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

Lat take a cat, and fostre him wel with milk, And tendre flesh, and make his couche of silk, And let him seen a mous go by the wal; Anon he weyveth milk, and flesh, and al, And every deyntee that is in that hous, Swich appetyt hath he to ete a mous.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde With rosted flesh, or milk and waster-breed. But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed.

The Iyf so short, the craft so long to lerne, Thassay so hard, so sharp the conquenng. . . . . For out of olde feldes, as men seith, Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere; And out of olde bokes, in good feith, Cometh al this newe science that men lere.

They demen gladly to the badder end.

When that Aprille with his shoures sote. The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, and bathed every veyne in swich licour, of which vertue engendred is the flour.

A Clerk ther was of Oxenforde also.

Love is blind.

Time and tide wait for no man.

The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people.

People can die of mere imagination.

Forbid us something, and that thing we desire.

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.

And all your dreams and other such like folly, to deep oblivion let them be consigned; for they arise but from your melancholy, by which your health is being undermined. A straw for all the meaning you can find in dreams! They aren’t worth a hill of beans, for no one knows what dreaming really means.

Bewail lost time far more than gold in store. ‘For chattels lost may yet recovered be, but time lost ruins us for aye, says he. It will not come again, once it has fled... Let’s not grow moldy thus in idleness.

He which that no-thing under-taketh, No-thing one achieveth, be him looth or dere... He that nought n'assayeth, nought n'acheveth.

It is but waste to bury them preciously.

My mind to me a kingdom is; such present joys therein I find, that it excels all other bliss that earth affords.

For how might sweetness ever have been known to him who never tasted bitterness? Felicity exists for those alone who first have suffered sorrow and distress... By opposites does one in wisdom grow.

Over muche reste norisseth manye vices.

The guilty think all talk is of themselves.

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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