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

Wide was his parish, and houses fer asonder.

And she was fair as is the rose in May.

But yet that holden this tale a folly, as of a fox, or of a cock and hen, taketh the morality, good men.

For May wol have no slogardie a-night. The seson priketh every gentil herte, and maketh him out of his slepe to sterte.

Go, little book; God send thee good passage, and specially let this be thy prayer, unto them all that thee will read or hear, where thou art wrong, after their help to call, thee to correct in any part, or all.

Hyt is not al golde that glareth.

Love will not be constrain'd by mastery. When mast'ry comes, the god of love anon beateth his wings, and, farewell, he is gone. Love is a thing as any spirit free.

O yonge fresshe folkes, he or she, in which that love up-groweth with your age, repeyreth hoom fro worldly vanitee, and of your herte up-casteth the visage to thilke God that after his image yow made, and thynketh al nis but a faire this world, that passeth sone as floures faire.

Thanne is it wysdom, as thynketh me, to maken vertu of necessite, and take it weel, that we may not eschu, and namely that that to us alle is due.

The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne. Th’ assay so hard, so sharp the conquerynge, the dredful joye, alwey that slit so yerne; al this mene I be love.

Thus with hir fader for a certeyn space dwelleth this flour of wyfly pacience, that neither by hir wordes ne his face biforn the fold, ne eek in her absence, ne shewed she that hir was doon offence.

With emptie hands men may no haukes lure.

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.

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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