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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book III, lines 1058-1141:
Pandarus brings Troilus and Criseyde together
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book III, lines 1142-1337: Troilus and Criseyde finally touch each other


Sone after this, though it no nede were,
Whan she swich othes as hir list devyse
Hadde of him take, hir thoughte tho no fere,
1145Ne cause eek non, to bidde him thennes ryse.
Yet lesse thing than othes may suffyse
In many a cas; for every wight, I gesse,
That loveth wel meneth but gentilesse.

But in effect she wolde wite anoon
1150Of what man, and eek where, and also why
He jalous was, syn ther was cause noon;
And eek the signe, that he took it by,
She bad him that to telle hir bisily,
Or elles, certeyn, she bar him on honde,
1155That this was doon of malis, hir to fonde.

Withouten more, shortly for to seyne,
He moste obeye unto his lady heste;
And for the lasse harm, he moste feyne.
He seyde hir, whan she was at swich a feste,
1160She mighte on him han loked at the leste;
Not I not what, al dere ynough a risshe,
As he that nedes moste a cause fisshe.

And she answerde, `Swete, al were it so,
What harm was that, syn I non yvel mene?
1165For, by that God that boughte us bothe two,
In alle thinge is myn entente clene.
Swich arguments ne been not worth a bene;
Wol ye the childish jalous countrefete?
Now were it worthy that ye were ybete.'

1170Tho Troilus gan sorwfully to syke,
Lest she be wrooth, him thoughte his herte deyde;
And seyde, `Allas! Up-on my sorwes syke
Have mercy, swete herte myn, Criseyde!
And if that, in tho wordes that I seyde,
1175Be any wrong, I wol no more trespace;
Do what yow list, I am al in your grace.'

And she answerde, `Of gilt misericorde!
That is to seyn, that I foryeve al this;
And ever-more on this night yow recorde,
1180And beth wel war ye do no more amis.'
`Nay, dere herte myn,' quod he, `y-wis.'
`And now,' quod she, `that I have do yow smerte,
Foryeve it me, myn owene swete herte.'

This Troilus, with blisse of that supprysed,
1185Put al in Goddes hond, as he that mente
No-thing but wel; and, sodeynly avysed,
He hir in armes faste to him hente.
And Pandarus, with a ful good entente,
Leyde him to slepe, and seyde, `If ye ben wyse,
1190Swowneth not now, lest more folk aryse.'

What mighte or may the sely larke seye,
Whan that the sperhauk hath it in his foot?
I can no more, but of thise ilke tweye,
To whom this tale sucre be or soot,
1195Though that I tarie a yeer, som-tyme I moot,
After myn auctor, tellen hir gladnesse,
As wel as I have told hir hevinesse.

Criseyde, which that felte hir thus ytake,
As writen clerkes in hir bokes olde,
1200Right as an aspes leef she gan to quake,
Whan she him felte hir in his armes folde.
But Troilus, al hool of cares colde,
Gan thanken tho the blisful goddes sevene;
Thus sondry peynes bringen folk in hevene.

1205This Troilus in armes gan hir streyne,
And seyde, `O swete, as ever mote I goon,
Now be ye caught, now is ther but we tweyne;
Now yeldeth yow, for other boot is non.'
To that Criseyde answerde thus anon,
1210`Ne hadde I er now, my swete herte dere,
Ben yolde, ywis, I were now not here!'

O! Sooth is seyd, that heled for to be
As of a fevre or othere greet syknesse,
Men moste drinke, as men may often see,
1215Ful bittre drink; and for to han gladnesse,
Men drinken often peyne and greet distresse;
I mene it here, as for this aventure,
That thurgh a peyne hath founden al his cure.

And now swetnesse semeth more sweet,
1220That bitternesse assayed was biforn;
For out of wo in blisse now they flete;
Non swich they felten, sith they were born;
Now is this bet, than bothe two be lorn!
For love of God, take every womman hede
1225To werken thus, if it comth to the nede.

Criseyde, al quit from every drede and tene,
As she that juste cause hadde him to triste,
Made him swich feste, it joye was to sene,
Whan she his trouthe and clene entente wiste.
1230And as aboute a tree, with many a twiste,
Bitrent and wryth the sote wodebinde,
Gan ech of hem in armes other winde.

And as the newe abaysshed nightingale,
That stinteth first whan she biginneth to singe,
1235Whan that she hereth any herde tale,
Or in the hegges any wight steringe,
And after siker dooth hir voys out-ringe;
Right so Criseyde, whan hir drede stente,
Opned hir herte and tolde him hir entente.

1240And right as he that seeth his deeth yshapen,
And dyen moot, in ought that he may gesse,
And sodeynly rescous dooth him escapen,
And from his deeth is brought in sikernesse,
For al this world, in swich present gladnesse
1245Was Troilus, and hath his lady swete;
With worse hap God lat us never mete!

Hir armes smale, hir streyghte bak and softe,
Hir sydes longe, fleshly, smothe, and whyte
He gan to stroke, and good thrift bad ful ofte
1250Hir snowish throte, hir brestes rounde and lyte;
Thus in this hevene he gan him to delyte,
And therwithal a thousand tyme hir kiste;
That, what to done, for joye unnethe he wiste.

Than seyde he thus, `O, Love, O, Charitee,
1255Thy moder eek, Citherea the swete,
After thyself next heried be she,
Venus mene I, the wel-willy planete;
And next that, Imeneus, I thee grete;
For never man was to yow goddes holde
1260As I, which ye han brought fro cares colde.

`Benigne Love, thou holy bond of thinges,
Who-so wol grace, and list thee nought honouren,
Lo, his desyr wol flee withouten winges.
For, noldestow of bountee hem socouren
1265That serven best and most alwey labouren,
Yet were al lost, that dar I wel seyn, certes,
But-if thy grace passed our desertes.

`And for thou me, that coude leest deserve
Of hem that nombred been unto thy grace,
1270Hast holpen, ther I lykly was to sterve,
And me bistowed in so heygh a place
That thilke boundes may no blisse pace,
I can no more, but laude and reverence
Be to thy bountee and thyn excellence!'

1275And therwithal Criseyde anoon he kiste,
Of which, certeyn, she felte no disese,
And thus seyde he, `Now wolde God I wiste,
Myn herte swete, how I yow mighte plese!
What man,' quod he, `was ever thus at ese
1280As I, on whiche the faireste and the beste
That ever I say, deyneth hir herte reste.

`Here may men seen that mercy passeth right;
The experience of that is felt in me,
That am unworthy to so swete a wight.
1285But herte myn, of your benignytee,
So thenketh, though that I unworthy be,
Yet mot I nede amenden in som wyse,
Right thourgh the vertu of your heyghe servyse.

`And for the love of God, my lady dere,
1290Syn God hath wrought me for I shal yow serve,
As thus I mene, that ye wol be my stere,
To do me live, if that yow liste, or sterve,
So techeth me how that I may deserve
Your thank, so that I, thurgh myn ignoraunce,
1295Ne do no thing that yow be displesaunce.

`For certes, fresshe wommanliche wyf,
This dar I seye, that trouthe and diligence,
That shal ye finden in me al my lyf,
Ne wol not, certeyn, breken your defence;
1300And if I do, present or in absence,
For love of God, lat slee me with the dede,
If that it lyke unto your womanhede.'

`Ywis,' quod she, `myn owne hertes list,
My ground of ese, and al myn herte dere,
1305Graunt mercy, for on that is al my trist;
But late us falle awey fro this matere;
For it suffyseth, this that seyd is here.
And at o word, withouten repentaunce,
Welcome, my knight, my pees, my suffisaunce!'

1310Of hir delyt, or joyes oon the leste
Were impossible to my wit to seye;
But juggeth, ye that han ben at the feste,
Of swich gladnesse, if that hem liste pleye!
I can no more, but thus thise ilke tweye
1315That night, bitwixen dreed and sikernesse,
Felten in love the grete worthinesse.

O blisful night, of hem so longe ysought,
How blithe unto hem bothe two thou were!
Why ne hadde I swich on with my soule ybought,
1320Ye, or the leeste joye that was there?
A-wey, thou foule daunger and thou fere,
And lat hem in this hevene blisse dwelle,
That is so heygh, that al ne can I telle!

But sooth is, though I can not tellen al,
1325As can myn auctor, of his excellence,
Yet have I seyd, and, God toforn, I shal
In every thing al hoolly his sentence.
And if that I, at loves reverence,
Have any word in eched for the beste,
1330Doth therwith-al right as your-selven leste.

For myne wordes, here and every part,
I speke hem alle under correccioun
Of yow, that feling han in loves art,
And putte it al in your discrecioun
1335To encrese or maken diminucioun
Of my langage, and that I yow biseche;
But now to purpos of my rather speche.





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book III, lines 1338-1414:
Troilus and Criseyde stay up all night
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