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Geoffrey Chaucer translations

Three Roundels by Geoffrey Chaucer I. Merciles Beaute ("Merciless Beauty") by Geoffrey Chaucer translation by Michael R. Burch Your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain, they wound me so, through my heart keen. Unless your words heal me hastily, my heart's wound will remain green; for your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain. By all truth, I tell you faithfully that you are my life and my death, my queen ... for at my death this truth shall be seen: your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain, they wound me so, through my heart keen. II. Rejection by Geoffrey Chaucer translation by Michael R. Burch Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain; For Pride now holds your mercy by a chain. Though guiltless, my death sentence has been cast. I tell you truly, needless now to feign,— Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain. Alas, that Nature in your face compassed Such beauty, that no man may hope attain To mercy, though he perish from the pain; Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain; For Pride now holds your mercy by a chain. III. Escape by Geoffrey Chaucer translation by Michael R. Burch Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean; Since I am free, I count it not a bean. He may question me and counter this and that; I care not: I will answer just as I mean. Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean. Love strikes me from his roster, short and flat, And he is struck from my books, just as clean. Forevermore; there is no other mean. Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean; Since I am free, I count it not a bean.

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