Saturday, March 03, 2018


Mobile Vulgus

Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, "Clerk's Tale," lines 995-1001:
O stormy peple, unsad and evere untrewe!        995
Ay undiscreet and chaungynge as a vane,
Delitynge evere in rumbul that is newe;
For lyk the moone ay wexe ye and wane,
Ay ful of clappyng, deere ynogh a jane,
Youre doom is fals, youre constance yvele preeveth,        1000
A ful greet fool is he that on yow leeveth!
995 unsad: inconstant, unreliable

999 jane: "A small silver coin of Genoa introduced into England towards the end of the 14th century" (Oxford English Dictionary)

1001 leeveth: believes, trusts

In Nevill Coghill's modern English version:
O stormy people, frivolous and fickle,
Void of true judgement, turning like a vane,
Whom every novelty and rumour tickle,
How like the moon you are to wax and wane,
Clapping your praises, shouting your disdain,
False judges, dear at a penny as a rule,
Who trusts to your opinion is a fool.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?