The Canterbury Tales

No Fear The Nun’s Priest’s Tale Page 16
No Fear The Nun’s Priest’s Tale: Page 16

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So was he ravisshed with his flaterye.
Allas! ye lordes, many a fals flatour
Is in your courtes, and many a losengeour,
That plesen yow wel more, by my feith,
Than he that soothfastnesse unto yow seith.
Redeth Ecclesiaste of flaterye;
510Beth war, ye lordes, of hir trecherye.
Watch out, my lords! There are many flatterers in your courts who will try to deceive you. These people will make you feel much better than those who actually tell you the truth. Read what the Bible says about flattery, and then watch out for those trying to trick you.
This Chauntecleer stood hye upon his toos,
Strecching his nekke, and heeld his eyen cloos,
And gan to crowe loude for the nones;
And daun Russel the fox sterte up at ones,
And by the gargat hente Chauntecleer,
And on his bak toward the wode him beer,
For yet ne was ther no man that him sewed.
O destinee, that mayst nat been eschewed!
Allas, that Chauntecleer fleigh fro the bemes!
520Allas, his wyf ne roghte nat of dremes!
And on a Friday fil al this meschaunce.
O Venus, that art goddesse of plesaunce,
Sin that thy servant was this Chauntecleer,
And in thy service dide al his poweer,
More for delyt, than world to multiplye,
Why woldestow suffre him on thy day to dye?
O Gaufred, dere mayster soverayn,
That, whan thy worthy king Richard was slayn
With shot, compleynedest his deth so sore,
530Why ne hadde I now thy sentence and thy lore,
The Friday for to chide, as diden ye?
(For on a Friday soothly slayn was he.)
Than wolde I shewe yow how that I coude pleyne
For Chauntecleres drede, and for his peyne.
Chanticleer closed his eyes, stood on his tiptoes, stretched out his neck, and began to crow at the top of his lungs. The fox, who was named Sir Russell, immediately jumped out of the bushes and grabbed Chanticleer by the throat, threw him on his back, and carried him off into the forest before anyone could follow. Oh cruel fate. There’s nothing we can do! It’s too bad that Chanticleer came down from the rafters this morning! And even worse that his wife didn’t pay attention to his dream! And this all happened on a Friday too, the day of the goddess Venus. Oh Venus, the goddess of sex and pleasure, how could you let Chanticleer die on your day? Chanticleer was humbly devoted to you and did everything in his power to have as much sex as he could, not to have children, but for sheer delight alone. Oh master poet Geoffrey of Vinsauf, if only I could find the words to damn Friday all to hell as vividly as you expressed your sorrow over King Richard I’s death in your poetry. Then I’d be able to express my sorrow for Chanticleer!