Geoffrey Chaucer Quotes

“Patience is a conquering virtue.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“people can die of mere imagination”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“If gold rusts, what then can iron do?”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“the greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“No empty handed man can lure a bird”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“The life so brief, the art so long in the learning, the attempt so hard, the conquest so sharp, the fearful joy that ever slips away so quickly – by all this I mean love, which so sorely astounds my feeling with its wondrous operation, that when I think upon it I scarce know whether I wake or sleep.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“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. ”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Forbid Us Something and That Thing we Desire”
― Geoffrey Chaucer


“Purity in body and heart
May please some–as for me, I make no boast.
For, as you know, no master of a household
Has all of his utensils made of gold;
Some are wood, and yet they are of use.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Expierience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“How potent is the fancy! People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“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.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Amor vincit omnia”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“. . . if gold rust, what then will iron do?/ For if a priest be foul in whom we trust/ No wonder that a common man should rust. . . .”
― Chaucer



“the guilty think all talk is of themselves.”
― geoffrey chaucer




“Ful wys is he that kan himselve knowe.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Time and Tide wait for no man”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“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.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Youth may outrun the old, but not outwit.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“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.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“You are the cause by which I die.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“And high above, depicted in a tower,
Sat Conquest, robed in majesty and power,
Under a sword that swung above his head,
Sharp-edged and hanging by a subtle thread.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“And once he had got really drunk on wine,
Then he would speak no language but Latin.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“For if a priest be foul, on whom we trust,
No wonder is a common man should rust”
-The Prologue of Chaucers Canterbury Tales-”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“High on a stag the Goddess held her seat,
And there were little hounds about her feet;
Below her feet there was a sickle moon,
Waxing it seemed, but would be waning soon.
Her statue bore a mantle of bright green,
Her hand a bow with arrows cased and keen;
Her eyes were lowered, gazing as she rode
Down to where Pluto has his dark abode.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales




“One flesh they are; and one flesh, so I’d guess,
Has but one heart, come grief or happiness.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“But Christ’s lore and his apostles twelve,
He taught and first he followed it himself.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“It seems to me that poverty is an eyeglass through which one may see his true friends.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“For hym was levere have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.”
― Chaucer Geoffrey



“If no love is, O God, what fele I so?
And if love is, what thing and which is he?
If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo?
If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“earn what you can since everything’s for sale”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Thus in this heaven he took his delight And smothered her with kisses upon kisses Till gradually he came to know where bliss is.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Until we’re rotten, we cannot be ripe.”
― Chaucer Geoffrey




“The man who has no wife is no cuckold.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“For he would rather have, by his bedside, twenty books, bound in black or red, of Aristotle and his philosophy, than rich robes or costly fiddles or gay harps.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“He who repeats a tale after a man,
Is bound to say, as nearly as he can,
Each single word, if he remembers it,
However rudely spoken or unfit,
Or else the tale he tells will be untrue,
The things invented and the phrases new.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in switch licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So Priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“we know little of the things for which we pray”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“I’ll die for stifled love, by all that’s true.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Who shall give a lover any law?’ Love is a greater law, by my troth, than any law written by mortal man.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“By God,” quod he, “for pleynly, at a word,
Thy drasty rymyng is nat worth a toord!”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“But for to telle yow al hir beautee,
It lyth nat in my tonge, n’yn my konnyng;
I dar nat undertake so heigh a thyng.
Myn Englissh eek is insufficient.
It moste been a rethor excellent
That koude his colours longynge for that art,
If he sholde hire discryven every part.
I am noon swich, I moot speke as I kan.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Her statue, glorious in majesty,
Stood naked, floating on a vasty sea,
And from the navel down there were a mass
Of green and glittering waves as bright as glass.
In her right hand a cithern carried she
And on her head, most beautiful to see,
A garland of fresh roses, while above
There circles round her many a flickering dove.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“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.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Then the Miller fell off his horse.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer



“Lust is addicted to novelty.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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