Tag Archives: Middle English


A translation/adaptation [by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess] of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde [Book IV, lines 1-7]

Alas, one’s joy’s for but a little while
Since changes make the Lady Fortune grin.
She seems the truest when she would beguile.
With her songs she reels her blinded captives in
Then proves as false as traitor’s ever been.
When, from her wheel, she casts a person down,
She laughs to see her helpless victim frown.

The Original Passage:
But al to litel, weylaway the whyle,
Lastesth swich joie, ythonked be Fortune,
That semeth trewest whan she wol bygyle
And kan to fooles so hire song entune
That she hem hent and blent, traitour comune!
And whan a wight is from hire whiel ythrowe,
Than laugeht she, and maketh hym the mow.


“Little Bo Peep” and “The Wife of Bath”–2 Clerihews by Paul Burgess

“Little Bo Peep”
Neglectful Little Miss Bo Peep
So poorly tends her flock of sheep
That Earth and Heaven now forbid
Her being mother to a kid.

“The Wife of Bath”
Chaucer’s loving Wife of Bath
Began to learn the art of math
To help her better keep the count
Of men who she’d been known to mount.