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

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.

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.

Abstinence is approved of God.

And theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene, on which ther was first write a crowned A, and after Amor vincit omnia.

Every honest miller has a golden thumb.

For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.

He is gentil that doth gentil dedis.

If gold ruste, what shall iren do?

Min be the travaille, and thin be the glorie.

One flesh they are; and one flesh, so I'd guess, has but one heart, come grief or happiness.

That of all the floures in the mede, thanne love I most these floures white and rede, suche as men callen daysyes in her toune.

Then you compared a woman's love to Hell, to barren land where water will not dwell, and you compared it to a quenchless fire, the more it burns the more is its desire. To burn up everything that burnt can be. You say that just as worms destroy a tree a wife destroys her husband and contrives, as husbands know, the ruin of their lives.

Very wise is he that can know himself.

Allas! allas! that evere love was synne!

And what is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.

Experience, though non auctoritee were in this world, is right ynough to me to speke of wo that is in mariage. . . .

For thogh we slepe, or wake, or rome, or ryde, ay fleeth the tyme; it nyl no man abyde.

He is gentle that doeth gentle deeds.

If gold rusts, what then will iron do? For if a priest be foul in whom we trust. No wonder that a common man should rust.

Mincing she was, as is a wanton colt, sweet as a flower and upright as a bolt.

Oon ere it herde, at tothir out it wente [One ear heard it, at the other out it went]

The bisy larke, messager of day.

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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