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BRITISH POEMS FROM "CANTERBURY TALES” TO “RECESSIONAL"

GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1340?–1400]

THE PILGRIMS
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote'
The droghte of Marche hath percèd to the roote,
And bathèd every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendréd 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 y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages®):
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
(And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,)
To ferne halwes, couthe’ in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

Bifel that, in that sesoun on a day,
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At night was come in-to that hostelrye
Wel® nyne and twenty in a compaignye,
Of sondry folk, by aventure y-falle

In felawshipe, and pilgrims were they alle, sweet. 2 pierced. 8 such wood. young shoots. : bearts.

7 known.

full

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