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Proverbs by Geoffrey Chaucer
WHAT should these clothes thus manifold,
Lo! this hot summer's day?
After great heate cometh cold;
No man cast his pilche away.
Of all this world the large compass
Will not in mine arms twain;
Who so muche will embrace,
Little thereof he shall distrain.
The world so wide, the air so remuable,
The silly man so little of stature;
The green of ground and clothing so mutable,
The fire so hot and subtile of nature;
The water never in one -- what creature
That made is of these foure thus flitting,
May steadfast be, as here, in his living?
The more I go, the farther I am behind;
The farther behind, the nearer my war's end;
The more I seek, the worse can I find;
The lighter leave, the lother for to wend;
The better I live, the more out of mind;
Is this fortune, n'ot I, or infortune;
Though I go loose, tied am I with a loigne.