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The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at

Troilus and Criseyde

Book 2

 Owt of thise blake wawes for to saylle,
 O wynd, o wynd, the weder gynneth clere;
 For in this see the boot hath swych travaylle,
 Of my connyng, that unneth I it steere.
 This see clepe I the tempestous matere
 Of disespeir that Troilus was inne;
 But now of hope the kalendes bygynne.
 O lady myn, that called art Cleo,
 Thow be my speed fro this forth, and my Muse,
10 To ryme wel this book til I have do;
 Me nedeth here noon other art to use.
 Forwhi to every lovere I me excuse,
 That of no sentement I this endite,
 But out of Latyn in my tonge it write.
 Wherfore I nyl have neither thank ne blame
 Of al this werk, but prey yow mekely,
 Disblameth me if any word be lame,
 For as myn auctour seyde, so sey I.
 Ek though I speeke of love unfelyngly,
20 No wondre is, for it nothyng of newe is.
 A blynd man kan nat juggen wel in hewis.
 Ye knowe ek that in forme of speche is chaunge
 Withinne a thousand yeer, and wordes tho
 That hadden pris, now wonder nyce and straunge
 Us thinketh hem, and yet thei spake hem so,
 And spedde as wel in love as men now do;
 Ek for to wynnen love in sondry ages,
 In sondry londes, sondry ben usages.
 And forthi if it happe in any wyse,
30 That here be any lovere in this place
 That herkneth, as the storie wol devise,
 How Troilus com to his lady grace,
 And thenketh, "So nold I nat love purchace,"
 Or wondreth on his speche or his doynge,
 I noot; but it is me no wonderynge.
 For every wight which that to Rome went
 Halt nat o path, or alwey o manere;
 Ek in som lond were al the game shent,
 If that they ferde in love as men don here,
40 As thus, in opyn doyng or in chere,
 In visityng in forme, or seyde hire sawes;
 Forthi men seyn, "Ecch contree hath his lawes."
 Ek scarsly ben ther in this place thre
 That have in love seid lik, and don, in al;
 For to thi purpos this may liken the,
 And the right nought; yet al is seid or schal;
 Ek som men grave in tree, some in ston wal,
 As it bitit. But syn I have bigonne,
 Myn auctour shal I folwen, if I konne.
50 In May, that moder is of monthes glade,
 That fresshe floures, blew and white and rede,
 Ben quike agayn, that wynter dede made,
 And ful of bawme is fletyng every mede,
 Whan Phebus doth his bryghte bemes sprede
 Right in the white Bole, it so bitidde,
 As I shal synge, on Mayes day the thrydde,
 That Pandarus, for al his wise speche,
 Felt ek his part of loves shotes keene,
 That, koude he nevere so wel of lovyng preche,
60 It made his hewe a-day ful ofte greene.
 So shop it that hym fil that day a teene
 In love, for which in wo to bedde he wente,
 And made, er it was day, ful many a wente.
 The swalowe Proigne, with a sorowful lay,
 Whan morwen com, gan make hire waymentynge
 Whi she forshapen was; and evere lay
 Pandare abedde, half in a slomberynge,
 Til she so neigh hym made hire cheterynge
 How Tereus gan forth hire suster take,
70 That with the noyse of hire he gan awake,
 And gan to calle, and dresse hym up to ryse,
 Remembryng hym his erand was to doone
 From Troilus, and ek his grete emprise;
 And caste and knew in good plit was the moone
 To doon viage, and took his way ful soone
 Unto his neces palays ther biside.
 Now Janus, god of entree, thow hym gyde!
 Whan he was come unto his neces place,
 "Wher is my lady?" to hire folk quod he;
80 And they hym tolde, and he forth in gan pace,
 And fond two othere ladys sete and she,
 Withinne a paved parlour, and they thre
 Herden a mayden reden hem the geste
 Of the siege of Thebes, while hem leste.
 Quod Pandarus, "Madame, God yow see,
 With youre book and all the compaignie!"
 "Ey, uncle myn, welcome iwys," quod she;
 And up she roos, and by the hond in hye
 She took hym faste, and seyde, "This nyght thrie,
90 To goode mot it turne, of yow I mette."
 And with that word she doun on bench hym sette.
 "Ye, nece, yee shal faren wel the bet,
 If God wol, al this yeer," quod Pandarus;
 "But I am sory that I have yow let
 To herken of youre book ye preysen thus.
 For Goddes love, what seith it? telle it us!
 Is it of love? O, som good ye me leere!"
 "Uncle," quod she, "youre maistresse is nat here."
 With that thei gonnen laughe, and tho she seyde,
100 "This romaunce is of Thebes that we rede;
 And we han herd how that kyng Layus deyde
 Thorugh Edippus his sone, and al that dede;
 And here we stynten at thise lettres rede --
 How the bisshop, as the book kan telle,
 Amphiorax, fil thorugh the ground to helle."
 Quod Pandarus, "Al this knowe I myselve,
 And al th' assege of Thebes and the care;
 For herof ben ther maked bookes twelve.
 But lat be this, and telle me how ye fare.
110 Do wey youre barbe, and shew youre face bare;
 Do wey youre book, rys up, and lat us daunce,
 And lat us don to May som observaunce."
 "I! God forbede!" quod she. "Be ye mad?
 Is that a widewes lif, so God yow save?
 By God, ye maken me ryght soore adrad!
 Ye ben so wylde, it semeth as ye rave.
 It satte me wel bet ay in a cave
 To bidde and rede on holy seyntes lyves;
 Lat maydens gon to daunce, and yonge wyves."
120 "As evere thrive I," quod this Pandarus,
 "Yet koude I telle a thyng to doon yow pleye."
 "Now, uncle deere," quod she, "telle it us
 For Goddes love; is than th' assege aweye?
 I am of Grekes so fered that I deye."
 "Nay, nay," quod he, "as evere mote I thryve,
 It is a thing wel bet than swyche fyve."
 "Ye, holy God," quod she, "what thyng is that?
 What! Bet than swyche fyve? I! Nay, ywys!
 For al this world ne kan I reden what
130 It sholde ben; some jape I trowe is this;
 And but youreselven telle us what it is,
 My wit is for t' arede it al to leene.
 As help me God, I not nat what ye meene."
 "And I youre borugh, ne nevere shal, for me,
 This thyng be told to yow, as mote I thryve!"
 "And whi so, uncle myn? Whi so?" quod she.
 "By God," quod he, "that wol I telle as blyve!
 For proudder womman is ther noon on lyve,
 And ye it wiste, in al the town of Troye.
140 I jape nought, as evere have I joye!"
 Tho gan she wondren moore than biforn
 A thousand fold, and down hire eyghen caste;
 For nevere, sith the tyme that she was born,
 To knowe thyng desired she so faste;
 And with a syk she seyde hym atte laste,
 "Now, uncle myn, I nyl yow nought displese,
 Nor axen more that may do yow disese."
 So after this, with many wordes glade,
 And frendly tales, and with merie chiere,
150 Of this and that they pleide, and gonnen wade
 In many an unkouth, glad, and dep matere,
 As frendes doon whan thei ben mette yfere,
 Tyl she gan axen hym how Ector ferde,
 That was the townes wal and Grekes yerde.
 "Ful wel, I thonk it God," quod Pandarus,
 "Save in his arm he hath a litel wownde;
 And ek his fresshe brother Troilus,
 The wise, worthi Ector the secounde,
 In whom that alle vertu list habounde,
160 As alle trouthe and alle gentilesse,
 Wisdom, honour, fredom, and worthinesse."
 "In good feith, em," quod she, "that liketh me
 Thei faren wel; God save hem bothe two!
 For trewelich I holde it gret deynte
 A kynges sone in armes wel to do,
 And ben of goode condiciouns therto;
 For gret power and moral vertu here
 Is selde yseyn in o persone yfeere."
 "In good faith, that is soth," quod Pandarus.
170 "But, by my trouthe, the kyng hath sones tweye --
 That is to mene, Ector and Troilus --
 That certeynly, though that I sholde deye,
 Thei ben as voide of vices, dar I seye,
 As any men that lyven under the sonne:
 Hire myght is wyde yknowe, and what they konne.
 "Of Ector nedeth it namore for to telle:
 In al this world ther nys a bettre knyght
 Than he, that is of worthynesse welle;
 And he wel moore vertu hath than myght;
180 This knoweth many a wis and worthi wight.
 The same pris of Troilus I seye;
 God help me so, I knowe nat swiche tweye."
 "By God," quod she, "of Ector that is sooth.
 Of Troilus the same thyng trowe I;
 For, dredeles, men tellen that he doth
 In armes day by day so worthily,
 And bereth hym here at hom so gentily
 To everi wight, that alle pris hath he
 Of hem that me were levest preysed be."
190 "Ye sey right sooth, ywys," quod Pandarus;
 "For yesterday, whoso had with hym ben,
 He myghte han wondred upon Troilus;
 For nevere yet so thikke a swarm of been
 Ne fleigh, as Grekes for hym gonne fleen,
 And thorugh the feld, in everi wightes eere,
 Ther nas no cry but `Troilus is there!'
 "Now here, now ther, he hunted hem so faste,
 Ther nas but Grekes blood -- and Troilus.
 Now hem he hurte, and hem al down he caste;
200 Ay wher he wente, it was arayed thus:
 He was hire deth, and sheld and lif for us,
 That, as that day, ther dorste non withstonde
 Whil that he held his blody swerd in honde.
 "Therto he is the frendlieste man
 Of gret estat that evere I saugh my lyve;
 And wher hym lest, best felawshipe kan
 To swich as hym thynketh able for to thryve."
 And with that word tho Pandarus, as blyve,
 He took his leve, and seyde, "I wol gon henne."
210 "Nay, blame have I, myn uncle," quod she thenne.
 "What aileth yow to be thus wery soone,
 And namelich of wommen? Wol ye so?
 Nay, sitteth down; by God, I have to doone
 With yow, to speke of wisdom er ye go."
 And everi wight that was aboute hem tho,
 That herde that, gan fer awey to stonde,
 Whil they two hadde al that hem liste in honde.
 Whan that hire tale al brought was to an ende,
 Of hire estat and of hire governaunce,
220 Quod Pandarus, "Now tyme is that I wende.
 But yet, I say, ariseth, lat us daunce,
 And cast youre widewes habit to mischaunce!
 What list yow thus youreself to disfigure,
 Sith yow is tid thus fair an aventure?"
 "A, wel bithought! For love of God," quod she,
 "Shal I nat witen what ye meene of this?"
 "No, this thing axeth leyser," tho quod he,
 "And eke me wolde muche greve, iwis,
 If I it tolde and ye it toke amys.
230 Yet were it bet my tonge for to stille
 Than seye a soth that were ayeyns youre wille.
 "For, nece, by the goddesse Mynerve,
 And Jupiter, that maketh the thondre rynge,
 And by the blisful Venus that I serve,
 Ye ben the womman in this world lyvynge --
 Withouten paramours, to my wyttynge --
 That I best love, and lothest am to greve;
 And that ye weten wel youreself, I leve."
 "Iwis, myn uncle," quod she, "grant mercy!
240 Youre frendshipe have I founden evere yit.
 I am to no man holden, trewely,
 So muche as yow, and have so litel quyt;
 And with the grace of God, emforth my wit,
 As in my gylt I shal yow nevere offende;
 And if I have er this, I wol amende.
 "But for the love of God I yow biseche,
 As ye ben he that I love moost and triste,
 Lat be to me youre fremde manere speche,
 And sey to me, youre nece, what yow liste."
250 And with that word hire uncle anoon hire kiste,
 And seyde, "Gladly, leve nece dere!
 Tak it for good, that I shal sey yow here."
 With that she gan hire eighen down to caste,
 And Pandarus to coghe gan a lite,
 And seyde, "Nece, alwey -- lo! -- to the laste,
 How so it be that som men hem delite
 With subtyl art hire tales for to endite,
 Yet for al that, in hire entencioun
 Hire tale is al for som conclusioun.
260 "And sithe th' ende is every tales strengthe,
 And this matere is so bihovely,
 What sholde I peynte or drawen it on lengthe
 To yow, that ben my frend so feythfully?"
 And with that word he gan right inwardly
 Byholden hire and loken on hire face,
 And seyde, "On swich a mirour goode grace!"
 Than thought he thus: "If I my tale endite
 Aught harde, or make a proces any whyle,
 She shal no savour have therin but lite,
270 And trowe I wolde hire in my wil bigyle;
 For tendre wittes wenen al be wyle
 Theras thei kan nought pleynly understonde;
 Forthi hire wit to serven wol I fonde" --
 And loked on hire in a bysi wyse,
 And she was war that he byheld hire so,
 And seyde, "Lord! so faste ye m' avise!
 Sey ye me nevere er now? What sey ye, no?"
 "Yis, yys," quod he, "and bet wol er I go!
 But be my trouthe, I thoughte now if ye
280 Be fortunat, for now men shal it se.
 "For to every wight som goodly aventure
 Som tyme is shape, if he it kan receyven;
 But if he wol take of it no cure,
 Whan that it commeth, but wilfully it weyven,
 Lo, neyther cas ne fortune hym deceyven,
 But ryght his verray slouthe and wrecchednesse;
 And swich a wight is for to blame, I gesse.
 "Good aventure, O beele nece, have ye
 Ful lightly founden, and ye konne it take;
290 And for the love of God, and ek of me,
 Cache it anon, lest aventure slake!
 What sholde I lenger proces of it make?
 Yif me youre hond, for in this world is noon --
 If that yow list -- a wight so wel bygon.
 "And sith I speke of good entencioun,
 As I to yow have told wel herebyforn,
 And love as wel youre honour and renoun
 As creature in al this world yborn,
 By alle the othes that I have yow sworn,
300 And ye be wrooth therfore, or wene I lye,
 Ne shal I nevere sen yow eft with ye.
 "Beth naught agast, ne quaketh naught! Wherto?
 Ne chaungeth naught for fere so youre hewe!
 For hardely the werst of this is do;
 And though my tale as now be to yow newe,
 Yet trist alwey ye shal me fynde trewe;
 And were it thyng that me thoughte unsittynge,
 To yow wolde I no swiche tales brynge."
 "Now, good em, for Goddes love, I preye,"
310 Quod she, "come of, and telle me what it is.
 For both I am agast what ye wol seye,
 And ek me longeth it to wite, ywis;
 For whethir it be wel or be amys,
 Say on, lat me nat in this feere dwelle."
 "So wol I doon; now herkeneth! I shall telle:
 "Now, nece myn, the kynges deere sone,
 The goode, wise, worthi, fresshe, and free,
 Which alwey for to don wel is his wone,
 The noble Troilus, so loveth the,
320 That, but ye helpe, it wol his bane be.
 Lo, here is al! What sholde I moore seye?
 Doth what yow lest to make hym lyve or deye.
 "But if ye late hym deyen, I wol sterve --
 Have here my trouthe, nece, I nyl nat lyen --
 Al sholde I with this knyf my throte kerve."
 With that the teris breste out of his yen,
 And seide, "If that ye don us bothe dyen
 Thus gilteles, than have ye fisshed fayre!
 What mende ye, though that we booth appaire?
330 "Allas, he which that is my lord so deere,
 That trewe man, that noble gentil knyght,
 That naught desireth but youre frendly cheere,
 I se hym dyen, ther he goth upryght,
 And hasteth hym with al his fulle myght
 For to ben slayn, if his fortune assente.
 Allas, that God yow swich a beaute sente!
 "If it be so that ye so cruel be
 That of his deth yow liste nought to recche,
 That is so trewe and worthi, as ye se,
340 Namoore than of a japer or a wrecche --
 If ye be swich, youre beaute may nat strecche
 To make amendes of so cruel a dede;
 Avysement is good byfore the nede.
 "Wo worth the faire gemme vertulees!
 Wo worth that herbe also that dooth no boote!
 Wo worth that beaute that is routheles!
 Wo worth that wight that tret ech undir foote!
 And ye, that ben of beaute crop and roote,
 If therwithal in yow ther be no routhe,
350 Than is it harm ye lyven, by my trouthe!
 "And also think wel that this is no gaude;
 For me were levere thow and I and he
 Were hanged, than I sholde ben his baude,
 As heigh as men myghte on us alle ysee!
 I am thyn em; the shame were to me,
 As wel as the, if that I sholde assente
 Thorugh myn abet that he thyn honour shente.
 "Now understond, for I yow nought requere
 To bynde yow to hym thorugh no byheste,
360 But only that ye make hym bettre chiere
 Than ye han doon er this, and moore feste,
 So that his lif be saved atte leeste;
 This al and som, and pleynly, oure entente.
 God help me so, I nevere other mente!
 "Lo, this requeste is naught but skylle, ywys,
 Ne doute of resoun, pardee, is ther noon.
 I sette the worste, that ye dreden this:
 Men wolde wondren sen hym come or goon.
 Ther-ayeins answere I thus anoon,
370 That every wight, but he be fool of kynde,
 Wol deme it love of frendshipe in his mynde.
 "What, who wol demen, though he se a man
 To temple go, that he th' ymages eteth.
 Thenk ek how wel and wisely that he kan
 Governe hymself, that he no thyng foryeteth,
 That where he cometh he pris and thank hym geteth.
 And ek therto, he shal come here so selde,
 What fors were it though al the town byhelde?
 "Swych love of frendes regneth al this town;
380 And wre yow in that mantel evere moo,
 And God so wys be my savacioun,
 As I have seyd, youre beste is to do soo.
 But alwey, goode nece, to stynte his woo,
 So lat youre daunger sucred ben a lite,
 That of his deth ye be naught for to wite."
 Criseyde, which that herde hym in this wise,
 Thoughte, "I shal felen what he meneth, ywis."
 "Now em," quod she, "what wolde ye devise?
 What is youre reed I sholde don of this?"
390 "That is wel seyd," quod he. "Certein, best is
 That ye hym love ayeyn for his lovynge,
 As love for love is skilful guerdonynge.
 "Thenk ek how elde wasteth every houre
 In ech of yow a partie of beautee;
 And therfore er that age the devoure,
 Go love; for old, ther wol no wight of the.
 Lat this proverbe a loore unto yow be:
 To late ywar, quod Beaute, whan it paste;
 And Elde daunteth Daunger at the laste.
400 "The kynges fool is wont to crien loude,
 Whan that hym thinketh a womman berth hire hye,
 `So longe mote ye lyve, and alle proude,
 Til crowes feet be growe under youre ye,
 And sende yow than a myrour in to prye,
 In which that ye may se youre face a morwe!'
 I bidde wisshe yow namore sorwe."
 With this he stynte, and caste adown the heed,
 And she began to breste a-wepe anoon,
 And seyde, "Allas, for wo! Why nere I deed?
410 For of this world the feyth is al agoon.
 Allas, what sholden straunge to me doon,
 Whan he that for my beste frend I wende
 Ret me to love, and sholde it me defende?
 "Allas! I wolde han trusted, douteles,
 That if that I, thorugh my dysaventure,
 Hadde loved outher hym or Achilles,
 Ector, or any mannes creature,
 Ye nolde han had no mercy ne mesure
 On me, but alwey had me in repreve.
420 This false world -- allas! -- who may it leve?
 "What, is this al the joye and al the feste?
 Is this youre reed? Is this my blisful cas?
 Is this the verray mede of youre byheeste?
 Is al this paynted proces seyd -- allas! --
 Right for this fyn? O lady myn, Pallas!
 Thow in this dredful cas for me purveye,
 For so astoned am I that I deye."
 Wyth that she gan ful sorwfully to syke.
 "A, may it be no bet?" quod Pandarus;
430 "By God, I shal namore come here this wyke,
 And God toforn, that am mystrusted thus!
 I se wel that ye sette lite of us,
 Or of oure deth! Allas, I woful wrecche!
 Might he yet lyve, of me is nought to recche.
 "O cruel god, O dispitouse Marte,
 O Furies thre of helle, on yow I crye!
 So lat me nevere out of this hous departe,
 If I mente harm or vilenye!
 But sith I se my lord mot nedes dye,
440 And I with hym, here I me shryve, and seye
 That wikkedly ye don us bothe deye.
 "But sith it liketh yow that I be ded,
 By Neptunus, that god is of the see,
 Fro this forth shal I nevere eten bred
 Til I myn owen herte blood may see;
 For certeyn I wol deye as soone as he."
 And up he sterte, and on his wey he raughte,
 Tyl she agayn hym by the lappe kaughte.
 Criseyde, which that wel neigh starf for feere,
450 So as she was the ferfulleste wight
 That myghte be, and herde ek with hire ere
 And saugh the sorwful ernest of the knyght,
 And in his preier ek saugh noon unryght,
 And for the harm that myghte ek fallen moore,
 She gan to rewe and dredde hire wonder soore,
 And thoughte thus: "Unhappes fallen thikke
 Alday for love, and in swych manere cas
 As men ben cruel in hemself and wikke;
 And if this man sle here hymself -- allas! --
460 In my presence, it wol be no solas.
 What men wolde of hit deme I kan nat seye;
 It nedeth me ful sleighly for to pleie."
 And with a sorowful sik she sayde thrie,
 "A, Lord! What me is tid a sory chaunce!
 For myn estat lith in a jupartie,
 And ek myn emes lif is in balaunce;
 But natheles, with Goddes governaunce,
 I shal so doon, myn honour shal I kepe,
 And ek his lif" -- and stynte for to wepe.
470 "Of harmes two, the lesse is for to chese;
 Yet have I levere maken hym good chere
 In honour, than myn emes lyf to lese.
 Ye seyn, ye nothyng elles me requere?"
 "No, wis," quod he, "myn owen nece dere."
 "Now wel," quod she, "and I wol doon my peyne;
 I shal myn herte ayeins my lust constreyne.
 "But that I nyl nat holden hym in honde,
 Ne love a man ne kan I naught ne may
 Ayeins my wyl, but elles wol I fonde,
480 Myn honour sauf, plese hym fro day to day.
 Therto nolde I nat ones han seyd nay,
 But that I drede, as in my fantasye;
 But cesse cause, ay cesseth maladie.
 "And here I make a protestacioun
 That in this proces if ye depper go,
 That certeynly, for no salvacioun
 Of yow, though that ye sterven bothe two,
 Though al the world on o day be my fo,
 Ne shal I nevere of hym han other routhe."
490 "I graunte wel," quod Pandare, "by my trowthe.
 "But may I truste wel to yow," quod he,
 "That of this thyng that ye han hight me here,
 Ye wole it holden trewely unto me?"
 "Ye, doutelees," quod she, "myn uncle deere."
 "Ne that I shal han cause in this matere,"
 Quod he, "to pleyne, or ofter yow to preche?"
 "Why, no, parde; what nedeth moore speche?"
 Tho fellen they in other tales glade,
 Tyl at the laste, "O good em," quod she tho,
500 "For his love, that us bothe made,
 Tel me how first ye wisten of his wo.
 Woot noon of it but ye?" He seyde, "No."
 "Kan he wel speke of love?" quod she; "I preye
 Tel me, for I the bet me shal purveye."
 Tho Pandarus a litel gan to smyle,
 And seyde, "By my trouthe, I shal yow telle.
 This other day, naught gon ful longe while,
 In-with the paleis gardyn, by a welle,
 Gan he and I wel half a day to dwelle,
510 Right for to speken of an ordinaunce,
 How we the Grekes myghten disavaunce.
 "Soon after that bigonne we to lepe,
 And casten with oure dartes to and fro,
 Tyl at the laste he seyde he wolde slepe,
 And on the gres adoun he leyde hym tho;
 And I afer gan romen to and fro,
 Til that I herde, as that I welk alone,
 How he bigan ful wofully to grone.
 "Tho gan I stalke hym softely byhynde,
520 And sikirly, the soothe for to seyne,
 As I kan clepe ayein now to my mynde,
 Right thus to Love he gan hym for to pleyne:
 He seyde, `Lord, have routhe upon my peyne,
 Al have I ben rebell in myn entente;
 Now, mea culpa, lord, I me repente!
 "`O god, that at thi disposicioun
 Ledest the fyn by juste purveiaunce
 Of every wight, my lowe confessioun
 Accepte in gree, and sende me swich penaunce
530 As liketh the, but from disesperaunce,
 That may my goost departe awey fro the,
 Thow be my sheld, for thi benignite.
 "`For certes, lord, so soore hath she me wounded,
 That stood in blak, with lokyng of hire eyen,
 That to myn hertes botme it is ysounded,
 Thorugh which I woot that I moot nedes deyen.
 This is the werste, I dar me nat bywreyen;
 And wel the hotter ben the gledes rede,
 That men hem wrien with asshen pale and dede.'
540 "Wyth that he smot his hed adown anon,
 And gan to motre, I noot what, trewely.
 And I with that gan stille awey to goon,
 And leet therof as nothing wist had I,
 And com ayein anon, and stood hym by,
 And seyde, `Awake, ye slepen al to longe!
 It semeth nat that love doth yow longe,
 "`That slepen so that no man may yow wake.
 Who sey evere or this so dul a man?'
 `Ye, frend,' quod he, `do ye youre hedes ake
550 For love, and lat me lyven as I kan.'
 But though that he for wo was pale and wan,
 Yet made he tho as fresshe a countenaunce
 As though he sholde have led the newe daunce.
 "This passed forth til now, this other day,
 It fel that I com romyng al allone
 Into his chaumbre, and fond how that he lay
 Upon his bed; but man so soore grone
 Ne herde I nevere, and what that was his mone
 Ne wist I nought; for, as I was comynge,
560 Al sodeynly he lefte his complaynynge.
 "Of which I took somwat suspecioun,
 And ner I com, and fond he wepte soore;
 And God so wys be my savacioun,
 As nevere of thyng hadde I no routhe moore;
 For neither with engyn, ne with no loore,
 Unnethes myghte I fro the deth hym kepe,
 That yet fele I myn herte for hym wepe.
 "And God woot, nevere sith that I was born
 Was I so besy no man for to preche,
570 Ne nevere was to wight so depe isworn,
 Or he me told who myghte ben his leche.
 But now to yow rehercen al his speche,
 Or alle his woful wordes for to sowne,
 Ne bid me naught, but ye wol se me swowne.
 "But for to save his lif, and elles nought,
 And to noon harm of yow, thus am I dryven;
 And for the love of God, that us hath wrought,
 Swich cheer hym dooth that he and I may lyven!
 Now have I plat to yow myn herte shryven,
580 And sith ye woot that myn entent is cleene,
 Take heede therof, for I non yvel meene.
 "And right good thrift, I prey to God, have ye,
 That han swich oon ykaught withouten net!
 And be ye wis as ye be fair to see,
 Wel in the ryng than is the ruby set.
 Ther were nevere two so wel ymet,
 Whan ye ben his al hool as he is youre;
 Ther myghty God graunte us see that houre!"
 "Nay, therof spak I nought, ha, ha!" quod she;
590 "As helpe me God, ye shenden every deel!"
 "O, mercy, dere nece," anon quod he,
 "What so I spak, I mente naught but wel,
 By Mars, the god that helmed is of steel!
 Now beth naught wroth, my blood, my nece dere."
 "Now wel," quod she, "foryeven be it here!"
 With this he took his leve, and hom he wente;
 And, Lord, he was glad and wel bygon!
 Criseyde aros, no lenger she ne stente,
 But streght into hire closet wente anon,
600 And set hire doun as stylle as any ston,
 And every word gan up and down to wynde
 That he had seyd, as it com hire to mynde,
 And wex somdel astoned in hire thought
 Right for the newe cas; but whan that she
 Was ful avysed, tho fond she right nought
 Of peril why she ought afered be.
 For man may love, of possibilite,
 A womman so, his herte may tobreste,
 And she naught love ayein, but if hire leste.
610 But as she sat allone and thoughte thus,
 Ascry aros at scarmuch al withoute,
 And men criden in the strete, "Se, Troilus
 Hath right now put to flighte the Grekes route!"
 With that gan al hire meyne for to shoute,
 "A, go we se! Cast up the yates wyde!
 For thorwgh this strete he moot to paleys ride;
 "For other wey is to the yate noon
 Of Dardanus, there opyn is the cheyne."
 With that com he and al his folk anoon
620 An esy pas rydyng, in routes tweyne,
 Right as his happy day was, sooth to seyne,
 For which, men seyn, may nought destourbed be
 That shal bityden of necessitee.
 This Troilus sat on his baye steede
 Al armed, save his hed, ful richely;
 And wownded was his hors, and gan to blede,
 On which he rood a pas ful softely.
 But swich a knyghtly sighte trewely
 As was on hym, was nought, withouten faille,
630 To loke on Mars, that god is of bataille.
 So lik a man of armes and a knyght
 He was to seen, fulfilled of heigh prowesse,
 For bothe he hadde a body and a myght
 To don that thing, as wel as hardynesse;
 And ek to seen hym in his gere hym dresse,
 So fressh, so yong, so weldy semed he,
 It was an heven upon hym for to see.
 His helm tohewen was in twenty places,
 That by a tyssew heng his bak byhynde;
640 His sheeld todasshed was with swerdes and maces,
 In which men myghte many an arwe fynde
 That thirled hadde horn and nerf and rynde;
 And ay the peple cryde, "Here cometh oure joye,
 And, next his brother, holder up of Troye!"
 For which he wex a litel reed for shame
 When he the peple upon hym herde cryen,
 That to byholde it was a noble game
 How sobrelich he caste down his yen.
 Criseyda gan al his chere aspien,
650 And leet it so softe in hire herte synke,
 That to hireself she seyde, "Who yaf me drynke?"
 For of hire owen thought she wex al reed,
 Remembryng hire right thus, "Lo, this is he
 Which that myn uncle swerith he moot be deed,
 But I on hym have mercy and pitee."
 And with that thought, for pure ashamed, she
 Gan in hire hed to pulle, and that as faste,
 Whil he and alle the peple forby paste,
 And gan to caste and rollen up and down
660 Withinne hire thought his excellent prowesse,
 And his estat, and also his renown,
 His wit, his shap, and ek his gentilesse;
 But moost hire favour was, for his distresse
 Was al for hire, and thoughte it was a routhe
 To sleen swich oon, if that he mente trouthe.
 Now myghte som envious jangle thus:
 "This was a sodeyn love; how myght it be
 That she so lightly loved Troilus
 Right for the firste syghte, ye, parde?"
670 Now whoso seith so, mote he nevere ythe!
 For every thing a gynnyng hath it nede
 Er al be wrought, withowten any drede.
 For I sey nought that she so sodeynly
 Yaf hym hire love, but that she gan enclyne
 To like hym first, and I have told yow whi;
 And after that, his manhod and his pyne
 Made love withinne hire for to myne,
 For which by proces and by good servyse
 He gat hire love, and in no sodeyn wyse.
680 And also blisful Venus, wel arrayed,
 Sat in hire seventhe hous of hevene tho,
 Disposed wel, and with aspectes payed,
 To helpe sely Troilus of his woo.
 And soth to seyne, she nas not al a foo
 To Troilus in his nativitee;
 God woot that wel the sonner spedde he.
 Now lat us stynte of Troilus a throwe,
 That rideth forth, and lat us torne faste
 Unto Criseyde, that heng hire hed ful lowe
690 Ther as she sat allone, and gan to caste
 Where on she wolde apoynte hire atte laste,
 If it so were hire em ne wolde cesse
 For Troilus upon hire for to presse.
 And, Lord! So she gan in hire thought argue
 In this matere of which I have yow told,
 And what to doone best were, and what eschue,
 That plited she ful ofte in many fold.
 Now was hire herte warm, now was it cold;
 And what she thoughte somwhat shal I write,
700 As to myn auctour listeth for t' endite.
 She thoughte wel that Troilus persone
 She knew by syghte, and ek his gentilesse,
 And thus she seyde, "Al were it nat to doone
 To graunte hym love, yet for his worthynesse
 It were honour with pley and with gladnesse
 In honestee with swich a lord to deele,
 For myn estat, and also for his heele.
 "Ek wel woot I my kynges sone is he,
 And sith he hath to se me swich delit,
710 If I wolde outreliche his sighte flee,
 Peraunter he myghte have me in dispit,
 Thorugh whicch I myghte stonde in worse plit.
 Now were I wis, me hate to purchace,
 Withouten need, ther I may stonde in grace?
 "In every thyng, I woot, ther lith mesure;
 For though a man forbede dronkenesse,
 He naught forbet that every creature
 Be drynkeles for alwey, as I gesse.
 Ek sith I woot for me is his destresse,
720 I ne aughte nat for that thing hym despise,
 Sith it is so he meneth in good wyse.
 "And ek I knowe of longe tyme agon
 His thewes goode, and that he is nat nyce;
 N' avantour, seith men, certein, he is noon;
 To wis is he to doon so gret a vice;
 Ne als I nyl hym nevere so cherice
 That he may make avaunt, by juste cause,
 He shal me nevere bynde in swich a clause.
 "Now sette a caas: the hardest is, ywys,
730 Men myghten demen that he loveth me.
 What dishonour were it unto me, this?
 May ich hym lette of that? Why, nay, parde!
 I knowe also, and alday heere and se,
 Men loven wommen al biside hire leve,
 And whan hem leste namore, lat hem byleve!
 "I thenke ek how he able is for to have
 Of al this noble town the thriftieste
 To ben his love, so she hire honour save.
 For out and out he is the worthieste,
740 Save only Ector, which that is the beste;
 And yet his lif al lith now in my cure.
 But swich is love, and ek myn aventure.
 "Ne me to love, a wonder is it nought;
 For wel woot I myself, so God me spede --
 Al wolde I that noon wiste of this thought --
 I am oon the faireste, out of drede,
 And goodlieste, who that taketh hede,
 And so men seyn, in al the town of Troie.
 What wonder is though he of me have joye?
750 "I am myn owene womman, wel at ese --
 I thank it God -- as after myn estat,
 Right yong, and stonde unteyd in lusty leese,
 Withouten jalousie or swich debat:
 Shal noon housbonde seyn to me `Chek mat!'
 For either they ben ful of jalousie,
 Or maisterfull, or loven novelrie.
 "What shal I doon? To what fyn lyve I thus?
 Shal I nat love, in cas if that me leste?
 What, pardieux! I am naught religious.
760 And though that I myn herte sette at reste
 Upon this knyght, that is the worthieste,
 And kepe alwey myn honour and my name,
 By alle right, it may do me no shame."
 But right as when the sonne shyneth brighte
 In March, that chaungeth ofte tyme his face,
 And that a cloude is put with wynd to flighte,
 Which oversprat the sonne as for a space,
 A cloudy thought gan thorugh hire soule pace,
 That overspradde hire brighte thoughtes alle,
770 So that for feere almost she gan to falle.
 That thought was this: "Allas! Syn I am free,
 Sholde I now love, and put in jupartie
 My sikernesse, and thrallen libertee?
 Allas, how dorst I thenken that folie?
 May I naught wel in other folk aspie
 Hire dredfull joye, hire constreinte, and hire peyne?
 Ther loveth noon, that she nath why to pleyne.
 "For love is yet the mooste stormy lyf,
 Right of hymself, that evere was bigonne;
780 For evere som mystrust or nice strif
 Ther is in love, som cloude is over that sonne.
 Therto we wrecched wommen nothing konne,
 Whan us is wo, but wepe and sitte and thinke;
 Oure wrecche is this, oure owen wo to drynke.
 "Also thise wikked tonges ben so prest
 To speke us harm; ek men ben so untrewe,
 That right anon as cessed is hire lest,
 So cesseth love, and forth to love a newe.
 But harm ydoon is doon, whoso it rewe:
790 For though thise men for love hem first torende,
 Ful sharp bygynnyng breketh ofte at ende.
 "How ofte tyme hath it yknowen be
 The tresoun that to wommen hath ben do!
 To what fyn is swich love I kan nat see,
 Or wher bycometh it, whan that it is ago.
 Ther is no wight that woot, I trowe so,
 Where it bycometh. Lo, no wight on it sporneth.
 That erst was nothing, into nought it torneth.
 "How bisy, if I love, ek most I be
800 To plesen hem that jangle of love, and dremen,
 And coye hem, that they seye noon harm of me!
 For though ther be no cause, yet hem semen
 Al be for harm that folk hire frendes quemen;
 And who may stoppen every wikked tonge,
 Or sown of belles whil that thei ben ronge?"
 And after that, hire thought gan for to clere,
 And seide, "He which that nothing undertaketh,
 Nothyng n' acheveth, be hym looth or deere."
 And with an other thought hire herte quaketh.
810 Than slepeth hope, and after drede awaketh.
 Now hoot, now cold; but thus, bitwixen tweye,
 She rist hire up, and went hire for to pleye.
 Adown the steyre anonright tho she wente
 Into the gardyn with hire neces thre,
 And up and down ther made many a wente --
 Flexippe, she, Tharbe, and Antigone --
 To pleyen that it joye was to see;
 And other of hire wommen, a gret route,
 Hire folowede in the gardyn al aboute.
820 This yerd was large, and rayled alle th' aleyes,
 And shadewed wel with blosmy bowes grene,
 And benched newe, and sonded alle the weyes,
 In which she walketh arm in arm bitwene,
 Til at the laste Antigone the shene
 Gan on a Troian song to singen cleere,
 That it an heven was hire vois to here.
 She seyde, "O Love, to whom I have and shal
 Ben humble subgit, trewe in myn entente,
 As I best kan, to yow, lord, yeve ich al
830 For everemo myn hertes lust to rente;
 For nevere yet thi grace no wight sente
 So blisful cause as me, my lif to lede
 In alle joie and seurte out of drede.
 "Ye, blisful god, han me so wel byset
 In love, iwys, that al that bereth lif
 Ymagynen ne kouth. how to be bet;
 For, lord, withouten jalousie or strif,
 I love oon which is moost ententif
 To serven wel, unweri or unfeyned,
840 That evere was, and leest with harm desteyned.
 "As he that is the welle of worthynesse,
 Of trouthe grownd, mirour of goodlihed,
 Of wit Apollo, stoon of sikernesse,
 Of vertu roote, of lust fynder and hed,
 Thorugh which is alle sorwe fro me ded --
 Iwis, I love hym best, so doth he me;
 Now good thrift have he, wherso that he be!
 "Whom shulde I thanken but yow, god of Love,
 Of al this blisse, in which to bathe I gynne?
850 And thanked be ye, lord, for that I love!
 This is the righte lif that I am inne,
 To flemen alle manere vice and synne:
 This dooth me so to vertu for t' entende,
 That day by day I in my wille amende.
 "And whoso seith that for to love is vice,
 Or thraldom, though he feele in it destresse,
 He outher is envyous, or right nyce,
 Or is unmyghty, for his shrewednesse,
 To loven; for swich manere folk, I gesse,
860 Defamen Love, as nothing of hym knowe.
 Thei speken, but thei benten nevere his bowe!
 "What is the sonne wers, of kynde right,
 Though that a man, for fieblesse of his yen,
 May nought endure on it to see for bright?
 Or love the wers, though wrecches on it crien?
 No wele is worth, that may no sorwe dryen.
 And forthi, who that hath an hed of verre,
 Fro cast of stones war hym in the werre!
 "But I with al myn herte and al my myght,
870 As I have seyd, wol love unto my laste
 My deere herte and al myn owen knyght,
 In which myn herte growen is so faste,
 And his in me, that it shal evere laste.
 Al dredde I first to love hym to bigynne,
 Now woot I wel, ther is no peril inne."
 And of hir song right with that word she stente,
 And therwithal, "Now nece," quod Cryseyde,
 "Who made this song now with so good entente?"
 Antygone answerde anoon and seyde,
880 "Madame, ywys, the goodlieste mayde
 Of gret estat in al the town of Troye,
 And let hire lif in moste honour and joye."
 "Forsothe, so it semeth by hire song,"
 Quod tho Criseyde, and gan therwith to sike,
 And seyde, "Lord, is ther swych blisse among
 Thise loveres, as they konne faire endite?"
 "Ye, wis," quod fresshe Antigone the white,
 "For alle the folk that han or ben on lyve
 Ne konne wel the blisse of love discryve.
890 "But wene ye that every wrecche woot
 The parfit blisse of love? Why, nay, iwys!
 They wenen all be love, if oon be hoot.
 Do wey, do wey, they woot no thyng of this!
 Men moste axe at seyntes if it is
 Aught fair in hevene (Why? For they kan telle),
 And axen fendes is it foul in helle."
 Criseyde unto that purpos naught answerde,
 But seyde, "Ywys, it wol be nyght as faste."
 But every word which that she of hire herde,
900 She gan to prenten in hire herte faste,
 And ay gan love hire lasse for t' agaste
 Than it dide erst, and synken in hire herte,
 That she wex somwhat able to converte.
 The dayes honour, and the hevenes ye,
 The nyghtes foo -- al this clepe I the sonne --
 Gan westren faste, and downward for to wrye,
 As he that hadde his dayes cours yronne,
 And white thynges wexen dymme and donne
 For lak of lyght, and sterres for t' apere,
910 That she and alle hire folk in went yfeere.
 So whan it liked hire to go to reste,
 And voided weren thei that voiden oughte,
 She seyde that to slepen wel hire leste.
 Hire wommen soone til hire bed hire broughte.
 Whan al was hust, than lay she stille and thoughte
 Of al this thing; the manere and the wise
 Reherce it nedeth nought, for ye ben wise.
 A nyghtyngale, upon a cedre grene,
 Under the chambre wal ther as she ley,
920 Ful loude song ayein the moone shene,
 Peraunter in his briddes wise a lay
 Of love, that made hire herte fressh and gay.
 That herkned she so longe in good entente,
 Til at the laste the dede slep hire hente.
 And as she slep, anonright tho hire mette
 How that an egle, fethered whit as bon,
 Under hire brest his longe clawes sette,
 And out hire herte he rente, and that anon,
 And dide his herte into hire brest to gon --
930 Of which she nought agroos, ne nothyng smerte --
 And forth he fleigh, with herte left for herte.
 Now lat hire slepe, and we oure tales holde
 Of Troilus, that is to paleis riden
 Fro the scarmuch of the which I tolde,
 And in his chaumbre sit and hath abiden
 Til two or thre of his messages yeden
 For Pandarus, and soughten hym ful faste,
 Til they him founde and broughte him at the laste.
 This Pandarus com lepyng in atones,
940 And seyde thus: "Who hath ben wel ibete
 To-day with swerdes and with slynge-stones,
 But Troilus, that hath caught hym an hete?"
 And gan to jape, and seyde, "Lord, so ye swete!
 But ris and lat us soupe and go to reste."
 And he answerde hym, "Do we as the leste."
 With al the haste goodly that they myghte
 They spedde hem fro the soper unto bedde;
 And every wight out at the dore hym dyghte,
 And where hym liste upon his wey him spedde.
950 But Troilus, that thoughte his herte bledde
 For wo, til that he herde som tydynge,
 He seyde, "Frend, shal I now wepe or synge?"
 Quod Pandarus, "Ly stylle and lat me slepe,
 And don thyn hood; thy nedes spedde be!
 And ches if thow wolt synge or daunce or lepe!
 At shorte wordes, thow shal trowen me:
 Sire, my nece wol do wel by the,
 And love the best, by God and by my trouthe,
 But lak of pursuyt make it in thi slouthe.
960 "For thus ferforth I have thi werk bigonne
 Fro day to day, til this day by the morwe
 Hire love of frendshipe have I to the wonne,
 And therto hath she leyd hire feyth to borwe.
 Algate a foot is hameled of thi sorwe!"
 What sholde I lenger sermoun of it holde?
 As ye han herd byfore, al he hym tolde.
 But right as floures, thorugh the cold of nyght
 Iclosed, stoupen on hire stalke lowe,
 Redressen hem ayein the sonne bright,
970 And spreden on hire kynde cours by rowe,
 Right so gan tho his eighen up to throwe
 This Troilus, and seyde, "O Venus deere,
 Thi myght, thi grace, yheried be it here!"
 And to Pandare he held up bothe his hondes,
 And seyde, "Lord, al thyn be that I have!
 For I am hool, al brosten ben my bondes.
 A thousand Troyes whoso that me yave,
 Ech after other, God so wys me save,
 Ne myghte me so gladen; lo, myn herte,
980 It spredeth so for joie it wol tosterte!
 "But, Lord, how shal I doon? How shal I lyven?
 Whan shal I next my deere herte see?
 How shal this longe tyme awey be dryven
 Til that thow be ayein at hire fro me?
 Thow maist answer, `Abid, abid,' but he
 That hangeth by the nekke, soth to seyne
 In gret disese abideth for the peyne."
 "Al esily, now, for the love of Marte,"
 Quod Pandarus, "for every thing hath tyme.
990 So longe abid til that the nyght departe,
 For also siker as thow list here by me,
 And God toforn, I wol be ther at pryme;
 And forthi, werk somwhat as I shal seye,
 Or on som other wight this charge leye.
 "For, pardee, God woot I have evere yit
 Ben redy the to serve, and to this nyght
 Have I naught feyned, but emforth my wit
 Don al thi lust, and shal with al my myght.
 Do now as I shal seyn, and far aright;
1000 And if thow nylt, wite al thiself thi care!
 On me is nought along thyn yvel fare.
 "I woot wel that thow wiser art than I
 A thousand fold, but if I were as thow,
 God help me so, as I wolde outrely
 Of myn owen hond write hire right now
 A lettre, in which I wolde hire tellen how
 I ferde amys, and hire biseche of routhe.
 Now help thiself, and leve it nought for slouthe!
 "And I myself wol therwith to hire gon;
1010 And whan thow woost that I am with hire there,
 Worth thow upon a courser right anon --
 Ye, hardily, right in thi beste gere --
 And ryd forth by the place, as nought ne were,
 And thow shalt fynde us, if I may, sittynge
 At som wyndow, into the strete lokynge.
 "And if the list, than maystow us salue;
 And upon me make thow thi countenaunce;
 But by thi lif, be war and faste eschue
 To tarien ought -- God shilde us fro meschaunce!
1020 Rid forth thi wey, and hold thi governaunce;
 And we shal speek of the somwhat, I trowe,
 Whan thow art gon, to don thyn eris glowe!
 "Towchyng thi lettre, thou art wys ynough.
 I woot thow nylt it dygneliche endite,
 As make it with thise argumentes tough;
 Ne scryvenyssh or craftyly thow it write;
 Biblotte it with thi teris ek a lite;
 And if thow write a goodly word al softe,
 Though it be good, reherce it nought to ofte.
1030 "For though the beste harpour upon lyve
 Wolde on the beste sowned joly harpe
 That evere was, with alle his fyngres fyve
 Touche ay o stryng, or ay o werbul harpe,
 Were his nayles poynted nevere so sharpe,
 It sholde maken every wight to dulle,
 To here his glee, and of his strokes fulle.
 "Ne jompre ek no discordant thyng yfeere,
 As thus, to usen termes of phisik
 In loves termes; hold of thi matere
1040 The forme alwey, and do that it be lik;
 For if a peyntour wolde peynte a pyk
 With asses feet, and hedde it as an ape,
 It cordeth naught, so were it but a jape."
 This counseil liked wel to Troilus,
 But, as a dredful lovere, he seyde this:
 "Allas, my deere brother Pandarus,
 I am ashamed for to write, ywys,
 Lest of myn innocence I seyde amys,
 Or that she nolde it for despit receyve;
1050 Than were I ded: ther myght it nothyng weyve."
 To that Pandare answered, "If the lest,
 Do that I seye, and lat me therwith gon;
 For by that Lord that formede est and west,
 I hope of it to brynge answere anon
 Of hire hond; and if that thow nylt noon,
 Lat be, and sory mote he ben his lyve
 Ayeins thi lust that helpeth the to thryve."
 Quod Troilus, "Depardieux, ich assente!
 Sith that the list, I wil arise and write;
1060 And blisful God prey ich with good entente,
 The viage, and the lettre I shal endite,
 So spede it; and thow, Minerva, the white,
 Yif thow me wit my lettre to devyse."
 And sette hym down, and wrot right in this wyse:
 First he gan hire his righte lady calle,
 His hertes lif, his lust, his sorwes leche,
 His blisse, and ek thise other termes alle
 That in swich cas thise loveres alle seche;
 And in ful humble wise, as in his speche,
1070 He gan hym recomaunde unto hire grace;
 To telle al how, it axeth muchel space.
 And after this ful lowely he hire preyde
 To be nought wroth, thogh he, of his folie,
 So hardy was to hire to write, and seyde
 That love it made, or elles most he die,
 And pitousli gan mercy for to crye;
 And after that he seyde -- and leigh ful loude --
 Hymself was litel worth, and lasse he koude;
 And that she sholde han his konnyng excused,
1080 That litel was, and ek he dredde hire soo;
 And his unworthynesse he ay acused;
 And after that than gan he telle his woo --
 But that was endeles, withouten hoo --
 And seyde he wolde in trouthe alwey hym holde;
 And radde it over, and gan the lettre folde.
 And with his salte teris gan he bathe
 The ruby in his signet, and it sette
 Upon the wex deliverliche and rathe.
 Therwith a thousand tymes er he lette
1090 He kiste tho the lettre that he shette,
 And seyde, "Lettre, a blisful destine
 The shapyn is. my lady shal the see!"
 This Pandare tok the lettre, and that bytyme
 A-morwe, and to his neces paleis sterte,
 And faste he swor that it was passed prime,
 And gan to jape, and seyde, "Ywys, myn herte,
 So fressh it is, although it sore smerte,
 I may naught slepe nevere a Mayes morwe;
 I have a joly wo, a lusty sorwe."
1100 Criseyde, whan that she hire uncle herde,
 With dredful herte, and desirous to here
 The cause of his comynge, thus answerde:
 "Now, by youre fey, myn uncle," quod she, "dere,
 What manere wyndes gydeth yow now here?
 Tel us youre joly wo and youre penaunce.
 How ferforth be ye put in loves daunce?"
 "By God," quod he, "I hoppe alwey byhynde!"
 And she to laughe, it thoughte hire herte brest.
 Quod Pandarus, "Loke alwey that ye fynde
1110 Game in myn hood; but herkneth, if yow lest!
 Ther is right now come into town a gest,
 A Greek espie, and telleth newe thinges,
 For which I come to telle yow tydynges.
 "Into the gardyn go we, and ye shal here,
 Al pryvely, of this a long sermoun."
 With that they wenten arm in arm yfeere
 Into the gardyn from the chaumbre down;
 And whan that he so fer was that the sown
 Of that he spak no man heren myghte,
1120 He seyde hire thus, and out the lettre plighte:
 "Lo, he that is al holy youres free
 Hym recomaundeth lowely to youre grace,
 And sente yow this lettre here by me.
 Avyseth yow on it, whan ye han space,
 And of som goodly answere yow purchace,
 Or, helpe me God, so pleynly for to seyne,
 He may nat longe lyven for his peyne."
 Ful dredfully tho gan she stonden stylle,
 And took it naught, but al hire humble chere
1130 Gan for to chaunge, and seyde, "Scrit ne bille,
 For love of God, that toucheth swich matere,
 Ne bryng me noon; and also, uncle deere,
 To myn estat have more reward, I preye,
 Than to his lust! What sholde I more seye?
 "And loketh now if this be resonable,
 And letteth nought, for favour ne for slouthe,
 To seyn a sooth; now were it covenable
 To myn estat, by God and by youre trouthe,
 To taken it, or to han of hym routhe,
1140 In harmyng of myself, or in repreve?
 Ber it ayein, for hym that ye on leve!"
 This Pandarus gan on hire for to stare,
 And seyde, "Now is this the grettest wondre
 That evere I seigh! Lat be this nyce fare!
 To dethe mot I smyten be with thondre,
 If for the citee which that stondeth yondre,
 Wolde I a lettre unto yow brynge or take
 To harm of yow! What list yow thus it make?
 "But thus ye faren, wel neigh alle and some,
1150 That he that most desireth yow to serve,
 Of hym ye recche leest wher he bycome,
 And whethir that he lyve or elles sterve.
 But for al that that ever I may deserve,
 Refuse it naught," quod he, and hente hire faste,
 And in hire bosom the lettre down he thraste,
 And seyde hire, "Now cast it awey anon,
 That folk may seen and gauren on us tweye."
 Quod she, "I kan abyde til they be gon";
 And gan to smyle, and seyde hym, "Em, I preye,
1160 Swich answere as yow list, youreself purveye,
 For trewely I nyl no lettre write."
 "No? than wol I," quod he, "so ye endite."
 Therwith she lough, and seyde, "Go we dyne."
 And he gan at hymself to jape faste,
 And seyde, "Nece, I have so gret a pyne
 For love, that everich other day I faste --"
 And gan his beste japes forth to caste,
 And made hire so to laughe at his folye,
 That she for laughter wende for to dye.
1170 And whan that she was comen into halle,
 "Now, em," quod she, "we wol go dyne anon."
 And gan some of hire wommen to hire calle,
 And streght into hire chambre gan she gon;
 But of hire besynesses this was on --
 Amonges othere thynges, out of drede --
 Ful pryvely this lettre for to rede;
 Avysed word by word in every lyne,
 And fond no lak, she thoughte he koude good,
 And up it putte, and wente hire in to dyne.
1180 But Pandarus, that in a studye stood,
 Er he was war, she took hym by the hood,
 And seyde, "Ye were caught er that ye wiste."
 "I vouche sauf," quod he. "Do what you liste."
 Tho wesshen they, and sette hem down, and ete;
 And after noon ful sleighly Pandarus
 Gan drawe hym to the wyndowe next the strete,
 And seyde, "Nece, who hath araied thus
 The yonder hous, that stant aforyeyn us?"
 "Which hous?" quod she, and gan for to byholde,
1190 And knew it wel, and whos it was hym tolde;
 And fillen forth in speche of thynges smale,
 And seten in the windowe bothe tweye.
 Whan Pandarus saugh tyme unto his tale,
 And saugh wel that hire folk were alle aweye,
 "Now, nece myn, tel on," quod he; "I seye,
 How liketh yow the lettre that ye woot?
 Kan he theron? For, by my trouthe, I noot."
 Therwith al rosy hewed tho wex she,
 And gan to homme, and seyde, "So I trowe."
1200 "Aquite hym wel, for Goddes love," quod he;
 "Myself to medes wol the lettre sowe."
 And held his hondes up, and sat on knowe;
 "Now, goode nece, be it nevere so lite,
 Yif me the labour it to sowe and plite."
 "Ye, for I kan so writen," quod she tho;
 "And ek I noot what I sholde to hym seye."
 "Nay, nece," quod Pandare, "sey nat so.
 Yet at the leeste thonketh hym, I preye,
 Of his good wille, and doth hym nat to deye.
1210 Now, for the love of me, my nece deere,
 Refuseth nat at this tid my prayere!"
 "Depardieux," quod she, "God leve al be wel!
 God help me so, this is the firste lettre
 That evere I wroot, ye, al or any del."
 And into a closet, for t' avise hire bettre,
 She wente allone, and gan hire herte unfettre
 Out of desdaynes prisoun but a lite,
 And sette hire down, and gan a lettre write,
 Of which to telle in short is myn entente
1220 Th' effect, as fer as I kan understonde.
 She thanked hym of al that he wel mente
 Towardes hire, but holden hym in honde
 She nolde nought, ne make hireselven bonde
 In love; but as his suster, hym to plese,
 She wolde fayn to doon his herte an ese.
 She shette it, and to Pandare in gan goon,
 Ther as he sat and loked into the strete,
 And down she sette hire by hym on a stoon
 Of jaspre, upon a quysshyn gold-ybete,
1230 And seyde, "As wisly help me God the grete,
 I nevere dide thing with more peyne
 Than writen this, to which ye me constreyne,"
 And took it hym. He thonked hire and seyde,
 "God woot, of thyng ful often looth bygonne
 Comth ende good; and nece myn, Criseyde,
 That ye to hym of hard now ben ywonne
 Oughte he be glad, by God and yonder sonne;
 For-whi men seith, `Impressiounes lighte
 Ful lightly ben ay redy to the flighte.'
1240 "But ye han played tirant neigh to longe,
 And hard was it youre herte for to grave.
 Now stynte, that ye no lenger on it honge,
 Al wolde ye the forme of daunger save,
 But hasteth you to doon hym joye have;
 For trusteth wel, to long ydoon hardnesse
 Causeth despit ful often for destresse."
 And right as they declamed this matere,
 Lo, Troilus, right at the stretes ende,
 Com rydyng with his tenthe som yfere,
1250 Al softely, and thiderward gan bende
 Ther as they sete, as was his way to wende
 To paleis-ward; and Pandare hym aspide,
 And seyde, "Nece, ysee who comth here ride!
 "O fle naught in (he seeth us, I suppose),
 Lest he may thynken that ye hym eschuwe."
 "Nay, nay," quod she, and wex as red as rose.
 With that he gan hire humbly to saluwe
 With dredful chere, and oft his hewes muwe;
 And up his look debonairly he caste,
1260 And bekked on Pandare, and forth he paste.
 God woot if he sat on his hors aright,
 Or goodly was biseyn, that ilke day!
 God woot wher he was lik a manly knyght!
 What sholde I drecche, or telle of his aray?
 Criseyde, which that alle thise thynges say,
 To telle in short, hire liked al in-fere,
 His persoun, his aray, his look, his chere,
 His goodly manere, and his gentilesse,
 So wel that nevere, sith that she was born,
1270 Ne hadde she swych routh of his destresse;
 And how so she hath hard ben here-byforn,
 To God hope I, she hath now kaught a thorn,
 She shal nat pulle it out this nexte wyke.
 God sende mo swich thornes on to pike!
 Pandare, which that stood hire faste by,
 Felte iren hoot, and he bygan to smyte,
 And seyde, "Nece, I pray yow hertely,
 Tel me that I shal axen yow a lite:
 A womman that were of his deth to wite,
1280 Withouten his gilt, but for hire lakked routhe,
 Were it wel doon?" Quod she, "Nay, by my trouthe!"
 "God help me so," quod he, "ye sey me soth.
 Ye felen wel youreself that I nought lye.
 Lo, yond he rit!" Quod she, "Ye, so he doth!"
 "Wel," quod Pandare, "as I have told yow thrie,
 Lat be youre nyce shame and youre folie,
 And spek with hym in esyng of his herte;
 Lat nycete nat do yow bothe smerte."
 But theron was to heven and to doone.
1290 Considered al thing it may nat be;
 And whi? For speche; and it were ek to soone
 To graunten hym so gret a libertee.
 For pleynly hire entente, as seyde she,
 Was for to love hym unwist, if she myghte,
 And guerdoun hym with nothing but with sighte.
 But Pandarus thought, "It shal nought be so,
 Yif that I may; this nyce opynyoun
 Shal nought be holden fully yeres two."
 What sholde I make of this a long sermoun?
1300 He moste assente on that conclusioun,
 As for the tyme; and whan that it was eve,
 And al was wel, he roos and tok his leve.
 And on his wey ful faste homward he spedde,
 And right for joye he felte his herte daunce;
 And Troilus he fond allone abedde,
 That lay, as do thise lovers, in a traunce
 Bitwixen hope and derk disesperaunce.
 But Pandarus, right at his in-comynge,
 He song, as who seyth, "Somwhat I brynge,"
1310 And seyde, "Who is in his bed so soone
 Iburied thus?" "It am I, frend," quod he.
 "Who, Troilus? Nay, help me so the moone,"
 Quod Pandarus, "thow shalt arise and see
 A charme that was sent right now to the,
 The which kan helen the of thyn accesse,
 If thow do forthwith al thi bisynesse."
 "Ye, thorugh the myght of God," quod Troilus,
 And Pandarus gan hym the lettre take,
 And seyde, "Parde, God hath holpen us!
1320 Have here a light, and loke on al this blake."
 But ofte gan the herte glade and quake
 Of Troilus, whil that he gan it rede,
 So as the wordes yave hym hope or drede.
 But finaly, he took al for the beste
 That she hym wroot, for somwhat he byheld
 On which hym thoughte he myghte his herte reste,
 Al covered she tho wordes under sheld.
 Thus to the more worthi part he held,
 That what for hope and Pandarus byheste,
1330 His grete wo foryede he at the leste.
 But as we may alday oureselven see,
 Thorugh more wode or col, the more fir,
 Right so encreese hope, of what it be,
 Therwith ful ofte encresseth ek desir;
 Or as an ook comth of a litil spir,
 So thorugh this lettre which that she hym sente
 Encrescen gan desir, of which he brente.
 Wherfore I seye alwey, that day and nyght
 This Troilus gan to desiren moore
1340 Thanne he did erst, thorugh hope, and did his myght
 To preessen on, as by Pandarus loore,
 And writen to hire of his sorwes soore.
 Fro day to day he leet it nought refreyde,
 That by Pandare he wroot somwhat or seyde;
 And dide also his other observaunces
 That til a lovere longeth in this cas;
 And after that thise dees torned on chaunces,
 So was he outher glad or seyde "Allas!"
 And held after his gistes ay his pas;
1350 And after swiche answeres as he hadde,
 So were his dayes sory outher gladde.
 But to Pandare alwey was his recours,
 And pitously gan ay tyl hym to pleyne,
 And hym bisoughte of reed and som socours.
 And Pandarus, that sey his woode peyne,
 Wex wel neigh ded for routhe, sooth to seyne,
 And bisily with al his herte caste
 Som of his wo to slen, and that as faste;
 And seyde, "Lord, and frend, and brother dere,
1360 God woot that thi disese doth me wo.
 But wiltow stynten al this woful cheere,
 And, by my trouthe, er it be dayes two,
 And God toforn, yet shal I shape it so,
 That thow shalt come into a certeyn place,
 There as thow mayst thiself hire preye of grace.
 "And certeynly -- I noot if thow it woost,
 But tho that ben expert in love it seye --
 It is oon of the thynges forthereth most,
 A man to han a layser for to preye,
1370 And siker place his wo for to bywreye;
 For in good herte it mot som routhe impresse,
 To here and see the giltlees in distresse.
 "Peraunter thynkestow: though it be so,
 That Kynde wolde don hire to bygynne
 To have a manere routhe upon my woo,
 Seyth Daunger, `Nay, thow shalt me nevere wynne!'
 So reulith hire hir hertes gost withinne,
 That though she bende, yeet she stant on roote;
 What in effect is this unto my boote?
1380 "Thenk here-ayeins: whan that the stordy ook,
 On which men hakketh ofte, for the nones,
 Receyved hath the happy fallyng strook,
 The greete sweigh doth it come al at ones,
 As don thise rokkes or thise milnestones;
 For swifter cours comth thyng that is of wighte,
 Whan it descendeth, than don thynges lighte.
 "And reed that boweth down for every blast,
 Ful lightly, cesse wynd, it wol aryse;
 But so nyl nought an ook, whan it is cast;
1390 It nedeth me nought the longe to forbise.
 Men shal rejoissen of a gret empryse
 Acheved wel, and stant withouten doute,
 Al han men ben the lenger theraboute.
 "But, Troilus, yet telle me, if the lest,
 A thing now which that I shal axen the:
 Which is thi brother that thow lovest best,
 As in thi verray hertes privetee?"
 "Iwis, my brother Deiphebus," quod he.
 "Now," quod Pandare, "er houres twyes twelve,
1400 He shal the ese, unwist of it hymselve.
 "Now lat m' alone, and werken as I may,"
 Quod he; and to Deiphebus wente he tho,
 Which hadde his lord and grete frend ben ay;
 Save Troilus, no man he loved so.
 To telle in short, withouten wordes mo,
 Quod Pandarus, "I pray yow that ye be
 Frend to a cause which that toucheth me."
 "Yis, parde," quod Deiphebus, "wel thow woost,
 In al that evere I may, and God tofore,
1410 Al nere it but for man I love moost,
 My brother Troilus; but sey wherfore
 It is. for sith that day that I was bore,
 I nas, ne nevere mo to ben I thynke,
 Ayeins a thing that myghte the forthynke."
 Pandare gan hym thanke, and to hym seyde,
 "Lo, sire, I have a lady in this town,
 That is my nece, and called is Criseyde,
 Which some men wolden don oppressioun,
 And wrongfully han hire possessioun;
1420 Wherfore I of youre lordship yow biseche
 To ben oure frend, withouten more speche."
 Deiphebus hym answerde, "O, is nat this,
 That thow spekest of to me thus straungely,
 Criseda, my frend?" He seyde, "Yis."
 "Than nedeth," quod Deiphebus, "hardyly,
 Namore to speke, for trusteth wel that I
 Wol be hire champioun with spore and yerde;
 I roughte nought though alle hire foos it herde.
 "But tel me how -- thow woost of this matere --
1430 It myghte best avaylen." "Now lat se,"
 Quod Pandarus; "if ye, my lord so dere,
 Wolden as now do this honour to me,
 To preyen hire to-morwe, lo, that she
 Come unto yow, hire pleyntes to devise,
 Hire adversaries wolde of it agrise.
 "And yif I more dorste preye as now,
 And chargen yow to han so gret travaille,
 To han some of youre bretheren here with yow,
 That myghten to hire cause bet availle,
1440 Than wot I wel she myghte nevere faille
 For to ben holpen, what at youre instaunce,
 What with hire other frendes governaunce."
 Deiphebus, which that comen was of kynde
 To alle honour and bounte to consente,
 Answerd, "It shal be don; and I kan fynde
 Yet grettere help to this in myn entente.
 What wiltow seyn if I for Eleyne sente
 To speke of this? I trowe it be the beste,
 For she may leden Paris as hire leste.
1450 "Of Ector, which that is my lord, my brother,
 It nedeth naught to preye hym frend to be;
 For I have herd hym, o tyme and ek oother,
 Speke of Cryseyde swich honour that he
 May seyn no bet, swich hap to hym hath she.
 It nedeth naught his helpes for to crave;
 He shal be swich, right as we wol hym have.
 "Spek thow thiself also to Troilus
 On my byhalve, and prey hym with us dyne."
 "Syre, al this shal be don," quod Pandarus,
1460 And took his leve, and nevere gan to fyne,
 But to his neces hous, as streyght as lyne,
 He com; and fond hire fro the mete arise,
 And sette hym down, and spak right in this wise:
 He seide, "O verray God, so have I ronne!
 Lo, nece myn, se ye nought how I swete?
 I not wheither ye the more thank me konne.
 Be ye naught war how false Poliphete
 Is now aboute eftsones for to plete,
 And brynge on yow advocacies newe?"
1470 "I, no!" quod she, and chaunged al hire hewe.
 "What is he more aboute, me to drecche
 And don me wrong? What shal I doon, allas?
 Yet of hymself nothing ne wolde I recche,
 Nere it for Antenor and Eneas,
 That ben his frendes in swich manere cas.
 But, for the love of God, myn uncle deere,
 No fors of that; lat hym han al yfeere,
 "Withouten that I have ynough for us."
 "Nay," quod Pandare, "it shal nothing be so.
1480 For I have ben right now at Deiphebus,
 At Ector, and myn oother lordes moo,
 And shortly maked ech of hem his foo,
 That, by my thrift, he shal it nevere wynne,
 For aught he kan, whan that so he bygynne."
 And as thei casten what was best to doone,
 Deiphebus, of his owen curteisie,
 Com hire to preye, in his propre persone,
 To holde hym on the morwe compaignie
 At dyner, which she nolde nought denye,
1490 But goodly gan to his preier obeye.
 He thonked hire, and went upon his weye.
 Whan this was don, this Pandare up anon,
 To telle in short, and forth gan for to wende
 To Troilus, as stille as any ston;
 And al this thyng he tolde hym, word and ende,
 And how that he Deiphebus gan to blende,
 And seyde hym, "Now is tyme, if that thow konne,
 To bere the wel tomorwe, and al is wonne.
 "Now spek, now prey, now pitously compleyne;
1500 Lat nought for nyce shame, or drede, or slouthe!
 Somtyme a man mot telle his owen peyne.
 Bileve it, and she shal han on the routhe:
 Thow shalt be saved by thi feyth, in trouthe.
 But wel woot I thow art now in drede,
 And what it is, I leye, I kan arede.
 "Thow thynkest now, `How sholde I don al this?
 For by my cheres mosten folk aspie
 That for hire love is that I fare amys;
 Yet hadde I levere unwist for sorwe dye.'
1510 Now thynk nat so, for thow dost gret folie;
 For I right now have founden o manere
 Of sleyghte, for to coveren al thi cheere.
 "Thow shalt gon over nyght, and that bylyve,
 Unto Deiphebus hous as the to pleye,
 Thi maladie awey the bet to dryve --
 For-whi thow semest sik, soth for to seye.
 Sone after that, down in thi bed the leye,
 And sey thow mayst no lenger up endure,
 And ly right there, and byd thyn aventure.
1520 "Sey that thi fevre is wont the for to take
 The same tyme, and lasten til a-morwe;
 And lat se now how wel thow kanst it make,
 For, parde, sik is he that is in sorwe.
 Go now, farwel! And Venus here to borwe,
 I hope, and thow this purpos holde ferme,
 Thi grace she shal fully ther conferme."
 Quod Troilus, "Iwis, thow nedeles
 Conseilest me that siklich I me feyne,
 For I am sik in ernest, douteles,
1530 So that wel neigh I sterve for the peyne."
 Quod Pandarus, "Thow shalt the bettre pleyne,
 And hast the lasse need to countrefete,
 For hym men demen hoot that men seen swete.
 "Lo, hold the at thi triste cloos, and I
 Shal wel the deer unto thi bowe dryve."
 Therwith he took his leve al softely,
 And Troilus to paleis wente blyve.
 So glad ne was he nevere in al his lyve,
 And to Pandarus reed gan al assente,
1540 And to Deiphebus hous at nyght he wente.
 What nedeth yow to tellen al the cheere
 That Deiphebus unto his brother made,
 Or his accesse, or his sikliche manere,
 How men gan hym with clothes for to lade
 Whan he was leyd, and how men wolde hym glade?
 But al for nought; he held forth ay the wyse
 That ye han herd Pandare er this devyse.
 But certayn is, er Troilus hym leyde,
 Deiphebus had hym preied over-nyght
1550 To ben a frend and helpyng to Criseyde.
 God woot that he it graunted anon-right,
 To ben hire fulle frend with al his myght.
 But swich a nede was to preye hym thenne,
 As for to bidde a wood man for to renne!
 The morwen com, and neighen gan the tyme
 Of meeltid, that the faire queene Eleyne
 Shoop hire to ben, an houre after the prime,
 With Deiphebus, to whom she nolde feyne;
 But as his suster, homly, soth to seyne,
1560 She com to dyner in hire pleyne entente.
 But God and Pandare wist al what this mente.
 Com ek Criseyde, al innocent of this,
 Antigone, hire suster Tarbe also.
 But fle we now prolixitee best is,
 For love of God, and lat us faste go
 Right to th' effect, withouten tales mo,
 Whi al this folk assembled in this place;
 And lat us of hire saluynges pace.
 Gret honour did hem Deiphebus, certeyn,
1570 And fedde hem wel with al that myghte like;
 But evere mo "Allas!" was his refreyn,
 "My goode brother Troilus, the syke,
 Lith yet" -- and therwithal he gan to sike;
 And after that, he peyned hym to glade
 Hem as he myghte, and cheere good he made.
 Compleyned ek Eleyne of his siknesse
 So feythfully that pite was to here,
 And every wight gan waxen for accesse
 A leche anon, and seyde, "In this manere
1580 Men curen folk." -- "This charme I wol yow leere."
 But ther sat oon, al list hire nought to teche,
 That thoughte, "Best koud I yet ben his leche."
 After compleynte, hym gonnen they to preyse,
 As folk don yet whan som wight hath bygonne
 To preise a man, and up with pris hym reise
 A thousand fold yet heigher than the sonne:
 "He is, he kan, that fewe lordes konne."
 And Pandarus, of that they wolde afferme,
 He naught forgat hire preisynge to conferme.
1590 Herde al this thyng Criseyde wel inough,
 And every word gan for to notifie;
 For which with sobre cheere hire herte lough.
 For who is that ne wolde hire glorifie,
 To mowen swich a knyght don lyve or dye?
 But al passe I, lest ye to longe dwelle;
 For for o fyn is al that evere I telle.
 The tyme com fro dyner for to ryse,
 And as hem aughte, arisen everichon.
 And gonne a while of this and that devise.
1600 But Pandarus brak al that speche anon,
 And seide to Deiphebus, "Wol ye gon,
 If it youre wille be, as I yow preyde,
 To speke here of the nedes of Criseyde?"
 Eleyne, which that by the hond hire held,
 Took first the tale, and seyde, "Go we blyve";
 And goodly on Criseyde she biheld,
 And seyde, "Joves lat hym nevere thryve
 That doth yow harm, and brynge hym soone of lyve,
 And yeve me sorwe, but he shal it rewe,
1610 If that I may, and alle folk be trewe!"
 "Tel thow thi neces cas," quod Deiphebus
 To Pandarus, "for thow kanst best it telle."
 "My lordes and my ladys, it stant thus:
 What sholde I lenger," quod he, "do yow dwelle?"
 He rong hem out a proces lik a belle
 Upon hire foo that highte Poliphete,
 So heynous that men myghten on it spete.
 Answerde of this ech werse of hem than other,
 And Poliphete they gonnen thus to warien:
1620 "Anhonged be swich oon, were he my brother!
 And so he shal, for it ne may nought varien!"
 What shold I lenger in this tale tarien?
 Pleynliche, alle at ones, they hire highten
 To ben hire help in al that evere they myghten.
 Spak than Eleyne, and seyde, "Pandarus,
 Woot ought my lord, my brother, this matere --
 I meene Ector -- or woot it Troilus?"
 He seyde, "Ye, but wole ye now me here?
 Me thynketh this, sith that Troilus is here,
1630 It were good, if that ye wolde assente,
 She tolde hireself hym al this er she wente.
 "For he wol have the more hir grief at herte,
 By cause, lo, that she a lady is.
 And, by youre leve, I wol but in right sterte
 And do yow wyte, and that anon, iwys,
 If that he slepe, or wol ought here of this."
 And in he lepte, and seyde hym in his ere,
 "God have thi soule, ibrought have I thi beere!"
 To smylen of this gan tho Troilus,
1640 And Pandarus, withouten rekenynge,
 Out wente anon to Eleyne and Deiphebus,
 And seyde hem, "So ther be no taryinge,
 Ne moore prees, he wol wel that ye brynge
 Criseda, my lady, that is here;
 And as he may enduren, he wol here.
 "But wel ye woot, the chaumbre is but lite,
 And fewe folk may lightly make it warm;
 Now loketh ye (for I wol have no wite
 To brynge in prees that myghte don hym harm,
1650 Or hym disesen, for my bettre arm)
 Wher it be bet she bide til eft-sonys;
 Now loketh ye that knowen what to doon is.
 "I sey for me, best is, as I kan knowe,
 That no wight in ne wente but ye tweye,
 But it were I, for I kan in a throwe
 Reherce hire cas unlik that she kan seye;
 And after this she may hym ones preye
 To ben good lord, in short, and take hire leve.
 This may nought muchel of his ese hym reve.
1660 "And ek, for she is straunge, he wol forbere
 His ese, which that hym thar nought for yow;
 Ek oother thing that toucheth nought to here
 He wol yow telle -- I woot it wel right now --
 That secret is, and for the townes prow."
 And they, that nothyng knewe of his entente,
 Withouten more, to Troilus in they wente.
 Eleyne, in al hire goodly softe wyse,
 Gan hym salue, and wommanly to pleye,
 And seyde, "Iwys, ye moste alweies arise!
1670 Now faire brother, beth al hool, I preye!"
 And gan hire arm right over his shulder leye,
 And hym with al hire wit to reconforte;
 As she best koude, she gan hym to disporte.
 So after this quod she, "We yow biseke,
 My deere brother Deiphebus and I,
 For love of God -- and so doth Pandare eke --
 To ben good lord and frend, right hertely,
 Unto Criseyde, which that certeynly
 Receyveth wrong, as woot weel here Pandare,
1680 That kan hire cas wel bet than I declare."
 This Pandarus gan newe his tong affile,
 And al hire cas reherce, and that anon.
 Whan it was seyd, soone after in a while,
 Quod Troilus, "As sone as I may gon,
 I wol right fayn with al my myght ben oon --
 Have God my trouthe -- hire cause to sustene."
 "Good thrift have ye!" quod Eleyne the queene.
 Quod Pandarus, "And it youre wille be
 That she may take hire leve, er that she go?"
1690 "O, elles God forbede it," tho quod he,
 "If that she vouche sauf for to do so."
 And with that word quod Troilus, "Ye two,
 Deiphebus and my suster lief and deere,
 To yow have I to speke of o matere,
 "To ben avysed by youre reed the bettre --"
 And fond, as hap was, at his beddes hed
 The copie of a tretys and a lettre
 That Ector hadde hym sent to axen red
 If swych a man was worthi to ben ded,
1700 Woot I nought who; but in a grisly wise
 He preyede hem anon on it avyse.
 Deiphebus gan this lettre for t' onfolde
 In ernest greet; so did Eleyne the queene;
 And romyng outward, faste it gonne byholde,
 Downward a steire, into an herber greene.
 This ilke thing they redden hem bitwene,
 And largely, the mountance of an houre,
 Thei gonne on it to reden and to poure.
 Now lat hem rede, and torne we anon
1710 To Pandarus, that gan ful faste prye
 That al was wel, and out he gan to gon
 Into the grete chaumbre, and that in hye,
 And seyde, "God save al this compaynye!
 Com, nece myn; my lady queene Eleyne
 Abideth yow, and ek my lordes tweyne.
 "Rys, take with yow youre nece Antigone,
 Or whom yow list; or no fors; hardyly
 The lesse prees, the bet; com forth with me,
 And loke that ye thonken humblely
1720 Hem alle thre, and whan ye may goodly
 Youre tyme se, taketh of hem youre leeve,
 Lest we to longe his restes hym byreeve."
 Al innocent of Pandarus entente,
 Quod tho Criseyde, "Go we, uncle deere";
 And arm in arm inward with hym she wente,
 Avysed wel hire wordes and hire cheere;
 And Pandarus, in ernestful manere,
 Seyde, "Alle folk, for Goddes love, I preye,
 Stynteth right here, and softely yow pleye.
1730 "Avyseth yow what folk ben hire withinne,
 And in what plit oon is, God hym amende!"
 And inward thus, "Ful softely bygynne,
 Nece, I conjure and heighly yow defende,
 On his half which that soule us alle sende,
 And in the vertu of corones tweyne,
 Sle naught this man, that hath for yow this peyne!
 "Fy on the devel! Thynk which oon he is,
 And in what plit he lith. com of anon!
 Thynk al swich taried tyde, but lost it nys.
1740 That wol ye bothe seyn, whan ye ben oon.
 Secoundely, ther yet devyneth noon
 Upon yow two; come of now, if ye konne!
 While folk is blent, lo, al the tyme is wonne.
 "In titeryng, and pursuyte, and delayes,
 The folk devyne at waggyng of a stree;
 And though ye wolde han after mirye dayes,
 Than dar ye naught. And whi? For she, and she
 Spak swych a word; thus loked he, and he!
 Las, tyme ilost! I dar nought with yow dele.
1750 Com of, therfore, and bryngeth hym to hele!"
 But now to yow, ye loveres that ben here,
 Was Troilus nought in a kankedort,
 That lay, and myghte whisprynge of hem here,
 And thoughte, "O Lord, right now renneth my sort
 Fully to deye, or han anon comfort!"
 And was the firste tyme he shulde hire preye
 Of love; O myghty God, what shal he seye?

Next: Book 3