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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Chaucer
 
        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.
  1
        But Cristes loore, and his Apostles twelve,
He taughte, but first He followed it hymselfe.
  2
        But every thyng which schyneth as the gold,
Nis nat gold, as that I have herd it told.
  3
        For gold in phisik is a cordial;
Therefore he lovede gold in special.
  4
        He was a shepherd and no mercenary,
And though he holy was and virtuous,
He was to sinful men full piteous;
His words were strong, but not with anger fraught;
A love benignant he discreetly taught.
To draw mankind to heaven by gentleness
And good example was his business.
  5
        Mincing she was, as is a wanton colt,
Sweet as a flower and upright as a bolt.
  6
        Of all the floures in the mede,
Than love I most these floures white and rede,
Soch that men callen daisies in our toun.
  7
        Roses were sette of sweete savour,
With many roses that thei bere.
  8
        That well by reason men it call may
The daisie, or els the eye of the day,
The emprise, and floure of no floures all.
  9
        The firste vertue, sone, if them wilt lerne,
Is to restreyne and kepen wel thy tonge.
  10
        The thrustelcok made eek hir lay,
The wode dove upon the spray
She sang ful loude and cleere.
  11
        This noble ensample to his sheepe he gaf,—
That firste he wroughte and afterwarde he taughte.
  12
  Abstinence is approved of God.  13
  And for to se, and eek for to be seye.  14
  Go, litel boke! go litel myn tregedie!  15
  He is gentle that doth gentle deeds.  16
  He koude songes make and wel endite.  17
  He that loveth God will do diligence to please God by his works, and abandon himself, with all his might, well for to do.  18
  It is but waste to bury them preciously.  19
  Nature, the vicar of the Almighty Lord.  20
 
 
  One ear it heard, at the other out it went.  21
  The busy lark, the messenger of day.  22
  The smiler with the knife under his cloak.  23
  To maken virtue of necessity.  24
  Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.  25
 
 
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