Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400 / London, England)

A Rondel of Merciless Beauty - The Original


I. 1.
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly
I may the beaute of them not sustene,
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene.

2.
And but your words will helen hastely
My hertis wound, while that it is grene,
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly.

3.
Upon my trouth I sey yow feithfully,
That ye ben of my liffe and deth the quene;
For with my deth the trouth shal be sene.
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly
I may the beaute of them not sustene,
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene.

II. 1.
So hath youre beauty fro your herte chased
Pitee, that me n'availeth not to pleyn:
For daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

2.
Giltless my deth thus have ye purchased;
I sey yow soth, me nedeth not to fayn:
So hath your beaute fro your herte chased.

3.
Alas, that nature hath in yow compassed
So grete beaute, that no man may atteyn
To mercy, though he sterve for the peyn.
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly
I may the beaute of them not sustene,
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene.

III. 1.
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat,
I nere thinke to ben in his prison lene;
Syn I am fre, I counte hym not a bene.

2.
He may answere and sey this and that,
I do no fors, I speak ryght as I mene;
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat.

3.
Love hath my name i-strike out of his sclat,
And he is strike out of my bokes clene:
For ever mo 'ther' is non other mene,
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat.

Submitted: Monday, April 05, 2010

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