Legends and Sagas
The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at sacred-texts.com
The Shorter Poems
Womanly Noblesse So hath myn herte caught in remembraunce
Your beaute hoole and stidefast governaunce,
Your vertues al and yowre hie noblesse,
That you to serve is set al my plesaunce.
So wel me liketh your womanly contenaunce,
Your fresshe fetures and your comlynesse,
That whiles I live myn hert to his maystresse
You hath ful chose in trewe perseveraunce
Never to chaunge, for no maner distresse.
10 And sith I shal do [you] this observaunce,
Al my lif withouten displesaunce
You for to serve with al my besynesse,
And have me somwhat in your souvenaunce.
My woful herte suffreth greet duresse,
And [loke] how humbly with al symplesse
My wil I conforme to your ordynaunce,
As you best list, my peynes for to redresse.
Considryng eke how I hange in balaunce
In your service, such, lo, is my chaunce,
20 Abidyng grace, whan that your gentilnesse
Of my grete wo liste do alleggeaunce,
And with your pite me som wise avaunce
In ful rebatyng of myn hevynesse;
And thynketh by resoun that wommanly noblesse
Shuld nat desire for to do the outrance
Ther as she fyndeth non unbuxumnesse.
Auctour of norture, lady of plesaunce,
Soveraigne of beautee, floure of wommanhede,
Take ye non hede unto myn ignoraunce,
30 But this receyveth of your goodlihede,
Thynkyng that I have caught in remembraunce,
Your beaute hole, your stidefast governaunce.
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