Poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer (To the Purse and Counsel)

Geoffrey Chaucer

To the majority of readers Geoffrey Chaucer is known as the author The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida. But there were smaller poems he composed, and here come the two of them. In the first, Chaucer addressed his purse; the second he was said to have written on his deathbed, “lying in anguish”.

The Complaint Of Chaucer To His Purse
To you, my purse, and to none other wight,
Complain I, for ye be my lady dear!
I am sorry now that ye be so light,
For certes ye now make me heavy cheer;
Me were as lief be laid upon my bier.
For which unto your mercy thus I cry,
Be heavy again, or elles must I die!
Now vouchesafe this day, ere it be night,
That I of you the blissful sound may hear,
Or see your colour like the sunne bright,
That of yellowness hadde peer.Ye be my life!
Ye be my hearte’s steer! rudder
Queen of comfort and of good company!
Be heavy again, or elles must I die!
Now, purse! that art to me my life’s light
And savour, as down in this worlde here,
Out of this towne help me through your might,
Since that you will not be my treasurere;
For I am shave as nigh as any frere.
But now I pray unto your courtesy,
Be heavy again, or elles must I die!
Chaucer’s Envoy to the King.
O conqueror of Brute’s Albion,
Which by lineage and free election
Be very king, this song to you I send;
And ye which may all mine harm amend,
Have mind upon my supplication!
Good Counsel Of Chaucer
Flee from the press, and dwell with soothfastness;
Suffice thee thy good, though it be small;
For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness,
Press hath envy, and weal is blent o’er all,
Savour no more than thee behove shall;
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.
Paine thee not each crooked to redress,
In trust of her that turneth as a ball;
Great rest standeth in little business:
Beware also to spurn against a nail;
Strive not as doth a crocke with a wall;
Deeme thyself that deemest others’ deed,
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.
What thee is sent, receive in buxomness;
The wrestling of this world asketh a fall;
Here is no home, here is but wilderness.
Forth, pilgrim! Forthe beast, out of thy stall!
Look up on high, and thank thy God of all!
Weive thy lust, and let thy ghost thee lead,
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.

Shaken, Not Stirred: A Brief Review

Tomorrow Russia and a few like-minded countries celebrate the International Women’s Day. I wrote a post on this earlier. Some countries, like the UK, celebrate Mother’s Day, hence there will be a Mothering Sunday.

For me, these will be days off work that I want to spend exactly as days-off.

In the third week of February I went to the UK and this time I finally crossed the border with Scotland and wandered around Edinburg. I very briefly, for a couple of seconds, contemplated visiting Glasgow, but then I remembered visiting the UK for the first time. I never visited London then, which is the capital city. I reckoned visiting Glasgow instead of Edinburgh would be like entering the same river twice, and since you cannot enter the same river twice, I bought a ticket to Edinburgh.

I was also contracted to do some translation work, one project having been completed the day I flew out to Manchester, another that I’m involved in as a collaborator is nearly finished.

There are more work projects, all in the Translation field so far, plus I’ve surprised myself by going back to teaching. Granted I teach World History, in which I specialised, it is probably no wonder. However, I still did not expect myself to do this, and yet… I have never said “never”, so I suppose I could do as I choose.

The best thing, as I feel it, is that certain days and weeks are already booked for months ahead. Only those who know the feeling will understand how grand it is to be able to look into a diary to see that you have things to do three weeks from now.

I have also nearly missed the worldwide craze Harlem Shake videos caused this February. It seems like everybody participated, from Amazon and Google to the Egyptian opposition. And yet I found two videos which you might not have seen yet. Harlem Shake reached the English National Ballet (!) and a group of Russian guys who like an occasional ice-water dip. The eponymous holiday was celebrated in January, but this was quite an Epiphany! I’m afraid you’ll have to watch it on YouTube.

And while the Russian TV has to keen a close watch on the age restrictions for programmes, when it comes to Harlem Shake, everyone is doing it, including a popular TV host and actor Ivan Urgant:

(I thus declare that Los Cuadernos de Julia has participated in the Harlem Shake global tour).