To Rosemounde: A Balade

By Geoffrey Chaucer 1340–1400 Geoffrey Chaucer

Madame, ye ben of al beaute shryne
As fer as cercled is the mapamounde,
For as the cristal glorious ye shyne,
And lyke ruby ben your chekes rounde.
Therwith ye ben so mery and so jocounde
That at a revel whan that I see you daunce,
It is an oynement unto my wounde,
Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.

For thogh I wepe of teres ful a tyne,
Yet may that wo myn herte nat confounde;
Your semy voys that ye so smal out twyne
Maketh my thoght in joy and blis habounde.
So curtaysly I go with love bounde
That to myself I sey in my penaunce,
"Suffyseth me to love you, Rosemounde,
Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce."

Nas neuer pyk walwed in galauntyne
As I in love am walwed and ywounde,
For which ful ofte I of myself devyne
That I am trew Tristam the secounde.
My love may not refreyde nor affounde,
I brenne ay in an amorous plesaunce.
Do what you lyst, I wyl your thral be founde,
Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.

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Poet Geoffrey Chaucer 1340–1400

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Middle English

Subjects Love, The Body, Nature, Relationships, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Imagery, Allusion, Simile, Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Author of the immortal Canterbury Tales, GEOFFREY CHAUCER (ca. 1340—1400) is the undisputed father of English poetry. His pitch-perfect, melodic versification demonstrated the riches of the evolving language’s resources, while his memorable portraits of many human types glow with warmth and humor. A man of affairs as well as literature, he served as a diplomat and customs officer; when he died, his burial in Westminster . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, The Body, Nature, Relationships, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Middle English

Poetic Terms Imagery, Allusion, Simile, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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