General Prologue 16: The Doctor Of Physic - Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

With us there was A Doctor of Physic;
In all this world was there none him like,
To speak of physic and of surgery,
For he was grounded in astronomy.
He kept his patient a full great deal
In hours, by his magic natural.
Well could he fortune the ascendant
Of his images for his patient.
He knew the cause of every malady,
Were it of hot, or cold, or moist, or dry,
And where they engendered, and of what humor.
He was a very perfect practitioner:
The cause he knew, and of his harm the root,
Anon he gave the sick man his boot.
Full ready had he his apothecaries
To send him drugs and electuaries,
For each of them made other for to win –
His friendship was not new to begin.
Well knew he the old Aesculapius,
And Dioscorides and too Rufus,
Old Hippocrates, Hali, and Galen,
Serapion, Rhazes, and Avicen,
Averroes, Damascene, and Constantine,
Bernard, and Gatisden, and Gilbertus.
Of his diet measurable was he,
For it was of no superfluity,
But of great nourishing and digestable.
His study was but little on the Bible.
In sanguine and in perse he clad was all,
Lined with taffeta and with sendal.
And yet he was but easy of dispense;
He kept that he won in pestilence.
For gold in physic is a cordial,
Therefore he loved gold in special.

© 2009 Forrest HainlineHainline

by Forrest Hainline

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