From "The General Prologue" of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also,
That unto logyk hadd longe ygo.
As leene was his hors as is a rake,
And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
But looked holwe, and therto sobrely.
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy,
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Ne was so wordly for to have office.
For hym was levere have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak and reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente,
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente,
And bisily gan for the soules preye
Of hem that yag hym wherwith to scoleye.
Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede.
Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence
And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence;
Sownynge in a moral vertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.
The entire "General Prologue"