A seemly man OURE HOOSTE was withalle For to been a marchal in an halle. A large man he was with eyen stepe— A fairer burgeys was ther noon in Chepe— Boold of his speche, and wys, and wel ytaught, And of manhood hym lakkede right naught.
And seyde thus: ‘Now, lordynges, trewely, Ye been to me right welcome, hertely; For by my trouthe, if that I shal nat lye, I saugh nat this yeer so myrie a compaignye Atones in this herberwe as is now.
And there oure Hoost bigan his hors areste And seyde, ‘Lordynges, herkneth, if yow leste. Ye woot youre foreward, andI it yow recrode. If even-song and morwe-song accorde, Lat se now who shal telle the firste tale.