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some touches before incorporating them in his new series, and with all the talks of the Pilgrims added to the new tales he must have been busy enough. Alas, that he did not earlier win his freedom from official drudgery, and for the time wasted, perhaps at the Queen's command, over those legends of Cupid's saints, which, though but half of them were written, yet grow so monotonous. Had he started on his pilgrimage to Canterbury but a year or two earlier, the gaps between one group of tales and another might have been fewer, and we might have had an Epilogue of the doings of the Pilgrims at Canterbury which should have surpassed the Prologue itself. But I am sure that by this time the Pilgrims are ready to start, and I should be sorry, by my gossiping, to cause any lover of them to ride as furiously as the Canon and his Yeoman to overtake them on the way.

ALFRED W. POLLARD.

25th May 1894.

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THE CANTERBURY TALES

THE PROLOGUE

Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury

5

WHÁn that Apríllė with hise shourės soote The droghte of March hath percėd to the roote, And bathéd every veyne in swich licour Of which vertú engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swetė breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendrė croppės, and the yongė sonne Hath in the Ram his halfè cours y-ronne, And smalė fowelės maken melodye That slepen al the nyght with open eye, So priketh hem Natúre in hir coráges, Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,

IO

1-9. whan that Aprille, etc. In 3. swich, such.

the Athenæum of July 8, 8. the Ram : the sun runs 1893, Prof. Skeat shows

one half course in the that these famous lines

sign of

the Ram in bear a remarkable resem

March, and the second blance to a passage in

half
course

in April. the fourth book of Guido

The latter ends on April delle Colonne's Historia

uith.
Trojana.

II. corages, hearts.
VOL. I
E

B

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