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The Testament of Cresseid - Image courtesy of Abbot House
Section 1 :: Stanzas 01 - 10
Section 2 :: Stanzas 11 - 20
Section 3 :: Stanzas 21 - 38
Section 4 :: Stanzas 39 - 49
Section 5 :: Stanzas 50 - 58
Section 6 :: Stanzas 59 - 66
Section 7 :: Stanzas 66 - 76
Section 8 :: Stanzas 77 - 86
Home The Testament of Cresseid Questions Study Tools Summary Notes on Poem ToC AV Teaching Notes
S 1 

 Ane doolie sessoun to ane cairfull dytegloomy season; woeful composition;  (n)
 Suld correspond, and be equiualent.Should; be in harmony with
 Richt sa it wes quhen I began to wryte
 This tragedie, the wedder richt feruentweather; severe/wintry  (n)
5Quhen Aries in middis of the Lent,  (n)
 Schouris of haill can fra the North discendCaused showers of hail to descend from the north
 That scantlie fra the cauld I micht defend.scarcely; protect myself

S 2 

 Zit neuertheles within myne oraturstudy/oratory
 I stude, quhen Titan had his bemis brichtstood; bright beams  (n)
10Withdrawin doun, and sylit vnder cureconcealed; under cover
 And fair Venus the bewtie of the nicht
 Vprais, and set vnto the West full richtascended
 Hir goldin face in oppositioun
 Of God Phoebus direct discending doun.

S 3 

15Throw out the glas hir bemis brast sa fairvwindow; burst
 That I micht se on euerie syde me by
 The Northin wind had purifyit the Air
 And sched the mistie cloudis fra the sky,dispersed
 The froist freisit the blastis bitterlygales became icy
20Fra Pole Artick come quhisling loud and schill,Pole Star; whistling; shrill
 And causit me remufe aganis my will.stand back [from the window]

S 4 

 For i traistit that Venus luifis Quenevtrusted; love's
 To quhome sum tyme I hecht obedience,some time ago I vowed obedience  (n)
 My faidit hart of lufe scho wald mak grene,
25And therupon with humbill reuerence,consequently
 I thocht to pray hir hie Magnificence,decided; high
 Bot for greit cald as than I lattit wasgreat cold; as before; prevented
 And in my Chalmer to the fyre can paschamber; went

S 5 

 Thocht lufe be hait, zit in ane man of ageThough love be hot; old age
30It kendillis nocht sa sone as in zoutheid,kindles/ignites; youth
 Of quhome the blude is flowing in ane rage,
 And in the auld the curage doif and deid:old age; sexual desire; dull; dead
 Of quhilk the fyre outward is best remeidwhich; remedy
 To help be Phisike quhair that nature faillitby medicine; failed
35I am expert, for baith I haue assaillit.tried

S 6 

 I mend the fyre and beikit me aboutwarmed myself up
 Than tuik ane drink my spreitis to comfortspirits
 And armit me weill fra the cauld thairoutoutside
 To cut the winter nicht and mak it schort.
40I tuik ane Quair and left all vther sport.took a book; diversions  (n)
 Writtin be worthie chaucer gloriousby
 Of fair Creisseid, and worthie Troylus.

S 7 

 And thair I fand efter that Diomeidfound that once  (n)
 Ressauit had that Lady bricht of hew.Received/welcomed; bright of complexion
45How Troilus neir out of wit abraid,went nearly out of [his] mind
 And weipit soir with visage paill of hew,wept sorely with a face pale of hue
 For quhilk wanhope his teiris can renewdespair
 Quhill Esperus reioisit him aganeUntil hope gladdened
 Thus quhyle in Joy he leuit quhyle in pane.now; lived; pain
 Louers be war and tak gude heid about

S 8 

50Of hir behest he had greit comfortingpromise; comfort
 Traisting to Troy that scho suld mak retour,Trusting; return
 Quhilk he desyrit maist of eirdly thingearthly
 For quhy scho was his only Paramour,Because; lover/mistress
 Bot quhen he saw passit baith day and hour
55Of hir ganecome, than sorrow can oppresreturn
 His wofull hart in cair and heuines.distress

S 9 

 Of his distres me neidis nocht reheirs,I need not retell
 For worthie Chauceir in the samin buiksame/aforementioned book
 In gudelie termis, and in Ioly veirsfine verse
60Compylit hes his cairis, quha will luik.Compiled; for all who wish to read  (n)
 To brek my sleip ane vther quair I tuik,put off; a second book
 In quhilk I fand the fatall destenie
 Of fair Cresseid, that endit wretchitlie.

S 10 

 Quha wait gif all that Chauceir wrait was trewknows if  (n)
65Nor I wait nocht gif this narratiounknow; narrative
 Be authoreist or fenzeit of the newauthoritative; newly composed
 Be sum Poeit, throw his inuentioun  (n)
 Maid to report the Lamentatioun
 And wofull end of this lustie Creisseid,luisty/beautiful
70And quhat distres scho thoillit, and quhat deid.suffered/endure; what kind of death

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The Testament of Cresseid - Britain in Print