The Introduction to the Pardoner’s Tale

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

PardT 287 Oure Hooste gan to swere as he were wood;
PardT 288 “Harrow!” quod he, “by nayles and by blood!
PardT 289 This was a fals cherl and a fals justise.
PardT 290 As shameful deeth as herte may devyse
PardT 291 Come to thise juges and hire advocatz!
PardT 292 Algate this sely mayde is slayn, allas!
PardT 293 Allas, to deere boughte she beautee!
PardT 294 Wherfore I seye al day that men may see
PardT 295 That yiftes of Fortune and of Nature
PardT 296 Been cause of deeth to many a creature.
PardT 297 Hire beautee was hire deth, I dar wel sayn.
PardT 298 Allas, so pitously as she was slayn!
PardT 299 Of bothe yiftes that I speke of now
PardT 300 Men han ful ofte moore for harm than prow.
PardT 301 But trewely, myn owene maister deere,
PardT 302 This is a pitous tale for to heere.
PardT 303 But nathelees, passe over; is no fors.
PardT 304 I pray to God so save thy gentil cors,
PardT 305 And eek thyne urynals and thy jurdones,
PardT 306 Thyn ypocras, and eek thy galiones,
PardT 307 And every boyste ful of thy letuarie;
PardT 308 God blesse hem, and oure lady Seinte Marie!
PardT 309 So moot I theen, thou art a propre man,
PardT 310 And lyk a prelat, by Seint Ronyan!
PardT 311 Seyde I nat wel? I kan nat speke in terme;
PardT 312 But wel I woot thou doost myn herte to erme,
PardT 313 That I almoost have caught a cardynacle.
PardT 314 By corpus bones! but I have triacle,
PardT 315 Or elles a draughte of moyste and corny ale,
PardT 316 Or but I heere anon a myrie tale,
PardT 317 Myn herte is lost for pitee of this mayde.
PardT 318 Thou beel amy, thou Pardoner,” he sayde,
PardT 319 “Telle us som myrthe or japes right anon.”
PardT 320 “It shal be doon,” quod he, “by Seint Ronyon!
PardT 321 But first,” quod he, “heere at this alestake
PardT 322 I wol bothe drynke and eten of a cake.”
PardT 323 But right anon thise gentils gonne to crye,
PardT 324 “Nay, lat hym telle us of no ribaudye!
PardT 325 Telle us som moral thyng, that we may leere
PardT 326 Som wit, and thanne wol we gladly heere.”
PardT 327 “I graunte, ywis,” quod he, “but I moot thynke
PardT 328 Upon som honest thyng while that I drynke.”