Ye heried been for ay, with-outen ende!
Thourgh yow have I seyd fully in my song Theffect and Ioye of Troilus servyse, 1815 Al be that ther was som disese among, As to myn auctor listeth to devyse. My thridde book now ende ich in this wyse; And Troilus in luste and in quiete Is with Criseyde, his owne herte swete. 1820
Explicit Liber Tercius.
BOOK IV. Incipit Prohemium Liber Quartus.
But al to litel, weylaway the whyle, Lasteth swich Ioye, y-thonked be Fortune! That semeth trewest, whan she wol bygyle, And can to foles so hir song entune, That she hem hent and blent, traytour comune; 5 And whan a wight is from hir wheel y-throwe, Than laugheth she, and maketh him the mowe.
From Troilus she gan hir brighte face Awey to wrythe, and took of him non hede, But caste him clene out of his lady grace, 10 And on hir wheel she sette up Diomede; For which right now myn herte ginneth blede, And now my penne, allas! With which I wryte, Quaketh for drede of that I moot endyte.
For how Criseyde Troilus forsook, 15 Or at the leste, how that she was unkinde, Mot hennes-forth ben matere of my book, As wryten folk through which it is in minde. Allas! That they sholde ever cause finde To speke hir harm; and if they on hir lye, 20 Y-wis, hem-self sholde han the vilanye.
O ye Herines, Nightes doughtren three, That endelees compleynen ever in pyne, Megera, Alete, and eek Thesiphone; Thou cruel Mars eek, fader to Quiryne, 25 This ilke ferthe book me helpeth fyne, So that the los of lyf and love y-fere Of Troilus be fully shewed here.
Incipit Quartus Liber.
Ligginge in ost, as I have seyd er this, The Grekes stronge, aboute Troye toun, 30 Bifel that, whan that Phebus shyning is Up-on the brest of Hercules Lyoun, That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun, Caste on a day with Grekes for to fighte, As he was wont to greve hem what he mighte. 35
Not I how longe or short it was bitwene This purpos and that day they fighte mente; But on a day wel armed, bright and shene, Ector, and many a worthy wight out wente, With spere in hond and bigge bowes bente; 40 And in the herd, with-oute lenger lette, Hir fomen in the feld anoon hem mette.
The longe day, with speres sharpe y-grounde, With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle, They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde, 45 And with hir axes out the braynes quelle. But in the laste shour, sooth for to telle, The folk of Troye hem-selven so misledden, That with the worse at night homward they fledden.
At whiche day was taken Antenor, 50 Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo, Santippe, Sarpedon, Polynestor, Polyte, or eek the Troian daun Ripheo, And othere lasse folk, as Phebuseo. So that, for harm, that day the folk of Troye 55 Dredden to lese a greet part of hir Ioye.
Of Pryamus was yeve, at Greek requeste, A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete, Hir prisoneres to chaungen, moste and leste, And for the surplus yeven sommes grete. 60 This thing anoon was couth in every strete, Bothe in thassege, in toune, and every-where, And with the firste it cam to Calkas ere.
Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde, In consistorie, among the Grekes, sone 65 He gan in thringe forth, with lordes olde, And sette him there-as he was wont to done; And with a chaunged face hem bad a bone, For love of god, to don that reverence, To stinte noyse, and yeve him audience. 70
Thanne seyde he thus, 'Lo! Lordes myne, I was Troian, as it is knowen out of drede; And, if that yow remembre, I am Calkas, That alderfirst yaf comfort to your nede, And tolde wel how that ye sholden spede. 75 For dredelees, thorugh yow, shal, in a stounde, Ben Troye y-brend, and beten doun to grounde.
'And in what forme, or in what maner wyse This town to shende, and al your lust to acheve, Ye han er this wel herd it me devyse; 80 This knowe ye, my lordes, as I leve. And for the Grekes weren me so leve, I com my-self in my propre persone, To teche in this how yow was best to done;
'Havinge un-to my tresour ne my rente 85 Right no resport, to respect of your ese. Thus al my good I loste and to yow wente, Wening in this you, lordes, for to plese. But al that los ne doth me no disese. I vouche-sauf, as wisly have I Ioye, 90 For you to lese al that I have in Troye,
'Save of a doughter, that I lafte, allas! Slepinge at hoom, whanne out of Troye I sterte. O sterne, O cruel fader that I was! How mighte I have in that so hard an herte? 95 Allas! I ne hadde y-brought hir in hir sherte! For sorwe of which I wol not live to morwe, But-if ye lordes rewe up-on my sorwe.
'For, by that cause I say no tyme er now Hir to delivere, I holden have my pees; 100 But now or never, if that it lyke yow, I may hir have right sone, doutelees. O help and grace! Amonges al this prees, Rewe on this olde caitif in destresse, Sin I through yow have al this hevinesse! 105
'Ye have now caught and fetered in prisoun Troians y-nowe; and if your willes be, My child with oon may have redempcioun. Now for the love of god and of bountee, Oon of so fele, allas! So yeve him me. 110 What nede were it this preyere for to werne, Sin ye shul bothe han folk and toun as yerne?
'On peril of my lyf, I shal nat lye, Appollo hath me told it feithfully; I have eek founde it be astronomye, 115 By sort, and by augurie eek trewely, And dar wel seye, the tyme is faste by, That fyr and flaumbe on al the toun shal sprede; And thus shal Troye turne to asshen dede.
'For certeyn, Phebus and Neptunus bothe, 120 That makeden the walles of the toun, Ben with the folk of Troye alwey so wrothe, That thei wol bringe it to confusioun, Right in despyt of king Lameadoun. By-cause he nolde payen hem hir hyre, 125 The toun of Troye shal ben set on-fyre.'
Telling his tale alwey, this olde greye, Humble in speche, and in his lokinge eke, The salte teres from his eyen tweye Ful faste ronnen doun by eyther cheke. 130 So longe he gan of socour hem by-seke That, for to hele him of his sorwes sore, They yave him Antenor, with-oute more.
But who was glad y-nough but Calkas tho? And of this thing ful sone his nedes leyde 135 On hem that sholden for the tretis go, And hem for Antenor ful ofte preyde To bringen hoom king Toas and Criseyde; And whan Pryam his save-garde sente, Thembassadours to Troye streyght they wente. 140
The cause y-told of hir cominge, the olde Pryam the king ful sone in general Let here-upon his parlement to holde, Of which the effect rehersen yow I shal. Thembassadours ben answered for fynal, 145 Theschaunge of prisoners and al this nede Hem lyketh wel, and forth in they procede.
This Troilus was present in the place, Whan axed was for Antenor Criseyde, For which ful sone chaungen gan his face, 150 As he that with tho wordes wel neigh deyde. But nathelees, he no word to it seyde, Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye; With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye.
And ful of anguissh and of grisly drede 155 Abood what lordes wolde un-to it seye; And if they wolde graunte, as god forbede, Theschaunge of hir, than thoughte he thinges tweye, First, how to save hir honour, and what weye He mighte best theschaunge of hir withstonde; 160 Ful faste he caste how al this mighte stonde.
Love him made al prest to doon hir byde, And rather dye than she sholde go; But resoun seyde him, on that other syde, 'With-oute assent of hir ne do not so, 165 Lest for thy werk she wolde be thy fo, And seyn, that thorugh thy medling is y-blowe Your bother love, there it was erst unknowe.'
For which he gan deliberen, for the beste, That though the lordes wolde that she wente, 170 He wolde lat hem graunte what hem leste, And telle his lady first what that they mente. And whan that she had seyd him hir entente, Ther-after wolde he werken also blyve, Though al the world ayein it wolde stryve. 175
Ector, which that wel the Grekes herde, For Antenor how they wolde han Criseyde, Gan it withstonde, and sobrely answerde: — 'Sires, she nis no prisoner,' he seyde; 'I noot on yow who that this charge leyde, 180 But, on my part, ye may eft-sone hem telle, We usen here no wommen for to selle.'
The noyse of peple up-stirte thanne at ones, As breme as blase of straw y-set on fyre; For infortune it wolde, for the nones, 185 They sholden hir confusioun desyre. 'Ector,' quod they, 'what goost may yow enspyre This womman thus to shilde and doon us lese Daun Antenor? — a wrong wey now ye chese —
'That is so wys, and eek so bold baroun, 190 And we han nede to folk, as men may see; He is eek oon, the grettest of this toun; O Ector, lat tho fantasyes be! O king Priam,' quod they, 'thus seggen we, That al our voys is to for-gon Criseyde;' 195 And to deliveren Antenor they preyde.
O Iuvenal, lord! Trewe is thy sentence, That litel witen folk what is to yerne That they ne finde in hir desyr offence; For cloud of errour let hem not descerne 200 What best is; and lo, here ensample as yerne. This folk desiren now deliveraunce Of Antenor, that broughte hem to mischaunce!
For he was after traytour to the toun Of Troye; allas! They quitte him out to rathe; 205 O nyce world, lo, thy discrecioun! Criseyde, which that never dide hem skathe, Shal now no lenger in hir blisse bathe; But Antenor, he shal com hoom to toune, And she shal out; thus seyden here and howne. 210
For which delibered was by parlement For Antenor to yelden out Criseyde, And it pronounced by the president, Al-theigh that Ector 'nay' ful ofte preyde. And fynaly, what wight that it with-seyde, 215 It was for nought, it moste been, and sholde; For substaunce of the parlement it wolde.
Departed out of parlement echone, This Troilus, with-oute wordes mo, Un-to his chaumbre spedde him faste allone, 220 But-if it were a man of his or two, The whiche he bad out faste for to go, By-cause he wolde slepen, as he seyde, And hastely up-on his bed him leyde.
And as in winter leves been biraft, 225 Eche after other, til the tree be bare, So that ther nis but bark and braunche y-laft, Lyth Troilus, biraft of ech wel-fare, Y-bounden in the blake bark of care, Disposed wood out of his wit to breyde, 230 So sore him sat the chaunginge of Criseyde.
He rist him up, and every dore he shette And windowe eek, and tho this sorweful man Up-on his beddes syde a-doun him sette, Ful lyk a deed image pale and wan; 235 And in his brest the heped wo bigan Out-breste, and he to werken in this wyse In his woodnesse, as I shal yow devyse.
Right as the wilde bole biginneth springe Now here, now there, y-darted to the herte, 240 And of his deeth roreth in compleyninge, Right so gan he aboute the chaumbre sterte, Smyting his brest ay with his festes smerte; His heed to the wal, his body to the grounde Ful ofte he swapte, him-selven to confounde. 245
His eyen two, for pitee of his herte, Out stremeden as swifte welles tweye; The heighe sobbes of his sorwes smerte His speche him refte, unnethes mighte he seye, 'O deeth, allas! Why niltow do me deye? 250 A-cursed be the day which that nature Shoop me to ben a lyves creature!'
But after, whan the furie and the rage Which that his herte twiste and faste threste, By lengthe of tyme somwhat gan asswage, 255 Up-on his bed he leyde him doun to reste; But tho bigonne his teres more out-breste, That wonder is, the body may suffyse To half this wo, which that I yow devyse.
Than seyde he thus, 'Fortune! Allas the whyle! 260 What have I doon, what have I thus a-gilt? How mightestow for reuthe me bigyle? Is ther no grace, and shal I thus be spilt? Shal thus Criseyde awey, for that thou wilt? Allas! How maystow in thyn herte finde 265 To been to me thus cruel and unkinde?
'Have I thee nought honoured al my lyve, As thou wel wost, above the goddes alle? Why wiltow me fro Ioye thus depryve? O Troilus, what may men now thee calle 270 But wrecche of wrecches, out of honour falle In-to miserie, in which I wol biwayle Criseyde, allas! Til that the breeth me fayle?
'Allas, Fortune! If that my lyf in Ioye Displesed hadde un-to thy foule envye, 275 Why ne haddestow my fader, king of Troye, By-raft the lyf, or doon my bretheren dye, Or slayn my-self, that thus compleyne and crye, I, combre-world, that may of no-thing serve, But ever dye, and never fully sterve? 280
'If that Criseyde allone were me laft, Nought roughte I whider thou woldest me stere; And hir, allas! Than hastow me biraft. But ever-more, lo! This is thy manere, To reve a wight that most is to him dere, 285 To preve in that thy gerful violence. Thus am I lost, ther helpeth no defence!
'O verray lord of love, O god, allas! That knowest best myn herte and al my thought, What shal my sorwful lyf don in this cas 290 If I for-go that I so dere have bought? Sin ye Cryseyde and me han fully brought In-to your grace, and bothe our hertes seled, How may ye suffre, allas! It be repeled?
'What I may doon, I shal, whyl I may dure 295 On lyve in torment and in cruel peyne, This infortune or this disaventure, Allone as I was born, y-wis, compleyne; Ne never wil I seen it shyne or reyne; But ende I wil, as Edippe, in derknesse 300 My sorwful lyf, and dyen in distresse.
'O wery goost, that errest to and fro, Why niltow fleen out of the wofulleste Body, that ever mighte on grounde go? O soule, lurkinge in this wo, unneste, 305 Flee forth out of myn herte, and lat it breste, And folwe alwey Criseyde, thy lady dere; Thy righte place is now no lenger here!
'O wofulle eyen two, sin your disport Was al to seen Criseydes eyen brighte, 310 What shal ye doon but, for my discomfort, Stonden for nought, and wepen out your sighte? Sin she is queynt, that wont was yow to lighte, In veyn fro-this-forth have I eyen tweye Y-formed, sin your vertue is a-weye. 315
'O my Criseyde, O lady sovereyne Of thilke woful soule that thus cryeth, Who shal now yeven comfort to the peyne? Allas, no wight; but when myn herte dyeth, My spirit, which that so un-to yow hyeth, 320 Receyve in gree, for that shal ay yow serve; For-thy no fors is, though the body sterve.
'O ye loveres, that heighe upon the wheel Ben set of Fortune, in good aventure, God leve that ye finde ay love of steel, 325 And longe mot your lyf in Ioye endure! But whan ye comen by my sepulture, Remembreth that your felawe resteth there; For I lovede eek, though I unworthy were.
'O olde, unholsom, and mislyved man, 330 Calkas I mene, allas! What eyleth thee To been a Greek, sin thou art born Troian? O Calkas, which that wilt my bane be, In cursed tyme was thou born for me! As wolde blisful Iove, for his Ioye, 335 That I thee hadde, where I wolde, in Troye!'
A thousand sykes, hottere than the glede, Out of his brest ech after other wente, Medled with pleyntes newe, his wo to fede, For which his woful teres never stente; 340 And shortly, so his peynes him to-rente, And wex so mat, that Ioye nor penaunce He feleth noon, but lyth forth in a traunce.
Pandare, which that in the parlement Hadde herd what every lord and burgeys seyde, 345 And how ful graunted was, by oon assent, For Antenor to yelden so Criseyde, Gan wel neigh wood out of his wit to breyde, So that, for wo, he niste what he mente; But in a rees to Troilus he wente. 350
A certeyn knight, that for the tyme kepte The chaumbre-dore, un-dide it him anoon; And Pandare, that ful tendreliche wepte, In-to the derke chaumbre, as stille as stoon, Toward the bed gan softely to goon, 355 So confus, that he niste what to seye; For verray wo his wit was neigh aweye.
And with his chere and loking al to-torn, For sorwe of this, and with his armes folden, He stood this woful Troilus biforn, 360 And on his pitous face he gan biholden; But lord, so often gan his herte colden, Seing his freend in wo, whos hevinesse His herte slow, as thoughte him, for distresse.
This woful wight, this Troilus, that felte 365 His freend Pandare y-comen him to see, Gan as the snow ayein the sonne melte, For which this sorwful Pandare, of pitee, Gan for to wepe as tendreliche as he; And specheles thus been thise ilke tweye, 370 That neyther mighte o word for sorwe seye.
But at the laste this woful Troilus, Ney deed for smert, gan bresten out to rore, And with a sorwful noyse he seyde thus, Among his sobbes and his sykes sore, 375 'Lo! Pandare, I am deed, with-outen more. Hastow nought herd at parlement,' he seyde, 'For Antenor how lost is my Criseyde?'
This Pandarus, ful deed and pale of hewe, Ful pitously answerde and seyde, 'Yis! 380 As wisly were it fals as it is trewe, That I have herd, and wot al how it is. O mercy, god, who wolde have trowed this? Who wolde have wend that, in so litel a throwe, Fortune our Ioye wolde han over-throwe? 385
'For in this world ther is no creature, As to my doom, that ever saw ruyne Straungere than this, thorugh cas or aventure. But who may al eschewe, or al devyne? Swich is this world; for-thy I thus defyne, 390 Ne trust no wight to finden in Fortune Ay propretee; hir yeftes been comune.
'But tel me this, why thou art now so mad To sorwen thus? Why lystow in this wyse, Sin thy desyr al holly hastow had, 395 So that, by right, it oughte y-now suffyse? But I, that never felte in my servyse A frendly chere or loking of an ye, Lat me thus wepe and wayle, til I dye.
'And over al this, as thou wel wost thy-selve, 400 This town is ful of ladies al aboute; And, to my doom, fairer than swiche twelve As ever she was, shal I finde, in som route, Ye, oon or two, with-outen any doute. For-thy be glad, myn owene dere brother, 405 If she be lost, we shal recovere another.
'What, god for-bede alwey that ech plesaunce In o thing were, and in non other wight! If oon can singe, another can wel daunce; If this be goodly, she is glad and light; 410 And this is fayr, and that can good a-right. Ech for his vertu holden is for dere, Bothe heroner and faucon for rivere.
'And eek, as writ Zanzis, that was ful wys, "The newe love out chaceth ofte the olde;" 415 And up-on newe cas lyth newe avys. Thenk eek, thy-self to saven artow holde; Swich fyr, by proces, shal of kinde colde. For sin it is but casuel plesaunce, Som cas shal putte it out of remembraunce. 420
'For al-so seur as day cometh after night, The newe love, labour or other wo, Or elles selde seinge of a wight, Don olde affecciouns alle over-go. And, for thy part, thou shalt have oon of tho 425 To abrigge with thy bittre peynes smerte; Absence of hir shal dryve hir out of herte.'
Thise wordes seyde he for the nones alle, To helpe his freend, lest he for sorwe deyde. For douteles, to doon his wo to falle, 430 He roughte not what unthrift that he seyde. But Troilus, that neigh for sorwe deyde, Tok litel hede of al that ever he mente; Oon ere it herde, at the other out it wente:
But at the laste answerde and seyde, 'Freend, 435 This lechecraft, or heled thus to be, Were wel sitting, if that I were a feend, To traysen hir that trewe is unto me! I pray god, lat this consayl never y-thee; But do me rather sterve anon-right here 440 Er I thus do as thou me woldest lere.
'She that I serve, y-wis, what so thou seye, To whom myn herte enhabit is by right, Shal han me holly hires til that I deye. For, Pandarus, sin I have trouthe hir hight, 445 I wol not been untrewe for no wight; But as hir man I wol ay live and sterve, And never other creature serve.
'And ther thou seyst, thou shalt as faire finde As she, lat be, make no comparisoun 450 To creature y-formed here by kinde. O leve Pandare, in conclusioun, I wol not be of thyn opinioun, Touching al this; for whiche I thee biseche, So hold thy pees; thou sleest me with thy speche. 455
'Thow biddest me I sholde love an-other Al freshly newe, and lat Criseyde go! It lyth not in my power, leve brother. And though I mighte, I wolde not do so. But canstow pleyen raket, to and fro, 460 Netle in, dokke out, now this, now that, Pandare? Now foule falle hir, for thy wo that care!
'Thow farest eek by me, thou Pandarus, As he, that whan a wight is wo bi-goon, He cometh to him a pas, and seyth right thus, 465 "Thenk not on smert, and thou shalt fele noon." Thou most me first transmuwen in a stoon, And reve me my passiounes alle, Er thou so lightly do my wo to falle.
'The deeth may wel out of my brest departe 470 The lyf, so longe may this sorwe myne; But fro my soule shal Criseydes darte Out never-mo; but doun with Proserpyne, Whan I am deed, I wol go wone in pyne; And ther I wol eternaly compleyne 475 My wo, and how that twinned be we tweyne.
'Thow hast here maad an argument, for fyn, How that it sholde a lasse peyne be Criseyde to for-goon, for she was myn, And live in ese and in felicitee. 480 Why gabbestow, that seydest thus to me That "him is wors that is fro wele y-throwe, Than he hadde erst non of that wele y-knowe?"
'But tel me now, sin that thee thinketh so light To chaungen so in love, ay to and fro, 485 Why hastow not don bisily thy might To chaungen hir that doth thee al thy wo? Why niltow lete hir fro thyn herte go? Why niltow love an-other lady swete, That may thyn herte setten in quiete? 490
'If thou hast had in love ay yet mischaunce, And canst it not out of thyn herte dryve, I, that livede in lust and in plesaunce With hir as muche as creature on-lyve, How sholde I that foryete, and that so blyve? 495 O where hastow ben hid so longe in muwe, That canst so wel and formely arguwe?
'Nay, nay, god wot, nought worth is al thy reed, For which, for what that ever may bifalle, With-outen wordes mo, I wol be deed. 500 O deeth, that endere art of sorwes alle, Com now, sin I so ofte after thee calle, For sely is that deeth, soth for to seyne, That, ofte y-cleped, cometh and endeth peyne.
'Wel wot I, whyl my lyf was in quiete, 505 Er thou me slowe, I wolde have yeven hyre; But now thy cominge is to me so swete, That in this world I no-thing so desyre. O deeth, sin with this sorwe I am a-fyre, Thou outher do me anoon yn teres drenche, 510 Or with thy colde strook myn hete quenche!
'Sin that thou sleest so fele in sondry wyse Ayens hir wil, unpreyed, day and night, Do me, at my requeste, this servyse, Delivere now the world, so dostow right, 515 Of me, that am the wofulleste wight That ever was; for tyme is that I sterve, Sin in this world of right nought may I serve.'
This Troilus in teres gan distille, As licour out of alambyk ful faste; 520 And Pandarus gan holde his tunge stille, And to the ground his eyen doun he caste. But nathelees, thus thoughte he at the laste, 'What, parde, rather than my felawe deye, Yet shal I som-what more un-to him seye:' 525
And seyde, 'Freend, sin thou hast swich distresse, And sin thee list myn arguments to blame, Why nilt thy-selven helpen doon redresse, And with thy manhod letten al this grame? Go ravisshe hir ne canstow not for shame! 530 And outher lat hir out of toune fare, Or hold hir stille, and leve thy nyce fare.
'Artow in Troye, and hast non hardiment To take a womman which that loveth thee, And wolde hir-selven been of thyn assent? 535 Now is not this a nyce vanitee? Rys up anoon, and lat this weping be, And kyth thou art a man, for in this houre I wil be deed, or she shal bleven oure.'
To this answerde him Troilus ful softe, 540 And seyde, 'Parde, leve brother dere, Al this have I my-self yet thought ful ofte, And more thing than thou devysest here. But why this thing is laft, thou shalt wel here; And whan thou me hast yeve an audience, 545 Ther-after mayst thou telle al thy sentence.
'First, sin thou wost this toun hath al this werre For ravisshing of wommen so by might, It sholde not be suffred me to erre, As it stant now, ne doon so gret unright. 550 I sholde han also blame of every wight, My fadres graunt if that I so withstode, Sin she is chaunged for the tounes goode.
'I have eek thought, so it were hir assent, To aske hir at my fader, of his grace; 555 Than thenke I, this were hir accusement, Sin wel I woot I may hir not purchace. For sin my fader, in so heigh a place As parlement, hath hir eschaunge enseled, He nil for me his lettre be repeled. 560
'Yet drede I most hir herte to pertourbe With violence, if I do swich a game; For if I wolde it openly distourbe, It moste been disclaundre to hir name. And me were lever deed than hir defame, 565 As nolde god but-if I sholde have Hir honour lever than my lyf to save!
'Thus am I lost, for ought that I can see; For certeyn is, sin that I am hir knight, I moste hir honour levere han than me 570 In every cas, as lovere oughte of right. Thus am I with desyr and reson twight; Desyr for to destourben hir me redeth, And reson nil not, so myn herte dredeth.'
Thus wepinge that he coude never cesse, 575 He seyde, 'Allas! How shal I, wrecche, fare? For wel fele I alwey my love encresse, And hope is lasse and lasse alwey, Pandare! Encressen eek the causes of my care; So wel-a-wey, why nil myn herte breste? 580 For, as in love, ther is but litel reste.'
Pandare answerde, 'Freend, thou mayst, for me, Don as thee list; but hadde ich it so hote, And thyn estat, she sholde go with me; Though al this toun cryede on this thing by note, 585 I nolde sette at al that noyse a grote. For when men han wel cryed, than wol they roune; A wonder last but nyne night never in toune.
'Devyne not in reson ay so depe Ne curteysly, but help thy-self anoon; 590 Bet is that othere than thy-selven wepe, And namely, sin ye two been al oon. Rys up, for by myn heed, she shal not goon; And rather be in blame a lyte y-founde Than sterve here as a gnat, with-oute wounde. 595
'It is no shame un-to yow, ne no vyce Hir to with-holden, that ye loveth most. Paraunter, she mighte holden thee for nyce To lete hir go thus to the Grekes ost. Thenk eek Fortune, as wel thy-selven wost, 600 Helpeth hardy man to his enpryse, And weyveth wrecches, for hir cowardyse.
'And though thy lady wolde a litel hir greve, Thou shalt thy pees ful wel here-after make, But as for me, certayn, I can not leve 605 That she wolde it as now for yvel take. Why sholde than for ferd thyn herte quake? Thenk eek how Paris hath, that is thy brother, A love; and why shaltow not have another?
'And Troilus, o thing I dar thee swere, 610 That if Criseyde, whiche that is thy leef, Now loveth thee as wel as thou dost here, God helpe me so, she nil nat take a-greef, Though thou do bote a-noon in this mischeef. And if she wilneth fro thee for to passe, 615 Thanne is she fals; so love hir wel the lasse.
'For-thy tak herte, and thenk, right as a knight, Thourgh love is broken alday every lawe. Kyth now sumwhat thy corage and thy might, Have mercy on thy-self, for any awe. 620 Lat not this wrecched wo thin herte gnawe, But manly set the world on sixe and sevene; And, if thou deye a martir, go to hevene.
'I wol my-self be with thee at this dede, Though ich and al my kin, up-on a stounde, 625 Shulle in a strete as dogges liggen dede, Thourgh-girt with many a wyd and blody wounde. In every cas I wol a freend be founde. And if thee list here sterven as a wrecche, A-dieu, the devel spede him that it recche!' 630
This Troilus gan with tho wordes quiken, And seyde, 'Freend, graunt mercy, ich assente; But certaynly thou mayst not me so priken, Ne peyne noon ne may me so tormente, That, for no cas, it is not myn entente, 635 At shorte wordes, though I dyen sholde, To ravisshe hir, but-if hir-self it wolde.'
'Why, so mene I,' quod Pandarus, 'al this day. But tel me than, hastow hir wil assayed, That sorwest thus?' And he answerde, 'Nay.' 'Wher-of artow,' quod Pandare, 'than a-mayed, 640 That nost not that she wol ben y-vel apayed To ravisshe hir, sin thou hast not ben there, But-if that Iove tolde it in thyn ere?
'For-thy rys up, as nought ne were, anoon, 645 And wash thy face, and to the king thou wende, Or he may wondren whider thou art goon. Thou most with wisdom him and othere blende; Or, up-on cas, he may after thee sende Er thou be war; and shortly, brother dere, 650 Be glad, and lat me werke in this matere.
'For I shal shape it so, that sikerly Thou shalt this night som tyme, in som manere, Com speke with thy lady prevely, And by hir wordes eek, and by hir chere, 655 Thou shalt ful sone aperceyve and wel here Al hir entente, and in this cas the beste; And fare now wel, for in this point I reste.'
The swifte Fame, whiche that false thinges Egal reporteth lyk the thinges trewe, 660 Was thorugh-out Troye y-fled with preste winges Fro man to man, and made this tale al newe, How Calkas doughter, with hir brighte hewe, At parlement, with-oute wordes more, I-graunted was in chaunge of Antenore. 665
The whiche tale anoon-right as Criseyde Had herd, she, which that of hir fader roughte, As in this cas, right nought, ne whanne he deyde, Ful bisily to Iuppiter bisoughte Yeve hem mischaunce that this tretis broughte. 670 But shortly, lest thise tales sothe were, She dorste at no wight asken it, for fere.
As she that hadde hir herte and al hir minde On Troilus y-set so wonder faste, That al this world ne mighte hir love unbinde, 675 Ne Troilus out of hir herte caste; She wol ben his, whyl that hir lyf may laste. And thus she brenneth bothe in love and drede, So that she niste what was best to rede.
But as men seen in toune, and al aboute, 680 That wommen usen frendes to visyte, So to Criseyde of wommen com a route For pitous Ioye, and wenden hir delyte; And with hir tales, dere y-nough a myte, These wommen, whiche that in the cite dwelle, 685 They sette hem doun, and seyde as I shal telle.
Quod first that oon, 'I am glad, trewely, By-cause of yow, that shal your fader see.' A-nother seyde, 'Y-wis, so nam not I, For al to litel hath she with us be.' 690 Quod tho the thridde, 'I hope, y-wis, that she Shal bringen us the pees on every syde, That, whan she gooth, almighty god hir gyde!'
Tho wordes and tho wommanisshe thinges, She herde hem right as though she thennes were; 695 For, god it wot, hir herte on other thing is, Although the body sat among hem there. Hir advertence is alwey elles-where; For Troilus ful faste hir soule soughte; With-outen word, alwey on him she thoughte. 700
Thise wommen, that thus wenden hir to plese, Aboute nought gonne alle hir tales spende; Swich vanitee ne can don hir non ese, As she that, al this mene whyle. brende Of other passioun than that they wende, 705 So that she felte almost hir herte deye For wo, and wery of that companye.
For which no lenger mighte she restreyne Hir teres, so they gonnen up to welle, That yaven signes of the bitter peyne 710 In whiche hir spirit was, and moste dwelle; Remembring hir, fro heven unto which helle She fallen was, sith she forgoth the sighte Of Troilus, and sorowfully she sighte.
And thilke foles sittinge hir aboute 715 Wenden, that she wepte and syked sore By-cause that she sholde out of that route Departe, and never pleye with hem more. And they that hadde y-knowen hir of yore Seye hir so wepe, and thoughte it kindenesse, 720 And eche of hem wepte eek for hir destresse;
And bisily they gonnen hir conforten Of thing, god wot, on which she litel thoughte; And with hir tales wenden hir disporten, And to be glad they often hir bisoughte. 725 But swich an ese ther-with they hir wroughte Right as a man is esed for to fele, For ache of heed, to clawen him on his hele!
But after al this nyce vanitee They took hir leve, and hoom they wenten alle. 730 Criseyde, ful of sorweful pitee, In-to hir chaumbre up wente out of the halle, And on hir bed she gan for deed to falle, In purpos never thennes for to ryse; And thus she wroughte, as I shal yow devyse. 735
Hir ounded heer, that sonnish was of hewe, She rente, and eek hir fingres longe and smale She wrong ful ofte, and bad god on hir rewe, And with the deeth to doon bote on hir bale. Hir hewe, whylom bright, that tho was pale, 740 Bar witnes of hir wo and hir constreynte; And thus she spak, sobbinge, in hir compleynte:
'Alas!' quod she, 'out of this regioun I, woful wrecche and infortuned wight, And born in corsed constellacioun, 745 Mot goon, and thus departen fro my knight; Wo worth, allas! That ilke dayes light On which I saw him first with eyen tweyne, That causeth me, and I him, al this peyne!'
Therwith the teres from hir eyen two 750 Doun fille, as shour in Aperill ful swythe; Hir whyte brest she bet, and for the wo After the deeth she cryed a thousand sythe, Sin he that wont hir wo was for to lythe, She mot for-goon; for which disaventure 755 She held hir-self a forlost creature.
She seyde, 'How shal he doon, and I also? How sholde I live, if that I from him twinne? O dere herte eek, that I love so, Who shal that sorwe sleen that ye ben inne? 760 O Calkas, fader, thyn be al this sinne! O moder myn, that cleped were Argyve, Wo worth that day that thou me bere on lyve!
'To what fyn sholde I live and sorwen thus? How sholde a fish with-oute water dure? 765 What is Criseyde worth, from Troilus? How sholde a plaunte or lyves creature Live, with-oute his kinde noriture? For which ful oft a by-word here I seye, That "rotelees, mot grene sone deye." 770
'I shal don thus, sin neither swerd ne darte Dar I non handle, for the crueltee, That ilke day that I from yow departe, If sorwe of that nil not my bane be, Than shal no mete or drinke come in me 775 Til I my soule out of my breste unshethe; And thus my-selven wol I do to dethe.
'And, Troilus, my clothes everichoon Shul blake been, in tokeninge, herte swete, That I am as out of this world agoon, 780 That wont was yow to setten in quiete; And of myn ordre, ay til deeth me mete, The observaunce ever, in your absence, Shal sorwe been, compleynte, and abstinence.
'Myn herte and eek the woful goost ther-inne 785 Biquethe I, with your spirit to compleyne Eternally, for they shal never twinne. For though in erthe y-twinned be we tweyne, Yet in the feld of pitee, out of peyne, That hight Elysos, shul we been y-fere, 790 As Orpheus and Erudice, his fere.
'Thus, herte myn, for Antenor, allas! I sone shal be chaunged, as I wene. But how shul ye don in this sorwful cas, How shal youre tendre herte this sustene? 795 But herte myn, for-yet this sorwe and tene, And me also; for, soothly for to seye, So ye wel fare, I recche not to deye.'
How mighte it ever y-red ben or y-songe, The pleynte that she made in hir distresse? 800 I noot; but, as for me, my litel tonge, If I discreven wolde hir hevinesse, It sholde make hir sorwe seme lesse Than that it was, and childishly deface Hir heigh compleynte, and therfore I it pace. 805
Pandare, which that sent from Troilus Was to Criseyde, as ye han herd devyse, That for the beste it was accorded thus, And he ful glad to doon him that servyse, Un-to Criseyde, in a ful secree wyse, 810 Ther-as she lay in torment and in rage, Com hir to telle al hoolly his message,
And fond that she hir-selven gan to trete Ful pitously; for with hir salte teres Hir brest, hir face, y-bathed was ful wete; 815 The mighty tresses of hir sonnish heres, Unbroyden, hangen al aboute hir eres; Which yaf him verray signal of martyre Of deeth, which that hir herte gan desyre.
Whan she him saw, she gan for sorwe anoon 820 Hir tery face a-twixe hir armes hide, For which this Pandare is so wo bi-goon, That in the hous he mighte unnethe abyde, As he that pitee felte on every syde. For if Criseyde hadde erst compleyned sore, 825 Tho gan she pleyne a thousand tymes more.
And in hir aspre pleynte than she seyde, 'Pandare first of Ioyes mo than two Was cause causinge un-to me, Criseyde, That now transmuwed been in cruel wo. 830 Wher shal I seye to yow "wel come" or no, That alderfirst me broughte in-to servyse Of love, allas! That endeth in swich wyse?
'Endeth than love in wo? Ye, or men lyeth! And alle worldly blisse, as thinketh me. 835 The ende of blisse ay sorwe it occupyeth; And who-so troweth not that it so be, Lat him upon me, woful wrecche, y-see, That my-self hate, and ay my birthe acorse, Felinge alwey, fro wikke I go to worse. 840
'Who-so me seeth, he seeth sorwe al at ones, Peyne, torment, pleynte, wo, distresse. Out of my woful body harm ther noon is, As anguish, langour, cruel bitternesse, A-noy, smert, drede, fury, and eek siknesse. 845 I trowe, y-wis, from hevene teres reyne, For pitee of myn aspre and cruel peyne! '
'And thou, my suster, ful of discomfort,' Quod Pandarus, 'what thenkestow to do? Why ne hastow to thy-selven som resport, 850 Why woltow thus thy-selve, allas, for-do? Leef al this werk and tak now hede to That I shal seyn, and herkne, of good entente, This, which by me thy Troilus thee sente.'
Torned hir tho Criseyde, a wo makinge 855 So greet that it a deeth was for to see: — 'Allas!' quod she, 'what wordes may ye bringe? What wol my dere herte seyn to me, Which that I drede never-mo to see? Wol he have pleynte or teres, er I wende? 860 I have y-nowe, if he ther-after sende!'
She was right swich to seen in hir visage As is that wight that men on bere binde; Hir face, lyk of Paradys the image, Was al y-chaunged in another kinde. 865 The pleye, the laughtre men was wont to finde On hir, and eek hir Ioyes everychone, Ben fled, and thus lyth now Criseyde allone.
Aboute hir eyen two a purpre ring Bi-trent, in sothfast tokninge of hir peyne, 870 That to biholde it was a dedly thing, For which Pandare mighte not restreyne The teres from his eyen for to reyne. But nathelees, as he best mighte, he seyde From Troilus thise wordes to Criseyde. 875
'Lo, nece, I trowe ye han herd al how The king, with othere lordes, for the beste, Hath mad eschaunge of Antenor and yow, That cause is of this sorwe and this unreste. But how this cas doth Troilus moleste, 880 That may non erthely mannes tonge seye; For verray wo his wit is al aweye.
'For which we han so sorwed, he and I, That in-to litel bothe it hadde us slawe; But thurgh my conseil this day, fynally, 885 He somwhat is fro weping now with-drawe. And semeth me that he desyreth fawe With yow to been al night, for to devyse Remede in this, if ther were any wyse.
'This, short and pleyne, theffect of my message, 890 As ferforth as my wit can comprehende. For ye, that been of torment in swich rage, May to no long prologe as now entende; And her-upon ye may answere him sende. And, for the love of god, my nece dere, 895 So leef this wo er Troilus be here.'
'Gret is my wo,' quod she, and sighte sore, As she that feleth dedly sharp distresse; 'But yet to me his sorwe is muchel more, That love him bet than he him-self, I gesse. 900 Allas! For me hath he swich hevinesse? Can he for me so pitously compleyne? Y-wis, his sorwe doubleth al my peyne.
'Grevous to me, god wot, is for to twinne,' Quod she, 'but yet it hardere is to me 905 To seen that sorwe which that he is inne; For wel wot I, it wol my bane be; And deye I wol in certayn,' tho quod she; 'But bidde him come, er deeth, that thus me threteth, Dryve out that goost which in myn herte beteth.' 910
Thise wordes seyd, she on hir armes two Fil gruf, and gan to wepe pitously. Quod Pandarus, 'Allas! Why do ye so, Syn wel ye woot the tyme is faste by, That he shal come? Arys up hastely, 915 That he yow nat biwopen thus ne finde, But ye wol have him wood out of his minde!
'For wiste he that ye ferde in this manere, He wolde him-selve slee; and if I wende To han this fare, he sholde not come here 920 For al the good that Pryam may despende. For to what fyn he wolde anoon pretende, That knowe I wel; and for-thy yet I seye, So leef this sorwe, or platly he wol deye.
'And shapeth yow his sorwe for to abregge, 925 And nought encresse, leve nece swete; Beth rather to him cause of flat than egge, And with som wysdom ye his sorwes bete. What helpeth it to wepen ful a strete, Or though ye bothe in salte teres dreynte? 930 Bet is a tyme of cure ay than of pleynte.
'I mene thus; whan I him hider bringe, Sin ye ben wyse, and bothe of oon assent, So shapeth how distourbe your goinge, Or come ayen, sone after ye be went. 935 Wommen ben wyse in short avysement; And lat sen how your wit shal now avayle; And what that I may helpe, it shal not fayle.'
'Go,' quod Criseyde, 'and uncle, trewely, I shal don al my might, me to restreyne 940 From weping in his sighte, and bisily, Him for to glade, I shal don al my peyne, And in myn herte seken every veyne; If to this soor ther may be founden salve, It shal not lakken, certain, on myn halve.' 945
Goth Pandarus, and Troilus he soughte, Til in a temple he fond him allone, As he that of his lyf no lenger roughte; But to the pitouse goddes everichone Ful tendrely he preyde, and made his mone, 950 To doon him sone out of this world to pace; For wel he thoughte ther was non other grace.
And shortly, al the sothe for to seye, He was so fallen in despeyr that day, That outrely he shoop him for to deye. 955 For right thus was his argument alwey: He seyde, he nas but loren, waylawey! 'For al that comth, comth by necessitee; Thus to be lorn, it is my destinee.
'For certaynly, this wot I wel,' he seyde, 960 'That for-sight of divyne purveyaunce Hath seyn alwey me to for-gon Criseyde, Sin god seeth every thing, out of doutaunce, And hem disponeth, thourgh his ordenaunce, In hir merytes sothly for to be, 965 As they shul comen by predestinee.
'But nathelees, allas! Whom shal I leve? For ther ben grete clerkes many oon, That destinee thorugh argumentes preve; And som men seyn that nedely ther is noon; 970 But that free chois is yeven us everichoon. O, welaway! So sleye arn clerkes olde, That I not whos opinion I may holde.
'For som men seyn, if god seth al biforn, Ne god may not deceyved ben, pardee, 975 Than moot it fallen, though men hadde it sworn, That purveyaunce hath seyn bifore to be. Wherfor I seye, that from eterne if he Hath wist biforn our thought eek as our dede, We have no free chois, as these clerkes rede. 980
'For other thought nor other dede also Might never be, but swich as purveyaunce, Which may not ben deceyved never-mo, Hath feled biforn, with-outen ignoraunce. For if ther mighte been a variaunce 985 To wrythen out fro goddes purveyinge, Ther nere no prescience of thing cominge;
'But it were rather an opinioun Uncerteyn, and no stedfast forseinge; And certes, that were an abusioun, 990 That god shuld han no parfit cleer witinge More than we men that han doutous weninge. But swich an errour up-on god to gesse Were fals and foul, and wikked corsednesse.
'Eek this is an opinioun of somme 995 That han hir top ful heighe and smothe y-shore; They seyn right thus, that thing is not to come For that the prescience hath seyn bifore That it shal come; but they seyn that therfore That it shal come, therfore the purveyaunce 1000 Wot it biforn with-outen ignoraunce;
'And in this manere this necessitee Retorneth in his part contrarie agayn. For needfully bihoveth it not to be That thilke thinges fallen in certayn 1005 That ben purveyed; but nedely, as they seyn, Bihoveth it that thinges, whiche that falle, That they in certayn ben purveyed alle.
'I mene as though I laboured me in this, To enqueren which thing cause of which thing be; 1010 As whether that the prescience of god is The certayn cause of the necessitee Of thinges that to comen been, pardee; Or if necessitee of thing cominge Be cause certeyn of the purveyinge. 1015
'But now ne enforce I me nat in shewinge How the ordre of causes stant; but wel wot I, That it bihoveth that the bifallinge Of thinges wist biforen certeynly Be necessarie, al seme it not ther-by 1020 That prescience put falling necessaire To thing to come, al falle it foule or faire.
'For if ther sit a man yond on a see, Than by necessitee bihoveth it That, certes, thyn opinioun soth be, 1025 That wenest or coniectest that he sit; And ferther-over now ayenward yit, Lo, right so it is of the part contrarie, As thus; (now herkne, for I wol not tarie):
'I seye, that if the opinioun of thee 1030 Be sooth, for that he sit, than seye I this, That he mot sitten by necessitee; And thus necessitee in either is. For in him nede of sittinge is, y-wis, And in thee nede of sooth; and thus, forsothe, 1035 Ther moot necessitee ben in yow bothe.
'But thou mayst seyn, the man sit not therfore, That thyn opinioun of sitting soth is; But rather, for the man sit ther bifore, Therfore is thyn opinioun sooth, y-wis. 1040 And I seye, though the cause of sooth of this Comth of his sitting, yet necessitee Is entrechaunged, bothe in him and thee.
'Thus on this same wyse, out of doutaunce, I may wel maken, as it semeth me, 1045 My resoninge of goddes purveyaunce, And of the thinges that to comen be; By whiche reson men may wel y-see, That thilke thinges that in erthe falle, That by necessitee they comen alle. 1050
'For al-though that, for thing shal come, y-wis, Therfore is it purveyed, certaynly, Nat that it comth for it purveyed is: Yet nathelees, bihoveth it nedfully, That thing to come be purveyed, trewely; 1055 Or elles, thinges that purveyed be, That they bityden by necessitee.
'And this suffyseth right y-now, certeyn, For to destroye our free chois every del. — But now is this abusion, to seyn, 1060 That fallinge of the thinges temporel Is cause of goddes prescience eternel. Now trewely, that is a fals sentence, That thing to come sholde cause his prescience.
'What mighte I wene, and I hadde swich a thought, 1065 But that god purveyth thing that is to come For that it is to come, and elles nought? So mighte I wene that thinges alle and some, That whylom been bifalle and over-come, Ben cause of thilke sovereyn purveyaunce, 1070 That for-wot al with-outen ignoraunce.
'And over al this, yet seye I more herto, That right as whan I woot ther is a thing, Y-wis, that thing mot nedefully be so; Eek right so, whan I woot a thing coming, 1075 So mot it come; and thus the bifalling Of thinges that ben wist bifore the tyde, They mowe not been eschewed on no syde.'
Than seyde he thus, 'Almighty Iove in trone, That wost of al this thing the soothfastnesse, 1080 Rewe on my sorwe, or do me deye sone, Or bring Criseyde and me fro this distresse.' And whyl he was in al this hevinesse, Disputinge with him-self in this matere, Com Pandare in, and seyde as ye may here. 1085
'O mighty god,' quod Pandarus, 'in trone, Ey! Who seigh ever a wys man faren so? Why, Troilus, what thenkestow to done? Hastow swich lust to been thyn owene fo? What, parde, yet is not Criseyde a-go! 1090 Why list thee so thy-self for-doon for drede, That in thyn heed thyn eyen semen dede?
'Hastow not lived many a yeer biforn With-outen hir, and ferd ful wel at ese? Artow for hir and for non other born? 1095 Hath kinde thee wroughte al-only hir to plese? Lat be, and thenk right thus in thy disese. That, in the dees right as ther fallen chaunces, Right so in love, ther come and goon plesaunces.
'And yet this is a wonder most of alle, 1100 Why thou thus sorwest, sin thou nost not yit, Touching hir goinge, how that it shal falle, Ne if she can hir-self distorben it. Thou hast not yet assayed al hir wit. A man may al by tyme his nekke bede 1105 Whan it shal of, and sorwen at the nede.
'For-thy take hede of that that I shal seye; I have with hir y-spoke and longe y-be, So as accorded was bitwixe us tweye. And ever-mor me thinketh thus, that she 1110 Hath som-what in hir hertes prevetee, Wher-with she can, if I shal right arede, Distorbe al this, of which thou art in drede.
'For which my counseil is, whan it is night, Thou to hir go, and make of this an ende; 1115 And blisful Iuno, thourgh hir grete mighte, Shal, as I hope, hir grace un-to us sende. Myn herte seyth, "Certeyn, she shal not wende;" And for-thy put thyn herte a whyle in reste; And hold this purpos, for it is the beste.' 1120
This Troilus answerde, and sighte sore, 'Thou seyst right wel, and I wil do right so;' And what him liste, he seyde un-to it more. And whan that it was tyme for to go, Ful prevely him-self, with-outen mo, 1125 Un-to hir com, as he was wont to done; And how they wroughte, I shal yow telle sone.
Soth is, that whan they gonne first to mete, So gan the peyne hir hertes for to twiste, That neither of hem other mighte grete, 1130 But hem in armes toke and after kiste. The lasse wofulle of hem bothe niste Wher that he was, ne mighte o word out-bringe, As I seyde erst, for wo and for sobbinge.
Tho woful teres that they leten falle 1135 As bittre weren, out of teres kinde, For peyne, as is ligne aloes or galle. So bittre teres weep nought, as I finde, The woful Myrra through the bark and rinde. That in this world ther nis so hard an herte, 1140 That nolde han rewed on hir peynes smerte.
But whan hir woful wery gostes tweyne Retorned been ther-as hem oughte dwelle, And that som-what to wayken gan the peyne By lengthe of pleynte, and ebben gan the welle 1145 Of hire teres, and the herte unswelle, With broken voys, al hoors for-shright, Criseyde To Troilus thise ilke wordes seyde:
'O Iove, I deye, and mercy I beseche! Help, Troilus!' And ther-with-al hir face 1150 Upon his brest she leyde, and loste speche; Hir woful spirit from his propre place, Right with the word, alwey up poynt to pace. And thus she lyth with hewes pale and grene, That whylom fresh and fairest was to sene. 1155
This Troilus, that on hir gan biholde, Clepinge hir name, (and she lay as for deed, With-oute answere, and felte hir limes colde, Hir eyen throwen upward to hir heed), This sorwful man can now noon other reed, 1160 But ofte tyme hir colde mouth he kiste; Wher him was wo, god and him-self it wiste!
He rist him up, and long streight he hir leyde; For signe of lyf, for ought he can or may, Can he noon finde in no-thing on Criseyde, 1165 For which his song ful ofte is 'weylaway!' But whan he saugh that specheles she lay, With sorwful voys and herte of blisse al bare, He seyde how she was fro this world y-fare!
So after that he longe hadde hir compleyned, 1170 His hondes wrong, and seyde that was to seye, And with his teres salte hir brest bireyned, He gan tho teris wypen of ful dreye, And pitously gan for the soule preye, And seyde, 'O lord, that set art in thy trone, 1175 Rewe eek on me, for I shal folwe hir sone!'
She cold was and with-outen sentement, For aught he woot, for breeth ne felte he noon; And this was him a preignant argument That she was forth out of this world agoon; 1180 And whan he seigh ther was non other woon, He gan hir limes dresse in swich manere As men don hem that shul be leyd on bere.
And after this, with sterne and cruel herte, His swerd a-noon out of his shethe he twighte, 1185 Him-self to sleen, how sore that him smerte, So that his sowle hir sowle folwen mighte, Ther-as the doom of Mynos wolde it dighte; Sin love and cruel Fortune it ne wolde, That in this world he lenger liven sholde. 1190
Thanne seyde he thus, fulfild of heigh desdayn, 'O cruel Iove, and thou, Fortune adverse, This al and som, that falsly have ye slayn Criseyde, and sin ye may do me no werse, Fy on your might and werkes so diverse! 1195 Thus cowardly ye shul me never winne; Ther shal no deeth me fro my lady twinne.
'For I this world, sin ye han slayn hir thus, Wol lete, and folowe hir spirit lowe or hye; Shal never lover seyn that Troilus 1200 Dar not, for fere, with his lady dye; For certeyn, I wol bere hir companye. But sin ye wol not suffre us liven here, Yet suffreth that our soules ben y-fere.
'And thou, citee, whiche that I leve in wo, 1205 And thou, Pryam, and bretheren al y-fere, And thou, my moder, farwel! For I go; And Attropos, make redy thou my bere! And thou, Criseyde, o swete herte dere, Receyve now my spirit!' wolde he seye, 1210 With swerd at herte, al redy for to deye
But as god wolde, of swough ther-with she abreyde, And gan to syke, and 'Troilus' she cryde; And he answerde, 'Lady myn Criseyde, Live ye yet?' and leet his swerd doun glyde. 1215 'Ye, herte myn, that thanked be Cupyde!' Quod she, and ther-with-al she sore sighte; And he bigan to glade hir as he mighte;
Took hir in armes two, and kiste hir ofte, And hir to glade he dide al his entente; 1220 For which hir goost, that flikered ay on-lofte, In-to hir woful herte ayein it wente. But at the laste, as that hir eyen glente A-syde, anoon she gan his swerd aspye, As it lay bare, and gan for fere crye, 1225
And asked him, why he it hadde out-drawe? And Troilus anoon the cause hir tolde, And how himself ther-with he wolde have slawe. For which Criseyde up-on him gan biholde, And gan him in hir armes faste folde, 1230 And seyde, 'O mercy, god, lo, which a dede! Allas! How neigh we were bothe dede!
'Thanne if I ne hadde spoken, as grace was, Ye wolde han slayn your-self anoon?' quod she. 'Ye, douteless;' and she answerde, 'Allas! 1235 For, by that ilke lord that made me, I nolde a forlong wey on-lyve han be, After your deeth, to han been crouned quene Of al the lond the sonne on shyneth shene.
'But with this selve swerd, which that here is, 1240 My-selve I wolde han slayn!' — quod she tho; 'But ho, for we han right y-now of this, And late us ryse and streight to bedde go And there lat ys speken of oure wo. For, by the morter which that I see brenne, 1245 Knowe I ful wel that day is not fer henne.'
Whan they were in hir bedde, in armes folde, Nought was it lyk tho nightes here-biforn; For pitously ech other gan biholde, As they that hadden al hir blisse y-lorn, 1250 Biwaylinge ay the day that they were born. Til at the last this sorwful wight Criseyde To Troilus these ilke wordes seyde: —
'Lo, herte myn, wel wot ye this,' quod she, 'That if a wight alwey his wo compleyne, 1255 And seketh nought how holpen for to be, It nis but folye and encrees of peyne; And sin that here assembled be we tweyne To finde bote of wo that we ben inne, It were al tyme sone to biginne. 1260
'I am a womman, as ful wel ye woot, And as I am avysed sodeynly, So wol I telle yow, whyl it is hoot. Me thinketh thus, that nouther ye nor I Oughte half this wo to make skilfully. 1265 For there is art y-now for to redresse That yet is mis, and sleen this hevinesse.
'Sooth is, the wo, the whiche that we ben inne, For ought I woot, for no-thing elles is But for the cause that we sholden twinne. 1270 Considered al, ther nis no-more amis. But what is thanne a remede un-to this, But that we shape us sone for to mete? This al and som, my dere herte swete.
'Now that I shal wel bringen it aboute 1275 To come ayein, sone after that I go, Ther-of am I no maner thing in doute. For dredeles, with-inne a wouke or two, I shal ben here; and, that it may be so By alle right, and in a wordes fewe, 1280 I shal yow wel an heep of weyes shewe.
'For which I wol not make long sermoun, For tyme y-lost may not recovered be; But I wol gon to my conclusioun, And to the beste, in ought that I can see. 1285 And, for the love of god, for-yeve it me If I speke ought ayein your hertes reste; For trewely, I speke it for the beste;
'Makinge alwey a protestacioun, That now these wordes, whiche that I shal seye, 1290 Nis but to shewe yow my mocioun, To finde un-to our helpe the beste weye; And taketh it non other wyse, I preye. For in effect what-so ye me comaunde, That wol I doon, for that is no demaunde. 1295
'Now herkneth this, ye han wel understonde, My goinge graunted is by parlement So ferforth, that it may not be with-stonde For al this world, as by my Iugement. And sin ther helpeth noon avysement 1300 To letten it, lat it passe out of minde; And lat us shape a bettre wey to finde.
'The sothe is, that the twinninge of us tweyne Wol us disese and cruelliche anoye. But him bihoveth som-tyme han a peyne, 1305 That serveth love, if that he wol have Ioye. And sin I shal no ferthere out of Troye Than I may ryde ayein on half a morwe, It oughte lesse causen us to sorwe.
'So as I shal not so ben hid in muwe, 1310 That day by day, myn owene herte dere, Sin wel ye woot that it is now a trewe, Ye shal ful wel al myn estat y-here. And er that truwe is doon, I shal ben here, And thanne have ye bothe Antenor y-wonne 1315 And me also; beth glad now, if ye conne;
'And thenk right thus, "Criseyde is now agoon, But what! She shal come hastely ayeyn;" And whanne, allas? By god, lo, right anoon, Er dayes ten, this dar I saufly seyn. 1320 And thanne at erste shul we been so fayn, So as we shulle to-gederes ever dwelle, That al this world ne mighte our blisse telle.
'I see that ofte, ther-as we ben now, That for the beste, our counseil for to hyde, 1325 Ye speke not with me, nor I with yow In fourtenight; ne see yow go ne ryde. May ye not ten dayes thanne abyde, For myn honour, in swich an aventure? Y-wis, ye mowen elles lite endure! 1330
'Ye knowe eek how that al my kin is here, But-if that onliche it my fader be; And eek myn othere thinges alle y-fere, And nameliche, my dere herte, ye, Whom that I nolde leven for to see 1335 For al this world, as wyd as it hath space; Or elles, see ich never Ioves face!
'Why trowe ye my fader in this wyse Coveiteth so to see me, but for drede Lest in this toun that folkes me dispyse 1340 By-cause of him, for his unhappy dede? What woot my fader what lyf that I lede? For if he wiste in Troye how wel I fare, Us neded for my wending nought to care.
'Ye seen that every day eek, more and more, 1345 Men trete of pees; and it supposed is, That men the quene Eleyne shal restore, And Grekes us restore that is mis. So though ther nere comfort noon but this, That men purposen pees on every syde, 1350 Ye may the bettre at ese of herte abyde.
'For if that it be pees, myn herte dere, The nature of the pees mot nedes dryve That men moste entrecomunen y-fere, And to and fro eek ryde and gon as blyve 1355 Alday as thikke as been flen from an hyve; And every wight han libertee to bleve Where-as him list the bet, with-outen leve.
'And though so be that pees ther may be noon, Yet hider, though ther never pees ne were, 1360 I moste come; for whider sholde I goon, Or how mischaunce sholde I dwelle there Among tho men of armes ever in fere? For which, as wisly god my soule rede, I can not seen wher-of ye sholden drede. 1365
'Have here another wey, if it so be That al this thing ne may yow not suffyse. My fader, as ye knowen wel, pardee, Is old, and elde is ful of coveityse, And I right now have founden al the gyse, 1370 With-oute net, wher-with I shal him hente; And herkeneth how, if that ye wole assente.
'Lo, Troilus, men seyn that hard it is The wolf ful, and the wether hool to have; This is to seyn, that men ful ofte, y-wis, 1375 Mot spenden part, the remenant for to save. For ay with gold men may the herte grave Of him that set is up-on coveityse; And how I mene, I shal it yow devyse.
'The moeble which that I have in this toun 1380 Un-to my fader shal I take, and seye, That right for trust and for savacioun It sent is from a freend of his or tweye, The whiche freendes ferventliche him preye To senden after more, and that in hye, 1385 Whyl that this toun stant thus in Iupartye.
'And that shal been an huge quantitee, Thus shal I seyn, but, lest it folk aspyde, This may be sent by no wight but by me; I shal eek shewen him, if pees bityde, 1390 What frendes that ich have on every syde Toward the court, to doon the wrathe pace Of Priamus, and doon him stonde in grace.
'So what for o thing and for other, swete, I shal him so enchaunten with my sawes, 1395 That right in hevene his sowle is, shal he mete! For al Appollo, or his clerkes lawes, Or calculinge avayleth nought three hawes; Desyr of gold shal so his sowle blende, That, as me lyst, I shal wel make an ende. 1400
'And if he wolde ought by his sort it preve If that I lye, in certayn I shal fonde Distorben him, and plukke him by the sleve, Makinge his sort, and beren him on honde, He hath not wel the goddes understonde. 1405 For goddes speken in amphibologyes, And, for o sooth they tellen twenty lyes.
'Eek drede fond first goddes, I suppose, Thus shal I seyn, and that his cowarde herte Made him amis the goddes text to glose, 1410 Whan he for ferde out of his Delphos sterte. And but I make him sone to converte, And doon my reed with-inne a day or tweye, I wol to yow oblige me to deye.'
And treweliche, as writen wel I finde, 1415 That al this thing was seyd of good entente; And that hir herte trewe was and kinde Towardes him, and spak right as she mente, And that she starf for wo neigh, whan she wente, And was in purpos ever to be trewe; 1420 Thus writen they that of hir werkes knewe.
This Troilus, with herte and eres spradde, Herde al this thing devysen to and fro; And verraylich him semed that he hadde The selve wit; but yet to lete hir go 1425 His herte misforyaf him ever-mo. But fynally, he gan his herte wreste To trusten hir, and took it for the beste.
For which the grete furie of his penaunce Was queynt with hope, and ther-with hem bitwene 1430 Bigan for Ioye the amorouse daunce. And as the briddes, whan the sonne is shene, Delyten in hir song in leves grene, Right so the wordes that they spake y-fere Delyted hem, and made hir hertes clere. 1435
But natheles, the wending of Criseyde, For al this world, may nought out of his minde; For which ful ofte he pitously hir preyde, That of hir heste he might hir trewe finde, And seyde hire, 'Certes, if ye be unkinde, 1440 And but ye come at day set in-to Troye, Ne shal I never have hele, honour, ne Ioye.
'For al-so sooth as sonne up-rist on morwe, And, god! So wisly thou me, woful wrecche, To reste bringe out of this cruel sorwe, 1445 I wol my-selven slee if that ye drecche. But of my deeth though litel be to recche, Yet, er that ye me cause so to smerte, Dwel rather here, myn owene swete herte!
'For trewely, myn owene lady dere, 1450 Tho sleightes yet that I have herd yow stere Ful shaply been to failen alle y-fere. For thus men seyn, "That oon thenketh the bere, But al another thenketh his ledere." Your sire is wys, and seyd is, out of drede, 1455 "Men may the wyse at-renne, and not at-rede."
'It is ful hard to halten unespyed Bifore a crepul, for he can the craft; Your fader is in sleighte as Argus yed; For al be that his moeble is him biraft, 1460 His olde sleighte is yet so with him laft, Ye shal not blende him for your womanhede, Ne feyne a-right, and that is al my drede.
'I noot if pees shal ever-mo bityde; But, pees or no, for ernest ne for game, 1465 I woot, sin Calkas on the Grekis syde Hath ones been, and lost so foule his name, He dar no more come here ayein for shame; For which that weye, for ought I can espye, To trusten on, nis but a fantasye. 1470
'Ye shal eek seen, your fader shal yow glose To been a wyf, and as he can wel preche, He shal som Grek so preyse and wel alose, That ravisshen he shal yow with his speche, Or do yow doon by force as he shal teche. 1475 And Troilus, of whom ye nil han routhe, Shal causeles so sterven in his trouthe!
'And over al this, your fader shal despyse Us alle, and seyn this citee nis but lorn; And that thassege never shal aryse, 1480 For-why the Grekes han it alle sworn Til we be slayn, and doun our walles torn. And thus he shal yow with his wordes fere, That ay drede I, that ye wol bleve there.
'Ye shul eek seen so many a lusty knight 1485 A-mong the Grekes, ful of worthinesse, And eche of hem with herte, wit, and might To plesen yow don al his besinesse, That ye shul dullen of the rudenesse Of us sely Troianes, but-if routhe 1490 Remorde yow, or vertue of your trouthe.
'And this to me so grevous is to thinke, That fro my brest it wol my soule rende; Ne dredeles, in me ther may not sinke A good opinioun, if that ye wende; 1495 For-why your faderes sleighte wol us shende. And if ye goon, as I have told yow yore, So thenk I nam but deed, with-oute more.
'For which, with humble, trewe, and pitous herte, A thousand tymes mercy I yow preye; 1500 So reweth on myn aspre peynes smerte, And doth somwhat, as that I shal yow seye, And lat us stele away bitwixe us tweye; And thenk that folye is, whan man may chese, For accident his substaunce ay to lese. 1505
'I mene this, that sin we mowe er day Wel stele away, and been to-gider so, What wit were it to putten in assay, In cas ye sholden to your fader go, If that ye mighte come ayein or no? 1510 Thus mene I, that it were a gret folye To putte that sikernesse in Iupertye.
'And vulgarly to speken of substaunce Of tresour, may we bothe with us lede Y-nough to live in honour and plesaunce, 1515 Til in-to tyme that we shal ben dede; And thus we may eschewen al this drede. For everich other wey ye can recorde, Myn herte, y-wis, may not ther-with acorde.
'And hardily, ne dredeth no poverte, 1520 For I have kin and freendes elles-where That, though we comen in oure bare sherte, Us sholde neither lakke gold ne gere, But been honured whyl we dwelten there. And go we anoon, for, as in myn entente, 1525 This is the beste, if that ye wole assente.'
Criseyde, with a syk, right in this wyse Answerde, 'Y-wis, my dere herte trewe, We may wel stele away, as ye devyse, And finde swich unthrifty weyes newe; 1530 But afterward, ful sore it wol us rewe. And help me god so at my moste nede As causeles ye suffren al this drede!
'For thilke day that I for cherisshinge Or drede of fader, or of other wight, 1535 Or for estat, delyt, or for weddinge, Be fals to yow, my Troilus, my knight, Saturnes doughter, Iuno, thorugh hir might, As wood as Athamante do me dwelle Eternaly in Stix, the put of helle! 1540
'And this on every god celestial I swere it yow; and eek on eche goddesse, On every Nymphe and deite infernal, On Satiry and Fauny more and lesse, That halve goddes been of wildernesse; 1545 And Attropos my threed of lyf to-breste If I be fals; now trowe me if thow leste!
'And thou, Simoys, that as an arwe clere Thorugh Troye rennest ay downward to the see, Ber witnesse of this word that seyd is here, 1550 That thilke day that ich untrewe be To Troilus, myn owene herte free, That thou retorne bakwarde to thy welle, And I with body and soule sinke in helle!
'But that ye speke, awey thus for to go 1555 And leten alle your freendes, god for-bede, For any womman, that ye sholden so, And namely, sin Troye hath now swich nede Of help; and eek of o thing taketh hede, If this were wist, my lif laye in balaunce, 1560 And your honour; god shilde us fro mischaunce!
'And if so be that pees her-after take, As alday happeth, after anger, game, Why, lord! The sorwe and wo ye wolden make, That ye ne dorste come ayein for shame! 1565 And er that ye Iuparten so your name, Beth nought to hasty in this hote fare; For hasty man ne wanteth never care.
'What trowe ye the peple eek al aboute Wolde of it seye? It is ful light to arede. 1570 They wolden seye, and swere it, out of doute, That love ne droof yow nought to doon this dede, But lust voluptuous and coward drede. Thus were al lost, y-wis, myn herte dere, Your honour, which that now shyneth so clere. 1575
'And also thenketh on myn honestee, That floureth yet, how foule I sholde it shende, And with what filthe it spotted sholde be, If in this forme I sholde with yow wende. Ne though I livede un-to the worldes ende, 1580 My name sholde I never ayeinward winne; Thus were I lost, and that were routhe and sinne.
'And for-thy slee with reson al this hete; Men seyn, "The suffraunt overcometh," pardee; Eek "Who-so wol han leef, he lief mot lete;" 1585 Thus maketh vertue of necessitee By pacience, and thenk that lord is he Of fortune ay, that nought wol of hir recche; And she ne daunteth no wight but a wrecche.
'And trusteth this, that certes, herte swete, 1590 Er Phebus suster, Lucina the shene, The Leoun passe out of this Ariete, I wol ben here, with-outen any wene. I mene, as helpe me Iuno, hevenes quene, The tenthe day, but-if that deeth me assayle, 1595 I wol yow seen with-outen any fayle.'
'And now, so this be sooth,' quod Troilus, 'I shal wel suffre un-to the tenthe day, Sin that I see that nede it moot be thus. But, for the love of god, if it be may, 1600 So lat us stele prively away; For ever in oon, as for to live in reste, Myn herte seyth that it wol been the beste.'
'O mercy, god, what lyf is this?' quod she; 'Allas, ye slee me thus for verray tene! 1605 I see wel now that ye mistrusten me; For by your wordes it is wel y-sene. Now, for the love of Cynthia the shene, Mistrust me not thus causeles, for routhe; Sin to be trewe I have yow plight my trouthe. 1610
'And thenketh wel, that som tyme it is wit To spende a tyme, a tyme for to winne; Ne, pardee, lorn am I nought fro yow yit, Though that we been a day or two a-twinne. Dryf out the fantasyes yow with-inne; 1615 And trusteth me, and leveth eek your sorwe, Or here my trouthe, I wol not live til morwe.
'For if ye wiste how sore it doth me smerte, Ye wolde cesse of this; for god, thou wost, The pure spirit wepeth in myn herte, 1620 To see yow wepen that I love most, And that I moot gon to the Grekes ost. Ye, nere it that I wiste remedye To come ayein, right here I wolde dye!
'But certes, I am not so nyce a wight 1625 That I ne can imaginen a wey To come ayein that day that I have hight. For who may holde thing that wol a-way? My fader nought, for al his queynte pley. And by my thrift, my wending out of Troye 1630 Another day shal torne us alle to Ioye.
'For-thy, with al myn herte I yow beseke, If that yow list don ought for my preyere, And for the love which that I love yow eke, That er that I departe fro yow here, 1635 That of so good a comfort and a chere I may you seen, that ye may bringe at reste Myn herte, which that is at point to breste.
'And over al this I pray yow,' quod she tho, 'Myn owene hertes soothfast suffisaunce, 1640 Sin I am thyn al hool, with-outen mo, That whyl that I am absent, no plesaunce Of othere do me fro your remembraunce. For I am ever a-gast, for-why men rede, That "love is thing ay ful of bisy drede." 1645
'For in this world ther liveth lady noon, If that ye were untrewe, as god defende! That so bitraysed were or wo bigoon As I, that alle trouthe in yow entende. And douteles, if that ich other wende, 1650 I nere but deed; and er ye cause finde, For goddes love, so beth me not unkinde.'
To this answerde Troilus and seyde, 'Now god, to whom ther nis no cause y-wrye, Me glade, as wis I never un-to Criseyde, 1655 Sin thilke day I saw hir first with ye, Was fals, ne never shal til that I dye. At shorte wordes, wel ye may me leve; I can no more, it shal be founde at preve.'
'Graunt mercy, goode myn, y-wis,' quod she, 1660 'And blisful Venus lat me never sterve Er I may stonde of plesaunce in degree To quyte him wel, that so wel can deserve; And whyl that god my wit wol me conserve, I shal so doon, so trewe I have yow founde, 1665 That ay honour to me-ward shal rebounde.
'For trusteth wel, that your estat royal Ne veyn delyt, nor only worthinesse Of yow in werre, or torney marcial, Ne pompe, array, nobley, or eek richesse, 1670 Ne made me to rewe on your distresse; But moral vertue, grounded upon trouthe, That was the cause I first hadde on yow routhe!
'Eek gentil herte and manhod that ye hadde, And that ye hadde, as me thoughte, in despyt 1675 Every thing that souned in-to badde, As rudenesse and poeplish appetyt; And that your reson brydled your delyt, This made, aboven every creature, That I was your, and shal, whyl I may dure. 1680
'And this may lengthe of yeres not for-do, Ne remuable fortune deface; But Iuppiter, that of his might may do The sorwful to be glad, so yeve us grace, Er nightes ten, to meten in this place, 1685 So that it may your herte and myn suffyse; And fareth now wel, for tyme is that ye ryse.'