Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Monk's Tale (Selections)
  • Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Monk's Tale (Selections)

    This Julius to the Capitolie went
    Upon a day, as he was wont to goon,
    And in the Capitolie anon him hent
    This false Brutus and his other foon,
    85And sticked him with bodkins anon
    With many a wound, and thus they let him lie;
    But never groaned he at no stroke but one,
    Or else at two, but if his story lie.
    So manly was this Julius at heart
    90And so well loved estately honesty,
    That, though his deadly wounds sore smart,
    His mantle over his hips casteth he,
    For no man should see his privity.
    And, as he lay on dying in a trance,
    95And wist verily that dead was he,
    Of honesty yet had he remembrance.
    Lucan, to thee this story I recommend,
    And to Sueton, and to Valery also,
    That of this story written word and end,
    100How that to these great conquerors two
    Fortune was first friend, and sithen foe.
    No man ne trust upon her favour long,
    But have her in await for evermore.
    Witness on all these conquerors strong.