The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Knight's Interruption of the Monk's Tale

Hoo! quod the knyght, good sire, namoore of this!
     2767
That ye han seyd is right ynough, ywis,
     2768
And muchel moore; for litel hevynesse
     2769
Is right ynough to muche folk, I gesse.
     2770
I seye for me, it is a greet disese,
     2771
Whereas men han been in greet welthe and ese,
     2772
To heeren of hire sodeyn fal, allas!
     2773
And the contrarie is joye and greet solas,
     2774
As whan a man hath been in povre estaat,
     2775
And clymbeth up and wexeth fortunat,
     2776
And there abideth in prosperitee.
     2777
Swich thyng is gladsom, as it thynketh me,
     2778
And of swich thyng were goodly for to telle.
     2779
Ye, quod oure hooste, by seint poules belle!
     2780
Ye seye right sooth; this monk he clappeth lowde.
     2781
He spak how fortune covered with a clowde
     2782
I noot nevere what; and als of a tragedie
     2783
Right now ye herde, and, pardee, no remedie
     2784
It is for to biwaille ne compleyne
     2785
That that is doon, and als it is a peyne,
     2786
As ye han seyd, to heere of hevynesse.
     2787
Sire monk, namoore of this, so God yow blesse! Page  199
     2788
Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
     2789
Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,
     2790
For therinne is ther no desport ne game.
     2791
Wherfore, sire monk, or daun piers by youre name,
     2792
I pray yow hertely telle us somwhat elles;
     2793
For sikerly, nere clunkyng of youre belles,
     2794
That on youre bridel hange on every syde,
     2795
By hevene kyng, that for us alle dyde,
     2796
I sholde er this han fallen doun for sleep,
     2797
Althogh the slough had never been so deep;
     2798
Thanne hadde your tale al be toold in veyn.
     2799
For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn,
     2800
Whereas a man may have noon audience,
     2801
Noght helpeth it to tellen his sentence.
     2802
And wel I woot the substance is in me,
     2803
If any thyng shal wel reported be.
     2804
Sir, sey somwhat of huntyng, I yow preye.
     2805
Nay, quod this monk, I have no lust to pleye.
     2806
Now lat another telle, as I have toold.
     2807
Thanne spak oure hoost with rude speche and boold,
     2808
And seyde unto the nonnes preest anon,
     2809
Com neer, thou preest, com hyder, thou sir john!
     2810
Telle us swich thyng as may oure hertes glade.
     2811
Be blithe, though thou ryde upon a jade.
     2812
What thogh thyn hors be bothe foul and lene?
     2813
If he wol serve thee, rekke nat a bene.
     2814
Looke that thyn herte be murie everemo.
     2815
Yis, sir, quod he, yis, hoost, so moot I go,
     2816
But I be myrie, ywis I wol be blamed.
     2817
And right anon his tale he hath attamed,
     2818
And thus he seyde unto us everichon,
     2819
This sweete preest, this goodly man sir john.
     2820