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

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.

To maken vertue of necessite.

Wommen desiren to have sovereynetee as wel over hir housbond as hir love.

And ther he saugh, with ful avysement the erratik sterres, herkenyng armonye with sownes ful of hevenyssh melodie.

Certes, they been lyk to houndes, for an hound whan he comth by the roser, or by other bushes, though he may nat pisse, yet wole he heve up his leg and make a contenaunce to pisse.

For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte.

He coude songes make, and wel endite. Ful wel she sange the service devine, entuned in hire nose ful swetely; and Frenche she spake ful fayre and fetisly, after the scole of Stratford atte bowe, for Frenche of Paris was to hire unknowe.

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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