And certeinly a man hath moost honour
To dyen in his excellence and flour,
Whan he is siker of his goode name;
Thanne hath he doon his freend, ne hym, no shame.
And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth,
Whan with honour up yolden is his breeth,
Than whan his name apalled is for age,
For al forgeten is his vassellage.
Thanne is it best, as for a worthy fame,
To dyen whan that he is best of name.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Knight’s Tale. Theseus gets philosophical here over Arcite’s death. He says a man has more honor when he dies in the flush of youth, at the height of his fame and reputation. Palamon ought to more pleased with Arcite’s death when he died with honor, having brought no shame to his friend or himself, rather than if he died when his name and deeds were faded with age.