The General Prologue
2 of 14 folios
Wyth grys and that the finest of a land
And for to festen his hood vndyr his chyn.
He had of gold wroght a curious pyn.
A loue knotte in the gretter ende ther was
His heed was balled that shoone as any glas.
And eke his face as. he had ben ennoyut
He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt
His eyen stepe Rollyng in his heed
That stemed as a forneys of a leed.
His botes souple his hors in grete state
Now certeynly he was a faire perlate.
He was not pale as is a forpyned goost
A fatte swanne loued he best of any roost
His palfray was as broun as is a bery
A Frere ther was a wanton and amery
A lymytour and a ful solempne man
In al the ordres four ys noon that can.
So myche of daliance and faire langage
He hath made many a faire mariage.
Of ȝonge wemen at his owne cost
Vntil his ordre he is a noble post
Ful wel beloued and famulier was. he.
Wyth frankeleynes oueral in his contre.
And eke wyth worthi women of the toū
For he had power of confessioū
As seide hym selfe more than a curat
For of his ordere he was licenciat.
Ful swetly herd he confessioū
And plesant was his absolucyoū
He was an esy man to yeue penaunce
Ther as he wiste to han a good pytaunce.
For vnto a poore ordre for to yeue
Is sygne that a man is wel I.shryue
For yf he yaf he durste make auaunt
He wist that a man was repentaunt
For many a man so herd is of. his hert
He may not wepe al theigh he sore smert.
Ther fore in stede of wepyng and of prayers
Men mote ȝeue siluer vnto pore freres.
His typet was ay farsed ful of knyves.