First taught the Muse to speak the English tongue.
Literature is generally subject to the 'law of evolutionary development. And though a man may do more than others by way of contributing to this development we should be chary of inferring upon him the medal of fatherhood. When it is said that Chaucer is the father of English poetry, and even the father of English literature we broadly mean that his contribution to the evolution of English poetry or literature is much more significant than that of his contemporaries and predecessors, and to be similarly rated is his introduction of so many novel features into it.
I cannot geste-rum, ram, ruf,-by lettere,
Ne, God wot, rym holde I but litel bettere.
As doon the sterres in the frosty night.
His music heard below,
Don Chaucer, the first -warbler, whose sweet breath
Preluded those melodious bursts thatfiU",
The spacious times of great Elizabeth
With sounds that echo still
The proper study of mankind is man.
That I for you have suffered, and so long!
Alas the death: alas, mine Emilie!
Alas, departing of our company!
Alas, mine hertes queen! alas my wife!
Mine hertes lady, ender of my life.
WJiat is this world? What asken men to have?
Now with his love; now in his colde grave,
Alone, withouten any company!
Farewell my sweet! farewell mine Emilie!
And softe take me in your armes rwey,
Fore love of God and heakeneth what I say.