And they were clothed alle in o lyveree Of a solempne and a greet fraternitee.
Ful fressh and newe hir geere apiked was; Hir knyves were chaped noght with bras, But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel, And have a mantel roialliche ybore.
A COOK they hadde with hem for the nones To boille the chiknes with the marybones, And poudre-marchant tart, and galyngale. He koude rooste, and sethe, and broille, and frye, Maken mortreux, and wel bake a pye. The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al broun, And certeinly he was a good felawe.
But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, That on his shyne a mormal hadde he. Ful many a draughte of wyn had he ydrawe Fro Burdeux-ward, whil that the chapman sleep. If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hond, By water he sente hem hoom to every lond.
Withoute bake mete was nevere his hous Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous, It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke, Of alle deyntees that men koude thynke.
After the sondry sesons of the yeer, So chaunged he his mete and his soper.Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground; I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound That on a Sonday weren upon hir heed. Of remedies of love she knew per chaunce, For she koude of that art the olde daunce.Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moyste and newe. She was a worthy womman al hir lyve: Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde fyve, Withouthen oother compaignye in youthe, – But therof nedeth nat to speke as nowthe. A good man was ther of religioun, Unto his povre parisshens aboute Of his offryng and eek of his substaunce. Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer asonder, But he ne lefte nat, for reyn ne thonder, In siknesse nor in meschief to visite The ferreste in his parisshe, muche and lite, Upon his feet, and in his hand a staf.He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt, Hise eyen stepe, and rollynge in his heed, That stemed as a forneys of a leed; His bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat.Now certeinly he was a fair prelaat; He may nat wepe, al thogh hym soore smerte; Therfore in stede of wepynge and preyeres Men moote yeve silver to the povre freres.Ther as this lord was keper of the celle, The reule of Seint Maure, or of Seint Beneit, By cause that it was old and somdel streit This ilke Monk leet olde thynges pace, And heeld after the newe world the space.He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen, That seith that hunters beth nat hooly men, Ne that a monk, whan he is recchelees, Is likned til a fissh that is waterlees,- This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloystre But thilke text heeld he nat worth an oystre; And I seyde his opinioun was good. Therfore he was a prikasour aright: Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight; Of prikyng and of huntyng for the hare Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare.He knew alle the havenes as they were, From Gootlond to the Cape of Fynystere, And every cryke in Britaigne and in Spayne. With us ther was a DOCTOUR OF PHISIK; In al this world ne was ther noon hym lik, She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt.In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon; And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she, That she was out of alle charitee.Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.But soore weep she if oon of hem were deed, Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte; And al was conscience, and tendre herte.