Verse > Geoffrey Chaucer > Complete Poetical Works
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340–1400).  The Complete Poetical Works.  1894.
The Canterbury Tales
Prologue to Sir Thopas
Bihold the murye wordes of the Host to Chaucer.

WHAN seyd was al this miracle, every man
As sobre was, that wonder was to se,
Til that our hoste Iapen tho bigan,
And than at erst he loked up-on me,
And seyde thus, ‘what man artow?’ quod he;        5
‘Thou lokest as thou woldest finde an hare,
For ever up-on the ground I see thee stare.
Approche neer, and loke up merily.
Now war yow, sirs, and lat this man have place;
He in the waast is shape as wel as I;        10
This were a popet in an arm tenbrace
For any womman, smal and fair of face.
He semeth elvish by his contenaunce,
For un-to no wight dooth he daliaunce.
Sey now somwhat, sin other folk han sayd;        15
Tel us a tale of mirthe, and that anoon;’—
‘Hoste,’ quod I, ‘ne beth nat yvel apayd,
For other tale certes can I noon,
But of a ryme I lerned longe agoon.’
‘Ye, that is good,’ quod he; ‘now shul we here        20
Som deyntee thing, me thinketh by his chere.’


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