Lament for Chaucer
ALLAS! my worthi maister honorable,
This landes verray tresor and richesse!
Deth by thy deth hath harme irreparable
Unto us doon: hir vengeable duresse
Despoiled hath this land of the swetnesse
Of rethorik; for unto Tullius
Was never man so lyk amonges us.
Also who was hier in philosophie
To Aristotle in our tonge but thou?
The steppes of Virgile in poesie
Thou folwedist eeke, men wot wel ynow.
Thou combre-worlde that the my maister slow--
Wolde I slayn were!--Deth, was to hastyf
To renne on thee and reve the thi lyf...
She myghte han taried hir vengeance a while
Til that sum man had egal to the be;
Nay, lat be that! sche knew wel that this yle
May never man forth brynge lyk to the,
And hir office needes do mot she:
God bad hir so, I truste as for the beste;
O maister, maister, God thi soule reste!