Previous Previous:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 1-28:
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book IV, lines 29-126: Trojans and Greeks fight fiercely and Antenor is captured by the Greeks

Incipit Quartus Liber.

Ligginge in ost, as I have seyd er this,
30The Grekes stronge, aboute Troye toun,
Bifel that, whan that Phebus shyning is
Upon the brest of Hercules Lyoun,
That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun,
Caste on a day with Grekes for to fighte,
35As he was wont to greve hem what he mighte.

Not I how longe or short it was bitwene
This purpos and that day they fighte mente;
But on a day wel armed, bright and shene,
Ector, and many a worthy wight out wente,
40With spere in hond and bigge bowes bente;
And in the herd, with-oute lenger lette,
Hir fomen in the feld anoon hem mette.

The longe day, with speres sharpe ygrounde,
With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
45They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde,
And with hir axes out the braynes quelle.
But in the laste shour, sooth for to telle,
The folk of Troye hemselven so misledden,
That with the worse at night homward they fledden.

50At whiche day was taken Antenor,
Maugree Polydamas or Monesteo,
Santippe, Sarpedon, Polynestor,
Polyte, or eek the Troian daun Ripheo,
And othere lasse folk, as Phebuseo.
55So that, for harm, that day the folk of Troye
Dreden to lese a greet part of hir joye.

Of Pryamus was yeve, at Greek requeste,
A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete,
Hir prisoneres to chaungen, moste and leste,
60And for the surplus yeven sommes grete.
This thing anoon was couth in every strete,
Bothe in the assege, in toune, and everywhere,
And with the firste it cam to Calkas ere.

Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde,
65In consistorie, among the Grekes, sone
He gan in thringe forth, with lordes olde,
And sette him there as he was wont to done;
And with a chaunged face hem bad a bone,
For love of God, to doon that reverence,
70To stinte noyse, and yeve him audience.

Thanne seyde he thus, `Lo! Lordes myne, I was
Troian, as it is knowen out of drede;
And, if that yow remembre, I am Calkas,
That alderfirst yaf comfort to your nede,
75And tolde wel how that ye sholden spede.
For dredelees, thorugh yow, shal, in a stounde,
Ben Troye ybrend, and beten doun to grounde.

`And in what forme, or in what maner wyse
This town to shende, and al your lust to acheve,
80Ye han er this wel herd it me devyse;
This knowe ye, my lordes, as I leve.
And for the Grekes weren me so leve,
I com myself in my propre persone,
To teche in this how yow was best to done;

85`Havinge unto my tresour ne my rente
Right no resport, to respect of your ese.
Thus al my good I loste and to yow wente,
Wening in this you, lordes, for to plese.
But al that los ne dooth me no disese.
90I vouche-sauf, as wisly have I joye,
For you to lese al that I have in Troye,

`Save of a doughter, that I lafte, allas!
Slepinge at hoom, whanne out of Troye I sterte.
O sterne, O cruel fader that I was!
95How mighte I have in that so hard an herte?
Allas! I ne hadde ybrought hir in hir sherte!
For sorwe of which I wol not live to morwe,
But if ye lordes rewe upon my sorwe.

`For, by that cause I say no tyme er now
100Hir to delivere, I holden have my pees;
But now or never, if that it lyke yow,
I may hir have right sone, doutelees.
O help and grace! Amonges al this prees,
Rewe on this olde caitif in destresse,
105Syn I through yow have al this hevinesse!

`Ye han now caught and fetered in prisoun
Troians ynowe; and if your willes be,
My child with oon may have redempcioun.
Now for the love of God and of bountee,
110Oon of so fele, allas! So yeve him me.
What nede were it this preyere for to werne,
Syn ye shul bothe han folk and toun as yerne?

`On peril of my lyf, I shal nat lye,
Appollo hath me told it feithfully;
115I have eek founde it be astronomye,
By sort, and by augurie eek trewely,
And dar wel seye, the tyme is faste by,
That fyr and flaumbe on al the toun shal sprede;
And thus shal Troye turne to asshen dede.

120'For certeyn, Phebus and Neptunus bothe,
That makeden the walles of the toun,
Ben with the folk of Troye alwey so wrothe,
That thei wol bringe it to confusioun,
Right in despyt of king Lameadoun.
125Bycause he nolde payen hem hir hyre,
The toun of Troye shal ben set on-fyre.'

Next Next:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 127-147:
The Greeks want to exchange Antenor for Criseyde