The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Prioress’s Prologue

Bihold the mery wordes of the Host to the Shipman and to the lady Prioresse.


‘Wel seyd, by corpus dominus,’ quod our hoste,

‘Now longe moot thou sayle by the coste,

Sir gentil maister, gentil marineer!

God yeve this monk a thousand last quad yeer!

A ha! felawes! beth ware of swiche a Iape!


The monk putte in the mannes hood an ape,

And in his wyves eek, by seint Austin!

Draweth no monkes more un-to your in.

Heading. So E. (with Bihoold, murie, Hoost); Hn. Herke the myrie Wordes of the Worthy Hoost; Pt. And here bygynneth the prologe of the priores; Ln. Incipit prologus Priorisse.   1625. E. Hn. Hoost.   1626. E. Hn. moote; Ln. Hl. mot; rest mote.   E. saille; cost.   1628. E. this; rest the.   Hn. quaad; rest quade.

 But now passe over, and lat us seke aboute,


Who shal now telle first, of al this route,


Another tale;’ and with that word he sayde,

As curteisly as it had been a mayde,

‘My lady Prioresse, by your leve,

So that I wiste I sholde yow nat greve,

I wolde demen that ye tellen sholde


A tale next, if so were that ye wolde.

Now wol ye vouche-sauf, my lady dere?’


 ‘Gladly,’ quod she, and seyde as ye shal here.


1642. Cp. Pt. Ln. Hl. sayde in this manere.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52