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FLEE from the press, and dwell with soothfastness;
Suffice thee thy good, though it be small;
For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness,*              *instability
Press hath envy, and *weal is blent* o'er all,   *prosperity is blinded*
Savour* no more than thee behove shall;                *have a taste for
Read* well thyself, that other folk canst read;                 *counsel
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.*                    *doubt

Paine thee not each crooked to redress,
In trust of her that turneth as a ball; <2>
Great rest standeth in little business:
Beware also to spurn against a nail; <3>
Strive not as doth a crocke* with a wall;                   *earthen pot
Deeme* thyself that deemest others' deed,                         *judge
And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.

What thee is sent, receive in buxomness;*                    *submission
The wrestling of this world asketh a fall;
Here is no home, here is but wilderness.
Forth, pilgrim! Forthe beast, out of thy stall!
Look up on high, and thank thy God of all!
*Weive thy lust,* and let thy ghost* thee lead,             *forsake thy
 And truth thee shall deliver, it is no dread.             inclinations*

Notes to Good Counsel of Chaucer

1. This poem is said to have been composed by Chaucer "upon
his deathbed, lying in anguish."

2. Her that turneth as a ball: Fortune.

3. To spurn against a nail; "against the pricks."

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