The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Friar's Prologue

This worthy lymytour, this noble frere,
     1265
He made alwey a maner louryng chiere
     1266
Upon the somonour, but for honestee
     1267
No vileyns word as yet to hym spak he.
     1268
But atte laste he seyde unto the wyf,
     1269
Dame, quod he, God yeve yow right good lyf!
     1270
Ye han heer touched, also moot I thee,
     1271
In scole-matere greet difficultee.
     1272
Ye han seyd muche thyng right wel, I seye;
     1273
But, dame, heere as we ryde by the weye,
     1274
Us nedeth nat to speken but of game,
     1275
And lete auctoritees, on goddes name,
     1276
To prechyng and to scole eek of clergye.
     1277
But if it lyke to this compaignye,
     1278
I wol yow of a somonour telle a game.
     1279
Pardee, ye may wel knowe by the name
     1280
That of a somonour may no good be sayd;
     1281
I praye that noon of you be yvele apayd.
     1282
A somonour is a rennere up and doun
     1283
With mandementz for fornicacioun,
     1284
And is ybet at every townes ende.
     1285
Oure hoost tho spak, a! sire, ye sholde be hende
     1286
And curteys, as a man of youre estaat;
     1287
In compaignye we wol have no debaat.
     1288
Telleth youre tale, and lat the somonour be.
     1289
Nay, quod the somonour, lat hym seye to me
     1290
What so hym list; whan it comth to me lot,
     1291
By god! I shal hym quiten every grot.
     1292
I shal hym tellen which a greet honour
     1293
It is to be a flaterynge lymytour;
     1294
And eek of many another manere cryme
     1295
Which nedeth nat rehercen at this tyme;
     1296
And his office I shal hym telle, ywis.
     1297
Oure hoost answerde, pees, namoore of this!
     1298
And after this he seyde unto the frere,
     1299
Tel forth youre tale, my leeve maister deere.
     1300