The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Introduction to the Pardoner's Tale

Oure hooste gan to swere as he were wood;
     287
Harrow! quod he, by nayles and by blood!
     288
This was a fals cherl and a fals justise.
     289
As shameful deeth as herte may devyse
     290
Come to thise juges and hire advocatz!
     291
Algate this sely mayde is slayn, allas!
     292
Allas, to deere boughte she beautee!
     293
Wherfore I seye al day that men may see
     294
That yiftes of fortune and of nature
     295
Been cause of deeth to many a creature.
     296
Hire beautee was hire deth, I dar wel sayn.
     297
Allas, so pitously as she was slayn!
     298
Of bothe yiftes that I speke of now
     299
Men han ful ofte moore for harm than prow.
     300
But trewely, myn owene maister deere,
     301
This is a pitous tale for to heere.
     302
But nathelees, passe over, is no fors.
     303
I pray to God so save thy gentil cors,
     304
And eek thyne urynals and thy jurdones,
     305
Thyn ypocras, and eek thy galiones,
     306
And every boyste ful of the letuarie;
     307
God blesse hem, and oure lady seinte marie!
     308
So moot I theen, thou art a propre man,
     309
And lyk a prelat, by seint ronyan!
     310
Seyde I nat wel? I kan nat speke in terme;
     311
But wel I woot thou doost myn herte to erme,
     312
That I almoost have caught a cardynacle.
     313
By corpus bones! but I have triacle,
     314
Or elles a draughte of moyste and corny ale,
     315
Or but I heere anon a myrie tale,
     316
Myn herte is lost for pitee of this mayde.
     317
Thou beel amy, thou pardoner, he sayde,
     318
Telle us som myrthe or japes right anon.
     319
it shal be doon, quod he, by seint ronyon!
     320
But first, quod he, heere at this alestake
     321
I wol bothe drynke and eten of a cake.
     322
but right anon thise gentils gonne to crye,
     323
Nay, lat hym telle us of no ribaudye!
     324
Telle us som moral thyng, that we may leere
     325
Som wit, and thanne wol we gladly heere.
     326
I graunte, ywis, quod he, but I moot thynke
     327
Upon som honest thyng while that I drynke.
     328