And, also domb as any stoon, Thou sittest at another book

From Chaucer’s House of Fame (647-660), a supposed biographical sketch of the poet that I’d rather be wrong in believing than right in deconstructing. The translation is borrowed from the apparently inexhaustible A.S. Kline (here)

And noght oonly fro fer contree
That ther no tydynge cometh to thee,
But of thy verray neyghebores,
That duellen almost at thy dores,
Thou herist neyther that ne this;
For when thy labour doon al ys,
And hast mad alle thy rekenynges,
In stede of reste and newe thynges
Thou goost hom to thy hous anoon,
And, also domb as any stoon,
Thou sittest at another book
Tyl fully daswed ys thy look;
And lyvest thus as an heremyte,
Although thyn abstynence ys lyte.


And not only that from far country
No tidings ever come to thee,
But of your very own neighbours
That dwell almost at your doors,
You hear neither that nor this;
For when your labours finish,
And you’ve made your reckoning,
Instead of rest and new things,
You go home to your house anon;
And, as dumb as any stone,
You sit down to another book
Till full dazed is your look,
And live thus like a hermit,
Though abstaining never a bit.

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