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BEAUTIES OF THE POETS.
FROM THE PROLOGUE TO THE CANTERBURY TALEs.
Befelle, that in that season on a day,
To take our way there as I you advise,
But natheless, while I have the time and space
Before I further in the tale do pass,
A KNIGHT there was, and that a worthy me
* * :* * # * * * With many a noble army had he been. Of mortal battles had he seen fifteen,
* * * +: * # And evermore he had a sovereign praise, And though that he was worthy he was wise, And of his port as meek as is a maid, lie never yet no villany had saide In all his life, unto no man or wight, He was a very perfect noble Knight.
But for to tellen you of his array,
With him there was his son, a fresh young Squire A lover and a lusty bachelor, With locks curled as they were laid in press; Of twenty years of age he was I guess. Of his stature he was of equal length, And wonderfly agile, and great of strength; And he had something seen of chivalrie, In Flanders, in Artois, and Picardie, And borne him well, as of so little space, In hope to standen in his ladies grace.
Embroidered was he, as it were a meade All full of fresh flowers, white and red, Singing he was, or fluting all the day, He was as fresh as is the month of May. Short was his gown, with sleeves full long and wide Well could he sit on horse, and fairly ride. He could songs make, and well endite, Juste, and eke dance, and well pourtray and write. Courteous he was, lowly and serviceable, And carved for his father at the table.
A YeoMAN had he, and servants no mo