Poetry: From The House of Fame by Geoffrey Chaucer


From The House of Fame

Lo, how a woman goes amiss
In loving him that unknown is,
For, by Christ, lo, thus it fares:
All is not gold that glitters there.
For, as I hope to keep my head,
There may under charm instead
Be hidden many a rotten vice;
Therefore let none be so nice
As to judge a love by how he appear
Or by speech, or by friendly manner;
For this shall every woman find:
That some men are of that kind
That show outwardly their fairest,
Till they have got what they miss.
And then they will reasons find
Swearing how she is unkind,
Or false, or secret lover has.
All this say I of Aeneas
And Dido, so soon obsessed,
Who loved too swiftly her guest;
Therefore I will quote a proverb,
That ‘he who fully knows the herb
May safely set it to his eye’;
Certainly, that is no lie.

- Geoffrey Chaucer

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