Oh, my second post of the day already. sloopjonb has a meme to come up with a quote because yesterday was (apparently) Chaucer’s deathday. I did The Pardoner’s Tale for A-Level and this has always stuck in my head:
…for I ne can nat finde
A man, though that I walked in-to Inde,
Neither in citee nor in no village,
That wolde change his youthe for myn age;
And therefore moot I han myn age stille,
As longe time as it is goddes wille.
No deeth, allas! Ne wol not han my lyf;
Thus walke I, lyk a restless caityf,
And on the ground, which is my modres gate,
I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late,
And seye, “leve moder, leet me in!
Lo, how I vanish, flesh and blood and skin!
Allas! Whan shul my bones been at reste?...”
That knocking with the staff is such a powerful image I've never forgotten it. I get so annoyed when people use the word 'medieval' as though it meant 'primitive'.