To Rosemounde

Original Text: 
Bodleian Rawlinson MS Poet. 163, fol. 114r; facsimile of original page and edition in The Minor Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. George B. Pace and Alfred David, A Variorum Edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Vol. V (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982): 161-70.
3For as the cristall glorious ye shyne,
4And lyke ruby ben your chekys rounde.
5Therwyth ye ben so mery and so iocunde
6That at a reuell whan that I se you dance,
7It is an oynement vnto my wounde,
13So curtaysly I go, wyth loue bounde,
14That to my self I sey, in my penaunce,
16Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.
22I brenne ay in an amorouse plesaunce.
23Do what you lyst, I wyl your thral be founde,
24Thogh ye to me ne do no daliance.


1] shryne: holy shrine. Back to Line
2] mapamounde: map o' the world (cf. French "monde"). Back to Line
8] do no daliance: do not flirt, chat with. Back to Line
9] tyne: tub, as holding fish. Back to Line
10] "Yet that misery will not overwhelm my heart." Back to Line
11] semy voys: perhaps "semi-voice," quiet voice. small: "synall" in ms, and emended by all editors following W. W. Skeat's suggestion. out twyne: spin out. Back to Line
12] habounde: abundant, rich in. Back to Line
15] Rosemounde: "rose of the world" and hence compared to the map of the world (2). Back to Line
17] "Never was there a pike so drenched in galantine" (a chilled, jello-like sauce). Back to Line
18] iwounde: tied up. Back to Line
19] deuyne: imagine. Back to Line
20] tristam: Tristram, lover and beloved of Iseult, about whom is written the earlier English romance "Sir Tristrem" and whose story appears in works from Malory's Morte Darthur to T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. They are fated to love one another after mutually drinking a love potion. Despite her marriage to King Mark of Cornwall, their love continues and eventually leads to Tristram's death. Back to Line
21] refreyde: chilled. affounde: made cold; (perhaps) immersed or foundered (cf. the pike in the galantine sauce). Back to Line
24] Tregentil: "very noble" (or a proper name). This line is written in a different script. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: