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The Canterbury Tales

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170








His spere was of fyn ciprees,
That bodeth werre, and no-thing pees,
    The heed ful sharpe y-grounde;
His stede was al dappel-gray,
It gooth an ambel in the way
    Ful softely and rounde
            In londe.
Lo, lordes myne, heer is a fit!
If ye wol any more of it,
    To telle it wol I fonde.
His spear was made of cypress wood,
And he grinded it as best he could,
    To prepare it for the kill.
His horse was prepped and made for war,
Readied in full for what’s in store—
    A battle and a test of will,
            You know.
And this, my friends, ends part one,
Of this story—but I’m not done,
    Part two will quickly follow.
180




Now hold your mouth, par charitee,
Bothe knight and lady free,
    And herkneth to my spelle;
Of bataille and of chivalry,
And of ladyes love-drury
    Anon I wol yow telle.
Okay now, everyone, shush up!
Stop your chatting and gossip.
    And listen to my tale.
I know you’d rather I speed up,
But I want to let suspense build up,
    Of the drama and travail.




190
Men speke of romances of prys,
Of Horn child and of Ypotys,
    Of Bevis and sir Gy,
Of sir Libeux and Pleyn-damour;
But sir Thopas, he bereth the flour
    Of royal chivalry.
You have heard other men recite,
Stories of Arthur and his knight-
    Table that was round.
Those stories I will not rewrite,
But none quite give the same delight,
    As my story, I have found.





His gode stede al he bistrood,
And forth upon his wey he glood
    As sparkle out of the bronde;
Upon his crest he bar a tour,
And ther-in stiked a lily-flour,
    God shilde his cors fro shonde!
Well, Sir Thopas mounted and rode away,
Ran through the woods all night and day,
    Until it grew dim.
He put a flower on display,
In his lapel as if to say,
    That God and luck were with him.

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