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

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

822 At morning, when that day began to spring,
823 Up rose our Host, and was all our cock,
824 And gathered us together all in a flock,
825 And forth we rode a little more than pace
826 Unto the watering of Saint Thomas;
827 And there our Host began his horse to rest
828 And said, "Lords, hearken, if you lest,
829 You know your forward, and I it you record.
830 If even-song and morning-song accord,
831 Let's see now who shall tell the first tale.
832 As ever must I drink wine or ale,
833 Whoso be rebel to my judgment
834 Shall pay for all that by the way is spent.
835 Now draw cut, er we further twin;
836 He which that has the shortest will begin.
837 "Sir Knight, " said he, "my master and my lord,
838 Now draw cut, for that is my accord.
839 "Come near, " said he, "my lady Prioress.
840 And you, sir Clerk, let be your shamefacedness,
841 Study it not; lay hand to, every man! "
842 Anon to draw every wight began,
843 And shortly for to tell it as it was,
844 Were it by adventure, or sort, or case,
845 The truth is this: the cut fell to the Knight,
846 Of which full blithe and glad was every wight,
847 And tell he must his tale, as was reason,
848 By forward and by composition,
849 As you have heard; what need words more?
850 And when this good man saw that it was so,
851 And he that wise was and obedient
852 To keep his forward by his free assent,
853 He said, "Since I shall begin the game,
854 What, welcome be the cut, by God's name!
855 Now let us ride, and hearken what I say."
856 And with that word we rode on forth our way,
857 And he began with right a merry cheer
858 His tale anon, and said as you may hear.


© 2012,2019 Forrest Hainline

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