The General Prologue
1 of 14 folios
But sykerly she hadde a faire forheed
It was almost a spanne brod y trowe
For hardily she was noght vndergrowe.
Ful fetis was hir cloke as y was ware
Of smale coral aboute hir arme she bare.
A payre of bedys with gaudees al of grene.
There on henge a broche of golde ful shene
On wych ther was first wryten a crowned .A.
And aftyrward . Amor vincit omnia.
A nother nonne wytħ hir had she
That was hir chapeleyne and preestes thre
A monke ther was a faire for the maistrye
An out ryder that loued wel venerye.
A manly man to ben an abbot able.
Ful many a deynte hors he had in stable.
And when he rode men myght his brydeƚƚ here
Gynglyng in a whistelyng wynd so clere.
And eke as lowde as doth a chapel belle
Ther as the lorde was keper of the Selle.
The rewele of seint Maure othir of seint Beneyt
By cause that hit was olde and somdele streyt.
This ilke monke let olde thinges pace.
And heelde aftyr the newe word the space
He yaf not of the tixte a pulled hen
That seith that hunters be noght holy men
Ne that a monke whan he is recheles
Is likned to a fysh that ys waterles.
This is to sey a monke out of his cloyster
But thilke tixt holt he not worth an oyster
And I.seyde his oppinioū was good
What sholde he studie and make hymselfe wode
Vppon a. boke alway in cloystre to poure
Or swynke wyth his hondes or laboure.
As austyn but how shal the worlde be serued
Let austyn have his swynke to hym reserued
Ther fore he was a percasour aryght
Grehoundes he hadde as swyft as fowle in flyght
Of prikyng and of huntyng for the hare
Was al his luste for no coste wolde he spare
I sawe his sleves purfiled atte the hond