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He made the boke of Caunterbury Tales;
Whan the Pylgryms rode on rylgryniaye
Throughout Kent, by hylles and by dales,
And all the stories told in their passage,
Endited them full well in our langage,
Some of knighthode, some of gentilmelle,
And some of love, and some of perfitenes,
And some also of grete moralite,
Some of difporte, including grete sentence :
In prose he wrote The Tale of Melibe
And of his wife, that called was Prudence;
And of Grifildes perfite pacience;
And how the Monke of stories new and olde
Pitous tragedies by the weye tolde.
This sayed poete, my maister, in his dayes
Made and compiled ful many a fresh dite,
Complaintes, ballades, roundeles, virelaies,
Ful dele&able to heren and to se,
For which men shulde of right and equite,
Sith he of English in making was the best,
Pray unto God to yeve his foule good relt.
The same author, ibid. l. I, c.
But if ye liit have clere inspectioun
Of this story upon every side
Reade The Legende of Cupide,
Which that Chaucer in order as they stode
Compyled of Women that were called Gode.
Touchyng the story of Kyng Pandion,
And of his godely fayre doughters twayne,
How Thereus, false of condicion,
Them to deceive did his bely payne;
They bothe nadied of beauty foverayne,
Gudely Progne and yonge Philomene,
Bothe innocentis of intent full ciene.
Their pitous fate in open to expresie
It were to me but a presumption,
Syth that Chaucer did his befinelle
In his Legende as made is mencion,
Their martyrdome and their passion
For to reherse them did his besy payne,
As chiefe peete called of Brytayne.
Of Good Women a boke he did write,
The number uncomplete fully of nynetene,
And there the story plainely he did endite
Of Thereus, Progne, and Philomene,
Where ye may fe their legende; thus I mene
Do them worltyp, and forth their life do shewe
For a clere iyrror, because there be but fewe.
The same, on the praise of the Virgin Mary, printed by
Wyllyam Caxton, cap. xxxiii. A commendacion of Chau
Anveke my master Chauceris now is grave,
The noble rethor poete of Brytayne,
ac worthy was the lawrer to have
of poetrye, and the palme attayne,
That made first to dystylle and rayne
The gold dewe dropys of speche and eloquence
Into our tunge thrugh his excellence,
And fonde the flouris firit of rethoryke-Lise
Our rude fpeche only to enlumyne,
That in our tunge was never none hym lyke,
For as the fonne doth in heven shyne,
In mydday spere down to us by lyne, 7
In whos presence no fterre may appere, : 1.:*
Right so his ditees withouten ony pere,
Every niakyng with his light distayne,
In fothfastnes whoso takyth hede,
Wherfore no wonder though myn herte playne
Upon his deth, and for forow blede,
For want of hym now in my grete nede
That shold, allas! conveye and directe,
And with his supporte amende and correcte
The wronge traces of my rude penne,
There as i erre and goo not lync right;
But for that he ne may me not kenne
I can no more but with al my myght,
With al myn herte and myn inward light,
Prayeth for hym that now lyeth in cheste,
To God above to yeve his fowle good reste.
And as I can forthe I wyl procede,
Sithen of his helpe ther may no socour be, Sc.
Anonymous verses taken by Mr. Speght out of a Icok of Mr.
O Fathers and founders of enornat eloquence,
That enlumined have our grete Britaine! "
To fone we have lost onr lauriat science;
O lustie licour of that fulsome fountaine!
O cursed Death! why haft thou those poets Naine ?
1 mene Gower, Chaucer, and Gaufride (c);
Alas the time that ever they fro us dide!.
7 Gawin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, in the prefáceto bistrane
pation of Virgil's Æneis, printed at Edin. 1710, p.9. Tuock venerabill Chaucere, principall poete but pere, Hevinly trumpet, orlege and regulere, In eloquence balme, condict and diall, Mylky fountane, clere ftrand, and rois riall, Of fresche endite throw Albioun iland braid, In his Legend of Notabillis Ladyis faid That he couth follow word by word Virgill, &c. 7 Leland, in bis Encomia illuftrium Virorum, Coll. vol. v p. 141.
In laudem Gallofridi Chaucer, Ifiaci, Dum juga montis aper, frondes dum læta volucris, Squamiger & liquidas piscis amabit aquas, Mæonides Græcæ linguæ clariffimus auctor
(c) Geoffrey Vinesalve.
Aonio primus carmine semper erit;
Altisonusque lyræ, Phæbo applaudente, Latinæ
Gloria Virgilius maxima semper erit:
Nec minus & nofter Galfridus summa Britannæ
Chaucerus Mufæ gratia femper erit.
Jllos quis nescit felicia secla tuliffc?
Hunc ætas tantum protulit illa rudis..
Tempora vidiffet quod li florentia Mufis,
Aquaffet celebres, vel superaffet avos.
Idem, ibid. P: 141:
Prædicar Aligerum merito Florentia Danteni,
Italia & numeros tota (Petrarcha) tuos ;
Anglia Chaucerum veneratur noftra poetam, :
Cui veneres debet patrią lingua suas. . I.
Idem, ibid p. 152. This ecas geritten by „Leland at the re
queft of Tbomas Deribebet, a diligent and learned printer, who first printed Chaucer's Works, put out by Mr.
Quum (e) vivum teres Atticus leporem
Inveniffet, & undecunque Græcam
Linguani perpoliiffet, insolenter
(f) Audebat reliquos, rudes vocare;
Cujus (8) judicium inipiger Quirinus
(d) Leland in Chaucer's life. (e) Lel. in vita Chauceri. al. novum brevis. (f) Al. Barbaros reliquos vocare cæpit.
(8) Al. veftigia.