The Canterbury tales
The Prologue to the Tale of Sir Thopas
Whan seyd was al this miracle, every man
As sobre was that wonder was to se,
Til that oure hooste japen tho bigan,
And thanne at erst he looked upon me,
And seyde thus: what man artow? quod he;
Thou lookest as thou woldest fynde an hare,
For evere upon the ground I se thee stare.
Approche neer, and looke up murily.
Now war yow, sires, and lat this man have place!
He in the waast is shape as wel as I;
This were a popet in an arm t' enbrace
For any womman, smal and fair of face.
He semeth elvyssh by his contenaunce,
For unto no wight dooth he daliaunce.
Sey now somwhat, syn oother folk han sayd;
Telle us a tale of myrthe, and that anon.
Hooste, quod I, ne beth nat yvele apayd,
For oother tale certes kan I noon,
But of a rym I lerned longe agoon.
Ye, that is good, quod he; now shul we heere
Som deyntee thyng, me thynketh by his cheere.