Geoffrey Chaucer

c. 1343

English Poet, considered greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, first poet buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey

Author Quotes

Ye knowe eek, that in forme of speche is change withinne a thousand yeer, and wordes tho that hadden prys, now wonder nyce and straunge us thinketh hem; and yet they spake hem so, and spedde as wel in love as men now do; eek for to winne love in sondry ages, in sondry londes, sondry ben usages.

Yet do not miss the moral, my good men. For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well is written down some useful truth to tell. Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.

Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.

Your duty is, as ferre as I can gesse.

Your eyen two will slay me suddenly, I may the beauty of them not sustain, so woundeth it throughout my herte kene.

And for ther is so gret diversite in Englissh and in writyng of oure tonge, so prey I God that non myswrite the, ne the mysmetre for defaute of tonge; and red wherso thow be, or elles songe, that thow be understonde, God I biseche!

And, for the house is crinkled to and fro.

Filth and old age, I'm sure you will agree, are powerful wardens upon chastity.

For which he wex a litel red for shame, whan he the peple upon him herde cryen, that to beholde it was a noble game, how sobreliche he caste doun his yen. Criseyda gan al his chere aspyen, and let so softe it in her herte sinke that to herself she seyde, “Who yaf me drinke?”

He was a shepherd and no mercenary, and though he holy was and virtuous, he was to sinful men full piteous; his words were strong, but not with anger fraught; a love benignant he discreetly taught. To draw mankind to heavenly gentleness and good example was his business.

In jalousie I rede eek thou hym bynde and thou shalt make him couche as doeth a quaille.

Nature, the vicar of the Almightie Lord.

Purity in body and heart

The false lapwynge, full of trecherye.

There's never a new fashion but it's old.

What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.

And for to se, and eek for to be seye.

Be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!

First he wrought, and afterward he taught.

Forbede us thing, and that desiren we; preesse on us faste, and thanne wol we flee. With daunger oute we al oure chaffare: greet prees at market maketh dere ware, and too greet chepe is holden at litel pris.

He was a verray, parfit gentil knyght.

It is ful fair a man to bere him evene,/For alday meeteth men at unset stevene.

Ne nevere mo ne lakked hire pite; tendre-herted, slydynge of corage; but trewely, I kan nat telle hire age.

Right as an aspen lefe she gan to quake.

The firste vertu, sone, if thou wolt leere, is to restreyne and kepe wel thy tonge; thus lerne childen whan that they been yonge.

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c. 1343
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English Poet, considered greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, first poet buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey