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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 39 

 Quha had bene thair, and liken for to heirWhoever; likely
 His facound toung, and termis exquisite,eloquent tongue
 Of Rethorick the prettick he micht leirskill/practice; learn
270In breif Sermone ane pregnant sentence wryteIn a few words; meaningful
 Befoir Cupide veiling his Cap alyte.doffing; slightly
 Speiris the caus of that vocatiounAsks
 And he anone schew his Intentioun.at once; showed

S 40 

 Lo (quod Cupide) quha will blaspheme the namewhosoever
275Of his awin God, outher in word in deid,either
 To all Goddis he dois baith lak and schame.dishonor
 And suld haue bitter panis to his meid.punishment; reward
 I say this by zone wretchit Cresseid,
 The quhilk throw me, was sum tyme flour of lufewho; through me; flower of love
280Me and my Mother starklie can reprufe.strongly; reprove;

S 41 

 Saying of hir greit Infelicitiemisfortune
 I was the caus, and my Mother Venus,
 Ane blind Goddes, hir cald that micht not secalled, who could not see
 With sclander and defame Iniurious,slander; defamation
285Thus hir leuing vnclene and Lecherousliving
 Scho wald returne on me and my Motherturn back on
 To quhome I schew my grace abone all vther.above

S 42 

 And sen ze ar all seuin deificaitsince; deified
 Participant of deuyne sapience,Partaking; devine wisdom
290This greit Iniurie done to our hie estaitinjury; high
 Me think with pane we suld mak recompence,reciprocate
 Was neuer to Goddes done sic violence.such
 Asweill for zow, as for my self i sayOn your behalf
 Thairfoir ga help to reuenge i zow pray.give

S 43 

295Mercurius to Cupide gaue answeir
 And said Schir king my counsall is that ze,
 Refer zow to the hiest planeit heir,
 And tak to him the lawest of degrelowest rank
 The pane of Cresseid for to modifie.asess  (n)
300As God Saturne, with him tak CynthiaFor instance  (n)
 I am content (quod he) to tak thay twa.to accept these two

S 44 

 Than thus proceidit Saturne and the Monein this way
 Quhen thay the mater rypelie had degest,the matter had maturely considered
 For the dispyte to Cupide scho had done.injury
305And to Venus oppin and manifest.open
 In all hir lyfe with pane to be opprest
 And torment sair with seiknes Incurabill,sorely tormented with incurable sickness
 And to all louers be abhominabill.

S 45 

 This duleful sentence Saturne tuik on handdismal; took charge of
310And passit doun quhair cairfull Cresseid lay,unhappy
 And on hir heid he laid ane frostie wand.  (n)
 Than lawfullie on this wyse can he say
 Thy greit fairnes and all thy bewtie gay
 Thy wantoun blude, and eik thy goldin hairalso  (n)
315Heir i exclude fra the for euermair.banish

S 46 

 I change thy mirth into Melancholy,
 Quhilk is the Mother of all pensiuenes,thoughtfulness
 Thy Moisture and thy heit in cald and dry
 Thyne Insolence, thy play and wantoneswantonness
320To greit diseis, thy Pomp and thy riches,disease
 In mortall neid, and greit penuritiepoverty
 Thow suffer sall, and as ane beggar die.aggressive

S 47 

 O cruell Saturne fraward and angrieharsh
 Hard is thy dome, and to malitiousjudgment; too
325On fair Cresseid quhy hes thow na mercie?no mercy
 Quhilk was sa sweit, gentill and amorous
 Withdraw thy sentence and be gracious
 As thow was neuer, sa schawis thow thy deid,so shows
 Ane wraikfull sentence geuin on fair Cresseid.vicious/vengeful

S 48 

330Than Cynthia quhen Saturne past awayleft
 Out of hir sait discendit doun belyue,seat/throne; quickly
 And red ane bill on Cresseid quhair scho lay,read a verdict
 Contening this sentence diffinityueContaining; definitive
 Fra heit of bodie I the now depryue
335And to thy seiknes sall be na recuresickness; cure
 Bot in dolour thy dayis to Indure.pain

S 49 

 Thy Cristall Ene minglit with blude I makeyes mingled
 Thy voice sa cleir vnplesand hoir and hace,unpleasant, rough; hoarse
 Thy lustie lyre ouirspred with spottis blak,beautiful complexion
340And lumpis haw appeirand in thy facelivid
 Quhair thow cummis, Ilk man sall fle the place.
 This sall thow go begging fra hous to housThus  (n)
 With Cop and Clapper lyke ane Lazarous.sad

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The Testament of Cresseid - Britain in Print