Geoffrey Chaucer - Troilus and Criseyde
Troilus and Criseyde.
Here Begins The Prologue To The Second Book.
O wind, O wind, the weather begins to clear, and carry
our sail out of these black waves. For in this sea my boat
labors so that my brain scarce can guide it. This sea I call
the tempestuous despair that Troilus had been in, but now
begin the first day of hope. O lady, my Clio
, be my Muse
and my aid from this point on to rhyme well this book until
I have done it! I need here no other art but yours. 10
And so I excuse myself to every lover; for I compose this
out of no strained sentiment of my own, but move it out of
Latin into my own tongue. And so for all this work I desire
neither thanks nor censure, but I pray you meekly not to
blame me if any word might be lame, for just as my author
said, I say the same. And though I speak of love without
due feeling, it is no wonder, for it is nothing new; a blind
man cannot judge colors well. 21
You know too that in a thousand years there is a change
in the forms of speech, and words which then were valuable
seem to us now wondrously trivial and strange; yet they
spoke them so, and they prospered as well in love then as
men do now. And in various ages and various lands, there
have been various customs to win love. 28
And therefore if it should happen that any lover in this
place would like to hear how the story describes Troilus’
coming into his lady’s favor, and thinks, “I would not
procure love in that way,” or wonders at his speech or his
doings, I do not know how it may be, but to me it is no
wonder. Every person who goes to Rome does not go by the
same road or the same means. In some lands all the sport
would be spoiled if men in love acted as men do here, as,
for instance, in public conduct or appearance, in formal
visiting, or in speaking their speeches. Therefore people say
each country has its own laws. And even in this place there
are scarcely three who have spoken and acted quite alike in
Clio. The Muse of History.
Author. His source.
love; this way may please one man, and that may please
Yet there is nothing that may not have been said by one or
another, just as one may choose to engrave in a tree, and
another in a stone wall, as it may happen. But since I have
begun, I will go on and follow my author as well as I can.
Here Ends The Prologue To The Second Book.
Here Begins The Second Book.
In May, the mother of glad months, when fresh flowers
that winter killed come to life again, blue and white and
red, and balmy breaths float over every meadow, when
from the white Bull
lavishes his bright beams, it
so happens, as I shall sing, on the third day of May, that
Pandarus too, for all his wise speech, felt his share of love’s
sharp arrows that, should he ever preach about love, often
made his hue entirely green. 60
That day a reverse in love happened to him, for which he
went to bed in woe and tossed and turned continually before