Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CANTERBURY TALES: THE FRANKLIN'S PROLOGUE, by GEOFFREY CHAUCER



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THE CANTERBURY TALES: THE FRANKLIN'S PROLOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This olde gentil britouns in hir dayes
Last Line: But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.


Thise olde gentil Britouns in hir dayes
Of diverse aventures maden layes,
Rymeyed in hir firste Briton tonge;
Whiche layes with hir instrumentz they songe,
Or elles redden hem for hir plesaunce,
And oon of hem have I in remembraunce,
Which I shal seyn with good wyl as I kan.
But, sires, by cause I am a burel man,
At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche,
Have me excused of my rude speche.
I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn;
Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn.
I sleep nevere on the Mount of Pernaso,
Ne lerned Marcus Tullius Scithero.
Colours ne knowe I none, withouten drede,
But swiche colours as growen in the mede,
Or elles swiche as men dye or peynte.
Colours of rethoryk been to me queynte;
My spirit feeleth noght of swich mateere.
But if yow list, my tale shul ye heere.





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