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That seith that hunters been noon holy men;
Ne thatļa monk, whan he is reccheles,
Is likned to a fissch that is waterles ;
This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloystre.
But thilke text held he not worth an oystre.
And I seide his opinioun was good.
What 3 schulde he studie, and make himselven wood,
Uppon a book in cloystre alway to powre;5
Or swynkë 6 with his handës and laboure,
As Austyn byt?? How schal the world be served ?
Lat Austyn have his swynk to him reserved.
Therfore he was a pricasour 8 aright;
Greyhoundes he hadde as swifte as fowel ' in flight;
Of prikyng10 and of huntyng for the hare
Was al his lust, 11 for no cost wolde he spare,12
I saugh 13 his slevës purfiled 14 atte 15 honde
With grys,16 and that the fyneste of a londe.
And for to festne his hood under his chynne
He hadde of gold y-wrought a curious pynne:
A love-knotte in the grettere ende ther was.
His heed was balled, and schon as eny glas,
And eek his face as he hadde ben anoynt.
He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt;
His eyen steepe, 17 and rollyng in his heede,
That stemede 18 as a forneys 19 of a leede; 20
His bootës souple, 21 his hors in gret estate.
Now certeinly he was a fair preláte;
He was not pale as a for-pynèd 22 goost.23
A fat swan lovede he best of eny roost.
His palfray was as broun as is a berye.




1 Reckless. 2 The like, that. 8 Why. Mad. 5 Pore. 6 Work, toil. 7 Bids. 8 Hard rider. 9 Bird.


Spurring, riding (fast). 11 Pleasure. 12 Refrain, abstain. 13 Saw. 14 Trimmed, fringed.

15 At the.

17 Bright. 18 Shone. 19 Furnace. 20 Cauldron. 21 Supple, pliant. 22 Wasted away (with pine, torment). 23 Ghost.

16 Fur.

NOTES. 165. A fair, a fair (monk): good, reign, excellent above all others.

excellent-in mind as well as in (Tyrwhitt.)'. (Morris.) person. For the maistrie is the 167. To ben &c., able to be an abbot. French pour la maistrie, which in 173. St Maur, disciple of St Benet. old medical books is applied to such St Benet, or Benedict (about 480medicines as we usually call sove- 543 A.D.), was born in Umbria, and 4 Ne


went to Rome to study. At fifteen, he goes abroad and leaves the cares however, being disgusted with the of the cloister behind him for a little vices he saw there, he retired to the (181). solitude of a mountain cavern. In 185. Upon a book ... powre. The 529 he became Abbot of Monte Benedictines

enjoined to Cassino, in the kingdom of Naples, spend two hours every day in and founded several other religious pious reading. houses. He inculcated absolute 186. Swynke, &c. St Benet also de. obedience as the basis of a very voted seven hours a day to manual rigid (somdel streyt) system of labour. living. In the oth century, Dun- 187. St Austin, or Augustine. See stan did much for the progress of Ormin, 1o, note.

the Benedictine order in England. 192. For no cost &c. : cost what the 178. Hunters, &c. St Benet forbade sport might, he would not abstain. the use of animal food.

200. In good point, or condition. Fr. 179 Reccheles, reckless, careless; when embonpoint: stout, corpulent.




(From The Knights Tale.)
This passeth zeer by zeer, and day by day,
Til it fel oonës' in a morwe” of May
That Emelie, that fairer was to seene
Than is the lilie on hire stalkë grene,
And fresscher than the May with flourës newe-
For with the rose colour strof hire hewe, 3
I not 4 which was the fayrere of hem two-
Er it were day, as was hire wone6 to do,
She was arisen, and al redy dight;7
For May wole han no sloggardye8 anight.
The sesoun priketh every gentil herte,
And maketh him out of his sleepë sterte,
And seith, 'Arys, and do thin observance.'9
This makede Emelye han rémembrance
To don honour to May, and for to ryse.
I-clothed was sche fresshe for to devyse.10
Hire zelwe heer was browded in a tresse,"
Behynde hire bak, a zerde long I gesse.
And in the gardyn at the sonne upriste 12
Sche walketh up and down, and as hire liste 13


190 195

no sloth.

1 Once. 2 Morrow, morning. 3 Strove (vied) her hue (complexion).

5 Them. 6 Wont, custom. 7 Dressed. wot, know not.

8 Will have .(brook) 9 Shew thy respect. 10 To relate, describe, tell.

11 Her yellow hair was braided in a tress (plait). 12 The sun's uprising. 13 As her (it) pleases.

Sche gadereth flourës, party? whyte and reede,
To make a sotil” garland for hire heede,
And as an aungel hevenly sche song.

1 Partly. % Subtle, lit. finely woven.


NOTES. 179. Freaucher than the May. Cf. the “Slugird,” scho said, “awalk description of the Squire, Prol. 92

schame." (above).

187. And seith, &c. Cf. again Dunbar, 184. May wole han &c. Cf. Dunbar, The Thrissil and the Rois, 36-7: The Thrissil (Thistle) and the Rois

. With (Rose), lines 15 and 22:

that, this Lady (May)

sobirly did smyle, ‘Me thocht fresche May befoir my And said “Upryse, and do thy bed up stude.



(From The Nun's Priest's Tale.)
A gerd sche' hadde, enclosed al aboute
With stikkës, and a dryë dich withoute,
In which she hadde a cok, highte? Chauntecleere,
In al the lond of crowyng nas4 his peere.

His vois was merier than the mery o orgon,?
On massë dayes that in the chirche goon;
Wel sikerer 8 was his crowyng in his logge 9
Than is a clok, or an abbay orologge.10
By nature knew he ech ascensioun

Of equinoxial in thilke toun ;
For whan degreës fiftene were ascended,
Thanne crew he, that it mighte not ben amended.
His comb was redder than the fyn corál,
And batayld, 12 as it were a castel wal.

His bile 13 was blak, and as the geet 14 it schon;
Lik asure

were his leggës, and his ton ;? His naylës whitter than the lily flour,



And lik the burnischt gold was his colour. 1 A poor widow. 2 Called. 3 For. 4 Ne was, was not. 5 Equal. 6 Pleasant.

7 Organs. 8 Surer, more to be relied on. Lodge. 10 An abbey horologe (clock). 11 (So well) that. 12 Battled, embattled. 13 Bill, neb. 15 Azure. 16 Toes.

NOTES. 29. Chaantecleere, Chanticleer, the bird Lat. cantare (to sing), and Fr. cler, that chants (sings) with loud and clair, Lat. clarus, Eng.

*clear.' clear notes. As if from Fr. chanter, Perhaps really a corruption of Lat.

14 Jet. 1 Did. 2Willed, would (do). 3To espye (or aspye), to spy. Voice. 5 Feeling. Gentleness. 7 Been.

the morn,

canticularius (singer). Cf. Shak, the sun). Lat, ascendo (mount up), Hamlet, I. i. 150–2:

from ad (to), and scando (climb). 'The cock, that is the trumpet to 36. Of, from, or above. — -Equinoxial,

equinoctial (circle), the apparent Doth with his lofty and shrill

path of the sun round the earth sounding throat

when day and night are equal. Lat. Awake the god of day."

æquus (equal), and noct- (night).

40. Batayld refers to the notched, 34. Orologge, horologe, time-teller, indented, or tooth-like edge, as in

clock. Gr. hora (time) and logos battlements. (saying, from lego, say, tell).

42. Ton, or toon (486), toes. The old 35. Ascensioun, ascension, going up (of plur. in en. In 510 we find 'toos.'


(From The Nun's Priest's Tale.)



This Chaunteclere, whan he gan 1 him aspye,
He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon
Saide, 'Gentil sire, allas ! wher wol ze goon ?
Be ze affrayd of me that am zoure freend ?
Now certes, I were worsë than a feend,
If I to 30w wolde ? harm or vileynye.
I am nouzt come goure counsail for tespye.3
But trewely the cause of my comynge
Was oonly for to herkne how that ze singe.
For trewely ze have als mery a steven 4
As eny aungel hath that is in heven;
Therwith ze han in music more felýnges
Than hadde Boëce, or eny that can synge.
My lord zoure fader (God his soulë blesse)
And eek zoure moder of hire gentilesse 6
Han in myn hous ibeen,7 to my gret ese;
And certes, sire, ful fayn wolde I zow plese.
But for men speke of syngyng, I wol saye
So mot I broukë 9 wel myn eyen twaye,
Save zou,

I herdë nevere man so synge
As dede zoure fader in the morwenynge. 10
Certes it was of herte 11 al that he song.
And for to make his vois the morë strong,




8 Pleasure, entertainment. 9 Enjoy. 10 Morning. 11 From (his) heart.



He wolde so peyne 1 him, that with bothe his eyen
He mostë wynke, so lowde he woldë crien,
And stonden on his typtoona therwithal,
And strecchë forth his neckë long and smal
Now syngeth, sire, for seintë Charité,
Let se, konne ze zoure fader countrefete?' 3
This Chaunteclere his wyngës gan to bete,
As man that couthe 4 his tresoun nought espye,
So was he ravyssht with his flaterie
This Chaunteclere stood heighe upon his toos,
Strecching his necke, and held his eyghen cloos,
And gan to crowë lowdë for the noones ;5
And daun 6 Russel the fox sterte ? up at oones, 8
And by the garget hentë 10 Chauntecleer,
And on his bak toward the woode him beer.
For zit was ther no man that hadde him sewed. 11
O destiny, that maist 12 not ben eschiewed !
Allas, that Chaunteclere fleigh 13 fro the bemes !
Allas, his wife ne roughte 4 nouzt of dremes !



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Certes such cry ne lamentacioun
Was nevere of ladies maad, whan Ilioun

Was wonne, and Pirrus with his streitë 15 swerd,
When he hadde hent kyng Priam by the berd,
And slain him (as saith us Eneydos),
As maden alle the hennës in the clos, 16
When they hadde seyn 17 of Chaunteclere the sighte. .. 540



And seyen

This sely 18 wydwe, 19 and eek hire doughtres tuo,
Herden these hennës crie and maken wo,

555 And out at dorës starten thay anoon,

21 the fox toward the grovë goon,
And bar upon his bak the cok away ;
They criden, 'Out! harrow and wayleway!
Ha, ha, the fox !' and after him thay ran,

560 And eek with stavës many another man ; 1 Pain. 2 Tip-toes. 3 Counterfeit, sing like (as if it were) your father. Could. 6 Nonce, (one) occasion. 6 Dan, Lord, Maister. 7 Started. 8 At once. 'Gorge, throat. 10 Seized. 11 Pursued. 12 Mayst. 13 Flew. 14 Recked, cared. 15 Drawn. 16 Inclosure, yard. 17 Seen. 18 Simple. 19 Widow. 20 Anon. 21 Saw.

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