Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  13. Lament for Chaucer

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Thomas Hoccleve. 1368–9?–1450?

13. 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         5
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  10
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  15
Til that sum man had egal to the be; 
Nay, lat be that! sche knew wel that this y1e 
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;  20
O maister, maister, God thi soule reste! 
GLOSS:  hier] heir.  combre-worlde] encumberer of earth.  slow] slew.