Incipit Liber Quintus
That Joves hath in disposicioun,
And to yow, angry Parcas, sustren three,
Committeth, to don execucioun;
For which Criseyde moste out of the toun, 5
And Troilus shal dwelle forth in pyne
Til Lachesis his threed no lenger twyne.
Thryës hadde alle with his bemes shene
The snowes molte, and Zephirus as ofte 10
Y-brought ayein the tendre leves grene,
Sin that the sone of Ecuba the quene
Bigan to love hir first, for whom his sorwe
Was al, that she departe sholde a-morwe.
Criseyde un-to the Grekes ost to lede,
For sorwe of which she felte hir herte blede,
As she that niste what was best to rede.
And trewely, as men in bokes rede,
Men wiste never womman han the care, 20
Ne was so looth out of a toun to fare.
As man that hath his joyes eek forlore,
Was waytinge on his lady ever-more
As she that was the soothfast crop and more 25
Of al his lust, or joyes here-tofore.
But Troilus, now farewel al thy joye,
For shaltow never seen hir eft in Troye!
He gan his wo ful manly for to hyde, 30
That wel unnethe it seen was in his chere;
But at the yate ther she sholde oute ryde
With certeyn folk, he hoved hir tabyde,
So wo bigoon, al wolde he nought him pleyne,
That on his hors unnethe he sat for peyne. 35
Whan Diomede on horse gan him dresse,
And seyde un-to him-self this ilke sawe,
Allas, quod he, thus foul a wrecchednesse
Why suffre ich it, why nil ich it redresse? 40
Were it not bet at ones for to dye
Than ever-more in langour thus to drye?
To have y-nough to done, er that she go?
Why nil I bringe al Troye upon a rore? 45
Why nil I sleen this Diomede also?
Why nil I rather with a man or two
Stele hir a-way? Why wol I this endure?
Why nil I helpen to myn owene cure?
That shal I seyn, and why him liste it spare: 51
He hadde in herte alwey a maner drede,
Lest that Criseyde, in rumour of this fare,
Sholde han ben slayn; lo, this was al his care.
And elles, certeyn, as I seyde yore, 55
He hadde it doon, with-outen wordes more.
Ful sorwfully she sighte, and seyde allas!
But forth she moot, for ought that may bityde,
And forth she rit ful sorwfully a pas. 60
Ther nis non other remedie in this cas.
What wonder is though that hir sore smerte,
Whan she forgoth hir owene swete herte?
With hauke on hond, and with an huge route 65
Of knightes, rood and dide hir companye,
Passinge al the valey fer with-oute.
And ferther wolde han riden, out of doute,
Ful fayn, and wo was him to goon so sone;
But torne he moste, and it was eek to done. 70
Out of the Grekes ost, and every wight
Was of it glad, and seyde he was welcome.
And Troilus, al nere his herte light,
He peyned him with al his fulle might 75
Him to with-holde of wepinge at the leste,
And Antenor he kiste, and made feste.
And caste his eye upon hir pitously,
And neer he rood, his cause for to make,
To take hir by the honde al sobrely. 81
And lord! so she gan wepen tendrely!
And he ful softe and sleighly gan hir seye,
Now hold your day, and dooth me not to deye.
With face pale, and un-to Diomede
No word he spak, ne noon of al his route;
Of which the sone of Tydeus took hede,
As he that coude more than the crede
In swich a craft, and by the reyne hir hente; 90
And Troilus to Troye homwarde he wente.
Whan that he saw the folk of Troye aweye,
Thoughte, al my labour shal not been on ydel,
If that I may, for somwhat shal I seye. 95
For at the worste it may yet
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