Geoffrey Chaucer

Here you will find the Long Poem House Of Fame, The of poet Geoffrey Chaucer

House Of Fame, The

BOOK I Incipit liber primus.

 God turne us every dreem to gode!
 For hit is wonder, be the rode,
 To my wit, what causeth swevens
 Either on morwes, or on evens;
 And why the effect folweth of somme,
 And of somme hit shal never come;
 Why that is an avisioun,
 And this a revelacioun,
 Why this a dreem, why that a sweven,
 And nat to every man liche even;
 Why this a fantom, these oracles,
 I noot; but who-so of these miracles
 The causes knoweth bet than I,
 Devyne he; for I certeinly
 Ne can hem noght, ne never thinke
 To besily my wit to swinke,
 To knowe of hir signifiaunce
 The gendres, neither the distaunce
 Of tymes of hem, ne the causes,
 For-why this more than that cause is;
 As if folkes complexiouns
 Make hem dreme of reflexiouns;
 Or ellis thus, as other sayn,
 For to greet feblenesse of brayn,
 By abstinence, or by seeknesse,
 Prison, stewe, or greet distresse;
 Or elles by disordinaunce
 Of naturel acustomaunce,
 That som man is to curious
 In studie, or melancolious,
 Or thus, so inly ful of drede,
 That no man may him bote bede;
 Or elles, that devocioun
 Of somme, and contemplacioun
 Causeth swiche dremes ofte;
 Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
 Which these ilke lovers leden
 That hopen over muche or dreden,
 That purely hir impressiouns
 Causeth hem avisiouns;
 Or if that spirites have the might
 To make folk to dreme a-night
 Or if the soule, of propre kinde
 Be so parfit, as men finde,
 That hit forwot that is to come,
 And that hit warneth alle and somme
 Of everiche of hir aventures
 Be avisiouns, or by figures,
 But that our flesh ne hath no might
 To understonden hit aright,
 For hit is warned to derkly; --
 But why the cause is, noght wot I.
 Wel worthe, of this thing, grete clerkes,
 That trete of this and other werkes;
 For I of noon opinioun
 Nil as now make mensioun,
 But only that the holy rode
 Turne us every dreem to gode!
 For never, sith that I was born,
 Ne no man elles, me biforn,
 Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
 So wonderful a dreem as I
 The tenthe day dide of Decembre,
 The which, as I can now remembre,
 I wol yow tellen every del,

 The Invocation

 But at my ginninge, trusteth wel,
 I wol make invocacioun,
 With special devocioun,
 Unto the god of slepe anoon,
 That dwelleth in a cave of stoon
 Upon a streem that cometh fro Lete,
 That is a flood of helle unswete;
 Besyde a folk men clepe Cimerie,
 Ther slepeth ay this god unmerie
 With his slepy thousand sones
 That alway for to slepe hir wone is --
 And to this god, that I of rede,
 Prey I, that he wol me spede
 My sweven for to telle aright,
 If every dreem stonde in his might.
 And he, that mover is of al
 That is and was, and ever shal,
 So yive hem Ioye that hit here
 Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
 And for to stonden alle in grace
 Of hir loves, or in what place
 That hem wer levest for to stonde,
 And shelde hem fro poverte and shonde,
 And fro unhappe and eche disese,
 And sende hem al that may hem plese,
 That take hit wel, and scorne hit noght,
 Ne hit misdemen in her thoght
 Through malicious entencioun.
 And who-so, through presumpcioun,
 Or hate or scorne, or through envye,
 Dispyt, or Iape, or vilanye,
 Misdeme hit, preye I Iesus god
 That (dreme he barfoot, dreme he shod),
 That every harm that any man
 Hath had, sith that the world began,
 Befalle him therof, or he sterve,
 And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
 Lo! with swich a conclusioun
 As had of his avisioun
 Cresus, that was king of Lyde,
 That high upon a gebet dyde!
 This prayer shal he have of me;
 I am no bet in charite!
 Now herkneth, as I have you seyd,
 What that I mette or I abreyd.

 The Dream

 Of Decembre the tenthe day,
 Whan hit was night, to slepe I lay
 Right ther as I was wont to done,
 And fil on slepe wonder sone,
 As he that wery was for-go
 On pilgrimage myles two
 To the corseynt Leonard,
 To make lythe of that was hard.
 But as I sleep, me mette I was
 Within a temple y-mad of glas;
 In whiche ther were mo images
 Of gold, stondinge in sondry stages,
 And mo riche tabernacles,
 And with perre mo pinacles,
 And mo curious portreytures,
 And queynte maner of figures
 Of olde werke, then I saw ever.
 For certeynly, I niste never
 Wher that I was, but wel wiste I,
 Hit was of Venus redely,
 The temple; for, in portreyture,
 I sawgh anoon-right hir figure
 Naked fletinge in a see.
 And also on hir heed, parde,
 Hir rose-garlond whyt and reed,
 And hir comb to kembe hir heed,
 Hir dowves, and daun Cupido
 Hir blinde sone, and Vulcano,
 That in his face was ful broun.
 But as I romed up and doun,