Against the Coming of May

Charles d'Orleans

The text is lightly glossed; see the glossary in the Riverside Chaucer for words not glossed here.

Agains the coming of May
That is ful of lustyness,
Let us leve al hevynesse,
As fer as we can or may.

Now is the time of mirth and play;
Winter with his idelness
Is discomfit, as I guess,
And redy to flee away.
Agains the coming &c.

Wherfore, ladies, I you pray
That ye take in you gladness
And do all your business
To be mery night and day.
Agains the coming &c.

"Go forth my heart."

Go forth, my hert, with my lady;
Loke that we spare no business
To serve her with such lowliness,
That ye get her grace and mercy.

Pray her of times prively
That she keep trewly her promise
Go forth &c.

I must as a hertless body
Abide alone in hevyness,
And ye shal do wel with your maistress
In plesans glad and mery.
Go forth &c.




Adapted and lightly glossed for beginning readers of Middle English from the edition of H.N. MacCracken, PMLA 16(1899), pp. 142ff.
See the edition by Eleanor P. Hammond, English Verse from Chaucer to Surrey (Duke U.P., 1927, 214-232 (with intro. and excellent notes) [Widener 10494.225.5].
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