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

Ther n' is no werkman whatever he be, that may both werken wel and hastily. This wol be done at leisure parfitly.

We know little of the things for which we pray.

And as for me, though than I konne but lyte, on bokes for to rede I me delyte, and to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence, and in myn herte have hem in reverence so hertely, that ther is game noon, that fro my bokes maketh me to goon, but yt be seldome on the holy day. Save, certeynly, when that the monthe of May is comen, and that I here the foules synge, and that the floures gynnen for to sprynge, farwel my boke, and my devocion.

And when a beest is deed, he hath no peyne; But man after his deeth moot wepe and pleyne.

Felds hath eyen, and wode have eres.

For thre may kepe a counsel, if twain be awaie.

He loved chivalrye Trouthe and honour, freedom and curteisye.

If no love is, O God, what fele I so? And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo? If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me.

Mordre wol out, that se we day by day.

Or as an ook comth of a litel spir, so thorugh this lettre, which that she hym sente, encressen gan desir, of which he brente.

The busy lark, the messenger of day.

Ther seyde oones a clerk in two vers, "What is bettre than Gold? Jaspre. What is bettre than Jaspre? Wisdom. And what is bettre than Wisdom? Womman. And what is bettre than a good Womman? No thyng."

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath perced to the roote, and bathed every veyne in swych licour of which vertu engendred is the flour; whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth inspired hath in every holt and heath the tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne, and smale foweles maken melodye, that slepen al the nyght with open ye (So priketh hem nature in hir corages); thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.

And brought of mighty ale a large quart.

And yet he hadde "a thombe of gold" pardee.

Fie on possession, but if a man be vertuous withal.

For tyme y-lost may not recovered be.

He that loveth God will do diligence to please God by his works, and abandon himself, with all his might, well for to do.

In his owen grese I made him frie.

Murder will out, this my conclusion.

Patience is a conquering virtue.

The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen, that was the king Priamus sone of Troye, in lovinge, how his aventures fellen fro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye, my purpos is, er that I parte fro ye. Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyte it is not good a sleping hound to wake.

Therefore it behooveth hire a full long spoon that shal ete with a feend.

Whan that it remembreth me Upon my yowthe, and on my jolitee, It tickleth me aboute myn herte roote. Unto this day it dooth myn herte boote That I have had my world as in my tyme. But age, alias! that al wole envenyme, Hath me biraft my beautee and my pith. Lat go, farewel! the devel go therwith! The flour is goon, ther is namoore to telle; The bren, as I best kan, now most I selle.

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!

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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