The Complaint of Venus

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Ven 1 Ther nys so high comfort to my pleasaunce,
Ven 2 When that I am in any hevynesse,
Ven 3 As for to have leyser of remembraunce
Ven 4 Upon the manhod and the worthynesse,
Ven 5 Upon the trouthe and on the stidfastnesse
Ven 6 Of him whos I am al, while I may dure.
Ven 7 Ther oghte blame me no creature,
Ven 8 For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.
Ven 9 In him is bounte, wysdom, governaunce,
Ven 10 Wel more then any mannes wit can gesse,
Ven 11 For grace hath wold so ferforth hym avaunce
Ven 12 That of knyghthod he is parfit richesse.
Ven 13 Honour honoureth him for his noblesse;
Ven 14 Therto so wel hath formed him Nature
Ven 15 That I am his for ever, I him assure,
Ven 16 For every wight preyseth his gentilesse.
Ven 17 And notwithstondyng al his suffisaunce,
Ven 18 His gentil herte is of so gret humblesse
Ven 19 To me in word, in werk, in contenaunce,
Ven 20 And me to serve is al his besynesse,
Ven 21 That I am set in verrey sikernesse.
Ven 22 Thus oghte I blesse wel myn aventure
Ven 23 Sith that him list me serven and honoure,
Ven 24 For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.
Ven 25 Now certis, Love, hit is right covenable
Ven 26 That men ful dere bye thy nobil thing,
Ven 27 As wake abedde and fasten at the table,
Ven 28 Wepinge to laughe and singe in compleynyng,
Ven 29 And doun to caste visage and lokyng,
Ven 30 Often to chaunge hewe and contenaunce,
Ven 31 Pleyne in slepyng and dremen at the daunce,
Ven 32 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 33 Jelosie be hanged by a cable!
Ven 34 She wolde al knowe thurgh her espying;
Ven 35 Ther doth no wyght nothing so resonable
Ven 36 That al nys harm in her ymagenyng.
Ven 37 Thus dere abought is Love in yevyng,
Ven 38 Which ofte he yiveth withouten ordynaunce,
Ven 39 As sorwe ynogh and litil of plesaunce,
Ven 40 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 41 A lytel tyme his yift ys agreable,
Ven 42 But ful encomberous is the usyng,
Ven 43 For subtil Jelosie, the deceyvable,
Ven 44 Ful often tyme causeth desturbyng.
Ven 45 Thus be we ever in drede and sufferyng;
Ven 46 In nouncerteyn we languisshe in penaunce,
Ven 47 And han wele ofte many an hard mischaunce,
Ven 48 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 49 But certes, Love, I sey not in such wise
Ven 50 That for t’ escape out of youre las I mente,
Ven 51 For I so longe have ben in your servise
Ven 52 That for to lete of wil I never assente;
Ven 53 No fors thogh Jelosye me turmente.
Ven 54 Sufficeth me to sen hym when I may,
Ven 55 And therfore certes, to myn endyng day
Ven 56 To love hym best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 57 And certis, Love, when I me wel avise
Ven 58 On any estat that man may represente,
Ven 59 Then have ye made me thurgh your fraunchise
Ven 60 Chese the best that ever on erthe wente.
Ven 61 Now love wel, herte, and lok thou never stente,
Ven 62 And let the jelous putte it in assay
Ven 63 That for no peyne wol I not sey nay;
Ven 64 To love him best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 65 Herte, to the hit oughte ynogh suffise
Ven 66 That Love so high a grace to the sente
Ven 67 To chese the worthieste in alle wise
Ven 68 And most agreable unto myn entente.
Ven 69 Seche no ferther, neythir wey ne wente,
Ven 70 Sith I have suffisaunce unto my pay.
Ven 71 Thus wol I ende this compleynt or this lay;
Ven 72 To love hym best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 73 Princes, receyveth this compleynt in gre,
Ven 74 Unto your excelent benignite
Ven 75 Direct after my litel suffisaunce.
Ven 76 For elde, that in my spirit dulleth me,
Ven 77 Hath of endyting al the subtilte
Ven 78 Wel nygh bereft out of my remembraunce,
Ven 79 And eke to me it ys a gret penaunce,
Ven 80 Syth rym in Englissh hath such skarsete,
Ven 81 To folowe word by word the curiosite
Ven 82 Of Graunson, flour of hem that make in Fraunce.