A KNYGHT ther was, and that a worthy man, That fro the tyme that he first bigan To riden out, he loved chivalrie, Trouthe and honour, freedom and curteisie. Ful worthy was he in his lords were, And thereto hadde he riden, no man ferre, As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse, And evere honoured for his worthynesse.
She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. Of smale houndes hadde she that she fedde With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel-breed. But soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed, Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte; And al was conscience and tender herte.
Ther nas no man nowher so virtuous. He was the beste beggere in his hous; For thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho, So plesaunt was his ‘In principio.’