So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature
That is, or shal, whil that the world may dure.
His slep, his mete, his drynke, is hym biraft,
That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft;
His eyen holwe and grisly to biholde,
His hewe falow and pale as asshen colde,
And solitarie he was and evere allone,
And waillynge al the nyght, makynge his mone.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Knight’s Tale. After Arcite is released from prison by Theseus on condition he never returns to Athens, he sinks into a state of lover’s melancholy in Thebes. Separated from Emily, he cannot sleep, eat or drink. He is as pale as cold ashes (use of simile). While he has his freedom, he is unhappy because he is unable to exist or function without his love.