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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 659-735:
The women of Troy deliberate about the exchange
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book IV, lines 736-805: Criseyde pities her situation


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.
740Hir hewe, whilom bright, that tho was pale,
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,
745And born in corsed constellacioun,
Moot 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!'

750Therwith the teeris from hir eyen two
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,
Syn he that wont hir wo was for to lythe,
755She moot for-goon; for which disaventure
She held hirself a forlost creature.

She seyde, `How shal he doon, and I also?
How sholde I live, if that I from him twynne?
O dere herte eek, that I love so,
760Who shal that sorwe sleen that ye ben inne?
O Calkas, fader, thyn be al this synne!
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?
765How sholde a fish withoute water dure?
What is Criseyde worth, from Troilus?
How sholde a plaunte or lyves creature
Live, withoute his kinde noriture?
For which ful oft a byword here I seye,
770That "rotelees, moot grene sone deye."

`I shal don thus, syn 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,
775Than shal no mete or drinke come in me
Til I my soule out of my breste unshethe;
And thus myselven wol I do to dethe.

`And, Troilus, my clothes everichon
Shul blake been, in tokeninge, herte swete,
780That I am as out of this world agoon,
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.

785`Myn herte and eek the woful goost therinne
Biquethe I, with your spirit to compleyne
Eternally, for they shal never twynne.
For though in erthe y-twinned be we tweyne,
Yet in the feld of pitee, out of peyne,
790That hight Elysos, shul we been yfeere,
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,
795How shal youre tendre herte this sustene?
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 yred ben or ysonge,
800The pleynte that she made in hir distresse?
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
805Hir heigh compleynte, and therfore I it pace.





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 806-945:
Pandarus speaks with his niece Criseyde and asks her to hide her grief when she meets Troilus
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