|Canterbury Tales Prologue Snippets|
When that April, with his showers sweet
The drought of March has pierced to the root,
And bathed every vine in such liquor,
Of which virtue is the flower...
And specially from every shire's end
Of England, to Canterbury they wend,
The holdy blissful martyr for to seek
That them had helped, when they were sick.
Befell that in that season, on a day,
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury with full devout courage,
At night was come into that hostelery
Well nine-and-twenty in a company
Of sundry folk, by adventure fallen
into fellowship, and pilgrims were they all,
that toward Canterbury would ride.
The chambers and the stables were wide
and well we had eaten of the best;
And shortly, when the sun was to rest,
So had I spoken with them every one
That I would be of there fellowship anon,
And made forward early for to rise
To take our way, there as I to you describe...
Great cheer our Host made to us everyone
And before us set our super anon
He served us with vitals at the best;
Strong was teh wine, and well to drink us let.
A seemly man our was withall
For to been a marshal in a halle...
And said he thus, "Now lords, truly,
Ye have been to me right welcome heartily;
For by my troth, and I shall not lie,
I saw not this year so merry a company
At once in my herbery, as you are now.
Fain would I give you mirth, and I know how.
An of a mirth I am right bethought.
To do you ease, and it shall cost you nought.
You go to Canterbury- God you speed,
The blissful martyr give you your reward!
And well I know, as you go by the way,
You will shape tales and play,
For truly, there is no mirth
To ride by the way dumb as a stone;
And therefor will I make you disport,
As I said at first, and do you some comfort.
And if you like it all by common consent
For to stand to my judgement,
And for to work as I shall tell you...
That each of you, to shorten our way,
In this way shall tell two tales
On the way to Canterbury, I mean it so.
And homeward you shall tell another two....