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 smale foules maken melodie, that slepen alle night with open eye, so priketh hem nature in hir corages; than longen folk to gon on pilgrimages.

By God, if women had written stories, as clerks had within here oratories, they would have written of men more wickedness than all the mark of Adam may redress.

For of fortunes sharp adversitee The worst kinde of infortune is this, A man to have ben in prosperitee, And it remembren, when it passed is.

Go, little booke! go, my little tragedie!

I am right sorry for your heavinesse.

Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye. When maistrie comth, the God of Love anon beteth his wynges, and farewel, he is gon!

Of alle the floures in the mede, Than love I most these floures whyte and rede, Swiche as men callen daysies in our toun. . . . . Til that myn herte dye. . . . . That wel by reson men hit calle may The 'dayesye' or elles the 'ye of day,' The emperice and flour of floures alle. I pray to god that faire mot she falle, And alle that loven floures, for hir sake!

That field hath eyen, and the wood hath ears.

The proverbe saith that many a smale maketh a grate.

Til crowes feet be growe under your ye.

Women desire six things: They want their husbands to be brave, wise, rich, generous, obedient to wife, and lively in bed.

And then the wren gan scippen and to daunce.

By nature, men love newfangledness.

For out of olde feldes, as men seith, cometh al this new corn fro yeer to yere; and out of olde bokes, in good feith, cometh al this newe science that men lere.

Habit maketh no monke, ne wearing of guilt spurs maketh no knight.

I holde a mouses herte nat worth a leek. That hath but one hole for to sterte to.

Make a virtue of necessity.

Of fortune's sharp adversity, the worst kind of misfortune is this, that a man hath been in prosperity and it remembers when it passed is.

That he is gentil that doth gentil dedis.

The smiler with the knife under his cloak.

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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