by: Geoffrey Chaucer (1342?-1400)

      ' PALEYS [1], whylom croune of houses alle,
      Enlumined with sonne of alle blisse!
      O ring, fro which the ruby is out-falle,
      O cause of wo, that cause hast been of lisse! [2]
      Yet, sin I may no bet, fayn wolde I kisse
      Thy colde dores, dorste I for this route;
      And fare-wel shryne, of which the seynt is oute!'
      Fro thennesforth he rydeth up and down,
      And every thing com him to remembraunce
      As he rood forth by places of the town
      In whiche he whylom hadde al his plesaunce.
      'Lo, yond saugh I myn owene lady daunce;
      And in that temple, with hir eyen clere,
      My caughte first my righte lady dere.
      And yonder have I herd ful lustily
      My dere herte laughe, and yonder pleye
      Saugh I hir ones eek ful blisfully.
      And yonder ones to me gan she seye,
      "Now good swete, love me wel, I preye."
      And yond so goodly gan she me biholde,
      That to the deeth myn herte is to hir holde.
      And at that corner, in the yonder hous,
      Herde I myn alderlevest [3] lady dere
      So wommanly, with voys melodious,
      Singen so wel, so goodly, and so clere,
      That in my soule yet me thinketh I here
      The blisful soun; and, in that yonder place,
      My lady first me took un-to hir grace.'
      'O sterre, of which I lost have al the light,
      With herte soor wel oughte I to bewayle,
      That ever derk in torment, night by night,
      Toward my deeth with wind in stere I sayle;
      For which the tenthe night if that I fayle
      The gyding of thy bemes brighte an houre,
      My ship and me Caribdis wol devoure.'


1 paleys: palace

2 lisse: joy

3 alderlevest: dearest of all



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