Geoffrey Chaucer. 1328-1400

Canterbury Tales

Ed. Tyrwhitt.


Whanne that April with his shoures sote

The droughte of March hath perced to the rote.

Prologue. Line I.


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.

Line 9.


And of his port as meke as is a mayde.

Line 69.


He was a veray parfit gentil knight. Line 72.

He coude songes make, and wel endite.

Line 95.


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.

Line 122.


A Clerk ther was of Oxenforde also.

Prologue. Line 287.


For him was lever han at his beddes hed

A twenty bokes, clothed in black or red,

Of Aristotle, and his philosophic,

Than robes riche, or fidel, or sautrie.

But all be that he was a philosophre,

Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre.

Line 295.


And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

Line 310.


Nowher so besy a man as he ther n' as,

And yet he semed besier than he was.

Line 323.


His studie was but litel on the Bible.

Line 440.


For gold in phisike is a cordial;

Therefore he loved gold in special. Line 445.

Wide was his parish, and houses fer asonder.

Line 493.


This noble ensample to his shepe he yaf,

That first he wrought, and afterwards he taught.

Line 498.


But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve,

He taught, but first he folwed it himselve.

Line 529.


And yet he had a thomb of gold parde.

Line 565.


Who so shall telle a tale after a man,

He moste reherse, as neighe as ever he can,

Everich word, if it be in his charge,

All speke he never so rudely and so large;

Or elles he moste tellen his tale untrewe,

Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe.

Prologue. Line 733.


For May wol have no slogardie a-night.

The seson priketh every gentil herte,

And maketh him out of his slepe to sterte.

The Knightes Tale. Line 1044.


Up rose the sonne, and up rose Emelie.

Ibid. Line 2275.


To maken vertue of necessite.

Ibid. Line 3044.


And brought of mighty ale a large quart.

The Milleres Tale. Line 3497.


Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.

The Reves Prologue. Line 3880.


So was hire joly whistle wel ywette.

The Reves Tale. 4153.


And for to see, and eek for to be seye.

The Wif of Bathes Prologue. Line 6134.


Loke who that is most vertuous alway,

Prive and apert, and most entendeth ay

To do the gentil dedes that he can,

And take him for the gretest gentilman.

The Wif of Bathes Tale. Line 6695.


That he is gentil that doth gentil dedis.

The Wif of Bathes Tale. Line 6752.


This flour of wifly patience.

The Clerkes Tale. Pars v. Line 8797.


Fie on possession,

But if a man be vertuous withal.

The Frankeleines Prologue. Line 10998.


Mordre wol out, that see we day by day.

The Nonnes Preestes Tale. Line 15058.


The firste vertue, sone, if thou wilt lere,

Is to restreine, and kepen wel thy tonge.

The Manciples Tale. Line 17281.


For of fortunes sharpe adversite,

The worst kind of infortune is this,

A man that hath been in prosperite,

And it remember, whan it passed is.

Troilus and Creseide. Book iii. Line 1625.


One eare it heard, at the other out it went.

Ibid. Book iv. Line 435.


The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne,

Th' assay so hard, so sharpe the conquering.

The Assembly of Foules. Line 1.


For out of the old fieldes, as men saithe,

Cometh al this new corne fro yere to yere,

And out of old bookes, in good faithe,

Cometh al this new science that men lere.

Ibid. Line 22.


Canterbury Tales continued.]

Nature, the vicar of the almightie Lord.

Ibid. Line 379.


Of all the floures in the mede,

Than love I most these floures white and rede,

Soch that men callen daisies in our toun.

The Legend of Good Women. Line 41.


That well by reason men it call may

The daisie, or els the eye of the day,

The emprise, and floure of floures all.

Ibid. Line 184.