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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, lines 1-91:
The exchange of Criseyde and Antenor
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book V, lines 92-175: Diomedes offers his friendship to Criseyde

This Diomede, that ladde hir by the brydel,
Whan that he saugh the folk of Troye aweye,
Thoughte, `Al my labour shal not been on ydel,
95If that I may, for somwhat shal I seye,
For at the worste it may yet shorte our weye.
I have herd seyd, eek tymes twyes twelve,
"He is a fool that wol foryete himselve."'

But nathelees this thoughte he wel ynough,
100`That certaynly I am aboute nought,
If that I speke of love, or make it tough;
For douteles, if she have in hir thought
Him that I gesse, he may not been ybrought
So sone awey; but I shal finde a mene,
105That she not wite as yet shal what I mene.'

This Diomede, as he that koude his good,
Whan this was doon, gan fallen forth in speche
Of this and that, and asked why she stood
In swich disese, and gan hir eek biseche,
110That if that he encrese mighte or eche
With any thing hir ese, that she sholde
Comaunde it him, and seyde he doon it wolde.

For trewely he swoor hir, as a knight,
That ther nas thing with whiche he mighte hir plese,
115That he nolde doon his peyne and al his might
To doon it, for to doon hir herte an ese.
And preyede hir, she wolde hir sorwe apese,
And seyde, `Ywis, we Grekes kan have joye
To honouren yow, as wel as folk of Troye.'

120He seyde eek thus, `I woot, yow thinketh straunge,
No wonder is, for it is to yow newe,
The aqueintaunce of these Troianis to chaunge,
For folk of Grece, that ye never knewe.
But wolde never God but if as trewe
125A Greek ye shulde among us alle finde
As any Troian is, and eek as kinde.

`And by the cause I swoor yow right, lo, now,
To been your freend, and helply, to my might,
And for that more aqueintaunce eek of yow
130Have ich had than another straunger wight,
So fro this forth, I pray yow, day and night,
Comaundeth me, how sore that me smerte,
To doon al that may lyke unto your herte;

`And that ye me wolde as your brother trete,
135And taketh not my frendship in despyt;
And though your sorwes be for thinges grete,
Noot I not why, but out of more respyt,
Myn herte hath for to amende it greet delyt.
And if I may your harmes not redresse,
140I am right sory for your hevynesse,

`And though ye Troians with us Grekes wrothe
Han many a day be, alwey yet, pardee,
O God of love in sooth we serven bothe.
And, for the love of God, my lady free,
145Whom so ye hate, as beth not wroth with me.
For trewely, ther can no wight yow serve,
That half so looth your wratthe wolde deserve.

`And nere it that we been so neigh the tente
Of Calkas, which that seen us bothe may,
150I wolde of this yow telle al myn entente;
But this enseled til another day.
Yeve me your hond, I am, and shal ben ay,
God help me so, whyl that my lyf may dure,
Your owene aboven every creature.

155`Thus seyde I never er now to womman born;
For God myn herte as wisly glade so,
I lovede never womman here biforn
As paramours, ne never shal no mo.
And, for the love of God, beth not my fo;
160Al can I not to yow, my lady dere,
Compleyne aright, for I am yet to lere.

`And wondreth not, myn owene lady bright,
Though that I speke of love to you thus blyve;
For I have herd or this of many a wight,
165Hath loved thing he never saugh his lyve.
Eek I am not of power for to stryve
Ayens the God of love, but him obeye
I wol alwey, and mercy I yow preye.

`Ther been so worthy knightes in this place,
170And ye so fair, that everich of hem alle
Wol peynen him to stonden in your grace.
But mighte me so fair a grace falle,
That ye me for your servaunt wolde calle,
So lowly ne so trewely you serve
175Nil noon of hem, as I shal, til I sterve.'

Next Next:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, lines 176-196:
Criseyde meets her father Calkas