Weekly Interlinear Poem





This is the poem
for the week of August 31.
A new interlinear poem
is available each Monday.

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

Prologue to the Canterbury Tales
(The original Middle English spelling has been modernized)

-Geoffrey Chaucer



When that April with his showers soot-e
soote=sweet
The drought of March hath pierc-ed to the root-e
And bath-ed every vein in such liqueur
liqueur=water
Of which virtue engender'd is the flour;
Of which virtue=by which power
engender'd is the flour=the flower is created

When Zephirus eek with his sweet breeth
Zephirus=West Wind
eek=also

Inspired hath in every holt and heath
inspired=breathed life into
holt and heath=wood and field

The tender crop-es. And the young-e sun-e
Hath in the Ram his half-e course y-run-ne,
Ram (Aries)=early spring
yrunne=run

And small-e fowl-es maken melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye
(So pricketh them Nature in their cour-ag-es),
(so Nature spurs them on in their hearts)
Then long-en folk to go on pil-grim-ag-es
And palmers for to seeken strang-e strand-es
palmers=professional pilgrims who had been to the Holy Land and had carried palms back home
strange strandes=strange (foreign) strands (shores)

To fer-ne hal-wes, couth in sundry land-es,
ferne halwes=distant shrines
couth=known

And specially from every shir-es end-e
Of En-gl-and, to Canterb'ry they wend-e,
The holy blissful martyr for to seek
martyr=Thomas Becket
That them hath helpen, when that they were sick.

Befell that in that season, on a day,
Befell=It befell
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Tabard=Tabard Inn
Ready to wend-en on my pil-grim-ag-e
To Canterb'ry with full devout cour-ag-e,
courage=devotion
At night was come into that hostelry
Well nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk, by ad-ven-ture y-fall-e
by adventure yfalle=by chance fallen
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all-e,
That to-ward Canterbury would-en ride.
The chambers and the stables weren wide,
weren=were
And well we weren eas-ed at-te best;
(we were well taken care of)
And shortly, when the sun-ne was to rest,
So had I spoken with them everyone
So had I spoken=I had so spoken
That I was of their fellowship anon,
anon=right away
And mad-e forward early for to rise
forward=agreement
To take our way there as I you devise.
devise=apprise

When that April with his showers soot-e
The drought of March hath pierc-ed to the root-e
And bath-ed every vein in such liqueur
Of which virtue engender'd is the flour;
When Zephirus eek with his sweet breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heath
The tender crop-es. And the young-e sun-e
Hath in the Ram his half-e course y-run-ne,
And small-e fowl-es maken melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye
(So pricketh them Nature in her cour-ag-es),
Then long-en folk to go on pil-grim-ag-es
And palmers for to seeken strang-e strand-es
To fer-ne hal-wes, couth in sundry land-es,
And specially from every shir-es end-e
Of En-gl-and, to Canterb'ry they wend-e,
The holy blissful martyr for to seek
That them hath helpen, when that they were sick.

Befell that in that season, on a day,
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Ready to wend-en on my pil-grim-ag-e
To Canterb'ry with full devout cour-ag-e,
At night was come into that hostelry
Well nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk, by ad-ven-ture y-fall-e
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all-e,
That to-ward Canterbury would-en ride.
The chambers and the stables weren wide,
And well we weren eas-ed at-te best;
And shortly, when the sun-ne was to rest,
So had I spoken with them everyone
That I was of their fellowship anon,
And mad-e forward early for to rise
To take our way there as I you devise.