The Death of
The Knight

Geoffrey Chaucer

<y lady --- the one that I love the most:
The woeful spirit that lies in my heart
Can't tell you of my most painful sorrows.
But I bequeath to you the service
Of my ghost, above every creature,
Since my life may last no longer.
Alas the woe, alas the pain that I
For you have suffered, and for so long.
Alas the death. Alas, my Emily.
Alas, departing from our companionship.
Alas, my heart's queen; alas, my wif ---
My hearts lady, the dearest of my life!

What is this world? What does it ask one to have?
Now with his love; now, alone, in the cold grave,
Without any company.
Farewell, my sweete love, my Emily,
Softly take me in your arms, for love of God,
And listen to what I have to say.

§     §     §

aught may the woful spirit in myn herte
Declare o poynt of alle my sorwes smerte
To yow, my lady, that I love most;
But I biquethe the service of my gost
To yow aboven every creature,
Sin that my lyf may no lenger dure.
Allas, the wo! allas, the peynes stronge,
That I for yow have suffred, and so longe!
Allas, the deeth! allas, myn Emelye
Allas, departing of our companye!
Allas, myn hertes quene! allas, my wyf
Myn hertes lady, endere of my lyf!
What is this world? what asketh men to have
Now with his love, now in his colde grave
Allone, with-outen any companye.
Far-wel, my swete fo! myn Emelye
And softe tak me m your armes tweye,
For love of God, and herkneth what I seye.

--- From The Canterbury Tales
Translation by
Carlos Amantea

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