The History and Future of the Book

Middle English Writers & Authors

Chaucers wordes unto Adam, his owne scriveyn

Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe,
Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle,
But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe;
So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe,
It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape,
And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.

Scribe Adam, if ever it falls to you
To write again Boece or Troilus,
May you have the scab under your long locks,
Unless you write more truly after my composition;
So many times a day I must redo your work
To correct it, and also to rub and scrape;
And all is through your negligence and haste.