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The Oxford Cleric is still a student. He has a horse that is quite skinny, meaning the man is probably poor. He is skinny also and his clothes are bare. Any money that is given to him by his friends is spent on learning or books and he is grateful for it . He is not involved in the church. He said no more than was needed but what he spoke was wise and full of moral virtue.

Chaucer believes the cleric is a good person. He says he has good morals and does his job as a scholar. Chaucer thinks highly of him.

THE CLERK
A clerk from Oxford was with us also,
Who'd turned to getting knowledge, long ago.
As meagre was his horse as is a rake,
Nor he himself too fat, I'll undertake,
But he looked hollow and went soberly.
Right threadbare was his overcoat; for he
Had got him yet no churchly benefice,
Nor was so worldly as to gain office.
For he would rather have at his bed's head
Some twenty books, all bound in black and red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophy
Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery.
Yet, and for all he was philosopher,
He had but little gold within his coffer;
But all that he might borrow from a friend
On books and learning he would swiftly spend,
And then he'd pray right busily for the souls
Of those who gave him wherewithal for schools.
Of study took he utmost care and heed.
Not one word spoke he more than was his need;
And that was said in fullest reverence
And short and quick and full of high good sense.
Pregnant of moral virtue was his speech;
And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.