Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue 24, The Pardoner - (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation) - Poem by Forrest Hainline
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue 24, The Pardoner - (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)
With him there rode a gentle Pardoner
Of Rouncivale, his friend and his compeer,
That straight was come from the court of Rome.
Full loud he sang "Come hither, love, to me! "
675 This Summoner barred to him a stiff burdoun;
Was never trumpet of half so great a sound.
This Pardoner had hair as yellow as wax,
But smooth it hung as does a strike of flax;
By ounces hung his locks that he had,
680 And therewith he his shoulders overspread;
But thin it lay, by culpons one and one.
But hood, for jollity, wore he none,
For it was trussed up in his wallet.
He thought he rode all of the new jet;
685 Disheveled, save his cap, he rode all bare.
Such glaring eyes had he as a hare.
A Vernicle had he sowed upon his cap;
His wallet, before him in his lap,
Bretfull of pardon come from Rome all hot.
690 A voice he had as small as has a goat.
No beard had he, nor ever should have;
As smooth it was as it were late shave.
I trow he were a gelding or a mare.
But of his craft, from Berwick into Ware
695 Nor was there such another pardoner.
For in his male he had a pillow-bier,
Which that he said was Our Lady's veil;
He said he had a gobbet of the sail
That Saint Peter had, when that he went
700 Upon the sea, ‘til Jesus Christ him hent.
He had a cross of latten full of stones,
And in a glass he had pigs' bones,
But with these relics, when that he found
A poor person dwelling upon land
705 Upon a day he got him more money
Then that the person got in months twey;
And thus, with feigned flattery and japes,
He made the person and the people his apes.
But truly to tell at the last,
710 He was in church a noble ecclesiast.
Well could he read a lesson or a story,
But all the best he sang an offertory;
For well he wist, when that song was sung,
He must preach and well affile his tongue
715 To win silver, as he full well could;
Therefore he sang the merrily and loud.
©2009,2019 Forrest Hainline
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