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Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

17 Jul

chaucer Chaucer certainly understood pilgrims.

Here bygynneth

the Book

of the tales

of Caunterbury.

 

 

Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote

And bathed every veyne in swich licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth

Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,

And smale foweles maken melodye,

That slepen al the nyght with open eye-

So priketh hem Nature in hir corages-

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes

To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;

And specially, from every shires ende

Of Engelond, to Caunturbury they wende,

The hooly blisful martir for to seke

That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

Bifil that in that seson, on a day,

In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,

Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage

To Caunterbury, with ful devout corage,

At nyght were come into that hostelrye

Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye

Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle

In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,

That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.

And what a motley crew they were, which I am sure would still apply here in Sydney, even if there are a few more than “well nine and twenty.”

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Posted by on July 17, 2008 in Christianity, events, faith, poets and poetry, religion

 

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