Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342-1400)
“Changeable Fortune, O unstable Chance,
Thine is the scorpion’s treacherous advance!
Thy head all flattery, about to sting,
Thy tail a death, and death by poisoning.
O Brittle joy, O venom sweet and strange,
O monster that so subtly canst arrange
Thy gifts and colour them with all the dyes
Of durability to catch the wise
And foolish too!”
- From The Canterbury Tales (The Merchant’s Tale) by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated into modern English by Nevill Coghill (Penguin Classics, 2003).