Book 3

Incipit Prohemium Tercii Libri

1. O Blisful light, of whiche the bemes clere
Adorneth al the thridde hevene faire!
O sonnes leef, O Joves doughter dere,
Plesaunce of love, O goodly debonaire.
In gentil hertes ay redy to repaire! 5
O verray cause of hele and of gladnesse,
Y-heried be thy might and thy goodnesse!

2. In hevene and helle, in erthe and salte see
Is felt thy might, if that I wel descerne;
As man, brid, best, fish, herbe and grene tree 10
Thee fele in tymes with vapour eterne.
God loveth, and to love wol nought werne;
And in this world no lyves creature,
With-outen love, is worth, or may endure.

3. Ye Joves first to thilke effectes glade, 15
Thorugh which that thinges liven alle and be,
Comeveden, and amorous him made
On mortal thing, and as yow list, ay ye
Yeve him in love ese or adversitee;
And in a thousand formes doun him sente
For love in erthe, and whom yow liste, he hente. 21

4. Ye fierse Mars apeysen of his ire,
And, as yow list, ye maken hertes digne;
Algates, hem that ye wol sette a-fyre,
They dreden shame, and vices they resigne; 25
Ye do hem corteys be, fresshe and benigne,
And hye or lowe, after a wight entendeth;
The joyes that he hath, your might him sendeth.

5. Ye holden regne and hous in unitee;
Ye soothfast cause of frendship been also;
Ye knowe al thilke covered qualitee 31
Of thinges which that folk on wondren so,
Whan they can not construe how it may jo,
She loveth him, or why he loveth here;
As why this fish, and nought that, cometh to were. 35

6. Ye folk a lawe han set in universe,
And this knowe I by hem that loveres be,
That who-so stryveth with yow hath the werse.
Now, lady bright, for thy benignitee,
At reverence of hem that serven thee, 40
Whos clerk I am, so techeth me devyse
Som joye of that is felt in thy servyse.

7. Ye in my naked herte sentement
Inhelde, and do me shewe of thy swetnesse.—
Caliope, thy vois be now present, 45
For now is nede; sestow not my destresse,
How I mot telle anon-right the gladnesse
Of Troilus, to Venus heryinge?
To which gladnes, who nede hath, god him bringe!

Explicit prohemium Tercii Libri

Incipit Liber Tercius

8. Lay al this mene whyle Troilus, 50
Recordinge his lessoun in this manere,
‘Ma fey!’ thought he, ‘thus wole I seye and thus;
Thus wole I pleyne un-to my lady dere;
That word is good, and this shal be my chere;
This nil I not foryeten in no wyse.’ 55
God leve him werken as he gan devyse.

9. And lord, so that his herte gan to quappe,
Heringe hir come, and shorte for to syke!
And Pandarus, that ladde hir by the lappe,
Com neer, and gan in at the curtin pyke,
And seyde, ‘god do bote on alle syke! 61
See, who is here yow comen to visyte;
Lo, here is she that is your deeth to wyte.’

10. Ther-with it semed as he wepte almost;
‘A ha,’ quod Troilus so rewfully, 65
‘Wher me be wo, O mighty god, thou wost!
Who is al there? I see nought trewely.’
‘Sire,’ quod Criseyde, ‘it is Pandare and I.’
‘Ye, swete herte? allas, I may nought ryse
To knele, and do yow honour in som wyse.’ 70

11. And dressede him upward, and she right tho
Gan bothe here hondes softe upon him leye,
‘O, for the love of god, do ye not so
To me,’ quod she, ‘ey! what is this to seye?
Sire, come am I to yow for causes tweye;
First, yow to thonke, and of your lordshipe eke 76
Continuaunce I wolde yow biseke.’

12. This Troilus, that herde his lady preye
Of lordship him, wex neither quik ne deed,
Ne mighte a word for shame to it seye, 80
Al-though men sholde smyten of his heed.
But lord, so he wex sodeinliche reed,
And sire, his lesson, that he wende conne,
To preyen hir, is thurgh his wit y-ronne.

13. Criseyde al this aspyede wel y-nough,
For she was wys, and lovede him never-the-lasse, 86
Al nere he malapert, or made it tough,
Or was to bold, to singe a fool a masse.
But whan his shame gan somwhat

  By PanEris using Melati.

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