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[ 327 ]

XVII.

THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID.

Ane dooly sesoun to ane cairfull dyte
Suld correspond, and be equivalent.
Richt sa it wes quhen I began to wryte
This tragedy; the wedder richt fervent,
Quhen Aries, in middis of the Lent,       5
Shouris of haill can fra the north discend;
That scantly fra the cauld I micht defend.

Yit nevertheles, within myn orature
I stude, quhen Tytan had his bemis bricht
Withdrawin doun and sylit under cure;       10
And fair Venus, the bewty of the nicht,
Uprais, and set unto the west full richt
Hir goldin face, in oppositioun
Of god Phebus direct discending doun.

Throwout the glas hir bemis brast sa fair       15
That I micht see, on every syde me by,
The northin wind had purifyit the air,
And shed the misty cloudis fra the sky.
The froist freisit, the blastis bitterly
Fra pole Artyk come quhisling loud and shill,       20
And causit me remuf aganis my will.
[ 328 ]
For I traistit that Venus, luifis quene,
To quhom sum-tyme I hecht obedience,
My faidit hart of luf sho wald mak grene;
And therupon, with humbil reverence,       25
I thocht to pray hir hy magnificence;
But for greit cald as than I lattit was,
And in my chalmer to the fyr can pas.

Thocht luf be hait, yit in ane man of age
It kendillis nocht sa sone as in youthheid,       30
Of quhom the blude is flowing in ane rage;
And in the auld the curage †douf and deid,
Of quhilk the fyr outward is best remeid,
To help be phisik quhair that nature failit;
I am expert, for baith I have assailit.       35

I mend the fyr, and beikit me about,
Than tuik ane drink my spreitis to comfort,
And armit me weill fra the cauld thairout.
To cut the winter-nicht, and mak it short,
I tuik ane quair, and left all uther sport,       40
Writtin be worthy Chaucer glorious,
Of fair Cresseid and lusty Troilus.

And thair I fand, efter that Diomeid
Ressavit had that lady bricht of hew,
How Troilus neir out of wit abraid,       45
And weipit soir, with visage paill of hew;
For quhilk wanhope his teiris can renew,
Quhill †esperans rejoisit him agane:
Thus quhyl in joy he levit, quhyl in pane.

Of hir behest he had greit comforting,       50
Traisting to Troy that sho suld mak retour,
Quhilk he desyrit maist of eirdly thing,
For-quhy sho was his only paramour.
[ 329 ]Bot quhen he saw passit baith day and hour
Of hir gaincome, than sorrow can oppres       55
His woful hart in cair and hevines.

Of his distres me neidis nocht reheirs,
For worthy Chaucer, in the samin buik,
In guidly termis and in joly veirs
Compylit hes his cairis, quha will luik.       60
To brek my sleip ane uther quair I tuik,
In quilk I fand the fatall desteny
Of fair Cresseid, that endit wretchitly.

Quha wait gif all that Chauceir wrait was trew?
Nor I wait nocht gif this narratioun       65
Be authoreist, or fenyeit of the new
Be sum poeit, throw his inventioun,
Maid to report the lamentatioun
And woful end of this lusty Cresseid,
And quhat distres sho thoillit, and quhat deid.       70

Quhen Diomed had all his appetyt,
And mair, fulfillit of this fair lady,
Upon ane uther he set his haill delyt,
And send to hir ane lybel of répudy,
And hir excludit fra his company.       75
Than desolait sho walkit up and doun,
And, sum men sayis, into the court commoun.

O fair Cresseid! the flour and A-per-se
Of Troy and Grece, how was thou fortunait,
To change in filth all thy feminitee,       80
And be with fleshly lust sa maculait,
And go amang the Greikis air and lait
Sa giglot-lyk, takand thy foull plesance!
I have pity thee suld fall sic mischance!
[ 330 ]
Yit nevertheles, quhat-ever men deme or say       85
In scornful langage of thy brukilnes,
I sall excuse, als far-furth as I may,
Thy womanheid, thy wisdom, and fairnes,
The quilk Fortoun hes put to sic distres
As hir pleisit, and na-thing throw the gilt       90
Of thee, throw wikkit langage to be spilt.

This fair lady, in this wys destitut
Of all comfort and consolatioun,
Richt prively, but fellowship, on fut
Disgysit passit far out of the toun       95
Ane myle or twa, unto ane mansioun
Beildit full gay, quhair hir father Calchas,
Quhilk than amang the Greikis dwelland was.

Quhan he hir saw, the caus he can inquyr
Of hir cuming; sho said, syching full soir,       100
'Fra Diomeid had gottin his desyr
He wox wery, and wald of me no moir!'
Quod Calchas, 'Douchter, weip thow not thairfoir;
Peraventure all cummis for the best;
Welcum to me; thow art full deir ane gest.'       105

This auld Calchas, efter the law was tho,
Wes keeper of the tempill, as ane preist,
In quhilk Venus and hir son Cupido
War honourit; and his chalmer was thaim neist;
To quhilk Cresseid, with baill aneuch in breist,       110
Usit to pas, hir prayeris for to say;
Quhill at the last, upon ane solempne day,

As custom was, the pepill far and neir,
Befoir the none, unto the tempill went
With sacrifys devoit in thair maneir.       115
[ 331 ]But still Cresseid, hevy in hir intent,
In-to the kirk wald not hir-self present,
For giving of the pepil ony deming
Of hir expuls fra Diomeid the king:

But past into ane secreit orature       120
Quhair sho micht weip hir wofull desteny.
Behind hir bak sho cloisit fast the dure,
And on hir knëis bair fell down in hy.
Upon Venus and Cupid angerly
Sho cryit out, and said on this same wys,       125
'Allas! that ever I maid yow sacrifys!

Ye gave me anis ane devyn responsaill
That I suld be the flour of luif in Troy;
Now am I maid an unworthy outwaill,
And all in cair translatit is my joy.       130
Quha sall me gyde? quha sall me now convoy,
Sen I fra Diomeid and nobill Troilus
Am clene excludit, as abject odious?

O fals Cupide, is nane to wyte bot thow
And thy mother, of luf the blind goddes!       135
Ye causit me alwayis understand and trow
The seid of luf was sawin in my face,
And ay grew grene throw your supply and grace.
But now, allas! that seid with froist is slane,
And I fra luifferis left, and all forlane!'       140

Quhen this was said, doun in ane extasy,
Ravishit in spreit, intill ane dream sho fell;
And, be apperance, hard, quhair sho did ly,
Cupid the king ringand ane silver bell,
Quhilk men micht heir fra hevin unto hell;       145
At quhais sound befoir Cupide appeiris
The sevin planetis, discending fra thair spheiris,
[ 332 ]
Quhilk hes powèr of all thing generábill
To reull and steir, be thair greit influence,
Wedder and wind and coursis variábill.       150
And first of all Saturn gave his sentence,
Quhilk gave to Cupid litill reverence,
But as ane busteous churl, on his maneir,
Com crabbitly, with auster luik and cheir.

His face fronsit, his lyr was lyk the leid       155
His teith chatterit and cheverit with the chin
His ene drowpit, how, sonkin in his heid
Out of his nois the meldrop fast can rin
With lippis bla, and cheikis leine and thin
The yse-shoklis that fra his hair doun hang       160
Was wonder greit, and as ane speir als lang.

Atour his belt his lyart lokkis lay
Felterit unfair, ourfret with froistis hoir;
His garmound and his †gyte full gay of gray;
His widderit weid fra him the wind out woir.       165
Ane busteous bow within his hand he boir;
Under his gyrdil ane flash of felloun flanis
Fedderit with yse, and heidit with hail-stanis.

Than Juppiter richt fair and amiábill,
God of the starnis in the firmament,       170
And nureis to all thing[is] generábill,
Fra his father Saturn far different,
With burely face, and browis bricht and brent;
Upon his heid ane garland wonder gay
Of flouris fair, as it had been in May.       175
[ 333 ]
His voice was cleir, as cristal wer his ene;
As goldin wyr sa glitterand was his hair;
His garmound and his gyte full gay of grene,
With goldin listis gilt on every gair;
Ane burely brand about his middill bair.       180
In his right hand he had ane groundin speir,
Of his father the wraith fra us to weir.

Nixt efter him com Mars, the god of ire,
Of stryf, debait, and all dissensioun;
To chyde and fecht, als feirs as ony fyr;       185
In hard harnes, hewmound and habirgeoun,
And on his hanche ane rousty fell fachioun:
And in his hand he had ane rousty sword,
Wrything his face with mony angry word.

Shaikand his sword, befoir Cupide he com       190
With reid visage and grisly glowrand ene;
And at his mouth ane bullar stude of fome,
Lyk to ane bair quhetting his tuskis kene
Richt tuilyour-lyk, but temperance in tene;
Ane horn he blew, with mony bosteous brag,       195
Quhilk all this warld with weir hes maid to wag.

Than fair Phebus, lanterne and lamp of licht
Of man and beist, baith frute and flourishing,
Tender nuréis, and banisher of nicht,
And of the warld causing, be his moving       200
And influence, lyf in all eirdly thing;
Without comfort of quhom, of force to nocht
Must all ga dy, that in this warld is wrocht.

As king royáll he raid upon his chair,
The quhilk Phaeton gydit sum-tyme unricht;       205
The brichtnes of his face, quhen it was bair,
[ 334 ]Nane micht behald for peirsing of his sicht.
This goldin cart with fyry bemes bricht
Four yokkit steidis, full different of hew,
But bait or tyring throw the spheiris drew.       210

The first was soyr, with mane als reid as rois,
Callit Eöy, in-to the orient;
The secund steid to name hecht Ethiös,
Quhytly and paill, and sum-deill ascendent;
The thrid Peros, richt hait and richt fervent;       215
The feird was blak, callit †Philegoney,
Quhilk rollis Phebus down in-to the sey.

Venus was thair present, that goddes gay,
Hir sonnis querrel for to defend, and mak
Hir awin complaint, cled in ane nyce array,       220
The ane half grene, the uther half sabill-blak;
Quhyte hair as gold, kemmit and shed abak;
But in hir face semit greit variance,
Quhyles perfit treuth, and quhylës inconstance.

Under smyling sho was dissimulait,       225
Provocative with blenkis amorous;
And suddanly changit and alterait,
Angry as ony serpent venemous,
Richt pungitive with wordis odious.
Thus variant sho was, quha list tak keip,       230
With ane eye lauch, and with the uther weip:—

In taikning that all fleshly paramour,
Quhilk Venus hes in reull and governance,
Is sum-tyme sweit, sum-tyme bitter and sour,
Richt unstabill, and full of variance,       235
Mingit with cairfull joy, and fals plesance;
Now hait, now cauld; now blyth, now full of wo;
Now grene as leif, now widderit and ago.
[ 335 ]
With buik in hand than com Mercurius,
Richt eloquent and full of rethory;       240
With pólite termis and delicious;
With pen and ink to réport all redy;
Setting sangis, and singand merily.
His hude was reid, heklit atour his croun,
Lyk to ane poeit of the auld fassoun.       245

Boxis he bair with fine electuairis,
And sugerit syropis for digestioun;
Spycis belangand to the pothecairis,
With mony hailsum sweit confectioun;
Doctour in phisik, cled in scarlot goun,       250
And furrit weill, as sic ane aucht to be,
Honest and gude, and not ane word coud le.

Nixt efter him com lady Cynthia,
The last of all, and swiftest in hir spheir,
Of colour blak, buskit with hornis twa,       255
And in the nicht sho listis best appeir;
Haw as the leid, of colour na-thing cleir.
For all hir licht sho borrowis at hir brothir
Titan; for of hir-self sho hes nane uther.

Hir gyte was gray, and full of spottis blak;       260
And on hir breist ane churl paintit ful evin,
Beirand ane bunch of thornis on his bak,
Quhilk for his thift micht clim na nar the hevin.
Thus quhen they gadderit war, thir goddis sevin,
Mercurius they cheisit with ane assent       265
To be foir-speikar in the parliament.

Quha had ben thair, and lyking for to heir
His facound toung and termis exquisyte,
Of rhetorik the praktik he micht leir,
In breif sermone ane pregnant sentence wryte.       270
[ 336 ]Befoir Cupide vailing his cap a lyte,
Speiris the caus of that vocacioun;
And he anon shew his intencioun.

'Lo!' quod Cupide, 'quha will blaspheme the name
Of his awin god, outhir in word or deid,       275
To all goddis he dois baith lak and shame,
And suld have bitter panis to his meid.
I say this by yonder wretchit Cresseid,
The quhilk throw me was sum-tyme flour of lufe,
Me and my mother starkly can reprufe.       280

Saying, of hir greit infelicitè
I was the caus; and my mother Venus,
Ane blind goddes hir cald, that micht not see,
With slander and defame injurious.
Thus hir leving unclene and lecherous       285
Sho wald returne on me and [on] my mother,
To quhom I shew my grace abone all uther.

And sen ye ar all sevin deificait,
Participant of dévyn sapience,
This greit injúry don to our hy estait       290
Me-think with pane we suld mak recompence;
Was never to goddis don sic violence.
As weill for yow as for myself I say;
Thairfoir ga help to révenge, I yow pray.'

Mercurius to Cupid gave answeir,       295
And said, 'Shir king, my counsall is that ye
Refer yow to the hyest planeit heir,
And tak to him the lawest of degrè,
The pane of Cresseid for to modify;
As god Saturn, with him tak Cynthia.'       300
'I am content,' quod he, 'to tak thay twa.'
[ 337 ]
Than thus proceidit Saturn and the Mone,
Quhen thay the mater rypely had degest;
For the dispyt to Cupid sho had done,
And to Venus oppin and manifest,       305
In all hir lyf with pane to be opprest
And torment sair, with seiknes incurábill,
And to all lovers be abominábill.

This dulefull sentence Saturn tuik on hand,
And passit doun quhair cairfull Cresseid lay;       310
And on hir heid he laid ane frosty wand,
Than lawfully on this wyse can he say;
'Thy greit fairnes, and al thy bewty gay,
Thy wantoun blude, and eik thy goldin hair,
Heir I exclude fra thee for evermair.       315

I change thy mirth into melancholy,
Quhilk is the mother of all pensivenes;
Thy moisture and thy heit in cald and dry;
Thyne insolence, thy play and wantones
To greit diseis: thy pomp and thy riches       320
In mortall neid; and greit penuritie
Thow suffer sall, and as ane beggar die.'

O cruel Saturn, fraward and angry,
Hard is thy dome, and to malicious!
On fair Cresseid quhy hes thow na mercy,       325
Quhilk was sa sweit, gentill, and amorous?
Withdraw thy sentence, and be gracious
As thow was never; so shawis thow thy deid,
Ane wraikfull sentence gevin on fair Cresseid.

Than Cynthia, quhen Saturn past away,       330
Out of hir sait discendit down belyve,
And red ane bill on Cresseid quhair sho lay,
Contening this sentence diffinityve:—
[ 338 ]'Fra heil of body I thee now depryve,
And to thy seiknes sal be na recure,       335
But in dolóur thy dayis to indure.

Thy cristall ene minglit with blude I mak,
Thy voice sa cleir unplesand, hoir, and hace;
Thy lusty lyre ourspred with spottis blak,
And lumpis haw appeirand in thy face.       340
Quhair thow cummis, ilk man sall flee the place;
Thus sall thou go begging fra hous to hous,
With cop and clapper, lyk ane lazarous.'

This dooly dream, this ugly visioun
Brocht to ane end, Cresseid fra it awoik,       345
And all that court and convocatioun
Vanischit away. Than rais sho up and tuik
Ane poleist glas, and hir shaddow coud luik;
And quhen sho saw hir face sa déformait,
Gif sho in hart was wa aneuch, god wait!       350

Weiping full sair, 'Lo! quhat it is,' quod she,
'With fraward langage for to mufe and steir
Our crabbit goddis, and sa is sene on me!
My blaspheming now have I bocht full deir;
All eirdly joy and mirth I set areir.       355
Allas, this day! Allas, this wofull tyde,
Quhen I began with my goddis to chyde!'

Be this was said, ane child com fra the hall
To warn Cresseid the supper was redy;
First knokkit at the dure, and syne coud call—       360
'Madame, your father biddis you cum in hy;
He has mervell sa lang on grouf ye ly,
And sayis, "Your prayërs been to lang sum-deill;
The goddis wait all your intent full weill."'
[ 339 ]
Quod sho, 'Fair child, ga to my father deir,       365
And pray him cum to speik with me anon.'
And sa he did, and said, 'Douchter, quhat cheir?'
'Allas!' quod she, 'father, my mirth is gon!'
'How sa?' quod he; and sho can all expone,
As I have tauld, the vengeance and the wrak,       370
For hir trespas, Cupide on hir coud tak.

He luikit on hir ugly lipper face,
The quhilk befor was quhyte as lilly-flour;
Wringand his handis, oftymes he said, Allas!
That he had levit to see that wofull hour!       375
For he knew weill that thair was na succour
To hir seiknes; and that dowblit his pane;
Thus was thair cair aneuch betwix tham twane.

Quhen thay togidder murnit had full lang,
Quod Cresseid, 'Father, I wald not be kend;       380
Thairfoir in secreit wyse ye let me gang
To yon hospítall at the tounis end;
And thidder sum meit, for cheritie, me send
To leif upon; for all mirth in this eird
Is fra me gane; sik is my wikkit weird.'       385

Than in ane mantill and ane bevar hat,
With cop and clapper, wonder prively,
He opnit ane secreit yet, and out thairat
Convoyit hir, that na man suld espy,
Unto ane village half ane myle thairby;       390
Deliverit hir in at the spittail-hous,
And dayly sent hir part of his almous.

Sum knew hir weill, and sum had na knawlege
Of hir, becaus sho was sa déformait
With bylis blak, ourspred in hir visage,       395
And hir fair colour faidit and alterait.
[ 340 ]Yit thay presumit, for hir hy regrait
And still murning, sho was of nobill kin;
With better will thairfoir they tuik hir in.

The day passit, and Phebus went to rest,       400
The cloudis blak ourquhelmit all the sky;
God wait gif Cresseid was ane sorrowful gest,
Seeing that uncouth fair and herbery.
But meit or drink sho dressit hir to ly
In ane dark corner of the hous allone;       405
And on this wyse, weiping, sho maid hir mone.

The Complaint of Cresseid.

'O sop of sorrow sonken into cair!
O caytive Cresseid! now and ever-mair
Gane is thy joy and all thy mirth in eird;
Of all blyithnes now art thow blaiknit bair;       410
Thair is na salve may saif thee of thy sair!
Fell is thy fortoun, wikkit is thy weird;
Thy blis is baneist, and thy baill on breird!
Under the eirth god gif I gravin wer,
Quhar nane of Grece nor yit of Troy micht heird!       415

Quhair is thy chalmer, wantounly besene
With burely bed, and bankouris browderit bene,
Spycis and wynis to thy collatioun;
The cowpis all of gold and silver shene,
The swete meitis servit in plaittis clene,       420
With saipheron sals of ane gude sessoun;
Thy gay garmentis, with mony gudely goun,
Thy plesand lawn pinnit with goldin prene?
All is areir thy greit royáll renoun!
[ 341 ]
Quhair is thy garding, with thir greissis gay       425
And fresshe flouris, quhilk the quene Floray
Had paintit plesandly in every pane,
Quhair thou was wont full merily in May
To walk, and tak the dew be it was day,
And heir the merle and mavis mony ane;       430
With ladyis fair in carrolling to gane,
And see the royal rinkis in thair array
In garmentis gay, garnischit on every grane?

Thy greit triumphand fame and hy honour,
Quhair thou was callit of eirdly wichtis flour,       435
All is decayit; thy weird is welterit so,
Thy hy estait is turnit in darknes dour!
This lipper ludge tak for thy burelie bour,
And for thy bed tak now ane bunch of stro.
For waillit wyne and meitis thou had tho,       440
Tak mowlit breid, peirry, and syder sour;
But cop and clapper, now is all ago.

My cleir voice and my courtly carrolling,
Quhair I was wont with ladyis for to sing,
Is rawk as ruik, full hiddeous, hoir, and hace;       445
My plesand port all utheris precelling,
Of lustines I was held maist conding;
Now is deformit the figour of my face;
To luik on it na leid now lyking hes.
Sowpit in syte, I say with sair siching—       450
Lugeit amang the lipper-leid—"Alas!"

O ladyis fair of Troy and Grece, attend
My misery, quhilk nane may comprehend,
My frivoll fortoun, my infelicitie,
My greit mischief, quhilk na man can amend.       455
[ 342 ]Be war in tyme, approchis neir the end,
And in your mynd ane mirrour mak of me.
As I am now, peradventure that ye,
For all your micht, may cum to that same end,
Or ellis war, gif ony war may be.       460

Nocht is your fairnes bot ane faiding flour,
Nocht is your famous laud and hy honour
Bot wind inflat in uther mennis eiris;
Your roising reid to rotting sall retour.
Exempill mak of me in your memour,       465
Quhilk of sic thingis wofull witnes beiris.
All welth in eird away as wind it weiris;
Be war thairfoir; approchis neir the hour;
Fortoun is fikkil, quhen sho beginnis and steiris.'—

Thus chydand with her drery desteny,       470
Weiping, sho woik the nicht fra end to end,
But all in vane; hir dule, hir cairfull cry
Micht nocht remeid, nor yit hir murning mend.
Ane lipper-lady rais, and till hir wend,
And said, 'Quhy spurnis thou aganis the wall,       475
To sla thyself, and mend na-thing at all?

Sen that thy weiping dowbillis bot thy wo,
I counsall thee mak vertew of ane neid,
To leir to clap thy clapper to and fro,
And †live efter the law of lipper-leid.'       480
Thair was na buit, bot forth with thame sho yeid
Fra place to place, quhill cauld and hounger sair
Compellit hir to be ane rank beggair.

That samin tyme, of Troy the garnisoun,
Quhilk had to chiftane worthy Troilus,       485
Throw jeopardy of weir had strikkin doun
Knichtis of Grece in number mervellous.
[ 343 ]With greit triúmph and laud victorious
Agane to Troy richt royally thay raid
The way quhair Cresseid with the lipper baid.       490

Seing that company cum, all with ane stevin
They gaif ane cry, and shuik coppis gude speid;
Said, 'Worthy lordis, for goddis lufe of hevin,
To us lipper part of your almous-deid.'
Than to thair cry nobill Troilus tuik heid;       495
Having pity, neir by the place can pas
Quhair Cresseid sat, nat witting quhat sho was.

Than upon him sho kest up baith her ene,
And with ane blenk it com in-to his thocht
That he sum-tyme hir face befoir had sene;       500
But sho was in sic ply he knew hir nocht.
Yit than hir luik in-to his mind it brocht
The sweit visage and amorous blenking
Of fair Cresseid, sumtyme his awin darling.

Na wonder was, suppois in mynd that he       505
Tuik hir figure sa sone, and lo! now, quhy;
The idole of ane thing in cace may be
Sa deip imprentit in the fantasy,
That it deludis the wittis outwardly,
And sa appeiris in forme and lyke estait       510
Within the mynd as it was figurait.

Ane spark of lufe than till his hart coud spring,
And kendlit all his body in ane fyre;
With hait fevir ane sweit and trimbilling
Him tuik, quhill he was redy to expyre;       515
To beir his sheild his breist began to tyre;
Within ane whyle he changit mony hew,
And nevertheles not ane ane-uther knew.
[ 344 ]
For knichtly pity and memoriall
Of fair Cresseid, ane girdill can he tak,       520
Ane purs of gold and mony gay jowáll,
And in the skirt of Cresseid doun can swak;
Than raid away, and not ane word he spak,
Pensive in hart, quhill he com to the toun,
And for greit cair oft-syis almaist fell doun.       525

The lipper-folk to Cresseid than can draw,
To see the equall distribucioun
Of the almous; but quhan the gold they saw,
Ilk ane to uther prevely can roun,
And said, 'Yon lord hes mair affectioun,       530
However it be, unto yon lazarous
Than to us all; we knaw be his almous.'

'Quhat lord is yon?' quod sho, 'have ye na feill,
Hes don to us so greit humanitie?'
'Yes,' quod a lipper-man, 'I knaw him weill;       535
Shir Troilus it is, gentill and free.'
Quhen Cresseid understude that it was he,
Stiffer than steill thair stert ane bitter stound
Throwout hir hart, and fell doun to the ground.

Quhen sho, ourcom with syching sair and sad,       540
With mony cairfull cry and cald—'Ochane!
Now is my breist with stormy stoundis stad,
Wrappit in wo, ane wretch full will of wane';
Than swounit sho oft or sho coud refrane,
And ever in hir swouning cryit sho thus:       545
'O fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troilus!

Thy luf, thy lawtee, and thy gentilnes
I countit small in my prosperitie;
Sa elevait I was in wantones,
And clam upon the fickill quheill sa hie;       550
[ 345 ]All faith and lufe, I promissit to thee,
Was in the self fickill and frivolous;
O fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troilus!

For lufe of me thou keipt gude countinence,
Honest and chaist in conversatioun;       555
Of all wemen protectour and defence
Thou was, and helpit thair opinioun.
My mynd, in fleshly foull affectioun,
Was inclynit to lustis lecherous;
Fy! fals Cresseid! O, trew knicht Troilus!       560

Lovers, be war, and tak gude heid about
Quhom that ye lufe, for quhom ye suffer paine;
I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout
Quhom ye may traist, to have trew lufe againe;
Preif quhen ye will, your labour is in vaine.       565
Thairfoir I reid ye tak thame as ye find;
For they ar sad as widdercock in wind.

Becaus I knaw the greit unstabilnes
Brukkil as glas, into my-self I say,
Traisting in uther als greit unfaithfulnes,       570
Als unconstant, and als untrew of fay.
Thocht sum be trew, I wait richt few ar thay.
Quha findis treuth, lat him his lady ruse;
Nane but my-self, as now, I will accuse.'

Quhen this was said, with paper sho sat doun,       575
And on this maneir maid hir TESTAMENT:—
'Heir I beteich my corps and carioun
With wormis and with taidis to be rent;
My cop and clapper, and myne ornament,
And all my gold, the lipper-folk sall have,       580
Quhen I am deid, to bury me in grave.
[ 346 ]
This royall ring, set with this ruby reid,
Quhilk Troilus in drowry to me send,
To him agane I leif it quhan I am deid,
To mak my cairfull deid unto him kend.       585
Thus I conclude shortly, and mak ane end.
My spreit I leif to Diane, quhair sho dwellis,
To walk with hir in waist woddis and wellis.

O Diomeid! thow hes baith broche and belt
Quhilk Troilus gave me in takinning       590
Of his trew lufe!'—And with that word sho swelt.
And sone ane lipper-man tuik of the ring,
Syne buryit hir withoutin tarying.
To Troilus furthwith the ring he bair,
And of Cresseid the deith he can declair.       595

Quhen he had hard hir greit infirmitè,
Hir legacy and lamentatioun,
And how sho endit in sik povertè,
He swelt for wo, and fell doun in ane swoun;
For greit sorrow his hart to birst was boun.       600
Syching full sadly, said, 'I can no moir;
Sho was untrew, and wo is me thairfoir!'

Sum said, he maid ane tomb of merbell gray,
And wrait hir name and superscriptioun,
And laid it on hir grave, quhair that sho lay,       605
In goldin letteris, conteining this ressoun:—
'Lo! fair ladyis, Cresseid of Troyis toun,
Sumtyme countit the flour of womanheid,
Under this stane, late lipper, lyis deid!'

Now, worthy wemen, in this ballet short,       610
Made for your worship and instructioun,
Of cheritè I monish and exhort,
Ming not your luf with fals deceptioun.
Beir in your mynd this short conclusioun
Of fair Cresseid, as I have said befoir;       615
Sen sho is deid, I speik of hir no moir.


From E. (Edinburgh edition, 1593); collated with Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532). 1. E. Ane; Th. A (often). E. doolie; Th. doly. E. to; Th. tyl. 4. E. tragedie (I substitute -y for -ie). 6. E. Schouris (I substitute Sh- for Sch-). 7. Th. myȝt me defende. 8. E. oratur; Th. orature. 10. Th. scyled. 16. Both se. 17. Th. northern. 18. Th. shedde his. 19. Th. frost. 20. E. Artick; Th. Artike. Th. whiskyng. 21. E. remufe; Th. remoue.

24. Th. faded. 28. Th. chambre. Both fyre. 29. E. lufe; Th. loue. 30. E. youtheid; Th. youthheed. 32. E. doif; Th. dull; read douf. 34. E. phisike. 36. E. mend; Th. made. Both fyre. Th. beaked. 37. E. ane; Th. I. 40. Th. queare. 42. E. worthy; Th. lusty. 43. Th. founde. 45. Th. of his wytte abrede. 46. Th. wepte. 48. Th. esperous; E. Esperus. 49. E. quhyle. Th. and while (for 2nd quhyl). 51. E. suld; Th. wolde. 52. Th. of al erthly.

55. E. ganecome; Th. gayncome. Th. in (for than). 58. Th. in that same. 63. Th. which ended. 66. Th. authorysed or forged. 67. Th. Of some; by (for throw). 70. Th. she was in or she deyde. 71. Both appetyte. 73. Th. sette was al his delyte. 74. Th. om. of. 77. Th. As (for And); in the courte as commune. 78. Th. Creseyde. Both floure. 79. Th. were. 80. E. feminitie. 82. Th. early (for air). 84. Th. the; E. thow.

86. E. scornefull. E. brukkilnes; Th. brutelnesse. 88. E. wisdome. 91. E. wickit. 92. E. in; Th. on. Both wyse destitute. 94. E. but; Th. without. Th. or refute; E. on fute. 95. E. Disagysit; Th. Dissheuelde. Th. passed out. 99. E. inquyre; Th. enquyre. 101. Both desyre. 108. E. sone; Th. sonne. 109. E. hir; Th. his. Th. chambre. E. thame; Th. om. 110. E. aneuch in; Th. enewed. 113. Both custome. 115. Both sacrifice. Th. deuout.

117. Th. churche. 118. E. givin; Th. gyueng. E. pepill; Th. people. 120. Th. oratore. 122. Th. closed; dore. 124. Both Cupide. 125. Th. om. same. Both wyse. 126. E. Allace; Th. Alas. Both sacrifice. 127. E. devine; Th. diuyne. 132. E. Sen; Th. Sithe. 135. E. lufe; Th. loue. E. the; Th. that. 136. Th. vnderstande alway. 137. E. lufe; Th. loue. 138. Th. souple grace. 139. E. allace; Th. alas. Th. frost. 140. Th. louers; -layne. 143. Th. herde. 144. Both Cupide. E. ringand; Th. tynkyng. 145. Th. in-to. 147. Th. speres.

150. Th. course. 151. Both Saturne. 152. Both Cupide. 153. Th. boystous. E. on; Th. in. 154. Both Come. E. crabitlie; Th. crabbedly. Th. austryne. 155. E. frosnit (for fronsit); Th. frounsed. E. lyre; Th. lere. Both lyke. 156. Th. sheuered. 157. Th. drouped hole. 158. E. of; Th. at. Th. myldrop. 159. Th. blo. 160. E. ic-eschoklis; Th. yse-yckels. 162. E. Atouir; Th. Attour. 163. E. ovirfret; Th. ouerfret; read ourfret. 164. Th. garment. E. gyis; Th. gate; see l. 178. 165. Th. wyddred; wore. 166. Th. boustous; bor[e]. 167. E. gyrdill. Th. a fasshe(!); flayns. 168. Th. holstayns (!). 170. Th. sterres. 171. Th. norice; thinge. 172. Both Saturne. 173. Th. burly. 174. Th. wonders. 175. E. bene; Th. ben.

177. E. wyre; Th. wyer. Th. glyttryng. 178. Th. garment. E. gyis; Th. gyte. 180. Th. A burly; myddle he beare. 182. Th. wrathe. E. weir; Th. bere. 183. E. come; Th. came. 184. E. strife; Th. stryfe. 185. Both fyre. 186. Th. hewmonde. 187. Th. fauchoun. 190. Th. Shakyng his brande. Both come. 191. Th. glowyng. 192. E. bullar; Th. blubber. 193. Th. boore. 194. E. tuilyeour; Th. tulsure (!). Both lyke. 195. Both horne; Th. om. he. Th. boustous. 196. E. weir; Th. warre. 199. Th. norice. 201. Both lyfe. Th. erthly. 203. Th. om. all. Th. that al this worlde hath. 204. Th. a chare. 205. Th. Phiton somtyme gyded. E. upricht (!); Th. unright.

210. Th. speres. 211. Th. sorde (for soyr). 212. Both Eoye. 213. Th. Ethose. 215. Th. Perose; and eke. 216. E. Philologie; Th. Philologee. 218. E. om. gay. 219. Th. om. for. 222. Th. kembet. 224. Th. While parfite. E. perfyte. 227. E. suddanely; Th. sodaynly. 228. E. vennemous; Th. venomous. 232. Th. tokenyng. 237. E. blyith; Th. blyth. 238. Th. wyddred.

239. Both come. 242. E. reddie; Th. redy. 244. E. atouir; Th. attour. 245. Both Lyke. 250. E. phisick. Th. cledde in a scarlet. 252. E. culd lie; Th. couth lye. 253. Both come. 254. Th. spere. 256. Th. tapere. 258. E. hir (1); Th. the. 260. E. gyse; Th. gyte. 261. E. churle; Th. chorle. 262. E. bunche; Th. busshe. 263. Th. theft; no ner. 264. Th. gadred were the. 267. E. bene. 269. E. rhetorick; Th. rethorike. E. prettick; Th. practyke.

273. E. anone. E. schew; Th. shewde. 276. E. lak; Th. losse. 278. E. yone; Th. yonder. Th. wretche Creseyde. 280. E. starklie; Th. she stately. 281. E. -tie. 283. Th. She called a blynde goddes and myght. 286. E. returne; Th. retorte. E. on; Th. in. I supply 2nd on. 287. E. schew; Th. shewde (as in l. 273). Th. aboue. 289. E. devyne; Th. diuyne. 290. E. iniurie; Th. iniure. Both done. 290. E. hie; Th. hye. 292. Both goddes done. 295. Both Cupide. 299. E. modifie; Th. modifye. 300. Both Saturne.

303, 309, 323, 330. Both Saturne. 304. Both Cupide. E. scho; Th. that she. 305. Th. open. 306. Both lyfe. 308. E. abhominabill; Th. abhominable. 309. Th. doleful. 318. E. in; Th. into. 319. E. and; Th. and thy. 321. E. In; Th. Into. E. penuritie; Th. -te. 322. Th. shalte. Th. dye. 324. E. malitious. 325. E. On; Th. Of. 328. Th. sheweth through. 329. Th. om. fair. 331. Th. seate.

334. E. heit; Th. heale. 336. Th. endure. 338. Th. vnplesaunt heer. 339. Th. lere. E. ouirspred; Th. ouerspred. 342. E. This; Th. Thus. 343. Th. cuppe. Both lyke. 344. Both dreame. E. uglye. 347. Th. rose she. 348. Th. polysshed. E. culd; Th. couth. 349. E. face; Th. visage. 350. Th. were wo, I ne wyte god wate. 352. Th. om. for. E. mufe; Th. moue. 353. E. craibit; Th. crabbed. 355. Th. erthly. 356. E. Allace; Th. Alas. 357. E. for to; Th. om. for. 358. E. come; Th. came. 359. Both warne. Th. Creseyde. E. reddy; Th. redy. 360. E. syne culd; Th. efte couth. 362. E. merwel; Th. marueyle. 363. E. prayers bene; Th. bedes bethe.

365. Both chylde. 366. Both anone. 368. Both gone. 370. E. wraik; Th. wrake. 371. E. culd. 372. E. uglye. Th. lepers. 374. Th. om. he. 378. Th. ynow. E. thame; Th. hem. 380. Th. Creseyde. 382. Th. To yon; E. Unto yone. 383. Th. charite. 384. Th. lyue; erthe. 385. Th. werthe(!). 386. E. Than; Th. Whan(!). Th. Beuer; E. bawar. 387. Th. cuppe. 388. Th. secrete gate. 389. Th. Conueyed. 390. Th. There to. 393. E. knawledge. 395. E. ovirspred; Th. ouerspred.

397. E. hie; Th. hye. 399. Th. there (for thairfoir). 401. E. ovirquhelmit; Th. ouerheled. 402. E. was; Th. were. 403. Th. fare. 405, 406. Perhaps read alane, mane. 408. E. cative; Th. caytife. E. for now; Th. om. for. 409. Th. erthe. 410. Th. blake and bare. 411. Th. helpe (for saif thee of). 412. Th. werthe (!). 413. Th. bale vnberd (!). 414. Th. Vnder the great god. 415. Th. men (for nane). Th. herd. 416. Th. chambre. 417. Th. burly; bankers brouded. 418. Th. wyne. 419. Th. cuppes. 420. Th. plates. 421. Th. sauery sauce. 423. Th. pene (!). 424. Th. arere.

425. Th. thy greces. 430. E. mawis. 432. Th. renkes. E. array; Th. ray. Th. omits ll. 433-437. 434, 437. E. hie. 438. Th. leper loge. E. burelie; Th. goodly. 439. E. bunche; Th. bonch. 441. E. peirrie; Th. pirate. E. ceder; Th. syder. 442. Th. cuppe. 443. E. om. my. 444. Th. om. this line. 445. Th. ranke as roke, ful hidous heer. Th. om. ll. 446, 447. 448. Th. Deformed is. 449. Th. no pleople (sic) hath lykyng (!). 450. Th. Solped in syght. 451. E. Ludgeit; Th. Lyeng. Th. leper folke. E. allace; Th. alas. 453. Th. omits. 454. Th. freyle fortune.

455. Th. war therfore; your ende. 456. Th. places after l. 460. 459. E. that; Th. the. 460. Th. worse, if any worse. 464. Th. rosyng. 465. Th. memore. 468. Th. your hour. 469. Th. omits. 471. Th. woke. 472. Th. dole. 473. Th. remedy ne. 474. Th. rose. 477. E. Sen; Th. Sithe. E. om. that. Th. but doubleth. 479. E. To leir; Th. Go lerne. 480. E. leir; Th. lerne; read live. Th. lepers lede. 486. Th. warre.

488. Both tryumphe; laude. 489. Th. rode. 490. E. baid; Th. stode. 491. E. thai come; Th. come; read cum. 492. Th. shoke cuppes. 493. Th. om. Said. 495. Th. her (for thair). 496. Th. pyte; E. pietie. 499. Both come. 501. E. plye; Th. plyte. 502. E. it; Th. he. 504. E. awin; Th. owne. 508. Th. enprynted. 512. E. culd; Th. couth. 514. E. fewir; Th. feuer. Th. in swette. Both trimbling. 515. E. reddie. 516. Th. brest. 517. Th. many a hewe.

519. Th. pyte; E. pietie. 520. Th. gan. 521. Th. many a gay iewel. 522. E. swak; Th. shake. 523. E. om. he. 524. E. come; Th. came. 525. E. -syis; Th. -syth. 526. E. can; Th. couth. 527. Both se. 529. E. prewelie; Th. priuely. 530. Th. yon; E. yone. 534. Th. That dothe. E. humanitie; Th. -te. 536. Th. ins. a knight after is. 540. E. ovircome; Th. ouercome. 541. Th. colde atone (!). 542. Th. brest. 543. Th. om. ane; Th. one (for wane). 544. Th. Than fel in swoun ful ofte. E. culd; Th. wolde. Th. fone (!); for refrane. 547. E. lufe; Th. loue. Th. laude and al thy. 549. Th. So effated (or essated).

551. Th. promytted. 552. Th. thy selfe; furious (!). 554. Th. countenaunce (om. gude). 557. Th. were. 558. E. in; Th. on. 562. E. Quhome; Th. Whom. E. quhome; Th. whan. 563. Th. thrughout. 565. Th. Proue. 569. Th. Brittel; unto. 570. Th. great brutelnesse. 572. Th. Though. 576. Th. maner. 577. E. beteiche; Th. bequeth. Th. corse. 578. Th. toodes. 579. Th. cuppe my. 580. E. the; Th. these.

583. E. drowrie; Th. dowry (!). 587. Th. spirite. 590. E. takning; Th. tokenyng; read takinning. 593. E. withouttin. 596. E. infirmitie; Th. -te. 598. E. povertie; Th. -te. 600. Th. om. greit. 605. Th. where as she. 607. Th. Troy the toun. 612. E. cheritie; Th. charyte. 613. E. lufe; Th. loue. 614. E. schort; Th. sore (!). 616. E. Sen; Th. Sithe.