The Merchant’s Prologue

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

MerT 1213 “Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
MerT 1214 I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,”
MerT 1215 Quod the Marchant, “and so doon other mo
MerT 1216 That wedded been. I trowe that it be so,
MerT 1217 For wel I woot it fareth so with me.
MerT 1218 I have a wyf, the worste that may be;
MerT 1219 For thogh the feend to hire ycoupled were,
MerT 1220 She wolde hym overmacche, I dar wel swere.
MerT 1221 What sholde I yow reherce in special
MerT 1222 Hir hye malice? She is a shrewe at al.
MerT 1223 Ther is a long and large difference
MerT 1224 Bitwix Grisildis grete pacience
MerT 1225 And of my wyf the passyng crueltee.
MerT 1226 Were I unbounden, also moot I thee,
MerT 1227 I wolde nevere eft comen in the snare.
MerT 1228 We wedded men lyven in sorwe and care.
MerT 1229 Assaye whoso wole, and he shal fynde
MerT 1230 That I seye sooth, by Seint Thomas of Ynde,
MerT 1231 As for the moore part — I sey nat alle.
MerT 1232 God shilde that it sholde so bifalle!
MerT 1233 “A, goode sire Hoost, I have ywedded bee
MerT 1234 Thise monthes two, and moore nat, pardee;
MerT 1235 And yet, I trowe, he that al his lyve
MerT 1236 Wyflees hath been, though that men wolde him ryve
MerT 1237 Unto the herte, ne koude in no manere
MerT 1238 Tellen so muchel sorwe as I now heere
MerT 1239 Koude tellen of my wyves cursednesse!”
MerT 1240 “Now,” quod oure Hoost, “Marchaunt, so God yow blesse,
MerT 1241 Syn ye so muchel knowen of that art
MerT 1242 Ful hertely I pray yow telle us part.”
MerT 1243 “Gladly,” quod he, “but of myn owene soore,
MerT 1244 For soory herte, I telle may namoore.”