The Prologue to the Prioress’s Tale

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

PrT 453 O Lord, oure Lord, thy name how merveillous
PrT 454 Is in this large world ysprad — quod she —
PrT 455 For noght oonly thy laude precious
PrT 456 Parfourned is by men of dignitee,
PrT 457 But by the mouth of children thy bountee
PrT 458 Parfourned is, for on the brest soukynge
PrT 459 Somtyme shewen they thyn heriynge.
PrT 460 Wherfore in laude, as I best kan or may,
PrT 461 Of thee and of the white lylye flour
PrT 462 Which that the bar, and is a mayde alway,
PrT 463 To telle a storie I wol do my labour;
PrT 464 Nat that I may encressen hir honour,
PrT 465 For she hirself is honour and the roote
PrT 466 Of bountee, next hir Sone, and soules boote.
PrT 467 O mooder Mayde, O mayde Mooder free!
PrT 468 O bussh unbrent, brennynge in Moyses sighte,
PrT 469 That ravyshedest doun fro the Deitee,
PrT 470 Thurgh thyn humblesse, the Goost that in th’ alighte,
PrT 471 Of whos vertu, whan he thyn herte lighte,
PrT 472 Conceyved was the Fadres sapience,
PrT 473 Help me to telle it in thy reverence!
PrT 474 Lady, thy bountee, thy magnificence,
PrT 475 Thy vertu and thy grete humylitee
PrT 476 Ther may no tonge expresse in no science;
PrT 477 For somtyme, Lady, er men praye to thee,
PrT 478 Thou goost biforn of thy benyngnytee,
PrT 479 And getest us the lyght, of thy preyere,
PrT 480 To gyden us unto thy Sone so deere.
PrT 481 My konnyng is so wayk, O blisful Queene,
PrT 482 For to declare thy grete worthynesse
PrT 483 That I ne may the weighte nat susteene;
PrT 484 But as a child of twelf month oold, or lesse,
PrT 485 That kan unnethes any word expresse,
PrT 486 Right so fare I, and therfore I yow preye,
PrT 487 Gydeth my song that I shal of yow seye.