I am the son in long line
Of the Clerk of Oxford.
I may not have long ago gone unto logic,
And many will say my speech is far
From full of moral virtue
(Although it is more formal than is common).
There are many things I would rather have in bed
Than books, however many, clad in black or red,
And I am not the equal of the greatest Geoffrey
In stature of employment or quality of rhyme
(Nor do I match Monmouth).
Yet I remain a devotee of learning,
Poor in pockets as my predecessor,
But rich in inner life which rot and moth cannot affect.
I seek after truth,
Or what I think is truth,
As I am called and as I have long been trained.
The truth I seek comes only from learning
As much as can be done.
And so I spend much on my books,
More than all save a few things,
And much of my time is given to reading them.
Certainly, I would rather earn more for the work I do than I do.
I would rather that greater respect came to me from the culture in which I live
For what I do.
But it does not.
I do it anyway.