The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

NPT 2767 “Hoo!” quod the Knyght, “good sire, namoore of this!
NPT 2768 That ye han seyd is right ynough, ywis,
NPT 2769 And muchel moore; for litel hevynesse
NPT 2770 Is right ynough to muche folk, I gesse.
NPT 2771 I seye for me, it is a greet disese,
NPT 2772 Whereas men han been in greet welthe and ese,
NPT 2773 To heeren of hire sodeyn fal, allas!
NPT 2774 And the contrarie is joye and greet solas,
NPT 2775 As whan a man hath been in povre estaat,
NPT 2776 And clymbeth up and wexeth fortunat,
NPT 2777 And there abideth in prosperitee.
NPT 2778 Swich thyng is gladsom, as it thynketh me,
NPT 2779 And of swich thyng were goodly for to telle.”
NPT 2780 “Ye,” quod oure Hooste, “by Seint Poules belle!
NPT 2781 Ye seye right sooth; this Monk he clappeth lowde.
NPT 2782 He spak how Fortune covered with a clowde
NPT 2783 I noot nevere what; and als of a tragedie
NPT 2784 Right now ye herde, and pardee, no remedie
NPT 2785 It is for to biwaille ne compleyne
NPT 2786 That that is doon, and als it is a peyne,
NPT 2787 As ye han seyd, to heere of hevynesse.
NPT 2788 “Sire Monk, namoore of this, so God yow blesse!
NPT 2789 Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
NPT 2790 Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,
NPT 2791 For therinne is ther no desport ne game.
NPT 2792 Wherfore, sire Monk, daun Piers by youre name,
NPT 2793 I pray yow hertely telle us somwhat elles;
NPT 2794 For sikerly, nere clynkyng of youre belles
NPT 2795 That on youre bridel hange on every syde,
NPT 2796 By hevene kyng that for us alle dyde,
NPT 2797 I sholde er this han fallen doun for sleep,
NPT 2798 Althogh the slough had never been so deep;
NPT 2799 Thanne hadde your tale al be toold in veyn.
NPT 2800 For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn,
NPT 2801 Whereas a man may have noon audience,
NPT 2802 Noght helpeth it to tellen his sentence.
NPT 2803 “And wel I woot the substance is in me,
NPT 2804 If any thyng shal wel reported be.
NPT 2805 Sir, sey somwhat of huntyng, I yow preye.”
NPT 2806 “Nay,” quod this Monk, “I have no lust to pleye.
NPT 2807 Now lat another telle, as I have toold.”
NPT 2808 Thanne spak oure Hoost with rude speche and boold,
NPT 2809 And seyde unto the Nonnes Preest anon,
NPT 2810 “Com neer, thou preest, com hyder, thou sir John!
NPT 2811 Telle us swich thyng as may oure hertes glade.
NPT 2812 Be blithe, though thou ryde upon a jade.
NPT 2813 What thogh thyn hors be bothe foul and lene?
NPT 2814 If he wol serve thee, rekke nat a bene.
NPT 2815 Looke that thyn herte be murie everemo.”
NPT 2816 “Yis, sir,” quod he, “yis, Hoost, so moot I go,
NPT 2817 But I be myrie, ywis I wol be blamed.”
NPT 2818 And right anon his tale he hath attamed,
NPT 2819 And thus he seyde unto us everichon,
NPT 2820 This sweete preest, this goodly man sir John.