The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Franklin's Prologue

Thise olde gentil britouns in hir dayes
     709
Of diverse aventures maden layes,
     710
Rymeyed in hir firste briton tonge;
     711
Whiche leyes with hir instrumentz songe,
     712
Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce,
     713
And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
     714
Which I shal seyn with good wyl as I kan.
     715
But, sires, by cause I am a burel man,
     716
At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche,
     717
Have me excused of my rude speche.
     718
I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn;
     719
Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
     720
I sleep nevere on the mount of pernaso,
     721
Ne lerned marcus tullius scithero.
     722
Colours ne knowe I none, withouten drede,
     723
But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
     724
Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.
     725
Colours of rethoryk been to me queynte;
     726
My spririt feeleth noght of swich mateere.
     727
But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.
     728