General Prologue 17: The Wife Of Bath - Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation) - Poem by Forrest Hainline
A good Wife was there of beside Bath,
But she was somewhat deaf, and that was scathe.
Of cloth making she had such a haunt
She passed them of Ypres and of Ghent.
In all the parish wife was there none
That to the offering before her should go on;
And if they did, certain so wroth was she
That she was out of all charity.
Her coverchiefs full fine were of ground;
I dare swear they weighed ten pound
That on a Sunday were upon her head.
Her hose were of fine scarlet red,
Full straight tied, and shoes full moist and new.
Bold was her face, and fair, and red of hew.
She was a worthy woman all her life:
Husbands at church door she had five,
Without them other company in youth -
But there's no need to speak as now.
And thrice had she been at Jerusalem;
She had passed many a strange stream;
At Rome she had been, and at Boulogne,
In Galicia at Saint Jame, and at Cologne.
She could much of wandering by the way.
Gap-toothed was she, truly for to say.
Upon an ambler easily she sat,
Wimpled well, and on her head a hat
As broad as is a buckler or a targe;
A foot-mantle about her hips large,
And on her feet a pair of spurs sharp.
In fellowship well could she laugh and carp.
Of remedies of love she knew per chance,
For she knew of that art the old dance.
© 2009 Forrest Hainline
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