English, Department of


Date of this Version



Modern Language Notes, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Apr., 1896), pp. 97-102


THERE are five poems included in modern editions of Chaucer's works that are now generally recognized as not his. These are The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, The Complaint of a Lover's Life, The Flower and the Leaf, The Court of Love, and Chaucer's Dream. One other long work, the Englislh version of the famous French poem of the thirteenth century, Le Roman de la Rose, which has come down to us as translated by Chaucer, is now the subject of much dispute.

In conclusion, it would seem that henceforward it is for those who pronounce the translation spurious to prove their position, not for those who believe it genuine. It is within the bounds of possibility that some one else may have had the same sentence averages as Chaucer; but such a supposition is far from probable, and until such an individual is produced, the results presented here should seem decisive. It is remarkable enough that there should have been one author who was to stand ahead of his contemporaries so far as Chaucer. That there should have been two, and that the name of the second should not have survived, seems more than we should be asked to believe.