Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400 / London, England)

Against Women Unconstant


Madame, for youre newefangelnesse,
Many a servant have ye put out of grace.
I take my leve of your unstedefastnesse,
For wel I woot, whil ye have lives space,
Ye can not love ful half yeer in a place,
To newe thing youre lust is ay so keene;
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al greene.
Right as a mirour nothing may enpresse,
But, lightly as it cometh, so mote it pace,
So fareth youre love, youre werkes bereth witnesse.
Ther is no faith that may your herte enbrace;
But, as a wedercok, that turneth his face
With every wind, ye fare, and this is seene;
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al greene.

Ye might be shrined, for youre brothelnesse,
Bet that Dalida, Criseide or Candace;
For ever in chaunging stant youre sikernesse;
That tache may no wight fro yuor herte arace.
If ye lese oon, ye can wel twain purchace;
Al light for somer, ye woot wel what I mene,
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al greene.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Ian Fraser (12/2/2009 11:08:00 AM)

    One of the most elegant putdowns ever written. Nothing has changed in seven centuries, except the odd word or two. (Report) Reply

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