The Canterbury Tales

by: Geoffrey Chaucer

Original Text

Modern Text

And right so ferden they with Palamon.
With him ther wenten knightes many oon;
Som wol ben armed in an habergeoun,
240In a brest-plat and in a light gipoun;
And somme woln have a peyre plates large;
And somme woln have a Pruce sheld, or a targe;
Somme woln ben armed on hir legges weel,
And have an ax, and somme a mace of steel.
Ther nis no newe gyse, that it nas old.
Armed were they, as I have you told,
Everich after his opinioun.
Well, the knights who fought for Palamon felt this way too. They all wanted to prove their honor. Some came dressed in chain mail, a tunic, and a breastplate. Others simply wore a couple of steel plates, one on the front and one on the back. Others carried a simple round shield, or made sure to wear leg armor. Some wanted to fight with a mace, while other knights brought axes. Each person came with the armor and weapons he thought would help him win.
Ther maistow seen coming with Palamoun
Ligurge him-self, the grete king of Trace;
250Blak was his berd, and manly was his face.
The cercles of his eyen in his heed,
They gloweden bitwixe yelow and reed;
And lyk a griffon loked he aboute,
With kempe heres on his browes stoute;
His limes grete, his braunes harde and stronge,
His shuldres brode, his armes rounde and longe.
And as the gyse was in his contree,
Ful hye upon a char of gold stood he,
With foure whyte boles in the trays.
260In-stede of cote-armure over his harnays,
With nayles yelwe and brighte as any gold,
He hadde a beres skin, col-blak, for-old.
His longe heer was kembd bihinde his bak,
As any ravenes fether it shoon for-blak:
A wrethe of gold arm-greet, of huge wighte,
Upon his heed, set ful of stones brighte,
Of fyne rubies and of dyamaunts.
Aboute his char ther wenten whyte alaunts,
Twenty and mo, as grete as any steer,
270To hunten at the leoun or the deer,
And folwed him, with mosel faste y-bounde,
Colers of gold, and torets fyled rounde.
An hundred lordes hadde he in his route
Armed ful wel, with hertes sterne and stoute.
Lycurgus himself, the powerful king of Thrace, came with Palamon. He looked so manly with his jet-black beard and hair that fell down to his waist. The pupils of his eyes were somewhere between red and yellow. Those eyes and his big bushy eyebrows made him look like a griffin, half lion and half eagle. He had broad shoulders and strong, muscular arms. He wore an enormous black bearskin over his armor instead of a tunic, and its yellow claws shone like gold. A crown of gold studded with diamonds and rubies glittered on top of his head. Like most Thracian warriors, he arrived in a golden chariot pulled by four white bulls. Twenty giant white wolves circled around his chariot, tethered with gold collars and muzzles. He brought with him a hundred of his own knights for moral support.