Chaucer: We goon wrong ful often, trewely

(Chaucer, from the Ellesmere Manuscript)

Surely we do not know exactly what we pray for; we behave like a man as drunk as a mouse. A drunk man knows very well that he has a home, but he does not know the right way to it; in addition, the road is slippery for a drunk man. Certainly, in the world we behave similarly. We try hard for happiness, but we very often go wrong.

–Chaucer, “The Knight’s Tale.” His Middle English verse, followed by R. M. Lumiansky’s prose modern English translation

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