From Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum (1652)
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum — compiled and edited by antiquary extraordinaire Elias Ashmole (1617–1692) — is perhaps the seminal volume of English alchemical literature. Most significantly, it brings together a number of hermetic works previously only available in privately held manuscripts, including, as the subtitle has it, “severall poeticall pieces of our famous English philosophers, who have written the hermetique mysteries in their owne ancient language”. Among these famous English philosophers were John Gower, George Ripley, Thomas Norton, and Geoffrey Chaucer — whose alchemically themed “Tale of the Canans Yeoman” is excerpted from The Canterbury Tales.
– Public Domain Review – https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/theatrum-chemicum