Translation:Balade to Rosemounde

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For other versions of this work, see Balade to Rosemounde.
Balade to Rosemounde (14th century) 
by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated from Middle English by Wikisource
This edition was translated from the original text by the Wikisource community in 2007 and released into the public domain.

"odgod ol olord" ("oh God, oh, oh Lord") is written along the right margin of the original manuscript.

enm:en:Balade to Rosemounde (1477)
    Original Text     Modern English     Original Manuscript

Ma dame ye ben of Al Beaute ſhryne
As fer As cercled is the mapamonde
For As the cristall glorious ye ſhyne
And lyke Ruby ben your chekys rounde
Therwyth ye ben ſo mery and ſo iocunde
That At A Reuell whan that I ſe you dance
It is an oynement vnto my wounde
Thoght ye to me ne do no daliance.

For thogh I wepe of teres ful A tyne
Yet may that wo myn herte nat confounde
Your ſemy voys that ye ſo ſmall out twyne
Makyth my thoght in ioy And blys habounde
So curtayſly I go wyth love bounde
That to my ſelf I ſey in my penaunce
Suffyſeth me to loue you Rosemounde
Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.

Nas never pyk walwed in galauntyne
As I in love Am walwed And I wounde
For whych ful ofte I of my ſelf devyne
That I Am trew Tristam the ſecunde
My love may not refreyde nor affounde
I brenne Ay in an Amorouſe pleſaunce
Do what you lyſt I wyl your thral be founde
Thogh ye to me ne do no daliance.


Madame, you are a shrine of all beauty,
As far encircling as the map of the world.
For you shine as the glorious crystal,
And your round cheeks are like Ruby.
Therewith you are so merry and so jocund,
That at a revel when that I see you dance;
It is an ointment unto my wound,
Though you, to me, do no dalliance.

For though I weep a basin of tears,
Yet may that woe not confound my heart.
Your seemly voice that you so delicately bring forth,
Make my thoughts, in joy and bliss, abound.
So courteously I go, with love bound
That, to myself, I say in my penance,
"Suffer me to love you Rosemounde;
Though you, to me, do no dalliance".

Never was pike so imbued in galantine[1]
As I in love, am imbued and wounded.
For which I very oft, of myself, deign
That I am true Tristam the Second.
My love may not be cooled nor sunk,
I burn in an amourous pleasance.
Do what you like, I bid you find your thrall
Though you, to me, do no dalliance.

very gently————//————Chaucer

original manuscript


  1. "Never was pike so imbued in galantine / As I in love, am imbued and wounded" is an allusion to the 15th-century habit of drenching the fish in sauce. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 1, edited by Rev. Walter W. Skea.

 This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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This work is in the public domain worldwide because it has been so released by the copyright holder.

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