Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Virginia
By Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340–1400)
 
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  THIS knight a doughter hadde by his wif.
No children had he mo in all his lif.
Faire was this maid in excellent beautee
Aboven every wight that man may see:
For nature hath with soveraine diligence        5
Yformed hire in so gret excellence,
As though she wolde sayn, lo, I Nature,
Thus can I forme and peint a creature,
Whan that me list; who can me contrefete?
Pigmalion? not, though he ay forge and bete,        10
Or grave, or peinte: for I dare wel sain,
Apelles, Xeuxis, shulden werche in vain,
Other to grave, or peinte, or forge, or bete,
If they presumed me to contrefete.
For he that is the Former principal,        15
Hath maked me his vicaire general
To forme and peinten erthly creatures
Right as me list, and eche thing in my cure is
Under the mone, that may wane and waxe.
And for my werk right nothing wol I axe;        20
My lord and I ben ful of one accord.
I made her to the worship of my Lord.
 
 
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