Poem of the day

Balade
by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1894)

Hide, Absalom, thy guilty tresses clear;
      Esther, lay thou thy meekness all a-down;
Hide Jonathan, all thy friendly mannér;
      Penelope, and Marcia Catóun.
      Make of your wifehood no comparisón;
            Hide ye your beauties, Isoud and Elaine.
            My lady com’th, that all this may distain.

The fairé body, let it not appear,
      Lavine; and thou, Lucrece of Romé town,
And Polixene, that broughten love so dear;
      And Cleopatre will all thy passión,
      Hide ye your truth of love and your renown;
            And thou, Thisbe, that hast of love such pain:
            My lady com’th, that all this may distain.

Hero, Dido, Laodámia, all y-fere,
      And Phyllis, hanging for thy Demophon,
And Cánacé, espièd by thy chere,
      Hysíphilé, betraysèd with Jasón,
      Make of your truthé neither boast ne soun;
            Nor Hypermestre or Adriane, ye twain.
            My lady com’th, that all this may distain.

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