The House of Fame: the Eagle’s Summation, ll. 848-869

Read by Tom Farrell
as edited by John H. Fisher
in The Complete Poetry and Prose of Geoffrey Chaucer

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“Than ys this the conclusyoun,
That every speche of every man,
As y the telle first began,
Moveth up on high to pace
Kyndely to Fames place.

Telle me this now feythfully,
Have y not preved thus symply,
Withoute any subtilite
Of speche, or gret prolixite
Of termes of philosophie,
Of figures of poetrie,
Or colours of rethorike?
Pardee, hit oughte the to lyke,
For hard langage and hard matere
Ys encombrous for to here
Attones. Wost thou not wel this?”

And y answered and seyde, “Yis.”

“Aha” quod he, “lo, so I can
Lewedly to a lewed man
Speke, and shewe hym swyche skiles
That he may shake hem be the biles,
So palpable they shulden be.”