Skip over navigation

The Canterbury Tales

Original Text

Modern Text






60
The briddes singe, it is no nay,
The sparhauk and the papeiay,
    That Ioye it was to here;
The thrustelcok made eek his lay,
The wodedowve upon the spray
    She sang ful loude and clere.
The birds were singing so gay,
Including the sparrow and popinjay,
    That it was joyous to hear.
The missel thrush had eggs to lay,
And birds in the trees that lined the way
    Sang so loud and clear.





Sir Thopas fil in love-longinge
Al whan he herde the thrustel singe,
    And priked as he were wood:
His faire stede in his prikinge
So swatte that men mighte him wringe,
    His sydes were al blood.
The thrush’s song that did emerge,
Gave Thopas a crazy sex urge.
    He kicked and gave a yowl,
Which made the horse bolt with a surge.
On its flanks the sweat did converge;
    You could’ve wrung him like a wet towel.



70

Sir Thopas eek so wery was
For prikinge on the softe gras,
    So fiers was his corage,
That doun he leyde him in that plas
To make his stede som solas,
    And yaf him good forage.
Well Sir Thopas grew so tired,
From all that energy required,
    To race through the deep wood.
So he stopped his horse and retired,
Lay down in the grass and perspired,
    While the horse ate what it could.





‘O seinte Marie, benedicite!
What eyleth this love at me
    To binde me so sore?
Me dremed al this night, pardee,
An elf-queen shal my lemman be,
    And slepe under my gore.
He cried, “Saint Mary, please help me!
Love has made me all squirmy
    It has made me unclean!
Last night as I slept so dreamy
I pictured something so steamy:
    Me having sex with an elf-queen!

More Help

Previous Next