Controlling the Tongue - Poem by Geoffrey Chaucer

Controlling the Tongue -

Rating: 4.5

My son, keep well thy tongue, and keep thy friend.
A wicked tongue is worse than a fiend;
My son, from a fiend men may them bless.
My son, God of his endless goodness
Walled a tongue with teeth and lips eke,
For man should him avise what he speak.
My son, full oft, for too much speech
Hath many a man been spilt, as clerkes teach;
But for little speech avisely
Is no man shent, to speak generally.
My son, thy tongue shouldst thou restrain
At all time, but when thou dost thy pain
To speak of God, in honour and prayer.
The first virtue, son, if thou wilt lere,
Is to restrain and keep well thy tongue;
Thus learn children when that they been young.
My son, of muckle speaking evil-avised,
Where less speaking had enough sufficed,
Cometh muckle harm; thus was me told and taught.
In muckle speech sin wanteth nought.
Wost thou whereof a rakel tongue serveth?
Right as a sword forcutteth and forcarveth
An arm a-two, my dear son, right so
A tongue cutteth friendship all a-two.

Barry Middleton 09 June 2016

How did Chaucer know about Donald Trump so long ago?

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Nilima Deb 09 June 2016

what a thought! highly appreciated.lovely write with passionate expressions of wording.

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Edward Kofi Louis 09 June 2016

YES! A wicked tongue is worse than a fiend. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Alem Hailu G/kristos 09 June 2016

Yes venomous remarks break the bone or cut to the bone!

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Chinedu Dike 13 February 2023

Great lines!

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Suresh Raavi 13 February 2023

It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece that encourages readers to reflect on their own communication habits and to strive for greater wisdom and restraint in their speech.

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Susan Williams 09 June 2016

Everyday I wake and remind myself to bridle my tongue- it's an unruly thing and fights the bit something awful. Chaucer certainly had it right, as did the Bible. Barry below has a point and I'm all for putting a gag on that Trumpet's big mouth! ! ! !

6 1 Reply
Onuora Ilodibe 09 June 2016

The tongue can implicate faster than actions. Sometime

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Ratnakar Mandlik 09 June 2016

Legacy of wisdom has been passed to gen next deftly.

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