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Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue 24, The Pardoner - (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue 24, The Pardoner - (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

669 With him there rode a gentle Pardoner
670 Of Rouncivale, his friend and his compeer,
671 That straight was come from the court of Rome.
672 Full loud he sang "Come hither, love, to me! "
673 The Summoner barred to him a stiff burdoun;
674 Was never trumpet of half so great a sound.
675 This Pardoner had hair as yellow as wax,
676 But smooth it hung as does a strike of flax;
677 By ounces hung his locks that he had,
678 And therewith he his shoulders overspread;
679 But thin it lay, by culpons one and one.
680 But hood, for jollity, wore he none,
681 For it was trussed up in his wallet.
682 He thought he rode all of the new jet;
683 Disheveled, save his cap, he rode all bare.
684 Such glaring eyes had he as a hare.
685 A Vernicle had he sowed upon his cap;
686 His wallet, before him in his lap,
687 Bretfull of pardon come from Rome all hot.
688 A voice he had as small as has a goat.
689 No beard had he, nor ever should have;
690 As smooth it was as it were late shave.
691 I trow he were a gelding or a mare.
692 But of his craft, from Berwick into Ware
693 Nor was there such another pardoner.
694 For in his male he had a pillow-bier,
695 Which that he said was Our Lady's veil;
696 He said he had a gobbet of the sail
697 That Saint Peter had, when that he went
698 Upon the sea, ‘til Jesus Christ him hent.
699 He had a cross of latten full of stones,
700 And in a glass he had pigs' bones,
701 But with these relics, when that he found
702 A poor person dwelling upon land
703 Upon a day he got him more money
704 Then that the person got in months twey;
705 And thus, with feigned flattery and japes,
706 He made the person and the people his apes.
707 But truly to tell at the last,
708 He was in church a noble ecclesiast.
709 Well could he read a lesson or a story,
710 But all the best he sang an offertory;
711 For well he wist, when that song was sung,
712 He must preach and well affile his tongue
713 To win silver, as he full well could;
714 Therefore he sang the merrily and loud.

© 2009,2019 Forrest Hainline

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