Chaucer translation: Escape

Written by: Michael Burch

Escape
roundel 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.

Original text:

Sin I fro love escaped am so fat,
I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
Sin I am fre, I counte him not a bene.

He may answere, and seye this or that;
I do no fors, I speke right as I mene.
    Sin I fro love escaped am so fat,
    I never thenk to ben in his prison lene.

Love hath my name y-strike out of his sclat,
And he is strike out of my bokes clene
For ever-mo; [ther] is non other mene.
    Sin I fro love escaped am so fat,
    I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
    Sin I am fre, I counte him not a bene.
              Explicit.

Keywords/Tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, rondeau, roundel, rondel, French, translation, medieval, medieval love, irony, word play, fat, prison, jail, lean, escape, escaped, free, freedom, bean, roster, book, books, plan, answer, reply, response, counter, argument, defense, short, flat, romance, romantic love