Complaynt D’Amours

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Compldam 1 I, which that am the sorwefulleste man
Compldam 2 That in this world was ever yit livinge,
Compldam 3 And leest recoverer of himselven can,
Compldam 4 Beginne right thus my deedly compleininge
Compldam 5 On hir that may to lyf and deeth me bringe,
Compldam 6 Which hath on me no mercy ne no rewthe,
Compldam 7 That love hir best, but sleeth me for my trewthe.
Compldam 8 Can I noght doon ne seye that may yow lyke?
Compldam 9 Ne, certes now; allas, allas the whyle!
Compldam 10 Your plesaunce is to laughen whan I syke,
Compldam 11 And thus ye me from al my blisse exyle.
Compldam 12 Ye han me cast in thilke spitous yle
Compldam 13 Ther never man on lyve mighte asterte;
Compldam 14 This have I, for I love you, swete herte!
Compldam 15 Sooth is, that wel I woot, by lyklinesse,
Compldam 16 If that it were a thing possible to do
Compldam 17 For to acompte youre beautee and goodnesse,
Compldam 18 I have no wonder thogh ye do me wo;
Compldam 19 Sith I, th’ unworthiest that may ryde or go,
Compldam 20 Durste ever thinken in so hy a place.
Compldam 21 What wonder is, thogh ye do me no grace?
Compldam 22 Allas, thus is my lyf brought to an ende;
Compldam 23 My deeth, I see, is my conclusioun.
Compldam 24 I may wel singe, “In sory tyme I spende
Compldam 25 My lyf.” That song may have confusioun.
Compldam 26 For mercy, pitee, and deep affeccioun,
Compldam 27 I sey for me, for al my deedly chere,
Compldam 28 Alle thise diden, in that, me love yow dere.
Compldam 29 And in this wyse and in dispayr I live
Compldam 30 In love — nay, but in dispayr I dye!
Compldam 31 But shal I thus yow my deeth foryive,
Compldam 32 That causeles doth me this sorwe drye?
Compldam 33 Ye, certes, I! For she of my folye
Compldam 34 Hath nought to done although she do me sterve,
Compldam 35 Hit is nat with hir wil that I hir serve.
Compldam 36 Than sithen I am of my sorwe the cause
Compldam 37 And sithen I have this withoute hir reed,
Compldam 38 Than may I seyn right shortly in a clause,
Compldam 39 It is no blame unto hir womanheed
Compldam 40 Though swich a wrecche as I be for hir deed.
Compldam 41 Yet alwey two thinges doon me dye,
Compldam 42 That is to seyn, hir beautee and myn ye’;
Compldam 43 So that, algates, she is verray rote
Compldam 44 Of my disese and of my deth also,
Compldam 45 For with oon word she mighte be my bote,
Compldam 46 If that she vouched sauf for to do so.
Compldam 47 But than is hir gladnesse at my wo?
Compldam 48 It is hir wone plesaunce for to take
Compldam 49 To seen hir servaunts dyen for hir sake.
Compldam 50 But certes, than is al my wonderinge,
Compldam 51 Sithen she is the fayrest creature,
Compldam 52 As to my doom, that ever was livinge,
Compldam 53 The benignest and beste eek that Nature
Compldam 54 Hath wrought or shal, whyl that the world may dure,
Compldam 55 Why that she lefte Pite so behinde?
Compldam 56 It was, ywis, a greet defaute in Kinde.
Compldam 57 Yit is al this no lak to hir, pardee,
Compldam 58 But God or Nature sore wolde I blame.
Compldam 59 For though she shewe no pite unto me,
Compldam 60 Sithen that she doth othere men the same,
Compldam 61 I ne oughte to despyse my ladyes game;
Compldam 62 It is hir pley to laughen whan men syketh,
Compldam 63 And I assente al that hir list and lyketh.
Compldam 64 Yet wolde I, as I dar, with sorwful herte
Compldam 65 Biseche unto your meke womanhede
Compldam 66 That I now dorste my sharpe sorwes smerte
Compldam 67 Shewe by word, that ye wolde ones rede
Compldam 68 The compleynte of me, which ful sore I drede
Compldam 69 That I have seid here, through myn unkonninge,
Compldam 70 In any word to your displesinge.
Compldam 71 Lothest of anything that ever was loth
Compldam 72 Were me, as wisly God my soule save,
Compldam 73 To seyn a thing through which ye might be wroth;
Compldam 74 And, to that day that I be leyd in grave,
Compldam 75 A trewer servaunt shulle ye never have;
Compldam 76 And, though that I have pleyned unto you here,
Compldam 77 Foryiveth it me, myn owne lady dere.
Compldam 78 Ever have I been, and shal, how-so I wende,
Compldam 79 Outher to live or dye, your humble trewe.
Compldam 80 Ye been to me my ginning and myn ende,
Compldam 81 Sonne of the sterre bright and clere of hewe;
Compldam 82 Alwey in oon to love yow freshly newe,
Compldam 83 By God and by my trouthe, is myn entente;
Compldam 84 To live or dye, I wol it never repente!
Compldam 85 This compleynte on Seint Valentynes day,
Compldam 86 Whan every foughel chesen shal his make,
Compldam 87 To hir, whos I am hool and shal alwey,
Compldam 88 This woful song and this compleynte I make,
Compldam 89 That never yit wolde me to mercy take;
Compldam 90 And yit wol I evermore her serve
Compldam 91 And love hir best, although she do me sterve.