Astronomical Lore in Chaucer

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Chaucer wrote no poetical work having a cosmogra phical background as completely set forth as is that in Dante's Divine Comedy or that in Milton's Paradise Lost. Although his cosmological references are Often incidental they are not introduced in a pedantic manner. Whenever they are not parts of interpolations from other writers his use of them is due to their intimate relation to the life his poetry portrays or to his appreciation of their poetic value. When Chaucer says, for example, that the sun has grown Old and shines in Capricorn with a paler light than is his wont, he is not using a merely conventional device for showing that winter has come, but is expressing this fact in truly poetic manner and in words quite comprehensible to the men of his day, who were accustomed to think of time relations in terms of heavenly phenomena.

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