Geoffrey Chaucer

Here you will find the Long Poem Parliament Of Fowles, The of poet Geoffrey Chaucer

Parliament Of Fowles, The

Here begynyth the Parlement of Foulys


 The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne,
 Thassay so hard, so sharp the conquering,
 The dredful Ioy, that alwey slit so yerne,
 Al this mene I by love, that my feling
 Astonyeth with his wonderful worching
 So sore y-wis, that whan I on him thinke,
 Nat wot I wel wher that I wake or winke.

 For al be that I knowe nat love in dede,
 Ne wot how that he quyteth folk hir hyre,
 Yet happeth me ful ofte in bokes rede
 Of his miracles, and his cruel yre;
 Ther rede I wel he wol be lord and syre,
 I dar not seyn, his strokes been so sore,
 But God save swich a lord! I can no more.

 Of usage, what for luste what for lore,
 On bokes rede I ofte, as I yow tolde.
 But wherfor that I speke al this? not yore
 Agon, hit happed me for to beholde
 Upon a boke, was write with lettres olde;
 And ther-upon, a certeyn thing to lerne,
 The longe day ful faste I radde and yerne.

 For out of olde feldes, as men seith,
 Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere;
 And out of olde bokes, in good feith,
 Cometh al this newe science that men lere.
 But now to purpos as of this matere --
 To rede forth hit gan me so delyte,
 That al the day me thoughte but a lyte.

 This book of which I make of mencioun,
 Entitled was al thus, as I shal telle,
 `Tullius of the dreme of Scipioun.';
 Chapitres seven hit hadde, of hevene and helle,
 And erthe, and soules that therinnr dwelle,
 Of whiche, as shortly as I can hit trete,
 Of his sentence I wol you seyn the grete.

 First telleth hit, whan Scipion was come
 In Afrik, how he mette Massinisse,
 That him for Ioye in armes hath y nome.
 Than telleth hit hir speche and al the blisse
 That was betwix hem, til the day gan misse;
 And how his auncestre, African so dere,
 Gan in his slepe that night to him appere.

 Than telleth hit that, fro a sterry place,
 How African hath him Cartage shewed,
 And warned him before of al his grace,
 And seyde him, what man, lered other lewed,
 That loveth comun profit, wel y-thewed,
 He shal unto a blisful place wende,
 Ther as Ioye is that last withouten ende.

 Than asked he, if folk that heer be dede
 Have lyf and dwelling in another place;
 And African seyde, `ye, withoute drede,'
 And that our present worldes lyves space
 Nis but a maner deth, what wey we trace,
 And rightful folk shal go, after they dye,
 To heven; and shewed him the galaxye.

 Than shewed he him the litel erthe, that heer is,
 At regard of the hevenes quantite;
 And after shewed he him the nyne speres,
 And after that the melodye herde he
 That cometh of thilke speres thryes three,
 That welle is of musyk and melodye
 In this world heer, and cause of armonye.

 Than bad he him, sin erthe was so lyte,
 And ful of torment and of harde grace,
 That he ne shulde him in the world delyte.
 Than tolde he him, in certeyn yeres space,
 That every sterre shulde come into his place
 Ther hit was first; and al shulde out of minde
 That in this worlde is don of al mankinde.

 Than prayde him Scipioun to telle him al
 The wey to come un-to that hevene blisse;
 And he seyde, `know thy-self first immortal,
 And loke ay besily thou werke and wisse
 To comun profit, and thou shalt nat misse
 To comen swiftly to that place dere,
 That ful of blisse is and of soules clere.

 But brekers of the lawe, soth to seyne,
 And lecherous folk, after that they be dede,
 Shul alwey whirle aboute therthe in peyne,
 Til many a world be passed, out of drede,
 And than, for-yeven alle hir wikked dede,
 Than shul they come unto that blisful place,
 To which to comen god thee sende his grace!' --

 The day gan failen, and the derke night,
 That reveth bestes from her besinesse,
 Berafte me my book for lakke of light,
 And to my bedde I gan me for to dresse,
 Fulfild of thought and besy hevinesse;
 For bothe I hadde thing which that I nolde,
 And eek I ne hadde that thing that I wolde.

 But fynally my spirit, at the laste,
 For-wery of my labour al the day,
 Took rest, that made me to slepe faste,
 And in my slepe I mette, as I lay,
 How African, right in the selfe aray
 That Scipioun him saw before that tyde,
 Was comen and stood right at my bedes syde.

 The wery hunter, slepinge in his bed,
 To wode ayein his minde goth anoon;
 The Iuge dremeth how his plees ben sped;
 The carter dremeth how his cartes goon;
 The riche, of gold; the knight fight with his foon;
 The seke met he drinketh of the tonne;
 The lover met he hath his lady wonne.

 Can I nat seyn if that the cause were
 For I had red of African beforn,
 That made me to mete that he stood there;
 But thus seyde he, `thou hast thee so