English Poet, considered greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, first poet buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey
"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."
"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."
"My mind to me a kingdom is; such present joys therein I find, that it excels all other bliss that earth affords."
"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!"
"And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly, after the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, for Frenssh of Parys was to hire unknowe."
"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 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."
"And ther he saugh, with ful avysement the erratik sterres, herkenyng armonye with sownes ful of hevenyssh melodie."
"And theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene, on which ther was first write a crowned A, and after Amor vincit omnia."
"But for to assaye, he seyde, it nought ne greveth; for he that nought nassayeth, nought nacheveth. But to attempt it," he said, "should not grieve: for he that attempts nothing will nothing achieve. [i.e., Nothing ventured, nothing gained.]"
"But yet that holden this tale a folly, as of a fox, or of a cock and hen, taketh the morality, good men."
"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."
"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."