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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book I, lines 1-55: About Troilus, son of Priamus who is king of Troy


     The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovinge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of joye,
5My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
Thesiphone, thou help me for t'endite
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I write!

To thee clepe I, thou goddesse of torment,
Thou cruel Furie, sorwing ever in peyne;
10Help me, that am the sorwful instrument
That helpeth lovers, as I can, to pleyne!
For wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
A woful wight to han a drery feere,
And, to a sorwful tale, a sory cheere.

15 For I, that God of Loves servaunts serve,
Ne dar to Love, for myn unlyklinesse,
Preyen for speed, al sholde I therfor sterve,
So fer am I fro his help in derknesse;
But nathelees, if this may doon gladnesse
20To any lover, and his cause avayle,
Have he my thank, and myn be this travayle!

But ye loveres, that bathen in gladnesse,
If any drope of pitee in yow be,
Remembreth yow on passed hevynesse
25That ye han felt, and on the adversitee
Of othere folk, and thenketh how that ye
Han felt that Love dorste yow displese;
Or ye han wonne hym with to greet an ese.

And preyeth for hem that ben in the cas
30Of Troilus, as ye may after here,
That love hem bringe in hevene to solas,
And eek for me preyeth to God so dere,
That I have might to shewe, in som manere,
Swich peyne and wo as Loves folk endure,
35In Troilus unsely aventure.

And biddeth eek for hem that been despeyred
In love, that never nil recovered be,
And eek for hem that falsly been apeyred
Thorugh wikked tonges, be it he or she;
40Thus biddeth God, for his benignitee,
So graunte hem sone out of this world to pace,
That been despeyred out of Loves grace.

And biddeth eek for hem that been at ese,
That God hem graunte ay good perseveraunce,
45And sende hem might hir ladies so to plese,
That it to Love be worship and plesaunce.
For so hope I my soule best avaunce,
To preye for hem that Loves servaunts be,
And write hir wo, and live in charitee.

50And for to have of hem compassioun
As though I were hir owene brother dere.
Now herkneth with a good entencioun,
For now wol I gon streight to my matere,
In whiche ye may the double sorwes here
55Of Troilus, in loving of Criseyde,
And how that she forsook him er she deyde.





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book I, lines 56-91:
The treason of Calkas
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