Confessio Amantis By John
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Confessio Amantis (Lover’s Confession),
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: I wol the tell aboven alle, In whom no vertu may befalje, Whiche yiveth unto the vices reft And is of flouthe the flowed. Abfque labore vagus vir inutilis ocia plefiens Nefeio quid prefens vita valebit el, Non amor in tali mifero viget, immo valoris £ui faciunt opera clamat habere fuas. Hie loquitur con- Among thefe other of flouthes kinde, Whiche alle labour fet behinde, And hateth alle befmefle, tumcuituranuiiiu, There is yet one, whiche idelnefle occupacionis ilili- J genciam admit- js cleped, and is the norice tens, cumfcumque ' cau- In mannes kinde of every vice, fe non attingit. , . , .. . . - / i Which lecheth eles many folde. In winter doth he nought for colde, In fomer may he nought for hete, So wether that he frefe or fwete, Or be he in, or be he oute, He woll ben idel all aboute. But if he pleie ought at dees, For who as ever take fees And thenketh worfhip to deferve, There is no lord whome he woll ferve As for to dwelle in his fervice. But if it were in fuche a wife, Of that he feeth par aventure, That by lordfhip and by coverture He may the more ftonde ftille And ufe his idelnefle at wille, For he ne woll no travail take To ride for his ladies fake, But liveth all upon his wisfhes, And as a cat wold etc fisfhes Withoute weting of his clees, So wolde he do, but netheles He faileth ofte of that he wolde. My fone, if thou of fuche a molde Art made, now tell me plein thy mrift. Nay fader, god I yive a yift, Amans. That toward love, as by wit All idel was I never yit, Ne never (hall, while I may go. Now fone, telle me than fo, Confeflbr. What haft thou done of befifhip To love and to the ladyfhip Of her, which thy lady is ? My fader, ever yet er this Confeflio In every place, in every ftede, What fo my lady ha...
About the Author
John Gower, 1325?-1408
Poet. Although few details of his life have come down to us, he appears to have been a man of wealth and importance, connected with Kent, well known at Court, and in possession of more than one estate. He was the friend of Chaucer, who gives him the title of “the moral Gower,” which has clung to him ever since. His first principal work was Speculum Meditantis (the Mirror of one meditating) written in French on the subject of married life. It was long believed to have been lost. It was followed by Vox Clamantis (the Voice of one crying) written in Latin, giving an account of the peasants’ revolt of 1381, and attacking the misgovernment and social evils which had led to it. His third, and only English poem, was Confessio Amantis (Lover’s Confession), a work of 30,000 lines, consisting of tales and meditations on love, written at the request of Richard II. It is the earliest large collection of tales in the English tongue.
In his old age Gower became blind. He had, when about 70, retired to the Priory of St. Mary Overies, the chapel of which is now the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark, where he spent his last years, and to which he was a liberal benefactor. Gower represented the serious and cultivated man of his time, in which he was reckoned the equal of Chaucer, but as a poet he is heavy and prolix.
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