The Franklin’s Prologue

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

FranT 709 Thise olde gentil Britouns in hir dayes
FranT 710 Of diverse aventures maden layes,
FranT 711 Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge,
FranT 712 Whiche layes with hir instrumentz they songe
FranT 713 Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce;
FranT 714 And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
FranT 715 Which I shal seyn with good wyl as I kan.
FranT 716 But, sires, by cause I am a burel man,
FranT 717 At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche,
FranT 718 Have me excused of my rude speche.
FranT 719 I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn;
FranT 720 Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
FranT 721 I sleep nevere on the Mount of Pernaso,
FranT 722 Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Scithero.
FranT 723 Colours ne knowe I none, withouten drede,
FranT 724 But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
FranT 725 Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.
FranT 726 Colours of rethoryk been to me queynte;
FranT 727 My spirit feeleth noght of swich mateere.
FranT 728 But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.