The Canterbury Tales

all that glitters is not gold,

And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

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.

Be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!

But Christ's lore and his apostles twelve,
He taught and first he followed it himself.

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.

By God," quod he, "for pleynly, at a word,
Thy drasty rymyng is nat worth a toord!

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.

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.

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.

If gold rusts, what then can iron do?

I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.

A Knight's Tale

La moraleja de todas las tragedias es la misma: que la Fortuna siempre ataca a los reinos prepotentes cuando menos lo esperan.

la virtud que corona la perfección es la paciencia".

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.

My love is like a turtle-dove, all true. The only appetite I have is for you.” “Just go away from the window, Jack fool,” she said. “So help me God, you’ll get no kisses from me,          510 My love is for someone else, so you can leave! He’s worth far more than you, you Absalom! Take yourself off, or I’ll say goodbye with a stone! Now let me sleep, just leave, just go away!” “Alas,” said Absalom, “and wellaway!          515 True love should not be spurned, this ugly way. At least give me a kiss, if nothing better, For love of Jesus, our lord and loving savior.” “And if I do,” she said, “will you go away?” “O yes, my sweetheart,” he was quick to say.          520 “Make yourself ready,” she said, “for here I come.” She whispered to Nicolas, who was playing dumb, “Keep quiet, and then you can laugh as much as you please.” Absalom carefully set himself down on his knees, Saying, “I am noble, in every way,          525 So after this, let there be more, I pray. O sweetheart, your grace! O lovebird, your mercy, this day!” She undid the window, and opened it very swiftly. “All right,” she said, “come on, and do it quickly, Or else our neighbors, alas, might see you there.”           530 Absalom hurriedly wiped his lips all clear. The night was dark as pitch, as dark as coal, And out of the window she stuck her bare asshole, And Absalom, who could have done much worse, Put forth his mouth and lovingly kissed her ass,          535 Licking his lips, as it were, before he’d grasped it. He jumped right back, knowing something was wrong, He knew no woman was bearded—and this was a long one! The skin was coarse, and rough, the smell was strong. “O God, alas,” he said. “What have I done?”           540 “Tee hee,” she said, and slammed the window down, As Absalom went walking slowly off. “A beard! a beard!” said Handy Nicolas. “By God’s own corpse, this is worthy of laughter.

No empty handed man can lure a bird

O woman’s counsel is so often cold! A woman’s counsel brought us first to woe, Made Adam out of Paradise to go Where he had been so merry, so well at ease.

people can die of mere imagination

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.

The man who has no wife is no cuckold.

Then the Miller fell off his horse.

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.

There are no footnotes or endnotes in this translation. If any explanations or clarifications are required, they are embedded in the body of the text, so as not to interrupt the flow of the words. After all, as Noel Coward once famously remarked, “Having to read a footnote resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love.

Three years went by in happiness and health; He bore himself so well in peace and war That there was no one Theseus valued more.

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

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

Ye sey right sooth; this Monk he clappeth lowde.
He spak how Fortune covered with a clowde
I noot nevere what; and als of a tragedie
Right now ye herde, and pardee, no remedie
It is for to biwaille ne compleyne
That that is doon, and als it is a peyne,
As ye han seyd, to heere of hevynesse.
Sire Monk, namoore of this, so God yow blesse!
Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,

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.

Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,