More about John Gower
John Gower Quotes
11 Sourced Quotes
Bot for men sein, and soth it is,
That who that al of wisdom writ
It dulleth ofte a mannes wit
To him that schal it aldai rede,
For thilke cause, if that ye rede,
I wolde go the middel weie
And wryte a bok betwen the tweie,
Somwhat of lust, somewhat of lore.
What is a lond wher men ben none?
What ben the men whiche are alone
Withoute a kinges governance?
What is a king in his ligance,
Wher that ther is no lawe in londe?
What is to take lawe on honde,
Bot if the jugges weren trewe?
Was non, which half so loste his wit
Of drinke, as thei of such thing do
Which cleped is the jolif wo.
But in proverbe I have herde say,
That who that wel his werk beginneth,
The rather a good end he winneth.
He hath the sor which no man heleth,
The which is cleped lack of herte.
The beauté faye upon her face
Non erthly thing it may desface.
For whan men wene best to have achieved,
Ful ofte it is al newe to beginne:
The werre hath no thing siker, thogh he winne.
It hath and schal ben evermor
That love is maister wher he wile.
O fol of alle foles,
Thou farst as he betwen tuo stoles
That wolde sitte and goth to grounde.
For who that noght dar undertake,
Be riht he schal no profit take
[For who that dare not undertake,
By right he shall no profit take.
i.e., Nothing ventured, nothing gained.]
A king may spille, a king may save; A king may make of lorde a knave; And of a knave a lorde also.
Quote of the day
In passing, we should note this curious mark of our own age: the only absolute allowed is the absolute insistence that there is no absolute.
John Gower was an English poet, a contemporary of William Langland and the Pearl Poet, and a personal friend of Geoffrey Chaucer.
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