The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Franklin’s Prologue.

The Prologe of the Frankeleyns Tale.

[This Prologue follows immediately after the Words on p. 481.]

Thise olde gentil Britons in hir dayes

710

Of diverse aventures maden layes,

Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge;

(40)

Which layes with hir instruments they songe,

Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce;

And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,

715

Which I shal seyn with good wil as I can.

Heading. So E.; Ln. Incipit prologus de le Frankeleyne; Hn. Pt. Here bigynneth the Frankeleyns tale. Hl. omits ll. 709-1223.   712. E. whiche.

 But, sires, by-cause I am a burel man,

At my biginning first I yow biseche

Have me excused of my rude speche;

I lerned never rethoryk certeyn;

720

Thing that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.

I sleep never on the mount of Pernaso,

(50)

Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Cithero.

Colours ne knowe I none, with-outen drede,

But swiche colours as growen in the mede,

725

Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.

Colours of rethoryk ben me to queynte;

My spirit feleth noght of swich matere.

But if yow list, my tale shul ye here.

722. E. Hn. Scithero.   726. Cp. Ln. ben me to; Pt. bene to me; Hn. they ben to; E. been to.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37