Great American Novels, Ranked by How Much We Hate Them
The Host Interrupts Chaucer
HERE THE HOST STINTETH CHAUCER OF HIS TALE OF THOPAS.
|HERE’S WHERE THE HOST INTERRUPTED CHAUCER’S TALE ABOUT SIR THOPAS.|
‘No more of this, for Goddes dignitee,’
Quod oure hoste, ‘for thou makest me
So wery of thy verray lewednesse
That, also wisly God my soule blesse,
Myn eres aken of thy drasty speche;
Now swiche a rym the devel I biteche!
This may wel be rym dogerel,’ quod he.
|“Oh my God, stop, stop, stop! I can’t take any more of this horrible story!” the Host cried. “It’s perverse, not to mention just plain stupid, and your poetry sucks!|
‘Why so?’ quod I, ‘why wiltow lette me
More of my tale than another man,
10Sin that it is the beste rym I can?’
|“But why won’t you let me finish my story when everyone else so far has been allowed to finish theirs?” I asked. “It’s really the best story I know.”|
‘By God,’ quod he, ‘for pleynly, at a word,
Thy drasty ryming is nat worth a tord;
Thou doost nought elles but despendest tyme,
Sir, at o word, thou shall no lenger ryme.
Lat see wher thou canst tellen aught in geste,
Or telle in prose somwhat at the leste
In which ther be som mirthe or som doctryne.’
|“Good God,” the Host answered. “Your disgusting little rhyme isn’t worth a turd. You’re wasting everyone’s time, so I’m putting a stop to it here and now and putting the kibosh on any more of your damned poetry! Now, how about a nicer story, one that’s uplifting or at least funny. Just don’t put it in rhyme!”|