General Prologue 28: Drawing Of Lots - Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

At morning, when that day began to spring,
Up rose our Host, and was our all our cock,
And gathered us together all in a flock,
And forth we rode a little more than paas
Unto the watering of Saint Thomas;
And there our Host began his horse to rest
And said, "Lords, hearken if you lest,
You know your promise, and I it you record.
If even-song and morning-song accord,
Let's see now who shall tell the first tale.
As ever must I drink wine or ale,
Whoso be rebel to my judgment
Shall pay for all that by the way is spent.
Now draw cut, before we further twin;
He who has the shortest will begin.
"Sir Knight, " said he, "my master and my lord,
Now draw cut, for that is my accord.
"Come near, " said he, "my lady Prioress.
And you, sir Clerk, let be your shamefacedness,
Don't study it; lay hand to, every man! "
Anon to draw every one began,
And shortly for to tell it as it was,
Were it by adventure, or sort, or case,
The truth is this: the cut fell to the Knight,
Of which full blithe and glad was every wight,
And tell he must his tale, as was reason,
By promise and by composition,
As you have heard; what need words more?
And when this good man saw that it was so,
And that he that wise was and obedient
To keep his promise by his free assent,
He said, "Since I shall begin the game,
What, welcome be the cut, by God's name!
Now let us ride, and hearken what I say."
And with that word we rode on forth our way,
And he began with right a merry cheer
His tale anon, and said as you may hear.

© 2012 Forrest A. Hainline III

by Forrest Hainline

Other poems of HAINLINE (423)

Comments (11)

That, while fair life, young hope, despair and death are, We ’re boy and girl, and lass and lad, and man and wife together. Yes deep and dedicated love sustains through ages and stages. Great poem. Thanks for the sharing.
Various phases of boy and girl are well said in this poem making a note on human life in the world!
Okay. I looked up his date of birth and death. He did not die at age 15 and write such masterful poetry as a teenager! His real birthdate and date of death is (30 June 1803 – 26 January 1849) . This was a very sweet and sad glimpse of love
Marvelous depiction of love through different stages.the strong bond between lover and beloved and lastly love's graceful presence even after parting.Hope and despair, life and death, happiness and sorrow are always part of life like the man and his wife from beginning to end.
Yet sit I by thy tomb, And dissipate the gloom With songs of loving faith and sorrow sweet....Awesome lines
See More