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Famous Chaucer Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Chaucer poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous chaucer poems. These examples illustrate what a famous chaucer poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...
Praise him, the flower of all thy flowers.

MAY
Hail, May, whose bark puts forth full-sailed
For summer; May, whom Chaucer hailed
With all his happy might of heart,
And gave thy rosebright daisy-tips
Strange frarance from his amorous lips
That still thine own breath seems to part
And sweeten till each word they say
Is even a flower of flowering May.

JUNE
Strong June, superb, serene, elate
With conscience of thy sovereign state
Untouched of thunder, though the storm
...Read More



by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...AN A.B.C.
Here begins the song according to the order of the
letters of the alphabet 

A.

ALMIGHTY and all-merciable* Queen,                         *all-merciful
To whom all this world fleeth for succour,
To have release of sin, of sorrow, of teen!*                 *affliction
Glorious Virgin! of all flowers flow'r,
To thee I fle...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...ife) is lost,
And bare Threescore is all ev'n That can boast:
Our Sons their Fathers' failing language see,
And such as Chaucer is, shall Dryden be.
So when the faithful Pencil has design'd
Some bright Idea of the Master's Mind,
Where a new World leaps out at his command,
And ready Nature waits upon his Hand;
When the ripe Colours soften and unite,
And sweetly melt into just Shade and Light,
When mellowing Years their full Perfection give,
And each Bold Figure just begins...Read More

by Keats, John
...rtion of ethereal dew
Fall on my head, and presently unmew
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.

 Leading the way, young damsels danced along,
Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;
Each having a white wicker over brimm'd
With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd,
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks
As may be read of in Arcadian books;
Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe,
When the great deity, for earth ...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...
That it may moralise
My days out of their aimlessness.
A bit of an embroidered dress
Covers its wooden sheath.
Chaucer had not drawn breath
When it was forged. In Sato's house,
Curved like new moon, moon-luminous
It lay five hundred years.
Yet if no change appears
No moon; only an aching heart
Conceives a changeless work of art.
Our learned men have urged
That when and where 'twas forged
A marvellous accomplishment,
In painting or in pottery, went
From fa...Read More



by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...mbered more than fourscore years, 
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten, 
Had but begun his "Characters of Men." 
Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales, 
At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales; 
Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last, 
Completed Faust when eighty years were past. 
These are indeed exceptions; but they show 
How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow 
Into the arctic regions of our lives, 
Where little else than life itself survives. 
As the...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ional
Advantages of growing almost wild
Under the watchful eye of hawk and eagle 
Dorkings because they're spoken of by Chaucer,
Sussex because they're spoken of by Herrick.

She has a touch of gold. New Hampshire gold—
You may have heard of it. I had a farm
Offered me not long since up Berlin way
With a mine on it that was worked for gold;
But not gold in commercial quantities,
Just enough gold to make the engagement rings
And marriage rings of those who owned th...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...is so foul," and to tell the story of Gamelyn, on
which Shakespeare's "As You Like It" is founded. The story is
not Chaucer's, and is different in metre, and inferior in
composition to the Tales. It is supposed that Chaucer expunged
the Cook's Tale for the same reason that made him on his death-
bed lament that he had written so much "ribaldry."      ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...orth.

9. The Pythoness: the witch, or woman, possesed with a
prophesying spirit; from the Greek, "Pythia." Chaucer of
course refers to the raising of Samuel's spirit by the witch of
Endor.

10. Dante and Virgil were both poets who had in fancy visited
Hell.

11. Tholed: suffered, endured; "thole" is still used in Scotland in
the same sense.

12. Capels: horses. See note 14 to the Reeve's Tale.

13. Liart: grey; elsewhere applie...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ms on the
other hand, made the journey to any shrine only once,
immediately returning to their ordinary avocations. Chaucer
uses "palmer" of all pilgrims.

3. "Hallows" survives, in the meaning here given, in All Hallows
-- All-Saints -- day. "Couth," past participle of "conne" to
know, exists in "uncouth."

4. The Tabard -- the sign of the inn -- was a sleeveless coat,
worn by heralds. The name of the inn was, some three
centuries after Chaucer, c...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...he adopting Muses chose
Their sons by name, knowing none would be heard
Or writ so oft in all the world as those,--
Dan Chaucer, mighty Shakespeare, then for third
The classic Milton, and to us arose
Shelley with liquid music in the world. 

5
The poets were good teachers, for they taught
Earth had this joy; but that 'twould ever be
That fortune should be perfected in me,
My heart of hope dared not engage the thought.
So I stood low, and now but to be caught
By any se...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...WHILOM*, as olde stories tellen us, *formerly
There was a duke that highte* Theseus. *was called 
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time such a conqueror
That greater was there none under the sun.
Full many a riche country had he won.
What with his wisdom and his chivalry,
He conquer'd all the regne of Feminie,
That whilom wa...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...elfe usen it by right.
Thus will our text: but natheless certain
I can right now no thrifty* tale sayn, *worthy
But Chaucer (though he *can but lewedly* *knows but imperfectly*
On metres and on rhyming craftily)
Hath said them, in such English as he can,
Of olde time, as knoweth many a man.
And if he have not said them, leve* brother, *dear
In one book, he hath said them in another
For he hath told of lovers up and down,
More than Ovide made of mentioun
In his Epistol...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...salutation to Mary; Luke i.
28. It was the "Ave Maria" of the Catholic Church service.

5. Cato: Though Chaucer may have referred to the famous
Censor, more probably the reference is merely to the "Moral
Distichs," which go under his name, though written after his
time; and in a supplement to which the quoted passage may be
found.

6. Barm-cloth: apron; from Anglo-Saxon "barme," bosom or
lap.

7. Volupere: Head-gear, kerchief; from French, "env...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ther: Tyrwhitt points to Anstruther, in Fife: Mr Wright
to the Vale of Langstroth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Chaucer has given the scholars a dialect that may have belonged
to either district, although it more immediately suggests the
more northern of the two.
(Transcribers note: later commentators have identified it with a
now vanished village near Kirknewton in Northumberland.
There was a well-known Alein of Strother in Chaucer's
lifetime.)

8. Wa...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...o
depend on voluntary contributions, though their need suggested
many modes of evading the prescription.

3. In Chaucer's day the most material notions about the tortures
of hell prevailed, and were made the most of by the clergy, who
preyed on the affection and fear of the survivors, through the
ingenious doctrine of purgatory. Old paintings and illuminations
represent the dead as torn by hooks, roasted in fires, boiled in
pots, and subjected to many other physic...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
..."tell forth, and I will hear."


Notes to the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale


1. Among the evidences that Chaucer's great work was left
incomplete, is the absence of any link of connexion between the
Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, and what goes before. This
deficiency has in some editions caused the Squire's and the
Merchant's Tales to be interposed between those of the Man of
Law and the Wife of Bath; but in the Merchant's Tale there is
internal proof th...Read More

by Jonson, Ben
...of the age! The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our stage! My SHAKSPEARE rise ! I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie A little further, to make thee a room : Thou art a monument without a tomb, And art alive still while thy book doth live And we have wits to read, and praise to give. That I not mix thee so my brain excuses, I mean with great, but disproportioned Muses : For if I thought my judgment were of...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...The double 12 sorwe of Troilus to tellen, 
That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovinge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye. 
Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyte
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I wryte!

To thee clepe I, thou goddesse of torment,
Thou cruel Furie, sorwing ever in...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Incipit Liber Quintus.

Aprochen gan the fatal destinee
That Ioves hath in disposicioun,
And to yow, angry Parcas, sustren three,
Committeth, to don execucioun;
For which Criseyde moste out of the toun, 
And Troilus shal dwelle forth in pyne
Til Lachesis his threed no lenger twyne. --

The golden-tressed Phebus heighe on-lofte
Thryes hadde alle wit...Read More

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