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The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at

The Shorter Poems

A Balade of Complaint

 Compleyne ne koude, ne might myn herte never,
 My peynes halve, ne what torment I have,
 Though that I sholde in your presence ben ever,
 Myn hertes lady, as wisly he me save
 That Bountee made, and Beautee list to grave
 In your persone, and bad hem bothe in-fere
 Ever t' awayte, and ay be wher ye were.
 As wisly he gye alle my joyes here
 As I am youres, and to yow sad and trewe,
10 And ye, my lyf and cause of my gode chere,
 And deeth also, whan ye my peynes newe,
 My worldes joye, whom I wol serve and sewe,
 Myn heven hool, and al my suffisaunce,
 Whom for to serve is set al my plesaunce.
 Beseching yow in my most humble wyse
 T' accepte in worth this litel pore dyte,
 And for my trouthe my servyce not despyse,
 Myn observaunce eke have not in despyte,
 Ne yit to longe to suffren in this plyte;
20 I yow beseche, myn hertes lady, here,
 Sith I yow serve, and so wil yeer by yere.

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