The Parliament of Fowls is perhaps Chaucer's most complete poem. It was composed between 1372 and 1386 and it comprises 699 lines of rhyme royal. The central topic of the poem is an assembly of birds to choose their mates on St Valentine's Day. This is why the poem has often been interpreted as an occasional poem allegorically celebrating the marriage of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia in 1382.

In the introductory passage the narrator tells us that after reading Scipio's Dream he has not what he wants, and has what he does not want. Then he goes to bed and dreams about Scipio's father, Africanus, who pushes him through a gate into an ideal garden. He meets many allegorical characters, until he eventually enters the Temple of Venus.

Outside again, he perceives Lady Nature presiding over the annual parliament of birds, when they assemble to choose their mates. A dispute arises about three tercel eagles who pay court to a shy formel eagle. The birds discuss the worth of various attitudes towards love, courtly or natural. The debate remains unresolved and Nature decides to postpone the matter to next year. Then each bird is given its mate by Lady Nature and they fly away singing a French roundel. The singing of the birds awakes the dreamer and the narrator promises to keep on reading more books in order to have better dreams.

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The Parliament of Fowls