The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Words of the Host to the Prioress

Wel seyd, by corpus dominus, quod oure hoost,
Now longe moote thou saille by the cost,
Sire gentil maister, gentil maryneer!
God yeve the monk a thousand last quade yeer!
A ha! felawes! beth ware of swich a jape!
The monk putte in the mannes hood an ape,
And in his wyves eek, by seint austyn!
Draweth no monkes moore unto youre in.
But now passe over, and lat us seke aboute,
Who shal now telle first of al this route
Another tale; and with that word he sayde,
As curteisly as it had been a mayde,
My lady prioresse, by youre leve,
So that I wiste I sholde yow nat greve,
I wolde demen that ye tellen sholde
A tale next, if so were that ye wolde.
Now wol ye vouche sauf, my lady deere?
Gladly, quod she, and seyde as ye shal heere.