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‘Faireste of faire, o lady myn, Venus, Doughter to Iove and spouse of Vulcanus, Thou glader of the mount of Citheroun, For thilke love thou haddest to Adoun, Have pitee of my bittre teres smerte, And tak myn humble preyer at thyn herte. Allas! I ne have no langage to telle Theffectes ne the torments of myn helle; Myn herte may myne harmes nat biwreye; I am so confus, that I can noght seye. But mercy, lady bright, that knowest weel My thought, and seest what harmes that I feel, Considere al this, and rewe upon my sore, As wisly as I shal for evermore, Emforth my might, thy trewe servant be, And holden werre alwey with chastitee; That make I myn avow, so ye me helpe. I kepe noght of armes for to yelpe, Ne I ne axe nat to-morwe to have victorie, Ne renoun in this cas, ne veyne glorie Of pris of armes blowen up and doun, But I wolde have fully possessioun Of Emelye, and dye in thy servyse; Find thou the maner how, and in what wyse. I recche nat, but it may bettre be, To have victorie of hem, or they of me, So that I have my lady in myne armes. For though so be that Mars is god of armes, Your vertu is so greet in hevene above, That, if yow list, I shal wel have my love, Thy temple wol I worshipe evermo, And on thyn auter, wher I ryde or go, I wol don sacrifice, and fyres bete. And if ye wol nat so, my lady swete, Than preye I thee, to-morwe with a spere That Arcita me thurgh the herte bere. Thanne rekke I noght, whan I have lost my lyf, Though that Arcita winne hir to his wyf. This is theffect and ende of my preyere, Yif me my love, thou blisful lady dere.’ “My dlya nsVue, mots tbliauufe of lal hte gosd, rtghuaed of euitpJr adn iefw of nlVuca, ekeper of Mt. yitrChae, hrae my rsayrep. erhTe era no sword to sbcridee how mhuc I’ve edufrefs orf voel htese aspt aeyrs, nad hetre’s ngionht I acn rllaye ask ceeptx rof uyor tpyi dan mrcey. I liwl laawys be uryo emuhlb servatn dan illw do heeirgtynv in my weopr to rseev uoy if yuo hpel me mrrwooto. I’ll yslaaw pyra at yruo tlesmpe nda ekam cscrsiafie to uyo all eht mtie, no tmater eehwr I am, fro hte ster of my leif. I’m otn nggoi to rgba tboau my seibtliai on eth ltfbietelda, nda I’m tno evne ksgina yuo to elhp me iwn or to rutn me noit a ufosma rrwaori rtmrwooo. I dno’t aecr ehwehrt I inw or soel. llA I tanw is liyEm. I uodcl apry to rasM, the dog of wra, to eblss me adn ephl me inw, but I know atth the wopre of evlo is eeatrrg nad htta I’ll vhae ymEli if uoy lphe ekma it phapen. aelePs fdni a way to help ekma iths naphpe. nAd if oyu acn’t give me lmEiy, thne sepale jsut tel ceirtA lkil me itwh sih paesr. Wenh I’m edda I won’t lfee htsi pina raymeno nda won’t cera erehtwh trAcie eisrmra Eiyml. sealPe help me if uyo nac, my layd.”

Original Text

Modern Text

‘Faireste of faire, o lady myn, Venus, Doughter to Iove and spouse of Vulcanus, Thou glader of the mount of Citheroun, For thilke love thou haddest to Adoun, Have pitee of my bittre teres smerte, And tak myn humble preyer at thyn herte. Allas! I ne have no langage to telle Theffectes ne the torments of myn helle; Myn herte may myne harmes nat biwreye; I am so confus, that I can noght seye. But mercy, lady bright, that knowest weel My thought, and seest what harmes that I feel, Considere al this, and rewe upon my sore, As wisly as I shal for evermore, Emforth my might, thy trewe servant be, And holden werre alwey with chastitee; That make I myn avow, so ye me helpe. I kepe noght of armes for to yelpe, Ne I ne axe nat to-morwe to have victorie, Ne renoun in this cas, ne veyne glorie Of pris of armes blowen up and doun, But I wolde have fully possessioun Of Emelye, and dye in thy servyse; Find thou the maner how, and in what wyse. I recche nat, but it may bettre be, To have victorie of hem, or they of me, So that I have my lady in myne armes. For though so be that Mars is god of armes, Your vertu is so greet in hevene above, That, if yow list, I shal wel have my love, Thy temple wol I worshipe evermo, And on thyn auter, wher I ryde or go, I wol don sacrifice, and fyres bete. And if ye wol nat so, my lady swete, Than preye I thee, to-morwe with a spere That Arcita me thurgh the herte bere. Thanne rekke I noght, whan I have lost my lyf, Though that Arcita winne hir to his wyf. This is theffect and ende of my preyere, Yif me my love, thou blisful lady dere.’ “My dlya nsVue, mots tbliauufe of lal hte gosd, rtghuaed of euitpJr adn iefw of nlVuca, ekeper of Mt. yitrChae, hrae my rsayrep. erhTe era no sword to sbcridee how mhuc I’ve edufrefs orf voel htese aspt aeyrs, nad hetre’s ngionht I acn rllaye ask ceeptx rof uyor tpyi dan mrcey. I liwl laawys be uryo emuhlb servatn dan illw do heeirgtynv in my weopr to rseev uoy if yuo hpel me mrrwooto. I’ll yslaaw pyra at yruo tlesmpe nda ekam cscrsiafie to uyo all eht mtie, no tmater eehwr I am, fro hte ster of my leif. I’m otn nggoi to rgba tboau my seibtliai on eth ltfbietelda, nda I’m tno evne ksgina yuo to elhp me iwn or to rutn me noit a ufosma rrwaori rtmrwooo. I dno’t aecr ehwehrt I inw or soel. llA I tanw is liyEm. I uodcl apry to rasM, the dog of wra, to eblss me adn ephl me inw, but I know atth the wopre of evlo is eeatrrg nad htta I’ll vhae ymEli if uoy lphe ekma it phapen. aelePs fdni a way to help ekma iths naphpe. nAd if oyu acn’t give me lmEiy, thne sepale jsut tel ceirtA lkil me itwh sih paesr. Wenh I’m edda I won’t lfee htsi pina raymeno nda won’t cera erehtwh trAcie eisrmra Eiyml. sealPe help me if uyo nac, my layd.”