Gateway to the Classics: Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by Arthur Quiller-Couch
Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by  Arthur Quiller-Couch

Lament for Chaucer

Allas! my worthi maister honorable,

This landes verray tresor and richesse!

Dethe by thy deth hath harm irreparable

Unto us done: hir vengeable duresse

Despoiled hath this land of the swetnesse

Of rethoryk; for unto Tullius

Was never man so like amonges us.

Also who was heyr in philosofye

To Aristotle in our tunge but thou?

The steppes of Virgile in poesye

Thou folwedest eke, men wote wel ynow.

Thou combre-worlde that the my maister slow—

Wolde I slayn were!—Dethe, was to hastyf

To renne on thee and reve thee thy lyf.

* * * * * *

She might han taried hir vengeance a whyle

Til that some man had egal to thee be;

Nay, let be that! she knew wel that this yle

May never man bring forthe like to thee,

And her office nedes do mote she:

God bad hir do so, I truste for the beste;

O maister, maister, God thy soule reste!

— Thomas Hoccleve

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