The Canterbury Tales; The Persouns Tale Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Heere folweth the Prologe of the Persouns taleB
By that the Maunciple hadde his tale al endedC
The sonne fro the south lyne was descendedC
So lowe that he nas nat to my sighteC
Degrees nyne and twenty as in highteC
Ten of the clokke it was tho as I gesseD
For ellevene foot or litel moore or lesseD
My shadwe was at thilke tyme as thereE
Of swiche feet as my lengthe parted wereF
In sixe feet equal of proporciounG
Therwith the moones exaltaciounG
I meene Libra alwey gan ascendeC
As we were entryng at a thropes endeC
For which our Hoost as he was wont to gyeH
As in this caas oure joly compaignyeH
Seyde in this wise 'Lordynges everichoonG
Now lakketh us no tales mo than oonG
Fulfilled is my sentence and my decreeI
I trowe that we han herd of ech degreeI
Almoost fulfild is al myn ordinaunceD
I pray to God so yeve hym right good chaunceD
That telleth this tale to us lustilyB
'Sire preest ' quod he 'artow a vicaryI
Or arte a person sey sooth by thy feyJ
Be what thou be ne breke thou nat oure pleyB
For every man save thou hath toold his taleB
Unbokele and shewe us what is in thy maleB
For trewely me thynketh by thy cheereI
Thou sholdest knytte up wel a greet mateereI
Telle us a fable anon for Cokkes bones '-
This Persoun him answerede al atonesD
'Thou getest fable noon ytoold for meI
For Paul that writeth unto ThymotheeK
Repreveth hem that weyveth soothfastnesseD
And tellen fables and swich wrecchednesseD
Why sholde I sowen draf out of my festC
Whan I may sowen whete if that me lestC
For which I seye if that yow list to heereI
Moralitee and vertuous mateereI
And thanne that ye wol yeve me audienceD
I wol ful fayn at Cristes reverenceD
Do yow plesaunce leefful as I kanG
But trusteth wel I am a southren manG
I kan nat geeste Rum Ram Ruf by lettreI
Ne God woot rym holde I but litel bettreI
And therfore if yow list I wol nat gloseD
I wol yow telle a myrie tale in proseD
To knytte up al this feeste and make an endeC
And Jesu for his grace wit me sendeC
To shewe yow the wey in this viageL
Of thilke parfit glorious pilgrymageL
That highte Jerusalem celestialB
And if ye vouchesauf anon I shalB
Bigynne upon my tale for which I preyeH
Telle youre avys I kan no bettre seyeH
But nathelees this meditaciounG
I putte it ay under correcciounG
Of clerkes for I am nat textueelB
I take but sentence trusteth weelB
Therfore I make a protestaciounG
That I wol stonde to correccioun '-
Upon this word we han assented sooneG
For as us semed it was for to dooneG
To enden in som vertuous sentenceD
And for to yeve hym space and audienceD
Adn bede oure Hoost he sholde to hym seyeH
That alle we to telle his tale hym preyeH
Oure Hoost hadde the wordes for us alleB
'Sire preest ' quod he 'now faire yow bifalleB
Sey what yow list and we wol gladly heere '-
And with that word he seyde in this manereI
'Telleth ' quod he 'youre meditaciounG
But hasteth yow the sonne wole adounG
Beth fructuous and that in litel spaceD
And to do wel God sende yow his grace '-

Geoffrey Chaucer


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