Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of sayings and quotations by Geoffrey Chaucer on literature, life, love and wisdom.

51 Insightful Quotes By Geoffrey Chaucer, The Father Of English Literature

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet

Born On: 1343 AD

Died On: October 25, 1400

Born In: London, United Kingdom

Died At Age: 57

Geoffrey Chaucer was the first writer to use English language in his works. He was exalted for his work, ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Geoffrey is considered to be the ‘Father of English Literature’ and the first poet to be buried at the ‘Poets Coroner’ at Westminster Abbey. Besides being an astronomer, author and philosopher he also served as a bureaucrat, diplomat and courtier. ‘The Book of the Duchess’ was his first major work. His writings covered varied topics and through these he expressed his thoughts, which became popular as quotations and sayings. His later books like ‘The House of Fame’, 'Troilus and Criseyde', 'Parlement of Foules' and 'The Legend of Good Women' earned him recognition. He is believed to have died in October 1400, as no further furnished records were found. His writings, essays, sayings and quotes were a work of art. We have put together a collection of some of his notable quotes.
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Patience is a conquering virtue.

Geoffrey Chaucer

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.

Geoffrey Chaucer

What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.

Geoffrey Chaucer

People can die of mere imagination

Geoffrey Chaucer

If gold rusts, what then can iron do?

Geoffrey Chaucer

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Geoffrey Chaucer

The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people

Geoffrey Chaucer

No empty handed man can lure a bird

Geoffrey Chaucer

Forbid Us Something and That Thing we Desire

Geoffrey Chaucer

. . . if gold rust, what then will iron do?/ For if a priest be foul in whom we trust/ No wonder that a common man should rust. . . .

Geoffrey Chaucer

Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Expierience treacherous. Judgement difficult.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Purity in body and heart May please some--as for me, I make no boast. For, as you know, no master of a household Has all of his utensils made of gold; Some are wood, and yet they are of use.

Geoffrey Chaucer

How potent is the fancy! People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination.

Geoffrey Chaucer

The guilty think all talk is of themselves.

Geoffrey Chaucer

And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Ful wys is he that kan himselve knowe.

Geoffrey Chaucer

I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity. A Knight's Tale

Geoffrey Chaucer

Love will not be constrain'd by mastery. When mast'ry comes, the god of love anon Beateth his wings, and, farewell, he is gone. Love is a thing as any spirit free.

Geoffrey Chaucer

By God, if women had written stories, As clerks had within here oratories, They would have written of men more wickedness Than all the mark of Adam may redress.

Geoffrey Chaucer

But Christ's lore and his apostles twelve, He taught and first he followed it himself.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Yet do not miss the moral, my good men. For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well Is written down some useful truth to tell. Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.

Geoffrey Chaucer

All that glitters is not gold,

Geoffrey Chaucer

One flesh they are; and one flesh, so I'd guess, Has but one heart, come grief or happiness.

Geoffrey Chaucer

You are the cause by which I die.

Geoffrey Chaucer

If no love is, O God, what fele I so? And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo? If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me

Geoffrey Chaucer

For hym was levere have at his beddes heed Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, Of Aristotle and his philosophie, Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.

Geoffrey Chaucer

And once he had got really drunk on wine, Then he would speak no language but Latin.

Geoffrey Chaucer

For if a priest be foul, on whom we trust, No wonder is a common man should rust" -The Prologue of Chaucers Canterbury Tales-

Geoffrey Chaucer

Time and Tide wait for no man

Geoffrey Chaucer

And high above, depicted in a tower, Sat Conquest, robed in majesty and power, Under a sword that swung above his head, Sharp-edged and hanging by a subtle thread.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye. Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,

Geoffrey Chaucer

The man who has no wife is no cuckold.

Geoffrey Chaucer

And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo?

Geoffrey Chaucer

I'll die for stifled love, by all that's true.

Geoffrey Chaucer

For thus men seyth, "That on thenketh the beere, But al another thenketh his ledere.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!

Geoffrey Chaucer

O woman’s counsel is so often cold! A woman’s counsel brought us first to woe, Made Adam out of Paradise to go Where he had been so merry, so well at ease.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Lo, which a greet thing is affeccioun! Men may die of imaginacioun, So depe may impressioun be take.

Geoffrey Chaucer

When that Aprille with his shoures sote. The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertue engendred is the flour.

Geoffrey Chaucer

By God," quod he, "for pleynly, at a word, Thy drasty rymyng is nat worth a toord!

Geoffrey Chaucer

And shame it is, if that a priest take keep, To see a shitten shepherd and clean sheep:

Geoffrey Chaucer

It is ful fair a man to bere him evene,/For alday meeteth men at unset stevene.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Three years went by in happiness and health; He bore himself so well in peace and war That there was no one Theseus valued more.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Men may the wise atrenne, and naught atrede.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Then the Miller fell off his horse.

Geoffrey Chaucer

For sondry scoles maken sotile clerkis; Womman of manye scoles half a clerk is.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Ne nevere mo ne lakked hire pite; Tendre-herted, slydynge of corage; But trewely, I kan nat telle hire age.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Thus in this heaven he took his delight And smothered her with kisses upon kisses Till gradually he came to know where bliss is.

Geoffrey Chaucer

But of no nombre mencioun made he, Of bigamye, or of octogamye33. Why sholde men thanne speke of it vileinye34?

Geoffrey Chaucer