The modern title of a short poem by Geoffrey Chaucer. The poem is extant in 23 manuscript copies, making it Chaucer's single most popular work other than The Canterbury Tales. The fourth stanza (included below) is extant in only one of the 23 manuscripts; all others only have the first three. There are numerous slight but telling variations between the various manuscripts. I have used the version found in The Riverside Chaucer. The footnotes are my own.

Flee fro the prees1 and dwelle with sothfastnesse;
Suffyce unto thy thyng2, though it be smal,
For hord hath hate, and climbing tikalnesse3,
Prees hath envye, and wele4 blent5 overal.
Savour no more than thee bihove shal,
Reule wel thyself that other folk canst rede,
And trouth thee shal delivere, it is no drede6.

Tempest thee nought al croked7 to redresse
In trust of hir8 that turneth as a bal;
Gret reste stant in litel besiness.
Bewar therfore to sporne9 ayeyns10 an al11,
Stryve not, as doth the crokke12 with the wal.
Daunte13 thyself, that dauntest otheres dede14,
And trouth thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse15;
The wrastling for this world axeth16 a fal.
Her is non hoom, her nis but wildernesse:
Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al;
Hold the heye wey and lat thy gost thee lede,
And trouth thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

Therfore, thou Vache, leve thyn old wrecchednesse;
Unto the world leve now to be thral.
Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
Made thee of noght, and in especial
Draw unto him, and pray in general
For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede17;
And trouth thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

1 the prees: the press (perhaps, the crowd at court)
2 thyng: possessions
3 tikalnesse: ticklishness, uncertainty
4 wele: weal
5 blent: blinds
6 drede: doubt
7 croked: crookedness
8 hir: i.e. Lady Fortune (who turns her wheel)
9 sporne: kick
10 ayeyns: against
11 al: awl (which would be painful to kick against)
12 crokke: crock, which would break if thrown against a wall
13 Daunte: conquer
14 dede: deeds
15 buxumnesse: obedience
16 Vache: a pun: either Sir Philip de la Vache, a member of the court, or, a cow
16 axeth: asks
17 mede: reward