Steve Arloff writes that the words of Charles d'Orléans are in "a French I find more easy to understand than any of Chaucer’s English". That is because a) the vocabulary is much more restricted than most of Chaucer's, being a simple lyric, not a narrative b) because the words Debussy set are a modernisation of the original; if Chaucer's language is similarly modernised, he is not so hard to understand either. If one goes to Emily Zust's admirable website the two versions of the first poem may be compared:
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