And as for me, thogh that I can but lyte, On bakes for to rede I me delyte, And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence, And in myn herte have hem in reverence So hertely, that ther is game noon, That fro my bokes maketh me to goon, But hit be seldom, on the holyday; Save, certeynly, when that the month of May Is comen, and that I here the foules singe, And that the floures ginnen for to springe, Farwel my book and my devocion.
But, Lord Crist! whan that it remembreth me Upon my yowthe, and on my jolitee, It tickleth me aboute myn herte roote. Unto this day it dooth myn herte boote That I have had my world as in my tyme. But age, alias! that al wole envenyme, Hath me biraft my beautee and my pith. Lat go, farewel! the devel go therwith! The flour is goon, ther is namoore to telle; The bren, as I best kan, now most I selle.
Remember in the forms of speech comes change Within a thousand years, and words that then Were well esteemed, seem foolish now and strange; And yet they spake them so, time and again, And thrived in love as well as any men; And so to win their loves in sundry days, In sundry lands there are as many ways.
For there is one thing I can safely say: that those bound by love must obey each other if they are to keep company long. Love will not be constrained by mastery; when mastery comes, the God of love at once beats his wings, and farewell he is gone. Love is a thing as free as any spirit; women naturally desire liberty, and not to be constrained like slaves; and so do men, if I shall tell the truth.
There was the murdered corpse, in covert laid, And violent death in thousand shapes displayed; The city to the soldier's rage resigned; Successless wars, and poverty behind; Ships burnt in fight, or forced on rocky shores, And the rash hunter strangled by the boars; The newborn babe by nurses overlaid; And the cook caught within the raging fire he made.
For God's love, take things patiently, have sense, Think! We are prisoners and shall always be. Fortune has given us this adversity, Some wicked planetary dispensation, Some Saturn's trick or evil constellation Has given us this, and Heaven, though we had sworn The contrary, so stood when we were born. We must endure it, that's the long and short.