The Prologe of the Frankeleyns Tale.
[This Prologue follows immediately after the Words on p. 481.]
Thise olde gentil Britons in hir dayes
Of diverse aventures maden layes,
Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge;
Which layes with hir instruments they songe,
Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce;
And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
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;
Thing that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
I sleep never on the mount of Pernaso,
Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Cithero.
Colours ne knowe I none, with-outen drede,
But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
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.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52