Chaucer experimented with the numerous lyric forms which the French poets had brought to perfection; he also translated, in whole or in part, the most important of medieval French narrative poems, the thirteenth century 'Romance of the Rose' of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung
, a very clever satirical allegory, in many thousand lines, of medieval love and medieval religion.
The long French allegorical poem of the 13th century, the Roman de la Rose, begun in 1237 by Guillaume de Lorris and finished before 1280 by Jean de Meung
, took as its theme the story of the difficult progress of the courtly lover toward his goal, expressing it as a dream adventure within a walled garden; the lady's love is represented as a rosebud, enclosed by a thick thorn hedge.
She indicates that many of the references are not cited so that only the most educated of contemporary readers would have been able to penetrate the layers of meaning, particularly those of the second author, Jean de Meung