Geoffrey Chaucer.

The student's Chaucer, being a complete edition of his works; online

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2085



Ye have theron set sich justise,
That it is werreyd in many wise.
And if ye doute it nolde obeye,
Ye may therof do make a keye,
And holde it with you for ostage.'
' Now certis, this is noon outrage,'
Quoth Love, ' and fully I accord ;
For of the body he is ful lord
That hath the herte in his tresor ;
Outrage it were to asken more.'

Than of his aumener he drough
A litel keye, fetys y-nough,
Which was of gold polisshed clere,
And seide to me, ' With this keye here
Thyn herte to me now wol I shette ; 2091
For al my jowellis loke and knette
I binde under this litel keye,
That 110 wight may carye aweye ;
This keye is ful of gret poeste.' 2095

With which anoon he touchid me
Undir the syde ful softely,
That he myn herte sodeynly
Without [al] anoy had spered,
That yit right nought it hath me dered.
Whan he had doon his wil al-out, 2101
And I had put him out of dout,
' Sire,' I seide, M have right gret wille
Your lust and plesaunce to fulfille.
Loke ye my servise take at gree, 2105
By thilke feith ye owe to me.
I seye nought for recreaundyse,
For I nought doute of your servyse.
But the servaunt traveileth in vayne,
That for to serven doth his payne 2110
Unto that lord, which in no wyse
Can him no thank for his servyse.'

Love seide, ' Dismaye thee nought,
Sin thou for sucour hast me sought,
In thank thy servise wol I take, 2115

And high of "f-gree I wol thee make,
If wikkidnesse ne hindre thee ;
But, as I hope, it shal nought be.
To worship no wight by aventure
May come, but-if he peyne endure. 2120
Abyde and suffre thy distresse ;
That hurtith now, it shal be lesse ;
I wot my-silf what may thee save,
What medicyne thou woldist have.
And if thy trouthe to me thou kepe, 2125
I shal unto thyn helping eke,
To cure thy woundes and make hem clene.



FRAGMENT B.j



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WE

A



Wher-so they be olde or grene ;

Thou shalt be holpen, at wordis fewe.

For certeynly thou shalt wel shewe 2130

Wher that thou servest with good wille,

For to complisshen and fulfille

My cornaundementis, day and night,

Whiche I to lovers yeve of right.'

Ah, sire, for goddis love,' said I, 2135
' Er ye passe hens, ententifly
Your coinaundementis to me ye say,
And I shal kepe hem, if I may ;
For hem to kepen is al my thought.
And if so be I wot them nought, 2140
Than may I [sinne] unwitingly.
Wherfore I pray you enterely,
With al myn herte, me to lere,
That I trespasse in no man ere.'

The god of love than chargid me 2145
Anoon, as ye shal here and see,
Word by word, by right empryse,
So as the Romance shal devyse.

The maister lesith his tyme to lere,
Whan the disciple wol not here. 2150
It is but veyn on him to swinke,
That on his lerning wol not thinke.
Who-so lust love, let him entende,
For now the Romance -j-ginneth amende.
Now is good to here, in fay, 2155

If any be that can it say,
And poynte it as the resoun is
Set ; for other-gate, y-wis,
It shal nought wel in alle thing
Be brought to good undirstonding ; 2160
For a reder that poyntith ille
A good sentence may ofte spille.
The book is good at the ending,
Maad of newe and lusty thing ;
For who-so wol the ending here, 2165
The crafte of love he shal now lere,
If that he wol so long abyde,
Til I this Romance may unhyde,
And undo the signifiaunce
Of this dreme into Romaunce. 2170

The sothfastnesse, that now is hid,
Without coverture shal be kid,
Whan I undon have this dreming,
Wherin no word is of lesing.

' Vilany, at the biginning, 2175

I wol,' -fsayd Love, ' over alle thing,
Thou leve, if thou wolt [not] be
Fals, and trespasse ageynes me.



I curse and blame generally

Alle hem that loven vilany ; 2180

For vilany makith vilayn,

And by his dedis a cherle is seyn.

Thise vilayns arn without pitee,

Frendshipe, love, and al bounte.

I nil receyve J-to my servyse 2185

Hem that ben vilayns of empryse.

' But undirstonde in thyn entent,
That this is not myn entendement,
To clepe no wight in no ages
Only gentil for his linages. 2190

But who-so [that] is vertuous,
And in his port nought outrageous,
Whan sich oon thou seest thee biforn,
Though he be not gentil born,
Thou mayst wel seyn, this is fa soth, 2195
That he is gentil, bicause he doth
As longeth to a gentilman ;
Of hem non other deme I can.
For certeynly, withouten drede,
A cherle is demed by his dede, 2200

Of hye or lowe, as ye may see,
Or of what kinrede that he be.
Ne say nought, for noon yvel wille,
Thing that is to holden stille ;
It is no worship to misseye. -2205

Thou mayst ensample take of Keye,
That was somtyme, for misseying,
Hated bothe of olde and ying ;
As fer as Gaweyn, the worthy,
Was preysed for his curtesy, 2210

Keye was hated, for he was fel,
Of word dispitous and cruel.
Wherfore be wyse and aqueyntable,
Goodly of word, and resonable
Bothe to lesse and eek to mar. 2215

And whan thou comest ther men ar,
Loke that thou have in custom ay
First to salue hem, if thou may :
And if it falle, that of hem som
Salue thee first, be not dom, 2220

But quyte him curteisly anoon
Without abiding, er they goon.

' For no-thing eek thy tunge applye
To speke wordis of ribaudye.
To vilayn speche in no degree 2225

Lat never thy lippe unbounden be.
For I nought holde him, in good feith,
Curteys, that foule wordis seith.
And alle wimmen serve aild preyse,



(Jlotwumf of



[FRAGMENT B.



And to thy power hir honour reyse. 2230
And if that any missayere
Dispyse wimmen, that thou mayst here,
Blame him, and biddehimholde him stille.
And set thy might and al thy wille
Wimmen and ladies for to plese, 2235
And to do thing that may hem ese,
That they ever speke good of thee,
For so thou mayst best preysed be.

' Loke fro pryde thou kepe thee wele ;
For thou mayst bothe perceyve and fele,
That pryde is bothe foly and sinne ; 2241
And he that pryde hath, him withinne,
Ne may his herte, in no wyse,
Meken ne souplen to servyse.
For pryde is founde, in every part, 2245
Contrarie unto Loves art.
And he that loveth trewely
Shulde him contene jolily,
Withouten pryde in sondry wyse,
And him disgysen in queyntyse. 2250
For queynt array, withouten drede,
Is no-thing proud, who takith hede ;
For fresh array, as men may see,
Withouten pryde may ofte be.

' Mayntene thy-silf aftir thy rent, 2255
Of robe and eek of garnement ;
For many sythe fair clothing
A man amendith in mich thing.
And loke alwey that they be shape,
What garnement that thou shalt make,
Of him that can [hem] beste do, 2261

With al that perteyneth therto.
Poyntis and sieves be wel sittand,
Eight and streight fupon the hand.
Of shoon and botes, newe and faire, 2265
Loke at the leest thou have a paire ;
And that they sitte so fetisly,
That these rude may uttirly
Merveyle, sith that they sitte so pleyn,
How they come on or of ageyn. 2270

Were streite gloves, with faumenere
Of silk ; and alwey with good chere
Thou yeve, if thou have richesse ;
And if thou have nought, spend the lesse.
Alwey be merry, if thou may, 2275

But waste not thy good alway.
Have hat of floures fresh as May,
Chapelet of roses of Whitsonday ;
For sich array ne fcost bnt lyte.
Thyn hondis wash, thy teeth make whyte,



And let no filthe upon thee be. 2281

Thy nailes blak if thou mayst see,

Voide it awey deliverly,

And kembe thyn heed right jolily.

fFard not thy visage in no wyse, 2285

For that of love is not th' empryse ;

For love doth haten, as I finde,

A beaute that cometh not of kinde.

Alwey in herte I rede thee

Glad and mery for to be, 2290

And be as joyful as. thou can ;

Love hath no joye of sorowful man.

That yvel is ful of curtesye

That flauhwith in his maladye ;

For ever of love the siknesse 2295

Is meynd with swete and bitternesse.

The sore of love is merveilous ;

For now the lover [is] joyous,

Now can he pleyne, now can he grone,

Now can he singen, now maken rnone.

To-day he pleyneth for hevinesse, 2301

To-morowe he ^pleyeth for jolynesse.

The lyf of love is ful contrarie,

Which stoundemele can ofte varie.

But if thou canst [som] mirthis make, 2305

That men in gree wole gladly take,

Do it goodly, I comauiide thee ;

For men sholde, wher-so-ever they be,

Do thing that hem [best] sitting is,

For therof cometh good loos and pris. 2310

Wher-of that thou be vertuous,

Ne be not straunge ne daungerous.

For if that thou good rider be,

Prike gladly, that men may se.

In armes also if thou conne, 2315

Pursue, til thou a name hast wonne.

And if thy voice be fair and clere,

Thou shalt maken no gret daungere

Whan to singe they goodly preye ;

It is thy worship for to obeye. 2320

Also to you it longith ay

To harpe and giterne, daunce and play ;

For if he can wel foote and daunce,

It may him greetly do avaunce.

Among eek, for thy lady sake, 2325

Songes and complayntes that thou make ;

For that wol f-meve [hem] in hir herte,

Whan they reden of thy smerte.

Loke that no man for scarce thee holde,

For that may greve thee many-folde. 2330

Resoun wol that a lover be



FRAGMENT B.]



(Romaunf of $c (Roe*.



In his yiftes more large and free

Than cherles that been not of loving,

For who ther-of can any thing,

He shal be leef ay for to yeve, 2335

In f Loves lore who so wolde leve ;

For he that, through a sodeyn sight,

Or for a kissing, anon-right

Yaf hool his herte in wille and thought,

And to him-silf kepith right nought, 2340

Aftir "f-swich yiffc, is good resoun,

He yeve his good in abandoun.

1 Now wol I shortly here reherce,
Of that [that] I have seid in verse,
Al the sentence by and by, 2 345

In wordis fewe compendiously,
That thou the bet mayst on hem thinke,
Whether-so it be thou wake or winke ;
For [that] the wordis litel greve
A man to kepe, whanne it is breve. 2350

' Wlio-so with Love wol goon or ryde
He mot be curteys, and void of pryde,
Mery and fulle of jolite,
And of largesse alosed be.

' First I joyne thee, here in penaunce,
That ever, withoute repentaunce, 2356
Thou set thy thought in thy loving,
To laste withoute repenting ;
And thenke upon thy mirthis swete,
That shal folowe aftir whan ye mete. 2360

' And for thou trewe to love shalt be,
I wol, and [eek] comaunde thee,
That in oo place thou sette, al hool,
Thyn herte, withouten halfen dool,
For trecherie, 'fin sikernesse ; 2365

For I lovede never doublenesse.
To many his herte that wol depart,
Everiche shal have but litel part.
But of him drede I me right nought,
That in oo place settith his thought. 2371)
Therfore in oo place it sette,
And let it never thennes flette.
For if thou yevest it in lening,
I holde it but a wrecchid thing :
Therfore yeve it hool and quyte, 2375

And thou shalt have the more merite.
If it be lent, than aftir soon,
The bountee and the thank is doon ;
But, in love, free yeven thing
Requyrith a gret guerdoning. 2380

Yeve it in yift al quit fully,
And make thy yift debonairly ;



For men that yift [wol] holde more dere

That yeven is with gladsome chere.

That yift nought to preisen is 2385

That man yeveth, maugre his.

Whan thou hast yeven thyn herte, as I

Have seid thee here [al] openly,

Than aventures shulle thee falle,

Which harde and hevy been withalle. 2390

For ofte whan thou bithenkist thee

Of thy loving, wher-so thou be,

Fro folk thou must depart in hy,

That noon perceyve thy malady,

But hyde thyn harm thou must alone,2395

And go forth sole, and make thy mone.

Thou shalt no whyl be in oo stat,

But whylom cold and whylom hat ;

Now reed as rose, now yelowe and fade.

Such sorowe, I trowe, thou never hade ;

Cotidien, ne [yit] quarteyne, 2401

It is nat so ful of peyne.

For ofte tymes it shal falle

In love, among thy peynes alle,

That thou thy-self, al hoolly, 2 45

Foryeten shalt so utterly,

That many tymes thou shalt be

Stille as an image of tree,

Dom as a stoon, without stering

Of foot or hond, without speking ; 2410

Than, sone after al thy peyne,

To memorie shalt thou come ageyn,

A[s] man abasshed wondre sore,

And after sighen more and more.

For wit thou wel, withouten wene, 2415

In swioh astat ful oft have been

That have the yvel of love assayd,

Wher-through thou art so dismayd.

' After, a thought shal take thee so,
That thy love is to fer thee fro : 2420
Thou shalt say, " God, what may this be,
That I ne may my lady see ?
Myne herte aloon is to her go,
And I abyde al sole in wo,
Departed fro myn owne thought, 2425
And with myne eyen see right nought.
Alas, myn eyen fsende I ne may,
My careful herte to convay !
Myn hertes gyde but they be,
I praise no-thing what ever they see. 2430
Shul they abyde thanne ? nay ;
But goon fvisyte without delay
That myn herte desyreth so.



26



(Jtomaunt of



[FRAGMENT B.



For certeynly, but-if they go,

A fool my-self I may wel holde, 2435

Whan I ne see what myn herte wolde.

Wherfore I wol gon her to seen,

Or esed shal I never been,

But I have som tokening."

Then gost thou forth without dwelling ;

But ofte thou faylest of thy desyre, 2441

Er thou mayst come hir any nere,

And wastest in vayn thy passage.

Than fallest thou in a newe rage ;

For wante of sight thou ginnest morne,

And homward pensif dost retorne. 2446

In greet mischeef than shalt thou be,

For than agayn shal come to thee

Sighes and pleyntes, with newe wo,

That no icching prikketh so. 2 45

Who wot it nought, he may go lere

Of hem that byen love so dere.

' No-thing thyn herte appesen may,
That oft thou wolt goon and assay,
If thou mayst seen, by aventure, 2455
Thy lyves joy, thyn hertis cure ;
So that, by grace if thou might
Atteyne of hir to have a sight,
Than shalt thou doon non other dede
But with that sight thyn eyen fede. 2460
That faire fresh whan thou mayst see,
Thyn herte shal so ravisshed be,
That never thou woldest, thy thankis, lete,
Ne remove, for to see that swete.
The more thou seest in sothfastnesse, 2465
The more thou fcoveytest of that swet-

nesse ;

The more thyn herte brenneth in fyr,
The more thyn herte is in desyr.
For who considreth every del,
It may be lykned wondir wel, 2 47O

The peyne of love, unto a fere ;
For ever [the] more thou neighest nere
fThought, or who-so that it be,
For verray sothe I telle it thee,
The hatter ever shal thou brenne, 2475
As experience shal thee kenne.
Wher-so [thou] comest in any cost,
Who is next fyr, he brenneth most.
And yit forsothe, for al thyn hete,
Though thou for love swelte and swete,
Ne for no-thing thou felen may, 2481
Thou shalt not willen to passe away.
And though thou go, yet must thee nede



Thenke al-day on hir fairhede,

Whom thou bihelde with so good wille ;

And holde thyself bigyled ille, 2486

That thou ne haddest non hardement

To shewe hir ought of thyn entent.

Thyn herte ful sore thou wolt dispyse,

And eek repreve of cowardyse, 2490

That thou, so dulle in every thing,

Were dom for drede, without speking,

Thou shalt eek thenke thou didest foly,

That thou wert hir so faste by,

And durst not auntre thee to say 2495

Som-thing, er thou cam away ;

For thou haddist no more wonne,

To speke of hir whan thou bigonne :

But fyif she wolde, for thy sake,

In armes goodly thee have take, 2500

It shulde have be more worth to thee

Than of tresour greet plentee.

' Thus shalt thou morne and eek com-

pleyn,

And gete enchesoun to goon ageyn
Unto thy walk, or to thy place, 2505

Where thou biheld hir fleshly face.
And never, for fals suspeccioun,
Thou woldest finde occasioun
For to gon unto hir hous.
So art thou thanne desirous 2510

A sight of hir for to have,
If thou thine honour mightest save,
Or any erand mightist make
Thider, for thy loves sake ;
Ful fayn thou woldist, but for drede 2515
Thou gost not, lest that men take hede.
Wherfore I rede, in thy going,
And also in thyn ageyn-coming,
Thou be wel war that men ne wit ;
Feyne thee other cause than it 2520

To go that weye, or faste by ;
To hele wel is no folye.
And if so be it happe thee
That thou thy love ther mayst see,
In siker wyse thou hir salewe, 2525

Wherwith thy colour wol transmewe,
And eke thy blood shal al to-quake,
Thy hewe eek chaungen for hir sake.
But word and wit, with chere ful pale,
Shul wante for to telle thy tale. 2530

And if thou mayst so fer-forth winne,
That thou [thy] resoun durst biginne,
And woldist seyn three thingis or mo,



FRAGMENT B.]



(Jlomaun* of $e (Roee.



27



Thou shalt ful scarsly seyn the two.
Though thou bithenke thee never so wel,
Thou shalt foryete yit somdel, 2536

But-if thou dele with trecherye.
For fals lovers mowe al folye
Seyn, what hem lust, withouten drede,
They be so double in hir falshede ; 2540
For they in herte cunne thenke a thing
And seyn another, in hir speking.
And whan thy speehe is endid al,
Right thus to thee it shal bifal ;
If any word than come to minde, 2545
That thou to seye hast left bihinde,
Than thou shalt brenne in greet martyr ;
For thou shalt brenne as any fyr.
This is the stryf and eke the affray,
And the batail that lastith ay. 2550

This bargeyn ende may never take,
But-if that she thy pees wil make.

' And whan the night is comen, anon
A thousand angres shal come upon.
To bedde as fast thou wolt thee dight, 2555
Where thou shalt have but smal delyt ;
For whan thou wenest for to slepe,
So ful of peyne shalt thou crepe,
Sterte in thy bedde aboute ful wyde,
And turne ful ofte on every syde ; 2560
Now downward groffe, and now upright,
And walowe in wo the longe night ;
Thyne armis shalt thou sprede abrede,
As man in werre were fforwerreyd.
Than shal thee come a remembraunce
Of hir shape and hir semblaunce 2566
Wherto non other may be pere.
And wite thou wel, withoute were,
That thee shal fseme, somtyme that night,
That thou hast hir, that is so bright, 2570
Naked bitwene thyn armes there,
Al sothfastnesse as though it were.
Thou shalt make castels than in Spayne,
And dreme of joye, al but in vayne,
And thee delyten of right nought, 2575
Whyl thou so slomrest in that thought,
That is so swete and delitable,
The which, in soth, nis but a fable,
For it ne shal no whyle laste.
Than shalt thou sighe and wepe faste, 2580
And say, " Dere god, what thing is this ?
My dreme is turned al amis,
Which was ful swete and apparent,
But now I wake, it is al shent



Now yede this mery thought away ! 2585

Twenty tymes upon a day

I wolde this thought wolde come ageyn,

For it alleggith wel my peyn.

It makith me ful of joyful thought,

It sleeth me, that it lastith noght. 2590

A, lord ! why nil ye me socoure,

The joye, 1 trowe, that I langoure ?

The deth I wolde me shulde slo

Whyl I lye in hir armes two.

Myn harm is hard, withouten wene, 2595

My greet unese ful ofte I mene.

But wolde Love do so I might

Have fully joye of hir so bright,

My peyne were quit me richely.

Alias, to greet a thing aske I ! 2(xx>

It is but foly, and wrong wening,

To aske so outrageous a thing.

And who-so askith folily,

He moot be warned hastily ;

And I ne wot what I may say, 2605

I am so fer out of the way ;

For I wolde have ful gret lyking

And ful gret joye of lasse thing.

For wolde she, of hir gentilnesse,

Withouten more, me onis kesse, 2610

It were to me a greet guerdoun,

Relees of al my passioun.

But it is hard to come therto ;

Al is but foly that I do,

So high I have myn herte set, 2615

Where I may no comfort get.

f I noot wher I sey wel or nought ;

But this I wot wel in my thought,

That it were "fbet of hir aloon,

For to stinte my wo and moon, 2620

A loke on fme y-cast goodly,

fThan for to have, al utterly,

Of another al hool the pley.

A ! lord ! wher I shal byde the day

That ever she shal my lady bo ? 2625

He is ful cured that may hir see.

A ! god ! whan shal the dawning spring ?

To fly thus is an angry thing ;

I have no joye thus here to ly

Whan that my love is not me by. 2630

A man to lyen hath gret disese,

Which may not slepe ne reste in ese.

I wolde it dawed, and were now daj-,

And that the night were went away ;

For were it day, I wolde upryse 26^5



28



(gomaunf of tfe (Jtoec.



[FRAGMENT B.



A ! slowe sonne, shew thyn enpryse !
Speed thee to sprede thy bemis bright,
And chace the derknesse of the night,
To putte away the stoundes stronge,
Which in me lasten al to longe." 2640

' The night shalt thou contene so,
Withoute rest, in peyne and wo ;
If ever thou knewe of love distresse,
Thou shalt mowe lerne in that siknesse.
And thus enduring shalt thou ly, 2645
And ryse on morwe up erly
Out of thy bedde, and harneys thee
Er ever dawning thou mayst see.
Al privily than shalt thou goon,
What f weder it be, thy-silf aloon, 2650
For reyn, or hayl, for snow, for slete,
Thider she dwellith that is so swete,
The which may falle aslepe be,
And thenkith but litel upon thee.
Than shalt thou goon, ful foule aferd ; 2655
Loke if the gate be unsperd,
And waite without in wo and peyn,
Ful yvel a-colde in winde and reyn.
Than shal thou go the dore bifore,
If thou maist fynde any score, 2660

Or hole, or reft, what ever it were ;
Than shalt thou stoupe, and lay to ere,
If they within a-slepe be ;
I mene, alle save thy lady free.
Whom waking if thou mayst aspye, 2665
Go put thy-silf in jupartye,
To aske grace, and thee bimene,
That she may wite, withouten wene,
That thou [ajnight no rest hast had,
So sore for hir thou were bistad. 2670
Wommen wel ought pite to take
Of hem that sorwen for hir sake.
And loke, for love of that relyke,
That thou thenke non other lyke,
For {whom thou hast so greet annoy, 2675
iShal kisse thee er thou go away,
And hold that in ful gret deyntee.
And, for that no man shal thee see
Bifore the hous, ne in the way,
Loke thou be goon ageyn er day. 2680
Suche coming, and such going,
Such hevinesse, and such walking,
Makith lovers, withouten wene,
Under hir clothes pale and lene,
For Love leveth colour ne cleernesse ; 2685
Who loveth trewe hath no fatnesse.



Thou shalt wel by thy-selfe see
That thou must nedis assayed be.
For men that shape hem other wey
Falsly her ladies to bitray, 2690

It is no wonder though they be fat ;
With false othes hir loves they gat ;
For oft I see suche losengeours
Fatter than abbatis or priours.

' Yet with o thing I thee charge, 2695
That is to seye, that thou be large
Unto the mayd that hir doth serve,
So best hir thank thou shalt deserve.
Yeve hir yiftes, and get hir grace,
For so thou may [hir] thank purchace,27oo
That she thee worthy holde and free,
Thy lady, and alle that may thee see.
Also hir servauntes worshipe ay,
And plese as muche as thou may ;
Gret good through hem may come to thee,
Bicause with hir they been prive. 2706
They shal hir telle how they thee fand
Curteis and wys, and wel doand,
And she shal preyse [thee] wel the fmare.
Loke out of londe thou be not "ffare ; 2710
And if such cause thou have, that thee
Bihoveth -J* gon out of contree,
Leve hool thyn herte in hostage,
Til thou ageyn make thy passage.
Thenk long to see the swete thing 2715
That hath thyn herte in hir keping.

''Now have I told thee, in what wyse
A lover shal do me servyse.
Do it than, if thou wolt have
The mede that thou aftir crave.' 2720

Whan Love al this had boden me,
I seide him : ' Sire, how may it be
That lovers may in such manere
Endure the peyne ye have seid here ?
I merveyle me wonder faste, 2725

How any man may live or laste
In such peyne, and such brenning,
In sorwe and thought, and such sighing,
Ay unrelesed wo to make,
Whether so it be they slepe or wake. 2730
In such annoy continuely,
As helpe me god, this merveile I,
How man, but he were maad of stele,
Might live a month, such peynes to fele.'

The God of Love than seide me, 2735
' Freend, by the feith I owe to thee,
May no man have good, but he it by.



FRAGMENT B.]



(Jlontaunf of t$t (Roee.



A man lovoth more tendirly

The thing that he hath bought most dere.

For wite thou wel, withouten were, 2740

In thank that thing is taken more,

For which a man hath suffred sore.

Certis, no wo ne may atteyne

Unto the sore of loves peyne.

Non yvel therto ne may amounte, 2745

No more than a man [may] counte

The dropes that of the water be.

For drye as wel the grete see

Thou mightist, as the harmes telle

Of hem that with Love dwelle 2750

In servyse ; for peyne hem sleeth,

And that ech man wolde flee the deeth,

And trowe they shulde never escape,

Nere that hope couthe hem make

Glad as man in prisoun set, 2755

And may not geten for to et

But barly-breed, and watir pure,

And lyeth in vermin and in ordure ;

With alle this, yit can he live,

Good hope such comfort hath him yive,



Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe student's Chaucer, being a complete edition of his works; → online text (page 6 of 128)