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Ode on the desi...
Night the Second.
302 The Fatal Sisters.....
Night the Ninth......
Vertumnus and Pomona...
Ode to the Right Honorable Francis, Earl of
Ode on the Death of Mr. Thomsou .....
The Turkey and the Ant......
Elegy on a Mad Dog ....
The Happy Man....
On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture out of
499 The Diverting History of John Gilpin.......... 617
The Auld Farmer's New-Year Morning Salu-
tation to his Auld Mare Maggie..... 733
The Cotter's Saturday Night...
The Death and Dying W rds of Poor Mailie
A Red, Red Rose....................
"Ae Fond Kiss”.....................
The Bonnie Lad that's Far Awa......
Whistle o'er the Lave'o't.............. .... 759
The Author's Farewell to his Native Country..
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, “the morning-star of linn. The characters composing this party are English poetry," was born at London, in 1328 exceedingly well drawn in the Prologue to the or 1340—the former date being generally ac- Tales, which we copy in full, and which is uncepted by his biographers, while the high au-doubtedly the best and most characteristic part thority of Sharon Turner prefers that of 1340. of the work. Several of the tales have been Little is accurately known of his life. One of paraphrased by Dryden and Pope; and in this his biographers represents him to have studied volume, among the selections from Dryden, will both at Cambridge and at Oxford, while another be found his versions of “The Knight's Tale," doubts whether he was a member of any college. “ The Wife of Bath's Tale," and the character He is supposed to have been entered as a stu. of the Good Parson. dent at the Inner Temple; but the evidence of Chaucer was a man of the world, as well as a. this is said to be merely a record that one Geof student; a soldier, courtier, and diplomatist, and frey Chaucer was fined two shillings for beating | all his life employed in affairs of importance and a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street. It is certain, difficulty, during one of the most brilliant and however, that at an early age be had become ac- also one of the most disastrous periods of Eng. quainted with personages of distinction ; for he lish history. He began his public career in the was a page to King Edward III., and was re- warlike and magnificent reign of Edward III., warded by that monarch in 1367 with an annu- / and ended it amid the convulsions and misfority of twenty marks. He appears afterward to tunes of that of Richard II. He had consehave become gentleman of the bedchamber to quently a vast and varied experience of men and the king, and in 1370 was sent abroad as a royal of affairs when in the calm evening of his life, at envoy. Two years later, he was sent to Genoa the age of sixty, he composed his Canterbury to negotiate for a naval force. On his return, Tales in the quiet repose of his country home. he was made partial comptroller of the customs This work affords a good idea of his character. of London, and was granted a daily allowance Like Shakespeare, he seems to have possessed of a pitcher of wine from the king's table. He a cheerful and benignant disposition, fond of was again emploved on a diplomatic mission to mirth and joviality, vet studious in the midst of France in 1377, the year in which Edward III. a busy life. He had a keen sense of the ludi. died. Chaucer, in the mean time, had married crous, and a fine capacity for comic delineaPhilippa Rouet, one of the queen's maids of tion. He hated fraud and superstition, and honor, whose sister was the wife of a great noble satirized them keenly, though always with good -John of Gaunt, “time - honored Lancaster," nature. This high connection secured for Chaucer the The latest critic of Chaucer, M. Taine, in his favor of the new king, Richard II., by whom he “History of English Literature," describes him was repeatedly employed on important commis as a poet “who, by his genius, education, and sions in various parts of the kingdom. Richard life, was enabled to know and to depict a whole was deposed in 1399; but his successor, Henry | world; but, above all, to satisfy the chivalric IV., the son of the Duke of Lancaster, being world and the splendid courts which shone upon closely related to Chaucer by marriage, treated the heights. He belonged to it, though learned him with additional favor, and granted him a and versed in all branches of scholastic knowllarge increase of pension. Chaucer died in 1400, edge; and he took such part in it that his life
which he had leased in Westminster. I from end to end was that of a man of the world. and was buried in the Abbey—the first of the and a man of action. . . . Like Froissart-better long line of poets whose ashes make the edifice than he-Chaucer could depict the character of illustrious. He appears to have been an adhe the nobles, their mode of life, their amours, rent of the doctrines of the reformer Wycliffe, even other things, and please them by his porand to have been occasionally persecuted in traiture. . . . Beyond the two notable character. consequence; so that, for some years, he was | istics which settle his place in his age and school an exile in France and Denmark. He resided in of poetry, there are others which take him out the latter years of his life at Woodstock, and / of his age and school. If he was romantic and subsequently at Donnington Castle, where he gay like the rest, it was after-a fashion of his wrote his latest and greatest work, “ The Can own. He observes characters, notes their difterbury Tales.” The plan of this was modelled ferences, studies the coherence of their parts, upon the “Decameron" of Boccaccio. It repre- and endeavors to bring forward living and dissents a company of twenty-nine pilgrims on their tinct persons-a thing unheard of in his time, way to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at Canter- but which the renovators in the sixteenth cen. bury, assembling at the Tabard Inn in South- tury, and first among them Shakespeare, will do wark, and agreeing each to tell a tale in going afterward. It is the English good sense and and returning; he who should tell the best tale aptitude for seeing the inside of things begin. to be treated by the others with a supper at the ning to appear."
THE CANTERBURY TALES.
| Aboven alle nations in Pruce.
In Lettowe hadde he reysed 18 and in Ruce,. THE PROLOGUE.
No cristen man so ofte of his degre.
In Gernade 14 at the siege eke hadde he be .: W ANNE tlæt Ankit with his shoures sote!
Of Algesir, and ridden in Belmarie. 15 .: The droughte of Märch hath perced to the rote, | At Leves 16 was he, and at Satalie, 17
And båthed every veine in swiche ? licour, Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete see 18 ::.:08. whiche.vertue engendred is the flour;
At many a noble armee hadde he be. ::::Whari Zephiris eke with his sote brethe At mortal batailles hadde he ben fiftene, :Erspired haihoin wory holtes and hethe
And foughten for our faith at Tramissene The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
In ligtes thries, and ay slain his fo. Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
This ilke worthy knight hadde ben also And smale foules" maken melodie,
Somtime with the lord of Palatie, 19 That slepen alle night with open eye,
Agen another hethen in Turkie: So priketh hem Nature in hir corages;
And evermore he hadde a sovereine pris. Than longen folk to gon on pilgrimages,
And though that he was worthy he was wise, And palmeres for to seken strange strondes, And of his port as meke as is a mayde. To serve halwes couthe" in sondry londes ; He never yet no vilanie ne sayde And specially, from every shires ende
In alle his lif, unto no manere 20 wight. Of Englelond, to Canterbury they wende,
He was a veray parfit gentil knight. The holy blisful martyr for to seke,
But for to tellen you of his araie, That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke. His hors was good, but he ne was not gaie. Befelle, that, in that seson on a day,
Of fustian he wered a gipon, 21 In South werk at the Tabard as I lay,
Alle besmotred "' with his habergeon, Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
For he was late ycome fro bis viage, 93
And wente for to don his pilgrimage.
With him ther was his sone a yonge squier, Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle 6
A lover, and a lusty bacheler, In felawship, and pilgrimes were they alle, With lockes crull 24 as they were laide in presse. That toward Canterbury wolden ride.
Of twenty yere of age he was I gesse.
And wonderly deliver, 25 and grete of strengthe.
And borne him wel, as of so litel space,
In hope to stonden in his ladies grace.
Embrouded was he, as it were a mede
Singing he was, or floyting of alle the day,
He was as freshe, as is the moneth of May.
Short was his goune, with sleves long and wide.
Wel coude he sitte on hors, and fayre ride.
He slep no more than doth the nightingale.
Curteis he was, lowly, and servisable,
And carf before his fader at the table. 28
A yeman 29 hadde he, and servantes no mo
At that time, for him luste to ride so;
And he was cladde in cote and hode of grene.
A shefe of peacock arwes 30 bright and kene
Under his belt he bare ful thriftily.
14 The city of Algezir was taken from the Moorish 1 Sweet ? Such. Grove. Birds. King of Granada in 1844.
16 Probably in Africa. o Known. Fallen. 7 Accommodated.
16 Layas, in Armenia.
17 Attalia. 8 Every one of them. . Their. 10 Farther. 18 Better, the “Grekish sea," i. e., the part of the Medi11 I. e., in A. D. 1865, by Pierre de Lusignan, King of terranean, from Sicily to Cyprus. Cyprus, who, however, immediately abandoned it.
10 Palathia in Anatolia 20 Meaner, inferior. 19 1. e. he had been placed at the head of the table :
21 A short cassock. 29 Smutted. 23 Journey. the usual compliment to extraordinary merit. When our 24 Curled.
26 Agile, nimble. military men wanted employment, it was usual for them 28 Playing on the flute. 27 Night-time. to go and serve in Pruse, or Prussia, with the knights of 38 It was anciently the custom for squires, of the highthe Teutonic order, who were in a state of constant war est quality, to carve at the sires' tables. fare with their heathen neighbours in Lettow (Lithuania), | 29 Yeman, or yeoman, is an abbreviation of yeongo Ruse (Russia), and elsewhere. A pagan King of Lettoro man, as youthe is of yeongthe. is mentioned by Walsingham, pp. 180, 848.-Tyrohitt.
by Walkingham. pp. 180. 848.-Tyrichitt. I 30 Arrows with peacock-feathers.