The House Of Fame

BOOK I Incipit liber primus.

  God turne us every dreem to gode!
  For hit is wonder, be the rode,
  To my wit, what causeth swevens
  Either on morwes, or on evens;
  And why the effect folweth of somme,
  And of somme hit shal never come;
  Why that is an avisioun,
  And this a revelacioun,
  Why this a dreem, why that a sweven,
  And nat to every man liche even;
  Why this a fantom, these oracles,
  I noot; but who-so of these miracles
  The causes knoweth bet than I,
  Devyne he; for I certeinly
  Ne can hem noght, ne never thinke
  To besily my wit to swinke,
  To knowe of hir signifiaunce
  The gendres, neither the distaunce
  Of tymes of hem, ne the causes,
  For-why this more than that cause is;
  As if folkes complexiouns
  Make hem dreme of reflexiouns;
  Or ellis thus, as other sayn,
  For to greet feblenesse of brayn,
  By abstinence, or by seeknesse,
  Prison, stewe, or greet distresse;
  Or elles by disordinaunce
  Of naturel acustomaunce,
  That som man is to curious
  In studie, or melancolious,
  Or thus, so inly ful of drede,
  That no man may him bote bede;
  Or elles, that devocioun
  Of somme, and contemplacioun
  Causeth swiche dremes ofte;
  Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
  Which these ilke lovers leden
  That hopen over muche or dreden,
  That purely hir impressiouns
  Causeth hem avisiouns;
  Or if that spirites have the might
  To make folk to dreme a-night
  Or if the soule, of propre kinde
  Be so parfit, as men finde,
  That hit forwot that is to come,
  And that hit warneth alle and somme
  Of everiche of hir aventures
  Be avisiouns, or by figures,
  But that our flesh ne hath no might
  To understonden hit aright,
  For hit is warned to derkly; --
  But why the cause is, noght wot I.
  Wel worthe, of this thing, grete clerkes,
  That trete of this and other werkes;
  For I of noon opinioun
  Nil as now make mensioun,
  But only that the holy rode
  Turne us every dreem to gode!
  For never, sith that I was born,
  Ne no man elles, me biforn,
  Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
  So wonderful a dreem as I
  The tenthe day dide of Decembre,
  The which, as I can now remembre,
  I wol yow tellen every del,

  The Invocation

  But at my ginninge, trusteth wel,
  I wol make invocacioun,
  With special devocioun,
  Unto the god of slepe anoon,
  That dwelleth in a cave of stoon
  Upon a streem that cometh fro Lete,
  That is a flood of helle unswete;
  Besyde a folk men clepe Cimerie,
  Ther slepeth ay this god unmerie
  With his slepy thousand sones
  That alway for to slepe hir wone is --
  And to this god, that I of rede,
  Prey I, that he wol me spede
  My sweven for to telle aright,
  If every dreem stonde in his might.
  And he, that mover is of al
  That is and was, and ever shal,
  So yive hem Ioye that hit here
  Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
  And for to stonden alle in grace
  Of hir loves, or in what place
  That hem wer levest for to stonde,
  And shelde hem fro poverte and shonde,
  And fro unhappe and eche disese,
  And sende hem al that may hem plese,
  That take hit wel, and scorne hit noght,
  Ne hit misdemen in her thoght
  Through malicious entencioun.
  And who-so, through presumpcioun,
  Or hate or scorne, or through envye,
  Dispyt, or Iape, or vilanye,
  Misdeme hit, preye I Iesus god
  That (dreme he barfoot, dreme he shod),
  That every harm that any man
  Hath had, sith that the world began,
  Befalle him therof, or he sterve,
  And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
  Lo! with swich a conclusioun
  As had of his avisioun
  Cresus, that was king of Lyde,
  That high upon a gebet dyde!
  This prayer shal he have of me;
  I am no bet in charite!
  Now herkneth, as I have you seyd,
  What that I mette or I abreyd.

  The Dream

  Of Decembre the tenthe day,
  Whan hit was night, to slepe I lay
  Right ther as I was wont to done,
  And fil on slepe wonder sone,
  As he that wery was for-go
  On pilgrimage myles two
  To the corseynt Leonard,
  To make lythe of that was hard.
  But as
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Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. more…

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"The House Of Fame" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14657/the-house-of-fame>.

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