Previous Previous:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, lines 1429-1519:
Troilus' sister explains his dream and tells him that Diomedes is in and he is out
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.




Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book V, lines 1520-1631: Troilus does not believe his sister and he exchanges letters with Criseyde


1520`Thou seyst nat sooth,' quod he, `thou sorceresse,
With al thy false goost of prophesye!
Thou wenest been a greet devyneresse;
Now seestow not this fool of fantasye
Peyneth hir on ladyes for to lye?
1525Awey!' quod he. `Ther Joves yeve thee sorwe!
Thou shalt be fals, paraunter, yet to-morwe!

`As wel thou mightest lyen on Alceste,
That was of creatures, but men lye,
That ever weren, kindest and the beste.
1530For whanne hir housbonde was in jupartye
To dye himself, but if she wolde dye,
She chees for him to dye and go to helle,
And starf anon, as us the bokes telle.'

Cassandre goth, and he with cruel herte
1535For-yat his wo, for angre of hir speche;
And from his bed al sodeynly he sterte,
As though al hool him hadde ymad a leche.
And day by day he gan enquere and seche
A sooth of this, with al his fulle cure;
1540And thus he dryeth forth his aventure.

Fortune, whiche that permutacioun
Of thinges hath, as it is hir committed
Through purveyaunce and disposicioun
Of heighe Jove, as regnes shal ben flitted
1545Fro folk in folk, or whan they shal ben smitted,
Gan pulle awey the fetheres brighte of Troye
Fro day to day, til they ben bare of joye.

Among al this, the fyn of the parodie
Of Ector gan approchen wonder blyve;
1550The fate wolde his soule sholde unbodie,
And shapen hadde a mene it out to dryve;
Ayeins which fate him helpeth not to stryve;
But on a day to fighten gan he wende,
At which, allas! He coughte his lyves ende.

1555For which me thinketh every maner wight
That haunteth armes oughte to biwayle
The deeth of him that was so noble a knight;
For as he drough a king by the aventayle,
Unwar of this, Achilles through the mayle
1560And through the body gan him for to ryve;
And thus this worthy knight was brought of lyve.

For whom, as olde bokes tellen us,
Was mad swich wo, that tonge it may not telle;
And namely, the sorwe of Troilus,
1565That next him was of worthinesse welle.
And in this wo gan Troilus to dwelle,
That, what for sorwe, and love, and for unreste,
Ful ofte a day he bad his herte breste.

But nathelees, though he gan him dispeyre,
1570And dradde ay that his lady was untrewe,
Yet ay on hir his herte gan repeyre.
And as these loveres doon, he soughte ay newe
To gete ayein Criseyde, bright of hewe.
And in his herte he wente hir excusinge,
1575That Calkas causede al hir taryinge.

And ofte tyme he was in purpos grete
Himselven lyk a pilgrim to disgyse,
To seen hir; but he may not countrefete
To been unknowen of folk that weren wyse,
1580Ne finde excuse aright that may suffyse,
If he among the Grekes knowen were;
For which he weep ful ofte many a tere.

To hir he wroot yet ofte tyme al newe
Ful pitously, he lefte it nought for slouthe,
1585Biseching hir that, syn that he was trewe,
She wolde come ayein and holde hir trouthe.
For which Criseyde upon a day, for routhe,
I take it so, touchinge al this matere,
Wrot him ayein, and seyde as ye may here.

1590`Cupydes sone, ensample of goodlihede,
O swerd of knighthod, sours of gentilesse!
How might a wight in torment and in drede
And helelees, yow sende as yet gladnesse?
I hertelees, I syke, I in distresse;
1595Syn ye with me, nor I with yow may dele,
Yow neither sende ich herte may nor hele.

`Your lettres ful, the papir al ypleynted,
Conceyved hath myn hertes pietee;
I have eek seyn with teeris al depeynted
1600Your lettre, and how that ye requeren me
To come ayein, which yet ne may not be.
But why, lest that this lettre founden were,
No mencioun ne make I now, for fere.

`Grevous to me, God woot, is your unreste,
1605Your haste, and that, the goddes ordinaunce,
It semeth not ye take it for the beste.
Nor other thing nis in your remembraunce,
As thinketh me, but only your plesaunce.
But beth not wrooth, and that I yow biseche;
1610For that I tarie, is al for wikked speche.

`For I have herd wel more than I wende,
Touchinge us two, how thinges han ystonde;
Which I shal with dissimulinge amende.
And beth nought wrooth, I have eek understonde,
1615How ye ne doon but holden me in honde.
But now no fors, I can not in yow gesse
But alle trouthe and alle gentilesse.

`Comen I wol, but yet in swich disjoynte
I stonde as now, that what yeer or what day
1620That this shal be, that can I not apoynte.
But in effect, I prey yow, as I may,
Of your good word and of your frendship ay.
For trewely, whyl that my lyf may dure,
As for a freend, ye may in me assure.

1625`Yet preye I yow on yvel ye ne take,
That it is short which that I to yow write;
I dar not, ther I am, wel lettres make,
Ne never yet ne coude I wel endite.
Eek greet effect men wryte in place lite.
1630Th'entente is al, and nought the lettres space;
And fareth now wel, God have you in his grace!
      La vostre C.'





Next Next:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, lines 1632-1666:
Troilus finds Criseyde's unfaithfullness proved
Next