The Shipman’s Tale

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

ShipT 1 A marchant whilom dwelled at Seint-Denys,
ShipT 2 That riche was, for which men helde hym wys.
ShipT 3 A wyf he hadde of excellent beautee;
ShipT 4 And compaignable and revelous was she,
ShipT 5 Which is a thyng that causeth more dispence
ShipT 6 Than worth is al the chiere and reverence
ShipT 7 That men hem doon at festes and at daunces.
ShipT 8 Swiche salutaciouns and contenaunces
ShipT 9 Passen as dooth a shadwe upon the wal;
ShipT 10 But wo is hym that payen moot for al!
ShipT 11 The sely housbonde, algate he moot paye,
ShipT 12 He moot us clothe, and he moot us arraye,
ShipT 13 Al for his owene worshipe richely,
ShipT 14 In which array we daunce jolily.
ShipT 15 And if that he noght may, par aventure,
ShipT 16 Or ellis list no swich dispence endure,
ShipT 17 But thynketh it is wasted and ylost,
ShipT 18 Thanne moot another payen for oure cost,
ShipT 19 Or lene us gold, and that is perilous.
ShipT 20 This noble marchaunt heeld a worthy hous,
ShipT 21 For which he hadde alday so greet repair
ShipT 22 For his largesse, and for his wyf was fair,
ShipT 23 That wonder is; but herkneth to my tale.
ShipT 24 Amonges alle his gestes, grete and smale,
ShipT 25 Ther was a monk, a fair man and a boold —
ShipT 26 I trowe a thritty wynter he was oold —
ShipT 27 That evere in oon was drawynge to that place.
ShipT 28 This yonge monk, that was so fair of face,
ShipT 29 Aqueynted was so with the goode man,
ShipT 30 Sith that hir firste knoweliche bigan,
ShipT 31 That in his hous as famulier was he
ShipT 32 As it is possible any freend to be.
ShipT 33 And for as muchel as this goode man,
ShipT 34 And eek this monk of which that I bigan,
ShipT 35 Were bothe two yborn in o village,
ShipT 36 The monk hym claymeth as for cosynage,
ShipT 37 And he agayn; he seith nat ones nay,
ShipT 38 But was as glad therof as fowel of day,
ShipT 39 For to his herte it was a greet plesaunce.
ShipT 40 Thus been they knyt with eterne alliaunce,
ShipT 41 And ech of hem gan oother for t’ assure
ShipT 42 Of bretherhede whil that hir lyf may dure.
ShipT 43 Free was daun John, and manly of dispence,
ShipT 44 As in that hous, and ful of diligence
ShipT 45 To doon plesaunce, and also greet costage.
ShipT 46 He noght forgat to yeve the leeste page
ShipT 47 In al that hous; but after hir degree,
ShipT 48 He yaf the lord, and sitthe al his meynee,
ShipT 49 Whan that he cam, som manere honest thyng,
ShipT 50 For which they were as glad of his comyng
ShipT 51 As fowel is fayn whan that the sonne up riseth.
ShipT 52 Na moore of this as now, for it suffiseth.
ShipT 53 But so bifel, this marchant on a day
ShipT 54 Shoop hym to make redy his array
ShipT 55 Toward the toun of Brugges for to fare,
ShipT 56 To byen there a porcioun of ware;
ShipT 57 For which he hath to Parys sent anon
ShipT 58 A messager, and preyed hath daun John
ShipT 59 That he sholde come to Seint-Denys to pleye
ShipT 60 With hym and with his wyf a day or tweye,
ShipT 61 Er he to Brugges wente, in alle wise.
ShipT 62 This noble monk, of which I yow devyse,
ShipT 63 Hath of his abbot, as hym list, licence,
ShipT 64 By cause he was a man of heigh prudence
ShipT 65 And eek an officer, out for to ryde,
ShipT 66 To seen hir graunges and hire bernes wyde,
ShipT 67 And unto Seint-Denys he comth anon.
ShipT 68 Who was so welcome as my lord daun John,
ShipT 69 Oure deere cosyn, ful of curteisye?
ShipT 70 With hym broghte he a jubbe of malvesye,
ShipT 71 And eek another ful of fyn vernage,
ShipT 72 And volatyl, as ay was his usage.
ShipT 73 And thus I lete hem ete and drynke and pleye,
ShipT 74 This marchant and this monk, a day or tweye.
ShipT 75 The thridde day, this marchant up ariseth,
ShipT 76 And on his nedes sadly hym avyseth,
ShipT 77 And up into his countour-hous gooth he
ShipT 78 To rekene with hymself, wel may be,
ShipT 79 Of thilke yeer how that it with hym stood,
ShipT 80 And how that he despended hadde his good,
ShipT 81 And if that he encressed were or noon.
ShipT 82 His bookes and his bagges many oon
ShipT 83 He leith biforn hym on his countyng-bord.
ShipT 84 Ful riche was his tresor and his hord,
ShipT 85 For which ful faste his countour-dore he shette;
ShipT 86 And eek he nolde that no man sholde hym lette
ShipT 87 Of his acountes, for the meene tyme;
ShipT 88 And thus he sit til it was passed pryme.
ShipT 89 Daun John was rysen in the morwe also,
ShipT 90 And in the gardyn walketh to and fro,
ShipT 91 And hath his thynges seyd ful curteisly.
ShipT 92 This goode wyf cam walkynge pryvely
ShipT 93 Into the gardyn, there he walketh softe,
ShipT 94 And hym saleweth, as she hath doon ofte.
ShipT 95 A mayde child cam in hire compaignye,
ShipT 96 Which as hir list she may governe and gye,
ShipT 97 For yet under the yerde was the mayde.
ShipT 98 “O deere cosyn myn, daun John,” she sayde,
ShipT 99 “What eyleth yow so rathe for to ryse?”
ShipT 100 “Nece,” quod he, “it oghte ynough suffise
ShipT 101 Fyve houres for to slepe upon a nyght,
ShipT 102 But it were for an old appalled wight,
ShipT 103 As been thise wedded men, that lye and dare
ShipT 104 As in a fourme sit a wery hare,
ShipT 105 Were al forstraught with houndes grete and smale.
ShipT 106 But deere nece, why be ye so pale?
ShipT 107 I trowe, certes, that oure goode man
ShipT 108 Hath yow laboured sith the nyght bigan
ShipT 109 That yow were nede to resten hastily.”
ShipT 110 And with that word he lough ful murily,
ShipT 111 And of his owene thought he wax al reed.
ShipT 112 This faire wyf gan for to shake hir heed
ShipT 113 And seyde thus, “Ye, God woot al,” quod she.
ShipT 114 “Nay, cosyn myn, it stant nat so with me;
ShipT 115 For, by that God that yaf me soule and lyf,
ShipT 116 In al the reawme of France is ther no wyf
ShipT 117 That lasse lust hath to that sory pley.
ShipT 118 For I may synge ‘allas and weylawey
ShipT 119 That I was born,’ but to no wight,” quod she,
ShipT 120 “Dar I nat telle how that it stant with me.
ShipT 121 Wherfore I thynke out of this land to wende,
ShipT 122 Or elles of myself to make an ende,
ShipT 123 So ful am I of drede and eek of care.”
ShipT 124 This monk bigan upon this wyf to stare,
ShipT 125 And seyde, “Allas, my nece, God forbede
ShipT 126 That ye, for any sorwe or any drede,
ShipT 127 Fordo youreself; but telleth me youre grief.
ShipT 128 Paraventure I may, in youre meschief,
ShipT 129 Conseille or helpe; and therfore telleth me
ShipT 130 Al youre anoy, for it shal been secree.
ShipT 131 For on my portehors I make an ooth
ShipT 132 That nevere in my lyf, for lief ne looth,
ShipT 133 Ne shal I of no conseil yow biwreye.”
ShipT 134 “The same agayn to yow,” quod she, “I seye.
ShipT 135 By God and by this portehors I swere,
ShipT 136 Though men me wolde al into pieces tere,
ShipT 137 Ne shal I nevere, for to goon to helle,
ShipT 138 Biwreye a word of thyng that ye me telle,
ShipT 139 Nat for no cosynage ne alliance,
ShipT 140 But verraily for love and affiance.”
ShipT 141 Thus been they sworn, and heerupon they kiste,
ShipT 142 And ech of hem tolde oother what hem liste.
ShipT 143 “Cosyn,” quod she, “if that I hadde a space,
ShipT 144 As I have noon, and namely in this place,
ShipT 145 Thanne wolde I telle a legende of my lyf,
ShipT 146 What I have suffred sith I was a wyf
ShipT 147 With myn housbonde, al be he youre cosyn.”
ShipT 148 “Nay,” quod this monk, “by God and Seint Martyn,
ShipT 149 He is na moore cosyn unto me
ShipT 150 Than is this leef that hangeth on the tree!
ShipT 151 I clepe hym so, by Seint Denys of Fraunce,
ShipT 152 To have the moore cause of aqueyntaunce
ShipT 153 Of yow, which I have loved specially
ShipT 154 Aboven alle wommen, sikerly.
ShipT 155 This swere I yow on my professioun.
ShipT 156 Telleth youre grief, lest that he come adoun;
ShipT 157 And hasteth yow, and gooth youre wey anon.”
ShipT 158 “My deere love,” quod she, “O my daun John,
ShipT 159 Ful lief were me this conseil for to hyde,
ShipT 160 But out it moot; I may namoore abyde.
ShipT 161 Myn housbonde is to me the worste man
ShipT 162 That evere was sith that the world bigan.
ShipT 163 But sith I am a wyf, it sit nat me
ShipT 164 To tellen no wight of oure privetee,
ShipT 165 Neither abedde ne in noon oother place;
ShipT 166 God shilde I sholde it tellen, for his grace!
ShipT 167 A wyf ne shal nat seyn of hir housbonde
ShipT 168 But al honour, as I kan understonde;
ShipT 169 Save unto yow thus muche I tellen shal:
ShipT 170 As helpe me God, he is noght worth at al
ShipT 171 In no degree the value of a flye.
ShipT 172 But yet me greveth moost his nygardye.
ShipT 173 And wel ye woot that wommen naturelly
ShipT 174 Desiren thynges sixe as wel as I:
ShipT 175 They wolde that hir housbondes sholde be
ShipT 176 Hardy and wise, and riche, and therto free,
ShipT 177 And buxom unto his wyf and fressh abedde.
ShipT 178 But by that ilke Lord that for us bledde,
ShipT 179 For his honour, myself for to arraye,
ShipT 180 A Sonday next I moste nedes paye
ShipT 181 An hundred frankes, or ellis I am lorn.
ShipT 182 Yet were me levere that I were unborn
ShipT 183 Than me were doon a sclaundre or vileynye;
ShipT 184 And if myn housbonde eek it myghte espye,
ShipT 185 I nere but lost; and therfore I yow preye,
ShipT 186 Lene me this somme, or ellis moot I deye.
ShipT 187 Daun John, I seye, lene me thise hundred frankes.
ShipT 188 Pardee, I wol nat faille yow my thankes,
ShipT 189 If that yow list to doon that I yow praye.
ShipT 190 For at a certeyn day I wol yow paye,
ShipT 191 And doon to yow what plesance and service
ShipT 192 That I may doon, right as yow list devise.
ShipT 193 And but I do, God take on me vengeance
ShipT 194 As foul as evere hadde Genylon of France.”
ShipT 195 This gentil monk answerde in this manere:
ShipT 196 “Now trewely, myn owene lady deere,
ShipT 197 I have,” quod he, “on yow so greet a routhe
ShipT 198 That I yow swere, and plighte yow my trouthe,
ShipT 199 That whan youre housbonde is to Flaundres fare,
ShipT 200 I wol delyvere yow out of this care;
ShipT 201 For I wol brynge yow an hundred frankes.”
ShipT 202 And with that word he caughte hire by the flankes,
ShipT 203 And hire embraceth harde, and kiste hire ofte.
ShipT 204 “Gooth now youre wey,” quod he, “al stille and softe,
ShipT 205 And lat us dyne as soone as that ye may;
ShipT 206 For by my chilyndre it is pryme of day.
ShipT 207 Gooth now, and beeth as trewe as I shal be.”
ShipT 208 “Now elles God forbede, sire,” quod she;
ShipT 209 And forth she gooth as jolif as a pye,
ShipT 210 And bad the cookes that they sholde hem hye,
ShipT 211 So that men myghte dyne, and that anon.
ShipT 212 Up to hir housbonde is this wyf ygon,
ShipT 213 And knokketh at his countour boldely.
ShipT 214 “Quy la?” quod he. “Peter! it am I,”
ShipT 215 Quod she; “What, sire, how longe wol ye faste?
ShipT 216 How longe tyme wol ye rekene and caste
ShipT 217 Youre sommes, and youre bookes, and youre thynges?
ShipT 218 The devel have part on alle swiche rekenynges!
ShipT 219 Ye have ynough, pardee, of Goddes sonde;
ShipT 220 Com doun to-day, and lat youre bagges stonde.
ShipT 221 Ne be ye nat ashamed that daun John
ShipT 222 Shal fasting al this day alenge goon?
ShipT 223 What, lat us heere a messe, and go we dyne.”
ShipT 224 “Wyf,” quod this man, “litel kanstow devyne
ShipT 225 The curious bisynesse that we have.
ShipT 226 For of us chapmen, also God me save,
ShipT 227 And by that lord that clepid is Seint Yve,
ShipT 228 Scarsly amonges twelve tweye shul thryve
ShipT 229 Continuelly, lastynge unto oure age.
ShipT 230 We may wel make chiere and good visage,
ShipT 231 And dryve forth the world as it may be,
ShipT 232 And kepen oure estaat in pryvetee,
ShipT 233 Til we be deed, or elles that we pleye
ShipT 234 A pilgrymage, or goon out of the weye.
ShipT 235 And therfore have I greet necessitee
ShipT 236 Upon this queynte world t’ avyse me,
ShipT 237 For everemoore we moote stonde in drede
ShipT 238 Of hap and fortune in oure chapmanhede.
ShipT 239 “To Flaundres wol I go to-morwe at day,
ShipT 240 And come agayn, as soone as evere I may.
ShipT 241 For which, my deere wyf, I thee biseke,
ShipT 242 As be to every wight buxom and meke,
ShipT 243 And for to kepe oure good be curious,
ShipT 244 And honestly governe wel oure hous.
ShipT 245 Thou hast ynough, in every maner wise,
ShipT 246 That to a thrifty houshold may suffise.
ShipT 247 Thee lakketh noon array ne no vitaille;
ShipT 248 Of silver in thy purs shaltow nat faille.”
ShipT 249 And with that word his countour-dore he shette,
ShipT 250 And doun he gooth, no lenger wolde he lette.
ShipT 251 But hastily a messe was ther seyd,
ShipT 252 And spedily the tables were yleyd,
ShipT 253 And to the dyner faste they hem spedde,
ShipT 254 And richely this monk the chapman fedde.
ShipT 255 At after-dyner daun John sobrely
ShipT 256 This chapman took apart, and prively
ShipT 257 He seyde hym thus: “Cosyn, it standeth so,
ShipT 258 That wel I se to Brugges wol ye go.
ShipT 259 God and Seint Austyn spede yow and gyde!
ShipT 260 I prey yow, cosyn, wisely that ye ryde.
ShipT 261 Governeth yow also of youre diete
ShipT 262 Atemprely, and namely in this hete.
ShipT 263 Bitwix us two nedeth no strange fare;
ShipT 264 Farewel, cosyn; God shilde yow fro care!
ShipT 265 And if that any thyng by day or nyght,
ShipT 266 If it lye in my power and my myght,
ShipT 267 That ye me wol comande in any wyse,
ShipT 268 It shal be doon right as ye wol devyse.
ShipT 269 “O thyng, er that ye goon, if it may be,
ShipT 270 I wolde prey yow: for to lene me
ShipT 271 An hundred frankes, for a wyke or tweye,
ShipT 272 For certein beestes that I moste beye,
ShipT 273 To stoore with a place that is oures.
ShipT 274 God helpe me so, I wolde it were youres!
ShipT 275 I shal nat faille surely of my day,
ShipT 276 Nat for a thousand frankes, a mile way.
ShipT 277 But lat this thyng be secree, I yow preye,
ShipT 278 For yet to-nyght thise beestes moot I beye.
ShipT 279 And fare now wel, myn owene cosyn deere;
ShipT 280 Graunt mercy of youre cost and of youre cheere.”
ShipT 281 This noble marchant gentilly anon
ShipT 282 Answerde and seyde, “O cosyn myn, daun John,
ShipT 283 Now sikerly this is a smal requeste.
ShipT 284 My gold is youres, whan that it yow leste,
ShipT 285 And nat oonly my gold, but my chaffare.
ShipT 286 Take what yow list; God shilde that ye spare.
ShipT 287 “But o thyng is, ye knowe it wel ynogh
ShipT 288 Of chapmen, that hir moneie is hir plogh.
ShipT 289 We may creaunce whil we have a name,
ShipT 290 But goldlees for to be, it is no game.
ShipT 291 Paye it agayn whan it lith in youre ese;
ShipT 292 After my myght ful fayn wolde I yow plese.”
ShipT 293 Thise hundred frankes he fette forth anon,
ShipT 294 And prively he took hem to daun John.
ShipT 295 No wight in al this world wiste of this loone
ShipT 296 Savynge this marchant and daun John allone.
ShipT 297 They drynke, and speke, and rome a while and pleye,
ShipT 298 Til that daun John rideth to his abbeye.
ShipT 299 The morwe cam, and forth this marchant rideth
ShipT 300 To Flaundres-ward; his prentys wel hym gydeth
ShipT 301 Til he came into Brugges murily.
ShipT 302 Now gooth this marchant faste and bisily
ShipT 303 Aboute his nede, and byeth and creaunceth.
ShipT 304 He neither pleyeth at the dees ne daunceth,
ShipT 305 But as a marchaunt, shortly for to telle,
ShipT 306 He let his lyf, and there I lete hym dwelle.
ShipT 307 The Sonday next the marchant was agon,
ShipT 308 To Seint-Denys ycomen is daun John,
ShipT 309 With crowne and berd al fressh and newe yshave.
ShipT 310 In al the hous ther nas so litel a knave,
ShipT 311 Ne no wight elles, that he nas ful fayn
ShipT 312 That my lord daun John was come agayn.
ShipT 313 And shortly to the point right for to gon,
ShipT 314 This faire wyf acorded with daun John
ShipT 315 That for thise hundred frankes he sholde al nyght
ShipT 316 Have hire in his armes bolt upright;
ShipT 317 And this acord parfourned was in dede.
ShipT 318 In myrthe al nyght a bisy lyf they lede
ShipT 319 Til it was day, that daun John wente his way,
ShipT 320 And bad the meynee “Farewel, have good day!”
ShipT 321 For noon of hem, ne no wight in the toun,
ShipT 322 Hath of daun John right no suspecioun.
ShipT 323 And forth he rydeth hoom to his abbeye,
ShipT 324 Or where hym list; namoore of hym I seye.
ShipT 325 This marchant, whan that ended was the faire,
ShipT 326 To Seint-Denys he gan for to repaire,
ShipT 327 And with his wyf he maketh feeste and cheere,
ShipT 328 And telleth hire that chaffare is so deere
ShipT 329 That nedes moste he make a chevyssaunce,
ShipT 330 For he was bounden in a reconyssaunce
ShipT 331 To paye twenty thousand sheeld anon.
ShipT 332 For which this marchant is to Parys gon
ShipT 333 To borwe of certeine freendes that he hadde
ShipT 334 A certeyn frankes; and somme with him he ladde.
ShipT 335 And whan that he was come into the toun,
ShipT 336 For greet chiertee and greet affeccioun,
ShipT 337 Unto daun John he first gooth hym to pleye;
ShipT 338 Nat for to axe or borwe of hym moneye,
ShipT 339 But for to wite and seen of his welfare,
ShipT 340 And for to tellen hym of his chaffare,
ShipT 341 As freendes doon whan they been met yfeere.
ShipT 342 Daun John hym maketh feeste and murye cheere,
ShipT 343 And he hym tolde agayn, ful specially,
ShipT 344 How he hadde wel yboght and graciously,
ShipT 345 Thanked be God, al hool his marchandise,
ShipT 346 Save that he moste, in alle maner wise,
ShipT 347 Maken a chevyssaunce, as for his beste,
ShipT 348 And thanne he sholde been in joye and reste.
ShipT 349 Daun John answerde, “Certes, I am fayn
ShipT 350 That ye in heele ar comen hom agayn.
ShipT 351 And if that I were riche, as have I blisse,
ShipT 352 Of twenty thousand sheeld sholde ye nat mysse,
ShipT 353 For ye so kyndely this oother day
ShipT 354 Lente me gold; and as I kan and may,
ShipT 355 I thanke yow, by God and by Seint Jame!
ShipT 356 But nathelees, I took unto oure dame,
ShipT 357 Youre wyf, at hom, the same gold ageyn
ShipT 358 Upon youre bench; she woot it wel, certeyn,
ShipT 359 By certeyn tokenes that I kan hire telle.
ShipT 360 Now, by youre leve, I may no lenger dwelle;
ShipT 361 Oure abbot wole out of this toun anon,
ShipT 362 And in his compaignye moot I goon.
ShipT 363 Grete wel oure dame, myn owene nece sweete,
ShipT 364 And fare wel, deere cosyn, til we meete!”
ShipT 365 This marchant, which that was ful war and wys,
ShipT 366 Creanced hath, and payd eek in Parys
ShipT 367 To certeyn Lumbardes, redy in hir hond,
ShipT 368 The somme of gold, and gat of hem his bond;
ShipT 369 And hoom he gooth, murie as a papejay,
ShipT 370 For wel he knew he stood in swich array
ShipT 371 That nedes moste he wynne in that viage
ShipT 372 A thousand frankes aboven al his costage.
ShipT 373 His wyf ful redy mette hym atte gate,
ShipT 374 As she was wont of oold usage algate,
ShipT 375 And al that nyght in myrthe they bisette;
ShipT 376 For he was riche and cleerly out of dette.
ShipT 377 Whan it was day, this marchant gan embrace
ShipT 378 His wyf al newe, and kiste hire on hir face,
ShipT 379 And up he gooth and maketh it ful tough.
ShipT 380 “Namoore,” quod she, “by God, ye have ynough!”
ShipT 381 And wantownly agayn with hym she pleyde
ShipT 382 Til atte laste thus this marchant seyde:
ShipT 383 “By God,” quod he, “I am a litel wrooth
ShipT 384 With yow, my wyf, although it be me looth.
ShipT 385 And woot ye why? By God, as that I gesse
ShipT 386 That ye han maad a manere straungenesse
ShipT 387 Bitwixen me and my cosyn daun John.
ShipT 388 Ye sholde han warned me, er I had gon,
ShipT 389 That he yow hadde an hundred frankes payed
ShipT 390 By redy token; and heeld hym yvele apayed,
ShipT 391 For that I to hym spak of chevyssaunce;
ShipT 392 Me semed so, as by his contenaunce.
ShipT 393 But nathelees, by God, oure hevene kyng,
ShipT 394 I thoughte nat to axen hym no thyng.
ShipT 395 I prey thee, wyf, ne do namoore so;
ShipT 396 Telle me alwey, er that I fro thee go,
ShipT 397 If any dettour hath in myn absence
ShipT 398 Ypayed thee, lest thurgh thy necligence
ShipT 399 I myghte hym axe a thing that he hath payed.”
ShipT 400 This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed,
ShipT 401 But boldely she seyde, and that anon,
ShipT 402 “Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun John!
ShipT 403 I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel;
ShipT 404 He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel —
ShipT 405 What! Yvel thedam on his monkes snowte!
ShipT 406 For, God it woot, I wende, withouten doute,
ShipT 407 That he hadde yeve it me bycause of yow
ShipT 408 To doon therwith myn honour and my prow,
ShipT 409 For cosynage, and eek for beele cheere
ShipT 410 That he hath had ful ofte tymes heere.
ShipT 411 But sith I se I stonde in this disjoynt,
ShipT 412 I wol answere yow shortly to the poynt.
ShipT 413 Ye han mo slakkere dettours than am I!
ShipT 414 For I wol paye yow wel and redily
ShipT 415 Fro day to day, and if so be I faille,
ShipT 416 I am youre wyf; score it upon my taille,
ShipT 417 And I shal paye as soone as ever I may.
ShipT 418 For by my trouthe, I have on myn array,
ShipT 419 And nat on wast, bistowed every deel;
ShipT 420 And for I have bistowed it so weel
ShipT 421 For youre honour, for Goddes sake, I seye,
ShipT 422 As be nat wrooth, but lat us laughe and pleye.
ShipT 423 Ye shal my joly body have to wedde;
ShipT 424 By God, I wol nat paye yow but abedde!
ShipT 425 Forgyve it me, myn owene spouse deere;
ShipT 426 Turne hiderward, and maketh bettre cheere.”
ShipT 427 This marchant saugh ther was no remedie,
ShipT 428 And for to chide it nere but folie,
ShipT 429 Sith that the thyng may nat amended be.
ShipT 430 “Now wyf,” he seyde, “and I foryeve it thee;
ShipT 431 But, by thy lyf, ne be namoore so large.
ShipT 432 Keep bet thy good, this yeve I thee in charge.”
ShipT 433 Thus endeth my tale, and God us sende
ShipT 434 Taillynge ynough unto oure lyves ende. Amen
ShipT 435 “Wel seyd, by corpus dominus,” quod oure Hoost,
ShipT 436 “Now longe moote thou saille by the cost,
ShipT 437 Sire gentil maister, gentil maryneer!
ShipT 438 God yeve the monk a thousand last quade yeer!
ShipT 439 A ha! Felawes, beth ware of swich a jape!
ShipT 440 The monk putte in the mannes hood an ape,
ShipT 441 And in his wyves eek, by Seint Austyn!
ShipT 442 Draweth no monkes moore unto youre in.
ShipT 443 “But now passe over, and lat us seke aboute,
ShipT 444 Who shal now telle first of al this route
ShipT 445 Another tale;” and with that word he sayde,
ShipT 446 As curteisly as it had been a mayde,
ShipT 447 “My lady Prioresse, by youre leve,
ShipT 448 So that I wiste I sholde yow nat greve,
ShipT 449 I wolde demen that ye tellen sholde
ShipT 450 A tale next, if so were that ye wolde.
ShipT 451 Now wol ye vouche sauf, my lady deere?”
ShipT 452 “Gladly,” quod she, and seyde as ye shal heere.